Rating: T (on ff.net)
Pairing/Focus: Kara, Zak, Lee
Spoilers/Disclaimers: I own nothing related to Battlestar Galactica. The
characters and the universe of the Battlestar Galactica do not belong
to me. I make no profit from this story.
Okay, I'm in trouble.
I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for the last three months. His name is Zak. I really like this name. Short and easy to remember. He's good looking, funny ... and the sex is good. Not fantastic, but good. That's more than I had hoped for when I had met him the first time. He is three years younger than me. Three years! Normally I wouldn't have even looked at him. But ... there was just this thing about him that made me say yes when he asked me for a date the tenth time. Apparently the fact that I stopped laughing at his face after the fifth time and had just shot him annoyed looks had encouraged him. So, I went out with him. We had sex the same night and he promised to call me the next day. I was 100 % sure to never hear from him again. But he surprised me by actually calling the next day even though he had promised to do exactly that, and every woman knows what that usually means: He is never going to call again. But Zak, he called. I even saw him again the same day. Not on purpose though. As he was totally busy that day – he had assured me several times on the phone that that was in fact true and not some lame excuse – and I had to start a new class (I'm a flight instructor at the Colonial Military Academy), we agreed to meet the day after in some fancy restaurant.
But, like I said, I saw him again before that. He really hadn't lied. He was busy all day. Busy to start in a new school. A flight school to be exact, my flight school to be more exact. And not just my flight school, he actually attended my class!!! So much for luck. Anyway, despite the fact that he was my student now and I was just supposed to teach him how to fly a Viper we decided to keep our just starting relationship going. So, for the last three months we had this really good, fun, uncomplicated relationship. It was the longest relationship I've ever been in so far, I was happy and absolutely content to keep it that way. That was when the trouble started.
One morning, exactly three months, one week and two days after I went out with Zak for the first time (but who's counting), I was on my usual morning jog. I run the same route every morning. And every morning I meet the same four people. The same three joggers – two really good looking women and one really ugly looking guy – and Mrs. Vanderburgh – I think she must have celebrated her 100th birthday around the time I was born – with her dog. But this morning was different.
After ignoring Really Ugly Looking Old Guy and saying casually hi to the two good looking women – I don't want them to think I might feel intimidated by them, I'm Starbuck, I'm afraid of nothing and I am never ever envious of anything, especially not some good looks – I saw this man running towards me. I immediately noticed his well built arms and his absolutely fabulous looking body. The sweat was slightly tickling on his skin, but that only made him look even hotter. He wore military tanks and shorts and they fit him perfectly. Now, he didn't look exactly 100 % like the man of my dreams, but gods, never has any man come closer to that image in my head.
"Don't forget you're in a happy relationship." The little angel on my left shoulder whispered in my ear.
"Frak the relationship. This man is hot!" The little devil on my right shoulder whispered in the other.
Little Angel and Devil have been haunting me since I felt sexually attracted to men for the first time. Now, I don't know if every woman on Caprica or any other colony is haunted by those guys but let me assure you, it sucks. You can't enjoy one single moment of your life without those two whispering their opinions in your ear - whether I want to hear them or not.
By the time I had managed to ignore them both Hot Looking Guy had run past me and turned around a corner. I think I saw him taking a glance a me when he past by my side but that was probably just my imagination. Guys like him don't fall for women like me. They're more into these two beauties I meet every morning. Suddenly I saw a mental image of Hot Guy running into these two and spending the rest of the day in bed with them.
"Way to go!" Little Devil shouted excitedly.
"You don't need to worry about that. You have Zak." Little Angel tried to calm me.
Right, I had Zak. And tonight Zak was going to introduce me to his brother. This was the first time that a guy I saw introduced me to a member of his family. I felt proud and special. That was the other good thing about Zak. He made me feel special almost every day. I have never felt the way I feel around him. Like I actually deserved to be happy. My mother had always told me I was nothing more than dirt and when I was around six years old I started to believe her. But when Zak came into my life, I started to reconsider that.
"Screw your mum!" Little Devil called out.
"He's right. You deserve to be the happiest woman on all colonies." Little Angel agreed.
I think that was the first time those two ever agreed on anything.
Okay, back to the "Here starts the trouble" part. I finally got to meet Zak's brother. I think I can honestly say I was excited. I dressed up really nice and even put on some make-up. I promised myself to show my best side tonight. After all, I didn't want to embarrass Zak.
So, there we are, Zak and me sitting in a nice restaurant waiting for his brother, Lee. Their parents seemed to like short names. Somehow, I liked the name Lee even better then the name Zak. Of course, I never said that to Zak. Or Lee, for the matter. Anyway, this was when the trouble really began.
"Hi, sorry, I'm late." Really Hot Guy said as he stood directly in front of me, only this time he didn't wear military clothes but a nice shirt and jeans. He looked even hotter than this morning.
"Hi Lee." Zak greeted him. Lee??? Really Hot Guy was Lee??? Zak's brother??? They so don't look alike. Now, that's not supposed to mean that Zak doesn't look hot. Just another hot, more like kind of nice hot. But Lee ...
"Hi, I'm Lee." Lee introduced himself and held out his hand for me to take. I was still so stunned I just stared at him for a while. After a few seconds the situation got kind of embarrassing as Lee still held out his hand and I still just stared. So I tried to regain my composure and when I was sure my voice was steady enough I took his hand and opened my mouth to introduce myself.
"Hngch." I said while I accidentally pushed my glass of the table when I reached out for his hand. To his credit I must say, Lee only flinched for a second. He tried to ignore the spreading spot of wine on the floor and kept shaking my head.
"Nice to meet you." He laughed at me. Gods, he had the perfect laugh. I fell in love with him immediately. Oh, not good.
"That's right, not good. You're in love with Zak!" Little Angel exclaimed indignantly. When did I ever say I'm in love with Zak, please? Oh, right, I might have mumbled something like that last night while having sex. But I'm not reliable for what I say during that. I was ecstatic. I say lots of stupid things during sex.
"Exactly. So forget Zak, take Lee!" Little Devil said evilly from the other side.
I kicked them both off my shoulders and started concentrating on what was said at the table. Lee had just explained why he had been late. I really tried to follow his words but I felt like drowning in those blue eyes of his. Oh frak, I'm so lost.
The rest of the evening was less eventful. Zak and Lee did most of the talking, even though I did finally found my voice again and managed to throw in some absolutely senseless comments every now and then even though they sounded good to me at first. Apparently my brain was still lost somewhere.
About two hours later we said goodbye to each other and Zak and I went to his apartment. Zak's apartment, not Lee's. This night I had a lot of colourful dreams of Lee standing naked in front of me on several occasions. When I woke up the next morning Zak looked at me with a big, proud smile on his face. Apparently I speak at night and mumbled some very unmistakable things. Fortunately I never mentioned any names.
Gods, I'm in trouble.
Lee was going to stay on Caprica a whole month. A month! Now at first I was delighted. A whole month – four weeks – 30 days! That meant there would be lots of opportunities to meet with him and get to know him better.
But then real life hit me and I realized I would have to spend a whole month yearning for my boyfriend's really hot brother. I'm really not that strong. Maybe I should just hide this next month? Or maybe I could fake a Viper accident and spend the next month in hospital. Lying around in bed all day for weeks wasn't really my thing, but one had to take sacrifices. A mental image of Lee nursing me naked suddenly came into my mind. I sighed. I was completely frakked! I would totally screw this up, Zak would leave me and I would be alone again.
"Absolutely right." Little Devil yelled excitedly.
Little Angel said nothing. I actually waited a few minutes for it to comment and say that of course I would do the right thing and Zak and I would stay together forever and ever. But it kept quiet. Was it trying to tell me something with this silence? I tried to ignore the two for now and kept on living my real life: which went pretty well for about six hours. Then Zak told me we were going on a double date with Lee. I felt excited. Another meeting with Lee: Yippee. I love double dates.
"You're not supposed to be that happy about it, remember?" Oh, now Little Angel starts talking again. Thank you very much, but I could have needed your advice a few hours earlier.
I stayed excited about the prospect of seeing Lee again tonight for exactly 9 minutes and 36 seconds. Then it hit me that double dating meant that Lee would come with another woman. Or a man - He could be gay! Zak never really mentioned anything about his sexual preferences. But Lee gay? Life couldn't be so cruel. This man definitely belonged to a woman. Preferably me, but since I'm with his brother that probably wouldn't happen.
So Lee would bring a woman. He just got here two days ago. How did he meet a woman already? Okay, yeah, stupid question, I know. That man has the looks of a god. Okay, Lee would bring a woman. Maybe it was one of the two jogging beauties I meet every morning. Again, life couldn't be that cruel, could it? But when I looked back at my life I realised: It could.
Okay, so Lee would bring a woman tonight, probably one of the jogging beauties. I needed to be prepared. I checked my closet and realized I had absolutely nothing to wear. That had never happened before. I always have something to wear. I'm not like other women who buy new clothes every day, only to lament the next day that their closet is full of old, stinking clothes. I never cared about these things. But I did now. Frak, I had to go shopping. I hate shopping. But it could not be avoided. I needed to look absolutely glorious tonight. I wasn't exactly sure why. I already had a boyfriend, Zak loved me – he had actually said that several times, not just during sex. So there was no reason for me to act like a 16-year old before her first date. But since that was exactly how I felt right now, I put on my running shoes and went shopping.
Five hours, 42 minutes and 10 seconds later I returned to my apartment. I had bought outfits for at least 10 different occasions. Now I just needed to decide which one to wear tonight. Oh gods, I'm turning into one of those women. Aahhrrgg!!! And all that for a man I can never have.
"You're so screwed." Little Devil did a Happy-Dance on my shoulder.
Little Angel stayed quiet. Again! This was starting to become a habit. And I wasn't too happy about it.
Should I be worried that it annoys me that an imaginary little angel on my right shoulder suddenly stays quiet? Maybe I should just send myself into the next mental facility. At least that way I would make sure never to see Lee again. And Zak, too, unfortunately. A sudden image of naked Lee tying me up to the bed in said mental facility made me let out a frustrated groan.
All in all the four of us went out together four times in two weeks. I had finally accepted the fact that Lee and Melinda might not be such a bad couple after all. And Melinda really turned out to be quiet nice. We had some really nice chats when the guys were talking about the latest great pyramid game. Not that I'm not interested in pyramid games. I love pyramid, no I breathe pyramid. I even wanted to start playing it professionally, but then I hurt my knee and that part of my life was over. That's when I decided to join the military. Had I known back then that because of this decision I would be in this horrid situation right now I would have taken the next office job I could get! But here I am and that's just life I guess.
So, like I said, Melinda and I got along quiet well. Unfortunately she wasn't interested in Pyramid at all but in Ugly Old Man we found a topic that we could dwell on for hours. It was actually great to talk bad about this guy with someone other than my two little imaginary friends living on my shoulders.
Anyway, since Lee and Zak seemed to be so thrilled that Melinda and I were friends now we decided to go out together a fifth time. After all, this was a perfectly normal thing to do for friends. Well, Melinda and I were not really friends but Lee and Zak were so happy thinking that and I didn't want to ruin this for them.
So we went into another nice restaurant, talked, laughed, enjoyed the food. We had a really great time. Since it was such a nice night we decided to go for a walk on the beach. Lee and Melinda walked a few meters ahead of us. Did I mention that he calls her Mel all the time? How stupid is that. Anyway, instead of enjoying the moonshine glistening on the ocean I kept staring at the back of Lee's head.
"This is a wonderful evening, isn't it?" Zak asked me softly.
"Mhm." I didn't even really listened to what he was saying. I was too busy watching Lee and Melinda walking arm in arm. Not listening to Zak was mistake number 1.
"Kara, I want to ask you something." Zak gently grabbed me by the arm so I would stop walking. I shot him a slightly annoyed look. We would never catch up with Lee and Melinda if we just stood around like some lovers on the beach. Then I remembered that we were in fact two lovers on the beach so I changed my look from annoyed to loving. It must have worked because now Zak gently took my hands into his. I still kept staring at Lee though.
"Kara, do you want to marry me?"
"Sure, why not." Mistake number 2 was replying to a question I hadn't even really listened to.
"Seriously? Oh Kara, I love you so much." I suddenly noticed a joy in Zak's voice that I wasn't quiet used to. So I decided to turn away my attention from Lee for a moment and looked up at Zak. I saw nothing but the dark night in front of me. I was slightly confused. I had actually expected to look into Zak's face. When I looked down I found him kneeling before me, holding a ring in his hands. Oh, oh, what had been his last question again?
"He proposed to you." Little Angel whispered excitedly in my ear.
"Run!" Little Devil yelled terrified.
"Uhm ..." I wasn't quite sure what to say. But it turned out that wasn't even necessary anyway. Zak had jumped up and pulled me into a tight embrace before he called for his brother to tell the good news.
Lee and Melinda both congratulated us happily. Actually, Melinda congratulated us happily. Lee just stood frozen for a second and stared at us in disbelief. It took him a few moments to regain his composure before he congratulated us. And he didn't really do it in a happy way. More like in an "Oh gods, what's happening here" kind of way. I wondered why that was.
"He loves you and has realized he just lost you to his kid brother forever." Little Devil stated happily. He really liked drama too much. Maybe I should buy him a TV and then he could watch soap operas all day and would have enough drama so he wouldn't have to keep commenting on my life. I could already imagine the look on the seller's face when I ask him for a TV in extra small so it would fit on my shoulder. Okay, yes, that's it. I'm totally nuts.
"He just hadn't expected for you two to get married so quickly. He just met you for the first time two weeks ago. Of course he's happy for you. He's just looking out for his brother." Little Angel assured me.
"Or he thinks you're not good enough for this brother." Little Devil cut in again. Hey, you already had your opinion, you can't just change that. I shot him an angry glare. But deep down I knew he was right. Of course Lee thought I wasn't good enough for Zak. You just had to look at my family. My mother was an alcoholic and my father ... well, I don't even know my father. He ran off when I was six months old. And then look at the Adama family. The mother, I never met her but from what Zak told me, she is the perfect mother. And the father is a decorated Battlestar Commander. Of course I wasn't worth it. And Zak would realize that too one day. I suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe anymore.
But when I looked back at Lee I suddenly noticed an almost desperate look in his eyes. He kept staring at me in a way that said "Don't take him. I'm right here."
"That's only your imagination and you know it. Zak loves you and he always will." Little Angel stated determinedly.
"Yeah, why would a man like Lee Adama want someone like you?" Little Devil agreed. I hate them both. But they're right. Zak loves me. I promised to marry him. So that's exactly what I am going to do.
The next day Zak wanted me to meet his mother. I was scared shitless. I – the great Starbuck – was afraid. I’m usually not afraid of anything. But mothers are supposed to have a six sense when it comes to their children, aren’t they? She would see right through me. She would take one look at me and she would know that I’m not good enough for her son. I mean, Lee already knew that. And he had surely told his mother all about me by now and how bad I am for Zak. I was sure that today would be the worst day of my life.
When we arrived at Caroline Adama’s house I saw Lee’s car already parked in front. I memorized his license number so I would recognize his car everywhere. And of course he had to be here before us. They were probably already talking about me. Oh gods, what if he brought Melinda? Compared with her I would look even worse. I was slightly starting to panic. Zak had obviously noticed that as he told me that I really didn’t have to worry. His mother would love me. Yeah right, if only he knew.
When Mrs. Adama opened the door she hugged us immediately. Both of us. I was a bit startled by that at first since I had never been welcomed like this by anyone else before, including my own mother. But I had to admit it felt kind of nice. I was already starting to like her.
And the way she was beaming at me she already knew about the engagement. Well, I knew Lee would have told her by now.
“If Lee told her anything bad about you, why are her eyes beaming with joy over seeing you?” Little Angel told me quietly. Somehow it had a point there. Shouldn’t she look at me all suspicious and angry for stealing away her youngest son?
“Maybe she’s a good actress.” Little Devil said with an evil grin. Hmm, good point too. She probably had to endure a lot of awful girlfriends of Lee and Zak over the years and knew how to pretend.
When we stepped into the living room, Lee greeted us as well. Thank the gods, he was alone. Melinda didn’t come. He even smiled at us. Have I mentioned that I love his smile?
All in all his attitude was a lot better than last night after Zak’s proposal. Maybe he had realized that I may not be so bad for Zak after all?
“Or he is a good actor too.” Little Devil pointed out. Have I mentioned that I hate him?
A little while later we all sat around the table, enjoying Mrs. Adama’s really delicious food. I knew she would be a great cook, Zak had already told me that she was perfect. And perfect mothers – and wives for that matter - can always cook. I can’t even make fried eggs without burning them. Well, Zak never said anything about wanting a perfect wife. He knew my flaws and he had still proposed to me. I realized that saying yes to Zak might have been the right decision after all.
“It wasn’t really a decision. You just answered a question you haven’t heard in the first place.” Little Devil said grinning. Again he sounded much too happy for my taste.
“Ignore him. You made the right decision subconsciously.” Little Angel said determinedly.
I decided to ignore both of them and concentrated on what was said at the table. So far the dinner went really well. I hadn’t kicked anything off the table and the conversation hadn’t turned towards my family yet. And Zak’s mother really seemed to like me. She even said how thrilled she was when Zak had called her last night and told her the good news. I should have known he’d call her right away. Probably half Caprica was informed about our engagement by now. Zak always had to tell the whole world if something really good was happening to him.
Like I said, dinner went really well. But in my life, everything that is good never lasts very long. This time it only lasted until Mrs. Adama asked the inevitable question: Had we set a date yet?
While I practically choked on my food, Zak couldn’t wait to respond to that.
“I thought maybe a month from now. We’d still have enough time to plan everything and it would be still warm enough. We could hold the ceremony outside, that would be great.” He told her excitedly.
“You could get married on the beach. That would be so romantic. Or in Mrs. Adama’s garden. It looks so nice from here.” Little Angel whispered happily in my ear.
I had to admit, that did sound nice, but a month??? I could already feel the panic rise inside of me again. Of course that could have been only a symptom from lack of oxygen as that piece of meat was still stuck somewhere in my windpipe. Luckily Lee, who sat right next to me, helped me out by patting on my back. When I could breathe again I looked gratefully at him. Talking wasn’t an option right now. Oh gods, a month???
“Don’t you think you’re rushing this a bit too fast?” Lee asked carefully. I already knew I loved this man and just now he had proven he really deserved my love.
“Ahem, bad thinking.” Little Angel waved her finger at me angrily. “You are not supposed to think something like that.” Unfortunately I had to agree. Thinking about loving Lee really wasn’t very wise while I was engaged to his brother.
After dinner, Zak and his mother were doing the dishes in the kitchen while Lee and I went to the living room. Zak had whispered to me that he wanted to talk to his mother alone for a few minutes. I didn’t have to ask what he was talking about with her– me of course. It was obvious he couldn’t wait to hear her opinion about me. Oh gods, I already knew what would happen: He would come out of the kitchen and announce that proposing to me so early might have been a bit thoughtless and that we should reconsider that and just wait a few more months. Than, after a while, he would find a reason to break up with me and I would be alone again.
“And free for Lee.” Little Devil whispered excitedly. Well, there was always a bright side to everything. Always think positive, that’s what my aunt used to say all the time.
With Zak and his mother in the kitchen, that left me and Lee alone in the living room. We sat in silence for seven minutes and 35 seconds – I’ve been staring at the clock across the room all the time so I knew how much time had passed (seven minutes and 35 seconds can be a very long time, believe me) – before I cleared my throat and opened my mouth to say something. Unfortunately I had no idea what to say. So I closed my mouth again quickly and hoped that Lee hadn’t noticed anything. We sat another four minutes and 20 seconds in silence until Lee cleared his throat and opened his mouth. Unlike me, he actually said something.
“So, do you like flying Vipers?”
After that we couldn’t stop talking. As it turned out we had both dreamed of flying Vipers all our lives. And we both had been top students in academy. We even finished the academy in the same year, we had just been in different classes, so that’s why we never met.
“Frak who ever was responsible for putting you in those classes.” Little Devil muttered under his breath. Huh, I never even realized he breathed. Always learning something new. But I had to agree with him. Just imagine what might have happened if Lee and I had been in the same class?
“Don’t think about that. It was fate that you never met before. You and Zak are destined to be together.” Little Angel said determinedly.
Once again I ignored them both – fate, please, who believes in that anyway – and turned my attention back to Lee. He had just told me his call sign – Apollo. Of course he had to have the name of a god. I even remembered hearing about him in academy. He really had been a great pilot back than. I can only imagine how much better he is now, years later. Of course I’m still better. He told me that he had heard some good stories about Starbuck too. Knowing my reputation back then – actually it has never changed, I still have the same reputation now – those stories weren’t all too good. But he said he always liked hearing them and had always wanted to meet “the great Starbuck” in person. It struck me as kind of funny that in a way I had known Lee longer than Zak, even though we never met in person.
“That means nothing.” Little Angel exclaimed quickly.
“Now that’s fate.” Little Devil yelled. Hmm ...
Lee and I were so deep in conversation that we didn’t even notice how Zak and his mother came into the living room. Only when Zak put his arm around me I realized that we weren’t alone anymore. That didn’t stop us from talking though. We talked about Vipers for hours and what a great feeling it was to fly. I told him about my work as a flight instructor and he told me what it was like working on a battlestar. I had to admit, I envied him for having a position on a battlestar. He actually had the chance to fly in space every day and practice combat tactics, maybe even getting a real mission from time to time. I could talk to him about these things forever.
“You really should pay more attention to your fiancé.” Little Angel told me indignantly.
“Forget your fiancé, just look at those blue eyes ...” Little Devil sighed happily.
I agreed with Little Devil – I had to admit, I was really starting to like that little guy – and ignored Little Angel and kept listening to another one of Lee’s stories about the Atlantia. I also ignored the strange looks that Mrs. Adama shot in our direction. She probably found it a bit weird that I was talking more with Lee than with Zak. But, I mean, that was only natural, wasn’t it? I could talk to Zak every day, Lee, I would just see every now and than. Plus he was leaving in a few days, so I really should take every chance I had to get to know him better, right? And it was a good sign that I could relate with him so much, wasn’t it? As his future sister-in-law it was very important that we had a good relationship. Oh gods, I hadn’t even realized that – I would be his sister-in-law. Was it all right to have hot sex dreams about my future brother-in-law?
“Absolutely not!” Little Angel exclaimed. Again it sounded very indignant.
“Absolutely!” Little Devil yelled at the same time.
When Zak and I got home again that day I felt great. Talking to Lee had felt so good. And I really liked his mother. I’m glad I met her. And I think she liked me too. Oh, and have I mentioned that Lee broke up with Melinda the night before? I have no idea why, but who cares. Zak was more quiet than usual on our way home. It almost looked like something was bothering him. But I could worry about that tomorrow. Today was one of the best days of my life.
Lee was gone. Four days ago he returned to the Atlantia. Four days I haven't heard from him. That's 96 hours. Well, it's 95 hours and approximately 25 minutes as the day wasn't fully over yet. I've been lying awake in my bed the whole night. I just couldn't sleep. For four days I had kept myself busy enough with work and Zak, so I wouldn't have to think about him. And now Zak is out all night, spending time in those frakking simulators to practice for his flight test tomorrow and I'm left here all alone.
"You really shouldn't use your fiancé as a distraction for not thinking about another man. Especially when this man is his brother!" Little Angel exclaimed indignantly.
"Well, if it helps ..." Little Devil pointed out grinning.
I couldn't go on like this. I had to think about something else. I tried to concentrate on the test tomorrow but I kept remembering all the great things Lee and I did together.
The great dinners ...
"You were there with Zak. Lee was there with Melinda." Little Angel tried to interrupt my thoughts.
"But you were sitting at the same table." Little Devil countered with an evil grin.
Our lovely walk on the beach ...
"Where Zak proposed to you and Lee walked arm in arm with Melinda!"
"But Lee's eyes were pleading you to take him, not Melinda."
When I was introduced to his mother ...
"Zak introduced you to his mother." Little Angel got more and more agitated every minute.
"But Lee was there too." Little Devil said. He still had that evil grin on his face. Why was he always happy about my misery?
Aaarrggghh!!! I was pretty sure I was losing my mind. I felt like I was split into two people. The one person who is engaged with Zak and the other person who is in love with Lee.
"Love???" Little Angel shrieked.
"I knew it." Little Devil did one of his Happy-Dances on my shoulder.
I kicked them both of my shoulders. Gods, did I just say I love Lee? This is so not possible. I mean, yes, he is good looking, nice, almost as good a pilot as I am, he has this great muscular body, I could practically drown in his blue eyes every time he looks at me ... But love? I wasn't even sure if I loved Zak. And I agreed to marry him!
I can't love Lee. Zak already told his parents about our engagement. I met his mother twice in one week. She's the nicest person I have ever known. She likes me, even after I told her about my family background. She would probably hate me if I left Zak for his brother. No, that wouldn't go too well. And also, just because I love – no, because I think I love Lee, that doesn't mean he loves me back. So far he hasn't even flirted with me.
"But those looks he threw you on the beach ..." Little Devil sighed.
And I would meet Zak's father in three days. A Battlestar Commander. I can't mess with the sons of someone that high ranking. I would practically throw away my career if even tried something like that. But wouldn't Lee be worth giving that all up? Gods, what was wrong with me! I really needed to get some sleep. Maybe I'd dream of Lee again? Aaahhrrgg, I have to stop doing that!
Today was Zak's flight test. He had trained hard for that. He was under a lot of pressure. As he was an Adama, everyone assumed he would pass basic flight without any problems. And he was a top student in theory. But he couldn't fly. At least not vipers. Gods, I
knew he wasn't a top pilot, but what I saw today was just so bad. His technique was sloppy, he had absolutely no feel for flying and he blew his landing twice before he was able to get his ship down. He was a bad pilot and he didn't belong in a viper. And I was the one to decide that. I was the one who would have to fail him because I was his frakking teacher. I had never thought that would be a problem. I had always strictly separated between work and my private life. And here I was – I had Zak's file before me and I knew I would have to fail him.
He would never forgive me. He would shut me out of his life and I wouldn't just lose him, but also his mother – who I already loved dearly – and – even worse – Lee. If I failed his brother, Lee would blame me. Of course he would, I was Zak's teacher. It had been my job to teach him how to fly a viper. I screwed up and now I would have to pay the price.
I kept staring at Zak's papers in front of me. I couldn't fail him.
"If you pass him and he gets in a viper again, are you sure he will come out of it alive the next time?" Little Angel asked quietly.
I froze in my tracks. I kept seeing Zak's viper coming down at his first try to land today. I had been afraid he would crash his ship. If he hadn't learned how to land by now, he would never learn it. I knew that. I had told that to all my students again and again.
I couldn't fail Zak, but I also couldn't pass him. So with a shivering hand I wrote "failed" on his papers. And I knew I had lost him forever.
"You always have us." Little Angel and Little Devil tried to cheer me up. It didn't work.
I didn't lose him. Zak didn't talk to me for the next few days. But eventually he understood that it wasn't my fault. He even said I had probably saved his life. And he still wanted to marry me. I was so relieved. And I was finally able to feel content about my decision. I did the right thing.
I didn't feel good about that for very long. Zak wanted to introduce me to his father. His father, who had dreamed of his son becoming a viper pilot just like him. I might have gotten his mother to like me, but his father would hate me.
"You don't know that. I'm sure the Commander is an intelligent man. He will understand that you couldn't pass him just because you love him." Little Angel said. I'm sure that was meant in a comforting way, but it wasn't really helping.
"This will be one interesting dinner." Little Devil said. Again he had that evil grin on his face.
The least I could do was try to look good when I met him. So I put on one of the dresses I bought for my first date with Lee.
"Double Date! You were there with Zak." Little Angel reminded me again. It never got tired of that.
I tried to show myself from my best side to turn this dinner into a success. I knew I would fail the minute I heard the restaurant's name that Zak's father had picked. It was the same restaurant Zak and I went for our first double date with Lee and Melinda. That couldn't be a good sign.
As expected, the dinner went awfully. Even though Zak's father never openly blamed me for Zak's failure, I could feel it in the cold way he treated me. No matter what I did or said, he turned it against me.
When I had to tell him about my mother and her alcohol problems – an inquisition is nothing against his questioning, I really couldn't prevent telling him the truth – he looked at the glass of wine in my hand with an arched eyebrow. I felt guilty immediately and drank nothing but water the whole evening. A lot of water. Therefore I had to run to the rest room very, very often. I usually don't drink
water. Zak later told me that his father had asked how I ever could have become a viper pilot when I had to use the toilet so often. For some reason he found that awfully funny. I couldn't really share his amusement.
Later the Commander told me that he heard a lot about me already – of course he had just heard the bad things. My reputation isn't the best one.
"That's the understatement of the year." Little Devil laughed out loud.
"It's not that bad. You just had a few smaller problems." Little Angel tried to comfort me again. And again it didn't help.
And if things weren't bad enough already, we had the same waiter as the first time. Apparently he hadn't forgiven me. Every time he saw me walking to the rest room and back he walked a huge round around me, so he wouldn't get close to me. And when he served me that first – and only – glass of wine he reminded me that stains of red wine aren't easily cleaned and if I wouldn't prefer white wine. I don't even want to know what Zak's father had been thinking about that.
And just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, Zak went to the rest room himself and left me alone with his father. I sat frozen at the table, not knowing what to say. And the Commander sat quiet for himself. I desperately tried to find something to talk about with him. And before I could think it through, the words had already left my mouth.
"Do you miss flying?"
"Ugh, bad move. I don't think vipers are his favorite topic right now." Little Devil said happily.
"Maybe you should rather talk about the weather?" Little Angel suggested. Oh great, the weather. Frak, why didn't I think about that?
But as it turned out, vipers were the exact right topic. The Commander told me a few stories about his flying and finally told me that he had heard I was a pretty good pilot myself. From there on everything went for the better. The rest of the night we talked about nothing else but vipers. Zak was a bit annoyed about that. After all, he just failed to become a viper pilot himself. But somehow his father and I didn't notice his uneasiness and just kept talking.
"Good move, talking about vipers." Little Angel and Little Devil called out the same time.
This evening wasn't half as bad as I had expected. I actually liked Zak's father. And I think that, despite the fact that I failed Zak, he liked me too. At least a little bit.
Gods, I'm in trouble. I have mentioned that before, haven't I? I'm in trouble and I'm the worst screw-up in the history of screw-ups.
Today I was going to marry Zak Adama. And last night I kissed Lee Adama.
Last night I had been celebrating with some of my female friends, while Zak had been celebrating with his friends. We did everything right, followed every tradition as is expected. And still everything turned out to be so wrong.
When I came home, there was Lee sleeping on our couch. He was staying in our apartment the night before the wedding, as he was Zak's best man. Zak was already dead out. He had had way too much alcohol and Lee practically had to drag him home. By the way, Lee wasn't really sober himself. Neither was I.
So there we were: Lee laying half naked, half asleep and totally drunk on the couch and I, fully clothed but, like I said, also drunk, stumbling over the couch table and falling right on him. I have never been so close to him before. I don't think I have to mention that he was fully awake after that "attack". I swear I didn't plan that, but when I was laying on top of Lee, I never wanted to leave again. Of course I had to, so while I was mumbling some kind of excuse, I crawled off him and sat down next to the couch.
Lee just found this whole situation funny and couldn't stop laughing. Drunken people can laugh about the most stupid things. I actually found this pretty funny too.
Anyway, after we were done laughing, we sat together for some time and talked. And then it happened. We kissed. It was a long, intense, wonderful kiss. The best kiss I ever got. EVER. And it felt absolutely right. Of course it wasn't. I was engaged to his brother. This kiss was so wrong in every possible way. But still ...
"It was the best kiss ever." Little Devil grinned.
"And it was wrong." Little Angel countered immediately.
After we had pulled away, we just stared at each other for some time. A long time actually.
"I ... I'm sorry." Lee finally stammered.
I just kept staring at him. I simply didn't know what to say. What was there to say? I just kissed the best man and brother of my future husband. After staring a few minutes longer I decided I should say something. I couldn't bring out any words though. So I quickly got up and left the room. Once again I took the easy way out and ran away from my problems.
And now here I am. I'm wearing my wedding dress – by the way, it's a very beautiful dress – and in one hour I would be married to Zak. And all I could think of is Lee. Why did he kiss me? And why did he apologize? Couldn't he have just told me that he is deeply in love with me from the first moment we met and will never stop loving me until we were both dead?
"That is exaggerating a bit, don't you think?" Little Devil asked with an arched eyebrow.
Well, maybe a little bit. A simple "I love you" would have been enough. I would have left Zak in an instant for him.
"And that's why he hasn't told you. His little brother loves you." Little Angel pointed out. "Now forget this stupid idiot, get yourself together and march up to that altar and marry Zak!" It practically ordered me. I have never heard Little Angel speak so determinedly about anything ever before. "GO!!!"
I actually twitched at its shrill voice and when the music began I automatically started walking towards the altar. I only half listened to the priest's words until he asked the ultimate question.
"Kara Thrace. Do you want to take Zak Adama to be your husband?"
Once again I didn't know what to say.
"Yes." Little Angel yelled.
"No." Little Devil shouted.
I stared at the priest a few seconds, then I turned towards Zak. He looked at me expectantly. I knew I should say something, but I just couldn't. Then my eyes fell on Lee. He looked slightly pale as he stood behind Zak, holding the ring in his hands. He looked at me with his blue eyes and it was in that moment that I knew I couldn't marry Zak. Even if Lee shouldn't love me, it wouldn't be fair to him. I stared at Lee for a few more seconds, before I turned back to Zak.
"I'm sorry." I whispered.
"Noo!!!" Little Angel shrieked.
"Yes!!!" Little Devil did another version of his Happy Dance on my shoulder.
Now it was Zak staring at me. Well, him and everyone else in the room. I threw him an apologetic look and ran out of the chapel.
Later I explained everything to Zak. He was furious of course, but eventually he understood that I never meant to hurt him. Of course it would have been better to mention the fact that I was in love with Lee a little bit earlier. But when it came to emotions, I was always a little slow. Surprisingly Zak and I stayed friends after that and when he met Melinda again and fell in love with her, I truly liked that woman for the first time.
I knew I was in trouble when Lee asked me out for the first time. He was still Zak's brother and we would probably feel guilty all the time. And I already loved him so much that I couldn't imagine to live another day without him. How am I going to feel after our first real date? I knew I was in trouble. But I was going to enjoy every second of it. Because Lee would be right by my side.
"I always knew Lee was the right man for you." Little Angel exclaimed happily.
"I don't know. There is this cute pyramid player. He would be perfect for you." Little Devil said with his typical evil grin.
A.N.: Special thanks to laurie31 for beta reading this chapter;
you're the best :-)