Word Count: 600
Pairing/Focus: William, Lee
"We are called to heal wounds,
to unite what has fallen apart, and
to bring home those who have lost their way."
Francis of Assisi
Technically I already knew my son was alive – Tigh had informed me of that fact in that “whiskey voice” of his, as I sat trying to patch up the injuries I had received at the hands of the enemy.
He said it almost casually… like an addendum at the end of a damage control report.
“Something else… Lee’s alive.”
It wasn’t as if I hadn’t heard my XO clearly or that I didn’t believe him, but somehow it took seeing Lee in person to get it to truly sink in.
So, as I came through the doorway of my private quarters the sight of him froze me in my tracks.
There he actually was - in the flesh… my flesh and blood – my son.
Lee really was alive.
Alive and … perhaps still “kicking”?
Lee’s earlier words, even now, packed a punch.
“My orders said report here and participate in the ceremony, so I'm here. That's it. Wasn't anything in my orders about having a heart to heart chat with the old man.”
That was just the beginning. What followed was even worse.
All the bitterness, all the recrimination – two years had done nothing except expand the gap between us.
But still – there he was standing in my room … the only son I had left.
He didn’t see me at first. He was too preoccupied looking at something on my desk.
As I stepped closer I saw it was the photograph of my three lost treasures… Iilya and Zac – gone forever now – and Lee, thankfully not physically dead, but still “missing in action” if emotional detachment was the measure of how far our relationship had fallen apart.
It wasn’t until I heard him sniff and clear his throat that I was aware he was crying. He wasn’t bawling, or anything like that – a small trail of tears had just spilled out, silently tracking down his cheeks, the sorrow just too heavy of a burden to be carried any further.
I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of guilt – for interrupting his private moment of grief, for feeling angry at him earlier when he disobeyed a direct command of mine in order to save some lives, for not realizing until now how deeply Zac’s death had hit him and… and for every time when he was younger that had hurt himself and I had told him to “Take it like a man” or that “Good little warriors don’t cry” instead of holding him close.
“I’m sorry,” I impulsively whispered as he looked up, his blue eyes telegraphing the vulnerability that he had obediently buried a long time ago, when all he sought was my approval.
I wanted to throw him a lifeline and try and rescue whatever connection we might have left. I wanted him back – even if it was just for one infinitesimal moment.
This was for me as much as it was for him.
“I, uh, gotta go,” Lee blurted out as he turned to flee.
He was reacting like any wounded creature would… run and hide – just a matter of self-survival. And he had his pride – that stubborn, willful Adama pride that he had likely got from his ”old man” and stops anyone with that name from admitting that they can be wrong sometimes or show any weakness at all.
But I couldn’t let him leave. Somehow I had to prove to him that I had loved and still did love all the people in that photo.
I determinedly reached out, caught him by the arm and reeled him into my arms.
His body tensed up as I enveloped him in a hug. He stood there, rigidly at first, almost in shock at my outburst of affection, not knowing quite how to react.
It nipped at my conscience that I had taught him so well never to expect such a demonstration, but I resolutely hung on tighter – for both of us.
When he finally did respond and put his arms around me it was done tentatively, with a definite air of mistrust, as if expecting me to renege my initial offer in an instant. Finally though, he just gave in allowing his overwrought body and soul to sag against my shoulders for support.
We stood there in an awkward embrace, letting the sadness wash over and off of both of us.
This small moment of compassion wouldn’t heal all the wounds that had been cut so deep over the years or put all the fragmented bits of our lives back together again.
But for right now it felt good to hold him in my arms – my lost treasure had found his way back home to my heart again.