Title: Music in the Sun
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: I'm a grinner, I'm a lover, and I'm a sinner.
Notes: Spoilers through S1 only
Two days after one of the nuggets dies in a skirmish, Lee challenges her to a round of boxing, and wins.
After winning another round of cards, she kisses each of her opponents on the forehead, ending the succession with him.
There are dozens of things he thinks to whisper to her while she sleeps, but he never does.
He asks her what the difference is between stims and painkillers, and she doesn't disappoint him when she hits him with her crutches.
There's always a moment, if they happen to take their meals at the same time, when Lee expects her to dump her noodles over Cally's head.
She digs her fingers into the dirt and stares up at the simulated sky with reproach.
She tosses the chocolate bar to him with a wink, and he wonders how she could have known.
He grabs the dog-eared novel out of his locker, and she says, "Zak loved that one."
She calls him from the other side of the CIC, and provides color commentary for Tigh's hand gestures during the briefing.
Kara's telling the nuggets in how many ways the CAG is going bust their asses, and that's when he comes around the corner, livid.
He tries not to watch the Vice President watching her, but he can't help himself.
She traces the rim of her glass, over and over, and he can't stop watching the water bead against her skin.
Every funeral hurts her, but he never sees her shed a tear.
Lee bites his lip and doesn't think about her as he comes.
Another Viper blips out on the DRADIS, and he grabs her elbow as she curses.
"The old man's been looking at the photos," Kara tells him, and Lee nods, goes to find him.
The hem of her tank top is fraying--he quashes the urge to pick at the threads.
"Why'd you start flying," she asks him in a quiet moment, and he replies, "Why do you think?"
He stands in the center of Cloud 9, and tells her it's never real enough.
"Really, Apollo," she responds, taking a long drag from her cigar, "where else would you want to be?"
Two and a half months after the attacks, she grabs him by the shoulder and says, "I'm glad you're here, too."
Kara steps out of his father's office, laughing.
She bites her thumb when she has a losing hand, and isn't sure if she can bluff it out.
"I've seen you in civvies," she smirks across the table, "and every day I thank the gods we're stuck with uniforms."
She's facing away from the door, two idols in her hands, and he doesn't recognize her at all.
She's staring through the glass, out to the stars and the emptiness, and he's afraid.
Lee grips the edge of the console with his hands, doesn't notice his fingers turning white until the LSO confirms Starbuck's coming in hot, screeching in, safely ensconced in the hangar bay.
The next morning, he finds her in the head, and he brushes her hair out of her face as she rinses the vomit from her mouth.
He can't remember the words to the song, and she can't remember the tune.
Two of the deck crew blush when he thanks them for their help, and Starbuck hits him in the shoulder when he gets confused.
She never puts photos up in her bunk, except for the pin-up she won off Hotdog in a game.
When he wakes the next morning, he reaches for her, but she's already gone.
He tries to pull her into a hug, and she laughs, shoves him square in the chest.
Lee walks in as Zarek's latest speech begins, and his father turns to glare at him, even as Kara rolls her eyes.
Kara complains about throwing a nugget in hack, again, and Lee raises his eyebrows.
He hands her half a dozen cigars and says they're even, but she disagrees.
He's refitting his Viper when a circuit blows, and she laughs at him as he nurses his burnt fingers.
They work on it all night, and in the morning, they lead the nuggets to the CIC, carrying a cake that says, Happy Birthday, Commander!
Sometimes just the curve of her lips can rob him of breath.
She isn't in her bunk that night, but he never asks her why.
He wakes softly, turns his head to look at her across the room, and she's twisting, arching back, silent.
Every time she walks into the rec room, he sees her take a deep breath, and she never coughs at the smoke.
When they fly CAP together, she tallies the number of raiders they've tagged, together, and he remembers when sky used to mean blue.
He's never heard her pray.
She's never seen him forgive.
He catches her watching him on Cloud 9, but she only shrugs when he asks what she's looking at.
The light is too strong, seeping through the windows, but she never even blinks.
On Caprica, she used to swim, seawater sluicing over her body, but he tries not to think about that.
When she passes by his bunk, she ruffles his hair through her fingers, but doesn't say a word.
It's only later he thinks to ask President Roslin why she asked for Kara, and even then, he doesn't dare show her his reproach.
A/N: Title and summary adapted from the lyrics of the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker."
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