Title: Your Quaint Honour
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Now let us sport us while we may.
Notes: Extremely vague spoilers for the miniseries
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
In flight school, during the odd, idle moments, Lee thinks about Kara.
Not that she isn't flitting through his mind during the rest of his waking hours, because she's always there, in some form or another. In competition, in companionship, in carousal.
Once in a while, though, Lee allows himself the luxury of contemplation. When not distracted by her actual, dominating presence, he lets himself consider the possibility of a future. With her.
She would laugh at him, and for the most part, he laughs at himself, because the future stretches ahead of them, open and endless.
Kara, he knows, will always be a part of his life, in some form or another.
If he wants, once in a while, to redefine exactly what their relationship is, what of it?
He has all the time in the world.
Except, of course, he doesn't.
Time runs through his fingers like water, and when they part ways after graduation, he doesn't realize how completely their paths will diverge. Or, technically, converge.
As much as he ends up being happy for Zak, and for her, sometimes Lee thinks the gods are especially fond of irony.
It would explain a lot of things, in his opinion.
At Zak's funeral, after exchanging heated words with his father, Lee stumbles into Kara, almost literally.
Near-blind with grief and rage, nearly choking on it, he almost doesn't see her, standing just outside the door.
"Kara," he says, and it's an effort to say anything steadily.
She wipes tears from her cheeks with the heel of her hand. "Hey, Lee."
He stares at her, the slump of her shoulders, the shift of her gaze. He's never seen her look so defeated, ever.
The rage rises up again, because here's one more thing to lay at his father's feet.
She shivers, and he checks himself. Clasps her shoulder, and curses himself as his hand trembles.
"Lee." She shakes her head, still not looking at him, and swipes at her face again. "You shouldn't blame him."
It's not what he expects her to say. "Why not?" He draws back. "It's his fault. All of it."
She raises her face then, looks at him, and he doesn't understand what's in her eyes. Frowns, but before he can ask, his father emerges from the room, and his mother calls to him from across another.
He deliberately turns his head away from his father. "Kara, I have to--"
"I know." She waves him off.
And that's the last he sees of her.
The end of the civilization, and all its attendant crises, make it difficult for Lee to hold a grudge.
Everything is lost, his friends, his family, and what few possessions he had. All he has now is the war, and his father, and her. He's going to salvage all that he can.
So when she confesses to him, rips away the solitude of the last two years like so much dross, he winces. Simmers, but only until he hears her voice on the comms, simultaneously panicked and cool.
He tamps it down, all of it. The anger, the recrimination, the accumulation of regret. He'll deal with it later.
In the aftermath, in the patterns of chaos their lives become, Lee begins to remember those odd, idle moments from years past.
He remembers wanting to wake to see her smile every morning. To make her laugh over breakfast, and smolder over dessert.
He remembers wondering what it would be like to, someday, fall in love with her.
He remembers that, once, the future stretched out before them, and he couldn't see the end of it.
He can see the end now. It's there, every time they climb into their cockpits. Every time the fleet makes a jump, every time equipment breaks down. Every time they live to take another breath.
The future, Lee thinks, isn't very far away at all.
And one day, Kara looks sideways at him, brushes her hand against his elbow, smiles.
Lee catches his breath, and realizes.
The future might even start today.
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
He begins to notice everything.
For the most part, he finds himself cataloging things he already knew about her, things he would have recognized about her from across the hangar deck.
The tilt of her head, just so, when she's insulting someone. The impatience in her hands as she tucks her hair behind her ears while she makes repairs. The triple-tap of her foot against the floor when she's bluffing her way through a game.
Once in a while, however, he notices something new, something she's picked up in the years he hadn't been around.
The tuneless song she hums when she's feeling especially victorious. The haphazard courtesies she extends to her superior officers, himself included. The sorrow in her eyes when they walk through the corridors lined with photographs, and the way she always stops to pay respect.
His fingers itch for paper, itch to list all these things he's known about her, and all the things he's learned.
Sometimes his fingers itch to do something entirely different, and even then, he can't stop watching her.
The curve of her spine as she stretches her arms above her head. The low echo of her laugh when she's relaxed, pleased.
The quirk of her mouth when her eyes drop to his lips, and he wonders if she's composing lists, too.
One morning, their jog through the ship's corridors becomes a chase, though the roles of hunter and prey are fluid.
It begins when she, out of nowhere, smacks him on the shoulder, hard. He stumbles in surprise, and before he can even complain, she pivots on her heel, dashes down a corridor and disappears. Lee doesn't hesitate, but sprints after her.
She's easy to track, leaving a trail of laughter and confusion in the people she's passed by.
When he turns for the third time, he realizes something, veers to plow through the hangar deck. Yells an apology to Tyrol as he passes, and runs up a stairwell three steps at a time, neatly cutting in front of Kara as she trips to a halt.
They stare at each other, panting, for a long minute. Then, Lee lunges and grabs her, dances his fingers over her sides, until she shrieks with laughter, twists and swats his hands away.
And before she can retaliate, he feints, turns, and runs. Hears her curse, startled, and he slides down another stairwell. He lopes around a group of nuggets, and then he's in the corridors again, and she's close on his heels.
She's almost caught him, her hand almost brushes against the back of his shirt, and Stinger and Kat round the corner in front of them. Lee swerves, overbalances, and Kara slams into him from behind.
They end up in a tangle of limbs on the floor, and it's only luck that nothing gets sprained.
Stinger and Kat blink. Salute.
Kara manages to sketch a salute back at them, and Lee nods, pushes onto his knees. "Carry on," he says, and they almost don't smile as they continue down the corridor.
He rocks onto his feet, offers Kara a hand up. Watches to make sure she isn't too bruised, and when she's finally straightened, he reaches out, brushes a stray lock of hair from her face.
She bites her lip, doesn't quite lean into his hand. "And you thought I was crazy?"
He lets his hand fall, rubs his fingers against his leg. "Maybe you're a bad influence."
She smirks. "Maybe not bad enough," she says, and she reaches up, ruffles his hair. Lets her hand slide over his throat, and he catches it against his chest.
And behind them, Cally clears her throat.
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found
Save for Cally's knowing looks, it would be easy for Lee to pretend nothing is happening.
That Kara always swats him on the elbow during triad, nudges the arch of his foot with her toe.
That he always gives her impromptu shoulder rubs after flying CAP.
That she always bites her bottom lip when he laughs, that he always stares when she does.
Save for Cally's knowing looks.
Due to schedule shuffling and an unfortunate case of food poisoning, they end up pulling two shifts in a row together.
It's in the middle of the second that Racetrack hits the comms, panic in her voice. "We've got incoming."
They break off their chatter immediately, swing their Vipers around at Karma's direction. Lee sees eight blips on his console, looks up and catches a glimpse of the raiders as they bear down.
"Starbuck, do you see them?"
"Affirmative." She swoops over him, around.
"Racetrack, Karma, get Galactica on the line."
The channel opens, and they receive the official order to engage, but she's already leaped forward, hitting one raider and winging a second.
He rolls, sweeps, strikes the raiders from behind, and four, five, six are out, and she's laughing over the channel, because they're flying, firing circles around the raiders, a bright waltz, and then all eight are scrap and residual heat.
Back on the Galactica, Lee watches her swing out of her cockpit, grins as she tosses her helmet to one of the crew.
He leans against the side of his Viper, and suddenly they're the only two people on the hangar deck, or it seems like it, because she throws her arms around his neck and plants her lips on his, sloppy and joyous.
They both freeze, and he draws back, barely. Sees her blink, once, and her breath is warm on his lips.
He can feel her heart beating, wonders if she can feel his, as well.
But then, it doesn't matter, because she lifts her chin, kisses him again, but carefully. Softly.
And behind them, Cally clears her throat.
They jerk apart, and Cally laughs. "Any problems with the Vipers?"
Kara frowns. Lee shakes his head.
"Okay, then." She opens a panel on Lee's Viper, runs her fingers against the wiring. "I should get to work."
"Right." Lee looks at Kara sidelong, sees her hide a grin. "We'll just get out of your way."
Cally nods. "Thanks."
"Thank you," he says, and Kara laughs.
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
They don't say anything as they return to the barracks, barely even look at each other, even as they walk in tandem.
Lee takes off his jacket, hangs it carefully. Grabs a towel off the shelf, watches as Kara does the same.
The head is empty, and the rustle as Kara disrobes is loud.
Lee tries not to stare, instead concentrates on stripping out of the rest of his clothes. Folds them and sets them on a bench, and when he looks up again, she's already stepped into the shower, though she hasn't turned the water on.
He can see her silhouette through the glass, almost reaches out to trace it with his hands.
He doesn't know what he's doing. He doesn't know what to say. So, he stands in front of the door to the shower and takes a deep breath.
There's a long pause, then she opens the door. He shifts on his feet as she looks him up and down.
"Right," she says, and she's pulling him inside, her hands on his arms, her mouth on his, and even as she leans back against the wall, he fumbles with the shower's controls, turns the water on, just in case anybody should come in.
By the time anyone does, neither of them is in any state to notice.
When he reports to CIC, Lee tries not to smile.
For the most part, he succeeds.
The barracks are empty when Lee finally gets back. He guesses another high-stakes triad game, considers joining in, but there's no telling when he'll be able to get another chance to sleep. He hangs up his uniform, again, and slides into his bunk. Closes the curtain as he drifts off.
He wakes when Kara puts her hand on his shoulder. He starts to speak, but she shakes her head, points behind her. "Sleeping," she whispers.
He nods, smiles, and she smells like smoke and sugar when she bends to kiss him. He buries a hand in her hair, and she curls, climbs into his bunk.
He hisses as she covers his body with hers, as she pulls the curtain of his bunk closed. "Should we really--"
She yanks her shirts over her head, and he forgets what he was saying. Instead, he arches his back, helps her pull off his tank, his sweats. He tugs her pants off her hips, draws them down her legs.
When she finally rises over him, eases down, he muffles his groan against her breasts, feels her laugh against his neck.
She rocks against him, slow, sweet, and it's all he can do not to moan at the heat of her.
When she comes, she whimpers into his mouth, writhes, and his entire universe spins to a halt.
He falls asleep holding her in his arms, and somehow, it feels even better than he had imagined, all those years ago.
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life
It's not something they can talk about, but it's in every word they say, every look they share.
Every brush of her fingers against his neck, every thrust he makes inside her.
They don't need pledges, nor do they need vows. This is eternity, the look in her eyes when he touches her.
Through happenstance, they cross paths in the corridors late one night. He's been in the hangar bay, helping with minor repairs on his Viper. She's just been briefing the latest batch of nuggets.
He can almost feel her eyes as they mark the smudge of grease on his forehead, the sweat still beaded on his neck. The small tear in the collar of his shirt, and the loose tie of his sweats.
The look in her eyes is enough to arouse him, and he shoots a look down the empty corridor. Grasps her shoulders in his hands and walks her, backward, into a more secluded stretch of hallway.
"Really?" She leers, almost, as he presses her against the wall. "Here?"
He unbuttons her uniform jacket partway, slides his hand inside to cup her breast.
She inhales sharply, hooks a finger in the tie of his waistband. He kisses her neck, under her chin, behind her ear. Trails his hand down to unfasten her trousers, nudges them low on her hips.
Kara eases his sweats over his hips, waggles her eyebrows as she turns to face the wall, braces her hands wide. "Quick, Lee."
"Trust me." He leans in, presses his nose into her hair, nips lightly on the back of her neck. "That won't be a problem."
She laughs, arches her body back. "You know, some men wouldn't be proud of that."
He snorts. Slides his hands over her back, then tugs at her hips, positions himself, and smiles when she shivers. Plunges into her by inches, until she moans, breathless.
Her body spirals against his, counterpoint to his thrusts, and he could listen to her forever, the way she gasps, the skipping octaves of her voice.
He slips a hand between her legs, circles her clit, and she jerks against him, shudders, and then he's coming, cursing under his breath.
He bites back a moan as he slips out of her, and she laughs. Tugs her clothes back in order, leans back against the wall to watch him as he does the same.
"I think you should be responsible for washing this uniform," she says.
He thinks he should make a joke, but he kisses her instead.
They're in the hangar bay, fending off Cally's teasing insinuations, when the alarms go off, and the XO orders alert fighters out.
In the chaos, Kara pushes him against her Viper, kisses him thoroughly, then grins.
Something in Lee's chest turns over, from adrenaline, and something he hasn't articulated yet.
Kara looks him in the eye. "Later." She kisses him again, softly. "We've got plenty of time."
"Are you sure?" he asks, and she shakes her head. Taps him on the chest, and laughs.
"Does it matter?"
He blinks, startled, and smiles as she pulls away.
"Come on, Apollo." She climbs the ladder into her cockpit, fastens her collar. "Time to frak up some Cylons."
He climbs his own ladder, pulls his helmet on, and breathes deep.
Their Vipers hurtle out, and he hears Kara laugh as they engage. And to everyone's surprise, he laughs, too.
He circles his Viper around hers, covers her as she flings herself into the melee.
They may not have forever, he knows, but they have now.
Maybe that's enough.
A/N: Title, summary, and excerpts taken from Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress. Thanks to queenofthorns for getting it stuck in my head. Had we but world enough and time...
Originally linked here. Linked to beyond_insane.