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BSG: Risk Joy (Laura/Lee)

seldear organized the bsg_ficathon (master list) for the hiatus. I was assigned katjanka, who requested Lee/Laura, preferably set during S2, with Cylons, family drama, and/or angst. I think this fits the bill.

Title: Risk Joy
Author: voleuse
Fandom: BSG
Ship: Laura/Lee
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: I didn't expect to waken again.
Notes: Spoilers through 2.10



It's only when Laura watches the documentary, catches a fleeting glimpse of Lee in the background, barely clad by a towel, that she realizes she's been missing him.

*


When, finally, Zarek gets them shuttled to the Astral Queen, Laura makes her way first to her assigned quarters, after assurances that Elosha will be situated as well. She doesn't want rest so much as she wants to take a hot shower. It's been several cold and furtive days, and if she's going to act as president and prophet for the people, she knows she'll have to look the part.

She doesn't luxuriate, much, though she can't help but revel at having clean and untangled hair again. She takes as much time as she can brushing her hair, wraps herself in a robe she found along with her toiletries. She's seated on her bunk, smoothing lotion onto her calves, when someone knocks on her hatch.

Thinking it must be Elosha, who is occasionally over-attentive, Laura smiles. "Come in," she calls out, and the hatch swings open.

It's Captain Apollo, and it's to his credit that he composes his expression in mere seconds.

"Madame President," he says, then clears his throat. "I'm sorry. I can come back--"

Laura shakes her head. "It's fine, Captain." She stands, careful to keep her robe decently adjusted. "What is it?"

Apollo's eyes are fixed on the wall behind her. "Zarek says the Council of Twelve will be gathered within the hour. He's set aside a conference room near the bridge."

"I'll be ready soon." She mentally sorts through her three available suits, then realizes Apollo is still gazing at the wall. "Is there anything else, Captain?"

He blinks, and looks at her.
Looks at her, and unthinking, she puts a hand to her chest.

"I'll go..." He clears his throat again. "I'll go check on that conference room."

She nods. "Thank you."

When he turns to leave, he glances back, quickly, comprehensively.

She manages not to grin.


*


Laura shuttles between Colonial One and Galactica frequently, often stopping to visit other ships in the fleet. The tensions between the fleet and the military are still present, even after Biers' documentary, and she knows her presence alleviates some of the pressure.

She's often pressed into meetings with concerned representatives, recalcitrant suppliers, or belligerent captains. She prefers those entanglements to the religious ceremonies. She's becoming quite practiced in blessing the petitioners, though she invariably feels guilty after each worship service.

And the map to Earth, a hesitant triangulation, manages to fill any minutes she might have to spare. When she's not officially working, she ensconces herself in Commander Adama's library, poring over astronomy texts and apocryphal scriptures.

She never sees Captain Apollo, aside from occasional glimpses across the hangar bay or the Galactica's CIC.

It might be intentional on her part, but she doesn't stop to think about it, really.

*


When her feet finally rest on the ground of Kobol, everything narrows to the path in front of her, to the Cylon's insinuations, to Elosha's exultant whispers of scripture.

She doesn't feel the same thrill of destiny, but instead, a sense of order. This, she knows, is where she needs to be.

Then everything explodes into gunfire and blood, and when next she can think, she's crouched over Elosha's body, hand hovering over the bloodied prophecies.

The others are arguing, hashing out new strategies, but she doesn't hear them. She doesn't hear anything, until Apollo touches her shoulder. She nods, and they continue on.

She clutches Elosha's book in her hands, to still her trembling, and resolves herself. They will survive this, and they will find Earth.

After the happy ambush of Billy and Commander Adama, some of the weight lifts of her shoulders, a diminishment of her doubt. The breach will be healed, with time.

And perhaps she notices Apollo with Lieutenant Thrace only because, sometimes, he laughs. She's missed hearing that.


*


Doctor Cottle should have the test results ready, Billy tells her on the shuttle. Does she want him to accompany her?

She tells him to pay a visit Petty Officer Dualla instead, and imbues the statement with a hint of amusement. It does the trick; Billy blushes and changes the subject.

Once on the Galactica, she stops to see the Cylon first. She suspects she already knows what Cottle is going to tell her. She’d like to hear something less certain.

Lieutenant Agathon is leaving the cell as she enters. He pauses when he sees her. "Madame President." Shifts slightly and blocks the Cylon from her view. "Is anything wrong?"

"Nothing at all." Laura raises an eyebrow, bestows a thin smile. "You're going to let me pass."

He glances back, once. His jaw clenches, but he steps out of the way and exits.

The Cylon watches her approach, a smirk on its face. They pick up the receivers in unison, and Laura presses it lightly to her ear.

"You're afraid," the Cylon says.

She stays silent, cool, until its smile is gone. Then, she leans toward the glass, without touching it.

She replies, "So are you."

As she walks the corridors to the infirmary, Laura wonders.

*


Captain Apollo, she thinks, is being irrational. She watches him pace the length of Commander Adama's office, deftly walking around her, shouldering past Doctor Baltar.

He halts in front of his father and squares his shoulders. "That
thing," he spits out, "should be put out the airlock. We have the location of Earth. We don't need her anymore."

The commander stares at Apollo for a long moment, then turns to her. "Your thoughts, Madame President?"

"The Cylon could still be useful," she responds.

Baltar nods three times, stepping forward. "Certainly we could gather valuable information--"

"Unless she escapes again," Apollo cuts in. "Shoots someone else, maybe kills someone."

He looks directly at her, and she returns his gaze. "I trust proper precautions will be taken," she replies, voice even.

"It's too danger--"

"Thank you, Captain," she interrupts. "I appreciate your concern."

Apollo's head jerks back, just slightly, and he looks to the commander.

The commander nods. "You're dismissed, Captain."

Apollo's teeth click together as he smiles, and he spins neatly on his heel and walks away.


*


She's in the commander's quarters, not even an hour after the Cylon warns them of the impending attack.

Someone in the CIC keeps her apprised of the situation, but it was deemed too dangerous for her to be in close quarters with the Cylon loose.

She doesn't need to be told when the raiders appear, however, because the familiar dread returns to her stomach, just as the lights flicker out.

She waits in the dark, and wishes Elosha had taught her how to pray.

*


They hold a small memorial service for Elosha on Colonial One, after everything is settled on the Galactica.

Elosha's body is buried in Kobol's embrace, Lieutenant Thrace murmurs at the memorial, a pretty slip of scripture Laura doesn't recognize at the time.

Laura gives the eulogy herself, a quiet lament about a woman she barely knew. Afterwards, she tries to smile, and thanks those who came to pay their respects.

She stops registering their words after a while, though she keeps careful rememberance of their names. She'll need their support, later.

Finally, the room is empty, and she places Elosha's belongings in a small box. Vestments, scriptures, idols. Nothing further.

Someone touches her elbow, and she gasps. Looks up, and Apollo is there.

"I'm sorry about Elosha," he tells her. He begins to say more, then stops.

Instead, he takes her hand in his, and she counts the beating of his heart beneath her fingertips.


*


Chief Tyrol smiles at her, pulls the draped cloth off the nose of the new ship.

It takes her a moment to realize what the lettering says, what it means. Laura. She catches her breath, blinks hard.

He hands her a bottle of champagne, a rare commodity, and she weighs it in her hands, feels cold beads of moisture gather between her fingers.

She suppresses a grin, upends the bottle and holds it high. And when the crowd exclaims, she stifles a peal of laughter.

Any celebration, even a small one, is precious nowadays. This is a great one, and she can't wrap her mind around the honor given to her.

Between conversations, she swings a glance around the room, and catches Apollo's eye. He laughs, tips his chin up and touches his index finger to his forehead in an easy salute. He's the only one who expected her joke, she knows.

Even after she turns away, she feels him watching her, and the laughter echoing in the room is an unexpected song.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Louise Glück's Snowdrops:

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn't expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring—

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.


Thanks to heresluck for the introduction to the poem.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
raincitygirl
Dec. 5th, 2005 05:13 am (UTC)
This is lovely. And incidentally explains the fact that Roslin and Apollo have no scenes together anymore.
voleuse
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
Thank you! And I've been wondering at their lack of contact myself, so I had to do something to make it align in my head.
maybedarkpink
Dec. 5th, 2005 05:50 am (UTC)
Beautifully done!
voleuse
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
Thank you!
jennyo
Dec. 5th, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
Esta bien, senorita.
voleuse
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
Gracias.
deborah_judge
Dec. 5th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
I've been excited ever since I heard you were writing Lee/Laura for the ficathon, and this absolutely lives up to expectations. I love the understatedness of it. And I'm so glad they're laughing together at the end. Sigh. This is beautiful, and something I'm going to come back and re-read many times.

And yes, the poem is perfect for them, and for this story.
voleuse
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
jo_lasalle
Dec. 6th, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
I was excited to see this show up on my flist! I really enjoyed this; good stuff on their recent lack of interaction especially.

By the way, have you thought of announcing it on the laura_lee_bsg com?
voleuse
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:15 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!

have you thought of announcing it on the laura_lee_bsg com?

I hadn't, actually, as I'm not a member of the comm. Hm...
katjanka
Dec. 7th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely. Thank you so much! :) Every character is absolutely pitch-perfect.

he glances back, quickly, comprehensively.

That is a terrific word choice--it's not quite what you expect, but the picture is so clear.

"Nothing at all." Laura raises an eyebrow, bestows a thin smile. "You're going to let me pass."

I love the little encounter between Laura and Helo; it's so visual and absolutely real.

She stops registering their words after a while, though she keeps careful rememberance of their names. She'll need their support, later.

Very Laura. Perfect.

Instead, he takes her hand in his, and she counts the beating of his heart beneath her fingertips.

A lovely line, and a lovely image. And the ending hits just the right note. Thank you again for writing this! :)
voleuse
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:16 am (UTC)
I'm SO GLAD you liked it! I don't usually write L/L, so I was worried I wouldn't get it right. Yay!
svilleficrecs
Dec. 25th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC)
This is the kinda Laura/Lee that I buy. Very very believable Laura voice here. You can feel that little private stirring of pleasure in her, every time she knows he's looking.

Good job, as usual, but you always do great work.
voleuse
Dec. 26th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you so much!
groovekittie
May. 9th, 2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
Ha! Exactly why I like these two together! All fire and sparks and all conveyed with a glance, a smirk and single remark. You are a master among neophytes.
moodfic
May. 10th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you so much!
(no subject) - towdyk - Feb. 17th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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