| BSG, The Kind Of Sleepwalk That Never Ends, Adama/Roslin
||[May. 24th, 2008|11:44 am]
Title: The Kind of Sleepwalk That Never Ends|
Summary: While Laura never gives in or softens up, she does let herself rest after Baltar is sworn in, lets herself those luxuries of the frivolous.
Notes: Spoilers to the end of season 2. For HRHMrsBrown in the A/R fic exchange. I really hope you like it! Big, huge thank you to huskerslaura who saved my ass. The title comes from a Corinne Bailey Rae song, “Enchantment,” which is pretty good.
She feels his kiss like a constant ghost. Something, some scent or sound or frustration and the memory imprint would catch her.
Laura is not one to dwell, not any more. Dwelling seemed like a wasteful luxury when she went from a teacher to the president. While she never gives in or softens up, she does let herself rest after Baltar is sworn in, lets herself those luxuries of the frivolous.
Most of all she lets herself call up that ghost memory of Bill’s lips on hers rather than let herself be reminded of him by something else. When he begins to feel confidant that there won’t be an immediate Cylon attack, he comes down to the surface. She makes sure to steal him away on a whim she would have given into before but not after the attacks.
There’s a boundary on New Caprica, an unspoken ring people stay clumped inside until Baltar deigns to notice and turns it in to law. She takes Bill beyond it during what they think will pass as summer until the settlement’s noises are far enough away that they’re almost like the din of a highway. There’s something strange in the air of their new home that keeps sounds more secret than any of the twelve colonies or the ships that carried voices like telephones. There’s something in the mood here that welcomes confessions.
Laura takes Bill's hand, pulls close enough to her that they could dance to phantom music. "Do you miss it?" she asks him.
"My wife asked me that at the end, before Zak passed away. I told her I didn't."
Laura feels the rest of the story as a third party. She clears her throat. "My mother was so disappointed in me when I told her I was going to be a teacher. It was such a traditionally feminine role." Laura sighed, Bill made an enquiring noise. "She wanted me to be something where I could be a pioneer. Well, by then there was nothing left to pioneer. Mother was a revolutionary without a revolution." He squeezes her hand.
"She wanted me to join the military and be a viper pilot. Have adventures. Defend the colonies like she couldn't. She had flat feet." She laughs at the personal joke she takes from that. "Kara Thrace was exactly the daughter Mother would've been proud to have.
"I don't know what she thought of my career. The truth is, when I was young my first space flight terrified me. All there was in any direction outside of the ship was—nothing. Little pieces of something swallowed up by empty, black nothing. The sky from the ground was finite and contained. It couldn't swallow me up and forget me.”
He kisses her, comfortable moments after she’s done, as kind and innocent and companionable as before. He’s starting to grow a moustache that tickles at her lips. Laura had forgotten how pleasant that feeling could be.
When they separate he says, in a blunt manner that surprises her, “I got married because I had something to prove. I took every job and assignment I could away from my family because I preferred the on I had on those missions and so I could be a hero to my boys without having to do the hard part. Worry whether or not I was doing right by them. I hadn’t anticipated how hard it would be, to be a parent and to be military. My ex-wife was a saint in that regard. She’s responsible for how well our boys turned out.
“Fear drove me into space and kept me there. When I looked at it I saw so much to learn that I couldn’t learn on the ground. I was jealous of the men who didn’t have children to answer to after those missions. For following their dreams like I thought I was. Lee and Zak hated me, for leaving them. Rightly so. But I wouldn’t stop volunteering.”
His expression hadn’t changed. It was as if the story was one he practiced until he wasn’t an actual part of it anymore but simply the narrator. At his next words, however, his facade cracks just the slightest. “I didn’t want to discuss ancient history with you today.”
She smiled, “Neither did I.” This time she kisses him, still the same kiss from before, still as sweet and friendly but with greater promise.
“I have to go,” Laura says after long minutes. “I have to go beg for permission to start a school.” Disappointment is clear between them, “Otherwise,” she trails off.
“Laura Roslin does not beg.” Bill kisses her again, with even more passion, and then the bells chime eleven from the clock outside Colonial One. She could here them only faintly, what with New Caprica resting completely between them and Baltar’s shuttle, but this proposal was too important for her to ignore.
Bill escorts her silently halfway through the town when he says, “I lost my chief engineer to building up this place. I wanted to visit with him before I went back to Galactica.”
“He’s making remarkable progress.”
“So I’ve heard.” They stop outside the central machine shop.
She smiled. “I think I might need it.”
She leaves him with a smile and the promise of more that lingers with her like a dear new friend. She arrives early to her meeting, glimpses the shuttle door open and the interior door closing. She sees Baltar walking out of what he had converted to a private room and—she could swear—a man sleeping on Baltar’s bed. Baltar is shuffling papers and, when she clears her throat, he jumps like hadn’t even known thousands of souls were right outside his door.
“Ah, yes,” Baltar clears his throat. “Here about that proposal I assume?” Baltar sits in his chair, puts his feet on the desk feigning relaxation. He leaves no room to quibble about who’s in charge.
“It’s good to see you, too, Mr. President.” She doesn’t sit, but leans with her fingertips just touching the desk. “I’ll cut to the chase. I want to open a school. Most of the families with school-aged children have moved to the planet from the ships, and they need proper education.”
“And you believe you could best provide this for them?”
“I was the Secretary of Education prior to the attacks. I believe I could best arrange and execute a plan. There are a few teachers in the fleet who’ve all agreed to work with me. And only with me.”
Baltar smirks. “I’ve had other, far more convincing proposals.” Laura quirks an eyebrow and Baltar leans forward. “I’ll think on it and get back with you in, say,” he flips his hand, “a day.”
“Thank you,” she says insincerely, already forming a plan in her mind.
Later, later than she would prefer to be awake at night, she sees Felix Gaeta smiling pleasantly with ambrosia-infused blood. Just as promised. She falls into step with him as he’s leaving the source of most of the raucous activity in the settlement.
“Mr. Gaeta,” she says evenly, startling him. “You’re hardly in a mood to walk on your own.”
“’M fine,” he tells her.
“I’m sure you are,” she says. “Actually,” she puts a hand on his arm, “I wanted to ask you something. Where have you been staying since you came to New Caprica?” She can see his cheeks flush in the sparse light the generators give off at night. “I might’ve thought so. And you might know that I have no problem with that. But,” she says, conspiratorially, “I’m not sure how the others would react if they knew that you’ve been sharing President Baltar’s bed.”
Laura sees him visibly sober, his features visibly harden. She regrets hanging this over his head. “You’re aware of my earlier meeting with the president?” He nods. “I think you’re a genuinely good person, Mr. Gaeta. That’s why I’m sure you’ll pull whatever sway you have to make sure that the president doesn’t spite me for our previous relationship. Those children deserve an education. And you deserve whatever standing you have here. Are we absolutely clear? Are you going to remember this in the morning?”
“Yes ma’am,” he croaks, anger fashioning at the surface of his words. It makes her feel guilty; from all Laura knows this man has all the honest idealism of pure youth. She hated to do more to destroy that.
She lets go of his arm and as he walks away, she can feel everything clicking into place.