Maybe That’s a Lie
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Pairing: Laura/Adar, Laura/Lee, Laura/Tory, Laura/Maya, Laura/Bill
Spoilers: Crossroads I
Disclaimer: If Ron Moore was smarter, this would be what he did with them.
Summary: Laura Roslin’s dark night of the soul.
“You’re going to have to tell them, you know,” Cottle says critically, looking at Laura, who is lying in bed in her hospital gown and tired, sweaty face. “Or do you think you can keep this up?”
“I don’t know,” Laura says listlessly, looking away. “It’s all about to fall apart, isn’t it?”
“That’s up to you, Madame President,” he says, shaking his head. “You don’t have cancer and you knew that when you lied about it to the court and the press.”
“It sounded better than the truth,” Laura says, thinking about what’s going to happen with Baltar out and able to rabble-rouse. She’s not sure what he wants. She doubts it’s the presidency — he doesn’t need it, and he didn’t like it. But he’ll want something and it’ll be something out of her hide.
“You and the truth don’t seem to get along very well, young lady,” Cottle says, chewing on something the way he used to chomp on cigars. He rations his now, she knows. “Even though it’s usually good to you when you bother with it.”
“Oh, that sounds like a plan,” Laura says, rubbing her eyes tiredly. “I had an affair with Lee Adama. Then I had an affair with Bill Adama, but not before frakking my chief aide, the woman I enlisted to care for the half-Cylon child, and so on. Besides that, I’ve used chamalla throughout both presidencies because otherwise, the weight of the office makes me lose it. Not that I hallucinate much on it. Just dreams. Dreams with Cylons that I really do think are from the gods, but frak if I know for sure. The truth, Doctor, makes me contemptible.”
“And being caught in the lies makes you what, exactly?” Cottle inquires dryly.
“Point,” Laura says with a long sigh. “But it doesn’t change much. I can’t tell them I’m not dying of cancer.”
“You can’t tell them you are, either, because I won’t lie for you this time,” Cottle says bluntly. “I’ll let you stay here overnight, because you look like hell and you’ve been using too much. But I won’t cover your lies again.”
Laura meets his gaze then, letting all the anger and frustration that’s been bottled up in her meet his eyes and for a minute, Cottle looks uneasy. Like he wants to say something, but after a long shared glance, he shakes his head.
“No, Madame President,” he repeats. “Not this time.”
Laura nods once and then goes back to staring up at the ceiling, remembering where this mess all started.
It starts after the Olympic Carrier’s destruction and their mutual guilt at the deaths of innocents.
“I can’t stop imagining those people,” Captain Apollo says, looking at her with need in his eyes. “I don’t know how you stand it, Madame President.”
“It gets easier,” Laura lies. Nobody except Billy needs to know about the tears she shed after, about how loudly the water pitcher had shattered when she threw it down, horrified at her own weakness. “Come here, Captain Apollo.”
Uneasily, he walks forward, and is surprised when she catches him in a long hug. He smells good — not clean, but good, like male and leather and life. Laura inhales that scent as the tension in Captain Apollo’s body relaxes and he hugs her back, hard.
He doesn’t let go, and Laura doesn’t let go and she can hear them both breathing raggedly, clutching to each other like frightened children, and then she can feel it in the pit of her stomach.
Laura wants him, because he’s good and so damn good-looking. And because she spent eight years with Richard, frakking him into submission over and over and over. Laura is so tired of being a whore for her ideals, and she has a beautiful man in her arms who actually believes in something and it turns her on like she hasn’t been in years.
She pulls back and her hand finds his face and strokes it. His eyes meet hers and there’s something there.
He won’t say no. He’s not sure this is a good idea — and Laura knows it’s probably not — but he needs this as badly as Laura does. He won’t say no.
She strokes his face again and then kisses him, all her pent-up terror and frustration and guilt about killing a thousand people with one word breaking over her defenses and suddenly Laura surges against Apollo, kissing hard and digging her fingernails into his neck.
And then Captain Apollo — oh gods, he’s already hard. He’s got one hand on her back and the other on her ass and he moans, sucking on her jaw, on her earlobe, and Laura grinds against him without any restraint whatsoever. Dear frakking gods, she hasn’t gotten wet this fast in years, but she could have him now and will have him now and doesn’t care what that makes her.
“Do it,” she whispers into his neck. “Please.”
He nods quickly, and Laura yanks up her nightgown and drops her panties like she’s used to this kind of thing, seducing men half her age, and then he’s inside her and it is good, it’s like everything has stabilized in her head.
She holds the back of his head with one hand, the other keeping her in place on the desk and Captain Apollo (she can’t think of him as Lee, somehow) slams into her like he doesn’t know she’s going to die and that feels even better, the way her leg around his waist is better, the way their eyes meeting is better.
Better than with Richard. Oh gods, how long has it been since someone has looked at her with want that isn’t about proving he’s really in charge? And Laura…Laura let Richard do whatever he wanted to her, has a hundred memories of looking at the thousand-count sheets her cheek was pressed against as Richard grunted and held her in place, and suddenly hates them and herself for it.
When she comes, she has to bite into her lip to keep from screaming, and Captain Apollo sees a flicker of the confused welter of pain and hatred and desire and freedom Laura feels with a lover who will look her in the eye.
And he doesn’t know quite how to take it.
“Are you all right?” he whispers.
She nods. “Thank you,” she says, and he shudders then, coming almost as hard as she did.
And when they stay like that for a moment, clutched against each other, comforted, Laura knows she will do it again.
Because she needs this. Badly. And so does he.
“Are you awake, Madame President?” a woman’s uncertain voice asks, cutting into the half-doze, half-reverie Laura has fallen into. Chamalla is good for spacing out and being not quite there. Like a hundred waking dreams.
“Yes,” Laura says, not sure if it’s true or not. She recognizes the voice. It’s Lee Adama’s wife. Dualla. Dee. “You’re Dee Adama, right?”
“Not anymore,” Dee says, her face swimming into focus and her voice hard as nails. “Not if I have anything to say about it. I’m so sorry, ma’am.”
Laura laughs at that, a noise that shocks them both.
“It’s not your fault,” she says. “Nothing that’s happened is your fault. Not what Lee’s done. Not what Billy did. Not what I did.”
Strange to think how much this girl and Laura have in common, and how little they know each other despite it. In some other universe, they are family, mother and daughter of sorts, putting the fear of the gods into their men and having a damn good time doing it. In the universe where Laura can take her daughter-in-law out for girly drinks and discuss sex and domestic life and cackle like a witch, she and Dee are close.
In this universe, where Dee Adama tried to help her steal an election and is now looking at her uneasily, they’ve spoken maybe five times in their whole lives.
“I wasn’t honest with myself,” Dee says, shaking her head. “I should have told Billy before that I was in love with Lee. I should have left Lee when I knew he was frakking Kara.”
“Hindsight,” Laura says. “Don’t beat yourself up about it. We all make mistakes.”
“I need to know,” Dee says. “Did you frak my husband?”
There’s nothing to say to that but the truth.
“Yes, I did,” Laura says. “Do you hate me for it?”
“A little bit,” Dee says with another fierce nod and glare in her eye. “You frakked him up good. Worse than Starbuck, I think. I mean, that was really why he tried to die when we attacked the resurrection ship, isn’t it? That wasn’t about Starbuck or the whore or anything else. That was about you and him. And you leaving him to go frak his father.”
Laura swallows hard. Because Dee’s right.
“Do you ever miss Billy?” she asks. Dee stares at her. “Right now I miss him more than anyone. And I miss Captain Apollo. My Captain Apollo, the one who I trusted.”
“Well, ma’am, if he doesn’t exist anymore, I think that’s your fault,” Dee says. “And yes. I do miss Billy sometimes. That’s why I helped you with the election. To make it up to you about Billy.”
“I know,” Laura says, swallowing again. “I’m sorry.”
Dee looks away suddenly. “I thought you would have been a good mom, you know,” she says. “I was hoping you and the old man would get married already, so we could get to know each other.”
“Me, too,” Laura says. “Well, I hoped you and Billy would get married. But I thought the same thing, that maybe we would have gotten along well. We’re not really very different.”
Dee looks back at her and shakes her head. “I couldn’t have done some of what you’ve done,” she says. “After a while, the secrets are too much for me.”
“The lying, you mean?” Laura asks.
“That, too,” Dee says. “But I would have liked you to be my mother-in-law.”
“I would have liked to be your mother-in-law,” Laura agrees.
They sit in silence for a moment.
“You don’t look so good,” Dee says. “I think you should get some sleep, Madame President.”
“You, too, Dee,” says Laura.
Laura starts missing the chamalla about a week after the Cylon fetus’s blood saves her life and leaves her not sure who she is, what she’s doing, or what the future holds for anyone, let alone herself.
She misses Captain Apollo. But she made her choice and she has to stand by it — Bill wouldn’t understand suddenly summoning Lee back into her life, and he’s mostly convinced himself the rumors about President Roslin and her “young prince” were just that, rumor.
He’s so proper. Bill Adama is a good person, Laura feels that to her bones. He wants to be a good father, he wants to be a good person, but after months of looking at Lee and feeling alive despite dying on her feet, of no longer being the woman who swallowed her tongue and focused on what she could get for each thrust, she’s there all over again.
No vision. No Captain Apollo. And then when Billy goes, she feels it like a blow to the face.
Billy was supposed to live, Laura feels. The gods’ gift to her. She would die, but Billy would grow out of it, become the man he needed to be during Baltar’s caretaker leadership, and be the first president on Earth.
And instead she has to arrange his hair and look at the terrible blue stillness of his body, knowing that she has not only lost Billy, but also Lee Adama in one fell swoop.
And the next day, she quietly dispatches a staffer to get her a supply of chamalla. Doesn’t tell him why, doesn’t bother to explain. Just says she wants it, and well. That’s that.
The first dose she takes is staggeringly bad. It tastes awful, bitter and moldy and Laura remembers that in the bad days, she had Billy or Lee brew it up for her in tea, quietly.
So when Laura interviews people for Billy’s replacement, she has one last test.
This is how Tory Foster gets her job.
Tory sees the jar on Laura’s desk, and tilts her head.
“Madame President,” she says. “May I make a suggestion?”
“Go ahead, Miss Foster,” says Laura, looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
“If I may, I’d like to tidy up the room and perhaps make us some tea,” Tory says. “I know that’s a little presumptuous of me, but if I were to take the position, we’d be…”
“Close,” Laura says guilelessly, smiling up at the girl as if she has no idea what Tory is trying to say. “It’s not easy, being the chief of staff. Lines blur.”
“I imagine they do,” Tory says, immediately going for the chamalla and the teapot. “But it’s no excuse for being sloppy, either.”
Tory makes a good cup of tea, and if Laura can taste a slightly bitter aftertaste, it’s nothing compared to the dreamy feeling that hits her twenty minutes in, and the elated one that comes two days later when she catches Tory looking at her hungrily.
“I don’t need much of it,” Laura says when Tory’s hand finds its way up her skirt, eyes closed and head tilted back. “It’s to take the edge off.”
“Well,” Tory purrs, flicking Laura’s clit with her thumb. “Let’s see if there aren’t smarter ways to take your edge off, Madame President.”
“You’re never going to get near my daughter,” someone hisses into Laura’s ear, waking her up. “I don’t care what you have. You’ll never touch her again.”
No rest for the wicked, she supposes, looking into Sharon Valerii’s face and her bared rictus of teeth.
“No, we’re going to lose her to Caprica, which I suppose you prefer,” Laura says, yawning and struggling to sit up groggily.
To her surprise, Sharon jumps. “What are you talking about?” she asks. “Caprica? Why would you say that?”
“I had a dream,” Laura says. “You had it, too, didn’t you?”
Sharon backs away from Laura’s bed, eyes widening and mouth slightly open. Laura might tolerate Cylons more if they weren’t such slack-jawed idiots most of the time. They had the same dream; and besides, did Sharon actually think Laura kidnapped Hera for a laugh? Because she enjoys taking children from their mothers and getting innocent young women killed?
There’s blood between them. There’s an obligation.
“I saw you,” Sharon says. “In…”
“In the opera house. I know,” Laura says. “She was running away and we were chasing her. Is she walking now, then?”
“Yep. And running. And talking,” Sharon says sullenly. “She remembers you. We were listening to the wireless and she heard your voice and perked up. It almost killed Helo when she first said your name.”
“I’d say I was sorry, but I’m not,” Laura says, looking off from the Cylon woman, who glares at her again. “What do you think it means, Sharon?”
“That you’re a horrible bitch?” Sharon asks.
“The dream, Sharon,” Laura snarls back. Damned Cylons. “We had the same one, remember? And probably Caprica Six had it, too. And you and I both know that Hera is the shape of things to come, so what do you think it means?”
Sharon stares at her. “You better not be a Cylon,” she says, folding her arms and giving Laura a sour look. “I will be so pissed if you’re one of us. So will all the other Cylons. We don’t like you much.”
“Likewise,” Laura replies, rolling her eyes. “And yet we both care about Hera, and have been warned about something coming.”
“She’s not yours!” Sharon says heatedly, eyes practically bulging. “You don’t get to touch my daughter. She’s not yours.”
“I did everything to protect her,” Laura hisses back.
“Except leave her with her parents. Where she would have been loved!” Sharon shouts. “Where she was wanted! You took her away from me and you aren’t sorry. How dare you tell me you did it to protect her?”
“Because it’s the truth,” Laura growls. “I lost someone I loved protecting our daughter, Sharon…”
And her voice trails off, because Sharon is staring at her in shock and surprise and Laura feels the same way, a hollow ache in her throat and stomach and a race in her heartbeat warning her of just what she’s said.
Did she really call Hera Agathon “our” daughter? Or is calling Maya someone she loved what has them both staring at each other?
“Well, thanks for your help, but OUR daughter doesn’t need you,” Sharon recovers. “Good thing, too, given the circumstances.”
“Get out,” Laura says, too tired and angry to be civil.
“With pleasure,” Sharon says, withdrawing and leaving Laura to stare at her hands.
A Cylon? Our daughter? Gods, Laura has really decided to lose her mind in one glorious night, hasn’t she? And all these people visiting her, waking ghosts that didn’t sleep all that soundly to start with…
Laura could use a mug of tea, the sweet dreamy feel of chamalla racing in her veins, washing away all the now. She’s even too tired for a good frak, which might also work if there was anyone who’d touch her now.
Chamalla makes things easier, loosens up that iron knot of responsibility that lives between her shoulder blades that Captain Apollo used to work out, that Bill sometimes eases out while his breath tickles her neck.
And it lets her see things.
Before the attacks, Laura was always so practical and small and constrained. She was quiet and polite and never had to raise her voice, because she’d fall on her back (or her face) to get what she wanted later.
Oh, she was a good girl — all her reforms were ethical, she kept Richard from indulging his worst vices, she took care of her mother and held her hand while she died, but the Laura Roslin who wasn’t an addict was a dutiful bore.
Now she dreams and fears her dreams. But she’s addicted now, to freedom, to chamalla, to power, and she can no more stop dreaming than Gaius Baltar can stop being a pompous bastard.
She’d told Maya she wasn’t an addict, months ago now.
Maybe that’s a lie.
“I don’t think you need it, that’s all,” Maya says, rocking Hera in her arms while Laura grades papers. “You’re not sick. I know. I was there when Cottle did your last exam. He joked about how I had a healthy glow — I think he knows, don’t you?”
“You’re not the most discreet, sweetheart,” Laura says with a grin.
“No, Tory’s mad because she says this violates the spirit of our agreement,” Maya says, petting Hera’s head of slowly curling hair with love so powerful it radiates off her. “I don’t think it’s my fault that we love each other, do you?”
“A little,” Laura says with a coy toss of her head. The papers can wait; once Hera is out, she’s out cold and hard, and Maya is standing up to put the baby down. “If you weren’t so damned adorable, I wouldn’t love you so.”
She walks up behind Maya, seizes her by the waist and kisses the back of her neck. Maya’s arms slide back and tangle around Laura and the two of them stand there, looking at their little girl sleep.
“Laura,” Maya says. “I mean it, about the chamalla. I smelled your tea at dinner. It’s not good for you.”
“It’s not bad for me, either. It’s like having a glass of wine,” Laura says with a sigh. “I had a headache and didn’t want to ride it out, that’s all.”
Maya twists around and looks Laura in the eye. “Don’t lie to me,” she says.
“I don’t,” Laura says, easing her fingers under Maya’s sweater. “Everyone else, if I have to, but not you.”
Maya kisses her, and it’s almost like having Apollo back. If the entire relationship wasn’t based on a lie, it would be better, Laura thinks, finding Maya’s breasts and teasing them with her fingertips. She could surrender to this, the sheer happiness of having someone who looks her in the eye and loves her without reservation.
They stumble backward to the desks, and Maya undoes her skirt, the curve of her hip peeking out and making Laura flush from how damned lucky she is and how much she wants this.
Tory is jealous, that’s true, but Laura has stopped caring about politics. They don’t want her, she doesn’t want them, and they can all rot under Gaius Baltar’s self-indulgent neglect. She has love, and a child, and a school, and maybe this way she can pay for what she had to do as president.
“Tell me next time, when you have a headache,” Maya says as Laura’s fingers find their way to her wet, willing flesh, surging against them and squeezing. “I’ll make it better.”
“You make it better just by being here,” Laura says, breathing out hard. “I’ll do better, all right? For you.”
“Oh, yessss,” Maya whimpers, hissing and screwing her way down Laura’s fingers to the knuckle. “Ohhh, please, teacher — more…”
And she had done better. Given it up, mostly. A bit of smoke, a bit of promiscuous cuddling, some rotgut, and Maya. It had been enough for Laura; the inner demons were quiet and she had her dreams anyway.
And then the Cylons came.
And then Maya had died and Hera had disappeared and there was Tory, begging to make amends, and Bill, still wanting her, and there was the presidency.
And now Laura keeps her jar closer than her lovers.
“Hate to wake a lady during her beauty sleep, but I imagine we won’t get an opportunity to speak otherwise,” a voice says in her ear.
Laura jumps, shrieks, and backhands her surprise visitor before realizing it’s Baltar’s lawyer. Romo Lampkin, the bane of her existence, is sitting next to her bed, watching her sleep.
“What the frak do you think you’re doing?” she says in a stage whisper, her teeth bared the way Sharon Valerii’s were. “Why are you here?”
“You’re not dyin’,” Lampkin says. “Ain’t that a fact, Madame President?”
“I have nothing to say to you,” Laura says, the anger she feels for Baltar and everything breaking loose. “Now get away from me before I have you arrested for assault.”
Lampkin stands up and gives her a look that turns Laura’s bones to ice. He knows about Lee Adama; Lee, the treacherous bastard, has probably confessed everything in detail to Lampkin and gods help her, Baltar.
“I never quite got you before,” Lampkin says. “You’re a cold hard woman, and no mistake, Laura Roslin. But I didn’t know how you could be so cold and hard but make a man’s bones turn to water when you cast your gaze favorably.”
“And now you do?” Laura asks dully. “Good for you. Get out.”
“You loved him with all that black heart of yours,” Lampkin says relentlessly. “If them glances I saw on the stand are any indicator, you were mad for each other, and you tore each other to shreds for politics and duty. Eats him up inside — he loved you even though he’s betrayin’ his father, and with his father’s woman, even though you’re no more Adama’s woman than you were the last man’s woman. And his father turns on him, spittin’ on the sacrifices he’s made not to beg on his knees for you to come back…it’s a nasty tangle you’ve made for yourself.”
She wants to order him to leave again, but he won’t listen and Laura almost feels relief, someone who sees what’s true and won’t whitewash it. Or use it to leer at her the way Gaius Baltar — who undoubtedly is licking his lips over her sins — will.
“So you see how Mr. Adama is broken,” Laura says with icy precision. “I thought we were talking about me, Mr. Lampkin.”
“You? You never felt a thing in your repressed little life until that boy touched you,” Lampkin says, leaning close. “It wasn’t ’til the day you found out you were going to die that you realized how much you wanted to live. How much you hated yourself for never darin’ to. Gods, woman, I can understand why you’d lie about the cancer — you were never less than a magnificent thing, fighting to live and force us all to live with you — but how could you seduce a man’s father when it’s the man you wanted?”
Laura finds out something about herself at that moment. She finds that in the face of truth, she’s so angry she can’t see. Part of her wants to tear the man’s eyes out, bite his tongue off, make him stop talking, stop seeing her.
And somehow, that translates into spitting with all her might into Lampkin’s face.
“How could you pervert justice so a traitor and a murderer walks free on a technicality, Mr. Lampkin?” Laura hisses.
Lampkin very calmly wipes off his face, leans down, and dares to kiss her on the forehead.
“Maybe I’d rather follow the soul of the law than the letter,” he says. “Or maybe I think we need the slimy bastard and you to live. Dunno. Sleep well, Madame President.”
He disappears as silently as he arrives and Laura waits until she’s sure he’s gone to scream into her pillow, clenching her fists and feeling tears of rage and embarrassment spill down her cheeks.
“What is this?” Bill is asking her, holding up the jar with the look of profoundest disapproval on his face.
“Tea herbs,” Laura replies, lying casually. Usually most people leave off when she says that; she is the president, after all.
“Chamalla,” Bill says flatly and bluntly. “Are you using chamalla, Laura?”
“Yes,” Laura says, shrugging. He has the right to know, and it’s not as if they’ve never indulged in too much ambrosia or smoked a little something to take the edge off. Bill should understand what it’s for, especially with the pressures he faces.
Instead, she finds his hand on her shoulder and looks up, alarmed. Bill has a look on his face like she’s been stealing babies or elections again, staring at her.
“This is a hallucinogen,” Bill says, holding the jar and shaking his head. “You’re the president of the Colonies. The president cannot be using hallucinogens. How long have you been doing this?”
Laura stares at Bill. “I used chamalla for the cancer,” she says. “I was president then, too. Remember?”
“And you nearly caused a civil war over what you saw in it,” Bill says, glaring at her harder. “I could understand if you needed chamalla for a cancer treatment, but this is not a recreational drug!”
And just like that, the comfortable fiction Laura has been building, that Bill Adama trusts her, that he can treat her like an adult, that they can make it work even though she doesn’t want him the way he wants her — it’s out the window. Gone.
How dare he? He lets that one-eyed drunk serve as his XO, and yet her private pleasures are bad and naughty and not recreational drugs. They’re signs of moral weakness, things that the leaders of the fleet are not allowed.
Much like a good hard frak isn’t something Bill Adama thinks that Bill and Laura are allowed while they are The Leaders of the Fleet. She has actually lain naked in his bed and he slept on the couch rather than be tempted.
If Bill Adama thinks he’s going to take away the way she gets through the day because he’s a pleasure-hating carving, he is much mistaken.
“I do need it,” Laura says, fixing him with an angry look. And is stunned to see Bill’s face fall like she’s killed his dog. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“The cancer,” he says brokenly. “It’s back? The cancer’s back?”
Oh, gods. “Bill, I…” she says, not sure what to say. Is he that naive, to think that the only reason she’d use chamalla is because of cancer?
She meets his eyes. Oh, gods, he is. He is, and he’s begging her to lie to him. Why, she doesn’t know, but he needs the kind lie now.
“We’re not sure,” she says, taking his hand between both of hers. “There need to be more tests, but I’ve felt so lousy lately and I’ve been sweating…so I checked.”
Tears well up in Bill’s eyes. “No,” he says. “It can’t be true. Not after losing Kara. I’m not going to lose you both.”
Laura’s breath catches in her throat. Oh, gods, Kara. She’d forgotten that Kara was dead, and her like a daughter to Bill. He was hurting and he was afraid, and Laura looks at him and genuinely aches for Bill.
She tugs him down to sit next to her. Rests her head on his shoulder. “You have me,” she says. “I’ve told you that over and over again.”
“You should have told me,” he says, putting his arm around her waist. “The minute you found out, you should have told me.”
“I’m not sure,” Laura says, sinking into him, feeling her heart beat faster. “It may be nothing serious. Don’t think you’re rid of me yet.”
And Bill turns his head to meet her eyes and there’s so much fear and need there that Laura pulls herself up against him, their lips almost brushing.
“Say something,” she whispers.
“I’m not losing you,” Bill says. “You’re staying right here, do you hear me?”
She nods wordlessly and their mouths meet, gently, and his face is wet and hot, and he needs this. He needs someone right now, and Laura wants to be someone for him. Nobody should lose as much as Bill Adama has.
“Let me do this for you,” she pleads into his ear. “Please.”
He pulls her closer, and the air rushes out of her, but she doesn’t pull away. Not when Bill needs her, not when he’s been there for her so many times, not when he was at her side when she was going to die.
“This isn’t how I wanted it,” Bill says as he eases her back against the mattress, his hands on her hips.
“We don’t always get what we want,” Laura says, looking at him and thinking he really doesn’t look a thing like Lee at all.
“I love you,” he says, stroking her waist. “Stay with me?”
“Yes,” Laura says, drawing him down. “Yes.”
Laura wakes up again and Bill’s there, next to her. Sleeping.
His hand is atop hers, and somehow that makes it worse, knowing that he knows her well enough that he can touch her without waking her up.
“Bill,” Laura says. “Wake up.”
She rubs his hand — her fingers are cold, they’re always cold. He’s good at warming them up between his hands, or with his mouth.
Laura wishes she loved Bill. With all of her heart, Laura wishes she loved him, because he loves her and he’s a good man and it’s not his fault that she’s a liar and an addict and gods knows what else.
And because it’s not Bill Adama’s fault that Laura let Richard frak her for eight years like she was a piece of meat, bent over his desk, shoved down against his bed, and conquered.
His eyes open and he smiles at her. “Laura.”
“I’m not dying,” she says. “I never was.”
The smile dies. He stares at her, horror growing on his face, and the look — the same look that Dee had given her — fills his eyes.
“Did you frak my son?” he asks.
“I’m sorry,” she says. “I’m so sorry.”
He pulls his hand away from her, and Laura’s dignity will not let her cry. She won’t beg, she won’t apologize again.
“Is that all, Madame President?” he asks.
“I believe it is, Admiral Adama,” she answers, turning her head away because she can’t look at him.
She can hear his footsteps walk away from her, and when they stop. And Laura knows that he’s crying and trying not to.
Laura doesn’t cry. She stares away, dry-eyed and sore-throated and without the least bit of pity for herself.
She has destroyed everything with lies. And she’ll keep going, because she has to.
She doesn’t know where, but she will.
Hera is running away from her again, and Laura knows where she’s going, but instead of finding Hera, Laura runs toward Caprica instead, into the blinding white light.
Caprica is waiting for Hera, but Laura is faster, Laura is more desperate, Laura needs to know one last thing.
“Madame President,” Caprica says, scooping Hera up in her arms. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“What am I?” asks Laura. “Do you know?”
“You’re part of God’s plan,” Caprica says. “Other than that, I don’t know.”
Laura tries to get closer, to grab the Cylon’s arm, but Sharon is there, and she shakes her head, holding Laura back.
“We don’t know any more than you do,” Sharon says. “And this is something that has to happen.”
“We need to save her,” Laura says, looking at Hera and thinking of Maya. Of everything she’s lost. “We have to stop this.”
“You don’t know that,” Sharon says. “Maybe this is God’s will.”
“And maybe it’s not!” Laura says. “You can’t just give up your daughter like that. Hera’s special. Hera’s important. We have to save her.”
“Save her from what?” Sharon asks. “God has a plan for us all. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
Caprica smiles, but not a cruel smile, or a triumphant one. It’s a smile filled with pity.
And then she turns and walks away with their daughter into the light.
And wakes up. Absolutely alone.
Lee’s bed is cold without Dee in it, and when the knock sounds on his door, he’s instantly awake.
Is his father going to throw him out? Or it’s possibly Lampkin, ready to start another day of lawyer antics to defend Baltar. To give him his fair trial.
Lee knows better than to expect Dee. When she makes up her mind, she makes it up permanently. She’s not coming back. His marriage is over.
The knock comes again, louder, and Lee shouts something about being right there as he pulls on a pair of pants. Frak whoever’s at the door, he’s not going to nose around for a shirt for their pleasure.
He flings open the door irritably. “If you’re trying to throw me out, I’m stuck here until after…Madame President.”
“Mr. Adama,” she says. She looks like hell; she’s dying, he knows, but she never looked this bad when she was dying the first time. “Can I come in?”
“I guess, yeah,” Lee says. “Are you all right?”
“What do you think?” the president asks. Her eyes are swollen and red, she’s pale and sweating, her hair is a ruin…and he’s so frakking mad at her, showing up now. Twenty months since it would have mattered, now she’s standing in front of him like the ghost of the woman he loved, miserable and lost and needing him again.
“Why are you here?” he asks. “Why now, of all times, are you on my doorstep? Don’t you have my father for that now? Or your own gods-damned ship? Why are you here, Madame President?”
“I didn’t know where else to go,” she says, looking at him, dazed. “I don’t think I have anywhere else to go.”
“You left me,” Lee says.
“I left you,” she agrees. “I wanted to protect you from the pain. It was a mistake.”
Lee stares at her, and the pain he’s lived with, the self-recrimination of wondering why Laura Roslin found him unworthy to stay with her in the face of death, relaxes. Oozes out of him like pus from a wound. Twenty months of self-loathing and hating her, all a waste, and Lee feels dizzy enough to sit down now.
“What have you done?” he asks. “Whatever it is, I’m sure the people will stand by you. My father…”
“I broke your father’s heart about an hour ago. I very much doubt he has much to say to me,” Laura says evenly. “And the people aren’t going to have much use for a lying, not-dying, chamalla-addled politician who may or may not be a Cylon, but who’s frakked more than her share of Adamas and women during her reign of lies.”
Lee stares at her, mouth open. “Cylon?” he whispers.
“The dreams. I’m having these dreams that I’m sharing with Cylons, and they don’t know if I’m a Cylon. Neither do I,” Laura says, shaking her head fitfully. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Yeah, seriously,” Lee says inanely, shocked to the core. “But why come to me?”
“I don’t know,” she says, shivering and staring off into space. “Because I wanted you to know, very much, that I loved you. That one thing that was never a lie was how much I loved you and how much I regretted losing you.”
He opens his mouth. Closes it. Opens it again. Tries to make words. Fails.
“What am I supposed to say to that?” he finally manages, his voice plaintive.
“Don’t say anything,” Laura says quietly. “Because there’s nothing to say. Just let me stay. For now.”
“Okay,” Lee says. “I can do that. For now.”
He doesn’t have to say that there’s no future for either of them. She knows that now is all either of them will ever have, and it’s not going to last very long.
But he can give that to her. Now, he can give to her.
And so they sit, at the end, in silence. Together.