Reading Habits [Battlestar Galactica]

Reading Habits
by Jennifer-Oksana
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Rating: R
Pairing: Lee/Laura
Spoilers: Eh. 2.7 – 2.9 general timeline, kind of.
Author’s Note: All romance novel bits are from Laurel K. Hamilton’s A Kiss of Shadows, and are not mine — they just needed to be shared for parody purposes.
Summary: Lee has horrible taste. At least in some things.

There were, Lee realized, things more embarrassing than knowing D’Anna Biers had uncensored footage of him and his very tiny towel. One of them was finding himself on Colonial One with the president, who was holding a romance novel.

Not just ANY romance novel. His one and only, really awful, over-the-top, sex-and-violence-and-faerie-princesses romance novel. Complete with the cheesy cover.

“It’s not mine,” Lee said without thinking. “I found it. In my father’s library.”

The president, tilting her head and smiling wickedly, opened up the book and began leafing through it. “Your father would never in a million years own a book with this cover,” she said, her glasses sliding down her nose a bit to make her look naughtier.

Lee wanted to ruffle her hair. Which was weirder than even his crush on Dee, so he repressed the urge.

“He owns books with titles like The Dame’s Gone Wild,” Lee said, folding his arms and glaring. “A Kiss of Shadows could have been something he picked up by mistake.”

The president began to chuckle, and then, apparently, a passage caught her eye. She read intently for a few paragraphs and then looked at Lee. The look they’d shared when the Quorum was being particularly tedious on Kobol, or when his father was being dramatic. The one that said they knew what the other was thinking and it was a little bit…uncharitable. Or maybe wry.

“Opened my metaphysical skin as I’d opened my legs?” she asked, shaking with what looked either like outrage or — more likely, and worse — repressed laughter. “Oh, my gods, they’re sharing souls.”

“You are a bad person and I’m not voting for you anymore,” Lee said, trying not to laugh even as he fumed a tiny little bit. It was incredibly embarrassing. “I will vote for Zarek before you.”

“The amber and moonlight glow of our skins expanded and we moved in a cocoon of light, of warmth, of power,” the president taunted, her cheeks bright red. “Every thrust of his body raised the power. Every writhe of my body underneath him drew the magic like a choking shield around us, close and suffocating.”

Lee couldn’t handle it anymore. He grabbed the book away from the president — Laura — who was laughing so hard that she was all. Rumpled. Red-faced. And smiling, gods, she was hot when she was smiling.

“Well, you don’t glow like moonlight when you’re in a good mood,” Lee said, holding the book just out of reach.

“I’m not the heroine of a really bad supernatural romance novel,” Laura answered, trying to catch her breath.

“Oh, but you’re a plucky prophet slash leader who is harboring a terrible romantic secret,” Lee said, feeling like he had a right to taunt. “I bet someone would write a great romance novel about you.”

“Because everyone wants to read about over-the-hill cancer patients having many pretty…did he turn into a seal?” Laura asked, snatching the book back from Lee with a rakish grin. “This is the most fun I’ve had since escaping from Galactica’s brig.”

“Stop touching my…secret shame,” Lee sputtered. “Did Cottle put you on a new course of meds?”

Laura shook her head, and the unholy glee in her eyes matched with the wicked little smile was kind of turning Lee on. In the way where he was sure he was blushing.

“Just the bad romance novel. I found this in the shuttle yesterday,” she said, starting to laugh again. “It made my week, and that was before I knew that my Captain Apollo had a secret shame.”

She began to flip through the novel again, clearly looking for more “good parts” when Lee reached out and seized her wrist, taking the book away and opening it up to one of the better ones.

“He began to lick the wound in long slow movements. His eyes were still closed and I was near enough to see the black lashes, black on black against his cheeks. There was almost no pain now, just the sensation of his tongue sliding over me,” Lee read, trying to smirk as wickedly as the president had and feeling he’d failed. “And for the record, since when am I your Captain Apollo?”

The president did a quick double-take. “I didn’t…oh, gods,” she muttered, covering her eyes with one hand. “Slip of the tongue. Or maybe a slide of a tongue.”

They both laughed, but it was a slightly uncomfortable laugh, as though something was going on. Besides the intense inappropriateness of the frakking president reading cheap pulp romance to her military liaison for a laugh.

“Admit it, you love my secret shame,” Lee said, trying to lighten the mood by handing Laura the book for further reading and mocking. Her glasses had almost slipped to the tip of her nose and she was still red-faced. “We should have known tacky romance novels would survive the holocaust.”

“Captain Apollo?” the president asked, her voice a little off-key.

“Yes, sir?” he answered, smiling at her confidently.

“This is a really, really awful book,” she said, dropping it on the floor. “The characterizations are self-serving, the sexual politics resemble a course in sadomasochism 101 without any edge, and there are faerie men who are green and pink. The author clearly has issues with other women, given how everyone except her self-insertion with breasts is a heinous bitch. Also, I do not GLOW during sex.”

“Gods, I’m glad,” Lee said. “That would make me worry a little.”

His hand brushed against hers, and there was that little shiver of sex in the air. Also of bad romance metaphors, but Lee blamed that on the impromptu reading.

“That woman — the Queen of Air and Darkness — was an idiot,” Laura continued, pretending that Lee wasn’t in her personal space and that their knees weren’t bumping against each other’s. “A sexual dominant and sadist shouldn’t torture for the sake of being a…big shot. Driving someone crazy is an art.”

Lee’s lips were bare millimeters from Laura’s ear, and his fingers were resting on her fully-clothed forearm. “So crawling over broken glass doesn’t make you hot?” he whispered.

“Not nearly as hot as elaborate prison escapes,” Laura answered quietly, holding herself fairly still.

“How about promises of doing whatever you want?” Lee asked.

Laura’s smile was dreamy and her eyes were half-closed. “That lacks a certain creativity,” she murmured. “It’s a start, of course, but that still leaves me all the work of suggesting the whatever.”

Her leg brushed against his and Lee’s pants were suddenly a bit more constricting than he liked.

“I thought you were in charge,” Lee said, tongue flickering out just enough to touch her earlobe. “Driving someone crazy.”

She didn’t jump, but there was suddenly a harsh, ragged edge to Laura’s breathing. “Are you suggesting I’m the dominant one in this relationship?” she whispered. Lee didn’t even have to look to see a certain sort of smile.

“I’m not suggesting anything,” Lee said.

“Of course not,” Laura said. “That would be grossly inappropriate, right?”

“Wrong and bad,” Lee said, drawing the back of his hand over her jaw and throat slowly.

“Perish the thought,” Laura answered, licking her lips.

Her ankle was rather firmly hooked around his leg. If the thought was supposed to be perished, Lee thought, it was possibly back from the dead. With images of zombie lust thoughts in his head, Lee leaned in and gently bit down on a patch of skin just under Laura’s ear.

“Absolutely,” Lee said as her hand gripped his other wrist and pulled it to her waist. “Like this?”

Laura nodded and then ran her fingers through his hair. “It’s not silky,” she said with a pout and a raised eyebrow. “I should make you grow it out.”

“My father would throw a fit,” Lee said, blushing again.

“It’s no fun unless it was blue, anyway,” she said as he leaned over and kissed her. “Hey.”

“Take it out of me later,” he murmured, stroking her back.

“There will be a lengthy reading,” she began, but another kiss had even Laura kicking off her shoes and kissing back. “Just…you…wait.”

“With pleasure,” Lee said, nuzzling against her neck and shaking his head at the strangeness of his life. Who would have ever thought a trashy romance novel would be such a catalyst?

“And thrusting?” she whispered, clearly not able to leave it alone. Not that Lee quite minded Laura’s wry jibing. It made him feel comfortable, almost, with the difficulties of age, impending death, and his father’s almost-certain temper tantrum that were to come.

“So much,” he said.

“That was still a — oh, that’s — really awful book,” Laura said. “You have bad taste.”

Lee chuckled. His president, the literary critic. “Only in some things.”

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