Ways to Be Out on New Caprica
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Rating: PG-13/R boundary
Pairings: Adama/Roslin, Laura/Tory, Laura/Lee, Laura/Kat, Laura/Leoben
Disclaimer: Moore’s the man with the master plan.
Summary: Five stories about Laura, the concept of out, and the lost year.
1. Out (Laura/Bill)
“We’re out,” Bill said, thinking that no man had ever been forced to utter a more embarrassing phrase to his ex-presidential lover.
“Out of…oh,” Laura said, sitting on his couch calmly with her legs tucked under her. She, at least, seemed comfortable. “We need those.”
Bill would have argued the point between cancer, menopause, and so on, but at the beginning of their relationship, Bill Adama and Laura Roslin had spent an anxious and humiliating week discovering that hybrid child blood regenerated more than cancerous cells to health.
Cottle had laughed at him (and Bill sincerely hoped at her, but he didn’t know) for a month.
“We could,” and Bill tried to smile, “Imagine telling Lee he had a little brother or sister on the way.”
Laura’s face darkened. “Ha,” she said, giving him the fake smile of death. “What have we said about the mutant freak baby being a bad idea?”
Bill sighed. For a politician who believed so fully in producing the next generation of humanity, Laura was exceptionally narrow about her own maternal options.
“I don’t know where to get them,” Bill admitted. “Cottle isn’t in charge of supplies, and hell would freeze over before I asked Baltar.”
“Ask Lee,” Laura said with an air of maddening practical calm. “He’s dating that girl, Dualla. I’m sure they’re stocked. Also, how are we out? You knew this was our weekend.”
“I am not asking my son for those,” Bill said, glowering.
“You’d rather ask the Tighs?” Laura answered, looking more than a little sour. In the course of their four-month relationship, Bill had quickly learned that Laura did not like being denied sex, even by circumstance. She was no Ellen — Bill had long since pretended to not see bite marks and bruises on his XO — but she was determined.
And vocal. And cranky when in need.
“Than tell my son intimate details of my life?” Bill replied. “I think you know the answer.”
“Say it’s for a friend,” Laura said snippishly. “Or I’ll ask him, if you’re afraid to.”
“We wouldn’t have a mutant freak baby,” Bill answered stubbornly. “Smart like you and sexy like me.”
Laura’s mouth twisted. “I can go home,” she said tartly, folding her arms.
“Okay, fine,” Bill said, hiding the bit of smile her temper gave him. It was better that Laura didn’t know how much her petulance amused him. “Let me go requisition you some supplies, woman. If you can wait that long.”
Laura chuckled, effectively destroying the tension in the room. Bill reflected that she really was appealing when she laughed and smiled. Her and her mop of red hair and assorted freckles waiting to be uncovered.
“Oh, I’ll be ready for you–” a wicked, meaningful sparkle in her eyes — “When you get back.”
More inspirational words Bill had rarely heard Laura utter.
2. Outed (Laura/Tory)
Tory missed her high heels. They’d always made her feet hurt, but that seemed like a minor inconvenience and a delightful fantasy compared to life on President Baltar’s folly of a colony.
Besides, they made a wonderful clicking sound when you tapped them. Not like mud-caked sneakers and boots and so on.
“Are you really going to run that photograph in your paper?” Tory asked Matt Benton, one of her former friends in the press. Matt looked like shit; he was rocking the stubble, wearing a big patched jacket, and he had pink eye. Also he wasn’t meeting her gaze.
“Do you know what that photograph can do for me?” Matt asked, hunched over. “The Baltar Administration needs all the points it can score.”
Tory pointed at the photograph, a blurry outline of herself buried in another woman’s cleavage while her hand was shoving a skirt up to her partner’s waist. Poor Laura; she’d been worried about how discreet they were being, making out in the schoolhouse.
“She’s a lonely woman who is helping everyone,” Tory said flintily. “You’d frak her over so that Baltar can make fun of her? Baltar’s screwing two prostitutes that survived Cloud Nine, you son of a bitch.”
Tory wasn’t going to mention that she was fairly certain she wasn’t Laura’s only, nor Laura’s only woman (not with the death glare little Maya gave Tory when she visited, and Tory had always been curious about either or both Adamas’ relationship with her former boss), but Matt didn’t need to know that.
“Tell the president — I mean, Miss Roslin — that if she wants the picture pulled, she comes talks to me,” Matt said, looking up suddenly. “She won’t give interviews.”
Tory knew that; she’d suggested more than once to Laura that they should at least talk to Playa Kohl, but oh no, Laura was out of public life, blah blah bittercakes. And now Tory had two interesting pieces of information.
One, that people still thought of Roslin as the president. Two, that Laura had to choose between giving an interview or being outed, and Tory had no idea what she’d choose.
“I’d say I think she will now, Matt, but I’m not sure,” Tory said. “I’ll talk to her.”
“I bet you will,” Matt said, rubbing his eye. “You have no idea what she’ll say, do you?”
“Not even an inkling,” Tory said with a smile. “But that’s what makes Miss Roslin such an exciting employer and lover. That and the part where she screams like a siren when you touch her just…oh, gods, look at the time. I’ll go ask her, all right?”
Matt gaped after her as Tory swished off. For the first time in a while, she wasn’t missing her heels.
3. On the Outs (Laura/Lee)
“I’m going to marry Dee,” Lee said. It wasn’t the first time that he’d said it, but it was the first time he’d said it to someone who might not like the idea.
Former President Roslin, hair askew, still undressed and half-awake in his bed, didn’t really react. Lee was expecting something, even the eyebrow raise, but Laura simply stretched and rolled over.
“Are you awake?”
“Sadly, yes,” Laura answered. “Congratulations.”
She snuggled down into Lee’s mattress so firmly that Lee got the feeling she meant it about wanting to take a nap, but Lee wanted to talk about this.
“We’re going to have to stop doing this,” Lee said.
“I’ll miss the bed,” Laura answered tiredly, still not looking at him. “Please, Lee, we can have the postmortem after I get some sleep.”
Her bared shoulder was incredibly appealing, and Lee, knowing that he was as likely to get rapped on the knuckles as not, sank down on his knees next to his very sleepy lover and kissed a small spot on her scapula.
Laura grumbled, but didn’t say anything, so Lee continued kissing, down to her spine and then up to her neck. It was warm and soft and Lee really didn’t want to stop, naps and marriages be damned.
“What are you doing?” Laura asked when Lee started swirling his tongue over the nape of her neck.
“Trying to stop,” Lee said, one of his arms reaching around her and over a breast.
“You’re driving me out of my mind,” Laura said with a soft growl. “Either get in bed or let me get some rest.”
Lee’s hand wandered to Laura’s hip. “Out of your mind?” he inquired. “I’d like to see that. Before we stop.”
“We’re already done, Lee,” Laura said as he started stroking her stomach. “This is nothing more than making it up to me after the fact.”
“Making what up to you?” Lee asked as Laura moved over and he climbed into the bed next to her.
“Getting out,” she said, twisting against him and it was a knife in his gut, but Laura wasn’t wrong, not really.
Even though at the sound of that first moan, Lee wasn’t sure if he wanted out or if he wanted deeper in.
4. Out of Her Head (Laura/Kat)
Just like that, her career as a pilot was pretty much over. Everyone on Freighter 212 was like, “Kat, you’re coming home, right? You’re not going to stay on shit duty with Adama, right?” and Kat didn’t know how to explain.
It wasn’t about protecting people or the military, not really. It was. But it was also about being a pilot, discovering that she was a pretty damn good pilot. Especially after Starbuck announced her retirement like, first frakking thing.
Kat didn’t understand how Starbuck could give up. But now she understood how Starbuck could start using and drinking to get away from reality, because Kat was blowing her combat pay on booze, blow, and bimbos if any had survived the Cloud Nine frakking thing.
Hot Dog had made noises that sounded like come-ons, and Kat had celebrated the end of the world with telling him that she didn’t frak cock except in special circumstances. Apparently that had surprised some folks, including Starbuck. Kat was always more surprised that Starbuck was such a dick-chaser. And she supposed the girl-frakkers of the fleet were a bit discreet.
Or had been, Hera and Athena.
“I want another drink,” the former president was saying belligerently. Kat had heard rumors about her since pretty much stepping onto Galactica, but she thought that was because the fleet dykes were bored of the “Which Adama?” game that was popular. “Now.”
Kat pushed over to the bar. “What’s up?” she asked Galina. “Serve her a drink. She deserves ’em.”
“Kat, she’s downed half a bottle of ambrosia, and she’s getting pissy,” Galina said. “And I don’t think she has anywhere to go since Baltar booted her off Colonial One.”
“That’s frakked,” Kat said. “I’ll take care of her. Bring us each a drink and just…I’ll take care of it.”
Roslin was glaring at her empty glass when Kat sat down next to her. “You’re…on Galactica somehow,” she said. “Did the admiral send you to bring me home?”
“No, I came here to get drunker than you,” Kat said.
“Fantastic, because I’m not going to Galactica to live on the admiral’s charity,” the woman said. “I will go settle on that wretched little mudball first and kiss Baltar’s ass until he gives me a school first.”
Kat raised both eyebrows. Roslin was a little feistier than rumor had her, but no less determined. The bartender set their drinks on the table, taking Roslin’s empty glass disapprovingly. Roslin snorted and rolled her eyes.
“What?” Kat asked.
“Is there some reason the bartender thinks I don’t have a right to get out of my head on ambrosia?” Roslin asked.
“You’re kind of a bitchy drunk,” Kat said. “I think it freaks people out.”
Roslin rolled her eyes again. “Fine. I will be a quiet, mousy drunk who cries into her ambrosia,” she said, smiling suddenly. “So if you’re not Bill’s deputy, why are you sitting here, young lady?”
Kat had several answers, all of them inappropriate. But hell, Roslin was more than a little drunk, and why not go for the fun answer?
“I’m here to see if those rumors about you are true,” Kat said.
“Rumors?” Roslin asked, eyes glittering. “Oh, what rumors?”
Kat told her, and Roslin laughed noisily, before stealing Kat’s drink and downing it in one bolt.
“So…that a no?”
“That’s a, the first good thing about not being president is that attractive women are hitting on me again,” Roslin answered, her slightly unfocused gaze coming to a laser point on Kat.
Kat leered. “I know a second good thing,” she murmured, her lips moving very close to Roslin’s ear. “An attractive woman will get you out of your mind and then out of your clothes. If you want.”
Roslin’s hand gripped into Kat’s knee. “Let’s have a few more drinks and see,” she said, smiling like a predator. Which, Kat realized, she kind of was.
5. Out of Bounds (Laura/Leoben)
“This is not where your path should lead, Laura,” Leoben said, drawing the edge of a knife down her neck. Laura closed her eyes. The metal is neither cold nor warm. It feels sharp and hard on her neck, and she keeps waiting to feel blood.
It was her own fault for trusting a Cylon. Even far enough to follow him when he said, “let’s not talk here.” She hadn’t wanted to upset the children. She hadn’t expected him to pull a knife and tell her to keep walking.
They’d walked to the river, out of bounds for New Caprica City, the kind of site that would have been better for a city, but Baltar had about as much expertise in city planning as he did in leadership.
Now Laura was on her knees, with a knife against her throat and a Cylon attack force infesting her city. The grass and soil underneath her knees is damp and slowly staining her skirt.
“Did you want us to find Earth, too?” she asked, her voice high and scared, like a startled bird in flight.
“It’s not want when it’s destiny,” he said, the knife resting against her skin, its point just behind her ear.
“It’s not destiny when the terms are all out of order,” Laura said. “And I can’t lead anyone to salvation if I’m dead.”
She put her hand on his wrist, gently pulling the knife away from her throat. Leoben stared at her intensely, their eyes meeting and widening.
He put his other hand on her collarbone, sliding it down to her heart. Laura was sure it was beating fast, because despite her demeanor, Laura was terrified. Leoben believed, and believers were capable of horrible things in their belief.
“This is not the right path for any of us,” Leoben said. “I see that now. It’s outside the scope of God.”
“Nothing is outside of the gods,” Laura said, keeping her breathing as even as she could. “This, too, shall pass.”
His hand moved back around her throat. “Then what’s keeping me from snapping your neck?” Leoben asked.
Laura’s eyes met his, unafraid and bold. “The feeling in the pit of your soul that I’m the one the gods or your god have chosen for this burden,” she said, her hands atop his arm, soothing him away from her windpipe. “We share a bond, Leoben. And a purpose.”
Leoben stared at her, his head shaking fitfully, like he couldn’t believe her words.
Laura rose to her feet slowly, joints aching sorely. She walked two steps and pressed her mouth against Leoben’s, a slow, passionately asexual kiss.
“What have you done to me?” Leoben whispered as they broke apart.
“What did you to me?” Laura answered, pulling back. “Find Kara Thrace. Fulfill your part in this play.”
Leoben nodded. Laura turned to go back inside her community, and walked away without acknowledging the kinship.