Miss Roslin and Mayor-to-Be Adar
by Jennifer-Oksana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Disclaimer: Moore’s the man with the master plan.
Summary: The story of how Richard Adar seduced Laura Roslin. Or possibly how Laura Roslin seduced Richard Adar. Same difference, right?
The story always starts the same: you see a pretty girl standing in front of the opera house in Caprica City. It’s the premiere of Savronis’s latest, and the girl is standing alone and sad in a cream-colored dress that is lovely but simple. A real provincielle, your wife would call her.
A real provincial, you think, sauntering up to her and noticing that she is lovely, and not quite a girl. It’s simply that she looks young in the way she stands, disappointed and sad and defeated.
“It’s sold out,” she says to you forlornly, holding a pair of shoes in her hand. She has apparently mistaken you for a fellow opera fan. “I tried to get a half-price ticket, but no luck.”
It’s almost too easy to exploit that sort of opening. You open up your silver cigarette case and brandish the two tickets you were given by the box office weeks ago as a favor. “They’re in the orchestra section,” you say. “Is that all right, Miss…”
“Roslin,” she says. Definitely, she is lovely, though her sort of prettiness is not de mode in Caprica City society. Darkish hair with a red tint, round-faced (in the way you suppose is how you identified her to you as a nobody, that and the dress), alert eyes. “Miss Laura Roslin, and do I know you?”
Her voice is what makes you decide you genuinely must have her tonight. It’s warm and confident and more than a little sensual.
“Richard Adar,” you introduce yourself.
“Mister Mayor,” she says, looking unimpressed. “Or at least, that’s the rumor.”
“Next fall, my dear,” you reply. “And what do you do, my dear, that you’re reduced to begging for half-price tickets?”
“I teach,” she answers coolly. “And now that I think about it, I’ve got to be up early tomorrow. Enjoy the opera.”
She turns around and walks off before you can insist that you were just being charming, you weren’t trying to insult her.
Instead of chasing, you watch her go, long-legged despite being only of moderate height, her flimsy dress flapping out behind her. She’s barefoot, and that detail sticks out in your head, the running woman with her high heels carried in her hand as she disappears into a Caprican fall night.
You remember the name. Miss Laura Roslin. A schoolteacher.
You think you might have to become a little more interested in education.
Miss Laura Roslin is teaching math to eleven-year-old boys at a small boarding school outside the city. It’s a religious school, and most of the students are charity students from the worst parts of the city. This is what you find out about her before you call the headmaster of the school, a priest who is a friend of your schoolmate Naomi’s father.
Poor guy is so boggled to hear from Richard Adar that he agrees to let you come speak at the school without asking why or what you want to speak on.
When you walk into the auditorium, you expect to see her standing in the back, looking at you closely, but she’s not there.
That rattles you something fierce, because she’s got to know the whole reason you’re giving a speech about politics and civics to provincial little brats who have about as much chance of becoming Mayor of Caprica City as you do a Cylon is a chance to see her again.
But she’s not there, and even though the speech goes well, the first thing you ask the headmaster afterward is, “I’m looking for one of your teachers. Miss Roslin.”
The headmaster’s face lights up immediately, and you file that information away for later. The lady is well-liked around here.
“Of course, Laura,” he says enthusiastically. “She’s a remarkable woman. Gifted, warm — the boys all adore her. Do you know her, then?”
“I crossed her path at the opera house,” you say. “I hoped to see her here.”
“Ah, yes, Miss Roslin’s very fond of music,” the headmaster answers. “She’s trying to convince the local government to fund a choir for the boys, but they’ve stonewalled her.”
“Do you know where I might find her now?” you ask. “I think I could probably help further her cause.”
The headmaster smiles brightly and nods. “Let me help you find her. I think she agreed to run detention for us during the assembly. Thank you again for coming to our school, Mr. Adar. It inspired the boys.”
“The children are our future,” you say, following him through cold, dilapidated hallways where the clunk of dying pipes is the only music.
You are getting her out of this pit, first thing. Second thing, you are going to have your wife’s father pay to clean this pit up. Third thing, you are going to announce your official candidacy for mayor here once the first, superficial renovations are completed.
There is something about this woman that is already changing your life, and you don’t know why you think this, but you know you have to have her. No matter what it takes to woo and win her.
The headmaster knocks on a classroom door, and looking through the small window, there are about ten or fifteen little boys sitting on the ground in a circle. They look rapt, and one look at Miss Laura Roslin tells you why.
You’re not sure what story she’s telling them, but her eyes are bright, and by the gods, her smile is beautiful.
“I don’t think she heard me,” the headmaster says. “I’m so…”
“Never mind. I’ll wait,” you say, watching her from the window as her hands move and flutter for effect. The smallest boy is sitting right next to her, and you catch his eye. He looks at you curiously, and you indicate that you’d like Miss Roslin’s attention.
He smiles at you, and tugs on her skirt. She pauses, looks up, and rolls her eyes. But then she bounces to her feet lightly — once again, you note, the woman is barefoot — and bows expressively to an applauding audience, then smooths her hair and walks to the door.
“Mr. Adar,” she says, opening the door. “I’m busy. Why don’t you leave me a note in my box?”
Another thing you know already: she’s no simple provincielle to be frakked and set aside. You are going to enjoy winning her to your bed, and keeping her there as long as you can. She’s got moxie, and the headmaster smiles at her uneasily.
“Miss Roslin, Mr. Adar especially asked to speak to you,” he says. “Certainly, I can watch the children if…”
“With all due respect, sir,” Laura says, shaking her head. “I don’t have anything to say to Mr. Adar. And the boys were all enjoying the story. Weren’t you, boys?”
The boys agree boisterously, clearly in on whatever Laura’s plotted against you. Miss Roslin shrugs theatrically, smiles at you. and returns to the class of delinquents. But before the door closes, you step through it.
“Well, certainly, I wouldn’t dream of depriving these young men,” you say, sitting down on the carpet next to them. “Would it be all right if I listened with you, boys?”
Miss Roslin snorts, but she keeps telling her story, and in a minute, you’re as enthralled as they are, but probably not for the same reasons. She’s got a good speaking voice, a certain enthusiasm, but you are focused on her legs, and the way her feet tap as she tells her tale.
When she finishes, you clap along with the boys.
To your delight, she looks at you and can’t help but smile at your applause.
A first step.
You take her to an opera for your first date, though it’s not really a date. She chooses the restaurant, chooses the opera, and insists on separate vehicles before she’ll even agree to sit next to you at the opera house.
You take it in stride, because when you see her face as the overture strikes up, you can tell this is someone who can get caught up in a moment. And you want her caught up in your arms the way she is in the music.
Very, very badly.
You’re bored fast, because the plot is some kind of allegory about the exploitation of poor colonies by rich ones, how bad it is to be rich, blah blah blah. The singing is apparently wonderful — the end of the first aria earns a lusty, “brava!” from Miss Roslin.
It’s easy enough to follow her cues. That’s the politic thing to do, anyway.
Of course, nothing happens after the opera. She goes home and you go home to your wife, who mutters something about stubborn little schoolteachers and goes right back to sleep.
The second opera is better, because you choose a comedy, and she laughs along with you. Honestly, there’s something about her that is downright childlike at times, and the elderly couple sitting on her other side gets caught up in her energy.
“Who is la petite provincielle?” the wife asks you during the entr’acte while Laura’s gone off to the restroom and possibly to get a cup of coffee.
“She’s a schoolteacher,” you explain. “A true fan of this nonsense.”
“Really?” the wife says. “Where does she teach? What does Therese think of her?”
“Therese thinks I’m wasting my time,” you admit. “And perhaps I am, pursuing a charity schoolteacher who likes opera. What do you think?”
“I think,” says the husband, one of Delphi’s great industrialists, “That for once, Richard, you’ve done something clever. Don’t frak it up by mouthing the banal platitudes of our class.”
Both you and his wife are left speechless. He’s a known curmudgeon, and more than once, he’s told you during act breaks or over glasses of wine, that you are nothing but a social climbing manipulator. Slick and successful, but with no substance. You hate the man, but to hear him approve of something — even a potential mistress — is powerful.
“Really, darling, don’t be rude to Richard,” the wife says, covering up her confusion with teasing. “After all, a man’s choice of female companions is personal and irrational.”
The husband snorts just as Laura catches your eye. She is talking animatedly with two great old invert artistes, who are both as pleased with her cheerful passion as the industrialist. They point out some fresco or architectural detail of the opera house to you, and her smile is real.
And you realize that you intend to finish seducing her tonight if it kills you.
You want to see that passion on her face when it comes to you. She should look at you like that, the little provincielle who doesn’t even notice that she’s underdressed among the great names of Caprican City players.
So when she sits down and the house lights dim, you wait a moment, and then begin tracing circles on the back of her hand with your fingertip.
She doesn’t flinch, nor does she stop watching the opera, but when she laughs along with the crowd, her eyes catch yours and she smiles, blushes, and looks away.
Victory, you think, though rather sickly-sweet.
And then Miss Laura Roslin’s free hand wanders to her lips, fingertips trailing over her lips in what would be an almost entirely innocent gestures.
But then she bites down ever-so-slightly on one fingertip, and the sweetness becomes simmering, almost irresistible want on your part.
The industrialist was right. She’s worth more than you can take credit for. And you will fight to keep her, knowing that.
Victory looks like a studio apartment in a poor neighborhood with a spectacular view. Of course, the window looks out on the woods, so it’s not so bad either.
But as you survey the remnants of the evening — wineglasses sitting atop plates, clothing strewn like breadcrumbs, the opera program placed carefully atop many, many books that live in the extra closet space — it is the dreamily awake woman lying on the bed that you keep looking at.
“Which opera is this one?” you ask Laura, who is barely covered by a thin sheet, eating melon that you discovered in the refrigerator when her eyes are closed, listening to music.
“Salkana,” she says, favoring you with a dreamy smile. “She’s a naiad who falls in love with a prince she glimpses one night by the full moon. She prays to Artemis that she might follow the prince, but a witch explains to her that she must forswear Artemis and embrace Aphrodite instead. So she does, and the witch lets her become human, but voiceless, and if the prince proves faithless, both the naiad and her prince will die.”
“Let me guess — he proves faithless.”
“Of course,” Laura murmurs, turning to her side. “A foreign princess steals his love and rejects it after he betrays Salkana. Salkana is dragged back to her river to become a demon. But the prince pursues her, and when he sees her, begs him to kiss her, though her kiss is death and damnation. She does, he dies, all sacrifices are futile, and Salkana returns to her fate as a water demon.”
You don’t understand why she loves this nonsense so much. Everyone always dies in her operas, love is rejected, or the soprano dies of tuberculosis or cancer. The really lucky ones commit suicide.
“It’s all very melodramatic,” you comment. “Like the one about the mistress who’s betrayed by her rich husband.”
“Borboleta,” she replies.
“Borboleta,” you say, kneeling next to her and caressing her face. “I’ve been told a man is best judged by his lovers, you know.”
“Oh,” Laura answers, eyes fluttering shut as you lean over her and take the plate of melon off the bed. “Are you sure? Or are you trying to get me to raise my opinion of you based on your taste in women?”
“Are you really so certain of yourself, my dear?” you ask, kissing the hollow of her throat as your hands pull the sheet away, skimming down her body gracefully.
“I’m certain of you,” she answers, drawing her hand over your chest. “I’m not Borboleta, Richard. I’m not interested in having children. I know about Therese. And I don’t think you’ll ever leave her for me. Not considering who her father is.”
“Does that bother you?” you ask, your mouth against her ear.
“It gives me pause,” she confesses, hand moving to your back as her fingernails begin to rake over your spine. “But I can accept that as long as you don’t forget, either.”
“That’s good,” you say, kissing her again. “Because I’m mad about you. Absolutely enthralled.”
She laughs and arches up under your touch. “I know,” Laura says as you straddle her body and reaches out for you. “You have been since you saw me that first time at the opera house.”
It’s true, but it’s uncomfortable, as if your story of wooing and winning a little provincial schoolteacher has turned into something else. Something where your best-laid plans are now all reactions to her actions, and you have been snookered.
“Have you planned to sleep with me since then?” you ask, cupping her breasts as she smiles warmly. “Why, Miss Roslin, have you been manipulating me?”
“Did it work?” she asks, eyes flashing.
And you realize she is very appealing, is your Laura, even when she’s nakedly ambitious and shamelessly seductive. That you don’t mind it a bit, either, especially as you pull one of her legs over your shoulder and she lets you.
This is definitely the beginning of something life-shattering, you decide.
“I think it did,” you say, smiling at her.