BSG Fic: After the Rebellion [2/3]

Chapter 3

 

 

Lee couldn’t stop the yawn that stretched his jaw taut as he trudged the rest of the way from the flight deck towards quarters. He felt bone tired, none of his usual post flight buzz running in his veins. He supposed he should not have bumped Hotdog off the CAP following the ceremony, but he had thought it a good idea at the time to burn of the restlessness that had crept up on him during the post-ceremony festivities after being informed by Billy that Roslin wanted to hold a joint forum with the Commander aboard Cloud Nine in a few days and requested he look over the security arrangements. Hotdog certainly hadn’t minded the extra down time. Kat and Racetrack had looked positively gleeful upon discovering he was on CAP with them. Their looks were a bit disconcerting but he’d shrugged them off and went about his duty like always.

 

He heard laughter from the recreation room as he passed by and considered joining the triad game but decided that he needed to look over the security arrangements Billy Keikeya was certain to have sent over from Colonial One. Sure enough, sitting his bunk was a folder with the familiar seal of the President of the Twelve Colonies. Not even bothering to remove his flight suit or boots he settled on his bunk and started reading, vaguely hoping that focusing on the report would ease his mind and allow him to get the sleep that had eluded him since returning to Galactica.

 

 

***

 

 

Not surprisingly the forum on Cloud 9 never happened and all Lee’s effort was wasted. The strange thing was that he felt no irritation at this fact. Maybe it was because he hadn’t been sleeping well. His dreams were keeping him on edge in his sleep and the daily pressures as CAG stressing him more during his waking hours.

 

It wasn’t until his spectacular tongue lashing of Starbuck while on CAP and her retort that if he wanted a fight she’d give him one once they were on the deck that he realized what was bothering him. The CAP had ended rather ludicrously with the Commander ordering them to land and launch the next CAP an hour earlier than planned. Once out of his plane, he had apologized to Starbuck who had surprisingly shrugged it off with a grin and invited him to the triad table that night.

 

“If we’re not in hack,” she muttered as she spotted Commander Adama marching across the deck towards them.

 

“Frak.” Apollo muttered, pulling himself to attention and pulling off a sharp salute.

 

“Is there a problem I should be made aware of, Captain?” Adama asked without preamble.

 

Apollo shook his head negative. “I’m sorry, sir. What happened out there was entirely my responsibility.”

 

“Yes, it was. I expect better from my senior pilots” Adama stated coolly. “Now what’s going on?”

 

“Nothing, sir. I just lost my temper.” Apollo replied eyes locked unwaveringly with his father’s steady gaze. He saw the skeptical look in his father’s eyes as the older man seemed to look him over carefully before doing the same to Starbuck.

 

“You look tired, Captain.” Adama finally said with a pointed look.

 

“I haven’t been sleeping well lately, sir.” Apollo admitted after a brief pause.

 

“I see. Is this going to be a problem?”

 

“No, sir. I’ll see Doc Cottle about getting something.” Apollo replied with another shake of the head.

 

“When was the last time you took a break?” Adama asked suddenly. “And I don’t mean your last off duty shift.”

 

“I’m not sure,” Lee replied thinking for a moment. “A few hours the day before Colonial Day? Before that...”

 

Adama nodded as his suspicions had been confirmed. “I thought so. Consider yourself on a 24 hour pass. Both of you.”

 

“But, sir!” Starbuck interrupted stopping short at the glare Adama gave her.

 

“It’s that or I toss you both in hack for that stunt out there. I should probably send you there anyway. I don’t need anymore disruptions to this ship’s operations. Do you understand me?” The Commander informed them.

 

“Yes, sir. It won’t happen again, sir” Apollo replied.

 

Adama nodded. “Get some rest. The both of you. I need my senior pilots setting an example, not shouting at one another like spoilt children.”

 

“Yes, sir.” Starbuck replied looking abashed at the Commander’s rebuke as he walked out of the bay.

 

Apollo sighed and headed off towards the same exit. “I’ll see you later, Starbuck.”

 

“Where are you going?” She asked falling in step beside him.

 

“To see Cottle about getting something so I can sleep.”

 

Starbuck grinned mischievously and shook her head. “Frak that, Lee. Come on, I know just the thing.”

 

“I’m not sure I want to know what you mean by that.” Lee replied uncertainly.

 

Kara rolled her eyes at the comment. “Damn it, Lee. What the frak is your problem? If I didn’t know better I’d say you were looking to…”

 

“To what?” Lee asked.

 

“Never mind.” She quickly tried to backtrack wishing she hadn’t said a thing.

 

Lee stepped towards her, a curious expression on his face. “No. I’m itching to what?”

 

“Fight, okay? That or get laid.” Kara admitted, looking surprisingly uncomfortable. She quickly shrugged that off and addressed what was bothering her. “You’ve been frakking acting weird ever since we got back from Kobol. So what’s going on?”

 

Lee sighed softly. “Nothing. I’m just, I don’t know, wound up. I can’t relax, can’t sleep. It’s like I can’t turn my frakking brain off. I keep expecting…”

 

“Another Cylon attack or you’ll wake up in the brig with your Dad still shot and dying or your own people are trying to arrest you or kill you.” She said softly.

 

“Yeah.” He admitted, surprise on his face at her words. “How did you know?”

 

“I’m your friend.” She glanced around the bay and tugged on his arm. “Not here. Come on. I know this little out of the way bar. The liquor is one step away from paint thinner but there’s no waiting, no questions asked.”

 

 

***

 

 

“Are you certain this information is correct?”

 

“I wouldn’t be risking my life unless it was, Tom. These people don’t fool around in covering their activities.”

 

“They can’t possibly think this will work.”

 

“They don’t think, Tom. They believe. To them it is enough. And yes, they think it will work.”

 

“This is insane!”

 

“Which is why I came to you, Tom. The military would never believe me were I to go to them with this. You, you are a member of the Quorum. They have to at least listen to you.”

 

“Zeus only listens to Hera now. Neither would listen to me.”

 

“But I thought…you helped Roslin on Kobol. At the very least she has to listen to a member of the Quorum.”

 

“Only after I was left waiting for two weeks while she solved more ‘important’ issues.”

 

“The go to the Quorum itself.”

 

“And be accused of sowing dissent? No, there is another way.”

 

“How?”

 

“An old favor I can call in. Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of everything. And thank you for coming to me with this, my friend.”

 

“Just be careful, Tom. These people are fanatics. They won’t care what happens to whoever gets in their way.”

 

 

 

Chapter 4

 

 

“Hey, Zak! You here?” Lee called out as he closed the door to his small, off base apartment. Listening carefully he could hear the shower going and grinned to himself, fondly remembering his first leave and the joy he had taken in little things like taking a shower without fifty or so of his fellow crewmates. It was part of the reason he had given Zak a key to the apartment he had secured for the start of War College after his tour on the Battlestar Triton.

 

Stripping off his uniform jacket as he passed through the doorway to his bedroom he grinned at the duffel and similar uniform jacket tossed haphazardly on his bed. Shaking his head he considered hanging up his brother’s jacket but decided against it even as he did so for his own. Without thought he went into the bathroom and started to wash his hands and face as he mulled over potential plans for the evening.

 

“Hey Zak, you want to eat here tonight or hit some of the bars? “ He asked as the water turned off and he turned to dry his hand.

 

“Uh, Zak went to the store.” A feminine voice replied with some humor.

 

Lee froze at the strange voice, surprised at the bolt of arousal that shot through him at the sound of her voice. He was even surprised that he sounded rather casual when he finally got over his shock. “And you are?”

 

“Zak didn’t tell you about me, did he?” The voice replied.

 

“No, he didn’t,” Lee replied.

 

She laughed softly. “Figures. I’m Kara Thrace. Most just call me Starbuck. Oh, and you can turn around.”

 

He hesitated for a moment but then turned around at hearing her call sign realizing she was Fleet as well and likely used to communal showers.

 

“Lee Adama. Ap…” His voice trailed off as he got a good look at her, drawn to her impish smile and bright green eyes.

 

She grinned at his gaping expression, but the slight blush on her face told him she was embarrassed by his staring. “Apollo, right?”

 

“Yeah, Apollo.” Lee shook himself out of the haze of desire that had come over him. “Sorry. I wasn’t expecting anyone but Zak.”

 

She shrugged apologetically, tightening the towel around her frame as it threatened to slip. “I thought Zak told you I was coming over. I was running late and he offered me the use of the shower.”

 

Lee chuckled as he now realized what some of the cryptic remarks in Zak’s last letter had been about. “So you must be the surprise Zak mentioned in his letter. Are you one of the nuggets?”

 

Kara rolled her eyes in disgust. “Gods, no! I’m one of the flight instructors.”

 

“Flight instructor?” Lee asked in surprise and not a little disapproval.

 

“Don’t worry. I’m not Zak’s instructor,” she pointed out quickly. “I just help him out with his technique. He’s getting better.”

 

Lee looked her over dubiously, trying to ignore how attractive he found her, and concentrate on what he considered the questionability of her seeing his brother. “You two…”

 

“We’re dating. Is that a problem?” She asked challenging.

 

“You tell me. You know the regs.”

 

“I’m not…we’re not breaking the regulations.”

 

“Kara, you out of the shower?” Zak’s yell startled them both but neither broke their challenging gaze from one another.

 

“Lee?” Zak gasped in surprise. “I thought you wouldn’t be home for a while.” Zak glanced between the two, looking guilty. “Uh, Lee? Lee?”

 

“Lee?”

 

“Apollo, get the frak up!”

 

Lee bolted awake at sharp bark instantly regretting it when it felt like a Bastestar blew up inside his head. Groaning he flopped back down. “What the frak?”

 

“Come on Lee, time to get up and to the morning briefing.” Starbuck’s cheerily loud voice just added to the pounding in Lee’s head.

 

He groaned softly as he sat himself upright. “Briefing? I thought we had twenty four hours off?”

 

Kara grinned at that. “Lee, that ends in one hour. You have the daily brief to give and I’ve nuggets to harass.”

 

Lee groaned muttering something that sounded suspiciously like ‘kill me now’.

 

Kara snorted at that. “And leave me with the frakking paper work. No way. Now get moving.”

 

“Okay, okay.” Lee waved her away.

 

Kara gave him a somewhat apologetic look. “Sorry, Lee. You looked like you were having a pretty good dream there.”

 

Lee chuckled. “I was dreaming about you.”

 

“Really?” Kara asked with a saucy grin and a cocked eyebrow pleased at the light blush that came to Lee’s face.

 

“Not like that.” Lee protested. “I was just dreaming about how we met.”

 

Kara blushed even as she started laughing. “Who could forget something like that?”

 

“Not something I’m likely to forget,” Lee grinned in response.

 

Kara laughed. “I had almost forgotten what communal showers were like until you barged in that day.”

 

“It was my apartment,” Lee pointed out, pushing himself up and out of his bunk carefully, doing his best to ignore the hangover that made him want to crawl back onto his bunk and return to the oblivion of sleep.

 

“Chief’s brews got quite a kick, huh?” He heard Kara ask tiredly.

 

He nodded slowly, glancing over to her and was silently pleased to see that despite her apparent good mood she was suffering the effects of their previous night’s binge as much as he. In fact the look she had brought a flash of the previous night to him.

 

“Uh, Kara, do you remember anything of last night?”

 

“A little. Why?” Kara asked as she finished pulling on her flight suit, leaving it partially unzipped.

 

“Did we call the Astral Queen?” Lee asked.

 

Kara stopped for a moment with a puzzled expression on her face. “I don’t think so. Why?”

 

“I could have sworn I talked to Zarek last night and that he warned us about someone planning to assassinate Roslin. I think I told him he should take it up with Zeus.” He shook his head. “Never mind. It must’ve been a dream.”

 

Kara shook her head, wrinkling her nose in disgust. “Must have. I think I would have remembered anything that involved Zarek.”

 

“Attention. Pass it along: CAG report to the Commander’s Office. Captain Adama report to the Commander’s Office.”

 

“Frak,” Lee muttered.

 

Kara immediately waved him towards the showers. “Go on. I’ll cover the briefing. You go see what the Old Man wants.”

 

***

 

“Enter.” Adama called out at the short rap on his door.

 

“You wanted to see me, sir?” Lee asked as he shut the hatch behind him.

 

Adama placed the report he was reading aside and gestured towards the chair across from his desk. “Yes, have a seat. How are you feeling? You’re looking a little green this morning.”

 

Lee shrugged. “I’m fine, sir. Thank you for asking. And thank you for the time off.”

 

Adama gave Lee a strange look that made Lee realize his father likely knew exactly how he had spent his down time with Kara. He was grateful when his dad simply shrugged to himself. “You’re welcome. I hope you’re well rested as it seems we have a new crisis.”

 

“What is it, sir?”

 

This time his father gave him a puzzled look. “I thought Mr. Zarek already informed you of the situation?”

 

“Zarek? What situation?” Lee asked in confusion, his mind flashing to a brief memory of him and Kara laughing as he demanded a call be sent to the Astral Queen.

 

“Mr. Zarek contacted the Galactica this morning regarding what he believed was a threat against President Roslin. He said you suggested he call here when you spoke last night.”

 

“I did? I’m sorry sir.” Lee shook his head. “Starbuck and I had a little too much of the Chief’s brew yesterday. I don’t remember talking to Zarek.”

 

“I see.” Adama replied earning a sheepish, but unapologetic, shrug from Lee. “In any event, the President has been informed but is refusing to change her schedule in any way. As she put it: ‘I refuse to bow to the whims of terrorists’.”

 

He watched closely as a small smile came to Lee’s face and he nodded in silent agreement to the President’s reaction. “May I ask what the threat was specifically?”

 

“Now that we know the way to Earth, some think killing ‘the Leader’ will hasten our journey there.” Adama said with some disdain.

 

“The Leader will suffer a wasting disease and will not live to enter the new land.” Lee quoted.

 

“Exactly.”

 

“Great. Just frakking great.”

 

“I want you to provide extra security for the President.”

 

“I’ll get a marine…”

 

“No Captain, just you and three others.” Adama grimaced at the look Lee gave him and explained. “It’s all the extra security she would agree to.”

 

“I see.” Lee replied. “I’ll have my team picked and over to Colonial One within the hour.”

 

“Very well,” Adama replied. “There is also one more thing, Lee. "Father to son.”

 

“Sir?”

 

“How are you doing? Honestly?”

 

Lee’s eyebrows rose slightly in surprise but his expression was otherwise neutral. “Fine, sir. May I ask why you want to know?”

 

“You seem off since we came from Kobol. Kara mentioned something to me the other day. That’s why I was listening in on the CAP the other day. She said you seemed distracted, irritable, and tired.” Adama admitted.

 

“I was just tired, sir. There was a lot to do when we got back from Kobol.” Lee explained, feeling oddly pleased at his father’s attention.

 

“Yes, there was, but I think it’s more than that. I think something is bothering you. It’s okay if you don’t want to talk to me about it, Lee. But what ever it is, talk to someone.”

 

“There’s nothing bothering me, sir. Believe me. It was just stress. Everything’s fine now.” Lee assured him.

 

“All right, Captain. Go get your team together and meet the President on Cloud Nine.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

 

 

Chapter 5

 

 

 

“Good morning, Captain.” Laura Roslin smiled brightly at the young Captain, pleased that she had been correct in assuming Commander Adama would send Apollo as part of her added security.

 

“Madam President,” Apollo replied as he nodded a greeting to her aide, Billy Keikeya.

 

Noting Lieutenant Thrace, Corporal Venner, and another marine she had never seen before, Roslin shook her head. “There really is no need for the extra security, Captain. The security detail you trained is more than adequate.”

 

“The Commander disagrees. I happen to agree with him on this,” Apollo replied.

 

“Surely this is a waste of you and Lieutenant Thrace’s time? What if the Cylons were to attack?” She noted as they began the walk from her temporary suite on Cloud 9 to the conference room.

 

“Our Vipers are onboard if there is any Cylon trouble.” Lee replied neutrally. “Besides some of the junior officers need to be able to take care of standard operations when the senior pilots aren’t available. It’s a military decision.”

 

Roslin seem to consider the coldness of his last statement before simply nodding. “I see. Very well, Captain. You know what is best for your pilots.”

 

“Is there anything more you can tell us about this death threat?” Starbuck asked, giving Lee a strange look.

 

“None. That’s why I’ve agreed to this meeting with Zarek.” Roslin admitted.

 

A few moments later they entered the conference room to find Tom Zarek already seated quietly conversing with another man. With a nod, the other man as Zarek rose to his feet to greet Roslin and entourage.

 

Zarek smiled slightly, “I hope those are meant for me?” He asked nodding to the two marines that took up a stance on each side of the door.

 

“Not at all, Mr. Zarek,” Roslin assured the man. “Commander Adama felt it was necessary. I happen disagree.”

 

“Given the situation I agree with Zeus,” Zarek replied unknowingly mimicking Captain Adama’s sentiment.

 

“Any new information on the perp?” Starbuck asked.

 

“Direct. I like that.” Zarek said with an appreciative nod. “And to answer the question, nothing other than that they may try to take a shot at Roslin while she is here on Cloud 9 for the forum. Some of my friends are looking into it as we speak.”

 

“Well this has been a waste of time,” Apollo muttered. “I’ll need to see your full itinerary, Madam President and coordinate with your Chief of Security and Cloud 9’s security staff.”

 

“Here you are, Captain,” Billy handed Apollo a file. “The security team is sweeping conference room 2 as we speak.”

 

“Thank you,” Apollo replied before directing Venner and the other marine to remain with Roslin and heading for the exit.

 

“Oh, Captain, Lieutenant?” Zarek called out.

 

Apollo turned to face the man with obvious annoyance. “Yes, Mr. Zarek?”

 

“Thank you for your support in this. I doubt Commander Adama would have listened to me if not for you.” Zarek said with what appeared to be a genuine gratitude.

 

“Let’s just say I owe you one less favor.” Apollo said.

 

“Fair enough.”

 

“Captain Adama seems focused this morning,” Billy commented at the uneasy tension left in the room after the Captain’s departure.

 

“I’m sure he just wants this new crisis over with so he can get back to his regular duties.” Zarek replied.

 

“How understanding of you, Mr. Zarek.” Roslin said.

 

“Despite our differences, Madam President, I do admire Captain Adama’s devotion to his duty as a defender of this Fleet. I’ll feel much more comfortable knowing he’s doing just that rather than wasting his skills babysitting politicians.”