Underground

A Battlestar Galactica story

by dirty diana

dirtydiana78@hotmail.com

For projectgalem, who asked for Kara/Lee, after You Can't Go Home Again. Spoilers through there.


"Where do you think you're going?"

She isn't watching where she's going, and doesn't see Lee before he is right in front of her. His voice sounds thin, a little off-balance, and his mouth is tight, so that she can't tell what he's thinking. Maybe he's angry. She doesn't know why.

The world in front of her eyes is only damp shades of grey. She stops, she stares at him, then has to breathe in before she can speak.

Kara runs a hand through the blonde hair in her eyes, and scowls. "Where does it look like I'm going?"

"You're not even cleared for duty yet," he says, standing his ground and stating the obvious. Lee always stands at attention, body stiff and straight. As if he's waiting for something to happen. "You should be resting. Not staying up all night playing pyramid."

"What could be more restful than taking some money off Lieutenant Winders?" she asks him.

That gets a smile. Almost. He hides it. "I don't care. I want you back on the flight deck as soon as possible, Lieutenant, and that means you rest. Bed."

She bites her tongue. Sometimes he makes it too easy. "Is that an order?"

He has to think about it. "Sure."

"Screw you."

"Lieutenant Thrace..."

Whatever it is, she doesn't hear him. She's already moving. "I'll only play one short game," she says. "Winning shouldn't take long anyway."

When she walks off, it takes her a moment to realise that he's right behind her.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm off-duty," he says.

"Frack," she murmurs, looking away.

"Are you headed to the rejuvenation room?" he asks her, lightly. "What a coincidence. So am I."

Some days, she hates the sound of his smile. "Frack," she repeats, and then the cold door slides open underneath her hand.

"Starbuck."

All the voices in the crowded room are loud.

"Come to play?" Winders asks her.

Someone else smiles, and glances over at Lee. "You in, Captain Adama?"

"He doesn't play," Kara snaps, as she sits down.

"I don't play," Lee says, apologetically.

Kara grabs the cards, and deals a new hand.


She has a winning hand when she loses her balance.

"Frack," Kara whispers, and puts down her cards, then slides soundlessly off the chair.

"Thrace?"

"Starbuck?"

Kara's blue eyes flutter open as she regains consciousness. For a moment. Open, closed, shut.

"Move back." Lee shouts the order into the noisy room, that's nearly vibrating with curiosity as the crowd pushes in against him. He can't hear anything except Kara, breathing.

The pilots follow his command in one smooth motion. Lee reaches for Kara, tries to help her to her feet.

"I was winning," she mutters, her voice trailing off into dust as she speaks.

She's warm in his hands, something closer to burning, weak limbs and shallow breathing. She struggles briefly to stand under her own power, and then changes her mind. Lee wonders briefly about the red planet, and what kind of toxins were hiding, underneath the unfamiliar atmosphere.

"Stop talking," Lee tells her roughly, and overturns her cards. He studies them briefly, then picks up the coins on the table, shoving them into deep pockets. It's a difficult manoeuvre, supporting Kara's body with his other hand.

She lays a heavy head on his shoulder, and says something that he can't hear.

"I can call the medic," Winders suggests.

"Don't bother," Lee picks Kara up. She's lighter than he expects, and unconscious again.


"If you say 'I told you so', I'll hit you."

It's the first thing she says, eyes not yet open.

He looks down at her, her fist resting loosely on the side of the bed, pale white skin stretching over the knuckles. "I wasn't going to say anything."

"Yes, you were."

He shrugs, watching her carefully. "Bet you're glad I was there."

"I was winning," is her only answer.


"I heard about it, you know."

Her voice catches him when he's almost at the door of the infirmary, raising a hand to shut off the lights and leave her in sleepy darkness. She's looking at him with bright eyes. "Heard about what?"

"You." Breath, hard and shallow. "Commander Adama. How you didn't want to stop looking for me."

His hand lingers on the light switch. "You heard that?"

"Yeah." She breathes. Coughs. "Pretty dumb, using up half the fuel."

"Yeah?" He asks her. "We could have left you behind, and you could have spent the rest of your...days. Piloting a death glider."

"It handled pretty well," she answer, and shrugs. Then coughs again. "But you would have missed me."

"Maybe," Lee says.

Kara closes her eyes. He turns out the lights.

~fin.

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