Dasha (dashakay) wrote in secretprobation,
Dasha
dashakay
secretprobation

Infinite

FANDOM: Battlestar Galactica
SUMMARY: After all, she'll never see him again.
RATING: R
PAIRING: Adama/Roslin
SPOILERS: Miniseries through Act of Contrition, although there may be some vague (but non-spoilery) allusions to later episodes.
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me and no copyright infringement is intended on my part.
WORD COUNT: 4,700
NOTE: I have paraphrased Adama's decommissioning ceremony speech a little for length and have taken a bit of artistic license by setting Zak Adama's burial place in Delphi. Also, much of this is AU. Or is it?
THANKS: To leiascully for amazing beta reading and reassuring my fretful self and to tjonesy for the most thorough and helpful research ever. And extra special thanks to icedteainthebag, because I got to sit next to her at my favorite café while I wrote part 3 and she wrote Scully and Sheriff Hartwell getting it on in the back of a Chevy Blazer. Life is awesome when you can write smut with a good friend.


1.

Billy dozes in the seat next to her. Even in sleep, he's pink-cheeked and eager.

Such a long, long day. She stretches her arms, rolls her neck to get the kinks out.

"Ladies and Gentleman, we are now beginning our final approach to Caprica. We should be on the ground in ten minutes, where the weather this evening is clear and cool. Please fasten your safety belts. We thank you for flying with us on such a historic day."

There is no monster dwelling in her breast. She remembers her doctor's words, "I'm glad you came in so early, Laura, given your family history. The biopsy was negative. The mass is only a cyst." She remembers her breath coming out in one long whoosh. She'd been holding it for days, waking at night in a cold sweat, convinced she'd die just like her mother, wasted from the pain, screaming for morpha.

She'd called David just outside of the doctor's office. "It's negative," she said, still breathless.

"Thank gods," he'd said. "I've been praying all morning."

Billy stirs, rubbing his eyes. "Are we there yet?" he asks.

The landing is smooth, the flight on time. She'll have to rush across town to Marianne's pyramid game but she'll be damned if she misses it. It's the district high school championship and she promised Marianne that, no matter what, she'd make the game, even if she had to fly the shuttle home herself.

She strides through the airport, her heels clicking on the tiles. There's a million things rushing through her head—the pyramid game, Kate's dentist appointment in the morning, planning a birthday party for David, the narrowly averted teachers' strike, all the meetings coming up in the next two days.

But one thing keeps echoing through her mind, above the babble and chaos, Commander Adama's words at the Galactica's decommissioning ceremony.

"Why are we as a people worth saving? We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play god, create life. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore."

A shiver runs down her spine. Something deep inside her feels lost and frightened, like a child sitting alone in a dark room.

Sooner or later.

After the ceremony, she said farewell to Commander Adama. "A most unusual, but thought-provoking speech," she said. "Thank you."

He'd peered at her through his glasses. "I appreciate your applause, Secretary Roslin. If it wasn't for you, I'm not sure there would have been any."

"I am grateful for your outstanding service to the Colonies," she said and shook his hand. His hand was large and strong, callused.

His face was strangely familiar, as if she'd seen it in a dream.

Sooner or later.

She pictures Commander Adama's weather-beaten face, eyes stern. "Sooner or later the day comes when you can't hide…"

She shivers again. Her grandmother would have said that somebody has walked on her grave.

In the parking ramp, she gets in her car, starts it and turns up the stereo as loud as it will go, some horrible pop station that Kate left on the wireless this morning. All the better to drown out her thoughts, Adama's speech. Clearly, her cancer scare has left her a bit morbid.

Why can't she get his words out of her head? His face? The gravel road of his voice?

After all, she'll never see him again.



2.

She's absolutely, positively bored out of her mind. The President has strong-armed the entire Cabinet into attending this Armistice Day commemoration at the Caprica Towers Hotel ballroom. Her eyes are crossing after the tedium of the speeches and patriotic songs played by a Marine brass band. Not to mention the fact that she's breaking in a new pair of heels and her toes are pinching.

Standing against the back wall, she shifts her weight from foot to foot, mentally taking a vacation to the Grand Ridge Mountains, where she sits on the edge of a cliff, gazing at an endless ribbon of blue sky. "Our lasting peace with the Cylons demonstrates that…" blathers someone at the podium.

"It's unpatriotic to look so bored on Armistice Day," she hears a low, rumbling voice say to her left, sotto voce. She realizes that the voice is speaking to her.

"Who said I'm bored?" she says, bristling a bit, even though the expression on the man's face is clearly one of amusement. She folds her hands over her chest.

"Well, I'm bored and I served in the war," he says. He's an officer—dress uniform, spit-shined shoes, glasses, brown hair laced with gray, astoundingly craggy face. Perhaps a decade older than she is. "I was there. I don't need to spend two hours listening to speeches about it."

"Maybe we need to work on looking attentive and interested at mandatory patriotic events," she says. "Or convince the president to have an open bar next year."

The officer looks at her intently, shakes his head as if in confusion. "I'm sorry, but have we met before?"

She smiles. "That's an old line." She's heard all of them at one time or another.

He holds out his hand to her. "Commander Bill Adama."

She shakes his hand. He has a strong grip. "Laura Roslin, Secretary of Education."

"Hmm…don't know any members of the Cabinet." He shakes his head again.

"And I don't know many officers."

From the corner of her eye, she notices President Adar motioning to her, asking her to join his group. The speeches seem to be over. She hadn't even noticed.

Adar crooks his finger and she comes running. She's been running for almost seven years.

"Duty calls," she says to Commander Adama.

He nods his head. "We all serve at the pleasure of our President."

"Good luck, Commander. Thank you for all you to do to preserve the safety of the Colonies."


Later that night, she's sitting in her living room, heels kicked off. She flexes her toes to get some feeling back in them. It was a long day and tomorrow will be even longer. She should be off to bed, but instead she sips a glass of wine, one of her cats purring beside her.

Her mind keeps replaying the brief conversation with the officer at the reception. She has no idea why she can't get it out of her head. It was a banal, two-minute conversation at a large event. She has dozens of these conversations every day. But something is nagging her in the back of her head, something she can't quite place, like the lyrics to a song, memorized years ago.

She finishes her wine. It's time to stop thinking about this and go to bed.

After all, she'll never see him again.




3.

She's not doing this. She doesn't do this kind of thing. Laura Roslin does not pick up men in hotel bars and bring them back to her room to frak them. She doesn't have one-night stands. She has long drawn-out affairs with men who are unavailable for one reason or another. Not this.

Yet, here she is, sprawled out on the hotel room mattress, skirt pushed up over her hips, glasses and blouse still on, the location of her hose and panties currently unknown. Some man named Bill, Fleet officer in full dress uniform, is between her legs, his tongue making determined circles around her clitoris. Her fingers grip the headboard. Oh, he's good at this, so very, very good.




She remembers sitting alone at the bar, her day's meetings over, nursing a brandy because she couldn't stand returning to the beige and gold blandness of her room. After her eyes adjusted to the dimness of the bar, she noticed a man sitting at a table in the corner, deep in conversation with a much younger blonde woman, also in dress uniform. His daughter? No, she was too fair to be related to him. Girlfriend?

Their heads were close together in intimate conversation. Laura surreptitiously watched them from her perch at the bar, wondering what the story was. The man held the blonde's hand, whispering something in her ear. The blonde nodded as he spoke, her jaw clenched. Occasionally she wiped away a stray tear.

She watched the blonde girl walk out of the bar, her hand clasped to her mouth. Laura turned away, embarrassed to witness something so personal, so none of her business.




Bill isn't even her type, a far cry from the long, lean greyhound of a man she normally prefers. He's not very tall and slightly paunchy, although his arms are thickly corded with muscle under her hands. But he certainly knows what he's doing and he does it with considerable gusto, thick fingers pushing their way inside her, sliding in and out in concert with his tongue. She bites her lip, tasting the sharp iron of blood.

Her breath catches in her throat. She's coming, oh gods, she can't possibly be. It's always been difficult for her, always taken time and skill and practice with a new lover. But she is, the pleasure almost crushing her. Her fingers grip the headboard so hard her knuckles ache, her voice comes out in a guttural moan that embarrasses her, to sound like that for a stranger with his face buried in her.




She remembers Bill sitting down next to her at the bar after the blonde left. His eyes were sad and for some reason she felt like cheering him up. Whatever had happened, it wasn't pretty.

"You look like a man who could use a drink," she said, surprised at the sound of her own voice, surprised she could be so bold.

He'd smiled. "You have no idea."

She liked the sound of his voice, hoarse and deep, but still gentle at the same time.

She caught the eye of the bartender. "Another for me," she said, "and one of whatever the gentleman is drinking."

The bartender nodded and set to pouring their drinks.

"Glad you're here with me," the officer said. "I've been trying to get his attention for the last fifteen minutes."

"It helps to wear a skirt," she said.

His eyes traveled her legs from ankles to thighs. He seemed to like what he saw.

The bartender brought their drinks. She lifted her brandy snifter to him. "To wearing a skirt," she said.

"So say we all," he said.

They talked about everything under the sun; everything except the blonde woman.

She remembers how they rode the elevator up, three drinks later. Between the third and fourth floors, she grabbed him by the lapels of his uniform and kissed him.

She never makes the first move. She has no idea what possessed her to kiss him, but he kissed her right back.




Bill unbuttons her blouse and unhooks her bra. "Hello," he whispers in her ear, his voice like sandpaper.

"Hello yourself," she says. She can feel her face turning pink. She doesn't even know his last name. But maybe she doesn't care.

She pulls off his trousers and his shorts. He kicks them to the floor, swearing under his breath. She tastes the salt of his skin, touching him everywhere. His body is solid, strong. He's real and he's warm and he's breathing.

She hasn't had sex with another person in one year and eight months.

She's greedy for it, to feel him alive and pulsing inside her. She straddles his prone body and guides him inside her with slightly shaking fingers. He exhales, almost a sigh.

"Laura," he says, looking up at her.

Something deep within her shivers. Gods, somehow he knows her. This man, whom she just met an hour ago, he's looking at her and he sees everything.

He kisses her—her mouth, her cheek, her neck down to her breasts.

She's always been guilty of being not quite present during sex, getting lost in her own head, not quite being able to turn off street noises and problems at work. More than one man has noticed this in the past, has complained, has been turned off by it.

But here in this anonymous hotel room with its ugly floral drapes and the lights of Delphi twinkling outside the window, she feels each second ticking by and she lives fully in each one. She feels Bill's hands gripping her hips, guiding her rhythm. She hears his rough breathing. The muscles of his shoulders flex under her fingers.

His hands still her for a moment and she rests. "Who are you?" he asks. His eyes look astonished. His hands rise to cup her breasts, fingers circling her nipples.

And she throws back her head and laughs because everything about this night is gorgeously surreal.

She feels alive for the first time in a long time, frakking this stranger, feeling his heartbeat with the palm of her hand, her sweat mingling with his. She rides him hard, grinding herself against his body. Something inside her has been freed at last.

She's going to come again. Impossible—her body doesn't behave like this, but yes, she's turning inside out, waves of pleasure coursing through her body as he drives his cock home inside her, again and again.



Quiet now, curled together in a sticky tangle under the sheets. This is the part where he should rise and mutter something about having to get up early in the morning, but he stays, breathing with her.

She feels she needs to explain herself. "I don't usually do this sort of thing. I don't even know your last name."

He chuckles. "It's Adama."

"Hmm...I like that. Tauron, is it?"

"My grandfather changed it to Adams when our family emigrated to Caprica. He wanted to fit in. My father rebelled and changed it back."

He kisses her between her shoulder blades and she shivers.

"I don't do this sort of thing, either," he says after a moment. "I just wanted you to know that."

"What about the blonde?" she says.

"In the bar? You mean Kara?" His voice is amused, to say the least.

"There's a story there, I'm sure," she says.

He laughs again, but there's an edge to it. "Gods, you think Kara and I? Oh, no. She's like a daughter to me. Almost was my daughter-in-law." Something melancholy creeps into his voice.

She turns to face him, runs her fingers down the rough skin of his face. "Almost?"

"She was engaged to my son. Zak was a pilot. He was killed in a training accident a year ago. That's why we're both here in Delphi, for the one-year commemoration ceremony."

"I'm so sorry," she whispers. She feels horrible for bringing up the blonde.

"Yeah, I am too." He closes his eyes. "A father should never have to bury his son."

She kisses him, long and slow. She hardly knows this man, but she wants him to forget, if only for the rest of the night.




She wakes with a start, sure she's late for her morning meeting. But the sun has barely risen outside the window. The other side of the bed is mussed, but empty.

She'd almost believe she made the whole thing up but there's a note on the bedside table, scrawled on a piece of hotel stationery.

Laura,

Sorry to leave without waking you, but I had an early morning date with a Raptor.

Thank you for everything.

Bill

P.S. If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by.


There's an address written below. Bill Adama, Battlestar Galactica, care of Picon Fleet Headquarters.

She smiles, staring at the note. After a minute she crumples the note in her hand, tosses it in the wastebasket.

A one-night stand, that's all that it was. One lovely night, but there's no use dwelling on it.

After all, she'll never see him again.




4.

It's a gorgeous midsummer night. She's at a party at Susan and Lane's lake house. A few dozen people mingling on the deck, the air heady with the scent of grilling chicken and steak, the wine freely flowing.

She's not really feeling the party spirit. She doesn't seem to have the stomach for scandalous political gossip tonight, for endlessly chewing over morsels of information about who is climbing the ladder and who is tumbling back down. Many of these people have been her dear friends for years and years, but tonight she's just not in the mood.

Around midnight, she walks down the wooden steps to the dock with a bottle of red wine and a glass. She settles herself at the edge of the dock, her toes dipping into the cool water. The sky is spread with an elaborate tapestry of stars.

Lately, she's been on edge, as if she's been drinking too much coffee. Jumpy, abrupt, impatient. Always feeling like she's running late, even though she's not. Like she's missed an important meeting, although she hasn't. Waking in the middle of the night, gasping for air as if she's had a nightmare, although she can't remember any in particular.

It's so quiet down at the dock. She can faintly hear laughter coming from the house, but mostly she hears the gentle lapping of waves on the rocky shore and the chirping of crickets. She remembers a camping trip with her family, her father explaining why crickets chirped. "Only male crickets chirp," he'd said, throwing another log on the campfire. "They make that sound by raising their left forewing to a forty-five degree angle and rubbing it against the upper hind edge of their right forewing. They do it to attract females and warn away other males." Her father knew everything.

When her mother was dying, at one point she said to Laura, "I hope you enjoy everything."

That's the question, isn't it?

She splashes water with her foot. Recently she's been almost shocked by the depth and breadth of her own ambition. She began her working life wanting nothing more than to be a teacher, to reach young minds and instill in them the love of learning. Politics crept into her life slowly but surely, with union organizing and Adar's mayoral campaign. One day she woke up and she was the Secretary of Education, with a big office and a staff and a budget of billions. And yet, she often craves more. She daydreams about the presidency, of making the big decisions, of being the one in charge—how she'd do it different, better.

But perhaps that isn't the answer. Perhaps the answer is to walk away from it all. Teach school in a rural district. Buy a little house, hidden in the woods. Learn to knit. Go to the library once a week and load up on books. Get a dog and take it for long walks. Drop out of the madness and live simply. Enjoy everything, just as her mother told her.

She startles at the sound of the steps creaking. Someone is coming.

In the dark, she can make out that it's one of the guests she doesn't know, some childhood friend of Lane's, a Fleet officer, recently retired from active duty. She can't remember his name. Thick mustache, pocked and scarred face, lively eyes.

He stops in his tracks, surprised to see her on the dock, almost spilling his wine. "I'm sorry. I didn't think anyone would be down here."

"Are you hiding from the party, too?"

"Always. But if I'm disturbing you…"

"It's fine," she interrupts. "I can handle one other person right now, just not twenty-five." She pats the dock. "Have a seat."

In truth, she'd much rather be alone. But if nothing else, she's polite.

He raises his glass in a toast. "To being antisocial."

She toasts him back and takes a sip of the wine, her mouth filling with the taste of berries and oak.

"It's so quiet out here. Reminds me of space."

"Mmm," she says, "that must be nice. All that silence."

He chuckles. "Then again, life on a battlestar is anything but quiet. They're tin cans full of soldiers, all of them shouting orders. I have to be the loudest."

"It sounds a little like politics." She raises her eyebrows.

"Is that what you do?"

She shrugs. "It's what I do these days. I was a teacher for years, now I'm Secretary of Education."

"Impressive."

"I'm glad someone's impressed with me," she says with a laugh.

Somewhere out on the lake, a loon calls for its mate. She leans back on her elbows and looks up at the night sky.

"Does it make you happy?" he asks.

"Does what make me happy?"

"What you do."

She considers this for a second. "I don't know. I was just thinking about how nice it would be to chuck it all and move to the country. Sit outside every night and watch a sky like this. I can't even really see the stars in Caprica City."

"I think everyone has that fantasy from time to time."

"Have you?" she asks.

"Of course. But I could see the stars when I was on Galactica, my ship."

"Do you miss it?"

"Let's put it this way: I'm having to adjust to solid ground and fresh air. To being a desk jockey in my sunset years, put out to pasture."

"It must be nice to spend time with your family again." She knows she's fishing for information, but she just doesn't care. She fills both of their wineglasses.

"My sons are both pilots in the Fleet. As for my wife…" His gravelly voice trails off. "Let's just say it's been an adjustment so far and leave it at that."

Of course he's married, and unhappily so. They all are, aren't they?

So many of us alone in the universe, trying to make contact and mostly failing, she thinks. Her days are bustling with meetings and hearings but when she returns home late at night, her house is silent and empty. She fraks Richard behind locked office doors just to remind herself that she's a woman, that she's alive. She goes to parties and then sneaks off by herself to have the space to think.

Her eyes return to the sky and the stars. "I assume you have a working knowledge of astronomy."

"Of course."

"Tell me about the constellations. Show them to me," she says. She drains her glass and sets it down on the dock.

He points to the east. "Do you see the line of six stars there? That's the curve of Artemis' Bow."

She squints, trying to make it out. "Right there?"

"Yes," he says.

She can see it. She smiles. "Show me more," she says. She lies back on the deck and so does he. Their heads are nearly touching as they both gaze at the stars.

She still doesn't know his name and at this point, she's almost embarrassed to ask. And it's strange how comfortable this feels, as if their friendship is old and burnished smooth by time. The rhythm of his breathing is soothing, the cadence of his voice, familiar and restful. She could fall asleep here and not wake until morning light.




She opens her eyes and she's on the couch in Susan and Lane's living room, her head throbbing with last night's wine. She vaguely remembers stumbling up the stairs to the house on the officer's arm, collapsing on the couch from alcohol and exhaustion.

Her forehead wrinkles as she tries to remember if she ever got his name. For the life of her, she can't remember it, no matter how hard she tries.

She remembers how he showed her the stars, named the constellations.

She remembers falling asleep to the rumble of his voice.

She sits up and shakes her head to clear it. She needs to get back home; there are a million things to do before Monday. No time to moon over stargazing with some married man.

After all, she'll never see him again.



5.

Billy dozes in the seat next to her. Even in sleep, he's pink-cheeked and eager.

Such a long, long day. She stretches her arms, rolls her neck to get the kinks out.

There is a monster living in her breast. It is spreading its tendrils out to the rest of her body, ready to devour her from the inside. She will die just like her mother, wasted from the pain, screaming for morpha.

She will die alone. She won't even have a daughter by her side, faithfully wiping her brow, reading aloud to her and fetching her bedpan in the middle of the night. She will die by herself in some government hospice, with only cheerfully anonymous nurses to comfort her.

She bolts out of her seat to the shuttle's bathroom, slamming the door behind her. She just barely makes it in time, retching up her morning coffee and doughnut into the toilet bowl.

Right now, she can't even think about Adar and his threats. How something that was once seemed beautiful has tarnished beyond recognition.

She's dying.

She rinses out her mouth and wipes it, thinking of something Commander Adama said in his speech at the ceremony.

"Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore."

She wonders what she's done to deserve all this. She's never been terribly religious, not like her mother was, but she wonders what she's done to anger the gods. Was it not being attentive enough to her mother, occasionally getting impatient with her mother's illness? Was it getting herself entangled with a married man with children? Retribution for the sins of a past life?

Whatever it was, it must have been terrible.

A shiver runs down her spine. Something deep inside her feels lost and frightened, like a child sitting alone in a dark room.

After the ceremony, she'd said farewell to Commander Adama. "A most unusual, but thought-provoking speech," she said. "Thank you."

He'd peered at her through his glasses. "I appreciate your applause, Secretary Roslin. If it wasn't for you, I'm not sure there would have been any."

"I am grateful for your outstanding service to the Colonies," she said and shook his hand. His hand was large and strong, callused.

His face was strangely familiar, as if she'd seen it in a dream.

She straightens out her suit, brushing away invisible dust and lint. She has to go out there again. She has to smile and perform the role of calm, cool, collected Secretary Roslin.

She shivers again. Her grandmother would have said that somebody had walked on her grave.

Out in the main cabin, a group of passengers are gathered around the pilot.

"Once again, we are processing the information that we have been given, and I urge you all to try to stay calm. As we get more information, I will pass it along to you. We appreciate your patience," says the pilot.

"What's going on?" she asks Billy.

He blinks at her. "I'm not sure."

Down in her very bones, she feels something dark and huge rising. Whatever it is, it will be devastating.

Commander Adama's voice echoes in her head. "Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore."

She doesn't know why she can't stop thinking about this. Why she can't get his words out of her head, his voice, his eyes.

After all, she'll never see him again.
Tags: pairing: adama/roslin, year: 2009
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