DISCLAIMER: "Battlestar Galactica," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Ron Moore, David Eick, SciFi, R&D TV, Sky TV, and USA Cable Entertainment LLC. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
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SPOILERS: Season One.
The Cafe on Adon Street
Someone fraks with Cloud Nine's environmental controls and she tells the captain that the weather isn't satisfactory, not for the day when the Lords of Kobol gathered under a Colonial sun to celebrate the dawning of civilizations. The colors of celebration are garish in the midst of web-gray light projectors.
The new reform laws will serve everyone, Zarek tells her, with a glint in his eye. There is a catch, it says, there always is and Zarek tips his champagne flute in her honor.
The music stops at midnight, when she reads Billy's report: one little girl in a three-foot coffin, accidentally gunned down during the crossfire. She does not think of all the others, the legions of workers and their little girls.
She wishes she hallucinated the week before.
Billy has left when she breaks down on her couch, shaking her fists at the gods.
She can't distinguish if it's the cancer or the dull ache of bad news that wakes her up again and again and again
Mondays are especially hard on her; the numbers on the white board behind her desk are as temporary as the water-based marker. With breakfast rolls and stale coffee, the statistics roll in; subtraction is sure to keep her awake.
She tells Billy enough to make a cynic of him. The price to pay for freedom. The lives for the good of the many. Imperfect systems with imperfect men.
The bright lights of Colonial One dim in mimicry of twilight and she stares at the multiplication of stars.
It doesn't surprise her that Billy is just as cheerful the next day.
Cottle's voice taps on her hourglass. Impatient. Grainy. She is tempted to smother his voice. She stops the urge to choke in the smog he carries around.
Insistence. She will continue with the Chamalla treatment and damn her if she doesn't try. Kara Thrace is sleeping at the other end of the room with a busted shoulder; the President is careful to keep her voice down.
Already, the casualties are sharpening Cottle's edges and her own. He forces a presidential 'yes' to his demands for another appointment tomorrow.
Wednesday. The day of lovers. She thinks she is removed from thoughts of twined bodies and lip-lock; she lies at Cottle's sickbay with nostalgia on her back and an ache farther south than her breasts.
Richard and she. She and Richard. What she would have given to have those days back.
"Madame President?" The voice behind the divider is familiar.
"You've been here twice."
"You aren't in very good shape yourself."
Thrace grunts. "I'll live."
"So will I."
"You don't sound too sure." Kara pauses, as though biting her lips or mouthing 'whoops' at her own indiscretion. "Sorry, that was out of line."
"No, not at all. I appreciate your candidness."
"Well. That's all you can count on me for."
"I doubt that. And don't let me keep you."
Kara laughs and slides the divider out of the way. "I don't mind if you did."
They talk all the way 'til Thursday and Kara mentions an absent father and cousins that ran around her legs with joy overflowing into midday snacks and games down the streets of old Caprica. Candy on the side-roads and old ladies who hawked sticky threads of melted sugar, and Kara's leather-worn wallet that generated squeals and pints of laughter.
Laura listens and is surprised.
She is too busy to notice that the clock blinks '6 AM'; they have stepped into the café on Adon Street and Kara is sharing the roasted beans with her. Flavors burst with the earth of Caprican hills. Spice and liquid drip through the café's brewers.
They part when the patients stir, the plaid tablecloths of Café Adon burdened with two empty mugs and indentations on café chairs.
"What day is it?"
"Friday." His voice is scratchy. He has slept on his tie and his suit screams for a wash and an iron.
She glances at her watch. "Oh fr "
"You're due for another appointment."
"Cottle's driving me insane."
"He would, too, if he was my doctor." Billy looks thoughtful in spite of sleepy eyes and rolling, blue irises. "In fact, I don't know if he is a doctor."
She knows all too well that he is, especially when Colonial One is escorted by Viper Wing down the prow of the Galactica. Cottle knows when to let go and when not to, enjoys Kara's bottomless stash of cigarettes as reward.
Viper Wing Leader salutes her when she disembarks. Kara Thrace is formal but her smile is not. She follows the President to the CIC.
"Always glad to have you onboard, Madame President. It's good to know that there are people like you who make decisions for the Fleet."
"Thank you, Lieutenant." It takes effort for Laura to be gallant. Little girls in three-foot coffins "You wouldn't mind another visit to Adon Street?"
"No Ma'am, not at all."
Duties hold Laura up until after the first hours of night-shift. Again at midnight she is at sickbay, this time alone. Or so she thinks.
Kara draws the fabric aside and without permission, sits by her. They are silent as Laura steeples her fingers and blows anxieties into her hands. Laura's face contorts but only for a moment.
"It must be serious," Kara says.
"Nothing coffee can't cure."
"You can't lie to the best liar in the Fleet. Coffee can't cure you."
"Then I don't know what will." Kara crosses her arms on her chest and leans back onto the wall facing the bed.
"That serious, huh?"
"Like I said, nothing that coffee can't cure."
Café Adon isn't too far away and Kara offers her the same seat outside, with the breath-taking view of the Caprican hillside. Tomorrow is Sunday, there will be no rest for the weary, and maybe Billy will have better news. But today today, little girls run around Kara's legs and draw joy from edge-crumpled bills in her wallet, and eat candy from lady-sellers down the street.
Coffee is served.
Laura sips from her cup; she watches the sun rise over the Caprican hills with laughter and Kara beside her.
There will be time for tomorrow but today .ah, today Time is on her side.
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