DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica is the property of Glen A. Larson, Sci-Fi Channel, R & D TV, Sky and NBC Universal.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Into This Breathing World
"Madame President!" Kara hobbled as quickly as she could down the Galactica corridor. Roslin had been striding toward a shuttle airlock. She now slowed her pace, but did not stop, so Kara fell into step beside her and said, "I have the patrol reports, since Lee--Captain Adama--has been scouting the next sector." Kara wasn't cleared for flight yet, even though she had argued that a little soreness had nothing to do with piloting.
"Thank you, Lieutenant." When Roslin stopped to take the offered papers, she looked squarely at Kara. Kara thought of asking whether not she had something stuck in her teeth, but the moment passed and Roslin turned around. She nodded to a guard who was activating the hydraulics to open the airlock.
Kara put her hand on Roslin's arm to stop her. "What is it?" Her voice felt scratchy and breathless. She'd been hopping through the corridors in order to catch the president before she boarded the shuttle, and was aware, now that they were stopped, of sweat cooling on her arms and a burning sensation in her lungs. Roslin studied her again, and Kara felt a flush of anger and tried to stand straighter, gingerly putting more weight on her bad leg.
Roslin cleared her throat. "Lieutenant. Are you very close with Captain Adama?"
Everyone knew about the president's designs on Lee. No one knew much about Kara's own relationship with him. That's the way it should be. But here was the president asking, and with such non-offensiveness that Kara swallowed, feeling saliva trickle down her burning throat. She said, "Yes, Madame President. I suppose I am."
Roslin nodded. She stepped through the airlock and thanked the guard by name. Kara followed her and asked, "Why?" She knew Roslin probably wouldn't answer her, but no one gave Kara Thrace funny looks without explaining themselves. And no one ever asked personal questions. Kara flinched as Roslin paused at the entrance of her shuttle, and rephrased, "I mean, why, Madame President."
Roslin smiled. She waved Kara into the shuttle and led her to the presidential offices. The room really just a converted section of first class seats, but it was private. Kara stood again at haphazard attention. Her knee ached.
Settling against the desk, Roslin said, "I like Lee. I trust him. He may be the only person in..." She glanceed behind her at the population figure written on the whiteboard, but didn't say it out loud, "...That I trust. He's a good man, Lieutenant. He's the bridge between so many things. I believe he'll be a savior of humanity."
Kara listened and waited. Roslin folded her arms in her lap and continued. "He doesn't trust me. Or his father. Not that he should, really..." She sighed. "He trusts you."
Roslin tilted her head, and looked at Kara at a skewed angle. "I want to know why."
"And then there's the Commander. We spent half the fleet's fuel chasing you down."
Kara grinned. "Should have just waited for me to show up. I had it under control."
"Yes, of course. I think we all learned that lesson," Roslin said.
"So, you don't think I'm worth it?" Kara folded her arms over her chest, stiffening her posture. Was it her fault the fleet burned its gas? Would it be docked from her paycheck?
Roslin dampened her lips before saying, "I think you're worth it. I'd like to know if you're worth it."
Kara glanced at the closed door, picturing the guard behind it. She looked back at Roslin. "You know, Madame President...I used to think I knew Lee better than anyone on the ship. But you see an entirely different person." She took a step closer. "So I do want to know what you see in me. Is it as warped?"
Roslin leaned her head back. "What do you have to show me, Lieutenant?"
Kara knew when someone was coming onto her. She could smell it on Roslin. But Roslin was the president, the president asking about Lee. She put her hands on Roslin's shoulders, idlely caressing the joints with her hands, and wanted to ask what she'd owe Roslin for this. But Roslin didn't offer any explanation, so Kara just let her fingers trace Roslin's curves.
Who didn't have a hard on for Roslin? It was a barracks joke. Kara had thought before about how Roslin's skin might feel under her fingertips. Now she knew for certain: Roslin was soft, like broken-in leather, warm and worn thin against her hand.
Kara leaned forward, so her breath brushed Roslin's forehead, parting her hair. Roslin's lips parted, as if she were going to say something, but merely closed her eyes and held herself still. Kara pressed her mouth to Roslin's forehead. She inhaled through her nose to keep her lips sealed to flesh. Roslin's arms encircled her waist. Kara felt herself being drawn closer; hugged. She hadn't imagined such gentleness and didn't quite want it.
Roslin didn't seem to either. She pushed her mouth into Kara's throat and moaned. Her grip on Kara became tightly painful, and Kara squirmed in her grasp. She drew her lips from Roslin's forehead. "What are you--"
"I wanted to feel how strong you are," Roslin murmured against her neck. Kara closed her eyes. Nothing she hadn't heard before. Roslin's hands were now at her lower back to pull her shirt out of her pants. Kara arched. Roslin's hands felt cool on her. Kara's spine tingled under darting, exploring fingers. In retaliation, she cupped Roslin's breasts, squeezing them through Roslin's blouse. Roslin moaned and stood up for leverage, to tug her closer.
Why Roslin bothered to wear a suit, and style her hair, and polish her nails when there was a war on and there were only--Kara looked at the whiteboard over Roslin's shoulder--that many people left in the universe, Kara didn't quite understand. Lee had tried weakly to explain it to her, some babbling about culture and rebuilding civilization. Kara had just stroked the gun turret on her Viper to say, "That's what preserves civilization." Lee had conceded.
Now, Kara freed herself enough to move down Roslin's sides. The president felt thin under her hands. Skeletal. Roslin had always seemed to be immortal on the vids. Maybe, Kara thought, video really did add pounds. Roslin had seemed to her larger than life, not this frail woman. She tried to recall all the rumors that surrounded Roslin. Poison. Cancer. Decay. Now she had the truth in her hands. She could crush Roslin to death and get away with it, because they were alone, because the door was locked. Kara realized that the president was trusting her with her life. Kara's fingers trembled as they worked the button and the zipper of Roslin's skirt and slid the fabric down.
Roslin put her hands on Kara's shoulders. She didn't push, but she squeezed and dug her nails into the muscles. "Lords of Kobol, you're so very strong."
The words made Kara hesitate in rending Roslin's skirt. She thought, of course that's what the president would want from her. From any soldier. But she couldn't deny that Roslin's hands on her felt good. Kara got to her knees and gazed at the silk before her. Maybe the president took the same thing from Lee. Took his goodness. Took her strength. Kara felt a stab of jealousy and pushed her face into the silk covering Roslin's crotch. Maybe he didn't have this.
Roslin was stroking her shoulders and the back of her neck. Kara drew down Roslin's panties, right there in the presidential office. She pressed her cheek against Roslin's thigh. She inhaled Roslin's musky, slightly perfumed scent. She was content to see the wetness clinging to dark curls, much darker than the hair on Roslin's head, until Roslin, seeming to remember that neither one of them wanted gentleness, tightened her fingers in Kara's hair and yanked her closer.
Kara stretched out her tongue to taste Roslin. She licked her demandingly, using her hands to push apart Roslin's legs and push her back against the desk, and then to hold apart lips. Roslin's moans made her ears pound. She lapped at Roslin's clit, increasing the pressure when Roslin pulled her hair, and then slipped her tongue inside Roslin, twisting and stroking. Only when Roslin called her by her given name, a soft, crooning "Kara," did Kara realize she was frakking the president.
Oh, she knew her way around a woman, and Roslin wasn't unique in that sense. The same tricks worked as they had before, and Roslin's hand in her hair felt almost the same as any other, but damn. The frakking president, vulnerable in front of her, calling her name. Kara's shoulders shook. She buried herself in Roslin.
"Harder," Roslin said. She let the command stand and the rest became moans and gasps and one keening cry as Kara used her tongue, and then her whole mouth. Roslin's hips jerked. Kara nearly stumbled onto the floor.
Roslin's hand on her head balanced her. Kara threw her head back and offered the smuggest grin she could muster. Roslin cupped her wet chin and urged her to her feet. "Lieutenant..."
"Feel you know me now?"
Roslin smirked. "Perhaps. But more... You're fulfilling the vision of the woman I already thought you were."
Kara folded her arms over her shirt, now soaked with sweat, and studied Roslin boldly, the way Roslin had studied her in the corridor.
"I owe you," Roslin said. "I'm sorry. I'm already five minutes overdue for a conference call." Her cheeks were flushed, giving her the lie of good health. She'd look good on the vids tonight. As if Kara had been just a dose of stims. Kara wondered if Lee had the same effect. It didn't matter to her. She headed for the door.
Roslin's voice stopped her. "What was this, to you?"
Kara opened the door and slouched against the doorstop. "I guess I wanted to see what you see. I don't trust Apollo. Not one frakking bit."
Roslin smiled. "Have I offered you any insights?"
"I'm learning." Kara folded her arms. "But I hear learning is a lifelong process." She went through the door. The president had a pretty nice laugh. Its echo followed her back to Galactica.
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