Title: 10 Encounters
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 30 December 2005
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Summary: A series of encounters in Laura Roslin's life.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW05
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. This site is in no way affiliated with "Battlestar Galactica," SciFi, or any representatives of the actors whose characters are involved.
Inspired by- Ten Passionate Encounters’ Journal
Started on 10-21-05, after spending my entire afternoon surfing LJ, looking for challenges. Liked this one, started writing and kicked out Secret Encounter, below. Loved it so much, that I let them just run with it, getting to number 8 by the time I was done shuttling downtown to do my second shift. Many thanks and slobbers to Littlecat for answering my desperate phonecall! See, I left my list at home, and she looked them up for me.
Oh, and the ‘dumplings’ reference is Alton Brown’s fault, for telling me what a universal food they are.
1: Secret Encounter
the image that started it all. A stranger’s touch in the darkness, a want for more.)
Gods, but I hate these things. These socio-political functions that are impressed upon me even as our species scrabbled for survival. Yet, as a teacher, I understand that our strange little rag-tag village needs to hang onto some of the normalcy of our lost lives.
So, I attend functions when I can, keep a journal of them, listed one through ten in psychological importance to the Fleet. Harvest Day was a big one, a time of celebration, when we would have a last chance to relax before bracing for the coming cold. Metaphorical as ‘the coming cold’ has become.
Always isolated from everyone, I hover at the edges of the gathering, my presidential duties expended for the time being. I have danced with the necessary people, spoken in the right ears, smiled the correct smile. And now…
Now I ache with loneliness.
And, on a more mundane note, my feet hurt abysmally, my back is tired and I’m getting that irritating sense of lightheadedness that means I either need food or chamalla.
Probably both, knowing me.
With animal certainly, I feel the hairs on my neck alert me that I’m suddenly not alone. Yet… something soothes that base-brain reaction, and I remain still. There is no sound, no scent, yet I can feel the stranger who is no stranger just at the edge of my perceptions. It really is incredibly stupid, just standing here, waiting for… whatever it is that I’m waiting for. Yet that’s exactly what I find myself doing.
Heat rises slowly up my spine, insidious, warming me like sunrise. There is a breath, barely detectable, stirring my heavy mane against my ear. They are standing so close… close enough to warm my skin, but not touching me. Touch is such a foreign thing in this new life of mine, that the suddenness of this encounter, such as it is, has left me confused and a little breathless.
Such foolishness… but before the smart parts of my brain can talk down the lusty, lizard parts, there is the faintest brush somewhere near the small of my back, my loosely dangling forearm. Not even a touch really, just a displacement of the oh-so-serious fabric wrapped around me like armor.
I am so very, very aware of the stranger that my body knows and trusts, and so very, very aware of the seething reactions of brain and body that I seem helpless to control.
A second touch on the other side, mirroring that first brush, nearly makes me jump. My narrowed focus of that faint hint of pressure against the fabric, alerting the sensitive skin beneath. Every neuron in my body is focused there, like Galactica’s guns on a Basestar. Narrow, supple, the fingertip of demand slides over the shallow hollow where back curves into buttocks and hip, sliding inexorably towards my side. A breath soft and harsh behind me, my ears so attuned that I feel that they should rotate to attention, like an alert dog’s.
So, I wasn’t imagining someone then. Some part of me is relieved and terrified by that knowledge, as I feel very raw and exposed.
“You look hungry,” comes the long-awaited whisper, low, androgynous. So soft, I could have imagined it, except for the oddly lopsided pressure against my hip, the curve of waist. “I have something for that.”
Oh, the thoughts that cascade through me! That heat of breath trails over my flesh like a lover’s kiss, the low voice crooning to me like I’m the center of their universe, that teasing fingertip stroking me…
My whirling mind knows the voice, but can’t place it so out of context, derailed into smoking wreckage as the body teasing me steps in close, brushing against me at shoulderblade, buttock, waist. Arms slide around me, almost an embrace, almost a sensual touch, my lungs heavy with anticipation, sweat beading, eyes heavy…
To find a plate of dumplings held in slender, competent pilot’s hands, a wine-glass of clear water, the bottle of familiar pills tangled amidst those fingers.
Oh… oh damn, damn, damn…
I’m not even exactly certain what I’m cursing! Fingers visibly trembling, I take the offerings held there, watching the water ripple as I shake.
Exactly as I suspected would happen, the heat and touch slip away, leaving me once more alone and bereft…
2: Along the Moonlit Bay
(This one was hardest, as there are no bays in space. So I went with imagery.)
It’s a beautiful sight.
Nearly every night, this vision comes to me; the great, billowing cloud of nebula, my perception riding around it like a pinwheeling Viper, intent on the magnificent view.
Our signpost to Earth.
The end of my future.
The beginnings of what is left of the Twelve Colonies.
Now, even wide awake, I can almost see the beacon, blazing in fire colors, leading us to our salvation.
“Keep you company, Madame President?” Startled, I jump, whipping my head around to see my Captain Apollo standing nearby, calm, relaxed, smiling just the faintest bit. Confusion must show on my face, because he steps in closer, gesturing to where my vacuum-cold hand lays against the transparent section of hull. “The view,” he explains quietly. “It can interrupt a walk, right? An endless ocean of gleaming stars, and we the shore.”
Such a romantic sentiment, and I can’t help but smile faintly. “The nebula,” my voice says of its own will, rusty with disuse. How long have I been standing here? Lee’s look of faint confusion makes me smile wider. “I keep looking for it.” Comprehension dawns on his handsome face. “I swear, sometimes I can actually see it.”
“Yeah,” Lee smiles back, always in my corner, bless his loyal heart. “Me too.”
(Hmmm… Kara and sarcasm. Naw, can’t see it. * Rolls eyes *)
“Okay, fine,” the shout catches everyone off guard, and a brittle quiet settles like cold snow. “Gods forbid that I’d have a clue, captain. I’ll just toddle off and be a good little soldier. Feel free to do it all without my frakking help!”
Scathing, is the first word the old spelling bee champion in me comes up with. Followed closely by sarcasm, and hurt, for the tension on Lee’s face. The tension he hides so poorly. Still snarling, Kara whirls on a booted heel and stalks away from him, still muttering and cursing under her breath.
Blindly, she very nearly runs me down where I hover in the doorway, feeling so very out of place. The sandy eyes widen as she pulls up short, alerted from her dogged stomp by my defensively raised hands.
In that instant, I know, even as she flushes rosy and murmurs an apology before ducking away and vanishing into the bowels of the Battlestar she will always know better than I.
4: Hidden From the World
(This was a toughie, until I treated Kara’s crush as a secret, then it came to me quickly)
No more of this ridiculous game, it’s past time for me to track this elusive prey down. Some discrete questions, a few near-threats, and what like feels like a lifetime of tiring, old-fashioned footwork has led me here. Enraptured by the scene, I fall still, my unusually boot-footed tread having not alerted my prey to my presence. The closely-keyed violence of fists and kicks against the sandbag beats musical counterpart to the words, falling pained and tearful, like hammer-blows between the spaces of quiet.
“What were you thinking?”
“She’ll never see you like that.”
“Never smile like that.”
“Like she does at him.”
And then, with the meeting of eyes, it’s too late for either of us to escape from this.
5: His Place
(This one fell into place, dictating Lee’s role in the greater tale. It was the last line that really clinched it for me.)
Always sure of what he is supposed to be in life, makes Lee both strong and weak. What he’s not sure of at all, is how exactly he fits in with Kara. His place should be the doting brother and brother-in-law, forever apart, but Zak’s death changed that, left them both unsure and adrift. Reconciliation with his father has left him with nothing to fuel the fire that is his hateful agony in losing that beloved sibling. The overwhelming evil of the Cylons is almost too big to realize that need, too amorphorous to fill that empty place inside him.
Everyone knows he’s smitten with his pale, wild counterpart. Her borderline insanity playing harmony to his need to control, her temper to his calm, her theatrics to his by-the-book.
Lost in Kara’s sweaty, musky taste, her tongue awakening sensations along my cheeks and gums and palette, I can only distantly mourn that I will now add to that confused pain.
6: Addicted to Your Touch
(Need I elaborate?)
What in the name of the ancient Gods of Kobol has led me here? Pressed against the unforgiving wall, the battered punching bag swaying shadows across the stark room in the bright single light? Wrapped around this feral child of sunshine, her damp blonde locks clenched in my desperate fingers, her strong hands digging into the sturdy muscles that work my legs, gone wobbly with lust. Strong, so strong, she lifts me like I am weightless, makes me feel glorious and cherished and almost… sexy.
That low noise I remember from the party makes me sweat, the arousal getting me slick and swollen, readying myself for more than just this open-mouthed kiss. Clenching into my glutes, those long fingers so close to the deepest heat, that fire I’ve thought long snuffed out, is torture and makes me groan for mercy.
“Kara,” I moan carnal acknowledgement of her, and it’s like punching the FTL drive, as her body surges into mine with her desperate acknowledgement of this energy between us. “Need you…”
7: Don’t Be Afraid
(Went with a vague reference here, again. Laura has incredible amounts of fear, and Kara only indirectly touches on some of them.)
Men lovers seemed always so solicitous of me, worrying that they would push too far, too fast. Always the good girl, the responsible, boring one who never took wild chances, I’d never fallen in with the ‘bad boys’, the ones all the girls giggled breathlessly about.
Seems it wasn’t a bad boy I wanted at all.
Snarling, still pinning my lower body in place with her hips, Kara leans away only far enough to grab fistfuls of my shirt, wrenching the fabric violently apart. Ignoring the protest of my razed skin, the fear of that deadly cancer lurking there in the soft, ordinary looking breasts, the worry of my body showing the effects of my long life, I let her access me in a way that is completely freeing. That full, luscious mouth sucks and bites down my throat, my breathing erratic behind the vulnerable windpipe, and attacks one nipple with surprising gentleness. Some part of me acknowledges the thin layers of tissue separating her loving from my imminent death, but I’m too far gone to really comprehend through the white noise.
Even when I pull desperately at her hair, she is so very tender with me, causing no unexpected pain, keeping me flying among her stars.
8: The Space Between Us
(Or lack thereof. * Laughs *)
Things about her I expected. The frenetic, almost desperate edge to her energy, focused now on me and the lingering heat between us. The tirelessness of that physique, goddess-like in hard and soft perfection. The snarl of lust pulling her lips back over clenched teeth.
But her loving gentleness shakes me, leaves me more than just physically sated in her arms, hidden from easy view behind a rack of athletic equipment, sprawled atop a haphazard stack of mats and once-clean towels. The look in her expressive eyes and mouth, the tiny muscles of her face, speak of more than just rutting need, but something softer and more enduring.
There is a raw, needy part of me that really, really wants to believe it.
There have been few words among touch and taste, moaning and begging, crying and laughter. It is that last one that has really left me feeling as though a little part of me has crawled out and curled up in that safe place she has shown me with her eyes.
9: Starry Heavens.
(This one segued away from the original idea of a starscape through a window. Since that idea was already covered, I used the idea to cover the cold silence.)
It can’t last, the pessimist in me knows it, but the shock of it still sends my heart rate spiking.
“Kara?” Comes the voice that freezes us both as effectively as the barrel of a gun. “Dammit,” he mutters irritably. “Stood up again. Frakkin’ goofball.”
Our eyes meet, and this is the quickest goodbye that I have ever participated in. For a timeless moment, Kara’s mouth is on mine, rough, demanding, loving. I drink her in, knowing that this is at least some kind of goodbye.
Scrambling into action, yanking the snug black elastic material back over her chest, grabbing a towel, Kara is up, leaving my skin cold and bereft. Even as she stammers an excuse that sounds lame to all parties involved, trying to spare me this humiliation, I can feel Lee’s temper building.
Such a change, Kara’s voice placating, submissive, pleading, Lee’s raised in anger and hurt and confusion. I can’t hide and pretend that I’m not party to this, even as I dread what I must do.
Grabbing pants and Kara’s bi-color tanktop, I’m in the fabric that smells of her sweat and good health, and standing on cold, bare feet.
The abrupt silence is as profound as deep space. I can almost see the stars.
10: The Road Back to You.
(Bless Karl for helping me out with this section. Love that guy!)
It shames me to find myself so weak, bolting from the confrontation. Barefoot, I run, terrified and vulnerable.
Galactica really is a very large ship, and I think every soldier held in her metal embrace sees me in complete disarray while I flee like a spooked animal. Eventually, exhaustion slows my reflexes enough that I am caught.
Mid-stumbling flight, a broad chest and strong arms plucks me from my path and spins me around to halt my wild progress. “Hey! Hey! Slow down, someone could get hurt.” I know the voice, and I find myself cringing away from the young man’s protective touch. “Madame…”
In that instant, I can’t bear to hear that damn title dehumanizing me yet again and shove away with all my shattered strength. But Agathon doesn’t obey my wordless plea, instead bodily hauling me aside.
Quiet descends with the slam of a door… and I’m trapped.
“Laura,” he barks sharply, and it’s as effective as a slap in the mouth. Only then does the panic start to fade and I can look him in the eye. For a man that has every right and reason to hate me, he looks so gentle and concerned…
Hiding his discomfort well, Agathon places big hands on my shoulders, holding my eyes.
“You’re okay now, relax. But you’re gonna be pantless soon if you don’t pull the strings on those things tight. You’re a bit skinnier than that pitbull is.”
Baffled, I stare dumbly at him, having no clue what in the name of humankind he’s talking about. Sighing, he reaches out, I startle, he grabs my left wrist, and only then do I realize that my fingers are aching with tension. I’ve been clinging to the sweatpants wrapped around my lower half with desperate intensity.
Because they’re not mine.
The absurdity of this bubbles up from my chest in a slightly hysterical-sounding laugh that strangles off into a sob. Agathon ties off the strings that pull the black sweats tight around my hipbones and makes me sit, get my weight off my tortured, icy feet, pulling off his jacket to wrap around them, his trapped body heat a very welcome shock. Now I know why Kara likes this man so much, respects both him and his opinions, no matter how absurd.
Maybe it really is as simple as love conquering all.
Maybe I still have a chance with that wild child of sun and speed that took my heart before I took her clothes. “Karl,” I manage to choke out, suddenly uncaring that I’m crying and shaking and completely wrecked in his eyes. “I need to find Kara.”
He just smiles knowingly.
11: Rough Hands.
(This one turned out interesting. I expected smut, but got a surprise.)
Shaking me roughly, the hands get a sleepy slap from my own, and the unexpectedly male chuckle wakes me up like icewater. Panic recedes at the sight of Lee crouched beside Karl, but pain and a touch of fear is brought on by the look in the former’s eyes. Before I can speak, a hand comes up abruptly and I’m perversely amused that I’m dressed like these soldier boys.
“I’m sorry,” Lee says quietly, his eyes dark and intense. “I was an ass and yelled. Just a little startled, that’s all. I’ve already sent Kara off to Colonial One looking for you. Still wrapped in nothing but that sports bra and a couple of towels, I might add.”
Is that a smile?
With gentle pressure, they each grab a hand, tug, and I’m suddenly swept up into Lee’s arms. “Let’s get you to her. C’mon Helo, you take point.”
“Put my coat on first… Laura.” My name again! Bless his heart. “It’ll cover that distinctive mane of yours.”
“Any soldier with loose hair like this would be in some deep shit,” Lee adds placidly and I can only wonder what the hell I missed while dozing under Karl’s watchful eye.
12: Loving Embrace.
(Ah, happy reunion. My fave.)
The boys trade my weight back and forth several times, chatting neutrally to one another while I doze in and out. Karl’s voice segues Billy’s startled inquiry, and quiet descends with the familiar smells of my room. Mixing with the scents of my borrowed clothes and the man carrying me, it’s an intoxicating cocktail.
“Stay,” Lee voice instructs, and there are recently-familiar hands on my side and hip as I’m gently laid on my bunk.
For a moment, I stare up at my matched set of light and dark warriors, even as Lee pulls away, his conflict not as resolved as he would like me to believe. But I respect his silence, whispering a ‘thank you’ as he retreats and I can focus on my shaken blonde goddess.
Kara’s been crying, eyes red, expression vulnerable. The same wells up in my chest, and I grab onto her desperately, clinging to her with the strength of a dying woman.
Or one learning to live again.
(Since I wanted a happy ending, this one was a challenge. The whole piece being from Laura’s POV gave me the answer.)
Life is a series of steps. Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we fall.
I did both, and landed in the best place. This ungainly and bizarre relationship buoys me against the storms that buffet me. No, not me, us.
Snuggled down beside Kara, this is one of the good nights, when we actually get to share the bed until the next crisis comes down the pipes, and I am quite content. Snoring lightly, uncaringly, she is my anchor now, my family and my home. Our lives are shared with many, but here, like this, there are no boundaries that hold us apart. Our age difference, my cancer, her tenuous life in the cockpit of the Blackbird that bears the talisman of my name. Cuddled up together like the old lovers we’ve become so quickly, reality outside of our bodies and hearts is temporarily meaningless.
Life is by no means certain, we may all die tomorrow, but now I can believe that we may also live a good, long time.
Farewell to the old Laura Roslin, there’s a new life to be lived. With my warrior and our rag-tag tribe, the future seems bright.
(finished at 10:35 PM same day. Last track is Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast. Oh, the irony… Several changes were made thereafter, including a hefty rewrite to Farewell on 10-22, because I wasn’t quite satisfied. I also added comments on each challenge.)