Set between Epiphanies and Black Market.
Bill brings out the bottle as their meeting winds down.
“This is the last of the good stuff,” he tells her, pouring two generous glasses. “I got this from the crew when I announced my retirement. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion.”
Laura smiles, her fingers curling around the glass. “And this is it?”
A week ago today, Bill had gotten the call from Cottle that the President was slipping away. He’d stood by her bed in sickbay, as she lay silent and unresponsive, as the lines on the monitors dipped and faded.
Today, she’s sitting in his quarters arguing with him about the availability of essential goods.
If this isn’t worth celebrating, he doesn’t know what is.
He clinks his glass gently to hers. “This is definitely it.”
Laura’s smile widens. “You really didn’t want to work with Baltar, did you?”
No. But that’s not the only reason he’s happy tonight.
“I figured, the devil you know,” he tells her, quoting her own words.
Laura laughs, and the sound is as wonderful as it is unfamiliar. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
It occurs to him, now, that this is the first time he’s known her when she wasn’t sick, when she didn’t have her death hanging over her every day.
It’s like meeting her for the first time…except that they actually like each other now.
It’s a gift.
He tilts his glass in her direction, a salute, of sorts. “It was meant as one.”
Laura holds out her glass for him to refill, her smile looser now, and a little wicked. “Does this mean you’re willing to concede the point on the rate of exchange between ships?”
Only Laura Roslin could down a stiff drink and still remember that she’s right and he’s wrong.
“Ask me another drink from now,” he says.
Who knows what will happen by then?
You’re off doing things and being a human so I guess I’ll write your prompts [exasperated sigh]
"What time are Uncle Saul and Aunt Ellen getting here?" Zak asked.
"After lunch." Bill answered.
"How are you related again?"
Bill had told her, but if she remembered correctly, the explanation was a bit complicated.
"Ellen is Carolanne’s sister. Saul is my lifelong best friend. That’s how I met Carolanne in the first place," he said patiently.
She nodded in understanding, secretly wondering if Ellen looked anything like Carolanne.
Upon meeting Ellen, her curiosity on the matter only grew.
"You must be Laura! It’s so nice to finally meet you," Ellen said, shaking her hand.
"It’s nice to meet you, too."
So far so good…
"So, Laura, why don’t you tell us about yourself?" Ellen asked during dinner.
Laura had previously been busy trying to hide her fascination with the speed at which Ellen and her husband were consuming alcohol, and the question truly caught her off guard.
"Well, I’m a seventh grade teacher…"
That was all she could think of.
"That sounds exhausting," Saul commented dryly.
"It certainly can be, but it’s more rewarding than anything."
Saul and Ellen simultaneously rolled their eyes.
“Your friend and his wife are passed out under our kitchen table,” Laura said, sitting down beside Bill on the couch. He chuckled.
"Did I forget to mention, they enjoy the occasional drink?"
"Understatement." Laura said, playfully smacking him on the arm.
There was a long pause before Laura spoke again.
"Do you think Ellen will tell Carolanne about me?"
"Ellen hasn’t seen her in years, either. She didn’t just leave us," Bill said, slipping an arm around her shoulders.
Laura didn’t ask anymore questions.
Instead, they went to bed, leaving Saul and Ellen in the kitchen.
Bill clears his throat to address the Quorum. “The military situation—”
At the sound of his voice, the baby comes awake, kicking and jabbing and punching…showing off for her father, Laura figures.
She tries not to wince. At eight months, this kid has a kick…
Bill pauses, looks at her over the top of his glasses. You okay?
Laura nods, just slightly.
Bill keeps talking. “—at the present time, without reinforcements—”
A tiny foot jabs at her mercilessly.
Laura suppresses a sigh.
She is going to have to have a serious talk with this kid about timing.
"Lee was crying earlier," Laura said, leaning against their bedroom door after closing it. She didn’t think Lee would want her to tell him, but at the same time, it wasn’t something she could just keep from Bill.
"Is he alright?"
"It was about his mother leaving." She crossed the room and crawled into bed next to him.
"I always hoped he’d forget. It was ten years ago today," Bill began.
Laura didn’t say anything. She had a feeling it was best to just listen.
"We had a fight, which wasn’t unusual, but it was worse than the others. She packed a bag and walked out the door. I got divorce papers in the mail a week later."
"Have Zak and Lee seen her since then?" Laura asked.
He shook his head.
"I haven’t either."
Laura placed a kiss against his temple, then rested her head against his.
She didn’t know what to say.
He didn’t need her to say anything.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you, too."
Also touchdownpossum wanted to know what Laura was thinking when Bill showed back up.
Yesterday they were at war.
Yesterday he was on Galactica, and he was the man who had taken down her government and locked her up, and she was here on Kobol, the woman who had turned his son against him, his daughter against him, split the fleet in two.
Now he’s stretched out beside her, fast asleep under her tarp.
He hadn’t meant to be, of course. Laura knows that, just as she knows that when he wakes up he’ll be embarrassed to have fallen asleep while they were talking. She could have woken him, she supposes. But it’s so late, and it’s dark, and everyone else had long ago fallen into an exhausted sleep…
Bill lets out a gentle snore.
Laura tries very hard not to laugh. Surely there are better ways to restore diplomatic relations than to be caught by the Commander giggling over his snoring.
Except…diplomatic relations seem to be already restored. Laura’s not quite sure why.
He saw the tomb of Athena, of course. He stood beside her and Lee and Kara as the ground shifted beneath them, as the stars took new shapes above them and the Gods revealed a map to Earth.
That would change anyone, Laura figured.
Except that didn’t explain why he’d come down to the planet to begin with.
Laura, I forgive you.
Laura doesn’t have any money—who does, anymore?—but if she did, she would have bet it all that that particular phrase would never pass William Adama’s lips. And her name; he’s never used her name before, just her title, infusing the syllables with varying degrees of respect and contempt and grudging acceptance.
She knows she’s never used his name before.
It’s good to see you.
She believes him. But she doesn’t understand him.
He snores again, louder this time.
She can’t help it; she laughs.
“Did you say something?” Bill mumbles.
“Nothing,” she whispers. “Go back to sleep.”
But the sound of her voice seems to have the opposite effect; she can hear the rustling of the ground cover as he pulls himself to wakefulness. “I guess I fell asleep.”
Laura nods, even though he can’t see her. “You did.”
A silence stretches between them, and Laura wonders if he’s gone back to sleep. But here, in this moment, she thinks she can finally ask…
More rustling, as he rolls over, or sits up—Laura isn’t sure. “Yes?”
Laura stares up into the darkness. “What made you decide to put the fleet back together?”
There’s a pause. “There are too few of us left to let ourselves be divided.”
“I agree,” she says, her voice even. “But that’s not what I asked.”
Another pause. “I had to hold my own press conference,” he says at last. “I figured, if I really wanted to punish you, I’d make you take your job back.”
And she lets it go.
Maybe she’ll never know quite what made him come back, quite how she got so lucky.
But maybe it’s not important, anyway.