Adama/Roslin romance. The universe has gone mad, but William Adama has sanctuary.
Years of experience in handling thousands of personalities in an effort to turn them into a cohesive, harmonious fighting unit should have given William Adama a small hint that a relationship with Laura Roslin was not going to be easy.
Beyond the obvious issues of political power structures versus military regulations, of Presidential needs against the responsibilities of an Admiralty, putting aside all those things, Laura Roslin was, from Day One, a sloppy thorn in the side of Adama's pin-point neat streak.
Her office was a tsunami of strewn papers, shoes flipped off and left where they landed (very dangerous that, he thought after tripping over one in the dark), as well as the occasional blouse balled up and stuffed in a drawer, springing out like a jack-in-the-box at a truly embarrassing moment - like while searching for a pen during a press briefing.
That one, thankfully, wasn't caught on film, only the laughter of the reporters was heard on the wireless but Adama now makes it his business to perform mini-inspections when she's not looking, to make sure that won't happen again.
He considers it a favor, an act of love. She considers it an invasion of privacy and they fight about it as passionately as they do about the direction the fleet should be heading in, about how the civilians are to be taken care of ... about him taking care of himself as much as he does others.
Laura can get very passionate on that point. He knows better than to argue with her about it, even if he doesn't agree with her assessment that he's suffering from a serious case of self-neglect.
"What were your parents like?" she asks one evening, while they are in wrapped around each other in his bunk, her warm breasts pressed to his chest. "Were they affectionate types?"
William Adama hasn't thought about his parents in thirty years. Thinking about them now makes him realize he liked it better that way. "I suppose," he shrugs.
She's not appeased by that answer. "You /suppose/." She curls a little bit closer, her expression wry. "I guess that explains a bit."
"And what exactly would that explain?"
"Nothing," she replies, slipping up and kissing him. He doesn't respond immediately and she pulls back, her eyes narrow. "Now what?"
"I want to know what you meant by 'that explains a bit', " he says with a firmness that usually makes the officers beneath him blanch, but, then again, there's not an officer aboard his ship that has half of Laura's wild courage. "And I'm not letting you seduce me into not caring."
A cat-like smile curves her lips. "That sounds like a challenge."
"You're misdirecting now."
"I love challenges. Did you know that?" Her voice is breathy, hitting him right where it hurts so wonderfully and that must be a rhetorical question because if there's anything anyone knows about Laura Roslin is that she lives for challenges.
And this will be one of the easier ones, he thinks, as she reaches for him beneath the covers, her nimble fingers making him close his eyes against the pleasure. "I'm not much of a challenge," he whispers, as her long hair brushes along his neck, his forehead ... his face.
"Oh, but you are," she whispers back between feather-light kisses. "I couldn't bother with you if you weren't one." Her hand quickens, making him gasp. "You're just not this kind of challenge."
"I only have so much resolve. Any man would give in," he says, between soft swears.
"You're not any man. You're mine," she proclaims and there are no more words, for that night at least.
It's interesting to watch her when she's pissed off. It's a textbook study in anger, Adama thinks, as she paces furiously through her office on Colonial One, her hands clenching between stabs in the air, toward the windows and the door, as if she could banish all her annoyances to the cold embrace of space, not just the ones that are discovered to be Cylons in disguise.
Her skin is flushed bright pink with fury, making her pretty and alive-looking, at least in his eyes. Adama thinks about the time this wasn't so, about those terrible days not so long ago when she could barely muster enough energy to sit upright, her dying body failing, betraying the iron will beneath.
Her skin was so pale it was almost translucent, the bones of her cheeks standing in stark relief to her tired, sunken eyes. She looked ... breakable, and Adama shudders inwardly at the memory.
He'd rather have her rage any day. Even if it's directed at him. "You cannot seriously think I will allow the fleet to go on without a formal police force another month. Crime is running rampant on the ships and as supplies get lower ..."
"The marines can keep the peace."
Her expression turns apoplectic. Her voice lowers dangerously. "Like they did the last time?"
Adama's rather proud of himself for not flinching. "They'll be under my command and that will make the difference."
Laura's mouth tightens into a long line, but something in her posture softens. "Well, there is that," she admits reluctantly. "Still ... we need a civilian police force. And don't give me any of this nonsense about it interfering with the power structure because police forces and militaries have lived side by side since the beginning of civilization and I of all people shouldn't be the one to give you a history lesson."
He pauses at this. "We'll see," he says, rising and tucking his glasses back into his pocket.
Still glaring, she crosses her arms. He knows that in her heart, she's aware that the police force is a fait accompli -- because she's right, of course -- but him letting her know that ... him giving in ... at this point that isn't the way they do business.
It's only when he's aboard the Raptor taking him back to the Galactica does William Adama let himself smile indulgently at her tenaciousness ... and her beauty, as fiery and warm as her temper. You're getting soft, old man he berates himself, but in truth, she's worth getting a little misty for.
She's worth doing just about anything for.
When they have dinner in his quarters, he's the one who cooks it. Long gone are the days of his assistant bringing in fine meats on sildvem platters; a large bowl of noodles and a steaming pot of tea are now the best the Admiral has to offer.
She arrives dressed to the sixes, or so she likes to joke, but he was never a connoisseur of fashion, and besides, when it comes to her, naked is always best. He told her that once and she laughed so hard, she squirted soup out of her nose and he had to roll his eyes and wonder ... Where, oh gods, did I get this woman? Please tell me where."
It's at times like these he can truly relax. Their arguments are always left outside the door, never brought in here because this is their sanctuary, unlike Colonial One which is their chosen battleground. He appreciates her innate sense in knowing this without saying so, without making him say it. He loves how well she knows him, even if it frightens him ... just a little.
"Did you make charoot tea on purpose? I love charoot," she says, sipping at her cup. "What a surprise. I wouldn't think you'd like it."
He grimaces at his own battered mug, as there is only one fancy cup in his quarters and that belongs to her. "You're right, I can't stand it. Must have grabbed the wrong bag."
"And here I thought you were trying to surprise me."
"How about I give you the whole tea box? Will that make up for my lack of proactivity?"
"I think that's a fair trade," she agrees, smiling around the rim. "And when you start talking in terms of proactivity for tea serving ..."
"I've been in the military too long. There, I've admitted it. Satisfied?"
"As long as you're happy," she replies, with only a hint of irony. "Remember, you never have to admit anything to me that you don't feel comfortable with."
"Because you know everything already," he sighs. "Right?"
Her lips quirk sweetly, her eyes bright as candles and he can't remember when she's ever looked more beautiful. More /alive/. "Something like that."
The night -- or whatever constitutes night aboard a battlestar floating in the middle of the void -- goes by too quickly, even by Adama's 'make every second count' standards.
He's grateful for what they have, but can't help feel greedy, always wanting more. Would she be happy making a home with him, he wonders, knowing both his former wives were never satisfied for long. Or would they always be like this, him and her as two separate worlds, joining when the pull between them becomes to great to resist, then moving out of each other's orbit until the next time gravity forces them to collide.
He can't decide which is better. He thinks he might not want to.
"I wonder sometimes if I think too much," she murmurs sleepily while tucked into his embrace.
"That's all right," he replies, unable to resist kissing her forehead. "I'm not sure I think enough."
"Can I do it for both of us then?"
"Not on your life," he rumbles, laughing. "You're always plotting, aren't you?"
"Try to see it as ... proactivity." She's smiling again and gods, he'll never tire of it. Never tire of her. "I'm just keeping you on your toes."
"Thank the gods."
And he thinks he means it, atheist he is, because he has holy ground and a religion, both of them wrapped up in his arms, driving him insane with riddles, creating a devotion few men would know and she's sweet, even as she orders him to kill, which only makes him love her just that much more.
The universe has gone mad, but William Adama has sanctuary.
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