It's August 24 somewhere, so HAPPY HAPPY birthday to my dear friend, lolcat202. Here is some ridiculous Hallmark Christmas fluff for you to giggle about 3

By the time Dee negotiated the fair sale of his priceless first maps of the Caprican oceans, Bill Adama wanted to forget he ever knew the name Laura Roslin. His daughter-in-law's accomplishments as an attorney could not save him from signing the documents himself. Dr. Roslin—or Dr. Adar, at this point he didn't care—insisted on the ceremony of his signing the documents at the museum. As if standing in a room built in the 90s completed some kind of historic aesthetic. Out of respect for Dee and her hard work, Bill dolled himself up to sign a sheet of paper, but he grumbled until the last possible second.

"She's getting what she wants. Why all the fanfare?" The museum was so damn quiet, he felt compelled to lower his voice, even if he didn't want to. Even the Christmas music, instrumental versions of hymns, encouraged hushed tones.

Dee pressed harder on the "up" button outside the elevator. "Maybe because she wants you to feel appreciated. The museum curator will be at this meeting too, you know."

A gruff why teetered on the tip of his tongue, but Dee anticipated him. "This process has taken months, Bill, and the business these maps will bring them is well worth the fortune they're paying you for them. Ending it all by mailing you the documents to sign and send back is rather anticlimactic and clinical."

"It's a business deal," Bill huffed. "Why shouldn't it be clinical?"

With a world-weary sigh, Dee stomped into the elevator as soon as the doors parted enough for her to squeeze through. "I don't know. But it is. So can you just find it within yourself to be polite to the woman facilitating the multi-million–dollar sale of your heirlooms? It's Christmas."

Bill's grip tightened around his briefcase full of maps passed down in his family for countless generations, maps he'd hoped to pass down to Zak this Christmas. "Need I remind you that I don't want to sell them in the first place?"

"Nothing about this is ideal, Bill." Dee's voice softened, and after a beat, he felt her small hand in his. "Zak will be taken care of for the rest of his life."

If an existence spent in a wheelchair, unable to speak or feed himself, much less sail the globe as he intended, could be called a life, Bill knew that Zak wouldn't want it, but once he became incapable of making his own medical decisions, it fell to Kara to make the call. In the end, she couldn't let him go, and Bill didn't blame her. Initially, he and Carolanne had been too relieved that he could breathe on his own to realize what a shell of Zak they'd been left with. But even that shell proved stronger than their marriage.

"Bill?" Dee stood outside the elevator now, staring back at him with eyes that never seemed big enough to hold her concern for everyone. "You okay?"

"Yeah. Let's finish this."

Laura Roslin woke up angry at the world. Like every other person whose life hadn't been upended by the cruelty of life, she used to love Christmas. As a rule, she didn't hate Christmas, but some days, the lights and the commercials and Mariah Carey wailing in every store made Laura want to scream. Today, however, Richard Adar bore the brunt of her disdain.

Per Dr. Adar's request, Laura and her team spent weeks negotiating the acquisition of seven of the first maps of the Caprican oceans. The maps passed every authentication test Laura's department had, so the real difficulty came with the negotiation of the sale. Though she'd only ever dealt with the owner's lawyer, Laura got the impression that the source of the intense negotiations had nothing to do with the right price and everything to do with Bill Adama's principles. The idea of selling family heirlooms that had been in the family for twelve generations apparently disturbed Mr. Adama, and Laura could respect that.

But Bill Adama's pride quickly became the bane of her existence.

For weeks, Adar breathed down her neck, demanding results without putting in any work, as usual. Adama, meanwhile, only communicated with the museum through his attorney, and Laura quickly determined that to get to Adama, they had to impress Anastasia Dualla. What could be so pressing on a retired navy admiral's time that he couldn't attend even one meeting puzzled Laura, but Ms. Dualla made it clear that even if Adama had the time, he had no inclination.

Now, the morning of the signing Adar insisted on hosting, he decided that a conference across town took precedence over the culmination of her team's efforts for his benefit. He'd been vague on the phone, not even bothering to give this mystery conference a name, but Laura was intimately familiar with these conferences and business trips. She was simply getting used to not being the conference.

In any case, Mr. Adama would not be meeting with the museum's lead curator, as promised, but with Laura, the head of the museum's historical exploration department.

What an absolute treat for everyone.

"Dr. Roslin?" Billy, Laura's assistant, poked his head into her office without waiting for a response to his knock. Thank gods he'd foregone the Santa hat today. "Mr. Adama and Ms. Dualla are in the conference room."

Laura resisted the urge to rub her eyes, itchy from the new mascara she'd made the mistake of applying this morning. "I thought we were doing this in the Caprican Voyages exhibit."

"So did I, but apparently no one told maintenance. Tori didn't realize that nothing was set up until Mr. Adama and Dee—excuse me—Ms. Dualla hit the lobby."

Sliding her arms into her gray blazer, Laura sighed. "A multi-million–dollar sale didn't prompt anyone in this office to check before now?"

"Apparently not, and I'll find out why after the signing." Billy met her halfway to the door with a manilla folder and a disposable cup of what smelled like a vat of peppermint. "I put a little peppermint creamer in it. Thought you could use the boost."

Billy's master's degree in archaeology ensured that he could spot a fake even before the authenticators even glanced at it, but it did nothing for the boy's abysmal observation skills. Since she couldn't bear to wipe the hopeful smile off Billy's face, Laura offered him a tight smile and toasted him.

"Thank you. Since you apparently have such a rapport with Ms. Dualla, how about you accompany me." She spared him the embarrassment of watching him blush.

To his credit, Billy only hesitated for a few seconds before bounding down the hall after her, catching up just outside the conference room door. "Before you go in there, I should tell you that the mood is…grim."

"What, a man who's been such a peach during this process isn't the epitome of Christmas cheer? I'll try to contain my shock." Without giving herself the chance to take a deep, centering breath, she yanked the conference door open and plastered on the smile of a woman trying to appear affable when, in reality, she was on the verge of firing her entire staff.

Laura Roslin's smile, while undoubtedly dazzling, was that of a person who had been sent in to clean up a mess, and after immediately being redirected from the Caprican Voyages exhibit to a conference room that actually had not been renovated since the 90s, it became apparent that this entire morning was a mess.

"Mr. Adama, Ms. Dualla, do forgive me for the mix-up this morning." Dropping a manilla folder on the round table, Laura met Dee halfway to shake hands.

"We all have tough mornings." Bill recognized Dee's tone as the professional equivalent of "Bless your heart," and, judging by Dr. Roslin's tense shoulders and stuttering step, she spoke Dee's language.

Dr. Roslin glided around the table with her hand outstretched, and more out of habit than respect, Bill rose to shake it. "Mr. Adama, I'm Dr. Laura Roslin, head of the historical exploration department here at the Baltar Institute."

This close, Dr. Roslin's beauty struck him like a slap. He hoped she didn't notice his prolonged gaze or his hand lingering against her soft palm. "A pleasure."

Dee cleared her throat. "Is Dr. Adar joining us this morning?"

Instantly, Dr. Roslin stiffened. "Dr. Adar had a family emergency this morning, so I'm afraid you'll have to make do with me." Her gaze flickered to the briefcase at Bill's feet. "Shall we get down to business?"

When Bill nodded, Laura set down her coffee and held out her hand for the manilla folder, and the dutiful boy at the other end of the room handed it off to her in two seconds flat. Naturally, when the time came to sign away his heirlooms, the department suddenly excelled in efficiency.

The case landed on the table with a heaviness that belied its contents, and for the trillionth time since this process began, Bill hesitated. No matter how often he (or Dee) pointed out the good this sale would do for Zak, Bill saw more than yellowed parchment and faded ink in these maps. He saw Zak and Lee, curious and adventurous and headstrong and reckless, sitting on his lap for up to an hour at a time as they created stories of buried treasure and piracy and mayhem out of the ancient landmarks and topography. He saw the hopes for their future that, for Zak, would never be realized.

Then Dee covered one of his hands with hers and gave it a squeeze, and he knew what he had to do.

Just as he flicked the clasps open, Billy stepped forward with a safe just heavy enough to set him off-balance and careening into the table. Laura gasped and lunged for her cup, but the top had already popped off before she could make a sound. Bill wrenched the case away from the impending tide of sticky coffee, sending the contents flying, and Dee scrambled to catch them all, fortunately encased in small portfolio files.

When the dust settled, only Billy's groan broke the silence.

"Oh my gods, Billy!" Laura knelt down next to the boy, who lay writhing and clutching his foot, but immediately rose again to address Bill. "Oh my gods. The maps. Are they alright? Billy, are you alright?"

Bill slid the last two maps back into the case and slammed it shut. "We're done here."

"You know what?" Dee practically squeaked. "How about we come back on a day that everyone is a little more prepared—"

"Or not at all."

The heel of Dee's stiletto nearly perforated Bill's shin. "—and level-headed."

Laura, now kneeling beside Billy again, huffed, "And perhaps with no broken bones."

"Please, this entire day has been a fiasco. Don't pretend that your intern spilling your coffee was the only problem."

The green eyes that dazzled him earlier now struck a fear in him he couldn't explain. "Excuse me for not looking into my crystal ball this morning. Maybe then I could have prevented this."

"You're the head of this department. It's your job to prevent this."

"I think I know what my own job entails, Mr. Adama."

"Apparently not."

Dee grasped his arm. "Enough," she hissed. With a nervous glance at Billy, Dee tugged Bill toward the door. "Dr. Roslin, we'll be in touch."

When Bill slammed the door on his way out, he swore to make it his mission to never be in touch with Laura Roslin again.