Hotdog was looking a little pale, and Kara tapped ash from her cigar as she watched his tell go into full force as his fingers started shuffling his cards.
She was growing tired of this game, the ongoing final tournament to the pilot's running Triad score.
"...lucky you never had younger siblings," Kat complained darkly as she absently rapped her knuckles on the tabletop.
"Who?" Kara queried, tuning in for the first time in ten minutes.
"I would have made a great older brother." Helo said archly, rolling his game-trade lollipop along his lower lip. Athena crossed her eyes in mock agony at his statement and Hotdog cracked a smile and Helo nudged her thigh.
"Siblings were a pain. It was like having kids," Kat said heavily, frowning at her hand and spanning the cards more.
Kara folded her cards and put them face down on the table, waiting for everyone to finish talking. She had a headache starting from the constant lack of sleep she'd been experiencing.
"I liked having a younger brother." Lee announced, leaning back in his chair with his cards casually stacked between his fingers.
Kara rolled her eyes, and Kat gave him a flat smile and pointed her glass of ambrosia at him.
"Because your brother was old enough to play with."
"Get in trouble together," Hotdog added as he scrutinized his cards. Kara nearly fell asleep. She was going to win; from the looks of it Hotdog had a flat hand. Lee was only relaxed because he thought he could strut out of the recreation room with three up. Helo always had something sneaky in his deck, and Athena played a mean prince high red when she got the chance. Kat was happy with a three on a run, and had no idea that the rest of the table was salivating over the Tauron stogeys she'd slapped down after the prelim cards.
"We didn't get into trouble together," Lee said dismissively. Helo popped his lollipop out and grinned wolfishly.
"No. You'd get in trouble for what Zak did."
The whole table laughed and Lee rolled his eyes, shrugging his massive shoulders and pretending to not have heard them.
"I would have preferred one younger sib I was close to rather than a whole frakking cargo eighty years younger," Kat sniffed, miffed over her latest call from her home freight.
"Looking pretty good for a score or so over eighty," Athena commented and Kat scowled at her.
"I think siblings should be closer. At least," Helo announced, looking at Athena and smiling angelically. She waved a hand absently at him as she sifted her hand and tilted away from his prying eyes.
"Carry them yourself then."
"Aw, Hera is cute. You guys make cute kids." Kat said with a heavy smile. Kara was seriously contemplating sleep. She tilted her head and thought about her rack. The nice warm hum of the ship and the soft dip on the left hand side of the bed from the three months she couldn't lay on her back because she'd broken three ribs.
"You should have kids, Kat. We could call them Kattins." Helo announced.
"You're such a genius..." Kat snarked back at him while Lee laughed.
"Kit-Kats," Hotdog threw in. Kat rounded on him with a dark look.
"What would they call your kids?"
"Minidogs!" Helo roared, hooting and pounding the table while Athena and Lee howled with laughter and Hotdog groaned and shoved Helo's shoulder.
Kara rolled her eyes.
"Can we finish this so I can go do something with purpose?" She snapped, jiggling her leg impatiently and scratching at an itch on her hip.
"What, you and Lee going to go make little KarLee's?" Hotdog commented snidely, and all the giggles and sputters of laughter froze as the words sunk in around the table. Kara felt the blood drain from her face and her body stilled.
She clenched her jaw and narrowed her eyes while Lee raised his eyebrows and struggled for words.
"This is a frakking waste of time," Kara breathed after a pause and threw her heavy hand down before grabbing the cigars she wanted out of her winnings and storming away.
She couldn't look Lee in the eye, knowing that his form was made of stone in its seat as it glared daggers down at Hotdog and tried to work something up in return.
She wrenched the portal for the recreation room open and knawed off the end of her cigar and dug for her lighter, sparking to life before the door clanged shut ominously behind her.
"Kara," Lee called her.
She ignored him, breathing in and punching the bag again. She dodged back and lurched forwards, jabbing and alternating.
Sweat ran down her back and her hair clung together. She struggled to breathe as her mind narrowed in on the spot she was beating and her quads burned from the continuous training.
A large male chest appeared between her and her goal, and Kara dropped her arms with an eye roll, turning away and going to go drop her gloves off.
"Why are you avoiding everyone?" He demanded. She huffed, slinging a towel over her shoulders and working her hands free.
"Right. So you're just in here three hours after you were supposed to be in rack beating the crap out of a bag after not saying a word to anyone all day?"
"I have a flu or something, Lee. Just drop it." She sighed, shoving her face into the towel and breathing in its fresh laundry scent. She loved the Galactica laundry smell. It was the kind of smell the guaranteed you the towel you just wiped your mug with had been boiled recently.
He leaned against the wall and barred her way out of the situation, which pissed her off. She set her jaw and glared at him as the urge to mar his pretty little face climbed up her trachea.
"You need to talk about this," Lee informed her with raised eyebrows and his concerned face on. Kara rolled her eyes and resisted stomping her foot childishly. It was a tick that happened a lot that she had to suppress.
That would ruin her reputation.
'Oh, no. Starbuck stamped her foot. She's going to punch you.'
It took all the fun out of simply plowing stupid people. Like Lee.
"Talk about what?"
"It was a joke, Kara. No one was actually serious."
"Frak off, Apollo. That was everyone laughing behind your back."
"Which is why you took offense to it."
"I did not."
"So, you took offense to the vague image of having kids with me?"
Kara bit back bile and the nervous explosion of birds around her navel. He watched her eyes go to all possible escape routes and assess getting to them. Lee had no doubts she would just deck him and stroll away.
It wouldn't be the first time.
"That's ridiculous," She declared, rubbing her eyes and shaking her head at the floor.
"What is? You taking offense to Hotdog suggesting kids, or actually having kids?"
"I'm not having kids with you." She snapped loudly, her face breaking into a horrible smile that could have been a grimace.
"Never even suggested it. So it's the thought that freaks you out. You're weirded out by kids."
"Oh my god, and two plus two equals...?" Kara replied flippantly, shimmying the towel down her back for lack of something else to do.
Lee laughed triumphantly, looking her in the face and seeing the wrath that simmered just below its pale surface. He grinned, completely unable to resist goading her.
"You know, Karlee is a nice name, but I like Leara better."
He woke up twenty minutes later on his back with a bruise on his face.
Lee walked into a rack room, towel around his waist and his hair dripping.
The rest of the Galactica's crew had tastefully neglected to comment on the Starbuck-fist-shaped bruise that purpled his cheekbone all day.
She was the only one in the room, and the door boomed shut behind him. She was drawing, focused on the book in front of her and running a pencil along her lower lip. She didn't even look up.
Granted, she'd strutted into the hangar deck this morning in her suit with the characteristic smile on her face and spent the morning whistling into her mic as she destroyed Cylon Raiders.
Needless to say, the CIC now knew the intimate tune of Starbuck's mindless compositions.
She was obviously freshly showered, her hair still damp and she hadn't bothered to put anything on aside from her briefs and a sports bra.
He averted his eyes and cracked his locker as a smile tugged at his mouth.
"What do you think? Two? Three? I've always been a single child kind of guy myself." He started conversationally.
There was a muffled bang as she dropped her head back against the metal wall of her bunk.
"Go frak yourself, Lee." She groaned irritably.
He pulled a shirt on and turned around and surveyed her. She rolled her head to give him a dirty look, not bothering to lift it and return to her previous task.
"We would have cute kids." He told her nonchalantly.
She rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue in her cheek, as if she was thinking back a billion retorts and barbs.
"Yes, Lee. We could have a Raptor full of rugrats that took after their father and had the shit beaten out of them. It would be so cute, Grandpa Adama would be so proud." She announced acidly, wiggling her head from side to side to emphasize the sarcasm that she loaded her words with.
"Well, it's either that or they turn into raving alcoholics." He quipped back at her.
"At least they'd have a taste for good cigars," Kara said narrowly and flicked him a disgusted look.
"No clue what manners are though." Lee announced, pulling on underwear and reaching for pants.
"Frakking brats. Kids of the CAG are always insolent little shits."
"Especially when their mother is the CAG's problem pilot."
"You'd think a CAG would have better sense than to breed with a crazy."
"Gives them incentive to rise above their roots." Lee said primly, doing up his belt and buttoning things into place. Kara shook her head and flipped her book shut.
"Follow in their father's footsteps right?" She asked pointedly and he frowned at her as she lanced him in a sore spot.
Kara pulled on pants and grabbed her tanks off of the corner of her bed. She slammed the book down on the table top and gave him a tense needle-eyed glare.
"Kids are destined to frack up like their parents. Talk about doomed from day one." She growled at him before turning on her heel and slamming her way out of the rack.
"What about boy's names?" Lee asked her as he strolled up beside her. It had been ongoing for four days now, and Kara was simply sick of it.
She was now having nightmares about blond children with eyes as blue as oceans. They called her Mum and giggled with the freakish media cutout of a child's laughter.
Kara turned and looked up the hall and then down it. Seeing no one and knowing it was far off between shift changes, she grabbed Lee by the lapels of his uniform and dragged him into an alcove, shoving him against the wall.
"What do you want from me, Lee?"
He coughed, fingers wrapping around hers and trying to loosen the hold. He shook free of her and they breathed angrily at each other.
"I want you to admit it."
"I admit it is biologically possible for two humans to have kids."
"No, Kara. Don't frak around. I want you to acknowledge that our kids are possible."
Something flickered across her face and she crossed her arms.
"I'm not having kids with you."
"At least admit that you thought about it." He asked her, searching her face. She avoided his eyes and ground her molars together as her brain picked the pros and cons of getting him off her back at this price.
"I have never imagined a future with a double rack and a sink I have to wash myself. So, I can't help you." She told him sharply, turning to go away. He grabbed her by the arm and slammed her into the wall beside where he'd been.
"Erase everything. Erase the world as we know it. You're not a pilot, I'm not a pilot. The Cylons never happened. The last two years never happened and we both had stellar childhoods," He whispered desperately, boring into her brown eyes with his.
"Now, tell me that our kids wouldn't be damn near perfect."
Kara stared at him, eyes tracing his strong jaw and lean face. Straight nose, thin lips with ice chip eyes and brown hair. Compared with her own brown eyes and blond hair and a nose that has been broken so many times she didn't remember what it originally looked like.
Her brown would trump his blue, but his structure would destroy hers. The kid would have an attitude with a need to please and a compulsive need to fly more than they needed air.
Her painting abilities, his cooking. Her cunning and wit and his charm.
But not an ounce of tact.
Kara blinked harshly and smiled tightly as she stared him in the face and shrugged helplessly.
"They'd be amazing."
He let her go and she brushed past him, disappearing up the hallway and hastily wiping away the wetness in her eyes. Lee went in the other direction, stomach in knots and a shake in his hands while his brain replayed the images that he saw dance behind her eyes.
And that was the last time children ever flickered through reality between Kara Thrace and Lee Adama.
I know that BSG is over and that the traffic through this genre and pairing and even rating is very very very minimal but this had to be written. I wrote it as a side, because I currently have four other projects on the go that will be posted within the next two weeks, and this is just cute.
Hope I was in character.
Read and review. ( hart )