author: claira (mail to clairad@gmail.com)
summary: kara/lee. kara/baltar (kind of). kara/baltar(/six). yup, having too much fun here.
rating: pg
a/n: total and absolute blame/thanks goes to pen. i hates/loves her so.


[ n o t   w h a t   y o u   n e e d ]

It's lunch time on Galactica, and it's soup. The smell is revolting, and Baltar wonders whether the colour has ever been seen before. Unlikely, he thinks, and gods willing it will never be seen again either.

The mess hall is packed, and the soup is slopping over the sides of the bowl and running all over his tray when he sees Starbuck sitting at a table.

“Can I join you?” he asks, not waiting for a reply before sitting down.

“Sure,” Starbuck says, barely glancing up at him.

He tentatively tastes the soup and it's even worse than it appears. He forces down another four mouthfuls, takes a quick drink of water, and studies her.

“What are you doing?” he asks finally.

“Grading the nuggets,” she says. “The next batch is almost ready to go.”

“That’s good news.”

“Yes,” Starbuck replies after a pause, and the silence is awkward.

There’s a flash of legs, skin and red in his peripheral vision. “Why do you persist in torturing yourself?”

Baltar opens his mouth to speak and shuts it again. Six smiles, and her voice is almost a caress.

“She doesn’t want you, Gaius. I thought that was obvious.”

“I know,” Baltar says, and Starbuck looks up. “I know that – it must be a stressful job, being the flight instructor.”

Starbuck shrugs. “It can be,” she says, and then very deliberately transfers her attention back down to the papers.

Baltar picks up his spoon again.

"Oh, you want her," Six says, and Baltar shakes his head. “You want us both." She smiles, dips her head and presses a kiss on Starbuck's neck, watches him as her tongue flicks out against Starbuck’s skin. His hands clench on the table and he can't look away, can't look away.

Starbuck turns a page.

"Do you remember what she tastes like, Gaius?" Her mouth is red against Starbuck’s throat, her fingernails drawing lazy patterns on Starbuck’s uniform. "When she was crying out for Captain Adama?"

His hand trembles and hot soup drips into his lap. “Frak!”

Starbuck glances up, bites her lip and tries not to laugh, but he's almost thankful for the shock of pain. "You alright there, doc?" she says, but he knows she doesn't care.

Six curls an arm around Starbucks's shoulder and rests her chin on the top of Starbuck's head. "Yes, you alright there, doc?" she mimics, all cruelty and hard angles and clean white light. Starbuck's dirty and smudged under her chin, and human, and Baltar knows which one he wants.

“I’m fine,” he tells them both. Starbuck is smirking. Six is smirking. Baltar gets up from the table, drops his spoon, and leaves it there on the floor.

”I’ll see you later, Lieutenant Thrace,” he says.

“I’ll look forward to it,” she says, with the perfect blend of mockery and disinterest he’s come to associate with her. Captain Adama slides in to sit beside her.

Six’ fingers circle Starbucks’s throat for a moment, press lightly and Baltar has to check himself from moving forward. Then she walks away, tall and red against the crowd of regulation grey, and Baltar follows. Halfway across the room, he looks back. Starbuck’s shoved the papers away and, as he watches, Captain Adama says something to her and she laughs.

There's lipstick on her neck that no one else can see.

*

[ b a c k ]