author: pen
genre: angstcakes. lee/kara.

with thanks to leda13, claira, and ilana


[ t h a t   i   s h o u l d  s u f f e r ]


Ah, God, the way your little finger moved
As you thrust a bare arm backward
And made play with your hair
And a comb a silly gilt comb
Ah, God - that I should suffer
Because of the way a little finger moved.

- Stephen Crane

*

He wakes alone (not a surprise, nor an irregular occurrence), and looks at Kara from across the room. He'd ask if she's rostered on early, but he remembers the order of the rosters, and it's a needless question.

There are not so many rotations to remember, even with the nuggets in.

She looks at him as she shuts her locker, and he thinks that if the bunks around him weren't full of sleeping pilots, she might kiss him. Instead, she tilts her head, and he notices the bruises he left on her neck.

She walks out of the room.

He thinks he's not going to sleep again. He may as well get up.

*

Lee gives the order at Tigh's command, and can clearly hear her swearing over the loudspeakers before Dee has the sense to redirect it to headphones. She takes Starbuck's cursing stoically, before relaying the comments in summary to Tigh.

"She's not so sure that's a good idea, Sir," she says, and Lee almost smiles at the look on Tigh's face. Lee walks up to Dee and puts on the head piece she passes him.

"Starbuck," he begins, but she does not let him finish.

"Frak it, Apollo," she snaps, "You can't think this is right." He knows she is thinking, frak you for making me do this.

"Make sure she does what she's told, Captain," Tigh glares at Lee, and he understands what Tigh does not want to say aloud in CIC.

Insubordination is not allowed when there are cylons in the fleet.

He rubs his aching arm (his uniform hides some multi-coloured bruising, and he thinks she might have bruised the cartilage), and gives Kara the order again.

*

She makes a hard landing, and Cally takes her helmet and helps her out of the viper. Tyrol starts to yell at her, and she gives Cally a tight smile.

"I can tell he missed me," she mutters, and Cally laughs. Tyrol continues to yell about the hardships the fraking pilots put his babies through, and Kara tunes him out. She's heard it before and she wouldn't want him to think she cares. His voice blurs and dulls (and isn't that a funny sensation), but she tunes back in when Lee yells over the top of him.

Lee's face is red and he's breathless, and she's only been five minutes back in the ship. Kara wonders if he ran all the way from CIC.

She wants to kiss him (didn't he notice that she made it back alive?), but she settles for giving him the finger. She'd throw her helmet but Cally's still got it. She'd probably feel guilty about ruining irreplaceable equipment anyway, so it's for the best.

*

He finds her climbing out of her viper, and he starts to yell at her before he realises that Tyrol's doing the same thing. Tyrol pauses and turns to Lee in confusion, and Lee takes the opportunity to reach Kara before she can run away.

"You disobeyed an order, Lieutenant," he hisses, stepping close enough to intimidate her (that trick never worked in the academy, and he doesn't really expect it to work now). She looks at him in disbelief, and he's not surprised.

"The radio's fraked, Cally," she says over her shoulder, never taking her eyes off Lee and not answering the question. She knows who really gave that order. "Couldn't get anything but a buzz the last five minutes." She smiles at Lee; shrugs and turns away. He grabs her arm a little too tightly, but she refuses to wince. "Did you want something, Captain?" she asks, not looking at him.

"You disobeyed an order," he repeats, unwilling to bring rank into it when he knows what's going to happen next.

She doesn't disappoint him. She never does (and that's disappointing, in its own way, but perfectly, brilliantly Kara).

She pulls her arm back. And swings.

There is blood on his lips and bruises on her hand, but he punches back anyway.

He is nothing if not equal. At least to her.

*

Kara stands to attention in front of the Commander and the President, and wonders what they're thinking. The Commander looks inscrutable, and she's sure she's disappointed him yet again. Story of her life, failing William Adama (if only she'd failed Zak Adama, she'd not be in this mess; she'd be dead, and she'd rather not think about that). She's not sure what she's doing standing to attention to the President over a military disciplinary matter (Lords, she hopes it's merely disciplinary), but she's sure there's a reason. She thinks that maybe the President looks uncomfortable.

Lee stirs behind her, and frak him or fight him, she's got to get out from under these eyes.

*

Later:

"I could have died," she whispers nonchalantly into the skin above his collarbone. She nips his neck, and he tightens his grip around her.

"Don't remind me," he replies, and it is the only time they speak of it.

*

Punches; kisses; bruises. He writes, don't leave me on her skin with his knuckles, and i love you with his teeth.

She bites harder.

*

She meets his gaze across the hangar deck.

He shivers.

*

[ b a c k ]