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Title: So Wrong it's Right
Author: letterstonorah
Pairings: Kara/Lee
Rating: NC17
Word Count: 4000 words
Summary: While working as an interim flight instructor at the Fleet Academy following his brother’s death, Lee forms close ties with a student. 
Warnings: none

This fic was a part of the pilots_presents gift exchange, written for [livejournal.com profile] da_angel729

Lovingly and thoughtfully beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] wicked_sassy. Uses prompts: " a hero's welcome", "the sky isn't always home", and "it's good to be wrong."




It’s nearly eleven PM in a bookstore in Caprica City, and Lee already knows that he’s going to do the wrong thing. He senses it in his body before his mind has even begun the process of making the decision. There’s a quickening of the breath, a sudden hesitation to his movements—all of it is to say: you want her, so have her; no one expects you to be a monk.

He hears Kara rather than sees her, the sound of a noisy all-girl rock band blaring beyond the confines of a pair of headphones. The song is “Wishful Thinking in a Gemenon Temple” by a group called Sonic Boom. Kara had introduced Lee to their screaming vocals several weeks prior, made him a mix that featured the band heavily. His favorite song had been “One-Night Stands in Your Mother’s Minivan” because he couldn’t shake the feeling that the songwriter was talking specifically about his mother and her transport.

Lee can see nothing beyond this row of books, but he knows that it’s Kara he hears listening to the music. He remembers that the song is her favorite, recognizes Kara’s tendency to ignore the world around her when she’s immersed in what she’s doing.

He places Biography of a Forgotten Planet back into its appropriate place and walks to the main, open area of the tiny book shop. There she is, standing at a display of new releases, engrossed in a thick, hardback book.

She must’ve slipped in while he was browsing the section on political history. Central Booking, a small but well-stocked shop off of downtown’s central drag, has the best collection of books on Colonial government written by non-Caprican scholars. That alone is enough to make the book store worth dropping into every now and then. Throw in the fact that they have comfortable chairs, decent coffee, and now Kara Thrace, Lee’s pretty sure it’s quickly become his favorite.

Lee clears his throat to get Kara’s attention, but it’s no use with those headphones.
She stays still, absorbed in her reading, looking solid and immovable and invincible. She lacks the ethereality of the other women his life—the ones who drift in and out of his day-to-day like ghosts, wraiths, hardly even there in the first place. His mother, various exes.

Kara’s the opposite of a phantom. She’s a purely physical, corporeal being, her presence a weight in the room to be grappled with and considered. Lee feels her body, broad and curvy, ten feet away. Like she’s squeezing the air and its constantly buckling under the pressure of her grip.

On campus at the Academy, Lee learned to avoid her in the hallways, knew after the first time he saw her face he’d have to be careful. He’d never reacted this way to a woman before, especially not a student, but gods, those eyes: light brown with flecks of green and amber, the kaleidoscopic colors almost turbulent in their mixing and matching. Don’t get Lee started on the lips, those impossibly plump and wide and insolent lips.

He closes his eyes, tries to blot out the image of her. She may not be his student and he may not technically be a professor, but the rules state very clearly that Lee needs to stay away. As an interim flight instructor, any relationship beyond the strictly professional with a student would be grounds to get him fired, maybe even a few marks on his disciplinary record.

But when he opens his eyes, she’s still there, as beautiful as ever. Blonde hairs twist down her back, her shoulders, and her chest in convoluted paths, tangled and unkempt—as if she’d been too tired after her shower to bother with a comb.

Lee should walk away now, should heed the way the skin along his arms comes alive with gooseflesh at the threat of her nearness—should know that means he can’t trust himself with her. Not tonight. Not when he’s just left a pub, and he’s already had a couple of beers.

Instead of heeding his own advice, Lee finds himself inching towards her, watching her as she crinkles her brow as she frowns crookedly in concentration. She senses his approach and looks up, setting down the book she’d been examining.

“Lee,” she says, grinning widely.

“Hey, Kara,” says Lee, unable to hold back his own smile at the sight of her lighting up.

She tugs her headphones from over her ears and lets them straddle her neck, pulling him into a hug. The heat of her cheek against his throat pulses like currents of electric potential.

“How are you?” she asks. She pulls back but lets her hands sit on his chest, twirling the buttons of his jacket.

He loves that about her, how presumptuous she is. Were it not so genuine, so completely unaffected, he’d find how touchy-feely she is obnoxious at best. As it stands, it’s one of the most endearing things about her.

“I’m fine,” says Lee. “Much better now that you’re here,” he confesses, unable to look her in the eye, hoping he isn’t blushing.

Her head dips slightly, and she licks her bottom lip. “How are things with your father?” she asks, grabbing the collar of his coat and tugging him near like she’s about to size his up.

After Zak’s death several months ago, Kara had found Lee sobbing in a mostly-deserted corner of the Fleet Academy library. She’d said nothing, just put her palms on his cheeks, kissed him softly on the lips, the connection jarring him briefly out of his grief.

He’d known it was her—the girl he’d seen around campus, the one he couldn’t seem to keep himself away from, but that didn’t stop him from kissing her back. Kara had probably meant for the contact to be chaste, but one touch from her had him feeling submerged in longing, and he opened his mouth, rubbed his tongue along the crease of her lips so she’d open hers. “Hey, hey,” she’d said, pulling back. Lee had looked her, his eyes burning with salty tears, “He’s dead. How can he be dead? How the frak can he be dead? It doesn’t make any sense. He was here and now…and now he’s just not? What the frak? How does that even happen?”

She grabbed his hands, her grip almost painful, a reminder that he was still alive, his bones still crushable, his skin still capapble of bruising. Gianne had left him shortly after Zak’s passing, unable to absorb the weight of his grief without her own emotional foundation splintering like fractured earth. His mother was drinking again and existed as an avatar only, going through whatever motions her liquor-fogged brain could muster up.

Kara, though, this woman he hadn’t even known personally, sat with him the entire night, letting her cheeks and shirt become wet with his tears, taking on his wounds as hers.

Since then she’d made it her business to check on him. She’d wrote her number in black marker on his throat in thick letters—her scrawl starting next to his Adam’s apple, stretching to his chin, up to the skin under his ears. He didn’t call her, of course. That would be wrong. While the age difference between them was minimal—she twenty or twenty-one, he twenty-five—he was an instructor, and she was a student. He’d already crossed a line by allowing himself to kiss her. She, however, did call him, got his number somehow. They went to coffee a couple of times—completely innocuous, platonic coffee.

Now here they are, by chance, together despite Lee’s effort to keep away.

“Well?” Kara asks, pressing him for details. She draws her fingers into the opening of his coat, touching the thin fabric of his shirt just over his sternum. “You and your father aren’t still fighting, are you?” she asks.

“We’re fine,” he says, trying to focus on answering her properly rather than the feel of Kara’s hands against his chest. “Just got back from visiting Galactica, actually. We talked. It was good. There was bonding, even a hug or two. He said sorry. I said sorry. It was all very beautiful and heartwarming.”

“Good,” Kara says. She sighs and relaxes visible, like not knowing the state of Lee and his father’s relationship had been keeping her up. Lee wonders if maybe it had. He gets the sense that Kara doesn’t invest in too many things, but when she does, she goes all in.“You only have one father, you know?” she continues.

“I know,” he says with a nod, clutching her hand to his chest.

She’d shown up to his office once, banging loudly on the door, completely sloshed, begging him to call his dad. Kara had managed to let it slip that her own father had left years ago, disappeared, no word. Who the frak does that? It’d been enough to get him to call his own father.

“So how long have you been back planetside? I wish I’d known when you were returning. Would’ve given you a proper hero’s welcome.” She lets her hand stay wrapped in Lee’s, and he can’t bring himself to let go. Her fingers are soft and smooth, nothing like his.

“Trust me,” he says, smiling, “I’m definitely no hero.”

“Well, then, even better,” says Kara. “I hate heroes. So boring. I much prefer villains.” She steps closer, grabs his eyes with hers.

“What were you reading?” he asks, turning, stepping away to create some distance. He needs something to do, a distraction, a cup of coffee to drink or a book to page through.

“Nothing,” Kara says. “Just a novel.”

“What about?” he asks.

“A retelling of the Orpheus myth,” she says, “but not the version from the Scrolls—the one called Sir Orfeo where the Queen goes to faery world. It’s one of my favorite myths.”

“So a retelling of a retelling?” Lee asks.

“Everything is a retelling of a retelling of a retelling,” says Kara. “Don’t you know there’s nothing new under the suns?”

“You’re new,” Lee says, brave enough to make eye contact with her again. She’s looking at him with a quirked eyebrow, her lips pushed to the side of her face as she seems to contemplate something. He wants to take her behind the bookshop, to taste her again, to slip his hand beneath her shirt and touch her bare skin. Being this close to her is a curse. She’s just out of reach. He wants to reduce the space between them to nothing.

“I’m not new, I’m old,” says Kara, “old enough, anyway.”

She’s touching him again, her fingers playing with his collar, his buttons.

“I should really probably go,” says Lee, the words coming out more hesitantly than he’d intended. The statement was supposed to be a declaration, a proclamation. Instead it’s a question marred with uncertainty and self-doubt.

“You should?”

“I should.”

“‘Should’ is such a stupid word,” Kara says. “Do what you want. Who cares about what you should be doing? Who’s to say what’s right and wrong anyway?”

I care about it,” says Lee, yet he’s still standing here, playing this game with her. He’s fantasizing about sliding his tongue along her neck down to her navel, imagining how her body would shudder when he discovered all the secret places she likes to be touched.

“Well, Lee—I’m going to walk out this door right now,” says Kara. “Follow me. Or don’t. Consult your gods, or your conscience, or the little book of decorum you probably keep with you at all times.”

She turns and leaves, just like that, pushing through the glass doors of the bookstore and letting them swing shut with a loud clang behind her.

It takes Lee about ten seconds to decide to go after her, too taken aback by the abruptness of her actions to react any more quickly. He jogs out the door and looks left and right, trying to catch sight of her long blonde hair. She’s nowhere, though, and the street is empty.

Then laughter coming from the sky? He looks up; still nothing.

“I thought you were going to leave me hanging,” Kara says. Lee continues to scan upward, until he sees her head hanging over the ledge on the roof, illuminated from the glow of a street lamp.

“Well, you thought wrong,” he said. “How’d you get up there?”

He smiles at her several feet above him, her hair falling loosely as she leans down.

“The fire escape,” she says, pointing to the side of the building.

Lee nods and walks over, finding the rusted ladder that leads up to the roof. He checks that it’s strong enough to hold his weight, then ascends the narrow steps to the top.

The roof is covered in abandoned balls, vestiges from the days when the neighborhood was more residential and kids played kickball and pyramid in the streets. As he walks, his boots crunch over shards of colored glass. The fragments of green and brown and red pick up the light from the street lamps and neon door signs, the prismatic dance similar to the way Kara’s eyes refract light into different colors.

From here Lee can see all of the city, skyscrapers looming ominously overhead, steel and concrete giants. Parked cars line the streets, packed together intimately in a row.

Kara has removed her long coat, laying it down as a blanket. She’s wearing a thick, fitted sweater, black jeans, and boots. She stretched out her feet in front of her, her head thrown back onto her palms as she looks up at the sky.

“Going to come join me or what?” she asks, eyes still on the stars.

Lee takes off his coat and sets it next to hers, lying back on the wool. His long-sleeved shirt is enough to keep him warm, and Kara is right there next to him, her skin hot and tingling.

“So why aren’t you up there?” she asks.

“On a Battlestar?” says Lee, moving so his hips are touching hers.

“Yeah.”

“Short answer is that it’s not what I want. The long answer is—I belong on the ground, planetside. With civilization. I like being with civilians, with real people, the masses. I was never much one for the castles in the sky. I want my home on solid ground. How can you build a foundation on empty space?”

“So you didn’t fall in love with being up there, didn’t fall in love with Galactica?” Kara asks. Lee can hear the skepticism in her voice. She’s still at the Academy, buying into the hype they push about Viper wings and wearing the blue and the call of duty.

Not that part of him doesn’t buy into it, too. He’d felt something on that ship for sure. Thousands of klicks away from the worlds, the Battlestar hovers in the abyss of the sky, more constant than a planet. The Old Girl stands unmoving like an unbroken promise. Lee had been able to see what his father loved so much about the thing. It was a hunk of metal that lived and breathed, had a pulse.

“What do you plan to do after the Academy?” Lee asks Kara, “after you’re finished with your required service. Do you think you’ll stay?”

Lee feels her shrugging against his shoulder. “I don’t really do plans,” says Kara. “I’ll see where I am. It might piss off my mom if I muster out after three years, and I don’t know if I’d like that or hate that.”

This is the first time she’s mentioned her mother, and Lee thinks about his next words carefully, not wanting to push. “You guys don’t get along too well?” he asks, turning so that he’s facing her. He buries his nose between her shoulder and jaw, her skin warm against his lips, cheeks, eyelids. Kara doesn’t move, her eyes fixed on the stars.

“The only way Momma’s ever been able to relate to me is by hurting me,” says Kara, “and now that she can’t do that anymore—not physically, at least—we don’t know how to relate to each other.”

She says it like it’s a problem she’s working out, an equation she can’t solve, and the emotion Lee would expect to hear at such an admission is completely absent.

He’s aching for her, his own grief for all the loss and hurt he’s experienced mingling with hers. He wants to kiss her everywhere until she forgets every wrong done to her, until she understands how much she’s meant to him over these last few months.

“What do you want more than anything?” Lee asks, turning completely so his front is pressed into the side of Kara’s body.

“Right now?” she asks.

“Right now,” says Lee, determined. He lifts himself up on his elbow so that he can see her face, beautiful and luminous underneath the stars and the city lights.

“I want to show you something,” she says, pushing herself up, pulling her sweater off her head in a quick swoop, revealing a thin t-shirt beneath.

She lifts her shirt just past her bellybutton. “See it?”

Lee smiles at her sudden bout of activity, unable to keep up with her. He leans in closer to view the flat plain of her belly, sharp with the definition of muscles.

“See what?”

“The scar,” she says, lifting her shirt higher. Lee removes his cell phone from his pocket and clicks it on, shining the blue light over Kara’s tummy. He sees it then—pink, puckered flesh in the shape of a small triangle, no bigger than a square inch.

“Looks like that really hurt,” he says, sliding his phone back into his pocket, his face still centimeters from her belly. He can smell her soap and lotion and sweat, her laundry detergent.

“My mom burned me with the iron,” she states simply. “It did hurt.”

“Oh, Kara,” he says, reaching out and placing his thumb over the keloidal scar. “I’m so sorry,” he says, and he knows she doesn’t want sympathy, knows that his response is all wrong, but he can’t help the outpouring of compassion.

He leans forward and kisses the scar, his tongue wetting her skin. He strokes her with the tip, tasting her.

She moans softly, laces her fingers through his hair, pushing his mouth into her.

He needs to stop. He needs to quit now while he’s still ahead, while he can convince himself that this is all innocent. He’d just been trying to console her, that’s all. Nothing in the regs against making a student feel better, nothing at all.

The salty-sweetness of her skin, though—he can’t get enough. Without realizing it, he’s moved down farther, to the sensitive flesh just above the waist of her jeans, where soft, wirey hairs begin to grow.

He places a hand on her hip, moving it to the button of her jeans.

“Is this okay?” Lee asks, looking up. Kara’s lying back now, her eyes closed. Her only answer is a garbled moan.

He’s wanted her for so long, has gotten himself off in the shower too many times thinking of exactly this—her body sprawled out before him, clothes mussed. Now that he’s here, he’s torn between wanting to linger and wanting her immediately.

He unfastens her jeans, revealing her white briefs. Gods, this is too much—this shouldn’t be doing him in. It’s just underwear, for godssakes, but it’s hers and it’s beautiful and just underneath it is her patch of blonde curls, and below that is the wet skin he wants to tongue.

Kara wiggles impatiently, sliding off her jeans. “Hurry,” she says, then, “please.”

Lee hooks his finger into her briefs and pulls them aside, tastes her. She sighs and bucks and presses his head down until he’s lost in the feel of her wetness and soft, tender skin, her thighs around his face, her knees over his shoulders.

She’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. She is incandescent. She is electricity. All he wants to do for the rest of his life is lick her and frak her and touch her and hold her and feel her panting in his arms.

He jerks himself off while he’s licking her, imagining sliding into her—the scent and taste of her, the feel of her shaking body, making Lee feel like he’s never felt before. He places three fingers inside her, getting them slick before returning his hand to his cock, pumping as he licks Kara.

He’s so close to coming, and he has to slow down, but she’s right there with him, her muscles stiffening, her back arching up. She moans loudly and convulses as she comes, and Lee lets himself do the same.

He rests his head on her bare thigh, kisses the white skin, then pulls himself up so their bodies are even. Kara grabs his neck and pulls his head into her chest, runs her hands along his back.

“That was wonderful,” she says, voice barely more than a whisper.

“I’ve been thinking about doing that for as long as I’ve known you,” says Lee.

He feels the rumble of Kara’s laughter against his chest. “Me, too,” she says.

“You have?”

“I have,” she confirms, her fingers drawing designs against the back of his neck, under his hairline. “You’re kind of amazing, you know”

Now it’s Lee’s turn to laugh.

“I mean it,” she says. “I haven’t met many people like you.”

“Crippled by grief? Sketchily interested in a student? Has nowhere better to be on a Friday night than at a frakkin bookstore?”

“Smart, deeply thoughtful, aggressively anti-establishment, depressed but still fighting, angry,” Kara says, countering him. “I like angry people. I’man angry person.”

“That’s a kind assessment,” says Lee. He slips his hand under the hem of her sweater, touches her scars, caresses her skin until he reaches her bra. He ventures one hand underneath, drags his finger along the soft, rounded flesh until her breath hitches.

“As much as I’d love to continue this, I’m frakking freezing,” Kara says. “Can I come back to your place? I know we shouldn’t—”

“I thought you didn’t care about ‘should’,” says Lee.

“But you do.”

Lee finds it charming that she thinks there’s any way he could say no to her at this point. He knows that the best thing for him to do is call it a night, pretend this never happened. This is against so many rules—but gods, it feels so good to do the wrong thing for once. She feels so good.

“You should come back to my place,” Lee says. “I’d like that.”

They go one after the other down the fire escape. Kara tucks her hand into the pocket of Lee’s coat, pulling herself into his side. He wraps an arm around her and kisses the top of her head.

They take a taxi back to his apartment. The driver clears his throat pointedly as Kara and Lee kiss and hold each other in the backseat. Lee’s never been an exhibitionist, but it’s like his body is no longer in his control. Judging by the way Kara’s climbed on top of him and straddled his thighs, she feels the same way. Every touch is a shock of heat, ending any coherent thought.

He knows only that he hopes this isn’t the last time, wishes that the dawn wouldn’t come, that he could live eternally in this night, experience it a million different ways.

Date: 2012-03-23 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abelard369.livejournal.com
oh wow this is just gorgeous and wonderful!!!!! kara's description of lee is so *right. on.* omg, how well she knows him, even though in this universe they hardly know each other at all! and the last line, about living in this night a million different ways, is sort of like a shout-out to us, the readers, who do *get* to live in this night, the first night they spend together, a million different ways, through the awesome stories of writers like you!!! thank you for this beautiful, sweet, hot, amazing story!!!

Date: 2013-03-11 04:52 am (UTC)
lanalucy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
This is one of my favorites of yours - just different enough to give me hope that they can maybe find some way to be happy with each other, and at the same time, unmistakably my Lee and Kara, drawn to each other without logic or reason.

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