Hey. This is *beyond* unbetaed. I haven't even gotten a chance to read over it, as I'm jetting off to catch a plane.
Kara/Laura,. R. 3700 words. Just, kind of, I don't know, a picture of a relationship.
Laura looks frakking perfect when she’s like this, sweaty and still trembling a bit, her body tucked into Kara’s arms like a letter into an envelope.
Kara holds on to her tight, probably too tight, and she hopes to gods she’s not giving herself away. She’s gone all kinds of soft, and tomorrow she needs to go to a bar and beat the shit out of the first guy who calls her baby in order to regain some footing.
“Lords, I’m so sorry,” Laura says, quiet, breathless. Her lips brush against Kara’s neck with each word. “I didn’t mean to lose it like that.”
“Don’t apologise,” says Kara. “You were great, okay?” She draws her finger along Laura’s shoulder, connecting the dots of her moles into a carousel, a vase, a chariot, a Viper.
“I didn’t even do anything,” Laura protests, nuzzling her head into Kara’s collarbone. Red-brown hair sticks this way and that, apparently uninterested in lying flat, and the effect makes Kara smile. Disheveled, red-cheeked, lips plump from kissing—Laura’s stunningly beautiful.
“You did everything,” Kara says.
Laura murmurs something into Kara’s neck that she doesn’t quite catch, then hums, filling the silence. Kara loves the soft melody of her voice, the way Laura’s hands fold around Kara’s wrist.
“Yeah?” she answers.
“What are you thinking about?” Laura asks.
“Nothing,” says Laura.
Neither of them have any family left, which is all kinds of frakked up.
It would be sentimental to say they only have each other, so Kara avoids thinking it.
Kara’s a bomb, spitting out shrapnel, burning everything to grey ash. She’ll be shaking sometimes, on the verge of just—she doesn’t even frakking know—and Laura will grab her shoulder so hard and say, “Kara.” And that’s it. For a second, Kara’s world will feel less frakked, and she’ll drink the cuppa Laura fixes her, not even wishing it was spiked with scotch.
Laura will say something like, “Look at me. What’s wrong? Tell me what you’re thinking. Tell me what you’re feeling.”
And Kara will say something like, “Frak if I know.”
She can’t think too much. Too many landmines in her brain, waiting to go off if she steps on the wrong thought.
Kara takes a swig of whiskey from the bottle, slams it down, then tries to pick out a tune on her guitar.
Four hours later, her fingertips are red and blistered, and she’s written Laura the stupidest song ever. It’s based on D-minor arpeggios, has lots of humming during the parts where Kara can’t quite think of what to say, and is mostly just you make me feel better than I felt yesterday on repeat. It’s, yeah, completely dumb.
“Your hair’s getting so long,” Laura says.
Kara sets her guitar down quickly, pushes strands behind her ears. “How long have you been standing there?”
“Couple seconds,” says Laura. She’s wearing one of Kara’s tanks, braless, with black knickers.
“Did I wake you?” Kara asks. standing up.
“No. I need to start getting ready for work soon. Did you sleep at all last night, Kara?”
“Let me fix you breakfast,” says Kara. “You like your eggs over medium, yeah?”
Laura nods. “Come shower with me first?”
The bathroom fogs up with steam as they run the hot water. Laura must not have slept well. She hugs Kara close and rests her head on her shoulders.
“Do you want me to call you in sick?” Kara asks, massaging shampoo into Laura’s hair. She already knows the answer. Laura never misses work.
“I’m fine,” says Laura, droplets of water splashing over her chest. Her skin is beautiful and smooth, slightly pink from the heat, tan nipples hard under the running shower.
When they’re done washing each other, Kara wraps and arm around Laura, pulls her into her front. She runs her hand from Laura’s neck down to her breasts, using her thumb to massage the small divot left from where the tumor was removed. Laura shivers in her embrace, already keening. These are the only moments Laura really lets go, and Kara cherishes them.
She kisses Laura’s neck, tongue running along a tendon. “No time,” Laura says. Her breath’s already coming out in startled little pants, and the sound of it drives Kara wild.
“You sure you don’t want it?” Kara asks, sliding her hand farther down, cupping Laura between her legs, rubbing wide, teasing circles.
“Ten minutes only,” says Laura, leaning her head back into Kara.
Their bodies are warm against each other, everything touching, and Kara doesn’t stop moving her fingers against Laura's clit until Laura makes that sound that always gets Kara close to exploding. Laura's body collapses into Kara’s, struggling to stay up in the bathtub.
“Gods, you’re so beautiful,” Kara says.
“You are too good to me,” says Laura, but Kara doesn’t really know what she’s talking about.
That day, Kara takes an early lunch and drives to the school where Laura’s headmistress, surprises her with ice cream.
“Hope it’s okay I came,” Kara says, sitting on the sofa, elbows on her knees. “You got an hour, right?”
“Right,” says Laura.
“And you never take your full hour,” Kara says.
“Well, it doesn’t take nearly an hour to finish off the lunches you pack me,” says Laura, the hint of a smile on her face. She’s looking at Kara head on, her glasses folded neatly on her desk.
“Are they not enough food?” asks Kara.
“They’re plenty,” Laura says. “I was especially fond of the peanut butter and Oreo sandwich.”
“I couldn’t really think of anything else,” says Kara, shrugging, realising that nobody besides her probably likes that gods-awful combination. “Do you have a microwave here? I make macaroni and cheese okay, but it’d be cold by noon.”
“Yes, I have a microwave, and I happen to love your mac and cheese. Have I ever told you it’s my favourite?”
“The secret is—well, I guess it’s not really a secret since it’s right in the name—but lots of cheese. And you’ve got to make the sauce real creamy. I like to use a couple different cheeses, too, mix it up some, and butter.”
Laura nods, toeing off her heels and joining Kara on the couch, curling her legs up. “You might like the Cheeseboard,” she says. “A number of artisan cheese makers from around Caprica gather and offer samples, every kind of cheese you can imagine. I’ve found some really delicious things there. It’s every other Saturday, and they’ve got wines and chocolate as well. I haven’t been in a while.” She licks at her scoop of vanilla ice cream, some of it melting on to her lips. Kara reaches out and smudges it off, then licks it off her thumb.
“I really can’t say no to chocolate, cheese, or wine. I’m literally programmed not to. Like, I couldn’t even if I tried, and believe me, I’ve tried.”
“You can’t say no to a lot of things,” says Laura, teasing, and there’s something mischievous there in her expression.
“Yeah, it’s not my favourite word. Why say no when I could say yes? More beer? Yes. Another stogie? Yes. Do this really totally stupid frakked up thing you shouldn’t do? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Jump off a cliff with nothing but a parachute? Why the frak not? Et cetera, et cetera. I only started flying Vipers ‘cause somebody asked me to, and it’s not like I could say no.”
“Is there anything you wouldn’t do?” Laura asks, and her smile’s wide now, making Kara feel all giddy and shit.
“The list is pretty short,” says Kara.
Laura nods, yawns a little as she nibbles at her cone.
“Come here,” Kara says, opening her legs up so she can hold Laura close to her.
Laura lies with her back in Kara’s chest, closing her eyes, long legs peeking out from her skirt.
“I bet you’ve got at least ten students who want to frak you,” says Kara, rubbing Laura’s arms.
Laura snorts. “Gods, I hope not. Every single one of them is on my nerves today.”
“I guess it would be pretty inappropriate to frak in your office, right?” says Kara, “even if we were really quiet about it?”
“Quite inappropriate, yes,” Laura says, sounding regretful. “Are you ever satisfied, by the way?”
Kara untucks Laura’s blouse and slips her hands under the fabric so she can stroke the soft skin of her flat belly.
“Every time I’m around you, I just,” she starts, moving her hand up, fingering over the lace of Laura’s bra, “I’ve got to touch you.”
Laura flips around suddenly so she’s on top of Kara. “I know how you feel,” she says, angling in to kiss.
The next twenty minutes are a collage of lips and tongue and Laura’s fingers inside of her.
There’s some parts of herself Kara would rather Laura not see, and she’s not above disappearing for a few days, shutting off her phone. A couple of weeks of the year, certain dates—she can’t get through them sober, always schedules leave for herself during those times.
She gets utterly sloshed, bouncing from bar to bar as soon as the sun sets, not returning home until it’s up again. She dances wildly wearing her most revealing clothes, hustling money out of guys who think she’s way drunker and stupider than she is.
There are brawls. She wins them most of the time. This one guy, she underestimated him, and he gets at her pretty good, but when he pushes her against a wall and tries to put his hand on her chest, she elbows him in the nose, breaking it.
There’s a lot of pretty girls, but she’s just not interested.
It’s been some days since she’s heard from Laura, so she turns her phone on out of curiosity. Her voice message box is full. There are 32 missed calls, a shit ton of texts.
Kara doesn’t bother checking them, just calls Laura straight away, ignoring the fact that it’s three in the morning.
Laura answers before the first ring is even finished. “Kara?” Her voice is frantic.
“It’s me, yeah,” Kara says.
“Are you—what happened to you? Are you safe? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” says Kara. She’s standing outside the bar, leaning against the brick wall, freezing cold. “Just needed to get out of my head for a while.”
“I’ve been trying to get in touch with you. I was concerned.” She sounds more distant now, panic replaced with detached, practical inquiry.
“Yeah,” Kara says. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m going to go. I need to get some sleep. Bye, Kara.”
Laura hangs up, Kara goes back into the bar, drinks until she can’t even see faces, only smears of washed out color.
Kara wishes this were the first time she’s woken up in jail.
This is what she does. She can’t keep anything good because she’s the absolute worst, simple as that. She can’t even be angry, because it’s not like she doesn’t deserve everything that comes to her, and more. Sometimes she gets in fights just ‘cause she likes to get beaten on. Bruises are so familiar that being without them feels wrong, somehow.
Once Kara’s back working, having settled somewhat, she works up the nerve to check the messages from Laura—if only to hear her voice.
It’s more than a little bit heartbreaking to hear Laura crying on the other end of the line, worried half out of her mind, her voice trying to hold steady but failing miserably.
Kara’s never really hated herself more.
She decides it’s probably best to apologise in person, so she goes to Laura’s flat when she knows she’ll be there, around dinner time on a week night.
Kara knocks and hears footsteps moving toward the door. The wood creaks, and Kara knows Laura's must’ve seen her through the peephole.
“Just give me a second, Laura, please?”
The door opens, and Laura leans into the doorframe. “What?”
Kara bites her lips, tries to think of the speech she prepared, isn’t having too much luck with that. “How are you?” she asks.
“Great,” says Laura. “Lovely.”
“Right.” Kara fiddles her fingers in the pockets of her trousers as she stands on the steps, kicking her feet against the welcome mat. Laura looks as beautiful as ever, her hair tied back into a rare ponytail. She must be doing chores.
“Did you need something?” Laura asks.
Kara takes a breath, looks at Laura straight in the eyes even though it hurts like frak to do so. “What I did, I just, I just want you to know I realise it was really frakked up. You don’t deserve it, not even a little bit or at all. You should have only good things, the best things. You are—you are so special. I’ve never really met anyone like you before, and I’m really sorry for hurting you, for putting you through what I did, especially considering everything you’ve been through with, with everything.”
Kara has no idea what Laura’s thinking, wishes she could reach out and touch her when she sees the tears forming in her eyes, not falling. “I’ll leave now. Call me if you need anything at all—including having me jump off a cliff or whatever.”
It takes a supreme amount of effort, but she manages to turn away from Laura, jog down the steps.
“Wait,” says Laura.
Kara turns, hands stuffed in her pockets. “Yeah?”
Laura stands there, looking like she’s trying to think up what to say. “Be safe, Kara, please?”
She nods. “I will.” It's something she can do for Laura, so she'll do it.
Kara's really proud of herself for making it to her transport before she starts crying like a godsdamn baby.
Weeks go by in that way they tend to do, one right after the other, blah then blah then blah then blah. Occasionally, there’s a little bit of bleh, if she’s lucky, some meh.
She can’t stand to eat macaroni anymore, which had made up a significant portion of her diet, so she doesn’t really eat at all.
Work is okay, she guesses. It’s fun to see the nuggets gain confidence in the cockpit, and there are a couple of really promising students.
She’s doing evals in her office, when her cell buzzes, and she picks it up without looking at who’s calling.
“Yeah. Lieutenant Thrace here.”
Silence on the other end.
“Laura?” she asks, standing up to close the door.
“You said to call if I needed you,” says Laura.
Kara tenses, squeezes her phone tight. “What’s wrong? Are you all right?” There are a billion and one ways things can go wrong, and one of them starts with a ‘c’ and is possibly fatal, and she can’t think about it without getting nauseous. “I can leave early today. Where are you?”
“No, Kara. It’s nothing like that.”
“No. You know that box?”
Kara gnaws on her lip, worrying the flesh, thinking. “Box?”
“Yes, the one you put up in the attic for me several months ago, the one that I used to keep under my bed?”
“With your sisters’ things?”
“Yeah. I remember," says Kara, glad that Laura's not here to see the way her brow scrunches.
“Well, I forgot—there’s this cookbook in there, and it has a recipe I need, and I was wondering if you’d come and get the box down for me? I don’t really know exactly where you put it, and there’s a bunch of things up there anyway, and it’s quite heavy, and there’s—”
“Of course, yeah. When should I come?”
“Can you—are you free nowish?” Laura asks.
Kara makes herself free ‘nowish’.
She drives entirely too fast to get here, but traffic laws were made for people who can't drive anyway.
When Laura opens her front door, her glasses on, Kara says, "Hi."
“That was quick," says Laura.
“I don’t have much work right now,” Kara lies. Laura nods and waves her inside, the ladder to the attic already pulled down. Kara unbuttons her uniform jacket and throws it over a chair so she’s in just her tanks, then climbs up. “It’s a shit show up here,” says Kara, but she finds the box quickly, taking it down to Laura.
Then she climbs back up, moving the rest of the boxes around to create a path or two, organizing things into proper piles.
“Are you building a house up there, Kara?” Laura shouts up.
“Just give me a few more minutes,” says Kara, working as hard as she can but not rushing, not anxious to leave. She sorts everything out as well as she can, sweating from the effort of moving tubs and containers. Fifteen minutes pass, then thirty, forty-five, so on.
Laura comes up, sitting on the floor with a glass of wine as she watches. “Having fun?” she asks.
“This is ridiculous, Laura. You’re the queen of organization. How did you let this get so bad?”
“People only think I’m organized. In reality, I’m like the kid who cleans his room by stuffing everything into the closet, hoping it doesn’t leak out.”
“Well, it’s definitely leaking out, Laura,” says Kara, wiping sweat off her forehead. She takes a seat on a trunk, rubbing her sore arms.
“It looks much better now, though.”
“I’m going to have to come back. You’ve got some stuff in here that could definitely stand to be donated. And I’m pretty sure I saw a mouse, so traps are in order. I’m a little concerned about some mold I saw near the pipes. It looks safe enough, but you’re never sure. I’ll run a couple of tests, but I guess I’m done for now.”
They head back downstairs, where everything is gloriously asbestos free. Laura scampers over to the refrigerator and fixes Kara a glass of lemonade. “Drink up,” she says.
Kara nods, downing it easily.
“It’s getting late,” Kara says.
Nodding, Laura sets down her glass of wine. “You’ll be back soon? To work on all that?”
Kara comes back the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.
It’s difficult. All Kara wants to do is push Laura onto the couch and lick her off until she’s a pile of boneless flesh, but she knows that’s off limits.
Laura’s outfits don’t help. Where does she even buy skirts that short and find blouses that tight, low cut, and basically kind of see-through?
Laura starts inviting Kara to stay for dinner, and Kara doesn’t really pass up good home-cooked meals. They’re elaborate, too, delicious and decadent and rich, complete with fancy desserts with names Kara doesn’t bother trying to pronounce right. There’s this one thing with cinnamon and nutmeg shaved dark chocolate and fresh whipped cream and light as a feather miniature cakes.
They sit next to each other, the conversation growing easier, Kara making sure to buy fresh flowers every week to fill the vase at the center of the table.
One evening, Laura’s talking about the new bill that’s probably going to pass that she really, really doesn’t want to pass, and Kara’s taken by how lovely she is, so unbelievably fierce and strong and everything Kara’s not. She reaches out to rub her cheek, and Laura’s eyes close.
“Kara,” she says.
Kara jerks her hand away. “Sorry. Sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
Laura’s looking at her, eyes sharp with something Kara can’t place. She reaches out, grabs Kara’s wrist, takes her hand and places it back on her cheek.
“Feels good,” Laura says.
Desperate Fleet Wives is back from hiatus, so they watch it together in Laura’s place, cuddled on the couch under a blanket, laughing at the drama.
Kara’s pretty much faking it, because she doesn’t know what the frak’s going on on the television. She’s too focused on the rhythm of Laura’s breathing, and her hair brushing against Kara’s chest, and her hand balled up in Kara’s shirt.
Kara pulls a strand of Laura’s hair behind her ear and kisses her temple.
Laura’s eyes jerk up.
“Was that okay?” Kara asks.
Laura turns her body slightly. “Yeah,” she says, a whisper.
“How about this?” Kara asks, leaning forward pressing a kiss on her lips, light, barely even there. “That okay?”
“Yeah,” Laura says, licking her lips.
“Can I—can I keep going?”
“Yeah,” says Laura.
And Kara takes her time, because this is something she’s good at, this is something she’s not a frak up at.
She just hopes Laura gets the message that she’s the most gorgeous thing in the worlds.
They are in each other’s arms, breathing each other’s air, sharing each other’s warmth. That’s when Kara feels it, the tears trickling down her breasts, coming from Laura.
“Laura?” Kara asks.
There are a few muffled sobs.
“You can’t do that to me again,” says Laura. “You can’t.”
Kara uses her thumb to wipe away some of Laura’s tears. “I won’t.”
“Whatever, whatever shit you need to work through, I understand. I get it. Believe me, I do. But you can’t do that. You can’t treat me like that.”
Kara doesn’t catch every word, Laura’s voice breaking, but she gets enough to know she needs to hold Laura tight.
“I’m so sorry, Laura. I’m so sorry. I love you so much, and I never want to hurt you.”
And then she feels her own tears running down her face, hot and making her eyes burn.
A couple of days later, when Kara’s cleaning up a cut Kara got across her hands when she was putting together the new coffee table, Laura says, “Gods, Kara, I love you, but you’re so godsdamn clumsy. Please tell me you’re better at Viper flying than coffee table building?”
“Slightly, yes,” says Kara.
They are lying in bed, half asleep, and Kara’s so happy that she really doesn’t trust it. It's the kind of happiness that the gods like to snatch away for sport.
She forgets to be afraid, though, when Laura starts randomly singing this song that they’ve been playing on the radio nonstop. How did she get so cute? Like, how did that even happen?
“What?” Laura says, noticing that Kara’s smiling.
“Nothing. I’m gonna hit the lights, okay?”
“Okay,” says Laura. “Please do your best not to steal the blankets tonight.”
Kara shrugs, flips the switch on the table lamp.
“Love you,” Kara says.
“Love you,” says Laura.
And sleep comes pretty easy that night.