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01 February 2010 @ 08:22 pm
After the Dance [BSG; Adama/Roslin]  
TITLE: After the Dance
FANDOM: Battlestar Galactica
PAIRING: Adama/Roslin
SPOILERS: "Unfinished Business," extended cut (yes, I have an unhealthy obsession with this ep - can ya blame me?)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: After helping him out of the ring, the President tends to her Admiral's wounds.


*****

"Madam President."

"Admiral." She reached up, taking his hand and elbow while he stepped down from the ring, and she led him away, chancing tentative glimpses at him.

She felt dozens of eyes on them; curious, questioning -- probably wondering just why the President was still holding the hand of the Admiral. Wondering why she had reached up to place gentle hands on him when the momentum of the fight would send him against the ropes. Wondering why she had so readily stepped up into the ring during a time-out and pressed ice to his face, as if she were his godsdamn wife.

But Laura couldn't bring herself to care. She just kept her eyes on Bill and ignored all the rest, including her security detail that always hung back several feet. When they were back on the main decks of Galactica, she turned over her shoulder, deep auburn curls flying across her shoulder as she fixed her watchers with a firm look through her glasses. "The Admiral and I will be fine the rest of the way, thank you," she said, voice soft though with a definitive edge that told them not to question her. The pair of guards closest to them nodded and stopped in their tracks, holding up a hand to signal the rest.

"How can you be sure?" Bill rasped, leaning partly against her as she continued to keep a firm grip on his hand and elbow. "Now would be the perfect time to kick me when I'm down."

She smirked. "Never known you to indulge in self-deprecating behavior, Admiral."

"First time for everything, Madam President."

She sighed. "Do you have a first-aid kit in your quarters, Bill?"

"Under the sink." With his free arm, he opened the heavy hatch to his quarters and gestured her to go inside first, hand ghosting on the small of her back.

She smiled and murmured a quick, "Thank you," before going straight for his sink. Upon finding the small white box, she returned to his side and forced him to take a seat on his couch.

Laura placed the kit between them and opened it up, going first for the antiseptic and gauze. She felt his eyes on her, just like all of the eyes that had been focused on her at the dance. And while his were questioning much like the others, she also felt the tenderness as he looked at her. She glanced up with a smile. "This is going to sting."

"Can't possibly hurt much worse than getting punched in the face." After a beat, he added thoughtfully, "Or being shot in the chest."

She dipped her head, not wanting to remember those times -- the animosity between them, that deep chasm separating them from being a united front. She was beyond glad those times were behind them now; that they'd struck a balance with each other. "Just hold still," she whispered and, after pouring a small amount of antiseptic to a piece of gauze, she raised it to his face.

Laura flinched when a hiss broke forth from his lips, and brought her other hand up to cup the least-injured side of his face.

"You must think I'm a piece of work, huh?" he grumbled.

Smiling good-naturedly, she quipped, "Well sure. But that's nothing new." When she caught his facetious glare, she grinned, focusing her eyes on her task once more as she cleaned the blood from him. "You took quite the beating, Bill. That wasn't just an attempt to impress me, was it?"

He glanced at her in his periphery, and she smiled when the small smirk formed on his lips. "Don't know, can't say. Did it work?"

Lips pressed together, she giggled a bit. "Maybe. I do love a good fight. Even better when it's my man winning."

Their eyes met and suddenly her face felt flushed. Her mouth opened and closed, forming silent words to backpedal; it took a moment before anything came out. "By 'my man,' I meant--" His chuckle disarmed her, and she glanced up to find the smile bright on his face.

"Relax, Laura. I knew what you meant."

She tweaked out a small smile, reassured by the mirth in his eyes, and went back to work cleaning his wounds. "So did this help?"

"Help what?"

"Help you work out some of those frustrations you'd been talking about. You never did finish what you were saying."

"I guess, a little. I had meant to say that, all the frustrations I have these days... can't necessarily be settled in the ring."

She nodded thoughtfully, setting down the gauze only long enough to stand up and shuck her confining suit jacket. If she was going to settle in for a bit, may as well get comfortable. Her pumps were the next to go before she returned to his side, one arm pressed to the back of the couch while she angled her body toward him, drawing her legs up beside her. Then, she grabbed for a fresh piece of gauze and finished cleaning him. "Is there anything I can do to help ease some of your frustration?"

When he brought his eyes to hers, there was a spark there within the deep blue that was difficult to ignore, though neither one of them gave voice to the possible double meaning as he told her, "Just having you in my corner helps, Laura." Chuckling, he added, "Figuratively and literally."

"I'm always in your corner, Bill." Tilting her head, she reached for a bandage. "I know it may not always seem like it, but we are always working toward the same goal -- survival of the species."

He made a soft, gruff hum of acknowledgement, nodding his head a bit. Carefully, she placed the bandage over one of the particularly nasty cuts he'd received, fingertips pressing lightly to make sure it stuck. When he reached up and gently took her wrist, she met his eyes again.

"Thank you."

She smiled. "Of course. We'll need to ice that other side of your face a little more; otherwise you'll have some pretty nasty discoloration tomorrow."

"I'm thinking that's inevitable. Ice won't matter."

"Still." She rose to her feet, disposing of the bandage wrapper and used pieces of gauze. "We should ice your face."

"Laura--"

"Bill." She cut him off definitively, hands on her hips and the look in her eyes daring him to defy her.

He just sighed resignedly and leaned his head back on the couch, closing his eyes. "Fine."

Laura grinned to herself, a bit triumphantly since he couldn't see her, and headed for the hatch. "I'm just going to run to sickbay for an ice pack. Don't go anywhere." Pausing in the door, she turned and added for effect, "That's an executive order, Admiral."

He chuckled, eyes still closed. "Yes, Madam President."

She smirked to herself all the way to sick bay, a warm feeling in the pit of her stomach. She wasn't often able to be close to the Admiral; not since New Caprica and not with their duties keeping them at arm's length. Something was different tonight, though. The smile he'd given her when she snuck up on him was encouraging -- he had been happy to see her, that much was evident. And the way he'd been staring at her set something aflutter in the recesses of her belly.

Though they'd been doing this dance around each other since before the ground breaking on New Caprica, that night had certainly taken things to the next level. Falling asleep with her head on his chest and waking up on her side to find him spooned around her had definitely changed the game. A kiss had been shared; certainly not their first and, from the feel of it, not their last either. They still hadn't talked about it, though. Maybe, if they were lucky, tonight they could open the floor and--

"Madam President, there you are. How's the 'champion' doing?" Doc Cottle stopped her just as she'd grabbed the ice pack and moved to head back to the Admiral's quarters.

She flicked a smile at the curmudgeonly but kind doctor. "He's recovering. Stubborn as an ox, but I gave him an executive order to ice his face."

The doctor chuckled. "Yeah, that'll do it. Well..." He shrugged. "I 'spose if anyone can handle him, it's you."

Laura felt her confident stance falter, just a little, smile wavering. She chuckled nervously, tucking a slice of hair behind her ear. "Then you must not know the Admiral very well," she teased.

"And you must not see the way he looks at you."

She met Cottle's eyes and searched them back and forth. He merely gave a slight, enigmatic smile and patted the hand that held the ice pack. "Never question a doctor's diagnosis," he teased back, and gave her a wink before turning to leave the sick bay.


*****

"Thought you'd run off," the Admiral teased when she finally came back to his quarters.

She smiled, holding up the ice pack. "Had a little trouble finding these," she fibbed, and returned to his side, tucking her legs up beside her once more and leaning against the back of the couch. "Turn towards me."

He did as she bade and for a moment, she marveled at the trust he put in her; at the way this rough, immaculately-composed man so easily just let his guard down enough to allow her to take care of him. And then she couldn't help but recall the doctor's words: "And you must not see the way he looks at you."

Bill glanced over at her, opening his eyes for a split-second to smile. "Alright, so what are you really doing here? Why all the TLC?"

His voice was low, rough, but there was a hint of flirtation laced within, that she couldn't help but respond to. "What, a President can't take care of her favorite Admiral after he so impressively stood his ground in the ring?"

He chuckled and patted her knee, inching away from her touch before getting up from the couch. "Tell ya what, give me a second to rinse out my mouth and then I'll come back."

"Why?"

"Well first of all, I'm sick of tasting blood. Just a sec."

Laura watched him head to the sink and rinse his mouth out thoroughly, brushing his teeth quickly before rinsing again and returning to her side on the couch. She readjusted her position, settling minutely closer to him, and pressed the ice pack to his face once more. "Second of all?" she prompted after a moment had passed.

"Hmm?" His eyes were closed again, and he reached up to grasp her wrist, redirecting where she had placed the ice pack.

She watched him as he did this, noting that his touch lingered just a bit longer than necessary before he let go. "You started your last sentence with 'first of all.' Was there a second reason you wanted fresh breath, Bill?" Pressing her elbow into the back of the couch, she leaned her temple on the heel of her hand, fingers curled into her hair as she kept an eye on him.

Maybe this was another turning point for them, her taking care of him like this. Maybe this was their new-New Caprica. His hand settled on her wrist again and she held her breath; arms limp and willing as he removed the ice pack from his face and set it on the table in front of them, still with one hand on her.

"Yeah," he finally murmured lowly, searching her eyes. "There was a second reason."

She searched his eyes right back, voice dropping to a whisper. "Which is what?"

Before Laura could process what was happening, his hand had snuck beneath her curls, cupped the back of her neck, and pulled her in, capturing her lips. The pressure was firm, but still tender, and he was pulling away before she could fully kiss back.

He smiled. "That. I've kinda been dying to do that since you caught up with me downstairs."

Grinning, she lowered her lips to his again, kissing him soundly. When she pulled back, she tilted her head, scalp tingling as he played with her hair. "Just since then, Bill?"

"Alright," he sighed, fingers leaving her curls. "Since New Caprica."

Their lips met again and she hummed against his, her smile forming to his grin. "Thought so," she chuckled as the kiss broke.

"So did you enjoy the dance?"

"I did," she murmured, settling her head on his chest and curling into him, smiling when his arm fell around her and tucked her close. "Though I must admit, when I first heard about mention of a 'dance,' I had been looking forward to a reprisal of those infamous Bill Adama dance moves."

"Really." He glanced over at her, eyes raking over her face, and she smiled up at him, giving a short hum of accordance.

"I did enjoy our dance together on Colonial Day, after all."

"Well," he grunted slightly as he moved out from beneath her, getting up again and moving toward his bookshelves, where a small stereo laid in wait. "Maybe there's something I can do to remedy that."

Laura watched with a grin as he queued up some music, soft sounds soon filling the air. When he turned back to her, she tilted her head. "This another attempt to impress me, Admiral?" she teased.

"Of course not, Madam President," he returned smoothly, holding his hand out to her this time instead of his arm. She took it willingly, almost eagerly, and he squeezed her hand, pulling her into the open space between his couch and his rack. After a beat of comfortable silence, he finished his last thought, lips to her ear: "This is an attempt to seduce you."

She giggled at the tease, though she couldn't fight the shiver his words induced. Ever since their night together on New Caprica, the idea of being seduced by the Admiral had become more and more likely a scenario in her mind.

Laura closed her eyes, her cheek finding his as their bodies swayed together, just slightly under-tempo from the music. There were so many things she wanted to ask him; why he got into the ring tonight, for starters. Was it truly to impress her, because she'd mentioned loving a good fight? What had the look on his face meant when she noticed him staring? Were they ever going to talk about what happened at the ground-breaking ceremony?

"Bill," she murmured, pulling back just far enough to meet his eyes.

"Yeah."

"Just want you to know..." Her eyes flicked to his lips, then back up again. "Whatever this is, whatever that night on New Caprica meant, wherever it's leading if anywhere... I'm always in your corner. And I'm not going anywhere."

He searched her eyes back and forth, either checking her sincerity or the gravity of her promise, she wasn't certain. Finally, he smiled. "Good to know."

Then, he pulled her close once more and Laura shut her eyes, allowing herself to enjoy the sensations of this dance, after 'the dance.'



FIN



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{x-posted to adama_roslin}
 
 
 
Hopeful Romantic: shinyhoperomantic on February 2nd, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
What a nice fic! I love how "in character" they are and all and all, such a nice moment between the two. Thank you for sharing.
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! Glad you liked :)
hope4billlaura: The LOOK NChope4billlaura on February 2nd, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
Yay! Very sweet story! Thank you!! :D
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D
Avery: bsg: ar pretty girl fly boyaverita on February 2nd, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
This is sweet! So often the post-UB fics are incredibly angsty, and it was refreshing to see a flirtier, more cheerful side of things.
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you liked this! I've seen plenty of angsty post-UB fics too, but that's never been my take on it. They needed some flirtation afterward :)
Little Miss Magic: NC ARsamcasey on February 2nd, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
Oh my I love this!

And I think all a/r shippers have an unhealthy obsession with this ep. LOL

This was great! I absolutely love fic on what happened after they left the dance. I love the kisses and I like your angle on them not having already slept together on NC. Lots of ppl think they did but I like seeing it from both sides.

I think I love you for having them dance <3 and this "This is an attempt to seduce you." *whimper*

Great job! Im so loving all this fic from you!
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that. And LOL, glad to know I'm not the only one completely enamored with this episode :D

I love the kisses and I like your angle on them not having already slept together on NC. Lots of ppl think they did but I like seeing it from both sides. I agree -- I think it's very, very possible that they did sleep together on NC, but I can also other side where they just spent a (mostly) platonic night together. Either way, it's pretty :D

Thanks again! More fic soon :)
aussiegirl: ub boxingbsg_aussiegirl on February 2nd, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
Sweet, lovely fic.

I especially love this couple of lines: "You must think I'm a piece of work, huh?" he grumbled. Smiling good-naturedly, she quipped, "Well sure. But that's nothing new."

It was a nice ending for an otherwise sad part to that ep.
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this :)
The Geekish Tomboyboudiceaborn on February 2nd, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
This was great, I really like their voices and the description :).
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
Tiffany Nicole: mary whispersluketracy_fan on February 2nd, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
:squee:
That was soooo adorable!!!!! Beautifully written!
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!! :)
pandj1958pandj1958 on February 3rd, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
Aww this is a lovely fresh take on what might have happened after the dance. I think someone has already mentioned that alot of the fics that deal with this are mostly very tense. (Bill your a tool for throwing the fight to make a point about getting too close)kind of fics, and thats great but I like the softer interpretation of yours too, especially if it gives us brilliant banter like this.
Very much enjoyed this, thanks
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked this, thank you!

(Bill your a tool for throwing the fight to make a point about getting too close)kind of fics

Yeah, I've never seen their final interaction that way; but maybe I just haven't been watching the show long enough, not sure. When she held his hand and led him out of the ring, just her body language and her expression seemed to convey that she understood why he did what he did. So, I felt this ending for them was more justified :D
The Motherfrakkin' Quabble: Bill Can Dancelonglivelaura on February 3rd, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
(sigh) We all love Unfinished Business. And we love people who write about it, too (;o) Thanks for sharing.
a.regalish on February 5th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
It's just way too beautiful an episode, and there was way too much material there to work with :D

I'm so glad you enjoyed this!
f e r r i: [bsg] → adama/roslin: unintendedalex_kingston on February 9th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
Aaaah you write them so well! And Doc Cottle makes an appearance! YAY I LOVE THAT MAN! Sorry for being a little slow to read and comment to this fic!
a.regalish on February 10th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Heee! Thanks, sweetie! Glad you liked it :D
csiAngel: bsg laura absofrakkinlutelycsiangel on February 18th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
Aww a lovely addition to the episode. My heart actually skipped when Cottle said, "you must not have seen the way he looks at you" :) Perfect! I'll be looking forward to your next fic.
a.regalish on February 18th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, sweetie! I kinda figured, of all the people in their little 'circle', the ones to probably notice the most would've been Tigh or Cottle -- those wise old dudes ;)

More to come soon, I hope!