Title: Almost
Author: leetah47
Rating: K - I guess
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. Battlestar Galactica and its characters are the property of Scifi channel and Ron Moore.
Summary: A scene addition to the episode Sacrifice. Adama follows Roslin after the scene in the morgue.
Spoilers episode Sacrifice


William Adama stood alone in the quiet of the morgue on the Battlestar Galactica. He was looking at the body of the Cylon that he had thought was the woman Sharon Valerii. She had shot and nearly killed him. He wasn’t sure why he had kept the body here; they had learned all from it that they could; but he hadn’t been able to get rid of it. The body had come in handy tonight as he had tried to trade her for the hostages on Cloud 9. It had almost worked. Almost. It had been a gamble; a gamble that had almost cost him his son. Almost.

Sadly the President’s assistant, Billy, hadn’t been as lucky. Bill was very conscious of the dead, young man lying on a gurney behind him. He also knew that the President would be here at some point. Maybe that was why he was still standing here; so he could see her – and to let her see that he cared, that he knew she had lost someone important on his watch. He almost feared her response. Almost.

As if on cue, the door to the morgue opened. He turned his head slightly, knowing it would be her. She stood still inside the door and looked towards Billy’s body. She looked away again quickly, a pained expression in her eyes. Bill could see the residue of tears on her cheeks. She approached him and looked at the Cylon body. “Is this what you gave them?” she asked.

“It was a calculated risk,” he answered slowly, facing her, ready to accept her anger. It didn’t come. She only said, “It wasn’t worth it,” before she turned and walked towards Billy, not waiting for his answer.

Laura pulled out a chair next to the gurney, sat and prepared herself to look at her dead friend. It wasn’t enough, though, and grief overwhelmed her. She turned on the chair looking for something solid to hold on to and found the wall. She braced her hand against it and let the tears come, even if only for a moment. She then gathered what strength she had left around her and turned once more to Billy.

His hair looked out of place, she thought and exclaimed a soft “oh dear” as she reached out and straightened it a bit. “There, that’s better; that’s better.” She looked at his face, so still in death. “He was so young!” The last syllable caught on something between a sob and a gasp and Bill closed his eyes from the pain he could hear in her voice.

Knowing she couldn’t stay any longer or she would break down right there and possibly not be able to get up again, Laura got to her feet and left the morgue in a hurry. Bill raised his head and looked after her. He had a flash of what she had said earlier…Billy was the closest thing to family she had left in the world…and now he was gone. Who could she turn to now? The thought haunted him and he decided that he couldn’t let her leave like this, all alone. So he hurried after her.

It seemed that she was in no hurry to get anywhere. She had not gotten very far down the corridor when she heard him call after her. “Madam President.” She didn’t react; he tried again and still no response.

“Laura.” The sound of her name made her stop. She closed her eyes to the urgent and sympathetic tone of his voice. He went around to face her and saw the pained expression on her face, her eyes tightly shut.

“Bill, please don’t; I can’t.” she all but whispered. It was taking great effort; but she was trying to hold herself together. How would it look for the President to break down in a very public corridor of Galactica?

Knowing she didn’t want anyone to witness her distress, Bill looked around and spotted the door to a utility room. He gently, but quickly led her to the door and into the small, dimly lit room. She immediately started pacing the room, trying to contain all that she was feeling; but it didn’t help and hot tears sprang from her eyes to spill down her cheeks. She was only partially successful in containing her sobs. She was clenching and unclenching her hands searching for an outlet. Finally, she just started talking. Bill was unsure if she was really talking to him or just needed to say things out loud.

“Why, why?” It seemed a futile question. More pacing, more clenching, more tears. “He has been my one constant, the one I could count on. The only one I could really trust. He took care of me at my worst, for frak’s sake! I was dying; and he did everything for me, things nobody should have to do. I never needed to ask; he just did everything! He argued with me, comforted me, supported me. I have no one left!” She walked right up to Bill’s face; her eyes filled with pain and said with a shaking voice, “How am I going to do this without him?” She was bordering on hysteria and she knew she needed to stop…anything to make it stop.

For a brief moment, she just wanted to feel anything but the piercing pain and sorrow consuming her soul. Without thinking she moved towards him quickly. Bill saw the change in her eyes from pain to something different; and he was ready when she moved. Their mouths crashed together…all of her grief and pain thrust into the emotion of her kiss.

It was bruising and Laura held on to the back of his head for dear life. For the briefest of moments, Bill hesitated and then a realization hit him - he would do anything for her. He would do whatever she needed to get past this tragedy. So he kissed her back, matching her intensity. He let his hands slide through her thick hair, letting her take from him what she needed.

She let all of the emotions she was feeling pour out to the point where their lips met. Anger, hurt, pain, despair, and hopelessness collided in the tears that had never really stopped and ran unchecked down her cheeks. Never had she experienced a kiss like this. In the midst of needing comfort and refuge, another need presented itself. A deeper need that she hadn’t felt for a very long time; she pressed closer to Bill, their tongues mating in an age old dance of intimacy.

Bill’s one hand still ran through her hair and the other cupped her cheek; his thumb stroking away tears. Somehow the kiss had turned from needing into loving.

Laura then realized what she was doing. She pulled out of Bill’s embrace, her hand over her tingling lips and her eyes wide with shock. “I’m sorry.” she managed to whisper. Bill reached out to cup her cheek again, his thumb brushing stray tears away. “Don’t be.”

She moved out of his reach, not meeting his eyes and turned away. At that moment, he realized something. “You blame me.” It wasn’t a question; it was a statement of fact made without bitterness.

“Yes.” she answered at once, then looked back at him and said “No, not really...I met Dualla before coming here. She told me he tried to help; that he was a hero. What good is it being a hero when you’re dead?” she asked vehemently. Bill didn’t answer.

“It’s going to be so hard without him.” she whispered and the tears that had almost stopped ran silently down her cheeks again. She wiped at them angrily - enough was enough! She was the President and she needed to get a grip on herself.

Bill saw the change. “You don’t have to be strong all the time, Laura. It’s just you and me right now.”

“But I can’t be this way; I’m out of control! I have to keep it together. If I can’t, then who will? People depend on me to lead them; and I can’t lead anyone like this.” She was pacing again, wiping at her tears, which seemed to be in endless supply now that she had let them flow. She was so confused, feeling a hundred things at once. Bill let her pace.

She stopped in the middle of the room. She looked small and tired to him. He was, however, a little at a loss as how to help her. “I’m exhausted. I can’t go out there again like this.”

“Then let’s sit for a while.” He gestured towards the storage boxes and sat down. She followed and sat down close to him, needing his presence and strength. He slipped his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him, allowing herself a brief moment of weakness in his arms. She emptied her mind and let herself just feel his warmth and the small rhythmic patterns he was tracing on her shoulder. It felt comforting and familiar somehow; she felt at home in his arms.

She breathed in and started talking again. “Did you know he asked Dualla to marry him this morning? I felt like a proud mother sending her son out to find his happiness. She turned him down.” she stated flatly. Bill tightened his arm around her in comfort.

“I can’t believe that I’m sitting here, mourning one person when we lost so many in the attack. It was like this just after the attack; I had just learned I had cancer. Nearly the whole human race was wiped out and all I could think about was that I had cancer and would die from it. I feel so guilty, feeling like that…it’s so selfish.”

“It’s not selfish, Laura, it’s human. Mourning the entire human race is too abstract; so we focus on what matters to us: health, family, and love. It’s more relatable mourning family than all the people on the twelve colonies. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care, but we can’t cry for all those souls. We would never be able to accomplish anything. And Billy wasn’t just some person; he was family.”

She nodded at his words, knowing they were true, but it didn’t seem to comfort her right now. Her world had changed yet again, and she needed time to readjust. Bill looked back at her and saw her head hanging; her whole demeanour seemed defeated. He reached out to lift her chin as he had done once before. It seemed so long ago now that they shared that one brief kiss when she was dying. He repeated her words back to her now. “Never give up hope, Laura.” He then leaned in and joined their lips again. This kiss was sweet and devoid of the earlier desperation. It was a gentle tasting of lips; filled with the promise of more should they wish to pursue the possibility. He withdrew slowly and looked into her eyes, which had regained some of their sparkle. “Are you ready to face the public again?” he asked.

She got up from her seat, combed her fingers through her hair and drew a heavy sigh. “Yes. How do I look?” His eyes softened when he looked at her. “Beautiful.” he offered simply.

She blushed at the compliment. “Thank you; but I meant was I presentable?” she smiled slightly.

“Yes, Madam President, very presentable.” he said as he also got up from his seat. He offered his arm. “Come on, I’ll take you to your transport.”

Laura accepted his arm and drew another sigh. “Okay, let’s go. Oh and Bill…Thank you.” Her eyes spoke the deep gratitude her words couldn’t and he squeezed the hand that rested on his arm.

“You are very welcome, Laura.”

Having found, for the moment, at least a shadow of peace, the President let the Admiral lead her out of the utility room and together they moved towards the hangar bay. Laura held on to Bill’s arm a little tighter than she usually did when he escorted her. With all they had been through since the attacks it amazed her that they were still alive. Walking next to Bill, on his ship that protected what was left of humanity, almost made her feel safe. Almost.