The Beauty of Love by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Summary: Bill and Laura take a moment for themselves while orbiting Earth and their story continues after they land on Earth. Takes places during Daybreak, the series finale. No character death. Originally posted on Fanfiction.net.
Categories: Romance Characters: None
Genres: Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 17 Completed: No Word count: 32596 Read: 580 Published: Jun 15, 2017 Updated: Aug 20, 2017

1. Chapter 1 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

2. Chapter 2 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

3. Chapter 3 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

4. Chapter 4 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

5. Chapter 5 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

6. Chapter 6 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

7. Chapter 7 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

8. Chapter 8 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

9. Chapter 9 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

10. Chapter 10 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

11. Chapter 11 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

12. Chapter 12 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

13. Chapter 13 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

14. Chapter 14 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

15. Chapter 15 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

16. Chapter 16 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

17. Chapter 17 by Kaitlynnlovescats96

Chapter 1 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
This was meant to be a one-shot but in the last few minutes of writing it, I realized that I could continue it. So I hope you enjoy it! I posted this story on Fanfiction.net a few years ago and I am just now getting around to posting it on here. Disclaimer: I do not own Battlestar Galactica. If I did, it would still be going on and Laura would not be dead.
As Galactica flies towards Earth, Bill looks at all of his officers in the CIC. Each of their faces hold a different set of emotions, some are hopeful, some are happy, and others just hold a look of complete thankfulness for finally reaching the end. He then turns and looks at Laura’s face. Her face holds all of these emotions as well, but mixed with others, pride for having seen the journey completed, sadness knowing that her journey is about to end, and love for having completed this journey with Bill. He catches her eyes with his own and sends a reassuring smile in her direction. Looking at one of his CIC officers, he says, “Please send a raptor to the fleet’s coordinates and have them jump here.”

“Yes, sir.”

Bill then turns towards his XO and motions for him to come near. “Saul, I need you to hold the fort down here for a couple hours. There’s something I need to do.” At this, he looks over at Laura.

Saul follows his gaze and realizes that Laura is on the other end of it. He never would have guessed in a million years that his friend would have fallen for her, but he did. And now he has to watch the old man’s heart break because the woman he loves is dying right in front of his very eyes. Saul looks back at Bill and sees almost a pleading look in his eyes, the desperation of needing to share a few private moments with her before he can’t anymore. “I understand, Bill. Go.”

Bill returns his eyes to Saul and gives him a look of thanks. He walks over to Laura and says gently, “Let’s go and get cleaned up. Saul is going to take care of things down here for now.”

She looks up at him in exhausted surprise and says in her congested voice, “I really don’t think it matters very much now.”

“Laura, you are covered in blood. Don’t you want to get that smell and feel off of you? I know that I do,” he says, trying to hide the desperation in his voice. He just needs to have a moment alone with her. He needs a chance to say good-bye because he knows any breath could be her last.

Laura gazes into his deep blue eyes, the opening to his soul, and sees his misery. Their journey is complete, so he knows that her journey is almost complete too. “Okay. But I’m going to need your help.” She nods her head at Bill as she braces her hands on the center CIC console. Bill wraps his arms around her tiny waist and gently pulls her up.

Moving the chair out from behind her, he wraps one arm around her back and she wraps one of hers around his shoulders. Slowly they move together and make their way out of CIC. Bill slows his pace as Laura takes one halting step at a time. They watch for sparks flying as they pass all of the corridors. Their home is falling apart. As Laura slows down, Bill reaches out with his free arm and Laura grabs hold of it, gently squeezing. “Are you okay?”

“I just-I just need a moment. Can we stop for a minute?”

Bill looks around hurriedly for something Laura can sit on. He sees a metal crate a couple yards away. “Do you think you can walk a couple more yards to that crate over there?”

“Yeah, I can.” She takes a few more stumbling steps with Bill and then lowers herself to the crate. Resting her head on the bulkhead, she looks up at Bill and gives him a sad smile, trying to catch her breath.

He squats down next to her and carefully places his hand on her knee. “Let me know when you’re ready.” Being as gentle as possible, he runs his hand up and down her thigh, comforting her, letting her know that he is there. He gazes around his ship and notices for the first time in several years that there is no one else walking through the halls besides them. There are no voices in the hall to cover up the groaning of his ship, and it is deafening.

A few minutes later, Laura rests her hand over Bill’s on her leg and weakly squeezes it. “I’m ready, honey. We can keep going.”

Bill stands up from his crouched position and wraps an arm around her waist, taking hold of her hand and tenderly pulling her up off of the crate. Laura puts her hand on the bulkhead for a minute to regain her balance and a moment later she nods her head at Bill. Resuming the walk back towards their quarters, Bill says, “Once we’re done cleaning up in our quarters, I was thinking we could go over to the Observation Deck and look out at Earth from up here. What do you think?”

Catching her breath before she speaks, she looks at Bill and finally says, “I think that would be lovely. A final good-bye to space, the place we’ve lived for five years.”

The remainder of the walk is silent until they reach their quarters. Bill slowly helps Laura down the stairs and they cross the hatchway into their quarters, Bill closing the hatch behind them. He helps her over to the rack and she sits down. Walking over to the head, he pulls out two towels and dampens them from the sink. The faucet is just barely letting out a trickle, so he knows the pipes are giving out on the ship. Moving back out to Laura, he sets one of the towels on the edge of the rack and then starts cleaning the dried blood off of Laura’s face. He hopes none of it is from her.

“Bill, I can do that myself,” she says, taking her glasses off of her face and shakily reaching for the towel.

Bill looks into her eyes and whispers, “Just indulge me.” After wiping away the blood on her cheeks, he presses a kiss on both sides of her cheeks. Next he cleans off the rise of her nose, ending with a soft kiss placed in that same spot. Brushing away the bangs of her wig, he wipes the dirt and grime off of her forehead, leaning up so he can place a kiss there. And then next is her chin, going through the same routine of cleaning and then kissing. Looking at her glasses, he wipes off the tiny blood spots on the lenses and then slides them back onto Laura’s face. Running his hand over her cheek, he ends with a soft kiss to her lips, feeling a smile grow across her face. He looks up and sees that her eyes are still closed, reveling in the moment. Taking her hand in his, he presses a kiss to her papery skin and then sits down beside her on the rack. He gets the other towel and begins wiping his face off. Starting with his face, he then moves to his hair and gets all the dirt out.

After wiping his hands off on the towel, he gets up from the rack, the movement making Laura look up at him, and walks over towards one of the boxes packed in the corner of the room. This is the moment Laura really looks around the room and realizes that their home is packed away, most of the stuff moved from their quarters. Her eyes return to Bill and she sees him putting on a clean uniform. “Bill…”

Bill whips around and looks at her, worried. He quickly walks over to her and says, “Are you okay?”

Laura shakes her head and says, “I’m fine, Bill. I was just thinking.”

It suddenly dawns on Bill that he is changing but he doesn’t having any clean clothes for her. He looks down at her with guilt in his eyes. His voice breaks as he says, “Laura, I’m sorry that I can’t-that I can’t offer you any clean clothes. I packed them all away and-and I didn’t think…”

Laura slowly raises her hand to his cheek and says, “It’s okay, Bill. I understand.” She interrupts him before he has to finish what he was about to say. She knows he doesn’t want to say it. He didn’t think she would need any of her clean clothes because everybody thought she would die in that hospital bed in sickbay. But she didn’t, and she’s still here. She wraps her arms around his neck and he realizes she wants to stand up. Putting his arm around her waist, he helps her to stand and then realizes that her face is inching towards his. Moving his lips towards hers, their magnetic pull draws their lips together. Finally, after the need for oxygen becomes too great, their lips pull apart. Laura rests her forehead against his cheek and breathes in the needed oxygen.

Bill is the first to speak. “Are you ready to go to the Observation Deck?” He feels her nod against his cheek and he takes that as affirmation. Guiding her towards the front of their quarters, he stops at a box that was one of the last to be packed and hadn’t been transferred yet and grabs Laura’s red plaid blanket and a small, light box, hiding it in his pants pocket.

As they move towards the Observation Deck, Laura’s footing becomes more and more unsteady. Her steps become more stumbling as Bill wraps his arm tighter around Laura’s waist. He looks at her, concerned, and that is when Laura takes one more step and begins to fall. He wraps both arms around her tightly, barely managing to keep her on her feet. “Laura, if you can’t make it, we can stop.”

“No, Bill, I’m fine,” Laura says as she struggles to take another step. She wants to do this, and she will.

This is what drives him mad but also what he loves about her, her stubbornness. He sighs, hands her the blanket, and says, “Laura, put your arm around my neck and hold this.”

“What are you doing?” she asks, her voice low and congested.

“This,” Bill says as he lifts her up, cradling her in his arms. He grimaces when he notices she’s too easy to lift; she’s gotten so tiny now, her body and her spirit. She’s only a fraction of what she used to be and this presses him deeper into misery. He truly is losing her, and soon. Resuming the walk to the Observation Deck, he tries to stop the tears from forming in his eyes, but he loses and a few fall down his cheeks. Even as tired as Laura is, she notices and slowly lifts her hand to wipe away the tears, choosing not to say anything. Once they reach the Observation Deck, Bill steps through the hatch and then leans Laura against the wall so he can close and lock it. Picking her back up, he carefully makes his way down the stairs and sets her down on the bench next to the window, overlooking space. Laying himself down on the cushioned seat, he pulls Laura into his arms and arranges the blanket over them. Wrapping his arms around Laura’s body, he hopes to bring some warmth into her bones. She rests her hands over his and interlaces her fingers, keeping his tight against her body.

“It’s absolutely beautiful, isn’t it?” Laura says in amazement, staring out at planet Earth. No matter how close she is to death, she will always look at the beauty of things.

“It certainly is,” Bill says, never taking his eyes off of Laura. He wishes they could stay like this forever, never breaking from this moment. He deeply breathes in the smell of her and places a light kiss on the top of her wig. “I can’t wait for us to see all the wildlife down there. The pilots who flew down there and did the scans said that there is a lot.”

“I’m so happy, Bill. I can’t believe we did it. We actually did it.” She nuzzles Bill’s cheek with the side of her face and turns her head so that she is looking at him from the corner of her eye. “Thank you, Bill, for getting us here.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Laura. You did much more than I did. You gave us hope and faith. We never would have gotten to this point without that. I really should be the one thanking you.”

Laura hums in acknowledgement and then turns her eyes back towards the window, admiring the beauty of the planet from space. The blues and greens of this planet are gorgeous. As Bill tightens his arms around her, she realizes that for the first time in weeks she is truly warm. Blankets don’t do much for her now; the only thing that allows her to escape the cold is the warmth of Bill’s body pressed against hers. So when she feels suddenly cold on the left side of her body and new warmth on her leg, she slowly turns away from the window and looks down at her lap. She sees Bill’s hand resting on her leg and holding a little black box. Bill knows she’s seen the box when he feels her gasp against his chest. He opens the box with a flick of his finger and says softly next to her ear, “Be my wife, Laura. I know we won’t be able to be together for long, but any amount of time spent with you as my wife is long enough.”

Laura shifts her body so she can look directly into Bill’s eyes. She knows her own eyes are filling with tears and she blinks them away as quick as she can so she can see clearly. “I-I…” She can’t get the sentence out so she just nods her head.

Bill reaches around her with his free hand and takes the ring from the box, sliding it onto her finger. It is a simple gold band engraved with intricate designs intermixed with small diamonds. Raising her left hand to his lips, he places a kiss just above her ring and then he turns his head towards hers and gives her a soft kiss on the lips. As their lips release, Bill whispers against her, “I married you months ago, I just didn’t realize it. I love you, Laura.”

“I love you too, Bill.” She settles back against his chest and runs her finger over her newly placed ring. A smile begins to grow on her face as she distantly remembers a time when she absolutely hated this man. Now she doesn’t ever want to leave him. Looking back out of the window, she realizes that this is the third miracle of the day. Maybe, just maybe, a fourth could be managed.
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it! Reviews and critiques are appreciated.
Chapter 2 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here is the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it! It does feature other characters besides Bill and Laura.
A few hours later, Bill and Laura are standing on Earth together, Laura being held up by Bill. Lee and Kara had managed to bring Laura down in a raptor while Bill flew the last viper off of Galactica, saying a final farewell to his home in the stars. They had met up when both had landed and Bill took Laura a small distance away where they could hopefully be alone. After helping Laura get settled down on the ground, leaning up against their things that were brought down from the ship, he walks back over to the raptor to get his binoculars. Just as he is about to leave the raptor, the Agathons catch him off guard.

“Admiral, how is she doing?” Athena says to him hesitantly, holding Hera in her arms. She nods over at the president and looks over at her.

Bill gruffly clears his throat, trying to get the knot out of it that has suddenly formed. “She’s not doing well. She’s dying. And very soon she’ll be… Ummm…” Bill’s voice wavers and he has to clear his throat again. “Why? Why do you ask?”

“Sir, there’s something I should tell you. Something we want to give to you as a final gift for getting us here.” Athena takes hold of Helo’s hand and gives it a tight squeeze. “I’m pregnant.”

“Congratulations! Building up the population! Laura will be very happy about that,” Bill says, smiling happily at the couple.

“Thank you. But, Sir, I don’t think you understand. When I was pregnant with Hera, you used the fetus’ blood to cure the president’s cancer. We’re offering you that option again. We want to give this to you to say thank you for getting us here. Please let me help.”

Bill reaches out his hand and lightly squeezes Athena’s arm in appreciation. “I’m sorry, Athena, but I can’t accept this gift. Laura wouldn’t want that. She wants to die with grace, so I can’t accept this from you. But thank you for offering. It certainly means a lot to me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get back to her.”

Athena nods her head and Bill heads off. As soon as Bill is out of hearing range, Athena says to Helo, “You go on without me and take Hera. I’m going to wait here for a little bit.”

“Sharon, why?” Helo says, shocked at her statement. “You tried.”

Athena glances around at Bill and Laura and then looks back at Helo. “Because I know how much he loves her. And when he sees her on the brink of death he’ll change his mind. And I don’t want to not be here when he reconsiders and then have his guilt for not saying yes eating away at him for the rest of his life. Wouldn’t you do the same for me, if I was in her position and someone gave you the chance to save my life?”

Helo looks down at the ground in shame and acceptance and realizes that his wife is once again right. “Yes, I would.”

“Thank you, Karl.” Sharon transfers her daughter over to Helo’s arms and watches as they leave. Sitting down on the wing of the raptor, she watches Bill and Laura from a distance, knowing that what she’s doing is the right thing to do. It’s taken a long time to get to this moment, but it seems as though she’s finally forgiven Laura after all these years.
_______________________________________________________

Bill and Laura cuddle together under the tarp Bill had set up earlier. He gently slides his arm around her shoulder and begins drawing light circles on the sleeve of her jacket. As they start to relax and realize they are finally home, Laura notices a group of wild animals eating in a nearby field. She asks Bill for his pair of binoculars so he reaches back and grabs his binoculars and hands them to her. She unsteadily lifts the binoculars to her eyes and makes out a foggy image of a group of gazelle.

Bill looks over at her to see her reaction to all the wildlife and he thinks he sees a faint smile cross her face.

“There’s so many,” Laura says in a shaky voice. “Wait, I want to see more detail.” She slowly reaches for her glasses on her lap and slides them on. She puts the binoculars back up to her face and sees a clearer image. The animals were nothing like this back on Caprica. Setting the binoculars on the ground beside them, she weakly coughs into her hand and then lays it down on her lap.

Bill picks up her hand and places it in his, while covering the top of her hand with his other. As he is holding her hand, he feels the gold band he had given her just hours before. He rubs his finger over it distantly and wishes they had more time. Thinking back to what Athena had told him, he would save Laura if she would let him, but he knew she wouldn’t. She was mad at him the first time he did it; she would never be able to forgive him if he did it a second time.

Bill gets pulled out of his reverie when Laura says, “It’s a very beautiful world. Does it have a name?”

“Earth,” he says with a sigh of relief. And here he thought it was just a myth.

She doesn’t know why she laughs at this, but for some reason she finds it funny. She can’t believe they are actually here, that she made it, and that she is sitting with Bill as his wife. Once she catches her breath, she says, “It’s not Earth.”

“Earth is a dream. One we’ve been chasing for a long time. We’ve earned it, this is Earth.” Even though he is talking, he doesn’t fail to notice that Laura begins to have difficulty breathing.

“Okay, then. Earth. That’s fine.” She takes a couple of shuddering breaths and says, “Oh. I’m-I’m having trouble breathing.”

After a couple more wheezy breaths, Bill decides he needs to do one last thing for Laura before she goes. “Would you like to get a better look at them?”

“Yes, I’d-I’d love it,” Laura says through shuddering breaths, “What? What do you mean?” As Bill says something to her in reply and begins to unwrap the blankets around her, she feels her vision start to darken. She tries to hold on a little longer for him but fails. Just before her mind goes blank, she whispers three words, “I love you.”

Bill catches her in his arms as she collapses. Unable to believe that she is dead, he presses his middle and index fingers to her wrist to check her pulse, realizing that she is merely unconscious and unbelievably holding on to the last shreds of life. Cradling her in his arms, he is shocked to find out how much she has held his heart these last years. Without her consciously there, he already feels a hole growing inside himself, tearing him apart from the inside out. He can’t lose her, not yet. Leaning down next to her ear, he whispers, “Please wake up. Please don’t leave me yet. I can’t lose you, Laura. I need you with me. Please, Laura.” Tears fall down his cheeks relentlessly as he rocks her in his arms.

At this point, Athena comes rushing over to their spot next to the trees. She crouches down next to them and says, “Admiral, I can help. I can save her. Just let me do this one thing for you. You got us to Earth and you got our daughter back for us, let me get Laura back for you. I can tell how much you love her, let me save her.”

Bill doesn’t even bother to wipe the tears off of his cheeks when Athena appears. “How do you know if it’s even possible for you to save her? How do you know if the blood will work?”

Sharon lets out a sigh and says, “I don’t know for sure. But it can’t possibly worsen her condition in any way. It’s at least worth a shot. The worst it could do is what’s going to happen to her anyway if I don’t do it. You have a chance to save her and be together on Earth. Don’t you want to take it? Don’t you love her enough that you want to see her live?”

“Of course I do. She’s my wife.”

Sharon looks down at the president’s left hand and sees a gold wedding band on her ring finger. She then looks up at the admiral in surprise. “Then that’s all the more reason to take this chance.”

After a few moments of silence, Bill finally agrees to accept Sharon’s gift. He picks Laura up in his arms and hopes he won’t regret this. Even if she is saved, she may never be able to forgive him for this. He follows Sharon over towards the medical tent, but before they reach it Helo and Hera meet up with them and tell them that Starbuck is going to watch Bill and Laura’s things. As the flap of the medical tent is opened, Cottle looks straight into his eyes.

“What are you doing?” Cottle says, his eyes moving from Bill, to an unconscious Laura in his arms, to Sharon and Helo by his side, and back to Bill. He had told Sharon she was pregnant a couple months earlier and so he has an inkling as to why they are standing in front of him now. “If my suspicion is correct as to why you are here, my answer is no. Admiral, she wouldn’t want this and you can’t order me to do it.”

“Sherman, please. She’s dying and I can’t let her go. Please do this for me.”

“No, Admiral. I understand how much pain you are in, but she put her trust in me and I am not going to betray her wishes.”

At this point, Bill realizes he is going to have to use the one thing he didn’t want to use, their marriage. Cottle doesn’t have to know that it isn’t legal yet. He closes his eyes as he says, “As her husband, I am ordering you to save her.”

“As her husband?” Cottle looks at her left hand and realizes that there is a wedding ring on it. It’s obvious that it’s not Bill’s ring because of the diamonds, so she must have accepted it before collapsing. He knows she was in her right mind when she accepted it. “Bill, I can’t believe you’re considering this.”

“I can’t either. But when she collapsed I realized I truly can’t live without her.”

Cottle sighs and says, “Put her in that bed right there. Sharon, lay down on the bed that’s right next to hers. I’ll get the stuff.”

Bill lies Laura gently down on the bed. He checks her pulse another time; it’s weak, but there.

Once Cottle has gotten everything he needs, he instructs Bill to stand next to Laura, making sure someone is there to catch her in case she seizes. He’s now glad he decided to bring down heart monitors and hook them up to the raptor power source. He hooks Laura up to the heart monitor and then places an oxygen mask connected to a portable oxygen tank over her mouth, giving her needed oxygen. After hanging the IV bag onto the pole, he then sticks the IV catheter into Laura’s arm. Moving back over towards Sharon, he sticks a syringe into her growing fetus and pulls out a large amount of blood. Ejecting it into a Petri dish, he gets a clean syringe and fills it with the blood. After adding the blood to Laura’s IV, he waits.

Suddenly, Laura begins to seize and Bill puts his arms on either side of the cot to make sure she doesn’t fall off. She looks up at Bill as she is pulled back into consciousness, trying to gasp for air through the mask. Weakly, she reaches to pull the mask off of her mouth so she can talk. “Bill…” she manages to whisper after a few failed attempts.

“Laura, I’m here. And you’re going to be okay.”
End Notes:
Hope you liked it! Reviews are loved!
Chapter 3 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Well, here's the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it!
“Laura, I’m here. And you’re going to be okay.” He takes her hand in his but as he says this he sees her eyes slip shut. Looking up at Cottle, he says desperately, “What’s going on? She just spoke to me, she can’t be dead.”

“Bill, look up at the monitors. She’s not dead; she just fell asleep. She’s exhausted,” Cottle says, pointing up to the monitors and slipping the oxygen mask back over Laura’s nose and mouth. He sees Bill look up at the monitors and breathe a sigh of relief at seeing Laura’s normal vitals. “But Bill, you need to understand this. Just because her vital signs are normal and she woke up does not mean she is cured. And there is one problem. I can’t know if the cancer has gone into remission or not. The first time we did a CT scan, but I couldn’t bring that equipment down here. That’s the only way of figuring out if it’s still there or if it’s gone. We have no official way of knowing if the cancer’s gone. She’s just going to have to be monitored for signs and symptoms. That’s the only way now. I’m sorry, Bill, but I can’t give you anything more than that.” He turns to Sharon and places a bandage across her abdomen. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine, Doctor,” Sharon says while looking at Laura, concerned. She then looks back at Cottle and says, “Thank you for agreeing to do that.”

“Well, it’s not like I had any other option. Plus, I figured it couldn’t do any harm.” He gruffly clears his throat and then lights a cigar. “Now, since you’re perfectly fine you can get out of my medical tent.”

“Yes, Doctor,” Sharon says with a smirk on her face. Standing up from the cot, she walks over to her husband and daughter. Giving each a kiss, she says, “Alright, where should we go from here?” They walk out of the medical tent and begin exploring.

Cottle returns to Bill’s side and puts a hand on his shoulder. Turning him around, he says, “She’ll probably be out for awhile. Her body was already exhausted and now the cylon blood is hopefully fighting the cancer cells. If you want to go, I can come and get you when she wakes.”

“No, Sherman. I’ve left her far too much; I think I’ll just stay. And I’m not an admiral anymore, so where else should I be.”

Cottle turns around, grabs a chair, and then hands it to Bill. “You’re going to need this then. You’re going to be here awhile.” After handing the chair to Bill, he leaves their area and goes in to the main part of the tent.

Before sitting down, Bill presses a kiss to Laura’s forehead and then runs his hand down her arm, landing at her hand. He sits down in the chair heavily and takes her hand in his, running his finger around the wedding ring he gave her. He hopes that one day, when Laura feels comfortable enough to do it, they can have the wedding they deserve. They can be married in front of a priest with a couple of witnesses and then it would be official. But that’s in a future they may not have. All he can hope for right now is that the blood is doing its job and killing the cancer cells.

As hours pass, his thoughts get pulled back to the cabin and how he is going to build it. They had brought some of their material things down from their quarters, but the only furniture they had brought down was the sectional couch, coffee table, Bill’s desk, and chair. He had decided since the couch could be detached they would bring it down in separate trips. It would be quite hard to build a couch down here with little to work with. And since he thought he was going to be alone for the rest of his days, he decided he wanted a few reminders of his home.
_________________________________________________________

Dusk grows near as the sun begins to set. He whispers next to her ear, “Laura. Laura. Wake up.”

Laura. Laura. Wake up. She doesn’t want to wake up, it’s so peaceful here. Why can’t she just stay where she is? Laura. Come back to me. You’re okay now. But she’s okay here, if only she could tell them that. As she becomes more aware though, she realizes that it’s Bill’s voice calling to her. He’d want her to be with him, for however much time she has left. He’d want to be able to talk to her one last time, to kiss her one last time, and to see her eyes one last time. Nearing wakefulness, she feels a pressure on her hand and realizes it is being held. Giving a weak squeeze, she finally opens her eyes.

“Laura,” Bill exclaims happily. He brushes away the bangs of her wig and presses a kiss to her forehead. Sitting back down in the chair, he just looks at her admiringly. He notices her eyes are searching his, trying to figure out what is going on.

Laura looks around her and realizes she has woken up in one of the large military tents. Her last memories are of watching the gazelle and so she can’t understand how she got here. After glancing at all of the items in the tent, hearing the beeping she got so tired of in sickbay, and realizing she has an oxygen mask on, she swallows. Her throat feels like sandpaper and she weakly points to a cup of water that is sitting next to Bill. She needs to know what happened to her. She feels like she’s been hit by a bus and then run over a couple times. Bill picks up the water and then stands, sliding the oxygen mask off of her face and then helping her take careful sips of the water. After she has had enough, she forcefully clears her throat and rasps, “What happened?”

Bill sits back down in the chair and grabs her hand once again, holding it in his. “Do you not remember waking up earlier?”

“No,” Laura says and shakes her head, confused.

Just as Bill is about to speak, Cottle interrupts them by walking in and says, “Well, look who decided to join the living again. How did you sleep, young lady?” He checks the monitors, listens to her lungs, and then disconnects the oxygen mask.

“Just fine,” Laura says. She then looks back at Bill with her steely gaze and raises her voice just a little bit more, her throat starting to clear. “Bill, you haven’t answered my question. What happened?”

Cottle is about to leave the tent but when he hears Laura’s question he stops. Turning back around to face them, he waits patiently to see how the admiral is going to explain himself. He sees Bill turning to face him to try and get him involved. Looking at both Bill and Laura, he says, “Don’t get me involved. I’m the one that didn’t want to do it.”

Laura looks back at Bill and says, “What did you do? Tell me.” Even as raspy as her voice is, it still has a commanding quality to it and it makes Bill tense in his seat.

Bill lets out a deep breath of nervousness and then starts to speak. “You collapsed as I was picking you up to take you to see the wildlife. When you collapsed, you were still alive, but unconscious. Athena came over and told me that she’s pregnant and she wanted to help save you.”

“Bill, you didn’t.”

Bill looks down at his lap and nods his head, not wanting to face Laura’s disappointment. “Yes, I did. When you collapsed, I realized how much I needed you. If there was a chance she could save you, I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t let you go.”

Laura sighs and then looks up at Cottle. “And you allowed it? You knew I wouldn’t want it and yet you allowed it?”

“I said no at first. And I used that exact reason. But a spouse gets to make the last call on medical decisions, and nothing would change his mind. So I had to do it.” As much as he doesn’t want to admit it, he is glad the admiral forced him to inject her with the blood. He’s had a soft spot for Laura ever since he first became her doctor, and it was very painful for him to watch her suffer and nearly die. He never had children, but in a way, Laura was like his surrogate daughter.

Laura nods her head in acceptance of the explanation and then says, “Well, what’s done is done. Do you know if it worked? At least worked for now?”

“About that, Bill already knows but I’ll tell you now. The only way to determine if cancer is in remission is by doing a CT scan, but unfortunately that equipment could not be brought down here. I’m sorry, but there’s no way of knowing if your cancer is gone. You and Bill will just have to monitor to see if any signs and symptoms show up again. I will do a breast check to see if the tumor you had has shrunken. If I can’t feel it, we are going to have to assume the cancer is gone. After that, you’re just going to have to monitor regularly. That’s all that can be done.”

After a few moments of processing what she has just found out, she says, “Thank you, Cottle.”

He nods his head at her obvious dismissal and then says, “I’ll be back later to check on you.”

After a moment of silence and contemplation on both sides, Laura finally says, “Bill, how could you do this to us, to me, to yourself? Do you know what this means?”

“Yes, Laura. I know that you could still have cancer or it could come back at any time. But, Laura, what if it’s gone and what if it doesn’t come back? I took this chance because I want to get as much time with you as I can. A few days, a few weeks, a few months, a few years, many years; I would take any of that just to be with you longer. This is our chance to be together on Earth, and I couldn’t leave that behind, even if it is only for a little while.”

“Bill, I can’t let you watch me die all over again. It will kill you.” As she says this, she feels a tear fall down her face and she slowly lifts her hand to wipe it off.

Bill looks down because he knows this is true. It nearly killed him this time. Finally, he looks up and says, “Then let’s hope the cylon blood worked. And now, I have something to show you.”

“What are you doing?” Laura rasps, watching him disconnect all of the heart monitor wires from her. She feels him pick her up from the bed and she rests her head gently against his chest, feeling his heart beat against her cheek. The heat from his body is surrounding her and is slowly lulling her into a semiconscious state. She knows he’s stepped outside of the tent when she feels the outside air hitting her skin. Opening her eyes, she sees that it is nighttime.

Bill carefully sits down on the grass with Laura in his arms and pulls her back up against his chest. As they look out at the sky, they are startled by the beautiful sun rays and the sky blurred in orange, red, and purple. “Isn’t the sunset beautiful here?”

“It’s gorgeous,” she says, entranced by the sunset. The colors are dancing across the minimal clouds on the skyline and are making a perfect picture.

“This is it, Laura. This is home.”
End Notes:
Reviews are appreciated.
Chapter 4 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
The next chapter is here. Hope you all enjoy it!
After a couple of days of staying inside the tent, and Laura constantly insisting that she’s getting better, Bill decides it’s time to take Laura out. Finally, after minutes of drawing up the courage to ask because he is worried it will be bad news, he walks over to Cottle and says, “How is Laura’s condition?” The doctor hadn’t told them whether it could be gone or if it wasn’t and they are both anxious to know what they are facing.

Cottle turns from what he is doing and realizes that Bill is speaking to him. Gruffly clearing his throat, he waits a minute before speaking. He hadn’t given them any information so they wouldn’t get their hopes up. And he was trying to keep Laura in here as long as possible so that he, a real doctor, could monitor her. Unfortunately, both of the former leaders of the fleet are impatient and he should have known Laura wouldn’t be staying here under his care forever. “Why don’t we talk about it with her?”

They walk back into the side tent as Bill becomes more and more nervous. He doesn’t think Cottle sounded very optimistic, but that could be just him. Maybe it’s just that he doesn’t have enough definite information, maybe that’s why he doesn’t sound very positive. Once they reach Laura, Bill sits down on the chair next to the bed and looks at Laura, smiling.

“Madame President,” he starts with a look at Laura, who is glaring at him. After watching the sunset a couple days before, Cottle had come in and done a breast exam. He had called her ‘Madame President’ but she had insisted he just call her ‘Laura’ now that she wasn’t president anymore. He tried it once but then never did it again. ‘Madame President’ was more of a term of endearment than a title, and it felt wrong to call her anything but that. Realizing he drifted into the past, he is pulled back into the present when Laura calls his name. “Yes, sorry, where was I? Bill just came to me and asked me what your condition is. I haven’t yet told you so I figured I would tell both of you at the same time. As a doctor, I don’t like to make assumptions, especially not in these circumstances. But unfortunately that’s all I can do for you. I’ve been doing a breast exam everyday and the tumor has shrunken considerably, in fact, I can’t even feel it anymore. How have you been feeling? Have you noticed you’ve been gaining strength back like you did last time?”

“Yes, I’ve gained a little strength back. I can walk a little ways while holding onto Bill, I can breathe without pain, and I’ve lost the terrifying trembling in my hands. But I’ve noticed my strength isn’t returning as quickly as it did last time. Is that a problem?”

“No, that’s not a problem. In fact, that’s expected. Your strength is not going to come back as quick this time because you were on Diloxan prior to the cure so a lot of your strength is just going to have to come back over time. You’re going to have to gain it back little by little. It’s going to be tough, but if anyone can do it, you can.”

“Doctor, are you saying what I think you’re saying?” Laura says anxiously, feeling the happiness begin to rise within her.

“Yes, I am. I am safely assuming you beat cancer a second time. Congratulations. Your body deserves a medal for allowing that cylon blood to work a second time.”

Laura chuckles at this and says, “Well, its reward is being able to live on Earth, breathe fresh air, and take in the sun.” She then turns serious once more. She never thought this day would come. “Thank you, Doctor, for allowing this to happen. I appreciate it more than you could ever know.” As she says this, she notices her gruff doctor stiffening and his eyes beginning to mist over. She’s only ever seen him like this once before and that was when he was injecting her with medication so she could help in the rescue of Hera. He must be getting soft.

“You’re welcome. And since I know you’re an impatient, stubborn woman, I am letting you out of my tent right now so I don’t have to listen to you insisting to be let out any longer. People are going to start to think I am holding someone prisoner.”

Tearfully, Laura chuckles once again and says, “Thank you.” She watches as Cottle detaches all the wires from her and then he takes her hand.

“Goodbye, Madame President. I hope to see you soon, just not for this reason. Take care of yourself, and take care of him.” At this, he looks over at Bill.

“I promise I will, both me and him.” She takes Bill’s hand in hers and gently squeezes it.

“Take care of yourself as well, Cottle. You’re going to be needed around here for a long time,” Bill says to the brusque doctor.

“I will,” Cottle says in reply and then sticks a cigar in his mouth. Smirking around it, he turns and leaves.

Once Cottle leaves, Laura sits up slowly and dangles her feet over the side of the bed. As she allows her body time to readjust, she feels Bill slipping her shoes on and lightly running his hand over her ankles. She shivers slightly at his touch as she says, “Well, I’m definitely going to need some new shoes now that I’m going to be living here.” Before they leave, Bill grabs the book they had been reading and tucks it under his free arm, not wanting to leave it behind. Aided by Bill, she stands up and they start to make their way out of the tent.

“Don’t you still have your shoes from New Caprica? I know you didn’t wear your high heels there.”

“Oh yes, I forgot about those. As long as Starbuck has kept an eye on our things and no one has raided them then they should be there. Speaking of our things, how are we going to get the couch to the place where we are going to build our cabin?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking about that. I’m thinking we should just build the cabin and then once that’s done being built, I could fly in the raptor and pick up each piece of the couch and bring it over. Just do it the same way we brought it down here.”

“That would work. How long do you think it’s going to take to build?”

At this point in their conversation, they are passing by Saul and Ellen Tigh. Saul stops suddenly and looks at Laura, shocked. Laura isn’t surprised, however, because the last time either of them had seen her she had been on death’s door. “Hello Saul, Ellen,” Laura says kindly.

Saul quickly closes his mouth and clears his throat. “Bill, hi. Laura?”

“Yes, it’s me, Colonel. It looks like you’ve seen a ghost.” Laura chuckles at her own joke but then notices his somber expression. She can’t be very soothing to look at right now. Swimming in her clothes and pale as a sheet, she must look like a walking skeleton. Her wig doesn’t do her any favors either. Luckily, as opposed to what she looks like, she’s not dying anymore.

“I’m not trying to be rude but-but…” Saul tries to say, but doesn’t really know how to say it.

Ellen, being the person that she is, comes right out and says it. “What my dear husband is trying to say is, shouldn’t you be dead, Laura? We saw you a couple days ago and you looked terrible.”

“Ellen!” Tigh says loudly, astonished that his wife would say that.

“What? It’s true!”

“It’s okay, Saul. It is true,” Laura says kindly. “I should be dead. In fact, a couple days ago, I was nearly dead. But Athena is pregnant, she offered to save me, I was unconscious at the time, and Bill couldn’t let me go, so here we are. That’s how it happened. And that’s how I am still here.” She hates to sound ungrateful, but she doesn’t want to go through the entire story with the Tighs. It’s a summarized version of what happened and it will have to do for now.

As Ellen replies with a surprised, “Oh,” Saul looks at Bill and gives him a sad smile, not surprised at all. He remembers the moment when Bill was just trying to get a moment alone with her on Galactica before she died and he remembers the look on his face. He’ll probably remember that look until the day he dies. No, he is not surprised at all by Bill saving her. “So, where are you two heading?” Saul says, directing the question at Bill.

“Well, I had Lee pack up most of our stuff on that raptor over there this morning. We are heading over there and we’re going to go look for a place to build our cabin. We’re probably not going to go too far from here.”

“It sounds like you are going to be busy for awhile. Well, we’ll let you go. It was wonderful to see you both. I’m happy for you,” Saul says.

“Thank you,” Laura says in reply. As they begin to walk away, she turns towards Bill and says, “They seem truly happy together for once.”

“They do. I’ve never seen them acting so calm together. Coming to terms with who they are must have done them some good.”

“Must have. You’ll have to tell me about your younger days with them at some point. So, how long do you think it’s going to take to build the cabin?”

“I will, at some point. I would say probably about a month. I did some cabin research once back on the colonies, back when I thought I was going to retire five years ago. It’s actually not too difficult to build.”

“Well, that sounds promising. It also sounds like you’ve been thinking a lot about it lately.”

Bill looks down at the ground and lightly chuckles. “I’ve had plenty of time to do so. When you were asleep for hours after Cottle injected the blood into your system, all I could think about was the future we could have. I drew out the plans for the cabin on a piece of paper while you were asleep. It’s in the raptor. Once we’ve found the perfect place, I’ll get them out and show them to you.”

“That sounds perfect,” Laura says as they reach the wing of the raptor. Bill carefully helps her step up onto the raptor and then he follows behind her. They cautiously make their way through all the boxes and make it into the front of the raptor. Once Bill helps Laura get strapped into the seat, he begins his pre-flight check. Laura turns her head towards the side window and looks back at the main camp. It looks as though a lot of people have stayed right there, starting to build their homes with tents for the time being. It reminds her a lot of New Caprica, but with different weather and a different overall environment. As they take off, Laura looks back out the front window and sees they are flying over a lake. The blueness of the water and the beauty of the pink flamingos take her breath away. Finally she says, “So much life.”

“It's a rich continent. More wildlife than all the twelve colonies put together. Just looking for a quiet little place for that cabin. Maybe a garden. I don't have much of a green thumb so I hope that you do.”

“Well, you have worked up in space most of your life, I can understand why you don’t know how to garden, though it’s not that hard. But don’t worry, I’ll teach you.” Placing her hand over Bill’s on the throttle, she gives it a gentle squeeze.

“How are you doing, Laura?” Bill says, worried for her and for her health. He’ll never forget his worry for her or these last months of pain, but hopefully with time it will fade.

“I’m okay, Bill. I promise.” She wonders how safe she’ll have to stay, how healthy she’ll have to be, and how much strength she’ll have to regain before Bill will forget all of the heart-gripping worry that he’s had to endure for the past several months. She hopes he can learn to trust in her health and her body again. Looking back out of the window, she says suddenly, “Bill, look!”

“What? Are you okay, Laura?” He looks over at her, worried. Maybe it was too soon to take her out of Cottle’s care after all.

“Bill, I’m fine! Look!” She points out the window at the perfect spot. It’s near a very large patch of trees and it’s next to the lake they just flew over, with a little stream running into it. The water is so clear it’s like looking through glass.

“Right there,” Laura says.

“Right there,” Bill says in return.
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it! As always, reviews and suggestions are loved.
Chapter 5 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
And here's the next chapter! Hope you enjoy it.
“Bill, you have to let me help with something. I feel useless just sitting here,” Laura comments from her place against the acacia tree, watching Bill unpack the raptor’s emergency supplies.

“Laura, you need to rest,” Bill says, turning to face her from inside the raptor. He’s trying to find the tent that he knows is packed in there somewhere, but he thinks it must be in one of the side compartments because he is having no luck finding it in any of the boxes. He hears her groan at the word ‘rest,’ but he knows that resting is really all she can do for now. “And you aren’t useless, you’re just relaxing, which is what I’m planning on doing once I find the tent and put it up.”

Laura sighs and takes a deep breath. She absolutely hates feeling useless, but if she wants to be completely honest with herself it’s not like she can do much anyway. Her strength was completely drained while she was dying and she doesn’t have any reserves. As much as she might try to hide it, she’s still incredibly weak. Bill had to help her off of the raptor and over to the tree because she struggled to do it herself. It makes her feel like a child, and she can’t help but wonder if her mother felt like this. She remembers when she used to have to dress her mother and help her bathe and she remembers how her mother would become so indifferent and detached when she did that. Suddenly, she remembers Cottle’s words, ‘It’s just going to take time.’ Time for her to regain her strength, time for her to learn to trust in it, and time for Bill to learn to trust in it again. Looking back up at the raptor, she sees Bill finally hauling the tent out and closing the hatch. “So, how long has it been since you’ve done this?”

“What? Set up a tent?” Bill says as he looks at her with a raised eyebrow. At Laura’s expectant nod, he says, “Well, I’d say it’s been quite a while.”

“Define ‘quite a while,’” Laura says with a smirk on her face once Bill is standing next to her. She feels so much more at ease playing just this role. She no longer has to appear always in control now that she’s not the president. She can just be Laura, the Laura who has not lived since her family died. She can make jokes again, and tease, and care for someone.

Bill looks down at her and notices the smirk on her face. He likes her teasing him; he hasn’t been able to hear enough of that these past years. As he tries to think back to the last time he used a tent, he realizes it must have been years ago. “Probably not since my boys were little. I would come home when they were young and we would go on camping trips out in the woods. Sometimes their mother would come with us but usually it would just be me and the boys. This was back when my home life was still decent.”

Laura looks up at him and realizes she doesn’t know much about his personal life outside the military. She knew he was divorced and things had gone very badly with him and his ex-wife. She knew that a few years before the war Zak had died and Lee had blamed his father for that, along with many other things. She knew he thought of Kara as the daughter he never had. But other than that, they had never really spoken about their lives before the war. She can count the number of times on one hand that she has mentioned her family to Bill, and it was only during the few moments they could escape their jobs. From this moment on, she promises herself they are going to start talking about these things and talk about their lives before the war. They never had time for that on Galactica; they were always fighting for something. Realizing that she hasn’t replied, she finally says, “Well then maybe you should get started on it so you have time to figure out how to put it up before the sun goes down.”

Bill is about to make a snide remark back when he looks down and sees that Laura is just teasing him. He’ll have to get used to this side of her. Playfully bumping his knee into her arm, he teasingly says, “You’re just going to have to have faith in my abilities.”

“I’ve always had faith in your abilities, even when you put me in the brig,” Laura says with a teasing smile on her face but also with a look of seriousness in her eyes. She hopes he knows she’s always trusted him, well, for the most part. “Alright, you need to hurry and get this tent up so you can tell me your plans for our cabin.”

“Yes, Madame President,” Bill says with a wink of his eye. As he is pulling the tent out of the plastic package, the directions sail out of the fold and into Laura’s lap. “And there’s something for you to do, read the directions to me if I need them.”

“Only if you hand me my glasses that are in your pocket.”

“Oh yes, I’m sure those would be helpful.” Bill reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out her glasses, carefully handing them to her.

After slowly unfolding the sides, she slides them onto her face. “Ah, there we go. Now I can read what that says,” Laura observes, holding the directions up to her eyes. “10 x 12 canvas tent, military green. Wow, that’s quite large.”

Bill takes out the rest of the poles and begins working on the tent. About halfway through, and having gotten one side of the tent up, he peeks his head out of what is starting to look like a doorway and says to Laura, “Alright, now I’m going to need your help.”

Laura calls back to him because he has returned to the inside of the tent, “What did you just finish doing?”

Just as Bill is about to tell her, he figures out the problem and says, “Never mind, figured it out.” Laura returns her gaze to the green landscape and watches as the gently moving leaves in the trees hypnotize her. About five minutes later, Bill is standing outside of their first home on Earth. After moving two sleeping bags and a couple of blankets into it, he then carries their most important box of books into it and places a kerosene lamp on top of the box. Collecting stones and fallen tree branches, he creates a small fire pit in front of the tent where they can cook food. Looking at Laura, he notices the huge smile across her face. “What?”

“Nothing,” Laura says tearfully as she shakes her head. She just can’t believe she is here. Watching Bill set up the tent and put some of their stuff in it made it all the more real. She is here and she is alive. And she is going to be spending the rest of her days with Bill on Earth. And hopefully, if everything that was assumed is correct, she is going to be here for a long time. “It’s just you, this,” she says, pointing at him and then at the tent and at Earth, “it’s perfect. It’s more than I could have ever dreamed for.”

Bill brushes his hands off on his pants and then moves over to Laura. He sees her draw herself slowly up onto her knees and then she grasps the tree and his hand for support as she gradually stands up. Feeling her soft hand rest on his chest, he realizes that for the first time in weeks she’s standing on her feet without the support of being held up by someone.

“Bill, we are more than I could have ever dreamed for. I know you think I’m mad at you for saving me again against my wishes, but I’m not. I promise you, I’m not.” She leans forward slowly and just barely presses her lips against his. Standing has drained her energy and she doesn’t have the strength for much more than this. “Now why don’t you show me the plans for our cabin.”

Bill picks up Laura, much to her surprise, and walks over to the opening of their tent.

Once she has realized what he’s just done, she says, “Bill, set me down! You’re going to hurt your back!”

“Nope, not until we’ve crossed the threshold!” Just as he says this, Bill steps through the opening of the tent and promptly sets her down. “There. And I didn’t hurt my back!”

“Yeah… That’s what you say now. Just wait until tomorrow,” Laura lectures teasingly.

Bill rolls his eyes and then sits down next to Laura. Opening the box with the books, he pulls out a large piece of paper and lies down on his elbows, looking out of the tent. Laura follows suit and looks at the paper that has been spread out before her. At the top of the paper it reads, ‘Our Cabin.’ Below the words is the drawing and it is magnificent. There’s going to be a porch with steps leading to the front of the cabin. The door opens to a large living room with places for their books, their couch, and a fireplace. Off to the side of the living room is a kitchen area with large wooden counters, a wooden table with chairs, and a pantry. Going down a hallway, there is a large bedroom with a bed and a wooden dresser and more bookcases. Next to the bedroom is a tiny bathroom with what hopes to be an iron tub. Outside of the cabin is a storage shed for any meat, a garden, a well, and a privy.

“This is beautiful, Bill. This is more than I could have ever hoped for on New Caprica. This is our home here.” This house is so much unlike her Caprican apartment, and yet it feels more like home already. She never created a home for herself when she was younger, and she is so very glad she has the opportunity to do it now with Bill.

Later that night, after watching a beautiful sunset and cooking some leftover things from their time in the medical tent, Bill and Laura lay in their tent together. Laura lies curled up against his side as he hugs her close to him. He glances over at her face and sees her smiling, her eyes sparkling in the starlight. He misses seeing her like this and he presses a kiss to her cheek as he realizes that this is the first time in weeks they have shared a bed. This is the first time in weeks that he’s been able to hold her in his arms and fall asleep together.

“What was that for?” Laura murmurs quietly, breaking the comfortable silence. Her eyes move towards his and away from the bright stars they have been watching through the open back flap of the tent.

Bill looks away from Laura’s intense gaze as he hesitates before beginning to explain. “I was just thinking that this is the first time we’ve been able to share a bed in weeks. I’ve missed it.”

Laura’s smile falters as her eyes suddenly mist over. “I did too.” Lying in her hospital bed, she always wondered what it was like for Bill suddenly not being able to hold her in his arms as they slept, or if he missed waking up beside her in the morning. Now she knows. It was as hard for him as it was for her. A few minutes pass before she admits, “Sometimes I would just lay in the bed and wish you would come in and lay down beside me. I longed for your arms to be around me and to feel your breath against my shoulder.” As she says this, she thinks she can almost feel Bill’s chest trembling underneath her arm.

They slip back into silence and he now presses a light kiss to her bare scalp. He’s glad her hair is starting to grow back because he knows Laura hates her wig. At first it was a shock, but then he realized that she was still his Laura. He loves her for who she is and for the beauty that is just her.

Laura breaks the silence again and asks, “Bill, why did you come and get me on Kobol? Why did you feel like you had to apologize? I was the one in the wrong. I should’ve been the one apologizing.”

“It was actually something Dee said to me after I woke up. She reminded me that we made a promise that we were going to do this together, and every day we remained apart that promise was broken. She told me wounds needed to be healed and I needed to be the one to do that. I did it because I needed to put my family back together. Not just Lee and Kara, you as well. Saul had told me you were dying after I woke up and I was hurt by the fact that you couldn’t trust me enough to tell me yourself. In the end, I knew it was my fault. I apologized to you for not allowing myself to be someone you could trust and rely on. That’s what everyone needed and that’s who I should have been. It was always between you and me.”

“Thank you, Bill, for becoming that person,” she responds, surprised at his openness. Laura leans up and gently kisses him. Rolling over onto her other side, she feels Bill tighten his arms around her and tenderly kiss her shoulder blade.

“Good night, Laura.”
End Notes:
As always, reviews and suggestions are appreciated. Hope you enjoyed it!
Chapter 6 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here's the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it!
Laura wakes up before Bill, the sun’s rays streaming in through the open window-flap telling her it’s time to get up. She stretches out, almost cat-like, and pulls the blanket further over her. Rolling over to face Bill, she allows herself to watch him sleep. She knows he’s watched her sleep, whether or not it was because of her illness she doesn’t know, but he does it all the same. He would always wake up before her on Galactica because of his internal alarm clock so she’s never been granted the wonderful opportunity to watch her husband sleep, but now that she has she intends to take it. The wrinkles on his forehead and around his eyes are much less defined and his face is completely relaxed. Bringing her hand up from underneath the blankets, she runs it lightly over Bill’s cheek, having been granted a slight turn-up of the mouth at this, and then places a light kiss on his lips. “Good morning,” she greets as she notices his eyes start to flutter open. Her voice is still rough from sleep and she knows he loves waking up to it.

“Every morning is a good morning when you wake up like this,” Bill admits huskily and then pulls Laura closer to him, returning the kiss she gave him a few moments before.

“It most certainly is,” she replies with a smile on her face. She can’t believe how much time they wasted on Galactica when they could have been doing exactly this. Why didn’t they allow themselves to just live in the moment? Why did they put it on hold for so long? If she had died, that would have been the one thing she regretted in the afterlife. “So, now that we’ve woken up, what’s the plan for today?”

Bill rests his arm across Laura’s waist and says, “Well, we should probably have some breakfast first. I was thinking I could go down to the lake and catch us a couple of fish that I could cook for our breakfast. And then I was thinking I could go and start cutting down some logs so we can start on our cabin. What do you say about that?”

“That sounds great! But what do you want me to do? I noticed you used ‘I’ instead of ‘we’,” Laura notes, looking at him pointedly. “I can’t sit around and do nothing forever,” she reminds him. “Even though that’s probably what you want me to do, isn’t it?”

Bill looks down at the ground between him and Laura and sighs. “Laura, I just-”

“I know,” Laura interrupts, placing her finger over Bill’s lips before he can continue. “I know you’re worried about me. And I know I’m not the most comforting sight at the moment. No one would believe me if I said I wasn’t dying, just from how I look. But, Bill, I’m getting better. I’m not dying. You’re going to have to let me help with something at some point. I’ll start slow.”

Bill looks up at her and catches her eyes. The corners of his lips turn up just barely, but then he turns serious once again. “You’re right. So, I’ll make you a deal. If you can stand up and walk, then I’ll allow you to help. You can come with me down to the lake and you can watch me catch the fish and then you can cook it for us. Laura, I’m just worried you’re going to push yourself too far.”

“I know. And I appreciate your concern. But I am going to take that deal and prove to you I can help. As your wife, I have to take some of the load,” Laura says with a smile. She never thought about how different it would feel to be married and how happy she would be being married. She was always so busy before the attacks and closed off. The only long relationship she had in the last fifteen years was with Adar and it wasn’t even real. At that point, she had given up on the idea of marriage. Glancing down at her ring, she thinks about how wonderful it is to have someone by her side through thick and thin. Thinking back on it, she realizes Bill has been that person ever since he apologized to her on Kobol and they started working together and trusting each other. She would never have wanted to go through this with anyone else.

“Alright. But as your husband, will you please let me know when you feel like you need to rest?”

“I will.”

“Thank you,” Bill says with a twinkle in his eye. Leaning forward slightly, he places a quick kiss on Laura’s lips. But before he can back away, Laura clasps her hand on the back of his neck and deepens the kiss.

“Don’t you dare think you can get away with just a peck on the lips, Admiral. I spent far too long waiting for you to really kiss me. Don’t think we can just go back to chaste kissing now that I’m not dying,” Laura admonishes with a smirk after releasing his lips.

“Yes, Madame President,” Bill teases and then kisses her again. “Alright, we need to get up, or else we’re not going to get anything done today.” Pulling the blankets off of him and Laura, he sits up and stretches out his back. Just as he is about to stand up, Laura places her hand on his shoulder and slowly pushes herself up into a standing position. Resting her hand on his shoulder, she allows her body to regain its sense of balance before she removes her hand. “You okay?” he asks as he looks up at her, concerned. Maybe he shouldn’t have challenged her to stand up and walk quite yet.

Laura looks down at him and smiles. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just letting my body get used to this position.”

Once Laura releases her hand from Bill’s shoulder, he moves to stand up. Now that he is standing, he opens the front-flap of the tent and takes Laura’s hand in his, squeezing it tightly. As they walk together, he occasionally glances at Laura to make sure she is okay. She catches his eyes one of the times he looks over at her. Looking directly at him, she says, “Bill, I’m fine. And now I’ve proven to you that I can stand and walk, so now let’s go catch our breakfast.”

“Alright. Why don’t we walk over to the raptor so I can get some wire and you can change out of your suit and into some more appropriate clothing?”

“Sure.”

Once they make it to the raptor, Bill begins to make his makeshift fishing rod and he also puts a knife in his pocket. Laura changes into a pair of clothes that she wore on New Caprica and replaces her high heels with her boots. Knowing that she isn’t going to be seen by anyone but Bill, she switches out her wig for her green headscarf, tying it tightly around her head.

After they have gotten everything they need, they make their way out of the raptor and towards the lake. Doing something they could rarely do on Galactica, they hold hands, never breaking contact from each other. Once they reach the lake, Laura sits down on the bank as Bill casts his line out into the lake to hopefully catch their breakfast. “How long has it been since you’ve gone fishing?” Laura asks to fill the silence.

Bill chuckles and says, “Probably about the same length of time it was since I had put up a tent. Those two activities usually went together. And you? Has Mrs. Posh Politician ever gone fishing?”

Laura rolls her eyes and replies, “Contrary to what people might think about me, I used to love going camping and fishing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given the opportunity to have kids so I haven’t been camping or fishing since I was young. It’s been a lot longer for me than it has for you. I actually enjoyed camping more than staying in high class hotels. There’s a certain feeling of freedom you get when you go camping, and nothing could ever be better than that.”

“I’m impressed. You can actually still surprise me, Laura!”

After they caught a couple fish for their breakfast, Bill and Laura head back to their campsite so they can eat. Once Bill is done making the fire, Laura cooks the fish and they begin to eat.

As they finish breakfast, they notice a large group of people coming over the hillside. “I wonder who they are,” Laura says. As the group of people get closer, they realize that Saul and Ellen Tigh, Starbuck, and Lee are leading the pack. Bill and Laura stand up and walk over to meet them.

“Saul, what’s going on? Did something happen?” Bill says.

“Dad, everyone heard that Laura is still alive and we knew that you and Laura wanted to build a cabin. We want to help you,” Lee says.

After Lee says this, Hoshi steps out from behind him. “Admiral and Madame President, we want to give you this. We want to say thank you by helping you start your home here. We wouldn’t have gotten here without you two.” He motions to everyone that is standing behind him, some familiar faces of the Galactica crew and other not so familiar faces of the fleet. “We all want to give this to you to say thank you.”
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it. As always, reviews and suggestions are loved.
Chapter 7 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here is the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it!
Laura looks at Bill with tears in her eyes and then turns back to the group of people. Clearing her throat, she responds, “None of you owe the Admiral and me anything. We appreciate-”

“Laura,” Kara interrupts, “we’re not going to take no for an answer. Just like you and the admiral had a mission to get us here, we have a mission to build the first home here, yours. We made it our mission and we want to do it.”

Laura looks at Bill for a few moments, communicating only with their eyes. She slowly nods her head as if they’ve come to some sort of agreement. Finally, Bill says, “Saul, Lee, Kara, I drew out plans for the cabin we were thinking. They’re in the tent. Why don’t you come take a look at them?”

Saul nods his head and then turns back to look at the group of about thirty people. “Why don’t you all start cutting down logs while we do this? It will get done much faster if we get all the wood cut now.” They all nod their heads in acknowledgement and then turn back towards the forest as Saul, Ellen, Lee, and Kara follow Bill and Laura back to their tent.

As they are walking towards the tent, Lee says sincerely, “Madame President, it’s wonderful to see you here and alive.” Ever since he had outed her cancer at Baltar’s trial they had been on rocky terms. He never knew any time he saw her if she was going to be friendly to him or not. He knew what he had done was wrong and he was honestly sorry for it, but there was never a good time to apologize. He knew that somewhere inside of her she had never fully forgiven him, and so he is shocked when he hears what she says next when they reach the tent.

“Lee, call me Laura. I’m not the president anymore and I’m tired of being called by a title by people I care for and love. Kara, that goes for you as well. You’re family, and I’ve kept family at arm’s length for too long.” Laura gives a shaky smile to both Kara and Lee and then turns towards Saul and Ellen. “Saul, Ellen, please just call me Laura as well. You both are friends and I’ve kept friends at arm’s length for too long as well.” She then glances over at Bill and back to the other four. “I’ve been given a third chance and it’s given me a lot to think about. I don’t want to be remembered as just the president, I want to be remembered as Laura. I’ve spent far too long being the president, now I just want to be me.”

“We can do that, Laura. But just so you know, you could never be remembered as just the president,” Kara says. From going back to Caprica in search of the Arrow of Apollo, to holding Laura at gunpoint, and then to holding Laura up on the other side of the red line after volunteering for the final mission to retrieve Hera, she would never remember Laura as just the president. She was a vulnerable woman behind that armor made of steel, and she was just like everyone else.

As they all sit down just outside the tent, Bill places the large drawing of the cabin on the ground in front of them and places a couple rocks in the corners so it won’t fly away. Sitting down beside Laura, he says, “These are the plans I’ve drawn out. Think we can do it?”

After looking at it for a few moments, Saul concludes, “I think it’s doable. Though I do have a few changes to suggest.” At Bill’s nod, he continues, “I would suggest adding in a guest bedroom, you never know when you might need one. We’ll add in stuff for future electricity. The power plant on New Caprica took about half a year to finish and so it shouldn’t take much longer than that here. We’ll have to run lines out to your cabin in the future, but right now we’ll put in power outlets and stuff you will need for future electricity. And there’s one more thing. We’ve brought pipes that were stripped from the ships we could do plumbing with. I know you want the people to use it, but everyone insists they want you to have it. They will add it in whether you want it or not, so I would suggest just accepting it.”

Laura sighs, turns to look at Bill, and says, “Your crew is so stubborn. I have to agree with the guest bedroom and the future electricity, but the pipes…”

Ellen finally speaks up and says, “Laura, just accept it. Like my Saul said, they’re going to add it in whether you like it or not. So just agree now and then there won’t be a fight about it when the cabin is done and you realize there is plumbing.”

Lee and Kara both chuckle under their breath, catching the glare Saul sent in his wife’s direction. Lee then says, “Dad, Laura, your crew and your fleet want to give you this. You’ve both given so much to everyone, while not asking anything for yourselves in return, and they want to give back just this once. Let them. Let them say thank you for everything you two have done.”

Taking a deep breath, Laura says, “I suppose we can’t argue with that. I still don’t like it, but if we’re going to be forced to accept it anyway then we will just agree on it now.”

“That’s the spirit, Laura!” Ellen says happily, earning her another glare from her husband.
__________________________________________________________

As the sun begins to set, the people who had been working on the cabin start to settle down for the night. In one day, they had gotten all of the logs that were needed cut and even some of the frame put up. Pitching their own tents, they get a large fire going, cooking the meat they had gotten earlier with traps. Saul walks over and sits beside Bill.

After they finish eating and begin talking, Bill decides to bring up a question he has been wondering about all day. “Saul, how did you know where we were? And how did you get a group of people together so fast?”

“Well, they were both pretty easy. Last night, once it had gotten dark, I saw a fire off in the near distance, your fire. I remembered you saying you probably wouldn’t go far and you were the only one headed in that direction. And then once people started coming together last night to eat, they started discussing that they had seen you and Laura leave on the raptor earlier. They didn’t know at the time that Laura wasn’t still dying, but I told them. And then Lee started saying about how you and Laura wanted to build a cabin once you found Earth. Hoshi was the one that had the idea. He was the first to say about coming and helping and then more people started volunteering. Bill, you have no idea how much you and Laura are loved.”

“Thank you, Saul. Even though we were opposed to the idea at first, we both appreciate it. So, how long do you think it’s going to take to build?”

“With everything done, I would say no more than a week. Having a large group of people here definitely helps get it done quickly.”

“Yes, it certainly does. No more than a week, that’s great.”

Saul nods his head in acknowledgement and then there is a moment of silence. “Bill, how’s Laura doing? I can’t help but notice she still doesn’t look too good.”

Bill turns to look at his friend with sadness in his eyes. Sometimes he still finds it hard to believe he’s a cylon. “I don’t know. Well, we don’t know. Cottle doesn’t have the equipment to determine if it’s really gone, so we don’t know if it is. We’re just assuming that it is. Right now, we’re just enjoying the time we have together because we don’t know if it could end. And it’s going to take time for her to gain everything back; the Diloxan completely wiped her out. It’s just going to take time.” He glances over at Laura whom he notices has walked over to a silent Kara. She smiles at him once he catches her eye. The way she acts with Kara, it’s like watching a mother with her daughter. He hopes that one day, maybe someday soon relatively speaking, Lee or Kara could maybe give them a grandchild. He would love to be able to see Laura as a grandmother, to be able to see her playing with a baby and watch her help a child grow. He then gets pulled back into conversation with Saul.

Laura is sitting talking with Lee and a couple others when her eyes get pulled away from them and towards Kara. She notices that she’s sitting alone and just watching the light clouds drift overhead. Excusing herself from the group of men, she carefully walks over towards Kara and cautiously sits down beside her against a tree trunk. “You’re awfully quiet tonight,” Laura begins, hoping to spark some sort of conversation out of her. “Nothing like the energetic and unruly Starbuck I’ve gotten to know over these years.” She lightly bumps her shoulder against her, hoping for a reaction.

Kara lets out a sigh and says, “I miss Sam. I took him for granted when he was here, and now he’s gone and never coming back. This morning I woke up and I just wanted him beside me and I could almost feel his arms around me, but then the memory disappeared.” She looks over at Laura suddenly and says, “Do you know what that feels like?”

“Yes, I do,” Laura replies, lightly resting her hand on Kara’s knee. “I understand completely. I understand the feeling of waking up from that memory and being so lost and miserable because it’s suddenly not real,” she says, feeling Kara’s head start to rest on her shoulder. “And the more you try to make that image in your mind come back, the more it slips away.” She wraps her arm around Kara’s back and gently begins rubbing her shoulder. “Did you know that even when a person is unconscious they can still hear the people talking around them?”

“Yes, I’ve heard something like that.”

“Sam knew you loved him. He heard you saying that every day you were in there and every hour you spent with him. And he’d want you to be happy for the rest of your life. He’d want you to explore and see everything that is new here. He’d want you to live your life to the fullest and be the Kara he loved so much.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because that is what I hoped for Bill when I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I hoped he would be able to remember the good memories that we had and not be consumed by the bad ones. I hoped he would live a long, happy life down here before he had to join me.”

“Thank you, Laura. You’ve always known the right things to say. I’m sorry I was so horrible to you when I came back. I’m so sorry I held you at gunpoint.”

“It’s okay. You don’t have to apologize again.” At Kara’s questioning gaze she says, “Remember, even an unconscious person can still hear people talking around her.” She squeezes Kara tightly as they drift into silence.

Once the fire has died down, Bill and Laura make their way back to their tent, Bill helping Laura walk because her strength has been drained for the day. As they change into their pajamas, Bill unties Laura’s headscarf and places a soft kiss on the crown of her head. They lie down and Laura rolls onto her side, snuggling her back into Bill’s warm chest. He wraps his arm around her and kisses the side of her neck.

“What they’re doing for us is absolutely lovely. I could never have imagined this.”

“I agree.”

“Bill, after we finished eating and I was talking with Kara, you were looking at me oddly. What was that about?”

“You would think it was silly.”

“No I wouldn’t,” Laura says as she turns her torso just barely so she can look at him. The corner of her lip turns up as she hums in encouragement at him to explain.

Bill sighs and then confesses, “I was imagining you as a grandma.”

Laura mockingly glares at him and says, “Are you calling me old?”

“No, I’m calling you the most loving and the kindest woman I’ve ever known. Any child would be lucky to have you as their grandma. And I would love to be able to see it.”

“Thank you. I would love to be able to see it too. Good night, Bill.”

“Good night, Laura.”

Once Laura settles back down against Bill’s chest, he presses a kiss to her neck and another to her upper back. Wrapping his arm tightly around her, they both drift off to sleep.
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it! As always, reviews are appreciated and loved.
Chapter 8 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here is the next chapter. Just a warning, the end of this chapter is rated M. Hope you enjoy it!
About a week later, the cabin is finally finished. As the sun stands high in the sky, Bill opens the flap of the tent to find Laura reading one of their books. Her strength has been gradually coming back, but it has only been ten days since her miracle cure and so she is still considerably weak. She had been out and about earlier in the day but the strength she has regained gets used up quickly, so she had gone back to their tent to lie down. He looks at her with a smile that doesn’t normally grace his roughened face. “Laura, I have something for you to see. Are you able to come out?”

Laura looks up at him curiously, wondering what he could be so happy about. She slips her glasses off and closes the book, putting them both in the small box of books that has yet to make it into the cabin. Bill has been reading to her almost every night before they go to sleep and so they hadn’t wanted to put away one of the boxes of books until the entire cabin was finished. “Yes, I probably can. I’ll need help up though.”

Bill lends his hands to help Laura up, using his strength to get her to her feet. As they walk out of the tent, Laura’s heart stops. She looks around at all of the people who had been working on their cabin and who are now all standing outside of it, saluting their president.

Kara steps forward and says, “Your final home is done. It’s been an honor to do this.” She hugs both Bill and Laura and then steps back into the crowd, raising her hand back into a salute.

Bill salutes them and then they fall into a relaxed position. Saul moves forward and says to Bill, “We’re going to head out. But don’t think you two are going to be alone forever. You are going to get lots of visitors. And Laura, don’t expect it to be too long before you get a visitor asking if you could come teach the kids in the main camp. You’ll need something to do now that you’re not president. Plus, you’re not going to want to be stuck with Bill 24/7.” At this, he looks teasingly at Bill and barely manages to miss the hand reaching towards his shoulder to hit him.

“Well, I’ll think about it when I’m asked. It’s going to be nice at first to not have anywhere to go or anything to do. But teaching is my passion. So if someone mentions something to you about it, tell them to come up and see me.”

“I will certainly do that. We’ll come and visit once we think you two have settled down.”

“We’ll see you then,” Bill says.

As people start to make their way back to the main camp, Lee and Kara stay behind for a little while. Kara starts to put the rest of the stuff from Bill and Laura’s tent inside the cabin and Lee walks over to Bill and Laura to talk to them. “Hey Dad,” Lee says. “I just wanted to let both you and Laura know that I’m really happy for you two. And I’m glad you’ve been given this chance.”

“Thank you, Lee. So, what’s your plan now?”

“Well, I’ve actually been talking to Layne Ishay, the nurse that took care of Laura on Galactica, and we thought we would go exploring a little bit. She thought she would go with me so she could check on people around the countryside and see how they’re doing. We’ll come back and visit and then eventually I’m thinking of starting a home here somewhere around the main camp. I just want to explore at first though.”

“That sounds wonderful. I was always very fond of Ishay. She’s kind and a remarkable person. I’m sure you two will get along nicely,” Laura says.

“Yes, I’m sure we will,” Lee says with a slight smile playing on his lips.

Laura looks at Bill with a confused look on her face. Does Lee like Ishay? When have they ever even talked or seen each other? Something about her sure seems to be on his mind though. Bill shrugs his shoulder at her and shakes his head in an unknowing gesture. He has no idea how this has started between his son and Ishay.

At this point, Kara comes out from the cabin, having finished putting the things from the tent and the tent itself away. Bill turns to her, having heard the door of the cabin shut, and says, “What do you hear, Starbuck?”

“Nothing but the rain,” Kara replies as she walks closer to the three of them.

“Then grab your gun and bring in the cat.”

“Aye-aye, Sir. The cabin’s all done and it’s yours. I’ll be heading off.”

“What are you planning to do, Kara?” Laura says, smiling at Kara and her husband’s exchange.

“I’m probably just going to go back to the main camp at first. Then I may go exploring like Lee is planning to do.”

“Well, I’m sure both of you will have a great time. Bye Lee, bye Kara. Be safe. Make sure to come back and visit us,” Laura says with a smile.

“We will,” Lee replies and then the two of them head off together back to the main camp.

Finally, Bill and Laura are alone. They both take deep breaths and then let them out heavily. Turning back to face the cabin, Laura says with an air of excitement, “I can’t believe it’s done. I can’t believe we have our cabin.” The outside is exactly what they planned. At the side of their cabin is a little garden with lots of plants already planted and a well. On the other side is a storage shed for any meat that would need to be hung. A short set of stairs lead up to the porch of their cabin that is set to face the west. They will be able to watch the setting sun while sitting on their wooden porch swing. The logs on the outside are a dark brown and it is exactly how Laura had always pictured her cabin in her mind.

Taking Laura’s hand, Bill says, “Are you ready?” He sees her nod her head and they begin to walk towards their cabin. As they reach the top of the stairs, Bill leans over and lifts Laura into his arms, one arm under her knees and the other around her back.

Shocked, Laura gasps and says, “Bill, what are you doing? Are you trying to hurt your back again?”

“I’m carrying my wife across the threshold of our new home. And since I married you a little over a week ago and we haven’t had a threshold of a home to cross until today, I figured this would be the time to do it. Carrying you through the opening of the tent doesn’t really count.”

Laura sighs with a smile, saying, “Always the traditionalist,” and then opens the door to their cabin. Bill steps through and sets Laura down on her feet. She looks around in amazement. Whenever she had been out in the week, she had never stepped foot in the cabin. She wanted it to be a surprise and it definitely is. Looking around, she takes in all of the details and everything that makes this theirs. The entrance to their cabin is open to the living room and she sees their couch sitting in the middle of it, facing their coffee table and a large fireplace. On one of the walls is Bill’s desk and chair, obviously for when Laura goes back to teaching and needs a place to grade papers or when Bill works on his model ships. On either side of the desk is a row of bookshelves. The books are still in boxes off to the side, waiting for their owners to put them away. There are lots of shelves with pictures and other miscellaneous items that belong to both of them. One of Bill’s model ships holds a grand spot on top of one of the shelves. They move into the kitchen and see a large wooden table and chairs as well as a pantry. There is a set of counters and another large fireplace for cooking. There is a small oven and stove for future use once they have electricity. Moving deeper into the cabin, they pass the bathroom. Chuckling at the conversation about the indoor plumbing they had a week ago, they look at the large metal bathtub, shower, toilet, and sink. One of the biggest projects over the past week was figuring out how to pipe water into the bathroom and kitchen from the well they had built outside and then how to dispose of the waste water without contaminating clean water. Eventually they figured it out. Across the bathroom is the guest bedroom. It has a large bed, a dresser, and more bookshelves. And then they finally make it to the back of their cabin. Moving into the master bedroom, they see the large bed, as opposed to the rack they used to share, a dresser, bookshelves, a closet, and nightstands on either side of the bed topped with kerosene lamps. They have a few regular lamps tucked away in the closet for future use. The paintings from their previous quarters had made it in here and make it feel cozier. Laura looks down and sees one of Bill’s rugs under her feet.

As they move back out to the living room, Bill turns to Laura and asks, “So, what do you think?”

“I think it’s perfect. It’s more than I could have ever asked for. And I’m so happy I get to live the rest of my life in it with you.” Looking at all of the boxes of books, she says, “Do you think our books are ready to be put away?”

Bill looks over at her and smiles. “As long as we do it together.” Walking over to the first of the boxes of books, he pulls it open. Inside lay Laura’s glasses and so he hands them to her, knowing she’ll need them so she can alphabetize the books by author and then by title, the teacher in her needing to be organized.

After they’ve gotten about half of the books gone through and put on the shelves, Bill walks out to the storage shed to get some meat they can cook while Laura gets the fire going.

Once they finish eating, they clean up everything and start turning the kerosene lamps off in the front. Bill allows Laura to use the bathroom first and once she is done, she makes her way into their new bedroom. Changing into her slip pajamas, she lies down on the bed and dims the kerosene lamps down. As Bill finishes up in the bathroom, he walks into their bedroom and stops when he sees Laura. She’s still too thin, too pale, and bald, but she has never been more beautiful. She’s here, in their home, and she’s alive. She’s his wife and she’s with him. “Laura?” he says hesitantly.

“What, Bill? I thought you were the traditionalist. What happened to the usual wedding night happenings? We obviously couldn’t do it in the tent so I would think this would be the perfect time,” Laura says with a teasing, sly smile.

“Well…” Bill says, stunned beyond words. “Are you sure you’re up for this? It’s only been ten days. You’re still so weak.”

“Bill, I know my limits. I’ve known my limits for a long time. Trust me.” Lifting her finger, she beckons for him to come near the bed.

Bill sits down on the bed as Laura stands up, moving to stand in between his legs. Unbuttoning his shirt, she slowly slips it off his shoulders and tosses it over her shoulder, hearing it land somewhere behind her. She feels his warm, rough hands settle on her waist. As she undoes his pants, they slide down his legs and puddle at the floor. Raising her hands, she tangles them at the base of his hair and presses her lips gently against his. His hands run over her and roam around her back and up her legs, finally lifting the hem of her slip and pulling it quickly over her head. Taking off his underwear, he then moves to takes Laura’s off but finds nothing but bare skin. She must have been planning this the whole time. As she is busy with his lips, he gently lifts her up and feels her legs tightening their hold around his waist. Moving them to lie on the bed, he runs his hand up the length of her body, stopping at her neck and pulling her in for another kiss. He trails kisses down her chest and then back up, placing a kiss on her collar bone and then on her lips, her back arching into his touch. She is breathing rather heavily and she lets out a moan. Lifting her hips, she presses against Bill. She suddenly feels him enter her, enjoying the sensation of being so close to him. He goes gently at first, allowing her still weak body to adjust to him. She gasps as she feels herself reaching her climax. Bill’s lips claim hers and they moan into each other’s mouths. The sensation is overwhelming. She lifts her hips a little higher, letting him enter her more. Her moans get louder as she finally reaches her climax, completely letting go of everything. Being in this moment with the man she loves is incredible. With her eyes closed, she loses herself in this feeling. She can feel Bill’s chest expanding against hers, knows that he’s panting as hard as she is. Eventually, Bill knows that Laura can’t handle much more, and so he goes slower and slower. He pulls her in for another passionate kiss and then exits her, lying down beside her on the bed.

As their breathing returns to normal, Laura whispers, “Thank you, Bill. Thank you for allowing me to feel strong again and in control.”

“You’re welcome. And it’s not like it wasn’t wonderful for me as well. It’s amazing to do that with my wife for the first time.”

Laura rolls onto her side and curls herself into Bill’s side, resting her hand across his chest. Reaching up, she places another kiss on his lips. “I love you, Bill.”

“I love you too.”
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it! As always, reviews are loved and appreciated.
Chapter 9 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Alright, here's the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it!
As the sun starts to peek through the shuttered windows, Bill's eyes flutter open and he turns his head to gaze at his wife. This is their first morning in their home. The light is just barely sneaking up onto her body and it is creating small slivers of lightened skin. He feels her chest rising and falling against his side and her light exhalations of breath against his bare chest. One of her legs is crossed over his and her hand remains on his chest. Glancing down, he sees the light catch off of the tiny diamonds in her wedding ring. If he woke up like this every morning for the remainder of his life, it would be perfect. Unfortunately, he knows he can't stay lying in bed forever. Carefully extracting himself out from Laura's arms, he lightly kisses her cheek and then heads to the bathroom. After getting dressed, he goes out to the kitchen to make coffee and some breakfast. Pulling the coffee grounds out of the pantry that some people found in the tropical part of this continent and then ground them, he lights a fire in the fireplace and begins to boil some water.

Just as he is finishing up with the coffee, Laura slowly walks out of the hallway and into the kitchen, putting her arms around him. “Good morning,” she says in her rough morning voice.

“Morning, Laura.” Turning around, he notices she is wearing his robe. “Still can't stay away from my robe I see.”

“Well, I wouldn't want to accidentally be seen not wearing anything, would I?” Laura responds teasingly, one side of her lip curling up in a smile as she barely opens up the top of the robe to reveal that she has nothing on underneath.

“No, you would definitely not want to do that,” Bill agrees and moves towards her as if he is going to kiss her. Just as Laura moves closer to him, he turns around and pours the coffee in two mugs. If she is going to play a tease, so is he. Two can play at this game. Moving away from the counter with the two mugs in his hands, he smirks at Laura and she smirks back, knowing that this is going to go on all day.

After bringing the breakfast bowls to the table filled with porridge and topped with berries, Laura opens all the shuttered windows and then joins Bill at the table. Taking a drink from the mug, she comments, “This coffee is so much better than that algae coffee they were serving.”

“Yes, it most definitely is. Although I didn’t know I missed regular coffee so much until they found the coffee beans here and then gave us some.”

“Yeah, me too. It’s funny because I didn’t even drink coffee before I became president. I was definitely more of a tea person. So, now that the cabin is done, what are we going to do?”

“Well, eventually I thought we could go exploring, maybe take the raptor to different lands at some point. When the pilots were scanning the planet, there was a land up north over the ocean that was incredibly green. There were so many plants and so many beautiful landscapes. But I think we need to wait until you gain more of your strength back. Today I was thinking we could go down to the lake and maybe go swimming. After that we could come back up and put the remainder of our books away.”

“I think that sounds wonderful, all of it. I would love to go up to different lands and explore. Maybe we would be able to see how our people are getting along. The green sounds incredible; it wasn't like that at all on New Caprica or Caprica for that matter. But I agree, I think we should wait. I’d want to be able to walk around and see things, and I’m not up to that quite yet. Swimming does sound incredible today though.”

“Then why don't we finish up breakfast and then we can head down there.”

Once they've finished their light breakfast, Laura changes into a pair of shorts and a tank top and they head down to the lake. Bill carries a large blanket under one arm and holds Laura's hand as they walk. The lake is set back behind a forest of trees and the water is so clear they can see all the rocks on the bottom of the lake. Now that they've made it down there, Bill places the blanket on a large, flat rock and then he takes off everything but his underwear, leaving his clothes sitting on the blanket so they don't get wet. Laura takes Bill's hand and they wade into the water, the slow current gently brushing their bodies. Making their way deeper into the water, Bill lets go of Laura's hand and allows her to swim. Taking a deep breath, she plunges underneath the water and weaves her way through the lake. Coming up for a breath, she lets out a loud cough as she realizes her lungs are not what they used to be. Bill swims over to her quickly and holds her up as he treads water.

“You okay?”

Once she is done coughing, she says, “Yeah, I'm fine. Just forgot that my body is not what it used to be. I'm okay now.” Patting his shoulder, she tries to let go but he hangs on. “Bill, I promise, I'm okay.”

He looks worriedly at her but then lets her go. Ducking his head under the water, he enjoys the coolness of it. He was never one for swimming, but with a lake this close to home and Laura enjoying it, he knows he could get used to it. Coming back up, he brushes his wet hair back from his face. Looking over at Laura, he sees that she's laid back and begun to float on top of the water. Standing carefully on the bottom of the lake, he moves over to her quietly, not wanting to interrupt her silence. Her face is turned towards the blue sky, a look of tranquility on her face. It's silent except for the chirping of birds until she begins to speak softly.

“This feels incredible. Outside of the water, I still feel so old and weak. The cancer is gone, but it's almost as if what it has done to my body will never be gone. It feels like I aged thirty years while I was sick. My body is so stiff and not what it used to be. But right now, I don't feel any of that. It's wonderful.”

He remains quiet for another moment and then slowly catches her hand that was moving gently in the water, creating small ripples on the surface. She stiffens slightly at the contact and then relaxes as he begins to run his fingers along the skin of her forearm, then up to her shoulder and back down again. Moving his hand back up, his fingers push more firmly, tracing her bicep and shoulder and working to remove the knots that had settled there permanently while she was still president. Moaning softly, she pushes her shoulder against his hand, wanting him to press deeper until the knots become loose. Trailing upwards once more, he doesn't stop at her shoulder but moves past it, tracing her pale skin. Her breath hitches as he lightly kisses her cheek.

As he moves behind her, he massages both her shoulders at the same time before moving on to her other arm and repeating his actions until she is equally loose on her right side. Running his hand down the length of her body, he allows himself a moment to notice how skinny she became. He hopes that with the cancer gone, she will return to her once healthy weight. His hand moves down her endless expanse of leg and he notices she points her toes as he massages the muscle in her calf. He wonders if she was in ballet when she was growing up. As he notices her humming at his massage, he lightly smiles. Moving over to her left leg, he finishes his ministrations.

Opening her eyes, she realizes Bill is just looking down at her. Turning in the water, she stands and allows herself a moment to regain her balance. Looking up at him, she moves her hands to the back of his neck and leans forward to capture his lips with her own. Tangling her hands in his wet hair, she allows herself to get lost in this moment.

_________________________________________________

As they move out of the lake, they both lie down on the blanket covered rock to get dry. The sun beating down on them feels nice and not too hot. Laura looks out at the lake and the trees surrounding them and says, “This planet is absolutely beautiful.”

“Yes, it is. But there is something much, much more beautiful than this planet.”

Laura looks at him curiously and raises her eyebrow, waiting for him to continue.

“You.”

She smiles politely but then looks down, lightly shaking her head. She knows how she looks, and it's not beautiful. “Bill, I'm-”

Using his hand, he gently raises Laura's chin so she is looking at him again. “Laura, yes, you are.” Leaning forward, he gently kisses her.

Once they've dried, they make their way back to the cabin. Laura changes into pants and a shirt and then she goes back out to the living room to help Bill put the remainder of the books away. As she makes her way out, she notices that Bill is looking at one of the pictures on the shelf. Glancing over his shoulder, she sees that it is a picture of the two of them, though not a very happy picture. They only kept it because it is one of the few pictures they have together. It was taken back when the war first started and it was the beginning of their journey together.

Speaking quietly, she says over Bill's shoulder, “No one would have been able to guess how it ended from just that picture. We were so hateful towards each other back then. But look how it turned out. Now we're together and that's how it will always be.”

Bill turns his head so he can see Laura and notices a smile gracing her face. Putting the picture back on the shelf, he gives her a kiss and then says, “Alright, let's get these books finished.”
Chapter 10 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here's the next chapter. Hope you all enjoy it!
There was nothing. No pulse. No heartbeat. No movement. Just the cold, motionless form of Laura.

He had only been gone a couple hours, just long enough to catch their breakfast of fish and have a nice swim in the lake. Laura had been planning to go with him but when they had woken up she had said something about doing some gardening instead while it was still a nice temperature outside. It had been getting hot in the afternoon lately so they had been doing most of their outside chores in the morning while it was still cool.

He had said that he would be back soon.

She had said that she would be fine.

He returned a couple hours later with a couple fish in his hand. Not having seen Laura in the garden when he walked up, he went into their bedroom after he placed the fish in the kitchen. That is when he saw her. She was lying on their bed, still as a rock. He called her name but she did not answer. As he rushed over towards her, his shaking fingers fumbled around her wrist, hoping for some small sign that she was still there, still holding on to life. But there was nothing, no pulse. Nothing except the cold, motionless form of his Laura. She was gone. And he was alone.

_________________________________________________________

He wakes up sweating with tears running down his face. Sitting up, he looks around and notices the bed beside him is empty. Laura must have gotten up earlier and decided not to wake him. Rubbing his hand across his face, he wipes the tears from his eyes. Thank the gods Laura woke up earlier than him today so she didn’t see this. Bill takes a few deep breaths, having been shaken from his dream, and then climbs out of bed. Once he makes the bed, he goes out to the bathroom and then gets dressed. Making his way out to the kitchen, he starts the coffee and just as he is sitting down on the couch to drink a mug of it, Laura comes in through the front door.

Laura notices that something is off right as she walks in. Looking at Bill, she sees that he is slightly slumped over, thinking. Hoping he is just tired, she says cheerfully, “Good morning, Bill.”

His eyes fly open, away from his thoughts, and he turns to look at her. “Morning,” he says. He tries to smile but he knows it is an utter failure.

Laura notes his barely-there smile, the corners of his lips just slightly turning up. This is when she knows that something is wrong; he has been so happy ever since she was cured. Moving over towards the couch, she sits down next to Bill. He wraps his arm around her and tightly holds her against his side, turning his head so he can place a kiss on her cheek.

“Is everything okay?” she murmurs against his shoulder, concerned as to what could cause him to start acting so unlike himself.

He sighs. He wouldn’t tell her, he couldn’t. Why upset the both of them when it means nothing? But what if it does mean something? But it doesn’t, because it was only a bad dream. So instead, he plasters a smile on his face and turns to look at her. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just saying good morning the way a good husband should. So, where have you been this morning?”

Laura notices the change of subject but decides not to push. If he doesn’t tell her right now, she has all day to try to figure it out. “Well, it’s definitely a nice way to receive a good morning. I got up early and went out to do some gardening. You know how it gets kind of hot outside in the afternoon, so I decided to do it in the morning while it was still cool.”

Laura’s words bring back the burning images of his dream which causes him to gasp in horrid remembrance. After a moment, he says, “Well, why don’t you get me up with you the next time and I’ll come out and help you?”

“Bill, you don’t like gardening, remember? I can distinctly remember you complaining to me when I made you pull out those weeds the other day.”

“Well, it’s about time I got over it,” he replies with almost a pleading note in his voice.

Looking up at her husband, she is shocked to see the frightened, scared look in his eyes. “Bill, what’s going on? I know something’s not right, just tell me.”

“It’s nothing,” Bill dismisses with a shake of his head.

Laura lifts one of her eyebrows, knowing that she is going to get the truth out of him eventually. Bill isn’t the first person in her life to try and sidestep a conversation; she was a schoolteacher once. She knows how this game is played. “Bill, it’s not nothing, not when you’re looking at me with a devastated look on your face. I haven’t seen that look many times on you recently, but I definitely have seen it. Just tell me.”

He looks away from her and mutters, “It was just a dream. Just a stupid dream. It doesn’t mean anything.”

Laura lifts her hand and places it underneath Bill’s chin, guiding it so his eyes are now on hers. She sees the tears barely hidden in the depths of his eyes and she knows what kind of dream it was. They had been living on Earth for a little over two weeks and once in a while she noticed that Bill didn’t always come out of the bedroom - or the tent when they were in it - right away after waking. And when he did finally come out his eyes would be red and he would seem a little shaken. But then he would have his coffee and he would be fine for the rest of the day; he would be his usual self. She would assume it was due to the fight for their survival that just ended and eventually the dreams would stop. But now she realizes they didn’t have anything to do with the war, at least not the war with the cylons. Her eyes soften and she says, “How did I die this time?”

“Laura, that’s not-”

“Bill, I’m your wife. Allow me to take some of your burdens.” She places her hand on his knee and gently rubs through the fabric of his pants.

After a moment, Bill looks down at her hand and then back up at her. “I had gone out to catch our breakfast and you stayed behind so you could do some early morning gardening. When I came back, you were lying on our bed and you were-you were gone. And I was alone. I didn’t even get a chance to say good-bye.” Once he finishes, he looks back down at Laura’s hand that is now covering his own.

“Bill, I’m right here. Right here. And I’m not going anywhere. I promise.” Leaning forward, she presses her lips against his and he can feel the weight of his dream lifting.
She whispers against his lips, “I know I’m not in perfect health yet, but I’m slowly getting a little bit better and stronger each day. I promise that you are never going to be alone, and that you will never have to say good-bye until we are ready to go together.” She then seals the promise with another kiss.

After a few moments of silence, Bill softly says, “Tell me about your life, the life you had on Caprica I mean, back before the war. It’s odd to think that nobody spoke about their lives before the war, especially people that loved each other. I never even thought about it, probably because I was so caught up in everything, in fighting. I should have though, I should have asked.”

“It’s understandable, Bill. We all had other things on our minds, including me.” Taking a deep breath, she stretches out her legs and rests them on the coffee table in front of her. She then starts to speak about her life before the war, something that she has rarely ever thought about in the past five years. “My life wasn’t all that interesting actually. My family was gone. When I was in my early thirties, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went on Diloxan, but she didn’t make it. She was a teacher, just like I was. I remember being at her funeral and seeing so many of her former students. They all loved her. She was the reason I became a teacher. My father was a university professor, so you can see where I got my teaching genes from. My father and my two younger sisters, Sandra and Cheryl, were killed by a drunk driver several years later in a car accident. I was about to be an aunt. My middle sister was expecting a little boy. After that, well, I quit teaching and joined politics. I don’t know why I would give up something I love for something that I completely hate, but at least it brought me here. I didn’t really have a man in my life, at least not a serious one; most of my life was spent working. It’s funny though because at the end of the worlds I got a job that I had never planned for and that I really shouldn’t have gotten. Decommissioning Galactica was supposed to be my last act as Secretary of Education. I hadn’t been fired, but Adar was going to force me to resign as soon as I got back from the decommissioning. I did something that he didn’t like because of his image, and so he was going to force me to resign because of it. There were some good memories mixed in but that’s pretty much a summary of the most recent years of my life before the war. What about you?” Laura looks up at Bill as she finishes reliving all of her memories. She wipes the tears from her eyes that she hadn’t realized had started to fall and then catches Bill’s eyes with her own.

Bill’s voice is thick when he starts to speak. “I would have loved to have been able to know your family. I had no idea that your father and sisters were killed by a drunk driver. I’m sorry if my drinking made you think of that each time you saw me with a glass.”

Laura gasps because this is the first time he has truly acknowledged his drinking when she was dying. “The past is the past. So, what about your life?”

“My life was definitely less interesting than yours. I’ve pretty much spent my entire life on a battleship. Carolanne and I got married when we were both pretty young, and it was not one of my best decisions. We were both pretty immature at the time. She gave me two sons but our marriage wasn’t a good one. She wanted me to get out of the military even though she knew that was my life. She hated that I wasn’t around enough when the boys were growing up and she hated even more that I wasn’t around for her. We had already separated before Zak died, but we were still trying to fix things. When Zak died, that was the final straw. We ended up getting a divorce and she was about to get remarried when the cylons attacked. Zak died a few years before the attack in a viper training accident. He and Kara were engaged to be married. Kara is like the daughter I never had. She and I have been through a lot together. Lee blamed me for Zak’s death and that’s the reason why we weren’t on very good terms when Galactica was about to be decommissioned. That was the first time we had talked in years. I tried to be in my boys’ lives as much as possible, but it was hard while being in the military. When I was growing up, my father was a lawyer and my mother and sister both died in an accident when I was really young. I barely even remember them. My father was an interesting man now that I look back on it, but I didn’t appreciate him enough when I was young. He wasn’t around a lot because he worked. He was a lot like me, dedicated to his job.”

“I wish I could have met Zak, he sounds like his father’s son. I never knew that Kara was going to marry him. She didn’t seem like the type to settle down when I first met her. It makes sense though, shows why you are so close to her. Thank you for telling me.”

Bill nods his head in acknowledgement and then says, “I’m glad that I get to spend the last chapter of my life with you. Thank you for making it the best chapter.”
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it. As always, reviews and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Chapter 11 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here's the next chapter. Hope you all enjoy it!
“Laura, we need to go,” Bill calls from his seat on the couch in the living room. He had been waiting for five minutes, continuously calling for his wife to hurry up. “People are going to want to talk to us before the party starts!”

“Just give me another minute, Bill! I’m almost done!” Laura calls from their bedroom, a hint of annoyance in her voice. They are celebrating Colonial Day down at the main camp and Saul had come by the other day to let them know they were invited and expected to be there. They were of course the former admiral and president. This is really the first time Laura will be seen out and about since being cured and she is worried about what people will think. Looking at her reflection in the mirror, she hates that she still doesn’t look perfectly healthy. Her hair has grown, but not much, maybe a little over half an inch. Her healthy glow has still not quite returned.

As she is looking in the mirror, Bill walks back into the bedroom and notices that Laura is criticizing her appearance. Walking up behind her, he wraps his arms around her waist and softly says, “Laura, what are you thinking?”

Moving her eyes away from her own reflection and towards Bill, she says with a sigh, “I’m not what I used to be.”

“Laura, you are perfect just the way you are. Remember what Cottle said about just needing time. Your body will recover; you just need to give it time. But Laura, I love you the way you are, and you look beautiful. Give your body some slack; it’s been through a lot.”

“Thank you, Bill. I’m just worried about what people are going to think.” Nestling into Bill’s trusting arms, she turns her eyes away from the mirror and towards his face. “I don’t have the presidential mask anymore that they’re used to seeing.”

“Laura, think about the last time they all saw you. You didn’t have your presidential mask then either. You were sick and they could see that. But you look much better now, and they will all be able to see that too. You need to stop judging yourself so harshly; people are just going to be happy that you’re here to celebrate Colonial Day with them. If it makes you feel better though, wear your wig. I know you hate it, but if it allows you to feel less self-conscious about yourself, then wear it.”

Laura sighs at the truth in Bill’s statement. “You’re right. I just want to look normal. I want to look like I used to.”

“You do look normal, better than normal. And it won’t be much longer until you have your fiery red hair again. You’ll see.” As he says this, he puts the wig on Laura’s head and places his hands on her upper arms, turning her around slowly to face him. “Beautiful,” he murmurs and then places a kiss on her lips.

After Laura slips her feet into her sandals, Bill tightly takes hold of her hand and leads her out of the cabin. As they start to head in the direction of the main camp, Laura says, “How many people do you think are going to be there? Do you know how many people stayed near the main camp after we got here?”

“Well, when Saul came up to invite us to the celebration he said there were quite a few people that decided to stay near the main camp. I suppose they just weren’t ready to leave the comfort of our people yet. Or maybe they just wanted to stay near civilization. He said that Lee and Ishay might be there. He had gotten word from them a couple days before he came up to visit us which said that they would be near the main camp today so they might stop by. Starbuck still hasn’t left for her travels so she’ll be there.”

“I’m glad to here that Colonial Day won’t be forgotten even though we’re on a new planet. We may be somewhere different where we’ll have to assimilate, but we’ll also want to keep some of our own culture. I can understand why some people would want to stay near civilization, especially in a new place. I’m glad we’re going to be able to talk to our kids tonight and see how they’re doing. So, how much talking do you think we’re going to do tonight?”

Bill chuckles at this and smiles at her use of the words ‘our kids.’ He then replies, “I agree, I’m glad it won’t be forgotten. Honestly, I think we’re going to be talked out by the end of the night.”

“Me too.”

When they finally arrive at the main camp, it reminds both of them of the Groundbreaking Ceremony on New Caprica. There’s a dance floor not in use yet and there are people drinking. A small breeze follows them into the crowd of people. As soon as everyone starts to notice Bill and Laura, they also notice and are shocked to see them holding hands and showing so much outward affection. They had never done that before in front of such a large group of people.

Bill and Laura are surprised when the first few people to come and talk to them are Sharon, Helo, and Hera. They both say hello and then Laura is the first to really speak. Nodding towards Sharon’s rounder midsection, she says, “I never got the chance to properly say thank you for saving me a second time. In fact, I never took an opportunity to say thank you for saving me the first time. I know you had no choice on that matter the first time, and I know I did a horrible thing to you after you saved me, and for that I am truly sorry. But I want to thank you for saving me both times, and I also want to thank you for forgiving me for what I did and giving me the opportunity to be saved again. It was a wonderful thing you did for both of us and I will forever be grateful to you. So thank you.”

“You’re welcome. In these past years, I’ve learned that being human means being able to forgive and move past mistakes. So, how are you two getting on? We’ve heard that you two have a cabin just north of here,” Sharon says.

Bill is the first to answer. “Yes, we do. We had a lot of help building it. It’s small and comfortable, just what we wanted. You three should come up and visit us some time. We have a guest bedroom and we’re near the lake. Hera could come up and you two could teach her how to swim.”

“That sounds lovely. We might have to come up at some point.”

Laura then says, “That would be great! So, how are you? How are you feeling?”

“I’m actually feeling very well. Thank you for asking. We went to Cottle a couple days ago and found out we’re having a boy. We’ve been throwing around ideas for names but we haven’t really narrowed it down yet. Everything’s going well though. It’s been nice here at the main camp. Everyone’s getting along, human and cylon. I think everyone is just happy to finally have a planet called home. Anyway, we best be off, Hera needs a nap before the festivities begin tonight.”

“I’m glad everything is going well. We hope to see you later. It was good seeing you,” Laura says. She waves goodbye to Hera, who shyly waves back, and then takes Bill’s hand in hers once again. As they move on, she says, “I’m glad they’re doing well.”

“Me too.”

As they walk in front of the medical tent, none other than Lee and Ishay come walking out. They must have been talking with Cottle because they both smell slightly of smoke. It’s not too surprising that they are together, but what’s surprising is that they’re holding hands. Bill hugs his son as Laura hugs Ishay. Laura is surprised when Ishay doesn’t let go right away, but then she realizes why. The last time Ishay had seen her was when they were rescuing Hera and that was only mere hours before she was supposed to be dead. Once she realizes this, she squeezes her arms a little tighter around Ishay in reassurance that she is really alive. She had gotten close to Ishay when she was taking care of her, and she knew that the thought of her death took a toll on her. Feeling her lightly rest her head into the crook of her neck, Laura allows herself to give the comfort of a mother to her daughter.

As Ishay backs away in mild embarrassment, she says, “Hi, Laura. It’s wonderful to see you. Lee told me what happened, but seeing you is much different than just being told.”

“Hi, Layne. I understand, and it’s great seeing you too. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed having a friend to talk to. How have you been?”

“Thanks. Me too. I’ve actually been great. It’s been nice to explore with Lee and to see what this world has to offer. Everyone that we’ve seen is doing great here. No serious injuries yet,” Layne chuckles and then continues. “Lee told me that you two got married. Is that true?”

Laura raises her left hand up for Ishay to see. “Yes, it’s true. We haven’t had an official wedding yet, but in all sense of the word, yes, we’re married. Bill actually gave me the ring back on Galactica, right after we found Earth. I gave up on the idea of marriage a long time ago, but somehow Bill brought it back to me. And I’m certainly glad he did. It’s been wonderful.”

“I’m happy for you two. You both look so happy when you’re with each other. I’m glad the admiral finally got it in himself to ask you. I always admired you two when he would come to read to you in sickbay. I knew from the moment that I became your nurse that you two loved each other. I’m just glad you got the chance to be together here.”

“Thank you. I really do love him. Speaking of love, what’s up with you and Lee?”

“Actually, we have some news.” Ishay takes Lee’s hand in hers; altering his attention away from the conversation he was having with his father. “We actually came back to the main camp because I’m pregnant.”

“Really?” Laura asks in shock and excitement. “When did that happen?”

“Well, we’ve been exploring together for a while now and since it’s just the two of us we’ve gotten to know each other a lot more. We never had the chance back on Galactica, but now that we’ve gotten to spend time with each other…”

“I’m so happy for you! Congratulations!” Laura says and then gives Layne a tight hug.

“You’re going to be a great father, Lee. Congratulations,” Bill says and then gives his son a tight squeeze on the arm.

“And you’re going to be a wonderful grandfather, Dad,” Lee says. “I hope you and Laura plan on staying around here for a long time.”

“Oh, we do,” Laura says.

“And don’t think we forgot about you, Laura. You are going to be the best grandmother any child could have,” Layne says with a smile on her face.

Tears fill Laura’s eyes because she never thought she would get to play this role in her life. She never thought she would be able to be a grandma. “Thank you, Layne. I’m just blessed to be given the opportunity.” She hugs her once more and then they head off in separate ways, promising to visit each other soon.

_______________________________________________________

Once the party dies down, Bill and Laura head back to their cabin.

“I can’t believe we’re going to be grandparents,” Laura says wistfully.

“I know,” Bill replies, thinking of all the wonderful things that he and Laura are going to do with their grandchild. He never thought retirement would be this wonderful. As he thinks this, he stops suddenly, pulling Laura to a stop as well. Facing her, he places a soft kiss on her lips.

“What was that for?” Laura asks when they pull away.

“Just for being you,” Bill says with a smile. Wrapping his arm back around her, he lets her lean against him as they finish their walk back to the cabin.
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it! As always, reviews are appreciated.
Chapter 12 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here is the next chapter. The beginning excerpt from Outlander is not mine. It is owned by Diana Gabaldon. Hope you all enjoy it!
“But just then, for that fraction of time, it seems as though all things are possible. You can look across the limitations of your own life, and see that they are really nothing. In that moment when time stops, it is as though you know you could undertake any venture, complete it and come back to yourself, to find the world unchanged, and everything just as you left it a moment before. And it's as though knowing that everything is possible, suddenly nothing is necessary…” Bill continues to read from the book he has open on his lap until he realizes that Laura is no longer listening. He closes 'Outlander' and lightly puts it down on Laura’s legs, which are lying across his lap. Turning his head, he catches Laura’s eyes with his own. “What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing, I was just looking at one of the pictures on the shelves. You can continue.” She glances once more at the picture and then back at Bill. The light is draining from the cabin as the sun dips low in the sky so she turns one of the lamps on.

Bill follows her gaze and realizes that she is looking at the picture of her and Billy. He had died too young and Bill had never forgiven himself for his death. He was one of the few people he could have saved if he had tried harder. “Do you miss him?” he says, nodding at the picture.

Laura’s smile falters but then takes its place firmly upon her lips. “Yes, I’ve missed him everyday since. He has never been gone from my thoughts since that day. I knew he was going over there. He had work to finish but I knew he wanted some time with Dee to try and get her to reconsider, so I told him that he should go. I put him in that situation and I just hoped he knew I was sorry. He was so young and he was such a good person. I never had kids, and-” Laura breaks off and stifles a gasp. “When I was dying, I could see how much it pained him to take care of me at the end. I could see it in his eyes every time he stepped into the room and I could hear it in his voice every time I called for him. But he never stopped. The first time he had to help me walk back into my room because I couldn’t do it on my own, he left me in my room and went back out into the office. I could hear him crying through the curtain. He was trying to be as quiet as possible, but the curtains weren’t very thick, as you know. I wanted to get up and do something to help him, but I didn’t have the strength so I just had to sit there and listen to him cry. It’s one of the worst things to experience, wanting to comfort someone you love but physically not being able to. I listened to him cry for hours and I couldn’t do a thing about it because my body was betraying me. The next day I tried to say something about it but I could tell that he was avoiding any conversation with me, so I just let it go. He did his job and I did mine. He was like a son to me, and I never told him. I never told him how much it meant to me that he kept helping me even though it hurt. If I could go back and change one thing, that’s what I would change. I would work up the strength to get up and comfort him and tell him that it’s going to be okay, and then I’d tell him not to go to Cloud 9.”

“Laura, he knew you cared for him. When you were in sickbay, he stayed with you the entire time, rarely ever leaving your side. Cottle and I had to keep telling him to get something to eat and he hardly ever followed our orders. He was your loyal assistant to the very end because he knew you needed someone, just like he needed someone. After Baltar injected the blood into your system, I’ll always remember what he did. I saw him walk into Cottle’s office and sit down in the big leather chair facing his desk. And then I watched him pray. I don’t know if he told you this, but he was an Atheist just like I am. A few minutes later he came out and he went right back to holding your hand. When he needed someone, you were there, so he was going to be there for you.”

“Oh, my Billy… He never said anything to me afterwards about that. Thank you for telling me.”

Bill nods his head in acknowledgement and is about to say something else when he is interrupted by a knock at the door. Laura tilts her head in confusion and Bill says, “Now who could that be?”

Laura stands up because her legs are on top of Bill and she quickly wipes the tears from her eyes. Making her way over to the door, she opens it and looks down.

“Laura?” says a small, shy voice.

“Hera, what are you doing here? It’s almost dark! Where are your parents?” Laura ushers her into the cabin and turns more of the lamps on. She then looks over at Bill with a worried expression on her face. Turning to look at Hera, she notices she has tears in her eyes. “Why don’t we sit down on the couch and talk while Bill makes us some dinner? How does that sound?”

Hera quickly nods her head and then climbs onto the couch next to Laura just as Bill gets up to get some meat from the shed that he can cook. Laura lifts Hera up onto her lap and allows her to bury herself into her chest. She wraps her arms around Hera and gently squeezes. After a few moments, Laura softly says, “What happened?”

Hera sniffles around her tears and then she says, “I was playing with other kids and I ran into the forest and I got lost. I kept running but I didn’t know where I was going. And then I got out of the trees and I saw the cabin. I didn’t know where else to go. I was scared. Am I in trouble?”

“No, no, honey. You’re not in trouble. I just needed to know what happened. We can’t get you back to your mommy and daddy tonight because it’s dark out and we’ll get lost in the dark, but we’ll go tomorrow morning and take you back to your mommy and daddy. I’m sure they’re really worried.”

“But if I can’t go back tonight, then what am I going to do?” Hera looks up at Laura with big eyes full of tears.

“You’ll stay here. You’ll be okay here, I promise. We’ll keep you safe, Hera.” Laura presses a kiss against Hera’s forehead and she feels her cuddling back against her. Gently rubbing circles on her back, she starts humming a calming song her mom used to sing to her. She can’t remember the words at the moment so she just hums the tune.

Once Bill comes back in with meat, Laura sends Hera off to wash and then tells Bill what happened. As they cook together, Bill dealing with the meat and Laura cooking the vegetables and potatoes, Hera comes back out from the bathroom and helps finish dinner. Carefully, after a moment of consideration for the amount of strength she has, Laura lifts Hera into her arms and allows her to help finish the vegetables. After they have all finished eating, Laura tells Hera a bedtime story and then tucks her in to the guest bed.

As Bill and Laura settle down in their bed for the night, they hear little feet pad into their bedroom. Laura opens her eyes and sees Hera looking at her from the side of the bed, her bottom lip quivering. “Hera, what’s wrong?”

“I’m scared. I don’t like being away from mommy and daddy at night.”

Laura sighs and realizes there’s only one thing that could possibly help. “Do you want to stay in here tonight? Bill could go sleep in the other bed and you could sleep in here with me?” She understands why Hera is scared; she would be too. Sleeping in a room all alone after being lost in a forest would be very scary for a child.

Hera quickly nods her head with a look of relief on her face. Once Bill leaves the bed, Laura scoots over to the space previously occupied by him and Hera gets in on her side of the bed. Laura wraps her arm around her and she feels Hera snuggle into her side. Looking down, she sees that Hera’s thumb is in her mouth. Little kids are so precious. She wonders if her grandchild is going to be doing this at some point. Bill might just have to get used to being kicked out of the bed. Pressing a light kiss to Hera’s forehead, she allows herself to fall asleep.
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it!
Chapter 13 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Hera wakes up to the sun streaming in through the window. Opening her eyes, she stretches her arms and then nestles back down into Laura’s side. Normally she wouldn’t be this close to other people besides her parents. She isn’t exactly the most social of children. But for some reason she doesn’t feel scared with Laura, she feels safe, she feels protected. She knows that her parents aren’t entirely fond of Laura, but she doesn’t understand why. Laura seems like a nice person. As she continues to think about Laura, she slips her thumb unconsciously back into her mouth and drifts back to sleep.

Laura’s eyes flutter open when she feels a weight shift on her arm. For a moment she’s confused because she’s usually nestled into Bill and not the other way around, but then she remembers that Bill isn’t in the bed, Hera is. Rubbing the sleep from the corners of her eyes, she looks down at Hera and realizes that Hera is staring up at her. “Morning, Hera. How did you sleep?”

“Good. Do you know something, Laura?” Hera says in her shy, little girl voice.

“What?” Laura returns with a smile. She hopes that Lee and Ishay have a little girl. She can just imagine mornings like this with her little granddaughter tucked in her arms.

Hera looks up at her bashfully and says, “You’re pretty.”

That is not at all what Laura expected. Her face slowly turns from shock to a smile and she says, “Thank you.” It had taken Laura a while to start becoming less self-conscious about her appearance in front of people, but she had finally gotten to the point where she wouldn’t wear anything on her head in front of company. It was hard showing her vulnerability, but she realized that people didn’t care. Nevertheless, to hear someone other than Bill say she is pretty is uplifting. She can’t help but be touched. Leaning down, she presses a kiss to Hera’s cheek. “Alright, why don’t we get up and then you can get ready while Bill and I make some breakfast. Then we can eat breakfast and finish getting ready and then head off to the main camp to find your mom and dad. How does that sound?”

Hera nods her head, making her tight curls bounce, and says, “Yeah, that sounds good.”

____________________________________________________

“Oh, Hera! I’m so happy to see you! You’re okay! We were so worried,” Sharon says as Bill, Laura, and Hera walk in to the Agathon’s tent.

Hera releases Laura’s hand and runs up to her mom, hugging her tightly. “I missed you!”

Karl picks her up and gives her a tight hug. “Where have you been, honey? We’ve been so worried. We have been looking everywhere for you.”

Laura sees tears filling Hera’s eyes at this question and so she interjects and tells them what happened. “Last night Hera knocked on our door. She told us that she was out playing with other kids and she ran into the forest and got lost. She kept running and she was scared. Finally she made it out of the forest but it wasn’t near the main camp, it was near us. That’s when she ran up to our cabin and knocked on our door. By the time she got there it was nighttime and we obviously didn’t want to be out walking in the dark. So we thought it would be better just to wait until morning to bring her back. She stayed with us last night. I hope that’s alright.”

“Thank you for taking care of her. I don’t want to imagine what could have happened if she hadn’t found your cabin. I hope it didn’t interrupt any plans,” Sharon says with a look of relief on her face. She’s just happy that her daughter is home safe.

“It wasn’t a problem. We weren’t doing anything. You can stop by anytime,” Laura says.

“Bye Laura. Bye Bill. Thank you,” Hera says sweetly.

“Bye Hera,” Bill and Laura both say. They then say their goodbyes to Karl and Sharon and take their leave. Once they have left the Agathon’s, Laura says, “I’m glad Hera was able to make her way out of the forest and find us. I can’t imagine the panic those two were in last night.”

“I agree. Forests are terrifying places for children, especially in the dark, no wonder she kept running.”

Laura is about to reply when she is stopped by none other than Ellen Tigh. “Hello Laura,” Ellen says with her usual polite smile.

“Hello Ellen. What can I do for you?”

“I know you’re going to be shocked by this, but I’m starting up a school for the children here at the main camp and I was looking for some teachers. These kids need to be taught by real teachers and they’re not getting that right now. I know you loved teaching on New Caprica and I know you’re retired, but there’s not much else to do here and I’m sure you’re getting bored of just being with Bill all the time.”

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Laura interrupts with a playful smile and nudges Bill’s shoulder teasingly.

“Honestly, you’re the most qualified person on this planet so I thought you might want to head the school. You could have classes in the morning for younger students and then you could teach the older students in the afternoon, or however you would like to do that. I know how much you love teaching children, so I thought this might be a good way of getting you back into what you love. You don’t have to give me an answer right now, but think about it.”

“Well, that’s very kind of you to think of me as the most qualified. Actually, if Bill doesn’t mind, I think I’ll give you my answer right now,” Laura says. She looks over at Bill with a smile and Bill nods his head in the affirmative. He knows that this is what she loves to do, and he knows that she would love to get back into it. She was born to be a teacher. “I do love working with kids and so I’ll teach. When do you want to start?”

“Thank you, Laura. I’ll need to get things set up with parents here and get supplies together, so I will come up and let you know when we’re going to start.”

“Alright, bye Ellen.” As Bill and Laura start to make their way back to the cabin, Laura says to Bill, “Thank you for allowing me to go back to what I love.”

“Laura, you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher. I know it’s what you love doing. You’re meant to be a teacher. I wouldn’t ever stop you from doing what you love.”

“Thank you.” She wraps her arm around Bill’s back and presses herself against his side as they continue walking back to the cabin.
End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed it! As always, reviews are valued.
Chapter 14 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here is the next chapter. Hope you all enjoy it! And watch out for a reference in this chapter to another TV show that I absolutely love.
“Bill, is the meat almost done? Lee and Layne are going to be here soon!” Laura calls from the bedroom. She had just finished washing up because they had been outside all day and had been getting dirty. She had wanted to get the smell of dirt and salty sweat off of her skin.

As Laura is getting dressed, Bill makes his way into the bedroom and slips his arms around his wife’s almost naked body. Wrapping his arms around her stomach, he presses her close against his chest and sneaks a kiss onto the back of her neck. He feels her tilt her head to grant him more access to her neck. Sliding her bra strap off her shoulder, he places a column of light kisses down her shoulder and then slips the bra strap back on. “Yes, it’s almost ready. Could you finish up the vegetables while I hop in the shower?”

Laura turns around in his arms and looks up at him with a smile and a raised eyebrow. “Sure. And what was that all about?”

Bill looks down and chuckles. “Laura, I can’t help my reaction when I walk into our bedroom and see you like this. I can’t help but think how grateful I am that you chose me.” Gazing down at her, he smiles and presses a soft kiss against her lips. Turning around, he makes his way into the bathroom to go wash off.

The smile on Laura’s face never dies as she finishes getting dressed. Making her way out into the kitchen, she starts cutting up the vegetables that she had pulled from the pantry earlier. As the light from the windows begins to fade, she turns the lamps on and puts the vegetables on the stove, so happy that they finally have electricity. It only took them six months to build a power plant and run lines to their cabin. Pulling out the bread that she baked last night, she cuts it into smaller slices and places it on the table. Once she finishes this, she walks into the living room and pulls out a book to read, sitting on the couch. Just as she is sitting down, Bill walks back out into the living room, running his hands through his slightly damp hair. As he pulls the meat out of the oven, there is a knock at the door. Laura sets the book on the end table next to the couch and walks over to the door. Opening the door, she sees a noticeably pregnant Layne and a very happy looking Lee.

“Hi Lee, hi Layne,” Laura says with a huge smile on her face. She is so very happy that she’s still here to experience being part of a family like this.

“Hi Laura!” Layne says as she is pulled into a hug. “How are you? You look well.”

“Well, why don’t you both come in and we can talk?” Laura says. She motions Lee and Layne to come in and as Layne and Laura sit down on the couch, Lee walks back into the kitchen to say hi to his father.

Laura and Layne both sit down on the couch and Layne speaks first. “You have a beautiful home. Lee told me all about building it but I had no idea how nice it would be. I can’t say I’m surprised though, you two deserve a nice place like this.”

“Thank you, Layne. I’ve actually always wanted a cabin. In our free time, Bill and I would share our dreams about what we would want if everything turned out perfect. Though at the time, I never could believe that they could actually come true, at least not for me. But I’m certainly glad they did. It’s been absolutely wonderful living here. How has it been for you out exploring?” Laura tucks one of her legs up onto the couch so she can turn and look at Layne.

“Laura, you have no idea how happy everyone is that you’re still here. Word quickly spread throughout all the camps and when we’ve been there they’ve been talking about it and they are all so relieved that you’re here. I have to say, it’s been rather fun to be able to explore a new land. There are so many different types of climates and it’s been a joy to be able to see all the wildlife. We’ve seen animals that are absolutely stunning and the plant-life is amazing. This planet is so different from where we came from. And the people seem to be getting along just fine.”

“That’s wonderful to hear! I’m glad our people are doing well and that you’ve been able to see so much. Have you just stayed on this continent or have you taken a raptor and gone other places?”

“No, we’ve just stayed on this continent. We have taken the raptor though and gone to the inside and other edge of this continent. But we really just want to stay here for now because it’s near the big medical tent and all of that. Have you two gone out exploring yet?”

“No, unfortunately we really haven’t. We’ve done a little near here but nothing huge. Eventually we want to take a raptor and go up to one of the continents north of us. I’ve heard that it is absolutely beautiful and so green. It’s where Tyrol left to. We’ve been waiting until we know that I’m okay.”

“Speaking of, how are you feeling?” Layne wonders.

“I’m doing really well. I’ve been consistently checking for a lump and nothing seems to be appearing. Bill and I are just happy that it seems to have worked. I’m still gaining a little of my strength back but it’s mostly there.”

“Laura, Layne, dinner is ready,” Lee calls from the kitchen.

Both of them get up from the couch and make their way over to the dining area. Once they are all seated, Bill cuts up the meat for everyone and they start eating.

“This is really good, Dad,” Lee says. He then takes a bite of the homemade bread. “Wow, Laura, I didn’t know you could bake.”

“Thanks! I learned the basics from my mother. She always loved to bake. And then I had to experiment a couple times here but eventually I got it. I’m glad you like it. So, Layne, how are you feeling?”

“I’m actually feeling quite well. I haven’t been getting any morning sickness which is nice. The reason that we decided to visit for a couple days was actually because we were at the main camp anyway and we wanted to stop by. Cottle wanted me to have a check-up and he also was able to tell us the sex of our baby.”

“And?”

“Well, the baby is doing great and it is a she. We are having a little baby girl.”

“That’s wonderful news!” Laura says and looks over at Bill with a smile. They are going to be grandparents to a little baby girl. She notices that Bill also has a huge smile on his face. She knows he always wanted a daughter and now is going to have a granddaughter to spoil rotten. “I know it’s pretty soon, but do you have any name ideas yet?”

“We’ve actually already decided on a name,” Lee says. He looks over at Layne and she nods her head with a smile. “She’s going to have two middle names. It’s going to be River Melody Roslyn.”

Laura looks at both of them with tears in her eyes. “Oh! I don’t know what to say. Thank you. It’s beautiful.”

“We wanted our daughter to have a little something of her grandmother since she doesn’t have your genes,” Layne says.

“Thank you. That means a lot to me,” she responds.

“So, Lee, are you excited to be a father?” Bill asks.

“Yes, I am. With everything that’s happened in these last years it’s going to be nice to have something extraordinary yet so normal happen. I’m really looking forward to being a dad and to have a little girl in my life.”

“I’m glad to hear that!”

Once they have finished eating, Laura helps Bill clear the table and put things away as Lee and Layne head to the guest bedroom to get ready for bed. As Bill and Laura get into bed, Laura turns the lamp off and then snuggles into Bill’s side.

“I’m so happy for them! They are both going to be wonderful parents,” Laura points out.

“Yes, they are. And we are going to be wonderful grandparents. Laura, you have no idea how happy I am that you’re here with me for this.”

“Bill, I think I know,” she responds. Placing her hand on his chest, she lightly pushes herself up and leans in towards Bill. Rubbing her hand over the side of his cheek, she presses her lips tightly against his, reassuring him that she’s also incredibly happy that she’s here.
Chapter 15 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
“Jacob, what’s two times two?” Laura asks from where she is standing on the other side of the little boy’s desk. This is the first day of the newly set up school and she is trying to assess what varying levels her students are all at. The boy that she is standing in front of is eight years old and the ages of all her students in this class are between six and twelve. Her older students are between the ages of thirteen and eighteen and she teaches them in the afternoon. Some of the students she helped teach on New Caprica, but most she didn’t. She knows it’s going to be tough teaching kids that are all at different levels depending on what kind of education they received while they were in space, but the outcome at the end will be worth it. It’s always worth it.

“I don’t know,” Jacob says after taking a long moment to think about it. He looks frustrated with himself, almost like he knows that he should know this.

“Don’t worry, Jacob. Everyone in this class is at a different level. I’m just trying to determine where everyone is at right now and then we’ll start learning. You’ll learn how to multiply, I promise.” Laura ruffles the boy’s hair and then moves on to the next kid.

Once she has finished asking all the kids a few questions, she divides them into four groups, mostly according to their age, and sits them in four different sections of the tent. “Alright, first we’re going to start with math today. I want the left side of the class to get out a piece of paper and write out the multiplication table as a review because I know you know it. The right side of the class, I am going to teach you multiplication.”

“Miss. Laura?” a little girl asks from the back of the class.

Laura thinks her name is Lucy but she can’t quite remember. She’s not one of the students she taught on New Caprica. “Yes?”

The little girl glances down at her desk in shyness but then looks up and says, “Weren’t you the president?”

“Yes, I was,” Laura states, nodding her head.

“Then why are you teaching us?”

“That’s a very good question,” Laura says and then leans on the front of her desk because she knows this is going to be a long conversation. A conversation with a curious child is never a quick one. “Before I was president, I was the secretary of education. So I helped the president at the time by advising him on policies and programs that had to do with school. The way that I got that job was because I used to be a teacher back when I was younger. Back on Caprica, I went to school like you all are doing right now and then I went to college, which is like a more advanced school for older students. That is where I learned how to be a teacher. I always loved working with kids and after I stopped teaching I forgot how much I loved it. But now that I’m not president anymore, I’ve gone back to doing what I love. And that is working with you wonderful kids!”

“Oh, I didn’t know you used to be a teacher. I heard my mom and dad talking the other night and they said you had cancer. What’s that?”

Laura sighs because she knew this was going to be talked about at some point. She just hoped that it wouldn’t be on the first day. “Well, later in your schooling when we start talking about science and getting sick that will be brought up, but I’ll tell you a little about it now. Your body is made up of millions of tiny things called cells. And more cells are created normally. But sometimes your body messes up and makes too many cells and these cells never stop being made. The number of cells grows and it becomes out of control. That’s what cancer is. These cells are bad and they harm your body. They harm it so much that if you don’t get the cancer treated, you’ll die. And sometimes even when you are getting treated you still die because it’s just too much for your body. That’s what I had, twice in fact. Both times, I was about to die and then a miracle happened and I was cured. When we landed here, I was almost dead. But then a miracle happened and I survived. The cancer that was in me is gone. The bad cells are all gone.”

“So you’re not dying anymore?”

“No, I’m not,” Laura says with a smile.

“I’m glad,” the little girl says and then seems to be done with her questions.

“Alright, now let’s get to work.”

As Laura teaches the younger children how to multiply, the older children work on their multiplication tables. Just as she is about to teach the children how to multiply with the number nine using the hand trick, one of the older boys interrupts her and tells her that he never learned how to do that. Once she has the entire class pulled together again, she teaches them all how to do the nifty little trick. After they finish up with multiplication, they have a fifteen minute break and then it’s back into the classroom for writing.

At about noon, the parents all come to pick up their kids. Just as Lucy is about to leave, she runs back over to Laura and says, “Miss. Laura, I’m glad you got better.” She gives her a quick hug, smiles up at her, and then runs back over to her parents.

Laura turns back into the tent with a small smile on her face and starts getting ready for her afternoon class with her older students.
____________________________________________________

As Laura is packing up the supplies in the classroom, Ellen comes by to the tent to see how the first day of school went. “Hello Laura. So, how was it?”

Laura finishes erasing the chalkboard and then turns to Ellen. “It went well. The kids are very eager to learn and I love being back in the classroom. It’s going to be difficult because they are all at different levels in their education, but I think it will be fine. The first part of both sections was spent figuring out what all they knew. One little girl, Lucy, decided to ask me personal questions this morning. She asked about me being a teacher and then she asked about my cancer and what it was. I suppose those questions were needed though because it helps them to know who’s teaching them. Other than that, we started on math and on a little bit of writing and then we were mostly working on math and science in the afternoon. This is going to be very good for them, Ellen. They needed this.”

“I’m glad everything is going well. I’ve heard that Lucy is a bit of a talkative one once she gets started. Anyway, I just stopped by to make sure everything went fine. Bill is waiting for you out in front of the tent. See you tomorrow, Laura.”

“Bye.” Laura waits for Ellen to leave and then heads out of the tent herself. She meets Bill a couple steps from the opening of the tent.

“How was your day?” Bill says after he kisses her in greeting.

“I’ll tell you about it later. Let’s go visit Kara.”
Chapter 16 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Author's Notes:
Here is the next chapter. Hope you all enjoy it! The lyrics to the song Faithfully belong to Journey. This chapter is rated M.
“You know what’s hot?” Bill says as they are walking up to their cabin. They had stayed to eat dinner with Kara and thus were walking in the moonlit night. Bill had gazed over at her repeatedly during their walk and smiled every time the light from the moon and stars caught her eyes and lit them up from behind her glasses. The way her lips pulled into a smile each time he gently squeezed her hand was beautiful. He knew he could never get enough of her.

Laura glances over at him through the side of her glasses and he can see her lips twitch into a flirty smile. “What?” she asks.

“Miss. Laura,” he responds with a small grin on his face.

“Bill, are you saying that me as a teacher turns you on?” she suggests as she looks over the top of her glasses, one side of her mouth turned up. Letting go of Bill’s hand, she moves it to his butt and gives it a small pinch, then returns her hand to his. She never was one for teasing, but it doesn’t hurt to do it on occasion.

“Laura, I know you have that effect on most of the men down at the main camp, especially me,” he says, grinning when he sees a rosy-red blush growing on Laura’s cheeks despite her looking down as they climb the steps up to their porch.

Once she recovers, she clears her throat and says, “I think ‘most’ is a bit of an exaggeration, Bill.”

The man in question opens the door and allows Laura to enter first, closing the door and locking it behind him. “I have to disagree. I’m on the outside so I see all of it.”

Once the door has been closed, they both step out of their shoes and Laura walks over to the lamp and turns it on, placing her glasses on the end table. The lamp bathes them both in a warm light. Bill pours them both a glass of the alcohol that was made just north of the cabin and as she takes her glass out of his hand, she pulls him into a kiss with her other hand on the back of his neck. The intimacy of the cabin atmosphere begins to grow in her, and with her shoes off, she has to lean up to kiss him which puts her right next to his ear. “That is the sexiest thing anyone’s ever said to me. I’m glad I can still turn a few heads. You know, that kind of stuff used to be able to get me into bed,” she reminisces, thinking back on all of her old memories. Pausing for a moment, she allows the weight of it to sink in, thinking about how much she has changed from the woman she was just six years ago. She then continues, “But lately, I haven’t wanted quick sex, especially not from you. So let’s go slow. Let’s be romantic.” Lowering herself back down, she looks into Bill’s eyes and sees that they have softened. Taking both of the glass tumblers, she sets them on the end table next to the couch and then places her hand on his shoulder as he starts humming the beginning of an old song that used to always be played.

Highway run
Into the midnight sun
Wheels go ‘round and ‘round
You're on my mind
Restless hearts
Sleep alone tonight
Sending all my love
Along the wire

They say that the road
Ain't no place to start a family
Right down the line
It's been you and me
And lovin' a music man
Ain't always what it's supposed to be
Oh, girl, you stand by me
I'm forever yours
Faithfully

Bill lightly moves his hand onto Laura’s waist as she joins their other two hands together. They sway slowly, each getting closer and closer as Bill continues to softly sing the song. He smiles when he notices the soft light of the lamp catching her eyes and making her skin glow.

Circus life
Under the big top world
We all need the clowns
To make us smile
Through space and time
Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you

And being apart
Ain't easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy of rediscovering you
Oh, girl, you stand by me
I'm forever yours
Faithfully

Laura rests her head softly against Bill’s chest as they continue to sway back and forth. As he finishes humming the rest of the song, he pulls their joined hands in and places them next to Laura’s head, gently rubbing her hand with his thumb. Releasing his hand from hers, he moves it up onto her neck underneath her wig, causing her to look up at him. Guiding her mouth to his, he softens his kiss and moves his lips over hers slowly, allowing their breathing to synchronize. When their lips release, he realizes that Laura’s hand is now cupping his cheek.

“I love you, Laura,” Bill whispers softly next to her ear.

As opposed to Bill initiating the previous kiss, Laura initiates this one. Pulling herself up onto her toes, she matches her own height with Bill’s and moves toward him, their lips like magnets. Once their lips pull apart with regret when the need for oxygen becomes too great, Laura takes Bill’s hand in her own, turning off the lamp and leading him back into their bedroom.

They move as one as they climb onto the bed, both relieving each other of their shirts. Each piece of clothing keeps coming off one by one. Their lips never disconnect; the magnet is never allowed to pull apart. Laura moves her hand up to the side of Bill’s neck and leans into his kiss, her mouth parted just slightly. As she flips over onto her back, she allows Bill to take control, to be the one on top. Leaning her head back, she grants Bill access to her neck and chest. She feels her body being pulled towards his, the arch of her back increasing as his lips trail down her chest and abdomen and then back up. She feels his chest expanding against her own, their breathing becoming deep. As she feels him slip himself inside of her, she thinks about how completely he loves her, and how completely she loves him. She lifts her hips higher and higher and then she feels a release.

Once they are both lying beside each other again, Laura says, “Bill, do you remember when you told me I was afraid to die alone?” At his hesitation, she adds, “Don’t worry, this isn’t a trick question.” She rolls over slightly to smile encouragingly at him.

Bill smiles sadly and responds, “Yes, I do.” He remembers the fight in their quarters like it was yesterday, though the details are slightly hazy. He doesn’t remember all of it because he was so drunk, but he recalls most of the conversation. There were a lot of words exchanged that night that should never have been said.

“You were right. I was afraid to die alone. I was afraid that when my time came, I would have nobody there that loved me, nobody that would miss me. I didn’t realize, or maybe I just chose not to realize, that that wasn’t true. Thank you for loving me way back then, before I even acknowledged to myself what was happening.”

“Laura, I fell in love with you long before your cancer ever returned. You should never have been afraid you would die alone.” Bill notices the questioning look now on Laura’s face and says, “And before you ask, I’ll tell you another time, not tonight though. Good night. I love you.”

“I love you too,” Laura says with a soft smile on her face. Rolling over, she snuggles into Bill’s side and rests her hand over his chest. She feels him place a soft kiss on her forehead and then she falls asleep.
Chapter 17 by Kaitlynnlovescats96
Laura wakes as a gentle hand runs up and down her back. Her pajama top that she had put on in the middle of the night has somehow ridden up and is now showing a large expanse of her back. The sun’s rays filtering in through the window feel good coming through the blanket onto her cool back. It is nearing winter and as such it has started to become rather chilly during the night. She wonders if this continent ever gets snow. She remembers only a few times as a child when it snowed on Caprica. It snowed so rarely there. It was always considered the sunny planet. Earth is so different. There are so many different climates and seasons, not all of the many lands are the same. Opening her eyes, she sees Bill peering down at her.

“Good morning,” Bill greets her with his rough voice, even rougher than usual because he just woke up. Leaning down, he presses a kiss to her forehead.

“Morning,” Laura replies with a lazy smile. “I’m not quite ready to get up though, so let’s stay in bed for a little while longer.” Turning away from Bill, she snuggles back into his chest. She then links her hand with his and pulls it over her body, resting it next to her chest.

“Laura, don’t you have to get up so you can get ready to go down to the main camp to teach? You have a job, remember?”

“I have time.” Gazing out of the window, she says, “Isn’t it beautiful? The sky so clear yet you can feel the cool crispness of winter in the air? You know, when I was a child I rarely got to play in the snow just because it almost never snowed. But when it did, it was the most wonderful thing. I loved being out while it was snowing and feeling the flakes of snow hit your skin and then immediately melt. I loved looking at the night sky just before it was about to snow and seeing the orange glow in the blackness of night. It seemed so magical.”

“I can just see you doing that. I can see you peeking out of the window at night and watching the snow start to fall. I agree though, it is beautiful. It snowed one time when I was home spending time with my boys and I took them sledding. We went out on a steep slope out in the middle of nowhere and built this huge sled track. It had tons of twists and turns while going down the slope. We had a lot of fun. In fact, that was their first experience with snow if I remember correctly. Did you ever go sledding?” He can feel Laura chuckling at this and can’t help but smile. That was one of his few good memories with his boys.

“That does sound like a lot of fun. I bet Lee remembers doing that. And yes, I have gone sledding before. My father would take the three of us out, occasionally on a trip to another planet, and we would go sledding. I have many fond memories of that and other not so fond ones as well. My father always had the tendency to send us down dangerous slopes even if my mother was yelling at him not to. I remember one time he actually sent us in the direction of a tree. My mother was incredibly mad at him after that.”

Bill chuckles and says, “That definitely sounds like a Roslin thing to do. I can see where you got your personality from, at least part of it.” He then grunts in surprise when he gets shoved in the stomach by Laura’s elbow.

“You think you’re so funny, mister,” Laura says after she’s pulled her elbow back. Once she’s curled back up, she feels Bill placing a kiss on her neck. She tightens her hold on his hand and pulls it in closer to her body. After a moment of silence, Laura softly says, “Bill, what did you mean last night, when you said about falling in love with me? You’ve never mentioned it before so…” After she says this, she feels Bill tighten his arm around her, bringing her back in closer to his chest. She allows him to take his time in answering.

After a few moments of silence, he finally finds the words to begin. “Laura, I’ve loved you for a long time, longer than you might ever think. I didn’t realize at the time what was happening, but eventually it dawned on me that I loved you. It started when I went down to Kobol and apologized. I realized you had become part of the family, and family needs to be trusted and supported. After Kobol, I longed for the times to be able to see you and talk to you, whether during meetings or after. I didn’t understand what that meant at the time. And then Pegasus came and I realized how much I relied on your trust and support. And as your death came closer and closer, it dawned on me how much I was going to miss you, not just the president, but the woman, the woman I grew to care for. I remember that kiss like it was yesterday. I didn’t kiss you out of thanks or pity; I kissed you because I wanted you to know that there was someone still alive that cared for you and that would miss you. When I got the call that you were in sickbay, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I had been expecting it, but I still didn’t want it to be real. I was in the CIC at the time and I just stood with the phone at my ear for minutes after Cottle told me. I finished my shift and then walked back to my quarters. I sat down and I just sat there for hours. That’s when it first dawned on me that I was falling in love with you. When Baltar came to me with that possible cure, I couldn’t just stand beside you and watch you die and not try it. I had to do something to try and save the woman that I was growing to love. When it worked, I can’t even describe what I felt. It was like a weight was lifted off of my heart, knowing that the woman I was growing to love was still here and still alive. It didn’t happen at one single moment, it happened over time.” He then breaks off and presses a hard kiss against the back of her neck. He feels her take a long breath and then slowly let it out, shaking just barely. He can tell she is trying to keep her emotions under control.

“Bill, I had no idea. How come you didn’t tell me?”

“It was never the right time. We were fighting for our survival, the survival of the human race. We weren’t focusing on ourselves. How could I try to put us in the middle of that? I just had to try and show you from time to time.”

“Sometimes… Sometimes you just have to make it the right time. I remember that kiss like it was yesterday too. I never took the opportunity to thank you for it. It meant more to me than you could ever imagine. Since I had taken the role of president, no one dared to think of me as just a normal person. No one dared to touch me or even just to talk to me as Laura. That was the first time since I had taken the office that someone had actually taken the opportunity to see the real me. That kiss gave me the reassurance I needed that there was still humanity left in people. And it also gave me the comfort and loving touch I needed. Thank you for giving me that in one simple action.” Once she is done saying this, she turns around in Bill’s arms and places her hand on the back of his neck, pulling his lips to meet hers. “I wanted to do that after I woke up and found out that I was cured. But like you said, it just didn’t seem like the right time.” Pulling his lips back in to hers, she cuddles into his embrace and kisses him for what seems like forever.
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