As the sun rises in the east, the light begins to work its way through the bedroom window. Laura feels her body start to waken and she rolls over to face the window. Looking out towards the beautiful sunrise, she realizes that a year ago today they landed here on Earth. A year ago today, she almost died but was saved by a love that couldn’t let her go. Moving her left hand out from underneath the pillow, she gazes at the ring that was put there by Bill a year ago. So much has happened since then, and yet so much has stayed the same. They have become grandparents to Lee and Layne’s healthy baby girl, River Melody Roslyn, whom they had a couple of months ago. They have made their cabin their home and now are regularly visited by Bill’s former crew. Bill is still retired but Laura remains as a teacher down at the main camp. She is loved by so many of her students. And now today one more thing is changing, though only in name. Today she is going to officially marry Bill.
Laura rolls back over away from the window and wishes that Bill’s warmth was there to bathe in. Unfortunately, this morning all she has is his pillow. With Kara’s insistence, Bill had stayed down at the main camp the night before with Lee and he is going to be coming back up later with Lee, Cottle, Saul, Ellen, and the priest. With the boys all down at the main camp, it gave Kara, Layne, and little River time to stay with Laura for a girls’ night before her wedding. It wasn’t a normal bachelorette party, but it was perfect anyway. They had sipped alcohol and just had a fun night in, talking and sharing all kinds of memories. Laura had missed just being able to talk with friends. She hasn’t been able to talk with anyone about her former life these past years except with Bill, and it was nice to be able to share some of those memories with two people who are like her daughters. And it was also nice to spend some time with her granddaughter, who definitely takes after Layne. Taking a slow, deep breath, she stretches her arms and then swings her legs over the side of the bed.
As she throws on her robe and clips her bangs back, she hears River beginning to coo and gurgle out in the living room and she can’t help but smile. Chuckling to herself, she realizes that she must have been sleeping deeply because she didn’t hear River cry once through the night. Walking out of her bedroom, she notices that the guest bedroom door is open and that she can hear Kara and Layne talking in the living room. She was shocked the first time she saw Kara and Layne talking to each other in a friendly way after Layne had gotten together with Lee. But then again, everyone changed after they finally found Earth. “Good morning, girls,” Laura says with a smile as she walks into the living room. “How did you sleep?”
“Morning, Laura. I slept like a rock. I never would have guessed that the Old Man’s couch was comfortable,” Kara says, looking up from a bouncing River to see Laura walking into the room.
“Oh, I’ve known for a long time. Back when Laura was president and I was her nurse, oh, the stories I would hear…” Layne says teasingly from the kitchen as she cooks breakfast.
“Really? The couch? Ewww! And I slept on it! I didn’t realize you were a couch person, Laura,” Kara says, standing up with River in her arms.
“It was not what you think,” Laura denies, taking River from Kara and bouncing her in her arms. “We never did it on the couch; we were far too old for that.” Turning her attention back to River, she says in a sweet voice, “Now what do you think you’re doing, Sweetie?” Grasping River’s hand, she lightly pulls it away from her now neck-length, wavy hair which River was tugging on. “You’re already getting into trouble just like your daddy,” Laura comments with a soft smile. Looking back up at Layne, she says, “You didn’t have to make breakfast. I could have done that.”
“It’s your wedding day! You don’t make your own breakfast on your wedding day,” Layne replies.
As it reaches mid-afternoon, a knock resonates on the door and Kara is the first to reach it and open it. On the other side of the door stands Bill in his military uniform, the only formal clothing he owns. This is the first time he has worn it since landing on Earth and he was surprised that it still fit. “Hello Kara. How’s everything going in there? Is everyone almost ready?”
Kara chuckles because she knows he specifically means Laura. “Yes, we’re almost ready. You can send Cottle in here in about ten minutes.”
“Cottle? Why does Laura need Cottle? Is she okay?” Bill says, suddenly worried about her health.
“Admiral, she’s fine. She just wants Cottle to walk her out,” Kara says with a hand on Bill’s shoulder. “And I have to say, Old Man, you picked one wild woman. You should hear what she used to do back on Caprica.”
“What do you mean?” Bill asks, confused. He had never known Laura to be particularly wild.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” And with that, Kara closes the door and walks back into Laura’s bedroom, leaving a very confused Bill staring at the door.
Ten minutes later, Cottle walks into the cabin and moves back towards the main bedroom, noticing that the guest bedroom door is closed. As he walks into the master bedroom, he realizes that Laura is the only one there, and she is stunning. She’s wearing the red skirt and tie-front shrug that she wore at the New Caprica Groundbreaking Ceremony. Her short, wavy hair is flowing loosely except her bangs that have been pinned back. “Laura, you are gorgeous. Bill is one lucky man.”
“Thank you, Sherman,” Laura says.
Cottle clears his throat and gruffly says, “I have to say, I was surprised when Bill told me that you wanted me to walk you out.”
“Sherman, you were the first person I thought of. You’ve always reminded me so much of my father. He was just like you. I can’t ever thank you enough for all that you’ve done for me. You’ve been like a father to me, both harsh and kind when I needed it the most. You’ve given me strength, multiple times. And you’ve given me life, twice. Besides my father, I wouldn’t want anyone else to walk me out.”
“Thank you, Laura. That means quite a lot to me, especially because I never had kids of my own. So, are you ready?”
“I’m more than ready.”
As Laura and Cottle walk out of the main bedroom, Kara, Layne, and River meet them in the living room. Walking out of the cabin, they head towards the spot a little way up the hill and just as Bill is about to come into view, Kara and Layne step ahead of Laura so that Laura is the last thing he sees. As Cottle hands Laura off to Bill, he gives her a tender kiss on the cheek and then steps back.
The priest begins. “We are gathered here today in the presence of the Gods, close friends, and loved ones to celebrate one of life's greatest moments. We are here to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words that will unite William Joseph Adama and Laura Marie Roslin in holy matrimony. William and Laura, marriage is the most important of all relationships. It should be entered into reverently, thoughtfully, and with full understanding of its sacred nature. Your marriage must stand by the strength of your love and the power of faith in each other.”
Laura and Bill look into each other’s eyes and in that moment they see how far they have come. They couldn’t even have faith in their partnership in the beginning, but now they have even more than that. Now they have love, a love that’s almost been shattered many times, but it has made it through. It has made it through life and near death.
“William and Laura, as you stand here in the presence of these witnesses and the Gods, I remind you, that love, loyalty, and trust are the basis of a mature and fulfilling relationship. Marriage is a serious undertaking; it is intended to bind your lives together forever and is not to be taken lightly. You two had a rough start, everyone knows that, but you rallied together and found something in that. You found love in each other. We hope you continue to grow closer throughout your years together. None of us know what the future will bring as we all know. Yet your love for one another, and trust in the strength of your union makes possible the act of faith you are making today. As you exchange the vows, which will start you on your new journey together, know that our love and support go with you. As you make your promises to each other, we will remember promises we too have made and take this opportunity to make new our own. You have each written your own vows and now it is time to share them.”
“Bill, it’s hard to imagine that we’ve only known each other for six years. And it’s even harder to imagine that we hated each other at the beginning. I didn’t think that I would fall in love at the end of the world, but I did, and it was even at the end of my world at the time. I can’t imagine a day without you though. I can’t imagine you not being at my side, not waking up to find you lying next to me, not feeling your lips against mine. I was alone for so long that I forgot how to love, and you gave me that back. We’ve loved each other and cared for each other for so long, that sometimes I forget we’re not already married. I feel like I’ve lived my life with you. You gave me a home when I most needed one, and I’ll forever love you for that. From this day on I choose you to be my soul mate, to live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side and sleep in your arms; to be joy to your heart and food to your soul; to bring out the best in you always; to be the best I can be, just for you; to celebrate with you in the good times; to struggle with you in the bad; to solace you when you are down-hearted; to wipe your tears with my hands; to care for you with my entire being; to share with you everything that I have; as we treat each other with tenderness, compassion, and love.”
It is now Bill’s turn. “Laura, when I met you, you stood for everything that I hated. But over time that hate turned into a wavering partnership, and then it turned into trust, and then it turned into friendship, and then it turned into love. I’ll never be free of her, nor do I want to be. For she is what I am, all that is, and should always be. Each time you were dying, I made a vow to myself to let you go the way you wanted to go, but in the end I couldn’t keep it. I’ll never give up on you, and I’ll never be able to let you go. Your face is the first thing I want to see in the morning and the last I want to see at night. From this day forward, I make a promise, whatever happens, you shall not walk alone. I’ll stand by your side, and sleep in your arms, I’ll be the joy in your heart, and your closest confidant. May you feel deeply loved, for indeed you are. Through our brightest days and our darkest nights, I take you into my heart.”
“Do you William take Laura, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to share your life openly, standing with her in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and love forever more?”
Bill looks into Laura’s eyes and smiles. “I do.” It isn’t lost on him or her that he has stood by her in sickness twice already.
“Do you Laura take William, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to share your life openly, standing with him in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and love forever more?”
“I do,” Laura says.
“The ring is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken. William, as you place the ring on Laura’s finger, please repeat after me: I, William, take thee, Laura to be my wife- To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow, and I promise my love to you. And with this ring, I take you as my wife, for as long as we both shall live.”
Bill repeats the priest’s words towards Laura as he places the ring on her finger, ending with a gentle kiss on her hand. The priest then gives the words to Laura and she repeats them to Bill as she places his ring on his hand.
“Bless their marriage, as they continue their journey down the road of life together. We don't know what lies ahead for the road turns and bends. But help them to make the best of whatever comes their way. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”
Bill tenderly cups Laura’s cheek, brushing her hair behind her ear, and gently pulls her in for a kiss.
As they turn around, the priest says, “I present to you Mr. and Mrs. William Adama.”
Hope you enjoyed this chapter!