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.”
Here is the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it! It does feature other characters besides Bill and Laura.
Hope you liked it! Reviews are loved!