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21 July 2008 @ 12:57 pm
The Rising Red- Chapter 11- To Bring Back Reality  
I figured I should start transferring this across :)


BSG Fic- The Rising Red
(It's also uploaded at Survival Instinct for those who prefer that format.)

Summary: An angsty and slightly AU fic surrounding Adama and Roslin. The President's life is jeopardy and it's only a matter of time until it's too late.
Rated: M
Disclaimer: These character are unfortunately not mine! I'm just putting them into my own little storyline to keep me entertained.
It's set after Epiphanies and before Sacrifice in Season 2.

Thanks to my two lovely beta's</a> trickalicious78 and laharah

Chapter 11- To Bring Back Reality Count:8492
Chapter 1 can be found here. Chapter 5 can be found here Chapter 9 can be found here
Chapter 2 can be found here. Chapter 6 can be found here Chapter 10 can be found here
Chapter 3 can be found here Chapter 7 can be found here
Chapter 4 can be found here Chapter 8 can be found here

Chapter 11- To Bring Back Reality

Laura sat next to Bill’s bed, watching him as he slept peacefully on the thin cotton sheets of the sickbay, his mouth slightly open and the distant noises of the machines overpowering his light snoring. She’d been there all night, sitting there, watching him and making sure that he was ok. She didn’t know if it was the shock or just the fact that she was so tired, but she felt strange. She didn’t quite feel right. Since being there she’d try to ignore this, intent on keeping Bill company and making sure she knew what was going on. Cottle had kept her informed and now the next few days, she knew, were going to be incredibly hard.

She put her pen back to the page, organising her thoughts as she began another entry. She’d caught up with all the time she had missed and felt deeply satisfied with it, the words depicting every fear, every wonder and every thought. She knew what she was going to use it for, she knew when it was going to be put to use, but until then, it was for her eyes only.

“I’m fearful. Now, deep inside of me, the tiredness and lack of energy has been temporarily put to the back of my mind. I know that I need to make sure Bill is ok. I fear for him and his safety which will, as I found out, be directly relative to my actions.

Dr Cottle and Gaius Baltar are both remarkable men. Jack has persistence and a desire to make sure that the both of us are ok. Under that cold sarcastic exterior is a caring man, he just likes to infuse it with a hint of himself. Gaius has an intellect that many men dream of and he is putting as much of it to good use as he can. I admire their work, but every time they come to me, I am fearful of their answers.

The truth is now, they know what is affecting Bill. It’s horrible and horrendous. It uses Bill’s emotions against him, letting them rage through him like a bull, charging and bouncing, making him lose himself. Adrenaline can be a good thing, but too much of it, as Cottle says, can cause a heart attack. Which, was the reason he had major chest pains. Whatever was injected into him has made him react to everything dramatically, Acetyl Choline, excessively secreted by the hypothalamus makes his anger levels and aggression rise to a point where he can’t control it. Somehow, it all reacts to emotion. It makes me fear for the way that the human race was heading to before the attacks. If someone was capable of doing this, then what would we have come to in the end?

It makes me sick to the stomach to think about, but, Cottle thinks that somehow his moods are a deep reflection of his inner emotion. When it was just me around he came over to me and told me that because Bill has a deep rooted emotional connection to me, how I am and how I react to things could ultimately be the death of him. Bill woke, not too long ago and told me about what he felt when he was out. He said that he heard me get upset and that was when it got worse for him. When he saw the bruise on my knee when he came to his quarters he snapped. I’m terrified. If something happens to me it might kill him. It won’t be a knife or a bullet that takes him from this world, but his emotions. As ridiculous as it sounds, it would really be a horrible way to go, and every time I think about it I can feel myself want to cry. It’s hard enough to control my emotions anymore and if I don’t, I could hurt him. I could kill him. What if, essentially, I am his murderer?”


Laura swallowed and lifted her gaze to Bill’s peaceful face, his mouth twitching as he rested. What if she was his murderer? What if it was her? She put her pen down and held her hand against her chest, feeling her heart beat beneath her silk blouse, trying to hold back the tears that welled in her eyes. A single tear streaked down her cheek, making her hands quiver as she tried to wipe it away. The sobs wanted to come, they wanted to escape and let the world hear them. She couldn’t do this to him. She was going to get worse, she knew she was, she didn’t know how long it had been since she had slept and she knew that, at some point, she would take a downfall and if he saw that…well it wasn’t worth thinking about. Another tear fell and it landed on the fresh ink on the page, smudging the blue words. She sniffed and wiped her face again. Then, out of nowhere her body shook and a sob escaped her lips.

The monitors that were hooked up to Bill began beeping and she looked up, fearful of the high pitched bleep that was being produced from the big white machine. She stood up and stared at the monitor, terrified of what she was doing. The line on the screen made a light jump, just the once, but it was enough to scare her off. She picked up her diary and pen and placed them in her bag. “I’m sorry, Bill,” she whispered, before exiting the curtain, her heart breaking as she made her way back to her room. She wiped her face quickly and walked up to Starbuck, the pair of them headed off, Laura trying to keep herself together.

----

Billy entered the Admiral’s quarters with a large wad of papers and forms. His eyes gazed around the room, looking out for the President, so he could give her his report and the paperwork that she had yet to do, as requested.

He carefully walked across the carpet when his eyes fell upon her still form sat on the rack. He smiled and made his way over to the bed, pulling a chair with him so he could sit near her. “I brought the papers, Madam President.” he said cheerily, placing the chair down on the floor and sitting in it.

Her facial expression didn’t change, she just sat staring at the bulkhead opposite, her features blank and distant. The pillows had her propped up and the covers wrapped around her lower body, her hands wrapped together. She didn’t notice he was there. “Madam President?”

She blinked slowly, her head turning a fraction, but her eyes staying glued to the bulkhead. “Hmm?”

Billy placed the papers on his lap and watched her carefully. “Are you ok, M’am?”

To Billy it sounded like a snort, and her mouth twitched slightly. “Great,” she said in an almost sarcastic manner. She blinked again and her eyes snapped into focus. “I’m fine,” she stuttered. “I just spaced out, I think.”

“Can I get you anything? Water?” Billy stood up, placing the paper on the chair and waited for her answer.

“Yes, water would be nice, thank you.” She picked up the files and the pen that she had by her side and began looking at the words below.

Billy poured her some water into one of the biggest glasses he could find and made his way back to her, being careful not to spill it anywhere. He was sure that the Admiral wouldn’t be impressed if he splashed it onto one of his books. “Here you go,” he said, handing it to her.

As Laura took the glass she felt the muscle in her hand spasm and the glass shake, threatening to spill the contents onto the bed. She placed it onto her legs and picked up her glasses from the bed. “Damn,” she said, noticing the spilled water on the sheets.

“I’ll get something for that,” Billy said, smiling politely and walked towards the head, passing Starbuck who was leaning on a chair with a half-read book in her hand. He stopped, and walked back to her. “How long has she been so-”

“Weird? All morning. We came back here this morning and she just sort of sat there. She hasn’t moved in the past two hours. It’s weird, man, something isn’t right with her today.” Starbuck stared over to where the President sat and watched as she stared blankly down at the paper.

“Do you think it’s because she hasn’t been sleeping? I heard that after a certain amount of time without getting sleep your body puts you into micro-sleep. You just sort of stare into space for a small space of time.”

“Small space of time, not all afternoon.” Starbuck put the book down. “I think maybe you should ask Cottle. Maybe she is still in shock about the old man? I don’t know, I just know that it isn’t right. The Old Man usually is here to sort this stuff out, I just guard.”

Billy nodded his head, his stomach in knots as he worried about what was going on with her. “I’ll go see him when I finish up here.” He walked into the head and grabbed the hand towel and headed back over to the bed.

Laura blinked, letting the page focus again as she looked down at it. She couldn’t concentrate, keep her mind on anything but Bill. Every now and then she’d feel herself drift away, not hearing Starbuck ask her something or hear the phone buzz. It was strange and horrible at the same time. She felt sick, she felt worried, she felt strange. The idea of being responsible for Bill’s death kept dawning on her and it left a horrible feeling in her stomach. As far as she was aware, the only way to stop him getting hurt was to try and keep away from him, try and keep their contact to a minimum. Hopefully that would make it much easier for him. It’d be hard for her, excruciating almost, but needs must. She had tried it before and he had been angry at the end, but, now, she had a true reason to keep away.

“Madam President,” Bill said for the second time, the towel in his hand.

“Hmm?” Laura said, lifting her head from her work. “Thank you.” She took the towel and gave the sheets a wipe, trying to get rid of as much of the excess water, which had now pretty much soaked through everything.

“I can bring you this work back later, for when you feel up to it?” Billy said, taking his seat next to the bed once more.

Laura’s hand sat idly on the pen. “No, it’s ok. I’m sure I’ll be able to do it.” She stared at the words and began reading, her mind tracing over the first sentence three times before it started making even a little bit of sense. “Do you want me to fill this form out?”

Billy looked at her for a few moments, unsure of what to say. “It’s a press notice, Madam President. You just need to read it. Let me know if you want me to tell them anything?” Billy opened his hand and pulled the paper from her grasp. “Do you want me to read it to you?”

Laura took the paper from his hands and put it back on her lap. “No, I’ll be fine. That will be all, Billy, thank you.” She forced a smile and watched as he stood up, his face telling her that he was worried. “I’ll be ok,” she said, nodding as she adjusted her glasses and watched as he walked away, unsure of where to put himself. His eyes fell to the left and she saw him look at the other occupant of the room. “Billy?”

Billy stopped and turned around. “Yes, M’am?”

“Have all of my things come back from being washed?” She looked around at the empty room, none of things anywhere.

“No, M’am, I’ll get onto that.”

---

Bill opened his eyes and let them focus on the curtain in the distance, then letting them wander around his cubicle. He’d hoped that Laura would still be here, to make his waking up that bit more bearable. He wasn’t in pain anymore, it having subsided extremely quickly, but he felt guilty. It was like something had taken him over from the inside. It wasn’t him that lashed out and went on a rampage, it wasn’t him that pounded the face of the prisoner. It couldn’t be. The way the rage had taken hold of him had scared him greatly, the way that it made him act. The way he could have acted.

What made it worse was that if there hadn’t have been a reason for lashing out on the prisoner, he didn’t know if he would have gone after anyone else. What if he had gotten so bad that he had gone to Kara or Laura? As much as he wanted to think that he wouldn’t have, he couldn’t be sure. Never had he been in so little control. He was sure that he might have. It made him feel ill.

“Ah, you’re awake,” Cottle said almost cheerily, his cigarette in his mouth, the smoke floating into the air. “Are you a bit more coherent this time?”

“Can I go?” Bill said, sitting himself up.

“What is it with you authoritarian types and not wanting to stay in here? It will do you some good. We don’t want you having another episode of what happened last night, now, do we?” He looked at the chart and then fiddled with the monitor to the side of him. “Do you remember what we spoke about earlier?”

Bill nodded his head slightly. “Briefly. It’s not good, is it?”

Cottle took the seat near the bed and tapped his cigarette on an already ash-filled kidney dish. “I wouldn’t say it was a great situation to be in, given your circumstances, but it can be overcome, I’m hoping.”

“Circumstances?” Bill’s eyebrows raised and he stared at the Doctor, his face full of puzzlement.

“Come off it. You’re trying to tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about?” He inhaled and stared at Bill with an almost amused look on his face. “You have circumstances, Admiral, boy do you have them. I’m talking about you and the President.”

“Well, of course we have circumstances. We’re both being targeted and might die!” Bill folded his arms angrily, trying to avoid the direction that Cottle was heading for.

“Yeah,” he laughed, rolling his eyes. “Ok, Admiral, whatever you say. In all seriousness though, you need to be careful. You lost yourself to rage before, and when the adrenaline kicked in it got to an alarmingly high level. Adrenaline is good, in some ways, but not in this, the high levels can be linked to heart attacks. You don’t want to get like that. You need to remain calm, be level-headed. You need to try and keep yourself away from stressful situations.”

“I’m an Admiral.”

“You’re also human. Look, I told you earlier that you may have one or more triggers. One of them being the President. You said yourself, when you were unconscious you heard her and Lee arguing and it started you off then. When you saw her injured- well yes, I think you get my point. As a man and a leader you need to get yourself on a track. You need to avoid as much conflict and as much pressure as you can. Too much and it might kill you. Myself and Baltar are trying to get answers from your blood-work at the moment-”

“I don’t want you working on mine. I want you to keep working on the President’s.” Bill pulled the covers off of him.

“Will you get back in that bed. I want you in here for another few hours. And no, we will work on both of them. Regardless of what you say. I am the Doctor, you are the patient-”

“I’m your superior.”

“Yes you are, but if you carry on you won’t be for much longer. Now lie back down.” Cottle extinguished his cigarette and placed it in the kidney dish, pressing against Bill’s shoulder’s until he had his head back on the pillow.

“Two more hours.” Bill said angrily.

“Three and then you can go. Just remember what I said.” Cottle grunted and exited the curtain, keeping it open so he could watch his stubborn patient. How he missed the days where you could easily strap the patients to the bed regardless of what was wrong with them.

---

Billy hurried into the sickbay, his eyes quickly trying to sought out the Doctor who he was very desperate to see. He had learned that things should be looked into further, no matter how small and because she was going downhill so quickly it was very important that she be checked. The Doctor might not see it as a rapid decrease, but to Billy, who was used to being around her for most of the day, during her bad days and good days, he could see that she was getting bad. Whether she had something on her mind or she was just getting worse from not sleeping, he would rather know that he had done the right thing by getting her looked at, regardless of the outcome.

He brushed past a curtain, not realising that he had just disturbed the Admiral. “Billy?” He heard the Old Man call out from behind the curtain.

Billy stopped and politely popped his head into the confines of the Admiral’s space. “Yes, Admiral, sir?”

“What’s wrong?” Bill stared at the boy with a deeply curious and concerned expression. He felt his stomach fill with angry butterflies and his heart beat increase. The machine to his side gave a loud bleep, making him jump slightly. “Is everything ok?”

Billy swallowed and tried to avoid his piercing gaze. “Yes, sir.”

Bill didn’t believe him, he could tell by the slightly panicked expression which had overcome his face. “Is the President ok?”

“Well-”

“What are you doing, Admiral, I can hear your damned machine going off. What did I tell you about keeping calm?” Cottle shouted, turning around the corner to see a body poking out, the head inside of the Admiral’s space. “Is this boy bothering you?” he said, pulling Billy out by the scruff off his neck. When Cottle saw the surprised look of Billy he let go. “Oh, it’s you. What do you want?” he said, taking a slow drag of his cigarette, his eyes narrowing at the boys face. “Make it quick, I have work to do.”

“Umm, I came here looking for you, Doctor.” Billy side glanced to where the curtain hung open slightly, the Admiral staring at him. Billy knew that even though he was pretty sure that the President wouldn’t mind the Admiral knowing, it was still her privacy and it wasn’t for him to go telling everyone her business, even if the Admiral had been there from the beginning. He wasn’t silly. He had heard what had been said about what was wrong with the Old Man and he knew that the President wasn’t happy by this. “Could we go talk over there, maybe?”

Bill got up out of his bed and grabbed the curtain, pulling it back, feeling the wires restricting him from moving away. “No, you’ll say what you have to say here.”

Cottle glared at the Admiral. “Get back in that bed.”

Billy watched as the monitors began beeping faster and Cottle shook his head. “Look, son, I know why you’ve come here. I can take a guess at least, but he won’t let you go over there for privacy and I can’t stop him. You know the score with him, lets not give him a coronary.”

Billy hung his head and then nodded it, looking up. “The President, I think, has taken a bit of a turn.”

“A turn?” Both of the men said simultaneously.

Billy grimaced, running his hand over his hair. “Well, not like that,” he said shyly, suddenly feeling awkward when faced with the attention of two very intimidating men. “She’s just so…weird. Starbuck said that she has practically been staring at the bulkhead all day, and when I gave her the paperwork she asked for she was confused, didn’t know a form from a press notice. I just thought that it would be better to let you know that she wasn’t doing too good, just in case.”

Both of the men seemed to exhale slightly at that news, expecting the worst. “I’ll go down and see what’s going on,” Cottle said gruffly. “Just to be on the safe side.” He gave the Admiral a stern look and then pulled the curtain as if to close it.

“I’m coming too.” Bill said, his body perched on the end of the bed.

“No, you’re not.” Cottle shuffled over to the bed. “You owe me an hour!”

Bill didn’t say anything, instead he stood up and began unhooking himself from all of the monitors. “How do you get this off?” he said impatiently as he pulled on a wire that seemed to be attached to his arm.

Cottle grimaced as the monitor gave a little beep and he could see his heart rate increase slightly. “Oh for frak sake. Come here.” He walked over to Bill and gave the wire a sharp tug, it ripping from underneath the Admiral’s skin. He watched as the grumpy leader gave him a glare, and he shrugged it off. “You asked me.” He walked over to where Bill’s chart was and unhooked it, giving it the once over. “You really shouldn’t go. I’m telling you that now.”

Bill didn’t say anything, he just picked up his uniform and picked up his boots. “I’m going. I want to see how she is.”

“I told you didn’t I? You have circumstances.” Cottle shook his head and walked off to his office to collect his bag.

Bill glared at him, and then turned his glare to Billy who was stood nervously to one side, his hands in his pockets and his lower lip being chewed on. He turned to the side, saw the look that the Admiral was giving him and then decided that the bulkhead looked like a better way to spend his time.

“You did the right thing, Billy.” Bill said, pulling the curtains around him so he could get changed.

“I’m glad you thought that too, sir,” he said quietly. “But, are you doing the right thing?”

Bill paused, his trousers half way up. “Of course I am,” he said, pulling the remainder of his trousers up and buttoning them.

Billy could sense the hesitancy of the leader. Billy could see what the President meant to him, but he could also see it from the other way around. He knew what the Old Man meant to the President and he was sure that she would object to the Admiral leaving his hospital bed, knowing fine well what his ailment was. Rather then continuing a losing battle, Billy walked idly over to the other side of the room, waiting patiently for the doctor to get his things.

-----

“I demand you to come back here and talk to me about this! You like playing games, don’t you? You always have. I’ve listened to you, done what you asked- what you’ve told me to do! Then you spring something like this on me. Come back!” Gaius moaned, dropping his pen on the massive file of paper sat before him. His work load. His prison.

Six watched him as he sunk his head into his hands, sitting behind him on a workbench, her thin legs dangling over the edge. Her usual red dress had been replaced with a long white dress covered with flowers. The hair on her head was not it’s usual bounty of blonde curls, it was pulled back loosely behind her. The usual makeup that she appeared in wasn’t bright, it was subtle, pastel shades covering her eyes.

Gaius watched as Cottle, Admiral Adama and the President’s aide walked passed his room, walking quickly in a single direction. “How odd,” he said quietly, his stomach knotting as she wondered why all of them would need to move in such haste. What if something had happened?

“The President will die, you know,” she said quietly behind his back. “Because you are not using your brain, Gaius.”

Gaius twitched and then turned around, his brain swimming with ideas and images that he would rather forget. “You don’t know that. She could be fine.”

“Have I ever been wrong?” Six climbed down from where she was sat and walked silently to where Gaius had started to stare, worried about what she was saying. “You seem to only question me when times are hard. When you don’t want to hear the truth. If you listened to me in the first place then things wouldn’t get so hard in the first place. I’ve told you, God has a path for all of us to follow. I’m on mine, I’ve been on mine for a long time, since the beginning. It wasn’t always known to me-”

“Because you were a sleeper agent?”

“Because it takes time for intentions to become crystal clear,” she corrected him, folding her arms. “Just because I had a life, it doesn’t mean that I knew what I was doing. It might not have been conscious, it might not have been obvious, but I did it anyway and I’m here now because this is where I am meant to be, Gaius. You are on your path. God wants you to do things.”

“So if I believe then you’ll tell me all about your life as a sleeper agent?” he said excitedly.

“Why can’t you take this seriously?”

“Why can’t you help me? If you know how things are going to be then you can tell me how to get out of this mess. Help me save her.”

Six walked slowly down the side of the room, running her hands along the counters. “There haven‘t been many times where I have given you answers. There are times where I‘ve told you what to do for your own good, times where I‘ve pointed you in the right direction, but, this time you have to work it out on your own. I can point you in the right direction, but this is something you must overcome yourself.”

“Will you point me in the right direction?” Gaius stared at her intently and stood up. “Please.”

“I can show you something.” She walked over to him and took his hand, running the other over his eyes to close them. “You’re going to see, hear and feel things, Gaius. It will help you understand.”


-----------

Billy walked through the hatch and caught Starbuck’s eye as she stood by the bed, her book in her hand and the glass of water that he had prepared earlier in her hand.

Cottle and Bill walked in after, Bill’s eyes searching the room upon immediate arrival, looking for hers. Looking for the familiarity, the warmness and comfort. He followed Cottle over to the bed and watched as he knelt down on the floor, his hand reaching in his bag. “Madam President?” he said, looking for his torch.

“She said that her neck started hurting again,” Starbuck said, putting the glass down. “I couldn’t leave her.”

“It was a good job you got me, Billy.” Cottle said, shining the light in the President’s eyes, waiting for a response.

“She hasn’t said anything since. She just keeps staring and I don’t know why. Is she ok?”

“I don’t know.” Cottle said. “We need to get through to her. I‘ve heard of cases where people with huge sleep debts can go a bit…well, you know. Lack of sleep can cause damage. Your body needs it to regenerate. Or it‘s an extended micro-sleep. She might snap out of it every now and then, but go straight back into another. She really needs rest. I know that much.” Cottle watched her for a few more minutes, she wasn’t doing anything. He brought his hands up to her arm and gave her a poke, just to see if she would respond to that. “Nope, nothing. I think we should take her to sickbay, just to be sure.”

Bill stepped forward and pulled Starbuck out of the way, his heart pounding anxiously in his chest. He had to find a way to get through to her, to bring her back. Out of everyone, he was sure that he would be able to do it. He didn‘t have a specific plan, he just had his head and his heart which new her more than anyone. “I want all of you to leave,” he mumbled. “I need to try something.”

Cottle stood up, his face puzzled and almost irritated. “You’re not a doctor. You don’t know what you’re doing.”

“No, I’m not. But, you haven’t done anything yet, have you? I just want to try something and I want you to wait outside. I need quiet, and I’m not going to get it with all of you in here. That’s an order.” Bill let his jaw tense and he glared at them, waiting for them to give in and leave.

Starbuck took Billy by the arm and pulled him away. “Come on, the Admiral gave us an order.” She nodded her head and gave the Old Man and look of recognition, she knew he had something up his sleeve, he always did, and she was pretty sure that he knew what to do.

------

Laura could see trees and grass all around her, the wind floating through her hair, fingering the locks so that they moved around her head. It felt peaceful here, it felt quiet. She heard a bird tweeting in a nearby tree and she smiled, it felt so good to be where she was. There was a small wooden cabin in the distance, she walked slowly towards it, letting her feet float through the grass and tickle at her shins.

When the house came into view she stepped inside, a waft of warm air hit her and she smiled, the smell of fresh bread lingered in the air. She closed the door quietly behind her and gazed around the room, the cooker still on, pots and pans on the top and utensils sat by the side, the red of tomatoes still stained the chopping board.

“Hello?” she shouted, turning herself around to look out of the front window.

Something made a bang behind her and she turned, and walked towards it, intrigued by what it could be. She came to a small hallway and saw as small wooden-framed pictures lined the wall. Intrigued by this small house she made her way forward, peering at each of them. When she set eyes on the first one she gasped, a small picture of herself and Bill on the wall, in normal clothes. They looked happy. She pulled it off of the wall for closer inspection and felt her mouth twitch into a smile. They were stood in a hill, a great ocean spread out behind them. They had found Earth!

The next picture was an old one. Bill was stood with his uniform on and Laura with one of her many suits. It was one taken when she was first president. The amount of time which had passed since then was strange. It seemed like such a lifetime ago.

Then it dawned on her. If there were pictures of her and Bill on the wall then this must be their house. This must be her small cabin. “Bill?” she called, walking towards the back door. She looked into each room as she passed a doorway, looking for him, hoping that he was going to be there.

When she opened the back door she was hit with a cool breeze and she closed her eyes, letting it wash over her again. When she finally opened her eyes she couldn’t believe it. It was her lake. It spread out for as far as she could see and it was lined with great big green trees that stretched towards the sky like giants. It was beautiful. She stepped back outside and saw the outline of a man in the distance, she smiled, hoping it was Bill and bounced over towards the shelter of the trees where he stood.

As soon as she left the clearing she heard the sky crash and boom, lightening ripped through the sky, highlighting everything under the trees. She caught the face of Bill and walked over to him, wanting to take him inside before the storm got too bad. She looked up, the sky turning a deep purple, the clouds swirling and the rain falling hard onto her face. When the lightening flashed again she thought she could make out eyes amongst the clouds and she shivered, sensing a presence around her. This was very strange.

Bill was stood before her with a strange look on his face, his eyes closed as he let the rain wash down his cheeks. She walked towards him and put her hand on his, trying to pull him in. “Come on, Bill, we need to get inside out of this storm.”

His eyes snapped open and she saw his face fill with rage. “You killed me,” he said, falling to the floor. “It was you.”

Another lightening flash and this time, when Laura looked up to the sky she saw the eyes blink and she gulped. The wind howled around her ears and she thought she could hear someone whisper around her. “Both of you will suffer. It will all end soon.”

Laura’s eyes grew wide and she watched as the ground began engulfing him, his body sinking into the mud, the leaves and branches that had fallen from the trees wrapping around him as he slowly disappeared. She got to her knees and tried to pull him out, pulling everything out of the way as he slowly got deeper.

As the lightening flashed above her she blinked, his body gone, the ground smooth. A sign was dug into the ground and she felt her heart break as she read the words.

“Here lies William Adama. A leader. A fighter. A beloved father to many. A man that will be remembered for a very long time.”

Laura felt her heart sink in her chest as she read it, her hand reaching up to the sign, running her fingers over the wood, letting the letters run beneath her fingers. The tears that fell down her face were cold against her skin. She could still feel him with her but he was no more. She had killed him. It was her. She had brought him to an end. “Oh, Bill,” she sobbed, bringing her hands up to her face. Guilt bubbled inside of her and she wiped her eyes as the tears continued to fall. “I’m so sorry.”

Pain shot up her neck and she reached to the site, letting her hand rub at it as she sobbed into her other hand. She knew it, deep down, that what she saw there to be true. She was his killer. It was her.

The branches began moving to the right of her and she looked nervously into them, trying to figure out what it was. She could make out the outline of a woman, her slim figure moving strongly through the bushes, making her way towards Laura. “Hello? Who are you?” she said panicked, getting up and stepping back.

The tall blonde Cylon came into view and Laura’s face dropped. She stepped back slowly, turning her body. “No,” she yelled. “You know what we do to Cylons? We airlock them.”

The six smiled. “I don’t see any airlocks around here do you?” She laughed and began walking towards Laura.

Laura turned around and began to run, looking at Bill’s grave one more time before running out into the bushes, pushing herself to try and get as far away as she could. The branches and twigs kept getting caught in her hair as she ran, her face getting scratched by the brambles. She could hear the Cylon’s laughter and her movement behind her, but she never once looked back. As out of breath as she was, she had to keep going. She had to escape.


----

Bill sat himself on the edge of the bed, watching as she stared off to the bulkhead ahead of her, her expression never changing, her eyes never focusing. “Laura,” he said, reaching out to take her hand from her side.

When he wrapped his fingers in with hers he could feel the cold clamminess of her skin and he could tell that something was really out of place. “Laura, what’s wrong?” His chest began aching and he watched as she carried on looking out across the room. He missed her eyes and her gaze and the way she looked at him. “Please.”

Slowly her expression changed, her brow furrowing as she blinked. “Hello?” he heard her whisper and he leaned forward, looking into her face.

“I’m here,” he said calmly, hoping to get her to snap out of it.

“Bill?”

Bill nodded his head, giving her hand a squeeze. “I’m here. Are you ok?”

He watched as she flinched, her face scrunching up as she moved her eyes to look at the ceiling. “Come on, Bill, we need to get inside out of this storm.” She said, her eyes returning to the bulkhead, small beads of sweat beginning to form on her head as she blinked slowly.

Bill was confused. Was she having a dream? He gave her hand another gentle squeeze and decided to sit and watch for a few minutes, just to see what was going on.

Laura’s eyes grew wide and her mouth fell open, her hands and fingers twitching. Tears welled in her eyes and Bill watched them as they ran down her face. “Oh, Bill,” she sobbed. “I’m so sorry.”

“Laura? Laura? Why are you sorry?” he said, giving her arm a gentle shake. “I need you to come back to me, Laura. I need you back here. President Roslin.” Nothing happened, she continued to stare at the bulkhead. Then she brought one of her hands up to her neck, a grimace spreading out as she clenched her eyes together.

Then, her face changed to panic, her eyes growing wide and her fingers tensing around Bill’s hand. “Hello? Who are you?” she said loudly, making Bill jump. “No, you know what we do to Cylons? We airlock them.”

“Cylons?” Bill said quietly. “Oh Laura, please, you’re having some sort of a hallucination or something. It’s not real.”

The hatch banged and he could hear Cottle moaning from behind it but he wouldn’t dare open it yet. He wasn’t finished. Laura made a sort of panicked noise and Bill could see her chest rise and fall, her breath catching in her throat as she seemed to get out of breath, her eyes wide with panic. It was like she couldn’t breath, sweat lining her whole face. This was getting out of hand.

-------

“Laura, I need you to come back to me.” She heard a deep gravely voice say around her in the air. It made her stop and she grabbed hold of a tree, the thick trunk letting her whole body lean against it as she tried to get her breath back. She turned around and tried to see if the Cylon was coming for her still. In the distance, amongst all of the green she could distinctly see the blonde hair and she carried on running.

“Laura, please, snap out of it.”

The voice boomed around her and she looked up into the sky. “You’re not real. Bill’s gone. It’s a Cylon trick.”

“Gone? I haven’t gone anywhere.”

Laura turned around, looking up at the deep purple sky, the rain falling onto her face as she watched the lightening ricochet in the sky. “You aren’t real.” She sobbed. “You’re gone.”

“Of course I’m here.”

“Well prove it then. Prove that you’re not really dead.”

Something pressed into Laura and she watched as the trees changed shape, it all coming in around her. Then, the room slowly came into focus around her, her chest tight and her whole body warm.


------

“Laura, I need you to come back to me,” Bill said, taking both of her hands in his as she continued to get more and more out of breath, her face shiny with sweat and her eyes wide with panic. “Laura, please, snap out of it.”

Laura’s breath came out sharp and fast and she began whispering. “You’re not real. Bill’s gone. It’s a Cylon trick.”

Bill looked at her, even more puzzled by her newest statement. “Gone? I haven’t gone anywhere.”

“You aren’t real,” she sobbed. “You’re gone.”

Bill gave her hands another gentle squeeze and moved himself closer, right into her line of view. “Of course I’m here.”

“Well prove it then. Prove that you’re not really dead.”

Bill didn’t know what to do, his mind telling him that he needed to snap her out of it, but he wasn’t sure what would be the best way. At first he clasped his hands around hers and tried to make her see sense that way, but she didn’t have none of it. Bill moved as close as he could, so that his eyes were level with hers and only a few inches away. There was still no recognition. What she needed was something real, something that would make her snap out of it. Something that they shared. Slowly he moved his face close and placed his lips on hers.

Laura pulled away, gasping for air, falling back into the pillow, the room coming into focus, the trees disappearing. The sweat fell down the side of her face as she panted. “Oh Gods,” she sobbed. She closed her eyes and squeezed Bill’s hands as she felt the pain run through her neck. She opened her eyes and stared at him still feeling slightly disorientated by the sudden change in scenery. She then realised that she was still in her rack and a daunting feeling ran through her. That had been the most intense thing she had felt in a long time. “It was so real. I thought you were dead.”

Bill, who hadn’t moved from where he was watched her carefully, her eyes still panicked but now very much with him. “I think I should get Cottle back in here.” He said, squeezing her hands.

Laura pulled him back, sitting herself up and wrapping her arms around him, sinking her head into the crook of his neck. “Not yet,” she breathed heavily, feeling his skin against hers, relieved that he was still alive. “I don’t know what just happened,” she whispered. “I really did think you were dead.”

“You must have been hallucinating or something. You’re fine. I nearly thought there that you wouldn’t come back.” He smiled gently and ran his fingers through her hair, feeling the weight of her body collapse into him.

She pulled her head away from him and looked up into his eyes. “I could hear you, calling to me. I didn’t believe it was really you. I saw you, leave, the ground take you and swallow you. Then, there was that blonde Cylon, the one that was onboard the Pegasus. Frak, it was so real.” She was pretty freaked out by the whole situation. It was like the time she saw the snakes on Colonial One, they were really there to her, she saw them hiss and move. The house, the water, the storm, it had all been so real. It was like waking up and being somewhere else. Now, thinking about it, she should have realised it wasn’t real. How could it? But, when it’s before you in colour, it’s hard not to.

Cottle pushed the hatch open and stormed in. “I’m not having this at all!” He paused and looked at the President who was staring at him, her hair damp with sweat and her face pale. “Ah, I see you’re back with us.” He walked over to the bed and sat himself down on the covers. “This still doesn’t make you a doctor,” he spat at Bill, glaring at him as he opened his bag. “Tell me everything. What you felt like before and what you feel like now. Talk to me.”

Laura looked at Bill out of the corner of her eye and then sat back against the pillows, a heavy exhaustion washing over her as her body began to clam down. “After being in the sickbay I came back. I decided to get into bed because I felt a little dizzy. After that I don’t remember much, I think I kept flitting backwards and forwards. It was like I was dreaming, but I was awake and it was real.”

Cottle shook his head. “The only explanation I have, because I don’t think you’re crazy, is that you’ve been partially hallucinating and having what we call ‘micro-sleeps’ where it’s almost as if you are asleep, but your eyes are open. You don’t react and you literally switch off. It happens when there is an extreme lack of sleep and your body has to try get some shut-eye so it does it involuntarily. Sleeve,” he said, pointing to her arm. “I want more blood from you.”

Laura rolled up her sleeve, her arm feeling weak and her whole body feeling as if the energy had been zapped out of her. She let her head sink into the pillow. “Make sure you don’t take it all,” she joked, quietly, letting the doctor take her arm.

“Such a joker. I see your sense of humour is still in tact.” He inserted the needle and took a small sample of blood. “Now. I want you to stay in that bed. I am going to go back to the lab and get this looked at straight away. You,” he said turning to the Admiral. “I want you resting up too. See that couch, yes, get your ass on it and get some rest. Remember what I said.”

Bill rolled his eyes. “Fine.”

Cottle closed his bag and stood up, pulling out a cigarette and walking to the door. “I will be back in an hour or so. Behave!”

The hatch opened and he exited. Billy stood on his toes, rocking backward and forward. “Is there anything you want me to do, M’am?”

Laura shook her head. “No, Billy, it’s fine. I’ll get someone to get you when I need you. I think I’m just going to rest up for a bit. I feel so drained.”

Billy nodded his head. “Ok, M’am. I won’t be too far away.” He walked towards the hatch, looked back briefly before exiting the room.

“So, what about me? Do you think you’re going to need me around?” Starbuck was full of energy, having not been in the gym for a few days and in need of a good work out.

“You’re dismissed. If we need you, you’ll know about it.” Bill walked over to his desk and sat down.

When Laura heard the hatch close behind Starbuck she coughed. “Bill, you need to rest.”

“I need to go through this day in the book first, take a look, see what’s going on.” he turned over the pages in the book.

“You need to rest!”

“I can’t just lie there, Laura, it’s not in me to do so. I have to make sure that we get on top of things. I need to be prepared and have an idea. You get some rest. Try and sleep, or at least keep yourself relaxed. We don’t want you having another turn.”

Laura shook her head. “Well, we don’t want you having another turn either,” she moaned, pulling the covers up to her chest.

----

He stood over the equipment, pouring in a concoction of chemicals into a big beaker, flicking some switches and dials as he went. He had to be prepared. The final day was coming fast and he had a lot of work to do to make sure that he was ready. He was excited and his body buzzed every time he thought about it. The way this was unfolding, the way in which it would all come into place. He couldn’t help but feel good about being a part of it.

This day would be the turning point. Things would now begin a rapid descent for the two leaders and soon it would be over. Oh, how he couldn’t wait.

“Pain would wash down the two souls, ripping them apart. Their love for each other still strong but the barriers between them stronger. The paths that they were on will slowly move away, only to make a painful collision at the end. The love, which they have tried putting to one side would begin to blossom as the end dawns. By then, it would be too late.”

The beaker made a horrible gurgling sound and the liquid changed colour. A small smile spread across his face and he laughed. It wouldn’t be much longer.
 
 
 
Amanda Howard: lauracrazyyounglady on July 22nd, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Awww))) newchapter!!! *hug you tightly*
Beautiful, sad, full of emotions... great!
At the ending of the previous one I was sooo afraid that for Bill and Laura would be impossible to connect anymore, but I'm glad I was wrong.
Very interesting image of Six ;) want to see it)
And of course I want more!) I already want new chapter!!!
There's Hardly Room For Air: House- Squintsplodge04 on July 22nd, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
:) I felt bad for writing this stuff quick enough! It really doesn't help that I write super long chapters either LOL

I'm really glad that you're enjoying it! I'm doing my best to get as much written as possible :)

More should be up soonish :D
Amanda Howard: lisa cuddycrazyyounglady on July 22nd, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, take your time! and no matter how long the chapter you wrote it's always not enough...)

*your icon...wow...AMAZING)))*
There's Hardly Room For Air: Mary- Super hot greensplodge04 on July 22nd, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Aww, lol thanks :D

House is a cutie :D
TeaJennilullabymoon on July 22nd, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Yay! I love it, even if I want to hide behind a cushion as I think of how you are torturing them.
There's Hardly Room For Air: BSG- mary smilingsplodge04 on July 22nd, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
LOL I'M SORRYYYYY!

*disposes of all cushions in your area* :D

thanks!
max38max38 on July 26th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Late reviewing again, sorry. This is fast becoming one of my absolute favourite BSG stories. I love every angsty moment. You eye for detail is excellent and imagination outstanding. Roll on the next chapter!
There's Hardly Room For Air: Dr Who- Back to the tardissplodge04 on July 26th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
:) Awww *blushes* Thank you! It means a lot!
I have to say sorry too for being really late with posting this chapter. I had exams and then I was too busy for it, but, I'm getting steadily back into it. So, more should be on its way in the near future :)