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Not the Colonial Dream 3A

Title: Not the Colonial Dream 3, Part A
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: AU through Exodus Pt 2
Summary: After an unexpected pregnancy, Kara and Lee attempt to make this whole... parenting thing work. But when the Cylons return to New Caprica, will their mission interfere with their family?
Author's Notes: Follow up to Not the Colonial Dream and Not the Colonial Dream II. Beta'd by the lovely thrace_adama  and workerbee73 


“Kara.” No response. “Kara.”

Lee cracked an eye open to look at Kara lying beside him. She was completely still, but he could tell by her breathing that she was already awake. Besides, it would be nearly impossible to sleep through the noise that Alexandra was making. Lee groaned and nudged Kara with his knee.

“Kara!”

“What?” she groaned, pulling the covers up around her shoulders.

“The baby’s crying.”

“I can hear that.” She rolled over to face him, but didn’t open her eyes. “What’re you going to do about it?”

Lee propped himself up on his elbow at that. “What am I going to do?” he parroted.

“It’s your turn,” Kara grumbled. It was dark, but Lee was convinced he saw her lips quirk into a grin.

“I have to be in CIC in three hours and I’d like to get some sleep before then.”

Her eyes snapped open. “I got up the last three nights in a row.”

“Kara—”

“I don’t frakking care, Lee. You just sit on your ass in CIC all day. Unlike you, I need some frakking sleep.”

Lee lay there with his jaw slack, ready to start up with another round of the “you have no idea what I do all day” lecture, when another piercing wail from across the room cut his thought process short. If he wanted to get any sleep tonight, he was going to have to take care of it himself.

He shoved the covers aside and headed for Alexandra’s crib. The six-month-old lay on her back, her hands balled into fists, letting out shriek after shriek. “It’s okay, Alex. Daddy’s here,” he muttered, scooping her up into his arms. He checked her diaper first thing—dry and clean.

That left two options, hunger and attention. Part of him was hoping for the first option. Alex had recently figured out that crying meant Mom or Dad was going to come and hold her—in fact, Lee was convinced it was becoming something of a game to her. She would stop crying soon, but the second Lee put her back in the crib she would just start up again.

He rocked her gently in his arms for a few minutes, but she didn’t stop crying. Hunger it was. Lee glanced over to the bed—Kara was not going to be happy about this. Well, she was just going to have to deal with it; it’s not like he was actually equipped to deal with this particular problem.

“Kara?”

“What?”

“I think she’s hungry.”

“There are bottles for a reason, Lee.”

“I gave her the last one before I put her to bed.”

In the complete silence, Lee was sure he could hear Kara plotting his demise. He heard a rustle of sheets as Kara sat up. “Oh, for frak’s sake. Bring her here.”

Lee felt a wave of relief rush through him as he carried the baby over to their rack.

“Come here, nugget,” Kara muttered, easing Alex out of his arms and settling the baby into the crook of her arm. Lee settled down beside them on the mattress. He watched as Kara tugged her sports bra out of the way. Once Alex had latched on and started to eat, Kara let her eyes slide shut. A few moments of silence passed before Kara let out a quiet hiss of pain and adjusted Alex in her arms.

“What is it?”

“She’s got fangs,” Kara groaned. “We gotta get this kid eating solid food; she can’t just keep chomping on my tit for the rest of her life.”

Lee reached out, brushing a lock of dark hair back from Alexandra’s forehead. “Alright, I’ll check the book and see what it says.”

Kara’s eyes snapped open to level him with a death glare. She always gave him that look whenever he mentioned it. He’d managed to get his hands on one of the last childcare books left in existence—and considering the fact that they had entered into this whole parenting thing without any idea how to raise a child, Lee thought it was one hell of a good find. Fortunately, she also looked like she was too tired to argue.

When Alex was full, Lee carried her back to her crib and tucked her worn, gray blanket around her. “Gods, I can’t wait until she actually sleeps through the night.”

“We live on a frakking battlestar, Lee,” Kara said, settling back into bed, turning her back to him. “Day, night—pretty much the same thing.”

Lee walked back over to the bed, settling down as well. “Well, eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, just once.”

“You know,” she muttered into her pillow. “If you’d just let your dad babysit her for a while, we could actually get some sleep. But you just—“

“The book says that at six months they start to feel separation anxie—”

“Lee! If I have to hear one more sentence that starts with ‘The book says,’ I am going to smack you in the face with the book.” She gave a firm yank on the covers, successfully hoarding them all for herself.

“I just don’t want to put her though anything more than she’s already going to have to go through,” he said, pulling at the blanket. Kara refused to relinquish her grip.

“She’s gonna have to be apart from us someday, Lee. And it’s not like we’re giving her to some stranger. The Old Man can have some quality time with his only grandkid.” Kara rolled back over; her voice took on a wicked tone. “And you and I could have a whole night to ourselves.” Her arm snaked out from beneath the sheets, brushing over his chest and sliding down his abdomen.

Well, he thought, considering the way her fingers tugged at the waistband of his briefs, they were both awake.

As Lee leaned in to kiss her, she abruptly rolled over once again. “But, I guess that’s not gonna happen any time soon.”

Lee let out a long sigh as he lay back, staring up into the darkness. He reached over, trying to pry some of the covers away from Kara, but to no avail. Frak it, he thought as he closed his eyes. It wasn’t worth fighting over. He had to get up in two hours anyway.

====================

Kara bit at the end of her pen, her eyes glazed over as she stared at the pile of CAP schedules that needed to be completed. Yet another Pegasus pilot had mustered out, moved down to that pathetic pebble of a planet. Sure, she’d taken a few trips down there since they started settling, but Kara was certain that she’d lose her mind if she had to live down there.

Her last trip down there, she’d dropped in on Chief—Galen, she wasn’t used to calling him that—and Cally, who was waddling around looking like she was going to pop any day, even though she said she wasn’t due for another month. Galen went off to a union meeting, leaving Kara to discuss the whole mother thing with Cally. The former specialist cooed over Alexandra—who was more than thrilled with all the attention—while she talked about how much she was looking forward to raising her child on solid ground with fresh air and sunlight.

It was the only time Kara really understood why anyone would want to live down there. For a moment, Kara thought about Alex, running barefoot in the grass with sun shining down on her while she played with a furry animal of some sort, maybe a dog. Of course, the planet she had in mind was never New Caprica. But it didn’t matter now. She shook the thought out of her head. Earth was out of the question, and Alex’s primary form of movement was dragging herself on her arms in a commando crawl. She didn’t have time to think about this kind of thing now, she had work to do—maybe someday, but not now.

Kara pinched the bridge of her nose. She was staring down at the papers and willing the schedules to work themselves out when she heard a muted fussing noise coming from Alex’s crib. Frak. No, not again, not now. Maybe she’d fall back to sleep…

No such luck; the fussing turned into a full-out cry. Kara sighed and pushed the papers aside before walking over to Alex’s crib.

“Come on, what’s wrong?” she asked, leaning on the railing. “I already fed you and changed you. What else do you want?” She couldn’t wait until the kid was talking and could actually tell her what she needed—she had no idea when that was going to be, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to ask Lee to consult the book. He had been treating the frakking thing like scripture since he’d found it and refused to do anything for the kid without consulting it first.

Kara sighed, and scooped Alex up into her arms, rocking her gently. Almost instantly, the little girl stopped crying. Kara blinked and shook her head. “Well, that was easy.” Not quite. The moment that she settled her daughter back into her crib, she started crying again. “Oh, come on!” Kara picked her up again, and once again the crying stopped.

Kara looked down at the baby in her arms. Alex stared up at her with wide hazel eyes and started burbling a string of content sounds. “So, you just want me to hold you? Is that it?” Alex let out a squealing laugh and clapped her hands together. “Okay, okay, you can come sit with Momma while she works. Will that make you happy?”

Alex made another noise that Kara interpreted as yes. She sat back down at her desk, letting Alex sit on her lap. Of course, it was really too much to ask that the kid would sit still and let her work. The moment that Kara picked up her pen again, Alex reached for it, trying to take it out of her hand. “Okay, Alex, Momma needs that. I have to work.”

Kara pried Alex’s little hand away from the pen, wrapping one arm around the little girl as she went back to work. She’d gotten a grand total of one CAP slot figured out when her daughter reached up, caught a fistful of Kara’s hair, and tugged. “Ow,” Kara said as she flinched. It was more surprising than painful, but Alexandra let out a delighted laugh and tugged again.

“I really should’ve named you Eris,” Kara muttered, trying to extract her hair from her daughter’s hand. “You want me to pay attention to you, I get it. But Momma has to work.”

Ma!

“Alex,” she warned, but the little girl didn’t stop.

Ma. Ma. Ma. Mama.” Alexandra hit her hand against Kara’s leg, chanting the syllable over and over again. It didn’t seem like she was planning on stopping any time soon.

Kara set her pen aside. Work could wait for a little while. Kara settled down on the metal grating of the floor with her legs splayed. She settled Alex on the floor so she sat between her legs facing her. Alex laughed and smiled and clapped her hands together excitedly. She looked so happy, like this was the best thing that had ever happened to her. Kara held up her hands in front of Alexandra, and the baby started to hit her hands against them as she continued to babble content sounds.

“Alex.” The little girl looked up to meet her eyes; she recognized her own name. Kara and Lee had been doing this parenting thing for a while now, but it had felt like a routine—your basic childcare and maintenance checklist—food, diaper, attention, almost like a post-flight check.

From the moment Alex had been born, Kara’d known she wanted to protect her, didn’t want anything or anyone to hurt her, but this was the first time Kara realized that she wanted more than that. Alex was happy. She was sitting there, smiling and laughing—smiling and laughing because her mother was playing with her. Alex was looking at her like clapping hands was the greatest thing in the worlds.

Struck by pure curiosity, Kara scooted back a few feet. Alex sat in her spot for a few moments before she leaned forward and pulled herself across the floor on her arms until she was sitting in front of Kara again. She let out a squeal of laughter, and Kara backed up a few more feet. Sure enough, Alex started crawling towards her again.

She didn’t know how long she spent crawling around on the floor with Alexandra, but she distantly heard the hatch slide open and shut again. When Kara finally looked up, Lee was leaning against the bulkhead just watching the two of them with a ridiculous smile on his face. Kara cast a look at the clock and realized she had to be on CAP in twenty minutes.

Kara quickly stood, scooping Alex into her arms and clearing her throat. “Your daughter’s a little tyrant,” she said as Lee walked over to them.

“Oh, really?” he asked with a laugh in his voice.

“Uh-huh. Wouldn’t let me do my work.” Between Lee’s grin and Alexandra’s excited sounds, Kara was completely unable to fight back her grin.

“Looked like it was such a hardship.”

“Right.” Kara passed Alexandra into Lee’s arms and gave him a peck on the lips and planted a quick kiss on Alex’s forehead. She lingered for a moment as Lee slid one arm around her waist, surprised by how much she liked the familiarity of this, but she had a schedule to stick to. “I gotta get going. I’ll see you two tonight.”

=====================

Kara remembered how badly she’d itched to get back in the cockpit when she was pregnant with Alexandra, but there had been no sign of the Cylons for almost a year now. Nothing to look for, nothing to fight—just flying circles around the few remaining ships in the fleet and the planet below. Week after week it was endless CAP after CAP, and with fewer and fewer pilots, each patrol was longer and longer, and after six hours straight in the cockpit, no stunt, no race, nothing at all could alleviate the boredom—plus, having someone out there on your wing was a luxury nowadays.

It was at the beginning of the seventh hour, after a race out past the Zephyr and back, that Kara paged Showboat over the comm. “Come on, let’s take another pass around the planet and pack it in.”

Once they’d touched down on Pegasus, Showboat called out to her from across the deck. “Triad game in the rec room tonight. You coming?”

“Maybe later.” The unfinished CAP rosters and training drills hovered at the edge of her mind. The paperwork had been her least favorite part of being a flight instructor, and it certainly was the worst part of her job right now.

“The joys of motherhood?” Case asked with a slight laugh. Kara shrugged—what can you do?—and headed back to the Commander’s quarters, all the while running through names in her head and dying for a long shower in the private head.

She could tell that something was off the moment the hatch slid open and she stepped into the room. All of her paperwork was gone, and in place of the mess was a bottle of ambrosia and two glasses, already half-filled. Lee was sitting on the couch, flipping through his beloved childcare book. He looked up at her, grinning.

She arched an eyebrow at him. “Lee? What’s going on?”

“Notice anything?” he asked as he got up and walked over to the desk.

She cast a quick glance around and it suddenly clicked into place. “Where’s Alex?”

“Spending time with her grandfather.” Lee smiled broadly as he handed her one of the glasses. “He came over on a Raptor a few hours ago. I packed up her blanket and enough bottles to last at least thirty-six hours.”

“Thirty-six hours?” she said, grinning as she downed her glass. “Got something big planned?”

“Well, I figured we haven’t been alone in a while. Better make the best of it.” Her body hummed at the thought of a full day and a half of not getting out of bed, frakking until way past the point where everything pleasantly ached. Come to think of it, when she was pregnant, they’d barely been able to catch time together, living on separate ships. And after the baby came there was still barely time to squeeze in a quickie, not to mention having to keep the noise down so they wouldn’t wake the baby. They’d never once had the opportunity for marathon sex. Oh yeah, this was going to be good.

Lee took a sip from his glass and leaned in. His mouth sealed over hers in a long, hungry kiss. Her free hand moved to cup the back of his head, holding him to her as she licked into his mouth. His taste was as intoxicating as the liquor. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she dimly remembered that she had schedules that needed to be finished by 0800. She muttered so between kisses along his jaw.

“Already taken care of,” he told her, his hand slipping up under her tanks.

Somehow, she wasn’t sure, they managed to drain their glasses without taking their hands off each other and they’d completely shed their clothes by the time they tumbled into their rack. Lee rolled onto her, his solid weight pressing her into the thin mattress, and slipped a hand between her legs. “Gods, Lee,” she gasped.

She could tell this was going to be a very good thirty-six hours.

====================

Sighing contently after round three, Kara lay half-sprawled over Lee, tangled in the sheets. He bent his head to press a kiss against her temple, stroking his hand over her back. She seemed strangely quiet now. Lee frowned.

“Something on your mind?” he asked.

Kara leaned her head into the crook between his neck and his shoulder. “Alex called me ‘Mama’ today.”

“Funny. She called me the same thing.” Kara laughed, the puff of air was warm against his skin. He stared over in the direction of Alexandra’s empty crib, then up at the ceiling. “Think she’s doing okay?”

“I’m sure she’s fine. Aren’t grandparents supposed to be the ones kids love because they spoil ’em rotten?”

Silence again as Kara traced her hand over his chest, absent circles in the sweat cooling on his skin. It was strange, just the two of them for once. If it weren’t for Alexandra, would they even be together like this? Kara’d left Sam when she found out she was pregnant—if there had been no baby, would she still be with him? Would he still be with Dee? He couldn’t fathom it—couldn’t imagine his life without Kara as his lover and partner, without their child—their child.

Kara’s hand flexed and curled against his chest, and she flinched slightly when he closed his hand over hers. Something wasn’t quite right, and from the look on Kara’s face, Lee knew it was going to be one of those things that she’d tell him about if and when she wanted to. If there was one thing Lee had learned about Kara Thrace, it was that pressing the issue was the fastest way to land himself in the doghouse.

The silence stretched as Lee brushed his thumb over Kara’s knuckles. When she spoke, it was almost too soft to hear. “My mother broke every one of my fingers.” He said nothing while she murmured a story, a cycle of revenge between mother and daughter that ended with a young girl’s hand slammed in the closet door. “Strange thing is…I used to know why she did it, but I don’t have any frakking clue anymore.”

He pulled her hand up to his mouth, kissing each knuckle in turn. Her eyes fluttered shut for a moment, her breathing harsh in the quiet room. But then she swung her leg over his hips, sliding over him, and pressed her lips to his. They kissed, long and languid, his hands settling on her hips. Lee wasn’t sure what he’d done, exactly, but apparently it had worked.

If someone had told him a year and a half ago that this was where he’d be right now, he would’ve laughed in their face, but he couldn’t imagine it any other way. Sometimes Lee didn’t have a clue how they were making this family work, but clearly they were doing something right.


Part B

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
callmeonetrack
Jul. 5th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Mmm. Still love Kara and Alex on the floor playing, and Lee and Kara's sexytimes. I also especially liked Kara saying that she used to know why her mother did it (that she deserved it, that it was punishment) but didn't anymore (because she could never ever do that to Alex). Lovely little subtle moment of her personal growth. ♥
rayruz
Jul. 6th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Whee, actual comments on parts. :)

I'm really glad you liked and got the segment about not really understanding her mother anymore... I was hoping it was clear.
lanalucy
Nov. 22nd, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC)
Such a sweet moment in time. I just know something bad's coming.

There is that fraction of a second, in a lot of parents' lives, if not all of them, when they realize that this child they love is a real person, and every single thing they do to or for that child matters. You captured that beautifully.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )