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FanFic: Red Letter Day (1/5) BSG

TITLE: Red Letter Day (1/5)
CHARACTERS: Lee, Bill, and others.
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: It's Bill Adama's Birthday! What is Lee up to?
DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica and all the characters therein belong to Ron Moore and his team of writers. I make no profit from this, I'm only playing with them, and honestly Ron says I can...
SPOILERS: Happens sometime in the middle of Season 3, presumably between A Day in Life and Dirty Hands. Slightly spoiler-ish to the opening scene in The Son Also Rise, but it's mostly AU.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is written in celebration of The Adama Realm's 3rd anniversary! Head over to the Galactica section over there for other excellent stories written by talented Realm authors. :)


"Surprise!"
"Happy Birthday!"

Shouts and noises greeted him as Bill stepped onto the flight deck of Galactica.

Earlier, he was in his quarters when a call from Chief came through urgently requesting his presence on the deck. Bill thought there was an emergency that required his attention. Never did he suspect his crew had planned a party for him.

So that's why his XO asked to switch shifts with him this morning. Bill was positive Tigh was in on it as well. It's nice that they remembered his birthday. The truth was he had completely forgotten about it. Bill was never good with remembering birthdays.

Since they started their odyssey in space, Bill didn't know anybody who'd even have time to celebrate his or her special day. But it seemed they finally caught a break. Things have been so quiet lately. They haven't seen or heard from Cylons for over two months now. The atmosphere on Galactica has become rather relaxed these days. Bill knew Lee had to constantly hammer his pilots in the daily briefings to stay alert on patrol.

As Bill recovered from his initial shock, a rather sheepish looking Chief walked up to him and presented him with a glass bottle filled with clear liquid.

"My best home-brew, Sir!" Tyrol announced proudly.

Bill accepted the present and jested: "I'll make sure Tigh doesn't steal it from me."

Laughter and catcalls cackled around him. Thanks to Chief's special talent, plenty of celebratory drinks were passed around the gathering.

Bill grinned as he saw Kara bounded through the crowd and headed straight toward him. The spirited girl planted her feet right in front of him and handed over a bulging envelope.

"What's this?" Bill mused as he opened the package.

The first thing he saw was the cigars that were neatly tucked inside. He looked at Kara with raised eyebrows. She giggled.

"Present from the pilots, Sir!"

But Bill's attention was already on the card he withdrew next. He stared lingeringly at the words "You were always like a father to me". Then thoughtfully he turned the fold over, and burst out laughing as a comical snapshot of Kara wearing a ridiculous mustache greeted him.

"Yeah, I see it." Bill murmured as he read Kara's scrawl "See the resemblance?"

"Glad you got rid of the caterpillar though, Sir!" Kara quipped, giving Bill her trademark wink.

Bill grinned at her fondly, and noticed his daughter-in-law had quietly moved to stand next to Kara. When Dee saw the Admiral was looking her way, she gave him a serene smile and handed over a thin envelope as well.

"What? More?" Bill's eyebrows went up once again as he eagerly tore open the sheath and drew out another card.

It was a simple yet elegant card decorated with a picture of lush mountains and fluffy clouds--a scenery they sorely missed while stuck in space. Also on the cover were the gracefully penned words "Happy Birthday, Dad". Bill opened the card and read the handwritten verse inside:

"As special as you are to us,
we seldom tell you so -
perhaps you mean so much more
than words could ever show..."


It was signed "With Love, Lee & Ana" at the bottom. The card was lovely. But Bill knew Lee didn't write it. The penmanship was decidedly feminine. It had to come from his daughter-in-law instead. Bill smiled at Dee appreciatively, and scanned the crowd with a surreptitious glance.

He didn't find what he was looking for--Lee was missing from the party. With a sinking heart, Bill acknowledged the fact his son didn't show up. His disappointment must've reached his face. Dee looked at her father-in-law apologetically and bowed her head. Kara chewed her bottom lip, then suggested helpfully:

"I bet he's working in his office. He rarely takes a break these days..."  She stopped, knowing it wouldn't fly.

Under Bill's penetrating gaze, Kara admitted in a whisper: "He said Adama family never celebrates birthdays."

Bill winced. "I deserved that," he thought. After all he couldn't remember when was the last time he was there for his sons' birthdays.

Before Bill could wallow in melancholy however, he heard a cheer rose from the crowd--Helo and Athena appeared from the newly arrived Raptor carrying a delicious looking cake.

Chief gave a sound whistle. "Frak, how did you two manage to make that from the algaes?" He exclaimed.

"Don't be silly, we only brought it over from Colonial One. The President heard about our little party plan from Dee, so she made this for the Admiral. Apparently they still have some real ingredients left over over there." Athena informed the group at large.

Bill would never guess the President would take time out and do such a thing for him.  To hide his amazement, he called out to the eager crowd:  "What are we waiting for? Let's find out how well our President knows how to make a cake!"

"I was a formal school teacher you know.  I can assure you I know how to make kick-ass cakes!"  Laura smirked as she materialized behind the Agathons.

"Madam President!"  Bill addressed her blithely.  "Thought you are busy today."

"Oh, I wouldn't miss this for the world."  Laura gave Bill a toothy grin, mirth danced in her eyes.

Bill was touched. And it alleviated some of the hurt he felt at Lee's absence. He realized this must've been how Lee and Zak felt every time he failed to make an appearance on their birthdays. The table has turned on him now.

Bill pushed back his nagging thoughts, and teased Laura:  "In that case, you better eat the first piece!"

* * *

Meanwhile...

Lee slowly came around. He let out an involuntary groan. Gods, every part of his body hurts. All he wanted to do was to curl up into a ball. But something was preventing him from doing so.

"What's going on?" Lee tried to make sense of the situation. However, there was a dense haze clouding his awareness.

Moments later, another moan escaped from him. This time he was able to pinpoint the agony on the burning pain radiating from his shoulders. He struggled to brace his arms for some relief. But his arms wouldn't budge.

The pain increased, as did his awareness. Lee gradually became lucid enough to realize his hands were in fact tied together and held above his head. Lee felt the bound cutting into his wrists; his arms were pulled as far as they would allow; and his feet could barely touch the floor. How long had he been hanging like this? Maybe hours? He had no idea.

Lee tried to recall what happened that landed him in this wretched predicament. The memories came back in flashes. But he was able to piece together the gist of it.

He remembered going to Prometheus earlier for a personal business. After getting what he went there for, an unexpected scene caught his attention as he made his way back to the shuttle.

He had chanced upon Wilson, a senior aide of Vice President Tom Zarek, having a clandestine meeting with one of Phelan's old cronies. Lee had always suspected Zerak's involvement with the Black Market. He wasn't about to pass up an opportunity like this to investigate. So he tailed them covertly, and uncovered an illegal drug trafficking in progress. Unfortunately the crooks discovered Lee's presence as well. And they objected.

Lee fought hard against his attackers. He had actually laid out several goons. But there were too many of them. "Where did they all go when we were fighting the Cylons?" Lee wondered fleetingly. The last thing he remembered before passing out was being shoved on the ground while fists rained on his subdued and defenseless body.

So that's why he ached all over, and his head felt as if it's about to split apart. He licked his bruised lips, tasting the metallic taste of blood on his tongue. Frak, Lee cursed under his breath. He hated being stuck here unable to do anything.

To keep his mind off his misery, Lee tried to focus his attention on more pleasant things.

He knew today was his father's birthday, and his pilots and deckhands had planned a party for the occasion. Both Kara and Dee had pestered him in doing something special for the old man.  But Lee fended them off using different excuses.

Lee is an intensely private person, much like his father actually. He doesn't like others prying into his personal affairs, even though those two are family. To Lee, his relationship with his father remained compartmentalized that even Kara and Dee couldn't touch.

Frak, who was he kidding? Lee was very much looking forward to celebrate the birthday with the old man. Gods knew he didn't have many chances to do so growing up. He could count the number of birthdays the Adama family spent together with one hand. But one such birthday left a deep impression in Lee's mind, even after all these years.

It was Bill's 40th birthday. He was stationed planet side at the time. Carolanne for once arranged everything using her connections and took Lee and Zak to visit their dad as a surprise. Lee remembered that trip vividly. It was the first time he and his brother got up close to a Viper. And it wasn't just any Mark II--it was the magnificent bird flew by the legendary Husker! Lee recalled he felt so proud of being the son of William Adama on that day. He and Zak each got a chance to sit inside the cockpit for a short time pretending they were flying the mighty fighter craft. Lee knew it was the first time he and his brother dreamed of becoming a Viper pilot. These days the souvenir picture of that visit adorns the wall in Bill's quarters. Lee sometimes wondered if his father remembers that time as clearly as he does. Did his father know how much that day affected his and Zak's lives?

That was the last birthday Lee celebrated with his father. They certainly didn't have time to even consider birthdays after the world abruptly ended. Now two years into running, Lee finally got another chance to celebrate the occasion with his old man once again. Regrettably it turned out he's not going to be able to make it after all...

* * *

Lee heard the hatch open. Looking up he saw six men spilled into the holding cell. The last one to enter was none other than Wilson himself.

"You are not going to get away with this." Lee heaved a warning, knowing these men meant him harm.

"We shall see, won't we?" Wilson responded with a sinister smile and signaled his hatchet men to proceed.

Four of the burly goons grabbed Lee and released him from the restraints while the fifth one took out a loaded syringe. Its needle glistened ominously. Lee instinctively turned his head away from the menacing instrument.

As soon as Lee was let go, his knees buckled, and he dropped on the floor like a rag doll.

Pleased with Lee's unsteady condition, Wilson spoke his next words in a lazy drawl: "A stim junkie doesn't have much credibility, don't you think?"

Lee recoiled slightly as he guessed what's gonna happen next. Four pairs of arms pushed him and pinned him on the floor. He strained against the hold, twisting his body trying to find an opening to slink away. But it was no use. His body was too weak from the abuse it received earlier. While Lee writhed on the floor, the bruiser with the needle took ahold of his arm.

"No!" Lee cried out sharply as the cold needle pierced his skin.

Seconds later the drug headily coursed through his veins, and Lee was lost in the glorious sensation of soaring through a cloudless summer sky...

Part 2
 
 

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
helen_c
Mar. 1st, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
I love the way your mind works. :)

This is great; the contrast between Bill's fears and Lee's actual thoughts was very well done, and I loved Lee's defiance and Bill's regrets.

Please, please, more! What happens next?? :)
xwacky
Mar. 3rd, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you like it. :)

I'll post the next chapter soon! Hopefully later today or tomorrow! Unlike my other WIP, I've had this one mostly done already. :b
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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