7 Swans A'Swimming
For caprican_dame, who posts such wonderful reviews of K/L fic. (I just saw your R&I one the other day - thank you so much!)
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For a while now, Lee knew that she’d been sneaking away before dawn. Wait, no – not sneaking. More like being really quiet to keep from waking him, then returning before he got up. He didn’t want to think of it as subterfuge; by now, he’d assumed they were past that. But then this was Kara Thrace.
One morning, she was louder than usual. They’d been tracking a herd for a couple of weeks, and exhaustion had left her muscles loose and clumsy; last night she’d literally crashed on their bedroll and immediately fell asleep. Now she climbed out of bed and stumbled through the tall grasses surrounding their campsite. He rolled over and, through hazy eyes, watched her disappear into them. Head still bleary, he pulled on his shoes and followed, far enough back for her not to notice him.
She stopped by the shore of a small lake they’d been using for fish and fresh water. A faint morning mist skimmed the surface, along with a half-dozen swans she’d insisted they not hunt. It was beautiful there; though she seldom commented on the scenery as they’d traveled, he could see why she’d be attracted to it. She sat down near the bank, legs crossed and arms stretched above her head. At first, he thought she was exercising, but she stayed like that for a few moments before putting her hands in her lap and bowing her head. And then he realized that she was praying.
The scene shouldn’t be anathema to him – he knew she was religious – but he’d been burned too many times in the past, no matter what grandiose claims Baltar had made a couple of years ago when they landed on this planet. She seemed calm, though. Whatever went through her mind when she was like this, it had made her more settled and happy as they walked across this continent. He remembered standing with her on that cliff, the wind whipping them, as they prayed for the souls of those they’d left behind. Lee knew the words were for himself more than for some imaginary group of deities, but they’d come with a certain measure of peace.
As he watched her, she looked over her shoulder and called out, “I know you’re there, Lee.”
Busted. A slightly sheepish smile on his face, he approached and sat next to her. He put his hand on her knee, and she reached for it. Two years ago, he would’ve been shocked at her doing that. Now it fit, and he was so grateful. They sat there together as the mist lifted off the surface of the lake. She continued the silent prayer, and he listened to her breathe.
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