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BSG Fic: Madame Butterfly & Her Sailor

Title: Madame Butterfly & Her Sailor
Rating: PG
Word Count: 3300
Characters: Laura Roslin, Billy Keikeya, Bill Adama, Kara Thrace, Lee Adama, Hera Agathon
Relationships: Bill/Laura, Kara/Lee
Summary: Most people think Admiral Adama and Laura Roslin met on Galactica. Hera knows different. It sounded like a fairy tale but it had to be the truth...Aunt Laura, she knew, always told the truth.
A/N: I don't know what this is. It started at a kink piece but I couldn't get to the sex. And then there was this other prompt taunting me about Hera babysitting Lee and Kara's kids. And it's Halloween. So this happened. (Also, I'm sure the idea of Laura creating a program in which Kara participated is someone else's idea. (ETA: The name of the educational program is one I accidentally took from lanalucy's awesome Kara, Laura series, The Healing Arts, a wonderful series that is far more nuanced and amazing than this little thing and I'm so glad Ms. Lana is amenable to letting me keep it in this story.) Please do tell me if the whole 'Laura created a program Kara was in' thing was your idea and I will happily credit.)
A/N 2: Here's the pic Laura's butterfly gown in the story is based on.

Oh, Dear Gods, not that dumb story again. It’s sooooo frakking sappy.” Leeland Adama Jr. punched his fist into the couch beside his dumb sister’s head. “Besides, Grandpa Bill said it’s not even true. Not like you tell it, anyway.”

Hera gripped her teenage sorta nephew’s wrist and frowned. She was the adult and Uncle Lee, at least, wouldn’t want his son cursing. “Language, Leeland. It’s Laurie’s turn to pick the story and, well, if she wants to hear it again, I’m happy to tell what your Grandma Laura told me a long time ago, when I was much younger than you.”

Lee Jr. grumbled but settled back on the couch. He privately wondered if all girls were as frakking stupid as his sister.

“The night your Grandma and Grandpa met, she was dressed in a pretty gown that made her look like a butterfly….”


Her sisters would have loved the gown. Both of them would have looked good in it too; the deep crimson bodice and orange accent panels, rimmed with black and dotted around the edges with white spots, was made for a redhead. The worlds renowned designer’s assistant who dropped it off at her office earlier made sure to mention that. Twice, in fact, before Billy managed to usher the haughty man from the lobby with a reassurance the dress would be back in his boss’ care by tomorrow morning.

Laura glanced at her reflection in the gilded mirror and sighed. In one ear, she could almost hear Sandra begging to let her try it on before sending it back. In the other, Jackie’s throaty whisper urged her to add just one more swipe of kohl to her gold dusted lids. It’s a costume ball, Laurie, for Gods’ sake, show yourself off a little.

A soft knock at the door chased away the ghosts before she had to do it herself. “Come,” she called, turning carefully to lift herself from the vanity without tripping over the surprisingly stiff skirt. She slipped her feet into the nude pumps she’d been ordered to pair with the get up and had just leaned down to fasten the clasps when she heard a breathy gasp from the direction of the door.

“Holy crap,” she heard Billy mutter under his breath. She had to duck her head to hide her grin before lifting her head to fix her assistant with a mock glare. “Excuse me, young man?”

Billy’s cheeks flushed, marring the maturing effect of the elegant, old style tuxedo he wore. He cleared his throat and offered an embarrassed smile. “I mean, you look beautiful, Madame Secretary.”

Laura grinned and nodded her head in thanks. “I think you mean, ‘You look pretty good for an old lady’ but I’ll take it where I can get it.” She made quick work of strapping on the remaining shoe and motioned the boy over to inspect his appearance. She swiped away a nonexistent wrinkle from his lapel and patted his chest fondly. “You look quite handsome yourself, Billy. Don’t you dare think you have to stay on my arm all night; you’re gonna be beating the girls off with a stick.”

Billy blushed again and grumbled something about beating off eligible, age appropriate escorts for her under his breath. She was relieved when he didn’t push the old argument; she found the antiquated tradition of forcing a woman to attend formal events with a man, any man, ridiculous at best and painfully awkward at worst.

“Come on,” she said, shifting her body so she could take Billy’s arm with a playful flourish, “we’ve got a ball to attend, mister.”


Truth be told, the Healing Arts Charity ball was Laura’s favorite night of the year. She couldn’t help but be proud the small pilot program she’d helped launch as Superintendent of Caprica City Schools had grown into a Colonies’ wide effort to help children, most victims of accidents or abuse, recover from trauma through art, dance, and music. That first class graduated fourteen students; now this one night of drinking and dancing endowed hundreds of scholarships per year.

She kept her opening speech short -- better to let the well heeled attendees have plenty of time at the open bar before the silent auction later in the evening -- and danced the formal first dance with the man who now headed the program, an experienced Tauron educator whose skill with children just surpassed his finesse on the dance floor.

She’d happily passed him off to his husband and snagged a reluctant Billy for the second dance but now she was starting to understand the boy’s weeks of protests about dancing hadn’t been borne out of modesty. His rather large feet found her unprotected toes just as often they did the marbled floor.

“Ouch,” she giggled, trying not to look too put out as the aide already looked miserable, “you’re going to be the one to explain to that horrid designer why I ruined these very expensive shoes, Mr. Keikeya.”

“Sorry, Madame Secretary,” he mumbled almost incoherently. His head was ducked low so he could watch his feet but Laura could imagine it looked to anyone watching like the young man was looking straight down her dress. She considered making a joke to that effect and then decided the risk of him actually toppling them over in horror was a very real one.

Instead, she focused her attention on the other partygoers. Most of the patrons were regulars on Caprica’s black tie scene; she cared little that their attendance was less about supporting the program than getting their pictures in the society pages. Her eyes flitted across the costumed crowd until they landed on a squat older man in an antiquated sailor’s uniform dancing with a buxom blonde young enough to be his daughter, inappropriately attired as a sexy pirate from yet another bygone era. He looked to be having just as much trouble with his young partner as she was with hers -- the girl was practically jerking him across the floor -- and she had to suppress a smirk.

“Billy,” she said as the young man spun her around gracelessly so the pair was no longer in sight, “promise me when you get older you won’t be a pig, ok?”

“Huh?” Billy looked up from his feet and, predictably, trampled on hers again. She was just about to suggest they give up on this exercise before they further embarrassed themselves when something hard slammed into her back, throwing her roughly into Billy’s chest.

The poor boy, already off balance and out of his element, instinctively dropped his hands from her back and tried to tip his boss back onto her heels. Unfortunately for both of them, his fingers found purchase directly at her breasts. She yelped, mortified for the both of them, and overbalanced backwards. She flailed gracelessly toward the floor and, on some level, realized she was about to hit the floor when she saw the ceiling materialize above her.

She clenched her eyes shut, dreading the embarrassment and disruption almost more than the impact, and then, suddenly, a strong arm materialized behind her shoulders, stopping her just before her head cracked against the marble.

For Laura, time must have slowed. She heard the music stop, replaced by a chorus of shocked gasps and whispers. She had just enough time to wish the floor would open up and swallow her whole before rough, callused fingers were swiping her hair back at her temple.

“Miss, are you alright?”

Laura’s lids fluttered open and she found herself staring into the bluest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. She could have lost herself in them if not for the unrepenting amusement crinkling the dark skin beside them. “I guess this butterfly forgot her wings.” The eyes glanced down at her couture costume appreciatively and then, unbelievably, one of them winked.

Fury replaced humiliation, giving the sprawled Secretary enough strength to push herself off the floor on the palms of her hands. The infuriating man, who she now recognized as the damned pig with the child girlfriend, had to rock back on his heels to keep from falling on his ass. She narrowed her eyes at him, about the put him there with the force of her words, but then Billy’s hands were on her shoulders, making red marks on her pale skin with the force of his concern. The poor boy looked close to tears and only then did Laura remember she was the unwanted center of attention.

“Gods, Laura, are you alright? I’m so sorry,” Billy stuttered. “Please, we should get…”

Laura cut him off with a sharp wave of her hand. “I’m fine,” she said in a voice loud and strong enough to carry. She pasted a smile on her face and cast her glance over the crowd of onlookers. “Please, carry on. Next year perhaps we’ll have our wonderful students teach a dance class to the attendees before they’re allowed to take the floor,” she said wryly.

A soft titter of laughter echoed through the crowd and the bandmaster, bless his soul, gave the order for his musicians to start up again. She took Billy’s arm gracefully, pressing her fingers comfortingly into his flesh, and wordlessly directed him to escort her off the dance floor. When she chanced a glance back to glare at her would be assailant/rescuer, he’d disappeared into the crowd.


Laura halved the rest of the evening between saddling up to the program’s biggest donors, making forced jokes about her tumble, and making sure sweet Billy didn’t off himself in public. Finally, she settled the boy down at a darkened side table with an absurdly large glass of whiskey and instructions to flag down one of her security team if he laid eyes on that frakking pig dressed as a sailor.

As it turned out, her half hearted order wasn’t necessary. The night was winding down and Laura was tapping her feet at the edge of the dance floor when she felt a large, warm hand on her bare shoulder. She forced a smile before whirling around to say yet another awkward goodnight and thank you. It dripped off her face when she realized the limb belonged to the very pig sailor who’d ruined her evening.

“Miss Roslin.” His antiquated greeting matched his stupid costume and was accompanied by an equally ridiculous bow.

“Madame Secretary,” Laura snapped icily. “And who the hell do you think you are? You’d have been smart to leave after that stunt you pulled earlier but it’s clear you don’t possess that capability.”

His blue eyes narrowed but showed no signs of remorse. “Commander Adama, I pulled no stunt other than keeping you from breaking that evidently hard head of yours on the floor, and I actually came over to apologize and make amends, not to be insulted, Madame Secretary.

Laura made an affronted noise and turned her back to the man, pointedly training her eyes on the almost empty dance floor. Her whole body tensed when she felt the same heavy hand on her shoulder. She jerked her head around to glare at him again.

“Look, I’d just as soon leave and forget I ever met you but I promised Kara I’d try to apologize.”

Laura raised an incredulous eyebrow. “Your little girlfriend asked you to apologize to me?”

For the first time since she’d unfortunately laid eyes on the man, he looked flustered. “My girlfriend? Kara’s not my girlfriend. She’s my, daughter...well, she was almost my daughter-in-law.”

Laura scoffed. “Look, Mister Adama, I don’t really need to know the ins and outs of how you apparently stole your son’s fiance. You’re disgusting and I’d be happy to never lay…”

“Hey, lady,” the Commander barked harshly, “I don’t know what you got going on with that boy who has eyes only for your boobs but don’t you dare insinuate anything so despicable between me and Starbuck. For frak’s sake, the girl adores you, for Gods know what reason.”

A man in a dark suit appeared out of the shadows and took a defensive stand at Laura’s side.

“Madame Secretary, is there a problem here?” The goon put his hand to his hip and lifted his jacket so the metal of a gun glinted in the soft ballroom light.

The Commander -- Laura paused to wonder if that was some title he’d adopted to go along with his costume but decided, from his unperturbed posture, was not -- smiled at her, his eyes almost daring her to make a scene.

She let the tension hold for almost a minute before putting a manicured hand on her agent’s arm. “No, Jack, I’m fine. Thank you.”

After just a second of hesitation, the man disappeared as quickly as he came. Laura relaxed her shoulders but let the silence stand until she realized the stubborn man wasn’t going to break it.

“Ok, Commander,” she said throatily, changing tactics, “I think maybe, just maybe, we got off onto the wrong foot here. How about this? You ask me to dance, the photographers take pictures of us making nice, and I don’t have Jack meet you in the parking lot with his friend, Mr. Glock?”

The dark skinned soldier’s face broke into a broad grin and he offered his arm with an exaggerated flourish. “Sure, Madame Secretary, I can dance.”

Laura fought the urge to roll her eyes, remembering the cameras were undoubtedly rolling, and instead settled herself stiffly into Adama’s embrace. They swayed awkwardly for a few measures before he gently, somehow, used his superior strength to pull her closer.

“Hey,” he rumbled in a deep baritone, close to her ear, “relax. I bet you’re a pretty good dancer with the right partner.”

Laura would have protested had the man not actually been good for his word. Her small body fit nicely against his larger one and he not only knew how to avoid her feet, he was also skilled enough to effortlessly make space for the bottom of her gown.

“So, Mr. Adama, pray tell,” she said, desperate to focus on anything but how nice his bulk felt against her stomach, “how did you come to be here tonight? I’m just a Secretary but I’m pretty sure we don’t pay commanders enough cubits to cover the entry fee.”

The man chuckled, a deep, resonant sound, and Laura shivered involuntarily.

“I lied, maybe, a little bit. Kara was my date,” he admitted. Before Laura could draw herself up into any sort of pique, he was laughing again. “She gets invited every year and, this time, she brought her commanding officer.”

He pretended to look over at the band while Laura figured out the meaning of his words. On her orders, the first fourteen graduates of the Healing Arts Program had an eternal, standing invitation to the charity ball. It was the only way someone that age, whose parents Laura didn’t know, would be in attendance.

“Kara Thrace. Gods, I remember her. Her poor little hands.” Laura found herself blinking back tears at the memory of a malnourished yet muscled blonde teen with crush injuries to her fingers so bad the program’s first doctor feared she’d never recover full use of them. She shivered involuntarily at the memory of the day she learned the injuries had been inflicted by the girl’s mother. It was one of the primary reasons she’d fought so hard and long to keep Healing Arts running.

“She’s the best Viper pilot I’ve ever seen in my life.” Adama smiled again and this time the grin was imbued with the pride of a father. “And I was a pretty cocky Viper jock in my day, so that’s saying something.”

Laura laughed into the wiggle of his hips at his boast. “I bet you were damn cocky, Mr. Adama.”

“Bill,” he corrected. “And I won’t presume to call you Laura but she did, back in the day. Miss Laura.” When he grinned this time, his eyes were sparkling with gratitude. “She’s told me it was Miss Laura’s painting class that taught her to use her fingers right again. I don’t know if you know much about piloting, Madame Secretary, but I assure you you’d be proud of what those fingers can do on a joystick.”

She tried mightily but Laura couldn’t reign in the tears that spilled from her eyes. She laughed to try to cover up her uncharacteristic display of emotion.

“Gods,” she gulped, “the press is gonna have a field day tomorrow. That hardass bitch Roslin finally lost it. She fell on her ass, then made an ass out of herself, and then ended the night bawling in some strange man’s arms.”

Adama laughed again, a sound Laura was quickly growing to crave, and pulled her close enough so she could bury her tear stained face in his shoulder if she wanted. She didn’t, really, but it seemed her best option at the moment, so she let herself go slack into his body.

“How about this, Madame Secretary? Two options. You can kick this strange man in the jewels and walk outta here with your hardass cred intact. Or you can let me kiss you senseless and tomorrow all the newspapers will lead with ‘Madame Butterfly and Her Sailor’ as their headline.”


“I wish she’d just have kissed him,” Laurie complained with a sleepy smile. “It’d be so much more romantic than the other story.”

Leeland, who’d also almost fallen asleep during the tale, woke up enough to kick lazily at his sister. “Gods, dummy, if Grandma Laura hadn’t just walked away and then decommissioned Grandpa’s Battlestar, we’d like, you know, not ever have been born. Idiot. I like the one where Grandma and Grandpa were Admiral and President. At least it’s true.

Before Hera could interject, Kara Adama peeked her head into the room. The kids had been so involved in the story no one had even noticed they’d returned home.

“They’re both true, I’ll have you know.” She beamed at her husband when he entered, his tuxedo jacket thrown over his shoulder. They were both proud to have resurrected the Healing Arts Program on Earth and even reinstated the charity ball. “Grandma Laura and Grandpa Bill became friends that night and then they met again after the Cylons attacked. Together, they led us here, to Earth. Safe from the Cylons. You should be honored to have them as grandparents.”

The two teens groaned in unison. Life as the grandkids -- if not really fully by blood, in Grandma Laura’s case -- of humanity’s saviors was both a blessing and a curse. They both beat it up the stairs before they could get another lecture about gratitude. The elder Lee cast a smirk at Kara and Hera and followed the kids up to supervise bedtime.

Kara sank down on the couch and slipped off her heels. She slipped an arm around Hera’s shoulders and muttered a thanks for babysitting again.

“So, Aunt Laura never really told me the adult ending to that story. I gotta ask, were they frakking from the minute they met at that ball? Because that would be a totally cool conspiracy theory. I mean, Uncle Bill was really like totally a player and Aunt Laura was really just so sweet under that hard exterior... ”

Kara opened her eyes and fixed the younger woman with an incredulous stare.

“Hera, I bet someone at school taught you the term “unreliable narrator,” right?”

The raven haired younger woman nodded. Kara pulled her arm tighter around Hera and leaned in close.

“I think it’s about time someone told you about how you and your Auntie Laura actually met…”


Nov. 1st, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
This is just gorgeous, and fun, and sweet...a little melancholy when I think of this as a long-ago story, but mostly delighted that there obviously has been a rich, happy life for everyone, and settlements on Earth seem to be coming along splendidly! The little kids...just perfect :-)

OMG, that dress! I can't even. Very fiery butterfly, which totally works :-) Poor Billy! I would love to see a followup there!

Healing Arts...I love this so much, that Laura would have been involved and that Kara would have made that connection. And all the sparring :-) Delightful read!