[identity profile] scifishipper.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] pilots_presents
Title: Happily Ever Afters
Author: [livejournal.com profile] embolalia
Summary: In the world of [livejournal.com profile] callmeonetrack’s Disney!Pilots, Kara and Lee are reunited to work the Christmas rush at Disneyland.
Characters: Kara/Lee (background Saul/Ellen)
Rating: R
Warnings: References to abuse, mentions of underage consensual teen sex
Brief Description of the AU: Kara and Lee are teenage employees at Disneyland!
Link to the AU Fic(s): http://callmeonetrack.livejournal.com/171002.html

Other kids look forward to Christmas break, but Kara never has. Oh, maybe when she was little, before her dad left, but she can barely remember those days anymore. Ever since, the holidays have meant too much time in close proximity to her mother and punishments instead of presents. This year, though. She grins as she gets off the plane and into her shuttle. This year everything is going to be different.

Three months have passed since Socrata got reassigned--again--and they moved to Nebraska over every single one of Kara’s protests. It wasn’t fair, she insisted endlessly. And it wasn’t. She and Lee had been together for five practically perfect weeks, and then the next day Socrata announced they were leaving. Lee claimed to understand--his dad had put them through it, after all--but that didn’t change anything. For three months Kara has been angrier than ever before.

The only thing that can possibly make up for it is going to be the look on Lee’s face when she walks through this door, here to help out Uncle Saul with the theme park’s crazy Christmas rush. The whole flight from Nebraska she savored the thought--and the thoughts of all the other things she can’t wait to do to Lee. Kara stops for a second, trying to wipe the goofy grin off her face so she can act nonchalant when he sees her. Then she opens the door into the side of Space Mountain.

There are three kids her age working the ride, but none of them are Lee.

“Kara!” Saul shouts from across the space. “Good, you’re here.”

“Yeah.” She looks around. “Where’s Lee?”

“Didn’t he tell you?” A smirk she really doesn’t like lights Saul’s face. “We found a job he’s better suited for. Come on, I’ll take you.”

Kara frowns darkly as she follows her uncle around the lines of people waiting to ride and out into the bright sunshine. “Mom’s fine,” she mutters sarcastically. “Crazy as ever.”

“Don’t talk like that about your mom,” Saul snaps. “Over here, now.”

She follows where he’s pointing and stops short, rooted in place. Straight in front of them is Cinderella’s castle, and standing in the middle of the drawbridge is Lee. Dressed like a prince. With his arm around another girl.

Lee meets her eyes for one long instant, his face falling in shock and surprise. Just as he starts to smile, she whirls. All these months of phone calls and video chats -- who knows what else he’s been keeping secret? Kara runs back toward the Mountain even as she thinks she hears him shouting her name. She was frakked in the head all along.

*

“Kara!”

It’s Saul who’s shouting after her, not Lee. She stops by doesn’t turn; she won’t let him see the tears burning in her eyes.

“We don’t need help with the Mountain, it’s the actors who are all taking off for the holidays. There’s a costume for you in the dressing room in the castle. Go get changed.” He passes her without even a glance. Kara doesn’t move.

When he reaches the staff entrance, her uncle looks back. “Get going, girl!” he shouts angrily.

She whirls, striding furiously down the path. Lee and his princess are no longer in sight; Kara rushes to get away before he comes back.

The dressing room is tucked away between the ballroom and Sleeping Beauty’s bedroom. Kara knocks sharply, trying to clear the anger from her face.

The door opens and she snorts.

“Well, hello there!” Ellen coos.

Kara rolls her eyes. She should have known why Saul was sending them to help out in a part of the park that wasn’t his direct responsibility. Even as a child she’d seen these two flirting back and forth across the paths; when she worked for Saul she’d learned to listen around corners before turning them to avoid interrupting scenes better not seen.

“Come in, now!” Ellen insists, grabbing Kara’s wrist and pulling her inside. “You’ll make a perfect Cinderella, which is good because ours is on her way back to Texas for Christmas!”

“I don’t really think--” Kara tries to say, but she’s cut off.

“Let’s just get you what you need.” The older woman disappears into racks upon racks of brightly colored crinoline and taffeta, exclaiming from one aisle and then another that she’s found something perfect. After a few minutes Ellen emerges with an armful of white and blue fabric. “Here,” she announces. “The stockings first, then the petticoat, then the crinoline with its hoop. Trust me, you won’t want that near your skin all day long. Finally the dress. It should be warm enough the next few days, but if it gets chilly I’ll just leave Cinderella’s cape over here on the dressing table. You know how to do your own make-up?”

Kara gapes. “Sure,” she splutters after a second, sure at the very least that she doesn’t want a lesson from Ellen, who at the moment is sporting fluorescent blue eyeshadow and bright red lipstick.

“Good then! I’ll be out tomorrow for Christmas, but you’ve been here long enough you know what the Princesses usually do. Dance around, smile, sign autographs, make eyes at the Prince. Got it?”

“But--”

“I’ll just give you a minute to change!” Ellen calls, and slams the door behind her.

“Merry frakking Christmas,” Kara mutters. She glares at the door with its overly cute engraving of a dress. She’s inside the frakking room, she knows what’s in here. For a minute she considers storming out, just leaving the park and heading back to her uncle’s house--but he’s not likely to let her stay if she bails on this, and being a princess is still better than being back in Nebraska.

Grumbling, Kara tugs her t-shirt off and throws it on a chair. As she starts to shove her jeans down, she catches sight of herself in the mirror, and her cheeks burn in embarrassment. Last weekend she snuck off to the mall amid the frantic crowds and bought herself a lacy black bra and panties. She’d had such high hopes for tonight, but now all that feels like a joke.

Kara turns away, kicking her jeans aside and stepping into the plain cotton petticoat, her fingers fumbling with the button that secures it at her waist.

Someone knocks on the door. Unusally good manners for Ellen. Kara ignores her, fighting to undo a stuck zipper on the crinoline skirt. The knock comes again. As she finally turns to answer, the door swings open.

“Hey!” Kara shrieks, wrapping her arms across her chest.

Lee stares at her, arrested at the sight of the black lace and more of her skin than he’s ever seen at once. She’s angry - furious - but can’t stop a blush from reddening her cheeks, her chest, beneath his gaze.

If he’d been any other boy, she’d have slept with him within a week of meeting him. But he wasn’t. He held her hand and kissed her slowly, like she was worth taking time for. At first it was sweet, but after a month Kara was just waiting for the right moment to get him alone and naked and in her arms. Socrata’s reassignment interrupted all her planning.

“Hey,” Lee echoes her, panting, his eyes meeting hers with a raw hunger she’s never seen there before.

It startles her out of her stupor and back onto the offensive. “Get the frak out of here! I don’t know how you could dare come in here like this.”

Lee frowns in confusion, blinking as he tries to make sense of her words. “Kara? What’s going on?”

Kara runs her eyes down his costume, trying to convey her disdain and not how well the military cut of his white dress coat shows off his body. “Anything changed, Lee?” she asks bitterly. “Anything you’d tell a girlfriend if you had one?”

He flinches. Lee seems so young sometimes, the way every single emotion plays out on his face. “Just listen, Kara,” he says, reaching out as if to grab her shoulders.

She steps back. “What excuse could there be? You didn’t know I was coming and you just thought you’d parade around with the little actresses in their tiaras for all of Christmas break?” Tears are springing to her own eyes at the image and Kara forces them back.

“I didn’t think it mattered,” Lee stammers.

Kara wraps her arms tighter around herself. “Everything matters.” Her voice wavers and she looks away, reaching for Cinderella’s dress.

“Well, it’s not like you’ve been honest either! You won’t tell me anything about what school is like there, or your mom--you think I don’t wonder what it is you’re doing half the time when you won’t text me back?”

She steels herself against the pleading in his voice. “Your princess is in another castle, Lee. Better go find her.”

He sighs, frustrated, and she turns away to pull on the dress. Let him be pissed off, at least he’ll stay away from her.

“Kara.” Lee’s voice is strangled.

She freezes, meeting his eyes in the mirror. A wave of ice water rushes through her veins and she whirls back, wrapping the dress around her shoulders like a shawl, covering the fading welts that were the consequence of her last effort to frak with Socrata’s head. “Lee, it’s not--”

Lee just stares at her, wordless, horrified. “Your mother,” he says after an agonizing silence.

Kara shrugs, eyes on the ground. “I was pissed off about moving, and I tried to get back at her.” She glances up again with a smirk. “Got her good, too. Put some giant plastic spiders in her truck the day of her performance review.” He’s still quiet and she winces, growing defensive. “What, like your dad never beat you and Zack when you screwed up?”

He shudders and shakes his head. “Not like that.”

She purses her lips. “Guess I’m just better at getting in trouble than you.”

Lee shakes it off. “Nah, I’m just better at not getting caught.”

Kara bursts out laughing. They were fighting a minute ago, she’s sure they were fighting, but as he grins at her she’s struck by how badly she missed this, all those months away. “I’ll take that as a challenge.”

“Good,” Lee nods. “Cause I think I might owe your uncle a prank or two for this costume.”

She giggles and reaches for him.

Just at that moment Ellen flings the door open. “Well, well!” she exclaims, looking between them as Kara hurriedly covers herself. “Isn’t that an interesting development.” She runs an appreciative eye over Lee, then over Kara for good measure. “Put your dress on, dear, and I’ll show you two where to stand.”

*

When Kara emerges from the dressing room, clothed and made up to the limit of her tolerance, Lee is waiting, standing as far from Ellen as possible. He straightens when he sees Kara, a smile flickering over his face.

She rolls her eyes at him and he grins. Relief swells within her chest, the joy she was waiting for the whole flight rising behind it. They’re good.

The afternoon and evening are as insane as she could have predicted; hundreds of girls in princess dresses come up for her signature, and it’s only Ellen’s watchful eye that keeps her from encouraging them to be pirates or dwarves instead. Still, there are moments when her prince reaches out for her hand or twirls her around in a dance step without music and it’s not even a chore to smile back like she adores him.

Saul sidles up as the last announcements go off about the park closing. Kara turns to him expectantly, waiting to be told they’re leaving. He stands awkwardly for a moment, looking past her at Ellen, then speculatively at Lee. “Think you could make yourself scarce tonight, kiddo?” he asks sheepishly.

Kara tries not to grimace at the mental image. “Yeah, sure,” she says. She camped out in the park plenty of times last summer when she was avoiding going home. Then she starts to grin. “Absolutely.”

*

There’s a line of performers crowding into the dressing room once it’s time to go, and Kara grabs Lee’s hand, keeping him outside a minute longer.

“Kara?” he asks.

She stares down at their linked hands and chews her lip. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you,” she says quietly. “I just--I never talk about it.”

“I thought you didn’t care any more,” he answers plaintively.

Kara blinks up at him in surprise. “Oh, I care, Adama.” She grins.

“Good.” He’s firm, his eyes intense.

She tilts her head down the empty hallway. “Come on. I have a surprise.”

With a careful glance in either direction, Kara lets them into Sleeping Beauty’s chamber and locks the door behind them.

“What are we doing here?” Lee asks warily.

Her heart beats loud in her ears. “Will anyone miss you if you don’t come home tonight?”

Lee stares at her, eyes darkening, then shakes his head. He looks sheepish for a moment. “They took Zak on vacation for the holidays, but I insisted--I stayed home. I...I thought you might be here.”

Kara swallows hard. “Good.” They grin at each other. He’s so beautiful, she can hardly believe her life sometimes. “I think I could use some help with this dress,” Kara murmurs, and twists to present him with her zipper, staring back over her shoulder, holding her breath as he approaches.

Lee’s hands are teasingly light on her skin as he eases the dress open. Kara shivers. “Did I hurt you?” he asks.

She flinches. He can see her scars. “I’m okay,” she whispers, and he wraps her up in his arms. She twists, holding him back.

After a while Lee leans away, just far enough to see her face. “It isn’t okay, you know,” he says fiercely. “We could--I don’t know--we could run away. We’re both eighteen--we could get married and be on our own.”

“Lee.” Kara braces her hands on his shoulders and tries not to act like her stomach is flipping at the suggestion. “I appreciate the offer, but--there’s no such thing as happily ever after. We should just enjoy this while we can--”

“I love you,” he interrupts, eyes earnest.

Kara’s mouth gapes, then she slowly smiles. “Are you just trying to get in bed with me?” Her smirk deepens as he blushes. “Cause it might be working...” She leans in so close her vision blurs. His eyes are closed. “I love you, too,” Kara breathes, and kisses him.

Everything feels sharper, newer, after so long apart. The taste of him, the feels of his hands, is dizzying. They’re gentle with their costumes--they know better than to piss Ellen off, or give her any reason to gossip about them--but in minutes they’re standing in their underwear. Kara flushes with heat as Lee stares at her breasts, the hunger in his eyes undeniable.

He looks up at her in sudden alarm. “I don’t have a condom.”

Kara laughs nervously. “It’s okay. My mom put me on the pill years ago. Possibly the only responsible parenting decision she’s ever made.” Then she flinches. “Not that I was...I mean, well.” She stumbles. They never really had this conversation.

Lee shrugs. “I was sixteen,” he says.

She nods in relief. “Yeah. Fifteen. But I’ve never...” She shakes her head. This is impossible.

“Kara?” he asks, sounding almost worried.

“I’ve never been in love before,” she says, staring fiercely at the wall.

Lee steps toward her, cupping her face in his hands. He makes her meet his eyes, and grins as he leans in to kiss her. “Well, here’s to firsts.”

They make it to the bed at long last, and he’s right--this isn’t like anything she’s ever done before. It’s eager, and hungry, but Lee’s impossibly tender, determined to please her. Kara whimpers when he finally enters her and Lee stills, holding her gaze until she wraps her legs around him. “Frak me, already,” she pants in his ear, and he does, the pleasure distracting her so completely that for once she doesn’t hold back, and loses herself in his arms.

*

“This skirt frakking itches,” Kara complains as she steps out on the balcony overlooking the park the next morning. “And someone tore my stockings too badly to wear again.”

Lee finishes straightening the bedclothes and follows her out, looking down at the crowds amassing at the gates. He turns to her with an easy grin. “Just think of this like an undercover mission, practice for our lives underground when we run away together.”

“Yeah, uh-huh,” Kara manages.

Lee reaches out, grabbing her hand and pulling her into the circle of his arms. “One way or another, Kara,” he promises. “No one should ever hurt you.”

She leans up to kiss him soundly, an affirmation of all the things it’s too hard to say in the bright morning sunshine.

With a dull roar, the park gates open and the hordes descend.

Lee stares down at them in horror.

“Never been here for a holiday, huh?” Kara teases.

“It’s like the end of the world.” His eyes are comically wide; he tightens his arms around her as if the tide of people will somehow carry them away.

“I’d happily take the robot apocalypse over this.” Kara nods glumly.

He laughs. “What about zombies?”

“Lee. There’s no such thing as zombies.”

He raises a teasing eyebrow at her. “Well, I guess we can hope the animatronic presidents make a break for it.”

“I might be on their side,” Kara giggles, leaning toward the edge of the balcony to see the first wave of children reach the parade route.

Lee squeezes her close, leaning down for one more kiss before they face the day. “Don’t worry, Kara Thrace. We’re survivors. One way or another, I want my happily ever after.”

She kisses him back. “We’ll, we’ve got the castle,” she whispers against his lips, not quite as sarcastic as she would have been yesterday. “And the outfits.”

Lee nods, and smiles at her like she’s the whole world. “It’s you and me, Kara. That’s all that matters.”
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