[identity profile] scifishipper.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] pilots_presents
Title: Treasures
Author: [livejournal.com profile] kdbleu
Summary: Lee Adama unexpected finds a family
Characters: Lee, Kara, original character Max
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Beta Thanks: [livejournal.com profile] sci_fi_shipper
Brief Description of the AU: Lee gets custody of a young son he previously didn't know he had when the child's mother dies. After a while, he's ready to begin dating again.
Link to the AU Fic(s): An original AU by request

Lee Adama sits on the bench alone with his fingers interlocked between his knees. He’s not sure why he’s here, at a park watching the playground like a hawk. Except that he knows exactly why he’s here. His son… his son… His son… Max, a child that he didn’t even know existed until two months ago. He’s playing on the first climbing structure. The one for kids under five year old. The one that looks like a pirate ship. Max seems to like pirates. Max. Max. Max.

Four years ago, Lee Adama was dating Gianne Robertson. They broke-up when he went away to law school. No big deal. No hard feelings. Not even an afterthought until a social worker left a message on his machine at work. Did he know he had a son?

Gianne had died in a car accident, half way across the county. Left her son to his father.

Now, Lee Adama sits watching a chubby-legged, blonde kid climb the stairs and go down the slide. Over and over. Squealing with delight each and every time. The little boy should feel half as numb as his father, but other than a few sleepless nights Max has taken this whole turn in even stride. Doesn’t even care that his new bedroom looks more like a home office. The boy plays happily while Lee stares out unable to figure out what to do next.

*** *** ***

Kara Thrace doesn’t know when it started exactly, the unsettling desire to watch the children at the park. Memories of her mother’s abuse still haunt her. Sometimes in dreams. Usually in strange flashes when she’s trying to do something else. Scrub the kitchen floor or arrange the shoes in bottom of her closet. She knows it creepy, being the lone single woman who stands on the edge of the play equipment. Kara doesn’t even want children, but she can’t seem to keep herself from buying a cup of coffee on the way to her studio and watching from the street side of the playground for as long as she can get away with.

It’s a perfect sunny morning when she first sees him, the awkward dad with the bubbly little boy. Unlike the mothers the dark haired dad doesn’t avoid eye contact with her. Doesn’t exactly seek her out either, but within minutes Kara Thrace knows he has clear blue eyes. Because he looks her way and she smiles back.

It’s two weeks before she sees him again. Kara doesn’t know what kind of schedule he keeps that allows him mornings with his son, but she likes it. Glancing down at her cooling cup of coffee, she wishes she’d known she was going to see The Dark Haired Dad. She would have bought him coffee too. Of course, she doesn’t know how he likes it.

Rolling her lips into a thoughtful smirk, Kara Thrace steps away from the playground. She doesn’t buy coffee for dads at the park. She hardly sticks around for coffee after one night stands. This whole thing with kids and parks and gorgeous devoted fathers is ridiculous. It stops now.

“Hey!” A single word stops her. “Hey!”

She knows it’s him, the Dark Haired Dad, before she turns so Kara is careful. Smooths back her unkempt hair though she’s probably still nothing like the women he’s used to. He doesn’t wear suits to the park, but he walks like a man who wears suits, straight backed and eyes faced ahead. His hair is not just dark but neatly trimmed. He takes the time to go to a barber, often. Kara Thrace is the kind of girl who wears her painting clothes everywhere. She snuck paint splattered jeans past the owner of gallery at her last opening. A proud moment.

“Hey,” he says it again, softer this time. He must be closer.

“Yeah?” She pivots to face him, finally. Her left hand hangs limp at her side but itches to move. Her right hand dangles her coffee cup. Both arms begins to swing and her shoulders shrug trying to play all of this off. All she can think about is not dropping her coffee. That would be embarrassing.

“Hi, um… You lost? Waiting for someone?” he asks. His voice genuine and concerned. “

“No. Just watching,” She steps back. “I should go, in fact. I’m late. I should… I’m late.” That last part is a lie. Being late. No one cares what time she gets to her studio as long as she finished the piece she’s working on for the Palonkas before their anniversary next month. It’s shit but it will pay the bills until her next show.

“Oh, I just…” he says shaking his head and backing away. “That since you once here by yourself… I thought that you were… Nothing. Never mind. I really didn’t mean…”

“Whatever,” Kara shrugs.

“Yeah. Never mind,” he shakes his head, moves back to go. Behind him, Kara catches sight his boy as the chubby little guy climbs up the side of the biggest play structure. Way too big for a kid his age. She was going to go, but she watches… watches as the toddler fumbles a hand hold and falls back to the wood chips below.

“Oh, God!” she gasps and takes off running.

*** *** ***

The last time, Kara Thrace sat in a hospital emergency room waiting for a pediatric consult, she was the child. Her hands were red, swollen. Her fingers broken. Smashed by her own mother. The pain so bad little Kara floated, almost unconscious. Just the smell of the hospital brings it all rushing back.

She focuses on Max playing with a couple of worn matchbox cars on the emergency room bed. He laughs, makes crashing noises and smashes the car together. He has a few bruises, a goose egg on the back of his head. Probably a concussion. Doc said he’ll be fine and on his way home as soon as she comes back with the discharge orders.

“You didn’t have to come, you know. You’d done your duty,” Lee says absently, watching his child instead of looking at Kara.

She’d done her duty all right, distracting Lee while Max climbed higher and higher. Then fell. “Yeah, you’re right,” she answers. Her words clipped and harsh. Push him away before he can point out any more of her faults.

Popping up from her plastic seat, Kara brushes her hands over her jeans. No paint splatters just dirty. She doesn’t look back. It was all a silly idea anyway.

*** *** ***

For three weeks Kara diligently avoids the park. She finished the painting for the Palonkas’. She hates every brush stroke. The colors are too bright, the movement to broad. The loves the check she gets in return, though, spends most of the afternoon staring at the all the zeros, thinking about all the ways she could spend the pretty sum. But knowing in reality she’ll pay rent and replenish her paints. There’s something freeing in being rich for a moment so she puts off going to the bank for another couple of minutes. She walks past some of her favorite store fronts, windows shopping the designer jeans she’d just ruin and the shoes that would hurt her feet.

Stopping in for coffee, Kara Thrace freezes. The Dark Haired Dad from the park. The little boy who fell. Lee, she remembers from the hospital, and his son Max. As if she could forget them. Him. Her fingers ache same as that morning in the emergency room. Same as when she was child. She can hardly breathe for the force of the flashbacks.

This little boy is safe, sitting at the table snacking on an oversized chocolate chip cookie and juice box. His father sits across from his sipping coffee and paying attention to the child instead of his smartphone. No worse for falling off the climber.

It’s not relief that fills Kara though. It’s anger. This is her coffee place, neatly situated between her home and studio, near amenities like the bank and grocery. The urge to stomp over to their table and demand that they leave is so overwhelming, Kara considers leaving herself. Only to decide this is her coffee shop. She will not be displaced by a happy family moment.

Then he waves. When she doesn’t move, he calls, “Hey!”

“Oh, hi,” her voice cracks and her feet move without her permission.

“Haven’t seen you in while,” he smiles. The dad. Lee.

“Well, I don’t have kids. Makes me a weirdo to hang out at a park.”

“I don’ know. Maybe.” He shrugs. “Maybe you had a good, not weird reason for being there.”

“Maybe,” Kara twists to check the length of the line, bounces on her toes and plans to make her escape. If there was a good reason for her to have been at the park, she certainly doesn’t want to think about it or have to explain it. Ever.

“Do you have time to join us?”

“What?” Kara whips her head back to Lee and Max’s table.

“Join us.” It’s not a question the second time. A statement. An offer, complete with hand panning over an empty chair.

“I have errands,” she fumbles over the words trying to get them out too quickly.

“Another time then,” Lee says and smiles. He smiles to bright and big the corners of his eyes crinkle up. It’s breath taking. Max laughs at something only he understands and slaps his hands against the table. The smack makes Kara jump.

“Oh, Max, careful. Don’t scare…” he pauses searching for her name. He doesn’t know it. They never introduced themselves. Kara read his name, his son’s name sneaking a peak at the hospital chart.

“Kara.”

“Kara. I’m Lee. This is Max.”

“Good to meet you, Lee,” she holds out her hand awkwardly waiting for him to stand up and take it. His palm is warm, from the paper coffee cup most likely.

“You too, Kara.”

She thinks she should quit stopping for coffee too.

*** *** ***

But the next morning there she is. Kara Thrace stands on the opposite corner, watching the well-dressed commuters go in and out with their freshly brewed, steaming cups. She has no reason to believe he’ll be there. Only a hunch.

He arrives a few long minutes later in a suit and tie, carrying a leather shoulder bag. Hip and professional. Definitely out of her league, and Kara turns to go. Then stops and marches across the street. If she’s going to be up two hours early, she’s going to get some coffee and a bear claw.

“Hey.” She’s the one who greet this morning, smiling big as she can to cover her nerves and holding the door for him as he rushes the last few paces to meet her.

“Hey,” he grins back, squints into the morning sun, and ruffles his neatly combed hair with the sweep of a hand. It’s cute the mussed hair, but he’s gorgeous. Too good looking to believe. Perfectly toned muscles must lurk beneath his proper attire. Kara tries not to think too much about that.

Then nothing. Kara didn’t have a game plan beyond… get up early, go get coffee, see if he’s there. She lets out a halting breath and adds, “Wow, this is stupid. I’ll let you go. Don’t want you to be late or whatever.”

“I work across the street,” he calls, waves his thumb over his shoulder. Kara follows the motion, reading the sign L.J. Adama, Esq. not two blocks from her little apartment.

“Oh, so you do,” she says. No escape. Only surprise that she hadn’t seen him before she started going to the park. Kids. Probably a wife. He leads a whole different life.

“I’ll buy,” he says and walks the door they’re still blocking. She follows too eagerly and joins Lee Adama in the line for coffee.

“Max with his mom this morning?” she asks. He leads back outside to one of the little black iron table on the sidewalk outside the coffee place. Kara hesitates but sits. The sun is in her eyes. Or the painted window advertising his law services so she concentrates on removing the lid from her drink without spilling any coffee.

“No, just me and Max.”

“Oh, umm,” Kara mumbles shifting in her seat and staring at the swirls where the cream is blending into her dark brew.

“She died,” Lee answers. Kara cringes, closes her eyes so she doesn’t have to watch his discomfort. Instead he continues quickly. “No, it’s… We weren’t… We weren’t ever a family. I didn’t even know about Max until after his mom died. Almost four months ago, now.”

“Shit,” Kara breathes. “She didn’t tell you.”

“I wanted to go away to law school. I think she thought I was choosing the school over her. I didn’t’ think we were that serious I guess. Law school scholarship was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Lee answers. “But I felt the same way when they told me about Max. Couldn’t imagine saying no.”

“Oh,” she nods.

“It’s been good. Hard but good, you know,” he rambles filling the quiet between them.

“No, actually I don’t.”

“That why you go to the park?”

“I don’t know.” Kara drops her face away from his gaze. He’s attentive, too attentive.

“Well, I have a client in less than five,” he cringes looking down at his watch. When he catches her eyes again he continues apologetically. “Can I see you? Another time?”

She means to say no, but yes comes out so Lee Adama, Esq. walks away beaming, a happy lilt in his step. Kara stays still as a stone at their table, unable even to drink her coffee.

*** *** ***

So, it’s a date, and Kara Thrace knows it because Lee left Max with his mother. For the night. Although he adds a quick addendum to that: Max stays over night with Gramma a lot. Lee blushes and Kara brushes the back of her hand against his as they walk down the block to the really nice Italian restaurant across from Lee’s office.

She’s nervous, unfolding the cloth napkin in her lap and immediately seeing a drop of paint on what she thought was her nicest skirt. Green denim, not too short. Lee is dressed nicer. Not a suit because it’s Saturday, but nice jeans and a button up shirt. Light blue bring out the deep color of his eyes. She picks at the yellow dot ignoring Lee as he asks about her day and what kind of wine she wants. Kara’s whole universe pulls in on that dot until it’s huge. Big enough to engulf her entirely, take her to another world, another earth where she can start fresh.

“I can’t… I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I have to… I just can’t.” Kara stands up from her chair, lays the napkin neatly on her plate and slips out of the restaurant. Soon as she’s outside she takes off in a run.

Kara tells herself that she’s going to the park because it’s in the opposite direction of her apartment. It’s a lie. She goes to the park, the playground specifically because she knows that Lee will be able to find her there. So, she’s unsurprised by the fact that he joins her on the swings about ten minutes later.

They don’t talk for the longest time. The neighborhood isn’t quiet. Cars zip past on the main street. A group of older boys plays a rowdy game of basketball on the nearby court. A couple of women fight about something Kara can’t make out. She and Lee Adama, Esq. swing silently, the calm inside her storm.

“It’s not good, Lee. I mean, me. You know. With Max and everything.” Kara has every intention of running Lee off with a list of horrible events from her childhood, but she can’t say them. She doesn’t know his at all. Instead she grips the chains of her swing until her fingers hurt every bit as badly as when they were broken by her mother.

“No, it is good. You’re good,” Lee answers. It’s like he can see right through her with those damn blue eyes.

“First time I talked to you, Max got hurt. You shouldn’t… It wouldn’t work.”

Lee waits for a long time before sighing, “I think Gianne didn’t tell me because I would have left anyway. I never really wanted kids. The idea of them maybe, but…”

“But what?” Kara stops her swing and twist the chain to look at him, finding Lee already still and waiting for her. His eyes shining like little blue stars in the early evening.

“But then…” he pauses and drops his gaze to the wood chips beneath their feet, and she misses him instantly.

“Then Max came and… You know, I sit up some nights… Less than I used to. I sit half sleeping in his little bed with him because I have these dreams. Horrible dreams of him dying. They won’t go away unless I can hear him, see him breathe to relax,” Lee confesses. “It’s getting better, but… You’re the only person I’ve told. I can’t… I can’t tell my mom. She’s stopped everything to help me. And our social worker, the one helping with our transition would think I’m crazy.”

“You’re not crazy. You’re a dad,” Kara says softly. “It’s in the middle of the night that you become his dad, for real.”

“I think everyone expected something different of me. Like anyone could be ready for something like instant parenthood,” Lee replies thoughtfully. “I mean my house literally has a porch swing.”

Kara bursts out laughing. Laughing so hard she nearly topples onto the wood chip below. The image of him with a porch swing is so funny she can’t even think. She continues until Lee interrupts her, “I ordered us some food to go. Some favorites. When you left. I need to go pick it up. I was wondering if you’d like to eat with me.”

“On your porch swing?” Kara gasps for breath as she tries to catch her breath.

“If you’d like,” he shrugs.

*** *** ***

Kara takes Max to the park now. Lee stands across the playground catching glimpses of them as they play on the pirate ship climber. Kara doesn’t fit any better with the rest of the mom’s at the park than Lee did. She races after Max, jumping up on the bow of the climber and miming a sword thrust into the air. Max cackles joyfully. She doesn’t care. Kara Thrace has never been good at fitting in with the rest of the crowd. This is about spending time with Max. Max.

He has his father’s sky blue eyes. A color that makes her want to paint. Kara decides she and Max should paint, create a present for Lee. A thank you for the way he looks at her, a mix of hope and eternal patiences. She never realized how she needs both.

So, she and Max leave the park each day and walk to her studio, an odd shaped room above the gym, next to the yoga studio. The used primary colors and their fingers, blending skylines and pirate ships that rise over the horizon.

“Coming to steal Daddy’s heart,” Kara laughs as she puts the final swirl on the waves beneath the ship.

Max lifts his fingers heavy laden with black and blue paint. “Hearts.”

Kara adds red hearts, too sappy for her usual taste but perfect for a life filled with little boys and porch swings.

*** *** ***

“Hey! Time to go home you two!” Lee calls from the sidewalk. He walked down to pick up pizza for dinner while Kara and Max dropped by the park. Again. It’s getting too cold for stopping by the park on the way home in the evenings. His pirates don’t seem to care.

His pirates. Max and Kara. Kara and Max.

Lee knows this for sure, looking back over those first months with Max, that Kara was the last piece of his new life. At first standing on the far side of the playground keeping a watchful eye him and Max. Then right there next to them, walking in step all the way home.

Kara scrambles down from the pirate ship climber. Her skin and shirt pulling tight over her abdomen. Lee shakes his head and calls out as he crosses the basketball court, “You gotta be carefully there, girl!”

“We’re pirates, Daddy. Not careful,” Max corrects. Lee hands off the pizza boxes to Kara and scoops Max off the upper deck of the pirate ship.

“That’s right,” Kara says. “You gotta take a chance, be brave if you want to get your treasure.”

Lee and Kara seemed to go from coffee to living together faster than the speed of light and so soon after Max came into his life. Well, he wasn’t sure about adding to their family this quickly. Lee reaches over rubbing Kara’s baby belly before tugging down her paint splatter t-shirt. Still worries sometimes. The satisfied grin on Kara’s face when she told him that they were going to have a baby put aside all his potential fears. If she was excited…

“Yeah,” Lee nods, “You do.”

Squinting into the evening sun, Lee thinks back on that day, when Max fell off the big climber. Not because his newly found son fell, but because he took a chance, called out to Kara. That childless woman at the park. It turned out pretty well, Lee Adama. Pretty damn good for them all.

Date: 2013-02-17 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Oh wow, a whole new AU! So impressive and brave. I love their little family and the pirates/treasure theme, which totally snuck up on me despite reading the name of the fic! Hee. Very clever.

I especially liked this line too: "Kara adds red hearts, too sappy for her usual taste but perfect for a life filled with little boys and porch swings." <3

Date: 2013-02-24 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Thank you. The pirate theme kind of snuck up on me too. It's all based on one of the climbers at the park near out house. It looks like the pirate ship.

It was fun to tackle something totally new. :D

Date: 2013-02-24 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
And thank you so much for your help and encouragement. Never would have come together without you. :)


Date: 2013-02-17 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] koolaidmom11.livejournal.com
Awww...soooo cute. I think that's how Kara would end up with kids. She would stumble into it.

Date: 2013-02-24 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Thanks. Kara would definitely stumble onto motherhood. :D

Date: 2013-02-17 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damao2010.livejournal.com
Really loved it. They are such a cute little family. This's left me wishing for more...

Date: 2013-02-24 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
thank you.

There is a cut scene lurking, but I have no idea if I'll ever polish it.

Date: 2013-02-17 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] newnumbertwo.livejournal.com
Oh, this is so sweet! Kara's so perfect in her hesitancy and fear and readiness to take the blame for all the things. I'm so happy they get a porch swing and family in this 'verse.

Date: 2013-02-24 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Kara and Lee deserve their porch swing.

Kara hesitancy was the spark of the whole fic so I'm glad it worked. thank you.

Date: 2013-02-17 10:46 pm (UTC)
lanalucy: (crazyeclectic)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
Marvelous! Love that even AU Lee and Kara fall hard and fast and that Kara fights it, just like she would. :)

Date: 2013-02-24 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Thank you. They're the same in any universe, silly kids. ;P

Date: 2013-02-18 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mermaidfangs.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much, this is lovely! I especially appreciate your choice to do it from the alternating point-of-views. That works really well for a story like this, where they're both completely out of sorts, but in different ways. All of the callbacks and references to Kara's childhood pressed all of my buttons, and those dashes of angst brought richness and depth to the story. Such an odd, quirky, but perfect detail -- that Kara would find herself at playgrounds seeing other children live the childhood she never had. I love how Lee and Kara dance around each other (as they do), and everything feels in-character. When Kara avoids the park after Max has to go to hospital, I was like, "Oh, my baby, that's so you!" *clings* *cries* *shakes fist at poof* Anyway...That's exactly what I love about AUs, the chance to see our favourites wrestle with things they never had to in canon, but doing it in a way that draws on their histories and personalities. This is the perfect gift, and the fact that this Lee-centered prompt led to a fic that was charmingly Kara-focused makes me think that you are very much a writer after my own heart.

Date: 2013-02-24 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
I'm so glad like it. Kara watching Lee and Max at the playground was the picture that inspired the whole thing. Kara watching afraid to move and unsure why. And funny from such a Lee-centered prompt, right? But there she was. :)

It's what I love about AUs too, the ability to play with the good and heal the bad.

Date: 2013-02-18 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
I love all the little fits and starts of them here, so true to character! Lovely!

Date: 2013-02-24 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Thank you. The rhythm is all Kara with Lee just trying to figure her out. Glad you enjoyed.

Date: 2013-02-18 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rdave1.livejournal.com
Really cute! I love how the odd mix of these 3 people became a family, a perfect fit! Lovely!

Date: 2013-02-24 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Thank you. I love when they can be cute and happy in the end. :D

Date: 2013-02-18 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] word-vomity.livejournal.com
So simple, no wars or cylons or dead brothers. But so moving and interesting anyways! My picture of Max is like a little Zak. He and Kara make a perfect little pirate tag team. Excellent work!

Date: 2013-02-24 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
hee. Max is totally little Zak. He and Kara get along fine. Just what she needed.

thank you for reading.

Date: 2013-02-19 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] onlyariana.livejournal.com
I loved this. I can just see both of them in these lives and then see them coming together. It's just wonderful. I don't even have words for how much I loved when Lee called them his pirates. <3

Date: 2013-02-24 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
They are his pirates, stole his heart good. :)

thank you.

Date: 2013-02-23 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fragrantwoods.livejournal.com
Oh, man, I'm all choked up at this wonderful, colorful AU. I love all three/four of them, and it's all so healing in Kara and Lee's broken places. So much normal, typical, messy living that they should have gotten the chance to do, Treasure, indeed. I hope there's more to come.

Date: 2013-02-24 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Awww, thank you. I love giving Kara and Lee a chance to have real, normal life. They should have been given a better chance. :)

Profile

pilots_presents: (Default)
A Starbuck/Apollo Gifting Community

February 2013

S M T W T F S
     12
345 6789
10111213 14 15 16
17 18 19 2021 2223
2425262728  

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:08 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios