carefully posed questions
author: ellen m. [quasiradiant@yahoo.com]
pairing: starbuck/d'anna.
rating: pg
spoilers: the s2 finale.
word count: 1250ish.
notes: for in the starbuck round at . i've had a month of hell and just managed to finish this. please forgive me, oh generous recipient!

i.

"My dad, maybe? I don't know." Kara shifts in her seat and keeps her eyes down.

"This would all be easier for me if you occasionally looked at the camera, Lieutenant," D'anna says, gesturing at the tripod with a tilt of her head.

Kara looks up through her eyelashes, doesn't raise her head, and smiles the kind of smile D'anna might find a little disconcerting if she were anybody but who she knows she is. "Good thing I don't really give a flying frak if this is easy for you, huh? I'm only here because--"

"I know, I know. Orders," D'anna sighs, adjusts the tripod. "So," she says, after a long pause. "The one you miss the most. Your father?"

"I guess. I don't know. I haven't given it a lot of thought." Kara bites at a cuticle, betrays herself with the nervous gesture and the way her eyes get a little wet.

"Where was he," D'anna asks, voice all soft journalistic integrity but if Kara looked up, she'd see the gleam at the edge of D'anna's eye, "during the attack?"

"Six feet under." It's the first time Kara really looks up.

D'anna opens her mouth, then closes it, brow furrowed. Then she says, "You mean, he was already--?"

Kara nods. "Six years ago. Bone cancer." She meets D'anna's eyes so that D'anna can't blink and says, "So, can we just do this already?"

ii.

"My jacket." Kara reaches over so that her arm brushes D'anna's breast.

"What?" D'anna asks without opening her eyes.

"Could you. Hand me. My jacket." Kara repeats it slowly, carefully, the way you do when you're trying desperately not to yell.

D'anna finally looks up and realizes she's half-lying on the garment in question, and that Kara can't quite get the right angle to tug it loose. D'anna pushes up on her elbows as Kara yanks the jacket. "You're going back on duty?"

"You really do ask the tough questions, don't you?" Kara says, fingers at her buttons. D'anna likes watching Kara dress, because it makes her think of all the times she's watched Kara undress.

"What time do you get off?" D'anna asks, settling back against the bed and scratching at a spot just below her navel.

"It doesn't matter, because you'll be gone when I get back," Kara says, the way she always says, over her shoulder as she's pushing open the hatch.

"Whatever you say," D'anna laughs. Kara pushes the hatch closed behind her until it clicks and the room's empty except for D'anna. D'anna pulls the curtains shut and closes her eyes.

iii.

"Cloud Nine?" Kara's voice is a bright sneer through the wireless.

"Not many places left in the universe to get a good drink with a pretty girl," D'anna says. She twirls the handset's cord between her fingers until the tips of her fingers go white.

"Good?"

"May be an overstatement. Not many good pick-up lines left, either."

D'anna knows Kara likes her because Kara bothers to laugh. "Fine," Kara relents. "Twenty-two hundred?"

Kara isn't late. D'anna watches her walk in, jacket open over her dirty shirts and hair pulled back tight away from her face and mouth in something like a smile.

"Captain," D'anna says as Kara slides into the booth across from her. "So you aren't embarrassed to be seen with me, then?"

Kara licks her lips. "My reputation's already shot." She catches a waitress's eye, waves her over. "What's your excuse?"

iv.

"Oh six hundred?" D'anna clutches the handset harder, knuckles whitening. "How the hell am I supposed to--"

Kara's voice is tight, quiet, like somebody might overhear. "I've already worked everything out. Just be ready. Okay?"

The little transport comes by the Tethys at oh six hundred. The airlocks are resealed and they're on their way by six oh two. A military operation.

"I," Kara says, then stops. They're sitting in the hold, there's some lackey at the controls, and D'anna's liking this less and less by the minute. "I need your help," Kara admits.

"Anything for Captain Thrace," D'anna says.

"I'm being serious here, okay?" Kara's eyes are sharp in the low light.

"Okay," D'anna says. She puts her hand on Kara's knee, and Kara waits a fraction of a moment before pulling her leg away.

"There's, there's something going on. With the election." Kara's obviously choosing her words carefully, and D'anna has to work hard not to let on that, of course, she already knows about Tory's scheme.

"Okay," D'anna finally says, noncommittally.

"I need to be able to trust you with this. And I need you, I need you to make sure it doesn't get published."

"What makes you think," D'anna says, "that I have any way of making sure--"

Kara almost smiles. "Don't frak with me, D'anna. Just don't."

D'anna actually laughs aloud. "Yes, ma'am," she finally agrees. "You know you can trust me. Tell me what you want me to do."

v.

"Because I wanted to see you," is not the answer she gives. Instead, D'anna says, "I was in the neighborhood."

Kara lets her shovel fall to the ground, wipes her face on her sleeve. "Right," she says. "You just happened to be taking a leisurely afternoon stroll through Block Three."

D'anna shrugs. "Best weather we've had in weeks," she says, and, sadly, it's true.

Kara nods towards the tent flap. "Are you enjoying the cold, or what?" D'anna holds the flap open as Kara walks through, helps her shrug off her heavy parka.

D'anna doesn't know where Anders is, doesn't bother to ask. She's walking Kara back towards the bed, pushing Kara's thighs apart with her knee. Kara's lips are cold and wet with rain and sweat.

"D'anna," Kara whimpers, and D'anna likes the way her name sounds when Kara says it that way.

She can feel Kara working the chill out of her knuckles, how she's rubbing her hands against the warm skin of D'anna's back under her sweaters.

Then Kara's fingers are tight in her hair, pulling her away, and D'anna can feel the tears in her eyes as Kara asks again, "What are you doing here?"

"I," D'anna gasps, and Kara pulls harder. "I missed you."

Kara smirks. "I knew it." A cold wind whines through the tent's stakes, but Kara's mouth is so, so hot.

vi.

"You didn't make it very hard for us," D'anna says. Her hand brushes Kara's hair, and Kara struggles to move away from D'anna's touch. The restraints make it impossible, D'anna knows, but that doesn't stop Kara from struggling.

"That's not what I meant," Kara says through gritted teeth.

"How could I do this to you?" The question sounds far different when D'anna says it, which might be because D'anna's smiling. "I think the victors don't really need a reason. But if you insist? Because you deserve it. Because you're frail and flawed and guilty of crimes you can't even understand you've committed." D'anna leans towards her, voice lowered, "Because you deserve it."

Kara's eyes soften the tiniest bit. "You--" she starts, but then her eyes are dark and cold and D'anna doesn't look away. Kara says, sneering, "You really are a great frakking liar, D'anna."

Later, D'anna loosens the restrains and calls for a couple others to bring Kara back to her cell. Kara slumps against D'anna, there's blood smeared across her forehead, and the last thing D'anna hears Kara say as the guards pull her away is: "I should've known."