Well, there's already the subject which has been on my mind for quite some time. A few sectars after Serina's death my feelings for him changed - gradually, I hadn't even noticed at first. I'd known him for so long it never occurred to me I could feel more for him than the deep friendship we've been sharing since the academy. But I do, I know now, a few sectons ago was when I first became aware of it. It scared the hell out of me at first, let me tell you that! I mean, this is Starbuck I'm talking about, not only my best friend, but someone who's absolutely, utterly unable to commit and that's a definite must have in a relationship for me, has always been.
Despite that I have Boxey to think of. He's just lost his Mom and grieves deeply about her, he needs all of me, all the time I can give him to come to terms with it.
Then there's still the matter of homosexuality, it's not completely frowned upon, still by no way completely accepted yet. I don't even dare to think about what father would say! He wants me to continue our lineage...
And of course the most important thing: Could Star ever return my feelings? Well, I know he's been with men before, but with me? Lately I seem to pick up a few signs, I'm not sure though, maybe they're only in my mind and it's wishful thinking. It's been nothing definitive, mind you, just sometimes touches that linger a micron longer than necessary and become more frequent, some glances when he thinks I'm not looking, for example when we change and shower after triad, even more time spent together than we used to before...
Up until now I decided not to do anything about it, I don't know if I can keep that up though and if I made the right decision. I'm sure you wonder why I'm reevaluating this. Right, normally I go through with my decisions, let me tell you what happened to make me question them.
It seemed like the start of a normal day, nothing out of the ordinary. Then our radars had picked up signs of life on a planet ahead of us. Shortly after father told Starbuck and me to check it out we were in our vipers and out in space, happily chatting over intercom so nobody could listen. We did our scans of the planet and were on our way back, looking forward to some relaxing together. From there it all went downhill.
Some malfunction caused his viper to crash, luckily not from a high distance. Without any concern for me I immediately landed next to him. At short glance the viper didn't seem too badly damaged, still the jammed cockpit made it difficult to get to my wingman and to assess his condition. Finally I managed to open it revealing an unconscious Starbuck. Blood was trickling down his face from a cut on his forehead and he had a few bumps and bruises, but otherwise he seemed fine. I felt my knees grew weak, for a moment I leaned against the damaged viper before I regained composure and called the Galactica. I might not know much about first aid, what I do know though is moving someone could cause further damage, so we needed Dr. Salick and a shuttle to bring Starbuck home.
He still wasn't conscious and with growing anxiety I reached for his hand holding it tightly in my own. I refrained from removing his helmet, it could've been fatal if his neck was injured. My eyes never left his face while I was waiting for a sign that he was waking up and listening for our shuttle. Eight and a half centons later he finally woke. Right then I withdrew my hand hoping he hadn't noticed. The wonderful blue eyes opened again, coming to rest on me. His voice sounded a little weak, nonetheless it was one of the most beautiful sounds I'd ever heard.
„ `Pol? What happened?"
If anyone else would call me that I'd probably tell him to stop it - not in the nicest way either, with him I not only tolerated it but liked it.
„You crashed. Just lie still, Salick will be here soon."
„Pity, why not Cassie?"
He grinned slightly and I had to smile to, it was just so typically Starbuck!
It wasn't too long after that when the shuttle arrived. After a quick check-up we carried my friend to the shuttle. Then I returned to my viper and quickly headed off.
Naturally I was back before my friends and so I reported to my father handing him our scans. Off-duty now I waited pacing still a little nervous. Starbuck didn't seem to be hurt too badly, but there was no knowing what the final check would say. I'd only be fully calm when that would be done.
So, and that's what's happening right now and I'm standing next to Starbuck while he's being examined.
Forbidden thoughts of Serina entered my mind. From that I should have learned to take my chance at happiness when I get it... Starbuck's crash harshly reminded my of the fact that we can die every single day.
Still, would we have a chance? We're so different, could we make it? It could very will destroy our friendship if we didn't... Was it worth a try? Did I want to find out? Yes... In fact, a definite „Yes". But how? I couldn't just walk up to him and say: „Oh, Star, by the way, I love you, do you love me, too?"
We've been through so much together, bad times as well as good times, we've always fought side by side. Naturally we've come to know each other very well, every single quality and every single fault, so there could hardly be any nasty surprises...
That was when Starbuck's troubled eyes met mine and ended every thought I had. I've always been able to drown in them, only sheer willpower had prevented it so far. They gave away so much of how he felt if you looked closely and it was incredible how they could darken from anger or grief, lighten with joy and sparkle from happiness. It was all there - if you looked.
Salick told him to take the rest of the day off and rest, then he turned to me:
„Make sure he does that, you're the only one who can!"
I just nodded and helped Starbuck up, leaning his weight on me as we went to his quarters. For once he remained silent as if something troubled him, so I didn't say anything either. He would talk to me when he was ready, he always did.
When we reached his quarters I helped him undress and get into bed. Suddenly I noticed we were all alone, absolutely no one in sight. It made me slightly nervous, even though we've been in such situations before, but considering my now stronger feelings it was different, made me think of things I would love to do with him in that bed. So I tried to make a rather hasty retreat, yet Starbuck would have none of it reaching for my hand.
„Would you mind staying?"
It was not unusual for him to ask for my company when he was not well, in fact he often did.
„No, of course not."
I sat down next to him on his bed, our hands still intertwined. That was unusual. While we had never been scared of touching, hands had mostly been a no-no. It was just a simple, rather innocent (especially for Star) touch, nonetheless every single nerve in my body reacted. My sharp intake of breath was certainly a dead give-away of my feelings, making Starbuck catch my eyes with his. There was no way I could hide them any longer from him. Nervously I waited for what would come next, all too aware of how critical this moment was. His eyes gave me the answer I had hoped for, sparkles of joy and love shining in them.
That was the moment when we both leaned forward, allowing our lips to meet for the first time. If I say it was amazing it would be an understatement, I have no words for the overwhelming feelings stirred by that kiss. It spoke volumes of our love, of how much we cared for each other and was a sweet, tantalizing promise of much more to come.
His eyes told me he would always be true to me, that he was finally ready to commit, because he loved me.
He smiled at me:
„I've been waiting so long for that..."
I grinned right back, jokingly saying:
„Oh, how long would that be, Star?"
Obviously reliving horrible memories he whispered:
„Since the ship of light..."
We had never spoken of that, he probably because it was to painful and me, well, I don't remember much, certainly not being - dead - for the lack of a better word.
I hugged him tightly giving him a small kiss to pull him back into the present.
„There I realized how much you really mean to me... I love you, `Pol."
These three words I've always believed to be the greatest gift to be given - if really meant - filled a place on my heart I hadn't even known existed. Sure, I had loved before, but this, this was special.
„I love you, too, Star."