Lee was passed fit to fly vipers a few weeks later and reluctantly Bill let him fly. They were facing a pilot shortage, Starbuck had busted her knee, again, and now Helo had broken his arm, Stinger was the most experienced pilot but they needed Apollo. Lee had argued with Bill that he was of more use flying instead of doing paperwork and Bill could not disagree. He made Lee promise to be careful.
Bill’s heart was in his mouth for Lee’s first CAP but once that passed off without incident he relaxed and he knew he could trust Lee’s judgement.
Bill knew he wouldn’t be able to deal with it if anything ever happened to Lee.
They had become close again and Bill never wanted that to change.
He was about to lose Laura, he knew that.
Lee had come off his first CAP and reported to his father’s quarters.
“So how was CAP” Bill asked him
“Quiet for a change. Too quiet actually - I don’t like it. Nearly 40 days without any Cylon contact.”
Lee walked over and sat down on the couch and smiled “But it felt good being out there again.”
“Okay, but you understand that this is only until Helo and Starbuck are fit again.”
“I get it, Dad.” It was hard for Lee to get angry with Bill over this. He understood why the old man was acting the way he was.
“So how’s Laura?”
“She seems to be okay today, I spoke to her a while ago and she sounded tired. She’s coming over in a while so I’ll have my 2 favorite girls for company tonight”
Bill was babysitting Abby tonight so Lee could have dinner with a friend, but he wasn’t saying who the friend was.
“You know Layne is a nice girl - you could do a lot worse.”
“Dad!” Lee was embarrassed.
“I’m just saying, son, she saved my life once. If you are having dinner with her tonight have a nice time, It’s time you were dating again.”
“Well, thank you for that piece of fatherly advice. Next you’ll be telling me about the birds and bees.”
“No, I think you figured that one out on your own a long time ago, son.” Bill laughed and Lee smiled at him.
“I better go. See you later.” Lee walked out of his father’s quarters still grinning. A few months ago they wouldn’t have been able to tease each other the way they just had.
A little while later Bill was telling Laura about his earlier conversation with Lee as he played with Abby and Laura asked, “Well, is he having dinner with Ishay, or not?”
“He never said but I bet he is, Good for him if he is, after what he’s been through, he deserves to have a bit of fun. “
Lee was indeed having fun with Layne. Dinner had gone well, they had roast beef, potatoes and vegetables from the mess. They were now back in Lee’s quarters and it seemed like the most natural thing in the world when Lee kissed her and she willing returned his kiss.
He pulled back suddenly. “Layne I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.”
Disappointed, Layne broke away from him.
Frustration boiled up in Lee. He walked over to her and put his arms around her shoulders.
“Layne, I don’t want to hurt you. I like you, a lot, but I’m just not ready to get into anything serious yet. Abby has to be my priority and anyone I get involved with has to understand that she comes first.”
Layne couldn’t say anything, She did understand but she was confused.
“Why did you kiss me ,Lee, if you knew you weren’t ready, Do you think you can just play with my feelings then walk away?”
“No. Layne that’s not it at all. I’m sorry, it shouldn’t have happened.”
Near tears Layne replied, “You’re right Lee, it shouldn’t have happened.” And then she turned and walked out of his quarters.
Lee stood staring after her and then he picked up a glass and threw it at the nearest bulkhead. “Frak.”