Three days after Dee’s death Lee was in his quarters getting ready for her funeral. He was completely numb, still in shock at what had happened. One minute she was there getting ready to go to the Valhalla and the next she was gone. Lee wondered where she was now, was she with her family? Did she suffer? Did she know that he truly loved her and that now he felt like his heart had been ripped out? What would she make of their daughter?
He felt like the walls were closing in on him. His Dad had barely left his side since it happened. Finally Lee had yelled at him to leave him alone and he had gone. Lee needed to breathe, needed time to think. For the past three days all he had seen was his quarters and sickbay where his newborn daughter was fighting for her life. He constantly questioned whether he had done the right thing or not. The reasonable part of his brain knew he had made the right decision but still he wondered if it would have been kinder to have let her go with Dee.
He was so lost in his thoughts he didn’t hear the knock on his door. He heard his father’s voice and went to open the door. Bill Adama stood there in his dress greys, a look of concern on his face.
“Come in Dad, I’m almost ready” he told his father. “Dad listen, about yesterday… I shouldn’t have yelled at you, I’m sorry.”
“Hey, you have nothing to be sorry for. You would think by now I would know when my son needs my help and when to back off.” Bill replied. “It’s almost time, you ready?”
Lee nodded then as he was putting on his suit jacket he paused and looked at Bill.
“Dad … I don’t know if I can do this”.
Bill walked up to his son and put a hand on his shoulder. “Listen to me. You can do this Lee. It’s hard and it hurts like hell but you can do it, you’re strong.”
Lee nodded at his father’s words.
“I’m going to be right here with you,” Bill promised.
They walked in silence to the hangar deck. Despite the words of encouragement from his father, by the time they got there Lee was beginning to panic, he was struggling to breathe. The Priestess was waiting for them and before beginning the ceremony she had a few words with Lee and Bill. Lee caught his Father’s arm.
“Dad. I just need a minute.” He was feeling dizzy; he held on to the wall and took a few deep breaths. Come on Lee, you can do this, he told himself. The last time he had felt this way was when Zak died, the self same thing had happened at his funeral. Bill stood watching him worry written all over his face. After a few minutes Lee turned to his father and said, “Okay let’s do it.”
The service was thankfully quite short. Lee stood beside his father, his face a study in pain, choking back tears. They listened as the Priestess asked the Lords of Kobol for mercy on the soul of Anastasia Dualla. There were a few readings, and then Gaeta gave a touching eulogy.
Then came the final prayer. When the Priestess asked the Lords of Kobol for their blessing not only for Dualla’s husband but also for her newborn daughter, it was more than he could take. His shoulders shook as tears slid down his face. Although Lee was not a religious man, he found himself saying a silent prayer to the Lords of Kobol as well to protect his daughter.
When the final salute came Lee stood with tears still running down his cheeks and he saluted Dee’s coffin. It was at that moment he looked at his father and saw the tears on his face too. Lee moved closer to Bill and gently put his hand on his arm. Bill looked at Lee and then they both embraced each other, not caring who saw them. “I’m right here, Lee” Bill whispered to him as they both cried.
After the service was over Lee was approached by several of the crew who offered their condolences and asked how the baby was doing.
He was standing with Bill when Kara came up to him. “Lee, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry. If I can do anything, you let me know.”
Touched, Lee said, “Thanks, Kara”.
“I mean it… if you need anything, if you need to blow off a little steam, need someone to get drunk with, I’m here. Speaking of getting drunk you know there’s a wake at Joe’s later. You gonna come?”
“I know, I don’t think so though,” Lee replied.
Not wanting to press the matter further, she changed the subject. “So how’s the baby? When can I come and see her?”
“She’s doing okay. I’ll let you know when you can see her.” Lee told her.
“She’ll be fine Lee, you know that”.
“Kara, how can you be so sure?”
“I know because she is your daughter. If she is even half the fighter you are Lee, then she will come through this. And she will; she’ll want to meet her daddy.” Kara told him.
Lee didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Instead he reached out and hugged her. “Thanks.”.
“The offer of a drink stands,” Kara, said.
“I’ll let you know,” he replied.
A few days passed. As had become his usual morning routine, Lee headed to sickbay to be with the baby. She was making steady progress and Cottle was pleased with her improvement although he did stress that she was not out of danger but he was cautiously optimistic. She was putting on weight and her breathing had stabilised. Kara had been right - he had a little fighter on his hands.
Paramedic Layne Ishay was checking her vitals when he came in. “Hey” she smiled at him.
Since the baby was born Lee had practically lived in sickbay only leaving to eat or sleep or shower and she had gotten used to his constant presence, watching over his daughter.
Cottle was their best doctor and Ishay had saved his Father when Boomer had tried to assassinate him. She had a very calming nature that seemed to put Lee at ease, as much as he could be at ease with his daughter so sick and as a result he felt very comfortable with her.
“How’s she doing today?” he smiled back.
“She’s doing very well. So well in fact that I think you both deserve a little treat.”
Lee looked puzzled.
“Why don’t you sit down?” He did as she asked, watching as she walked over to the incubator and took the baby out. She handed her to Lee.
Lee’s eyes grew wide as Ishay settled the baby in his arms. As Lee gazed down in wonderment, she opened her eyes and Lee looked into a pair of blue eyes so like his own that his breath caught in his throat.
“Hey baby,” he whispered, fighting back the tears welling up in his eyes.
We’re still keeping her on oxygen for the time being and we’ll need to monitor her for a while but she’s improving,” Ishay assured him.
Lee was staring in awe at the wriggling bundle in his arms and couldn’t contain the huge grin that broke out on his face. Ishay couldn’t help but smile as well. Lee and the baby had been through a huge ordeal and her heart went out to the both of them.
“She’s due for a feed shortly. I can show you how to do it if you’d like.”
“Thanks, I would” he replied.
Sitting with his daughter in his arms and feeling more content than he had in a long time, he decided he was going to stop doubting himself. He had definitely made the right decision.
Looking up at Ishay, Lee asked, ”Could you do something for me?”
“Could you contact CIC and ask my dad to come down here? What do you think baby, do you want to meet your Granddad?”
Minutes later Bill Adama tore into sickbay with his heart in his mouth. All he had been told was to report to sickbay and he had assumed that something was wrong.
He walked into the ICU area and panicked when he saw the empty incubator.
“Lee what the frak is going on?” he asked his son.
He could see Lee sitting in a chair. As he got closer he saw the huge grin on Lee’s face.
“Hey dad, someone wanted to say hello to her Granddad.”
All the anxiety that had built up during his rush down to sickbay melted away as Bill bent down next to the chair and spoke to the baby, “Hi sweetheart.” Bill choked back his own tears and Lee laughed at him.
“You old softie, do you want to hold her?”
“Of course I do,” replied Bill. Once she was settled in Bill’s arms it was Lee’s turn to get misty eyed.
“She looks just like you,” Bill told him. “Have you thought of a name yet?”
“Not yet. We never really discussed names. I’ll have to think of one soon though; we can’t keep calling her baby girl Adama forever.” Lee replied as Bill handed the baby back to Lee.
Ishay interrupted. “It’s time for her feed. I’ll do it and you can watch.” She said to Lee, reaching for the baby.
“Wait,” Lee replied, not wanting to give her up now she was cradled in his arms, “can I do it with you helping me?”
“All right, Dad” she agreed, good-naturedly.
She talked Lee through his first feed, he had a bit of trouble with the drip at first but he soon had the hang of it. “You’re a natural,” Ishay told him as Bill stood watching, a smile beaming from his face.
Bill had never been prouder of his son. He was now a father and the little girl in his arms was depending on him. He knew Lee was more than up to the challenge; hell Lee would be a better father than he had ever been to Lee. Lee’s life would never be the same and Bill vowed that he would be there to help him, every step of the way. He’d do his best to fix his mistakes by being the best Grandfather this little girl could ever wish for.