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A Joy You Can't Keep In

Carrie (carrielh)

Maren (marenfic)

Battlestar Galactica

Jamie Bamber/Katee Sackhoff


Any mistakes are my own, and the title is shamelessly cribbed from "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" by Snow Patrol. I hope you like, Maren!

"Jamie likes spontaneity, and Katee thinks that she might become a fan as well, if trips to Italy are the result."

Katee's digging through her carry-on for her iPod when she hears a familiar voice call out her name. She looks up and stops in her tracks. Jamie's leaning against the pillar just below the sign for gate C12, a cup of coffee in either hand and a gotcha smirk on his lips.

A wide grin spreads over her face as she regains her senses and starts walking toward him. "Coffee?" he asks with a straight face when she's standing right in front of him.

Katee shakes her head and takes the styrofoam cups from him, setting them on top of a nearby trash can. "Too much caffeine isn't good for you," she says, gripping his jacket with both hands and pulling him closer. He wraps an arm around her waist, lifting her up slightly so they're eye level and her body is flush against his.

"Hi," she says breathlessly before kissing him soundly. Something cracks in her chest at the feel of his lips on hers; it's been a hell of a week, and she's missed him more than she cares to admit. He nips lightly at her lower lip as they pull away.

"Hi," he echoes, his face still inches from hers. There's a dangerous glint in his eyes that makes her sternly remind herself that sex in an airport bathroom stall would be highly unsanitary. Katee settles for kissing him again, sliding one hand up around his neck and into his hair. There hasn't been time to grow out the dark hair color the show inflicts on him, but the curls at the nape of his neck aren't Apollo in the least. He's wearing her favorite cologne and a day's worth of stubble on his face. It's pure Jamie, and she prefers it that way.

He releases his hold on her and she pulls back, smacks him on the shoulder. "Scare me half to death, why don't you. I thought I wasn't seeing you for another-" she twists her wrist to glance at her watch, "seventeen hours."

"Kerry and Geoff took the girls up to his parents' a day early. It was either fly out there and putz around by myself for two days or come surprise you."

"You're just full of surprises lately." It's been two weeks since she collapsed on the couch, laid her head in his lap and moaned, "I am so fucking sick of Canada"; ten days since he slid a plane ticket under her trailer door. Jamie likes spontaneity, and Katee thinks that she might become a fan as well, if trips to Italy are the result.

He opens his mouth to speak, but is caught by a large yawn. "Okay, bad for me or not, I need coffee. I haven't slept since yesterday."

Katee takes pity on him and hands him one of the discarded coffees. He laughs when she leans down and snatches up his messenger bag, strapping it over her chest. "Missed your calling as a bellhop, did you?"

"Shut up," she says, grabbing his hand and pulling him toward a row of chairs. "Did Isla like her present?"

"Yeah, she went nuts. You didn't have to do that, you know."

Katee shrugs. "I wanted to." He rewards her with a brilliant, if weary, smile. She asks about the twins and he launches into a long story about Ava's new dog that makes her heart ache. It's clear how much he misses his daughters already. In the past week he's flown to London and back just to see his children for Christmas and then accompany Katee to Rome. She curls her legs up on the cold plastic seat and listens to him talk, wondering how in the world she found a man like him.

Being with Jamie is nothing like any relationship she's ever had. It's not fucking a production assistant for the hell of it or dating some boy from home. This thing with them is complicated and messy, two things Katee's never really enjoyed in the past. It's easier now, after the divorce. She's glad they never got together while he and Kerry were still married, because Jamie's not made for infidelity any more than his character is and being the driving force in destroying a marriage is guilt Katee is happy to live without.

But Jamie complicates things just by existing, by being the man she's known for five years - the man she's not sure she'll ever fully know. He's a friend, a co-star, a father and an ex-husband. He's the most intelligent man she knows and the kindest, which is not to say he won't fly completely off the handle at the absolute worst moment. He's not a saint, which suits her just fine. He's older, which doesn't bother her, and wiser, which does. Just a bit. He has dual citizenship and a degree from Cambridge; he speaks French and Italian with a fluency that uncomfortably reminds Katee just how hard she had to work to get an A in high school Spanish. He's worldly and educated and sometimes when she's with him, she feels like nothing so much as a dumb kid from Oregon who's gotten herself in way over her head.

But when they board, he shoulders both of their bags; he tucks his jacket around her before she buckles in, because he knows she gets cold on planes. Once they've taken off and reached cruising altitude, she pulls out her iMac to play a DVD. Even as he mocks her for the Apollo and Starbuck pictures she has on her desktop, he wraps his arm around her shoulder and pulls her as close as the armrest between them will allow.

He drifts off to sleep with his head nodding against her shoulder, and she smiles and reaches up to smoothe the furrowed line on his brow with her thumb. The man needs a vacation as much as I do, she reminds herself. It's a reassuring thought. She might not have a college degree, but given the opportunity, she knows how to relax better than anyone.


As she watches Jamie converse in smooth, fluent Italian with the desk manager at the Hotel Tiziano, Katee silently concedes that being with a man who speaks three languages does come in handy.

"I did not just hear the words 'Battlestar Galactica' in that conversation," she says suspiciously as he makes his way back to her, room key in hand.

He holds out a hand for her to pull herself up from her sitting position. "Oh, come on. Don't you think I'm above pimping myself in exchange for goods and services?"

"No," she scoffs.

"You're right. I'm not." He grins unrepentantly. "But I got us the best room in the place, so I'll have silence from the peanut gallery, if you don't mind." He gestures toward the porter across the lobby. "This is us."

Katee leans against him as the elevator rises, feeling the effects of the transcontinental flight. Entering their hotel room, she tosses her bag onto the bed and flops down beside it as Jamie tips the porter. She notes the weak afternoon light shining through the curtains; she'd flip on the lamp if she had the energy to move three feet.

Jamie lets the door fall shut and crosses to the bed, dropping down next to her. "Tired?"

"Not at all," Katee replies sarcastically. "Ready to hit the town. You?"

"Yeah, sure. Always up for a party." He squints at her. "We really are quite pathetic."

"I know. We fly all the way to Rome just to take a nap. We could have done that in Canada."

"We have done that in Canada." He plays with the ends of her hair, letting the strands fall through his fingers. "We've done plenty of not sleeping in Canada as well. If memory serves."

"And that doesn't require any energy at all." She turns her head slightly to press a kiss to the inside of his wrist.

His eyes darken with something undefined. "This past week has felt like a month," he says, and she's been with him long enough to know when he's deadly serious.

She takes his hand in hers, kissing the palm and then the tips of his fingers. "For me, too."

Jamie closes the distance between them with a searing kiss, his hands pushing her sweater off her shoulders. "What about the Colosseum?" she asks breathlessly, reaching for the hem of his shirt.

He lifts his arms up so she can yank the shirt over his head and toss it across the room. "It's lasted a few thousand years," he says, leaning her back until her head rests on the pile of pillows. "I'd imagine it'll stay standing until tomorrow."

It's not as fast or frantic as usual; they take their time. Katee's not sure if it's due to their mutual exhaustion or something more intangible; the shadows lengthening across the room do lend a hazy, dreamlike quality to the evening that's hard to come by in Vancouver. It's nearly full dark by the time Jamie collapses on top of her, his hands still clasped in hers.

"That was quite a second wind," she whispers to him. He makes an unintelligble sound in response, his head buried in the pillow next to hers.

"Hey!" She bucks her hips slightly. "If you're going to fall asleep, at least have the decency to roll over."

"Sorry," he mumbles, kissing her shoulder and rolling to the side. She extricates herself and and turns the other way until her back is molded to his chest, his arm resting lightly over her hip. She's just drifting off to sleep when she feels his lips drifting over the tattoo on the back of her neck.

"I love you," he says in a voice so low it makes her shudder. "God help me, but I do love you."

Katee clasps his fingers in hers, tightens his arm around her waist.

She doesn't mind complicated so much anymore.



 Left By:
anr (anr)

2006-12-26 19:47:26

Oh, that is *lovely*. I really like the characterisations you have here, and their relationship is sweet and wonderful. Hee!

 Left By:
Severuslovesme (severuslovesme)

2006-12-27 00:05:02

*Is a puddle of goo* That was so sweet! I especially loved Katee's thoughts on the differences between them, because it's something I haven't seen explored much in fic about them. Yay declarations of love! :D

 Left By:
dirty diana (torri13)

2006-12-27 22:40:06

Pretty! I enjoyed it, sweet and lovely.

 Left By:
Maren (marenfic)

2006-12-28 23:09:34

I just. . . thank you! This was absolutely perfect in its imperfection (their relationship, not the story)-- I love that things are still complicated because they are so different in many ways. I love that you addressed the difference in education. I absolutely adore the sleepy "I love you" and, of course, a trip to Italy. Whee! Thank you thank you thank you.

 Left By:
alanna (wisteria)

2007-01-01 02:54:35

I have such a soft spot for Future!Katie, and this one was lovely and charming in a genuine, *earned* way. Thanks for sharing!