She brushed her hand over the desks, her feet treading slowly and softly as she moved through the schoolroom. Her eyes swept the layout, the set-up, the canvas walls, and she saw numbers on the whiteboard, despite there being nothing there.
“You don’t have to do this, you know.”
Bill’s voice startled her, and she spun round to face him, managing to allow a smile to grace her lips simply because he was there.
“My place is with the people,” she told him as he walked towards her, his eyes taking in the same sights she just had.
“You have no duty to them anymore, Laura,” he responded, and perhaps the use of her name was to remind her she no longer held her title.
She smiled, sadly. “They may not all have voted for me, but that doesn’t mean that my duty to them is any less powerful. I vowed to lead them and to protect them, and I will continue to do so for as long as I breathe.”
“Whether they want you to or not?” he asked with a small smile to let her know he was teasing.
She laughed once. “Exactly.” Then her tear-filled smiling eyes met his. “Baltar will mess up one day, Bill, I need to be here to help them deal with that.”
He nodded and stepped closer to her, raising a hand to gently wipe away a tear that had managed to escape to her cheek. “And I will always be up there, ready to help you help them,” he promised her.
She smiled, shakily, and placed her hand over his. “The way it should be,” she whispered.
“The way it will always be,” he corrected her just as quietly.
More tears broke free as the feelings and emotions she had restrained since that fateful election day finally overwhelmed her. She thought she glimpsed tears in his eyes before his arms enveloped her and he supported her as she cried.
He had become the only person she would appear weak to. She would cry now, get the emotion out and clear her head. And then, President or not, Laura Roslin would be the rock humanity would need.
The people first.
The way it had always been.