I want distraction, and Ji wants something beautiful.
Luckily, we share a flexible definition of 'beautiful'.
Starbuck is spinning a pen on the table.
Sharon doesn't say anything for a long time, because she's learnt the folly of that, and she knows that Starbuck knows that they both know that silence was covered extensively in Intimidation Tactics 101, so for a long time there's just her careful breathing and Kara's rigid smirk, which is fraying at the edges.
A very long time.
It's getting ridiculous.
"Starbuck -" she begins, and the smirk unravels entirely.
It's almost painful to watch Starbuck's conversation with the Old Man. Sharon Valerii was not very good at reading people, but she's feeling out the boundaries of some new sense that tells her: they're only human. And so she reads I can't do it in the tense curve of Kara's shoulders and sympathy in the hand that Adama extends and sudden defensive determination in the girl's recoil, and she knows that this is going to be long and painful.
"You're not going to talk," Starbuck says, staring at the table. "I'm going to talk, and you're going to carefully consider everything I ask you, and then you're going to talk. And you're going to be really frakking concise, or I'll break your jaw. And I'll be eating your apple slices whilst you suck soup through a straw and write everything that we want to know."
"You hate apples, Starbuck," she says, with a flicker of a smile, and hopes that the blow will hurt.
She's not disappointed.
"How are you?"
Of course she isn't, but more than anything else she hates the helplessness in his voice.
"Starbuck is -"
"Doing her job."
"We're not talking." Sharp.
She presses the phone even closer to her ear, as though that could do any good, and tries to block out the loneliness inherent in that statement.
She gives what information she can and searches her interrogator's face for regret behind the cemented professionalism. The sessions are getting simultaneously easier and more difficult.
"I think..." and she lets her eyes go wide, as though she's downloading or awakening or some shit like that.
"Yes?" Starbuck's fingers clench around the pen as she leans in.
"Lee." She looks away, slumps her shoulders. Wonders when she learned how to do this. "Lee is a Cylon."
The look on the other girl's face is so shattered that she almost feels sorry for her, but then she finds sketched around Kara's lips the same terrible loneliness that Helo was wearing, that he is living with every frakking day, and then she doesn't feel sorry at all.
She laughs, and it's not her laugh. "Kidding."
This time she falls from her chair, and tastes blood.