Let the Fleet fly into the sun, they can settle. She'll have him all to herself; she won't have to share him with the Fleet, or Bill. Or death, past the red line. She won't have to cheat just to make the pieces fit.
He's coming to the end of a long one, you can tell. His voice and her eyes, tired. Easy to talk to, so friendly. Not like Zak said at all: not stolid or hard or soft or controlling. Just so excited. It's sweet, really. Something dark, under that brightness, something hurt, but that calls to her too. He believes in things. Listen:
"...If you don't participate in the political conversation, then you are giving up your voice! You're giving up your right to have a say in the way that our society is run!" He shakes his head at her laughter, and she shakes right back at him. It's like seeing a unicorn, this guy. "You have really bought into all that crap, haven't you?" Little Miss Regs & Rules. "I do. Proudly! And so do you, by the way," he tells her. She pulls back, just a little. He doesn't know why. How the cockpit felt just right, that first time; about the bugs the Sergeant Major faced on Medra, how they disturbed her dreams. It all looks bright to him.
"Yeah," Lee says, in love with the idea. If he says it enough times, it will be true. If he believes hard enough in the world he wants to build, then it will come true. "Because that's what the uniform stands for. It's what we train to defend..." She slaps the table, laughing, but he swears it's true. "No, that's sad. That's sad. It's cute, but it's sad." Zak enters laughing, bearing more wine like a dare. "Let me guess, he's going on about voting and its importance to a democratic way of life again?" Lee smiles: at least he's been listening all this time.
Kara marvels at Zak; such an idealistic dreamer for a brother? Lee snorts "Dreamer..." but he fidgets underneath it. "It's sad," she laughs at him again, anxious to press on the bruise. Zak takes it a step further. "Truth is, he's not. Beneath that romantic exterior lies the heart of a true cynic." Below the bright rhetoric lies a man with scars across every knuckle, who needs something to believe in. Who knows enough to know that the world is bleak, and must set his sights past that into daybreak. He's his father's son. Say it enough times and it will be true: wanting to believe the best in people, wanting to believe in pure forms -- logic, law, democracy, rules and regulations -- is the sanest defense against a world that keeps breaking apart.