Captain Apollo nervously approached his wingman, Lieutenant Starbuck. Apollo had been planning on how best to tell the other man of his feelings for him, and now was the time to put his plan into action. First, though, they needed some privacy.

"Starbuck, could you come into my office for a centon?" Apollo asked.

"Sure, Pol." Starbuck followed his friend into the office. "What's up?" He assumed it was something to do with the numerous reports he was supposed to have finished by now, but had yet to write.

"I wanted to talk to you about something," Apollo began. Just then a voice interrupted them.

"Hey, Apollo, here's that paperwork you wanted," said Sgt. Jolly cheerfully as he barged into the Captain's office.

"Uh, thanks, Jolly," Apollo said politely, hoping that Jolly would leave quickly.

"Hey, Starbuck," said Jolly, noticing his fellow warrior was in the office, "you up for a game of Pyramid? Bachelor Officers' Quarters?"

"You know me, Jolly, I'm always up for a game," the blond man replied. He turned to Apollo. "Sorry, Apollo. Was there was something you wanted to talk about?"

"It can wait," sighed the Captain.

"You sure?" Starbuck asked.

"Yeah. Go play cards."

With a grin of anticipation, Starbuck followed Jolly out of the office.

The next night, Apollo had another idea. "Star," he said when he saw his friend again, "how about you have dinner with me in my quarters tonight? Just you and me. Boxey will be with Athena."

"Dinner with you? No offense, Apollo, but what's the occasion?"

"What, I need a special occasion to invite my friend over for dinner? Don't tell me you prefer the officer's mess to my cooking."

"Well, no, I can't say that I do," replied Starbuck with a smile. "Sure, I'll come over. What time?"

"How about 1900?"

"All right. See you then." And Starbuck left to work on his overdue reports, while Apollo planned the dinner menu.

When Starbuck arrived at Apollo's quarters, he was impressed by the food laid out on the table waiting for him. "What did you do, raid the Agro barge?" he asked.

"Very funny," replied his friend with a tense smile. He hoped he could make it through dinner. He planned on telling Starbuck what he had invited him for after they had finished eating.

Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan. Just as the two were finishing their meal, the door chime rang and Athena arrived with Boxey in tow. "I'm sorry, Apollo," she said to her brother, "but Father asked me to cover an extra shift on the bridge tonight."

Trying to hide his disappointment, Apollo reassured her. "That's all right," he said. "Starbuck and I didn't have anything special planned."

Boxey was always happy to spend time with Starbuck, and the three spent a pleasant evening together. And Apollo was left to try to find another time when he could be alone with his wingman. He thought that perhaps he would have an opportunity after Boxey went to bed, but as soon as the boy was asleep, the lieutenant excused himself, claiming he had a date waiting for him on the Rising Star.

The next time the Captain saw Starbuck the two of them were in the officers' mess. Apollo headed for a table in a far corner, and motioned for Starbuck to join him. "Why so far away from everyone else?" the blond lieutenant asked.

"Sometimes I just need to get away from people for awhile," Apollo replied with a shrug.

"What, I don't count as people?" Starbuck teased.

"You're different," Apollo told him. "Listen, Starbuck...."

Just then Boomer arrived. "There you are! I was wondering where the two of you had got to. I saw you come in but I lost you in the crowd." He put his tray down on the table and sat between the two other warriors.

Apollo groaned inwardly. Would he never have a chance to be alone with Starbuck?

As Boomer and Starbuck chatted, Apollo let his mind wander, thinking of the many yahrens he'd known Starbuck, and how his feelings for the other man had gradually grown from deep friendship to even deeper love. He'd tried to deny it at first, but eventually admitted to himself that he was madly, passionately in love with his best friend. It had taken him some time to work up the courage to tell Starbuck, but he believed that Starbuck loved him too. He wasn't entirely certain if Starbuck's love was the romantic kind or the platonic kind, but he hoped it was the former. If not, he'd find some way to live with it. Starbuck wouldn't leave him. He knew that. Even if Starbuck wasn't in love with him, he would never leave.

Apollo was brought back to reality by Starbuck and Boomer's getting up to leave the table. "Going to join me on patrol, Captain?" Starbuck inquired with a mischievous smile.

The Captain shook himself. "Patrol. Right. Let's go."

As they had expected, patrol was uneventful. They hadn't encountered any Cylons in this sector of space so far, and hoped that their luck would continue. Perhaps they had finally left Cylon- occupied space. Such an event was fervently wished for by the entire fleet. Starbuck kept up a running commentary over the radio, talking about the previous night's Pyramid game, the upcoming Triad finals, and whatever gossip happened to be circulating in the Bachelor Officers' Quarters. If he noticed his wingman's silence, he didn't say anything.

When they returned to the Galactica, Apollo left his viper and headed back to his quarters. He was ready to give up. Maybe he and Starbuck weren't meant to be. They never had any time alone together. Someone was always interrupting them. If he were a paranoid sort of person, he'd swear there was a conspiracy to keep him and Starbuck apart. Just as he was leaving the viper bay, Starbuck stopped him.

"Come with me," he said, leading Apollo to a supply closet. It wasn't a request, it was more like an order. A supply closet? What did Starbuck want in a supply closet? The lieutenant opened the door and pulled his wingman inside, then locked the door behind them.

"What - what are you doing?" the Captain asked nervously.

"You have been trying to get me alone for the past secton. It didn't seem to be working, so I thought I'd help you out. What's going on, Apollo?"

"There's something I want to talk to you about. It's about us."

"About us? Oh, Lords, I was afraid of this."

Afraid? Starbuck was afraid? Of what? "What were you afraid of?" Apollo asked, his heart in his throat.

"I guess I should have known you would figure it out sooner or later ... I'm sorry, Pol, I tried to hide it. I'm sorry if I misread you. I mean, I know that you care about me, but I understand if you - if you don't love me." He swallowed hard and turned to leave.

Apollo grabbed his shoulder, "Starbuck, wait! Don't go."

"It's okay, Pol. You're my best friend. I can live with that. It's okay if you don't love me the way that I love you."

"Starbuck, how could I not love you?" He turned the other man to face him. "You mean everything to me. I couldn't live without you."

"You mean it?" Starbuck asked hopefully.

In response, Apollo took Starbuck into his arms and kissed him. It was a gentle kiss, not demanding, but full of promise. After he had gotten over his surprise, Starbuck returned the kiss. After a few centons, the two broke apart.

"I love you, Apollo," Starbuck said.

"I love you, too," Apollo answered before kissing him again.

Jackets came off, uniforms were removed, pressure suits were stripped from each others' bodies. There was some hesitation, some awkwardness, as the two men were uncertain of how to make love with another man. But passion won out over uncertainty, and they soon found the right moves to give each other pleasure. When they were done, they simply lay in each others' arms and dozed off.

Out in the viper bay, Lt. Jolly looked around and said to Boomer, "Hey, Boom, have you seen Apollo and Starbuck? Their patrol was finished a centare ago but I haven't seen either of them since they landed."

Boomer glanced at the supply closet where he had seen the two warriors vanish after their patrol. "I think Starbuck and Apollo wanted to be alone for awhile. Let's go to the Officer's Lounge - I'll buy you a drink and tell you all about it."