Starbuck sat in front of the campfire and looked at Apollo, his friend and sometime lover. He wondered what he was doing there. Apollo had asked him to come; why had he accepted?

He and Apollo always got furlons at the same time. For whatever reason, they were always scheduled that way, and they always spent them together. Tonight, however, Starbuck was beginning to wish he was on patrol, or back in the BOQ, or anywhere other than here in this campsite, on this planet, with Apollo.

There had been no Cylon activity detected in this area, and the fleet had come to a temporary stop for routine maintenance and repairs. While this was going on, the warriors were given rotating leave time. This planet where they had stopped had enough amusements to offer: a few scattered towns, some larger cities, all with pubs and hotels and even some gaming establishments. But Apollo had decided he wanted to go camping and sleep in the open air for once. "Lords know, it's not very often any of us get to sleep outside," he'd said. He'd asked Starbuck to come with him, and Starbuck had accepted without even thinking about it. Now, though, he was thinking about it.

He and Apollo had been lovers, on and off, for the past yahren or so. He'd told himself that it was just recreational sex; no feelings were involved. He continued to date Athena, Cassiopeia, and any other woman that came his way. Sometimes he didn't see Apollo outside of duty or Triad matches for sectons at a time. Yet every time he came back to Apollo for a tumble in bed, his wingmate took him back, no questions asked.

Love 'em and leave 'em
Give them the air
Hurt and deceive them
Say you don't care
Break their hearts and let them fall
Like rain on your back stairs
Then call me up tomorrow
You know I'll still be there

Finally, Apollo spoke. "What's on your mind?" he asked in as casual a tone as he could muster.

"Why do you do it, Apollo?" Starbuck asked.

"Do what?" the other man asked.

"Keep taking me back, no matter who I frack, no matter how many times I'm unfaithful to you." It was the first time he'd admitted that he'd been unfaithful; he'd kept telling himself that he and Apollo weren't exclusive, that they didn't have a commitment. But he knew Apollo hadn't been with anyone else, not even Sheba, no matter how much Cain's daughter had thrown herself at him. "No matter how much I hurt you."

"Simple," Apollo replied. "I love you."

When the moon disappears forever
And the sun shines electric blue
And the mountains and trees tumble into the sea
To rest there for eternity
No matter what you do
I will still love you

He continued, "When that moon up there has disappeared forever, when the sun turns blue, when these trees have died and those mountains up there have collapsed into the sea for all eternity - I'll still love you."

"Apollo, you know that I've never been very good at staying in one place, with one person, for very long. What makes you think I'll stay with you?"

So if all your bridges go up in flames
And if all your lovers strike you too tame
Or some sad song of love you hear
Can make you call my name
I will be there in a minute
And you know I'll feel the same

"Starbuck, when you find that none of your lovers has been able satisfy you, when you've burned all your bridges behind you and all you can hear is every sad song about love that's ever been written, just call on me and I'll come running. I'll be by your side in a micron, and I'll still feel the same about you."

So the weary traveller
Tired of passing through
Stops to get his bearings
And stays on to wait for you

Starbuck sat and looked at his wingmate. He suddenly felt very tired and very old. He was tired of never sticking to one person. He was tired of acting as if what they had was temporary, or a diversion, a distraction until he found a suitable female partner. It was like the way he acted every time he passed through another human settlement: he'd find a woman to have for a night, then leave her, telling her he was, after all, 'just passing through.' It was time he stopped to get his bearings and took a good look around. Apparently Apollo had, and was now just waiting for him to do the same.

"I don't deserve you," he told Apollo.

"Do you love me?" his mate asked.

When the moon disappears forever
And the sun shines electric blue
And the mountains and trees tumble into the sea
To rest there for eternity
No matter what you do
I will still love you

Starbuck stood and walked the short distance between them until he was kneeling in front of his lover. "You know what you said about the moon disappearing, and the mountains falling into the sea, and the sun turning blue? About how you'd love me even then? Well, I'll still love you then, and even longer."

The two men shared a kiss. "No matter what you do," Apollo told Starbuck, "I will still love you."

"And I'll still love you, Pol, no matter what you do." He shivered a bit, partially from the cold and partially from the strength of the emotions going through him. "Can we go in the tent?"

The two warriors went into the tent, and this time when they came together it wasn't just about sex. They made love.