PHD #367: A Not So Happy Birthday
A Not So Happy Birthday
Summary: Trask swings by to wish Sawyer a happy birthday. By the time he leaves, neither is even remotely happy.
Date: 03 Mar but backscened to 28 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Prom Night (Sawyer claims she has an upcoming bday); Gravity (the possible downfall of Daniel Kincaid?) & Thanks For Stopping By (Rene-Marie isn't a girl's name?)
Sawyer Trask 
News Room - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #367
This compartment isn't huge by any means, an afterthought shoved into an alcove when the engineer was finishing the final plans for the ship. The long awkward rectangle is filled with several desks and those heavy pieces of machinery that are tools of the media trade — copiers, computers, printers, and of course a seemingly never-ending supply of paper of both the A4 and broadsheet variety. In the far port corner hangs a mulberry-colored hammock attached to the bulkhead — where the head-reporter-in-charge is purported to spent her nights. Three heavy desks have been moved to form an inverted 'U' for the new Editor in Chief's work station, and behind them lies the hatch to the modest closet-sized darkroom.
Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close

February 28. Two days after the one year anniversary of War Day. Maybe one day the sting of the Holocaust will fade, and then the day will be more jubilant for Sawyer again. As it stands, she's celebrated quietly and mostly separately with only her closest of friends who happened to know she turned the big Three-Oh. No big to-do. No cake. And the strippers are all stuck on the Elpis. She's ducked back into the empty News Room, turning in early which is easy when all your staff are likewise with the civilian populous. A lamp is clicked on a desk in lieu of the overhead, and she kicks off her shoes to admire her new pedicure (thanks to Bunny) as she walks across to her hammock.

February 28. Two hours shy of the first of March. Maybe one day, the anxiety of waiting for Bootstrap will subside for Sawyer. Twenty-four (24) hours earlier, the Swarm attacked the Fleet for the first time since the jump to Audumbla some forty-eight (48) hours before that. Needless to say, the Air Wing and the Deck have been busy. All the same, this also marks the first time the Swarm retreated, so that's a nice birthday gift, right?

After spending the past eighteen (18) or so hours busy with repairs, towing a knocked-out Raider, analyzing said Raider, reviewing flight footage, and countless other things that are all in a day's work for an SL, Trask shows up at the News Room, not bothering to knock. And since the hatch happens to be unlocked, he walks right on in. To look at him, he's recently bathed and even shaved, which means he's probably just starting his latest shift. Were it ending, he'd surely look more disheveled, wouldn't he? What's for certain is that he's decked out in his flightsuit.

Sawyer looks back as she hears the hatch some moments after she just closed it, the expression of curiosity turning to undeniably pleased as she sees who it is. Not that that stops her from flopping into the mulberry sling, her trouser clad legs flinging up to send her in a wild swing. "You're just in time for the birthday suit portion of the evening." There's laughter in her voice, but her eyes just seem tired. Something the pair share in common. "I was just about to get ready for bed. And you. You came to bring me my cigars, did you, my sweet?"

Upon closer inspection, Trask doesn't look particularly bright-eyed or bushy-tailed himself. A shower can only do so much to wash away fatigue. "Am I now?" he smiles back, amused. "I think I can afford the cover charge." Rattle-rattle goes the box of cigars that the birthday girl was not permitted to have on the 26th.

"I got a pedicure from Evandreus," Sawyer says dreamily, still riding the bliss of the pampering while she wiggles said bright red painted toes. "Condition Two with no real work to speak of is kind of like a vacation. At least for me." Never mind that article that's still haunting her. "Shame you have to be all busy being… you." As much as she's indicated the birthday suit shuffle, she's not getting up to do so. She does, however, beckon him forward to bestow the gifties.

A glance to the wriggled toes. "No sparkles or stickers?" How un-Bunny like. Coming close enough to offer the box, he pauses just before it's within Sawyer's reach and inquires with a cocked brow, "There's no Two Drink Minimum for this show, is there?"

"You don't drink." How astute of you, Miss Averies. At least she's put that investigative journalist background to some use. "Guess you'll have to figure out some other way to pay your way. And my birthday present doesn't count." Sawyer cants her head slightly, "Do you ever go out on a CAP and /not/ drag something back? Rumors have it that you've amassed quite a collection in the hangar."

"Everyone drinks," Trask snerks. Just not booze. "The human body is largely comprised of water. Or, in my case, coffee. You seriously could use a better fact-checker." As for the question, he replies with an impish, "Sating your curiosity should be more than ample payment." The box does not budge.

"Alcohol. A two drink minimum implies alcohol. If you were to have soft drinks, no matter how many, it only counts as one drink. You may, however, substitute food items for either or both of your drink requirements." Sawyer kicks her legs like a child in a swing, causing a lazy sway to the hammock which creaks merrily on the d-rings the man installed. "So, are you going to sate me or what?"

What is the oh so witty rejoinder to the two drink minimum explanation? An annoyed eye roll and a flippant muttering of, "Whatever." The man is far more on point when he quips back, "Dunno. You seem quite content to just lay there, swinging." No, that's not what she meant. Yes, that was innuendo. "Well, there's at least this." Finally, he hands over the cigars.

"Ah!" Sawyer crows delightfully. "I knew it was just a waiting game." She leans forward dangerously and closes her hands over the box, giving it a good tug should he decide to recant. "So, tell me what I'm missing. I figure I see you precisely ten hours a week, give or take. What happens the rest of those hours that I don't know about?" Nevermind her network of spies. Should she receive possession of the box, it gets cracked open for a prize.

In no mood to play games, apparently, is the ECO. "Getting shot at. Fixing things that were shot. The usual." All relayed as though it were washing dishes. "You ever finish that article of yours?" With the gift handed over, he opts to plop his ass on a nearby desktop.

Sawyer fishes out one of the cigars, closing the box to tuck the rest down by her thigh. "You make it sound so glamorous." The dark papered roll gets sniffed at experimentally, and then she just waggles the thing around between her fingers. "And nope. I'm stuck in the middle of a moral quandary on the matter, and for some reason I can't just hurdle it with my normal bravado. I've never had this problem before, but such are the dangers of getting too close to your work. Now /that/ I've done before."

It's with mock(?) incredulousness that Kal quips, "You suffer from moral quandaries?"

"Very shocking, I know. But there /is/ a reason I got transferred from working criminal detail to the most remote and boring assignment that the magazine could muster without losing face." Sawyer doesn't look at Trask, but rather focuses on the cigar she's rolling between her fingers.

"I can see how conjugal relationships can be considered a conflict of interest," is the blithe reply. An allusion to her fiance? Perhaps. A smartass comment? Definitely. "So, who's your frakbuddy this time? That Marie chick? You never did show me those pillow fight photos." Baiting? Definitely. Fishing? Possibly.

"Wait, I'm sorry, what?" Either she's not entirely sure what he's asking, or she sure as hell can't believe he just asked it. Either way, Sawyer's looking for a little clarification from the ECO.

"Pillow fight photos," he says in an almost 'duh' manner. "With that Marie chick." Rene-Marie is the name he glimpsed in her notebook some time ago, and what man has a name like that? Seriously. "That's who this article is about, isn't it?"

One can almost see the little storm cloud gathering over Sawyer's head, but really, she should be used to it by now. Good thing love is an involuntary emotion, because by the furrow of her brow, she's currently finding him insufferable. "Piers Rene-Marie. Is a man. And the Cylons aside, he's the military's number one enemy as all facts point to him as being the one who is masterminding these recent civilian uprisings. I have no trouble watching that man get spit and roasted, despite any personal relationship I may or may not have had with him prior. My quandary, however, is not with 'Marie', but rather with Lance Corporal Kincaid, whom I've become rather fond of over the months and vice versa. As a friend. To publish this article and the photographs I have in connection paints him in a rather bad light. Normally, that wouldn't stop me, but last time I got to this point…" Huff. Sentence unfinished.

May or may not. That's as good as saying 'I totally frakked him'. If she hadn't, after all, she'd outright say so, right? It's not like Sawyer has a habit of saying and doing things as a matter of principle. And whether or not it's a good thing that love is involuntary, jealousy and insecurity are equally involuntary. School his expression as he might try, there is simply something in Kal's eyes that betrays him. "Well," he forces into an indifferent tone, "Good luck with that." With a lack of fanfare, he's off the desk. "Happy birthday," is his parting remark, a frown forming no sooner than he's turned and heading for the hatch, muttering under his breath and out of earshot, "if it even really is."

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