PHD #088: An Officer and a Gentleman
An Officer and a Gentleman
Summary: Penelope and Trask enjoy a low-key reunion. Who knew he could be such a gentleman?
Date: 24 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Immediately preceded by Meetup.Leonis.Com
Penelope Trask 
Sagittaron House - Leonis
Sagittaron House must have once been a glorious place. Grounds that were once expansive and lush with vegetation in the forms of planned gardens, walking paths, and sitting areas are now dead and barren; trees devoid of leaves, bark charred, grass dead and brown. A 10-foot tall wrought iron fence with spiked tops and thick brownstone joiners every 20 feet surrounds the consulate and the grounds. In several places the bars, normally 8-10 inches apart, have been separated enough for a person to slip through sideways.

The building itself was at one point a brownstone beauty — three stories tall (that can be seen), floor-to-ceiling windows in some of the first floor dining and siting rooms, classical styling with high columns and wide volutes. The roof is currently in a state of disrepair, collapsed into the top floor along one entire side of the building. All of the windows are smashed and broken, only a few retaining the curtains inside which flap in the breeze.

Inside, furniture has been broken down, stripped of wooden legs and arms. Only a few cushions remain, and those are shredded and dirty. The libraries of the building have been ransacked and stripped down for fuel materials. Those wooden panels, marble tiles, statues, and paintings that weren't initially looted are damaged beyond repair. The expansive kitchens have long been stripped for any vestiges of food — fresh, canned, preserved, or otherwise.
Post-Holocaust Day: #88

It wasn't that far. Just beyond the front room, she had said. Good thing, too, because Trask is far more tired than is evident. Even so, he makes it to what is passing as a communal bedroom, and he carefully sets Penelope back down, primarily on her uninjured foot. Out comes a breath of exertion, followed by a moment of pause, and concluded with the puffing out of his chest in the way men do to conceal any sign of flagging. "Thank you for choosing Bootstrap Airlines. We hope that you've had a pleasant flight and that you will join us, again, soon." That said, he unshoulders his rifle and finds a handy-dandy place to place it.

"I hear it's the number one choice of curly-haired, freckled Aerilonian lasses," Penelope replies, keeping her hands on Trask's shoulders a moment after she's set on her feet — foot. Whatever. She smiles up at him, though the smile dwindles in a moment, concern crowding the mirth from her eyes. "Speaking of which… I…" Didn't see that other Aerilonian lass. "Maggie's alright?"

"It is," Trask replies, "for two years running. They enjoy our in-flight entertainment and attentive, studly staff." When Quinn is mentioned, though, the mirth is sucked right out of him, which is probably why the man becomes so absorbed in removing his duffel bag. "If you call a dislocated left knee and a broken right leg alright, sure." It's more sharply said than his usual displays of sardonicism. To his credit, he refrains from spitting out something more caustic.

Penelope nods, leaning against the wall. If she feels the sharp edge of Trask's words, she doesn't show it, merely watches the ECO divest himself of his gear. "She's alive," she says softly. "Yeah. I call that alright. And Lucky?"

"Hopefully," he murmurs, his expression cloudy. It's not as if he'll know that answer until he hears word from the Cerberus. Last he knew, the fleeing Raptor was being tailed by some Heavy Raiders. As for Lucky, "She was shot up a fair bit, but it's nothing the docs can't fix." You know, provided that the Raptor wasn't blown out of the sky. Yeah… Trask is a sullen Taurian these days. "So," he begins, a bit more blithely, now sliding off the heavy load that is his packed-to-the-gills backpack, "you get blown out of an ATV during a bridge explosion, too, or was it something else crappy? I'm guessin' your gimpiness ain't the result of waltzin' with Oberlin."

Penelope's turn to cloud over — forecast calls for angst with a 83% chance of nightmares. She folds her arms, turning her face away for a moment to study the floor. "You'd be surprised. Cal's dancing could put a girl in traction," she quips bleakly. A deep breath. Shoulders squared, chin up, she looks back to Trask. "Cylon to the arm. Ceiling collapsed on the leg." The devil's in the details, and will likely stay there for the time being. "Can't say I've had worse, engineering being the rough-and-tumble department it is, but… I'll mend."

Kal never claimed monopoly on a bad mood, but one might wonder if he's slyly cornering the market with the way he adds a bit more levity to his snark, perhaps in an attempt to elevate Penelope's mood. "Yanno, I know that there has to be /something/ Cal is better at than I am. Just never thought it would be failure in dancing. Still, I can't rightfully say my bullish clomping ever put anyone in traction." THUMP. Down goes his backpack, while he sinks to his knees. "Well, gross competence has a way of preventing injury." Yes, that was a roundabout compliment to the snipe's engineering skills. "I stopped having endured worse somewhere around the 36-hour mark."

"Gross competence," Penelope echoes, a faint smile playing about her lips. "Thanks, I think." She slides down the wall, sitting with her injured leg outstretched, the other knee drawn idly up. "So, what's in the bag? Did you loot a fueling station? We're out of smokes going on a week now, and the withdrawal is making the voices in my head tell me to set things on fire."

"If we'd looted a filling station, I'd have a lot more smokes. If you're nice — or delightfully cruel — I might be inclined to share." The ECO unfastens his helmet and then sets it down next to his rifle, which is close to the rest of his deposited gear. "Being blown outta two vehicles within the span of two weeks, I'd kinda like to avoid further fires. Will the voices in your head be placated by mints or truffles?" Tug-tug. Off comes the first glove.

Penelope's jaw drops slightly. "Blown out of — " But wait. What follows is of infinitely greater interest. "Mints and truffles?" She blinks, making a grab for the bag of goodies. "Where in frakking creation did y'get mints and truffles?" she gasps, though there's still a touch of incredulity in her tone. She'll believe it when she sees it — oh she of little faith!

Trask is actually serious about the being blown outta two vehicles thing. This might have something to do with why he's still stuck on Leonis. With the removed glove, he thwaps at Penny's grabby hands. "There is to be no grabbing of /any/ of my goods," yes, innuendo included, "without my permission." She's gonna have to wait. "Some fancy-shmancy, overpriced, organic market we raided a few times." Tug-tug. Off comes the other glove.

Penny yelps like an indignant puppy as her hands are swatted, though she's laughing, the childlike delight of presents — especially in such a time and place — elevating her mood to downright giddy. "I could be very nice for truffles," she croons softly, her lashes flirting at a vampy half-mast. "Maybe not as nice as I can be for jellybeans, mind you… but quite nice."

"Alas, no jelly beans," is Trask's reply, lacking the flirtatiousness one might expect. "Quite nice, though… I can live with that." A lopsided smile is tiredly flashed and the other glove dropped to meet its mate. Retrieving the duffel, the protective cover is unsnapped and the zipper unzipped. Reaching in, a small tin of gourmet mints is plucked out and handed over, its contents actually untouched. The truffles, unfortunately, are in worse shape, all smooshed and quasi-melted, but still delicious.

"Both truffles AND mints, is it?" Penny's smile glows soft, more sincere for being measured in candles rather than watts. "I must rate highly among your women." She takes a small bite of chocolate, shutting her eyes to let the confection melt on her tongue. There are a few moments of silent appreciation, her sigh bordering on rapture, before the smooshed-and-melty (now also nibbled) truffle goes back in the box. Conservation is key. Eyes now open, she studies Trask, one hand straying to push a lock of hair back from his forehead. "You have to be exhausted," she mururs. "And here I am extorting sweets from you."

"I'm very thorough," is drily remarked about having multiple treats. The other comment prompts a wry curve of his mouth. "/My/ women, eh? You consider yourself one of my women?" The man is amused, an impish gleam surfacing in his eyes. It fades fairly quickly, though, and he becomes more serious when Penelope returns the truffle. "Nah," is insisted. "Finish it. Apostolos didn't put that big a dent in the stash." Considering he swiped all the chocolate he could find in the store, it's been handed out fairly freely. Trask has been far more stingy with the mints.

His hair is damp with sweat and cropped a bit closer than in the past, but it still manages to seem like kitten fluff when Penny pushes it back. As for being tired, "I'm afraid I won't be more scintillating until I've had a decent night's rest." Way to play it down. Typical. Grinning a wee bit, he points out, "We both know I don't do things I don't wanna do." That would make it not extortion.

Penelope pauses, hand hovering over the nibbled truffle… then she caves, popping the remainder into her mouth, wholesale. Eyes flutter shut again — and somewhere in the process of chocolate melting over all her senses, she nearly swoons. "Gods," she sighs, suckling the last traces off her fingertips. "That was obscene." She doesn't comment, actually, on what she considers herself in relation to Kal Trask… instead, she leans forward to place a kiss somewhere in the no-man's land between his cheek and the corner of his mouth. "Thank you."

The beard, it gets the love, for that no-man's land is covered by it. Still, Trask isn't complaining. No, he's smiling a scampish smile. "Quite nice is quite nice. I wonder what AP rounds and frag grenades will be get me." A sort of 'meh, no biggie' expression is his response to the thank you. He's never been good with mushy-stuff. The lid is sealed and buried beneath other contents of his bag. Then, he reaches for his backpack and starts to pull out a box of bullets. "You sportin' a rifle, too?" She already mentioned sleeping with a pistol.

Penelope lifts her chin toward her rifle, propped up in the corner. "More or less. I haven't really aimed it at anything since gettin' popped in the arm, but it's gettin' stronger every day. Won't be long." She smiles at Trask. "Not nearly as sexy a gift, mind you, but well appreciated."

A simple nod, the rifle rounds left in the backpack, for now. "These'll help you pass the time until then." The AP bullets for the handgun are handed over. "Well, it's nigh impossible to top mints," which are still in a tin on the floor next to the Aerilonian, "especially when I'm stayin' wrapped until we get home." Yes, the man sleeps in his body armor. He likes his chest to be as bulletproof as possible. "For the sake of conversation, though," he adds, cracking his neck one way and then the other, "Items like baby powder fresh deodorant, scented lotions and shampoos, those are worth what? A handjob? A thorough through the pants fondling, at /least/." At least he's no longer sullen and brooding.

Penny snrrks, a dimple accenting the right side of her mouth. "Gods, it's like high school all over again. I am afraid," she tilts her head, tsking, "the most risque deal I ever cut was letting Leon Atropos feel me up under the shirt so he'd let me fly his papa's crop duster — and even then, the bra stayed on." She shakes her head, grinning. "I don't think you're going to get much further than he did. Not with shampoo."

"You whore." It's deadpanned. He also doesn't bother to remind her about the mints, which, in his estimation, are totally worth at least one blowjob. "And to think, I was even gonna take you to dinner." An MRE is taken out of the backpack and shaken for emphasis. Not haute cuisine but it's food. Sorta.

"How romantic!" Penny laughs. "Mama Trask obviously raised her boy to be a gentleman — never extort sexual favors without dinner first." She kisses Trask's forehead before hobbling to her feet. "I was supposed to be on watch before your lot called in… and as much of a holiday atmosphere as this reunion's created, I have a feeling I'm still on the hook for it. I'll take a rain check on dinner, if the offer's still good. Keep the floor warm for me?"

Some of the mirth subsides when his mother is mentioned. Or maybe he's disappointed that he's being stood-up. Or it could just be that he's hella tired. Whatever the reason, Trask loses pep, even if he retains his cheek. "In many respects, I'm old-fashioned. Resorting to extortion for such delights isn't one of 'em." And since he really could stand eating, he opens the meal pack. "I find those bullets are most enjoyable when they don't need to be used." All the same, she should be taking them with her. "Don't forget your mints," he adds. That's right: he said your. With that relayed, he's tearing open with his teeth one of the smaller packets in the MRE. Classy.

The mints go in one pocket, the bullets in the other; standing now, Penny pauses to make a quick, affectionate pass of her fingers through Trask's hair. "Old fashioned, are you? Next thing you know, you'll be telling me how you're a one-woman kind of man." She smiles and tweaks the ECO's ear. "Eat up and sleep well, ducks." Exits are always far cooler when you can saunter, but… well, she really can't. So off she heads — gimp-limp, gimp-limp, gimp-limp — to take up position in the foyer.

The bit of plastic is spit out. Even classier. Hair ruffling prompts a wry smile. The ear tweak disrupts some gnawing on a stale roll. "Depends how you define that," Trask quips, not specifying whether he's referring to being old-fashioned or a one-woman kind of man.

By the time she'll return from her shift, Bootstrap will be dead asleep, huddled in a corner, still wearing his boots and combat vest, and even going so far as to re-don his helmet. For his pillow, he uses the wall; his backpack is a makeshift mattress with the duffel used as its box spring, thus reducing the weight on his shoulders. The heavy pistol is on his person, as is the rifle, both with the safeties on. All in all, he looks prepared to be on the move at a moment's notice. Even so, this is probably the best night's rest he's had since being stranded in the lion's den of Kythera.

True, perhaps he didn't keep the floor warm for Penelope, but he did jury-rig into some manner of flimsy, makeshift head cushion a t-shirt that Tisiphone swiped for him when she raided what once was a shopping mall. Whether or not it was his mother's doing, somewhere along the line the man evidently learned how to take care of the people he cares about.

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