PHD #357: ...And She Has A Plan
PHD #357: …And She Has A Plan
Summary: Rose and Damon meet for the first time since the Elips christening. They talk about relationship foo, because even in the face of total extinction, the human race must go on.
Date: 18 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Damon Rose 
Hydroponics - MV Elpis
Plants and pipes and stuff, yo.
Post-Holocaust Day: #357

It's another day in hydroponics - or, at least, the chronometer tells us it's daytime. Normally one wouldn't be able to tell in the hydroponics bay except by when the photoelectric lamps dim down for the six-hour period that is designated as "rest time" for the growing plants. Right now, it is most definitely "day." The bay is bustling with activity, as a good fifty or so folk are working at the moment, tending or harvesting the life that's grown here to sustain the fleet.

And Rose is hard at work as well, although her job nowadays is more scientific. Lurking by a row of computers that are set up on a rack, Rose stands there, white lab coat and all, jotting down numbers she's reading from screens and gauges. Much the same how Damon would remember her from nearly two months ago, but at the same time, different. It's difficult to say.

It's been a long time since Damon's been over to the Elpis since her commissioning ceremony. Odd, after how many hours he spent working on this ship, personally partaking in repairs to get her up to working shape. As he wanders the hallways he knows like the back of his hand, he keeps looking around with surprise, like everything is new to him. Despite his lost looks, he knows exactly where he's going: the place he's most likely to find Rose, in the hydroponics section. "Hey, uh…" he says, making his way toward her nervously. "Hi."

Rose glances up at the greeting, and for a moment, jubilation and joy fills her face with wide eyes and a bright smile. But then, it's as if something clicks inside her, reminding her that she's not supposed to reward the gulf of time that their relationship has suffered. "Hi," she responds after reigning in her enthusiasm. She's quick to fuss with her sweater and smooth out her skirts, sucking in her lips as to hide any trace of a smile. Not quite knowing what to do with her clipboard, she just sets it aside, and stands there, as if her heels were riveted to the ground. "It's nice to see you, "comes her small addendum.

"Yeah," Damon says, a small nervous smile flickering across his face. It's about as short-lived as her look of joy, replaced instead by that guilty look. "Yeah, it's, uh, it's not the same, really, over the wireless, is it?" The chuckle accompanying the question sounds flat and forced. "It's… it's nice to see you, too." He looks up at her from his fidgeting hands and smiles - he is happy to see her. "Listen, I'm sorry I haven't, uh, come by here." Here goes. He releases a long, trembling breath. "It's, it's been crazy over on Cerberus, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a single chance to slip away to see you. I just, uh, I missed you. A lot. But couldn't do it. Come here, I mean. I don't know how to explain it, I mean, I'd think about it all the time. Getting away, coming to see you, spending time with you. But I just… couldn't."

"You don't… you don't have to explain," she tries to interrupt, but her voice is tiny, almost squeaky, and she lets him finish. Nodding, Rose says, "Look, it's all right. I understand. You're the Chief. You have a mountain of responsibilities and it's unfair for me to place demands on you. In fact, I think if you saw me, I'd feel… well, I'd feel guilty." It sounds like she's done her own rationalization and has explained away how difficult it's been, but from the worry lines emerging on her face it's probably only rationalization. And then, she veers off into a crazy tangent. "You know, I almost thought that I would enlist. Just so I could be on the same ship as you," she says, voice a little shaky, dispelled by a nervous laugh. "But I realized, it'd be even worse, because you'd be doing your thing, and I'd be doing mine. Same ship, but still, that same… distance. Y'know?"

"You - you what?" Damon asks, blinking in surprise. "I - Gods, don't even joke about that. I think I'd lose my frakking mind if you even seriously considered joining the Fleet." He can't help the nervous laugh that echoes hers as he rakes his fingers back through his hair. "It's madness over there, Rose. Ever since Nikolai put himself through an airlock and took down a pilot with him, it's just been nonstop. Cylons every day, birds coming in busted, pilots broken up…" He shakes his head hard as though to throw the thoughts out of his mind. "I just prefer the thought of you over here, y'know, safe. Doing what nobody else in this Fleet can do. This stuff." He gestures all around him. "How's, uh, how's all this going, anyway?"

Rose bites at her lower lip, clearly distraught at hearing Damon explain everything that's going on over there. After all, rumors have circulated how bad it is, and have likely been exaggerated. Still, is troublesome. Looking around her at nothing in particular, she says, "Oh, this stuff? It runs itself," she lies, with another nervous laugh. "We're on schedule for estimated foodstuffs output, the pH levels are good, the nutrient levels are sustainable thanks to my algae cultures, and I'm almost ready to rewrite my applied sciences thesis. I've been able to do research like never before." A pause, then a hesitant, nervous grin. "You know, the gop that you slipped on, and broke your hand? Biofuels. Replacing tylium and diesel fuel. At least for the low-level stuff like trucks and things. And maybe modified for the slower planes, like those Raptors." She worries at her lower lip again, and manages to find the courage to take a step forward. And another. And she timidly holds her hand out.

Damon groans and looks away when Rose mentions that damned algae. Looks like he'd almost managed to forget about that. "Don't remind me," he mutters. "Like I could forget the time I fell on my ass and looked like an idiot in front of a whole team of Marines. I'm, uh, glad to hear things are going well here, though. And for you." He looks back to her to see that she's holding out her hand; hesitantly, he steps forward to take it in his and pulls her close. "I missed you," he says again, this time a little more heartfelt with less stuttering. "I'm sorry."

Rose wraps her arms around his waist, peering up at him. Tears begin welling up in her eyes, and soon they'll be streaking down her cheeks. "Can we… are we… I mean…" Sniffle. "Let's start over. O-Okay? I mean, we got pretty far and all, but I feel like… Let's just take it day by day, I mean. You know?" She's babbling now, as the emotions are overwhelming; she's smiling, but her lip is curled in that 'I could easily bawl my eyes out' kind of way.

Damon encircles his arms around her. "Does that mean I gotta go back to stealing glances out of the corner of my eye and being a stuttering idiot every time I see you in public?" he asks with a grin. One hand slides up her back to idly stroke her hair and neck. "Day by day. Yeah. That sounds good." There's clear relief in his voice. "That's what I'm doing over there, anyway. Take it day by day." He leans down to kiss her hair, taking in a shaky breath to be so close to the scent and feel of her, something he'd almost forgotten by this point.

Rose buries her face in his chest, letting out a shaky sigh, managing to keep it together. "Gods, I'm a blubbering idiot in front of my personnel," she breathes with a nervous laugh. Peering up at him again, blinking those bright, green, clear eyes, "No, I'm pretty sure we're past that stage of the relationship, even if we're just going to, sort of, reboot things. How about, when things die down, you come back, and we can have dinner at Pete's?" A hand moves up his side, and then down his arm, caressingly. "Get to know each other again? You know?" Blink, blink. "I mean, if you think that's a good idea…"

"No," Damon says, shaking his head. "Not when things die down. I kept telling myself that - that I'll come over here to see you when things get a little quieter. But what if that never happens? What if things just get worse and worse, why should that stop me from coming to see you?" He glances around at the other people that she's embarrassed to cry in front of and moves to shield her a little more, though that's a futile gesture. "How about tonight? Or, uh, if you're busy, tomorrow. I don't want to make excuses anymore, I don't want to be… afraid to come here because I waited too long."

Rose blinks up at him, returning her arm so that she can hug herself to him as they move off a little. "I… suppose, but aren't we still at Condition Two? Doesn't that mean you need to be essentially on standby? I can't ask you to stay… I can't ask you to be here when the Cylons could attack us at any second. It's selfish of us." She swallows. "Why don't I finish up what I'm doing here, and then try to catch a Raptor over to Cerberus? I can say I need to visit the library, or something. In fact, I kind of do need to catch up on Mr. Wright and see how his studies are coming along. And I should check out a few books to help Mrs. Koios with the school." Smiling again, she says, "See? I have legitimate reasons to be over there. I just need to convince the MPs." Pausing in their slight retreat, she turns and faces him, peering up at him. "Do you think that'll work?"

"I'm always on standby, even when I'm not," Damon says with a rueful grin. "I get anxiety attacks sometimes if I stay away from the Deck too long. I can't sleep, I go back down and get back to work. So don't you worry about Condition Two." He steps back and smiles at her with a nod. "Sure, that'll work. As long as you don't let Shiner undress you with his eyes. He better not think I won't break his legs if he does something improper with you just because he's training to be a pilot now."

Giggling a little, which is a sign she's less worrysome now, Rose says, "Oh, Mr. Wright knows better. He's said some uncouth things but it doesn't bother me. I know he doesn't mean anything harmful by it." Pulling back a little, she reaches up to cup Damon's cheek, stroking down his jawline. "Poor dear, you haven't been shaving much. You've almost got a beard." Smiling mischeviously, she scritches nails lightly on his chin, making the bristly stubble sound. "I'll probably leave here at seventeen hundred hours, give or take. You won't have to meet me; I'll go do what I need to, and find you later."

Damon grins widely when she scritches at his stubble, his whole face lighting up. "Like frak you will," he says with a chuckle, leaning back against one of the stations and pulling Rose all but into his lap. "You don't get onto Cerberus without landing on my Deck, and as soon as you do, I'm gonna kidnap you and drag you away." His eyes stay locked on hers, the grin plastered to his face, as he tucks her hair back behind her ear. "Unless you have actual work you need to get done. I guess I can delay the kidnapping for that."

And now is the first time Rose has shown any hesitance regarding their future. "Andreas, can we, you know, take it slowly? The last time we were, well, together, I didn't see you for a very long time." She reaches a hand up again to touch his face. "I just want to make sure nothing's changed between us. I know, in my heart, that it hasn't. But I need to know, for honest and true. All right?" She smiles up at him, looking hopeful.

A beat. Oh. That's what she meant by starting over. "I, uh - yeah. Yeah, of course we can," Damon says after that question hangs in the air for a moment met only by his frozen expression. "No, it's, uh - I agree, we should, uh, slow down and… that's not what I meant, just for the record, when I said I was gonna - I didn't mean to imply that I, that you, that we…" He clears his throat. "We can take it slowly," he says. And he sounds like he means it. But then again… don't they all?

Rose bounces on the balls of her feet and beams brightly. "Great! See you at seventeen-hundred then?" She pulls away gently at that point, taking a few steps back, and straightens her sweater again. "I've tons of work to get done between now and then." Damon might suspect shenanigans, as moments earlier she was all teary-eyed on the verge of wailing all her emotions out, all at once. But now, she seems… almost chipper.

Damon squints at Rose for a second, surprised by her sudden change of disposition. "Yeah. Seventeen hundred." He smiles again, this time a little more confused than the other ones. "I, uh, I guess I better look at your oh-two systems like I said I was gonna do when I got on a Raptor to come over here," he says sheepishly. "I'll let you get back to work, and… see you tonight?"

"Mm-hmm!" Comes Rose's enthusiastic reply. And, with that, she turns to go, walking with a bit of a flounce to her office. Scheming Rose is scheming, and she has a plan.

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