PHD #240: Broken Home
Broken Home
Summary: Sometimes, as Lysander and Ximena discover, the truth does not set you free. It tears you apart.
Date: 24 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Lysander Ximena 
Behind the two hangar decks, the Cerberus' Galley is the largest room on the ship. Nearly half the size of a football field, the eating area is made up of long lines of stainless steel tables that can be folded up and placed against the wall for larger events. Individual seats are the standard military issue, boring and grey with lowest-bidder padding. The line for food stretches across one of the shorter sides of the room while the kitchen behind works nearly twenty-four hours a day to produce either full meals or overnight snacks and coffee for the late shifts.
Post-Holocaust Day: #240

It's a bowl of chili. Garret Lysander stares down into it as the bowl end of his spoon sinks into the red-brown foodstuff and disappears within. He is sitting by himself but there are not a lot of people within the galley just yet either. It's a rare moment between the bigger meals, lunch and dinner. Next to him is a pair of notebooks and a map, a small portable data storage device alongside pencils. His left hand, the right has the spoon as he bows his head in watching intently down at his food, has a pen loosely within its grasp. It's a bowl of chili.

There's the usual amount of clatter and noise, as Ximena makes her way into the galley, seeming to have fit her schedule to come just at these quiet times, rather than when the mess is at its peak. Easier to move around, easier to find a seat. She's in her coveralls, as per her usual, a set of rolled papers sticking out of the backpack strapped to her chair. "I think it's stopped screaming by now." As she passes the marine, his bowl of chili and his books.

Lysander blithely speaks up, "Huh?" As far as he can tell, there's just someone trying to talk to him. He doesn't notice just who it is until he looks up and away from the bowl of chili in order to knit his brows questioningly towards Ximena. "Well, hello to you too," he picks up the spoon as he speaks and holds it there, over the bowl, so that the chili can drip back down into the bowl in elongated globs. It's just chili. He lifts his chin for a moment as he looks over her face and then the spoon is lowered. With a glance down to the notes around him, the Sergeant quietly gestures to the empty spot at the side of the table next to him.

"Yeah, in a minute," Ximena has to get herself something to eat too. A thoughtful look, as she heads over to the smaller buffet line. No chili for her, but she does pick up two sandwiches, what looks to be spinach or greens of some kind, two cups of juice and starts back, settling into the empty space once she's set down her tray and pulled the empty seat out of the way. "Something on your mind?"

Lysander looks after the older woman briefly and then directs his attention away from the chili and her in order to make the area around him more neat and prim, and vaguely proper. The map is crisply folded into squares and placed underneath the cover of one of his notebooks which is then stacked onto the other as the rest of the thing come together. When Ximena returns, he's reaching for his spoon again and holds it up just so he can place it behind his teeth. He also holds it there, looking at what she's gathered. "The usual, dear, the usual," he finally breaks the silence. "Death, glory, mayhem, hope - an' I've got a bit of a wargame to figure out. How're you, Mena?"

"Getting back into the swing of things. Had a couple of days of R&R down on the planet, got a bit chewed up, but I'm fine now. Been going over grids and layouts for the freighter, seeing how we can further subdivide to make the housing as efficient and high capacity as possible. Work's been work, you know." It's not as though anything terribly interesting ever much happens on the engineering deck. "Sounds as though you've been getting back into the swing of things."

Lysander drops the spoon back down into the chili and actually bothers with eating some this time around, though most of his attention still seems to be far from it. He's listening to Ximena. "Never left it, I don't think, or I can't much leave it - but," he adds, lifting his spoon into the air and gesturing between the two of them with it. "I'd hug you if I could right now, preoccupied aside, in thanks, for what you told me. It helped. But between you an' me…" He trails off quietly in order to look on conspiratorially towards the engineer: "I'm afraid it won't last."

Ximena eats neatly, quickly, moving from one part of the plate to another. She isn't a mixing foods sort of person, no. "Nothing lasts forever, Garret. The trick is to do everything you can to make it last as long as it can. That takes work and time and patience and energy. But there's no point in looking for the failure and risking ignoring the success."

"Contrary to popular belief, I'd like my sanity to stay intact forever," the man even winks with his half-smile rather than be serious about it; not wholly serious, at least, he rather did shed some emotion in thanking her for being her. Garret takes another spoonful and chews it down before idly asking in turn. "Well, I know you haven't begun an all work an' no play school of thought around here, but, since we hardly are together nowadays what happened with this chewing up?"

"Well, you've got at least a few more good years left in you, at least, so that's something, isn't it? Before I need to put you down like a dog?" Ximena finishes the greens first, before she turns to the sandwich, nearly interspersing bites with sips of her juice, "Got dark and I didn't know the terrain, lost traction on the ground and ended up taking a tumble." Which, is not nearly as neat as she makes it sound, being as she is. "I'm fine."

"Yeah, it's something…" It's mentioned offhandedly by Lysander as he continues to eat, which then leads to a soft but dry chuckle at the thought of being put down like a dog. He doesn't verbally comment though; no, instead, he sits there in wait for her real response. His gaze lifts up from his bowl and spoon in order to look in her direction. His expression sober, he searches her expression. The moment passes and he gives a small nod of his head. "You're fine then." Still, the care is evident enough in the man.

Ximena reaches down, patting the side of her chair, "Just let me know. I've got a bullet with your name painted on it." A morbid joke, perhaps, or just a holdover from those last few terrible weeks on the surface of a mostly dead world, "Yeah. I had to get some stitches, but I'm back at work, as you can see. Don't be such a nervous nelly."

Lysander holds up his spoon and angles it in the direction that she had just patted, knowingly. He gives a light nod of his head rather than speak up just yet and offers a wry smile. It begins to fade but he begs for it to remain, leaving just a half-smirk and him reaching forward with one hand to pat her nearest one twice. "I know you can take care of yourself, an' you're a pretty frakkin' strong woman, but every single time I stop to think, or take a break, I remember what we've been through. Worrying is second nature now, go figure," he's sarcastic about it, enough to try and laugh it off before returning to his meal.

"Can't spare your worrying for me anymore. You've got eleven people under you again, who need all of your time and energy. Not to mention yourself. Most of the time, there's nothing going on with me for you too worry about, unless it's hitting my thumb with a hammer, or accidentally shocking myself with a live wire. You're the one that's always off god knows where, doing god knows what, with god knows who." Sandwich finishes, Ximena settles with just her drink, pushing aside the tray to give her more room to move around comfortably.

"I can multi-task, Mena," quietly explains Lysander before she's given a chance to truly argue against the contrary. By tones alone, one could notice the simple desire on wanting to worry over her. A part of him likes it. The rest of his parts makes him finish his bowl of chili and he pushes the cup and tray forward, leaving the spoon to remain in his right hand. He places an elbow at the edge of the table and then puts the spoon aside so that his chin can be placed into the palm of his raised hand. He faces Ximena like such and he looks on pointedly. "That doesn't help anything, huh? Because I think we switched roles." He helped her back on Sagittaron, now she helps him on the Cerberus. He looks away in order to avoid impolite staring contests.

"I know you can, and I honestly appreciate it. But you honestly haven't got any reason to. I'm doing pretty well, though I'm not having any luck convincing anyone to let me put in some ramps to make it easier for me to move around. Can't change the world for one person and all that. But I'm okay, really. It's you who need to be careful." A nod, as Lysander gets to the heart of the matter, "That's my point exactly. I'm the one supposed to be doing the looking out now."

Lysander turns his gaze back in the direction of Ximena and he focuses in on her. They have thus reached the heart of the matter and a large part of the marine feels rather proud in having expertly navigated to it. The corners of his mouth quirk with an appreciative smile and it's one that reaches the entirety of his face. "You do realize you have a better backside to be lookin' out for, wheels and all, right?"

"I don't know about that. That Robison's not too bad looking, when you see him going." Too bad the view when he's walking towards you is a bit…OMGRUN. "You've got a good group looking out for you, and looking up to you, Garret. They couldn't want for a better team leader. And you should see what I have in store for The Chair, its going to be pretty spectacular."

Lysander snorts and laughs and he does it good-naturedly. That leaves him grinning back at her as he listens and with the two of them coming to their usual of understandings he gives a slow, eased nod of his head. "An' I've got you, so I'm feeling pretty perfect right about now - even if we argue like some old couple at times. I like it. You're… you, you mean a lot." He pulls his head up from his hand so that he can fold his forearms casually in front of him, leaning forward so that he can still face her. "Going for some upgrades," he huffs a thoughtful note from the depths of his throat, "Now this I have to hear."

Ximena finishes her drink, setting the cup aside as well. She'd go back for something else, but, well, it'd just be more of the same so…not that appealing. "You're the closest thing I have to family anymore, now. I was just telling Cameron you're what I sort of picture a brother to be like…if I knew what it was like to have one." Only child, ftw. "Family looks out for each other, you know?" A hand rises waving off the last, "I'm not going to be revealing anything, until I get everything worked out and find the right parts."

Lysander opens his mouth to speak up to Ximena in response to the comment about being a little brother but he inhales deeply instead and lets it pass without argument. He even does well in hiding any emotion about it. He nods once and then once more, sitting up now. A look is given when it comes to her not revealing anything. "Well then," the marine finally states with half a smile, "If you need help, you know how to find me."

If there's anything amiss in Lysander's world, Ximena clearly doesn't notice anything of the sort, and instead turns to pulling out the plans she had tucked away inside her backpack, or at least stuck inside, pulling the rolls out and setting them on the table, "I know. But there's help, and then there's you might blow up, so you'd better stay away, you know? I haven't gotten all the kinks worked out yet."

"I'd never blow up, not my style of goin' out if ever I do have to check out," Lysander is sharp with that comment but he's also tapping his hand nearest to her against the table's surface as he looks to the plans she's wading through. He passes by the opportunity to make a joke about kinks. Instead, he asks, "Why do I have to be a brother? That's so…"

"That depends entirely on where exactly you were in relation to me at any given moment of the day." Ximena spreads the plans out. They're of the newest sister ship in the fleet, structural blueprints with hand drawn additions to make note of current use and prior use, "What would you prefer, then?"

Lysander lifts his right eyebrow and then the left slowly follows after the initial movement, so in a moment or so he ends up eyeing the older woman incredulously. He's also a touch comical about it before clearing his throat and bringing up his right hand to wave things off dismissively. "You wouldn't blow up either," his gaze lowers to the plans. They are vastly different than his stepping amongst the real deal, at least for him. "I don't know. Honestly, I don't. I wish I did, but, brother does not feel right to me. Maybe to you though, in which case, if it does, then that's totally acceptable."

Ximena pulls out some tokens, using them to weight down the edges of the blueprints, the paper much too curled to lay flat on its own, "You never know. I might go up like a piece of dry tinder." Once the blueprints are set out, she reaches back to get out some tools, pens, pencils and a couple of widgets for measurements to scale, "It seemed like the most appropriate word to describe our friendship. We went through a lot down there. That leaves a mark."

Lysander glances briefly in the direction of the tokens but his eyes are fixing themselves to the blueprints while he listens to her. He sits forward with hunched shoulders and his arms folded loosely over the breadth of his chest. Her timber comment simply gets a wry smile. After a beat passes after her words, he looks between Ximena and the plans, responding in turn, "Guess that means I'll stop being attracted to you then."

Ximena pauses, having set out the work she planned to be doing, even moving her chair so that she can look at the man sitting next to her directly. "I didn't realize that you were attracted to me to begin with, Garret. And as sweet and as flattering as that is, I'm not going to lie to you. I care about you, I worry about you, but I'm sorry, I don't feel that same sort of attraction to you. You mean the world to me, but I can't give you what's not in me to give." There's a genuine sadness in her expression, as she turns, setting about cleaning up all of the work she neatly laid out, "I'd better go."

Lysander dryly laughs and uses his mobility and lack of needing to clean to his advantage. His things are swept up into his offhand and he picks up his tray with the other, giving a shake of his head. "Don't worry about it. I'm done here as is." There's a slight exhale forced through his nose, stopping him from speaking up further. After a bit of knitting his brows and standing there, he shakes his head, and begins to head away. "I might see you around."

Ximena pauses in mid-motion, watching the man beside her rising to depart himself. Noting the finality in his demeanour, and, yes, in his words, "Goodbye, Garret. In time, I hope you won't think badly of me." But the former marine knows precisely what the current marine means with his words, and she honestly can't blame him. "Thank you for saving my life." Because, after all, he did.

The aforementioned marine pauses in step and looks down to the floor before him. If he could, he'd most likely comb a hand through his hair in an effort at calming down. Instead, his hands are full, and he's left with just glancing over his shoulder towards Ximena. "Think badly of you? That's your worst fear," he snorts. "I swear to the gods that damn well better not be. I've been through enough bullshit to have the right to not have someone sorry for me. Just- Just forget I said anything, okay? You didn't notice this entire frakkin' time, then you can easily forget about it - Please. Go have fun with whoever. I'll see you later." He begins to step off again and then turns around again, "You're welcome," before turning back around to leave.

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