PHD #350: Burnt Out Confessions
Burnt Out Confessions
Summary: Bannik visits Psyche in the Recovery Room, catches up, and admits that he's overwhelmed.
Date: 11 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: None.
Psyche Bannik 
Recovery Room — Sickbay — Deck 10 — Battlestar Cerberus
A much more quiet area of Medical, this elongated room is also lined with beds. Each is similarly outfitted with privacy curtains as necessary and even the paint on the walls has been lightened in an attempt to help lift spirits. Chairs are readily available all over the place so that visitors can pull one up to talk to the patients during their recovery. Near the entrance, visiting hours are posted with a very conspicuous 'No Smoking' sign.
Post-Holocaust Day: #350

It's sometime after dinner, the night after her spectacular crash landing, and Psyche seems to be coming along rather well, all things considered. She's still dosed on morpha, so her dinner's mostly untouched, the tray pushed aside… but she's off the breathing mask, now provided with supplementary O2 through a slender tube that runs across her face, just beneath her nose. She's propped up in bed, quiescent and only half awake, vaguely paying attention to a movie on a tiny video player.

Enter Tyr Bannik. He's in his greens and looks like — well, looks like he hasn't slept since Psyche crash landed on the Deck last night. Despite his worn appearance and mussed hair from his cranial, he still comes into the Recovery Room, making a beeline for the downed pilot's bed. "Psyche?" he asks softly. "You awake? It's Tyr."

There's a spate of sleepy blinking as her attention shifts and focuses. Chances are that if there were a quiz later on what she's been watching for the past hour, she'd fail it utterly. But she passes the Recognizing Friends portion of the test with flying colors. She beams, shutting the vid player and reaching for Bannik's hand. "Banni!" Her eyelids are definitely drug-heavy, but she's awake, and makes an attempt to sit up a little straighter. "Owfrakow," she mutters, wincing. "Boy, being half barbecued sucks ass. How are you, sweetie pie?"

Bannik comes up and takes Psyche's hand — even though it might have a jabby needle in it — and leans in, kissing her lightly on the forehead. "I'm doing all right. Worried sick about you, but I'm doing all right." He goes to pull up a chair alongside her bed — the visiting chair — and goes to sit in it. "How are you feeling? They taking good care of you?"

Psyche flashes Bannik another sleepy smile, giving his hand a gentle, reassuring squeeze. "Don't worry about me, sweetheart. I'm — " she stops herself just short of the word 'fine', coughing her way hoarsely through a spate of painful-looking mirth. "Right. Okay. Maybe… 'fine' is a little bit of an overstatement. But… I'm gonna be fine. Right now… it just hurts a lot. Burns hurt. They're giving me awesome drugs, but… I'm in a hurry to be off them. Obviously. I hurts more to be out of rotation." She studies the young man fondly. "It's been ages, hasn't it?"

"Yeah. Way too long." Bannik's eyes sparkle, even though she can see the bags that he has under them. "It's been my fault. I've just been working all the time. And then I've got my prayer circle. And I need to study to learn to do more things on the Deck, so I can chip in more —" A beat. "But what's been going on with you? How are you and Decoy doing?"

"No, no, no, sweetie… fault… there's no fault between friends. We're fighting a war… and junk… and trying to have lives, too, right?" Psyche shakes her head a little, letting it loll to the side on the pillows so she can better view her visitor. "And besides — we love each other. And that doesn't change — not with time, not with anything. Right?" She gives his hand another squeeze. "I'm glad you've got your prayer circle going. I should come. I've meant to…" She smiles again. "Alex and I… we're good." She pauses a beat, then observes softly, "You look really tired, Banni. Like… more than tired. Worn down. Are you sure you're okay?"

Bannik reaches underneath his glasses, rubbing at the spot where the plastic parts press down against his nose. "Yeah. Totally. Never. Nothing's going to pull us apart." His smile now touches his lips, though there's a certain, something, in his tone. "I just work a lot, that's all. So many people and projects and things need help and I just want to try to get to all of them. And there's only so many hours in a day, so I find my hours, well — mostly in my rack time."

"I guess it'd be kind of cliche and stupid of me to say something like, 'If you burn yourself out, you can't help anyone' and 'You need to take better care of yourself' and blah, blah, blah, huh?" Psyche asks with a faint smirk. She moves her burned and bandaged arm slowly, painfully, so she can use the reasonably intact hand to double-clasp Bannik's. "But… if you burn out, you can't help anyone. And you need to take better care of yourself." She rolls her eyes. "Sorry. I have no self-control."

"But I have to, Bubbles. I have to keep working. People need me. I need to fix things. I need to take care of the people I love here, because that's all I have left." Bannik's voice is slipping from cheerful to plaintive, almost wheedling, desperate. "I did stuff that might've gotten me shot just to have a chance to try to find my family, and I couldn't find them. Tisiphone was my big sister, and she killed herself. And then you got hit —" His voice trails off. "Just. If I work hard enough, if I try harder, I won't lose anyone else." He sniffs, tears there behind his glasses. Burn himself out? He might just be already burnt.

"I'm so sorry about your family, Banni," Psyche whispers, her own eyes filling with tears. The inadequacy of her words makes her grimace. Or maybe she's overdue for another dose of morpha. Probably both. "And I miss Tis, too. So much. And Lasher. And Shiv. And Fresh. And… I know… I know what it's like to be driven by that fear. That we're going to lose someone else. Lose more, when all the losses we've suffered already are just… frakking intolerable…" She swallows hard, tears spilling over as she blinks. "But you can't, okay? You can't… martyr yourself. If you burn yourself out, you'll make mistakes, mistakes you won't be able to live with, and that means I lose you, too…" She sniffles, lifting her arm and wiping her nose on the sleeve of her hospital gown. "So you've gotta pace yourself, okay? It's — you've just gotta. When I have kids, you're going to be their gods-father."

"Oh, listen to me, Psyche. I come down here to take care of you and now I've got all you upset, too." Bannik sniffles up his tears, tries to plaster back on the Brave-Banni-Face for her. But she's seen behind it already; too late. "You know I'd be so honored to be there for your kids. And I'll be sure to teach them all about the gods and how to have a relationship with Them, just like we did, together. Promise."

Psyche nods, swallowing hand and holding on tight to Bannik's hand. "I know you will. And Cidra'll be their gods-mother. Somewhere. Someday. We're going to beat our swords into ploughshares, y'know? We're going to start living again." She takes a deep breath — one which catches in her chest, making her cough painfully again. "In the meantime," she pushes on hoarsely, "I want you to promise me — and I mean promise, I know you'd never break a promise to me — promise me you're going to throttle back a little. Like, get some sleep. Eat regular meals. And do everything in your power to make sure you're still around for someday."

Bannik winces at the painful cough. It's very hard for him to see his Bubbles hurt. "Okay. I promise. I promise. I just — I'll try to block it out. Make sure I don't try to use any more than sixteen hours in a day for things." Of course, that means that he'll still be using up all of his 'personal' time, but it's a start, right? "And we'll try to get together more, right? I've missed you."

"Apparently, I breathed in some smoke," Psyche croaks, tears from the coughing fit chasing her earlier tears of distress. She takes a more careful breath, lifting her chin to indicate the cup of water with a straw poking from it on the tray. "Could you help me with that?" she asks. His promises seem to soothe her immensely. She seems to melt down against the pillows, suddenly slack and slouchy. Possible she also just got her timed dose of morpha. "Thank you, Banni," she whispers. "So much. S'really important." Yeah, there's some slurring. Hello, drugs! "How's… your sidekick? I haven't seen… anyone barely at all. S'terrible."

Bannik can't help but laugh at that. "Sofia's okay. We went into that old, mystery ship together. Some really hot techie date, right?" Of course, it was them and a whole slew of other folks, but, hey. He keeps his hand entwined with hers. "Maybe with my time off, I'll even try to go on a date or something. With the fraternization regulations suspended, there's a whole new world of people open to me." Is that a joke? A Banni joke? Oh, yes it is.

Psyche lights up, all beamy through her pain-killer fog. "Oooo, a date!" She grins at Bannik. "A date'd be awesome. You should totally do that!" She bounces their entwined hands on the mattress beside her a couple of times for emphasis. He should TOTALLY do that. "I never understood why you didn't hook up with Sofia — she seems like such a sweet girl and she's got a bodacious bod." She nods. "Her boobs are ginormous, but not in a gross way, y'know? Annnnnyway, now that I'm an old married woman, I have to live vicariously through someone else's dating. You should get on that." She nods again, then adds, to clarify, "Dating that. Not Sofia that. Unless you want to. But I figure if you did, you'd've done it by now." She squints at him. "So weird with frat regs lifted, right? I think it might potentially make hooking up outside one's track less hot. But that's me."

All of a sudden, klaxons blare throughout the fleet. Over the alarms, Pewter's voice booms: "ACTION STATIONS! ACTION STATIONS! Set Condition One throughout the fleet! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! All Air Wing personnel report to the deck and prepare to launch immediately!"

Dot-dot-dot. Dot-dot-dot. Tyr's brain locks up. Click-click-click. Here's Psyche, talking about how he needs to hook up with Sofia. Now he sputters. "I. Well. I mean. I guess part of it is she might be infertile, so — I was worried about — and now she's into this Raptor guy, so I don't want to get in the way of that. And —" And then the alert klaxons start blaring. "Frak! Bubbles. I love you. So much. Just — rest up, okay? We'll get together soon!" And so off he goes. Off he rushes. To the Deck!

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