PHD #406: Cellmates
Summary: Constin and Sawyer finally have a standoff (while sitting down). After a few hours of yelling at each other, they get tired enough to have a civilized conversation. Did I mention they are incarcerated?
Date: 08 April 2042
Related Logs: Any related to the tag _cylonhunt.
Constin Sawyer 
A Cell in the Brig aboard the Areion
Small room. There's a reinforced door. There's a toilet.
Post-Holocaust Day: #406

The cell is large enough to accommodate more than one, yet since her incarceration, Sawyer has had the cell to herself. It is isolated from the main brig, but any doubts the reporter might have had that she alone was taken from the Cerberus are answered in short order. Multiple bootfalls approach, a full fireteam of Arieon marines come into view; one is instructing Sawyer to "Stand against the back wall," before opening the cell, assault rifle covering Sawyer. Another pair of black clad marines are dragging the bulk of a familiar face, while the fifth covers the unconscious prisoner from the back of the formation, taser in hand.

Constin hasn't fared too well; deprived of belt and bootlaces, with the sting of a tranquilizer dart visible on his neck, as well as the double-bite of a taser in two places on his torso, the Cerberus Master-at-Arms is deposited in the center of the cell and the chamber is locked again.

Sawyer is slow to respond to the marines' command, glaring daggers at the men as she slips to her bare feet and presses up against the back wall. Sure, they're 'just doing their job', but someone needs to take the blame for her current dismal mood. When Constin is pulled into the room and deposited so unceremoniously in a big heap of unconscious MP, she doesn't move. It's not until the cell clinks shut again, that she's dropping down to her knees, careless about her stockings that already have runs. "So much for a frakking rescue." If they're nabbing Cerberus personnel, too, then this little witch hunt is obviously sanctioned by Pewter. Shaking hands reach for Constin, feeling at his abused neck for a pulse. Surely they wouldn't chuck a dead man in here, would they?

The pulse is there, pounding away like a chugging diesel engine right alongside the scar tissue from a bullet wound that juuust missed the jugular. An inarticulate, semi-conscious grunt stirs in his throat after a few moments as the big marine starts to come around.

There is a sigh of relief from the reporter when she feels that throb of pulse beneath her fingertips. Good. He's alive. So what does Sawyer do? Her hand juts back out and pokes him in the sensitive area just beneath his arm, prodding at his upper ribs. Repeatedly. "Wakey wakey, big guy." Obviously, she never got the memo about letting a sleeping dog lie.

Another mumbled, wordless grunt answers the prodding, as- still feeling the fading effects of tranquilizer- Constin rolls to one side, instinctively bracing his right arm on the ground to steady himself. "GAH! Motherfrakker-" he growls in pain as the surgically repaired right arm doesn't thank him for the weight. Nothing quite like pain to clear the eyes, as Elf's narrow blue stare sharpens enough to take note of the civilian. "…Huh?"

Sawyer scrambles back at first sign of life from Constin, not wanting to get caught in the flail of sudden consciousness. She backpedals until her spine is pressed back up against the cold metal of bulkhead, letting him rouse the rest of the way of his own accord. Quiet for a long time while his eyes fight to focus, she stretches out her long legs and plucks at the hem of her skirt. "Never thought I'd say this, but you're a sight for sore eyes." Her voice comes out gravelled, as if she's tired and thirsty and hasn't had any respite from either in a while. "Looks like they're pinching everybody who raised an eyebrow."

Constin mutters wordlessly in immediate answer, swallowing once and making an unpleasant face. As Sawyer speaks, the big marine turns a sidelong look back her way and drawls, "Figure they're listening in on anything we say. Having said that-" he looks toward the ceiling, "Frak you sonsabitches," before turning an eye back to Sawyer. "What you know about alla this?"

Sawyer snorts a version of laughter at his ceiling-directed explative. "And they probably have eyes on us too, if you want use any particular hand gestures for effect." She hauls up a foot only to hitch it over the other, crossing her legs at the ankle. "I know that I was on my way to Pete's when three marines I've never seen rolled up with a warrant for my arrest for being a cylon agent. You?"

"Arieon personnel," Constin answers, stretching his back with a muted pop, as he braces the intact left hand on the floor to steady himself, as the marine scoots his bulk toward a non Sawyer-occupied wall od the cell, leaning his back against it for stability. He apparently didn't trust his balance to walk. "The fact they even called it a 'warrant' is frakking hi-larious," the marine mutters. "Military police don't get 'warrants'. Apparently, on Arieon they don't get chain of command neither, cause it were an illegal arrest when they came for me. Which, from where I'm sitting? Says they couldn't count of support for this shit from Cerb command."

"So you don't think this /was/ sanctioned by Cerberus." The blonde can't help but fidget, not having the composure to try and hide the nervous gesture. "They're not operating by any standard of the law that I can follow. They should be limited to twenty four hours of being able to hold us without pressing formal charges, right? But yet they mentioned that in two to three days we'd be released if by then they don't think we're frakking skinjobs." She's actually looking to him for pointers on military law, as she has only really had to deal with civilian. Until now. "Frakking meaning the adjective. Not the verb. Though, that stands to reason as to why you're here." Because of his deceased wife, of course, who was accused of being one.

"Hell nah," Constin snorts to the notion of Cerb sanctioning the arrests. "They made a half assed effort to look like it were official, but it ain't. By the book, military personnel can be detained for twenty four hours before their commanding officer must either press charges or end incarceration. Civilians aboard a military vessel can be held at the discretion of the Master-at-Arms, but the same twenty-four hours is usually observed. Then again-" he adds, dryly, his working class voice tarnishing an otherwise professional and polished string of words. "Seeing as how I wasn't arrested legal, either? They can pretty much hold us long as they want, since they already airlocked the Code of Justice. Don't you just hate it when folks think they're too good to follow the regs?" he asks, bone dry in tone as he eyes Sawyer with that last.

And there comes that aforementioned gesture Sawyer had previously suggested he give the cameras, only now the reporter is aiming that middle finger at Constin. "Frak you. See? I can say that now, seeming how we're both in this hell together. You can't arrest me for disrespecting your uniform or whatever." Juvenile maybe, but Sawyer's had somewhat of a Bad Day. "Just because I do things differently than you would, Mister Code of Justice, doesn't mean I'm any less of a person than you, or don't have any frakking respect for the system. The shit I find out by using my oh-so-inappropriate means? Would make your head freakin' roll. And if people like you would get the cotton out of your ears and the stick out of your ass, maybe we wouldn't even be in this situation."

"Can't say as for me, but YOU sure as damnation wouldn't be in here if you'd followed the rules," Constin rebuts flatly. "See, difference between you and me ain't what you think it is. It ain't me thinking I'm better than you, or hating on civvies, or whatever else you tell yourself. It's plain and simple that I do my job. Nothing more, nothing less. And you refuse to take a job. You refuse to enlist, but then demand more than any civvie deserves. It ain't about 'less of a person'," he sneers the words. "It's just that you show zero respect for the system that keeps you alive. That stick up my ass? Is what keeps folks standing after going through all the shit we've seen."

Sawyer looks as if she wants to spout something in retort, but she glances to the ceiling again to remind herself that here are eyes and ears everywhere. Gritting her teeth against the words that want to flow, it takes her a minute to compose herself in order to focus on other points of the conversation. "You're damn right I won't enlist. If enlist, it would put further constraints on me and my ability to fetter out news that the civilians - the human populous - deserves to know. You think everyone was better off not knowing there could be survivors on Gemenon? That some might even have family there? Hope? That was Kepner's plan. Bury that AAR so far in your beloved rules that they could go and do something like wipe out the Falls with a strategic strike and no one would be the wiser." At the notion, she narrows her eyes at where she assumes the camera is, hoping with every fiber that wasn't the plan. Slowly she pulls her eyes back to Constin's face. "I /get/ what you do. I /respect/ what you do. And not just because you think I don't want to be the one to do it. I wouldn't be alive had I not been on Picon Anchorage that day. I wouldn't still be alive if people like you hadn't pulled our asses off Leonis. But will I sit idle on the Elpis like a good little civilian and wag my tail every time the military rolls in to pat me on the head? No. Because I have a frakking job to do, and whether you like it or not, if that includes being so far up your ass that I could dig out not only what you had for breakfast, but when was the last time you brushed your teeth? I'm going to do it." Sawyer folds her arms over her chest, "Still. I take solace in the fact that if I did join the Fleet? I'd get a commission and /your/ ass would have to salute me."

"You stuck up little girl," Constin mutters back, resting his head against the wall at his back. "Civilians deserve to live. To survive. I can't even begin to imagine how important you are inside your own little head to decide that you know so much better than everybody else. So much better than the big, bad military who only wants to crush freedom. That Sawyer frakking Averies always knows best, even when-" He bites off that last, lest he re-emphasize what their captors might sieze upon in Sawyer's rant. "Gotta admire how flexible you must be, to kiss your own ass like that." A snort, "And hell yes, I'd salute. I've saluted worse, and I will again. Because it is not my frakking place to decide which officers I do and don't obey. Rules are there because smarter folk than me put them there for good reason."

"I'm not more important than those people aboard the Elpis, I don't think that. That's where you're dead wrong." Sawyer's voice quiets down, now that the wind is seeping out of her sails. "I'm just trying to serve them, like you are." She closes her eyes and tilts her head back, thunking it against the bulkhead. "Our Colonies were built on a system of checks and balances. Without them, people like you and me end up in some crazed ass cell together, under charges of being an enemy agent. All I do is get the civilians the information they need to make informed decisions as a whole. As a government. Fat lot of good that's done me or them, right?"

"What government would that be?" Constin asks back, dryly. "What you did is act as an agent of espionage. civilians can't even decide anything right now, woman- frak's sake this is a war zone. That shit used to be called 'treason' you know, yeah?" Although the profanities continue to liven up his speech, the big marine's manner is not angry. Annoyed, certainly, but mostly tired. Belatedly, there is a dry sniff of bittersweet humor at the 'crazed ass cell' line. "The system does come with checks and balances. What you don't seem to see is that when you go outside that system like you do? It breaks down those checks and balances within the military. we NEED order and discipline.. nowadays more than ever."

"This is what you call discipline, is it? Or are you trying to pin our current situation on me? I'm not the one that propagated this paranoia, in fact, I was rallying against it. Contrary to popular belief, I /am/ a big fan of due process. Of acting on fact and truth." Sawyer doesn't open her eyes, she just continues the conversation with her face tilted towards the light. "Like I'm not the one that actually leaked that AAR about Gemenon. But you're more than happy to operate on that belief, haven't you been?"

"And that's another thing- when did your job become 'inspiring hope'? I thought reporters were supposed to present plain fact," Constin mutters, before addressing the rest of her comments. "For the frakking record, I didn't figure you'd be stupid enough to leak the Ay-Ay-Ar. Hadn't had time to investigate proper, so haven't set up a list of suspects, just yet. I'll be sure to put it on my 'to-do' list," he adds, irate out of helplessness. "And this ain't paranoia that landed us here. This was a lot of jackholes who decided they knew better than to follow procedure. They didn't trust the system, so they ignored it when it got inconvenient. So there you go- you and them got something in common: I think alla you are some entitled sonsabitches."

"At what frakking point did I say my job was to inspire hope? But if I can give them news that does just that? More's the better. That's what makes the job worthwhile." There's a small shake of Sawyer's head, and she finally opens her dark brown eyes to cut across the space between her and Constin. "You know what? Just shut the frak up, how about that? The only thing that matters to you is your military, your rank and file, and your gun. I'm just a stupid civilian you want to sit down and shut up, play nice, and be oh so grateful that I no longer have a say in my life."

"About two breaths back," Constin rebuts to Sawyer's question of 'when she said that'. "S'better to be honest, straight up. Not to sugar coat nothing." As the reporter's strained patience wears thin, the marine lets out a long breath at her description of him. "Probably makes your shit a lot easier to deal with thinking of me like that, don't it?" he wonders aloud, a wry curl twisting his words. "In the end it ain't on me if you can't handle losing control of your life. 'Bout the only control any of us have had for the last year is how we choose to stare down 'some day'."

"I said that news of survivors on Gemenon might bring them hope. If you're going to quote me, at least have the decency to get it right." Sawyer snaps at him, pushing hair behind her ear with an impatient hand. Unable to contain the bubble of andrenaline any longer, she pushes to her feet and takes a pace or two along the wall. "Impending doom by Cylon attack I can handle. I've come to terms with. This shit? Being locked in a cell with you?!" She's by the cell door now, her fists balling up at her sides and she beats the portal in a futile gesture. "FRAKKING ASSHOLES." Steaming, she turns around to fume in the general direction fo the MP. "I don't think about you. Ever. Sorry, sweetheart."

"You call this hell?" Constin returns, with a snort. "Lady, I came from downtown Hades way before the world ended. This?" A short look around the cell. "Ain't but a Friday." Resting the cast that contains his right forearm across his stomach, he turns a dry eye toward the ranting Sawyer at the door. "That's the plain truth, ain't it? Sawyer Averies can't be bothered to think about anybody who might disagree with her."

"No, I make a special effort just for you, asshat." Sawyer paces away from the door, then back. Then flicks a glance over at Constin again and folds her arms over her stomach. Huff. There's something on her mind, but she just can't spit it out.

"Lucky me," Constin drawls back, flatly. "You oughta be happy, this is probably the longest I've ever gone without calling a civvie 'ma'am'," he notes flatly in acknowledgment of the less than standard interaction he and the reporter have just had. Belatedly, he regards the civilian's discomfort, going quiet for a moment to see what words escape next.

"You never meant it anyways." In regards to the 'ma'am' part, but Sawyer's too distracted to put any real venom in it. She growls beneath her breath, then declares the source of her current frustrations. "I have to pee."

"Lady, what you know about me could fit in a hat," Constin returns to the reporter's first words, before Sawyer's latter predicament draw an even, "Oh." Damn civilians and their modesty. Shifting his weight, the big marine climbs to his feet, and- after a moment of leaning against the wall- will move to grasp the bars at the front of the cell with his intact left hand. Narrow regard turned out to the corridor outside, and back to the rear of the cell, he mutters, "Go on, then."

There's a shuffle of feet behind him as Sawyer scurries to the far wall of their little cell, doing her best to arrange herself and her skirt in such a manner that she doesn't give the cameras a show. The reporter is quick about her business, but she uses uncomfortable conversation to camouflage the telltale noises. Modesty indeed. "I was wrong. I was wrong to come to you in the Hub that day right after the attack. I could have gone to the hangar for medical attention easily enough, and I abused my clearances for personal reasons. I was wrong to do it." Which is as close to an apology as he's going to get. Before he can think on that too long, there's a flush behind him and a quiet. "You can turn around now."

"Did you know it when you did? Or was that that one of them.. 'hindsight twenty-twenty' kinda things?" Constin wonders in reply, eyes still fixed on the little corner of the ship visible outside the cell, even after Sawyer voices her permission for him to turn around. "Either way, I'm plenty used to folk cutting in line cause they can." Half-turning, he sends a backward glance to the reporter, as he adds, "Ain't trying to dig at you in particular by saying so. Just.. the way some folks are: they deserve a bit more than everyone else. Never could stomach those types."

He already told her that her answer doesn't matter, and so Sawyer doesn't feel the need to supply one. She retreats to the little square of cell she's claimed as her own and sinks down against the wall back to her rump. "That hat thing goes both ways." Her fingernail pokes into one of the runs on her panty hose, and she follows the line. Idly, she makes it wider with her actions, but they were ruined anyways.

"True enough," he returns to the hat comment. "Well. Seeing as how neither of us got the chance to get the frak out, hows'about you tell me just how wrong I've been all this time in thinking you're some little rich girl who's never had to wonder where a meal's coming from, and had a whole wall full of certificates to prove how smart you are." A terse exhale follows the words. "That probably came out sharper than I meant it to," he mutters a moment later.

"Don't be so hard on yourself, that's pretty much spot on. Of course you left out the parts about my father's incessant adultery, my mother's habit of mixing anti-anxiety meds with martinis, and the bit about me struggling my entire senior year of highschool to ensure I'd get a scholarship so I could get out from underneath that shadow. But those are just the silly dalliances of the rich, right? I couldn't possibly be anything other than shallow, vapid, and petty. But at least I look good doing it." Or did, seeming how Sawyer's pretty much unraveling her stockings, at the moment.

Constin snorts a short chuckle at the elaboration of Sawyer's problems. "Pretty much, yeah," he notes dryly to her woes being the 'silly dalliances of the rich'. "A daddy that frakked around and a momma that didn't care? School was hard? Shit, lady. You probably don't even see how those kinda problems are frakking luxuries. Your momma's biggest problem was she didn't have to work and was bored? Ain't saying it was fun for you or nothing, but shit-" A shake of his head, as he turns back around, leaning his back against the bars to face Sawyer. "I ain't gonna get into a pissing match about what makes a life hard, but damned if you don't sound like one of them characters on the tee-vee shows the teenagers used to watch. Knew a fella once called them 'pretty white folks with problems' shows."

Sawyer mms. "Funny. I knew you'd say something along those lines. Yes, I'm sorry I never had to eat dirt. And I'm sorry that my father didn't beat the ever loving shit out of me every day. I'm sorry I always had shoes on my feet, and there was always something in the kitchen when my stomach rumbled." Somehow, that little rant doesn't really seem aimed at the man Sawyer shares a cell with. "But damned if I haven't tried to understand what it's like. None of us have homes any more. None of us. For once, humanity is on a pretty even keel. Do you know why I run around a Battlestar in skirts and suits all the time? Because the minute we started pulling up civilians, I donated all my comfortable clothes. I don't even own a pair of jeans anymore. So I have suits and one set of pajamas and one pair of blacks that I was assigned by the marines. Because they damn well deserve to be comfortable." And a sweatshirt, but that goes unsaid.

"Listen, it ain't like I'm anything special. Hell, back home what I did was normal," Elf returns. "And for once, you and me agree on something: we are all on pretty much the same page. Which is why it pisses me off so much when I see folks trying to get ahead, on account of who they are, or who they used to be, or the way they EXPECT things to go." Narrow blue eyes fix on Sawyer. "For as much as you say you've tried to understand what it's like to get stepped over by folks who count theirselves above you, I don't think you see that from where a 'poor stupid marine who only cares about his gun' is sitting it looks an awful lot like what you've been doing. for however much good you do and try to do, you still put yourself above the rest of us." A drawn breath, "And just so you know, my daddy worked hard til the day he died, and never once whupped me when I didn't deserve it."

"Yeah well. Last thing I need to do is prove anything to you." There's a brief pause. "But damn, I miss those jeans." There's a smirk that springs to Sawyer's lips and she snorts that little not-quite laugh again. Suddenly it's as if Sawyer has realized she's fidgeting, or maybe that she was dangerously close to a good mood for a half a second there, she gives a petulant shrug. "For the record, I've never once thought you were stupid. While we're on the subject." Why she pulled her poor tattered hose up after she used the head is beyond even her, and now her hips lift off the floor and her shoulders dig into the bulkhead as she yanks the material down by the thighs of it and works it off her legs.

"Huh," Constin grunts flatly to Sawyer's declaration that she needs to prove nothing to him. The missing of those jeans does elicit a short, sharp sniff in a sound not entirely removed from amusement. "Oh, I bet you've thought that at least once or twice," Elf drawls with a crooked twist to his lip as Sawyer claims to have never thought him stupid. The undertaking of clearing ruined hose draws the curiosity, "Why the hell you still wear those? Not just now-" he clarifies as the civilian is already removing them. "Just in general. Don't make a whole lotta sense."

"Because they make your legs look smooth, hides the flaws." Sawyer says automatically while she balls up the ruined hose and tosses them into the corner. It's one of those canned responses like saying why she wears heels as opposed to flats. "And sometimes you need routine. Like something so silly as wearing pantyhose will make you forget that you're on a big floating tincan in the middle of space and it gets to the point where you'll ever wonder if you'll see a sunrise again without the benefit of some anti-rads. But soon I'll be down to my last pair." And then what?

"Zat so?" Constin returns dryly. "So… vanity, then?" cracking a tight grin afterward. "Routine I can get," he notes off handedly, idly rolling his right shoulder in a slow stretch, and producing another muted pop deep in the muscle. "So you got any notion as to why these jackoffs might be inclined to think you're a cylon, moreso than anybody else?"

"Because I'm pushy, nosy, and Kepner seemed to show personal affront that I questioned the motives of MolGen. Other than that, wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity to snuff out someone like me? Save you all from the headache that is Sawyer Averies? No more righteous bitches asking questions no one wants to answer." The Journalist's eyes scan down his form, "How's your arm?" Not that she cares, right?

"Ain't like you're the only woman in the fleet," Constin returns, deadpan to Sawyer's litany of 'pushy, nosy, and troublesome'. To one who knows him, the twist at the corner of his mouth is the second best thing to a full on grin, but to anyone else, it's barely distinguishable from a stoneface. "Eh, it's more plate than bone by now, it'll be fine. Here's hoping their idea of a test don't involve metal detectors, yeah?"

Sawyer doesn't miss the little tick of his mouth like that, and she ruefully answers by sticking out her tongue for that little implication. Immature? You bet. But she's allowed, given the circumstances, right? "It's not the metal detectors I'd be worried about, but an MRI machine. Those puppies have been known to pull the lead out of jailhouse tattoos before. Does it hurt?"

"If I ever had a jailhouse tattoo, I'd let you know," Constin returns, before answering the question more usefully. "Nah, not so much anymore. Itches more than hurts. Like the insides of your bones are itching. S'a helluva thing," the marine notes with a shake of his head.

"I wouldn't know. I haven't so much as broken my big toe. I did get shot, though, once. I can't say that was thrill ride, but certainly not the same as what you've gone through. Funny enough, it was before even Warday. I made it up from Leonis and those other missions without so much as a real scratch." The blonde smiles honestly, though it's slight. "Maybe that's why I'm stuck in here, huh?" She gestures towards her neck, "How'd you get that one?" Scar, presumably.

"Which one?" Elf clarifies at her query. He points at first to one on his neck, then one at the joint of neck and shoulder, and then another below the ear, waiting for some reaction to indicate which one she meant. The big man's skin is a patchwork of wounds. The medical staff had stopped keeping count after thirty. "This one was on Aerilon. When the cylons broke that long stretch of quiet? Had a bunch of folks on the ground that needed evacuating. Held off the centurions til the birds were loaded and ready, took a few hits in the bargain. Only remember cause it bled so damned much," he notes with a sniff. "Cad's the same way. Lucky bastard ain't seen so much as a scratch, even with the shit he's waded through."

Sawyer seems suitably subdued from her earlier frenzy as the time ticks on. There's only the waiting now, and it's easier to do when you're occupied. With Elf being the only source of entertainment, it's easy to default to him. And she doesn't look as if the notion is quite so painful, at the moment. "Cadmus. I really don't get a chance to see Good Housekeeping much anymore. A shame that, but life gets away from us all, doesn't it? Even when we're all crammed together in a little eco system such as this."

"You say 'Good Housekeeping'?" Constin queries with an uneven peer. shaking his head and stepping toward the wall, so as to lower his weight to the floor and have a seat, the Gunnery Sergeant drawls further on the subject of their mutual acquaintance. "Lucky little shit, him. Fella's been busy as a sinner on sunday last few months."

Sawyer gives a little chuck of laughter that seems closer to the real thing than her earlier snorts, "That's the magazine he was reading when we first met. You'd think if he were going to read a rag, he'd at least read /mine/." There's a roll of her eyes, as she ackowledges that yes, that's a conceited thing for her to say, before he even has a chance to point that fact out.

"…Bullshit," Constin accuses without ire. Cadmus' reading material is apparently a bit unlikely in the eyes of the big Canceron. "Think he used up your rag earlier. Logistics shortage after launch, Three Em was scrounging for janitorial supplies." there's that quirk to the corner of his lip again.

It doesn't look like they'll be visited by their captors anytime soon, so Sawyer twists to stretch out on the floor, keeping her back against the wall. "Ha ha." She says dryly. Crooking her arm to use it as a pillow, Sawyer regards him for a long time with her steady, brown eyes before they finally close with a parting "Try not to wake me up. Asshole." But this time, it doesn't sound quite like she means it.

Constin grunts wordlessly in acknowledgment, once again resting his cast encased arm across his stomach, back to the wall. A short nod is his only answer, as narrow blue eyes shift from the reporter to the comically useless sight of his service boots, bereft of their laces.

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