PHD #012: Ensign vs. Shoe
Ensign vs. Shoe
Summary: Tisiphone finally gets the spar she's been itching for. It doesn't end as anticipated.
Date: 2041.03.10
Related Logs: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank)
Arkat Tisiphone 

--[ Athletics Area ]-----------------------[ Deck 12 - Battlestar Cerberus ]--
Post Holocaust Day: #12

A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=--------------------------------------

The supper-hour has come and gone, and much of the Cerberus is starting to slow down before sleep. Not so for Tisiphone — in amongst the scattering of other evening exercisers, she sits upon the training mats closest the punching-bags, stretching out in preparation of…gods alone know what. Barefoot, her boots and socks tucked away near the wall, next to her water bottle, she moves through a series of stretches, sleet-blue eyes focussed somewhere beyond the Cerberus's walls.

Looking bright-eyed and bushy tailed is not an easy task to accomplish on a military vessel, doubly so when it's the evening. Arkat is pretty good at faking it, however, having been stuck on the light duty night roster the day before. Where everyone else has post-supper workouts going on, his is 'Just woke up.' With his off-duty gear and only the tank-top of such being worn, two un-gauzed and slowly scarring bullet wounds in the right arm and shoulder explain why he's going for a treadmill, and not some freeweights.

It's a bit like yoga. A bit. There's some posture-holding, and a sort of too-slow, ritualized movement to it. Tisiphone's attention remains out beyond the Cerberus's walls until someone travels past her unfocussed stare. She blinks once, gaze pulling back to the room and tracking to land on her distraction. Arkat. Another blink, and the gaze sharpens, not necessarily friendly. She rolls her wrists sharply, making the tiny bones floating inside crackle.

Arkat's got twofold skills that count, here. Being a theatre student in a school commended for grooming potential marines gave 14-year-old him a sixth sense for being stared at in the overly familiar way that Tisiphone is doing right now. Becoming a marine anyway gave him a second sixth sense for exactly the same thing. The alarmbells that ring in his head are outright deafening as a result. "G'frakin'whatyeargh-HELLO." He swivels his neck like an electrocuted owl to focus on the woman staring. She's by the punching bags and she's staring at -him-. There's only one reasonable response to that. His good arm raises a little, and she gets a little wave from his fingers.

Surely a coincidence. The mats must have been simply /crammed/ with people when she came in, cruelly leaving her by the punching bags instead of, say, the wiffle-ball bats. This may be Tisiphone's evil, identical twin — the one that didn't apologize in the laundry room, but stayed behind in the Viper berthings, stabbing rusty pins into a Marine doll — because it's a cold little finger-wave and a smile that wouldn't dream of thawing her eyes that's returned. "You're looking less shot today." Perhaps she was hoping for gangrene.

"If it makes you feel better, I'm really not feelin' any less shot." Arkat's trying to disarm with humor. That much is obvious in the tone alone as he walks on over, giving the pilot a quick eye-over with a suprisingly warm smile before crouching to undo his own shoelaces. Treadmill is off the books, it seems. Punching bags for all! "Did you know-" He continues, standing straight without kicking away the shoes just yet "-that your eyes get this look to them when you're contemplating impending violence?"

Tisiphone is working out too much, or sleeping too little, or eating too rarely or, most likely, all of the above. To each their own methods of coping with the unfathomable — hers appears to be to put her head down like a spear-maddened bull and charge directly into the pit, trusting the light at the other end will appear before her legs give out. The sleety stare skitters away from the smile like a vampire at a sunbeam; instead, she stands and starts stretching her arms. Observe the shoulder-rotations that would hurt like a thousand devils for the Marine. "I probably do. I'm crap for lying." Stretch, twist. "What's got you so pleased with yourself?"

In contrast, Arkat looks pretty damn healthy. Apart from the whole 'being shot' thing, anyway. Plenty of sleep, plenty of food and plenty of 'not being punched in the face repeatedly' have served him well for the past couple of weeks. Also trying to ignore the end of the worlds helped, too. "Productivity. Actually got something sent up the chain of command that came back down with positive answers." Which is like, the holy grail for a marine. It explains the smile, which falters a little at her shoulder-rotations. It's like she's doing them to spite him! "That and it beats soul-crushing hatred of myself for getting someone killed." It's so upbeat and matter-of-fact that it's entirely plausible to think he didn't say those precise words. But he did. Somehow. While smiling, no less. "So. You gonna punch that bag or just flirt with it via body movements?"

Some beautiful golden day, Tisiphone may admit there's more to Marine training than learning the optimal firing pattern for liquefying a family of five. Coping mechanisms. They're a beautiful thing. "Yeah. You're sounding all terribly bent outta shape over it again," she says over her shoulder. Back to the Marine, light punching gloves being collected. As she turns, her voice sharpens, snippishly: "Keep your panties on, Princess- or were you volunteering to step in as a substitute?"

"Beats offing myself in a closet somewhere, no matter how much you'd enjoy that." Candid, but with a glimmer of humor. Oh, Marines. "And replacing the bag depends on if you're gonna punch it or flirt with it." Galyian actually snickers a little, brushing what little hair he has with a hand before hopping his weight from foot to foot. "If it's one of the above-" His head nods upwards sharply. "You can throw me some gloves. I get the feeling I'd need a pair for both, anyway."

"I'd light a candle for you," Tisiphone replies, smiling that slush-cold smile again. "For lo!- thither passeth a Marine possessing of conscience and regret." The religious cadence comes easily, unsurprisingly. Another pair of gloves are tossed over — not at the face, but higher than necessary. How's the shoulder feeling? She's wrestling with the left glove a bit — it only fits so well over the bulky cuff in permanent residence there. "You always flirt at times like this?" She takes two paces back, bounces on the balls of her feet. Fingers twitching in the gloves. "Trouble with keeping girlfriends? Shoot 'em by accident, you know?"

"We all have regrets, you know." Arkat takes a glove to the throat, his good hand raising to catch the other while his chin drops down to pin the too-soft-to-windpipe-crush projectile until he can put it on. Speech is a little strained until then. "But unless you learn to put 'em aside they eat you right up." Glove number two, rubbing against a slight smattering of stubble as it's pulled out. "And of course I do." He even winks. Right at her. It's with his busted white eye, but still; That's possibly about 'teabagging a tiger' on the danger scale. "Flirting reminds me I'm not supposed to break your neck. And I've never shot a girlfriend by accident." He doesn't go into any details beyond that. Although he doesn't have to, gloves are on. "You crack me in the head with that, I get to beat you with a shoe." His head nods to the braid, shaking out both shoulders and arms while kicking the shoes away.

They don't build Viper pilots to be humble, that's for sure — the passing comment about getting her neck broken results in an I'd-like-to-see-you-try smirk. They seemingly don't build them for perspective or common sense, either. Something about the reference to her soma braid hardens Tisiphone's eyes from slush to splintery ice, pushing her even further from a calm and centered sparring mindset. "Like I'd frakking add your blood to it," she nearly spits. Hands up in a high guard, she shuffles forward. The dance is afoot.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Melee vs Arkat:Melee
< Tisiphone: Failure Arkat: Failure
< Net Result: Both Fail.

And so the dance begins. They probably should have decided who was going to lead beforehand, however. Really, it would have stopped Tisiphone's testing but angry swing from looking like something thrown in a bar after aboout 5 whiskeys too many. It also would have stopped Arkat from looking so smug right before he blocked it with his bad shoulder. 'Right Before' being because the second a fist hits, he's yelping in pain like a scolded child and hopping backwards on fast feet, sucking air in through his teeth and grabbing the afflicted shoulder with his other hand. "Ow. Ow. OW!"

Tisiphone been working on her temper for many years. Medication. Meditation. Exercise. Prayer. Three of the four don't work all the time, but let her fly the zoom-zooms and make with the pew-pews. When she's not taking the first opening — which is, of course, /never/ a real opening — like a belligerent drunkard, she even comes across like someone who spent some time learning to fight. Good sparring manners draw her back after the hit, out of reflex — then the realization of what just happened kicks in. "Sorry, did that hurt?" She asks — taunts, really — eyes glittery with adrenaline and very intent.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Melee vs Arkat:Melee
< Tisiphone: Terrible Failure Arkat: Success
< Net Result: Arkat wins big.

"Yes! Imagine my suprise!" Arkat retorts, jaw set and teeth clenched as he tries to rub away the pain coming from somewhere inside his shoulder. It seems as though he'd still be smiling if it wasn't for the trying to rid himself of pain. Satisfied it's not going to kill him somehow, his arms drop back down and he relaxes the jaw. It still hurts, but not enough to stop him from stepping in and to the left of his PilotSpar partner. His right knee goes up as he sidesteps, and Tis gets to block it with her gut. The left hand on the back of her neck throwing her over the knee with momentum as it's guide doesn't help, either.

First blood, even if it's only figurative. Tisiphone shows all the tactical restraint of a shark at the beach on Toddler's Day as she closes in for another attack. The quick and unsporting jab at the face swiffs through empty air as Arkat sidesteps — and then it all goes horribly wrong. Crumpling down with the wheeze of impact-emptied lungs, upended like a hundred-ten or hundred-fifteen pound sack of flour, she hits the gymnastic mat with what would have been a deeply satisfying *SMACK* — if only it had been the Marine, and not her.

Arkat's face appears in the pilot's view of the ceiling. Upside-down. In a rare counter to what she'd probably expect right now, he's not smiling. Hands clasped behind his back, he leans over to peer at the face of the woman on the floor, silently wondering if winding her shuts her up. Ahem. "I'm sorry, did I hurt you, girlie?" Oh, it's mocking.

The smile would be easier to endure. It's a lovely sight, no doubt, accentuated with the stuttering wheezes of someone in the middle of an argument between their lungs and diaphragm. Tisiphone's eyes narrow — if she could speak, it'd be easy money to bet she'd have an excuse for why their positions aren't reversed — and she hunches forward, as if to bully her lungs into starting up again. She also swings a hateful and cheap backhand at Arkat's mocking face with her left, braceleted wrist.

And so Arkat not only gets a backhand across the temple, he gets the delightful feeling of one metal charm tearing at the point his lips meet his cheek. When it's coupled with the slight "Oof!" noise and the sudden exhale in suprise, it makes quite the sight. Then he's gone. Out of sight, and somewhere behind the pilot before the next thing she feels is a running shoe upside the back of the head. It's about as effective as hitting her with a feather duster, really. Stupid soft soles! "Bad!" Smack. "Pilot!" Smack to the shoulder. "No!" Smack to the other shoulder. "WhatdidIsayaboutthebraid?" Smacksmacksmacksmack.

Tisiphone's eyes are watering. It doesn't matter if it's the same stimulus-response that happens to everyone who takes a knee to the gut; the thought of wheezing with a tear-streaked face, in plain sight of Arkat, burns with the fires of a thousand sulky suns. She doesn't even get to relish the connection of bracelet-to-face; it was her last hurrah before curling semi-fetal, arms around her ribs, to work on that whole breathing thing. A great many shoe-slaps are administered before her lungs give up on their hissy-fit and start pumping sweet, sweet oxygen back into her system. At length, she has the temerity to rasp, "Frak. Enough!"

And so the shoe stops swinging, the noise of it hitting the ground coming from behind her as Arkat moves to takes a seat on the floor next to her. Well within punching range. The guy's insane, obviously. At least he's only wearing a little smirk as he wipes a trickle of blood from the small gash connecting with his mouth, bringing his knees up to his chest in somewhat of a mimic'd pose, but keeping the feet and legs apart for a little more support as his arms rest over them. "Y'alright." His head turns to watch. It's not even a question. It might be if he just did that to an engineer or something, but c'mon. "You can say you fought a marine and drew blood. Oughta get you some high-fives." His eyebrows raise a little as he ponders something, turning his head to stare at a point in front of them both. "Or butt-slaps if anyone's particularly brave."

Tisiphone would probably have to be spitting blood and other precious bodily fluids before she'd answer that question with anything but, "I'm fine." Even if it's little more than a raspy croak. Once her diaphragm stops insisting it needs her curled up in order to keep her breathing, she rolls onto her back and slowly, achingly, attempts to stretch out. It looks like it hurts. It looks like she doesn't care. She looks over with watery-bright eyes, to the blood. To her wrist. "I can't believe I did that." It comes out in a whisper, whether it's meant to or not.

"I can." Arkat watches her movements with an overly polite smile, leaning back on an outstreched arm and stretching his own legs out so he's half-reclined. A free thumb comes up to wipe the next trickle of blood away, leaving a tiny little smear from the cut this time. "You've certainly got the drive, y'know, and I can appreciate 'wild' methods, but you're a little.." He snaps his fingers, trying to find the words. "A crazy bitch. Gotta reign that in a little or you'll just end up hitting things that aren't what you're angry at." He's quiet, too. Mostly so that the few patrons of the gym don't get to overhear him belittling her fighting. It's as polite a belittling as someone can do, sure, but it's still 'you are not as good as you think' when it comes down to it. "Wanna learn to do it better, sometime?" He looks at the watery-bright eyes with the corner of his own frakked-up eye before his head paths up the stretching body to focus both of them on her face. "'Cause I'm more than happy to teach." Holyshitsincerity.

"Oh, Ares. Why?" Tisiphone breathes. It's either reverent or horrified. "So. Not. Cool." She starts to sit up, and makes a funny sound in the back of her throat. Lays back again. Lifting and twisting her left arm, she examines the metal cuff, then looks again to Arkat's bloodied lip. "Gods Above and Below," she finally says, staring up at the ceiling. "Why the frak won't you just hate me and get it done with?" Because, in Tisiphone's spiky little world, it would simplify so many equations. "I just- frak. I wanted to hit you in the eyes. Sweet Eris." She starts fumbling off her boxing gloves, not touching her bracelet as she does.

The Sergeant just shrugs. It's a lazy roll of the shoulders coupled with a tilt of the head that mixes 'I dunno' with some kind of answer. "I don't hate people. Sorry." He almost looks apologetic, as if it's a shame he can't actually give her what he wants. "Plus you've given me no reason to, anyway. Whoop. You're pissed off at me. So are a lot of people, including a couple trying to bomb me. I don't hate them, either." He clicks his tongue, then gives the supine pilot a smirk. "Plus you're kinda cute when you're angry. In a weird way. Doubly so when you're confused-angry. More fun to watch than 'Big Bad Bitch Tisiphone.'"

Tisiphone pushes the boxing gloves off to the side when she finally succeeds in removing them, then sits up as slowly and achingly as she stretched out. "Big bad bitch? Whatever." A sharp snort is cut off with a twinge from her ribs. "The last time I totally lost it at someone? They held me at arm's length like a frakking five year-old having a tantrum. I just…frak. I get so angry." Since it needs clarifying. "Like I'm fifteen and in need of a hanging, again. Gods. And, seriously-" A sudden zig-zag of topic. She might sound angry if it hadn't just been kneed out of her. "Again with the- is this- do you do this every time someone tries to break your face? Frakking Marines." Angry, or maybe amused, despite herself.

"Shoulda gone for the arm instead of his face. If you had the agility you coulda pulled yourself up by the wrist and arm-bar'd him to the ground." Arkat muses, extending his own arm and describing the motions with the other before realising that's not really what this conversation is about. He coughs a little. "And you're allowed to get angry, you know. It's not like there's some big-ass rule painted somewhere against it. Think you just need to take off the blinders you throw on when you do it, s'all." Yes. He's offering advice. The guy that buries everything deep down inside so he doesn't really have to face it. Hypocrisy is a gift. Hells, it almost looked for a second like he may have been about to pat her on the shoulder in something approaching a 'reassuring' manner while talking, just to rub it in. The arm stays close to him, though. No such luck. Also he just mentioned the arm-bar thing. Common sense. "And do I do what, exactly?" Only a little confusion.

"Mother of every merciless god out there, you're infuriating," is Tisiphone's answer. "Frakdammit, do you flirt with everyone who tries to break your face? I tell you I was so angry I wanted your frakking /eyes/, and I'm cute for it? Mother of-" She stops herself, realizing she already invoked that corner of the pantheon in the last hour, and starts climbing painfully to her feet. Once she's there, she actually turns and offers a hand out to the Marine for help up. There's not even a smirk along with it.

Arkat takes it with his good arm, any devious underhandedness nonwithstanding. "Shit, Tis." He shortens her name for the first time when it's most likely she's about to send him crashing to the mat. Marine-smarts. "If you think this is flirting, your face would be beet-godsdamn-red if I'd actually put some effort in." he grins, dusting off his outfit and starting to undo the gloves with a bit of tongue poking at the corner of his mouth. "Do I try and disarm folks with banter instead of having to send them to the floor? Sure." He winces a little as an overly-emphatic tug on the glove yanks his shoulder. Then he glances up at her. Just a quick one. Enough to catch her eyes. "You wanted these things? I pissed you off that much? Coulda at least gone for something I hadn't ruined."

"I- you- no." How's that for a clear answer? Tisiphone scrubs restlessly at her scalp, her eyes squirming away from Arkat's gaze except for furtive little there-and-gone-again flicks. Back to the bloodied lip, though, again and again. "You just- were the poor bastard opening your mouth after I heard about the- airlock. And then, just-" She paces away a step, stops herself, looks back. "Snowballing. Grudges on grudges all the way back until I'm fifteen and dumb as a bundle of frakking sticks again." Nine years has made her worldly-wise, of course. "And I'd just do /anything/ to hurt you as bad as I could, and what good's a blind Marine to anyone?" And therein the swipe at the eyes.

With the blood starting to dry, Arkat gives a little wipe beneath it with a tongue-slicked thumb, cleaning up what lingers of the trail until he's marginally satisfied. He does wince, if only to give the Viper Jock a little bit of misplaced satisfaction. So friendly. "Judging by your general opinion? About as useful as a regular Marine, I imagine." He chuckles out, watching her while the other side of his mouth lets a smirk curl, for appearances sake if nothing else. Finally pulling the other glove off, he looks down at his hands. "You know this is gonna increase the rumours. You're hairless, you drink blood AND you went toe to toe with a marine you wanted to kill and left him alive." He glances back up at her, smile still friendly, if a little skewed. "Oooh, the old women are gonna talk."

Well-intentioned, perhaps, but Tisiphone flinches like it was her own lip, and becomes very enrapt with the boxing gloves left at her feet. She toes one, a bit. "You guys rolled into Sthenoi when I was thirteen," she says, eventually. "We all joked you were blind until I ended up in front of a judge who could've had me hanged at your request. So…yeah." A grossly simplified story, simplied further with that final word. She winces slightly as she stoops to pick up the boxing gloves she's been punting around, saying as she straightens: "They're wrong." Beat. "I don't drink blood anymore." There's a ghost of a grin haunting one corner of her mouth.

Arkat's quiet during the incredibly simplified story, with more than a passing interest in his own gloves while she tells it. The first thing he says after looking back up? "Sounds like you got off light." Yup. No 'Sorry' or 'Hey, I wasn't actually assigned to Sag EVER.' or anything disarming. Just… that. "You ever want to trade stories from the other side of the fence, you just ask." Followed by an odd offer, no less. His face shows with lowered features that he's never expecting to be taken up on it. Or he's expecting a punch. Maybe both. Weight shifts from foot to foot. "Y'know… It's the 'Hairless' one that gets me. YOU HAVE EYEBROWS. Right there. It's like they're just men rocking some wishful thinking." It's probably best she doesn't think that sentence over too hard.

Got off light? Tisiphone doesn't argue that one whit. There are kinder, gentler places to be when under martial law than Sagittaron. She loosely knots her boxing gloves together, stretches her hand out to Arkat again, presumably for his pair. "It got thrown around in Flight School a lot. Bit of sunshine and my hair goes white. Easy to miss the eyebrows if you're wanting to rub one out to a hairless chick." One pale brow lifts ever-so-slightly in a lewd matter-of-factness. Yes, she went there.

Arkat's eyes dart up to stare at the ceiling for a moment, throwing over the gloves with a blind toss before his head tilts to one side and his mouth gains a little quirk. Both as one are a pretty good sign that he was thinking of something that resulted in at least marginally accepted satisfaction. "Yeah, I can see that happenin.'" He smiles. What the hell did he just think about?

What the hell did he just think about? Tisiphone will take three guesses, and the first two don't count. Actually, she'll forgo the guesses and just narrow her eyes at Arkat. "You're such a pig," she says, flicking a faux-disgusted look at him. "Are you done? Do you need a wet rag?" At least she realizes she walked right into it. The look lingers a moment longer before she snorts and turns away, moving to hang up up the two pairs of gloves with aching-stiff movements.

"Oh come on. You've only got yourself to blame for that one." Arkat returns the eye-narrowing with a poke of the tongue and a sudden burst of middle-fingerage at the mention of a wet rag. He tries his best not to make a joke out of her wording. "You should just streak through the decks one day, Y'know." It's an idle sentence as he brushes off his hands, getting what gunk there may have been in the gloves away from him. Ew. Ew. "Answer everyone's questions in one fell swoop."

"It's no big secret in the Viper berths," replies Tisiphone with a shrug she immediately regrets, by the look of the shiver creasing the edges of her eyes and the hissed, "Mmh-!' that goes along with it. She folds her arms lightly across her chest and practices breathing for a few seconds. "I'd do it," she finally says. The lightest hint of a challenge, there. "If the price was right."

Without a single word. Not one. Not even a SLIVER of a smirk at her immediate regret, Arkat plods over to Tisiphone, hands clasped behind his back and face straight. Slowly, he leans in until his mouth is less than an inch from her ear. Just as it seems like he's about to say something… Tisiphone gets a gently palm over the back of her shaved head. "You sounded way too much like a whore, there. Quit it."

It's plausible that, considering how determined Tisiphone is to get up in Arkat's face about every contrivable wrong in the universe, he's never realized how zealously she guards her personal space. Removing herself from the oncoming situation would require backing down, though — so there she is, coiled and very, very intent, as the Marine approaches, fingers stilled and tense against her forearms. There's prickly scalpfuzz on the back of her head, so pale it's nearly translucent. And risen hackles. Or gooseflesh. A whole jumble of emotions slipping about in those sleet-blue eyes. "Did I say you could touch me?"

"Of course not. Apparently I'd have to pay if I asked first." Arkat watches the flurry of her body working out just what the hell do to with quite a lot of interest. It only takes a couple of seconds for it to click in his head. "Hoooooooh. Shit." He actually steps back. Check it: Marine stepping down. "Now you want my eyeballs. What happened?" And he's probably not talking about 'in the last five minutes.' The entire thing is said with a wary curiosity.

Arkat steps back, and Tisiphone looks down, eyes wide with the tangle of someone trying to check themselves before they finish wrecking themselves. She coughs — it might have been a gulp of air tripping over a surly diaphragm — and brings a hand up to scrub at her scalp. Barely breathed: "Okay." Then, louder: "Okay. Didn't need that." She clears her throat, looks up with her arms refolding, tightly, across her chest. "I call you on a dare, and you call me a whore for it?" She's answering a question with a question. Or, more accurately, not answering a question with a question.

"I didn't dare you nuthin', Shiny." Arkat folds his arms, too. Outright mocking, really. One brow raises while his lips thin out in an impatient look of 'I'm waaaaaiting.' Hell, even his foot taps. "Called you a whore 'cause you asked the value of nudity and I didn't imagine this to be a philosiphical topic. Now." He lowers his brow. "What the shit happened?"

Tisiphone sees that insouciant arm-folding and raises with a defensive unfolding and refolding of her own arms. She's not a good liar, and she's obviously trying to dodge the topic. Play it down. Anything. "Why don't you tell /me/ what the shit just happened?" she retorts. "You can just- go back to your Marine buddies and tell them you- you threw a pilot down and weren't sure you were gonna get gutted or shagged for it. How about that?" It would seem her solution to problems involves messing them up to the point where the original issue can no longer be clearly identified. "Ares and Aphrodite, man!" She sounds angry — in a zesty change of pace, not directly /at/ Arkat. "You frakking tell me. You're used to this- this, this crap, I'm three frakking weeks out of school."

"Pfft." Arkat waves a dismissive hand, unfolding his arms to drop them lazily by his side. It's easier on his shoulder that way, after all. "I'm not gonna tell my Marine buddies anything. I've been in the gym working on the treadmill all day." His brow raises a little. That's his story. That's what people are going to hear. "But you? We're not done with that just yet. You get beat? Abused? Both?" It's not… vicious, but the questions are very, very pointed. "'cause you got a problem with proximity, honey. Someone's nice an' close they just need a smaller blade, right?"

"What's it to you, anyway? What's it matter?" Bristle, bristle. There's no buttons being pushed. Not at all. Tisiphone starts to unfold her arms again, stopping in a hurry with a slight forward wince. Her ribs have had /enough/ of this restlessness, like, ten minutes ago. She compromises by curling and uncurling the fingers against her bicep, her nails worried down too short to leave any marks. "I just- don't- do well with people." It's the party line. If she repeats it enough, it'll come true. "I don't react right- they don't react right- I, it's just how it is."

Arkat just rolls his shoulders with a shrug. It doesn't hurt as much this time, either. Marine be getting used to it. "What's it to me? I dunno. I like to get to know the people who might try and remove my internal organs while I sleep?" He starts walking, heading over to a kit locker while keeping his eyes on the somewhat encircled Tisiphone. "Does that worry you or something?"

Tisiphone looks down again as Arkat moves toward the lockers, swallowing repeatedly. Shoulders rise and fall with a deliberately slow breath, then another, before she looks up. After casting a glance to her boots and socks, still awaiting her patiently against the wall, she moves after the Marine with careful, measured steps. "I've never killed anyone," she says, quietly, as if it answers his questions. Then, a better answer: "Nobody does anything without a reason. I don't like it when I can't figure out someone's reasons for doing something."

Arkat's a Marine, yes. He's also got a minor degree in the arts, though. Motivation is something he actually knows about through learning AND experiencing. He steps infront of the walking jock, and a hand softly presses against the top of her shoulder. "Figure out why I'm doing this." It's a soft request, with a minimal smile. "And think aloud."

Again, there's that bristling — pupils contracting with a little spike of adrenaline, Tisiphone's frame attempting to back away while her pride bullies it forward at spear-point — when Arkat steps in front of her, then puts a hand on her. 'I don't know,' she wants to say, but it comes out rushed as, "Idunno. You, you- you want to. You're messing with me. You- I don't know."

"I'm not. I promise." Who knows what he's thinking. Maybe if he can make her feel battle it'll balance out the screw ups? Arkat's not an easy book, nor an open one. Not a bad cover, though. The corner of his mouth twitches into a smile. "Take a deep breath or three. Work through the reasons someone, anyone would put a hand on your shoulder. And no." He rolls his eyes. "It's not because I'm planning to sweep your legs."

I'm not messing with you, promises the Marine. Tisiphone's throat works against a silent swallow as she looks down. Deep breaths. Count to three. Count to three again. Her weight shifts slightly as she rises up on the balls of her feet, then sinks back flat-footed again. Reasons. "Because you're going to sweep my legs after I say I trust you, because it'd be a rich frakking laugh. Because- to stop someone. To- keep someone away." She swallows again.

"If I wanted to sweep your legs, I'd not have you at arms reach." The Marine breaks into an honest smile, though, giving her shoulder a squeeze before taking his arm back. "But… see? You take a breath and think it through. You're right." He shifts his weight from foot-to-foot. "Nobody does something without a reason." He's staring right at her. Well, blinking. And looking at her eyes. He's not wondering about the hairless thing, at least. "Not everyone's reasons are 'to screw you over.' Maybe that's how it was? I dunno. But that's not what it's like here."

Wary. Of the smile, the squeeze, the seemingly practical straight-forwardness of it all. Tisiphone clears her throat very quietly and looks down at her bare toes for tips on how to proceed. They're as useful as they've been throughout this all. Slowly and a bit deliberately, she digs her hands down into her pockets, rather than folding them across her chest, then looks back up at Arkat's face. There's a bit of an impromptu staring match before she blinks, looks away and asks, "What happened to your eye, anyway?"

Arkat heads for the wall. A little wave over the shoulder invite to follow as only one of his hands tucks in his pocket. "You really wanna know?" His feet slap on the floor the second he's clear of the mats. Slap. Slap. Shoulders sag a little as he goes. "Fair enough, I suppose." The sigh is only a little theatrical as he leans with his back to the wall. "You know the Observation decks on this ships, right?"

Slap, slap — and a few seconds after, the slightly quieter and quicker sound of Tisiphone's bare feet, following. She stops a short distance from Arkat and again looks down, swallows, takes a deep breath. Calmer and calmer, in tiny little steps. "Yeah. The Admiral had some fancy speech in ours, when we left drydock."

"Well…" Arkat nods, crossing his arms over his chest and… well, let's be honest. 'Eying appreciatively' is a good phrase for it. He can think of worse conversation partners. "Those windows are made of multiple-layered compounds for safety. It will not, however, stop a magazine of armor piercing rounds fired from a weapon that can dump it's entire stock of ammunition in 8 seconds. I breathed out. I closed one eye, but was too slow with this one." He points to whiteball. There's a sad smile, but at least he's smiling. "Room was decompressed in 4 seconds, they said. I was hanging on to a rack of chairs for just under two minutes without oxygen, and another one without protection. I had hypothermia, a detached retina, vomited at one point and prettymuch expelled.." He shudders. "Everything else at another. Reaction time for rescure was frakkin' amazing, though." Aaand he shrugs. "So I don't visit Observation decks anymore."

Shave her head, sweat and train away every curve of breast and hip she can, and still there's something compelling there. Luck never was Tisiphone's strong suit. She's an intent, attentive listener, eyes flicking away only to note shifts in posture or an accompanying gesture. It's a disturbing topic, though — by the end, she's worried a fresh raw spot on her bottom lip. "Mother of the gods," she murmurs. "I- in the cockpit? I'm fine. In the back of a Raptor for SAR? I-" She just shakes her head. "Two minutes. I can't imagine." Though she's trying to, whether she wants to or not.

"It's better if you don't." Arkat grins, leaning over to pat her on the hip. The hip that she of course tried to get all the curves froooom. Why? Well, eh. Why not. She tried to go for Androgyny but slipped out the other side a little. Problem. "But yeah, I had to shove my ass into space to bounce into a raptor. Good times." He.. doesn't look like that was good times. He actually looks a little pale.

Sleet-blue eyes narrow slightly and track Arkat's hand, then slice up to his shoulder, across and up to his face. She's not bristling quite as intensely, but she's suddenly and pointedly Very Still, pupils wider than they were a moment before. "What do you think would happen if your squad leader ordered you into an Observation Deck?" she asks suddenly, quiet and pointed.

Arkat puts on an impressed little smile. "Hey, not bad. We may just make a real girl of you yet!" He's jesting. Full of jest. He has given her all of his jests. Then he rubs his chin. letting out a quiet little 'Hrm' noise. "Honestly? Do it. Treat it like any other situation then probably vomit myself silly afterwards." She's allowed her 20 questions. It's only fair.

"And then a real man of you, and won't we be set?" It screams right past chipper-cheerful into bitchy-bright. It doesn't have the same hateful, poisoned barbs of her earlier taunts, though. It's perilously close to a spiky sort of give-and-take. "Yeah?" is all she says, upon the answer. Head canted a little to one side. Thoughtful, considering. "I wondered. If you would. Could."

"I'd prove my manliness right here and now, but it's a little too public and not nearly as secluded as I'd like to show it off." Arkat waits with a smirk on his mouth juuuuust long enough for her mind to naturally go to the obvious place. It's only human. He snaps his fingers. "No! Bad pilot. I didn't mean that, Gods." He's back to his usual jokey self. Supress those memories, boy! "Bein' a marine and still alive this long means you got a desk job, a cushy spot, or fought like a bitch. I Like to think I'm the latter. Got a few marks to prove it. S'all. But…" He scoops up his shoes, including the one just used to bludgeon the pilot. "unless there's anything else you wanna ask me, I should probably get some grub."

"No. I should go, too. I need to- shower." Cold or hot, she's not saying. "Soak my head. Try and- sort things out." Tisiphone takes a step back, as if Arkat needed more room to make it to the hatch. "I'm-" Teeth dimple her bottom lip for a moment. "Really sorry about your lip. I- yeah. Go eat. I'll see you around." Her eyes stay on the Marine a moment longer before she turns, heading back the way she came for her boots.

Arkat just returns a smile, slipping on his shoes without much concern for laces. "Sounds like a good idea, and seriously-" He just waves her off. "Don't worry about it. I'll be fine and you caught me with the corner. Shouldn't stain." Sounds about right. 'Sorry I hit you' 'It's ok I didn't ruin your clothing.' As he turns to go, he takes a couple of faltering steps about half-way through the journey to the hatc. A slight swivel. "And… uh. Try not to get yourself killed. 'Kay? 'Kay." With those words of advice imparted, he's gone. Probably to wash the blood from his face before grub, but still.

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