PHD #364: Far Away Home
Far Away Home
Summary: Newly homeless, Leyla picks out a new set of digs.
Date: 25 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Swarm 9: Sting, Blow Ups and The Slow Spiral and SFAE*.
Leyla Mark 
Officer Berths
Much smaller than the Enlisted Berths, 'Officer Country' has a less available in it but still manages to squeeze everything into this room. Like the other berthings aboard, this room has armored doors that can lower to seal off sections during fire or depressurization. Over-under bunks provide some individual privacy for the crews who occupy this area with a small blue curtain while lockers stand between each sleeping module to hold personal items. Tables are set-up in the space in between.
Post-Holocaust Day: #364

Mark grabs sleep when he gets tired. Like he told Leyla once: A two hour nap in the afternoon and about an hour or two overnight. Insomnia sucks. But when he does manage to sleep, he wakes easily. The curtain hardly creates anything except a feeling of privacy but he puts it out anyhow with an open spot closer to his feet so people can wake him if need-be. The bunk is pretty much empty, though. No pictures, no drawings, no sketches.. nothing hanging from the walls or even anything on his shelves except a few astrophysics books from the library.

No flight suit to squeak and squeal her entrance in the officer's berthings. Not even grease and the smell of oil from her coveralls either. Just her sweats, like she normally wears when she actually has time to lounge, or sleep. And a small duffel bag with all of the worldly possessions she didn't store back in her crates on eight. That gets set down at the foot of Mark's bunk, before she pulls back the curtain. Of course, she's not polite enough to actually wake him first. Rather she just starts trying to crawl over him like a monkey to get onto the wall side of the bunk.

Mark blinks a bit at the sound of the curtain. He's probably expecting some kind of emergency when this happens so he lifts his head right away. Seeing Leyla, he wipes at his eyes but rests his head back into the pillow. "Hey," he whispers. And then she is crawling in over top of him. Forgetting everything else he's heard, this is again not something he was expecting. His arm on her side lifts to allow her to lie up against him. "Leyla. What's wrong?" Mark is concerned. Obviously. But she's crawling in to get comfortable so he's not about to deny that to her with jumping all over the place.

Leyla gets a 'Hey', Mark gets a headbutt right in the shoulder, and a knee to the thigh. But obviously she doesn't mean either of those blows on purpose. She's simply not well mastered the art of making space for two in a bunk made for one. At least he's safe from further abuse once she's settled in on the bunk, once again burrowed down against his chest. "Can't go home again." And then, more gently, tentatively, "Can I stay with you?"

Mark doesn't even grunt at the knocks. Sure its jarring but whatever. His arm comes down around her shoulders, sighing as she says a few lines into his chest. "I'm here for ya, Leyla. You can stay here as long as you want or need." He intends to fulfill his promise to her. "Heard you left the Wing berths. Went by to see. You need someplace to rest your head and heart for awhile?"

"Maybe forever, if Cidra makes me stay in the Harriers." Which she probably will. Most likely will. Leyla's not really thinking about that just now. She's more focused on Mark the security blanket, her face pressed to his chest, leaving two rapidly growing spots where his tshirt's now acting as a handkerchief.

"Then you stay for forever, Leyla." She's crying. Gods. Mark adjusts the pillow behind his head to sit up a little more to look at her better. His other hand lifts to rest on her head, stroking her hair once. "I won't leave you out there." He watches her in silence, the seconds ticking past as the quiet lingers. "What's wrong? Can I know?" Why the hell would she want to leave the Harriers, let alone her ECO.

"We'll have to get rid of your upstairs neighbor." He of the loud snoring. And it would almost be funny, the joke she tries to get out, if it wasn't coming out in that sort of choked, teary, snuffling voice girls get when they're crying. "Mouse and Henry died. And Trask didn't even care. I made excuses for him for so long, but I finally realized that he doesn't care. About anyone but himself and his so-called family. The rest of us he treats like dirt, worse. You should have heard the things he said about me. He pretty much ended it by saying it was my fault they were dead." Leyla lifts her head away from the now sodden shirt, trying to wipe away the tears on her face, but they just keep coming.

"Its just a matter of pressure," Mark whispers back to the idea of getting out the snoring behemoth. The rest he just listens to without comment. His hand just rubs at her shoulder lightly, rocking her slightly, comforting her. She she lifts her head, the man reaches behind him with his other hand for his green duty shirt which seems to be tucked between the mattress and the wall. "Here." He offers it to her as a sort of tissue or handkerchief. "Best I can do right now." But he's not leaving. "So he disgraced the dead and blamed you for them dying. Sounds like a wonderful guy. Sounds like a good reason to want the squadron, Leyla. You talk to the CAG about it?" He's not judging just yet. He keeps his words calm and soft. Reassuring.

"Could pick a different bunk," she can't even stop thinking when she's blubbering. The shirt gets accepted as a matter of course, but she just sort of stares at it, before she tucks it against herself, trying to find a way to end up sitting on her side of the bunk, still wiping at her face. It's like she's not so much crying, because that takes effort, but like…leaking from the eyes. "She said I need a week away from him to clear my head, and that she would talk to him. She won't let me transfer. Says she doesn't believe in sweeping problems under the rug. Only that's all she does, because she lets him get away with everything. So Marko and me are flying with the Providers. She wanted to put me back with the Elevens, but I like Pony. He's a good squadron leader."

Mark shuffles his own position to allow her to sit up. The man would probably just about anything for her right now so giving her space isn't a problem. He laces his fingers behind his head and looks up at her from his lie closer to the curtain. "So you're still with Flasher? Good." He seems adamant about that. "But I'm surprised to hear that from the CAG. I thought she was more level-headed than that." He takes a long breath. "A week isn't a lot of time. Especially to deal with what sounds like an ongoing problem. Is there any way you could apply to stay with the Providers? Maybe get this Tony fella to endorse the request."

Leyla seems to be making a very concerted effort to get a grip on herself, and she does finally manage to stop her eyes from tearing, but the shirt doesn't end up being used after all, instead, she grabs a hand towel from the duffel bag and tries to clean up as best she can. "Still with Flasher, yeah. I offered to ask Pony if I could share Shortbus with Piper, but Cidra said I was still with Flasher." A snort, at the question, "Pony. It's his callsign. His name's Mikel." And then a pause, as if she realizes that that's not really the point of the conversation, "Your CAG, your SLs, they're supposed to stand up for you, respect you, defend you. They don't have to be nice, but they have to do that. They should do that. But she won't do that, not with Trask." Leyla's eyes fall back to the towel, and the duty greens crumpled in her lap. "You're sure its alright if I stay? I mean…if you have company that comes over, or…"

Mark seems to have welled a bottomless pit of patience. He waits for her to speak at her own pace, not bothering to correct what he knows. Let the lady be. Support her. "At least the CAG knows not to break up you and your ECO. You guys need each other whether you like it or not." He smiles a bit to reinforce the fact that people around her -do- care. But he remains thoughtful at the rest, his eyes drifting from her. "You have a good point, Leyla. I- I just honestly don't know what to say. Is there anything I can do? Other than have you stay?" His gaze moves back to her. "And don't question your staying here anymore, Leyla. You're family. You live and take whatever you need. As long as you need."

"Flasher deserves the best pilot he can get. And I'm not that right now. Not to mention he pretty much worships the ground Trask walks on." Leyla tosses aside the towel, before she promptly lets herself get swallowed up in the duty greens as she pulls it on, tugging it around herself like a shield, before she settles back down. "Salima looked like that sometimes," she offers offhandedly, "When she was breastfeeding." There's something stupidly hilarious in the way the tears have wetted the poor ChEng's tshirt. "Nothing you can do. I have to figure this out on my own. Just, staying is enough. being able to stay."

"Bullshit, kiddo." Mark just smile at the words. "You're the best pilot I know of. You've done some amazing things. Hell, you found the Ark with Marko. That's not you? Shenanigans." The ChEng reaches out to tap his fist gently to her knee. But her motion to his shirt gets a light laugh. "Careful. If you make me laugh too hard I'll leak more. Next thing you know they'll be hangin Wet Nurse ads outside the berths." He winks and rests a hand back on her knee. "As I said, stay as long as you want. Move in. Bring all your gear. I'm pretty sure the rest of the officers in here would get a kick out of having a celebrity living in their midst. What all do you have in the bag?"

Leyla doesn't argue with Mark's assessment of her piloting skills. She believes one way, he another, not worth fighting about. Once she's comfortable on the bed, she seems content to stay that way, making no move to avoid the hand on her knee, "Could bring in some extra money, trade it for rations coupons." A hand reaches up, smoothing the strands of hair that have fallen out of her braid away from her face, "I'm not a celebrity. Just fodder for gossip, it's already going around the deck, they're all whispering that I got taken off the flightline." A sniff, as she considers the bag, "Change of clothes, shower stuff, some trinkets from the bunk, picture frame." Leyla look around herself, "You don't have anything in here."

The hand pats once more and falls back to rest on his stomach as he laughs. "I like the way you think. We'll bottle it. Make a business." Mark smirks, turning over a bit to lay more on his side. "Well prove them wrong, Leyla. People are going to gossip. Let them. If someone wants to ask a direct question, give them the truth. I cannot ever see you cowering from anything. I-" He takes a breath. "I know you're tired." She should know what he means by that. "But lean on me when you need to. Hold your head high outside this bunk but vent all night long in the bunk if you need." He then reaches down for her bag to pull it up closer to them. "Go ahead. Make sure you put the picture frame someplace you can see it easily." At her mention of his lack of decoration he chuckles. "Yeah. I don't have much of anything except my awesome shirts. I came aboard with nothing but some ragged clothing. Workaholics don't have a lot of time for looking to decorate. I've got a Specialist assigned to decorating my office right now in her free time. Make this place your home if you want."

Leyla seems content to settle back on the bed, though this time she at least doesn't bury her face in the man's sternum. But she does lie cheek to heart. "I'm used to people lying about me. But it doesn't make it easier to take." The shake of her head is as much felt as seen, "You have a whole department to look after. I'm stronger than this." Again, a shift as he brings the duffel in, and she sits up to zip it open, "I don't want to become a burden, Mark." But she is rummaging, the action helping to take her mind off of, well, being so needy. So un-Leyla. "This isn't just my home, you live here too."

Mark wraps an arm around her again as she lies against him once more. "That's a load of crap that people do that. You come here and nobody has misconceptions, Leyla. But don't worry about me." He takes a long breath. "I can share my own ideas and personal thoughts with you. This isn't the same kind of thing as my relating to my junior enlisted. I don't push you away from your personal questions for me." Seeing the man get angry but still coming back to her should be proof of that. When she rises, he drops his arm back to the mattress and looks to the bag while she rummages. "Sure. I live here, too. But I don't have anything, Leyla. I've got someone else staying here that I welcome whole-heartedly who has things. You are welcome to put them up and coat the bunk if you want. If I need room I'll say something. You're not throwing pink frilly flowers everywhere. I saw your place in the Wing berths. Make yourself comfortable. Please. Like I said - family." In any definition.

Leyla didn't bring much, but she makes swift work of what she did bring. Her picture frame, "I'll need to add some pictures of you into that." Offered offhandedly, a box of disks for the drive, a bundle of odds and end pieces of metal she fidgets with and puts together into odd shapes. Her book reader. There isn't much she salvaged from storage, "We should put up one of your shirts, change them out like in rotation." The other sort of clothes and toiletries she leaves in the duffel, pushing it down to the far end of the bunk, before she settles back onto the bed. Seems like she's done for now. Once she's comfortable again, she squirms a bit, to pull off her gloves. Her free left hand, bare skin, reaches up to touch his face, "You are a good man, Mark Makinen."

Mark chuckles. "If you can find pictures of me anywhere. I'm not aware of any that exist. Its funny that its even possible given all the cameras around this ship." He watches her unpack with idle curiosity. He'll ask about some of those metal pieces later, that much is sure. "Ha. I wear those shirts. To work. I put them on under my coveralls. If it gets too hot, I can unwrap and I'm still highly visible." He grins, watching her settle back into the bunk. Though at the removal of a glove and a touch to his face, he smiles. "And you're a good woman, Leyla Aydin. I wish I could explain how proud I am of you. For everything." His hand lifts to the one on his face and curl it in his just long enough to squeeze lightly.

"I'll take some of you, don't worry about that." OCD cataloger that she is. "You don't wear all of them at the same time, do you?" No, so…Leyla's attention though, seems more on her hand, and then on his, looking at them as if they were completely foreign to her. "It's been almost a year. I haven't touched anyone like this except Bunny, in a year." And Mark would know the situation with Bunny well enough not to judge it as being, well, okay, it is weird, but it's not, well, anyway. "It's…" It feels not normal, confusing, given her expression. The hand that joins her is held, brought back down to settle between her chest and his.

Mark chuckles. "Good enough for me. I just didnt figure I should take pictures of myself and hang them in my own bunk. I know its not always, but it stuck me as a vain thing for -me- to do. Dunno why." His same smile lingers, shrugging to the idea of hung shirts. "I won't argue. They're colorful enough. Though hanging the green one may cause sleeping problems. I think it actually has bioluminescence." But her hand and his gets him to look back at her. Its a different kind of smile. Reassuring but without the same, lingering half-stupid grin he tries to sport for the sake of humor. But he understands the bunny thing. Or thinks he does. Comfort. "Its warm, Leyla," he finishes for her. "Like the bunk and welcome you'll always have with me if you need it."

It's not vain, if they're pictures of you with people you care about or doing the things you love. I'll add them to my frame." Where all of her most important memories are preserved. "I've fallen asleep in a raptor pilot's seat on Alert, I think I can handle a glowing shirt." Leyla's still studying the hands, her small, his larger, "And you?"

"Logically I know that. It just never felt right. But I'd love to have some in your frame." A place hard-earned in his mind. Knowing what he does of her family, its not something taken lightly. He tries not to convey it in his speech and just smiles at the photos. Mark chuckles once more at the mention of the glowing shirt and looks back to her hand and his own with a fondness. "And me. When its cold outside, come back to the warmth." She has his promises. They don't need to be repeated.

No, they don't need repeating, but women will always be women, even weird ones like Leyla Aydin, and sometimes affirmation means more than it should. Leyla finally settles, her hand still in yours, comfortable, against your chest, but safe, hidden from the berthing by the curtain and your body. "Tell me about your masters' thesis." But more softly, quietly. She's exhausted, she's been for hours, and now it's finally safe to rest, and perhaps, to sleep.

Mark watches her settle and squeezes her hand once more, the gesture soft. "We're here for each other, Leyla," he whispers. The ChEng's smile turns a bit aloof with her request as she settles down to rest. His free hand tucks the pillow a little more comfortably so it can be shared should it be needed. "I was proposing the idea that using an FTL it may be possible to bend and even travel in time be jumping from within the event horizon of a black hole. Radical stuff. People had played with the idea before but it was considered a junk science and dead end. I used my knowledge of shipboard systems to create a working theory. I was having a bitch of a time applying string theory to it, though." He keeps his voice low and soft, his words coming slowly to her as if attempting to lull her to sleep.

Strange the things that comfort a person. For Leyla, it seems, logic does it, thinking about systems that make sense, ideas that are grounded in science. And the comfort of being in a safe place. And so, she's still, quiet, attentive, as much as she can be. because it is soothing, and calming to hear, even about radical ideas, "We could try it out with a raptor…though it's a heck of a long way to the closest black hole." And so it goes, story and commentary, until she finally does sleep.

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