PHD #245: Keep Some Happiness For Yourself
Keep Some Happiness For Yourself
Summary: Damon takes Rose over to the freighter for a tour. Makeouts ensue.
Date: 30 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Damon Rose 
Aerilon Freighter
Over on that other ship. No, not that one. The other one.
Post-Holocaust Day: #245

A tour of the freighter recovered from Aerilon was promised, and Damon delivers not long after. After a short trip on a Raptor, he and Rose are offloaded onto what is soon to be a ship for the civilians. Of course, they didn't arrange a Raptor trip just for the two of them; they hopped on with a supply run. Although the crew of the Cerberus has been hard at work repairing and refurbishing the freighter, it's still amply evident that it's an old, used ship - signs of wear linger everywhere, and there are still teams working on preparing it for the influx of refugees. The stench of rot and decay has been replaced by paint and industrial chemicals. "Watch your step," he cautions as he steps off the Raptor first. "Right here - " he raps on the metal hull with his knuckles - "is where you need to step down. Need a hand?"

Rose's nostrils flare first and foremost once she steps out onto the wing of the Raptor — and there's a disapproving frown. "Yes, please," she says, reaching out a hand so that she might safely navigate down to the deck. "What is that gods-awful smell?" She asks, as she steps downward, safely. Once her feet are on the deck, she begins unfolding her whitestick.

Damon takes Rose's hand and puts the other one on her elbow to help her down. "That? Oh, that's, uh, just some of the work that's still being done. Paint, mostly, and some cleaners. Lubricants. That kind of thing." He guides her out of the way of the unloading crew, who start hand-carrying the lighter stuff off the Raptor until the forklift arrives. "All that'll be wrapped up fairly soon, then they'll kick the air cleaners into overdrive to clear out the smell. It'll be nice and fresh for when the civilians move in."

"I see," Rose murmurs, glancing this way and that, although it's unclear as to whether or not she can actually perceive anything. Finally, she peers up at Damon. She dips her chin, saying: "You'll convey my personal thanks, and the thanks of the civilian crew aboard Cerberus, won't you? I mean, this is a lot of effort. A lot of work. It's a tremendous show of human spirit and you all didn't have to do this."

"I will," Damon answers. The smile is evident in his voice. "It all came from your idea, you know. A hydroponics ship. A ship for the civilians. You made this happen." And a lot of people putting in a lot of work made it reality. "This, uh…" He clears his throat and glances away to hide his blush, even though she can't see him. It fades by the time he looks back to her. "I helped with finding the ship, and with fixing her, and directing some of the repairs." He doesn't sound boastful, but rather like he's trying to underplay the fact that he's proud of his work. "I thought that, well, I thought it'd make you happy. All this, I mean."

Rose dips her head again. "It'll be a positive change for the citizens of the Colonies who need something more than to be sequestered away in the corner of Cerberus as some sort of commodity rather than the individuals that they are," she says. "Fresh vegetables, made with the toil of our citizenry. Think of it, Andreas! Tended to by the people, giving back to the Navy that has sheltered us and given to us. I can think of no other more noble way to say, 'Thank you.'" There's a bit of a pause as they walk, and then she says, quieter: "Please, don't do what you do for me. Do it for the people - for those who look up to you and the others, all the way up to Colonel Pewter, for how you protect us and provide for us. If you do it for the men and women who invest their trust in the uniform you wear, then I will be happy. I can't take personal gratification in any of this. It's not for me. It's for them."

Damon smiles to hear her passion and enthusiasm. But when she denies personal gratification, the smile turns into a sad, bittersweet one. "You want to give, but you gotta take sometimes, too," he murmurs. "It's okay to have some happiness for yourself without trying to spread it around to everyone else until you're empty-handed. The ship, the equipment, all that's for the people. But my work, what I did with my own two hands on this freighter, I did for you." If that's not a declaration, hell, how much clearer can he state where he stands? "The last time I tried to give you a gift, you wanted to give it all away. So this time, I wanted to give you something that's for everyone. For the civilians, to find new lives and new purpose. For our crew, to come together and get this ship running. But my work here was for you and your dream. Your vision. Your hope."

"Andreas…" Rose comes to a halt, turning to face Damon and look up into his face with a small, coy smile. "I know what you mean," she says, her voice smaller, and more demure. "You don't need to be a scientist to know your motivations. I'm flattered, really. I'm… just not sure how to reciprocate."

"You don't need to… reciprocate," Damon says, looking into her sightless eyes. "I just wanted you to, I don't know, keep something for yourself. Even if it's just a little bit of happiness." On impulse, he reaches out and brushes her cheek with his fingers. "Half the time, I feel like you think I'm just a loud, ignorant brute - which isn't to say that isn't true. And the other half, I feel like I just stutter and ramble. But this, this is what I can actually do. Fix things. Make machines. So I did what I do, but I did it for you. Because I - because you're - " What was that about stuttering and rambling, again? "Because I've never even met a woman like you before. So I don't know what to do or what to say half the time."

Rose turns her cheek into Andreas' touch, eyes briefly closing. "Don't say anything," she murmurs, eyes slowly opening, looking up at him. "I'm not looking for accolade or award, Andreas, understand… that what we have, collectively, living in the starboard hangar, is the extent of humanity. Faith will carry us through this. Poseidon finished taking with the murder of Crewman Coll and Captain Ibrahim. Poseidon began giving back with the marriage of Lieutenants Lunair and Marko." Her hand reaches up to touch Damon's face lightly; for the first time, she allows herself to finally know what Damon looks like by lightly tracing fingertips along his face. "Anything I win for the collective 'us', I cannot take credit for, because it's for 'us'. I'm not interested in accolades. I just want us to survive. And through your efforts, we will survive, perhaps another day, or another year. And I thank you." And that's when she steps up on tip-toes and kisses him.

Damon looks confused for a second, but whatever thoughts are in his mind are forced away by the touch of her fingertips and her kiss. His arm wraps around her waist and brings her closer to him. Can she feel his heart pounding? It feels to him like every vein is about to burst with the pressure of it. His eyes open again to look at her as they pull away from the kiss, trying to read her expression. But the proximity is too much to bear, and the feel of her lips too recently gone from his own to hold back. He kisses her, long and deep - and is met with cheering from those working nearby.

Cheeks blush through and through at the cheers, but for her, the only thing that exists is the deck she stands on, and the man whose arm is around her waist. She rests both hands on his shoulders as the kiss parts, smiling dreamily up at him. "I'm… normally not much for public affection," she confesses hesitantly. "But it seems like the right thing to do," she murmurs, inching her right hand upward to curl against where his shoulder meets his neck, and then fingertips toying with the ends of his short hair behind his ear. "I suppose now, Petty Officer Radcliffe is going to be mad at me? What, for creating competition, and all. After all, she had some… choice words… for you, from what last I remember." That persistent coy smile and her adoring gaze seems fixed on his face - there's no jealousy evident, only teasing.

Damon turns bright red when others start cheering. He'd completely forgotten where he was and who was around. "I guess we'll have to airlock her now, before she starts any trouble," he says with a grin. He brushes his fingers through her hair, tucking it behind her ears. The other arm remains around her waist, reluctant to release her from their embrace. "I'm not normally one for… affection at all, really. So they can all just deal with it." That, apparently, is more than enough excuse for him to kiss her again. Instead of cheers this time, somebody shouts jokingly, "Get a room!"

Murmured for only him to hear, she whispers, "As much as every part of me is screaming for a private space, I think it might be best if we continue the tour." Rose very discreetly licks her lips with a hand over her mouth as she disengages reluctantly from the embrace, although she makes no motion to move Damon's hand from her hip. "I think, Petty Officer, it might be best if we continue the tour? After all, I can't produce accurate numbers for Majors Cavanaugh and Hahn if we dally at the airlock." She glances up at his face, flashing another coy smile.

"Do we have to?" Damon murmurs in response. "I was thinking about sweeping you off your feet and commandeering that Raptor." But she pulls back, and he lets go of her. Slowly. And as reluctant as he is to not be close to her, to be touching her with some part of him, the smile she flashes him is mirrored with a goofy, giddy grin on his face. "But of course, Miss Ibbhanas," he answers. "Why don't we start over here, down this corridor to your left? Most of the work is completed in this section, so you can get a good sense of what the other sections'll look like once they're all done." Plus, there's less people there because they're all working elsewhere!

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