PHD #273: Life Goes On
Life Goes On
Summary: Sometimes the worst aspects of humanity spawn some of the noblest ones.
Date: 26 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Wages of Sin (the execution of PO2 John Borenstein)
Sawyer Trask 
News Room - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #273
This room isn't huge by any means, but it does have all the updated equipment and a small news staff that runs the area.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The final chime of PO2 John Borenstein's life has been struck. So when a Colonial officer comes a knock-knock-knocking at the News Room door announcing that he is going to be waiting for one Sawyer Averies right there, the hapless new gofer holding down the fort doesn't put up enough resistance to deter it from happening.

One should never mix their business with their home life. Maybe one day Sawyer will learn this lesson and stop sleeping at the office. It seems she's coming back to do just that: retire for the evening. As such, she's elbowing her way through the hatch without the brisk motivation the waiting press should warrant. "Alright, everyone clear out. Nothing's going out tonight. The story'll still be here tomorrow." Not terribly like Sawyer, a few at their desks hesitate, but then there is the shuffle of movement as they relent. She's talking without really looking around to see who hears or takes notice, and thus misses Trask's presence immediately.

Fresh off CAP, if the damp and tousled state of his hair is any indicator, the ECO-cum-'interim' Squadron Leader has made himself at home in the blonde's home. Holster adjusted to accommodate the man's lounging on the hammock, Bootstrap is dressed in his flightsuit, the upper part unzipped to reveal the grey tank top worn underneath. "K'a kaha nga iwi, pupuritia nga purapura i mahue mai ra. Ko ngaro ratou ma, nga rangatira, hei matoro mo te rangatahi." The words come in a vaguely sing-song tone, recited as if a poem. This is off-set by consonants that are guttural and vowels that are softer but nuanced, as if filed down with a rasp and smoothed with a fine-grade sandpaper, but left unpolished.

The rest of the people that were lingering have wisely filtered out by now, leaving Sawyer's gaze to draw towards the melodic words and the man they emanate from. Sawyer's lips are set into a grim thin line as she nudges off her shoes and eventually pads over in her silk-stockinged feet. Her eyes drink him in longer than necessary, and then she extends her hand down to Kal with fingers curling in a gimme motion. "Now's not a good time," she murmurs, even though some part of her is no doubt dying to know what he just said.

Brown eyes flit from the pages of the book he was reading to alight on the weary woman. It doesn't take long for him to realize, "They went through with it, didn't they?" There's a vaguely somber curve to his mouth that threatens to go sour. As ever, something tumultuous lingers beneath the surface of his keen gaze.

There's a stubborn set to Sawyer's jaw, but at his words, the journalist starts to crumble. First, it's in the shake of her extended fingers which then ball in on themselves before her arm falls weightily back to her side. Then there is the tremble of her bottom lip like the ground shaking with the aftershock of a tremendous earthquake. And lastly, it's her knees that give out altogether, and she just lets gravity claim her in a heap next to the hammock as the first violent sobs finally surface. It should be answer enough.

<FS3> Trask rolls Athletic: Terrible Failure.

That wasn't the response he was expecting. Or, better put, it wasn't the delivery he was expecting to the response he was expecting. Contrary to popular belief, Kal /is/ a caring, even quasi-gallant person, which means all semblance of snark gets derailed when he gets an 'oh, shit' realization that (1) Sawyer is crying, and (2) she's about to crumple to the floor. Reclined as he is in the hammock with a massive book about Tauron resting on his chest, there simply is no way he is going to succeed in catching her in time. To his credit, he truly does try. So much so that his scramble and momentum results in the hammock wildly swinging to tip him out. "Frak!" Unfortunately, for the weeping woman, he barrels right into her before he lands with a resounding *THUD* on the floor. That's gotta hurt.

Sawyer's knees hit the deck. Hard. So much in fact, that the delicate stockings she takes such pride in split and run at the knee doing more damage than a ragged fingernail ever could. Her pale skin shows through the gap of the tinted silk, like a pair of macabre scars from some horrific surgery. The impact from Kal is like the blow of a wrecking ball to an already crumbled building, superfluous in taking the woman down, but sufficient enough to send her further sprawling backwards. Pain registers through budding hysterics as her head bounces off the deck and she gets laid out on her back. What's worse than crying for Sawyer? Crying /and/ laughing, which is a painful and embarrassing combination that has her sobbing and hiccuping for breath amidst startled chuckles.

Trask isn't dead, at least. Corpses don't groan. For a moment, he lays sprawled on his stomach, one arm slightly askew in failed attempt to break his fall. The other palm remains flat on the floor, as does the right side of his face. The good news is that he didn't land on his gun. All the same, he's going to look like someone soundly hit him with a strong left hook to the jaw. "Tha's righ," is muffled, "lahf eh my miforshun."

Tears are streaming down Sawyer's upturned face, born from sorrow and inappropriate humor indiscernibly. And she can't stop. It's like a flood gate, and where she should be concerned for the pancaked Trask, all she can do is cry and laugh harder. Soon hiccups become gasps, and she's digging her heels against the deck to try and push into a seated position so she can get some air. Soon her mixed emotions become soundless, as she no longer has the air to feed either, and her face starts to redden. And then there's panic.

"That sucked," is more intelligibly exclaimed, followed by a moment more of motionlessness that is shattered by a dramatically abrupt rolling over and sitting upright. Working his jaw, the corners of Kal's eyes crinkle with a wince, then widen in a 'yowza!' sort of manner before he blinks a few times and starts rubbing the sore spot. That immediate need tended to, he's looking over at Sawyer, utterly lost at how to deal with the crying, giggling, hiccupping mess. The anxiety-induced expression really is rather comedic. "Averies…" Fancy that, panic is contagious. "Shit." At least he has the wherewithal to help her get upright. Patting her back like one would with a baby needing to be burped might not be as helpful. "C'mon, now. Breathe. You can do it. Breeeeeathe." Has he been practicing Lamaze in anticipation of Quinn's due date?

"I'm…" Weeeeeez in. "…trying…" Weeeez out. If only Sawyer were having a baby, at least that would make this labor beneficial. Her fingers latch on to his flightsuit, curling against the thick fabric as if that can give her some strength. When she can get her breathing under control, she's just taken to sobs again, turning her face into the chest of the man she damn near swore off completely. "They killed him. We're all damned."

Flight suits are meant to endure all kinds of wear and tear. This one is certainly tough enough to withstand a distraught woman's gripping. Once Sawyer's calmed down enough to resume more normal weeping, the ECO changes course to deal with this particular problem. Such emotional displays undeniably make him uncomfortable, but something about tears stirs his deep-seated (and deeply concealed) protective instinct. Unthinkingly, Trask assumes a woefully too familiar role from his youth. Strong arms scoop up Scoop, and he emanates a comforting, securing presence that was developed over consoling his mother and sister after myriad drunken beatings doled out by his father. It is something thoroughly ingrained into his very being. "No more than before, Sawyer," he murmurs, gently stroking her hair.

And there Sawyer stays until she's all cried out, gathered in Kal's arms like a ragdoll of raw emotion that she normally keeps in careful check. Sobs die to whimpers which eventually fade out to shuddering breaths. Eventually, when she has the presence of mind, the journalist tilts her head back to look at the underside of the ECO's jaw wordlessly, leaving the tracts of tears on her cheeks unchecked.

He's mostly silent, save for a few soothing sounds. Enveloped in a strangely sublime calm, it is an unerringly stalwart presence that he manifests, patient and selfless in this self-assigned duty. It is a testament to a guarded sensitivity that such an ability has been wrought from bitter abuse, palliative as such efforts to console may be. As the saying goes: Nothing is stronger than true gentleness, and nothing is gentler than true strength. One might even say it's poignant how well-suited he is for such a thing, which in and of itself is its own misfortune. Staring off to nowhere, or perhaps deep within, Bootstrap remains sentinel and support even after Sawyer has ceased her sobbing.

Sawyer reaches up to lightly cup his chin, her thumb running along the line of his jaw. By the third pass of the pad of her finger, she proclaims quietly, "Doesn't look like there's any permanent damage." Her voice is coarse from all the crying, scraping up her throat to come out little more than a harsh whisper. She should be moving to sit up, collect herself, but she seems to have all the strength sapped out of her bones.

It's too subtle to qualify as a flinch when he's touched, but there is some semblance of recoil. Perhaps it has to do with the onset of bruising. Perhaps not. Faintly smirking, Trask remarks, "I think the floor might be traumatized." Blinking a bit, he cranes his neck to peer at the woman in his lap, who he is not yet bothering to move. "What's the collateral damage?" Meaning her.

Sawyer's hand falls down from its touch, splaying on her chest just above her heart. There's a pause where her eyes trace over the lines of the man's face and then flick away moments before she answers. "I'll survive," she murmurs, and then she takes a deep breath as if to muster the gumption to move.

"Unlike your stockings." It's difficult to overlook how they've been shredded. "I'll see if I can find something in your size when we raid Wreath-of-Roses." So jaunty he is talking about ransacking the ruins of the repulsively rich. Likely sensing that Sawyer is seeking to stir, Kal gives a nudge. "Right-o. Up you go." Complete with a playful smacking of her ass should the opportunity present itself. For morale support.

Thankfully, Sawyer isn't getting to her feet but merely rocking to a sitting position that takes her out of the man's lap. She looks a little forlorn the moment she's out of his obligingly comforting embrace, but it might just have to do with the aforementioned stockings that she's now plucking at with her fingertips. Maybe, but not likely. "Thank you," she reflexively says to his offer to scavenge for her. Finally, she makes a swipe at her face, using the back of her hand to wipe across her cheeks. "Whatever you needed… can it wait until the morning?" A pause, and a lift of her eyes. "Will you stay? Please?" It's clear it takes a lot for her to even form the question.

Getting up on his own feet, Trask briefly rubs his knees and then goes to retrieve the bigass book about Tauron that went skittering across the floor when he (and it) were flung from the hammock. By the time he's turned around to return it, he's being asked the Million Cubits Question. For a pensive moment, an answer is considered. "I can come back in about two hours," is the best he can offer, seeing how he's currently On Duty. Indeed, he looks as though he thought he'd be in and out of here in under five minutes, which means he's running late for wherever he's supposed to be. "If not, I guess I'll just have to do a frakton of paperwork in here." Oh, the horror.

How facetiously those big brown eyes then roll with false drama. "So, hurry up. What's it to be? Chop-chop. I'm in a rush." Scarcely waiting a beat, he sighs and throws up his hands. "/Fine/. I'll go get my shit." And like a scampish snot who's reverted to his fail-safe of flippancy, Bootstrap turns on his heel to head for the hatch, depositing the book on the nearest desk.

Sawyer smiles softly as Trask beats feet for the hatchway, not doing anything to stop him. When and if he actually should return, she's managed to drag that damnable cot out of the corner where it's stayed to a closer juxtaposition to the hammock. The overhead lights have been clicked off, but one desk remains with a pool of lamplight illuminating it for his work. Sawyer? Sawyer has crawled in the mulberry sling, curled and having dozed off likely waiting for his return.

True to his word, he does return, once he's made the necessary arrangements for his usual 'office hours'. If someone really needs to speak with him, they can either wait or mosey on down to the News Room. The latter does not transpire during the course of reading and writing and signing-off of reports, which the SL does at the cleared desk, albeit with his own laptop that he subsequently locks down when all that needs to be done is finally done.

And his reward for all these good deeds? He gets the frakking cot. Screw that. The far more comfortable hammock is easily big enough for two. "Your ass ain't that big," he remarks, commandeering some space with his own butt, "but you still gotta move it." With the way Kal climbs into the hammock, she really has no choice. "Hurry up. I need my beauty sleep."

Sawyer cracks a bleary eye open, but doesn't protest. When he slips in beside her and the knotted rope creaks, she settles back down beside Kal and throws the edge of her blanket over him. As is the nature of hammocks and their propensity to dip in the middle, it's impossible for them not to touch. And so she settles her cheek against his shoulder and her thigh against his, hers still in those damnable torn stockings. That's how she's content to sleep.

For the sake of not waking up sore from being in an awkward position, one arm is draped around the blonde, seeing how she's nestled against his shoulder. Now that her nose isn't stuffed-up from tear-induced snot, the smell of sweat and smoke and a hint of sage upon his person would be evident. Thus settled, Trask doesn't dawdle when it comes to getting some precious shut-eye.

Then, like clockwork, when his internal alarm goes off a few hours later, he carefully disentangles himself so as to not wake the sleeping Sawyer, collects his things, and slips out to start his next shift.

So it is that life goes on.

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