PHD #388: Ruruku
Summary: It's a big leap. Mark and Leyla decide to make it together. Mushiness factor: 5 out of 10.
Date: 21 Mar 2042 AE
Related Logs: Mark/Leyla <3 logs generally. Specifically, This Swarm Attack for Leyla's injury.
Leyla Mark 
Sickbay — Areion
There are sick people. And embarassed people because the gowns open in the back.
Post-Holocaust Day: #388

There aren't many free places one can go on the Areion. Today, however, that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. It's only the morning after the attack on the basestars, and the visiting pilot from the Cerberus is still confined to the spook ship's sickbay. But at least they're letting her sit up, and have given her a tablet to scribble on. And so she sits, cross-legged on her bed, an IV in her off, right, arm, and a cannula in her nose to provide some extra oxygen. But aside from those two things, and the fact that she's wearing a hospital gown, her other clothes having been sent down to laundry, such as they were under the flight suit that's in dire need of repairs, Leyla's looking rather well, as good, or nearly so, as usual.

And in walks Mark, for once in his spiffy blues. He even shaved! Apparently the man was trying to look as tidy as possible when he told people where he was going on their ship. Hard to stop a Captain on a mission like this. Seeing her condition, though, he smiles and ambles towards her, putting his hands into his pockets. "Well, well. Gone and got yourself all in trouble again, didn't you?" The man winks, stopping beside her bed. "How goes, beautiful?"

"Funeral detail?" That's got to be the first question that comes to mind, as Leyla looks up, and spots the ChEng looking…so very unlike himself. "Did the assault on the basestar go that poorly?" She does scoot over, leaving as much room as a hospital bed allows, "You know me. I just have to make a scene. And I was getting tired of that flight suit anyway." She's trying very hard to be upbeat.

"Nah. Just wanted to make an impression. You know how this goes. When you travel to a super secret ship full of twinkle-toed badasses you have to spiff a little." Mark grins and removes the hands so he might sit on the bed with her. "Yeah you're always showboating. Trying to make other people look bad. How dare you?" Her reaches out to take her hand. "The assault went pretty well, from what I'm told. The ship exploded, though. We jumped the battlegroup late last night. We're hangin' out. Heard you Raptor bunnies did some pretty insane things last night, too." He's trying to joke around his relief at her being as good as she seems to be. It's not working very well.

"Have you looked at yourself in the mirror at all, lately? You don't have to dress up," a hand rises, touching smooth skin along cheek, jaw, "or shave to make an impression." Leyla settles back onto the bed, still sitting up, but her hands are folded lightly in her lap, "They networked some of the ships together and used the raptors as added amplification when they fired the gun." It almost sounds normal, when she says it like that. "Was hard, at the end, we had to hold the line and stay in position, just hoping the raiders wouldn't pick us off."

Mark turns his face quickly to catch her hand playfully, kissing at it with a 'Muah!'. "Maybe I don't, but it still looks better when a Captain rolls through barking at people to make a hole if he is clean shaven." His other arm moves to curl around her waist and hold her close. His. She was hurt and he's going to be hold on to her for a few minutes, damnit. "Sounds like some crazy brave stuff. And you guys held the line, didja? Have I told you lately how proud I am of you? I think I might build a little shrine to do some hero worship, too. Out of macaroni and paperclips."

There's a smile, small, but genuine, at the kiss, "I thought that was what you had a sidearm for?" Leyla is held, pulled close, and she settles, uncaring that it looks completely incongruous, dress blues and a hospital gown. mostly because it feels so natural, like peas and carrots. "It wasn't though. Crazy, maybe, but not hero. They needed us out there." Leyla looks to the side and back, slightly, to Mark's face, "It's not always going to be like this. Sometimes, it'll be worse. You up for it?" Imagining that the worst might happen isn't quite the same as getting a dose of it in your face. "At least until they need the paperclips to patch a hole in the hull."

Mark snorts, chuckling. "That sidearm I've got? It's got dust on it. I haven't even shot it yet. Guns are not my preferred mechanical devices. Maybe for some? For me it's just another tool I haven't needed." He leans his head, turning it to the side and lean against her a bit, taking in her smell that is uniquely Leyla. "Well you're a hero to a lot of people, sweets." And he means the last part. It might be part of her callsign, but it means something entirely different to him. As she turns to face him, he leans back and just smiles. "Ley? I don't care how bad it gets. I made you a promise. I won't leave you. No arms, no legs, no head. Well, head might have to be negotiable. But you're still you. If we can grow old down the line we aren't always going to look the same. But we'll be the same where it counts." She's that important to him.

"You'd better hope no Marine hears you say that. They'd die on the spot if they heard how poorly you care for your sidearm." Leyla's…not so much. Part of a raptor team's job is to protect their personnel complement, if it comes to that. "I hope you won't ever need it." There's a quiet time, when Leyla simply enjoys the company, the closeness. The safety, or perhaps the novelty of not having to be strong, because you have someone to carry you. "I had to ask, Mark. I want so many things, I can't always name them all, but more than anything, I want to know that at the end of all things, you'll look back and know you lived your life without regrets." Leyla turns, tucking her cheek against his chest, "Sometimes, I look at you, and I see the road of my life stretching out in front of me like a beacon. Holding me here, when I'm not sure I have the strength to do it for myself. You brought me back to the Areion last night. You and Skeeter." It wasn't the pilot who brought the badly damaged 307 down onto the spook ship's deck.

"I'm the Chief Engineer. If I need my gun then a lot of things went wrong. I hope it never comes to that because I'm awful with them." Otherwise, he lets her speak, leaning his head over hers and smiling. There's no rush. No anxiety. He's completely comfortable with her right now. "I regret things, babe. But they are things that have taught me lessons. Made me who I am. I wish I hadn't had to learn some of those lessons, but it's what has me here. With you. Right now." His hand around her rubs at her arm. "I'm glad you can feel that way. If it weren't for you I'd probably still be crashing out for naps in my office. Eating alone. Laughing a lot less. Not being nearly as happy. I'm a wrench turner but you're the fire under my boiler, Leyla. I wish I was better with words to really explain it. I just know I get jealous of your Raptor when you have to spend nights on CAP and not back home." Their home.

"We'll take time out at the range. It'll be like a date. I like those." That's true enough, but there's uncertainty there as well. It's so new. All of this. This hope and fear and wonder, "I wish I could have protected you from so much, so many things. Like Leonis. When I think about what they must have done to you, tried to do to you." Out of fear of opening old wounds, Leyla's been close-mouthed about asking about the man's experiences there. "You don't have to be good with words. Words don't say what's in your heart, and in your hands. They don't convey how you feel, or how I feel when I'm with you. It's too big, too big for the words I know." A small laugh, "Bertha says you don't have anything to worry about. I don't have the right parts."

Mark chuckles. "Mmm. A date. I'll see what I can work up for it." But the thought of Leonis fades the smile, but not his hold on her. He's quiet for a long few seconds. Rutger Tower. "Nothing to me directly. You all rescued us before they got to me. But we could hear the screams. The children were the worst. Parents having kids ripped from their arms then taken one floor down. It-" He takes a long breath rocking her - which is more him rocking himself out of comfort. "It was bad. But none of us blamed the fleet. It came when it did." His only other reply to her is to turn his head slightly to kiss hers. "You're my world, Leyla. I'd brave a singularity if there was even a small chance that going in might be for you."

Funny, that in the middle of sickbay, it should be Leyla who turns to comfort Mark. But turn she does, sliding her arms around his waist, pulling him close, as thought she could shield him with her body, with her love, from the horrors of memory. "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean…to make you remember that." Not that they all haven't lived through hell, but clearly this was different. "And you're mine, Mark. Now, always. I wish I had…I wish I could…" she shakes her head, "I don't have anything to give that would repay you for all of this."

Mark shakes his head. "Bad memories." Its probably one the reasons he doesn't sleep much. "We've all got them, Ley. We just move on. I'm more worried that my beautiful lady is stuck here and hurt." He kisses to her head once more. "Don't worry about paying me back for anything. You don't owe me. We've got each other right now. That's what is important. Don't sweat anything else. Just know that I'd do anything for you. And when you have a bad day and don't even want to talk about it, just find me. Heck, if my day sucks I usually just go back to the bunk and lay down. Look at everything you've moved in. It's relaxing. Reminds me that there's bigger, more important things, than busting a knuckle or having to yell."

"Yes, we all have them, but that doesn't mean that I can't want to make them go away, to take away the pain of them, or to ease your cries in the night." No kiss, but her arms do tighten around his waist. "I do owe you. It isn't enough to just say 'I love you.'" though she's never actually said those words, actually, not in so many words, at least, "I want you to know that I appreciate you too. I want you to know, not just believe that you're my everything. I want to make your world right the way you've made my world right. That you can come to me, whenever you're tired, or angry, or upset or sad, and let me comfort you."

Mark understands the want. To comfort. He doesn't give an outright reply to her desires to the dreams but to smile at her. As as simple a 'thank you' as he can give. "Babe, you make everything about my world right. Everything. I don't honestly think I could care this much about some normal woman from wherever. The little nuances that make you Leyla are exactly what I need and want. Even if I need to be told when to shut up." He grins. "And what we have, yeah, I know I can come to you. Like family." Given the discussion weeks prior about not having anything like that, that's a leap for him. "Feels like family."

And it's enough. To feel Mark's answer, even if he doesn't give one in words so much. Words are fleeting things, after all, and not at all the things that last. "I am afraid I cannot take much credit for the things that make me Leyla. Like you, I have been shaped by the past, for good or ill. But what there is of me, you can have. You do have. And you've gotten better at knowing when to shut up." But there's humour there, for all of it. "You are my tahu, in all of the ways in which that word can be spoken. And we are a family, even if we are only two."

"Same, Ley. You pretty much took me and ran with it. I just never really realized it- Well." Mark chuckles. "I knew I liked you when you pulled me into your bunk with you. When you knew it was me and it just went as it did. By the time we were discussing family and what it meant to us, I just had no hope. There's a lot of us yet to explore. Not everything will be pretty or easy. But I'm gone, Ley. Where you've buried me is under lock and key and yours to giggle about the location of." Mark nuzzles a nose to her temple before kissing it. Tahu. "I love that language," he says gently. The word fits so well. "Two as a family. I'm good with that. In fact, I'm pretty sure I like this idea." Never really having had a family in his own mind, this is new. And warm. Most definitely a Good Thing. He squeezes her close to him.

"I would have known even if I had been asleep in truth." Instead of half in and half out. "Being with you, lying with you, feeling you warm and close against me. It was like coming home, like the only place I ever wanted to be. When I'm with you, I feel like I fit into my skin in a way I don't when you're not around. I think that's why I was so upset, when we were talking about family, because I wanted you to believe that you could have that, that we could have that, even if I didn't know why I thought so, or wanted it to be so badly." Leyla shifts, not moving out of Mark's arms, but trying to face him, small hands reaching up to try to fiddle with his collar, to pull out his dog tags. To slip them off.

Mark just grins. The happiest man alive. "I'd take you any way I could get you. Different skin, no skin, whatever. But I know what you're saying." He bows his head forward so she can remove the tags. "I guess I understand that a little better now. Maybe that was just my little voice in my head kicking me to wake up to it. Confront it. If I'd just sat around in denial I probably wouldn't be here with you like this. You punched a nice little hole in that wall and slipped through. I can't thank you enough for it. Waking up next to you in my bunk the first time was probably the single biggest leap my little beatin' heart had ever taken. The warmth. The closeness. I knew I didn't ever want to let that go."

Leyla settles in to the comfort of Mark's arms, as she works the clasp of the dog tag chain open. Once it is, she sets it in her lap, such as it is, before she lifts her arms, careful not to elbow the man holding her in the face, and, opening hers as well, removes one of her and one of his, switching them out, so that each has one of their own and one of the other person's. Of course, like all good military people, they have spares stored away, so replacing the missing one, so they have the requisite two won't be a problem. But that's not really what matters. "I'm told I have all the subtlety of a bull in a tea shop." A glance up, at the last, "You won't ever have to."

"Its one of your most charming qualities, actually. You know how hard it is to find a good person who isn't afraid to stand up? Its one of the reasons I'm so dang proud of you. And it might be a little vain but I'm proud of myself to being lucky enough to have you." Mark grins, watching her work with the dogtags. When she's finished he reaches for the chain she removed. "I think I'll take this one. Besides, I don't think it'll be too hard to identify who is who. The blazingly gorgeous female with the tatau should be easy to distinguish from the guy who.. isn't." He winks.

"I don't have any charming qualities. Just qualities that make people want to shoot me, and qualities that make them want to shoot me less." Once Mark lays claim to her dogtags, she settles his own back on beneath her gown, "I don't have anything else to give you. I wish I did." Laughter, "I don't think tatau are your most distinguishing feature. Nor do I think it would be difficult to determine which of us is male." There's a hint of pink on her cheeks. "Especially not if I don't learn how to keep my mouth shut."

"Tch! Your charming qualities are subjective to my opinion only. You obviously can't handle that kind of decision on your own," he chides playfully, leering at her with a grin. "I could think of something else we could give each other. Specifically me to you. But I don't think the Areion's doctors would approve." He winks. "And no, I don't think my tatau would really stick out. Though.." He takes a breath. "You've shared so much of yourself with me. Who you are. Where you come from. Would it be appropriate for me to do something?" He's cautious about asking. Mark remembers the conversation about people copying it and almost mocking it that way.

"And of course your opinions matter so much." Yes, she's most certainly teasing. because Mark's opinions do matter. A hell of a lot. "Maybe we can see about that once they let me go home, maybe later tonight." A grin, before she sits back, considering. There's a thoughtfulness there, yes. "It would depend on what you wanted to do. But I don't think it would be inappropriate. I have been thinking…I was wanting to ask you if you would be willing to allow me to add you to my Achyddiaeth." That is, her genealogy.

Mark laughs. "Shyaddap," he needles back, poking her in the side teasingly, trying to tickle her. There's no hiding the love and affection on his face. But the talk of tatau gets a shrug. "I'm not an expert. I'd have to trust you to decide on something appropriate. I'm not interested in my accomplishments, though. My family history outside of you is.. well I can hardly remember much more than my parents' names. I bow to your superior guidance." But the idea of being added to her gets a blink. "I'd be honored. Deeply. If you think that it should be done, I'd love that. Immensely."

Leyla shakes her head, as she resettles the tags and, in turn, resettles facing Mark, her expression mirroring his emotion for emotion, including the laughter, as she tries to evade the tickles, "No, we would decide together. Plan the design and ask a Kaiwhakairo to draw and approve of the patterns. Your tatau should reflect what you want to be immortalized, what stories you wish to carry with you. And names are important things. That is why to some I am Leyla Aydin, and to others I am Leyla, daughter of Emin, born of Aylin. Born to the Aydins of Tauron." As for adding to her own, "If you wanted…to wear the same tatau…."

Mark takes a long breath, dipping his head as he thinks on all this. Its a big step - though it doesn't seem like one he is unwilling to take. Its going to hurt if he does it. He smiles, though, in the end. Who the hell is he kidding? "I'd be perfectly willing to wear the same tatau as you. Our story has already started. It would make sense to bring it about. You've made a profound difference in my life. One that time won't wipe away. I honestly think that it would be something I could wear with pride." He pauses, looking to her. "Is this a design we'd have to do together? I'm afraid my input wouldn't be much help." He knows he's too ignorant. Doesn't wanna screw this up.

It is a big step, to bind yourself to someone else, to weave yourself into their story, and be woven, in turn, into theirs. So much so that even if life were to pull you apart, still you would be bound to them, by flesh and memory. "Our story, like the stories I carry, is one that should be remembered." Laughter, at the question, "If I give you an idea, and you, knowing how to build it, bring it to pass, isn't it still the work of both of us, even if only one hand does the labour? This would be no different. I and the Kaiwhakairo can work together to bring our ideas to fruition." One of her hands rises, touching the place above his right breast, "This is the traditional place for such things for men. But you can choose another place, if you prefer."

Mark considers the idea posed by Leyla. "Mmm. I guess you have a fair point there. I'd have to look over some ideas. Maybe pictures of what other people have done. Get some ideas from you on how we can make it our own. I'm creative, just not really in that sort of artistic way." When she lifts her hand to his chest, he smiles easily. "Then there it shall go. I'll have no objection to it. I want this to be as important to you and your own culture as it would be to me. I know I'm not fro mthe Black Country, but I sure wouldn't mind carrying that part of you every where I go."

"There are standard shapes, forms and patterns, which can and are personalized by families and by individuals. When we are down to Condition Three," if that ever happens, "I will travel to the Elpis and find the Kaiwhakairo. He will be able to start us on the right path, and make suggestions as well. "If we do this, it will be Taurian, but it will also be Pican. It will be for both of us. So that I will be carrying you as well." And then, that soft smile, "For now, though, will you stay with me a while, let me lie with you, until the doctors come to discharge me?"

Mark nods in understanding. "My lack of culture mixed with something so rich? I'm actually kind of excited at the idea." To her request, the man nods a few times. He releases her to remove his jacket and set it on a chair beside the bed. "You know I will. Let's lie down and rest. We have last night to make up for, love. I could use the company and warmth." He puts his arms around her once more to lean her back with him onto the bed and pillow.

"Your culture is your own, born of your own hands. It is not any less for being so personal." Once the jacket is set aside, and Mark returns, Leyla settles, feeling, well, for the first time, really, since she was brought to the Areion, at ease, and truly comfortable. At least as so far as being in sickbay is concerned. For good or ill, Mark really does carry her happiness with him. "So could I, tahu. So could I."

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