PHD #165: Saying I'm Sorry
Saying I'm Sorry
Summary: A long-awaited apology is made. Some pretty heavy truth is laid out in the open when Allie explains why she felt the way she did.
Date: 10 Aug 2041 AE
Related Logs: Cowards
Tillman Alessandra 
Executive Officer's Quarters
A decent-sized room for a personal quarters, the XO's cabin has few of the plush amenities of the Admiral's but still retains a few more touches than would normally be found elsewhere. There are bookshelves that are stacked neatly beside a line of lockers. The standard-sized bunk is built into the wall with a few cabinets overhead for storage. The desk is a standard issue piece of furniture and so is the chair that comes with it, but there is a plain blue couch against the wall near the door and a respectably-sized blue rug lain out in front of it. This room also has a personal bathroom that holds a cramped shower, toilet, and sink area that is separated by a thin wooden door painted to the same color as the walls.
Post-Holocaust Day: #165

Just after noon and the XO's hatch is shut. But inside he is partially dressed and sitting at his desk, only managing to have made it into his boots and pants so far today. He's sitting at his desk and staring at the paperwork on it but he doesn't seem to actually be looking at it, the man seeming to be more in a daze than anything else. His face is completely impassive.

There's no knock forthcoming to announce Allie being here, no polite waiting or anything of the sort. She just comes in, turns to close the hatch behind her, and then approaches the Major. Not saying anything just yet, the only thing she does right off the bat is toss a small baggy of jelly beans onto the desk, all of the ones he doesn't like already having been gotten rid of. Small pittance, of sorts, but it's her way of extending an olive branch.

Tillman looks up at the hatch as Allie enters and his eyes narrow, though the man is still distracted. And its obvious. He glances to the jellybeans for a moment then back up to her. "I got your note. I assume its about that." The man keeps it short for now.

"I let my anger and my emotions get the better of me and I was out of line," Allie starts after nodding in answer to the XO's question, her voice cracking here and there as she begins her apology. "I am truly sorry for calling you a coward and I'm sorry I came to you with a chip on my shoulder and I am so very sorry I frakked things up between us." A bit more verbose than the Major, Allie almost continues on but can't, her desire to say more outweighed by the fact that if she tries she'll wind up bawling like a baby.

Tillman doesn't move. He doesn't fidget. He just sort of watches her. The silence hangs in the air, the tension from him slowly building like air pressure. Another glance to the jelly beans and then back up to her. "Is there anything else, Lieutenant?" he asks quietly. "Anything more you'd like to say?"

Alessandra is not so oblivious as to not notice the tension which makes her wince slightly. "I…miss you." Squaring her shoulders, she assumes an 'at rest' posture while looking just to the side of Clive's head, unable to look him in the eye. With the ball being in his court, she simply waits for his reaction.

Tillman watches her but his eyes fall away with her words and he looks back to his desk in that same blank stare he held when she walked in. Its a very long minute before he says anything else. "I've been called a lot of things in my life, but never that. And I gotta say that was probably the single most offensive of those things. Hearing that made me want to shoot you where you stood." He takes a long breath. "Having someone close to you drop a bomb like that? It cuts deep. To the very core of your heart, soul, and job. Having my integrity and lifelong dedication wiped clean like chalk on a slate?" He looks up to her once more. "Would you want me to personally attack you for any number of things that you may or may not have actually done? To insult your career and profession and call into question your every act? Ignore every positive thing written in your file? It would probably rip you to shreds, wouldn't it?"

"I didn't mean it but…frak. You are one of the bravest people I know. Honest, sir. I am sorry that I hurt you. I am." Alessandra darts a glance towards the Major, looking him in the eye. "It'd hurt me very badly," she answers shortly, her eyes lowering. "I wish I could take it back. If there is one person I truly love it's you and it frakking makes me ill to think that I hurt you like I did." Chewing on her lower lip, she pauses to gather her thoughts.

"I have no doubt that you're sorry. What concerns me is that your comment came from somewhere. You didn't just pull it out of thin air. Calling a former Marine, your ship's XO, and someone you love a coward isn't just a random attempt to hurt someone because you feel wronged." Tillman keeps his eyes on her, his face still a mask while his voice keeps an even tone. "If that had been anyone else in that room who said that to me, it would have ended in violence and I can godsdamned guarantee I'd be in the brig for beating someone into a bloody mass. Do you realize how lucky you are that you still retain the ability to walk and chew solid foods?"

Alessandra's shoulder hitch slightly as she tries to breathe but something said by the Major makes inhaling hard, causing her to wheeze. "I felt hurt by the results of Apostolos'…you know. Part of me kind of broke when I heard she was being let off as light as she was. Part of me was angry because I felt like if it had been me who tried to kill the prisoner you would have told the CAG to have the book thrown at me and…it just…" Blinking rapidly, she finds herself hit by a rush of the same emotions she was overcome by the night she erupted and the struggle to maintain control begins anew. "If hitting me would make you feel better then please, sir, do it. Do it if there's a chance that it'll fix things between us. Do something, please!"

"Considering your record I can't see a reason why it would have been more harsh for you. Though it might surprise you to know I actually talk to Apostolos and consider her a friend. Maybe not as close as we have been, but close enough. However, she also has a record for insubordination." Tillman keeps his tone sickly neutral, even as she fights herself. "After I spoke to her post-decision, I'm confident that it will not be happening again. But that doesn't concern you. You can blame that result on your outburst, but it doesn't change anything. At the end of the day you still feel like it would have been worse for you..for a reason I can't fathom." He slowly rises from his desk and moves around to stand in front of her, looking her square in the eye. "You're really willing to have me hit you? To rail on you in order to make things better between us? That I should take out my rage through my fists, that you could handle it?" He doesn't look like he's kidding. He might actually do it.

"Do you want to know why, sir? Because everyone makes excuses for her. I try to talk to Captain Sitka about her apparent hatred of me and get told she's not done being young and hateful or something like that. I try to talk to other people about her and get told she's not that bad and crap. It really felt like this was just another case of her being able to skate by because she's allowed to. Because everyone lets her." This is the first time she's mentioned it, it having been pent up and held inside for quite a long time, and it's actually a relief for Allie to get this off of her chest. "So can you see why I felt the way I did, sir? Why I was so frakking hurt and mad? It's because I felt like it was just another case of her being let off light because everyone frakking likes her." Lifting her chin afterward, she looks at the Major in the eye and nods, holding his with her own when she adds, "If hitting me would make you feel better then yes. Frakking hit me, sir," she blurts out. Yes. She wants him to hit her.

"If you think that people are letting her skate then that is a decision that you need to share with the CAG. Not with me. You can share lamentations, but don't you dare bark at me like I've done something wrong. When we examine cases under those circumstances, we weigh everything. So you and dozens of other people may not like it, but you have to live with it. Calling people names and being childish yourself is not going to reverse or fix anything. You want to make changes, you file official protests and log them with your department head. Our relationship does not give you the right to throw accusations like that no matter how pissed off you are. Period. Ever. You have a personal problem with me, fine. You talk to me. You get racked with anger about a professional call and want to discuss it civilly, fine. You let that anger get the best of you, you better think twice next time before you go throwing insults because that was a damned fine line from official trouble. You copying all this down, Lieutenant?" Tillman still looks like he's debating on taking up that offer.

"Yes, sir." Allie's not moving outside of another minute lifting of her chin, looking like she's bracing herself for what she's expecting to come. There's no sign that she's about to try and defend herself, Allie's hands still held behind her back. There's no daring from her, no goading the Major into doing it by posture, the offer enough in her opinion.

"Good. I want that to be absolutely clear." Tillman takes another long, stern breath before he lifts his hands to her shoulders. A smile twitches at the edge of his face. "I love you, too, Allie. Consider the apology accepted. Thank you for facing up like you did. It means a lot." He looks her in the eye and finally lets the smile spread. "Just don't make me do that again, aye? I don't think either of us enjoyed that at all. ..You okay?"

There's a startled expression upon Alessandra's face when Clive starts to smile and then touches her shoulders, that being what is needed to jolt her out of the mood she had been in up to that point. "I'll never do that again, s…Clive. I promise." Chuckling, she reaches up and rubs the back of her hand under her nose, it done as she sniffles. She's not able to smile but it is easy to see that she's feeling better despite the lack of gesture on her end. "I'm fine now. In need of a drink but yeah. I'm fine. And thank you for listening to me even though you were not happy with me."

The man nods once more. "I know you won't. And you can keep the jelly beans." His hands drop and he reaches for them to hand them back. "I appreciate the offer, but keep these for when life sucks. Just eat one or two and think about happier times, okay?" He'll open her hand to put the baggie back in if he has to. "Go get your drink and we'll talk more later, okay? Promise. Remember: Family first, kiddo. Everything will be alright."

Alessandra smiles. "I like the green ones the best," she says before leaning in to place a kiss on Clive's cheek. "I promise. Family first." With everything in her world back in order now, Allie turns to exit the XO's quarters. "I'll be around if you'd like to hang out. Really missed that." With nothing more to say she leaves, the hatch closed like it was when she first arrived.

Tillman watches her go in silence, that smile holding fast until she's gone. He takes a long breath and lifts his hands to run through his hair. "Same, Allie." He closes his eyes and leans forward a bit. Its been a bad twelve hours. At least this made things a little easier.

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