PHD #392: Session
Summary: Keenan and Solstice discuss her relationship boundaries…over laundry.
Date: 26 MAR 2042
Related Logs: None
Solstice Keenan 
Laundry Room
Industrial washers and dryers line each side of this elongated room, which typically has personnel moving in and out all day and night. These front-loading systems are designed to withstand the rigors of a military beating and still function as expected. A sturdy set of counters run the length of the room for crewmembers to fold their own laundry and dress and pins or patches before and after the process.
Post-Holocaust Day: #392

Late is really the only way to describe it. It's the middle of the night and although that means very little on the ship due to the revolving shifts, there does actually come a time where it gets more quiet than others. It's this time that Keenan finds a cut in his schedule to be able to get some laundry done. Nestled in the corner of the room on a chair with his feet propped on another chair, the young pilot's arms are folded across his chest and he's in the process of nodding off. The side of his face resting against the wall, he seems to be in and out of sleep while his threads are mashed into cleanliness by the laundry machine behind him.

Keeping odd hours is the only way to find some relative calm in the head and other places so that Solstice can keep to herself. Bag flung over her shoulder, she enters without noticing the tired pilot. Plopping her bag down, she lifts the top of one of the washers with an audible *tunk* and starts to plop her coveralls, sweats and a few others unmentionables in together. Dressed in another set of her tanks and in shorts, she wiggles her bare feet a little and hums faintly - if a bit sporadic.

There's no telling whether it was the humming or the light clanging sounds of the unforgiving front-loading machines. Bringing a palm to his eye socket, Keenan stretches is feet out and presses his boots against the back of the chair that they're resting on, resulting in a light scraping of the chair across the floor. Eyes half-closed, Keenan turns his head to see legs. Legs turn into shorts. Shorts turn into tanks. Tanks turn into Solstice. "Oh…" Keenan murmurs, putting it all together. "…was sleeping wasn't I?"

As she starts to close the door, she pauses, hearing the voice and turning. She had not seen him against the wall. Solstice lifts a brow and offers a faint nod, "My guess would be so." She says, "I didn't even notice you. Must have been still has death." She says with a click and turn of the dial. She starts the machine and drops her empty bag to the side and fixes her dog tags at her neck.

"I should probably get up anyway." His arms stretch out in front of him, exposing the tattoo on his bicep in her direction before he brings his arms back in to run through his hair. Standing with a bit of bounce to his step, he gazes towards her with sleepy eyes. For a moment, he seems to be judging her condition before he speaks. "It's been a few days. How've you been?"

"Life moves on, Poms." She says and is fiddling with the dog tags still - as if to fill a void on her part for conversation. Solstice swallows a bit, "Contemplating options..what choices to make. That sort of thing. Not that we have many options here on ship." She states. The tattoo is noted but not asked of, for now she is turning to offer her back, seeming awkwardly quiet. She had warned him of such. Reaching down for the bag, she pulls it up and begins to fold it for the lack of something else to do.

His vision falls onto her back, resting between her shoulder blades In Keenan's experiences it's common for Solstice to be quiet and to be distance, but in his state of waking up, he can't help but tilt his head slightly to the side. Resting against a dryer that is not in use, he presses his hands into his pockets and gives the woman a curious look. "Is this anything that I can help you with? What sort of choices are we talking about here?"

"Fickle social choices, little things with no matter." She waves it off rather hurriedly and then turns, drawing a breath and presenting a worn smile. Solstice then nods to him as she folds the laundry bag. "What are you doing here so late?" She asks faintly, noticing his lack of energy. "Should be sleeping by all accounts based off nearly nodding off." She looks down to her folding job, bare feet shifting on the cold floor before she moves to find a seat on the edge of one of the folding tables nearby.

"Bad rotations. I've been putting off laundry and I had to get it done sooner or later. I waited too long and now I'm suffering." He replies with a slacker's shrug. "It's nothing that'll cut into my sleep. I think I've just been trying to cram too much in to too little time. That and this room is frakkin' lifeless when you're alone in here." He pauses, reading her body language. "What kind of fickle social choices? Seems it's got you waffling."

Ruffled a little by his insistence, Solstice does her best not to show it. She sets the bag down on her lap and looks up at him. "A date..possibly. I am not really one to get involved." She says, pressing her lips into a thing line. "Best I don't. Nice guy…it would seem despite what I hear…" Her voice trails off. "I don't know. I guess its not really something I think about. I have my duty, deck and sleep. That is all I really make time for."

Keenan's face softens and his gaze tilts away from her for a moment as she mentions the date. Nodding softly as she speaks, he turns his eyes back to her not too long after she's finished sleeping. "Is that all you want?" He asks, leaving it an open ended question. "I mean, a date's a good thing, right? If anything it could be a break from the monotony. Is this guy what you like in a guy?"

That last question causes Solstice to hesitate and her brows furrow. "I don't like a lot of things about guys.." She murmurs, her gaze growing distant. "I should tell him no." It seems decided as her voice grows soft. She clears it and rubs her hand along the folded bag on her leg. She is busy creasing it as the polyester material doesn't hold well and slides back undeterred. She doesn't stop either in that tireless pursuit, deflecting and trying to wait out the conversation in her quiet again.

"Solstice?" Keenan asks, moving over to stand in front of her. Leaning back against a different dryer machine, this time the one near her folding table, he tries to get contact with her eyes. "If I ever say anything or ask you about something that makes you uncomfortable, I want you to know you don't have to feel awkward about telling me so, okay?" He pauses, changing gears. "Like, is there anything you want to talk with me about? I feel like I've asked you a million questions. Is there anything you want to know about me?"

As he shifts closer, Solstice actually twitches a little and rubs her hand along her arm. " thanks, Poms. I am okay…just a knee jerk reaction to topics involving…guys. Makes it hard to talk to you." She offers something near a sympathetic smile but it doesn't reach her eyes. She instead swallows and and draws a long breath, shifting on the table as she covers her thighs a little bit with the folded bag. Her eyes shift away quickly from him.

It doesn't take long for Keenan to understand his presence is making her uncomfortable, and the way she starts to cover her self up urges him to shift further away from her. Turning his side to her, he takes a few steps away from her. Bringing his arms above his head and bending his elbows so that his hands meet behind his neck, he stretches his tired muscles as he moves. "Understood." He replies, sympathizing with her. He turns his head to glance at her face over his shoulder. His gait is slow, as if he intends to quietly pace the floor. "Who's the lucky guy, maybe I've met him?"

Easing a little with the distance, Solstice lifts her hand to rub at her neck lightly. "Well…Dave Wright? Shiner some call him I think." She offers. Her lips form a thin line slowly. "I honestly am usually so cold not many approach me. I rather like it that way." She admits without regret or hesitation in her voice. She keeps the bag over her legs but is able to look up at him now with some distance.

Keenan's gaze tilts away from her as he meanders, keeping his arms behind his head. "Shiner…yeah I met that guy." He starts, taking one step at a time. "He was a little…I don't know, explosive? Then again, guys talk to each other differently I guess." Keenan adds, hiding the scowl on his face. "Honestly, Sole, I don't really get approached either. I don't know, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I'd rather be left the frak alone."

Watching him, Solstice shifts again, sliding to the floor on her feet. "I just…I would prefer not to be approached, this puts me in an awkward and uncomfortable position. I all means I should date. Look at the rest of the ship. I just can't seem to…feel comfortable." How to explain it. Shakes doesn't find the words or even the proper depth to which it goes, to what she has to say to make most people understand - that's why she stays quiet.

"Then maybe whoever you date should be based off of your friendship with them, you know? Get comfortable first." Keeping his back to her, sensing that it's helping the conversation, he keeps idly walking towards the wall. He takes in a slow breath and releases it. "How do I put this?" He tilts his head from side to side, picking his wording. "If you want to be happy you've gotta be comfortable, so maybe you just need to figure how to mesh what you want with what would be the right comfort zone for you?"

"Well its not what he wants…he wants a date." She says. Solstice brushes her hand over her hair and then back down to the smoothing of the folded bag. She is waring at it, harder and longer, her brows furrowing. "To be that close to someone, to allow them a chance to be that close personally…" She shakes her head, something bother her as the buzzer goes off on an unclaimed machine near the other side of the room. She jumps, paling a little and then closing her eyes, letting out a long breath.

Keenan stops as the buzzer goes off and turns to see that it's his machine. Scratching the side of his head, he steps over to it and opens it up. Spying his laundry ready to be dried, he folds his arms and makes a pair of quiet 'tsk' noises against his teeth. "A date isn't a promise. It's a conversation." Keenan replies, turning his back to her to prepare a nearby dryer while they talk. He's closer to her, but his back is to her. "Sol? You can tell me no if you want to, because I respect the boundaries we've got, okay? But what do you prefer with me? Do you want my advice or do you want me to listen?"

Rubbing at her cheek, she lets out another long breath and then falls silent. Solstice parts her lips and then clears her throat, "If you were to listen.." She says faintly, "Then there wouldn't much to listen to." The ECO watches his back and can not help but find relief in the way he adapts to her strange social tendencies. "Advice….possibly. I don't get much of it." She admits and then lowers her had a little, dark curls falling to hide her face. Dates were still that, a date. It meant someone was interested in a relationship or at least something and thought alone makes her tense and shiver.

"Okay…okay…" Keenan replies, nodding his head a few times as he figures how to speak with her about this. Going silent, he practically ignores her as he turns back in her direction. Leaning down, he reaches into the washing machine and grabs his small mountain of laundry. Like a sack of potatoes, he turns and dumps the clothing into the dryer. He closes the door, and unceremoniously hits the button to start the machine. "Well," He starts, turning away from her again to start his slow, idled pacing. "It seems to me that you don't exactly want to spend the rest of your life alone, but you're not comfortable with dating. You're not comfortable with being approached, but it's either that or do the approaching, right? So if I were in your situation, I can really only tell you what I would do, right?" He pauses. "I'd consider a date like a conversation. A date is just getting to know someone. If it's a good conversation, you schedule another one. If it's a bad conversation you don't. There is nothing wrong about telling a guy that you like that you've got boundaries, you want to take it really slow, and that trust is a huge thing for you and that if he wants to date you he can't get upset that the trust has to be earned first."

Keeping her head lowered, Solstice listens to the advice she had asked for. Her lips part and then she wets them, swallowing before she looks down and smooths the folded bag again once more in along laborious motion. It really wasn't that easy but the way he said it made her seem as if she had been missing what could really be. She frowns some, thinking on it and then her face falls back to placidity. Another brush of her hand and her head lifts, gaze distant as she stares at the opposite wall - honey eyes locked there, "You make it sound easy.." She starts by voicing her thoughts, "My version of slow is a crawl that most people can barely wait a day for." She swallows and grips at the cloth upon her legs. "Trust is a big portion of it..and the other portion is me. They would have to…learn to deal with my hangups. My fears."

With each slow step, Keenan focuses on the dull feeling of his feet slowly coming into contact with the floor, the sound of the dryers, and her voice as he keeps himself quiet and friendly to her despite the way his back is turned to her. Stretching his arms out before him again, he twists them slight at the elbows. There's a soft pop that comes from his elbows, and afterward he slides his hands into the back pocket of his fatigues. "I guess, the way I see it is that if it isn't easy it might as well be practical right? Otherwise you're gonna drive yourself up the wall trying to figure the right answer, so just go with the simple one?" He asks, his left shoulder raising in a shrug. "Honestly? I think any guy worth your time shouldn't be the kind of guy that would deal with your hangups and fears, but respect them. You shouldn't be ashamed of them. They're your business and there's nothing wrong with having boundaries."

The problem was that her boundaries consisted of a cement wall between herself and any male. Solstice lowers her hand from the incessant brush of her palm against the folded fabric on her lap. "Yeah…you are right." She says softly. But really not many are going to stick around long enough with the way she perceives them. Letting out another long breath and shifts of the fabric from her lap to the table. "I hope its that easy…I know its not." She says softly. "Might be best to just go out an old maid. I am liking the sound of that." She admits with a half a smile. "A date." She says sounding somewhat more open to the idea. Her words are soft, maybe gathered for only herself, "It is best to start somewhere.." She slowly lowers to the cold floor and shifts, remembering why she had chosen the table.

"No, it's not that easy. But if you're going to start somewhere…" Keenan repeats her words, glancing over his shoulder to watch her in his peripheral vision. Folding his arms across his chest, he turns around and moves to a carefully selected dryer. It's not too far away from her, yet not too close. Flattening his lips, he scratches his arm as he worries over his thoughts. Turning his eyes to the floor, he melds into a momentary silence. "Feeling a little better?"

"Better is a relative term, but yes. More so than I had been feeling." Solstice says in reflection. Her eyes lift to meet his. "Forgive me for being so off-putting and thank you for also being rather..patient with me." She offers him a soft but genuine smile. "I may go take a walk to wait for my clothes. Its a good way to think over things." She hesitates, as if her silence is an invitation for him to join. It catches in her throat though and finally she finds the moment to free it. "Join me?" She asks him, looking from Keenan to his dryer.

There's a slight upturn of Keenan's head after her pause is broken by the offer to join her, perhaps a slight ray of light to the moment. He glances to the dryer his clothes are in and then back to her. "Yeah." He replies, giving her a small, quiet smile. "Yeah I'd like to." He adds, confirming the choice as he nudges his head towards the hatch. Quietly stepping over to it, he spins the wheel and opens it, allowing her the opportunity to step into the hallway.

As he moves forward to open the hatchway, she fixes the folded bag to help it sit a bit more symmetrically before moving to the opening. She nods her head in thanks and ducks through, taking a few steps. Solstice stops, waiting for him on the other side as she fixes the bottom of her tanks, her weight shifting between her feet. Once he joins her, she picks up a slow moderate pace and attempts a mild cue at conversation - probably failing.

The conversation, shyly awkward between the two of them as it is, accompanies a slow, quiet walk that pace by pace takes them further away from the laundry room. With his hands folded behind his back and his aimless, meandering footsteps, Keenan nods his head in agreement to something she says as they turn the corner and disappear from view.

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