PHD #477: Try A Little Tenderness
Try A Little Tenderness
Summary: Trask takes Sawyer's advice and tries a little tenderness. (All hail the wisdom of Otis Redding!)
Date: 18 Jun 2042 AE
Related Logs: This log is a continuation of The Proof is in the Pudding. See also: What It Means (things that Sawyer threw in Trask's face); Annual Performance Review - Jugs (Trask also has a falling out with his BFF); Frustrations (Sawyer and Quinn gnash their teeth about Trask while Kalli is teething)
Sawyer Trask 
News Room - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
This compartment isn't huge by any means, an afterthought shoved into an alcove when the engineer was finishing the final plans for the ship. The long awkward rectangle is filled with several desks and those heavy pieces of machinery that are tools of the media trade — copiers, computers, printers, and of course a seemingly never-ending supply of paper of both the A4 and broadsheet variety. In the far port corner hangs a mulberry-colored hammock attached to the bulkhead — where the head-reporter-in-charge is purported to spent her nights. Three heavy desks have been moved to form an inverted 'U' for the new Editor in Chief's work station, and behind them lies the hatch to the modest closet-sized darkroom.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #477

In slumber, limbs have a tricky memory. An arm forgets its owner had a fight with the person it's threaded around, a leg forgets the one it belongs to shared harsh words with the person it's wrapped around. Some four hours after their respective goodnights, Sawyer feels Kal start to stir next to her. She's used to his sleep patterns by now, after the weeks he spent curled next to her in the hammock, and it's not as if she slept well enough to be in too deep of a slumber that he well could sneak out without her noticing. So when he starts to shift out of dreamland, Sawyer does as well, but maybe this time she's a little faster to the draw when it comes down to it. When he finally opens his eyes, the blonde will already be looking at his face.

When he starts to stir, his nose twitches, followed by a contorting of his gob. With a bit of a dry mouth, he then quietly licks and smacks his lips. For a few moments, he again stills, lids remaining lowered. It's only when he commences the disentanglement process that he becomes aware that Sawyer is intently regarding him. Those big brown eyes blink away remnants of dreaming and the onset of befuddlement. "Hey," the man greets before cracking into a yawn that culminates into a stretch that gives way to a small groan of voice and flight suit fabric. Craning his neck, he peers at the blonde and asks, "Did you wanna get out first?" He's certainly capable of clambering over her, but it seems only courteous to ask with how she's actually awake for once. For all he knows, she needs to really pee and had been trapped by his limbs.

Her answer is an unconventional one for his question, or perhaps it's not related at all. "You need to fix this." The words out of Sawyer are quietly spoken, the tone graveled with the last cobwebs of sleep still clinging to her throat. "Whatever went on between you and Maggie, you need to fix it." There is no good morning kiss, no 'would you like me to fix you some coffee?' or 'how did you sleep?' This is probably not a pleasant way to be woken up, but when have they ever done anything a normal couple would do? "I love you too much to see you miserable and alone. The damage has been done to you and I. I can live with that. But Maggie is your family, so you have to fix it."

That was unexpected. Enough so that his brow knits, his head quizzically cants, and he even looks off to one side as if trying to determine if she really just said what she just said. Upon concluding that he is not still dreaming, his expression becomes a different kind of troubled. In light of everything else Sawyer's thrown in his face, bringing up his latest falling out with Quinn actually ranks fairly low on the Richter scale. Nonetheless, he frowns. "I know," Kal finally says, brooding for a moment before asserting, "I will." And he clears his throat, definitely not comfortable with the topic of conversation. "It's not like she hasn't hated me before." Which is no less true despite the glibness of the statement.

"But this time, Kalli is involved," Sawyer points out in plain language. "So before she revokes your Uncle privileges for good… fix it." Which he said he would, but seeming how he had to attach that glib statement, she attached a modifier to her own. "Now about you and I…"

"Kalli was involved the last time." Now he's being a bit flippant. "And she can't do that." Can she? The bravado briefly yields to uncertainty and a wrenching panic that is subsequently obliterated by resoluteness. No. She can't. He won't permit it. That kid's carved into his arm. Now that he's in a sour mood, he can't help but snark, "Don't be getting any ideas because Maggie's finally getting her frakking wedding bells." And now he's attempting to sit-up even though there's a determined woman in his way.

Sawyer is visibly trying to control her hackles from being raised, the evidence in the way she clenches her jaw hard enough there is a taut line of muscle along her jaw. She doesn't stop him from sitting, scooting only so that she can do the same, which is a difficult thing to do in a hammock and requires one of her plaid pajama clad legs to drape over the side to give them balance. "So that's what your fight was about. Put aside your damn pride for half a second and be happy for her. Down deep this is what you wanted for her anyways, to have a husband and for Kalli to have a father. But don't you deflect that on me. You've made it clear you'd rather marry an aardvark."

She takes a deep breath, evening her temper out. "You can't keep doing this to me. I know that you don't know what you want, and I know for certain that you don't want me. But you can't just use me like this, you can't just crawl into my bed because you need some comfort one night." Despite the fact that she let him stay the night. "I'd love to say that I can be there for you as a friend, but I'm just not that big of a person. I can't just turn my feelings for you off."

"I /am/ happy for her," he snaps back, maneuvering to get out of the hammock. "I'm /pissed off/ that she thought I /wouldn't/ be!" That truly wounded his feelings. "And I told her they needed to fill out the paperwork with the JAG." And now he's rearranging himself down below because his flight suit is a snug fit. "And I told her that she should speak with someone in CMES if she wanted a religious ceremony." He's now expediently zipping closed aforementioned flight suit. "And I /told/ her that I'd make arrangements with the Matatau." And now the sleeves and collar get tugged and rearranged. "But when I said frakked if I know what to do if she wanted a dress, she gave me /attitude/." Except she gave him attitude not because of the dress issue, but because he petulantly dismissed her attempted apology for not telling him the news sooner. In his wounded heart, though, she was totally being a bitch when he was trying to be helpful in spite of his being so very upset.

"Then why the frak did you let me stay?" he asks in response to the rest, still pissed off, "And WHERE THE FRAK are my boots?!" Funny how important tidbits like that get forgotten when a person is hurt and angry.

"There is no way your version of the incident is slightly skewed? Why don't you ask her how /she/ was feeling." Sawyer slings both feet over the side of the hammock, letting them dangle for just a moment before she hops out. She ducks around him, giving him the elbow room he needs to get ready for his day. The answer to his first question is a quiet and simple, "Because you needed me." In answer to his second, she merely reaches for where they are situated from the night before and arranges them silently at the ready for him.

They really were right there, weren't there? It's a somewhat comedically confounded cast that overtakes his face when he is presented with his boots. In fact, it's enough to make him momentarily shut up. Internally, though, he's still wailing and flailing about.

With a sullen harrumph, he sits down to start lacing up. "How she was feeling?" There is that tinge of mania in Kal's voice that always comes with emotionality. "Oh, she told me exactly how she was feeling. Said that she'd been busy, and that I would've just mocked her." Maybe he would have, but that's beside the point. "And that she didn't think it was worth mentioning 'cuz she didn't think I'd care." Which, in all fairness, he merely inferred from her words. Granted, what he is really saying is that Maggie told him he didn't matter. Which also isn't true outside of his self-absorbed, hypersensitive, personal universe. "Whatever," he mutters, harshly tugging to tie off the first batch of laces.

"Alright. Now take your pride out of the equation." Sawyer calmly goes about lighting a cigarette while he hastily tugs on his boots. It's like they're both preparing for a walk of shame, even when there was no shame involved. At least not the standard variety. "Historically, hasn't your first gut instinct been to mock things? And as your chosen sister, wouldn't she be well aware of that tendency? So, was she /really/ that far out of line in being concerned you'd mock the one that were near and dear to her heart? You're pretty good at that, you know." Sawyer sounds as if she's truly just trying to walk Kal through it, without (much) malice.

Take his pride out of the equation? "They don't teach that kinda math in the Black Country," he's quick to quip back, moving on to the other boot. "And I stopped saying Sam wasn't good enough when he actually proved himself to be good enough." And he's a bit sore on that point, as if people should've noticed this miraculous event. "So. YEAH." The word is somewhat crisp. "It really /is/ far out of line that she thought I would've mocked her. Teased 'er, maybe — okay, probably — but not mock. No way." Beyond the anger, he is being earnest.

"Then tell her that. Tell her you're happy for her. Tell her that Sam is good enough for her and Kalli. Tell her. And then she'll forgive you. And then she can apologize and you can forgive her and all will be right in your little universe again." Sawyer props her smoldering cigarette back between her lips to hang dryly by the paper of the filter. Both hands freed, she turns away under the guise of finger-combing back her hair to secure it in a short shock of a pony tail, but maybe he caught the glimpse of pain in her eyes. No doubt giving him relationship advice is difficult, when their own is in such shambles.

"Nothing's ever been right in my universe," is the quiet, wry observation, but he merely lets the rest of what Sawyer's said sink in, even if his first impulse is to rail that Maggie should already know that he thinks Bran is good enough. And so it is that the anger subsides into something else. "It won't matter, you know." Fastening the straps and making adjustments ensues. "/She/ thinks he's good enough. If I tell her what you told me to tell her, she'll just call me self-absorbed." Which, really, he is. Enough so that the blonde's own plight doesn't register because he's too busy brooding. "And she'll get smart with me, tellin' me how my opinion doesn't matter and that I'm full of it for thinking that it does."

"Then just tell her you're happy for her. Kiss her forehead, hug her close and trust me, it'll be enough." It's all mumbled from around a cigarette, punctuated by the crisp snap of her rubber band as it it twisted to fasten her hair. "And if you don't think a little tenderness will do Colonies of wonder, my next advice to you is to grow the frak up."

Boots on and gloves confirmed to be nearby, that just leaves the Five-seveN. It would be easy enough to retrieve the gun and holster from where they hang on the hammock support, except that Sawyer's in the way. "Just need this," Kal quietly conveys, reaching in to reclaim his gear. Or so it seems until his arms snuggly snake around the woman, pulling her into a tender embrace. With eyes closed, he gently nuzzles and kisses the crown of her head.

Tension. Melting. Another sigh and Sawyer's arms finally lift to snake around Kal's waist, fingers splaying out in a ten pointed fan across his back. The cancer stick is carefully held between her knuckles so it won't ash against the green material of his flightsuit. Resigned to being a victim of her own advice, she tilts her head so the contours of her face are against his neck. Lips are somewhere near the hollow of his throat when she murmurs, "You're insufferable."

"I know," is the soft reply, lacking any semblance of pride, gloating, or impudent glee. "I don't always mean to be such a jerk," is admitted with some rue. Arms shift and cheek lifts to accommodate Sawyer's movements, and then he resettles into the upright snuggling.

"You're not getting off that easy, you know." Although from where Sawyer's standing, embraced as she is, the notion is incredibly tempting. "You can't just unsay the things you've said or undo the things you've done." One hand breaks away from her hug of him, her body canting slightly away so it can edge up between them and find the toggle of his flightsuit zipper. She tugs it down, only an inch, so she can kiss his collar. "And the fact remains, tomorrow you'll just go back to resenting me." The pads of her fingers touch where her lips just did, as if sealing the sad sentiment against his skin.

"Neither can you," he asserts, for the woman said no small amount of atrocious things to him. "I'll have you know, though, that I've never struck someone who wasn't my old man." Because even suggesting that he'd smack a woman around… that's simply not something he can shrug off. Even so, he came back. Even more so, she took him back. And as she unzips his collar to lay that kiss, his hands slink upward to undo the tie she only just fastened in her hair.

"You were right about my father. But loving you has nothing to do with him, because I won't let it. Loving you isn't a weakness." While they are going about correcting the misprints that were verbally published in their past fights, Sawyer might as well slip that one in there with an editor's note. The words come out semi-distracted as he loosens her hair from the blonde sprig it was in to let it tumble back against her neck and around her face. Her finger gets fascinated by the beaded metal cord that his dog tags hang on, finger curling around it and trailing down until the double hexagonal plates get tugged out of his tank tops.

Callused fingers thread through the loosened blonde locks and coil at the base with an unmistakable amount of force despite the otherwise careful approach. It's not as though he intends to be rough. Not even when he moves in to ardently kiss her on the mouth, clearly no longer interested in conversation.

He catches her lips on the apex of a gasp as a reaction to his fingers tightening in her hair unexpectedly. Sawyer's own hand knots into the chain of his dog tags, fingers fisting together to capture those six pointed disks of metal until they divot into her palm with the squeeze. Suddenly, all the vim and vigor she's poured into their arguments is now transferred into that kiss as she returns it.

That's a lot of vim and vigor, and it comes not solely from the blonde. Heated but not hasty, there is a reticence forged from being well aware of his volatility, and of fearing what may manifest from it. Nonetheless, Kal takes his sweet time delving deeply into that kiss. So much so that he is somewhat breathless when he finally pulls away and murmurs with displeasure, "Gotta go. I'm due on the Deck." And those arms that had so snugly enveloped Sawyer unwind, and his fingers let go, and then he's reaching around her to retrieve his pistol.

Sawyer reluctantly releases the tension on his chain, fingers tucking the tags back inside the collar of his tanks and re-zipping his flightsuit as an excuse to retain contact for precious seconds longer. "I know." After a petulant huff of air, she affixes a smile on her lips to the best of her mustering capability. "You owe me a date. A real date. That doesn't end in you having to go to shift."

Fastening the holster and belt, Trask double-checks his Five-seveN, briefly ticking those big brown eyes upwards when he's told he owes the woman a date. For a moment, he considers it while securing his weapon. "A'right. Not sure what the hells that entails, but I suppose you're due." Said with a puckish gleam in his eyes. "BUT," oh ho! "/you/ need to find a suitable dress for Maggie, or find someone who can make one, modify one, whatever." No dress, no date.

Sawyer gives Kal a rueful squint of her eyes and twist of her lips, "Deal." Not that such a chore is very daunting, not compared to the one he's just been saddled with. "If I don't have something in my own wardrobe that'll work, I can trade for something that will." She reaches over to fix his gun holster as one would fix their husband's tie. "Have a good day at work, dear. Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home." Her smile is saccharine sweet as the words are said tongue in cheek, because no doubt such a phrase doesn't suit either of them. At all.

She never specified he had to /plan/ the date. And, really, it might be best if he didn't. After all, his idea of a good time is taking apart something mechanical or electrical and putting it back together. "Have fun kicking puppies and making orphans cry." Because those are the kinds of thing that the Press does, right? "I'll see you later," he says, leaning in to kiss her neck (and surreptitiously give her ass a good grope) before he heads off.

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