Eva is keeping vigil in Sickbay. Niemec comes to the rescue.
Location: Sickbay, Deck 9, //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 893
Is this the first time Eva's nearly lost someone on her watch? Her first possibly still could be casualty? Considering Virgon's history and its attempts to reclaim Tauron and its other colonies, probably not. But, perhaps the reason question is: Does it ever actually get any easier? No. Not at all. Once they returned to the ship, Eva avoided all of the flight aftermath that she could. She left her ship, dinged up, but in the best condition out of the three that went out with Rabbit's recon mission, and went immediately to the ready room, where she waited for the CAG's debrief. Since then, she hasn't even managed to change clothes, doing just the bare minimum, which pretty much amounted to leaving her helmet behind and signing in her firearm, before she came up to sickbay. She hasn't left the place since, settling into a chair by poor Alain's beside, moving only when the staff have demanded it. Jigger, for his part is still unconscious, and the question of whether or not he'll ever wake is still up in the air.
The Raptor pilot had to go clean up. By the time she handed Jigger off to the Galactica's medical staff, Niemec was fairly covered in blood. From checking on him to carrying him to the craft to keeping him stable until they returned. She couldn't very well go about with someone else's blood drying upon her hands and flight suit. So she went to the debriefing, signed off her own report for the SAR, and bathed. She's heard of Eva sitting watch and, in Galactica-branded sweats, makes her way into the sickbay. Nurses and the like are navigated before the Tauran woman appears. She's holding a tray of food and has a book clutched between her elbow and her side. "I couldn't imagine you in here, wasting away."
Eva can hear boots on the deck, and so she's not completely surprised when Niemec enters the room. At least she's slipped out of her flight suit top, the arms tied around her waist. Eva shifts in her chair, angling her body closer to Jigger's bed, as if she could shield the man from whomever might want to get close to him. It's not a movement directed at Niemec specifically. Fairer to say it's simply a pilot's reaction. She's protecting her pilot. "I'm as big as a house. I don't think a few hours without a meal will do me any harm." She looks back to the raptor pilot making her way in, "Thank you for bringing him back, Antonie."
"Captains have a right to gain weight. It's in the book, somewhere, I'm sure. It's up to the young ones to be all trim and fit for recruitment posters." Niemec hooks a free chair with her foot and drags it nearer Eva, setting the tray upon the bedside table. Mostly sweets, but a mug of coffee has been provided as well. She sets the book on the table, as well, and a second joins it from a pocket. Neither is very thick. Both have covers proclaiming them as trashy romance novels. Perfect recreational reading, right? The woman sinks into the chair she's claimed, grunting faintly in initial answer. "Was just doing my job." She looks towards the clipboard hooked to the end of the bed, but doesn't reach for it. "How is he?"
"I guess that means if I ever make it to Colonel, I'll have to be rolled from my bunk to the deck." Eva scoots over, making room for Niemec to bring her chair in. A intake of breath, as she reaches out, smoothing the sheet closest to her side of Jigger's bed, "He's alive. He's critical. No one wants to give me odds on whether he'll make it or not." She looks back to Niemec. "This is my fault, Antonie. He's here because I wasn't doing my job." Nevermind that they were outnumbered two to one and she had two wingmen to protect instead of just one. "He just barely got his pins. He was so proud to be an Lt."
The Raptor pilot is quiet for a time. She slides out of the hoodie, baring arms and tattoos in the sleeveless uniform tanks. She leans forward, bracing arms against thighs. "Eva..." Niemec's voice is quiet, but she lets out a small sigh before straightening. The coffee is grabbed and she takes a sip before offering it to the other woman. "You can't blame yourself. If you start, you'll never stop. Every one of them - of us - knows the risks. He'll make it through. And be even more proud." She's trying to stay optimistic, but there is a concerned glance for the young pilot.
Eva shakes her head, not accepting the coffee. Or perhaps also not accepting Niemec's words, "He was my responsibility. He and Mata. I was supposed to watch out for both of them. Hell, if some Cylon had just blazed through and blown him apart, I don't know, maybe I might not have..." She shakes her head, "I let that raider get away too many times, and Jigger paid the price." She looks back at the pilot, looking far too young swaddled in thick swathes of bandages, "He flew so well. Splashed at least one, maybe two."
"You'll never be able to save everyone, Eva." Niemec takes another sip of coffee and sets the mug upon the tray. It'll be there should the other pilot want it. The feet of her chair scrape a bit against the deck plating as she drags her chair closer to Cherry's. "You had him and Mata, sure, but you also had yourself. All we can do is our best... and if we feel we didn't?" She shrugs. "That's what studying guncam footage and practice is for. Grab some of the other Viper sticks and get on the holobands in the Ready Room. Practice. Drill it in. It's not all on your shoulders, just like it's not all on the CAG's. We have our wingmen. We cover them, they cover us, and we pray to hell that the Raiders don't get through, but-" she shrugs, leaning back a bit and letting out a sigh.
"No, but I can do my best. And I can accept it when I don't." Eva settles back in her chair, tugging unconsciously at her flight suit to make it more comfortable. Which it's never gong to be. "I tried the holoband, it was awful." A shake of her head, "It's a good job the trash can was so close. I shouldn't have had so many chocolate waffles." Neimec has had breakfast with Cherry often enough to know what she means. Pancakes with hot fudge sauce drizzled all over them. "We should do something for Mata. She got her first splash. Rook no more."
"Maybe next time we can use the holobands before breakfast," Niemec offers, smiling a bit lopsidedly. She watches Eva tug at the flight suit, reaching out to grab, briefly, at one of the sleeves. "You going to take a break soon and wash up? Maybe get into something more comfortable? I'd hate for the nurses to have to hose you down." She nods with the last suggestion, looking to the unconscious pilot they sit near. "We should. I could probably stir up some alcohol. Maybe reserve the rec room for an Air Wing-only shindig one night."
"A lot of firsts to celebrate. We shouldn't let things fall behind, just because we've been at Condition 2 and running engagements, right?" There's also a raptor team that needs some feteing." She rises, looking down at herself, before she nods, a hand reaching out to touch Niemec's bare shoulder. "Maybe I stop down in the galley. Cookie will be able to scrounge us up what we need, I'm sure. And and I can grab a shower." Notice how she carefully avoided mentioning the holobands.
Shifting a bit, Niemec lifts a hand to try to capture Eva's before the other pilot can move away. "We'll find a time when Mata and a few others in Wolfpack are off-duty and have a bit of a celebration. I'm sure everyone can have a shot or two of something without it affecting their next shift." She looks to the bed, then pushes to her feet as well. Maybe not fully letting go of the other pilot. Unless she pulls away- then she'll let go right away. She's not going to force Eva to hold her hand, after all. "You've gotta take care of you, too, Eva. We do better, each time we go out, but we can't do that without food and rest."
Eva slips around her chair, pushing it back towards the bulkhead so that some unsuspecting nurse or doctor won't run into it on the way out. "I don't think Kallas will mind, and I think there are enough of us non-drinkers that we could cover any emergencies." A beat, "Hopefully." She doesn't release Niemec's hand, instead allowing her fingers to intertwine with the other woman's. "I could do without rest at the moment."
There is a bit of a tug as Niemec makes to pull the other woman in closer; intent on pulling her into a hug. "I was thinking we'd just go ahead and do it. Easier to ask forgiveness and all that." She does smile again, but it's fleeting. "You need rest. You need it and you know it. If it were me stressing out over a wingmate, you'd be trying to guide me to my bunk. If you need to eat first, do it, but don't put off sleep. It slows you down. And if you have a nightmare, you can climb into my bed." Unclear if she's joking or not. Maybe not; there's not so much the broader smile now. "Lack of sleep can be just as bad as drunk when flying, after all. And I haven't convinced them to put caffeine drips in cockpits yet."
Eva allows herself to be hugged, returning it just as tightly. Once she steps away, she shakes her head, though there's a faint smile there, "That is a very poor example to be setting for the junior officers, Captain." She continues out of the curtained off room were Jigger's still, well, out cold, heading back towards the stairs and eventually, the head. "I have considered seeing if I could bribe someone for some stims." Those are actually a thing, except they're also extremely dangerous. Not the refined things they will be in decades to come.
The food is left, as are the books. Niemec, however, does linger just long enough to grab the coffee. If Eva won't drink it, she definitely will. "I can't be too much a stick in the mud. Not unless I get the horrid position of squadron leader someday. Could you imagine? Having to keep this lot in line? I don't envy the CAG." She falls into an easy step with the other pilot. "I'm sure there's someone who could find stims, but... that's a risk. A huge one. I've seen them go wrong just as much as they did as advertised."
"Sometimes you don't have any good choices." Of course they're not there yet, by a long shot, but still, "The last few months we were flying missions at Sagittaron, I wasn't sure how we were going to get through our shifts. Makes you do ad think stupid things." Eva will take the stairs as well as someone who hasn't had sleep or anything to eat in nearly 24 hours can, ducking onto the deck on seven and heading towards the head. Once again, with no backup plan. Maybe she does plan to scare a few more ensigns.
"We may find ourselves on constant shifts at some point. Get the sleep while you can." Niemec watches the other woman angle off towards the head, casting a look towards the bunks. There's a small sort of smile and she shakes her head. "Go on, I'm going to grab you some fresh clothes." And she will, if able before Eva wholly heads off to terrify Ensigns, give the Viper pilot a quick kiss on the cheek.