2236-11-25 - Raptor Returning

Van meets the Rabbit and Echo's Raptor as it returns with Isolde, Cate, and others. Kazimir cameos.

Date: 2236-11-25

Location: Hanger Deck, Deck 6, and Armory, Deck 10, Battlestar //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 895

Jump to End

Rabbit and Echo's Raptor has been moved from the haphazard place Isolde Asa had landed it, techs already pouring over it inch by inch. Asa has not left the hangar deck since they got back from Tauron, still in her flak jacket with her gear dropped close by. She looks energized, bouncing on her heels and snap-clapping with her hands as if trying to find something to occupy her. She is ordering some of the techs around, which ruffles some of them as the Specialist may or may not be stepping on people's toes. "I need a full diagnostics... full... like, I want you to even run a diagnostics on the seatbelts." That gets a confused look from a very literal deck tech, and Isolde starts waving her hands. "You know what I mean..."

Van is not technically on-duty, for all that he's in the hangar in his flight suit. The fact that he doesn't have a pistol in the holster at his hip demonstrates that quite neatly. Still, he does his best not to pace and not to smoke as he waits for the returned Raptor to land and be brought in. A matchstick hangs from one corner of his mouth (sulfurous end out) in what is clearly replacement behavior, and as the Marines and technicians pile out of the Raptor, he starts forward, only to be stymied by the rush of deck crew and others around the ship. At least he's doing a relatively good job of playing it cool, carefully hooking his thumbs into the belt around his flight suit as he wends his way through the bustle, stepping aside for those dealing with the wounded (and already patched-up) Kinney. When he spots the techie, some of the tension in his shoulders fades... some of it. "They know what they're doing, Asa." There's a great deal more relief than chastisement in the pilot's tone.

Isolde jumps a bit when she realizes there's a Van standing near by. Her brown eyes sweep around, turning from the Raptor to the pilot. Her fingers shake just a moment before she is snap-clapping again for a few repeats and then shoving the hands deep in the pockets of her pants. She winces slightly at the small discomfort across her side, but she tries to ignore it. "No Rabbit or Echo." She frowns slightly. "All we were able to recover is the ship." She looks over to the Raptor. "They booby-trapped it. Genie took care of the explosives, but then the Cylons ambushed. The Raptor was our only ticket out."

"I heard they weren't there." Because news gets around the pilot community quickly when one of their own is down. Van steps forward slightly, his eyes sweeping over the techie, checking for obvious injuries. Unfortunately black tactical gear makes it hard to see wounds, and it's not until she winces that he frowns. "I'm sure we'll run more sweeps for them." And then he pauses, looking back to the battered Raptor, "Wait... you didn't fly a damaged Raptor out of a hot LZ, did you?"

After disembarking the Raptor, Cate went over with the other marines to return her gear to the supply sergeant that was there to meet them. Everything except her medic backpack, which she'll take back up to sickbay later. For now, she still has it slung over one shoulder. Sweaty, her uniform a little dusty, she wanders back over to the Raptor, spying Isolde and Van there. "Hey Milkman," she greets. "Asa, you okay?" There's more than idle concern in her voice.

Isolde doesn't seem to notice the critical gaze from the pilot as she has gone back to looking over the Raptor. Her lips are thin and thoughtful, and she doesn't seem to register his question for a moment. Then she looks up to him, head tilted. "Well, I knew how to fly a Raptor, and I was already at the helm. I don't think I made anyone barf this time though." She didn't really pay attention. She rubs a bit at her right elbow, and then her hand drops, picking at a bit of damaged kevlar at her left side. It is Cate's question that breaks her focus, and she turns toward her. "Got nicked," she explains, indicating her side. "Just wasn't fully behind the rocks, I think. Stings, but... I think it's okay." She presses her hand against the wound slightly, and it causes her to wince again.

Van glances over to Cate, "Hey Doc. Glad you made it back." He starts to offer a hand out to the medic, but her question to Isolde stalls the gesture and he looks back over to the Tauran, his brows lofting. His next words have a slightly forced quality to them, "You flew a damaged bird out of a hot LZ while wounded. Come on, Asa, are you just trying to make all of my accomplishments look weak?" His eyes, however, flicker back to Cate, a silent question in the lift of his brows.

Cate doesn't seem to mind Van's aborted handshake. Especially since she's busy fretting at Isolde. "And her and Dorn fixed the ship," she points out. She gestures toward the tech's side. "Take the vest off and let me see." It's a kind tone, but there's a determined edge to it that does not invite argument.

Isolde blushes at Van's words, and she shakes her head. "Just... doing what I had to. I mean, I could have just did nothing if you preferred." Her smile is dry to match her tone. Then she shakes her head slightly. "I'm okay," she reassures Cate, but she also does not seem to be totally objecting to her looking at the wound. "Cate's making it sound less cool when she says we fixed it." She flashes Doc a small smile, but she does step aside a bit, and begins working loose her vest. The motions that are required to ease open the vest and peel it off causes her to grunt slightly, and she reveals a bloodied side that looks a lot worse than it is. A shallow laceration surrounded by deep bruising, probably from just the concussion of the barely-hit shot. "First blood," she says, though she sounds almost giddy (probably due to the adrenaline still energizing her nerves and blood). This was, after all, her first action -- a successful one at that.

Van nods to Cate's addition, "So basically she decided to top my achievement entirely." The medic's focus on the techie, however, draws his attention back to Isolde as well, and he steps around her to help remove the tactical vest, doing what he can to minimize the tugging on her side. "I don't think she's making it sound less cool. You repaired a Raptor under fire, got wounded, then flew it out of a hot LZ and back to friendly territory." He cranes his neck to get a look at the wound while still doing his best to stay out of Cate's way, "And here you thought you were never going to get off the Galactica, Asa. Don't you wish that had been true now?"

"Here, sit down," Cate urges, trying to guide Isolde over to a nearby tool crate. She offers Van a wan smirk. "I dunno, I think your escape from Hyperion still ranks pretty high up there. Even if you didn't have to fix the Raptor yourself first." She waves to Van after his words, though, "What he said." A critical frown settles on her face as she examines the wound. "Not deep enough for stitches. More bruised than anything." If the bruising is near her ribs, she prods the bruises a bit with a deft touch to make sure there are no signs of fractures.

Half-distracted by Cate's tending, Isolde glances up to Van, shaking her head. "More like... got wounded, repaired a Raptor under fire, and flew it out... but, I suppose order doesn't matter too mu-- ow." She winces when Cate touches the bruise, but there is no sign of broken bones or anything beyond the cut and bruises. She looks up to Cate, nodding slightly. "I was lucky... won't always be lucky though... those Cylons... they were serious." Not that she's ever ran across a humorous Cylon. She looks up at Van's question, however, and she frowns a bit. "I... I don't know... honestly... I think... I think I did pretty well..."

Van shakes his head at Cate, clapping her lightly on the shoulder as he comes back around in front of Isolde, the tactical vest dangling from his left hand. "I'm not fishing for compliments, just teasing. But thanks." And then he takes a step back, watch the examination. He reaches up to pull the matchstick out from between his teeth, then starts rolling it idly between his fingers instead. "I'm not saying you did poorly, Isolde. Far from it."

"Hey, I just call it like I see it," Cate says, smirking over her shoulder at Van. When Isolde frowns, she says, "Could've done without you charging into the gunfire, but otherwise you did pretty good for your first time out." She mumbles an apology for the winces induced by her prodding, then declares, "Doesn't look like anything's fractured. Just needs to be cleaned thoroughly and bandaged. I can do that now unless you'd rather trek on up to sickbay after."

"Hey... Tamlin and Marx went charging in first... I just followed." Because being the copycat is ten times better than being the original. Right? She then shakes her head slightly at Cate's suggestion about sickbay. "Oh no, I'll get stuck with Cadmus looking at my wounds, and that would be worse than getting wounded in general." She grins wryly as she speaks of grumpy Eli. Then she just holds up her arm and lets Cate do whatever she needs to do. "I'll take feedback on how to do better next time." Because Izzy seems to think there's going to be a next time...

Van frowns at the mention of charging into gunfire, shaking his head as he does. "And if Tamlin and Marx jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" The parent-guilt was strong with this one as a youth. Arching his brows, Van pulls out a matchbox from his thigh pocket, tucks away the match from his fingers, and then puts it back, "Next time? Are you planning on moonlighting with the deck crew and the Marines, Isolde?"

"The sergeant sent Jake in to check the Raptor -" Yes, he's Jake now. Some progress from you lying bastard. "And I don't know what the hell Dorn was doing since the sarge said to pull back." Cate points this all out in a very mild tone. No reproach, just a simple statement of fact. "But anyway, it worked out. Everyone survived. I call it a win." She unslings her medkit and gets out some antiseptic and gauze pads. The cleaning stings, no doubt, and gets another mumbled apology from the doc. She does lift a curious look to Isolde to hear the answer to Van's question.

"No, Dad," Isolde says dryly to Van at his parent-guilt follow-up. She then looks at Cate's clarification, and she nods slightly. "Techies aren't always the best at following orders..." Which is no excuse, but still. Then she focuses on the stinging pain from Cate's focus, biting at her mouth for a moment. This stalls her answer for a moment, and she breathes out a slow wuff. "No... I don't think that'll happen... but... I dunno... maybe something." She furrows her brows as her brain starts to churn, even if it is a relatively chaotic thought process. No, no. That won't work...

Van frowns slightly at Cate's description of the action in question, but nods at her conclusion, "Any time everyone comes home in one piece is at least a partial win. I'm sure we'll be out there soon enough looking for Rabbit and Echo from the air." Isolde's dry response draws a faint smile from the pilot, although her less-than-reassuring answer to his question washes it away again, "I guess the question is whether you want to go out again like that."

"Hey, I'm the last one to criticize about following orders," Cate admits with a smirk. She nods to Van's clarification, then prompts lightly after Isolde's musing aloud, "Something?" She finishes up her wound cleaning, pats the area dry as gently as possible, and affixes a clean bandage. "There you go. Keep it clean and go up to sickbay if it gets infected." She starts putting her stuff back in the pack.

"How will I know if it's infected?" Isolde asks, tone a bit concerned. No, really, she honestly has no idea. Damn sheltered techies. Then she looks between Cate and Van, half-shrugging a shoulder. "I don't know... maybe... transferring to the Marines isn't going to happen... but maybe there's something more I can do within the Navy." She looks off into the middle ground, frowning a moment. "Maybe I should talk to the CAG." Then her brows arch high. "He'll love that..."

Raptors come and go on a fairly regular basis, so another one being hauled down from the flight deck with a few passengers in tow is no real cause for alarm. Two medical staff, by the looks of it, and a pilot. Not the one flying the bus, but an off duty one; the duffle bag and civvies are a dead giveaway that he's new aboard Galactica, and his furrowed brow as his gaze pans about the 'bay corroborates it.

"And I'm the first one," Van adds to Cate's smirking words. "Confusion in the field is deadly." He settles back to watch Isolde puzzle through her thoughts, holding a black tactical vest evidently belonging to the techie as he watches Cate bandage the Isolde's side. "Wait... the CAG? Did you get Raptor in your blood, Isolde?"

Cate looks up at Van. "I didn't mean in the field," she clarifies. "Usually." A wry look there, and then she zips up her medical pack. Isolde's question throws her for a loop. "Oh. Uh... it'll be red, oozing gunk, extra sore. Might have a fever." She seems to reevaluate her advice and says, "Just let me or one of the other medics check it out tomorrow or the day after." The newly-arrived Raptor catches her eye, and she glances over that way, eyeing the new arrivals curiously.

"Flying a Raptor isn't infectious," Isolde replies with a small snort. "It doesn't have cooties... unlike Picons." She looks up as another Raptor comes flying in, though this one with someone getting dropped off. She frowns slightly, thoughtfully, but then looks back at Van and Cate. "I don't know what I'm thinking... just thinking... Kallas can tell me if I'm being stupid or not though, but..." Her fingers twitch, and her eyes widen at Cate's description. "Ew," she says flatly. "I'm sure I'll notice that."

Kazimir spots the small gathering across the way, and his brows knit, but he doesn't immediately make his way over. Looks important, and none of his business. Instead, it's a technician he flags down to ask some questions. Like, which way to the head so he can empty his bladder.

Van nods at Cate's clarification, "I tend to figure it's a good habit to be in to follow them even out of combat." He shrugs a little helplessly, "I know that not everyone agrees though." He wrinkles his nose at the description of the infection as well, then shakes his nose at Isolde's little snort, "Pretty much exactly the same, actually. Flying and Picons. Infectious and addictive." And then he glances aside to Cate, clearing his throat as he seems to realize that he's been using Isolde's first name and opening up a bit too much. He follows Isolde's glance behind him to the just-landed Raptor, the man in his civvies getting a slight frown, "Well, at least reinforcements are trickling in." And then he's looking back to the two women, "I'm sure you'll do wonderfully wherever you apply yourself, Asa."

Cate offers an innocent shrug to Van's clarification about orders, choosing not to incriminate herself further on that score. But she does offer a slightly sad smile when he mentions Picons. "I don't know about flying, but that sounds like a pretty good description of Picons to me." Whether she picks up on the opening up or not is open for debate. She nods agreement with Van's last comment. "Yeah, I'm sure you will too. You did good out there." She rises, hefting her bag over her shoulder. "I'm going to go take this to sickbay and get cleaned up. You guys take care."

Isolde snorts slightly at Van's rejoinder. "Yes... addictive." She casts Cate a glance before she starts to gather back up her flak jacket. "Guess I'll have to turn this back in... damaged gear is probably exciting for someone." She glances between Cate and Van, brows raised. The ladder gets a blink and her brows arch up. "You're not suggesting I don't normally apply myself, are you?" Danger, danger... that's what her tone suggests. Then she looks up as Cate stands, and she starts to nod. "See you around, Cate... maybe at dinner?" She asks hopefully. If she was a puppy, her ears would be pitched forward with obvious eagerness.

The sad smile from Cate brings Van's hand back to her shoulder, squeezing slightly as he remembers something about a connection between her and one... two... no, just one of the other defenders of Triton. It's a sort of apology for bringing it up, and a silent reminder that there are others around who have been through the mess too. And then he nods, "Glad you made it out again, Doc. Take care." He offers up Isolde's tactical vest without complaint, passing it back to the techie, "I know that you do, Asa." Now he's overcompensating. "To everything you do."

Kazimir peels away from the tech eventually, shoulders his duffle, and tromps on over to the trio working, chatting or some combination of the two, nearby. "Just in case that guy was trolling me, the Head is.." He points toward the stairwell, one brow raised questioningly.

Cate offers Van an appreciative, understanding nod when he touches her shoulder. Then she looks to Isolde. "Sure, assuming nothing else explodes between now and then," she says. "Seeya." She's wandering off just as Kazimir is walking up.

Isolde is automatically in tour guide mode when Kazimir comes and asks where to find the head. She brightens. "If you go down to deck eight, you'll find all the crew amenities. That's the best head on the ship since it supports all the berthings." She smiles. "Are you Officer or Enlisted?" That does not seem like a dangerous question, but she does offer it with a cautious politeness. She belatedly looks at Van, offering him a simple smirk about his overcompensation.

Van looks over to Kazimir as the man approaches, opening his mouth to answer the question and then closing it as Isolde goes into full tour-guide. He just gestures to her, then notes, "If you're desperate, there's one just outside the alert room." He points toward the nearest doorway, "Out there, left, then the second door on your left." Isolde's smirk causes him to shrug a little helplessly.

"Pilot with Wolfpack," the newly-arrived explains, his accent Virgan - but dirty industrial north Virgan, not an impeccably elocuted southerner. "Not that I see how it's relevant." Van's answer seems to suit him better, and he gives the man a curt nod, eyes the pair briefly, and trudges off in that direction.

Isolde looks after the new pilot from the Wolfpack, and she frowns. "I was actually going to make a recommendation depending on his answer, but... you know..." She snorts slightly, and shakes her head. She looks up at him, brows furrowed a bit. The Virgon's attitude seems to have ruffled up Isolde, and she starts to gather her stuff up mutely.

Van opens his mouth to respond to the introduction, his right hand starting to rise to offer a hand, and then the other man is departing, and Van simply shrugs, looking back to Isolde, "Maybe I get the whole Hibernian thing a little better." Shaking that off, he glances around, then reaches out to touch Isolde's upper arm briefly, "I'll walk you back to the arms locker to turn in your pistol and armor?"

Isolde looks up at Van, and she frowns slightly. "Yeah?" Then she sighs, and nods. "Yeah, okay." She offers him a small smile. "Let's go." She nods for him to follow as she gathers up her gear, tucking it under her arms in various ways, bag thrown over her shoulder.

Van starts across the hanger deck with Isolde, and once they're out into the corridors behind, he quirks a faint smile, "Let me know if you want me to carry any of your books on the way to school." He's quiet another couple of steps, then adds, "I got rather worried when I heard you were down on the surface with a mission, and even more-so when I heard One-Three get hit."

Isolde sticks her tongue out at him, but it is a quick thing. Then she's sighing and nodding slightly. "I didn't expect it either, but... I know the systems." She frowns for a few long moments, and then looks over at him. "We're both going to worry after each other, aren't we?" It is a quiet, thoughtful question.

The peek of her tongue seems to cheer Van up a little, but something bilious still churns in his stomach. Her question causes him to nod slowly, "Yes. We are." He keeps his voice low, "I'm not used to anything like that. I always," he struggles momentarily for an appropriate word, and settles on, "dated... women outside the service. Not that there was anything to worry about inside the service besides fraternization rules before the War." And that last point twists his lips up all the tighter.

The computer tech frowns at Van as he wrestles through that, and she ducks her head slightly when he mentions the whole fraternization rules. She shrugs a shoulder slightly, trying to look casual. "I know... but..." Then her words falter a bit, and she has to take in a deep breath to ask quietly, "Do you want to stop seeing each other? I don't want to add... more... stress."

"No," that response, at least, comes quickly from Van, "No, we're in different departments, different jobs, different chains of command. We're definitely in the clear as far as fraternization rules, even for the Picon Navy." Which apparently has stricter rules than the Colonial Forces, or he has a stricter understanding of them. There-in lies the problem, of course. Because while the Colonial Forces have absolutely no problem unless one of them has command authority over the other, Van still seems to be grappling with the idea of Isolde talking to the CAG.

Isolde blinks slightly when he offers that quick reply, and she frowns slightly. "Okay," she offers, the word a bit flat and uncertain. She keeps in stride with him as they leave the hangar deck and continue onward to the stairs. She hesitates a moment, looking over at him. "Then... what is it?"

"Well..." Van hesitates, using the single word to buy him some time, "Two things, I suppose. If you're looking to become a Raptor pilot, you'll be headed to flight school, and that will mean a year away from Galactica." A little grudgingly, he notes, "I can help some with that before you make any decision, running sims." Letting out a little breath, he adds, "If you want to be an ECO, you might have some more training, but unless you're assigned to the Argonauts, you would definitely be in the same chain of command as me." At least, as Picon views it.

Isolde listens to his concerns, and she starts to frown. "I'm not thinking pilot," she says, as if to clarify this two concerns. She shifts slightly in her feet as they continue along, and then she stops, turning toward him with a tilt of her head. "So, ECO... and," she breathes out a sigh, "I guess I'll have to hope I'm assigned to the Argonauts then, if that's the case." She shifts slightly. "Or we have to break-up if I'm not."

Van continues down the stairs toward Marine Country and the armory, and when she stops, he's two steps past her before he notices, turning around to face the techie and shrugging with a mix of embarrassment and helplessness, "I don't know. If you want to be an ECO, and you want to do it here on Galactica, I think that's pretty much the way it is." He does not, however, sound happy about that prospect. "The other concern is just having to worry about someone I care about. Beyond friends. I've had to worry about friends plenty. I don't like worrying about you while you're out in the field, I suppose I rather enjoyed having you back here on Galactica, protected by feet of steel."

That bristles Isolde a bit, and she hugs her armory gear closer to her. She looks up at him from his higher vantage point, and then behind her, and she then skulks up the two steps and one more beyond to stand just a touch above him. "This is war, Van... I mean, you could be out on patrol and the Galactica could go under fire. It isn't like protection here is a sure thing." She barrels onward, getting to what really bothers her. "And I'm not a delicate flower, you know... I'm a Tauron, and a military brat at that. I think I can handle myself in the field."

"It's surer than..." Van cuts himself off though when she continues onward, and he shrugs his shoulders as if shifting a weight across them. "I know, you're probably as strong as I am, and you're tough, and you've been in the military as long as I have," longer if you don't count Van's time at the Academy, "and you have a veteran Marine for a father. I get that, but that's part of who I am... I want to protect those I care for. I already failed my sister and my sister-in-law, and I don't like the idea of failing you or anyone else I care about." Standing there a step below her, he can meet her gaze directly, and he takes the opportunity to do so at their close remove.

Isolde's frown deepens, and she looks away slightly when he mentions his sister and her wife. She shifts awkwardly in her shoes, and offers a small nod. "I'll think about it," she says softly, looking unsure. "I won't make a decision right away." Then she looks back up at him, brown eyes weary.

Van does not seem so ready to look away, his gray eyes searching out her face, "I'm... I'm not trying to convince you one way or another." At least, not outright, "I'm just trying to lay things out there as they are, Izzy." At least, how he sees them to be. Ignoring the crew streaming past, Van reaches out with one hand to touch her elbow, letting his fingers linger there.

Isolde slumps a bit at the pressure of his fingers on her elbow, no matter how light. She offers a mute nod of understanding, fingers of that same arm touching his forearm in passing. "But you would like it very much if I stayed safely tucked away on Galactica, and not roaming about where Cylons could shoot me." Her voice has a monotonous timbre to it, like she's preparing her own mind for the sentiment. Then she sighs, drops her hand away, and nods down the stairs. "Armory?"

"I'd like for you to be as safe as possible while still able to do your job." When Isolde drops her hand away, Van hesitates a moment, and then does the same, nodding and starting back down the stairs, "Yes. The armory. How does your side feel? Still going to be able to move okay?"

Isolde is not precisely mollified, but she does accept the end of that conversation as they continue down the stairs. She looks back up at him in a glance, and then nods slightly. "It's just bruised... I can feel the bit of pain when I stretch, but nothing too serious." The conversation has the kind of casual tone to it of two people who might be avoiding a conversation they really should be having instead.

"So I should make you twist too much to steal a kiss." Van's voice settles low indeed at that, "Unless you're into that." There's a bit more curiosity in the second question, a bit more of the loose and easy person he was before Triton slipping through.

Isolde stops at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at him with a sudden blink. She opens her mouth, and then blushes slightly. "No, you shouldn't make me twist too much," she confides softly, though she does look a bit mischevious in the wake of his follow-up. "I mean, a little bit of pain here and there is good, but..." Then she clears her throat, and steps on the appropriate deck for the armory.

When Van is rewarded by the blush, the corners of his lips curl upward in his faint little smile, although her mischievous response causes him to clear his own throat, "Right. So. Armory. They, ah, wouldn't let me hop the queue to take one of the Alert Five birds out when they were launched." Hence him being in his flight suit but without a sidearm. "I don't know what I thought I could do to help, but I wanted to be out there."

Isolde glances up over her shoulder to him at his response, and she bites softly at her lower lip. Then she steps into the armory with him in tow. "You wanted to check in on me," she says softly, and then beams at the Marine checking in and out weapons. "Uh, sorry for the vest... grazed shot." She offers out her vest to the man, as well as her helmet. She waits for the Marine to step away to check in her gear, grumbling about noncombatants and gear. "You could always become a Raptor pilot... and I'll be your ECO. Then we can keep an eye on each other."

Van nods his affirmation of her statement, waiting behind Isolde as she turns in her armor and sidearm. When they turn away again, he shepherds her out the door with an entirely unnecessary hand at her back before catching up once more in the corridor, "Yes, I did want to check up on you. And I'll fly a Raptor if I have to, but the best way for me to protect anyone up there is to be in a Viper on their six."

Isolde allows herself to be shepherded out, and she laughs lightly at the encouraging hand to her back. "Is this where you offer to walk me back to my bunk?" Then she flashes him a small smile before she shakes her head. "I know, Newton... I do." She shoves her hands into the pockets of her pants as she lingers in the corridor, not moving forward nor back. She kind of sideways winds to the wall, out of the way.

Van stops between one step and the next as she does, "Uh... I didn't think about that." He steps over with her to the side of the corridor, "I was just figuring that I was going to walk you back wherever you were going, but I suppose you don't exactly need that, now do you?"

"No," Isolde says, though a small smile starts to quirk slightly. "Though that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy a casual walk back to the berthings." Then she clears her throat, straightening up a bit. "If you're okay with that, of course..." She feels a small awkward blush start at the heights of her cheeks.

Van loses some of the awkwardness in the face of her smile and blush, and his hand returns to her back. "Of course. You're hurt, you shouldn't be alone right now." His smile flashes back for a heartbeat, and then he starts toward the stairs again, his hand lingering at her back as they start forward. "How was it? I haven't been under fire -- personally -- since Triton."

"Yes... grievous wound," Isolde says dryly. She falls in with him, stepping a bit closer to him as they walk along toward the stairs. She shakes her head slightly at his question, looking bemused. "I couldn't tell you... I just went... into automatic mode... I did what I had to, and I guess it worked out. All I knew was I needed to get out of fire, and then I needed to get to the Raptor... so I did it. Maybe adrenaline?"

Van nods slowly, "A lot of pilots talk about the same sort of thing, just going on automatic. For me, everything goes slow. Like, crawling in molasses slow. I guess that's how adrenaline works for me." And then his smile returns, faint, but curving up at one corner, "How about your hands? Did they shake after?"

"After?" Isolde laughs as she continues to the stairs, though it is a rather self-deprecating laugh. "I think they shook during." She shakes her head, but holds up her hands. There is still a faint tremor that moves through them, and she tightens her fingers together soon after the small shake. Then she steps into the stairwell, and starts up to the berthings.

Van nods, stopping on the first landing and reaching out for her nearest hand, clasping it in between both of his. "See what I meant? It will fade as the adrenaline gets out of you. You should get something to eat and something to drink. Sugary is best, because it helps counter the rush."

"Oh?" Isolde tilts her head aside to him, smiling slightly. When he grasps her hand, she tightens her fingers around his. She takes a shy step forward, ducking her chin. Her gaze flickers up to his, and she offers a small smile. "Okay."


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