2237-04-16 - Caught Off Guard

After Kazimir leaves the Mess, seemingly without warning, Niemec follows to check on the man.

Date: 2237-04-16

Location: Deck 8 Fore

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 980

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Unaware that he has a follower, Kazimir reaches up and rubs at his ear absently as he tries to figure out exactly what he misheard in the conversation, a frown to himself as he moves to tuck his hands into his pockets, his steps slow enough to show that he's not exactly got CAP immediately and just used it as an excuse to extract himself from the conversation.

It's a good thing he's moving slowly. Unlike the Viper stick, Niemec's not got a thermos. Her coffee's in a mug and it's freshly filled. She has to navigate the corridor at a slower pace, less she spill. And that'd be bad on two counts. For one, it's hot and it'd be a pain (in more ways than one). For two, it'd be a waste of such precious liquid. She doesn't call out, but rather takes measured sips until she does get caught up and is able to fall into step alongside Kazimir. "I didn't say anything wrong, did I?"

There's a pause and blink of confusion as the woman catches up to him, and he pauses in his steps to glance over at Niemec. "No, you didn't say anything wrong. Why would you think that?" he asks as he considers her and grins. "Should consider getting a to-go cup for your coffee in case there's an alert or we go to Condition one." he explains, not really understanding what she might really be asking.

"Just making sure." Because why else would Eva have sent her after him? Niemec glances over her shoulder before looking back to Kazimir. "You rushed off a bit quick and CAP cycled out just before I got in there." Meaning she caught the timeline of the excuse. There's a glance down to her mug and she shrugs, tucking her other hand into her pocket. "Probably. Maybe the next time I'm lucky enough to go shopping, I'll see about picking one up." She lifts the mug for a drink. "I certainly drink enough to justify one."

"Don't know if you can find a thermos like mine. But maybe we'll find something that you can use instead?" Kazimir suggests. He's clearly clueless as he moves along the deck, and considers for a moment. "Think I misheard something is all, Antoine." he admits as he pauses and turns his attention to her, and gives her a look over. "Probably still rattled from last night. Maybe ears don't work as well as they used to." he says with a laugh. "Probably getting too old for all of this, should leave it to the younger pilots." Like her.

"Maybe. But I can also dream of a day where the Fleet actually gives the Galactica and her wings some time off to actually feel human." Niemec smiles a bit over the rim of the mug as they stop, allowing her to take a good, healthy sip. There's a smile, for his words. Something between empathy and amusement; it tugs more at one side of her mouth than the other. "Your bird got hit pretty hard. Wouldn't be surprised if depressurization got you." She glances, to one side of his head, then the other. "Docs took a good look at you, yeah?" Then back, to focus on the man proper. "If the likes of you and I weren't around to keep the kids in line, who would?"

"Yeah, maybe. I'm gonna pull myself off the CAP tonight just to make sure." Kazimir says and then laughs and glances to her, a light touch to her shoulder. "Dunno, scuttlebutt says you're already playing house with someone." he teases her with a little bit of a blush. "And I'd probably end up being a pretty terrible dad." There's a slight smirk in his words as he draws in his breath. "I just haven't been around much to help, and I think it's got me feeling a bit guilty, is all."

Now it's Niemec's turn to blush, hand leaving her pocket so she can rub at her cheek a bit as if to erase it. She looks off down the corridor, clearing her throat a bit. "Yes, well. Truth be told, things seem a bit... distant there as of late." Has she noticed how Eva's attention goes to Finn after a mission first, rather than to her? Likely. A pilot's job is to notice things. A SAR-trained pilot moreso. She buries more introspection in another long sip of coffee. "Been floundering as of late myself, to be honest. Probably part of why I nearly ignored CAG's orders yesterday." She looks a bit abashed. "Saw that hit you took and I just- frak, but I've seen too many birds go down on that planet."

There's a blink at that, the confusion on Kazimir's face turning into something else as he starts to take in the woman with a different light - she may notice it, but he's not too good at it. "I was able to limp it home. Was more worried that one of them would use it as a chance to vulture me." he admits as he looks her over and meets her eyes. "Do... I thought that.." he trails off, not exactly what direction to take things in as he grips his coffee thermos for a moment as if considering it as a poor proxy for her.

"I'm glad none of them did. Guess we kept them distracted enough." Niemec does manage a smile for that, but when he trails off, she looks just as awkward. Not more than, oh no- he manages awkward quite well for the both of them. And sadly, she doesn't have enough coffee to just carry the conversation past awkward silence, past a 'Sooooo,' and into something manageable again. Instead, she has enough to get her past the bundle of nerves to take a breath and look at a point on the wall past his shoulder. "I'm sorry," she says finally. "I shouldn't have said anything. It's not your problem."

"If it's affecting you, it is.. if you ever want to talk, Niemec.." Kazimir laughs a little. "Though I'm pretty terrible at personal stuff. I can give you a long list of relationships I've frakked up because I can't read a single cue right. So, I can give you advice, and then you do the exact opposite of it." he manages as pauses and steps in and gives her something of an awkward hug. "Thanks for watching me home." he says to her quietly, breath warm next to her ear before he starts to pull away.

"And I'm not good at talking." From the day Edson got bombed until Eva and Finn made it back, Niemec was pretty much a ghost. Just going through the day-to-day motions. Clearly shell-shocked, after a fashion, but unable to process it, and operating just enough to not get caught by medical. Or just enough that they needed her on the stick still. "On the long-term, I've not done so great in the relationship arena myself," she admits, smiling faintly. "I'm still fairly sure my husband was," was being the operating word. A lot of them have a 'was' these days, "a fluke." The hug comes of a surprise, but she accepts it all the same, even returning it after a moment, once her brain kicks in. She doesn't stop him from withdrawing, but there is a smile. "Anytime, Kazimir. We need you up here."

At least she had a husband. "Yeah, well, they need you to, Antoine." Especially Eva and others. Kazimir offers a brief smile, but before he can do anything that may mess things up, he's turning to head off. "I'll see you around, Niemec." Unless stopped, he's going to be heading to check into medical to make sure that everything is working before turning into his bunk.

There's a brief bit of surprise. Niemec doesn't smile, but it's that sort of 'caught off-guard' expression instead. "Thanks," she offers in a low voice. "I think I needed to hear that." That she's needed. Too many days of the same routine and you start to feel part of the machine. The Colonial Fleet does a damn good job of that and for a Tauron? It's not a fun feeling. She initially starts to let Kazimir depart, but moves a few steps to catch up. At least she's finished her coffee and is no longer at risk for spillage. "I- y'know, most people don't use my first name anymore." It's just Niemec, or Captain, or Squeak. "It's nice to hear." A strange thing to remark on, but maybe she just wants to encourage the behavior.

"Would you rather I call you Antoine?" Kazimir asks as he steps onto the stairs to take him to the next deck. "I just figured as many people you've introduced yourself to as Niemec, that you preferred it. But.. I'll remember it in the future, if that's fine with you." he says and then offers a smile to her, considering, and then trying it on. "Antoine."

And Niemec moves a few stairs up because, well, Kazimir is tall and she isn't. She already had to look up at him. So she moves a few steps up to at least be on a level with him. "It's just how it's done, generally. Captain Niemec." She's got that coin in her hand again and there's a quick sort of smile when he says her name. Some color even spread over her features as she looks down towards her feet. "I also spent a lot of time when I first got transferred here... Making sure the Capricans didn't- well, I mean, you know how they can get. I wanted them to know I take this just as seriously." Which meant using her surname. Being as much the officer as she could be.

"Well, you're Tauron, and I'm Virgon.. can you see how that would work out?" Kazimir asks with a small chuckle, now that he finds himself on eye level with the woman, he's considering her a little more closely. "I wouldn't give a flying frak what the Capirican's think. Just keep proving yourself in the cockpit, Antoine. It's what you do best." he says as he swallows. "Besides being rather distracting at times." he offers a little shrug, and grins up at her. He considers his own pocket for a moment, reaching up to cover her hand with his, trapping the coin, and adding a second one to it. "..usually the ferryman requires two."

"Technically, I think I ought to take issue with you, too." Virgon being Tauron's 'masters' prior to Caprica's meddling. But there's only a smirk for Kazimir that softens to a smile at the compliment to her skills as a pilot. Well, that is, until he calls her distracting. At that, Antonie's features blank just a bit. She quite clearly did not expect that and as a result, he has no problem catching her hand to add the second coin. She looks down: to their hands and the coins there. Recovering, slowly, she begins to smile again, looking back up to the other pilot. "I fidget a lot," she admits, the smile turning to a mildly sheepish grin.

"Nothing wrong with fidgetting, Antoine. We all have our quirks. You can decide whether or not you want to take issue with where I'm from and how you want to address that." Kazimir responds as he releases her hand, leaving the coins in place. The coin he added is a challenge coin for one of the facilities he served at while in the Virgonese Navy. Before he was picked for the Viper project. "I'm sure there's a lot of things about you that anyone would want to learn about you." And even though she mentioned she's had a husband, he's assuming perhaps that she's more interested in girls at the moment.

The coin is lifted and studied, turned over from one side to the other. It at least gives Antonie something to look at, rather than continuing to blush under Kazimir's gaze. "I have no issue with where you're from," she offers, with only a fleeting glance his way. She runs her fingertips over the raised parts of the coin before reaching for his hands to try to give it back. Challenge coins often being of rather great import to pilots and all. "If there's something you want to know," she says, after spending a few long seconds puzzling over his words, "just ask."

He holds up his hand, allowing her to hold onto the coin, before her response catches him off guard and now it's his turn to gaze down towards the ground. "I.. don't even know where to begin." Kazimir finally responds as he shrugs his shoulders. "I'm not good at well.. any of this." he finds himself admitting, studying her boots, definetly not the soft swell of her chest or anything else as he turns his attention to the ink on her arm, blue-grey eyes taking in the sharp lines of the art.

She doesn't quite seem to know what to do when he rejects the return of the coin. Niemec looks to Kazimir, then down to the coin in her hand. She closes her fingers around it finally, holding tight to it. After a moment, it does begin that slow dance from knuckle to knuckle. She starts to say something, stops, then laughs softly. "I'd say at the beginning, but I'm not sure that helps." There's a tilt of her head and she leans slightly, trying to catch his eye. "I feel like there's something you want to ask, but you're not sure how. I'll remind you, as a pilot, I'm pretty hard to offend."

His eyes lift up to meet hers. "And I'll remind you, Antoine, as a guy, it's pretty hard for me to talk to someone that's showing an interest in me. It's never worked out well." Kazimir admits, a pause in his thoughts before his hand moves to touch her cheek, feeling the soft, tan skin beneath his darker touch. "Especially when I know that someone is hurting, and wouldn't want to complicate anything." he explains simply, taking a step up, that closes the distance between them.

Was it that obvious? Antonie might just be stuck blushing at this point. "I can pretend I'm not, if it helps?" She grins, just a little, as she makes that offer. But he's touching her cheek and any attempt at willpower to carry through sort of goes out the window. Her eyes close, just briefly, as she breathes out in a slow sigh. "Kaz-" she has to look up at him again, but that's fine. This- this is all fine. "We're on a flagship for the combined colonial forces, at war with the machines we created. I think... our lives are complicated by definition."

"You're hurting a little, Niemec. And I don't want to be something that's a poor bandage while you try to figure out things with her." Kazimir responds. He considers for a moment and with the hand on one cheek, he leans down and his lips, warm and soft, press to the skin on the other cheek, tantalizingly close to her mouth. "Exactly. Complicated enough without frakking it up further with emotions. Give her some time. And if it has to be something else - we'll cross that bridge when we get there." he says. Though gods, the idea of having her in his arms right now is a terrible draw, to see exactly where all those tattoos may fall. To sketch them to his book, to commit her to memory. But for now, he schools himself against the idea as he starts to withdraw slowly. "For now, I need to check into sickbay."

The words sting a bit, but they're the truth. Niemec's eyes close a touch with the kiss to her cheek. She remains still, resisting any urge she might have to turn her head and turn the gesture into something she most definitely shouldn't. When he withdraws, she takes in a slow breath and looks up o him. There is a slight smile for the man. "Do get checked out. Don't let them hassle you too much, but make sure you're in your cockpit later." She takes a step back, the coin he gave her still sliding through her fingers. "I'll see you." It's a promise.


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