2237-04-19 - Broken Birds and Broken Pilots

Isolde finds Van obsessing a little bit about the escape from Edson. Still.

Date: 2237-04-19

Location: Catwalk, Deck 6, Battlestar //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 989

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Van isn't moping. At least he would claim such. He's leans against the railing of the catwalk around the hanger, carefully out of the way of those moving to and fro around it. This means he's at one end, where he can look down at several Raptors being repaired -- one in particular that is nearly fixed. His arms are folded across the railing, his head down, and a cigarette smolders at one corner of his mouth, nearly burned down to the filter.

Van isn't moping, but Isolde is still on the lookout for a moping Van. She scales up to the catwalk, drawing herself onto the encircling mezzanine above the hangar bay. She is in her flight suit, hands tucked into the pockets and belt low on her hips. She approaches the slumped sight of Van cautiously, like one might approach an injured wild animal. She scoots in close, but not too close, and clears her throat. "... Van?"

The approach doesn't draw his attention, which clearly demonstrates that the pilot is somewhere else mentally. It's worse than that, because the clearing of Isolde's throat doesn't even get Van's attention. It takes his name to do that, and then he flinches a little, looking up and over to her. And then a guilty look flashes across his features, and he looks down again, gathering up his cigarette in two fingers and ashing it ineffectually onto the catwalk decking, "Hmm? You haven't been here long, have you, Izzy?"

"Oh, uh... just a couple minutes," Izzy reassures him with an awkward shift in her stance. She still has her hands in her pockets, and she lifts a leg to rub her shin against the back of the opposite knee and thigh. "Uh... you doing okay? Haven't seen you about. I know we're on shore leave, and I know it is totally up to you where you want to hang out." She's rambling -- nervous and awkward. It is like someone hit the reset button on these two. Again.

Luckily, awkward in Isolde seems to have become endearing to Van, at least to some degree. He smiles faintly, although it seems to stretch his mouth more than actually curve his lips upwards. "Just... somewhere else, sorry." There's a bang from down on the hanger as something exceptionally heavy is 'set down' on the deck a little too hard, and Van fumbles the stub of a cigarette, dropping it off the catwalk. He makes a grab for it, luckily misses, and grimaces as it tumbles down to fall harmlessly to an open patch of decking. "I heard you had some leave already. I... I haven't gotten any yet. Just, forgot to ask for it, I guess."

Isolde takes a hasty step forward when Van goes lunging for his cigarette butt. Her hand fumbles at his shoulder, and she draws herself slowly down beside him. She peeks down where the butt has fallen, and then she shakes her head. "No harm." She settles down beside him, letting her own feet dangle off the edge. She crisscrosses her arms on the rail, looking aside a bit. "You still could... maybe. I mean, might be good for you." She looks back at him, those big brown eyes a bit worried.

Van looks surprised when she grasps his shoulder, frowning in confusion before he looks down at the deck again, "Are you okay, Isolde?" Now he's apparently concerned about her. He nods at her suggestion, "Yes, it would probably be good to put in a request before it gets to be too late. I would like to spend some time down there with you." Again, that faint smile returns, although its more honest this time, "I think I would just like to spend some time with you anywhere that isn't devoted to the war at the moment."

"I'm okay," Isolde reassures. "I was just... making sure you didn't hurt yourself." The Ensign sighs as she rests her chin on her folded arms. Her eyes stare down at the Raptors, searching them from this point of interest. Then she glances his way, and the requests draw a faint smile from her as well. "Its real nice down there... maybe we can actually find a place to stay for a night... get some dinner... do a real date again... feels like it's been nonstop."

Van smiles a little wanly at her worry, "Hurt myself? I'm not suicidal or anything. Just... distracted, I suppose." Shaking the thought off, he lies, "It's nothing particularly important." And then the lying stops as he shifts topics with her, "And yes, a 24-hour pass would be quite wonderful, to actually get a date, and," he clears his throat a little, glancing down the length of the catwalk and lowering his voice slightly, "not having to find an empty storage room or anything like that."

Isolde feels a warm blush brew at her ears, and she nods agreeably. "Yeah, that would be nice." Then she hesitates. "Well, ask the CAG... there's not much time left, and I bet that we could both use it." Then she shifts alongside him until her shoulder presses lightly to his. "I'm worried about you, Van." Her voice is hushed. "You've not really been... been... here lately." She frowns. "And you are kinda covering up things... like you just did."

Van doesn't deny his recent actions, just looking down at the hanger deck again. He leans into the companionable touch of shoulders a little, and after a long moment, his eyes close, "Just... I'm sick and frakking," he... doesn't curse very often, "tired of being on a lee shore all the time." He stops a moment and translates that from Picon sailing terminology, "Tired of being driven around by the toasters." Finally, he draws in a breath, holds it for a moment, and opens his eyes to face the situation head on, "I've flown off an airbase that was being overrun twice now. I don't want to do it again."

"We didn't have a choice, Van," Isolde whispers. "If we stayed, we would have probably been dead." She drops her hand to his thigh, offering steady pressure. "I know you don't want to talk about it, and it's hard, but... I'm here... you know?" She chews a bit at the side of her lip. "Feels like I'm fighting to keep you here, and I don't like that much." Then she offers a small smile before she looks back down at the deck. "I know, though... I know... you hated flying away."

Shaking his head at her whisper, and leaning a little more steadily into her shoulder for a second, Van runs his hand back over his short-cropped hair, "It's not the running. It's the being hit when we're not ready. I know we had to run then, and that if we hadn't left some people behind, no one would have gotten out. It doesn't sit well, but I understand it. But really, I don't want to be on the defensive anymore." Energy crackles in his grey eyes for a moment, "I want to stop getting hit and hit them."

"I know," Isolde whispers again. She shrinks a little, but not away from him. For a lapsing moment, the ex-Technician just looks at him with a worried expression. Then she sighs and reaches up to touch the side of his face gently, turning him toward her. "I bet that, that will change soon... because you know you aren't the only one."

Van's hand starts down for her hand at his thigh, only for it to be on his cheek before he gets there. Turning into the fingertips, he shifts his own hand to her knee instead, squeezing gently, "It won't as long as the Admirals and politicians are running scared. I just..." He shakes his head, "Both of our colonies are under attack right now, and while we hit Tauron, Picon is still swinging in the breeze while we're running around trying to plug holes in the dike. I'm just... I don't know. Tired? Angry? Something."

"Overwhelmed." Isolde offers a half-hearted smile. "Despite your cigarette breath, I'm going to kiss you now, okay?" Not waiting for the confirmation, the Raptor ECO draws him close and presses a kiss against his lips. She lingers there, letting her own jumbled up nerves relax. It is soft without demands or expectations; just a presence. Then she begins to pull back, leaning upright again.

"Okay." Her request actually draws a real smile to his lips, so that they are curved upwards when she closes the distance, just finishing the last syllable of his response. His fingers tighten at her leg, just a little, and his other hand comes up to brush his fingers over her cheek. Following the ECO's prompting, Van keeps the kiss soft and sweet, although when she starts to lean back, he follows after, looking to capture her lips in a kiss that is a little more involved -- and as he deepens, it also gains a hint of desperation, a burning need to connect to someone, to something living, to Isolde.

Isolde is not surprised by Van's pursuit, but she does chuckle just slightly when she meets the kiss. Her eyes close and she leans into it, meeting his desperation with a kind of calm fire. She nestles closer against his shoulder, pressing her thigh to his as well. Then she sinks back a bit, murmuring against his lips, "I don't think we're gonna find a storage closet anywhere."

Van's eyes stay squeezed shut as she chuckles and settles his forehead against hers. "No. I don't think we are." And then he lets out a breath, his fingers brushing a bit of hair back behind her ear and then his thumb brushing along the whorls of her ear. "Did you go down to find a dress, or are you sticking with Tauran dress greens?"

"You should just stop being a prude and sneak into my bunk." Isolde laughs then before she nestles her forehead against his, rubbing it back and forth. As his fingers tease her ear, she releases a little sigh. The quest after her attire however causes her to chuckle. "Guess you're gonna just have to be surprised." She looks up to meet his paler eyes. "You ever going to ask me, by the way?"

"It's not being a prude," Van protests, "It's being considerate for the others around us." Even if some of the others aren't always so considerate. At her question, his eyes open slowly, and one corner of his lips lifts in a tentative, mischievous smile, "Ask you what? To accompany me to the ball? Yes, I am." But he doesn't.

"Considerate to others is really inconsiderate to us." Isolde's lips quirk a bit before she settles her head against his shoulder once more, nestled against him with the full warmth and confidence they had shared before everything went sideways. His mischief causes her to snort however. "Well, better get on it, or I might get asked by someone else."

Van is still a little tense, right where his shoulders cross his spine, but he's not staring out into space anymore, and he slips his left arm around her shoulders, "They wouldn't dare. We may be being inconsiderate to ourselves, but I feel rather certain that scuttlebutt knows about the storage closets."

Isolde smiles doubles and dimples and she sweeps her hand back down his thigh when his arm crosses her shoulders. She shakes her head, chuckling lightly. "Yeah, probably." She looks up to him with a tilt of her head. "I actually bought a dress and then took it back for an exchange. What colors are the Picon uniform?"

The dimples draw a slightly wider smile from Van, but her words lift his brows, "Took it back? You weren't happy with it? And the Picon Navy Dress Uniform is space-black, with gold and red accents. Plus the fruit salad," the ribbons for the medals. "So it's easy to match. Unlike say... the Virgon uniform."

"Good." Isolde doesn't go into any other details, though she does seem quite pleased. Then she starts to laugh again at the Virgon jab, and she shakes her head. "This is supposed to be a Colonial Unity thing, Mister Newton... let's not belittle other colonies."

"Have you seen the Virgon dress uniform?" Van draws his head back slightly so he can look at Isolde's features, "Bright. Red. Like... a red that only deserves to live on fire engines, stop signs, and the hottest peppers. I'm pretty certain that they designed it specifically to clash with Hibernian red hair."

Isolde just shakes her head slowly, smiling all the while. Then she nods down to the deck. "Want to go find somewhere to grab something to eat?" Which means the mess hall, but she's at least acting coy about it. "Then we can see if we can find somewhere that's unoccupied." Her brows arch then.

"Yes, I very much would like to go somewhere that we can grab some food. But I think that the mess hall may be our only option until after the ball." Again, Van chuckles faintly, pushing back from the railing and offering his hands to help her up. "The other part sounds very nice, however. Although I'm officially looking forward to the leave that I don't have yet."

Van's offered hand is accepted, and Isolde pulls herself up to her feet. She steps forward, wrapping her arms around him fully and bodily so that she is pressed against him and her head is nestled against his own. She hugs him there, tight and for several long heartbeats before she lets him go. "Alright, let's go then. The mess it is."

Van wasn't expecting the hug, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't appreciate it, his own arms enfolding Isolde's form and squeezing her tight. There's just a moment when he might even squeeze a little too tight, and then he looses her, "Yes... what time is it, anyway?" Because he's suddenly not sure if he skipped lunch, or it hasn't happened yet.

"Uh," Isolde checks her watch, and then shows it to Van. "We'll be the early dinner crowd." She dimples at him again, and then starts forward, fingers slipping from his as she starts to depart the catwalk.

"Oh... that explains..." the fact that Van's stomach grumbles. Still, he nods, squeezing her fingers briefly and then loosing them to walk alongside her. "Besides a big bed, the thing I think I might like most about shore leave? Holding hands while walking."

Isolde just smiles over her shoulder to him, looking almost sheepish. Then she nods. "Soon." Then she turns to begin her scale down to the hangar deck.


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