Tavo is putting the CQB Arena back together and Rothschild comes by to lend a hand.
Location: CQB Arena, Cutter //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1028
Someone knocked down several of the walls and stacked up furniture and other random gear to practice rescue operations in a disaster area, and now Tavo is putting the Arena back in order. His khaki shirt hangs over the head of a pop-up target, and he's stripped down to his tanks, guns, and bandage. Muscling a drywall and stud partition back into place, the big Marine steadies it a moment, looks it up and down, then slowly steps back, working out his right arm with a wince as he judges whether or not it's liable to stay upright.
"Did you draw the short straw?" Rothschild's voice comes from the hatch. The woman is just within doorway, arms crossed and curvaceous figure cozied up against the jam. She is dressed in her off-duties, down to the gray sweatpants and layered shirts. The long-sleeve shirt has been a choice for Rothschild since she came onboard, perhaps not used to the chill that always seems to linger on the ship. Her hair is done up in a relaxed pony tail, the long forelocks still tucked behind her ears. She pushes off the doorway, stepping over the coaming. She rights a chair, carefully setting it aside.
Tavo glances over his shoulder, grunting in surprise, then shrugging a little helplessly, "I came in to set up an exercise and it was out of place." So he spent the time he would have spent training putting the room back together, apparently. He looks over the other Staff Sergeant's attire, and something apparently amuses him, because he shakes his head, smothering a faint smile, then moves over to gather up another pop-up target and right it, "It's almost back in place if you want to make a run. Although I'm still trying to figure out how to make it work better for the woods."
"What?" Rothschild starts to chuckle slightly when she notices the smothered amusement. Then she considers the room, and offers a shoulder-shrug. "Care for some help then?" She takes a careful stock of the room's contents as she starts to right another chair. "Making this into a forest is perhaps a bit outside its scope. The organic feel is important to the terrain."
"I don't know. Sweats seems wrong for a big damn hero." Tavo chuckles to himself, "Shouldn't you have like... flowing pants and a draped tunic or something?" His idea of chic lounge-wear might be a little too Scorpian-vacation-resort-inspired. He nods his thanks at the offer to help, however, moving over to another wall to muscle it upright with another grimace of pain from his arm. "Too bad, since we've been outside the whole time so far. Makes this less useful."
"Damn, must have left those on the other warship." Rothschild delivers this a bit too dryly. Then she catches the wince, and shakes her head with a deep sigh. She steps over to the wall, helping him those last few inches until it is upright. She carefully shifts it until it is more aligned with its neighbor, and then she looks at the big Scorpian. "You shouldn't exacerbate your injuries, Tavo. I know every other Marine doesn't buy it, but you can actually make an injury heal slower if you stress it." She, of course, is still limping just slightly as she moves around.
"Now why would you lie to me like that?" Tavo is not good at faking emotions, so the faux hurt in his voice is clear and obvious. He flashes a grin to follow it, however, "I listen. I know you weren't on a warship before this posting." With her help, he gets the wall back into place, giving the base a little kick with the toe of his boot. "And what were you going to go do in your PT clothes with that leg of yours?"
The fake hurt is rewarded with the faintest eye-roll and quirk of a smile. Then she starts to look back around the room to see what else needs to be tidied up and reset. She offers a snort as she limps off several steps to the next fallen wall segment. "I was going to go for a light walk on the treadmills." Which is probably a lie based on how lightly she delivers the line.
"Forty minutes of hard cardio?" That smile flashes wider, "Who's pissing off the docs now?" He comes around to the other side of the downed wall, glancing around to note that he's about to board himself up into a room save for the door on the other side, then shrugs and starts hefting the wall, "I figure we all learn our limits. If the docs didn't trust us, they'd use those rails on the sides of the medbay beds and lock us in."
"With handcuffs," Rothschild adds. She waits until he's in position, and as they lift the wall, she sidesteps a bit so she is on the same side of the wall as he is to help move it into place. She sighs a bit as the wall comes up, and then she's rubbing at her left bicep thoughtfully. Then her brown eyes lift toward him, and she offers one of those light smiles. "You are a rare specimen, Tavo, if you know your limits."
Tavo shuffles aside when she comes around the wall too, getting it into position, holding it a moment, and then nodding and stepping back warily. It shifts and creaks a little, but stays in place. "If I were a Marine," which he is... sort of... but apparently which he does not consider himself right now, "I'd say 'I haven't hit them yet,' because I'd have to compensate for something." He grunts a chuckle, shaking his head and looking around the neat little room they mostly boxed themselves into, "But I'm a soldier, so I'll say 'I know some of them.'" Nodding upward at her arm, he adds, "You pull too hard?"
Rothschild arches a brow slightly at him, and she turns to consider the Scorpian with a thoughtful look. She doesn't realize she's still rubbing at the arm until he nods to it. "Hm? Oh, perhaps a bit." She flexes her fingers and then drops her hand from the arm. She slowly realizes that they have indeed boxed themselves in, and she starts to chuckle lightly and briefly. She tucks a forelock behind her ear again. "So, is that all you consider yourself then? Just a soldier?"
Tavo scoffs at the question, "Just?" Shaking his head, he glances over to the doorway on the far side of the other room, then looks back to Rothschild, smiling toothily as he teases, "Considering that soldiers are a superior breed to the Marines," says the now-Colonial Marine, "I wouldn't say there is any 'just' about it." He extends his right arm, showing the Scorpian Army tattoo on his forearm, "But yeah, I'm a soldier. Scorpian Army." That teasing tone comes back, "The ones who actually walk to the fight," or ride in trucks, or occasionally Raptors, "instead of drifting around in those flying deathtraps." Reaching out with his hand to touch her sore bicep, he nods toward it, "You should be careful. Overcompensating for an injury can lead to worse injuries somewhere else." That doesn't sound like military wisdom.
Rothschild snorts, and her eyes roll a bit more obviously than the subtle shift behind her lashes. She crosses her arms, leaning slightly into the newly erected wall. "You joke, but you have no idea how much of that disparaging bullshit is actually said in earnest, and in meetings with other Colonial militaries present. If the Scorpian Army is so perfectly badass, then I would like to see them end the Cylon incursion without the help of the other Colonial grunts." She then looks down at the hand that touches her bicep and back up at the looming Scorpian. "And where did you learn that?"
Tavo grunts softly at the response, considering it, "Yeah. I know all of the shit some people pile on other people. Maybe you're right. There's so much clan bullshit on Scorpia that if the first-gen Toasters didn't screw up in the humidity and the jungles, we would've had problems. I just figured poking fun at them myself might show how bullshit it was." He might have more to say about how Scorpia doesn't have much in the way of a Cylon problem right now, but her question draws his attention away, "Pyramid. You roll an ankle, play through it, and you're so focused on not hurting it worse, you hurt your other leg."
Rothschild chuckles mirthlessly. "And that's all just inner-Scorpian politics. Imagine what it took to get Caprica and Tauron to agree to work together, and how many times one or the other walked away from the table unwilling to commit. I have vivid memories of seated with two officials from both Colonies, and the strained politeness was almost unbearable." Then she gives him a barely arched look. "A Leonese Marine is no better nor worse than a Scorpian Soldier."
Tavo shrugs his broad shoulders a little helplessly, "No better? Come on, Praety, I know you've got more ego than that in there." He gives her arm a light clap, then shrugs again, "I always liked a little competition within the team, people trying to show they were the best. Maybe that doesn't work with Colonies that have serious beefs with each other. Hell, there are plenty of Scorpians who aren't too happy with Leonese. Or Virgons."
The Praetorian of Trenoir arches a brow at his bit about ego. "Hmph." She shakes her head, habitually tucking a bit of long, but not long enough forelock behind her ear. "I wouldn't really know anything about that." There's a touch of bitterness in her warm Leonese-accented words, just under the surface. "I haven't been with my unit since Trenoir." She looks aside, closely examining the makeshift walls as she remains half-leaned into one.
A hint of compassion touches Tavo's features as he nods slowly, "Right. The whole touring celebrity thing. I hadn't really thought about what that might mean. Not being part of a unit." He grunts thoughtfully, "What was it like then? Being in the bright lights instead of the field? A relief? A chore?"
Rothschild narrows her eyes slightly at the mention of the celebrity bit, but she lets it slide. The Leonese woman straightens up when he asks the follow-ups, drawing the space between them a bit short for a moment before she takes a step back. There are several long moments of silence, obviously looking like she's trying to run the answer through her head before she answers. "Neither, I suppose. I was relieved at first, but then each tour stop became a burden. My requests for transfer were regularly denied, and there was not much time when I was not booked to support first the Leonese and then the CF."
Tavo nods slowly at the answer, listening in silence before he notes, "That wasn't a trap, by the way. No holocams here." He pats his torso down, as if to demonstrate he's not hiding anything under his tanktops. "I can understand not wanting to put a hero on the front lines. If you got hit, it would undo all the boost you gave morale, yeah? So how'd you finally get this transfer approved?"
"Coercion and blackmail." Rothschild maintains a serious expression for a heartbeat before she breaks into one of those subtle smirks. "More of the former than the latter." By how little she goes into detail might suggest she's not actually kidding. "The Timber Wolves are the best. If I'm the best, I should be here."
"Hah." Tavo snorts a laugh, "All the best ways to get what you want." He works through her reasoning in his head, "So if they'd built you up as the best the LMC had, they couldn't refuse to move you into an elite unit." Tilting his head to one side, he considers another angle literally and figuratively, "Puts a lot of pressure on you though, doesn't it?" There might even be some concern there in his question.
Her expression changes just slightly as he poses the question that her XO had asked before he put in the memo encouraging her transfer. Her jaw sets slightly before she musters up an answer, her tone a bit too light for the weight of the conversation. "That sort of thing puts pressure on a lot of people." A well-groomed response, and she knows it. She even grimaces as she looks away. "I don't see how it puts any more pressure on me than it does on anyone else given this assignment."
Once more, the giant shows his gentleness, his voice quieting, "Because we haven't been built up as the best our colony can offer." Tavo studies Rothschild in silence for a moment, and then he adds, without any change in tone or expression, "I've got no doubt you'll handle it just fine. You've been aces with everything else you've had to deal with so far--two days of straight fighting, two years of smiling for the spotlights, and two more hard skirmishes after you had time for doubt to grow. I think you can pretty much kick that doubt to the curb, Pretty." Yes, he got her nickname wrong again... or not.
Rothschild shies away from the sudden well of emotion in her chest as the gentle voice of the Scorpian giant hits an exposed nerve. She inhales through her nose once more, and then offers a small nod. "Well, I don't see how two skirmishes are really a large enough sample size." She doesn't correct the nickname this time around, perhaps assuming it an accidental slip-back. Or not. Her lips press together tightly while her brown eyes search his own, as if trying to decide something. Then she nods, and offers a equally quiet, "But, thank you."
"Pretty sure you're going to see plenty of action with the rest of us Timber Wolves. You'll get your sample size." Tavo smiles gently, nodding in response to the thanks. He meets her gaze for a moment, then looks down, shuffling his feet and then turning toward the door, heading back into the makeshift hallway of wooden sheets. "I'm still trying to decide," he chuckles, glancing over his shoulder, "if I'm going to forgive you for threatening to shoot me."
"Mmhmm." Rothschild watches him depart the makeshift room, and she hesitates a few steps before she begins to follow. She looks up as he casts the comment over his shoulder, and she smirks slightly. "I thought you were all for competition within a team, people trying to show they are the best... sometimes that means shooting a comrade in the leg so you can get ahead. Isn't it?" Then she ducks her head, stepping out into the hallway. She starts to look around at whatever else is lying around. "Need anything else?" She looks at him with that lightest arch of brows.
Tavo's eyebrows rise sharply at her rejoinder, and then he looks down and chuckles, shaking his head in amusement. "Should've known a fancy-pants hero lady would take it to the next level. Even if she's not wearing fancy pants right now." He clears his throat a moment, then shakes his head, looking out over the arena once more, "I think we've got it put back together, thanks. Now it's just putting up targets and running some privates through it." There's a pause, and he hurriedly adds, "That's not supposed to be a double meaning."
"Always," is all Rothschild replies to his comment of her fancy-pants status. Then she starts to chuckle slightly, shaking her head at his hurried addition. "With you, Tavo, I wouldn't think it was." Perhaps Rothschild has been catching the word-swallowing and topic-changing. "I'll let you get to that then." She offers the smallest salute with her fingers, and begins to turn away from the giant toward the door she came through not too long ago.
Tavo touches a finger to his brow in a return 'salute,' even if her response has a wry smile tugging at one corner of his mouth. Moving down the hallway himself, he splits off to fetch his uniform shirt, pulling it on with a grimace and then going in search of some targets to place, to be followed by some poor luckless Marines to test.
Rothschild moves a bit heavily as she steps to the doorway, and crosses the coamings out. Whether the weight is because of her injured leg or something else is one of those mysteries that the Praetorian is not even sure she can decipher.