The exes hash some things out, in the most painful manner possible.
Location: Storage Bay - Vanguard Gym
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1035
Lyn vanished like her spectral callsign as soon as the Raptor touched down back on the Vanguard. She didn't come back to her bunk, and she wasn't in the gym or the chapel or even the kitchen. Back on Aquaria, when she was pissed off and couldn't get outside at the station due to a blizzard or deadly temps, she'd squirrel herself away in one of the storage rooms, where she always hid her baking ingredients in boxes labelled "Toxic - do not open" just so no one would steal them. Well no one except Jonas, who had her figured out.
Just like old times, she's found one of the storage bays on the ship, and brought her blanket from her rack for good measure, choosing to sleep down here instead of risk running into her ex in the crew berthings before she could get her head straight. She's doing what she always does when her blood is boiling; baking-related things. This time, it's sorting through her various stashed ingredients and cataloguing them in stony silence.
There was part of Jonas that wanted to seek her out when they landed. But he didn't. She had shut him completely out of her life, wouldn't it only be fair if he did the same? Much like the ghost that she claims to be, he was completely prepared to let her just be that little piece of his life from the past that shows up on occasion, just to disappear again.
Then Abigail had to come in and share her wisdom (or lack of) with him. You can’t excise a ghost without addressing it. It took a little bit of searching. A stop at the kitchen first, at the dead of night, when she would sneak in to bake. No sign of her there. That wasn't necessarily a good sign. While he was there, he grabbed a couple of small items and continued his search.
It took a few tries, but intuition finally brought him to the storage room of the gym where they kept the extra floor mats, and there's a slight opening of the door to find the huddled figure sitting there. "I remember when I was six. Told my mom I was going to run away from home. Got as far as the laundry pantry and fell asleep on the blankets there." he offers to her quietly.
Lyn stiffens at the sound of an approach, but keeps her eyes focused on the datapad in her hand. Spread about on the floor around her, in disarray, are bags of variously flavored chips, bars of bitter baking chocolates, cupcake liners, flavored extracts and syrups, and a plethora of sprinkles in every shape and color of the rainbow.
He can see the twitch in her jawline at his words, but she continues to do her little task. He doesn't need to know that her counts are now just random tapping on the pad because she can't think straight. "Clearly some of us are better at running away than others," she deadpans.
"Oh no doubt." Jonas responds, "But it was such a six-year-old thing to do, you know." the Marine enters the room, shutting the door behind him as he reaches into his pocket. Is it a deadly weapon he's carrying? Nope. It's a cookie. "You didn't make these, did you? I think they'd dent Centurion armor."
Now that he's done that, he comes over to sit on the mats near her to watch her work. "Haven't spoken to you since you decided not to take the transfer to the Libran Navy. "How have you been?"
Lyn side-eyes the cookie for a second and shakes her head slightly. "Not guilty," is her response as she randomly shuffles items in the crate. Once he sits it's obvious he has no intention of leaving her be. She sighs and begins shoving things back into the box. It's marked "Toxic" just like old times. How has she been? She's been alone, that's how she's been. Always just out of everyone's reach, and never getting close. She's not about to divulge that though.
"I'm fine." She transferred, just not to his ship, instead joining the ground forces where she could do long recon missions away from people for weeks or even months on end. "What do you want, Jonas?" she asks flatly.
"What do I want?" Jonas considers that for a moment. "Well, what I would like is to win the Caprican Lottery, take the cash out option and retire to a sunny little beach, and have my own chauffeured starship to take me to whatever planet I wanted." he starts. "But for now, it's a pretty simple list." He's dressed for bed, clearly, in a t-shirt and his sweat bottoms and a pair of plush shoes she may recognize as a Saturnalia gift from her when she was more .. human. The plush walruses have seen better days, their little cotton tusks bent in, their little beady black eyes coming loose, and one no longer has it's whiskers, but he wears them anyway.
"What I'll take is a truce. We're here now. Neither of us can help it, but we have the same mission. You're not the same Lyn Arda I was ready to ask to marry once, and I'm not the same Jonas Ignvar that you shoved away when things went to shit for all of us. Which I guess means, if we don't know each other anymore, let's see what we can figure out and at least be peaceable with each other while we're here so we're not getting the stink eye from other Marines." he lifts up his hand. "I'll even vow not to call you Muffin anymore, and no stories about you to others. Just a clean slate."
Lyn bristles at his jokerish response about the lottery, because that is definitely the same damn Jonas Ignvar that she knew and loved. She smacks the lid back on the crate and hangs onto it for a few moments, as the rest of his words sink it. The 'M' word makes everything inside her chest lurch to one side, as if it's trying to escape her cold, emotionally dead thoracic cavity. Her fingers curl hard around the edges of the crate lid, white knuckled, and her eyes close for a moment as she tries to formulate a response to him.
She looks at him full on, finally, as she releases her clenched grip on her poor, dear, baking ingredient box. She looks angry, and like she's about to yell, until she sees his slippers. Then she closes her mouth and looks away for another moment to gather herself. "You weren't the marrying type, remember? You told me that all the time. It's part of why I left. We had no future, you didn't want one with me. But sure, truce, whatever." She gets up to move to another mat where her blanket is piled, doing her best to distract herself with carefully unfolding it and spreading it out.
"I'm not the marrying type was supposed to be time for me to afford the damn ring. You know how much those things take out of a Marine's salary?" Jonas rolls his eyes and blows out the side of his mouth. "Doesn't matter. Can't exactly return it, bought it at that little shop in Heim." There's an absent roll of his shoulders. "Alright, truce it is." he responds, slipping down from the mats, the little squeaker in one of the slippers going 'peep' at the motion as he stretches out.
"I'll let you get back to.. whatever this is." He holds up the cookie and tosses it into the trashcan with a dull 'thud'. "I'm glad you didn't make that, though. Could hurt a man." he says as he lays his hand on the door handle to open it up.
"Why?" Lyn asks quietly. "Why would you yell me that now?" She clenches the blanket in her hands, kneeling on the mat. "Everything was gone, Jonas. My father was killed in Heim. Lieutenant Gabriel, mother-frakking, Arda. He was invincible, well on his way to being a General, and he was my hero. Then in an instant he was gone. Then the whole planet was theirs. It wasn't even snow in my mind anymore, just ashes. Nothing but ashes."
She lies down and pulls the blanket up to her chin, putting her face to the wall so he can't see her expression. "I was dying on the inside, and even breathing hurt. Everything hurt. FEELING hurt. And I couldn't be near you and not think about them killing you too. Or you leaving me because you weren't serious about us. Hell, I couldn't be near my mother, my brother, anyone. I joined the ground forces, long range recon. I had to let everyone and everything go, and be alone, where I didn't hurt anymore."
"And there she is." Jonas turns and leans against the doorframe. "That same self-depreciating, self-demeaning, self-absorbed Lyn Arda born from the hellfires of Heim." There's a darkening of his frown. "I was there when your father died. I held you in my arms as you cried your eyes out over it. But in all that self-absorbed pity that you were taking, you didn't ask once about my family. That I had no idea where my brother, sisters, nieces and nephews were. I can give you the rough ideal of where every member of my family is, can you tell me where any of mine was?" he asks flatly, arms folding across his chest defensively.
"Then you ran. Further. And further. And eventually, I couldn't pull you back to me anymore and I had no choice but to let go. Because it was either let you tear yourself apart, or let you tear yourself and me apart in the process." he manages as he draws in a shuddering breath. "You didn't want to hurt anyone? Too late." he manages quietly. "We had jobs to do. A planet to avenge. But all that mattered to you was you. How far you could go, how fast you could get away. I may not have died on Aquaria - but you might as well have killed me on Libran."
"What the frak do you think I was looking for on those recon missions, Jonas?" Lyn asks, and now her anger is rising. "I wasn't there on Libran because I was looking for your family on Aquaria!" She throws off the blanket and stands up, teeth gritted, her eyes red and her cheeks wet. "I followed the trail of your brother to Grimsey before it suddenly went cold. Your sisters made it to Akranes then everything just vanished and there were no more clues. I couldn't find the rest. I couldn't find anyone! I failed! I failed YOU!"
Shame, the shame in her eyes is deep and soul sucking. Yes, she knew where her family was, so she tried to find his, and she couldn't, and she just couldn't face him after.
That freezes him in his tracks, and Jonas shakes his head. The radioman sighs. "For those first days, I listened for the reports on you, seeing when you'd check in. Happy you were well." His whole frame tightens. "I can't do this, Lyn. We should have done this two years ago - maybe we could have salvaged something. Maybe we could have saved each other. But I can't do this now. You moved on. What do I want? I want closure. I want to know that the woman I loved doesn't love me anymore either so I can move on with my life."
She didn't move on, but she sees that he needs to. Love is a strange and ugly thing sometimes. It's about sacrifice for the wellbeing of yourself, or the one you love. The only way she can fix this is to give him what he wants, what he needs. And that is to hear that she doesn't love him anymore, regardless of whether she does or not.
Lyn lets her face go slack, into that mask she's learned to wear for two long years. She folds her arms over her chest and looks at his left ear, something she's figured out is a close approximation of in the eye without actually looking him in the eyes. "Fine. I free you from any deranged obligation you feel towards me. I'm a big girl. I'm fine. I don't love you anymore. Go find someone to give that ring to, Jonas. Move on. Live your life. I'm not your responsibility."
"Well, that's that." Jonas gives a shrug of his whole body, it seems, that tall and lanky frame deflating. Reaching into his pocket, he sets the small blue box next to the door frame. "Here. Maybe you can get a new baking set with it. It's bad fortune to give a ring meant for one woman to another." With that, he turns, opening the door and slips out before she can say another word.
Lyn waits until he is long gone before she moves to the box. She picks it up in shaking hands and moves to a far corner, behind boxes, where no one can see her. She sits in that corner, curled up, and opens it with more trepidation than she ever felt on a mission.
Inside the blue box is a ring - custom made. It's snowflake design reminds of Aquaria, the silver of it in the white starkness of the box making it look like it's perched perfectly in the snow. On the inside of the ring is a simple saying from Aquaria:
No Snowflake falls in the wrong place.
She hasn't cried, truly cried, since her father died. Lyn cries now. It's going to be a long night.