Tavo loses another bet to Rothschild.
Location: Firing Range, Cutter //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1044
Tavo mentioned how little the quartermasters like him going full-auto with his SAW, so he's doing something else entirely. There's no big automatic weapon at his station, just his service pistol and several boxes of ammunition. He has ear protection on, and slightly-tinted safety glasses as he pumps steady, regular shots down-range with the even pace of a metronome. The slide of the pistol locks back, the weapon looking tiny in his paws, and he calls, "I'm dry!" It's... absolutely not necessary to state that he's out of ammo, but apparently it's ingrained habit.
There's Rothschild again, leaning against the edge of the divider like she has been there for a while now, watching the marine unload. Her hair is loose, falling into a light waves; the forelocks are tucked behind her ears, which are covered in the hardshell ear-protectors. She is dressed in her khakis, though she has foregone her jacket and instead is in her layered tanks. This shows off the strength of her shoulders and arms, particularly because the latter are crossed at her chest. She quirks a brow over her yellow-tinted eye protection when he sends out the call, and she glances over her shoulder to the quartermasters before she looks back at Tavo. "Now that's not something someone often calls." There is a smolder in her voice that is just barely met with the quirk of her smile.
There are several more empty mags on the shelving alongside two empty boxes of one hundred rounds, so Tavo has evidently been at this a while. He glances over his shoulder with a start, then tries to play it off easily, shrugging one broad shoulder, "You haven't been around Scorpia often enough, Praety." He looks down at his pistol, making sure it's really empty, safing it, and setting it aside as he adds, "Scorpians aren't dry often, so it's an event."
The Leonese catches the slightest start, and she starts to smile a bit more easily. Then she starts forward, pressing off the divider and sauntering up to the giant Scorpian. "I doubt there's any centimeter in all of Scorpia that is dry." She picks up one of the empty mags, tapping it against her palm after she looks it over. She glances down to the targets and then back up at him with a tilt of her head. "Would you like some competition?"
Tavo swallows an immediate comment, clearing his throat and then shrugging, "Not much of it." And then he just can't resist the comment he swallowed, and he adds in a little quickly, "Certainly not the women." And then he has to clear his throat again, nodding over to the empty magazine, "If you brought some more rounds, I'll go with you. But I already owe you another load of laundry, so what are we shooting for?"
Rothschild arches her brows in slight, but pleasant, surprise at the delivery. "Well." Then she starts to laugh as she tosses him the empty magazine. "Depends. Should we keep it professional, or go for something a little personal?" She tugs out two magazines from her belt, setting them down on the table.
Tavo catches the mag, blushing on his broad cheekbones at the 'well,' shrugging a little helplessly. He hesitates at the question, even as he starts to load the empty magazine into the pistol, then stops and sets it aside, holding out a hand for one of the full magazines, "Go for it. I can handle the personal."
The full-figured Praetorian considers the Scorpian when he opts for personal. She offers him one of the full magazines before she starts to load her own weapon. She snaps the slide, and then places the weapon back into her holster. "How about... best of ten shots. Loser must tell the winner about their first youthful indiscretion." She holds out a hand to him to seal the bet.
Tavo takes the mag, weighing it -- and the wager -- for one bounce, then slipping it home, and making sure that he has his safety still on. Keeping the safed weapon at his side, he envelops her hand with his empty hand, "Done." The pistol is set down on the shelf alongside the empties, and he steps back, crossing his khaki-clad arms over his chest, "Ladies first."
Rothschild offers a squeeze rather than a shake, and once he steps back, she readjusts her ear protection. Her eye protection is given a little jiggle before she settles it back over her eyes. She considers the target down the length of the firing range. Then she squares her shoulders, bringing up her pistol. Ten shots ring out, and she takes the recoil with the grace and brace of a true gunner. Bang, bang, bang. On the tenth shot, she sets down the pistol after setting the safety once more. "I forgot how good that feels." She presses the button to bring her target forward, and she admires the ten shots, glaring at the one that is just within the line of the target's shoulder. She looks over her shoulder to him, offering an understated smile. The shot to the head is her prized hit, though she does not gloat as she removes her target, and resets it for Tavo. "You're up."
Tavo glances down over the first two shots, checking her form -- shooting and otherwise -- and then looking back up to the target down-range, tracking the shots as they slam out. He nods his head as she finishes the magazine, "Well you certainly finished with a bang, Praety. Nice shooting." Glancing down at her pistol, he nods as he sees the slide locked back, then unfolds his arms and steps forward. Taking up his pistol, he glances over his shoulder to make sure that she's out of the line of fire. Then the pistol is unsafed, and he brings it up in both hands, firing quickly. He starts off well, but he shifts slightly midway through, and his aim starts to flag a touch. The slide locks back, and he grimaces a little, safing the pistol and reaching out to call his own target back. There are more shots in the chest, but more that would be grazes, and none in the head. "I think you've got it."
The Leonese steps back, leaning against the back wall to watch the Scorpian commit himself to the competition. She keeps her ear protection in place, but her eye protection has been folded up and is hanging off the collar of her tanks. She watches him, minding his stance, but the shift causes her to turn her head slightly. The grimace is met with one of her own, but she presses off the wall to return to him to compare their targets. She flickers her eyes up to him, and she offers another soft smile -- this one has a small smolder at the edge. "I think you're losing on purpose... first laundry, and now a youthful confession." She touches his forearm gently before she ejects her empty magazine and sets her unloaded gun aside.
Tavo sets the pistol down before turning back to Rothschild, the lack of eye protection drawing his eyes down to the tucked-in glasses, although he looks back up immediately, perhaps even a little too quickly. "I was as surprised as anyone that there weren't a full battalion of toasters." His forearm twitches a little under her hand, and he shrugs, "Besides, what guy doesn't want to know the mysteries of washing unmentionables?" About the youthful indiscretion, he's quiet for now, a slow frown of thought gathering like a storm at his brow.
The Leonese catches the glance, and she chuckles as she ducks her head. She shakes her head at first. "It didn't make sense for them to be there." Then she turns to rest against the table dividing the range from the preparation area. She crosses her arms just at her breasts, and she smirks slightly at the mention of the unmentionables. "Think of me as preparing you for your future wife. You can reassure her that you know how to wash bras and underthings." Then she catches sight of the storming brow, and Roths offers a softer smile. "Shall I give you twenty-four hours to decide?"
Somehow, the chuckle makes it worse. Tavo squares his shoulders though rather than shrinking under her gaze, "Someone must have been cancelling out my luck, because with my luck... they would have been there whether it made sense or not." There's a little dry self-deprecating humor there, and then Tavo grunts in response to her comment about a wife, "I'll worry about getting humanity through the war before I even think about whose skivvies I'm going to wash." The question causes him to shake his head, "No. Let me drop off the pistol and mags, I'll tell you somewhere that I don't have to shout over firearms and ear protection."
Rothschild feels almost unkind, so she ducks her head and offers a small nod. "Because you know that the story's climax will be shouted right when a hush falls over the range. I'll wait for you outside." Then she steps away so she can return the ear and eye protection, and she runs her fingers through her loose hair to draw it behind her. She waits for him at the hatch of the firing range.
Tavo points a finger at Rothschild at her statement, "Exactly." Gathering up his gear, he glances over his shoulder as Rothschild heads off, shifts his stance a moment, and then finishes getting the pistol, mags, and empty boxes together. They're dropped off at the armorer, as are the ear guards and glasses, and then he squares off his tunic and heads out the hatch, glancing over to Rothschild, "Alright." Glancing down the corridor and back up, he grunts thoughtfully, offering up a little grin, "Okay. Youthful indiscretion."
The Leonese woman glances up as the Scorpian exits, and she straightens up. She laughs gently at his covert glances up and down the corridor before she crosses her arms once more, resuming her lean into the wall. "Mmhmm." She arches a brow ever so slightly, showing her patience.
"Picture Gustavo at sixteen." The big man holds one hand up at about his current eyebrow level. "Smallfry." Which is to say, just about six-foot-two. "My voice squeaked and I had acne." He hesitates a moment longer, and then his words pick up a little speed, "But I was good at pyramid, and I thought that made me a big deal. Nell Traiga had been flirting with me," he pauses there a moment, "the Traigos pretty much run the clan," and then he continues, "because I was captain of the squad. And I had eyes for Sella Velana too. Decided to see if I could date them both." He hurries on there, assuring her, "This isn't a brag, don't worry."
Her brows give away her surprise at the direction his story goes. "Nell Traiga and Sella Velana." There is almost a hint of judgment in those repetitions, but she is Eudora Lilium Rothschild, so certainly a name can mean something. At his reassurances, her expression becomes wry. "Mmhmm," Roths muses again, but this time with a hint of amusement in the undertones. She does listen dutifully. "And how did that go, young Gustavo?"
"I thought I was smooth, getting kisses from Nell one day and Sella the next. And..." Tavo pauses there, looking up and down the hall again, and clearing his throat, "...I thought I could get them both to go the whole way. I was young and dumb. Real, real dumb." Clearing his throat, he continues, "Nell agreed to meet me behind the bleachers after the homecoming game, got me down there, got a blindfold on, and my shorts off." His cheeks heat again, and he looks down a moment before he manages to continue,"It turns out, Sella and Nell had been talking. Nell wandered off, and Marcos Traiga and Santos Velana -- their dads -- were the ones who were waiting when the blindfold came off."
At first, Praety looks about as amused as anyone would be hearing the overconfidence of a teenage boy. But then the story takes a turn. Rothschild cannot help the sudden change in her expression as she gasps in surprise at the ending reveal. "Tavo, no." She shakes her head. "Are Scorpian fathers anything like Tauran fathers?"
"Pretty, yes. They're worse." Tavo pauses, considering, and then shrugs and laughs a little self-deprecatingly, "Well, they couldn't just beat me up or leave me in a swamp because the team wasn't going to win without me." He grimaces, looking down and scowling, "I got a whole hour of talking-to, and the day I graduated, they both stopped by to recruit me for the militia. I didn't have any more interest killing other people, so I ran away to college." Looking up again, he draws in a breath, "Marcos came back my sophomore year. College wasn't an excuse anymore for him. That's how I got into the Army, because it was better than a militia."
Rothschild has the ear of a dutiful friend, and she starts to smile gently when he connects the story to the rest of his history. She arches up her brows slightly. "I don't think I have ever really understood the ins and outs of Scorpia." She means for it to be kind, but it has that air of Leonese about it. Then she shakes her head, and offers him a full smile -- a rare offering. "Have you done better... with women, that is?"
Tavo's initial response might be just a touch sharp, his nerves perhaps a little raw after telling a rather humiliating story, even if he managed to get through it well enough, "I don't think many Leonese do." He stops then, shrugging a little apologetically and providing an excuse for at least Rothschild, "I don't think many Leonese have tried." Despite that, the smile from the Praetorian draws the corners of his own mouth up, "Not so much in secondary school. Nell and Sella told everyone. I think there were even pictures. College... that went a little better, for as long as it lasted. It helps when you're starting varsity first year, and getting recruited second."
Rothschild catches her misstep far too late to correct, so she takes the justified sharpness without an equal sharpness in reply. She draws her hand back across her neck, beneath the fall of her dark waves. She looks up at him when he moves the conversation along. Her smile softens a bit, and then she offers a snort and matched eye-roll. "Pyramid players." The Praetorian drops her gaze to her feet -- an almost bashful look from a woman with such a stunning reputation.
"It's not like you had to fall back on pyramid skills." Tavo teases the suddenly bashful look on Rothschild's features. "Some of us had to pretend the girls who were interested weren't interested in the cubits we were going to make as long as we didn't get hurt." He snorts a little dryly, "The jokes on them, of course. There's no millions of cubits in the army." He stops, then notes, "You didn't have to fall back on pyramid skills, did you? No braces or centimeter-thick glasses?"
Rothschild looks up, and her dark eyes hold secrets, though also a bit of earnest comfort. She offers him a simple smile before she shrugs a shoulder. "You will have to win a bet to find out." She then starts to turn away. "But I'll tell you this... you won't be disappointed when my time comes." She then starts to step for the stairwells.
Tavo's eyebrows rise sharply, and then he chuckles, "Tease." It's not a complaint, just a statement. "Next time we'll use LAWs." No, they really won't, if the quartermaster, armorer, or engineer have anything to say about it -- which they will. "Just my luck, after that promise, I'll never win a bet again. Next thing you know, I'll be shining your shoes, doing your laundry, and cleaning your weapon." From a smoother, more forward man, that last note could be fraught with innuendo. Tavo's just talking about her SAW.
"No one cleans my weapon but me." Rothschild delivers this over her shoulder, and there is something almost delightfully risque in its delivery and the look that accompanies it. Then she resumes her walk for the stairs. "Until next we meet, Gigas." And then she is through the hatch to begin her path to the berthings.