2237-06-05 - Treading Water

After the practice over-water SAR, Jonas and Abigail don't quite see eye to eye.

Date: 2237-06-05

Location: Middecks, //Vanguard//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1092

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It's late in the evening when they return from the training, Jonas went to strip out of the gear, turning it back into the quartermaster. Abigail is more fortunate, her stuff is her own. But he's waiting for her when she's returning from turning hers in, and smirks. "Trying to ruin the goods?" he asks playfully as she approaches.

Abigail looks precisely like what she is. An exhausted diver. She doesn't need to tell Jonas how brutal the open ocean can be, he's felt it for himself. "This is what I gave up being a boatswain's mate to do. I've got callouses in places you wouldn't believe."

"Having seen your body completely, I would believe." Jonas points out, quiet as he considers her for a moment, but doesn't say much else on the subject. "I could have gotten the second one, you know." Probably not true, but that SAR part of him is just as bad as hers at times.

"Yes, you could have rescued both of them." Abigail gives him a once over. There's not much affection in the look. She's still in work mode, mostly. "As tall as you are, with your reach, and upper body strength, one child, one adult, you could have affected both rescues at once. We didn't go over that technique, but I'll show you some of the advanced strapping techniques."

"Then why the frak did you jump in, Abigail?" Jonas asks finally.

Abigail tips up her chin, the shift in angle allowing her to meet his eyes. "First, because if you were going to strap them up for a single rescue, you would have had to have done it at the anchor point. You were already invested in a single victim, and you were responsible for their life. THAT was the choice you made. You selected a target and you were bound to see it through. Second, because your head wasn't on straight, and you were more concerned with protecting the raptor and the crew than in doing your job. Third, because I'm a goddamned diver and it's my job."

"Because that goddamned Raptor was at risk of getting shot down because we were still tethered to it!" Jonas snaps back before he frowns. "I made the decision because I don't have that training you do. When we get into the snow, I'll know what the frak I'm doing better and then you'll..." he's quiet for a moment and looks up at you. "...my head is on straight, Abigail." That accusation seemed to be the one that hurt the most.

"That's the job, Jonas! You think rescue diving is any more or less dangerous than being dropped into a combat zone from a raptor? That's the job! You go out. Again, and again, and again, until you affect the rescue or you've exhausted every ounce of your strength and resources. You think that motto is just feel good words so people'll think we're heroes? You don't get to choose your own life before the life of the victims unless you know without a shadow of a doubt that you'd done everything you could to save them. This was training, Jonas, of course you don't know as much as I do, but you did good. You saved a victim, you should have let me save the other one." Which she did, but he wasn't happy about it. "I know it is, I shouldn't have said that."

"I was already in the water, you were back in the Raptor, it would have been easier for me to swim back. And then we came under attack. Banshee should have dealt with the damn Cypers, while we remained in the water, she put us all at risk, for what? Two people? What is it you always say to me?" Jonas asks, meeting her eyes with a frowns. "You don't have to come back. She put two of us over that whole Raptor full of victims and others!"

"Your victim was unconscious and not in a rescue basket, they could not safely be hauled back into the raptor. You saw the way those lines were swinging, they would have either sheared off the line, or smashed into the belly of the raptor and they would be dead. You do not leave an unconscious victim on a line unaided. And Banshee was doing what she was ordered to do. She was being a SAR pilot. She was doing her job and trusting her ECO and the friendly vipers to deal with the threat." Abigail shakes her head, "This wasn't a Marine mission, we don't talk in acceptable losses. You ask most of the divers I came up with? They'll tell you the same. "You go all in. You all live or you all die." Abigail steps back, having secured her gear, turning to head back towards the berthings.

"This wasn't a battlefield with bullets flying around, and people were wounded and down." Jonas responds. "I could have cut the line and treaded water with the child until the threat had passed and we could have re-affected the rescue..." And then she's walking away. He stands there for a moment. It all feels familiar. Too familiar. She's being just.. or is he? He doesn't know, all he knows is that he moves forward, grabs Abigail by the shoulder and spins her around. "Don't walk away from me, Gale."

Abigail spins back around, not making any attempt to tug out of your hand, "But you didn't cut the line, Jonas! You left your victim dangling on the line, and you were getting ready to leave to get the second victim. That was unacceptable!" She still doesn't seem angry at him, it's just...a work fight, "I'm not having this discussion with you in the middle of the quartermaster's lockers!" Hence why she was walking away.

"The victim was secured, Abigail, I'm not that frakking dense!" Jonas says back, and takes her hand as he moves towards one of the open alcoves between the deck's structural members. "Do you honestly think I wasn't taking this seriously or something?"

Abigail moves with him, her face still set, turning around to face him as soon as she's clear of the path of travel. It's not a huge improvement, but at least they're not in anyone's way, "You cannot leave a victim on that line if they're not in a rescue basket! YOU are their only protection until they're in that raptor. That child was your responsibility? Frak it, Jonas, what if that had been a real child, what if that had been our child? Would you have wanted the diver to leave them there?"

Our child? That was a punch in the gut, and it takes the breath out of him. "Fine. I frakked up, Abigail." he says finally. "Is that what you wanted to hear? I tried too hard. I wanted to do it good enough so that.. I could just be part of your world."

Abigail, perhaps not realizing exactly what she said, or that it's that that hit Jonas that way, only moves forward, lifting her hands to cup his face, "Jonas, you are a part of my world. You didn't try too hard. Gods, do you have any idea how proud I am of you? You were a rook out there and you stepped up to the line and you never backed down."

The touch to his face, Jonas tenses in your touch. "I may never set foot on Aquaria again - but when I get to Picon, I want to be ready, Abigail, because I don't know what we're going into, but you do.. and I just don't want to be a burden down there for you. Because.. I know your brother's there. And I want to help you find him because.." he sighs and bites his lip. "..because I love you, Abigail."

As you tense at her touch, Abigail looks suddenly stricken, her hands being pulled away as if they'd been burned. There's a look of being completely lost, as if she's not sure what she did to earn your rejection. "You would never be a burden, Jonas. But don't take all of that weight on your shoulders. Addison is going to need much more than the two of us to rescue him." Because he is alive. Any other reality is unacceptable. Unthinkable.

She misread him, and now it's Jonas' turn to cup her face as he halts he retrat. "I know." he says, and then pulls her into a kiss. "I'm sorry." he whispers quietly. "I'll follow your lead for Picon."

And even more confusingly, he's kissing her, pulling her back, and damnit, he's so close, so warm, so Jonas. So everything she needs right now. "No, we'll do it together." Her own arms wind around his chest, trying to tucking in against him.

"Together." Jonas agrees, considering her as he drapes his arms around her shoulders to hold her in return as he meets her eyes. "You won't be rid of me that easily." he murmurs quietly. He's scared. There's an actual tremor there.

Abigail meets his eyes, head tilted back to bridge the distance. She really needs to start wearing platform combat boots, "But I don't want to be rid of you, Jonas."


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