Eva, finally cleared by medical, looks in on the former CAG, Diego Kallas.
Location: Burn Ward, Scorpia Naval Rehabilitation Hospital, Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1093
Somewhere on Scorpia is a military rehab hospital, where longer-term patients take the long road back to health. And somewhere in that facility is the burn unit, where one Diego Kallas is currently resting in his bed, watching some pre-recorded mixed martial arts fight. The burn scars make him barely recognizable, much of his visible skin - including half his face - covered in the special netting of burn care bandages. But the eyes are the same Kallas.
Eva, finally taking a wise, not quite so old Raptor pilot's advice, and more importantly, finally gaining the necessary permission to come to the ward, is making her way down through the warren of hallways and near dead ends, stopping to take directions when she needs it. She seems to be in both a rush to get there and wanting to be anywhere else but where she's going. She's got a duffel bag of what are probably odds and ends with her, but the most important thing, the thing she's cradling to her chest like a shield, is a quilt. Handmade, with the blended colours and patterns of Scorpia and Leonis worked into it. A pauses, a deep breath, as she gets to the door. She needs a minute, before she lifts a hand to knock on the door jam, "Diego?"
Kallas's eyes leave the TV at the knock on the door. He blinks. It's a bit unsettling with no eyebrows. "Cherry?" He gives a crooked grin, pleased to see her. "Hey. What are you doing here?"
Eva has about a split second, to react to the sight of her former, no, he's still her CAG, but a smile, real, and heartfelt, because it is still Kallas, is what comes to her features, "They finally let me out of my cage. Of course I had to come and see you. Brought a few things. May I come in?"
"Of course, of course, come in. Sit down." There's a chair here somewhere for visitors. He's reaching for the control unit to click off the TV, his arm moving stiffly compared to its former reflexes. He eyes the quilt she's clutching curiously, but doesn't ask - figuring she'll explain in her time. "Glad to see you. How're you? And the squad?"
Eva moves into the room, slinging the duffel off of her shoulder and setting it onto the chair intended for visitors, so that rather than sit and have to look up or over to him, she just hips leans against the railing of his bed, carefully enough that she's not knocking him, "I'm doing as well as can be expected I suppose. I've had some adventures since you saw me last, but I'm holding together. The squad's good, last I saw them. A fair few of us got pulled from from the Galactica, we're on spec ops now, aboard the Vanguard. Ryan's the CO." She hefts the quilt, "But what about you? Enjoying all the R&R?"
"You can sit if you like. The railing folds down," Kallas invites with a vague wave of his bandaged hand. When she mentions adventures, he nods. "Heard about that. Saw you and Farmboy got medals for it. Hot stuff." There's that crooked grin again. The question about R&R gets a so-so head-lean. "Eh, you know, I've had better vacations. What're you guys doing back here?"
Eva tucks the quilt under an arm, eyes quick scanning the railing to see where the latch is, so that she can fold it down and perch on the edge of the bed. "They seem to be giving out medals like candy, nowadays. Was just a little hop, skip, and a jump out of the jungle." Eva isn't looking away, not trying to avoid his face, "The last mission, we took some heavy damage...almost all of the marines it seems like, and nearly all of the ships. Had to put in for repairs before we could go back out. Picon." A moment, her tone pitched a hair softer, "I have missed you, Diego. We all have. You have family? Anyone to keep you company?"
"Yeah, that's not what I heard. Nice try though." Kallas has been following the news of the CF pretty avidly. "Jury-rigging a raider." The question about family causes his lips to press together. "Not really. I've got a brother, but we don't keep in touch. I'm all right though. Well as can be expected. The people here take good care of us. I miss you guys too though."
"Just a walk in the park," Eva laughs, adjusting on the edge of the bed, "You know me, Diego. My head's big enough as it is. They've done admirably, you know. And that's all down to you. You gave us the strength to become what we are." A shake of her head, as she rises from edge of the bed, moving to shake out the quilt. She's spent ages on it, and it shows. The colours, small embroidered flags, little decorations, things to remind him of the Wolves, the Galactica. The squadron he built. "Good thing you've got about 40 of us out there." Some family is blood, the rest is all heart. "You're still with us up there, you know. brought your viper over when we moved to the Vanguard. Slapped my name underneath it when they did."
"You're giving me too much credit, Cherry," Kallas demurs. "I just did my job." Then he seems to notice the quilt. Peripheral vision isn't what it used to be. "What's this. Is this for me?"
"Yeah, I bet the new guy would say the same thing. But I know the truth." There's something half acerbic, half amused in her voice, as she speaks, and noting the difficulty in looking to her side, she moves to the foot of the bed, making it easier for him to view, "Thought you might want something to remind you of us. Figures they'd leave you on Scorpia where a quilt's only fit for decoration. This planet is ridiculously hot."
"Heat doesn't bother me. But I grew up here, so..." Kallas studies the quilt, looking touched. "That's amazing, Eva. Thank you."
"Spoken like a true Scorpion." Eva laughs, moving back towards the side of the bed, "Mind if I lay it out?" That way it can rest over him, and it'll be a bit easier for him to see, "You're welcome. Was going to send it down, but though...no, I'll wait till they let me come visit."
"Please do," Kallas invites, eager to get a closer look at the quilt. "I'm glad you brought it yourself. It's nice to see you again. Hopefully next time you get leave I'll be out of this place."
Eva, mindful of his bandages, as well as the numerous bits and bobs he probably has hooked up, takes her time in settling the quilt over him, but once done, she settles back on the edge of the bed, "I would have come immediately, if they had let me. They wouldn't tell us where you were, and then it's been ages, and they kept turning me away, every time I asked if you were allowed visitors. I'm pretty sure they think I'm your creepy Hibernian stalker."
Kallas smiles at that. "Well, I'll take a quilt-bearing stalker like you any day, Cherry." He touches the edge of the quilt with a bandaged hand, and the smile fades, his expression turning sad.
"So, you mean I have permission to stalk you now?" Eva's smile is still warm, but there's a tilt of her head at the shift in his expression, "Did I pick the wrong colours?" It's not quite the question she wants to ask, but, really...'What's wrong...' seems, "What can I do, Diego?"
"What?" Diego asks, then he clues in on what she said. "Oh, no, no - the colors are fine. Great. I just wish I was back in it, you know?" Meaning there's nothing really she can do. He offers a stiff, helpless shrug.
Cherry nods, empathy, but not pity in her expression, "The gods know I wish you were too, Diego. It's not the same flying without you." Eva settles her hand, palm up, asking for his, offering hers, "What are the doctors saying? I know it's only been a few months."
Kallas snorts at the question. "That I'm 'lucky' to be alive. That I'll never fly again - oh, but don't worry, I can still go on to have a fulfilling life." His voice is thick with sarcasm at how those phrases just don't go together in his mind. He rests his bandaged hand atop hers at the invitation. "I'll manage." It's more of a vow than a statement.
"I'm damned lucky you're alive. When I saw...when I thought we'd lost you, my heart nearly stopped in my chest." Eva's hand curls, gently, still wary of doing him any injury, "But I don't believe you'll never get in the air again, Diego. Frak them if they believe any different. "You'll do more than that. And I'll be there every step of the way.
"I appreciate the vote of confidence, Eva, but... false hope doesn't do me any good. I've got to accept this and move on," Kallas says grimly, before shifting the topic, "So who's running the squadron now?"
"I wasn't trying to give you false hope, Diego. I spent three years as a flight instructor on Virgon. If I could get some of those frakkers in the air, I can sure as hell do the same for a pilot as good as you." Her other hand comes to cover the one he's placed in her first, "I'm not saying you'll ever fly a Viper again, Diego. I can't say that, I don't know that. But I'll be damned if I'll let you stay grounded for good." A sniff, at the question "A Virgon, Kyle Webb, battlefield promotion to Major, with a serious chip on his shoulder. He'd rather yell at you than speak to you, so, you know, a typical rooster, but with some of the hard-headed pilots...he's doing alright. We...don't get on, but it's not personal when we fly, so I let it go."
"Oh, maybe I could fly a shuttle or a freighter or something," Kallas grants. "But I've already gotten my medical papers from the navy. I'm out." And for a guy who made flying jets his life's work, that stings. "Figures they'd saddle you with a Virgon CAG. Navy has a wicked sense of humor sometimes. So how's..." Kallas starts interrogating her about some of the other pilots, and the war, as they pass the time in companionable chitchat.
"Give the war time, Diego...I have a feeling it's not done with you yet." And with that said, Eva will say no more about the chances that her CAG will ever suit up as a Navy man again. Because there are other things, other news, other stories to tell and share. And a promise that she'll keep in touch, and visit at every opportunity.