Abigail, Lyn, and Jonas address the elephant in the room.
Location: Head, Mid Deck, //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1099
Like the war, ship maintenance waits for no man. Or woman. The Vanguard has finally made it to Picon, so least that's a positive. The sound of music slightly echoing off of the walls of the head might be another. It's not empty of course, so Abigail has to make allowances for that, with people coming and going to interrupt her groove, as she works her way down the line of sinks, scrubbing to the beat.
Arriving soon after Abigail got started cleaning, Jonas grins, watching her hips sway as she enjoys the beat of the music and takes a moment to appreciate the woman that has brought a smile back to his life so easily. Finally, however, he knows he agreed to help her out today. Moving up behind her, he gives her hip a small double-tap to alert her of his presence. "So you know, Aubrey was on the duty roster, so what bet did you lose?" he asks playfully as he's dressed in his duty blues to help with the cleaning.
Abigail, working on a particularly nasty rust stain on one of the sinks, doesn't look up immediately, though she does feel the touch on her hip, alerting her to Jonas' presence a second or two before his voice, "No bet. Just thought I might do a bit of penance for my sins." Never let it be said that Abigail doesn't own up to her responsibility in some of the messes she and Aubrey get into. She turns her head, looking briefly up, before she goes back to work. There's a collection of supplies in a basket not far from her, but she doesn't point you in that direction. "Thanks for the company."
"The sin of what? Her inability to get a piece of ass? Or her hitting on a married man? You didn't make her, you know. I don't remember seeing a gun in your hands." Jonas offers as he moves to gather a few supplies and moves to the next sink you were going to get to so they can leapfrog each other and work and talk together. "I mean, I get it, sweetheart, she's your best friend, but really, she did all that on her own - okay, maybe me opening my mouth to Jigger didn't help, but she did offer a coin from her bottoms."
"That's the thing though, Jonas, with us. It was a dare, I might as well have been. Dares are serious business." She flashes a grin, a final swipe of the sponge declaring victory on the rust. Clearly this sort of thing has to have happened quite often. "Too bad they don't let me get out the paint stripper." A waggle of her eyebrows, as she sets down the scrubber, turning on the water to rinse off the metal before she marks it done. "Well, if it helps, she totally remembers your name now."
There's a chuckle at that. "She probably curses it and hopes we break up every night before bed." Jonas offers with a snort as he starts to work on the sink next to Abigail's as she leapfrogs him to start cleaning on the next. "But it's good to have someone here that you can be thick as thieves with. I hope to introduce you to my sister soon, so that you can maybe get to know her better. I know she won't replace her, but you know." he shrugs. He takes a moment, looking thoughtful for a moment as he considers Abigail. "Talk to the Colonel about your brother yet?"
Lyn is apparently on laundry duty herself, as she rolls in a canvas cart full of clean towels. She pauses for just a second as she navigates it over the hatch's threshold with a grunt, then clickety clacks it across the floor. She swallows at the room's other occupants but gives a quiet, "Hey" as she passes to the shelves the towels get stacked in.
Abigail snorts, laughter bubbling out as she applies a liberal squeeze of cleaner before getting to work, "Well...she has been known to hold a grudge. But never with me." A moment to look up into the mirror, to the crewman heading in her direction, "Budge on down, plenty more on the other side." Poor kid's trying to use that little scrap of a towel to preserve his dignity. The navy is cheap as F. No such luck, but the question from Jonas gets a suddenly more somber expression, which saved the poor kid from any peanut gallery commentary as he runs around the other side, barely avoiding Lyn in the dash, "Yes, I managed to evade that yeoman of his. He was pretty livid that the navy had refused to tell me anything. He promised to do everything he could to try to find out the status," Lyn's entrance breaks her focus, and she offers a genuine smile, "Hey, Arda. Roped you in as well, I see."
"Good. We know his status, we can work on bringing him home." Jonas says as he works on his sink, scrubbing it with the rough abrasive before polishing it to a shine. "I guess some people didn't want to invest in towels on shore leave. Totally stole all the ones from the hotel room." he starts to say more, but when Abigail gives her greeting, he glances up. "Afternoon, Lyn." he offers as well as he works on the sink. "How is?"
Lyn throws a larger towel at the scrambling crewman as he passes. She starts to carefully stack towels on various shelves. "Most of the ship crew worked round the clock the last couple days to get the engine online so we could jump. They reassigned a lot of their duties to give them a break today," she explains. As to how she is? "Doing all right. Trying to keep people from drawing stuff on the Chaplain while he's meditating. You'd think we had a ship full of middle schoolers."
The crewman in question, desperate for cover, reaches out with totally the wrong hand to grab the towel sailed in his direction, eliciting another snort from Abigail, as he finally make it around to the other side, "That's the hope. Of course, the Colonel pointed out that they're never going to risk the Wolves to save a single man. So if..." she doesn't continue. Though she doesn't really need to. If he's alone, he may be out there on his own for a while. "Aren't we all, when we aren't trying to pretend we're all good at adulting?"
Jonas may or may not have been one of those 'middle schoolers' that may have or may not have tried to replaced Aldrich's prayer beads with a different type of bead. "He should have done his meditating at the chapel. Doing it in the berthings is creepy as frak. Like, are we supposed to observe silence around him or something?" he asks as he finishes his sink and moves around Abigail, giving her hip a small tap as he moves to the next sink, which is on the opposite side as they finished up the first row.
"A single man.. but if he's in a camp.. there's more than one there." Jonas points out diplomatically as he considers and then gives a shrug of his shoulders. "I'll keep up hope with you, Gale."
"I don't think we're supposed to do anything. We just need to leave the poor guy to his gemenon-religion-y stuff without harassment," Lyn replies. She puts up another stack of towels and turns with an arched brow. "Who's in a camp?"
"We don't even know if he's alive, Jonas. They stopped searching for him months ago. At least that's all my parents could get out of the Navy. Maybe the Colonel can get a better result." Because if you can't get some answers with that much brass on your collar, where are you? "No one for sure. My brother, possibly, if he survived being shot down. The cylons, according to the reports are gathering up human prisoners into camps. And they were specifically trying to shoot down, not kill pilots at Edson," which is how Webb, Thorne, and O'Day ended up as prisoners. "Sort of what they did on Canceron." A considering look to Jonas, "I wouldn't think so. Clearly if he thought he could meditate without being interrupted there, he anticipated people living their lives out there."
"I guess." Jonas says, a little frown as he goes a bit quiet and concentrates on polishing the sink, not sure what to say at this point. Finally, he offers, "Abigail's brother was shot down over Picon a few months ago."
Abigail's words make Lyn grimace. She saw the alternative to the camps that final week she spent on Aquaria after the main evacuation. "You can't give up hope until all avenues have been exhausted," she says in a quiet tone. "If there hasn't been a body, or reports of one, then there's still hope." She finishes putting the towels up before she moves to begin collection the dirty ones. She puts on gloves first because ick. Soldier cooties.
"So as long as we keep him dusted, I'm sure he'll manage to make it through his ceremony just fine," Abigail offers to Jonas, as he falls quiet, though that probably wasn't what he was actually talking about. To Lyn, a grateful smile, "That's..what I'm trying to do, the best that I can. He's a fighter, and I know in my heart he's still out there. He's just playing hard to get, that's all." Abigail washes out the sink, rubbing it down with towel before she jumps down to the next, "Lyn, when are we going to talk about the elephant in the room?"
Jonas nods. "Something like that. I'm sure he'll turn up. Especially if he's as stubborn as my sister. Not that you need to worry too much about them getting together.." there's a small chuckle. "Leonie stole a girlfriend or two from me before the service." he admits with a little laugh, before Abigail goes calling him an elephant, and he pinches his side, trying to figure out if he put on weight during his time on leave.
Lyn drops some dirty towels into the bin and moves the cart towards more of them, plucking them off railings and benches and the tops of lockers. "Nothing to talk about," she replies to Abigail. "Jonas made things very clear, and I promised not to interfere in his happiness." She shrugs. "You make him happy. That's enough for me." At least that's what she feels she should say. She trusts Kamran to make it so with all his talky listening crap. If only there were a magic pill.
Abigail pauses, scrubby in hand, watching the woman move along the wall collecting both used and misused towels, "That's about the biggest pile of bullshit I've ever heard, Arda. You think I don't see your muscles snap so tight in your neck your head might pop right off every time you see us?" She doesn't know how Lyn reacts to just Jonas, of course, and she's avoided Abigail at all costs.
Jonas frowns a little. "Look, I know that I may have screwed up by visiting you a few times and giving you the wrong impression that maybe.." he shrugs and considers. "But when I said it was over, I meant it. I screwed up with how I handled it. I was mad, I wanted to make you hurt as much as you hurt me, and for that, I was wrong. I apologize. But I think that.. maybe, I don't know, Lyn." he draws in his breath and then considers. "I read the letters and all. I appreciate what you did, but it doesn't stop what you did. Part of a relationship is working together. Better or worse. That's what I wanted to agree to. It's what Abigail's agreed to. It's what wasn't there. And I blame myself for not being.. whatever shortcoming it was you thought I had that prevented you from trusting me."
"Even if it's bullshit, Walker, it doesn't matter. It is what it is, and I have to learn how to deal with it, because it isn't going to change," Lyn says in a tired voice, weary, beaten. She trudges the cart further down to a pile of the cast off laundry and crouches to start tossing them into the bin. She stands again at Jonas' words and scowls at him. "You still act like it was all on me. For frak's sake Jonas, you didn't try to contact me either. My brother knew where I was, what my condition was, what was wrong with me. So did my mother. So stop playing like it was just me. I had a goddamned nervous breakdown and was locked up in treatment for six weeks, which is why I didn't contact you. What the hell was your excuse?"
Arda shakes her head. "You know what? I don't want or need to know anymore. I'm not the problem here. I haven't sought you out. I haven't bought you drinks, shown up at your private rental twice, or rubbed a proposal in your face that I was somehow supposed to know about and act based on despite having only heard repeatedly from you that you would never get married, you weren't the type. I saved your frakking life, tried to find and save your family, and lost my frakking mind in the aftermath and all you can do is bitch that I 'left you when you needed me'. What the everloving Frak!" She shoves the cart towards the hatch and eyes Abigail. "Good luck, he's all yours."
Abigail falls silent, as first Jonas, and then Lyn throw their weapons into the ring. She doesn't try to stop either of them from airing their feelings, because, well, it's really only tangentially about her, isn't it? Once they both fall silent and Lyn looks her way, Abigail meets her eyes, her expression sympathetic, "No, it isn't going to change. And it wouldn't help you, or assuage anything that you're feeling to know that this wasn't easy for him, I'm sure. That it hasn't been. And that it still isn't. So am I going to step back, and give up what I have with him? No. That's never going to happen. But I'm also not going to ignore that there's a lot of rebuilding that I need to do for him, with him, and a big part of that is helping him, maybe both of you, to get to a place where you're both ready to move on from what you had."
A shake of Abigail's head, as she sets down the scrubber, still remaining where she's been, making no move to stop the woman, "What you're doing is unfair, Lyn. You left. You left him for your own reason, to help assuage your own grief. You need to own that. You had no right to expect that he would run after you, keep running after you, when you actions seemed to make it clear that you wanted nothing else to do with him. You can't expect that he would simply be able to read your mind, that he would feel he had the right to reach out to your family, when you made your feelings abundantly clear. Nor can you blame him for putting his own feelings first. That's what we do. How would you have felt is he had left you, after you found out about your father? 'Sorry, Lyn, can't stay, gotta go take care of my own shit.' Because even if that's not what actually happened, that's how it looked, because you didn't bother to tell him what you were doing. You can't paint a picture and then get mad because someone sees what you put on the canvas and not what you had in your head. And blaming him because he didn't appreciate your sacrifices, doesn't feel inclined to pay you back in the manner you think he should is equally selfish." A moment, at Lyn's final words, "I won't need luck. I have faith. But thank you, Arda."
Oh no. Jonas wasn't done with his weapons. He was holding the nuke in reserve. When Lyn drops her own bombs, Jonas.. he mutually assures their destruction. "Because I was trying to be your friend, and reach across the gulf we both created in this who frakking mess. You're the one that decided I wasn't good enough to go with you! You're the one that has this bullshit excuse that you went looking for my family! You didn't ask about Leonie! She's here, and you didn't give two fraks about that! You claim it was my family, that's bullshit. Face facts, you can write that all day long, you can claim that all day long, but YOU, Lyn Arda, were so frakked up about your dad that you hauled ass on some halfassed suicide mission because you were feeling guilty about being a brat and staying behind to spend a few days with me, and the Cylons attacked. You didn't predict that, I didn't predict that, he didn't predict that. But no, you couldn't stop there, you were so frakking wracked with guilt that you paid someone to KNOCK ME OUT so you can leave me behind because you didn't want or need me. And anything you say to the contrary is you being what you have always been, petty and selfish and emotionally distant." he offers. His voice suddenly chills as cold as an Aquarian night.
"You bailed because you wanted to be alone. You bailed because you felt guilty. You bailed because you didn't want anyone to be there when you were in grief. You're right, I didn't contact you. Because you made it clear at that very moment, on that landing pad, that you didn't want me there, at your side, at the time you needed someone most. Yes. I'm seeing Abigail now. She doesn't have me. We have each other, which is something you never grasped because it was always one-sided with you, and if things didn't go your way, you sulked until they did."
"Which is why your dad was in Heim instead of you."
"Is that what he told you? That I left him for that? I left him because I had a chance to try and find, maybe save, his brother and sisters, and you know as well as I do that he is a stubborn bastard who would have insisted on going with me on a mission that required as much stealth as possible. Jonas? Jonas is many things, but stealthy isn't one of them. I had also just found out my father was dead at a conference in Heim that he went to IN MY STEAD. I had no way of knowing he'd planned it with Jonas. NO WAY. He acts like I was somehow magically supposed to have known his plans all along. So I paid Reese to knock his ass out and get him on the last Raptor evacuating Thula. I spent a week, alone, on my homeworld which wasn't even recognizable, chasing leads and burying people. I buried children. Babies. Grandparents. And each time I had to deal with facing that it might be someone he loved. I had an actual. Mental. Breakdown. I got picked up a week after the Aquaria evac and failed my Fit For Duty, and was in a padded cell for 6 weeks unable to send out messages, only receive the ones the doctor passed to me. You can ask Doctor Anders, he was my shrink for the duration."
Lyn looks to Abigail then. "So when he decides to follow you down into possible death, not trusting in you to take care of yourself, not carrying that he'll likely get killed or get you killed, are you prepared for all this?" She gestures at him. "For it always being YOUR fault because you didn't do things the way Jonas Godsdamned Ingvar wanted? That he'll turn any sacrifice you make, and thing you attempt to do FOR him, into somehow slighting him, wounding him, and turning HIS back on you because he's hurt. He was plenty close to my family Abigail. Close enough to conspire behind my back with my father to ask to marry me. He left me as much as I left him. He didn't even try. I got out and my brother told me he was done, furious with me, and that I shouldn't even bother. So there it is. You have it all out there. You go ahead and believe what you need to, to make yourself and him happy. Because I just wanted him to be alive, and safe, and happy."
Abigail's expression hasn't changed, despite the words being thrown both by her and at her, "If you didn't know his plans, and neither of your could have anticipated the cylon attack, then why are you blaming yourself for being in Heim instead of your father? Playing the 'he might have been alive if he hadn't been there instead of me' game is an exercise in futility. It's the pain every survivor feels. Every time someone else dies and not you, you think, 'it should have been me, gods, if only it had been me, because I love them so much, I would rather have lost my own life than have them lose theirs'. Jonas told me about the fall of your base. No matter how great of a soldier your father was, you have no WAY of knowing that he would have survived an attack the few of you who made it out barely did."
"I already am prepared for all of that, Lyn, because I've already made the choice to do it with him. I've already made the decision to find a way to work together, to play to both of our strengths to do what needs to be done. Because it isn't about me not trusting him skills, or him not thinking that I can take care of myself. It's about the two of us accepting and acknowledging that we're stronger together than we are apart. And that we can find ways to make our skills as companions, as comrades, and as soldiers work for both of our benefit. That's where we're different, Lyn. I would never look at Jonas trying to help me, insisting on helping me as his having a lack of faith in my abilities. I see it as him saying, 'You're good, let me help make you better.'"
"Jonas never asked you to make the sacrifices you did for him, Arda. You can't hold him to blame for not appreciating them. For all you know, if you had told him what you planned, and found a way to work with him, you might both have been able to complete you mission, or at least you could have been there for each other when the mission failed. But at the end of the day, I have to thank you. Because he is alive, and safe, and happy. Whether you believe it or not...I really do wish and hope you could be the same.
"You made your decisions, Lyn. I made mine. I hope the Doctor can help you through. I'm not leaving. I'm not running. I'm staying. You need to decide for yourself where you fit in all this. If you hate me, then that's for me to live with." Jonas can't, won't say anything else on this, but the fact that he steps away from his sink that he was cleaning to curl his hand into Abigail's speaks more than any word he can offer.
"So trying to leave him alone to live his life is wrong. Talking to him about it is wrong. Everything I do is apparently wrong, so why the frak are we talking about this? He doesn't love me, Abigail. I am starting to think he never really did, because how could he? I wasn't you. Clearly he's been here a couple of weeks and found someone lightyears better than the woman he was going to marry, so can everyone please just stop harassing me about it? Or are you two just working at getting me to transfer so you don't have to deal with the spectre of whatever it was we had on Aquaria that was clearly NOT what I thought it was. So go, be happy. Get married, have fat babies, which Leonie clearly thought we'd already done. Just please, stop making it me feel like I ruined your life when you are CLEARLY in a far better place than you were back with me. All it does is make me feel more like I didn't deserve to live and I'm being punished for all my sins.." With that, she leaves, shoving the cart ahead of her.
"Of course he loves you, Arda. Because you never stop loving someone, even if you find yourself no longer 'in' love with them. He still cares about you, he still wants to help you come to peace with, not just the relationship, but come to peace with the fact that you're still here. That you survived when other people didn't. If you don't want him to do that, if you want him to never darken your door, then tell him that. But when he came to your door, you were also the one who let him in." A shake of her head, "I'm not lightyears better than anyone. I'm just myself. And I've never tried, nor will I ever try to replace you. I couldn't. You're a part of his history. You're in his bones, same as anyone you love. And no, I don't want you to transfer. Nor do I see you as some spectre I need to exercise. You're no threat to me. But you are a fellow soldier, a survivor, and, despite all of this, a good woman that I would like, and want to know, if she would give me a chance." Abigail's hand closes on Jonas', as the pair watch the woman push out of the head.
"Noone is telling you to leave. Noone is stacking the deck against you. These are the things you do to yourself. The way you paint your world. I'm sorry I'm no longer the one in the middle of your picture. I hope someday.. you find someone to fill that space. But you can't make a huge hole in someone and then expect them to know what you were and are thinking." Jonas offers. "You made the decision I wasn't good enough already. I hope you find that one that does meet your expectations, Arda." With that, he turns to return to cleaning the sinks, staring at his reflection in the mirror. And it's good that they are made of reflective stainless steel as he slams his fist into it as hard as he can.
Abigail watches Lyn for a moment longer, as the woman depart, and then turns back to Jonas, a hand rising to cup the base of the back of his neck, the touch at once both soothing and tender, "You've done everything that you can for her, Jonas. I know that you love her, you always will. Because good love, real love, it lingers. But you can't make her love herself."
"I don't want her to feel alienated. That's why I reached out to her. I knew it was going to be awkward. Maybe.. yeah. I was angry. I wanted her to hurt like she hurt me." Jonas admits, leaning back into the touch from her hand and closes his eyes. "Now I pity her. She was broken. But she tried her best to break me in the process."
"I know that you went into this with both best and worst intentions. Telling her about the proposal? Bad. But you owned that, admitted to your motives, offered your apologies, whether she accepted them or not. But trying to reach out to her, that was good. Even if she either didn't see it that way, or was willing to accept the hand you held out to her. But you've done as much as you can do. If she's broken...she needs to find the strength to fix herself now. it's not on you. Not now and not then."
"If I wanted her to hurt.. I'd not dragged her out of that damn prison courtyard." Jonas looks down and then glances at her reflection in the mirror. "I'm not perfect, Abigail. I hope you know that. I'm nowhere near. I laugh at the wrong time. I try to use humor to defuse everything.. and I couldn't do that. Not with her."
"The way she's feeling right now, Jonas, I don't know if she would see the fact that you saved her life as a good thing. She's living with too many demons to see a way past them. The fact that you brought her back to them..." Abigail shrugs. "I've never expected you to be perfect. I certainly am not, and will never be. All we can be is what we are and work to always be the best that we can be for ourselves, and for each other."
Turning to face her finally, Jonas sets his hand on the side of Abigail's face. He meets her eyes for a moment and then draws her up into a kiss, holding her there for several moments. A thank you. An I love you. A need. A plead. All in the feel of his mouth on hers before letting her go and waiting for their eyes to meet again.
Abigail lifts her hand, curling it around the one on her cheek, tipping up her chin to meet the kiss, return it, before she comes back down and settles her feet on the deck, "I know." A smile, as she meets his eyes, before she looks away, "We'd better hurry up and get finished. This head won't clean itself."
Jonas nods his agreement, finally stepping away from her to continue cleaning, but there's no denying that they are leaving together tonight.