Eva ropes Alain into her newest venture. As she does.
Location: Firing Range, //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1137
If this were a normal posting, Eva would be turning in her sidearm about now. But this hasn't been a normal posting for...far longer than she can recall. And so, rather than turning in her weapon after their CAP, she's sitting off to the side, doing the basic maintenance required to keep it functional. "Alain, give me a minute?" Just in case the man thought he was going to get away.
Jigger was his usual, energetic, jokey self during their CAP -- he always enjoys flying, even, maybe especially, when nothing of note happens -- his flight suit rolled halfway down to his waist. He doesn't seem particular apt to stick around, Eva's words however halting his footsteps as he stops to regard her. "What is it, Cherry?"
"You know they had the quals a few weeks ago." Of course, the pilots and the marines both, "I qualified basic in pistol." Only a few of the air wing even considered taking the time for the non-air wing qualifications, mostly, one would imagine, because if a pilot needs to shoot anything and they're not using KEW or missiles, they're frakked. "You still remember how to be a Marine?" That's jokingly said, but with an undercurrent of seriousness.
Alain gives a nod, looking kind of surprised at her admission. He, interestingly, didn't try for any weapons qualifications. Her latter question earns a wry grin. "Try not to. Why? You want to become a grunt?" He shoots for the same tone as her, lightly joking but something curious and serious in his gaze all the same.
Eva's brows furrow, as she looks down at the pistol she's wiping off, though...perhaps not the pistol, so much as her wrists. Tough question, but there's a hint of a smile there, as she looks back up, "No, I don't want to become a grunt. But I would like to learn to shoot like one. I got lucky once, I...may not get lucky again." A wry twist of her lips, before her expression clears, "Will you help me, Alain?"
There's a brief pause, Alain looking thoughtful for a moment. Of course he's going to help her. It's obvious in his gaze, his easy demeanor, the flicker of one corner of his mouth, and yet he can't help himself: "I mean... I'm not really feeling the desperation here yet, Eva," he says, spreading his hands.
Eva turns, spinning on the stool, one of those full sort that you can twirl around on, if you're so inclined, and you haven't got a loaded weapon on you. You know, so probably not now, her expression lightening, the smile she returns not quite as wry as before, but more amused, "Are you implying that you need to be bribed, Lieutenant Tomlinson?" That could be interesting, "What sort of bribes might you be interested in?"
Alain's gaze goes ceiling-ward as he considers. "Well," he begins, taking a deep breath. "Cakes. I like cakes, you know. Any sort, I'm not picky." His grin is brilliant, unrepentant, as he shifts his weight onto his heels, patting at his flight suit. "Let me get changed, I'll meet you in the range in five?"
"Oh, Alain, I thought you were going to give me a real challenge. Cakes will not be a problem." An answering grin, "Although how you manage to keep that figure, if you like baked goods as much as I do is a secret you could sell on the black market." A nod, as Eva hops down from her stool, "I'll meet you then."
"Now that's my little secret," Alain says of how he keeps his figure, tapping at his nose. With a grin, he disappears out through the door. It doesn't take him that long to change, and in slightly less than the five minutes he specified, he's walking into the range, dressed in fatigues and t-shirt.
Alain will get back just a few seconds before Eva. But it isn't because she was all girly, and had to take forever with her hair and makeup...or whatever. Nope, she's also dressed more casually, in sweats and her tees, but she's carrying a small round food container, moving at speed, which means she probably was all the way on the other side of the ship somewhere near the mess hall, "Sorry. Man, I forgot how large this ship is."
"Wait... you brought the food now?" Alain's incredulous expression turns into mirthful laughter. "Oh, Eva." He's still shaking his head as he reaches to take the container off her, like he's doing her a favor, all the while grinning. "All right. Let's see your stance, first."
Eva gives the man a (mostly) serious look, "You implied that you needed a bribe. If I'm going to bribe someone, I'm going to do the thing right. Food, my dear Alain, is serious business." Eva's hips don't lie. As you take the container, she returns to where she left her weapon, carrying it from the staging area and over towards the firing range, bringing along a couple of magazines and some ammunition. One of the magazines she does load into the pistol, but she doesn't load a round into the chamber. Right now, she's concerned with the weight, not the ability to actually shoot it. She lifts the weapon, settling into her stance. It's passable, but not perfect. her weight isn't far enough forward, and her elbows are not flexed enough.
"Very serious business," Alain agrees, while he pats the lid of the container almost possessively. He does take a moment to crack the lid, breathing in briefly, before closing it again, setting it on the table next to one of the firing lanes. He circles around Eva once she's chosen her stance, grimacing. "I can picture my DI yelling in my ear right now. Here, shift your weight a little more forward," he says, with a light tap to her thigh. "You're not going to get that much recoil off the pistol. And don't lock your elbows, just relax a little more."
Eva simply nods, as Alain agree with her assessment of the importance of food. But for the time being, that will have to be as far as it goes, as she turns her attention to focusing on what it is she's actually meant to be doing. And for all that she flies as she does, Eva has surprisingly little ego, especially with someone she trusts as well as she does the man with her. "You can yell in my ear, if you want to." It's sort of a Mariney thing, right? The tap on her thigh gets a nod, Eva moving her weight forward, almost getting it right, elbows flexing. Better, not perfect.
"It was effective for remembering, certainly. But yelling isn't my thing," Alain says, wryly. He does another circuit around her, making a noise in his throat. "Better, but," another light tap to her thigh, "Just a little bit more forward. It feels unnatural right now, I know. But the steady stance will help immensely with your aim."
It is an unsettling feeling, mostly because if you don't do it just right and you over extend, you end up toppling over on your face, which Eva almost does, which would have pitched her into the shelf set out for her supplies and her weapon, but she rights herself. This time it's there. Or as close to there as she's like to get without a lot more practice. "So if you were a DI, what would be your thing, then?" These are the important things one needs to know. "
"Oh. Fifty push-ups and fifty laps, probably," Alain admits, reaching out a quick hand to help steady her. "Mm. That's good," the enough goes unvoiced, but he did say he wasn't going to yell. "All right," he gestures towards the lane, as he reaches for a the ear protection. He watches closely, moving to step the safe distance behind and slightly to the right of her.
Eva makes a disgusted noise in her throat. As much as she enjoys climbing and more unconventional physical activity, she can't abide routine exercise, like push-ups. The hand gets a quick, "Thank you," but the unvoiced criticism doesn't go unnoticed. Hasn't Eva too, in her time, been an instructor? She knows the tone. "I'll be sure to practice." A nod, as he gives her the okay. She loads the weapon, an this time, she brings the brings the weapon up, aims, fires. For now, she's simply attempting to hit the target center-mass.
Alain says nothing, standing easily behind her, waiting for her to empty her clip, marking each shot as it lands. His gaze flickers towards Eva each time, between shots, to note her stance.
Mostly, once she has the stance, Eva keeps herself where she needs to be. But he can see her hand tightening on the pistol grip, a sure sign that she's just far enough off in her grip, that the recoil is causing the gun to strike the joint at the base of her thumb, rather than the meaty webbing between. As soon as she fires the final round, she sets the gun down, hand immediately going to massage the skin, which looks, understandably, raw.
He isn't about to correct her while she has a loaded gun in hand. Alain waits until she sets the gun down, and reaches for it himself. He habitually clears the chamber, setting it back down, before he steps closer to her. "I know it's against what your brain is telling you -- but you need to stay relaxed. The tighter you hold it, the more the recoil will affect you. Think of... I don't know. Cakes. Kittens."
Eva winces, flexing and relaxing her hand to work out the sting, looking downrange, once she has at least managed the pain, a hand reaching out to call the target back down Alain to evaluate. "I just hate the kick." It's a smaller caliber, something like a 9mm, so the gun kicks upward, instead of pushing back, as a larger caliber would, "I know it's stupid, but it feels out of control." Again, that dissonance between the guns she's used to, which are much less visceral, and the one she's using now. A flash of a smile, as she glances over, "Happy thing, you mean? I wcould think of a few."
Alain glances past her to watch the target come forward. "See how the shots get higher and higher, as your grip got tighter? Once you get better at staying relaxed, you should find they stay in a tighter cluster -- that's what you want to aim for." He shakes his head, slowly. "It's not stupid. You are in control -- the difference being a gun is more sensitive to you -- your stance, your grip. A happy thing that's not distracting," Jigger adds, wryly. "I used to pray. Just helped me keep calm." Not that he's suggesting that for her; he knows her too well.
Eva makes no move to reclaim the weapon, taking her time to study the target, as Alain gives his lesson, and then she reaches out, pulling the target down, and then moving to replace it with a fresh one. With that done, and the target sent back out, she reload the weapon, and then, something very close to a smirk, as she catches Alain's tone, "Those are harder to come by." She moves to step back, "Would you show me?" Sometimes it's easier to learn visually. Also good to see someone who knows what the frak they're doing.
Exhaling, Alain nods. If there's reluctance it isn't super obvious, as he rolls his shoulders as if to loosen them. He puts his ear protection back on as he takes up the gun and loads it. Stepping to the middle of the lane, he glances over his shoulder to make sure Eva's clear, before looking back as the target comes to a halt at the end of the lane. He lifts his gun, takes an even breath, and fires. Nice, even shots, one after the other, and one additional click to signify the empty magazine, before he slides the rack back, and sets down the empty weapon. He slaps the call button for the target.
Eva, having stepped safely out of Alain's way, divides her attention between the man, his body and how he centers himself and his weight, and his hands, which, being both more skilled and larger than Eva's makes it easier for her to see what he's doing right that she knows she's doing wrong. She doesn't bother looking at the target until he's emptied the weapon and called the target back. With the weapon down, she steps in to momentarily share the lane, reloading the magazines, as she studies the target. A single perfect grouping, with not a single shot more than a finger's width away from the cluster, "That's not fair." That's jokingly said.
"It's not about fairness, it's about practice. Don't hear me complain about the fact that you've got triple ace, do you?" Alain replies, wryly. "You earned it, with years of practice and skills built up over a dozens of battles." He regards his target with what might be a hint of satisfaction, though he keeps it well heeled. "Give me a few months of training with you, and you'll likely be outshooting me."
Eva winces, setting down the magazine for a moment, reaching out a hand to touch Alain's forearm, "You know that wasn't what I meant, Alain. And you're well on your way to double ace yourself. It's more circumstances than skill that got me to triple. I've been in more combat than you have, that's all. But you're right. It is practice, as we haven't been doing nearly enough, you and I."
"Nothing circumstantial about it," Jigger replies, with a shake of his head in disagreement. inadvertently, he grimaces at her latter words. "Seems like we're getting plenty of practice in the skies lately, at least," he says, with a grimace.
"Yes, and no. Just like this," she indicates the firing lane, "You can learn just as much in a controlled environment, maybe more, than in the heat of battle. I don't like sims. Never have, but laser tag in the vipers, that can be helpful, especially when you want to learn someone else's techniques." Eva might not be the best gunner in the wing, but she rarely, very rarely gets hit by enemy fire.
Alain doesn't seem to disagree, but he does run a hand through his hair, thoughtfully. "Think the CAG will be down with that? With the way things are going here, it feels like as often as not we're accidentally stumbling onto each other."
Eva considers, setting the second magazine down, as she finishes reloading it, fingers turning one of the round end over end in a sort of thoughtful meditation, "I think she would, if we brought it to her in the right way. We did something similar with the quals. And we need to get as much real experience...I think, as we can for this operation to be successful."
"Plus, a bored viper pilot is never a good thing," Alain adds, with a wry smile. "Well, I'm sure you'll be very convincing, Eva." Clearly, he intends to leave said convincing to the senior pilot. He gestures towards the lane. "Again?"
Eva's laugh is full-throated, delighted, as she hears you throw her under the proverbial bus, "Oh, I see how this is going to be, Alain. Next thing, you'll suggest I just steal her pins and tack them on, because it's not as if people can tell us apart, anyway." A shake of her head, the amusement lasting a few moments longer, before she nods, putting her game face back on for a second round. She loads the magazine, though she won't load a round until you're clear. And this time, either because she's had a chance to watch you, or just more likely because she is more relaxed, she doesn't take quite so long to get into a passable stance.
"Well," Alain considers. "I don't actually think I've ever seen you both in the same room," he says, like the thought's only just now occurred to him. "Huh." He steps back as she loads the gun, nodding approvingly at her stance, as he looks past her towards the target.
"That's a very good point." No one has seen Stirling and Eva together, "But I would hope that you, at least, would be able to spot the differences." Eva turns her head, making certain that he's clear, before she lifts the weapon, loading a round into the chamber. She takes extra time with her grip. Not only to try to get it right, but to try to avoid the raw place from last time. This time, she tries shooting in sets of five, instead of doing the whole magazine at once.
"I mean. I guess one of you is taller, but it's hard to tell since I've never seen you two together. And redheads all look a like, you know?" #fwp. Alain goes silent as he watches, nodding approvingly at her stance even if she can't see it.
Eva gives a serious nod, as she lowers her gun between rounds of five, giving her hand a rest, "Well, as long as they don't have red hair and curls, I suppose most of us do look alike." There aren't many redheads that aren't also pale-skinned with light coloured eyes, and a usual helping of freckles. The change in her shooting routine, going in three sets of five, instead of one of fifteen seems to help immensely, as the groupings are much more even, once she sets the weapon down and calls the target back.
Once she's safely set the weapon down, Alain moves in closer, making an approving noise as the target slides closer. "Much better, a far tighter cluster. See? Happy thoughts," he says, like that's the sole reason. "The trick is being able to repeat a cluster like this, consistently. Practice'll get you there, the stance and grip becoming second nature is the most important part."
Eva goes back to rubbing her hand. It's a more generalized ache now. She isn't a Marine, and shooting, when you're not used to it, hell, even when you are, is tiring work. She does look more pleased at her grouping. "Happy thoughts." because, in a very real sense, it was mostly that, "I'd like to find time to do that. I know it didn't mean much to the Marines, but I was really proud of myself. I'd like to try again next time, maybe get to expert."
"I'd like to see that," Alain agrees, with a sudden grin. "If just to see the marines' expressions when they get outshot by a pilot." A beat passes, where his gaze cuts away briefly to where he set down the container she brought. "So... another round, or... cake?"
An answering grin. Even if she does acknowledge and cherish the fact that Alain, having spent his eight years boots to the ground has a lot to offer, Eva clearly prefers him in a cockpit. "Well, I think I can get there, with your help." She looks down at the gun, the magazine, the ammunition, and then..."Cake." She even reaches into a pocket, pulling out a travel set of utensils. The sort that come in a protective white case. "The honour is yours."
"And you'll have it, for so long as there is cake, there is... me." Alain eyes the utensils she produces with a distinct sense of incredulity. "You know... I'm starting to think if you pulled out a portable table and chair from in a pocket, I probably shouldn't be surprised." Still, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, he takes the utensils, opening up the container and cutting the cake into slices. The first, he offers to Eva.
Eva offers a slow, serious nod, "Well, then I had better make sure my supply lines do not risk interruption." But what her supply line might be, she'll never tell. At the comment about a table and chairs, Eva reaches back into her pockets, rooting around, before she offers a wink, "Alas. I left those in my other pants." She will handle cleaning up the lane for a few minutes from now. She'll use a wipe to get most of the residue off of her hands, before she accepts the slice, "You are always the gentleman, Alain."
And Alain wouldn't dare try and pry that information from her, nope. His brows rise as she searches for the magic chair and tables, and he looks vaguely disappointed when she comes up empty handed. "Not so gentlemanly, since the plan is to leave you to clean up and take the rest to my bunk before anyone sees what I have." He gives an unrepentant grin, as he reaches for a slice for himself, biting into it and making an appreciative noise.
Eva manages not to choke on her cake. Because a: that would be a waste of cake, and b: because that ruin a perfectly good giggle. As it is, she leaves the slice on one hand, wiping her eyes with the other, "Since I conscripted you to service, and you are my defacto DI, it seems only fair that the recruit should do the work. Just make sure you hide that well, or who knows who's going to be crawling into that bunk behind you. Now you've got a top, but that has never stopped the truly determined."
"Oh, don't worry. I'll be as stealthy as any recon." Alain's not exactly slow about consuming that slice of the cake, as he gives her a jaunty salute by way of farewell. He quickly reseals the container, and with a wink, heads for the exit, holding the container casually like there's definitely nothing of value there as he heads for the berthings.
Eva, for her part, will take a moment to watch the man walk out of the range, before she turns back to cleaning away her sidearm, the ammunition and magazines and sweeping the lane clear of brass, to leave it ready for the next person.