Erin shares her ill-gotten gains with Addison.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 240
Down in a low bunk, away from the door, sits the reclusive Marine that folks around the Vanguard refer to as "Hayes." Hunkered down low, she's easy to miss in the mess that are the Berthings, which is full of people, stuff, blankets, and the scent of the same.
Herself, Erin is eating an apple while perusing what appears to be a massive tome of knowledge. A textbook, one that would be best suited for melee combat than for actual reading. She reads with the absent intensity of a librarian's aide that is used to only half-paying-attention to the world around her. All that's really noticeable: the crisp, crunch-and-munch of apple-eating. Omnomnom.
A stranger in a strange land, Addison, who is not really even a member of the Wolves but is staying in the interm of recovery has wandered his way down the corridor of the bunk rows. The one in particular possesses Hayes' bunk. With all the people about and other such things it would be very easy to simply wander on past. However, it is the sound that strikes the man's ears and causes him to stop, turning to spot Erin in the midst of her cover.
"Is that an apple?" Addison asks, his voice quiet, almost conspiratorial in tone as he ducks a little to get a better peek. "Like, a fresh apple?"
Dressed for bed, Erin looks up from her textbook. "Uh-huh." She grins for a second, and calmly runs her tongue along fruit flesh. "Delicious and sweet. Snuck out of the Mess." Chomp. "I can get one for you, if you want," she mumbles through bites and her lips.
"Hey, you're -- " Erin snaps her fingers. " -- you're Abby's brother, aren't you? The pilot." Yes. In fact, the Trash Panda was on that mission, being her usual, chilly self. "Yeah." She points a toe at Addison. "Settling in?"
There's no place to sit, it's the damn bunks, but since Erin seems to be striking up a conversation, the man shrugs and pulls up a chunk of the floor to plant himself down on to sit at what equates closer to eye level. "First off... Yes. Any fruit that can be stolen. Gods I missed fruit more than anything..." He adds the last with a hushed whisper before he manages to pluck an awkward smile to his face; not quite correct in it's settling.
"Yep, Abigail's brother. Twin actually," making him a pretty man or her a handsome woman in that case. "And yeah, pilot. I guess settling in some? I'm not assigned here or anything. Just no one knows what to do with me yet. So can't really settle, might get sent back or some such. Otherwise, sure? You? SEttling in? Since you're... uhm? Who?"
"Well, frak, Walker -- you just need connections, is what you need." Erin sets aside her fruit, and closes up her book. Then, she rolls out of her bunk, and crouches by her foot locker, popping it open. Inside are napkin-wrapped apples -- like, a dozen of them -- wedged in and amongst her personal items -- books, books, books, an empty bottle of bourbon, and more books. She tosses one of the liberated fruits to Addison. "There you go. Free, this time." Shrug. "I'm the local pusher. What you need, I'll try and get."
Erin clambers back to her bed, rolling onto it. "Hayes. Corporal Hayes, Recon. Folks call me Chilly, but most, just Hayes. Or Erin." Another shrug. "Doesn't really matter." Chin-bob. "And I've been here since the unit began, actually. One of the first."
"Ah, well, then there's nothing to settle into, sinc eyou get to establish it, right?" Addison responds, accepting the apple with a grin, tearing into it rather quickly. "Fruit was a rarity in the camp. You'd be amazed at the things you miss when you can't have them." He peeks into the locker for a moment then back to Erin. "Big reader there Hayes?"
Erin laughs shortly at Addison's quip, and then nods her head. "I know. I mean, I figure. Fruit's rare in tough times, so it's good to keep some with you. Plus, on missions? Not exactly regulation, but it's always a nice treat." She gestures at him vaguely. "You know. When you're out for a week in the woods."
"And reading's my thing. Textbooks, mostly. Science things." Shrug. "Before all of this, I was studying to become a planetary physicist or geomorphologist. Hadn't really chosen. Then Aquaria got hit, the University was blown to smithereens, my parents were killed, and, well, here I am." Self-deprecating snicker. "Lucky me."
The light hearted tone of Erin doesn't fit the story, something Addison notes but manages to put on a small smile before he keeps eating at the apple. "You know, I think that's how a lot of us got stuck in this. Shit happened, we responded. Hence, here we are." He turns the apple over and looks at it then to Hayes. "I was the reader between the two of us. The academic one. You're a marine right?"
"Mm-hmm." The raccoon Marine grins toothily. "One of the best, or so they say. And I think they say that because I haven't been killed yet, when I probably should be dead by now." Shrug. "We probably came into the military the same way. Maybe that's why we still do it, right?"
"When you don't have much to live for, might as well find something greater than yourself."
Erin doesn't seem the maudlin type. She picks up her book, and puts it in her lap. "So, you, ah -- you talk with your sister recently? About what happened?" To Ingvar, she probably means.
"Yeah." Addison can read between the lines pretty well and nod shis head to her with affirmation. "We talked about it. WE'll work through it together largely, we have ... always sort of faced our challenges as a pair, at least until the war started and all." He sounds thoughtful on it before nodding towards Hayes, "I think accepting death as part of war is a just part of life, right?"
To that, Erin just shrugs. "Maybe. But that's sort of like accepting that the war will go on, or must go on. Like, we have no other future but war." Beat. "That's pretty bleak. Bleak, even for me. But that's why I keep reading. I'm hoping for a time when that'll be my life, not being packed like a sardine with others going from planet to planet shooting up toasters."
"It's natural for hope for something better too, I think. So, maybe we don't need to accept death as an inevitability, even if it is a possibility. Maybe that's why we still grieve too."
"My vision? Yeah, pretty bleak." Addison says softly, "When you look into the face of the enemy and realize there's no face? We can't bribe them, we can't offer them anything or threaten them with anything to get them to change, y'know? They're just... there's no incentive for them other than to destroy us." The man shakes his head, "Sorry, real heavy I know. That's why they shoved me in with a shrink, right?" There's a gentle chuckle when he says that last part, finishing his apple and looking over at Hayes.
"I'm not going to pretend I know what you went through, Walker." Erin shrugs. "I only know what I've been through. I get what you're saying. Maybe there's no point to hoping except hoping itself." Another shrug. "But, I guess, like -- I could sit around and mope, or sit around and hope? -- and I prefer the latter because it leads to better dreams and conversations."
She smiles, for a second. "So, twin brother twin sister. What was that like, growing up? Bet you had to beat people up that said, 'hey, bro, your sister's hot! hurr hurr'."
Addison laughs at Erin, the joking way she talks about being a twin but after a moment he shakes his head. "No, it really didn't come to that too often. Abigail and I are... Well, truthfully we're as twin as twins can be." He blinks then laughs, "Same circle of friends, same movies, TV shows, foods. Our parents hated it honestly, they kept expecting us to grow apart I think but we didn't. Really we weren't separated until I went to college..." It is clear he could talk about his sister for some time but then he trails off. "What of you Hayes? Siblings?"
"Nope. Pretty sure I was an accident, actually. I grew up in a scientist enclosure on a glacier in the middle of ass-nowhere on Aquaria," Erin replies glibly. "Like, my parents tolerated each other, but they were scientists. They had other stuff to do. Pretty much left me to do what I wanted, but I didn't have many places to go." Beat. "In the enclosure, mostly. Outside, I'd freeze in, what, 10 minutes? Yeah. So, I stayed in a lot. Watched vids."
She rubs her feet together anxiously. "Like, I didn't have any friends. Any. And going to college just made that worse, right? I mean, I didn't think of it then, but now? Frak, I was so stupid when I got to college, I just -- I was probably unbelievably naive."
"Was? That phase of life is over?" Addison asks, there's a playful grin and hint in his eyes as he asks it. "I don't ... mean that in a mean way either. Naivity is good Hayes. It means there's hope still, right?" He tilts his head, bobbing the apple core up and down by the stem some between them for no good reason whatsoever. "I couldn't imagine growing up alone. That is so outside my reality."
"No, no. We're all a bit naive and stupid, but -- back then? -- dial it up to 11, because I was horrid." Erin snorts and rolls her eyes. "Anyhow, now, not so much, I guess. I'm not as awkward or weird. You kind of get that knocked out of you." Shrug. "Still, I'm not without a bit of stupid dramatics created because I'm frakking stupid. Not book-stupid, just, like, people-stupid, you know?" Another shrug. "Something like that."
"I think you'll find, like, I'm not alone in that here. Not really, at least. Plenty of people who don't know how to deal with people, and we're all mashed up in this ship like we're supposed to know not to fart on each other for fun."
"Uhm, farting on each other /is/ fun." Addison corrects with a tsk and shake of his head. "Don't let anyone tell you otherwise Hayes. And don't... use that pillow without flipping it over first next time either." The cheeky grin is still present on the Walker twin's face. "Nothing wrong with being people stupid. And you are not that awkward. Or, I am that awkward and I just don't notice it."
"Uh, yeah, well, not everyone agrees with that, Walker, especially among you pilots. Seriously." Erin snorts. "Like, I swear, the most prickly, prissy bitches I've met are pilots. Don't know why, really -- maybe being up in those machines makes them that way? Or only the prissy bitches find flying accommodating?" Shrug. "Who knows? Not that I'm complaining -- frakkin' hot prissy bitches -- but definitely, definitely prissy."
Addison ponders for a moment then nods, "No, you're right. Prissy bitches is pretty spot on. Hell, I'd lump myself in with them previously. I think there's a certain ego with it, a machisma that needs to be met. Arrogance, certainty, Iunno." His shoulders lift in a shrug, matching hers before he grins. "I guess if they ever clear me again, I need to work on either not being a prissy bitch, or being so prissy it puts the rest to shame."
"Don't. Be. A prissy bitch." Erin roooooolls her eyes emphatically. "Like, if you don't think your shit stinks, someone's going to grab you by the scruff and shove your head into a toilet. No point on acting that way." Beat. "So, when you get cleared, do what I do. Be like me. I'm noble, resourceful, and ever-so-modest." She gives Addison a toothy grin. "Honest."
"Half the men and women here are as lost as we are, you and me. All the same story. You're lucky because you have a sister. Many of us just want someone." Another beat. "I don't mean sexually either. I just mean that there's this -- I don't know -- this loneliness that we all have. It's not weird, but it's not normal."
"Survivor's guilt?" Addison asks towards Erin, head tilting some. "That's what they keep asking me about, if I have survivor's guilt. The feeling that because I didn't die and others did that maybe I feel disconnected from thsoe that are around." His shoulders lift, "But I know that feeling Hayes. Saw it in the camp too. Even all jammed together there was a disconnect because there wasn't someone to just be with."
"Sure. Call it that, if you want." Erin gestures at Addison. "See, if that's the case, and we all have it, well, then we're all sharing something, so there's something to connect with. And I think, like, the more we chip away at those things we think keep us separate, the less we'll feel so disconnected and alone when surrounded by others."
Shrug. "It's an ongoing thing, I guess. For me, at least? I'm the only one who sits around reading textbooks in her spare time, so -- " Another shrug. " -- I guess I'm not helping myself."
"But it's what you like to do." Addison says back to Erin, shaking his head. "It isn't that you need to stop what you like, you need to find someone who enjoys it as well. Or at least is willing to try. You need someone to share that with, to share something with." There's a firmness to his tone. "Harping on the shit I saw is never a good thing, I know. But... those of us that clung to one another stayed human. Others didn't, and they became .. well not. So yeah. Being human is better. And I think you're human, right?" He pauses, tilting his head, "If not, you're an awesome stuffed animal."
"Walker." Erin lifts an eyebrow. "Seriously, I've looked, and, let me tell you -- no one likes science like I like science, okay? I've sort of stopped looking on that level." Beat. "Right now, I'm happy with attractive and being into me enough to let me slip into bed with them from time to time, all right? Everything else, well, we can work on that later." She chortles with humor because, well, she apparently finds the talk sort of funny. Who wouldn't?
"Oh, I'm no stuffed animal, no, but, actually? Kind of liking raccoons."
Pausing, Addison holds up his hand and shakes his head, "Wait, wait. Wait." It takes him a moment as he processes and then he looks at Hayes with a furrow of his brow. "You're telling me that on this ship, you can't even bunk someone? Are all the men on this ship like... eunuchs or something?" He asks it with words that should be joking but a tone that is utter serious. "I mean, really?"
"No!" Erin snorts. "But, like, think about it? You spend twelve-hours working out, checking things, doing things, and we all work on our own schedules and shifts." Beat. "I'll be honest, Walker, if someone hot rolled into my bunk when I'm trying to sleep, well, frak them, I'd punch them in the face. So, it's something special when someone let's you do that, right? Like, get in your business. I mean, what if you came back from this long flight, and you're all stressed, and your girlfriend is all like, 'oh, addison, just a little nookie?'." Laugh. "Seriously, right? You'd be like, 'bitch, i'm trying to sleep, what?'. Seriously."
He looks at Erin, then shakes his head. "No." Addison responds simply enough. "I mean, no. Absolutely not. First off, if someone shows up in your bunk and they need to talk about shit they're dealing with. Hopefully you wno't throw them out. Well, some people the shit they're dealing with might just need a good frak to get outof the system. Second, if you're with someone like that, do you really turn them down?" His head tilts some and he bites his lower lip hesitating.
"Hayes? Are you... Are you scared to make a move on someone?"
Blink. "Me?" Erin lifts an eyebrow, and then laughs, making a dismissive gesture with her hand. "No, no, I'm fine. I've made my moves, and -- man, was I stupid? -- it sort of -- I mean, everything's fine, everything's resolved itself -- so, no, I'm fine."
Seriously, she sounds fine. She looks a little flustered and embarrassed by the suggestion otherwise.
"Look, what I'm saying is, like -- things happen, I guess? -- I don't know. I did say I was awkward before. So, what I'm guessing I'm saying now is, don't slip into my bunk at night, all right? I get all fiesty when I'm disturbed in my sleep. You know?"
Addison laughs and shakes his head, "I promise, I won't slip into your bunk at night. Probably not something to worry about too much anyway. I tend not to sneak into bunks uninvited." He turns the apple core in his hand and starts to push up. "Well, I show up uninvited to fart on people's pillows of course."
"Don't frakkin' think about it," Erin warns in a mockingly-threatening tone. "I'll do ten times worse to you. I promise." She points a finger at Addison, and shakes it. "I will. So, don't. If I get pink-eye or something, I'm coming for you, Walker."
"That sounds like such a dare, that I don't even know if I can pass it up." Addison stands up then and adds, "Thanks for the apple Hayes, this one was free right? Next one... well, I guess we can negotiate the price then."
"Uh-huh." Erin narrows her eyes at Addison. "Well. You just keep that ass of yours away from my pillow and my face, Walker. I know your sister, y'know. And we'll -- I'll -- I'll have my revenge, you know that." Snort. "Now, any time you need an apple, or anything else, you let me know. Actually, found a nice stash of porn vids planet-side, and I've been kind of renting them out to people who, you know, need that sort of excitement." Beat. "I think the janitorial crew hate me."
"Hmm. Tempting, but I actually don't watch porn alone. Only with a partner. Otherwise it's just weird." Addison shoots back at Erin, lifting an eyebrow as he turns to prepare to wander down the rows of bunks. "You find me the porn and a partner? Then we'll talk."
"Well, frak." Erin puts her hands behind her head, and grins widely at Addison. "Never thought I'd be a smut dealer. Now, you want me to be a pimp too? Damn, Walker -- you are demanding." Beat. "But I don't know who or what you're into, so, can't really help you on that end. You get a partner, I'll get the porn. Deal?"
"Sounds like a deal Hayes." Addison chuckles and shakes his head, resuming his wandering.