Addison and Abigail decide on the course of Addison's future with the Wolves.
Location: Hangar Deck, //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 271
The battle for the Cape seemed to draw on for an impossibly long time. Every victory was met with another set back, and it was a long while in coming, before the Vanguard's marines were finally cleared to return to the ship. When the raptors finally touched down, they moves out, exhausted, worn down, sporting wounds both in mind and body. Or perhaps it was only one of the marines. Only Abigail, who is the last down from the raptor, moving in that steady, stilted way that speaks of exhaustion, or emotion, or reaction barely kept at bay. At least, she hands off her SMG, before she begins making her way through the hangar, eyes scanning the ships waiting there.
After Addison had landed, he had gone through the normal process of debriefing with others but remained oddly quiet. Seperated and apart from the rest before he returned to the ship that he'd flown, sitting next to it and under the wing which had been clipped by gunfire; slated for repairs that had not yet begun. With him is a bottle that has a cup half filled and a rather stoic look upon his face, distant... not really here.
It's the sense of him that Abigail picks up on, before the sight, as her path through the hangar is such that the ladder used for climbing into and out of the viper's cockpit blocks, somewhat, the sight of the man sitting on the deck below his ship. If she had any thought for setting down her gear, for eating, bathing, sleeping, any of the rest, it falls by the wayside, as she heads over towards Addison. And despite how tired she might be, there's no lack of emotion in her voice. Happiness, relief, those are the two uppermost, "Addy."
"Sis." Addison greets back, eyes not lifting up quite yet as he keeps looking at the cup in front of him. "You know, I never told you how I got shot down." It is blunt, straight out there out of nowhere. The prevalent nature of the topic becoming very clear considering the circumstances surrounding everything.
And Abigail has never asked. Not because she hasn't been curious, but because she knew her brother needed to come to it in his own time, and in his own way. She completes her traverse of the hangar deck, ending up under the same wing, hands beginning the work of shedding the sheer quantity of excess baggage she carries for missions. And she takes care, setting them down so as not to damage, or cause too much noise, "It wasn't right, before now."
"Derek Abraham." Addison finally says after a long time. The name, the way he says it, it means something to the both of them. Only then does his eyes lift up to look at Abby. "He was assigned to my wing. He was the same prick, all these years later. We're in the thick of a battle and he loses control, clipped my wing clean off and well..." A soft sigh comes from him then.
At the mention of that name, Abigail goes completely still. Scarily, mannequin still, halfway through setting down her tactical vest. "Excuse me?" Because it isn't that she didn't hear him...it's that she needs to be sure she heard him right. And because the rest of Addison's words seem intent on bringing a rush to her ears, blood, and something deeper, something that might, if this were some Picon drama, bring red to the edge of her vision. "He did this to you?"
Addison shakes his head, "I don't blame him. He's too... He is who he is. I should have had him removed from the Wing to start with, but didn't... didn't want to make it personal. I never make it personal." He glances up at the Viper above him. "That's why... that's why I don't think I can stay Abby. This is personal. It means mistakes."
"Did he make it? Do you know? Is he still down there?" Abigail's expression is dark, as she asks that of Addison. It's only her brother's next words that snap her out of the streak of fury that seems intent on blocking out anything approaching common sense. And hearing them, she steps over the pile of equipment she set down around her, moving to take a knee in front of him, "Flying is personal?"
"Flying can't be personal... Can't have emotions. And if I have them I can't focus. That's what happened, I was so angry at that son of a bitch that I lost focus. I looked into what happened to him. He..." Addison sighs then and rubs his face some, "The asshole actually blamed others on the wing for his frak ups. He got promoted."
Abigail settles, folding her legs beneath her, close enough to reach for her brother, but, for the moment, holding herself back. because emotion, comfort, sympathy, maybe that's not what he needs just now, "But you don't know anyone in the wing. You have a chance to start where you want to, set up a distance between yourself and them that you're comfortable with. "He'll get his." Abigail isn't that seventeen year old girl anymore, on the ground, trying to avoid his kick, unable to avoid his voice spitting insults at her, calling her 'Bitch', and 'Freak', and fouler things. "I intend to make sure of that."
Addison tilts his head, almost rolling his eyes. "It's not them. It's you." He explains to Abigail, "Going out there every day knowing my Sister is back here. That if I fail she's in danger? Knowing what it'll do to you... I just. It's a thing Abby. You're doing so well too. I don't want... I don't want to be a complication in your life."
Abigail, rather than looking more upset, actually smiles, as she finally does reach out to attempt to take one of Addison's hands, "You see, Addison, I think completely the opposite. I've spent the last ten years not knowing where you were, not knowing what might be happening to you. I spent five and a half months, terrified because I could not find any way to communicate with you, and two weeks terrified that I would never get you back. And then you were here. And suddenly, it was alright. I had my anchor. My lodestone. Something to fight for, someone to fight for. Again. And all of that worry, that not knowing...it's gone. Because I know where you are. And I know that wherever you are, when you're in the air, we're fighting for the same thing. To be safe, and to come back."
"I'm not me... in the air Abby." Addison explains softly after a moment. "I'm not me. It's like.." His eyes drift up as if trying to find the words. "I just am. You know how cautious I am, how I think everything through. There... My motto is to treat it like a storm. You can't fight the storm, you have to be part of it. And I just go. It all disappears and fades away and..." There's a combination of elation and fear in that moment in Addison's eyes and he trails off. "It's just different. They asked me if I wanted to stay, I said I'd have to talk to you first."
"No more than I'm me when I'm down there, Addison. The woman that I am when I'm on the ground, when I'm doing the work, when I'm completing the mission, that woman isn't me. She's who I am when the storm is chasing, and waves are doing their best to wash you off of the deck." Trust the coast guarder, trust Abigail to use a water metaphor. "Do you remember what I told you...about the coast guard, when i wrote to you after basic training? They have two mottos. The official one, and the one they live by." She pauses, and then continues, "You have to go out. You don't have to come back." Another beat, to let those words settle, "Seems to me, Addy, that we both live by those words."
Addison nods slowly but doesn't respond for a moment, only finally doing it with a quiet statement, "That wasn't... really a definitive answer though Abby."
Abigail tilts her head, studying Addison's face, before she reaches out, taking his right wrist in her left hand, lifting his arm, tilting it, to allow her to set her own right forearm alongside his, turning it just so, so that their tattoos perfectly align, forming that single strand of DNA. No fraternal twins these. "I am better when you're with me, Addison. We have always been better when we were together. Two halves of the same whole. Yes, I want you to stay."
After a moment, Addison nods, "Alright." He affirms softly. "We'll give it a go, see if they can keep up with me." He bites his lip, trying not to smile at the way he phrased things before giving his sister's hand a reassuring squeeze. Picking up the glass which has some of the bottle poured in it, he takes a sip before holding it out to his sister, "Let me help you with your gear."
Abigail smiles, not the bright flash of pure joy, because she knows, as well as Addison does, that this is merely the first step, and not the end of the road. But it is that first step. The glass she accepts, belting it back, before she leans forward, to press a kiss to Addison's temple. And then, to unfold her legs and rise to her feet, "Thank the gods. This shit is heavy."