2237-07-21 - What Kind of Public?

Gustavo and Rothschild take another step toward deciding what sort of relationship they have.

Date: 2237-07-21

Location: Arms Locker, Cutter //Vanguard//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1249

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True to his word, Tavo shaved (rather painstakingly), and he's no longer trailing an IV, although his left arm is still in a sling over his khakis. Dropping his battered and dirty clothes into the laundry bag in his locker, he writes out a note 'Inventory at 0930?' leaves it on the edge of Rothschild's bed, and then heads out to breakfast. He's careful to leave the mess hall with time to spare, punching his code into the arms locker at 0921 and slipping inside.

Rothschild is at the arms locker only a few minutes later, punching in her own code at 0925. She ducks in, letting the door close quietly behind her. In her own khakis, she looks ready for duty with her hair carefully pinned back. She stands just within the locker, tilting her head to take in Tavo before she steps in close. It is her first quiet moment with the Scorpian besides the sickbay, so she does what her instincts tell her to do: she moves in to her arms carefully around his heavy shoulders, standing on the balls of her feet to do so, aiming to give him a real, honest kiss.

Tavo actually starts doing inventory, because he didn't bring a book. So he looks up from a clipboard when the door opens, turning toward... a rather delightful kiss. For all that it hurts his shoulder through the blur of light painkillers, he drops the clipboard with a clatter and wraps his right arm around Rothschild, squeezing her tight to him. The pain from his trapped arm cuts the kiss a little short, requiring him to draw in another breath, but he follows up with a second press of lips, his eyes closing once more and just soaking up the surprising feeling of 'home' in the embrace.

Rothschild lingers in that warm embrace and the second kiss sends a warm melting sensation into her spine. She then steps back slightly, giving his aching body some space to relax. Her fingertips linger at the back of his neck, touching the small buzz of dark hair. Then she breathes out a slow breath, sinking back into thes oles of her feet, and she looks up at him with deep, thoughtful eyes. "Are you alright?" The words are offered quietly with just a hint of concern.

When Rothschild settles back down to her heels, Tavo opens his eyes again, a little smile lingering on his lips. "Yeah." Drawing in a slow breath, he responds more fully, "Yeah. I am. Dislocated my shoulder and clipped my head in the crash. Got nicked in the leg picking up the civvies and again in the side holding the LZ." His good hand slips down the back of her arm to reach for her hand, "You?"

"Too many routine patrols, too much time to think," Rothschild laughs these words as he settles his fingers with hers. She squeezes his good hand lightly, nodding then. She considers his frame with its bandages and slung arm, and she frowns slightly. "It could have been much worse. From what little I've heard, your Raptor took some serious damage. You are all lucky to have survived the crash at all."

"Much worse," Tavo agrees, "Had a good ECO and a good medic. Five of us made it out, the Cylons got Norris and Vasquez before we got away. Costello and Lawrence... dunno. They disappeared in the crash." A smile threatens to crack through his somber mein then, "Too much time to think? So you thought about meee?" The last word is a little sing-song-y, and he can't stifle a chuckle.

Rothschild snorts at his sing-song words, and she shakes her head slightly. "Yes, if you must know." There is a touch of annoyance in her voice, but it is more out of playfulness than anything else. Then she steps aside slightly, drawing herself down on a bench in the locker. She rubs her hands down the length of her thighs, looking thoughtful. "I'm never going to be very good at this, Tavo. You must understand that. I've always been a... deeply private person."

Tavo steps aside as she moves deeper into the arms locker, frowning a little bashfully as she disengages, and shrugging a slight apology with his good shoulder, his cheeks heating a little as he does. The big man sinks down into a crouch before her, wincing a little as he does, "Nothing you don't want to change has to, Dora." He gestures between them, "I'm good with..." He grimaces, and then goes a little more real, "I'm okay with how things are going now." Drawing a breath, he dares, "I'd like there to be more, but I'm not gonna push anything."

Dora watches him with thoughtful eyes, and then she nods slightly. "I'm not okay with how things are currently going." She arches a brow slightly at him. "And if you're not going to push anything, I certainly will." She smirks then, but it is more amused than anything else. "Tavo... I've formed an attachment, that much is quite clear." She frowns then. "And, if you are alright with it, I'd like to continue moving forward." She sounds so awkward, and so she leans forward to cup the sides of her head in her hands. "This sounds so incredibly stupid."

Tavo's brows rise at her response, and then he nods his head, accepting her need to push forward, even agreeing with it pretty clearly. When she goes all awkward on him, he chuckles and rolls forward out of his squat, to kneel before her, his right hand coming up to catch one of hers, "Emotions are hard?" It's not really a question, but more of a proposition for a reality between the two of them. "So... details. We said exclusive back on Scorpia. Exclusive until." Until 'whatever.' He doesn't really remember those details. "So. Still private? On-ship public? Public-public?"

When he catches her hand, she gently draws it from her face, leaving her other to brush a bit of dark hair back behind her ear. She studies the kneeling man before her, mouth a bit tight. "Tavo, I'm a thirty-four-year-old woman whose ex-husband engaged in an affair because his wife was a cold fish." Those last two words sound quoted. "Yes. Emotions are hard." Then the Leonese noblewoman straightens up a bit, squeezing his hand. Her mouth works into a worried frown. "Which... would you prefer most?" While it might be a deflection, it is perhaps the first time that Dora has even engaged a partner in this discussion. So often was she the one just passing down decrees on how it would be.

"He doesn't count. He was an idiot." Tavo's response comes quickly, "Since you're not a cold fish." His cheeks color as he glances down a moment, clearing his throat, "I've got first-hand experience." But there's a harder subject there, and he frowns slightly, considering -- less the choice, but more her reaction to whatever he has to say. His brows knot, but eventually he just bulls ahead a little, "I'd prefer public." He almost manages to leave it at that, but can't quite do it, adding in quickly, "But I'm okay if you don't want that. If you want to keep quiet a little longer, or if you just want to keep it known on the ship."

Dora feels her mouth twitch with a soft smile, but then she also clears her throat, squeezing his hand as she does. She almost interrupts him when he provides an addition to his preference, but silences herself to let him work through the words. She intakes a deep breath, nostrils flaring as she does. Then she quietly asks, "Which public? Ship-public or public-public?"

Tavo prevaricates. He doesn't even know the word, but that's what he's doing. He shifts on his knees, considering the question again with an intensity that his own decision does not require, but her reaction might. Again, he finally comes to the decision of just answering honestly, "Public-public. Not like... press conference or anything, gods nothing like that. Just... not hiding it. Come hiking with me around Celeste when we get back to Scorpia. Not just as 'Dora,' but as Eudora Rothschild."

Dora actually laughs a moment at the sheer idea of her holding a press conference to announce her new beau. "No press conferences," she agrees first and foremost. The next words take a bit more thought, but eventually she exhales in a rush and nods her head slightly. "Alright." She frowns then, but it is a worried frown instead of a disappointed one. "Public-public... as long as you understand that you are asking me to do something I do not normally do."

The laughter causes Tavo to smile, some of the worry smoothing away from his brow, but it returns at her own signs of worry. Giving her hand a squeeze, he tries to raise both hands before him in an instinctive calming gesture... and ends up hissing in pain as he tries to shift his left shoulder. His eyes close for a moment as pain gnaws at the comfortable padding of painkillers around his senses, and then he opens them again, seeking out her own gaze, "I'm not trying to push you. I'm happy to take Dora without a last name out for a hike," and then the honesty crops up again, "at least for a while."

The Leonese woman regards him when he hisses, and her own hand comes up to touch his wounded shoulder. "Easy," she murmurs, though there is a warm in those simple words and touch. She draws her hand up to cup the side of his cheek and neck, meeting his gaze when he seeks hers. "I know you're not, Tavo... I'm pushing myself, but I cannot do so without at least giving a warning. You've said as much yourself... either this becomes more than a private affair, or you will not be happy. I understand." She tightens her lips slightly. "How about we start wtih just Dora Rothschild, and see if we can eventually get to the Praetorian bit, hm?"

Tavo smiles a little at the touch and the murmur, his expression evidently intended to be reassuring. When her hand rises to his cheek, he tilts his head into the touch, shuffling forward and resting his hand atop her knee, "I get the warning. And it's good to have. I'm just telling you that it doesn't have to be some grand gesture, or big plunge. We can totally keep things quiet, just more than silent would be nice." That's an agreement with her suggestion, rather than a request for more, "I guess it comes down to the fact that I'd just like to be able to touch you on the ship without worrying about if someone might find out."

Dora feels a bit of warmth at her cheeks at his gentle request, and she nods after a moment of silent thought. "More than silence." She smiles then, giving his hand another gentle squeeze as it rests on her knee. "On the ship, I will not object. But you will just need to give me... a few chances when we're elsewhere. Is that a fair agreement?"

Turning his hand palm-up beneath hers, Tavo nods, "Yeah. Totally fair. Off the ship, I'll let you lead, Dora." His smile broadens then, cheeks warming again, and he clears his throat, "I kind of like that anyhow."

"I hadn't noticed," Dora muses with a small quirk of her lips. Then she leans in closer to him, drawing him to her for a slow kiss, as if to seal the agreement between them with something soft and familiar and far better than a handshake.

Tavo shuffles further forward into that kiss, until his knees nudge against her boots. He makes a soft sound somewhere between longing, relief, and pleasure as his lips move slowly over hers. With another squeeze of her fingers, his hand disengages from hers, sliding slowly up her leg and around her waist, a soft, heavy pressure at the small of her back.

Rothschild slips forward to the edge of the bench as his arm works around her middle and the kiss ensues. She settles against him, being mindful of that injured arm. She closes her eyes, focusing on the soft exchange between their bodies. She groans slightly through the kiss before she sinks back a bit. "How long do they think you'll be in that sling?"

Tavo's fingers twitch as they're trapped between the two gunners, and he chuckles agreement with her groan. "Another week or two," he admits a little grumpily. Leaning forward, he presses another brief kiss to her lips before he finds other targets for his lips, first each eyelid, then the tip of her nose. "It's already bugging the hell out of me."

"Blasted hell," Rothschild murmurs after the soft kiss to her lips, though the other kisses soothe her a bit. "Well, we will just have to avoid each other for another week or two, then." Her lips quirk in a small smile before she brushes her fingertips across his jawline and ears.

"Bullshit," Tavo responds. "I didn't get thrown around Picon like gravel in a can, take on four Cylons with two pistols and an AR, watch a medic make grenades with a six-year-old, and get called 'The Staff Sergeant' for a week so that I could stay away from you, Dora." The gentle caresses draw his eyes closed again, his blunt fingers moving slowly at her back, spreading pressure down and out along her sacrum.

"'The Staff Sergeant?'" Dora then shakes her head, dismissing the question as quickly as it forms up in her mind. Her attention is instead focused on the pressure his fingers have across her lower spine. She breathes out a slow exhale. "Mmm, well... then I suppose we will have to be creative, patient, and careful." She quirks a knowing smile at him before she leans in again, drawing him into another kiss, this one smoldering just at the edges.

Tavo shrugs off the question as readily as she dismisses it, and that knowing smile draws his lips up into a grin as well. The smoldering simmer to the kiss draws him all the closer, knee-walking between her legs to draw his hand up her spine. Giving a little nip at her lower lip, he murmurs, "I can do... at least one of those at a time. Maybe two." His slow breath fills his nose with the subtle aromas of her laundry detergent, body wash, and shampoo, and his smile spreads, "But I'm pretty sure that patient is right out."

Rothschild laughs at his protest, but then settles into a murmuring sound of satisfaction as he settles in closer against her and breathes her in. Her eyes close, and she just focuses on the moment between them before she looks up into his dark eyes. "Careful and creative then." She brushes her nose across his before she starts to slip off the bench.


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