2237-08-01 - Unconditional Conditioning

Erin makes true on her promise to help Charlie wash her hair. They discuss relationships and communication on the way.

Date: 2237-08-01

Location: Head

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 373

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At some point, Charlie has to take a shower after the party. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the intrepid, resourceful Trash Panda comes in about a minute after the Spectre makes it to her shower stall, and starts it up.

"Chuck, Chuck, Chuck." Laugh. "I owe you, remember? Sand out of the hair. Yeah." Erin is about a hair to gleeful to be creepy. She tosses her towel onto a bench, and scampers on the moist floor to Charlie's stall. "Make way! Make way! Coming through!" Thank the Maker no one else is around, because this could become very, very embarrassing in short order.

Very. As it is entirely possible, from her scent, that Erin may still be mildly hammered.

"So! Did you like the sausage in your arse?" Snicker. "Not saying you do, mind, but -- if you do? -- glad to oblige my friend." And then, she laughs again. "Sausaaaaaaage."

It's a shame they're shipping out so soon. Really. For so many reasons. Because Charlie might honestly prefer to be somewhere else right now. For, again, reasons. One thing that Erin might notice -- if she's paying attention to more than the Picon woman's ass -- is that Spectre has a brand new tattoo on her upper back. Something done in the style of a Scorpian clan tattoo, at that. When the Trash Panda barges into her stall, she's piling up a few hair products on the tiny shelf. Properly washing those braids takes work, damnit. Gotta squish it all in there and... well, with all the sand, it might take longer. She twists to look back over her shoulder and sticks her tongue out.

Super mature.

"Whether I like it in my ass or not is not for public consumption," she decrees. "And really, that one was far, far too floppy to be of worth to anyone beyond its nutritional value anyway."

"Pff." Beat. "First time I saw a penis, I was like -- hey, that looks like a sausage with its casing pulled back -- and I was all like, gross, right? Because I don't put shit like that in my mouth unless its cooked and seasoned, and this one smelled like a cross between an old bathmat and chicken noodle soup." She makes a face, and then goes 'bleah'. "Gross. No wonder I stopped dating guys. I don't know how you do it."

Inappropriate or not, Erin smacks her palms against Charlie's shoulder. "All right. Let's get them braids out." Presuming they aren't. Then, it's time for her to use the hair products, which she's familiar with, apparent. Scrub, scrub, scrub with the shampoo first. Surprisingly gently.

The topic changes.

"So, you, ah -- you think that Kyle's okay down, um -- you know, maybe she made it, right? Made it to the, uh -- the resistance down there, or, like -- something." Pause. "Did I tell you that we had sex? I think I did." Her tone has a note of guilt in it. Maybe because she's supposed to be together with someone else.

"Sometimes I just like what a dick can do for me," Charlie answers with a shrug, "But usually it's just who... it's attached to, I guess. I care more about that than the parts and in Evan's case, it's just... him. I like him. Plus, I mean, what that man can do with his tongue-" She grins, but then winces as Erin's hand lands right on that tattoo, letting out a hiss. "Gentle, gentle- it's not healed yet." She helps with the hair where she can. Some of the braids need a bit of extra care. It'll take a while to get them all back in, but there's no way she's letting sand get lost forever in there. Nope. Not after a week on Scorpia. Gotta get it all cleaned out before it's back to the warfront.

"I... dunno 'bout Costello. I mean, we could ask the Chaplain to keep her in his prayers and all. She's recon, like us. She'd know what to do. And you did tell me." There's a sidelong glance to Erin. "Least, uh... You have something good to remember her by?" Charlie's not the best at this sort of thing.

"Yeah." There's probably more to it than that. If Charlie has any experience with younger sisters or first twue wuvs, that's the sort of wistful, winsome tone Erin has in her voice. "Yeah, why don't -- I'll ask the Chaplain. But, I mean -- he and I? -- " She makes a noise. " -- yeah, I don't really believe in that mumbo-jumbo, sorry. Nope."

Like most Recon folks, Erin has dextrous, thieving fingers. Braids aren't difficult to get out when you can pick locks in the middle of a pitched battle.

"Anyway, hey -- good! good! -- you and Evan, that's -- like, I hope Katja feels the same way about me, but I haven't seen her in a bit. Figure that she's, like, I don't know, hanging with other pilots and that's a good thing." Shrug. "Yeah."


"Look, I don't know if anyone's worried about me -- no one should be -- but if they are, like, I'm in one piece? And I'm good, I'm real good." Beat. "Docs said that, like, everything's healed up fine, things are working. I piss just fine, and can rub it and feel shit. Sure, it looks like it's been pounded by a Cylon battalion, but, whatever, right? Shouldn't really matter." Shrug. She sounds self-conscious about it, mostly. "Ah well."

"So, which bunk room you in?"

"I know you don't, but-" Charlie gives a small shrug, squinting under the soap and water. "Positive thoughts are positive thoughts, y'know? And it might be good for the other folks on the ship that care about her. Help them and all." She lets out a breath. "Yeah, uh, apparently a lot of people think it's, uh... there's been a lot of comments on how he and I were the last to know." The Picon woman gives a sort of grimacing grin. "We just aren't good at this shit, Evan and I. We've never done this kind of thing before- relationships, y'know? But we wanna try, so. Here we are? As for Katja, you just... gotta talk about it. Which ain't easy, but it's... it's better once it's done."

She turns after a moment, as much to rinse her hair as to see Erin properly. Putting her hands to the other woman's shoulders, she smiles. "Look, I meant what I said. Frak anyone who has issues with the scars." She holds up her arms, which have as many as her legs or sides. "I mean, this isn't as bad as what you got, but... Evan's never had issue with 'em. There's plenty of other marines who have as bad or worse and get laid. Find someone who likes you for you, Hayes. For your face, for your mind, your laugh, whatever. If they just wanna be around you, what's going on down there isn't gonna matter, y'know?"

For the last, she shrugs. "Room C. There's me, Evan, Tavo. Roths. Davion. Tomak. Coupla pilots. I'm hoping Price's stuff ends up in there, but I didn't see it last I checked."

Erin looks awkward. Scars are scars, but, in all honesty: what's going down there is angry, red, and disastrous. Sure, her flesh is held together, but that's probably due to the cauterizing heat from a welder. Surgery added to the mess. Marines may be tough and tolerant of biology, but she's definitely not going to be a nude model in the future for anything but some gruesome shoots.

"Yeah, well, how do you know that? I mean, how do you know someone really likes you for you?" Erin makes a vague hand gesture, and absently looks down at Charlie because nudity is awesome and must be appreciated. "Yeah, um -- like, when do you figure that?" Beat. "Sometimes, I sort of wonder if Katja and I are together because she's had shit relationships, and I'm, you know -- kind of passive about things."

"And we talked about Kyle, and she was, like -- okay, it happened, and I caught you, and that's bad, but let's keep trying." Another beat. "I just -- Charlie, with Kyle, there was no trying. She was just like, hey you, sexy, get up on that washer, and let me make you cum on it." Pause. "Just like that, I don't -- " Cough. " -- yeah."

Erin bites her tongue for a second. Hard.

"Anyhow, I, like, -- maybe I should get a bunk with Katja, maybe not -- not sure." Shrug. "Maybe she wants some space?"

"I think you just... know?" Charlie's been a marine long enough that she's not shy about nudity, but then: you don't often get stared at. She's not shy about that, either! But prior to Evan, she was a fairly fluid sort of gal. Drifted from person to person, men and women alike. "You know Evan and I slept together before we had sex? I just sort of... invaded his bunk one day for a nap because someone spilled shit on mine and I thought he was like, on duty, but he showed up to nap and didn't kick me out and it sorta became a thing. Like, we slept there a few times before we even kissed. I just liked being around him, Erin. I just... wanted to spend time with him, whether we were frakkin' or not. That's what I mean. There's been people I just wanna frak and then never see again, but he's not like that."

Beat. "But, I mean, totally there's days where all we wanna do is have sex, like, non-stop, don't get me wrong."

She takes a deep breath, lifting her hands to play with Erin's hair a bit. "Sometimes it's easy, the sex. That's what I used to always go for. People like what happened with you and Kyle. Just that.. you look at 'em sideways and next thing you know you're in bed. Then you move on, back to your bunk, and whatever. Never see 'em again and who cares. But it's world's apart. As for what's up with you and Katja? Only you and Katja can decide that. You can't guess. You gotta ask her."

That's a lot of food for thought. Thankfully, trash pandas are voracious eaters.

"Never really thought of it like that," admits Erin. Beat. "Then again, never really thought of Kyle as -- you know, someone I wanted to move on from." Another beat. Sigh. "That makes me a bad person, I guess."

Erin goes back to looking at Charlie because.

"Conditioner." She makes a twirling gesture with her hand, as if to suggest that Charlie ought to turn around. Silence, briefly.

"How do you tell someone you're not sure where things are going?" Beat. "Because I don't. But I'll bet, like, you just go up and say, hey you -- about us? -- like are we going to settle down and have a cat together in the future? That seems -- that seems like a bad thing to do, given our business, yeah?"

"Well, I didn't mean Kyle specifically-" Charlie grabs the conditioner, handing it over as she turns. "And that's just how I was. Some I moved on from completely. Some I stayed friends with. I'm just shit at relationships. Really. I'm trying to be better now." At the question Erin poses, she goes quiet as she considers. "I think you just... ask, maybe? I... Evan and I knew that we both really cared about each other. We just... sort of refused to talk about it for a while. But just... I dunno, ask what they want from things. That's fine, too, I think. Call it a temperature check. Or being on the same page. Squadrons do it. Teams do it. So what's the plan? What's the angle of attack?"

Shrug. "It's not glamorous, but you have to be fair to you, too, Erin. If you're scared or uncertain, you have every right to poke at her and be like hey Katja, I just wanna know where I stand."

"Eh. I'm not that way." Beat. "Like, my last relationship? My only one. We were together for three years, and then, bam, the bombs hit, and she's off -- frak knows where. I know she made it, but she just like -- " Erin snaps her fingers. " -- gone. Like, I got a vid message a week later, when she was off-planet. Yay."

She's oh-so-cavalier, but that probably hit the Trash Panda in the face like a ton of bricks.

"I mean, what if she's indecisive? Like, just -- see you later, Katja, I'm going to find someone who's going to plant their flag in me?" Harumph.

She pours some conditioner on her hands, and then slowly runs her fingers through Charlie's hair. In a practiced way, like she's worked with women's hair before. Go figure.

"I don't think that's fair, you know, forcing someone to make a decision or say something or just -- you know -- taking them by surprise. But, like, at the same time, I don't know if, like, it's fair to sit on the fence about things either. Right?" Grunt. "Maybe I'm just a flirtatious slut or something too. That's always a damn possibility, right?"

"Nah, it's not you. But it takes all kinds and... people change and all that. I mean, shit, I'm like... in a relationship and in love and I never thought I'd say any of that." Charlie laughs, tilting her head to make her hair easier to get to. Finicky, in that way of natural hair, but not too difficult to deal with. Hooray for mixed parentage. "It may not be entirely fair, but it's also not fair to you, Erin. Like, it's okay to be a bit selfish sometimes. You don't have to put her on the spot and force her to make a decision right then and there, but you can make it clear you need to know."

She shifts slightly, adjusting her feet and where the water falls because it was getting in her face just a wee bit too much. "If she cares about you, she'll want to know. Right now she may think you're totally okay not knowing. Or maybe she thinks you are the one chilling on the fence. Gotta communicate and... I mean I know that's what everyone says but frak if it isn't true."

"Yeah. Guess so." The conditioner is washed off. And then, there is a moment of silence.

And then a smack on the ass. Hard. Meant to leave a mark.

"Well! I'm going to go figure out where I stand, then," says the mischievous raccoon, scampering out of the stall whilst flicking the remnants of conditioner at Charlie to fend her off, in case she decides to seek retribution for the handprint/welt that's forming on her left buttcheek. "Heh. Can't really tell unless I ask, I guess, and Iiiiii'm all about being sneaky about things."

Erin's grin is priceless. Absurdly amused right now, as she seems ready to bolt naked and run around the Dauntless so, the consequences be damned, if it means there's a naked Charlie following her.

There's a surprised yelp from Charlie at the smack to her ass and she reaches around to try to swat at Erin in return- whatever she can reach. Be it arm, hip, or even boob. Just flesh, in general. "You brat," she shouts after the pesky Recon Raccoon. She's still too soaped up and in need of proper bathing to go running off starkers after the other woman. But she does laugh in the wake of her.

"Go get 'er, Hayes!" She can, at the least, provide some encouragement.


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