2237-08-27 - Pain Pills

Two marines with a dark past find a moment of reprieve in Delphi.

Date: 2237-08-27

Location: Delphi

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 446

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Quiet has fallen over the museum. The colonials have prevailed. While some are on guard duty in case of a counter-attack, others have been given a short reprieve to rest. Cate is one of those resting - but although she's off her feet (leaning against the base of a display case holding some ancient stone tools and such), she's not exactly resting. Her flak vest is off and her outer shirt is unbuttoned and open. Not indecently - she does still have a sports bra on underneath - but enough for her to tend to the fresh bullet hole in her side. She's pouring some powder onto it that serves as both a disinfectant and antibiotic. It stings - as evidenced by the way she bites her lip and turns her head away for a second when it's first applied and starts bubbling a little.

Jacob had just been relieved from his guard shift. It'd been a grueling day for the Hibernian marine. Since they had taken the base of the museum, he'd lost track of Cate entirely. He was, after all, part of Mercer's front line. But that didn't mean she'd existed far from his thoughts. His booted footsteps echo eerily on the marble floor of the exhibit room. The stress of the day's operations shows on Marx's face and shoulders. Somewhere during the fighting, he'd rolled up his sleeves, exposing those muscled and well tattooed forearms to the dust and grime of the day. Small cuts and bruises were already adorning them. His rifle, a constant presence in his grasp, is held by his side, muzzle down, by the grip. It's as if he could lift it and shoot it at a moment's notice despite being bone weary and headed to bed. The shadows hide Cate from him until he's almost right next to her. And then? Another look replaces weariness on his face. Dark, controlled, pain. His footfalls stop and silence fills the hall. "Frakking hell, Catey. You... going to be okay?"

Cate sucks in a breath, grimacing as the medicine does its work. "Mmm. Yeah." It is probably the least-convincing answer ever. "It's not bad. Went clean through. Was probably armor piercing - see." She points to the slightly bloody interior of the vest beside her, where one can see a clean hole through the front and a bullet embedded in the back. And speaking of clean through, Cate shifts a little so she can pour some on the exit wound on the edge of her back. More wincing is involved, and then she squints at him appraisingly. "You okay?" If he's paying attention, he might notice that the wound is not her first; several old scars are visible on the exposed skin. Also just visible over the hemline of her trousers is the top part of the Celtan love knot tattoo he inked on her hip back on Hibernia.

"As okay as ever." Jacob replies cryptically. He studies her for a moment, his eyes trained on her wound. It doesn't take long, though, before they wander. The familiarity of the flesh marked with new landmarks draws a bit of a pained expression to his face. He glances down, raising his forearm enough to see the mirrored tattoo inked into his own skin. In short, it makes his jaw set and he looks down the hall as if planning an escape. "This...seat taken?" He motions to the corner of the pillar she's leaning against, seeming to have made up his mind. "And seriously. Do you carry magnets in your vest or something?"

Cate seems to get the cryptic answer (or presumes she does), and doesn't press more about it. "Well, I'm glad you didn't get hit, at least." She watches him sit, nodding her approval, then chuckles once at the question. Any further laughter is cut short by a wince. "Maybe you should check for me. Because frakking seriously - twelve people out there, and somehow I'm the only one who gets hit. Every damn time." She tears open packs for a couple dressings and a bandage to wrap them and considers the wound for a second. Practicality wars with stubborn pride and awkward for a moment before she sighs. "Could you wrap that please."

Jacob allows his mouth to fall open for a moment. Awkwardness was absolutely correct. His hands begin pulling off his combat gloves before he even offers an answer. The worn and scarred battle rifle is, of course, placed just in front of them. "And about three steps in. I was going to say..." He looks over to the dressings first, removing the sterile squares from their paper packages. There's actually a little hesitation before he gently holds one over the entrance wound, taking her hand by the wrist and using it to hold it steady. The other, of course, goes over the exit wound. Her other hand is directed to that one. "If you didn't trust me enough to go on mission with me, talkin' to Mercer would've worked easier than getting shot in the street." He offers her a dark smile at that, though there's an element of truth somewhere in it. "You handled yourself pretty damned well out there, though. I always told you that you were tougher than you thought." And the tricky part. He pulls the bandage tight just over the wounds, and starting to wrap them around her. It does, of course, involve his arms encircling her, though, and his calloused fingers to touch an area he hadn't even seen in years.

Cate didn't expect it to be easy, but the look on her face shows that it's harder than she thought - a tight-lipped, pensive expression that has nothing to do with the wound itself. "Three steps in and mostly behind a concrete wall," she adds. Just not all the way behind it quite fast enough, as it turned out. "And you should know by now I don't have a problem going on missions with you." She is, of course, counting the handful of missions they went on together back on Tauron, before Jacob was transferred off Galactica. Her back tenses when his hand goes around behind her, but she doesn't pull away. She does, however, fall quiet except to offer a soft, "Thanks," to his compliment. "Kinda have to be, with my crazy extreme luck." Or lack thereof.

"Well, we've been running the gambit between hot and cold for a while now." Jacob also seems to tense as his arms wrap around her. And to be honest, it doesn't seem to get easier for the man the next couple of times the bandage has to go in that direction. Before too long, though, he works to secure it just in front of the wound site, his jaw visibly tightened throughout the procedure. "I never really know where we sit on any given day." His voice is quiet, offered in such a way that it only comes to her, not to the other hidden occupants of the hall. "And I think calling what you have 'luck' is probably the funniest thing I've ever heard." He settles back to examine his work, withdrawing his fingertips from the surface of that bandage. A nod, before he looks up to meet her eyes. "And while you don't have a problem going on missions, I can't help but think this whole thing is shaking you a bit. Honestly, Catey. Need me to disappear again?"

"I'm still alive, aren't I?" Cate points out, eyebrows arched when he questions her luck. "All the shit I've survived - a train crash, a couple Raptor crashes, explosions, bullets, Picon... I'm not in jail..." She levels him a sad but meaningful look, knowing exactly who she has to thank for that. "My luck runs to extremes. I'm either winning the lottery or getting my ass kicked." The ready response makes it clear she's given this a lot of thought, even though it's not the most pleasant topic.
What she's not so prepared for is his other question. That pensive look returns, but this time accompanied by a sad, almost guilty look in her eyes. "It might be easier if you did," she admits softly, giving him the honest answer he asked for. "But... what happened with us... it's a wound that never healed. And ignoring it didn't make it better. So." She fidgets a little, hitching her shoulder as if to downplay the note of vulnerability there. "Maybe if you're here, it'll get easier. Or maybe it'll just hurt and be awkward forever. I dunno."

"Me neither." Jacob answers with as much of a shrug as a person can manage while in body armor. He was recon. The heavy kevlar and plate was like a second skin. His hands rise, tucking into the vest at his neckline in an motion so practiced, it didn't even look as though the big man meant to do it. He concentrates on her, his head softly swaying from side to side. "It's a wound I caused, though. I did it. I know that. And though no amount of sorry will ever fix shit for either of us..." His own shoulder rises and falls again, head tipping up to inspect the ceiling. "I still want to tear the head off of anything with half the balls it takes to shoot at you." The lines of his face are tight and painted with a thoughtful sadness. "It's an awkward place to be." If he sees the vulnerability in her expression, Marx has the good sense not to remark on it. She earns a little longer of a look than normal then, though, and an attempt at a smile. "You are without a doubt the most accident prone ER doc I've ever known. Honestly, I wonder if it's luck or Hibernian stubbornness."

Cate watches him, listening quietly. There's a little quirk of her lips upward when he mentions wanting to tear the Cylon head off. "Maybe it can't be fixed," she says. "But... it's not all bad. And I mean, maybe you can tear their heads off before they shoot me. 'Cause this shit gets old." She lets her head thunk back lightly against the case with a sigh and starts buttoning up her uniform shirt again. "Being too stubborn to stay down may have something to do with it," she admits, equal parts embarrassed and amused.

"Mhmm." The soft sound is the only response she gets from Jacob for a long moment. "No, it ain't all bad." She earns an appreciative gaze and a much more honest smile. He does reach for his rifle with a bare hand. He pulls it into his lap and tugs the bolt back just enough to expose a glimmer of brass in the chamber. That seems to satisfy the big marine. "Give me half an opportunity next time and I'd be glad to. For now? I think I should go find a dark corner to get some shut eye in. I have a feeling Gunny's going to be cracking' the whip early tomorrow morning."

Cate manages a tiny smile when he says it isn't all bad. Then she nods at the last. "Yeah. Probably a good idea. Get some rest, S... Jake." There's a frown when she almost slips on his name. She distracts herself from the swell of awkward feelings by reaching for her medic kit and fishing around in it for something.

Jacob almost winces at the name, though he recovers with a slight upturn of his lips. "You too, Catey. And try to feel better, alright?" He pushes himself up, managing it without much sound or shifting of gear. It was recon magic. He glances at her one more time, tightens the line of his lips, and moves off toward the back of the gallery. He shakes his head. Something was going to keep him awake tonight. And it very likely wasn't going to be the thought of sun gleaming from metal.

"I'll try. Thanks." It seems to be more of a general gratitude, beyond his well-wishes. Cate's fishing results in her pulling out a pill bottle. Not exactly regulation - not that that's ever stopped her - but the auto-injectors of morpha are overkill for someone who wants to stay combat-effective. Even with the pain pills, though, it doesn't look like the former doctor is liable to get much sleep either.


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