Jacob fails to call for Cate after he is hit. Bullets may not be the only thing to hit him when she finds out.
Location: Somewhere In Delphi
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 468
It had been a long day in the streets of Delphi. After the university was cleared, the fighting had been sparse and inconsistent, but heavy with ambush tactics and the signs of absolute war-weary desperation. If robots got desperate, that is. The recon team that had split off from the Wolves original platoon had made contact with a group of Caprican marines shortly after 1800. The three remaining riflemen appeared lost, stating that their own unit had been obliterated by a Cylon ambush. The numbers, honestly, were a welcome addition. Even if the fight was dwindling down to random patrols, numbers were always an advantage. As the sun descends to the horizon, golden hour seems to begin. It's the time of day famous for the warm glow cast upon every surface. The sun, in it's last attempt to stay in the sky, was absolutely at it's most beautiful. And as such, the recon element had peeled off of the street to tend to the wounded and eat a few sparing bites of MRE. Guards were posted at all entrances to what appeared to have been a Delphi bank.
Jacob had been quiet the majority of the day. He took the opportunity to stay true to his title, keeping himself in the front pieces of the action without fail or reprieve. He, like most of the other marines, had seen a few unfortunate bits of combat. A few explosions knocked him from his feet, and a couple dives for cover had connected harder than he thought. But he'd only been peppered twice. And neither time did Cate's name or moniker escape his lips. He'd retreated rather rapidly to the back of the bank, though, as soon as they entered. His rifle had left to hang from it's sling as the building was cleared, but judging by the look on the marine's face, he wasn't feeling well. A semi-public 'family bathroom' was the best he could manage, despite an explosion having ripped a hole in the door. There, he began to correct what he had been hiding. Bloody pieces of cloth, tucked under his vest on his left side, fall to the floor with a slop. He pulls his vest slightly, frowning at the shattered plate on his right side. "Great, Marx." He murmurs to himself, hands beginning the removal of the protective garment. "Die on damned Caprica."
Cate is an observant sort, so while she might have been put off by a 'I'm okay' wave-off in the heat of operations, she's used to keeping her eye on macho marines who insist they're fine and later hit a wall. That certainly wasn't the only reason she kept tabs on Jacob throughout the afternoon, but it's certainly the reason that she seeks him out when he doesn't return from the back in a timely fashion. "Jake?" The familiar voice has an edge of worry in it. She hasn't yet found the bathroom door (or what's left of it). Cate has managed to escape from the battle with just a few little scrapes and bruises, but she's wearing a fair amount of blood that isn't hers.
"Freshening up." Jacob's voice emerges from the back. The sound of running water follows it, with light splashing to accentuate the point. But, unlike the typical register of the man's tone, there's something strained in the words. Tired, even. His boot pushes the bloody bandages aside, making room on the floor for the controlled descent of his heavy tactical vest. If anything, the removal of the garment makes the man's shoulders appear wider, enhancing that familiar 'V' shaped torso so many boxers used as a signature stature. His fatigues, worn under the best, almost stick to his body in a mixture of hard won sweat and blood. Something wet mars the black on his right side, just above his hip. It's that area that draws his raised eyebrow. "I'll be out in a minute, Doc."
The voice helps her pinpoint his location. The soft sound of her boots announces her arrival in the doorway. She stands there, giving him a look through the half-destroyed door. "'Freshening up' my ass," she says dryly. Then her lips tighten. There's a mix of concern and uncertainty on her face.
Jacob doesn't turn to meet her. Instead, he raises the tail of that BDU blouse just enough to see his bare flesh. Two small caliber bullet holes are immediately visible, still leaking the fluid of life in a slow, mostly controlled way. "Leave it alone, Catey." He murmurs, his fingers moving to prod at the injury with a wince and a shake of his head. When he turns his head at last, his expression softens a bit. The hard lines of his brow and jaw disappear and he allows a very tired sigh. "I'm good to go. Just a bit of decoration."
Cate crosses her arms, frowning unhappily. "Fine. Then when we get back you can tell Mercer not to put us on the same details. Because if you won't let me do my frakking job, then you should go out with a different medic." She turns to go, somewhat stiffly.
"It ain't you." Jacob replies darkly, dropping his blouse of the wound and leaning slightly on the sink. His eyes close, a breath of air filling his lungs. "If you patch it up. You won't pass it along, will ya? I'm not hedging for an evac on this one." When his hands rise again, they begin to strip off the fatigue jacket, working buttons and buckles with careful but shaky precision. That, in and of itself, would signal something uncharacteristic. Marx never shook. And when he looks back to the door, it's with the hope that she hadn't left. "And, for the record. I'd rather be on missions with you, if I had the choice."
The words stop her, and Cate turns back around. She leans against the open part of the damaged doorframe. Still unhappy, but concern seems to have edged out the grumpiness. "I'll evac you if you need it," she says firmly. "But I know you can tough it out through a lot." Her tone softens a little. "Now sit down and let me see."
Jacob tightens his jaw. He wasn't thrilled with her answer, sure. But the rise of his shoulders as he stands back up serves as a testament that even he can see reason. He reaches for his rifle, retrieving it from it's position against the wall next to the sink. "I'm still standing up, Catey. As long as I can do that and I can hold my weapon? I'm more use here than lying on my back." His tone bears an edge, but also a hint of a familiar tone. His steps take him to the door. To Cate. And he reaches out to pull the shattered piece of wood toward him. "Pick a spot, Doc."
"Yeah, as long as you're not going to bleed out internally or keel over in the middle of a battle when your squad is relying on you. Then you're better off lying on your back," Cate says dryly. She gestures down the hall, "There's an office right over there, better to sit there than in here." She waits for him to go, watching him with a concerned and critical eye. After a moment, she says, "I'd just as soon be on missions with you, for what it's worth. Least I know you'll watch my back."
"Least I can watch your back." Jacob answers, glancing down the hall and then back Cate. He sighs, shakes his head, and moves in the direction prescribed. His gate is not slowed, nor is it hindered. And in that miraculous fashion of his, he manages to avoid the majority of the debris that would give away his position if an enemy were to miraculously appear. The office that they find is a small one. A single desk with one chair behind and two chairs in front. They're standard looking things. Loan officer chairs, to be sure. "And any way I go down, someone's gonna be depending on me. That's the nature of the beast." There's a pained look in his eye for a split second when he looks up at her. The walls almost immediately go up, though, hiding it. It was not 'if'. It was 'when'. "Hell. How many times have you scraped me up now?"
Cate motions him to one of the chairs and sits down in the other, unslinging her backpack and setting it on the desk. As she gets out her supplies, she slants him a glance. "Only a couple. I mean, we didn't go on too many missions together back on Galactica." She shrugs a little, uncomfortable memories of that awkward reunion resurfacing. She pushes them away by saying, "Look, I get it. I push myself too because I don't want someone to get killed because I wasn't there." She lets out a soft heh. "You know, if someone had told us when we were together that we'd end up here - both soldiers, me patching you up in the back of a wrecked bank on Caprica... I would've thought they were hitting the chamalla." There's a brief smirk, but then it fades to a more pensive look.
"Because, to be honest, you scared the hell out of me." The big marine sits down in the chair, lounging in the way only those used to sitting in uncomfortable furniture know how. His hips slightly forward, and his back resting haphazardly slumped in the small space. He was maybe one quarter marine and three quarters Hibernian in that bare instant. While she unpacks, he takes off the already unbuckled and unbuttoned BDU top. Beneath it, he wears the dual tanks, his tattoos dangerously showing themselves to the muted light of the day. Like that, the war against the Cylons had turned into a drug war back on their moon. And Jacob was just another tattooed thug waiting in Cate's ER. "Catey." He breathes, pulling up the hem of that tank to expose four holes. It had been two shots. Both were small caliber through and through. Though their position just north of the iliac crests proved it would be a painful recovery, there was little chance of internal injury. "I think if anyone had told us we wouldn't be together I would've thought they were hitting the good stuff. They said we were soldiers in a war against robots on Caprica? I probably would've walked them to the hospital." His lips to into a tight line at the words, eyes examining the ground between his feet with a rare intensity.
Cate's brow creases in worried sympathy seeing the wounds. She probes around them as gently as possible. The latter comment causes her fingers to freeze for a split second, a shadow crossing over her face. She swallows and says tightly. "Yeah. That too." The sight of the familiar tattoos causes a disconcerted frown for a second before she retreats back behind a wall of professionalism. "Doesn't look too bad. If you'd have let me patch it up after it happened, you could've saved yourself some blood." There's a beat, and then she asks, "What do you mean I scared the hell out of you?"
"I didn't want to face you." He says after only a moment of pause. "That disappointment... betrayal. I would've volunteered for every shore party I could find to get away from that." The words are offered with his typical Hibernian drawl, colored faintly by the staccato of multiple head wounds. It was a distinctly Jacob way of speaking. His eyes rise a bit, studying the medic as she works on him. There's no real sound as she pokes the wound, though his face does offer a slight momentary wince. "I'll make more. But I told you." He smiles dryly. "It hardly deserves your attention. You have enough to do out there."
Cate's lips tighten at the explanation. "Yeah. Wasn't a picnic for either of us. I didn't know what to feel. Still don't." She tears open one of those antiseptic/antibiotic packets and rips it open. "Knock off the martyr shit. It's not bad but it's not nothing." Hello pot, the kettle is calling. Cate seems oblivious to the irony. "And this is what I do now." There's a brief warning of, "This is going to sting." Though he probably knows that already, she says it anyway and then she pours the powder on the wounds.
Wood creaks. Yes, the wooden arm of the chair squeals in protest when that sanitary powder hits the unsanitary surface of Jacob's exposed flesh. His knuckles of his right hand pop, but strangely, his face shows no pain. He simply watches the powder work, his head tilting to the side somewhat, jaw still set. "Martyr shit?" He actually laughs a bit at that, turning his eyes away from her and shaking his head. "Kinda like the shit you pulled with your hoodie?" When he looks back down at her, amusement is all that rides his features. "You're one to talk on that front, doc. Feelings or not, you've always been worse about that than me." He pauses, releasing the deathtrap he still has on the arm of the chair. "And I understand ya. At least, on the feelings front. This whole thing has been tremendously weird."
There's a moment of indignant frowning as Cate tries to work out whether to be insulted by that, but she realizes he's kind of got her number there, and hitches her shoulder in a sheepish shrug. "Yeah. Kinda like that. Do as I say, not as I do or something." Her own amusement is short-lived, though, and a pensive look takes hold. "Could you do me a favor and not call me that?" It's a tentative request, and she focuses her attention on her pack, getting out some clean dressings.
Jacob watches her with an idle curiosity. The shadow of a knowing smile plays at his lips through her frown, her thought, and the eventual shrug that is produced as a result. "Some things never change." He actually laughs, his head shaking side to side. "And call you what? Catey? Or 'Doc'?"
"I meant don't call me 'doc'," Cate clarifies, still rummaging in the bag. "I mean, when the other guys are around, I get it." Even if she always calls him Jake and never Marx. "But when it's just us... I dunno. I don't like it." She frowns again and shakes her head. "Catey, Cate... that's fine."
Jacob nods his head, curling his elbow onto the seat back in an effort to give her a bit more room to work whenever she gets to it. "It... seems kind of impersonal." The man admits, looking up at the ceiling. "Doc." He murmurs again, shaking his head slightly. "That's part of the problem, though. Part of me wants impersonal. I think it'd make this whole mess easier. But another part? It's telling me I'm an idiot. And that impersonal's the worst thing that could happen between us."
The frown lingers a bit even as Cate fishes out dressing supplies and starts tearing open a couple dressing packs. She doesn't respond right away, though a little nod shows that she heard him. "I don't know how to do impersonal," she admits. "But y'know, do whatever you have to do." She places the dressings over the wounds, then asks softly for him to hold them there while she wraps them. It's as awkward for her as it was for him the other day.
"So you can't do it. But you don't want to make demands of me?" Jacob shakes his head, holding the dressings as instructed with a slight wince. His enormous hands almost cover the small pads, but since he seems intent on looking down at Cate, he doesn't notice. And awkward or not, seems to frown a little when her hands touch him. It's pensive look, but one full of decision. "Make demands, Catey." He offers her at last, finding somewhere, anywhere, to divert his gaze to while she's that close to him. "At this point? I'd say you pretty much deserve any small joy I can give you."
Cate keeps her head turned while she's wrapping the bandage, making it hard to see her expression - the way she chews on her lower lip anxiously as she works. Maybe a glimpse as she pulls back after getting the bandage in place. She perches on the edge of the desk. She studies him for a long moment before looking away, her face scrunching up a little as she tries to collect her thoughts. Finally she sighs, and looks back at him. "The other day... you said you weren't trying to be the guy who knew me. Like... you want it to be just professional. Marx and Doc. And I get that, I just..." And there the words fail, but the pained expression on her face says something.
"Don't know if that's the way you want it to be?" Jacob asks with a sad tone. "Not even going to look to see if you nod, Catey. Cause that's the shit that's been running through my head since I saw you when I came off that transport Raptor." There must be something incredibly interesting about the ground between the marine's feet, because it seems to warrant a whole lot of his attention. He absently reaches into his pocket, removing a small toothpick holder and shaking one out into his palm. "I think... We need to figure out where on that spectrum we fall. Friends, enemies... Or whatever." The sliver of wood comes to rest between his lips. They do the work of settling it into his mouth, between his teeth.
Cate shakes her head, even if he isn't looking. "No. I was going to say I don't want that. But I'm not gonna make demands either. If that's how you want it to be, it's not like I'm gonna twist your arm and try to force you into being friends." Despite his invitation to do just that. She has no toothpick to work on, but she does relieve her anxious energy by tidying and re-zipping the compartments she opened on her pack. "Look, I know we can't go back to where we were. Neither of those people exist any more. But for me, just being professional... it means none of it meant a damn thing." She almost leaves it at that, but after a beat she sighs and adds softly, "And that hurts." She slants him a pained look.
Jacob chews the hell out of that toothpick. Her words draw his gaze at last, the look he offers her is quiet, reserved, and a little tired. "You wouldn't be twisting anything." It's offered with a roll of his shoulder. "But I think I have to disagree. Nothing can make it mean any less than it did. The feelings, the plans. It was all as real for me as it was for you." He reaches down, gathering his discarded shirt and rifle up in the same heavy hand. "It's just a matter of figuring out how to live with the fact that I ruined the life of someone I legitimately cared about. Professional or not, don't kid yourself into thinking it doesn't still keep me up, Cate." Marx pushes himself up out of the chair, not exhibiting even a wobble.
Cate's expression twists into a sad, pained frown at his disagreement. "See, I want to believe that. But that's the trouble with finding out that a big chunk of your life was built on a lie." It sounds more sad than accusatory. She shakes her head. "And for the record, you didn't ruin my life. You frakked it up pretty spectacularly..." There's a bitter little chuckle there for a second. "But it takes more than that to break me." She gets her pack ready to go, but doesn't get up immediately - letting him leave first.
"In the end, I can't do anything to convince you. But if you ever come to believe it, let me know?" Jacob turns to study her, offering a pained smile and a soft nod at the summary of her will. The BDU blouse is tossed over his shoulder even as that rifle is cradled lovingly in the crook of his arm. He seems to consider something for a moment. "I'm not sure you can be broken, actually, Catey. But know that regardless, I'll be behind you out there." He doesn't wait for her response. Marx simply chews his lip, nods his head, and steps out the door, back toward that bathroom and the rest of his abandoned gear. He'd likely go find a quiet place to get a couple hours of shut eye. Well. That was the dream, anyway.