After returning from MIA, Kyle is released to the public
Location: Argyros Naval Air Station: Hospital
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 511
The last 48 hours of Kyle Costello's like have been like one of her many late night movies. You know, the ones where the Caprican gets sucked into an alien space ship for torture and are eventually returned to Caprica only to be poked and prodded at with medical implements not unlike the trauma just sustatined from the aliens. Lift the leg. Lift the arm. Eye tests. Stick out your tongue. 'Tell me when you can feel this touching your toe'. It's not quarantine per-se, but a final review before being returned to the war front.
The hallways of the hospital smell like antisceptic, per norm, when the nurse holds the door open for Kyle Costello to pass through. With muttered well wishing, Kyle draws her brown hair over the shoulder of her off-duty tanks, smiling quietly with the atypical: "Thank you, you too." With brand-new black boots and tan BDU pants, all replaced upon arrival, she turns away from the door and lets out a puff of breath, about to walk the long hallway out towards daylight.
Daylight! Daylight! Everyone wants out of the damned sickbay. Not that Cate and the rest of the medical crew are horrid people, but it is reasonable to presume that a person can only take so much piped-in vids and mushy food.
About fifty feet from the exit, someone appears at the door, and it opens for them. Short and slender, the figure, in off-duties, marches in like she owns the damned place. On a mission, her boots make that tell-tale thump, thump, twice -- two steps -- before the raccoon Marine is face-to-face with the thought-to-be-gone Kyle Costello.
Time has made Erin a fierce, combative little thing. Her face is all scrunched up and hardened, like she has spent that past ten minutes getting ready for the confrontation. Which happens.
Raccoon eyes stare almost balefully at Kyle. Her hands come to rest on her hips, which shift just a hair to the side to give her that classic, roguish stance. Like she's waiting for the other woman to say something.
Cate is technically on duty, wearing sickbay scrubs since something unfortunate happened to her uniform earlier in her shift. But when she heard that one of the Wolves had been transferred in after being MIA, she had to come and see. She comes into the room, and surveys Kyle with a look of shock. Then her face lights up. They may not have been particularly close before Kyle went missing, but Cate nonetheless beams. "Costello! Oh my gods - we thought you were dead."
It's a long hallway, one that Kyle spends looking down to her hands. The chewed-off end of a thumbnail digs into the meat of her palm, wringing incessantly, on her trek down the black and white tile that has been buffed to military precision. She counts her steps. She counts the steps she'll have to take after she's out the door. She counts the steps she'll have to take to reclaim her things, call her parents, consider the fact that she's ON her home colony...and contact her parents again. So much to do. So...so much to do.
When the door in front of her opens, she looks up, shoulders already turning to make room for the presumptive medical staff she'll have to weave past to get through, but instead comes deadpan in a stare with a familiar set of faces.
Her boot squeaks as she comes to a stop and hardens her lip at the two of them. Another puff of breath escapes her and she swallows hard in a glance over her shoulder. A quick moment of buttoning it down.
Her quick steps forward are half a rush to reach out to the two and collect them. The hallway is empty. Regs and god-mode marine decorum can wait.
Erin doesn't mean to be pushy.
Actually, that's probably a lie. Erin can be very pushy. Like when she's trying to convince someone to rent some of her vids or buy some of her light-contraband that she keeps stash in her footlocker. Nothing illegal, of course, just stuff people end up wanting or needing without thinking about it. Like real hot sauce.
And it's not like Cate's really in Erin's way either. But, after a second of waiting, the recon Marine steps on forward to claim Kyle for her own. No one else. She skips ahead two steps, and gingerly hops at Kyle to wrap her slender arms about the other woman's waist and plant a kiss on her mouth, or face somewhere, wherever.
About two seconds later, and Erin's man-crying. That's where you seem composed, but your face is red and tears are flowing out of your eyes like you just got a sharp knee in the huevos bajo chorizo.
Cate is content to step aside while Erin claims all the hugs. She hangs nearby, still smiling, not wanting to interrupt the recon reunion. She may not be man-crying, but the medic does look a little misty.
Kyle tucks in, clinging until her arms sear with the ache of lactic acid, pinching her chin onto Erin's shoulder in a furious hug of her own. And does she cry? No. The southtown rage of angry eyebrows and steel-hardened eyelids sees to this, even as she shoves the back of Erin's head to force her forehead into the crook of her neck.
"I thought I'd never see you again." Kyle says to the both of them, looking over Erin's shoulder to Cate with a hardened grin and an extended set of fingers her way. "I...frak, I've got besites from high school I don't talk to after stealing my jeans, so take this as a compliment."
Erin basks. BASKS. She takes in a deep breath, and wipes her tears against Kyle's neck. One way, the other way. It's adorable.
She then breaks the hug, suddenly, and gives a gentle, friendly shove. "I knew you were going to be fine. I knew it." She looks over her shoulder to Cate, through her wet sobby eyes and the miserable expression that occurs when you're trying to laugh and be funny in the middle of funerary weeping. "See? She's fine. She'll be fine. I should tell Chuck. No! She should come by. I should go get her."
She turns back to Kyle, and points at the floor. "You. You are going to stay right here until I get Wagner, okay? And Arda. And, like -- everyone." Erin wipes at her face with her wrist, talking at a pace that clearly indicates she has hit the 'lunatic' stage of getting over grief.
Cate sees those fingers extended her way and steps closer. Grinning and teary-eyed, she reaches to clasp Kyle's shoulder and give it a few gentle pats since Erin still has the hug stranglehold. The grin is slanted Erin's way, nodding to her words. "So she is. Gods, it's good to see you back. We tried to look for you, but the place was crawling with Toasters..." The apology is implicit in her voice and the way her grin fades to a more stricken look. "Was Lawrence with you?"
"Oh my god, Panda, you're the best; I love you. Here?" Kyle snort-sniffles and pulls back, looking down to the spot of tile she's been ordered to stand on forever. There's a pensive, nervous manner in which Kyle rakes her fingers through her own hair, exhaling a weak laugh, and moves her booted feet together to plant.
Must. Not. Tear.
"I'm going to see everyone. I promise." Kyle continues, rocking back on her heels and smoothing down the front of her tanks, leaving the smear of tears on her neck where they remain. "Everyone. I don't care if we need to squeeze in at my dad's garage; we're getting so frakking drunk..."
Released from the PandaStrangleHoldofDoom, Kyle turns to wrap her arms around Cate's shoulder and tug her in for a squeeze, but the words, the WORDS bring a sudden tightness to Kyle's shoulders. The recon marine pulls away from Cate and after so brief a moment of eye contact, she holds her breath and...
"I was with Lawrence." Kyle pauses, awkwardly. "For a while." The hand-wringing begins fresh. "He...didn't make it, Cate."
Erin spends the next few moments composing herself. She fluffs her hair. She wipes her face. She stares balefully at anyone who may have witnessed her girlish breakdown. And then, she clears her throat, and makes a dismissive waving gesture through the air. "Oh, you can go wherever you want, Costello. I'm not the boss of you. Since when was I the boss of you?" She laughs weakly, and then blinks. "You need get a bunk. Wait -- frak -- is the one above me free?" Skeptical face. "I don't remember."
The panda gives up on thinking. Thinking is too hard right now. "Here, let me help you back to the, uh -- well, I mean, to where we're holed up in this frakkin' station. It's so weird being some place that ain't noisy as frak all the time." She lets out a low whistle. "Man, do we need to throw you a party? We should. Oh, damn! I didn't steal any booze from The Last Mushroom!" Mournful.
Cate squeezes Kyle back after she's drawn in. When Kyle pulls back to deliver the bad news about Lawrence, the corners of Cate's eyes crinkle sadly. She pats Kyle's shoulder. "I'm sorry. We got hammered too. Only me and Delgado and Pi made it out." Which is cause enough for Cate to offer a follow-up hug unless Kyle pulls away. "I'm really really glad you're all right though. And yeah - Hayes is right. We get nights off here, so we should totally hit the town."
"Gods, I'm sorry; there's no good way. Shit, Cate." Kyle leans into the follow-up hug, arms around shoulders, toes lifting against the tile. She puts her weight into the hug and the squeeze, grateful for the break in eye contact. "I made it back as fast as I could and I'm here now." Kyle leans back with a squeeze to Cate's arm. Her lips twist in a smile-not-smile, then hands altogether retreat.
Kyle whips her hair, flinging it behind her back. She holds up a finger and extends her face to a horrific length, eyes extending, to scoop the fingernail of her index finger under her eyelashes. It's the closest she'll ever look to moai statue.
"I've gotta get out of here." Kyle suddenly states, jabbing her fingers around Erin's wrist and sucking in a harsh breath. "I've got things on the list, and my bunk, and my folks, and the party - yes - party; I'll throw myself into the sea if I have to drink alone about this now that I'm actually cleared to fraggin' drink again." Kyle motions to the two and starts to drag Erin towards the door.
"And Caprica. I'm home. Frak, this might actually kill me. No one's been able to tell me if the bosses sent the letter to my parents or not; does anyone know?" Kyle sweeps her glossy eyes to the two women, shoving at the swinging door to let in the sunlight and Caprica smog. "And YES, Erin, you can choose my bunk. I don't care. All I care about right now is that I'm back."
And, so, Erin is dragged. Easily. She nabs Kyle, and just goes without another word. She looks ... happy for once. Elated. And just totally mystified by Kyle's return.
"I dunno," says the dumbfounded raccoon to Kyle. "I don't send stuff out." Well, of course she doesn't. And why would she know? Right. More evidence that the Trash Panda isn't all there at the moment.
Cate hugs Kyle wordlessly, patting her back and then releasing her. She takes a step back out of the other marine's personal space. Having forgotten that Kyle's from Caprica, Cate makes a sort of 'aaah, right' face in realization when Kyle mentions being home. "They had you listed as MIA on the books -" Because checking Picon MIA lists is Cate's jam. "So I'm sure they told your parents that much." There's a thin smile, then Cate is stepping towards the door. "I've gotta get back to work, but we'll take you out sometime after you've visited with your parents and stuff. Or bring booze in. Whatever you want! Welcome back." She flashes a smile before going.
Kyle lifts her head to the sky and wheels around halfway to spin her nose in the direction of the sea. She sucks in a deep breath of the ocean air and closes her eyes against the beating sun. Home. It always has a scent to it. It's three seconds of zen in a bucket of turmoil she's going to have to untangle before the Wolves leave Caprica.
"Best...that I go see them before everyone else comes along." Kyle admits with closed eyes, then drops her heels to the pavement. Her hair bounces around her face in straight waves, eyes to the ground, as she thinks it over. "It's going to be messy. Mucousy. My dad wouldn't want an audience for that, but I'll make sure the number I'll be at tonight is where everyone can find me; there's a zero-percent chance they'll let me out of the house tonight."
Kyle lifts a boney wrist to Cate on her exit, fingers twittering to the woman with a mouthed 'Thank you' to the woman as she leaves. This time, the ear-to-ear grin is unbidden and genuine. Happiness is easier to find ten feet outside of the military hospital. As is the hand-motion Kyle gives Cate that looks suspiciously like she's tipping a beer bottle towards her mouth.
Kyle then turns and turns Erin harder towards the barracks with some heartful purpose in her step.
She makes it three feet before she halfway jumps onto Erin's back and wraps her arms around the woman from behind like she's a wookiee.
"OhMyWhatTheFra-myFRrrrrg-!" Kyle scratchy-growls into the woman's ear, nipping at it. "-Don't you think I forgot for a frakkin' second I made you a promise about Caprica, bitchface."
What was supposed to be a semi-romantic jaunt back to bed instead becomes a purposeful bum-rush from behind. Surprised, Erin yelps out in surprise, and struggles to keep her balance in the hallway. "Kyle!" She bumbles, and careens into a support beam, head-first. BWONG! But the raccoon manages to grasp a hold of it anyway, so that she doesn't fall backwards (yet) to crush Costello to the ground.
"What promise -- ow!" The raccoon is grumpy now, but that goes away in a Caprican minute. "You did, you know, you totally promised to take me to see your folks, you did that." Erin holds onto the beam tightly. Very tightly.
"And another thing, what with -- do you know what I've been through this past -- whoa." The stars start to set in, and the birds start chirping. "Hold on. Waiiiiiit for it."
Nothing. Yet. Raccoon clings.
"Sure, sure," Cate says when Kyle explains about her parents. "I didn't mean tonight, I meant whenever. Take care yeah?" She waves back, smiling, and then wanders back to work.
Kyle flops and wobbles. All arms and legs, and the moment Erin fails at balance, Kyle's uber-shifting weight doesn't help. The end result is a brown-haired marine flopping off of another brown-haired marine's back against the wall. Kyle nearly falls to the floor, herself, if not for the sudden slap of her own palm against a railing that catches her in a bent back, bowed to the extreme, and her better of two knees catching her.
Amidst a hissing of obscenities to ward off passing officers and hall monitors.
"I'm sorry it seemed a good idea at the time!" Kyle laughs through her words and pulls herself back up, planting her forehead between Erin's shoulders and hugging her from behind. Her arms around Erin's shoulders pull back, forehead burrowing in until she can feel the vertebrae in Erin's panda-back crack in two places.
"Sorry." Kyle grunts, then slithers around to the front of Erin to pry her hair away from her face and clamp her palms on either side of the woman's neck as if she's about to do a professional wrestling move. "No. I don't know what you've been through. I don't. I will tell you the whole story later when it's quiet, but you." Kyle sharpens her eyes, shrugging off her own two months of chaos. "Are you okay? Wait for what? What? Tell me."
"Hold on. Dizzy." Erin squints, and then visibly shakes her head clear. "Okay. That's better, like -- "
Turned around, Erin gets the opportunity to eye Kyle. At first, she is all steel and calm, like she's about to explain things. A second later, and those baby blue fill back up again. "I thought you were dead," she whispers. "I just cried and cried, and it hurt -- it hurt." Hiss and seethe. Emotions roil. "And now that you're back, I just -- it just -- " Erin flops her hands against her hips, uselessly. " -- I just tried to move on, and here you are, and -- "
Frak it. Words don't really work well when FEELINGS are there, especially when those FEELINGS are strong. Erin's fingers clamp about Kyle's waist, and her mouth opens as her face pushes forwards into the other brunette's. And it's all pulling and grasping and tongue. Like that's all she really knows, for whatever reason.
Damned Sarlacc creature. But the communication should be clear.
Kyle braces herself. The hard wall of defiance against pained emotions is littered with cracks. She presents a brave defense against it all, with hazel eyes beneath furrowed brows that haven't been plucked in months. Her face is hard as the explanation comes.
"I'm sorry." Kyle swallows the tail of the words on their release, feeling heat rising up in front of her eyes. Her nose scrunches, failing to interrupt Erin. "I'm...sorry." She tries to interrupt again, eyes narrowing as the levee cracks. She flattens her lips into a line, teeth pressing down until the edges of her lips turn white.
It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to understand the tilt of chin and the way Erin leans in. Kyle's mouth parts weakly, a freshly loaded round of 'I'm sorry' chambered at the back of her throat, but it never comes.
Kyle's arms shoot out behind Erin's neck to draw the other woman in with a tilt of her head and the muffled shadow of their silhouettes against the wall. A raw, mumbled nothing rumbles from the back of Kyle's throat across the seal of their mouths; an apology, a relief.
Kyle Costello throws her weight against the rush of the kiss. A teeth-clacking, tongue-lashing, sigh-whimpering kiss that comes alongside the first stream of tears from the edges of Kyle Costello's eyes...free of charge.
Oh, it's all good. Really, it's fine. Or it will be -- maybe. Didn't she say she tried to move on?
When the kiss ends, Erin's hands come to rest on Kyle's breasts. Well, just above them, so she can pat her chest. "Go see your family," she murmurs breathlessly. Sweat has beaded up on her forehead. "Spend some time with them, okay? I -- uh -- " She shrugs, and presses her lips together tightly. " -- I have some business I'll have to, um -- you know, take care of. While you're gone."
She bobs her head, and says no more on that business. "I'm so happy you're back." Not that it needed to be said, right? Probably not. Erin kicks one of her feet behind the other, and ends up leaning back against the support beam.
"And Chuck's going to be happy too. Arda. You want me to tell them, or -- ?" Her eyes light up. " -- and you have to meet the others. Seriously. It's -- " Light, short headshake.
" -- it's like a dream."
Kyle's forehead ends the kiss a weight against Erin's. Forehead to forehead in an uncomfortable way, like skin is trying to velcro-drag skin away where a few strands of hair aren't being pulled on. Really, there's a wall there for balance, but Kyle puts her weight on Erin Hayes.
"Gods, it's like a thing I don't want to do alone, but I have to; the frak." Kyle shivers and twists her forehead to wipe at the side of her face with the inside of her wrist. "I've gotta call a cab, but yeah, I'm gonna be there tonight. But after that-" Kyle scrunches her face and leans back, wiping at the other side of her face.
Kyle looks down and away from Erin's eyes while she stuffs a hand into her pocket. Out comes an Argyros-branded ink pen. Hair in her eyes, Kyle grabs Erin's wrist and pries her palm open, scratching something into the heel of her hand.
"Tell everyone that I miss them and that once I get this done, the real party starts, okay?" Kyle asks quietly, jotting numbers down. "Maybe them knowing without it being a surprise will be like...something good happening for a change. You'll get to give people good news. You'll be a hero or something."
The pen stops writing and Kyle shifts her head up to meet Erin's eyes.
"It would mean a lot to me if you called tonight to make sure the Costello clan didn't constrict me to death." Kyle's lip tugs weakly to one side. She gently taps the closed end of the pen against Erin's cheek and brushes a hand down the center of Erin's chest to clutch her shirt about her belly.
"No worries, okay?" Kyle asks, pointedly with a jerk of her chin.
Erin looks at the number, and bobs her head up and down and up and down. "Okay." And that's that.
Wait. One more thing. "Kyle?" Beat. "I love you." It's probably not what Kyle wanted to hear, and maybe Erin didn't mean to say it. But she did. And that's that. "I'll call you. I'll call you."
For good measure, Erin touches Kyle's face with her fingertips. As if she still believes this is all fantasy. One more quick kiss. Just one more. Maybe two. Okay, three. Like this: https://thebloggesswp.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/cat-gif-when-a-raccoon-wants-to-kiss-a-cat-love-me-kitty.gif
"Go. Or I'll frakkin' chase you down."
Kyle snuffles inward and mops at her face one last time for the rest of the Marines she'll have to pass between their place and the security checkpoint. A stroke of hair here, a hard swallow there, and Kyle's returning to normal. Up until the surprise from Erin Hayes that hits her like an unexpected jab.
Kyle blinks and half-flinches, but in the moment, she looks to Erin with quiet eyes and a slowly-questioning look. Her cheek stretches to one side and her throat tightens with a swallow, but it all ends in a private smile.
"I love you too." Kyle replies, tugging once on the belly of Erin's shirt before leaning in for a quick, parting kiss that grins into the pawing at her face.
Then comes the gentle shove.
"Pick my bunk for me while I'm out." Kyle bites down on her lip and shoves Erin's hips away from her. Kyle spins about, offering the Trash Panda her back for what becomes a long-legged stride away from Erin Hayes.
Kyle Costello disappears around a pair of on-duty flight technicians...and is gone.