Gage decides tonight is the night to exact retribution for Ines short-sheeting his bed. Things escalate. It's probably fine.* <br> <br> *it's definitely not fine
Location: Bunkroom C
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1461
It's the middle of the night. While some of their number might be on night shift, or just having a late one, there are occupants in the bunks sound asleep, making the most of the downtime. Gage is there, though not asleep, instead staring upwards at the bunk above him in the dim light. Eyes squint. Is she asleep? One way to find out.
THUD! Her bunk shudders for a moment. Earthquake?!
Light sleeper, Ines. When she first arrived she was prone to nightmares, too, but those have tapered off almost to nothing now. Witness: after crawling up into her bunk and landing facedown, she's barely moved at all.
The thud startles her awake, heart lurching, eyes snapped open but mostly on reflex, instinct. Below her, he'll her the regular rhythm of her breathing stop completely for five seconds before she convinces herself she was only dreaming. There's an expansive yawn, a rustle of cloth as she turns over, and ten seconds later she's out again.
He waits. Not ten seconds, but more like five minutes, for the silence to settle, for that deep sleep to claim her again and pull her into dreams. Before...
This time there's a short gasp, and the kind of shuffling sound that says she's sitting up, staring at the shadows within the little box that belongs to her. Quiet. Listening. Listening for a full thirty seconds.
After that her curtain grommets click as they slide across the bar at the top, and a long, dark banner of hair sloooowly descends on the end of her bunk's edge closest to where her pillow is as she leans over the side and looks, with great suspicion and preemptively knitted brows, down into the bunk below hers.
Gage is almost certainly asleep, or he's working hard to fake it. His blankets are twisted around bare legs, one half hanging out. His expression is slack, breathing even. What marine doesn't know how to pretend-sleep to get out of being inadvertently volunteered for something?
Ines had a little brother, and her suspicions are not quick to die. She remains that way, inverted and looking into his bunk with a little frown of sleepy disapproval, for long enough that anybody to walk in who wasn't aware of what was going on would probably find it a little bit creepy.
Eventually, though, she sits up again, dizzy with the rush of blood, and heaves a sigh. The muttered words in Leonese are barely more than a whisper as she audibly wrestles with her sheets and blanket and pillow in an effort to get resituated, but they turn into something like a petulant whine at the end, half-muffled by her pillow.
Only once she's resettled does Gage squint an eye open a sliver, and then both when he sees she's withdrawn to her bunk and settled back in. And then he waits, this time twice as long. Ten minutes, at least, of silence other than his, and their other bunkmates breathing quietly. He should stop there. Draw it out. Another night, maybe, but frak it. He's bored and wide-awake.
The perils of getting greedy.
This time when she stirs, there's a brief silence and then a clicking sound, followed by an ascending whine so low it exists only on the very edge of hearing. Her curtain rattles, the inverted shadow reappears, but bigger, with wings: her elbows out to either side of her head. No, not her head. Her camera.
The interior of his bunk explodes with brilliant, blue-white light for all of a microsecond, and there's the little fwip sound of the instant photo being snagged out of the front before it can fall to the ground.
The grunt of surprise and pain that follows that brilliant flash of white suggests the marine was definitely not expecting that form of retaliation. It takes him a moment or two -- undoubtedly blinking furiously -- before there's a slight creak of the sound of his weight shifting on his bunk, legs swinging to the floor for balance, and then... he's grabbing a hold of the edge of her sheet above him, tugging sharply to pull it free, off her bunk, and maybe her with it, if she's not fast enough.
Ines is feeling quite smug, in fact, about her half-asleep weaponization of her camera and its flash. She has very little in her bunk to use against any kind of late-night assault, but flash works and, bonus: she now has a picture that she can only hope will somehow be terrible to lord over him.
So she's just beginning to rub it in -- "Serves you right! Haven't you got anything better to d-"
-- when he reaches for the sheet on her bed. She sees the hand coming and assumes it's reaching for her, so pulls herself up into her bunk lightning-quick, and when he fails to catch her she assumes she's safe. "Not today, mon pet-...AI WHAT ARE YOU DO-"
She hits the floor with an indignant, strangled sound, though she's half-slowed in her fall by a timely grapple of her bunk's edge. Not enough to stay up there, but enough to keep her from knocking the wind out of herself. The sheet slowly drifts down on top of her after the fact.
Pushing to his feet, Gage is grinning all kinds of smug-like. Nevermind they're probably disturbing their bunkmates. It isn't any louder than the frakking that goes on, after all. "Aint nobody's pet," he says with a grunt, as he takes a step over to her, standing on the edge of her sheet as he stoops to try and grab the camera from her hand.
"Mon. Petit. Emmerdeur." Her aborted sentence finished from underneath the sheet that makes an amorphous blob of her sprawled form, she demonstrates some of that infinite capacity for spite by punctuating her sentence via yanking the camera in underneath the sheet with her. The sheet bobbles and boils a little as she does...something...under there, and then it stills again.
"It means 'little pain in the ass.'" There's a pause, and then some sense is made of the pile of sheet and shapes, as she curls into a comma shape around one of his ankles and latches on like a child, which is approximately how sophisticated she feels, at present. Thoughtfully, but still drowsy: "I may upgrade you."
"Little," Gage's snort suggests he takes more offense from that, then the pain in the ass part. "Aint nothing little about me. Big. Big petit emmedue." No surprise, he sucks at languages. Even his standard reflects the fact that it's not his native tongue. Her floating somewhere under the sheet makes it difficult, but he drops to a knee as she successfully grabs his ankle, while he makes a grab for where he thinks her arm -- and therefore the camera -- has gone.
"Pfff. Yes. Big petit emme-HEY!" 'Hey' because he's guessed right as to which of those shapes is her arm, and because there isn't really anything Ines can do about it, once he gets ahold of said limb. There's no contest. Like a cat scruffed by the neck she goes limp, her sigh deep enough to stir the sheet in front of what must be her face.
Sulking, now: "This is 'ardly fair. You started it."
There's a grunt of satisfaction as Gage liberates the camera, releasing her arm once he's done so. "As I recall you started it," he comes back with, tugging at one edge of the sheet to pull it free of her -- enough so he can get at least part of her face in the photo he takes. It's probably the worst photo ever, if just because he doesn't bother holding it steady enough for it to be decent, but he still seems pleased with himself as he pulls the polaroid free.
"I what?" Indignant, incredulous. That's what the camera is going to catch too, when the sheet is yanked back: Ines, in a pile on the floor, her stubborn expression framed in an expansive puddle of tousled hair, looking upward with every indication that she's about to argue with him. That, and the ugly, week-old bruises that arc over her shoulders, close to her neck. By now they've begun to turn a horrendous shade of greenish-yellow-brown under olive skin, but they were probably spectacular when they were fresh.
"Excuse me! I started it?" And then, blinking rapidly, she covers her face with one hand, rubbing at her now watering eyes. "Ah gods, it's too bright."
After a moment of waving it around, Gage chuckles when he glances at the result of the photo. Rising from his crouch, he steps over to Irene's bunk (or is it Faye's? Hard to keep track), and leans to add it to the collection on the wall. Surely they'll protect it better than he ever would. "You," he adds after he straightens, with an accusing finger towards her. "Don't try and tell me you didn't short-sheet my bed."
As he steps off of the sheet Ines sits up, still wearing what for her amounts to a scowl. She watches what he does with the photo, and her lack of objections might imply she thinks she has a reasonable chance at rectifying that situation. Then again, maybe she's just still half-asleep. Meanwhile, the one she took of him is mysteriously nowhere to be seen.
Her eyes nearly cross as they focus on the end of the suddenly pointing finger, and for two seconds she visibly debates whether or not to try pretending she wasn't responsible. She seems to be aware that it's too late, after those two seconds, to pull it off. "That was retribution. That was -- you deserved that."
Maybe Gage's forgotten about the photo of himself. Either way he seems satisfied by the response in kind and certainly isn't on the lookout for it. Still, it's probably not a coincidence that he shuffles a foot forward to lean on the edge of the sheet she's pulled down. "Uh huh," he replies, disbelievingly. "The frak I do to you?"
Oh, she is ready to tell him all about it, to judge from the look on her face. She lifts a hand and this time it's her turn to point, brows daggering down together and her mouth opening. "You-"
And then she hesitates, a pause that unspools into a longer and longer silence, during which it's possible to watch her bristling momentum falter and gradually turn into something else. Rue, and also frustration. None of these things are bone-deep, though -- they're amicable crabbiness at worst. "I can't tell you. Or I shouldn't. But just -- you trust me, you were begging for it." She emphasizes that, and shoots him a sharp look out of the corners of her eyes, trying very hard to make her case.
That response just earns a deepening scowl from the marine. "Aint begging for nothing," Gage replies sharply, clearly not buying the whole 'can't tell you' bit. Instead, he shifts his weight, stepping over (past?) her, with a look over his shoulder, as he heads for his bunk, his "Sleep soundly, Correa," sounding an awful lot like a threat of many more sleepless nights to come.
She chases after him with her frown and ever-narrowing eyes. "You wouldn't." But for all that Gage is a relative stranger to her, they both know he would, and probably will. They have to work together, however indirectly, and sleep deprivation is dangerous on the ground or in the air. There's only one reasonable, adult thing to do.
Of course, neither of them are going to do it.
Ines stands up off of the floor, dusting off her backside and frowning downward -- that is not hygienic -- and shaking out her sheet noisily, long enough for him to get into his bunk. And as she prepares to ascend to hers, she leans in and imparts, smooth as satin and as ominously as she can manage: "If you're not begging now, you will be. By the time I'm through with you! Tomak!" And then she boosts up into her bunk.
It would be a cooler moment if she didn't stall out halfway up because of the sheet and have to do a little bit of kicking at thin air, but the remainder of the dangling sheet is yanked up into the bed afterward with enough force to (she hopes) make up for it.
"You aint as hard as you think you are, Correa. You'll break first," is Gage's smirking retort to her when she leans in, flickering fingers as if in dismissal of her commitment.
Is it her imagination, or is there the slightest of pressures from beneath some minutes after she's settled in? ...nah, probably just her imagination. Sleep well!