Astraea and Geoff talk loss and future tattoo work.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1473
Having returned to the Dauntless with a hand not only injured, but infected, Astraea is 'grounded' until she's wholly cleared medically. It means light duty and for a pilot? That means paperwork. She may also be pending a psych evaluation, but no one really relishes openly discussing that with someone just recently returned from being MIA. Instead, it's 'try to get back to normal for now.'
And normal means laundry.
Having missed a laundry day while gone and being down a readily-working hand, it's a slow process. The laundry room is largely empty; most are out on some mission or another (or sleeping, of they're on that particular shift). It's not a 'skeleton crew' sort of moment, but it's definitely not a popular time for the laundry room the Wolves tend to use. The Raptor pilot is slowly ferrying wet clothes from a washer into a dryer. She's in her duty uniform, but the jacket has been removed and tossed onto a nearby machine. The going is slow; she's got her right hand tucked in by her abdomen, protectively.
A buzzer goews off on one of the machines, and just a few miutes later Geoff enters and goes to that machine, pulling it open. He starts pulling stuff out of it to fold, but something he sees on one of his tanks, he doesn't like. Which is funny, because it looks like an absolutely normal off-duty tank, no stains evident. He holds it up a little closer to his face, says, "Frak, and sets it on top of the dryer. Only after he swears does he think about the other person in the room, looking over his shoulder. "Oh," he says. "Hey." He notes her injured hand and slow progress. "You want any help?"
There's a sidelong glance to Geoff as he examines the tank, but Astraea doesn't say anything. Two of her closest friends tend to be a touch... obsessive over the state of their uniforms. She? Well, if it passes inspection she's happy. Her hair takes too much of her time to worry about perfectly pressed creases and the like. Mind, said hair is left natural today since it doesn't need to be smooshed into a helmet. Instead, she goes back to ferrying a handful (or couple) of items at a time...
...until the marine offers assistance. There's a glance to Geoff again and she looks to the washer she's about to lean into. Awkwardly, at that, considering she's all of 5'1". "That'd... yeah, that'd be nice, thanks," she offers in that so-very-not-posh Scorpian accent of hers.
Geoff certainly doesn't look that obsessively neat in what he's wearing right now, but who knows what people's laundry preferences are. Maybe he forgot the fabric softener. Anyway, he puts down the shirt and comes over to Astraea. "Sure," he says. His own accent is low-class Caprican. He grabs a big pile of her stuff to transfer it from one machine to the other, then fishes around for any rogue socks or other small items left behind. "Does it hurt?" he asks.
Without her jacket on, Astraea shows signs of past injuries. Somewhat uncommon (not unheard of) in pilots. There, among her tattoos, are shrapnel wounds and (on her right side) a number of burn scars. If she ever wanted to masquerade as a marine...
The woman watches Geoff in that way of someone who is appreciative, but also anxious about needing the assist in the first place. When he asks about her hand, she glances down and wriggles her fingers against the bandaging. "Yeh," Nova admits. "not as much, but infections are kinda a bitch."
Geoff isn't one to gawk at scars. He backs off a little toward his dryer once he's moved her laundry where it's going. "Yeah, almost killed me once," he says. "I mean...not that I'm saying an infection in the hand's gonna kill you." He starts folding again.
There's a brief pull at the corner of Astraea's mouth. It's almost a smirk, but not fully realized. "Well, mebbe if I hadn't made it back. I figure th' docs got it handled now." Once her laundry is in the dryer, she starts getting the settings adjusted from the previous user to her preferences. After hitting start, she steps back away and casts a nod towards the Caprican. "Thanks."
"Don't worry about it," Geoff says. He starts folding a few more articles. "I don't remember if we've met for real or not. I'm Geoff." Fold, fold. He's making a neat pile.
When he mentions 'for real,' there's a sort of twitch at the corner of one of Astraea's eyes. She turns towards her laundry bag, fussing with it as if... well, it doesn't need to be folded. It takes a few breaths, but she finally looks back over to Geoff. "I dunno either," the jig admits. "Astraea, but most call me Nova." Pilots and their callsigns, y'know?
"Pilot, huh," Geoff says as he goes on folding. "Well, good to meet you." Once his laundry is all folded, he picks up that tank again. "Glad you're okay, too," he says.
"Ya might see me 'round, once... uhm-" Astraea looks down to her bandaged hand. "Once they clear me. Bus driver an' all. Tend to ferry ya grunts around." There's another attempt at a smile. She stops fussing with her bag and just turns to lean against the empty machine to stare at the dryer as it tumbles along with her clothes. She does cast a glance to Geoff at his words. "Thanks. Jes' wish... yaknow. Hadn't lost people on the mission."
Geoff nods faintly. "Yeah," he says solemnly. "I get it. Nothing feels worse than...when someone doesn't come back and you have to wonder why you did." He looks over at Astraea. "I mean, not that I'm saying..." he shrugs and pulls a permanent marker out of his back pocket.
"Nah, nah-" Astraea waves her good hand towards Geoff. "I get it. An'... I mean, it's part of war, but it's th' shitty part. People you've lived an' fought alongside who don't get to come home at th' end of the day. But you do. An' then you wake up an' do it all over again." She looks back to her dryer, taking a deep breath. "Ya can't help but think... sometimes you'd trade places, 'cause it doesn't feel fair. Like mebbe they have family back home an' you don't. Shit like that."
Geoff uncaps his permanent marker and starts drawing directly on that tank, first around the edge of the armhole. Which is definitely not allowed. They may be off-duty duds, but they're still part of CF kit. Looks like a geometric design. "Yeah," he says softly while he does that, without looking up. "I don't have family either."
Curious as to what Geoff is doing (but not about to call him out), Astraea leans and starts to inch her way over to get a better look. It's not like half of them (if not more) wear nice, comfortable underthings rather than the proper sort. Go frills! "I'm sorry," she says, to his admission. "But... I mean, ya sorta get what I'm sayin'. When ya see a guy go an' he's got a bunk of photos of family an' he takes th' vouchers to visit home when they go 'round an' all that shit... It sucks all th' more. Like Kobol's idea of a bad joke."
"Yeah," Geoff repeats. "Sergeant Jayne got killed on the mission where I got blown up. I froze up, I took rockets to the chest, bullets in the gut, didn't even pass out but he was gone in like a second. Doesn't make any sense."
There's a flinch from Astraea and she glances down at her arms briefly. "Bombs are some shit," she says, low. There's a slow breath. "It's frakked up. Th' shit we survive an' others don't. Crashed a few months ago... frakked me up pretty bad, but my ECO was barely hurt. I mean, I'm glad for 'im, but it's still crazy shit."
"Yeah," Geoff agrees yet again as he draws, moving on to the hem of the shirt. "Shit's crazy out there." He glances over his shoulder at the pilot. "I've been thinking about getting a new tattoo since I came back on board. You get all yours back home?"
When he asks about tattoos, there's a shift in Astraea's mien. Interest and curiousity, to be certain. "Most of 'em, yeah," she affirms, nodding. "But, uh, I could help ya out if ya wanted." There's a brief smile from the Scorpian. "I actually was trainin' wit' my uncle to be an artist in his shop b'fore I went to Academy. I've got a kit an' everythin' on board. Given a couple folks in th' air wing ink."
"Really?" Geoff asks, lifting an eyebrow. "Would you think about doing another? What would you say if I didn't know what I wanted?"
"Of course. Keeps my skills up an' I know how much th' shops 'round Argentum gouge when folks're on leave." From personal inside knowledge. Astraea digs a toe at the deck plating, pursing her lips. "I'd say ya oughta figure that out. I'll work with ya on it, but it's... important t'know. I mean, I'll put whatever ya want on ya, but it's good to have purpose."
Geoff nods seriously, brow furrowed. "I want it to mean something," he says, turning back to that shirt he's working on. "But I just keep drawinng a blank."
"Weeeeeeell..." Astraea draws out the word, sucking on a tooth briefly. "Most folks go for some sorta religious symbolism or somethin' relatin' to their time in service. Past units, colonies they've served on. Shit like that." She leans up on a machine near him with her hip. "Been workin', when I can, wit' a couple other pilots on a symbol for th' Wolves. It's slow goin' 'cause we're tryin' ta represent all th' colonies."
Geoff nods faintly, one corner of his mouth pulling tight. "I just...want it to be special," Geoff says. "I don't know exactly what I mean. But I guess I'll come see you when I do."
"Yer talkin' to a Scorpian," Astraea points out with a bit of a grin. "Every bit of ink I got has some sorta meanin' to it." She glances down to her arms, rotating them a bit. Some of said 'ink' has been marred by scars, but there it is. "Well, once ya have a few ideas, lemme know. I can put 'em to paper ta help ya make up yer mind, yeh?"
"Okay," Geoff says. "It's a deal." He nods decisively, then starts putting his folded clothes in a basket. "I better get some sleep," he says. "Can't be yawning through duty. Nice meeting you though."
"Sure ya can." There's a flash of a smirk. "But ya prob'ly shouldn't." Astraea looks back to her own dryer, with a ways to go. "Have a good one. Look forward ta hearin' what ya come up with."