2237-10-15 - Afraid Of The Dark

After a bad dream, Cate opens up to Kyle about what happened during her escape from the Cylons.

Date: 2237-10-15

Location: Costello Home, Caprica

Related Scenes: 2237-10-14 - R And R

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1491

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It's past 03:00 in Caprica City, and all is relatively silent. A gentle rainfall patters at the windows, muting the sound of passing taxicabs and late night traffic. A peaceful silence has fallen over Kyle Costello's historic bedroom. A gentle brush of moonlight streaks through the windows when the blinds sway to the white noise sound of a fan in the bedroom, casting a bluish glow over the 'teenage clutter' of the bedroom.

In truth, it's been silent for only a few hours. At the foot of Kyle's bed, where the Recon Marine claimed host's rights to letting Cate Rhodes have, a garbage can is lined with bags of popcorn and spent beer bottles. Discs of recorded pyramid games clutter the television screen in the corner of the room just to the left of a box of delivery food and kernels of popcorn thrown at the screen when poor calls were made by the judges.

And there, in the silence of the room, lies Kyle Costello in the center of the floor. Hair stringy from a late night swim, she's buried under four pillows and a heavy blanket, bare shoulder poking out on one end and a bare leg poking out at the other...sleeping off one too many beers in hastily thrown on pajamas.

Though her bunk on Dauntless may not be decked out in C-Bucs memorabilia, it probably soon became clear that Cate could give Kyle a run for her money in the fandom race. They've been 'her' team since she was a kid, and their beer-and-pyramid party seemed to loosen the medic up a bit.

There was a brief, sad trip down memory lane where Cate talked about being at the exhibition game on Picon on the day of the uprising - where the prior rosters of the Picon Panthers and C-Bucs were all but wiped out. But that particular trauma, now two and a half years distant, is something Cate has (mostly) dealt with. Nothing another beer and some happier memories couldn't smooth over. At times she actually seemed to be having fun, showing smiles and laughter that's been hard to find on her face lately.

She didn't drink a lot, but it was enough to help her stay asleep for a couple hours. It was too good to last, though. The medic awakens with a startled gasp. The soft sound and rustle of bedsheets may not have been enough to waken the slumbering Kyle, but Cate flips on the light on the nightstand. She's sitting up, hugging her knees to her chest. She's wearing a simple tank top and sweats. Her face is damp with sweat and bears a pained, anxious expression.

Fandom. Just another walk down memory lane, and when the drinks were lifted for a quiet toast to the deaths on the Piconese and Caprican pyramid rosters, there were plenty of familiar faces on the posters in Kyle's room to point the beers towards. Once heroes, now ghosts, the faces of the smiling pyramid players were locked into static images, like cave paintings on a wall.

It isn't the sudden jolt that stirs Kyle Costello, but the light. The unexpected dull, golden glow of the bedside lamp spills light down onto Kyle's sleeping face. Brows lower and eyes push together tightly through her sleep, trying to block it out, but it isn't enough. The dragging of an old, gray blanket over her face isn't enough, either. No, the lamp killed Kyle's dreamtime state.

"Mrrmmmng." Kyle mumbles unintelligible words into the blanket that covers her face. A leg clad in short sweat shorts kicks out from the blanket, hip bouncing against the mattress in the beginning of a roll that never quite finishes. Waking is an awkward collection of halfway spent movements for Kyle Costello. In the mornings, she's as graceful as a box of bricks.

"Cate?" Kyle mumbles, reaching out to the bed above her to pat at the mattress in search of Cate's leg. "Catey the light's on."

It's a foot that Kyle's searching hand finds, since Cate's legs are still drawn up to her chest. And there's something dull about her voice when she mumbles back, "I'm sorry." The words become more plaintive sounding when she adds, "I needed the light. It was too dark." A strange thing to say, since with the sliver of moonlight it wasn't as dark as it could've been.

Pat. Pat. PatPat. Kyle stops on Cate's foot and in the strange language of midnight Braille, it takes Kyle's sleepy mind a few extra seconds to register that it is, in fact, a foot. The blanket on the floor stirs and lifts, and when Kyle's bleary eyes peek through her messy hair to Cate, she blinks past her sleep and shakes the cobwebs free. "Oh..." Kyle states dumbly, then proceeds to crawl up onto the bed wearing her blanket like a cape. "Bad dream?"

There's plenty of room in the space vacated by Cate's legs, but if Kyle crawls up beside her, Cate scoots over sideways so she has a spot to sit. She rests her head on her knees, nodding slightly to Kyle. Her own hair is mussed as well. "Yeah," is the strained answer. "Kind of pathetic, I know - getting spooked by the darkness."

Kyle crawls like an arthritic lizard. With wobbly arms and legs, she takes her time to avoid crawling onto Cate's foot, passing over the bedclothes to turn and slump against the headboard next to Cate. "It's not pathetic; I get them, too." Kyle whispers and stretches an arm out, wrapping her bit of the blanket around Cate's shoulders and leaning in sideways to hug. "You're safe. It was just a dream." Kyle adds, lowering her chin to her chest, blanket over her head like a hood. "You wanna talk about it, Catey?"

Cate leans into the hug. She's still trembling slightly. There's no immediate answer to Kyle's query, either affirmative or negative. But as the seconds tick by, she does finally speak. "When the Toasters took us, they kept us in a cage, in a cave. They took me out first, to do whatever kind of mind-frak experiments they were planning. But I smashed it in the face with a rock and ran." Her throat bobs in a hard swallow. "I took the first tunnel. I didn't know where it went - I just prayed I could find my way out. But I didn't have a flashlight..." And there the story falters, her whole body tesning.

Kyle Costello is silent as a statue. For the passing seconds after Cate falters, all there is, is the sound of the rain against the window and the droning of the ceiling fan. In a sort of reverence, Kyle lowers her head and looks towards Cate out of the corner of her eyes, then shifts, reaching out to the woman. She brushes the hair away from Cate's eyes and threads fingers through her hair, quietly brushing and grooming. "It's okay." Kyle whispers, encouragingly, like a little nudge.

There are tears in Cate's eyes, and she chews her lip nervously. The silence stretches, her face a mask of anxious uncertainty. Kyle's hand in her hair is like a tangible lifeline, keeping her from being lost to the memories. "The further I got from where they were holding us, the darker it got, and then... I couldn't see shit. It was like I was blind. I stumbled around, trying to find a way out, but..." There's a little hitch in her voice. "I thought I was going to die down there. Smothered by darkness."

"Frak..." Kyle whispers under her breath. Through her ministrations, she manages to get Cate's hair drawn behind her head in a straight line, save for the tangles she's not going near. With a frown, Kyle leans in the rest of the way to wrap her arms around Cate from the side, chin on shoulder, dragging the rest of the blanket into the coccoon. Up and down, she brushes Cate Rhodes' arm. "Like being trapped. How did you end up getting out?"

"Like being trapped," Cate agrees, voice barely more than a whisper herself. "I kept falling, tore the hell out of my knees. Fell down a... I dunno, a ravine?" It's probably not the right word for it when it's in a cave system, but it's the best she can come up with. "Hit my head, knocked myself out. Gods, I was so scared." At that, the tears spill over, dampening the front of Kyle's shirt as Cate leans into the full hug. As for how she got out? "I just kept going. Eventually I saw a sliver of light up high, and I climbed out." Which couldn't have been fun with knees and shins bruised all to hell, a concussion and a burned hand.

Kyle's face disappears into Cate's hair. Carefully, she wraps the blanket around the two of them and keeps it under Cate's chin. One cave won't trade for another. Sitting on her help, Kyle sighs against Cate and constricts her arms. "Catey, you have a right to be scared by something like that. You're human, like the rest of us." Kyle replies gently, fingers resuming their combing through strands. "I swear, it's not any more pathetic than it is that I sometimes have bad dreams about Lawrence when I got lost. It's just-" Kyle shakes her head. "-shit, I'm talking. Am I supposed to shut up and listen or do you want me talking?"

Cate sniffles a little, that half-crying thing where one is trying really hard not to let go but it keeps trickling out. "I've dealt with scary, horrible shit before, but this..." Her voice trails off, and the latter question gets a little headshake. "No, please talk." It saves Cate from having to spill her guts any further.

"Okay, okay. Gods knows I've got my own baggage." Kyle lifts her chin back onto Cate's shoulder and looks over the bowing of her head towards a bookshelf in the corner. She settles in against Cate's weight for the interim. "I mean, I was lost, too. I was scared, too. Broken leg. I was there when Lawrence died and just like that, I was alone, too. I'd never had to take a tag off of someone's chain before."

With a sigh, Kyle shifts and clears her throat. A trickle of a tear slips free, transferring off of her jaw and onto Cate's shoulder.

"I really meant it when I said that I admired your courage going back in that place to get them out, Catey. Me, I just cried for a night until I got mad that Lawrence died and I just...kept going, but I keep having these dreams where I'm lost, all by myself, and I hate it." Huff, the blast of bitter air flutters Cate's hair. "I just keep thinking: 'The story ended happier than I thought it would', so I'm going to tell that to you." A beat. "You got back to us and we take care of each other. It's not pathetic at all."

"It did end happier than I thought it would," Cate grants, though her voice is still wobbly sounding. "And it sucks that you had to go through that," Cate says, with considerable empathy in her voice. "Lawrence was a nice guy." She falls quiet for a few moments, thinking of the fellow, then says, "At least I was only on my own for a day or so. The other times I was at least with other people." She sniffles again. "But I don't think it's pathetic to have bad dreams. I meant about wanting to sleep with a nightlight, like a little kid."

"Yeah, he was..." Kyle trails off into the shadows, hazel eyes holding their place on the bookshelf. Unlike the deceased roster of the Caprica Buccaneers, there's no picture of PFC Lawrence on the wall to salute to. So Kyle stares.

"That's not pathetic either. It's not always possible, but who doesn't want to make sure they're not in danger first thing?" Kyle smirks and plants a kiss to Cate's shoulder, then begins to pull up, brushing through her hair one last time. "Catey, dark weirds you out now. I know when I bounce out of the service I'm going to need to be around people." She leans back to try to see Cate's face. "Split a beer with me?"

Cate's face is pinched in a sad look, still tear-streaked and damp-eyed, but there's also a look of gratitude there when Kyle pulls back to look at her. "Y'know you're a really good friend, Kyle. Thanks." A corner of her lip quirks up. Just a tiny bit, but it's a start. She wipes her cheeks with her uninjured hand. "And yeah, beer sounds good right now." Another sniff, and she's looking over at the nightstand for a tissue. "You think any about what you'd do when you're out? Since we've ruled out long solitary walks in the woods for you and spelunking for me." The humor is strained, but she's trying.

Kyle winks past the tracks of spent tears on her own cheek to dab at Cate's jaw with the heel of her hand. "Well, lucky for you I had a few years of good friend school." Kyle's cheek bunches up in a smirk. She slips out of the blanket, leaving it with Cate, to clamber out in her tank top and shorts for the floor.

"I think about it every second of the day; I love my team and my people, but I didn't enlist with Caprica because I wanted war." Kyle dips and gathers two pillows, throwing them onto the bed next to Cate. "I'm gonna work in the garage, get my own apartment, do everything in my power to get frakked and watch pyramid regularly, and spend a lot of time at the beach." Kyle tosses another pillow at Cate's knees.

With the edge of her toe, Kyle nudges open the cooler and digs through the icy water for two beers.

"It really is that simple. It's what it's gonna work." Kyle grins, and after drying off one beer on the hem of her shirt, sets it on the mattress near Cate. "What about you?"

"Lucky for me," Cate agrees, still with that tiny smile. She reaches for the pillow that lands on her feet, letting her legs relax and hugging it instead. "That sounds really nice. Family, family business, beach, pyramid... doesn't get much better than that." She finds a tissue and blows her nose, tossing it into the garbage can before picking up the beer. A hitched shoulder answers the question. "Honestly? I don't know what I'd do."

"I never knew if I should have pried," Kyle begins, pressing her cold beer to the side of her neck. She crawls back onto the bed, which rests against the wall, and tugs open the window a shred. Cool air, and the sound of light rainfall, permeate the small bedroom. "But you don't seem hell bent on going back to Pike." Kyle crawls to half of the bed and kicks a pillow towards their knees. Wumpf. Kyle flops against the headboard and cracks open her drink.

"You don't swim, and I can remember a whole lot of scuttle about you seeing anyone." Kyle continues, brows high and a pair of duck lips taking the first sip. "Boyfriend? Girlfriend? I ask because it's easier to just say...I'll go whichever way they're going."

"Back to Picon? No. Too many bad memories there," Cate says somberly. "I mean, maybe to visit friends if..." She doesn't really finish that sentence, too much doubt on whether any of them will still be alive. Instead she takes a swig of beer.

Cate sips her beer again, looking thoughtful. "Some days I want to go home to Hibernia. But... I think I've had enough war for one lifetime. And I joined the Royal Marines, so... that makes me super popular there." Not. It still stings, but there's also a resigned acceptance there.

The question about her seeing anyone gets a sad, half-smile that's a little self-conscious. "There's a guy. Marine I met on Galactica. I wouldn't call him my boyfriend, but we went out a couple times. His mom's the one I'm going to go see tomorrow. She was real nice to me last time we were here, and she lives alone so she gets lonely."

"Erin and I have base plans to headquarters here when it's over." Kyle tilts the beer back, then stuffs a pillow between her knees. "I don't know how much room there will be, but if anyone else needs a landing point, frak, my dad would set up cots in the garage." Kyle tilts her brow Cate's way, leaving it as an offering. "You're more than welcome to drift this way until you make a choice."

Swallowing another sip, Kyle narrows her eyes. She peers through her lack of eye makup at the strange range of emotions on Cate's face. She wets her lips, leaning back against the headboard with a twist to her neck, twisting like a parrot's head.

"When you go do that, I'm going shopping. I've got to get a-" Airquotes. "-care package for Erin, but enough about Erin. Tell me about this guy." Kyle bounces in her seat. She taps her finger against Cate's arm, leaning in with waggly brows. "What's his name? Come on, Cate, it's a sleepover. I promise I'll stop short of asking really awkward details, but you've gotta give me some more than that."

Cate leans back against the headboard, holding the extra pillow across her stomach with one hand and the beer with the other. "That's cool. Thanks. Maybe I will." Her eyes drift to the pictures on the wall. "Maybe we can all go see a C-Bucs game."

Her emotions are, indeed, all over the map. The turmoil of the nightmare and confession still lingering, tied up with a whole bunch of mixed feelings about home, the future, and romance. She's a mess, really. And that calls for another drink of beer while she considers her response. "His name's Chauncey Bean - but I call him Chance. He's really great but... he's an ex-cop from Caprica and I'm a Hibernian from a family of troublemakers, so... it's hard sometimes, to imagine that going anywhere."

But it's clear she's fond of the guy, sharing a few tidbits. The time he was too shy to ask her to dance at the fancy awards shindig, so he put a note in the pocket of her dress uniform... which she didn't discover until the next day. The time she got drunk and tried to pick him up in the bar, and he turned her down like a gentleman. The hijinks that ensued when they bailed on the most recent awards ball to go to the boardwalk, only to be dragged back - in board shorts - to stand by Isolde and Van at their impromptu wedding ceremony. Fun times.

"Chauncey Bean; that's adorable, you're going to have to bring him to the C-Bucs game, and I promise Erin and I won't give you too much trouble for it." Kyle laughs a little too loudly, pressing down on Cate's arm to hold her back when she says it. Hand over her heart (and a little salute to sweeten the deal), Kyle makes it a promise.

But Kyle, drawing back to her childhood days of sleepovers and stupid late night 'who would kiss who' games, settles in to listen. Their chattering muffles through the door and out into the hall, filling the space after three in the morning to Kyle's own stories about how her and Erin are working on fixing a lamp for Erin's bunk that they broke, and how she's got to get more C-Bucs gear for Erin, as she's making a future ticket holder out of Erin yet.

One story after another in trade, Kyle blinks past her sleepy eyes and talks through the night. Should she have had that other beer? No, but as the rain stops and the light coming through the window turns from black to a hazy blue, the yawning begins.

Kyle, with a pillow between herself and Cate, slumps down onto the bed, sleepover style, and tries to sleep once more.


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