PWD #41: Fumbling Around
Fumbling Around
Summary: Afton runs into Knox in the mess after hearing his compliments second hand. An impromptu date follows.
Date: 26/11/2012
Related Logs: None thus far
Afton Knox 
Mess Hall
The Crew Mess on the Orion is one of the larger rooms meant for occupation. The room is far longer than it is wide with the classic stainless steel tables that can be seen anywhere else on the ship, standard to all navy ships. Most of the chairs match, their padding on the seats worn down after several years. Towards the rear of the room is the food prep area and serving lines. During the time in between meals the Mess will serve midrats, or 'mid-shift rations', such as sandwiches and drinks. Coffee pots are left to run at all hours to keep people going as needed.
November 26, 2004 (PWD #41)

Just off a rotation in medbay, Afton is moving for the line with a tray tapping against her hip. Dressed down in her tanks and shorts, she gives a glance around the sparse bodies in the mess hall until she manages to catch those green hues on Coop. Something slips behind her gaze before she turns back and is asking for a tray of greens and plenty of the salsibury steak. A wealth of gravy is poured on and she is hardly shy on the potatoes either. Hardworking girl needs her carbs. Apple juice and then water and she is making her way towards the thinking figure of Knox. "Saving your table for others or do you mind if I join you?"

Whatever Knox is doing, it has his attention. It looks like a list on the paper in front of him. He just keeps tapping the pencil, staring at the paper until he hears The Voice and he blinks it away. Eyes start low and slowly climb. Ahem. He turns a little red and finds himself in a quick stammer and a cough before recovery: "Oh, no please. Take a seat." He rises a bit from his chair to try and push out the one caddycorner to him. "Just finally getting some work done. Didn't expect- well, yeah." He finally manages to smile but his voice never gets above a lazy volume.

Patient. Afton is the picture of exactly that with a hint of wry humor attached that seems to linger in her eyes mostly and just at the corner of her mouth as it turns upward. As he rises, she shoots him a look and then sets her tray down, taking the seat across before peering at his pad of paper. "Thanks, I promise to not interrupt whatever you are doing." She crosses her heart and then begins to dig into her food and for all that matters - she is quiet. She's eating after all.

The paper is a list of ordnance and various things that a battlestar's aircraft armory would have in it. There's some numbers beside them, a few scratched out. But he just kind of watches her for a moment before looking to her tray then back to his list. "Oh, yeah, no its fine. I'm just working on some stuff for the Wing. I met with a Major Wisdom today, one of the honchos. We went over planning for training and how to execute close air support." He swallows. "Nothing terribly exciting. You, uh, look great. Good day at the office?" Rico Suave he is not. Maybe even a little awkward.

Forking a piece of the steak into her mouth, the wannabe steak but still meat and protein, Afton looks up at him. "I see, rubbing shoulders with the Air Wang already. When you go next, let me know. I would like to get to know more of the Raptor folks." She says with a movement of her fork in his direction. The PJ pauses at his last attempt and she gives him an amused, but warm smile before she looks down at her tray and absently begins to say, "You could say that. Swabbing through blood samples, physicals and all that so we have updated records." Pause. "So would you say that great would be akin to 'beautiful'?" Green eyes slowly lift to his after a moment or two after that question.

"I've met a few of them, but not a lot so far. I like to keep low-key just because, well, people ask a lot of questions. But the next time I go I'll try and bring you along. The Raptor folks seem pretty good so far." Coop glances up to her and reaches to sip at his glass and sets it back down, washing down the last words. He just watches her while she speaks but the last little bit has his smile sort of crack away and he looks back down to his paper. His knee starts bouncing under the table like a nervous tick. "Well." Swallow. "I mean. Yeah. I think that would apply. Its true." The last is mostly whispered as he sits there wishing his face would look just a little less red. "Apparantly a battlestar is a small place." He wets his lips and reaches for that glass again.

"I have to say I agree, it is rather small and apparently rather flattering for my first time." Afton comments and does not try to pin him with her gaze. In fact she seems rather relaxed as she takes another bite though at the spreading of red across his skin, she actually reflects the hue to some degree. "Not that it is a bad thing after all. Wouldn't get a chance to catch up with you because I likely would never see you." There is humor there again and she adds, "By the way, you have yet to stop in for your physical. You likely should." Pause. "My next shift is tomorrow evening nineteen hundred." That might just be a subtle hint before she takes another bite and gives a look to his numbers. She quickly gets up from her seat and scoots closer to get a look at what he's writing.

"Sorry," Knox mutters. "I didn't think that would get back. I don't want you to- to think that I'm. That I'm weird or like stalking you. I know there's been problems with that." Pause. "Not with me though." A beat. "Gods, I'm just going to stop talking," he sighs, giving an awkward chuckle at himself. He glances up to see her own red and relaxes a little. Okay, he's not the only one. But the mention of a physical has him laugh nervously. "Right. Almost forgot. Tomorrow. I'll see if I can tear myself away from my exciting paperwork to come see the beautiful lady I had dinner with the night before." Ahem. He risks a glance to her as she scoots closer. Its not just ordnance lists but they're all broken down by aircraft and Afton might recognize some of the designations for air defense and ground forces. Little by-words that the aircrews use on the radio. "This is just some, uh, stuff. Working on a teaching cirriculum." He glances at her again. She smells nice and he smiles a little more.

"If you think I am worried about you being wierd or stalking me, you likely don't know me very well. Which would be a point in your favor in the non-stalkery type." Afton says and continues to eat between conversing, though when she scoots closer, she is giving her attention to the list. When he explains, she nods and then looks up at him as she chews. Swallowing, she makes a motion with her fork. "Coop, I am flattered, if you like to spread nice things about me, I am not about to stop you but the moment I find you looming over my bed, we may have a problem." She winks but she sounds utterly serious. "So you are going to be drilling other coms then? Shiny new face and you are getting rather comfy." Pause as she gives him a warm smile, "That's good to see."

Coop finally gets out a real laugh and nods. "Sorry, I don't hover over beds well. I mean, I guess I could if you wanted me to. But I think I'd rather wake you up then stare at you." He swallows again and looks back at the list. "But I can think of other nice things to say, too. I'll try and, you know, change it up. Or something. Keep you on your toes." Coop glances to her and back. "Guess you heard the other half of that, too." He sips at his drink. "Calling you intelligent. Terrible things like that. I just.. you know your way around a discussion." He doesn't say it but he's impressed and its all over his inflection. The man lets his tone say a lot that he otherwise doesn't. But that leg is still bouncing. "Well, I just have to teach some things that most of them already know. They just don't know they know it. But they will. And yeah, I guess I am getting comfy." The knee stops bouncing. Mostly. "Could use more sky but I'll survive for now."

"I heard it, possibly, though with the way second hand information goes, I couldn't be sure. You may have to relate it in person." Afton teases a little, a wry smile curling her lips. She laughs a bit as well and sighs, "I am not used to hearing such things or receiving compliments….just do my thing. But I suppose I could get used to it." It is only then that she takes note of the bouncing knee and she gives him a sympathetic look. "I hear ya. I do not do well kept holed up inside. Fresh air is going to be a blessing." She pauses and then studies him, glancing down slowly towards his hip where she sees his leg moving. "Am I making you nervous?" She asks, leaning a little into her hand, then resting her cheek there against the heel of it.

Coop looks over at her and turns a little red again with the direct request, but at least he isn't falling over himself anymore. "I think you're." Swallow. Breathe. "You're beautiful. And uh, smarter than you let on. I think you have the kind of fire that most people ignore but it burns the warmest rather than simply just the hottest." It doesn't quite tumble out but he's trying to thin of things to say to impress her and Coop just isn't that kinda guy. It might be his first time really doing this for all the skill he's got. Hopefully she takes that the way he meant it. "You should get more compliments, though. If you don't get enough I can come up with more. I don't see it being ..difficult." He sips at the juice and looks over at that smile and the expression and his knee suddenly stops. "No." Yes. "I'm okay." You make me nervous. "Promise." I'm trying to impress you and failing so I'm trying not to panic.

Afton might just be enjoying herself but the slow sense of tension and nervousness despite his denial softens her amusement into something appreciative. Though it is getting a bit more obvious that the increased compliments are creating her own slight blush that seems to give her a nice glow along her cheeks and at the outside edge of her ears. "Good, I would hate to scare away the only guy to ever compliment me." She tries to lighten the mood with some levity. "And thank you…I am terrible at taking compliments so I am enjoying myself at your expense. I shouldn't do that. Really." She looks down, moving her food with her fork before spearing a bite and shoving it into her mouth to keep from talking. She works the food around a good long while before looking down over the tray for a few more minutes.

Coop listens, watching her in silence as she says what she has to and goes back to eating. The silence lingers for a moment as he looks at her, and over her, and back up to her face. The guy finds himself smiling like he normally doesn't. Its not a bad expression but it makes his eyes look a bit younger. A little more lively. After several silent seconds he leans closer to her and pushes her tray gently out of reach. "Go get dressed. Lets go to Virgon and see something unforgettable before we leave for eighteen months. Its still early. We can catch a shuttle down." He says it quickly as if this just occured to him and he's afraid he'll lose his nerve. Wait, no its /exactly/ like that.

Tray is suddenly straying from her fork and she stares at it a second and then follows its source up along his arm to Coop's eyes. That spark of life, that liveliness causes a smile to creep across her face a bit to take over the shocked look. She clears her throat and hesitates and then eyes her tray of food. She wets her lips and then draws a breath. "You know, I rarely ever waste food…" It sounds serious and then she is pushing up, standing slowly as she reaches for the tray and quickly takes another bite before lofting it and turning to move for the trash. She dumps what is left and leaves the rest to be washed before she is slipping out with one last look towards him, curiousity, surprise and perhaps just a little bit of excitement before she is gone.

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