PWD #09: Mitigation
PWD #08: Mitigation
Summary: Sera, after a frustrating run in with Augie, storms off to be alone. Noble follows her and the two of them have a fight. Again.
Date: 27/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Sera Noble 
Ship's Stores - Battlestar Orion
The Orion's storage area is massive indeed, as befits the unique nature of its original mission. Extending the entire length and width of the ship's bottom end, these compartments contain everything from ammunition to rations to repair pods to whatever individual soldiers brought aboard in their storage trunks. Meticulously organized by a legion of supply officers, the compartments are accessible at any time of the day or night, though it usually takes the desk clerk and her crew a couple of hours to retrieve the boxes buried deepest in the battlestar's bowels.
Dec 27, 2004

Sera is not being subtle in her urgency to get the frak away from pretty much everyone ever, before she goes and does something stupid, like crying and letting people see her at it. Her bootfalls are fast, heavy, and occasionally interspersed with a barked order to "Make a hole!" when there's another sailor in her way. But not here. Not in the massive storage hold, where the supply crew can blissfully be avoided by ducking into the maze of footlockers, boxes, and crates. It's a maze the deckhand knows relatively well, as she soon disappears into it, finding a dark corner to squirrel herself away in, like an injured dog looking for a safe place to hide and lick its wounds.

Noble gets tangled up on many of the people who have stepped aside to make said hole, and then turn to watch Sera to run off. Doing his best to not bowl them over, the tall marine has to fight upstream, and at a few points ask for directions, until he finally finds himself in the storage room in the belly of the ship. Closing the door behind him, he lifts his head. "Sera?" He asks, and then starts down the rows and racks of equipment, turning to look down them with every passing shelf. "Hey, Sera, you down here?"

The girl's not dumb enough to answer, when she doesn't want to be seen. It's a dead giveaway. Of course, so is her scooting across the floor in an attempt to shove herself so far into a corner that she'd be nigh invisible — mostly because that attempt involves her slamming into a shelf and letting out a muttered "Frak!" as pain courses through her shoulder. It's the last noise that comes from her, though. She immediately clamps her mouth shut, falling silent again.

The sound of shuffling feet turn into the clop-clop of jogging boots that draw nearer, made faster by the call of pain. However, from her vantage point, Noble passes by her by about twenty feet, now heading in the wrong direction. "Sera? What the frak? Come on, are you okay?"

She doesn't say anything. Not a gods damned thing. The absolute last thing that she wants is somebody finding her, even him. Of course, she's be a whole more subtle if she'd shut up and stay the frak still. In the big, empty hold, it's easy to hear her trying to muffle the sniffling, 'cause it echoes. It's even easier to hear her trying to slip past him, back towards the door. Better hiding spot? Must be found. Because no, not even Simon Noble is allowed to see her crying. Not after that.

Noble, in all his glory, is starting to get himself lost. Giving her every opportunity to sneak around him, he continues to stalk up and down the rows, trying to find her. Eventually, however, he hears a small scuffle to the side and like a descending assassin, he finds her and rushes over to her. "Hey…" He says with a soft voice, reaching out to her. "…hey are you hurt? Talk to me."

Sera is not hurt. She's angry. Those are the tears of a woman so pissed off, she doesn't know what else to do besides cry or stab some asshole, and the latter is not an option unless she wants to spend the rest of her life in a brig somewhere. "I'm fine," she hisses at him, despite the fact that her eyes, and her cheeks, and her nose have gone all red and splotchy. No, Sera is not one of those elegant women in the movies, whose crocodile tears look oh-so-pretty on a celluloid screen. In fact, so looks sort of like an angry red potato, at the moment. His hand gets shoves away harder than someone that small ought to be able to manage.

There's a dull thwack as her hand shoves his away and his hand bats lightly against one of the nearby racks of equipment. Hissing and waving his hand, Noble stays outside of kicking distance, but hovers as if he's got every intention of following her. At first, he puts his hands up in the international symbol of surrender, and then reaches for her again, concern knotting his brow. "Hey…hey just calm down a second, okay? We'll talk this through together."

Sera might've been trained by the Colonial Navy in hand-to-hand combat. She might've even laid Ariston out in self-defense class that one night. But now? With Noble? When she doesn't actually want to lay someone out on their back? Her flailing is kind of hilarious, and largely futile, and more frustrating for her than for him, probably. Until he reaches for her again and she just… "Don't you touch me," she whispers in a low, angry voice. It's that rattlesnake sound again, that split second of warning before there's a palm across his cheek. It's not hard, really. It's got more shock to it than sting, but there's no doubt she means it. Maybe it was meant for him, whatever he did. Or maybe it's just 'cause he's here and Augie's not.

His head whips to the side, her palm-print quickly forming on his cheek in a glowy, red splotch. "Alright, alright-alri-alri—" Simon snatches his hands back, one of them rubbing his jaw. He no longer tries to touch her, but he does still hover near her, playing the support role in their troublesome situation. "Hey, Sera, it's over, okay? The fight didn't happen, he apologized. I know it still happened, but it's gonna be okay."

"I'm not scared, you dumb son-of-a-bitch," she says as she pulls back away from him and begins furiously rubbing at her eye with the butt of her palm. "Why did you go and do that, huh? Why?! I didn't need you steppin' in for me like that, like I'm some kind of half-wit, bleached-blonde bimbo that can't take care of herself. I'm not a little girls, gods dammit! And now everyone on this ship, it's not goin' to matter what I've done the last year and a half. It's not goin' to matter what I do for the next. All that's goin' to matter is that I'm the girl that cried in the rec room when a lieutenant picked on her, the girl that had to have Simon Noble come in and play the big frakin' hero, 'cause she couldn't take care of herself — just like the Chief said." Her voice is getting higher and higher as she goes, until she's worked herself up into flat-out yelling at him.

It all comes out.

"No!" Simon yells back. "You're not some bimbo and you didn't need my help that's why I told you that you had mouths to feed so I took care of it. I just, reacted, okay? It just kind of happened but I wasn't about to let you frak up your career because this shit is important to you." Simon fires back, his voice by the end of it all more of a loud speak than a booming yell. "Sera, no one's going to think you can't take care of yourself. I jumped the gun. I'm gonna look like the overprotective asshole."

"No, you're not. Don't you get it, Simon, huh? Don't you? This is important to me and that's why I've spent every day for almost eleven years carvin' a place for myself in this frakin' Fleet. And I don't know what in holy Hades is the matter with the men on this ship that they think they can treat me like that, but it's my problem, not yours. Because now I'm goin' to be the girl that can't take a joke. I'm goin' to be the girl that can't frakin' cut. I'm goin' to be the girl that everybody has to walk on eggshells around because if they don't, she's goin' to sic her big frakin' brother on them and then slap with harassment charges, at which point I may as well turn in my papers, go home, and tell Ellie that she's goin' to spend the rest of her life fightin' off bill collectors just like my mama, if she ever even wants to try to do more with her life than die at the bottom of a deep, dark hole like my daddy did."

Sera's hands are flying everywhere, gesticulating wildly, her hands sharp and straight and cutting through the air like a knife. "I ought to rip your throat out. I don't need a white knight. I don't want one. I'm not a little girl, and I'm not your girlfriend, and I don't need you thumpin' your chest at some over-the-hill officer that no woman every bothered to housebreak, gods dammit! I've been just fine 'til now and I'll be just fine on my own."

"Sera, if you want to go back up there and kick his ass, let's do it, okay? But you're gonna get bounced the frak out if you get put in the brig and better me than you, because I'm planning to ship out next year anyway. No! You don't need a protector, I get that, frak I know you can take care of yourself I just…" He reaches out for her, putting his his hands on either side of her arms to try to ease her into direct eye contact. He steps in nice and close and lowers his head, eyes serious and doing their best to get this out. "I did it because I wanted to, okay? I did it because you're my friend and I'm sick of seeing you feel this way about shit and I wanted to beat his frakkin' ass. I'm sorry."

There's another smack, but this one is to his hands. Or, well, one of them, which gets shrugged off of her shoulder before she drops her eyes, and then her whole head, aiming her face directly at his boots. No, Sera really does not want anyone seeing her crying, not even him. Not even when it's obvious that that's exactly what she's doing, because she reaches up to wipe at her eyes again with the flat of her palm, fingers splayed so wide and stretched so tight that they're twitching. "I know. I know you were just tryin' to help," she quietly, after gulping down… something. A sob. Another yell, maybe.

The tension in Noble's hands relaxes and his arms wrap around Sera, pulling her gently against him, offering his chest to her tank tops and all. His voice lowers immediately, falling back into something far more soothing as he tries to offer her his support. "Cmon…tell me about it, girl."

"Y'know," she says, sniffing into his shirt. "I was seventeen on my first ship? They took bets. They took bets on whether or not I'd fraked anyone before and who it was goin' to be the first time if I hadn't." It's hard to make out all of what she's saying, with her face buried against him like that. Takes a few, to piece together the sentences, especially with her occasionally stopping to gulp for air. That Jailbait nickname? Suddenly makes sense, though. "It's always been like this. Always. But I thought… I thought m-maybe, when I'd worked enough…."

Daring to brush a hand through her hair, Noble steps in and leans his head against hers and let her get all of it out. His chest rises and falls, a mass of tightened, hardened muscle beneath her grasp. Beneath the surface of his skin, he is every bit the warrior he's been trained to be, and all the while as she talks his hand brushes through her hair and over the back of her neck. "I'm sorry, Ess-Jay." He whispers, words drifting off into her hair. "Some men just…never figure it out."

"Why..," she starts, before trailing off. She hasn't wrapped her arms around him. Doesn't seem she's going to, as one aims for a fistful of the hem of his tanks to cling to, instead. "Why does it always have to be the ones in charge? W-why is it always the pricks I can't hit without ruinin' my whole life? Is it… is it 'cause they know I can't do frak-all to stop them?" Ohh, Lords. Did she just wipe her nose on his shir—oh. Ohh, no, wait. That was a wet eye. "Why is it me? Do I have a sign on me or somethin' that says "Slut Shamin'" or somethin', that I just can't see?"

"I don't know, Sera. I really don't. Maybe some of them are just ambitious pricks that figured out how to climb the ladder and sooner or later they're just up there. Maybe it's because of that this man's military shit that they never grew out of, or when they were kids and they didn't want the girl on their pyramid team." His hand traces through her hair calmly, smoothly. Make no mistake, his shirt is going to be a mess, but Noble never was known for having crisp, perfectly pressed laundry to begin with. "It's not just you, lots of women have to deal with this shit and I hate it, too. It's not fair." His cheek pulls against the top of her head as he shakes his, sighing softly into her scalp. "But you're not a slut, you're a beautiful girl and some guys just can't handle that shit. You're just not alone, either."

There's a long, ragged sigh that sort of seeps out of her — like it's coming out of her pores, just oozing from her whole body, instead of pouring out of her mouth. It's mostly noticeable as a warm spot on his arm and a sudden lack of fight-or-flight tension. "I'm sorry. For hittin' you, I mean." These are not words that come out of her easily. Having to issue apologies is, it seems, almost as mortifying to the tempermental Trojan as confessing to feelings of any kind.

"Ain't no thing, Ess, ain't no thing." Noble replies, fingertips coming to a stop over the cord of the dog necklace. He laughs softly, his breath brushing strands of her hair to bob over to the other side. "I could tell you weren't trying to hurt me. I'm glad you weren't. I bet you hit like an aurochs."

"It's the feet you have to worry about," she says with a chuckle, pulling back to peek up at him. "Next time you piss me off, watch your knees, or you're goin' to end up flat on your back, staring up at the ceilin' and wonderin' how the hell you got down there." She's still all red and splotchy, and good lords, her nose looks like a tomato. Sera is not pretty when she cries. At all. "Just ask the Chief."

"I'll take it under advisement." Noble replies, brushing her cheek to wipe away one of the greasy tears from her skin. The side of his face is red, and it looks funny when he pulls his lips back into a toothy grin. "You just wanna hang out down here and pretend to kill zombies for a few hours?" He looks to the rack next to them, nudging a heavy plastic bucket, he looks back to her. "We could start a band, try our hand at bucket drumming?"

"I get the feelin' you'd just get drunk at put the bucket on your head, anyway," Sera mumbles, reaching up to wipe away any wet spot he's left on her forehead. Like she's going to get Marine cooties from him or something. "Then pose like that in your bikini, for anyone who wants to take a picture." Because if there's one thing Sera can do, it's give him crap at a moment's notice. At least she's laughing, though. It's that dumb expression he's wearing. "Not like it matters. We already both look like idiots," she mutters, before wiping at her nose with the back of her hand.

"Yeah, but I was born looking like an idiot, right?" Noble winks and then takes a step back. Peeling off the first of his two tank tops, he offers it to her and leaves the second, sleeveless shirt on. "Here, keep that, just throw it in my laundry bag when you're done with it." He leans a shoulder against the rack of equipment and gives her a once-over until he finds her eyes once again. Again, he smiles brightly to her. "How the frak did you know I'm stowing a bikini?"

It's a joke, right?

"Well, how else are you supposed to feel pretty when summer comes rollin' around and everyone is swimmin' down at the lake?," she asks, tossing her ponytail over her shoulder so that she can do a little sexy dance with his t-shirt as a prop. Except it's not actually a sexy dance, so much as her doing an impersonation of Noble's doubtlessly pathetic attempts at passing himself off as a woman doing a sexy dance. Which is ridiculous, and hilarious, and not the least bit sexy at all — especially not when she accentuates that jiggly sashay across the storage deck with duck-lips. Wasn't she just crying, like, thirty seconds ago? Seriously, the woman has a bounce-back rate that psych patients with borderline personality disorder must envy.

"Well the one I've got was left with my stuff. You're more than welcome to, wait, no. You're not. I'm gonna save it for a girl that wants to wear it for me but you." Noble leans off of the rack and starts after her, his shoulders rising and the tone of his voice delving in the the same range as when someone tells ghost stories. His hands come up, fingers out, prepared to reach out and grab for her. He returns her duck lips and then suddenly takes a quick step after her, threatening to chase her. The threat only lasts a second. He's gonna chase her down.

"You mean you're savin' it for your mom?," she quips. Which is the perfect time, the perfect chance to toss his t-shirt in his face, momentarily blinding him while squeals and bolts for the door. The supply crew is going to have fit in the morning, as her mad dash towards the exit no doubt results in her knocking over a couple of smaller boxes in her mad dash towards the exit, boots stomping on the metal deck and hair flying behind her.

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