AWD #200: Risk Versus Reward
Risk Versus Reward
Summary: Ygraine and Phin watch the sun go down on the two-hundredth day since the end of the worlds. They drink, postmortem the Milkshake/Storm break, and talk about the past and the future.
Date: 25/07/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None directly, though several obliquely probably
Phin Ygraine 
Wilderness Checkpoint — Piraeus
As the road moves past the landing pad it comes to a set of above-ground sandbagged bunkers. One of them has an additional platform high overhead with a ladder going up to complete a makeshift guard tower, a large searchlight and thermal goggles visible on track mounts. Down at ground level there is a stop sign and a guard to check people and their vehicles in and out, though the reason is not just security. All traffic denotes time out and their expected time back. Those who run late will wish they had not. Beyond the bunkered gate, the roads run north and south, each one having its own spurs that head off into the mountains.
AWD #200

She left him a note. Nothing melodramatic, and typically to the point; that she and Holtz were through and it was okay, but she wanted off the ship and grass under feet and Phin would know where she'd be. It's some distance from the temple but still in sight of it as she lays against the riverbank and stares into the blue Piraean sky. There's a bottle of booze next to her, but so far it hasn't been opened.

"Hey." It's not too long before Phin comes wandering up, breaking off the path that leads to the temple toward the riverbank. He eyes the bottle, then switches his gaze to Ygraine, but he doesn't immediately ask her any questions about her note. He just sits down next to her. "Can't believe it's summer already. It's weird. Like. Sometimes I feel like it's been forever since we were posted out here. So much has happened. Other times, feels like Saturnalia was just yesterday."

"Two hundred days." Ygraine replies, her eyes not living the sky. "We've been at war two hundred days, Phin." Not Phinny. "Time does fly, and so do we." Her gaze flicks over to him, and she wiggles her bare toes as she tilts her head the empty space next to her. "Pull up some grass. Thanks for comin'. I know there's better ways t'spend your time."

Phin notes the use of his name in its proper form, but he doesn't comment on it. He just scoots over on the grass, reaching out to put an arm companionably around her shoulders. As for better ways to spend his time, he snorts. "Can't really think of one. I like it down here. It's like…it reminds me of places back on the Colonies, but it doesn't all at the same time. Like, people haven't really had a chance to frak it up yet. Gods, two hundred days…" There's a certain gravity to the number that he just has to take a second to reflect on.

"Yeah." she says. She doesn't mind the arm around her shoulder, but she doesn't lean into it just yet. Instead, she reaches for the bottle, curving her palm around the cork and pops it. "Are we bad that it's takin' this long, or good because we're still alive so long?"

"We are…crazy lucky," Phin says after a moment's reflection. "To've been here, and not back there. I don't think it does much good to think of it as anything more than that. Sometimes you just get a break. What you do with it from there's on you." Head tilts to the bottle. "We should toast something."

"Endings?" she asks wryly, lifting the bottle up between them.

Phin lets out a soft "Heh" version of a laugh that's more wry than humor-filled. "OK. Endings, it is." He'll let her have the first swig before taking one himself.

"Cowpie in ya eye." Ygraine says as she gets the bottle bag. She cocks her head back, taking a long swig. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she says quickly, "Look, I ain't gonna blubber or nothin', but I'm…sad." She says it like it's a completely alien word to her.

Phin drinks. More or less as much as she does, though he makes more of a face when he swallows. He sets the bottle back down on the grass between them when he's finished. "So…yeah. What happened with…that?" In general he's kept his nose out of his bestie's relationship with his wingman, and even now he seems reluctant to pry.

"Ya saw, right?" she asks quietly, shaking her head. "I didn't think I was askin' a lot. A woman makes an effort, bein' told that he's seen it all before so why should he care was just…" she winces. "I told him I deserved better. He told me he didn't need another daughter." Even more wincing. "It wasn't angry - I mean, it kinda was, but it wasn't mean, in the end. I ain't gonna give him any shit or nothin'."

"Last night at Charlie's?" Phin frowns, trying to think back on that evening in another light. "I mean…I don't think you did anything wrong, that I saw. But…look, maybe you're making too big a deal out of this. Like, Storm's a gruff dude. I can see how he'd piss people off. But, like, I'm sure he'll apologize. You guys are in love. You seem really happy." He says that like those are permanent states of being, rather than human emotions that morph more often than anyone would like them to.

"It's already done." she says firmly. "He's been distant for a while, ya know. And th'age thing…it really bothered him." she confesses. "It didn't in the beginning, but it started to. This was where it was goin'. We just ended it at a point where we could do it without hatin' each other." She looks down at the ground. "This is better." Back up again. "This ain't puttin' ya in the middle. Ya don't gotta choose or pick sides or nothin' like that, I promise. This is just…me talkin' ya ear off."

"Oh…" Phin can't really argue with the stark way she puts it, so he doesn't try. "I mean…there wouldn't actually be much of a competition if you tried. I'm on your side, Yggs." He offers her a half-smile. "Even when you're totally wrong." More seriously, "Anyway, I get it. Just…I don't know. Change kind of sucks sometimes. A lot of the time. I'm sorry this sucks for you."

"I think I'd be some kinda awful person if it didn't suck." Ygraine says frankly. "Change does suck, yeah. But I didn't - " there's a pause. "That girl." she says suddenly. "Ya know, when it happened, I didn't ask ya any questions. But this hurts and I don't get it." She looks at him. "Would ya tell me about her?"

"Gods, Nina…" Her, Phin doesn't talk about, even though he instantly knows exactly who Ygraine is referring to. Well he might. They were more or less hooked up for a good two years on Leonis. "That was…" He lets out a long breath. And takes a drink. "…I was trying something." He seems to be looking for the right words, rather than just giving her a non-answer. "I felt like I was always…trying something with her. Like, she was really smart, and really pretty, and came from a good family and…after I left Scorpia, I just wanted to be…I don't know. I had this picture in my head of who I wanted to try to be, and she seemed like…like the kind of girl who'd be into that kind of guy." He doesn't sound like he's done, really, but he pauses for a moment. Looking out over the river.

Ygraine stares at him, incredulously. "Who do ya think ya could be who'd possibly be better than who ya are?" She takes the bottle and swigs, still peering at him as she waits for an answer to her question.

"I don't know. A guy who's family wasn't some junkie and…who the frak ever, not like I know. Who'd probably be in prison if he hadn't stolen the right guy's car and gotten shipped to reform school instead, and who barely got into the Academy on prayer and diversity points. Anyway. Whatever. It was about time for us to graduate, get our commissions, and she started talking about how she'd been applying to law school on Picon and if we should move in together when she got there and…gods." Phin drinks some more. "…it just hit me, like, what the hell was I trying to do? What good was I doing either of us, y'know? So I just left her place and I spent the night just kind of driving around and…" Pause. "…the next day, when I knew she'd be in class, I kind of called her. And sort of…I left her a message and just said we probably shouldn't do this anymore." He at least doesn't sound proud of ending a long-term relationship via voicemail.

"What does any of that matter?" Ygraine asks, gaping at him and then shaking her head. "Look. Anyone who's gonna love ya is gonna love ya, and they don't gotta be gushing about it every five minutes, but they'll show it and it'll be for ya as ya are. Kurt can't find it in him t'show affection for whatever reason, but that's his damage, and he's gotta live with it. I don't."

"Maybe. I don't know. Moral of the story is, you're better at breaking up with people than I am." There are probably a lot of other morals to the story, but that's the one Phin focuses on just now. He takes another drink and concludes, "Feelings are hard."

"That's because I'm awesome." she says, but she doesn't the usual pep in the declaration. "Would you rather not feel at all?" she asks, and it's a genuine question, non-rhetorical.

"Sometimes I think it'd make things easier," Phin admits. "But…no. I mean. That's not how people work, anyway." Much as they might occasionally try. "I guess I wish people could just be…better to each other. Me included, I guess, not like I'm totally free of asshole points. That it wasn't so easy for people you cared about to hurt you."

"I don't think any of us are free of asshole points." Ygraine points out reasonably. "But it's risk versus reward, right? So I guess it's all about whether th'risk of hurt is worth th'reward of love."

"Right…" Phin murmurs, just kind of chewing on that, still focused out on the river, the temple beyond it, and the horizon of Piraeus past even that. "You want to hear something kind of weird?"

"Sure." she says amenably. "I mean, it's not like we ain't been livin' with weird for two hundred days." Yggy's tone is wry.

Phin chuckles soft at that. "That's kind of what I was thinking about. Like…I'm not saying it's been good. It's been…intense and horrible a lot of the time. And sometimes I look around and think about the people who were with us at that Saturnalia party and aren't anymore and it just…they were such good people. Good friends. People I did care about, and it's not fair. And I think about the colonies, crawling with Cylons, people that I left behind back there that I still wanted to say stuff to and never got a chance to…might never get a chance to…but…" He clears his throat. "…I've been happy here, I think. In this place. With the people I've got left. With the friends I have that I didn't have before. And with you, of course. I mean, you are awesome." It's said with a grin, but it's not glib. He means it. "And I think…I am stupidly lucky. And I like my life. And I…if I can still have this two hundred days from now, that'll be…I'll be pretty happy with where I'm at, I guess."

Ygraine can't help it, she smiles, and with another swig of the bottle, she laces her fingers into his as she too surveys the horizon. "No. I mean, yeah. Yeah, I get that. There's so much that's happened, and it's horrible, but the past two hundreds have been…soul shapin'. And important. And I" can't figure out if I'd give back these days, but if we can still be like this in another two hundred - " she pauses. "But we won't be." she realizes. "Not with Picon comin'.

Phin cocks his head back at her to return her smile, though his expression sobers when she mentions Picon. Which means it's time to drink some more. Gulp. "Yeah, that's going to be…well. Who the frak knows. It'll be a hell of a change."

"Did we decide that change sucks?" she asks reflexively, and then, "We'll get out of it alive, ya know. We gotta." She's not talking victory. "We survived too damn long not t'make it." She scrunches her toes against the grass and suggests, "Take off your shoes."

"That's my belief about it," Phin says, about change sucking. He bends himself up slightly, so he can unlace his boots. They're kicked off, and his socks are peeled off and flopped inside them for safe keeping. He stretches out his legs, idly wriggling his toes in the riverbank grass. "This place is really beautiful, when you stop and think about it. If we can, we should come back here for day four hundred." That's his only comment on surviving. He can't quite make any assured statement about it, but he very much hopes for it.

That idea seems to delight Ygraine. Her response is silent, only a smile and an upraised lift of her hand, fingers and thumb curled in toward the palm. All save her little finger, which sticks upward expectantly.

Phin's grin broadens when Ygraine raises her hand. He looks on point of laughing, but he doesn't. He just folds the fingers of his right hand into his palm, all except his pinky, which he extends to catch and curl around hers.

"Four hundred days." Yggy declares. "We'll be here again, you n' me." She leans her head on his shoulder. "And thanks for listenin' t'me whine about Holtz."

"You've listened to me whine about a lot of things over the years. Seems fair." Phin puts an arm around her again. "You'll be OK."

"I know." she says. "I'd do it again. I think. I mean, it's good, right? T'know I can, if I wanted." She leaves it at that. "Next time it's your turn t'get into a poorly endin' affair." Again.

Phin snorts. "You know that'll just end with you having to hear the girl cry about what an asshole I am, right?" Again. He half-shrugs one shoulder. "Probably just a matter of time. I'll at least give you some warning before it implodes. Whatever it is."

"But I know ya ain't an asshole, no matter what they say. So I'm like you're secret weapon, right?" she says cheerily, "Sometimes you're right stupid with the ladies, but ya know what? Knowin' what I know now, I got some thoughts on that." What are those exactly? She doesn't say.

"I'm sure you do." If she's not going to say, Phin's certainly not going to ask. "You got thoughts on most things." He doesn't actually dispute their accuracy. He just does not ask. He reaches for the bottle with his off, left hand, which isn't terribly awkward. Swigging doesn't take a huge amount of dexterity. "Sun's getting lower." His eyes go to the sky again, to watch the colors start to change as sunset nears.

"It is. You wanna head back? Or watch it go down?" Ygraine asks, lifting the bottle temptingly.

"Got nowhere else I especially want to be," Phin replies. He rolls his eyes at her bottle-lift, but he does take another drink before passing it back to her. And settling in to watch the day slowly end.

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