AWD #049: The Library Apology Tour
The Library Apology Tour
Summary: Phin takes his act of jerk contrition on the road to an audience of Kelsey.
Date: 24/02/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: The Phin/Kelsey Hook-Up Lulz Parade: Under-Thinking; The Tao of Yggy; Wham, Bam, Thank-You Ma'am
Kelsey Phin 
Library — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
The metal stacks of books start near the door and run the entire length of the room, which is almost forty meters. The room is twice as wide and there are several corridors that lead down the rows. Near the door is a desk clerk manned by a Crewman from Supply, but farther back, in the quiet of the room, are generally several other people milling about. Towards the rear are several seating areas with tables and chairs. There are sections covering a broad topics and individuals can also look at maps, rent videos, and even games.
Sun Feb 24

Phin is hardly an unusual sight in the Library. It's generally here, or the pool, that he chooses to haunt when he wants some me time on his off-hours. That is not his goal just now, however. He's looking for something. Or someone. A bit of hunting and he spots Kelsey. Well, there she is. He pauses, hesitating a beat, but he finally sacks up and approaches her. "Hey."

Kelsey looks up from the manual and does a doubletake. She blinks and the book is slowly lowered, a finger holding the place. This was probably the last person she expected to see approach her. Kels just kind of stares at him blankly. "Hey." Her lips twitch toward a smile but there is not much joy or genuine warmth to it and she knows it. The expression is abandoned a moment later. "How's it going, sir? Heard you had some luck at Aerilon."

"OK. So." Phin takes a deep breath. "Look. There's no good way to start this, so I'm just going to start it. I owe you an apology." He takes a second to try and coherently frame said apology in his brain.

Wow. Kelsey almost looks confused. Last person she expected to see here and then that gets said. She furrows her brow and looks at him, then glances around to make sure there are other people not in earshot. She makes a face and motions for him to sit down in the chair next to her own. No sense making this more public and possibly getting them in trouble.

Phin sits across from her, slouching, elbows on the table. Hands clasped and folded. Another breath. "OK. So. Look." You said that already, Phin. He sighs, and tries to dredge up a bit more coherency. After some effort, he does manage to make eye contact with her. "Like I said, I want to apologize. After we…" Vague hand gesture that does not really approximate frakking. Which he seems to realize is lame while he's doing it. "…after we were together, I acted like a jerk. That was not cool. You didn't deserve that. That was all about me and my own bullshit, not about you. And I should've been upfront with you about what I was looking for. So…yeah. I'm sorry."

Kelsey sits there watching him apologize and she looks down to the book in her lap and makes another face. "You really made me feel worthless, sir. That was a pretty low point for me, getting left in a storage locker like that." There's no heat on it, though. "Imagine one day you get married, sir, and your wife tells you something like that happened to her. I bet you'd be pretty mad. But I guess that's just part of being tangled up in your own stuff. Thank you for apologizing." She looks back at him. "I'm still mad, sir, but I'm not gonna troll around wavin bad stories. Or tell other women you're a slouch, cuz you're not. I think we've all just got some real bad things happening. Some worse than others, some just different. I still think you're pretty hot, but I'd probably have benefitted knowin your position before."

"Yeah…" Phin sighs heavy. "That's the part I feel worst about. Because you're not worthless. You're a talented mechanic, and I think what you're doing to become a pilot right now, the situation being what it is, takes a lot of balls. And you're a really nice girl." Which he seems to mean, though it might not be what she terribly wants to hear from him. "And nobody deserves to be made to feel like that. And I could tell you I had a lousy day and give you a bunch of other excuses, but they don't really matter. Because no bullshit gives somebody the right to be unkind to somebody else. And I was that to you and…that's a really shitty way to be. And I don't want that to be me."

Kelsey bites her lip, watching him. "I'm actually just okay as a mechanic, sir. But that's nice of you to say. All of it." Her eyes dip from him, keeping her voice quiet. "There's plenty of good reasons to be unkind to other people. Undeserving people is what I think you meant." Slowly, her eyes lift back. "Sir, you're the person you want to be. We aren't our jobs or our gender or even anything like our religion or philosophies. We are the people that we have to close our eyes and be alone with before we fall asleep. We're all alone out there in life. All we can do, I guess, is just try and have people close to us who help the voices in our heads stop yelling so loudly when things suck." She sighs. "I guess what I'm trying to say, sir, is that you're not the person you fear because the person you fear probably wouldn't have apologized or just said those things."

"I'm not the person I want to be," Phin says. He's pretty firm on that score. "Trust me. Maybe nobody is. But…anyway. You're right about the rest. We're all on our own, unless we're lucky enough to find a handful of people we can count on, and they're never who you think they'll be." He pauses a beat. "Look. I don't know what went down on Picon but from what I understand you handled yourself pretty well so…I mean, a little voice in your head ever tells you you don't belong doing this, you've earned the right to go tell it to frak itself. It won't actually make it shut up, but that's just the person you're afraid you fear you are, I guess. And they're always a jerk."

"Then one day I hope you get to be that person, sir." Kelsey seems to mean it. She nods along with the stuff about being alone, but the mention of Picon has her looks down to her lap suddenly. "A little voice in my head usually just asks me if my daughter would be proud of me for what I'm doing. In seventeen years, would I still own my actions and all the paranoia that goes with that." Fingers ply at the corner of the flight manual. "Drives a person nuts. But thank you, sir."

"Yeah. Me too," Phin mutters. "You got a kid?" Not that he seems to find it that odd. "I mean…look, this means zero coming from me, but I think she would be. You were on this hitch originally providing good money for her, so she could have a decent life. You seem to have your shit together, and you actually want to do something with your life. More than a lot of kids can say about their parents."

Kelsey nods slowly. "She'll be four in a couple months." Young mama. But she doesn't look up to him. "This cruise was going to be her college fund plus get her a car at sixteen so she can get a job and start a savings account for her, too. The rest was going to my parents for child care. I was going to use the GI bill for college." She swallows. "Thanks, sir. The officers in the wing have been really supportive of me. I didn't want to spend my last months of my life turning wrenches. Besides, flying Raptors is the best chance I have to find my daughter. We do what we gotta do."

"Yeah. We do what we gotta do." If Phin has any doubts about her chances of finding her daughter in a Raptor, he doesn't voice them. "I should also say thanks. Which I didn't at the time. Which was also jerk-ass behavior. But…thanks for sticking for me with those guys back in the Viper berths. You and Ensign Agrippa. You totally didn't have to do that."

Kelsey shakes her head and finally looks back up to him. "No thanks needed, sir. They were going to hurt you. Things might have happened the way they did in the locker, but I couldn't live with myself if I just stood there and let them try and take you or just beat you in place." She lets off a long breath. "Part of my just wanted you to hate yourself for leaving me in the locker and then seeing me still fight for you. I can be a spiteful bitch about some things. But it beats having a fat, orange man tie you to a support beam and beat you with a torque wrench."

"True that," Phin says wry. "Wouldn't have blamed you. And I'm not afraid to take a few punches. Shockingly, not the first time I've been jumped, that." Said sardonically. He certainly doesn't think it should be shocking.

"Yeah, well, that's not the person I want to be. Besides, this isn't like college. People jump you, thinking you're a Cylon? That's bad." Kelsey sighs. "And for the record, I hope you're not a robot. But I'm willing to trust that you're not." She looks down. "Can't really change what happened. Not that the actual act was anything remotely close to bad or regrettable, but you know what I mean." Kels gives him a shy smile, cheeks red.

"No, it was fun," Phin says. Which he seems to mean. "I mean, for what it was. But…yeah. Not something we should do again. And of course I'm not a toaster." That was snapped more than he probably intended. He sighs. "Sorry. It's just…that's what pissed me off about that whole thing, I guess. My brother got shot on Caprica. I've put my ass out on the line under Raider fire for this ship. Don't see where anybody gets off thinking like that."

Kelsey looks back down as he speaks and she nods slowly. "I understand sir. If people thought I was a Cylon after all this junk I've been through? I'd be mad. Who the hell gets off thinking that?" She lets off a long breath, fingers plying once more at the edges of the book. "But I guess knowing that you're not for a relationship, that kinda helps. If you ever change your mind about the 'not doing that again' part then let me know. I'm a person too and like to have fun. If not, I understand. Not hard feelings, Phin. You apologized. That's more than I can say about the other men who've been in my life." She lifts her eyes towards him, but there's nothing expectant.

"Yeah. I mean…sorry, just don't think it'd be good for either of us right now," Phin says. "Anyway. I should take off. Good luck with your training. And I hope…I don't know. We're going to be flying together. I hope that won't be weird."

Kelsey nods slowly. "I understand," she says quietly. "Thanks again, Phin. And leave it to me if you are worried about awkward. I'm social as a default setting." She flits her hand at him. "Shoo. Go fly your sexy beast plane around the stars and be heroic and wear scarves. I'll see you around."

"Later, Wescott," Phin says simply. And off he goes.

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