MD #159: They Grow Up So Fast
They Grow Up So Fast
Summary: Inez and Yari Sawyer reunite in the Chapel, more comprehensibly than before, on the Norton. It's a tear-jerking, Hallmark moment, one that's perhaps harder on Inez, having to imagine what horrors her daughter endured in what only felt like a three week absence, and faced with the reality that at age 31, she's grandmother to three.
Date: Fri 15/Sep/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Yari Inez 
Chapel Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The chapel is one of the few quiet places to be found on a battlestar. Even rarer still, it's one of the few places that doesn't look like it's part of a battlestar. Heavy blue curtains have been hung from the walls, obscuring the bulkheads. The lights are kept low, adding a certain mystery and gravitas to the space. The central altar is made of a pale grey wood, as are the several rows of pews which extend from it. The ceiling is still constructed of heavy oak beams as support with the flat face airbrushed to a blue and white. Laid against the far right wall is a long, low table with several rows of simple white votive candles to be used as vigil lights. Centered among them is a brass plate for burnt offerings from supplicants. Several cushions rest on the floor before the table, where the faithful may kneel to offer their prayers to the Lords and Ladies of Kobol. On the left wall are several compartments which have been sectioned off for private use.
01/Mar/2049 (IC Date)

Aurora, Matutina, whichever name you know her by, Yari's bowed over her knees at the vigil table in prayer to her. It's been almost 2 weeks since she boarded the Orion, and each and every day has seen the recruit here, bent in silence since she first managed to navigate herself this way successfully. This time, though, she's not entirely alone. After finishing her opening incantation, she reaches into her overlay t-shirt and pulls out a crisply folded piece of paper. It unfolds shakily between her fingers, then gets nestled between some vigil candles. The faces sketched upon it become backlit against an eerie glow.

The Lieutenant was never really religious herself. She found it interesting, the concept was fascinating, and she knew the different Lords and Ladies, but she'd never adopted one for herself. So, it's not necessarily for prayer that she enters the sanctuary tonight, but rather for the quiet, the peace of the place. And the fact that she can bow her in defeat with no one knowing, as they would only assume she was praying. She seeks out a place in the middle that isn't too close to deter those who might want to approach the altar closely in privacy, but not all the way to back, either, where someone entering might catch the gentle sound of breath shuddering from her chest and through her teeth. Two weeks she had been visiting the ships that transported the refugees, and searched the faces of all the children, and still not seen her daughter. She began to think that someone had made a mistake with the census… a cruel joke that gave her hope, and that hope is dying again.

Like mother, like daughter? Yari has also mastered the silent cry. She's had to, first in a house full of innocent ears, then in a bunk room full of loud, brash, and some too-nosy marines. She grips the edge of the table and touches her forehead to it before passing a kiss from her fingertips to the paper, then leaves it there. A glance to her watch confirms - 6 hrs sleep remaining before PT. Yari sighs quietly and stands from her huddle to leave.

Except she spies Inez, from the side.

The initial urge to yell is quelled before it can escape her mouth and all so all she does is stare indecisively. What to do? Leave her in prayer? Make a really poor attempt to accidentally bump shoulders? And then she finds herself hovering, over the woman's right shoulder. Fingers pick together nervously. It looks like her. It really does. "L…Lieutenant Sawyer?" she tests.

Her gaze kept low as she entered for a purpose, Inez had known the place was occupied, and hadn't wanted eye contact. So she hasn't recognized the young lady with the baby that took a sudden turn towards madness on the Norton during her first search for Yari. She gives a little flick of her head to urge the bangs back from her eyes so she can see more clearly, before she nods once, the hair falling back again. "Yes?" The tone is mildly curious at being addressed, perplexed as to why this particular woman is doing so, and polite to avoid scaring her into hysterics once more.

"I…I was told you were stationed here." Yari's lips twitch into a little, secretive smile. It's weird, the intensity of her staring, like if she blinks she might lose sight of who she's looking at, so soaks it ALL in. It's not recognition she's seeing in exchange though, and that keeps her back a small step. "I imagine you've been quite busy. Has…has anyone reported to you regarding your daughter?"

Inez blinks slowly, her head slighlty pulled back under the intense regard she recieves from the young woman. "Yes," she can't help quirking the tiniest bit of a smile. "I do remember that." But the smile is fleeting, replaced with the bleakness that brough her here. Her shoulders lose their military posture, slumping forward as she exhales a long breath. "No. I have been flying over to the refugee ships on my free time. I am beginning to think that someone made a mistake on the forms. Sawyer is a common enough name, maybe they meant Lori, it sounds kind of like Yari." She closes her jaw tightly to hold in her disappointment, and the fact that she doesn't really believe there's a Lori Sawyer, but there aren't really any other explanations.

"Y-you get to travel there on your free time?" Not that she has much free time, but there's hope. Yari swallows. "I have children there. Three. They wouldn't let me bring them here, to work, so…it's hard, not knowing who's feeding the little one." Or any of them, for that matter. Then, getting to her knees alongside Inez, she studies a new scrape on her knuckle. Brain scrambling for a good way to say it, Yari lets a little time pass before deciding on "They didn't make a mistake. On the forms. Yari was there."

"I am a pilot," Inez informs Yari lightly, and shrugs, turning her gaze forward again. "We are not on any sort of alert at the moment, so, I can, if there is a Raptor available, fly over. Or sometimes I fly transport for other personnel that are being shifted between ships." At the mention of Yari being 'there', she hitches in a breath. Her hands clasp together, the knuckles showing a little white. "She was where?" she questions with quiet intensity. "How do you know?"

Yari's eyes grow wet behind those downturned lashes as Inez' voice leaps with urgency. Is it joy? She reaches under the double neckline of her layers and pulls out something other than dog tags, then unclasps it to hand it over. "She was able to keep it, all these years," she whispers and opens her palm to reveal a little locket. Inside is a well-worn photo, cropped small, of a man. Dark hair, dark eyes…it's Maxxen. Or was, before years of oily fingerrubs did their worst. "I thought they'd told you already, but…I'm sorry." *lashbat*tear*donthitmeface*

"Hi, Mom." It's just a hush of a sound, really, maybe not even audible, though it feels like a scream. Yari watches her sideways with no small degree of newfound terror. What if Lt thinks she stole the locket? What if she loses her shit? What if she runs away again, flies off to another star…

The locket is famliar, but older than she expects. Maybe the picture is familiar, or maybe Inez just wants it to be. She clenches her teeth together tightly as she looks at the picture, then to Yari. Her brows draw together, the hair falling across her face again. She looks back to the locker and gives a little shake to her head. "But…" she shakes her head once. "I thought that girl was yours that you had on Norton…" she trails off again. "I thought that Dad Sawyer would make sure the Ys'rali would take care…" her thoughts are too muddied, and she searches the face in front of her to try and find traces of the little girl she left behind what was a few months ago to her.

Yari holds very still for inspection, afraid to scarcely breathe, let alone dodge the woman's gaze. She has her father's complexion, but her mother's looks aren't entirely lost in the mashup. Trembling, a couple fingers rise to fumble out a tap against her own breastbone. "I'm Yari Sawyer," is the breathless whisper, confessed as loud as she dares beneath the eyes of these lords and ladies of kobol. Taptap. "I am." It's a squeak of a promise, one that pleads to be believed. "S…see.." newly minted dog tags jangle together in her shaky grip.

One of Inez's hands reaches up, to reach forward to Yari, but hesitates, uncertain if her touch is welcome. She hardly glances down to the dogtags, as she doesn't really need to read them once she hears the words come from her daughter's lips. Her nose scrunches a little against the brightness in her eyes. "I'm so sorry," she breathes out, voice shaking as the implications of Yari's age, the child in her arms when they met… she swallows. "What happened to you? What… did They hurt you?" There's a hope that Yari will tell her that the little girl is a love child, that she had been able to somehow have something close to a normal life on the occupied Piraeus, out of the way.

The way her mop of hair styles itself, you can barely see the notch cut from her ear, even if you /know/ it's there. But Yari knows. Just one of many ways Dr Baltus marked his bride over the years. She doesn't have a real answer yet, but does gingerly take hold of that hesitant hand in her own and presses it against the side of her own face. "Mum," Yari sniffs, having evidently adopted a little accent over the past twenty years. Her other hand reaches to play with an unruly strand of Inez's hair. "I don't understand how it happened…I'm here, but I still don't. I heard Gram and Grandpa talking, many times. Sayin' you were all gone, forever. We thought you dead. Til I saw you, watching the children. I thought I was crazy."

The hesitation lasts only a second more, then Inez's fingers curl around the curve of Yari's face and she steps closer to the young woman and pulls her closer to put her arms around her. "They didn't make it, did they? Bernie and Mel?" She bites at her lip. "I can't tell you how… when we came back and they told us the accident at the core cost us twenty years… wondering what everyone had been told…" she can't finish the sentence. She closes her eyes tightly as she holds onto her daughter for a long moment.

Twenty years be damned. Right now, in this moment, Yari feels no bigger'n five and crumples shamelessly into her moother's embrace. Her fingers turn to claws, clutching for precious life while face buries in. Rather than burrow into Inez's waistband, though, it's her hair that gets the brunt of the tears to follow. Muffled sobs shake her ribs, jiggle what little's left to jiggle on her belly and 'round the other edges. "We kept it goin' long as we could…sneakin' things to the folk in the wood. But they knew. They came and shot him dead, right there in the field. We-we-we'd just come up to bring'em lunch, Gramp and J-jorah, but they came up the ro-o-oad," she hiccups. "N'they told Gram s-she could st-tay. T-took me, 'stead of b-burnin the house." There's snot happening. *Snarf* "I t-tried to be good, I did. T'make life better for Gram, but it didn't matter…"

Whoever else was still in the chapel has now abandoned their own prayers to cast uncomfortable looks in their direction and a few edge around for the exit.

And, as if Yari were five again, Inez's arms close tighter around her, one hand soothing the curls more like her father's than her mother's. She closes her eyes when she hears about Bernard's end, and clenches her jaw tightly when she hears about the price for the farm not being burned. She doesn't care about snot, or the few others who edge their way out. "I know you tried," she tries to soothe, but her voice is strained with tightly held fury. "I know you would do your best for your Gram."

"It wasn't enough," Yari laments and turns her face aside to free up a nostril and reclaim some airway before she goes blue. "It was never enough." She's regained control of her breathing, mostly, and shudders out longer, deeper breaths. She's watching the back of someone's head bobbing out of sight through the hatch and that draws her attention back to the table where she'd been, earlier. Abruptly, Yari disentangles and swipes a nubby sleeve best she can under her nose. She's on the move and reaching to retrieve the offering she'd left between votives. Smoothes the paper between loving fingers, like she's hurrying to fix messy heads of hair, then fetches it back to Inez to show.

Three faces, sketched by pencil from a heart who's commited them to memory. "Would've been four, if I hadn't gotten sick, before our first," she points out each little button nose. "Almost was four again. Jus' found out yesterday that I'm not." Praises be.

Inez shakes her head slowly, her chin rubbing on the top of Yari's head as she does. "I don't think there ever is enough for them," she mutters bitterly. "Certainly too much to ask of…" her breath catches and her teeth grind together briefly as the thought occurs in the stream of coherence turned sluggish with emotion. "How old were you when they… forced their man onto you?"

But, whether Yari heard the question or not is unknown for the moment, as her daughter takes unknowing advantage of her weakened grip to dart over and bring back the sketch. She touches the little toddler face, "Ionia," she whispers, remembering that name from the Norton. "What are the boys' names?" Her face draws together in a mix of consternation, bafflement, wonder, and… some kind of rage? Perhaps? Burning underneath.

Yari did hear, but it's not a number that matters, anymore. Her mum's a smart one, she is, and will surely do the math herself, one day. "Argus," Yari points to the chubby cheeks of a boy who looks like he's not much out of the toddler stage himself. "He favors me," she speaks of the darker locks, "My sweet boy." She's lost in the picture for the umpteenth
time since its creation.
"Visilis," a gnawed fingernail traces across and up to the more solemn-looking, fair-haired child. "Just turned six, he did, night we left home. But you'd think he was a man already, the weight he troubles himself to bear. His father's pride and joy." There's still a mother's love in her gaze there, but something else, too, lurking in her wavering of tone. "Not as lucky as his brother and sister, bein' old enough to know. To remember this."

"You drew this?" Inez asks, surprised as she looks at the children… her grandchildren. The young woman (because 31 really is still young) is finally floored with one too many realizations, and she reaches out a hand to grab the nearest pew and lower herself into it just in time. The first joy at her daughter being alive and with her is finally starting to be overwhelmed by the fact that her little girl that she left a few months ago is now almost her age and has children of her own. She missed it all, not that there was much to miss except her daughter being deprived of schooling and having her first date, first kiss, and almost all choice stolen from her. But still… she wasn't there. Tears start streaming down her cheeks as she rests her wrists on the back of the pew in front of her to keep the sketch from getting wet.

Oh. Oh no! Yari, already blotch-faced and puff-eyed enough for the both of them, crouches down alongside the pew and gingerly snakes an arm over Inez's shoulders. "I'm sorry!" she gushes and attempts to draw her mother in against her own chest, ignoring whatever fate of the picture may come to be. She's made more. "I've had more time to think about things than you, I…I guess. I thought maybe they'd have told you." Because she's been here for nearly three weeks, sleeping among rows of rough'n'tumble marines, showering with strangers, and making herself quiet and unobtrusive as possible at all other hours. She sniffs. "It really does seem all a bad dream, doesn't it? Not real."

Yari feels a pang of guilt and hangs her head. In hindsight, this IS a little much. But there's so much to catch up on! No first dates, no puppy-love promises shared between hands, but other things.

Inez does manage to keep the photo up in one hand, letting her daughter hold her. "It's alright," she manages to reassure her offspring. "It's not your fault. I think, even if they had told me, it really wouldn't have prepared me. It's one thing to know something with your brain, it's quite another to actually… have it in front of you." She gives a little smile and straightens enough to look up to Yari and smooth her hair back. "It's something I've always been learning since I woke up on Piraeus. My brain has so much knowledge from all the others like me, but it's nothing compared to having the experience first hand as I am, now, here." She holds Yari. "It will take a little time. Twenty years for you has been a few weeks for me, and it's something I need to digest, to think about, for you. What it's meant for you… is much harder than what it means for me." She takes a deep breath and straightens, rubbing the back of her picture holding hand over her eyes.

"So, next time you have a shift off when I'm running transport over to Norton, shall we see if we can get you on to go meet my grandsons and granddaughter?" She pushes a warm smile to her lips, braving her feelings in her daughter's presence.

Yari bows her head into a nod and gives her mother's arm a little squeeze. "I should like that very much. *Will* like that, very much." She draws in a deep, recomposing breath, and shudders a long sigh. Her arm retracts back to drape over her own knee. A long look examines the beams overhead and her ears take in the silence, self-consciously. "I think we've chased the others off," she murmurs. "Perhaps it's best we yield the floor." Standing awkwardly then, she uses her shirt to dab any residual wet off her face. "Coffee? I'm told it's pretty good." Her recently deflowered taste buds say otherwise, but maybe she'll acquire the taste, eventually.

There's a slight chuckle from Inez, and she nods. "It's nothing, new. I have a habit of doing it all on my own." She gives a little sideways grin. "You should know that your mother is really good at saying the wrong or awkward things to … almost everyone." She gives a sideways nod to negate a small part. "Well, except for when I'm doing my job. But… at a party? I can kill any conversation in two seconds flat." Once up, she wraps an arm around the shoulders of her daughter. "It's okay. Once you've been around awhile and pulled endless shifts in Condition One, you'll develop a taste for Coffee."

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