MD #155: Wet Feet
Wet Feet
Summary: Tom and Lleu fail to punch each other. Again.
Date: Mon 11/Sep/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: No Brawling for Old Men
Lleufer Toby 
Pool - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The floors of the whole room — including the bottom of the pool — are made of poured concrete, and the pool itself is designed to accommodate barriers and other obstacles used to simulate operations in high-pressure environments. A large sign on the aft bulkhead warns visitors that no lifeguards are available, and that swimming is done at each person's own risk.
20/Mar/2049 (IC Date)

After the Aerilon briefing, Lleufer Ynyr goes to get ready for his scheduled meeting with Tobias Shackleton at the Fitness Centre. The Gunnery Sergeant went back to the Marine Berthing’s to pick up his gym bag, then head to the pool area to change. By the time Toby arrives, Lleu'll be wearing military issue black swim trunks and matching black robe with Orion patches as he waits. There is an MP at the hatch to insure they have some privacy though it's getting on late in the ship's night shift. That, or the extra MP is there with the taser in case Shackleton freaks out enough to try and drown the Master-at-Arms. You never know with a Tauran what you might be getting into.

Toby is a few minutes later than planned, in part because he'd got involved in a post-briefing discussion, and in part because he is not in anyway looking forward to the next however long. The MP on the hatch is almost enough to have him turn back before he even gets there, but once it makes it through his skull that she's probably there to keep others away he takes a deep breath and pushes on ahead. He's got his PT joggers and hoodie on, with a towel over his shoulder, not an unusual combination for him in the gym. Underneath though he also has the same fleet issue swimwear. The water is given a wide berth as he crosses over to Lleufer. It's clear as day that he's deeply uncomfortable even being here and his arms are crossed tightly over his chest as he asks, "so, what first?"

Lleufer looks Toby over once Shackleton comes through the hatch. "Well, you showed up. I wasn't certain you would. So you tell me. Do you feel like putting your feet in while we chat, or maybe go in here at the shallow end and up for some wading? I've brought a personal floation device if you want it. No shame in it. If we /know/ we are going anywhere near serious water, every Marine will be issued one. Stays collapsed and is self inflated by pulling the tab as needed. I figure we can start slow, not try any swimming. Just get used to the idea of being near the water and maybe putting your feet in. Stand up and wade around in it /only/ when you feel ready. If distractions can help, I brought something to help you focus on that might be amusing."

Toby does not look like he feels like putting his feet, or any other part of his body, in the water, he's even subconsciously positioned himself so the marine is between him and the pool. He eyes the water silently for a moment then turns back to Lleufer, so he can pretend it's dry deck all the way from hatch to hatch. "Don't suppose I could just punch you and get a day in the brig instead?" he quips, in a tone of voice reminiscent of gallows humour, "or a two week holiday on Libran armed only with a fruit knife?" He's got enough adrenalin in his system just being here that he starts shifting his weight from foot to foot almost as a reflex. "I dunno," he then continues uncertainly, sideyeing the water again, "maybe just the feet thing? See how that goes?"

Ynyr looks amused, "Actually, sparring with you is on my to do list. But that's more for /my/ personal interest in a decent kick ass sparring partner. Because I know you don't need training there." Lleu grins, "But if it might make you feel better, we can get into the water and then you can take a swing at me. But, you gotta get into the water, first." He shrugs as he stands there at parade rest, "Just sitting on the side with feet in the water is fine too. Have a seat. You think it would help, or bother you, if you watch me swim?"

Toby points over his shoulder in the general direction of the sparring mats and notes, "we could go do that now?" He doesn't actually move that way mind, and for a long time he doesn't move towards the pool either. Half of what Lleu said is too much, too fast, but once he can convince the irrational part of his brain to slow the frak down and take things one step at a time, he unfreezes a little. Step one: he kicks off his shoes and pulls his socks off. The inherent damp underfoot is quite clearly unpleasant, but he gets over that by thinking of it like a shower floor. Then he eyes the pool again and starts to cautiously make his way round to the steps at the shallow end. He keeps the water almost as far as he can away from himself though, taking a longer route than strictly necessary so he only has to actually approach it with the handrail between him and the wet stuff. "You do whatever you want," he replies to the marine, not taking his eyes off where he's putting his feet, "I'm just going to be right over here, sitting down." He's maybe a couple of metres from teh edge when he realises that actually, taking the joggers off would be an idea too, and he retreats briefly to do that, before managing to make it as far as the waters edge, where he promptly clings onto the handrail with enough force to make his knuckles go white. "Don't wait for me if you're wanting to go in."

"Na, I meant sparring /in/ the water." Lleu sheds his bathing robe and tosses it over one of the pool chairs. Scars mar his body despite the Arpay having fixed him so he doesn't limp anymore, decades ago. No longer is a big chunk of his thigh and calf on the left side missing, but the old scars are mostly still there and down his left arm from where Direwolves back on Piraeus tried to tear him apart so long ago, when Naomi had saved Ynyr's life. There are plenty of gunshot wound and shrapnel scars as well as his two tats on his upper arms. The old CMC tat and the much fresher sun rising over mountains tat. Lleu ignores the steps and drops down at the side of the pool near by and puts his feet into the water. "Watch this." He's brought something from his sports bag that looks like a folded up ball of flesh coloured and yellow plastic. Lleu pulls a draws string and tosses it out into the water. POOF! It suddenly self inflates into a naked girl blow up sex dollie! 'She' pops out in all the right places, forms arms and legs and then floats on the water like a pool toy. "See? She doesn't mind the water. A little Jarhead humour. Call her Bitch'n Betty." There's surely a male version too but he didn't bring it.

To be fair to Lleu, Toby is not thinking about the water for a moment there, but his expression indicates it's not entirely to his taste. "I'll stick to an old pair of socks in my bunk," he replies deadpan, turning his head away from the doll, he focuses back on the task at hand and slowly manages to lower himself down so his arse in on the floor. For now one arm has a death grip on the steps handrail jus tin case the ship jumps, or is hit, or whatever, and his legs are folded in front of him, but he is at least far closer to the waters edge than he's ever been before.

Lleufer looks back to Toby and chuckles, "She's a gag gift. I have no use for her myself. I'm a luck bastard who has his /beautiful/ and loving wife on board. It may be tight to fit two in a military bunk but we can manage." Ynyr hops on down from the pool's sidewall and wades on out into the water to grab the dollie. He pulls the tab again and starts letting her air out. "We get any whiny homesick new Marine recruits though, I might spring Betty on them for a laugh. We Jarheads are mean to each other, but only in good humour. Our national sport you know, to give each other shit." 'Betty' gets put up on the side and patiently Lleufer rolls her up, pressing air out of her until she's reduced once more into a small packet, which he ties off with the pull tab string, then leaves her there at the side of the pool. "I'm going to swim. But you are welcome to just stay there. Come to the pool every day and just sit and put your feet into the water. No need to do anymore than that for say the first week. Give yourself time to numb your mind a little to the idea. Then, move onto standing in the water. Unless you feel like you can try that today."

As Lleu mentions his wife there's a pang of something other than abject discomfort that passes over Toby's face. If someone didn't know him, or Taurans in general, they might even mistake it for a genuine emotion, but then everyone knows Taurans don't have feelings, so maybe he just squinted or something. Collecting himself quickly he nods along to the tale of banter and notes, "it's not too dissimilar across the hallway all told. Although for some reason the pranksters have given me a wide berth since I came back." Sometimes a reputation can be useful. "You go ahead and do what you want," he reiterates, making absolutely no move towards shifting his arse, or indeed, letting go of the rail, "I'm okay here." For certain values of okay, the ones that loosely equate to being utterly terrified.

Yeah, maybe the Gunnery Sergeant notices Toby's grimace, or whatever it is and can read enough of it to make a guess. Tauron mystique or no. But Ynyr's not going to mention it. Lleu knows nothing of the quiet relationship with Kelsey. Odd thing is, if he /had/ known about it, things might have gone differently back on Piraeus. If he could have swung it. For Kelsey's sake. But, nobody told him and Lleu doesn't know. "That's because people are afraid to fuck with you, Shackleton. Unless they are stubborn Jarheads like me who are too dumb to quit." And upnod, "Fine. Not going to push you today. But while you are sitting there, practice some flutter kicks. Help your muscle tone in the legs." With that, Lleu moves off to start swimming laps, beginning with some freestyle.

"I'm okay with that," Toby notes, watching Lleu as he swims, "I appreciate not being fucked with." Revelation of the century. Or not. A frown of thought crosses his brow as the marine continues and he has to ask, "flutter kicks?" Working out enough that it must involve his legs he starts to unfold them, then pauses as he realises that the only real place for them to go is either straight out over the water, or in it. Tensing up again he looses track of Lleu again for a few moments before he gives his head a short sharp shake and mutters something to himself in Tauran «Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.» It's a mantra of sorts, and while one leg remains curled in front of him, the other does slowly descend towards the water. Bracing tightly against the railing and using his other hand to steady himself on the other side he's both determined to try and get a toe wet, but equally coiled and tense like a primed spring to get away should anything go ary.

Lleufer surfaces at the far end of the pool and puts a hand up to steady himself. He shakes water out of his years and says, "You know, like this." Ynyr lunges up out of the water to sit up on the edge of the pool. He is soaking wet with water sheeting and dropping off of himself. With both hands gripping the edge he's sitting on, he /slowly/ does flutter kicks. "We do them fast, but you can start real slowly so it doesn't splash around. I thought having something to do, to focus on, may help you not think about the water. Sing a favourite song while you do it for all I care, or recite how to take apart some section of a Viper's engine or something." The Gunny slips back down into the water, then swims a lap back to Toby's end of the pool. Obviously, the water is not trying to kill Ynyr.

As Toby's foot first touches the water there's an instinctive jerk reaction that takes it two or three inches higher again, although since he doesn't seem to have died on contact the experience does let him slowly lower it again. Slowly. There's a second flinch when it hits the water once more, but much smaller this time, and then he's pushing on through and submerging it enough so his thigh is flat on the poolside. "I don't have a favourite song," he admits as he very carefully peers over his knees to ensure that his now submerged foot is still actually there, "there's a few we used to sing when I was a kid, but if I told you the words you'd probably have to arrest me." He doesn't sound like he's entirely joking about that either, but he does look away from the water and back to Lleu, "did I ever tell you how I nearly made it back to P about 7 yea.. 27 tears ago? Major Grey turned up out of the blue for a chat, offered to try and smuggle me to the Line's city, if they'd have me."

Now surfaced at the near end of the pool, Lleu holds onto the edge but doesn't put his feet down. He wipes his face with his free hand, then pushes off and goes deeper to tread water and stays put, watching Shackleton as he does so. "You really, really wanted to live on Piraeus. Why was it so important to you, Toby? I thought about it once, how badly you seemed to want it. I though about asking Bennett to offer to hire you. Bring you over as our guest and have you work for her. She did SAR work with Raptors you know. She could have used a good mechanic, but I wasn't sure if that would have been enough to get them to allow you to come as our guest on a VISA or something." Lleu watches the Tauran Deckie, "Then I'd remember … the things you said about me being a traitor, when I wasn't. And I'd get mad, and think 'frak him' and then not bring it up. But honestly, as much as I loved Piraeus myself … how that place made me feel, I also thought maybe it wasn't fair to deny you that. The Ys'rali didn't object to you."

"Because it's all I have left," Toby replies, eyeing Lleu not suspiciously, but perhaps just a little warily. "It's the only place I've wanted to call home in a ver long time because it's the only place that's felt like home. Lilah and her people never judged, they just let me be. Sheridan I could take or leave, it was the planet itself that's important. And the people." The dead people, who walk and talk, and occasionally kill people. "We shared a faith, or very nearly, and it was somewhere where I wasn't just going to be the dumb Tauran, or the stupid knuckledragger." It's not an easy thing to talk about, but he's started now so he doesn't stop. "At that point I'd been fighting in one form or another since I was 12, and P was my chance to finally be at Peace." He looks away then, over towards the hatch, anywhere really that isn't at the water or Lleu. "Ended up doing some work on the Hera fleet for a while, turns out people with EVA experience were in short supply, then I hit Picon for a while to kill a bunch of APF bastards. Got shot after about eighteen months though, and by the time I was back on my feet there were more and more marines mustering out and taking the jobs, so I went back to Minos and did firefighting and mine rescue. That’s prolonged periods of boredom interjected with the stuff of nightmares. Domes and tunnels are not where you want to be when shit goes wrong, trust me on that, but someone has to get in there and deal with it." There's a hint of melancholy now, but once he notices it himself he snaps back to a more controlled neutrality. Taurans aren't allowed emotions other than anger. Well known fact. The 'traitor' comment brings his attention back to Lleu though and he frowns, "I never called you that.." He can guess the incident in question immediately, because in just about every other case the one being potentially accused of being a traitor would far more likely be him. "A dumb fool sure, but treason requires forethought, intent, and I never thought your intent was to give away fleet secre.." then he remembers the timeline. That at that point the true origins of the Lines was still unknown, and he has the good grace to wince slightly. "Ah, or maybe.. frak it, I can't remember anymore. I remember I had several hair brained schemes plotted to try and kill Knox at one point. None of 'em would have worked mind, so probably a good thing Command made things quite as clear as they did, or some hot-headed moron might have tried their luck." Him, or someone else.

Lleufer puts out a hand to stop treading water and hold to the side of the pool as he listens. Ynyr frowns, "No, you quite distinctly accused me of being a traitor to my face, more than once. Problem was… I was in a bad place, full of self doubts. A man gets shot in the head and … he drops memories. Not to mention other injuries I'd had, were holding me back. Making me a liability to my team mates." Now it's his turn to look away, "So, /you/ made me wonder if maybe I was a traitor. Even if I never intended to be one. We still didn't know as much about the Lines as we do now." Lleu shifts his jaw and makes himself look back to Shackleton, "It was because of your calling me that, right then, and something else that Samtara said, that made me think I had broken my oaths of service. I went to Piraeus and tried to kill myself, because I believed you. Did you know that? So yeah, I was a fool. I was broken and hurting, and I'd be damned to hell eternal before I brought harm to anyone on this ship." His baritone is real, real low. Lleu draws a slow, deep breath, "I hated you for that. Even after all that shit, once I recovered and later after the Arpay fixed me, it's never been easy to forget it. But I never meant you any harm, Shackleton. I'm not a vindictive bastard. Maybe I'm still a fool, because I'm sorry about Piraues. Everyone needs a little peace, sometimes."

"I don't remember that," Toby replies after a moment's thought. There's not denial, or challenge in his tone though, and he seems to be accepting Lleufer at his word. He doesn't reply directly to what is said next, he can't think of anything appropriate, or that wouldn't sound flippant, so he says instead, "strange what time does to your perspective isn't it. If we knew now what we knew then and all that." Pulling his foor out of the water he draws himself backwards a foot or so, then gets to his feet and heads over to where he left his trousers, shoes, and towel. "We're all fools," he notes as he sits to dry his foot, "if there's one thing I've learnt in all this time it's that none of us really have a clue, and we just have to muddle through as best we can. Try and do better, learn from our frakups. We're all still fools though." Cheerful thoughts really, but then the mood has turned somewhat.

"Yeah, I'd drink to that. Always struggle to the best I can. Good not to be down in a deep hole like that anymore though." Ynyr pushes off from the side of the pool and resumes treading water, "Anyway, you did fine with getting your feet wet. Literally. If you can, come do that every day. When you feel up for it, drop down into the water and just stand in it. Hold onto the side. Nothing wrong with being afraid. There's shit the scares the hell out of me. Being brave and having courage in the face of our fears is what it's all about. Otherwise, it would all be too easy and being brave wouldn't mean a damn thing. It'd just be foolishness." And maybe it still is, sometimes. "Anyway, I'm going to swim a while and finish my laps." So, Lleu gets back to that. 49 more laps to go before he'll knock off and get some sleep.

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