Forging Alliances
Forging Alliances
Summary: Common ground is discovered by Helios and Sapho while there's a lull in conversation between the newbies and Lieutenant Leda.
Date: PHD167 (10-2-09)
Related Logs: None

Red Berthing

It has been a fairly uneventful time for Sapho who is between flying with the CAG and PT and she's making good on the small amount of peace she has while the berthings' quiet; a shower is gotten that for once isn't rushed due to not wanting to keep others waiting, a small bit of relaxation she eagerly soaked up. The pilot comes out of the head wrapped in a towel wrapped tightly about her body and one wrapped about her hair to catch the drips and makes a beeline for her locker and the clothing within it.

For Helios it was another long day connected on a string of long days. The man was getting a little bit depressed. It was tough being on a ship where the majority of the crew didn't accept you because you were different. They didn't believe in you since you stumbled over a few things, including chairs and words. The man, if he could be considered as such, wandered into the red berthings with his eyes cast on the ground, slowly walking towards his bunk. He looks up to see a toweled woman who is of course acquainted with him, be he doesn't disturb her, yet.

A curtain opens and feet hit the cold metal floor which this causes Castor Leda to wince as he says, "Damn it." This of course is almost a daily ritual for him. He then begins to rub his head since he is pulling himself together after all he is almost always on graveyard shift and this is no exception. He then looks over at Sapho, "Lieutenant." He says with tired but kind tones, "Everything, alright?" He then looks back at his suddenly cold feet and then Helios walks in, "Crewman." He says again tired but equally kind. He then looks over at Helios, "How are you holding up? I hope the hazing isn't too bad." He sounds serious, "If it is report to Captain Marek."

Sapho turns and looks over her shoulder, smiling upon seen Helios and Leda, the former being someone she knows while Leda is newer to her, perhaps due to conflicting schedules. "Hello. Yes, everything is fine, thank you." She almost drops the towel to get her undergarments on but she hesitates, reminding herself that Christopher might not be used to such forwardness, causing her to grab those two articles of clothing along with a pair of shorts and taking them to her bunk. "Excuse me just one moment, please," she murmurs Helios-wards before slipping onto her bed, tugging the curtain clothed for privacy's sake.

Chris tracks Sapho as she heads towards her bunk, a bit of a stare before he murmurs, "Take all the t-time you need." before Castor's voice makes Helios turn his own head towards Leda after he reaches his own bunk. "N-not a chance. What k-kind of man do you think the CAG will think I-i am if I give in to all of that b…bullshit? What will everyone else t-think I am? Worse than they already do, let me t-tell you." Despite his stuttering, he seems resolved.

Leda looks at Helios for a moment and he says, "If it is bad enough to hurt you and you report it to Captain Marek I doubt anyone will think less of you." He pauses, "A lot of it is done out of love for new pilots though sometimes people can be cruel for no good reason." He then says, "And if you can make it through this without a sound then good on you but don't let them get to you is all." He doesn't look at Sapho and he opens his mouth for a moment to say something but instead he thinks of something and closes his mouth to turn his attention back to Helios as he says, "I know you can take care of yourself, Crewman Helios, I just don't want to see any of the nuggets suffer to much. I heard a certain pilot had a crewman doing pushups and I don't know the reason why but that seems a bit off."

"There's nothing loving about hazing," comes the semi-muffled, mostly-annoyed comment, the subject being one that rubs Sapho the wrong way immediately. "It does nothing to promote teamwork or anything similar. It's just…frakked up." The curtain is pulled open again, Sapho now modest enough to be able to not have to worry about covering up thanks to the sports bra and shorts. The towel that was draped about her head is in hand while the other lays on her bed, the one held used to finish drying her hair. "I am sorry. I don't mean to bitch about something that I know is 'tradition'. I just…it pisses me off."

"Out of l-love, sir? I sincerely doubt that." Christopher mentions very incredulously as he ambles up into his bunk, though he nearly accidentally falls right over backwards. Well, at least he saved himself from taking a bunk dive this time. He starts making his bed, before the appearance of Sapho emerging from the bunk. "Y-you sound like you might have h-had a bad experience or two on the Bellerophon." he speculates to Sapho, whether that's correct or not is a completely different thing.

Castor says, "Yes, out of love, out of love for tradition for what it means to be a pilot." He then responds, "I don't approve of hazing either but it isn't going to stop hazing from happening." He then says, "And…" He pauses as Helios makes his statement and he waits for the response. He then stands and grogs his way over for coffee in the berthings.

Sapho shakes her head. "I didn't experience anything worse than what might be seen as the 'norm' but I have seen it go too far and saw several people pushed to the point of snapping." A hand comes up after that arm bends from the elbow, her index finger allowed to tap the side of her head to indicate that the snapping was mental. "It could be argued that it is good that they broke down before they got into a Viper but I think that is faulty logic."

"I don't s-subscribe to that same emotional crap the others do. I-if I gave more of a damn about tradition, with all due respect .. I'd still be on Picon f-following my own family t-tradition. No, I'm here 'cause I wanna be, and when p-people respect that I'll be happier." A little shrug accents that tirade. "Don't g-get me wrong. I'm not … whining like a little b-bitch because I can't take it. I'm just w-wondering if these people have anything b-better to do." And, in saying that, Helios realizes that he may just wash out because he's never going to fit in with the group even when he's got a commission.

Castor looks over at Helios and he notices the look on his face and he says, "Crewman Helios, you are going to make it through this because you want to and then all of this BS will pass and THEN you will live into your roll as an officer on the Kharon living into her traditions and hallowed hallways." His voice carries a certain gravity since Leda clearly believes in the importance and history of this ship. He then turns to Sapho, "Well, no one wants someone to snap in the cockpit of a Viper since it is a bad thing when a pilot snaps."

Pournelle purses her lips and then stands up, grabbing a pair of socks which is tossed up and down a few times, almost as if she is judging their weight. "With all due respect, sir," she says to the Lieutenant, "Yes, this ship has a lot of tradition and history but you really shouldn't try to push it upon someone. Not everyone will fit in like that." Her eyes dart over to Helios and she frowns, not sure what effect her saying that will have on him. "Don't worry about it, Helios. You're going to do fine." Snapping pilots is skipped over, that being something she'd rather not delve into conversationally.

Forget about Helios, Chris is scared what kind of impact that statement would have on Castor Leda. The Aquarian was all about shipboard traditions and stuff, and heck he might have run off on his mouth just a little bit but maybe a little too much flak was being thrown into the whole tradition thing. Even if he agreed with it. "It doesn't m-matter if I worry or not … I still have to make it through this. B-bottom line. I think we should just leave it at that." He swivels around and lies down in his bunk, facing the ceiling.

Castor addresses Pournelle first, a JiG Castor would probably start shouting at Pournelle and he would run his mouth and say any manner of loud and uncomfortable things in which he would later put his foot into his mouth though now he is a full on eltee he takes a moment to think before he says, "Well, we are all entitled to our opinions." His voice isn't argumentative but rather it is simple and matter of fact, then again, he did just wake up and so he asks, "How was CAP?" He pours a cup of coffee into a mug and moves to the table to take a seat as he cradles the mug for warmth to his hands and then he looks over at Helios and he nods, "That is the spirit, Crewman Helios." He then takes a sip of his coffee and he says, "We all have things we have to get through."

"Hey…" Sapho looks at Helios as he disappears, his doing so getting her to blink in surprise. "No going in stealth-mode on me, please?" She steps up onto one of the rungs of the ladder which leads up into the upper bunk, trying to look at Chris. "Remember what I said? I'm not against you. Don't hide from me, please?" Her eyes lower and she looks at Castor then, her expression now thoughtful opposed to concerned. "It was…fine. Nothing major to report, thankfully."

Helios turns on his side once the head of Sapho Pournelle pops up, his eyes looking over her visage before he props his head up with his hand, elbow on his pillow. "S-sorry. I wasn't a-aware you …" He pauses for a moment, forming his words. "Had such an e-emotional stake in my well-being." He looks around her at Castor, perhaps a half-assed smile before eyes relock onto Sapho.

Leda l looks over at Sapho for a moment and he he says, "Nothing major to report is a good thing since we will soon park ourselves in order to do some mining, I mean, seriously I might actually get shore leave for the first time in seven years." He then looks over at Helios and he notices the half assed smile and this seems to amuse Castor as he grins slightly and he takes a little sippysip of coffee.

Sapho reaches over to pat Helios' arm. "I want to see you succeed," she partially answers, anything else she might say left unspoken as she is once again addressing the LT. "Seven years? Surely you're kidding. Seven years without shore leave? I couldn't begin to imagine spending that long without some kind of respite from the tedium."

Not even beginning to know what to say to that, Helios breathes in deep, and then exhales a long sigh before letting his head back down to the pillow. His hand slips underneath it just so he can have that extra padding and a bit more height while he just lies awake and listens to the conversation. "They haze nuggets to pass the time." Christopher jokes.

Castor looks over at Sapho and her support of Helios and he says, "You'll get there because you worked for it and earned it, Crewman." He then looks over at Sapho, "Well, the Orpheus was on a seek and destroy mission to threats to the Colonies, terrorists, pirates, smugglers…we hunted them down." He then says, "So, shore time was a rare thing." He then reflects for a moment as he says, "And there are all sorts of ways to pass the time. I used to spend my time curled up with a bottle of hooch." He then looks at Helios, "Good one, Helios, good one."

Sapho shakes her head. "How you kept your morale up then is beyond me…oh, well, maybe you didn't. Drinking like that usually means the opposite's true, I guess." If Sapho finds Chris' joke funny she doesn't let on, no laughing or a smile to be found, not even a slight gleam of amusement in her eyes can be found. "I m beginning to believe that's true. Maybe the pilots who are in need of something to do should be made to fly extra CAPs or do extra PT."

Castor stands to take a shower and prepare for CAP. "Back in a bit."

Helios begins to wonder if he'll ever understand the minds of those who have been working here far too long. He silently asks himself if he even really wants to be part of this team. Well, he'll never know unless he tries…and he can always die trying. At the moment, dying seems much more pleasant than say, being randomly pantsed in the Red Berthings. "I heard they did a t-talent show once." he murmurs, in regards to morale.

After saying a quick goodbye to the Lieutenant, Sapho returns to paying attention to Helios, now able to give him her full attention. "A talent show, huh? Not sure if I'd ever take part in one of those." A hand comes up and she motions a bit, asking Chris if she may join him by doing so. "I guess I could write a poem and recite it but it'd probably bore most of the people on this ship."

"So you write." Helios deduces, any plain idiot could have figured that out. "Me too, though I c-can't really s-say any of it's been creative lately." A bit of a twitch of his lips upwards before he shakes his head. As Sapho asks to join him, he pretty much immediately sits upright, running a hand through his hair before motioning to a free spot.

Sapho slips up to sit next to Chris, careful to slouch enough to not clip her skull on the edge while doing so. "Thanks. Was getting uncomfortable standing like that." Once comfortable, she can not help but to smile, this a much more pleasant topic for her to discuss. "Maybe that's why I feel drawn to you. We're kindred spirits. What do you write?" her hands slip up behind her head and draws her hair over a shoulder, her fingers then used to comb the knots out while she's able to, not wanting to wait until it's dry to try and get rid of the snarls.

"Oh." Helios scratches his neck, a little reluctant to continue mostly because he's kind of shy. "Y-you know. Legal documents and a-all of that." Little does Saph know that he actually writes far more than he has ever spoken in his life. All of his thoughts perfectly transcribed onto paper…somewhere. "I do a little bit of other stuff here and there…c-c-can't say I really focus on one thing." He's very modest about it.

Sapho ohs, sounding a little crestfallen, perhaps. "I was hoping you'd say you're a poet as well. Was going to suggest that we share…ah well. You still write. That's good." Her eyes slowly open and the effort on her hair paused, the rest of it left to a brush once she's able to. "You don't need to focus on just one thing," she offers with a wry grin, "It makes you all the more interesting."

Helios analyzes Sapho for a moment or two after her first few words, perhaps the longest he's ever maintained eye contact with a person for a long time. He saw someone who needed another to connect with. "My heart a bleeding mass, seated on frigid pavement. The red life escapes; pooling and twisting. Irreparable holes, yet an instrument I don't require. For it is you, my love, my courage, my strength. You who keeps me going, you who keeps my blood flowing." He blinks out of the stupor and looks up to Saph, raising a brow. Maybe that will help them relate.

That was not what Sapho expected and she finds herself enraptured, Christopher's words putting her under his spell immediately, the magic not letting go until the time he's finished. A soft gasp sounds when she breathes, a soft, pleased sound, and her face pinkens as she looks into his eyes, unable to look elsewhere now. "That was so lovely," she compliments earnestly. "You have a gift with words, I see."

"They look better on p-paper when I can write, draft, erase, change, edit, rearrange, scrutinize, crumple it up, and throw it in the trashcan." Helios' expression becomes something a little more light-hearted and fun, though he can't maintain that eye contact that she leaves on him for long - eventually the intense gaze of hers causes him to rip his away out of complete shyness.

Sapho leans in closer, her eyes narrowing slightly as she watches his reaction. "Don't throw them away, please? I want to hear more." A hand slides across the top of the bunk, inching closer towards his leg, the motion done subconsciously. "A gift like that is meant to be shared, don't you think? To be given voice…wings." The tips of her fingers brush along the outside of his leg once before she leans away, her body tensing.

Chris doesn't really notice she's inching her hand towards him until he's actually t touched, eyes locking onto the offending fingers before snapping to the tensing Sapho. He swallows hard, perhaps even quivering slightly under her attention, because now he knows he's getting a lot of it. He swallows hard, though he manages to smile. "A voice is only as useful as the ears that are r-receiving. As of this m-moment; you, Lieutenant, are the only one who seems to have a p-pair."

"Don't feel that way," Sapho says with a slight chuckle. "I am sure the others have ears as well. They're just too busy playing bad ass to listen right now. Give them time. It just might change." Her lips are pressed together in a tight line for a second before she adds, "I will repay you for your kindness, of course. A poem for a poem. Fair trade?"

Helios laughs. "It's n-not really fair. I m-made that up on the top of my h-head. I think if we're going to exchan…exchange poems I will h-have to make an honest attempt at creating one w-worth listening to." A wink is tacked on to the end of that, eyes once again locking onto Sapho's features, a rare sort of occurrence. Relatively speaking.

Sapho nods. "Alright then. How about this. Once a week, you and I find a place to be alone. A poem for a poem. Can be about anything. Something we've seen or about how we're feeling…no limit as to what the topic can be." There's a giddiness to her demeanor while she's making the suggestion, perhaps enough to make her seem almost child-like thanks to the excitement that flows from her now.

Helios doesn't really take too long to ponder this. He's got a friend, and this friend of his wants to share in things that he never spent enough time doing. "Deal." Christopher acquiesces, holding out his hand towards her to shake her hand as if to seal it. Her new demeanor brings a warm smile to his face. Today, it is official that she's the closest person to him on the ship.

Sapho takes it, giving it a soft squeeze before letting go, her fingers allowed to brush over the tips of his for a second before his hand is released completely. "I look forward to our first meeting," she nearly coos, her voice quivering slightly due to the anticipation that has her trembling. "I will look into finding us a bottle of wine to celebrate with."

"Wine? By the gods, I didn't think w-wine still existed on board." Helios grins before he begins to stretch out once again, his body reclining down onto the bunk, head on his pillow as he watches Sapho from below. "Regardless, I-I…am looking forward to it, too. S-something that's actually spirit raising for a change. I think…" He pauses. "I think with you around, I will be okay."

There is a wince and then she coughs, looking and sounding sheepish for some reason. "Uhm, well, I can't promise that I'll find any. Knowing my luck we'll have to settle for whatever counts as moonshine and grape juice but it'll be something at least." When he relaxes so does Sapho, the last of the tightness along her shoulders fading, leaving a slight ache in the muscle in its place. "You'll be fine, Christopher. I promise."

Suddenly, he realizes that today might not have been such a bad day after all. He laces his fingers together over his chest while he stares up at the ceiling again, a smile pasted to his visage as he lay there quietly with Sapho mere inches away. The grape juice thing makes him laugh with mirth spilling from his lips. "Thanks."

Sapho reaches out again, this time covering his hands as they rest over his torso, her fingers curling softly as she watches him, taking in how he smiles and how he looks when he looks up like he does. "I won't go too far, I promise. Don't want to make things more difficult for you. But I will do what I can to lessen the effects of the hazing at least. I can try to help lift your spirits if nothing else."

Helios looks off to the side for a moment, but then back to her immediately as her hand rests on his. Being touched is something new to him. Yes, being touched /period/. "I must s-seem really fragile to you." he speculates, looking a little bit uncomfortable about this conclusion. "I don't want to seem like I can't handle any of this…"

"Fragile…no, not really. Vulnerable." It feels so strange to Sapho to admit that, the word so seldom applied to men that it is pretty alien. "It brings out this maternal instinct that I have tried to fight for a long time. It's not often appreciated to have someone who acts…" The grip upon his hand slackens and now it's her turn to look to the side, her eyes darting to the right and down as she whispers, "I fear you'll come to resent me and my wishes to keep you safe."

"You're right, though. I'm not sure if I could handle someone being overprotective of me. The key of course, being the prefix to that word. Truth probably is that I need you and that maternal instinct because it's a shield where I have none. But it is important that I make it on my own too." The more comfortable and relaxed speech comes out, Helios sighing with a bit of contentment at letting that all out. "I guess you just needed someone to appreciate what you had to offer."

Sapho is sitting on Helios' bunk, the two talking as Christopher reclines, both looking very relaxed compared to the tension they were showing earlier. "Then let me do that for you," she says with a slight sigh of her own, she too relieved and happy. "I can't and won't stand up for you. That is what you need to do for yourself. But I can help soothe frazzled nerves and help you forget things for a while." The lack of stuttering has her raising a brow but she doesn't comment upon it, not wanting to embarrass Helios by doing so. She instead shrugs and says casually, "I can't say what it is I needed….or need. All I know is that it eludes me."

Castor comes back from what was apparently the worlds longest shower. He is however dressed in his officer blues though his pins aren't in quiet yet. He moves to his locker to put somethings up, a locker which is opened with a key, a key which never leaves his side. He isn't commenting on anything or apparently listening either as he is focusing on getting ready for duty at the moment.

"Fair enough. And well, that's all I really wanted." Helios replies. He looks back up at her again, the sight of her eyes trained on his disabling him once again. It would seem that the resolution of his speech impediment was temporary at best. "W-well I hope you find it. Whatever it is." He turns his head to observe the entrance of one Castor Leda, a glance to Sapho to gauge her reaction.

There's a halt in the flow of conversation as Sapho notices Lt. Leda returning, her expression blank for a brief second as she considers slipping off of the small space she shares with Helios. It takes no time at all for her to decide to stay put, to comfortable with the seating arrangement as well as the company to want to leave just yet. "Did you leave any hot water for the rest of the ship, sir?"

Castor looks over at Sapho, "Yeah, I did I think the old man who shit a kitten if he didn't have hot water on the ship." He then says, "Though, if you are wondering why I took so long I saw someone in the hall that had a question for me." He then turns and looks at the pair for a moment and he turns his head slightly, like the way a puppy looks at something curiously. He doesn't say anything but there it is that Curious Puppydog Look (tm).

Castor, when he looks in their direction, gets a shy little wave from Helios before his head hits the pillow. SNORE.

The look is noticed but she's busy slipping out of Chris' bunk to answer, the nugget actually tucked in before she says anything to Castor. "Is something wrong, sir?" There was nothing 'bad' going on, the pair having behaved themselves while talking, so Leda's questioning baffles Sapho something awful.

Castor shakes his head and says, "Nothing at all." The Curious Puppydog Look (tm) is gone and it has been replaced by an amused grin as Helios' head hits the pillow and the snoring begins. He then says, "Should I think there is something wrong, Lieutenant Pournelle?"

Sapho slips over to her locker and grabs her brush which she uses to get rid of the last of the knots that running her fingers through her hair didn't take care of. "No because nothing was going on. We were just…guess you can say we were forging an alliance." She smiles when she says that. "Bonding over common hobbies."

Castor nods his head slightly, "Good, we all need allies." He says and then pauses for just a moment as he says, "Speaking of which, I know we keep rubbing into each other the wrong way and I apologize for that." He says, "I'd enjoy getting the opportunity to learn more about you since you might be my wingman sometime and pilots need to work as a team." He then takes a seat at the table after closing and locking his locker.

Sapho shakes her head. "It's fine. We're new to each other and it's bound to happen. Think nothing of it, alright?" it takes a bit but Sapho gets her hair fixed and she puts her brush away, her locker closed and secured.

Castor pins his pins on and is now ON DUTY and that means reporting for it so it is all official. "Take care then, Lieutenant."

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