Summary: One friendship forms while another appears to fall apart.
Date: PHD04
Related Logs: Related Logs None

Castaine is sitting at a desk, a bunch of work before her on its surface. There is an untouched tray of food sitting by her as well as an empty mug. A smear of ink has some how managed to find it's way right across Mia's nose. The office is silent as she seems to be the only one there at the moment.

Cygnus has spent the better part of the morning trying to help people cope with their grief as much as he could. After all, that left far less time to examine his own problems. There's still a few people he's been meaning to touch bases with, though, which is what brings him to be tiptoeing around an area of the ship that isn't his pervue. There's an odd look or two as he passed through the security hub, but he finally spots Castaine and heads over in her direction.

Castaine glances up from her work to take a drink from her mug only to find it empty. She makes a face, setting the mug aside. That's when she spots Mac incoming. She watches him approach, head tipped a bit to one side. Those large hazel eyes warm a bit for the man. Apparently there is one ONE pilot she likes. Even mindful of her surroundings, she offers "Good afternoon, sir."

Mac is happy to find the person he's been looking for, not having seen Castaine since the service the night before, and he offers her as much of a smile as he can manage as he cocks a hip against the desk to lean on it, "Good afternoon to you too," He replies warmly, "I've been looking for you, actually. Wanted to see how you're holding up?"

Castaine settles her hands on the desk before her and pushes to her feet. Two steps are all it takes to bring herself to a position before him. "I think you need this far more then I do," she tells him as she slips her arms around his neck and leans into him, offering a warm hug. Yes, she's a hugger - one of those full on huggers, no less - though if he told anyone, she might kill him in his sleep. "How are -you- holding up, Mac?" All her concern is for him.

The last thing Cygnus expected was to suddenly be wrapped up in armfuls of marine, and it takes a moment to process before his own arms wrap around Castaine in return. It feels good, honestly, to have that sort of contact after everything. "I'm holding up okay," He murmurs out from somewhere near her ear, before finally letting go. After all, he doesn't want things to appear as if he's taking advantage of the situation. "It's been a rough two days since Sheridan told me yesterday afternoon so I could prepare the service. Just… Trying to be there for people however I can, you know?" Taking a step back he gives her an appraising look, "What about you?"

Castaine slips back to a respectful distance. The Ice Queen doesn't melt often or for long. "I'm more worried about you then I am about myself." She's looking him over intently, studying him, as it were. "There will be a time for me to grieve.. this isn't it but you're shouldering the burdens of a ship load of people, Mac." She falls silent for a moment then she offers, "Look, Mac. When I need you, I'll let you know. Until then, between us, I get to be -your- shoulder, okay?"

Mia's words couldn't have surprised Cygnus more, and it actually brings a smile to his lips that reaches his eyes. "You keep surprising me." It's difficult to figure out exactly what to say in reply, so he leaves it as a simple, "Thank you. It's really nice to know someone has my back." Which may or may not seem like a strange answer considering his friendship with Yuuri. Although, that's seemed somewhat strained in the last two days.

Castaine settles on the edge of the desk, hands clasped and resting on one leg. "We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, Mac. You're a pilot but you're more then that too and right now there is a frakkin' heavy load on you." There is much more to Castaine then most realize but that's ok, keeping them guessing is a -good- thing. "I'm a Marine. I will always have your back."

Cygnus moves over to the desk and props himself against it next to Castaine, a posture that looks far more casual than he feels. Castaine, as he's finding out, has a lot of layers, a fact which he's definitely appreciative of. "You have no idea how grateful I am that you get it, you know? Right now, some people seem to want to cast me as one or the other. Like… I can't be both or something." One of his hands waves in the air in a gesture of frustration, "I have no clue what to do about it either." Suddenly the floor in front of him appears to be really interesting from the way he's staring at, as he mutters under his breath, "I'm half tempted to pop him one."

A ghost of a smile curls up on side of Castaine's lips. "Pop who one?" She's got a pretty good guess but she's waiting to hear Mac say it. A brow is perked up as she watches her friend.

"It's not important," Cygnus smiles too, "It'll sort itself out I'm sure." He's loathe to turn his newest friend into an angony aunt for his issues with others. "Probably just all the stress we're under anyway," He shrugs out. "How about all of your people? How are they holding up? Somehow I think I'm not the only one in this equation who's got a lot on their plate." He turns his head to the side in order to watch Castaine's profile for a moment.

Castaine shrugs, "They are Marines. They are expected to act like Marines and be treated like Marines. They'll grieve in their own way. When it's right for them." She turns to face him fully and asks again, "Pop who? Cause, you know, you I am in the popping business."

Having seen many of the reactions to the announcement the night before leaves him feeling unsettled, rembering the haunted looks on some of the marines faces. To thequestion, Cygnus shakes his head a bit, lips pressing together in a little frown, "The last thing I want to do is put you in the middle of it," He states softly, voice a bit thoughtful. "We're all under a lot of stress, I have the feeling it will work itself out."

Castaine perks up a brow. "Put me in .. Oh. This must be about Ty then, hmm? I can't imagine being put in the middle of you and anyone else." Slowly she crosses her arms over her chest as she looks at him.

A soft groan drifts out of Cygnus and one hand reaches up to scrub across his face, "Yeah, pretty much." A deep breath gets sucked in then blown out as if the very act will aid him in clearing his mind. "I don't know what's going, it's all 'your Gods, your flock, this isn't the way to the chapel.' I mean, what the frak? I'm doing my duty, you know? This is my billet, even though I wish it wasn't. Honestly? Even if I was billeted with the pilots, I'd still be trying to help people through this. I don't know anymore, Mia." It's the first time Mac's actually used Castaine's given name, and for a moment he wonders if he's gone too far in doing so.

Castaine's hand reaches out to tip Mac's chin upward. "Hey. Now you listen to me, Lieutenant Junior Grade Marius Aaron Cygnus" ooh yes, the FULL name. "Don't you ever apologize for doing your duty. Don't you ever apologize for going beyond the call of your billet. Never. You hear me? Frak Ty and his stupidity. You do what -you- need to do. And never forget that you are more then the sum of your parts."

Cygnus isn't quite sure at first whether to grin, or be afraid when Castaine breaks out his full name. The words that follow though, are like a balm to his soul, as much so as the music they've now shared. As an appreciative smile curves across his lips he quietly tells Mia, "You're a pretty damn special person, you know that, Sargeant Mia Castaine?"

"Stow that shit, sir!" Castaine replies, the words harsh but her expression isn't, there is a smile there to soften the words. Hey! This is her office Godsdamit! She sends a wink his way to let him know it's all just show.

A chuckle drifts out of Cygnus and he adopts a ridiculously innocent expression as he retorts smoothly, "Yeah, well," A wink twitches his right eye, "You're still not my type." The levity feels damned good, a welcome relief from the understandably heavy mood on the Kharon.

Castaine actually grins at Mac and shrugs, "That goes both ways but hey.. there is always room in ones life for brothers, right?"

"You hit that nail on the head," Mac affirms. He and Castaine are sitting perched on the edge of her desk lost in quiet conversation. "I'm glad to be able to call you a friend." Obviously the conversation has been ongoing for some time now.

Yuuri enters through the hatch on his way to the range. He picks up brief sections of conversation and turns to see Cygnus and Castaine sitting together on the desk. His brows furrow quickly then relax, "Afternoon you two." He nods a head in their direction, the grinning and atmosphere around the two showing plainly to him. He passes quietly through the room towards the hatchway leading to the range.

Castaine nods her head to Mac because friends are important - especially now. When Yuuri enters, her attention turns in that direction. "Afternoon, Lieutenant." She doesn't add more since the man is clearly intent on simply moving through the area.

Cygnus's eyes drift across the room when Yuuri greets them, and he offers a small nod, tensing slightly. He's not exactly surprised that the pilot doesn't stop, considering the words that passed between them the night before. He's still at a loss what to do about it though. "Hey," He calls out by way of greeting. While he and Castaine do seem to be sharing a measure of comfortable campanionship, there's nothing to suggest in the way they're relating to one another than their friendship is anything other than platonic.

Castaine lets out a sigh when Yuuri passes through the door without pausing to stop and speak to them more. "I swear, some days, he's like a child. Really." She pushes to her feet and heads that direction. With all the emotions Mia has bottled up right now, Yuuri might just want to steer clear. "He knows I hate the games." Then she's through the hatchway.

Castaine heads through the exit labeled <SAR> Small Arms Range.
Castaine has left.

For whatever reason, Cygnus is biting his lower lip - hard - as he walks through the hatch behind Castaine. Likely to keep a handle on his amusement. "We all have our moments," He replies with a shrug, his mood a mixture of amused and subdued.

Yuuri is line up in a stall with safety goggles on. His stance is aggressive and agrivated. He loads the handgun and shots four times, never pausing between shots. The first two hit in the chest region of the target, the third shot going way over head and the four shot ripping through the head.

Castaine strides up behind Yuuri. She lets his shoots go off and instead of touching him, she punches the button to begin retracting the target at which Yuuri is shooting.

Cygnus has a pretty good idea that Castaine's working on building up a head full of steam at the moment. Hell, he sort of is himself, all things considered. He knows better than to try and interfere though, he'll let Mia fly lead for the time being.

"What the frak you doing?" Yuuri growls over his shoulder at the woman, "I'm not done yet." His body is shaking in anger, but his flightsuit hides it quite well.

Castaine's wide hazel gaze is steady on Ty's as she fires back, "I was about to ask you the same thing, actually." She's far calmer then he is. She keeps her hand on the button until the target is within her grasp to reach. Pulling it free she holds it before her, examining it with a critical eye. "Your temper is showing in your shots, Lieutenant."

This is the first time Mac's really seen Castaine in her element since he's been on board, and he has to admire the calm, smooth way she handles herself. His own skill with firearms isn't much to speak of, so he keeps his lips zipped as she speaks, he's got nothing to add.

"Three of four hit, I'd say my temper is deadly enough to stay on duty." He turns his body to face her, "You came in here to critique my shooting?" Yuuri asks, breaking eye contact to click his firearm to safety. He removes the glasses and sets them down on the counter at the stall.

Castaine leans back against the stall wall and crosses her arms over her chest. "I came in here to see why it is you're acting like a jealous five year old" she tells him, completely calm and blunt as is her way. "So do you care to answer that for me or are you just going to storm out?"

Castaine's question actually surprises Cygnus a bit. That wasn't a possiblity that had sprung to mind. He glances away for a moment, his face strained from his attempt not to chuckle. While Mia might be a beautiful and competent woman that he considers among his friends, there's no interest there, no spark. The last thing Mac's about to do is move in on someone a friend is interested in. It's not how he operates.

"I don't know what you are talking about Sergeant. I came in here to practice my shooting and blow off a little steam." His voice has changed to an even tone, "You accusing me of being jealous Sarge? If you were assuming that, than I would be jealous over an NCO which I could not do, as it is against regs." He crosses both arms over his chest and continues to stand in the center of the stall.

Castaine settles a look on Ty and stares at him for a long moment. Then she shrugs and turns away. "So, Mac. Ready to towards dinner? Apparently the /Lieutenant/ is far to busy being .. well. You know." She offers Mac a bright smile as she heads for the hatchway. "I was thinking we could make it our Wednesday night thing. How does that sound to you?"

Cygnus glances between Yuuri and Castaine and shakes his head almost imperceptably. He's completely unsure what to make of things at this point. Too many games for everything that's occured. They all needed to be able to depend on each other now, not push each other away. His glance rests on Yuuri as he replies, "Kind of lost my appetite," before his eyes turn back to Castaine, "but I can definitely watch you eat. I've got some 'Brosia too, if you want." A few long strides have him easily catching up pace to her on the way towards the hatch. "Here's to Wednesday night 'things'."

Yuuri's icey jades just go cold, flickering between the two as they head towards the hatchway. He reaches into his flightsuit and pulls out a shape of a viper made from foil, "Sergeant, for kicking my ass in the gym. A prize." He tosses the viper onto the ground infront of her and turns back to the stall pulling out a new target sheet.

Castaine pauses in her departure to sweep the vipor up off the deck. "Why thank you, Lieutenant. Very kind of you" she tells him, sounding sincere about it. She, at least, was raised with manners. "We'll be in the Mess if you decide to rejoin us." She gives Mac a curious look before she opens the hatch and steps through it.

There's anger now that flares in Cygnus' eyes and he turns around and stalks - rather than walks - back towards Yuuri. One of his hands twitches into a fist, spine almost ramrod straight from the tension rolling through him. For a long minute, an icy stare blazes out of him, then he shakes his head as if it's just not worth it. Spinning on his heel, he heads over towards the hatch, "You know where to find us if you ever pull your head out of your ass. It's stuck so far up there, I'm surprised you can walk." Another moment and he steps through, and out.

Before Cygnus can turn, Yuuri's right hand comes up full force in a fist and clocks Cygnus squarely in the jaw. "Wanna keep talking preacher boy?" His dropped back into a fighters stance he picked up 'outside' of the Academy.

Castaine is quick on her feet, she has to be to stay alive doing her job. Within a breath, she's between the two men and when she reaches out to push Yuuri back away from Mac, she doesn't get the shove behind it she needs to make the distance between the two of them grow. "Don't you come in my house swinging your dick, Lieutenant or I'll be sure to piss all over your viper. Back off! You're out of line."

Cygnus' head snaps to the side and back from the force of the blow, though he quickly recovers. "What the frak is your problem?" The preacher cracks are getting really old, really fast, and Mac's just had enough of it. "The world is going to hell, and you wake up one day and what? Just suddenly forget who your frakking friends are? That's just seriously frakked up." Lifting a hand, he wipes at the trickle of blood that's escaping from the crack that's formed on his lower lip.

Yuuri stares not at Cygnus, but at Mia. "Yeah, you are right. I am out of line." His icey jades hold her gaze but a moment longer before holstering his sidearm. "And that's right, I am a jock, I don't belong here." He cracks his knuckles and walks around the pair towards the hatchway.

Castaine's voice drops low, almost a whisper, "If you walk out now, don't bother coming back." There seems to be a lot in that statement but clearly she's done with the games. Turning away, she stalks back to the stall and begins to clean up the mess left behind.

For his part, Mac is confused and angry, but his concern for Castaine outweighs any sort of need or drive to make a move to even things up. He's not afraid to fight. Not in the least. For all that Yuuri might be trying to paint him as preacher, it's Ares, the God of battle and death that follows, and he's got a warrior's spirit. He heads to the stall behind her asking quietly, "You going to be okay?"

Reaching the hatchway Yuuri stops dead in his tracks, he seriously is lossing it. He just punched a friend and is about to walk away from someone he cares about. He turns his head towards Mia, "Mac you better get that looked at. I need to talk to the Sergeant a minute. Alone." He steps to the side of the hatchway and leans against the bulkhead, arms across his chest, "She'll catch up to you in the Mess. It would be long."

Castaine turns that wide gaze up on Mac and nods, "I'll meet you in the Mess in a minute, alright?" A hand reaches up to wipe away the blood with her thumb. "It's a busted lip. Put something cold on it when you get there" she advises him before she goes back to cleaning up the mess left behind.

Reaching up again, Cygnus dabs at his lower lip, his tone is gentle as it's directed at Mia, "Yeah, don't worry, I know what to do, not like I haven't gotten in plenty of fights in my life." He shoots a long, concerned look at Yuuri, because despite all the bullshit of the past two days, Mac does still consider the man to be his friend. "What about you, Ty? You going to join us? Or should I just start forgetting we were ever friends?" That's a notion he doesn't really want to have to ponder, but he'll deal with it if he has to.

Yuuri remains like a statue against the bulkhead, his eyes fixed on the red headed marine. His face is a bit flushed and his breath heavy, a sweat trail streaking down the left side of his face.

Castaine pauses in the cleanup work to lay a hand on Mac's arm. "We'll be there in a few moments, alright? Just gives us a minute, please?" There is a look she shares with him - like one might see between siblings.

Cygnus nods to Castaine, although his demeanor is far more icy than either have ever witnessed from him before. "Yeah, I'll see you there," He tells her gently, reaching up to give her a quick pat on the shoulder. He looks past Yuuri, as if the pilot weren't even there as he heads out through the hatch and leaves.

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