Home Safely
Home Safely
Summary: Callie and Panda talk after the excitement on Scorpia.
Date: PHD 203 (11-07-08)
Related Logs: Tinos Assault - North Attack

It's been a long night for Callie, a night spent worrying, a night spent unable to sleep. She tried to pray, tried to blank out her mind, tried to shove the concern she had been feeling since hearing about the Marines going planetside but nothing helped. Eventually having given up, she came to the lounge, a small blanket from her life before coming to the Kharon and her teddy bear in tow, and claimed a couch all for herself where she is now, half-awake and with tears in her eyes.

Panda had slept like a rock after the ground ops. That's what happens when you're keyed up to go for hours, then fight for your very life. On return he'd grabbed a bite to eat and crashed into bed for a shift and a half, leaving him just a couple hours to himself before it's back to the humdrum ship patrols. To burn the last of his personal time, Panda heads for the lounge. To… well, lounge. He heads straight for the coffee, wearing his marblacks and carrying his patrol kit in a gym bag over his shoulder.

Lack of any honest, productive sleep tends to lend a surreal feel to everything, a fact Callie's learning as, when she looks up and sees Pandorian, it feels like she's dreaming or hallucinating and she finds herself staring. "Panda…?" The slender teen sits up and then gets to her feet which are then brought swiftly into motion, the span of the room crossed in seconds. Panda's ambushed from behind, his girl throwing her arms about him, the enthusiastic gesture tempered slightly as Callie's left arm's still in it's cast and she doesn't want to hit him with it.

Yesterday was the day to be ready for anything. Today, not so much. Pandorian's taken by complete surprise and thrown into the counter more from his own jump than anything else. Sugar and substitute scatter across the surface as his fist clenches around the dozen packets, their sound as close to that of rustling leaves as one will get on a ship. He's too shocked to move or speak, though his jaw wiggles as it hangs open.

'Uh-oh…' is the first thing that crosses Callie's mind only to then be swiftly followed by, '…is he mad at me?', the second thought causing her to wince. "…Panda…" she murmurs against his back. "It's me…Callie." A quick squeeze and then she steps back, trying to get out of arm's reach in case he lashes out, seemingly timid. "What's wrong?" She was worried for his wellbeing the entire time he was on Scorpia and now she's still worried but now it's because she doesn't know why he reacted the way he did, leaving her mind reeling over all the possibilities as to why he spazzed.

An arm finds its way around her waist, keeping Callie from getting away that easily. "'Course it is," the Marine says softly, a smile landing on his face. "Nothin's wrong at all, I got back just fine." He leans forward, extending his chin with cheek turned. "Gimme kiss."

Callie smiles and gives the Marine a kiss, a peck placed upon his cheek that, despite being chaste, is very tender. Affectionate. "I couldn't sleep," she whispers once she's able to. "I was so scared that I lost you." Her eyes close and she begins to tremble, the admission evoking a rather emotional and physical response.

"Naw, babe, just…" Panda leans back, giving her that twistyfaced look of comical confusion. "What? Me? Naw, shit…" He stammers a little, wipes the sugar crystals off his hand and gestures close to her arm and her head. "Who you think you're talking to with your baggy eyes, and, and busted ass elbow and shit?" The words are offended, but the tone is consciously overacted and he's grinning quite widely.

Callie looks at him back, just as confused. "That's not what I meant…" Shaking her head, she lets it drop, too happy to drag out explanations and unpleasant conversations. "You know what, Panda? It doesn't matter. You're here. We found each other." She gives him one more kiss upon the cheek before sliding her arm out from about his torso, getting ready to return to her seat. "Why don't you get us both a cup of coffee and we can sit and talk?"

Panda's eyes nearly close from the smile she brings to his face. He looks around the room quickly after her kiss, not to make sure nobody's watching him do it but rather to see just who notices him swatting her behind as he lets her go. "Alright, I'll be right over." When he is, it's with an odd expression as he sips the coffee.

A soft *squeak* is what Panda gets when he swats her and a blush at well, his girl's face quite vividly pink now. "Tease." Callie winks over her shoulder at him on her way back to the couch, flopping herself on it. PJ is tucked between her and the arm of the furniture and the blanket's folded, that then set to the side.

Her boyfriend sits down beside the girl, his arm instinctively reaching around Callie's shoulders. They're not so close that he does it without a cocked eyebrow to ask for permission. "So you were worried, huh?" Pandorian asks, sipping at his mug.

Permission's for wimps, Marine. Once he's joined her she snuggles right in up against his side, the slight girl feeling right at home, not even thinking to ask if he minds. "Yeah, of course," Callie says with a slight disbelief to her voice. "Why wouldn't I be? You were down there and I bet you got shot at…" Her eyes lift and she looks him in the eye. "You did, didn't you?"

"Nah, I wouldn't call that shooting," Panda brags, his shoulders rolling back. But then the bravado leaves him. It leaves him needing someone, and Callie gets a very tight squeeze. "It was a little hairy," he admits.

Panda's girl is unknowing about combat and the emotional trauma it can cause but she can tell Panda needs her, prompting Callie to scoot as close to him and she even goes as far as to set PJ in his lap as well in an effort to give him as much comfort as possible. "I bet," she mumbles while twisting, situating herself so she can face him easier while not removing herself from his embrace. "Need to talk about it," she asks, dropping her voice.

The arrival of PJ on his lap gets a big grin out of the man. Pandorian looks pointedly between the bear and the girl, clearly proud that he picked a good gift for her. "It wasn't bad," he explains, not sure where this need to talk is coming from. "They gave me one of the old anti-armor launchers. Both missiles hit the machine gun nests, which is really good 'cause I qualified on the damn thing once and never shot it again." He laughs a little, looking upward. "Must've been all those arcade games coming in handy."

Callie is very obviously proud herself but her pride has manifested thanks to how well Panda did in combat. "Oh wow…" she exclaims. "Nip-Man triumphed over the evil Toasters!" She leans up and over, kissing the man's chin, showering him with affection. "I'm glad you got out of there unhurt," she adds somberly. "All kidding aside, I'd be lost without you, Panda. I don't know how you got to me like you did, but you did." A hand slips up and she taps her chest, pointing to her heart, that being where Panda is.

Panda rocks her from side to side, a laugh with body instead of voice. Her heart pours out, but he's right there slipping both arms around her to make sure it doesn't get away. The warm cup is pressed into the crook of her shoulder and neck to relieve her tension in the pleasant silence that follows.

It's quiet but it's not the silence borne of uncomfortably not knowing what to say but rather out of the comfortable knowledge that nothing needs to be said. The warmth sinks into consciousness as well as body, soothing her not only physically but mentally as well, it being like a spiritual fuzzy blanket or a hot shower after a wearing day - just what she needed.

After what feels like forever, Panda breaks the silence. "So we had these three guerrillas with us," he tells her, and it may take Callie a little bit to figure out he doesn't mean hairy apes. "They all got assault rifles, Damon's got the belt-fed, and after the missiles what've I got? A Leo, just a glorified pistol. 'Cause seriously," Ajtai asides, "I ain't hauling the damn launcher, control unit, AND a rifle and ammo for that, no way." He leans forward to nuzzle her ear and whisper, "so who's the one who got up in their face and took down two or three of the tin cans?" He's proud too.

Callie is lost where a lot of the jargon goes (she does know what he means when he says 'guerrillas' although, yes, she does mistakenly think of big apes at first) and it shows, her brow now creased once a 'what is Panda saying' moment passes and, if he looks close enough he just might find a ? floating over her head. But, despite lack of that kind of knowledge, Callie can get a gist of Panda's own part of the recounting, and she picks up on how he's hinting to the fact that he was the one who got two o them. "You were, yes?" Her eyes widen and the proverbial question mark turns to an exclamation point, confusion now pride.

"Y'damn right," he says quietly, flexing his chest to keep the low volume of his voice from detracting from the bragging. "I actually had to hunker down behind one of the toasters' smoking wrecks for cover. Was like… pulling him on top of me almost!"

Callie has been Panda's number one fan pretty much from the day the pair met here back when she was still a civilian and he met her by the soda machine and that is still true now. Hell, if there's something that's better than that she's rapidly becoming it as the story continues to be unfolded for her. "Gods. That's awesome." Breathless just about, her words whisper from her. "What happened then," she asks hurriedly, excitedly, Callie now a child who is growing enthused by a fairy tale she's being told.

Panda chuckles softly and keeps the sweet, eager girl held tight in his arms.. "Well I let the rest of the team take care of the one that was left, made a mental note to change my shorts, and we got about the business of cutting holes in the fence so people could get out of the slave pens." He lets out a little laugh, then ducks and kisses her on top of the head. "That's all she wrote."

Callie is actually relieved as it means he's not cocky, the kind of Marine that usually pulls stupid shit and gets killed along with getting others killed, Panda now bathed in a new light to accompany that he's already illuminated in. "Gods, Panda. I love you so much." The kiss atop of her head has her sighing and smiling now, his girl oh so content.

"Hell yeah I was scared!" he gasps aloud, "there was just as much lead coming my way from the toasters as there was from everyone shooting at 'em!" He's grinning, but Panda's still clinging tightly to her as well.

Callie nods. "And here you are, still alive." Her eyes lower and for a moment she looks pained, like something extremely heavy had been placed upon her chest. "Panda, I know you were busy and all that, but did you think about me while you were there?" It is a silly question but she has to know, Callie needing to know if he thought about her, even if just one and even if only for a second.

Panda takes pause at her question, filling the dead air with a sip of his joe. "A little before. Hoped nobody jumped the ship while we were away." His voice grows more somber as each phase is described. "During the shooting, hell no. It's… I'll hafta do some CQB with you sometime, you'll understand. It just don't work that way. But after…" His weight rests more on Callie as he lets out a heavy breath. "Cutting that fence open, just seeing the way people were looking at me. Just seeing the people," he corrects himself with a shake of his head. "I, I dunno, I kept thinking how I didn't want them to be you. Or… you, them, I mean you weren't, er, still aren't, but, uh, y'know, it's…" His helpless frown goes here.

"What's CQB, Panda?" More jargon to have fly over her head, Callie is quick to ask for an explanation from him before listening more fully. When he mentions those who were saved she finds herself growing sad, misty-eyed, and she does nothing to hide her emotions from him. "It wasn't me, Pandorian. See? I'm here. Safe. Wasn't there." She takes his hand and lifts it, kissing his knuckles, being tender, loving to her man.

"CQB, uh, FISH, er, fighting in someone's house, I'll tell you 'bout it later." He interjects the brief explanation into the tale. Callie's warm and comforting response is welcomed, but it doesn't completely calm Pandorian. "I know it wasn't you, babe, not this time." In fact, it redirects more than it calms. "But the way we're going, carrying on like… like a, a nomad circling his herd around a dried up well. I miss home too, but here, lemme get some wood and nails so we can build a bridge and get over it." The hand is removed from her, Panda needing to run it through his hair to keep his cool. I mean, I'm no admiral or nothing, y'know, but, this uh, this stuff we're doing? It's tactic'ly fraktarded."

"I don't know anything about that kind of stuff," she says with a slight shake of her head. "Tactics elude me. Well, kind of. I play chess but I can never think more than three movies ahead." The bear is set aside and she takes its place upon your lap, snuggling her arms around your neck as she does. "Don't think about it. Just let it go, baby, please?" Her eyes close and she kisses him hard, stopping only to say, "I love you."

Panda isn't distracted by the bear being removed for long, he's got a doll of a different kind on his lap. "Hey, hey, Callie… Tassel Ass, c'mon," Pandorian reassures her, his words broken by the girl's kisses. "Don't worry, my head's killing me from all this thinkin', I'm done with it."

Callie frowns and looks him directly in the eye. Taking a breath in, she looks like she is about to say something but she is silent, just sitting there with her mouth slightly open. "That's good," she half-growls before she looks away, twisting in Panda's lap so she can sit 'sidesaddle' which makes it easy for her to lay her closest cheek upon his broad chest. "I need to tell you something."

Callie frowns and looks him directly in the eye. Taking a breath in, she looks like she is about to say something but she is silent, just sitting there with her mouth slightly open. "That's good," she half-growls before she looks away, twisting in Panda's lap so she can sit 'sidesaddle' which makes it easy for her to lay her closest cheek upon his broad chest. "I need to tell you something."

Panda sets his cup of coffee aside so it stops getting in the way of holding her close. "You ain't pregnant, and if it is it's not mine!" he declares firmly, but quickly follows up by murmuring against the top of her head. "Kidding, kidding… … but you're not, right?"

Callie smiles and shakes her head. "Nah. You're safe. No little Panda-spawnlings for you." She nuzzles up under his chin and then kisses his throat. "I think I made a mistake," she meekly squeaks out. "Castor came to see me while I was laid up and I asked him to find you. He asked how I knew you, I told him you're my boyfriend. Then he came and saw me the next day and so did Mimi and he told her what I told him. Asked her if she knew." This is hard and she finds herself slouching now, almost as if cowering from a forthcoming smack. "Her eyes went super wide and she….acted odd before she left…gods, Panda, I frakked up, didn't I?"

"YEAH you did," Panda mumbles under his breath after the first sentence of her story, "you talked to Leda." He's not grunting at her, though, and it shows in the way he squeezes her close and lands a few kisses atop Callie's head as she speaks. "Don't worry about it. It's not like we were seeing each other." The man pauses a beat and then interjects, "Actually, it is like we were seeing each other. I mean, it's like we were seeing each other, but, like, we weren't. … I don't think."

Callie looks up, baffled. "But…huh…whu…" She just confessed to how she probably frakked something up for him and here he is, being nice about it all. "I think we need to sit down and discuss what we are to each other so I don't frak up anymore." Sniffling, she slips out of Panda's lap and pads quietly to the coffee maker, pouring herself a tiny bit for a distraction rather than any real need or desire for the bitter, rationed drink.

Panda leans his head back, letting it fall over the rear of the couch while she does her thing. When the girl has returned, he's just finishing off his drink. "Want your seat back?" he asks, patting his lap and smiling up at her. No, his face isn't completely warm and inviting, there's a little chilly tension around the corners and creases. But it's more warm than cold.

Callie is naive. Pretty frakking stupid when it comes to dealing with other people, in fact, but she can notice the cool in his expression an ice that makes her hesitate in taking up the offer of his lap again. It takes a good quarter of a minute before she nods and she sits back down, sidewards like before, alighting upon his upper legs much like a princess might upon a throne. "Thank you."

"Welcome," he says quietly, slipping his arms about the woman. "So. Marissa and I are friends." Pandorian's tone is measured and slow, as much to make sure she hears him clearly as to keep himself from mis-speaking. "I gave my good friend Marissa a massage in the gym once." The young man swallows, eyes searching upward for the words. "It lead to, uh, some cuddling. Just like, sitting on the ground, holding close, and, and yeah…" His nod signals the change from careful wording to enthusiastic conversation. "I totally wanted to grab some stuff and kiss her and like, y'know, give her the Panda Special Massage, heh, y'know." A nervous sweat breaks out then, his voice getting tense now instead of enthusiastic as he tries to dig himself out of the hole. "But look, I mean, we both wanted to, but we didn't. Were just… friends. And she's on the wrong shift, so, I haven't seen her - like, seen, with my eyes." He points to them. "In like, weeks." After a quick breath he tries to wrap it up. "Marissa is my friend. You're my girlfriend."

It's not often that a guy can be -this- kind of honest, especially considering the nature of the discussion; most guys would try to lie and say they wouldn't touch or look at another girl and here Panda is, baring himself and being incredibly truthful, it being something to be grateful for. "Panda, the way she acted…Gods, you know what? It doesn't matter. I-I mean…it does because I frakked up. I had no idea, of course. Didn't know you two were into each other and I didn't know he'd do that…" Taking a deep breath, she stops with the running off of the mouth and hugs him, finally feeling a bit better. "You're my boyfriend. My Nip-Man. Will be for as long as you want to be so."

Panda presses a finger to her lips when Callie takes that deep breath, helping her calm down. The finger slides to her cheek along with the rest of his hand, cupping it while she tells him what he means to her. "Well I'm glad," he says softly, just staring down into her eyes and caressing her cheek for the time being.

The finger is kissed as it passes over her lips, Callie relaxing the rest of the way. "Wow. Just when I think my opinion of you can't get any higher you go and prove me wrong. You bastard." The last part's said with a laugh, the insult meant playfully. "I'm still alright with things being open between us…you know. With things not being exclusive. All I ask is that you continue to be honest with me. Don't need or want all the details…trust me, I do not need to know of all your conquests in your bunk. But this…what we just did now? This kind of honesty…"

"Well, I told you from the start," he tells her, squeezing Callie tight. "You ask, and I'll tell you." Panda's finger slips under her chin and lifts, but instead of dropping immediately into a kiss he stares into her eyes in silence for a breath, then two. "But unlike you," he says at length, "I -do- want all the details. C'mon, spit it out," he teases, unable to keep from grinning. "I'm sure you've got tales of crazy hospital deber, debie, d… deviantcery." When you can't think of the word, make one up and hope for the best.

Callie leans in, smiling when she's held closer and then made to look up, Panda easily able to get her to do as she doesn't fight it. "I know you said that but I wanted to say thank you any how, gods frak it." The pressure for details of her own (nonexistent) naughtiness has her chuckling as does his stumbling to find the right word to use, the latter being provided by her gently since there are no details for her to gift him with. "Deviancy…debauchery could work, too. I wish I had tales of drug-induced lapses of judgment that led to…whatever." Her blue eyes sparkle vividly now and her smile brightens as well. "Most of my time was spent sleeping off the morpha. No orgies, sorry."

"Debauchery, right." He winces at his inability to think of the word, but only briefly. Panda's got a girl to tickle! "Holding out on me, eh?" he grins, fingers flying to tease Callie's sides. "I'll get it out of you yet!"

Callie would reassure Padorin Ajtai that it's okay but then she's tickled and she squeaks like a little mousie. "Noooooooooo….no fair! Please…please stop!" There's no way she can fight him off, not without risking hurting one or both of them, the damned cast hindering her. It leaves her at a severe disadvantage as he gets to tickle without any frakking form of consequence.

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