Never Gonna Give You Up
Never Gonna Give You Up
Summary: Two marines and a snipe walk into the chapel. What transpires between them is no joke but rather the making of vows to always be there for each other.
Date: PHD185 (20 Oct 2009)
Related Logs: None

Chapel - CEC Kharon

The past day and a half has been spent accompanying Cinder on her MP rounds, asking her for procedure on a number of MP issues - like a good mentor might do preparing a one-striper for promotion. When not doing that, his off-time has been in the gym with a good many other Marines. The longest non-work conversation he's held has been with a snipe Petty Officer in the gym, asking him to send word to Callie to meet him here, and when he left the barracks: There he said, to Cinder, "Come with me. Going to chapel." That's it.

The message got to Callie who arrives exactly four minutes and thirty-seven seconds upon receiving it, it taking her that long as she had to stop and ask a nice corpman for directions on the way. When she does arrive she's breathless and mussed, her braided pigtails in all sort of disaray and her sweats kind of rumpled, giving the appearance that she just woke up, perhaps.

Having developed something of a mentor-mentee relationship with Panda in the first few weeks of service on Kharon, Cinder doesn't really question. She's only lying in her bunk having a read through a ratty, well-read paperback book when Panda calls her to the chapel. She follows through the halls, having never actually been here before.

Panda and Cinder arrive after Callie does in fact. The Lance Coolie is wearing his marpats, including this time the blouse. He gestures Cinder toward the altar, his face serious but tired. Again, those purple bags are evident under his eyes as he searches for Callie.

There are a few people scatered here and there but it shouldn't be too difficult to find the snipe since she is standing just within the room proper, leaning against the wall near the left of the hatch. Callie's so lost in her head that she doesn't notice the arrival of the MP or her boyfriend; if they manage to get a glimpse of her face before she does they'll notice a slightly haunted look in her eyes along with a profound sadness.

Cinder follows in behind Panda, taking a moment after stepping inside the threshold to look around. Mostly because of this, she's the first to spot Callie, giving her a little wave, before reaching out and giving Panda's vest a little tug to hold him up and point out Callie. He seems so intent on getting to the altar, he's walked right past her!

The young man is almost tugged off-balance by his curvy cohort, looking one way while being pulled the other. He grins sheepishly to Callie, then Cinder, and back to Callie, but the seriousness soon returns. Pandorian holds a hand out to the young mechie, gesturing with the other up to the altar.

Snapping out of it, Callie stares at the Dynamic Marine Duo, her brow arched slightly. "Oh, hi." She keeps her voice low out of respect to those here who might be praying or seeking enlightenment but it is still easy for the relief to be heard, the girl very glad to see Panda is alright. With his hand offered, she slips hers within it while looking at Cinder, the lady MP given a faint smile. "Good to see you."

The MP gives a nod and smile in Callie's direction. "And you too. Good to know you're alright" she says, keeping her voice low as well. Cinder lets Panda and Callie walk in front, side-by-side, following up the center aisle behind them. "I don't think I went to church enough as a kid" she says softly, taking up the mantle of the nervous party from Callie now that Callie seems more relieved.

Pandorian leads them to the center of worship, Callie on his left, hand in hand, and Cinder to his right. Once there he drops to a knee. If needed, Callie's hand gets tugged to encourage her down; Cinder just gets a yank on the belt loop if she's too unfamiliar or uncouth to join him in the mild prostration. Regardless he looks to each in turn, trying to meet there eyes. "Thanks for coming." It could be the surroundings, but Pandorian has never sounded so quiet, so… reverent.

Callie is quickly distracted from whatever conversation could have occurred between herself and Cinder as she's first led to the front of the chapel and then encouraged to kneel which she does, going down upon both knees instead of just one like Pandorian does. "I am grateful that you invited me. Thank you." His hand is lifted and a soft kiss is brushed upon it's back, a sign of her affection, before she lets go of it. Callie presses her hands together once she does, palm-to-palm, finger interlaced, looking rather like she's preparing to pray. Cinder's looked at, curiously.

Though the woman didn't go to church, she's not a total religious idiot. After the rough kneel-she thumps down in front of the altar with a little gasp at Panda's belt tugging action-she does the same as Callie. She folds her hands up, interlacing the fingers (now complete with short, but well-kept nails, no longer those manicured stripper nails), and even bows her forehead a little forward. "Sure thing Panda…now's a good time to start going…and better off with friends…."

"Hey. So. Some shit…" His earnest grunt is in full force, keeping Panda's voice below the threshhold of respectful volume. Words aren't as forthcoming as feeling, however. "You two, you mean a lot to me. So uh." The Marine growls, his head shakes, but the eloquent speeches don't come. "I'm your Panda, alright? You know, uh, like, I kinda don't give a frak to the way things normally get done." That bush is getting quite a beating!

Callie's hands are unclasped and she turns slightly, looking up into Panda's face as much as she's able to from her knelt position. She doesn't say it but it's pretty clear that she's a bit puzzled. "I know," she says while touching his arm. "And I'm yours, I hope you know." Reaching around, she touches Cinder and adds, "I hope you and I can be friends, too. I…don't know you very well but you seem nice and you really went out of your way to help Panda…thank you for that."

For what it's worth, Cinder just shuts the fark up. It's pretty clear Panda wants to say something, even if he's not really super-eloquent about it all. She just keeps her fists clasped but lifts her head up to look at Panda as he talks. When Callie reaches around, Cinder leans back to look at her when she talks. "Hey…really just doing my job, but I guess he's the closest thing to family I got here so far…" She smiles at Callie, in the same boat…not really knowing the woman, but finding her pleasant to be around, even moreso since she's close to Panda.

Panda nods with forced patience to Callie; this leaves little for Cinder, sadly. "Look, Frakstack says that shit enough, unless you got a big-brother complex I don't need two of ya doin' the whole 'family' thing, alright?" For what it's worth, Pandorian winces and quite literally kicks himself before he's even finished snapping.

There's a blink and then Panda gets stared at, her face a bit red. "I don't have one," Callie mewls before she thinks about it, only to further add, "…that'd be kind of sick if I did, all things considering," referring to the relationship the two share. Unfortunately she's a bit too loud when she says that, causing someone behind them to shush her, which she does, immediately. Cinder's given an 'whooops' look and then it's turned to Pandorian himself, the girl looking apologetic as well as sheepish.

"So, why are we here exactly, Panda?" Cinder finally brings herself to ask. If they're going to disturb folks in here, might as well have a reason, right? Especially given that Callie and Cinder both look totally confused as to why they're called down here with him.

Cinder's subdued reaction helps Panda find his way back to the real question. He reaches up to rub the side of his nose, then extends his hands palm-up one in front of each woman. "That… that shit that went down. Ozymandias was sayin' some really messed up stuff." Callie and then Cinder are each given a look of concern. Furrowed brow, a frown to the lips, maybe even a faint glistening in Pandorian's eyes. "If somethin' that just don't make no sense is goin' on… all right?" Still keeping quiet, he emphasizes his words with unintentional jerks of his hands. "None of this, 'got to report it if you're a danger to yourself or others' bullshit. Gods and stars of our forefathers as my witness, if you ask I will fix your frakkin' problems singlehandedly. We'll figger the shit out." His voice does not travel far, that being the practical part of why he chose to kneel before the altar for the discussion. "Take my hand," he says, even if they already have. "Now and forever, this vow I cannot break." Yes, it's a bit archaic, and yes, he does flush in recognition of the fact.

Callie's hand is slid back into Panda's and she goes one step further, linking her other arm through his and resting her cheek upon his shoulder, looking vulnerable now. "Deal." Letting Cinder respond as she will, the snipe simply falls silent as she tries to make sene of it all, not the discusssion itself as much as all that has transpired the several days previous to now, everything she has seen and heard, all the hell that broke loose.

"You know, if you do that…I might have to arrest you…" Cinder replies with a little smirk and a wink too. That sure as shit doesn't stop her from sliding her hand into Panda's. It's a good feeling to have someone watching your back, particularly because of the events taht transpired. "And yeah…I think maybe we only heard a little bit of the shit she was saying to the CAG and the S2" she mutters, mostly for Panda who got there about the same time she did, thinking back to the pistols pulled on the Marine, the whole depth of the situation as of yet unknown to Cinder.

Having Callie gripping his arm in trust does much to relax the man. He even lets out a small sigh of relief. Cinder's verbal response has Panda's breath continuing to leave lungs, in defeat until the woman's palm presses into his. The rest of her words bring out a nod and a few soft words. "I don't know what it was about. All I know is she thought she was a two ton pickemup truck with machineguns for fingers." He glances to one woman, then the other. "Ain't nobody putting on weight these days, first of all, specially not that kind."

Callie looks from face to face. "Wait..what?" She doesn't know any of the details, everything one big game of 'fill in the blanks' that she has no hope of completing. "I..machine guns?" It takes a while but she's finally able to figure out enough to get the hang of it to realize what's being said by the Marines, it enough to reduce her to a teary, trembling figure in no time flat.

"Yeah, I don't know what to make of what she was spewing. Whether it's true or if she's crazy or what. But I guess to do what she did, you'd have to be…well, you know, pretty frakked up in the head." Her fingers clasp around Panda's palm a little tighter. "Still, as best I can, I'll keep my eyes open and help you guys. I'm still pretty shaken up…not only am I new, but now all this…."

"She said she's a Cylon, Callie," Panda asides, bringing the girl up to speed. "That's like me sayin' I'm a Viper." He lifts his palms to his chest, holding the two comrades' hands to each other over his breast. "Thanks Cinders. Trust me, guys, this shit don't normally happen. It just goes to show even a Marine can get in over their head these days."

Callie got it before Panda's explanation but she was trying to convince herself she was wrong; unfortunately any attempt to delude herself is made all for naught when he gives her the details. Chewing her lip, she looks at her hand and that of Cinder before she can look back up into Panda's eyes, her own narrowed just a teeny bit. "You…she could be, Panda. She could be telling the truth…couldn't she?" A worried look is passed over his torso, given to Cinder then, her tears finally starting to fall as a wave of panic gets ahold of her heart. "Gods, what if she wasn't lying! What if she is one? Are there others on the ship?"

Cinder has been wondering the same things as Callie…probably every person who was there is too. "It could be true…but who knows" she states, leaning around the back to touch Callie on the shoulder with her fingers. "I'm just going to let the docs do their thing with her…maybe she's just frakkin' crazy in the head and it's all some weird delusion. Of course, that doesn't excuse her for what she did to the CO…" Cinder trails off, turning back to the altar and clenching her jaw up. Sure, she never got to meet the man, but he was the one in charge, the one opening up the ranks for civvies like her to get in and make a difference.

"Callie, she's not a Cylon. Cylons are two tons of steel and wires," he explains with patience softening his terse words. "And machineguns for fingers. I benchpress more than she weighs, and I sure can't press a truck." He shakes his head and repeats, "She's not a robot, she's just out her frakkin mind. Robots don't do their own laundry one weekend a month."

It's not often that Callie can look at Panda and think of him as naive and the few times he has it was more humorous than anything, but his being so now is a good thing as it helps her to calm. "Y-ou're r-riiiight," she half-drawls, half-whines out just before she hiccups, that causing her to wince when it causes her diaphram to spasm and her ribs to ache just about immediately. "Ow…" Sighing, she looks at the altar, her expression blank some. "She's not," she semi-echoes to those she's with, "Just…insane.."

"Right…insane" Cinder agrees, continuing to face forward at the altar. Her breathing is deep and regular, and as she has her head forward, a few strands of blonde hair fall across her face. "So…that the only reason you called us down here? Or is there another reason?" She takes a look up to the altar and the finely crafted sculptures upon it.

"Just insane," Panda echoes, squeezing there hands once more before his grip loosens enough that, should they wish, they can let go. "Well, sure don't hurt things to have a coupla hot babes on my arms," he quips, flashing each a quick grin.

The snipe keeps her hand in Panda's, Callie needing the comfort too much to let go although she loosens her own grip when she does, doing so to get a bit more circulation in her fingers. When he jokes with Cinder she blushes and quips quickly, "Well, one out of two isn't bad, I guess," the joke a self-depreciating one along with a compliment to Cinder.

What should she say to that? Should she…say thank you? Should she self-depreciate right back at Callie to make her feel better? "I…uh…thanks?" she says, purposely lifing her voice to sound like a question, exaggerating that. She turns to look at Callie and Panda, looking a little…confused, unsure. It's clear she wants to say something, but doesn't have the words for it, and looks to them to help.

Panda turns his chin, prompted by Callie's comment, and places a long, soft kiss upon the young thing's forehead. "Yeah, that's all I wanted you two for. Y'know. Makin' sure the two people who keep me from goin' crazy know I'm here to do the same for them. 'All,'" he repeats, his tone of voice drawing the air-quotes without any help from his hands.

Callie blushes and looks at Cinder, mouthing 'sorry' as Panda's speaking and she doesn't want to be rude. The kiss happens just after that, it helping to bolster her self-esteem along with helping her recover the rest of the way from her earlier panic, her body untensing. "Thank you, Panda. And the same goes for me, too. For both of you. I don't know what I can do…I'm just a mech, not a brave Marine like you both are…but I can try."

"Brave marine…" she says with a chuckle. "I have no frakkin' idea how brave I am yet. Maybe I'm just stupid." Cinder smirks at Panda and Callie. "If you had said I'd be a Colonial MP a few months ago, I'd be thinking you were as frakkin' nuts as her." Cinder just shakes her head, and looks back to the altar and the figures on it. "I guess they're responsible, huh?"

Panda lets them both express their doubts, not denying either one of them their feelings. Cinder's final comment brings a response from him, at first in the form of a deep breath long held. "The stars shine on us; it is up to us to see them."

"Hard to see the stars when you're stuck on a ship like this, Panda." Callie smiles at him and then adds softly, "I hope they still like us enough to not care about that," 'they' being the stars Panda mentioned. "And if they do, I hope they can find me in the engine room. It's kind of a maze inside there."

That makes Cinder chuckle, having only patrolled through there once or twice so far. "I have to take a map when I go down there…" she sighs out. After thinking a few more minutes, she looks at Panda. "Well, I feel a little better now, actually. It's…nice here. I'll have to come down more often."

"They want us to succeed, Callie," Pandorian chides, voice still hushed. "To shine so bright, we ourselves need only follow the path they took to the heavens." There is something, apparently, that he finds sacred. Turning his head to the other side, with that as a segue, he smiles as serenely as he can in reply.

Callie smiles. "That sounds so lovely. Doesn't it, Cinder?" Some people might dismiss that all as being simple-minded of Panda but she thinks it's anything but, the way he says it along with how much of his heart he puts into that belief helping her feel good, like there might be something to have faith in. "We will have to find away to go star gazing the next time we can hit a planet and go dirtside."

"When are you scheduled for leave on Solon II? Probably pretty good star gazing down there, with how few people and lights there are. Might even get to sneak a peek of the Kharon itself from the surface." For the moment though, Cinder rocks herself backward, groaning as she gets up off her knees. "Sheesh, can't remember the last time I spent so long on my knees…" she winks down at Panda. It's totally appropriate for the chapel, but she can't help herself!

Panda takes Cinder's cue, pushing up off of his knee. Callie is likely to be lifted on his other arm. "Yeah," he grins at the MP, "well, if you was Fleet you'd be used to it." His own voice has risen, so he puts a finger to his lips. "C'mon, let's leave these people alone."

Callie gets onto her feet with the aid of Panda, using his arm and height difference as a point of leverage. "I'm not sure if shore leave is still going on," she says to the MP with a slight frown. "Might have been terminated entirely due to…you know." Shrugging, she reaches down and tries to rub a bit of feeling into her knees and calves, it causing her to hiss as she draws a hissed breath in. "So where to?"

Cinder shrugs, even if the question wasn't directed to her. "I was just gonna wander back to my bunk, get some extra shut-eye or whatever before my shift starts. Otherwise, if I can wander on down to the mess or lounge and sneak some solids, I might do that." She's wandering slowly down the center aisle now, back toward the door, careful not to disturb the other worshippers.

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