Of Tempers and Toothbrushes
Of Tempers and Toothbrushes
Summary: Legacy and Komnenos deal with a couple of lingering issues.
Date: PHD087 (15 July 2009)
Related Logs: Respect, I'd Rather Feel Pain (sort of)

Thea leads the way through the corridors to the office she shares with Kai and probably a dozen other people. It's quiet, at the moment - most are off at dinner. Through the desks she goes until she comes to an empty one. "Pull up a chair, Thorn," she says quietly, gesturing to one nearby. She settles on the corner of the desk, at the front.

He does, sitting tensely across the table from the captain. Thorn's never been comfortable in an office, with its air of assumed formality, and it shows. "I couldn't help but catch some of your conversation in quarters the other day, and if I may be so bold… I believe your anger with Lieutenant Stathis was at least partially misplaced." Well, unlike Ivory, he certainly doesn't beat around the bush.

She folds her arms over her abdomen, low, a relaxed posture. Her head tilts slightly to one side as she watches him. "Oh," she asks, a hint of curiosity in her voice. She doesn't go beyond that, though.

There's nothing relaxed about Komnenos' posture at the moment. He's sitting rigid in his chair, hands with a whiteknuckled grip on his knees. "I'm the one that caused the disruption in the bunker sickbay. I was the one who was lucid and should have known better, while Ti— Lieutenant Stathis — was on his back with holes stitched in his body and swimming in morpha. I claim responsibility for any disruption that occured. I ought t' be the one called t' account."

Thea listens as she always does, giving Thorn all of her attention. And when he's finished, she dips her head, once. "I agree with you," she says simply. "And that's why you were given the task you were, both of you. However, the problem with Lieutenant Stathis isn't what happened in the bunker, but his attitude since returning. Quite simply, his mouth is getting him into deep shit. The CAG noticed it and I noticed it."

"And mine isn't?" Komnenos returns softly. "I assume you heard about the incident in sickbay with Dr. Solminihac." Most of what the Raptor crews do gets back to Thea somehow, sooner or later.

A brow arches slightly and she shakes her head. "I hadn't heard, no," she tells him. Though, of course, one look at her face indicates that she might have had an idea about it. Oddly, though, she remains relaxed.

"I gave him what could have been regarded as an order. T' a superior officer. After complaining in front of him about the assignment you gave myself and Ivory," Thorn informs her, still quiet. It's as though that delicate brow is simply drawing the truth right out of him. "I've been sullen and borderline insubordinate; in direct violation of several promises I've made t' you about such things in the past. I know I'm not much of an officer t' begin with, but recently I feel I've fallen beneath even my own standards of what an officer should be." He folds his arms and hunches over slightly, falling abruptly silent as he waits for her reaction.

Her face gives nothing away. It's probably one of the things they teach them in officer candidate school. For now, she simply considers him and considers his words. "Well," she says after a bit. "It sounds like there are two questions in play here. First, what's causing all of this, and secondly, what do we do about it before your ass is violated by my boot."

As Thea's tone changes, Thorn reflexively reassumes that rigid posture of seated attention. "Sir, in all honesty, everything I can think of t' say t' answer sounds either like a copout or an excuse. I'm also not sure how t' convince you that this is only a momentary lapse. It's not as though I've not said that before." He breaks off with a cough.

She remains perched on the edge of the desk, nodding slowly as she watches him. "Were you in my position, what would be your next course of action," she asks him, head canted. Her tone is still conversational.

Komnenos blinks at that, and a heavy silence reigns in the room for a moment as he considers the question. "I wouldn't presume t' know the answer t' that, sir," comes the reply in a hushed tone. "I suppose I would try t' discover and address the problem before taking any drastic action involving my boots. Unless the officer in question is an incorrigible disruption."

There's a slow, considering nod. "And what do you suppose the problem would be, if you were to attempt to discover said problem," Thea asks mildly, studying the man in front of her.

"In my case?" A shrug of slumped shoulders, and Thorn continues. "I don't know how this will sound, but…" Yeah, he recognizes that look. Get on with it, Thorn. "There was a lot of anger down on Scorpia. Anger at the fact we'd crashed with no immediate hope of rescue. Anger at the Cylons. Anger at the whole bloody situation down there. I was even angry when Lieutenant Stathis was recovering and trying to get involved with my communications project." He glances up at Thea. "I should have left it all down there, but I didn't. It came back up with me, at least for a while. And now that it's finally gone, I can see what a fool I've been."

Thea considers him for a time, then nods, once. "I understand the anger, Thorn," she says quietly. "I've been there myself, and was there on Scorpia. What it comes down to, though, at the end of the day? You're a Colonial Officer. You're a Ghost Rider." Apparently the last is, perhaps, a little more important than the first. "You're young, but you can NOT let that youth derail you. I don't have time for Riders who aren't going to toe the line. I don't have time for Riders who aren't willing to give one hundred and ten percent. I can't have people in my wing who are going to cause trouble." She lets that sink in for him. "Now, one of the ways I think you can pull this back on track? Find out what's going on with Ivory and get his head out of his ass."

"Captain, I've never tried t' give you anything less than my best," Thorn responds, still quiet. "You deserve that much. From all of us." There's a hitch in his voice, there. "I never wanted t' be that person." He rises to his feet, sensing the meeting is drawing to a close. "If it's worth anything, sir, I think this experience will help me in the long run. And I'll have a talk with Ivory, as well."

"Sit," Thea says quietly, arching a brow just a touch. Nothing more, just that one word.

Deflated, Thorn does so, slumping back into the chair. No protests, no looks, just instant compliance.

"You and Thorn are getting good about wanting to anticipate when you're going to be dismissed," she comments, offering a very faint smile. No, she's not angry with him. There's certainly not that feeling about her. "Now, you never properly answered my questions. You answered around them, but you never answered the questions."

This time, there's a slight frown on his face, although it seems to be out of confusion than anything else. "I'm sorry, Captain, but I don't understand." He shrugs helplessly.

"What part of 'you didn't answer my questions' isn't clear, Lieutenant," she asks with a hint of amusement. She takes a breath and lets it out slowly. "What do you think I should do with you and your attitude, Lieutenant?"

Thorn's voice catches in his throat; suddenly uneasy, he begins to empathize with the condemned man asked to select his own method of execution. What exactly is he supposed to say here? "I suppose a spanking and a talking-to is out of the question," he offers weakly. "What am I supposed t' say? I would hope I'm mature enough that our discussion today is enough t' set me straight. But I've never been in your position."

"One day you WILL be," Thea says quietly. "You are a future leader, Thorn." No, she's not using his rank, but the more familiar call-sigh. Though, which is worse? "You humiliated me in front of the CAG. You led Ivory down the same path. You have had, by your own admission, a shiteous attitude." She ticks these things off on her fingers. "You need to think like leader, Thorn. You need to think like someone who will be commanding a squadron one day. Now I ask again, what would you do?"

Him? A future leader? Komnenos would laugh, if it wasn't an extremely ill-advised idea at the moment. "Frankly, sir, I'd give myself a chewing-out like I'd never recieved before, then give myself an only slightly friendlier lecture on why the chain of command exists, and the value of maintaining the integrity of it, especially in times like these. And I'd warn me that if it happened again, I could expect t' face anything from grounding t' charges of insubordiation." And thus is Thorn's throat bared. "But then again, sir, I never thought of myself as leadership material," he adds as an afterthought. "As I said, I'd never thought t' be in your position."

Thea's eyes move over the young man's features, her posture subtly changing from relaxed to boot-lodged-in-ass. "I dare say the chewing out and the lecture wouldn't be anywhere near as effective as the ones you're giving yourself," she says quietly. "You're grounded for three days. Off the flight line. During that time, the Marine Head needs some special attention. You can pick up the toothbrush in general distribution. I also expect you to spend time with your pilot to determine the best way to assist him in the removal of his head from his ass. You are a leader, Thorn, and I expect you to act like one. I don't care that someone might hold higher rank. You. Are. A. Ghost Rider. Am I understood?" The look she's spearing him with just -dares- the man to try to get out of the chair he's in.

And Komnenos does just sit there, as if impaled to the back of his chair by the look in her eyes. "Perfectly, Captain," he responds, his voice falling almost to a whisper.

She studies him for a long moment, then nods, once. "You're dismissed, Thorn," she says quietly. "But understand me when I say this - I am looking to you and Ivory for leadership. Right now I'm worried about Ivory, just as I'm worried about you. It took quite a bit of balls for you to come to me on this, and it's appreciated, noted. Thank you for coming to me." The look has softened. She's still the Captain, but she's a Captain who's hurting, having to punish one of her own. "Get some rest and go to Sickbay if that cold doesn't start clearing up."

"Understood," Thorn responds in a raspy voice, finally coming to his feet. "Although I hope you'll forgive me if I start t' wish I'd kept my mouth shut after three days of cleaning the Marine head with a toothbrush," he adds with the ghost of a smile pulling at his lips. He walks to the door, but stops just at the threshold and pauses for a long moment, as if something else has occured to him. Finally he turns back to her, and speaks once again, this time more hesitantly. "I don't know if this is the best time t' bring it up, but as long as I'm offering apologies…" Komnenos clears his throat, suddenly paralyzed.

She remains perched on the edge of the desk and offers him a wry smile. "It only took me a day to do that head myself, Lieutenant. You can do it in less." Thea falls silent, head tilting to the side a little as she watches him. After a moment she nods, once, to encourage him.

"Several nights ago, when we were talking after Lieutenant Sparro retired," Thorn finally continues. "I said a cruel thing t' you that night, and I want you t' know how sorry I am on a personal level for twisting the knife like that." His throat clears again, but it's not helping that catch in his voice. "It might be better in the future t' simply not bring that topic up for discussion again," he mumbles, a sudden tinge of red on his face.

"Perhaps it would be best, Anton," she says, voice quiet. "But I'm not going to leave you to hang out to dry. Not in this. I can be there for you, I just cannot be that for you." Blue eyes slide from his face as the hint of hurt makes itself known. "We all say things that we don't mean at times. Thank you, though, for your apology."

As he walks out, Thea covers her face with both hands and just sits there for a time, bent slightly at the waist. Seconds tick by, and when enough of them have gone, she straightens herself up and turns to leave the room herself.

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