Location: Battlestar Solaria
Timeline: Backpost: PCH-15 0800 Hours
Freedom. Ayesha could smell it. She was so close to being released from medical she could see the light…standing at the desk while a nurse checked her out, dressed in her day wear pants boots and tank shirt, Ayesha shifted from foot to foot as she waited impatiently for the release order.
Darius had spent the last few hours in a viper and he was exhausted. He hadn’t had any serious rack time for a while and was daydreaming of how it would feel when his head hit the pillow. He stood in the head, brushing his teeth with slow, tired strokes of his toothbrush. He looked at himself, his eyes dancing over his shaved head and looking into themselves. He saw something different there than he had seen before. Was this all his life would be from now on? Flying a viper in a lost human fleet? If so, it suited him well.
He spit, rinsed his mouth out, and smiled at himself in the mirror. There was no time for regrets. Suddenly, all he could think about was Ayesha; he remembered her face and her beautiful smile; he imagined what the rest of her might look like. Then, he returned to reality and decided to visit her before bed.
Ayesha however was on her way to pilot country. With doctors in hand and her left arm in a sling she walked slowly to the bunk rooms. As far as she knew everyone was in their Vipers or Raptors. She had tentative plans to head to flight ops and try to make herself useful. Standing outside the pilot racks, Ayesha considered the numbers on the doors, looking for the one, she as a refugee had been assigned.
“They let you out.” Darius said, making his approach. “I was just on my way to bust you out, actually. What a shame.” He smiled easily as he stopped beside her. He looked down at her and tried to determine how she was doing without asking.
Ayesha smiled up at him. “Yeah they were nice enough to release me on probation. You know, be good, no loop de loops in my Viper that sort of thing.”
“So now you’re being good, huh?” he asked with a chuckle, leaning against the bulkhead beside him. “You must have really wanted your freedom. Maybe you were trying to avoid me carrying you out of sickbay on my shoulder?”
She laughed at that. It felt good to be laughing in such times. Flashing a grin at him, Ayesha shrugged her shoulders. “It would have been entertaining to say the least Darius.” glancing at the paper in her hand she said “While you’re here though. I am looking for my bunk assignment.. care to help?”
“Yeah, no problem.” he said, taking the page out of her hand and looking at the page. He flashed a confused expression, and then gave a subtle grin. “It looks like you’re in my bunk, actually.” he looked up at her. “Did you request a change?”
Ayesha shook her head. “Nope. Did we lose anyone?”
“Nope. You’re the only one who got hurt.” he said evenly, a confused look on his face. After a few seconds, he shrugged and opened the door closest to them. “This is it. Welcome to your new home.” he said, gesturing inside.
Stepping past him, Ayesha entered the bunk room. Just like her old bunk room. “Just like the Oly.” she said softly. Ruthlessly she shoved the emotion down. -Mourn the dead later- she thought to herself. “So which one is free?” She asked forcing brightness into her voice.
He looked around, trying to see which bed was devoid of clothing or personal belongings. “Looks like this one.” he said, walking over to one across from his own bunk.
Ayesha sat on the empty bottom bunk. “Comfy.” she smiled up at him. “The quartermaster said he will get me some clothes and such later today.”
“That’s probably for the best”, he said, pulling up a chair from the central table and lowering himself into it. “Friskie’s been looking around for the joker who stole her extra flight suit. She might be kinda ticked at you when she finds out you’ve scratched it all up.”
He looked up and pointed. “She’s got the bunk above you.”
“Stole?” Ayesha raised an eyebrow. “Borrowed with the intent of returning it.. you found it for me remember. You seem to enjoy getting me into trouble. I will requisition another for her… they cut it up pretty bad.”
“Relax.” he said with a grin. “I’ll tell her to get a hike. She’s not going to mess with you while I’m around.” after he said that, his smile broadened and he lifted an eyebrow. “When have I ever gotten you in trouble?”
Ayesha raised an eyebrow back at him. “The porno star” was all she said.
“I was just trying to help you meet your idol.” he said, bursting out in laughter as soon as the words escaped his mouth. He hoped she understood now that he was joking. He leaned in, more seriously, his face close to hers. “How’s your arm?”
“It’s good. Not sore and not itching. But it’s a bit cumbersome.” Ayesha replied “I have to wear the sling for the next 5 weeks.. cast off in 6 weeks.” she reached out her right hand to touch his face. “You look tired.”
“I am.” he said, smiling at her touch. “I was just about to catch some Zs before my next flight.” He put his hand on hers for a moment, and then released it, reaching his other hand around and touching her face as well.
Smiling Ayesha said softly “Then you should get some sleep. You should take the time and rest.”
Leaning in, Darius placed his hand in her hair and put his lips gently against hers. Her lips curved beneath his as Ayesha leaned into him and kissed him back. They stayed that way for several seconds before Darius leaned back, freeing his lips from hers.
“I can sleep when I’m dead.” he said with a smile.
“If you don’t sleep Darius, you will be in no shape to fly and you could crash.. Like I did.” Ayesha protested softly. “Get some rack time. You can spend time with me when you wake up.” she smiled.
Darius looked at her, clearly not liking the idea. He wanted to ask her to come with him, but knew it was too soon for that. Yet still, he felt reckless. This could be the day they all die after all. He watched her for several seconds without responding, still holding her face close to his.
“You’re right.” he said, finally. “I’ll sleep…but only if you stay with me.”
Watching his eyes carefully, Ayesha took a moment and then sighed and nodded. “Ok.” She said “Just remember, I have this cast on ok?”
“Of course.” he said with a warm smile as he moved over to his bunk. He turned around and grabbed her healthy arm, helping her down unto the lower bunk and lifting the covers for her.
Ayesha slid into the bunk and waited for him to join her. She settled as best she could on her right side facing him.
Darius joined her and rolled back the curtain that would allow them darkness and privacy in the common area. He pulled up the covers around her in the relative darkness. This was new and strange, but he was happier in this moment than he had been in while.
Ayesha rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. It felt good to rest there, curled close to someone else. And even though she barely knew him, their acquaintance was merely days old, it felt right to her. “Sleep Darius” she whispered.
“Yeah yeah..” he said quietly, smiling. He carefully wrapped his arm around her, being sure to steer clear of her own arm.