Brooding and Bonding?

Started by Melody, August 17, 2020, 10:33:41 am

Melody

Having liberated the cat from Breene's sticky grip, taken a couple shots of the pallet destroying hooch their missing mechanic had worked up, and punched their new guest in his handsome face after being hit on, the pilot decided to leave them to their devices and hide out on the bridge. Rasputin laid in her arms, eyeing everything they passed with measured disgust and disdain, an expression that matched the incessantly annoyed scowl pulling at Melody's lips.

Her steps echoed as she moved up the stairs, a heavy sigh lifting and lowering tense shoulders, the cat looking up at her for her to explain why she'd dared to breathe on him. She didn't have an answer, so he hopped out of her arms and walked himself onto the bridge. "Captain on Deck," she announced softly, grinning a little, thinking the bridge would be empty. As she passed the threshold, Jo caught her eye and her mouth clamped shut, a soft pink working across her cheeks. Maybe he hadn't heard her. She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously before walking on and sitting heavily down onto her chair. She sighed again. Then cleared her throat. And finally spun her chair around to eye the tech specialist.

"You left in a hurry," she noted, referring to him quickly departing they galley the moment their 'meeting' had come to a close. The cat found himself a warm panel on the pilot's workstation and curled up, falling asleep instantaneously.
Dialogue Color: Brown

Joakim Soong

As soon as the topic of celebrating their victory over drinks came up, Jo excused himself, mumbling something about having to run some updates on the ship's computer. It was true that the ease with which he'd hijacked the Mercury had reminded him to double-check their systems for any potential security holes, but it wasn't like it needed to be done right this second. No, Jo's reason for bailing was simply not wanting anything to do with alcohol for the rest of the week, possibly for the rest of his life. If he could get something constructive done on the side, that was only a bonus.

"Captain on Deck."

Jo glanced over his shoulder, catching a fleeting glimpse of Melody's half-grin before her face dropped upon seeing him. He felt like he'd walked in on something, which was funny because technically she was the one doing the walking-in. He gave her a nod of acknowledgment and got back to work on the terminal. He wasn't in a particularly chatty mood after the events of the day, but he didn't mind her presence. Some people were uncomfortable with sitting still and sharing silence with another person, but Jo had never been one of them.

"You left in a hurry."

Jo shrugged. He'd hoped the hastiness of his departure wasn't too obvious, but figures Mel would call him out for it. "I just wanted to do some maintenance on the system, you know, make sure everything's up to date... Also I'm not big on alcoholic benders. I'm boring like that."

He leaned to the side in his chair and peered past his monitor at Melody. Aside from looking a little flushed, she appeared to be quite sober in comparison to his fuzzy recollections of the night before.

"Looks like you decided to skip the train to Head-Splitting Hangover Town, too," he said. "I trust Holger and Breene are getting along like two boozy peas in a pod."
Dialogue color: teal

Melody

"I just wanted to do some maintenance on the system, you know, make sure everything's up to date... Also I'm not big on alcoholic benders. I'm boring like that," he explained. She grunted in response and stared back at him when he turned to appraise her sobriety. He was right, of course. With their ship having been previously owned by the "goody-two-shoes" Alliance, it was probably riddled with common back door entrances for people like Jo. It didn't hurt to have him look it over every so often to make sure their own system couldn't be drilled into the way the Atkinson's had been. Still, she rolled her eyes at the thought of the Atkinson's mutineer.

"Looks like you decided to skip the train to Head-Splitting Hangover Town, too," he said, regaining her attention. "I trust Holger and Breene are getting along like two boozy peas in a pod."

"I don't know why," she admitted, reaching out to pet the cat idly and getting a one-eyed scowl from the beast in the process before it went back to sleep. "Holger is big and loud but he's honorable. I'd trust him with my life. Again. On purpose, this time. But the new guy is just..." she lifted her hands, waved them about, and struggled to find a mean enough word for what she thought Breene was. Disloyal? Skeevy? Conniving? Dangerous? Disgrace? "...just..." she made a motion above her head like she was illustrating his hair style, "...he's..." It was about at this point that she gave up and sighed, staring across the way at Jo. "Whatever he is, I don't trust him enough to get drunk. Not while he's sitting on our ship with his grubby arm and penchant for violence," she explained, which was a little silly considering Melody also had quite the penchant for violence.

"You uh..." she began, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at him. Then, she crossed her leg, uncrossed it, crossed it the other way, and cleared her throat a second time. "...how are your feelings?" Mel finally asked, looking pained.
Dialogue Color: Brown

Joakim Soong

"I don't know why. Holger is big and loud but he's honorable. I'd trust him with my life. Again. On purpose, this time. But the new guy is just... just... he's... Whatever he is, I don't trust him enough to get drunk. Not while he's sitting on our ship with his grubby arm and penchant for violence."

Jo listened patiently and managed to keep his expression neutral, despite the strange urge to chuckle at her fumbling with her words. He wasn't sure what there was to laugh about; he certainly didn't find her outburst from before funny. "Penchant for violence." As if half the crew of this ship didn't have a penchant for violence, present company included.

"You uh... how are your feelings?"

The question caught Jo off-guard. "How are my feelings... about what?" He shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Breene? I wouldn't trust him with my life, but I trust him enough to consider him an ally. Which makes his face a no-punch zone for me."

Jo hadn't meant to bring the subject up right now, not when Mel was buzzed and they both deserved a relaxing evening, but there it was anyway. Anticipating another temper flare-up from the captain, he quickly continued:

"Don't get me wrong, I can think of a few people I'd like to punch in the face myself, but it's a very short and carefully curated list and doesn't include anyone I'd ever cooperate with, even temporarily." He found his mind pulled towards the dark crevices of his memory, towards the events that had taken place on Beaumonde some... four years ago? Had it really only been four years? The smug face of the corrupt Fed in charge of the investigation. The factory's PR representative with his blinding veneers. Not the kind of acquaintances he wanted to reminiscence about right now.
Dialogue color: teal

Melody

"How are my feelings... about what? Breene? I wouldn't trust him with my life, but I trust him enough to consider him an ally. Which makes his face a no-punch zone for me."

Melody rolled her eyes and slunk down in her seat, arms firmly crossed over her chest as she glared in the tech specialist's direction. "You shouldn't," she muttered, brows furrowed deeply.

"Don't get me wrong, I can think of a few people I'd like to punch in the face myself, but it's a very short and carefully curated list and doesn't include anyone I'd ever cooperate with, even temporarily."

Finally, Mel stood up, her hands shoved into her pockets. She eyed Jo, then looked around at the bridge, and finally settled her gaze on his face again. Although she was standing, she didn't make any move to enter his personal safety bubble. "You shouldn't trust him, and I'll tell you why," she began, tilting her head to the side and looking down at where he was sitting. "He just killed the majority of his own crew. People he knew, people he worked with, over a differing of opinion. He doesn't know us. He hasn't worked with us. You think killing us won't be easy for him, should our opinions begin to differ?" she asked, raising a brow.

"As the Captain, or whatever I am, of this ship, it's my job to keep my crew safe. And unlike him, I can boast that I've never murdered my crew-mates. So if punching him in the face to remind him that we're not pushovers keeps you," she pointed a finger at him, "and the little doctor alive and off his radar, then you bet your ass I'm going to punch him as many times as it takes. We have to work with him, for now, but he's not our friend and he's not our ally. He's not your ally. And I have no doubt in my mind that if he decides this isn't going the way he wants, he'll have no problem cutting your throat in your sleep," Melody explained, lowering her hand and shoving it back into her pocket. Punching him reminded him that A) she was in charge, B) she didn't trust him, and C) if he was going to hurt anyone on the ship, it would be her. That kept her crew alive. 

With a grunt, the pilot sat back down in her seat and turned it around, putting her back to him as she frowned at the controls. "I might be less...subtle than you'd like, but I'm not a beast or an idiot. I have reasons for what I do, even if you might not understand what they are. I just need you to trust me, a little..."
Dialogue Color: Brown

Joakim Soong

Jo listened to Melody quietly, feeling a little sheepish the way a misbehaving kid being lectured by a parental figure might feel -- but just like a kid being lectured, there was a hint of righteous indignation mixed in with the shame. Sure, Melody had a point, but he had one too. And she blew right past it.

"I might be less...subtle than you'd like, but I'm not a beast or an idiot. I have reasons for what I do, even if you might not understand what they are. I just need you to trust me, a little..."

"It's not that I don't trust you, Mel," Jo said, promptly correcting what he considered to be the most glaring misunderstanding of this whole mess of an exchange. "It was never about that, just... I don't know, preserving some ounce of civility in this madhouse?"

He contemplated for a moment whether he should open the can of worms he was about to. He was tired and part of him wanted to just smile and nod at her and call it a night. Maybe in the earlier days of knowing Melody he would've done just that, but at this point it would've felt disrespectful. If being honest with her meant stretching out this agonizing conversation, so be it. He leaned forward in his chair, resting his arms on his knees and interlocking his fingers.

"The way I see it, he's a turncoat. And I seem to recall there being more than one of those on this ship. Maybe you never murdered your crew mates, but you are going pretty hard against the faction that raised you up to where you are now. And they deserve it, and I respect you for it, and I trust that you're doing it for the right reasons. And yes, I'm willing to give Breene some fraction of the same benefit of the doubt. A fraction--" he emphasized before she got it in her head that he was all about blind trust "--but it's more than nothing."

He could've left it there, but truth was, even Jo had an ego, and it had started hurting right around the part where Melody had wagged her finger at his face and told him he needed her protection. Being lumped in with their 'little doctor' just added insult to the injury. As if he, too, was some prissy core-bred damsel.

"If you're really punching him in the face for my sake, please don't. If he ends up shiving me in my sleep you can stand over my bleeding body and tell me 'I told you so' as many times as you'd like." His demeanor was calm as ever, although there may have been a drop of sardonic venom in his voice that hadn't been there at the beginning of this conversation.
Dialogue color: teal

Melody

September 18, 2020, 11:03:40 am #6 Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 03:10:36 pm by Axe
Melody stared out the front view port, watching the stars shimmering impossibly far away as they moved through the blackness of space. She looked down at the console array, uncrossing her arms just long enough to calibrate a setting before she sat back again. If Mel could 'pout,' this is what it would look like.

"The way I see it, he's a turncoat. And I seem to recall there being more than one of those on this ship," Jo began, and her mouth opened to snap back something in correction, then clamped closed as he continued. "Maybe you never murdered your crew mates, but you are going pretty hard against the faction that raised you up to where you are now." Again, she inhaled to argue, turning her chair around to face him, and again he moved right along, her mouth closing once more. "And they deserve it, and I respect you for it, and I trust that you're doing it for the right reasons. And yes, I'm willing to give Breene some fraction of the same benefit of the doubt." He must have known she was about to explode at him for offering a strange murderer his trust, because before she could move or begin her protest, he emphasized his meaning. "A fraction but it's more than nothing."

Her jaw clenched and released several times, and she narrowed her eyes as she considered how to react to everything he'd said. In truth, this was the most he'd said to her in general, at least in one breath. And perhaps, this was also the most honest he'd been with her. She had to weigh that against how obnoxious it was that he was right and how much she wanted to unplug his computer and send him to bed without supper...

"If you're really punching him in the face for my sake, please don't. If he ends up shiving me in my sleep you can stand over my bleeding body and tell me 'I told you so' as many times as you'd like," he informed her, the edge in his voice raising her brow in surprised curiosity. Finally, the tension drained from her shoulders and she slapped her hands against her face, rubbing it harshly and letting out a guttural groan of defeat.

"Fine!" she said behind her hand, voice muffled. Finally, Melody uncovered her face and let her hands fall to her lap with a heavy slapping sound, as though she hadn't bothered to regulate their fall at all. And she hadn't. "I will try to be more 'civil'," she agreed, rolling her eyes a little before glaring at him. "But understand, Jo. I don't want to have to say, 'I told you so.' That would bring me no joy. I'm not trusting him, not even an ounce. But I'm trusting you. So...there, trust has happened, I'm a good Captain, and we're...good...?" she finished, standing and putting her hands on her hips, then sliding them into her pockets, and finally, letting them rest at her sides, not knowing what the rutt to do with them. Her frown deepened.
Dialogue Color: Brown

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