PHD 276: Afraid
Summary: After visiting at the sickbay, Callie and Panda make their way to watch the stars.
Date: PHD276 (1-19-10)
Related Logs: None

The walk down to the observation deck is made hand-in-hand the entire way, the relatively short trip made in comfortable silence. Once within the room proper, the Marine's led to a place to sit, a loveseat that's near the viewport that's closest to the hatch, Callie sitting near one arm of the couch only to then pat her lap. "Lay your head down."

For Panda, it's the silence that makes it comfortable. When the duck through the hatch Dorian pauses to stare reverently at the stars, though Callie's light tug on his arm gets the Marine moving again. Taking her lead the young man sits, and then with a smile of tired gratitude indeed does lay his head in her lap… and also swings his legs over the arm, taking the pressure off his throbbing thigh.

Being mostly alone here with very little in the way of other people to have eavesdrop on them encourages Callie to coo softly to Panda, the smile she had being trying to maintain slipping. "My poor love," she whispers while touching his cheek, the backs of her fingers brushed over his face tenderly. "I guess it was going to happen eventually but…" Sighing, she looks down towards Dorian's hurt leg, it being enough for the brave facade to shatter. "Oh Panda, was it as bad as it sounds?"

Panda's cheeks are bristly, a bit bumpy too. Razor must be on its last legs. "Nah, it just feels like I was pulling triple shifts in a guard shack. On one leg," he adds, looking up at her for a moment, then turns his head to the view. "Had worse falling off a horse." The man has to clear his throat and swallow the moment he mentions that.

Callie continues the affectionate petting of her love's cheek, it helping her to keep from going hysterical on him, a much needed distraction to say the least. "Pandorian, you do know that you don't have to pull the macho-bravado crap with me, yeah?" It's frustrating still, the way he plays off his emotions like he does, and for a moment she almost lets her grumpiness over it show but she keeps it all under tight reins, all under control. "I missed you while you were gone."

He's quiet for the space of several breaths, each one wheezing through his tight throat. "I miss the horses," Panda whispers, answering one question by playing off the other. "And the dogs, the… the sound of birds and buzzing creatures…" The sigh that rushes from his lungs is accompanied by two brief shivers through his body.

Can this be considered a breakthrough? Maybe not by most standards but Callie's chalking it up as such thanks to how he's talking about the animals where his having done so before caused meltdowns of epic proportion. "I know. I can tell you loved them, Dorian." Her hand slides up and over so she can brush a bit of hair from his forehead, his girl happy to listen. To be there for him.

"I'm so…" A tense Dorian sits up, grimacing at how much it pains his leg to do so quickly, but the squinting scan of the room seems to be important to him. With the last person thankfully ducking out the hatch he settles back into Callie's lap, but only after the door is closed. "I'm so afraid we're going to… to have to settle somewhere without them. I think I'm afraid, at least," he adds, his quiet tone dipping to a whisper. "It's been a really long time since I used that word."

Callie closes her eyes when Panda bolts upright, perhaps expecting him to bail on her like he did the one time they were talking with Seri and Tiera in the lounge before they all transferred here only to relax and open them when the weight of his head returns to her lap, it causing her to sigh in relief. "It's alright to be afraid, Pandorian. It's okay to be scared." She touches a finger to his lips and she smiles, a sad little imitation of one but she is trying to smile. "I'm afraid too," she adds in a volume that matches his own whisper.

Nope, no bolting, no shouting, no pronouncements of death. In fact the opposite, her fear seems to calm him; Callie can feel her man relaxing against her thigh in a moment. Panda strokes her knee, but he's not ready to smile. "I just don't know if I can raise kids in a world without 'em." He takes a deep breath. In a low and steady tone the Marine recites, "All a man needs is a flock and two ponies to lead them by." He doesn't seem to feel the need to expand on it.

"I am sure that there are worlds that haven't been nuked," Callie offers optimistically, "And that have animals that are similar to what you're used to there. Our…" Blinking, Callie looks away and sighs again, this time tremblingly. "Your children won't grow up without them. Blushing, her hand falls away from his face, Panda's cheek left alone.

"Yeah…" Panda rasps through a suddenly dry throat. His hand slips down over her knee and back up, over and over. The whirlpool of despair crushing his heart begins to lift, and soon he can see a glow of hope just beyond the horizon. "I hope you're right," Dorian says after a long silence. Then he places a light kiss on her thigh, never making it any clearer just which of her answers he was responding to.

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