Strike Three
Log Title
Summary: Trey inflicts himself upon Aisling Kaye. It doesn't go well.
Date: 2657.323
Related Logs: Strike One, Strike Two (both forthcoming)

Officers' Mess - Deck 6

Trey is sitting in the messhall, looking a little bewildered. It's not the food, which could probably better, sitting in that metal tray. It's not the small lump on his forehead, though it probably hurts. But if anything, it's all the people. People coming. People going. People everywhere. His eyes are darting around from person to person and there's a slightly queasy, 'I do NOT belong here' expression on his face, but on him, it probably looks amusing, like the whole thing is a joke and his horror is mostly skin deep.

Equally amusing are Aisling Kaye's repeated attempts to enter the hatch to grab a bite to eat: every time she tries, it seems as if another boisterous group of pilots chooses /that/ particular moment to barge in or barge out. Eventually, though, her persistence pays off when some chivalrous bomber jocks part ways to allow her passage. "Thanks," she whispers, cheeks flushed and eyes downcast. Then, with quick and quiet steps, she's moving to the line. "Vegetables, please."

Trey rubs the bruise on his head, then taps it a couple of times, making 'ow' gestures with his face. Of course, then he taps it again and again, so it's not like he's got much to complain about. Vegetables end up on her tray. Looks like meatloaf tonight, too. Trey leans back and watches the people coming and going. He hasn't really touched his food.

"Thanks," Mouse says again, and her voice is pitched so low that she might as well have not said a word. Slender fingers tug at her necklace as she waits for four scoops of boiled spinach to be transferred to her plate - and a generous helping of meatloaf, too. But before she can summon the courage to say anything in response, she's directed to the tables by an impatient marine. A mumbled "Sorry" and Kaye is on her way, tray in hand, doing her best to avoid the meaty smell now wafting up into her nostrils.
Oh no. Where to sit?

Trey happens to glance up at just that moment and spots the woman looking for somewhere to sit. His eyes dart left. They dart right. If she's watching, there is a strictly comical aspect to it, the eyebrows' owner appearing naturally playful like a puppy. When he kicks an opposite chair out and extends both arms out like, 'here I am!' one would have to be braindead to not realize he's actually -offering- her a place to sit. One would have to be cloistered to imagine he won't be flirting with her, either.

Fortunately for that very forward man (and unfortunately for her), Kaye is a /pilot/, who lives and dies by her peripheral vision. Like a marionette on strings, her head comes up, and for a moment Trey can see the flush on her face before she averts her gaze once more: a deer in the headlights, an ostrich in the sand. One gets the feeling she's willing to stand there for as long as it takes for Trey to Go Away -

And she might have done it, too, if not for that impatient marine. "You gonna move, lady?" growls the squid, who speaks only when he's about a foot or so away from her ear. "Or did they not teach you how to use a chair in flight school?"

To that, Mouse has no answer except another brief apology. Her face a brilliant shade of crimson, Kaye scampers forward and sits at the first free table she sees, which just so happens to be a seat away from the one she's just been offered. How unlucky.

. o O (Oh, that works too!!!) Yes. One can practically read what the man is thinking, and it's so clear on his face. He doesn't look like he's trolling for sex, really. This is far more playful, like he can't wait to, "Nice meatloaf! It really goes with your uniform. Sir!" He salutes, smiling playfully at her. There's something about the way he does it, too. He's not doing anythign wrong, but saluting just looks dramatic on him, like the man needs a cloak and a rainstorm to fill out his ensemble. It doesn't look forced, either.

It takes a moment for Kaye to register that she's being talked to, and another moment for her to register the precise - shall we say 'tenor' - of those words. It's not difficult to guess what happens next. "Thanks," she says, her low alto sounding a little ragged now that it can be heard up close. Is that the only word she knows? If her plan works out, Trey won't get a chance to find out: ever so subtly, she's scooting her chair a half-inch away at a time, until at last her back is turned.

"Oh, please." asks Trey with a light touch. "Not you too. This has to be what a cafeteria is like in hell. Tell me if the meatloaf is any good." requests he, tilting his completely untouched tray at the woman, if she's looking or not. He admits, "I'm pretty sure I won't be able to eat it, so that means I get to live vicariously through a hot brunette. And I can live with that."

No, she's not looking. That's the best part about having her back turned to somebody: she can't see anything that somebody does. Alas, people are far more difficult to ignore when they're talking - especially when they're talking to /her/ - though she does her best to pretend like she's engrossed in her meal. This is made rather difficult, of course, by the fact that there's a lump of shapeless malformed meat in close proximity to her food. "Do you want it?" she asks after a while, having set down her fork in resignation. "I - " Kaye's voice, already quiet, drops another few decibels. "I don't eat meat."

"Hey, are you okay? You sound more uncomfortable than I am. I'm Trey. Uh, Second Lieutenant Greyson." He offers a hand towards her, and brushes it against her shoulder so she knows it's there. "I just got activated. You too, huh? You sound terrified like I am." He doesn't sound too terrified, really, though he may have that 'scared to death' overtone worked into his voice if you listen carefully. Or maybe it's just indigestion. These things are funny like that. "I won't be eating anything, though. I didn't touch anything on my tray, remember?"

Though the touch is brief (and hardly objectionable in the grand scheme of things), Mouse flinches nonetheless, her shoulders hunching inwards as if to draw herself into a very small ball. "I'm fine," she says, and even /she/ doesn't sound convinced. "Really." And to prove it, she reaches for her fork to take a bite of her greens, forcing the watery spinach down her throat with a gulp. As for her name? Well, apart from the tag on the front pocket of her uniform, it's not forthcoming.

Trey admits, "You don't -sound- fine." He pauses, as though considering something, and then turns back to his table, "I'm sorry for bugging you. Hope you can work through it." and then scoots his vegetables into the meatloaf, like it's some sort of dam. He even picks a little bit of the meatloaf off, sending it to the plate. Battle damage.

"No - er - " Kaye is at a loss for words, or perhaps she's merely trying not to puke: in her haste, she somehow picked up a dollop of spinach in which a few stray bits of meat have been mixed. At any rate, it'll take a couple of seconds before she works up the will to continue. "I'm Aisling," she murmurs apologetically, her fair complexion a proud shade of pink. "I'm new." As if Trey hasn't already figured /that/ out.

Trey turns back towards Kaye and clasps that hand on her shoulder again. "Hi, Aisling. I'm Trey. I'm new, too." He offers her a hand to shake, as well. If she takes it, she'll find his handshake is probably a little warmer than it needs to be, and he holds onto her hand a touch longer than he probably has to. That he can get away with this without seeming slimy is either horrifying or amazing, depending on one’s point of view, "Drafted me. You sign up? I'm in the 1087th fighter group." And he's got the lump on his forehead to prove it.

Whereas Mouse does her level best to wriggle out of that handshake as quickly as possible, shifting her body to get his hand off of her shoulder in the process. Her grip is light, almost airy, and she doesn't look anywhere but down. "I heard you the first time," she says to the deck, showing what seems to be the first hint of spirit since her entry into the mess. All too quickly, it disappears. "I enlisted. Seven years ago, but - " So she's a /veteran/? "With the 'Illuminati,'" the pilot adds. Which doesn't quite seem to follow.

"You don't like me." Trey says it simply, with a touch of hurt in his voice, but not much. "Oh. The 221st. I went out with them last night. On a training mission. Turned out it wasn't a training mission. We got diverted to defend a freighter, and I landed without a canopy. Almost landed without a head. Seven years, huh? You don't look 30 at all. More like 22."

"Twenty-five." Apparently, Mouse isn't ashamed of disclosing her age. "I joined after I graduated from St Brigid's." As Kaye talks, she gathers together another bite of spinach with practiced delicacy, raising and lowering her fork to let some excess water drip down towards her plate. This time, she makes sure to select only those leaves that /aren't/ contaminated by meat. "I couldn't go to uni," she explains before swallowing. This time around, she doesn't make a face.

Trey observes her while absently attacking his meat fortress with string beans. In a little while, Lieutenant Fork flies 'Utensil Wing' over the target area and starts to kamikaze. Even he's not watching the exciting carnage, "Oh. I see. So you sort of worked your way into being an officer. Huh. That's … well, I didn't even go to high school, so I won't hold that against you. I could fly and when they drafted me, I had the aptitude, so they sent me to basic. Not that you asked." It's not that Trey has a way with words. He has a way with -saying- words, and those last four are unlikely to sound spiteful. It's more like he's admitting it, "But there it is."

"Oh," is Kaye's eloquent reply, which is soon followed by a quiet "I see." Then, all Trey will hear is a long, yawning silence, punctuated periodically by the scrape of metal against porcelain. She even /chews/ quietly. The nuns at that school of hers sure did their job. But just when the sound of Awkward can't get any louder, Kaye interrupts with an observation of her own: "You talk a lot."

"Well I'm scared." admits Trey, simply and casually. "I'm scared to death, so I'm talking. You're pretty, experienced… we even have the same hair color. It's like looking at a prettier and better smelling version of me, except she's looking over there instead of over here." It's not forceful. It might even sound cute. He plucks a strand of his short hair from his head and holds it to her head. "Look at that! Perfect match!"

"Oh," says Mouse, not willing to face him despite his not-so-subtle hint. Apparently, she's willing to accept Trey's assertion regarding their respective hair colors without question. As for her expression? It’s still tense - and still pink, to her lasting frustration. To be honest, her flush hasn't subsided since she first stepped into the mess, most likely because of her accursed Irish blood. "Thanks?"

"Here." He lays that strand of brown hair over the back of her hand, if he can. If not, he tucks it into her collar, "Something to remember me by after I'm dead. I, uh, guess you've seen a lot of death. I'm used to just running away from it, not sticking around in the thick of it."

"Sort of." As only her right hand is moving - indeed, as he talks, Mouse manages to finish not one but two fork-loads of her veggies - Trey encounters no difficulty. Hazel eyes flick over to what the man has just set down, as if to say 'Is that actual /hair/?' Then, with a casual turn of her wrist, the woman allows the gift to drift to the floor. Only after a contemplative silence does she speak again. "Do you think about that often?"

Trey looks her right in the eyes. "You have hazel eyes," notes the rookie with a weak little smile, "Just like me. You really -are- a prettier, better smelling, more experienced version of me." You have to give it to him. He's hard to dissuade, "Uh, not exactly. I mean, it's a little complicated. I've been shot at since I was 15 years old. It's just that I'm used to running and there's nowhere to run, now."

It's by sheer chance that Kaye meets his gaze - and then, after seeing him true for no more than a second, she busies herself with her food. With the back of her knife, she pushes her sizeable serving of reprocessed pork onto the napkin to the left of her plate, grimacing as streaks of oil soak into its single-ply surface. "I was going to play the piano," she offers hesitantly. "I - I didn't."

"I mean - I don't," Mouse clarifies. "Play - seriously, anymore. You know."

Trey doesn't look creepy, when he's looked at in the eyes. If anything, he seems sort of bold in that cute, 'look at me! I can do it!' sort of way. 'Bold Little Puppy Dog' eyes are an excellent way to describe them. He is not safe. Not by a longshot, but he's probably not dangerous either. "You went to college for it? Did you quit because of the war, or did you just have trouble with school?"

No, not by a /long/ shot, which might be why one of Kaye's hands has drifted up - unconsciously, most likely - to fiddle with the chain of her necklace. "No, I - I mean - " Thumb and index finger toy with the small medallion hanging between its central links. If Trey looks /really/ carefully, he might recognize the device of St Christopher carved in loving detail upon its face. "I didn't go," she finishes, looking desperately for an out. Only after she's convinced she can't very well get up and leave does she add a /real/ explanation: "I didn't get the scholarship." And then Mouse’s attention is back on her vegetables.

Trey 's eyes are drawn to the medallion, though they look upon it with non-comprehension. "You keep looking away from me. Am I causing a problem? I honestly, really don't know many people here and I'm not used to you, uh, us confeds. And you know," remarks he with a quick smile, "It doesn't mean much to me that you didn't get your scholarship. I'm an orphan. It's not like I've had anything to stick my nose up over."

"Oh," says Kaye, for what must be the hundredth time. Actually, it's the third, but who's counting? "I'm sorry to hear that," she murmurs quietly, and for the first time the woman glances up at him out of her own volition. But don't get too excited: though she's clearly sympathetic, even /that/ isn't enough to entice the Mouse out of her hole. Instead, she takes more delicate bites of her meal, brushing a few strands of hair away from her face.

"It's okay. You know, I got abandoned there when I was born, so it's not like I'm missing my parents much." That lie is executed somewhat badly, as though he's not being honest with himself, rather than with her. Probably why he can't lie too well about it. "But I've got spirit. You know, they named me Grayson because I was the most sickly baby they'd ever seen. You know. Gray," He flashes one hand open. "Son?" And then he flashes the other. "Sure showed them."

"That's good." For once, it doesn't sound like Kaye's trying to end the conversation outright, and she even favors him with that rarest of things: a dim, ephemeral smile that vanishes about as quickly as it appears. "Mum says I was on a ventilator for three months after she had me. They even got Father Malley to baptize me the night I was born." Eyes flicker shut as she forces herself to eat some more of her spinach. Come on, Mouse, you can do it: one more scoop to go. "Just in case I - " Gulp. "You know."

Trey is sitting one table away from Kaye. Trey's tray (rimshot) contains one badly abused slice of meat loaf. He's been absently attacking it with stringbeans and his fork, while not actually eating even a bite. He's leaned back in his chair to talk to Kaye, who sits one table next to his. The cafeteria is otherwise very busy. Trey's bright eyes may as well overpower the poor girl. He has all the energy of a malevolent puppy dog. "Father Malley, huh? Oh, you're religious? That's what that is, isn't it?" He points to the medallion Kaye wears around her neck. "Yeah. Not much you can do about that, I guess. I'm used to people trying to kill me." What the hell did this guy do before he joined the military, anyway? He sounds so casual! "But I'm not used to sticking around. That sort of scares me."

"You told me that already, too." It's hard to make out what Kaye is saying, so loudly are the nearby officers carrying on, but then again, Trey's probably listening pretty carefully to what she has to say. "And - yeah." A short fingernail tings brightly against her necklace. "St Christopher, the patron of travelers. It was my brother's. He gave it to me before leaving on his last tour."

There's a quiet kind of brushing, buzzing sound that appears out of nowhere, it hovers just on the verge of being inaudiable, slowly intensifying. A pair of pilots make a bet, one of them saying " Kessel. " the other disagrees but is forced to pay up once the slow limping figure of the CMO appears at the entrance of the Mess hall. He is by no means a frequent visitor or a popular one. People take notice, though not busy notice and the Dr. moves slowly along the line takeing some food from the various dishes on trey and eventually sits down by one of the small tables.

" You're still here? " he casually asks a young com officer that sits infront of him. The young man respectfully stands up and leaves. " Thank you. " Kessel says immidiatly takeing a careful first bit, which discerns a distaste for the food which is instantly visible in his expression.

"Oh, did I? It makes me sound more mysterious. I could always say it a third time if you liked it!" Trey is shameless, but he's got undeniable charm and, as is normal with him, seems to say even the most outlandish things with an air of probability and charm that is 'unlikely', to say the least. "I was never very religious. I feel like it wouldn't be a bad idea to start. You know what they say about athiests and foxholes, right?" The laugh from his lips is a little nervous. He glances towards the senior officer who's taken up a chair nearby, eyeing him up like he's an adult who might try to spoil his kid-fun. He's a little wary.

"Not really, no." Kaye looks puzzled, scrunching up her nose as she tries to piece together the precise relationship between a non-believer on the one hand and the home of a fox on another. Judging from the quick jerk of her head (that also dislodges some more of her hair from her messy bobtail), she can't quite figure it out. "It's not really something you /start/, though. More like something you … fall into." Mouse pushes her tray away from her as she searches for the right words. "Like a really comfortable couch. Or a warm duvet in winter?"

And as for his background? Still no questions - /especially/ now that a doctor has just crashed the party.

Kessel looks a mess, his uniform tells immidiatly that he's the CMO of the ship which means he probably hasnt had a nights sleep since the botched up excursion which brought in more than one injured into his reluctant, though very capble care. The people around him view him with mixed feelings, some with a hesitant, intimidated admiration and some with just plain detsetation.

" Yes? " Kessel says to his com system. " Dr. Shamrock is on duty. " he says, on the verge of exhaustion. " I see.. And when does… I see. " he pauses concidering something. " increase the dosage to 0.7 it will still hurt, but she'll be able to sleep. " he says. " Good night, nurse Hoolahan. " he says immidiatly takeing off the com system, droping to the floor and stepping on it loudly with his foot, which being made of durasteel leaves nothing but crumbles underneath.

" Clumsy, arent I? " he says, to desipate the slight tension created.

Trey also sports a good lump on his forehead. A concussion sustained during a combat sortie the night before, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him much. "I love comfortable couches. Especially when it's cold outside, and you've got a bunch of blankets and someone nice next to you. Especially when it's snowing. You ever been to New Constantinople during wintertime? Or are you going to look away all shy again?" Playful and dangerous. "I really wish I co - " He stops, turning back towards Kessel and the sound of that crunch. His eyes blink and he looks up at the man, then smiles disarmingly, waving hello without having to wave at all.

Kaye isn't looking the crazy doctor's way at all - at least not until she hears the crunch of boot against metal. When added to Trey's implied offer of blankets and a couch, the senseless violence is /more/ than enough to send her scurrying for cover - metaphorically speaking, of course. "Excuse me," she whispers, slipping to her feet in a single fluid motion. In the process, she manages to knock her chair backwards, which falls altogether too loudly for her fragile tastes. "I - I - " Stuttering, the pilot makes a move for her tray. "I have to put this away."

Kessel is more of the same. Eating slowly, very tired. Nothing new for now.

Trey blinks and is at least wise enough to back off, here. He holds both hands out somewhat, as if surrendering to the other pilot, "I've got it, I've got it. I'll put it away for you and I'll get your chair." He offers her a look of consolation, probably appearing genuinely sympathetic, "Sorry?" He stays put, not getting up for her chair, instead waiting for his chance.

"I can handle it," says Kaye, stiffening - and for a moment, there seems to be actual /spirit/ in the woman's voice, as flashing hazel eyes flick towards the other pilot in warning. But it doesn't take long for her to diminish into the skittish little thing she is, unkempt hair falling over her face to hide it from view. "Sorry," she mumbles, bending awkwardly to retrieve the chair from where it lies. "I'm just - I - " Mission complete, Mouse sets her used utensils on top of her plate. "Sorry." And without further ado the pilot slips away to the racks in the corner, cutlery clattering as she goes.

" Nicely done, Romeo. " Kessel says eyeing his plate whilest cutting a bite and takeing it. " That was the type of offensive that brought trench warfare to an end.. " he pauses, lifting his fork " Though, possibly slightly less effective. " he says, takeing a discerning look at Trey, sizeing him up waiting to see what he does.

Trey doesn't do much, really. Apparently the kid can tell a bad reaction when he sees one. He keeps his palms outstretched, "Okay, okay. Was just trying to help." and flashes her a pleasant and gentle smile, though there's still much sympathy in his face, "Nobody's trying to hurt you. Sorry I spoiled your dinner." He turns towards Kessel and shrugs, looking much like a little dog who got bapped on the nose. "Sir, you broke your gadget… sir."

Mouse has to stand on the very tips of her toes to reach an empty slot, as all the bottom ones have been filled with the wreckage of dinner. It's harder than it sounds, as she's in danger of being overwhelmed the moment she sniffs the stench of gravy and mystery meat emanating from that corner of the room. Her cleanup duties done, Kaye flees without looking back, the soft patter of her feet fading almost before she reaches the hatch.

" Oh? " Kessel says, looking down at the scrap metal. " Thats true. " he says pauseing lifting his fork again to use as a punction marker. " For your information two sirs in one sentance makes me feel somewhat… Schitzophrenic. And as for my gadget. I guess I'll be harder to reach for a few hours. Besides, if its important, they'll just use the tactical com. " Kessel says and no sooner than that…

TACOM - Lt. Commander Kessel, please report to the medical bay.

" See? " he says, sighing, standing up leaveing his food bearly touched. " This stake tartar is over done anyway… " he says reffering to the piece of meatloaf on his plate.

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