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Drained Glasses and Winding Down

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  • Drained Glasses and Winding Down

    Jamie took one last peek in Andrik’s darkened room, appreciating the moment for what it was.

    By all accounts, the night had gone accordingly and was even successful, although half of the squadron had been absent. James and Kaiya swung by to pick up Faline after dinner, Kelly relished in the opportunity to spin his tales on the glory days, and Captain Drae blended into the dynamic almost seamlessly. They needed the down time, and it felt good to just relish in the simpler parts of life for a change.

    Flicking off the light in the hall, Jamie turned and walked back into the living room where Tadel was sitting on the couch. She made eye contact with him briefly and sat a handwidth’s distance away, tucking one leg underneath her on the cushion. “Thanks for staying and reading to Andy tonight.” Jamie’s smile was relaxed. “I was surprised by how well he acclimated to Telos, I was worried to move him from Corellia at first. But, honestly, I think it’s because of your hand in it.”

    Turning halfway, Jamie leaned over the side of the couch and plucked up a bottle. “...So. I did manage to rescue this,” She smiled a little coyly and held up the bottle. “Some of the white wine is still left, if you’re interested in another glass before you go?”

    Truthfully, Jamie didn’t want him to go at all. It was a struggle against a growing desire that she usually managed to pack away, but tonight she felt untamed and a little bolder. She, who had known him as a child, but now saw him for the man he was.

    Jamie cleared her throat and tried to brush away the thoughts. Perhaps she’d drank too much wine already.

  • #2
    For his part, he'd already settled in at one end of the couch, left arm stretched out and draped over the back of it, right settled on the arm. It was a good night by all accounts, and he was kind of glad only half of the squadron had shown up - the half that hadn't deemed it necessary to show up was the rowdy half, which would have made the entire night a whole lot different, and it probably would have made his staying on after everyone had scattered a hell of a lot of awkward...

    ...instead of what it was, which was two people simply being who they were, separately, and in complement to each other. Old friends, comfortable, like it was meant to -

    "Oh, hey," his head snapped to Jamie, a relaxed smile present on the lower half of his face, "not a problem. Nah, I think that's in the blood by now, that adaptation. Countless generations of military brats..."

    Humour crept into his expression, tempered by the atmosphere, the wine... definitely the wine to some extent.

    "...I'm glad. Um, to be of assistance, I mean."

    To see her bring out the last of the wine made him blink a little, in mild surprise, but it was a welcome gesture. Very welcome. He didn't want to leave either. Each time here, being honest, it was harder to do so.

    Definitely the wine, he thought, giving the suggestion an affirmative nod.

    "Sure. Wine is better with company, isn't it?"


    • #3
      "Always." She hopped to her feet and went for the kitchen to search the cupboards for a couple of clean glasses. Eventually, her eye fell on another, darker bottle.

      "I was surprised that more of the Rogues didn't show up tonight." Jamie said, mostly thinking out loud, but also making small talk.

      Carefully the goblets were stowed back away, and Jamie ransacked the cupboard until she found a pair of small shot glasses. Then she paused, reviewing the situation and staring at the glasses silently. She'd known Tadel for a long time, had known the Perris family since birth... Well, practically.

      Crystal eyes rose over the kitchen counter and paused on Tadel's turned back. Should she? Shouldn't she? Jamie had her reservations about kindling a fire with her childhood friend. On the same token, it was ridiculous that she was sitting there and ponderously wondering what Tadel might think of a couple shot glasses.

      Her cheeks flushed. She knew what he would think. Because she knew what she was thinking. Her bad habit of nervous lip-bitting took over, and teeth found her bottom lip and sucked it in, foot tapping as she decided what move to make.

      When Jamie finally did re-emerge, she carried the forgotten bottle of whiskey and promptly replaced the wine, setting it off to the side again. "Your Dad forgot this." Her eyes made brief contact, and she popped open the bottle. "His loss? Our gain?" Jamie asked, poking out her tongue cheekily.

      Both glasses clinked as they were set down, and Jamie reclaimed her spot on the couch, tucking a leg underneath her again. "I have not done shots since... well. It's been an very long time." Her torso leaned forward and she tilted up the dark-colored bottle, filling both glasses to the brim with a golden liquid that shimmered when the light touched it. "I hope you're not getting up for sims in the morning." She handed Tadel his glass and held her own, almost looking apologetic. "Cheers?"
      Last edited by Jamie Perris; 01-12-2015, 04:25 AM.


      • #4
        He watched her disappear into the kitchen, then turning his head back around to look around the living room, and entertain his own thoughts. He felt so much relief to have communication and presence reestablished with her; being cut off had been pretty jarring after seeing her daily, and talking, then progressing to time spent outside of working hours with her, with his father and without, with the children and without. A sort-of routine had come of it...

        "I'm kinda glad the party animals didn't materialize," he said in offhand reply, in the midst of his thoughts.

        ...he was just glad, and for more reasons beyond just having gotten used to having her around. When she came back with shotglasses and whisky instead, he could have almost choked on the thoughts that popped up then, could have rolled his eyes at the elder Perris, but he wasn't here. Tadel hadn't known that there was more than just wine in the case, and her cheeky expression pulled a laughing smile onto his face. She settled into the couch again, and he settled back again.

        "Not since academy," he replied, then laughing at the thought of doing sims, "thank whatever gods there are, but no, no sims."

        He had been planning to... but that was inconsequential as he accepted the filled shot glass from her.

        "Cheers," and down the chute it went. Sipping whiskey was one thing, but shotgunning it was another matter entirely, the slight burn as it went down causing him to blink a fair bit, "Definitely been a while," he croaked, showing her an amused grin despite that.


        • #5
          “Lucky.” Jamie began. “I have patrol duty with Torch, starting tomorrow night.” Then she chucked back the whiskey, giving a shudder. Her pointer finger caught an escapee tear before it rolled down her cheek, and the Corellisi couldn’t help but grin toward Tadel. “Again?” squeaked Jamie, embarrassed, and softly clearing her throat. It really had been a long time since she'd done this, but opportunities to feel her age didn't come often, and with Andrik asleep, and the place quiet, why not? She was giving herself a rare treat of 'self' time.

          Really, Jamie had been looking forward to this night for a long time, and had taken some considerable planning to make it happen. But, instead of pouring another glass, she sat there with a certain kind of glow, just basking and taking it all in. She was at ease, happy, something she hadn't been for a long time. Her brother was back, Tadel was coming around again, all her family was safe, they were happy.

          When Jamie had shut Tadel out of her’s and Andrik’s life, it was a choice on what she thought would be best for all of them in the given circumstances. The impact, however, was largely negative in more aspects than one. The realization of how much she’d missed Tadel's company, how much they had both missed his company, became evident with every day of absence. Andrik needed the positive male influence, and because she had been on her own with him for so long, it was never specifically apparent, nor indicated, how much he needed that bond. Tadel had been the first male to come around since she had been widowed, and life seemed a little brighter with him in it. For months, she'd suppressed and even denied that confession; mostly because expressing those feelings outright was never easy, and the right words were hard to form.

          Jamie skimmed her hand along her thigh and let her gaze sweep up, then traced down to the glasses and poured some more. Down went the whiskey. It was still difficult to swallow, and her body tensed even the second time, but it was certainly easier going down the hatch than the first time. She fingered the rim of her glass contemplatively and set it down. “Tadel,” his name rolled gently off her tongue, and she felt the unintentional warmth that wrapped around it.

          She was waiting for a moment like this one, to spring up the conversation to him about where they each stood, so she had some established boundaries. But, a loud holler of ‘Moooooooommmmmyyyy….’, made her wince and broke her string of thoughts. “I'd better go check on him.”

          Jamie came back after she had chased away the scary 'shadow' monsters that Andi thought he could see on his closet doors, and tucked in her son for 'hopefully' the final round of bedtime. "I think that's it... I hope." She smiled apologetically. Before, she'd intended to discuss the lines of their relationship and where they crossed, but the interruption made her rethink the idea with a clear head and cautious approach. What if they weren't on the same page? Perhaps the signs were still too premature to actually mean anything.

          "..So I heard through the grapevine that they've starting transfering some of our troops and that they won't be planetside for a while," Jamie rested back. "A few cadets were already reassigned... you haven't...? Have you?
          Last edited by Jamie Perris; 01-23-2015, 07:32 PM.


          • #6

            To that, he nodded. There was no sense in quitting after just one. That wasn't the way these things worked... of course, what was 'this' anyway? He'd drawn a line in the sand a couple years ago, a line they both needed for clarity of intentions, for their friendship to work again at all. It was a line he knew he wanted to cross, but it wasn't one he was certain she'd be ready for him to - long before now there'd been things he wanted to say, but the unpredictability of life had reared its head and he hadn't so much as heard her voice, much less seen her face in so long until she'd let him in again, recently. He'd sat on those words that had been on the tip of his tongue so many times, swallowed what he felt.

            He missed her presence and admittedly missed her son's as well... alright, more than admittedly: Andrik had weedled into his innermost thoughts along with her, for they were not separate. One simply couldn't be had without the other, and the thought of doing so hadn't crossed his mind. Blue eyes watched her motions in mostly comfortable silence, new shots were poured and his was taken along with hers, going down better this time than the last; his name came from her in a fashion he wasn't certain he'd heard before.

            "Mm?" he'd sounded in response to it, all ears... and then the wail came, one that had come before on other occasions in the past when he'd been in proximity of her at later hours. At instinct's demand she went to the boy and left the Telosian wondering at whatever it was he felt she was about to bring up, his mind working through the possibilities. It could be anything, but the depths of him wanted it to be something a little more specific. When she returned, he gave her a smile and a nod, acknowledging and agreeing, "Hope so."

            He settled back into the couch, arm assuming again the position it'd had before. She eased into what she'd heard, something he too had heard.

            "Nothing directed at me, yet," he said as she curled back into the place she'd taken before, and his eyes tracked back up to her face, to her eyes, words coming out a bit softer than intended, "you?"

            He hoped not.


            • #7
              Tadel confirmed what she had feared and the woman became quiet, taking the pause to pour their glasses again. "...Jac called me in a few weeks ago," she answered, then quickly followed with: "But I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before you get the call, they wouldn’t split us- The Rogues - up..”

              Jamie caught the slip up in her phrase, and realized that she was only skirting around the real issue that she wanted to talk to Tadel about. She’d said ‘us’ first because she’d grown attached. Admitting it even in her thoughts, caused butterflies to flutter around inside her stomach. At the same time, it frightened her. Jamie had never been the girl to fall easily, but when she did fall… she fell hard. She loved deeply.

              The emotions were overwhelming, and when registered in her mind, caused old memories to resurface, most of them all looping back to Kal. Some of them good, others terrifying. Was he the patriotic country man she’d thought? Or the murderous Imperial trying to kill her and rip apart her family? Jamie fidgeted uncomfortably at the thought and downed her glass, washing back the nightmare.

              When everything was still raw and fresh, she had retreated and alienated herself. Mostly from Tadel. Maybe there were better ways to cope with a near death experience? James, her brother, seemed to be doing well. What was his secret? Her defense to protect herself was in pretending that none of it happened. And, honestly, it had worked for a while, but not long enough, and once again she was face-to-face with her inner demons.

              Gathering up her courage, Jamie reached out and grabbed Tadels hand into her own, rubbing her thumb over his knuckles.. “I want to talk about something else," Reservation and fear were written across her face, maybe carrying the underlying hope of understanding and acceptance. "I owe you an apology..." She murmured quietly, then realized that more needed to be said. "After what happened with Faline.. The way I handled it..I just..I didn’t...". She swallowed, knowing that the peak of her pent up anxiety was surfacing. "I was so afraid. I didn’t know what to do."
              Last edited by Jamie Perris; 02-11-2015, 11:43 AM.


              • #8
                “Yeah, they wouldn’t,” he agreed, her slip-up making him slightly tense and… perhaps giving some much-needed confirmation. At least, if he wasn’t reading into it too much. He could be. There was no real knowing. The words came from him in an unstoppable sigh of relief, the thought of being separated from her again and so soon felt like a thing that might be too much to bear. He hadn’t expected to come even this far, and rightly so - he had no right to expect anything. “I’m sure I’ll hear soon enough.”

                But he couldn’t help the way he looked at her with that ‘us’, soft and quiet, weighing what he could do, and what he perhaps shouldn’t, when she took his hand with one of hers. It lent more credence to the slipped confirmation in his eyes, that thumb moving over his knuckles encouraging the ends of his fingers to curve around the edge of her hand with not-too-much firmness, less than the little memories of dancing around the metaphorical bush, words always still unsaid yet faces and hands, looks and touches saying everything or trying to. All this time carrying a worry that he perhaps had done something to make it easier for her to push him away. He had no reservations about forgiveness, regardless of her reasons for why.

                “What happened?” he said in a near-whisper, blue eyes searching over the worry-lines of her face.

                I would have been there for you. More words unsaid, but the emotions etched into her visage cautioned him in his steps, but didn’t given him the entirety of pause. Was it right? Was it time? How many times had he asked himself these things? How many more? He kept hold of that hand, waiting for an answer.


                • #9
                  Jamie shut her eyes and let out a sigh. “So much, Tadel.” Holding his hand, sitting with Tadel in the quiet, it was like she could see the promise of a better life, hear it calling to her.

                  “I..” her mouth opened and then closed again, trying to form the words. She wanted to tell him everything, but there was still that hesitation. Jamie had only talked to one person about her encounter with Kal, and it had been her brother.

                  “I don’t know if right now is the right time..” stammered Jamie, rather clumsily. Taking back her hand, Jamie turned a little, angling herself away. It was always going to be there, wasn’t it? This wall. As long as she agonized over the fear of his rejection, she would not be able to move forward.

                  “How about another shot?” she asked after an awkward silence passed, surprised to realize that she was misty eyed, but kept it well hidden enough for Tadel not to notice. After everything, she owed him that much. There was no reason for him to worry because of her shortcomings.


                  • #10
                    The right time. Something that… surely they’d both been searching for long before the things that pulled them apart came into to play. The right time for so many things. Her hand left his and the way his curled back to himself in reaction was not too unlike a wounded animal. That elephant got bigger then, compelled him to look away lest she see what was in his face. The room got very quiet and until now that wasn’t something he’d ever had a problem with.

                    ‘How about another shot?’

                    The words came, but all they made him do was check the chrono on his left wrist. His brow creased, and he mustered up what he needed to look at her without cracking then and there, apology written clearly across his features and hurt drowned so deep beneath.

                    “I…” he gave a weak smile, and started to rise from the couch, turning fully to her, “’s late. I should go.”

                    He stepped away, and went to round the table to collect his jacket, slip into shoes, and make for the door, which he did.

                    “You’ve got to be up early, after all,” he said once his hand was on the door handle. The door creaked open an inch. “Thanks for… thank you for a good evening.”

                    He slipped through the opening.

                    “Goodnight, Jamie.”

                    The door clicked shut.