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Chasing Allegra

Posted on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 9:10am by Comm Tech Wulf Edevane & Pilot Allegra Jennings

Mission: A Shadow On Velvet
Location: SS Albatross, Trans Mars Injection Orbit
Timeline: Eros Incident +24 Hours, 9AM Ship Time

It was a rare occurrence that Wulf would head up in the direction of Allegra's sacred space and the only time he ever did was on her express invitation. Apart from that one time when, after a couple of drinks, his curiosity had overwhelmed his sense of propriety and he'd needed to see what this forbidden hallowed ground really looked like. He'd left her a little ninja turtle toy in amongst all her hula dolls and figurines, and he'd never really been sure if she'd noticed.

This time he climbed boldly up the ladder, knocked twice and waited for an answer. It wasn't immediate, so Wulf nudged verbally too.

"Allegra? You okay?" He called. "Can I come up?"

After leaving the gallery and the meeting, if it could even have been called that, Allegra had briefly considered heading to her quarters. Except it had felt a bit constricting and she headed to her other domain. She wasn’t sure what had gotten into herself back there, or why she’d intentionally knocked against Wulf as she’d headed out, only that it had all been a bit overwhelming. Too much. And not enough. How had life gotten so totally fubared so quickly?

Allegra leaned her head back and had just closed her eyes when Wulf’s voice reached her ears. She lifted her head, eyes landing on the green figure he’d obviously slid in with her hulu girls and thought she wouldn’t notice. Though, she had, just hadn’t said anything about it. Most times it brought a smile to her face. Most times. This time she rolled her eyes. “If I said go away would you listen?”

Wulf held position on the ladder below the closed hatch. It was difficult to tell what Allegra really wanted, and he had a pang of guilt at having followed her when she seemed to want some alone time. Maybe… maybe he should just head back down, go do something that didn’t piss anyone else off? But he didn’t want to be alone right now, and he was worried about her. He had no right to be, and yet he couldn’t shake that need to reach out.

“Maybe,” he answered, finally, still working the emotional numbers in his head. Wulf paused for what felt like a really long couple of seconds. He thumped a fist on the hatch above his head and sighed. “I just… I dunno…” He’d been going to say that he’d only wanted to check she was alright, but that was a dumb thing to say. Obviously not okay.

“No,” he said, sounding more confident. “I wouldn’t listen.”

Not that she truly wanted Wulf to go away. No, Allegra was having one of those typical girlie moments where she said one thing but meant another. It made her roll her eyes at herself, because she didn’t want to be alone, not really, but she didn’t want to talk either. Allegra hated when she let her emotions get the best of her and she found herself sucking in and holding her breath as Wulf’s single words reached her ears.

The thump only emphasized...everything. It’d serve him right to just let him continue to hang out there and hope he’d eventually get frustrated at her and move along. But really?

Allegra let out a tired sigh. No, he wouldn’t listen, something she kinda liked about him. “It’s open, you know.”

That was his invite, unexpected but kinda welcome, and Wulf didn't overthink it or hesitate. He grabbed the hatch, pushed on up into the claustrophobic feeling cockpit space (at least to him, used as he was to the wider space down in Ops) and came up behind the pilot's couch.

In the clear upper surface he could see Allegra's face reflected, an enigmatic expression mirrored back at them both. Wulf paused, and made thoughtful face before he spoke. He had one shot at this, and he didn't want to fuck it up.

"I don't have anything to say that'll make all of this better," Wulf said, his voice quietly sincere. "But I dunno, maybe just being sad in the same place is better than being all alone right now?" He wasn't honestly sure, but it had sounded like a good idea in his head.

He reached over and rested a supportive hand silently on Allegra's shoulder and hoped that helped, just a tiny bit.

She'd known it wouldn't take Wulf long to join her, though Allegra didn't turn or really acknowledge him either. At least not until he placed his hand on her shoulder. It was strange, out of place and yet, it wasn't. Green eyes darted sideways as if they could see him there behind her, "Don't think anyone has anything to say that can make all this better." Not unless someone was able to convince her that this was all a terrible dream she'd wake up from and have everything back as it should be. Until then..."Yeah? Kinda hard to be alone anymore with the ship so crowded."

When she didn't turn to face him, Wulf heard that nagging voice in his head telling him he shouldn't be here. He ignored it, pushing on through to the other, louder internal voice, which said - Stay. Your head is messed up. Her head is messed up. But the secondary one overrode the first again when she spoke.

Kind hard to be alone.

Yeah. He should go. Maybe seek out Ken, who seemed fine and might wanna play cards or something distracting. Or Kai, who probably would yell at him. Even Kol presented less scary company than the alternative. Anything was better than being alone right now.

"Gotcha," said Wulf. He screwed up his face and reminded himself that this was her private space, and Allegra was perfectly entitled to have it to herself. "I'll go," he pulled his hand back. "I just wanted to..." Yeah, he stopped right there, not wanting to imply a guilt trip of any kind. He caught the edge of the hatch and placed a booted foot on the top rung of the ladder.

Allegra regretted the words as soon as she said them. In truth, she wasn't all too sure just why she'd said them. The ship was more crowded than it had been before they had docked at Eros. But that wasn't what was bothering her. No, that was just the excuse. And she didn't want to be alone, not really. But yet, Allegra couldn't help but wonder just why Wulf had sought her out and not stayed back to...do whatever with the medic that was tagging along with them.

No sooner than his hand left her shoulder, she felt a sudden coldness sweeping upward and rolled her eyes at herself. A tired sigh left her lips, "Wulf." Simple. Just his name, not babycakes nor Wulfie, and full of all sorts of emotions Allegra didn't want to name, to think about. "Don't..." Her voice trailed off as she fought to find the right words. Don't go. Don't leave. Don't let me be alone. None of which she actually voiced. Instead she cleared her throat, "Stay."

He was all set to slide down the ladder tangs when she spoke that single word. Don't. It followed the use of his name, which Wulf had half expected to be followed by some curse word or pithy comment. Go away, essentially. Good riddance. Something along those lines. He was never really entirely sure how to take the Martian pilot, she played things close to her chest for the most part. But then, they all did.

Stay.

"Sure," the tech agreed, simply, and he pulled himself back up into the cockpit proper and stared up into the black star studded darkness above them both. "Somewhere out there," Wulf said. "Soto's free. I'm gonna really miss him. You think we'll go see his family? Think the boss knows where they even are?" Sometimes, he knew he talked too much, but right now, he couldn't help it. His head was full of thoughts that needed out.

She wasn't sure just what Wulf would do. Would he stay? Would he go? When it came right down to it, he was the closest thing Allegra had to a best friend on the ship. Not that there weren't, or haven't been moments between them where she wondered if it was more than that. Could be one of the reasons she didn't actually want him to leave? That, and she didn't truly wish to be alone.

"I dunno." She stated simply. There was no telling just what was on Mickey's agenda, surely he'd take over as Captain. Something she doubted he wanted to do. Allegra let out a tired sigh, not because of Wulf's chatter, but because the pilot was tired. And scared. And stressed. Anddddd she needed to stop thinking, stop overthinking.

"Mickey knows a lot of things about a lot of people that we probably can't even begin to imagine, Wulf." Allegra shifted forward, scooping up a tie and sweeping her locks upwards into a messy bun. "Do you think it was over fast?" She didn't want to consider the possibility that the captain had either turned into one of those...things or suffered.

Of course she didn't know. None of them could second-guess Mickey really, with the possible exception of the deceased Captain. Wulf closed his eyes for a moment and simply listened to the ship. The sounds were different up here in the eagle's nest, not quieter as such, but perhaps more distilled. There wasn't really enough room for two people to move about, so Wulf stayed where he was and tried not to take up too much space.

He wondered if Allegra was as scared as he was, if that proximity of a horrible death had shaken her to the core like it had him. The others, they were so much better at hiding their feelings. She moved then, tying her long light brown hair back, and Wulf stared, simply focused on the gesture as she spoke.

"He really does, doesn't he?" Wulf said. It wasn't really a question, more of an observation. "Mickey knows stuff, you have the mad skills and the mystery, and Ken..." Ken was his buddy. "Yeah," the tech answered the pilot's question. "Allegra, yes, I think it was over fast." He mustered up a smile from deep down within, just for Soto and that confidence coloured the tech's words as he spoke, though there remained a heavy sadness in those dark eyes. "XO gave him his gun too, so he took a bunch of those things out with him. Captain died a hero, saving all of us."

"Don't count yourself out there." Allegra could only nod, her heading bobbing just slighty as other things crept into her thoughts. Other things such as the crap they had gone through, losing the captain, and now suddenly they had new people on the ship that they didn't know a damn thing about. Even if Wulf had taken to pawing at the green haired woman. Truthfully, Allegra couldn't blame him. But that didn't mean that she had to like it, or watch. Just the thought made her want to punch something. Someone.

"Yeah." A single word willed with so much feeling and meaning. Allegra hoped that Soto had been able to do what had need to be done before... She was certain that she would have done the same. Or, at least Allegra hoped she would, if it ever came down to it. And that scared her. It almost scared her as much as the whole situation. Just what had they stumbled into? What was next? Her eyes drifted closed, briefly as she tried to force the images from her mind. Not that it would matter, they'd just creep back in when she tried to sleep. Green eyes reopened as Allegra shifted, turning to glance at Wulf, "But for how long?" Sure the captain might have saved them back on Eros, or had just prolonged the grim outcome?

She looked... angry? It was kinda hard to tell with Allegra. Not that Wulf was the master of knowledge or intuition when it came to women, and he didn't mind admitting it. Frequently he misjudged emotional reactions, facial expressions and even entire conversations, but he cared, more deeply than some and often more outwardly. Then four simple words implied a situation far more complicated than Wulf had dared to fully consider.

But for how long?

He took a moment to consider that, to ensure he was answering the right question. How long would he be dead? No. How long would they all be saved...

Wulf grimaced. Allegra, Ken, the Captain, Mickey and Kol - hell even the new passengers - the stunning but fierce medic, the crazy doc and Reggie-the-bastard-with-the-empty-shotgun, they had all likely seen a considerable amount more death than the comms tech had. That didn't make it any less personal now, or any less disturbing that he'd never even fired a gun in anger. If it came to a full-on firefight, would he have to kill? Wulf's face paled some.

"We're safe here, Allegra," he said, with a surety to his tone. "We're all safe here and now. Let's hold onto that for the moment, huh?" Wulf steeled himself, considering his lack of skills in the newly becoming necessary area of marksmanship. "And we're together," he added. "We can deal with whatever comes our way, long as we stick together."

Truth of all this was that Allegra had no idea just what she was feeling. Her emotions were all out of whack, all jacked up and swimming around making her do and say crazy things. Or at least that was what it felt like. That and well, the lack of sleep. Thankfully that hadn’t decided to creep up and keep her from doing her job.

Yet.

Wulf was right about one thing, at least for the moment; they were safe on the ‘Tross. “Yeah.” She stated, thinking that she was starting to sound like a broken record. “You might have a point, there. It’s just got me all…” Allegra waved a finger around in the air, the circular motion like a ring around her ear before she tapped her finger against her temple. “Ya know?”

Wulf sighed softly. "Yeah," he said. "I know exactly what you mean." He emphasized that entire sentence, emotion clearly colouring every word, and he canted his head to the side as he moved to stand in the space alongside her. Then, with a hopeful smile and a promise of support in his gaze, he offered the only other solace he was willing to risk in that moment.

"I can't fix it, or make everything okay," Wulf said, having the decency to look vaguely sheepish at the next line. "Hug?" He wasn't entirely sure if that was more for him or her, but a 50/50 deal on support teaming it up sounded pretty awesome right now.

She let out a weary sigh glad that Wulf knew what she was trying to say, hell, even seemed to understand. The things they had seen on and learned about Eros had taken it's toll, and those sort of things didn't just fade away into nothing. It was the little things that mattered the most, especially right now. Allegra offered a small smile, at what she thought she was reading in his eyes. He was there. Here. It didn't make everything all better, but just having the companionship was well enough. For now a least. "I know." She doubted there was anyone that could make everything okay. Mainly she wanted to forget even if just for a brief moment.

"Yeah." The word uttered faintly before she rose, repeating the single word with a bit more confidence than she felt, "Yeah." Why she was suddenly nervous made mo sense as she moved to wrap her arms around his back.

She was so quiet, withdrawn, caught up in the aftermath that he wanted to discuss and navigate his way through. But Wulf knew better, he'd been on the Tross long enough to realise that the others didn't do the talking-when-they-were-sad thing. They all curled up into protective armour-plated balls, emotions held tightly somewhere in the middle of that impenetrable human sphere, and he had no means to unlock it. Not with words.

But this time the trauma went deep enough to allow Allegra to at least show some vulnerability with physical action, and so Wulf rewarded her with absolute silence. He didn't say a word, didn't mutter a banal phrase or attempt to repair any mutual damage. He simply cradled long arms about the slender, but strong Martian pilot. His left hand lay against her lower back, and then Wulf cupped his right open palm about the back of her skull to pull Allegra in against him a little closer. A little warmer.

With a soft exhale, Wulf stood still and stalwart in that compact cockpit, stars above his head and the universe surrounding them both beyond the relatively thin shell the Albatross provided their frail human forms. He was quite prepared to stand here all night if she wanted the comfort and support, more than content to simply hold Allegra tight and let her lean on him. He wasn't, however, entirely sure he could maintain that silence forever.

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