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SPACE Duct Tape

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Dieter Kohler, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Dieter Kohler

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    Sharing an intimate space, whether a home, a workplace, or a spaceship, could be a stressful thing, even with friends in family. Toss in a mess of heavily armed strangers, and it quickly became unbearable. There was simultaneously too much to think about, and nothing for Dieter to do. He didn't have a ship to fix. He'd been over the equipment as thoroughly as he could stomach.

    Talking to the ship's mechanic had been on his to-do list since he'd throughly derailed their rebellious outing on Tycho, but finding the time and privacy to do so had been impossible, between burying the urge for a few days, gathering for the briefing, and undertaking the mission itself. Violet had been acting like nothing was wrong, but something in their dynamic had shifted deeply.

    If it was obvious to Dieter, that meant it was bad. Finally, he decided that a moment had finally presented itself. It was perhaps two Earth days underway - early enough in the trip that the mood had yet to completely sour, but after the demise of all the enthusiasm and chest-bumping. Confronted with the reality of being trapped in the rusty tin can, their passengers had stopped bouncing off the thin walls, and settled in for the long haul. That night - night being a relative term, when the majority of the crew and cargo had calmed down, he slipped out of his room and gently knocked on the door to hers. He gave it a couple minutes, tried again, then cautiously peered inside.

    "Vi?"

    Nothing. He had a feeling about where that might narrow it down to. Stepping over a pair of cuddled up Belter mercenaries, he took to the ladder, and descended down to the engine room. Sure enough, there she was. He didn't lead off with a smile, a wave, or a hug. All of that felt disingenuous.

    "Hey."
     
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  2. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Sleep wasn't really an option for Violet anymore. Not that she would have told Dieter or Keith about it, anyways. The medication she was on made her restless and the tension of passengers on board just made the problem worse. Not to mention the fact that she kept replaying the same drunken conversation with Dieter in her head over and over again.

    Things were strained between them, but it was mostly her fault. She didn't know what to say or how to act around the earther now. At first, she had tried to pretend that there wasn't something wrong, but she just couldn't shake it. All she could really do was hope that he wouldn't notice. The tattoo on her arm was slowly starting to heal and she kept it wrapped up while she was working. It seemed an apt metaphor for their current status.

    With the crew and passengers having settled down in their circadian rhythm for the 'night', Violet was putting the quiet to good use. She was working on replacing a tension coil when Dieter climbed down into the engine compartment. He startled her and she hand slipped as she was clipping the replacement part into place, resulting in a rather painful shock. She yelped and yanked her hand back from the panel that she was working on, popping her finger into her mouth.

    Her red hair was pulled up into a loose knot, goggles loosely danging around her neck. There were a few smears of grease across her right cheek from where she had accidentally touched her face while working. His jacket was laying over the tool bench behind her.

    "Pashang, son of a fuckin' whore..."
    The string of curses continued for a few moments under her breath.

    Glancing up to Dieter as she rocked onto her heels, resting her knees on the grated floor. "Hey." She replied back to him.

    Unsure of what the visit was about, she stayed still and waited to see what his next move would be. "You're up late." She observed after a moment's pause. "What's up?"
     
  3. Dieter Kohler

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    He winced when she injured herself, though the cursing clearly amused him too much not to grin momentarily once he'd decided that it didn't look all that severe.
    "Am I? It's getting hard to tell. Don't really feel like getting out of my rack all that much with all of our esteemed houseguests around."

    That smile faded when she asked the simple question that he'd been dreading for the better part of a week. He sighed. This was the hard part. The thing he didn't do. The skillset he didnt' have.

    "I don't know. We haven't really gotten a chance to talk - you know - since..." he trailed off, averting his gaze, making a fist and pressing his knuckles slowly but firmly into a textured metal outcropping on the wall, hard enough to leave indentations on the tops of his fingers. "...since the other night."
     
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  4. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    It was obvious that this was hard for him. The fact that he had actually sought her out to talk about it though... meant that it had to have been bothering him.

    She pushed herself up to her feet after she closed the panel she had been working on, and quietly crossed the distance of the room so that she was standing closer to him -- he could have reached out and grabbed her arm if he leaned towards her.

    Her head tilted a little and she leaned to the side so that she could look at his face as he stared intently at the wall, driving his knuckles into the bulkhead. She resisted the urge to reach out to him, the last time she had tried that it hadn't gone well. So instead, she idly brushed her thumb against the inside of her forearm, over the wrapping she had over the tattoo.

    "Yeah... I guess we've been busy and all."
    She murmured quietly. "I'm nae mad about the tattoo, if that's what you're worried about."
     
  5. Dieter Kohler

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    He looked back over at her, chewed his lip and nodded. Truth be told - he had been worried about that. Getting a permanent piece of art on your body - especially when you didn't have any others - should have, at the very least, represented a positive memory, even if regret about the actual tattoo came later. Marking yourself with a bond that had lasted all of an evening didn't exactly make the cut.

    "I guess that's what shirt sleeves are for,"
    he joked, immediately wishing he hadn't. Great job. Kick off the apology with a repeat of the offense. Genius. He hadn't bothered to cover his own, though the rolled sleeve of his shirt covered it partially. No one had noticed it, or if they had, they hadn't mentioned it. He must just look like the sort of guy who would have 'Heathen' tattooed on his forearm.

    No, that wasn't going to cut it. Dismissive humor and subject avoidance are what had gotten him into this mess. He was pretty good at living with guilt, but tension? That was another story. It made him restless, uneasy - he preferred to tackle things that made him uncomfortable head on. In this case, he would have preferred that it was a pissed off linebacker.

    "God. Okay. Bear with me."
    He grumbled to himself. He hated this - the formality and theatricality of social gestures. "I'm sorry. I know I'm an ass. You tried to reach out, and I cut you off. It's just reflex, you know? I don't do..."

    He gestured to her, then to him, his finger darting back and forth. "...this. I mean, I do - nevermind. I don't communicate well. I don't know why, but I'm I'm enjoying being on this godforsaken ship with you guys. It's the closest I've felt to belonging in a long, long time."

    He broke eye contact with her, grumbling to himself as he stared at the grating under his magboots. How was this so painfully difficult? They were actively puttering across the universe on a suicide mission - and that, he was feeling pretty good about. What made this so hard?
     
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  6. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    A genuine apology had been the last thing that she had expected to come from Dieter's mouth. For several moments, all she could do was stand there as if in shock. Had she heard him right? Was she hallucinating or something because of the medication? Had she passed out while working and now she was having some sort of weird dream?

    The awkwardness he felt was endearing, especially since she felt it too.

    Twice her lips parted as she tried to think of something to say, but the words failed her. She had already told him what she had needed to back on the docks. Watching him struggle to get through the conversation pulled at her heartstrings. He might have been as clueless and tone deaf as she was, but he cared enough to come down here and apologize.

    Not really thinking about what she was doing, she closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around his shoulders in a warm embrace.

    "It's okay, Dieter." She whispered softly.
     
  7. Dieter Kohler

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    The short silence she left him in felt like an eternity. Oh, shit. He'd misread the situation. He'd gone and gotten gushy for no goddamn reason. She didn't even know what he was talking about. It'd been a night out. Drinks. More drinks. Nothing else. Where had he gotten it in his head that it was -

    Then he realized she was squeezing him, telling him that it was alright. He stood there awkwardly for a moment, then made an vague attempt at hugging her back, the gesture foreign and alien, a custom he felt like he'd left behind in the inner planets years ago. Physical love was not hard to come by in the Belt. People lived every day like it was their last. Physical affection, however - that was harder. Especially for an Earther without close friends or family outside of the well. It made him feel younger, more vulnerable, more human. Odd, but not in the worst way.

    He leaned back to look at her, examine her face, eager to move past the subject, to get his stomach out of knots. "You holding up okay down here? Should I be regretting busting you out of that hospital?"
     
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  8. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    A bright smile spread over her features and she playfully wrinkled her freckled nose up at him, fingers loosely laced together at the nape of his neck. He hadn't pushed her away. That was a good sign, at the very least. A hug could have ended in disaster, but it seemed to surprise him more than repulse him. Small victories.

    His question brought a low chuckle from her lips and she gave a slight shrug of her shoulders, glancing back towards the engine compartment behind her for a brief moment. At this point, she might as well string up a hammock in the corner. There was just so much work to be done -- nothing catastrophic, but improvements needed to be made. Her eyes returned back to Dieter's.

    "If I'm honest, I'm sort of usin' it as an excuse to hide from all the passengers we've got on board. Too many people in one spot for my likin'. I'm still a little stiff and I cannae pick up the heavier things or torque a wrench too hard, otherwise I risk tweakin' my side."


    The second part of the question brought a moment's hesitation and she bit her bottom lip. She didn't want to mess things up between them, and she certainly didn't want him to regret the night out on Tycho. Despite how the night ended, she had enjoyed her time with him.

    "Nae, I hope you dinnae regret it. I happen t'be of the opinion that it led to a pretty good night. It's jus' a shame you didnae break me out sooner."
     
  9. Dieter Kohler

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    "Yeah,"
    Dieter replied, unable to stop from outright grinning down at her. It felt as if things had taken a huge leap towards a reversion to normalcy - though nothing about this was 'normal.' If anything, it was a chance to start over, an opportunity to rewind and talk to her like a human being. "I guess it wasn't all that horrible, was it? After all, you got to spend it with me."

    The over-the-top smile he tried to flash her fell a little flat, a little short of the confidence required to pull off that last bit of humor. To cover it up, he shrugged, enjoying the faint weight of her arms on his shoulders in the sub 1G gravity, and quickly moved on.

    "Why didn't you ask me for a hand?"
    He realized as he was asking that he knew the answer - that he'd inadvertently constructed a barrier between them on the aforementioned night. He opted to make it a rhetorical query, following up before she could answer. "With all of our gear as serviceable as I can make it, I've spent the last few days dodging the world outside my cabin by trying to drink myself into an extended coma, without much success. I'd honestly rather be working - keeping my mind busy. I get that I don't have your genius and know-how, but I'm pretty sure I can turn a wrench or lift a box for you. You know. Contribute something around here."
     
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  10. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    She tilted her head back, looking up at the bulkhead above them with an amused smirk.

    Her thumb idly brushed against his neck, perhaps not even noticing that she was doing it. The two of them hadn't actually spoken in days, and she had been worried that the damage done would have been irrevocable. Standing so close to him now, that worry seemed rather far-fetched.

    "If you're offerin' to help me down here... you'd best be careful. I may actually take you up on that. You would nae be able to leave." She chuckled, looking back to him. "On the bright side... means you would nae have to deal with all the restless Belters that are jus' itchin' for a fight." She said, keeping her voice low so that it wouldn't carry.
     
  11. Dieter Kohler

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    "I think I already volunteered, Vi" he joked. Feeling her thumb brush his neck, he started to wonder exactly when she intended to let him go. Maybe she didn't. He didn't want to risk further damage to her ego, so he just rested his hands lightly on her back. It was more than friendly, but he had the feeling that they were on the verge of dispelling with that flimsy barrier, anyway.

    "A fight? You kidding me?" He furrowed his eyebrows at her in mock skepticism. "I'm making friends left and right up there. But maybe you're right. Might be better to loiter down here. For safety."
     
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  12. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    After a lingering moment, she took a step back from him and glanced down at her magboots with a low chuckle. Best to not push him too far.

    She swiped the few loose strands of her hair out her face and irritably pushed her goggles up onto the top of her head to keep the bothersome locks from falling back into eyes. Part of her half expected Dieter to try to talk her out of coming with him onto the station. The fact that he hadn't so far was rather surprising, but she wasn't going to complain or point it out to him.

    "Besides, it's probably best if you are nae hungover while tryin' to lead a boardin' party, aye?"
    She winked up at him then turned to face the engine compartment. Her hands clapped lightly together, rubbing her palms together as she swept her green eyes over the interior, fingers tucking underneath her chin.

    "Okay, so. There's an electrical component cluster up here." She said, striding across the room and gestured to a panel that was above her head. Another challenge of her being so short. Normally, she would have used the lower panels and lips on the wall to scamper up to grab what she needed, but that was hardly an option for her at the moment. She knew that from experience now, having tried to climb up to get it earlier and slipped. That particular bout of stubbornness had left her rolling around on the floor several minutes in pain and she would rather not repeat it.

    "It's part of the instrument panel up on the operations deck. Which is why the bloody screens keep flickerin' or givin' false readings, they're gettin' a bad feed from down here." She explained as she looked back to the taller Terran.
     
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  13. Dieter Kohler

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    Simultaneously relieved and disappointed when she finally let go, Dieter tried to shrug off the moment by casually leaning against the component-studded wall. It looked suspiciously like was trying to shrug off the moment by casually leaning against the component-studded wall

    "You're right," he grinned, pointing an index finger at her. "I'm gonna need to be full on sloshed for that one." He still didn't like the idea of her going in the slightest, but he wasn't about to risk the thin ice they'd reconstructed beneath their feet just yet. Maybe she'd get the jitters right beforehand, be easier to dissuade.

    He probably shouldn't have been surprised when she actually went to put him to work. After all, it's what he'd offered to do. He just hadn't thought that she meant...now. However, the flickering displays were a pretty critical issue. If they did wind up in contact, tracking torpedoes or PDC arcs on a screen - it might help if that screen didn't wink out of existence. He nodded very seriously, then sauntered over to the tool rack, and selected a claw hammer. Turning it around and giving it a few light practice swings, he smiled, pointing the tool at the cluster she'd indicated. "So, do we use my method? Bash it until it works?"
     
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  14. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    The look of pure terror that crossed Violet's face when he suggested that they take a claw hammer to delicate electrical equipment was priceless. Images of smashed components, shattered motherboards and mangled metal flashed before her eyes. It was like a grizzly murder scene.

    It took her a moment to realize that this was Dieter, and that he was joking.

    Casually, she stepped between him and the target cluster before he could do any real damage to it. Suddenly worried that if he so much as looked at the wiring wrong that they would catch fire. She reached out and carefully took the hammer from him, smirking at him as she set the tool delicately down on the bench beside them.

    "How about we start with somethin' a little less destructive, eh?" She suggested, picking up a wrench instead. The tool spun around her fingers as she twirled it about before she offered it to Dieter.

    "Or, y'can just put me on your shoulders, and I can do it." She suggested with a wry grin. The words had tumbled out of her mouth before she had given them much thought. Her mind briefly wandering back to the night on Tycho station when he had carried her around on his back with a bag full of cheap take out. "Seemed to work well the last time we tried somethin' similar." She added.
     
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  15. Dieter Kohler

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    Feigning a deep depression at having his hammer taken away, Dieter started to take the wrench from her, then stopped at the second suggestion. "Let's go with the latter, maybe? Saves the additional steps of you kicking me in the shins when I mess up, and you having to fix all the parts I screwed up later."

    With that, he pressed the wrench back into her grasp and started to duck down to a knee, pretending to be confused as to how it might work.

    "Front-ways or back-ways?" he joked, then immediately wanted to go over, retrieve the hammer, and murder himself in the face with it. "Uh. Nevermind."

    Magnetically fastening his boots to the deck, and mentally fastening his top lip to his bottom one, he crouched, wove his way under her legs - the normal way - and gently lifted her up, rising up carefully enough not to smash her face against the ceiling. That was all they needed. At the 0.6g, it wasn't quite as effortless as it had been on Tycho, but it was no great effort for somebody raised at a full G. In fact, their combined weight was familiar, almost making his feet feel like they were firmly planted back on terra firma. "Just tell me where to go," he said up to her, squinting as he positioned them under what he thought was the cluster she'd been pointing at.
     
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  16. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Violet busted out laughing at the question Dieter had asked, wrapping her free arm around her side as she doubled over. Her cheeks flushedin response, but it was difficult to tell what it was that had made her blush exactly -- the laughter or the question itself.

    She was still chortling as Dieter scooped her up.

    Her legs tucked around behind him, nestling her boots against the small of his back to keep her balance. "Huh. So this is what it's like t'be Keith for a day." She quipped as she took in the new view.

    "Nae, this is perfect." She smirked, holding the wrench between her teeth as she reached out with both hands to briefly kill the power to the board. The last thing she wanted was to shock herself, and Dieter in the process. Once that had been taken care of, she started the tedious process of unbolting one of the little boxes that jutted off the cluster board.

    With it pulled free, she handed it down to Dieter, bracing herself against the wall with her other hand to keep herself from swaying too much. "Hold that for jus' a sec, please." She asked as she went back to work with a small soldering tool, fixing the frayed connectors. "Y'know... startin' to think maybe that drunken coma of yours was nae such a bad idea." She mused thoughtfully.
     
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  17. Dieter Kohler

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    “Really? Huh.”
    He was about to make a joke about wondering if she needed a Sub-Zero nap, then remembered how horribly inappropriate that might be. He was on fire today. “Well. Hurry up. It’s my turn next."

    As she worked, he patiently looked up, watching. After a moment too long of silence, he quipped. “We’ll have to invest in a long trench-coat and see if we sneak into one of those Belter-only nightclubs.”

    When asked, he reached up to accept the component, and held it as she busted out the soldering iron. It was impossible not to imagine the melted wire dripping down onto his upturned face, so he looked down.

    At the drunken coma bit, he laughed, headbutting her leg to get her attention. “It’s never too late.”
     
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  18. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    When he nudged her leg with his head, she glanced down at him and chuckled. Her legs squeezed his sides to return the affectionate gesture. "Well, did y'drink everythin' already?" She asked curiously, reaching down to take the component back from his hand.

    Her weight shifted a little on his shoulders, trying to get a little more comfortable as she quickly started to bolt the small piece of equipment back into place after tucking the soldering gun back into her tool belt. She rolled her shoulders once she had finished, playfully ruffling Dieter's hair.

    "Alright... should be good to go. How do uh... how do I get down?"
     
  19. Dieter Kohler

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    “Not everything.” He exaggerated a little ‘oof’ sound at being squeezed, then rolled his head back to look straight up at her. “I planned ahead. Stocked up. Don’t handle boredom well, I guess.”

    He shook his head in an attempt to preserve the organically sleep-shaped, perfectly pillow-matted look for his hairstyle he’d clearly worked so hard to achieve, but it was too late. Vi had gone and ruined it. Just for that, he started to answer question with “Huh. That’s…a good ques - OH SHIT!before pitching forward and hoisting his shoulders to make her tumble forward. In the reduced gravity, there was plenty of time to let her freefall for a heartbeat before catching her in both arms, grinning wickedly at her. “Oops.”
     
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  20. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Violet had been in the middle of saying something else in retort to Dieter's remark about boredom, but was quickly cut off as the man suddenly lurched forward and sent her tumbling towards the ground. She yelped loudly as she slipped over his shoulders, fully expecting for him to drop her.

    When he caught her she gave a soft 'oof' and her eyes were squeezed shut in anticipation of the painful impact with the metal floor. She peeked up at him out of one eye, then she started laughing once she realized what had happened.

    Just after his 'oops' she lightly smacked the back of her hand against his chest, still laughing softly. "Bloody hell, Dee. Y'scared me."

    She smiled up at him.

    Surprisingly, she didn't try to scramble out of his arms or pull away from him.
     
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