«You ffffucking ape! You absolute idiot!»
Two of the three Savionians of the Seventh were out on Horizon Point, truly living up to the prestigious expectations of their squad's reputation; a ratty little blonde thing in a rapidly dampening jumpsuit had her hand over the pressurised jet of water bursting out of a drinking fountain that was partially bent away from the wall. As she clumsily tried to alleviate the situation, a bulky behemoth of a man stood silently a few paces away from the splash zone and watched. They spoke in Savonian; a difficult language to master at the best of times, were it not spoken by a foreigner and a northerner with strong and vastly different dialects between them. «I know your speciality is property damage but you're supposed to do this to the Coalition water fountains! Not the--ackpphfhphphf--the fucking pit stop on our way home!» the girl shouted and reared back as a more powerful stream of water clocked her square in the jaw, soaking her hair.
The bulkier man was at a loss. He stared at the water fountain in disbelief as he tried to figure out how to stop the endless stream of drinking water from soaking up more of the tiles. «Just leave it! Ever heard of walking away?»
«Even if I did humour the notion, don't you think there's security cameras in every possible inch of the station? We made the mess, we clean it up! Simple as!» Abigail snapped back as she used her shoulder to shunt the water fountain upright against the wall. The water burbled out of the edges. «Maybe... maybe we grab an engineer? Maybe we should go grab Dieuseul? Can Dieuseul fix a water fountain?»
«This is their fault in the first place! You think they know how to fix this if they can’t even get it to work?!» he grunted as he finally helped her with the heavy lifting, stuffing the busted water fountain back into whatever socket he had 'accidentally' ripped it out of.
«There! Now leave it for the janitors to mop up!»
«If you just used the button like a normal person, then...» Abigail sighed. She was sopping wet. «Let's just…get something warm in us before we head back,» she suggested.
Horizon Point didn't have the most luxurious of gastronomic venues out in its food court but a diner called Tommy's had become a regular haunt for their generous portion sizes and simple but delicious recipes. There was also an air of discretion in the diner. They respected the stripes of the 101st to the point where they didn't ask questions, not even when Abigail squelched as she crossed the threshold and sat down. She ordered herself a coffee and a burger with extra fries. Jakunta only ordered a coffee.
«What will you do with your time off?» Jakunta asked, gently cupping his mug as he stared at the girl.
«The usual! Victory tour, talking with kids, celebrating...» Abigail flashed a hollow smile and leant back in her chair. «Ain't easy being a hero, after all.»
«If it ain’t the job it’s going to be you that does you in.»
«And what do you mean by that?» Abigail was half listening; the food arrived but the burger had enough stopping power to keep her quiet, for now.
«Means you need to find a better way of utilising your holidays. You ever heard of R n’ R?»
«I thought that counts as R & R,» Abigail responded blandly. Her expression was blank and not at all excited at the prospect of going home but she hid her discomfort behind a burger.
«Learn to breathe, would you?» he raised his mug, slurping it. «Come to the cabin on one of these breaks. Nice change of pace.»
«You sure? It's... your place. Y'know. Not for other people.» Abigail squirmed, looking sheepishly at the pile of cooling fries as she guzzled her coffee.
«I’m offering it to you. Not your troupé.» he took another sip of his coffee, licking at his moustache right after with both hands still clasping the mug.
Abigail picked at her fries. «So...I can go now, then? We could just go as soon as we're on leave? And you don't care about it getting untidy with me around?»
«There’s some basic rules you’d have to follow.» he nodded, lowering his mug and resting the back of his palm on the table, counting starting with his thumb: «One. No talk between the hours of five and eight in the morning. Two. We hunt our own food.»
Abigail snickered. «Why five and eight in particular?»
«Because usually there’s zero talking. It’s the only compromise I can think of for someone like you.» he raised to stroke some of his whiskers out of the way for another sip of his coffee.
Abigail smiled at her plate. «Okay. Yeah. I'd... I'd like that. Let's do that.»
It was quiet for a little while. Only the sound of cutlery and general murmur of chatter interspersed the silence.
«Okay no but we definitely need to get that fountain fixed.»
«Will you quit talking about the fountain?»
«I am - quite literally - walking around red-handed here.»
Jakunta rubbed his face with his hand wearily.
In around ten minutes, the west wing of the station had a large puddle and the two Savionians walked (or, in Abigail's case, squelched) back to the Roanoke and peeked their heads into the hangar bay. Jakunta had left to get a drink of water, Abigail followed, and now they came back after a significant amount of time and Abigail was still unpleasantly damp with wet hair. Her eyes lighted upon Dieuseul and a familiar, awful, chipper gaptooth grin crept on her face. "Bobbert," she greeted him. Jakunta looked behind her like a big hairy shadow. "Out of curiosity, what's your take on...general maintenance of infrastructure? Specifically, there's -" she gesticulated vaguely with her hands, "- a slight leak in the west wing that may, or may not, be attributed to the Seventh."