Tactile Surreality
Tactile Surreality
Summary: Jocasta experiences a vivid moment of tactile surreality when she encounters a ghost of the past who turns out to be very much alive.
Date: 82 ACH
Related Logs: None

Ever since the Cylons made their second raid on the Marine head located down at the end of Deck 13, more than a few have decided that the Navy facilities shared by the Air Wing are the next best place to be. And, hey, who can blame them, really? Word is Ares Squadron is almost exclusively populated by hot chicks — affectionately referred to as the raptorbunnies — and that's incentive enough to stretch out the excuse of head repairs for as long as humanly possible.

What time is it? Somewhere between 2100 and 2230, that prime time just before bed and the break in duty shifts for the under-over crew. Jocasta's standing there in front of one of the sink basins, dressed in her dual undershirts, standard issue skivvies, and not much else. She has a toothbrush jammed into her mouth but she's not really brushing so much as just standing there, staring in the mirror, looking somewhere over the shoulder of her own reflection, lost in thought and almost completely obvious to the noise of the head.

Castillo makes his way up to Deck 12 from his berthings, taking advantage of the opportunity to see how the other side lives. He's got a towel over his shoulder and well-used bar of soap in his hand; even though he's dressed in the usual off-duty Marine regalia it's pretty clear that a hot shower is on the the agenda before he turns in for the night.

Having kept to himself mostly since he's been on the Genesis, the Corporal doesn't really pay attention to those in the head. Only body parts draw his focus… great ass… nice rack… oh, man I did not want to see his junk….

Something someone somewhere says sounds vaguely like her name. It's not but Jocasta turns her head anyways, doing so just in time to catch a glimpse of what surely cannot be a familiar face walking by on the way to the showers. She blinks. Great. Now she's hallucinating. Maybe tonight she shouldn't drink herself to sleep again…

What was she doing? Oh yeah. Brushing her teeth. Jo gets right back on that, making the activity last for an excessively extended period of time. Anything to keep her in the head instead of back out in the berthings. There's people here; acting normal, just going about their business, pretending like nothing in the world is as important as washing their hair or using the loo. But, out there…?

The corporal sighs to himself, mostly out of fatigue, but also because all the showers are currently in use. On the bright side, he's already saved himself completed the arduous task of unlacing and stowing his boots. Shower shoes slip right off as he starts to disrobe. The towel wraps about his waist and he saddles right up next to Jocasta's sink. And gets some face scrubbing out of the way instead of wasting time.

Okay, seriously, Jocasta can't help it. She's staring. Not so much at Castillo as through him. The toothbrush is still perched in one corner of her mouth, minty fresh foam hung on the edge of her lips. The bare arm that the man appears next to just so happens to be the one that hosts the lion's share of Jocasta's old Corps tattoos — clearly, this means that Castillo is a figment of her fractured psyche now called upon to… uh… do what, exactly?

Castillo goes through the ritual of scrubbing his face, and notes the ink on Jocasta's arm. His own is on display, notably the MP tattoo on his right upper arm. The 'Tagged and Bagged' count is a little bit larger than the last time Jo's seen it. "Ain't seen you around the berthings. You got an off shift?" he asks, making some small talk with whom he assumes is a fellow Marine.

Was that the line he used on her back in the day? Oh, man. "…" She puts on the smallest hint of a smirk and takes the toothbrush out of her mouth in order to spit into the sink rather unceremoniously. "I can't believe I actually fell for that once…" Yes, folks. She's talking out loud to a ghost. Jocasta looks at him now via the mirror, dark eyes still captivated by the complexity of the illusion. "…gods, I miss you, Bill." Ugh. Okay. That's enough of that. She's starting to get sentimental now and this is precisely what she was trying to avoid in the berths. She reaches out to hastily splash water from the tap onto her face, lest any tears try to well up in her eyes prematurely.

The face scrubbing stops and Castillo looks over his right shoulder. "Jojo?" he ventures forth, then exclaims loudly, "Frak!" Soap's gotten into his eyes and he dives his hands into some water to rinse the stinging residue away. With his only towel protecting his modesty, Castillo tries to wipe his eyes clear as best he can with wet hands.

Oh gods! Oh gods! He's still there. Jo keeps a hand held over her eyes even ask she asks, "What do you want from me?!" as if he'd just jammed his sidearm into her stomach.

Castillo almost gives her a playful punch to the arm, like they did in the old days. Almost. He remembers that she's now an officer and he's still a knuckle dragger. Then, his demeanor changes and tries to wipe his face dry with his forearms. "What I wanted was you… not to go," he says a bit dry. "Sir," is tacked on at the last minute. Yah, he's still carrying the emotional baggage from their breakup.

"I'm sorry," she says to the sink, gripping both sides of the basin while she hangs her head as if in order to allow her cheeks the chance to drip-dry. Jocasta sounds genuinely remiss. "Some days I… really wish I hadn't. I'm starting to hate it here but… it's all I've got left. My family's dead. You're dead. Everyone's dead." Oh, haha. She's kidding, right?

"Yah, it's a frakkin' mess," Castillo agrees. "And I was just starting to get used to the civilian lifestyle, too." He turns towards Jo, giving her an appraising look. Then, against his better judgment, he reaches out and tentatively rests a hand on her shoulder. "It's really me. I'm not dead… not yet. Frak, what did they do to mess you up? This ain't you, Jo-… sir."

…wait. Hallucinations, at least in Jo's experience, generally aren't this terribly tactile. Unless…

…she's dreaming. Of course. This isn't really happening; this is all a dream and she's already asleep. In that case, no one'll bat an eyelash if she, oh, I dunno, suddenly attempts to put a strangle hold on the man via an abrupt and unabashedly affectionate hug. FWUMP!

Castillo's caught flat-footed and can't mount much of a defense, not even a protest, before he's wrapped up in a hug. So, he just stands there at first, caught in an internal struggle, and not sure how he should react. There's the part of him that would like to push Jo away, still resentful of her abandonment of him; and then there's the other part that still clings to his old memories and feelings for her. The best he can muster at first is an awkward back pat… then it gets a bit easier and he returns the embrace fully in kind. "Yah, I'm happy to see you to, Jojo," he admits.

This is a really, really tactile dream. And, hey, for once… it's actually kinda nice. Now, just so long as Castillo doesn't abruptly begin to sizzle and melt in her arms like so much butter on a skillet, Jocasta might actually be able to count this in among the dreams worth having again instead of the nightmares that have been plaguing her so recently. When she buries her face in against the man's neck, she breathes in deep. Gosh, he even still smells the same. It's so vivid; the mingling of military soap and sweat bringing back all sorts of other memories, some more tawdry than others. And… then it sorta sinks in… her dreamscape isn't changing. And people are starting to stare. Probably because she's in her underwear and currently clinging to a guy wearing nothing but a towel. "I'm… not dreaming, am I?" she asks, still not letting go, but slowly becoming more and more certain of the inevitable answer.

"No… sir," Castillo answers. He's a bit more aware of the people around them in the head, than Jocasta seems to be. Back in the day, he really wouldn't care all that much, but now… things are different. His embrace disengages and he slaps Jo twice on the shoulder. "Alright, squid, times up. You gotta put another cubit in the slot if you want to ride again." Then in a lower voice he says, "This ain't exactly Scorpion, you know?"

Jocasta just sort of stands there and blinks in an almost audible fashion. There are a few snickers here and there that manage to climb up into her ears but, for the most part, she's content to ignore them and resume something akin to what might pass as normal behavior. This consists of slinging Castillo a little sneer while she retrieves her toothbrush from the sink. She's too dumbstruck to think of a clever quip.

Castillo's caught off guard again, this time by Jo's silence. He was sure she'd have at least one smart-ass comment to make. "I was on the Hera," he offers up. It's a lame explanation, but the head isn't the best place to wax poetically.

"Doin' what?" she wonders, hip to the lip of the square-set sink. She's still looking at him like he's only seventy-five percent Grade A man-meat; the rest intangible illusion still haunting her vision.

The corporal grabs his soap off the sink, jealously guarding the precious commodity lest it get pilfered while he's distracted. "Private security. Pretty much a pleasure cruise," he says. There's an odd look on his face that suddenly pops up. It's just occurred to him that Jo probably didn't know what happened to him after she left for flight school.

"Really?" Jocasta is stuck somewhere between surreality and disbelief with her lips hung slightly ajar and her brows knitted together. What could have possibly provoked Castillo to leave the service? "But… you're back in now?" Or else he's just really good at lying his way onto a military vessel.

"Yah. The S2 re-activated me a couple weeks ago," Castillo answers. He tosses a glance over at the showers to see if any have freed up, then looks back to Jo. "Mostly been working back on the Hera, making sure everything's up to snuff with their security, ordinance storage, that sorta thing." He rubs the back of his head and asks a bit awkwardly, "You flying?"

Long, dark hair bobs along at the back of her neck along with her nod as she replies, "Uh, yeah. Got my wings." She's wearin' 'em in ink, too, between her shoulder blades. Not that Bill can tell… but, they're there. "Ares Squadron. War Dogs." Raptorbunnies. "What about you? Em-pee?"

Castillo nods his head. "It was enough for me. Still is," he says. There's a bit of venom in his voice; a subconscious jab at Jocasta. "Well congrats on making the 'big time', sir," he says. He subconsciously rubs a thumb across the knuckle-dragger tattoo of his over his heart.

Jocasta's lips press tight and thin, eyes narrowed ever so slightly as she regards her long-lost ex-lover with an expression that might actually register as 'hurt' on some level. "Bill…" But, come on. What's she supposed to say to that?

"What?" Castillo nearly shouts out. A brief flair up of anger is slowly suppressed. "Did you think that I'd just go on my merry frakkin' way on Scorpio like nothing happened?" he asks. People are starting to stare…. "Frak, Jojo, I loved you." He turns his head away and catches the eyes of a spectator. "This ain't your frakkin' business. Move the frak on," he says in a raised voice with a gesture towards the hatch. Some of the crew here look on with wide-eyed smirks, then shuffle out and whisper to each other before Castillo can vent on them, too.

Oh. Okay. They're gonna do this right now?! Jo hitches a hand on the hip that isn't currently kissing the lip of the sink and she raises her voice, too, so that they're conversing at what must be the optimum indoor volume for full utilization of the head's acoustics. People in both berths will be able to hear clips and phrases of their conversation if they keep it up like this. "I didn't leave you, Bill, I left the job!" Wow, and hey — she managed to get that out without cursing. Where's her gold star? Oh, that's right, back home, sportin' a whole bunch of nuked planets. Nice. "I was comin' back," she adds, slightly more subdued.

"Oh yah? When was that gonna to be exactly, huh? When you retired?!" Castillo continues in a loud volume. He points his hand, with the bar of soap in it, at Jo and stabs his index finger in the air between them. "Didn't you ever get it through that thick skull of yours?! When you left the job, you left me! Officers and knuckle-draggers don't mix, Jojo." Bill's gotten himself riled up like in the old times. Back in the day, he'd be all over Jo right by now, even if it was the head. Now… the bar of soap gets to be how he works out his frustration and it is sent sailing at near lethal speed towards the opposite bulkhead. "Hey!" comes a protest from another guy in the head; it almost beaned him in the ear. "I -said- move the frak on," Castillo retorts, sounding a little calmer. Hey, it does feel good getting things off your chest.

Bayless has arrived.

Orion has arrived.

Bayless pads into the head, clad in her tank-tops and regulation skivvies, yawning and ruffling her bed-headed hair. "…the frak' goin' on in here..?" she asks sleepily, apparently too tired to go into pissed-off squad leader mode.

Orion slips inside. Well, 'slips' is maybe not a good word to use in this context, because his entrance is anything but subtle. He steps inside and taps a trash bin with the side of his boot. "Hey!" Orion's doesn't appear to have gone to sleep tonight. He's dressed more like he's off duty than like he crawled out of his bunk. The look on his face is more annoyed than anything else. "All ya'll fixing to pound into one another like cats 'n dogs, how 'bout doin' it in a place that don't have acoustics like the inside of a damned -cave-??"

Oh good. A gawker double-team. For both sides of the head, no less. Now that both Ares and Gold have sent in their designated 'shut the frak up' representatives, Jocasta can look appropriately wincing and chastised. Or not. Yeah, um, how about not. Instead, she ducks a shoulder as Castillo chucks the soap, more out of reflex than any real fear that she might be struck. "Oh, that's mature." Because, you know, Jojo's always been the paragon of maturity around here. "Hey. Hey!" She reaches over to snag the half-naked Marine by the elbow and then corners in close so she can look him right in the eye and say, "They do if they're married." Oh, hi. The 'm' word. But, what, hey — he threw out the 'l' word first. S'only fair.

Castillo now finds himself pinned between the sink, the bulkhead and Jo. The new spectators asserting themselves into their little slice of drama tonight, makes the corporal feel self-conscious enough that he grips the towel to keep it from unraveling off his hips. He'd have half a mind to yell at them, too if Jo hadn't dropped the M-bomb. "Yah… right. Married," Castillo says, his voice dropping to a more acceptable volume for conversation. He makes light of the suggestion, and jokes, "Oh, hi, Jojo. I'm not dead. So, um… whatcha been doing for the past four years? Get hitched you say? Yah, let's go find a chaplain right now." He gets a bit serious and looks her dead in the eyes, "You know, back on Scorpio, I would've."

Bayless blearily looks at Jocasta, then the Marine she doesn't recognize, then Orion in a questioning sort of glance. She opts not to say anything just yet, looking to Jammer as if to ask if the ECO's got things under control.

Orion stands there, arms folded over his chest, "For frak's sake. Jocasta, you sure you can't run off with this guy? Sure as shit ain't acting like an officer, and I don't think the new JAG'll be able to tell otherwise, either."

"That wasn't an offer, you frakking moron. I was ju—" She's in the middle of digging her reply in to Castillo through tightly-grit teeth when, just like that, Orion suddenly steps up to take one for the team and earns the whole of Jocasta's emotionally unbalanced attention. What was that, like, three buttons at once? Damn, dude. Damn. Her dark-haired head whips around and she issues forth industrial-grade DETHGLAR<tm> with those big, brown eyes. "Don't you have some boots to trip over, Boondocks?" Yeah. "Frak off." Take that. And then she spots Bayless look baleful over there by the door to her squadron berths and she decides that right about now's a pretty good time to let go of Castillo, return to the sink, reclaim her forgotten toothbrush and towel, and make a suitably stormy exit from the scene.

And just like that, Jo's gone? The marine's inner monologue switch seems to be malfunctioning for the moment because that's what comes out of his mouth, too. "You leaving just like that? Frakin' deja-vu all over again." Well fine, if she's just gonna up and go, he's gonna finally grab that shower he came in for in the first place. But… he's gotta find that precious gold… his bar of soap. So he pads across the head, shower shoes snapping loudly and goes to where he thinks it ricocheted and slid to a stop.

Bayless looks sympathetically to Jocasta as she heads back into the Raptorbunny Warren, then gives something of an annoyed look in Castillo's direction. Done made Raptor-Momma mad. She brushes some stray hair away from her face before giving Orion a nod and wearily making her way back to the Ares berths.

"Frak's sake, fella." This to Castillo as Orion turns to leave, himself, "You sure can pick 'em." He shakes his head and turns to leave, himself.

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