Concerns and friends
Trills and Thrills
With a heavy heart Hel entered the engineering deck. She halted a moment just looking at the warp core, its soothing blue pulse, before finding Cor. "Hey Blue." she put an arm around his shoulder, looking at what he was working on. "How you holding up?"
The Thux gave a bit of a start, then calmed back down. "Sheesh... Gonna buy you a bell." He said to possibly the least stealthy member of his team. "Me? Oh just trying to get this damn junction online." He said as he motioned to the junction he had been working on for a bit. An easy enough solution, and one Cordale should have resolved accidentally by now.
"Things here look nice. Quiet here while we were... on planet?" He asked, with a noticeable hesitation.
She gave a nod and squeezed his shoulder a bit. "Junction can wait. Let's have a little drink, your office." she mused, leading him there.
It was very unusual to see the normally commanding and proud Thux so.... so....
He simply gave a nod after putting the feeds back somewhere where they wouldn't be leaning out of the access hatch, or worse, dangling for someone to brush up against them or risk injury if they fell out and tripped someone up. He simply just gave a weak nod, and then headed towards his office essentially under his own power. Though Hel was there just in case he got lost.
A coffee for both of them, his in his 'Thux to be you' mug, hers in a black one with a skull motif, she sat down on the edge of his desk. "Planet was hell, from what I hear. Nobody who went down there came back happy, to say the least." A slight pause. "What happened down there, forced to fight your friends, would be enough to cause anyone trauma." She let that one linger.
Cordale took his coffee with his prosthetic hand, and held it close for a moment. He took in the scent of the coffee, just seeming to enjoy the moment. His prosthetic doing all the work of holding the coffee still, which was something his living hand probably couldn't handle at the moment. With no one but his assistant in the office, left alone with his thoughts, his hand had acquired a tremble to it. Not a full shaking, but just incapable of holding steady at the moment.
"I felt more helpless there then I did back in the mine." he finally worked up the breath to say. "Having to watch everyone just... fight, hurt, kill..." he shook his head. "It wasn't the hesitation that bothered me, but those that didn't. They just... just jumped into the moment, a full on fray just..." he kept shaking his head. "And all of it, for what? Nothing." a pause, his entire form went still. He was still breathing, but it was shallow. The powerful and confident Thux wasn't in this office.
"Sil and Cal died for a reason. I tell myself that every single night. I put my hand on the book and I promise to be better. Be strong. For them." he said after catching a breath. "This... this was sport, and out of all of it, I felt the worst for Val."
Much of what Cor said went over Hel's head. She knew of the mine, but that was all - she knew of it, but came nowhere near understanding the depth of trauma at work. She half understood Cor's comment about Val, having some familiarity with the link, with the duality of the Dalacari species. "I can't begin to understand what it must've been like." she simply commented. No pretense, just unfiltered truth and sympathy.
"I worry, Cor. I see you zone out. I see you triple check your work orders, the simplest ones. You miss obvious details, you're jumpy. You're not doing well, Blue. It's plain to see." A slight pause. "I've got your back, though. If you need some time out, if you need a counselor, don't worry about the ship. I've got you covered."
"I don't--" he started, harshly. The fur on his neck bristled and for just a moment there was a scowl on a face that was so used to only wearing smiles. Though, there was a pause, and a few breaths. He closed his eyes, and muttered something to himself aloud. Well, mostly under his breath but still out loud. Rhytmic, but predictable and different. He was counting.
"I... " another breath. "I... I'm sorry I snapped." he kept his eyes closed, but the tone of his voice was on the verge of tipping to either a dark place, or a sad place. He opened his eyes, and there were little tracks of damp fur near his eyes. Must have been space dust.
"You sure? Jacobs is a hell of a joker." he clarified, unable to simple concede that there was something terribly wrong with him.
Hel had expected the snap and braced herself internally, managing just barely not to flinch. Wouldn't do to flinch. She just waited patiently while he counted and smiled softly at his response. "Always with the jokes. It's a defense mechanism." A slight pause as she tried to formulate the words, running them through her mental filter one more time than she normally did, just to be sure.
"You're among friends, Cor. I'm your friend, I'm here for you if you need me, and even if you don't. Elijah's here for you as well. Hell, even Jacobs, though he wouldn't admit it." Another sip of her coffee. "If you need someone to talk to or vent at, watch a cheesy monster movie with or just a shoulder to cry on, I'm here for you. And you might want to go see Val. Talk with her. Shared experiences is a powerful thing, and who knows, maybe you'll both be able to help each other. Don't worry about engineering, I've got it covered."
He took a long sip of his coffee, and then took a full breath and held it. "I.... I think I'm going to go schedule some time with the counselor." he finally worked up the nerve, or the courage, to say. "And I think talking with Val might do both of us some good." he was on a roll here.
"And, when this is on the road to getting better, would you like to watch some horrible movies? I think the perfect counter to watching horrible things happen to my friends would be to watch horrible things WITH my friends." he rationalized. "And if it helps you cope, you can bring a friend. You, Me, Val, and whoever."
Hel smiled. "I think I might actually have someone in mind for that." she admitted, a faint blush coming over pale features, lending a small measure of color. "But that's for later. You just concentrate on you, for now. You can always call on me if you need a friend, a shoulder or an ear, be it night or day."
Cordale didn't notice the color. Hell, he might miss it if it were printed on a giant flag right about now, "I'm not used to just focusing on me, but I'll figure it out. I... I think I should talk to the captain first before I knock myself off the roster for a bit. I think." he mused, now just a scatterbrain for a moment.
Though, he gathered his wits enough to look Hel right in the eye, "You're in charge until I get back."
"You need to take care of you, though. I know that's not your style, I know you like to lift people up, but think about it, would a crane be able to lift up heavy objects if its own foundation wasn't solid?" She asked. "Your foundation got cracked. That needs to be tended to before you can lift other people up again."
That made him smirk.
"You know, that works." he gave a weak chuckle, and then a nod. "Alright. No time like now to get started. Thanks again Hel. I knew I picked good when I picked you." he said with a nod as he stood up.