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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:22 pm 
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"I'd be mighty disappointed in myself if you didn't, ma'am." Taft said it softly, in the rich tone that carried more than casual humor with the words. The tone of a lover trying to convey everything that remained unsaid between them in the moment. He looked all business as usual, however, as they exited her office and began down the corridor that would indirectly take them toward the site of her recent victory over adversity.

"You know, we never got to get into the work shop. You should stop by, when you have a chance, we can reload a few rounds and tour the museum. That's where I keep the antiques and oddities of my collection." It was just a corner of the room where he liked to hang his older and more unique weapon acquisitions. They often fell under the same category. Engineers and inventors from before the modern age had poured a lot of wacky ideas into the manufacture and design of firearms.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:22 am 
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It was a tone that made her light up with a warm smile to match the warm feeling inside. Fia caught his gaze, leveling the full force of that smile at him before tamping it down. By the time she hit the doorway, it could only be called friendly.

She fell into easy step with Taft, unconsciously syncing strides. Yeah, sorry about that. Her voice tinged with embarrassment. I'm not usually such a lightweight. I appreciate you letting me sleep it off before sending me home. 'and for making sure we behaved ourselves...' She added to herself. They hadn't misbehaved, really, but the potential had certainly been there though. I'll need to swing by and pick up the heirlooms as well. I still owe them a proper cleaning before putting them back in storage.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:39 am 
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"Nothing to apologize for," Taft reassured Fia, his tone back in business mode. There were people occasionally passing them, either going the opposite direction on the same vector or crossing their path via intersecting tunnels. "It was no imposition, I have the guest room for guest needs." For an unexpected and unannounced visit from his mother that would come just as soon as she was able to drag some contact information out of the United States Marine Corp's bureaucracy. He had a while yet, so Fia had been provided the guest room with confidence.

The important part had been not judging her. Taft didn't know Fia all that well, their relationship was still new and full of learning moments, but he'd never for an instant thought drinking to excess was a part of her nature. She'd just let the evening get the best of her, he figured. It was, in a small way, almost a testament to how comfortable she was around him that it had never occurred to her to moderate herself in his presence, that she'd not once thought that he might use the fact to his advantage. That swelled him with a bit of pride. The only alternative was that she'd needed more copious than usual amounts of alcohol to tolerate the self-preening, half-oblivious presence of Lt. Colonel Hart. But either way, Taft appreciated the sentiment.

"They've already been cleaned, and given a thorough once over. I didn't tune them up, I'd have to do a bit of research first and wasn't certain that you didn't like them just the way they are." Taft had his gunsmith certifications and what not, it was part and parcel of the requirements of owning some of the weapons that he owned. As part of the gun culture he was well aware that people, including himself, could be extremely particular about the weight of the trigger pull, the tightness of the spring that drove the hammer, the compression rate, etc. "I wouldn't dream of letting them sit around developing fingerprint shaped etching."


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:42 pm 
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And saving me from a righteous ass kicking too. Fia chuckled. Anything happens to those and I know Tito will bust his way out of heaven to give me what for. As much as she appreciated the heirlooms, with their uniqueness and history, it was their connection to Tito that made them special to her. Fia glanced at the man beside her and smiled to herself. Tito would have liked him. Nana would have been on the fence due to his faith, or lack of it as she would think, but that never mattered to Tito. For him the most important thing was a man's honor. Not 'honor' in the broader storybook sense, but the personal code of honor each person developed in their life be it Warrior, Peacekeeper, Artist or Caretaker. Tito understood that each person did what they did, and how thay did it, for different reasons. To him, the better man was the one who did not compromise those reasons. Fia had a feeling Taft was that kind of man.

I'm free again Sunday night, Rotation had put her on Sunday morning, so she would have to attend mass Saturday. She had yet to properly introduce herself to Father Vincenzio, but confession would certainly take care of that... How about I pick them up then?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:49 pm 
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"Tito was a Marine, right?" Her last name had tickled his memory way back when she'd first introduced herself, and for some reason it had kept right on tickling. Way back there, at the back, where he digested small but obscure puzzles. Taft had served for a long time, in multiple theaters and with thousands of Marines. He'd heard the names of thousands more over the years too, and that was not to mention the civilians or other branch members he'd encountered or heard word of along the way. He'd been in joint operations more than once, with the other branches and with the UN where in there were ridiculous numbers of civilian positions both with and without delusions of command authority. Any of these people were capable of having done something that made them stick in the back of his mind.

"Sunday night, sounds like a plan. I'll get some stuff and make chicken. Maybe venison." There were deer in the forested hills behind his home and he had a suppressed M1 that would lay any sized vegetable eater flat out. Bang, dead. Well, maybe not an elephant. Not in one shot at least.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:09 am 
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Fia glanced over at the man walking beside her. She had no doubt Taft was a smart man. He wouldn't be where he was if he wasn't. Even so, that seemed quite the leap of logic. He was. Joined up right out of high school, like you. He was killed in Afghanistan back in '99. Though her voice didn't waver, her expression did for just a moment. Her fingers twiddled with her dog tags and the soda tab attached there, seeking unconscious comfort.

Why do you ask?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:31 am 
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Taft started racking his mind. Where had he been in '99? Yes, he'd been in Afghanistan at various points in '99, he recalled a bit of the shell game with a particular enemy leader that had had Taft bouncing around various bases in the hopes that a mixed team would get the opportunity to strike. Three days here, four months there, two hours at another. He'd seen a lot of people and a lot of bases. He'd have to keep thinking about it. "So you're experienced with Uncle Sam's Messed-up Children, explains a lot." She had rolled with his personality and demeanor. Fia was even doing well at living with the work face.

"Your last name has been tickling something in my head ever since I heard it the first time. I doubt I heard about you before I met you, but if your cousin was a Marine and had the same last name then there is a better chance I've heard his before. If it stuck with me enough to tickle, then it must mean something. I don't believe in coincidence, that was trained out of me in my Provost Marshal's office time."


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:49 am 
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Uncle actually, though we were raised together. He was 12 when my parents dumped me with Nana. She paused at the elevator doors, reaching out to press the call button. Fia had very few memories of the people listed on her birth certificate. One faded picture of a christmas morning spent in what was obviously a motel room. She knew she got her hair from her mother, and her slow burn temper from the father. Everything else came from Nana.

When Taft remarked that he didn't believe in coincidence, Fia could only smile. He was right, there were no coincidences. There was a plan. If meeting one Serigliano all those years ago made meeting a second one all the more noticable, well that was the way He worked. Kinda like Taft sinking money into a pool he never used but kept maintained, or Fia learning early that Marines could be loved.

Loved?

Fia's mind quickly found something else to think about. Tito is the reason I joined up.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:43 pm 
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"Uncle," Taft corrected himself after she gave him the information. Then he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. She was abandoned by her parents when she was 12, with someone named Nana. Presumably a grandmother, but some families used such things very loosely. Might be off a generation one direction or the other. But that was a detail he was using to distract himself from the real problem. She'd just handed him a very intimate detail of her life and he was uncertain how to handle that. "That's... out of the ordinary." Good job, Taft. But, to be fair, he didn't feel like it would be doing her any favors to get into the nitty gritty of that factoid in the middle of a military base either.

Everybody's family had something but having an emotionally distant father and a steamroller of a mom was a far cry from 'good bye, kid, and good luck.' He wasn't about to try to compare the two. Thankfully, Fia gave him something else to focus on quick enough. "Your United States Marine Corp uncle is the reason you joined the US Air Force? You realize that statement just made him groan, right?"


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:21 pm 
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The age difference? Fia chuckled, completely missing the reason for Taft's hesitation. To her it was a non-issue, far less unusual than growing up with your uncle as your best friend. Tito was an opps, there were 8 years between him and my Aunt Tori. He used to rib me because I showed up and the spoiling stopped.

He so would not have wanted me to join the marines. The life Tito wanted for me consisted of a good man, a passel of kids, and a quiet home in the countryside. But someone had to fill his boots, didn't they?
She smiled over at Taft, not a trace of sorrow or regret in her. He may get his wish yet.

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