Lt. Col. Maes Hughes (mustbemaes) wrote in itsjustagamerp,
Lt. Col. Maes Hughes

Silent Night

Characters: Maes Hughes & Open
Content: Not all Christmas time is merry, a slightly more somber occasion.
Location: Maes's Room
Time of day: Evening
Warnings: Sadness.

Maes had hesitated to do this after the recent explosion, but after making sure the oxygen levels were back to normal and that everything was SAFE again, Maes couldn't resist any longer. He'd found the candles easily enough, they were a familiar Christmas decoration and one he knew the meaning of very well. He had seen it often enough on the holidays, but had never thought he would have to employ it himself.

With great care he set the candle up on his bed-side table that stood near the window. He realized that no one from space would see the candle in the window, but it was the meaning behind the gesture. After making sure the candle was steady, he struck a match and the soft glow of the flame illuminated the room. It was dark, but Maes had forgotten to shut the door so it was not completely so. In fact if anyone were to pass the doorway they might see him sitting on his bed with the candle lit and holding a picture in his hands.

Maes had pulled out a favored picture of his. It was a family photo and one of the more recent ones. He preferred not thinking of it as the last family photo. After all, he felt like he was still alive. He had a pulse and there was no sign of where he had been shot, not to mention he had learned by now that this wasn't heaven. So, if he wasn't dead then maybe, just maybe he could go home. Sure, this would be the first Christmas he HADN'T spent with his baby girl, but Elysia would forgive him he hoped. Gracia would understand too, although may have trouble believing him if he had disappeared without a trace and came back with a story like this.

Leaning over, Maes took his glasses off and set them on the bed-side table, rubbing at his eyes. They burned with tears he refused to shed. He wasn't the only one away from his family right now. He couldn't let himself cry on Christmas, it just wasn't right. Gracia would give him such a scolding if she found out about this. Maes took a deep breath, dropping his hand back to the picture. He could hold on a little longer. He missed his family so much, but he was no stranger to being shipped off to foreign places with no comforts of home. This may not be a war, but Maes could always play the steadfast soldier anyway.

The candle's light flickered, as Maes steeled himself for spending Christmas away from his family and with the thought that it was a distinct possibility he might not even be alive when he returned home...if he could even manage that.
Tags: !open, maes hughes, rarity, riku, saria, xion
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Saria had been heading down the hallway, intending to take a warm bath before going to bed; a good way to end a day in the snow on the nature deck. But as she passed the ajar door to Maes's room, she paused, peering at his candlelit form by the bed. The somber atmosphere immediately caught her attention, and quietly she crept inside to come closer. She liked Maes and didn't want to see him sad.

She didn't understand the significance of the candle, but as she came closer she saw the photograph under his hand, and her eyebrows furrowed slightly. Everyone mentioned Christmas as a day to spend with family...his family wasn't here either, were they?

Slowly, silently, she approached him finally, reaching out and placing her hand on his arm.
Maes looked up when he felt someone touching his arm. His mind had been taken back to memories of home that, for a brief moment, he thought the small hand resting gently on his arm was Elysia's. He stiffened, but immediately relaxed when he realized it was only Saria. It was difficult, but he managed a smile. It was something he always did, he couldn't let the others be burdened...not like this.

"Hey, Saria. Don't worry, I made sure it was safe to light the candle. The oxygen levels are normal and everything." Maes had a feeling that wasn't why she had come in though.
That was indeed not why she'd come in, and she frowned slightly as he struggled to smile, tilting her head slightly.

"Are you okay...?"

A stupid question, clearly he wasn't okay. But she went with that question anyway, not moving her hand.
Hmm, apparently he wasn't going to get away with this as easily as he thought he would. This was a smart girl or a stubborn one, he wasn't sure which yet. She seemed too sweet to be stubborn though.

"Just missing them," he picked up the picture and showed it to Saria, "This is my beautiful wife and daughter who I love very much. I haven't missed a Christmas with them yet, I think that's why this is so hard for me. Elysia is just getting to the age where she will really enjoy Christmas and I can't spend it with her."
Most doors on the residence deck stayed closed, likely for the reason of privacy. It was odd to find one simply open and odder still to see not the ship's overhead lighting inside, but a dim, flickering light instead. Of course, Rarity's curiosity was piqued, and she headed towards the room.

She was not expecting to see Maes looking absolutely miserable. She debated for a moment - perhaps he wanted to be left alone? But why would anyone in such a state not want friendly company? - before making her decision and heading quietly inside. Once she'd gotten close enough, she laid a hoof gently on his knee. "Maes, dear? Is everything alright?"
He probably should have shut the door, but he'd honestly thought the others would be busy eating at this time or decorating the various halls of the ship. He had let his guard down and now people he had wanted to keep from being burdened were probably going to have their night ruined. It was selfish, he knew he wasn't the only one to miss family, but still everyone wanted a little sympathy he supposed. He would have just rather it not come out to some of the younger ones, just how much of his smile was false, especially now without Elysia or Gracia around.

Maes looked up, recognizing the hoof and the voice, especially since there weren't that many people with hooves on board. "It will be," he paused, Rarity looked really worried about him. "No need to look so upset on my behalf, it's really not all that bad."
Rarity had been busy decorating, yes, but this was much more important - a friend in need always was. She didn't quite believe Maes when he said it wasn't bad, however. "You're sitting alone, in the dark, looking at a picture of your family," she pointed out, making an assumption on that last bit - after all, the holidays were about togetherness, and being without family during the holidays was a bit sad.

There was a reason she'd been working so hard on decorations recently.

"To me, that doesn't say it's not all that bad; that says just the opposite." She paused, considering her next words. "Would talking about it help?"
"So I am," Maes replied, realizing how utterly pathetic that must look. He sighed, "Of course, if the lights were on I wouldn't be able to appreciate the candle light as well...but still if my wife or best friend caught me sitting here like this they'd probably give me a good talking to about how ridiculous I'm being." He shook his head, smiling slightly because he could recall a time when he would have found Roy in a similar situation and would have given him a similar 'what the heck are you doing' speech.

"Sorry, I'm not really used to talking about these kinds of things with other people," especially if those people were ponies and/or not his wife or his best friend.
Xion had meant to creep quietly past the room, in case whoever was in it might be resting and had just accidentally left the door open. When she saw that wasn't the case, though, she paused to look more closely, having never been taught that it was rude to simply hang about in a doorway.

She recognized Hughes from Cambot, even if they'd never spoken. He'd always seemed friendly, if a bit no-nonsense and maybe someone you wouldn't want to bother without a good reason. Now, though, he looked so sad--like she'd been when she found out what had happened to Roxas and Axel--and holding a picture.

Maybe she should somehow let him know she was there. She may have not been taught it was rude to hang around in doorways, but Axel had taught her to knock before going into someone's room, or just to let them know you were there. So she knocked softly at the door.
Maes looked up when he heard the knock. That was certainly a first. His hand lowered as he set the picture on the table-side by the candle. "Can I help you?" he hadn't spoken to the person wearing the hood, though he had seen her around enough. She was quiet and shy and probably had some secrets of her own to be hiding like that. Sure, he was curious about them, but he wasn't going to press.

His biggest source of curiosity presently, however, was what she was doing at his door. He glanced at the picture and wondered what she had seen. He hated burdening the SoL with his problems regarding his lost missed family.
Xion hadn't thought much of what to do or say beyond knocking on the door, so now she floundered for a response. "Oh! I didn't mean to bother's just I was walking by and saw the door open...And I didn't mean to be nosy but I thought I would look in...Then I remembered that Axel said if someone's in the room you should let them know you're there..."

And you looked sad and lonely wasn't something she could bring herself to say, but if her hood were down he might have been able to read it in her expression. He might even have picked it up from her tone. Whatever the case, she had to take a deep breath after she finished talking. It was the most she'd ever said at once to someone she'd never spoken to before.
He really should have shut that door. He shook his head though, no point in regretting it now. Besides, he could probably use the company over moping. No one liked it when he moped, he especially didn't like it. And, unfortunately, from her tone he could tell that she hadn't just stuck her head in because of the state of the room. No, she sounded worried about him.

"No problem, it must look a little curious seeing a man bent over a candle in a dark room. It's...actually sort of a Christmas tradition where I come from, though I haven't had a reason to do it before. See, you're supposed to light a candle and put it in the window to signify loyalty to family members and loved ones who are not present in the home."
Xion felt some of the tension leave her when his reaction wasn't to get angry or tell her to leave. She really hadn't meant to pry, but something told her it probably wouldn't be nice to leave Hughes alone.

She took his explanation as an invitation and slowly stepped into the room to have a better look and ask questions. The tradition he'd mentioned sounded interesting. "So anyone can light a candle--any candle--for anyone else?"

She could light one for Roxas and Axel, maybe. Axel would like it.
Maes was very adept at turning the focus onto someone other than himself. It spared him having to deal with his own emotions a lot of the time. He'd much rather talk about anyone but himself. "Sure. I think typically it is a white candle, but really you can use any color. I think it's always been more about the intent behind it than the execution of it."

He studied her before asking, "Were you wanting some candles?"
'I thought I might light one for my friends." Then she realized she'd been so caught up in explaining herself and asking questions that she hadn't even introduced herself. "Oh! I'm Xion by the way."

That over with, her gaze wanders around the room until she sees the photograph. Hughes might be good at turning the focus of a conversation to others, but so is Xion. Especially when she's not familiar with the person she's talking to. "Is that who you lit your candle for?"
"Nice to meet you, Xion. I'm Maes Hughes. Guess we haven't spoken before now, sorry I've been trying to meet everyone up here but sometimes these things happen."

As Xion looked around his room, Maes reached into his drawer and took out a candle. He was planning to offer it to the girl but paused when he saw she was studying the picture of himself and his family. "Yes. That's my family." He reached over and took up the picture, holding it up to Xion. He pointed to the woman next to him in the picture, "This is my wife Gracia, we've been married for nearly seven years now," his finger moved to the little girl between them smiling like a 1000-watt sun, "and this is our daughter, Elysia. This would have been her third Christmas." He sighed setting the picture back, but played it off as a playful sigh instead of the depressed one that it was, "And I had such great surprises planned for her too. Even an appearance from Santa Claus."
Xion nodded at Hughes's comment. She'd been..taking her time when it came to meeting everyone. Though she was happy with the people she'd met.

She looked at the picture more closely as he spoke about his family. They all looked so happy together. She didn't have any pictures of her and her friends, and she wondered if they'd ever smiled like that. You needed a heart to really be happy, after all. Lost in thought, she murmured that Hughes must really miss them before she even realizes she'd spoken aloud.


5 years ago


5 years ago


5 years ago


5 years ago


5 years ago

As Riku walked down the hall, he saw a door partially open. While he'd assume they'd just stepped out to go wait in line for the bathroom, he noticed it was dim in side, and a light flickered dully from within. Given the recent chaos with a fire, Riku doubted anyone would be stupid enough to leave a candle unattended. Still, he paused and glanced inside. Riku was mildly surprised, not having realized this was Maes room. Even less so, he didn't expect the guy to look like he was at a funeral.

Riku gave the door a gentle knock as he stood, silhouetted in the light flowing in from the hallway. "Hey. You okay, man?"
Maes looked up from the picture, recognizing Riku's voice moreso than the silhouette in the doorway. So another of the kids was wandering around at night and he was going to have to dodge this too. Unfortunately, Maes had a feeling Riku was a little more observant and on the ball than Saria or Xion had been. Granted, even if they had been adults, Maes would have been reluctant to speak to his own problems. Oh well, as long as he managed to dodge the topic of his possible death and play it as simply missing his family he could do this just fine.

"Sure," he finally says, "Just thinking about my family. This will be my first Christmas to miss with Elysia. A little hard to accept, I guess." Especially since he wasn't sure how many more Christmases he would have with his baby girl.


December 28 2011, 06:35:26 UTC 5 years ago Edited:  December 28 2011, 06:35:46 UTC

[OOC: Icon should be "Concern"]

Riku nodded slowly. It wasn't the first Christmas he'd been away from his friends and family. He'd been away for the last two, and one he spent with his best friend asleep in a mechanical flower. It was the first Christmas he'd celebrated in a long time. But there were still many people he missed, including his own family. A slight sigh whispered through his nose.

"...I don't know how things are going to pan out when we get home. But you know, there are a lot of signs that point to us going right back to where we were when we left." He didn't offer a smile, but his eyes were reassuring. "Think of this like an extra holiday. You my not miss a Christmas with her after all."
That was the problem really. Not that Maes was going to say anything about that, not if he could avoid it. He rubbed the back of his neck, smiling slightly. It probably was best not to dwell on that, it would only make things worse.

"Yeah, an extra holiday wouldn't hurt I suppose. Hopefully I can get some good ideas for what to do for Christmas back home."
[OOC: Icon should be "o rly"]

"Think of it like a test run for everything you'll do for your daughter back home." Riku paused a moment, then smiled somewhat slyly. "I'm sure you got a lot of memories of past holidays with her to play off of, right?"

Still smiling, he braced himself.
Maes was glad he hadn't told anyone about what had happened to him just before coming here. He was glad that Riku didn't know his words were making Maes feel worse instead of better. He was glad because Riku and the rest of the people up here didn't need that burden to bear. It was Maes's burden and he didn't need nor want to pass it on to kids or teenagers. So, he did what he always did in situations like this.

He started babbling about his daughter.

"Oh yes! Well, she's only just turned three so the past two Christmases weren't much excitement because she didn't really understand what was going on. But Gracia and I had so much fun wrapping all of her presents and watching her play with the toys she got that year. Last year Gracia and Elysia even had matching dresses that they wore for Christmas Day. They were both the prettiest girls I had ever seen!"
Shepard really had a hard time falling asleep. She knew why and thankfully chose not to think about it much further than that. That often left her with a lot of extra time on her hands. With the station choosing to be adamant on the christmas theme, it left the commander with very little to do at night. So instead, Shepard found herself walk around the corridors. Maybe a stroll would keep her busy enough.

Seeing the flick of what seemed to be candle light from Mae's door drew her interest though. Her skills of being an N7 were innate and it was easy to quietly approach the door and peak through to see what exactly was going on. If it something personal, she would easily move on, but there were only really three reasons to light candles. Since the power was working and she was fairly certain the guy was married, it only made her more curious.

Sure enough, she saw Maes and his condition.


She stepped out into view and knocked quietly on the door.
Maes looked up when he heard the knock at the door. Part of him was glad for the distraction from the depressing train of thought his mind had been heading in, but the other part was slightly irritated that he hadn't been given a moment to just reflect on his family and the things that had happened to him during the past year. He brushed it aside though, he wasn't one to take that out on someone just for knocking.

The door, being ajar, allowed him to see who it was and he smiled slightly, "Hello, Shepard. Something I can help you with?"