Gara had been told to sleep, but he wasn't getting any at the moment, not with so many planes to be checked and rechecked. It was getting late in the day and Gara was still with a few techs, fine tuning various systems... until what he'd been working on shorted out.
This resulted in a fit of swearing and more than a few tools being flung about the hanger. When Gara roared, the techs scurried.
"You piece of crap!" He yelled as he kicked the side of the plane he was working on, completely forgetting that it would be the one Toda would take into the air tomorrow night.
Ruki had never been the type to sleep during the night. It was partly because of the boy's love towards the sky, all the wonders, all the changes that it went through over a period of twenty four hours.
He roamed out of bed, and after some time his ears picked up sounds of work. Not much the type to run into people with pure happiness he considered staying away from the hanger.
Though, in the end Ruki gave up, surrendering to the urge, and followed the sounds of metal clanging off of metal and loud swearing. He was able to avoid a flying wrench by a hair’s breath. The blonde’s eyes took in the planes, the parts lying around, and finally he saw the older male fighting with the finest piece of military hardware he’d ever seen.
He spent a while watching, then picked up a loose screw from the ground and ventured closer. "What's up? Don't they like you tonight?"
"It never likes me." Gara swore and kicked the fuselage again. The male turned to look at who was speaking to him and recognized him as he'd just moved into the Fallen Stars' barracks.
He wracked his brain for the kid's name... Ruka... Ruben? No that wasn't it... Ruki? Yes Ruki! "Ruki right?"
Rolling the screw in his fingers the blonde nodded. "That's me."
Daring to step closer as the other wasn't throwing anything anymore he peeked behind his – superior, must have been at least some professional, completely in awe at the magnificent little details.
"Wow... They never stop impressing me. So much more complicated than what I worked on before coming here."
"Really? What did you do before you enlisted?" Gara asked as he let the boy have a better look.
"Mm, mostly fixed our farm's machinery... though nothing this cool." He had to stop the urge to touch from taking over.
"I see." Gara chuckled. "Well... it appears that the electrical system on the General's plane needs to be double checked... as it shorted out."
"Need help?" He turned to look at the other male, not sure if the other was going to complete his work or if the other saw him just as a kid trying to butt in, but when had asking hurt, anyways?
"Sure. An extra pair of hands couldn't hurt." Gara sighed softly as he ran a quick diagnostic at the computer. At least it could tell him where the short was. And if this kid had any interest, maybe he could teach him a thing or two.
Ruki must have beamed a bit. "Just tell me what to do, then", he stated as the other was within earshot.
"Okay… see this?" Gara pointed to the computer. "This tells me where the short can be found. This way, we don't have to tear the plane apart... it's not like we have any time for that anyway."
Ruki moved a bit to see better, nodding as the other spoke, his eyes fixed on what the other was showing him. He was genuinely interested and didn't want to miss a single piece of information.
"Okay, so it's in another panel, so we just find the corresponding section and go to look at the damage." Gara said as he checked the screen and then went to the plane, looking for the right access panel.
Ruki followed the older one, the image from the monitor pictured quite well in his mind. "That one isn't it?" he reached to tap a panel with his fingertips.
"That's correct. Good job. I think we'll make a mechanic of you yet." He chuckled.
The boy smiled a little, feeling kind of proud of himself. His family had never seen potential in his interests - maybe this was actually where he belonged? "Now what?"
"We see that the problem is. Go on and open it up." Gara said as he pulled over a small rolling cart.
Finding the right tool Ruki opened the panel, and what he saw impressed him even more. He had seen plane parts during basic and all through it, but somehow this felt a lot different than just another mindless drill. This was the real thing and it thrilled him.
Gara was glad to see the boy was genuinely interested. "Said the short was in here... in the lower base circuit board. Let’s see about the wiring and the actual board itself. I'm going to let you do this, as I talk you though it how does that sound?"
Ruki nodded. "Sounds alright to me." He could feel the excitement building inside him. This was it. This was his test and he didn’t want to fail. "So, the wiring and the board?"
"Right. We'll have to make sure that the board's not damaged and then we get to rewire."
"Okay", he nodded, leaning a bit closer to have a better look on the board. It seemed fine, but as he ran his fingers over it he could feel something wrong. "I guess it's got a nasty scratch on it, might be a bit deep too, but you can't really tell by looking at it."
"Damn. If that's the case... it will have to be replaced. Are there any chips missing from the board around the damaged area?"
Leaning in to get a closer look Ruki nodded a bit. "Half a chip." He turned to look at the other. "It's pretty nasty, to tell you the truth. Looks like whatever scratched the board bit it into pieces."
"Crap." He stated. "Let me take a look." He half wondered if they had time to actually get the new board. So much for going to bed tonight.
Ruki moved aside to let the other take a look. "I just wonder what did that", he shrugged. "I mean, doesn't feel like anything that'd cause itself."
"Probably shot up or sabotage... though I'm betting shot up." Gara took a look. "Hm... it's only the board... which means I have to go hunt for the part."
"Anything I can do?" He turned from the plane to the man, wishing he could do more.
"Hopefully we won't have to salvage it from something else."
"That'd just mean more work later on, huh?" The boy tilted his head a bit.
"Yeah... and this is Genral Toda's plane." Gara wiped his hands off with a sigh. "Feel like burning some midnight oil?"
"Sure", he nodded, "it's not like I'd much care what time of the day it is, anyways, if that's what you mean."
"You don't sleep much, do you?" Gara asked as he took the board's serial number.
"Just the little I need to stay coherent", the blonde answered, watching the other's actions. "I can stay up for ages without sleep and still complete my work without much trouble."
Gara grinned. "There are times I wish I could do that. Follow me, let’s go see what we can find."
Nodding Ruki walked after the other. "Guess it's something that comes with practice, in a way", he stated, wondering how he had learnt to stay up so easily.
"You weren't in the middle of a war zone were you?" Gara asked. He led the other to a tech and gave him the part number. Gara leaned against the counter as the tech disappeared into the small room to search for the illusive board.
"No, not even nearby." Admitting it was somehow – embarrassing, in a way? Ruki wasn't sure why, though. His eyes explored the surroundings as he stood still.
"You're serious? Where did you live before you enlisted?" Gara asked.
The room where the tech had disappeared into was laden with various electronic parts for the multiple makes and models of planes that they had on base. There were even Kobatian parts in the mix, salvaged from planes that had mostly been stolen on return trips from suicide missions.
Ruki hated it when people asked about those things, things he had forced himself not to think about. After all everything that remained from his past were very small, rather meaningless things in the form of a pendant or a random photo.
"A corn farm in the middle of nowhere." He answered, feeling like a complete idiot for having to point out he had spent his childhood living on a patch of land in a farmer family.
"Nothing wrong with that... even Gewaltians need to eat." Gara said with a grin.
He frowned a little. "Yeah, but imagine having corn based food for friggin’ fourteen years. It's a wonder I'm not a close relative to popcorn already."
Gara laughed. "No... What I meant is that your family sent part of what they grew to the war effort. They had to have. Nothing is wasted on this planet. So they were doing their part for the greater good even if it didn't seem like it."
He took a while thinking. "Well, yeah." More than half of him wanted to tell the elder to drop the subject, that talking about his family or Ruki himself was the best pick when it came to such topics. After a short while he stated, "Whatever they did or do now is not my concern anymore."
Gara raised an eyebrow. "Family's best forgotten?"
"Yeah." He didn't see any reason to explain how his parents had reacted when Ruki had told them what was he planned on enlisting. It was none of the other's business, right? He wiped the possible frown off his face.
Gara opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by the tech, who handed him the new circuit board. A look of relief crossed the mechanic's face. They wouldn't have to go rip the part out of a plane anyway. That made Gara exceedingly happy, he might get to sleep yet.
The excitement of getting to work on something brightened Ruki's eyes as his eyes caught sight of the board. "No need to start vandalizing other planes, huh?"
"Luckily no." He grinned. "Lets get this installed so hopefully we can get some dinner."
Mentioning food made Ruki realize he was rather hungry, but he pushed the thought aside as he nodded. "Right."
"This shouldn't take long. At least I hope it won't take long." Gara lead the way back to the General's plane. "Okay, let’s get rid of the damaged circuit board first."
The blonde nodded, getting back to the panel that they left open. He picked up the tools he needed the boy got to work, quickly removing the old panel. "There", he nodded partly to himself as he was done an image of a spring evening and a broken thresher on the neighboring farm came to mind. He pushed the thought away, turning to look at his superior.
"Good job." Gara grinned and took the new panel and handed it to the boy. "You think you can install this, too?"
Taking the new part Ruki gave Gara a slightly piercing look, smirking. "Sure I do... If it's similar to that one-" He pointed at the old board. "-then it's just reversing what I just did, eh?" He turned his eyes to what he was doing, turning the piece into its right position and beginning to work on it. Taking a little longer than he had removing the old panel Ruki finished with it, leaning back to look at it better. "There."
That was to be expected. It would've taken Gara just as long if not longer to install it properly. He took a look at the panel to check Ruki's handiwork. He nodded in approval and checked the wiring. "It seems sound enough. Let’s see what the computer says, hm?"
The mechanic went to the computer and ran the diagnostic again. He grinned as everything was green. The plane was good to go. Sound as anything... or so he hoped.
Ruki watched the male, not moving to him from where he was. "Is it alright, now?" he asked, tilting his head a little. "Or is there still something?"
"It's good. No more problems." Gara grinned at Ruki. "Good job, kid."
The boy smiled rather proudly, putting the tools back to their places. "Thanks."
"Let me put a few things in place, make a few more checks... and we'll see about eating something." Gara double checked a few more wires, panels, the weapon systems.... this would be done again before the mission... but it was always best to be safe than sorry. "Say... I didn't catch your name..."
Ruki watched the other check the plane again. "Ruki", he said, half his brain thinking about eating already, the other part wondering if he really hadn't introduced himself yet. "And... Yours...?"
"Gara." The mechanic replied with a grin.
A nod. "Nice to meet you, then", the shorter one stated, putting his hands into his pockets.
"Yes, since we do share the same living space." Gara chuckled as he patted the side of the aircraft. "Let's go eat."
Ruki smiled a bit, nodding. "Food sure does sound good, now." He wondered how he could be so hungry in a sudden, for he hadn't even worked his ass off.