Percy huffed out a sigh of exasperation as he dug through his friend's toolbox, both looking for a voltage tester and trying to organize the tools inside as he spoke, "Zach, come on-"
Zach, currently in the ceiling, glared down at him from above. "Percy, I'm gonna say it one more time before I kick you in the teeth. Don't. Touch. Anything else."
"You know I didn't mean to zap you-"
"Yeah, but you did, and you almost started a fucking fire. You promised you wouldn't do that."
"No, I did not," Percy insists, "I said I probably wouldn't start one. There is a difference-"
"Oh my God, I'm going to kick you-" Zach grumbles, taking another few moments to peer down at Percy - apparently he's gotta make sure that Percy sees the disappointment in his eyes, "I swear, Pierce. I'm gonna do it, I'm just gonna fuckin' punt you in the-" After another curse in Percy's general direction and an explosive exhausted exhale, Zach apparently gives up on being irritated. Good, Percy huffs as he sees Zach's hand descend, doing a bit of a "come hither" gesture, "Voltage tester, jackass?"
"I'm still looking for it, asshole." Percy retorted as he started to get more frustrated with the mess that was Zach's toolbox. There's zero sense of good organization - like, the tools are only broadly sorted by the type of tool. Screwdrivers are with screwdrivers, wrenches are with wrenches, et cetera; but even then it's still all chucked in willy-nilly. How does Zach work like this? How is he, let alone anyone he's working with, supposed to find anything in this chaos of a toolbox-?! "Oh, here it is." He went to give it to Zach, but just as his hand went to reach the rest of the way, Percy pulled it back to examine it further - for whatever dumb reason, he always mixes up stud finders and voltage testers. "Wait, I think I'm wr-"
Percy could almost hear Zach's eyes roll out of his head with how done he sounded, "What color is it?"
"Orange?" Percy says turns it over and around in his hands, looking for any and all identifying marks on the thing as he continues, "Sort of looks like a datatool, kinda? There's a red and a blue wire sticking out of the bottom-?"
"Yup, that's it." Percy finally hands the voltage tester to Zach - but instead of a thank you, he gets a little snide remark. "Stud finders don't have wires, y'know."
"I-" Percy scoffed, trying to look offended that Zach thinks he's that stupid - even if he is, in fact, that stupid. Even then, like- how did Zach know? "I know that-!"
"Then why is that whenever I ask you for one, you give me the other? You do it a lot."
It doesn't really matter what Percy says now, because anything he tries to say will just make it worse. But if you were to just glance over the two, could you really tell the difference that fast? Really? Honestly, probably. Definitely. Absolutely, 100%, you could. For one, a stud finder doesn't usually have any numbers on the front face, and the voltage tester very obviously has wires coming out of it; on top of that, the stud finder is significantly smaller due to the lack of all electrical crap a voltage tester needs to... y'know, test voltage? It's pretty easy to pick the two apart.
With all those thoughts in his head, Percy's face burned in embarrassment as he replied with maybe a twinge more hostility than he'd meant to imply, "Shut the fuck up, Zach - or I'll start another fire."
"Uh, no you won't."
Percy grins a little bit, "Yeah, fine, but I could - and I can do it better than I can help with this, obviously. I mean, really? If I really wanted to, there isn't much you can do to stop me."
"I could remind you that our daughter is in the building, though? I don't think she'd be a fan of being set on fire."
Percy's tongue clicks against the roof of his mouth, letting another beat of quiet pass before he replies, "You got me there, Zach. Y'got me there." Of course Percy wasn't really going to set the place on fire - not intentionally, anyway. Obviously. That would be stupid- no, it'd be beyond stupid. They're just fucking with each other. That's how they usually spoke to each other, too - constantly nagging and vaguely hostile but not really intending to actually hurt the other person. Maybe they did in the past, but they've come to at the very least tolerate each other's presence, for Ana's sake.
"Hey, catch-" Zach tosses the hunk of plastic down to Percy, who catches it with the grace and poise of an epileptic walrus - he would have been more graceful if he'd gotten a little more warning, I swear. Seriously though, Zach is such a brute sometimes. It's good, in some circumstances, but.. jeez, man. "I think we're done here."
"Oh, finally," Percy says as he puts the voltage tester back, folding the toolbox into itself to become more easily picked up. He stands up as he continues, "I was getting sick of this shit."
Zach scoffs as he climbs down the ladder, "I'm the one doing all the work." When he hits the floor, he starts to walk, wordlessly prompting Percy to follow.
"Yeah, but I'm the go-fer - the dumbest job in the world."
"How befitting, then, that it goes to you," Zach says, socking him in the shoulder playfully, "the dumbest man in the world."
"Ha-ha." Percy smiles back at him, but... No, really, that hurt. It usually wouldn't - it's Zach saying it, afterall - but with all the batshit stuff going on around him and everyone here asking what, exactly, he's thinking and why he's doing the things he's doing - like, why did he bring Ana here instead of leaving her with Zach? What the hell did he sign up for this for if he loves Ana like he says he does? Is he not aware of the risk? And who does he think he is, signing up for this with no previous military experience? Did he not know what the hell an NC was until he signed up or something? All that shit and more, just... buzzing around in his head lately, so yeah, being called the dumbest fuck on Earth stings, cause that's kind of how he feels right now. He knows that's not how Zach meant it, but- Ah, fuck, there he goes again. Brooding. Moping. Being stupid.
"Oh, uh- how's Ana, by the way?" Zach asks, pulling Percy from his own train of thought, "Is she, like, y'know, good? Bad? Is she adjusting well to the move? And she absolutely, for sure, has Bunny, right? Cause I keep checking over her room to make sure he wasn't left behind, and I couldn't find him, and I know she loves that thing to death-"
Percy laughs, more genuinely this time - he forgets that sometimes Zach can be just as smothering dad to Ana as he is, if not somehow worse. Plus, hey, a change of subject! That was very much needed. He wonders, briefly, if Zach is reading his mind or something. It feels that way. "Yeah," Percy replies, "she's alright, and she has Bonbon."
"Oh, he's Bonbon now?"
"Yep - has been for a little bit, actually."
"Oh," Zach says, a little softer. Sadder? Maybe? Before Percy can really ruminate on that one, Zach continues "I swear, she changes that plush's name crazy often. First it was Baba, then it was Baby, then it was Bernie, Basil, Bot, then it was Bastion, after that it's Brownie and Bunny, now it's Bonbon? God-"
"At least there's a battern- Uh-" Percy snorts - god, so many B's. It's bucking him up, now. "A pattern to how she names him."
Zach struggled to contain his little snicker, "Did you do that on purpose? God, you did, didn't you?"
"No, I didn't. Honest. Come on, my sense of humor isn't that bad, Zach! Really?"
"Really. It is."
"Pft, whatever," Percy playfully shoves at Zach's arm. He and Ana cringe and laugh together when he cracks his jokes, that's all that matters to him - whether anyone else finds it funny is a bonus! "But anyway, yeah. Yeah, Ana's good, has everything she needs to not go nuts-o in here."
Zach lets out a little sigh and a shrug, "Alright, if you insist."
...And again, something about the way Zach said that makes Percy wonder. Maybe it was his tone - that half-defeated sounding voice - maybe it was his expression - a slight grimace, but.. It made him think. Like, he already knew that Zach was against the idea of Ana coming to live on-base with him, but after the shitshow that happened in June? Well, you already know how he feels about that, and if you don't, here's a summary - Tough shit. You fucked up. Surely Zach was aware of that - Percy pitched a fit over it a couple times, afterall. She could've been whisked away never to be seen again, or straight up fucking died. Yeah, he's not taking the risk. Not again.
"Yeah, well," Percy sort of shrugs, "I do."