Log Entry 130209.48

Life is back on an even keel, thank goodness, and I've even managed to sort out something that has been troubling my conscience for some time. Rutter.
I'd been keeping half an eye out for him for a while now. I felt I owed him an apology for my part in the cargo bay incident. I had disrespected him and regardless of his role in the events, he is still an officer who warrants the correct address. So when I saw him sitting in the Mess Hall this afternoon, eating alone, I knew it was time I sorted it out.
Rutter was studying a datapad while he dipped chunks, torn off a ciabatta roll, into his soup. I admit, I was hoping to catch him when he was alone, but the Mess Hall was relatively quiet so I walked over to him. He didn't look up.
"May I sit with you?" I asked quietly after a few moments. He stiffened at the sound of my voice.
"If you so wish," he replied coldly.
I sat awkwardly, folding my hands into my lap and cleared my throat. I may have been imagining it, but I swear the room quietened as if to pry.
"So? What can I do for you?" he asked, chivvying me along.
"I just wanted to say sorry ... that I didn't respect your rank ... back on the Drakonia." I spoke quietly.
"Oh," he sounded surprised.
"And that I didn't think it was fair ... you being made to sit in on that first lecture."
I shuffled uncomfortably in my chair. Rutter looked up from his soup and studied me for what seemed like endless minutes.
"That's it. I just wanted to say it. Clear the air ... you know," I added, smiled weakly and then stood up to leave. Rutter scowled at me.
"What makes you think I had to be there?"
"What? Oh!" I exclaimed.
He was right. I had jumped to that conclusion.
"I just assumed—"
"And wrongly. I was there because I asked to be there. As your mentor, I wanted to know what you were being told. There was an opportunity to hear it first hand, so I took it."
"Oh ... Right ... Well ... I'm pleased about that then." I bit my lip nervously. "I'll leave you to it then ... sir." The word stuck in my throat as I added it, but I knew it was necessary. I couldn't help wishing that the ground would open up and swallow me whole though.
I shuffled nervously on the spot for a moment and then turned.
"Cadet," he called after me.
"Yes ... sir," I said, still trying to be respectful.
"I ..." he paused as though finding the moment as awkward as I did. "I commend you."
It was a clumsy thank you, but a thank you nonetheless.
"You're welcome," I said smiling softly and left him to his soup.
As I left the room, I passed a group of cadets and heard one of them say, "Well, that's buggered that up. What do we do now?"
It piqued my curiosity for a moment, but only a moment. The important thing was that Rutter and I may have reached an understanding.