PHD #021: At The Door Laughing
At The Door Laughing
Summary: Evandreus finds Stavrian in the laundry, sharing the company of liquor.
Date: 19 Mar 2041
Related Logs: Simultaneous with Too Soon
Evandreus Stavrian 

[ Laundry Room ]----—[ Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus ]
Post Holocaust Day: #21

Industrial washers and dryers line each side of this elongated room, which typically has personnel moving in and out all day and night. These front-loading systems are designed to withstand the rigors of a military beating and still function as expected. A sturdy set of counters run the length of the room for crewmembers to fold their own laundry and dress and pins or patches before and after the process.

-=[ Condition Level: 3 - All Clear ]=---------

The room is humid and warm, full of the smells of starch, bleach, and dryer sheets. A spattering of people are around, taking care of their dirty uniforms in relative silence and their own little spheres. By his own churning washing machine, Stavrian's settled on the floor rather than a chair. Sweatpants and T-shirt, his legs are folded in and his ankles play support cradle to a small hardback book. A mug of something is in his right hand, set on his knee, his back against the next washer in the row.

Evandreus sways in, a little more hippishness in his walk than is usual, mostly because he's balancing one handle of a shallow plastic laundry basket on his hip, other arm outstretched as if in a dance to clasp the further handle, leaving his other hand completely free to tote Gregor in after him. Boots and off-duties and, "Jess. Hey, guy," he calls down to the same while he shoves the basket up on top of the next-to-next washer with his hip, then begins to unload it: sheets and underthings, nothing too exciting or colorful.

Stavrian's head starts to lift before he looks up, eyes finishing the last few saccades over the bottom of his page. His sweat jackets is crumpled by his leg, and he drags it closer to his hip. "Evan." His fingers rub gently under his nose. "How've you been."

"Oh. Y'know," Evan lifts up a shoulder. "Can't really complain. I mean— I could,- but I don't know where the Cylons keep their Complaints Department. No worse than anyone else, at least, and significantly better than some," he finally sums up, tucking Gregor under his armpit to untangle a sheet before arranging it in the washer. "How're things in the bay?" he wonders, then, head lifting up from looking down into the machine before looking down again, this time to the side. "Oh. I did want to thank you for looking after Cubits — Tisiphone. She really needed someone."

Stavrian lifts his tea, sipping at it without so much a hint of a slurp. He's about to address the first thing — then the second — then abruptly they're on a third. His mouth drifts open, and then closes, and he shakes his head. "It was her right. Deciding her own care. If she's doing any better then I'm happy." Another sip of tea, and he clears his throat. "And…your wing? How are people?"

Evandreus' brain is, indeed, hopping from topic to topic like some sort of rabbit on crack. He flicks out a rolled-up sock, then another, then another, tossing them in. "Things in Harrier Squadron are quiet enough, I guess. Across the hall's… kind of been a mess, since the salvage op went south," he admits. "People… blaming people. Turning against one another. Resenting people for turning against other people. I can't say I blame them— I just wish they'd all sit down and talk it out instead of hollering at one another or giving one another the cold shoulder. A team can't fly like that," he gives his opinion. "But you've seen all that fallout down in the bay," he adds, more quietly. "How're things getting on down there?" he goes back to asking, since his mind had hijacked the conversation for that sidebar earlier.

"Mostly we're all worried about you," Stavrian says, quietly. "I mean. 'You' as in, the ship. Not you." Though that then prompts a brief pause. "Well, I suppose you too, are in that." Semantics. He takes another little sip of the tea, the steam drifting into his eyes. "Across the hall…you mean the Vipers?"

"Yah," Evan answers, "The Black Knights," he goes on. "There was some buffoonery during the last mix-up with the Cylons. That directly led to the influx of patients you've had recently." He shuts the washer, finally having sorted all his laundry into it, and drops a detergent tablet into the slot before setting it to wash and turning around, bringing Gregor around front to hug him close. "You've been pretty much running on all cylinders since this thing started. Hopefully you'll have a chance to cool down, sometime. And I'm not just saying that 'cause I hope we'll stop getting shot at. But, y'know. That, too."

Stavrian's lips smile a little, motion without emotion. "Well. I hope you stop getting shot at, too. Though I wish pilot injuries after an engagement were all we dealt with." He blows gently on his tea, looking away and shrugging one shoulder. "This is what we do. It's all we can do when it's all the rest of you that are out keeping us safe, and…" He draws in a soft breath through his nose, his eyes glancing to the side at the washer rows. "Keeping the ship running. And everything else. I am always in awe of everyone."

Evandreus sliiiiiides down the side of the washer, setting Gregor on his knees and scrudging his fingers through the bunnyfur as he comes to sit on the floor one washer over from the medic. "Hey, if it weren't for you guys, we'd have been screwed long ago. You keep the ship running as much as anyone else," he assures the guy.

The smell of the tea has wafted by now, carrying to where Evan sits. There's an undertone in the scent, sweet and fruity. Some kind of alcohol. Stavrian leaves that arm of the conversation alone, letting it drift into silence and wrapping his right arm around his waist. "I like your rabbit," he offers, lifting his chin to the stuffed critter.

Sweet and fruity alcohol. The very best kind. Not the cleansing solution that the air wing so likes to prove it's manly enough to drink. The smell catches the Raptorman's nostrils just right— unexpected enough a surprise to call a little smile from him. "Oh— thanks," he smiles. "His name's Gregor. He was destined for an Aerilonese orphanage. But I guess Cerberus counts as an orphanage, now, so— he's home. He's really soft," he notes, thumb and middle finger inching up behind the Rabbit's floppy arms as he holds him up, thumb making one arm to waggle in a wave to the medic. "Want to hug him?"

"No. Thank you." Stavrian adds that last one as absent cushion for the terse refusal. His darkly-circled eyes stay on the creature, idly watching it as its master flops it around. "Why Gregor?"

Evandreus didn't know whether Jess' hug ban extended to plushies, so he thought he'd offer. He doesn't seem affronted by the negative, just sort of bobs his head in a nod of acknowledgement, maybe a hint of a 'no problem' vibe tossed in there, but nothing said aloud. Gregor turns to look at Bunny, then back at Jesse. Well, Evan's hand is essential in accomplishing this feat, of course, but still, one looking at the rabbit and not the Bunny might read it like that. "Tender of flocks. I don't know. It felt right. His last name's Lagoon. Which just means… Rabbit. So, there's that."

"It's a good name." Stavrian's still looking at the rabbit rather than its owner. Caretaker. Whatever Evandreus is. They stay there for a while, a conveniently place for eyes to rest while thoughts drift, and then he looks down and picks at the folded sweat jacket by his leg. "Sorry, I'm being rude…would you like some brandy?" There's a small flask buried in the gray material, which he tugs out and offers towards the Raptor driver.

Evandreus. 'Manly; brave.' Someone got their labels mixed up when this kid was born. Or maybe they were going for the other working definition, 'beneficial to men.' Or, for those who've caught a glimpse of his first name on his files, maybe he's just the son of some guy named Quintus Evandreus Doe. Whatever the truth of the matter, the note of the slip in protocol makes him glow with a warm smile, "I don't think doing laundry next to a guy calls for buying him a drink in and of itself," he points out, "But I wouldn't mind, at all. Thanks, Jess," he adds, setting Gregor in his lap and taking up the flask, looking it over, first, before making any effort to open it, just to see whether it's inscribed or looks otherwise personalized. "How are you doing with… everything else?" he wonders, not openly asking about what he can only assume are those great gaping wounds where his wife and children were, but all the same.

"No, but mama taught me to share." Stavrian lets Evan have the flask and picks his tea back up. He pushes the book off his ankles and draws his knees up to his chest, shins angled away from Evan. The flask itself is nothing pretty. It's old, maybe, and beat-up. Nothing insists it be treated with care. He's in the middle of sipping his tea again when Evan asks that question, and addresses the answer to the liquid. "I'm coping." By sitting alone and drinking, apparently. "What about you?"

Evandreus unscrews the cap of the flask and lifts it to his lips, taking a small swallow. There. Now Jesse's officially not drinking alone. Tonguetip pokes out to clear off lower lip— or maybe just in a pensive expression. "The same, I guess. I'm luckier than a lot of people, y'know? No spouse… no kids…" though there's a dark ruefulness, there. "I hadn't even seen my parents or my sister in… a long, long time. We never got along. They—" This, changing topics, "They took down Marsyas, though. I saw it. Off of Virgon," he shakes his head. "That was a ship of good works." And deserves a sip of the brandy all its own, which it gets.

The brandy's a cheap blend that burns on the way down, but it warms the stomach in just the right way. Stavrian's not a classy man when it comes to his liquor. He doesn't say anything on the topic of Evan's lack of progeny, watching the top of his right knee. Though at the mention of the Marsyas being down, his blue eyes flicker up out of their distraction. "Really?" His voice is still quiet, naturally soft-spoken as it is. "I'm sorry." He lifts his cup a little, wiggling it. "Here's to the Marsyas."

Evandreus draws the flask over to tap gently on Jess' mug. "To Marsyas. And Commander Grassleigh," he sighs out, taking a deeper drink, then resting his arms on Gregor, tapping the flask between his knees and screwing on the cap again as if to keep him from just slugging away at the stuff, despite the pleasant flames licking at the inside of his tummy and tickling their way up underneath the skin of his cheeks. "I guess the Cylons don't understand what a ship of mercy is. Couldn't have taken long to take down, it didn't even have weapons systems."

"They didn't understand what a civilian is either." Stavrian says, lowering the mug back down and taking a healthy swallow. "'Understand' is too forgiving. They just didn't care." He clears his throat quietly, letting his head rest against the cold metal washer supporting his back.

Evandreus doesn't open the flask again, showing restraint, even if he keeps fiddling with it, turning it in his fingers, patting out rhythmic patterns with almost-silent fingertips on the metal. "True. Though 'not caring' might be too harsh. You can't expect a machine to care," he points out, but gently, no force to the words that underlies conviction. "Though… it was the weirdest thing. Out in the battle. When the vipers would take out one of their ships… the other ship came along, running SAR, I guess… it looked… it looked so much like a mother cat taking up its little kitten in its mouth… just… that sort of tender. It's not true. It can't be. But it could have fooled me. Maybe I'm just losing my mind."

"I misspoke." Stavrian's brows draw slightly. "They…'did not discriminate'." Thus sterilized, without much inflection to tell one from the other, he tips the cup up and drains the last of the liquid — mostly brandy now. His tongue flicks over his liquor-sweetened lips and he's silent for a while. The drawn brows turn into a faint frown. "They ran SAR on their own ships?"

"Yah. I watched it," Evan can attest. "The bigger ships they've got out there seem geared for it. And it seemed like their smaller ones were keen on covering them as they did so. But don't get me wrong, their bigger boats had guns, too. One of them finished collecting one of the downed Raiders and then turned around and tried to gun me down. I probably should have been running rather than staring. But it was… weird. To see that."

Stavrian's eyes narrow slowly, almost squinting at the Raptor pilot. Then away and down, as if needing the moment to slot that information into the proper place in his mind. "Were there…ejection pods?"

"From the Cylon Raiders? None that I could identify as such. There was a lot of debris, though," Evan qualifies his answer almost to death, itself. "I'm guessing a mangled Cylon pilot would look a lot like a mangled soda machine." And all the other mangled stuff that was floating out there.

Stavrian takes a breath as though to speak. Lets it out. Draws it in again. His cheeks are tensed up under his eyes as he looks back at Evan, struggling with this. "But…did you see any at all? The big ones, the centurions."

"Not that I can call to mind. Though I'd think I'd remember seeing something like that," Evan tells himself, his own brows furrowing. "I'd have to go through the tapes again. Maybe they came through and picked them all up. The victors of the battles get that luxury, after all."

"I would think you'd remember it too." Stavrian is still frowning. Processing this. He sits up and reaches over for the abandoned flask, unscrewing the cap. "They get the luxury, but that sheer number. There should have been something that you would have seen. If there weren't any…what was flying the frakking things?"

Evandreus pulls his knees apart a little, lifting he flask for Stavrian to take it back. "Maybe they're controlled from the primary vessels, via control uplinks? Drones," he gives the suggestion. "And maybe they're just picking them up to salvage parts."

"Yeah. Maybe." Stavrian tips the flask up, Adam's apple moving up and down as he swallows. The brandy inside makes an audible noise as it sloshes back down, and he offers it back. "I…derailed something, sorry. What were we talking about before?"

Evandreus reaches out and takes the flask again with a look of gratitude, takes a drink, himself, and passes it back. "I don't remember. It's been so long since I've had more than a sip of the stuff. It's good," he notes. "Thanks for sharing." A little smile, hand scritching at the back of Greg's head. "I was gonna get married," he offers, unprompted, relaxed. "It was gonna be awesome. What was it like?" he asks, the corners of his eyes registering a rich sorrow that eases down the tone of his voice into something quietly reverent.

Stavrian reaches out for the flask again, taking it at the very bottom. The new topic prompts a slight retreat, his fingers scratching through the front of his curls. "It was…" Down from his hair, fingertips rub into the corner of his eye. The thought goes unfinished, trailing into silence for a while. "You were engaged?"

Evandreus seizes up Gregor and pulls him to his chest, eyes hunting for Jesse's when he's about to give the description of wedded bliss, then down to the rabbit's when the topic's avoided. "Yah. It… fell apart, though. At the altar— so to speak," he admits, fighting feeling out of his voice, delivering the news flatly. "Before I decided to go into the military." Tone of voice indicating that post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc is here less of a fallacy than other times.

"I'm sorry." Stavrian offers this not as personal request for forgiveness. "Sounds rough." He lets his knees fall back down, sweats-covered legs again pulling in close and folding, ankles crossed. There's a while of silence then, under his breath: "You seem like the type that would've enjoyed it. It's a lot of…little details."

"Thank you," Evan offers back, taking the sentiment in the spirit in which it was intended. "Yah, it— wasn't my idea, not to go through with it," he euphemizes quietly. In other words, he up and got left. When Jesse starts up again, his attention's back, and riveted. Something close to a blush at the first — not a coloring of his cheeks, which are already niiiice and rosy from the liquor, but a little glance aside, something bashful, but closer to pleased than ashamed. "Yah," comes the breath of approbation to the last bit of description, as if he kind of knows what Jesse's talking about, but doesn't want to interrupt him, eager for more; even if it hurts, it's such a sweet pain.

So not just 'fell apart' at the altar, but ditched at the altar. Stavrian looks up, fleetingly, giving Evan a purse of his lips that's probably sympathetic. He turns his head, eyes flicking down again, and rubs the side of his neck. "I don't know," he murmurs. "That's just it, you know? It's just…all these tiny things. Kind of like working on a loom, and it just goes on for miles."

"We'd been living with one another before that… a long time," Evan rests his chin down on Gregor's head. "I still miss it. Just… yah, the little stuff. The everyday… everything. Figuring out meals. Divvying up chores. Just… being together."

Stavrian's blue eyes come up again, regarding the Raptor pilot with an uncertainty that just barely shows in a twitch of his brows. "Oh, so you…" He struggles over the right words. "You were already…attached."

"We were… very much in love with one another," Evan admits, more to the leg of one of the chairs over there than to Stavrian himself. "Or. I was, at least," he expresses a little bit of breath through flared nostrils. It might be trying to be a laugh. But it fails to sound anything more than moderately broken-hearted. He's still feeling this, and the liquor and grief are mingling to let him bare the fact to the medic he's grown to be friends with.

One would think that a normal state of affairs, that two people would be 'attached' before they took a step like marriage. The way Stavrian says it, though, it sounds almost like it struck him as strange. He clears his throat softly, nodding. It barely moves his head, his thoughts drifting off somewhere. "That must be really hard."

Evandreus swallows a little bit on nothing but the little bit saliva in his mouth, and nods some in reply. "It was. But it was worth it. I'd do it again. I couldn't ever have… done that… with someone I couldn't give my heart over to, entirely. Only I never foresaw it ending like it did. Guess that was my fault, thinking it could never fall to pieces."

"That's not…" Stavrian talks to his knee more than he does to Evan. His thumb rubs into the corner of his eye again, dragging over the dark circle underneath. "I mean, that doesn't make your f-…" The consonant trails off into air. His fingertip presses into the wrinkles between his brows, his eyes closing. "I don't know what I mean. I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Evan shakes his own head a little, though his hand does wander to see if the flask will be surrendered up again. Maybe another nip of hooch will stop the gnawing at his insides with its warm burn. "I'm not making a lot of sense, myself. I've been thinking a lot, since the world ended, about expectations, you know? Like, if I expect us all to die horribly in space, I won't be so sad when it happens. Whereas if I hold out hope, it just hurts all the more every time anyone's taken away from us. I'm pasting the thought process back on my life. If I'd assumed that the love of my life was going to leave me on account of some stupid alcoholic dove, it wouldn't have hurt so damned bad when it happened."

Stavrian's eyes look slightly more red when they open again. Maybe just from all the rubbing he's been subjecting them to. He cocks his wrist, holding the flask back out towards Evan's in offering. "Alcoholic dove?"

Evandreus takes up the offered flask, and, as his words get repeated back to him, they strike him as funny as if he hadn't come up with them himself. The top gets unscrewed slothfully, a drink taken, savoring the burn. "We went to the temple for the weekend, to get married. We bought this dove from the vendors outside to take in for the auspices, and when they cut it open, there was… I dunno, some sort of lump in the liver or whatever. They had to consult about it," the disyllabic word almost spit out before the wrath's soothed away by the liquor into a quiet nostalgia. "He was always so devout," whispered. Almost cherished in his mouth.

"In the…" The sound of Stavrian's breathing is audible on the exhales, which slowly speed up. One wave breaks into a little vocal twitch, then another. Laughter, of a really strange pitch. Incredulous, raw, and strung just a little too tight. He coughs hard, running his fingers roughly through his hair. "Evan! Remember the auspices? Here? Before we left?"

Evandreus drinks again to cover up any kind of laughter that might be forthcoming from him, sparked by Stavrian's. "I know, it's ridiculous, it's— what?" he pauses, looking up. "Uh. No," he answers, honest. He sure wasn't there. "Why?" he wonders.

"She found a…" Stavrian coughs again, motioning with his fingers for the flask. "…the liver. Was toast. And we left anyway. Oh, gods." Laughter bubbles up through his nose, wracking his shoulders and causing an unattractive snort. "We are frakked."

Evandreus seems, for his part, charmed by the snort, despite himself, and despite the dire nature of the message. Maybe the jocularity is working on him, 'cause he laughs, himself, as he passes the flask back, "I think we're more frakked on account of the Cylons than on account of any bird's guts," he gives his opinions. "When livers start flying around and shooting at me, then I'll be scared of them."

That was definitely not Stavrian's first cup of brandy. His accent's gotten steadily thicker, dragging his speech through the streets of some Sagittarian hinterland. His fingers wrap around the flask and it clunks to the ground by his ankle as he cracks up, leaning over his knee. "Who…knows…" He manages to get out between cackles. "Maybe that's what they mean by liver disease."

Evandreus has just had enough to get nice and warm and a little bit giggly, and he rubs his cheek on Gregor's head until the washer behind him shrieks out in a loud buzz to let him know it's done, eliciting a yelp that gets parsed into laughter halfway out as he leans forward, getting one set of fingers on the ground and getting to his feet, still clutching the rabbit to his chest. "Who'd have thought it'd be someone else's liver making people ill-at-ease," he grins at the thought, standing straight up and opening the lid of his washer.

Stavrian sucks in a breath, spinning the cap off the flask. He has to lift it pretty high to get a good swallow, the liquor level having taken a serious dive. "A cow. A frakking…cow." He lets his head bang back against the washer, raising his chin towards the ceiling. "'The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.'"

Evandreus sets Gregor on top of the washer Stavrian's camping out in front of, and then leans in to start pulling up bits of wet cloth, one after another, waving them like flags to get them tounwrinkle before tossing them in the basket. Sobered a little by the mundane action, he looks down over the washer's edge and into Jesse's eyes, "Eh?" he asks.

"Poem," Stavrian tells the ceiling, watching that past Evan's temple. "I don't remember the rest. Something about guest houses." He tips the flask up again, aiming the bottom of it straight upwards. Last few drops.

"Ah," is all Evan comes back with on that one, standing up straight again. "I've gone through half your allowance there, haven't I?" he asks, sounding vaguely apologetic. "Why don't you let me get this stuff in the dryer," the stuff he's fussing through at the moment, that is, "And then we can head back through wing berths, I can top off your flask for you if you don't mind Okkmin's or Runo."

"Yeah." Stavrian keeps his face tilted up, where a little line on the ceiling announces where some engineer forgot to smooth over the paint. "That'd be good." Mumbled, that little bit, and he lifts his hand and scrubs it over both eyes.

Evandreus totes his own basket over to the other line of machines, where, having fussed out the balled-up masses of wet fabric on the other side, he simply pours everything on in, upending the basket and guiding it all in with his hand before closing it up, starting the cycle. He comes over, then, and, seeing Jess there, rubbing at his eyes, he crouches down next to the guy, careful not to bump him with a knee. "Jess?" he asks. "Would you like me to make sure you get home okay, instead?" he wonders gently. He does kind of seem Drunk Enough, though Evan's not going to make that choice for him.

Stavrian closes his eyes, his head making a vague shake. "No, I'm…" He rolls his head against the wall, looking past Evan at the dryer. His eyes are just slightly squinted, as if something had stung them. "Going to wait for the dryer, I think."

Evandreus slumps back into his previously abandoned spot, slouching on a hip and planting one foot in front of his other knee, shouldering the wall and looking at Stavrian. "Jess… thanks for letting me talk to you, about stuff. You know… you can talk to me, too, yah?" he asks. "I know you don't like to. But it… could help?"

The corner of floor and Stavrian's washer keeps his attention, or at least what's left of his attention in the numbing buzz of alcohol. "I'm just tired." His voice, quiet as it is, is slightly raw. "Can you wake me up in like twenty minutes?"

Evandreus looks to Jess, then up to heaven. Or. To that little tip of ear hanging off of the washer. Which he reaches up and nabs. "Okay. Here. Gregor's good at naps," he remarks, hopping the bunny up to his knee, then over to the Medic. "And at making walls much more comfortable to sleep against," more pragmatically, then, less so, but warmer. "He'll look after you."

Fade, and Evan goes to berthings

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