|PHD #543: God is Love|
|Summary:||Rose admits to Tyr what she loves.|
|Date:||23 Aug 2042 AE|
|Related Logs:||Closing The Personal Gap|
|The Roe F. LaCapta Wing - Lampridis Academy - Gemenon|
|The Roe F. LaCapta wing of Lampridis Academy is the last truly livable area on campus. Large and spacious, this dormitory once housed over a thousand high school students four to a room. Many of those rooms remain intact, supplied with two bunk beds, four desks (with built-in shelves), wooden seats, and a pair of large bureaus.
Though the wing's long been stripped of useable items, plenty of personal effects remain: posters, textbooks, photographs, calendars, souvenirs from home. And even though marks of the Cylon bombardment remain — the pockmarked walls, the broken windows, the bloodstains on white walls and hardwood floors — all of them together can't quite seem to overcome the sense of a place frozen in time, just waiting for its students to return from a vacation that, now, will never end.
|Condition Level: 3 - All Clear|
|Post-Holocaust Day: #543|
It turns out that Bannik didn't need that extra bedding after all. Ever since that first night Rose and Tyr spent together, her room seems to have become his room, every night and even most of the days. Of course, when he tries to talk "feelings" with her, he ends up molested; that may not be so bad for a guy, but it does push off the tougher issues. In any event, it's perhaps unsurprising that Tyr is lying in Rose's bed, with her head on his chest.
"How are you feeling?" he asks, breaking the silence.
Rose stirs slightly, letting out a soft 'hmph' as Tyr initiates conversation. She twists, draping a leg over his so she can push up and look him in the face. "How should I be feeling?" She asks lightly in response, resting her bare body against his chest and settling her head on his shoulder. "Fine, I suppose," is her half-hearted response, her hand grasping lightly at his shoulder, as if holding on. "How are you?"
"I am actually pretty good," confesses Tyr, though there's a certain hollowness in his voice. His hand comes up and runs through her ginger hair, a small smile playing on the edge of his lips. "This. I mean, well." He would shrug his shoulders, but he doesn't want to dislodge her head. "This — is nice." And he seems to mean it, though not perhaps as whole-heartedly as he did when he professed his undying love to her.
Eyes closing in response to feeling his fingers through her hair, Rose sighs softly. "When you first met me, you couldn't do something like that," she murmurs. "What didn't fall out, I hacked off. Took months to grow back into something resembling something… useful. I'm still not convinced it'll ever be attractive again. I mean, what's so nice about Radiation Girl?" Rambling and self-deprecating. Great mood she's in.
"Her heart, mostly. The sex isn't bad, though." Another small smile; a small attempt at humor from the Tyr. "You ever think about your ability to open your heart? To believe and love? I wonder sometimes if this is the point of all of this." He seems to mean all that the human race is going through. "That the cycle that the Scrolls tell is driven by hate. Fighting. Strife. Maybe the way to break the cycle is to forgive. To connect. To open our hearts to one another."
Rose's eyes flutter open in time for her to roll them up and to the right at his comment about the sex. Hopefully he doesn't see it. Giving his shoulder a small squeeze as she pulls herself up higher so she can look down at him, into his eyes, she counters: "Sure, between humans and Cylons. But I'm not a Cylon, and I'm pretty sure you're not a Cylon." Her eyes search his, flitting back and forth as only eyes can do when the person is searching for the soul in the other. "Is the next manifesto going to be, 'lay down your arms and have lots of free sex?'" There's a quirk to the corner of her mouth, indiciating that her sarcasm is meant in humor. Whether or not Tyr takes it that way is besides the point.
"I'm not a Cylon. At least as far as I know." Bannik's eyes lock with hers, considering what she's saying. "And no. That's not going to be the next manifesto. It's not about sex. Sex is a form of love, but …" His voice trails off. "Or a way of expressing love. But love is bigger than that. It's the love between friends; between parents and kids; the love that should be between all living creatures. It's hard to love like that; we want to naturally hate people. But loving is harder. Yet more worth it, I think." He's sort of rambling, thinking his next manifesto out loud.
And Rose has been an able and willing sounding-board in the past. "You asked me if I… if I loved you, Tyr," she says, changing the topic somewhat. "A couple times now. I've been… afraid… to give you an answer. Because I didn't want you to hate me. I don't want you to turn away from me. From… this." She gives a slight bob of her head, eyes downward cast, obviously meaning their shared bed. "I so desperately needed you. To feel needed again."
"But you don't love me." Apparently, Tyr has come to understand this, even accept it. "You love Damon. But you can't have him, physically, so you take me, physically, and leave you heart with him. It's okay." His hand comes up to her hair, brushing it again. "It's okay. I guess I still love Veronica, too, in some ways, so — maybe we can each love what we can't have, but still find solace in each other." And if that's not a basis for a relationship, what is?
Rose swallows audibly, her brows peaking upward, the lines around her eyes suggesting sadness. Her eyes begin to sparkle with moisture. "I… don't… love… Andreas," she manages to admit, in a tiny voice. She lets that hang in the air between them, punctuated only by a sniffle.
A long pause. "What?" Bannik seems to have worked so hard to accept that Rose didn't love him, that she loved her boyfriend she's cheating on with him, that he wasn't quite ready for this. "Then what is it? I mean — do you —?" He doesn't say 'love me.' After all, that tends to just get him molested and run the conversation off track.
With a shaky sigh, Rose flops to the side of Tyr, turning on her side, facing away from him. She wraps her arms around her midsection. "I… don't know," she admits, staring at an some non-distinct point on the wall. "I can tell you that I loved the idea of Andreas. He was strong, kind, and helped me through a very difficult time. And when I could finally see… I wasn't, you know, disappointed, with what I saw. But I don't think I loved him. I'm… not sure."
Bannik rolls over onto his side and drapes his arm around Rose, holding her against him. "You loved the idea of someone loving you? Of someone seeing you as desirable, even though you didn't see yourself as desirable?" Tyr offers a suggestion. "I can understand that. It's pretty much the story of high school for me. I mean, feeling awful about myself."
"No, not that," Rose protests, although possibly to Tyr's surprise she settles back against him, underneath his arm. Her eyes close again, losing herself in the comfort of being with someone. "I'm… um… maybe I saw him as my Hero of Kobol. You know, those silly fables. The idea of someone coming to my rescue." A beat. "I don't need rescuing any more."
"No. You don't." Bannik shakes his head. "You've done so much that you don't need to be defined by someone else anymore. Well, quite frankly, you never did. But you especially don't now." His voice is soft now, just going along with what she has to say, taking comfort in their closeness.
"No, that's not right," Rose says, turning over onto her other side, so she can face Tyr. An arm snakes under his. There's a hint of moisture under her eyes. "What I need is purpose, Tyr. Something that I can only get from the gods. But, like I said to you, a long time ago… I fear the gods are dead. They're only kept alive in our hearts. Their words are only in the Scrolls. But I've found divine word someplace else." She leaves that source unspoken, but Tyr can guess pretty easily where. Or in whom.
Bannik takes a deep breath, his voice catching in his throat. "I'm just trying to say what's in my heart Rose, that's all. I'm just trying to figure things out and find meaning in all this as much as anyone is. But —" His voice trails off. "If what I have to say inspires others, then that brings me so much joy."
"I couldn't say I loved you, Tyr, because I wasn't sure what I felt about you," Rose says, her voice dropping to a whisper. "But now, I know, it's not the man I love. It's his word. It's his inspiration, his message." She swallows hard, again, and then tucks her head against his chest, clamping her eyes shut. "I find God in you, Tyr. A merciful god, a loving god. The god that the Twos and the Elevens talk about." Fingers curl against his chest. "I love that. I love the prophet."
There's a long pause as Tyr processes this, turns it over in his head. "And the prophet loves you, too, Rose," replies Tyr finally, as if the single phrase to sum up his philosphy had just occurred to him. "And God loves you. God loves all of us. God isn't some — angry, vindictive beings up on Olympus, lording over us. God is Love, Rose. God is Love."
And with a gentle push and sudden boldness, Rose pushes Tyr onto his back, and is quick to climb atop him, straddling his lap. She sits up, letting the sheets fall away, revealing her bare self to him without shyness for the first time since their rendezvous began. "Then I give myself to God," she breathes, tears streaming down her cheeks.
fade to black…