PHD #275: EVENT - Kitchen Party
Kitchen Party
Summary: The survivors from Aerilon decide to have the biggest Kitchen Party in history and invite everyone on board the Cerberus to celebrate with them.
Date: 28 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Off The Books

OOC Note: A soundtrack was available for this scene at and lyrics included are from Astra and Great Big Sea.

Astra Cameron Constin Davis Devlin Elpis Pewter Radcliffe Rose Wade Ximena 
Hangar Deck - Starboard - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
This Hangar Bay is filled with boxes, crates and other various supplies that are needed throughout the ship. Most have been moved to one end and lashed with tarps to keep them out of the way. The place has gone from extra ship storage on one end and the ability to house over 450 people on the other end. Whatever could be made into cots has been set up like a huge barracks. Some areas have been made more presentable with a few items that belong to the person holding onto their small area in this world. Marines guard this area 24/7 and food is brought in cafeteria style, feeding people out of vats and buckets as they line up with their plates. One area has been tarped off to the side that holds canvas showers and sinks. As a small improvement in the standard of living, the Head, showers, and sinks have been hooked up to running water and sewage, meaning that they no longer stink or need to be cleaned daily.
Post-Holocaust Day: #275

The Starboard Hangar has been transformed from a ragtag mass of cots into an open space made as homey and welcoming as humanly possible surrounding the kitchen area of this makeshift home for the civilian population. Cots have been collapsed or stacked up to form a wall. Colorful sheets, blankets, and quilts have been strung up to cover crates, boxes, and as much dreary gray metal as humanly possible. The massive banks of overhead lights have also been turned off in favor of a multitude of lanterns, allowing the space to cheerfully glow. Everyone present is wearing their best the brightest and prettiest clothes they could find from the stash that was rescued from Aerilon. Close to the food is a section set up with chairs and musical instruments that survivors either brought with them or were rescued from the Airmid Clinic. The Aerilonians have managed to get permission to cook in the galley and as a result have been cooking traditional Aerilon dishes since the night before. The space smells of warm crusty bread and rich hearty stew. A table has been set up with drinks of all kinds and a large wooden barrel has been brought out of hiding, the tap hammered into it allowing the three year old Aerilon Whiskey to pour free at last. Crates have been draped with sheets to serve as dining surfaces and pillows and bedding have been placed around the edges for comfortable floor seating. But the main center of the floor has been cleared for dancing.

By the look of it, things are starting to get going. A number of people, those who indicated that due to their issues with the open invitation to the Cerberus crew they do not wish to participate, have retired to the other side of the curtained cot wall that has been made or have left for other areas of the ship as per their agreement. The rest? They are either working in the kitchen area, preparing and setting out food, or they are coming out of the curtained off changing areas with festive clothing on, chatting in small groups. For himself, Cameron is currently with the other musicians, tuning his guitar and talking to them softly, a large grin on his face as he does. He wears the heather grey sweater he was rescued in, both because of the significance of that day and the fact that his mother knitted it for him. The past, the present, and the future coming together here and now. Elpis, wearing a bright colored lavender dress with peridot green leggings is running around the space with the other children, excited by all the festivities that are about to commence as people start filtering in from the ship.

Freshly washed and pressed, and recently taken in, Davis sports her blues in proud fashion. The Ensign peeks inside, hanging back until she spots a few military personnel milling about the hangar bay. "I swear," she chirps, whipping a hand up from her belt to wave the curved female garrison cap in the air. "One of these days, we'll have to wear these and I'll be the only one who brought it!" It is, in part, a bit of acting; sacrificing a little dignity (not that Ensigns have all that much) to spread the word that the affair is informal, at least insofar as headgear goes. Flashing a cheery grin, the redhead strides into the bay proper.

One of the military members filters their way down to investigate the rumor of a party, that being Brina who is mercifully able to spare a few hours from her work-sleep-ZOMGmorework schedule to attend. Dressed in her orange deck coveralls (the upper half of which is bunched about her waist via the sleeves being tied around her midsection), tank tops and boots, she's one of those sore-thumb types without much doubt. Shaking her head, she steps into the hangar only to then step to the side, looking around to get a feel for the atmosphere and the general attitude towards Colonial Navy personnel before daring to move in any further.

Well, she's certainly not a civilian. But, at the moment, neither is she dressed like a Engineer. Gone are the coveralls, gone are the grease stains. Out with the old, and in with the mostly new. Ximena is over by one of the crates that has been set out as a sort of sideboard, working with a few of the woman to set out plates and utensils, cups and small containers of condiments. The Chair, like a creepy stalker that just won't leave her alone, still, of necessity, provides her with mobility, but her normal dour navy threads have been replaced by a light, sleeveless summer dress, a soft periwinkle blue, dotted with white floral embroidery accents. Her hair's washed and all, falling free around her face.

Bereft of any 'Sunday best', Constin has elected to look in on the unfolding shindig in his dress uniform. As a point of minor interest, the marine enlisted dress uniform is almost identical to the 'on duty' marine uniform, lacking only the belt of arms, and sporting a narrow, tan flat cap in place of a helmet. The big sergeant is standing stationary well removed from the dancing area, turning an eye over the assembly, and trying without much success to NOT act like security for the gathering.

Pewter is here. A decidedly odd sight amongst the civvies but, in one of the old man's random and unpredictable turn of fancies, he seemed tickled by the idea of a party. He got up in the morning to help with the cooking in the galley (much to the wary bemusement of the ratings there) and is presently helping to serving. Laughing jovially and telling some folksy story about Aquaria to a very tolerant-looking Aerilonian.

Busy with his guitar and talking to the other musicians, Cameron hasn't noticed Ximena's arrival until his head rises and then he just stops and stares, blinking. A dress. She's wearing a dress. This clearly takes him off guard, the man shaking his head and staring a little longer before a wry smile touches his mouth and he's distracted by the mandolin player at his right who looks from side to side and notes, "It dinnae be a kitchen party till there's music playin. Yeh boys an girls ready then?" The musicians nod and on the count of four break into a cheerful and whirling jig to get things started.

Radcliffe catches sight of several people at once, one being Ximena but then it's Constin she sees, the sight of whom gets her to sigh in relief. "Thank the Lords," she says under her breath as she scoots her way towards him, the deckhand swiftly winding her way around people to make her way to where he is. "Hey, Sarge," she greets the much taller, burlier man. "Looking good."

Davis is all smiles, an excessive exuberance that soon fixes itself on Pewter. "Colonel, pleasure to see you here!" she calls out, slipping to the side to share a few words. "Nice turnout, isn't it?" she asks, and without pause leans over with another question. "Maybeeee, we'll get to hear you sing? Mm?"

"Lo there, Radcliffe," Constin drawls flatly to Brina. "Ain't been around so many civvies in a real long while," he comments with a short exhale, the big man's manner still a bit coiled up, despite the festive atmosphere around him. "S'frakking weird," is his less than eloquent summary. Others are noticed as they enter- the exuberant Davis, the dressed Ximena, and of course the big jolly Colonel, but Constin doesn’t budge from his little corner of the party.

Astra is here as well, herding a bunch of children: her own nine plus a good portion of the schoolchildren. They are wearing paper flower wreaths and other hand-made decor, and they gather into a ring and start to dance some folk-dances. First an Aerilonese reel, then a hornpipe from northern Aquaria. She watches them, calling out now and again while some of the other, less limber children keep time on some tambourines liberated from the sheep-planet.

"Why Ensign Hathor." Pewter turns a wide, almost fatherly grin, of his own to Davis. "It is a nice turnout. Nice indeed. Does good to be reminded why we keep on keepin' on." A hearty chuckle, full of false modesty, when he's asked if he may sing. "My wife used to say my singin' was like a bullfrog tryin' to pass a tone. Good to hear music bein' played, though. Yes, it's good indeed."

"Uh-huh," Radcliffe says with a sigh, once again looking out and about at those gathered. "It is oddly intimidating, isn't it?" Frowning, she sidles just a hair closer to Elf, her expression worried. Not usually one to succumb to paranoia, she can't help but to feel like she's a turkey and this is all going to wind up some kind of turkey shoot, the perfect chance for a riot and massacre to take place.

The musicians swing into another melody, as the children take the floor to dance, slowing the pace of the reel down a little so their little feet can keep up. From her place on the dance floor, Elpis grins and waves at Cameron as he plays the guitar and keeps the beat with his tapping foot, smiling cheerfully back even if he can't pause his hands enough to wave. A number of the adults watch and then begin to form lines along with the children, joining in and teaching those unfamiliar with the dances of Aerilon just how they go. One young man looks longingly at Radcliffe, then looks at Constin and thinks twice about inviting her onto the floor, finding a much more obliging dance partner instead, though Radcliffe gets a wistful look over the man's shoulder as he takes the floor.

The music is well-met, but it's unlikely Ximena will be doing any dancing tonight. But that seems to suit her just fine, as she heads towards the serving tables, having finishes putting out all of the necessities. Her approach does bring her in an arc, in which Constin and Brina are noticed, and a hand waved in their direction to invite them over, before she continues on towards the big man and his red-headed companion. Yes, that would be the Big Man and the JTACCO. "Sirs. So good to see you here, I hope you'll be dancing tonight, that would be a sight." Oh damn, she did say that out loud? Um, she'll just look over towards the musicians, yeah, a smile sent in Cameron's direction, before she settles herself in at one of the serving stations. Pie. Her favorite.

The Ensign laughs at Pewter's self-deprecating humor, and Davis reaches out to press her fingers against his shoulder without a thought to official position. The music is peeling away her already thin inhibitions, and at least from her perspective seeming to lighten the mood all around. "Well sir, I'll be here to make an ass of myself right beside you if you change your mind," she teases, taking her leave of the Colonel with a squeezy-finger wave and scrunched-face smile as she wheels off into the gathering of people.

"Huh," Constin grunts dryly to Radcliffe's comment. "Couldn't put my finger on why it felt so weird, till just now," he mutters, upon spotting Astra and her herd of children. Lips twisting in a wry moment, he notes aside to Brina, "Shit, looks like you got an admirer," as the would-be dancer gives Radcliffe those backward looks.

The dancing begun, the children's planned numbers executed, Astra nods and waves to them, then goes to take a seat with the musicians. Petra comes to sit at her feet and the twins are there in their carrier, and the woman picks up her lap-harp. She tilts her head to listen, then joins in with a harmony to the tune being played, humming softly to herself.

Radcliffe chews her lower lip before she nods, that being to Ximena in response to the beckoning. "We'll be there in a bit," she calls out, relieved for the invite from the woman even if she's not exactly ready to dive into the waters, proverbial as they are. Turning her head towards Constin again, she ponders before she ask quietly, "Admirer? Who?" She's totally confused as to who he's referring to, her mind reeling too much for her to be able to keep up.

"I surely will keep that to mind, Ensign," Pewter chuckles to Davis, not seeming to mind at all her lack of decorum. It's a party. That broad grin turns to Ximena. "Why if it ain't Chief Alteris. Chance to wear a dress like that's worth all the work right there and then. I might. I just might. Don't nothing hurt a duck but his bib, as they say." Who says that, and what it could possibly mean, are not elaborated on. But it makes him chuckle again. He continues to spoon out food.

The melody plays out as the dancers dance, but when the song comes to an end, the music draws to a halt for a moment, a ringing of a bell used to hush the voices and gain everyone's attention for a moment before the leader of the band turns to Cameron who rises up with a shy smile, setting down his guitar before stepping forward and clearing his voice. "Welcome. Welcome everyone here. Those of us from Aerilon welcome you all and are glad you are here. I've been asked to share with you a few things to officially start off our Kitchen Party." His head cranes up and about, a wry smile curling his lips as he notes, "I've been to many kitchen parties in my time, but this is by far the largest." Most of the Aerilonian's, used to parties in cramped kitchens packed full chuckle at this. "A kitchen party," Cameron explains, "is a celebration of life, and right now no celebration could be more important or necessary. A reminder of the preciousness of life. The fleeting nature of life. A celebration of family and friends. A reminder that we all need each other in order to keep living, that we need to value and care for one another. That is what this party is for. To remember that life is worth living and, more importantly, sharing."

Taking a breath, he notes, "So I would like to share with all of you a traditional Aerilonian blessing." Picking up a glass he raises it up high and calls out, "May the blessing of light be on you - light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of the skies shine and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.

"Funny thing is, I'm so used to wearing pants, I keep having to look down to make sure I'm not actually naked." Ximena can't even recall the last time she did wear a dress, so, take that as you will. Ximena, thankfully, can talk and dish at the same time, and there seem to be a fair number of people getting dessert before dinner, "Sorry, sir." She does flash the CO a smile, though. Harmless, see? And another, to Elpis and the small band of children she's dancing by with, before she quiets, listening to the doctor when he rises to give the invocation, of sorts. And when he finishes, it's just standard, right? "So say we all." But, at the least, not shouted or anything.

Davis offers a quiet "Pardon me" to the stealthy Senior Chief as she extricates herself, her expression one of polite confusion; but, confused by the dress and only knowing Ximena in briefest passing, she mingles undeterred, thinking the Chief is one of the civvies. The bell catches her attention as she's mincing around some dancing scamps. The reflexive urge to draw upright and board-stiff crosses with the ironclad laws of motion to send her stumbling through the gaggle before Constin's broad shoulder can be grabbed to anchor her motion. "(Sorry!)" she hisses with a meek grimace, standing to next to the Marine and the Mechanic as the informal benediction is given. Her voice is added at the end, too, in the crowd's reverently murmured response: "So say we all."

Constin points Radcliffe toward the bashful dancer, with a smirk. He turns his eye toward Cameron as the doctor speaks up, and gives ear to the speaker as he recites the blessing, looking sharply aside as someone grabs his shoulder. "Sir," he mutters under his breath to Davis, before he turns attention back to Cameron. His expression is easy enough, right up until that last blessing of earth is invoked. His expression darkens just a touch, slipping back into a stern stone face as the marine- who hasn’t been drinking much, yet, grunts out a level, "Yeah," at the prayer's end and throws back a swallow of Aerilonian whiskey.

Pewter gets another chuckle out of Ximena's comment about pants, though the benediction puts the old man's mood back into serious. He bows his head as it's spoken, taking off his glasses. He's silent for a turn when he looks back up, dark gaze sweeping over all those gathered in the hangar. "So say we all," he echoes, low and gravelly.

Davis' bumping into the Sergeant has Brina chuckling and she reaches around the broad man to help the Ensign steady herself as the blessing is given. "So say we all," Brina echoes the others at its conclusion, her head bowing slightly. Tilting a quick look towards those she's standing by, she whispers to the lady, "I know the Sarge is a good looking man but I didn't think he'd be the cause of tripping over your feet," that an off-handed compliment to Constin and a playful jab towards Davis.

A little late to the gathering is Rose, inching along the outside periphery of the hubbub. Those who knew her before knew her to be quite blind with cataracts; now, she seems to be without her walking stick, although a pair of sunglasses hides her eyes. She seems quite able to move and see on her own, now. Dressed for the occasion, she seems to have come from the deck's makeshift 'head', a maze of plumbing and other water works that is otherwise necessary to keep sanitary conditions on the deck. And despite apparently having regained her sight, she seems quite content with lurking near the fringes of the party, watching everything. At in response to Cameron's brief prayer for the kitchen party, she too intones quietly with the rest, "So say we all," palming what appears to be a small figurine.

"So say we all," breathes Astra, and Petra mouths the words, then wraps her arms around her adoptive mother's leg, cuddling close to her. Astra reaches down and ruffles her hair, sighing softly. "We'll be all right, Petra. We will." She watches her other foundlings, hugging each other, brothers and sisters. She then looks towards the dancers, and a sad, wistful expression comes to her eyes. She wrenches her gaze away and lifts up the harp again, plucking a few gentle notes from the strings, a coda to the benediction.

Devlin wanders in, slipping pretty easily into the mass of the crowd, dressed as he is in civilian clothes. Whether that's actually allowed or not he doesn't know, which may be why he's peeking somewhat cautiously around, just in case there is someone about who might have a problem with it and who he therefore needs to hide from. He seems to satisfy himself that there is no immediate danger of reprimand, and so wends his way up towards the serving tables, getting into line with the rest.

As the mass of people before him all intone the words, "So say we all," Cameron finds himself struck by the power of those words, of so many voices raised up as one. He's almost embarrassed to feel his throat seize up with emotion, taking a drink from his raised glass to release that grip before lowering it and grinning to them all. "Right! Now lets get down to some serious celebrating!" And with that the musicians burst into a raucous drinking song, bows flying over fiddles, drums insisting to feet that they must dance, and the room filling for all its size with music and good cheer. Taking a break himself, Cameron heads over toward the tables to get himself some food. Stew and good crusty bread and a glass or two of Aerilonian aged whiskey. What could be better? He draws up to where Ximena is, his gaze flickering over curiously and without recognition toward Col Pewter before he leans down to give the wheelchair bound woman a kiss on the cheek. "Hey there," he greets with a warm smile. "Come to get something to eat?"

"Oh he iiisss," the redhead gushes, her eyes starting to slit like a cat's as she looks between Radcliffe and Constin. A hand splays over the Marine's chest, Davis testing the limits playfully. "He's actually one of the Marines who saved my skin just recently. A regular knight in weathered amour," she declares with a nod.

"Go on, sir, go and meet everyone. You've done enough back here. I'm sure the civvies would be thrilled to meet you. I don't imagine many of them have had the chance." Pewter, after all, is the boss. The one who, in the end, is responsible for all of the lives on the ship, and as lead of the battle group, the fleet. Someone worth saying 'thank you' to. "Might be a few ladies needing a partner, or so I heard before." When she was with the women gossiping, as women are want to do in a kitchen. "And maybe you could encourage the military not to stand on the sidelines as though they were waiting for a firing squad." Already been enough of those for the ages. Still, she does attempt to nudge Pewter away from his serving station. The serving station, is of course, well manned, with men and women taking their turns to serve and then later, to be served. Cameron receives another smile for his trouble and a return kiss, "How about you make two plates for us, and I'll join you in a little while?" And then, just as brightly, "Oh, Cameron, this is Colonel Andrus Pewter, our commanding officer. Sir, this is Doctor Cameron Adair."

"Stow it, sir," Constin mutters back to Davis, manner leaving little room for confusion in testing the bounds of playfulness. Something about that nice benediction really seems to have soured his mood. Narrow blue stare goes from Davis, to Radcliffe, and to whatever other motion catches his eye- at the moment this motion is the entrance of Devlin.

Rose finds herself tracing her steps, occasionally removing her sunglasses and closing her eyes, going by the hard-fought sightless memory of where things were. But it doesn't work very well as much of the deck has been rearranged for the party. She ends up going by her ears, then, trying to pick out voices from the throng that she recognizes. After all, after a fashion, everyone is now a stranger. She begins to creep out from the safety of the periphery, coming to lurk near heavy support beams and other hard fixtures that haven't changed - no matter how much the kitchen party wanted them to.

Devlin stands in line with his plate, and seems to register that he's being looked at, turning to glance about. It might, after all, be someone in the Air Wing about to send him back up to put on a flight suit or whatever. But no, it is Constin that he eventually picks out, and a hand lifts in a friendly wave to the marine sergeant. Rose is noticed as well as she edges around the room and he begins to wave before remember that this is unlikely to be worthwhile and instead calls out towards her, "Rose, hey."

"I was never much for dancin', Chief. Got all the grace of a cow in them stil-et-o heels, my wife used to say." Pewter drawls it in a wistful sort of way. "Did want to make the rounds, though. See the lay of the land down in these parts. Got y'all packed cheek to jowl, don't they?" The last directed at Cameron, and he extends a hand for the doctor to grasp. "Real fine music y'all are puttin' on here. Real fine. Right good to hear the ship sing again. Been too long."

Radcliffe doesn't react to Davis' pawing of Constin outside of having to stifle a chuckle, the attempt to keep from laughing made all the more difficult when Elf grouses and grumps in response to that. "Sarge, be nice and thank the nice lady," she teases after a moment, her elbow placed gently against his side when she does. Leaning around him again, she asides to the officer, "Please don't pay him any mind, sir. He's a bit grumpy today."

If Rose's ears could perk up, they would. Fumbling with her sunglasses, she manages to tuck them away and produces a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses with rather thick lenses. Peering in the direction of the call, she espies Devlin, but can't identify him from anyone else in the crowd. But the voice, she vaguely remembers. "Um, yes? Sorry, not sure I recognize you," she says, scanning the crowd in Devlin's general direction.

The good doctor startles as Ximena informs him that the kindly looking rotund man standing behind the table and serving up stew is, in fact, the commanding officer of the fleet? His ocean blue eyes widen in surprise as he first reaches out a hand to shake and then brings it back an up uncertainly, as if he were going to salute the man, sputtering, "Ahhh! Oh! Sir! A pleasure to meet you, sir!" Flustered, ayep, that would be what Cameron is at the unexpected meeting of such an important figure. "Ahhh, yes, it's a bit tight sir, but we all know that you're working hard to get the freighter for us and then there will be more room for everybody." Hopefully. At the compliment Cameron's cheeks flush slightly as he glances over his shoulder at his fellow musicians and notes, "Well, it's a group effort, sir. Everyone doing their part, even you, sir. It's a fine thing, having you here as well. We just want to try to remind everyone that we're all on the same side, that we need to stand together now. And yes, we need more music. More art and culture and life… to remind us of why life is worth living."

The Marine's command rumbles from his barrel chest and into Davis' palm before the words even reach her ears. Her flinch is stifled as she transforms her expression from the border of flirtatious to a simply pleasant smile, the hand coming off of Constin's chest and almost resting on his arm—but instead hovering over the bicep for a moment before dropping. "No, it's quite alright," the Ensign insists, pressing that hand across her breastbone. "I should be the one thanking him and the rest of the Marines." The slowed, deferential tones speed up, excitement growing as she smiles across him to tell Radcliffe, "You should have seen it. They were just… zooom! Everybody knew where to go and what to do, it was incredible."

Devlin blinks when Rose takes off sunglasses and puts on real glasses, and seems to actually be looking at him. "Whoa," he says, not quite stepping out of line, but drifting forward a little, peering at her, "Can you see? It's— oh, sorry." He lifts a hand to indicate himself a little more, just in case she needs the extra guidance, "It's Devlin. Alex."

In the lull between songs, some of Astra's children run to her, tug at her, whisper in her ears. She resists at first, then laughs and shakes her head. "All right, all right," she acquiesces. "But let the pain in everyone's ears be on your heads." She rises to her feet, balancing the harp on her knee, and begins to play a lilting tune. It is not of Aerilon, but there is a kinship in the music. Northern Aquarian, it has the roll of the sea in it. One by one the musicians pick up the tune, and Astra smiles. Her hands choose a simpler set of chords, then, and she begins to sing in a sweet, clear voice, piping like sea-birds.

"In that direction lies the sea.
Its darkling fathoms call to me.
It bids me board a ship and roam
Where land is lost to wave and foam."

"Devlin. Alex Devlin!" Rose repeats, apparently quite happy to see him for the first time. "I remember you. You were quiet nice to me when you visited in Sickbay that one time. Oh, I don't know whether to hug you or shake your hand or…" Now that she can see him, she removes the ugly-framed glasses and tucks them away, not reaching for her sunglasses right away. The dim lighting in the hangar seems to be within tolerable levels. "Yes, I can see," she says with a barely contained smile. "All thanks to Dr. Adair. I have to say, I never really realized how large a battlestar is. It's been… rather overwhelming, these past few days."

"Go on and mingle then sir, just remember, even a cow can be graceful under the right circumstances." Ximena really does do her best not to laugh, at Cameron's reaction to meeting the big man, but it takes almost all of her effort, and a hand to her lips to still her smile. But she allows the meeting to go otherwise uncommented, turning instead to take over Pewter's role, serving those who are coming through the line for the stew station she's oh so ninja-ly tried to take away from the Colonel.

"Don't need thanks, sir," Constin states plainly. "I'm a marine. All we need is room to reload." Another short pass of his eyes over the room take in the interactions: Devlin and Rose, Cameron and Ximena, the dancers and the schoolchildren, and the music. "Shit," he grunts under his breath. "Think I'm gonna duck out for a spell. Sir. Petty Officer," the first of his parting words is given to Davis, the second to Radcliffe, and the gruff Master-at-Arms removes himself from the conversation.

"Yup, see you later, Sarge. Will get you in the ring again sometime soon, huh?" Brina watches Elf as long as she can when he makes with the hasty departure, her expression and posture deflating noticeably when he leaves as if his doing so puts a weight upon her shoulders. "I…I wish men were not such pains in the frakking ass," she grunts towards Davis while looking down, a keen interest in the deck plating she's standing upon being what draws her attention. "Between the Sarge and Crowe…surprised we all don't drown in a sea of testosterone and ego."

Some of the dancers take up the flow of the music, coming together in pairs, others in lines threading in and our of the pairs. It's a bit chaotic, several planets' worth of folk-dance, yet somehow they all seem to come together to weave a lovely tapestry. Astra doesn't seem to pay much attention to the dancing, though. Her eyes are closed and her cheeks flushed as she sings, but she doesn't pause for all of that.

"It bids me travel to the deep
Where dolphins frolic, where whales sleep,
Where wave and water touch the sky
And gulls and gannets dare to fly.

A soft farewell to home and land,
To green-clad meadow, beach and sand,
Farewell to kinsmen young and old,
For no one knows what fate will hold."

"So say we all to that. So say we all," Pewter says. And he will leave Cameron to Ximena's tender care on that note. To go and mingle.

Devlin smiles crookedly at Rose and nods, "Yeah, that was me. I meant to come back and visit again but I was busy with flight training and then I think you were gone by the time I finally looked in again. But it's good to see you. And that's awesome that you can see!" he adds, "That's so cool that they could fix your eyes." As for the battlestar, he shrugs a bit, "Yeah, I guess it's pretty big… it starts seeming small after a while, though, you'll see."

"Certainly," Davis replies, stepping out of Constin's way. She takes the spot he left next to Radcliffe and listens to the woman's lament. "You really think so?" she asks, leaning over to nudge some cheer into Brina's elbow. "I just saw a shy and humble schoolboy reflexively covering a tender heart." The Ensign looks over her shoulder at the hatch through which the Sergeant had departed. "Poor little guy," she pouts.

Rose shakes her head, smiling coyly at Devlin. "No, that's easy for you to say! You're a pilot! Umm…" She glances to the left and right, to make sure no one is listening. And she leans in a little, her voice low, her cheeks a little flushed from the embarrassment of the pending question: "Something I've not been able to figure out since that time you visited. What, precisely, do nuggets have to do with Vipers?"

"No, really," Devlin insists to Rose, "When you've spent a few months wandering around and run out of new things to see and do or places to get away from the noise, you'll see. It's huge for a ship but tiny for a world." When she looks embarrassed and leans in his brows lift a little, and then he chuckles at the question and shrugs, shaking his head. "I dunno," he admits, "That's just what they call pilots-in-training. I don't think anybody remembers for sure where it comes from, at least not that I've ever heard."

Cameron looks slightly dazed as he watches the cheerful, fatherly man wander off to mingle with the civilians, perfectly at ease before he turns round eyes to Ximena and blurts, "He's nice!" as if this were the most unexpected and astonishing thing in the universe. Rubbing his hands over his features and through his already somewhat tousled hair, Cameron chuckles and murmurs, "Will wonders never cease." Turning about his eyes scan over the room for a bit before he points out, "You've been working a lot too, y'know. You should also get out and mingle. Have some fun. That's an order from your doctor," he adds with a wry smile and an arch of one brow. Cameron watches the dancers, listens to the music, fingers absently tapping against his thigh as he glances toward Astra and makes a mental note to compliment her later on her singing and playing.

Radcliffe could gossip as to why Elf is the way he is but it'd be all speculation and rumor mongering on her part so she refrains, instead nodding to Davis' own assessment of the Marine. "I…guess." Lifting a shoulder to her in a haphazardly-lazy shrug, she blinks once and then remembers herself, the PO's posture straightening immediately upon realizing she's talking to an officer, a day late and a cubit short as always. "Sir. I'm Petty Officer Second Class Brina Radcliffe. Pleasure meeting you."

"Then eager, board my ring-necked boat,
I raise the sail, set her afloat.
With aid from wind and aid from oar,
On paths that many took before.

I cannot say what lies ahead,
Or where at last I'll lay my head,
Or if my time be short or long.
Remember me in deed and song."

Finishing the song, Astra fingers closing chords, a twining instrumental that leaps with the notes from the other musicians, then falls as they flow into a diverging tune, the speed gradually increasing, the dancers now whirling like pinwheels. Astra clears her throat, then sits down quickly, bends her head and pays attention to the strings.

Rose furrows her brow, looking thoughtful. "I see. This will require more research. Now that I can read, and all. Thank you, though. Oh, it's so wonderful finally placing images with the voices and the names," she squees that last part, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she is want to do.

"You were expecting him to be a little billy goat gruff?" Again, that laughter, now allowed to spill out, "I think I'll leave the mingling out on the floor for when things have slowed down a bit, but I wouldn't mind sitting with my doctor and having something to eat." Ximena hands off her station, recently taken over from Pewter, and moves to escape the buffet line, "And then maybe you can find a nice partner for some dancing." Ximena looks away, noting a familiar, by proximity, not by introduction, face, "Isn't that your patient, over there?" A finger lifted indicates the whitestickless Rose.

Devlin chuckles as Rose bounces, and smiles again, nodding, "Yeah, that must be nice. The reading and the placing faces with names, I mean. Do most people look how you expected from their voices, or no?" He shifts up in line a step and starts dishing up food, though he continues to twist over his shoulder to talk to Rose as he does.

Davis smiles at the mechanic's reaction, rolling her shoulders back and straightening her spine. "Ensign Davis Hathor, with the Intelligence section," she says by way of introduction. "Glad to meet you as well," she adds, reaching out to pat the back of the other woman's hand. "So let's act it. How about you and I go scare up some of that whiskey, mm?" she suggests.

Rose follows after Devlin, staying in close proximity. She doesn't move for any food, herself. "Well, no, not precisely," she admits. "It's taking some getting used to. I was so dependent on the sound someone makes. Not just with their vocal chords, but how they walked, how they moved when standing in place… it's a bit harder to do that now that I can see again. It's as if my brain decided I no longer needed to compensate for a lost sense."

"Ummm, more like a big billy goat gruff?" Cameron confesses wryly, eyes still following Pewter as he makes the rounds as it were. Smiling at her suggestion, however, Cameron nods and replies, "Good. I'm definitely ready to eat," picking up one of the prepared bowls and passing it to Ximena before getting one of his own along with some bread, sea salted butter, and utensils for eating. His gaze flickers over toward of the walls where Rose is standing, whitestickless indeed, talking to Devlin. "It is indeed," he replies, happy to see that she is out and about. "It's been taking her longer than expected to heal up. I blame my inexperience with the surgical process. I must have made too large of an incision or something…. but the lens does seem to me working and nothing untoward has happened. I'm okay with the healing process taking a little longer so long as there aren't any complications…" Glancing over at Ximena, Cameron asks, "Did you want to invite her to join us for some stew?"

"Inexperienced or not, you gave her back her vision, and that is a powerful gift. I have faith in the medical department that they'll and you, will make sure there aren't any complications." Ximena carries half of the load, and then some more as well, to allow Cameron to get another serving, as she goes to find a table at which she can sit comfortably, not having quite the flexibility of the more able-bodied. But once she has her spot picked out, she begins to set out the portions of the meal she brought with her, "Please do. I think it will be good for her to be in the middle of people, but still feel safe. And we can help her to identify at least some of the people she might know who are here."

"Oh…" Whiskey. Man, that sure does sound good but it's something Brina doesn't dare partake in as she has to get back to work semi-soonish and even a sip of the potent liquor could get her into trouble. "How about you drink for us and I'll get some food instead?" Safe enough suggestion to make, yes? Putting a hand upon Davis' shoulder, she begins to guide the IO off to where that all can be found, her eyes lingering on the selection of food even before they are close enough to gather a meal for themselves.

Devlin nods at Rose's answer balancing a bowl of stew on his plate with a word of thanks for the civilian serving it. Bread and butter join it, and utensils and napkin are juggled so he can get a cup as well. "Too bad you couldn't keep that too, you would've had, like, super senses," he says with a bit of a grin before asking curiously, "Do I look how you guessed? And do you want anything to eat or drink while I'm here?"

Rose shakes her head lightly. "No, thank you, not much of an appetite this evening." Surrounded by so much food, how could one be not hungry? "You… hmm. That's a difficult question to answer. To be perfectly honest, no. Although you are rather handsome! I must admit I think I find your face familiar, although that's probably just a mental association with the good emotion connected to the sound of your voice. Oh, I'm sure my brain chemistry is all sorts of loopy now that I'm re-adjusting to being sight-dependant as opposed to independent."

Astra plays for a while longer, her hands flying over the harp strings. But eventually she does still the strings, and she gets up and sets the harp on her chair. She picks up the twins, takes Petra's hand, and then moves through the crowd, looking for a place to sit and get a bite for herself and her pack of children.

With a nod, Cameron crosses over to the pair greeting, "Hello Rose. Good to see you up and about. I'm sure the lantern light is a relief over the usual stark lighting we usually have in here." His blue eyes lift to include Devlin as he invites, "Would you care to enjoy Ximena and I over there? We managed to secure a 'table' as it were." The table is, in fact, a large crate covered with a sheet to look nice. But it makes for a decent enough table.

Laughing in little chiming peals, Davis follows the noncom over to the food while explaining, "I was going to let the drink chaperone you! I told my ratings I'd relieve them so they could join the festivities, so it's tea for me."

There's a soft laugh at that, Brina finding the irony amusing. "Ah well. Shame that. We'll just have to make up for it some evening and get totally shitfaced while hanging out in the obs deck." Pulling up along side one of the areas where the food is, she falters only to add with a frown, "All of it looks so good. I'm going to eat too much and I'll never make my next weigh-in," that spoken like a real boxer.

Davis nudges her compatriot as they sidle down the line. "Don't worry, before long you'll get radiation sickness or be eating through an I-V for any of a hundred reasons," she teases, a bit of gallows humor. About halfway through the line she takes her leave to bring the nibbles to her station and send the boys to the yard. Or hangar deck.

At Cameron's approach, Rose tilts her head suddenly, like she hears something tell-tale. "That sounds like…" And then she hears Cameron's voice, and she looks in his direction with a growing smile. "Dr. Adair! Um, yes, I'd love to. Dr. Adair, this is Alex Devlin. He's a Viper pilot. Mr. Devlin, this is Dr. Cameron Adair. He fixed my eyes." That last simple sentence is said with a certain beaming reverence for Cameron.

Ximena seems content to wait by the table, once everything is set out, taking time away only once the line by the drinks has died down. She doesn't take anything alcoholic, however, just juice and such, which she brings back, along with a small smattering of dessert, likely for Elpis, when the girl finally decides to return to her father. But her path does take her past Astra and the small gaggle of children, and her voice rises, "That was a beautiful melody, ma'am. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us."

Wade doesn't really have pretty clothes, only military issue stuff. Blame the Chimera going boom. He appears at the designated location, wearing his off-duty greens. Dog tags are visible over his chest at the moment since he is not covering them. The man looks around for a brief moment, taking all the decorations in. There is a hint of a smile forming on his lips and then, after nodding to some of the folks down there, he makes his way to the tables, just to see what is being served. His arms are crossed behind his back at the moment, as he idly looks around. Boy there's a lot of people he doesn't really know.

"Hi!" Cameron offers cheerfully to Devlin, shaking the man's hand and another "Hi!" to Rose, the doctor smiling broadly. "Just call me Cameron…" But when the musicians start to play the next song, Cameron's head lifts up, a wide grin curling his lips as he whispers, "No way…." before turning to both Rose and Devlin offering, "Sorry, gotta dance, but feel free to join us!" before dashing off as the first verse begins….

"I like black and white
Dream in black in white
You like black and white
Run run away!"

Espying Radcliffe, Cameron calls out cheerfully, "Brina," grabbing the woman's hand and, if she allows him too, drags her off onto the dance floor with all the other couples. It's a fairly simple dance, done in pairs, so she can at least follow Cameron's steps and not get lost. Maybe. Hopefully. The song rages on, cheerful and energetic, the dancers hard pressed to match the musicians in enthusiasm

"See chameleon lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away!

If you're in the swing
Money ain't everything
If you're in the swing
Run run away

See chameleon lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away!"

Devlin laughs a little at Rose, his smile tilting crookedly at her compliment. "Thanks," he replies before explaining, "I just have one of those faces, you know? Lots of people always remember me from… stuff." He shrugs a bit and then turns to offer Cameron a friendly smile and then a nod as Rose introduces the doctor. "Ohh, nice to meet you D— Cameron," he corrects as the man goes on. And then goes off dancing, and he blinks and turns to watch for a second before picking out the table the doctor indicated, where Ximena sits. "Should we go join her?" he asks Rose, beginning to head that way.

Somehow Brina's able to set the plate she had been filling for herself down as she's swept off, the only casualty being a bit of food hitting the deck before the rest is placed safely to the side. She's not a dancer by any means but the maneuvers are eventually grasped and she's able to at least mimic Cameron's own steps fairly well. "Oh Lords…" she breathes out, flushed and smiling; not minding having been swept onto the dance floor by the handsome doctor, she lets him lead her, content to play the follower for once.

"Oh my," Rose breathes, watching Cameron drag Radcliffe off onto the dance floor. "I had no idea he was… Did you see how he just swept her off like that?" Rose leans in to Devlin to ask quietly. "He was always so polite in Sickbay. He literally just… oh my."

"If you got a crush
Don't beat around the bush
If you got a crush
Run run away

See chameleon lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away!"

"Sorry!" Cameron offers utterly unrepentantly. "This is one of my favorite songs," he offers as his excuse, one hand passed around Brina's back and resting on her opposite hip, the other crossing over his waist to hold her left hand as they dance side by side rather than face to face. Their 'partner' is another couple before them that they bow to and circle around and trade places with and race after with a galloping sort of dancing stride. It's all terribly… vigorous.

Startled, Astra turns to look over at Ximena, and her cheeks redden again. "Oh, I, thank… I mean, well.. thank you and you're welcome. It wasn't but a little thing…" She ducks her head, then sighs as most of her children are more interested in dancing and running about than eating. She shepherds the rest to a table, then shakes her head.

Devlin blinks at Rose, brows furrowing a bit in confusion. "He was what?" he asks, looking after Cameron and Radcliffe with her as he shifts his plate and cup to awkwardly clap one hand against his thigh for Astra's performance. "He literally just… went to dance with a girl?" he finishes for Rose when she once again trails off, "I'm not sure what you're getting at, sorry. He seems nice."

While the other children are all darting about, Elpis returns, grinning impishly up at Ximena before taking Cameron's seat and lifting up his spoon to take a bite of his stew. She's been busy making flower headdresses and helping people carry food and bedding and so on and so forth. She's hungry! She offers Astra a smile as well and, in agreement with Ximena's assessment of her music, she offers the teacher a thumbs up as her own opinion of her talents.

"You owe me," Radcliffe teases while looking to the side, this time trying to figure out how the passing and exchange of places and all that rigmarole work. This is a bit more complicated and she trips up, causing her to bump into the doctor if he's not on the ball. "Damn. Sorry!" Blushing, she gets herself straightened out, her eyes wide.

Dum Dee Dum. Yes, Wade takes a couple things to eat; well, first of all, he gets a plate. His attention moves to the dance floor and he spots, at least one familiar face; Decoy. Certainly, the Leonis folk didn't do anything when they were rescued, he was among them. So, it's a good change.

"Well, I was just trying to say, that he's something of a looker and he just snatched her off to dance as if it was nothing," Rose informs Devlin. "Goodness." She tsks, shaking her head. "The good Doctor is going to get a reputation as a lady killer if he keeps that up. You see, Mr. Devlin, I come from a traditional family. It's… usually polite to ask before dragging someone off to the dance floor."

Ximena doesn't tuck into her own meal, instead gathering Elpis up onto her lap once the small girl arrives at the table she too has returned to, supporting her while she steals Cameron's food. Her attention shifts, around the room, noting the members of the military, those who have left, and those who have finally decided to join the party. A smile is offered now and then as people pass around her, eyes settling on Cameron and his partner for a few idle moments before she turns her attention back to Elpis.

"Fair enough!" Cameron calls, his head tipping back as he laughs, for about half of the people dancing are fumbling their way through the steps. When Radcliffe bumps into him, Cameron is stable enough not to fall down at least, though they do wobble a few steps off course before straightening and getting back into the mix again. "Fear not," he offers, "my feet are made of stern stuff and my boots can handle getting tromped upon!" Fortunately, as often is the case with songs that speed along like a whirling storm, they don't tend to last very long, the dancers all practically collapsing with exhaustion, laughing and clapping in response to the wild and awkward work out they just went through. Bowing before Radcliffe, Cameron kisses her knuckles and gives her a wicked smile as he returns, "Thank you for the dance and for allowing me to kidnap you for it. You're a good sport…" Indeed, as Rose pointed out, he usually asks a girl before just grabbing her like a caveman and dragging her off.

"Ohhh," Devlin nods as Rose clarifies, and then he shrugs again, gesturing with an elbow, "I mean, it seems like he knows her. And she doesn't seem to mind. Maybe he knew she wouldn't? That'd make it okay. I mean, would it be weird if I just dragged Psyche onto the dance floor?" He adds after a beat, realizing the name likely doesn't mean anything: "That's my wife. Hi," he continues, this last to Ximena and Elpis as their table is reached, "Cameron had asked us to come eat with him and you?" he explains, "But now he's dancing and we've never met. I'm Alex Devlin, this is Rose… do you two know each other already?"

"Why would I question a man dancing with his wife? As far as I know, Dr. Adair is unmarried." She shakes her head. "Silly man," she says with a smile of affection. Rose then offers a smile to Ximena, offering her hand. "Rose Ibbhanas," she introduces herself as. "Pleased to meet you."

The girl giggles as she is scooped up and given a lap to sit upon, snuggling back into Ximena for a moment before sitting forward again and scooping up a bite of stew that has cooled off sufficiently that she can stuff the spoonful into her mouth. Bright blue eyes lift as Devlin and Rose arrive and announce themselves, the little girl watching them curiously, but contentedly. If Cameron invited them over, then they must be good people and as such she waves, since her mouth is full.

It's the kiss to her knuckles which has Brina utterly undone; sure, she likes a guy who can give her a good fight in the ring and all that but there is a bit of her mingled in with the boxer that enjoys being treated like a lady and she is now blushy and giggly, a giddy girl instead of the gruff mechanic most people see. "I enjoyed it, Cameron," she confesses readily, his calling her a good sport poopooed at. "Maybe you can show me some more dances at a later date." Braving being thought of as too forward, Brina reaches up to brush a bit of hair from her partner's brow, her eyes sparkling as they're kept upon his face.

"Please, make yourself comfortable. I'm sure Cameron will be back after a while. I don't think he's had much occasion to enjoy himself these last few weeks. A good trot out onto the floor will probably do wonders for him." There's a moment when her eyes fall, but it doesn't seem to detract from her mood. She does offer her free hand, the other still supporting the girl eating her dinner. "Ximena Alteris, and no, we haven't met, though I have heard of you. I'm glad to see that your surgery went so well. It's good to meet both of you."

He's a nice man, but a bit dense, perceiving Brina's words and gestures as good-natured friendliness. "Sure! Most of them are line dances, but I'm sure we'll be having more, smaller, kitchen parties and the like in the future. I'd be happy to teach you some of the steps." Glancing over at the table where his food is being usurped, Cameron lightly squeezes her arm before noting sotto vocce, "It seems, however, that I have a thief to catch. Until later then?" And with a wink he slips off, sneaking back toward the table where Elpis is cheerfully, and unrepentantly, eating his food. He rests a hand lightly on Ximena's shoulder, to let her know he's there, before lunging forward and scooping the child up, calling out playfully, "Thief! Thief!!" The girl squeals and laughs, wriggling in his arms as he tickles her mercilessly, glancing past the wriggling form in his arms to greet their company, "Hello again… sorry I wasn't here to introduce you. I'm not usually so rude…" But he doesn't look too terribly guilty. It's not a very formal event, after all.

The food does taste rather well, and in his case, Wade will have to pass on the alcohol. Still! He does drink water so he pours himself a glass of it. He looks around once again, seeing how a lot of people is basically moving to the same table. Devlin is there, so he decides to approach. The Viper pilot makes his way to said table and waits for a moment in which Devlin is not talking, to avoid interrupting him "Hey Alex, enjoying the party" Now, he looks at the ones in the table and offers a polite nod "Good evening everyone, nice party" He shows a smile to them after this.

"You've heard of me?" Even after all this time, Rose seems surprised that people know about her outside of the insular community of the starboard hangar. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, then," she says with a polite smile. She looks up at Cameron's snatching of the little girl and the shenanigans that ensue, and she can't help but laugh and smile in turn.

Pursing her lips while watching Cameron go towards the others, Brina eventually quirks a quick smile before returning to gathering her food. The plate winds up fairly well full by the time she's done and she is then gone, taking her meal off with her before another round of work has to begin.

"That wasn't a very good example," Devlin says to Rose with a little shake of his head, "I just meant, like… someone you're enough familiar with that you know they won't mind. Anyways." At Ximena's offer to make themselves comfortable he sets down his plate and cup and pulls up a smaller crate to sit on, letting Rose take the stool nearby. "Nice to meet you, Ximena," he replies, taking a couple quick bites of his meal as Cameron returns.

Astra tends to her twins, then settles them where they will be safe, in a little nook where they will have a bit of peace and quiet to sleep. She stands up, but all of her children have run off, save Petra, to play some sort of game of tag amidst the dancers. The thin, tiny woman picks up the tiny Petra, and walks about, not dancing or eating, just watching, feeling rather out of place, to judge by her expression.

Midway through a bite, Devlin realizes Wade is standing there and blinks, swallowing quickly and offering a sheepish smile to his fellow pilot. "Hey, Wade," he says, "Sorry, I kind of spaced for a second. But yeah, it's a good time, you?"

A hand reaches up, briefly, to touch the one Cameron's laid in her shoulder. "I spend quite a bit of time down here, when I'm not in Engineering. And I know you're one of Cameron's patients. A successful one at—" And then Elpis is snatched away, and Ximena joins in the laughter, before she returns to the conversation, and the new arrival, "Good evening, and welcome. Join us if you like. We still have room at the table. And I'm sure there's more than enough food to go around, so please, help yourselves."

Putting the girl down, Cameron claims his seat and, more importantly, his stew! "You naughty thief you," Cameron playfully chides the child. "Off with you then. Go get some food and do some good!" Elpis sticks her tongue out but does indeed scurry off to secure more stew and bread. Cameron's words don't go unheeded though, her gaze thoughtful as her gaze falls upon Astra looking tired and lonely, a small frown marring the little girl's forehead before she crosses over to her and reaches out. Taking one of Astra's hands, Elpis does the best a six year old can to drag the woman and her charges back over to the table where Cameron, Rose, Ximena, Devlin, and now Wade are either sitting and eating or standing nearby, about to join in.

Rose glances over to Devlin, giving him a mock exasperated sigh, and a wry grin. "I know what you meant, Mr. Devlin. Don't worry. Maybe I was wrong in my assessment. But I'm fairly certain the label I described will be quite applicable. You'll see." She turns to the rest of the folk seated around the table, particularly Ximena. "Well, I was in good hands. Although I don't remember much of the procedure, what, with whatever that relaxant he gave me making me quite loopy quite quickly, when I regained my wherewithal I realized that I could distinguish colors again. I'm still reliant on glasses, as I didn't see to well to begin with, but it's better than nothing. I'm quite grateful."

Wade nods to Devlin "It's good, nice to have these once in a while." He smiles at that and now looks at Ximena "Thank you" offers the man to her, carrying a warm smile as he speaks. He does take the offered seat and looks around the table, not interrupting while they talk. The man takes a sip from his glass of water and lightly clears his throat, eyeing his watch, just to see how long until he has to put on his flight suit.

The party is settling into more small social groups like this one, people gathering in clusters to eat and drink and talk, all the while music playing on. Musicians swap in and out, sharing and exchanging instruments so they can all have a turn making music and making merry. Of course, as the drink continues to pour, the music gets more… enthusiastic. But they always manage to skirt around being inappropriate for the children present, even if it's only just barely. The thing about Aerilonian music is that often, even when the topic is potentially a dreary one, the music is always cheerful and happy, at times positively irreverent, as the song being played now fully represents. A cheerful ditty, the squeeze box playing brightly, a number of voices singing out in unison, they cheerful sing about…. a funeral.

"Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forget
Some of the boys got loaded drunk, and they ain't got sober yet
As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin' gay
O'Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play!

That's how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy
That's how they showed their honor and their pride
They said it was a sin and shame and they winked at one another
And every drink in the place was full the night Pat Murphy died."

"Hrmmm? Oh. Oh, all right." Astra seems a bit startled by the little girl, but she nods and allows herself to be led. But, as the song begins, humorous about a funeral, Astra shakes her head. "Maybe in a little bit," she says to her little guide. "Promise." Then she tugs her hand away, wheels about, and heads for where the twins are resting. She grabs them, clings to Petra, and flees, leaving her harp behind her.

"Sometimes we have to live with imperfect." Says the woman in The Chair, "But with the right people around us, it can become perfect." Ximena makes certain to make room for everyone, including pulling over another seat for little Elpis, before she goes to retrieve a bit more of everything, as some have gotten food and others haven't. It's unlikely anything will go to waste however, "It's good to see everyone so happy, and actually mingling. I was afraid the military was going to stand on the sidelines all night." Ximena is military herself, but she clearly was in the middle of things.

Smiling at everyone, Cameron seems very happy, even for him. Which is impressive considering that he's a fairly positive individual most of the time. "I'm glad to see so many members of the crew coming," he offers in return, reaching out his hand to shake Wade's in a friendly manner before digging into his stew. "There were worries, of course, that some of the civilians would be upset and cause trouble, but we managed to talk to the less than content groups and made arrangements for a cease-fire as it were. They chose not to join in, but said that they wouldn't make any trouble. For which I'm grateful. I think we really needed something like this." His ocean blue eyes lift to scan the rest at the table, curious to see if they feel the same or not.

Elpis watches Astra flee uncertainly, coming back to the table and slipping up into Cameron's lap, her fingers curling into his sweater as she practically climbs up him after setting her bowl and buttered bread on the table. She's quieter now, though her feet drum against his shins lightly in time with the music, which continues on cheerfully and irreverently, singing in the end more about life than death, truth be told. The Aerilonian's are fairly stoic about death, fond of wakes where the funeral is more of a party than, well, a funeral.

Rose dips her chin in a small nod at Ximena, smile briefly fleeting. "We make best with what we have been given by the gods. It's all we can do," She follows Ximena's change of topic, however, and nods, small smile returning. "It's a pleasant mix. I'm quite surprised things have come together so quickly, and without the usual friction."

Devlin nods to Wade, agreeing, "Definitely, totally. I wish more of us could've come down, it seems like everybody's down planetside doing SAR or on CAP right now. Hopefully later, though." He eats a bit more and then turns back to Rose to smile, "Maybe so, you'd know better than me. I guess we'll find out!" He's quiet for a bit, focusing on eating his stew and sipping savoringly at his whiskey, listening to the conversation around him.

Wade extends his hand to shake Cameron's and offers "Lieutenant Wade Duncan" a nod of his head is also offered and then he takes a seat once again. As for the conversation at hand, he doesn't add comments there, but he does turn his face to look at Devlin. "Yeah, there's a lot of people down there. I have CAP in a couple hours myself, so I can't really stay all that long" After saying this, he takes yet another sip from his drink and then idly looks around.

"I think there's been far too much reticence on both sides, people allowing terrible acts to color their view of all of each group. I hope, that once the freighter is fully operational, that much of that will be eased. But this is a good start." A hand reaches out, briefly touching Cameron's arm, before Ximena tucks into her own meal, lest it become too cold for eating.

Rose nods again to Ximena, smiling brightly. "Andreas… I mean, Chief Damon," she quickly corrects herself. "Him and his team have done so much to refurbish that freighter and make it ready for habitation. I'm so pleased that the project is coming to fruition. And, since I can finally see, I can actually be a scientist and deliver promises to the command staff."

"Cameron Adair, doctor," Cam replies in turn to Wade's greeting. "Nice to meet you." His head tilts as he listens and notes, "Aye, we're letting this run for as long as we can in the hopes that most can come for a least a short while to enjoy the fun. But I hope, if this goes well, that we'll be able to have more events where civilians, military, and crew can co-mingle peaceably and enjoy themselves." His head turns at Ximena's comment and nods in agreement, replying, "Exactly. I didn't understand that when I got here. We were so grateful to have been rescued. It never even occurred to me that there was anyone to blame other than the Cylons for the situation we're in, so I was surprised to hear about the violence and hostilities that the Cerberus has encountered. But then, I guess, my group was fairly lucky. We were doing alright for the most part." He tucks into his food, chewing for a bit before smiling at Rose as he concurs, "There's nothing better than feeling useful. Being able to do what you're good at."

Devlin has mostly been focused on eating, since it would be a shame to let that stew go cold, but he is definitely listening, and glancing back and forth between the others as they speak. "What do you mean?" he asks of Cameron after a moment, spoon stilling in his bowl for the time being, "About there being anyone to blame other than the Cylons for the situation we're in?"

"I have the idea that we all know the Chief. There's really no reason to refer to him by his rank in such an informal situation. But yes, his deck and the engineering department have made great strides in getting the freighter up to specs, and I know they've already started lining up the crew, some of them at least. I haven't had as much of a chance to be over there as I would like. I've been stuck fabricating parts here." Ximena finishes her meal rather quickly, long years of having little time beyond enough to wolf down a few bites winning out, "Some have been luckier than others. And I hope that most will be able to find good work on their ship."

Wade nods "Doctor" is said to Cameron and then he takes another sip from his water. Problem with moments of peace and quiet is that you remember that you should have done or should be doing something, and for Wade, it's that. He presses his lips together and shakes his head, a sigh comes after that. While he does want to hear Cameron's answer to Decoy's question, there is no time left for him "Excuse me everyone" with that, he stands up and smiles "I'm terribly sorry, I have to leave in a run…have matters to attend to before going out." Going out meaning, going on CAP. He nods politely to everyone "Have a good evening" And with that, he turns around and leaves the place, probably going back to the Berths, to change.

A wave is offered to Wade as the man departs before his eyes turn toward his questioner. Meeting Devlin's gaze evenly, Cameron's lips dip down slightly as he replies, "Apparently there were several rescue missions that went dreadfully awry because some of the refugees felt that the military, and by proxy the crew and Marines of the Cerberus, were responsible for their situation. That they should have been able to stop the Cylons, prevented the bombings, arrived sooner, did more … anything and everything that people who have lost everything, who are angry and afraid and hurting and hungry and in need of someone to blame can thing to throw on the pyre of their destroyed lives. There…. there are still tensions amongst some of the refugees, regretfully." There are those who know much more, could tell dreadful stories, but Cameron is fairly certain he's hit upon the most salient of points, his gaze flickering to Ximena for confirmation of that.

"It's just that, well, I know Andreas. Or, rather, we've… Well." Rose clears her throat. "I suppose we're an item." 'Suppose' is not a very confident word. "I wanted to make sure that I didn't refer to him in the familiar in mixed company… I'm not sure about military protocols and all. So I figured, formal was better?"

"Well, it is mixed company, but you're also a civilian. It's really not expected that you would know or understand how all of the ranks and divisions worked, so you really aren't required to be formal. If someone isn't sure who you're speaking to, they can always ask you, and then you can give his name and rank then." Ximena moves away from the table, though not the conversation, simply using it as a chance to stack some of the plates and dishes which have already been used, to clear space and make things more comfortable. "It's good to know the Chief has someone though. He deserves it."

Elpis finishes her food, wriggling out of Cameron's lap as the conversation becomes more serious and 'adult', wandering off toward the musicians to listen to music and snatching up a piece of pie along the way. Cameron watches her quietly before turning his gaze to Rose and nodding. "Indeed. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The fact that you're involved becomes more obvious every time you make the correction. I think anyone would just think you were just friends otherwise," he notes with a kind sort of teasing in his voice. Personally Cameron is glad that both of them have someone. He doesn't know the Chief all that well, but he seems a decent sort and Rose is certainly a fine individual. "Any amount of happiness," Cameron points out, "that can be eked out in times such as these should be. So kudos to both of you."

Devlin frowns faintly at Cameron's words and shakes his head a little, replying, "I hadn't heard about that. I mean, there were the terrorists on Sagittaron, but that doesn't sound like what you mean." He takes another bite of stew and then almost chokes on it as Rose speaks, looking up with a crooked smile and saying, "Oh good. I can tell Psyche she doesn't have to try to match make you two, then. I guess Damon was blushing a lot at Marko's wedding or something and she guessed that he liked you. I don't remember exactly, just that I talked her out of it."

Devlin nods in agreement with the doctor and Ximena at the last, "But yeah, totally. Some people think we should all just shut off and not make friends or get close to anybody or whatever, but… yeah, I'm with these two," he indicates Cameron and the engineer.

"Match…make?" Rose blushes at this, covering her face with her hands briefly. "Oh, gods, I don't even know what we are. Happiness, yes, but he certainly goes out of his way to embarrass me. Half the time I can't tell if he's a coarse mechanic or a caring, bright man." She does admit, though, in a smaller voice, once her hands drop to her lap again, "He does make me happy. He'd likely not get approval from my parents, though, were they still with us. Papa didn't like the military."

Turning back to Devlin, Cameron frowns uncertainly and replies, "Then perhaps I am mistaken. I was not told that the people on Sagittaron were terrorists. I just heard that they attacked and killed many of the Cerberus when the crew and soldiers tried to rescue them. And I know it wasn't easy for us to get permission to have this party. There were concerns that those that were less than happy with the crew of the Cerberus would try to make trouble. Others told me that there were survivors who were discontent and resentful. But I don't know any of these people myself. I'm still fairly new to the ship and have been busy working for the most part in Sickbay. I tend to mostly just meet patients these days rather than my fellow civilians." Smirking at Rose, Cameron points out, "He's a man. Which means those two characteristics are not incompatible in the same person."

"Sometimes it's more important and necessary to simply enjoy companionship, without worrying about what title goes with what pair. Let things happen in their own time. Eventually you'll figure it out. As for the chief, he's both. And I rather imagine he always will be. You have to learn to take the bitter with the sweet." There is a moment, when Ximena pauses, at mention of Rose's parents, "Even if they were here, the relationship is between you and he. What matters is what you feel. What he feels."

Rose shrugs lightly, brushing an errant lock of hair behind an ear. "I suppose. But there's a lot to be said about traditions. Where I come from, your parents' permission is important to obtain before marriage. It's not as strict as a Gemenese family, but we do have our traditions." She offers a small, genuine smile, showing she's not offended. "Everyone does things differently. All of the gods are different. That's why we're such a wonderful community, here, aboard this battlestar. Even if we're all that we have, our diversity makes us stronger."

"Yeah, she thought you two needed a nudge or something," Devlin explains to Rose, shrugging. And then again, "Why can't he be both?" Others fill in that point for him so he doesn't say anything else, turning back to listen to Cameron instead. He nods a little, expression more serious, and confirms, "Well, a civilian here did murder Shiv — that's Captain Sitka — and there was definitely trouble around that. Things weren't so bad early on, beyond people being frustrated about the space and the lack of supplies and information and stuff. I lived down here for the first four months or so," he explains, "There wasn't even running water then. But down on Sagittaron, yeah, I mean, I was told they were terrorists. The SSFL or SLSF? One of those anti-Colonial rebel groups. People said that had to do with Shiv being killed, too, somebody recognized him from the fighting there years ago? I don't know for sure," he admits, "It was all kind of unclear. But that's what I heard."

"I think, at this point, it's more important to make new traditions, not to look to what has been lost. And I can't imagine loving parents not giving their approval, regardless of how they might feel, if they knew their child was truly happy. That would be like making their own child pay the price for their own prejudices." Ximena returns to the table, having retrieves a slice of pie for herself, as well as for Cameron. "SSLF. Southern Sagittaron Liberation Front. It's who most of us were fighting, when we were stationed on Sagittaron. Even after the cylons attacked, they continued to attack anyone who wasn't their own, and particularly military. I lost most of my squad to them. Even at the end of the world, they couldn't stop hating us."

Cameron nods to Devlin, absorbing the information as he finishes his meal contentedly. "That's beyond sad," he murmurs, unable to really comprehend that kind of hatred that passes beyond all reason and logic. Leaning over to the side as Ximena busies herself with cleaning, he catches her hand lightly as murmurs, "You busy, busy, bee," leaning over to kiss her cheek before rising up. "Well, duty calls," Cameron offers to the table cheerfully. "Fortunately, in this case, my duty is playing music, not patching people up. I expect to see you all up and dancing," Cameron mock-threatens with a waggling finger. "Doctor's orders." Turning to Ximena, Cameron notes, "You could totally dance too. Line dances don't discriminate between feet and wheels. I'll show you some moves later," he promises with a wink. Cheerfully waving, the man winds his way back over toward the 'band', taking back his guitar from a woman who heads off to get some food and settling himself comfortably into place, before starting in with the rest.

"Once a Marine always a Marine," is the SPO's response to Cameron, as he wanders off to get back to work. Ximena'll stick around the table though, for the next little while. There's still pie to be had. And nobody turns down good pie. It's just not done.

Devlin swallows a bite quickly as he nods and gestures with his spoon at Ximena, "Yeah, yeah, SSLF. That's what I meant. I knew I was swapping the letters around wrong. And yeah," he agrees with Cameron with a nod, "It is." As the doctor runs off to play, he finishes up his dinner and then he too turns his attention towards the great uniter of peoples: pie.

"I'm going to find a quiet corner and lie down, I think. Rest my eyes." Rose rises from her seat, favoring everyone with a polite smile, and then wanders off to one of the far corners of the hangar.

Be it day or night, no one can really say without checking their watches, the Kitchen Party goes on. So long as there is food to eat, whiskey to drink, people to talk to, and music to listen and dance to, the party will go on till dawn easily. Children drowse and sleep despite the music and voices raised in conversation and laughter. Musicians keep swapping out, each taking a breather and a break so the music can play on. Songs of factory workers, songs of shotgun weddings, songs of shrewish wives and cheating men, some sung in sober seriousness, though must are sung with a tongue firmly tucked into the cheek. Dancing waxes and wanes, conversations ebb and flow. A few squabbles and brawls break out as those that managed to sneak a few drinks too many fight about someone pinching their girlfriend's ass or giving them the hairy eyeball or any other number of completely ridiculous excuses to let off steam. Fortunately most of the attendees are too full of good cheer to allow such rabble rousers to go on for long, the fights broken up to a furious stomping of feet as the musicians play cheerful reels and jigs as if providing the soundtrack for a movie scene. It's one for the books, that's for sure though. The largest Kitchen Party ever held at what often feels like the end of the world. And everyone there is determined, that if it be so, that it's one hell of the sendoff.

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