PHD #391: Major I'd Like to Fly With
Major I'd Like to Fly with
Summary: Cidra calls Pallas up to her office to break some bad news. Things do not go as planned.
Date: 24 Mar 2042 AE
Related Logs: A Plan and a Petition for the request to have the severe reprimand struck from his service record. Evan's Birthday, or 'Pre-Op Trannychair' for the MILF reference.
Cidra Pallas 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: privacy. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply with an equally standard-issue rolling chair behind it. A few other chairs are shoved against one wall, for those who drop by for whatever business they have with the CAG. The surface of the desk is covered by a computer and stacks of files and octagonal papers covering whatever bit of aerial bureaucracy she's mussing with that day. A few heavy books on air mechanics - mostly devoted to Raptors - occupy the shelves.

The room is largely devoid of decoration, save one item hanging on a hook on the shelf direct above her desk: a set of prayer beads, well-worn olive wood and strung with a single, crudely-carved owl charm.
Post-Holocaust Day: #391

Now that the ship has returned to Condition Three, and there aren't Cylons bombarding them each day or so, the CAG is settling some lingering business. This is why she's called Pallas to her office. She sits in it now waiting for him, in her duty blues and smoking, as she's wont to be. Hatch slightly ajar in anticipation of being interrupted soon.

"You wanted to see me?" Pallas asks, showing up at her door. He's half-peeled out of his flightsuit, a bottle in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and there's the distinct clattering of pills every time he takes a step. It's not exactly what you'd call a professional appearance before the CAG. But he got called up to her office while he was celebrating being back on Condition Three, so here he is.

Cidra's brows arch at Pallas and his stimulant-carting appearance. "Spiral." The bottle is eyed. "I interrupted you, I see." It is observed dryly, and no apology for breaking up his party is given. "Close the hatch please." She continues to peer at the bottle. "I do not recall requesting refreshments."

"I come armed with the finest," Pallas says when she comments on his refreshments, holding the bottle out to her as he approaches her desk. After putting the bottle down, he realizes he forgot to close the hatch, and staggers back over to do so. "I am a party on legs," he announces once it's closed, producing a cigar, a bottle of pills, and a pack of cigarettes between his fingers in one hand and a concealed flask in the other. "Who's got two thumbs and…" He struggles to complete that sentence and fails. "I… this guy. I got two thumbs." Thumb-wiggling ensues, which results in him dropping everything in his left hand.

"You are drunk," Cidra states flatly. "Or stoned. I think you are stoned, actually. Well, I prefer that to the other option, generally. How many of those have you had?" The pills are gestured to.

"A little bit of Column A," Pallas confirms, pointing to an imaginary column to his left, "and a little bit of stoned." Pointing to 'stoned' on his right. Forgetting about everything littered on the floor, he makes his way back over to Cidra's desk. "Just a couple to take the edge off," he answers, lifting up the bottle of pills… which aren't in his hand anymore. Confused, he looks at his left hand with a frown, then holds it up to her. "I think it fell through the hole," he says with what can only be described as a giggle, pointing at the hole in his hand.

Cidra blinks at Pallas. For a moment, all she can do is blink. "My Gods." She shakes her head. "I could have you brigged, you know." Just on general principle. "As it is, Medical clearly needs to be more…stringent in monitoring your medication. I shall speak with your physician personally. At least you are off-duty. My…" She blinks some more at his hand. "How in the hells did you manage to do that? That was not among your injuries on the casualty report?"

Pallas laughs, a sort of sputtering chortle ending with him taking a drag of his cigarette. "Healed that way. They were too busy focusing on my busted ribs and internal bleeding, anyway." Reaching out, he grabs the bottle off her desk and raises it to her. "Better enjoy this now if you're gonna toss me in the brig." He takes three big gulps of it, not even pausing to taste the greenish liquid, and offers it to her with a shaky hand. "Sure you don't want some?" His words are starting to get even more slurred.

Cidra eyes the bottle. Then eyes Pallas. Then the clock. "I am not technically on duty," she admits. "This was something of a piece of…old business." She takes the bottle. "Why the hells not? We have lived on Condition Two long enough for me to earn it. I will pour my own. Is this ambrosia?" She sniffs is curiously before pouring it into a tin cup on her desk. Usually for coffee and water, one would assume.

"Nothing but the finest," Pallas says with a nod. Ambrosia it is. "Old business? WHat's old business? I'm not old. Frakking Cylons still can't put me down. They tried, but I got back on my Gods-be-damned feet and flew circles around them!" He gestures wildly with his right hand, which he then realizes is still holding a flask. So he takes a drink out of that one, whatever it is.

"You are older than me, Spiral," Cidra notes, a little whimsically as she pours herself a drink. Shaking her head as she does so. "Why the devils not…?" she mutters. Pouring done, she raises her cup. "We should toast something."

"Toast something!" Pallas repeats, laughing. When you're drunk and stoned, everything seems exponentially funnier than it actually is. He laughs so hard that he nearly falls over and somehow manages to stumble-sit on a chair. "I'll show you a Toast something. Toast your… some toast, thing." Mumble, mumble, raise flask. "Frakking… Toast."

Blink. Sigh. "Here here," Cidra says dryly. And then she sips. Making a soft "Mmm" sound. "I have not had ambrosia since…gods, that gala on Picon. When we had returned from carrier qualifications. The day of the Cylon attacks." She takes a second drink. Watching him. Blue eyes narrowing a touch. "You know, there is something I have always wondered about." Her tone is touched with an idle sort of curiosity. "Back when Ibrahim…that is, Captain Sitka, was SL of the Knights. He ordered you to stop drinking. What did you do?" A pause. "Do not tell me you actually stopped drinking, as I never quite believed that had happened."

Pallas watches Cidra drink as if he doesn't believe that she actually would. When she asks him about his 'dry period', he takes another hit from his flask and looks her in the eyes. "I stopped drinking," he says flatly. The flask gets placed carefully down on the desk so it doesn't fall over for Cidra to partake of it if she's so inclined. He reaches into his pocket to pull out a cigarette and comes up empty - his pack's on the floor. It takes a bit of coordination, but he manages to grab his stuff off the floor, bring it back over the desk, and sit down without seriously injuring himself or knocking anything over. Finally, he lights up another smoke. And after the longest pause ever, he adds, "Where people could see me."

Cidra sip, sip, sips at her drink, almost smugly for Pallas' benefit. He just earns a disbelieving arch of her brow during his long pause. His final answer earns a short nod of her chin, and a faint smirk. "This ship has a number of storage areas that do not see a great deal of traffic. It is not as difficult to find a bit of privacy as many seem to think." A shrug. "Well, it is done now. I pick my battles, Spiral. This…it is not one I can win and I have never seen you into your cups on the flight line. My thinking is…we all have our vices. Some harsher than others." Her tone is less chiding than one of rueful experience. Another drink.

"I drink when I drink. I fly when I fly. I don't fly when I drink, and I don't drink when I fly." It's a surprisingly lucid and clearly spoken statement from someone who's so clearly wasted. Which means it must be a line that he says (or at least thinks to himself) often enough. "Not drinking since Picon, now that's frakking insane," Pallas says, pointing at Cidra. At least, in her general direction. "Only a frakking Cylon could go that long without a drink. Are you a frakking Cylon, Toast?"

"I have not drunk *ambrosia* since Picon," Cidra says with the faintest of smirks again. Stressing the name of the liquor a touch. "Though in point of fact I do not generally care for alcohol. It muddles the senses in…a way I do not care for." Though rumor has it she cares for other ways of doing it. Not that anyone's seen her stoned on duty, either. At the question to whether or not she's a Cylon, she tilts her head at him. Cloudy blue gaze rather curious. "What do you think I am, Spiral?"

"Yeah yeah, you prefer the good stuff," Pallas says dryly. "Like that stuff doesn't frak with your senses. 'Least alcohol's warm." He takes a pause from the smoking to drink some more of the ambrosia. "If you'd said you hadn't drank since the… thing, I would've said you were a frakking skinjob," he says, pointing the bottle at her like a gun and looking down its imaginary sights. "But if it's just ambrosia you haven't drank, well, maybe not."

"It musses with them in a way that is more pleasant," Cidra replies. "And chamalla does not leave one with a headache in the morning. Well, I thank you for your trust in me. Refill me, please." She passes her cup at Pallas, since he's wielding his bottle. "So your criteria to judge if one is an abomination is how much one abuses themselves?" There's something in this that makes her laugh. As if it were a clever joke.

"Alcohol doesn't leave you with a headache in the morning either," Pallas objects, extending the bottle to refill her cup. After missing a couple times first and spilling all over her desk. Hopefully, there are no important documents within splash range. He refills it right up to the brim, and she better drink it all. "Only a machine could go so long without lub…ri…ca…ting itself with spirits," he says, taking multiple stuttering attempts for the long word. "I don't trust people who don't drink."

"My Gods…" With a heavy Cidra yanks the files she had on her desk out of the splash zone. He did not manage to dribble on a few of them, but she spares them further damage. A deadpanned "Thank you" at his refill. She avoid spilling it further, she does not pick it up, but leans her neck down to bend her lips *over* the cup and sip-sip-sip at it until it's less sloshy at the top. "Ah." She leans back again, to take a smoke from the cigarette she's neglected in her ashtray. "As I did say, we all have our vices. Some think they can rid themselves of them entirely, but that is folly, I think. We all just manage our own baggage as best we can. Trick is to avoid getting swallowed up by it."

Pallas laughs when Cidra leans over to sip from her cup without picking it up. Maybe that's what he was going for. "Trying to change people is bullshit. People don't change. Things about 'em might change, but who they are stays the same." A couple more drinks of the ambrosia, a little more slurring to his speech. "Poppy forced herself to change and look at her now. She wears her past as a callsign and she thinks she's happy but she's not."

"I can drink to that," Cidra says. And she does, picking up her ambrosia and sipping deeper into it. She's getting rather mellow. The woman is, indeed, not a heavy drinker under most circumstances. "The…bullshit of trying to change people, that is. People are what they make themselves. We change, or we do not." A shrug, and another drink. "Poppy nearly killed herself when her own house was in disorder. She lives as she needs to live now. I hope she finds pleasure in it. Are *we* so much happier, Spiral?" Head tilts again as she asks the question.

"I know I am," Pallas replies without hesitation, eyeing Cidra. "I say what I think. I do what I want. As much as the frakking Fleet lets me, anyway. I don't give a rat's foreskin what other people think of my choices. They're my choices, I make 'em." He points to himself vigorously with the bottle. "Frakking idiots think I drink because I'm miserable or that I'm miserable because I drink. And that's why they're frakking idiots." A bit of circular logic there, but that's bound to happen when a person drinks. And pops pills.

"I do not think you drink because you are miserable," Cidra says. Drinking some more. "But you are not happy. That is all right. I am not happy, either. I think you would have to be mad, to claim you are in a fine state, given the state of the worlds. You what I like about you, Spiral?" She points a finger at him. "You do not lie to yourself. I do not, either. I know what I am." She doesn't sound particularly thrilled with it, whatever it is. Drink. Then pause. "I called you in here for a reason." She takes a moment to try and remember what that was. This has clearly gone far afield from what she had planned.

"Happier," Pallas mumbles. "Not happy. Nobody's happy. Nobody was happy before the Cylons attacked, either, except maybe those motherfrakkers rich enough to do whatever and whoever they want." Another cigarette gets lit, except he lights it on the wrong end, filling the room with the foul stench of a burning filter even after he puts it out (on her desk) and lights up another one. "You called me in here, told me to close the door, then drank ambrosia. Pretty sure the next step is taking your top off."

"Do you think that sort of thing makes me uncomfortable, Spiral?" Cidra drawls, far more lazily than she was drawling a little while ago, with another sip of her ambrosia. "I am a grown-up woman. I am an adult. We are all adults." Anyway. "You cannot bait me into going into some sort of tizzy with lewd remarks. I have heard *far* worse in my time in the Navy." Another drink, and she goes to top her cup off again. Aiming to pour for herself this time. She's still a steadier hand than he is. "We spoke, some time ago, about expunging the most serious reprimand from your record. I did speak to Command about the matter."

Pallas blinks. "A tizzy? No, I thought you called me in here to get naked. First time you've asked me to close the hatch." He has to think for a while to figure out what she's talking about. Expunging is a hard word to digest when you're smashed. When it finally clicks, though, he casts a suspicious look toward her. "A couple pills to take the edge off, and a couple drinks to make the news easier, hmm?"

"Tizzy." Cidra repeats it. "That is a strange word. I should use it more, though." Oh, yeah, serious business. She takes a sip of her latest drink and gets back to it. "That is not quite how I planned it. But, come to it, cannot hurt. Your request was denied."

Even though that's the response he expected, Pallas does look a little let down by the news, if only for a moment. "Figures," he mutters into his flask before draining what's left in it. "So much for that." The flask gets discarded and he goes for the ambrosia again. "All right, business is done. Now you can take your top off."

"Cannot just erase the past, Spiral," Cidra says philosophically after another sip. "I do think it says something that you tried, though. We are what we make ourselves to be, especially now. Besides. It is not like any of that matters anymore, anyway. You are a good stick. Frakked up as all of us are, we still fight and fly and die…" It's only after she gets into her spiel that she notices he's asked her to take her top off again. She's *just* drunk enough to laugh at that.

At first, Pallas looks annoyed that she laughs instead of doing it, but then he laughs, too. Better a laugh than a slap like a couple nights ago, right? "It matters," he says in response to her spiel, "but it's not important. Forget it, frak. I didn't expect it to be approved anyway." Good thing he's a happy drunk tonight and not a bitter or angry drunk. That probably would've gone very poorly.

The pills might help with being a happy drunk. Maybe this is why Cidra normally prefers drugs. "It does not matter to me," she replies. "You think I care about something you did ten years ago, Pallas?" First names are a three drink minimum, apparently. "I take my officers as I find them. You fly *very* pretty…and you are an asshole." She laughs again. It's more rueful than mocking. "Wells. Gods knows what the Wing says about me when I am not around. We are probably not the people anyone would pick to be the last fighter pilots left alive in the universe. But…here we are." Drink.

"It's not the only thing I do pretty," Pallas says wryly, then pauses and looks up like he's trying to think of something. "I was going to link that to something about assholes, so pretend I did. And that it was genius." He sits back a bit more comfortably in his chair. After all, they're on a first-name basis now, apparently. "It matters 'cause last fighter pilots in the universe or not, I won't rank on the frakking merit board with that on my frakking record. Not that I'd make it even if it weren't, which is why it ain't important."

"I will assume yours is pretty," Cidra deadpans, after another drink. Was that a joke about his asshole remark? It would appear so. "Is that what is holding you back? Better careers have come back from worse than that. You were supposed to be out by now, anyway. What do you think you would have done, anyhow? If the worlds had not exploded, and you had gotten your discharge?" A pause and she adds. "I was never able to imagine life after the Navy. I just kind of…put off thinking about it."

Pallas just chuckles into his drink. "I know what I would've done. I would've retired to Aquaria, gotten myself a boat, stocked it up with booze and drugs and hookers, gambled the remainder of my severance away, then gone for the best cruise of my life." It's hard to tell, but he might be completely serious about that plan just from the wistful tone of his voice. "And that's 'cause you think in terms of what is now and losing it instead of what could be and gaining it. Moot point now."

"Boats are nice…" Cidra observes wistfully, idly swirling the remainder of her drink in her cup with a wrist, before sipping at it again. "I used to have a house on Picon, on the lake. Sold it…years ago. There did not seem much point in keeping it. I wish I had sometimes. It felt like home." She snorts. "Another moot point now. It is probably burnt to all seven hells. I just tried not to think about it. You do, though. When you get to a certain age." She nods at him. Like 'Oh yeah, /you/ know.' "Only so many more years you can keep flying when you pass forty. Either they stick you behind a console somewhere or you…go be something else."

Pallas laughs harshly, shaking his head. "Where the frak else they going to send me? I'm 44 and still flying. They frakking expected me to die by now, but by Zeus' veiny balls, I don't give up easy." Another cigarette down, another cigarette lit. This time, he offers the pack to Cidra. "What happens if I live another year? Where the frak are they gonna send a 45-year-old Lieutenant? They don't have a plan. Hell, I don't have a plan. Never did, not since those frakking charges got thrown into my file. Killed my career. I was about to make Captain then."

Cidra takes the cigarette with a "Thank you." She's due for a new one. She lights up, dragging on it leisurely. "Hosedown did tell me you were her squadron leader, yes? Back on the Volans?" Not that she sounds particularly disbelieving. "*That* is what killed your career, Spiral? Not the drinking and running commentary of insubordination? You make it easy to discount you. On purpose, I at times think."

"Acting Squadron Leader," Pallas confirms with a grunt. Reminiscing back to the good old days. "And 'insubordination' is a coward's mask leaders hide behind when they don't like what they hear from sub…or…dinates. I rarely defied orders. Except stupid shit like Shitka forcing me to quit drinking." He goes for another drain of the flask, having forgotten already that it's empty. As if holding it upside-down weren't enough, he peers at the lip of it. "Obedience ain't the same frakking thing as agreement. I can disagree." Loudly. "Lost six months' pay, five years' seniority, and did three months in a frakking military prison planetside. Son of a bitch."

"Ibrahim was attempting to do you a favor, Spiral. Teach you the error of your ways," Cidra drawls, while pouring herself more ambrosia. She offers him the bottle, when she's done. "You cannot fix people, though. They fix themselves, or they do not. We are all a little broken, anyhow. Some of us just show it differently." She doesn't dive into her topped-off drink right away, but smokes some more. "You did that for your son, you did say? What was he like?"

Pallas becomes tight-lipped for a long time, just sitting in silence and smoking. Thinking. Finally, he answers, "He was a little shit." That earns him a gulp of the ambrosia. The bottle's getting pretty low. "Not his frakking fault. His mother was a frakking world-class bitch and she's the one who raised him as often as she didn't." Sounds like he's more bitter about her than he is angry about his son. "Once she latched on and started sucking the frakking child support out of me, all she frakking did was drink and go slutting around. He'd write about it to me. Blame me for not being around. She poisoned him against me, but he hated me plenty by himself." More ambrosia, more smoke, more silence. "They're all frakking ashes now anyway. Frak!" That last curse is punctuated with him grabbing the empty flask and throwing it across the room.

The bang of the flask against the wall startles Cidra, head snapping around to follow it, then roving back to focus on Pallas. Trying to meet his gaze, though her own is decidedly blurrier than usual. "…Sorry…" she mutters. Whether for bringing the subject up or for the fact that they are, indeed, all ashes now, is unclear.

"Not your frakking fault," Pallas grumbles into his drink. "You were married or some bullshit, weren't you? Someone mentioned something about it." The question is asked offhandedly, like a courtesy being returned instead of an actual curious question. Then again, even that's uncharacteristic for him.

"My Daeds was ashes long before the bombs fell," Cidra replies, into her drink, which she sips long before saying anything more. Maybe the inquiry surprises her and maybe it doesn't. She watches him a beat before answering any further. "We did not have any children. The timing was never right and then…" She picks up her cigarette between her fingers again, flicking some ash away. "He was Viper pilot." Said more than a touch wry, a rueful smirk coming to her lips. "Last post was on the Heracles. Doing shipping lane patrols on the routes from Canceron. Ever flown it?"

"Some of them," Pallas says. "Boring frakking assignment. Then again, most of 'em were back in those days. Brief bursts of the good shit lost between long stretches of boredom and booze and banging." But not necessarily in that order? He leans forward with his elbows on his knees, some of his wild hair falling in front of his downcast eyes. Complete with the bottle and the cigarette he holds, he looks the typical picture of the moody, artistic Aquarian. "At least the war's taken the boredom away."

Cidra narrows her eyes across the desk at Pallas and his hair. Then, as if compelled to straighten it, she leans over her desk to reach a hand toward him and try to flick it back into place. "They were doing combat exercises there. In the asteroids. Interference made for…intensive training. Took a blind turn around one of the rocks, collided with another plane. And then…poof…" The *poof* is exhaled. "Godsdamned waste…"

Pallas tilts his head and gives Cidra a bit of an odd look. Then shakes his head a little bit so the hair falls down again. "Shit way to go," he comments. Not 'my condolences' or even 'I'm sorry'. "Quick and clean, at least." Or so he assumes. "That's how I'd wanna go. Quick and clean or so far gone that I don't feel a thing if it ain't."

"Scattered to the oblivion…" Cidra mutters. "Shit way to go indeed. Well, it is done, nothing to do for it." She gives him a reproachful look at his head-shaking. It lacks it's usual penetrating quality. She reaches out to flick his hair back into position again. Almost teasingly.

Pallas shakes his head again, bringing the hair fall once more. Bemused blue eyes glance up toward her beneath the ruffled hair. "My hair," he says childishly, pulling more down over his eyes. "I'll let it completely cover my frakking eyes if I want."

"You will uncover it if I tell you to, Lieutenant Pallas Ellinon. I am your commanding officer and you will follow my grooming standard!" Cidra proclaims, sort of giggling as she does so. She is drunk. She raises her hand to flick him again, but by this point balancing and arm-waving on her desk is becoming precarious. She ends up sort of flopping on her stomach on her desk, laughing.

"Sir, yes sir," Pallas says, drunkenly raising a hand in salute with which he ends up poking himself in the eye. That and Cidra flopping onto her desk make him burst out laughing. Then he reaches out to to the opposite of what she did to him - flick her hair over her face. Of course, he was drunk before he even showed up to her office, so it ends up being more like pawing at her face than flicking at her hair.

"Sir yes sir is right," Cidra slurs as she attempts to flop back into a semi-upright position, but she does not quite manage it. When she's pawed, she reaches out a hand to paw him back, though she ends up just kind of grabbing his shoulder for balance. It keeps her from rolling off her own desk, least. She's still laughing. "You know, you are not a bad looking man. Apart from the need for a haircut. Have I ever told you this?" The answer is 'No,' of course.

"All the time," Pallas answers, counter-grabbing her shoulder when she grabs his to steady her. But that's pretty much the blind leading the blind, since his steadying isn't all too steady. Probably because he's pulling her toward him. "And you," he says, pointing at her with his other hand, nearly hitting her in the nose with his finger, "you, you are not too bad yourself. Apart from…" He squints at her, the pointing finger slowly moving to her cheek and tracing its way down to her lower lip. "…clothes."

Cidra is not exactly hard to pull at the moment. She leans in, blinkingly hazily at him. Snorting at his remark about clothes. "I should slap you, Spiral." But she does not. Instead, she starts shrugging off her duty blues jacket. "Take your top off."

Pallas raises an eyebrow at her, watching her shrug off her jacket with more interest than he's shown all conversation long. "Sir, yes sir," he chuckles quietly, pulling off his shirt. That leaves him barechested with the half-peeled flightsuit still covering the rest of him. "Any more orders for the Lieutenant, sir?"

"Shut up, please," Cidra replies to that. Lest he spoil the 'moment', such as it is. With that she takes her top off entirely, and kind of falls on top of him, to kiss him. And assist him peeling off the rest of his flight suit. Her hatch is locked, and she was supposed to be 'off' (duty) a half hour ago, so there's little chance of them being interrupted.

Obedient as ever, Pallas shuts up - probably a surprised silence first when she takes her top off, followed by a realization that not talking will probably help him in this case - and kisses her back. It's difficult to peel off the rest of his flightsuit with her on top of him, but he manages eventually. His hands move restlessly all over her, his kisses becoming more pressing and urgent.

Cidra kisses him in return, nipping at his neck as she lingers there. That'll leave a mark in the morning. Not that she notices. The beauty of being drunk is the things you don't notice, like how uncomfortable the office floors of a battlestar are. She exhales long, running her fingers through his hair. "Oh, Pallas…" she murmurs.

Pallas still says not a word, but her order to shut up doesn't stop the low noises in his throat from escaping. He kicks the flightsuit off his leg, leaving it in a heap on the floor, his lips and teeth exploring her with kisses and nibbles. Then, without any warning but a slight change in his posture, he stands up, lifting her straight up with him, and lays her down on her desk. Let her leave all the marks she wants. He doesn't mind one bit.

- FADE -

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