PHD #317: Not A Home
Not A Home
Summary: Bunny and Lala discuss matters of home and family, and a favour is asked.
Date: 9 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: Immediately follows Off the Deep End. References More Than Just Ashes. Directly followed by Kura.
Evandreus Leyla 
Wherein we visit the Athletics Area, a couple of corridors, the freight elevator and end up in maintenance.
Post-Holocaust Day: #317

Evandreus, having retreated to the back of the little medical stand, spent the remainder of the exercise inventorying the equipment in the standkit, making sure that nothing's walked away since the last round of the exercise. When another volunteer shows up, he tags in the young woman and picks up his pace to something just below a jog, since running in the pool room is strictly verboten. "Hey, Lala?" he says quietly when Sweet Pea walks by him with the cart. "Can I walk with you a ways?" he wonders.

Leyla comes to an easy halt, as Evan moves to catch of up with her "Of course, Bunny. if there's somewhere you need to be, I can get one of the deckies to take this cart down to maintenance. Just going to kill some time getting things cleaned up and inspected." Just like the woman, working even in her free time.

"No, no, this is fine," Evan falls on in with Lala alongside the cart, tucking his own hands behind his back unless Sweet Pea seems to need any help with anything. "Did you live through double shifts okay?" he wonders, cracking open conversation with something fairly innocuous.

For the moment, the job seems easy enough. The cart was carefully stacked and her helmet isn't much of a burden on it, "I don't think double shifts bothered me so much as it did everyone else. But then, I don't really do anything else besides work and sleep anyway." Leyla has never seen any need to hide the fact that she pretty much has no life. "How about you? I didn't see much of you, especially not after that last mission."

Evandreus swallows subtly. "… Yah. I'm sorry about that. I had some issues. The double shifts weren't too bad, it was just… everything else. The Wreath. Rejn. Licks. A little much all at the same time. I… took a few to many of my anti-depressants trying to deal with it all, and ended up in Medical myself for a while," he admits. No reason to hide it, though, oddly enough, for such an occurrence, it was NOT all over the rumor mill.

Thankfully, Leyla and Evan are far enough down the corridor that the conversation won't carry back to the gossip mill. And there's no distaste in Leyla expression, no pity either. There's only that same gentle sympathy that seems to mark her expression whenever Bunny is around. AT least at moments like these. "You don't have to apologize, Bunny. The last few months have been nearly impossible, for everyone to deal with. We're barely holding it together, all of us." Leyla reaches out a hand, lifting, not to touch Evan's cheek, but to tug at a lock of his curls, "What can I do to help?"

Evandreus can't hold back a boyish smile as his hair's fussed at, cheek angling toward his cheek. "You just… be you. And, if you can manage it, try not to die," he adds, a dark sort of humor in his voice waxing and then waning again to a tender sort of seriousness. "I can't just keep saying oh-well when the people I care about keep disappearing, y'know?" he looks to her eyes, a low-burning sorrowfulness glimmering in his own along with a kindly sort of affection.

"I'm not going anywhere, Bunny. You can count on that. No matter what happens, I always come back home." There's a hint of a smile, as she releases the lock of hair, "Do you and Pony go to the same hairdresser?" But that comment is neither here nor there, "No one expects you to just say oh-well. But you realize we worry just as much about you, right? I don't know where you go sometimes, Evandreus, even when you're right in front of me. You're somewhere and …I don't know how to follow." Leyla isn't perfect, but she has learned a few things about Bunny, "You want to camp out in my bunk for a while? That way you'll always know where I am."

"You wouldn't mind?" Evan whispers, his intonation changing the rhetorical question into a thinly veiled, 'yes, please.' "Mum's got a steady boyfriend, now, and I fear my crawling into her bunk at night is putting a damper on things," he jokes, just a little, casting his eyes downward and aside in an almost girlishly abashed expression. "You can keep an eye on me, then, too. We're meant to watch out for one another, aren't we, after all."

"Of course I wouldn't mind. And you can stay as long as you like." The continue down along the corridor, almost to the freight elevator to head down to the maintenance and repair shops, "You're always welcome wherever I am, Bunny, don't ever think otherwise." And there's a smile, as Leyla answers the last, "You watch my back, I watch yours. That's why we work so well together, Bunny."

Evandreus hurries on ahead with a hint more spring in his step to pull the call switch for the freight elevator, turning back around to greet Sweet Pea with a warm smile as she brings the cart up behind. "Thanks, Lala," he tells her, gentle-voiced. "It means a lot to know you think so. Would you—" the smile fades into something less cheery, but more determined. "Would you mind if I asked you a question? I mean. Besides this one." From the sound of it, this is a question with a capital Q, though it isn't pronounced as one.

It doesn't take long for the elevator to arrive, and Leyla, sensing the import of the question, perhaps, holds up a hand, offered with an answering smile, waiting until the elevator arrives before she pushes the cart in and answers, "Of course not. You can ask me anything you like. I'll do my best to answer." And always honestly. It's not Leyla's way to lie. And certainly not to Bunny.

Evandreus reaches out his own hand to take Lala's, then lets his arm slack to sort of let their joined hands dangle between them, stepping onto the lift next to Sweet Pea, making his eyes busy looking over the contents of the cart. "I heard from someone that… at one of the Wreath estates… you guys found a book full of sketches. That there were some sketches of stuff from Kythera. I was just wondering…" he trails off, not even quite able to voice what he's wondering, though Leyla can probably guess. "Did you see them?" he settles on asking, looking up and into her eyes if her eyes are there to be locked onto.

Leyla seems entirely comfortable, in Bunny's company. There's a gentleness in Evandreus that puts even the stoic Taurian at ease. Even if the question doesn't. She still doesn't know the whole story about Kythera, but it's never been an easy thing to discuss with him. Still, she did promise to answer, and the answer comes with all honesty. "It was at the artist's estate. Remember all of the book we brought back with us? That was one of the things that came back. Klax was in one of them." That would be the wing's new morale officer. "Corporal Blaine and other members of the team who were down there. A few sketches of the eleven, scenes of the city and Leonis." Leyla takes a moment, before she continues, "None of it was classified, as far as I know. We could probably get ourselves a few minutes to look through it…if you wanted."

"I remember the books getting loaded up, but— that's more or less it. I was a little out of it, that trip." Since they're being honest with one another, he goes on so far as to explain why, lacing his fingers in between Sweet Pea's and running the pad of his thumb from her thumbknuckle to wrist and back again in a soothing motion— though soothing to whom is hard to say. "I was born there. On the Wreath," he tells her. "But it had been a hell of a long time since I'd been there." She doesn't mention The Tower, and so some of the tension that had been building up in him disperses. "Where is it being kept? Surely not the library?"

No, Leyla doesn't mention Rutger Tower, but likely not for the same reason Bunny might not want to hear it. Or perhaps unknowingly for the same reason Bunny doesn't want to hear it. For Leyla's part, because she's heard Payback's horror stories about the place, rescued as he was from the experiments there. For Bunny, because he actually was there. Still, her hand remains in his, as the elevator stops in maintenance and they head out to deliver the lines and drop off the cart, "I wondered where you got your accent from." The particularly elitist pronunciation of the little taurian he's spoken in her presence. "I'm sorry you had to see your home like that." A shake of her head, "The books, maps and such are in the library. The notebook and sketchbook are probably in command. I would suppose Yeoman Perry could get them for us. But I cataloged everything with my camera before it was all loaded into your raptor."

Evandreus shakes his head back, just once, "Not home. Just where I happened to wriggle out from between some strange lady's bits." Any maternal labels he has left in him are reserved for Captain Quinn, after all. "But never home. That was always Leontinia." He strolls out from the elevator, swinging his hand along with Leyla's in between them as he lifts his other hand to help keep the cart rolling in a steady course forward. "You did? Maybe we can look over the pictures together, then, later tonight. Do you have CAP before bedtime, or are you heading onto your sleep shift?"

"Sleep cycle. I switched a CAP with Mouse earlier, I think she wanted to head over to the Elpis, so I told her I'd do her CAP if she did mine. I could either get the notebook itself, or we could look at the images I recorded." The pair continue down along the corridor, heading for the drop-off of equipment cart in the maintenance room. "Not home…but it bothered you to be there. And it wasn't just the decadence of the place, was it?"

"No. No, it wasn't that, really," Evan doesn't try to deny it. "Though it always bothered me, you know? What does one family need with all those acres of land, eh?" His Leontinian accent grows moderately more pronounced, as if a reflexive effort to shield himself from Being From Tauron. "And then, once they have everything the universe has to offer, they completely ignore the things that are supposed to matter most. The year I left home" he uses the word, yes it slips out before he can catch it, "The year I left, I might have seen the bastard who begot me three times. Whoever it was who gave me birth— no, I don't think I saw her at all, that year. And the only time I ever saw them together was on the newspaper, posing, pretending to be a real family. They had it all set for me, too. They'd picked out the perfect woman for me to spend the rest of my life posing for pictures with. But I'd already found the only good flower the Wreath of Roses had to offer. And I never wanted to marry someone I didn't love with all of my heart. And so we left. So, I guess… it was a little hard being back there. Not because it was wrecked. I'd wished worse things on that godsforsaken moon every day for more years than I wish to consider. But, for all that, it was where I fell in love for the first time. And so, yah, it was a little rough." Nothing to compare to being on Leonis, which, of course, took its toll on him in much worse ways, but there you have it. "Let's just look at the pictures. We don't need to bother command about it. Unless you think she wouldn't mind."

"That's not exclusive to being rich. Yes, you can ask what do you need with so much? It's almost all wasted. Why do you need to create a life for yourself that isn't real, that's full of nothing but paparazzi stories and columns in the society section." Leyla's hand tightens on Evan's, as they turn the corner into maintenance. "I remember growing up in the tenement. I'd lie in bed and listen to the man in the apartment next door locking the door. He always locked the door before he went after his wife, or his kids. I'd put a pillow over my head to block out the sound of their screaming. And I'd see them the next day acting as if they were the perfect, happy family. Everyone has secrets. Hardly anyone is the person you think they are from the outside." Once they're in storage, Leyla sets out the cart to be processed, before she grabs her helmet. "The most important thing you took out of Tauron, you still carry with you, Bunny. Your capacity to love, no matter what the cost. You made the family that you deserve. One who loves and supports you. If your real parents did anything for you, they showed you what you didn't want out of your life." A shake of her head then, "I don't think she'd mind, but I have the pictures with me, and we wouldn't have to wait if someone else has them. Why don't we do the pictures first, and if you want to see the real thing, we can get it after?"

Evandreus' brows lower in an expression of pain even at the mental image of the hitting and the yelling painted by the story from Sweet Pea's childhood. "I guess most people do learn to hide a thing or two about themselves," he murmurs with a hint of self-deprecation, though his recently-shorn cheeks redden at the encomium. He finally lets go of Lala's hand, going around the cart to make certain that all of its wheels are locked once it gets into its check-in position. Safety first, after all. He comes around the other side, peeking around the corner, first, and watching Sweet Pea take up her helmet, not saying anything, just— watching her, silently, then, slowly, giving her a nod of assent. "Let's go home, Peapod," he tells her, traversing the length of the cart again in order to take up whichever of her hands is free of her helmet. By home, of course, he means berthings, but he uses the word with a certain reverence for the connotation it's picked up in the length of their conversation. Not just a place to lay down a head or catch up on some paperwork, but a place to be with one another, as a family.

"It's not often that we have the luxury to be completely honest about ourselves." Leyla leaves the cart to Bunny, looking over her helmet, which she'll need to properly dry and clean, before she can make use of it again. Pool training is a necessity, but it's not exactly easy on equipment. And there's only so much to go around. A fingertip traces the letters of her name stenciled onto the helmet, just before Bunny makes his way around the cart. And this time, it's the woman who offers her hand to the much taller man, after she removes her gloves, tucking them away for safety, "Let's go home, Bunny."

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