PHD #023: Paths Diverge
Paths Diverge
Summary: Stavrian braves Raptor berthings for an apology to Evan.
Date: 21 March 2041
Related Logs: At The Door Laughing
Evandreus Stavrian 
Raptor Squadron - Naval Deck - Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #23
The Raptor squadron pilots and ECO's call this place home. Berths line the walls with a locker between each one. A table and chairs sit in the center and there is a hatch to the Pilots Head, which connects to the Viper Squadron Berthings.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Evandreus is settled up in his bunk, topless, in a pair of sweatpants, legs crossed at the ankles as they dangle toward the ground. Accordion gripped in facile fingers gives a series of short, rich notes in accordance with the bracing of his arms against the air trapped inside the squeezebox, the muscles of his arms standing out a little further than is their custom in the posture. Fingers work the keys, alternating between every series of two short notes.

Stavrian is not one of those people that often comes wandering randomly into pilot berthings. When he has before it's been in uniform and with some higher purpose. Today though, he's just in his off-duties. Carrying a small, beat-up book and looking quite out of sorts in the room, he heads past Quinn's bunk and gives a wary glance there first, checking if that one that always gives him the stink eye is home. As the moment is lucky, he straightens up and looks up at the musical Evan, standing there awkwardly for a tick and then clearing his throat.

"Down at the shore there's a place where there's no one vacationing," Evan begins to sing out, audible, but obviously more for his own benefit than for anyone else. "There's just the sound of the call of the wild overcoming the fear… of the un-known, and I've got something—" eyebeams flicker upward, and a little smile flashes onto features which had moments before been inundated with the seriousness of a person playing an instrument they're not quite fluent in, yet. "Jess," he calls, leaving off the song, letting the release of the accordion go and closing it up with only a softly reedy sigh before setting it aside. "How are you feeling?" he wonders. "Did you sleep, at all? Other than those twenty minutes?"

"Uh. Yes." Stavrian rubs his nose with his fingertips, looking mildly embarrassed. Tiredness is still threaded into his posture, but not quite like it was when uninhibited by being two and a half sheets to the wind. "I'm fine. Listen, I…" He gently sucks his teeth. "I wanted to apologize. For the other day."

"Oh, Jess. Don't worry," Evan tries to assure him, voice warm and gentle, hands planting at his sides and pushing just a little to help him slip down and land on the decking. "It's like you said. Everyone needs to let off a little steam. You didn't do anything wrong."

"Well, yes, but…" Stavrian shifts uncomfortably on his feet, picking at his collar. "You were trying to tell me things and I was just off somewhere like an ass." He shifts the book in his arms as Evan comes down, holding it in both hands in front of his chest. "Anyway. I brought you something. Make up for it a little."

Evandreus looks a little abashed, himself, his just-recently shaven cheeks unable to hide the rosiness of a blush beneath his usual hedge of stubble, even if he tries to laugh it off, "Oh. Well, you aren't under any obligation to listen to me whine. We've all lost people… and many people have lost… a good deal more than I have," he remarks ruefully as he watches the guy. "I don't blame you for being distant. I don't know what I would do… in your shoes. I don't know how I could keep on. You're very brave, Jess. Stronger than I would be." He looks down to the book, then, "Is this… the poem you were reading?" he wonders.

"What choice does anyone have?" Stavrian answers the brave comment with a sort of stoicism that lacks any bravado whatsoever. He glances down at the book and nods. "Yeah. It's…" He opens the old paperback, finding a page he'd marked off with a little ripped piece of paper. "I told you one line, but I don't think it really…said what the writer was saying. In the rest of it. If you'll let me read it for you."

It's been a long time since someone wanted to read out poetry to him. The request takes him a little by surprise, on that count, but, after only a moment, Evan nods his head, "Of course," he finally answers, looking up to his bunk, then over to the table, where he slides up, resting bare feet on a chair as he sits on the table's edge, arms folded over his legs as he settles in to listen with an open attentiveness.

Stavrian looks more than a little self-conscious, scratching his cheek with a lifted shoulder. The book's well-abused, the spine cracked from years of opening and closing, the pages starting to yellow. The left side is Sagittarian script, the right in Standard. The latter is what his eyes are on as he clears his throat. "The Guest House."

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight."

He pauses there. Not in some academic knowledge that one should pause there, but to lick his lips.

"The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."

Evandreus leans forward just a little, shoulders shrugging up toward his ears. His lower lip, full as it is, disappears into his mouth, and just before the little break between sections, dark green eyes water a little, bearing a loose eyelash into his eye and making him cast his eyes down and lift a finger to rub at it until it rides out on a tear and sits pasted to his cheekbone with wet. Despite the wetness, though, there's a smile. "That's a lovely poem, Jess," he whispers.

"Yeah." Stavrian clears his throat and closes the book, page still marked. He holds it against his chest, folding both arms over it. "So." As if that syllable could explain everything in his head. Which, of course, it doesn't. "How are you doing, anyway?"

Evandreus looks over Jess' face with watery eyes, looking, evidently, for something other than 'so.' He's not psychic— anything but— but there's something here that's not being said, and it's not being said very loudly. He rests a hand on the table to his side, patting it there by way of an invitation. "Come and sit with me?" he asks. "I'm okay. I'm just worried about you, Jess. Will you talk to me? If you're having… dark thoughts… if you've got malice in your heart. You don't have to be ashamed of it," he tries gently to probe into the matter, though the efforts are blind and clumsy, groping in the dark.

Stavrian shrugs, an awkward-looking gesture. He looks down at the patted table for a moment before he moves to sit on it, putting the book down between them. "I'm not ashamed, I just…" He picks at the fatigues fabric on his knee, catching some imagined piece of lint. "I don't know what to say. Everyone's dead, what else is there to say?"

"Not… not a lot, I guess." Evan pauses, gotten, on that point. "Will you tell me a little bit… about her?" he does grow so bold as to ask. Though he doesn't specify who 'she' is, Jesse can probably make a decent guess.

Stavrian's eyes drop from the middle of the wall across from them to the bottom of it. A silence follows, for a time. "Zemira." He rubs his nose, gently, pinching the end of it with his fingertips. Another brief silence, attention still turned downwards. "I got lucky. I guess. I didn't choose her, but it…it was alright."

Well. That wasn't exactly the ringing endorsement or teary remembrance that Evan was expecting to have elicited. "You didn't? Choose her?" he wonders, keeping his voice gently pitched. "… Oh," he adds, subsequently. "Your parents?" he goes on to wonder, obliquely, maybe a little less comfortable than a moment before, but keeping himself emotionally there, for the guy.

Stavrian makes a sound in his throat that sounds like an affirmative. His words may not be an outpouring of emotion but really, does one expect that from him? His shoulders are slightly hunched. "Ten years…this year was ten years." He can't even be thirty years old.

Evandreus startles, just a little, at those first words, the hairs all on the back of his neck and down his arms stand straight up. Ten years. That number's been running through his own head since the worlds fell. "Ten years," he finally lets his mouth move to the notion. "This… would have been ten years, for me, too," he offers, the coincidence striking him too much for him to let it go un-remarked upon. "Were you… did you… get to love her?" he wonders.

Stavrian finally glances at Evan, barely moving his head. "Really?" Quiet, that question, and hard to tell if it's rhetorical or not. The next one chases his eyes away again, and he rubs the side of his neck. That question seems to give him some trouble, sparking another brief silence. "I don't know." Tiny phrase, weighted down by a sudden undertone of guilt.

Evandreus swallows a little at the glance, but nods his head. Or. Wobbles it a little, affirmative. "We were… really young. Well, but you know that," he defers, since they're about the same age as one another. He hesitates a good, long while, himself. "My parents… wanted me… to… to do that," the words drawn out, haltingly, from the Bunny's mouth. "We… we left, together. To be with one another, instead. We loved each other very much. But… well, you know how well that ended up turning out."

Stavrian is quiet then, letting off a quiet exhale. It turns into a soft 'heh' under his breath. "Paths diverge."

"I guess they do," Evan murmurs back. "I still… I don't think I could have done it, y'know? Married someone I didn't love." He looks over toward Jess, then, "But maybe… for some people… that can work," he tries to offer, feebly.

"I should go." This comes out of Stavrian's mouth quite abruptly, making it past a tightened throat. "I have duty." He slides off the table with a thump of both boots, picking up the little battered book.

Before he can quite remember to stop himself, the suddenly voiced desire to leave from Stavrian has Evan's hand rising from its spot to rest along his upper arm— not keeping him, if he wants to go, just resting there. "Jess—" he begins, then, remembering, withdraws his hand to the tabletop, looking down. "I'm really sorry," he offers. Because of what happened? Or because of what he said? Maybe both. "I'll see you later," he finishes up, not looking up again.

Stavrian moves his shoulder as something touches him, reflex pulling his arm away. It leaves him standing there with a note of hesitation, his back tense all through his shoulders. "Here." The book's suddenly thrust at Evan. "If you want. I'll pick it up later."

Evandreus takes the book onto his lap, and looks down at it, then up again, and gives a quiet nod. "Alright," he whispers, unsure what else to say. "Sorry about—" the grabby thing, he sort of seems to indicate with a nod to Jess' shoulder. "Later, then."

Stavrian just nods, blue eyes avoiding Evan's face. "Good night." His hands slide into his pockets, arms kept up against his sides as he turns and heads for the Raptor berthing hatch.

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