PHD #106: Piano Man
Piano Man
Summary: Music of the moment.
Date: 12 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Tisiphone Evandreus Marty 
Virgon House Great Room — Kythera — Leonis
Entrance is gained from the outside most commonly by a ferret hole through a window and beneath a baby grand piano. A piano that is remarkably still in working condition though it no longer sits level on its three spindled legs. A path has been swathed through the mine field of Virgan seal-stamped silverware, the utensils strewn across the gold-seamed malachite floor in a layman's alarm system.
The marble-tiled corridor stretches in both directions from the grand piano. A few pages of sheet music are scattered nearby Sonata for Violin and Piano and further pages are long-since fluttered to rest, leading toward the arched double doors left open to the greatroom. Massive pillars and part of a balcony can be seen through the doors.
In the other direction, the corridor is flanked by closed door after closed door on one side, barricaded windows on the other. A small sign is labeled '< Washrooms' at the very end.
Post-Holocaust Day: #106

Along one side of the greatroom, much of the barricade has been torn away — or dragged off for other purposes. It's along this wall that Tisiphone looms, shoulder leaned into the empty wooden frame that once held a floor-to-ceiling window, smoking a cigarette as she watches the rain drizzle down onto the dying grass of the embassy grounds.

For the sake of keeping it safe, Evan's finally tucked away the Sacred Object, wrapped, as all sacred objects best are in the hands of the profane, in the cloth in which it was delivered to him, into the same recessed fatigues pocket as the photograph and his inhaler— the things he really needs in order to survive. The rain, nice as it is, chases Evan inside while still only moderately dampened, making the Bunny to duck down into the burrow and peep out from the underside of the grand piano.

From the tiled corridor leading further into the sumptuous consulate grounds there come the faint sounds of a melancholy tune — jarringly off-key, too, modulating from G-sharp to C-flat to only the gods know what new tonic note every couple of bars — "Rain, rain, go away…"

Soon enough, the song's owner makes herself known, her mop of bright red hair frizzled from the dampness that suffuses this the refugees' gloomy home. It's none other than Marty Dames, accompanied neither by her newscaster fiance nor the incomparably chilled-out Frankie. She's dressed in a magnificent velvet bathrobe designed for a figure far more buxom than hers, hugging it against her body to provide her with some semblance of warmth in this dreary time. "Little Arthur wants to play…"

"Damn. One frak of a housecoat." It's what passes for a greeting, to Marty, from over yonder where Tisiphone slouches. She's turned a bit, resting her spine instead of her shoulder against the windowframe, watching the frizzy-haired woman make her wandering way along. After a moment of rolling her cigarette between her fingers, teeth dragged uncertainly along her bottom lip, it's lifted back to her mouth for another drag.

Evandreus pulls his leg out from behind him, back arcing into a strange half-lunged squat before he pushes up to a standing position, then bows at the waist, batting at dust to the sides of his knees— dust that really can't be well-distinguished at this point from the other grime worked into the fabric, but, well, there you have it. Eyebeams turn to the singer, then to the commenting Cubits. "It wouldn't be that bad a rain if it weren't, y'know, poisoning the Elpeus. And trying its best to poison us at the same go."

Marty smiles a bit self-consciously as she twirls, letting royal purple fabric billow around her to reveal far less impractical attire: a pair of simple workman's jeans whose cuffs have been bunched up by her ankles. "I always wanted one of these," she observes, stepping over a few stray forks before plopping herself down by the broken windows, back resting against the shaky leg of the grand piano behind her. "Just like the old movies — you know, black and white, cigarette holders, gloved hands, soft lenses, pouting ladies, simmering men." Her tone is matter-of-fact; her expression, rueful. "I used to practice walking up and down my staircase with a pillow over my head when I thought nobody was looking. That was — " She pauses, eyes fixing on Evandreus as that pronouncement is issued. "Silly," she finishes, having evidently lost heart to finish that story.

The corner of Tisiphone's mouth twitches at Evan's words, and she turns her head, looking back out toward the rain. "It still smells good," she says. "You'd almost believe it's helping something grow, somewhere." A slow, deep drag off her cigarette follows, then a second, before she glances back to Marty and asks, "You guys hanging in there? Everyone's still treating you all okay?" She's been protective, almost, of the four newscasters since their group was folded in with the Molgen contingent.

Evandreus broke the moment— a true romantic, his liver twinges with regret as he offers the deflated woman a shy apology of a smile. He used to love those movies, himself, though he doesn't say so aloud, letting Tisiphone take over the public relations effort, for the time being, only tossing out a gently-vocalized, 'Hm,' of agreement to her assessment of the rainfall, his mind drifting through sepia tones back to black and white.

"Sure." Marty shrugs, tilting her head back until her nose almost brushes the bottom of the piano. Fingers move restlessly through her long hair, toying with various knots her unkempt nails can't quite untangle. "Chris is still making noise about cutting off Cylon balls, Frankie's high all the time, and Colin's playing hero with the boys, so — " The woman snorts fondly, wincing a bit as she accidentally applies too much force to a particularly stubborn curl. Her initial shyness has long since worn off over the past several weeks, allowing some of her well-hidden fire to shine through. "I think he's glad all his tees are shredded so he's got an excuse to walk around half-naked with a gun strapped to his back."

"Heh," is Tisiphone's expansive reply to Marty's assessment of her fellow newscasters. One does not comment on the half-naked tendencies of certain menfolk to their fiancees. She lowers herself down to her haunches, forearms stretched out against her knees, where she can watch the progress and positioning of others in the room without needing to lift her eyes to theirs. "We've talked a couple times. All he cares about is making sure you get off this rock. Think you've got a good one, there." Again she rolls her cigarette between her fingers before tucking it back to her lips.

Evandreus turns slowly about and settles down onto his knees not too far from Marty, his head tilting as he regards the slope of keys on the pianomachine. One hand reaches out, slowly, hesitant— less on account of his wondering whether he -should- play with the thing and more on account of his dredging his mind for lessons long forgotten, a finger finally settling on middle c and giving it a push, the resulting note his only contribution to the conversation for a long moment, after which it's followed by a few more sounds from the machine as he maps out the musical territory for his ear, as if hunting for a note that falls into accord with the sounds in his head, a blind groping of sound.

"Yeah." There's the habitual wispy softness that characterizes the Marty the team's come to know, informed as it is by a wistful sigh. "Just lucky, I guess." Half-closed eyes smile, if eyes can indeed be said to smile; long lashes flutter as Bunny fiddles with the keyboard. Fingers give up their hopeless fight against red hair to rest on a particular spot on her left clavicle, brushing lightly against the bone. "Hope he didn't try anything. To him, everybody's just somebody waiting to be rescued."

"Try something?" Tisiphone repeats back, sun-bleached brows shooting up her forehead for a beat of surprise before they furrow toward eachother in bemusement. "Nah. He sure as frak didn't try to rescue /me/, at least." A smoky snort accompanies her statement, as if a private joke was hidden somewhere between the words. "You ever been aboard a military ship before?" The topic change comes abruptly and without warning, as she's sometimes wont to do.

It's a strange transition, there, in Bunny's hands, almost as abrupt as Cubits' change of subject in the conversation— from notes that wander like the blinded Oedipus through the grottoes of Colonus to, once he finds the general vicinity of the notes in which he has an interest, a song. No fanciful arrangements, just one-finger, one note at a time, ambling through a melody. The music trips through the looking-glass from the very films to which Marty professed her affinity, reminding all and sundry that even now, at the end of the universe, that it's still the same old story, a fight for love and glory. A case of do or die. That the fundamental things still manage, somehow, to apply.

"Me?" Marty laughs incredulously. "When Chris blew those Cylons to their version of green fields — " Her smile abruptly turns brittle as she looks away from Tisiphone, stretching her legs out from beneath that ludicrous robe so she can lean foward, limber body nearly parallel with the ground. A satisfying crack comes from her strained bones as she relaxes — and soon rustling fabric gathers beneath her body as she flops onto her back, hands folded across the unassuming ladies' tee she wears beneath the robe. "Some people got used to all this really quickly," the woman murmurs, breaths coming in time to the gentle waltz flowing over her body. "Not me."

"Cerberus was my first posting after flight school," says Tisiphone. The corner of her mouth twitches again. It'll be her last posting, too. "It'll be rough to get used to. Maybe. But I guess it's the safest place in the Universe anymore." Her head turns slightly, gaze following the long lines of marble tiles toward the piano's — and Bunny's — legs, as she sighs a breath of smoke out toward them.

Once he's pretty sure he's got the basics of the song down-pat — or, well, as pat as it can get in a piano probably rather in need of a tune-up — he lifts his other hand to the keys and accompanies each third or fourth note with a second one to compliment it, the song becoming a little bit more robust even if its pacing goes straight to hell as the Bunny takes an extra little pause to make sure he's hitting the right pairs of keys. The combination of the staggered timing and the dilapidated condition of the instrument makes the tune warble along like a drunkard in an alleyway, with only slightly less pissing on the walls.

"Stuck in a metal tube with the last three thousand humans in the unvierse." Marty reaches behind her to ball up more of that oversized robe beneath her head, creating a makeshift pillow of sorts. "Safe." Bright eyes dim as she stares outside, reflecting the pitter-patter of radioactive rain. Droplets of water land on jagged glass still clinging to otherwise broken window frames, pooling on the pale blue caulk between the tiles. "I almost liked it better when it was just the four of us," she confesses softly. "Just the four of us in that dingy little hostel with nothing except the next high to worry about — " The woman sighs deeply, fingers tapping against her belly in time to Bunny's music. "When we weren't so busy trying to live that we forgot to live."

Tisiphone's eyes flick from Evan and the piano over to Marty, sliding away a moment later. Her mouth twists subtly, as if she was chewing upon something the other woman said. "I'm tired," she says, abruptly, pushing up to her feet with a soft pop from one knee. The dregs of her cigarette are flicked out the broken window, hissing against the brown and sodden grass. It's her farewell to the room, it would seem, long-legged steps carrying her toward the grand staircase to the second and third floors.

Evandreus, having not said anything beyond his ill-fated first comment, seems too engrossed now in vomiting out this song bar by bar to heed much of the conversation that's gone on without him. The declaration of weariness from Tisiphone, however, proves he's listening enough to process her good-bye and turn his head her, rendering unto her a silent, soulful look, marked by the faltering-into-silence of the pianomachine. Good night, Cubits.

Marty doesn't watch her go, dipping her warm fingers into the cool water trickling towards her body. "Tired," the woman repeats quietly, painting a smiley face on the ground with absent strokes of her thumb. "Yeah. If I had to keep up that act all the time, I'd be tired too." Spoken right when the music ends — just her luck, which causes just the slightest flush to color her freckled cheeks. But no matter: "Play me a song?" she asks. "Play me a song and we'll dance in the rain." With a smile she's sitting herself down beside the pianist, draping an arm around his shoulder —

And behind her, the deluge.

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