PHD #200: Spectre
Summary: Angst happens.
Date: 14 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: Wine, the Giver of Joy
Evandreus Leyla 
Deck 8
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.
Post-Holocaust Day: #200

Evandreus is settled back in a far nook near the foreward bulkhead of deck eight, where the small octagonal unit-end of one of the storage units doesn't fit flush against the outer hull, creating a triangle of space with a small ridge down where the bulkhead meets the floor. Evan's sitting on the floor with the ridge poking into his lower back, his head resting against the bulkhead itself, back arced and eyes aloft, one foot on the floor and one lifted to plant against the other side of the tight space. A little palm-sized book bound in faux leather is resting on his tummy, both of his hands resting on top of it. Eyes red and a little bit swollen, he nonetheless seems to have attained some measure of peace.

Leyla didn't bring very much, well, likely not as many as most, when she came aboard the Cerberus for her three hour—err, her tour of duty aboard the ship. But she did bring a few things she could not live without. But none of it sees the light of day terribly often. Until such days as the occasion warrants, and she's obliged to make it down to storage to root through her things to find what she's looking for. The quiet of the deck is broken by the sound of her approach, boots soft on the deck and coming closer. Then…moving past. Full stop. The small pilot puts it into reverse, as she catches sight of a human figure wedged into a space a human figure ought not to be. And then, softly, to the man with his eyes closed, "Bunny?"

Evandreus tenses a little at the sound of footfalls coming down the hall, the noise summoning up an anxiety in his diaphragm, and he closes his eyes, lest this be the bearer of the bad tidings he's been expecting all day. When his name's called in the familiar voice, his head turns against the wall, his eyes open and look out to the lit corridor and the sillhouette of the woman standing there. "Peapod," comes the vocal acknowledgement in a slightly rough voice, followed by a clearing of his throat. "What's going on?" he wonders, timid.

"Well." A single word, complete with vocal fullstop. "The heads are a mess, and most of the crew is thinking maybe a little of the hair of the dog that bit them might make their hangovers go away. I've been walking through the halls all morning banging my cymbals together. I spent a particularly long time down around the marine berthings." No she didn't, but there's a soft humour in her voice. "Everything is fine, Bunny, quiet. peaceful." Another soft stop, "Want some company down there?"

Does he? The question calls back the trace of moisture to where his eyelid meets his eye. He's been up here for hours, unable to sleep, indulging, in his solitude, in allowing himself to desire, to wish, to pray, to hope, to yearn for the company of his other half, lost so long ago. And so the offer cuts even in its kindness. Finally, with a silent swallow, he just wobbles his head in a little nod. "Mhm," the syllables waver from tightly drawn lips.

Now that the door has been opened, the question has been asked, there's nothing to do but walk through it. Soft steps carry her into the space between, smaller size allowing her to settle with a bit less difficulty, until she's sitting, much like the man beside her back to the wall, though both of her feet are on the ground. Close enough to be close, not close enough to actually be touching him, but shoulder to shoulder. There's always a choice, "You get any sleep last night?"

Evandreus keeps his hands folded over the book on his belly and lets his head remain turned toward the opening into the corridor so that he's still facing Sweetpea when she sits down with him. "Yeah," he whispers. "A couple of hours. I woke up and then… couldn't go back to sleep again. Last night was… well, it was good. Thanks for… y'know. Everything. I thought Boots told me I was to be looking after you, not the other way around," he points out, a hint of his usual humor showing up in his voice.

The book is noted, but then, so is the care in which it's both held and hidden. And so, for the moment, Leyla doesn't ask after it, nor make any comment regarding it. Soft voice and quiet, as Leyla keeps the tone of the conversation low. "Good. I wasn't sure you'd get a chance. Looks like they had you running the bus most of the night." A moment, while she settles, wiggling to ease the pressure on her back, "Welcome." A smile, faint, but true, "We've got to look after each other. Just the way it is."

"Yeah." A downward cant to the word, as if he weren't quite able to keep the note from sounding tired. "Yeah, we do. I didn't mind. I wasn't really any good for a party, anyhow. Still, the music was nice." One hand slides off of his book and tumbles to the floor between them before seeking out her hand. "I'll be okay. It's just. Today's hard."

Work gloves today, and easy enough to slip off, as Evan drops his arm, and she turns up an empty palm to take his hand in hers, finger lightly intertwined, clasped hands now, resting on her lap, "Jugs was dazzling, wasn't she?" Leyla's eyes are settled on her hand, and there's something of an 'I've never seen that before, or at least not in so long I can't remember' edge to it. The first time…in a long time, she's touched someone skin to skin. Bunny has his markers, so does she. A beat, "You missed it after though, she passed right out on the grass. Sleeping peaceful as you please." An offer to distract, soft words, a snapshot of a happy moment, and then, with a gentleness, "I know it is." She doesn't know why, no. But she does recall hearing tell of Bunny returning to the Cerberus in a bad way. 100 days ago. "I'm here."

Evandreus' lips soften into a real smile at the mental image, his ruddy eyes going a little less dim as they see the mental image before them. "I'm glad she got this. Glad she could go home… or… at least, to her homeworld. That she could be with her baby there. She looked so… right, there. There was a sort of continuity established, yah? Maybe the world isn't frakked forever." The smile fades. "'Course, that's… just the sort of train of thought that goes flying off the tracks the next time we lose someone." He lets his fingers lace into hers, palms encircling a little invisible sphere of air.

"I'm glad she did too. And to be able to be quiet in it. To feel in it." Clearly, the woman seemed to need that. "To be happy here." There's a shake of Leyla's head, a glance over and up, to the man beside her, "Perhaps, when the time comes, she could have the baby there. A new life on an old world." Bringing the two ends together to meet in the middle, "Nothing is forever, Bunny. Even death. That I'm sure of." A smile, soft, "Take it from an astrophysicist…we're all made of stars. And stars don't ever go out. Even after they pass away, their light goes on forever."

Evandreus' dark green eyes, lingering traces of moisture still making them shine in the light from the corridor, look into Leyla's, his mouth just slightly open as he listens to her speak, dry lips sticking together a little more tenaciously to one side of his mouth than the other. For a while the quiet ascends to the throne and lives out a healthy reign in the air in the midst of the conversation before Evandreus overcomes the lethargy of the moment, spurred either by long sleeplessness or her eloquence to remark without prelude or circumstance: "You remind me so much of him."

Leyla doesn't look away, despite the speech. High falooting, it's not, pretentious, it's not meant to be. A snapshot, perhaps, into one of the corridors into her mind. Seldom visited, perhaps, unless the need warrants it. A brief glimpse, of the girl who arrived at the Academy looking up at the stars. Free hand also rises, reaching out in an attempt to sweep the last (for now) of Bunny's tears from his eyes. If he allows, to gather them on her fingertips, "I'm honoured by the compliment." Even she can see how much this man must have meant to the him, "Thank you, Evandreus." And if he looks at her and sees the dead? If it allows him to remember the departed with love, then she's alright with that.

"He had… an artistic mind. A poetic soul. Maybe sometimes he was just a little bit aloof. But it only ever managed to drive me all the more mad for him," Evan murmurs through lips that fumble at one another over the syllables, managing them out in more or less even succession. He squeezes her hand just faintly, trailing his thumb along the side of her forefinger. A sudden intake of breath and he's shaking his head a degree or two. "I'm— I'm sorry, that— must— sound really weird. I don't…" No, he doesn't really know what he doesn't. "I'm sorry." Some tortured awkwardness on his part twisting its way around his words.

There's no awkwardness on Leyla's part, only that rare, gentle understanding, her hand remaining light and still in his, "He sounds like the sort of man one would go mad over. The sort of man that makes you want to reach out to him." And clearly Evan did. The squeeze of her hand is returned, just as faintly, "Don't apologize. Don't ever apologize. Not for that, Evandreus. It didn't sound weird at all. It sounds like a good memory. To keep in your mind, to hold in your heart." Her free hand, long since finished with the task of drying his tears, rises to cup his face. "Aroha mai, aroha atu." And again, that soft translation in Caprican. «Love towards us, love going out from us.»

Evandreus lifts his own free hand to rest over top of the hand on his cheek, his other cheek resting near the bulkhead as he repeats after her, "Aroha mai, aroha atu." Without the fumbling over syllable stress that might ordinarily be expected of a Leontinian trying at Taurian phoenetically, nor even mimicing her particular accent, but his own Taurian ringing clear with the precise tones of the Rosewreath aristocracy. His head drifts toward hers, drawn, perhaps, by some intent that makes his cheeks glow with a faint rosy hue beneath the stubble grown overnight. A quick, short flaring of his nostrils and his eyebeams part from hers, timid, anxious over impulses he's had very little practice dealing with in a very long time, and he settles on resting his forehead against hers, closing his eyes and settling into a restful quiet by her side.

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