PHD #373: The Lady's Return
The Lady's Return
Summary: Leyla makes arrangements to move back, sort of, into the berths.
Date: 6 Mar Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Peapods, Domestics.
Evandreus Leyla 
Pilot Berths
The battlestar's pilots call this place home. Bunks line the walls with grey curtains to cover their sleeping areas. Lockers sit between each pair of bunks and a round metal table sits in the center, furnished with simple but comfortable steel chairs. A hatch at the rear of the room leads to a communal head.
Post-Holocaust Day: #373

Evandreus seems to be getting back into a schedule, made flexible as always by the beck and call of the thirty-six hour swarm. But he's sleeping, and he's given up his secret stash of Aerilonian antidepressants to Van for safe keeping, so his trip back down that road has at least been stalled out. And now Cameron has him on this strange regimen of medicinal tea and acupuncture, and the anti-rads are starting to make him queasy again, adding another layer to his usual daily activities. He's still got his toothbrush in mouth as he ambles back into berths from his morning barf, his eyelids drooping and bathrobe hanging loose from his shoulders to mid-thigh, not bothering to tie the belt, but letting it bat at his bared legs when he walks. His tea's steeping to maximum potency on the table, and he leans in to sniff it before tucking his toothbrush in his robe pocket and lifting it to take a sip— and make a face.

Quiet? Just for the next little while, knowing life aboard the last (so it seems) battlestar in the galaxy (maybe the universe). Time to enjoy the little domesticities of shipboard life. A full duffel bag. An Empty table. Laundry enough for two to be folded and stacked. Who would have thought that there would ever be a good side to having to surrender so much clothes to the civilian war effort? Sweats-clad, cross-legged, comfortable at one of the metal tables set along the deckplating of the berthing, Leyla's contentedly folding clothes, his and hers, larger and smaller, Bunny's and Peapod's. "That must taste awful with toothpaste in your mouth."

"Tastes better than it would with cookies in my mouth," Bunny tells Lala, setting down the mug of tea and resting a hand on her upper arm for just a moment as he heads back toward the drinks station, picking up a couple packets of sweetener and pacing back toward the table, the peaceful domesticity of the scene warming his heart just a little bit. "Cameron says he's gonna try to wean me off of the pills completely if these new therapies seem like they're working." He rips both packets at once, and dumps them into the tea.

"Nothing tastes awful with cookies in your mouth. Or jerky." She's just sayin'. The hand that settles on her arm receives a touch of her own, before he of the curly hair wanders off again. The laundry itself is more by practice than anything else, long years making it a habit, rather than a mindful task. Shirts, separated from pants, from sleepclothes from underwear. Male and female sort of gets all mushed together though, so here's to hoping Bunny doesn't start wondering why none of his clothes fit him anymore, and Leyla why everything just wants to fall off of her, "And are they? Do you think?"

Evandreus settles down into a seat, his tea sufficiently sugarized, and he sips it. "It -tastes- like medicine, that's for sure," he points out. "It does give me a little bit of a buzz, too. Just a little, like— oh! I can go and do things and not feel like I just want to crawl into a hole. Surprise!" he makes a surprised hand gesture, fingers splayed with his free hand. His eyes settle back gently upon Leyla. "Thanks for coming over again. I missed you, yanno?"

"So does that blue juice Marko likes to drink in the galley. Maybe they're the same sort of animal." A hint of a smile. She can't make taking the tea better, but she can at least try to spread the pain around a little." Though that thought saps the strength out of her smile. So it's back to quiet and thoughtful as she folds, moving on to socks and undershirts, "I missed you too, Bunny. It's been good to be back home with you." Since Leyla has now invaded poor Bunny's space and made it her own. Or theirs. At the very least, a safe place, "I'd love to stay, as long as you'll have me." Working their life and sleep schedules isn't much different now, than it was before, with the exception of having to work in that Leyla's also sharing her schedule with Mark. And Bunny with Vandenberg. Give and take.

Evandreus has been a little reticent getting re-acquainted with his old bunk and the nightmares that used to haunt him there. But Leyla has proven a stalwart bulwark against the ghosts and shades and gore and knives and pain, and from time to time he even sleeps when she's there with him. "Home," he offers a tender little shoot of a smile. "I always thought by now we'd have had our own. Octavian and I. Like… a house, on the beach. With some kids, and some pets. And nothing much to worry about. You know… you know how I told you, once, you reminded me of him?"

Making use of Bunny's bunk just seemed like the best course of action, away from the memories of seeing her bunk so empty. But perhaps there was a part of it that was about making 'his' place a safe place, using it to try to heal the divide Leyla created with her desertion. But the fact that it's not a terribly comfortable place hasn't gone unnoticed, "If you'd rather…stay somewhere else…" It's offered. Despite her seeming disregard for the man, there's very little Leyla, when she's in her right mind, wouldn't do for Evandreus Doe. "That sounds like it would have been a wonderful home. Full of love and laughter." And then, a nod, hands pausing as she finishes up a stack of Bunny's tank tops, "I remember. When we were in storage."

"I thought so, too," Bunny murmurs, lips forming up for another sip of the tea. "I think… I think that one reason I freaked out so hard when you were gone — " he holds a breath for a moment, letting it out through his nose with a faint glottal stop to the noise. "I already lost him twice, yah? Losing you, too… it put me back in a place where I didn't need to be. But that — that's not your fault. That's me, in my head, freaking out. I should never have been angry at you. But all the same, I'm glad you're back," he reiterates, sprawling a forearm across the table, holding out his hand for her. "I don't suppose Mark would be into a third in there with you guys, would he?" he asks, in re: finding another spot, with a trill of a laugh underlining the words as jestful.

"Perhaps that home is still waiting out there for you, Bunny. I know," Leyla pauses, "I know it wouldn't ever be the same, not without him." Leyla's hand settles into Bunny's fingers curling holding tight, "But I know there's hope and love, and laughter waiting for you, Bunny. Just don't….don't shut yourself off from the possibility. Promise me you won't." Leyla's thumb strokes, idly warming the skin of Bunny's larger hand. "It was my fault. And you had every right to be angry. I just…I hope we can make another start. A good start." The jest in his voice is answered with laughter in her own, "You're both big men. I'm not sure there'd be room for me in there with the two of you. Ill ask him."

Evandreus twists his mouth into a half-pained smile in lieu of making promises, but he does lift Leyla's hand in his and bring it to his mouth to lay a kiss on its knuckles. "Are you calling me fat?" he asks her back, teasefully, "Here, hon. Lemme finish these. What's your CAP shift today?" he wonders as he takes another sip of the tea and then half-stands, getting a knee underneath him so he can take over the folding. "We're both still alive," unlike some people. "We can always start over, 'til that changes, eh?"

"If you're sure." A smile comes at the kiss. But then a nod, as Leyla hands over the folding, retrieving, before she does, the fresh sheets she washed earlier, "I'll make the bed." Which takes a bit of maneuvering, since Bunny's got a top bunk, but hey. "Not fat, but you're just…boyishly large. And so is he." Neat and efficient, is Leyla, as she works, looking back, "Try to make every day better than the last day, yes."

Evandreus continues the folding, using the piles already established by Leyla as a guide, hands moving with the brisk, precise efficiency of a Raptorbunny at the console as he drapes and folds the fabric, smoothing it into regimented little stacks of soldiergarb. "I once almost got Boots, Bubbles, Abs and me all together in a bunk, once. If it weren't for the great forcefield Boots always puts up around himself, we would have fit, too," he remembers with a smile, despite the fact that there, too, Trask had started a big uncomfortable fight. "In Leontinia you learn to let people close to you. All the better to fit in tight spaces. Hey, Lala, could you— do me a favor, while you're up there?"

Leyla's settled on the bed, working at putting military corners on the fitted sheet, and casing the pillows, but she pauses as she looks back down at the man working, "Bootstrap sometimes has a difficult time fitting himself in his own bunk." He pushes people away so much. Sometimes it's himself that he's isolating, "Sure, what is it?"

"The pictures? Up on the wall?" As if asking if she sees them. They're hard to miss, of course. No photographs, just sheets of construction paper with swirls of fingerpainted color on them. "Could you take them down for me, please?" he asks politely, fingers lingering on a pair of sweatpants as he asks the question. A change of scenery in there might help, after all, but he hasn't been able to make himself take them down.

Leyla isn't going to ask if Bunny's sure. If he wants, she'll do, if it's within her power. "I'll take them down and store them away safe, if that's what you want." The pillows are left uncased, as Leyla turns her attention to the fingerpainted sheets, indeed taking care not to bend or damage. "You have any idea of what you'd like up instead?"

"That'd be great, thanks, I'll… I'll put 'em in my locker, later, if you just leave them on the shelf up there," Evan offers, trying his best to sound as if this were not quite as weird a request as it probably is. "I thought I'd just give the walls a break, really. Some… quiet. No bright colors. Peaceful. But— leave Priapus up," he adds. The God figurine hanging on the wall on the outside edge of the head of the bunk looks after the space with his magic penis. And gives Bunny a place to hang his dogtags. Speaking of boyish bigness. "Did you want me to pack your stuff back in your duffle, or should I keep some in my locker for you?"

Leyla takes her time, treating each picture as if it were precious, as indeed they are. When they're finally all settled onto the shelf, as requested, she moves to god figure more into the center. At last he has a bit more…breathing room. Or whatnot. "Sometimes being at home is the only place we can be restful." A nod, as she returns to the bedmaking, and then a pause, looking back, "No, leave some in my locker. I'm going to need them if I'm going to be staying with you. Is she alright with that?"

Evandreus separates out a few iterations of a simple set of clothing into a separate pile destined for the locker, then sets about tidily stowing the rest of Lala's things into her duffle. He looks up, though, at the question. "She… Van?" Whom Leyla might call by her first name, but whom Evan evidently hasn't, yet. "I don't see why she'd mind." Though now he's thinking about it. "Do you think I had better ask her?" He's been long years out of practice where the Lady's concerned.

"I don't know, Bunny. I don't really know what your situation is with the Lieutenant. I know you've been staying with her. But that's not really any of my business." Leyla finishes with the pillows, and works the flat sheet next, and the blanket, kitting the bunk out, though Bunny rarely uses any of it. "I'm not the boss of you," though that's gently said.

"I've stayed with a lot of women before, Lala," Bunny points out, though there's no machismo or brag behind it. Easy enough, since Leyla knows firsthand how chaste an evening with Bunny generally is. "With Daphne and Cubits and Duckie…" he calls the rolls of the dead, each name enunciated with tender care. "With mum, and with Sawyer, and Stiffy, and Mama Astra." A pause. "With you. And with Vandy." There's something like a full accounting, as if he wanted to air the full history of his bunkhopping. "But when Vandy invited me to stay with her… well. She— touched me, y— y'know? Like… not like cuddles," he admits, almost managing to sound shy about it, a strange thing for a Leontinian-raised fellow. "It felt… nice. She let me know that I could still feel like that. I haven't, you know? Not in a really, really long time." He stops. "But for a connection? She talked about her fiancĂ©. I talked about mine. I think we were both thinking more about who we were missing than about each other."

"Yes, a lot of women, but we all know you here, Bunny. We know what the means. I like to think we all know why we do it, you know? But she's new, she's not one of us. Which is neither good nor bad, just means she doesn't know the history. Just like Mark. So I'll need to talk to him too. That's all I'm saying." There's a shake of her head, but there's no censure in it, and a light smile eases any hurt that might come from the gesture, "I think I can imagine, but I don't need to know details. That's something private and special, just between the two of you." She seems genuinely pleased by Bunny's self-revelation. "I'm glad she was able to help you see that, Bunny. That you can still feel that sort of joy." And she's not going to say a word against them looking at each other and seeing other people, "There's nothing wrong with that. With remembering someone you love. So long as you cherish the person you're with as well."

Evandreus zips Leyla's duffle shut and finishes the last of the tea, swallowing down the sugary dregs with a hiccup. Privacy. Another relatively obscure concept in Leontinia, but he lets the curtain fall, there, revealing nothing more of his experiences with Vandy. He comes around the table, sliding up against the side of the bunk and resting his arms on the dividing slab, his chin on his arms. "Maybe I needed someone like that. Who didn't know that I— couldn't. Or wouldn't. Who assumed that I would, and could, and wanted to— someone to remind me that someday I might." He looks up into the bare-walled bunk, eyes sticking first on Priapus, and then settling on Lala. "I do cherish you, Lala. Just… so you know. In case anything happens to either of us. You are cherished."

With the bunk now properly made, or perhaps newly remade, now that most of its decorations have come and gone, Leyla's settled comfortably at the foot, not far from where Bunny comes to rest. Close enough, in fact, that she can reach out a hand to tug at one of his curls. Playful, rather than teasing. "Maybe you did. Maybe you still do. And that's a good thing." Again, that soft smile, "Just so you know, I never though you couldn't, or wouldn't. I think you could and would, if you found the right person." Both hands reach out, to offer themselves to the larger pilot, "I know that, Bunny. And so are you. Always. Whatever happens."

Evandreus gives a tenderly vocalized sigh at the fingers playing with his hair, and then he stands up, stepping to and giving her both his hands. "Then you had more faith in me than I ever did. I hadn't been able to… I mean… even by myself, y'know? For… years. I thought…" He smiles, strangely, as if wrestling with an old thought that suddenly seems weird. "I kept thinking that it was because I didn't have him anymore. That Aphrodite had turned her back on me completely. Maybe it was just a self-fulfilling prophecy." He gives her a little pull, stepping up to catch her and help her down, if she's coming down, eyes watering a little at her declaration. Seldom has an emotional moment, good or bad, found the Bunny dry-eyed.

Hand in hand, Leyla scoots down to the edge of the bunk and slides off, knowing Bunny will catch her. So, easy as she settles to the floor. "I felt that way too…for a long time. And not because a goddess abandoned me. But I think we create the reality we think we deserve. You thought your goddess of love turned her back on you, so you turned away from anything related to love or those sort of things. You were punishing yourself and you never deserved it. And after a while, you forget what it was like to feel any other way but that way." But that's a somber thought, not at all in keeping with the smile Leyla offers, "Come, I have something to show you…" And with that, off they go, out of the berthings to places unknown.

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