PHD #022: Too Soon
Too Soon
Summary: Bourbon and conversations in the Viper berths.
Date: 2041.03.20
Related Logs: none.
Bell Tisiphone Sitka Evandreus 

Tisiphone is sitting at the table nearest her bunk, her chair turned around back to front so she can lean forward against it. There's an ashtray in front of her, holding several butts, and beyond that, a large and lumpen clay mug and a corked, unmarked bottle of amber liquid. She's rolling dice against…herself, apparently.

Bell emerges from the head the Vipers share with their Raptor cohorts, towel around his waist and plastic around his left arm. He runs a smaller towel through his hair and dabs at his goatee, meandering his way to his locker. "Ms. Apostolos. Late night?"

Playing her left hand off against the right, by the looks of how she's scoring things. It beats Solitaire, at least to Tisiphone's mind. "Professor Bell," she replies, with a glance over, humour glimmering for a moment in tired eyes. She doesn't keep eye-contact for long, gaze sliding away to her own cigarette. She hasn't shed the traces of kicked-puppy skittishness since her confrontation with Laskaris. "Can't sleep. How's your wrist feeling?"

"Hurts like a son of a bitch," Bell admits, fishing some clothes out of his locker and eyeing them wearily. Dressing oneself with one hand can't be the most convenient thing. "Which is good. Because when they hauled me out of that SAR craft, I couldn't feel it for shit." He carries his clothes over to his bunk, sitting on the edge and eyeing the pile of cotton. "So I suppose it's progress. What's keeping you up?"

Tisiphone's evasive shrug is closer to a real shrug than the painful little twitches she's been giving, lately. Maybe the bottle's to blame. She takes a drag off her cigarette as she watches Bell cross to his bunk, giving a smoky snort at his expression. "You as ready to walk around in a frakking toga as I am?" She's given up on tying her boots, keeping the laces loosely knotted instead. "Gods, just /looking/ at the showers makes me wanna cry like a five year-old." The cast-and-sling double-whammy lasted all of about four hours after she left Sickbay.

"I refuse to let the enemy compromise my hygiene, mental or physical." Bell replies, grabbing his boxers with his good and hand making his best effort to stab his legs through the appropriate holes. "I never really questioned why medical patients get gowns - now I truly understand."

"You're sounding like a professor again, Sir," Tisiphone points out, cigarette bobbing as her mouth quirks at one corner. The spark of amusement dwindles while she watches him struggle through his one-armed dressing routine, though she doesn't offer to help. She's snapped at Daphne twice, already, for offering to help her dress. What goes for her, goes for everyone else, doesn't it?

Sitka arrives from the Deck 4.
Sitka has arrived.

Make that two pilots recently returned from the head, and squeaky clean. Another faucet is cranked shut, and there's a brief rustle of a towel, followed by a barefoot slap, slap, slap across the deck. With only a nominal attempt to dry off, the dark-haired pilot who emerges is leaving a trail of wet footprints across the room as he heads toward his bunk. Bell and his clothing troubles are shot a look enroute, and he greets the pair with a murmured, "Evening" and a fleeting smile.

The left hand isn't completely useless - once the job is started, it can help get it done. So he manages to get boxers, socks, and sweats donned in reasonably short order. "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck, Ms. Apostolos, what the frak is it?" queries the Doctor. "Abe," greets Bell to his squadron leader, changing out of his towel. "Took your time in the showers?"

Tisiphone replies to Bell by holding one hand cupped to her mouth and quacking at him. It's a little louder than she meant it to be, considering the way her shoulders hunch a bit at the noise, but it's a pretty accurate bird-call. Her tenuous mood wobbling back toward humourous, she looks to Shiv as he enters. "Ibrahim."

"I sure did," Ibrahim answers Jeremiah in a low voice, keeping hold of the towel at his waist while spinning the combination on his lock. A careful eye, or one that's simply had a few years to grow accustomed to the quantity of ink he wears, might notice something new's cropped up on his riht shoulder and bicep. Though it's pretty hard to make out, what with the slight swelling and angry red skin. "That's pretty good," he tells Tisiphone bemusedly, whilst dragging out a pair of underwear, a tee shirt and sweatpants. "Never know when you might need to imitate a woodland creature."

"New ink, Abe?" A good few years in a unit with someone will attune you to the slightest change in details, and Bell's eyes focus instantly on the new adornment. "What does it /mean/? Who does it represent? What pretty young thing talked you into getting her name on your body?" Bell wiggles into the uniform T-shirt.

"Whenever you want them for supper, really," Tisiphone replies to Shiv, eyebrows lifting with her fleeting grin. When Bell comments on the new ink, she just smiles to herself and turns back toward the table for a moment. Dead cigarette crushed out in the ashtray, new one retrieved. Before lighting it, she drinks a mouthful of- well, probably not tea, considering she sets her teeth against it for a second. /Then/, the fresh cigarette, eyes returning to Shiv by way of Bell.

While the tease about some pretty young thing might normally get a smile out of Shiv, or a thwap with his towel in a characteristic self-deprecating attempt at a comeback.. tonight, he merely lifts his shoulders slightly. Which kind of hurts. It's accompanied by a wince, and he keeps his head down as he drags off the towel and pulls on a pair of skivvies. No beefcake of a marine is he, but he's decently built for a pilot. Might've done something other than jockeying vipers, in his life. "Touche," he answers Tisiphone, sending her a glance over his shoulder that doesn't quite reach the younger woman. Then, "Feel like sharing?" He doesn't qualify that.

Bell settles himself into his bunk, reaching down into the drawer underneath and fishing out a hardcover book. He keeps quiet, for the time being, opening it up and starting to read.

"Sure," Tisiphone replies, on a breath of smoke. "Was waiting for Professor Bell to finish his gimp-dance before I offered a round. Make things even worse trying to hold a glass while you're doing that." Her mood's improved; she slants a glance over to Bell as she says this, grinning, only to find him fully reclothed and already climbing into his bunk.

It's an odd dynamic between the two Petrels, for sure. But maybe neither of them are feeling themselves tonight. Or maybe this is what it's always been like down at Acropolis Forge. Dragging on a tee shirt and tank top, Ibrahim doesn't bother tugging the hem down or smoothing out the wrinkles; he's going straight for his coffee cup of cigarette butts and fishing one out of the pile. "I lost my wife three weeks ago, Jer. It's a little too soon." To be making jokes like that, probably. The statement's made somewhat flatly, blue eyes ticking over to the man as he awaits acknowledgement.

It's a tenuous night all around, perhaps. Tisiphone's wolfish grin falters and starts back toward pensiveness as her eyes move several times between Bell and Sitka. At first, doesn't seem to occur to her to politely look away while they have their words — she's studying posture, the set of limbs, where gazes do and don't go. Eventually, her mental editor catches up to her, and with a clearing of her throat, she turns back to her smoke, her drink, and her dice.

Bell doesn't meet Sitka's eyes, keeping his locked squarely on the book. "And I lost my daughter. And everyone else on this ship, everyone else in this battlegroup, lost everyone they've ever cared about. You're not special." This is all said flatly, matter-of-factly, with all the emotion of 2 plus 2 equals 4.

As Bell delivers his retort, the Petrels' Captain pauses, watches him for a few seconds, then resumes his dressing. A pair of sweats is pulled on finally, the cigarette still dangling unlit from Ibrahim's lips as he ties off the drawstring with his shoulders bowed and the left one.. slightly out of joint. The awkward silence is so thick, you could slice it and serve it for dessert. Finally, "I wasn't the one making cracks about your sweet young thing, Jer. Just drop it." He holds his hands out, palms up in supplication. "All right?"

"Agreed. Apologies." Bell's eyes flit to Shiv, then Tisiphone for a moment longer, then back to his reading material. When he answers, it's a good deal less icy. "Suppose I'm just bitter you went and got a tattoo without me." Awww.

Tisiphone doesn't actually throw any dice at the table, instead rolling them around and around in her palm with a steady barrage of thin, clicking noises. Her attention moves around the room in every direction but Sitka and Bell, the gaze of someone repeatedly reminding themselves not to eavesdrop. Finally, she pushes the dice down onto the table, reaching for her lumpenmug instead. It's a better distraction.

It's pretty much impossible not to be eavesdropped on, when you bunk in communal quarters with a few dozen other nosy pilots. It's just one of those facts of military life. But when Bell backs down, a little of the tension slithers out of his squad leader's bulky frame. A touch of contriteness enters his blue eyes, which flick away so he can grab his lighter and close his locker door. Wordlessly, he bellies up to the table to avail himself of a finger or two of Tisiphone's liquor, decanted into a glass that looks nominally clean. Appreciation comes in the form of his knuckles touched to her shoulder, and then he's headed for Bell's bunk.

Bell folds shut the book - not the Doctor's usual fare, but rather one of the trashy Aquarian romances donated to aid their convalescence - and slides his feet to the floor, sitting up and making genuine eye contact for the first time in a quarter hour. That is to say, Bell drops the petulance and brings his behavior more in line with the gravity of the conversation.

The cork on the bottle comes free with a POIT noise. Tisiphone pours carefully — a combination of waste-not, want-not, and a shoulder joint that still really wishes it was in its sling — first into Shiv's glass, then another splash into her lumpenmug. She glances down when her shoulder is touched, head ducking slightly in lingering skittishness, not looking up until Shiv moves off with his drink. Finally, after rolling the cork around for a moment, lost in thought, she reseals the bottle.

Sitka waves the other pilot off as he begins to rise, and takes the liberty of dropping down on the edge of his bunk, next to where Bell had been lounging. The glass is switched to his right hand, and he reaches around to roll up the inch or two of sleeve afforded by his tee shirt, so Jeremiah can see what he's gone and done to himself. Four names. Four pilots they'd both known and worked with for the past several years. A couple of them, even longer than that. The ink's seared into the muscle of his shoulder and bicep, and done in the style of traditional Sagittarian sumi-e: Dierdre "Wheels" Magnusson, Noah "Dizzy" Grewal, Andrew "Deadlock" Arden and Jodi "Lefty" Lewis. "What do you think?" he asks, quietly, eyes on Jeremiah.

Bell draws a deep breath, looking over the exposed skin for a few long moments before meeting his squad leader's eyes. "I think," he answers carefully, "that you're going to run out of arm." Not said with even a hint of sarcasm - his tone is tinged around the edges with a dark sense of clairvoyance. "And I think," this time Bell is very careful, treading lightly, "that if there's anyone you ought to carry with you - it should be Yasamin."

Tisiphone, meanwhile, has wincingly folded her left arm across the back of her chair and propped her casted arm up so she can drag on her cigarette without having to lean forward too much. It looks a little awkward, but it works. Every three or four pulls on her cigarette is interspersed with another taste of bourbon, and her gaze remains down on the table. Secrets of the universe in those dice, there.

There could be any number of reasons Ibrahim hasn't had his family's names inked onto whatever virgin section of flesh he's got left. He does meet Jeremiah's eyes briefly, before dropping forward into a slouch with his elbows on his knees, and taking a swig of the bourbon. "Not yet," he murmurs, toying absently with the ring on his left hand. "Did you ever get out to see Dorothy, the weekend before we shipped off?" His eyes are drawn back to Tisiphone across the room, watching her awkward attempts at smoking with a certain measure of sympathy. "Apostolos," he calls over eventually. If she looks up, he indicates the dice, and crooks a finger.

Bell is quiet for a few moments. He looks to Tisiphone, almost defensive, and rubs at his beard a moment before he answers Sitka, eyes burning holes into his captain and friend. "Yes," he says, throat catching. "She's- she was beautiful. Like a real person, you know? But without real burdens. She hadn't a care in the world. Just pure, unadulterated curiosity and happiness. I-" Bell pauses a moment, considering his words. "I hope to Pallas Athena she never knew what was coming." For Jeremiah to invoke the gods, it must be serious indeed.

Tisiphone immediately looks over, as if her attention hadn't been too enrapt on those dice after all. Awkward and uncomfortable — and then puzzled, as the dice are gestured for. She starts to ask something, then puts teeth to her bottom lip instead, silencing herself. Up from the chair she pushes herself, draining the last of the bourbon from her lumpenmug before ambling over with her double-footed limp. She stops with a slight sway in front of the Captain, offering the dice out uncertainly.

Sitka's eyes tick back up to Jeremiah as the man begins to speak. The tension in his voice, the unflinching eyes, the halting speech are all given his full attention; even his drink's left alone for the time being. "I know," he concurs, flickering a wan smile that dies before it's born. "She's a cute kid. You remember being like that? Thinking you were invincible? You remember what that was like?" It's a rhetorical question. They're both on the downslope, and have been for years. As Tisiphone approaches, he digs around in the pockets of his sweats for a slip of paper, and appropriates a pen from Jeremiah's bunk. "I'll show you a trick. Give 'em a roll, and make sure you get different numbers. Don't let me see them."

"No, Abe," Bell replies. "Somehow I always knew it was going to go wrong." Doc settles back into his bunk, and lays on his side, half curled up, injured wrist cradled against him. He watches the 'trick' quietly.

<Exit Bell for sleeps.>

Tisiphone hesitates, looking from Shiv to Bell, then sidelong over her shoulder. Considering a getaway from the emotionally-charged reminiscing between the two men. Shiv's request brings her attention back over her shoulder, gaze flickering over his face for a beat before she says, "Ah- okay." Rather than settling onto the edge of the bunk, she sinks down to the floor, back against the edge of the bunk. A roll of the three dice, setting them down on the ground on the other side of her knee, out of sight.

Sometimes, being a friend's more important than being a squad leader. This seems to be one of those times. A silent look's passed from Shiv to his Lieutenant with the injured wing, and a faint smile as he finally settles in. His attention's finally dragged back to Tisiphone, whom he instructs to, "roll them again, then set them up in a stack on the floor. You might want to- yeah." Sit down. He's already started shuffling about on the bunk. "I'll look away."

"I can just- leave, you know." It's said quietly, without Tisiphone looking up, even as she's rolling the dice. They're stacked in front of her, nearly toppled as she draws her hand away, then restraightened. She starts tugging at her bootlaces, restlessly.

Sitka glances over briefly to make sure the dice are stacked, then turns away again, watching the back wall of Jeremiah's bunk. He starts to speak, pauses, then tries again. "He shouldn't have said what he said to you, Apostolos." The glass is set down amongst the bedsheets, and he clicks the pen on with a soft sound that barely registers in the ambient noise of the berths. "You're not a nugget, and this isn't boot camp." Then, "Add up the numbers on the hidden sides. I'm going to, uh. I'm going to make a guess." He darts her a small smile, then commences chewing on the end of the pen in mock thought.

Tisiphone clears her throat very quietly against a sudden knot, then takes a shaky breath. Cigarettes. Cigarettes will help. She says, as she fumbles out a fresh one and lights it up, "I'm sure he-" The lungful of smoke rasps abruptly, and is exhaled, hard, at the opposite wall. She doesn't finish her sentence, instead looking over in time to watch the smile. There's a faint tugging at one corner of her mouth before she leans forward, checking the dice as instructed. "Okay. Let's see this." A touch of challenge to it.

After a bit of hemming and hawing, and a smaller amount of scribbling, Shiv flips the paper around and holds it out to Tisiphone between two inked fingers. And seeing as the number on the top of the die is three, which surely the Captain didn't sneak a peek at, his prediction of 'eighteen' should be.. well, absolutely correct. "How about it?" he asks, smile broadening into a kooky grin that tends toward the scarred side of his mouth.

Tisiphone looks from the paper to Shiv's face and back again. From the paper, down to her dice, and back up. "The- Wait, how'd you do that?" Brows furrowed, making the stitches around the edge of her eyesocket twitch. She picks up her dice, rolls them around once in a cupped palm, and looks up again. "You couldn't even /see/-" She tries to frown, but that kooky grin is there, tugging the wariness away. "Okay, so. Maybe no dice with you." There; a grin of her own, toothy and quick.

His fingers release the bit of paper, letting it flutter and spin and wend its way down to the deck where Tisiphone's sitting, like a deadstick viper in a gusty sky. His blue eyes fix on that toothy grin, and he retrieves his glass in order to down what little remains of the bourbon. There's a little slurp at the end. Classy guy. "It's pretty simple, really. I'm just a charlatan. You have any brothers or sisters?" Bam, right out of left field.

It's damn fine bourbon. Tisiphone will have to thank Kulko a third time for it, at this rate. Rather than grab for it with her cigarette-wielding hand, she waits for it to land, then picks it up again. "Um," is her first reply, looking up sharply at Shiv with a combination of uncertainty and alcohol-fueled intentness. "It- depends. How you look at it, I mean… We had…" Stumbling further and further over her words. She recollects herself over a lungful of smoke, then tries again: "I had two sisters."

Tisiphone gestures vaguely with her cigarette, staring at its cherry, and adds with an odd smile, "We were, um. Triplets."

It is indeed damn fine. He even tips the glass toward himself slightly, as if hoping more might appear, before finally easing off the bunk of his dozing pilot. "Triplets." A pause, and he takes a few moments to study the young woman's face intently. She could be a model, easily, with bone structure like hers. "One in a million chance, huh?" Thump, thump as he steps around to his own bunk, to deposit the glass and get ready for bed. "You've got backbone. Or you wouldn't be flying vipers. You've got to learn when to stand up for yourself, and when to stow it. I thought.." He swings into his bunk. "..I thought you might've had brothers, growing up. But I guess you've got some, now."

A bit of hair, instead of dandelion-like scalpfuzz, and she'd look an entirely different person. Maybe Bell's had amusing stories to tell about Back In The Day when Tisiphone was one of his students on Caprica and…differently socialized. Maybe he's kept his lip buttoned, too. "It- depends on how you mean 'brother', is all," she repeats, doggedly. "We- there were a lot of us, growing up together. But…" She stays where she is, peering up and across at Shiv as he clambers into his bunk. "What do you mean?"

If it's been mentioned, it's certainly not being brought up. All Shiv has to say before grasping the bunkframe above him, and lowering himself to the mattress is, "Brothers. You know, to toughen you up a little." There's a soft grunt as he tugs the blankets up and over himself. "Don't worry about it. Get some sleep, Tisiphone." It's the first time he's used her first name, rather than her surname, and it's followed by a skitter of his curtain being drawn shut. She's left to her stack of dice, her bourbon and that mysterious '18'.

"G'night, Ibrahim," Tisiphone calls quietly to the Captain as he pulls his curtain shut. She's sitting with her back against the edge of Bell's bunk — who is also long-since crashed out. Pfft. She pushes herself up wobblingly to her feet and slouches her way over to the table nearest her bunk, where an ashtray awaits.

Evandreus arrives from the Deck 4.
Evandreus has arrived.

Evandreus sways in, long, long past his bedtime, and smelling strongly of laundrysoap and liquor— though mostly laundrysoap. Hands rest on the outsides of the hatch and he stretches his shoulders on the way in, grimacing a little. "Laundry room floor. Not so hot for sleeping on." For further reference.

Tisiphone was sober enough to pick herself up off the floor, at least, but her balance leaves much to be desired. She looks up and over, hands paused in the process of gathering cigarettes and ashtray, and a corked bottle of bourbon, blessing the new arrival with a drowsy smile. "Bunny. Why you sleepin' in the laundry room?"

"Jess was there. He needed a nap," Evan states, as if that ought to explain anything and everything about why -he- was sleeping there. He's not bad off, but for a leap of logic or two. Cheeks flush with the grain, eyelids still heavy with it. "You talk to dude?" he wonders, shuffling further in to help her tidy things up.

Several cigarette butts in the ashtray. Five bone dice on top of a scrap of paper, some sort of gamepoint markings between a team 'L' and a team 'R'. One lumpenmug, smelling of bourbon. "Dude won't talk to me until the next time he's gotta tell me he wants my frakkin' throat out, 'm sure," she grumps. She ducks her head down so she can more easily rub at the edge of her eye. Stitches are starting to get itchy. Backtracking: "Jess was there? On the floor?" Her face furrows up, somewhere between alarmed and concerned. "But- he's okay, now?"

"He'd had a few. Shared with me," Evan yawns. "Needed a nap, is all, while his clothes finished drying. I lent him Gregor and woke him when his stuff was up. Knucklebones?" he wonders, looking over the game, knuckles resting on the tabletop.

"Mmmkinda. We shoul' play sometime. S'fun. Get everyone, I mean, everyone good together, play for drinks. I didn't wanna drink tonight but I couldn't sleep and then Ibrahim was talkin' to me." Tisiphone says Shiv's name oddly — a foreign word in the rambling stream of familiar ones. The emptied ashtray's left on the table, the bottle is slid down to the foot of her bunk, and the dice are slipped into a small leather pouch. "You goin' gonna to bed, too?" she asks, wobbling out of her boots.

"Yeah, probably," Evan answers, tipping over one of the dice on the table to another number, then another. "Pretty late. Who was?" he wonders, not recognizing the rattle of phlegm meant to signify ol' Shivers. Not that it matters. But the name itself makes him curious.

"Ibrahim," Tisiphone repeats helpfully. Taking care with it, it sounds closer to how the name would sound in Standard. Of course, if Bunny's never heard him introduce himself as such, he still remains the Mystery Man. "He got his dead squaddies' tattooed on him tonight, you know that?"

Evandreus probably has, but, given his track record for remembering those sorts of details, the blank look doesn't fade. He just assumes it's someone he hasn't met, for the time being, though, and, wincing, "Ow. No wonder he needed a drink. How's your own new fleshcoloring feel? I remember mine hurt like a bitch, and it's on a fleshypart. Though, to be fair, I don't think you have any fleshyparts," he chuckles.

<Fade for sleeps.>

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