PHD #310: Why Do You Worry?
Why Do You Worry?
Summary: "Oh soul. You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings." Stavrian waxes poetic to Cidra and Evandreus in the library.
Date: 02 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Stavrian Evandreus 
Ships Library - Deck 9 - Battlestar Cerberus
Racks of books extend deep into this room, nearly darkening the overhead lights towards the back. The shelves are neatly labeled to each category with nearly everything represented here. Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance, and everything down to comic books has been loaded up onto the shelves. A smaller research area at the back has a large table for maps to be opened-up. Nearer the door is a small library of movies that covers some of the most recent blockbusters and flows through some of the more campy movies from about two decades before. Next to the door, a Petty Officer can usually be found at a desk to help someone checkout their selections.
Post-Holocaust Day: #310

Cidra is browsing the stacks. In her flight suit, sans helmet, but she doesn't look like she's been up any time in the recent past. With Condition 2 in effect, it may just seem prudent to stay as prepared as possible at all hours.

Up at the minimally-manned return desk, Stavrian has just handed back a library book to a crewman with nervously bitten-down nails. The Lieutenant has his field uniform on, likely post-shift up in the starboard hangar, with the top button of the olive-and-red jacket undone. His prayer beads are wrapped around his left wrist, very softly clacking as he turns and heads off deeper into the stacks to search distractedly for a new tome.

The sound clacking makes Cidra turn her head. It's a familiar sound, one her ears are attuned to. She seems to be browsing quite at random, in the 'popular fiction' section at present, and she picks a book of the shelf also quite at random. A top-selling mystery. Or what was a top-selling one before all the best Colonial publishing houses were nuked. "Gods favor you, Lieutenant," she greets Stavrian as he nears her general area. An everyday sort of 'hello,' though one she likely wouldn't use to one not wielding prayer beads.

Stavrian pauses, rocking his weigh back on one foot until his blue eyes catch sight of Cidra just around the edge of the stack. His dark head makes a subtle tilt downwards, not so much a nod as a Sagittarian reflex of deference. "And may they guide your path, sir." His voice is hushed, followed by an ever softer clearing of throat. "How are you?"

"At times not so clearly as I would like. But I do try to keep listening," Cidra replies to Stavrian with the faintest of smiles. A touch rueful just then. "I am…well enough, I suppose. In search of some manner of distraction. And what you, Lieutenant Stavrian?"

"At much the same crossroad, if not exactly from the same path," Stavrian murmurs. He attempts a smile back at the CAG, though it's as stilted as his smiles ever are. His eyes flicker to the stacks, closer to his hands than hers. "What does the CAG read for distraction, if I may ask?"

"Whatever she can get her hands on these days," is Cidra's reply. "I prefer poetry. Kataris is my favorite. Do read him? I am not drawn much to the Caprican poets in general, but he has always spoken to me. Today, however, I just search for something cheap and easy. Something I can leaf through in the cockpit sitting Alert Five." A faint chuckle. "And do you search for anything in particular this day?"

"Kataris." Stavrian repeats the name like someone rolling an unfamiliar weight on the palm of their hand. "I don't know the name." He looks up at the shelf, skimming the titles just above eye level. "Looking for something I put here a long time ago." A glance at Cidra and an awkward half-smile. "I had noticed there was no Sagittarian poetry, and I donated one of my books…you know. In the hopes someone would read it. I suspect I'm the only one who ever takes it down, though." He and the CAG are standing in the stacks, talking quietly.

"Sagittaron poetry?" Cidra is intrigued. "Could you direct me to it, please?" There is a softness to her tone as she asks. "I confess I have not had the opportunity to read it. Though I would like to very much."

Stavrian is silent for a pause that's unabashedly deliberate, assessing the Gemenese woman for a time. Then he nods, once, and looks back up at the stack and along the spines again. "It should be just here…I thought it was. Perhaps someone /has/ tak-…oh." The hope that threads its way into his voice promptly deflates, with a self-deprecating note of humor. "No, here it is." He tightens his fingers around a broken old spine and pulls gently until the small tome slides out from between its neighbors. The cover has a title in both Standard and some obscure Sagittarian script, flowing across the front. "What do you like to read about, sir? Poems about the sun? People? Titillating love stories?" That smile is more sincere, just a mischievous tug upwards at the corner of his mouth.

Evandreus has seen worse days, both physically and mentally. But today's a whole new exciting adventure in being irritable and achey while battling with the nigh-constant urge to cry his eyes out. He's in pyjamas and a thermal knee-legth robe from medical and has been let loose from under watch for a shipboard stroll. There's a fellow from medical along with him, of course, just to make sure he doesn't sneak off somewhere to find a dose or two he'd stashed away somewhere like a squirrel in preparation for the winter. But, considering the library a safe enough place to let the Raptorbunny wander, he stays by the hatch, vaguely keeping watch while thumbing through a magazine while Bunny sort of squints at the content of the room, wishing the lights were somewhat less harsh and wondering what these creatures are that are living along the sides of the walls. He used to be a reader. It used to be a pastime. But it's fallen to the wayside, along with so many other things he once enjoyed doing.

The 'titillating love stories' bit earns a non-reaction from Cidra. A faint coloring of her cheeks herself. Just perhaps. It's hot in that flight suit, after all. "I am attracted to the style of the writer than the particular subject when it comes to verse. Poetry has always…drawn me more than text. It reminds of faith, in a way. It speaks to the heart, to the meaning, even if the words are not perfectly clear prose." Her head turns when the new arrival enters. She spots Evandreus and his guide from medical, murmuring something under her breath. It has the vague sound of a prayer, if not spoken in Colonial Standard.

"Al'afiat," Stavrian murmurs in return, in the same affirming manner that some humans, in another universe, might have said 'Amen'. He looks down at the book in his hands, running his thumb along the top. "Perhaps, sir, you might let me read a few to you. We…" He clears his throat softly. "Believed in oral tradition. That words were meant to be given voice, passed from person to person without the bridge of paper. I could…" The prayer from Cidra makes him look up and trail off momentarily, catching sight of who she's spotted. In pajamas and a robe.

Evandreus lifts a hand toward the books as he moves past them, his head swimming in the sensation of his weight shifting forward from the pillar of one leg to that of the other, the sensation strangely familiar and novel all at once. Fingers brush over a few spines of texts before they pull back as if from a hot coal, and he turns his head (too fast, too fast, the electrical shock jolts from the nape of his neck foward to the backs of his eyes, and he pulls his mouth into a smile— or maybe a grimace— and lifts a hand in greeting to Cid and Stavy, peering at them through one squinted eye while the other one is screwed shut.

Cidra's smiles another one of those faintest of smiles at Stavrian. "I would like that, Lieutenant. Very much. I know nothing of Sagittaron language, and verse rarely translates to other tongues as it truly should." She watches Evandreus for a beat, expression mild, finally greeting him. "Good eve, Evan. It is well to see you up and about." In a manner of speaking.

"Would you like to sit then, sir?" Stavrian offers this to Cidra before looking back towards Evan. He flickers a look up to the fluorescent lights, as if wondering if that might be the source of the pilot's discomfort — though surely he must know better, medical staff as he is. "Evan." A hand lets go of the book, making a subtle palm-down 'come here' gesture.

Evandreus wraps his arms around his torso, and, slouched-shoulders, shambles closer to the pair of them. Sagittarian. He tried learning Sagittarian, once. He only ever learned one sentence, but it etched itself into the fabric of his heart, and so even now that his head's begun its dull throbbing, he hiccups out the words in a strange, nasally, Leontinian fashion. "I asked them where the travellers rested at noon." In Sagittarian, of course. Or, as close as he cam come to it. He doesn't recite the other two lines of the sentence, either losing interest or just not able to take the rush his own words are making in his ears. Even the faint wheezing of air through his nostrils is unsufferably loud, today, and so he just wobbles his poor abused skull with a grateful look in Cid's direction, not making any further noise, but coming to stand behind a chair, placing his hands on it in a restful attitude while his attention returns to Stavrian for whatever recital might be upcoming.

Cidra tilts her head to listen to Evan's brief recitation. She makes little of the words, of course, but she follows the language. Or tries to. "I would like that very much, Lieutenant," she says simply to Stavrian. Sitting. Inclining her head to Evandreus in silent invitation for him to join them if he likes.

Stavrian's brows draw as Evandreus gets that oddly pronounced bit of dialect out. There's a brief, slightly uncomfortable silence, and the Sagittarian replies in Standard. "You know a little. Interesting…well." He settles down on the edge of a chair himself — the book opens on his knees but he continues talking without looking down. "For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself. From within, I couldn't decide what to do. Unable to see, I heard my name being called. Then I walked outside."

The exact moment when his soft-spoken cadences turned from speaking to recitation is so hard to pinpoint that it's not until long after it passed that it might strike the listeners. Still speaking, he hasn't looked down once; his eyes go back and forth between Cidra and Evan as he goes on, knowing the words so well by heart that they might as well be a beloved song. "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you…don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep…" He glances off towards the front desk, tilting his chin that way quite slowly. "People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open." Looking back at them, he lowers his voice, to an emphatic whisper sharing the world's best-kept secret. "Don't go back to sleep."

Cidra folds her arms on the table, raising one arm so her chin can rest in her cupped hand. She leans forward, listening close as Stavrian reads, following the rhythm of the words. "'Across the doorsill, where two worlds touch…'" She echoes it in a whisper, not wanting to interrupt, but repeating the phrase to herself. "It is sometimes very tempting to just…go back to sleep, no?"

All moments, silent or otherwise, have become some level of uncomfortable for Evandreus, and so the moment of quiet that passes between his own light-shy squint and Stavrian's drawn brows passes without marking beyond the slightly labored wheezing of air in and out through his nostrils, his chapped lips sealed in a neutral line. He doesn't sit, but stands behind cidra in her chair as if he were posing for a photograph; he even goes so far as to rest a hand upon her shoulder and give it a gentle squeeze — of some significance? Trying to say he's alright? Thanking her for being so kind to him? It's something along those lines— to feel the hand there she might imagine him standing behind her with his customarily warm and sunny smile, even if in reality he looks like death warmed over. In regards to the poem, his head begins to bob in the vague outlines of a nod, as though he were endeavoring to take the verses to heart but doesn't quite know what to say or think about them in particular. Or maybe he's just trying to show appreciation.

Stavrian looks up at Evan and then back at Cidra, as though the entire scene struck him as nothing but normal. His arms rest on the book, obscuring the text as he leans his weight on his elbows, fingers lacing and opening their palms towards the other two. "Oh soul." Directly to Cidra, that, impulsively gentle. "You worry too much." A soft inhale. "You say, I make you feel dizzy. Of a little headache then, why do you worry?" His brows drawn at the same time that he smiles a little, the way one might try to coax out the explanation for a child's tears. "You say, I am your moon-faced beauty. Of the cycles of the moon and passing of the years, why do you worry?" His blue eyes flicker up to Evan, head tilting slightly to the left. "You say, I am your source of passion, I excite you. Of playing into the Devils hand, why do you worry? Oh, soul…you worry too much." He scoots forward slightly on the chair, an inhale giving a hint of more verse about to come forth.

Cidra leans back when Evandreus touches her shoulder. Leaning into his touch, an unconscious response to the closeness. For all her seeming outer reserve, the CAG is not averse to touchy. As Stavrian recites the second verse she tilts forward again, blue eyes focused upon him yet distant at the same time. As if drifting into whatever images, or perhaps memories, it conjures to her mind. "Far too much…" she murmurs.

Evandreus is, of course, a tactile beast of a man, and when Cidra draws back into his grasp he leans down, sliding his hand around and across her collarbones, keeping his hand dutifully north of the bounds of propriety on its way to her other shoulder, leaning close from behind and just cuddling there for a moment, leaning his cheek on her head and resting his knee on a back edge of the chair seat. For all the first set of verses seemed to sail right past him, this one hits the mark and hits hard, and those dark-rimmed eyes that have managed to stay dry for most of the last hour draw from what immortal fount has been struck by Pegasusu' hoof down in his tear ducts, welling wet in the first verse and spilling in the second, a warm rain into Cid's hair. He's not ashamed. He hardly seems to notice, by now, except for the alleviation of pressure from his head, which feels nice. His soggy eyebeams meet the glance from the poet, but his brains are for the most part transported elsewhere by the images invoked.

"Look at yourself, what you have become." Stavrian's hands open, palms up, drifting downwards in the air as his prayer beads click against one another. "You are now a field of sugar canes. Why show that sour face to me? You say that I keep you warm inside. Then why this cold sigh?" His hands close together again, fingertips indicating upwards by his face. "You have gone to the roof of heavens. Of this world of dust, why do you worry?"

He takes a breath, his voice getting a little louder as the poetry picks up some speed, some urgency to be understood. "Oh soul, you worry too much. Your arms are heavy with treasures of all kinds. About poverty, why do you worry? You are beauty, strong, steadfast, all of Olympus has become drunk because of you." Looking up at Evan, he seems to plead with the raptor pilot with the sound of his voice and his hands, which open and stretch towards the other man. "Of those who are blind to your beauty, and deaf to your songs…" From the sudden whirlwind of words his voice abruptly drops back to its impassioned whisper. "Why do you worry?" A pause but it doesn't last, a little more waiting on the breath he takes to get ready to finish.

Cidra smiles when Evandreus' arm closes around her. She reaches up her right palm to touch his cheek. She doesn't wipe away his tears. She just touches him. She doesn't weep, for her part. She just listens with a silent intensity. Cloudy blue eyes all on Stavrian, hand lingering on her Raptor pilot, just drinking the verse in.

Evandreus has always been a crier, but never quite to this extent. A swallow preludes an attempt to take in a breath that shudders on its way in, but is more moderated on its way out, blown down and to the side from pursed lips in an effort not to descend to full-fledged sobbing.But for all the tears, there must be something uplifting in the verses, something that draws a weary-wavering smile from deep down in the Bunny's broken heart.

"Oh soul," The Sagittarian goes on, more slowly. "You worry too much." Stavrian runs the pad of his middle finger over his bottom lip. "You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings. Of anything less, why do you worry?" His eyes stay directly on Cidra, talking as though this were just a private, incredibly intimate moment over tea in the late afternoon. "You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul. You are the security, the shelter of the spirit of Lovers. Oh the sultan of sultans, of any other royal, why do you worry?" Looking back up at Evan now, he lays a finger upright over his lips. "Be silent, like a fish, and go into that pleasant sea. You are in deep waters now, of life's blazing fire." Finger still in place, a little smile breaks his lips and gives a glimpse of white teeth with the imparting of the last breath. "Why do you worry?"

Cidra is not a crier. Not in public, at any rate, and she is not driven to it now. The end of the poem does draw a true smile from her, albeit a sad one. Wordlessly, she untangles herself a little from Evandreus and leans farther forward across the table and makes to kiss Stavrian. Twice, once on each cheek, if he'll allow. The gesture is not romantic, though there is a sort of sisterly intimacy to it.

Evandreus does not, for his part, endeavor to kiss Stavrian. He does sniff, once, and stand up straight, slowly, stiffly, some portion of the last part of the poem having stricken him askance in such a manner as to give him a moment's pause. He reaches a hand up across his chest to scratch at his shoulder, and averts his eyes from the moment between Cidra and the poet, shaking off whatever weird twinge had touched him, there, just as his minder calls, gently, "Doe?" from the doorway. Time to move on. He looks back to the other two with a quiet and grateful little slip of a smile before he heads out.

Stavrian wasn't expecting kisses. He stiffens immediately as Cidra breaches his personal space but doesn't yank backwards, sitting obediently still until she's done with this strange 'affection' thing. His skin seems just a /little/ duskier for a few moments, eyes down in an attack of shyness that seems far out of whack with the last few minutes. "Thank you, sir." He clears his throat and holds the book out for her. "If you'd like to read some later. Or read them to someone, yourself." Looking up, he affords Evan a brief smile and a small wave. "I'll check on you later, Evan."

"That was very lovely," Cidra says, tone soft. "I thank you for sharing it." She takes the book, holding it gently between her long fingertips. "I am unsure who I would read these to these days, Lieutenant. But I shall read over them myself and think upon them in my heart, and perhaps figure it out."

Stavrian nods, satisfied with that. "I'd be happy to read more to you too…if you want." He rubs his hands together awkwardly and sets palms to knees, standing up. His back makes an audible cracking sound. "I should get some rack time. Good luck finding what you were looking for."

"I would like that very much," Cidra says. "Later, perhaps. Clear eyes and steady hands, medic." She lets him go with that. For her part, she'll linger in the library a little longer. To read, and enjoy the relative quiet.

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