A Little Hymn
A Little Hymn
Summary: Willem and Kai share a surprising moment, talking about the past. There's even a song involved. No dance though.
Date: PHD112
Related Logs: None

The hatchway to this room has a top-down stencil of a Viper Mark Two painted across the entire expanse, the rear end of the Viper at the bottom of the hatch. Once inside, the berthings are typical of Viper squadrons throughout the fleet: Two lines of bunks are mounted against each wall with another one built into the wall at the other end. The room's gray walls and the empty space surrounding the bunks hold framed pictures of Vipers in action and depictions of the Cylon War of forty years prior. There is also a hatch in the back the leads to a private Head for these officers. Even here, the dark blue curtains hide away each individual bunk from the goings-on within the common area which is centered on a large oak table, though the surrounding chairs are standard navy.

Kai is slumming it currently, his frame draped in one of the chairs at the table, barefoot and fatigue-clad with a faded t-shirt standing in for his layered tank tops. There's a cigarette between two fingers and a guitar on his lap, with its strap slung across his shoulders. He's plucking at the strings now and then, tuning them maybe, though not really playing anything.

Another day, another devalued cubit. Whatever the ship's on, Rebound's on Condition 2 — sweaty. As the hatch swings open, he ducks inside, his flight suit pulled down to his waist as he wordlessly meanders over towards his locker, arms swaing a little bit. Various pilots and bunks get a standard, lazy glance. Ruh roh. This may be something new, or at least unsual. Guitar? Wil interrupts his little ritual of spinning the lock off his locker to comment. "'Evening, Sir. Didn't know you were a musician?"

"I'm not," answers the Captain mildly, thumb finishing its lazy drift over strings before picking each one out separately. The key's changed, and he repeats the same chord before stopping completely. "How was CAP?" How does he think it was? Karim, conversational master. He lifts the cigarette to his lips, and takes a long pull of it.

"I heard notes. Forgive me if I made a cognitive leap." Pause, pause, wait for it. "Sir." Wil tacks it on at the end of the statement as he jiggles the lock open. He's listening with a slight tilt of his head just to pick up the echo of the strings. Maybe puzzling out what Kai's playing. "CAP was garden-variety, calm, quiet, and beautiful. In lieu of an observation deck. There is nothing like it."

"That's what I like to hear," Kai answers on the tail end of his exhale of smoke. His head's pitched back so that it funnels toward the ceiling, then the cig's pinched between two knuckles again as he adjusts the guitar on his lap. After a few seconds, he begins playing something. Not chords, not plucked strings to distract his fingers and focus his scattered thoughts. But an actual tune, soft and lyrical, delicate, a little sad.

At first, Willem's response to this cannot be immediately gauged. His back's turned to the CAG and he stands with his nose firmly planted in the metal expanse of his locker as he performs a sort of silent vigil studying an array of people and places in what's probably the most internally-decorated locker in the Squadron, if not the Wing. Maybe even the ship. He hasn't travelled as light as some when it comes to photos, scraps of paper, that sort of thing. Initially as the piece is played, he trails a pale hand over them, just hovering a few inches away from these remnants of a former life and the lives that touched it. It could be surmised that he is not one for letting go of anything. He finally turns though to simply stare at the instrument; Maybe he's got an eye for technique. Maybe he's surprised.

With Willem's back turned, and his face buried in his locker, the Captain of course has a perfect vantage point from which to observe its contents. Or, what can be glimpsed from across the way. A few things are no doubt taken note of; the photographs, the notes stuck hither and thither, the general pack rattishness of the owner. By the time Willem turns around, Kai's head is lowered again to his playing. He fumbles the chords here and there, like anything that's grown dusty with disuse. But he does know how to play. Maybe, once upon a time, even fairly well.

There are a few things that stand out, depending on where the Captain's been. An Academy photo from Picon. University. Pictures from and around Libran. Tauron. A couple other unfamiliar pilots with Wil. People who obviously share parental resemblance - OH HEY - there's Wil's dad in uniform, with his mom, dressed for some sort of formal occasion. She looks a bit tipsy. Wil looking piss-drunk with an equally piss-drunk unnamed olive-skinned, curly-haired girl. Both are dressed formally, they look like they're having the time of their lives. A pilot holding a large snake, looking up to no good. All of them got a glance. It looks like this wasn't the first time the ginger-haired pilot did this, but the music probably seemed like a good set-piece to give them an extra once-over. But to the present. Wil leans back against the locker, his arms crossed in front of his chest as he nods along, slowly. He's almost smiling. Almost. His foot taps soundlessly until the song ends as he weighs the notes in his head.

"She says 'love in the time of war is not fair-"

Apparently, he can sing, too. His voice is a bit scratchy from having smoked too much and drank too much in thirty-five years, and he won't be nailing any record deals, but he's not bad.

"-he was my man but they didn't care
Sent him far away from here
No goodbye
"No goodbye.

I don't tell her that I once loved you too
Or about all the things we used to do
I kiss her hair and think of you.."

He trails off, maybe having forgotten the rest of the words, or maybe just having realised he's singing. And he's not alone. The strumming is also quickly abandoned, and Kai clears his throat lightly before taking another pull of his cigarette; his right hand remains clasped around the neck of the instrument. "You miss your family?" he asks, seemingly out of left field.

Almost unconsciously, Wil's voice starts humming loudly in a high baritone as he just echoes the melody after it's over, sound hanging in the berthings for a few drawn-out moments after the song ends. Maybe he knows it. Maybe he is just a quick study in these things. He hasn't had the time to do the damage that the Captain has. Not tons of formal training, but some. He could have done the band thing, in fact he might have at one point.
The hummed refrain fades, and Rebound just lingers there, arms crossed as he mulls over the song. His mouth opens a little but he's not so clueless that he just stands there like a carp. What he just saw was apparently real. So when the question hits, he just answers it straight-up and matter-of-factly because there was already enough surprise in the last few moments. "How true that was," he begins, before directly answering the Captain. "Yeah." Unless Kai cuts him off, he elaborates a little more. "And family's a manner of speaking. There's mom and dad, sure. There's David. Ellie and Marcos. Gods. I was at their wedding just last year. And Chloe. Then Python, Cornbread and Lumberjack all down on Tauron." He shakes his head. He's composed and a bit reserved but there's no doubting that this rueful tally is one that is well-practiced.

"So. Yeah. What about you? If you don't mind me asking?"

Nope, no more music. The guitar's already being slung off Kai's shoulders, and grasped by the neck as he eases to his feet in his typical graceless fashion. "Tauron," he muses. "You're from Libran, right?" He pads over to his own locker, swinging the door open so he can stow the instrument where it's spent ninety nine percent of its time since they set sail. "I've never been there, but I flew with a Libran once. I swear he blew every cubit he owned, when he got married." Thunk, clang. The CAG doesn't tarry in his own locker, and the thing's fairly sparse: a few medals and commendations hanging from a hook at the back, a set of civvie clothing, a few uniforms. Maybe the good stuff's in his bunk. He answers the question finally, quietly, "Sure. I miss them a hell of a lot."

"Yah. I'm a Libran. We're a bizarre people." Wil says simply as he holds in a half-smile that is a volatile mixture of ruefulness and amusement. "-Every- cubit, Sir?" And just then, a bit of a laugh-snort wins out as he goes back through his own locker. Not like the CAG's, his. "Lysandium specifically. It's - Was an amazing place. I grew up there. Now?" He looks like he's about to say something else, but catches himself. And he just, for the briefest of moments gives the Captain a sympathetic nod. He gets it. He expresses it differently, but he gets it. "We'll be around to remember them all, sir."

"For as long as the gods will us to," murmurs Kai in response to that. His locker door's banged shut, and he glances briefly across to Willem, on his way toward his bunk's ladder. "Time to get a few hours' shuteye. Rest easy, Price." Gruff, and on the very edge of friendly. He can't get too close, after all. His lips twitch slightly, and then he clambers on up the ladder and ducks out of sight. Thump. Silence.

"Mmmm. Yes sir." Wil says, with a bit less certainty regarding the Gods' involvement in the days to come. It's still polite enough. "Yeah. I think I'm going to shower then do the same. Maybe go pay someone a visit." He's sweaty and a little worn, sure, but there's a certain aura of restlessness about his person. Grabbing his gear, he heads for the hatch. "Good hunting, Spider." He gives his C.O. one last backwards glance before exiting. A small, pensive half-smile on his lips.

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