A Thing Or Two About Women
A Thing Or Two About Women
Summary: A library is a place to learn many things indeed.
Date: PHD07
Related Logs: None

Kharon - Library

The library is minimally staffed these days, and even less well-visited. There are some souls that still show up in the face of everything, and one of them is Roubani. In his off-duties and his feet in socks with his boots put neatly aside, the Ensign is sitting on the floor sandwiched between the wall and parallel stacks of books. Stacked around him are technical books, one of which he's leafing through.

For once, Thea's actually in UNIFORM. Her uniform is perfectly pressed, sharply crisp, even though she's pulling her hair down, indicating end of duty shift. She's not even looking around. While she's not necessarily lost in thought, it's clear she doesn't expect people to be here. But there's a stack of books. That's not normal and it catches her attention. Booted feet take her in that direction.

<FS3> Roubani rolls Alertness: Terrible Failure.

There's a small viewport just behind where Roubani's sitting. The "glass" is covered in white pen markings, equations and formulas sprawled across it. Roubani runs his finger along some line of text in the book and turns around on the floor, folding his legs into triangles. Writing on the glass again, Legacy's presence not even close to registering.

Thea watches him for a moment, smiling softly. There's something fond in her smile, something she wouldn't dare show at any other time except this simple, unguarded moment. On one of his "turning" moments, she finally speaks up, making herself known. "I followed the trail of breadcrumbs," she murmurs. "Sadly, though, I left the picnic basket at Grandmother's."

Roubani startles easily, dropping the pen with a clatter despite a rushed grab for it. "Sir." He gently thumps his closed hand against his chest and coughs. "I thought I was too young for heart attacks."

Legacy laughs softly and shakes her head, looking a bit sheepish. "Sorry Poet," she says softly. "Didn't mean to startle you. I heard something over this way and happened to spot your head bobbing, so figured I'd say hello. Am I interrupting?"

"No, sir." Roubani shakes his head, rolling onto his knees as he looks around for the pen. "Would you excuse me? This might be awkward…" He gives her an apologetic look and gets on his hands and knees to reach under the neighboring shelf and feel around with his fingers. If he were a woman she'd get an excellent view of his cleavage right now.

Thea's ladylike enough, believe it or not, to look away as the poor man starts prowling on his hands and knees. She averts her eyes to a nearby shelf, lifting a hand to stroke her fingertip over the spines of the book. "Shame I don't have a camera," she comments idly. "I bet I could get quite a bit for the blackmail pictures."

Roubani grits his teeth, grimacing as he stretches his long arm to the limit under the low shelving unit. "I somehow doubt that, sir," he says in a strained voice. Finally he pulls his arm back, pen in hand. He blows on the tip to dislodge dust and sits back on his heels.

Thea glances over, sidelong, to see if he's achieved pen, then chuckles quietly. "You might be surprised," she murmurs, then moves to lean against the endcap. "How goes the work this evening?"

"Fine." Roubani looks around at his mountain of books, then the marked-up viewport. "I meant to be reviewing hyperlight theory, but I'm afraid I may have gotten distracted." He scratches his head, even himself a little baffled at where his mind ended up going on that 'board'.

Thea glances to the board then back to Roubani, given that, well, she's got utterly and completely no clue what all of it means. "It happens," she says with a grin. "As long as it only happens here rather than when you're flying," she teases.

Roubani looks slightly stricken, tensing his shoulders. "No, sir. I assure you, that wouldn't happen. I'm usually much better at focusing."

With a soft sigh, Thea shakes her head slightly. "I'm teasing you, Poet," she says gently. "I know that you're better at focusing. If I had any doubt, I wouldn't be teasing you about it. You're one of best Vipers I've seen in awhile, so relax, please. It seems like I'm usually making you tense somehow."

"I'm not that good. I nearly lost a wing at the Constantine," Roubani points out, evenly. He rolls back off his heels and folds his legs in. "I told Morales once perhaps I ought to take up smoking," he goes on, wryly half-joking. "Smokers seem so much more relaxed."

"True," Thea says, nodding a bit - though it's not quite clear what she's referring to. But then she continues with a wry, "But smokers also tend to die sooner. So it's an even-sum game. We just need to find you a relaxing hobby."

"This relaxes me." Roubani admits, making a gesture with his index finger towards the math on the viewport. "But I doubt anyone would believe that." He rests his hands on his ankles. "I don't know…what relaxes you?"

So many ways Thea could answer that, but for once, she hesitates and doesn't say the first thing that comes to mind. "Working with tools or working on the birds," she says after a time. "Usually, if you can't find me anywhere else, check the tool room."

Roubani senses the hesitation. Unfortunately. "You were going to say something else," he points out.

"I was," she says with a soft laugh. "But your head would have exploded and I really don't want to traumatize you further."

Roubani regards her strangely. "Given this last week, sir, I sincerely doubt any of us could traumatise another any further."

The Raptor captain just gives him a wry little smile and nods, once. "I suppose you're right, Poet," she murmurs, crossing her arms low over her abdomen. "How are you holding up?"

Roubani gently scratches his cheek as she redirects. "I'm fine, sir. You?"

"Not so fine, but I don't imagine any of us are these days," she says quietly. "We'll get there, slowly but surely. CAG's impressed with your work thusfar. And I know I'm glad to have you on board."

Roubani glances down, shrugging one shoulder. "It's easy to have ideas. It's the gap between an idea and fruition where most lose their momentum." He taps the white pen against his knuckles. "I don't envy your being in charge as you are."

"It's a good job," she says quietly. "One day, I dare say you'll be stepping up to your own command. You have the potential." She offers him a small smile. "You have the ideas and you try to bring them to fruition - that's more than most do. We're proud of you, Poet. Just keep that in mind the next time you come down on yourself."

"Thank you, sir. I won't waste your faith as far as I can help it…I'm just being realistic." Roubani scratches his chin with his thumb and clears his throat softly. "If several billion people couldn't avoid annihilation, what in the name of the gods makes us think we can?"

"We have warning," she says simply, quietly. "And we were out of their range. We may be able to -stay- out of their range." Thea's lips thin slightly as she looks at the window.

"But not forever," Roubani points out, softly but evenly. He seems to notice something on the viewport and reaches over to erase a section of an equation with his thumb, fixing it.

"Not forever, no," she says, shaking her head. "But perhaps…long enough. Someone suggested talking to them, but I can't see as how talking right now would do a damned bit of good."

"She told me," Roubani remarks, with added neutrality. "I didn't know what to think. I'm hardly a diplomat."

Thea smiles faintly at that. "We tried talking. They frakked it up."

Roubani purses his lips at the swearing, but it passes. "I don't know. Perhaps this was their plan all along."

Thea shudders delicate and just shakes her head. "Right now I can't think a whole lot about all of that. I have to concentrate on the here and now, getting the pilots taken care of."

Roubani exhales through pursed lips. It makes his cheeks briefly puff out. "If you don't mind, sir, I don't want to talk about this anymore right now."

"That's good," Thea says with a small smile. "Because, honestly, neither do I. I think, perhaps, it's time for another load of laundry."

Roubani gives her a long look and then sniffs, uncapping his pen. "You just don't want me to remember that you wouldn't answer my question."

"Mmmm," she asks, quirking a brow. "Which question was that?" She pulls her attention back to the man, head cocking to the side.

"What you were going to say before you went on about the tool room." Roubani draws a line across the viewport, sectioning off some empty space at the bottom.

Watching him, Thea considers for a very long moment. "I do laundry," she says, finally. "Just so I can sit on the washing machine during spin cycle."

Roubani predictably turns a bit red. But, courage is with the Ensign tonight. He starts writing the beginning of another equation. "Morales decided to demonstrate that once. I didn't know women, uh…really…did that."

Thea laughs quietly and pushes off the bookcase. "From time to time, when there are no other options? Well, a lady has to make do with what she has."

Roubani opens his mouth. And then shuts it for a few seconds. When he finally speaks it's very cautious. "You'll forgive my language, sir, but it's very hard to believe that you wouldn't have…options."

Thea blinks at him for a moment, then smiles a touch. "You'll learn, once you rise in rank, that options tend to become much more limited," she says gently, after a time. "For quite a few reasons. The washing machine is safest."

Roubani doesn't quite look like he knows how to feel about this conversation. It's like watching a kid testing out a first wobbly step, and it takes him a while to talk again. "No one ever told you…it was wrong?"

Another blink and she cocks her head to the side. "What, using the washing machine in such a manner," she asks, a thread of teasing in her tone. "Well, I generally ask the machine first and make sure it's got plenty of soap and clothes. I'm very careful not to abuse it."

Roubani looks a little surprised at her humour. "Yes," he says simply, as to her question. He's serious.

Poor Thea. It takes a minute for her to realize that he's serious. "Well, it's not like there's anything…overt about what's going on," she says, with just a hint of discomfort. "It's also not hurting anyone or anything. It's a comfortable, comforting few moments with a warm, vibrating piece of machinery that actually manages to relax muscles."

Roubani seems to grasp what she's thinking, and clarifies quickly, "I'm not trying to say that /I/ think it's wrong. I was…just curious if anyone had ever told you something like that."

Her lips quirk at one corner. "Nope," she says quietly. "Though I've occasionally gotten a dirty look when someone else has the same idea."

Roubani takes a very long time to process her answer. "That's good," he says, very softly. There's another pause where he seems to be just turning a lot of things over in his head, then he glances at his watch. "Well I doubt there would be anyone in there now."

Her lower lip disappears between her teeth as she studies the poor man, nodding. "Actually, you'd be surprised. There's been a line lately. Maybe I'll see what offers I get." She straightens and brushes a hand over her uniform, glancing down.

"Good luck, sir," Roubani says, with guileless sincerity. He uncaps his pen again, gently scratching his hairline and then pulling one of the technical tomes closer to his legs.

Thea just watches the young man for a long moment and slowly shakes her head, laughing quietly. "Let Mooner know I said hello," she says, starting to walk away. "And that she's certainly got her work cut out for her."

Roubani glances at Legacy's back with a rather blank raise of one eyebrow. "Okay." Not stopping to ponder this, he goes back to work.

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