Summary: Matto gets a new student.
Date: PHD127
Related Logs: Red Ink


Matto is fresh from a shower, and looking thoroughly groomed. Clean-shaven and it even looks like he's had his hair cut— it was getting rather moppish and out of control. Now he sits up in his bunk, one leg crossed over the other as he files his just-cut toenails.

Kissy looks a whole lot better put together than Timon, who hasn't bothered to trim his hair in quite some time. While those brown curls aren't quite floppy, they do tend to get in the way of his ears, and it's with some amount of exasperation that he brushes back a few stray strands as he threads his way through the hatch, legal pad in hand.

Scff, scff scff scffscffscff. "Aah'vry," Kisseus calls down in that deep Aerelonese drawl not otherwise present in his voice, low and mellow. Scffscffscff. (He's up in his bunk filing his toenails, if Legsy's confused about the onomatopoeia.)

"Evening." Matto gets a wave as Timon chucks pad, pens, and mug — yeah, he really was carrying all that — into his bunk. The man himself doesn't follow suit, instead sitting himself down in a chair near the center of the room, groaning as he does. "Ow."

Matto looks up at the noise of pain, both brows rising quietly before a grin of mischievous flavor comes wafting across his features, "I guess your date went well?"

"If you mean the one with the CAG — " Ivory stretches his legs, bending forward in an attempt to crack his back. It doesn't quite work: he's not the most flexible of men. "I'm able to report that he has boundless endurance and a motor that never stops running. Never thought a jog around the ship could be so painful, but then again, never thought I'd be jogging with him to begin with."

"Holy crap," Kissy replies to the information, "Remind me never to cheese off the CAG again. That'd be likely as not to kill me."

"Never cheese off the CAG again," says Timon obligingly, now rocking back and forth on his chair. "Because that'd be likely as not to kill you."

"Thanks," Kissy replies, wrinkling up his nose and recovering from his moment of sympathetic breathlessness to continue filing his toenails. A little dab of lotion applied and rubbed between and around toes. A satisfied sort of inspection. "So how'd the other date go? If you want to say," he adds.

Ivory glances longingly at his legal pad on his bunk. His work doesn't ask such potentially embarrassing questions, oh no, but — well, thinking hurts right now, and Timon doesn't seem like he has the energy to drag himself over there and start writing again. And so: "There was dancing," he admits. "I didn't fall over."

"Oh, well, that's nice," Kissy replies, "Dancing," he specifies what he means, "You two are getting on well, then?" It's unthreatening, casual conversation, in no way teasing or degrading.

"Surprisingly so." Timon still hasn't mentioned the name of the individual in question, but it's enough for him that Matto knows what he's talking about. "She's — " Ivory pauses as he tries to find the correct word. His right arm stretches across his body as he tries to work out a few kinks in his shoulder; his left arm rises to press it firmly against his chess. "Bold," is what he eventually comes up with.

"She doesn't seem to me to be the type to mince words, no," Kisseus smiles softly, then tilts his head, "Does it bother you?" he wonders.

"It took a little getting used to." With a grunt, Timon's arms switch positions. Alas: still ow. "That is to say, it's taking a little getting used to — but if anybody needs the prodding, it's yours truly." A rueful chuckle. "If taking initiative was my job, we'd probably still be having awkward conversations in the library about the voracious lips of Lieutenant Passi."

Matto gives a little squeak as he lifts his arms over his head, the image of the vagina dentata coming back to haunt him. he leans over to grab his pillow and hug it to himself for protection, then, "Well, good, then. You like her, though, and all?"

Something about the way that question is phrased causes Timon to lean back and look up — Matto is, after all, on the top bunk. His index finger toys with a couple of particularly intrusive curls, winding them around the joint between first and second knuckle as he thinks. After a few more moments of contemplation: "Yeah," the pilot confesses. "I really don't have any point of comparison, sure, but — that's a good sign, when you think about it."

Matto watches in something like fascination as Timon… twirls his hair. It's not a gesture he particularly anticipated from the pilot. "Sure; you like her for her, not because she stacks up to some preconceived notion, yah?" he follows along with Timon's train of thought there easily enough. "I like her, too. I mean, not like -you- like her, but she's a good egg. Great sense of humor."

"No kidding." Matto's observation brings a wan smile to Ivory's face that's visible even in shadow — for indeed, the man's scooted back just a little bit more, propping up his aching feet on a wooden strut connecting two of the table's legs. "I'd say it's refreshing in these trying and uncertain times, but that'd be a little too cliche." His finger disentangles itself from his head before pressing down on a sore spot near his temple. "How'd you get to know her, anyway?"

"Heh!" The question draws a monosyllable of dry mirth from the Kissybear, and he reaches into the bag of gummies open on his shelf to grab a yellow one and bite off its bottom half. "She assaulted me in the mess hall and told me I was going to get everybody killed." Gnawrm.

"You know, when I look at you — that's not at all my first reaction." It's a subtle invitation to elaborate. In the meantime, thud go Timon's boots on deck; another grimace flits across his face. He'll need to be more careful.

"Yeah, well," Kissy shrugs, "She was— actually right, in… a way," he elucidates the facts. "I mean, not that I was going to get everybody killed, but— I had a pretty bad collision with the whole religion thing about ten years ago, and I broke some religious law or something and never got purified of it or whatever," he distances himself emotionally from the story with copious amounts of modifiers. "It was kind of weird that she just… -knew- by looking at me. And, y'know, there are religious people on board, so I figured the chances: either it's dangerous, and I'll get rid of it, or it's nothing, and I'll make people like Nadiv and Marek feel a little more comfortable."

"Now that I think about it, she mentioned something about that the other day." Wide fingers rub back and forth across his forehead, as if Timon's trying to remove by physical force the dull throbbing between his ears. "Didn't know she was talking about you." Ivory sighs; then, he gives up, instead covering his eyes with a hand. "Am I allowed to ask what happened next?"

Matto shrugs, "She said her words; let me get some crap I've been meaning to yell about off my chest. She did her woogie-woogie and gave me a clean bill of spiritual health," he sums it up. "I don't really feel any different than I did before, but…" he shrugs.

"That's good." Timon sounds like he has his doubts, too, but, well: "As you said, maybe it was worth it just to make Poet and Spider feel a little more comfortable." There's a brief silence as he contemplates his toes, looking down through a slat his fingers make in his makeshift eye-shield. "You know, every bone in my body tells me that there aren't any gods or spirits or whatever else — and then, this." Yeah, he's got to shine those boots. "Think she made a lucky guess about whatever happened ten years ago?"

Matto shrugs, "I don't know how she -could- have. I'd never met her before, and of the people I -have- met I've told about… three. Four," he nods in inclusion of Timon on the list. "But hey, maybe priests have a big communal blacklist somewhere," he shrugs. "Could be. Still it was kind of creepy."

"Or maybe she does have a hotline to whatever lies out there in the aether." Not that Timon buys into that outdated scientific concept or whatever may lie in it, but it's said more as a rhetorical flourish than anything else. "I'll say this, though: To her credit, she hasn't forced the matter with me. Belief, I mean. And I'm fairly sure she knows I'm a skeptic."

Matto smiles playfully. "Just don't break any religious laws. She won't let you touch her, skeptic or no," he chuckles. "That's good, though. I kind of took her for a fanatic, at first, but, y'know, I really don't think she is."

Timon reddens slightly as he considers the implications of that joke, opening and then closing his mouth. Whatever sly rejoinder he came up with will remain hidden for now, even if he can't quite keep his expression neutral. Aloud: "She's surprisingly worldly for somebody raised in a temple for twenty-odd years," he agrees. "More than I am, I think. I chalk it up to all those pulp romances she says she reads."

Matto grins, uncrossing his legs and letting his feet dangle a moment before he jumps down, "You must have never gone to Aphrodite's temple in Columella," he points out, "Aphrodite Pandemios indeed," he laughs, coming strolling up to just behind Timon and moving his hands to the other pilot's head, where he's been rubbing just recently, fingers poising and then pressing into a scalp massage. "It's good to hear things are working out, in any case. And how's your magnum opus coming along?"

"Ow," says Timon — but it's more a conversational 'ow' than one that signifies real pain, judging from the way he shifts to give Matto a better angle. "As for my ball and chain, it's coming along." Not exactly the most illuminating statement. "Part of me wants to finish it as quickly as I can. The other part of me wants to draw the process out for as long as possible, just so I'll have something to think about that's not CAP, sleep, eat, wash, rinse, and repeat." The bottom of a palm is jabbed into his sore right thigh as he tries to work out a twinge in his muscles. "How do you keep yourself busy these days?"

"Oh, just the usual sort of thing," Kissy replies, continuing the scalp rub, pushing fingers forward through hair, forcefully, then drawing them back with a lighter touch, "The Poet and I have been hanging out a bunch, he's a really quality guy."

"An excellent matchmaker, as well." Timon offers up that morsel without any justification whatsoever, shifting his shoulders up and down as Matto goes to work. This groan is a little bit more contented — but just a bit. You try keeping up with the CAG. Then, as if that's triggered a thought: "You wouldn't happen to know where I could find a quality set of pens, would you?"

Matto shifts forward, putting some of his weight on his thumbs as he pushes down the back of Timon's neck, tracing sinews on both sides down to his shoulders. "Pens? Like, what sort of quality?" he wonders.

"Calligraphy." Timon's voice is oddly strained for somebody in the process of relaxing. Then, by way of explanation: "Call it an offering," he adds, as wryly as he can manage. "Acting on good intel, shall we say."

Matto hms, digging thumbs into shoulders and then rubbing more gently, pressing warm palms flat against the curve. "I have a set," he puts out there. It's not too long ago he was seen around berthings scratching out the strokelines of letters with a meditative aspect for hours on end— since then, no sign of them. "I've not got tons of ink, though. Did you want to borrow them?"

Whatever plan Timon's got in mind is rapidly revised, even as he wriggles down a bit in an attempt to end this physical therapy session a bit early. "I'll just sleep it off," says Ivory — 'it', presumably, being the aftereffects of the morning's rigorous cardio. "As far as ink goes, we can improvise with a few of those plastic ones over there, right?" Head jerks over to the collection of ink pens arrayed on his bunk. "Crack them open, dump the contents into a beaker — cheap and easy."

Matto backs off as Timon wriggles away, and he clambors back up onto his bunk. "Well, sure, just let me know. I don't mind sharing, though I'd dearly like the use of them from time to time. They're very relaxing in high-stress situations."

"I'll just need one," Timon replies, working out one last remaining crick in his neck by tilting his head to one side, and then the other, and then back again. "For about an hour, or however long it takes me to put together a single good character."

Matto hms, "Do you want me to show you how to use them?" he wonders, crawling up to his knees and walking on them toward the shelf at the head of his bunk, leaning into the cubby space to move a thing or two off of the box kept back there in the corner.

"I'm a slow learner," warns Timon, "at least when it comes to art, and creativity, and things I can't talk my way out of." The pilot chuckles faintly. "But if you have more than a few moments to spare — that'd be much appreciated." And then he's up to grab a few sheets of paper from his locker, ripping them out of one of the several legal pads jutting out between jock smocks and navy blues.

Matto climbs to the edge of his bunk again, setting down the box and then climbing down before reaching up to lift the box down in turn. It's a wooden thing, carved with a floral pattern across the top, two doves hiding among the leaves. "Sure, I can give you a hand to start out with. Then why don't you keep it for a while," he suggests, in the spirit of sharing. "Say, two weeks? Then you can fuss with it in your off time and not have to worry."

Timon looks curiously at the engraving on the box, not quite noticing the doves: "Interesting vines," he says, a little at a loss for words. Abstract philosophical concepts? Easily described. Aesthetically-pleasing items? Not so much. "I'll do my best not to break anything," he promises, running a finger lengthwise down the box as if evaluating its sturdiness. "And if I do, you can — I don't know, tear some pages out of my books or something." The sad thing is, he looks like he's actually serious.

Matto laughs at the offer, seriously uttered though it may be. "I might be a Very Accredited University alum, Aah'vry, but I'm not a heathen. Those are some of the only books left in the world. Tearing out pages would be like a crime against humanity." He lets Timon discover the birds on his own time, opening up the box to show a collection of pens and two calligraphy brushes, as well. An inkstone with the graces chiseled delicately onto one side. Several vials of ink, though it's hard to tell how full each one might be.

"In that case, there's always the itching-powder-in-trousers deal: slightly less barbaric, wouldn't you say." Timon allows himself a low laugh as he peers inside, examining the set with less wonder than confusion — he's used to pens that click on and click off in a half-second, after all. "Or you can shave my head, though that might be misinterpreted by the priestess as a sign I've decided to become a monk." Which would be bad. Cough. "But seriously — thanks." No more lame jokes from him. "I owe you one."

"It's fine, guy, accidents happen, just be careful, but if something happens, something happens," Kissy assures him, sliding one of the pieces of pale yellow stationary from behind a ribbon at the top of the box, a few lines of text at the top and near the middle, "Here are a couple of hands. I don't know that many, this top one's the easiest, and, well, I find it most relaxing. It's basically a series of parallel lines."

"Start simple. Right." Timon peers harder, trying to figure out the difference between parallel line A and parallel line B. "Give me a night or two to work on it, and then I'll beg you for help if you can spare a moment — just so you're not starting from scratch."

"Okay," Kissy agrees, "Just remember, all the lines are drawn top to bottom, not bottom to top. And at the same speed. It's very repetitive. I think that's what makes it such a good meditative tool. Just… let your body fall into the work," he smiles.

"There is peace in harmony," says Ivory gamely. "Or however that goes. Which is to say, top to bottom, at the same speed, again and again and again." And the grin that follows is a little self-conscious. "I'll not waste too much of your ink if I can help it: I'll raid the JAG offices for spare office supplies first, if need be." The box is taken and closed — gingerly, ever so gingerly, as if it might fall apart before he can bring it over to his bunk, which he now does. "Thanks again."

"Hey, sure," Kissy waves a hand, "We all need to help keep each other sane from time to time. Next I'll teach you how to juggle."

"You'd risk physical injury if you did that." Timon's not nearly as coordinated out of the cockpit as he is in it. With careful motions, he places the box next to the service pistol in his locker, securing it to the back of the shelf by setting a canister of ammunition in front of it. Then he's off into his bunk, not even bothering to clear it of writing instruments, pens, and papers, the few stray sheets he'd ripped off earlier settling like leaves around him. "Now I actually have to do some real work," he mutters, clearly not referring to either this little artistic endeavor or that so-called magnum opus. "I'll be here if you need me."

Real work? In his bunk? Kissy's brain goes giggly places with that comment, but he bites back a jocular smile. "Good luck. Hope everything comes out alright." Almost straight-faced. And he ducks on out of berthings before he can catch something tossed at him for his troubles.

"Paperwork never comes out all right," says Timon, blissfully unaware of whatever's going through Kissy's mind. "Good night."

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