Summary: Three pilots share a wistful moment in the library.
Date: PHD 065
Related Logs: None

Roubani is holed up on one of the couched shoved in the very back of the library, content to be out of the line of the main traffic going in and out. One foot pulled up under him, he has a huge textbook resting in the shelf made by his knees but at the moment his attention's not on it. It's on the viewing screen nearby, his cheek against the upright side of the couch cushion and good arm outstretched with the remote in it. Pushin da buttons.

Meanwhile, Timon emerges from the periodicals section with a magazine in hand: one that's not seen much use, from the looks of it, and its title alone — The New Journal of Law and Economics — is enough to explain why. Part of that title is visible beneath the man's splayed fingers as he proceeds toward the couches, keeping very little track of his surroundings as he does.

Roubani's thumb taps another button on the remote, then a different one. Fast forward, play, maybe. Or he's just being a bitch and erasing someone's TIVO. His eyes cut towards Timon's moving figure when he catches it in his peripheral vision, though he doesn't say anything yet.

Timon doesn't blame the ensign for his reticence — that is, he wouldn't blame the ensign if he'd noticed that there existed in front of him a person to be reticent, so engrossed is he in — "Pollution is Societally Efficient," he mutters under his breath. Indeed, the last time these two interacted occurred during a Stressful Time in Stathis' Life, and from the looks of him, aforementioned Stressful Time has not yet ended. He does, however, spare a look at the nearest couch, where he catches sight of the telltale cast. "Ensign," he says with a grunt. Time to find another place on which to flop down.

Brace, dear Lieutenant, not cast. The days of white rigid plaster are thankfully over, replaced with nearly-as-rigid but more comfortable beige orthopedics. Roubani clears his throat when he realises he might be in Someone's Spot, hitting pause on the screen. "Were you after this couch, sir?"

"No scarcity of couches, here." Timon'll take the next one over, setting himself down with a long and pained sigh. For a moment, he considers going back to his oh-so-engrossing article, going so far as to turn the page and begin — and then, he seems to think better of it, closing the covers around his right hand and staring at the screen on the wall. "What's good?"

Matto seems about as stressed as usual, which is to say — not very. Still a little darker and quieter in demeanor than usual, but not radiating quite so much in the way of depression as the day before. He's got his brick of a tome under his arm, and has evidently come in in hopes of getting through a few more pages, but he's soon distracted. People. "Hey," he announces himself gently as he strolls up behind the couches.

Roubani clears his throat softly. On the screen, whatever movie this is looks like one of those old technicolour classics, and some well-known long-dead actor is frozen in the middle of what appears to be a physics-defying softshoe routine. Top hat and all. "Just…er. If it bothers you I can turn it off, sir." His head tilts up, though he can't see the person behind them. The voice, though, he knows. "Hi."

"Kissy." Timon, too, recognizes the voice; the look of surprise that now crosses his face must therefore be directed at the rather hefty book the lieutenant is carrying. "How many pages in that thing are pictures?" he asks, and he even manages to smile. There will be no yelling from Ivory today, not if he can help it. "And don't worry about it, Poet. No bother. I'm not reading anything important, anyway."

"No pictures. Lots of conversations, though," Kissy replies, leaning over the back of Timon's couch and setting the book he'd borrowed weeks ago, at this point, from Cookiemonster, and which he's slowly been plodding through. He drapes over the couch back and peers up at the screen, "Which one is this?" he wonders quietly.

"It's a good book, sir," Roubani comments softly to Timon. Glancing back at the screen he answers Matto, "Fair Skies. It's the one where he dances on the walls." This, for some reason, sparks the faintest smile onto the Ensign's face, which then fades. "Not recommended for those with motion sickness."

"That might explain why I feel queasy in a Raptor," Timon deadpans. "To say nothing of a Viper. — Anyway, want to hit play? I've never actually sat through a movie before in my life, if you can believe that. Might as well start now." Eyes go up as Matto comes down. "Conversations?" he asks, off-hand. "I'm sure the dialogue is sparkling. What's it about?"

"Oh, yah… I remember that scene." Well, who doesn't? "You could probably swing that, right? Rewire the artificial gravity?" Kissy grins playfully, though he doesn't look directly at Poetryslam with it. "It's about a poor orphan girl trying to find herself a husband without -seeming- like she's looking for a husband," he tells Timon, then.

"Can you imagine the warning over the PA," Roubani muses quietly as he picks up the remote. He doesn't just press play, he backs it up all the way to the beginning for Timon's benefit, then starts it. Volume on low. And as soon as he does that, his watch makes a faint beep and he exhales softly. "I'd forgotten I had something." Said sincerely, tiredly. He stands up, closing the book he'd had on his knees. "I'll be back. Enjoy the film, Lieutenant, perhaps I'll get back before my favourite part." He smiles a little at both of them, reserved in his way but nevertheless with a touch of warmth. Then he starts off.

"Set Condition Hold On to Something Solid throughout the ship," is Timon's version of that PA, spoken as the digital disc whirrs back to the opening scene: a dapper man in a dapper tuxedo dancing through the streets of an anonymous glittering city. To his squadmate, in the interim: "And does the poor orphan girl find her one true love?" He spares a lazy wave to the pilot-turned-engineer.

That gets a laugh from the Kissybear. "See ya, guy," he tells Roubani, then climbs over the back of the couch to settle in next to Timon, "Lords know. I'm only on page three hundred," he remarks. "I don't think it's about true love, anyhow. She doesn't care who she marries as long as he's rich and will give her some sort of title."

"Sounds suspiciously like my mother." Timon's eyes are fixed on the screen, where the Handsome Protagonist has just laid eyes upon Gorgeous Leading Lady through the transparent glass of a department store window. "Poor Girl Who Made Good. Fits the archetype pretty well, now that I think about it."

Matto hmms in a sound of quiet consideration-and-maybe-agreement. He doesn't know Timon's mother, after all. Or, well, maybe he does, but if so he's not saying anything about it. "Now there's True Love," he murmurs toward the screen.

"It's from stories like this one that people get wrong impressions about relationships," Timon notes. "She — " Presumably, his mother, still. " — used to watch these all day long." If he's paying attention to the film, it doesn't show; instead, his eyes are closed, as if he's content to let the delicate orchestral flourishes of the movie's soundtrack wash over him. "Used to always tell her to turn that trash off."

Matto curls up a little further and leans against Ivory's shoulder, in that cuddlebug manner that he has, his own eyes on the screen, "You don't believe in true love, then?" he asks.

"Like that, you mean?" Timon gestures toward the action, which has now shifted to the lady. Up and down the aisles of the store she goes in a glorious evening gown that sparkles with untold promise, while her would-be suitor observes open-mouthed in the very corner of the frame. The pilot laughs softly, though now he’s staying stock still as Matto leans in closer — he doesn't quite want to dislodge Kissy and place the two of them into an even more awkward position. "No. Romance and I don't get along. Shock of the century."

"Heh," Kissy lets out the syllable in the place of a laugh, "Who in our squadron does?" It's true, too, Black Squadron is jam-packed full of more sworn virgins, victims of unrequited love and plain and simple asexuals than exist on the entire rest of the ship, or so it seems. Kissy himself is decently well-known to be in the last category, despite the fact that he and his ECO more often than not share a bunk. "I believe in it, though. I was there, once," he smiles at the screen. "With the music and the glitter and the nothing else even remotely beginning to matter. It's real."

Timon takes this bold assertion in stride, eyes closing once more. Perhaps the glitter is too dazzling for a fellow like him; perhaps he just likes the music, which now swells to yet another faux climax before returning to the rhythmic DUM-da-da DUM-da-da of a waltz. But just loudly enough to be heard over whispering strings and a smooth clarinet solo: "What was it like?"

"It was everything they ever said it was," Kissy notes, "We had nothing. We didn't need anything. Some of the happiest nights I ever knew we spent sleeping in a cardboard box out behind a movie theatre. We had old stale gummy bears and one another and it was perfect."

"Can't pay the bills that way," says Timon, always the pessimist. "Which I suppose is a problem you can fix by not having any bills in the first place, as the case may be, but really — how sustainable was that life? Truthfully."

"Not very, turns out," Kisseus replies. "If it had been I'd have still been there, I guess. The real world intrudes, eventually. Things go wrong. We might not have had happily ever after, but at least we had happily for a while. And it was -so- worth it."

"Yeah," Timon murmurs. "Get happily while you still can." He may not agree, but he understands. "Before things go wrong." And it's too late to go back, the pilot doesn't add. That much is understood.

Matto mmhms more quietly, as the music and the close warmth of his squadronmate's form lull him into doziness, whence he swiftly tumbles into full-out slumber, reclining on Timon's side.

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