Facades
Facades
Summary: Komnenos and Roubani bump into each other in storage. The path of conversation is perhaps unexpected.
Date: PHD084 (12 July 2009)
Related Logs: General Scorpia logs
Players:
Komnenos..Roubani..

Kharon - Storage

Normally, the storage closet is quiet — but not tonight. There's the sound of loud music coming from somewhere in the room, a heavy, electronic-sounding cacophony, and the acrid smell of cigarette smoke is heavy in the air. Anton Komnenos sits behind a box, quiet unlike his music, smoking a cigarette. There's an ashtray beside him, and it's seen some use; the remains of several others are stamped out inside it. Thorn is lost in his own little world, head bowed as he reads a heavily worn paperback.

The hatch opens and there's a soft flick-scratch of a lighter before it closes. Roubani registers the music a second too late to make walking back out worth it. So he bravely sticks a finger in the ear closer to the music and hunts for a place to sit.

Thorn is close enough to the hatch to make out the sound of its opening, even over his tunes. He looks up in surprise at the sound of company, and hastily staggers to his feet, a mix of surprise and tension on his face. "Oi, Poet," he says in relief as he recognizes the newcomer, his features softening. "What brings you down here?"

Roubani is still wincing just a little at the music volume. He holds up the cigarette in answer. "Can't smoke around the FTL drives. They get terribly cranky." Indeed the Ensign's in his fatigues, the jacket undone. Didn't waste a moment diving back into duty.

The cause for Roubani's seeming discomfort belatedly dawns on him. "Oh. Sorry." He goes over to a small stereo perched on a box near where he was sitting, and holds down a button; the volume dies. He tosses the book down next to the stereo and walks back over to Roubani, taking a drag from his cigarette. "Just relaxing a bit after CAP," he offers.

"That's good." Roubani's crinkled brows start to relax once the volume's been cut, and he scratches his other hand through his hair. The left is still encased in a brace that protects two of his fingers, but he's now down to a flexible one rather than the rigid kind. Now his voice can return to its usual soft-spoken volume, which it does. "Things alright?"

Thorn's lips tighten ever so minutely; he's been hearing that question a lot lately, it seems. His temper stays even, though. "Fine," he says shortly, although the sudden chilliness in his voice says otherwise. He takes another drag before he continues, his voice resuming his normal timbre. "How about you?" he asks, quickly changing the subject. Anton motions to Roubani's cast. "See you're making progress. Any chance t' see you back in the air wing any time soon, or are you planning t' stay a snipe the rest of your days?" he asks with a slightly teasing smile.

The Lieutenant's reaction stalls Roubani's answer to the return question. One dark brow arches up. "I asked if things were alright, not whether you had sex with your sister."

Thorn smirks at the ensign's response. "I don't have a sister, so no worries on that account," he replies lightly. He puffs on his cigarette, blowing a smoke ring as he exhales.

"Mm." Roubani slides his right hand into his pocket, leaning back against the wall. It's not quite a 'casual' posture as it would be with most people. Moving on. "I hope to come back. Perhaps. It isn't entirely up to what I want."

"True. Th' 'needs of the service', and all." Komnenos nods sagely. After another long pause, he finally answers Poet's original question. "Truth be told, I've been having trouble with my mouth again." He quirks a smile, realizing only after he says it how it must sound. "Ever since we got back from Scorpia, I've been in fine form indeed," he continues sarcastically. "Snapping off t' anyone and everyone… first Thea and then that doctor up in sickbay. I can't seem t' help myself," he says with a sigh.

Roubani exhales smoke from his nose as Thorn talks. His eyes are hard to read as usual, assessing the other man with mild sympathy. Or perhaps empathy. "What are you so angry at?"

"I don't know, dammit," Komnenos responds with a sigh of frustration. "Nothing I can put a finger on, exactly. Maybe I'm just angry at myself, and this is just some perverse way of taking it out on myself." He shrugs in disgust. The way his gaze is suddenly flicking away from Roubani's, though, is telling.

Roubani plants both boot soles against the floor, locking his knees back. It keeps his lower back pressed against the wall he's leaning on. "Perhaps." He glances down at his feet as he ashes his cigarette, being sure the gray doesn't plunk onto shined boots. "Letting go of things is harder than they tell you."

Thorn utters a strangled laugh at that. "That it is." Roubani's hit closer to the mark than he could have realized. Still, though, Komnenos is reticent. He keeps smoking, and takes a seat of his own on a handy box. After a moment's pause, he shoots a look over at Roubani. "What would you know of it, then?" he asks curiously. His tone holds no malice or spite, only genuine interest in the man. He'd worked with Poet often on Scorpia, but he still doesn't know much about Roubani personally.

Roubani has a habit of those sort of pointed remarks. Maybe he watches people more than they realise. Or maybe he's really human under the overly proprietous exterior. "Who doesn't know of it? It's just the way we work, isn't it?"

"Human nature is a delightful thing, what?" Komnenos replies dryly. "You're more right than you know." The cigarette is down to a filter, but he promptly lights another one from the fading cherry of the first. He's chain smoking again, usually not an indicator of a good mood, even for a notorious fiend like Thorn.

"Human nature is ridiculous," Roubani returns, with a wry half-smile. "But there is no way to escape it, so one merely copes." The chain smoking's noted, but receives no comment. "If there is one saving grace, though, it's that one never has to do it alone." Was that an invitation for Thorn to talk? Maybe. He takes a short drag off the smoke.

"Hm," is Thorn's only reply at first, accompanied a snort. The derision in that sound isn't directed at Roubani, but elsewhere. "Never? I don't quite know about that," is all he says in reply for the moment.

"I do." Roubani replies quietly. "It's always our choice whether to or not. We shouldn't. I can say this the certainty of a gigantic hypocrite."

"Trying t' coax me into baring my soul, are you, then? Doesn't seem like you, Poet." After a moment, he gives Roubani a measured look. "Then again, perhaps I don't know you as well as I ought t'," he continues musingly.

"I know an implosion when I see it," Roubani answers, mildly. He crosses one foot over the other, staying leaned against the wall. "I doubt any of us know each other as well as we might. Which isn't necessarily awful. I could never join a circle in kumbaya; I've a terrible singing voice."

"True. But there are some people I'd like t' know better than I do," Komnenos replies. He pauses, and his eyebrows crinkle quizzically. "So, this is an implosion, is it? How do you know? For all you know, this could be how I always am," Thorn continues, a strange bitterness in his voice.

"Because you said it yourself," Roubani reminds Kom, still mild. "Ever since you got back from Scorpia." His own words, busted.

"See what happens when I try t' be clever. Perhaps I should leave that t' Ivory in th' future," Thorn responds mildly. "So I did." His face reddens a bit, and he throws his hands out from his sides. "So what is it you want from me, then?"

"Nothing at all," Roubani answers, truthfully. He flicks his thumb against the cigarette, dropping ash from it before taking a drag. "How is Stathis, then? I was told he was released, but I haven't seen him."

"He's on light duty for a few days, and he's using a cane, but he seems t' be all right. Mostly," comes the reply a second later. Thorn hesitates, then continues more quietly, in almost a sheepish tone. "Truth be told, I had a bit of a dustup with him as well, in quarters the other night. Haven't seen him much since then."

Roubani makes a sound in his throat, a simple 'mm'. "I will have to track him down, then. You know him…how does one say an apology to him? I wonder if I should bring the book he lent me and bare my throat by asking him to explain the chapters that have stumped me."

Thorn crooks an eyebrow. "What do you have t' apologize for?" He shakes his head and shrugs. "He's a fairly forgiving sort… probably how we manage t' work so well together. Unless it was really bad, it'll blow over. He's not one t' carry a grudge."

"I was rather rude to him during the evacuation." Roubani actually sounds rather self-recriminating about this fact, even flushing a faint red. Rudeness, his cardinal sin. "I know it was stressful for everyone, but there's really no excuse for being foul."

Komnenos laughs in response, a short, barking sound devoid of mirth. "Whatever it was, it can't be worse than what he gets from me on a fairly regular basis. I wouldn't worry about it, were I you."

Roubani lightly sucks his teeth. "Oh, perhaps." He doesn't sound convinced at the merits of letting this pass, but for the moment it gets silenced with a drag off his cigarette. "Or I may just put a note in his bunk that says 'I was going to apologise, but Thorn talked me out of it'."

Thorn laughs again, but this time it's a more natural sound. "I'd love t' see his reaction t' that," he says, still chuckling. "If you want t' apologize, then just do it. I'm fairly certain he won't bite your head off."

"No. Actually, I think I'll go with the note." The right side of Roubani's mouth curls into a vague smirk. Hooboy.

"I like it," Thorn replies with a grin. "But I've always had an odd sense of humor." There's silence for a moment before he speaks again. "I suppose I owe you an apology, now that I think about it. If not several."

That catches Roubani slightly off-guard, if the tic upwards of his left brow says anything. "Do you? I can't imagine for what, I assure you."

"For one, the 'fake blood' remark when we were on Scorpia blowing those Cylon towers was remarkably insensitive. And there were a few occasions in the bunker as we were working when I was more than a little short with you," Thorn answers as he begins to tick off various slights, real or imagined. "And even now… you came in and tried t' help, and I answered you with sarcasm and evasiveness." He shrugs again. "Dealing with the current situation hasn't been easy, but it was no excuse t' be that way about it." Thorn sighs. "I'm a real piece of work, what?"

"Oh." Roubani seems a little jarred by that, barely having remembered. "Well, I seem to recall a very unprofessional response I made to you at those towers, so I'm willing to call that even. And I am certain I was rude enough somewhere in those others to maintain the overall karmic balance. Shall we call it general water under the bridge?"

"If I were you, I wouldn't let me off quite so easily," Komnenos replies mildly. "But perhaps you're a better man than I. There was really no excuse, given how hard you were busting your ass for me at th' time. But if you're willing t' let it go, who am I t' argue?" he asks rhetorically. "Sounds like a plan t' me."

Roubani barely smiles. "I'll chalk it up to a self lesson in letting go. Baby steps and whatnot."

"Baby steps, indeed," Thorn returns with a wry half-smile. "One of these days, I'll get there. Even if it kills me."

"I should hope it won't," Roubani replies, rather mildly. "As I'm sure there is a purpose in there somewhere that would be utterly defeated."

Komnenos emits a strangled laugh. "You, Poet, have an impish tongue under that innocent exterior." From him, it almost sounds like a complement.

"Innocent? That's a new one." Roubani looks amused by it, even cracking a crooked smile that briefly shows teeth on the left side. "I can't say I'm certain if that's good or bad."

"Never underestimate the value of the ability t' look innocent. Saved my arse a couple times when I was an ensign," Thorn replies. "Of course, I was also a great deal less… subtle."

Roubani purses his lips into a smile. "But no less a master of the understatement, I see."

"Understatement is a national sport on Aerelon," Thorn returns, a quirk to his lips. "I could manage it almost before I knew how t' read." So maybe hyperbole is practiced on his homeworld a bit as well. He looks down at his watch. "Oh, I've kept you a while. Captain Eos is probably wondering where you got off t' by now."

Roubani glances at his cigarette, which is right at filter. Rather than get the very last drag he simply drops it, setting his boot heel on top of it. "Probably." He rolls his shoulders as he pushes off the wall, one of them making a soft crack. A brief pause as he turns to go, as his dark eyes turn back to the Lieutenant. "Take care of yourself, alright?"

"I'll try. And thanks. For dropping by, I mean." That might not be all he means, though, judging from the look on Thorn's face as Roubani turns to leave. He simply stands there a moment, before going to retrieve his things and preparing to leave himself.

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