One For Three
One For Three
Summary: Ivory gives Case some unsolicited advice.
Date: PHD139
Related Logs: None


Timon's not a familiar face around these parts, having chosen to stay within the relative safety of Black Berthings next door for the duration of his tour aboard Kharon. Tonight, though, he dares the abyss — tentatively, sure, but he's here nonetheless, stepping inside the hatch to Viper Country with his usual quick steps. He's looking for somebody, no doubt, judging from the way his brown eyes sweep from bunk to bunk and person to person.

Samantha is currently settled inside her bunk, but not asleep, the curtain open and the lazy smoke of a cigarette drifting up to the ceiling. She's reading a magazine so often thumbed by various crewmen it's nearly falling apart. All she wears are a pair of sweat pants and her sports bra, scarred torso and arm bare for everyone to see. She doesn't much care. She's in her private space and trying to relax. She lofts a brow as she looks over towards Timon…"Lost, Ivory?"

"Found, actually." The Raptor driver swivels on the tip of his left boot, turning forty-five degrees to port. He, too, is in his sweats — regulation sweats, as per usual. No bare skin from him — and to his credit, he doesn't even blush when he sees what Case is wearing. "How've you been?"

Samantha puts down the overused magazine, rolling over onto her side and looking down across him from her top bunk, expression a bit curious. "I've… certainly been better, but… shouldn't complain. Tired of frakking being the rumor mill whore but…that's what I get, I suppose. Yourself?" Some of her confidence is gone, the cockiness she almost always shows. She just sounds strangely tired…

"I'm all right, I suppose." Hardly a ringing endorsement, though that might just be because of exhaustion: Timon doesn't look like he's been getting much sleep either. One hand rises to rub at his eyes as he grabs a chair from under the nearby table, straddling the back with his legs. A few seconds of silence pass — and a few more — and a few more after that. Then, with a faint cough: "I've always thought your mattresses are more comfortable than ours." Now where can he possibly be going with this?

Samantha lofts a single brow, staring down at him, really trying to figure this all out. She finally pats the edge of her matress, though he'd have to climb up…"You wanna stay way down there or you gonna come up and really tell me why the frak you're looking as awkward as a backwards duck on tuesday." …Gemenese phrase?

"I'll be okay down here, thanks." Timon waves his hand in the air — vague dismissal, perhaps, or maybe he's just preparing to brush back his hair, which he now proceeds to do. There's not as much of it as there had been: apparently, he's just gotten a haircut, one that looks altogether too professional for it to have been his handiwork. "But I think you might have some firsthand experience with both Red's and Black's. Mind if I pick your brain about that for a moment?"

Samantha frowns a bit more, turning her body to swing her legs down, letting them dangle so she can look in his direction. "Sure. Pick away." She states flatly, keeping most other emotion reserved otherwise, but there is anew hint of tension all through her body now..

Timon opens his mouth as if to speak — and then, strangely, he thinks better about what he was going to say, instead pausing for still more seconds to allow himself to gather his thoughts. At length, though, he comes up with something: "I do try to stay abreast of gossip," he offers, voice mild as it usually is. "Especially when said gossip concerns somebody I know and work with on a daily basis." Another faint cough. "So. Congratulations."

Samantha gives a faint, half smile… but those last words actually do make her half relax. "Thank you, Timon…" She dares to actually use his name. They're off duty, and both officers, after all. She takes another breath of her cigarette. "…Sorry if I'm a bit…defensive. I'm about the least popular person on ship now… and frak… Frak if I ain't tryin' to get it right this time… he's a good man…"

"You've got one confirmed fan, this I know." Timon chuckles as he rubs his fingers against his temples, doing his best to clear his head. "Thorn talks in his sleep. Moans, too." Ivory somehow manages to deliver that ribald line without bursting into laughter, turning red, or both. He doesn't quite look up to meet her eyes.

"Moans?…" Sam gives a little groan at that thought and a half laugh, shaking her head. She then jumps down off her bunk in one habitual, practiced swoop, knees bending to absorb the shock before she heads over for the coffee maker. "…I… I'm quite fond of him too, actually."

And now Ivory's facade falls to pieces. "That bit about moaning was actually a blatant lie," he confesses, his chuckle turning into a full-fledged laugh. It's a sound that doesn't come easily to him, and indeed, it fades after altogether too short a time. "All I know is what an ECO told me a few minutes ago. If he hadn't woken up just in time to catch you slipping out the hatch — " Timon shrugs. "He didn't put two and two together. I did."

Samantha sighs, half shaking her head to him as she pours out two mugs of probably way, way too old coffee, but it smells strong and sweet. Only way to make the coffee grinds last is to let it sit so long it gets almost strong. She hands one mug in his direction. "Well…you heard all the martin shit… basically destroyed anything Martin and I mighta been. I been … interested…in him a while. Gods only know if we'll be alive tomorrow…why… why we gonna waste today? And we're takin' it slow. Not frakkin'…not… rushin'. Just… enjoying each other… it was a nice night's sleep, honestly. gettin' to know each other."

"Thanks." Timon accepts gingerly, wide fingers clutching at the rim of the proffered cup so as to avoid burning his hand. The gift is placed on the table to cool; the pilot, for his part, leans back in his chair, legs extended, right boot crossed over his left. "So I was onto something in the gym the other day, huh?" There's that light chuckle again. "If 'Matchmaker' weren't too long for a callsign — well. On second thought, I like 'Ivory' better. More dignified if you don't know the story."

Samantha shrugs slightly, "Yeah… right on the frakkin' nose. Guess we tried to…dodge it for a while but… " She shrugs, half smiling to him, "can't avoid what's there. So…here we are. Frakked. Reviled by half the crew…but… Happy. Going for…Something. That's worth it."

"Yeah," Timon murmurs, leaning over to his left to observe the steam still hissing from his mug. Oddly fascinating, it is. "Captain Legacy told me something once," he adds after yet another extended pause — though this time, it's due to a yawn. "For some reason, we were on the subject of relationships. I said — I said, 'If you asked me straight on what I'd take — Fleet or family — well, you know what my answer would be. Wouldn't want to put any lady through that.' And you know what she said back?"

Samantha tilts her head quietly, settling into the table across from him, watching his face even as he's watching the mug before him. "…What'd she say?" Sam finally asks, genuinely listening. She's trying to learn, for once, it seems..

It's not Thorn's face, that's for sure. This one has a receding hairline, wrinkled eyes, a broken nose, and a couple stray strands of grey, to the point at which its owner looks every day of his thirty-two years — and then some. And Case will have to stare a couple more moments longer as Timon closes his eyes, condensation misting his cheeks — the steam, no doubt. At last: "She said — " His voice is low — a bare whisper, no more. "She told me, 'Give it a couple of months.' She told me, 'Soon you'll discover what it is to have a warm body curled up against yours, how much listening to someone else's heartbeat can reaffirm your own life.'" A faint smile drifts across the pilot's face. "Or something like that."

Samantha gives a faint smile, though there is a sadness to her face, more about Thea than anything else. "…She's right. It…it does help. Gives you something… a little more of something… to fight for. But… hell, even Thea gave me a lecture about this one. She ain't too happy with me. I…guess I can't blame her… but… frak." Sam sets her coffee down, leaning forward, hands through her dirty blonde hair. "…I dunno. I'm just… Just … frak. Dunno. Feels right. So… we're trying."

"Don't mind her." Timon shakes his head slowly, teeth tugging at his lower lip as he speaks. "She can get a little — overly maternal, let's say, and leave it at that. Ultimately, you make the call. You and Thorn both. Because really — " And now Ivory makes for his coffee, stirring it with his pinky before taking a small, delicate sip. "We're all grown up now, Case, and our mothers' nests are worse than empty." Sip-sip-sip. "They're ash and dust."

Samantha gives a bitter little smile, shaking her head…"I left my mama's nest 14 years ago and never looked back, Timon… Ain't ever had much of a family. Ever. So… I just hate pissin' off the one I got here. But yeah. Anton and I… we did this as adults. We knew how people would feel, what they'd say…how it looks… and we still decided this was… worth it. Sometimes fightin' it… ain't worth the fight any more."

For a long time, all Timon does is drink, smoke wreathing his face as he sips and sips and sips some more. His skin looks remarkably pale under the light, emphasizing the livid scars running through and over his shoulders. Only when the cup is half-full — or actually, knowing Ivory, half-empty — does he speak again. "I found myself asking the same question two weeks ago," the man offers. "For entirely different reasons, but — I asked." His brown eyes focus on their reflection in his coffee; he doesn't bother to look up. "And somebody told me that yes: that, for all the sticks and stones, for all the slings and arrows, it's worth it, because bundled in with all that is joy." Back into his chair he slumps, mug cradled between his hands.

Samantha keeps that softer smile on her lips, looking strangely young for the normally crass, know it all Lieutenant she is. She's on shakey ground here and it's changing her, for better or for worse. "…Yeah. It is worth it. And… I know that you might not like your matresses but… Frak…that was the best sleep I've gotten in a long, long time.. It felt good. And taking things slow…getting to know him… there is joy in that."

“Yeah.” Timon’s gaze has somehow become un-focused during the middle of Case’s answer, and each word she says causes it to drift incrementally upward until at last it ends up on a spot a half-meter or so above Passi’s head. “My intention was to come in here and tell you to do it right, but — “ A dim smile follows. “I’m no expert either, and besides, it seems you’ve already wrapped your head around everything I'd wanted to say.”

Samantha returns the smile, gentler this time… not quite so wan as he is. "…I know he's your best friend. I…I'll take care of him, Timon. I intend to get it right… this time. maybe third time is a charm. I hope." She admits, and she looks oddly scared…for just a moment. Maybe that's a good hint this is going the right path. She should be scared.

"Best friend?" Timon snorts into his drink, almost causing it to spill all over the front of his sweats. "Did he tell you that? Because if he did, you tell him he's only as valuable to me as the number of Raiders he successfully jams." Introspection-time is over, if the fact that Ivory's now ragging on his ECO is any indication. "Pure utilitarianism, I say."

Samantha rolls her eyes…grinning…"I think you’re jealous. Awe, I totally didn't mean to interrupt the bromance there. I'll go play with Willem when you guys need your alone time, I promise." She stands, giving his shoulder a quick BROpunch before heading to her locker to find her cigarettes.

"You're not my type anyway." By now, Timon's almost out of coffee, and he kills the rest in a single gulp — which, fortunately, he finishes a half-second before Case's BROpunch hits home. "But I'm hardly one to talk about robbing the cradle, all things considered." And with that, he too is up, leaning against his chair to slide it back under the table in the center of the room. "You done there? I'll go wash out these mugs."

"Awe…doin' my dishes for me already. Damn. You can live in the second bedroom when we settle down on some nice far off planet together." She grins widely, giving him a teasing little wink before climbing back up into bunk…"I'll see ya around, aye?"

"Despite my official job title, I'm no slouch when it comes to electronic warfare," says Timon en route to the head, his expression ever so deadpan. "So if you value your life, that second bedroom better come with a king-size bed." Her wink is returned with a wave — and, after a while, a quiet "Good luck." If he says anything else, it's lost in the sound of a faucet being turned on.

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