Summary: Rebound and Ivory kill some time in the Ready Room.
Date: PHD131
Related Logs: Advice Column, Cooling Off


It's a quiet morning in the Ready Room. One of those places that pilots can't avoid, it tends to see an ebb and flow of traffic. Today, the traffic has ebbed down to one singular figure, clad in his duty greens and dragging a pen across the surface of a piece of paper trapped by the metal jaws of a clipboard. Eyes narrow and his forehead bears wrinkles of uncharacteristic annoyance as he works. Several other sheets sit in a chair beside him indicating either he's been at this for a while or has a bit more to do. Previously he could have been seen prowling the hangar deck as he chatted with a P.O. about something.

Another day, another morning in the life of Timon Stathis, pilot-turned-ECO. He's been up for a while, trailing behind the stocky frame of the CAG during their usual morning jog around the ship; indeed, the two of them parted company in front of the head not twenty minutes ago. And so it that the newly-washed Ivory ambles into the ready room dressed in his duty blues, his hair plastered to his forehead, a few manila folders under his arms.

Scritchscribblescribble dot dot SNAP. Willem snatches the paper from the metal jaws of the clipboard and sets it down gingerly next to him in another pile before he affixes the next one. Although his general degree of patience seems to be holding, there's something about his expression which telegraphs a sense of barely contained annoyance. As the filling out of paperwork begins again, Ivory's entrance elicits a slight cough from Wil. "Hmmm. Tough day?"

"And it's just started, too." Which seems to be as close as Timon gets to a 'yes'. The man sets himself down in a corner seat, groaning as his weary muscles settle down into the embrace of comforting leather. One hand rises to rub at his eyes, flicking some stray water off his face while he's at it. "Figured it'd be quiet in here, what with the next CAP not leaving for another three hours. I have to deal with another mob and my head will split in two." Another long and languorous groan. "You figured the same, I assume?"

There's a brief snort on the part of the younger man at the announcement of the state of Timon Stathis' day. Willem purses his lips a bit and blows out a breath as the pen trails down another page. It looks like some kind of official form. "I needed to make a few, er, -paperwork amendments- that I've been a bit lax on since…" He trails off, leaving the 'since' concept up in the air. As the other man settles down, his mouth quivers into a bit of a half-smile. "Yeah. Well. I value what little privacy I can get anywhere on this can."

"I thought the socks were a nice touch, myself." Timon upends a manila envelope onto his lap, revealing a stack of grainy black-and-white stills easily recognizable as gun camera footage. Asteroids of varying sizes dominate those images, though a few of the later shots have what looks to be a pair of dummy drones boxed out in red. Flip-flip-flip: rotoscoping for the win. "How's that going?"

"Why Ivory." Wil notes, however drily. "It's like having a ready-to-go gag at any given time. Socks were a great idea." He snorts a little bit more as he brings the pen up to rest between his teeth a second, foot taping rapidly and awkwardly. "You do know we were putting you on that day, right?" As he's said this before, he still shoots a slightly abashed look at the sometime-Raptor pilot. Suddenly, he leans over towards the stills Timon is working on, eyelid narrowing. "What's that? Kind of wanted to hit up the CAG to review the gun cam footage of the asteroid mission but the last time I made noise about it, Spider was his usual cheerful grumpy self and I made a cost-benefit analysis in my head when it came to pushing him." He adds, mildly, "Benefits — they came up short."

The ready room hasn't seen Roubani's smiling face in…well, it's probably never seen his smiling face. But the last time it saw his face in any capacity was quite a long while ago. Today, though, this place has something he wants. In his duty olives, eye contact with anyone in particular isn't Roubani's strong suit today - shoulders on the tense side, he heads for a shelf of technical manuals.

"I'm sure 'putting me on' was a — how shall I say this? — an ancillary benefit." More flipping; dummy drones proceed toward one asteroid in particular before the Raptor turns around and visual is lost. "Different mission. Weapons test. The CAG had me limber up the old AGMs my first day at work. When I told Thorn, he looked like he was about to give birth to puppies. That, or ravish Case until the end of time." Timon's voice doesn't so much as flicker, staying as mild as his expression. "And good morning, whoever that is behind me."

There's a cough on the part of Wil. "Let's just say I run the numbers and try to get the most for my cubit in any situation." As the last lame attempt at euphemisms fly, the reddish-haired pilot lets the matter drop for now. "I'd ask how your thing is going, but, uhh. First things first." There's another loud, pronounced cough at the 'Case' comment but he has enough class not to say anything, at least. Leaning over further as he sets his paperwork aside. "Huh. AGMs." While not 'giving birth to puppies' surprised, the arc of his right brow only widens as he taps the butt end of his pen against his clipboard's surface. "How did you end up doing on it?" Stathis' greeting prompts a turn of Rebound's head as he spies the ghost who just dropped a timely invasion on the Ready Room. Is it a friendly ghost? "Oh. 'Lo, Poet."

Viper manuals. Roubani's arms fold as he looks over the shelf of various instructional and technical tomes. "Good morning, sir. Price." Murmured greeting given without turning around, his hand reaches out for some book spine.

"I got lucky," Ivory replies. Whether that's in reference to AGMs or to his 'thing' isn't entirely clear, though he does hand over the stack of stills to Rebound after a few more cursory flips. "One drone hit that should have missed by a half-klick or more. The other — did better." At this point, one would certainly hope he's talking about the former — but again, no real clarification is forthcoming. Instead, the pilot glances over to Roubani, smiling faintly when the target of Poet's attention becomes clear.

Points to the double entendre! This doesn't entirely escape Wil as he smirks but denies comment for the time being as he leans over to study the photos bemusedly. He absorbs the relation of professional training stories with a degree of professional curiousity but again declines comment. "Hmm? How was the reaction? Captain Marek's, that is." Allright, that needed clarification. He looks between the two men as he idly spies what Roubani's fiddling with too. "We shold start hiding out in here."

Or is it the focus of Roubani's attention? His eyes are down on it for sure, but that might mean little; he has the slightly wan complexion and puffed eyes of someone who didn't sleep well last night. Finding the page he apparently wanted, he sets that particular heavy thing on the desk by his hip and reaches up for another one. Cross-reference time.

"Multiple choice, Rebound. A — 'Good job.' And B — 'Nice job.' And C — 'PT, tomorrow morning, 0800.'" Timon leans back in his chair as he lists the options, tilting his head to rest his now-drying curls on the seat. Up go his arms, fingers interlaced, to relieve some of the tension in his shoulders. It's accompanied by a wide and slightly noisy yawn that almost causes him to tear up; brown eyes immediately blink them back. "You okay over there, Poet?"

"Is there a 'some of the above' or 'all of the above' option? Just, you know, trying to cover all of my options here." Wil tosses out, with as much of an approximation of a 'glib' tone as he can possibly muster, lips pursing. Another look to Roubs echoing Timon's question.

"These should have better labels," Roubani mutters towards the books, as though that were the answer to Ivory's question. Only the tomes are getting to see what his eyes look like today. "Do you know which other one has charts of KEW placement? Is it BE-34?"

"A and C. You're a winner." Not that Timon thinks Wil was actually all that interested, but — well, there it is. "And no, not offhand. I don't really do Vipers, but if you need help looking — ?" It's a tentative question, and after Ivory asks it he doesn't move to stand; instead, he reaches over for another of his envelopes, reaching inside to find that it's empty. Well that was silly of him.

"I cheated. I've been on the receiving end of some of those before." Wil muses as he accurately recalls something of the CAG's command style. There's a flicker of a smile there. "In general, how's this rotation with him been?" The junior officer inquires, as it fades into something more even and inscrutable. Dividing his attention between conversations, he asks of Roubani, "I haven't memorized those to a great degree, but I seem to recall that one had something about weapons hardpoints and loadouts. These are for the Mark VIIs, right?"

"Mark Sevens, yes. And it's fine, sir." Roubani has found the fabled BE-34, it seems. There's a muted thump as it's put down beside its companion on the desk and opened. The JG does, shockingly, sometimes have casual conversational skills. But they seem to be in the drain today.

"Raptors are being flown. Trust is being fostered. You know." Timon appears almost bored by the question: apparently, he and the CAG have settled into an equilibrium of sorts, which — while not entirely comfortable — appears at least to be stable. Then: "You're calling me 'sir' again, Poet." He's just noticed. "What's going on?"

"You make it sound so — mundane." Wil observes. Maybe he's ribbing Ivory, maybe not. He declines comment on the other issue as he resumes scratching out boring-ass paperwork with his pen. This is what they didn't show you on fleet recruiting commercials. That and the bad mess hall food, getting hit with a sock full of soap, and fistfights in the lounge. Speaking of which — "You seen Thorn?"

"Nothing." Roubani closes both books, stacking them on each other. Working his fingers under the heavy tomes, he picks them up into the crook of his arm. "He is probably at Black," Willem receives that reply as he starts for the hatch. "Excuse me."

"Right." If Timon is put off by Roubani's curt manner, he manages not to show it, even waving at the younger man as he heads off with books in tow. Only when Poet's back is to him does his expression turn quizzical — but still he says nothing. Instead: "Last I saw him was yesterday," Ivory confirms. "After you left. One of you Vipers — Rainbow, I think? — confronted Case about leaving broken hearts and shattered dreams in her wake. That got him good and riled. Don't believe it ended in violence, but — " The Raptor driver shrugs, setting down his empty folder and picking up another.

Echoing Timon's detachment, Wil merely quirks an eyebrow. "Hope you found what you needed." He offers vaguely towards the younger man as he bails, but doesn't comment further beyond offering a simple wave of an open hand. This done, he starts tapping his foot idly as he tears through another page. Some time after processing Ivory's story, he looks up and notes, "Eh. Wondered how he's doing. And Rainbow? She's, uh." He looks like he's about to say something uncomfortable. "I don't take her personally. I mean, she's a bitch, but it's never really gotten under my skin. I flew with her a couple times when we lost Mud temporarily on Scorpia. Never really figured out what crawled up her nose but I've never really cared that much. We don't see much of each other. Was she giving the whole 'keep it in your pants' speech again?"

Roubani slows down near the hatch, as though some impulse wanted to stop the retreat. Ultimately it fails, and he heads out in the same stiff silence he came in with.

"Something like that. Mainly talked about the need to focus one's aggression on the Cylons instead of this tiny sliver of humanity — but not in those words, of course." Timon places this third folder on his lap before rubbing his fingers against his temples. He's been doing it more often of late, and each time it takes a little longer before he relaxes. Three seconds, four — nope. Those shoulders are still stiff. Cue another groan. "Scary thing? I found myself agreeing with her."

"Yeah. As I said, whatever she lacks in out-and-out expression of actual human empathy she makes up for in common sense." Wil notes, with an upturned hand after clicking his thumb, "She's generally a voice of reason. I can cut her some slack, I guess." Which is true.

Then again he can do that with most people so that's not any real matter of surprise. He clears his throat some and continues to comment, "I met someone who served with her. Apparently she was always like this. Even before the Attack."

As Timon considers this point, he finally manages to work out one of the kinks in his neck — yeah, there we go. He's not even pretending to go through photographs now, instead just glorying in this brief moment of relaxation. Aloud: "Not surprising, in the grand scheme of things. There was this paper I read a few years back — some journal of cognitive psychology or other I picked up on leave." Ivory would. "Without going into all the details, the study basically concluded that that people are well and truly awful at forecasting their emotional reactions to extreme changes in their lives: winning the Aquarian lottery, say, or losing an arm." The pilot pauses, doing his best to stretch his legs out underneath the row of chairs in front of him. "Put another way — we think our lives will be forever changed, sure, but it won't take long for us to snap back to our baseline, whatever that may be." There's that wan smile again. "Oddly comforting, in a way."

"So. What you're saying, in other words, is a lifetime of conscious, unconscious choices and a healthy dose of external conditioning produce a certain person up to a point," Wil concludes after his own reflective pause, switching papers again and going through the next, tedious sheet with a few marks of his pen as he frowns. "But up to a certain point, barring a drastic or unexpected shift? Once a troll, always a troll." His lips twitch upwards a slight bit. Scritch, scritch, the pen goes down the line. "I wonder what one could say about us?"

"Not exactly." SRSLY. Did you expect anything else? "It was more a comment on humanity's hard-wired inability to look past the tip of its collective nose." Which Timon now scratches idly with two fingers, rubbing at the poorly-healed break in its bridge. "Focalism bias, it's called. Ask us how we'd react to a drastic or unexpected shift — like our entire family getting vaporized — and of course our attention fixates on that circumstance. But in doing so, we lose sight of everything else that's happening to us at that moment in time. New friends, new chores, new experiences: all important to our emotional well-being, all wiped away by our overriding emphasis on said vaporization. Maybe some highs will take longer to come down from than others; same with some lows. But — " Ivory's eyes look up, then down, then back again. "In general, to the center we'll go." The pilot allows himself a long, quiet sigh; then, with a resigned chuckle: "So. What would one say about us?"

In the face of Timon's explanation, Willem waits patiently with a slight, bemused quiver of his lips. "I was being -mildly- facetious, Ivory. -Mildly-." Only this does he cut in with in defense of his sort of one-off cliffs' notes summary which was somewhat inaccurate to begin with. "Focalism bias. What you just described is shockingly, uh, sounds familiar. Probably happening all over the ship." Probably happened to him, if one thinks about it. Mister-lack-of-detachment narrows his eyes a bit slightly. "Hard when you lose the fallback framework." He then comments on his own awkwardly-posed theoretical question and gives a small sigh. "I don't know if I should be the one trying to talk about myself in an objective manner anyway, hmm?'"

"Facetious. Right." MOAR SIGH. "And I wondered why everybody started congratulating me after they found out about the priestess." Timon closes his eyes, a few droplets of water gathering at the base of his neck before seeping into the collar of his uniform. "But there's a point in there, somewhere: if you 'lose the fallback framework,' I mean. That's something the study never considered — that maybe there exists a shock so profound that the very foundations of our mental makeup are shook. But if the Holocaust couldn't do it — and, mind you, I don't believe it did — well." For a while, Ivory's silent, the only sound coming from his part of the room being the steady drip-drip of water onto deck. "Maybe they should call all of us Rebound," he murmurs at length.

Moar indeed. Moar sighing on the part of the Junior lieutenant, moar scribbling, and MOAR stares of intospection(or inspections of penmanship) down at the paper, as he sets the clipboard on its edge for a second and frowns a little. "It's funny that you mentioned it. I've heard that callsign so much, it's lost any of its original meaning to me. I can think about when I got it and maybe it's one of those vagaries of language but I don't think of any of the bullshit Python and the others gave me when it got awarded in sickbay down at the base." For just a moment, his lips twitch upwards. "And maybe they congratulated you because you seem to like her and the whole thing seems to make you happy, Ivory. Those things are usually very, very simple." There's a pause as he spends a long time considering something. Maybe it's Ivory's newfound status as SPACE PIMP but likely something far more involved.

"I never considered doing what I'm doing now. Hell, being involved with someone at my own posting, let alone the level of involvement I'm at. In the back of my mind, I was always afraid of some horrible explosion that I couldn't contain, or get away from." There's a small cough provided, possibly to cover some other turn of expression at the mention of that whole situation. "It's changed us in some ways. I know -I- wasn't the way I was a year ago. But maybe the way my actions to external stimuli are what's changed." Out of nowhere, he confesses a bit, "Watching Merlin go down when we were trying to pull that Raider off him. That felt like the final straw. Such a little thing. Someone I saw a few times a day, hardly spoke much with. Then like that. Gone." Pursing his lips a tad, he elaborates. "We've lost other pilots. I've -seen- others get shot down and come back." He nods at Timon with a sidelong glance of his head, undoubtably indicating Scorpia, "This is the first time I've watched a human being die. With my own eyes." He curiously adds, "Well, one of -our- people and not — " He just cuts himself off now.

Timon doesn't interrupt as Wil decides to lay down more than a few burdens at once; indeed, if not for the tap-tap-tapping of his fingers against his folder, it might almost seem he's fallen asleep. But when the man's through: "There's a lot to unpack in there," the pilot observes, not a little wryly. "I'm not quite sure what to tackle first." But, Ivory being Ivory, he'll give it a go: "Horrible explosion?" is what the man comes up with, shifting in his seat. His eyes are still closed, but for some reason, he looks just a little uncomfortable. Then again, maybe that's just the aftereffects of the run.

"There generally is. It's the curse of my thought patterns. They run parallel and while they make sense to -me- sometimes context comes out a bit garbled." Wil says, with more than a rueful touch to his voice which matches the slight smirk upon his features as he ponders this. "Drives some people batshit and they usually just throw up their hands." That's a confession in itself, really.

"You know. Horrible explosion. You say something you didn't mean, or it is taken wrong, or blown -way- out of proportion and you're left with the uncomfortable reminder of someone hating you when you wanted them to anything -but- hate you. And on a base, well? Let's just say it's hard to get away from someone like that. On a ship, especially the LAST ship we've seen, it can only be worse." He mulls something over here and chuckles faintly, under his breath. "I could explain better if the proper context is provided. See?"

"That's not at all where I thought you'd go with that," Ivory notes, his tone blank. Back to his eyes go his hands, pressing down a little harder than he really needs. Maybe that grimace denotes unnecessary pressure; maybe it's just proof he's weighing his words. "See, my mind immediately snaps to the prospect of just — blinking out." Almost by instinct, the pilot's knuckles seek out some wood to tap. Thank the gods for armrests. "Out there. One bad jump, one false negative on DRADIS — " Timon clicks his tongue against the lid of his mouth — a sharp sound that almost approximates a kiss. "Then the CAG's calling all ships RTB because the SAR bird can't find a shred of you, your ECO, or your plane worth burying." This remarkably morbid thought is delivered with equally remarkable equanimity, despite the fact that it's by no means a hypothetical scenario. "And now I can add Ariadne to the list of people who'll have to pick up the pieces — you know." Wide palms wring out the last few drops of water from his hair. "After."

"Different kind of explosion." Wil finally notes, again. There's a slight tone of awkward frustration tinging the sigh as follows as his own conversational difficulties suffer from the self-fulfilling prophecy but his eyes narrow. "See, that's where I'm horribly selfish in it all and that, that bothers me." Rebound's fingers curl a bit as he cups at his chin, his teeth grit slightly. "Don't get me wrong. I'm afraid out there. I don't know how you can stare down the gunsights of an enemy that, if it thinks at all, has nothing but the immediate desire to add another notch of its metaphorical bedpost of slaughter after it plows its carcass through your scattered remains." His teeth grit a little as he weighs this fact. "Along with a lot of the same things you described. If you fly, you can die. But that's just it. I'm starting to find it a harder prospect to be stuck behind, standing around at some memorial or staring at someone's empty bunk, or watching them become yet another picture on my locker of someone I'll never, ever see or speak to again." His fingers heft the pen idly and place it lengthwise across the arm of his chair as he attempts to balance the damn thing. "When we got the RTB on Scorpia — I felt that. When I watched Merlin crash into that rock, I felt that. Let alone all the other slew of people I never saw but just had to presume," he snaps his fingers in emphasis, loudly. "Over."

Finally he comments in return on Timon's second point. "I understand how you feel there too. 'Bout the Sister, there. I keep stumbling over that concept with Persephone, that one day , any day, it may be it and there won't be so much as a box coming back to her and she'll be left to pick through all the shit I've got piled in my locker as a series of disconnected mementos. One life in a man's collected junk. She seems to have some more hopeful faith than I do but I think she knows the truth. She just clings to that because it helps her function. Helps -me- function too."

"Yeah." Timon sustains the syllable for a few seconds before he has to draw breath; the word ends up coming out more like a sigh than anything else. "One could say that she has faith." The pilot's rueful chuckle doesn't quite manage to sound amused at that little joke. "I'd like to believe she's right, you know? That maybe this sort of joy is worth all those 'disconnected mementos' — those sleepless nights spent chasing your brain in circles — 'what if' — 'what could have been' — " Wet hands wipe themselves off on his trousers as he speaks. "But maybe she's convincing me so easily because of — I don't know. Base pleasure-seeking on my part, or whatever you want to label it." As far as the prospect of staying alive goes? Not looking like Ivory's going to touch that one, except to lean forward — eyes open, now — and pat the younger man rather awkwardly on the shoulder. One, two, and — back into his seat he goes. There's silence for a while, and then: "All this is affective forecasting bullshit," Timon avers, with feeling.

"I dunno. I Mean." Wil seems to be quite at a loss here as he holds in a breath, both the quirk of his mouth and the timbre in his voice a little perplexed. "I don't want to sound like I'm a master at these things who knows how all this shit works." The profanity is tossed out almost as an aside, and it is followed by a little bit of a clearly self-conscious snicker. "Faith. I guess. 'Seph said she owed you an apology, by the way, for that little mess in the Berthings. I think I already told you before but it just occurred to me to say it again."

Waving a hand in brief, slight dismissal, he holds in a slight sigh of comment as his foot starts tap-tap-tapping against the sparse metal of the deck. "I think at this point our lives are compact enough that doing a lot of head-scratching at whether something is 'base pleasure-seeking' or some kind of attempt at chasing some sort of disembodied ideal is largely a waste of time we don't have. That's just it. We 'don't' have time."

"There wasn't any need for an apology the first time; there isn't any need now." On that point, Timon seems rather certain, insofar as Persephone's performance that morning was drastically overshadowed by that of another individual. "Tell her the sock was from me? Pax and all that." Ivory's way of making peace: through a mediator. "And really, Rebound: head-scratching is all I do." The laugh that follows is genuine, albeit more than a little hollow. He does, however, purse his lips at the thought, bending his knees inward and leaning forward to crack his back.

"Heh. Heh heh. I haven't even -shown- her the sock. But I will make not of it." Wil's lips unexpectedly crack in dry humor. "In your own way, you can be hilarious." A single-syllable snort follows as he considers. "I didn't think it was really an issue. Just, well, there's a sort of obsession with etiquette on this ship and I'm trying to keep my proverbial ass covered." He lifts a hand to his mouth and lets out a slight cough. "Apparently you fly as well. At least, if you spent your entire time in the damn cockpit with Marek scratching your head on this rotation we'd hear about it. But I digress." Back to another sheet of paper. "Where -were- we? What -will- they say about us?" He ventures a sample, right here. "Lieutenant Timon 'Ivory' Stathis. A dedicated scholar. A consummate diplomat. Eloquent orator. Skilled Raptor pilot. Tends to overthink good things." This last one was tossed out there sounding as a bit of an afterthought.

"In your own way, you can be profound." Not quite sparkling wit, but it's the best Timon can come up with on short notice. "And speaking of over-thinking good things: Ariadne got kicked up the ladder a few days ago. Now she gets to wear gold pins on her collar, so no longer must we wander the storage rooms in a vain effort to cover both our proverbial — well. You know." Ivory shies away from finishing the sentence, though he can't actually keep the sheepish grin off his face. Wil now has official license to SPREAD THE WORD. "In my defense, I haven't been able to come up with a way to look this horse in the mouth.” A short chuckle. “And — as to what words these mysterious people who come after us might use to describe you?" There's another beat as he ponders what should be said next. Compliments and flattery don't come easily to him, after all. Beat becomes pause becomes delay — and then, simply: "Lieutenant Junior Grade Willem Price. They called him 'Rebound.' Because he did."

"There's something quaint, romantic, and fraught with peril when sneaking around cramped carrier corridors and fearing getting caught." Wil says, bemusedly, in the midst of another snort but the whole of the statement just falls flat as he ponders the sage words of the pilot some five or six years his senior. "I never thought of it that way. I guess. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it but —" He just lets the matter drop, looking abashed. Of course, the best way to avoid having to think uncomfortable or awkward thoughts is to work backwards and concentrate on someone else's issue. Back to the bit about the promotion. "Good, good. I mean, as a Chaplain and all, the whole thing doesn't make sense. They're not in the chain of command, per se so the idea of that being a 'Fraternization' one is a mystery to me." Quite unbidden, his hand reaches up to lightly pat the Raptor pilot on the back. "As for spreading the word? Well, I wasn't saying anything to command and wasn't going to, what was going on was a poorly guarded secret. Oh, and Black Cat sort of -did- turn you out like she was she was your p — " snapping his mouth shut, he restates it in more delicate terms. "She set you up. You know that."

Somehow, Rebound is more flustered in this conversation than Ivory is. If Timon were the type of guy who counted, this would definitely be filed into the 'win' column. Instead, though: "I know that." While the pilot's ears don't go pink, that sheepish grin does widen incrementally. "Gods, returning that laundry made for one truly awful conversation." The details of which, unfortunately for Wil, will remain vague for now, despite the fact that Ivory looks to be replaying it in his head as his back is awkwardly patted. "I'll admit that part of me is still a little bit stunned — the who, me?! reaction, let’s call it. I'm sure you get what I'm talking about." Because Price is a geek too. "And then there's part of me that's urging me to throw caution to that damnably clichéd wind." Another rueful chortle and the lieutenant is settling back into his chair, hair flopping wetly against his forehead. "Or to quote a mutual acquaintance: GET IT BOY! Except, you know, not exactly like that."

Funny thing is, Wil's flustered state was probably more encouraged by the possibility of rolling over Timon's refined aesthetics. Upon noting the other man's reaction, he visibly loosens up just a tad, his arms drooping down at his sides as he continues to work. The 'work' part seems to speed up though as he is clearly on autopilot. You fill out some seventy to eighty forms with the exact same wording, YOU'll be on autopilot too, after all.

"'Get it, boy?' All right. I'll bite." He isn't quite sure who said mutual acquaintance is. "Who said that?" He again works backwards as he chews on the story. "Years of being kind of a schmuck and having done some — questionable things conditioned me to failure in this department. So yes, I understand. Some day I'll tell you about the first time I met 'Seph. Before the Kharon." For now, he just dangles that little bit out there as a hook, like a 'coming attractions' segment for a vid. "I think our mutual acquaintance was right, in any case."

"You can ask him about it yourself the next time you're out there on CAP." Sure, Ivory could have just said 'Rabbit' and ended all possibility for confusion, but he's a man who once planned to make a living off of needless ambiguity. Then, blinking a few times as he processes the rest of the man's response: "Before?" A curious 'Mmm' follows but Timon doesn't bother with the obvious question, instead turning back to the envelope on his lap. Its contents are retrieved in relative silence, broken only by the sound of pen scratching against paper.

"Oh. Gods." Wil finally notes, stifling a bit of a snicker as a cough explodes in his mouth. "Rabbit. He told you -that-?" Check that. It's more than -one- laugh that escapes from Rebound's lips now as he begins a series of rumbling explosions in his chest. "I'm trying to imagine what that exchange looked like and am failing." As the laughter winds down, he proceeds through another sheet after a bit of a pause and places it in the ever-growing pile. Man's making progress, to say the least. "Actually, I already asked him for advice. Believe it or not, it seemed to work. Between him and his bunkmate — he and Mudguts seemed to be right." He's vague on what 'right' means but apparently it was 'right' enough for him to say this.

"Yes. Before." Of course, Wil finally does deign to expound a little bit. "She and I are from the same place. Same city. There's a bloody 20 kilometer radius there, at most. Also close in age. When you keep these things in mind it's not out of the realm of possiblity that we could have ran into each other. Unfortunately, I sort of blew it the first time." He smiles bemusedly, even if taking refuge at yet another poke at himself. Who's keeping score on these anymore? Who -can- keep score?

Roubani, probably, but he all up and fled. "The exchange was probably better than anything you could ever imagine," replies Timon in the meantime, not looking up from his work, "But please don't interpret that as a challenge." And as if to prevent just such an eventuality: "What happened the first time?" Ivory's voice is nonchalant — because, after all, that question couldn't possibly provoke an embarrassing or otherwise awkward revelation.

"CAP gets rather dull. Rabbit and I just started blathering to pass the time. You know how it is." Willem states, succinctly as he gives an explanation of whatever it was that went on in that cockpit at that time. "No challenge. Trust me." Of course, the bait is taken and Wil is asked a direct question. So he gives a vague, indirect answer. "Oh, we saw each other once. Had a seriously awkward exchange. Or rather, the source of the awkwardness was on my part, although I don't think her brother thought much of me. Or brother-s-" He corrects the pronunciation with a plural. "These things aren't that exciting, so I'll cut to the chase. I blew it in the most mundane way. It was brief, in any case." Finally, though, he whirls on his seat and eyes Timon faintly. "This time it worked out better. To be honest, we'd both forgotten each other, which probably made things easier on my part. That says a lot about human relationships, doesn't it?"

Another quiet 'Mm,' which would probably be infuriating if not for the fact that the Raptor driver actually looks like he's thinking things over. "That reminds me of something you told me about my dissertation the other night, in the laundry." Timon shifts a few completed sheets of paper from his lap to the chair beside him as he goes about his paperwork. "That maybe whatever cosmic forces are out there, if cosmic forces do indeed exist Out There — maybe they gave me this time to finish what I'd left unfinished." Ivory doesn't bother retelling the story; after all, he heard it from the man sitting across from him. "Maybe this is your divine gift — like my magnum opus, except blonder and perkier." Scribble-scribble-scribble goes pen on pad; then, quieter: "Maybe." There's another yawning pause. "Good luck," Timon ventures at last.

"And to think I usually thought I preferred them darker and meaner. But we take what gifts we can. I'm not saying it's some weird 'cosmic practical joke.' In fact, it's better that it's not. This is just a simple situation you act on, and you achieve…desired results." Wil says, chewing on his lip with a slight pause and a muffled thoughtfulness. "So yes. I don't know about you but I don't see any reason not to 'go for it' anymore." All this talk of such mundane things has put him a bit further at ease. "Heh. I never had a 'great work' after I joined the Fleet. This is pretty much what I am." He lets out a bit of a sigh. "If it comes down to something as base and bread-and-butter as killing Cylons? This I can handle. Cylons I'm not crying over."

Timon catches his lower lip in his teeth as he nods in agreement; he's said his piece and now must recharge. One can almost see the little fuel light flashing in his head: 'Word supply dangerously low.' He does, however, have one last question up his sleeve, which he springs in his usual mild tenor. "Where do you see it going?"

Unlike Timon, Wil's word supply has a label which reads, "Can go for hours." One wonders if it drives the ladies wild. Still, it occasionally flags. This is one of those moments, which results in a bit of an awkward silence. "See what going? My 'career' as it were? I thought I was going to serve fifteen years, retire, become a writer somewhere. Maybe get a cat."

"Cats are expensive." Ivory's profundity reserve is also running on fumes, it seems. "But I meant more the other thing." It seems that Timon's unwilling to come right out and ask about Rebound's plans for Fallout. So intent is he upon the mind-numbing task of calculating theoretical drone trajectories that he forgets to look up and gauge the other man's mood.

See? Wil didn't even see it coming. "Oh." He says, mildly. Clearly on the wrong wavelength, the man is. His mouth quivers a bit to one side and he smiles a slightly uncertain, bemused half-smile. His always seem a bit more goofy than Roubani's, which is in line with many comparisons one can make about the two men. Of course, the glacial Timon is probably missing this, buried in his work. "Other thing. Oh, Persephone. Right." Tracing his conversation backwards a few steps, he just shrugs his shoulders. "I was sort of worried that I was doing something slightly tasteless, and, Hell, this is reckless and slightly insane by my usual standards."

After he's done tossing out a few disclaimers and caveats, he just comes to it. "Due to events that you probably don't want to hear about and I'm not really sure are fine discussion topics for the -moment-, for a long, long while I dug up something I was sitting on. It was an engagement ring that I couldn't bring myself to hock. Brought it with me onto the Kharon when I got reassigned. Always said I was going to get around to getting rid of it, never did. So, well, it doesn't fit, and I hope she doesn't read too much into that fact, but I took Rabbit's advice. And Fenris'. And even Case's." He doesn't comment on the inherent irony in asking Samantha for advice in such things. "I gave her the bloody thing and she seems -pretty- pleased. Not that she hadn't brought up the idea before."

Blah blah caveat caveat — and then — bam. It's almost as if Timon spends a luck point to keep on paying attention, so quickly does his pen hit the papers on his lap at the mention of an engagement ring. For a moment, his mouth opens as if to unleash another torrent of words — and then, shaking his head, he extends his right hand in a gesture of congratulations just a touch too solemn for the occasion.

Wil's eyelids narrow a bit as he finally ran down on words for the time being. He's -trying- to think of something to say, as if he's just pondering the whole situation with a slightly clenched jaw. Finally, though, his shoulders shrug a bit as he extends his own pale hand for a slow, yet quite manly handshake. "Poor woman has no idea what she's in for."

"Probably not," Ivory agrees, and when he shakes there's an odd, almost faraway look in his gaze that's dispelled a moment later by a self-conscious grin. "Don't expect me to sign up for something on your gift registry," he says. "But I will permit you to consider my gift the first of the deluge of useless trinkets you'll be getting over the next few months."

The very mention of such mundane things leaves Wil a bit, well, queasy-looking as he winces. "I think 'gift registries' and other sad little traditions like that are one of the things we can safely leave behind with our own lives in an irradiated graveyard." You wanted morbid? YOU GOT IT. GET IT, BOY.

Almost realizing that this comment is rather inappropriate for the situation, he comments, briefly, "But the gift. Eh. I'll treasure it always." He smiles a brief, sly smile once again and just leaves it at that.

"You gave her an engagement ring," Ivory notes dryly. "And if the gift of a diamond to demonstrate your commitment isn't one of those sad little traditions — " From his tone, it's clear he's joking, despite the fact that he does look a little more pensive than usual — which is to say, exceedingly pensive. "Let me know if there's anything I can do, yeah?"

"Not all of those traditions are bad. I remembered this. After all, I'm a classy guy." Even if it is a regift. "It's a small one, but I liked the sapphires in it, better. They seemed appropriate." Wil notes, quietly as he turns to study the paper on his clipboard. "At least, when I bought it originally. Don't know why." Willem smiles tight, subdued smile. It's subdued, but seems enduring. Clearly, whatever has him in a jumble, it's definitely not regret over having done this. "Anything? Eh. Help keep my dumb ass alive for a few months if I need an SAR. I want to enjoy this." He says, in a mock-fatalist tone. Beyond that, Wil doesn't really have much to say. He just shrugs his shoulders, one more time.

"Thorn would want me to point out here that his jamming keeps your dumb ass alive, while all I do is ferry around the EW system and its operator." Ah, pilot-ECO banter: Timon's last resort when searching for something to say. "Anyway." And then the man's standing up, gathering up the photographs from before and sliding them back into their folder after a few failed stabs. "Got to finish this stuff before tonight, else Spider will double his pace for the next PT and I won't live to see you fumble your vows." It's a harmless jab, devoid of venom.

"I don't know when they are. Probably sooner rather than later but there's not even a date. I guess I want to savor this." Wil says. And then, because he has to make a slight, tasteless remark, he reaches down into the satchel. Pulls out sock. Smirks, crookedly. "You know how it goes. And I need to finish this paperwork before someone catches on that I've been cutting corners with a series of post-flight checks for old systems the Mark VII's don't even have as they were phased out several revisions ago." He just coughs after that, with feigned innocence. "Good hunting, Ivory. And thanks. I appreciated all that. Go say hello to your girl if you get time, too."

“Yeah. Good times. And while I hesitate to say you've inspired me — " Ivory pauses on his way to the hatch, leaning against his former seat, back turned to Rebound. "Yeah." His free hand rubs at his unruly hair, long since dried. "I'll do that," he says, more than a little lamely. "And I've also got black ones, if you think those would be sleeker." Socks, that is. But if he clarifies aloud, Wil won't hear, so sudden is the clang of the hatch.

"It's more for visibility. Like those jumpsuits the deck crew wears." Wil observes, dryly, as he eyes the man depart with some bit of muffled mirth. "Be safe." And with that, he's left to hammer out the rest of his paperwork in silence.

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