Straggler (Take II)
Straggler (Take II)
Summary: Another straggler arrives at the lodge and Phai is there to welcome here.
Date: PHD 13
Related Logs: Related Logs Straggler

Phaistion is just in the process of reshouldering his pack to set out for the creek that Anthem mentioned. It will be good to get the grime, mud, and grass stains off of his skin, because really, he looks something akin to a mudbaby. His matted hair is pretty much plastered to the left side of his face, and standing down wind of him could definitely cause a nose or two to wrinkle.

Tempest drags in a bag, she didn't bring overly much, but whatever is in there is all that remains to her. As her eyes adjust to the subdued lighting, there is a gasp and the kit drops from her hands, "Are…are you real?"

A wave of sympathy washes through Phaistion. He found himself asking the same of Anthem merely hours before. Obviously the woman before him has been in a similar situtation to his own for the past two weeks. Of course, there's the off chance it could be ruse, considering what the marine had told him. Still, he's willing to take the chance. "You too, huh," Is the first thing that pops out of his mouth, and he holds up both hands, palms extended in a gesture of peace. "I'm real," He states gently, "we both are. I'm guessing you're in the same boat as I was until a few hours ago, alone since the shit hit the fan?"

Tempest simply folds where she is onto the floor, the events of the past fortnight having taken its toll. She is silent for a moment and then speaks as a comforting hand runs through her hair, grass and twigs entwined in the amber-hued depths. "I thought I was alone. I've been wandering since I saw the blinding lights. Heard that screech in the air, the horrific sound of metal." Her face lifts to him, "You said there are others?"

Phaistion nods his head a bit, "I've met Anthem so far, he's a Marine. He said there were others here, but they're out scavanging and stuff. There's some Ares cult up on the caves near here too." Phai sits himself back down and reaches for his pack. Slowly - very slowly - so as to make certain the motions are entirely non-threatening, he opens it and digs around for a moment until he finds what he's searching for. "My name's Phaistion," He offers in a soft spoken voice as he withdraws his hand from the pack and extends it to the woman, a candy bar resting on his palm. A universal peace offering of chocolate, or so it would seem.

Tempest looks hungrily at the bar, the tip of her tongue slicking over her parched lips and then towards Phaistion. Rather than reaching for the confection, she extends her hand, "Tempest Pompeo. I was here on vacation with," she swallows, "My friend. He left to see what was happening and never returned."

"I'm sorry about your friend, Tempest," Phaistion states as soothingly as he can. Suddenly he thinks he was fortunate to be alone, and not have to bear that additional burden. He places the chocolate bar down beside her, then gently takes her hand and shakes it, "Hephaistion Bray," comes his full name formally. "Same here. I was up in the woods in the mountains sketching some nature studies for some paintings I was going to do for school." The sketches are still in his pack.

Tempest notes his smooth hands, gentle hands and she struggles not to cry. Once her hand slips from his, she gentle lifts the candy, opening it and holding it up; a silent confirmation to take a bit of it. "You are an artist?" She knows how her writing soothes her and she imagines its the same with his art.

A nod is Phai's first answer before the words come, "I am. or was, or I guess I am, 'cause, that's not something that leaves you even if the world is ending around you." He knows the words aren't exactly comforting, and he suddenly wishes Anthem were here to help handle this. He's still in the process of digesting the information imparted to him. How in the world to explain it to Tempest? "Go ahead," He smiles out, nodding at the candy, "Might not be very nutritious, but I've always found that chocolate is a good balm for just about anything that ails you." And who knew if there would be much more candy for them in the future.

Phaistion bites his lower lip, worrying it between his teeth, "Uhm, do you know what happened?" If Tempest doesn't, it's going to fall to him to explain as best his can. It's not exactly something that can be sugar-coated, and he can feel the moisture prickling at the back of his eyelids again.

Tempest is quiet until the first square is ingested. She then looks down, following a pattern on the rug beneath her, "I would imagine another colony became overly bold? Decided to annhialate the others?" Her green eyes lift to his.

Phaistion draws in a deep, cleansing breath. "That's what I thought at first too." He fidgets a bit and stares down at his hands, "There's no easy way to say this, so uhm, I'm just gonna say it." There's a pause before he says as calmly as he can manage, "The Cylons mounted a full scale attack, and I guess everything is pretty much gone. From what Anthem said, I guess they pretty much hit everything in one fell swoop." Swallowing hard, he steals a look at Tempest, hating having to be the one to deliver such devestating news.

Tempest's hand, lifting part way to her lips with the second piece of chocolate falters. "C-Cylons? We've not heard of them…forty years gone! Why, it couldn't have been them!" She looks upwards as though the answer lies beyond this lodge, "Certainly not…those machines."

"I think Anthem will be able to answer your questions a lot better than I can, since he's military. I guess they wanted to start a war and end it all at once." A frown is attached to his features. "It all seems so crazy to me, you know? Who can guess? Maybe they've been planning this since the day the armistice was signed. Who can figure out what frakkin' machines think."

Tempest absently places the bite into her mouth and slowly shakes her head. After a few moments there is a gentle laugh which escapes her, "All these years, I refused the religion of my family, believing it to be archaic and that there was far more interesting things to do than remain on Gemenon, marrying when I was 13 and having babies. That there were worlds to be seen, to be explored. I went to school, stretched my mind and come here for a vacation and then everything I fought against is laid bare within moments." Her expressive eyes meet his, "How ironic does that seem?"

"Ironic enough," Phaistion admits. "Still, as scary as the last two weeks have been, look at this way, we were two of the lucky ones. We're still here." Phai knows it's not much of a comfort, but he's already made the choice to put the past behind and focus, instead, on their collective future. After a moment he pats himself down until he finds his pack of cigarettes and a lighter. Since this all began he's been rationing himself, but now seems as good a time as any. One cigarette is popped in his mouth and he lights it, before holding the pack out to Tempest, "Smoke? It might help settle your nerves."

Tempest holds out her hand, a gentle smile gifting her lips, "The gods know I don't need to take up a habit only to have to give it up when the supply is gone. But thank you."

Phaistion nods and stows the pack back in his jeans along with the lighter. "It's good you got out and were able to see the Colonies and live life to its fullest," He offers. Being Caprican he always found the Gemonese belief system to be somewhat backwards, although he wouldn't hazard to voice such a thing to Tempest.

Another laugh fills the room, this time even more rueful, "This was my first colony. I had finished my degree in Psychology, my masters. And this was my reward."

Phaistion blinks a bit and gazes thoughtfully at Tempest, "So you're a doctor. I mean, even if you're a head doctor, you've had some medical training haven't you?" This is a fact that should please Anthem, is what Phai is thinking. "Anthem said there isn't a doctor here, just a paramedic. It's good that you found us."

Tempest says, "Oh. No no! Different animal. I mean, I learned first aid on my parents farm, but I'm afraid I'm simply learned in why people do what they do. Not a psychiatrist. Though in the past years I've felt like one."

Phaistion blushes a bit at his own mistake, "I always get those mixed up. You'd think with as much schooling as I've had, I'd know the difference." The expression he's wearing could best be described as sheepish. For a moment he doesn't know what to say, so instead focuses on smoking his cigarette, enjoying the feel of the nicotine hitting his system.

Tempest reaches over, pressing a comforting hand on his wrist, "After all that's happened, its surprising anyone can make a conscious thought, Phai."

The contact feels good. Comforting. A connection to life and to the living and Phaistion gently drifts his free hand over Tempest's, squeezing in return. "I'm sure you're welcome to stay here with the rest of us, though I don't guess I have any sort of official say. I guess the guy who owns this place is kind of hands-off according to Anthem." As much as Phai has said that name, he must sound like a broken record.

Tempest looks at the man's hand, her own turning to entwine her fingers with his, "Hands off?"

Phaistion chuckles a bit, happy to simply hold hands with the woman he's sitting beside. "I'm not too clear what exactly that means, myself," He shrugs out. "Hopefully Anthem will be back soon, cause I know I'm doing crap job of explaining stuff."

Tempest's mouth arcs in a smile, "You've set my heart at ease, Phai. I would fault you nothing and your kindness has helped me greatly." Her head tilts slightly as she observes him, "Tell me about yourself. Your life?"

Phaistion lets out a deep breath, he's been avoiding talking and thinking about the past, lest he break down in a most embarassing way. "Uhm. Well… My Dad is," There's a pause before he corrects himself, "Was, Antonius Bray. The chef. So I spent a lot of time in the kitchens at Aria Luna. He taught me a lot about cooking when I was growing up." Despite his lean physique, Phai enjoys little more than he enjoys food. "I always loved to draw and doodle and paint though. I remember when I was really little I used to get in trouble cause I'd use the different sauces as fingerpaints!"

Tempest squeezes his hand comfortingly, "If we are alive, perhaps he is as well. Now, tell me what your favorite food you like to cook, like to eat?" She tries, once he has spoken of his father to take his thoughts from that as she watched his face and the overly bright eyes.

"Anything! Everything. I just love to eat," Phai admits with a chuckle, "though I guess if I had to name an absolute favorite it would be chocolate mousse, because, well, chocolate!" On some level he's aware of what Tempest is doing, drawing him out, soothing him, putting her training to good use. He's thankful for it, because at the moment he feels more at ease than he has since this all began. "I'm pretty adventurous though. Dad always made so many different things for us at home, I'm pretty fearless when it comes to food. Though, for us it was a very communal experience, you know?"

Tempest says, "Did you have large bowls of food on the table where all could partake? Hands reaching with pieces of bread to dip? And wine? And enough that you could eat all day long?" It seems she also had wonderful memories of large family dinners, "Seafood. I love shellfish and fresh fish…cooked so fresh that it never looses its warmth from the water from whence it was caught."

A grin starts to spread across Phaistion's features, which starts to reach the blue-grey of his eyes, banishing some of the clouds there. "Always. And we were those annoying people at restaurants you know? That family who always passed their plates around the table to share, and then the other diners would give us dirty looks like we were breaking some kind of stupid rule. Dad used to love to make mussels, because of how fresh they'd stay until you steamed them open," He nods in agreement. "Lobster is the best though. With some vanilla butter? Good stuff." His stomach had been feeling off, but now it actually rumbles a bit at all the thoughts of food.

Tempest says, "We'll have to find some. And would you make it as you like?" She stands, moving nearer to him to seat herself beside you before leaning down to rest her head on his knee, "I hope you are not a hands off person."

Phaistion shakes his head, "I don't mind, though I'm really suprised you can stand the smell of me!" It's been forever since he's felt clean. "Anthem said there's a creek nearby where we can wash ourselves. I'm planning to head there at some point. You should go with me though, and not alone. I guess there's been some criminal elements around that are dangerous. Probably not a good idea for you to wander off alone," There's concern in his voice as he says that last. "I know a little bit of martial arts, so at least I could make an attempt at defending you."

Tempest straightens, "You wouldn't mind if I went with you? I would love to try and get clean. I've a bit of shampoo left, though my soap smells of sweetpea."

"I wouldn't mind at all," Phai replies, his voice warm, "I'm thinking it would be a good thing for us to both feel, and look, like humans again." Right now, he feels more like a wild animal, than the human being that he is. "I'd be terribly worried if you went out there alone."

Tempest stands silently, gracefully as she moves to gather her single bag. "Shall we go?"

Phaistion nods his agreement and picks up his pack and shoulders it. Remembering how Tempest was lugging the bag behind her when she arrived, he offers, "You want me to carry that for you, you must be exhausted?"

Tempest smiles sweetly, "If you wouldn't mind? I want to feel clean and whole again. Where did come from before you found this lodge?"

Where did he come from? Phaistion has to stop to think about that. "Uhm, I dunno, from over near the mountains, I didn't really pay attention, honestly. Once I saw the path leading here, I kinda lost my mind a bit from relief." He hefts the bag up in one hand and starts to chuckle, "This reminds me of my mom's purse."

Once they reach the creek, Tempe has no qualms about beginning to divest herself of her clothes. Now is not the time to be modest since she figures that they'll all be living in extremely close proximity to one another. And so, off comes her scarf, her jacket, boots and jeans. She leaves on her delicates since she figures they need washing anyway.

Phaistion isn't body shy either, even if his personality is on the shyer side of the spectrum. There's nothing that would stand between him and that creek right now, save overt danger. Once the bags are put down and his sneakers kicked aside, his jeans and tee come off in short order. He takes the belt from the jeans and carries both articles of clothing down to the creek with him. "Figure I might as well try to wash these as well as myself," He points out. The water is a bit chilly, but it feels amazing against his dirty, muddy skin, and he quickly sits himself on the creek's bottom, submerging as much of his body as he can.

Tempest opens her bag, pulling out her shampoo and body wash. She also brings out a puff of netting and, closing her eyes, she runs into the cool water, letting out a brief scream of her protest. Once she settles down, she leans back into the creek to wet her hair. Reaching for the shampoo which floats nearby, she opens it to squirt a coin sized dollop into her palm, massaging it into her hair. With one hand, she tosses it towards Phai.

Phaistion laughs when Tempest screams her way into the water, and just the mere act of laughing feels pretty damned good. After a moment, he dissapears under the water, only to reemerge looking rather like a drowned rat, but at least now his mussed and matted 'hawk is wet through. "You know, earlier? I patted my hair and an actual visable cloud of dust came out of it. My Mom would've been so ashamed." Lifting his legs off the bottom of the creek, he lets himself drift downstream a bit until he's closer to his companion. "Wow, this feels good."

Tempest's hands shampoo the grime from her hair, her eyes closed as she enjoys the feeling of her fingers against her scalp. After several minutes, she ducks beneath the water, a swirl of suds drifting down stream. With a sputter, she surfaces. Next comes her sponge and soap which is rubbed all over her body. "It feels wonderful."

Phaistion reaches for the shampoo, he'd much rather smell like a sweetpea than a pig, after all. He only takes a little though, since there's not really that much hair on the top of his head to need to shampoo. "Thank you," He tells Tempest as he works up a healthy lather in his hair. Once he ducks beneath the surface to rinse his hair again, he scoops up some sand from the bottom of the creek and begins to scrub the mud and grass stains from his skin with it. Bit by bit, he's starting to look - and feel - human again.

A splash lands near him and it's the body soap. The sponge and shampoo are tossed on the shore and once she has scrubbed herself, she leans back and begins to float languidly in the stream. At least for this one blissful moment she can appreciate the small comforts.

Phaistion takes a sparing portion of the soap, not wanting to waste Tempest's things. Who knows how much will be available in the future. Once he's washed the more critical areas of his body with it, he floats over towards the bank. Thankfully, just before he drags his jeans in with him, he remembers their precious cargo, and he tosses the pack of cigarettes and lighter farther up the bank on dry land. The clothing is dunked in the water, and then spotting a nearby rock, he gets mideval on them, picking them up and flailing them at the rock again and again, watching the mud begin to float free each time he beats them against the rock.

Tempest sits upright in the stream, a look of amusement on her face, "You've been walking for a very long time by the looks of the layers on those pants. I hope you've other clothes you can wear once they dry?" Her bright hair streams down her shoulders to float upon the water. Her skin glows with the scrubbing and she looks at ease and comfortable. "I forgot towels."

"I've got one in my pack you can use," Phai calls out, his focus still intent upon the task of beating his clothes clean. Whatever works. "Just be careful not to get the pastels or charcoals wet, please, I don't know that I'll be able to get more." That thought causes a frown to etch across his features. Somehow, some way, he'll manage to scrounge or create more art supplies. "I can just shake myself dry," He adds with a grin.

Tempest reluctantly leaves the water, pausing on the shore to wring out her length of hair. Her undergarments are silk and the color of lavender rose, conforming to her curves. She walks to his bag, careful to only pull the towel from it and quickly dry herself off.

While some might try to get a cheap thrill out of watching Tempest half naked and wet walk from the water, it's clear Phaistion isn't one of them. He allows her some measure of privacy as she dries off, keeping his eyes on his task. At last, no more mud seems to come from his clothes, and he dunks them under the water one last time before flinging them up on the bank, and climbing out of the creek himself. Once out, he wrings the clothes thouroughly then heads for his pack. It only takes a moment of digging before he pulls out a pair of long board shorts and a clean, white tee, and he slips both on. "Feeling better," He asks with a grin as he hunts down his comb and starts to work it through the snarls in his hair until his mohawk falls smoothly against his brow.

One last rummage through his pack and Phai comes up with what might be the most amazing thing in the universe right now. His toothbrush and toothpaste. "Victory," He cheers as he raises the tube of paste skyward, and trots back to the creek bank. "Now it's my time to share," He grins, squeezing some of the tube's contents onto the brush, then tossing the paste back to Tempest. "The final thing needed to feel human!"

Tempest enjoys the comarederie shared and pulls her own toothbrush from her bag, placing a bit of the precious paste on the brushes. She doesn't think she's ever brushed her teeth so thoroughly or for as long as she had on this day.

Once he rinses and spits, Phai ambles back up the bank and begins to reassemble the contents of his pack, stuffing things back inside. He sets the now wet towel with his sopping clothes, which he'll hang up when he returns to the lodge. "You look like an entirely new person, Tempest." He, himself, feels like one too. "Feeling better?"

Tempest lightly braids her hair before letting it trail over her shoulder, "So much better than before." Lifting a hand, she bids him silently to help her up. "Thank you for bringing me to get clean and I think I can finally sleep well tonight."

"I'm happy to do it," Phaistion replies with a smile, "I'm glad to have a new friend in this strange, mad world." He reaches out a hand to help her up. "So, I know you like seafood," He states quietly, "what else do you like?" As much as Tempest has gotten him to talk, he realizes that he knows very little of her beyond where she's from and her chosen field.

Phaistion almost groans at the thought of so much wonderful food, "All of that sounds really good right about now," he admits. Once he's got his pack shouldered again, he doesn't bother to ask this time before scooping up her bag in his other hand. "I haven't really been able to eat for days, but I'm actually feeling kind of hungry."

Tempest says, "Do you think the lodge has any food? Hopefully, they had stocked up before…before…" She moves nearer to him, not wanting to finish the thought. "Maybe the proprietor will know? Though I've no idea how many others are around to feed."

Phaistion sets a slow pace back towards the lodge, there's no need to hurry really. When Tempest's words hesitate, he gives her hand a gentle, supportive squeeze. "Anthem said there were about a dozen or so people here now. There should be food in the kitchen, from what he said. I'll probably start helping with the cooking once I find this Angel person who seems to be in charge of it."

Tempest says, "I cannot wait to taste your food. I'm sure it will be ambrosial." She walks casually at his side, enjoying the dusk, the scent of the pine trees and the occasional whiff of her freshly washed hair, "If you could cook anything, what would it be?"

Phaistion puts a bit of thought into the question, mulling it over in his head, "Right now? If I had the ingredients, I think I'd make some fresh bruscetta with tons of basil, and a nice lasagna, chock full of cheeses with a nice rich zesty sauce. Then something chocolate for desert. Lasagna is such a nice comfort food, you know?"

Tempest says, "I have never had…you called it…lasagna? Please explain it to me?"

Phaistion blinks a bit at that. Even though he's an artist, his passion for food is clear when he speaks, "Wow. Uhm. Think of it as kind of a deep dish cake in a way. You start with sheets of thin pasta, that would be the 'cake' layers, and then for the filling you can put different meats or seafoods, cheeses, either red sauce or cream sauces, and you just keep building up the layers until you reach the top of the deep pan you make it in. Then you bake it for a long time and let all the cheeses and flavors melt and blend together. It's rich and hearty, and very comforting. Really verstatile as well, because you can make so many different kinds of recipes for it."

Tempest says, "It sounds very wonderful, Phai. I wish we had the ingredients." She looks up into the trees, wishing it were this way all over, that things would not have to be faced or parceled out later. "Will you continue to tell me stories about what you like to cook?"

A grin is shot in Tempest's direction, "Of course I will." A rumble from his stomach interrupts, "But maybe not until after we actually find something to eat other than the protein bars in my pack. I'm so hungry I could eat an entire deer right now," He admits with a chuckle.

Tempest says, "Now deer I have had. And elk. Moose. Can you cook that, too?"

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