Summary: Kai and Roubani find some unpleasant similarities.
Date: MD040
Related Logs: None

The berthings are quiet this evening, owing most likely to the pilots either being out on CAP, eating dinner, or entertaining themselves in more sociable ways. Kai, as it happens, is folding uniforms. A task that could conceivably have been done in the laundry room, but he's chosen to do it here, on the table in the middle of the room. He's in his duty blues, with the jacket currently undone and his pins and wings resting near the stack of folded trousers and tank tops. He's humming as well, though too quietly to determine whether he can hold a tune.

Roubani had a late CAP and so returns to berthings well into the evening. The shower had probably been going when Kai started his folding task, and continues for quite a while before shutting off. Nobody emerges in a towel, though. A while later Roubani finally pushes the door open, completely dressed in his off-duties and carrying his blues in a semi-folded wad, which he takes towards his locker.

The humming ceases abruptly as someone arrives from the showers, and Marek glances up a moment later to spot Roubani. "Evening, Ensign," is murmured quietly. He continues folding, hands moving in a mechanical fashion.

"Captain." Roubani returns greeting even as most of his attention seems to be on the laundry. "Were you afraid the goblins would get your socks?"

"I'm not convinced they'd want my socks, Roubani." It's just uniforms on the table, a few sets of blues and a few sets of fatigues. Maybe he already put the rest of it away. "You know what the worst thing is about not having your wife around?" He holds up a jacket, notably missing a button. "I don't suppose you know your way around a needle and thread?"

"Maybe." Roubani folds his jacket neatly over his arm, "If I admitted I did, I don't suppose you'd kindly keep it to yourself."

Kai looks subtly bemused at that. "My lips are sealed. Let's just hope Morales doesn't try to rope me into another truth or dare game." He drops his gaze to the jacket, brow furrowing as he worries over that missing button again. It's draped across the back of a chair, and after a moment he resumes folding the rest.

Roubani reaches for the lapel of the jacket Kai just draped, looking at the row of buttons. "I think I have a spare, actually." Letting go, he turns back to the lockers and dumps his clothes into his laundry bag, then starts rummaging for said button. Not that there's much "rummaging"; his locker is impeccably organised. "Have you been married a long time, sir?"

There might just be a glance sneaked at said spotless locker. Purely out of curiosity. Though Karim's focused on his creasing of inseams and snapping of collars again within a heartbeat or two. "Eight years," is supplied robotically. No qualification on whether he considers that a 'long time'.

Books, hung clothing, shoes, basic toiletries. Roubani's locker lacks the cologne, hair gel, and magazine pinups of hot girls that most of the males seem to collect around here. There are two photographs tacked to the inside of the door, but it's too far for Kai to really see. "And she knows how to mend?" Roubani smiles as he closes the locker. "I haven't even met a girl since leaving home that didn't take 'could you mend this?' as an insult."

Something causes Kai to smile. It isn't readily apparent what, but he's got one of those lopsided little things going on, with just a sliver of teeth as Roubani shuts the door to his locker. "She mends, cooks, cleans, and fixes my tie when I've got it knotted wrong." He moves onto a pair of trousers next. "Do you want the sort of girl who can sew buttons on your shirts?" If he finds the conversation's taken an odd turn, he gives no indication; it's treated with the same matter-of-factness as everything else.

Roubani shrugs one shoulder. "I've gotten along fine without it so far." He opens the little sewing kit as he sits back down, sifting through the buttons until he comes up with a jacket one. "Is she nice?"

There's an ensuing silence after that question, noticeable but not quite yawning. "Mmhmm," he supplies under his breath, once he's finally got the trousers folded the way he wants them. Which is to say, a machine couldn't have done it better. Seeming briefly lost in thought, or maybe just watching Roubani's fingers moving through buttons, he plucks at a loose thread on the hem.

"That's good. I suppose that's really the most you can hope for." Roubani says this with matter-of-fact pragmatism, picking up the needle. He licks the end of the thread, passing it through the eye on first try. The thread's pulled through the eye and doubled back, and he reaches for the jacket. "Does it bother you to be asked about her?"

"It's more than a lot of us can hope for," Kai confides quietly, still fussing at that thread in his trousers. It's broken off eventually, and flicked aside. "Why should it bother me?" Blue eyes lift to watch Roubani thread the needle, though his head remains lowered. Huh. Not bad at all.

Roubani's dark eyes raise and he looks at Kai from under his brows. "Was that a yes or a no?"

Kai's tongue grazes his lower lip, then vanishes again. "You decide, Ensign." Rank rather than name, something must've touched a nerve. After a moment, he gathers up the stack of folded uniforms and sets off for his locker. "I'm guessing you didn't leave a girl behind, then. How about family?"

Roubani goes back to the button, passing needle through fabric. "Well. Technically, I'm engaged." His tone is, as ever, matter-of-fact about it. He might've said he was planning on buying a pair of shoes tomorrow. "I suppose I have a typical family. Parents, siblings. What about you?"

Well that was unexpected. Kai half-turns from his locker when that little factoid is dropped out there, then resumes stacking his clothing inside. His own personal storage space is not so much tidy, as it is nearly empty. An acoustic guitar dominates much of the space, some magazines at the top that look gifted by someone else, and were probably leafed through on his trip over to the Kharon. A couple of medals hanging from hooks, and he bends to fetch the set of prayer beads that are knocked to the floor, when the last of his laundry is pressed into place. "There a story behind that?" he wonders. "The fiance, I mean."

Roubani looks up briefly from the buttons, long enough to glance at Kai's locker contents, then back down. "Not really. It's tradition." There's something about the way he gives weight to the word. "I've met her once or twice." He draws the thread taut and passes it through another hole. "You play the guitar, sir?"

Kai shuts the door, and begins buttoning his jacket as he ambles back toward the table. "I wasn't aware your family was traditional." If he put more inflection on it, it might almost sound distasteful. "You'd mentioned you were from the north.." As opposed to the south and its poverty, and backwards traditions. "Not very well," he adds after a moment's thought, and somewhat distractedly.

"My parents are both southern," Roubani says without looking up. "I suppose it's efficient. Marriage is less likely to fail if it isn't based on ridiculous emotional illusions." He draws the thread taut again.

"It's a sound theory in many ways." The Captain settles into a chair opposite Roubani, and finally retrieves the pins and wings he'd left atop the table. Chin up, he affixes each of them in place meticulously. After a few moments of silence, "It's good that you've had the opportunity to meet first." There's a trace of something in his voice, not readily identifiable. Resentment?

Roubani doesn't say anything for a little while. He ties off the thread and gently snaps it, pushing the jacket and its new button back across the table to Kai. "I need to request leave, sir," he says out of nowhere. "My little sister's wedding is this Friday." He clears his throat quietly. "I know it's very short notice, but I only found out yesterday."

Kai is finished with the pins, and smoothes out a few creases in his trousers before reaching for the mended jacket. "Thank you," is murmured in the heaviest part of that silence. Without looking up, "I'll have to speak with the CAG." His tone is flat, businesslike.

"Yes, sir." Roubani fiddles with the edge of the sewing kit. He finally closes it with a soft snap and stands up, moving back to his locker.

Kai keeps his gaze lowered as Roubani ups and wanders off, features mottled with coarse-grained shadows that add years like brushstrokes. "I might be able to arrange for a raptor, but I can't guarantee the CAG and LSO will sign off. So I wouldn't count on it." His voice is low, inflectionless.

"I understand." Roubani talks without turning around, putting the kit back into the place he got it from. He makes no attempt to defend the sudden request for leave but probably doesn't have to. Kai knows the pressing importance of family at a traditional wedding.

It's probably why he's making a personal offer to put in for a raptor. Not that his manner gives away in the slightest, that he cares one way or the other. "Close to your sister?" is asked after a moment.

"Yes, sir." Roubani's voice gets funny right there, as if he were admitting something he's not supposed to. "She's the baby. Sixteen." He closes his locker, pushing the latch up and letting it down rather than slamming it. "Do you have any sisters or brothers, Captain?"

"Sixteen," Kai repeats quietly. He's folded his arms across his chest, and is still studying the floor at his feet like he expects something spectacular to happen there any minute now. Hades, he's old enough that he could have a sixteen year old daughter, himself. "Yes. Older brother, younger sister. Neither of them are military. Are you always this curious, Ensign?"

Roubani pauses. "No, sir, I'm not." He sounds quietly taken aback at himself. "I apologise."

"I'm fairly sure you can step away from the locker and sit down, Ensign." A pause. "Something on your mind? Besides your sister's wedding."

"No, sir," Roubani replies. He doesn't move to sit down, just resting his hand on the back of the chair he'd vacated. "You look upset."

Kai shifts a little in his chair, broad shoulders sinking lower, booted feet crossing at the ankles. He briefly checks his watch, and it hasn't beeped at him yet, but it's safe to say he's suited up at the moment for a reason. As to whether or not he's upset, it isn't addressed at all. "You taking meds for something?" It's probably a question he's been meaning to pop for a little while now.

Roubani's hand comes back off the chair, and he folds his arms. "It's legal, sir," he replies, tersely.

"Is it going to affect your flying?" He doesn't delve any deeper than that. For now.

Roubani responds flatly. "No."

Kai nods slightly. He doesn't move, though lifts his eyes just a fraction to note Roubani's drawn his arms around himself. "You let me know the instant that changes."

"It never will," Roubani says, flatly. "So you just rest easy." Keeping his arms folded he turns away from the table, heading for his bunk.

Kai lifts his voice slightly, if not his head. "Ensign." His tone doesn't sound angry, but he fully expects the unspoken order to be obeyed: stop. Turn around.

Roubani stops. He folds his hands behind his back and does indeed turn around, looking directly at Kai.

Blue eyes meet dark, and hold them with an intensity some might find vaguely discomfiting, enough to make the skin crawl. "I like pilots who have backbone. I don't like lip. Figure out the difference."

"Yes, sir," Roubani answers, tonelessly.

Marek's a tough nut to crack, really. His expression is utterly placid as he regards the Ensign, not so much as a hint of irritation, much less anger. Though he seems about to speak further when his watch finally beeps. There's simply a nod in reply before he pushes to his feet and heads for the hatch, boots striking deck plating with that peculiar cadence of his.

Roubani says nothing more, not even a goodbye when Kai leaves. He waits until the Captain's mostly to the door before continuing on to his bunk.

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