Words, Words, Words
Words, Words, Words
Summary: A quiet moment with Black Squadron.
Date: PH059
Related Logs: Ships Passing

CEC Kharon, Deck 1, Black Squadron Berthings

The hatch to this berthing has a top-down stencil of a Raptor covering the whole doorway with the tail of the aircraft at the bottom of the hatch. Opening in, this berthing has the trappings of many other Raptor squadrons through the fleet. The standard three-bunk layout adorns most of the walls, pictures and paintings covering the rest where nothing else required has been emplaced. There is a hatch in the back the moves to a private Head for these officers. That standard dark blue curtains hide each bunk from the common area to afford each pilot and ECO their own privacy. One varied addition to these quarters is a standard-issue green parachute draped from the top bunks of each of the three rows. Normally left rolled up, these can provide additional shade against the dull white light provided overhead. Meanwhile, the Raptor crews have a central wooden table done in a mahogany.

1930 hours and all quiet on the Western Front: Black Squadron's berthings are strangely devoid of people at this happy intersection between dinner for the second shift and sleep for the first. And most of those unfortunates consigned to the graveyard this dull and dreary night are already prepping their Raptors in the hangar, leaving only a few scattered ECOs hunched over the room's mahogany table, going over in hushed voices some last-minute modifications to the Periander IV survey data collected a few days earlier.

Timon Stathis is not an ECO but he's there too, having passed up the chance for a rowdy time in the mess to see the results of what he found. His drab off-duty sweats can be seen behind and slightly to the left of the four-man cluster now gridding over their intelligence photographs with thick black pens. Lips pursed, arms folded across his chest, Ivory does his best to interject as few words as possible. After all, he's a pilot — and as every pilot will tell you, masters of electronic warfare don't very much enjoy getting tips from the guy who chauffeurs them around.

And not an ECO or pilot in there can probably tell you how busy engineering is, but Roubani bears the scars. He has a laptop bag over his shoulder and a calculator still in hand, fatigues dusted with the bit of grime he couldn't get off by scrubbing at it with a dry towel. His left hand looks like it lost a battle with an ink pen, and a few blue smears dot his face where he accidentally touched his skin. He slides the math machine away into the front pocket of the bag as he drifts through the hatch, exchanging a quiet word with some ECO on his way out. That ECO points out Timon by the table, and Roubani nods his thanks. And then hesitates a while before starting to slink his way forward.

"I'm told there were some fuzzy readings down there," Roubani hears one ECO say offhand as he gets ever closer to the table. "Like a frakkin' 'soup' was what I heard" another rejoins, trying and failing to restrain a chuckle — "I heard the signal went 'dark,'" says yet another. And so it is with a sheepish grin that Timon finally takes the hint, retreating to his bunk with a wave to the grounded pilot who's come to see him about something he finds far more interesting than getting subtly mocked by folk whose world is far removed from his. "Glad you could make it, Ensign," he calls, pitching his voice as softly as he can to avoid waking anybody around him. Then, a pause. "You can come in, you know." Louder, now, and a bit more archly. "We don't bite. Well, they do — " A hand waves at the ECOs. " — but it's part of their job description."

Roubani's eyes flicker to the ECOs. The young Viper-jock-on-leave extends just a simple nod to the group, slightly shy, then looks back at Timon. "Lieutenant. I came to fetch that book…if you had a few minutes." His left thumb hooks into the strap of the laptop bag that crosses his chest, as though that were some kind of safety shield between him and whatever faux pas he might be at risk of committing.

"Doesn't take a few minutes to get a book out," Timon observes, a crooked smile on his face. "Relax — it's not going to bite you either, though I might if you keep standing there like you're a cadet on display." The Raptor pilot turns away to rummage around in his locker — strangely empty of any decorations, photographs, or anything along those lines. At length, he pulls out his service pistol and checks its safety with a critical eye before placing it back on the shelf. Then and only then does he remove a burlap sack from deep within the recesses of his locker — a sack he tosses onto his bunk with little fanfare. "Right. Theories of Justice, if I recall?"

"Er, well." Roubani clears his throat quietly. "I estimated it would take approximately eighteen seconds to get the book itself, but I allotted some time for you to have your way explaining it." He half-smiles, clearly teasing the older man. Mostly. He doesn't quite 'relax', but his fingers ease around the strap. It's progress. He shifts his weight between his booted feet, settling most of it on the left. "Yes, that's the one, sir. By your old advisor, you mentioned."

Timon snorts — as do a few of the ECOs in earshot — and hops onto his bunk himself, sitting down on top of his standard-issue olive-green pillow without a care in the world. His thin blanket is balled up in a lump of black and beige at the foot of his bed, leaving just enough room for Roubani to do the same if he so desires. "Johann Rowlings," says the lieutenant. "Look in the dictionary and you'll find his name under 'venerable' with a SEE ALSO: 'apostate' and 'lush.' His idea of teaching was to pour me a nice glass of red before expounding at length about whatever he wanted. Thirty minutes later, I'd have a nice buzz and — then — he'd start making sense." Ivory tugs at his hair with a few fingers, teasing out a few loose curls. "You see where I get it from, Ensign. A few minutes may have been a conservative estimate."

"Well. That's alright." Roubani murmurs, considering the bag Timon's pulled out. "I should say I've had my share of similar, albeit with less talk and more chalk." He hesitates before getting too close to the man's bunk. One can almost see the scales of rude versus polite tilting in his head before he decides to settle on the edge of the mattress, both feet on the floor. His plaster-covered right arm is still nestled in its sling against his chest. Around the wrist someone took the liberty of drawing a half-bracelet of flowers, and then another of little stars. "You were a doctoral candidate, sir?"

Timon grunts as he tries to brute-force the knot he's tied at the top of his bag before he remembers the trick. Push here, pull that loop there, and voila — it's open. Four books of varying sizes he lays out with great care between Roubani and himself, saving the last and largest volume for the one-handed ensign. "I dropped out after a year. You might know why if you paid any attention to the news, oh, let's say about a decade ago, give or take a year. Anyway, it doesn't look like another accredited institution is going to emerge from the woodwork anytime soon, so I think it's safe to say that I am and will forever be a failed PhD. Here." There's the book, Ensign — you can take it and run, or: "What about you? Math? Engineering?"

"I'm sorry, I…I'm sure I don't remember the exact news item," Roubani says, unsure if that calls for sincere apology or not. He's watching the book, the appearance of which seems to brighten his eyes a little. Reading material, grabbyhands gimme. Politely. "Physics, sir. It was to become engineering, but circumstances…" He shrugs, setting the book on his lap and opening it up. The sight of words on a page themselves is like water in an oasis.

It's a fine, leatherbound thing that Roubani's got there — first edition, signed, not that the loopy "JR" on the title page will mean much of anything to anybody who's not a loser. The date is relatively recent — it is, after all, a new work — and in the margins of the next few pages is Timon's neat block script, so tiny that only those of exceptional visual acuity will be able to read it without glasses of some sort. "Circumstances," says Ivory in the meantime, watching the ensign handle his most prized possession with a bit of uncharacteristic jumpiness. "I was a trust fund baby. Believe me, I hated every minute of it, but it paid my way. A good deal — that is, until my family's flagship luxury liner managed to jump its way into the core of a star." He winces. "One thousand two hundred and forty-three lawsuits later, a judge levied on my father's corporation the single highest punitive damages award given out in Tauron's history."

Roubani seems to be aware he's being watched. He softly clears his throat, taking his hand off the book and gently letting it close. Said hand is left to rest in his lap. The story sparks a slender brow to rise. "My goodness, sir. I'm sorry to hear that." His tone doesn't really identify, though, and the next question sounds curious. "How does one hate being a…beneficiary of a trust fund?"

"Save your concern for the thousand-odd souls we lost, Ensign." For his part, there's no mistaking the ragged edge in Timon's voice. "Not that it really matters now, here, in this world, but — well." He stops there, turning his head away from the ensign to look at something, anything that's not Roubani's face. "As to your first question, I don't know how to explain it in a way that doesn't trivialize what less fortunate men have gone through." His words come more slowly more slowly than usual, as for the first time in a long while he appears to feel the need to think very carefully about what he says. Then: "There's something to be said for earning the good life." Ivory gestures vaguely in the air. "Or, put another way, who's to say that I deserved all those cubits stacked up in those underground vaults? Morally speaking, I mean. I won the lottery of birth, that's all. Yeah?"

"It is a heavy thing to imply, sir," Roubani comments quietly, "That wealth is the definition of 'the good life'. Does that mean that someone happy in love does not deserve that? Or that someone who had a loving family did not deserve so? They are lotteries too, so to speak."

"A valid point, Ensign." Timon tips his head. "Certainly, men have no control over any of the circumstances into which they're born. But as important as a loving family may be, I'd argue that the son of two captains of industry will have a much easier time of it than the son of two people both tender and broke. Chances are I could have done not one hour of work at any point during my life and still lived quite comfortably. Can others say the same?"

"That sounds rather fallacious, sir. For can all others say the same about any specific circumstance we might imagine?" Roubani returns, rhetorically of course. He crosses his legs at the knee, keeping the book cradled on his leg. "I believe we judge these things not on any true notion of 'deserving' but solely on how many people envy what we have. Many would have envied you, it is true."

"Sure." The rhetorical question is answered — and did Roubani really expect anything else? "But it's all a matter of degree, Ensign. Believe me, I'm not denying that a loving family can contribute to one's success, in the same way that it helps to be endowed with exceptional intelligence, say, or to be the beneficiary of countless other favorable circumstances that you're more than capable of naming. My claim is merely that a family's wealth — as a general principle — is much more strongly correlated to its children's success than those other such endowments. And it's the very arbitrariness of my receiving such wealth that imposes upon me a moral obligation far stronger than that possessed by others — to make the most of what I have, and use the means at my disposal for the benefit of all, not one." Timon scratches his nose, his eyes half-closed. "Sorry. I know how airy all this must sound."

Roubani smiles vaguely when Timon plows ahead and answers that rhetorical bit. "Somewhere, Socrates is laughing," he comments, quiet and offhanded. Then to the rest, he listens. "Perhaps it does sound so." He tips his head in place of a shrug. "I suppose I remain unconvinced, but…" He glances down at the book cover, brushing something half-imagined off the binding. "I believe all men innately have the same duty to fulfill, no more and no less than the next. How circumstance brings them along is ultimately irrelevant."

"Perhaps you're right," concedes Ivory, blinking slowly like some old and wizened owl. "I'm speaking only of myself, here, and what I perceive my duties to be. But I would modify your premise if we're to abstract from me and enter the realm of moral philosophy: it's not that we have the same duties to fulfill regardless of how circumstances bring us along, but rather that how circumstances bring us along generates no moral reason for us to be favored or disfavored by social institutions. That is, persons cannot be said to deserve to be born into a rich or a poor family, to be born on Caprica or Sagittaron, to be born naturally more gifted than others, and on and on. These features of persons are morally arbitrary, and we're not entitled to more or less of the benefits of social cooperation because of them." Timon shakes his head, narrowly avoiding catching a few of his curls on the bunk above him. "Semantics, but there's a distinction there nonetheless."

"There is," Roubani agrees. He doesn't seem to mind all the talking from the Lieutenant, but then again if he did it probably wouldn't show. "And I shall take it a step further again and agree that no, there is no 'deserving', per se. The very idea is a human construct that we rely on to explain circumstance…because we need to explain everything, such is our nature. It is something that mires us, makes us hostile to one another and to ourselves. Something, perhaps, that must be overcome before we can really fulfill those innate duties. For no matter how much we debate it, it will never change the fact that that is how things are."

"On that, you'll have to consult a psychologist," says Timon, knitting his forehead as he tries to parse the ensign's words; meanwhile, he offers a distracted wave to the ECOs now filing out of the room, maps in tow. Judging from the looks on their faces, they've heard this all before. "It's a cottage industry in my field, making assumptions about human nature. Though I will venture to say that this very conversation seems proof enough about the inquisitiveness of our kind — eh?" At that, he grins, jerking his head at the book in the ensign's hand. "Speaking of which, I'm going to have to ask a favor from you, as well. Payment, if you will."

"And proofs," Roubani answers, quipping mildly, "Are an industry in mine." He glances at the book and back at Timon, his slender brows drawing together. "Er…mmm. What do you need, sir?"

His other arm? Rights to Roubani's first-born son? Nah. "A book for a book, Ensign, if you've got some dusty old intro texts lying around that locker of yours. And if not, a list of three that I'll be able to check out from Kharon's sad excuse for a library: physics, engineering, whatever."

Roubani didn't quite expect that. The brows un-knit and raise a little instead. "Oh…certainly, sir. I haven't got many books of my own on engineering, sadly, but I've a few on physics and maths, with some theory. You'd be welcome to them."

"And would a man of my caliber be able to understand them?" Timon's grin becomes mock-severe. "Bear in mind, you're talking to a fellow who dropped out of introductory calculus after seeing that little squiggle his professor insisted stood for the 'area under a curve,' or whatever. I will hold you responsible, Ensign, should there be more letters than numbers in those equations."

Roubani flushes faintly, mostly in the ears. "It isn't terribly difficult. Or well, I suppose that sounds pompous." He's willing to admit that, being after all the Ensign with a math formula tattooed boldly on his forearm. "Well even if the numbers don't compute, the ideas behind them will."

"You're talking to a philosopher, Ensign." Timon's eyes dance. "Remember Plato? He actually suggested that philosophers rule the world and make children by absconding from society every few years to indulge in a wild procreative orgy among the golden classes. We make you people look humble. And besides, if I don't get something, I presume you're still handy with chalk and a blackboard?"

Wild procreative orgies? Geez. That just makes the blush worse, and Roubani softly clears his throat. It's partly amused. "Did Plato really say such a thing? Goodness." He sets his hand atop the book again, protectively. "I haven't attempted to teach anyone in a while, sir. It might be an ordeal for you."

"Ordeal? Listening to me natter on is an ordeal; breaking your hand and gods know what else is an ordeal. I'm just making up for lost time with the only person on board whose head doesn't hit deck the moment I start talking in words made up of three or more syllables." Timon pauses to breathe, not accustomed to talking that quickly. And then, with a twinkle: "And yes. Orgies. Only way he could have gotten action, in my mind." Ivory snorts, though his expression is approving: Theories of Justice has found itself into safe hands. "I can't imagine what the tabloids would have done to him — his theories were sordid enough, let alone the pederasty."

Roubani half-smiles. "I don't think you're so odd, sir. People just take a while to come round sometimes, that's all. Do you know Lieutenant Price? 'Rebound'?"

"I've seen him in passing at briefings, but he hasn't had the singular fortune of crashing his Viper while I'm on deck for SAR." Singular indeed, if Timon is as talkative with those he rescues as he is with Roubani. "Why?"

"Oh, I just suppose you might like him," Roubani replies. It's a wonder anyone can ever hear him with that soft-spoken voice of his, but somehow there's never a problem. "He is well-acquainted with the air in the library."

"You're a regular matchmaker, Ensign, you know that?" Timon chuckles again, looking down at his dwindling stash. "I'll look for him, though I've only so many books to give out. But I suppose it'll make Black happy — she's the one always telling me to get up out of this dimly-lit hole of mine and meet new folk. Which one of these bad boys do you suppose he'd like? Say, Reason: Pure and In Practice? Dense as a block of — " Ivory struggles to complete the simile and gives up after a second or two. " — of whatever, but provocative nonetheless."

Roubani instantly turns red again, grimacing as he scratches his eyebrow with his ring finger. "I don't mean to meddle," he says quickly, apologetically. "You just sounded lonely." That observation given, he too glances at the books. A mild smile at Timon's first pick. "He studied history, or so I understand. Would that appeal?"

Bushy eyebrows rise in a valiant effort to compress Timon's forehead. "For your edification, Ensign, I do have friends." Beat. "Of course, their names are Aristotle, Diogenes, and Zeno, so I very much see where you're coming from." At that, the lieutenant smiles — wanly, as per usual — before attempting to clap Roubani on the back with a palm. Gingerly, of course. And nowhere close to skin. "I'll play this one by ear, as the poets say — there's no accounting for the tastes of historians. But if this Rebound so much as stains a page of my book — " The consequences will remain unsaid. "Will there be anything else?"

Roubani's shoulders go rigid when Timon moves to touch him, though he doesn't move out of the way. He seems to register the dismissal afterwards. "Oh. No, sir. I've taken up those few minutes and quite a lot more." He offers Timon a half-smile and uncrosses his legs, standing up.

"Relax, kid." Timon tries on that friendly diminutive for size. It doesn't sound exactly unfriendly coming from his reedy tenor, but neither does it sound all that natural. "You've a good head on your shoulders. No need to be ashamed of that." Ah! He goes for the unsolicited advice — ever the didact. "Run along, Ensign. Thanks for the company."

"'Run along'?" Alright, Roubani has his limit on patronisation apparently, as this is accompanied by a faint smirk, and an imitation of Timon's own advising tone. "Save it for your grandchildren, Lieutenant." He tucks the book under his arm, cradling carefully. "And gods watch over you." And with that, offwards he steps.

Timon makes as if to reply, opening his mouth with index finger extended — but the lieutenant soon thinks better of it, returning Roubani's benediction with a salute in return before crawling into his bunk. One hand reaches blindly for the sheets; the other reaches for the nearest book.

"Good one, Ivory," comes a voice from above him. "Think he knows you're a virgin?"

"Can it, Ensign." Said with good humor, of course. A wisp of a smile plays across Timon's face — and then, turning inward towards the wall, the lieutenant goes to lose himself in words, words, words.

Thea comes in on the last few exchanges, a brow arching slightly. She's in her tanks and sweats, a streak of dirt on one cheek and the tip of her nose. Someone's been playing in storage or the tool room again. Is that…a handprint on her arm? Nah. Can't be. Captain's too nice for those games. She just shakes her head and starts for her bunk, commenting quietly, "Virgin status isn't an indicator of skill, Ensign. If it were, people would think you didn't know what the hell your hand looked like, let alone a woman."

"Evening to you too, Black." Timon throws out the greeting rather lazily, drawling out the syllables like a sated cat who's had more than his fair share of milk. With a grunt, he rolls over and sits up, placing his just-opened book back on top of the stack. Two eyebrows go up as he sees his CO's current physical state, but — well. "And how are you this fine day?"

The cheeky ensign, for his part, has presumably gone back to his date with Rosie Palm and her five friends, a muffled "Sorry, sir!" being his only reply.

She cuts her eyes to the Ensign's bunk and just shakes her head, bemusedly. Feet take her over toward her locker. "Doing well, Ivory. And yourself? See you're making friends and influencing people, as usual." There's a hint of teasing to her tone.

"Your friend — the one with the broken arm — was just here," says Timon, not bothering to suppress a yawn. "He said I sounded 'lonely,' if you can believe that." The lieutenant does his best to feign an injured look and doesn't quite succeed; instead, his expression hovers somewhere between amused and solemn, tilting heavily toward the latter. There's a reason he chose flight school. "Perceptive kid."

Thea pulls a washcloth and towel out of her locker, tops it with soap and her other toiletries, then bundles the whole mess up around her robe. Rather than leave the berthings, though, she tosses the packet on her bunk and pads back over toward the table, settling in across from Timon. "He's a good man," she says quietly. "And not as much a kid as we might think." Wait, is that a soft spot for Roubani? "So what's up with the loneliness?"

"I've got ten years on him," says Ivory, brown eyes looking up — the top of his bunk has started squeaking in a slow, familiar rhythm. A resigned smile flits across his face. "And he still manages to give me an argument. Where students like that were when I TAed, gods only know." Rhetorical question, that, as Timon gathers up his four remaining books to place them into their bag. "But right. Loneliness. You know he recommended a friend for me?" The lieutenant's smile widens. "Rebound. Another Viper stick."

Legacy groans quietly and looks up above Ivory's bunk, eyes narrowing slightly. "Ensign," she growls quietly in warning. "Quit showing off, or I'll have you chafed before bed. You will frakking FLY with your hand on that stick for a godsdamned week." And…the momma cat has spoken. She turns her attention back to Ivory, simply smiling serenely. The serenity doesn't met her eyes. "Rebound's a good man," she says quietly. "He's a very good man, good pilot as well. Might be a good person to talk with. Fingers is also good, when she's not keeping people at bay. And Marek might give you an intellectual run for your money."

"Yes sir! Sorry sir!" comes that breathless, faceless voice from above.

"Just when it was getting good," Timon observes, deadpan. "And too true, about Spider at least, though I don't think he really likes it when I answer a question with a question. Habit. You know." Even now, Ivory isn't quite accustomed to a world without peer review. "I'll keep eyes peeled for those others. And here I thought every Viper pilot was one of those drop-your-junk-grab-your-stick kinds of guys."

Thea quirks a brow at Ivory, clearly surprised. "I figured you, of all people, would be the last to judge by stereotypes, Ivory," she says with a little grin. The Ensign is, for the time being, ignored. He can either finish quietly or not at all. "I don't hold with the Viper and Raptor rivalry that goes on most places - neither does Marek. It was silly before the war, and is downright stupid now."

"As well you shouldn't, sir, though in my defense, I was being sarcastic." Another vague wave of his hand; Timon's gaze drifts from his CO to the door and back again. "Sorry. I'm pretty bad at small talk. Or talking at all, really, though I sure do enough of it." His expression turns wistful as he leans back against his pillow, his sack of books nestled against the crook of his left arm. "Writing papers is easier, yeah? Nobody talks back. Worst that happens, somebody else writes another paper in the same journal four years later, and that just gives you an excuse to publish again."

Thea's eyes crinkle at the corners again, and for a moment, she looks every bit her age, and older. "I miss sarcasm sometimes, Ivory," she says softly, by way of apology. "I'm getting old. We've all got our strengths and weaknesses. Teachers are teachers. Jokers are jokers. Some are more social, some…aren't." A shoulder lifts delicately.

"Aren't we all, Black. Getting old, I mean." Timon tilts his head backwards, a shallow smile playing across his thin lips. Apology accepted, Captain. "This was supposed to be a temporary gig, you know?" One knee tilts up, taking the sheets with it. "Get in, make my money, reapply to Caprica U, get those fancy initials on my business card. That was … what, six years ago? But then I had to finish my first tour, and then I got kicked up to jig, and then — " His smile widens; his eyes close. "Momentum, they say."

Thea leans back in her chair, trying to get comfortable - comfortable is apparently hard to come by, though. "I'd planned to stay in until I couldn't fly anymore or I was dead," she says in a low, contemplative voice, focusing on the ceiling. "When the time came to turn it over to the young pups, I was going back to Gemenon to teach at the Academy."

"They do get younger every day, don't they." A thin, spindly finger toys with the knotted rope on Tmon's burlap sack. "And we throw them out there because we have to, really, else them and us and this whole ship would be a whole lot of nothing." He shrugs. "Sometimes I envy them their bluster. Seeing them going at it, pedal-to-the-metal, over a beacon? Must be good to feel invincible."

"I think all of us were once like that," she says, tilting her head back, closing her eyes. "I remember the days when nothing mattered except flying hard then coming home for a few drinks and a hard frak before going out and doing it again the next day." Silence reigns for a few long moments. "For some, it's still that way. For the rest of us, we had to grow up hard and fast."

"To be deadly honest with you, sir? I can't see you ever going back home for a 'hard frak.'" That's a compliment, by the way, though judging from the way Timon continues without pausing, he isn't quite sure how it's going to play. "Spider told me something the other day." Now Ivory pauses, his story dying on his lips. "No, that was this morning. I don't know why I said that. Sorry." He clears his throat as his left hand twirls a bit of twine around his ring finger. Blood rushes away from his knuckles, whitening under the strain.

Thea chuckles quietly. "You didn't know me back then, Ivory," she says softly. "I was as hard playing a pilot as any Viper jock." There's faint humor in her tone. "Oh? What did Spider have to say?" Interested without being intrusive. Her head remains back, eyes closed.

"Change is good," Timon murmurs. "Me? Apparently, I've looked the same in all my family photos, balding forehead and all. Go figure." The lieutenant bites his lower lip, dislodging a loose flake of skin. "But yes. Spider." He doesn't even bother feigning the Viper pilot's voice. "'You still could,' he told me. We were talking about finishing my dissertation."

Thea's sitting at the table, leaning back in a chair, head tipped back, dirt on her nose and cheek. She's in tanks and sweats. Timon's in his bunk. "Change is good, but too much at one time hurts. No time to adapt," she comments. "And he's right, Ivory. You could and should. No, you probably won't have the six person dissertation team to defend to, but you'll have people who will listen."

"Six?" At that, Timon laughs — genuine, not artificial, but still awkward as the nine hells. "This is Caprica University we're talking about, here. Try eleven. Eleven grumpy old academics with bloodshot eyes from the previous evening's nightcap and the current morning's mimosas, no doubt." The pilot's laugh doesn't so much fade as take on a slightly more solemn timber. "So you're one. I'm sure I could rope Roubani into it, too — and we'll have to find someone who knows how to translate into Old Gemenese, for the fake diploma."

Matto's bunk curtain opens a little bit, then a little bit more, and a leg hangs out, then another one, and then most of the Kisseus is hanging toard the floor by his arms, and then he lands on the floor with a grunt, turning and scratching at his hip, trying to enunciante some greeting to Kittenface and Ivory in the middle of a yawn.

Thea laughs quietly and shakes her head. "You're assuming I'd understand any of it," she says softly, then glances over toward Kissy. "Evening, Kiss," she says softly. "Causing trouble again?"

"Morning, Kissy." Timon's eyes flutter open and he nods his head in greeting. Thea might see that same resigned, private smile: as both of them know, quiet-time's about to end. "I'm looking for a diploma, Kisseus Heathrow Matto." Ivory enunciates every last word of the name. "Know where I could find one?"

Matto blears toward the head in back, "I'm barely alive, let alone awake enough to be causing trouble," he chortles quietly, shuffling into the head to take a pee. "I'll print you out a copy of mine, guy," he calls out mid-pee. "I'll change the name on it and everything."

"Kisseus," Thea calls warningly. Someone, it would appear is a stickler for manners. "Talk AFTER shaking, not before." Yep, Momma Cat day. She gives Ivory a wry, tired smile and shakes her head.

"Old Gemenese, I say, hear me? Curatores Universitatis Capricae blah blae blae blam blah, or however the declension goes." There's a lilting tone in Timon's voice that doesn't quite make it to his expression, but that's to be expected, all things considered. Then, quieter, to Thea: "Tough day?" He's just noticed, really.

"Yessum," Kissy mumbles as he finishes up and gives himself a brief wash, hands, ears, neck, face, coming back out of the head looking somewhat more awake if faintly more moist. "Blae blarum blis blas blis," he finishes up by rote.

Thea just shakes her head, bemused, at Kissy and then cocks her head to the side at Timon. "It was…a day," she says quietly, lips quirking a bit at one corner. "Just the normal struggles of your average Raptor captain."

"They taught him something." Timon has the grace to sound surprised. "Watch him, Black. He'll be on demonstratives next." His right hand rises to pick at the skin of his lower lip — someone's a tad bit chapped. "Ain't that the truth," he says, voice pitched low once more. "I won't pry. But you could have at least let our dear friend upstairs finish his business. His dream girl's been stiffing him lately, if his sleeptalking is any indication." Which is his roundabout way of asking, again, if everything's all right.

"Blic blaec, bloke," Kissy offers the Legsy one a hug, if she'll have one, since she seems in a bad mood, his eyes trying to focus on Ivory as his brain tries to piece together what he's talking about. "Who, what?"

"It's fine," Thea tells Ivory quietly, shaking her head a bit. When she straightens up, the mask is back in place quite thoroughly. "How're you doing, Kiss," she asks, looking over to the other pilot. Whatever matters were being discussed are clearly closed.

Timon looks up at his upper bunk, from which has been emitting soft snores for the past few minutes. Yeah: the wayward ensign is dead to rights asleep. Then, with a rather distasteful expression on his face, he touches his right thumb to his index finger before moving his hand up and down in the air. Once, twice — and that's more than enough of that. His brown eyes close as he leans back into his pillow, content to accept his CO's decision.

"I'm fine. I almost died last night." These sentences are voiced in an oddly congruous tone of voice despite the fact that they're fairly well polar opposites. "You should never try to eat gummy bears while you have the hiccups," he notes for future reference. He glances upward to the bunk in question, then back to Ivory, still snugging on the Cat's back, arms wrapped warmly about her shoulders and head next to hers in a friendly sort of cuddle. "Oh. Masturbating?" he deciphers the hand signal, though he looks kind of baffled by the accompanying facial expression, "Do you always make that face when you jerk off?"

Thea's about to respond when the door opens and two ensigns, just off CAP, come tumbling in. "… I can't believe it," one says to the other. "Marek's got the wing." "MAREK," says the other one, lips thinning. "Right. Like he's got the qualifications." The first one nods. "That's what I heard. I mean, with the CAG down…" They stop at seeing Thea and look at each other with oh, shit expressions. Thea's face undergoes a somewhat dramatic transformation. She looks from one ensign to the other, the smile disappearing and a wall simply coming down. "If you two gentlemen will excuse me," she tells Matto and Ivory, rising to her feet. The Ensigns give a quiet "Sir," and scramble.

"Captain." Timon, perhaps wisely, chooses this time to hold off on his retort until his CO is safely out of the room. "Let me know if you need anything, sir." Matto receives only a blank stare that promises more lectures to come.

Matto stands and backs off as the Captain gets up to go, both brows lofting lightly, "Torchlight's down? What happened?" he wonders what sort of action he slept through.

Thea leaves without another word.

"You'll find out when you find out, Lieutenant. As will I." That's all Timon has to say on that matter. "Now's … not the best time." Then, he rolls over, books still in hand, and covers his face with his pillow. His bunk curtain closes with a sharp, metallic shink. "Good night, Kissy. Stay out of trouble."

Matto gives a soft 'hmm' of wordless agreement, and heads to his locker to find some clothes to put on and get ready for CAP. Shower will wait 'til after. He also gives a go at jostling his ECO awake.

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