2236-11-10 - Pets and Nerdom

Isolde and Van run into each other in the laundry room and talk past and present.

Date: 2236-11-10

Location: Laundry, Deck 8, Battlestar //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 870

Jump to End

It's that time of the laundry cycle, where Van Newton proves that yes, he really does starch his uniform. His blues are on one of the tables as he works the crease into the legs of his pants with a cold-iron. The pilot wears the paired tanktops and green pants of the undress uniform, revealing the oval birthmark on his left upper arm and the knot of scar-tissue on his left forearm. Behind him, a washer and a dryer whir along, both nearing completion.

The hatch opens, bringing it a burst of loud, laughing voices all speaking Tauran. The head of the group is Isolde Asa, duffel of dirty clothes thrown over her shoulder. She appears to be the only one stepping into the laundry room, shouting parting words to the gaggle as it continues on down the corridor toward the rec room. She looks like she has just come from the gym herself, dressed in a sports bra, layered tank top, and athletic pants paired with sneakers. Her hair is drawn into a stubby pony tail of brown coils. She is turning to head straight for the first opened washer when her eyes pass over Van. Her smile is quick, sudden, and the uncertain. "Hi," she offers, unshouldering her bag.

Van looks up at the burst of noise, although laughter isn't enough to cause him to flinch. He looks down again before the laughers enter, finishing up the last line of creasing on his pants, checking them over briefly, and then looking up in surprise at the familiar-voiced greeting. His brows descend from their surprised jump, and he offers a faint smile, "Laundry day for you too, Asa?" The use of her last name sounds almost teasing in his light tenor. The pants are carefully folded along their crease, and then tucked over the bottom bar of a clothes hanger hanging from the table, under the jacket. "Or just the follow-up for a workout?"

"Kind of," Isolde replies, abandoning her original washer -- her favorite washer -- for one closer to Van. Her rambunctious partners have moved on, though one does linger to peek in on Asa and Newton, giving the latter a serious stare with her sober brown eyes. She then moves on, expression hard to read. Not that Isolde noticed. She is too busy cracking open the duffel. "There was a bet down on the deck, and I lost... so I get to do everyone's deck uniforms." She starts to dump the laundry into the wash.

Van didn't notice the eyeballing either, tucking away the cold iron in the bottom of his mesh laundry bag (now empty save for detergent and dryer sheets) and then leaning back against the table. His eyes flicker to the washer and drier he is currently lingering in front of, checking the sparse minutes left before they finish their cycles. He winces slightly at Isolde's words, "All that grease and hydraulic fluids. Delightful. So what could have been so important that you would bet that?"

"Oh... on whether or not Dodger would actually find his ship or not today. He keeps getting into the wrong ship. I think he got into yours this time, but I was convinced that no good pilot could be that dumb that often. I lost." The Hacker flashes him a smile as she continues to prep the washer. She's got the degreaser ready and piles in some extra soap just in case. With a clap of the door, she shuts the washer and commits it to its cycle. Then she turns toward him, brows lifted slightly. "Have you gotten a chance to run some training flights in yet?"

"Dodger... Dodger..." Van considers the name, and then his brows lift, "Canceron, yes?" He holds one hand out at his side, just over his own head to indicate height, "Slightly confused look all of the time? I'm afraid that you've been suckered. He already tried to climb into the wrong bunk three times. Thankfully, they were empty each time." Her question draws a brief nod, "One flight so far. Not as much as I like, but I've been putting the rest of my time to good use, thanks to those 'bands you found." And then his eyes drop down to the washer, and he straightens up a touch, adding a touch quickly, "Working on team-building exercises."

"That's the one." Isolde laughs at the mention of bunk-confusion, and she shakes her head. "Oh well... I would have probably taken it as a compliment to have someone climbing into my bunk." She then shakes her head, laughing still. "I mean, he isn't bad looking." She then steps away from her washer, okay abandoning it to pull up onto the empty washer beside Van's churning one. She crosses her ankles, swinging her feet idly. "You're welcome." She notes the quick clarification, and she smiles slyly. "It's okay if you wanted to get some time in with some Picon girls before we headed out."

"Those racks are no good for snuggling." The words are out before Van can stop them, and his cheeks heat a hint as he shrugs one shoulder. He's thankfully saved from embarrassment by... embarrassment? His head comes up at the sly words, his brows lifting in shock, "What? No... that would require networking them outside. I would never do that." It's definitely too defensive too quickly, and probably for the wrong reason, too. Running both hands back over his buzzed hair, he is saved a second time, this time by the chime of the dryer finishing up. He steps forward, alongside Isolde, and crouches down to pull it open and start checking the contents. Life is much easier when you have your head in a dryer.

"Oh, I don't know... curve yourself up just right, snuggle up the knees, tuck into the chest... I bet it could be a great snuggle location." Not that she's put much thought into it. Then she starts to laugh brightly -- dimples and all -- at his quick defense against her half-hearted accusation. "Now, now, Newton... I'm starting to think you have a guilty conscience." Then she leans down slightly, peeking into the dryer as he unloads the clothes. "The ever important question will now be answered," she says, tone ominous.

Van starts to drag clothes out of the dryer -- boring, standard issue clothes. Undershirts, socks, and boxer-briefs in this case. From halfway into the dryer, he responds, "No, I did not know she was married." Sitting back on his heels again, he blinks in surprise to find her leaning so close, but recovers long enough to smile wryly, "Or was that not the question you wanted answered?"

"More what underwear the Perfect Picon wears," Isolde replies, her laughter a bit short. "But, now I want to know more about this affair you're confessing." Her dimples are soft, and she starts to lean back up, wriggling off the washer so she can step to the folding tables. She holds out her hands, silently offering to help fold. "Don't worry. I know how to properly fold a shirt."

Van's eyes widen slightly at her laughing words, and he looks down, hands tightening a little on the pile of light-colored clothes. "Ah..." he's stymied for a moment, and then straightens up and takes the clothes over to the table where he was just pressing his pants and sets them down, looking aside to Isolde for a moment before he relents a little, "Just the shirts then. I'm particular about the rest." Clearing his throat a little, he hauls out some of the underwear and starts folding them up neatly, "Oh, the affair. Right. It was a tragic thing, for she was mated for life. I simply could not pry myself away, though, for her golden mane and soft brown eyes entrapped me. And her panting was endearing as well." Beat pause, "A dog. A retriever."

Isolde steps up beside him, and she takes the shirts one by one from the pile so she can start to fold them. She listens to his description of the affair, and when the reveal is offered, she starts to laugh again, shaking her head. "You do seem like a dog person." She continues to fold, looking amused as she places the first neatly folded shirt on a pile. She is quiet as she folds the next undershirt, falling into a comfortable rhythm.

Van narrows his eyes, looking over at Isolde, "And just what does that mean? You're not a cat person, are you?" There's only a moment's pause, and then he adds, "You are, aren't you?" Sniffing, he pushes aside the pile of Picon Navy-issue undershorts and starts in on the issue socks, lining them up and rolling them together in neat pairs.

"I actually like rabbits," Isolde confesses in the face of such a demanding accusation. "Particularly ones with flopped ears." She carefully folds the next shirt, not looking up from her work. Each little flip of the shirt flashes her tattoo, and shows off an impressive lack of scars for a woman eight years deep into her military career.

Van hesitates at the 'confession,' blinking as if he's not sure what to do with that, "Rabbits? Aren't they... dinner?" He genuinely sounds confused by this. Behind him, his washer buzzes as well, signalling that it's done, but he's still working on the socks... or he had been until his hands stilled.

Isolde looks up at the reaction to her confession, looking both awkward and a bit surprised by his own confusion. "Well... no... I mean, some are..." She bites at the inner corner of her cheek. "But... should I have said that I liked cats instead?"

Van reaches up with his left hand to run it back over his scalp, "No... I mean, there's no reason to say things that aren't true." He lets out an awkward breath, and tries another tack, "Besides all of that, cats are worse than rabbits. Much worse." The last pair of socks is laid out, rolled, and tucked in, and then the unmentionables and socks alike are neatly set into his mesh back, and he reaches for the last of the shirts, "Rabbits. I mean, I guess I knew they were pets... I just didn't think about it."

Isolde has lost some of her steam, though she's not really sure as to why. Naturally, the Perfect Picon wouldn't think rabbits were pets. He probably thinks rats are vermin, too. She realizes she's still holding his unfolded shirt, and tries to complete the proper folds -- a bit messier, but still not awful. Then she sets the shirt with the others, and lets him take what he wants from her folding pile. "They are actually quite lovable."

Van nods his head slowly, "Cute, fuzzy. Twitchy little noses. I see it." Or at least, by his tone, he's trying to. His own shirt is placed on top of the one she just folded, and then he puts the stack in the laundry bag. He seems to realize that some of the momentary easy camaraderie has faded, and he reaches out to pat her shoulder as he turns back to the washer and dryer. Popping it open, he starts to move the darker tanktops and duty greens from the washer to the dryer. "Did you have them at home then?"

The pat to her shoulder does not revitalize the way he may hope, as Isolde still looks a bit disconnected. She doesn't have anything to do with her hands, so she starts to drum her fingers in an idle rhythm on the folding table. She shakes her head at his question, breath coming out in a harsh little note. "No... Dad wasn't really a pet person... my brother asked for a dog every year for his birthday, but never got one. I knew better than to even ask."

Van grunts a little softly at the response, not even making a joking comparison between Navy Dads and Marine Dads. The washer door is shut, then a dryer sheet added to the dryer and that door is shut as well. Starting it up, he turns back to Isolde, sinking into the awkwardness for a minute before the rattle of her fingers draws his attention, "Do you still play? Drums, right? I mean, obviously you don't have a set onboard, but do you have some way to practice?"

His memory for her passing comment about playing the drums causes Isolde to blink, and she glances over her shoulder to him as she finishes her quite incredible -- and entirely in her head -- drum solo. She flexes her fingers, wishing for pockets to hide them in, but instead just flourishes the lightly scarred fingers outward. "Yeah, I do..." The question after the drum set causes her to look a little wistful. "Yeah, I mean... sorta... I have a small snare drum, but that's about it."

Van leans back against the humming dryer for a moment, "Good, good." His brows raise slightly at the mention of her having a snare drum, "Have you ever used a 'band for practice? Holoband, not a band like a musical group." His hands turn palm-up in a slight shrug, "I mean, they're not the same as actually doing, but it might help some? I could probably write up a..." and then he remembers who he's talking to, and chuckles dryly, "...program that you could write better and faster."

"No," Isolde says, the protest light and simple. "The holobands don't really... do it..." Which is so odd to say considering the popularity of holobands, particularly with her. "I need the physical rhythm. I could probably use the holobands to, like... compose, but... I don't think I could really get the same stimuli satisfaction." She considers the width of space between them, and then turns her focus back to the table. "Not that I don't appreciate the offer..."

Van chuckles faintly, "And here I thought half of the population of the Colonies used the holobands to do it." Yes, he went there. He pushes off of the dryer, hauling his mesh bag out from under the table, setting it on top, and then carefully draping his dress blues over it as well. Then he turns back toward his dryer, leaving him leaning alongside the techie. "I'm used to being the nerdiest one around. This is new territory for me."

Isolde catches the innuendo, and she colors lightly. "Well, it is a safe place to find someone to make your toes curl." She is gracious enough not to look at him, or eyebrow waggle. She does glance over her fingers -- short and nimble. The comment about being out of his element causes her to laugh. "You didn't seem terribly intimidated by me on Picon." She glances up at him slightly, brow raised. "You realize I'm not really the nerdiest one here... my skill set is very limited, though I'm not doing bad on the deck."

"I never said intimidated." From someone else, that might have been a bleat of protest. Van chuckles faintly as he says it, though. "I said new territory. And most of the audience were still students, and I was considering myself your nerd-equal then. With a bonus for being on my home ground." He misses the possible innuendo about 'doing bad on the deck' completely, "Wait... I thought you were the alpha nerd. Who here is nerdier than you are? I'll throw my Game of Dragons book at them."

"Gods, Newton... you really are the moderately good looking," her tone is carefully modulated through that statement, purposeful in her word choice, "nerd from Picon, aren't you?" Isolde flashes him a quick smile before she laughs. "Oh, I thought it was true intimidation... explained why you stole my sliders." She gives him a serious look that would be better achieved over the rim of her glasses.

Van scruffs at his buzzcut again as she calls him 'moderately good looking,' "What happened to 'Perfect Picon,' Isolde? And it's good literature, thanks." Beat pause, "Plus swords and dragons are cool." For varying definitions of 'cool.' At the accusation, however, he points at her, "Hey now, you left those in the cab and went away forever fair and square. That was dinner, and I didn't even have to do carrier landings to get them."

"My comment about your hair had to be taken into consideration," Isolde says, tone matter-of-fact. Then she laughs in the face of his defense against her accusation, and she turns to face him, hand on her hip. "Oh no, no... I forgot it in the cab. You didn't stop the cab, and race out to offer me the sliders... that was your ticket in, and you missed the opportunity."

Van snorts not-so-delicately-at-all, "I had already crashed and burned once that night, thank you very much." He pauses, considering, "maybe twice. Jury's still out on whether it was one crash with a bounce, or two separate crashes. I think you just didn't want to eat good old-fashioned Picon fare. Sticking your nose up at it, you highfalutin Tauron you," this marks the first time in Colonial history that a Tauron has been accused of being highfalutin.

"You didn't crash and burn," Isolde says, protesting with a hint of genuine apology. "I messed up your guidance system. You threw me off, so I threw you off." Then she shakes her head, looking a touch bemused. Her honest protest is tempered by his teasing, and she smiles a touch. "I'm sure the sliders were quite delicious," she says, only only barely patronizing.

Van raises one hand up, then flutters it slowly down with a descending whistle. When it strikes the table, he adds a 'boosh' sort of explosion sound, then pauses a moment, and bounds the hand up half a foot and drops it back down again with another 'boosh.' "Shut down, so sorry, wait for after the evil Cylons try to kill us all. As for the sliders, do you think that people would even risk carrier landings if they weren't the best in Hyperion?" Oops, he mentioned Hyperion, and his smile starts to deflate, his shoulders tightening as he looks back toward the dryer.

Isolde is finding that stride again, comfortable and true. But then it is Van's turn to deflate and disconnect, and she sinks back a step. She offers him a smaller smile that gently draws out those dimples, and then she reaches out to gently squeeze his wrist and hand. It is a passing offer, and soon she is stepping back from him. "Yeah... I bet they were really good sliders." Then she drops her hand, tucking a bit of hair behind her ear. "That washer is going to be cycling for an hour with the amount of grease in that mess..." If she was going to offer something, she quickly decides against it.

Van glances up a little at the squeeze, offering a faint smile in reply, but it's subdued, more grief than anger this time. "They were, actually." He looks up again at her near-offer, brows raising slightly, but when she subsides into silence, he merely nods and glances across the row from them, "Tell you what. I'll make sure no one stops it or takes it out for the next forty-five or fifty minutes. Mine's going to need two cycles in the dryer anyhow. If you've got something else to do, go on ahead."

"No, there's n -- " But then her name is being shouted through the hatch, and there's that same woman who had given Van the eye when Isolde first came into the laundry room. "We're going to the Observation Deck, cm'on." The fellow Tauran woman gestures for the computer techy to follow. She looks at Van, feeling like she needs to give him some space, so she takes a step back. "Oh, okay... I promise to be back before you're done. Forty-five minutes." She starts to step away, looking over her shoulder to him. She smiles softly, offering him a passing wave as she is tugged out the hatch.

Van looks up at the shout, offering a slight nod to the other woman before he looks back to Isolde, pressing a smile onto his lips and making little shooing gestures, "Go go. Enjoy yourself." And he digs out the last item in his mesh bag, one of the borrowed holobands, "I have some seas to light on fire."


Back to Scenes