Van has a warning for Isolde, but she already knows.
Location: Observation Deck, Deck 3, Battlestar //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 873
It's some time before Van can get away from the Vipers, and he's in his flight suit when he comes off duty. He checks the Tech Shop first, then over into the enlisted berthings, giving a little shake of his head to the first crewman he spots to stop any call to attention. "Is Specialist Asa in? I have some information for her." It may be odd, a Lieutenant J.G. delivering information to a Specialist, but... a Crewman Apprentice doesn't question a Lieutenant J.G., and so he's off to fetch the Specialist.
Specialist Asa is in. Having just come off her own shift seeing to the last needed diagnostics and fixes before they undock, she is in her bunk -- a top bunk, too. She blinks when someone says some pilot has some info for her. She tugs her earbuds from her ears, and rolls out of the bunk, using the ladder to get to the deck. She walks along the row, peeking out to spot Van. Her eyes widen a bit at the sight of him, but then she is moving quickly toward him. "Uh, hi," she says, looking a bit awkward as she steps up to the J.G. "You needed me?"
Van gestures slightly out into the hallway, stepping out himself and taking a couple of steps away from the door before he turns back to Isolde, "Sorry to drag you out of your off-duty time. I just wanted to let you know that I just met your sister at the O-Club on the shipyards. She's assigned to Galactica, and is undoubtedly already on-board."
Isolde follows, being given some curious looks by some of her enlisted brethren. She shrugs, waves them off, and joins Van in the corridor. She blinks sharply at the news he's offered, opening her mouth a couple times. "I, uh... oh." She blinks. "Really?" She hesitates. "Was she... nice?"
Van smiles faintly, "She was rushed, a little out of sorts, but yes, she was quite polite." One brow arches slightly, "Why, is she not usually?" Shaking off that question, he rolls his shoulders in a slow shrug, "I just didn't know if you knew she was coming aboard, and wanted to make sure you weren't surprised."
"Oh." Beat pause. "Good. I, uh... sorry... I want to be surprised and happy to see Jia, but my dad already spoiled the surprise." She offers a faint smile up at the pilot, and then rakes her hand back through her semi-damp hair. "No, no... she's usually quite nice, as long as she isn't psycho-analyzing you." She dimples slightly at him, and then deflates just a touch. "Was... was that all you wanted to tell me?"
Van blinks, apparently not having considered the psychoanalyzing part, "Oh. Right. Psychiatrist?" There's a little lift to the end of the memory, turning it into a hint of a question. "She didn't try to shrink my head." The question that follows causes him to shift his feet, looking somewhere between off-guard and nervous for a moment, "Well, that was the reason I came by. But what do you think? Heading back to Tauron?" His eyes widen slightly, "Oh, frak... your family isn't anywhere near Atray province, are they?"
"Yeah, one of those... she really likes cornering you and then picking apart your brain." Isolde delivers that with such lightness, it is hard to tell if she's joking or not. When he admits that, that is all he came by for, it is hard to hide the hint of disappointment. She looks down, picking at a bit of her arm -- a small scab from some minor scrape. "No, I mean... I don't think so. Dad is pretty good at keeping Mom far away from anything. Hell, I'm not even sure if they are even on Tauron anymore at this point." Then she nods a bit. "But... I would rather not be going back to Tauron."
Van nods along with most of her explanation, but the last part surprises him, "Why not? I would have thought you'd want to come back with a big stick to smack down the toasters there." He frowns slightly, "Or is it because they're still there and the Colonial Forces Command determined that it was the hottest spot?"
"Going back means that Tauron is in serious danger. If Galactica is being sent there, that means things are going to shit fast." Isolde looks down, admitting softly. "I guess I would have preferred Galactica's first ride be trying to rescue someone besides my own people." Then she starts to turn away, as if she's preparing to go back into berthing. "Thanks for letting me know about Jia... I promise to blame me knowing entirely on you." She offers him a slight quirk of her lips.
Van nods his understanding as she confirms his theory, "Yes, I understand that." When she starts to turn away, he opens his mouth, and then realizes that he doesn't know what to say. Thankfully, she fixes that, and he chuckles quietly, shaking his head, "Wonderful. Now I've put myself squarely in the midst of a sister thing, haven't I? You'd think that I would know better than that by now."
"Dunno, do you often put yourself squarely in the midst of sister things?" Isolde is stalled in her attempt to flee. It gives her a few moments of thought, and she shifts from foot to foot a couple times. "Van?" She asks, looking beyond awkward. "Are you off-duty?"
The question causes Van to grimace slightly, "I used to." Before he can spiral into memories and depression, however, she goes all hyper-awkward on him, and the Picon pilot responds in kind, glancing over his shoulder for a moment before he nods slowly, "Uh... yeah. I never really was, officially, just helping the CAG out. I was just going to take a quick shower and get some rack time." He pauses there a moment, and then steamrolls the nerves jangling in his head, "Did you have some other idea?"
Isolde is on the brink of chickening out when he asks the follow-up question. She catches the side of her lip with her teeth, and she shrugs a bit. "I think so." She steps forward, reaching for his hand, but her fingers catch the sleeve of his flightsuit first. "Come with me, yeah? I promise there will still be time for a shower and sleep."
Van's arm is pulled up by the clasp at his flight-suit, his eyebrows lifting in response to her words. He doesn't hesitate for more than a heartbeat, and then he steps forward to follow alongside her. As he does, his hand turns to grasp hers for a moment, squeezing lightly, and then releasing it, allowing them to walk side-by-side, but not quite hand-in-hand. "I'll hold you to that, Isolde."
Isolde offers a sheepish smile under the fall of her semi-damp hair. She guides him to the stairwell, and then up. She takes him as far up as the stairs go, arriving on the observation deck. It is very, very quiet up here what with most of the crew getting in whatever they need before the ship leaves Scorpia. Apparently, wistfully stargazing isn't top on most people's lists. She shoves her hands into her off-duty pants as they step out onto the deck. "They'll close the windows when we head into action," she explains.
Van smiles faintly as they step into the observation deck, glancing aside to the techie as he does. "Just because I kissed you once here..." There is a light teasing note to his voice, although her explanation causes him to nod slowly, "Ahhh. I wondered about that. Because one good hit from a KEW would probably pop one of these panes."
"On the cheek," Isolde protests. Then she nods as she looks at the viewports. "Yeah... and so, I figured one last good look before they shield them." She looks up at him, hands still flexing in her pockets.
Van nods at her protest, glancing behind him once again as he wavers, and then gives in to his pre-Triton instincts, "And what, you were angling for a different target, Isolde?" Despite the teasing, or perhaps because of it, he lifts up one hand to rest it lightly on her forearm, just a little reassuring touch.
"No, no," Isolde begins to object, but ends with a sudden and rather solid, "yes." She looks up at him, his hand resting on her forearm and her own hands balled up tight in her pockets. She tilts her head slightly. Her shoulders start to shrug. "Going into action tomorrow... can't be a terrible idea, right?"
'Yes' is enough. Van ducks down, his hand lifting from her forearm to her cheek to turn her lips up to his. His kiss is light, almost hesitant, although after the first breath, his shoulders loosen and his lips move over hers a moment longer. Then he straightens up again, "If we're needed, we're needed, whether we're ready or not." The words are soft, barely more than a whisper, even if they have very little to do with what his lips were just doing.
Isolde feels that little nugget of anxiety dissipate the moment his lips touch hers. Her eyes flutter shut, and she welcomes the kiss with her own upturned lips. When he straightens, she's ducks her chin just a bit as if to hide the small smile n her lips. His whispered words draw her dark eyes up again, and she tilts her head slightly. "I'm not ready," she admits in that same level of whisper. Her hands have drifted from her pockets by now, occasionally her fingers touch the edges of his flightsuit.
Van's thumb brushes along her cheek, and he shakes his head slowly, "You're on the biggest, baddest ship humanity has ever built." Which may or may not be true, but it's certainly the biggest and the baddest that the Colonies have built. "You'll have time to get ready. You just have to do your job, the way you have been from the start, stick to the book, know your limits, don't do any hot-dogging, and you'll be totally fine. I promise."
"Yeah?" Isolde looks up at him through the fall of her ever-drying curls. "What about you? Will you be fine, too?" She shakes her head ever so slightly at the promise he makes that she'll be ready, but she doesn't want to disturb the caress he gives her cheek.
Van does shift that hand away, but only to brush the spiraling curves out of Isolde's face. "Yes, I will. I came through Triton, and I can't imagine anything nastier than that. I did it the same way -- stay within myself, know my limits, stick to the book. It's when you go out and try to do something fancy that you get yourself in trouble. I don't do that. Not after Triton."
"Let's not start challenging the Gods," Isolde says in almost an automatic response to his 'can't imagine' statement. Then she shakes her head ever so slightly again, and offers him a tentative smile. "I did something dumb," she says, tone self-deprecating. "You can totally laugh it off, but... pilots like to put pictures on their flight dashes, right?" She reaches into her back pocket, pulling out a small card envelop. She hands it to him. "For you. It took me forever to find the picture. I had to use the Shipyards' Net, and it is really, really slow with all the firewalls."
Van's eyebrows rise up at her mention of doing something dumb, "Um... sometimes. Of family back home, or their girl or boy." He takes the envelope out of pure reflex, then turns it over in his hands, looking down at it and opening the flap, "Are you angling to be my girl, Isolde?" He keeps his voice light, teasing, "And here I haven't even taken you out on a real date." His fingers work, pulling the contents out of the envelope so that he can look at them.
The questioning of her intentions draw a sudden blossom of pink on her tawny cheeks. "No, I mean... not angling. Maybe squaring or circling... Parallelogramming?" Geometry jokes, ugh. Isolde looks down, waiting for the ultimate reveal of the envelop's contents. It is a picture from a familiar menu: a plate of sliders, all perfectly stacked and angled for the photo. A little card with luminous text is propped up in front of the plate, the Half Hitch's logo bright.
Van groans good-naturedly at the geometry joke, and then blinks in momentary confusion at the picture of sliders in front of him. An then he laughs, not a little chuckle, but an honest laugh, the pilot shaking his head in amusement. Smothering the laughter, he does his (not-very-good) best to deadpan, "Oh baby, oh baby, show me those buns?" The image gets slid back into the envelope, and the envelope tucked carefully into a thigh pocket of his flight suit, "Real cute, Isolde. Nicely done. Yeah, I'll stick that up in my cockpit."
Isolde looks up at the laughter, and she starts to smile in relief. His deadpan draws a light laugh from her, and she shakes her head. "Oh Aphrodite," she says, offering a small smile up at him. Then she looks a bit more relaxed when he tucks the envelop into his thigh pocket. His promise to stick that up in his cockpit draws her smile to its fullest dimples, and she nods slightly. "Okay, but don't let the other pilots judge you too harshly for your choice in entrees."
"If they've eaten at the Half Hitch, they won't judge. If they haven't, they won't know." Van smiles in response to the dimples, patting the pocket, and then glances up toward the door once more before ducking down to steal another kiss, this one quick, sharp. "That reminds me though, you owe me some time in a few days. Have to pay up for past promises."
Each passing moment seems to diminish more of her awkwardness, and she is looking a bit more confident and relaxed by the time he ducks down for that second kiss. She meets it, despite its briefness. His reminder draws her brows up. "I do...?" Beat pause. "Wait, I thought you owed me. That isn't how this words, Picon... you're not supposed to go turning things all around just because you gave me an okay kiss." Now it is her turn to tease him.
Van shakes his head, the corners of his lips quirking upward in a little smile, "You do. I might owe you too, although I certainly can't remember what for, but that doesn't mean that you don't owe me too." Scoffing at her teasing, Van shakes his head once more, "If all it takes is an okay kiss to turn your head around... well, let's just say that one of these days, you're going to get an education."
"Can't remember what for," Isolde repeats with a scoff. When the Picon brings up her education, her brows arch high and her lips quirk. "That so?" Then she steps forward, emboldened for that moment. She draws him close by the sides of his flight suit, and the innocuous tech of just four inches his lesser is on the balls of her feet and pressing a full kiss to his lips. She lingers just long enough to make a point, and then she's sinking back down and widening the space between them. "I promised you enough time for a shower and rack time..."
Van is surprised by her rise up toward him, his hands going a little awkwardly to her sides to support her up on the balls of her feet. He sinks quickly into the kiss, however, and as she starts to sink down, he chases after her just long enough to nip lightly at her lower lip, "Maybe we can skip the 100-level classes." Clearing his throat a little, he glances up at the clock, then nods, "Yes. Yes you did. Because as wonderful as you've been about ignoring it, I smell like flight suit."
Isolde laughs brightly. "I think we can." She nods agreeably, but then offers a small shrug as the conversation moves on. "I wasn't going to say." She offers him a wry smile and then she steps back further. "I can walk with you to the head, but then I should get back to my bunk, too. I'll be on hand a lot tomorrow."
"You're too kind." The offer to accompany him to the head causes him to shrug a little helplessly, "I actually have to go back to my berth first. Need a towel, my toiletries, some clothes to put on after. So why don't I walk you back to your berth, and you can deal with all the 'oooooohs' from your berthmates."
The tech starts to laugh, but the idea of dealing with the 'oohs' from her berthmates makes her blush. "Well, I suppose that's an okay amendment to this plan." She then nods to the hatch. She looks one more time at the stars shining through the observation deck viewports, and then falls into stride with Van.
"Or I'll cut you loose a hallway early. Your choice." Van is starting to get a little awkward again. So he just reaches up to touch her shoulder briefly, then heads out into the halls and toward the stairs alongside her.
Isolde looks up at the passing brush of his fingers, and she starts to smile again. "My choice is that you walk me all the way." She does spare him from having to hold her hand while doing it. She can be O-bait, but she doesn't have to make him awkward while doing so. She slips her hands back in her pockets as she walks alongside him, sinking down the stairs back to Deck 7.