Isolde and Van run into each other at the pool.
Location: Swimming Pool, Deck 8, Battlestar //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 910
Where does a Picon go when he's feeling out of sorts? The water, of course. Dressed in his boringly-standard-issue gray trunks and with a similarly standard-issue towel on the edge of the pool alongside the ladder out of the pool, Van is swimming laps. The pool is pretty short for that, meaning that he has to turn pretty often, but it's something comforting, to take his mind off events and to get him a little exercise as well.
Isolde enters quietly, and hesitates just moments in as she catches the soft sound of someone swimming. She almost turns around, perhaps because she had come here seeking her own solace, but then she inhales, nods to herself, and steps fully in. She is wearing a pair of loose pants over her equally boring gray one-piece swimsuit, and her bob of curls is already tucked up under a swim-cap. She steps up to the towel cabinet, grabbing one and shaking it out. She heads toward the opened lap, carefully climbing down to sit along the edge, feet dangling in.
Van does an awkward kick-turn at the far end of the pool, moving with a steady, easy stroke for all the awkwardness of his turn. He isn't wearing a swim cap, but he is wearing a pair of goggles, distorting his features slightly as he breathes under his arm every other stroke. Reaching the near end of the pool, he repeats the kick-turn, sending up a little wash of water against the edge of the pool as he turns too shallowly. And then he gets a glance of the feet dangling into the water, and he grounds his feet, rising up to his feet and wiping his face as he sputters, "Sorry. I didn't mean to splash..."
The wash of water has the Tauron flinching back a bit, as if she's water sensitive despite being submerged to the middle of her shins in the water. Isolde starts to laugh, shaking her head slightly. "Oh," she begins, but her words catch a moment when she sees Van rising up from the shallow water. She opens her mouth a couple times before she manages a weak, "It's okay." She clears her throat slightly, and starts easing herself forward, down into the water with her own slight splash.
"Oh." Van's repetition of the one word is flatter, but then again, his comes after he recognizes her. He shifts a little bit in his lane, dropping a little bit further into the water, up to his pectorals, "Yeah. Sorry." He pauses a moment, a flash of curiosity touching his features despite himself, "You swim for tension relief too?"
The techie sinks with him, looking up as the water comes up to her collarbones. She looks down, focused on the distortion of her body beneath the water. When he asks the question, she looks up with a slight tilt of her head. "Oh... sometimes... I..." She pauses, her expression furrowed thoughtfully. Then she just is honest, her voice gaining a firm, but slightly nonchalant tone. "I like to float, not swim."
Van smiles faintly at that, although it fades quickly, "I can understand that." One hand smooths over the surface of the water, "It's... calm. At least, in a pool or a lake." He stops there, opening his mouth to say something more, stopping, and then swallowing his words. A long moment more, and he lets out a breath, "I didn't mean... no, nevermind. I'll finish up my laps and let you float."
The awkwardness passes between them, and Isolde ducks her head slightly. She catches the start of something, and her brows lift slightly. "In a pool or lake... what?" Then she starts to stand up a bit, rising slightly out of the water. "You did mean... what?" Her questions have a nervous edge to them, and she does not seem like she's ready to relent.
"In a pool or a lake, floating is very calm and calming." Not a ton extra there, but Van keeps it open, as open as he can, at least. "I didn't mean to totally frak things up. But that doesn't matter, I suppose." The pilot looks down, studying his hand where it ripples across the surface of the water.
Van's words sinks her once more, and she hovers just above the surface of the pool water. Her eyes flicker up toward him in passing, catching his own inward thinking. She shifts slightly, back now against the wall of the pool. "You care more about the regs, because they keep you alive," she says, repeating his words.
"I care about the regs, because they keep me alive, but..." Van bites his tongue, shaking his head. Ducking his face under the water, he straightens up again, wiping the chlorinated water from his face and then pushing up his goggles so that he can see her without the lens between them. "It's not a question of more."
"That's not what happened, Van," Isolde says, frustration seeping into her voice. "I invited you to dinner, I planned a nice moment here in the real world, and... you instead told me that everything we were doing was against the regs, and that the regs keep you alive... Did you want us to stay in the V-World? Did..." Then she bites at her tongue, looking away in frustration.
Van shakes his head, "I didn't want us to make a mistake. I don't know if we were making one, but I wanted to talk about it before it happened." Frustration rises to his features for a moment, "I just wanted to talk about it."
The techie doesn't know what to say, so she stands there, hunkered down in the water. Her arms cross at her chest, her posture closed off and defensive. His matched frustration does not seem to mollify her as her jaw flexes. "You would have decided not to move forward, because I already asked Kallas to accept my transfer into the Air Wing..."
Van looks down to the deep end of the pool, blowing out a breath at her news, and then running a hand back over his short hair. It might actually be a little longer than it was before. "Good. Good for you. I know it's what you wanted." His words are a little stilted, tight in his throat. "So I suppose that you're getting what you want." He starts to step away, sloshing toward the ladder, "I'll help however I can."
Isolde has turned her head fully away, and this allows her expression to go unseen -- the anger and the sadness. "Okay. Thanks," she says flatly. She sinks further down until the water almost covers her mouth and nose.
Van manages not to blow up on his way to the ladder, hauling himself out and plucking the swim-trunks away from his legs before he gathers up the towel wipes his face, and then wraps it around his waist. There's a pause, and some hint of whimsy combines with an unintentional hint of malice, and he asks, "Have you told your dad that you're going to be a Colonial officer yet?"
His words sting, but for reasons two-fold. First, the jab about her father, and second the fact that this is the second time that Van has tried to get the last word while retreating from her. She stands up sharply from the water, looking over at him. "Frak you, Newton." Then she dives forward, trying to use the water as an escape, swimming roughly toward the other side of the pool.
By Van's surprised and dismayed look over his shoulder, he didn't mean for the malice and hurt to be lurking beneath his words. He grimaces, but then just blows out a breath of air, shaking his head and turning to pad on wet feet toward the changing room, shoulders slumped and his limp a little more pronounced than normal.
Isolde doesn't look back over her shoulder until she's on the opposite pool edge, arms braced along the lip. She glances back at him, watching those final steps into the locker room. Then she sinks down all the way, disappearing under the water. Sinking, rather than floating, seems to be her only option at this point.