Van and Isolde try a real-world date.
Location: Observation Deck, Deck 3, Battlestar //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 930
Isolde found her first day in training to be one of nonstop information dumping. She was given a lot of bits on how the Air Wing works, her responsibilities as an ECO, and a training schedule with other ECOs both in Wolfpack and Argonauts. Then she had her own shift in the tech shop, so her brain is quite fuzzy and full of things and projects to work on. It is unsurprising then that she can be found in a sense of quiet flatness on the Observation Deck, waiting the arrival of Van. She is slumped in the love seat, head tilted back against the soft plush blue upholstery.
Van has a tablet under one arm, as well as a couple of bottles of juice from the mess hall and several muffins gathered in his other arm. He makes his way slowly forward through the Observation Deck, glancing here and there to spot... there she is. The pilot's brows rise, and he shakes his head slowly, "Brain drain. I remember that from the Academy." He starts to settle down beside her, but halfway down, the awkwardness returns, and he hesitates, nearly falling back into the couch and instead settling in a few inches away. The tablet is set down, and he offers out a muffin first. "Pumpkin."
"Don't call me 'pumpkin,'" Isolde murmurs as she takes the offered muffin. She looks up at him, her brown eyes too tired to express awkwardness. She does offer him a small smile all the same, thanking with a slight nod before she takes a bite of muffin. She chews slowly, looking thoughtful. Then she flicks her eyes up toward him once more, and she tilts her head against the couch cushion. "It wasn't too bad... really... but if all days are like that... I might be dead before I get certified."
Van blinks at her murmured response, and he blushes faintly, "I wasn't..." He blinks, then shakes his head, "Oh. Right." Once she's chewing on the muffin, he offers out a bottle of juice, cracking his own and taking a sip before he answers, "I don't know what it will be like here, but it wasn't all as bad as brain drain days. I would never have known about the Half Hitch if it was."
"You know... 'Pumpkin' can be..." Isolde stops as he catches on, and she offers him a small smile of apology at being mostly dead. Then she starts to straighten up from her slouch, taking the bottle of juice. She sips at it, glancing at the lid with a curious tilt of her head. Then she looks back up toward the pilot. She smiles a bit. "I'm not so badly off... I just feel like I need to sit down and carefully go over every detail in what I was given today." Then she carefully begins to screw the lid back on, eyes cast downward. She waits several long moments, and then looks back up at him. "I'm sorry... about the sliders..."
Van glances at the bottom of his cap as well, noting, "Picon Sea Otters use rocks to crack shellfish." And the he turns the cap toward her so that she can see the 'fun fact' printed within it. "And no, you don't. If you keep spinning your wheels, you'll never get any traction. You need some distraction for a little while, then you can get back to studying." He shrugs a little helplessly at her apology, "It could have been quite a lot worse. It could have been me sucked out the cockpit."
Isolde shares her cap lid fact, "Caprica ice bears have transparent fur that looks white." Then she tilts her head, and she can't help the small smile that starts to blossom on her lips. "Isn't that why you are here?" Her voice is a low, but amused offering. "To distract me?" Then she shakes her head a bit at the response to her apology, and she starts to turn in her seat a bit, leg tucking around her. "I'm glad you weren't sucked out the cockpit..."
"I... did not know that." Van admits about the Caprica ice bears, although he nods at the smiling words, "I am indeed." Setting his juice and muffin carefully aside, he hefts the tablet a little, "Me and thirty-something movies for you to choose from." Using his thumbprint to unlock the computer, he offers it out. The quiet words that follow cause him to smile faintly, "Well, that's an improvement. Because I suspect that not too long ago, you wouldn't have minded so much."
"That's not true," Isolde protests quietly, even while she takes the tablet so she can start to scan through the options. She glances sidelong toward him before returning back to the list of movies. "I mean... I may have not minded if you got severely hurt... but death isn't something I wished on you." She shakes her head slightly. "To be fair... I really didn't wish harm on you... I was just... confused." She then tilts her head up to him, gauging his reaction.
Van shrugs at her response, nodding his acceptance of the correction. "Okay, severely hurt. Instead I got lightly wounded," he nods toward his right upper arm, where a light bandage still covers the graze under his long-sleeved undershirt, "and my Viper shot apart beneath me." He starts to pick apart the muffin's paper, pulling it away from the muffin itself. "Confused?"
"About why everything fell apart so suddenly," Isolde offers to his question. Then she blinks slightly. "You have quite a few Erinn Flint movies in your choices here... are you trying to get me to watch some Picon adventure movies?" She looks at him, brows furrowed, but the corner of her mouth twitching slightly in barely contained amusement.
"Um... yes, I was having trouble with that one as well." He draws back slightly, holding his hands back, "I've decided to stay away from that for a good long while, however." The query about the movies causes him to shrug a little, "Captain Blood was one of my favorites growing up. But there's also Caprica's Sweethearts, Dancin' in the Rain, The Hook, and several episodes of Game of Dragons."
"Hard to figure out when both sides have no idea what happened," Isolde offers, perhaps not as helpfully as she'd like -- but she's tired. She offers him back the tablet. "I vote Caprica's Sweethearts or a couple episodes of Game of Dragons... unless you think I need to read the books first." A small smile tugs at her lips before she starts to ease out of her boots, groaning as she stretches her toes a bit.
"You don't have to read the books first." Van clears his throat a little, "But... uh... there is quite a bit of sex in the show." Now the pilot is blushing faintly, glancing across and down to the picked-apart muffin now. "Not saying we shouldn't watch it or we should, just... making sure there aren't any surprises."
Isolde joins him in blushing, and she takes a few moments to fuss with her boots, and then draw her legs up in a lotus-position on the couch. "Oh, uhm..." She picks at the paper around the bottom of the muffin still in her lap. "Maybe not... here, then. Caprica's Sweethearts?" She offers him an uncertain lift of her brows.
Van nods, "I... well, I actually forgot those were still on the tablet." Letting out a little breath, Van slides through the tablet menus quickly, bringing up the film and starting it up. As the production company logos begin to scroll, he shifts in the couch, settling a little closer to Isolde, so that their shoulders just touch, and her knee overlaps his leg, letting him rest the back of his hand on her knee where they can both watch the tablet's screen. "So... while it's still safe, do you talk through movies, or watch quietly?"
As the pilot eases himself in closer to her, she shifts in her seat a bit to welcome the overlap of legs, hand on her knee, and gentlest brush of shoulders. She considers his question with a slight tip of her chin. "I kind of follow my company's lead... I happily do both. I guess... I guess I prefer some chatting now and then." Her fingers twitch around the muffin, and she settles with a gentle press of her elbow against his thigh. "What about you?"
Van looks down again, past the tablet, "Uh... I talk. Quietly." He silences himself with finally eating a bit of muffin, then shrugs helplessly. "Not constantly or anything, just... if you're watching a movie with someone, I don't see the point in not talking to them." The opening credits start up over shots of a spoiled star treating her assistant badly, "You know this is a Picon film? Making fun of the Caprican film industry. The government paid for some of the film's costs."
Isolde offers him a gentle smile as he confesses to his obvious crimes. She takes another bite of her muffin, following it down with a swallow of juice. Then she resumes her lean a bit more boldly against his shoulder. "Is it?" She asks, brows arched. "I don't think we got that on Tauron... we just figured it was another example of Capricans Behaving Badly... didn't know it was Picon."
Van nods, "The female lead's Caprican accent... wanders a little." Notably, on screen, the spoiled star's accent is picture perfect. Evidently, the pilot isn't so good with spoilers either. The increased lean into his shoulder by the newest Colonial officer releases a little tension in Van's shoulders, and he lets himself lean back into the cushions a little more readily, "And a lot of the shots in 'Caprica City' are actually Hyperion. I mean, not the landscape shots, but the rest of them. Economic... I hesitate to use the word 'warfare,' but... competition, at its finest."
"I thought Caprica and Tauron hated each other the most," Isolde protests to his information. "Are you sure Caprica knows Picon has a rivalry with them? They might have lost the memo." She offers him a gentle, dimpled smile before she looks back at the screen as the spoiled star's sister-slash-assistant is preparing for the upcoming film screening, looking about as frazzled as Isolde feels. She glances to him, but quickly looks back to the screen like she might get caught staring at him.
"Oh no, we're just trying to steal more of the movie industry from them. No hard feelings, just we're better at it than they are." They're not, but don't try to tell a Picon that. Van misses most of the glance, although he looks over toward her a moment later, the screen lighting half of his face beyond the dim glow that suffuses the Obs Deck, "So did they have you memorizing cockpit layout of the Raptor today, or baseline stats? Some people start with practical, some start with book. I hope they started with practical, since you're going to be getting so much on-the-job-training."
"Oh, is that it..." Isolde shakes her head with amusement, focus now on the screen. When he asks after her training, she glances back to him, this time easily meeting his gaze. She shakes her head "Well, a little bit of practical and bookish... started in one of the actual Raptors with a book about the cockpit layout. At least I got to push the buttons." Then she offers him a sheepish smile, her arm now resting fully against his as their shoulders connect.
Van stretches his shoulders a moment, then shifts hands so that he's holding the tablet in his right hand and stretches again, this time extending his left arm out past her shoulder. He's only halfway through this 'smooth' move when he realizes just how high school it is, and color begins to rise in his cheeks. It doesn't stop him, however, from settling his left arm around Isolde's shoulders, "I hope you didn't push any red buttons. Those tend to be the dangerous ones."
"There was no red-button-pushing," Isolde reassures him after her amusement about his high school move to get his arm around her shoulder. She caught on, and her dimples are full and bright by now. She settles in against him, head tucked against his shoulder. "I really hate this part," she admits as the seriously broken male co-star starts stalking his former love interest. "It's so... sad." She laughs all the same at the right places.
Van nods his agreement, slowly relaxing again as his 'smooth' move earned dimples, "Have some self-respect, right? That's actually one of my complaints about the whole movie industry: since when has being a stalker been a romantic gesture?" He winces, but still chuckles, "Don't get me wrong, cactus to the groin is still funny, as long as it's fake."
Isolde shakes her head gently, looking over toward the pilot. "What's the best romantic gesture you've ever done?" The question is posed very casually, and genuinely so. More of a curiosity than a set-up. She glances down to the screen just in time for the cactus, and she winces sympathetically.
"Well, there was this thing that some of us used to do at the Academy..." Van starts to smile at the memory, "You had to know the bartender, but we'd get together and serenade the girl to The Rightness Brothers' 'It's Gone, Gone, Gone.'" He pauses then, frowning, "Huh. I suppose that's actually not very romantic at all. Effective, but not romantic. Just a second, let me think..."
Isolde laughs at the memory, and she tilts her head into his arm. "Effective, is it?" She offers him a wry smile. "How many girls was that move 'effective' with?" Then she turns back to the tablet, nestled in closer so her head is resting almost against his cheek and jaw.
Van clears his throat, "I think I'm about to get myself in trouble." Still, he continues on quietly, "I wasn't always the singer, sometimes I was backup, so... in total? About fifteen or twenty. But for me... like three or four?" Turning his head toward hers, he keeps his eyes on the screen even as he breathes in the scent of her hair, then presses a kiss to it that is a mixture of breath mint and cigarette. "But... romantic. Well, I took my prom date out on the sloop, with a packed picnic and a bottle of champagne I stole from Mothers' wine cellar."
"Vee!" Isolde gasps, but she is laughing softly all the same. "Three or four?" She muses for a moment. "I think I'm jealous." Then she closes her eyes, and starts to smile at the familiar scent from the pilot, and the warmth of his lips in her hair. She listens to his offering, and she shakes her head. "Prom... Gods... I skipped prom entirely for an all-nighter in the Net." Then she smiles, tilting her gaze toward him even as the confession between the co-star and sister begins. "Mm, did your prom night end the way you hoped?"
"It was the Academy..." he protests, "I saw... two... of them more than once. So it wasn't that effective." Van shakes his head slightly, watching the confession in action as he works his way toward his own, "It was expected that a Newton be at Prom." He hesitates, then admits, "I... may have been Prom King. And no, it didn't end the way I hoped. Probably for the best, really. Selma Wilson ended up pregnant and married a year after she graduated. To the captain of the pyramid team -- he came after me. The baby came way after me."
Isolde listens to his protests and defense with an amused smile on her lips. She shakes her head after a moment. "I'm sure that's true. I wouldn't dare question it." Then she bites slightly at the edge of her lip before she leans in close, and presses a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth. It barely lingers, just touching and then withdrawing with a kind of shyness she didn't have the first time they kissed. She settles back, head turning to rest against his as the starlet on the tablet starts her inevitable meltdown.
"I don't think it helped that she didn't get voted Prom Q..." and then the little press of lips silences Van, and he turns toward Isolde, gray eyes searching over her bottom-lit features for a moment before he smiles faintly, "You missed." The pilot purses his lips in a kissing gesture, but instead of forcing anything, he leans forward to press his own kiss to her temple, then settle back and tilting his temple toward hers, "You know, it can't help that they call her Kiki. I think that would give me a complex right there."
"I'll aim better next time," the techie reassures. Then she looks back to the screen, nose wrinkling slightly. "Particularly how her sister says it," Isolde murmurs in reply to the comment about the name Kiki. She closes her eyes as their temples rest together, and she breathes out a slow sigh. The ending monologue from the co-star is beginning, filled with laughs and realizations. But, Isolde has totally missed it. Her breathing has slowed, and she has drifted to sleep with her head pressed against his and hand resting gently on his thigh.
Van shakes his head at the overly-dramatic monologue, chuckling here and there. By the time there's a big on-screen kiss, the actor and sister-assistant realize they're meant to be together, and the actress is complaining about having to go back to her lisping Caprican actor boyfriend (there's some of the propaganda), the pilot has noticed that the head leaning against his has gotten heavier than usual. He lets Isolde snooze until the credits start to roll, then carefully shuts the movie down and sets the tablet aside next to his juice and half-muffin. Only then does he murmur, "Hey... Izzy... I think it's time to get you to bed."
Isolde catches the movements, and the murmured words. She tightens her eyes a moment, and then gives another soft yawn, "No... I'm good here." She even starts to turn into him more, slinging an arm across his stomach as she settles in against the pilot. She closes her eyes again, and the sleep comes a bit easier this time. She will snooze a few more moments before she gives a soft groan. "But you're about to tell me I will get better sleep in my bed..."
"Noooo... I'm about to tell you that I'll get better sleep in my bed." Van's right hand touches her forearm around his waist, not to remove it, but just to establish a little more connection, "And I need my beauty sleep, even if you don't. Plus I think they frown on people just randomly crashing anywhere but their own berth."
"Mrrrph," is all Isolde replies with first, and then she slowly starts to sit up, disengaging from the pilot. Her shoulders look heavy as she slouches in her seat, exhaustion setting in far too easily. "Berthing is just too far away." She glances to him, and then a soft blush rises on her cheeks. "But, uh... I guess walking me to my berthing is a pretty easy step now." She then grabs her half-eaten muffin and juice container, starting to slowly groan and complain to her feet.
Van closes the top to his juice bottle, tucking it into a thigh pocket, and then gathers up his muffin and tablet in one hand, hauling himself to his feet with a little groan and then offering out a hand to help her to her feet as well, "Pretty much the easiest thing ever. Just drop you off on the way." There's a moment's hesitation, and then he's unable to resist, "Now that you're bedding down beneath me."
Isolde takes the offered hand, and pulls herself up to her feet. She looks exhausted even more with gravity tugging at her. But then she smiles over to him, and blushes warmly at him. "Yes, there's that." She then brushes some crumbs off her duty greens, and then looks back up to him. "Um, you lead the way." She looks a bit shy, but not really her normal awkward.
Van hesitates for a long moment, then moves to slip his arm around her shoulders again. It's not quite the 'walking in swaying-hip step together' closeness, but neither is there exactly the 'just helping a wiped-out-buddy' distance there either. "Good blush." And lead the way he does, moving to amble slowly out of the Observation Deck and through the halls to their assigned berthing room.