Three survivors of the cylon attack on PNAB Triton, Hyperion share a moment of solidarity.
Location: The Admiral's Arms, Argentum Bay, Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 992
Van is not the best at the feelings. That said, he's better than others, especially when someone not feeling those feels keeps needling him to let himself feel them. The Triton Survivors Club is a rather small club, and all the smaller off of Picon, so it only takes one call to the duty officer to determine which members are on shore leave, and then two more calls to invite Doc and Hammerhead out to have a drink at The Admiral's Arms. He mentioned to each that he'd also invited the other out, which should probably give them some warning of what he's thinking about.
Van is the first one to the Arms, and he's gotten himself a seat at the bar, and ordered a beer that the bartender promised him was 'just like Golden Harvest.' He's even in civvies, including a brown leather flight jacket that is well too warm for the Scorpian climate.
Roara is out of uniform as well and she hasn't wasted the opportunity to wear her hair down. Tucking the mass of curls out of sight is no small everyday task. It falls loose past her shoulders, leaving the lingering faint scent of coconut oil in her wake as she sidesteps further into the bar. The pilot wears cork wedge sandals and a beachy maxi dress. The lightweight fabric is patterned in lush jewel tones that contrast her complexion. Coming up beside Van, she doesn't look to him. Instead, she drums her knuckle on the bar's surface to get the server's attention.
Cate arrives not too long after, dressed more appropriately for the tropical climate in a blue tank top, capris and sneakers. Her hair is up in a ponytail and just a touch damp - as if she didn't have enough time with the blowdryer before coming down. "Hey," she greets the two of them before sliding into a chair nearby. "You look nice," she tells Roara, before sliding her gaze to Van. "You look like you think we're still back in that ski resort on Tauron."
Van looks to one side, then the other, nodding in greeting, then glancing down at his attire, "The jacket looks stupid with shorts, and I wanted to wear the jacket." He takes a pull of the beer, grimaces, and sets the pint glass down again, "I'm regretting that decision now." But evidently he is stubborn enough not to immediately take the jacket off. Offering up a faint smile, he nods, "You both look like you're feeling a lot more comfortable than I am right now." When the bartender comes back to take Roara's order, Van hefts the glass again, "You said this tasted like Golden Harvest." The Scorpian smiles toothly and shrugs a little too helplessly.
Eyeing Van's drink (and outfit) dubiously, Roara opts for something more in the way of straight liquor. Her only smile is faint, one corner of her pouty mouth twitching upward. "Thanks," she speaks with a kind of casual indifference, leaning somewhat out of the way and flourishing her hand as if inviting Cate to order, "Got it in a few colors. What can I say, it doesn't wrinkle."
It's only after Van says he wanted to wear the jacket that Cate seems to notice the patches on it. A soft 'ah' is offered and the quiet ribbing takes a back seat to a quiet sympathy. She orders a shot of whiskey and then glances over at Roara. "Practical girl. It feels weird to wear regular clothes again."
Despite his complains, Van takes another sip of the beer before setting it down on the bar again. The 'ah' and the change of demeanor from Cate is met with a grimace and a sort of half-nod from the Viper pilot. He grasps onto the change of topic a little too readily, "I know. Not wearing the tanks under everything just feels wrong." There's a pause, and then he admits, "Plus, there's no starch." Despite which fact, his pants actually have a neat crease in them.
Roara does not observe that near-silent interaction. It's either circumstantial or just as likely... willful on her part. "It is," she agrees, "But sometimes it can be nice to pretend. For a little while." Her dark eyes follow downward as a thick glass tumbler is set out in front of her. Drawing it closer with her fingertips, she finds a stool to sit in for herself. "How long've you been sitting here without us, hm?"
"I dunno, Newton, I think you might be the only guy I know who would starch his jeans." Yes, she's looking at that crease. Cate may feel just as gloomy as he does, but at least she's trying to cheer him up with some good old-fashioned ribbing. Eyes flick to Roara then back again to hear the answer to the other woman's question.
Van looks down at his pants then, and rubs at the crease with his right palm as if to banish the crease, then shrugs and just leaves it. "At least I don't starch my skivvies either." Finally, he sets down his beer, strips off the jacket, and lays it across his lap. Only once he's finally picked his beer up again does he glance over to Roara and answer, "I called from here." So not too long, unless you also count however long he was here before he called, "...and about twenty minutes before that." His smile is meant to be reassuring, but comes out a little wan, "I've been keeping busy during shoreleave so far."
"Twenty minutes," Roara rumbles, giving Van plenty of side-eye. There's tinge of fondness there but it’s buried deep. She waits for Cate to be served before lifting and tilting her own glass just so. "Looks like we're playing catchup," she informs the other woman.
"Color me skeptical, but I'm not going to ask you to prove it," Cate comments blandly regarding the starched (or not) skivvies. "Busy is good. I went paragliding with Becks today. It was pretty cool." But despite sounding overly enthusiastic, the statement comes off sounding almost apologetic. She nods to Roara. "Looks like." She lifts her own shotglass, holding it there for a second like she's going to make a toast. But whatever she was about to say just dies on her lips, her brow creasing.
"And you probably won't find out unless Marine corpsmen are suddenly doing checkups on Navy pilots, Doc." Van shrugs helplessly at Roara, "Just one beer before this. I tried the local specialty." He looks back to his beer, "It didn't measure up either." And then he too lifts his glass, and proves that there's a downer in every party, and in this party, it's going to be Van tonight, "Absent friends." He takes a swallow, sets the glass down again, and notes, "I'm not complaining about my day. Not at all." He might even be blushing a little as he notes that a little quicker than necessary, "Just..." there's an unspoken 'you know...' on the end of that, because, well, the three of them do know, know how it feels to be in one of the last birds out of a base being blown apart by Cylons -- at least once.
Roara holds her glass steady in the absence of a toast from herself or Cate. Her mouth presses into a line until Van offers one, to which she throws back the entirety of her drink. "Yup," she says in response to the other pilot's explanation as it drifts off. Wincing against the taste of the liquor, she sets the tumbler audibly down on the bar to be refilled. For a moment, she might say more. The movement of feeling behind her eyes indicates that plenty. Instead, Roara pops her lips and lifts up a hand slack on her wrist, finger pointed upward, "Oh, his skivvies are starched alright. I'd put cubits down on it."
The awkward half-wince remains even after Van completes her aborted toast. Cate's throat bobs, and she doesn't say anything aloud but does incline her head slightly to acknowledge it before downing half the whiskey in her glass. To Roana she says, her voice a little flat, "Nah, that's a sucker's bet." Then to Van, "You think I can't arrange a checkup? Or bribe your girlfriend into spilling the beans? Oh ye of little faith."
Van draws in a long, slow breath, lets it out again, and then drains off the last of his beer -- and then coughs the last swallow nearly up again at Cate's half-threat. He pounds his right hand on the bar twice as he tries to swallow or breathe -- either one would be nice, and then he gets in a breath and promptly spends it chuckling. Once he can breathe again, he notes, "She would never." And then he rethinks it, "She would. Totally."
"Girlfriend, huh?" Roara asks mildly, eyebrows pricking upward with interest that she consciously subdues, "We talking about that ECO? ... She's pretty." She nudges her chin in thanks to the bartender, drawing her refreshed drink up to frame her face, "How's that going?"
"She would. Totally," Cate agrees dryly. She watches him with mild concern as his drink goes down the wrong pipe, then downs the rest of her drink and signals the bartender for a refill. But even once the shot glass is refilled, she doesn't drink it. She just idly turns it round on the bar top, like a slow-motion spinning top. Quietly, she listens for Van's answer to Roara's question.
"Isolde Asa," Van supplies for Roara, and then lifts his (empty) glass up to mumble into it, "Keeping me busy." And then he flags down the bartender to pull him another beer. This, of course, is theoretically the same Van Newton who before Triton would never have admitted to having one girlfriend (or for a good while after it, actually, although for a different reason). Left without anything to keep his hands busy, he stares at Cate's pivoting glass. "How about you guys? Not girlfriends or boyfriends. Are you keeping busy, or keeping busy?" The first is spoken normally, the second the sort of enforced business that keeps one from thinking.
"Keeping busy." Roara's eyebrows continue to rise as she repeats the phrase. Her attention remains steadily on Van's face for a time before they return to the amber liquid in her drink. She swirls it. "Oh. OH. Frak that," she breathes, cocking her head around on her neck before wetting her lip in the alcohol, "Got a couple /Vipers/ I'm serious with if that's what you mean."
"Just the regular kind of busy," Cate replies, still spinning the glass. Although what 'regular' kind of busy involves paragliding is anyone's guess. Roana's comment gets a raised eyebrow. "Do you mean pilots or is this some kind of insider pilot hardware joke?" The confluence of talk about pilots and keeping busy causes her brow to crease again, casting a preoccupied frown down at her glass. It was a pretty well-known fact that she pal-ed around with several of the pilots back at Triton - the Raptor team Dub and Mute, and Viper jock Padlock. Some rumours put her in a relationship with Mute, but that could've just been the gossip mill going overboard.
Van's eyebrows go up at Roara's response, "Hrm? No, no. I like you both just fine, but the only time I want to know if you're keeping busy with someone is if I have to buy ice cream or plan a bachelorette party." He looks back down to his hands on the bar, letting Roara answer Cate's question. His shoulders slowly tense up, but then his third beer is delivered, and he lets out a long breath, "No... I meant..." He glances up, making sure the bartender has moved on, then looks down again, "Edson was... a little close to home. For me."
"Oh, n--" Roara turns, watching Cate look down into her glass. "Just... the regular kind of busy." There's a moment where she might sass Van about bachelorette party planning or some other thing. It's fleeting. Her expression turns stony at Van's little confession and she finds herself staring down into her drink, too. There aren't any rumors of romances floating around about her but there are plenty of brothers and sisters lost. It would be a stretch to say she wasn't unchanged. "Mm," she grunts as if in understanding, shifting her jaw as it tightens. After a few fractional nods in quick succession, Roara takes a drink.
Cate snorts lightly at Van's response about getting busy. "Starched boxers and no gossip. Don't let Becks hear about that or he'll decide you need to loosen up and take you out to do daredevil shit." Or something. The mention of Edson gets a soft and solemn, "Yeah." She turns the glass around again. "Y'know, I haven't gotten really drunk since that last night at Triton. Always thinking the Toasters are going to drop in at any moment." She snorts again. "You haven't really lived till you've been half-drunk, half-hungover, concussed and running for your life." The deadpan voice doesn't quite disguise the underlying sadness, and segues into, "I was with Dub when it started. He'd gotten word that his little sister was alive, so he brought a bottle of some kind of cherry shit to celebrate, then crashed on my floor."
Van grunts softly in agreement with Roara's nonverbal vocalization, taking a drink of his beer as well. He shrugs a little apologetically at Cate's half-accusation, then listens to her explanation. He's silent for a long time, then he nods slowly, "That makes sense." There aren't a whole lot of people in the Colonies it would make sense for, but evidently Van is one of them. "It's the sort of situation that makes you want to be prepared for everything." Another swallow of beer stops the halting words for a moment, and then he adds, "I'm sure they're good. Lying low somewhere." Because some people have to believe that MIA doesn't mean KIA. Finally, he barks a near-humorless laugh, "Half-drunk, half-hungover, concussed? I think I can beat that. Shrapnel wound in my thigh, MCL and ACL frakked up, already crashed once, trying to fly a Raptor. It's a wonder we got airborne."
Roara's hand gives a little tremor where it holds onto her tumbler. It's around the same time as 'Lying low somewhere.' The glass clicks against the bar before she lifts it to drink again. Pursing her lips to savor the taste and narrowing one eyes, she looks off straight ahead. She stares through the bottles lining the far wall. "Just a normal day for me. Everything happened the same." Her lashes flutter, "I try not to question it."
"Yeah," Cate agrees solemnly when Van mentions being prepared for anything. "I mean once - that's war, but twice... that's..." Her voice trails off. Van's humorless laugh causes her to slant him a look, lips pressing together in something that might've started out as a smirk. "I left off the broken bones and them having to dig bits of my neighbor's house out of my skin." There's a distant look there for a moment, but she elects not to mention the fact that they also had to dig at least one fragment of someone else's legbone out of her leg. "But anyway, it's not a contest. Sucked ass for everyone." She doesn't comment on the possibility of them being alive, but instead slants Roara a glance. "Does it work?"
When his joking one upmanship falls predictably flat, Van grimaces and drowns his sorrows in another sip of beer, "Fine, fine, we're all pretty screwed up princesses." Yes, he's including himself in that category, and he nods definitively at Cate's description of the situation. Looking over to his fellow pilot, he lofts a brow to add his own curiosity to the medic's question.
In answering, Roara's voice lifts an octave in an uncharacteristically youthful sort of chime. Almost girlish. Certainly not the sound of her namesake. She tilts her glass, letting the liquor within come almost to the point of spilling before she tilts it in the other direction. She does this repeatedly.
Cate gives Van a a little there-you-go gesture when he calls them all screwed up. "That you can say again, Van." Not Newton or Milkman for a change. Just Van. Roara gets a half-smirk. "Sometimes. Well, better than never." And with that she does finally lift the glass to her lips to empty it. Sometimes you just have to tempt fate.
Van watches the alcohol shift in Roara's glass for a long moment, then chuckles a little dryly at her response. He takes two quick sips of his beer, nods, "When you got it, flaunt it." And then he drains the glass off in a series of slugs, pauses a moment, burps because well, he's just had three pints of beer relatively quickly, covers the burp, and has the good grace to look embarrassed. "Sorry." Setting his glass down, he pulls out several bills, enough to cover drinks for the three of them and a modest tip, and gathers up his jacket, "Well, thank you both for coming out." There's a moment where he struggles to word something sincere and heartfelt, and instead takes the easy way out, "I think I'm going to try paragliding or something equally exciting. Or sit on the beach with Izzy." Again, he pauses, then just slings on his jacket and reaches out to squeeze a shoulder each before he heads for the door.