Evan and Eva meet on the beach on Scorpia. There is dancing and talk of heavy things and light.
Location: Beach, Argentum Bay, Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1004
Pushing the backpack up his shoulders more fully, Evan slid fingers underneath the straps to relieve the tension from the load before he resumed his walk along the more firmly packed sand. The individual grains worked their way up into his sandals, rubbing against the bottom of his feet in a way that was mildly irritating but a simple price of beach living. The constant movement back and forth of the outsiders had taken its toll in someways for the man.
Evan had been spending his days playing the role of tour guide for the offworlders that had come to Scorpia for their shore leave while the shipyards above did their work. Whether he was working the bar at a beachside hotel, chauffeuring people to the cliffs for climbing and sky gliding, or giving scuba lessons it seemed every time he turned around he was buffeted by the presence of the military. The stark reminder of times past pushed him away from the congregation of soldiers to the beach, where the setting sun cast a pleasant hue of colors on the sand. Certainly there were others on the beach, but with it spread out, it would be much easier to find a space absent of the barrage of questions and expectations.
Eva, it seems, as chosen to find a place far from the maddening crowds, and has brought with her little more than the small travel blanket she's sitting on, her sandals, tossed a small distance from where she's sitting, and her good self. No bikini, perhaps as a concession to the hour, but she's wearing a long, flowing sundress, bare shoulders showing freckles and the red of a sunburn that not even the strongest sunscreen has been able to forestall on skin that's both naturally pale and likely unaccustomed to the sun. A hand reaches up, tucking a bit of the hem under her leg as the wind picks up, head turning away from the waves and towards the figure making its way along the beach. "Bit too much over there for you too?"
The voice touches his ears and Evan looks over at the woman sitting on the beach. There's a moment of hesitation but then an easy smile comes to his lips, not quite getting to his eyes. "A bit. It has been a busy past few weeks and the constant celebration and helping people unwind gets a bit hectic at times." His eyes cast a glance out to the sunset then back to the woman, continuing his slow walk but diverting to her direction now. "Which group are you with? If you don't mind me asking. The soldiers, the pilots, or the engineers overhead?"
Eva doesn't make any move to rise, to approach the man or to run over towards him as most tourists, spotting a native, might. The fact that he needs a minute to muster a smile means he's had enough of being chum in the water. "I can imagine this is the best times, in terms of revenue, but the worst, in terms of having to actually deal with tourists. Go home, but leave us your money, am I right? We've got a bit of that." Her own voice is heavily accented, country home, such as it exists, Celtan, marking her, whether you recognize it or not, as an off-worlder. "Oh, most of the time, the pilots. But just at the moment, I'm just a girl enjoying getting sand in all of her crevices." She wiggles her toes in the sand, digging them in for emphasis.
Something she says does trigger Evan and he chuckles softly, shaking his head a bit. "You know, it isn't getting the sand in that's the problem. It's getting it back out." Without invitation, he moves and sits a meter or so away from the woman, facing out as well towards the ocean and leaning back on elbows. His backpack, shed and set alongside him, thuds heavily when it is discarded. "As for the money, that's not really it. It's about the stories. The stories are what make it worthwhile."
"That's what a trip to the head and a pair of helping hands is for." Eva leans over, grasping the straps of her sandals and pulling them back closer to where she's sitting, leaving room for the man to make himself comfortable. "Do they tell you good stories, then? In my experience, I've mostly just been asked for stories, but no one really wants to volunteer anything interesting or exciting about themselves." She shifts, turned just enough that she doesn't have to turn her head completely to look at him, "Eva Thorne..." She takes a beat, "Or Cherry. You'll probably hear that more than the other."
The man contemplates a moment, giving the woman a look over; more indepth than previously. It is a male look, one that is appraising and then the stranger smiles, nodding his head a bit. "Cherry. Callsign or lifestyle?" A tip of his hand, knowing of some military traditions before he indicates himself with a thumb. "Evan. That's what you'll hear me called around here. Tour guide, bartender,general life liver extraordinaire." Another glance is given over Eva before he pries his focus back towards the sunset. "A lot of stories come through here. People ... don't want to be themselves. It is a vacation, it is offworld. It's a chance to be the things that you're afraid to in your normal life. The prim woman throwing herself wantonly. The businessman drinking until he can barely stand and getting tattoos in places he can't imagine. People want stories, stories that aren't always about who they really are. And that's ok, that's why I hang out here. To help people find the story they want."
Eva is either oblivious, or accustomed to the look, and so she allows it with no personal response. The smile she returns though, with a hint of a wry twist to her lips, "Callsign. Bit long in the tooth to pretend that's the lifestyle." She takes her time, studying the man in turn, "Good to meet you, Evan. Always nice to meet someone who's a bit of a jack of all trades. It's a nice change from my usual crowd." She listens, leaning forward to wrap her arms around her knees, "I suppose this is the sort of place where you can pretend to be someone else, and manage it because everyone else is trying to live their own fantasies. Sadly, we tend to get either to eco-warriors,
or the back to nature, off the grid crowd. All the sorts of people who care too much about 'who they are', to let go and enjoy actually being where they are." At the last, "And no one ever asks you your story? or do you simply have a playbook you pull out that depends entirely on who you're asking?"
"The latter." Evan responds to the woman, eyes out on the ocean. "People are looking for that story, I simply fulfill the role of a character within it. Villain, hero, whatever is sort of needed. Helps to put things away. Besides, people are here for their stories, not mine." He does then let his eyes come back over to the woman and shakes his head, "If you call yourself too aged to live, then you are sadly mistaken. There's no such thing. As long as there's adventure in the heart."
Eva wrinkles her nose, as she studies Evan's profile, "That sounds entirely too much like a paid escort. Someone who, for all intents and purposes doesn't exist except to fulfill the needs of the client. I'm not sure that I would be much interested in that. But I imagine your dancecard is fairly full." A shake of her head, at the last, "Only that Cherry, the lifestyle choice, implies a much younger woman doing the sort of things that young women do."
"Really? I didn't know it was only young women that did those sorts of things." Evan comments with a laugh and then he shakes his head, "Naw, not like an escort. I mean, I suppose it is in some ways but that implies sex only. That's not what I do around here. Truth be told I just enjoy the company. Helps me focus on others." He nods out towards the ocean, "That wrong? To enjoy the company of people? And earn some money by doing it?"
"I have to admit, most of the older women I have know who have done that...have..." Eva lifts her hand, waving away whatever she was intending to day. "It's not my place to judge." She shakes her head, though, at the comment about escorts, "Not on Virgon. I suppose, there they can be more like...I suppose like the courtesans of old. They might or might not be there for sex, but they are also there to be companions in whatever way the person requires." Laughter, at that last, "Not at all. I would never tell anyone that the lifestyle they chose for themselves, or how they chose to live their lives was wrong."
Evan chuckles as well and shakes his head, looking back to the ocean now as the sun continues to dip its way below the horizon and casts its colors across the water in vibrant variety. "I would guess, if I could, that you came here because you wanted to be alone. Well, let me rephrase. That you thought you wanted to be alone; perhaps not quite so surrounded by people. Had you walked into the bar... well, you didn't." There's a sly smile on his lips. "That's the fun of being self employed, to choose what sort of work to take on. But, this isn't work hours." A glance is given to Eva then his eyes go back to the water once again. "To forget the war, right?"
Eva too, looks back to the water, considering the man's guess. "I think, that I wanted to remember what it was like to be alone, yes. I'm from one of the most isolated mines on Hibernia. I could leave my house in the morning, and if I wanted to, not see another human being for hours, all day even. After so many years in the military, I've forgotten most of what that felt like. To be able to choose to be around people or not." Again, that curl of a smile, "If I had walked into the bar, you would have assumed the opposite?" A shake of her head, as she looks down at her hands, her wrists. The light is dim, but you might still be able to make out the rings of scar tissue around her wrists, "I don't think any one can do that. But not to be on the front lines for a few hours, sure."
Evan's quiet for a moment then he shakes his head, "The war isn't just on the front lines though. Even those behind the lines get hit with the price." The somber tone brings out a sigh from him and he shakes his head, "See? This is why I am terrible when I'm not on the clock. The mind gets to wandering to things I can't control." A glance given to Eva and he shakes his head, "No, if you'd walked into the bar, I probably would have gotten you a drink by now, maybe the second, and seen if its true what they say about Hibernians and dancing."
"I never said that it was only on the front lines. But I have been, nearly since the war began, and certainly since the Galactica left the docks." Eva's tone has no censure in it, offering only clarification, "I don't find you to be terrible at all. Although, I think we spend most of our lives thinking about the things we can't control." She considers, "Well, would it help if I hired you? For say...witty conversation? How much does that cost an hour?" She waves a hand in your direction, "You could just ask for that, no alcohol required. Most of the miners dance. The city folk not so much."
The man laughs again and shakes his head, "You're right, it does sound like some kind of escort service, doesn't it." Evan grins and straightens up a bit. "I don't charge for my company, I only help folks find their way around. In fact couple days back a few marines came through the bar, helped them get set up with some air gliding and cliff climbing." He pauses, then adds, "Or in the case of some folks, maybe finding them some dancing... even if they aren't at the mines." Looking Eva over once more, his eyes then drift to the ocean. "It's this peace that matters. Remembering why the fight is important." He leans a bit, voice dropping, "Why is it important for you?"
Eva's laughter joins his, "Yes, it sort of does. But if you're giving the milk away free," she rises to her feet, hands straightening the fall of her dress, which reaches down to fall around her ankles. She was being conservative. She also isn't built strictly to pilot specifications, lacking the lean, lithe look most people who are hardline military seem to acquire. "You don't need to be at the mines to dance." She holds out a hand, as one might if inviting a dance partner to step onto the floor, though there's no music, and only the hard-packed sand beneath their feet. "Because life is still important. Because love is still important, and freedom, and beauty. Because we still matter. With all of our failings and foibles, life still matters."
The smirk from his lips pushes his eyes as well and Evan rises up off the sand to stand up. Looking into Eva's eyes and takes her hand into his before leading it to his shoulder and moving to embrace in a dance posture, not to familiar but close. "So if those things matter, where do you find them? Where do you find life, and love, and beauty?" He asks it with a gentle prod to his tone. After a few moments, his dance movements begin to reflect the timing of the waves striking the beach sand.
Eva meets his eyes, familiar enough with the particular posturings of dance partners, that even if she doesn't know the steps, she knows how to follow his lead. One hand settles on his shoulder, her height, roughly half a foot shorter than he is, making the spacing between them ideal. Enough that he can lead, not so much that she has to struggle to keep up, "Wherever you can, with the people you care about, in the places that bring you joy, I would imagine. Where else is there?"
Shaking his head, Evan chuckles again. He doesn't speak for a bit, instead he seems to think it over before finally speaking, voice a soft tone to match the breeze off the ocean. "I didn't mean vague, I meant you specifically. Where do you find those things?" He doesn't want to speak to loudly, move to quickly, as the entire demeanor of the ocean and the breeze, the waves and the stars making their way out carries a casual tone.
"That doesn't have any simple answer. I don't think that it should. Life is every moment, something to be savoured, the good and the bad. Love, with the people that I love...as for beauty, that is the most ephemeral of all. The most mercurial. You are a beautiful thing, so is this beach, so is the sunset." Eva can't really shrug, but you can still feel something of it in the shift of her shoulders, "Why is the peace important to you? Why does it matter?"
There's a tightening of his shoulders, a glance of his eyes away; indications of the intent to deflect the question, a topic that is uncomfortable. However after a moment he looks back and manages a somber smile, not one that is given to guests but rather one that is shared in the moment. "When you've seen the turmoil, lived it... and died in it. When that happens you appreciate this side. I've been more dead than alive -- I like alive much more. That's why it is important. It's important to me, and I think it's important for others, to remember and to know what it is to feel alive." Again his voice drops to a softer tone. "Do you? Feel alive?"
Eva's hand moves, unbidden, on his shoulder, a soothing gesture, though she offers nonverbal accompaniment to the action, makes no demand for further information or explanation. The smile she returns, but only lightly, knowing it for what it is, but her words are gentle. "When you've seen the worst, lived through it, yes, you do appreciate even the smallest reminder that there is something...after." A slight tilt of her head, as she considers her partner, the question, the moment, "Oh yes."