On the edge of battle, Eva seeks out her guardian angel.
Location: Chapel, //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1057
The chapel retains the tranquility that is usual despite the murmurings on the ship about the upcoming departure. There's only a handful of people here, but one of them is Alain -- the pilot's habit of offering prayers to the Gods before any mission or undertaking probably well known, despite his propensity not to talk overly much about his religious training. He's settled in the front row, hands clasped together, head bowed, unusually still for the normally energetic pilot.
Eva, is, quite possibly, the most godless heathen one might ever encounter. While she will not decry anyone else their faith, or expound on her lack there of, she is not a believer. But she takes comfort in the trappings. Or...perhaps not the trappings, but in those who use them. Just now, for example, she's been wandering this way, peeking into this room and that, as if she might find the Gemenese man anywhere but the chapel. But, no, Alain is here, and so, too, is Eva. It's become something of a tradition, for her to seek out Alain before a particularly dangerous mission. Is that blasphemy? Who's to say. There was a time, many months ago, when Eva sat vigil over Alain Tomlinson, when his life hung in the balance, and it became her way, to watch him, each time he found himself in sickbay. And in return, he's watched over her now, in this way, when perhaps she needs prayers she hasn't the faith to speak for herself.
He becomes aware of her, the Captain's soft steps expected perhaps, as Alain's head tilts briefly as if in invitation for her to sit next to him. He remains still for moments more, finishing whatever prayer he's in the midst of. Maybe he includes her in the prayer? When his hands finally drop, Alain's expression is serene, calm, at ease, and the peace expresses itself in brown eyes as he turns to regard the woman next to him with a fleeting, if genuine, smile. "How are you doing, Eva?" he asks, deliberately casual in his address of her in this moment, this place.
Eva settles, respectful of the place, respectful of the man, respectful of the prayer, even if she does not share it. Her own hands rest crossed in her lap, eyes facing front while Alain finishes his prayer. There's a smile, just as genuine, if just a brief, when he addresses her, "I'm terrified, Alain." And perhaps, she has ever reason to be. The cylons of Canceron are a new, even more deadly animal. And where she would never, never admit such a thing to anyone else, she will speak honestly with him, "How about you?"
His peaceful gaze remains on her, unruffled by her admission. "I was terrified," Alain admits, after a pause. "I still am, but it feels less immediate, here, in this moment." He reaches out a hand to rest against hers, a gesture of pure comfort and nothing more. Whether she accepts the gesture or not, he continues, "I dreamed last night. Ares stood at my shoulder as I looked over a valley on fire. I couldn't tell whether it was a victory or a defeat. He remains ever inscrutable," another brief flicker of smile, wry and reminiscent both. "But it was something, all the same, to have someone there at my shoulder, in that moment."
Eva does accept the gesture, her hand curling in the younger man's, the gesture comfortable, and comforting, companionable, as one sibling might hold the hand of another, taking comfort from their familiarity, "Does he speak to you more often now? Or does he only come when there is great need?" She's come to trust the man's dreams, from whatever force or mystery they descend. "Yes. It's why I always feel more comfortable when I have the squadron with me." When the work is being shared, and the fear.
"On Gemenon, they used to say the Gods were always with us, but we could only hear them when our need was great." Alain repeats it, but doesn't say whether he believes that or not. He's silent for a moment, his hand resting comfortable against hers, as he gives a nod of agreement to her latter words. "When I went down over Atray Province, I could've sworn I saw two people -- a man and a woman -- come up to me. I didn't recognize them and yet they felt familiar, and I didn't feel alone. Of course, everyone swears up and down I was unconscious the whole time, so..." with a wry, sudden grin at Eva, Jigger adds, somewhat randomly: "You ever hold a bow?"
Eva sits, listening without comment or prejudice. Perhaps, if anything, there's some amount of wistfulness. To be so sure and steady in the face of war. To have no fear for your future for good or ill. "Perhaps it's at those moments when they know you can't hear them in other ways." A grin, though there's no sarcasm in it, just mild amusement. "You were most assuredly unconscious. The SAR team swore you were snoring." Getting shot down, well, that's just a walk in the park for Alain Tomlinson. "I haven't. I've used a slingshot before. Is that close enough?"
Conscious of the captain's wistfulness, Alain nevertheless smiles. "It makes me wonder what it'll mean when you start hearing them." He has faith, even if she might not. When she speaks of his rescue, he straightens. "Now I know you're lying, because I definitely do not snore," Alain replies haughtily, though he's not good at holding such an expression even in jest for long, and soon enough it dissolves into a more familiar grin. "Not quite. Oh well, it was a thought." Speaking of thoughts, he pauses for a moment. "Think Hallie might be willing to do some ink on me?"
"That I have become certifiably insane, no doubt. It's one thing for you to hear voices...the gods have been known to speak to you," or at least intervene on his behalf, "Me...I'm just a heathen from Hibernia." A snort of laughter, "Alain Tomlinson, I live half a berthing away from you, and I can hear you." She can't, of course, but how would he know? He's asleep! "Oh, I'm sure she'd be up for it. She's got a reputation for it. And I think there are a few people who've been talking about getting some."
"Just because you can't hear them, doesn't mean they aren't talking to you." Alain says, then catches himself. "Sorry. There's the Gemenon in me coming through. Still, the Gods don't discriminate. They'll talk to heathens as readily as any believer." Alain being the latter, sounds absolutely certain of his position. His eyes widen for a moment: "You're listening to me sleep? That's just creepy, Cap." But the other pilot is laughing all the same. "Maybe we should get something for the squadron. Tag each of the rooks as they make their first kill with us? Something special though, for the triple aces," with a knowing look at Eva.
Eva shakes her head, eyes studying the man's face, "Don't apologize for that. I'm grateful that one of us has enough faith for both of us. As long as you don't mind doing the heavy lifting." At Alain's comment about listening to him sleep, Eva waggles her eyebrows, "Yes, people have said that about me. If you want to make it extra creepy, I can watch you too." At the question of tagging, she considers, "You know, Smackdown had suggested doing that. Having us all get squadron tattoos, back when we were on Galactica" and Smackdown, Diego Kallas, was still the CAG, "We never got around to it, but maybe we should." A sniff, at the triple ace, "Xs over my eyelids?
"I'll keep including you in my prayers," Alain says easily. "And I'll pray you don't try to watch me when I sleep. It's bad enough having the Gods looking over me." Although the wry twist of lips suggest he's not all that unsettled about the latter, if not the former. Of the tattoos: "It's a good idea. We should do it once we push off," he suggests, regarding Eva thoughtfully a moment. "No, you want the toasters to see it when you're staring them down. Maybe here," he taps his own forehead, grinning at her.
"I thank you for that, Alain. I don't know that I will ever find faith, not the way that you have...but I am glad that you have enough to spare a little for me." A snork, yes, a snork, of laughter, at the comment, holding up her hands, "I promise to curb my more deviant habits." The laughter moderates to a grin, "Maybe if we get leave...we descend on a town somewhere, some unsuspecting tattoo parlor." A shake of her head though, at the mention of a forehead tattoo, "I am completely not tough enough for something as extreme a a facial tattoo. Maybe on my ass." As a way of telling them to kiss it, "Almost time."
"I appreciate that," Alain says, laughing as she does. "Your ass?" he asks, bemused, "You gonna flash the toasters in the middle of a battle, cap? That'd be something to see." He's shaking his head, but still grinning, as he pushes to his feet, offering her a hand to help her up as he does. "Game faces on, eh?"
Eva accepts the hand, coming upright easily enough, giving the younger man's hand a final squeeze, before she steps out of the aisle, to allow him the room to step out with her, "Just keep us safe out there, okay?" A grin, as she starts for the door, "Maybe when I hit an even twenty." And then, a nod, "Game faces on, my friend."
"Right back atcha, Cherry," Alain flashes Eva a grin as he steps out into the aisle and leads the way out of the chapel. There's something relaxed and easy in his posture, though as they walk something energetic begins to enter his walk, like the anticipation of the coming mission is on his mind. He'll part ways with her wordlessly, just a jaunty salute as he breaks off to head to the berthings to change into his flight suit.