Alain is stuck doing Aubrey's Laundry thanks to her reaching Double Ace first.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 274
Laundry is one of those things that Alain doesn't really mind doing so much. Maybe it's the tumble of the dryers humming away, the swish of the water, or just, really, the scent of clean clothing at the end of the day. Of course, it could be said it's made much worse by the fact that his laundry has doubled, but... well... the viper pilot's holding up one of Aubrey's underthings and inspecting it really closely.
Aubrey is looking rather amused as she perches on top of a folding table, wearing the black lace panties that match the bra Jigger is currently staring at, along with a tank top. If she was getting out of doing her own laundry, she was giving it ALL to him to do. She has her legs crossed, hands braced on the table edge, grinning from ear to ear. "It's a bra, Jigs. And yes, they're real."
Some people still have to do their own laundry. Astraea just so happens to be one of those people. The Raptor pilot makes her way in to the laundry with a bag slung over her shoulder, wearing a pair of shorts and a Caprica Academy tank. The sort of thing she tends to sleep in. Both cling a bit to her frame; largely by nature of the fact that she lends towards the curvy side of the 'within regs' scale. Much like Cherry. The two like their baked goods! "I'd hope," she offers as she spots the two, quickly glancing away from Alain as she moves for a washer, "that he's seen a bra b'fore. We kinda all dress an' undress in th' same general area an' all." There's no convenient changing rooms in the berthings, after all.
Alain clears his throat, shooting Aubrey an embarrassed look for a moment. "I was just uh-- wondering whether I had to wash this separately or not." Apparently he decides not, since he shoves it in with all the rest of her laundry. Maybe he figures with Aubrey watching she'll yell at him if he messes it up. "You're enjoying this far too much, Banshee," he says, reproachfully, flashing a grin at Astraea as she enters. "It's all right. Taunting's the least of her due. She did beat me fair and square."
"Hand wash if it has lace or silk or satin. Line dry," Aubrey informs him. Fortunately for him, as their space is crazy limited, she only has a small handful of dainty things. Her kingdom for a bigger locker! She grins over at Astrea. "Some days I wonder if he has," she quips. "And I sure did. Finally. For a while I thought the gods were cranky about our bet because neither of us seemed to take down a thing."
"I nearly beat him an' Razor both to it," Astraea points out, glancing over to Aubrey and Alain both. "That last mission over Picon saw 'em both cross th' line ta double-Ace. Woulda been nice t'be th' first Raptor in th'Wolves t'make it there, I admit. Still need ta do somethin' fer Meteor. He's our first ECO ta make Ace." She's got a few of those lacy things herself and indeed, they do get set aside as she starts pulling things out of the bag to drop into the washer. "I wanna know why everyone 'round here always does laundry bets. Is it just a tradition on th'Vanguard I ain't picked up on yet?"
"Hand wash?" Alain echoes with a groan, glancing in the washer where he's already tossed her lace bra. "That's not fair. I didn't have anything to hand wash." A beat. "I'm sure it'll be fine," he says, reaching for the laundry powder. Is he playing reckless with her underthings?! "You two seem to work really well together," Jigger agrees with Astraea. "Though if you want to be first raptor to double ace, better get on that. Stirling's making a real mess of the rankings. Those missiles of hers... glad they're aimed at the heavies." He whistles, low, clearly impressed. As for why laundry is tradition, he gives a shift of his shoulder, glancing at Aubrey to presumably let her respond.
"I think it's mostly because sitting in here waiting for your stuff to clean and dry is as exciting as watching paint dry," Aubrey muses to Astrea. "If we can get out of it, then we're gonna. Plus the loser still kind of wins, as they get to dig up any embarrassing items from your wardrobe. The only thing worse is having a duty shift cleaning the Head." She balls up someone's lost single sock and chucks it at Alain's head. "Don't you dare! That machine will chew it up and spit it out all mangled!"
"I'm jes' one away," Astraea points out to Alain with a broad grin in his direction. "I think Whisper's got a few more ta catch up. But iff'n I lose ta th'Major, that's a loss I can handle, y'know?" There's a glance to Aubrey and a snort, "Now bettin' Head cleanin' duty, that's a bet I can get behind." She finally closes up the washer, with her own small pile of lacy -- and colorful! -- things next to it, getting the load of non-delicates going. There's a spotting of the thrown sock out of the corner of her eye and a wince. Hopefully it's not crusty.
Alain manages to dodge that sock, thankfully -- making a face at Aubrey as it sails over his shoulder, hits the wall next to his washing machine, and continues to be lost down the side of it. "Fine, fine," he concedes, freeing her bra from the dreaded washing machine. "I guess you don't mind if I do this though," he starts rubbing the lacy bra against his check, side-eyeing her to see how much it might be irritating her. "It's just what I do with delicates I have to wash. Gemenese tradition." He's clearly lying. Grinning to Nova, he says, "True. I'm really warming up to Whisper, I admit. Hope she sticks around. Just starting to be able to tell her and Cherry apart."
"I can't believe I made double ace in less than two months with the unit. Just tells you how many fights we've been in, because there were plenty I flew away from without hitting the Kill Board," Aubrey points out. Then she's rolling her eyes at Alain's antics. "I sweated in that you know. Guys don't understand the concept of boob sweat, do they?" She has so little shame.
"You wanna be able ta tell 'em apart, just hold out a cookie or mug cake an' see who moves first," Astraea suggests, grinning briefly. She's trying not to specifically watch the aforementioned antics, but shifts slightly, casting a look to Aubrey, then back to Alain. There's finally a glance downward, at herself, then a shrug. "I mean, iff'n yer wonderin' if he understands th' concept of boob sweat, I could offer him th' real thing an' see how he reacts." She tries to offer it just as casually -- and shame-free -- but sort of ends with a sort of reddish hue on her dusky skin nonetheless and turns to grab up her own delicates. She almost forgets the soap before moving off towards one of the sinks in a bit of a rush. Nope, not quite able to be so smooth at it.
The sigh from Alain indicates his concession, and -- after starting the current load of laundry going -- he moves over to the sink, puts the plug in, and flips on the taps. "How long did we say? A week, right? Not so bad," he says, leaning against the sink to wait while it fills. "Yeah, I'll say. Picon's been more intense than the others, too. Feels more... personal, I guess?" he says, with a frown. His gaze flickers to Astraea, a flickered smile appearing, "You never know. Whisper might be partial to baked goods too. Then we'd be really screwed." The raptor pilot's latter words earn a rise of brows and a quick glance towards Aubrey as if to ask, did she really say that?, before he grins at the flush of color he sees.
"Yeah, Cherry is a sucker for a baked good," Aubrey admits with a chuckle. She watches Astraea with amusement. "I think you have an admirer, Jigs," she announces with a flash of teeth and a broad smile. "As for personal, yeah, Picon is home to a lot of us. My dad is down there, and Abby and Addy's parents too. They're kind of my second family, grew up together in Biscayne Bay."
Flirting, in general, is easy for Astraea. For the most part, it's just second nature. Which might be why she's a bit more flustered than normal. Particularly with Aubrey's added commentary. You don't always point these things out! She's also ended up at the sink next to Alain. So it's a long moment of just waiting for the water to fill as she adds some of the soap and gotten her things added before she finally finds her voice again. "This is m'first... real engagement wit' th'Cylons."
A slight clearing of throat from Alain might suggest awkwardness at Aubrey's observation. Doubly so since, after a slight pause, the viper pilot's latching onto his wingmate's words about her second family, asking carefully, "So what's up with Walker? Does he seem," what's the delicate way to put it? "Not ready yet to you? He didn't seem to have his head back in things yet, which is... understandable." He remembers -- almost belatedly -- to stop the water in the sink, then begins to hand wash the bra, glancing over his shoulder to keep an eye on Aubrey's expression, more interested in that than the state of her underthings. A moment of silence after Astraea's words, and he leans to nudge her with his shoulder. "It isn't always going to be like this, Nova. Some engagements have been better, some worse. This is... worse. Hard to tell if we're making any headway at all."
Flirting is second nature to Aubrey, so she sees no reason to not talk about what's plainly in front of her. Hey, she was shot down by Jigger already, so no worries there. The mention of Addison, however, has her expression going serious and concerned. She chews on her lower lip for a moment. "I'm not sure. I haven't had a chance to talk to him much." Then she shakes her head. "That's a lie, I haven't made an effort. I was giving him and Abby some time to reconnect. She was a wreck when she found out he'd been shot down. And then she got her brother back and her boyfriend died. I've been trying not to intrude. But something wasn't right with him out there when we covered for the release of the prisoners."
The washing of her laundry is automatic. There's not much necessary to focus on; you're just scrubbing away at it and after a while, you just know what needs to be done. Astraea is easily able to make sure it gets done while listening to the other two. There's a grateful look to Alain when he leans in against her, brief nudge or not. She manages a small smile for him. "Scorpia is pretty much... quiet. Jes' patrols an' bein' called out ta help wit' SAR sometimes." Which likely explains why she's the first to volunteer for those. They're familiar. "This is..." She barely suppresses a shudder, falling quiet as Aubrey explains. "He... didn't sound right," she chimes in after a moment. "I've never talked ta him, but he sounded like he was someplace else. Mebbe it was too soon fer him ta go out. Though it looked like he figured things out b'fore th' end at least."
"Yeah. Thought I heard him mention Blacklight -- thought for a moment that was his callsign or something. Doesn't sound familiar, though. Maybe from Picon navy?" Alain asks Aubrey. "Maybe you should, uh, talk to him. Maybe he might find it easier, talking to you. Family -- real family -- is hard." He's never really talked about his, go figure. He glances towards Astraea, nodding -- he's forgotten about the actual washing part, hands still for a moment -- as he adds, "I don't know. I was rewatching some of the footage yesterday. Some of the moves he made were pretty out there. Like," with a knowing smile at Aubrey, "Banshee, only more dangerous. Maybe that's just how he flies, but given how outnumbered we are here... that sort of thing is going to get him shot down again, sooner or later." A beat. "I could ask Cherry or Whisper to talk to him, if you don't want to, Banshee," he offers.
Aubrey nods at Astraea's words. "Yeah, he pulled it back together. I can't even imagine what he's been through. He was a prisoner for months after being shot down. A prisoner of those...things. He watched them work the people around him to death. It may be a while before that is far enough behind him to be 100% again," she admits. She shakes her head about the callsign. "He was Hurricane, I think. And I can try to talk to him but, I'm practically real family. So it might not help. And he was always a bit of a crazy flier. Even when he was sky diving before he joined the navy. I fly crazy because he was always my hero as a kid," she says with a small smile.
Family isn't something many of them speak of. "I wonder," Astraea offers after a long moment of quiet. She's stopped the actual washing herself, staring off at the wall behind the sinks. "We got th'holo bands an' all. Mebbe we could load in a program of somethin'... familiar an' calm for him. Y'all are from Picon? I bet someone's got a beach one or similar. Somethin' ta help ground him. I mean... He's been rescued an' aboard a ship an' right back int' fightin'. He hasn't had a real break. Mebbe y'oughta give him one. It won't be real real, but it'll be somethin' of one for his mind, at least."
"Your hero, huh?" Alain echoes, with that kind of knowing tone, lips twitching into a smile. "Well, just don't start taking after him again, huh? I need you in one piece, wingmate," he says, mock-sternly, as he belatedly remembers he's supposed to be washing, and resumes doing just that. "That's a great idea, Nova. I'm sure someone has like... a surfing one, or something. I can ask around, too."
"Maybe. I'll see what I can dig up. I know we have Charlie's surfing competitions floating around somewhere. Maybe we can set that up for him," Aubrey says quietly. She snorts at Alain. "It's my seat of the pants flying that gets the job done, wingman. Those things out there are computers that think for themselves. Have to be unpredictable or they'll eventually see the patterns in our flying."
"That could work," Astraea says of the surfing competitions, finally returning to her own washing. "I was thinkin' th'holo bands 'cause they're immersive an' all. It might... break him outta whatever cycle he's in, y'know? I'll ask 'round too. Some folks in th' barracks have personal bands an' programs an' all." She looks over to Aubrey and offers a bit of a grin in her direction. "But, y'know, if you do go jettin' off, I'll make sure Jigs here doesn't crash."
"Unpredictability can be predictable, too," Alain makes a face at Aubrey. He gives a nod of approval at the idea of holobands, then makes a face at Astraea's latter words. "Hey, I'm not the one who has crashed most recently. In fact, both of you have crashed more recently than me," he says, eyeing the pair of them in a not-very-intimidating-way. "No jetting off," he says with a flick of water as he waggles a finger of warning in Aubrey's direction.
"I appreciate the backup, Nova. He's hard to keep in one piece sometimes," Aubrey says with a grin and a wink at Alain. "I have to believe Addison will be ok. He was my first crush you know? When I was just a completely gangly stick figure of a kid. The Walkers were two years older, and they always let me tag along with them. Back when life was simple, and peaceful, and Picon wasn't a warzone." She sighs at that grimly.
There's a bit of a wince at Jigger's reminder. "Well, yeh. I'm pretty sure I've singlehandedly gotten th'Vanguard half it's new Raptors by now." She's fully destroyed at least four. Astraea reaches to the sink's tap, turning on the cold before pulling the plug so she can begin rinsing her delicates. "But I still ain't had it nearly so bad. Crashin' inta th' deck at th' end of a battle ain't needin' SAR, Tomlinson."
"Childhood crush, Banshee? Aww. I can imagine you with pigtails, skipping after the Walkers," Alain's gaze goes ceiling-wards, clearly contemplating the scene. His grin fades a little, and he glances over at her. "We'll turn it back to the way it was, sooner or later," he says with a forcefulness that suggests if he could do so by sheer will, he would. After a moment, he's reminded by Astraea's actions to start rinsing, running the water in the sink again. "I call it keeping the deck crew on their toes, Nova. They get far more attached to our birds than we do, and we sweat and bleed in them. As for SAR, well -- got to give you Raptor folk something to do outside the fight, right?"
"I'm Raptor certified. Comes with being Picon Navy usually. They get sent on a lot of SARs. Water rescues mostly. Helping the Coast Guard," Aubrey notes. "But the Viper is my niche. Never thought I'd wind up a pilot in the military. I had a degree in photography, an acting and modeling career, a love of surfing. But I guess maneuvering a surfboard and having an eye for composition makes for a decent pilot." Banshee is sitting on a folding table, in panties and a tank top, with Astraea and Alain hand washing delicates at the sinks while washer run.
Emrys wanders in with a laundry bag full of laundry. He gives the group gathered and apparently talking a nod, as he heads toward a washer near them so he can start emptying his laundry into it.
"As if we don't got enough ta do keepin' ya Vipers in line an' covered in th' air," Astraea notes in answer to Alain, scoffing faintly. When Aubrey, however, starts going down the list of her qualifications, the Scorpian pilot goes rather quiet. She just finishes rinsing her wash and starts ringing them out, draping them over her forearm for the interim. Her shoulders, however, do slump slightly.
"I really hope things ease up and we get a chance for some R&R on Picon. I'd really love it if you can take me out and show me some of your hometown waves," Alain tells Aubrey with a glance over his shoulder and a grin at the Picon pilot. "Even if I won't have a fancy new surfboard to do so with," he adds, wryly. He is, indeed, washing delicates -- though clearly not his, since he's rinsing out a black, lacy bra. "Photography, acting and modeling? Now you're just trying to show off, Banshee," he says, with a grin. He notices Astraea's sudden silence, and not-so-casually flicks some water in her direction. "Evening," he calls in easy welcome to Emrys.
"I'd like that too, Jigger. You did really good on the board for your first intro to surfing. I was a proud wingmate," Aubrey says with a smile. "You could always join me for the spa day you're paying for though, you've earned it," she quips with a grin. "And no, I'm not showing off. I just had an in. My dad was a director for commercials at an ad agency. Mostly surfing related. So he got Abby and I most of our jobs." She puts a hand to the side of her mouoth and fake-whispers to the pair, "I was a terrible actress." She gives Emrys a slight wave. "Hey new guy." He's new guy til he impresses her.
"Evening." Emrys returns, the greeting encompassing everyone present. "How are we all this evening?" His accent is painfully Virgon, the stereotypical way it sounds in the movies. He finishes filling the washer and starts it up, before turning to lean on it so he can actually see the people he's talking to/
There's a flinch at the water flicked her way and Astraea glances back towards Alain. She just sort of shrugs a little, starts to say something, but stops herself. There's an attempt at a smile, but it comes out as a grimace. "Sounds like ya had a lot goin' on fer ya b'fore th'war, Banshee," she finally offers up, gathering up her things from the sink before stepping away. There's a nod of greeting for Emrys from the Scorpian as she moves to one of the drying racks to start putting things up. Lacy things. Probably hers.
"So generous of you, Banshee," Alain replies with a laugh. "Hell, after this rotation, I might need it. My skin's feeling a little pasty." He takes Astraea's reaction in stride, with just a little sidelong look, then turns back to drain the contents of his sink, reaching up to clip the bra onto a string above made for just such a purpose. He takes a moment to dry his hands -- not on his clothes, even off-duty there's something crisp and neat about them -- and takes a step towards Emrys, offering his hand. "I'm Jigger. Seen you around a bit, not had the pleasure. You're the new viper pilot?" he asks, before he gestures to Aubrey, then Astraea, "That's Banshee, and Nova. Welcome aboard."
Aubrey grimaces at Astraea. "I did. Then they attacked Hyperion. My mom was a school teacher. She'd taken her classes there for the Colonial Fair." She doesn't elaborate. Everyone knows what happened to Hyperion. "So, long story short. My perfect life went straight into the crapper, and I signed up to fight back." She kicks a bare foot at Alain's leg as he passes, lightly.
"That's right." Emrys confirms at Alain's question, taking the offered hand and shaking it firmly. "Thank you. Hawk. Pleasure to meet the three of you. First chance I'm really getting to meet people."
It takes much longer for Astraea to hang things up than it did for Alain, but then... she has a host of lacy items to do that with. He had one. Well, not a 'host.' She doesn't have a whole closet's worth of delicates that need handwashing, but there are a few pairs of such. She gets that finished and unlike him, she does dry her hands on her clothes, but she's wearing shorts and a tanktop. No worries about creasing anything 'official like.' Just her pajamas. The woman gives a nod to Emrys. "Tends t'be busy up here," the Scorpian pilot offers in response, moving back to her own washer to wait nearby for it to finish its cycle. As for the state of family in the war, she has nothing to offer.
"Yeah," Alain smiles in sympathy to Emrys. "It's pretty much, all hands on deck -- or in the cockpit in this case -- into the deep end at the moment. Virgon, right?" He has an ear for accents, it seems. He makes a face at Aubrey's attempted kick. "Careful there, Banshee. Might injure me, then who's going to do your laundry?" Well, besides her of course. The fact that Astraea's so quiet has him glancing at her, a little curiously, maybe with a bit of worry, though he doesn't say anything aloud.
"I'm sure I could sucker someone else into washing my unmentionables, Jigs. But you did such a bang up job on them, why would I?" Aubrey quips, shoving the bad memories back down into that dark corner of her soul she keeps them in. She swings her feet back and forth like a child.
Emrys nods. "Virgon, yes." He agrees, watching the interplay between the three as he does his best to figure out the social temperature. "I don't mind the busy, but it's nice to get to know the people I'm flying with."
"Good way of gettin' ta know folks is th'lounge. There's generally Triad games an' all goin' on." Astraea just stares at the washer. Gives her something to focus on. She prods at the front of the washer with her toe; sneakers loosely on her feet, so she wasn't stuck walking around the ship barefoot. "Might lose yer credits or other bets though." She takes a deep breath, trying to square her shoulders as she turns to face the others. Definitely not quite the same energy as before, though.
"Just see how well I go the rest of the week," Alain sort-of-threatens at Aubrey, though not really, because who can take a Jigger-threat seriously? Not even him, judging by the easy grin that follows. With a rueful smile at Emrys, he agrees with Astraea's suggestion, "Crew Lounge is the place most people go to relax. The pyramid fans usually end up there watching games too. Or the gym, if you want to get to know some of the marines better." He steps back over to lean against 'his' washer too, though it doesn't make it go any faster.
"Hey, we pilots use the gym too!" Aubrey insists. At least the treadmills right? She smirks at Alain. "If I catch you trying to put bras in a machine, I'm going to shave you bald in your sleep." She glances at Astraea with momentary concern.
"Lounge. Good to know. Thank you." Emrys makes a mental note, grinning at the talk of the gym. "Last time I went to the gym, they were having a dance lesson. Took me by surprise. You ever try to run to bedroom music? Doesn't really work."
"I only go ta th' gym when I gotta," Astraea admits, glancing down once again. This time without any ill-fated 'moves' on Alain. "Jes' enough ta keep medical from fussin' at me too much." She's not leaning on her washer. Her height, it'd probably rattle her to the ground; she accidentally picked one of the more... energetic machines. So, the woman sidles over and opts instead to lean on one not in use, next to Jigger. "Th' mess is good, too. Jes' grab an unoccupied seat, talk someone's ear off."
"Feel free," Alain says far too casually at Aubrey, grinning as he runs a hand over his head, "If you catch me. I'm told I look even better bald. And yeah, we use the gym -- but we don't inhabit it in the same way the marines tend to." His brows go up in surprise at Emrys' talk of dancing lessons, shuddering a tad. "Glad I missed that," he admits with a grimace. "Yeah, mess is a good idea, as well. People get chatty over food and drink. A lot of pilots hang out in the ready room too, watching footage and such. It's a good way to get used to the wolves' standard tactics, too."
"Now you're making me want to shave it for real," Aubrey threatens Alain as she hops down off the table. "I've gotta got get into my flight suit. CAP in a few. Now that I'm sure you won't mangle my undies." She touches Astraea's shoulder a moment before offering knuckles to Alain to tap, and giving Emrys a nod and a smile on her way out.
"I don't know about talking someone's ear off, but those are all great suggestions." Emrys replies gratefully, before smiling slightly ruefully. "I'll probably spend a lot of time in the gym...it's harder to keep fit at my age, unfortunately." When Aubrey announces she's leaving, her gives the woman a nod. "Have a good vening, Banshee."
"There's also holobands in th' ready room fer virtual trainin', but that's sorta th' opposite of what yer lookin' fer," Astraea offers, additionally, to Emrys. She glances up to Aubrey as she touches her shoulder, offering a nod to the other pilot. "Good luck wit' CAP. Hopefully it's a quiet one."
"Put up another interesting bet, Banshee, maybe you'll see it... maybe you won't." Because Alain's done so well with his betting track record so far. He grins crookedly at Banshee, lifting out his hand to fistbump hers, before turning into a jaunty salute of farewell. "Important thing is you can last the fight in the cockpit. Maybe," wryly, "Outrun a cylon or two if you crash and SAR can't get to you straight away, I guess. Been more of that than is good for us lately. You do tattoos?" he asks Emrys, with a glance at Astraea.
"Good to know they're there, though. It's important to keep your skills sharp." Emrys says of the holobands, before shaking his head at the talk of tattoos. "No, I've never been the artistic type I'm afraid. Maths, I can do. History. Flight instruction. But art? Well...there are kids out there that would easily put me to shame."
"I'd rather ya not take that bet," Astraea says to Alain in a low voice after Aubrey's left with a glance up to his hair. "I think I prefer ya as-is." She looks back to Emrys as he speaks of his skills. "He might mean... do ya get 'em-" she holds out her arms, showing the Scorpian tattoos she has. The dark markings upon her dark skin. Sharp, black lines etching out the who and what she is to others of her colony. Alongside a fairly large number of shrapnel scars. "There's a few of us who can give tattoos if ya want one."
"We've been talking for a couple of weeks about a squadron tattoo. Nova," Alain gestures towards Astraea, "And Ringer have been working on some designs. Feel free to weigh in with them, if you've got a Virgon spin. Think they're going for something a bit unifying, you know?" He nods towards Astraea, then grins ruefully as she indicates her preferences on his bet, running a hand over his hair. "What, you want in, Nova? No way am I betting against you for triple ace -- not the way you've been racking them up lately. That's a sure-loss."
"Ohhh, getting tattoos." Emrys looks a little bit embaressed at his misunderstanding, one hand reaching up to rub the back of his neck awkwardly. "No, I don't get tattoos. Not my thing." There's a pause. "I'd...make an exception for a squadron tattoo, though, I think. Don't think I'd be much help with designs, though. But I like the idea of unifying. Years ago I flew with the ICJPK. One of the best times of my life, being mixed up with people like that."
"It's a wolf, of course," Astraea says of the tattoo. "We're jes' tryin' ta... give it a bit of flair fer each colony, y'know? So any sorta... Virgon imagery ya can give us ta work in would be helpful. An' fer anyone that doesn't want a tattoo, we're gonna try ta find someone ta make patches. No pressure." But leave it to a Scorpian and a Tauron to work up tattoos. She looks to Alain, then. From the pilot's hair to his features. "Dunno what sorta bet it'd be, gettin' ya ta keep yer hair. Ya really wanna shave it?" There might be a pout brewing. Maybe.
Alain straightens visibly when Emrys mentions ICJPK, looking pleased. "I was with ICJPK, too. On the ground though, before I went to OCS and transferred to the navy." He gives an agreeable nod as to the other viper pilot's assessment of the precursor to the CF. "And so say we all," he says, almost reflexively. He grins to Astraea. "Nah. Wore it short almost all the time in the marines. Nice change of pace to have it a bit longer. But hey, I don't make the bets," he says, lifting his hands. Except when he does.
"Virgon imagery. Alright, that I can probably do." Emrys muses, before half-shrugging. "Ah, might be time for a tattoo even if there are patches. Assuming I make it out of this alive, I'm sure the Royal Navy will put me back out when it's all over. Or send me back to teaching flight school forever." There's a hint of bitterness there, mostly surpressed. "So, it'll be nice to have something permenant." There's a beaming smile at Alain's words. "So say we all indeed."
"I've got th'ICJPK ta thank fer bein' alive, so I figure we've all got a bit of a stake in it, yeh?" Astraea does lean over a bit, reaching up to fuss a bit at Alain's hair. "Well, iff'n anyone comes along an' tries ta make a bet fer shavin' it, I'll claim a standin' counter bet ta keep it as is, alright?" She settles back on her heels, dropping hand to her side. "Never served with the ICJPK though."
There's a visible wince of sympathy from Alain at Emrys' mention of teaching flight school. Whether or not he notices the bitterness, that's not a happy end for any pilot used to fighting the front lines. "Prove your value to Stirling and Ryan, I'm sure they'd fight to keep you on. Even if the war finishes, the job won't be done -- maybe it'd be ICJPK again, or some iteration thereof." He makes a brief face when Astraea fusses at his hair; he can't help it, he has to smooth it back into typically neat place even if she didn't do any visible damage. "Didn't know you felt so strongly about hair, Nova," he remarks, wryly, as he straightens and turns to peer at his washing machine to see if it's nearly done.
"That'd be nice." Emrys looks more lively than he has done at any point prior, less reserved now with the talk of the ICJPK and the possibility of staying on. "I'll have show them, then, what I'm worth. I don't mind teaching...but doing it full time, forever....well, that was a bitter pill." He's quick to move on, asking "So these bets...is that the primary pass-time on board?"
"Jigger... d'ya-" Astraea points to her own hair, which is currently free of the braids that she has to put it in to fit it into her flight helmet. Thus, it's in a more natural state around her head. A thick sort of halo of honeyed brown hair. "see m'hair? Of course I feel strongly about hair. An' I like yers." She glances to Emrys when he mentions proving himself, tilting her head. "Y'got posted here. Pretty sure that means ya proved yerself t'someone as it is."
"Well," Alain runs a hand down his tanks, thoughtfully straightening them. "A lot of people watch pyramid or play triad, use the holobands. But really, friendly competition between pilots can be a good thing, I think. Banshee and I have been flying together since she came on board. We were pretty in step getting our kills, so we figured why not make it a bit more interesting to get to double ace. About the only thing that's certain is you'll get cake, one way or the other, when you make ace here," he tells Emrys with a wry glance at Astraea. He eyes her hair with visible amusement, holding up his hands in defeat, "Fine, fine. You win."
"True, true." Emrys nods agreement to Astraea. He certainly doesn't seem to doubt his own ability. "But what Jigger said...the chance to stay on? That's something I still need to make a claim for." There's a cant of his head, then. "Cake, huh? Interesting tradition. Sounds better than the Royal Navy's way of doing it. That involved more hazing, less cake. Tradition, dontchaknow."
"I dunno-" Astraea looks back at Alain with that glance before she looks to Emrys, "that I'd call it tradition. I've jes' been makin' cakes fer folks when they make Ace. Speakin' of, I gotta make one fer Meteor sometime soon. Find a time we can get t'gether in th' lounge or Ready Room. Mebbe put on a Pyramid match fer him."
"Hazing not such a good idea when the point is to unify us against the toasters. It's already a challenge with so many different colonies on board." He seeks to straighten out his tanks again, even though they don't need it. Unconscious gesture. "Only a couple of us Gemenese on board." With a grin to Astraea. "Definitely a tradition, even before you came on. Cherry made cake for Banshee's first Ace." He nods in agreement with her, as his load of washing beeps. He opens it up, dumping familiar CF gear into a basket -- some too small for him -- and carrying it over to the dryer.
Emrys makes a sound of agreement. "Yeah, I can't see hazing working out very well. Or trying to impose one another's traditions, really. Better to make our own as we go." A half-shrug. "I have yet to meet another Virgon, though I had a Virgon wingmate the last time out. Cherry."
About the same time, the washer Astraea is using goes off and she starts grabbing items from it as well. Sans basket. She's doing it the 'I hope I can keep everything from falling on the floor' way of just gathering it up in her arms. "Did she?" There's a 'huh' from the Scorpian. "Guess I jes' happened ta be lucky of followin' th' same method, then. I jes' figured we could use, y'know, somethin' good ta share 'round an' 'bout all I know is baked goods." She mostly manages to get her things over to a dryer. A tanktop doesn't quite make it and falls free a couple feet away; unnoticed while she fusses with the dryer door.
"Cherry's good people," Alain's quick to pipe up with a grin for Emrys' mention of the Captain. "Knows her stuff; there's a reason she's top of the kill board here." He stuffs items into the dryer just as haphazardly, but manages to get everything in, flipping it on with a satisfied grin. "There. Time for a quick break, I think. Going to grab some tea, catch up on a bit of reading. Good to chat with you, Hawk," he says, to Emrys. "Nova, I-- oh, here," he begins to pick up her tank, offering back to her.
"Good to know. I'll have to hunt her out for a chat sometime soon." Emrys' own laundry is still shaking its way through the washer, not that he seems too concerned about it. "You enjoy your reading, Jigger. It was nice meeting you."
"Hmm?" When Alain says her name, Astraea looks over. She's just about ready to close the dryer, but accepts the top. "Thanks." There's a brief smile as she shoves it in, closing the machine and setting the timer before it gets going. "She also knows 'bout mug cakes, apparently," the Scorpian offers of Cherry. Then, she leans back on her heels, but turns briefly to reach out and catch Jigger's arm before he can go too far. "Hey, can we talk sometime soon?"
"I will," Jigger replies with a grin at Emrys. Nova's stretch for his arm makes him pause, glancing at her curiously for a beat. "Sure, Nova. You know where to find me. I'll catch you later?" he adds, flashing a smile to the raptor pilot before he heads out, fingers tapping against his leg as he goes like he's drumming to some song in his head.
"Well, that she might. But I could also just ask you about that, since you mentioned you know about baking." Emrys points out. "Not that I see myself taking it up anytime soon. Were you a baker before joining up? You mentioned it being all you know."
There's a look after Alain, but Astraea's attention comes back to Emrys and she blinks a few times. Caught off-guard, apparently. "Uhm, not... really. It's jes'... what I know for offerin', y'know, somethin' ta distract people from th' war an' all. Like, by means of..." She goes quiet, trying to think of a way to explain and finally shrugs. "It's somethin' ta lift spirits, y'know? We got it rough out here. War. Loss. Injuries. We need somethin' good every now an' then. It's th' only way I know how."
Emrys nods as he listens, apparently quite interested. "Well, that's good. It's nice to have something like that, a way of helping out. I can single halfway decently, but that's about it. Well, and play the harp. But I couldn't bring one with me...not enough room in my duffel."
"I sing sometimes, too, but I ain't sure that's so much a..." Astraea tilts her head, side to side, as she moves to draw herself up to sit on a washer that isn't running. "...thing fer morale boostin'. Probably more a way ta net myself a callsign I ain't so happy wit', y'know?" She smirks, briefly. "An' I'd be afraid of a harp gettin' broken more'n anythin', but who knows. Mebbe ya could order one or somethin'. That's how I got a tattooin' kit."
"I might have to think about that." Emrys muses at the talk of ordering one in. "There's always the risk of breaking it, true. But...if I'd had space, I probably would have brought a small one along. Something to pass the time, and keep in practice. The fingering is quite tricky and requires a high degree of independence and strength among the individual fingers."
"I've never actually tried an instrument," Astraea admits with a shrug. "Couldn't afford one an' didn't have th' time. Singin's free an' ya can' do it no matter what else yer doin'." She flashes a brief bit of a grin. "Jes' drawin' fer me outside of everythin' else. Well, an' th' cookin' stuff, but that was sorta necessary back home."
"We had people to cook for us. I don't know that my parents knew how." Emrys admits. "I certainly don't, although I can heat something up real well." A lame attempt at humor. "You fly raptors, right? I've been out with you a time or two, I think."
"Shit. I couldn't imagine livin' like that. People cookin' fer me? I mean, obviously my ma or aunts an' uncles did, but I know that ain't what ya mean." Astraea just shakes her head, swinging her feet a bit. She slows the descent each time so her heels only dully thud against the washer with each fall. She gives a nod. "Never got th' chance ta try fer Vipers. Was jes' finishin' up when th' war began, so got fast-tracked out."
"Did you want to?" Emrys asks curiously, at the talk of trying for vipers. "I remember in my class when we were doing raptors, there was a guy who fell in love with them. Didn't try for vipers, didn't want to. He was /good/, too. Could make a raptor do things that shouldn't be possible with their build."
"Kinda," Astraea admits, lips twitching upward a bit. "Be nice to go fast like that, y'know? They're pretty agile. Feel like I'm flyin' a bath tub half th' time." And she's one of those; flies the Raptor in ways it just shouldn't. But how many people in their lifetime have to fly the things in a dogfight? She's had to since the beginning of her career, more or less. Else she probably wouldn't be here. Or a jig. "I like bein' able ta save folks, but... frak, I feel so slow out there sometimes."
Emrys grins at that, reflexively, like a schoolboy. "Yeah, it's fun. Going fast. A little too fun, sometimes. I used to fly by 'Dice' because of how crazy I got with my viper. But that was a long time ago." A pause. "Well, slow or not, you guys bring the electronic warfare. And that's nice to have out there. And like you say...you save folks. We can't do that."
"Ain't me doing the countermeasures. That's whoever is riding backseat that day. I jes' fly an' generally fire th' missiles. Or Talons. Usually talons iff'n I got my say." Astraea shrugs, hopping off the machine she's sitting on as the dryer buzzes. She pads over that way, pulling the door open to check on the items within. "Also, pretty sure we're all savin' folks, Hawk. Sorta what we're doin' out there." She closes the door after deciding everything's still damp, adding time on. She does the same with the next machine over. "Don't let Banshee know I helped him out." Speaking of Jigger, apparently, since that one needed time added, too.
"No, but you're bringing them to the fight. No raptor pilots, those countermeasures are sitting back in the hanger waiting for a driver." Emrys points out, before nodding at the talk of saving people. "You're right enough, there, but it's a bigger function of your job." He laughs softly, tapping the side of his nose. "Our little secret, promise. Did you ever fly anything on the civvie side?"
"I suppose it is. Tend ta do a lotta picking up th'Vipers in our wing. You lot seem ta like gettin' shot down." Astraea smirks, briefly, stepping away from the dryers as she starts collecting her laundry bag and soap into a small area. Out of the way of anyone else who might come in to do their laundry. "Me? Naw. Sorta jes'... wanted out an' Academy was nice. Always wanted ta fly, an' it was how I found my way there. I had a year left of it when th' war began. That's when I was supposedta start gettin' my time in Vipers, but... got sorta thrown inta th' thick of things, so this is where I am. Mostly just on Scorpia. Wasn't nearly like this there. Jes' some small work, but I guess I did well 'nough that I got myself sent here."
"Well..." Emrys shakes his head at that smirk, as he moves his laundry from washer to dryer. He doesn't seem to have a good answer for it, though. It's true, they do tend to go down a lot more than raptors. "I did some civilian flying, when I got out the first time. My raptor experience helped a lot more than my viper experience, I'll say that much."
"Dunno what I plan t'do once this all is over. Hard ta think ahead like that some days, y'know?" Astraea gives a small shrug, stepping back. "Mebbe go to Libran, find a university, an' jes' spend a while learnin'." She glances to Emrys, shaking her head. "Might want out of th' flyin' game for a bit. Take a break an' keep my feet on th' ground fer a little while."
"Yeah, I know what you mean." Emrys agrees. "I have...no idea what I'll do when it's all over." There's a pause, awkward, and then he moves on. "You should do that. University, I mean. Learnings a lot of fun."
"That's m'current plan," Astraea affirms, tugging at her top a bit. "If I survive an' all." She glances back at the dryers. "I'm gonna go get a bite t'eat. I think th' mess is still open fer a bt."
"Alright. Well, it's been nice talking with you." Emrys answers with a smile. "Enjoy your food. I'll see you around, Nova. And I'll get with you about those Virgon elements."