Eva finishes a quilt. Emrys gets a quilt, and possibly some bad advice.
Location: Observation Deck
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 425
It's actually rather quiet, in the obs deck this cycle. If you don't count the occasional couple macking in the furthest corners of the place. Thankfully, Eva is not one of those, and she's settled at one of the loveseats closest to the viewport, an almost completed quilt spread across her lap. It looks as though she's working on tightening up the edgework and adding a few decorative flourishes by way of embellishment. The colours and patterns seem to follow a familiar Virgon motif.
Emrys is fairly practiced at ignoring the odd couple making out in corners. Generally they either get a surly look or an indulgently understanding smile depending on his mood. Today, however, he's not paying much attention to the corners as he approaches his friend. "Eva." There's a smile of greeting.
Eva lifts her eyes from where she's working at the very corner of one end of the quilt, a bright smile washing away the look of focused concentration she had just a moment before. "Emrys. I didn't think I would see you in here." She gathers up the quilt into a pile on her lap, free hand patting the cushion of the loveseat beside her. "Come and sit, you can tell me what you think of my nearly completed project."
"Whyever not?" Emrys asks curious, settling into the loveseat easily. "I do enjoy coming to look, sometimes. And someone told me you were up here." One probably has more to do with his presence than the other. The quilt is looked over, with an appreciative smile. "It's quite wonderful, you do excellent work. I recognize the pattern, of course."
"Because I think you're still not quite the Emrys that you used to be. You've been..." Eva shakes her head, as if she didn't have the right words, but will try regardless, "You're distant, in ways you never were before. I mean, of course you've changed, and...it's nothing, Emrys. I'm glad you're here." Once Emrys is settles, Eva shifts on the seat, bringing her legs up to tuck them under herself, turning so that she can look at Emrys more easily. The quilt in her lap ends up draped over his legs as well. "Do you like it?"
Emrys looks back at Eva thoughtfully. "Well, it's obviously not nothing, Eva. I mean, it bothers you enough to want to talk about it..." There's a pause, as the quilt settles over him. "I'm glad I'm here too. I really am. And yes, of course I like it."
Eva lifts her shoulders, a light shrug, "It's stupid, really. Just...sometimes I miss the old Emrys, arrogance and all. And that sounds terrible, doesn't it?" She glances back over, her eyes apologetic, "Because there's nothing at all wrong with you now. See? That sounds so awful." She does manage to bring back some of her good cheer as she hears the response, "Well, I'm glad. Because I made it for you."
Emrys shakes his head. "It doesn't sound awful, or stupid. It's actually...kind of endearing. Makes me feel good, you know? Micah and I were talking about going out next shore leave...you should come, I have a feeling you'll see some of the old Emrys." At the news she made it for him, he blinks with suprise. "I...I don't know what to say. I mean, thank you obviously. But...wow."
Eva's expression is thoughtful, as is her tone, "It has been years since I cared to have any reminders of Virgon, to be fair, even of Hibernia, sometimes. But you are a good thing, Emrys Montjoy, and you do remind me of home. The good parts, the parts that I am proud of." A smile, "You need me to find you another cigar bar?" And a soft laugh, at his surprise, "You knew I made quilts, who did you think I made them for? Mostly friend and people that I care about."
"You are also a good thing, Eva Thorne." Emrys smiles. "I would like, very much, some day to see your Hibernia. To see what home looks like for you. Maybe if we make it out of here..." The quilt is stroked, wonderingly. "Well, I just..never really thought about it, I suppose. But I'm honored. And flattered. You're going to make me blush."
"Thank you, Emrys. Sometimes, I do have cause to wonder. It is kind of you to say so." A shake of her head, but with humour, as she returns to work on the edge of the corner, "I am from Arete Mein. I feel as though you would find it exceedingly boring. It is very remote. There is a lake, but it is only really simple mining folk who live there. It is nothing like Virgon." A snort, "I have yet to see you really blush, Emrys. And it is only a small thing, to help you feel at home."
Emrys smiles at that. "I cannot imagine the place that produced you is a place I would find exceedingly boring." He observes, before musing "I've been to a lot of places that are nothing like Virgon. Just about all of them had their own charms." A soft laugh, at the talk of his blushing. "And perhaps you never will, fully. But I blush a little, here and there. For all the effort that went into it, I would not call it a small thing. It will look wonderful on my bunk."
"That is because you have not seen it. And I am not the woman that left the mine nearly twenty years ago, Emrys. In many ways, I do not think I would even recognize the girl that I left behind there. Honestly, I'm not sure that she would recognize me." A beat, "I have never been able to decide if that is a good thing or not." But a warmer smile, at his evaluation, "You need a few more nice things in your bunk, to warm up the place."
"Well, I'm sure with time I will gather them. This is a good start." Emrys smiles back, before turning thoughtful again. "And I don't know to what degree I and the young man from a country estate on Virgon would match anymore. It's interesting, how we came from such different places and yet here we are. Together."
Eva sets aside the needlework for a while, tucking the needle into the cloth to keep it secure, leaving the quilt across her legs and lap, before she turns more fully, an arm on the back of the loveseat, her eyes studying Emrys as he sits looking out at the stars, and the planet turning below them, "I never knew the young man from a country state either, Emrys. I only knew the flight instructor, and the skilled pilot. The man who was kinder to me than his upbringing or his social circle would have indicated that he should be."
"I suppose that's true." Emrys agrees. "He was...well, fortunately, he skipped town to go on an ICJPK tour in response to a marriage arrangement. Really broadened his horizons." A wry smile at that. "Well, as kind as I was to you, I wish I'd gotten to know you better than I did. I'm glad we finally got a chance to rectify that here."
"Fortunately, we're still young. And you might not have liked the younger me either. She was still too terribly defensive and unwilling to give most things Virgon a chance. She appreciated your kindness, but I don't think she would have allowed herself to become as close to you as this Eva has." But there's a glint in Eva's eyes, as she leans in, almost as though she and he were two women gossiping. Well, one of them is anyway, "So was he absolutely horrible? So awful you had to run to the war or chew your own arm off?"
"I suppose we still are, yes." Emrys agrees, before laughing and shaking his head as she leans in. He leans in too, to complete the picture. "Well, first of all he was a she." Pause for effect. "And she may have been a lovely girl, really. I don't know, I barely knew her. My parents let me know they had made a match, and I should take some leave and come visit. I didn't want to settle down, and back then I was the sort of person who doubled-down on everything as hard as I could. So to underscore my 'Nope', I volunteered for the tour and was sent off-Colony."
Eva's eyebrows shoot up, the look of absolute astonishment obviously feigned, but put on enough to have been done specifically for the humour of it, "Emrys Montjoy! You cad. You abandoned a perfectly good woman to the wilds of noble Virgon? How could you do it? That poor girl. Probably saw your picture and thought, 'Oh, well, he's a little bit of alright. I suppose I could push a few babies out for that.' And then you went and pulled a runner on her? For shame."
Emrys does his level best to keep a straight face. "You don't understand, Eva!" He protests playfullly. "I was married to my viper! In love with the sky!" The back of his wrist is placed on his forehead, as he stares out at the stars longingly. "I don't even know where she is, anymore. But I still think about her all the time." Beat. "I wonder who's piloting her now."
Eva does her level best to keep up that look of astonishment and outrage, eyes widening at Emrys' protestations. "I most certainly do not understand. Choosing a viper over a probably perfectly lovely young woman. You must have been quite mad." A smirk, as he asks the question, and Eva...well, Eva simply cannot help herself, "After all this time? Probably the same fellow who's got her back on Virgon working on pushing out baby number four or five."
"Wouldn't that be a crazy turn of events?" Emrys laughs loudly at the idea, his act broken, turning away from the stars to look back at Eva. "No, I'm sure after that little stunt she and her parents had quite enough of fly boys and found her someone much more sensible." A shake of his head. "My parents have never entirely forgiven me, though we're on better terms these days." It doesn't sound like he regrets it even the slightest bit.
"Oh! Right! You meant who was piloting the viper? I thought you meant who was piloting the woman you left behind on Virgon when you pulled a runner." Eva shakes her head, "You see? This is why you don't want me around nice thing, Emrys. I just tromp all over the sort of delicate social niceties you and yours hold so dear." A sniff, a shrug of the shoulder not propped up by the couch, "It is their loss entirely."
Emrys smirks at that, perhaps having picked up that was she meant. "Yes, I meant the viper." A shake of his head then. "I have no problem with you being around nice things, Eva. It is indeed their loss, and as for delicate social niceties...well, I honestly wouldn't care how they felt." He looks down at the quilt then, for a moment.
"And neither would I. It might be something to see, me walking through that old country estate, my accent," and here, she deepens it, to something closer to what Emrys would have remembered, but even thicker, more fitting a girl from the mine. Likely what she sounded like when she actually WAS living on Hibernia. "Bold and brassy as anything, making them quake in their boots while I wondered why anyone would need a house with so many damned bathrooms."
Emrys smiles, a slightly far-away thoughtful smile. "Well. Maybe we can make that happen someday." He suggests. "Shore leave, or more likely when this is all over. If we make it out." It's said in a tone that acknowledges neither of them particularly expect to make it out. "It's a nice thought, at least."
"I don't think we should plan that far ahead. If we want to go back, if we want to go anywhere, do anything, we should do it as soon as the opportunity presents itself. We are taking a big risk planning for something that might happen in a future we can't predict." Eva shakes her head, momentarily looking out at the viewport. "I don't want to live with that sort of regret."
"Well, I suppose that's a true. A very big risk." Emrys agrees. "Well...if we get the chance, as soon as we get the chance, then. Who knows...we could end up on Virgon as part of this crazy mess." His gaze goes back out to the stars, as she talks about regret. "Yeah...it's not a lot of fun living with regret."
Something in Emrys' comment brings Eva's attention back around to him. But she isn't joking now. Now she actually studies him, shifting once again until she can see him straight on, "Do you have them them? Regrets, Emrys? Besides running away from your family? And possibly leaving the military, the first time?"
"Oh, I don't regret running off." Emrys shakes his head at that. "Leaving the military, that I do regret." Talk about everything except the real question, though he does eventually actually address it. "But yes, I have regrets. From time to time. Everyone does, I think."
"Yes, I suppose we do. That's life. Especially at times like these, when we often find ourselves pushed to the strangest of places And with the strangest of bedfellows." Her eyes fall to the quilt, her free hand reaching out to trace some of the patterns there. "I think all we can do is try to keep them to the bear minimum. And make them the regrets we can at least live with, and not the ones that eat at us."
Emrys watches her hand trace those patterns, thoughtfully. "True enough." He agrees finally. "And if you can't resolve them...at least resolve to jump on the chance to resolve them if it ever comes up. That's how I approach it."
Eva nods, taking a breath, as if she were honestly thinking over this hypothetical situation, "And them you have to decide what exactly constitutes resolving a regret. Can you mitigate it somehow?" She tilts her head first one way, and then the other, "I have had varied amounts of success in that regard."
"Right, exactly." Emrys agrees, as he too follows along with the apparently hypothetical scenario. "And then with the varying degrees of success...there are ways to mitigate it that can hurt even more than the regret, or so I've been told." He looks back out to those stars, then.
"But you won't always know what the outcome will be until you are actually in the situation, or faced with the circumstance." Eva follows Emrys' line of sight back through the viewport, "Sometimes you have to take a chance and see how far you can go. And if it doesn't work out, well, you would have lived with a different regret regardless."
Emrys is quiet for a long time at that. "I suppose that's true." He finally murmurs. "And sometimes you run the risk of ruining two friendships, and making everything super awkward. But you have a point...at that point either way you're going to have to live with some sort of regret over the whole thing."
Eva's smile is soft, more sadness than joy, "Spoken as someone who has absolutely lived that very self-same choice and, having taken the risk, come out the better for it. I know how difficult it can be. And how easily things could have turned out very much not in my favour. But you have to decide for yourself how you want to proceed and how much of a risk you want to take."
Emrys nods thoughtfully, still considering the viewpoint. "Tell me...when you reached that point, that choice. Did you think a lot about it first, or did you just sort of act and throw caution to the wind?" His tone is...well, it's obviously a weird thing to be asking for advice about. Or possibly it's that he's asking for advice from her about this.
Eva purses her lips, considering the question. A deep breath, as though she needed to center herself, "In my case, I had been fighting the situation for a long time, weighing my commitment and the promises that I had made. I didn't want to accept the fact that life was changing for me. That I was changing. But finally, a situation came up where I didn't have a choice. So I acted and threw caution to the wind."
"Didn't want to accept that I was changing." Emrys echoes, in a tone that clearly 'gets it'. "Yeah, I can relate to that. A lot. And the fighting of the situation. Not so much the commitment in my case, but the lack of...yeah, the fear of screwing a lot of things up." A deep breath of his own. "I really appreciate the advice. It's good to have perspective."
Eva's smile is a small thing, as she looks away from the stars and towards Emrys. "Well, for what it's worth, you're welcome. Although it sounds to me as though I may have only made things worse for you. But perhaps that is just my particular Hibernian charm."
Emrys takes a deep breath. "I'll get back to you on whether it made things worse." He jokes, though the smile doesn't stay for long. "And yes, your particular Hibernian charm..." There's another deep breath. "Eva...I like you, a lot. I get the impression you know that. I hope you know that, or I'm about to look really stupid. I don't want to trash our friendship, and I certainly don't want anything bad to happen in your life. But in the event that you do find yourself in a new situation. Just...well. I've said my piece. I should probably go, huh?"
"You do that. Just tell me quick and get it out of the way." The smile she offers in return is just as brief. There's something in her expression, when Emrys finally speaks, that makes it clear enough that the conversation was not entirely unexpected. But there's no rejection in her eyes, or in the way she holds herself. There's a momentary stillness, something sad, but her voice is not so different than it usually is, "Yes, Emrys. I got that impression. It was the triad game, you remember? I suppose you have a tell too." Ever Eva, she does try to inject some humour, "I don't want to destroy our friendship either, Emrys, and my life is..." There's a shake of her head. Her situation is known, "I also like you, Emrys. More than I expected. If I should find myself in a new situation..." That last though, gets a shake of her head, "I'd rather you didn't. But if you feel that you have to, I could walk you out. Your quilt is finished. I just need a few more stitches."
Emrys looks very relieved, when it all goes a lot better than expected. "Oh, well, if you'd rather I didn't I'd rather not. I just didn't want to hang out if you needed, you know, me to be somewhere else." There's a smile then, a very genuine thing that's not as brief as previous ones. "I remember, yes. I suppose I do have a tell. And that...went a lot better than expected, all things considered. So I don't think your advice made things worse."
"I suppose there is a first time for everything. I will mark this one on my calendar." Eva settles back onto the loveseat, turning away, and back towards the viewport. Not to avoid Emrys though, but rather to get the light without her body casting a shadow so she can work on the final few stitches she needs to complete the quilt, "If I had wanted you somewhere else, I'm sure that you know me well enough to know that I would be upfront about it."
Emrys nods agreement. "That you certainly would. Hence my taking it at face value when you said you didn't." He doesn't seem troubled by the way she turns away, perhaps because his attention keeps flitting back to the stars. It's easier, in some ways. "I think I've known for a while, I just didn't want to admit it." He muses, half to himself, before the two lapse into an easy silence. When the quilt is fnished, it's back to the Brass Bunkroom to adorn his bunk with her handiwork.