Jackson happens across Astraea in the Obs Deck. He lures her into some Triad, which Calliope joins. Food is on the table.
Location: Observation Deck
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1477
Still 'grounded,' Astraea has to find other things to fill her time. It's difficult to work out and even her contributions to paperwork are limited due to the injury to her primary hand. No one wants paperwork sloppily done with an off-hand. It needs be legible. So she does what she can and what she's approved for... then spends the rest of her time somewhat sequestered away. Or has for the past couple of days, at least. Integrating back into the wing hasn't been easy for the Raptor pilot and she's been nothing short of evasive and introverted.
Currently, in dual-tanks and BDUs, she's he sole occupant of the observation lounge. The woman has sunk into one of the love seats and just stares out of the view screen ahead. She's got her sketchbook and pencils with her, but they sit on the floor by her feet, untouched.
Jackson sits on the love seat besides Astraea without asking for permission or even announcing his intention. He settles back, folding one leg over the other, and keeps his eye on the view screen. He's also dressed in BDU's. After a moment or three he casually asks "Drawing the stars?"
The Scorpian is quiet for a time. She's slouching, somewhat, and hods her bandage hand close to her chest. Protectively, after a fashion. Astraea looks, sidelong, to Jackson before her attention goes back to the view screen. No Sagittaron in view at the moment from this angle, but one might see another planet in the system if they look in the right place and can discern it from a star. More blue. Brighter. "I... guess?" She doesn't seem quite clear on how to answer.
"Its a hard thing to draw I bet." Jackson says conversationally. "You either get a mess of black or a few dots on a page that nobody understands." He glances at her. "Did you eat already?"
"Guess that's why it's all in m'head," Astraea responds, shifting faintly on the sofa. When he asks if she's eaten, her brow furrows as she thinks back. There's a small shake of her head. "Not since breakfast. Ain't really been hungry, I guess." Lingering from sickbay food or meds, perhaps. Or the lingering vestiges of having been captured negatively impacting hunger. Perhaps a mix of both. The woman shrugs, finally, before casting another look to the other pilot. "Why?"
"Because I don't feel like eating alone" Jackson replies to her suspicion with a deflecting smile. "And you looked as if you'd been here a while." he gives her shoulder a gentle tap. "Feel up to a card game?"
"Pretty sure iff'n ya go to th' mess, there'll be plenty of folks. Ain't never gone there an' found it empty." Astraea glances to his hand in the wake of the tap, biting at her lip briefly. "Sure, but I don't got a Triad deck wit' me right now."
Jackson shrugs at her argument, smiling a little. "Never claimed to be subtle. Just figured you'd had enough of being fussed over." He produces a pack of cards from out of one of his pockets. "Good thing that I came prepared." He gives her a considering look. "Would offer something else but I dont think either of us want much company just now."
"More than enough," Astraea admits, with a small smile. "Jes' sorta want everythin' back t'normal." But there is no normal once you've been a POW. Once the cylons have gotten inside your head. She fidgets faintly, turning a bit in her corner of the sofa to better face Jackson. "Iff'n ya didn't want company, why... sit here?" There's a gesture, to encompass the sofa they occupy. "It ain't weird if ya sit elsewhere, y'know. Folks do it in here all th' time."
Jackson starts shuffling the cards. "Never did like being alone. That wasn't what I meant." He offers her the deck. "Just meant that sometimes threes a crowd." He gives her a lopsided smile. "You'll have to try harder if you want rid of me."
"Ever jes' sit in th' middle of th' lounge or mess an' not talk ta anyone, jes'... so ya ain't alone, even if ya don't wanna be social?" Astraea may be smiling faintly, but not much. She takes the deck, letting the cards slide through her fingers a few times for a few additional shuffles. She starts dealing them out, making a space between them on the couch to set the deck once done. Just the basic five card, it'd seem. "I jes' know I ain't good company right now."
Jackson gives her a light grin. "Ever seen me sit anywhere and not talk?"
There's a small, amused snort as Astraea slides a couple cards out of her hand to 'trade in.' She looks to Jackson to see if he has any to swap out. "Never too late to try, y'know. Can be good for th' soul an' shit." She's gotten less talkative as her time in the Wolves has passed.
Jackson trades a single card. "Can't imagine why i'd even try. Who wants to spend time in their own head?" he shudders for the drama. "Not me. Thats for sure." he tosses her a smile. "I'm not even going to pretend to be serious. Theres more to living than boring old duties."
After trading in a couple of cards, Astraea considers her hand before dropping it wholesale onto what has become the 'discard pile.' "I fold." She considers Jackson for a moment, leaning back into the sofa a bit. "But it's war. Th' most important thing is our duties. Nothin' else matters."
Jackson puts his own cards down face up and leans back too, his heart not really in the cards anyway. "Not true." he tells Astraea. "The reasons for doing it in the first place. Those are what matters. Your family, your dreams, all those things." he shrugs at her again. "Aint no point in any of it if you just give them all up in the name of winning. Gotta be a you left at the end you know?"
There's a slow exhalation of breath from the Scorpian pilot. She takes up the cards and goes to shuffling them; more for anything to do than any real need to continue playing. "Mebbe. I used ta think that, but I dunno that I do anymore. I figure there'll be room for... whatever after th' war. Right now?" She looks down at the cards as she shuffles them; awkwardly. Her hand is healing, but the bandaging makes it tricky. "I find I'm happier when I jes' keep busy with th' work." Or at least more complacent.
"That only works for a bit." Jackson tells her. "I've seen folks try it. Lyn nearly drove herself crazy with it after everything that happened back home. But really, the only thing that ever happens is that they end up lonely." He reaches across and gently touches her arm. "And theres no need for it Astraea. Being lonely's no option at all."
There's a glance to the hand on her arm and Astraea let's out a long breath. She fusses with the cards, dropping a few. As she focuses on picking them up,she speaks quietly. "I know I've got th' Wolves an' th' wing, but it ain't th' same. I'm jes'... Diff'rent than folks I think. I wanna be like some of th' others. Focus on work. On endin' th' Cylons. When it's all done, I can find where I fit in."
Jackson lets her pick the cards up since he assumes she wouldnt appreciate any help at this point. "Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree." He tells her with an easy going smile. "Me, I'm just glad you're home."
Sometimes you need the small things. Like knowing you can pick up some dropped cards without someone rushing to help. There's a glance up at Jackson and Astraea offers a small,somewhat lopsided smirk. "Didn't wanna be left wit' the extra workload, eh?" She gets the cards all together and offers them over to him. "Hopefully they release me t'full duty soon."
"Hey." Jackson retorts in mock offense. "I'm not work shy. I do more of everything than you do around here." he winks at her. "'cept killing toasters. Gotta admit you're better at that." He accepts the card and starts dealing them onto the fabric of the seat between them. "Judgin by that last hand you're terrible at cards though. Maybe we should fix that before worrying about getting back in the seat huh?"
"Y'know I mostly flew SAR b'fore comin' here? Just as surprised as ev'ryone else that I'm good at killin' Cylons. But now I gotta hold ont' th' title. Ain't easy." Stirling, at least, has kept up with her in the Raptor department. She looks to the cards as they're dealt out and snorts, picking hers up. "Knowin' when to fold is part of th' game, Elf."
Jackson gives her a little shrug. "Much prefer taxi duties anyway." and then another of those cheeky winks. "Folding's only good if the other guy" He helpfully points at his own chest. "Has decent cards." He studies his cards for a moment and then trades out two of his cards before looking up across at her. Genuine interest in his eyes. "No. I didnt know that." he gets a guilty smile. "Never asked I suppose. I was SAR myself. Got to do some real interesting flying in the name of that. You ever flown in a snowstorm where the snows falling so hard its coating up your raptor and your just counting the minutes until something important stops?"
"I get shot down th'most durin' bus duty. Can't say I'm much of a fan these days." Astraea doesn't comment on the previous hand of cards, instead swapping out only one of her current hand. She seems satisfied enough to continue, gesturing at him. "Only snow I've ever seen was at academy. Never flew much in it either. Hurricanes, though, flown in a few of those."
"High winds were definitely a thing." Jackson agrees with a nod. "But I think you get a ton of water with those too right? Gotta say I never had to worry much about getting wet." He taps his cards, eyes her and then puts them down "Fold." Going back to the general conversation he adds "One time the volcano decided it was going to spew a half ton of ash at me. That was 'fun'"
"Lotsa rain, yeh, but th' winds're th' big issue. Usually ya try ta avoid hurricanes. Fly 'round 'em an' all... But if it's a medevac, that ain't always possible." Astraea frowns when he folds and looks down at her cards. She gives a sigh, dropping them on the pile. "Actually had a good hand that time, y'know."
Jackson gives her a wide grin. "Yeah. I could tell. You looked like you'd just lapped down a bowl of cream." he gathers the cards up and starts shuffling them. "Aint that always the thing with SAR?" he asks lightly. "If its a bleeding horrible place to fly, thats where they are gonna get themselves stuck."
Jackson and Astraea are on one of the love seats playing a simple game of cards whilst they talk about S&R before the conflict. They are both dressed in BDU's and Astraea's hand is still bandaged and clumsy.
Calliope has about a half-hour to kill before she goes on duty. Which is too short an amount of time to do anything productive, really, so she's wandering the ship in her flight suit and munching on a protein bar. This takes her onto the Obs Deck, to gawk at the view of the planet for awhile. Her wandering goes vaguely in the direction of Jackson and Astraea's card game.
There's a snort for Jackson's assessment of her Triadface and Astraea picks at the bandages on her hand as he shuffles. "I did not. Yer jes' sayin' that t'feel better." There's no money nor strips of paper -- for IOUs and bets -- lying out, so it seems to just be a friendly game. Nova's sketchbook lies, untouched, by her feet. "Well, it's usually 'cause of th' shit weather that folks get stuck, y'know?" She does note Calliope, giving a small nod towards the other pilot.
"Nah. Thats giving people to much credit." Jackson retorts lightly. He finishes shuffling the deck in his hands, something he's been taking his time over and looks up at Calliope. "You going to join us?" The deck gets offered to Astraea even as he speaks. "Just about to start another game. Gotta see if Astraea's Triadface can fool me."
"Hi." The greeting is piped from Calliope at the other two pilots. She moves to take a chair adjacent but not exactly with them, but straightens back up at the offer. Smiling. "You mind another? Yeah! Sure. I don't have a ton of time to kill before I'm due on, but I should be able to get in a hand if you don't mind another." So she plops down game-adjacent instead. Eyes flitting to Astraea. "If I was betting, I'd say it can. Nova's hardcore."
When Calliope joins them, Astraea adjusts how she's sitting and deals the other pilot in as well. Her motions are a touch clumsy due to the bandages, but she manages alright. Cards, at least, are thin and relatively easy to manipulate. "I think he's jes' makin' excuses fer a bad hand is all," the woman explains once the cards are dealt. When it comes time to trade some in, she ponders before swapping out two.
Jackson chuckles, turning his attention towards Calliope. "She's just sore because she lost out on a good hand." He picks up his cards, looks at them and then gestures to show that he's chosing not to trade. "Looks like it will be a quick hand at least." a smile for Calliope. "Got something good on the books?"
Calliope scrunches up her face thoughtfully as she regards her cards. She doesn't look pleased with them. Maybe it's some kind of bluffing technique. Maybe she has no Triad face. Either way, she tosses away a pair of them and requests two more. "Uh, maybe?" is her response to Jackson. Maybe her new cards will be awesome!
Calliope snorts a laugh at Jackson. "Elf, we're all forced to eat in the same Mess Hall. Every dinner is dinner with you if my shift works out that way. I'll totally play for food, though! I still have some candy I stocked up on while we were on Caprica. They still stock pretty good stuff in Delphi, even with the war on." She considers her cards. Face still a little scrunched, but she keeps these.
"Innit more like loser goes t'dinner wit' you?" Astraea smirks, faintly, but looks thoughtful. "I could offer some rum. So... Soundbite's got candy. I've got rum. C'mon, Elf. You can do better'n tryin' t'score a date." She taps her cards, stacked, against her knee.
Jackson gives Astraea with a grin before looking back at Calliope and smirking. "Not that kind of dinner, Sweetheart. The sort where you pretend you actually like me for an hour." He makes a sulky face at Astraea and her claims that he can do better. "Fine." He's already forgot he's supposed to look depressed. "I suppose i could toss in some drinking chocolate."
Calliope gets another chuckle out of that from Jackson. "I like you just fine, Elf. Unless we're talking, like, liking liking. I'm kind of into tits. I'm sure you can relate. They're awesome! I will totally take some drinkable chocolate, though. Call." She makes a commitment to stick with this hand. Whatever comes of it. The cards aren't so bad that she's making frowny faces at them right now. "How're you feeling, Nova?"
There's a bit of a snicker from Astraea as Jackson is shot down. All she can do is shrug in his general sort of direction. "Mebbe she could play wingman for ya next time we go on leave," the Scorpian offers, helpfully. When it gets around to her, she decides to "Call" as well. It's up to Jackson to decide to try to up the bet or if they all show their cards. There's a glance to the other pilot and Nova goes a bit quieter, shrugging. "Be better once'm cleared for duty again."
"Said pretend didn' I?" Jackson sounds mildly amused. A grins for Astraea. "Who's to say I need a wingman?" The questions on Nova's health he doesn't get involved in, instead he just eyes Calliope for a few moments before going. "Reckon I got the better cards. But, since you gotta go on duty, Call."
Calliope gives Jackson a long look. Then shares a shrug with Astraea. Then, back to Jackson. "You seem like you could use a wingman. I would totally oblige. All I ask is that you comp me one drink." She puts her cards on the table. It's not a bad hand, but it's a mediocre pair of colors. Somebody will be getting her Delphi chocolate.
"You're just planning to steal my women." Jackson tells Calliope lightly. "Nope. Not gonna happen." He smirks at Astraea. "Gotta live in eternal hope, remember?" It turns out he has two pair too. "You shoulda taken the date."
Calliope makes a face at Jackson. "Ugh. I should have. Well. I'm a woman of my word. My chocolates will be in your bunk after I'm through with this shift, Arda. Nova can totally witness my IOU." She shares a commiserating half-smile with the other woman, then pushes herself back into a standing position. "I guess I should mosey to the hangar deck, before I lose anything else. Thanks for inviting me to play! It was fun. Except of the losing."
"If we'd taken th' dinner, where would ya have taken yerself? Could ya handle having only yerself for conversation? Or wouldya be ropin' us int' another game in th' hopes of havin' a proper date?" Astraea starts gathering up the cards, giving Calliope an upnod as she gets to her feet. "Hope yer shift's a quiet one. I'll make sure t'only steal a couple chocolates when ya deliver." Since Alain stole some of the ones she was given while in sickbay, it's only fair.
Jackson flicks a quick smile across at Calliope. "I trust you." he looks back at Astraea and shrugs. "Would have been easy enough to lose." He moves to his feet, stretching a little as he does so. "Reckon I'm gonna call it a night. Leave me some of my prize, alright?"
Calliope offers a two-fingered salute all around. And then, off she goes.
As Jackson gets up to depart as well, Astraea gathers up the cards and offers them out to him. "I'll make sure some're left when I drop off th' rum for ya," she affirms, waving briefly after Calliope. "Deal?"
Jackson accepts his cards and nods at her. "Sounds good Astraea. Going to go get some food if you're hungry."
There's a bit of a sigh for Jackson as he brings up food again, but Astraea leans to grab at her sketchbook and the case of pencils. She fumbles them a little into her hands as she finally gets upright. "Fine, fine. I'll watch ya eat, how's that?" Chances are, she'll end up with at least some food once she's actually in the mess. But for now, she'll at least relent to keeping the man company.
"You've made a lonely man very happy." Jackson claims, following on with the joke from earlier. "I might even let you keep the rum /and/ the candy." He offers her his arm, looking amused, but doesn't actually hold the position for long enough for her to take it. Instead he just waits for her to catch up and then ambles off towards the food.