2237-11-09 - The Wind That Rustles The Jimmies

Ines, Faye and Irene continue their sparkle pony adventure to Duggan's farm. It's the BEST DAY EVER, barring some minor mishaps and a little bit of jimmie rustling.

Date: 2237-11-09

Location: Irene's Fancy Virgan Estate

Related Scenes: 2237-11-09 - How To Virgon Part One

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1578

Jump to End

After some easy mode for Faye in the yard to practice, the party heads out atop their sparkle ponies. Ines on the haughty, handsome Sir Reginald, Faye on the happy-go-lucky, slightly goofy Squirt, and Irene on her favorite, the regal white mare, Duchess. Rather than follow the roads, Irene takes them across a field behind the stable and down a gentle slope to the ribbon of stream and wood that runs through the estate. The sun shines through the lush canopy of green overhead, the water flows gently by, a black mirror interupted by the smooth bald tops of polished riverstones. It's like the calmest place imaginable. Even the horses take it easy, clopping along at an unhurried pace.

Faye is mostly just glad she hasn't run the horse into anything. She's reasonably sure that it would be a thing and that it will somehow combust into flames and crash. She's not sure why, she just knows that it's a chance. So she holds the reins and sits exactly like Irene told her, even if it is making her back ache to sit so straight. She looks about in a sort of mechanical way, her head leaving the path ahead only for brief moments, sure that any deviation might result in an ''incident''.

It probably isn't much of a surprise to anyone involved that Ines takes to the whole thing like a fish to water: this is the pilot who suggested a street race in a big city on a planet she'd never even been to, before she'd even flown her first mission with the Wolves. She has the dubious distinction of having wound up not-really-brigged before her first flight thanks to the bar brawl. Put it down to recklessness, or at best a love affair with adventure, but whatever the reason she's in high spirits as they go.

Enough to occasionally give Sir Reginald his head and break into a trot, though thus far she's shown enough restraint not to try to get any more ambitious than that. "Can you imagine fighting Cylons on horseback?" That's her first verbal contribution in a while, brought on by the study of a copse of trees that would make her suspicious if they were on a battlefield. "With swords and lances?"

"Can I?" Faye says as she holds the reins a bit tighter for a moment, then looks toward Irene, then back to Ines who asked the question to begin with. "I can, actually. I think someone should totally do a comic book about it. Have them be the black cylons instead of the bright armor." She nods her head a few times, looking quickly back forward. Squirt's head didn't fall off, did it?! Something didn't happen?! Everything's okay?! Phew... Okay.

Perhaps hilariously, or not, Irene's mother wouldn't let her leave without being armed. There was some embarrassment about all that, but there was no arguing about it. Her mother was adamant. That's why now, Irene has a breech loading shotgun and a coat pocket full of shells. Given the age of the thing, and it's intended purpose (likely to shoot clay or real pidgeons), it'll probably be about as effective as a sword or a lance against a Cylon. In fact, she hasn't even loaded it and its been tucked into a saddle holster since she grudgingly took it.

Ines' can-you-imagine prompts a smallish frown, until she suggests the more medieval weaponry. "I don't think it would end well." Just imagining it makes it absently stroke her horse's neck. She eventually smiles again, "But I guess if everyone was in armor... and they didn't have guns either." Shrug.

"No guns," Ines agrees, amusement in the look she gives Faye when Faye looks back at her. "Do it! It's up to you to write. You know, in E-bunk we had a conversation about something like this? Rooper was saying he thought we ought to spam the Cylons with, ah..." Pause. "You know, pill adverts? And then there was talk of Cylon smut, obviously. You could combine the two." Obviously, having seen the success of 'Pinned Down,' she thinks everybody ought to write a bodice ripper. Just...not herself.

"I still think learning mounted combat would be amazing." There's a thoughtful pause, and then she leans forward a little to rub Sir Reginald's neck near his withers. "I might worry about the horses."

Faye looks to Ines and gives her a frown, "But... What were you doing in E bunk?" She, amazingly, lets go for a moment to pull her hand up and cover her mouth with a dramatic gasp. A lean in the direction of Irene that makes the horse start to turn that way, "I think she's a trai-woh!" Faye sits back up and tries leaning the other way in hopes to avoid the mid-horse collision. She glares down at the horse, clearly it's Squirts fault for being so spirited.

"What?" Irene laughs as if she's really unable to follow the thread of logic between spamming Cylons with pill adverts and smut and why anyone would think that's a good idea. She dislodges the ideas with a quick shake of her head and focuses on the traitor part, grinning, "Don't be silly, she's just gathering intelligence." And woah. Near collision. She starts laughing almost immediately, but politely stifles it, "Faye. Faye! Don't lean like that. You'll end up on your head. Use your knees, remember?"

"I was reviewing my flight footage and just...made a wrong turn!" Tone appropriately strident in the defense of her berth-loyalty and personal honor, Ines shoots the other two a look. "They're nice, though. I like Corporal Costello, especially, though I don't really see her very often." Marines, so obviously.

She glances sidelong again when her traveling companions wind up on a collision course. "Once, riding a horse at a friend's house, it tried to break my leg. More than once! It just -- we were in a paddock with a fence, and it kept..." She lifts one hand, holds it like a blade, fingertips pointing forward, and then gestures forward and off to the side with it. "Veering into it. Putain! It tried to roll on its back with a saddle on, as well." She lowers her eyes to the haughty animal she's picked. "By comparison Sir Reginald is very polite."

Faye gets control of her horse again, leveling it out and loosening up on the reins a little as she lets out a slow breath that ends in a sigh. Okay, crisis averted, "Well, like I said. The only time I've ever really ridden one was on set. I was supposed to ''look concerned for Adam's well-being'' I did, because I was worried about my well-being. It was not fun." She looks over toward Irene, giving her a smile far braver than she was still feeling about this. She positively beams at the other actress!

"Because, it's important now." A look over toward Ines, "I still call it into question." Faye wiggles her eyebrows, insinuating that there is more to this bunk tryst than is being told, "How come we're only hearing of this infraction now? Maybe we could hold a Charisma bunk vote." A look to Irene, as if to confirm that is a thing.

"He's a gentleman." Irene says of Sir Reginald, after blanching slightly at the thought of one of her horses behaving so poorly as the one described. C'est impossible! "And the marines are decent. I like them. Except when they had that brawl at the VRN base. That was such a mess. There were even pilots jumping in, striking enlisted men! It was absurd." Well, absurd to her Virgan thinking, unsurprisingly. Funny how she didn't really have such a problem with fights when it was the CF vs Capricans. Well, she did complain about them wrecking her party. So maybe she is actually consistent that way, or it's different when it happens 'off duty'.

"Wait, what are we voting about? I believe Kes was staying true to Charisma bunk and would never, ever betray us to Easy bunk." Serious nod. Then she tips her head, eyeing the path ahead as it becomes a crossroad of sorts. She takes the branch that leads down to the stream where it's shallow enough to ford, barely ankle deep. "Follow me, and don't stray too far either way. It gets deep."

Easy bunk, Irene says, and Ines is practically assaulted by the surprised laugh that follows, head tilted back. It's sudden and sharp enough that Sir Reginald seems less than thrilled, but at least he doesn't bolt for the horizon. "Are they easy?" She knits, skews her brows, contemplating that openly. "I don't have enough data to say. I'll need a larger sample of the population."

When they change direction she halts her horse and waits for the other two to fall into a line, then brings up the rear. "Which is just objective curiosity on my part, mind you. If you don't trust me not to remain a loyalist you'll have to do the investigating for yourself."

Faye follows behind Irene, trying to carefully guide her horse across in the same path as Irene. She looks more then a little nervous at first, but as they get part way across she lets out a sigh. Her brows easing up and no longer furrowing, "I dunno, but - but - if Irene vouches for your sincerity to Charisma, than I suppose I can believe you're not a spy for Easy." She looks up toward Irene for a moment, then back down toward where her horse is going. As she finally makes it across there's another sigh, relief as her shoulders finally drop back down. "How far is the other farm anyway?"

"I heard they were easy." Irene solemnly verifies, even if she doesn't say where she heard this, or if it's true. She has to protect her sources, clearly. She leads the way across the ford, which is so wide and shallow that her warning not to stray seems incredibly overcautious, but it's not like Faye is an experience rider or anything. She's probably just being a worryguts. "Uhm. It's not far, actually. Just through this wood, over the next hill, down the road and up the next lane." Which could be far, or close, she doesn't provide any solid numbers at all. "Wait, who all is in Easy?"

Ines' brows shoot up. "Which of them are easy!" It's not a rhetorical question; she obviously believes what Irene's just said, even if only because she wants to believe it. That would, at least, explain the disappointment in her expression as Irene asks who is even living in E Berth, sharply decreasing the probability that she heard any such thing. "Costello, someone with the callsign 'Trash Panda,' Rooper...ah..." She pauses, thoughtful. "Ramseyer? You know, the pilot with the video games?" She struggles to remember the rest, but comes up short. "C berth is still vastly superior, obviously."

She and Reginald splash through the stream without any difficulty at all. Things are so sedate, so peaceful -- surely all of Irene's gutworry has been for nothing.

Only, she does live in the country. People do things like skeet-shooting, in fact. They might even actually hunt. At least, the sharp CRACK sound is probably a gunshot? At least it's not close-by. It also doesn't appear to be aimed at any of them. It's still enough, given every given, to make Ines jump -- soldiers! They don't like gunshots! -- and then Sir Reginald jumps, and then they're racing off in what is to be hoped is the proper direction to get to the Duggan's farm. It's spontaneous. Also turbulent.

"OH! I know Trash Panda!" Faye calls out, not quite out of nowhere, but at least moderately with some recognition. She glances over toward Ines for a moment, "She's the one with the cute hat. I like that hat." She looks to Irene and grins wider, "Remember? We were in the onsies when she came into the mess hall. Ahhh good times." She lets out a giggle with a shake of her head that builds into a laugh. The sound of it building and pure of intent. She reaches up, going so far as wiping at her eyes from the laughter.

"Oh my Gods, the look of their faces!" The words aren't spoken cleanly, instead they end on a high note that almost breaks. She's doing everything she can not to spur the horse into being more active though - that and stay on the horse.

"Ah, that time we ruined our chances for promotion." Irene laughs, repeating with a dramatic sigh, "Good times." She's about to probably say more about Easy bunk and its nefarious inhabitants when there's the crack, jump and Ines is off to the races. Duchess starts beneath her but she holds firm on the reins and makes some soothing sounds before she can shoot off after Sir Reginald. "Kes!" She yells, eyebrows up as high as they can go as she turns to look back at Faye. "Follow the path - take your time." Like, maybe don't gallop straight into a tree and explode she seems to mean, but she obviously thinks it's best to chase Ines before she disappears. "Kes!"

Ines rolls Reflexes: Success (8 8 4 4)

It's something of a wild ride, and in the defense of Sir Reginald it's entirley Ines' fault: clenching up like that was definitely asking him to take off like a shot, and with the incentive of the sound that prefaced it, it didn't take a whole lot of convincing. He's getting a whole lot of mixed signals as they go racing off, too, because she's still clenched up tighter than a green marine in a dropship, but trying to get hold of the reins and reassert some control.

...Which she does, eventually. She wobbles a few times as he lodges mild protest against all of the excitement, but she doesn't take a spill. When Irene gets to her she's bent forward and just breathing, which is more or less what Sir Reginald is doing, but the sound of Duchess approaching gets a flash of a look that's simultaneously sheepish and inappropriately thrilled.

"Fun," she declares.

To Faye's credit, she gives Irene the bravest smile yet as she calls after her, "Don't die! I'll just... follow the path!" And even a wave! A WAVE! Letting go with one hand only on the reigns and everything! Of course as soon as Irene is out of earshot she's saying in a shaky voice, "Ooo-kay, Squirt. Just you and me. You don't get me killed, and I promise you a carrot. Some how, some way, I will feed you one." She nods her head and takes another few short breaths. Steady... Steady... just a creature that could easily get you killed that you're riding on, with the only control being that which he gives to you.

Oh Gods, I'm gonna die.

The horse's name is Squirt, not Stompy Von Killstein, so it'll be fine! It's not like people name their killer horses ironic names, like Sugar or something. That never happens. Faye will be just fine. Irene gives her one last look and an encouraging smile before giving Duchess what little encouragement she needs to gallop.

The thunder of hooves precedes her arrival by quite a distance, but upon seeing her quarry, Irene slows the show. They approach cautiously, smile hopeful and then bright as Ines pronounces the 'experience' fun and not, like, traumatic. "Yeah, he goes fast." She says with a soft laugh, "You're alright? You didn't eat any branches?" She leans over to check the other pilot's face for twigs and leaves, and blood. Concerned.

"No. No branches. He didn't seem to want to run through branches." Ines is, even to a casual glance, fine -- just winded in that 'boy, that was exciting' sort of way. Her smile shifts on an instant, becoming pique. "Who just shoots a gun in the middle of the afternoon! Your neighbors are mad!" She seems as though she's about to go on, expanding on her premise, but realizes, looks concerned. "Wait. Where is Bingo?"

The klaxons begin to go off as Squirt picks up speed a little and is heading for a tree. "Oh come on now." She says, giving a tentative squeeze of a knee, trying to get him to turn, a light pull on the reins but there is no dissuading him. "Oh damn it, I promised Irene not to crash you!" She's pleading with the horse as it continues on forward, clearly meeting its fate with hooved arms wide open. Just when Faye thought it would be too late it slows down again - but will it be fast enough?!

Faye closes her eyes tight, letting go of the reigns to cover them as she winces and braces for the inevitable collision course. And then... Nothing. Wait. She peeks, looks down and, "Oh Gods damn it! Seriously?!" Squirt nuzzled his head down in the grass and tore out a chunk of it right next to the tree roots. Collision avoided and still in one piece!

"Someone's having a bit of sport, is all." Irene explains like her mad neighbors are frequently shooting guns, for fun. "Unless there's Cylons afoot." She stands in her stirrups for a moment or two, head cocked as if she's listening for the tell tale clank-clomp of big metal feet. Nothing. She's so not worried. Not about that, but Faye, that's a different story. "I told her to stay on the path." So naturally she turns half around in her saddle to peer back down the trail, and there's no Bingo at all. Not even a glimpse. She waits a five count or so, before saying, "We should probably go fetch her."

It's a jittery little journey back to where Squirt is engaged in a slow-motion collision with breakfast, at least for Sir Reginald. He has the jumpy, antsy look of a creature who seems prepared to hare off again into wild blue and green yonder, but either Irene's presence subdues him, or Ines' refusal to be unceremoniously dumped onto her hindquarters has taken all of the fun out of the prospect, because he trails the Virgon uneventfully. For the best, because the complete and utter lack of a Bingo has actually left Ines looking legitimately worried.

"She's probably fine," she says, though her tone is hopeful. "She flies a Viper! A horse is nothing!" Which -- we're just going to overlook the fact that she's saying that on the tail end of a near-miss with being bucked off.

Faye sits on the horse, picking up the reins and tries tentatively (and lightly) pulling on them, a little snap, nope and nope. "Hmm." She leans and looks over the horse's shoulder down to what he's eating. "Okay, how about three carrots if you get me back to Irene?" Chomp-munch-munch-munch. "Okay. Hyah? Uhh, go. Umm... Up? Forward?" None of these command words are working and there are no buttons for her to press on this thing. No pedals, no flight stick, and she's really not sure where the throttle is.

"Okay, okay. Five carrots." Faye bargains. Squirt is none too impressed with her negotiating skills however. She frowns, trying to think back to what Irene told her to do. Okay, to make him stop, just pull back on his head a bit using the elbows and the abs. She takes control of the reins, "My controls." She says to Squirt, reliving her training days in basic flight. Then... she tries it. A pull back, tightening the abs, staying up straight and -- Squirt picks his head up with a mildly annoyed sound.

"Okay... Okay. Now, forward. That was, heels and knees? Right?" She tries it, tentatively, and Squirt starts slowly moving up the path, she eases up on the reins a bit so as not to be pulling back on his head at all. "You and me, Squirt. You and me. Just for that? I'm only giving you half a carrot."

Irene doesn't go full rush to get back, but returns down the path at a trot. She scans the sides, perhaps looking for recently disturbed bushes or hoof prints leading off into the deeper woods. Just incase Faye's gone way off course. It's no doubt a relief when she appears, still following the trail. "I thought you'd gotten lost!" She calls ahead before Duchess and her close the distance, go beyond and then turn around and come up alongside. "I found Kes. Everybody's good. You're good?" As she did with Ines she looks for signs of obvious branch eating, but looks satisfied there's been none.

The little exhalation of relief that comes from Ines when they do finally find a Bingo is probably too quiet to be heard, but it relaxes her sufficiently that Sir Reginald seems to believe it's time to relax, too. His previously twisting-around ears settle forward again, and he once again looks for the most part bored with the proceedings, like they're below his station, or something. "Bingo! You're a professional already!"

Faye is doing her best not to show her worry as she continues down the path, she's still not positive she's got this under control - but - she thinks she has it somewhat under control(s). And then she looks up and... Irene! "Hey Iris!" She grins wider, "Look at me! I'm doing it." And if Irene is stopped, Squirt is walked right by the other as she cranes her neck to try and watch Iris still. She's still learning, but at least the horse is moving in a straight line, right?

"Oh Pshaw." She says to Ines, "Not even, Kes. I've barely got the idea down." She preens nonetheless and looks altogether pleased with herself. Then a pause and she responds to the Virgon, "Well... Squirt decided that some grass looked tasty, so we took a short stop. Erm.. but I think we're making headway - so to speak."

If Irene wasn't stopped, she does so that Faye can show off. "I knew you'd get it." She had utmost confidence. She's just terrible proud. All smile. When they come around close enough she reaches over to rub the top of Squirt's head as if she's proud of him too, despite the pit stop. Then, then she just sits there, looking between Faye and Ines, smiling. "I'm so glad you both decided to come along."

Ines also stops, so Faye's equine processional has a full audience of two, and she doesn't usher Reggie -- they're on a nickname footing now, because he almost killed her -- onward while Irene is still motionless, planning to give the two of them room to amble on side-by-side. It seems like the least she can do, given she accidentally eliminated any hope of Faye riding off tandem with Irene into some kind of sunset somewhere.

The frank remark gets a look, and then one of those uncharacteristically shy smiles. Pale eyes fall to the braided leather in her hands, fussing with it unnecessarily. "I haven't done anything like this in a long time."

"Are you kidding?!" Faye says, nearly exploding at Irene with a wide grin breaking out, "I wouldn't miss meeting your family for the world." Even if meeting your dad scares me a little, and oh Gods I'm going to have to bring you home some time too and I don't have sparkle ponies. What will we do? Oh no, they just live in a small one-story two bedroom in the city and-- "This is the most fun I've had in a while." A look over toward Kes then, a softening of her expression even as her brain tries to explode into an inferno of questions.

"Hey, new friends, old friends, we're all family now - right? I'm glad you're here too Kes. Outside of this..." She gestures up and out, so as not to implicate the planet itself, "Nonsense of a war. I miss this sort of stuff."--there's really not much to do! Should I maybe try to set up plans for a dinner somewhere? Maybe mom and dad will like to meet her like that, but then it won't be as intimate as this and that might send the wrong message. "And it's always nice to make more friends."

"It's a nice break from all that." Irene agrees before taking in a deep breath and letting out in a slow, contented sigh. Good tiiiiimes. Duchess though, she stamps a little, impatiently. She obviously was expecting more walking and less talking. "Let's go! Oh, and a word of warning. When we get to Duggan's? He'll offer some applesnap, and it sounds harmless enough, but if you drink too much of it you'll be blackout drunk and singing to the sheep before you get to the bottom of a cup." Warning issued, she flashes one of her winsome poster girl smiles and touches her heels to Duchess who needs no further encouragement to pick up her hooves and all but prance the first few yards down the trail.

The most Ines is willing to chance in Faye's direction is a single glance, but it contains whole worlds of sentiment. Outside of a cockpit and the unnatural calm she digs up on any dangerous flight, her face is too expressive to conceal much without effort. It's still that faintly bashful look, but her eyes are weighted with obvious gratitude. "Thanks, Bingo." Little shadows play over the column of her throat, outlining a swallow that betrays stronger currents below still waters. Eventually she thinks her way through that knot of complicated emotions to remember herself and add, "Family, yes. Definitely. The Wolves. Thanks for having a -- third wheel? But not making me feel like one."

It's a relief to turn Sir Reginald and begin to follow Duchess, and to turn the conversation toward less fraught territory. "Applesnap is the cutest name for a drink. Do you think he'll let me take some back to the Dauntless?"

"Third wheel?!" Faye says with a bit of shock, looking toward Ines with a furrow of her brow. "What in the world would make you think that?" She shakes her head and continues along, somewhat controlling the horse for the moment. But once they're moving in a straight line and Irene is nearby.... Your controls, Squirt. She looks over toward Ines again, still a bit shocked and her whole thought derailed for now. "Ines, you are anything but. I think Iris invited me last." A wry grin cast toward the blonde and she sticks her tongue out.

"I invited Tomak first, but he shot me down." Irene calls back, "And then Davion, and Lindus, and the priest, and Nova, and Ryan, and Stirling, yeah, you two were at the bottom of the list, honestly." The further she gets through reciting said list, the less believable her tone until she's just laughing and briefly sticking her tongue out right back at Faye, over her shoulder. "You'll have to ask Duggan. It'll depend on how cute he thinks you are and how tipsy he is. At this hour, he's probably already half in the bag."

What would make you think that? Ines shoots Faye a sharp, arch look, on far more solid footing here. "You know what would make me say that." She says the words almost primly, but it's a breezy tone, rife with humor. Like: don't play dumb with me!
"I'm adorable. I can be adorable for drinks. I think I dimly remember how to do that." Maybe it's not a good idea to do that with Irene's neighbors, but Ines is in an excellent mood, particularly since the welcome infusion of adrenaline that comes along with having raced inadvertently across the Virgan countryside on the back of an animal with hammers for feet that weighs a billion times the amount that she does.

Irene's addendum gets a twist of her lips, but as is often the case she gives it more thought than it was meant to inspire. "I wonder if people ever invite Stirling and Ryan to anything, actually. I never even see Ryan." Thoughtful pause. "Is he very handsome?"

Faye furrows her brows and then cocks her head to the side as she looks at the other Viper pilot. "No, I mean... Seriously, she did invite Tomak and Stirling, and I think I was one of the last." Of course, that's probably because it was more that their schedules have kept them flying in opposite shifts for a while there. But that's not really the point. She tilts her head looking toward Irene with a wide smile. "I even watched her invite Stirling at the party."

Faye even gives a wiggle of her eyebrows to Irene then, "Oooo, okay, so skip it or try to bring some back instead of drinking it." She didn't want to be tipsy for the rest of the day after all.

"There is no way Tomak was going to come out here with us," Ines says, leaving the other matter of third-wheeling aside. She sounds absolutely certain of that, like she's becoming some sort of unofficial expert on the bunkroom's grouchiest marine. "No way. He probably thinks it's all...lacy doilies and tea parties." She gestures dismissively. "His machismo would never stand for it. You should've heard him grousing about Virgan courting rituals, like that was a serious topic of discussion."

"Pfft, he might've if I invited him." Faye says with a bit of a raise of her chin, a closing of her eyes and an air of ''Totally would!'' before her lips break into another grin as she looks back to Ines. My controls. She speeds up Squirt for a moment to get him walking a bit more side-by-side with the other Viper pilot.

"One of my first days with the Wolves, I was at the last awards ceremony and we were drinking. I think he took a bit of a shine to me." Faye preens a little while sitting on the sparkle pony.

Irene slows Duchess down again and waits for the others to catch up, half turned so she can watch them and maybe lip read some until she can hear them clearly again. "Why was he grousing about Virgan courting rituals? He's already my boyfriend." He might not be aware of that, but she says it like it's an unalterable fact. "Is he mad because he's my second boyfriend, you think? Lindus is my first boyfriend." Then she pauses, looking up through the gently waving leaves to the patches of blue sky overhead as she thinks. Maybe of who qualifies as her third and fourth boyfriends. Maybe that Caprican officer she went to the orchard with that time everyone else was driving their cars off the road. Maybe not.

Ines skews he brows, rolling her head over to the side to furnish Faye with the world's most skeptical look. "Uh-huh." It's the kind of 'uh-huh' that's intoned more like 'no way.' "You should try, next time. If you can get him to sign off on a posh vacation with the three of us, I'll..." She quiets a moment, mentally casting around for a sufficient wager, and then loses patience and waves it off. "Do something. Your laundry, I don't know. It doesn't matter what, because the only way he'd agree is if you bribe him, which would be cheating."

The look Irene gets is more amused. "You don't remember? You were there!" Pause. "We were hung over, though..."

Irene closes one eye and squints the other, thinking, remembering, making her brain go hard. She snorts after a second or two. "Oh, right. The morning after our second promotion opportunity destroying outing. Bingo." Like somehow it's Faye's fault they got that tore down drunk and she drew a beard on her face in marker and decided that she'd pretend to be one of her fancy Virgan princeling dates. Totally Faye's fault. All of it.

"He's always grousing about something, so sometimes I tune him out a little and just look at his chest." Irene admits in an innocent way as she tucks her hair behind her ear and lets Duchess get moving again, now that she's back in easy chatting distance.

"It wasn't that bad," Ines says, of the moustache incident. "You got lucky. You came pretty close to putting your glass in the cake." Which would've made two cakes slaughtered by an inanimate object recently in Irene's care, actually.

She seems prepared to jump in with agreement- "He is-" -about Tomak's endless, eternal grousing, like a nesting doll of scowls in different severities, but Irene veers off in another direction entirely with it, leaving the Leonese pilot floundering. Mouth opens, mouth closes. She turns her head to look through Sir Reginald's ears in front of her and lifts her chin in obvious refusal to participate in any discussion that involves that soldier as an Object of Whatever, the configuration of her brows disconcerted. If she were a Cylon, the interior of her skull might light up red with the words ERROR: STACK OVERFLOW.

"Where do you think we're going next?" Pause. "I mean. With the Wolves."

A reputation for cake killing would definitely hurt Irene's career. Thankfully that's been avoided, narrowly, thus far. She's mollified by Ines' appraisal, smiling a bit even, but she could just be imagining that soldier's chest. The quick topic switch brings her back to more proper thoughts, if she was daydreaming in the first place, prompting an uncertain reply, "I'm not sure. Usually the deck crew has the best scuttlebutt about all that. Maybe, to do something important? Not to knock what we did on Sagittaron, but guarding mines?" She makes it sound like that was perhaps a bit below them.

"Oh c'mon." Faye says as she looks at Irene, "We both know that you're the one who drew the mustache and goatee on." She says with a grin. Wait, I mean, she did right? She has to think about this as well because she really wasn't in much better shape. Where are her heels from that night anyway. Her eyes whip back down toward Ines and Irene -- now that they're on a different topic and all. "I dunno, I'm kinda hoping that it's some place with mountains and snow."

"I prefer cold," she agrees, leaning forward to sweep her hand down the arch of Reggie's neck. He's being so well-behaved now that it doesn't sound like a very temporary warzone! "It's easy to put more clothing on, but there's only so much of it you can take off."

"I prefer cold," Ines agrees, leaning forward to sweep her hand down the arch of Reggie's neck. He's being so well-behaved now that it doesn't sound like a very temporary warzone! "It's easy to put more clothing on, but there's only so much of it you can take off."

Irene shrugs and turns her hands over to indicate her supposed innocence in the whole marker mustache incident. It's not terribly convincing. Neither are her words, especially since she doesn't make up some sort of fanciful explanation that's a blatant lie, as she normally does, "I don't remember." There's a hint of a smile when she says it, and her jump back to the other topic is quick. "Cold's nice, if it's not a really damp cold. I always liked winter. I'd get like all the blankets possible and burrow under and toast." Which is somehow in her mind, better than just being in a hot climate.

The trail narrows ahead, saplings grow too close and Irene has to push some aside to get through unscathed. It's only a few feet of that, and then they'll be out on a wide, rolling field that climbs, crests and goes down the far side of a gentle hill. That's the way she'll go, Duchess gamely trotting through the long grass that nearly brushes Irene's heels.

Faye and Squirt are following closely along with Irene and Ines as they crest out from the sapling and into the fields beyond. She reaches up to tuck her hair back behind her ears and sits up a little taller to look out at the plains beyond. A slight squeeze of her heels and she tries to speed up to trot the horse up near Irene. A pause to look over at her and then she leans to bump her head into the Raptor pilot's shoulder, before backing off again. "I like the cold, nice and cold with lots of snow."

Faye lets out a laugh then, thinking about what Ines says and looks over at her, then back to Irene, "Remember the first time I met you? You broke my bikini while trying to drown me, after I tried to help you out."

"Virgan courting sounds terrible when you describe it that way." Irene replies playfully enough. Duchess, given a whole lot of open field, picks up the pace on her own and there's no resistance from the rider. With no trees to collide into and explode, and nowhere to get lost, she gives the mare some free rein and she's soon clomping briskly through the grass.

A laugh comes again from Faye and she shakes her head, "I didn't know that was the start of our courting." Faye is playful in return, a tilt of her head and she tilts her head to look upward. "Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it, to be honest. I'm still shocked that it was you of all people." She shakes her head from side-to-side, letting her head come back down to focus on Irene again, "I love your acting."

"Courting is terrible," Ines says, with a crinkle of her nose. %
High-pitched: 'Oh Bastien, I do think ma mere finds you very handsome and successful!'

Low-pitched: 'I only aspire to be half the man I'm sure she wants for you, cherie.'

High, now with wrist to forehead: 'Oh Sebastien! My vapors!'

Low: 'Let me carry you to the fainting couch!'

High: 'Mais non! You might have a glimpse of my ankle and then I would be a sullied woman!'

Low: (Not clear what this is supposed to be. He's either lamenting, or inappropriately excited. Maybe both.)

"It's the worst," she concludes solemnly, with a morose tone that suggests personal experience. "Tearing off clothing straight-away is never how it actually goes."

"But... Kes, that's the fun part." Irene gasps, a bit scandalized by the implication that courting is somehow the worst. "It makes the clothes ripping off so much better when you get to it, and you weed out all the unworthy. And it's so much fun." Incase she didn't get it that it was fun, she repeats herself. Then there's a laugh from her and a shake of her head as if she couldn't believe what she just heard from Faye. It took a little bit to register. "I was not a good actor, Bingo. You're so much better. I just smile and cry really well."

"I think there's at least a few people wondering about Dirk." Faye says with a smile that slowly grows wider and a crinkling to her nose, "I'm only half the act - you're the better half." She looks to the fields and lets out a snicker with a shake of her head. "And, Iris, you realize that means we did it backwards too - right?" A wiggle of her eyebrows.

"You tore my bikini off me first thing in your courting." She says it with a flat voice, but looks horribly amused.

It's possible to hear the exasperation in Ines as she huffs a weary breath. "You never get to the clothes ripping off, that's the thing. Or anything risky or exciting, really, it's constantly being chaperoned everywhere with boring men who wear very tight pants and own enough pommade to grease an entire fleet of toasters." This is the second time she's mentioned pommade whilst discussing this kind of thing, so there's probably an awful history of some sort there. "Delayed gratification is one thing, yes? Building things up? Possibly even a little bit of repression? But the rest of it -- ai. I cannot."

All of which brings her to her conclusion, which is to point at Faye, one brow rising. "So, I ask you: backward, or better?"

"Diiiiirk." Irene groans, because he is the fraking worst. Stupid, stupid, stupidface Dirk. But, she has to concede the larger point, if people are actually wondering if he's a real doctor. As for whether it was backward or better, that also she'll let Faye answer, turning a bit in her saddle to look at them both, brow arched delicately. "It's not fun if they're boring and you never get to the clothes ripping off part at any time. That's not courting, that's just being dumb." Dumb being the technical word for it.

Faye looks at Ines and her smile starts to slide as she seems to give it real thought, she looks toward Irene, then Ines, a tilt of her head the other way. Her mouth pulls off to the side and then she looks off and away. A tilt of her head the other way and then she looks back toward the Raptor pilot and her cheeks flush since Irene is looking at her. "Ahhh... Heee!" she hides her face in her hands for a moment, then giggles. "It's... neither and both, and all that really matters is the intent."

Yes, Faye. The pressure is on. Ines is watching with every expectation that Bingo will make the right choice between the two options on offer. An expectation that is handily shattered, resulting in her deflating sigh, head hanging forward. "Better you two than I." Rue paints every syllable of her tone as she straightens up again, rolling easily along with every step of the animal underneath her. "It was miserable for me then, and I don't miss it at all. And the rest of it, all of the clothes-ripping bits? I can't escape it."

???

A necessary clarification: "The constant frakking in C-3."

"You could always ask them to move to Frak bunk." Irene helpfully suggests, "But it sounds like you're sort of... frustrated. Is there someone you fancy that doesn't have the slick hair and the tight pants and isn't boring?" Beat. Lightbulb. "Ooh, we should find you a match." We being her and Faye, since that's who she looks back towards, pointedly. "Duggan has a son."

"Oh my Gods." Faye says as she raises her hand to cover her mouth as she looks back to Irene, "That is a great idea." She turns her gaze on Ines now, grinning wider as she begins to wiggle a bit in the saddle - much to the confusion of squirt who sort of starts a mini-serpantine before Faye realizes what she's doing.

"Yes-s-s-s. Spill it, Kes! You sound like you're pining. Someone or anyone?" A wiggle of her brows and she starts to rub her hands together conspiratorially, a look back to Irene, "Is he cute and strapping? Like Marine strapping. I think Ines like the Marines with how much she talks about them." A sage-slow nod.

It's possible to watch the gradual flattening of the expression on the Leonese pilot's face as the two of them turn all of this courting criticism of hers around into something else, a remarkably effective deflection tactic. "This again." She angles a sidelong, recriminating look at the two of them in all of their grinning amusement. "Who has the time? If I'm not on CAP, I'm trying to stay in shape or -- or sleeping. Or trying to sleep, with my head under a pillow while Calhoun and Wagner display a prodigious capacity for -- for shamelessness!" And other things, probably, but she decides not to get specific.

"I appreciate the marines. From a distance." Because, let's face it: who doesn't appreciate peak physical fitness?

And then, probably sensing the relentlessness of it all, she seems to concede: "I'll let you know what I think about Duggan's son." Maybe if she pretends to be smitten, it'll put a cork in the rest of it.

"We just don't want you to... explode?" Irene says, carefully and with deep concern. "But, it's okay." She's willing to drop it for the time being, seeing how the reaction wasn't the greatest. She'll do the matchmaking on the sly, is all. "I'll wait for you both at the bottom of the hill." Which seems like a bit of a non sequitur, because it kinda is. With a grin then, she nudges Duchess on with her heels and the horse happily races forward.

Faye lets out a sigh, waiting for Irene to move off a ways before she speeds up a bit to canter her horse near Ines. She reaches up with a hand, sweeping hair back behind her ear. "You know... I got a reputation for leading people on?" A look off toward Irene then and her mouth slowly slides into a very wide grin. "And, honestly, I next expected that here would be any different. Never, in any possibility, did I see an Irene in my life."

Faye turns to look at Ines again, crinkling her nose as she lets out a giggle, looking back to the blonde down the hill. "We just were having fun, There we going to be nothing to it at all - physical or otherwise - just fun. Playing at this idea of a relationship and then?" She shrugs her shoulders, "Somewhere in there, it turned to something more for me. I don't know if it was more for her all along? But for me... she became a staple."

She leans over, trying to headbutt Ines' shoulder lightly, "And you're part of our group too now. We want you to be happy."

Whatever Ines expected from a suddenly parallel Bingo, her opening statement was surely not it. She blinks, turns her head to look at the dark-haired woman next to her, all of that guarded reluctance shifting toward something more curious.

"I don't think anybody ever sees an Irene in their lives," she murmurs, a little bit wry, with a glance after the retreating blonde. She means it differently than Bingo does, clearly, but it's affectionate anyway. The Virgan's unusual character is one of several reasons she's fun to spend time with.

She quiets again, though, to take in what amounts to a surprisingly personal confession. Soldiers don't, in her experience, just open up that way, suddenly. She treats it accordingly -- with some solemnity that breaks around a helpless little smile as she is headbutted, and jostled. "Bingo..." Pause. "Faye." As she's seen Irene do before, she lifts her hand and gently pats the more experienced pilot's cheek twice, amused and touched, her head tilted briefly over into a companionable counter-lean. "I'm happy. I promise." She lifts that hand again, splayed, palm-upward, in a straight-armed gesture ahead of her, toward the rolling, pastoral vista. "Look how lucky I am already! New friends, a pony-" Sir Reginald's ears twist around. Probably that's insulting. "And applesnaps. Who needs a chest to stare at? It can't compete."

Actually, the chest thing wasn't about matchmaking, it was something else altogether, but now the two of them are in there scrambling up the inside of her head like aggressively charismatic blenders, and things are getting mixed up. It's probably going to be fine, though.

(It's not.)


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