PHD 262: One Word of Difference
One Word of Difference
Summary: Remembering something odd about the shooting, Roubani finds a first ear in Kai.
Date: PHD 262
Related Logs: Captain Jack Cylon

Hestia - Chapel

Quiet place, the Hestia's chapel. Attendance has that ebb and flow that it does anywhere; it was lively in here directly after the shooting and now the altar bears plenty of offerings in the form of objects and candles, and incense. But, those rote duties done, most people have left, not to return until the next time it feels like they should. Someone's here though, in blues, sitting way up front near the altar. Roubani's watching the platform distractedly, while turning something metallic over in his hand.

The griiind-kachunk of the hatch opening and shutting is a sharp sound in the relative quiet of the chapel. It's followed by a thump, thump, thump of boots crossing the deck and a soft clacking of what sounds like metal being jostled. Another blues-clad officer, though he bypasses the rows of benches to make his way directly to the altar at the front.

Roubani notices the movement long after it's come into his field of vision. His eyes focus and flicker to the moving blue thing, then more slowly back to the altar for the time being. There's another soft metallic *chink* in his hand before that sound stops, and his thumb idly pushes two coins up between his bent fingers.

Kai is here merely to leave a devotion in the offering plate, it seems. He drops his head, murmurs a few words in either Kashmiri or stilted Kalimnos, and tips the objects in his hand, onto the flat dish atop the altar. Several shell casings hit the plate with hollow tink tinks, and he presses his fingers to the cool stone thereafter for a more lengthy prayer. Roubani's either not been spotted yet, or he's simply absorbed in what he's doing at the moment.

Roubani moves his fingers, sending the bottom coin tumbling over his ring finger and into the groove between ring and pinky. He lifts his hand then, tapping the edge of the two coins against his lip. He's watching Kai but not watching him while the Captain prays. If eyes are the windows to the soul, his have the shades drawn to the outside while shadows work busily behind them.

Not in any kind of rush to finish what he's doing, Kai is a few minutes more at the altar, down on one knee, despite the discomfort it must cause. When he pulls to his feet finally, it's a slow process fraught with a soft hiss and a visible wince. His head turns slightly, and his eyes zero in on Roubani seated at one of the benches, flipping coins between his fingers. Without speaking, he trudges on over and slides in next to the younger man with a muted thump.

"But sail upon the wind of lamentation, my friends, and about your head row with your hands' rapid stroke in conveyance of the dead," Roubani says under his breath as Kai sits down, tapping the edge of a coin with his thumb. "That stroke which always causes the sacred slack-sailed, black-clothed ship, Kharon, to pass to pass over Akheron to the unseen land here Apollon does not walk, the sunless land that receives all men."

Kai is silent while Roubani recites the verse from scripture. His brows knit together slightly when he's finished, though it doesn't take him long to conclude, "The book of Aeschylus." Blue eyes drift to the glittering coins between Roubani's fingers, then lower again. His head stays bowed, shoulders slouched as they often are. "If I was any more superstitious, I'd say that bucket of bolts was a curse on us."

"I had a dream last night," Roubani murmurs in response, "That I looked out the viewport and…while I watched, the Kharon slowly became the ferryman's boat itself, trailing behind us." He lifts his hand and rubs the back of his neck, as though the memory itself were enough to make hairs stand up back there.

A prickly, chilly silence follows in the wake of that confession. The Captain doesn't speak, doesn't move, but merely watches the back of the bench in front of him while his mind is gods know where. Finally, "I'm going to need to give some kind of a speech at the memorial, again." And by the tone in his voice, that rankles him more than anything else. He doesn't seem torn up about losing the CAG, though the brittle tension in his frame might speak otherwise.

"Perhaps you could ask one of her senior pilots to do it," Roubani suggests quietly. "They fought with her. A memorial shouldn't be a time where people have to think about…power changes."

Kai looks briefly in askance to the junior pilot, and smiles faintly. "Good idea." The warmth at the corners of his mouth is, of course, gone in a heartbeat. "I'll have a word with Stonewall and Sketch. Thanks." The last word is quiet, but oddly heartfelt.

Roubani might really believe what he said. Or he might simply know Kai well enough to know the alternative would be appreciated. "Sure." A flicker of a smile's given that way, then it fades. He glances down at the two coins in his hand, then the tip of his tongue wets his lips. "I need to ask you something."

"Sure," answers the Captain, in much the same tone of voice. He makes no effort to get up just yet, though the brief glance at his watch hints at that eventuality before too long. "What's on your mind." Besides the obvious.

There's a long silence first. "He said something," Roubani says, finally, his tone slightly distracted for a moment as memory replays for a thousandth time. "He said…'Lord love you'." His eyes turn to Kai, their very dark shade making them, as always, tough to read. "Did you hear him?"

The look on Kai's face is a blank one, undisturbed by either emotion or comprehension. He gives a slow shake of his head. "No. No, I didn't hear anything like that." His lashes lift, blue eyes catching dark. "Maybe he was a Mithradite." The trouble he has with that word is testament to his unfamiliarity with it.

"That is what he said. I remember." Roubani's quiet voice is firm on that. "Perhaps I wouldn't have if not for that…face. 'Lord love you…cause you'll see him soon.'" His lips thin a little, eyes turning back to the altar. "I don't know much about Mithradites. But I know what I heard."

Kai doesn't argue it, whatever he may or may not think about Roubani's memory. He gives a soft, noncommittal grunt, and grasps the back of the bench in front of him in preparation to rise. "You might have a few words with one of the chaplains about it. Can't say I have any clue what he'd have meant by that, if he was indeed a tincan." The derision is subtle, but there.

"I will ask Fulk." Roubani's voice still has a note of troubled in it, laid subtle under the usual calm. "Religious tincans." He sounds as if he almost wanted to snort, but doesn't quite. It's too bizarre, on many different levels. Jarred out of his thoughts by Kai getting up, his hand closes around the two coins. They clink softly.

There's a curt nod from the Captain, his eyes flickering to the altar before dropping again as he rises. "He's an insightful man. Reminds me a little of you." A slight twitch of his lips, and he's easing back to his full height. "Take it easy, all right?"

"Mm. Ascelpius stay with you, Karim." Roubani says, nodding slightly. "I'm glad you're alright." Simple words, of course. It's all in the tone, which has some weight. He tilts his head to the side to scratch gently at his hairline and then looks back at the altar, his fingertips absently playing with the coins again.

"You too," Marek returns gruffly. Layers of inflection, dismissive though he may seem on the surface. He touches Nadiv's shoulder briefly, then turns and trudges back out.

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