AWD #100: Guardian of Sleep
Guardian of Sleep
Summary: Cole watches over Iphigenia as she sleeps.
Date: 17/04/2013
Related Logs: None
Cole Iphigenia 
Officers Berths
It's full of berths!
AWD #100

It's not uncommon for others to visit the Officer's Berthing, brought here by many different sorts of business or personal reasons. It may be odd, however, that given their current situation it's Aristides that is waiting for the Priestess, respectfully sitting on the edge of her bunk with the curtain closed behind his back so that it doesn't seem intrusive. At least this time he's not buttoned up in his dress greys, though point of fact, he's still missing his jacket.

Iphigenia has heard the news. Her own grief needs to be a quiet, private thing; and she must get it out of the way before she has to bear the grief of others. Others have been scheduled to take care of the chapel tonight, Iphigenia is unbuttoning her uniform jacket wearily as she approaches her bunk, the flap drapes open just as she turns the corner and realizes who's waiting for her. Her expression is so convoluted that for a moment she seems numb and then very softly, "Aristides." She moves to drop onto the edge of the berth next to him.

Wordlessly, Ari raises his hands to her shoulders and helps her shrug out of the burdensome uniform jacket if permitted. He'll even fold it and drape it onto the mattress next to him like a chamber maid if she'll let him go that far.

She does, but she seems confused by his presence, torn between pleasure in his company and Waiting for the Shoe to Drop. "Did you know that th'Cylons - the ones like us, at any rate, have a religion?" she remarks, seemingly randomly.

The silent Ari act continues as he reaches up to finger comb her hair with a sprawl of his digits, shaking it loose and rolling it in a wave over her shoulder. To her question he merely gives a minor shake of his head in the negative, allowing her to elaborate should she choose.

The fingers in her hair make her close her eyes, her features softening with relaxation. "They believe in a god. A single god, from whom all things begin. We spent hours going back and forth about it, and though I could never reconcile such a thing, her faith was so beautiful. So admirable."

"Ceres." The first word Ari speaks is quiet and almost reverent, word no doubt spreading like wildfire among the Air wing. Who she's speaking of is apparent, though he doesn't have any comment to the monotheism she's explaining. "I knew you would." Would what? He doesn't further expound on. "I've been chosen." He murmurs. "For the tribunal of Cooper Knox. I don't want to talk about it. I just…wanted you to know. He was there when the Gods visited you. It must mean something. So I wanted you to know."

Iphigenia's brow furrows and she tilts so her head is on his shoulder. "You shouldn't talk about it." she says gently. "But…oh…that's something. I've been praying for him. For both of them." She turns her forehead into his shoulder, starting to say several things, and then stopping. "Ceres was one of my first friends on board."

Again his hand threads in her hair, his tapered fingers ending up cradling the back of her head and holding her to his shoulder. His cheek rubs against the top of her head, catching strands of her hair in the scruff of his stubble as he lazily nuzzles against her. "I'm sorry, Geni. I truly am. For you. For her husband. But maybe she's with her God now."

"We may see her again." Iphigenia murmurs. "She'll resurrect, and if we're fortunate, all of the others like her will experience what she felt. I hope. I hope." Geni's eyes are not wet, but this is a kind of weeping. "But more likely we won't. She's gone." She looks up at him. "Will you be alright?" Even though he's there to comfort her.

Cole doesn't so much as kiss the crown of Iphigenia's hair as merely turn his lips to it and rest them there. They move with quietly spoken words, "For once, Geni, don't worry about me. Please." His hand toys with the line of her neck, his thumb following its curve. "Do you need some sleep?"

"I need company." she says. She's not trying to be seductive. "Sleep will come eventually. Tomorrow people will be coming to me for answers." And she'll have to convince them that she has them, when she doesn't.

"Mm." Comes the noncommittal response from Ari, though he's easing Geni off of her lean from him so he can slip away. It's not in a move to leave, however, but to drop to one knee on the deck and busy himself with unlacing her shoes.

Iphigenia smiles wearily. "I'm not sure how that translates into being my lady's maid." she notes, but her toes wriggle in relief as her shoes are removed.

Once shoes are off, he's peeling off her socks, tucking them into her shoes before pushing them aside. He doesn't bother to ask for the combination to her locker to stow them properly as it will have to do for now. Janitor stands with a tick of his fingers in a c'mere motion so that she'll get to her feet. "You carry such a burden." Is the only answer she gets for the time being.

In bare feet, jacket off, hair down, she rises, faintly baffled as to purpose. "Willingly." she says murmurs, "I was privileged for most of my life, it's the least I can do."

"There is a lot I don't know about you, Iphigenia Arden." Cole says simply when his hand falls to her waistband. With deft fingers but seemingly innocent intent, he undoes the fastener and pushes them off her hips. He's merely helping her get ready for sleep after no doubt a grueling day. He moves aside to let her step out of her pants while opening the curtain to her bunk so he can turn down her blankets and urge her to lay down.

"Ask me anything you like." she says, and crouches at her foot locker to open it up and tug out her favorite sleepshirt, for a university women's glee club.

Cole, politely, turns his back while he allows Iphigenia to change the rest of the way out of her uniform into sleep clothes. He busies himself with sheets and blankets and a fluff of her pillow as if he's worked in housekeeping service before. "Not tonight." He replies simply, stealing a glance over his shoulder.

"Why not?" she replies. "Are there things you want to know?" But her tone is mild, and doesn't seem inclined to push. The bed is looking more attractive.

"I said not tonight." He repeats, becoming a little more insistent if only by tone alone. Cole reaches out for her elbow, guiding her with a subtle movement towards her bunk. "You need your rest, and you certainly don't need to pander to the likes of me. C'mon. Long day ahead tomorrow, you've said so yourself."

"Has it occurred to you that I might take some measure of joy in the idea that you want to know about me?" she replies, but lets herself be guided toward the bed. "Shall you stay and hold my hand until I fall asleep?"

"I can do one better than that." After she's settled on the mattress, Ari reaches down to thumb off his own boots. They plop one after the other with a heavy sound to the deck. He has a dark look about his eyes, but instead of doing anything untoward, he tucks the blanket around her with quick jabs of his fingers and then crawls in after her but atop the blankets.

If there's one thing she does in all of this where she gets her way, it's this thing: she shifts onto her side, reaching back to take his wrist and tug his arm over her shoulder. Spooning. But over the blankets!

Ari has no objection to curving his body against the length of hers, retaining that chaste barricade of cloth between them. Once she's settled, he nuzzles his face against the back of her neck and murmurs, "I'll keep you safe, if only for one night. It's the least I can do." As if something about Ceres' death will plague her in her sleep, and as if he could keep those demons at bay.

Her fingers are laced into his, and her thumb absently moves back and forth over the side of his hand. Gradually it slows, and stops, and her breathing becomes more even. It's only maybe an hour or so into true sleep that she moves; a twitch of her head, a shudder of her body.

And yet Ari doesn't sleep, true to his word about standing guard. No doubt the warmth of the bed and the nearness of her body is a tempting for slumber, but the pilot has been trained to be able to force himself to stay awake. Once he's convinced she's truly asleep, his fingers slip out of hers and his arm snakes out from around her. A tug of the blanket secures it around her shoulders and he eases himself into a seated position at the head of her bunk. With an idle hand he strokes her hair and keeps watch over her slumber.

Dreaming time for Gen; whatever it is that's going on in her head tonight isn't precisely pleasant. There's no thrashing about, just quiet breathing and the gradual realization that her lashes have grown damp. What sort of dream does one have that makes one weep in one's sleep? Likely she won't remember. But the hand on her hair subconsciously guards against the worst of it.

At some point Cole finally does fall asleep, slumped against the bulkhead of her bunk and with his chin dropped to his chest. There is the subtle rumble of a snore from the man that vibrates his chest with each inhale, but it's relegated to the dulcet tones of white noise. Whatever the awkward sleeping arrangement, the man never loses contact with Iphigenia, even if it is in some small way.

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