AWD #001: Purification
AWD #01: Purification
Summary: Tired and bloody from the events of warday, Simon and Sera pass each other in the hall and stumble through their feelings of loss and terror.
Date: 01/05/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Noble Sera 
Aft Corridor - Battlestar Orion
The hallways are the standardized thoroughfares found on nearly every ship in the Colonial Fleet. Tall enough to accommodate heavy equipment, their half-diamond arches rise almost twelve feet off the decking. About a quarter of the overhead bulbs are Vitamin D lamps, smoothing out the harsh edges of standard-issue fluorescent bulbs. Wired phones are posted every hundred yards and in adjoining halls as well. Heavy bulkhead doors section off the ship into different areas, and each hatch is clearly labeled no matter how large or small.
Jan 05, 2005

Noble is following orders, but first he has to turn in the rifle that's hanging over his shoulder. Covered in dust and blood, he's walking slowly down the hallway with two obvious bulletholes in his kevlar. His left hand his raised, bent at the elbow, while he's wrapping some gauze around a wound to the back of his hand. To make matters worse, the left side of his body is splattered with blood, as if either wounded entirely, or someone died a gruesome death beside him.

Sera, meanwhile, is clearly heading down to the primary head after a long, long day. She hasn't even bothered ditching her orange coveralls, yet — just the stupid headgear that goes with it. She's covered in grease and grime as usual, but also black stains from smoke and ash. There's splattered foam drying on her in spots, a sprinkle of blood that obviously isn't hers, and her hair is frazzled, a few parts gone all scraggly and singed from fighting what obviously more than one fire on the deck over the course of the day. After a sixteen hour shift, she's dragging. And she could obviously use the shower she's apparently headed towards, with a towel and her dob-kit in hand. Flip-flops? Those widdle shorts? She hasn't bothered.

He sees her first, which gives him the opportunity to think fast. Still a little numb from all of the fighting, he pulls off his blood-spattered shooting glasses and hooks them into his shirt. "Hey, Ess-Jay." He calls out, head ticking upwards to get her attention.

It takes her a second. That's not her name, after all, and no one else calls her that. But her slow shuffle stops when it sinks in and her head snaps up, ripping her focus from where it had previously been - the floor under her feet. Siiiiiiiiigh. A long, slow, laborious exhale. And then his name, which is a squeak. "Simon." CLANK. Her kit hits the floor.

"Hey…" Simon replies, dumbfounded and not quite knowing what else to say. Instinctively brushing a hand over one of the holes in his kevlar vest, he takes another step closer to her. He looks as if he's in pain, and he's likely bound for medical, especially if all of that blood is his. Grim for the moment, he clenches his wounded fist and sets it aside. "…you doin okay, Sera?"

There's a nod — a mute one, with no words or sounds to accompany it. She just closes the distance between them as quickly as she can and throws her arms around his neck. There's no consideration given for the mess that's covering him. Or for his wounds. "You're bleedin'," she mumbles. Yeah, okay. So it's obvious. But can he blame her for that, given the circumstances?

Careful to elbow his rifle out of the way before she connects, Simon clutches one arm around her slender waist when she crushes against him. He grunts a little, in pain, and nearly falters, but he holds her in place. He hugs her tight to him, breathing a sigh of relief against her neck. "It's…well…" He holds up his left hand, covered in bloody gauze. "Sera it's not all mine." He admits, letting up on the hug just a little bit, but not letting go.

That's nice. Simon can loosen up all he likes. For the moment, she's not going anywhere and if the medical crew wants to treat him, they may have to call up some deckies with a pry bar to get Sera off. Which is rather ironic, considering the fact that she then promptly adds, "You should go to medbay."

Letting go is one of those pensive things, as Simon's unable to tell just how long she wants to hold on. When he finds that she isn't letting go, his heart grows three sizes and his arm tightens around her once more. Still holding his bleeding hand off to the side, he lowers his cheek back down to rest against the top of her head. "Frak em. They can wait." He says, exhausted. "You've got blood on you. Did you get hit?"

"No; I was pullin' passengers out of a Raptor that was smokin'. It pretty much crashed on the deck. Came in hot. The hatch jammed and we had to cut people out and there was this lady bleedin' everywhere and then I found a little girl stowed away in the cargo hold and I was tryin' to help her find her mom but she was down in medbay because we had to cut her out and… and…" and she's rambling and making absolutely no sense whatsoever. Or, well, close to making no sense. There's a sort of logic in there, if he can manage to make out the words she's spitting out rapid-fire into his bloody BDUs.

At the mention of a little girl, Simon's arm squeezes just a little tighter and his hand presses just a little higher up her back. His sweaty cheek rests against her sweaty hair, and after a minute of standing still he's forced to shift his weight to the other boot with a wince. "Frak…" He says under his breath, but doesn't let go. "It's gonna be okay, Ess-Jay, alright? It's gonna be just fine." He lifts his jaw to gaze down the hallway. "I took a couple of bullets to the vest. I'm gonna need to go to medbay. How about we walk down there together, alright?"

Releasing her hold on Simon's shirt takes a bit of work — a few seconds of forcing stiff fingers to unfurl, to release the fistfuls of fabric she's latched onto like a barnacle. She drops down onto her heels, dislodging his chin from the top of her head. "I was already checked for rads when that bird came in hot; they gave me my shot." A pause. "But I'll come with you. It ain't like my rack's goin' anywhere."

"Andromeda and Bear came back, so did Knox and Madeline. Some of them are way worse off than I am, though. I think Andy got hit pretty bad, so they're probably already down there." He replies, hesitant to take his arm away from her as well. Instead, he slides it to rest atop her shoulder while he looks away and steals a cleansing breath towards the side of her head. She's not Caprica City. She's something memorable. She's safe for now. "I just wanna sleep, too. I'm…filthy." He frowns, holding onto her as he turns towards the weapons lockup. "I just want to get seen, get cleaned, and sleep for a month." A beat. "Did…any word come out about the other Colonies?"

"They haven't….," Sera shakes her head. "They haven't been makin' any announcements. But rumor on the deck is that the Seventh is just gone. Just, totally gone. No word about Virgon." There's a lump that rises up in her throat, one that's quickly swallowed down before she can dwell on the thought too long. "Did… did Hook come back?", she asks quietly, turning her eyes down to the floor, to her forgotten dob kit, well aware that his answer may be one she doesn't especially like.

Noble squeezes Sera's shoulder and then finally pulls away from her, in far too much pain to stay in one place too long. Wincing, he takes the first step towards the nearby weapon lockup. With everything else already removed, he just has to turn in his rifle and then it's off to Med-Land.

"He was on a different Raptor, so I didn't see him, but I didn't hear his name called out with the MIA/KIA." He admits, delivering the half-news as lightly as he can. "He'll be alright, Sera, he's a better soldier than me and I came back fine."

Once released, Sera scrambles over to her dob-kit and plucks it up off the floor, lest it be trampled while left behind. "Alright," she replies half-heartedly, with a bob of her head and a bounce of her fraying ponytail, which is in absolute shambles. There's no offer of help that comes, at least not one that's spoken. She just tucks her kit into the crook of one elbow, then wraps her other arm around his waist so that he has himself a two-legged, pre-ambulatory crutch to lean into.


The gun is handed off quickly, as is the kevlar vest when the man at the lock up wants to inspect the ceramic plates that stopped the bullet. Gingerly pulling off the vest, Simon returns to her in a pair of sweaty tank-tops with light bloodstaints on the chest and right belly. He drags along his blood-soaked BDU shirt and links back into her arm, favoring her heavily. The long hallway before him is filled with people who don't quite know what to do when they're not working.

"I don't think I'm going to sleep." He murmurs after minutes, taking another shambling step forward. "Stay up with me?"

"I don't know if I'll manage it," she admits quietly, struggling under his weight. She may be a deckhand, accustomed to carting things from one side of the deck to the other, but she's not an especially large woman. Quite the opposite, actually. And as he once admitted, he's a tall bastard. It's not a good combination, when it comes to who is going to be half-carrying whom. "But I'll try. I'll try." Her fingers curl, digging not into his ribs, but into his hip as she tries to keep him up on his feet. There's a smile, forced, wan, not quite reaching her eyes. "Or I can just read you some really borin' deck manuals, until you fall asleep."

"Would you? That'd be great. We can talk all about the…something." Simon manages, failing to find the right word for the job. "So…Gods damn, I'm gonna get whipped out of Triage super fast with a couple of stitches and get sent my way. Then I've got to shower and get to sleep because there's no telling whether or not I'm gonna get called out next. I'm probably still on the healthy roster." Simon admits, looking over to her. "Me getting ready for bed is gonna be a thirty minute process, but we could both use a shower, right?"

She does, admittedly, sort of reek of smoke and tylium fuel and burned plastic. "They probably should've hosed me off on deck before releasin' me into the general public," she mumbles, totally ignoring his comments about getting put back on rotation. "Call it a public service. Maybe pass out a medal to whatever poor crewman gets stuck scrubbin' me down like a rusty old bird." And then, "Do you want me to get them to bring out a stretcher for you? Seriously."


Simon's half hour turns into an hour-long ritual of sewn cuts and iced bruises, followed up with a short hop down the hallway towards the Head. Being dragged along like a crutch with Sera under his arm, Simon starts stripping off his clothing the moment he passes through the door. Wincing when his arms make if over the top of his head, Sera is greeted with the sight of two horrible-looking purplish bruises. One is on his chest over his right bicep, and the other is on his stomach. Neither do much to hide the most gods-awful monkey tattoo imaginable. His hands and neck are covered in blood, and the poor man looks as if he's about to walk into the shower with his BDU pants on.

"I think that's probably the ugliest thing I've ever seen," Sera blurts out comfortingly, pointing at his —- no. It's not the bruises. It's definitely that monkey. Definitely the monkey. There's this vague, lopsided smile, which is probably the first genuine one she's cracked all day. It's a good mask for her to sport, to try to keep the worry out of her eyes. It was much easier to hide in medbay, after all, where sitting in a chair waiting for him was pretty much enough to put her to sleep, if only for a few minutes on and off, here and there. "You lost a bet on that thing, didn't you?"

Of course that's what she focuses on. Of course. Never underestimate the woman's capacity for denial, which is out in force tonight.

Glancing over to her, Simon looks down his chest to the two purpling bruises and cringes. He thinks she's talking about the bruises, and he opens his mouth to reply to her, confused, but then she mentions the bruise. "Oh that." He seems knocked out of his thousand yard stare for a moment. Lifting his arm, he gazes at its reflection in a nearby mirror. "Yeah, I woke up and the outline was already inked on." Simon admits, pulling away his BDU pants. Every last piece of old clothing is one-by-one being thrown into his dirty laundry bag, desperate in need for a blood-washing.

"You mean I've been carting this tattoo around you for gods know how long and you've never seen or noticed it?" He asks, stepping closer and moving his arm aside, giving her a better look at it.

"And you thought it was a good idea to get it finished instead of lasered off. Of course you did. Of course." The teasin's genuine, sure, but there's no bite to it. No heart, really. She hasn't even started peeling off her coveralls — just plunked her ass down on a bench because there's a place to sit and Sera's got the sort of tired that's seeped into her bones coursing through her right now. "Don't flash the thing at me! Get in the shower."

One hand reaches up to rub at her face, which only makes the smears across it worse, then peel at the closures to her coveralls.

Normally, Simon would be dancing around her with it. Simply stepping closer and raising his arm, however, is a sign that he's not in the mood to get too light-hearted. "Yes. I got it finished. That's what I do, Sera. I follow thr—" Simon starts, stopping as his gaze passes the mirror. The blood on the side of his face finally registers, and he blinks at his reflection. With his unbandaged hand, he reaches to smear some of the blood away with the heel of his hand and then leans down to remove the last of his clothing. The boxers are thrown into the bag and he steps into the stall, turning the water on. His head goes under the flow, bandaged hand planted against the wall and out of the way.

"God damn it." He says flatly, brushing his good hand over his chest to smear some of the dried blood away. "This is frakking bullshit." He suddenly blurts out.

Sera doesn't say anything. She just pushes herself back up to her feet and begins peeling off layers of her own. They're not neatly folded, as usual. She simply drops them into a heap on the floor to be dealt with later, before climbing into an empty stall of her own and closing the door behind her. The water doesn't turn on. Not right away, anyway. She's just standing there, with her feet pointed towards the showerhead, before she whispers to him with a lump in her throat. "I found the little girl's mom. She was okay." Kkk-kk—whoosh! The water sputters on, drowning out anything else she might have to say in a flood of sound and steam.

The questions start building up in Simon's mind, and a lump forms in his own throat. Swallowing it down, he grits his teeth and feigns a punch towards the tile, but never quite lets it connect. He stops his fist before it hits the wall, and instead taps it a few times with his knuckles. "Frak it. I'm too tired for this shit right now. Let's just get cleaned up and go to bed." He says, using his talent for dodging the reality of the situation to help balm the fresh wounds that have been opened. He reaches for the soap, he starts to wash it all away.

"You found the girl's mom, huh?" He asks, repeating her words to her as if they have just reached his ears for the first time. He manages a weak smile. "That's…huge, Sera. Hang on to it." He reaches over the top of the stall, offering his hand to her blindly. "Sorry. I'll keep it down, alright? We don't need to think about any of this shit until we hear more."

"Alie," Sera says quietly, between splashes of water. She's not just standing under the water, she's dousing herself with it by the sound of it, like maybe it will put out some sort of fire if she soaks up enough of it. Soon, the familiar scent of peaches is carried on the steam — her soap. The same as always. Wet fingers connect with his for a moment, squeezing them tight. "The little girl's name was Alie. She was brave, just like I asked her to be."

"Her mother was one of the Raptor pilots. A captain. I saw them carry her to medbay, so we went to get washed up and get a cookie from the mess hall before we went down." Fingers slip away, disappearing back into the shower stall. "….I didn't want her to see anythin', y'know? Had her keep her eyes closed. Maybe keep them closed a little longer. She wanted pink sprinkles, but we didn't have any." The details. She remembers them all, latching onto them like they're a lifeline. Offering them up to Noble like maybe those simple sounds are something to hold onto.

"Someone dropped a wedding ring." Simon suddenly offers up, fingertips smearing across the tile before they slip back down over onto his side of the shower stall. Taking the soap up again, he lathers his body and dips his head beneath the stream so that the hot water massages the back of his neck. "I think it's Madeline's. You know, her husband that passed. I was on the firing line and it was…really frakking bad out there. There was this ki—" He stops himself, shaking his head.

It takes him a moment to start speaking again.

"I stepped on it. I don't know if I broke anything or not. I don't think I did, but Kreskas and I were the last off the field. I grabbed it on the way out. I'm gonna need to clean it before I ask her if it's hers."

"She keeps them on a necklace, like her tags," Sera says quietly. "I saw her playin' with them in the laundry once." The day Madeline told her how much Noble had upset her. But Sera doesn't say that. She closes her eyes instead, and runs a hand through her hair. Pulling the knots out, one by one, with the silky-smooth aid of conditioner. It draws a sigh out of her. "Gods, I wish we had a bath. A real one."

The wish, blurted out without warning or reason, is achingly sincere. As though this entire day would fade away like a bad dream or a backache in the face of a good, long soak. "I think I'd slip under the water and never come back out again. Just float forever. Warm."

Blood. In his hair. Simon frowns as the stream runs red near constantly as he cleans himself off. Spending far less time enjoying the shower than getting the remains of his friends off of him, he finally stops, closes his eyes, and lets the shower overtake him. He reaches out to the faucet and turns it hotter until it almost burns. The steam rises from his shower stall and starts to unknot his over-tensed muscles. "She'll be happy to see them, then." He whispers and then punches off the shower. Turning, he grabs a towel and starts to dry off.

He wraps the towel around himself and leans against the wall of his shower, side of his head resting against the warm tile while he waits for her to finish. He closes his eyes and wraps an arm around his bruised abdomen. "The pool is warm." He offers, voice softened by the idea. "Just promise me that if you find a way out of here you'll take me with."

"Let's steal a Raptor," she murmurs, under the rush of water falling faster than rain. "We'll take it down to Piraeus. There's beaches down there. Down south. It's summer-time now, and the water's warm, and the sun's shinin'. You and me, Simon. We'll spend forever in the sun, diggin' our feet into the sand. No one will even know we're gone. I promise. We'll just vanish, without a trace. Like fog when the sun finally breaks through. Just this little wispy trail of fuel arcin' through the air, and then… gone." She isn't serious, naturally. But she isn't really teasing, either. It's something to hope for, despite its futility. Like a real, honest to gods bath.

She lets the water run for a long, long time. All that's visible of her is a pair of bare feet that peek out from under the stalls, surrounded by water that's smokey, then grey, then clear. Even then, she doesn't come out — not until her skin is wrinkled or the water runs cold.

"And a dog. We'll find a dog, and it'll run up and down the beach and always be happy to see us. I'll put my arm around you on the beach and the dog'll keep watch. We'll sleep in every day and have no schedules to keep." Simon adds to the dream. His breathing slows and he falls into a trance, staring to the center of the Head where the sinks line up next to each other. But then something negative catches in the back of his mind that prompts him to step out of his stall. Towel around his hips, he moves to the sink.

He has to see his face now, and see that the blood is gone. He leans in and looks to himself, frowning softly to it. Seeing no other signs of the recent deaths on his cheeks, he lowers his head. "I'll get you there, Sera Jane. Just…give me some time to figure it out."

"We've both got plenty of time," she says as she steps out of the shower, finally, towel wrapped up tight around her. She picks through her things for something clean to wear, ignoring what she left on the floor - like maybe if she doesn't look at it, it won't have happened. Is she lying? Yeah. Probably. But she's squeezing that idea so tight, it's a wonder that she or it can breathe. It'll be hard to take it away.

Her wet hair gets twisted up into a knot, tangled up and held in place with the snapping of an elastic band before she starts pulling on her clothes. "Everything's goin' to be alright with you and me. You'll see. It'll just take awhile."

Not so tired that he doesn't avert his eyes while she gets changed, Simon takes this as his queue to travel over to his small care package that he's brought for himself. He turns his side to her and slips on a new pair of boxers, following it up with his sweatpants. He hisses as he stretches his stomach a little too far.

He stops shy of pulling his tank tops over his head and his vision catches on a particular rivet in the side of the wall. Not sure why he stopped on this one, he fidgets with the cotton tanktops in his hands. "Come on…I'll walk you back home. We'll get some sleep and get a head start on figuring this out." He says, turning to face her.

"Here," she says, once she's yanked on enough clothing that she can ditch her towel without being mildly mortified. One hand reaches out for his shirts. "Put your arms in." There's… there's something about the way Sera says it, comfortingly, like she's directing a sleepy child to get ready for bed. She's done this before, no doubt. Only someone who's had to care for children, or the elderly, or the infirm can quite manage that voice. Gentle, but not condescending.

It's echoed in her eyes, and in her brow, which wrinkles slightly as she watches him move with the slow hesitation of someone in pain.

"Thanks, Ess, it's just the…" He motions to the purple bruise with the angry rash-like scraping that sits in the center of his stomach. There's no doubt that he has deep bruising to his abdomen, and moving around at all is sending little, dull pains all around his body. "…this one." He stops short of saying that he's in pain, and slips his arms through the holes in the tank tops. Gingerly, he uses her help to get it all over his head.

Righting himself, he stops and looks to her, locking eyes with hers.

"Thank you for being in that hallway." He whispers, brushing a thumb over her upper arm before he snatches up his bag of clothing with another, well expected, wince.

"I planned it all along," she lies, as she scoops up all of her things in a great big dirty mess, trying to balance them on her hip with the aid of one arm. The other she wraps around his side again, ready to half-drag him back to his bunk, if need be. "It was very convincin', I know. My non-chalance. Secretly, I've been plannin' it all day. I mean, it was that or sendin' a girl down to your rack wearin' nothin' but a big red bow around her waist. I didn't know which would work better."

Her good cheer is entirely fake. It doesn't fill her voice, or her face, or her eyes. But hey, a girl's got to try, right? "I think I made the right call. If I'd have sent a naked girl down there, you'd be too tired to be any good to her, just layin' there."

"I think you're well underestimating this inner reserve I save specifically for the right girl in the right bow." Simon replies, eyes just as dead and as drained as hers. Too confused and in shock to let loose with more raw emotions just yet, the uncertainty about the sudden eruption of war is keeping Simon on the safe side of the painted line.

Taking the first steps into the hallway, he crosses over to the door to his barracks and nudges it open with his boot. "But that's awful sweet of you to consider me like that. Ess-Jay, you're always lookin out for me, aren't you?" He half-teases dropping his bag of bloody clothes to lean against his locker when he gets to the bunk. He sits and slips Madeline's ring inside of his locker and looks up to Sera, reaching out for her hand in one of those let's have a moment ways.

He looks up at her eyes, making no attempt to hide that he's checking up on her for his own purposes. He doesn't ask her if she's okay. He doesn't have to. He's trying to figure it out on his own. "Are you still my dog?"

"Always," Sera replies easily, somehow, through her obvious exhaustion. She stuffs her palm into his, fingers warm and still-wrinkled from her long, scalding shower. They curl around the back of his palm, squeezing so tight there's a moment when he can feel fingernails pressing into the back of his unbandaged hand.

"Except for the next two minutes. Because I need somewhere to put this stuff. And I need a book. And I somehow doubt you've willingly read anythin' more dense than a magazine since high school. And I don't even want to think about what kind of magazines, either." She rests her head against his shoulder for a second, her hair wet and cold already. "Settle in. I'll be back in a sec."

"I've got a couple of coloring books." Noble replies, a dry joke mumbled into her cheek. As if on instinct, his fingers press back into her palm, scraping lightly against her skin. His palm presses against hers and forces her hand upright so that he can get his fingers between hers. He squeezes her hand softly and brings it in, tapping their collective knuckles against the side of his face softly while he simply takes the time to breathe.

"I'll be here." He whispers, his shower-softened cheek pulling away from hers. Almost painfully, he lets her fingers go and slides his hand back down her palm in the same way that she brought their hands together to begin with. "Bring a pillow."

"I know how slumber parties work, Simon. Better than you, with all your insistence about lesbian pillow fights and how we're gossipin' about our "mans". If you're goin' to make me paint your toenails, they're goin' to be pink." Seriously? Seriously? Damn the girl's ability to somehow recall nearly everything that's come out of his mouth. Once her fingers are extracted from his, she slips off towards the naval berthings, carrying her mess of stuff.

She's gone for several minutes. Long enough to have given up and fallen asleep in her own rack? No. No, not quite. But long enough to have exchanged her tanks for probably the world's most unattractive, oversized sweatshirt, with the neck cut out and everything. And a book. And her CuddleBlanket. And her pillow, as instructed.

Not even getting a chance to retort to her comment, Simon lulls his head to watch her walk away. Shoulders lightly slumped, he turns to his bunk and gives it a once over. It's messy from when he scrambled out of it at the start of the day, but is otherwise clean. Still, he fixes the sheets and slips into the bed, nestling into the back wall as best as he can to give her some room.

When she returns, she finds him laying on his back. So much is obvious that he's awake, as his leg closest to the inner wall is bent at the knee and his hands are resting softly on his forehead in the same pose made by Pyramid players Colony-wide when they lose the big game. He's quiet. He's doing nothing at all. However, when the light streaming into the bunk shifts with her presence, he lowers an arm to look to her, her book, her CuddleBlanket, and her pillow. "I said pillow." He smirks, throwing their new blend of weak playfulness right back into her face. "We never said anything about the CuddleBlanket."

"I'm sure your the sort of jerk that steals all of the covers, so I had no choice but to come prepared," she reports, before placing a knee down on his mattress. Last chance to move before he gets nudged with it. The CuddleBlanket is pulled up over her arms and the pillow plopped down next to his before she plunks herself down his rack, stretching her feet out towards the bottom. They flex a few times at the ankle, trying to get the last of the day's aches out of her legs, before she leans back.

Sera spreads the book out over her lap. It's old, and worn, and has dog-eared pages from being read entirely too many times.

He stretches his arms out above them to flip on the reading light for her. "Excuse me…" He says, sleepy and polite, as he reaches past ther to tug the curtains closed. Trapping them inside a little privacy that might protect them from the grand wave of uncertainty that has now gripped every last human alive, he starts the dance of trying to figure out how he's going to lay. First, he starts on his back, but his hands and elbows are forced onto his chest. He starts to turn towards the wall, decides against it halfway, and then rolls onto his other side, facing her.

Slipping one arm under his pillow, he rests his other arm over his hip. The angle, too unnatural to him, is soon replaced by a bent arm that rests parallel to hers, with his hand ending near her shoulder.

"I bet you're that jerk that steals all of the covers and then claims you frakking do it just to preempt having them stolen from you." He says quietly. "What's this book?"

"It's not a book," she explains as she wiggles her way down, down, down, slowly sliiiiiiiiiiding from a fully seated position to something that involves her head being half-propped up by both the pillow and the wall of his bunk. "It's a poem. An epic poem, actually." As it should be. That book is a brick, and must be at least six hundred pages long.

"It's called 'The Sporaedian Queen' and it was my favorite when I was little." There's this look which she gives him out of the corners of her eyes. It's a look that says that if he dares to make fun of her childhood books about heroic queens in a mythical land that never was, he's going to get a smack. "There's dragons. And a darin' quest. And an elf princess that's kind of trampy." As if that might be a selling point, somehow. Although really, he ought to be familiar with the title, at least. It's one of those fantasy books that's so popular, and been around so long, it essentially is a mainstream classic, at this point. Like Beowulf.

"Read away…" Simon mumbles, already starting to fall asleep.

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