AWD #023: Sacred Wounds
Sacred Wounds
Summary: Cole receives a gift that is not a gift.
Date: 29/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Make It Stop
Iphigenia Cole 
Checkpoint Charlie's
The first structure completed on Piraeus was a 'recreation center' that was thinly veiled as such. Checkpoint Charlie's is in every other way a blue collar bar with an unsurprising bent towards the military establishment. Camouflage netting hangs from the ceiling with some kind of dried vine tangled throughout. On the walls are pictures and mementos of times past on the planet they currently reside on. There are a few billiards tables smuggled out to Piraeus specifically for this location, along with card tables and an fully functional line of taps and kegs mounted to, perhaps unsurprisingly, a beat-up but taken-care-of oak bar. The matching stools and wood tables seem to indicate that the construction workers may have disassembled someone else's bar back on the Colonies. The story even goes that the name is taken from a former bar on Aerilon that happened to resemble, very closely, this particular establishment.
AWD #23

Checkpoint Charlie's has it's usual mix of people tonight, some from the military and others of the civilian contractors here to blow off some steam. It's a fairly social crowd, if not a bit more subdued since Warday. A couple is off playing billiards, a few blokes are having a chugging contest at the bar, and then there is Aristides Cole, off by himself in a corner, drinking from a glass of reddish liquid and flipping through a bound book.

Iphigenia has been overseeing further temple construction since this afternoon, having flown down after her meeting with Beckett. There's a mix of greeting for her; some people suddenly flushing guiltily or shoving drinks vaguely out of eyesight, others declaring their welcomes with good cheer. And of course, not everyone knows everyone, so some ignore her entirely. But someone seems quick to press a glass of something amberish into her hand, and as she's greeting people, she spots the man sitting in the booth. The glass gets set down someplace absent-mindedly, and though the progress is slow as she is interrupted by people wanting her attention, she makes her way slowly, inexorably toward Captain Cole.

Cole reaches for a cigarette that has long since burned down to the filter, sucking on it absently before the realization dawns on him, and a furrow forms between his brow. The taste must be gods-awful by the face he makes, and how fast he flicks the dead butt towards the ashtray. There is a snarl on his lips that seems a /slight/ overreaction to such a thing, but finally he settles back down to his reading. And he lights another smoke.

"Good evening, Ari." Her voice is soft enough relevant to the noise level to be heard. "I'm so sorry to disturb you. I thought I might," a pause, and then, "With Aerilon coming up, I thought we might talk." Her gaze is steady as she adds, "I quite understand if you want some peace and quiet to yourself."

Hazel eyes flick up, and then back down to the cigarette he's recently lit. "Sister." The greeting alone proves that he saw her, even if he's not exactly warm with the greeting. It's not like he's telling her to frak off either, because he motions to the seat across from him with a little tilt of his head.

The reserve is noted, as she sits. She slides into the seat, laying her palms on the table, fingers splayed. See? She's unarmed. She regards him solemnly a moment, she says softly, "When you return, I think it might be best if there are some changes. You…deserve better than I can give you, in terms of your mandated therapy." Eyes flick briefly down to her hands before going back up to him. As ever, her gaze is direct, but now there's something careful in those eyes.

Anger would be his initial response, his jaw working as if he's chewing on sinew. The line of muscle at his ear tightens and relaxes a few times until he can work past it. "The paperwork would look better coming from you, than me." A dry mouth is rewet with a drink from the red liquid. "No, I get it. I do. You're right." He's arguing with himself more than the woman across from him.

She has to remain firm in the face of that anger. Better coming from her than him. She could be angry, or see it as a mutual understanding. Maybe a little bit of both. "I can be your priestess. I will continue to protect your spiritual rights, and I can counsel pastorally, and hear your confessions. If you still want me to." She tries not to bristle, suddenly. This isn't a one way street, after all. "I'm not removing myself from helping you. We're still friends, unless you'd have it otherwise." Ball in your court, Janitor.

"Don't overreact, Geni." The cigarette is stabbed back between his lips, Ari sucking on it so fiercely his cheeks hollow. It only takes that moment for him to step back and approach the subject differently. "Sorry. Look, I know things got weird…" No, that's not what he wanted to say either, judging by his expression. Flustered, thy name is Ari.

The air of reserved amusement that settles on her expression is nigh-comical. The man who thrust himself into a grief cult is telling her not overreact. "Then I have something for you." she says, seeming to elect to move on. "To take with you when you're over Aerilon. You can give it back when you return." There's a cock of her head. "Will you oblige me?"

His gaze drops again, as if his cigarette needs his full attention. "Mmhmm." That subtle vibration in his throat is the only indication that Ari consents. He's suddenly very concentrated on ashing his smoke, as if it has to be tapped in just the precise way.

One of her hands withdraws from the table to reach into a pocket. with clenched hand, she holds it out to him, and only with the upturned hand now revealed to have a miniscule band-aid placed over the meaty portion of her palm, under her thumb. In her hand though, is a sleek, perfect and iridescent shell, a hole bored into the bottom and a very thin leather cord worked through it.

Ari's eyes narrow, and his hand suddenly snaps on hers. With his thumb, he pushes aside the shell so it falls off the precipice of her hand to dangle on that leather cord, hitched on one of her fingers. That out of the way, he studies the bandaid by exploring it's perimeter with the pad of his thumb. "Sliver?"

There's a small intake of breath at the unexpectedness of his movement, and though she lets it out easily in her reply. "Just a scratch. Something sacred. Give it no mind; I assure you, I'm fine."

Ari knows all about sacred wounds, and so it's an answer he clearly accepts. His hand withdraws, but not before snagging the leather cord from where it dangles. He holds it aloft, and the shell twists back and forth, back and forth before it finally settles. An exhale from his nose is tinged with the stale scent of cigarette smoke, "I can't accept this. It was a gift to you." With a pendulum movement, he swings it up and catches the weight of it in his palm to hand back across to her. "I don't deserve such kindness."

She does not take it. She doesn't even lift her hand. "But I'm not giving it to you. I'm asking you to carry it. And you'll give it back to me when you return. It's mine to offer, and it pleases me to do so." Her gaze is direct, patient.

The shell pendant remains nestled in his fist, where he easily could leave it on the table and simply walk away. Instead, he raises his hand and places a kiss on the side of his curled index finger. "If you lend me something every time I fly a mission, you're not going to have a stitch left to your name." A smirk appears on Ari's lips, as if such an expression has become foreign to him. An unspoken thank you, perhaps. "I gotta get going. I'm prepping early."

"Of course." She's clearly gratified by his decision. "Fly well and with blessings, though I have no doubt you will." She'll keep the table then, since he is retreating. There's a certain air of relief in his acceptance of the token, and she demurely watches him work his way out of the bar from her seat.

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