In Five Years
In Five Years
Summary: Cornbread meets Pepper for the first time.
Date: 58 ACH
Related Logs: None

Pepper is seated at a table, alone, a glass of wine mostly untouched in front of her. Even though she's staring off into the distance, there's a smile on her lips, relaxation about her posture.

Sloane, with enough leave saved up for more than a few days, decides that after his post CAP sleeping frenzy that he'd head over to the Carina. Stepping into the dimly lit nightclub, he shares a few words with a smile to a man standing near the door. The host smiles and nods to Sloane and steps out of the way so that he may enter. Walking, by himself, he moves over to the bar and slides some cubits to the bartender, ordering a glass of wine while he waits for his table.

Familiar face or not? Pep's attention drifts over to Sloane after a bit and she cocks her head to the side, delicately arched brows furrowing just a little. It's as though she can't quite figure out whether or not she recognizes him. She's not staring, though - simply trying to figure things out.

Talking with the bartender, a young blonde woman, he shares a quiet conversations for a few minutes. Then, one of the servers comes to inform Sloane that his table is ready. Smiling and nodding the bartender, Sloane follows the server to a seat a the table next to Peppers. Irony. Settling himself into the comfortable chair, he sits back and looks in Peppers direction, offering her a smiled hello before turning his attention to the piano player.

Pepper's eyes crinkle at the corners as she smiles back at him, though she has the look of someone who got Caught. After a time, she, too, turns toward the piano player, snuggling back into her seat with the air of someone who has leave and isn't wasting a second of it.

"He's pretty good isn't he?" Sloane says quietly, turning to look at Pepper sidelong. He motions to the piano player. "This is the first place I always go when I take leave. Come at the right time and it's nice, quiet, and you can simply sit and relax."

"I can't imagine that you've gotten to take too much leave," Pep says with a wry little smile. "Though I agree, he's worth spending precious leave time on." She smiles over at the piano player, then to Sloane. "It's…well, like you said, relaxing. You can come in and forget for a little while."

"Yeah…reminds me of one of those little restaurants back home on the waterfront." Sloane replies, taking a sip of his wine and then turns to look at Pepper's face. He tilts his head and offers her a small smile. "Can't imagine I've gotten to take too much leave? You have me at a disadvantage." Sloane smiles, extending a hand. "Ensign Antonio Sloane, Air Wing."

There's a flash of recognition in Pep's eyes and she nods, smile broadening a bit. "Since the attacks," she says quietly. "Ensign Pepper Peters, CIC. Things have been a little…busy of late."

"Yeah…yeah they have. I was stuck on the Carina for a few weeks until my clearance paperwork came through. Wasn't stuck, per se, I like the Carina. I came here to relax when they would let me find a corner to sit in." He smiles. "CIC eh? So you get to hear all of our pilot chatter? Thanks for helping keep an eye out for us up there."

Pepper laughs quietly and nods. "Sometimes. I'm not so much on the coms in CIC as I am stuck to the Commander's side. I'm billeted as the Aide for both Commander Regas and Colonel Fotilas." Ahhh, yes. Getting it out there from the beginning, apparently. Is it a warning or a statement of fact?

"So basically, you do what I do, only you do it running through the decks with papers in your hand trying to dodge around people?" Sloane smiles. "That's a pretty important position, congratulations." He lifts his wine glass a little in a toast. "Keeps you busy I assume?"

She toasts him back. "The pilots are some of the real heroes of the Fleet," she says quietly. The smile on her lips is in no way facetious. "And yes, pretty much. Though I do more of the run errands, plan meetings, keep senior staff sane than things like, oh, finding us a new home world to settle on." Her lips quirk a little. "As for busy…a little, oddly enough. It keeps me out of trouble, mostly. Do you like your billet, flying?"

"Oh no. I know that, please don't get the opinion that we pilots think the aides are glorified secretaries. I couldn't fathom for ten seconds how much the Colonel and the Commander have to consider on every single decision. Considering all variables, thinking ten steps ahead. You must be a godsend to them." He pauses. "Flying? Yes, I love it. I especially love CAPS, because even though you're watching for signs of danger it's a good time to reflect." He chuckles. "Before I applied to the Navy, I was hoping for a position in physics, imagine my surprise when I qualified for Viper Pilot. What about you? Did you zero in on CIC from the start?"

Pepper laughs quietly, dipping her head as she listens. A sip of wine disappears. "I did, actually. My goal, one day, is to be Actual of my own ship. Military is a family tradition." A shoulder lifts delicately. "Mother and Father were both military, older sister married military and was raising the next generation of military. I guess you can say that it was in my blood. If I hadn't gone CIC, I likely would have gone into one of the other support fields, perhaps Quartermaster. But I definitely would have gone military."

"My father was an analyst at a hydroelectric plant on Aquaria. My mother, she was great, she was a homemaker." Sloane smiles. "Don't tell my squadron this, but she made me lunch every morning before school. She worked hard for my brother and sister. Not exactly a military family, I was the first to go in." He smiles, thinking about the going away party for a moment with a little smile. "So, aside from CIC and the work you do, what do you do?"

Pep's smile warms even more as families are discussed. It's clear she was close with hers. "I have time to do things outside of CIC," she asks, a brow arching, eyes twinkling. "Currently I'm also on loan to the JAG. That doesn't leave me much time for extracirriculars." Or sleep.

"I imagine." Sloane replies, giving Pepper a big, shiney smile. "I'm still working on a second degree in mathematics, so I keep myself busy mostly with studying. I've got a few novels that I'm reading right now, but I'll admit I'm a bit of a cinema fool. I tend to sneak into the Rec on the late shift and pop in a movie." He pauses, looking to an empty chair at her table. "Is all of this yelling across the hallway a nuisance?" He smiles.

Pepper gestures to the chair across from her, laughing quietly, cheeks going pink. "I'm sorry, I didn't even think of it. I don't know that I've seen a movie in…quite some time, honestly. I tend to bury myself in work and sometimes read, when I get the chance."

"I would have invited you over but you seem rather comfortable." Sloane grins lightly. Standing, he pushes in his chair and travels with his wine glass to sit at her table. Settling in, he takes another sip and sets the glass down. "I try to, maybe once a week if I can. The good news is that since they don't take up so much data space there's a pretty big library of them on board, moreso than books. You should head down to the rec sometime." He smiles. "What are you reading?"

Pepper shifts slightly in her seat, head tilting to the side. "Would you care for something to eat the next time staff goes by," she asks, ever the hostess. "Right now, books on command, mainly. I'd like to get some command school experience under my belt. Even though things are a little different now, there's no need to stop learning."

"Sure, yeah I know exactly what you mean. I'm actually doing math in my spare time, figuring out formulae that keeps me going forward just in case. Never know when it's going to be needed." He leans out a little, flagging down a server. "Could you please have my food brought to this table? Also, this lady would like to place an order." He says, with rather good mannerism despite his playful demeanor over the channels during CAPs. He sips his wine while the server turns to Pepper.

Pepper doesn't necessarily seem impressed, but she does seem to appreciate the manners. There's almost a bit of relief in how she glances over at Cornbread. "Tapas, please," she tells the server. "Enough to share." The server smiles and heads off again. "So what else do you do to keep yourself occupied and out of trouble?"

"Not as much as I should." Sloane smiles brightly, a bit of mischief in the look. "I don't ever do anything that would ever get me into actual trouble, but there is a fair good deal of pranking and joking around between CAPs that I've somehow managed to hold my own on." He chuckles. "Aside from that really not much…always looking for new distractions, of course, but outside of my work and reading I don't take things too seriously at all. Hit the Obs deck to read a book and have a cup of coffee, watch a movie, hit the gym." He pauses. "There's so much to keep busy on, and even with rotations you've got to be ready to get shifted onto a different CAP if someone's sick." He shrugs.

Pepper listens attentively to him, smiling softly as he describes his troublemaking and what not. "It's interesting, what we get into to keep us occupied during times like this," she muses, sipping her wine. "Some turn to religion, some turn to work. I've often wondered where we'd be right now if the attacks didn't happen."

"I know for a fact that I'd be on local CAP of Caprica…" Sloane reflects, turning his vision back to her after only a small moment. Watching her face, he smiles back at her eyes as he talks. "For the next two years I'd probably focus solely on girls and pyramid, take all of my leave in large doses enough to fly home for festival. That's about as far as I get on that right now." He replies, giving her a small, relaxed shrug. "Where do you think you'd be?"

"Somewhere in space on a ship," she says with a dip of her head, decisively. "So, in other words, pretty much in exactly the same place I am now." She's saved from anything else by the arrival of the tapas. There's a lovely assortment of eel. In many different forms. A few vegetables and a little "other" is thrown in for good measure, but there's not a lot of food, nor is it of the "fresh" variety. It doesn't seem to matter, though - Pep smiles her thanks and offers Sloane the plate. "I don't think I asked…what's your callsign?"

Taking the plate with a "Thank you." Sloane takes one last sip of his wine and puts a napkin over his lap. The tapas is large enough and there are two serving utensils. Sloane takes the one on his side and serves himself as he flashes her a boyish smile. "When I met the CAG, she was asking me about how willing I was to do everything needed for the Air Wing. I tried to throw a little swagger into it and I told her that I'd work for cornbread and a place to sleep if I had to." He chuckles once, a mused huffing sound escapes his lips. "So they dubbed me Cornbread."

Pepper bites her lower lip as she looks over at him, trying not to laugh. She's trying so hard, but her eyes are twinkling with mirth. "Cornbread," she murmurs. "I suppose it's fitting?" Hair brushes her shoulder as she reaches out for one of the plates. "I suppose there could be worse. I've known of a Jailbait, Cat Scratch, and Dipstick. Went through Academy with Dipstick."

"Hey…I love cornbread. Even the stuff they make in the mess." Sloane replies, giving her a cheeky grin as he finishes serving his food. "If my callsign had to be any other kind of food, I'd probably hate it, but cornbread? Makes me think of home cooked meals back home." He smiles. "Dipstick…now that is unfortunate. Poor pilot. I almost cringe to wonder how that name was given." He smiles. "We have a Jailhouse in our Air Wing."

Pepper goes about the business of eating. She's a rather delicate eater, manners impeccable. Slightly upperclass, perhaps? "I wonder how Jailhouse earned -that- nickname," she says, eyes twinkling. "Perhaps he and the brig are friends? Oh, and Dipstick had a thing about checking the fluids in his plane. He hated entrusting it to the enlisted flight crew and would always, when possible, double-check -everything-."

"Oh that must have burned the deck crew…" Sloane shakes his head. "…I don't mess with those guys. I treat them like they're my best friends unless I see something that really does need to be checked out." Sloane replies, sitting up straight. Where he's too relaxed to be upperclass, his mother definitely taught him his table manners as well. "I don't know what he did to get the callsign Jailhouse specifically, but from what I heard, you're pretty dead on about why he got it." Sloane adds, eating quietly across from her.

Pepper laughs softly and dips her head. "Dipstick wasn't mean to them. It wasn't that he didn't trust them. He just went down once because of a crew error. He believed in double checking everything. I think there were some other issues there, too." She nibbles a bit. "So, is it true the pilots tend to hang out closer than Marines?"

"I don't know, honestly." Sloane replies, looking across the table to her. "I don't go down into marine country much, and the few I've met can see it in my beady little eyes that I'm a sarcastic pilot. I don't know really any of the marines on board, but then again most of them are enlisted." He pauses. "We're a pretty close bunch, that's a near understatement. We really do go through everything out there and when you've got to have a wingman to watch your back out there, trust is key. After all, we don't get medics when we get hurt out there. So…" He shrugs, not being gloomy at all. "…we stick together alot. It's important."

Pep listens attentively, clearly interested, curious to get a view into the mind of a pilot. If she asked many more questions, she'd be a reporter rather than CIC. "What do you see yourself doing in five years," she asks, that curiosity coming to the fore again.

Sloane pauses for a moment to dab his lips with the napkin after swallowing some food. Sipping his wine, he sets the glass down. "Five years? I know this probably sounds like a stock answer but why not? Within the next five years, who knows, find the right girl, settle down, become a dad. Work is simple. There's enough applications in this fleet for physics and piloting that even if I am injured to get taken off of the roster, I still want to be in the Navy. But to have a little bit more to fight hard for to come home to at the end of the day? I could go for that." He pauses. "But I'd also like this war to be over by then. Preferably long before then. How about you?"

"XO position," she says quietly, without a whole lot of thought. "At least. I plan on having my own command within ten." But then a little shadow crosses her features. "I've considered marriage and family, but I don't think it's in the cards, not for a little while, at least. Not for me. I've got work to come home to, and that will do me until I'm ready."

"XO's a good direction to head." Sloane replies, looking to her with a smile. "I see what you mean, though, with the marriage and kids. That's a big part of the issue for me as well. I only get so much time to devote to offduty and shore leave as it is, that I've thought a little that it wouldn't really be fair to them." He adds. "Eventually? Sure, immediately? Definitely not. If the war ends within five, perhaps if there's some sort of decisive victory where we won't have to be watching our backs for signs of remnants or flare-ups."

"You know, I expect there to be a baby boom in the next year," she says after taking a bite of food. "What else do people have to do? They're stuck in tin cans, in space, with dwindling supplies and nothing to do but worry. The only way they have to alleviate worry is, well…" A hand waves delicately as a blush hints in her cheeks. "It makes sense, especially with dwindling birth control. I bet we see a big upswing of marriages even within the military."

"I'm not digging for infortmation when I ask this, but are there preparations for that?" Sloane asks. "Our CAG is pregnant herself, and there's alot of it happening here on the Carina too." He blushes slightly as well, it fades slowly. "There are lots of ways to alleviate worry, I think a big part of it is that no one really wants to feel alone through this, on some level." Sloane adds, looking to Pepper. "Whether they're alone or not is up to psychology to decide, but I can't say that I don't blame them, really. Once the birth control runs out though, people are going to have to be more…" He chooses a word. "…mature about it."

"Which I don't see happening, honestly," Pep says quietly, shaking her head. "Not after their lives are threatened for the umpteenth time. It's a way of celebrating life. Granted, new lives get created, of course, but it's…an affirmation, I guess? As for preparations, there are." She dips her head, once. "Education, economy, medical…it's all coming into play slowly but surely. I expect, within the next year, we'll have a ten to twenty percent population increase with new births. That'll be offset, likely, by another five percent in deaths, but that still gives us growth. "Which makes her hopeful."

"Which I don't see happening, honestly," Pep says quietly, shaking her head. "Not after their lives are threatened for the umpteenth time. It's a way of celebrating life. Granted, new lives get created, of course, but it's…an affirmation, I guess? As for preparations, there are." She dips her head, once. "Education, economy, medical…it's all coming into play slowly but surely. I expect, within the next year, we'll have a ten to twenty percent population increase with new births. That'll be offset, likely, by another five percent in deaths, but that still gives us growth." Which makes her hopeful.

"Which growth is good…" Sloane replies, being rather adult about the conversation despite his normally playful demeanor. "I guess all you really can do is prepare. But that's going to mean children on the Genesis right? Families in the married officers quarters?" Sloane shrugs. "Either way, the thing that I'm seeing already is that people around the Genesis are starting to realize that even though we're at war, we're humans. Our enemies are not humans. So holding onto our humanity is a really important thing. When you can ignore the war just enough that you're keeping it in mind but finding other good things to focus on, you're in a good place." He smiles, tilting his head a little in the piano player's direction. "Wine, Piano, Dinner, Company."

"Exactly," Pep says with a quiet laugh, nodding. "Our lives have changed. Right now, it seems like they've changed for the worse. But like our forefathers left Kobol for a new world, for new adventures and new lives, so, too, we are leaving. Granted, we've lost quite a bit more than they did, but if they could do it, we can, too." There's a quiet confidence about her, despite the sadness in her eyes. Like everyone else, she lost, and it's still raw. "There are plenty of good things to focus on, starting with the fact we're still alive."

"We're listening to someone play piano right now." Sloane replies. "He also doesn't sound like he's being forced, he's putting some love into it." Setting his fork down, he finishes his glass of wine. "I try to focus on the positive. Then, when I have trouble focusing on the positive I distract myself with something else and then focus on that." He smiles, looking to the sadness in his eyes. "When I joined the navy and was waiting for my boot rotation, my mother purchased formal dance classes for me and we all went as a family. She was convinced she'd see me someday at one of those grand military balls, dancing with some Quorum member's neice." He nudges his head in the direction of the piano. "Would you…like to dance?"

His question surprises Pepper to no end. She just blinks at him owlishly for a moment, clear delight on her face. Wistfully, she looks to the piano player, consideringly. Finally she turns her attention back to Cornbread and nods, once, clearly not trusting herself to speak. The smile says it all.

Sloane, without a single snake oil salesman smile, stands and pushes in his chair. He steps over to Pepper's side of the table and focuses on everything his dance instructor taught him. He takes her hand softly and leads her to the dance floor. Since it's late, near closing time, he heads to the middle of the floor and takes her left hand into his right. Finding the right posture, he squares his shoulders and gives her a smile. Placing his left hand on her side, not too low and in a nonsuggestive manner, the piano player looks over to them and starts to play a slow, relaxed waltz. Leading into the dance, Sloane looks down to her, speaking quietly. "So…how was your wine tonight…?" He asks, picking a different topic to chase away the demons.

A server passes by their table, collecting their wine glasses. Placing them onto a tray, he heads around the floor and through the kitchen door.

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