Here's Looking at You, Kid
Here's Looking at You, Kid
Summary: Tais and Zaharis talk old movies and naiveté
Date: 123 ACH
Related Logs: None

Zaharis is sitting on one of the couches in the quiet observation deck, the top buttons of his fatigues jacket undone to signal 'OFF-DUTY'. He's smoking a cigarette, watching the stars as the stick of death burns down.

Tais's dogtags jingle quietly as she moves into the room. Under her arm is a book, the title long since worn off; Her finger holding its place. Without looking right or left, she almost throws herself into a nearby chair, taking her usual non-chalant way of sitting, lower back propped against the opposite arm while her legs are draped over the other. After a moment, she lifts her head, sniffing lightly, "You're going to have them all smoked out."

"Bribed a few people to get me shipments from the Peerless," Zaharis says, without looking away from the viewport. "I'm a survivor."

"You're a con man, is what you are. Flash those baby browns and you'd even have Reighner jumping up to do your bidding." Leaning against the chair's arm, Tais lifts the book so the ambient light hits the page.

"My masculine wiles are a bit rusty." Zaharis takes a drag off the cigarette and sends a roll of gray smoke towards the huge window. It disappears far before it touches the glass.

Tais lowers her book, resting it on her chest. "That's what makes you sexy, boss. You don't have any, which drives the women mad." A snort of self-deprecation at her words and the book is once more suspended in the air. "With me, there's no expectation, since my experience began with a serological pipet. With you, they see the scars and feel all warm and fuzzy, wanting to take you to bed to ease your pain."

Zaharis snorts quietly. "Right." He flicks the cig against the ashtray, gray flecks tumbling off the end. "I know you didn't sit here just to give me gory details like that."

Tais tilts her head back, looking at him from an upside down position, "That all you got, Jes?" She tsks lightly and straightens, closing the book softly. She looks at him for a moment, and then asks, "Are they all processed?"

"Most." Zaharis ashes the cigarette again and sits back, pulling his right ankle up over his knee. "What are you reading?"

Tais pulls the book to her, her hands hiding the title, "Something I found at the back of a discarded duffle of mine from Odyssey." Her eyes cast downwards as the book is slid between her thigh and the chair.

Zaharis glances at the place she's just hidden the book. "Don't want me to see it, huh? What is it, microbe-on-microbe softcore?"

"You wish. A salacious tale of a microbic orgy. No, nothing near as exciting." Though Tais does move the book further into the recesses of the chair.

Zaharis smirks a little triumphantly, looking back at the viewport. He lifts the cigarette for another drag.

Tais breathes a bit easier now that his interest has been spliced by the scene outside the ship, "And what brings you here? Other than the seeking of solitude which I am wrestling to the ground and smothering?"

"Sparing a couple sets of lungs." Zaharis exhales a slow curl of smoke. "Can't smoke in peace in my office anymore. People making up stuff about how it's bad for you or something ridiculous like that."

Tais offers an inelegant snort, "If folks don't like it, don't come to your frakking office, then. Me, that's the one reason I come. For the smokey ambience. It's like the old movies."

Zaharis hehs. "Couple fedoras and a baby grand and we'd be set. Whole new careers ahead of us."

Tais's framed eyes sweep down her Colonial issue fatigues, "I used to look damn fine in a dress, so I was told." A sweep of her finger through her hair and her voice changes to a mimicry of the quoted movie, a males voice, "Why did you come back? To tell me why you ran out on me at the railway station?" A softening of her voice, "..Yes." And then a return to a deeper intonation, "Well, you can tell me now. I'm reasonably sober." A soft laugh before a gentle declaration, "They don't make them like that any more."

Zaharis chuckles softly, a couple crow's feet lines deepening at the edge of his right eye. "No, they don't. Major Zimmermann's twelve-year-old watched the beginning of one of those on my laptop once. Sat still for eight minutes before asking me when the car chase was going to be."

You say, "No doubt gravely disappointed when you told them their weren't any. What did we do without them before?" Her cheek comes to rest upon her upturned palm, "Oh. I remember. We live a different existence now."

"In some ways, yes." Zaharis takes a drag off the cigarette. "In some ways, no."

Tais turns to face him, her legs drawn to her chest as she cants her head softly, "No?"

Zaharis shrugs. "Human behaviour doesn't change just because there's fewer of us to go around."

Tais reaches behind her to touch the book at her back questioningly, "It…doesn't?"

"No." Zaharis exhales smoke through his nose. "We operate on the same survival instinct as always…satisfy our basic needs, level by level. We may engage in tactics that we might not have before, but that's the way we are. We adapt. We're fragile, but we're flexible."

Tais's brows knit in confusion, "From what I've read, it seemed as though there was not the furtive desire to seek sexual release…that one could take their time to analyze ones compatibility with another, to investigate the composition of why one person is more suitable than another for you…the methodology rather than the hasty coupling when one feels the world could end in a moment." Her hand lifts, finger pressing her glasses to the bridge of her nose. "That behaviour took place…before?" Ah… Adaptability. That she understands. The basics of anthropologic existentialism. This causes her to fall silent, cataloging the whole of it.

Zaharis gives her a weird look. "You thought that all sexual relationships were carefully planned out, and followed a suitable period of making sure you'd be compatible in order to avoid emotional complications down the road? Are you shitting me?"

Tais's expression reflects the revelation just handed to her, "They…do not?"

Zaharis' laughter is just a single burst of air. He looks back at the viewport. "Naivete' doesn't suit you, Pom."

You say, "Dear gods, no wonder Doctor Reighner bolted as though I'd lit a fire under him when we discussed how my child was conceived. Did he think I wanted…" Her hands lift to her cheeks as the look of horror washes over her face, "Oh..poor Matt."

Zaharis glances towards the ceiling. "You…solicited Reighner?" He asks, as though this thought was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

You say, "Naivete'? I didn't even make it to…" She straightens as though the very thought of approaching a colleague for anything other than intellectual stimulation was distasteful in every way, "Gods, no…"

Zaharis looks like he just narrowly averted a headache. "Yeah, didn't think so." He pulls on the cigarette, a thick curl of smoke winding its way up the side of his face. "Not to be crude, but I don't think that whole story could be remotely classified as an aphrodisiac."

Tais makes a moue of distaste, "Nor a come on, Jes. I know I woke up several times in your bed during my black outs, but I've a feeling it was for my protection. I would be mightily disappointed to have done something and not remember it."

Zaharis chuckles. "There was nothing, I promise. Sleep fetish doesn't do it for me."

Tais slants him a glance, "It's a good thing snoring wasn't arousing for me, either."

Zaharis snorts. "Like you were awake enough to even notice."

Tais's eyes narrow lightly, "There was that few moments before consciousness when I sat up in fear of being obliterated by an antiquated freight train."

Zaharis thumps a fist against his chest. "Better than any guard dog you could imagine."

Tais rests both hands over her heart, her lashes fluttering, "My hero." With a graceful movement, she rises from the chair, tossing the book she carefully concealed into a nearby bin. "Now that you have destroyed my new-found confidence, I suppose there will be no need of this." The curl of the paper cover reveals, "Sex: The Science of Sexual Arousal" By Benson. Uncaring of his discomfort of touch, she leans over, kissing the top of his head. "Sleep well, my guard dog."

Zaharis seems to flinch subtly when she moves into his personal space, but that's no surprise. "Destroyed, my ass. Take care of yourself, Pom."

You say, "Night, Spot."

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