I Tapped That
I Tapped That
Summary: Adele and Rhea delve into each others' romantic pasts in the Taproom.
Date: 29 ACH
Related Logs: None

Taproom Support Station PAS - Deck 1
29 ACH 6735 Souls

This large, open area was once a secondary observation platform. It has been taken over by quasi official forces and made into a drinking establishment known as the Taproom. A bar running along the inner wall is stocked with bottles and a solar cell has been taken apart, giving the back of the wall a high mirror finish, reflecting the bottles and the rest of the room. The outer wall is transparent, and unless a Condition status requires the lowering of the shielding, the glow of the stars and Muskeg is visible through the windows. Several tables and chairs are about the area and hidden speakers play music from some player hidden away. At the bar is a menu set up for anyone to read.

Contents: Adele Rhea Crabby the Parrot RP note Triad Deck Wireless
Exits: [O] Out
Special: +detail - Details available

Adele is sitting at a table, a half-finished bottle of beer in front of her. Reading over a journal with a pen in hand, it doesn't look like she's too invested in the information she's gleaning off the pieces of paper.

Rhea strolls into the Taproom. An old issue of a Colonial technical journal tucked under her arm, though otherwise she has a distinctly off-duty look about her. She spots Adele quickly enough. It's not a large bar. Turning, she approaches the other woman's table. "Anything good in there?" Referring to the journal, presumably.

Adele glances up from the literature, setting it down on the table. "If there was, I wouldn't need this beer to help me through it," she answers with a slight grin, gesturing to the seat across from her. "What's up?" And she's totally not wearing workout clothes, but something a bit more 'I just got off work.'

Rhea pulls out a chair, to join Adele's table. Though she remembers to ask "Mind some company?" before she's fully plopped down. "I was just looking in on the Sprocket. Figured I might as well stop in to unwind a little before I headed back to Genny." She sets her tech journal on the table, albeit mostly to rest her elbow on it. It's a year old, a picture of Gaius Baltar on the cover, and promises fascinating articles about FTL theory and cybernetic debates within. "What're you working on, anyway?"

"Splitting my time between manufacturing pharmaceuticals and isolating the somatotrophin in eels," the contractor answers, holding up the journal, still opened to the page she was reading when Rhea came in. It's about growth hormones. "Eels are not very much like humans, you might be surprised to know. I'm having quite the time teaching myself aquatic biology. What about you?" She jerks her chin towards Rhea's arm cushion, then takes a sip of beer.

"I'll have the same," Rhea orders with a gesture to Adele's beer, when she gets served. She smirks at the comment about eels. "Not surprised. Relieved, though. I'd like to think I'm a few evolutionary steps removed from what I'm eating. This? Just unearthing some old reading. I nabbed a civvie engineer off the Carina for my ranks. He actually managed to get an article published. Near the back." She smirks. "It's not bad, though it's highly academic. I only kept the journal for the Baltar photos." She winks.

Adele grins at Rhea's Baltar comment, craning her neck to see the picture, obscured as it is by Rhea's elbow. "He needs a haircut," she says, doing her best prude granny type of voice before having another swig of beer. "Good for you for successfully recruiting, though. Some civvies can be so stubborn…" She swivels her gaze towards the ceiling and asks for another when Rhea's beer is served.

"I don't know. I kind of like it. But I have a weakness for men in pinstripes." Rhea shrugs. "What? Every girl has a type." The civvie comment makes her chuckle. "I think he just wanted to work again. In Navy or out. When I found he was sitting in a park on the Carina. Restless. He wanted to contribute. Like you're doing. It's about the work, however one's doing it." She picks up her beer when it's delivered, taking a sip.

Adele finishes off her last gulp, nodding a couple times to Rhea. "Yeah, I know. If I was on the Carina when it happened, I'd likely be in fatigues right now, too." She blows out a breath as her new beer arrives, but doesn't drink from it yet. She has to let the other one settle a bit, what with her tolerance. "How's Reece?"

Rhea shrugs. "How are any of us?" she replies softly. It's the only real answer she has. "He's quiet. Doesn't really talk about it. Just mentions his dad in spurts sometimes. At least he's doing that. Jesse's spending some time with him as he can. That helps. He's always been good with my spawn. And Reece is keeping busy." She crooks a grin at Adele, albeit a rather tired one. "Memorizing damage control procedures, among other things."

Adele returns the grin with a smile of subtle understanding, her head bobbing in a slow nod. "I've never seen people devote so much of themselves to work," she muses. "I guess kids need that distraction just as much as anyone, if not more." She pauses, then settles her eyes on Rhea's. "I know it's just one of those obligatory things that don't really mean much, but… I haven't told you how sorry I am about Ephraim." The reason is obvious, she's just socially awkward about comfort.

"Sorry? Why? You a Cylon or something?" Rhea replies wryly. She snorts. "Don't apologize. It's just something people say to fill up the awkward space, and it's not necessary. I appreciate the sentiment, though." She idly runs a finger around the rim of her beer bottle. "Besides, I'm one of the lucky ones. As horrible as that thought is. We've all lost something. At least I still have Reece. I can't even imagine the devastation of losing a child…" She trails off, eyes flitting up to Adele's face for a moment. Speculative. She half-says more, before she takes a sip of her beer.

"Me neither," Adele states, meeting Rhea's flitting gaze with a knowing look. Now she reaches for that new bottle of beer, bringing it to her lips as her eyes travel to the surface of the table. "He told me about her. It's so sad, and frustrating to know that nothing you could possibly do will be a comfort for a loss like that." She pushes a hand through her hair, mussing it out of its sensible style.

Rhea nods a little. Relaxing a notch. "I never even knew he had a daughter. I wish he would've told us. Ephraim and I wouldn't have given a damn if he was the picture of fatherhood or not. I just wish I could've played with his little girl." The thought makes her smile, even if it is a sad one. "I used to tease him that he owed me several dozen bastard spawn to play godmother to. Feel kind of bad about it now. I meant it, though. Not in a bad way. Jesse's always been good with kids."

Adele traces a streak through the condensation on her bottle, smiling faintly as Rhea does. "Yeah, I can see it in the way he talks to Reece," she agrees, bringing up a pair of fingers to scratch just beneath the hairline on her forehead. "It's so sad," she repeats. It's an inadequate term, sad, but it's the closest thing she's got. "But I'm glad he told me. I wasn't expecting anything like that when I asked him to be more open with me."

"Jesse's very private," Rhea says. "I get the idea he came up hard. There are still a lot of things about his past he hasn't told me. I don't think he told Ephraim much more, and my husband loved him like a brother. I can relate. Life's about where you are now. I certainly have childhood memories I'd sooner not reflect on with everybody I meet." She sips her beer, adding after a beat, "It's not about you, Adele. It's about him. Keep that in mind. Don't push. Just be there for him. That's what all of us need right now."

Adele shakes her head. "I know. I'm doing all I can not to push - in fact, I did the opposite for a long time with him. When I thought I was going to be here for six months, I was grateful for all his evasions." She laughs, a wry sound that doesn't reach her eyes as she spins the beer bottle slowly around until the label is facing her. "But there just came a point, you know? After the attacks, I had this sudden need to connect with someone. Gods know I never managed to do that on Caprica, and it became pressing. He took a day off and we stayed at the hotel on the Carina, and I had this big spiel rehearsed. So frakking high school, Rhea. 'This is me opening a door, and I hope you step through.'" She rolls her eyes at herself. "I know how stupid it was, in retrospect. But I'm terrible at reading people, and I just wanted some sort of confirmation that he cares about me." She looks sheepish after elaborating so heavily.

"He does care about you," Rhea says firmly. "Adele…it's natural to want some kind of connection like that right now. A lot of people do. We've all lost so much. It's…heightened emotions we might've let slide if things were normal. It's part of grief. Jesse can't be all your world right now. He's got his own stuff to deal with. It doesn't mean he doesn't care." She repeats it softly, more to herself than Adele. She folds her hands on the table, expression going introspective for a moment. "There's a lot of noise in all our heads right now. If Jesse makes it quieter for you for a minute…maybe that's enough."

Adele has another few sips of her beer more quickly than she likely should, setting the bottle down half-empty. "You're right," she agrees after a sigh. "You're absolutely right." She presses her thumb and forefinger to the bridge of her nose, massaging gently. "I wish I knew how to separate the reality of my feelings from these heightened emotions." Does she even get what Rhea was saying?

"It's all about maintaining perspective," Rhea says. "There's what you feel now, and there's what you're going to feel in six months, when the dust has settled and everyone's on a slightly more even keel. Just…don't do anything too rash that might end up hurting someone in the long run." She gives her head a little shake. Attention going back to Adele's face. It had drifted for a second. "Jesse's lucky to have a soft place to fall. No pun intended. All of us need that, in one form or another. Just let it be about that."

Adele smiles at Rhea, reaching out to grasp her wrist loosely for a second. "Thanks, Rhea. I'm sorry to make you play psych like this, but I'm kind of emotionally stunted, if you haven't figured that out by now." She lets go of the wrist and brings her beer to her lips again. "Feel free to reciprocate. I really like talking to you."

Rhea reaches over to give Adele's hand a squeeze, in return for the touch to her wrist. The ChEng is a tactile sort. "I make a terrible psyche. We're friends, Adele. Feel free to unload on me whenever you like." For her part, she shrugs with a faint smirk. "I have my Gaius Baltar photos to keep me warm at night. As for the rest…the man I thought I'd love for the rest of my life is gone. I'm just trying to keep the noise down."

The word 'friend' never ceases to make Adele's eyes glimmer - it happens every time Rhea says it. The look fades quickly enough, however, when Rhea goes on. "Any success in keeping the volume at a dull roar, then?" she inquires.

"I have one or two methods. Aside from curling up in the fetal position and weeping behind a washing machine, that is," Rhea replies with a faint smile. Which isn't really an answer to anything. She shrugs, taking another sip. "I have my work, my ship, my snipes. I have my son. And I have a few good souls who will let me collapse on them when I need to. And can make me laugh when I don't. And I can do the same for them. There's a great deal of comfort in that."

Adele returns the faint smile a little hesitantly, though it deepens when she gives her real answer. "I'm glad," she replies, finishing off her second bottle of beer with a vague surprise in her eyes. Her tolerance is building, it would seem. "You know… I think you, me, Jesse and Reed should all take a day off and visit the Carina. Get a couple rooms, a few bottles of booze, and just… unwind in earnest. Be silly, play cards, punch the noise in the face."

Rhea laughs at that, partaking in more of her beer. "It does sound appealing. The cards and booze, at least. I'll leave you and Jesse to the room. Reed can have the other to himself. Maybe find a leggy civilian to share it with. I'm sure he could use it." Her tolerance is just fine, but she's only had the one beer. She's in no danger of planting her face into the table after that.

Adele pffts, waving a hand. Okay, so she's a little more exuberant after two beers. But she's not slurring! "You and me can have a room, Reed and Jesse can have the other," she insists. "And come on, Reed isn't going to pick up some chick and spend a night with her, no matter how much he needs it. He just doesn't strike me as the one night stand type, you know?"

Rhea laughs. "There's a type?" She snorts. "He's a man. You clearly haven't spent enough time in bars. I think the distraction would be good for him. Everybody needs a release now and then, and it's best to keep that sort of thing simple. Maybe I'll talk to Jesse about it. He's a competent wing-man. I've seen the evidence. Ephraim wasn't able to burn all his OCS photos." She chuckles. Brows arching at Adele. "What? You've never had a one night stand?"

Adele doesn't look convinced at Rhea's assessment of Reed. She flags down a server and orders another beer, brows quirking dramatically at her friend's question. There's the hint of a blush, but she laughs readily enough. Then she lowers her voice and leans across the table slowly. "Rhea… Jesse is the second man I've ever been with. And I can only wish the first one had been a one night stand."

"The second…ever…huh…" Rhea reflects on that. Smirking. "I think you're a much brighter woman than I am, Adele. I really do." She leans back in her chair, a reflective sort of expression on her face. She doesn't ask about the first. Not directly, at least. "My first was…frak. Janus Cully. Senior year of high school. A week before graduation. I'd been such a little nun in high school. I was focused on making grades, working part-time jobs, getting the frak off Sagittaron. Never was very social. Janus was in the science club with me." She laughs. "He was funny, once you got him talking. Good to look at, in that quiet way I've always liked. I had my type pegged, even back then. There was this grad dance. He talked me into going. I figured, what the hell? Might as well have one semi-normal high school memory. We ended up in the backseat of his brother's old beater car, trying to figure out which joints connected where."

Adele listens to Rhea's story, a subtly wistful smile tugging at her lips. When her third beer is presented to her, she ignores for the time being, instead using her drinkin' hand to prop her chin up, elbow planted on the table's surface. "Did Janus get a repeat performance?" she wonders, thin reddish brows arched slightly.

Rhea chuckles, ordering a second beer when Adele gets a third. "We fooled around a little that summer. We both joked it was 'orientation' before we got into the real world." She idly runs her fingers through her hair. "It wasn't serious but…it was nice. That was a good summer, before I left for Basic. I worked a few hours in the garage with my dad, hung out with the few friends I'd managed to make…it was a better note than I figured I'd leave Sagittaron on. We kept in touch for awhile. Janus and me. Last I heard he'd married a local girl, gotten a teaching certificate, gone off to the capitol to brave Sagittaron Public Schools." She gives a little salute to the oblivion. "Ephraim was my…fifth. No, wait, sixth. I try not to count Number Four, but as he's probably dead I might as well give the boy his due."

Adele continues to smile, even laughs a little at the term 'orientation' in the context Rhea puts it in. She slides her chin out of her hand, reaching for her beer. Tipping it to her lips, one brow lofts a few milimeters higher than the other when Number Four is brought up. She swallows, lowers the bottle, then asks, "Bad experience?"

"College thing," Rhea explains, smirking some more. Drinking more beer. "Probably should've been a one-night stand. Met him at the one and only fraternity party I attended. It was more of an ego thing than anything else. I was proving to myself I could pick up a rich Caprican boy. I could." She snorts. "The problem is they're hard to dislodge. He was a decent guy, really. Just…very fratty." She tilts her head at Adele. "So, have you had enough to drink to tell me the story of Number One? Or do I have to order you some moonshine?"

Adele gives Rhea an empathetic look at the description of Caprican Frat Boy, and looks as though she's going to reply to that particular story - but the ChEng is quick on the draw with her own curiosity. The contractor holds up a finger, downs a few gulps of her beer, then lets go of a long breath. "It was kind of a fan girl thing," she starts, indulging in her neurotic need for the beer label to be facing her once more. "I was… twenty-six." She pauses, then disclaims with a quick glance towards Rhea, "It's not like I was saving myself or anything, but… I convinced myself early on that a social life was completely frivolous. After a while, I hardly ever thought about men." She takes another drink, then continues, "Then I became an intern at Caprica City General. I thought med school was stressful, but it was nothing compared to the crazy hours and pent up anxieties that is being a scrub." She laughs, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. "What started as an intellectual crush on the Dean of Medicine became a full blown affair with a married man twice my age. Clarence Leandros." She says the name like a curse.

Rhea's eyes widen a little at that. She drinks some more. "Doesn't sound like much fun," she says. "It's understandable, though. The whole intellectual crush thing. When you're working with someone like that, it's easy to get caught up in it. Forget you've got a life outside the lab." She drinks. "Or…wherever. You aren't the first to do it."

"I know," Adele breathes, as though a burden has been lifted simply by telling someone that story. "But at the time, I thought I was the only one in the world who had ever slept with a married man. Gods, it messed me up. We spent all our time in hotel rooms, and I never got to wake up beside him. I hated his wife so much, but I hated myself even more." She shakes her head, draining the rest of her beer. "So I held out for another seven years, then Jesse happened. I was trying to just have fun, then the cylons came and frakked everything all up."

"Adele, you weren't the one who did anything wrong," Rhea says. "Not that it wasn't a frak-up, but *he* was the one with obligations. Not you. It was his job to pull back." She sighs. "Being married doesn't make you a better person. Believe me. I speak from experience. Not that I ever…Ephraim and I weren't saints, but I managed that much. Barely. I almost slipped. Once. But, thankfully, there is no Number Seven."

Adele looks surprised, studying Rhea's face for a moment. "Really?" she asks, tipsiness rendering her a little nosy. "What happened?" Maybe she needs a story to feel better about what she did with her Number One.

Rhea drinks some more. "It seems like another lifetime ago. Before the universe blew up." She makes it sound like something that happened in the long-long ago. "Ephraim and I spent a lot of our marriage stationed apart. I was lonely. And he was head of a project I got to do a little work on. Engine-related, of course. Creative propulsion's always turned me on." She smirks. "We had some intensive sessions in the lab and the engine room, talking tech-babble to each other…I got to like him. A little too much. Had some fantasies involving work tables that probably aren't physically practical. He was a decent man. He didn't push it. If he had…" She trails off. Not finishing that thought. "…anyway. Nothing ever came of it except in my head. And I kissed him. Once." Her smirk crooks. "On the cheek. A pretty boring excuse for an affair when you break it down, actually."

Adele smiles at Rhea, shaking her head. "It's not boring, it's sweet. I mean, letting yourself fantasize without indulging… I think there's something to be said for that. You hear so many people who would never even admit to so much as taking a /glance/ at another person of the opposite sex besides their spouse. That goes completely against the laws of human nature, and I call bullshit."

Crabby dances side to side and squawks out, "I shot the Sheriff …"

Rhea snorts. "Those people are gods-damned liars. Or deluded newlyweds. Contrary to popular belief, marriage doesn't kill your sex drive. I was in love with Ephraim Zimmermann. Every inch of him. But I wasn't a monk. We were two decent people who loved each other and had a good thing. For the most part, we managed not to frak it up. We came close a couple times but…we were in it for the long haul. Before everything."

Adele's smile falters a little, her eyes sliding away from Rhea's face and into that nonexistant middle distance. "I wish I could've met him. From all the stories you and Jesse have told, I really think I would've liked him." She lifts her beer, realizes it's empty, then sets it back down without ordering another.

"You would've. He would've liked you, too. I was joking with him in my last letter…the one I never managed to send…that he should transfer here. Get a spot organizing accounting on the PAS. He would've been right at home in the nerdery." Rhea smiles. A little sadly, but the thought isn't really a sad one. "I was telling Reed the other night I wish we could've all gone drinking together." Which makes her chuckle wryly, for some reason. "Another lifetime, maybe."

Adele bobbles her head, finally shifting her gaze back to Rhea. "That would've been nice. You know, if it weren't for the attacks I'm pretty sure I'd be having the time of my life up here. With you, Jesse, Reed. I told you I sacrificed my social life for med school - well, I did it for my job, too, after Clarence. I've never had real friends, beyond the people my parents hand-picked for me from their limited circle of snobbery." She chuckles quietly. "I don't think I could ask for better people to be stuck with. And I'm serious about the Carina thing. I really want to get smashed with you guys."

Rhea grins. "I will drink with you any time, Adele. Though I may do more treating you to drinks than drinking them myself. Wouldn't want to do something I'll regret in the morning." She nurses her way through the remainder of her beer. "They are good men. I'm very grateful for both of them right now. In entirely different ways. And you."

"Thanks," Adele replies generally to Rhea's words, her smile a relaxed one. "Me too." She eyes a server as he approaches, then glances at her empty beer bottle, as if debating. In the end, she shakes her head. "I never thought I'd say this, but I miss this place's food."

"The bygone days of chicken wings," Rhea rhapsodizes. "We shall never see their like again." Her own beer is finished. "I should be getting back to Genny. Hit my bunk. You okay to walk back to your quarters?" Not that three beers is exactly heavy drinking. But it's Adele, so she watches carefully.

"I miss the club sandwich myself. There's something patently unappealing about eels and mayonnaise," Adele laments, lifting a hand to Rhea. "I'm fine, thanks." And indeed she appears fine, if a little more relaxed than usual.

"I like them fried. Maybe a little ketchup would be good," Rhea ponders. She stands. Idly stretching. "I am glad you're here, Adele. It feels good to talk to a fellow woman sometimes. I love my menfolk. I truly do. But I always seem to have mostly male friends. Makes talking about boys awkward."

Adele laughs, watching Rhea rise. She doesn't do so herself, not yet. "Yeah. And I've got a lot of boy talk to make up for, so. I appreciate it."

Rhea offers Adele a two-fingered salute and strides home to her battlestar.

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