Old Friends - 27 BCH
Old Friends
Summary: Rhea and Zaharis catch up after a few long years.
Date: 27 BCH (16 October 2008)
Related Logs: None

Genesis, Deck 9, Laundry Room, 27 BCH
The laundry facilites here are 'do it yourself' with rows of machines. This is mainly for extra clothing the crew and officers may have. All uniforms are sent through the dry cleaning area near the front of the hatch. Fans pull out the heated air from this room, so it doesn't get stifling. Rows of chairs and a couple tables are placed here for the convienence of those doing their clothing.

It's a sad day in May when the CMO has to do his own laundry, but Jesse Zaharis has never been the type to pawn the duty off onto underlings. Not when the laundry room is always nice and warm, and relatively quiet. One of the washers is chugging away while the dark-eyed doctor sits with a clipboard on his lap, working…or maybe doodling, which is more likely. His socked feet are propped up on the table next to him.

Rhea comes into the room, a large bag of dirty clothes slung over her shoulder. Another sad commentary, the chief engineer with her laundry. But she also typically does the job herself. She grins that crooked grin of hers when she sees the CMO, chuckling and heading over to a machine neighboring his. "Maid's day off, Jesse?" she teases. Never much on ceremony, most of her formality drops entirely when she's off duty.

Zaharis looks up from the clipboard, slouching a bit in his chair as he tries to see the source of such a familiar voice. "Rhea?" Ceremony is lost on him, as he doesn't make to get up or anything. "Holy frak, what are you doing here?"

"I'm a frakking domestic goddess, Doc," Rhea says wryly, opening up a machine and beginning to stuff clothing into it. She's not particularly gentle about it but at least she separates the lights from the darks. "Laundry, floors…Hades, I'm even thinking of learning to cook one of these days." A joke. She's a terrible cook. Most of the clothes aren't hers, clearly. They're various sweats, t-shirts and jeans sized for a skinny teenage boy, in various states of filth and disrepair. "I have Reece's laundry sent over from the station. I don't feel right inflicting it on the personnel there."

"Probably cook better than I do." Zaharis finally pulls his feet off the table, planting them on the cold floor. "You know how I do it, if there's enough hot sauce in there it'll mask any bad taste." He smirks. "I was wondering when I'd finally see you around. Ephraim and Reece still over on the PAS?"

A brief, wistful flash crosses Rhea's face at the mention of her husband. "Reece is on the PAS," she says dryly. "Boarded with the other military brats at the school there." She grins. "You should drop over. He'd love to see you. He misses Picon. The station is *sadly* lacking in Panthers' games and arcades." She gives her hands a shake as she finishes depositing her laundry in the machine. Detergent in, lid closed, she gets the thing going. "You didn't hear? Ephraim's gone on deep space rotation, on the Perseus. There wasn't much room for him to move up the chain of command on Picon, and those ships need a good bean-counter when they're out for the duration."

Zaharis smirks at the mention of the kid, then nods as the talk moves to Ephraim. "Ah, that's a bitch. The tumultuous world of logistics." He tosses his clipboard on the table. "Reece must be getting tall these days. I brought up a little gameboy thing with me, haven't touched it since I started working. You can have it for him. I've got to do my part in rotting the young minds of the next generation, or at least giving them eyestrain so the opthomology department quits bitching that they're bored."

"Those rosters don't keep themselves," Rhea says with a chuckle. Though she amends, as if feeling a little guilty for making light of it, "It's more than just bean-counting, I know. Those guys keep the ship running as much as we do in the engine room, if from a different end." Engineer pride evident there. Her grin quirks at mention of the gameboy. "If he passes his algebra test this week, you can *loan* him the gameboy. I'm sort of obligated to keep him from rotting his mind too much. But it'll probably help keep him out of trouble."

"It's hand-eye coordination, come on," Zaharis replies, spreading his hands and giving her a wheedling tone that's probably not too far off from one that Reece can produce. "Deprieve a boy of video games and he'll start like…knitting or something."

Rhea gives Zaharis a level look, but she does laugh. "That one of those tricks they teach you in medical school?" She snorts. "I can see why my son likes you so much. Neither of your are grown up. And I wouldn't talk about knitting. You're the one who's work kit comes with a sewing kit."

"Sewing saves lives, woman," Zaharis thumps his closed fist against his chest, man style. "Besides, I don't think it's right for engineers to go around dissing sewing, you know. I've treated a couple of your boys for running with scissors accidents."

"My boys, and girls, know better," Rhea says firmly, about her engineers. A beat later she adds wryly, "And if they don't, I'll just have to remind them. And I take back what I said before. I think Reece's emotional age may trump yours." She says it fondly, though, chuckling.

"Does not." Zaharis replies, relying on his masterful debate skill. "And they so don't know better. I've seen it with my own eyes. Sickbay's starting up a pool of most frequent injuries per department, and yours is climbing the ranks. Only slightly behind Marines falling down stairs and ECOs electrocuted by their instrument panels."

Rhea shows her vast maturity by sticking her tongue out at Zaharis. Though she does arch her eyebrows with some concern. "We're ahead of the pilots?" She frowns. Can't have that. "Time for more safety drills, clearly." She sits at the table now that her laundry is chugging away, relaxing comfortably into her chair. "Seriously, Jesse. I was glad when I saw you were posted here. Ephraim likes you, and I was always sorry I didn't get to know many of his friends properly."

"Tell Ephraim to answer his email, eh?" Zaharis replies, with a dry smirk. "He's slow as molasses." He slouches comfortably in his seat and waves a hand a bit. "Well hey, it's good to see you too. I was wondering how many years would manage to go by before I actually got to talk to you. Busy busy. We should go for a drink or something, you can tell me what the family's been up to. There's got to be good liquor up here somewhere."

Rhea laughs fondly. "He's probably up to his ears in requisition requests and yelling at Marines for going over their limit on cigarettes. And happier for it. Playing Battlestar-nanny is what he loves. It was good for Reece, having all those years of stability on Picon, but I think Ephraim was getting stir-crazy colony-side." She sounds, just a little, guilty. "I'm not the best at answering my email, either. I have to triple-check every message, with all the secret-squirrel protocols out here."

"Picon will drive anyone nuts. I mean frak, look at what it did to me." Zaharis glances over as his washer chug chug chugs and then stops. He rolls forward in his seat and stands up, sliding over on socked feet to pull up the machine lid. Speaking of cigarettes, he absently pats around his pockets until he finds his battered pack, twisting around to offer it to her. "You pick up smoking yet?"

Rhea shakes her head, holding up her hands. Some grease still evident under the fingernails from her last shift. "Are you kidding? I'd go up like a torch. Besides, aren't those things supposed to be bad for you? I think I heard that somewhere…" Her brows do some more teasing arching at the doctor.

Zaharis pulls one of cigarettes from the pack with a shrug, making sure to shuffle a step or two away from the grease-coated engineer before lighting up. The smoke swirls gently around his head before wafting off. "Don't believe that rot. It's no worse than the canteen food. Trust me, I've had both scientifically analysed. The chemicals in a smoke might even be safer."

Rhea smirks, shrugging. "That's not much comfort. I know what's in canteen food. But you're the doctor. I'll get to work on building you some artificial lungs, in case your hypothesis turns out not to be…sound." She doesn't seem bothered by the smoke, even if she doesn't partake. She's gotten plenty second-hand in the military. "How do you like your work here so far? It can take some getting used to. You get to play with some pretty neat toys, though." Her fingers twitch with almost girlish glee.

Zaharis grins a bit, blowing smoke up towards the ceiling. "Don't we though? They're my toys though. Not yours. Unless we break them, then they're all yours. Better hope for your sake though that there aren't too many doctors running about with butterfingers." he sticks the smoke in his mouth and reaches into the washer to retrieve his wet clothes. "So how's the engineering department looking?" He asks, talking around the cigarette.

Rhea's clothes are still spinning. On the heavy-duty cycle. The washing machine fighting with adolescence for the fate of those clothes. It's an epic battle. "Thinner than I'd like right now, honestly. But that's not unusual. There always seems to be just a *little* more work than there are hands to do it. The work itself is fascinating. They're not doing anything else like this in the rest of the Colonial Fleet, Jesse. I never thought I'd be a part of anything like it."

"Mining rocks?" Zaharis is obviously uneducated as to what they're doing down there. "Sounds like a blast." He dumps a handful of dark clothes into the dryer and reaches back for more. "Or whatever they're doing. What -are- they doing?"

Rhea starts to answer that, then suddenly stops, a thoughtful frown coming to her face. "I'm not privy to all the details. Secret squirrels don't get any less secret after you've been here awhile. More than mining, that's for sure. The contractors and personnel on the station are deep into research. I won't even guess at half of what they're looking into, but they're very deep into it. And Picon, Aerlon and Sagittaron are all very concerned with what comes out of this place." She smirks. "Not that I'm necessarily for anything Sagittaron is concerned about, but I think they *might* be doing some good in this case." Much bitterness about her native colony, there.

Zaharis shuts the door of the dryer with his socked foot, starting it up. He leans a hips against it, now committing to smoking and talking. A bit of ash drifts off the end of the burning cigarette onto his tank top, and he idly brushes it away. "Yes, well. They can fight about it all they want. Scorpia obviously has better things to do, and her son is here to sew back on whatever limbs the rest of you lose in this scuffling. Still, it's interesting, in that Never-Going-To-Find out sort of way. Oooooooh." He wiggles his long fingers, making a face.

Rhea smirks as she finishes getting her stuff in the dryer and spinning away. "You're going to set yourself on fire," she notes to Zaharis. Her own laundry is done washing, finally, so she stands and puts it in the dryer. "I appreciate your efforts, though. In sewing limbs, not smoking. You're right, though. It is interesting. But it can get lonely out here. Reece *seems* to be adjusting to it…" She frets. "…as well as he can, I suppose. It's a strange atmosphere to be a kid in. I hope he's insulated a little from the weirdness of it among the civilians."

Zaharis blows smoke out his nose in response to her well-wishes, so polite as he is. "Reece'll be fine. It's no more horrible than growing up on one of the colonies. Probably better, I'd wager. They've got schools over on the PAS and all that?"

"Better than life on Sagittaron, that's for sure," Rhea agrees firmly. "For most of us, at least. Yeah. A pretty decent school, actually. And gods knows he has fewer distractions than he did on Picon. I'm grateful for the civilians, in that respect. They'd buck if they couldn't have their families with them. I do wonder if it's fair, to bring him out here, but it's not as if he can live on a battlestar. Besides…I'm grateful for the chance to spend more time with him. I swear, the last time I came home for leave it seemed like he'd grown three feet. At least from here I can watch him outgrow everything." She tries to smile as she says it, but there's a touch of regret in her voice. "You're still happily childless, I take it?"

Zaharis gestures to the corner of his eye. "Of course. Can't you tell by my stunning lack of wrinkles?" He smirks a bit, his dark eyes flickering away for the first time in the conversation as he flicks ash off the cigarette to the ground. "Let me know when you go over to see Reece, I'll come with you. He'll be fine. Don't worry about a boy his age…what is he, twelve? Thirteen?"

"Twelve. He's twelve now…" Rhea says. She sounds as if she can't quite believe it. Then, picking up on something else the doctor said, her eyes narrow. "And who, exactly, are you calling wrinkled?" she asks. Joking around. Mostly. Probably. It's hard to tell. She sniffs. "I'll let you know. I'm sure he'll be excited to see the gameboy. And you, too, probably."

"Less so than the gameboy. I don't kid myself." Zaharis blows a few smoke rings into the air, then he grins at her with a friendly wink. "Didn't call anyone wrinkled, Rhea! Just pointing out my fountain of youth. I might share with you someday, but you'll have to be extra special nice."

"I'm nice!" Rhea says, firmly. It would not be wise to disagree with her. She laughs. "What the frak has Ephraim been telling you about me, anyhow? Well, we are *definitely* going to have that drink you were talking about earlier soon, because I've got a few stories about him, too, let me tell you." Her dryer comes to a stop as she stands again, to get the clothes unloaded. She even folds them. Including a beaten 'Samuel T. Anders' Pyramid jersey that's probably never been folded in its life.

Zaharis's dryer has stopped as well, and he grinds out the last of the cigarette before turning to pull out his belongings. Almost all military, only a T-shirt here and there to remind anyone that he's had any life outside the forces. He grins at Rhea as all the clothes go promptly into a bag, unfolded. The man way. "Lookin forward to it. I should get my lazy ass back up to Sickbay, but give me a buzz sometimes. We'll go find some life around here. And tell Reece I said pass that test."

"I'll tell him exactly that," Rhea says. Offering Zaharis a lazy semi-salute as he goes. Then, it's back to folding.

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