Taking a Load Off
Taking a Load Off
Summary: Rhea and Adele talk about life, past and present, over some loads of laundry
Date: 7 BCH
Related Logs: None

Laundry Room Support Station PAS - Deck 3
7 BCH 2235 Souls

The laundry room here on the support station has nice, large conventional washers and dryers. There is also an area for Dry Cleaning, which someone mans 24/7 behind the counter. The floor is tile and the lighting is subdued enough to see well, but gives no harshness to the room. Fans overhead keep the heat to a bearable level when there are numerous machines going at once. Laundry carts are here for convienence as well as a seating area with magazines.

Contents: Adele Rhea Wireless 417
Exits: [O] Out

Adele is standing at the dry cleaning counter, being handed a ticket. With a bob of her head, she mumbles her thanks to the attendant and strides over to a free washer to tip a small laundry bag's contents through the machine's hatch. She dumps in some soap, sets the dial to 'delicates' and hits the start button. Puffing a breath upward to a stray lock of hair dangling in her eyes, she strides towards a chair and sinks into it. Yeah, that little load was -so- much work.

Rhea strides into the laundry room, a duffel bag stuffed with dirty clothes over her shoulder. "Doctor Pike," she calls when she spots Adele. A smile is offered as she stakes out a machine that neighbors the other woman's. She plops her bag down and gets right to separating. Some of it's her own Navy-issue clothing, with a smattering of less-military delicates and the odd civilian piece. Most of it is a battered collection of jeans, shirts and Pyramid-themed jerseys that can only belong to her son. "The machine giving you any trouble?" The puffing makes her smirk, just a little.

Adele is grabbing for a magazine when Rhea strides in and greets her. She forgets about the outdated issue of Pyramid Monthly and instead lifts that hand in a wave to the other woman, eyeing her hefty load. "No, it's working just fine," she replies to the question with a bemused little grin on her face - she likely doesn't realize how ridiculous that must have looked, dumping her tiny bag into the washer. Especially in comparison to Rhea's duffel bag. "How are you?" she calls over the room.

Rhea dumps the darks in first. That's her largest load. The rest is set in another pile on the machine, to follow. If she finds the tiny bag ridiculous, she doesn't comment. The smirk remains, though. She's brought her own reading material. A paperback of 'Tides of Love Volume IX: An Aquarian's Tale.' But, like her lights, it's set on the washer and ignored for the moment. She chuckles. "Good. These things can be tricky."

Adele points at the washer that's working away at her delicates. "That's the only machine I ever use," she informs Rhea with a grin. "If it's not open, I come back another time." She crosses her legs, folding her hands together on the bent knee. "Anything new with you and Reece?"

Rhea settles into a chair next to Adele's, now that her laundry's off and running. "Really?" She eyes Adele's machine-of-choice. "Why? Anything particular about it?" She sounds genuinely curious about washing machine peculiarities. As for Reece, she smirks some more. "We're both relatively unchanged. I'm just making sure he has something presentable to wear to the reception on the Genesis. I don't think his 'Anders' jersey and dirty trainers are *quite* appropriate."

"I had some washing machine nightmares in college," Adele replies, angling her head to face Rhea. "It might be a little obsessive, but I prefer to just find one that works and stick with it, even if all the others are in top form." She shrugs one shoulder loosely, then listens to Rhea's reply about Reece. "Oh, I hadn't thought about that… these things are generally considered torture for preteens, aren't they?" She grimaces.

Rhea laughs wryly. "I suspect he'd rather spend some quality time with his gameboy. He's not complaining *too* much about it, though. I told him Major Carter asked me specifically to make sure he was in attendance. That seemed to make him feel properly important." Another chuckle, though some of the humor's gone out of her expression. Replaced by a thoughtful look. "I suspect he'll find it reasonably entertaining, once he gets past having to wear something with a collar."

Adele considers the last statement for a moment, then grins. "He'll get to see plenty of women in formalwear; if any of it is -half- as revealing as some of those costumes were on the Night of Veils, then I'm sure he'll be more than reasonably entertained." She's seen the way the kid stares at the women he meets! "I'm looking forward to the affair. Glad I actually had the presence of mind to pack something passably formal, though it seemed frivolous at the time."

Rhea apparently has not noticed her son doing this. She snorts. "He's *a bit* too young for that yet. I think I've got a couple more years before I have to worry too much about that." She sits back in her chair, comfortable and blissful in her ignorance. "I'll probably just break out the dress grays. I don't like to get too far out of uniform on a battlestar, anyway. Never know when something'll blow up that requires attention." A joke, mostly. She looks interested in Adele's dress, though. "What're you wearing? Don't feel too frivolous. I've got a dress or two buried under my gear. Heels, too. They rarely see the light of day, but at least I get to pretend I'm a girl now and then." She winks.

Adele diplomatically does not push the Reece looking at women issue, turning all her attention to Rhea's following words. After looking mildly alarmed at the statement about stuff blowing up, she answers the dress question. "A silver halter-style affair, split to the knee with a black and silver wrap and some sparkly shoes." She grins impishly, then reveals the obvious. "I… like to get dressed up. It's kind of fun to wear pantsuits for a year, then show up to some function all glitzed out a la metro Cinderella."

Rhea laughs, rather girlishly, nodding at that. "I know what you mean. The engine room isn't a particularly appropriate place for frills most of the time. On the rare occasion I actually reveal I have legs, I enjoy the shock." Her grin quirks a notch. "You seem to be adjusting to life on the PAS pretty well."

"Exactly," Adele laughs when Rhea empathizes, bobbing her head enthusiastically. When the observation on her adjustment is made, she smiles. It's true, she does look a bit more relaxed of late; though still somewhat subdued and prim, she's more liable to offer a full fledged smile and a hearty laugh than she was when she first arrived. "I think I'm getting used to everything. Hit a few snags along the way, like disturbingly flirtatious pilots who have to be a decade my junior -kissing my hand- instead of shaking it. But for the most part, I think I'm starting to find a niche." She gives Rhea a grateful look.

Rhea rolls her eyes. "*Pilots*," she mutters, shaking her head. "I swear, they teach ego along with flight training during their qualifications. Take my advice. *Never* date one. It's not nearly as much fun as you'd think." As to the last, she nods. "Good. I still feel I'm looking for mine, some days. This place is strange. Weeks go by and it starts to feel routine. Then, boom. Something reminds you we're living in Secret Squirrel territory. Still fraks with my head a little bit now and then." She sound vaguely annoyed, though she's careful to keep her tone moderate.

Adele crinkles her nose, shaking her head with a certain vehemence. "I haven't considered it, nor will I after my experience of that Reeves guy." Her nose uncrinkles, but her lips purse slightly to make up for it. When the subject switches again, she arches a reddish brow in slight, curious amusement. "Secret Squirrel?" That one needs clarification.

Rhea laughs, waving a hand dismissively. "Sorry. My little term for all the Classified mess they stamp on things out here. My husband's term for it, actually. My wittier half, dear Ephraim. Annoys the frak out of him. He had to sign a confidentiality agreement three inches thick just to get told where to send my letters." She sounds fond when she speaks of her husband. And a little wistful. She's quiet for a moment and, when she speaks again, it's to change the subject. "How do you like working under Major Carter?"

Adele listens to Rhea speak about Ephraim with an expression which can only be termed as 'good-natured envy.' She lets the silence draw out, giving the captain some time to reflect, then bobs her head when the subject of Reed is brought up. "Actually, I don't do much for him. I'm in a little pocket off the main labs, away from the planetary simulation units, in my own little world of vestibular system simulation units." She grins briefly, then explains. "We're trying to transition from treating the -symptoms- of hyperspace adaptation syndrome into preventing it altogether. Quite a world away from terraforming."

"They do a little bit of everything in this place, don't they?" Rhea says wryly. Again, there's that slight trace of annoyance in her tone. But it's mixed with genuine respect. She's highly impressed with the work that goes on at the station. She clears her throat. "Worthy work. At least they're giving you room to probe what you find interesting. Have you let Jesse peek at your work? He'd swoon from sheer medical geekery overload, I'm sure." She grins.

When Zaharis is brought up, Adele doesn't even try to suppress a grin. "Yeah, we get into it every now and again," she admits with a nod. "It's not quite as hands-on as the stuff he does, of course, since I don't even look at patients, but you're right. He's probably more geeky about it all than I am." Which clearly surprises her.

Rhea laughs another of those fond laughs. "You should see him when he and my husband get together. I told you Ephraim's an accountant, right? He and Jesse go back forever. I remember when Ephraim introduced me to the doc, back when my husband and I were still dating. We got a bottle of Tauron brandy, and the two of them spent the night doing shots and taking turns reciting mathematical and chemical formulas and…gods. It was a riot."

Adele actually… giggles at this revelation. She is quick to cut that right off and clear her throat, adopting a more subdued, but still quite amused, grin. "That's hilarious," she agrees, again with that expression of good-natured envy about her. "Someone should've kept a log as the night went on. I bet that'd be something for the textbooks." As she pictures the scene, something flickers behind her grey eyes. She becomes introspective, contemplative, and then: "Rhea? You probably saw this coming a mile away, but. Can I ask you something about Jesse?"

Rhea is still laughing at the memory. "Hell of a lot more fun than dating pilots, that's for sure. I think they came up with entirely new theorems. Of course, they couldn't remember them the next morning. I love those boys. I truly do." She tilts her head at Adele. Her lips twitch, but she manages to keep from smirking. "Of course. Shoot."

"He doesn't really strike me as the typical one woman man sort of guy," Adele reveals with a rueful smirk of her own. "But we're doing… a lot of things that people generally do when they're, you know, dating." There's a vague flash of color to the tips of her ears, but she presses forward. "You're his friend, you seem to know him better than anyone. Should I just brace myself and enjoy the ride without letting myself get wrapped up in expectations?" As she asks that last question, she looks mildly annoyed with herself.

"What? Bad poetry and movies one of you doesn't like?" Rhea quips. She exchanges a grin with Adele to assure the doctor that she /gets it/. She considers that before answering. "Yes. I think that is precisely the right attitude to take. Nothing wrong with two people enjoying themselves, after all. Gets lonely out here."

Adele blows out a breath of air from puffed out cheeks, put at ease by Rhea's reaction and subsequent words. "All right. I just wanted to get that out of the way without doing the, you know, -mature- thing of actually talking to him about it." She grins slightly, reaching up to tuck a lock of hair back behind her ear. "Thanks for the advice. I'll set my internal dial to 'cling free.'"

Rhea does not laugh at the idea of internal dials. She does not. "Talk to him straight? I think that violates some unspoken rule of relationships, Adele. Why just do it the easy way when it's so much fun to tie yourself in knots." She offers the other woman a smile. "Look, Jesse has his rough edges. I think that's pretty obvious. But he's a good man. He's more family to me than a lot of my flesh and blood. Have fun. Don't over-think things too much."

"It's hard not to over-think things when that's what one's career entails," Adele laments with a fading grin. "But you're right, on all counts. I'll just chill the frak out and let things run their course." It sounds good on paper, at least.

Rhea shrugs. "I don't know. Work is one thing. It's easy to plan. The rest of it…I've just sort of made it up as I went along. Frak, I still don't know what I'm doing. When I was twenty, I never saw myself getting married. Sure as Hades didn't want to have kids. Three years later, I had both." She still sounds half-awed by it.

Adele's brows loft as she regards Rhea. "Wow. How did that happen? Did you just meet the right person and it all fell into place from there?" She leans towards the other woman slightly, conveying her interest in the subject.

"My mother wasn't exactly the greatest role model," Rhea says, leaving the explanation at that. "My dad tried but…it was never something I wanted. I met Ephraim right after I'd gotten my commission. We were both ensigns on the Solaria. I don't think I said ten words to him the first six months we served together. Gods, I was trying *so* damn hard to prove myself. I slept in Engineering half the time." She smirks. "*Nothing* worked right on that gods-damned ship. I spent months trying to get a back-up generator but something else always seemed more important. Then, one day over lunch I'm bitching about it to him and a bunch of other junior officers and…a month later. Boom. Back-up generator. Brand new. Fresh out of supply on Picon. First present that frakker ever got me." It's another memory that still makes her chuckle.

Adele listens to Rhea's story with a distance to her gaze, though the interest and curiosity remains. She nods, smiles, and then laughs at the image of a man who Rhea barely knows, handing over a shiny new piece of equipment that must have taken him some time and thought - and money - to come up with. "I hear those men who can pick up such subtle clues about what to get a lady as a gift are few and far between," she quips.

"Never frak with a Logistics man, Doctor. They're the ones who really run these gods-damned places," Rhea says, rather proudly. She smiles. "Ephraim was just…steady. Which may not sound terribly romantic, but it was. He didn't brag or try to convince me he was some ideal man. He just…handled things. And he was funny, and sweet, and *such* a frakking geek." Which she clearly appreciates. "It was pretty much over for me from there."

Adele smiles at Rhea, a vaguely gentle quality to the roundness of her cheeks as she does so. "It actually does sound romantic," she assures the captain. "Especially to someone who likes a little order in her life. I'd love to have someone to handle things every now and again." She pauses, then laughs, a little ruefully. "I'm sure the man my mother selected for me to marry would have handled things pretty well, actually. It's a shame there was absolutely no chemistry there, whatsoever."

Rhea snorts. "Ephraim claims I'm a control-freak. He's a little more subtle about imposing order on the universe. But we just…work together. We were still stationed together for a bit after we got married but then, things happened…" She smirks. "Word of advice, doctor. Double-check the dates on any medical supplies you plan to use. Certain things get real breakable when they go past-due. And so…we have Reece. Not exactly orderly. But it was the best thing that happened to either of us." Her smile turns warm. Though she's curious about that last. "Planned? Well, that sucks the fun out of it right there. No fun marrying somebody your parents approve of. What happened?" It's her turn to get a story now.

Adele doesn't look all to surprised to find out that Reece wasn't exactly a part of the original plan - a kid by 22 or 23 is young. She returns the warm smile with one of her own, which fades somewhat as she's asked to elaborate. After sucking in a deep breath, she explains, "Well, just that. I was pretty upset at being subjected to an arranged marriage in our supposedly enlightened times, though my mother has always been a little behind the curve when it comes to the whole concept of enlightenment. She just wanted me to follow in her footsteps: marry at twenty to a man of considerable means, combining my good name with his, and start producing some grandchildren to play dress up with on occasion but mostly ignore when it comes to anything of actual emotional substance." After spitting all that out, Adele turns an apologetic gaze onto Rhea. "Sorry. I haven't really talked about this much. Apparently some of it just needed to come out."

Rhea wrinkles her nose distastefully at that description. "That doesn't sound like a marriage. It sounds like a prison sentence with fancy clothes. Glad to see you rebelled from that." She smirks at calling Adele a rebel, but so it is. "I can't imagine how your mom thought she could manage that. I can barely get Reece to do his homework. Telling him who he has to marry seems like a pretty doomed idea."

Adele shakes her head, a small smirk twitching one corner of her lips. "She thought it would work because it worked for her. It worked for most of my female peers. They're all brainwashed into believing that they're living out the dream, with little responsibilities beyond keeping up appearances and attending charity functions - functions which aren't organized with the less fortunate in mind at all, only this theatrical need to put on a show and display who has the most money - or the most of their -husband's- money - to throw around in a mockery of human kindness and compassion." By the end of this tirade, her face is red and her voice is strained. "Shit. Rhea. I'm sorry."

Rhea shakes her head, snorting. "Don't apologize. It sounds pretty frakked up." She shrugs. "Not that I've got any room to talk. Sagittaron was a world and a half away from anything like that, but it sure as Hades wasn't anything I wanted to keep living in." Another shrug. "I can't even imagine not working. In some capacity. I think the boredom would kill me."

Adele lets out a cathartic sigh. "Yeah, exactly. I mean, my only refuge from my mother's debutante craziness was work, in the form of school - I couldn't imagine leaving it behind. That might've been why medicine was such a draw, since medical school lasts just under an eternity." She shakes her head. "I think no matter where we grow up, truly intelligent people generally want to move away from what they know, no matter if that bubble they were raised in was good or bad."

Rhea sighs softly herself. "My mother's craziness was usually chamalla-induced. Sometimes she'd just stay in her room, smoking for days, communing with the gods…" Another sharp snort. "I know what you mean. About school being a refuge. It made me feel like there was something more out there, if I could just use my brain to get to it."

Adele lets go of a quiet 'mmm' as Rhea reveals the tidbit about her mother's religious habits, her eyes flickering with a memory. "I remember a while ago in the Taproom… you were talking to that priestess. Greje? I thought you looked pretty uncomfortable until the topic shifted to Pyramid," she recalls. "I guess that sort of explains things."

Rhea shrugs. "I'm not sure what I believe about the gods. I don't think any of us can *really* know what the frak is out there. But I've got no quarrel with them. It's religion I'm not keen on." She idly runs her fingers through her long hair. "Call it a prejudice. Most temples are fine. I get that. But there're some seriously frakked-up sects on Sagittaron. Keeps some people occupied so they won't notice they're poor and ignorant and being frakked over by the government." She bites her lip, making herself stop. "Sorry. I try not to talk home colony politics too much. I get a little strident."

Adele shakes her head, giving Rhea an empathetic smile. "You and me both," she assures the other woman. "Religion isn't really considered a 'polite' subject by my family. Anything that could possibly incite passion is pretty much off limits." She chuckles mildly to herself. "But seriously, Rhea. Feel free to unload on me - gods know I just subjected you to petty Caprican silver spoon quibbles, and I think I needed it. If you need to, I'm here." Her washer stops, and she looks up. "I need to stuff my load in the dryer, then I have a test I need to check on." She frowns slightly.

"It's not something I unload on a lot," Rhea says. She looks half-surprised she started. "I left Sagittaron when I was eighteen and I've never been back. It seems like another life." She looks to her own washer, nodding. "I should get those dried and put another load in. The same goes for you, by the way. My ear is open if you ever want to bend it. Like I said before, it gets lonely out here. Good-looking doctors are fun and all…" She smirks. "…but friends are handy, too."

"Thanks, Rhea," Adele replies, standing up to move towards her washer. "I really appreciate it." She smiles over her shoulder as she shifts the wet clothes from one machine to another, cranks the dryer up, then heads out.

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