The Passionate Pilgrim
The Passionate Pilgrim
Summary: Ramiro and Greje go on a pilgrimage to the temple on the Destiny
Date: 57 ACH
Related Logs: None

There's a small few knocks on the open door and Dane peeks his head in. Clean shaven, wearing a slight bit of cologne, and having managed to do his hair a little bit, he peeks his head in. Over his shoulder is a duffel bag and he's in civilian clothes. "Greje?" He looks inside, trying to find her.

Greje is just getting ready to go, a duffel over her own shoulder, locking up the offices for the day and tucking the keys in her pocket. "Hey, Dane," she greets him as she turns, looking… almost relaxed. One hand still half-tucked in the pocket the keys are in, thumb hanging out over the denim. "Ready to make tracks?"

"Yeah, I'm getting a few funny looks coming up this way in civvies, so we should probably hot-foot it to the transport." He grins, practically jumping out of his skin with excitement. He's had leave, but the concept of the pilgrimage is injecting adrenaline directly into his soul. He flashes her that wry grin of his. "Ready when you are."

Greje smiles. "I'm officially off-duty as of thirty seconds ago," she announces, "They can look funny all they want," she declares, moving to mosy along out of the offices, as if she were back on the U Caprica campus, strolling out of the Theology department for the weekend. She hasn't looked this relaxed and at ease since the attacks. It's not her typical still-chapel serenity, either.

"Good good…" Ramiro replies with a small smile, following in line beside her. "Took me a while to decide what all to pack, but I don't know really what to expect. This is going to be a little different than the retreats at the Colleges I gather." He adds, looking to her as he walks with her out to the hallways.

"It'll vary from temple to temple, depending on the priests involved. We'll receive xenia… and that's about all I know," Greje smiles. "Just relax. Think of the Goddess," Greje sighs contentedly. "She and I never really got along outside of a professional relationship, sadly," she chuckles. "What about you? Has she been good to you in this world?"

"Which one? Ramiro looks to her, Aurora or Aphrodite?" Ramiro replies, looking to Greje as they walk. Occasionally looking forward to watch their path, he converses with her. "As far as Aphrodite's blessing…" He muses a little. "…they've been a lesson learned." He says with a little bit of frustration in his voice, but he falls back into a peaceful mood.

Greje grins a little to herself, "I'll never take issue with Aurora again," she attests— the Dawn goddess often associated with luck and good fortune. If there was any more rare stroke of luck than having happened to be posted on the Genesis when she did, she doesn't know what it is. A moment of musing on it, and she turns to him, brows raised. "Oh?" she asks.

Ramiro looks sidelong to Greje with a small blush and a sly narrowing of his eyes. "I'm sure the goddess wouldn't approve of me teaching others through my example." He says, rather Gemenese. "But I'll summarize that I've learned that certain gifts always come with certain costs." He looks to the stairs as they round the corner. "Aurora has been very kind to me. I pray to all of the Lords once a day…I have a long list of rememberances in which I pray to her for."

Greje grins. "Aurora might have taught you the same thing. With her blessing, after all, she made a man immortal— to escape death forever, the highest piece of fortune," she grins, looking sideways at him as if waiting for him to take up the story.

"…but she didn't remember to also ask for eternal youth, and thus he aged until he grew so old that he became a cricket." Ramiro replies, looking to her. "Perhaps you are right. I wouldn't wish to offend Aphrodite to assume, but it's a great example." He smiles, not going into detail. "Life is not without its ironies." He chuckles, opening the door to the stairs for them.

Greje smiles broadly at the story, looking down the hallway, "And so the crickets sing, craving the gentle touch of Rosy-Fingered Dawn as she rises from her marriage bed," she recites. Then, looking down, "Or used to, I suppose." She turns her head, "Oh, now you're just teasing me," she accuses him rather playfully, slipping past and down the stairs.

"Where better place or what better time than on our way to pay our respects to Aphrodite?" Greje points out with a smile. "But if you'd like to save it 'til we get to the temple, I understand," she adds, heading down onto the deck and looking for the raptor. "We are on time, right?"

"Yeah it's that one over there…" Ramiro points to one that's ready to transfer them. "…I do have to be back after two days though, they're needing the SST for duties upcoming." He says, not looking as if the passage of time is bothering him. As they walk to the Raptor, he speaks quietly with her. "How about we wait for a comfortable place to sit?"

Greje looks a little guilty, herself, "I know, Dane. Truth to tell I'll have to come back in the morning, myself. You met Brother Karan? Well, he's brand new on board and I feel bad leaving him alone for all that time after just a day of showing him around. But I'll stay the night, and if I have a stomachache in the morning from staying up, well, I've had stomachaches staying up for worse," she notes. "We'll have a good time."

"I've brought a gift for xenia…" Ramiro notes, stepping into the Raptor and finding a seat. Sitting up straight, almost comically like he's on a combat drop, he quickly buckles in and looks to her. "…do you know where we'll be staying?"

Greje heads in after him and buckles in on the seat to his left. "I brought something as well," she remarks, "And no, I'm not sure. They know we're coming, though, so they'll have made arrangements. You're worrying again. Have trust in xenia," she pats his knee encouragingly.

"Oh I trust." He smiles broadly. "I'm just excited. I'll sleep on the floor in the hallway if I have to. Sleeping on the floor of a hallway teaches humility. Don't ask how I know." He replies as the Raptor's door closes and starts to transport them. Leaning back, he utters a silent prayer, a ritual of his own. He then opens his eyes. "I'm not worrying one bit."

Greje looks up to the ceiling of the raptor, taking a slow breath. "Neither am I," she remarks, not sounding like a simple comment of agreement, but an introspecive truth.

There's a short flight, as the flight path is rather uncomplicated. Ramiro remains quiet, and before they know it, the Raptor sets down. Standing after unbuckling his harness, Ramiro expertly grabs the overhead webbing for the last few moments. Once set down, the green light turns on and he pops the hatch, letting her step out first.

Greje waits, herself, until the green light comes on, then unfastens herself, stands and carefully lifts her duffel again. She smiles as she climbs out, "This may be the shortest pilgrimage journey I've ever taken," she notes. "But considering that I was pretty sure my days of visiting temples were more or less at an end…" she smiles, "We take what we're given, right, Dane?"

"You never know. A different point of view might lead it to be the longest." Ramiro hops out of the transport onto the Destiny. "We've come along way to find this temple." He adds, hefting his duffel bag over his shoulder. "You've been here before yes? Please, lead on."

Greje considers the alternate point of view, for a long moment of quiet. "I have. And I'll warn you again, it doesn't look like much… but…" she smiles. "It's very welcoming." She lowers her head quietly, then takes a breath and moves on. "Brother Karan's a sage of the Pythian scrolls, by the way. I asked him if he'd look over the latest set of phophecies. He'll certainly have some insight."

"I hope he understands why I didn't stop to meet him. There seemed to be military related meeting you two were having and I wanted to check up on Melia." Ramiro replies, blinking as he looks around the promenade. "Wow…" He murmurs, turning to look back to Greje. "…but looks are deceiving. Tell me, with this temple being of Aurora, Aphrodite, and Poseidon, how do they manage the three Lordly cults in one location?"

"We manage twelve in ours," Greje reminds him. "It just takes co-operation and patience," she supposes. "Of course, I don't exactly have people lining up for rites and services. It's all I can do to get that place full every now and again."

"What about this place? How many faithful are aboard? Do they have a higher attendance than the Genesis chapel?" Ramiro asks, watching her and following her lead. "If I may ask, which Lordly cult has granted us xenia?"

Greje smiles faintly. "They used to. The gamblers would come to give offerings to Aurora. The strippers would come to honor Aphrodite. The crew would come and give tokens to Poseidon. That's… mostly come to a halt, now. There are a few devout Poseidon worshippers among the crew who still come to services. The primary dedication of the temple is to Aphrodite. But we'll be drinking to all three of the Gods tonight."

Gamblers, Strippers, Ramiro blinks a little bit and looks in her direction. "I…imagine that the crew would have done the proper ship-based rites to Poseidon." He decides not to comment on the lifestyles of the various people. He seems more like a country mouse in city mouse's world right now, so he looks to the carpet with a smile. "I'll admit, this is a bit of a whole new world for me." He smiles. "Thanks for coming with me."

"Of course. Thank -you- for getting me to see that I did really need some time off," Greje replies sincerely. "I've been so tired, and the stress has been eating away at my stomach lining. I never took the time to properly recover after Apollo's rites, and I'm pretty sure my body never forgave me."

"Well then this will be a release for both of us. I needed to get away for a little bit myself." Ramiro looks to her and gives her a slow nod. "As much as I love the home, there's somethings I just can't go without. A good night's sleep will be one of them. One without intercoms." He smiles, looking ahead again.

"I think our hosts will be able to manage that. Aphrodite holds gentle-fingered sleep in her thrall, after all," Greje smiles, "After promising him one of the Graces as a wife." She heads back along the side of the now-drained pool, the dismantled waterpark, looking at it with a quiet sobreity. She heads along to the elevators and pushes a button.

Ramiro doesn't seem to notice, he's in too high of spirits to bother. He smiles quietly. "Well…I figure it will be a long time before marriage becomes a reality for me." He comments, with a small shrug. "I've always thought sometime that I'd probably make a good husband, but who knows." He pauses, looking forward. "So how many priests and acolytes do you suspect will be there?"

Greje almost doesn't catch the connection there, taking Dane's statement as a complete non-sequitur. But then, she's trained to translate scripture-speak to metaphors in her mind, such that the marriage of Ypnos and Charis under the auspices of Aphrodite is no longer talking about a marriage at all. "Oh, I'm sure you will," she nods her head, "You'll be very dutiful, I can see it now. It's only the two of them, tending. Brother Hollen and Sister Amphino."

"Dutiful?" Ramiro looks to her, offering her another quiet smile. The air around him seems to relax, far moreso than back in her office. "I don't know. I'll admit now that we're away from the Genesis that I'm more open to talking about it." He pauses. "Off the record now, what do you want to talk about? Or should we wait till we're sitting?"

Greje steps into the elevator, and blushes faintly. "I had thought we'd have a lot to talk about, considering— well, you know," she shakes her head, "Like I said— outside of a professional setting, Aphrodite and I don't get on well. I tend to… clam up… and…" she chuckles, "Lose the ability to breathe when she touches me in the wild," she shakes her head with a laugh, "I -am- sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable… or like you needed to call me a doctor."

"We're going to have lots to talk about. I hope we find the time to get some sleep." Dane laughs, shaking his head a little bit. "Greje? I know I'm Gemenese and there's the opinion of guys from Gemenon and all of that." He runs a hand through his hair. "I've been away from Gemenon a long time and I've learned that I'm hard to scare off and I'm doubly hard to offend." He looks to her. "You didn't make me feel uncomfortable. I was more worried that I made you feel uncomfortable. After all, you were the one that was having trouble breathing right?"

Greje smiles, "Yes. My lungs were in quite a state of duress," she agrees. The elevator moves smoothly to the next deck and opens its doors. "But I'm fairly sure that it was only a momentary lapse. Or else by better judgement is simply overpowering anything else I might be feeling. But it wasn't your fault. Or my fault, really. These things happen from time to time." She smiles a little more warmly and steps out onto the next deck. "And just one touch of Aphrodite can shake your whole world to its foundations— even if just for a moment, can't it? She's the only Lord whom Zeus knows as a master. It's a wonderous thing, and for all its brevity I'm glad we shared it," she states, being fully open and honest, civilian-to-civilian. "If just to know such wonderful things still -do- happen." She turns her head toward him with a cheeky little smile. "Or at least to let me know. You may have already been aware."

"It can…" Ramiro admits, giving her a smile. "…but then again I've been taught from an early age to avoid the impulses until the right time." He chuckles. "I feel bad saying this but that practice fell off the bus a long time ago." He pauses. "Now, don't take that to mean that I'm promiscuous in the least. Rather the opposite. I'm just not shy." He looks forward again. "I'm glad we shared it too. I was simply worried that I'd placed you in an uncomfortable position. I meant what I said, that I wouldn't want your position in the fleet risked, but…you know." He shrugs, eyes back to their path. "Are…you asking me if I've had…dates?"

"I know," Greje agrees. "And well— sure. I won't mind telling you I haven't been on a date in years. I…" she pauses mid-step and chuckles to herself, "I got nervous and accidentally caught him on fire. Oh, he was all right!" she adds, remembering the look on his face, "But suffice it to say he didn't call up to arrange another."

"You set a date on fire? That's awesome." Ramiro beams, shaking his head and looking to her. "I mean, how could someone forget something like that. Sure there's awkwardness but who could tell their children that on the first date there was accidental combustion?" He asks with a smile. "I was seeing someone for a while on the Genesis. The details are fuzzy, but…I don't know." He shrugs, looking to her. "She didn't ever want complication, and our job description places us to be capable of watching eachother on every combat drop. The last mission was no exception." He looks to her, his lip turning up a little bit. "That's…complication. You know me. I…" He shrugs. "…don't know really where I'm going with this."

"You need to stay focused," Greje supposes, not a command, just a generalization about his mindset. "You have a very sound judgement and don't want to feel it impaired," she guesses, slipping subtly back into her 'work' speech patterns, quietly and serenely drawing things from what he's telling her. But then she smiles and drops it. "That's okay, we're here."

"I won't lose focus of my duties. No…honestly I've got a pretty large attention span. I won't lose focus of my faith either." Ramiro replies, looking to her, stopping near the door to the chapel. "How do I put this?" He pauses, looking to her. "I'm not entering this chapel with darkness in my heart, so when I say this, understand that I'm not hurting. At first her and I were simple, but when the reality that we ignored was that being two marines we faced the possibility of watching the other die on the field, the reality hit in. The last time her and I spoke, we both told eachother we should call it good for what it was." He pauses. "Sometimes people ask for eternal life."

Greje smiles quietly. "I know you won't," she assures him. "And I can understand that. Still, you're -not- asking for eternal life, Dane. Just some happiness. I wouldn't begrudge anyone asking for some of that right now. I'm sorry you had to go through that, and I'm glad you're alright."

"I'm fine." Ramiro smiles brightly. He gets a conspiratorial look on his face before he opens the door for her. "I'm on pilgrimage. No worries anywhere. Right now, I'm a pilgrim, nothing more."

Closing the door behind them, Ramiro pulls the duffel off of his shoulder to rest in his right arm. His scar, lightly visible beneath the sleeve of his shirt, he takes a look around.

Greje lifts her arm almost immediately after entering, giving a broad smile to a somewhat shorter black-haired woman who shuffles up to welcome her, wrapping her up in a half-hug, "Sister, it's good to see you again," Greje greets, and the black-haired woman, Sister Amphino, steps back from the hug with a wide smile of her own, "Welcome, Pilgrims. Here, give me your bags, let me put them away for you," she offers warmly, extending that bond of hospitality. Greje doesn't offer introductions, nor does Amphino ask, since in formal cases of xenia it's not appropriate to make introductions until after the guests are received and offered comfort and refreshment. Greje easily hands over the bag she's holding to the other priest, whose garb is similar in style to Greje's own Aphrodisiac robes. Brother Hollen, who had been standing by the altar, preparing it, turns and gives a smile of greeting to the visitors. He wears a loose white chiton edged in gold loose over one elbow, cinched at his waist and trailing down his legs. "Come and relax," he calls, "We've made the couches ready for you." Which is to say that the front pews have been covered in lush cushions and fine fabrics for their comfort.

Ramiro gives his bag to Sister Amphino with a broad smile. "Thank you very much." He says, giving her a bowing nod of his head to mark his appreciation. He keeps his eyes above her neckline carefully, not wanting to appear rude. His ears, however, do turn a little red. At the request of moving towards the front pews, he looks to Brother Hollen. "You are very kind to us, thank you." He says, turning and moving to the front pew, lowering himself to lounge upon the front-right pew. Letting out a small sigh of pleasure, he gets himself comfortable.

The Sister is careful with the baggage, setting it to one side of the back of the room and then making sure the temple door is shut. Greje stops at the center end of the lefthand pew and takes a moment to divest herself of her shoes before slipping around and onto the pew, curling up amid the pillows and looking as pleased as a cat on a windowsill by the time Hollen is bringing a tray around with small finger-foods on it, some nuts, some pieces of bread, some cubes of fancy cheese. All fingerfoods. He brings it to Greje, first, perhaps in recognition of her priesthood, "Take and eat— you're our guests, and what we have is yours." She looks up to him with a warm smile, "Thank you for having us, Brother," she tells him as she takes a piece of cheese. Real goat cheese, even. She nibbles on it plain, savoring it while the tray is offered to Dane, and Amphino is around next, giving the priestling a kalyx cup, a ritual vessel for drinking and pouring libations. She gives one to Dane as well while Hollen opens up a bottle of wine. "Where Dionysus, so Aphrodite," he remarks with a smile, "Let's pour to the Lords and then ease our minds with his gifts." He comes to pour for Greje and then for Dane.

Ramiro, being a gracious guest, turns to smile at them and looking towards Greje. It being years since his last xenia, he's following her lead. As the drinks are poured, he carefully takes some one of the cheese as well, it's hard to come by. Taking a small bite, not wasting the flavor, he chews quietly as he reflects. Not wanting to be too quiet, a burden to his hosts, he looks to the Brother and Sister. He whispers a "Thank you" as the wine is poured. "You've made me feel very comfortable." He confirms.

The hosts are bustling, still, not putting any burden of conversation on their guests, and Greje doesn't seem to be feeling any, only savoring the last of the cheese cube as her kalyx is filled with wine, holding it steadily— it's heavy, there's a lot of wine in there, at least four or five normal cups full. But she doesn't drink, yet, of course— waiting for the libations, which in turn Hollen comes around to collect, bearing a wide, deep bowl and kneeling in front of Greje, "Pour, guest, to the Gods. First to Zeus, in whose eyes all friendship is sacred. Then to Aphrodite, Lady of this Temple, whose delight is comfort and whose constant companion is pleasure. Then to Poseidon and the Rosy-Fingered Aurora, whose blessings watch this place." Greje holds the Kalyx over the bowl and closes her eyes, lowering her head in personal prayer as she listens, pouring libation three times, as is asked of her, the wine sloshing red in the bowl. Even after she's poured, she doesn't drink, but lifts her head and gazes at the altar, where Amphino is tending the incense, while Hollen stands smoothly and goes to kneel before Dane, requesting the same libations of him.

Ramiro lowers his head, lips moving in whispers for a long moment. In both a display of his heritage and upbringing, as well as his gravity towards the situation, he says an extended series of words. Then, he pours the wine into the bowl three times. Closing his eyes for a moment longer, he lifts his gaze towards the Altar as well, falling into a long, deep contemplation. He sits still, relaxed, but deathly still.

Hollen lifts the bowl and stands smoothly, not spilling a drop of the wine as he slowly turns and bears it up to Amphino. "Take these offerings from the hands of our guests and give them to the Lords who look over these rites," he tells her, and she takes the bowl with a nod of approval, turning to the altar and holding the bowl in front of her over it. "I consecrate these offerings upon this altar, which have been poured forth in the name of friendship between men and Lords. To Zeus, who shakes the heavy thunderbolt, who takes pleasure in the host and in his guest, I sanctify them," she dips her fingers in the wine and splashes it onto the altar, "To Aphrodite, Lady of Laughter who delights in Genitalia, who delights in the dance and in pleasures both simple and rich, who gives happiness to men in the midst even of deepest misfortune, and by whose power the lineage of men lives on, I sanctify them." Another splash. "To Aurora, star of stars, the Rosy-Fingered Dawn who shares Tithonus' bed, who guides the sailor through the black and to a blessed future, I sanctify them." Again. "To Poseidon, who shakes the earth and riles or calms the sailing at his will, wielder of the trident, who fathers beautiful daughters, who delights in the choral dance of nymphs and in the pounding hooves of horses on the shore— I sanctify them." And again. "Accept this offering, bow your head, my Lords, in your divine approval, and be with us, drink deep the sweet aromas and give us your blessing." She pours the bowl over the carefully arranged altar, leaving it wet with wine.

Ramiro watches the display quietly, not touching any more food or drink as the offerings are poured. He softly closes his eyes and bows his head in reverence as the offerings are given, whispering a note of thanks under his breath in another fit of pious prayer. When the last of the wine is poured, he lifts his head and looks to the three of them quietly. Not out of his element, but being very quiet of a guest at the start, he looks across the idols present in recognition before raising his head a little more. He's ready for conversation.

Amphito lowers her head in a further moment of prayer, then steps to the side of the altar and turns, not turning her back directly to it, but then stepping down to the floor level, "Drink, drink," she encourages her guests with a smile, and Greje chuckles slightly at the impromptu exhortation, drinking deep of the wine shared with the Lords. The chuckle causes a similar one in the two priests, and Amphito steps further toward Dane, "I'm Sister Amphito, and this is Brother Hollen. Welcome to our temple. We're always glad to entertain guests— who are you, stranger? And where do you come from? And may I share the couch with you?" she asks with a cheerful smile.

Ramiro brings the decorative cup to his lip and takes a long drink from it. His eyes blink, surprised by the strength of it. Wine back on Gemenon was always much more tame. Lowering the drink, he looks to Amphito with a small, blushing smile. He looks to Hollen then and nods. "Thank you, thank you. I am Dane Falcus Ramiro of Gemenon, son to Tiberius and Diana. I am a warrior of the colonies, a hunter in the Colonial Marines." He motions to the bench beside him, loosening up a little bit, but a little bit of a deer in headlights at the Sister's choice of dress. "Please…sit with me."

The Temple doors are closed, but certainly not locked. The fore of the temple itself is decked out for the Rites of Xenia: and how. Lush cushions and pillows are sprawled over the front two pews, with rich blankets covering them. The smell of wine mingles with the smell of incense, and the altar's stained red with libations of wine. The temple priests, Brother Hollen and Sister Amphito, are dressed both in ritual garb— hers almost transparent, a golden, shimmering gown, his white, trimmed in gold, cinched around his waist but leaving most of his chest bare, the chiton draped loose over his elbow. Amphito is just reclining with Dane, settling next to him on her side among the pillows, and she reaches to share his wine with him, which was poured in a large ritual glass that looks to hold about a half bottle of wine in it my itself. "You're welcome here, Dane Falcus Ramiro, son of Tiberius," she smiles as she shares the wine, "I hope your journey here was a pleasant one."

Ramiro shifts a little as Amphito sits down partially alongside him and sips from the wine. "It was a learning experience, we travelled a long way to come here." He adds, looking to Greje for a moment before turning his attention back to Amphito. He smiles slowly to her. "Again, thank you so much for your hospitality. I have not been on a pilgrimage since I was much younger, before becoming a marine." He admits. "This brings me so much peace." He adds, taking a moment to sip the wine again, a little more sparingly. His Gemenese mannerisms loosen up a little bit more, but he keeps his eyes above her neckline still. "This ship and this temple are beautiful places."

Fulton enters the Chapel, one hand in his pocket, one hand opening the door to allow his entrance. He looks behind himself to the doors, brows furrowed, before he turns to look at the Cha- He stops cold, looking around at the trappings of the Xenia Rites. There's a tightening of his expression normally reserved for when you are in a hurry, going to a public restroom, go right instead of left and realize you went into the Womens lavatory. Oooh, he really shouldn't be here now. Well broken in calfskin boots slowly begin a reverse progression, as silently as possible. Perhaps if he can move out -exactly- the same way he came in, he can trick the space/time continuum that he never was really here. Not easy for a man of Fultons notoriety, but damnit, he's going to do his damndest to try to pull it off.

Hollen, meanwhile, is tuning the barbiton by the altar, preparing to entertain the guests with a hymn and accompaniment. Amphito lays alongside Dane, but doesn't otherwise act in any way forward. "Aphrodite has blessed this place with many pleasures," she smiles in agreement. Hollen looks up from his tuning as the door opens, and he beckons Fulton back into the room, "Come in! Come in… it's inauspicious to cast someone out from the threshold. Come, sit and have something to eat— have some wine, the libations have already been poured," he calls, and Greje, from her peaceful lounge upon the left front pew, looks back over her shoulder and smiles contentedly, "There's plenty of wine. Come and drink," she offers, raising the broad kalyx cup.

Ramiro looks over his shoulder for a moment. He looks to Fulton and offers the man a smile and a nod. The wine slowly seeps into his veins, and he in turn becomes more comfortable with the Sister laying alongside him. Gemenese indeed, this is a rather alien custom to him during xenia, but he is being a gracious guest. Speaking quietly with the sister, his scar on his arm is visible as his arm is slightlyraised, leaning on an elbow. "On the Genesis we've been blessed as well with the many blessings. My patron Lord, Apollo, has been kind to me, as have Aurora, Aphrodite, and Poseidon." He says, a flare of remembrance crossing over his eyes.

Fulton winces again, though his expression smooths as his hand in his pocket bunches beneath the fabric, and he takes in a slow breath, "I am.. Ill prepared to partake of this atmosphere." He says in a low, even tone. "I have come at an improper time and by my admission, would, disrupt these rites. I would not embitter the wine, Brother, Sister." His words chosen carefully, restraint in his features, control masking his reasons for being here, he continues backing to the doors, "Not cast out, simply taking leave of the peace, lest I taint it. I crave forgiveness for the intrusion."

Hollen takes up the tray of delicacies which he had passed around before— delicacies now, at least, including some cubes of real goat cheese. He nods his head in approbation to Fulton's words, "At least don't go empty-handed, but do us the honor of choosing a gift," he holds out the tray toward the man as he approaches the door. Greje sips at the wine thoughtfully as she watches the interaction, pale green eyes searching Fulton's face as if attempting to reach out to him and sense what could be done for him. Amphito allows the Brother to tend to the accidental xenos, watching quietly herself for a moment before returning to the quiet conversation, "Apollo, yes," she smiles, "Sister Greje was telling us how the Lord of the Bow has smiled upon you. Has allowed you to hear the breath of the laurel."

Ramiro glances over to Greje for a long moment, watching her in quiet recognition. Being a gracious guest still, he turns his attention back to his hostess after giving Greje a small smile. Looking to Amphito, he finds her eyes. "Yes I've been most humbled by my experiences." He admits. "Sister Greje was graceful enough of allowing me the honor to assist her in ritual. She, too, has been most kind to me." He adds, matching a smile with that sort of far-off soldier look in his eyes. He reaches out to take another piece of cheese and bites into it, watching his hostess, choosing a happy topic, he reflects. "This cheese is quite good."

Fulton looks like so many did just after the attacks, staring into oblivion. Far too common, though he seems as if he just stepped out from two months ago. He looks at Hollen, as if he were actually concerned about passing an infection to the man. He looks at the tray, then nods, reaching out before taking one of the small tidbits, careful to take the food off the tray without allowing his shadow to pass over any of the other food, and careful to only directly touch the toothpick speared through the item. He takes the morsel and nods to Hollen, giving possibly the fakest, most perfunctory smile ever seen off him and he turns, moving to the doors now, every movement one of someone who considers themselves contaminated for their surroundings.

If the priest takes notice of the care given to the ritual purity of the other pieces of food, he makes no note aloud of it, but keeps his welcoming countenance steady until Fulton retreats, following to make sure the door is closed again before turning back to set the tray on a small stand mid-way between the front pews, in easy reach of either guest, and to continue tuning the barbiton. "Apollo wouldn't have lent his voice to be heard by just anyone," he notes. "She chose wisely in you," he says, standing up near the altar as he prepares to perform, his comment eliciting one from Greje: "The Rosy-Fingered one made certain he was near— I only accepted the aid she offered me." She lifts her kylix in toast to the Dawn, "Evoe, Matutina!" she gives a soft ritual cheer. "So say we all," Amphito replies to the cheer, eliciting matched replies from Greje and Hollen. Greje reaches out to Hollen with the kylix to offer him a drink before he begins, while Amphito says, "Hollen, sing for our guests of the Laurel, which gives Apollo's voice to the Pythian scrolls, and of the serpent which the Lord slew with his arrows." It seems a fitting song.

"So say we all." Ramiro replies, looking to Greje and raises the kylix in the toast as well. When he retreats the kylix back to where he and Amphito lay, he blinks. He just toasted with a kylix, a rather non-Gemenese gesture. The wine must be getting to him. Looking to Greje again with a knowing look, he smiles to her and rests back down on his elbow, turning his attention back to Amphito. He hasn't forgotten Greje in the least, and appears to be doing his best job at being good company for their hosts. "I hope that I can maintain that level of confidence." He smiles. "I listen for the callings and I set my heart to them. I don't intend to falter in the least. What we do in this age is just as vital as it was long ago." He smiles to Amphito, and then runs a hand through his hair. "I am still…humbled that I could interpret Pythian Apollo's voice. I can only hope that he is pleased at my delivery."

Greje relaxes with another long draught of wine as Hollen strikes up a series of chords on the barbiton, the playing obviously soothing to her soul. She's right at home, enjoying the pleasures that Aphrodite sends… the sweet wine, the soft couch, the trilling music and the half-naked man singing the lay of the First Love of Apollo — how he defied Aphrodite, proud in his conquest over the Python (thus establishing the Pythian oracles), wishing to remain a virgin all his days, and how Aphrodite tamed the master bowman with arrows of her own, weilded by the hand of Lust— how she taught him desire. And Greje lets herself be conquered by it, too… the pleasures of it all, not resisting the Goddess but letting the Lady of Laughter have her way with her. Amphito continues to share wine with Dane, listening to the music but continuing to converse, the singing not too loud to preclude conversation, beautifully sung and played as it is. "Nobody could call you hubristic," she notes. "If he were displeased, I have no doubt he'd have left nothing but cotton in your ears."

"Hubris and Confidence draw a fine line…" Ramiro says, although the wine's seeped into his blood now, effectively loosening his muscles, he replies quietly to Amphito as he listens to the music. Breathing in slowly, he takes in the scents of the chapel around him. That little bit of Gemenese stoicism coming out through his words. "…one should be vigilant to ensure that their confidence doesn't bleed into hubris." He adds. His eyes lift over to Hollen and then over to Greje. He blushes at some of the words in the music, and slowly thinks with a smile that this is what his parents warned him about. It's a quiet thought to himself, he sips some more of the wine, watching Greje over the rim of the kalyx. He turns his gaze back to Amphito. "Please, tell me about yourself." He asks politely as he listens to the music.

Amphito slowly grows a little flushed from the wine, herself, but she obviously knows how to handle it. "The line may be fine, but it's difficult to cross. Confidence is having faith that you can do the miraculous when borne up by the Lords. Hubris is thinking that the miraculous comes to you by itself. You remember the Lords in all things… you let them be your beacon. You recognize that theirs is the light, not yours. I can't see that opinion changing easily," she notes, a slight sparkle in her dark eyes. Greje picks up from the other pew, cradling her cheek in the crook of her elbow as she lounges, "But is it hubristic to have such faith in one's ability to remain faithful?" she asks, engaging in her other pleasant pastime, theological speculation. Amphito smiles back over, "Of course not— our ability to remain faithful is the Lords' ability to guide us. By having faith in that, we show our faith in them." "Ah! But by that logic… our ability to fire a gun is Apollo's ability to guide our aim. Is faith in the one still identical to faith in the other?" she light-heartedly banters with the other priest over the sweet sound of the singing, and Amphito laughs, "It's been too long since I've been in seminary, Greje. I can't keep up with the paradoxes," she smiles eliciting laughter in the priestling, as well, before replying to Dane: "I grew up on Aquaria. I was a child of the temple there," she tells him. That is, a child conceived in rites involving sexual intercourse— most often Aphrodite's. "My father was a priest there and my mother was Aphrodite," she gives the usual lineage given in such cases. "I was indoctrinated into Aphrodite's rites when I turned eighteen, and decided I wanted to go to seminary to attain ordination. I gave myself to the Trident-Wielding God, and have followed his currents across the wine-dark since then. But Aphrodite is still my mother," she smiles warmly.

Ramiro listens quietly, watching Greje and Amphito speak quietly as he continues to lounge and eat as he does. He's starting to look like he's liking it. When Amphito turns her words to her effective history, Ramiro watches her, nodding as he does so. With the music still playing, he focuses on the notes for a short moment. Looking to keep Greje and Amphito in his vision, he replies with a comfortable bit of intoxication visible. "I've always likened my faith to the aim of a bow. It's the attention you pay to it and the feel. The Lords is not in the pulling of the trigger or the aiming, but the feeling you have when trying to determine." He offers Amphito some more wine, looking between the two of them. He's coming further out of his shell, giving them each a charming smile. "I feel that it is also the Lords' place to determine which of us are most faithful, not our own, save for anointed Brothers and Sisters of course to guide us." He runs a hand through his hair, finally realizing the wine's gone to his head. "Wow…" He gives a small chuckle.

Greje nibbles on some good bread and saves the remnants of the wine for Hollen once he's done singing. He croons soulfully on the hair of Daphne, how Apollo buried his face in it and smelled her scent, about to complete his entry into her virginity when Aphrodite's revenge was brought to its full, and he was left in the cold embrace of the tree that was his first lover, his face buried in the laurel leaves, still taking in their scent, his breath breathing over them as he cried aloud in mingled ecstacy and grief— and to this day, the smoke of the laurel bears with it the voice of Apollo singing good and ill for man. Greje's attention wavers from the song to Dane's expression of his faith, "That's beautifully spoken, Dane. The Goddess' Graces are on your breath," she tells him, warm with wine and song. Amphito agrees with a gentle nod and a smile while the song comes to its completion.

Ramiro listens to the lyrics for a long moment before replying. Closing his eyes softly, he focuses on the words. Of course, not the interpretation his fundamentalism would prefer, with a bit more powerful language that he's used to. He is, also, a guest. However, he's living and letting live. Glancing to Amphito, he gives her a coy smile and turns his gaze to Greje, giving them each the shared smile. "What can I say? I've never been in a temple in Aphrodite sight since the one on Gemenon. I'm finding inspiration in all of this." He rubs his arm over his scar mindlessly. "I keep a journal. I try to be poetic."

Greje is actually brought to tears by the beauty of the end of the song, her own experiences with the laurel smoke still fresh in mind. She lifts the kylix to her lips, planting a kiss on the rim, then passes it to him. He still holds the barbiton in one hand, but takes the kylix in the other, bending his elbow up and out so as to twist it around and find the place she kissed to drink from, draining the kylix to the lees and then twirling it about a finger to demonstrate that it's empty, making her eyelids and heart flutter a bit at once. She's -deep- in the cup by now, and not minding it a bit. Amphito lifts a hand to Dane's arm, looking to touch where he's touching, "Is there a poem about this, yet? Or is this the poem itself, written into your flesh, the tale of deeds bravely done, needing no words?" she asks, looking into his eyes. Greje, meanwhile, invites Hollen and his barbiton to come lie beside her, and he holds it while her lithe fingers thrum out a hymnal tune… in a drunken way, the tune meandering like a newborn calf as she plays, whispering in quiet conversation with the priest laying beside her.

Ramiro turns his attention to Amphito, providing Greje and Hollen some privacy for their conversation. Taking another sip from the cup, he turns his eyes to hers and tells the story quietly. "No there is no poem or story written down or told yet, but it is recent." He replies, smiling to her. "Yes…that is what it is. I helped save a man's life in receiving it. I thank for it every day." He replies, giving the sister a small smile. "I do write, but I am not a poet. I wouldn't want to write of myself in that manner either."

Amphito keeps things very mild between them, not wanting to cross too many of the Gemenese man's boundaries. She -does- give him that warm, welcoming gaze as she speaks to him, does lean gently against his body the way they're reclining together on the couch, does idly move her finger along the fresh scarrage, "Someone else will, one day. You do deeds worthy of being told. Write of Apollo, then. Praise your patron— the Lords love their honors." Across the aisle, things are moving along perhaps a bit more apace, with tears mingled with laughter from the Genesis Chaplain, giving herself into the comforting and delightful embrace of her fellow priest. There's a tender kiss, and Greje nods her head as she decides to meet him later that night for the rites. He nods in return, and rises, going to wish Dane a good night before he withdraws to prepare himself, leaving Greje to begin a new song on the barbiton, playing and singing along to the music — A choral ode from Hippolytus Garlanded for the enjoyment of the pair on the next pew.

Ramiro smiles brightly at Amphito, not exactly noticing the exchange between Greje and Hollen. Smiling to the man, he nods to him. "Goodnight, Brother Hollen. Rest well." He says before taking a moment to savor the music. Letting out a long, relaxed sigh, he opens his eyes and gives Ampito a bright, beaming smile. Almost all of his stress and battle weariness washed away, he reflexively drapes an arm around the Sister's shoulder. "I will, thank you…" He trails off. "I should have thought of that before. I've been recording my experiences, and many of my prayers." He replies. "You're too kind, though, I could only hope one day my stories will be worthy of being told, perhaps we'll see, right?" He says, slipping out of his typical Gemenese prose and pointedness. He gives a light, drunken chuckle in her direction. He looks down the pew and over the pillows they're reclining on. He lets out another small chuckle. "I've never been in…well I've never been so…relaxed." He admits, deciding not to mention he's never been given this sort of treatment.

Greje continues to sing lightly, not drowning out conversation on the other pew. "I have no doubts," Amphito speaks, "That this will be a time spoken of as long as Aphrodite sparks desire in the loins of men and makes them to beget children. How we act here… and what we do here… will not be forgotten," she tells him, as if with absolute certainty. In vino veritas.

Ramiro watches Amphito's eyes for a long moment, blinking slowly. His arm around her, he rests a hand on her shoulder. "Neither do I." He replies. "The Lords watch our actions and we need to watch for signs of their approval and their direction at every turn." He adds, offering her another sip of the wine. Soothed by the music, the wine in his blood warms him as he rests there with the Sister. Blushing slightly at the mention of her language in reference to Aphrodite, it's only a small reaction, still, he cracks a small grin. "No, what we do in these ages will not be."

Amphito dips her head to the remnants of the wine, touching lips to liquid and then rising again, rosy-lipped and flushed-cheeked, leaning close against him with a smile of mixed reverence and warmth. "Not even this," she adds with a whisper, brushing her lips against his, and then, if he's receptive, giving him a long, wine-sweet kiss.

((ooc: the scene stopped at this point. Did he or didn't he? Fade to black goodness.))

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