Who am I to Judge?
Who am I to Judge?
Summary: James and Adele run into each other and tea ensues. Then Zaharis calls on the wireless.
Date: 85 ACH
Related Logs: None

Courthouse Lobby Carina - Main Level
85 ACH 23817 Souls

Entering, the first thing the person sees is a large plaque showing the symbol of the Colonial Judicial Government branch. From this central lobby, there are many doors, each labeled to serve a different purpose.


James lurks just outside the courtroom. Peeping. Or alternatively not peeping because he is not, contrary to popular belief, a peeper. Instead, he's tapping feverishly away at his PDA. Either it's work, or he's really trying to find his favourite tune to play. Who knows.

Adele strides out of the JAG office, folder in hand. Though her stride is purposeful and brisk, there is a distracted expression upon her face as she heads towards the housing area. When she passes the courtroom, it takes a moment for her to register a familiar figure. "James," she calls when realization dawns.

James pauses, stylus poised over the wee screen. "Ma'am?" comes his immediate reaction, followed by a more genuine smile when he spots who it is. "Adele, what can I do for you?"

"Just getting your attention so I can say hello," Adele replies, returning the smile. "Hello." She comes to a stop near James and arches her brows at his PDA. "Work?"

James waves the stylus threateningly. "Don't laugh, I do have a case to deal with. All right, so perhaps it isn't rocket science, but it's at least some real work. How are you?" he adds on the end, tucking the stylus neatly into its holder.

Adele holds up her hands, palms facing James. "I wasn't going to laugh!" she defends herself, lowering her arms. "I'm glad you're keeping busy. And I'm fine, thank you. Just headed home from a meeting with JAG about the school that's about to be built."

James immediately tucks the PDA away into its holster, offering the crook of his arm. "Ah, well, do please allow me to walk you home, then. I trust your meeting came to a satisfactory conclusion?"

Adele takes James' arm unthinkingly, as though she has slipped back into the past. Her folder stays in her opposite hand as she begins moving in the direction of her townhome. "Yes, just some inventory matters. We've been stockpiling all manner of educational texts, it's been quite the project. What sort of case do they have you working on?"

James gives her a faintly admonishing look. "You do know I can't discuss that with you," he reminds her, resting his free hand over hers as they walk, to complete the look of snowglobe-perfect-couple. "Where the blazes did you get educational texts from, though, I have to ask? Is there a library on board of which I wasn't aware?"

At the admonishment, Adele looks a little sheepish; it's been a long while since she's engaged a lawyer in casual conversation, obviously. The sensation of her hand being covered by his sends a sudden jolt of realization through her, and she tries to politely nudge it away as she answers his question. "No, and far from it. But we've put out a bulletin asking for those in possession of educational texts of any level to donate them to the project. As you can imagine, there aren't very many. People don't tend to bring biology textbooks with them on vacation."

James hurriedly drops his hand to his side, nodding to her explanation. "Well, quite. I'm sorry to say that I can't offer anything, myself. I only brought some light reading and a couple of newspapers with me. But then, I rather didn't expect to be out here for longer than a couple of weeks."

"I had a few medical journals," Adele replies, her tone a touch wistful. "But they, along with everything else I owned, were destroyed on the PAS." She lapses into silence, her pace timed perfectly to his as they walk. With a frown, she asks, "Do you remember that amethyst bracelet you gave me? It's gone, too."

James arches an eyebrow. "But you'd kept it, though? That's… oddly comforting." He quirks a half grin, glancing sidelong at her. "I wish I could tell my mother. She was dreadfully disappointed in you, you know."

Adele returns James' sidelong glance, her smile returning. "Of course I kept it. I never considered our time together something to regret, James." The comment about his mother sets her lips to pursing. "Well, she wasn't the only one. And you telling her that I kept your gifts would just be fodder for gossip."

James grins easily. "If I told her, she'd insist you were just a little gold digger, out to take whatever you could get your hands on. For some reason you weren't entirely the flavour of the month at home for some time, you know. But /I/ am glad you kept it."

"Me too," Adele replies, putting on a haughty tone as she tips up her chin. "It went perfectly with this plum suit I had." The facade shatters as a smile breaks through the indifferent expression she had adopted. As they close in on her townhome, she asks, "Do you want to come inside for some coffee or tea?"

"Well, if it wouldn't be a bother, that would be lovely," James agrees with a smile. "Thank you so much."

Adele smiles, leading James into the house. "It's no bother at all. I love to entertain, but most of my friends and acquaintances are military, so their schedules are erratic and shore leave isn't always guaranteed." Stepping into the livingroom, she gestures to the couch and chair, then goes into the kitchen to put a kettle on. "I'm running a little low on coffee, so I hope tea's all right."

"Tea would be splendid, thank you," James calls back, loitering by a seat without actually sitting down. He once again eyes the decor of the place, with a sort of bemused distaste. All these sweaty, uneducated sportsmen on the walls. Unable to leave well alone, however, he moves to straighten one of the posters, then steps back to eye it critically.

Things clank around efficiently as Adele prepares some water for tea. After a few moments, she strides back into the living room and eyes James eyeing a poster. "Are you a fan of…" She takes a step closer to look at the name on the jersey. "B. Adonkis?"

"Whom?" James queries, an eyebrow raised, then a quick glance back at the content of the poster illuminates him. "Ah. Oh. No, no. I'm afraid not. I don't think I'd know him if I found him in my soup."

Adele grins, giving the poster one last once-over before she turns to settle herself carefully upon the couch. "Neither am I. But I've grown used to the decor, and I'm fairly sure Jesse and Reece appreciate it. Even if they didn't, there's nothing to replace it with, and I hate completely sparse walls."

James tucks his hands behind his back, heading for the chair now that she's seated. "Would you like a cutting, perhaps?" he suggests, shrugging lightly. "Keeping plants is good for the soul, I've heard."

Adele tilts her head to the side, considering. "You know, I think I might like that," she answers after a few seconds. "I miss my cat; I suppose a plant is a good alternative."

James smiles shyly at that, nodding simply. "I'll put something aside for you. Something nice and easy to keep, I realise you're probably awfully busy."

Adele smiles in return, just as the kettle begins to whistle. "Thank you. I'll be right back." She stands, and disappears into the kitchen once more. To steep!

James hops to his feet again. It's automatic. Lady stands, James stands. "Can I help you with anything, Adele?" he calls after her, absently flexing his fingers.

"No, I've got it!" Adele calls back, as things begin to clink around again. After a few moments, she reemerges with a sports-themed tray, two mugs of tea, and a tiny bowl of sugar. The spoon also looks to be some kind of Pyramid souvenir. She sets the tray down on the coffee table. "Sugar?"

"Two lumps, thank you," James responds, nodding politely. "Gosh, I don't know quite how you can live with this all. I think I should have gone doolally within the first week. Is /everything/ sports based?"

One and two. Adele fixes James' tea first, then reaches over to offer him the mug, along with a spoon so he can engage in his ritualistic stirring. "Mostly, yes," she answers, sweetening her own tea. "But compared to having to share a bunkroom with dozens of other individuals? This is quite preferable, sports or no." She takes up the mug and returns to the couch.

The wireless receiver (#874) starts buzzing. Use +com/answer to answer it.

James stirs. He concentrates as he stirs, one way, then the other, then the little tap of spoon against rim, and then… the horror… his ritual is interrupted by the wireless buzzing. He gives the poor machine a look of pure malevolence, then begins the stirring routine again.

Adele's tea is halfway to her lips - she is a faster stirrer, see - when the wireless buzzes. Looking surprised, she sets her mug down instead. "James, I'm sorry. It might be work. Or Jesse." Yes, it's slightly rude of her. She stands, and goes to pick up the headset.

[Private] Adele says, "This is Adele."

[Private] Zaharis says, "And I'm glad to hear her voice."

[Private] Adele says, "Hey, you. How are things over there?"

Adele gives James an apologetic look.

James boings up, then back down again when she rises, cradling his tea awkwardly as he waits for it to cool. The apologetic look is noted and a brief smile of understanding sent in return.

[Private] Zaharis says, "Tense here and there, but there's nothing I can do about it myself. Lot of waiting. What are you up to over there?"

[Private] Adele says, "Yeah, I don't know much about what's going on other than the Destiny is missing, apparently." There's a pause, and then she answers his question. "Entertaining. James is over for tea."

James gives an awkward smile and nods towards the wireless, an eyebrow lifted in question.

When Adele mentions James on the wireless, she casts a glance in the direction of her guest. Then she mouths 'Jesse'.

[Private] Zaharis says, "Ah." Then there's a pause from him too. It lasts longer than he'd probably intended. "Alright. Well, I should get some things done over here for now."

[Private] Adele says, "I'll call you soon, okay? I love you."

[Private] Zaharis says, "Sure. Love you."

[Private] Zaharis hangs up the wireless and ends the call.

[Private] Adele hangs up the wireless and ends the call.

"I'm sorry, I'm intruding," James insists, taking a long drink of his scalding hot tea. "Please, I don't want to overstay my welcome when you'd rather be talking to your young fellow."

Adele hangs up the wireless, standing by the wall for a few beats after the conversation is over. After James speaks, she turns, and heads back towards the couch. "No, you're not intruding. I invited you over, remember?" She settles back down and picks up her mug, but doesn't drink from it. "I'll call him later, after he's had time to imagine all sorts of unseemly things, I'm sure."

James looks affronted at that. "My goodness, what sort of a chap did you tell him I am?"

"My ex-fiance," Adele answers, looking wryly amused. "He hasn't expressed anything at all about you, but I know if a woman from his past suddenly popped back up, it would be difficult for me to remain completely neutral."

"But you'd trust him to be a gentleman," James insists. "And that's what matters."

"Yes, I would," Adele agrees, punctuating that statement with a sip of tea. "Because I trust him. Would I necessarily trust another /woman/? Someone I hardly knew?" She arches a brow, setting her mug down. "I'm sure Jesse trusts me, but he hasn't met you. And he didn't grow up in such a genteel environment, where men and women adhere to a strict code of etiquette while with one another."

"I suppose he's one of these chaps who insists everyone call him by his first name, is he?" James asks, tone faintly disapproving. "The sort of chap who'll let a lady open her own doors and so forth."

Adele's eyes narrow somewhat, and she ignores her tea for the moment. "He's not Caprican, James. He grew up in a manner so far removed from anything we're used to that he's bound to have different ways of doing things." It almost looks as if she's going to go on, when she reaches for her mug. "I'm not going to sit here and defend him to you, though. I should hope I have outgrown the need for anyone's approval."

"I didn't say anything against him," James points out. "If he's some greasy little chap from the slums somewhere but you're happy with him, then who am I to judge? It isn't my life, is it, any more?"

Adele blinks a few times. It's her turn to look affronted. "Greasy little chap from the slums? He's a doctor, James, and a Major in the Colonial Navy! He might not have come from the best of circumstances, but it's a testament to the content of his character that he has gotten as far as he has." She sucks in a sharp breath, physically calming herself. "And no, it's not your life, but I'm happy to be your friend. But that's going to prove difficult if you continue to belittle this man whom you haven't even met."

James holds up a hand. "If. If, Adele. I'm not by any means saying that your current beau is some sort of dirty little beggar boy, I was using hyperbole to state my point."

Adele's lips draw into a line. "Well. Good. Because he's not." That's as articulate as her response is going to get, apparently. She resumes drinking her tea, looking a bit dour.

"Would your father approve?" James can't help himself, before he clams up and takes a sip of tea.

Adele just stares straight ahead over the mug of her tea, from which she takes an overlong sip. "Of course he wouldn't," she answers, finally, as she sets the empty mug down. "No one in our social circle would, and for no good reason, too. Now if we could please leave this subject, thank you."

"Of course, and I apologise if I caused any offence," James insists, almost as an automatic reaction. "I just can't imagine ever crossing my father," he adds in an attempt to lighten the mood. "It would take a braver man than I to stand up to Alistair Holloway."

Adele smiles. It's a small smile, but it's there. "It's not an easy thing to do, failing to live up to people's expectations. I was just lucky, I suppose, in that my mother drove me away more than she made it attractive to remain and emulate her." Her smirk is fleeting. "But, then, my father wasn't Alistair Holloway. I might well have gone into law if he had been."

"I've always rather liked your mother," James admits sheepishly. "She's never been anything but kind to me."

"She always rather liked you," Adele returns, the smirk returning, however faint. "I swear she was trying to live vicariously through me, having us get engaged."

James allows a faint grin to cross his features. "But you wouldn't have it. A chap like me certainly wasn't enough for you. And then running away to work among the sweat and squalor of a seedy little clinic, in your bare feet and with your hair poking about like some sort of harridan, it's little wonder your poor mother despaired."

Adele gives James a quick roll of her eyes. "Gods forbid that I should desire to work for a living, as opposed to arranging teas with the Caprican Ladies' Society and drawing up agendas for who we are going to snub each week." She wrinkles her nose, then settles her gaze more seriously upon her guest. "I would have made a terrible wife, you know."

"Oh, I don't know," James reasons, grin still playing at his lips. "Your tea isn't bad, for a start. How's your agenda writing?"

Adele laughs quietly, tilting her head in an amused fashion at James. "Sub-par, I should say. Definitely not up to CLS standards." A yawn suddenly draws her mouth open, and she reaches up to politely shield it.

James drains the last of his tea at the cue, rising to his feet. "Well, I must say, it's been wonderful to speak with you again. Thank you so much for the tea, and for your hospitality."

Adele stands when James does. "Of course. It's been nice." And as sketchy as things got, her words still sound sincere. "I'll see you soon, I hope. I really would like you to meet Jesse sometime."

James gives a wry smile. "Well, I'm not entirely sure that's a good idea. He might not approve of /me/, after all. I'm not some sort of talented doctor."

Adele returns the wry smile with an endeared one of her own. "Well, if you're going to pass judgment on one another, I'd like you both to be at least a little informed." She walks him to the door and pauses there.

"Perhaps I can invite you both to dinner when you're available, then," James suggests, taking her hand briefly to squeeze. "Thank you so much once again. You have my number, just call me and let me know when's a good time."

Adele squeezes James' hand in return, dipping her head in a nod. "I will. I'll see you soon, James. Have a good evening." She opens the door, still smiling.

James leaves for Housing Area [O].
James has left.

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