The Naked Truth
Timeline: Backpost: PCH-10 1700 Hours
It’d been a quiet day – exactly what Jamie had needed. The excitement of their first encounter with the Cylons after the attack had passed over, and if it were up to him, wouldn’t happen again. He was sure just about everyone else on the ship, as well as the Fleet, felt the same.
The young medic, having only ever been a reservist and never served on board a ship, was naturally not as familiar with the common heads as the rest of the crew. Circumstances now didn’t allow for luxuries, and so he got on with it and went in with his small bag of toiletries and a towel. It was surprisingly empty, but he knew it wouldn’t be for long.
The sound of the rolling lock could be heard across the room and, with a clank, the door opened to reveal a woman with curly hair. She stepped into the room with her toiletries bin in one arm and closed the door behind her. Without ceremony, she walked over to the sinks in the middle of the room and sat her stuff down. When she walked, her hips moved back and forth in a noteworthy motion; this was the origin of her pilot callsign.
Jamie had watched her walk in, and wondered whether to mind his own business or to say hello. With only the two of them in the head, the silence between them felt somewhat awkward. “Hi,” he said quickly.
Her captivating brown eyes darted up from the place where she had been staring in the mirror and toward the source of the greeting. She took note of the man standing across from her on the other side of the mirrored middle section that separates the two sides of sink. “Hi,” she respond, offering a smile that was no more than friendly. She looked back down at the mirror and lifted a caramel hand up to her eye, brushing a stray lash back into place.
“How’s your day been?” he asked. It wasn’t usual for him to chat with strangers, but he has found the increasing need to interact with others. Without distractions his mind was beginning to spiral through dark and unhealthy thoughts.
“Well, I just finished a dog shift and only had to fly one CAP because of the changes that are happening around here,” she said matter-of-factly, still critiquing her appearance in the mirror. “I wasn’t shot out of the sky by a toaster at any point, so I’d call it a good day.” With that, she looked up at him and brought herself up to a full standing position. She smiled slightly and turned her head to the side. He was cute in a boyish way. “I don’t believe we’ve met,” she said, sauntering around the sink toward him on the other side, as was her way, and extending a hand toward him. “I’m Vixen.”
Jamie had a feeling that that wasn’t her real name, and it quickly dawned on him that pilots would (almost) always introduce themselves by their call signs. He took the hand and gave it a gentle shake. “Jamie. Nice to meet you,” he said. “I’m one of the medics.”
“Ooo, a doctor,” she said with a broadening grin and a giggle, mimicking the cliche women who would be into such things. “It’s nice meet you too, Jamie.” She continued, “How has your day been?”
He’d have to admit that he did like the sound of being referred to as a ‘doc’ amongst his military colleagues, and would at times regret not taking up the chance for medical school even when he had the grades for it. But he knew was by no means a physician, and said, “Oh no, I’m not a doctor. Just a paramedic.” Then to answer her question, “It’s been… better, I suppose.”
She’d heard his words of improvement, but she zeroed in on his subtle expression of his feelings surrounding the last few days. She could relate to the pain. “We’ve all lost people, Jamie,” she said, turning her head slightly to the side and smiling gently. “Stay strong and take it one day at a time; that’s what I’m doing anyway.”
Jamie had just placed some toothpaste over the brush, but with Vixen’s words of everyone having lost people they knew, made him stare at the blue paste in silence, thinking of Oliver, his father… even his mother who had passed away quite a while back. And all of it was too much, as he arched forward over the sink. Tears began to flow, and it was impossible to stop them as they streamed ahead. He seemed to cough, then continued with several sobs, trying to turn away so his face couldn’t be seen.
Slowly, she took another step toward him and placed a hand on his shoulder, understanding crossing her radiant features. She was like this, seeming to step over the boundaries that people put up without even being noticed. She was quiet as the man fought back tears and, eventually, she turned to the sink next to him and began brushing her own teeth. In mid brush, she asked a question, her mouth full of white and blue foam. “Whaddoyoodoo furr fahn arounn here?”
The young medic wasn’t quite sure how to answer. There was absolutely nothing fun to do on the ship. It wasn’t a ship he was familiar with – he’d never even served on one before. What fun could there possibly be on board a military carrier?! He gave her a look of incredulity, but softened it somewhat. “Nothing. I… there’s nothing fun here.” He looked back at his sink. “Not right now.”
Vixen grin a half grin and shook her head. Only pilots know how to have fun in space. She rinsed out her mouth and, when she was done, turned off the water. “I’m fun here.” she said with a raised eyebrow as she nonchalantly removed her flight jacket and let it drop to the floor. “Don’t you have anybody to spend your time with?”
“No. Not really,” he said. “I wasn’t a part of this crew originally. Sorry, I didn’t mean to say you’re not fun. It’s just… I haven’t been in the best of moods. You pilot types seem to have a different outlook. I met another one the other day at the mess hall, cheerful as anything. Just seems a little odd to me. Sorry.”
“Viper jocks have to face death in space directly. We’re the ones who go barrelling toward danger, guns firing. If someone’s going to die first, it’s going to be us. We have to learn to take things easy,” she said as she gripped the base of her beater and pulled it up over her head, tossing in onto the floor. She also bent down and pushed her pants down to the floor, stepping out of them. She stood there then in a black bra and panties, her skin caramel, healthy and smooth. She had shapely hips, perfect breasts, and toned legs; the uniform had been hiding a lot. “Don’t apologize, I understand. You should find a friend, Jamie. It’s not good to be alone at a time… like this… at the end of the worlds.”
He turned away as she undressed, out of respect, then suddenly said, “I did have someone, but I’m afraid he’s dead. He was everything in the world to me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said with a frown. She’d never really had a man who meant the world to her in her life. She tended to pick the wrong kind of guy, and she knew it. For a moment, she felt both sadness for his loss and envy for what he’d had. She reached around and unhooked her bra, allowing her full breasts to fall to their natural position. As her underwear dropped around her ankles, she looked at him. “You really aren’t used to Fleet life, huh Jamie?” she asked, smiling just a bit. “I haven’t seen anyone avert their eyes in the head in a long time.” In truth, she appreciated it. It was nice to be given consideration every once in a while.
Jamie allowed for a quick glance at her before his eyes darted off again. She was certainly attractive, largely based on knowing what many of his male friends would go crazy for. He wondered if she would have undressed privately if she hadn’t known which way he swung.
“Yeah, well,” he said, sniffing away the last of the congestion from his nose, thanks to the sobbing he’d done. “You’re right, I’m not really used to this. I was a reservist and only spent maybe two months a year training with the Fleet. I needed some money to get me through paramedic school.” He grabbed the bottom of his own undershirt, slipping it off, chucking it to the side bench before ruffling his hair with a hand. “Does the water pressure get better when ten other people aren’t using it?”
“Hell yes it does,” she said, her infamously naughty smile crossing her face as she sauntered gracefully over to her bin full of toiletries and picked it up. “Why do you think I chose now to shower?”
Jamie chuckled, perhaps the first time he’s done for a long while. “Fair enough. Hopefully the same goes with the water temperature.”
He then unbuckled his trousers, pulled them off to leave him only in undershorts. He’d normally slip those off only once he entered the shower cubicle, often saving him from the embarrassment of the occasional stiffy when amongst crew members of the same sex. But this time he felt slightly more adventurous, taking them off as well, the odd thought of doing so in front of a new friend crossing his mind.
“Woo!” Vixen exclaimed, clapping and giggling. “Now you’re officially one of the crew.” She nodded her approval and then looked around, trying to decide which shower cubicle she would select. She hadn’t yet found her favourite and was still experimenting. In any other context, a man and woman standing naked would have been much more suggestive.
Jamie had still been self-conscious, unsure of how someone who was no more than a complete stranger five minutes ago would judge his body. He wasn’t as built as some of the pilots or marines may be, but knew he wasn’t too bad either, having kept himself reasonably well-maintained in terms of health and fitness. He would still, however, have a long way to go with his somewhat lanky frame, if he ever wanted to exert any of the ‘manliness’ other male Fleeters seemed so focused on. His boyish face and smooth torso certainly didn’t help.
But seeing Vixen’s response to his nakedness brought forth no feelings of embarrassment whatsoever. He walked over to one of the showers, leaving the door ajar, and twisted the faucet. “Do you know how stringent they are with water restrictions?”
“We’re supposed to keep it to five minutes,” she said, picking the shower next to his. “But water filtration systems aboard Battlestars are really efficient, so we should be good for years. At least… that’s what some egghead down in engineering told me.”
“Oh yeah?” Jamie gave a light smile. He reached out to make sure the water was neither burning nor freezing, before stepping it. The water ran down his hair, face and neck, then his entire body. Consuming him like a welcoming and refreshing embrace. “I’m pretty spoilt back home. I’ve run showers as long as three-quarters of an hour before. Oliver’s given me a scolding for a few sky-high water bills.”
“Well, I used to be spoiled too.” she said as she stepped into the warm water and allowed the liquid to fall, like so-many teardrops down her beautiful form. She closed her eyes as the water infiltrated her curly locks and ran down her face like a waterfall. “But I got away from all that. I wanted my life to be rougher… dirtier, somehow.” She paused for a moment, picking up her bar of soap. “Where are you from, Jamie?”
“Scorpia,” he answered. “Glenvale Harbour. The next city past Argentum. You been?”
“I’ve been to Argentum before. My family vacationed there once,” she said, squinting to remember. “I think I was like 12 or something like that?” she asked herself, raising a brow and then shaking her head. “I don’t know… we went on a lot of vacations.”
“If you last visited when you were twelve, I can tell you, you haven’t experienced Argentum’s real fun side.” It hadn’t been particularly long since Jamie’s late teens, when everything seemed to centre around alcohol-fuelled parties and nightlife. He’d grown sick of it earlier than most, especially after graduating from university and moving onto the start of his professional life. Plus, having Oliver meant giving up weekend nights on the prowl. He certainly didn’t miss that.
He then asked, “How about you? Where’re you from?”
“I’m from Canceron. Born and raised in Psammos,” she said. “But I travelled outside the tall ways to find my own fun…”
“Ah yeah,” Jamie nodded, scrubbing his hair with his shampoo. “Good surf out there. I’ve been once. Only once. Everything’s so bloody expensive there…”
She thought on that for a moment, having never noticed. Her family was rich beyond imagining and she’d never been short on credits. “Yeah, I guess it is,” she said simply as she ran her soapy hands over her body. “Were you a big surfer back when the worlds were still in one piece?”
“Hmm, sort of. I was all right, I guess. Ollie was a lot better than I was. Let’s just say I’ve stomached many a mouthfuls of salty seawater…”
“I used to be queen of the waves,” she said with a sudden chuckle. Silence followed for several seconds and then she sighed audibly. “You think we’ll ever get to surf again?”
Jamie gave it some thought. He had no idea, and was sure no one would. “Not for a while, I reckon. Not until we find a new place to call home. Our star systems were… pretty special. Not often do would you come across so many habitable planets in such close proximity to each other. But all we really need now is just one…” He rinsed himself off before twisting the faucet off, reaching out for his towel to wrap around his waist.
“We’ll find it, she said, turning off her faucet as well and stepping out, a towel around her body. She picked up all of her things in a great pile and looked over at him. “It was nice to meet you, Jamie.”
“Yeah, you too,” he smiled back, wiping some of the water off his face. He dried himself further as she did, and soon he was left in the head alone again. He felt to be in a better mood, and it seemed he had someone to thank for that. He grabbed the fresh tee he had brought with him, gathered his stuff and left as well.