William was spinning around in the chair of his suite, contemplating something. Nova watched him, passive.

... What had been the point of getting separate rooms, anyway? He had never really thought before of how maintaining an image of professionality was troublesome.

" Stheno... Stheno... Where have I heard that name before...?" He was muttering.

" Considering that it's a public corporation, you probably heard it in passing," Nova replied.

There was a knock on the door.

" Will you go get that? I'm dizzy," William said, spinning again.

" Quit spinning and you won't be dizzy," Nova said, standing and going over to the door.

" O-oh... Lyena... You're in here..." Kirie said as he opened the door, looking a bit taken aback. " Is that alright?"

" Who's going to stop me?" Nova asked.

" Well... Ah, right, William! I had some news for you, it's personal," she said, eyes flicking between him and Nova with a certain level of apprehension.

William stopped the chair with his foot.

" Oh, what is it? Did we get any bomb threats yet? Rosalie said there'd be bomb threats," he asked.

Kirie cleared her throat, shifted her weight.

" Ah, um, you remember, you know, in school...?" she asked.

" In school?"

" You know, your, uh... Thing... Stuff... That you did..."

Nova wished she'd get to the point.

" Thing stuff?"

" Well, um, so... It seems that... You remember the one, the upperclassman...? I mean, they were all upperclassmen, sorry, the uh. One with black hair? Human? Human with black hair?"

Nova stared at them both and tried not to show any misgiving on his face.

" Sort of? You have to be more specific than that, Kirie, it's been like, what, six or seven years?"

" Right! But uh. Yeah. He's here. In Septim. Stheno Madoka. I thought the name looked familiar, he's the. The CEO of SthenoCorp. And I think he's staying at a place close to the base?"

Nova didn't quite know what to think, and he looked to William, trying to see what he had to say.

William spun in his chair again.

" Hm. Well. That's nice, I guess. Could you see about the cat thing, though? It's imperative that we get a ship cat, Kirie. See if Liturgica has any. I heard they had kittens a few months ago."

" R-right," she replied, clearly relieved by the change in topic. " They should. I'll go speak with the captain."

She left, closing the door behind her.

Nova turned to William.

" Stheno Madoka-?" He started to ask. William stood from his chair, and then immediately tripped over his own feet while trying to wobble to the bed.

" Aah, Nova, help me, I'm dizzy..."

Nova stood over him.

" Who's Stheno Madoka?" he asked.

" Haaa... This is such a drag... I wanted to go out with you to like, bars and stuff..."

" William, I'm not picking you up off the floor until you tell me who Stheno Madoka is," Nova said, nudging him with his foot.

" God, I have trouble remembering... Some senior I used to run with before I got in the military," William said, waving his hand. " I dunno why Kirie thought it was so important... I guess I gotta try to avoid him now, though..."

" Run with?"

" Get up on the bed with me," William said.

" You're not even on the bed," Nova pointed out.

" Put me there," William replied. He stuck his hands in the air and waved them.

" You can do it yourself," Nova said, and he sat back down on the bed and took off his shoes, unzipped the back of his shirt.

" Noooova, quit being mean..." William said, and pushed himself up. " I give and give and you just snark... Oh, how hopelessly one-sided my affection is..."

He continued to mumble sarcasm to himself as he climbed up next to him, and clumsily cast off his cape and boots; started unbuttoning the front of his blazer.

" William, as much as you complain about my frigidity, I feel that I should remind you that I love you more than anything else living in this hell of a universe," Nova said drily after a moment, curling up under the blanket.

With his shirt undone, William turned to him, expression unreadable.

" Does that mean that you love something else that's dead?" he asked.

... His bare skin was covered in scars.