Stefan and Aldrich finally meet. No one comes out looking good. (Except Eli and his sweet, sweet two-tone tan.)
Location: Canceron, Edson Air Base Courtyard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 954
Aldrich emerges from the temple because of course he does. He's been spending a lot of time there since arriving, even for a chaplain. But hey, maybe that's just how he rolls. He emerges into the sunlight with a squinting look around, and when he spots Eli he has to do a little double-take. With a slow grin, he starts to amble that direction at a lazy pace.
Interplanetary mail wasn't the fastest, even before the war, and a million uppity Cylons hasn't improved things. Stefan ambles out of one of the admin buildings, distracted by the letter he's pulling out of an envelope. He squints against the sudden onslaught of the sun as he steps out from beneath the overhang, lifting his free hand to shade the paper.
Time off is, indeed, a lovely thing, and Niemec is taking advantage of it, herself. She doesn't have to putter around the rec room or gym to feel 'away.' Instead, there's the out of doors and though it's not Tauron... it'll do. The woman is in BDU slacks and the dual-tanks. Dressed down, but still in 'proper' attire. She's making her way from the Mess Hall, a cookie of some sort in hand as she just sort of takes a leisurely stroll in the general direction of the parade ground.
Eli is, for the moment, blissfully unaware of his surroundings thanks to the towel. He is however, not dozing. So that means he's aware that someone is approaching. He tenses, but it seems the sunbathing doctor is not going to initiate conversation.
Aldrich notices Stefan and then Niemec, with friendly enough smiles for those two, but he doesn't let that draw him away from his intended destination. Once he arrives next to Eli's chair, arms crossed and smirking faintly, he comments, "You know you're going to end up with a two-tone tan on your face."
Something in Stefan's mail earns a low snort and the amused flash of teeth as he continues forward, eyes only briefly flicking up to make sure he's aimed in the right(-ish) direction. As he passes under a tree and gains a sliver of shade, he pauses in his reading to look around. People here. People there. Eli he seems to recognize, his attention sharpening somewhat, though his focus moves quickly to the chaplain next to him.
There's a nod in return for Aldrich and, with another bite of cookie, Niemec seems bemused enough to meander nearer the sunbathing doctor. For the moment.
Up closer, it's obvious that Eli hasn't exactly had a coddled life. There are old scars that are mostly faded and shallow. However, there's a more prominent knife scar on his left shoulder, quite close to a symbol tattooed in dark ink. In fact, part of the tattoo has been disturbed by the scar. He pulls the towel off his face and squints up at Aldrich. "Mhmm. I had to make do. When I was considering my weight allowance, I didn't think sunglasses would be useful."
Aldrich snorts faintly, and shakes his head. "Where did you even find a chair like that?" he wonders. "It looks..." He considers all the different possibilities, and then just lets it fade away with a little "Hm." He deliberately does not look at the Gemenese fellow giving him the look. Has Aldrich been avoiding Gemenese people? Well... He spends a lot of time in the chapel, and presumably so does Stefan, so... You decide! "Someone asked me to find a religious excuse to get drunk on the beach while we're here, but I think I might have to disappoint them. It's a bit late for Saturnalia."
Eavesdropper, thy name is Stefan. He's not standing stock-still and staring, at least -- then it would be both obvious /and/ uncomfortable -- but his eyes keep flicking back and forth between Eli and Aldrich. As he loiters there in the skinny stripe of shade, watching and listening, he juggles the letter into a back pocket and exchanges it for a scratched cigarette tin, plucking out a rollie to stick in his mouth.
Eli uses his hand to shield his eyes. "Doesn't Dionysus always want us to drink?" He chuckles. He actually chuckles. That's not something the grumpy doc does easily. "I found it in a pile of broken stuff when I went looking for a cart. It'll probably fall apart if I move too much." He raises an eyebrow at Stefan's hovering on the periphary. "Are you waiting your turn?" he asks in a voice loud and direct enough that he couldn't be addressing anyone else.
Wear long sleeves, they said. Mosquito death, they said. And here's Danica anyway, in a double tank and duty green jumpsuit -- the top half which has been unbuttoned, rolled down, and tied at the waist. The legacy of recent wounds to both arms present in the form of wrapped gauze in different places on each. Lacking any sort of sunglasses, she's busy squinting into the oppressive Scorpian sun and looking overheated even if she's maybe only walked 500 yards from wence she came. The vaccuum of space or an oven- the Colonial military understands not compromise.
Aldrich nods a little, thoughtfully. "That's true. We could do Anthesteria, but we'd have to recruit some children from the city to dress up with flowers. If there are any children left..." He trails off when Eli addresses the eavesdropper, glancing up with a small, polite smile.
So much for his threadbare excuse to linger. Stefan's blonde brows shoot up toward his hairline in a mute /who, me?/ when he's addressed, his cigarette bobbing with a lopsided half-grin. He lights up before he answers, blowing the smoke out at the overhead leaves. "Got my shots already, sir, thanks." Restless fingers twiddle with his cigarette as he looks again to Aldrich, then finally says, "Kept hearin' we had a Gemenese chaplain on-board." His Gemenese accent is easily heard, despite the mumbly Standard heaped on top of it.
Eli shifts to sit up, since he's being chatty. The lounge chair makes a disturbing cracking sound, but a few wiggles later and he's fairly confident it wasn't a critical break. Fairly. When Stefan speaks, he motions to Aldrich. "You found 'em." But he doesn't make introductions. That would be too polite.
"...he's right there," Danica's pointer finger is now pointing at Aldrich as she ambles up to the motley assembly. She's looking at Stefan, half-squinting in the clear and more than three-quarters missing whatever context intended. She upnods at Eli and Aldrich before swatting at something or the psychological perception of something on the back of her neck.
Aldrich looks decidedly less sociable than he did a couple of seconds ago, but he's Aldrich, so he keeps a little smile planted in place. "Yep, that's me," he confirms. His own accent is extant, but faint compared to Stefan's. He glances at Danica, with an uncomfortable half grin, then back to Stefan. "Aldrich Kavanagh. Nice to meet you."
The chaplain sounds Gemenese. The Marine sounds like a Gemenese from the back-water sticks -- you know, the parts of the planet where they don't learn Standard until they're fourteen and boy-babies go 'missing' a whole lot if you really, really love Athena.
Well. At least, that's likely what he sounds like to other Gemenese.
Stefan's eyes narrow ever-so-slightly, giving his expression a warier cast than it had a moment before. "Ain't meanin' to interrupt," he says. "Just kept hearin' 'bout you. Reckoned I oughtta meet so's we can at least say we know eachother." He shifts his weight from one foot to the other, taking a quarter-step back as he looks across to Danica, jutting his chin upward in silent greeting.
"Y'know, you should get yourself some bug spray, Ensign," says Eli to Danica when he witnesses the slapping. The persnickety doc looks almost...happy as the oppressive sun beats down. He stretches out, catlike, and sticks his hands behind his head. Even the creaky, crappy lounge chair he's sunbathing in doesn't seem to be bothering him. He either doesn't care or is oblivious to any Gemlike tensions that might be rising. "Aldrich is here for all your praying needs," he says. Probably not helpful.
Aldrich nods a little, and glances to the side slightly. "Well. Now you can say you know me," he answers. That was almost... unfriendly. Certainly not in character for him... But he moves on swiftly, and his attention turns to Danica, with a touch of concerned curiosity. "How's your head feeling? Better, I hope?"
"I got that shit on they issued us," she informs Eli, raising one forearm to sniff in disapproval. "Smells like a corpse, all my future babies will have two heads." She shifts her weight, oblivious or at least faking such as she looks at the uneasy square up of the two Gemenese standing around. That is until Aldrich pokes a little in his response, her squint for the sun now turning towards him. "I can remember my name, most of the time," she confirms, with a slight sniff. "Thanks for wrapping my head up." Her squint transforming to a brief moment of monitoring sideeye Stefan's way, as if calculating something...
Stefan: currently holding, precariously, at an 8 out of 10 zealot rating. (A full ten requiring froth, Gemenese imprecations, and throwing down over the manner and speed at which one will be pulled apart by Hades' minions for the rest of eternity.) His uncertain half-grin has long since faded, retreating behind a flat non-expression and a sharp, perhaps unpleasantly steady, stare. "Yeh. Reckon I do," he answers Aldrich. "Sir," he adds, looking to Eli, before turning to leave. "Find you later?" he says to Dani as he starts to move.
Eli chuckles at Danica's comment. He chuckles. Again. What's with him? Forget colluding - he's going to wreck his own grumpy reputation. It's the sunshine and the heat. It must be. They may not be on Scorpia, but the climate's close enough. "It might stink, but it'll keep you from puking up anything that touches your stomach." A beat, and then he sounds like himself again when he says, "And it does not smell like a corpse. Trust me." When Stefan moves to leave without so much as a flimsy excuse, he just raises his eyebrows and nods once at the acknowledgment, then glances to Aldrich with a questioning look.
Aldrich's smile softens a little, and then he chuckles at Danica's comment. "Well, I'm glad to hear that... I'm sorry I wasn't able to check on you sooner. Things got a bit chaotic." He glances to Eli for just a moment, with a blank, mild smile. Nothing weird going on here, Eli-pod-person! He sneaks a glance toward Stefan, then looks away again. Nope, nothing weird at all.
"I dunno, bloated Hyperion corpses that washed up on the beach near Queenstown smelled pretty bad....," Dani muses, on the scale of how to be a wry downer and rate the smell of corpses in one shot. She grins at Eli, that grin a touch confused by his actual laughing which transforms it as a slightly unsettled look of teeth as she's doing that calculus. While also trying to math out why the two Gemenese are acting like... this? "Or, you both could stop be frakin' weird about whatever this is... now?" Danica's slightly sweaty alternative offering stated to Aldrich's face and Stefan's starting to retreat back.
Nothing's wrong. Nothing at all. Everything's just fine. Splendid. Perfect. Splendiperf- okay, nobody's fooled. Stefan turns around to look back at Danica, stepping backwards away from the group, restless fingers flick-flick-flicking at his skinny little ciggie until the poor cherry gives up and flies off entirely. "Frak," he mumbles, looking from his neutered cigarette to the ember, then back up to the others. "Ain't nothin' wrong. Ain't no rule we gotta like eachother."
"You haven't said three words to each other," says Eli. "I mean, I dislike a frakking lot of people, but usually I give them a chance to piss me off first." There's the grump. He very carefully stands up. As he's nearly on his feet, something gives way that is important to the chair's integrity. Poor Aldrich will find his arm grabbed. Fortunately he only needs a little bit of support so he doesn't fall backwards awkwardly. Instead he...stands awkwardly. Then he releases Aldrich's arm and clears his throat. The chair behind him is in ruins.
Aldrich shoots a sharp warning look at Danica, but it's too late. Stefan is already turning back, so Aldrich gives a vague smile. "I don't dislike anyone," he corrects, mildly. Then, in an aside to Danica, he adds, "But I'm pretty sure there's a law that says if /he/ likes /me/, he gets to be Hades's bitch in the afterlife--" He barely has the thought out when the chair collapses and Eli grabs him. It doesn't exactly set him off balance, but it does break off his comment while he's helping keep the doctor upright. Once Eli is steady on his feet, Aldrich clears his throat. "Well, so much for the chair."
"Frakin' Gem-" Danica's sighing tiredly, presuming whatever this is to be the complicated dance of Gemenese religious law that basically boils down to 'my Lord's dick is bigger than your Lord's dick' in her estimation. Ladies included. Or she's beginning too do that tired sighing thing at Aldrich and Stefan as Eli's chair gives up the last of its life and Eli is using the Chaplain as his lay up to standing. Her gaze on the pile of ex-chair before it lifts to Eli, still looking at him like he's the recent giftee of a head injury before she frowns fussily at Aldrich and Stefan again.
Irritation. Stefan has it. Muddy hazel eyes throw back greengold flecks of ill-restrained temper. "Yeh, that so?" the Marine throws at Eli. His backward retreat halts as he flicks his ex-ciggie to the ground, grinding it out under his boot in habit. "Last /I/ heard, all Scorpia's real good at is tearin' itself up over whose clan's better'n whose. I ain't real sure I needta listen to yer ideas 'f brotherly love." Bad idea. Stefan has those, too.
Eli looks...embarrassed by the whole collapsing lounger ordeal. He mumbles an apology to Aldrich and rubs the back of his neck. Nothing. NOTHING. But the broken chair does give him a chance to step away from the Holy War in the making. He stoops over to try and gather up the chair bits. "Well. I suppose I should give this thing a proper burial." Then Stefan goes on a tirade. He just looks at him, then snorts. If that was supposed to upset him, it's not working. "You're not wrong. But it also means I've seen a lot of pissing contests over nothing worth pissing over." And with that and a shake of his head, the doc starts to drag the chair off from whence it came. He lifts a hand to Aldrich and Danica as he goes.
Aldrich shoots an annoyed look at Stefan, but Eli proves, as usual, that he can look out for himself... As he goes, Aldrich lifts a hand in farewell, but his gaze turns sharply back to Stefan. "I'm not sure anyone from /Gemenon/ has a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing intraplanet tensions," he comments, dry as a desert. Does Aldrich look irritated? Oh yeah. He kinda does, in a weird, restrained, eye-flashy way. That's a new look for him, for sure.
Danica stands there, watching Eli leave and the tip of her tongue digging into something along her teeth or - maybe that's all it would look like, if she didn't look also utterly annoyed at the men who remain. "What the frak is even /the/ problem?," she asks the pair of them in a way that seems to expect that whatever it is... it probably doesn't rise to the occassion.
Touche. Stefan doesn't actually /say/ it, but the narrowed glare he stabs at Aldrich says it for him. Why, yes, Gemenon probably /could/ turn judgementalism into a commodity. "Ain't enny problem on /my/ end," is his defensive retort to Danica. "Squaddies kept sayin', hey, Gemenese chaplain, you know 'im, you know 'im? Figgered I oughtta. He's the one all you-can-frak-right-off fer me tryin'."
Aldrich eyes Stefan for a moment, and then says, "I have not been to Gemenon in almost a decade. And I don't have any particular desire to go back. I'm here with the Leonese foreign legion, so you're welcome to think of me as Leonese, instead." He glances to Danica, and there's a ghost of an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, Danica. You're a very kind person, but I'm afraid it would be too complicated to explain..."
"Oh. Like? Even though he /loves/ me....," Danica thumb hooks right over to Stefan, her eyes casting his way for a flicker before they're back on Aldrich. "...still means I'm gonna /burn/ in the Hells once I die 'cuz I ain't born with the one true. You mean like that kind of complicated?" Danica's shoulders shrug upward in a sort of flicker, as if to suggest she's perhaps heard the crazytown logic loop-de-loop that is Gemenese socio-theology theory before. She offers a pale smile in Aldrich's direction in return before she looks at Stefan. "Your planet is one fraked up place, dude." Her advisory offered with a 'in case you hadn't noticed' tone.
Leonese, not Gemenese. The Leonese foreign legion. Gone for a decade. It's all there, practically gift-wrapped for Stefan to dig into and really get ugly -- and then Danica says what she says, and he's left mute and blinking. Dumbfounded. He swallows a couple times, coughs, clears his throat, and the words still don't come. "Uh," he finally manages. Then: "'Scuse me." He turns to leave.
Aldrich can't even respond to that. He's too busy glancing back and forth between Danica and Stefan, blinking with an owlish sort of surprise. The cogs turning are almost audible. Was Stefan misjudged? What is going on? And then he sees Stefan's reaction, and he smiles slowly, and then gives a laugh that he covers with his hand, glancing down at the ground. Once he regains some control, he clears his throat. "That... is beautiful." Yeah, that's sarcasm. He glances up to Danica, eyes shining with mirth. "I'm so sorry, dear. But yes. /That/ kind of complicated."
Whatever she had to handle, Niemec is back. Still in off-duties, but sans cookie. The woman has her hands in her pockets and moves at an easy gait. If she's surprised at the group still gathered, she doesn't show it. By and far, she seems to be on an angle for the officers' club.
Danica isn't the only one flummoxed by reactions. She's squinting in the sun, sweaty and confused as Stefan's suddenly pulling up stakes and beating feet an she's watching him leave. That same odd look of 'wtf is happening?' slings over Aldrich's way for his sarcastic laugh and remark. Now, it's Dani who looks like she's missing some kind of... piece of the puzzle. "I'm not sorry," Danica affirms to Aldrich, with a sort of hedge-y lack of surety for whatever this is and why there's a sorry and where Stefan is going.
Stefan is going in the general direction of Away. There's the Enlisted Barracks over that-a-way, eventually, which may be where he ends up. For now, though, the squared shoulders and one hair short of stomping stride suggests he's just interested in putting space between Point A and Point B.
Aldrich shakes his head a little, and shoots Danica a difficult-to-interpret look. "You've been praying to the wrong goddess, if /that's/ the source of your heartache," he offers, gently. "Might I suggest making a sacrifice to Metis on his behalf?" Sick religion burn, Aldrich (not). "I need to pray," he says abruptly, and turns back toward the temple.
It's not exactly the right direction, but Niemec sort of adjusts her trajectory for Stefan. Two 'til intercept, Cap'n. "Private," she greets, right off the bat. "You know, I haven't asked you how you're holding up after that pickup on Tauron." Hands still in pockets, casual. Though... the Raptor pilot doesn't really 'do' casual. Maybe it's the tattoos. Or maybe she's just that sort of awkward.
Danica makes a slight noise in her throat. Stefan going one day. Aldrich going the other. Neimec approaching another. She watches both Gemenese retreat, standing there sweaty and distempered in the sun. "I FEEL SHIT BECAUSE MY WHOLE FAMILY GOT FRAKIN' MURDERED AND I KEEP GETTING SHOT AND IT'S FRAKIN' HOT AND THIS PLANET IS FULL OF BUGS, YA DICK." That, yelled to Aldrich in a loud, annoyed, I don't care who overhears aggro tone in the moment before she turns on heel and is herself moving towards the Officer's Club. Not one to be left behind on this stomping away thing.
Stefan's steps lurch a little as he downshifts from storming away to stopping in front of Niemec. There's a shift of mental gears happening -- or trying to happen -- as he looks at her, lips thinned into a hard line like someone working very hard to keep their cool. "Uh," he says, and clears his throat. Words, soldier. Find your words. "Ain't real good timing, sir. Iffin you'll excuse me." He's off again after that, as stubborn as... well, in this case, as Gemenese soldier.
Aldrich flinches and hesitates for a second. He glances back over his shoulder at Danica, vaguely dismayed, but she's already stomping away. He glances back to the temple, then off toward Stefan where he's encountering Niemec, and back to the temple. Soooo... tempting... But then he sighs and swipes a hand over his face. He turns back and trails after Danica, albeit he's walking a little slower than her.
Well, she might have said something in answer to Stefan before he goes storming off once more, but Niemec is a bit... distracted. Mostly because one of 'her' pilots (being that whole mama bear type) seems to be having a bit of an issue. A shouty 'indicative of a mental breakdown' issue. She frowns after Stefan, but ultimately starts moving in Danica's direction. Well, direction of the club. It was her original destination anyhow. Speaking of being shot? She's still got the telltale lump of bandages around her midsection. Though that was more 'shrapnel through the gut' than shot, if one wants to be particular.
Danica may be having an issue but she seems less keen on being outdoors to have said issue. Her gaze travels over her shoulder, noting the change in course of Aldrich and Niemec towards her or possibly now in her wake. She doesn't seem to do anything to subvert their approach, instead perhaps more interested in whatever discussions may result in the bug-free, air conditioned atmosphere of literally anywhere not outside.