Aldrich and Lyn make sure they're still friends while cooking in the galley.
Location: Galley -- Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1114
The galley isn't terribly busy between the general meal rotations, which is when Lyn tends to use it for her baking. The galley chief has apparently forgiven her for the last incident, likely due to a healthy booze bribe. She's at one of the counters in back near the ovens, where she's carefully measuring out ingredients into a large mixer. Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, etc. She looks like she got a good night's sleep at least, thanks to whatever kind doctor gave her a pill to knock her out.
She's in a Colonial Forces tank top and sweat pants, so as not to get stuff all over her regular gear and her hair is back in a stubby little tail. There are two floured round cake pans on the counter, waiting for the batter she's working on. It's gone from a 'congrats on getting through your fast' cake to a 'sorry I was an idiot' cake, but she's making it best she can.
The thing about religious freedom is that it's not necessarily a guarantee that anyone is going to make it /convenient/ to practice your beliefs. So Aldrich has access to the galley for preparing his own meals, under the condition that he doesn't blow anything up (or at least cleans up after himself if he does).
So it is that Al steps into the galley as Lyn is baking her cake. He doesn't notice her until he's several steps in, but when he does, he slows to a halt, looking pretty uncertain of himself. "Oh... Sorry. Um. I can come back later..."
Lyn looks over, hesitating as well, before she forces a smile. "No need, Al. I'm just using a little area. Plenty of room if you need it," she insists. She pauses. "You're not allergic to anything, are you? Food wise?" she asks.
Aldrich smiles, himself, though his is more uncertain than forced. "All right. If you're sure." Even Al is not made of stone. When she insists that it's okay, he goes to wherever ingredients are stored and starts pulling out random vegetables. "Me? Nothing that I know of, no." After a beat, he asks, "Do you want some soup? I can make enough for two just as easy as for one..."
They are clearly acting like yesterday was a figment of their overtired and overhungry imaginations. Lyn can roll with that. "Sure, sounds good. I just wanted to check because this cake has milk in it." A small saucepan has boiling water in it which she adds to the mixer before turning it on. It smells like a chocolatey delight in there now.
Aldrich glances toward the mixer, still a little uncertainly. But when she turns it on, he finds a paring knife in a drawer and starts to go to work on dicing an onion. "So I didn't really expect you to be baking any cakes," he remarks, tentatively, while keeping his eyes on the chopping.
"Why not? Because I acted like a moron yesterday? If I haven't shoved Jonas out of an airlock, why would I be even mad at you?" Lyn asks, with a small but genuine smile. "You're still my friend, right?" She looks over at that, worried he might not be.
"Well, I mean..." Al says, just glancing up briefly from his work with a glimmer of a smile. "Moron is kind of a strong word." He finishes the onions and starts in on some celery. "Of course I am. I was more worried you wouldn't want to be around me, to be honest."
"Don't be silly," Lyn says quietly. "I only have two friends. Cutting half my friends out of my life sounds like a bad idea to me." She turns the mixer off and pours the batter into the pans before popping them into one of the ovens.
Aldrich starts in on some carrots, next. "You know," he comments, in a rather lighter tone, with a bit of a smile curling his lips. "It's going to be a special sort of torment, having to wait until tomorrow to eat that, now that you've made me smell it."
Lyn chuckles. "Well, I didn't know you'd be in here making soup tonight. I figured I'd get it made tonight and frost it tomorrow so all the chocolatey goodness can marinate overnight. Cake is always better the second day. Or is that just spaghetti sauce?" She sets a timer and rechecks the temperature on the oven.
"I thought it was beans," Aldrich admits. "But I'm not much of a cook." With the first of the veggies chopped, he pulls down a pan and starts it heating on the stove. "But I'm sure your cake will be divine, either way."
Lyn leans against the counter, crossing her arms. "How do you feel about ganache? I was going to do that for frosting." Apparently she wasn't joking about being a decent baker. "And damn straight it will be. I perfected this recipe over time back on Aquaria. It was everyone's birthday cake at Arctic Station Thula."
Aldrich gets a sort of guilty look as he shoots her a little grin. "I don't know what ganache is. But whatever it is, it sounds fancy and delicious." He pours a bit of oil into the pan to heat up, then swirls it around a bit to coat the bottom.
"Chocolate chips melted with hot heavy cream and butter so it's a shiny glaze, poured over the cake," Lyn explains. "Way easier than making buttercream, but also a lot more chocolaty sweet, so I use semi-sweet chips."
"That... sounds like it might be considered downright sinful in some colonies," Aldrich observes with a little grin. With the oil heated up enough, he dumps the pile of chopped vegetables into the pan, gives it a stir, and then leaves it while he goes to chop some potatoes and other random veggies.
"If you chill ganache, you can use it to make the inside of truffles too," Lyn adds. "Have I mentioned that downtime in the Arctic is pretty dull? If there weren't enough people for a game of Pyramid, I was either climbing a volcano, sledding down a mountain, or baking." She smiles. She wanders over to see what all is going into the soup. "Need any help?"
It appears to be pretty much any vegetables that he found in the pantry, with the exception of beans. Apparently this is going to be a fast-cooking soup. "I think I have a handle on things," he answers, pausing now and then in his chopping to stir the pan. "I will always regret that I never had a chance to visit there. It sounds pretty exotic compared to where I'm from."
"It wasn't for everyone, that's for sure," Lyn notes. "At least Thula wasn't. Heim and the other major cities were in more temperate areas. Think ski lodge instead of 'Don't walk outside today, your eyeballs will freeze'." She chuckles. "I've never been to Gemenon. What is it like?" she asks curiously.
Aldrich stirs the vegetables around as he considers how to answer her question. "It wasn't anything special where I grew up. Trees, grass, flowers. Weeds. The normal things. It snowed in the winter, but not overly much. And there was the University, of course. People would come from all over the colonies to study there. My parents were professors." He adds some flour to the oil already in the pan, and then keeps stirring.
"Grass and flowers were things I thought were mythical as a kid," Lyn says softly. "You don't get seasons at the Arctic pole. Just glaciers and one really big volcano." She tilts her head. "People would come from all over the colonies to study Mount Thula too. Including my mom. She's from Tauron, a geophysicist who was doing seismic and electromagnetics studies there when she met my father. Dad was in the militia, and he was rising in the command ranks at the station there."
Aldrich chuckles faintly. "I felt the same way about glaciers and volcanoes." He pours some broth into the pan, then adds the chopped vegetables and turns up the heat a bit to get it started boiling. "That sounds really fascinating," he offers. "Sounds like your parents were pretty impressive."
"Mom still is. She's on Libran with a pile of other Aquarian refugees. Dad was in Heim when the strike happened," Lyn says in a slightly hollow tone. "Until a week ago, I thought he was there because of me. Because I'd argued not to go, and he had to go in my place. I spent two years thinking my being a selfish brat killed my father." She grimaces.
Aldrich winces a little, and glances up from what he's doing, now that it's just mindless stirring. "I'm sorry to hear that. That must have been really difficult..."
"Yeah. But I know it wasn't my fault now. Part of why I need to be able to let that part of my guilt go," Lyn lets out a breath. "It's amazingly hard to let go of guilt. After that long it is just a part of you. But I'm taking it a day at a time." She looks over. "What about you? On good terms with your parents?"
Aldrich nods a little, apparently in total agreement over the 'letting go of guilt' bit, but he doesn't say anything until her question. That just earns her an amused snort. "Yeah, not exactly."
"Really?" Lyn asks, surprised. The guy is a freaking Chaplain. "Oh, are they upset about you joining the war? I know Gemenon as a whole is trying to be super neutral and all."
Aldrich shakes his head. "I haven't talked to them since before the war started. Though I'm sure that wouldn't have helped." The soup starts to boil, so he turns down the heat and puts a lid on it, then sets a timer. With nothing left to do but wait, he starts cleaning up the dishes he's used so far. "We had... religious differences. They felt that anyone different from them was going to end up in Hades. I disagreed."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Al. No changing their minds I guess? I know how that feels," Lyn says softly. "Maybe they'll wake up one day and realize their son is a good man, and far more spiritual than some of the most devout people I know."
Aldrich shakes his head, and gives Lyn a patient, gentle sort of smile. "That's not likely," he replies. "But I dealt with it a long time ago. I'm comfortable with the choices I've made."
"I need to learn a thing or two about that kind of personal acceptance. I'm really bad at it. Like, epically bad at it. As if you and the rest of the Wolves couldn't tell," Lyn says with a snort. She moves to gather up the utensils she dirtied and takes them to a sink to start washing.
Aldrich yields the sink to Lyn, having finished up his own cleaning pretty quickly. "If it makes you feel better, I've had a lot more time to get there. I was not... okay at first. But it gets easier over time."
"That's good to hear," Lyn murmurs as she cleans the mixing bowl, beater and measuring cups. "So how often do they let you make your own grub in here?" she asks. "I would so abuse that."
Aldrich chuckles faintly. "Not often," he replies. "I got special permission for religious purposes. And I think that's only because they didn't want to be bothered with having to make an entirely separate meal." He goes to lean against a counter, waiting for the timer to wind its way down. "To be honest, I don't mind the food so much. I kind of like not having to bother with cooking."
"I dunno. I'm not a big fan of unidentifiable items meatloaf, or a porkchop that can stand in for one of my ice axes. But it's edible. Could be worse. I've done a few long range recon inserts where all I had were MREs for a few weeks." Lyn sets the dishes in a strainer to dry and wipes her hands on a kitchen towel.
Aldrich wrinkles his nose at the thought of eating nothing but MREs. "I think I'd prefer the fare we had on the ground in Canceron. Monotonous maybe, but we at least had fresh fruit." He leans over to check the soup, then goes back to resting against the counter.
"I am not going to miss Canceron's mosquito population, that's for sure," Lyn jokes. "Picon isn't going to be a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination though, Al. Canceron had pockets of Cylons. This place is a good-sized occupation. A lot of our people are going to have friends and family down there to worry about on top of the tin cans."
Aldrich grows a little more solemn. "I wouldn't expect it to be a cakewalk," he replies, looking off toward the floor with a thoughtful sort of look. "But this is exactly the sort of situation I've been expecting. It's why I've been training so hard. I know I'm still... well, a liability, in many ways. But I'm going to do my best."
"We can work on that, though, Al. None of us started off effective out of boot camp. We learn as we go. You're just having to learn under some more stressful conditions," Lyn says quietly. "We can set up regular sessions in the gym and the firing range if you want?"
Aldrich nods a little, "Well, the goal is to be helpful. I won't be much help if people are worried about picking up slack for me," he points out, with a crooked half smile. "But yes, I would like that. I was going pretty regularly before last week, but it's about time for me to get back to it."
"What weapon do you feel most comfortable with? We can start with a focus on that, then branch out," Lyn offers.
Aldrich chuckles a little. "Whatever they give me?" he jokes, weakly, but then clears his throat. "Usually a pistol, but I'm getting more comfortable with a rifle, since Canceron."
"A pistol isn't going to have much penetration power behind it. The rifle though, we can work with. More power than the pistol, less recoil than the smg. You'll want to get comfortable tossing grenades too," Lyn advises. Her timer dings, and she moves to take up some towels to take pull the cakes out, test them with toothpicks, and then set the pans on cooling racks.
Aldrich looks a little puzzled about the grenades thing. "I didn't realize there was much of a technique behind grenades. Pull the pin, throw it, and say a quick prayer..." His own timer goes off and he gives a chuckle at the timing, as he returns to the stove to stir the soup and give it a taste.
"Well, if you throw a grenade uphill, right after you pull the pin, what's going to happen?" Lyn asks with a smirk.
Aldrich rolls his eyes a little. "Well, I was assuming it was understood that I'm not /stupid/," he remarks, drily. He adds a bit of salt to the soup, gives it another stir, and then announces, "This is done, if you'd like a bowl." He's already fetching a bowl for himself.
Lyn finds herself a bowl and holds it out for some soup. "True, but if you pull the pin, and give it a three count, it will boom on four, about when it lands, so it won't roll back at you," she points out with a grin.
Aldrich looks a little doubtful about that. "Now /that/ sounds like something that could be risky," he agrees, and dips out Lyn's soup first, before preparing himself a bowl. Thus provided, he retreats to find a place to lean and eat his soup. For all that he's been acting like things are business as usual, with the first sip of the broth, he stops and closes his eyes, with a quiet little smile. That is an expression of pure enjoyment if there ever was one.
"Less risky than charging uphill into a nest of armed Cylons," Lyn counters. She gives the soup a taste and makes a sound of approval. "Way better than what was on the regular menu today. Thanks, Al."
Aldrich sighs with a certain sort of satisfaction, and finally opens his eyes to smile at Lyn. "It's no problem. I'm pleased to have company for dinner, to be honest." But once he's finished being polite, he digs into the soup with gusto.
Lyn eats as she always does, as if the food will get taken away if she doesn't hurry. Which probably happened at AST a few times, being around a tight knit, family like core of militia there.
Aldrich isn't far from that himself, compared this his usual measured style. It isn't until the soup bowl is finally empty that he gives a little sigh, and then chuckles. "I think I'm starting to feel better already. There really is nothing quite like the second day of the new year."
"Glad to hear it," Lyn says with a small smile, her bowl also empty. She moves to wash it with the sink, and realizes she's out of excuses to be in here with him. "I should probably head back to my rack and do an equipment check," she says quietly.
Aldrich raises his eyebrows. "Oh, well, I hope I haven't been keeping you from anything. You can leave that and I'll clean it with the rest of the dishes," he offers, getting back to business to gather up the pan and other utensils. Amazing what a good meal of solid food can do for a person's energy. "I'm glad that you were here. And I'm glad... well, that we're okay."
Lyn gives him a gentle smile. "Me too, Al. I'll see you later." With that, she bundles the cakes into the cooler and heads back to the berthings.