Aldrich finds Lyn in the laundry room, and they discuss their budding relationship, whether it should be pursued, and finally come to an agreement.
Location: Laundry Room -- Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1173
Lyn has been doing laundry after her unpleasant dip in the subway water last night. Her things are in the dryer now, and close to being done, and she's settled in a chair, reading a mystery novel while the machine hums its offkilter whump whump whump in the overly warm room. She's in sweats and a tank top, her feet bare, and a little bandaid on her upper arm where she got an injection of antibiotics just to be safe after her swim in gods know what in that water.
Aldrich arrives at the laundry room carrying a small basket of his own uniforms, and is already a few paces in before he sees Lyn. "Oh, hey..." He keeps going, because laundry's gotta get done, and heads for one of the machines. "So, how did your mission go?" He seems a teensy bit awkward, but when doesn't he seem that way?
Lyn looks up at the familiar voice and she gives Aldrich a warm smile, closing her book and setting it on the table beside her. "It was the thing nightmares are born from, if I'm being honest. But we got the job done and saved a lot of people. I am never, ever going to Dino's Pizza on Picon though. Never. Ever." She shudders, though she's still smiling. "Know those animatronic alligator and dog and crap they have there performing for the kids? Yeah well they're cylons now."
Aldrich grimaces at the very thought of that. "Oh, that's... horrifying. I'm so glad you're back safe, at least. Did anyone get hurt?" He dumps his clothes into the washer, along with some soap, and then gets it started with a few button presses.
"Daly took a bad headshot and had AllyGator chomping on his pec, and the new medic took a shot in the arm," Lyn replies. She wrinkles her nose a little. "One of those AllyGator's chomped on Walker and dragged her underwater, so I went for a swim and helped her. I don't really want to know what I was swimming in. But I got her out of there in mostly one piece." Yep. She saved her ex's girlfriend. Go figure. "Which is why I had to wash last night's uniform twice, because that half flooded tunnel was the opposite of clean."
Aldrich shakes his head at all of that, frowning. "What is it with all the head injuries lately? It's like they've figured out it's a weakness." He leans against the washer, and shakes his head. "I'll check up and see if he needs anything..."
"How was it back here? Quiet I hope?" Lyn asks, as her dryer dings and she gets up to get her pile of clothes out of it. She dumps them on the folding table after giving them a sniff and deciding they no longer stink like terrible, awful things.
"Pretty quiet," Aldrich confirms, and sits back to watch as she folds the laundry. Only because it would be way weirder to offer to help. "I talked to Dr. Anders..."
That makes Lyn pause in the middle of folding her BDUs. She looks over her shoulder at him, and offers, "Oh? How did that go, Al?" Because this likely has an impact on her going forward.
Aldrich lifts a shoulder a little, and gives a crooked smile. "I don't think he thinks I'm a very good person," he admits, with a glance to the side. "But aside from that, he wasn't very helpful."
Lyn blinks a few times at Aldrich's words and she tosses the folded BDUs back onto the table. "He doesn't think you're a very good person? Well, that kind of wrecks my belief in his opinion of me, because what the hell? You're the best person I know."
Aldrich smiles faintly and shakes his head, "He doesn't think anything bad about you," he corrects gently. "But..." He looks troubled for a second, and then continues, "You know this isn't... ethical, right? If I allow anything to happen between you and I. The only way it would be ethical is if I step down from the Timber Wolves and request a transfer."
"What? Why?" Lyn asks, looking confused. "We're not in the same chain of command. You aren't my superior or vice versa. There's nothing anywhere that says a chaplain has to be chaste."
Aldrich shakes his head, brow furrowing. "It's not a military thing," he replies. "But there /is/ an ethical problem with becoming romantically entangled with someone when you might be the only person available to provide them with religious guidance."
"But you aren't, Al. You aren't the only Chaplain on board. I can get guidance from someone else," Lyn points out, then she sets her folding down and sighs, turning to face him. "Unless that isn't what you want? Did your talk with Kamran make you realize you weren't really interested in me?" she asks.
Aldrich shakes his head. "I'm the only chaplain assigned to the Timber Wolves," he corrects. "And are you really planning to go to Andrew Stokes for guidance? Mr. 'Caprican way or no way'?" Apparently Al doesn't have a high opinion of the other chaplain on board.
"If I have to choose between Stokes and getting to be with you? I'll cope with Stokes or find my own way," Lyn says quietly, going back to her folding with far less enthusiasm. "But I understand if that's not something you are comfortable with, Al. I'm not here to push you into anything. My crush on you isn't your responsibility or your fault."
Aldrich shakes his head, but he still looks worried. "/That/ is what concerns me. And...I think what makes me a bad person is that the ship has already sailed. You aren't going to come to me for guidance either way at this point..." He sighs a little, and crosses his arms, looking down. "Look, it's just... I know that in most of the colonies, these things are not taken very seriously. But I don't know how to be that way. So I'm not sure you want what I have to offer in the first place."
Lyn sets her clothing down and steps towards him slowly, her arms folded, dipping her head to get a good look at his eyes. "Al? I'm not some young, impressionable kid like most of these wolves. I'm thirty-five. I was almost engaged once. I've been in the military since I turned eighteen. My attraction to you isn't because of you being a chaplain, or even you being kind and listening to be. It is in spite of those things. I'm a trainwreck of epic proportions, and I've pushed everyone out of my life for the last two years so I don't get my drama all over them. I don't want to get it all over you. But I really like you. The more I get to know you, the more I realize what I've been missing in my life all these years." Her cheeks color a bit at her words, but she doesn't look away.
Aldrich glances up, but he still doesn't look so sure. "Lyn..." he starts, but then stops himself. He's getting that Eeyore look he sometimes gets, but then he glances to the side, at nothing in particular. "Ethics aside, I just don't think I can handle something like what happened with Eli again."
"I'm not sure what happened with Eli. It went down before I was in the Wolves, but I can tell you that I am not Eli Cadmus, or Mikolas Kovac, or even the Lyn Arda that was with Jonas. Not anymore." Lyn reaches for one of his hands if he lets her. "I don't want to hurt you, Al. But I don't know how to take that worry from you, either."
Aldrich allows his hand to be taken, and looks back at Lyn, uncertainly. "I don't think you can promise that," he points out. "Because you don't really know me that well. And I don't want it to seem like I'm asking for some sort of promise from you... That would be weird I know."
Lyn holds his hand gently and her other hand tucks her hair behind her ear, almost shyly. "What do we do then, Al? Where do we go from here? I'll respect your wishes in this. I know it's something deeper for you, your tie to religion, to being a Chaplain, to serving the Wolves."
"I don't know," Aldrich replies, and squeezes her hand a little. "But I know that I like you more than I should. And I feel like I /could/ like you even more than that."
That makes Lyn smile a tiny bit. "I feel the same. And I really want to explore that. But I don't want to mess things up for you either," she admits. She entwines her fingers with his. "I spent those days down on Picon thinking about how nice it would be to get back here and just be near you. I felt like a schoolgirl or something. It got me through the mission to Arborfield though."
Aldrich looks at their entwined fingers, with his brow a bit furrowed. "I'm glad if you feel nice being around me..." He smiles a little, "I hope you keep feeling that way..."
"So do we give this a shot? Or quit while we're ahead," Lyn asks quietly. She doesn't seem inclined to let go of his hand at the moment. "If I get a vote, I vote for trying."
Aldrich looks toward the ceiling, and takes a deep breath. "On one condition," he offers, tentatively. "If you ever feel like... things aren't working out, or I'm not the person you thought I was, just tell me. And don't make it have to be weird."
"That I can promise you," Lyn says softly, "If you promise to do the same. Just let me know, and we'll figure things out. We're friends first, and that is important."
Aldrich nods and squeezes Lyn's hand, but he still looks a little concerned. "It's very important," he agrees. "And if you ever feel like you're not getting what you need, spiritually, don't just try to deal with it. Tell me, and we can figure something out together, okay?"
"I will," Lyn vows. "And don't be afraid to let me know when I'm being an idiot about something." She smiles. "Now, what do I have to do to get an actual date out of you?"
Aldrich gives Lyn a doubtful look. "I don't think you are ever going to hear me call you an idiot," he replies, and then points out, "I don't even call /Mikolas/ an idiot." Except he kind of just did, but we're going to gloss over that one. The last question earns a little chuckle from Al, and he brings his other hand up to hold hers in both of his, and asks, "Lyn. Would you like to go to dinner with me?"
"Aldrich, I would like very much to go to dinner with you." She adds her other hand to the holding and can't help but giggle, because they're acting like a couple of high school freshmen in those bad teen movies. "I can provide dessert. The galley chief is a peach, but he's lousy at making desserts."
Aldrich's solemn act breaks into a crooked grin when she giggles. "The next time we get shore leave, I'll take you someplace... well, not fancy, probably, but someplace where they don't require you to serve yourself," he promises.
"That sounds lovely. Someplace I can wear something other than a uniform or sweats, or combat boots," Lyn adds with a chuckle, one hand moving to gently run a thumb across the corner of that crooked grin.