Lyn and Al look for Cate after hearing of Tucker's death.
Location: Chapel -- Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1194
Cate is hiding. Having finished a shift in sickbay earlier, she ended up in the chapel. Aldrich might even have seen her sprawled out on one of the pews when he was doing his rounds earlier, curled up asleep. She's awake now though and has moved to the front pew. The earbuds from her music player are in her ears, and bloodshot eyes are locked in an unfocused stare out the space viewport. Her khaki uniform fatigues are rumpled.
It's been a rough week for the Wolves. Their missions have been difficult, some barely scratching out a win, others not successful. There has been the loss of many Picon military and Wolves themselves, including friends and lovers. When the word that Tucker was killed last night gets to Lyn, she tells Aldrich and the pair set out to find Cate. As the Chaplain had last seen her in the chapel, that's where they head.
Spotting Cate in the front pew, Lyn swallows and moves up to sit beside her, quietly, waiting for her to realize they are there.
Even as distracted as Cate is, some habits die hard. She catches movement out of the corner of her eye and takes a breath, stiffening as if to put the walls back up and compose herself. She relaxes though, when she sees that it's Lyn, shoulders slumping once more. Removing the earbuds, she offers a subdued, "Hey."
"Hey," comes the response, before Lyn reaches over for one of Cate's hands, and just holds it. She doesn't say more yet, just offering the other woman her presence, and her understanding. She's already had her major grieving the last couple days for Jonas. It's Rhodes' turn now for Tucker.
Cate lets her hand be taken, content to sit in silence for awhile. Eventually, though, she does venture in a raw, quiet voice. "I meant to find you. Y'know, about Jonas. Just... timing sucked."
"It's all right. I wasn't around much to be found," Lyn admits. "I'm sorry about Tucker. And I know there isn't anything anyone can say to make it better. But I'm here. Al will be here shortly. I asked him to give us a few minutes first."
"Yeah. I'm sorry too, about Jonas." Cate doesn't dispute the fact that there isn't anything to say that makes it better, nor does she have anything to offer for Lyn's grief.
"This is war. Real war. I don't think it feels like one to a lot of people here, because they haven't seen what the Cylons have done to their homes yet. The Picons are just starting to understand what the Aquarians have known for years. This isn't just a fight for planetary control. It's a fight for our continued existence. They're exterminating us." Lyn lets out a breath. Jonas understood that. And he made a real effort here to try to live each day, and appreciate it. So I believe he'd want us to all fight harder, to take his death as a rallying cry." She looks over at Cate solemnly. "And I think Tucker was more of a romantic, an artist. I think he'd want us all to fight, but to remember what we're fighting for, and to not lose our humanity in the process."
Cate hitches a shoulder. "Think the Picons in Hyperion got that message pretty early on," she replies dully. "And it doesn't really matter what they wanted. They're gone." Her throat bobs there. Indifference doesn't suit her.
"It does matter," Lyn says softly. "You know it does. Because they were a part of us, and we will carry them with us from now on. Our grief, our regrets, but most of all, the good memories, and the best of who they were."
Cate's brow knits. "What if I don't want to carry it? What if I'm sick and frakking tired of carrying every godsdamn person I end up caring about?"
"Then you let it go, Cate. You have to deal with it the best way you know how. But I don't think you want to forget the good, do you?" Lyn asks, softly, her own brow furrowing. "Gods know I have a shit ton of bad to go along with the good memories of Jonas. But I feel like I owe it to him to remember, and to appreciate every day more because of him."
A shrug is Cate's only answer to the question of whether she wants to forget the good. "Then you're lucky I guess," she offers gloomily to the rest.
"Lucky isn't a word I'd tend to label myself with," Lyn notes. She's lost her homeworld, her father, her former lover, her mind on a couple occasions. "Tenacious is more like it I guess. They keep on punching me in the face with one bad thing after another, but I still hang on." She smiles wanly. "Not that I haven't had my moments of wanting so flush myself out of an airlock, but those pass. Just know I care about you, and I need you, even if you don't need me."
"Luck is relative," Cate observes softly, but doesn't respond to the rest of it. "I appreciate you trying to help."
"You helped me. I'd probably have transferred out of here if you hadn't helped keep me together after Jonas showed up here," Lyn points out. She lets out a breath. "Have you cried yet?" she asks.
"I'm glad," Cate offers softly. A dull nod answers the latter question, and the way her eyes well up suggest she may do so again. "I don't even know what he was to me. I only knew him a couple months. He said he loved me but... I didn't." She sniffs. "I wish I'd just lied to him."
"I know. I have a million things I wish I'd done and said to mend things with Jonas, to at least be friends again, but he was gone before I had a chance." Lyn's own eyes well up a little. "I think he loved you because you were honest. He wouldn't have wanted the lie. He had this...thing about him. A forthrightness. I don't even know if that's the right word. But it was part of his core."
Cate shrugs at the suggestion. When she blinks, tears spill over her cheeks and she makes no attempt to wipe them away. "Jonas was a nice guy," she offers randomly. "Feel bad for his sister."
"And Abigail," Lyn adds. "I'm mending that fence, I hope. In his memory. My brother talked to her, and will talk to Nee Nee. And I will when she's ready for me to." She sighs and rubs a thumb over her forehead. "He wanted a family. He wanted to get married. I didn't know that until too late but, I wish he'd gotten a chance to do that with someone."
Cate nods slightly. "Good." The mention of a family causes Cate's face to scrunch up sadly. "Tucker did too. Talked about it all the time. He had such a clear vision for the future he wanted. It was hard for me to see."
"Meanwhile back on Aquaria, Jonas had continually told me he wasn't the marrying kind and not to get too attached to him, while plotting with my Dad to ask me to marry him. Which would have been cute if said plot wasn't interrupted with the Cylon attack." Lyn grimaces. "I would probably have kids by now. Can you imagine that? Me? But he would have been a great dad. I think Tucker would have been too. That's the highest price of this war. The futures cut short."
"Yeah," Cate says, another listless response. "I can see you with kids. Why not?" She glances over curiously, sniffling again.
"I can barely take care of myself. I'd be a mess with kids," Lyn admits with a snort. "Plus my crazy would get all over them." She gives Cate a little smile. "Maybe someday though. I'm not writing it off." Especially not now, with a new relationship just on its first baby steps. "But for now, what can I do for you?"
"Sure you'd figure it out." But that's about as much optimism as Cate can muster up today. She shakes her head to the last question. "Nothing," is the somewhat bitter answer. "It sucks. It hurts. Nothing makes it better. All you can do is suck it up and keep going. I've had plenty of practice at that." She does at least soften the words enough to say, "But thanks. I've gotta go get a shower and stuff before the mission." She starts to get up, wiping her eyes.
"Do me a favor? Talk to Doctor Anders about it? Or at least to Al?" Lyn pleads quietly. "I can vouch for it helping. When I lost my dad, and this week. It really does make things less," she looks for the right word, "sharp."
Aldrich appears at the entrance of the chapel, looking a little wary but concerned. When he sees Cate getting up, he clears his throat a little to announce his presence, but comes on in, glancing between Lyn and Cate, with a questioning look.
"Glad it works for you," Cate replies to Lyn, a hint of that Hibernian stubbornness shining through. No promises are given, though, and she straightens up. "I'll seeya later." She heads out, just as Al's coming in. There's a flicker of sadness on her face, but she doesn't crumple. "Hey." The subdued greeting is offered, then she says, "I've gotta go... I'll see you later." She hopes. After this week she's not taking anything for granted.
Lyn watches Cate go with a grimace and a hopeless expression. She gives Al a little headshake, to warn him not to try and stop her. When she's gone she steps up to him, sliding arms around his waist. "She's not doing so hot, but she's cried already. Hopefully she'll deal with it before something forces her to."
Aldrich catches Cate's arm to give it a squeeze as she's on her way out, with a faintly worried smile. "I'll be here, anytime," he promises, gently, but then lets her go. Because apparently that's what he's supposed to do. His attention slips back to Lyn, then, still worried. "She's strong. She'll be okay."
Cate bobs her head to acknowledge Al's squeeze, and his words. Then she's off.
"She is strong, but the strongest sometimes get hit the hardest with loss, because they don't know how to express it, so they either bury it, or they snap," Lyn says quietly. "Mission tonight, I'm on the roster, are you?" she asks, looking at his bandages like he'd better not be.
Aldrich lifts a shoulder slightly. "I won't let her snap," he promises. "And I think she'd come to me before she did..." The moment she brings up the mission, he starts to get a kind of apologetic look, so she probably can guess the answer before he even gives it. "Yeah... but I don't even really need this bandage at the moment," he gestures to his face. "I'm fine, really. I just didn't want to alarm anyone with my Frankenstein stitches."
That gets a grimace. "Well, you'd better remember to duck this time then," Lyn advises, leaning up to kiss his unbandaged cheek. "Because I can't take any more losses this week." She doesn't seem to mind his Frankenstein stitches. "I think the stitches make you look tough," she quips with a small smile. Because face it, Al's strong suit is not looking like a tough guy.
Aldrich snorts faintly. "Because /that's/ what people want from their chaplain. Toughness," he teases, gently, but he accepts the cheek kiss, and grows a little more solemn. "So we've checked in on Cate. Do I need to check in on you? How are you feeling?"
"I'm doing better," Lyn replies softly. "I spoke to my brother, and Abigail and I had a moment. I still need to talk to Leonie, but I'm steadier than I was. Tucker being gone though, damn. He was such a good man."
Aldrich nods a little, and his brow furrows. "It's going to be... very hard for Cate, I think. He might be the first man she's been with who wasn't shitty to her." He sighs a little, and glances aside to one of the god statues. "Sometimes I wonder what the gods are thinking, myself."
"She thinks she didn't love him, not like he loved her at least," Lyn says quietly. "And she told him the truth on that. I think mostly she's feeling guilt for that right now." She follows his gaze to the statue. "Perhaps they're testing our resolve? Or perhaps we're being punished for trying to play god ourselves and creating AI."
Aldrich sighs faintly. "I don't think we're being punished for the AI..." he says, gently. "But... I don't know. I often think it's just too difficult for them to understand us. We're too far separated..." He lifts a shoulder and smiles faintly. "In any case, we soldier on."
"That we do. And you might be right. We are pretty convoluted creatures, us human beings, aren't we?" Lyn asks with a small smile that is just slightly frayed around the edges. Two big losses this week, and they're going back into the field tonight. It's enough to make one a little worried about what might happen. "Maybe we should pray for this mission to go well."
Aldrich nods a little, and gives her a squeeze. "I usually do a small Gemenese ceremony before every mission..." he explains, with a crooked little smile. "You can join me and do some meditating, if you like?"
"I'd like that," Lyn admits. She's been getting into the whole meditating thing, slowly but surely. It's likely one of the reasons she's been a bit more stable lately.
Aldrich kisses the side of Lyn's temple, and as usual, he looks just a little embarrassed as he does. "All right, then. Do you sit on the floor or the pews? I have cushions hiding back here, if you need one," he explains as he releases her to head to the front of the chapel.
"The floor," Lyn admits, coloring a little herself at the kiss but smiling over it. "A cushion would be great." She moves to a spot she can sit comfortably in.
Aldrich goes to fetch Lyn a cushion and carries it back, to set it down in the spot that she's chosen. "There are plenty of candles and incense if you need anything like that... Once I get started, I won't be much company, so if you need anything else, now's the time," he warns, with a touch of self-mocking amusement.
"A kiss for good luck?" Lyn requests with a warm smile as she settles on the cushion. She doesn't need any of the accoutrements. This is a woman who sleeps on a Raptor ride to a mission after all.
Aldrich gives a self-conscious smile, but leans down to give Lyn a quick kiss, pressing forehead to forehead for a brief moment before letting her go. "Enjoy your meditation," he offers, quietly, and then retreats back to the altar to start preparing his own ritual. Which will probably wind up looking pretty odd to Lyn's eyes, but that's the Gemenese for you.