Aldrich tries to check up on Cate while they practice medic skills.
Location: CQB Arena
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 224
Since both Cate and Aldrich are as healed up as they've both been in awhile (at least at the same time), it seems as good a time as any to resume Aldrich's training. So at the appointed time, Al shows up, carrying a pack of typical supplies and wearing his usual uniform.
Cate is already here, having arrived a few minutes early to get some stuff set up. She's wearing her khakis and has just unceremoniously dumped a hapless training dummy onto the ground behind one of the partitions. Hearing the hatch open, she glances through the faux window. "Hey Al." Still subdued, but nevertheless glad to see her friend.
Aldrich smiles, looking a little subdued himself. "Hey. How's it going?" He makes his way around the partitions to find his way into whatever section Cate is in, then sets his pack down. "I could have helped you carry that," he adds, with a gesture toward the dummy.
Cate shrugs. "I'm used to it. Which... is why I figured you should practice it. Hauling people around is half of what we do. Don't want to throw your back out or anything." She kicks the dummy. "So, Al, meet Tommy, our hapless victim."
Aldrich chuckles a little, and gives a mock wave to the dummy. "Nice to meet you, Tommy. I'll do my best to be gentle." He glances to Cate, raising an eyebrow slightly. "You know, I /do/ work out in the gym and everything. It's not /all/ sitting around the chapel..."
Cate lifts her brows back to Aldrich, in wry challenge. "Great. Then you'll have no problem doing it in full kit." She starts over toward the locker on the wall where the training gear is stored. Laser tag rifles, flak vests and helmets are all retrieved for both of them, Cate handing Al's over to him. Not very chatty today, it would seem.
Aldrich shakes his head a little, still amused. "Well, here's hoping I can live up to it." He starts donning the gear as it's handed over, starting with the best, but he glances to Cate as he does. After a lingering silence, he fills it with a clearing of his throat. "So I was thinking about the end of the war..."
Cate slips her vest on as well, grimacing a little as the still-healing bruises under her shirt protest. She decides to put her helmet back on the shelf, though. Truly she hates the thing. "Yeah?" comes a non-committal response as she starts zipping up the vest.
"You could sit this out, you know. Tell me what to do and let your ribs heal." Aldrich zips up the vest, favoring his left arm. He reaches for the helmet, taking great care as he slides it on and figures out how to settle into place without aggravating the healing cut on his forehead. "Yeah. I was thinking I might go back to Gemenon, when this is all over. Might be a lost cause, but I could try..."
"I'm all right," Cate insists. "Cleared for duty." Which is not really what he's driving at, but go go stubborn doctor. "Don't have to wear the helmet if it bothers you," she observes, then heads back to where they left poor Tommy. "You mean go back and try to patch things up with your family?"
Aldrich is not going to argue with Cate, probably because he knows it's a lost cause. When she mentions the helmet thing, he actually looks a little relieved. "Well, don't throw anything at my head, and we'll be fine, then." He pulls off the helmet and returns it to the locker. Then he follows Cate back to the dummy. "I don't know if patching things up is an option," he admits, with a glance down toward the dummy. "But I can try."
"So if you don't think it's possible, why bother ripping open that wound?" At least she assumes it's a wound. Cate gestures towards the dummy. "Time to evac Tommy here."
Aldrich stands over the dummy, looking down at it thoughtfully. "So they know that I didn't stop caring about them," he sighs, and gives a faint smile. "I realized talking to Lyn maybe that's kind of important." Then he's back to the dummy. "What's his injury? Should I be worried about that?"
"Well, if it's important to you then you should do it," Cate offers neutrally. The question about the dummy gets a soft 'oh'. "So if we're in a middle of a firefight, kinda becomes a life over limb type of situation. Got to get him out of danger, and can't be too choosy about how. If we've got more time to frak around, then we can start worrying about how to move him without making it worse. For now let's practice the evac under fire."
Aldrich lifts a shoulder at the first, and looks back down to the dummy, brow furrowed thoughtfully. "All right then." He steadies himself, then starts the process of hauling the dummy up into a fireman's carry. That should be interesting with his arm still apparently bothering him, but he doesn't complain.
Cate watches his form, then calls him back and offers a few pointers about how to bend and lift, and sling his rifle so it doesn't get in his way, little things like that. The lesson lacks any semblance of her usual banter. Maybe she's different in teaching mode. Or more likely she's just retreated behind a wall of professionalism.
Aldrich takes all of Cate's instruction in stride, but when they finally reach a point where he can take a break, he leans against a wall, wiping some sweat off his forehead. "You okay?" he wonders, while he's still recovering.
Cate shrugs. "I'm alive, I'm here, I'm doing my job." Someone has a pretty minimal definition of 'okay'. "How's your head? Didn't frak up your eye at all, did it?"
"Nope," Aldrich replies, but he still looks a little worried as he watches her. "I'm fine..." He watches her for a second, and then wonders, "Have you talked to Doc Anders?"
"Good, I'm glad," Cate says, and that much is sincere. The mention of Andres gets a frown. "I did actually." But her sarcastic tone probably doesn't sound very reassuring. "Saw him a week or so ago to get his advice on handling my trust and intimacy issues with my boyfriend. His advice was super helpful." Bitter? Nah, what makes you say that? She goes back over to Tommy, apparently ready to get back to the lesson. "So if you've got someone like Tavo, who's just too damn big to get into a fireman's carry..."
Aldrich frowns a little, and shakes his head. "Okay, so Anders isn't the answer..." he jumps in, interrupting her before she can continue the lesson. "Maybe you need to talk to me? Or /someone/?" he suggests, gently.
Cate sighs when Al presses the issue, letting poor Tommy flop to the ground so she can spread her hands questioningly. "What do you want me to talk about, Al?" she asks, a little defensive. "He's dead. I'm alone again. War sucks. What more is there to say?" There's a breath after her rhetorical question, but she doesn't really wait for an answer before charging on. "I survived all kinds of shit back home, I survived Hyperion. I could teach a whole frakking course on the stages of grief. I think I can manage to get over a guy I knew for all of two months."
Aldrich has his sympathetic face on, as she talks. "I know you can. I know you're tough..." he replies, gently. "And you could survive just fine alone, without anyone. But... I'm going to be worried about you. Because you're my friend. Okay? I can't help it."
Cate looks a little guilty after his words. "You're my friend too, Al. But some things can't be fixed," she says flatly. She frowns down at Tommy. "That's enough for today. Don't want to stress your arm too much." Uh huh, yeah, that's tooootally the reason. She hefts Tommy up over her shoulder and dumps him on top of a stack of his other inanimate brethren.
Aldrich sighs quietly, but smiles faintly. "All right." He lets her move the dummy, since she's already in the process of doing it, and he stretches out his arm. "Just don't withdraw?" he requests, quietly. "At least, not forever."
Cate pauses from removing her vest just long enough to nod. "Yeah," she offers softly. Not forever, but for now? Totally fleeing as soon as she hangs her vest up. "I'll see you later."
Aldrich still looks a little sad, but since he's wrangled a promise out of her (or at least what he'll probably take as a promise) he starts ridding himself of his own vest. "All right. Take care."