2237-07-25 - Weird Al

Cate thinks Aldrich needs more sleep. Like she should talk.

Date: 2237-07-25

Location: Hotel

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 323

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Aldrich has not been letting on to how much stress he was experiencing during the latest mission. After all, /everyone/ was under stress. Not to mention, he probably feels like he has something to prove. But now that he can safely flop, he's done exactly that. Today's flopping location is the hotel pool, where he has set up on a lounge chair with a book. He's technically wearing his uniform, but only the trousers, turned up to the knee, with bare feet and an undershirt in lieu of the much-too-warm fatigue shirt. He's not actually /reading/ the book at the moment. He's just sort of sitting and staring off into space.

Cate would know a think or two about being under stress since the last mission. She's barely stopped to come up for air in the past two weeks. But now - with no patients to tend and no battles to fight, she's finally crashed and burned. She's hit up the hotel shop to get herself some sunglasses and a touristy tank top and shorts, showing off quite a bit of skin and quite a bit of scars. Spying Al by the pool, she heads on over. "We need to get you some real clothes," she says in place of a greeting.

Aldrich jumps a little when Cate speaks up, and looks up with the most bewildered expression. Whoever said that a facial scar would make him look more rugged has clearly underestimated his ability to look like a sleepy puppy. He smiles after a moment, and plucks at his undershirt. "These aren't real?" he asks, with faux confusion. "Am I just imagining I'm wearing clothes?"

"That's a uniform. Doesn't count," Cate points out mildly. She sits on the lounge chair next to his. Not lounging, just perched on the edge of it in a way that could tip the dang thing over if she's not careful. "You look tired," she observes with an edge of concern, which is very much the pot calling the kettle black there.

Aldrich leans his head back against the chair. "That's funny. Seems to me it covers the naughty bits just fine," he remarks, closing his eyes. Her observation is met with a tight smile, but he rests the book on his chest and just keeps his eyes closed. "So do you. So does everyone." He opens one eye, looking over at her, critically. "Have you relaxed at all?"

"So would running around in your boxers, but that wouldn't exactly be great tropical clothing either," Cate deadpans back. She shrugs to his question, a guilty little frown probably answer enough.

Aldrich snorts faintly. "Can you imagine me running around in boxers?" he wonders, too easily distracted from the topic at hand. He's been that way a lot lately. Mind wandering, and occasionally drifting into his own thoughts before snapping back to reality as though startled. "You should lie down," he advises. "Join me. Stop thinking for a moment or two, while no one needs you."

"No, but I'm sure Lyn can," Cate says with a little snort. She eyes him for a minute, taking note of his manner, but then takes his advice and settles down more properly in the lounge chair. It's probably the least relaxed anyone has ever looked in one of those things, though. "Can't stop thinking, that's the problem." She frowns. "Y'know, last time I was here, I was bent out of shape because Tucker stood me up to go off on his own thing. Seems stupid now."

Aldrich gives a faint snort, but there's certainly a look of embarrassment when Lyn is brought up. He's more than happy to change the subject to Cate. "You should try meditating," he advises. Then, after a pause, he adds with only a hint of humor, "Or smoke something. Eli or Geoff probably have a stash they would share."

Cate makes a little sound of disbelief. "Cadmus has a stash? Now that I wouldn't have expected. Maybe Kovac has been a bad influence on him." Not responding directly to the suggestion one way or the other.

"Well, I can't speak to that, but it was before they started dating," Aldrich offers, closing his eyes again. "He might not, anymore, but if there's /anyone/ who needs a stash in this crew, it's him." Now it's his turn to be the pot, apparently. "I don't know if I'd say it's a /bad/ influence, though," he adds. "The gods created these things for a reason."

"Huh. Well, I suppose it makes sense for them to have something in common, since they get on so well. Just never would've expected it was that." Cate shrugs. She lapses into silence for a little bit, then says, "I don't even drink much any more. Seems dumb to get tanked when the Cylons could attack at any moment."

"I think Mikolas reminds him of his family," Aldrich replies, randomly. "He likes to pretend he doesn't get on with his family, but I think that's just part of his family culture." He falls silent for a few moments, and then philosophically adds, "You can't stay on high alert forever. If you don't plan your crash, you're going to crash at the worst possible time."

"Maybe. Don't know anything about his family. Or Kovac's for that matter." Cate slants Aldrich a glance. "Or yours really, though I know you said they didn't approve much of you leaving." She folds her hands on her stomach, trying and failing to relax some in the chair. "Be amazed how long you can stay on high alert," she muses, then changes the subject, "You think about getting a pass to go visit your family?"

Aldrich sighs at the mention of his family. So much for relaxing. He sits up and swings his legs around to sit up. He rubs at the scar on his forehead as though it itches. "There's no point," he explains. "If I ever go back...It's going to take more than a couple of days."

Cate remains oblivious that she ruined his relaxing, otherwise she'd doubtless feel guilty about it. She does glance over when he moves. "I see," she says, though she probably doesn't. Frowning, she adds after a moment. "I put my name in."

Aldrich is not exactly surprised when people don't understand his complicated family situation. He looks over toward her, and cautiously offers, "That's good... Will you be looking forward to it?"

Cate shakes her head, mouth pressed in a thin line. "No. But I'm sick of hiding. Figure I have to face it at some point. Least I'll know if they're going to kill me, disown me, or forgive me." Her voice is remarkably even when laying out the options, but there's a pained look on her face.

Aldrich nods a little, and for a moment he just looks really tired. He goes a bit distant, almost seeming to look at something behind Cate, but then he blinks rapidly and shakes his head. "It's good to know, one way or the other," he offers, gently. "At least when you know, you can start building something new."

Cate's jaw twitches a little at Al's response. She sighs, a weariness that goes beyond the physical. Then she turns her head to squint at him for a moment. She asks flatly, "What is up with you? Have you gotten any sleep at all?"

Aldrich blinks and looks back at Cate, honestly puzzled. "As much as anyone has..." His brow furrows, a flash of defensiveness, but he quickly pushes it away beneath a tight smile. "I'm sorry. Did I say the wrong thing?"

Cate continues to scrutinize him. "You're acting weird. You keep spacing out. And I tell you I might end up in a ditch somewhere and you're all: 'oh that's nice, at least you'll know.'" She frowns. Her head rests back against the lounge chair, but her posture oozes tension.

Aldrich shakes his head, and sits up a little straighter. "I'm not weird," he replies, stiffly. "I'm tired. I thought you were being..." He trails off, leaving whatever he was about to say unsaid. Instead, he starts to reach for the abandoned book. "Maybe I should go...find someplace to have a nap. Or something."

"You should get some rest," Cate declares, still frowning. But she's not going to chase him away from his spot, so she's getting up herself. "I'll see you later," she says, also stiffly.

Aldrich rises, because he's just as stubborn as Cate, apparently. As it turns out, he's less willing to let the interaction end on a sour note. He softens, only a touch, and offers a quiet, "I'm sorry about... Whatever. I didn't mean to be a jerk. Family stuff is just..." He lifts a shoulder. "I'm not good with it."

"It's fine. It's not your problem." Cate looks away for a few seconds, jaw clenching in a valiant attempt to maintain her composure. The sunglasses do a good job of hiding the dampness threatening in her eyes. She lets out a breath and then looks back. "I meant what I said - you're acting sleep-deprived. Get some sleep Get some meds if you have to." Though her voice is still strained, there's a touch of honest concern in it.

Aldrich looks mildly stung by that, and glances away. "I still care..." It's said a bit wistfully, but he finally sighs, and withdraws a step. "I'm resting. I'm fine. /You/ should get some rest, too." Then, he adds, "I'll see you later." And he starts away, making his escape on that rather awkward note.


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