Wingmates exchange truths, and one of them dances.
Location: RP Room 5
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 345
Aubrey didn't go for drinks with the rest of the Air Crew last night, begging off to go do some paperwork on her father's behalf. She had been uncharacteristically reserved during the qualification trials, with a lot on her mind and a hangover to boot.
Today she has been in her hotel room most of the day, and now she's sitting at the little desk against the wall, trying to sort through insurance forms for her father, that will hopefully take care of his medical bills and get him funds for a new condo, since his is totaled. She's in a fluffy terrycloth bathrobe with the hotel's insignia on it, with her hair in big rollers, and two garment bags hanging up on the bathroom door, her dress uniform and a gown for the ball. Her forehead has a deep crease from trying to navigate the paperwork, while also trying to navigate her trainwreck of a personal life.
Alain did go for drinks the night before -- only a few though -- enough to keep his head and depart with his dignity intact, probably a wise move given the CAG was shouting them a round. Now, he's shown up at Aubrey's hotel, carrying a bag, tapping on the door. He's in his dress uniform, undoubtedly in preparation for the ceremony due to start a little later, hair slicked neatly back, the picture of crisp academy dress.
She clearly wasn't expecting company. Aubrey gets up and peers through the peephole, before she unlatches and opens the door a half a foot to look out at Alain in the hallway. "Hey," she offers, looking not quite herself, and also probably like and old-fashioned housewife in this getup, curlers in her hair and all. "Did I forget something at the house?" Because why else would he be here?
Alain can't help it; there's a little grin at her pre-ceremony getup. "I'm so glad my version of getting ready involves the occasional hair-gel and a shave," he says, amused. At her question, he gestures towards the bag. "Yeah. You forgot this. Can I come in?"
Aubrey seems to consider maybe not letting him in for a moment, then she shrugs and opens the door fully, turning to walk back in. "I thought I grabbed everything, but I was pretty wasted," she says, sitting back in the uncomfortable chair at the desk.
It's obvious from Alain's expression -- disappointed, maybe -- that he sees the hesitation. "I won't stay long," is what he says, when she finally steps back. He lets the door close behind him, following her to the desk in order to set the bag down. He doesn't open it, but inside is a bottle of Gemenese wine. The label indicates it was hand-pressed, before the war. "You said a few things," he allows, kind of cautiously, as he steps over towards the window, shifting the curtain as he peers out at the view, then over his shoulder at her. "Do you remember?"
"Unfortunately," is Aubrey's response. "Look, I'm staying out of your way, out of her way. If you want to find another wingman, I won't stop you." She looks in the bag and frowns, pulling the bottle out and looking over it. "This isn't mine."
"I didn't ask you to do that," there's an unusual sharpness to Alain's words, and he takes a breath -- takes a moment -- before he continues in a more normal tone. "You're the one stepping away. I'm not forcing you. I wouldn't, over one drunken night." His gaze is drawn to the bottle as she examines it. "Part of the bet," he says, with a fleeting smile. "Believe there's only one thing left."
"Jigger, she's right you know. I have feelings for you," Aubrey admits, looking angry at herself for daring to have them. "But you've made it clear to me, you don't return them. It makes it hard sometimes. And when she was acting like you were a couple, it hit me like a truck. It felt like it wasn't you wanting to be professional. You're just not attracted to me. I get that. I'm a big girl. Sure it hurts, but I was able to roll with it until that." She sighs. "I don't know what you want. But I know it isn't me."
Alain goes still. It's not really a surprise to him, given the events of the other night -- even he can put two and two together. "Banshee," he takes a breath. "I'm sorry. I don't want a relationship. With Nova, with anyone. Not now. It's not something I can -- I want to -- think about at all. There's too much else going on." He grimaces, then exhales, as his gaze goes to Aubrey, trying to see by her expression whether she understands. "That's what I want."
"I know. You told me that after last leave when I made almost as big of a fool of myself as this leave," Aubrey says dully. She sets the wine down, looking at it like she's tempted to down it right now, awards ceremony be damned. "But I haven't been able to let it go. Haven't been able to just be my usual hard-partying self. I just need to get laid. Not to worry. I'll be fine." She forces a smile.
There's a slow exhale, then a nod from Alain, his hands settling into parade-rest position. "I hope you don't mind... think I'll take a pass on being your wingman for getting you laid," he says, somewhat wryly. "But I'm there for anything else, you know that, right?"
Aubrey nods. "I know. That's why I asked you to come with me to see my dad. I couldn't go alone. And I knew you had my back, no matter how much of an idiot I was." She looks up at him. "I still want to be your wingman, if you'll have me. Just, I need you to bear with me while I work on getting over everything else. Can you do that?"
A hint of a smile, though that vanishes quickly as Alain affects a frown. "I don't know, Banshee. I think there's still something that needs to be settled."
Aubrey looks taken aback by the sudden change and she blinks at him. "What? What did I screw up now?" she asks, glancing at the pile of forms she's been trying to slog through for two days now.
Okay, so Alain sucks at pretending to be angry, but his not-quite-frown keeps getting broken up by a grin, as he carefully unbuttons the jacket of his dress uniform. Like with all his clothes, he treats it carefully, laying it over the back of the chair so as not to crease it. That done, he starts dancing. Or, at least, attempts it. There's just something hilariously awkward and ill-timed about his movements that makes his attempts inadvertently comical rather than just bad. "I mean, I would totally prefer to be drunk to do this, but you're forcing my hand, Banshee."
Aubrey covers her mouth with both hands to try and stifle the hysterical laughter emerging from it. She watches in a mix of horror and fascination. She can't breathe from the laughter , tears in her eyes from it. "STOP! OH GODS STOP!" she begs, because it's killing her. "Jigger, from now on just tell people you got the name from a booze measurement instrument. Because no one should ever see that."
Alain starts fist-pumping. That's a dance-move, right? Well, it is now. Stop? Frak no, there's an entire sequence to get through. He looks like he's concentrating.
Aubrey is waving a hand in the air, trying to breathe, unsuccessfully. She can't stop giggling, in a total fit. She actually makes that piggy snorting sound from sucking in too much air.
What the-? It's that noise that finally gets Alain to stop, mid-attempt at the robot, both hands in the air. "What was that? Shit, Banshee, you dying? Can't do that, Colonel will kill us. We're due at the award ceremony."
Aubrey wipes the tears from her eyes. "You are so lucky I hadn't put on makeup yet!" she barks, throwing a tissue box at him. "You almost killed me! Never, ever, do that again. To anyone! It should be classified as a weapon!"
His reflexes are, if nothing else, good enough to catch the box of tissues. Alain looks entirely unrepentant as he sets the tissue box down on the table unharmed. "Remember, you've got to promise to tell no one. You're now part of the secret group that has to take that vision to the grave."
"I promise. I don't think I could describe that if I wanted to. There are no words in any language that are applicable," she says between gasps for air. "Now get out of here. I have to get all fancied up for the ball. I'm sure the brass are going to want anyone with the least bit of fame photo ready." Aubrey makes shooing motions at him.
Picking up his jacket, Alain takes his time carefully shrugging back into it. Not to delay -- but to prevent any wrinkles to the uniform, a care he always has in his mind. "I would tell you to save a dance for me, but, well..." he gives her a wry smile as he buttons up his jacket.
"I will save a dance for you. Not like anyone else is going to ask me," Aubrey says with a smirk. For a swimsuit model, she has really no luck with getting hit on.
"Only if by 'dancing' you mean, we stand by the punch bowl and match drink for drink. Then, I'm in," Alain says, with a rueful smile, as his hand slides over his jacket, smoothing away probably invisible crinkles. "Enjoy the photoshoot," he says, wryly, as he heads for the door. Thankfully, he generally doesn't get singled out for "in party" photos to go in the CF's recruitment booklets.
"Deal," Aubrey says, to the drinking. She gets up to close and lock the door behind him, and go about that mystical female ritual known as 'getting ready to go someplace fancy'.