2237-08-17 - Playing The Victim

Cate and Aldrich argue over their respective hurt feelings.

Date: 2237-08-17

Location: Sickbay

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 402

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The Raptor has just returned after a medevac trip down to Delphi. Fortunately it wasn't a long trip - down and back, no trouble. Cate and Aldrich escorted their patient up to sickbay. It wasn't technically required; the sickbay corpsmen were there to meet them in the hangar. But, well, Cate likes to see things all the way through and Aldrich perhaps stuck around because there was a not-insignificant chance that the poor marine would've croaked before actually making it to the OR. But he made it after all, and as the doors to the surgical suite close, Cate lets out a little sigh. "He's got a decent chance." Is she talking to herself or to Al? Unclear.

It's pretty usual for Aldrich to follow patients all the way to sickbay. He's never really shared whether it's out of fear they will die, some desire to see things through, or some other reason entirely... But in any case, that puts him in sickbay with Cate as the patient is finally delivered alive, at least for the moment. He glances over to Cate, then back to the doors, with a slightly closed-off expression. "It's in the hands of the gods," he replies, in a neutral tone.

"Yeah," Cate agrees somberly. There's a sink right nearby, and she goes over to wash her hands and then splash some water on her face. "Glad to see you're back on your feet." She hasn't been by to check on him since their argument in the chapel that day.

Aldrich nods slightly. "Thank you." Again, that neutral tone, but he goes over to wash his hands because it's What You Do(tm). He stays rather intently focused on the task. Probably more than he needs to, considering it's just a hand washing.

Cate moves aside to let him at the sink, drying her hands on a paper towel, which she chucks in a nearby wastebin. She watches him in quiet scrutiny, a hint of a frown touching her lips.

Aldrich ignores the scrutiny, remaining just as terse and focused as he has since the start of the mission. Once his hands are dry, he glances toward her, gives a tight smile, and wonders, just a touch stiffly, "Do you need anything else from me here?"

Cate shakes her head slowly. "Nope." For a moment it seems she might leave it at that, but then her throat bobs. "So is this how it's gonna be now?" She shrugs a little. "Just not going to talk to me?"

Aldrich looks at Cate for a really long time, and then glances aside. He looks sad, in a kind of reserved way. "I don't know, Cate," he sighs, but it's not without a touch of the same stiffness. After an awkward pause, he adds, "I'm trying to stay professional right now."

Cate meets his gaze, her own expression pensive. His response causes her brow to crease sadly. "Professional," she echoes dully. "Well. Good for you." She unslings her medic backpack and sets it on the counter next to the sink, standing stiffly as she starts to go through the process of throwing away used bandage wrappers and IV supplies that ended up stuffed halfhazardly in the pack.

Aldrich's eyes narrow slightly, but then he closes them, takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, his lips moving in what might be a silent prayer. Then he opens them again, and gives another tight smile. "Cate. Is there something you want to say?"

Cate doesn't look back, continuing to clean up her pack. "Nope," she says tersely. "You wanna be 'professional', we'll be professional. I need to restock my pack."

Aldrich raises an eyebrow slightly. "Fine." His own pack still hangs off his shoulder. He watches her for a long moment, with vague consternation, and finally says, "I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings."

Cate slants him a frowning glance. "Are you?" she challenges, obviously skeptical on that particular point.

Aldrich tilts his head a little, brow furrowing. "Yes, I am. Look..." He frowns, choosing his words carefully. "I appreciate that you limited your interference to Lyn. I'm sure that was very difficult for you, given your perspective. In fact, I'm sorry you were ever put in that position to begin with. But... what exactly do you expect?"

Cate shakes her head, looking back at the pack. "I don't expect anything from you, Lieutenant," she says, still frowning. "You've made it abundantly clear where we stand. I thought we were friends, but clearly I was an idiot. Not the first time. Doubt it'll be the last." She finishes clearing out the rubbish from her pack and slings it back over her shoulder. She faces him, giving him a chance to respond before she heads off to the supply closet to restock the gear they used.

Aldrich gives a bark of pained laughter, but then covers the lower half of his face and looks to the side, gathering himself. "Cate," he says, slowly. "Stop acting the fracking victim, here. I have never treated you with /anything/ but acceptance and compassion. And when you had the opportunity to do the same, you used it to wreak havoc in my personal life. You can blame me for giving you the opening if you like, but that doesn't change the fact that /you're/ the one who chose to kick me when I was down. There were thousands of choices you could have made that would have walked the same ethical line. And you chose the 'Run off and convince his girlfriend he's a monster without even waiting for him to get well' option. And you want me to just... what? Show up and pretend like everything is fine? Do you think I'm made of stone inside?"

Cate frowns. She comes a little closer so she can hiss at him in confidence, "First of all, I didn't say anything to Lyn about you being a monster. I told her I was worried about you. Because you're my friend, and you were sick and miserable, and she's the only other person on this damn ship that I trusted enough to help you and cover for you in case something happened to me." Hurt shines in her eyes there. "And second of all - I'm not upset that you're pissed I told her. I'm upset because you said I hated you and you didn't think I'd help you. I stuck my neck out for you, but you pushed me away, then you accused me of not respecting your beliefs. Which by the way you've never even frakking told me about so I guess I'm supposed to be psychic or something."

Aldrich narrows his eyes a little, but then just closes his eyes in defeat. He rubs at the bridge of his nose, then pinches it. "Fine," he gives in rather abruptly. "Thank you for sticking your neck out for me. I appreciate it. Next time I promise to ask your specific permission before not telling you about things that non-Gemenese aren't supposed to have any part of." He smiles, vaguely.

Cate rolls her eyes. "Yeah, that's totally what I meant," she snarks back, voice dripping with sarcasm. She shakes her head and then just starts walking past him towards the supply closet.

Aldrich watches Cate go, and shakes his head. "Sure, keep lashing out at me. That's /really/ convincing me that you have great respect and love for me." He snorts faintly, and watches her head for the supply closet. "Just so you know? You are acting like Mikolas right now. And it's not a pretty look on you." And he hitches up his bag and turns to go.

Cate pauses at the door of the supply closet, her lips thinning. She almost turns back to say something, but then she just opens the door and steps through, letting it close behind her.


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