Aldrich and Lyn reunite after Lyn's ordeal.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1471
Aldrich would have waited on the flight deck, if they'd have allowed it. As it was, the 'powers that be' made it pretty clear that he needed to wait for the rescue party somewhere that he wouldn't be in the way. So he doesn't manage to catch up to Lyn until they've already got her in an exam room in the infirmary, waiting to see a doctor. He opens the door, and looks more than overcome. So much for buttoned-up chaplain face. He looks like he might cry (so manly!). "Gods, Lyn..." And then he moves over to try to wrap her up in a hug.
Lyn looks over at him blearily from whatever they injected her with for pain, because her left leg is an infected mess from the shrapnel wounds she took when the Raptor was blown up. She grunts as Al hugs her, and there is a moment, just a split second of hesitation, before she returns it fiercely. That moment one of wondering if she's really here, or back in that chair, or sleeping and dreaming of all this. She pulls back a bit to hold his face in her hands, to make sure he's who she remembers as real before she was captured. No blond highlights, no buff arms and slouchy ease. "Is it really you, Al?" she whispers hoarsely with tears in her eyes.
It's really him, of course. That's clear when, in spite of his momentary loss of composure, he grows a touch more reserved, watching her expression with a worry that creases his brow. "It's me. Who else would it be?" He brushes her hair back, and uses it as an excuse to slide a hand down her cheek. "I'm so sorry. I wanted to come get you, but all I could do was pray... I was so scared for you."
"They made me think, made me believe, the last two years were a bad dream. Tried to make me think there were no Cylons, that I was happy. We were married, had kids, lived in that cottage on the beach on Scorpia," Lyn rambles rapidly, clearly upset. "It felt real, and you were, you were you, but not you. You were both you and him and he was alive and dad was alive and Aquaria didn't fall and..." she chokes on her own words and buries her head against him.
Aldrich watches Lyn as she talks. There's a controlled horror as the meaning of what she's saying sets in. "Oh... oh gods..." He wraps his arms around her shoulders, carefully, just in case she has some unseen injury he might hurt, and kisses the top of her shoulder. "I'm so sorry. But you're home now. Everything is okay. It's all over..."
"It's not over, because this is reality. There are Cylons. Aquaria is gone. My father is dead. Jonas is dead. And the war is still going. We may be losing. Gods above, Al, I don't know which was worse, the inkling in the back of my mind that the fairytale wasn't real, or waking up from it and knowing for sure, that we might not have a bright and happy future ahead of us," Lyn sobs, hanging on to him like she's afraid to let go.
Aldrich rocks slightly, petting her hair while he makes soothing noises. When he speaks, it's in a hushed tone but slightly tense. He's keeping it together for her, but just barely. "But we're together," he stresses, gently. "And we're both alive. Whatever happens, our future together will be happy, because we'll face it /together/. Okay?"
Lyn's sobs slow down eventually, as she nods into his shoulder and neck, still weepy. "It just felt so real. We had a little boy and a little girl because we were younger when we got together and, it was so off, but so comforting, to be happy like that after so much time at war." She leans back and wipes at her eyes. "I'm going to need Doc Kamran for sure. I'm still not entirely sure what's real and what isn't in my memories, Al."
Aldrich keeps a hand entwined with Lyn's when she pulls back, his other hand resting on her thigh, as though that contact might be required just to assure /himself/ she's really there. He swallows when she mentions the imaginary children, and glances down. "I know... Well, I don't know what you went through, but I know what it's like to struggle with reality. And... I'm here. You can talk to me if you need to. Or... or whatever you need. Just tell me what I can do."
"I just need you to be real, and to be patient with me," Lyn says quietly, almost brokenly. "I'd gotten over so many things in the last few months, and I feel like those healed wounds were reopened. Seeing my dad again, interacting with him, my family all together. God waking up from that dream hurt," she whispers. She squeezes his hand. Her right leg is ok, the left is where the shrapnel got her, so if it's that thigh, he's golden.
Aldrich is definitely avoiding anything that's obviously bandaged or damaged. "I'm here. And I am a paragon of patience," he claims, with a broken smile. His eyes are still a little glassier than usual. "I- I know it must have been... hard? Or maybe it seemed nice, being in that... whatever it was. But... For what it's worth, I'm so glad you're back with me?"
"There's nowhere else I want to be, than with you, Al. I love you, even more now, which I didn't think was possible," Lyn whispers, stroking his cheek with a shaky hand. "Before they took me to hook me up to that machine, thinking of you was all that got me through it, that I had to get back to you. And in there, I think they meant to wind back to before the attack, but my heart was so clearly with you, and not Jonas, that the memories merged to make him more you than himself."
Al's expression crumples a little, and pulls Lyn closer, resting his forehead against hers, with his eyes closed. "Lyn..." he murmurs. "I never-- I mean, I don't want to take that away from you. None of it. I never... I'm not trying to replace anyone. But I love you so much."
She clings to him tightly. "You haven't replaced him, you've done better than that. You've rebuilt me from the mess I was, into being able to open myself up to people again. You've repaired the damage done, and made me whole, Al. And that isn't even why I love you. I love you because I do. I just needed to heal before I could." Lyn leans in to kiss him, because a week without knowing if she'd ever see him again is far, far too long.
If there was any doubt in her mind about whether this is the 'real' Al or not, that ought to be dispelled. He's tentative, self-conscious, a little too worried about hurting her... and somehow, in spite of all that, tender and sweet. When he pulls away, he sighs gently. "You rebuilt yourself," he murmurs. "If I was some sort of... catalyst, that makes me happier than you know. But you did the hard work. You're stronger than you think you are. You're going to be okay. I know it, even if you don't, yet."
A nurse comes in then, and she has a syringe, and a look on her face that clearly indicates visiting hours are now over. "We need to take the Sergeant in to get her wounds properly treated. So, I'm afraid you need to go, chaplain," she announces.
Lyn gives him a last kiss, and a hand squeeze. "I'll see you soon," she croaks at him, still dehydated.
For a flash of a moment, there's a hint of an expression to suggest that Al might actually stand up to an irritated nurse holding a syringe. Probably not the smartest mood... But then Lyn squeezes his hand, and the impulse passes. "I love you," he emphasizes, and gives her a little kiss before untangling his hand from hers. "I'll be back the moment you're ready for visitors again." He lingers a second longer, probably much to the nurse's annoyance, but then he finally exits the room so Lyn can get properly cared for.