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EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

[LCdr Blue Tiran | Things Which Nightmares Make | Safe, So They Say | The Ghost of What Was]

The nurse was a slight woman, tall, willowy, skin of a blue hue and her white hair piled on top of her head in a messy bun.  It was clear from the dark bags underneath her eyes she had likely been on shift far too long for the average nurse, but, in times like this there was no shift.  There were people that needed a great amount of care.  Mostly psychological.  From the tidbits she had heard from those that were the things of horrors.  How they had all stayed strong, made it through such harrowing circumstances, and come out on the other side she wasn't sure.  She commended all of them.  Many were strong minded, though the one that worried a fair amount of the staff was Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran. 

Formerly of the Endeavour, when she had come into Sickbay she had attacked Doctor Savor, screamed like a banshee, and had to be put to sleep medically.  While asleep, she was peaceful and while too thin and malnourished, she was quite pretty beneath the grime.  Her curls lacked what was likely their normal bounce and luster under a thick coat of days old grease and grime.  Whatever had happened to her, it had been the kind of mental wear and tear – see torture- that had scarred her in some way.  Her external wounds were healed now, and there was no sign of the puncture wounds by both fingernails and some kind of piercing device.  One of the people thought it could have been a screw or nail, and the jagged slashes on her wrist were linked back to a piece of metal in her bag with blood stains. 

That was when they found the owl.

It looked too clean, too nice, and there stamped on the bottom of it was 'Property of Blue Tiran- touch and fucking die.'  So, while they had touched the owl sitting it to the side in it's inert state they had left it on a table since apparently it was important.  The Andorian nurse stepped into the little stall.  Blue's eyes fluttered underneath her dark lashes and her too pale skin.  A little color had returned under the grime, and various IV drips were funneling into a tube in her arm.  However, as the Andorian's eyes darted upward to the panel above the bed, she realized that the once sleeping Blue was staring to rouse.  Her vitals had increased.

“Call the Commander, Tiran is on the rise!” she called out.

After the last incident when they had made Ducote stand to the side, no one really wanted her to wake up without him.  The kind of emotional distress found when a Betazoid counselor popped by the sleeping woman stated that she would need whatever she could get that would help her find stable footing again.  She also requested to see her again later once she was awake and able to start processing the whole situation.

[Commander Ducote, this is Sickbay, Commander Tiran is starting to wake.] came the voice of the nearby receptionist tasked with informing the man who needed to double time down here.


The air shaft was so tight.  It pressed in on her from all sides as she slowly crawled her way through it.  She had come this way once before, but now, she would take a different turn.  She had to find her people, she had to help them, get them to escape.  She needed to hold it together.  If she got caught it was all over.  She needed to find them, she needed to get them weapons, help them out.  They could take over this ship and get themselves to safety.  She didn't care who died because at this point she had seen enough.

“Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran.” the voice of Echtand simple, proper, shifted through the vent shaft.  She froze, her blood turning to ice.

Caught, she was caught, it was all over.

Everything went dark and shifted and now she was staring in the face of her most hated enemy.  There stood the blue bitch herself, looking cold with that sneer on her face that quite made Blue want to pummel it until it was nothing but sagging flesh and scars. 

“ "After this time I thought you would have learned how to cope with death. It seems that you are still fainthearted, you should be grateful that the XO has not survived to see how embarrassing you are for his keth.”

Blue couldn't breathe, the air had left her lungs.  Had she let him down?  Had she given up on him?  Was she lucky that he was not alive any longer??  She couldn't breathe, her hands crushed the Savi fabric.. yet it wasn't. It was something else, lighter, soft, thin, she was cold and hot at the same time.  She fisted the fabric on her chest as she fought to breathe.  Words came to her from somewhere but she couldn't hear them.  She couldn't hear anything despite trying to focus on it. 

 "You know?" she whispered with her lips almost touching the engineer's skin. "I almost hope that one of the borg who is about to assimilate us is your fiancé ... maybe that way you finally realize the stupidity you're committing."

She fell to her knees.  Grabbing at the floor.  Her lungs could not inflate.  They couldn't.

Her eyes shot open.  Bright white, it was everywhere.  There was white bedding, white ceilings, white white white white white.  She was shaking and she shot up, sitting up in a hurry.  Her dirty curls surrounding her in a huge wave of movement.  She lifted her hand where the IV sat against her veins pumping shit into her. 

“What are you fuckers doing to me!?” she cried out in sheer terror. 

Suddenly, warm, large hands cupped her face.  She knew those hands.  Those callouses.  She knew every bump, every wrinkle, every crease.  Her eyes flickered up, as one of them brushed her curls out of her face and his large warm dark eyes looked into hers.  Tears, true tears, welled into her eyes and she launched herself the last inches and into his arms.  Kneeling on the bed to make up for the height difference and she clung to him tightly.

“You're alive.” she whispered amid her tears clinging to him.  “I thought you were dead.  I thought you were gone forever.  I thought... you left me.”  that last two words whispered with such pain, such agony.

“Commander, she is pretty good to go.  Though she needs to see a counselor for obvious reasons, medically, she is fine.  She's going to need to eat, get cleaned up, and have a great deal of rest.” said the nurse who had been checking on her earlier.  “Oh and don't forget, the owl and her bag, they're over there.  Just when ever you're ready.” she admitted.  Though, they could likely use the bed for someone else since there were so many patients.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #1
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @BZ

Between monitoring the aftermath of the (shitshow of a) battle in the mission ops area, and keeping an eye on the boxing in and recapture of the 'devoted' folk - which he made a mental note to read up on later as a psychological exercise if nothing else; they were fascinating - and the standing-down of the Bellerophon survivors, Ducote had been going back and forth between here and sickbay, working from a PADD so he wasn't just ducking out on the station he'd agreed to help. Nicander had been sequestered somewhere... an airlock, hopefully... and there were thankfully no new reports of grisly multiple murders forthcoming.

Regarding Security, Kai had caught up with him to inform him that the man-mountain intended to offer his services to Captain Ives. Ducote didn't mind, he supposed, as he had already asked the Endeavour officers to volunteer through everything else so far on the Theurgy rather than whip their obedience. The hybrid still felt somehow responsible for the fact that they didn't have their own ship under them any more, and felt vaguely uncomfortable considering ordering them to act one way or the other about the renegade vessel.

And under it all was a nagging concern for Blue. None of the Versant survivors looked particularly well put-together any more (and his fury at the procedures to which they had been subjected only grew every time he thought of them... such invasion and violation made him all but weep for his crew's lost halves), but she was a breed apart. He honestly had no idea how to go forward, and he didn't think it would be fair to ask R'Rori to continue to counsel Blue when s/he would have hir own traumas to deal with first.

[Commander Ducote, this is Sickbay. Commander Tiran is starting to wake.]

Speak of the Devil... He tapped his badge as the turbolift deposited him on the proper deck, already doing his infirmary rounds, PADD in one hand. "I'm already on my way."

Ducote wended his way through the busy bay, ignoring the fresh phaser burns on the walls from the Borg attack. He knew where each of his people were in here - the Niger injured who hadn't yet been able to leave, the Endeavour returnees, and Blue. He still winced when he saw the IV lines, even though it was the easiest way to get medications and fluids into someone when you couldn't spare a medic to hover around with a steady stream of hyposprays. It just looked so.. medieval. He slipped the PADD into his pocket.

Her eyes fluttered, before they snapped open and Blue threw her gaze around like a woman possessed. "What are you fuckers doing to me?!" she screamed.

"Hey! Hey, easy... easy now," he said, reaching out for her. "You're safe, they're helping you."

She threw her arms around his neck, and he was even more conscious of the tubes plugged into the veins of her arm. Someone had taken a dermal regenerator to her in his absence while she slept, almost all trace of the wounds on her forearms and palms gone.

"You're alive. I thought you were dead. I thought you were gone forever. I thought... you left me."

"I'm sorry, Blue," he murmured, his voice a low rumble, his own arms around her waist. "I had to, or you wouldn't have gotten off the ship in time."

"Commander, she is pretty good to go..." Ducote kept the frown at the interruption from his face. He knew the place was busy, and she was just doing her job. He could well feel the tiredness sloughing off her in waves. "Oh and don't forget, the owl and her bag, they're over there. Just whenever you're ready..."

"The ow-" He had to laugh. "Of course you managed to bring Albert through two ship escapes, Blue, you mad bastard. Come on, let the nurse take these IV's out.."

Ducote gently disengaged the hug, keeping hold of her non-plugged-in hand to lessen the probability of her protesting, and waved the Andorian over to do her thing. "Any checkup times I should know about?"

The nurse shook her head as she pulled the needles out and regenerated the punctures closed. "Medically we've done most of it already. There were some bruised muscles, the obvious lacerations... most of what she needs now is to restock and rest. Bring her back in.. twenty four hours though. Just in case there's something we missed."

"Alright, thank you. Got time to grab a raktajino for yourself or something? You look like hell."

Her antennae splayed apart with amusement. "I'm flattered. But so does everyone; I'll manage. Now get out of here."

Didn't matter how many pips you wore, long experience instructed him never to argue with a blueshirt. They always either had the regs or the drugs on their side. "C'mon, Blue," he said, reaching for her bag and leaving her to take Albert (another thing he'd learned long ago to leave alone). "Can you walk? I was assigned a room on the next deck up. I'll make coxinhas, and extra-sweet chilli sauce.."

His patter was almost too normal. If he could provide the old baseline, he reasoned, Blue might feel safer unwinding. Despite how fucked this entire situation was, despite the mountain of misgivings he still held, he wanted to leave Blue enough room to breathe in the middle of it for now. Decisions on what to do next were a problem for later.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #2
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Is This Real | Or is this Just Fantasy | Escape to Reality | Hearts Beat Again]
@Top Hat

He was there.

His scent, his sound, his voice.  She could feel his hands on her face, and his gravely under tones enter her ears, she could wrap herself in his presence.  The strong arms that crushed her to his chest, but gently, every so gently careful of the tubes going to her arm even if she didn't care if they got ripped the fuck out at some point.  He promised that she was safe and the people here were helping her.  All she wanted, though, was to go.  She couldn't spend another minute here.  She couldn't breathe here, she wanted to curl up against him, she didn't want him out of her sight.  She didn't want him out of reach.  The mere thought of him walking back out of the room without her caused an ache in the center of her being.

He apologized when she said she thought she had lost him.  She didn't want his apologies.  “Don't you fucking leave me ever again.” she whispered in the harshest whisper she could manage.  She was dead fucking serious too and he knew it.  He had no idea how much she was torn apart just because he was gone.  It had been impossible to breathe and live and eat and sleep and just survive.  Now, she was back with him and it was like and addict and their favorite drug.  She couldn't stop taking another hit.  Another touch, another look, inhaling him again.

They released her, and of course, Albert.  His commentary on the beautiful owl that stood on her bedside table there, she knew that he was shocked but also not.  Albert was family.  Albert had always been family; before there was Ducote there was Albert.  Now she had them both back in the same place again.  Finally, she picked up Albert and put her bag over her shoulder.  He helped her up off the bed and she leaned against him.  Exhausted as she was, six hours of sleep didn't touch what she needed but she didn't want to be without him.  Not for another minute.

He took her bag from her, the weight of it was about the same as always and clanked gently against his side.  She let his arm circle her too-slender waist as they began to leave Sickbay she nodded that she could walk.  “Don't let go.” she whispered as they began to walk.  Outside in the corridor he told her that he was going to take her to the next deck up to a Quarters he had been assigned and make her coxinhas and sweet chili sauce.  A slight smirk danced across her features. 

“Twinkies for dessert?” she asked.  Like a good girl, she would eat her dinner and then earn her dessert.  His look he gave her was so normal she couldn't help but feel her lips widen in an honest to God smile.  There was hope for her yet.  She was still weak and too skinny but she would get it back.  Blue was nothing if she wasn't determined as shit.  In the Turbolift she leaned against the wall, and kept her hand in his.  She didn't want him to think her weak, she wasn't, she was stronger than anyone knew, and she had conquered a shit ton of demons to get through all the shit that had come from the fucking Versant.

The door opened and they stepped out into the corridor.  She looked around, the ship was just like every other ship she had ever served on.  The Endeavour had been much smaller than this monstrocity she couldn't wait to get her hands on the deck plans and figure this place out.  She wanted to go so many fucking places.  She wanted to leave.  She wanted to stay.  She wanted to be really fucking amazing.  What she wanted, more than anything, was to get herself put back together.  To be Blue Tiran again, to forget all the shit that happened on the Versant and find something else to do.

Luckily, for the time being, Cross needed a hand and one she was really looking forward to designing.

The corridor lead them to his Quarters and the door opened.  She stepped inside, it was so barren.  It was so empty of everything that had made their last place something special.  It had both of their personalities.  Gone was the fluffy blankets, and gone was the wall mounted storage.  Gone were her tools, projects, and diagrams.  Gone was his stack of padds stacked carefully balanced on the small part of his desk he was allowed to use.  Gone were the little momentoes from their trips.  The pictures of their lives taken here and there through out their dating.  Gone was everything.

Blue clenched his hand as she took in the stark quarters.  She felt a stranger here.  This was not home.  This didn't feel like home.  She could feel her chest rising and falling quickly, the panic of everything being new, different, and lost settling in heavily in her mind.  He must have sensed something because he pulled on her hand and pulled her into a tight hug. 

“We will make it again.” his voice was all gravel, the kind of gravel that did things to her insides that she knew he could tell.  She pulled back, looking into his eyes searching them for a moment before she pulled him and kissed him heavily, hungrily, passionately.  She shoved the bag off of his shoulder, though her other arm still held Albert because he was too precious to toss at the moment she continued to kiss him.  Such fervor that Ducote had a hard time keeping up.  But he didn't understand, that for the last three days, he had been dead and now.. now he was breathing and hers again.

Hands gripped her shoulders and pulled her away.  Immediately, hurt welled in the center of her being and she could see his face softening in response.  “I think, a shower, perhaps, before we get into all of that.”

She looked down at herself, she wasn't as filthy as she had been but she sure as fuck wasn't clean so she could understand the lack of desire on that part.  She nodded and turned putting Albert down on the desk that populated the small Quarters.  She pulled off the gown-thing that Sickbay had put her in after they had taken the clothing from the Versant.  She never wanted to see that shit ever again.  And there was no need to remember all the damage they and she had done to her body.  She was thinner, the ribs that had been covered with nice muscle showed through more, she was too skinny and some of the bones poked through her skin.  The days on the Versant and the days on the escape pod had done a number on her.  She pressed the button underneath Albert just as she sat him down and his blue eyes light up.  Slowly creating the circle of his bright blue iris as he fully loaded.

The birds head tilted to one side, then the other, before swiveling slightly and alighting on a now naked Blue. 

[Miss Blue, it seems that we are finally off the Versant.  Many congratulations on your safe departure.] He spoke eloquently with some kind of European accent as his head swiveled and the lights of his eyes brightened for a second before dimming to their still-but-less bright mode.  [Ah, and Mister Ducote.  It is relieving to see you in Miss Blue's company once more.  We are all safe and sound it would seem.  Mister Ducote, you look alarmed, is there something I need be aware of?  I can contact Thea at any moment, our positronic matrices have been connected through a vast upgrade system I received during our time with the Savi.]

Blue grinned looking at Ducote's reaction waiting, just waiting for him to react.  This is going to be good.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #3
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Junior Officers' Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @BZ

After the integration and the stepdown from Red Alert, he'd half expected the prior occupant of this room to have kicked him out already. Perhaps they had been one of the abductees, regrettably not to make it back. Or a casualty of the many running battles this week alone. Santa Maria, it's a wonder they keep going. His mostly-idle speculation about the Theurgy wasn't entirely important right now; Blue was his priority for as long as he could ignore the buzzing PADD in his pocket.

The room was mostly bare, the effects of the previous tenant having been packed away when the quarters were assigned. His austere tastes didn't mind it at all, but there was none of the clutter and accoutrements that the pair had accrued in their old (larger) suite on the Endeavour. Blue hated it, for being another reminder of what she had lost. Ducote scowled at the room in general. "We will make it again," he determined.

Then she kissed him, with a fervour unlike anything she'd shown before. There was a desperation in it, a need to reassert their physical bond... he wasn't sure now was the time. She needed to eat, and rest, and a dozen other things he wanted to be right before they jumped each other's bones. But he'd have to intervene sooner than later, or it would be worse for her when he declined. He broke the kiss, despite the extra effort it took, and suggested a shower.

She took it with good grace, considering. Ducote ground his teeth together; he just didn't know what to do. As she dropped the gown and set Albert down, he got to see a further extent of her mistreatment after abandoning the ship and could only sigh quietly. Blue turned her glorified PADD interface on and let it boot up while he stooped to gather up the gown to recycle it.

[Miss Blue, it seems that we are finally off the Versant.  Many congratulations on your safe departure.] Ducote froze, doubled over, a fistful of the disposable fabric clutched in his hand. What the f- [Ah, and Mister Ducote. It is relieving to see you in Miss Blue's company once more. We are all safe and sound, it would seem. Mister Ducote, you look alarmed - is there something I need be aware of? I can contact Thea at any moment; our positronic matrices have been connected through a vast upgrade system I received during our time with the Savi.]

His fiancée's grin was positively shit-eating as he glanced between her and the bird, straightening back up. "I.. um."

[Mister Ducote?] Is that an English accent? It occurred to him he'd never heard an English edge to Federation Standard before.

He cleared his throat and tried again. "Just how extensive were these upgrades, exactly?" his face was turned to the owl, but his eyes were addressing Blue. He wasn't sure which one of them to ask.

[I understand that it is considered polite to look at the entity with whom you converse, Mister Ducote.]

"Now, hang on-"

[In answer to your question, both Thea and I are assessing the full extent of our new horizons. But I believe we qualify for full personhood rights and the assumption of sapience under the revised Federation Charter, pursuant to the case of Maddox v Data, 2365.]

Ducote blinked. "I see." Albert was quoting legal precedent at him now. The bird that used to 'chirp' and 'bleep' and make the occasional 'boop'. Almost robotically, he moved to stuff the gown into the replicator and delete it. "So..." he racked his brain trying to think of the various innards he'd seen when Blue was working on Albert before, and the scattered things she'd told him about the owl. "They added a positronic brain to your isolinear network? Or replaced it? Was that sufficient to instil consciousness?"

[They added it, yes. That alone was insufficient, but the introduction of the Savi's Synthesis Code produced-] The bird paused midstream, before turning its head towards Blue. [Miss Blue, his eyes glazed over. Are you sure this is the best you could do?]

It has been such a long day; I don't need sass from a metal bird. He scrubbed some grit from the corner of one eye. "Go and grab a shower before you get cold, Blue. I'll make some food, and... get acquainted."

Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #4
[LCdr. Blue Tiran | Will You Save Me | I'm In Too Deep | Will You Take Me | You're the Only One]
@Top Hat

He was speechless.

It was so fucking adorable. 

Blue stood there completely naked but she had never really been shy when it came to Ducote.  She was extremely modest when it came to just about anywhere else.  She liked to cover herself up.  All the scars that she had given herself were gone, except the ones that were just a occupational hazard.  There were so many times that she cut, stabbed, or hurt herself while on the job and grabbed a quick bandaid and went on with her fucking day.  She knew that every time she did that Ranaan would get pissy and tell her to go to Sickbay but she had never really fucking needed that.  Those people had enough to fucking do without having to heal her every time she fucking scratched herself.  Instead, those were still on her hands and arms, mostly her hands and fingers though.  The rest of the Versant was gone. 

In a way she was kind of sad that they were gone. They had been a testament to what the fuck she had gone through on that fucking shit hole and she hoped that it exploded now that she was the fuck off of it and now that Albert was full of it's information.  She had pirated that shit and she was excited to sit down at some point and start to puzzle that shit out.  She would, and when she could she would go to Ives and tell him.. her.. whatever, that they had something they had needed for a long fucking time.  But, she didn't know what had all happened to everyone else yet.

Ranaan asked how extensive the upgrades were, and she gave a shrug.  “I have no fucking idea.  I haven't been able to look at his new coding.  The only fucking thing I know is they hooked him up to Thea and did some shit so he's basically.. sentient now.  He still knows his name is Albert and he pretty much answers only to me still, he just has really fucking annoying opinions now.” she gave a shrug of her too thin shoulder.

Gone was the muscle mass, but she would get it back, she needed it, and she actually liked exercising.  If she stopped moving she fell asleep so it was very rare to see her actually still.  She was working, exercising, or eating.  When she stayed still she passed out and it was something that Ranaan and her counselor knew too well.  I wonder what happened to R'Rori, I haven't seen her since they took me off the teleport pad. she thought for a moment, and figured that they would run into each other at some point.  R'Rori had always been her counselor, at least, she had been the one that could put up with Blue Tiran the longest.

Albert was answering Ran's questions when Albert looked over at her, she rose her brow at his question.  “Look here you mother fucking bird, I know where your mother fucking off switch is and I'm not the fuck afraid to use it you piece of shit.”

[I am not excrement.]

“You are if I say you fucking are I can dereplicate your fucking metal ass before you can even think twice about it.”

[Incorrect, my computing processing speed is far faster than the Human brain is capable of.  Unfortunately, I will not allow my person to be dereplicated in the least.  I apologize if that sounds as though you lack the control over my being as you used to have, however, I am only speaking the truth.]

“You see this shit?!” she asked Ranaan.  “It's like I fucking gave birth to the sassiest asshole in the fucking world!”

[You cannot birth an asshole, Unless it is an entire person.  I am not a child nor do I have a portal in which I can excrete excrement.]

“Ugh, you fucker!” Blue threw her hands up in the air.

Ranaan told her to go take a shower, and she swallowed looking over at him.  For a long moment she just stared at him.  He promised to make them some food and that he would get acquainted with Albert.  She looked over at Albert, before her eyes latched back over to Ranaan as he stood there as though she was supposed to just turn around and go fucking shower without him.  As if he could just .. be sure to be there at the end.  As if he could understand the sheer  terror of coming around the corner to only find him gone again.  To find that this was all a dream and that she would wake from this.  She was safe, and Albert was sassy as fuck, but this could be some fucking drug induced shit. 

Echtand messed with my head kind of shit.

“Ca..” she paused mid word, and Ranaan waited looking at her expectantly.  Her hands clasped together in front of her.  She began pushing her thumb nail into her recently healed palm not enough to pierce it but enough to make it uncomfortable and almost to the point of pain.  She felt it rising, the wave of panic that had settled in her gut now that he was alive and three feet from her.  But if she went around the corner he would be out of her sight.  If she went in the shower to get clean he could leave, he could get called away, he could die in a crazy explosion, Albert could kill him with the laser eyes that he didn't even fucking have.  Panic began to fill her entire being.  Her finger quit pushing into the flesh and instead she used her nails and began to pinch the forearm of her left hand with her right.  Leaving bright red welts but not breaking the skin.

Calm Blue, he's there, he's alive.  No he's going to leave, he's going to be gone, this happened before.  Go wait for me.. go wait for me, I'll be there he said.   But he wasn't there, he never came, and he was dead.  He was dead for three whole fucking days the last time we said good bye!  I can't do this shit again.  I can't!!!

Cracks in her walls began to form, and the sheer panic and terror began to bleed through again.  She was trying so hard, the thoughts in her mind racing from the logic that he was here and fine to the sheer absolute fiction and over dramatized ways that she was going to lose him all fucking over again.  Blue's chin quivered, the fucking traitor.

“Can you.. uh.  .. will you come.. with me... in.. in there?” she pointed backwards letting her poor arm go for the moment, a myriad of red welts on her pale skin as she pointed back towards the bathroom.  He blinked a bit in surprise and seemed to study his fiance for a moment. 

“Of course.” his answer was calm.

She nodded and they walked together towards the bathroom door.  He leaned against the open frame, as she stepped din.  She turned back but he made a gesture like he would be staying right where he was.  She leaned in to turn on the shower and saw that there was an actual water option.  Nothing like a hot shower to make her feel clean, going with that she stepped into the shower stall and left the door just a slight bit cracked so that she could hear him and see him and know that he was still there.   Positioning herself in the water so that she could see part of him leaning against the door frame.

“How in the fuck did you end up .. on this ship?” she asked as she began to soap herself up working to clean herself as fast as possible. 

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #5
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Junior Officers' Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @BZ 

Blue stared.

Ducote was halfway down into a chair, wondering what the hold up was, before his brain caught up with reality. Oh, but how he hated putting his foot in it with people he cared about. For him, it was just the next room. She'd hear the door if he left, she'd probably even hear his (surreal) conversation with Albert through the partition bulkhead. But for her, it was a risk she'd ever see him again.

"Ca... can you, uh... will you come.. with me.. in- in there?"

He tried not to stare at her arm as she pinched it. It was a less-harmful act than using a knife (or whatever she'd used to injure herself on the Versant), but he was hardly thrilled about seeing her do it either. The hybrid stood straight again, ignoring the complaint from his healing knee, and stepped over to Blue to take her hands before she could pinch herself any more.

"Of course," he said, keeping his voice at a practised level. As if the request was normal and good. He followed her to the head, crossing his arms to lean on the doorframe while she started the steaming cascade. Ranaan counted her ribs while her back was turned, not bothering to hide the wince that crossed his face when she wasn't looking at him. Blue might eat a lot of crap, but he had to concede that her metabolism had grown to match and she kept herself active. A few days of deficit and overexertion was apparently all it took to completely drain her already-scant reserves.

[Mister Ducote, you appear troubled. Would you-]

"Can it, you tin pot pigeon," he hissed, under the sound of running water.

[Can what? I am in possession of neither cannable goods nor opposable thumbs, and neither am I a pigeon, sir. I must-] Well, this might count as getting acquainted? He was saved by Blue asking a question, dragging his attention away from the vexatious Albert. Or rather, he thought he was saved, before the question actually registered.

"How in the fuck did you end up.. on this ship?"

"Ah... well..." The Niger, the USS "Vanguard", the realisation, the threats, the brig, the fight with Kino... it all rushed back and fought to be told  at once. A didactic overview would lead to more questions, a summary would be obviously patchy and Blue would know he was hiding something, the full story wasn't exactly going to paint him in half as good a light as he held himself to, and the longer he stalled... "That's kind of a long story," he hedged.

[Thea has kindly provided the unclassified reports of the relevant timestamps,] Albert called out, voice raised in volume so Blue could hear. Ducote stared at him. [Communication logs, and so on.]

"Albert-" Ducote warned. The owl's eyes tracked to him as the bird lowered his voice.

[My apologies, Mister Ducote. I was merely trying to be helpful...] The avian head tilted a few degrees to one side. Oh, okay, we're playing that game. The Brazilian conceded he might deserve that one. Maybe. Albert's voice raised in volume again.

[There is even a brig report, Miss Blue.]

"Ai, merda," he muttered under his breath, eyes closing slowly as he slumped against the doorway.

[Oh, my. It is not complimentary.]
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #6
[LCdr Blue Tiran | Secrets Come Out | Can We Spell Hypocrite? | R. A. N. A. A. N. D. U. C. O. T. E]
@Top Hat

Hot water, was heaven.

Blue was the sort that appreciated the kind of hot water that would scald lesser men, but, for Blue it was the only time that she felt really clean.  Right now she wanted to scrub off the non-existant grime left over by the damn Savi.  It wasn't as if they hadn't cleaned her up in Sickbay, but, she didn't feel clean.  She wished that she could just open up her brain and scrub all the shit she had seen out of her mental processes.  But every time she closed her eyes she saw the images.  The torture, the death, the fear of dying, and Echtand.  She had truly felt a bit at a loss when he was gone.  They weren't exactly friends, but together, they had turned the tide of the Versant and made it that much fucking better.  She hoped to never run into the Savi ever fucking again, but she also mourned slightly for someone that she had worked with. 

Both risking their lives for what they wanted.

Ranaan's heavy gravely voice came and jolted her out of the horrors in her mind.  If he could just keep talking that would be perfect.  She wouldn't have to deal with all the shit rolling around in her head and feel like a fucking nut job every time she took a deep breath.  She knew that others had it far worse.  Others had actually been tortured, physically, Cross had lost a hand throwing her out of the way of a Savi beam.  He was her best friend, now, somehow.  The two of them having bonded over the course of their stay.  Back to back they had fought, back to back they had slept, he had been a steady rock for her in a time when she feared that without his support she would have crumbled under the pressure and grief. 

Searching for words, Ducote settled with the fact that it was a long story.  Blue let out a sigh of disappointment.  She knew he didn't understand, though she didn't know he couldn't read her at the moment.  She had no idea that her shields, the ones that he had carefully and lovingly picked away at since meeting her, had refortified after her own personal horror fest.  She had no physical wounds all of her own pain was mental and largely to do with the hot Brazilian in the door way.  He was full of shit, he knew it, she knew it, and moments later it was really fucking apparent that Albert's shit-o-meter was in perfect working order.

Albert piped up stating that he had any information of Ran's stay with the Theurgy that was unclassified.  “Is there classified shit too?  I can probably bust into that shit later.” she stated as she listened to Albert talking about how he had all the information including time stamps.  Nothing caught her as something worthy of spending a great deal of mental processes on until Ran spoke up trying to cut Albert off.  That perked her interest because that likely meant there was something that he didn't want her to know. 

“Please continue.” she stated giving Albert the order.

Albert continued while Blue put the soap in her hair and worked it into the thick curls and scrubbed at the scalp using her fingernails to scrape anything the last sonic cleansing had missed.  She was just rinsing it out when suddenly... there it was. 

[There is even a brig report, Miss Blue.] 

Ranaan cursed, and the smile that crossed Blue's face could not have been bigger.  “The actual fuck!?” she opened the door and peeked out, suds still running out of her wet currently straight hair.  She peeked over at Ranaan who looked as though he could have gone the rest of his life without having Blue know that he was brig'd.  Suddenly Albert said it was not a complimentary report.  Blue's laugh.. was as if the devil itself had infiltrated her body for the moment.  Light, for the first time, came back into her eyes.  That mischievousness that had always accompanied the genius engineer. 

“Albert, please, summarize the logs.” she said quickly watching as Ranaan fought for sanity for the moment, her grin widened and she ducked back into the showered to finish rinsing off.  Hitting the water off as soon as she was done she grabbed a towel and began to wrap her body and another for the mass of curls that would need to give moisture to the towel for a few minutes before she stepped out ready to listen.

[It seems as though, Mister Ducote, held the entirety of Theurgy shuttle bay, at the threat he would fire his impulse engines if they did not move away from the Niger.  The ship that he and several other Endeavour members were currently inhabiting.  Through negotations and other actions by the Theurgy crew, the Niger was boarded and those on board were taken expressly to the Brig where they were to spend time until they were ready to cooperate.  Mister Ducote held out a good length of time.]

Blue dropped the towel from her hair.  Curls were already springing back into place.  Blue and black hair twining together without the weight of water to keep it down.  It fell around her too slender body small droplets still finding their way to the tile floor beneath her with little pop sounds as they hit the ground around her feet.

“Hold the fuck up.” she said and her blue eyes, full of true enjoyment, looked over at Ranaan.  “You held up an entire fucking shuttle bay and I wasn't fucking there to see it?!  Then, Mister Starfleet, got himself locked up in the fucking Brig?!”  if her eyes had sparkled earlier they were fully on fire at this point.  “You have never been more fucking hot.” she grinned walking over to him and pulling her grizzled Commander into a heavy heated kiss.

[Miss Blue, if you are finished merging your lips with your mate, perhaps you would be interested in another report I have located thanks to Thea.]

Blue grinned against Ran's lips, and she pulled back from the kiss.  Looking at Albert and his brightly lit blue eyes as he looked at Blue.  “Of course I am.  Please share Albert.”

[I have found a Sickbay report from Mister Ducote, where he sought healthcare after a sparring fight with a female officer, one Kino, his injuries included many things.  Dislocated shoulder, injured knee, rib injuries, and minor bruises and contusions.]

Blue looked over at him and rose her brow.  “So while I was gone.. “ she didn't say suffering, tortured and on a hell-ship.. “You were Brig'd, had a fight, and somehow still worked?” she asked curiously. 

She wasn't sure how she felt about that.  Not that she wanted him to suffer, no, she hadn't wanted that.  But, she had figured that since he didn't know where she was.. he might have been worried or feeling the kind of pain that she had felt.  Maybe she was really fucking broken.  Blue went to the replicator and got herself a new uniform made.  The Engineering gold was always home, and her pips as well.  She suited up quickly tossing her curls out of the collar once she zipped it up and let the still damp ringlets fall down her back while her mind fought with her own internal demons.  She knew that everyone coped in their own way, Ducote had always been a worker, and he had likely thrown himself into his work to stay sane.  If he had let himself sit in a room alone he likely would have fallen apart as she had.

“You promised coxinhas.” she said turning to look at him, she wasn't judging him, she wasn't really hurt.  It was just.. odd for him to have this life for the lack of a better word without her.  She was back now, but she was different.  Could he still love her?  Would she heal?  What if she didn't?  What if she was never the same. 

“Albert send the reports of Ranaan's Brig time to my PADD I'm probably going to frame those.” she winked at Ranaan and headed into the other room knowing he would follow.  She replicated herself an energy drink and popped the top of it.  Leaning next to the replicator and drinking it while letting Ran make the food she hadn't eaten but had thought long and hard about while she was on the Versant. 

She wondered when he would ask.

He had to be curious right?  About her, about.. what had happened.  Why she had started carving into her own flesh.  Her hand was shaking and she didn't even realize it for a moment until some of her drink splashed on her hand and she took a deep breath and steadied her hand.  She was going to get through it.  She had Ranaan back, she had a ship, though she had no idea what the fuck was going to happen to them now.

“The Endeavour is gone.” she said softly studying the top of her drink lid.  “What is going to happen to us now?”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #7
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Junior Officers' Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @BZ

Blue's laugh was a tonic he hadn't known he'd needed. The embarrassment of having occupied a brig cell, after all the times he'd relegated her to the same on the Endeavour for various of her more serious misdemeanours, melted away as he saw a genuine smile on her face. A double treat; her shields cracked to show him a little of her amazement and let him feel her shit-eating brand of joy before they levered shut again.

The glimpse was enough.

It fortified him through Albert's summary of the Niger's arrival, him watching somewhere between shame and entertainment as Blue towelled off with a twinkle in her eye. He realised that the so-far unidentifiable feeling he had been experiencing was a rising hope that things would eventually be okay. He couldn't help but return her grin.

"You have never been more fucking hot."

Ducote chuckled as she grabbed a fistful of his uniform and pulled him into a long kiss. He wasn't sure he agreed with her assessment... probably more than he cared to admit of his father's influence leaking through there. But after so long apart, after everything that had happened, after telling himself not to feel, not to wonder, not to consider whether she was alive or dead in any meaningful fashion... having her so close was overwhelming.

It took a second for his eyes to reopen after she broke the kiss to ask Albert to continue. He selected, naturally, the med report after he had hobbled to sickbay after his... 'friendly bout' with Taer. His knee twinged with the memory.

"So while I was gone... You were brig'd, had a fight, and somehow still worked?"

Still worked.

Rarely had he heard a pair of words laden with such extra weight. A muscle ticked in his jaw as his brain ran through the various ways he could respond. Did she mean she hadn't? There was the obvious period of self-harm, of course, but he'd heard some people saying she had been the one to get them out of their captivity - she obviously hadn't been helpless in the face of her struggles. Not that she ever had been. She had walked out of her home as a child and into a Starfleet facility after a period of abject neglect, still grieving her dead sibling. He'd be hard-pressed to name a stronger person than Blue Tiran.

He had all but run from his problems. He'd run into the nebula, he'd buried his head in flight plans and hazy shoddy sensor returns, he'd fetishised the preservation of the Niger occupants in the face of the Theurgy traitors... he'd thrown himself at the Borg.

All to avoid thinking about Blue.

It had seemed too hard.

Suddenly, he wanted to vomit.

Instead, he offered a wry smile as she slipped past him to replicate some clothes. "You know me, Blue. The only time I won't get back up is when something finally works up a hit strong enough to kill me outright."

Blue turned back around. "You promised coxinhas." Ducote nodded. Alright, then. That's how it'll be. For now.

"I did," he smiled, heading to the replicator himself. "Siddown, I'll bring everything over."

He produced the promised croquettes, as well as some bell peppers stuffed with cheese and short grain rice and spices. Some other odds and ends; the computer suggested some sloppy-looking sliders that he added to the order on a whim. A carafe of plain water, plus a glass of something oversweet and carbonated for Blue. Somehow he suspected she'd be eating most of it anyway.

Ducote sat down next to her, rolling his eyes good-naturedly as she asked Albert to save a copy of the logs. When his gaze settled, she was wiping some spilled drink from the back of her hand. Unlike her. Hands of a surgeon. He said nothing about it.

"The Endeavour is gone... What is going to happen to us now?"

He looked at the table, then munched on a coxinha while he sighed through it. "I don't know, Blue. We're mostly at the mercy of these people. When I got here I thought we were done. I planned to show them nothing but the Niger's ass but they nuked the runabout before I... made a more ultimate decision." A rather euphemistic way of saying 'incinerate more than a dozen people and peel out of a compressed compartment at full reverse impulse', but he worked with what he had. He finished the crispy fried ball of shredded meat.

"Since then... I don't know. They're not what we were told they are, I do know that. I suppose now that their captain is back aboard, we'll find out sooner than later what they want to do with us." He picked up a stuffed pepper, but it didn't make it all the way to his mouth. He put it back down.

"I hope one day that you can tell me about the Versant. Or someone else; I don't mind if it's not me..." Ducote desperately wanted her to let him back in, but he wasn't about to force it. He wasn't even sure if his telling her might push her further into herself - a fear of some chance that she thought he thought she had rejected him, or something. His hand swept across the table and grasped hers, his ring glinting in the ceiling light. "I love you, Blue. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. For the others..."

Ducote blinked a couple of times and sniffed hard, clearing his throat of some of the accumulating gravel. "I'll always love you, Blue... always. I don't plan to let you down again, okay?"
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #8
[Blue Tiran | Food is Home | Ranaan is Home | On the Other Side | Finding New Footing]
@Top Hat

He had worked.

It was hard for her to wrap her head around.  She wasn't sure, she wasn't sure that she could show him the level of pain she had suffered while on the Versant.  Watching Egon get turned into sludge, making the most of an opportunity and running into the duct system.  Living there, for days, alone.  Thinking the one man that loved her despite all that she was.. had died a horrible.. painful.. death.  Or worse; assimilated.  She wasn't empathic and thus she had no idea how he was feeling about her words.  She didn't mean to hurt him, not really, he was everything.  He was air, he was food, he was home.  She was not the same without him and had he not been in that corridor, if she had not had survival to push her forward... she would have fallen apart at the seams and crumbled.

Losing him, even briefly, had been a pain unimaginable.

He told her to sit down.  She didn't listen.  It wasn't new for Blue Tiran to buck the system, but she wanted to stay as close to him as possible.  He wasn't interested in making love right now.  He wanted her cleaned, and showered, and he was likely stalling.  Maybe he didn't want her anymore?  Maybe he was afraid she was too fragile?  Maybe he was afraid he would break her now that she had lost a lot of her muscle mass?  She hated the kid gloves, he had never spared her from his honesty and it was literally his best quality.  As much as Blue Tiran seemed angry and bitchy, she preferred honesty above all else no matter what the truth was.  Lying was a betrayal to her and it was something she didn't think she could get over.

Grabbing a napkin she mopped the mess of her hand before tossing it wadded back up onto the table in front of them.  She sat on the couch next to Ducote once he sat down.  There was only inches between the two of them and a huge spread of food in front of them.  Biting her lower lip she looked at all the food, some of it she had seen back home.  The sloppy joes that sat on the table oozing a little bit of their meat and sauce onto the plate below looked heavenly but in all the time she had spent on the Versant... how the fuck had it only been days?! she had dreamed of Ranaan and the coxinhas that he made for her frequently.  So despite the longing for the sloppy joes, which she could re-replicate another time she reached forward with her fingers and picked up the coxinhas biting into them as Ran answered her question.

She chewed the meat as he told her that he had intended to basically deep fry some Starfleet assholes and then book it.  But, they disabled the ship before he could actually flip the switch to Kentucky Fried so they had been taken in.  He went on to tell her that they weren't at all like they were made out to be, which Blue had no fucking clue about.  Blue was not 'in the know' about the news.  Unless Ranaan actually told her shit or it was part of her mission parameters she didn't pay attention much to the local news or any of the Starfleet bulletin shit.  She worked her ass off, got off, worked more, and slept.  There was very little time to sit down and check in with what was going on in the fucking universe.  The important stuff, Ranaan told her, but for the most part she let him worry about the universe and it's shitty status. 

“What the fuck are they anyway?  This ship is fucking massive, and I fucking need to get my hands on something.” she said honestly.  It was a very Blue statement because she was the sort that wasn't breathing if she wasn't working.  The feats that she had pulled off on the Versant had kept her fucking sane in the fucking insanity of living over there for the short time that she was.  Swallowing heavily as he put his food down.  Blue took a sip of the drink he had gotten her, when he put his food down she had a feeling this was about to get really fucking serious.

He began with the fact that he hoped that she would eventually be able to tell him, or someone, about the Versant.  Blue's face paled.  Which was remarkable because of how pale she was by nature.  Crystalline blue eyes shifted up and locked with his dark Brazilian pools.  Swallowing heavily, she found her hand clenching the glass in her hand, but it didn't crack or break but it felt good to have something solid to wrap her hand around for the moment.  For a moment she just looked at her Brazilian man, the man that had pulled her out of the darkness.  Not into the light, Blue was fairly sure that there would never be anything considered 'light' with her again but he had pulled her into normalcy.  He had showed her heart how to fucking beat again, how to trust someone again, how to rely on someone again.

He had healed wounds that she had forgotten actually existed.

Her stomach churned, and for a moment one of Blue's scarred hands came up and lay against her chest as she tried to calm her nerves, the hand trembling slightly. 


Recycling chambers, that was what they were called, the tubes that stood in front of her as she was forced to the front.  Egon pushed up onto the pad that would seal his fate.  The way that it looked like a transportation pad only different, they had fucked with it and changed it, and it was not the same thing any more.  An odd drain in the center of it though she couldn't figure out what the fuck that was for.  All of a sudden she knew, as the molecules of his body were painfully extracted to their separate forms and they liquefied to slide down the drain into some kind of holding chamber-

The man on the gurney was literally being fucked to death, over and over and over again and the way that she felt, the memories of being with Ranaan over and over again, played in her mi-

The battle raged on around her, and aquamarine beams cut through the room as they tried desperately to fight the battle and release Thea.  A shove of her shoulder, sent her down to the deck, a cry of pain, and she looked up to see Cross holding the stump where his hand had once been-

But that wasn't even the worst part.

That wasn't even close to the worst part.

She was trembling, her eyes unfocused at a fixed point over Ran's shoulder.

[Mister Ranaan, if you are unaware, Miss Blue is having an episode of PTSD, which if you are unaware, stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.]

Blue wasn't hearing any of this, even though Albert was close enough she should be able to hear him.  She could hear some kind of retort, but not the words, coming from Ranaan as his warm hand came and lay softly on her shoulder.  Giving it a soft but hesitant squeeze.  Blue's inhale of air was harsh proving she hadn't been breathing while she was remembering small snippets of just a few of the things that she had gone through on the Versant.  Her eyes shifted over to his searching for his.  The bore into his eyes frantically as her free hand moved from her chest to his hand and she fought to catch her breath again.

“You're here.” she gasped softly.

“I'm here.” he said reassuringly.

She put her drink down to the side and moved sliding into his lap.  She needed to feel his arms encircle her waist and hold her.  She wrapped her slender arms around his neck and held him against her as tightly as she could manage.  Burrowing her nose against the collar of his uniform and inhaling his scent.  The food forgotten for the moment, she wasn't hungry any longer she just needed his warmth, his strength, his corporeal body. 

“I thought you were .. you were.  y... you were dead for days.” she whispered into his shoulder, the cracks in her mental armor were growing larger.  She was holding onto them, clawing at them, trying to keep them together as best as she could.  But they were slipping through her fingers at an alarming rate.  She was trying to swallow all her feelings and emotions.  Of his supposed death, of him being gone. 

“I kept hearing your voice... in my dreams, in my mind.  Every time I passed out, you were there, and you talked to me.  You called me … you called me Trouble and then I woke up and every time I woke up you weren't there, and every time the pain was worse than the last.” she tumbled the words out as fast as she could get them as her mental shields shattered and the wave of the horrors and the pain and the sheer devastation hit him clear as day.

What had kept her alive was rescuing everyone else.  She could not leave them there to die, she couldn't leave them at the hands of the Savi.  It wasn't that she was partial to any of them.  Cross, now, yes but before no.  She hadn't been close to a single fucker on that escape pod except for R'Rori.  But they were her people, Ducote's people, they were the people that she had a responsibility to try for.  She had fully intended to rescue them and let herself go.  It was something she hadn't really thought about, in full planning mode.  She just knew that once she was done with business there wouldn't be anything holding her the fuck together any more. 

But he was here.

He was breathing.  He was holding her.  And as her tears leaked into the shoulder of his uniform, even though she wasn't truly crying, he was there with her.  His hand in her mass of still-drying curls.

“You promised....” she whimpered into his shoulder, voice of absolute pain.  “You promised you'd be there... I waited.. I waited until they pulled me into the escape pod.  I screamed, and I fought, and I broke Cross' nose.. to wait for you.  You promised....”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #9
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Junior Officers' Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @BZ

[Mister Ranaan, if you are unaware, Miss Blue is having an episode of PTSD, which if you are unaware, stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.]

Ducote decided, then and there, that he was going to teach Albert when to speak and not to, before he did something irreversible to that bird. For now, he held up a hand to wave him to silence, and turned his head fractionally towards the simulacrum owl while his black eyes stayed glued to Blue's face.

"You have my permission to access the overview of my medical history, Albert. Do so."

There was a split-second pause while Albert absorbed the summary. It would clearly show that Ducote had been treated for PTSD during his break from Starfleet, and that his therapy had continued by remote for as long as he'd been on the Endeavour. He knew very well what this looked like. More than once, he'd seen it in a mirror.

For once, rather than reply verbally, Albert merely made eye contact with Ducote before a cascading clicking noise ran down the metal 'feathers' as they rose and fell back into place. Was that a shrug? Probably not. Perhaps an acknowledgement, at least.

He scooted his chair back a little to give Blue room as she shuffled into his lap, hugging him close. The hybrid wrapped his arms around her in turn, one arm squeezing her waist while the other grasped the top of her shoulder as she buried her face in his neck. He held her as she whispered her tale, just letting her speak uninterrupted. Gradually, chinks appeared in her mental armour as she explored the memories again. He didn't dare ruin it... but he braced himself for what might come. The first time she'd truly let him in when she spoke of the death of her brother and the subsequent abandonment, all the way back when they'd first met, her pain had left him breathless.

And then it came, and it was again the second-worst thing he'd ever felt.

But he took it. He relished it. The gates to the fortress had opened again. Even as the tears spiked his eyes, and he rocked the pair of them slowly back and forth in the chair holding her tight, he drank in the pain and the grief. His own form of self-harm, he supposed, distantly. This was karma. It hurt, but he deserved it.

"You promised... You promised you'd be there... I waited... I waited until they pulled me into the escape pod. I screamed, and I fought, and I broke Cross' nose... to wait for you. You promised..."

Well, no. He hadn't. He had been very careful even in the middle of that particular version of Hell not to say those words, because he had known deep in his heart that they would have been a lie. Saying that now wouldn't help, though. She had trusted him to return regardless - and he hadn't. He had still let her down.

"I'm sorry," he murmured instead. "I wanted to come back, but I got stuck in the engineering hull by the damage. And then the power failed. But I'm glad they dragged you into that pod, Blue. You'd all have been killed otherwise." Of course, some of them had been killed later anyway. He sniffed to clear his congesting sinuses. "I told myself that we were so close to the edge of the nebula that even if your pod had ejected towards it that the rescue ships would find you. I wanted to think that you were making some poor blueshirt's life hell on whatever ship it was to pick you up. Because then I wouldn't have to confront the idea that-" He paused momentarily in his gentle motion, the words catching in his throat.

"... That you might have been dead, or lost in the nebula, waiting for your supplies to run out. Or on that Cube... I couldn't allow it to take hold. Not once. I'd have locked up completely, Blue.

"So I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not coming back. I'm sorry you dealt with so much alone. I'm sorry I didn't let myself think about you too deeply." His arms tightened a little around her, his voice almost disappearing. "..'m sorry, Blue..."
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #10
[LCdr Blue Tiran | You Left Me | I Couldn't Breathe | You Died | Resurrected Emotions]
@Top Hat

Albert's glowing blue circular orbs flickered as he was addressed by the Commander.  He shifted slightly from his spot and the lights in his eyes stabilized.  He tilted her head, slightly, for a moment as if he was gauging if Ducote was honestly giving him permission. 

[A moment, then.]

Albert processed the information alarmingly fast, and it was something that Blue would appreciate if she wasn't currently walking the edge between falling apart and being pissed the fuck off.  Still, he shifted again and looked at Ducote who seemed to be expecting some sort of reply.  His metallic feathers shifted, clicking up a little bit and back down.  Perhaps the human, or half human as it were, was better equipped to do something with Miss Blue at the moment.  Yet, Albert was there for her at all times because she was his creator.  Though he had been altered his basic protocol of belonging to Miss Emelia Blue Tiran, had not changed in the slightest.  He knew, now, that he had the freedom to go about the ship, to find his own purpose, and yet, he stayed. 

He held her. 

Blue could feel his muscles against her, the slight stubble of his jawline where his razor hadn't quite gotten all the little hairs that sprouted there on a daily basis.  The scent of him, the feel of his uniform, the feel of his combadge pressing into her chest.  The feel of his large hand on her shoulder holding her as though she was as much his life line as he was her own.  She had never felt that he needed her, in the same way that she needed him.  He had always been solo, lovers here and there, but nothing towards the depth that they had found once they had met.  That fucking holiday party, fucking Q, he had at least done one nice fucking thing though she still couldn't figure out why he would bother.  But, she found herself glad for it.  She found herself glad that he was part of her life, that the asshole that was nothing but a meddler had saw fit to push them together and they had become a force to be reckoned with.

He said he was sorry.  Her body trembled in his arms as he wrapped her tightly in them.  Likely his hand on her shoulder was also full of her mass of hair.  But, neither of them seemed to mind the weight and fluidity of her curls at the moment.  She felt the tears streaming down her cheeks, but she didn't move as he began to explain where he was.  Stuck in Engineering, and then he hadn't been able to make it back but he wasn't sorry that she had lived, or that they had pulled her ass into the escape pod at the last minute.  It was easier to think that she was out there lost on a rescue ship rather than lost to the Borg or even dead.

And, she could understand that.

“Days.” she whispered with such absolute pain in her voice and in her mind.  She could tell that her mind shields were open, the flood gates were spread wide and he was feeling everything, everything that she was.  “It seemed like so much fucking longer.  I was on the Versant for three days and whatever time we spent on that escape pod.  And every single one of those... I thought you were dead.  I.. I ..”

She cut herself off.  Should she tell him in words, he could feel it.  He could feel the absolute grielf and how she had barely survived.  How she had been starved, and how she had woken up every morning to hallucinations of his voice, how she had dreamed of him so vividly that it was like losing him all over again every time she woke up.  How she couldn't breathe sometimes because of the horrors of knowing he was gone.  That it was hard to move forward, that it was hard to fight, it was hard to find the ability to get herself back up and fight another day.  She had wanted to give in, she wanted to so badly and yet... and yet she hadn't.  Because that was not the fucking woman that Ranaan Ducote had fallen in love with.  Despite all the pain she felt in her life, all the shit she had experienced she had never once curled up and given up.  That wasn't her.  That wasn't her at all, she was a big badass and she wasn't going to let much get her down.  But losing Ranaan had nearly done with everything else in her life had not. 

And yet, despite all of that, she kept going.  She got up, she fought, she made allies, she did everything that she could to save the people on the ship.  She had done whatever she could to save everyone and it had been hard.  Hard to breathe, hard to think, hard to push forward.  But, she had done it and she hoped that one day he would realize the sheer amount of shit she had done on the Versant.  Because, oddly enough, she found herself wanting him to be proud of her.  For what she had done, for who she had been, though she had fully expected that she would die on the way off the ship.  And she would have been fine with that, she was resigned to the fact that she would not live on without Ranaan, because she could not live without him. 

He was... life.

She could tell he was upset, she could hear it in his voice, and as long as they had been together she had never known Ranaan to get choked up.  They took for granted they would always be together and side by side.  They were duty bound more than anything else and that just was proved by the fact that they had both somehow forgot to propose to one another.  But, it was how they were, and they worked well together.  They were a matched pair.  She loved him so completely she could not even begin to put it to words and as he held her against him she knew that through all the pain he had to pick up the sheer amount of love that she had for him.  He was air, he was life, he was breathing, he was her very own heart beating in her chest.

As he told her he was sorry, she cried then.  She clung to him, and she cried, into his shoulder.  Letting him hold her, letting them both have this moment, and Albert, thankfully quiet.  Blue was not a crier, she never had been.  She was eternally adept at shoving her fucking emotions down her gullet.  But, not now, not in this moment.  She cried softly, quietly, but for Blue spilling tears was hard enough for her that she didn't need the raging sobs that some women would resort to.  It was only a minute, really, that she cried against her fiance's shoulder before she pulled back and brushed angrily at the tears that tracked down her cheeks and towards her jawline.  Watery blue eyes shifted back up to those deep warm brown ones.  She cupped his cheeks in her hands brushing her thumbs across the apples of his cheeks.  Her skin so pale against his darker olive tones. 

“Thank you for being alive.” she whispered softly.

Blue leaned forward and kissed him.  It was not the heated passion of earlier, it was soft... gentle... full of love and almost shy.  Her lips trembled softly as she did this, her fingers brushing against his face.  Finding those little pockets of missed stubble.  Finding his strong jaw, and his familiar lines.  The kiss slowly deepened to the point where her body was starting it's normal revving up when it came to Ranaan Ducote.  Her fingers worked up his uniform shirt enough that she could run her hands around his bare skin.  Around the muscles, the skin, the tone.  Food forgotten, she could eat later, after days with minimal food, her stomach didn't feel as though it needed very much and right now what she actually needed was Ranaan, a nap, and then probably, honestly, Ranaan again.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1730] Hollow to Whole

Reply #11
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Junior Officers' Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @BZ

He wasn't sure what to say. Truthfully, they both relied on his empathy more than they perhaps should; it was often easier for both of them to just assume that the right signals would be received the right way, but the downside of that was a lack of practise in overt communication. There was also the worry that he'd upset a delicate balance somewhere, and that she would close her shields again in response.

The things he was feeling from her right now were still God-awful, like staring at the sun through a telescope, but mere proximity and contact were working to reduce her anxiety. And his. Ducote tended to focus on Blue a lot in their interactions, but it would be a craven falsehood to claim he didn't need her, too.

"Thank you for being alive."

The statement, so guileless and genuine, triggered an involuntary amusement in him. A smile crept across his face, threatening to turn into a chuckle. As if he had any choice about his time to die. All he could do was keeping getting back up.

Until he couldn't.

Blue kissed him. It started gentle, and suddenly all his earlier well-meant reticence at getting physical again so soon (what had that been for, anyway?) evaporated. She pushed his tunic out of the way, skipping the zip altogether, and he hissed as her cool hands slipped around his torso. His own fell to her waist, resting on her hips as he kissed her back. This time, he allowed himself to give in.

Ducote reached his arms around in a stronger grip around Blue, then stood out of the chair entirely - the engineer's legs wrapped around his hips for purchase - as he walked towards the bed in the corner. They fell into the mattress, bunching the sheet atop it, and Blue finally managed to get his uniform jacket and shirt over his head. Ducote opted for the easier route of yanking the zipper down out of the way, and was pulling her boots off when he heard a chirp.

His combadge.

"Ignore it," he murmured, coming back down to kiss her again.

[Captain Ives to Commander Ducote-]

He slumped, his forehead hitting the mattress next to her head as he gave up against gravity and just laid on top of her, sliding his hands underneath her and squeezing like a sulking child with their favourite plush toy. "Merda na minha boca," he declared, muffled by the duvet and Blue's curls. Reluctantly, he fished through his crumpled jacket to find his badge.

[...-could report to my ready room. I have finished my prior appointment, and it is time we spoke.]

The hybrid made a sound of exasperation, but tapped his badge. His voice was entirely neutral when he responded. "Ives; Ducote. I'm on my way. Out."

With some effort, he sat on the edge of the bed, one leg hooked on the mattress so he could still see Blue as she propped herself up on one elbow. "Finish this later?" he offered, lamely.

"You fuckin' better..." she replied. He grinned, but sighed as he grabbed his jacket and unzipped it to put it all back on. Ducote stood and straightened himself out while Blue went to fiddle with something over by Albert. On the way back, still half out of her own uniform, she unpinned his combadge. He quirked a quizzical eyebrow.

"Something wrong?"

"It was just wonky." He narrowed his eyes. She was up to something, but it couldn't be too dire; he'd pick it up.

"Uh huh... can I have that back?" Blue pinned it back to his chest. To his eye, at the exact pitch it had been before. Well, whatever made her happy. Captain was waiting. "C'mere, Blue."

He kissed her again, enjoying rather too much the sensation of her hands pushing through his hair. Wait, wait, wait. Hol' up there, champ. With effort, he pulled away. "I'll be back before you know it."

A final squeeze of her hand, and he turned for the door.

Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

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