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Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

[ PO1 B'Nila Skai | Gymnasium | Deck 6 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Kaligos
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Steam, perhaps this above all else is what B'Nila missed most about her home planet. The hot steam the came from the deep cracks in the ground that littered her home world. It had been years since she had been able to bath in the heady aroma of those natural steam vents and her exile felt like it would never end. She had made due with holodecks and steam rooms, unfortunately, she had not had the time to visit either for the past month leading up to the destruction of her home on the Resolve.

Now she had a new home, or rather now she would need to make for herself a new home. She existed simply enough in a shared non-commissioned officers quarters. Her personal bedroom's lights were kept quite low even during what was considered daylight hours on the ship. At night hours, they were black as pitch.

With only about 90 minutes till her first shift as counselor on the Theurgy, B'Nila had elected to spend some time relaxing in the steam room. She would not deny to herself that she was nervous, but she would also not indulge in the feeling for long. SHe was trained in what to do and she was confident enough in her abilities. She knew the sort of trauma to expect and she knew how to treat said trauma. For the first hour of her shift she would go over psyche files, then she would see patients. Likely her days would be very busy.

She left the changing room in nothing but a towel and made her way to the steam room and was pleasantly surprised to find it was delightfully more advanced than the one on the Resolve had been. It allowed her to adjust both the amount of steam, the ambient air temperature, and the temperature of the steam itself. She adjusted the settings to be ideal for both herself and most humanoids who might join her, though she did se the lighting level down a fair bit lower than normal, she wanted to relax after all.

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #1
[ PO2 Sithick | Gymnasium | Deck 6 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Absinthe
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Sleep had been uneasy for Sithick. If it had come at all he didn't really remember it. The day held the promise of being the longest and worst that it could be. Not only would he have to check in with engineering to find out what he was going to be assigned to do, he had to spend the rest of his day watching over his back for security.  He had no idea if Lahkesis would actually file charges, that thought had him feeling even more alone than the days prior.

It was weird. When sex and intamacy had been impossibilities things that were never supposed to be a part of his life it had been easy to put them aside. It was the day to day victories the small repairs and the uniform that gave him a sense of pride. Now? It was like a starving man having just one bite of food it was just enough to tease him with the idea. Of course that idea had hurt Lahkesis, he had no idea how, but her violent reaction told him everything that he needed to know.

Eventually pacing around his room lost all of the joy it normally had, and he left, too anxious to stay, but at the same time he still needed his climate. He knew the ship had a steam room, it was something he had wanted to check out, and at this time of the day no one would be around or at least that was what he had thought. Grabbing a towel to wrap around his waist he had a pair of shorts for this kind of occasion. Walking around naked was just too much, especially after last night.

Walking into the steam room he immediately seized up however he was not alone. His yellow eyes scanned the steam blinking away the water as it was more reflective of what would have been natural for him. Seeing the form of a woman he swallowed, seeing the form of a naked woman he panic'd. His claws slapping over his eyes before he saw anything inappropriate.  "Sorry, I leave now."

This was literally the last thing he wanted, and part of him was ready to turn and rip the door off it's hinges to get out. Panic, and dread all filled him, first Lahkesis and now this woman! He didn't want to be in the same room as a member of the oposite gender right now especially one that wasn't wearing any clothing.  However because he had closed his eyes he was turned around and couldn't really find the door.

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #2
[ PO1 B'Nila Skai | Gymnasium | Deck 6 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Kaligos
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Not knowing the crew of the new ship she found herself on, seeing the massive Gorn came as somewhat of a surprise to B'Nila. And his reaction to seeing her in the low light made her smile. Even in the low light and steam she could see quite well. She wondered about the reaction for a moment. Most of the time beings of a certain age seemed more comfortable around levels of nudity, covered in a towel though she was.

"It is quite alright," she said in a calm and even tone. She slipped easily into a a nurturing frame of mind and tone of voice, as if it was a comfortable pair of shoes or well worn dress. In truth there was a faint fear in her mind, the shear size of the Gorn told her that if he attacked she would not be able to put up a good defence in time. She remembered the Jem'Hadar and their beatings, a thing she would never forget. But she would not allow it to cloud her judgement of a new person, especially someone who could be a new friend. She allowed her dark memories to pass, reminding herself of the time that had passed and how things had changed.

It was important to her to monitor her own mental health and which memories were brought to the surface by different stimuli. She needed to be at the peak of her game nearly all the time these days, she could not afford her abilities to reason or counsel others to slip by even a little, less those who came to her for help could leave in worse shape. The risk was far to high. But she was holding up alright, even after so long on the Resolve. She was pleased to note she had risen to the challenge well enough.

"Come, sit and enjoy the steam. Some company might be nice." She offered him a gentle smile and in the low light her eyes gleamed. "No need to fret, I do not bite." She lightly patted the tile beside herself.

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #3
[ PO2 Sithick | Gymnasium | Deck 6 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Absinthe
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Sithick kept his eyes shut, even as the woman invited him to sit next to her. That felt like an incredibly bad idea. The steam room was exactly as warm as he wanted to be, and felt amazing for his scales, but the idea of spending time around another small vulnerable woman was actually more scary for the giant lizard than running head first into combat and war. He was petrified of her. Still there was something about her tone of voice, that made the lizard slowly nod his head, opening his eyes so that he could see he found the seat farthest from her, and went over to it.

"It is not you I am afraid of." The oddly feminine voice of his translator spoke up as Sithick would rather cower. He was afraid of her, though he wasn't sure why. He had never reacted this way to anyone else. He had seen Jaya in her underwear a few times, but now even the thought of looking at a woman was like he could reduce someone to tears.

He said making sure that his head was turned away from her, and that his eyes were focused on the wall, and not the woman in a towel on the far end of the steam room. He focused on trying to recount every detail of the wall, it was a nice wall, but he still had to deal with the woman.

His head moved slowly trying to think of what to say. He knew nothing about this woman so confessing to having assaulted another woman would only cause problems, and yet he couldn't help but feel like he was bound to be judged. His words weren't really meant to come out for her to hear, but in a moment of sheer stupidity the translator he wore on daily feature picked up his mutters and increased the volume on them. "I am the monster."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #4
[ PO1 B'Nila Skai | Gymnasium | Deck 6 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Kaligos
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Perhaps it was due to his increased body size, or maybe it was just that obvious, but B'Nila had little trouble in reading the body language of her much larger companion. His discomfort with the situation was evident and his words made it clear that this was an internal struggle on his behalf. Though she was not really on duty, it seemed her first client had all but fallen into her lap. Such was to be expect with life aboard a ship like this, especially given the level of strain much of the crew was under.

"I somehow doubt you are as much of a monster as you seem to believe yourself to be at this moment," she said softly. Her tone lacked any real judgement, more a subtle trust. She was clear in the idea that she did not believe the one in the steam room with her was any more a monster than she was. "And I doubt any who know you would believe you to be much of a monster either."

She paused and studied him for a moment. She could only speculate as to the nature of his belief that he was a monster, though she could make several assumptions right off hand. It was clear that something had happened recently enough to trigger this feeling, otherwise, it would be more detached, no these feelings seemed to be bubbling dangerously close to the surface. Based off of his words it was likely an incident involving another crewmember, this seemed to personal so it must have been someone close. It seemed as if he was afraid more of his own behavior in response to her, than anything else, which implied a female crewmember at that. Likely a roommate or romantic partner.

This left her with a number of possible events that could have triggered this emotional reaction. She would need to probe deeper to uncover what was true and what was not. She would have to pick her words carefully. Her goal would be to provoke an emotional response, but not an outburst. "But I can see something has happened, if you seem to feel that you are one. How about you tell me and let me judge for myself what sort of monster you are, if a monster you are at all?"

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #5
[ PO2 Sithick | Gymnasium | Deck 6 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Absinthe
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Sithick felt like he was going to be sick for a moment. Recounting what had happened to Lahkesis could get him in a lot of trouble. He had no idea if she had called security or not, even though it was at least partly what he had deserved. He sighed knowing that in the end the guilt would drive him further and further into the abyss.  He swallowed for a moment unsure how to even explain what had happened.

His jaw opened, but neither him or the translator made any noise before he closed it again. Trying to start the conversation but finding it a little painful to recount. He decided that some background information was required. He wrapped his arms around himself as if he was shivering for a moment as he closed his eyes and focused trying to compartmentalize his thoughts something he wasn't altogether good at. "I've known for a long time that I am attracted to... you creatures, but nothing has ever come of that."

"Last night, there was a woman... I saved from men, she invited me to her place for a meal. We... I touched her, and for a time it seemed like all fine, then I became..." He couldn't exactly finish that sentence it was just too damn embarrassing that he had even let himself get into that position in the first place.

"When she saw me... she cried and screamed... I ran away. I hurt her." Sithick could not cry personally, but he did simulate it, running his own claw over his face, feeling miserable and his breath shuddering for a moment. "I just don't know how."

He didn't know how the woman would react to his confession. "Always so careful. I try so hard not to break things, but I am the dragon, the maiden does not fall in love with the dragon. It dies alone, and everyone celebrates."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #6
As her companion in the steam room spoke, B’Nila only listened. She paid more attention to the way he spoke than to the words. His tone and inflection was more important and though the translator striped most of that away, she was skilled enough to listen to both the native tongue and the translation, picking up on the words and the more important auditory clues to give her a hint as to meaning. She made it a point to never use her telepathic abilities to aid her in counseling a patient if she did not have to, though at times it would make things much easier. Now however, she knew that the added necessity of physical contact would only add another layer of complication, even if it did provide a great deal of insight.

Allow me to see if I understand this correctly. You rescued a fellow crew member from a group of men who were attempting to assault her, then afterward she invited you back to her quarters for a meal. You engaged in consensual physical touch and you became sexually aroused,” B’Nila said calmly. In the low light she watched his responses in great detail. She knew his response to her words would be very telling. “She noticed your sexual arousal and reacted badly. Likely as a result of some previous abuse or incident that is beyond your control. If she was consenting to the touch, then likely the resulting arousal caught her unexpected or triggered some deep seated trauma. I cannot say it was best to run away, but I can say it does not sound like you are the cause of the trauma, only one who happened to trigger it without meaning to do so.”

Her tone never seemed to change, it stayed calm and cool, almost like a mother explaining some shadow to a child, without condescension or insult. “Victims of sexual assault have a number of responses to exposure to sexual situations. It is likely she had no concept of how bad her trauma was until this incident, assuming she hadn’t been in many sexual situations. You did nothing wrong, in my clinical opinion. And I highly doubt anyone else on this ship would fault you.”

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #7
Sithick made small acknoledging sounds as he  continued to stare at the wall his neck almost completely locked forward so that he didn't risk looking over at the other woman and her lack of clothing, knowing that if he did there was a risk. He was bracing for her to run from him after he confessed what had happened. When she said the words sexually aroused the Gorn gave an embarassed groan. "Could you not put it that way?"

He had no idea how exactly someone else could put that information without him getting embarrassed. When she started talking about things like trauma and previous experiences he was completely lost. He knew what the men had tried to do, but he had no idea that Lahkesis had any such encounters, and his personal experience with mental health was odd. He could however defend his choice to run away. "Look at me."

"I have to walk on toes, to make sure that people do not hate me. I see it all the time, people are often less than happy to be around me. I am the hideous monster, and so I run. I run because if stay, and she call security, I die." He shook his head. "I suppose in the end it does not matter, the experience changes everything for me. I no longer know what to do.  The woman was kindest I know of, but now? Now I know I am alone." It had been stupid to think even for a moment that he had a chance to fall in love, and he should just have focused on his work, and yet he found himself more distracted than anything.

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #8
"Things are what they are, judging them beyond their actions and motives is not in my nature. I call things what they are. It was a physical reaction, one you had very little control over. As her reaction was an emotional one and one she had very little control over. It seems only a pity that it seems to have hurt you both."

In the low light B'Nila's gleaming eyes never left the shape in front of her, the outline of the massive Gorn. Unfortunately she could not see his face, but given the pain in his words and vocalizations, it was clear that what had happened had rattled him. Failed intimacy was one of the great banes of any relationship and yet it was quite likely to happen. Sexuality was complex, especially in situations where past trauma existed. Of course she was assuming that it was past trauma on the part of his female companion, but all evidence suggested that was the case. And it seemed that he had his own trauma that made intimacy difficult. Normally she would recommend couples therapy, but she wanted to get him through his first.

"You are only as much of a monster as you see yourself. Likely she will not see you as one once she calms down," B'Nila replied cautiously. She searched her mind for a moment and found a piece of information, a useful fact. "And remember, in some cultures the dragon is not a monster, the dragon is a symbol of luck and good fortune. In some places it is not evil, in fact they build their buildings in accordance with ancient customs to allow dragons to fly through them."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #9
Sithick paused when she mentioned dragons as an aspect of luck he had read that as well, but at the same time he never really felt that he was the one bringing luck to others. He himself had landed on a lucky win when he had signed up for work with the Federation, but others had always stayed away. The idea that these reactions were beyond his control was one thing, but it still meant that he could do everything right and still end up feeling like he had done something wrong, and he had, he never should have allowed Lahkesis to get so close to him, or his body to betray him like that.

"I don't even know how we got to that point. I had never... I always assumed that I was meant to be alone... How am I supposed to handle..." Again he was too embarrassed to even say the word sex. "Should I have medical look it over? I never did.. tests to see if I was compatible."

that was a conversation he was not wanting to have. it sounded so embarassing and raised so many questions about what was going on around his life. He imagined that if we went to the doctors about such thoughts they would probably laugh at him, and then he would just shrink up and die. "I wish I was smaller, would make much in life easier." He shook his head.

"How am I even supposed to approach this? I can barely even talk about... it, I've read up on it, I know it works the same way, but... to actually have... i mean this is stupid, and I should go. I am sorry for dumping all of this at your feet, it's really just embarrassing." Sithick went to rise, but paused at the same time, he had been staring at the wall, his curiosity towards the other woman... how it all worked, if he turned his head he would see her in her towel, and after all that he had just said... he was more and more curious about the female body. Nope nope that was inappropriate. his hand went to his head almost completely ashamed of the weird thoughts he had been having since the night before.

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #10
And there was the rub, as it were. One of the biggest issues with interspecies relationships beyond the emotional problems was the physical compatibility aspect. While as there was some degree of luck that a universal atmosphere could be agreed upon to allow a number of species to work together on a single spaceship, it was not so simple in the bedroom. Yet B'Nila knew first hand that for most humanoids the issue was not as complicated as science made it out to be, sexualities end goal was not inevitably reproduction after all.

"If you are in reference to actually being able to engage in sexual activity together, quite likely that won't be too much of a problem," B'Nila said with an odd sort of smile. It was in her nature to be blunt and to always speak truthfully, even though she could tell the subject matter made him uncomfortable, hence his desire to leave. Sexuality seemed to make many uncomfortable, she knew that well enough having counseled a number of couples dealing with sexual problems and a number of victims of sexual violence. From the sounds of it she would either need to speak with her friend's lady friend in person or ensure that another one of the ships counselor's did, and quite soon. Such trauma could not be left to fester on it's own. But for now she needed to tend to what was in front of her, and what was in front of her was a male who needed to know that he could physically connect with a female.

"However it may take some time to get to the point where it can happen physically and emotionally healthy. I am no expert on interspecies sexuality, however I do know that humanoids tend to be mostly compatible in terms of sexual function with only minor adjustments needed to be made. I would recommend speaking with a medical professional you trust before engaging in any activity, preferably one familiar with both of your species."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #11
The thought of speaking with a medical professional was almost torment. He had no idea what that conversation would look like and the only doctor that he trusted to even attempt was the same one whom he had run away from. He honestly didn't know what their relationship would even look like at this point. Were they friends? He had so few that he could count them on one finger, and then there was this woman. He still didn't even know her name, and yet she had managed to sort through his problems and remain calm despite having just spoken about some of his most sensitive problems. He was confused by her.

"Who are you?" Sithick turned towards her and almost immediately regretted doing so as she was still clad in only a towel, causing him to recoil in embarrassment and slip on the tiled floor of the steam room, landing his ass back on the bench albeit clumsily he didn't hurt from that, but it was all the more reason to feel awkward around the woman.

"My name is Sithick." He said realizing that it was bad to ask for a name before giving one's own. "I do not think the doctor would wish to see me. The only one I know of... was the woman whom I ran from. I am unsure how she would react to me asking her such questions. It is hopeless anyway. These thoughts... are bad."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #12
"I'm B'Nila, one of the new counselors from the USS Resolve," she replied politely. Life on board the Resolve with the same crew for so long meant everyone knew everyone else and thus introductions were at first few and far between and by the time they reached the Starbase, none at all. She was pretty sure this was going to be something she was going to have to get used to on a new ship and with new crewmates.

And then he said the bombshell, the female he had the disastrous romantic encounter with was on the medical staff. It would make any visit to sickbay a troubled one to say the least. But it was all null and void at the moment anyway as he seemed convinced that such a romantic encounter was impossible.

"I would not say such thoughts are bad. You are a flesh and blood being with flesh and blood desires. This includes the desire for romantic attachment and affection. Most of us feel it in one way or another, save for those of a more asexual persuasion and races that are not inclined toward romantic attachment." Her tone was even and kind, she understood the struggle of coming into ones own romantically and not quite fitting in well enough. The particulars of her own romantic attachments were complicated and in some peoples eyes they were out of the ordinary. She went on, "I think it may be wise to give your female friend some space, perhaps wait until she has had a chance to deal with this encounter on her own or with some professional help. After that she may seek you out to engage in further romantic activities. It is not out of the realm of possibilities, unless you decide that it is and close yourself off to it."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #13
So the woman was a counselor, that explained why she knew so much about these issues and was able to disuade his fears at least a little, he was still terrified of her naked form, and the fact that just standing here he felt like there was a chance that he could fall apart. He looked at B'Nila and immediately regretted it she was still in a towel after all, his hand went to cover his eyes, but out of a sense of curiosity he left his fingers open clearly able to see through them. "Perhaps since you are the counselor... you could speak to the other? I wouldn't mind... attending a session between the two of us... to find out what happened last night."

"It is not that I am closed.. to these ideas... it is that they are new." He didn't really know how to deal with the fact that he now had... a desire for something to occure where before he hadn't. He had never been a-sexual he had always known about his various crushes and their were a few lonely nights, the black opal didn't have a holodeck so there had never really been the chance to toy with the idea and here he had always been too busy, but he always figured that if he was going to be with a woman it would probably not be a real one.

"I find... I am distracted, unsure... scared even of how others would react, and if I am honest... I do not know the first thing of mating rituals. These are not things my life has prepared me for. I know how one has the sex, it is a simple mechanical matter of inserting Piston a, into slot b, but..." Sithick paused for a moment did he really just relate sex to mechanical work? he supposed that was the thing in life he was most familiar with, but even so it was dumb to say aloud. "I've never even seen a woman naked before... aside from the towel."

He shifted still uncomfortable with the fact that B'Nila was naked. "How do you do that? how can you stand to have so little on? before when I was slave, I never worried about my uniform, or bothered with more than the cloth i was provided, but now? I would scream."

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #14
"I would be more than willing to speak to your friend, I believe I can make room for her in my schedule," B'Nila offered with a gentle smile. It seemed that he very much did care for this female friend of his and it seemed even more that it was not so simple of a situation as that caring alone would be enough. If her guess was right, damage had been done and would need to be treated before any level of intimacy could be achieved.

"It is good to be open to new possibilities, especially when interspecies romance is concerned. Due to physical differences, certain changes and accommodations will need to be made for the actual act of lovemaking and procreation may be totally off the table," she said simply. "And I do not think there are many who know much about Gorn mating outside of their own species within the Federation, so your love life will be new to not only you, but anyone you engage in activity with."

She almost laughed at his more mechanically inclined description of the sex act. "I suppose that would be the most basic description of sexual activity, though for some of us, that is not entirely possible for sexual activity. it requires a bit more, shall we say, creativity." Her eye glinted in the low light as she smiled.

"As for my ability to wear very little, I am confident in my body. I feel no shame in it and have no need to hide it." From the way she sat to the way she did not look away from him when she spoke of even sensitive topics like sexuality, it was clear she was more confident and self assured than most. "Those who may judge it or lust after it are free to do so, and in the end it will say more about them than it ever could about me. On my homeworld it is customary to wear nothing at all in a steam bath, I wear this towel out of respect for the customs of the people of the ship who are not so comfortable around nudity."

"Well, I think I need to prepare for my shift. Give me the name of your lady friend and I will try and see her today if at all possible. I plan to be in the steam room almost every morning, so if you wish to join me again on the morrow, you are welcome. Perhaps if I can see your lady friend I can see if she would like to join us as well."

 

Re: Day 02 [0530 hrs.] Steamed Therapy

Reply #15
Sithick hesitated to give the name. He hadn't contacted her outside of last nights event, and if she went about a visit with a doctor she would be able to guess who sent her. It had the chance to put a lot more stress on an already strained situation, but at the same time if it was for her own mental health than after all they had spoken about the night previous he kind of owed it to her.

He had felt something very strong for the doctor, and wanted to keep her safe, if that meant hurting her trust a little... it wasn't a thought that Sithick relished in, but he would not have one of his only friends someone who had treated him with genuine compassion and had started to understand the sense of isolation between them, he couldn't let that person fall into the abyss.

"Lahkesis." Despite their intimate moment Sithick realized he had never actually gotten the doctors last name. With that Sithick agreed that their work shift was going to be more important. When she invited him to join him tomorrow it felt more proffessional, and Sithick slowly nodded his head. "I will be here." He agreed, before exiting the steam room, and heading to the change room, intending to get out of the gym shorts, and back into his full uniform. Even just being shirtless as he was uncomfortable for the giant lizard, and after almost an hour talking to a nearly naked woman in a steam room he was even more confused now than he was previously.

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