((Ambassador's Quarters, USS Apollo - A))
::Rune sat alone in her quarters with the lights dimmed. Normally she would be staring out at the stars but since they were docked, she had the view blocked out. Life... her life... seemed to always have a way of being turned upside down. Each and every time, everything could be traced directly back to her former mentor. This time it had been turned upside down and shaken completely to its foundation. While she was thinking more clearly now that she was, the thought that her mentor was behind this nightmare was something Rune was still struggling to wrap her head around even when the evidence was laid out step by step.::
::She leaned her head back against the sofa cushion and closed her eyes. She was tired of thinking about Laro and whatever sick and twisted motivation she may have behind trying to control Rune's life. Laro failed this time just as she had all the other times. The only difference now was, Rune wasn't sure what to do or how to handle the latest. Especially since it wasn't just her and her life she had to worry about now.::
Jolara: ::without hesitation or even thinking about it:: I love you. I do not want to lose whatever it is we have.
Collim: ::smiling as she leaned forward, gently placing her hand on the side of Rune's neck:: Then you won't. Not as long as I have anything to say about it. And you don't have to worry about Laro or the Al-Leyan Council trying to recall you. Especially now... ::her smile turned into a grin:: Ambassador.
Jolara: What do...
:: Kieran didn't give her a chance to finish the question, cutting her words off with a kiss. ::
::A tear rolled down Rune's face. At the moment her greatest fear was she had lost whatever they had... that she had lost Kieran.::
((Outside Ambassador's Quarters, USS Apollo-A))
::Kieran had put it off as long as she could stand it. She told herself she was trying to give Rune the space she wanted but the fact was, she screwed up. Glancing down at the PADD she was carrying, the words from the message she had just received was like a knife twisting in her heart. The message wasn't signed and the sender made a lame attempt to hide their identity though she could have easily traced it back and found out who sent it. But she didn't really care who sent it. She cared that Rune had needed her and once again, she had let her down because she assumed space was what Rune wanted. Which now she knew couldn't have been further from the truth. She just hoped she wasn't too late to fix things.::
::She reached out to tap the door chime but stopped. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and mentally reached out to find Rune. She almost flinched when she felt her. The wave of emotions was strong but not too overwhelming which meant Rune was at least trying to deal with them.::
::Letting out her breath and opening her eyes, she pressed the chime and waited.::
::Inside, Rune jumped at the sound of the door chime. She wasn't expecting anyone and for a second, she thought about just ignoring whoever it was but if it was the Captain, she would think Rune had lost it again. Quickly wiping the tears from her face, she stood up and headed toward the door, bracing herself for whoever it was.::
::The door slid open and Kieran looked up, meeting Rune's slightly red eyes. It was impossible for her to keep the look of concern off her face. Without saying a word, she closed the distance and pulled Rune into a hug.::
Collim: I'm an idiot and I'm so sorry, Rune. I love you. Nothing is going to change that and nothing is ever going to keep me from being here for you again.
::There was a sudden surge of fear. Did she already know? But the feeling quickly faded as Rune took comfort in just having Kieran's arms around her. Her body trembled with the urge to cry but she managed to hold back the tears.::
::Kieran pulled back just enough to look at Rune. She had to take a breath and pull her mental barriers a little tighter but still kept herself open.::
Collim: Whatever is wrong. We will get through it together. I mean that. No matter what it is.
::Rune realized Kieran had no idea just what was wrong. Her mind and her heart raced. She suddenly felt sick.::
::Her hand flew to her mouth and she rushed toward the bathroom, barely making it before getting sick.::
::Kieran rushed to follow and dropped to her knees beside Rune, placing one arm around her and the other hand cradled her head until she was finished retching. Then she reached for a washcloth, handing it to Rune as the Al-Leyan collapsed against her.::
Jolara: ~~Even if I'm pregnant?~~
::Kieran's jaw went slack and she blinked rapidly, looking down at Rune, searching for the truth in her eyes. The woman's thoughts had been as clear as if she had spoken them out loud. The fact that Kieran heard Rune's thoughts was surprising enough but the thought itself was the furthest from what she had expected.::
Collim: Rune? Are you?
::Rune's body shook with a sob as she slowly nodded. Tears she had been fighting to hold back flowed freely.::
Jolara: I am told I am suppose to be happy.
::All the logical questions raced through Kieran's mind but none found their way to her lips. How? Who? When? Why? None of those things mattered to her. At least not at that moment when the woman she loved was terrified and hurting. She held Rune against her, her arms wrapped tightly around her while trying to project a soothing sense of calm.::
Collim: We will get through this. You're not alone and you never will be. ~I promise.~
::Rune drew in a ragged breath, her body still shaking a little.::
Jolara: You are not angry?
::Kieran leaned her head against the top of Rune's and smiled sadly. Some of the reality of what must have happened began to sink in. There was a flash of anger but not at Rune... never at Rune... and Kieran quickly pushed it down to keep it from being projected.::
Collim: I could never be angry with you. It's not your fault, Rune. Whatever happened and whatever will happen, we will deal with together. oOAnd whoever did this will pay for it. I promise that on my life.Oo
Ambassador Rune Jolara
Diplomatic Officer - USS Apollo-A
Writer ID: A238909RJ
Lt. Cmdr. Collim Kieran