((USS Nighthawk - Guest Quarters))
::Lt. Cmdr. Collim Kieran quietly picked up the glass filled with a deep blue liquid swirled into existence on the replicator tray. She smiled at the rooms other occupant as she crossed over to sit beside her on the small sofa.::
Collim: Here. ::holding out the glass:: Drink this.
::It had been a rough journey both physically and emotionally for Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara. The Al-Leyan was still experiencing an early onset of what her people called, "Season." It was something they all normally experienced every 4 to 5 years, however Rune's had been forced upon her a year early.::
::Looking up at Kieran, she smiled weakly as the Bajoran/Betazoid sat down. She was so very grateful they had been transferred to the same ship. Without question, she accepted the glass and took a small drink.::
Jolara: Thank you again for trying to help. ::taking another sip:: I'm just sorry it's not... ::She felt her face getting warm and she looked down at the liquid swirling in the glass.:: working.
Collim: Don't be sorry. ::letting out a heavy breath:: I think this is where things are suppose to get awkward. ::turning to face her:: Rune, I know you don't want to but maybe once we get settled on the Doyle, you can see the doctor again.
:: Rune leaned her head against her hand and closed her eyes. It wasn't a doctor that could help her... at least not specifically. ::
((Flashback: USS Excalibur - Deck 4 - Jolara's Quarters))
::Rune sat huddled in the corner of the sofa with the lights dimmed to 25%. It felt as if her world was literally falling apart. The symptoms of 'Season' didn't seem any worse but the huge fight she'd just had with Nikki was enough to send her emotional state plummeting. For some reason, the human doctor felt she had the right to break every doctor/patient confidence there was. Then on top of that, she finds out the early onset of her season isn't natural. Someone, at some point, had injected her with some kind of synthetic compound to trigger it. Oh and let's not forget the little fact that it could not be medically reversed... at least not according to Nikki or Sonbef.::
::She didn't want to believe it but Nikki had shown her the proof. Why would anyone do that? WHO would do that? Of course, her first thought was the Al-Leyan Council or more specific, her old mentor, Laro Susell. Did they honestly think THAT would force her to return to Leya-I? Did they not realize, she would rather die first?::
::She almost laughed out loud because die is just what she might do if she didn't mate... and it still might not help or matter or whatever if it wasn't with another Al-Leyan.::
::Just as promised, or maybe it was a threat, Kieran tracked Rune down to talk about what was going on with her. Pressing the chime, Kieran waited outside Rune's quarters. Even before the door opened, she could feel a sharp spike in anxiety from the other side. Just when she thought Rune wasn't going to open the door, it opened.::
::The lights were dim but she could make out Rune's form sitting on the sofa. Her jaw clenched and she drew a breath in through her nose, bracing herself for the maelstrom of emotions already hitting her. She took a step inside just far enough for the door to close behind her.::
::The Al-Leyan let out a heavy sigh but she didn't move otherwise.::
Jolara: You should not be here right now.
::Kieran crossed the room and knelt beside the Counselor. She started to reach out and touch Rune's arm but she stopped short. She was close enough now to see that the Al-Leyan had crying. She wasn't sure why it caused her to feel a jab in her own heart but the sensation was there.::
Collim: I knew on the bridge that something was wrong. Talk to me. Maybe it will help.
::Rune let out a sharp snort, turning her head to look directly at Kieran. Her usual amber eyes, glowing a soft blue due to the dim light.::
Jolara: Talking will not help me. ::She closed her eyes as she caught a whiff of Kieran's scent.:: Please, just leave.
:: Kieran's brow furrowed and this time her hand touched Rune's. ::
Collim: Not until you tell me what's wrong.
Jolara: ::snapping and pushing Kieran's hand away:: What does it matter? There is not a damn thing you can do to help me.
:: Rune's reaction surprised and concerned Kieran even more but not as much as the undercurrent of conflicting emotions and shame or perhaps embarrassment trying to smother an intense attraction.::
Collim: I'm not leaving until you tell me what's wrong.
::Rune just looked at her for a long moment as trying to decide whether to open up or punch her in the face. With a huff, Rune reached around Kieran and grabbed a PADD from the coffee table.::
Jolara: I am tired of explaining ::holding the PADD out to Kieran:: so here.
::Kieran looked from the PADD to Rune and back again before taking it. Flipping it around, she read what was on the display. As soon as she realized it was a medical report, she stopped and looked at Rune.::
Jolara: Go on. Read it.
::She hesitated but finally did as Rune said. Her jaw practically dropped as she read the entire report. When she was finished, she let the PADD fall beside her.::
Collim: Rune, there has to be something medical can...
Jolara: ::not letting her finish:: Not according to that or the doctors.
Collim: Then go home. Just for a little while.
Jolara: You know I can not do that! If I do, they will either kill me or worse, never let me leave.
::Kieran chewed her lip for a moment and rubbed her brow. It didn't take her long to decide.::
Collim: Then let me help you. If I can't then, we will find someone who can.
::It definitely wasn't what Kieran came her for. She had absolutely no idea what Rune was struggling with but now... everything she had sensed from the other woman made perfect sense. Her offer to help was a genuine offer born out of concern and caring not out of some misguided ulterior motive.::
::Rune's pulse quickened and her heart pounded hard inside her chest. Was Kieran saying what she thought she was? She opened her mouth to answer but the words wouldn't come out. It was a very frightening proposal if she understood correctly.::
Collim: ::sensing Rune's fear:: No strings. No commitments. No longer term arrangements. I ask for nothing in return other than you being okay and that includes being okay with accepting my help.
::Kieran didn't know everything about Al-Leyan culture but she knew enough to know that was a huge part of Rune's struggles with both her current condition and accepting herself for who and what she really was. She couldn't even being to imagine what Rune was going through. Neither Betazoids or Bajorans had the same hangups concerning sexuality and relationships that Al-Leyans did.::
::Rune closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The result was almost a heady sensation. She opened her eyes and looked into Kieran's icy blue eyes, her heart racing even more.::
Jolara: I have never... I mean not with...
::Kieran reached up and gently wiped the tear from Rune's face with her thumb.::
Collim: It's okay. ::She smiled warmly.:: I have no expectations and it's completely up to you. Saying no isn't going to change how I feel or what I think about you. ::Her own heart was racing now.:: You don't even have to decide right at this mome...
::Rune didn't give her the opportunity to finish that thought. Maybe it was a mistake but she leaned forward and kissed Kieran's lips. That was all it took to push her over the line and stop holding back. Right then, right there, absolutely nothing else mattered but letting go and giving into her body's physical demands.::
((USS Nighthawk - Guest Quarters))
Sicemaro: =/\= Commander Sicemaro to Lieutenant Commanders Jolara, Kieran and Ensign Sivah. =/\=
::Rune let out a sigh and opened her eyes.::
Jolara: ::tapping her comm-badge:: =/\= Jolara here. =/\=
Kieran: =/\= Collim as well. =/\=
Sivah: =/\= ? =/\=
Sicemaro: =/\= We have arrived at your destination, your new Captain is awaiting. Gather your things, transporter room 2 is at your disposal. =/\=
::Kieran gave Rune a smile and stood up. They had already gathered everything they had with them.::
Jolara: =/\= Acknowledged. =/\=
Kieran: =/\= Thank you, Captain. =/\=
Sivah: =/\= ? =/\=
Sicemaro: =/\= Fair winds, Officers, it was a pleasure. =/\=
::Rune tilted her head slight in surprise at the phrase the Captain had chosen to use. The link closed not giving them a chance to respond.::
::Kieran moved around and gave Rune's shoulders a gentle squeeze. She could feel the tension and stress Rune was trying so hard to hide.::
Collim: It's going to be okay.
Jolara: ::standing:: I hope so.
Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara
Chief Counselor - USS Doyle-A
Lt. Cmdr. Collim Kieran
Intelligence Officer - USS Doyle-A