Once upon a time, there was an older yet troubled soul with a fresh, youthful face walking towards a somewhat quiet and dark alcove in a club on a station nestled neatly in the Tyrellian system. He was seeking the facilities and, thankfully – happily ever after – he found them!
Mama would have been proud.
But, tragedy would come right after; he crumbled against the wall as soon as he stumbled out, losing consciousness in that little nook.
He had regrettably drank himself into a premature, unintended oblivion.
But the story didn’t end there. He would revive shortly thereafter.
Thumping music and energetic people dancing in the faded background barely registered, becoming more or less an ocean or a piece of art designed by the eclectic hand of reality meeting dreams. The only thought that sprung forward was one of, well, nothing really. There was no recognition or awareness of anything; there was only mild disorientation and even that was being generous.
Bleary eyes slowly fluttered open and blinked feebly. Eyelids were not at all coordinated; it was like lifting something impossibly heavy.
Finally after a stretch of indeterminate amount of time, the question of where and what started to formulate on his lips but, before he could breathe life to them, he became very aware of someone touching the sides of his face, stroking back his hair.
So softly, gently.
Voice: Shhh, it’s okay. I’ve got you.
The words spoken and the ones heard didn’t quite line up right. The voice sounded friendly though and, in this state, that’s all he could have hoped for.
The fact that he had his head laying in a golden lap didn’t occur to him but he did manage to crane his neck back a little to see a blurry face leaning forward, gazing down at him with concern. It was dim and there were streams of flickering neon lights casting upon the unidentifiable form in distorted angles.
Voice: I did as promised, but when I saw you stagger over here and then fall… I couldn’t leave you on the floor at the mercy of the dancing stampede or worse.
Blinking, the statement didn’t make any sense but he went with it anyway.
The veil between dreams, fantasy, and reality lifted slightly and, in that foggy revelation, he reached up and cupped the back of the savior’s head tenderly with his hand. Gently, he guided the face down towards his until, eventually, their lips touched softly. The kiss started tentatively at first, moving slowly, before increasing with intensity, igniting into something passionate. When the unidentified (or did he have an inkling, a desire?) form pulled back finally, only a breath away and tasting whiskey, he chased those abandoning lips with his -- which were a mess, bathed with smeared blood-red lipstick.
But he didn’t realize that.
There was a pained whimper.
His breath hot against the other’s cheek, nose nudging and eyes unclear, questions appearing hazily within them.
Voice: …it’s not me you’re kissing.
The tone ached with something akin to hurt.
He was teetering off a murky edge, trying to right himself in an impossible terrain but awareness sluggishly reached him. Of a link, from before. Of moments, of promises. A tearful, one-sided I love you. Their eyes locked leaving so much left unsaid but their presence was not unfelt, not misunderstood; hell, words wouldn’t have done any justice.
What would he have said anyway? In reality or in dreams?
The truth was, he didn’t have to say anything at all. She was a Betazoid and, while she would never unethically probe another’s thoughts, their knowledge of each other left her attuned to him in unfathomable ways.
Tagren-Quinn: I—we—this can’t. I was never fair to you.
In a moment of sobering clarity, he started to turn away, trying to move faster than what his body would allow as the words came tumbling shakily.
Gexena: Hey, hey, hey! Slow down tiger, you’re going to hurt yourself.
She sighed and reached out, gold dress sparkling, as his uncoordinated movements caused him to flail on the floor, the music beating and vibrating through his palms. Droopy green eyes lined with redness turned pitifully to her as bodies walked with varying degrees of impaired gait around them.
Tagren-Quinn: I am—so sorry. For everything. I was never fair to you.
I was never fair to you.
He wanted to make that abundantly clear, obviously, his lips stuck on repeat.
The music swelled a little louder from the dark, neon beyond as the sound of collective voices mingled indeterminately within its beats.
Gexena: Yeah, I know, you already said that. I’m fine, honestly I’m a big girl. I know what you’ve been through and I’m not going to venture down a road that you’re clearly not wanting or, honestly Bry, really ready for.
She knew that he was still working on himself; this was just an example of that. He wasn’t in a state for a relationship, casual or committed one. And, while she loved him, that love also created an understanding; a want for him to reach a place of peace. He might never arrive at that place with her and it was probably better that way because they had such complicated history. But, honestly, she was okay with that.
She may be a little flirtatious but that was sort of within her playful nature, but her overall desire for him was a happy life.
Gexena: Come on, let’s get you back to your ship.
She started to help him up to his feet and wiped away the lipstick from his mouth with her slim fingers. He wobbled a bit, sweat upon his brow and hair dampened, regarding her with a heartbreaking gaze that would suggest that this event would likely dissolve from memory.
Tagren-Quinn: I—I tried my best, with you. For you.
Gexena: I know.
Tagren-Quinn: And, that’s why… it couldn’t ever…
Gexena: I wasn’t waiting. You’re fine. I’m fine.
She laughed lightly and grunted as she helped to carry the taller body into the sea of people, his weighty arm slung around her shoulder. A thought occurred to her to venture back into the waves to find his comrades, but it was likely just easier to get him back then trying to lug him back in that mess. She resolved that she would attempt to find them after, if she could.
Tagren-Quinn: Wa-waiting? I don’t want you to be waiting, alone. I’m alone and…
Gexena: ::her was voice a tender whisper:: You’ve never been alone, not really Bry.
And he wasn’t. Sometimes he was just too blind to see it.
Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn, M.D.
USS Gorkon (NCC-82293)