((Earlier that evening))
((Pool – Officer’s Lounge, Astrofori One))
:: Kelrod had let out a rant, not usual in him as he preferred to just say a phrase or two and then go on. In this case, but, the thing was more personal as it involved one of the persons, if not the person, who he had more confidence on a personal level and that hurted him. ::
Blueheart: ::lifting his head, staring into nothingness:: Are you done? Can I be allowed to say something now?
Kelrod: :: he caught himself, partially surprised how much his questions pissed him off. He cooled and le out a deep breath. :: Yes, …
Blueheart: Let me clear on one thing. ::standing up to face him, eye to eye. Thing that also surprised him as lately Raj seemed so,… soft.:: It has nothing to do with my confidence in you as a Starfleet officer. That has never been, and will never be, compromised. ::pausing to take a step closer, real close, to him:: I trust you with my life.
Kelrod: Then… why the question?
Blueheart: Before that.. ::holding up his hand:: You said you saved Marcus from himself? ::An incredulous look was plastered on his face.:: That he had thought that he had died on some planet, that his life with his wife got ripped apart, that he had seen those he cared about die one after the other.. ? Seriously? You think he needed saving from all that?? ::scoffing and jabbing a finger into his chest:: How in the seven hells did you come up with that absurd conclusion?
::He was about to say that it’s Marcus who decided to curl up on himself, but he didn’t gave him the chance.::
Blueheart: Oh wait, I know how. ::arms akimbo, voice as cold as ice:: You’re not human. If you were, you’d very well know that we don’t need saving from all that you just said.
::He almost didn’t even stop to inhale.::
Blueheart: All those things you said? Life getting torn apart, watching people that you love die around you, thinking that you yourself are just moments before death.. well guess what, mister.. ::lowering his voice to drive home the importance of what he was about to say next:: it’s what makes us human!
Kelrod: We’re not… :: but he got interrupted again. It was surprising how Raj seemed so pissed off. Maybe after all there’s still that man he knew as captain of the Atlantis ::
Blueheart: ::interrupting him even before he uttered a complete phrase:: And you know something else, Kelrod? You’re not the only soldier here. How dare you belittle Marcus like that! He’s as much a soldier as you are, if not a greater one! Not only for sacrificing himself to allow you to live, but, as you say, for willingly stepping into the shadows in order for you to shine! Now THAT is a soldier. Heck, that’s even a martyr!
::Finally, Raj caught a moment to inhale a large gulp of air.::
Blueheart: ::voice almost a whisper:: All I want to know is.. if Marcus is okay with this. ::looking away:: If Marcus, of his own volition, is okay taking a step back..
::His voice trailed off into silence. Only the distant dripping of water echoed in the vacant pool hall. Eerie shadows rippled across the walls and ceiling like dancing ghosts.
Raj sat back down at the edge of the pool, dangling his legs once again into the frigid water. Then he dropped his face into his hands and wept.::
:: For a moment he stood there, looking at Raj, ridiculously, in his opinion, with the shirt on while sitting by the pool. After a moment he walked and sat next to him. ::
Kelrod: First, we’re not human, not me, not Marcus. :: sigh :: I think I told before, but I guess that you need something more than a public display. The fact is that, besides the voice inflection and my attitude, there’s no way you could say if I’m Marcus or Kelrod. Well, maybe with an brain wave analysis as I speak, but that could require explanation to the staff or something alike.
Kelrod: I guess that all this time you’ve make a leap of faith, to say it in some way. You believed in me, in Marcus, because you needed to. Perhaps this time off as doctor, far from me, has made you see things differently. Otherwise, the words of Raissa wouldn’t have reached that far.
Kelrod: You sounded pretty much like Raissa. :: he realized he’d used her first name twice in a short time. :: seems that her concerns dug deep within you.
Kelrod: I guess the problem is that you see me as an … invader, someone who replaced him. I only can make you the same offer I did to her. You might come to our mind, see that we’re two, that he’s ok and that he willingly allowed me to be in front. But not being a telepath, you could think that everything is created by me as a facade to lure you into an elaborated plan to keep this body only for me.
Kelrod: Like Marcus told you, he’ll be here whenever you want to speak with him,… and I guess this catalogues like an occasion. :: He took a deep breath and in the time that it took he reached to their mindscape :: oO He’s so upset Oo
Dickens: oO He’s been through much, we haven’t seen each other for months, it’s normal that he has his doubts Oo
Kelrod: oO But we’ve been years together, I thought he trusted us more than to just believe the counselors saying. He basically told that I’m an intruder, someone unknown and untrusthsworthy Oo
Dickens: oO And in fact you’re an intruder and basically unknown. About the last part, he already said that he trusted you as Starfleet officer and that isn’t little Oo
Kelrod: oO mmm… maybe you’re partially right. No one knows my race name or my beliefs, despite that I’ve showed my honor, not even Raj knows me … for real. Oo
Dickens: oO That’s the point. I understand you, why you’re so protective with yourself, I might come to that too. But if he needs to hear it from me, he deserves that and I owe him that. Oo
Kelrod: oO For Em? Oo ::he said knowing what was flowing through Dickens thoughts.
Dickens: :: sometimes he hates not being able to keep a thought for his own. oO I hurted him, more than the death of Em would have hurt by itself. Not telling him right away was wrong, my wrong. Oo
Kelrod: oO Spare me the whining, I have had enough feeling it then. Ok, let’s see if he is convinced by you. Oo
:: It’s been a mere second on the real world, but again, Marcus was there, looking at Raj through his own eyes. ::
Dickens: Raj… I’m sorry. :: his voice was softer, half a tone more acute and his shoulders relaxed. ::
Dickens: Yes, it’s me :: he said smiling to his friend, putting his hand over his shoulder :: I’m sorry, for everything.
Dickens: I know I’ve let you down,… with Em, with the Atlantis, here… :: He moved the hand slowly through his back until getting it back to his own lap. :: I like that you consider me a soldier, but I’m not. I’ve been and always will be… a scientist. When he said he’s a soldier, he meant it literally.
Dickens: I understand that you have your doubts, and you’re right in one thing. He’s not me, but the fact is that he’s not trying to be me, he’s being himself and his loyalty and sense of friendship is real. It might come from my feelings, but a good part of them are his own.
Dickens: If we only had time… you know I’m a telepath and with a bit of effort I could help you get into my mindscape, but I believe that for it to be a prove that what we’re saying is true, it’ll need another telepath to come with you to verify that everything is true. If we only had time…
Dickens: I’d like time, time for him to show you personally that you can trust him, not only as Starfleet officer, but as a friend, as you trusted me. If we’re to remain together, you could do that with Raissa and maybe use the medical equipment to monitor us as we do. That should be prove enough that I’m still here, that I’m still me and that me moving behind was really voluntary.
Dickens: Why? … Because it was the right thing to do.