((Deep Space 10, Tea In The Sky))
::Raissa was distracted. It had been a long time since she had been back to the station. It was funny, this had been her first port of call, just before she joined the Garuda. In fact it was this place where she had first met Alora and Chythar. She had introduced herself after recognizing them only from the crew roster. A lot had changed in that time.::
::On the bright side the excellent tea and the always delicious cake tray were just as she remembered it. She looked across at Alora, seated opposite her. Somehow Alora had become her best friend. She realized, while she was back on Earth with Aron, there were things she had never fully shared with Alora. Part was her natural reticence and part was fear of how she would react. But if she wanted to keep the friendship she considered so important, she had to tell all, in context. And hope.::
DeVeau: Food. I’m starving!
::Unlike Raissa, Alora was not telepathic, so she immediately didn’t sense anything unusual. Or maybe she did? She lifted her hand, wiggled her fingers as she hovered over one cake, then another, then finally settled on a completely different option. Placing it on her plate, she wondered if she should eat it with a fork, or simply pop it into her mouth. What had she done last time? After a brief moment of indecision, she simply picked up the miniature treat and opted for eating half of it at a time.::
DeVeau: Oh man, this is good...ooey gooey. I think I may have to get more of this particular one to take with me.
::If it was replicated, they’d done a pretty good job with the programming!::
Moonsong: You used to order one to go.
::And she would again! Alora pointed to a particular delicately decorated delight just waiting on the tray.::
DeVeau: You should try that one. I remember having that last time and it was filled with caramel.
Moonsong: I’m not really that hungry after all.
::Alora finished off the second half of the mini cake and wiped her hands upon her napkin. After chewing thoroughly, then swallowing, she crossed her arms over the edge of the table and leaned forward.::
DeVeau: So are you going to divulge or am I going to have to guess?
::Raissa’s teacup trembled and she set it down quickly.::
DeVeau: Something’s off. Something’s wrong. Or something’s just not completely right, but you’re...antsy. Or something.
::A lot of somethings and no answers, but hopefully Raissa would fill in the blanks.::
::Raissa swallowed hard. Her hands wrapped her cup and if its warmth could dispel the knots in her stomach.::
Moonsong: I realized something while I was back on Earth… I found myself talking to Aron...about me. I am not even sure why I did. I guess I needed to talk as much as he did… But, I said things to him I never told you…
::Why did she think this was a good idea? She was wrong.::
::Alora canted her head to the side and regarded the woman across from her. Although she never expected Raissa to divulge anything or everything, she had to admit, she was surprised that her friend was bringing up the subject of secrets.::
Moonsong: I can count the number of my friends on one hand with fingers left over. ::pause.:: You are my best friend… yet… I hold back.
::In that, they were agreement. Although Alora would be, and often was, friends with pretty much everyone, there were only a select few with whom she was completely and totally open with to the point where she wouldn’t hide much, if anything. She, Kestra, and Saveron were pretty much the top of the list. Even Aron, whom Alora did consider a good friend, was not privy to certain things.::
DeVeau: Why do you hold back?
Moonsong: You have so much weighing on you. Things that you have not dealt with. Things that haunt you, that eat at you even as we speak. ::pause:: I do not want to add to your burden. You are too important to me. But, how do I help you to move past these things if I do not share my own burdens.
::Alora lowered her gaze to stare at the mini cakes that were still left on the tray. Yes, there were things that bothered her, but who didn’t have such issues? As of yet, Alora hadn’t met anyone who didn’t have some sort of history, some sense of brokenness about them, no matter how they insisted to the contrary. After a moment, she lifted her gaze and leaned forward.::
DeVeau: The thing about friends, Ris, is that it doesn’t matter what burdens I have, I want to share yours, just as I want you to share mine, even if I’m hesitant first. That’s what friends do. We’re there for each other, support each other, lift each other up.
::Raissa didn’t meet her eyes. She moved her teacup in tiny circles, the contents cooling.::
Moonsong: Saveron and CD know everything…
::Alora arched an eyebrow. While that did surprise her, she also realised that there was probably a reason why she would confide in them more fully than herself.::
Moonsong: Well… almost everything… I started out as a touch telepath. E3. I was going to be a medical doctor… ::pause:: Like my alternate.
DeVeau: I didn’t realise that was your original plan.
::And like many plans, it had changed somewhat.::
Moonsong: I thought… being an empath… patients who could not speak, I could feel their pain. What I did not realize how that would really feel. I could not handle it. That is why I switched my degree to psychology.
::Yeah, Alora could understand that, and honestly couldn’t imagine what that might be like. There was more to be said, though, so rather than speak, she merely nodded.::
Moonsong: That was where I started… when I first met you… here…
::Alora’s lips skipped upward in a half grin.::
DeVeau: And now you’re stuck with me.
::Raissa gave her a weak smile. She hoped that would remain true.::
Moonsong: I do not mind. Meeting you and CD on my first day made a difference… Even though CD chased me down and asked for an appointment before I even made it to the ship.
DeVeau: Man, he must have been extra overdue for a counseling session. Or, more likely, you were just so easy to talk to he knew he’d be comfortable with you.
::That had been so for Alora herself. Ris was far too good a counselor to have been wasted as a medical doctor. Well, all right, she wouldn’t have been wasted, but Alora thought the woman was well suited for the role she held.
::She took a deep breath and let it out. Now for the next part.::
Moonsong: Remember the quarantine? Here?
::Alora tilted her head upward, eyes traveling about and she nodded.::
DeVeau: Yeah, I remember.
::How could she forget? That was when she’d met Sheba. Speaking of which, she wanted to pay a visit to the spiders…::
Moonsong: I was trapped in the dining hall… mostly Cardassians.
::She remembered Sedrin being there. His kindness. She had been scared and he listened to her.::
Moonsong: We had to keep them calm. They were not in the mood to really listen to a couple of Starfleet officers. So I calmed them the only way I knew how. I used my empathy.. I projected it. In a crowd it is easy to touch. It was working, but I had never done so much. ::her hands trembled.:: In the middle of that CD was experimenting on himself to find a cure for the disease that was affecting the Cardassians.
DeVeau: I remember that too.
::Alora had been about ready to smack Chythar for that experiment.::
Moonsong: I had been working with him on shield building for his telepathy. He was in pain. He reached out to me for help. I felt what he felt. I did not realize that I no longer need to touch to project. Saveron believes that the contact between us and my using of my abilities caused me to spike to a potential I already had.
::So it was indeed. Although Alora had known that Raissa’s powers had gotten stronger, she hadn’t realised that the incident at the Station had been a catalyst for it.::
DeVeau: And it’s only grown more powerful since.
Moonsong: Because of… the Community… After the incident with the Kindred…
::She glanced up at Alora. She knew that was one of several things her friend had not dealt with, and it was telling even by the way she stiffened at the mention of the alien life form.::
Lt. Cmdr. Raissa Moonsong
Chief of Counseling
Author ID: G23917RM0
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Chief of Science