Shoreleave/ Hard talk
*Vince had taken the children with him, leaving Remy and Kestrae to do their
talking. He thought about wandering the market and getting some things for
the family, but then he realized he and Remy had overlooked something.
They'd been so caught up dealing with Ashren and Kestrae that they'd
forgotten to say goodbye to Ria. It wasn't as if they'd never see her again,
Vince: *looking down at Ashren walking hand n hand with him* Whah don' we go
see Miss Ria, hmmm?
Ashren: Ri-ri n' Nay-nay?
Vince: Non, petite chere. Jus' Miss Ria.
Ashren: *pouting for a moment* 'Kay.
*Tom was tired, but he knew they needed to talk. He'd bowed out long enough
to clean up a little and then settled himself into a chair across from the
sofa Kestrae occupied.*
Nash: Dey tol' me y' were in de brig... didn' t'ink dey'd let me see ya much
less have ya in de same place. *His tone made it difficult to tell if he
thought this was a good thing or a bad thing. He looked extremely nervous
and ran a hand through his warm brown hair. He took a deep breath.* Dere's
somet'in' y' should knwo 'bout Tiala. Her mama... she was a prisoner, jus'
lahke me. *He moved to his bags to get the PADD, handing it to her.* Dey
kept 'er n' 'er man lahke pets. let 'em breed. He... dahed tryin' t' get 'em
out. *a shaky breath* She was jus' doin' what she t'ought she had t' do t'
keep dat baby alahve. She wasn' a collaborator, ange.
*He waited for her to go through the files. Eventually she would see why the
baby had bonded to him so readily. He bore an uncanny resemblance to the
child's biological father. If he had been human, he and Tom could weel have
been mistaken for brothers.*
*Kitanal did a cursory glance over the information on the woman that, until
now, all evidence made her fit a collaborator's profile.* (Nice that they
only cough up this information AFTER the fact.) *Privately she wouldn't have
put it past some ass in Starfleet--or that bitch of a counselor--to
purposely withhold this. She continued to the next screen and was stunned by
the image that stared back at her. Another blink made her process the name.*
Kitanal: *her voice a puzzled murmur* Tolarin Rehn.... *the name sounded
familiar for some unknown reason. She finally shook her head in confusion,
unable to place it.* At least this makes more sense now than it did. *under
her breath with a touch of sarcasm* Would have been nice to have known this
in the first place.
Tom: *softly* Ria didn' even know 'til Fleet Intelligence sent 'er de
fahles.*The tone of his voice made it clear that he expected to be yelled
Kitanal: While it's nice to know some facts, I still don't think it's a good
idea to keep her. *she held up her hands before Tom could protest.* Hear me
out? I want to tell you MY opinion--not have you believe whatever that bitch
of a counselor filled your head with. First of all, yes, without this
evidence, I had no choice but to think the woman was a collaborator. Many
other Bajorans would have thought the same thing. What I couldn't get
through to anyone was that I felt the baby needed her /own/ care because she
obviously could not talk to the doctors and tell them what the spoonheads
did to her. Second, I'll be blunt--I don't like the counselor's attitude.
You know I'm not anti-Fleet, but she hasn't the slightest idea what she's
doing. (I'm surprised you and the baby both still aren't at square one.)
Which brings me to three--the baby herself. I don't know how I /can/ raise
her, much less get to know her, without the counselor's interference. If she
weren't around, I would certainly see it as a little easier. But she's
already labeled me with her biases. Say the time comes when she's old enough
to deliberately misbehave or test limits. One little swat on the rear or
smack on the hand, and that woman will be trying to slap me with false child
abuse charges, using past words of anger as "evidence". (And any other BS
she can make up.)
Tom: *looking upset* Don' talk 'bout Ria lahke dat. *He looked at her
finally* Ah wanna keep 'er. Ah'm de only one she's okay wit' all de tahme.
She's gettin' better. Kids bounce back a lot easier den adults do, but
takin' 'er from me nah won' help 'er. It'll jus' cause more trauma. We're
still gonna hafta be dealin' wit' Ria anyway. Ah have t' keep goin' t'
counselin'. S' keepin' Tiala 'r not ain' gonna get 'er out o' our lahves.
*He gave her a pleading look* C'n y' jus' trah? Dat's all Ah'm askin'. *His
eyes said he expected her to get angry because he was supportive of Ria and
wanted exactly what she didn't. There was fear there, volumes of it.*
Kitanal: *a sigh of mild exasperation because he'd missed the last part* I
repeat, Tom--/how/ am I supposed to try with that woman around?? She will
use any excuse to accuse me of abusing the baby. I'll have to waste more
time making sure she isn't spying than I will have getting to know the
Tom: She ain't gonna accuse y' o' nothin' y' don' do, Ange.
Kitanal: I'm sorry if I have to disagree with you, ashani. I may have to
put up with her counseling you since Starfleet has decided they know best
who is suitable to help you (which they DON'T), but if I'm to get to know
the baby, that woman is to stay out of it. I don't have time to put up with
her while trying to get to know a child that might end up staying here
Tom: De baby's her patient, too. So she kahnda has t' be involved. *He took
a shaky breath* Ah made a promise dat Ah'd take care o' dis baby.... Ah took
responsibility f' 'er, Ange. *He wasn't looking at her, still expecting her
to blow up.*
Kitanal: *a mutter* We REALLY need to look into getting a different
counselor....an unbiased one. *aloud* Tom, the problem is more the
counselor than the baby. I'm not comfortable with keeping her but I can try
for you. But with her interference-- *she tossed her hands in the air in
Tom: Ah trust Ria. N' dis ain' no "trah" kahnda situation, cherie. Y' can'
"trah" n' den decahde y' don' wan' Tiala here. Y' can' keep lookin' at 'er
lahke she's somet'in' y' have t' get conf'table wit'. She ain' a piece o'
furniture. She's jus' a baby who needs a home. N' Ah wanna give it t' 'er.
Dis ain' about you, me or Ria... it's about dat lil' girl havin' a good home
where she's loved. Ah already love 'er. Ah don' see whah it'd be so hard f'
you to unless de Kestrae Ah t'ought Ah knew was a lah.... *There were tears
in his eyes* (Oh please, ange... don' make me choose....)
Kitanal: *her frustration rising* Using the word "try" doesn't mean I'm
going to decide I don't want her--but what are you going to do if that woman
/does/ try to twist some innocent situation into a false charge? She's
already decided I'm some horrible person just because she's too incompetent
to know how to treat an upset spouse who didn't have all the information.
The accident with the Trill, I'm sure, has made her put more of her
assumptions to that. *She wobbled to her feet awkwardly, even though she
knew she shouldn't be on them, to pace.* Maybe if we can go to Bajor....or
somewhere without that damned menace around, I can get to know the baby in
Tom: We can't Ah have t' have Ria nearbah f' sessions. Y' jus' gonna have t'
be resourceful, ange. *He blew out a huff of breath* Y' stubborn, cherie. Y'
gonna hafta jus' learn t' drop th' axe y' feel y' hafta grahnd wit' 'er
instead o' trahin' t' rn from de situation. *He looked like he still
expected her to blow up, like he was walking through a mine field in clown
Kitanal: *pacing and wincing with every few steps* I never had a problem
with her until she started being a bitch. And I'll tell you this right
now--she uses that child to pin any false charges on me, and I will talk to
whoever I can to see her be permanently removed from Starfleet. I have a
temper, yes. I have killed more spoonheads than I can count, yes. I DO NOT
abuse children. And I will not have her putting that label on me.
Tom: Cherie, sit down. Y' not s'posed t' be on y' feet. N' don' talk about
Ria dat way. Y' got snippy wit' 'er n' expected 'er t' be nahce? Y' bot'
need t' cool off. But i' ain' gonna happen less y' stop talkin' n' t'inkin'
'bout 'er lahke dat. Telepath, remember? *he tapped his forehead* She c'n
feel how y' t'ink 'bout 'er. N' Ah already tol' y' she ain' gonna fahle n'
Kitanal: Ashani, she's a /counselor/. She should /know/ that the spouse of
a tortured man is not going to be nice and calm. She could have picked that
out of my head but she chose to be rude instead. To tell me I didn't have
any say in what happened to /my/ family. If I'm to drop my opinion of her,
she'd damn well better stop assuming she knows what kind of person I am. It
goes both ways.
Tom: *standing and nervously pushing her back onto the sofa* Y' both'll
b'have. *He flopped back into his chair with a shaky sigh* Y' t'ink Ah need
all dis fahghtin' goin' on?? *Slamming his fist into the table beside the
chair* Ah -need- y' t' both git along, dammit! *He froze, panting and
realizing he'd lost control. And then the anger was gone, replaced again
with fear* Ah... Ah'm sorry. *He shrank in on himself.*
Kitanal: *a little startled by his outburst, she blinked in surprised
silence for several minutes* (I can tell him everything but the one thing I
haven't told anyone.) *she remained quiet as that thought crawled to the
fore of her mind.*
Tom: *he sat quietly for some time, shivering occasionally as he breathed
deep and got himself back under control* Ah'm keepin' 'er. Ah promised Ah'd
take care of 'er n' Ah love 'er. Dis's somet'in' y' gonna have t' learn t'
accept. Ah ain' askin' y' t' be friends wit' Ria, but y' better learn t' a'
leas' tolerate 'er seein' as she's kahnda family nah. Ah don' wan' another
counselor. Ah trust 'er. Daddy trusts 'er, too.
Kitanal: If she wants a family, let her marry again, have her own children
and run /their/ lives. She can "counsel" all she likes, but she has no
business interfering otherwise. And we need to make sure the baby doesn't
have family of her own on Bajor. /I/ will check myself, because I don't
trust any check Starfleet's made. They don't know how to look into Bajoran
records. If she is to become a daughter, we must make sure there is no
chance some relative cannot pop up two years later and take her back to
Bajor or wherever they live.
Tom: *quietly* Bah all accounts, de mother n' father both los' deir whole
family lahnes in de camps.... *But he knew she would check anyway being as
stubborn as she was.*
Kitanal: *softly* A lot of records are still very screwed up. During my
time in the Military Academy, three cadets had long-lost relatives show up
that, according to official records, were labeled as dead from the Recanthan
camps. To be honest, I've wondered a couple times if my older sister might
not appear. She's the only one that didn't die in front of me. I'm not
saying there will be any family but if there is, the baby does have a right
to know her roots.
Tom: *sighing* Do what y' need t' do. *He rubbed at the bridge of his nose,
trying to stave off the headache starting behind his eyes. He took a deep
breath* Dere's somet'in' else... Ah know y' wanna git all cuddly wit' me,
but.... *He blinked back tears* Ah don' t'ink Ah'm ready f' all dat yet.
Still messed up in de head, but gettin' better....
Kitanal: To have you near is all I want for the time being. And to make
sure you understand that I don't think you cheated. You and Tolarin's woman
were both used by the spoonheads. You're blameless. I don't see you
blaming me if I were brainwashed and placed in the same position with
Tolarin--or any man.
Tom: *a shaky breath* Easier said d'n done when it comes t' f'givin'
Kitanal: I just don't want you to stay pulled away forever out of self
blame, ashani. That's all.
Tom: *sighing heavily* Ah should hope it won' be permanent. Jus' may seem
lahke forever gettin' through it. *a pause, eyes closed* Ah t'ink it'll
start gettin' better faster when we c'n git home n' back in our own
quarters. Ah'm home, but not. Ah t'ink Ah need t' trah n' git back t'
normal... go t' work agin.
Kitanal: *a nod* I don't know /when/ I'll be able to return to duty. All
I know is my penalty until I'm fit for duty is all the paddwork. After
that--who knows? *she shrugged slightly.*
Tom: *a deep breath* Jus' -trah- t' git along wit' Ria, cherie? Not sayin'
she gotta b'come y' best friend, but Ah don' wanna hafta be worryin' 'bout
y' two takin' each other's ahs out whahle I'm trahin' t' deal wit' all o'
dis. Don' t'ink of it as lettin' 'er win 'r nothin'... t'ink about it as
doin' it f' me b'cause y' love me n' want dis t' go as quick n' easy as
possible. She's helped me, ange. N' Ah t'ink dat'll continue. N' she's
definitely helped Tiala, too. She c'n actually stand being wit' Daddy over
nahght nah n' she was letting Ruth n' Nate hold 'er, too. Ah could hardly be
outta her sahght at first 'r she'd scream. Nah she only crahs if Daddy 'r me
'r outta sahght 'r earshot too long.
Kitanal: As I've said, ashani, my problem with her is her lack of respect.
She starts displaying some manners and I might change my opinion of her.
She doesn't have to like /me/, but she needs to recognize that I'm your
wife, not some secret agent of the spoonheads who wishes to harm you.
Tom: *a sigh* Ah've already let 'er know Ah wan' y' two t' git along.
Kitanal: Then we'll wait to see what happens. *she stretched her legs,
wincing at the pain that shot through them.*
Tom: *a concerned look* D' Ah need t' call medical n' git someone here t'
look at y' legs, cherie? Y' don' look comf't'ble.
Kitanal: *she was about to say no, but the distress in his eyes convinced
her to nod instead.* Better safe than not, I guess. *she bit the inside of
her cheek in order to shift and use the whole couch to support her legs
rather than put anymore pressure on them.*
*He got up and went to the comm to summon someone. He then sat down and let
out a slow breath.*
Tom: Y' gonna be up t' havin' de kids around?
Kitanal: I only have to worry about Ashren, really. The baby is too young
to misbehave deliberately or walk.
Tom: *embarassed* Ashren's been a handful lately. Testin' limits Ria says.
Bein' a hellion Ah say....
Kitanal: *a shrug she used to cover up another wince* I'd say you're both
correct. She's using the technical term, you're summing it up.
Tom: *chuckling softly* Ruthie said she put 'im in de corner when 'e was
gettin' too bad. Didn' lahke dat much. *He took a deep breath* S' c'n Ah let
Daddy know it's safe t' come back nah? Mahght need 'im 'ere t' help wit' y'.
*More than that, he wanted all of the family in one place. It made him less
nervous that way.*
Kitanal: *a faint smile* If you'll agree to sit by me so he knows we
didn't blow up at each other.
Tom: (Ah hope Ah c'n do dat f'a whahle anyway....) *The only ones who had
managed to be close to him for any length of time were Ashren, Tiala and his
younger cousins. Children were no threat.* Okay. *He keyed on the little
wrist communicator he wore and let his father know he could come back and
then very carefully sat so that Kestrae's legs were across his lap. It
wasn't the most peaceful thing for him, but it wasn't too distressing
*Kitanal let out a sigh of relief when he joined her. Putting her feet on
his lap helped the pain a little. The doorchime made her blink in surprise.
It had to be the medic--Vince would have just come right in.*
Medic: *stepping inside, kit in hand, she took in the stretched out legs and
the slightly pale color of Kestrae's lips* Having some pain, Lieutenant?
Kitanal: You think I'd be used to it by now.... *she dug her nails into
the cushion beneath to keep from yelping at the next flare of agony that
Medic: *kneeling beside the sofa with a slight scowl* Looks like you're
nerves are regenerating quickly... *her scowl deepened* and you've been on
your feet. Dr. Ridgely suspected, by the way. He said to tell you to behave
or he would personally come down, tie you to your bed and put a catheter and
bag on you so you wouldn't -have- to get up. *She very carefully ran her
hands over Kestrae's calves, face thoughtful as she evaluated* You've been
cramping a bit, too. Backs of your calves feel like steel cords. *She began
rummaging in her bag*
Kitanal: *a grumble* Aside from various visits to the fresher, the only
time I've been on them was for three minutes very recently. I'm not walking
up and down the corridors.
Medic: *injecting a few things carefully into both legs* Hmmm. I guess it's
a good thing you start rehab tomorrow. They'll probably have you walk on
anti-gravs at first to keep the pressure off the reknit bones. *She ran her
hands over a foot* Though if I had to guess, I'd say a lot of the problem is
actually more mental or emotional than physical. You're too tense. So...
*she handed Tom a few vials and a hypospray* the blue one if she starts
stressing. Yellow is for pain. The green is in case you start seeing any
swelling or redness in the joints. *She gave him a PADD with the directions
for dosing.* Most of all, Lieutenant, try to rest and relax. I know it's
kind of hard to right now, but you need to if you want to heal properly and
get on your feet again with any kind of speed.
*Kitanal nodded, the pain having sapped what little energy she'd had.*
*It was only a few minutes after the departure of the medic that Vince
arrived with Tiala against his chest in a snuggy and Ashren clinging to his
hand. Ashren was smiling brightly. Tiala was a little fussy, but not yet
Ashren: Dada! Saw Ri-ri! See! *He held up a little model horse* Ga' me
horsey! *He scrambled up to settle next to Tom on the sofa, making horse
Vince: *carefully slipping Tiala from the snuggy and passing her to Tom* She
been missin' y', chere.
Tom: Poor, petite.... *He cradled the baby close, kissing her forehead and
she settled with a happy coo.*
Ashren: *smiling* Happy sissy. *He leaned in to kiss her cheek a little
sloppily, making her squeal. He then beamed at Kestrae* My pretty sissy.
Vince: *settling himself wearily into a chair across from them* Should be
hungry soon, chere.
*Tom nodded and flashed an uncertain smile at Kestrae.*
Kitanal: *meeting his look before closing her eyes against the twitches in
her legs* I'm sorry....but the pain I'm in has decided to steal any
appetite. You all go ahead.
Vince: Uh-uh, cherie. Not havin' some snot nosed medic accusin' me o'
lettin' y' waste away. N' we don' hafta go nowhere, cherie. What kahnda
Cajun would Ah be if Ah didn' stock up when Ah wen' home? Y' gotta eat jus'
a lil s' y' body got fuel t' heal.
Kitanal: *a mental groan* If I have to. *She knew this was one subject
Vince would not back down on. He, like Lasraleen's aunt Daniere, was
forever bugging her about being too thin.*
*Vince grinned and headed into the kitchen to get lunch cooking. Tom
carefully fished out Tiala's bottle and began feeding her, his eyes full of
love for the child. He would glance at Kestrae on occasion, uncertainty in
his eyes, and give her a hesitant smile. He hoped she would remember how
wonderful it was when they had Ashren... the sweet joy of holding that tiny
baby... and crave to do it again with Tiala. She was soon dozing, though,
and he seemed to deflate with relief.*
Tom: (Jus' bein' close t' 'er makes me nervous.... Hope Ah c'n do dis....)
Tothram "Tom" Remy Nash
Civ/Tech/ Shop Mgr.
(also playing Tiala and Vince Nash)
Lt. Kitanal Kestrae (Nash)