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JP: Lt.Cmdr T'Lea & Major Dade Adarnis - "A Fitting End&#3


TLea
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(( Prison Colony, Unknown Planet ))

:: The descending piece of starship smashed to the ground with a definitive thundering collapse, crushing anything beneath it in moments. They'd ran for it. Staying behind to become hybrid jam at the bottom of the chasm wasn't an option. The jagged edge of the armoured piece had pierced the floor, ripping a chunk of metal from it and sending the two falling through the pit and the light, what light there was, immediately snuffed out as the metal shard scraped along the walls, sealing them inside whatever underground cavern it was.::

:: When Dade had managed to find his feet through sheer force of will, he braced himself against a flat surface in the dark. His breath heaving and chest burning from running faster than he had in years, muscles aching from trying to grab something to hold onto to keep them out.::

:: T'Lea. Where was she? He couldn't see a [...] thing.::

Adarnis: T'Lea! Where are you?

:: The voice called out in the dark, but the Romu-vulc was too busy trying to shake off the hard landing to answer right away. Instead, she coughed a few times as the dusty air swirled around them.::

T'Lea: Here.

:: That was all she could get out of her dry throat before another coughing fit took control of her lungs.::

Adarnis: Are you hurt?

:: When she reached for the neck of her shirt to pull it up over her nose and mouth to use an air filter she felt the answer to Dade’s question bite into her wrist. She’d sprained it pretty bad, but it didn’t feel like anything was broken or torn. It just hurt like a [...] to move.::

T'Lea: Fine. I’m fine. You?

:: It didn’t surprise her when he ignored her.::

:: He didn't know where they were. Underneath the colony? On the other side of it? They'd fallen a way into the middle of a planet on the verge of collapsing. He tapped his comm. badge.::

Adarnis: =/\= Adarnis to Parker. =/\=

:: A crackle returned, unable to connect or make a signal. He tried again. Nothing. Empty space crackling in between. If Parker had transported back to the Thunder there was no chance of getting radio comms to them.::

:: Lifting her injured left hand to hit her comm. badge she hesitated and switched to her right hand instead.::

T'Lea: =/\= T’Lea to Thunder. Anyone receiving? =/\=

:: Her answer sounded identical to Dade’s reply. Nothing.::

:: Perfect. Just frelling perfect, she mumbled under her breath. She was trapped with Dade. Of all people why Dade? Why not Parker? He would have been so much more tolerable than Dade!::

:: In the dark she scrounged around for the medkit that she’d dropped during their descent.::

Adarnis: We'll have to do something. ::he ran his hand over the wall:: I can't climb this.

:: Neither could she with her wrist all twisted up.::

T'Lea: Do you have a light on you?

:: She was patting the ground like a blind woman on her hands and knees searching for the medkit, but all she got in return was rubble and a thick layer of dirt under her fingernails.::

:: With a swear word spat from her lips she stood up and tried to find a wall, or some kind of surface to get her bearings. Once she’d finally found a place to orient herself, she finally realized why Dade couldn’t climb out. The surface was as smooth as glass – there was no grip anywhere, which left her mind to wonder where the heck they’d descended into.::

:: He couldn't see her, only hear her footsteps and feel her moving. Bracing his hands against the wall he tried to push it. It wouldn't budge. He tried again on the shard containing them inside, on the ceiling, pushing with every ounce of strength he had. Frustrated and angry he smashed his fists into the metal wall, hearing it vibrate as it ascended above them.::

:: She heard his anger expressed in his fists slamming into metal, and rolled her eyes at how utterly unproductive and damaging to his hands the impact would be.::

:: It was at that point that she’d removed her jacket and ripped off a sleeve from her shirt to use as a makeshift bandage for her wrist.::


:: The ground tremored as the sound of explosions could be heard reverberating through the hull plating that surrounded them. They had to find a way out.::

Adarnis: Your tricorder. It'd amplify your biosignature and they'd be able to beam you out.

T'Lea: Brilliant idea. And how exactly in your infinite wisdom do *you* plan on getting out?

:: His eyebrow raised. Did that question really need to be asked? He needed to get her out and back to the Thunder. If only one of them could get out, it wasn't going to be him.::

Adarnis: I'm going to die anyway, right? In this timeline or ours.

:: She had a mouthful of fabric at this point, as she tied the bandage firmly around her wrist. The words in mind were, “You don’t know that,” but that’s not how it sounded.::

T'Lea: Yu’on nonat.

:: He turned his head, trying to see where in the dark she was. It was pitch black. He exhaled deeply. They’d been in worse dren than this, and got out of that alive. He frowned, trying to decide if their universal translator had taken a hit as well and this was how she usually spoke.::

Adarnis: You hit your head as well? What did you say?

:: Spitting a little dirt from her lips she flexed her fingers and tested her work. The wrist felt secure. The cloth wrap was tight, but not too tight. It was firm enough to keep the injury from moving too much and not cut off her circulation.::

T’Lea: I said you’re an [...]. You never change.

:: Really? He didn’t realise he’d needed to. An [...] he could accept.::

Adarnis: Do you want to rephrase that?

T’Lea: You have a death wish. You always have. Do you have a light or not?

Adarnis: Why the frack would I have a light?

T’Lea: You smoke. Where’s that stupid lighter you’re always fondling?

:: That. What he would give to be able to smoke then and there. There was nothing like it, but he’d given up. Situations like that always made him wonder why. The rumbling in the hull plating echoed that of the earth around them.::

Adarnis: I quit, alright? I’m not proud of it, believe me.

:: Huh, thought T’Lea. Guess he can change.::

T’Lea: You picked a great time to quit. Make your way over to me, and feel around for the medkit. We can try your combadge idea. Although I don’t know how you plan on getting anything accomplished without your eyes.

:: He didn’t respond. He pushed himself off the wall and tried to see in the dark. Wherever her medkit had disappeared to, it would’ve scattered the contents.Wasn’t she supposed to have spares hidden about her person?::


:: The ground groaned again. There was a very good chance they were going to die. Keep it light.::

Adarnis: Aren’t you supposed to have bandages tucked down your boots?

T’Lea: The only thing in there is my foot, which I’m saving to kick your…. ::she sighed:: …oh, forget it.

:: She didn’t have the stamina right now to keep calling him an [...]. Once was enough anyway.::

::His foot touched something and he kicked it. It moved. The sliding of a metallic object. He crouched down and picked it up. Emergency medkit, devoid of contents save for a bandage and an analgesic hypospray.::

:: From the sound of her voice and rustling, he pegged her location pretty quickly and had already taken his small toolkit from the inside of his pocket. He came upon her a bit quicker than expected, feeling her suddenly in his personal space and very warm. Stepping back he handed her what was left of the kit.::

Adarnis: Painkillers and a bandage. Unless you’ve got a hidden compartment.

:: She felt around for it, and had the misfortune of having her hands touch his in the process of trying to locate him. No doubt he’d felt the fabric wrapped around part of her palm.::

T’Lea: Not for you.

:: He felt that spike from her. Pain. Discomfort. If this were the last moments they had alive, he didn’t want them to be in pain.::

Adarnis: Give me your wrist.

T’Lea: Uh. No. Get your own.

Adarnis: Don’t argue with me, give it here.

T’Lea: I said n-… ow!

:: So now he had her arm against her will, but her will was slowly relinquishing to whatever it was he was doing to her.::

:: How times had changed. The last time they’d done this it’d been Dade with the busted something and T’Lea patching him up. It happened far too often.::

:: He gently took hold of her wrist with both of his hands, feeling her makeshift bandage underneath it. It started to feel warmer as he allowed the pain relieving aspect of his half Deltan physiology to flow. It didn’t heal injuries, but it was more effective than good old splinting.::

:: It was a bit of a give and take between their compositions, T’Lea’s Vulcan side always fighting for dominance over what the Deltan was trying to do. It’d been the closest the Marine had felt to anyone in years and it was a gentle reminder of what he’d left behind. He spoke, still holding her wrist, quite certain where her eyes were in the dark even if he couldn’t see them.::

Adarnis: How does it feel?

T’Lea: Numb. Weird. Like your face.

:: She wouldn’t thank him. She couldn’t thank him. He had spurned her, deeply.::

T’Lea: Let’s just hope I don’t have to use it in a life saving event.


:: If they were ever going to have one of those again.::

Adarnis: Well, you fight like a tribble, so it won’t matter.

T’Lea: You *are* a tribble.

:: Weak. That was a weak retort. It sounded like T’Lea was losing some of her steam to persecute him.::

:: He stepped back a bit more as the floor shook, vibrating the plates of metal. It really was going to be now or never. They were going to die, or she was going to get married, and neither of those options left room for anything in between. The hybrid knew he couldn’t change the outcome, but if he didn’t tell her now it was never going to happen.::

Adarnis: Do you have any idea how ridiculous this is?

T’Lea: Yes. You are.

:: By now she remembered that her OTS (optical targeting system) was equipped with night vision, and she blinked to active it.::

Adarnis: All we do is fight! I don’t want to fight you anymore. I want to tell you I’m sorry but I can’t even do that right.

T’Lea: Sorry? You’re sorry? Sorry for what? This?

:: Not that he could see it, but she opened her arms and waved them around the hole they were entombed in.::

:: Wow, they really were screwed. No entry. No exit. Just a pit with a large piece of metal covering their grave.::

:: Ah-ha! Medical tricorder by Dade’s large foot. She moved over to him, scooped it up and dusted it off.::

:: He heard her move, turning to keep track of her in the dark, as fruitless as it was.:

Adarnis: For everything. For this whole fracked up mess.

:: She moved again and this time he caught her shoulder with his hand, stopping her.::


Adarnis: Will you just listen to me for once?

:: She let the tricorder sag in her hand, and gave him a flat look like he was doing something wrong.::

T’Lea: Fine! I’m listening.

:: Silence in the dark. The echoing of explosions.::

Adarnis: I’m sorry I left.

:: For a long moment T’Lea just stared at him through the eerie green glow of her night vision lens, unsure what to make of his confession. Did he mean it? Was this a joke? Was he winding her up for another fight? And if he was serious did she even want to hear it now, after all these years?::


:: She looked at the expression on his rugged face, and even though it was tinted green, she could see how sincere he was. And it freaked her out.::

:: Who was she kidding, for the longest time it was exactly what she’d wanted to hear, to know, and feel – that he was sorry for the way he’d left her.::

:: And now she hated him for that too – for taking away the hate she had been carrying for him, and making her feel something else for him.::

T’Lea: What the hell, Dade? ::wagging her head:: I don’t want to hear this.

:: The breath he’d held exhaled heavily.::

Adarnis: I don’t care –

T’Lea: I do [...] it! It’s too late for-

:: He cut her off. His usual flare of anger didn’t arrive, only a real set sense of calm. What he said was so matter of fact that he didn’t need to defend it.::

Adarnis: I don’t care if it’s too late. ::his jaw set:: I’ll never get the chance to tell you again.

:: She rubbed her fingertips across her forehead, leaving a nice smudge of dirt behind. Her voice was softer, but still had a firmness to it that didn’t want to let him in. It was best for both of them if she let him off the hook.::

T’Lea: Let it go, Dade. I understand. You’re sorry. So am I. Apology accepted. What else is there to say?

Adarnis: That I love you.

:: Silence again. His heartbeat thudded.::

Adarnis: I loved you then, I love you now.

:: The medical tricorder lit up, picking up his vitals, briefly showing them in the dark.::

Adarnis: I thought I could protect you, that they’d hunt me instead of you. I wanted you safe. ::he exhaled again:: And it was the worst decision I’ve ever made.

:: Pain. That was the net result of Dade’s declaration. Pain that she wasn’t prepared to deal with.::

:: Time dragged on and T’Lea stared at his image highlighted in green. How was she supposed to respond to that? How did he expect her to respond to that? ::

:: She blinked, and deactivated the night vision lens. The room fell to darkness, except for the faint glow of the medical tricorder, and with it Dade’s image faded from view.::

:: Turning in thought she moved a few steps away, and tapped at the tricorder. It’s dim lights cascading gently across the disturbed creases in her smooth Vulcan brow.::

:: He loved her. *Still* loved her.::

T’Lea: We have 19% oxygen left in the room. That gives us roughly two hours. When it drops below 15% we better not be here. Your heart rate is up. Try to lower it. We need to conserve air.


:: Two hours would barely cover the destruction of the colony.::

:: She took a seat on the floor and tried to enter into some kind of meditation partly to slow her own breathing, and partly to sort out what she was feeling.::

:: Seven years on and the best she could do was tell him to stop breathing? Then he remembered it was dark. She was probably going to sucker punch him again.::

Adarnis: Of course it’s up.

T’Lea: Save the air. We shouldn’t talk.

Adarnis: Really? Just shutting me out?

T’Lea: I have nothing to say… except… thank you for being honest with me.

:: She should have known that kind of statement wasn’t going to get her silence, or peace.::

:: No, it [...] well wasn’t. ::

Adarnis: And you can’t extend the same courtesy to me?

T’Lea: I am being honest with you. Now, either shut up, or stop breathing.

:: He threw his hands up in the air. She was unbelievable. All he’d wanted to tell her since the last time she’d told him she loved him in the Constitution sickbay had just come tumbling out of him and the most she could do was tell him to stop breathing.::

:: He wondered how much she actually meant that.::

Adarnis: Did it physically hurt to do it?

:: And there went all chances of her finding a tranquil calm through meditation.::

:: She shot to her feet, and did her best to confront him in the dark.::

T’Lea: What do you want me to say? That I love you back? That I care about you? Well, I do you, idiot, and I never stopped, even when I hated you for leaving me I never stopped.

:: She swore at him for making her say it, for making her confront it. Hating him was so much easier.::

:: This is what he wanted. This was T’Lea being honest with him. This was emotion, it was raw and it was real.::

:: Even if he didn’t like the outcome, he respected it.::

:: When he did speak, it was quieter and it was sincere.::

Adarnis: I never wanted to -

:: She reached out for his chest, finding it, and then moved her hands up to feel the familiar outline of his face.::

T’Lea: Listen carefully to me now. I will always love you. I will always care about you. ::she stepped back and pulled her hands away:: But I am in love with Della. I love her, and nothing will ever change that.

:: With a firm grip on her feelings now, she sat herself back down in the dirt, and picked up the tricorder.::

T’Lea: I should be thanking you. You did that for me. You made me open my heart enough to be hurt, but also to let someone in. I’m sorry.

:: He made a half sad smile in the darkness. At least something good had come out of it all. He liked Della. He had for a long time. He wouldn’t have tried to come between them, not that he could have, and the air felt a little clearer for the first time in half a decade.::


:: If this was their fate, it wasn’t going to be for both of them.::

:: He sat in front of her, taking the tricorder out of her hands and using the light to flip open the back of his comm. badge casing. In that moment he couldn’t look at her.::

Adarnis: Della makes you happy?

T’Lea: I wouldn’t be with her if she didn’t.

:: He flipped out the krellide cell onto the tricorder and twirled the coiled wiring around his fingers. The ceiling shook, sending scattering sprays of dirt and shared of confetti’d metal down onto them.::

Adarnis: I mean deliriously happy. Can’t hold onto your eyeballs, Vulcan half is doing cartwheels in the Federation Embassy happy.

T’Lea: Something irrational like that. Yes.

Adarnis: Good.

:: He snapped the casing off the back of the tricorder and sealed the wiring together with the combadge. Instant medium-wave subspace transceiver amplified by the power cell contained in the tricorder. It would be enough to get through the surrounding metal plates but it would only be enough for one.::

Adarnis: You’re the closest I have to a friend. You can’t be that if you’re dead.


:: the metal shared above them slipped in it’s place, being battered by falling rocks above them. It offered marginal protection and it wouldn’t last long now.::


Adarnis: I’ll defend you until the day I’m gone, which may or may not come soon. I don’t know. I’m not in your head.

T’Lea: Dade, what happened to you in this timeline isn’t necessarily-

:: He spoke over the top of her rambling at him.::

Adarnis: I want you to promise me. When that day comes, you won’t do something ridiculous to save me.

T’Lea: ::wagging her head:: Ridiculous or not, if it is in my power to save your sorry [...], then I will do whatever it takes.


:: She wasn’t going to let this timeline dictate his fate, or hers. She wasn’t going to stand by and watch his sacrifice again.::

:: Taking her hand, he kissed the back of her fingers and looked at the blue eyes he’d missed all these years.::

Adarnis: Then you better find a way to come get me.

T’Lea: What are you-

:: He double pressed the combadge, activating the emergency transport back to the ship and slapped it to her cuff, scrambling to his feet as he watched her disappear in a shimmer of blue, leaving him behind as the metal hull that had protected them started to slip.::

Lieutenant Commander T’Lea

Science Officer

USS Thunder-A

Embassy, Duronis II

&

Major Dade Adarnis

Marine Officer

USS Thunder-A

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