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WALTAS/T'LEA: Diplomatic Negotiations


Lupo
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((USS Thunder - Lounge))

:: The exact time was 0312 when she entered the Thunder’s lounge.::

:: Twenty minutes ago T’Lea had been shattered awake by another visceral sleep terror, the results of which had driven her out of her quarters in search of refuge someplace else. Her hunt for “someplace else” had left her drifting aimlessly through the slumbering halls of the ship until she’d wandered into the officer’s lounge.::

:: Deep down this was the last place she wanted to be, but crawling into Della’s arms was still not a risk she was willing to take, although the thought of it now didn’t *nearly* terrify her as much as it had in recent days. However, as much as she would have dearly loved to have drown herself in the warmth of the Trill’s embrace, and forget the foul dream that had broken her spirit yet again, it wasn’t going to happen.::

:: The lounge would have to do. After all, how crowded could it be at three in the morning. Not very by the looks of it.::

((Tyr’s Quarters, USS Thunder))

::Sleep eluded him. Even with the comfortable pillow which eased his pain, his back seemed content to let him sleep, but his mind did not. He was torn, whether he had made the right decision to stay, or go running home to Ba’ku. Either way, sleep was an impossibility. Pulling on his black t-shirt and a pair of jeans, he headed for the lounge.::

((Lounge, USS Thunder))

::There was no one there, and for that he was thankful. Most sane people would be asleep, and that was how he wanted it. The thought of drowning himself in another alcoholic bath was quickly dismissed, and instead he bellied up to the bar and eased his aching leg into one of the chairs.::

WALTAS: Ice water.

::A tall, ice-cold glass of water was placed in front of him and he took a long pull on it, closing his eyes and letting the cold liquid drift down his throat and into his tortured stomach. He sighed deeply. For a few moments, he had peace, until the doors slid open again.::

o O Oh hell. O o

::He quickly stared into his drink, and if there were shadows in the lounge he would’ve crawled into one. Given her reaction to him at the party, he was certain she didn’t want to see him as much as he didn’t want to see her. After all-how was their conversation to begin? “Hi, still not dead from your terrible experience? Retired yet? Thinking of going on any more out-of-control escapades?”. It was odd. The question applied to BOTH of them.::

:: T’Lea’s eyes scanned the room, finding one soul sitting at the counter, and another soul tending the bar. She thought about taking the corner table by the window, but opted for faster service at the counter.::

T’Lea: Vulcan Spice tea. Hot.

:: The bar tender nodded, and then headed to the back to the kitchen to accommodate the order. T’Lea pulled over a napkin folding it meticulously in anticipation of the spoon that the server would bring along with her order.::

:: She heard the rustling of a body two seats down, and glanced over casually, only to stiffen up when she saw the other patron at the counter.::

:: Tyr.::

:: Of all people it had to be him, she thought grievously, and pulled her eyes away. She slid to the edge of the stool and set a foot down readying herself to leave.::

:: Should she say something, or continue to ignore him? Could she sit there and enjoy her tea without talking to him, or would it be better to leave?::

:: Before she could figure out what the appropriate etiquette was for somebody she’d tried to murder, her order was dropped off.::

:: An empty cup with a bag of tea placed inside, and a small pot of hot water accompanied by a spoon, which she placed on the perfectly folded napkin.::

:: She looked at Tyr again. If he’d seen her he was doing a good job of pretending that he hadn’t.::

T’Lea: Can’t sleep?

:: On Counselor James’s suggestion, T’Lea followed the Doctor’s orders. Maybe it was time to talk. Maybe this was… what was it that Terran’s called this… fate?::

::He blinked in surprise as she’d chosen to approach him. He didn’t know what to say, but the question was innocent enough. Perhaps that’s all it was-innocent conversation. Taking a long pull on the ice water, he paused for a moment and then spoke.::

WALTAS: My back will let me. My mind won’t.

:: She poured the hot water into her cup and bounced the tea bag around by its string, watching intently as the dark color of the herbs swirled into the clear liquid. It was all she could do to *not* let her eyes wander toward Tyr’s spine – the one she’d snapped like a twig.::

:: The first part of her response was grunted with understanding.::

T’LEA: And even when the mind calms down, the dreams take over…

:: She said it more to herself than him.::

WALTAS::Nodding:: I suppose I can understand that.

:: This was going to be more difficult than T’Lea had ever imagined. Talking to Tyr was like trying to make nice with one of her panic-inducing nightmares. What was she supposed to say to him? I’m sorry? That just didn’t seem like enough.::

:: She wrung the tea bag out on her spoon, and set it aside. The first sip was hot. Hot enough to burn her tongue on.::

T’LEA: So, what do you think about where we are headed?

:: Honestly, she hadn’t been paying attention to the briefing and still didn’t know a whole lot about it. It would actually take a certain amount of *caring* on her part to learn the specifics of their objectives, and right now she didn’t care whole hell of a lot about anything.::

WALTAS::Shrugging:: Sounds like a run-of-the-mill mission. ::Pausing, awkwardly:: Run of the mill. What kind of bizarre phrase is that? Terrans can be odd at times.

:: She almost managed a smile between stirring her tea and another sip, but failed when the cup touched her lips.::

T’LEA: Their idioms are more “idiot” than not most of the time. I quit trying to figure them out at the academy.

WALTAS: True.

:: Another stretch of silence wafted like an unmentionable stink between them, and T’Lea could feel herself starting to crawl out of her skin again.::

:: She pinched the bridge of her nose, and fought back the memories of Vetka – of Tyr slicing her open from hip to shoulder, of his foot collapsing the side of her knee, of his unwillingness to kill her when he had the chance. All those agonizing details came flooding back, but the only thing she could say to the man was, “hot tea,” while wincing between sips.::

WALTAS::Sighing, putting down his drink:: Look. Are we going to address, to use another Terran phrase, the 900-pound elephant in the room?

:: That was one phrase T’Lea did understand the meaning of. She was pretty sure Tash had explained it to her at some point, but at *this* point the Romu-vulc was content to play dumb, and hopefully avoid the topic completely.::

T’LEA: What do you mean?

:: Said casually as she took another sip from her tea cup.::

WALTAS: Me. You. The fact that I could’ve killed you. The fact that you nearly killed me. You know, the small stuff. Because I can sit and make small talk with the best of them, but I’d rather clear the air.

:: And there it was, the obvious, as plain as day, undeniable, unavoidable, and unforgivable.::

:: Feeling something bubbling up inside her like a quiet lava geyser on Vulcan, T’Lea carefully returned her cup to its saucer with a soft “clink”, and shifted toward Tyr in her seat. What she was feeling inside was unidentifiable at the time, but would soon become clear as the words came out of her mouth.::

T’LEA: Very well. What would you like to discuss first? The fact that you should have killed me? Or the fact that you are a pathetic, coward and your non-action put everything I love in this world at risk?

:: The words were a festering, weeping, infected wound so deep that T’Lea didn’t even realize that it was there until this very moment. And the venom she struck with was as quick as a cobra. She looked Tyr up and down where he sat, and in barely controlled anger spat her next words to him.::

T’Lea: You did this to yourself.

::The words were so heavy, so blatantly destructive and so utterly dismissive of the person they were directed at, he thought for a minute he’d misheard her.::

WALTAS::Visceral anger creeping into his voice:: Excuse me?

T’LEA: You heard me.

WALTAS::Turning to face her:: You mean by NOT killing you, by giving you a chance to be healed and returned to your family, and nearly being killed in the process, *I* am somehow a coward?

:: She gave him a cold hard, arrogant stare, daring him to do more. Daring *herself* to do more.::

T’LEA: So you were listening. You didn’t have the balls to do what needed to be done, to finish it. Instead, you cowered behind your morals, your ethics, and your emotions, and as a result you put everyone in jeopardy everyone, including yourself, because you are weak.

WALTAS::Hopping off his stool, ignoring the pain:: Who the frak do you think you are, daring to call ME a coward? The last I checked, spines don’t break themselves. You’re the one that’s hiding from everyone who cares about you. I see yours and Vetri’s body language. It’s obvious where you’re spending your nights, and where you’re NOT. At least I have the courage to FACE my challenges and overcome them. That’s why I’m still here. Because I have FRIENDS that care about me and wanted to see my get better. YOU, want to wallow in your fate and blame everyone else. ::Holding up a hand as she tried to interrupt:: I’M NOT FINISHED!

:: The mention of her tattered relationship with Vetri, had T’Lea frothing with anger. She jumped off her stool, and then knocked it out of her way. Had she known about his break-up with Hella, or his drunken escapade with Irina, she would have thrown that back in his face, but alas, she was clueless to it all.::

T’LEA: Yes, you frelling are! You have no idea… NO IDEA what I was programmed to do, do you? You think it was some sort of unconscious joy-ride? Let me clue you in, sweetheart, I was fully aware. I felt and saw everything. You, and Toni, and anybody else that got in my way, were expendable meaningless sacks of flesh. But you weren’t the objective. You were *nothing*. I was going to kill my entire family, you stupid son of a [...]! Everyone, even T’Sara if you didn’t stop me! And you DIDN’T! You’d rather sacrifice yourself and everyone else than make the hard choice, the RIGHT choice.

WALTAS: Oh, don’t EVEN go there. I KNOW what it’s like to be turned into an uncontrollable killing machine and turned against the people I love. Don’t preach to me like you’re the only one ever to be wounded in a place that doesn’t heal! ::Showing his forearm, carrying a long, discolored scar:: I had Borg nanites crawling through my veins and nearly killed my Captain AND my crew, and they risked EVERYTHING to save me and pull me back! But I guess the “logical” thing to do would have been to just kill me, right?!

T’LEA: YES! I would have. In a heartbeat.

WALTAS::Eyes narrowing:: You ungrateful [...].

:: Steeling her eyes right back at him, she leaned in, luckily there were two stool dividing their company, otherwise they would have been in each other’s faces.::

T’LEA: It’s called having a *spine*.

WALTAS: If it weren't for that mercy you’d be cold and dead in the grave and I’d still be able to defend myself. And trust me, right now that’s the ONLY thing keeping me from KNOCKING YOU ON YOUR HALF-BREED [...]!

T’LEA: You keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, Tyr. The truth is that the only reason you’re still standing here is because my WIFE had the guts to shoot me in the face at point blank range, and save your sorry, worthless [...]!

:: And that was his fault too! If he had just killed her like she had been begging him to do in her mind, while she was under control of the malicious program, then Vetri would have never had to make the horrible decision to shoot T’Lea.::

:: At the end of her outburst she knocked over one of the stools sending it toppling in his direction. It didn't hit him, and that wasn't her purpose anyway, the act was simply to punctuate her departure.::

WALTAS::Calling after her:: You may have a spine but you [...] sure don’t have a heart! Be sure not to break an ankle when you dismount from that high horse, you self-righteous [...]!

:: With her back to him she made it through the door way, and gave him the one-fingered universal sign to go frak himself.::

Lt. Commander T’Lea
Chief Science Officer
Duronis II Embassy / USS Thunder

-and-

Colonel Tyr Waltas
Marine CO
Duronis II Embassy / USS Thunder

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