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Ambassador Della Vetri & LtCmdr T'Lea - It's Never Goodbye

Rahman and Rivi Vataix

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((Shuttlebay, USS Invicta))

:: Much as she might have been tempted, Della didn't give the woman who'd helped T'Sara and herself load their gear into the shuttle a thoughtful frown. Instead, she was busy sending a silent reminder to her daughter not to stare at the same dark-haired female as she strode off, a bag slung over one shoulder, toward the turbolift.::

:: Not that she blamed T'Sara in the slightest. It was probably the first time that the little girl - and, for that matter, herself - had encountered someone that had no aura at all... that wasn't a hologram, at any rate.::

:: As the woman, who'd apparently come in on the same shuttle as the pair of them were due to be leaving on, disappeared from view, a far more important reason to ignore extraneous details turned up, and Della was glad to see her. Not that she'd doubted that such an appearance would happen, of course. One last opportunity to try and blame her for everything would hardly be missed, after all.::

:: Still, there was at least some hope that this would go better than she suspected it might.::

:: Saying goodbye to loved ones was never easy. Saying goodbye to loved ones and feeling responsible for their leaving was even worse. It was for that reason why T’Lea almost didn’t show up see them off, but here she was watching a stranger load her family’s belongings onto the shuttle like she was a stranger herself.::

:: Emerging from around the corner as the woman that had been helping Vetri with the luggage passed by, T’Lea steeled herself and focused on control, for T’Sara’s sake. That’s why she was here after all. For T’Sara, and to make one last ditch effort to convince Della to stay.::

T'Lea: I was held up.

:: She said that while looking through Della and at T’Sara. The girl showed no signs of stress about leaving, but to her this was probably just a vacation to visit her grandparents.::

Vetri: We'd have waited.

:: A simple statement, but very true regardless. They'd found time for a goodbye before Della had gone to see Kells, and T'Sara had surprised her by how well she'd taken both the news of what was happening and the reality of it. Better, she suspected, than either of her mothers had.::

:: And just to really rub that point in...::

T'Sara: I lefts Andy and Fruggles to keep you compn'y. ::looking down at the small black and white cat in her arms, who was eyeing the surroundings suspiciously:: Inky din' wanna stay.

:: Just when she thought her heart couldn’t break anymore, her daughter finished the job.::

:: T’Lea smiled through the ache in her chest and knelt down to T’Sara’s level.::

T'Lea: That’s because he’s your cat. He should stay with you. Always.

:: She realized how that must have sounded to Della after she’d said it. It could have been construed as an indirect jab at the woman, even though that’s not how it was intended. But it did fit the sentiment she was feeling.::

T’Lea: Is there any more luggage inbound that you need help with?

:: A minor slip up that may have indicated she’d been watching from afar.::

T'Sara: Nah, we gots everyfing. The not real lady helped get it all put away.

T'Lea: Not real?

:: The little frown was given to T’Sara, but it was the woman behind her that answered. With a helpless little shrug, Della was willing to admit ignorance on at least that much.::

Vetri: New arrival is all I know, but she's as real as anyone else around here. Anyway... I'm glad you came.

T'Lea: Yeah.

:: It was a short acknowledgment, but T’Lea kept her sights on T’Sara while she fidgeted with the girl’s backpack.::

T’Lea: I know what you’re thinking…. Just make sure Inky doesn’t walk on the helm controls, okay? It might be funny to annoy the pilot with him, but the cat hasn’t passed his flight exam yet.

:: The giggle and smile from T’Sara brightened T’Lea’s mood for a split second, until she remembered that she wouldn’t be seeing or hearing that smile or laugh for a while. Apparently T’Sara saw the change in her mother’s colors without even trying.::

T’Sara: I dunno what d’big deal is. I not going forevers.

:: Reality check. T’Lea rocked back slightly and set her hands gently on her daughter’s shoulders.::

T’Lea: No you’re not, but I still get to miss you.

:: The not so tough Romu-vulc tucked the little girl into a tight hug; one that she hoped wouldn’t break the restraints she had on her emotions right then.::

T’Lea: Have fun. Stay safe, and look after your mother for me, okay?

T’Sara: Kay, but you’re squishing Inky.

:: Releasing her grip, T’Lea blinked at the unhappy cat.::

T’Lea: Sorry, Inky. ::to T’Sara:: Be good. I love you.

:: T’Sara threw her arms around T’Lea’s neck and gave her a quick peck on the cheek before scooting off excitedly into the shuttle.::

:: For a moment T’Lea just stood there, arms crossed as if trying to keep what she was experiencing behind the bars of her rib cage. Something that was all too clear to the Trill standing a meter or so away, though there was no denying that no matter how hard she'd tried, it seemed to be a whole lot more distance than that.::

Vetri: We'll call as soon as we arrive, let you know that we got there okay.

:: A half-glance back, and then T’Lea followed through and turned around to finally look at the woman. She swallowed hard, took a shallow breath and met her eyes.::

T’Lea: Don’t do this. If it’s revenge you want, you have it. ::a step closer:: I’m sorry, okay? I am eternally, painfully sorry. I know I can’t undo what happened, but give me a chance to fix it. I’ll make it right, I swear to you I will.

:: Begging. This was not the T’Lea everyone knew. This was the act of a desperate woman willing to do anything to make the woman she loved remain with her. Begging was not beneath T’Lea at this point, and the mere thought of that was enough to twist in Della's gut.::

:: It didn't *need* to be this hard. Did it?::

Vetri: You don't need to fix it, T'Lea. I told you, *that's* not the problem.

T’Lea: Then what is it? You said something was going wrong inside of you, well, let me help you damn it. Tell me what it is and we’ll work through it together. You’ve been there for me in the past; let me be here for you now. Just stay.

:: As if she wanted anything *but* to stay. Leaving was going to tear her damned heart out, and she knew it... but she also knew that what she - they - needed couldn't be found here. But explaining that again was going to get them nothing but more trouble.::

Vetri: You will be with me, lilyali. ::touching her heart:: Right here. And that's what I need. All the rest, all the incredibly distracting things about you that are part and parcel of what I love, will make it harder for me to get right and get back here to you. Not easier. The best help you can be to me, T'Lea, is right here.

:: Stepping closer, she wrapped her arms around her wife, hugging her tight and, from the sense she got of the other woman, taking her somewhat completely by surprise. Whatever the Romu-vulc may have expected her to do, this was clearly not it. The kiss that followed it probably didn't help her keep her balance, either, but Della really, *really* needed it.::

::  T’Lea’s mind raced for answers in the conflicting chaos that suddenly, and physically enveloped her.   She tried grasping onto anything that would make sense, but in the end all she found was the fabric of Della’s shirt clutched tightly in her fists, and then a surprising embrace of lips against hers.::

::  It was so unexpected that she didn’t have time respond to the affection.  In fact, she wasn’t even sure the kiss had actually happened.::  

T'Lea:  I don’t understand. 

:: Each syllable was profoundly spoken to impart exactly that.::

Vetri: Call whenever you want, lilylai. And expect me to do the same. And if it's any help at all, remember that I'm going to be with my parents. There's no way in any hell you care to name that I'll be able to put up with that for too long without going crazy, which will be a pretty good incentive for us to get right back here as soon as possible.

::  The expression on T’Lea’s Vulcan brow pinched, and she shook her head.  The hard realization that there was nothing she could do was starting to sink in.::

Vetri: ::sighing:: And I don't want to leave, but...

:: With clear, and extreme, reluctance, Della stepped back. Whether she liked it or not, it was time.::

::  T’Lea felt the break in contact and the fabric of Della’s shirt slip away from her hands, but that wasn’t the only thing that felt like it was slipping away.::

T'Lea:  … but you are.

:: It probably would have been better for both of them if she had left the obvious unspoken, but it either way it hurt.  She shrugged, and backed off with another confused wag of her head.::  

Vetri: ::smiling just a little:: Don't blow up the ship whilst I'm gone, 'kay? Or steal it, for that matter.

T'Lea:  No promises.

:: Her tone was hollow, no humor, no feeling.  Kind of like how she felt inside.  The words themselves reflected that she didn’t expect a return soon, or maybe even at all.::

:: And that was about all there really was to say. Not without repeating themselves, anyway. After a long, silent moment, Della reached out to lay her fingertips on T'Lea's cheek, then turned and headed into the shuttle.::

:: It was time to go.::

:: Unable to watch the shuttle leave, unable to take any more emotional punishment, T’Lea departed the deck hoping to get back to her quarters in time to deaden her feelings with a bottle of Romulan Ale before she felt the cold distance of space begin to separate the last connection she had to Della – their telepathic bond.::


Ambassador Della Vetri
Diplomatic Officer
USS Invicta
Author ID O238506DV0


Lieutenant Commander T’Lea 
History & Archaeology Specialist
USS Invicta
Author ID I238301T10

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