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LtCmdr T'Lea - Just breathe

Rahman and Rivi Vataix

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((Adova: Arc's Personal Residence))

::  It was a funny feeling, here she was probably dying and yet she was at peace with it.  All her life she had fought, and struggled, and raged against the world to survive on her own terms, to live under her own rules, but now… Now it felt a little bit okay to let go, to just surrender to whatever her fate may be.  Maybe she needed to stop fighting for once, and stop trying to control every aspect of her life, even if staying alive was one of those things.::

:: She wasn’t suicidal.  She was just tired.::

:: Della had been right.  A starship was not a safe place to raise a child -- there had been far too many times T’Sara and Gina had been put in harm’s way.  And T’Lea had been wrong – she couldn’t protect any of them.  Hell, she couldn’t even protect herself.::

:: So, here she sat on a rather festive tile floor, on some far away planet, in some alien home, drowning slowly in her own blood, and for no other reason than being hated for being a telepath.  It almost made her laugh that she was going to die for something so pathetic and meaningless.  She’d done plenty of horrific things in her lifetime, things that warranted execution, or at least a long prison sentence – betrayal and murder topped the list.  But the crime of being a telepath?  Now that was funny.::

Kells: Hold on, T'Lea. Hold on. ::to the others:: We need med tech. Is it all back on Compass?


King: I’m going to check the surrounding rooms for any provisions we might need. ::beat:: We’re all dangerously close to being dehydrated. ::beat:: The Compass has most of the provisions and equipment we need but it doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to get to it in the near term.


:: Well, that sucked, thought T’Lea as she sat there and did her best to concentrate on her breathing.  All that meditation was paying off.  She was keeping calm and had slowed her heart rate.  If necessary she would put herself in a Vulcan healing trance, but for now she was complacent with other thoughts.::


::  Looking back on things, she couldn’t blame Della for leaving, and she couldn’t hate her for it either.  It was never hate that she felt.  Anger perhaps, but never hate.  The truth was that she would always love that stupid Trill, even if Della didn’t feel the same way.  There was simply too much history between them to let their separation, no matter how permanent, ruin what T’Lea still felt, and would always feel for Della.::


:: After all Della had been there when T’Lea had needed her the most, when death was eminent and she needed someone to keep her Katra safe.  Della did that for her, and thinking about it now, that was the moment T’Lea had fallen in love with the Trill.  The moment she had died.::





:: The pain had quelled, but now there were moments of inconsistent consciousness.   A feeling of drifting in and out of life.  It was nauseating and confusing.  The Vulcan hybrid was dealing with it the best she could -- with logic.::


Vetri: =/\= Vetri to sickbay - medical emergency in Lt. T'Lea's quarters. =/\=


::The call for help made, Della darted to the hybrid's side, dropping to the ground to haul her up into a vaguely sitting position. The Romu-vulc’s body was fairly limp at this point.  The only thing keeping her sitting upright was a combination of the wall and the Trill.  T’Lea couldn’t distinguish between the two, but her right hand tightly fisted a bunch of fabric from one or the other.


T’Lea:  Who…?


Vetri: ::whispering:: Your cute as hell angel, come to save the day...


::They had an agreement, Vetri would come first when T’Lea called, but medical would be on the way.  That left little time.  Little time would hopefully be enough so that they could have their private moment together.::


::Gently, Della brushed the hybrids hair aside, and laid her lips gently against her brow, not bothering to try and hold back the tears that were rolling down her cheeks.::


::The sudden warmth against her skin rallied T’Lea’s focus.  Her vision sharpened in, then out, then in again.  She was seeing spots before her eyes.::


T’Lea:  ::weak, but surprised:: … Spots, you came…?


Vetri: Of course, silly.  We had a deal, remember?


::Deal.  Her heart looked inward.  What deal?  At first she didn’t remember, but eventually after some searching, yes, she remembered.  T’Lea remembered what they had been working on all this time, all those long nights together training for this moment. A lobotomy would be the only way she could forget those moments with Della, actually she wasn’t far from one.  But right now, in a moment of perfect lucidity she was stacking her thoughts in proper order.  And with fluid thought came a curiosity. Did Della mean that she was willing to go through with the Katra transfer?::  


T’Lea:  Are you certain…?


Vetri: I'm certain.  You're not getting away from me that easily.


::The Romu-vulc’s grateful pale blue eyes slid down the Trill’s delicate face, following a particularly intriguing line of small dark spots.  Her mindless gaze ended in a sliver of strength.  With her body tensing in Della’s hands, T’Lea moved to sit more upright just as they had practiced during their nightly visits.  This had to happen fast, right now or not at all.::


Vetri: ::trying to summon up some humor to keep herself together:: Don't want to rush you or anything, but...


::The hybrid’s right hand flattened against the fabric she’d been clutching all this time.  Oddly enough she had no idea where that hand was, or if it was even still attached.  The left hand seemed to be easier to find and operate.   T’Lea moved closer still, barely holding on to the stoic, regal Vulcan poise as she did so.  Another odd moment of brief wonderment over what the Trill was wearing and why her locks of hair were wet, flashed through T’Lea’s dysfunctional head.  It was strange how these unimportant thoughts rambled to the forefront of her mind so clearly.  The remnant of a Vulcan brow twitched under the stress.::


Vetri: Stay with me, T'Lea.  I can't do this on my own.


::Face to face with Vetri, T’Lea tried to stay steady, tried to control her breathing, tried to summon the inner Vulcan to finish this.  For the Romulan in T’Lea was nowhere to be found.  Like a coward she had stepped away from the situation, unable to confront the emotional humiliation of it all.::


::Shaking slightly from the frayed nerves, T’Lea reached up with her left hand, failing at first to place it in proper position for a mind-meld.  Instead, that hand came to a soft rest on Della’s cheek.  The next precious few seconds were spent trying to form her fingers and find the correct points of contact.  It was quite possibly the most difficult and most exhausting thing she’d ever done.   Finally, it paid off.::


::Relieved, T’Lea dipped her forehead against Della’s, not for technique but out of her tiresome struggle.   Next she tried to set her breathing to match Della’s rise and fall.  Della made the change for her, finding T’Lea’s rhythm instead, just as they’d practiced.::


T’Lea: …assist…


::She didn’t even need to say it, it was already done.  Della was holding her left hand steady in the proper position, keeping it from slipping.  T’Lea blinked her eyes, trying to clear out the fog, but her thoughts strayed again as she felt Della’s invading warmth.  It distracted, then enveloped, then penetrated, and then reinforced.  It seemed to wash out the pain.  The hybrid was starting to see through the haze in her eyes.  Logic started to jell into a solid thought.  Was Della sending her empathic support?  If so it was precise and well controlled.  But it was also speeding up her death.  T’Lea didn’t know for sure…. She wasn’t sure of anything right now except the meld.::


::Drawing on the training she'd received on Betazed, as well as the lessons the hybrid in her arms had given her, Della forced all the fear and worry in her mind aside.  It wasn't easy to accomplish, but she managed it, leaving her thoughts clear and calm, ready for what was to come.::


Vetri: ::firmly:: Do it.


::Her melding-hand rested confidently at the correct points of contact against Della’s face.  Her voice, though labored, was as true as a Vulcan’s should be.::


T’Lea:  My mind… to your mind…


::A pause as her eyes settled deeply into Della’s.::


T’Lea:  My thoughts…   to your thoughts…


::A bright, white hot pain started to slash its way through the incredible blanket of... what was that feeling?  It was beautiful…::


T’Lea:  Our minds… are one…


::Nothing.  A realistic fear registered in T’Lea’s eyes and reflected back in Della’s.  What if the malfunctioning chip in her brain had damaged her abilities?::


::Repositioning her hand with more determination, T’Lea firmed herself against Vetri’s body and started again this time with a heavier conviction.  This time the Romulan joined in out of desperation. She took one lungful of air and spoke without taking a pause, or another breath.  The words were the same, but the tone was completely different -- intense and rippling with pain.::


::Wrapping T'Lea even tighter in her arms, Della held her close, desperation clawing at her awareness.  Wildly, her thoughts flashed through everything that could have gone wrong, all the possibilities that could have prevented the link from forming.::


Vetri: Again! Try again!


::Physically the two could not have been any closer.  Mentally… A terrible feeling started to bore a hole in the back of T’Lea’s skull.  It took all her strength to hold on to Vetri, to stop herself from shaking loose.  She was sure she was bruising the woman.::


Vetri: Come on you crazy [...]. I've never seen you back down from anything yet, so make this frakking work!


::One last time.  One last act of desperation.  One last intense effort to establish the mind-meld.  T’Lea needed just one more shot at it.  One more.  But before the next word could be uttered, it was over.::


::The Vulcan hybrid never finished.::


::T’Lea wasn’t holding her breath anymore.  She simply wasn’t breathing.::


::Her head fell on Della’s shoulder.::


Vetri: T'Lea? T'Lea!


::Frantically, she searched for a pulse, a flicker, anything that would deny the evidence of her eyes.  Breath coming in ragged gasps, blinded by tears, she tore at the hybrid's uniform, trying desperately to get her body to respond to the instructions her mind was firing out.  Somewhere in her skull, a rational bit of consciousness was driving her start CPR, to try and get her patient breathing again.::


Vetri: Nonononono... Don't leave me like this! Breathe! BREATHE!


((End Flashback))

((Arc’s Personal Residence))

::  A deep, shocking gasp of air filled T’Lea’s lungs.  For a moment she’d stopped breathing and had passed out, but she was back.  Nobody had seemed to notice her brief disappearance.  They were all heavy in conversation about something.  She tried to focus and tried to listen.::


Lieutenant Commander T’Lea 
History & Archaeology Specialist

USS Invicta

Author ID I238301T10

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