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JP Cmdr Waters & Counselor R'Ariel: You Overwhelm Me


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((Counseling Suite, Deck 3 -- U.S.S Arrow))


It was that time once more. But this time, it was a time R’Ariel and Chloe had agreed upon. Chloe could’ve asked R’Ariel to meet her in her quarters, or in R’Ariel’s, for that matter. But the counseling suite was a nice, soothing yet neutral location, Chloe thought. So, she offered to meet R’Ariel there.


This was it. Chloe, nervous yet determined, pressed the chime to R’Ariel’s suite, and waited…


oO Must be Chloe,  Remember R’Ariel, no touching. Oo


The little counselor chuckled in amusement at her own mental notes.  Of course it was Chloe.  She looked for something to hold in her hands, to remove the temptation to touch.  She hopped down from her desk to open the door.  The light fabric of her little green dress danced accordingly, a padd of medical reports clutched mindfully in both hands.


R’Ariel: Please come in.


A smile on the hybrid’s lips, a padd in her hands, and a strong determination to unselfishly get to what it was that Chloe needed to discuss with her.  All these painful revelations, discoveries, and such would have to wait.  The only exception, being she would probably have to tell Chloe at some time about the amplification issue, but that could wait.


The doors hissed open not a moment later. Chloe paused, looked into the room. She felt herself tense for a moment, but seeing R’Ariel almost immediately relaxed her. Wordlessly, she stepped into the suite, waiting for the doors to close behind her.


Waters: Thank you.


R’Ariel: How are you? ::a smile on her lips:: You know Counselors aren’t supposed to play favorites, but…


She teased truthfully,and led the way.  Taking her traditional perch up on the desk, and gesturing for Chloe to take the usual seat.


Chloe kept her eyes on R’Ariel for a moment. She seemed to be rather occupied. Had she interrupted something? She took up the indicated seat, responding to R’Ariel as she moved.


Waters: I am fine, thank you. I hope the same is true of yourself.


A pause. She was ready to tell R’Ariel what she wanted, but she still didn’t have the slightest idea how. Her confidence dwindled, replaced by quiet uncertainty. She didn’t feel hesitant, simply… confused. How was one supposed to approach something like this?


R’Ariel: Recovering like the rest of the crew from that ordeal.


She gestured to the padd she had laid on the desk next to her.  It was an honest response, and a determined one to keep Chloe’s purpose at the front-center.  She didn’t have to be touching Chloe’s hand to sense she had great purpose in this visit.


R’Ariel: More than anything, at this moment, I am here to lend any assistance I can.


She directed to her the fullest empathic attention.


R’Ariel’s response gave Chloe the time she needed to tentatively settle on an approach.


Waters: I need some… help. I… find myself in something of an uncertain situation. I must tell someone something… but I do not know how to begin. I have never dealt with anything like this before.


Once again, the empathic counselor found herself swimming in some pretty intense feelings and emotions, which she chose to be mindful, that Chloe’s crown was an amplifier, so that meant that she had to be careful not to jump to conclusions about what those feelings meant.  Whatever they felt like they were, she had to assume, the real emotions and feelings were something much less.


R’Ariel: oO If I were to take these feelings at full value, I’d say… no, ugly R’Ariel, that’s silly.  Just let her talk.  Help her express the words she needs to find. Oo


The little counselor, leaned forward from her desk perch, the tip of her tail casually flipping from left to right, beating a simple tattoo on the desk.


R’Ariel: I am honored that you have chosen to tell me.  I hope that I can help. ::She bit her lip thoughtfully, gently:: Sometimes, we just need to clear the space in our mind, and say it out loud.  Then once our ears hear it, another part of our brain can help us see it more clearly.


She bit her lip again, gently.  If she took the feelings she felt in Chloe and boiled them down to something less amplified, then perhaps it was time to affirm their friendship.  She spoke again, adding something straight from the heart.


R’Ariel: You know, you can tell me anything, you are my dear friend, and I promise that nothing you tell me will ever change that.  It’s one of the most important things I have in this life.


Friend? The word stuck out to Chloe immediately. Her mind was already racing before R’Ariel spoke. It couldn’t possibly get any faster. R’Ariel didn’t know the feelings were for her… did she? Could she? Was this all about to be for nothing?


Chloe took a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself, eyes drifting down to her lap for a moment, then back to the woman who had inspired so much change in her.


Waters: There is someone I feel close to. Someone who inspired me. Helped me. To change… and grow. Pushed me to become more in ways I don’t think they know.


R’Ariel focused carefully on each spoken word, she had to.  The emotions and feelings in the room were so intense, they were exciting, and yet a little disorientating, much like staring at the sun.


Waters: They are a very dear friend. And yet…


R’Ariel: Yes? You need to express those feelings, those intense feelings.


The counselor was on the edge of her seat, or rather the desk.  The energies in the room were building, and she was getting excited to be let in on these special developments.  She felt very included, and excited for Chloe, and still again, very very included.


Waters: I feel… that there is something more. I want. I… hope. But… I do not know how to tell them. What should I do?


This was it… Chloe mentally stole herself for whatever would come next. Was she doing the right thing?


R’Ariel: oO Not my greatest area of expertise, but still exciting.  Like what Captain Shayne and Commander Ash MacKenna have, mysterious and beautiful in its special way.  Proof that head knowledge and heart knowledge are not the same thing. Oo


She leaned back on her hands, and chose her words carefully.  She did not need to dredge up her own past experiences and scars on the issue.  She was determined to be there for Chloe, and not make any of this about herself, after all she was the Counselor, removing your own feelings from the situation, and putting others in the light was what Counselors did, friends too.


R’Ariel: I would think that whoever this person is, would have to know already, at least to some degree, how you feel.  In which case, it is usually a good idea to just tell them.


She pondered her words for a moment, trying very hard not to read too much into the feelings in the room, and perhaps even trigger another empathic episode.  She noted once again, it took a lot more concentration to think clearly.


R’Ariel: The only time that it is usually advisable not to share is when that person has already made their unavailability known, for whatever reason, such as already being with someone else or some other reason.  Then the best expression of those special feelings are to show them the courtesy of respect for their taken position.


The little counselor nodded to herself, inside her own head, as she played with the hem of her little green dress.


R’Ariel: oO That’s what the professor always said, he is very smart. Oo


Chloe nodded slowly. Now, she sat in silence. She was energized, her mind was whirling. She needed a moment. Deep breath. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.


It was much harder than it should have been for Chloe to clear her head, to distance herself from her surface thoughts. So many what if’s ran around in her head. But after a little while longer, she eventually managed to calm her thoughts. Slowly, she rose from the couch. Moving towards R’Ariel, she stopped a few feet from her. Close, but not so far as to be threatening or as invading R’Ariel’s comfort zone, wherever that might be.


A small pause. Chloe tilted her head slightly, her gaze locking on R’Ariel’s face. Then…


Waters: It’s… you, R’Ariel… 


Chloe’s crown, which adjusted is volume based on environmental factors and the strength of Chloe’s thought, barely whispered her words. She held her breath, and waited.


R’Ariel: oO Idiot professor, what does he know on the romance subject, he’s a Vulcan. Oo


The half Caitian-Deltan blinked.  Her tail stopped its gentle sway, along with the rest of her body- all muscles frozen in place.  It seems all her energies went into trying to process the myriad of thoughts and feelings that flooded her mind and body.  Some thoughts and emotions were hers, others were Chloe’s.  The distinction was complicated.


R’Ariel: oO Shame on you, R’Ariel that’s very speciest of you to look down on Vulcans on this subject! oO


She blinked again, seemingly that was the only physical muscle set that worked at the moment, an involuntary one at that.  It was amazing how quickly thoughts could rumble about in the mere passing of long long micro-seconds.


R’Ariel: oO Shut up R’Ariel, this is not the time to argue about that!  Say something, and not about Vulcans or professors-speak.  Speak from the heart.Oo


She felt her chest tighten.


R’Ariel: oO Ouch, my heart. Oo


The speechless Counselor found her smile-muscles and returned an affectionate smile, full of tender caring feelings, while her eyes betrayed her surprise.


R’Ariel: What a beautiful surprise.  You know I don’t get surprised often.  How ever did you manage to keep it a secret this long?  I am so honored.


Chloe watched R’Ariel come to grips with what she had said, seeming to accept it. But so far, she hadn’t seen much in the way of reciprocation. But she hadn’t been rejected… yet. A good sign? She let out her held breath, and all she wanted to do was collect R’Ariel in her arms. Squeeze her, and never let go. But would R’Ariel want the same thing?


Waters: I did not know how to show you… to tell you, how I felt. I did not know how to process it for the longest time. While I was opening up socially, I was still closed in other ways. You… the feelings I had for you. They helped me open up to other things.


Chloe gestured down at the dress she was wearing. Similar to R’Ariel’s, though this one was a bright red shade.


R’Ariel: Beautiful… .  You are beautiful.


Chloe couldn’t contain her desires anymore. She had processed, she had waited, she had grown, she had prepared for months. Now it was all out in the open. For the first time in her life, she made a split second, impulsive decision. Stepping forward, she wrapped her arms around R’Ariel and held her tightly. This single act brought her closer to anyone than she had ever felt before, and for a time the entire world seemed to dissolve around her. There was only the feeling of another person in her arms, the sound of her heart pounding in her chest, of R’Ariel breathing. R’Ariel’s unique scent. These things occupied Chloe’s senses, and it took Chloe every ounce of strength she had to keep her firewall up. For the first time in her life, she wasn’t aware of her waking thoughts. They didn’t matter. Nothing did except this moment.


As for R’Ariel, lost in a very new moment, she forgot the physical limitations she had been placing between them, and welcomed the embrace.  The feelings were powerful, beautiful, breathtaking while heart stopping too.


R’Ariel: oO Wow. Oo


The hybrid pulled back and teetered on her feet, quickly finding the desk for support on her feet. She tried to pull off a casual, if frazzled chuckle.


R’Ariel: Anyone ever tell you that, your touch is a bit magical!


Waters: No. Has anyone told you that yours is?


R’Ariel: oO Never. Oo


It was a genuine question. Whether it was Chloe simply slipping an arm around R’Ariel, resting a hand on her, or now embracing her as she had done, she always felt as if she were submerging herself in warm, gently lapping waters.


R’Ariel: Actually, I’m having a hard time processing strong empathic or telepathic signals, especially through physical contact.


Chloe’s expression turned concerned. Was she overwhelming R’Ariel with her contact? Was this a general thing she experienced?


Waters: Is there anything I can do to help?


She shook her head, and stole a ragged breath.


R’Ariel: Maybe give me a moment’s reprieve from this wonderful moment?


The little hybrid gratefully took the offered physical space between them.  There were so many things to feel.  So many things to say.  Yet, trying to find the words was proving nearly impossible.  She wasn’t like most people, a hybrid of potent yet still emerging empathic and telepathic talents.  Chloe wasn’t like most people either.  She was a vibrant person, who had overcome many limitations, to develop an amazing kind of telepathy herself, very gifted in her own right, in many many ways.  It wasn’t any wonder that there would be a drawing of the two of them together.  All these thoughts swam around in her head, mixing with Chloe’s, in a special kind of union, a special kind of relationship that could never be found anywhere else, again.


Waters: Take all the time you need, R’Ariel. I’m not going anywhere.


True to her word, Chloe stood exactly where she was. She watched R’Ariel, smiling warmly, filled with a contentment she had never known before. She did it. Finally, R’Ariel knew what Chloe had wanted her to know for so long. She hoped R’Ariel felt the same… but if she didn’t? That was okay, she thought.


A long moment passed while R’Ariel caught her breath and regained some more of her physical senses.


R’Ariel:  I am so glad you told me. ::she scratched her left ear with an intensity that left it sore:: . I suppose I never thought anyone could ever have such feelings for me. ::she swallowed hard at a lump in her throat that remained:: I’m neither attractive as a Caitian, nor attractive as a Deltan.  I carry a great deal of love in my heart, and it is undeniable that I care for you, deeply.


Waters: I am not attracted to you as a Caitian, or a Deltan. I am attracted to you, R’Ariel, the warm, wonderful person you have repeatedly shown yourself to be.  Anything else is irrelevant to me. I accept you as you are. It is not the body which defines the person, no matter their appearance. It is not their race. It is their mind. Yours is a delight.


R’Ariel: oO My mind is a trip right now. Oo


She returned to scratch her left ear, abandoning it mid-itch as the soreness forbid she touch it further.


R’Ariel: You overwhelm me Chloe.


She allowed a heart-warmed smile to play with her features.


R’Ariel: Only, I can’t tell you exactly how I feel,  as our connection, I feel what you feel, literally, your actual feelings.  You will need to give me some time, I'm afraid, to sort out what feelings actually belong to me.


She struggled desperately to find the words to explain herself.


R’Ariel: Being an empath is great for helping others, but does very little for knowing yourself.  Whatever they feel, you feel.  It’s quite a bumpy ride.  The stronger the connection you feel with someone, the more this identity issue gets confused.  One thing for sure, Chloe, what we have is special, it would have to be, as you are special.


Waters: You can take all the time you need, I understand. I wish to explore this with you. But only when, or if, you may wish to. I came here to do one thing. I’ve done what I came here to do.


R’Ariel: Takes a lot of courage, and I am proud of you.  I wish I could say the same for myself, I just can’t seem to feel my brain.


She tried her hand at a playful laugh.


Waters: Not yet. But I’ll-

Something suddenly occurred to Chloe. She reached up to her head and removed her crown, placing it on R’Ariel’s desk. Now, R’Ariel could clearly see her flame red hair in its natural form, as it flowed freely down her back. She smiled softly at R’Ariel.


Waters: oO Is this better? Oo


The hybrid blinked, as a sudden numbness began to ease, a kind of pressure lifted to some degree.


R’Ariel: Yes, it is actually.


She smiled, able to collect some more of her own thoughts.


R’Ariel: You have been refreshingly and beautifully honest with me, and I am very touched.  You have held a special place in my heart for some time now, I’ve known that.  I meant what I said about our friendship being very precious to me.  I just need some time to seek this out, to be honest and fair to you.  I need to find my own feelings, and I have certain Starfleet guidelines that must be consulted.  Being Deltan and all, just for starters.


Waters: oO You can take all the time you need. I will be easy to find when you are ready. Oo


R’Ariel: Response


Waters: oO Until then. I will simply say… whatever happens. You mean much to me. Oo


With that, Chloe picked up her crown and held it in her hand. Not putting it on just yet she reached out, resting her hand on R’Ariel’s for the briefest of moments. With that touch still lingering, she slowly turned, walking out of R’Ariel’s office feeling much lighter than she had when she entered. She did it.


(FADE TO BLACK)


*************************************************************************************

Lieutenant Commander Chloe Waters

Helmswoman

USS Arrow, NCC-69829

****************************** Podcast team member ******************************

Writer ID: E239601CW0

*************************************************************************************

&

Lieutenant Commander R'Ariel

Chief Medical Officer

Counselor

Doctor of Psychology

USS Arrow

J239706R1

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