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JP Lt. Cmdr. Foster & Lt. Cmdr. DeVeau - "Shared Trauma"

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This JP is a continuation of an ongoing scene between DeVeau and Foster, and I really enjoyed how much context and history it gives, particularly about Wyn. What makes it particularly interesting is that most, if not all, of this actually occurred in sim within the past eight or so years, and I think it highlights not only the importance of realism but also of IC consequences for IC actions. It was a heavy read but I appreciate the effort that was put into it! Well done @Alora DeVeau and @Sal Taybrim




((Alora DeVeau’s Quarters – StarBase 118))

Everyone had a story.  Alora had a story.  Rue had a story.  Even Wyn Foster had a story.  Before that night, all that she knew was that Wyn was a snarky doctor who cared far more about his patients than one might think when they first met him.  Pretty quickly, Alora had seen past that and to the heart that lay underneath it. 

Why did he have that snarky outer layer?  It very well could just be who he was.  Perhaps his parents - or in his case, parent - had a similar attitude, and it was simply his upbringing.  Alora wouldn’t be surprised by this - Cade Foster was his father, after all - but there might be more to it than that.  It might be that this exterior hid something deep inside, a past that was full of hurts and pain that he kept close and didn’t speak about much.  That wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

DeVeau: Just because you didn’t have control doesn’t mean it’s not your story. 

Alora had learned long ago that much in life was out of their control.  People liked to think they might have some influence, and surely they did - to a point.  No matter how much people tried to direct their lives, there would always come a point where something would happen, and that choice was taken from them in some form or fashion.  

He drew in a long slow breath, steadying himself.

Foster: Ok, so Holiday party.  Captain insists we need to have our holiday party and awards ceremony before the funeral.  Why?  I have no earthly clue.  Well… it’s the most depressing, morbid, unhappy party you can imagine.  People drinking to wash away the pain, awards given out because Starfleet said so rather than any sense of accomplishment or camaraderie.  It was bad.  Nobody was happy.  The Captain left early, the new first officer left early, the acting first officer left early, most of the crew left early - there was just a few of us left sitting around drinking, commiserating and generally washing away the sorrow.  ::he paused:: Stage is set, you with me?

A holiday party.  One that had come after a heartbreaking event.  Alora couldn’t understand why a captain would plan such a thing right after something like that.  Maybe it wasn’t so much that it was planned, but from what she could glean, it was done so without any sort of acknowledgement of the events that had transpired, and how it might affect the other officers.  It was a heartless decision in her opinion.

DeVeau: I’m with you. 

He held up a hand.

Foster: Let me be clear, at this point I am drunk.  I am sitting with and chatting with the Chief engineer.  She is drunk.  We are in the holodeck of our ship, sitting at a table, drunk.  We think this is a reasonably safe place to get drunk and wallow in some misery, right?  But… you know who didn’t attend the party thus far?  Yeah.  The assistant chief engineer.

Could you see where this was going?

Oh yes, the set up was clear.

Alora lifted her head a little.  The Vulcan who was showing signs of entering into a rather…intense state due to their physiological clock.  Was that why he didn’t show?  And why did she have a feeling he was about to enter, stage left?

DeVeau: I see. 

Foster: He barges in, crazed, in the throes of Pon Farr and demands the chief engineer come with him because she’s gonna be his mate.  He is not subtle about this and he is extremely physically aggressive about this.  ::he paused.:: She is terrified.  Pure unadulterated terror.  So what does my drunken stupid ass do?  I stand up to him.  I figure that the rest of the crew will back me up.

Wyn was in the right.  Like a good officer…no, like a good *person* he took the time to stand up to someone who was obviously not in his right mind and trying to force someone to do something they didn’t want to do.  But what he said and how he said it made her think that all didn’t work out like it *should* have.

DeVeau: But they didn’t.  

He held up a finger as if to draw a connection between two important points.  And they were indeed important, because it also explained why the antagonist in the story had an advantage, and it was necessary to understand.  

Foster: He programmed the holodeck holiday party.  He can control it.  I can’t.  The rest of the remaining crew can’t. Sure, they want to help.  Sure, they try to help.  They can’t.  He challenges me to combat for his mate.

Wyn Foster.  Scrawny little Wyn Foster verses a young, virile Vulcan in the midst of Pon Farr.  Unless the Vulcan was a genetic anomaly and a complete waif, that would hardly be in Wyn’s favor.

And no, his foe was over a foot taller than him and muscular.  Very much not in his favor.

Even though Alora didn’t know all the details about the Vulcan, she could imagine it.  Likely he was bigger.  Despite the fact that Andorians were very strong, Vulcans were too, so what would have been a level playing field was negated by the likely advantages the assistant chief had over someone who was smaller.  

DeVeau: What did you do?

He gave a short, tense, unfunny laugh.  She didn’t like the sound at all.  It was the sound of someone who had been resigned to an undesirable fate and had seen the other side of it.  And it wasn’t a pleasant consequence.  

Foster: I thought I might have had a chance.  I had a hypospray full of sedatives in my boot, you know keep it there in case I need it.  ::Another biting laugh:: I mean I was drunk and a hero.  ::And a more tense, frayed laugh:: And what other choices did I have?

He could have run like a coward.  But that wasn’t Wyn.  Especially when someone else was threatened.  Alora might have thought of some, but did it matter?  This all happened in the past ,and trying to give him options on what he *might* have been able to do wasn’t helpful at all.  It would only hurt, and she wouldn’t have necessarily been right *anyway*.  No, that was not the point.  Wyn had done the right thing - he’d stood up to protect a fellow officer and friend.  She didn’t have to hear the rest of the story to know that he suffered because of it.  

DeVeau: You didn’t. 

Because in the end, that was a fact.  He didn’t have a choice.  He couldn’t just let the other man get away with forcing someone into that type of situation.  Taking a deep breath, she shifted to draw a little closer to her friend.  She could see the road ahead, and it wasn’t pretty.

He gave a tense, unfunny little laugh again.  It twittered between them, becoming more and more unhinged.  He was grasping at control as he tried to form the words for this.

Foster: I didn’t.  

He sucked in a breath in between small bits of shattered chuckles that only served to help bleed the tension in his taught little form away just enough so he could keep breathing.

DeVeau: It’s okay.  You’re okay, you’re safe.  And nothing you say goes beyond this room.  I promise. 

And she would keep that promise.  Alora wasn’t going to go gabbing about Wyn’s past to others.  It wasn’t her story to tell.  

He locked eyes with her, and he took in a long, slow breath.  The only other time he had talked about this to someone he had laid his resignation from Starfleet on the table between them.  Well, almost resignation - it would still need his thumbprint.

He had been talked down then, and he only told half the tale.  But it allowed him to actually talk now without crawling up the walls.

Foster: So he attacked me.  And I almost sedated him.  Almost.  But I didn’t.  And I lost. ::He waved a hand towards the antenna he had recently had surgery on.:: Because he grabbed my antenna and … ripped.

He made a horrible tearing motion, jerking straight downwards

Alora winced.  The story was a horrible one.  Poor Wyn.  Poor everyone who had to deal with the situation, but especially him, because he had been the one to put his health and safety on the line to help someone.  And the story wasn’t over, that much she could tell.  Oh no, there was much more to it. 

DeVeau: What happened then?

Foster: Well… I dropped like a sack of wet cement.  He grabbed the girl and used the transporter to get out.  Thirty seconds after he left the holodeck reset and the remaining crew was freaking out.  And I don’t remember much after that.

And then he raised a finger.  Straight into the air and he made a gesture as if to say he remembered one thing.  One very important thing.  Just one.

Not much, but something, that Alora understood from the gesture. Nodding, she remained silent, but that small motion was silent indication he should continue.  

Foster: I woke up once after surgery, because my body metabolizes anesthetic very quickly.  And the Captain was there.  He was yelling at my aCMO.  He was angry.  And I mumbled something that was probably unintelligible or maybe slightly intelligible.  And I remember that he told me to suck it up, that I was fine.  And that is seared in my brain.  And you would think that I hallucinated that.  I thought I hallucinated that.  The reasonable explanation is that I hallucinated that, right?

He stared at her with big wide eyes.  That was the reasonable answer to the story he was telling.  Because Captains didn’t do that.  They weren’t supposed to do that.  

Until they did that.

Alora’s face darkened, her teeth clenched as a shadow ran over her brow.  Suck it up?  Really?  What kind of Captain was this guy?  Obviously a horrible one, and Alora couldn’t understand how he had managed to remain in Starfleet as long as he had.  

DeVeau: It’s…hard to imagine someone in that position doing something like that.  

Hard and terrible.  Aron would have never done such a thing.  Nor would Cassie, nor Nara.  Not even Joseph Washington, the strictest of all her commanding officers, had the health and well being of his officers in mind, especially after they were sick or injured.  

Foster: And yet when I woke up for real, my aCMO was gone… because she was removed from the ship with a mandatory, immediate disciplinary transfer.  Half my staff was gone.  The Captain was gone - at Emerson’s funeral.  His new First Officer was also gone - at Emerson’s funeral.  And literally no one was there except for Mark.  Who was the ship’s EMH, but he’s sentient and like a puppy dog, and my son.  ::he waved a hand in the air.:: Don’t ask, it’s weird.

Wait, what?  That was an interesting tidbit into the whole ‘who is Wyn Foster?’ question.  The problem was, Alora *wanted* to ask…but maybe she’d do so at a later time.  She definitely wouldn’t forget that little comment.   

DeVeau: So…you were abandoned. 

She hated to say it, but that was what it sounded like, and it just needed to be said, because there was no other word for it at all.  

His antennae curled downwards and he sighed.  A long, deep soul-suffering sigh.

Foster: Yeah, pretty much.  There were people on the ship, but everyone avoided sickbay like the plague because something was up.  I was like a persona non-grata, recovering in my own little private hell.

Maybe it wasn’t quite that bad?  He didn’t know.  He was pretty out of it.  But he also knew that with a majority of the staff gone. There were very few people around.  Sickbay had been like a ghost town and nobody came to visit.

There were probably reasons he couldn’t possibly understand.  Because he had lived this out from a position of pain and loneliness.

DeVeau: And after they came back? 

She doubted all was hunky-dory.  First, they had just returned to a funeral, but that was after all the absolutely horrible stuff that had happened.  And Wyn?  He’d been left alone in a sickbay with an EMH after suffering physical trauma - severe, especially for an Andorian. 

Foster: Well, we were supposed to get ready to ship out, again.  They promoted the HCO officer to First Officer - for like a day - and then made him second officer and the acting first officer became first officer, and the Captain acted like everything was fine and the Chief engineer acted like everything was fine, and everyone acted like everything was fine.

Except things were absolutely certainly not fine.  The waver in his voice gave that away loud and clear.

Foster: And I was off duty so I had time and so I started doing research.

DeVeau: And it went downhill from there? 

Foster: Well, yeah.  I don’t know why everyone was thinking that somehow because the Chief Engineer had a smile on her face that a Vulcan in the depths of Pon Farr would abduct her to eat ice cream and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Because that is not what happened.  You know what happened.  You are a rational adult who can put two and two together.  And she had come in that night to be treated for all of the medical issues that go along with that sort of assault, and the only medical officer available was Mark - the hologram.  So what she did was try to reprogram his memory so no one knew what happened.

He waved his hands in the air as if to say he couldn’t even begin to fathom how bad that was.

A rush of breath escaped as yes, that two and two did come together and the answer was certainly horrific to consider.  The victim had just tried to make out like nothing had happened, and with a smile on her face.

DeVeau: I’m guessing it didn’t work.

Foster: Mark’s a sentient creature!  ::he sounded outraged on the EMH’s behalf.:: So yeah, it didn’t work, and so I have this terrified little puppy dog of a newly born sentient hologram telling me the details when I can’t even see straight.  So I check and see that the Vulcan Engineer… is still on active duty.

By this point his hands were gesturing as if he was trying to catch all the thoughts and get them into some semblance of control.  But like the rest of his story, everything was chaos.

The emotion crowded into a little body and then thrust in the back corner of the mind had suddenly broken open and Wyn’s body was caught in the throes of the rush. His limbs flailed and everything in his entire form, from the expression on his face, to the waving of his hands, to his antennae broadcast his distress.  Distress he’d never been able to let go of.  

DeVeau: Ugh. 

The idea that the engineer, the one who had assaulted the other, was still on active duty made Alora’s stomach churn.  Even if he was in the middle of Pon Farr, that was no excuse and there were other ways to take care of that that didn’t involve violating someone.


Foster: ::His voice was thin and trembling:: He’s not in the brig.  He’s not confined to quarters.  He’s not in sickbay, nothing!  He’s walking around like nothing ever happened!  And the chief engineer is being complicit in this lie because she thinks she’s going to get into trouble if she tells anyone the truth!


Outrage mingled with pain and confusion.


Alora closed her eyes.  She knew that all too well. Victims were often afraid because they blamed themselves.  But it hadn’t been her fault - nor had it been Wyn’s.  Alora shifted closer and clasped one hand in hers, then slid her arm around the Andorian’s shoulders.  


DeVeau: But you knew the truth. 


Foster: Yes, I knew the truth.  I knew the whole, terrible, awful truth.  All of it.


And just like that, he was caught up in everything, because Wyn Foster was not the sort of person to let injustice prevail. 


DeVeau: What happened then?


Foster: Before we had the chance to ship out… I pressed charges.  With the JAG officer on Deep Space 26.


That was a standard procedure, and Wyn had done exactly as he ought to have one.  


DeVeau: But…things didn’t go as you expected, did they?


He shook his head a few times in a short, jerky manner.  HIs voice was as tight as a frayed bowstring ready to snap.


Foster: Oh no it didn't go as planned.  Yes, the Asst. Engineer was moved to the Brig.  Yes there was an investigation.  But before that investigation could get started the Captain marched into my office, and in response to my concerns said - and I quote -  “Oh.”  “I do.” and "Higher authorities will be contacting you directly. That’s all I can say at this point. Have a good day, doctor.”  And that was it.  


That made absolutely no sense whatsoever, and the only thing Alora could think was the Captain was hiding something.  He had no reason to be so dismissive about what was obviously such a horrible event.


DeVeau: And…then what? 


Foster: Ten minutes later I lost my medical commission, was escorted off the ship by security, and was transferred to the USS Apollo as a diplomatic attache.


He fixed her with an azure gaze.  Wyn Foster, a man with zero diplomatic training, and a myriad of medical accolades.  Lost his position and his license for daring to call in the JAG.


It wasn’t just pity that Alora felt, though that emotion was certainly quite strong as she listened the story.  But as every dropped from his lips, every moment of his past recounted in their conversation, her expression became darker, and darker.  And with that final piece of information, her eyes flashed, and red filled her face as well as her vision.


DeVeau: And no one did anything?


Foster: On the Atlantis?  Nope.  Not a damn thing.  Some were afraid.  Some were angry at me.  Some told me that I ::He drew in a tense little breath:: That I… betrayed the family.  Because I called in the JAG.  I betrayed the family.


Which, to Wyn, made no sense.  How could the perpetrator of a crime be in the family, but the victims of the crime were only allowed to stay in the family if they didn’t question what happened.  Why wasn’t he considered a member of the family to be protected, but the Assistant Engineer was?


DeVeau: Did you go higher up?  Above the Captain’s head?  Surely *someone* *somewhere* would have listened to you.


He sighed and hung his head.  In the immediate aftermath he had been in no shape to keep fighting.  He had just gotten on the long range shuttle and broke down incoherently.  The only way he knew he wasn’t crazy was that two other officers decided to leave the Atlantis over the incident and they ended up on the same long range shuttle.  That was some support.


And he had taken Mark with him. Because he didn’t know how else to ensure the sentient hologram would stay safe.


Foster: I didn’t have the wherewithal to look, or the time.  I had to pack and leave and make sure Mark was with me.  And then I just sort of collapsed, exhausted.  It took a few days before I had the energy to make some inquiries and by that point we were halfway across the galaxy and due to dock with the Apollo.


Again, nothing made sense.  The entire situation was stupid, absolutely ridiculous and completely unfair.  And who was the one who had to endure the consequences? Sweet and sassy Wyn. He had done nothing to deserve any of what he’d suffered, and yet he was the one had to deal with it. 


DeVeau: That’s completely full of shit.


He blinked at that.  It wasn’t the response he expected.


But it wasn’t a bad response either.


Foster: Admiral Jaxx was… confused about the whole thing.  I didn’t serve under him long.  Maybe two weeks?  He was recalled to Starfleet command to help get the Andaris Task Force launched.  And we followed Jalana Rajel to the Constitution.


It all seemed so plain.  But he had never trusted Jaxx and he had never trusted Jalana Rajel either.


Never trusted sweet, supportive, friendly Jalana Rajel.  That wasn’t Jalana’s fault.  That was Raj Blueheart’s fault.


Jalana was familiar to Alora, although maybe not as familiar as she would have liked.  Once upon a time, she had suggested going on a cruise with the red headed Commodore, evidently a popular colour among those of her rank, but somehow, their schedules just hadn’t ever matched. Wyn had served under her for a  time.  Somehow, in the back of her mind, Alora though she knew that, for it bore an inkling of familiarity.  


But all that he had endured up to that point?  It was untenable. It was stupid. None of it made sense.  Poor, sweet Wyn had been through the wringer and all because he’d had enough moral code to do what was *right* while a Starfleet commanding officer, the very person who should have protected him as well as the others involved, turned his back and actually condoned thee actions by taking no action at all. At least, on action against the people who had deserved such treatment. 


Wyn hadn’t deserved that.  Not by a long shot.  Instead of a commendation, or at the very least a pat on the back, he’d suffered.


DeVeau: But…you’re a doctor currently.


Oh yeah.  Clearly he was a medical officer now.  Clearly he had gotten his license back somehow.  And actually that had been a sooner rather than later thing.


He would have expedited that at the time, but how?  He, too, had been injured and was recovering.  He had a holographic child to protect, a massive change to weather and a missing antennae which - at the time - had made the entire world feel like it was in a blender.  Sometimes he was surprised that he actually survived the trip and made it to the Apollo without a complete mental breakdown.


Foster: When I had the time and the clear headspace to make some calls, I contacted one of my Dad’s friends in Starfleet Medical about what happened.  And he agreed to do a full investigation.  It took about two weeks… and my medical license was reinstated.


Which seemed like a win.  But it was a small bandage on a massive wound.


DeVeau: But you should have never lost it in the first place. 


Alora’s tone hardened at the thought.  Why had no one else come to support him?  Why had Wyn been the one to fight alone?  She could follow that trail even further and ponder over the what ifs, but what good would that too.  He’d dealt with it, and the scrappy little Andorian had fought, even after a harrowing battle, even after all that abuse, he’d fought back. 


And he’d won. 


DeVeau: And your former commanding officer?  Was he discharged?


He shook his head.  His voice turned tense and bitter once more.


Foster: No.  The Captain was allowed to continue on after the JAG proceedings.  A year or two later he retired to the civilian sector.  The Assistant Engineer was relocated to a Starfleet rehabilitation center.  The chief engineer who was violated… she was killed three months later, docked at Deep Space 26, while running routine engine power cycles.  


The more he went on, the more taught his frayed voice became.  The words being forced through dry lips as if he was afraid he would lose them if he didn’t keep going.


For a moment, Alora only blinked at Wyn as she tried to process it all.  Everything had happened, all like that, and it seemed almost…what? Futile?  His suffering had een unnecessary.  It wasn’t fair.  It wasn’t right.  He’d been the one punished, and the Captain kept his commission and got to *retire*.  At least the Engineer went into rehabilitation, though that hardly seemed enough.  And the woman who’d been violated?  That was the worst of it all, wasn’t it?


DeVeau: While doing something so routine?


Foster: That’s the kicker, isn’t it?  The files read 'accidental.  User error.'  You tell me what genius level chief engineer doesn't recognize an overload in a console in main engineering during routine maintenance.  You tell me what Starfleet officer ignores or cancels the multiple layer safety locks and alerts.  ::His voice was wavering, close to breaking and to combat that the words kept coming out faster and faster as if to rush out before they collapsed.:: The file says accident.  My gut says suicide.  ::Pained:: She should have been watched!  She should have been in counseling!  But they said she was fine...  ::Shaking his head, no longer looking at Alora, more looking through her:: Two days to get back to duty, before shipping out to the Piktar system.  Two damn days.  Fourteen weeks on.  Then six days of downtime and she was dead.


He sighed and his shoulders slumped, spent.


So much life destroyed by an event that should have never happened the way it happened.


And here he was, still trying to live through it.


It was unfair.  Completely unfair.  Unfair for the chief engineer, yes, but just as unfair for the man beside her who had struggled to make things right.  To do things right.  It was unfair that, for all intents and purposes, the real culprits got away scott free while the victim and the man who stood up for her suffered injury upon injury.  It wasn’t fair.  


But it also wasn’t something else…


DeVeau: It’s not your fault. 


Wyn shook his head.  It wasn’t nervous movement anymore, just a slow motion of disbelief. 


He had played this through in his mind, in his office, in his quiet thoughts, in his active thoughts and in his nightmares, so many times.  And it had always felt like it was his fault.


How was it his fault?  He couldn’t even begin to grasp how this situation became his fault.  Maybe he wasn’t good enough or smart enough.  Maybe he was wrong in disobeying orders.


Maybe fate just hated him


Foster: No it was… I don’t… it… no…


Gingerly reaching out, Alora allowed her fingers to lightly brush over the short, scraggly white hair.  It was a gesture used with Alain, for though he was older, there had been times when he was young enough to need such reassurance.  Her nieces, her nephews, those she had known before running off to the stars, such caresses had sought to soothe the aches and wounds, whether emotional or physical.  She could not heal them, she could not bind up the scars and cause them to disappear, but she could be at the side of those that suffered, to offer her shoulder and her support. 


DeVeau: None of it was your fault.  It never was.  You did the right thing.  


The tension he had been carrying this entire conversation suddenly snapped like a frayed band pulled too tightly, slowly fading against the tension until it broke.  He slumped downwards like a marionette with all its strings cut and struggled to get a long breath in and out of his lungs.


That was what he wanted to hear.  Hoped to hear.  Had cried into the darkness for too long to be able to hear, and yet when he actually heard in an entire eight years later it felt unreal.  Disconnected.  As if he was waiting for something to happen that made it all change.


And he waited.  And she repeated it.  And with the repeat it seemed more tangible.


And he wanted it to be real.


Foster: This is real?


Did that sound dumb?  Probably.  Wyn was pretty committed to always sounding dumb.


But if she thought it sounded dumb, she didn’t let on.  Truthfully, she knew it wasn’t.  Alora was well aware of what years of lies, even lies from one’s own mind, could do to a person.  She smiled, nodding. 


DeVeau: Totally and completely.


Foster: You start waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know?  Even though something academically tells you that there is no shoe, there is a lizard brain deep inside screaming in fear that something bad will happen.  And most days I can kind of drown that scream out, but sometimes it still gets through…


And when it did, it was a terrible thing.  


DeVeau: Do me a favour?


His snowy brows knit in unison with his antennae.


Foster: A… favor?  Like… file a report?


Alora shook her head.  It wasn’t for herself, it was for him.  For far too long, Wyn had suffered, not only at the hands of others, but at the hands of his own thoughts, thoughts that came out of what others had told him.  She had a feeling none of it was from his father, but when you had a multitude of people telling you the same thing, it was hard not to believe them.  But she wanted him to believe *her*.


DeVeau: Not that sort of favour.  When the screams get through, call me?  Let me know?  I’ll scream back, and I guarantee you, I can be a lot louder. 


He blinked and for a moment he wondered what that would sound like.


Foster: … ok.  I… think I can do that.


He thought he could do that, but Alora hoped that he *would* do that.  She understood that sometimes those dark moments hit when one least expected it, and that was when she could use someone the most.  She suspected he was the same. 


DeVeau: Only ‘think’ you can do it?  


Alright, true, ‘think’ was pretty weak.  Wyn took in a long deep breath and tried again.


Foster: Alright.  I can’t promise I will.  But I will do my best.


DeVeau: And I promise that I will be there.


Because she cared about him.  He was her friend.  And she knew how important friendship was, especially with the darkness and doubts and all those voices in the head tried to close in. Sometimes, it took another person to drown them out.  


Wyn took in a long deep breath and held it for a while.  When he finally let it out he clenched a fist and slowly let it relax.


Foster: Ok.  I… I’m not good at trusting people but I’m going to try.  I promise I will try.


She couldn’t blame him after all he’d been through.  How could he trust when someone who was supposed to be trustworthy had so utterly betrayed him?  But he wasn’t in that situation anymore, and she hoped Wyn would come to realise that there were people who would never betray him there.  


DeVeau: And I will try to make sure I never give you a reason to not trust me.  


He paused and looked towards her, a soft expression hidden behind his generally guarded gaze.


Foster: And… thank you.  I’m sorry, I … thanks.  For listening.


DeVeau: Any time my friend. 


Alora smiled and extended her arms, then drew Wyn into an embrace.  After all he’d been through, and after having to relive it there in her living area, she was sure he could really use one.  And as she clung to him, enveloping him in the warmth of that hug, made a silent promise that she would always, aways look out for him.  No matter what. 



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