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[Round 8] Mutual Support


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(( Lt Jg Vanessa Kipps's quarters))

:: Vanessa curled her legs up and slumped back into her couch. Her

room did not offer her the comfort she normally felt when she was here.

Over time she had carefully decorated it with mementos and curios from

her travels. It was a blend of soft pastel floor rugs and wall

hangings interspersed with intriguing mathematical puzzles and

holographic shapes. It was she reflected a representation of her mind.

She loved soft feminine things and she had always been good with

maths, pushed to achieve by her father. He had been furious when she

had rebelled abandoning a promising career in pure mathematics

research by joining Star Fleet. There she had discovered her real

passion in Tactical studies.

After the group therapy session she was uncomfortable within herself

and distressed with the recent events on the hanger deck. Seeing a

reflection of herself in the room just made her more despondent. She

needed a friend someone she could confide in. She had been so chipper

and gung ho since joining the Ronin that she hadn't developed any real

friendships in her own department. There was one person though whom

she did care about , only Vanessa wasn't sure s/he reciprocated the

feeling.::

Kipps: =/\= Lt Kipps to Ensign Garlone =/\=

((Simultaneously, Ensign Garlone's Quarters))

::Garlone, the usually over-exuberant and bubbly Hermat, was sat in

hish quarters. Alone. Ever since the ship lost power and the crew

nearly all died on the surface, and s/he nearly died on the ship, s/he

just hadn't been in the mood to see people. With a sigh s/he stretched

out on hish bed, staring up at the ceiling above hir.::

Garlone: oO [...]it Garl... why are you being like this? Oo

::Secretly the Hermat knew that it was because s/he felt guilty. S/

he'd stayed, and hadn't been a part of the landing on Rakis. S/he

hadn't been there to help other people, or maybe even stop them from

dying. In the face of that, knocking out a Ferengi with the promise of

Borg booty just didn't really cut it in the 'making up' area of

things. S/he had purposefully avoided the group sessions, feeling that

s/he wouldn't be able to stand the self-judgment that would come from

seeing the survivors.::

Kipps: =/\= Lt Kipps to Ensign Garlone =/\=

::The unexpected voice caused the Hermat's head to jerk up in

surprise, blinking at the wall before responding.: :

Garlone: =/\= Garlone here, go ahead, Lt. =/\=

Kipps: =/\= I was wondering if you had some free time? =/\=

::Looking around guiltily, the Hermat sighed. S/he wasn't sure if she

felt ready to spend time with another survivor, and there was

something about Kipps that gave Garlone ::

Garlone: =/\= Uhm... well.... =/\=

Kipps: =/\= Please Garlone... I really need a friend right now someone

who will just listen. =/\=

::There was something in Kipps' voice that called out to Garlone, and

the Hermat sighed softly before responding.: :

Garlone: =/\= ...well.. I'm off duty and... sure. =/\=

Kipps: =/\= Thanks could you come to my quarters? I really don't feel

like going out tonight. =/\=

::Feeling like it was a really bad idea, the lithe Hermat hopped off

the bed and headed for the door. S/he was already dressed.::

Garlone: =/\= I'll be right over. =/\=

(( A short time later))

Kipps:: Vanessa smiled putting on her game face as Garlone entered. :

Hey thanks for coming.

Garlone: ::Studying Vanessa for a moment:: No worries.. you sounded

like you needed a friend.

Kipps:: gesturing at the room. : This is my humble abode. Make

yourself at home.

::The Hermat smiled before finding hirself a seat, still watching

Vanessa all the time.::

Garlone: Thanks, it's a nice place.

Kipps: Can get you something?

Garlone: Just some juice, please?

::Watching Vanessa as she began to pour the juice, Garlone could see

that she was upset about something, her hands beginning to shake.

Within an instant s/he had got back to her feet and took the carton

away from her, putting it to the side as s/he gently guided Kipps to

the couch.::

Garlone: Hey.. what's wrong? It's only juice, don't need to cry about

juice?

Kipps::sniffing. : [...] it I didn't mean to lay this on you, sorry. ::

In the back of her head she could hear her father " Don't be weak ,

don't cry "

Garlone: Sssh, it's okay, just tell me what's wrong?

::The Hermat gently wrapped hish arms around Kipps, one hand resting

on the back of her head as s/he cradled the woman against hir.::

Kipps:: Held close in a gentle hug Vanessa felt safe. It was a strange

feeling , feminine and caring yet exuding a strength that promised to

protect her. The musky scent coming from Garlone filled her senses.

Pressed against hish body her voice was muffled:: When I was down on

the planet I went searching for you. I just wanted to make sure you

were ok. It wasn't brave or anything but now... well now one of the

Senior Officers has put a commendation on my file - for bravery. I....

told people I was doing a head count after the first land shark attack

even though I was really trying to find you. I wasn't brave - I was

terrified I was sure one of those sharks would gobble me up at any

moment. What am I going to do?

::At Vanessa's words, Garlone's eyes slid shut, the Hermat silent

for some time as thoughts whirled around hish head. She was looking

for hir? Despite all the danger apparent in doing so, especially on

that planet. Internally sighing, Garlone realised this had probably

gone beyond breakfast and rock climbing for Vanessa. No, for the both

of them. She was the first person that the Hermat had checked on when

everyone was safe and sound... S/he should have seen this coming.

Bringing hish thoughts back to the present, Garlone held Vanessa a

little tighter before responding.: :

Garlone: And what wasn't brave about that? Ness... ::For whatever

reason the Hermat was contracting her name, but it felt

right.:: ...Bravery isn't about not being scared. Bravery's about

being terrified but not letting it stop you doing what needs to be

done. And maybe I was the catalyst for that, but you still did it. You

were looking for me but you still did a headcount, despite the land

sharks. So don't tell me you're not brave again, okay?

Kipps:: wiping her eyes with the palms of her hands. : Ok . God I must

look a sight.

::The Hermat looked down at Vanessa, a soft mile touching hish lips as

s/he watched her, tentatively reaching up with a hand to stroke her

hair.::

Garlone: It'll all be okay, I promise. Take the commendation, you do

deserve it. You didn't do anything wrong, and you've got me here, so

that makes you pretty special. ::That smile widens into a teasing grin

as s/he speaks::

Kipps:: smiling is response. Yes I know. You are special. :: Vanessa's

tone gave the words a deeper meaning.

Garlone: ::Sobering up a little:: Yeah.. that's something we need to

talk about. Ness... we Hermats... we're... very different.

Kipps:: quirking her mouth. : Aside from the very obvious what are

you talking about?

Garlone: We... don't live that long. 40 of your years, by the count of

it.

Kipps: I know Garlone. You mentioned that to me when we went rock

climbing. Where are you going with this?

Garlone: It means we're.. a lot more carefree. Live for today, sort of

stuff.

Kipps:That's one of the things I like about you , something we have in

common. :: gazing straight into Garlone's eyes. : Down on that planet

after the first attack.... the Security Forces formed a defensive ring

around the rest of us. It's one of bravest things I've ever seen.

Those people didn't have 40 years Garlone, not 40 days.. they had

hours... some of them only minutes to live. What I'm trying to say is

that none of us know how long we've got. :: reaching up to gently

touch hish face. : Life is a precious gift please don't waste what

time we have worrying about the future.

:: straightening to put a little space between them. : Right now I'm

very vulnerable and you ... you should probably tuck me in bed and go

back to whatever live for today sort of stuff you were doing. But

tomorrow or the next day I want to see my friend and spend some time

with hir. I don't begrudge you whatever else - whom ever else you want

to spend time with. I'm not going to get jealous or upset. I have

feelings for you Garlone and if your willing I'd like to see where

they take us. Just one day at a time - will you think about it?

::There was another long pause as the Hermat spent a moment thinking

about it, hish expression unreadable for those long seconds before it

softened and s/he freed a hand to gesture to what s/he thought was

probably Vanessa's bedroom.::

Garlone: Bed.

Kipps: Bed ?

::Garlone chuckled kindly.::

Garlone: You said I should tuck you up into bed. I'm going to do that,

but you need to be in the bed first.

Kipps:: Vanessa laughed in what felt like the first time in far too

long. : I did at that. :: snuggling into Garlone's side she allowed

the Hermat to guide her to the bedroom.

Garlone: ::Low murmur:: You're right. You're vulnerable.. . and... to

let you in on a secret. I was moping.

Kipps:: Hoping onto her bed she patted the thick pink cover indicating

Garlone should sit beside her. She looked at her friend in concern :

You listened to me now it's my turn. Tell me what's troubling you.

::Giving Kipps a small smile, Garlone eventually took the seat next to

Vanessa, looking down at hish knees as s/he spoke.::

Garlone: I feel guilty because I wasn't there. I was here on the ship

and yeah it was dangerous, but it was nothing compared to what you

guys went through down on the surface. I should have been there

helping and I wasn't. I.. feel like a coward.

Kipps:: After searching for the right words Vanessa began to speak-

trying to balance the cold analytical logic that she was so familair

with and what came from her heart. : Knowing you I bet it was far more

dangerous than your making it out to be. Trying to rate ourselves on

some sort of scale of danger and then thinking we should be at the top

is ... well it doesn't make any sense.

Garlone: ::Giving a self-deprecating laugh:: Yeah, I know.

Kipps: If your moping and hiding out because you feel you should have

somehow been on the surface or thinking somehow that makes you a

coward then you need to stop it. :: with a smile. : You are special

Garlone. I've watched you with people and you have a gift for reaching

out to others. :: Giving hir a gentle poke with her fingers. You've

only been here a few minutes and you've helped me see things in a

better perspective.

You've got to do the same thing for yourself. :: Stifling a yawn. :

See ? I'm no where as good as you with this stuff. :: With a cheeky

grin: Feeling any more peace within?

::As Vanessa had spoken, what felt like a large weight had slowly

begun to lift off Garlone's shoulders, and s/he allowed hirself a

small smile.::

Garlone: I think I do. But -you- need to sleep.

Kipps:: rubbing her eyes. Yeah, you're right I think I'm finally able

to sleep.... Garlone... I ........ :: Vanessa fell into a deep sleep

as she vaguely felt herself gently tucked under the covers.

::Once the Hermat had tucked the sleeping woman carefully into bed, s/

he made her way towards the way out on surprisingly quiet feet,

waiting for the door to slide shut behind hir before s/he spoke in a

soft voice.::

Garlone: Computer, record a message for Lt. Jg. Kipps, to be delivered

on her waking. Start recording.

Computer: Beep.

Garlone: Breakfast? End Recording.

Computer: Beep.

::The Hermat smiled and made hish way back to hir quarters, a slight

spring back in hish step as s/he went, thoughts warily anticipatory. ::

J/P by

Lt. JG Vanessa Kipps

Tactical FOC

USS Ronin

and

Ensign Garlone 301

Helm

USS Ronin

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Just a quick note as it's not mentioned in the sigs at the bottom - Vanessa Kipps is an NPC of will Rogers'.

This was a good, solid sim which is why I've put it forward. Plenty of interaction between the characters at the start of a relationship - although currently it's still unclear whether that relationship is going to be more than just friendship or not. But that's the charm of this sim...

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