Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Location: Risa Hotel Lounge
Timeline: MD 5 - Morning
Javn pulled the book closer to her face in an attempt to concentrate on the words she was reading. Keeping her anger at bay seemed to be a constant struggle all morning. Waking up in an unknown bed and sneaking out of the room to avoid confrontation was not an ideal way to start her day. She sighed and slid down lower on the day bed.
Lyras woke later than usual, despite the cramped position on the couch. He yawned and carefully ventured towards the bedroom to slip past into his bathroom, only to notice the bed was empty. Shaking his head, he sighed to himself as he freshened up, redressed and went down to the pool, somehow knowing he'd find her there. "Why did you leave?" he asked calmly, studying her as if giving her a once-over.
Recognizing the voice that spoke to her she kept her eyes glued to the book. Her lips formed a thin line. "Why did you render me unconscious?" Anger sparked sharply inside her chest.
"To avoid an unnecessary argument and to ensure your safety," Lyras answered, "did you sleep well?"
"You mean to postpone the argument, and no." She regretted saying it the moment the word left her mouth. Maybe it was normal for Vulcans to do as they saw fit, regardless of the others wishes.
"No, I did it to avoid the argument. It is improper to let a guest sleep on the couch. As host, it befell to me to vacate and I could not in good conscience let you leave in your condition. What kind of man, what kind of officer, would I be, if I let a female go on her own, when she clearly is unwell and I had the means to help?"
Her eyes cut to his. "I was not unwell nor did I ask for assistance. You went against what I wanted. Does that not mean anything to you? I tried to compromise with you and you took the decision away from me entirely."
'You were intoxicated and therefor reduced into your ability to make sound decisions," Lyras countered, never breaking eye contact, "had I given you what you wanted, you could now charge me with abuse because you were not in command of all your faculties."
She slammed the book shut and shot out of her seat. She was shorter than he and had to crane her neck a bit to look directly at his face. "Your assessment of me was incorrect. I was in no way unable to make 'sound decisions'. I was very aware of myself and my actions." She glared at him another moment before adding, "You had no right..."
"As you were my guest, I had every responsibility to look out for you," Lyras answered calmly, even though he seemed a little taken aback by her suddenly being in his aura.
His unruffled approach to this situation only intensified the fury in eyes. "You truly see nothing wrong with the actions you took? How am I supposed to trust you won't do that again?"
"It was the logical thing to do," the Vulcan answered quietly, "if the same situation occurs again, I would do it again if you will not listen to reason. If the roles were reversed, I would actually insist on the couch...one cannot allow a lady to not use a bed."
"I don't care what is proper or logical or that I'm a LADY." Her voice rose slightly. "You will not do anything such towards me again Lyras." She huffed but spoke her next words softer. "Or you will not see me again."
"Your safety is paramount," he answered slowly, "if doing so will save your life I will not hesitate to do it again. I would expect the same from you." It probably wasn't what she wanted to hear but it was the best he could do.
She wasn’t sure if she was more angry or frustrated. Were all men this righteous when it came to a woman’s safety? Did they think them unable to take care of themselves? Or perhaps it was just her they had no confidence in. She opened her mouth to speak. She wished he understood her feelings, but gazing at him the realization that he may not even be capable of such emotion dawned on her. Letting out a sigh she broke eye contact with him and moved to walk around him.
Unmoving, Lyras held absolutely still, not even turning his head to follow her movement. He wasn't sure what she was going to do so he waited, holding his breath.
She wanted to see the situation from his point of view but was failing to hold her anger at bay long enough to process all that he spoke. The word paramount stuck. She paused standing less then inches from him. Her fingers grazed the skin of his forearm down to his hand where she lingered for a moment before pulling away.
He shivered visibly as her fingers grazed his bare skin, reflex made him pull his hand back as she touched his. Still, he said nothing, sensing her anger and feeling that anything he'd say, might actually make matters worse.
Sadness engulfed her as she saw what looked like him recoiling at her touch. She began to walk away before the reaction could upset her more. Clutching the book to her chest she headed towards the beach.
"Stop." Lyras slowly turned around to face her, holding out his hand, palm faced up. "Please come back."
Halting she sucked in her breath unsure if she was imagining him speaking or if it had truly happened. She slowly peered over her shoulder at his out stretched hand. Her eyes met his as she took a moment to study his face before turning around. Slowly and lightly she placed her hand in his. The fire inside her had simmered.
His fingers gently folded against hers as he pulled her towards him in a single motion. "I only wished to look out for you," he murmured as he kissed her, somewhat fiercely.
The sudden passion in which he kissed her was unexpected. She blinked a few times before leaning into him, pressing her chest to his. A sigh escaped her lips as she pulled away dizzy from the kiss. Given their previous kissing experiences this was quite a pleasant surprise. A smile spread across her lips as she opened her eyes. "You should have done that sooner."
Lyras thought it wiser not to respond to that, though he reached out to steady her. "So every time we disagree, I should kiss you?" He finally asked, "that should be interesting..."
She chuckled at how foolish it sounded coming from him. Before she could respond a loud gurgle came from her stomach. "Would care to join me for breakfast?"
"I would," he smiled, offering her his arm, "your choice on where."
Weaving her arm through his she lightly pulled him forward. There was a small restaurant she had wandered past but not dared dine at alone. As they walked she slide her palm into his, lacing their fingers. Absent mindedly her thumb traced patterns on his skin. "Part of me feels that I should apologize for my behavior last night."
"No." He gently squeezed her hand, well aware that he could crush it if he wasn't careful. "You should not. This, apparently, is a holiday resort, why should you not let yourself go while on leave?"
She shrugged, watching her feet as they strolled down the stone street towards the whitewashed building surrounded by outdoor seating. Each table was adorned with a glass vase and local flowers, some pink, some orange. She smiled up at him gesturing to the building. "This is it."
He followed her gesture with his eyes. "What am I looking at?" He looked back at her, then at the building. "Where are we?"
An older Risan waitress smiled at the couple before saying "Please sit, sit anywhere. I'll be right over."
"Just a restaurant that caught my eye. I hope this is okay?" She looked up at him hoping he didn't mind the local spot.
"Of course it is. As long as it serves vegetarian dishes, I have no preference on where I have my meals." He gave her an earnest look. "As long as you are here with me."
A light blush spread across her cheeks and she fought the urge to look away. She nodded in response, her smile too big to allow her lips to form words. She led him to a small table that overlooked the sea. She set the old tattered book on the table before taking her seat. "I wasn't sure of your diet, but this place offers a variety of dishes. Have you always been a vegetarian?"
"I am Vulcan," Lyras answered, as if that said it all. "Vulcans are, in general, vegetarians. I have never consumed meat and I am not about to try as I know that will make me very ill." He paused a second. "However, do not let that withhold you from consuming what you wish to. I will not be offended."
The waitress approached their table before Javn could respond setting down two glasses of water and menus made from a thick paper material. "Be back in a few."
Javn thanked the waitress with a smile and returned back to Lyras. "You're unlike any other Vulcan I've met, I don't want to offend you by assuming anything."
"I am not like any other Vulcan, because I am not fully Vulcan," Lyras chuckled, "I am trying to find a balance."
Leaning forward she placed her chin in her hand eager to hear more about him. “I had my assumptions given some of your features.... like the coloring of your eyes.”
"Blue is uncommon in full blooded Vulcans, but not unheard of," Lyras answered with a shrug, "it is not a tell tale feature. And my medical scans showed up nothing until I had a thorough medical in this century. I was quite... upset... when I found out."
“Upset? Did the scans indicate something you were not previously aware of?”
"Yes... the Romulan half of my genetics. Before my arrival here in this century, I knew no better than that I was full Vulcan. My mother never told me otherwise, even taught me to view hybrids as inferior to a full Vulcan. She never spoke of my father, other than that he was space faring. I have no further details on my conception."
"Do you resent her? Your mother. For leaving you with questions you might never find the answers to?" she asked solemnly. She sympathized with Lyras. Javn knew what it was to have mysteries about ones self that will never be solved. Mysteries that gave her nightmares.
"There is no-one to resent. My mother died ten years ago. I did not know any better until I underwent a thorough medical in this century. I never knew any better so why would I have questioned her? She was my mother, she was all I ever had. As many Vulcans went into space, it was not an unlikely story that he had never returned. I had no reason to question her, had I?"
She shook her head, leaning back from the table as the waitress reappeared.
"Have we decided?" The waitress asked Javn.
"A fruit medley please."
The waitress nodded picking up her menu then turned her attention to Lyras. "And you?"
"I will have the same as the lady," he replied, not wanting the girl to linger longer than was necessary. "I consider it possible mother did not know he was not Vulcan," he added as the girl walked away, "I mean, it is not unlikely, is it?"
"It is possible your mother was unaware," she sighed. "But given the relationship of their races at the time I find it unlikely she did not know." She furrowed her brows in puzzlement. "I don't believe she would have taught you to look down upon hybrids had she known you were one." She bit her bottom lip in thought.
"Exactly, that is what I feel too. Unless..." He paused, looking down at his hands. "Unless she did know and wanted to make a point... but I find that harder to believe."
"If your mother did withhold this information from you I do not believe it was done with malicious intent. Perhaps she was protecting you." Javn reached her arm across the table laying it palm up, hoping he would accept the invitation.
He covered her hand with his, palms touching. "Is that not what mothers are supposed to do?" he asked carefully.
She tensed slightly as memories flooded her mind of her own mother and the last night she had with her. She pushed the thoughts away squeezing his hand lightly. "Yes, it is and I believe your mothers intention was to keep you safe."
The fleeting tension wasn't lost on him, as he was trained to see this in patients. "Is that not what your mother did too?" he asked carefully, leaning forward a little to catch her eyes.
Her eyes rose to meet his but held a faraway stare. Her voice was quiet when she finally spoke. "It took me a very long time to feel that way."
"Are you willing to explain?" Lyras asked softly, still gently squeezing the hand that held his. "You do not have to if you do not wish to."
Javn slowly brought her hand back to her lap leaning back in her seat. She had only ever talked of her past with her foster parents and very few others. She put on a brave smile. “Perhaps another time. I would rather enjoy this day with you.”
"Of course." His hand was still lying, now palm down, on the table and he pulled it back as well. "As I said, you do not have to talk about it. Your thoughts are your own, it is not of my business." he gave her a small, but encouraging smile.
Cursing herself for pulling away she sighed, turning to look out at the waves crashing along the beach. “When I was very young, my mother sent me away. She told me it was to keep me safe but as a child I always wondered in what way I had misbehaved. Certainly I had done something unforgivable to deserve such a punishment? To be sent away alone and never see my mother or brother again. To not be told where it was the man was taking me or if I would ever come home.” She looked back to Lyras, her smile gone. “It wasn’t until I was a teenager living with my foster parents on earth that I began to slightly understand that what she had done was for my protection. It must have been the only option she saw to keep me safe.” She inhaled deeply beginning to fidget with her fingers.
"Did anything happen to your mother? Or your brother?" Lyras asked carefully, surprised that she spilled at him after all despite indicating she wasn't ready. He walked around the table and knelt in front of her, taking her hands into is. "Mothers know best what is good for their children," he said, "at least, that is the general conception, is it not? What if she had not sent you away? Then we would not be here, having this conversation."
“I’ve not seen my mother or brother since. I was too young to recall any information to help me even locate what planet I came from.” His hands on hers settled the growing anxiety she felt. How was he able to comfort her with his touch? Why was it that she wanted him to know everything about her, even the aspects of her life she felt shame for. Her eyes bore into his as if they held the answers to her questions.
"I understand how you feel," he said slowly as he watched her, idly rubbing the back of her hands with his thumbs. "believe it or not, but I do."
"I believe you." She responded in a whisper.
The waitress returned and set two bowls of fruit on the table. As to not disturb the couple she quickly walked away. Javn appreciated the woman's discreteness. It brought a smile to her face as she leaned down to kiss Lyras on the cheek.
He leaned into the kiss, giving her a mildly teasing smile. "Only on the cheek?" he said as he rose back to his feet. He squeezed her hand and returned to his seat. "We should go for a walk after we are done here. Somewhere quiet."
"I think that's a wonderful idea." She speared a piece of fruit and popped it into her mouth.
Medical Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Javn Darhk
Head Nurse, USS Orion