Just a walk in the park
Location: Planet Risa
Timeline: MD 5
Lunch didn't take them very long, having eaten fairly quickly. Lyras felt they were drawing stares so after a little while, he just grabbed Javn's hand and pulled her up to her feet. "We will put it on the tab," he told her, waving the waitress off and ordering her to do exactly that. "I want to leave."
Javn allowed Lyras to lead her from the restaurant with little more then a confused expression. She glanced around to see what may have upset him but failed to reveal anything out of the ordinary. Not sure of their heading she tugged on his hand in an attempt to draw his attention to her. “Hey what’s wrong?”
"Did you not notice the stares?" he asked as he led them away at a brisk pace, turning his head slightly to look at her. "It was starting to make me uncomfortable. Being the center of attention makes me uncomfortable."
"No..." Keeping up with him was a little more of an effort then this morning. She waited until the restaurant was no longer visible before speaking again. "I'm sorry you were uncomfortable." She tugged on his hand again to slow him down."Lyras."
Lyras stopped walking at the firm tug on his hand. "Sorry," he apologized, bowing his head as he turned towards her. "It just reminded me of home... I already told you I was very much an outcast as a child... stared at for not having full control, picked on by my peers..."
Javn pressed her palm to his cheek, slowly caressing it with her thumb. “You’re not alone anymore Lyras.” She brought his other hand to her lips kissing his knuckle.
She cracked a sly smile. “Besides, anyone who even thought about picking on you would have to go through me.” She hoped her attempt at humor would lighten his discomfort.
"Through you?" He chuckled, covering her hand with his own. "I am physically much stronger than you," he pointed out, "much stronger." To prove it, he easily swung her up into his arms to carry her a few paces.
She let out a giggle upon being lifted. “Don’t estimate me, I can be quite intimidating.” She teased. Trying to bring a stern look to her face but failing due to the growing smile she couldn’t hide.
"I know..." He set her back down in her feet. "I have seen you when you are angry, and you are quite fierce."
Satisfied with that assessment she took his hand in hers and continued to walk. They were venturing farther from the resort then she had been thus far. “Why Starfleet? You told me before that you had not been off Vulcan prior to attending the Academy.”
"Diversity and acceptance. I wanted to be accepted as I am, not because of who I could never be. On Vulcan I would never be allowed to fit in, there was always someone to hold me back. At the academy, I could be who I am, or rather who I knew I was at the time, as that person no longer exists."
"Was your mother supportive of your decision to leave Vulcan and join Starfleet?" Javn wasnt sure how Lyras would respond to her mentioning his mother but she was curious to learn more.
"As supportive as her training allowed her to be," Lyras answered slowly. "She did not approve, obviously. She wanted me to attend the Vulcan science academy. But once she realized I was determined to go, she allowed me to. The last time I spoke with her, was just before the Ishimura departed. The only information I have now, is that she died ten years ago, from this time's perspective. I have not been able to will myself to look up more. I do not believe that will be useful, if I am honest. What good will it do me?"
"I feel my response to that question is bias. I wish the information regarding my family was easy to access. Although I have to admit that ive been too much of a coward to investigate into it myself." She sighed squeezing his hand as they continued to walk.
"But yours is more recent," Lyras countered, "less time has passed. For me it has been over one hundred and fifty years. I assume my mother would have continued. There is no logic in mourning a child who chose his own path. Grief is an emotion she would never have admitted to, nor acknowledged experiencing. There is also no logic in wishing to know, when I was not there."
“Are you not curious to see how your mother spent her remaining years? Your disappearance may have been over one hundred and fifty years ago but the loss of your mother for YOU is still relatively fresh. It’s not that I wish you pain but rather... closure?”
"No, I do not wish to dwell on things I cannot change." He firmly shook his head. "There is no logic in that. I would prefer to focus on the now."
She opened her mouth speak but quickly thought better of continuing the conversation. She bit her bottom lip harder than intended drawing color to it.
He turned his head towards her. "What are you thinking?" he asked curiously, reaching to brush two fingers across her lips. "You are hurting yourself if you do that."
“Well if I can’t bite my lip are you offering yours?” She smirked up at him.
"Ummm..." He shook his head. "Not to bite no," he finally answered, "you still have not told me what you are thinking... I cannot read your mind, remember."
“A fact I will forever be grateful for.” She let out a sigh turning her attention to the path ahead of them. “I was thinking about your mother, but I would rather not discuss my thoughts. Tell me something that brings you joy.” She leaned her head against his arm as they walked.
"Joy is an emotion I cannot ascribe to. It is not one I can admit to possessing as I do not know what it feels like. However, I do like being outside. And I find gratification in the knowledge that I am able to help others when they need it."
“Do you have full control now? Do your emotions ever overwhelm you? Is it difficult to identify emotion?” Realizing her curiosity was getting the best of her she apologized. “I’m sorry, I’m not even allowing you to answer one before asking another.”
"I never possessed full control, but not for lack of trying on my part. I have since learned it is futile to try do I accept my lack of control. Yes emotions have overwhelmed me before and yes it is difficult for me to identify certain emotions. While I experience them, it does not mean I fully understand them. Can you accept that?"
Her brow furrowed, not expecting his question. “Of course I do. Perhaps you’ll let me help you identify them? There are of course emotions even I am not familiar with, but I have theories!” She laughed. “ I will admit there is much of the Vulcan custom I’m not familiar with.”
"Such as what?" Lyras asked in return. "I would like to hear your theories on the unknown emotions."
She blushed, “well....ha.” Suddenly she became nervous having not spoken much on the subject of emotions with anyone outside her foster family. Let alone a male she had interest in. “I have theories pertaining to love, I’ve seen it reflected in others but never felt it for myself.” She paused briefly. “I have also never felt jealousy, which I’m quite certain accompanies love in many occasions.” She ended with a shrug.
"I cannot ascribe to such feelings but I am familiar with a need to care." He stopped and turned her face up towards his. "Much as I feel such a need now, to care for you. Is this similar?"
Her breathing hitched as her heart beat started to flutter. “I believe so. Do you want to care for me?”
"Yes." There was no hesitation. "I cannot explain how I feel. I do not know how. But I do have this... desire... to be near you. Do you experience similar feelings?" He realised it had only been a few days, but he was also raised with the Vulcan precedent of not wasting time. A Vulcan did not waste endless time on needles courtship. He did not know why however, nor did he understand it because most of his peers had in fact already been bonded when they were seven years old. His mother had chosen not to, and had never answered his questions as to why.
Her hands gripped the front of his shirt and she pulled him closer to her. She whispered her words, ”I enjoy being near you. There’s a heat inside me when you look at me. I have this urge to touch you, to hold you...” Her nose brushed his.
"What keeps you from doing so?" He asked as he circled his arms around her. "Do you require my permission?" He knew he'd been opposed to touch before but he'd grown accustomed to her proximity, and her caresses.
“In part I believe so yes.” She shook her head changing her mind after she spoke the words. Raising her eyes to his lips she continued, “No, not your permission. Just confirmation that you want me to.” She leaned into his embrace, tracing the outline of his bottom lip with the tips of her fingers.
"I do." Wasn't that obvious? He tilted his head as if to listen, to affirm they were alone here, wherever here was as he had not been paying much attention as they walked. he held his breath as she touched his mouth, closing his eyes. "Do you?"
“Yes.” She spoke the word softly on his lips. She hovered momentarily welcoming the rush of excitement and desire taking over her body. Javn had lost all sense of where they were. Her only focus on him and the soft skin of his lips. She pressed her lips pulling him closer as she kissed him.
Time seemed to stop as Lyras returned the kiss. "This place bewitches people," he murmured, "I can see why they wish to come here." His fingers tangled in her hair as he held her close. "Perhaps... we should return to the resort." He pulled away. "I have never..." He faltered as he looked her right in the eyes. "I am..." Chagrined, he shook his head, unsure of how to tell her, that he'd never been with a woman before. Blunt though he might normally be, now he was at a loss for the right words.
Tilting her head she studied how difficult it was for him to finish his sentence. How he seemed to be stumbling over his words. What could he be trying to tell her? She waited, hoping the words would come from him if she was patient.
Then it clicked. What he was trying to tell her suddenly dawned on her. Her eyes widened as she understood how and why this conversation was difficult. “It’s okay, you are... not the only one.” She put on a brave smile trying to hide her embarrassment in discussing such a subject. She took his hand pulling him in the direction in which they had come. Keeping her head down to hide the growing blush on her cheeks.
"Then perhaps, we should not rush," Lyras whispered, allowing himself to be pulled along. "There is no rush, is there?" It wasn't that he didn't want to be with her, but it only had been days.
“Only for this conversation to be over...” she said under her breath. Her pace was quick as if running from the moment was an option.
"Now who is in a hurry..." It was his turn to pull her back. "We do not need to... do this, we are not ready for that yet.". Lyras paused. "We have plenty of time for it, when we are ready. I am content with what we do now." He swallowed. "I mean... I desire you but... not yet..."
She stopped abruptly when he tugged. Her jaw dropped but she had yet to turn around to face him. Hiding her face and her humiliation she responded, ”Hurry? No....that’s not... what? No!” How had she given him this impression? She couldn’t help but see the humor in the situation laid before her. Her hair acted as a curtain when she spoke over her shoulder, “You wanted to return to the resort... it wasn’t my intention to return for.... that reason.”
"Nor mine." He reached to brush her long hair aside. "All in due time. But there is no need to run, we can walk back at our own pace. Unless you have other plans? I do not wish to keep you from other engagements, or your friends."
She laughed shaking her head no. “There’s only you.” She pulled him forward wrapping his arm around her waist. Looking around them she realized none of their surroundings were familiar. “I’m afraid....” she turned her head to look behind Lyras before continuing, “ I don’t know the way back....”
Startled, Lyras looked up, and around. "Neither do I...." He was forced to admit after a moment of thought. "I have never been lost before...not like this."
Hadn't they been following a path? Javn turned in a circle furrowing her brow in frustration. She placed her hands on her hips, deep in thought. It was unlike her to get this carried away, to get that distracted, she knew better. Her attention turned towards the sun. Still high in the sky as it was only midday. "If we can determine where the sun will set, that direction should lead us towards the beach." She tried to sound confident.
They had obviously strayed off the designated path somehow, but Lyras couldn't recall or recount when that might've happened. "I do not even know how to orient myself on this planet, let alone what hemisphere we are on," he commented as he sank down the stem of a big tree. "We could continue to walk but we would risk getting lost even further. I did not bring a communicator, did you?"
Javn let out a sigh, "I did not." She crossed her arms over her chest, unconsciously she began to bit her bottom lip again. She watched him, her thoughts slipping into prurient ideas. It took her a moment to collect herself, biting her lip harder. She should be trying to figure out how to get back, not day dreaming. "What do you devise we do?"
He looked up at her. "Sit and wait?" he suggested, leaning back against the tree. "Build a tree house?" Not that he was serious about the latter idea, but he had no idea about the local fauna here. "We could roam, but we run the risk of losing ourselves further and I would rather not risk that. I think it is safer to say here and wait."
She eyed the ground, debating. Though she was patient sitting ideally was not going over well with her. He was correct regardless of whether she admitted it or not. She sat picking up a rock turning it over in her hands. "I never had a tree house."
"Neither did I." The Vulcan looked up into the tree. "Nor would I know how to go about building one," he admitted, looking back down at her, "do you?" he looked back up. "I have never climbed a tree before either."
She shook her head. "No I cant say that I do. You've never climbed a tree before? Something tells me your childhood wasn't filled with much adventure." She tossed the small rock.
"I have survived in a desert for seven days, but I have never climbed a tree. It was not an activity encouraged to young Vulcans, when they are supposed to master their emotional control, and study." Lyras sighed as he stood, judging the distance to the first branch. "Perhaps we should climb it?"
"We?!" Her face paled.
"We..." He gave her a thoughtful look. "If we go up there, we might discover where we are," he observed logically. "It is better if I boost you up, I do not believe you might be able to support my weight to boost me. I cannot reach the lowest branch on my own."
She let out a deep sigh, not a fan of this idea in the least. "Are you going to catch me if I fall?" Her words were sassier then intended. She stood and proceeded towards the branch he spoke about.
"Of course. Can you pull me up when you reach the first branch?" He linked his hands together, leaning against the tree trunk. He averted his gaze politely so he wouldn't be looking her under her skirt.
She quickly tied her hair in a loose bun before placing both hands on his shoulders to balance herself. With one good push off she was able to reach the branch. It took her a moment to find her strength to hoist herself up. She swung onto the branch straddling it as she leaned down with one arm to help him up.
He took a short sprint and grabbed her arm, using his own momentum to hoist himself up on the same branch. "Well...that was easy enough," he murmured as he straightened, using another overhead branch for balance. "I will go higher, try to find where we are," he said as he hoisted himself up onto a higher branch.
"Lyras are you sure? This is your first time, maybe I should climb higher." She spoke up to him as he proceeded. Javn stood up, silently thankful for the balance her yoga practices had given her.
"You seemed... reluctant," Lyras said as he went up one more, finding the thinner branch dangerously wobbly, "this seems to be going well though, is it not?" He looked up. "I will go one more, I should have a decent view up there."
He was slightly out of her view, but she could still hear him. A nervous knot started to tighten in her gut. "Just be carful please! The higher you go the weaker the branches are!" She yelled up to him.
Her nerves were justified. Lyras shifted to grab the higher branch and he was too late to re-balance himself. The branch snapped under his shifting weight and he lost his balance. He cried out as he sailed past, arms flailing in the hope of catching himself. He grunted as his arm bashed against a strong branch, his scream stopped short as he landed in the grass accompanied by a sickening crunch as he landed foot first.
"LYRAS!" She screamed, horrified to know what state she was going to find him in. She quickly swung from the branch landing on both feet. She rushed to his side, her hands making quick work of assessing his injuries. Her hands moved over his skull checking for contusions before she caught site of the blood starting to flow from his arm.
He groaned as she touched him, blue eyes filled with pain he couldn't control as he looked up at her. "How bad?" he whispered, grimacing as he tried to - and failed - to push himself up into a sitting position.
"Don't move yet." Her voice was stern as she thought through the options they had. She was going to have to stop the bleeding, she continued assessing the rest of his body, pressing here and there. As she worked down his leg she saw the awkward way his right foot leaned limply. Dammit she thought. "Sorry about this," She began to tear his shirt, ripping along the hem. She used this piece to wrap around his arm to slow the bleeding. Javn tore another piece of his shift off and set it aside. She gently lifted him into a sitting position and then slowly dragged him towards the tree to lean him against it. "Okay, aside from your arm and you foot, is there any other pain?"
He didn't seem to care about his shirt being ripped to strips, gritting his teeth as she dragged him back to the tree trunk. "I do not know, I cannot tell where it hurts, it lances out." He supported his left arm with his right, trying to wiggle his fingers but failing to do so. All colour seemed to have drained from his face. Moving his right foot also was not an option and he tried not to look at it. Clinical detachment was not an option he could manage right now. "You... you must see if it is broken," he whispered, "and set it. I can tell you how...maybe.." If he didn't pass out first. "You... go... find help."
She tapped his cheek to alert him, "Im not leaving you here! Lyras stay awake. Stay with me. Keep talking. Tell me a secret. Tell me anything just keep talking." She held his face close to hers looking him in the eye waiting for his pupil to return to a normal size. Satisfied she turned to grab what branches she thought would be strong enough to brace his foot. Retrieving the strand of his shirt and branches she returned to his right foot. Javn pushed his pant leg up to reveal the already purpling ankle.
The hybrid hissed, panting for breath, wrenching his eyes shut. "No secrets," he breathed, gritting his teeth, willing himself to hold still. "I am a lousy navigator... Vulcans are not supposed to get lost. I am sorry Javn.. sorry I got us lost. It will be dark soon... you must go for help. Please." He forced himself to look at her again, feeling awfully faint. "Cannot stay awake..." He bit his lip, closing his eyes again. "Too much pain."
She vaguely heard his apology as she readied herself to set his ankle. Making quick work of straightening it she placed the branches on either side tying the makeshift tourniquet with the piece of his shirt. She let out a deep breath moving back to his arm, the bleeding had slowed but she still needed to make a sling. Using her teeth she tore at the hem of her skirt. She tied the strand around his arm lifting it slightly as she knotted the cloth behind his neck. "That's as good as its going to get for now." She brushed her thumb over his mouth. " This isn't your fault, besides your only half Vulcan." Knowing how much pain he was in she pulled him into an embrace wishing she could dull it for him.
Leaning against her, feeling the warmth of her body against his own, he sighed. He closed his eyes and his body went limp against hers as consciousness now failed him.
Medical Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Javn Darhk
Head Nurse, USS Orion