=/\= Sas-a-Shar (The Forge), near the Plains of Blood =/\=
8th Day in the month of T'lakht, YS 9022
Nowhere else on this planet or any other she knew could one observe the stately dance of stars like this. In the absence of any other light they shone like scattered diamonds on a canopy of velvet, wheeling over the desiccated landscape, rendering it beautiful beyond measure. Stripped to the bare bones of existence, the Forge lay under a mantle fit for Gods, breathing life and death with every slow beat of its heart.
In the utter silence, a Sehlat's hearty snore carried for miles and miles.
Unseen, the Vulcan nestled against the warm, luxuriant fur smiled.
Even if he were not following the thread tugging at her heart, growing more taut by the second, he needed but follow the sound. Just as she had heard him from the time he had crossed the ridge and made a starved Le-Matya ponder the wisdom of stalking prey that moved more swiftly than anything it had ever seen. For over an hour now her ears had followed his progress. And now he was close.
Close enough for her to make out the white fabric moving amidst the shadows.
Warya's ears twitched and there was a brief change in the timbre of his snore, but he knew the approaching presence for a friend and simply drifted into another pleasant dream of wind and water, fresh fruit and sun-warmed grass.
A world of love, in one word.
Long day. Very long day. He was breathing heavily by the time he had finally made it to the outcropping where he had sensed that Sakarra had finally laid down. He stopped leaping about then, setting his belt to a normal standard for him as he climbed the great crags and rocks. He hadn't done such things in years, he had missed the hiking and the splendor of nature. Now that he could properly enjoy it since the sun had set. Night time here, even in the desert was not half bad. The next time he had to make such a trek, and Brent honestly hoped that was never, he would have to remember to do all of his traveling at night here.
As he climbed up onto the plateau where he sensed that she was staying he saw the large furry animal and smirked slightly. Ah so she was not alone here after all. He heard his name and saw that she was nestled down in the midst of all of that fur and warmth. He smiled, his face cracking from the stoic and incredibly serious tone that he had kept all day, wondering just how she was. He was worried about her. He moved towards his beloved, and offered her the two fingers that she had shown was the greeting between lovers so long ago. The first time they might have the chance to do such things since she had been taken, and he had lost himself to the rage in his heart.
"Sakarra." was all he could reply.
Like a homecoming, like dungeon walls breaking down to reveal a clear sky. One touch, turning the ever present thread into a sparkling, weaving current. Not the terrible, dark rush of their tumultuous meld that had left her drained and hurting, but the simple marvel of recognition, welcome.
Parted from me, and never parted. Never and always, touching and touched.
Her paired fingers rested against his, a second, an eternity.
And a snoring Sehlat.
Frail and tender yet, but clinging to life like the fragrant roses digging their roots into the rock, happiness stirred in the coil of blood and fury.
"You found me."
It was stating a simple fact, as if she had known, never doubted for a second. Pride, too, emanating from her like the very soil still breathed the sun's warmth.
He pulled her hand into his, their fingers entwining together as he nodded at her, smiling. "Well you did give me a map and a bit of parchment. I'd be a fool not to follow you into hell and back after all that we have been through together my love," he said quietly motioning that they should sit before he looked around at the area that she had indeed run off into. "Never thought I'd actually be in a place that could be best described as hell though." He paused for a moment looking at her as they sat down on the cool rocks. "I wasn't really sure what's going on, and I'm still not totally sure either. Your father managed to explain a little bit of it to me when I met him." He stopped there and met her eyes again. "If there is anything I can do for you my beloved, please. Tell me."
Blinking with one luminescent amber eye, Warya had acknowledged the Marine's arrival and huffed, rolling his massive torso onto the side so the sweet frail bipeds could nestle safely against his soft belly fur. The tall one looked fair able to protect his little friend and the Sehlat no longer saw a need for remaining ready to shoo away annoying predators drawn by the scent of an injured one. And her voice had changed, almost like it should be, water and silver bells, evening winds and softest grass. It was a beginning.
Into hell and back. It would have been humorous, had she not already lived through several hells. The desert held no malice, no darkness other than the velvet cloak of night. If it killed, it took no pleasure in it. Her fingers intertwined with Brent's, the little Vulcan studied his face and saw the shadow of fatigue, the lines of pain etched into his soul. But shining over it all was the love that had compelled him to cross the desert, to seek out his wayward Companion even if she was to be found in a place he detested.
"He is here, then." Not a question, either. In truth, she had expected half the Twelfth House to descend upon Vulcan as if the planet had not suffered enough after hearing the news. But she was glad her beloved had met the gentle, good humored Betazoid, even though she feared her father had arrived just in time to turn the last of his hair a shining silver. Well, he had always commented upon his little one's impeccable timing.
She looked at the desolate plains stretching before them, bathed in faint silver after T'Khut had cast her last garnet shadows and sunk beyond the rugged hills. No scent on the clear air but their own, no noise but their breathing and the soft rustle of a Lanka-Gar riding the currents high above.
Not sure what is going on.
How could she explain the need to be here, here of all places, where life and death were simple, equals, and either mattered naught. Where she could face the dark well, see her reflection, and not recoil in fear of what stared back.
"I do not know, my love. I do not know if there is anything to be done, by anyone. I have always known who and what I am. But all the same I have ever fought to keep certain parts of me from surfacing, from growing stronger. Too strong. And I made the mistake of pushing them away because I was afraid."
Cast out fear. So many thought Surak's words simply meant to suppress an emotion and be done with it. Ah, if it were that easy.
"Afraid," he said a little bit disbelieving. He had never known her to be afraid. He looked at her silently, letting her think or try to formulate her next set of words. He squeezed her hand gently as he looked into her eyes, moving his head down so that she would have to look into his. "Can you just then acknowledge what has made you afraid? That you realize that there is something that has made you afraid. A part of you that you don't like, but at the same time you work to being a better person because of it? Wouldn't that alone make you stronger than before? When you were just trying to hide it?" He frowned a little bit. For all Brent knew he could be asking her to get herself exiled for what he was suggesting. "I am so sorry that I don't know what to say right now my love. I think though that I could spend the rest of my life studying Vulcan culture and not be well enough immersed. No one is perfect. People might expect you to look and appear perfect, but if everyone on Vulcan suffers from these same demons as you do, then they too would know, and understand."
Brent sighed. "You will never be anyone other than the woman that I love with all of my heart. Even if you have bits of you that you are afraid of. I will never leave your side unless you push me away, and even only then after a lot of fighting, arguing and tears. I am here for you. No matter what."
"When I left the message with V'Ley I knew you would come. What I didn't know until now," she gazed up at the beloved face, the dark blue eyes rendered the shade of sapphires at midnight by the darkness over Sas-a-Shar, and there were tears shimmering in hers "is that it would have broken my heart if you had not."
Spend his life studying Vulcan culture indeed. Little point to it, when he had an understanding that eluded even distinguished scholars.
Acknowledge what has made you afraid. No more, no less than what the man who had wandered this very desert had asked. Face your fear. If there is a Le-Matya in your house, ignoring it will not make it go away. First, you must acknowledge its presence, then you can make it leave. But until you admit it is there, you will sleep with a Le-Matya in your bed, and crowded indeed it will be.
Her voice was barely above a whisper, soft and melodious, floating on the still desert air.
"You are surprised I know fear, beloved? When you yourself walk with such caution, always trying not to hurt others, not to lose your temper and do terrible harm?"
Perhaps that had been the worst part of living through his memory, the terrible rage that had made him kill without mercy, without pity. The fact it was all too familiar. Had touched upon the dark coil within, fed the flames, made her smile. Everything she had been taught, everything she believed in, everything she was, felt revulsion, disgust.
No. Not everything.
The face in the dark mirror smiled and wanted more.
=/\= To be continued
=/\= Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax Executive Officer Brevet 1st Lieutenant Brent Warren USS Charon
=/\= To be continued =/\=
Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax
Brevet 1st Lieutenant Brent Warren