A Mirror Shattered #218 - 219 "Girltalk"


[USS Pegasus, random corridor]

Lt. Black headed towards her room, striding fast, a heavy weight on her heart. That had been the best.. and worst.. date she'd ever had, and her head was entirely full of mixed memories... the sailing, the dinner, and the discussion afterwards. Evans' truthful admission had left her thunderstruck. Somehow she hadn't imagined that he'd had.. well.. that much experience. He'd told her that it had never felt as 'right' before. But apparently, he'd cared for someone else enough to go 'all the way'... In her naive little mind, she'd always somehow assumed that someday she'd meet someone wonderful, like herself, someone she could be comfortable with, that she wouldn't be nervous around, and she'd always just somehow assumed that there would never have been anyone else. She was also ashamed to admit to herself that she'd seen him as being so endearingly clumsy that she'd never even considered that he might have successfully wooed Some Other Woman. She could imagine it of almost anyone else she knew in the crew... but not Evans!

Kitty continued to stride, tears of mixed confusion and embarrassment coming back into her eyes. She really was not paying any attention as to where she was going, or who she might run into. Her mind was completely occupied.

"Whoa there !" Petrova spoke as she narrowly dodged the oncoming Kathleen Black. ".. You ok there, Lieutenant ? You look pre-occupied. And from the look on your face, it's not all good."

Kitty blinked and kerblinked, coming to a full stop, distracted from her thoughts. She turned and looked up at Petrova, trying to blink the tears away, and her primary thought just poured out of her before she could stop.

"Is it wrong... is it wrong to think that if you're really in love.. if it's real... he's going to be like a shining knight, entirely good and pure and wise? A-and.. what do you do.. if he's just a man, after all... and you still... you still love him anyways?" Her voice trembled. As quirky as her question sounded, she meant it with all of her heart.

Kristiana blinked slowly, then blinked again, frowning a bit .. She pondered a moment, then reached for Kathleen's hand, turned around and headed straight back to her room. "Come .. This is not the place for this conversation."

Once in her quarters, she offered Kitty something to drink. "Now, tell me what's on your mind, Kathleen ?" As she sat down. "This has to do with Evans, right ? And something he did ? Come, sit, tell me about it .. " she spoke calmly, kindly, brows furrowed.

Kitty sat down with a cup of juice, holding it, and tried to find a way to put her thoughts into words. "We were on a date, and it was really, really wonderful. We were sailing, practicing, and it was like the best team that ever was, working together as if we were one person. A-and I got a ropeburn on my leg, and he called the EMH in to fix it, so that it wouldn't hurt while we were watching the sunset, and I was so happy...

"A-and he.. kind of accidently.. well.. while we were.. uhm.. cuddling.. and.. it startled me.. and I asked him if he'd done it before, what he'd done before... and.. well.. he didn't lie to me..." Kitty suddenly wanted to defend him just as much as she needed advice for her troubled heart. "I just couldn't... I was going to go back to my room, I didn't know what to think, and he kept apologizing, and I just wanted to be alone, but the look in his eyes..." Her own eyes were filling with tears again. "I couldn't bear the look in his eyes, and I came back to him, and I gave him a hug, and.. he.. started to.. cry..." Now that she'd attempted that fractured and mildly convoluted tale, the tears she'd been trying to suppress all came out, and she started sobbing quietly but deeply.

Kristiana frowned more, and shoulderslumped a bit. She could piece together the parts that Kitty didn't tell her, and seeing her friend in tears like that wasn't much fun either. She wrapped her arms around the asian woman and held her close. "Shh .. Shh .. It's ok to cry .." And she'd just let Kitty cry, gently rocking her.

Kitty just rested her head on her friend's shoulder and cried as she would have if she'd been with her grandmother, an older, wiser woman to tell her that it was alright, to look after her for a moment. After what seem to her like longer than it really was, she quieted down enough to take a couple long sips of her juice and develop a rather embarrassing and entirely cute case of the hiccup-squeaks.

"I.. don't know what to do, now..." she admitted quietly between squeaks. "And I don't know what to think."

"Well, do you still love him ?" Petrova asked.

Kitty just took a moment to picture his face and she already knew her answer. "Yes, yes I still do love him. I.. know I do, somehow, deep inside."

"Do you honestly feel any different about him now, than you did before ?" She headtilted a bit, still gently rocking Kitty. ".. Because if you don't .. Then I don't see what's changed, between you two. Yes, he admitted to something that you don't like .. But he's still the same person that he was, before. And from what you've told me, he feels terrible now, for hurting you, and probably thinks you hate him, now. Yes, guys are strange, that way."

"I do feel different," the younger woman admitted. "How could I not? I'd always thought, since I was little... that it would be like a new experience, a new realm to enter and wander through together, to anticipate together and then to learn about together. I never... it never crossed my mind that I would fall in love with someone who had already entered it without me." Apparently it indeed never had crossed her mind.

"I never loved someone like this before, ever in my life. I don't think I ever really went on a real date before. Some guys liked me now and then, but they were.. well.. suave, and experienced, and.. I felt intimidated and uncomfortable. I didn't feel as if they were.. well.. Like Me." Being a true engineering geekette, Kitty sketched out vague abstract forms with her hands as she talked, as if she could draw out her feelings the way she would draw out a diagram.

"You always thought that it would be like a new experience .. A new realm to enter and wander through together .. " Kristiana repeated Kitty's words. "Would you believe me if I told you that it still is ?"

"He had sex before .. So ? .. I've had sex with several men before meeting Ryylar - and some women, too .. But before Ryylar, I never actually Made Love .." Petrova reached for her own drink, taking a sip, before continuing.

"The difference is like day and night .. Having Sex is a physical thing, sharing your body .. Guys are on the whole easier in that respect than women are - it's a fact of life, something that people have been noticing and complaining about for thousands and thousands of years, even since before recorded history - it's always been like that."

Kitty looked up hopefully. "He did say that how he felt about me.. was 'more right'.. than anybody else."

Kristiana nodded, "Evans is many things, but a liar - he's not. So that means that he loves you more than he's ever loved anyone else. Including that woman."

"He said that he did it only once ? That tells me that it didn't leave a big impression on him, then .. Probably because the Feeling wasn't there - the sharing of the heart, that two people who truly love each other have .. That I feel, every time I make love to Ryylar. I've had men in my bed before, but every time I'm with Ryylar, I just forget about them all, and it's like the first time all over again - but then done Right."

"When you share yourself with someone you truly love, it's not just the sharing of a body .. It's a sharing of the soul, of the spirit, of the heart. Sharing the body is just the icing on the cake. So far, I think, Evans has had the icing .. But not the cake, itself, which is the meat of the whole deal."

"So .. If you and Evans keep seeing eachother .. And eventually bed each other .. You won't 'have sex' .. But you will 'make love' .. A wonderful joining of two people into one, that neither you nor him have ever experienced."

"I can understand that it hurts to think about him having shared his body with another woman, before .. But really, honestly and truthfully .. Does it change who he is ? Does it change what he feels for you ? Right now, he's hurting and hurting deeply, and thinking that you hate him and don't love him anymore. Right now, he's thinking that he screwed up so hard that it can't be fixed again, not even by time."

".. And he's too nice of a guy, and too good of a match for you, to feel that way, I think."

Kitty hiccup-squeaked a couple of times as she listened to Petrova's explanation, eyes wide, taking every word as truth. She frowned at the last bit, and shook her head a little. "He shouldn't... he shouldn't feel that way... I told him I love him, before we parted, and I said it could be fixed..."

Then she remembered the look in his eyes as he'd been apologizing and the slump of his shoulders when they'd parted ways, and she glanced down, tears in her eyes yet again. "I'll send him a message... when I get back to my quarters, so he'll see it first thing in the morning. I don't want to wake him up.

"Thank you... for telling me all this. I.. I've never done this before. It's all.. more wonderful.. than I'd ever dreamed, but at times like tonight, it hurts more than I ever thought was possible." She took a deep breath. "And.. it hurts to think he's hurting, too. I never wanted that."

"Eh .. It's ok, hon." Kristiana sighed softly and huggled Kathleen a bit, before sitting back again. "Thing is .. Do you know why it hurts so much ? More than you ever thought was possible ? .. It's because you Love him more than you ever thought possible. That means that all the feelings and emotions are a lot more powerful .. Good And Bad. But, frankly .. Having someone you love, truly and completely .. It's worth the pain, isn't it ? All of it .. " She sighed softly, thinking of Ryylar, who had done so much for her, down to changing, for her .. And becoming a better person for it.

Kitty smiled, sipping her juice, trying to get rid of the hiccups. "It's worth it," she said decidedly. "At least it's worth it so far." She smiled dreamily. Now that she had worked through much of the bitter part of the date, she could remember the better part more easily. "He's good with a rudder. We make a good sailing team. I hadn't had so much fun.. in a long time."

"Thank you... for listening, and for giving me advice. I've felt a bit.. lost," Kitty admitted quietly. "Usually I'd be asking my grandmother. My grandparents have never ever been so far away before." She took a deep breath. "All I have here are you guys, and my father, who isn't even my father here."

"I'm glad to help, Kitty." Kristiana nodded. "That's what friends are for, right ?" Smiling a bit.. as she finished her drink. "Want my advice ? Think about what I said .. And talk about it, with him. And one thing I found - women need to be respected, men need to be appreciated. Keep that in mind, ok ?"

"Men need to be appreciated," Kitty repeated solemnly as she finished the last of her juice. "I'll remember. Thank you..." She was the one to impulsively initiate the hug this time. "I think I'd better get moving. I'll send him a message before I get to bed, and talk to him tomorrow. I think everything is going to be alright, in time."

Kristiana hugged back and patpatted Kitty's back a bit. "Time heals all wounds .. And you two are a cute enough couple together to try and make it work again." She added with a wink. "Now, if you'd excuse me .. I've got work to tend to." With a heavy sigh. She had Paperwork to do. Oh how she LOATHED paperwork.

Kitty nodded, taking the hint and heading for the door. She blushed a little at the 'cute couple' comment and then smiled. "He _is_ cute... he's got a smile like my grandfather's. Oh, have Loads of fun with the paperwork!" She didn't like it much either. She liked fixing things best. But it had to be done... "Have some chocolate coffee while you're doing it," she suggested. "That's why I do. Ryylar knows how to make it."

And with a last smile and wave to her friend, Kitty headed out the door and down the corridor, looking a fair bit less preoccupied and significantly less upsetted.


Lt Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer USS Pegasus

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus The One That Lived