That's My Q #145, 146 - We're ok...

ON: <<Bar of the Starbase>>

Kristiana rematerialised on the starbase, in a bright flash. She stumbled a bit, still wearing that beautiful dress with the faux bloodspatter on it. She blinked a bit, looking around. ".. Back .. I'm back .." she spoke, voice barely above a whisper. She looked bewildered, spooked almost.

Ryylar lay there, blinking, conscious, but unmoving. The weight of Q's lesson weighing heavily on his mind and heart.

"Arrrrrre you alrrrrrright Krrrrrrrisssssstiana?" He asked after a while.

She heard her name - a name she hadn't heard in over three years, spoken with an accent, by a voice she also hadn't heard in over three years. Turning to face Ryylar, she blinked again, and whimpered a bit. "Ryylar .. No .. No I'm not alright .. " She sniffled, before collapsing to her knees, closing her eyes, hiding her face behind her hands.

He rolled over and crawled over to her, putting his arms around her trembling frame.

"It will be alrrrrrright." He said quietly, the Caitian holding her close.

Falling against him, letting all the strength slip out of her legs, out of her arms as she sniffled and sobbed, trying to hide it behind her hands. "I wanna .. get out of here .. please .. I .. get out of here .. want to .. please Ryylar .."

"All rrrrrrright dearrrrrrr... " He said quietly and the Caitian leaned down and picked up his lover, holding her close as he carried her out of the ballroom and back to their quarters.

Wrapping her arms around him tightly, as if afraid he'd drop her and run off, she started to cry as he carried her out of the ballroom, cry like he'd never seen her cry before - not even after learning about the death of her father. Her entire body shaking as she shed her tears, wailing like a child that had fallen and hurt her knee.

He held her against his chest and carried her through the starbase towards their quarters and tapped the chime, keeping her pressed against him.

"It'll be ok Krrrrrrisssss." He said.

She let him carry her away to wherever he wanted, to the depths of hell - since that couldn't be any worse than what she'd gone through - or to heaven itself - though that couldn't be any better than being in his arms .. Finding herself in their quarters, she just clung to him as she cried, wanting to feel him, be with him, wanting to love him and be loved by him.

He just laid there, patiently waiting for her to stop crying and to compose herself a little more as he softly ran his fingers through her hair.

"It'sssss ok Krrrrrrissssss..." Ryylar told her quietly.

After a while her wailing turned to wild sobbing, then her wild sobs turned into quiet sniffles, as she lay there, curled up in his arms, face and chest streaked with tears. "I .. the trial .. I killed her, Ryylar - slit her throat, I .. dead .. murdered her, then the trial .. was arrested .. sentenced .. Three years, in chambers .." she spoke, trying to say everything at once, the words coming out a bit of a jumble. "Chambers .. Three years .. no bath .. dirty .. bad food, clothes filthy, torn .. Three years, my own .. living in my own waste, sick .. weak .. sick .." sniffling some more, looking at him, vision a blur for the tears. "I died .. three years, then - .. just .. Gave up. No more .. no strength, just .. gave up .. "

"I did thingssss too Krrrrrrissss." He said softly.

She nodded a bit, remaining quiet, just nuzzling into his neck, holding him for comfort .. A heavy sigh, as she looked at him again, caressing his cheek. ".. Can you .. still love me, Ryylar ? .. I murdered her .. And I .. I enjoyed it." She admitted. " .. I'm a monster .."

"You werrrrre the sssssame before Q... And I loved you. Q hasssssn't done anything to change you Krrrrrrisssss." He said quietly.

"But I - " she started to protest, then sighing softly, glancing away. She still felt guilty, she still felt like she didn't have any self-control, and she still felt the impact of Q's words. ".. I love you, Ryylar .. Missed you terribly, never stopped thinking about you, worrying, all that time, I love you .." She spoke, looking him into his eyes again, slowly a shadow of her former self creeping back into her own orbs.

"I love you too Krrrrisssss... you'rrrrrre my Krrrrrrrisssstiana... my Czarrrrrina... You were before and you will be later." He said with a nod.

She nodded a bit, kissing the tip of his muzzle, tracing fingertips through his fur, not wanting to stop touching him, stop feeling him. "I'm a terrible girlfriend .. Only thinking about myself, my own .. personal hell .." Sniffling a bit again. ".. What happened to you, hon ? Where did you go ?"

"To hell.... I became the devil... Drrrrrrracula." He said softly and looked into her eyes.

"Tell me .. Please." she asked him, ready to listen.

"I murrrrrrderrrrred and drrrrrrank the blood of a child... I wassssss the massssterrrrrrr of darrrrrknessssss and the hand of Ssssssatan on Earrrrrrrrth." Ryylar said to her softly.

She gasped at that revelation and nodded slowly, glancing away. "That's .. " she couldn't say it. She couldn't say how terrible she thought that was. Not after how he had tried to tell her that she shouldn't be blamed for murdering a girl. So she remained quiet, and just snuggled up against him, uncurling a bit, holding him close, pressing her body against his.

"I neverrrrr wanted it to be like that... Even when ssssssomeone killed me..." Ryylar said quietly.

"I don't think any of us wanted what happened to happen .." she spoke, still gently caressing his cheek.

"You'rrrrrre rrrrrrright. I'd much rrrrrratherrrrrr attend a lecturrrrrre orrrrrr a ssssseminarrrrrr than deal with Q teaching usssssss hisssss way." He said quietly.

".. He tried to teach you something as well, love ?" she asked, slowly coming into her own again, still gently caressing him, holding him. "What did he teach you ?"

"He taught me that I didn't need to sssssurrrrrprrrrressssss my sssssavagerrrrrry. He ssssssaid that sssssinccccce it wasssss a parrrrrt of me, that I needed to learrrrrn how to deal with it. And not deny that parrrrrrt of myssssself." Ryylar said softly.

She nodded slowly, thinking about it. ".. He .. has a point. That's what we have the holodecks for, hon." she managed a soft smile, the first one in over three years. "He told me that .. That people won't think me weak if I show my human side, more. That I don't need to always be tough."

"I've alwayssss liked yourrrrrr human sssssside." Ryylar said with a soft smile.

She smiled softly and nodded. "I know, love. I know. Still .. I'll .. try to let it come out more." As she slipped out of his arms and off the bed, reaching a hand out to help him up. "To the others as well."

He sat up and smiled, standing beside Kristiana as he nodded.

"We have each otherrrrrr. We'll help each otherrrrrrr learrrrrrn thesssssse lesssssonsssss." He said to her.

She nodded, turning around for him to undo the buttons on the back of her red gown. " .. I really Really REALLY want a shower, hon .. Haven't had one in years. Coming with me ?"

"Absssssssolutely." Ryylar grinned as he helped Kris slip out of the dress.


Lieutenant Commander Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer Starbase 47


Warrant Officer Ryylar Chief Security Officer Starbase 47