River of Forgetfulness: #33, 34 - Not what he needed to hear

ON: <<SB 47, Security Office>>

Ryylar growled as he walked into his office and Ensign Rodgers stood and saluted.

"Rrrrrreporrrrrrt." He snapped at the Ensign. The young caucasian human man stood at ease.

"All quiet sir. Nothing has happened." Rodgers said with a quick nod.

"Back to yourrrrrrr posssst Ensssssign." Ryylar said and pointed outside. Between LaBrie and Kristiana, Ryylar desperately needed to blow off some steam. This was irritating him. He was given orders and then told not to carry them out. The most damning part was that he was forced to let the Romulans go and then told to keep an eye on him. He wondered about that human sometimes. Then to have Kristiana just flagrantly not care at all about a mysterious note from someone who had 'sensitive' pictures about her able to be disseminated at their will. It all just pissed the Caitian Security Chief off even more. He grew restless sitting in his chair. He might have been just a Warrant Officer, but he was still a department head, and an important one at that! Who could argue that Security wasn't important on a starbase?

Ryylar turned to his computer and deleted the message with the nude Kristiana pictures on it and pulled up a formal protest log. He filled it out and left out the questioning, but sent it to LaBrie to protest the Romulan agents being set free on the Starbase. It was a clear breach of Station security having them aboard the Station. To have them wander free at the Captain's Orders made no sense to him. It was politely filled out, but it let LaBrie know just how Ryylar felt about the Tal Shiar roaming the station free.

Ryylar stood after sending off the official protest to LaBrie's order and began pacing. Hot under the collar from both his girlfriend and his Captain and not to mention those two Romulans who now had NOTHING to fear from Ryylar, knowing that Captain LaBrie would intervene if he tried anything. It was enough to make any Caitian need a pound of catnip and a week off.

His commbadge beeped, and Hannah's voice rang out. "CStrat Ops to CSec. You got a minute, Rylaar? I want to pick your brains on something."

=/\= GRRRRRRRRR What!? =/\= Ryylar snapped without thinking at Hannah over the comm badge.

There was a stunned silence. =/\=Apologies, CSec. I'll call another time.=/\= Hannah's voice said, rather hurt.

=/\= No... Hannah... I'm... I'm ssssssorrrrry... =/\= Ryylar said with a heavy sigh.

=/\=What isssss it? =/\= Ryylar asked her softly. His tone was more subdued with more than a hint of exxhaustion.

=/\=I needed to ask...ah forget it. Are you OK, Ry? You sound pretty stressed.=/\=

=/\= No... I'm not ok... Therrrrre'ssss a lot on my mind... =/\= Ryylar said after a moment.

=/\=You want to take a break? I made lunch for Jesse in my quarters, but he has to work, so it'll only go to waste if someone doesn't eat it.=/\=

=/\= I'll be therrrrre in a minute orrrrr two. =/\= Ryylar said with a sigh as he stood and closed the channel, walking out of his office towards Hannah's quarters.

When he got there, he found Hannah already in the small kitchen, with an apron over her uniform. "Just heating the soup up." She called as he entered. "Nothing special, but Jesse likes his home comforts. Take a seat, I'll be out in a minute."

Ryylar ignored the invitation to sit and relax, having too much energy and adrenaline running through him. The curse of having four adrenal glands. He moved forward into the kitchen area.

"What can I help with?" He asked her.

"You can stir the soup, while I get the bread out of the oven." Hannah smiled at his offer of help. "Other than that, I think we're pretty much done."

Ryylar nodded and stirred the soup slowly, careful not to shed into it.

Hannah pulled the bread out of the oven, and slid it onto a tray. "Ok, bring the pan over to the table." She instructed him. "See, you thought I was just all genius and stunning looks, but I'm also a mean cook as well - it's my dirty little secret." She paused, and smiled cheekily. "Well, one of them."

He followed her instructions, though he didn't smile at her joke. It wasn't in his nature at the moment to smile. He was still upset.

They sat down at the table and began to eat. "What's wrong, Rylaar?" Hannah said after a moment. "You're not laughing at my jokes, you're not talking with your mouth full...Heck, you're not even checking out my butt, which is looking particularly fine this morning. What's up?"

"A lot... We have two Rrrrrrromulan ssssspiesssss aboarrrrrrd the sssstation who arrrrrre now frrrrrree to walk arrrrrrround and plot and do whateverrrrrr it isssss they werrrrrre orrrrrrderrrrred to do. I wasssss yelled at by Captain LaBrrrrrrie when he orrrrrderrrrrred me to interrrrrrrogate them afterrrrrrr they werrrrre arrrrrrested, becausssssse he didn't agrrrrrree with how I wassss going to go about it. Then I get an odd messssssage frrrrrrrom an untrrrrraccccceable ssssssourrrrrrccccce with sssssome... uh.. ssssenssssitive inforrrrrmation about Krrrrrrisssss, and she goessssss off on me when I trrrrried to alerrrrrt herrrrrr to it and tellssssss me she doesssssn't carrrrrre at all. I trrrrrry to do my job and be a good officcccerrrrr and a good boyfrrrrrriend and I get yelled at forrrrrr my trrrrrroublesssssss. I should have sssssstayed in my barrrrrr on the Pegasssssusssss." Ryylar said.

"Wow." Hannah said. "Sounds like a rough day." She thought about how to approach this, and decided to go for the Kristiana issue first. "What kind of sensitive information?" She asked.

"Nude photossssss." Ryylar said. If Kris didn't care who knew, then she wouldn't care about Hannah, one of Ryylar's closest friends, knowing about it.

"Wow." Hannah said, only slightly surprised, and nodding, almost in admiration. "So Kris did a nude photoshoot...when?"

"Fifteen yearrrrrsssss ago orrrrr sssssso." Ryylar said with a sigh.

"I deleted the messssage. I'm herrrrrr boyfrrrrriend. Isssss it sssssso wrrrrrrong of me to want to be the only one who sssssseesssss herrrrrr like that?" Ryylar asked Hannah.

"No, I guess not." Hannah said. "But the photos were taken fifteen years ago, Ry...it's not like she went out and had them done yesterday."

"But to not carrrrrre about who ssssseesssss them? To not carrrrrre who it wassss that sssssent them to me?" Ryylar asked her.

"I'm not ssssssaying she hassss to be ashamed of them orrrrrr anything, but to flagrrrrrrantly not carrrrrrre?" Ryylar asked.

"Ry, she's going through an awful lot right now." Hannah said. "Maybe, for just a little while, she didn't want to worry about the base, or what people thought about her, but just wanted to enjoy being a beautiful woman, and being aware of that. You can't judge her entire psyche on one conversation - come on Ry, you know her better than that."

"I know that when I firrrrrrssssst wanted to date herrrrrr she told me she wasssssn't interrrrresssssted in me becausssssse I wassssssn't the type of guy to defend herrrrrr honorrrrrr and be a knight in shining arrrrrmorrrrr... I became that forrrrrr herrrrr, and herrrrrre I trrrrry to do that and she jusssst doesssssn't carrrrrre." Ryylar frowned.

"Do you honestly believe that, Ry? Or do you believe that she's under intense stress right now, and she said some things that she'll later regret?" Hannah took a deep breath. She really did not want to revisit some of the things she was about to mention. "You remember a couple of months back, when Kris was on Earth. Some of the things I said, some of the things I did...if you were to judge me solely by those, do you really think we'd be friends anymore?"

Ryylar sighed and shook his head and looked away a bit. Part of him, the hurt part of him, wondered if Hannah was just coming to Kris' defense because they were both women, but he quickly pushed that out of his mind.

Realising this wasn't going anywhere, Hannah concentrated on her soup for a few moments. She looked back up at him. She took another deep breath. "She needs you Rylaar. She needs you now. She doesn't need your pity, or chivalry, or whatever. She needs you to hold her, and kiss her, and just be there for her. Later you can talk all you want about honour and chivalry and naked pictures, but for now, she just needs your unrestricted love Ry."

She bit her lip. "And it doesn't sound like she got it today."

The spoon clinked against the side of the bowl as Ryylar pushed the food away for a moment.

"I need to get back to worrrrrk." Ryylar said quietly, standing up.

"No, you need to get back to Kristiana." Hannah said, standing also.

"Krrrrrissss issss in the holodeck and I won't botherrrrr herrrrr. She doessssn't need me orrrrr want me arrrrrround at the moment. I need to go to worrrrk ssssso I can get my mind clearrrrr becaussssse it cccccerrrrrtainly issssn't. A woman wantsssss a man that will ssssstand up forrrrr herrrrrr and love and ssssssupporrrrrrt herrrrr and I do that and what thanksssss do I get? I get told that all my efforrrrrt and carrrrrring isssss worrrrrthlesssss. That I'm not doing enough orrrrr that I'm not doing it rrrrrright." Ryylar said with a slight snort as he frowned and looked at Hannah.

"Ry, you're doing it just fine most of the time, but right now, Kris needs something different." Hannah paused. "Do you love her?"

"OF COURRRRRSSSSE I DO! But no one ssssssseemsssss to underrrrrrssssstand that. You of all people should know that Hannah... How many timessss did you trrrrrry to ssssseduccccce me? How many timesssss did I tell you no?" Ryylar asked her with a frown.

"Would you die for her?" Hannah said, ignoring all but the first part of his answer.

"Yesssss I would." Ryylar said without hesitation.

"Then all you need to do is hold her and tell her that. Save everything else for tomorrow."

"I do Hannah. I do... It'sssss harrrrrd to be told to do ssssssomething and then to be yelled at when you go about it." Ryylar said, referrring to both Kristiana and the incident with LaBrie.

Hannah spread her hands. "I've said all I can, Rylaar...the next step is up to you."

Ryylar took that next step, walking out the door of Hannah's quarters. In Ryylar's mind the entire trip had been a waste. All he had been told was the same thing Kris had said in a calmer tone of voice. Wasn't he loving Kris enough? Didn't he tell her he loved her? Didn't he show her? He had been faithful when a gorgeous younger redhead had been pressed in his lap literally begging him to take her. He had stayed faithful and steady. He had changed for Kris, and now it seemed like it wasn't what she wanted. Ryylar shook his head and stalked off through the starbase. He had Romulans to babysit.


Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll Chief Strategic Operations Officer SB 47


Warrant Officer Ryylar Chief Security Officer SB 47