River of Forgetfulness: #36, 37 - Masonry 101 - How to fix a

<On> <Petrova & Ryylar's quarters, SB47>

Kristiana dragged her tired, exhausted self into her home .. Although it didn't feel like that anymore. Not after what happened. First Q, then the headaches with the Reman and the Romulans - though she managed to get out of that - then the whole fight with Ryylar .. She took a shower, changed into a comfortable jump-suit, told the computer to turn the heat up - just a few degrees, but enough to make drowsy and comfortable, then she curled up on the couch, waiting for Ryylar to come home .. .. If he still would.

Two hours after shift was over and a rather lengthy argument with one of his 'junior' officers, a codgy Edosian man, Ryylar made his way home. Kris was sure to be there and the last thing he wanted to go home to was a cold bed in a cold set of quarters. He opened the door and stepped in.

She slipped out of her drowsy snoozing at the sound of the door .. Sitting up, yawning and stretching a bit, she looked at him, simply just looked at him, taking in his features, his build - the uniform didn't do much to hide it - his fur, and through her tired expression the slightest of smiles formed. "Hey .." she spoke, hesitantly. ".. we need to talk." "Yesssss we do." Ryylar said with a nod as he walked in.

"Did I wake you?" He asked calmly and quietly.

"Yeah, a bit .. But that's ok. If I didn't want to be awake, I wouldn't have napped on the couch .." She scooted a bit, offering him enough room to join her. "I .. need to .. say a few things to you .. But I need you to let me finish, before you answer. Can you do that ?" she asked, quietly, truthfully, without any hint of annoyance. "Yesssss." He said, nodding as he moved beside her and left his arms open, one over the back of the couch so if she felt the want to cuddle him she could.

She didn't .. Not before she'd said the things she felt she needed to say, that she hoped would answer any questions he might have, and explain how she felt. "First of all .. I want to apologise to you. I am so very sorry, Ryylar, for some of the things I've said .. And thought. I caught myself thinking that .. you simply didn't care about me anymore, about my feelings .. That all you cared about was my career. But I know, deep down, that that simply isn't true .. And to think that about you, is .. Very unfair, towards everything you've ever done for me."

She fidgeted a bit, staring out in front of her, as she continued. "Those pictures .. In hindsight, I know I shouldn't have had them made. And if I could do things over again, I wouldn't do it - I really wouldn't. But .. That doesn't change the fact that I did .. And that they exist. I am so, so very sorry for how they upset you. That is the thing I regret most .. That something I did, upset you and hurt you .. Deeply. And for that, I also apologise, from the bottom of my heart."

"But .." she continued after a moment's pause. " .. They Do exist. And fighting about them, arguing or worrying about them isn't going to make them away. In fact, the more energy we put into worrying about them, the more they can hurt us. The more harm that they can do. Again, I apologise deeply for how they upset you .. And I wouldn't do it again, if I had the chance. But .. I still don't regret them." *more* She looked at him, now, hesitating a moment, before reaching over to rest her hand on his, squeezing his fingers a bit. ".. You know, that .. When you build a house, you make sure it has a strong foundation, right ? Before you start decorating it ? .. Because if the foundation isn't solid, everything else is simply going to .. collapse. And be wasted."

".. What happened with .. Bathory .. Those three years .. They rattled my foundation, Ryylar. Rattled it .. Cracked it .. Almost broke it." she explained, a tear forming in her eyes. " .. And I - .. I need my knight, my hero .. To help me fix it again, because I can't do it alone .."

" .. My foundation .. It was slowly being fixed, becoming stronger again .. But then, we - .. we fought .. We yelled at eachother .. And .. It cracked again. And .. Everything else - my career, my job, those pictures, my colleagues, the crew .. Everything else is just decoration .. I can't handle any of that, unless my foundation is strong and secure .. And I can't do it alone .." She sniffled, sobbing quietly, still resting her hand on his. Simply staring out ahead of her, she remained quiet .. Fearful of how he might respond.

"You'rrrrrre rrrrrrright... I am sssssssorrrrrrrrry forrrrrr how I rrrrrreacted. I had a verrrrrrrrry bad encounterrrrrrr with Captain LaBrrrrrrrie and he upsssssset me today. I got out of being yelled at and came in to find an anonymousssssss note frrrrrrrom an untrrrrrraccccceable sssssourrrrrrrccccce with picturrrrressssss of my girrrrrrrlfrrrrrriend in the nude. I deleted them, and had the computerrrrrrr issssssolate that parrrrrrrticularrrrrr computerrrrrrr communicationssssss trrrrrrracccce to block it ssssssso they wouldn't be found by anyone elssssse. I wassssss wrrrrrrrong to yell and be upssssset.

I'm not upsssssset that you did it, I wasssss morrrrrre upsssssset that you didn't ssssssseem to carrrrrrre. But I know you do carrrrre, you'rrrrrre jussssst dealing with a lot of sssssstuff rrrrrrrright now." Ryylar said, holding her and rubbing her shoulder as she cuddled him.

"I don't want you to think that ourrrrrrr foundation isssss crrrrracked. Nothing could everrrrrrr take me frrrrrrrom you Krrrrrrrissssssstiana Petrrrrrrrova... I love you." He told her quietly as he placed a gentle kiss at the top of her forehead.

She sniffled more, simply letting him cuddle her, resting against him, eyes closed, shoulders shaking everso lightly. She felt the kiss on her forehead, and remained silent, letting his words mill through her mind, parsing them, taking them for what they were worth - the world, to her. ".. Apology accepted .." She eventually spoke, her voice a whisper. ".. And .. Thank you .. thank you so much, for being here. For being my knight .. For protecting me, for loving me .. Thank you."

"Don't mention it... It'ssssss only naturrrrrral to love you Krrrrrrisssss.... like brrrrrreathing... orrrrrr twitching my tail." He said at which point he brought his tail up to tickle the end of her nose in the faint hope of eliciting a giggle.

A giggle is what he got. She opened her eyes again, tearfilled, but she smiled, wrapping her arms around his tail - gently, not to hurt him, and cuddling it like it was a teddybear. "Those pictures .. They can only hurt us if we allow them to. There's .. just one thing more that I want to tell you. That I Need to tell you."

"Anything dearrrrrrr. And don't worrrrrry about the picturrrrrressssss. Otherrrrrr people may get to ssssssee you becaussssssse of them, but at the end of the day, I'm he only one who holdssssss you." Ryylar said with a nod.

She nodded a bit, turning around, straddling his lap, nuzzling her muzzle with her nose and wrapping her arms around him. "That's right .. Anyone can see those pictures, I don't care .. But you are the only one who gets me as I am now. The only one who gets to hold me, touch me, make love to me. The only one who gets my smiles, my kisses. The only one who gets to sleep with me in the same bed, cuddling me all night and into the morning .. You are the only one that touches my soul, and completes it. You are the only one who gets my love. All of it. I love you, Ryylar. You are my foundation."

"And you'rrrrre the solid foundation that keepssssss me well grrrrrrrounded and doing well." Ryylar said with a smirk as he pressed his lips to hers an held her close.

She kissed him back, with passion unmatched, rubbing against him. And as the kiss ended, she rrrr'd softly and scritched him under the chin. "Make love to me, Ryylar .. Take me, claim me, make me yours."

"Sssssssoundssssss wonderrrrrrrful..." He said with a purr and kissed her neck as the couple rose the room temperature by another several degrees.


Lieutenant Commander Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer SB 47


Warrant Officer Ryylar Chief Security Officer Knight in Shining Armour SB 47