Atlantis Logo

Log of the Month for July, 2009

Risk and Reward
Posted on July 31st, 2009 by T'Kirr and Ian Blackthorne

T’Kirr and Ian Blackthorne

After being hit by a suicidal B’rel class bird of prey, boarded by Klingons, and witnessing hand-to-hand combat so fierce that the corridors ran slick with blood, it was as if Atlantis herself needed a rest. Her captain certainly did, Ian thought, as he made his way toward his quarters after having the disruptor wounds to his shoulder and arm healed in sickbay. T’Kirr walked at his side, and when they reached the Executive Officer’s quarters, he paused and gestured at the door. “Your stop?” he asked, not particularly wanting her to say yes.

T’Kirr blinked, the exhaustion finally starting to show on the Vulcan’s face. She looked from the door to Ian. “I’d like to walk you to your quarters.”

“Thanks,” came his simple reply as they made the short walk from her quarters to his. When the door closed behind them, Ian began peeling off his bloodied uniform as he made his way to the haven of his bed.

“It’s unsettling to know just how little shields this room, seemingly safe and comfortable, from the vacuum of space.” T’Kirr’s dulled voice followed him to the bedroom. Ian turned to find her leaning against the archway, watching him.

“We’re lucky to be alive,” he said, sitting down hard on the bed, his sullied uniform now in a pile on the floor. “Too many weren’t so lucky today.”

Her eyes lingered on his, studying him for a few moments before she pushed off the bulkhead and moved into the bedroom. To his surprise, she began slipping off her own uniform.

Relieved that he wasn’t going to have to spend the night alone, Ian turned down both sides of the bed and lay down under the covers, his entire body grateful to finally be horizontal. “Afraid there might be Klingons under your bed?” he teased as his head hit the pillow.

“I’m not letting you out of my sight.” T’Kirr, reduced to her Starfleet-issue underwear, took to the unoccupied side of the bed and lay down, almost immediately falling still.

Ian wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close. “I’m glad you’re here.” He voiced the lights to ten percent, and they both fell into a comfortable silence. As tired as they were, Ian’s thoughts continued to race as the burdens of the day’s command refused to be put down. T’Kirr must have been restless enough to stay awake, too, as after a while she began to murmur in a soft yet haunting chant:

Eridani’s Tear
Come away, come away
Found yourself a paradise
But not here, never here

Strength of life, strength of death
Meet in darkness, blinding brightness
Scars the path of pioneers

Eridani’s Tear
Come away, come away
Found yourself a paradise
But not here, never here

Taking a moment to let the words seep in as she fell silent again, Ian whispered, “What is that? It’s startlingly poignant.”

T’Kirr’s response was subdued in her sleepy state. “Archaic Vulcan poem… obscure to most, but some study the history. I believe it’s what you call Omega.”

It had seemed oddly familiar as he’d listened, but now that she had said the word Omega, the connection was obvious. “You said that the poem is archaic… how long have the Vulcans known about Omega?”

Pulling in a relaxed sigh, T’Kirr roused somewhat for conversation and linked an arm around him. “The age of the poem isn’t known. It originates sometime before our written history. I don’t know that Omega is known to Vulcan culture so much as it’s myth. When you described Omega in the briefing, it brought back my lessons in history. It was just a curiosity.” T’Kirr looked up at Ian’s face. “Perhaps it was known at one time, long ago, at least in some form.”

“I’d imagine that to ancient peoples, Omega’s effects may be observable, but inexplicable. Should a molecule happen to form naturally, that is.”

T’Kirr stared into the darkness, thinking it over. Ian saw her eyes connect with his in the faint light before she sighed and closed them, drawing closer to him.

Pain suddenly shot through Ian’s shoulder, and he winced, exhaling sharply. Soon it had eased to a dull ache, and T’Kirr frowned at him, her eyes wide and questioning.

“It’s still a bit sore. Doctor Carre said that it could be a couple of days before the pain totally subsides.” Ian’s explanation seemed to satisfy T’Kirr, and she relaxed once more. This time, however, she didn’t close her eyes. She gazed at him until he couldn’t help but ask, “What?”

“Why did you shield me from the blast?”

Ian looked right back at her. “You kidding?”

She blinked. “I mean, it could have hit me in the shoulder just as easily. What if, because you intercepted, it had instead hit you squarely and killed you?”

“That Klingon was aiming at your head.” Ian let out a long breath and caressed her cheek, letting his fingertips linger as he continued, “I would rather die in your place than have to watch you get killed.”

After a silent moment between them, Ian was sure T’Kirr’s eyes had grown glassier. “That means I would have to watch you die.”

He smirked. “It’s not like either outcome is pleasant. But I was willing to take the risk to save you.”

There was another pause before T’Kirr replied. Ian had known her long enough to recognize the slight thickening of her voice as she began to slip. “You value my one life more than you value your own.”

“Yeah,” he softly replied, “yeah T’Kirr, I do.”

“I don’t know that this is a quality befitting an admiral and captain of a flagship vessel.” Her reproving tone caught Ian off guard, and he frowned at her. “Your life should be more valuable than any other one crew member’s.”

“You’re right, but I don’t care.” Ian looked away from her and settled into an unfocused stare at the wall. “Am I supposed to forget the duty to those I serve with just because of my rank? I’m sworn to protect this crew, and the lives under my command are constantly in my thoughts. You can’t fault me for finding one of those lives to be exceptionally precious to me.” Finding his tone to be more forceful than he intended, Ian softened his voice and turned back to T’Kirr, cupping her face in his hands. “If that’s what it took to get through a day as bad as this one without losing you, then to me, it was an acceptable risk.”

T’Kirr blinked, her eyelids fluttering for a moment, and a tear slipped to her pillow. With a trembling sigh, she seemed to come to a decision and drew up on an elbow, freeing herself enough to gently kiss him and avoid hurting him. The intimate contact abruptly set her off, however, and what started as tender grew fervent, needful. Her breaths quickened as she deepened the kiss, and Ian responded eagerly.

A minute later, T’Kirr pulled away in a contented haze. “You’re not good for my mental discipline, you know.”

“If that’s what happens,” Ian chuckled, “I’m not sure I want to be.”

Amusement played in T’Kirr’s eyes before she sobered and reached up to trace the angles of Ian’s face. “I love you.”

Many of the defining incidents they had been through together rushed through his mind; being shot down together in Machen Bren space, the empathic healing he had performed to save her from Dugahn’s attack, the resultant telepathic bond from that extended mental ordeal, her relentless drive to find the truth behind his poisoning – it all surfaced in a surge of emotion that he had no trouble recognizing. Although they had never used the words before, his response came without hesitation. “I love you too.”

Another heated kiss followed his admission, but that burst of energy was fleeting, and soon they succumbed to the rigors of the day. Finding plenty of intimacy in the simple act of holding each other and caressing thoughts, they lay physically and mentally entwined in the quiet darkness. Ian could even sense the care she was taking to avoid hurting his shoulder as she hugged him as tightly as she dared, until her embrace relaxed and her mind calmed as she fell asleep. It was not long at all before he joined her.

Trek Logo Divider

No Comments

Leave a Reply