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Someone to Talk to

Posted on Thu Feb 4th, 2016 @ 4:28pm by Lieutenant JG Julian Winterstorm
Edited on on Mon Feb 8th, 2016 @ 9:23am

Mission: Mother Base
Location: Lounge
Timeline: 0130


Julian's eyes were wide and even larger than normal He was being forced back, towards the edge of the cliff, by some unseen, but very real foe. Step by step he felt himself drifting back. And then he was falling, flailing his arms. He knew it was just a matter of time until he hit the bottom and was killed.

He awoke on the floor of his cabin, drenched in sweat with his legs still half on the bed entangled in the sheets. It took a few minutes for him to clear his head and realize that he'd been having another nightmare.

Thankfully his roommate wasn't there, so at least he was saved that embarrassment. He got up, straightened his bed, took a shower and changed into a pair of faded jeans and a rather snug fitting tee shirt. He thought of going to find Taylor, but it was late and in truth he hardly knew the man. He couldn't even consider him a friend yet, much less a confidant,or something more. So he made the choice to go to the lounge instead.

It was late, almost 0130, and he didn't expect it to be crowded and it wasn't. But the place he wanted to sit, a table next to the viewport was already occupied. He got closer and noticed a rather attractive looking Bajoran man with the most amazing, piercing blue eyes sitting there.

Clearing his throat he said, "Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here with you?"

The one thing that was nice about going somewhere in the middle of the night was that it was quiet. No loud chatter, no lines. So naturally Zera looked up to see who was bothering him, giving the man a thorough looking over. He was short, that the Bajoran could determine almost immediately, and had brown hair slightly disheveled from the shower he had, but the man's eyes were perhaps his most startling trait. Leyar had never seen anything like it before.

Back to the man's question. They were literally the only ones there, which meant that every other table was open. Finally, he sighed, "I do, but you look like you need someone to talk to. Go get yourself a glass of something." The Bajoran had a glass of scotch in his own hand, and when he finished talking he took a sip. In his head, he was analyzing the man. He was new, that was a given, not he didn't see him as one to wake up in the middle of the night, which made Leyar wonder what disturbed his sleep. He thought back on the memory that disturbed his sleep as a dream, and looked out the window at the planet below while his fist clenched. It was the one where his father was killed. The Bajoran could remember it like it was yesterday, and every time it fueled his hate for the pitiful excuse of a Cardassian.

Julian nodded his head curtly but appreciatively and walked back to the bar, where s sleepy looking bartender stood.Julian was pretty sure he was real, if not, the hologram was very well done, and he ordered himself a Saurian Brandy. Taking the drink from the dark haired man behind the bar, he turned and returned to where Zera was sitting.

"Thanks, " he said with a wan smile as he ran a hand through his still damp hair, "I appreciate it. I just wanted to see something besides a bank wall. And yeah I probably could use someone to talk to. I at least didn't want to be alone."

How was he chipper at this hour?? Leyar mused. "Not everyone comes down in the middle of the night without reason. My guess is a bad dream, right?" It was obvious that he had just woken up, by the hint of sleep still in his eyes, and most would fall back asleep shortly after instead of going elsewhere.

"Yes, " the Akadian said, "you could say that, the Doc gave me something to help, and I thought it was working, but I had another one and didn't want to go back to sleep. Sorry, I'm kind of being a wus about it."

Zera gestured to himself. "You're not the only one avoiding sleep, so it's fine." Briefly changing the subject, he asked, "You're new... how long have you been on board?"

Julian was glad for the change of subject, it took his mind off of the dream. "You're right, I am. I've only been here about four days. How long have you been here?"

The Bajoran thought back. "About a week," he replied. "I've kept myself busy, so it feels like longer." So far, the man hadn't recognized him from Intel or as one of the many who got kicked off Bajor after the Occupation, and to Leyar it felt like a chance to start anew. He wasn't going to let that ruin the conversation. "Where are you from?" he inquired. "I've never seen someone of your... complexion before."

"Well, I guess we're both new then," he said with an easy smile," I'm from Akadia, and I'm not surprised that you haven't seen anyone like me before. We're a pretty rare commodity in the Federation. You said I wasn't the only one avoiding sleep. You want to exchange stories, you know, I'll show you mine, if you show me yours?"

"You're telepathic," he replied. It was more a statement than a question, but the way he had phrased his words was not an unfamiliar one. Leyar had his fair share of telepaths, not all of them kind. There was only one telepath he trusted, and they hadn't spoken to each other for over eight months now. It wasn't out of hatred, but rather both sides were busy.

"I am, " the other man agreed, "I guess it takes one to know one." Then holding both hands up in mock surrender he said, "but I don't go in, where I'm not invited, mentally, emotionally... or any other way."

"Good to hear. Don't take it personally," Zera stated flatly, pausing to take a drink, "but I'm not fond of telepaths. I've had enough bad run-ins with them to know better than to let someone into my mind without knowing them."

Julian shrugged his shoulders, "I don't blame you, trust me when I say I know the havoc telepaths can cause. I've had it done to me. Perhaps the answer for that is to give me a chance, give us a chance to get to know each other.

"How about we get to know each other a little more, verbally , before you go parading around my mind?" Zera snipped.

Julian cocked his head slightly, pausing a moment before saying anything, "That's what I meant," he countered, "I'm good with getting to know you more verbally. Getting in your mind would be the last step."

"Then make sure you clarify that next time," the Bajoran grumbled, taking another sip from his glass.

Julian had come to the lounge, simply to get away from his room, and so he wouldn't have to be alone. He surely hadn't come to flirt with someone, much less pick them up. But he had to admit that, if only to himself, that both those thoughts had crossed his mind once he saw the handsome man, he was now sitting across from, when the came into the bar.

But the Bejoran was unreadable and with his curt remarks, he sure wasn't making flirting easy and, at least for now the idea of taking him back to his cabin seemed pretty remote. But still the Akadian loved a challenge.

So he smiled and kept his tone light. "I will, but you know if you have someone to talk with about things it can make things easier. Are you seeing anyone now?"

Leyar looked up at the Akadian sitting across from him. Was he flirting?? By his body language and that smile, he concluded that he most likely was. He was about 82 percent sure. "No," he replied cautiously, "I'm not. You're not very subtle, but as I've only met one of you I can't say if that's a personal or cultural thing." He paused, slightly tilting his head, before adding, "I wonder how the other guy turned out... how long ago was it that you got yourself into trouble?"

Julian arched a brow and shrugged his shoulders. "I usually am more subtle, but it's late. We Akadains are, a lot more open than most other species about such things, so I'd say it was a cultural thing. To answer your question, I guess it depends on the kind of trouble you mean. If you mean the bad kind of trouble, well until about two weeks ago, I was a lieutenant but then I punched an insolent ass. And now I'm here. If you mean the good kind of trouble it has been way too long. What about you, and whatever happened, between you and the other Akadian you mentioned?"

"Dunno, I'm still talking to him," he replied, resting his elbows on the table and folding his hands in front of him. Leyar then made eye contact with Julian and continued. "I figured you had punched someone, even though you don't look like one to get into a fight. There are faint scars on your knuckles, with a dispersion pattern that matches a good hit with something solid, like a jaw bone. As the scars haven't quite healed yet, I would've guessed that this event happened less than a month ago."

His eyes narrowed ever so slightly, but not in a negative way. The Bajoran was thinking. "Judging by your age- I'm guessing between 25 and 28- you entered Starfleet later than most, around twenty. Still enough time to get a promotion between graduation and now. Yet you are still an Ensign, which suggests that you got into trouble. Unless you're terrible at your job, but the way you hold yourself says otherwise. With my theory, combined with your affirmation about the matter, I'm going to take a shot into the void and say you were court martialed. It would explain why you're still an ensign after about three years of service.

"In addition, a court martial usually doesn't happen with peers, but is more commonly seen in disputes with the higher ups. So you decked someone with the rank of at least a Commander. And I'm getting a feeling that you didn't just wake up with a grudge against them." Leyar paused for a moment before lifting his eyebrows. "Well? Am I wrong?"

"You're not off by much. I am good at my job, or I was. And like I said, I was a Lieutenant. You're right about the court martial, too. And it was a Captain that I hit. well not just hit, I almost put him in the hospital and they had to pull me off of him. He gave me bad Intel, wouldn't let me check my sources and so I led my men into an ambush. Then he tried to cover his ass and put all the blame on me."

"Sounds like he isn't deserving of his rank," the Bajoran bluntly replied with a chuckle. "To be fair, I entered Starfleet around 21. There wasn't anything left for me after the Occupation." That last bit was partially a lie, but it also had some truth to it. He really didn't have anything back on Bajor, but he didn't leave of his own free will.

Julian leaned in a little closer, without quite invading the other man's personal space. "Is that why you're avoiding sleep, what happened to you back then, or is it something more recent?"

Zera's eyes softened a little, and he looked down at glass in his hands with a sigh. He could tell everything to the man in front of him, but then he would just become another person with the ability to use that information against him. "It was just a dream," the Bajoran quietly stated.

Julian didn't often use his telepathy, so he'd become pretty good at reading people's body language, he saw the very hint of a tic of Zera's left eye, but he kept his own face as impassive as possible. "I was falling in my dream, he said, "well first I was in a building that was more like a maze. Every time I got to what I thought was a way out was just a door into another hallway. Then finally I was outside and at the edge of a cliff. I couldn't even see the bottom, then Caleb, Captain Mitchell, the guy I told you about, shoved me and I was falling. That was my dream, or most of it anyway. Now it's your turn."

It only seemed fair, since Julian had shared his dream. It's not like a dream would reveal everything about him. "I watched the man who turned me into who I am murder my father in cold blood. Again." Leyar finished what was left in his glass before raising out of his chair and moving to the bar. He asked for the bottle before returning to the table and taking a seat, pouring himself another glass. "I'll spare you the details."

He felt sympathy for the Bajoran, or perhaps empathy would have been a better description. Part of him, perhaps because of the lateness of the hour, or the fact that he was feeling staring to feel weary, wanted to tell not just of what lay behind his dream, hell he'd already done much of that already, but something else. One of his deepest secrets. but he quickly shoved that thought down deep within himself.

Instead he found his hand resting on Zera's arm. "I don't need to know the details, but trust me I understand more than you think." He let his hand tighten around the other man's arm, albeit briefly, before releasing the grip, but keeping the hand resting there.

Zera set his jaw, fighting the urge to slap the hand off his arm as he considered the man's words. "Understand in what way?" He asked, his voice surprisingly calm. "The 'father-dying-before-your-eyes' part, or the 'person-you-hate-turning-you-into-a-monster' part? Please, enlighten me." Maybe it was the weariness from a lack of a good night's sleep, or maybe it was the alcohol. Hell, maybe it was both, but Zera felt like he was starting to pry. And if the telepath started prying, it was a clue to defend himself. It didn't come as a surprise to the Bajoran when he started closing himself off to the other man, which he disguised with a calm demeanor.

There was a long pause as Julian felt the tension in the other man's arm and pulled his own away. "Both, " he said, in a voice pitched that only the man across from him could hear, despite the fact that they were the only two in the room. There was another, longer pause, Julian even half rose to his feet to turn around and leave before settling back down his chair.

The Bajoran was almost a complete stranger, and he couldn't fathom why he was about to tell him, what he was about to tell him. My people have a custom, a custom seldom followed any more except by the elite and powerful. We don't choose our mates, they are chosen for us. By our parents. You know, an arranged marriage. Not for love, but for power and politics. My parents, well my mother really had arranged a marriage for me that would have consolidated our power for a generation. But I wasn't in love with her. I was in love with another boy.

He was the first person I ever... well, I'll spare you the details of that, too much information as Terrans say. Someone didn't like our being in love. Not because we were both boys, no one cares about that on Akadia, but because it would have upset too many plans.

We were planning to run away so we could be together. But one night I snuck into his house. We were awakened in the middle of the night. someone was in the room. They threw acid in his face. He died in my arms. But that wasn't the worst part. I didn't remember that till much later. What I remembered was the thoughts that someone planted in my mind, I still don't know who, that I had been the one to kill him.

I was put on trial, and if I didn't have a brilliant defence attorney who saw some of the holes in the case I would be in prison now, instead of here, thinking I'd killed the boy I once planned to marry."

Zera was silent as he listened to the response. He could see the hurt in his eyes, and felt like maybe he had overstepped a boundary. The Cardassians didn't typically use acid, but some of their methods were considered rather shady, to say the least. "I am sorry for your loss," he replied softly.

Julian blinked back what might have formed into tears if he had let them and shook his head, "Thank you, " he replied simply, "and I didn't mean to cry in your beer. I don't even know why I told you that, other than to reassure you that we've all dealt with things. You're not alone."

As tempting as it was to correct Julian and say that he was drinking scotch instead of beer, he understood the message. "I guess we both have something in common then," he said. "Like I had said earlier, it looked like you needed someone to talk to." The Bajoran used two fingers to tilt his glass on its edge, such that his two fingers were the only thing preventing it from falling over. "Usually my nightmares are the memories resurfacing, which is why I can't easily fall back asleep. If we knew each other more, maybe I'd let you see some of it, but it is not for the faint of heart. Unspeakable things happened during the Occupation of Bajor," his eyes showed a pang of guilt as he remembered the faces, but it was gone as quickly as it had appeared, "things that cannot be put into words.

"There are memories that I have to live with every single day, but if I were to openly share them it could ruin my career and who knows what else." Leyar picked up his glass and stared intently at it. "I joined Starfleet to leave the past behind and start fresh. That's all you need to know."

Julian slowly nodded his head. "That's enough, for now. I don't expect you to tell me your secrets. It looks like you need another drink,"he said signaling the waiter. Then before he could arrive, he asked, "When I touched you a few minutes ago, well, you didn't seem to like it. I'm sorry."

Leyar waited until their drinks were refilled and the waiter left before replying, swallowing the lump in his throat. He put his hands under the table, where he inconspicuously wiped them on his pants before they got too clammy. "This happened the last time I was touched like that," he whispered, reaching up to the collar of his shirt. Pulling it to the side, he slightly turned his head as he revealed the six inch scar on his chest, by his collarbone. There were smaller round specks lining either side of the mark unevenly, and the whole thing had a slight arch to it, like whatever left the mark had a curve when it made contact. "I don't blame you," he added, putting the shirt collar back in place, "you didn't know. There are lots of things I don't like, but that one is hard to get rid of."

Julian's eyes grew a little wider than usual. "I'm sorry,"he said, "I hope that whoever did that do you is dead now. They deserve it It's none of my business what happened to you. It means a lot that you showed me something so personal." He took a long sip of his drink.

He didn't know much about the Bajoran, but he thought they had some things in common. He appreciated that the man had opened up to him as much as he had. But now a thousand thoughts were running through his head. He knew he was taking a risk by his next statement, but he decided to say it anyway, "We can continue to talk if you want. Or we can finish our drinks and leave. Neither one of us has to be alone tonight."

"I hope so too, for his sake." Zera figured that he'd leave out his deeper thoughts on the matter. The main reason he showed the man was so he wouldn't ask later, if Julian ever caught the Bajoran shirtless. Emphasis on if. "I'm fine finishing our drinks," he simply suggested. His countenance was one set in stone as he took a long sip from his glass

Julian noticed Zera's expression had changed ever so slightly, had become stoic almost, so he decided not to push things. It was obvious that the Bajoran had caught his not so subtle hint and had shut the door on any chance of anything happening between them, at least for that evening, but he hadn't seemed to shut it altogether. And even if that did happen, Julian could live with it, he would be okay if they just became friends.

"The name's Zera, by the way," the Bajoran added, after a moment's thought. Guess they had forgotten to introduce themselves. "Zera Leyar, Acting Chief of Intel."

"Julian Winterstorm, Captain's yeoman, but I think I already said that. I wish the circumstances had been different, but it was good to meet you."

Zera raised his glass a little to the man opposite him, giving a faint smile. "Despite the circumstances, it's good to meet you too."

Julian nodded, "I guess I'll see you around sometime."



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