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When the party is over

Posted on Sat Jan 9th, 2021 @ 11:06pm by Captain Indrala Xerix

Location: Loire, France, Earth
Timeline: After the wedding

Helias was sitting in his hotel room, shoes off and shirt unbuttoned at the neck. He sipped on a whisky neat and failed at not thinking about the reception.

Someone had been knocking at his door for the last few minutes, but that someone was likely the captain, and therefore the last person he wanted to see.

Instead, he wanted to soak in his whisky and the masochistic satisfaction of his self-doubt telling him “I told you so”

He leaned back in his chair, letting his frustrations and self-doubts wash over him. The darkness in the room soothed the darkness of his emotions.

A faint, shimmering blue light drew his attention from under the door, and then the blue light was in the center of his hotel room. It dissipated, leaving a certain, silvery politician in its wake.

“You ever hear about the law on breaking & entering?” Helias said dryly.

Not looking remotely sheepish, Istrol merely shrugged and replied “ I did knock, Chief.”

“Yeah, I hoped ignoring it would get my point across” said the Deltan.

He poured a whisky for the Betazoid, curiosity getting the better of anger. The man took it with a wordless thanks and sipped, before giving an approving nod.

“I suppose you know why I’m here.” Said Istrol.

“Not all of us are omniscient, Councilor” Helias replied, a tad snarkier than he had intended.

“I am here because Indrala seems to think you got the wrong impression about her and I, and while I don’t particularly care...she seems to.” Said the silver-haired man.

“Odd. I would have imagined that, had she actually cared, she would be here herself. Explaining this to me, rather than sending you.” The Deltan said.

“It never fails to amaze me how self-centered people become when they feel wronged. In case you had forgotten, Indrala is here for her father’s wedding. She is seeing them off on their honeymoon. But don’t allow facts or reason to get in the way of your pouting, Chief.” Istrol said.

Helias’ cheeks and neck burned crimson with the rebuke. He stood to his full height, a head taller than the politician who had remained standing.

“Now just who do you think you’re talking to, you little…” Helias began.

“I don’t know who I’m speaking to, Helias. And frankly, it doesn’t matter to me one bit. But allow me to remind you of who we are speaking about. Indrala Xerix is Daughter of the Third House of Betazed, daughter of the war heroine Celestria Xerix, and commanding officer of what I’m told is one of the most important installations in the quadrant. If I had the opportunity to be with a woman like that...well, you wouldn’t catch me hiding in a hotel, nursing my insecurities” said the councilor.

Helias understood now why Istrol was a politician. The man wielded words like a laser-scalpel. The truth of his words made the blow sting even more. He took a long swig of his drink.

“What...what should I do?” The Deltan asked reluctantly.

“Well, you might start by apologizing. Then, perhaps act with the confidence of someone who has caught the eye of a great lady.” Istrol said, fussing with the sleeve of his dinner jacket.

Helias’ eyebrow rose. “When you said if you had the opportunity…” he began.

“Ah, apologies. That’s my story to tell and frankly I’m not sharing it with you. Have a pleasant evening, Chief.” Said the politician.

Before Helias could form a reply, Istrol was carried off in the same blue blur that had brought him.

A short while later, Helias found Indrala. Now showered and clad in a black jogging suit, the Deltan felt more like himself..

Indrala was standing next to a space yacht, with steam rising where the chilly night air met with the searing engines preparing to launch. She waved to the occupants and then walked back a few paces, watching the elegant ship lift smoothly into the darkness.

Seeing his opportunity, Helias walked up quietly and stood at her side. The two wordlessly watched the vessel as it climbed out of Earth’s atmosphere and joined the twinkling lights.

The Deltan finally broke the silence. “ I’m sorry.” He said.

“Helias, if I make you uncomfortable then we should just stop seeing one another. I won’t have both of us walking on eggshells. That’s not a healthy relationship.” Said the Captain.

“I don’t want that. I haven’t been in many relationships, so this is new territory for me. But I care for you, deeply.” Helias said, taking her hand.

She turned to face him. “Caring for someone isn’t always enough to make it work. And I’m not going to shield you from the aspects of a life with a betazoid. If you want this, you’ll have to accept who and what I am”

Helias realized that her mouth hadn’t moved. The words had come into his mind. She had never crossed that line before.

“Then so much the worse for you, Indrala. My mind is a dark place to live, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to visit.” He told her outloud.

Cupping her jaw in his hands, he kissed her deeply. In the pitch dark of the French countryside, Helias finally let his guard down just a little and allowed himself to be vulnerable.


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