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The Demon - Part 1

Posted on Fri Dec 1st, 2017 @ 9:22am by Lieutenant Commander Yara Blackwater & Lieutenant Rafan Kel

Mission: Deep Space 12
Location: Private Room; DS12
Timeline: Pre-MD09 1425hrs

There had certainly been some mixed feelings on Rafan’s part on this whole zhian’tara ritual, but only Yara really knew why. Rafan hadn’t been afraid to face his other hosts to learn about them, his anxiety stemmed from Hysio alone and what had happened with him - specifically, his wife - after Rafan was so newly joined. Yara couldn’t help but wonder if it would have been more beneficial to do this entire thing in reverse order because she wasn’t entirely that Rafan had been able to focus on the other hosts with having the knowledge he would soon face Hysio weighing on him and providing distraction. Still, she hadn’t even bothered to bring that up; there would have been questions about why and those couldn’t be answered without jeopardizing Kel. It always came back to her.

Yara had been giving Rafan a wide berth over the past few days as he worked through his other hosts as she didn’t want to remind him that she was the one that would host Hysio for him. Yara would have been lying if she said she wasn’t apprehensive about the entire thing, not because she was afraid of being mentally overpowered permanently, she just didn’t enjoy the thought of not being in control of her own body.

Again.

She pushed that particular thought aside as she came to a stop outside of Rafan’s quarters on the station, reaching out to tap the chime. They were supposed to meet the guardian in another of the conference rooms, but Yara wanted to speak to Rafan before this all happened.

"Enter!" Rafan called out from his bedroom, having just stepped out of the shower since he'd been using the tried and true tested method of avoidance in addressing his issues with Hysio. He knew what was coming and he had been able to distract himself from the last of Kel's past hosts and the one that had caused him so much trouble. The Trill did his best not to dwell on the facts or the feelings of guilt that welled up within him as he dried himself off and pulled on his clothes, stepping out into the living room area as Khras emerged from his tree house, stretching himself out until it looked like he might snap in half as he yawned loudly before scampering down to his feeding perch as Rafan began to make him a healthy meal of assorted fruits, greens and nuts.

Yara wandered in and immediately snorted. “You know, procrastinating isn’t going to change the fact this is happening.” She said and walked over toward Khras.

Khras trilled happily as he saw Yara and scampered down one of the limbs so that he could climb down onto her shoulder as he began to press his head against her cheek, nuzzling her affectionately as he continued to trill, winding around her neck seemingly oblivious to what was going on between his people.

"I'm making sure that Khras has something to eat before we go and you caught me just getting out of the shower, for your information." The Trill said, popping a piece of cubed apple into his mouth, looking over at the blond as Khras settled in on her shoulder to wait for his food.

“You see that? He stole your food.” Yara commented to the creature on her shoulder and scritched under his neck behind his beak. She looked back to Rafan then and scowled at him. “Yes, and for a normal person I wouldn’t think anything of it; but you are you and you’re the type that gets ready an hour before then sits on his couch bouncing all excited-like until it’s time to go... and then you get there twenty minutes early.”

Khras leaned into her attentions, too caught up in the feeling of her fingers scratching at his favorite spot to be too concerned with something that wasn't taking place in his direct vicinity. He was trilling and almost purring as he reached out with his hand like paw and started to gently pet Yara in return.

Rafan didn't say anything to refute her statement, merely because he didn't feeling like having an argument with her before he even got into it with Hysio. "I don't bounce on my couch, I read and I play with Khras." He said as a matter of clarification as he mixed everything up, setting the bowl of food on the ledge and then went to mix up juice as a very special treat for his little companion, setting beside the bowl before washing his hands as he picked up the shirt that he'd laid out.

“Uh huh.” Obviously, she didn’t believe him. She moved back over to Khras’ feeding perch and plucked the beastie off her shoulder to put him down. “Be a good boy and eat your dinner.” She gave his head a pat then moved over to the couch and sat down.

“Come sit down with me, Dapple.”

Rafan paused in what he was doing to finish getting ready and squinted a little at the blonde.

She didn't ask him to sit with her. In fact she never asked him to do anything with her unless it was leaving her alone to enjoy peace, quiet and solitude. So as he grabbed his shoes from their place by the door, he moved over to the couch to finish getting ready. "What is it, Yara?"

Yara bit back the urge to snap at him for that look he had given her and the tone accompanying it. She knew he was on edge, one didn’t have to know him well to see it, so she was trying to be a good friend. She took a deep breath and sat back, crossing her legs and giving him a moment to calm himself down again.

“I wanted to talk to you before we go and do this.” She finally said simply. “I want to make sure you’re alright.”

Rafan was quiet as he sat there, putting his socks and shoes on as he considered what she had said, trying to figure out if he was and he realized that he very much wasn't. Though the alternative wasn't appealing at all for his future since it would involve him leaving the ritual incomplete and he somehow didn't think that the Commission would look very kindly upon that.

"Not really, no." He said finally and remained sitting rather rigid, his hands clasped together and fingers interlocked. "If there is one...individual that I'd rather not deal with every again, it would be Hysio."

“What are you worried about?” She asked and sat forward with her elbows on her knees, sitting hunched next to him as he sat so tensely next to her. She didn’t like it at all.

What was he worried about? Did he have a reason to be worried?

Hysio and yes he did.

"I'm worried about Hysio, he has a way of...just being intrusive and domineering," He said with a sign, releasing one of his hands so he could run it through his still damp hair, trembling as he sat there with her, looking ahead and doing his best to focus on a far away point.

“I don’t know, you deal with me pretty well.” She said, trying to lighten the mood a bit as she looked back over her shoulder to him and frowned as she saw him trembling. “He’s not going to hurt you.”

"I'm not even sure that I am entirely worried about that...I am more worried about you, Yara." The Trill said as he looked over at her. "I'm worried that for whatever reason he isn't going to want to give up your body..."

"Well of course he isn't going to want to, but he isn't going to be sticking around no matter what he wants to do." She replied and sat up a bit to be more on his level so she could look into his eyes. "Don't worry about me, Rafan, I'll be alright."

He frowned and turned his head to look at her, as if trying to weigh the truth of her words, he still wasn't comfortable with it but he wasn't certain he would ever be comfortable with anything dealing with Hysio. "I still reserve the right to worry about my friend."

"You're right, you do, but you also need to have faith in me that it is going to be alright. Just like you need to have faith in yourself that you can stand up to him." Yara offered and reached out to squeeze his shoulder. Physical touch between the two of them had been very sparse even after so long and it had only really been given by Yara now and then in the moments Rafan seemed truly down. "What happened, happened years ago when you were at a vulnerable time. It isn't the rule, it's the exception."

Rafan nodded as he smiled at her touch and raised his hand up to rest it over hers briefly, knowing that it wasn't something he could get away with for very long, but he enjoyed feeling Yara's touch, however fleeting they might be. "That might be, but I still worry about that coming up...since it does have significant ramifications for Kel's future." He said, using big words, so Yara would know that he was feeling better.

"It won't happen, I promise." She slid her hand off his shoulder and offered him a rather cocky smirk. "Come on, you've told me I'm the most stubborn person you've ever met. You really think I'm going to let someone take over my body for good?"

Rafan smiled as he saw her smirking, cocky or not, it was one rare for her to do that and he'd only seen her wear a non-scowling or neutral expression a handful of times, but it had always been in private like this, it made her entire face light up warmly and he could only imagine what a smile would really do. "No, he's quickly give up the fight because you would mentally poke him to death for the presumption of it all."

"Well then, are you ready to go get this over with, then?" She asked and stood, her joints popping a bit as she did so.

Rafan made a slight face at her question, but moved to stand up as he let out a sigh, walking over to gently scratch Khras' head and turned to head for the door. "Let's get this over with, shall we?"

"Pretty sure I just said that." Yara grumbled and walked out the door with her arms folded across her chest. She wasn't looking forward to this in the slightest, but Rafan needed this and as much as she tried to rail against it, he was her friend.

The guest quarters set aside for the zhian'tara ritual was filled with all the accoutrements and a small table with snacks and drinks laid out with favorites of both Hysio and Rafan, even if he wasn't particularly fond of the past host, Rafan was intent on being at least accommodating to his tastes. The guardian Mala was sitting serenely near the viewport so that she could admire the nearby nebula as it cast a green tint into the room, space, though Rafan was feeling far from peaceful or serene. He was about to come face to face with his own personal devil, who would be wearing the body of the one person that he was closest too on the ship. He saw the guardian look over at him, quirking a brow but making no comment about his agitated state, the kind of look that a school marm might give too rowdy children to chastise them into behaving. He had to fight the urge to merely check out on this since he knew that Yara would be there, she wouldn't let this get out of control, but he could feel his stomach twisting up in knots as he gathered up a handful of roasted brazil nuts and ate a couple to try and calm himself, it was something that had always worked in the past.

"When you are ready, we will begin the ritual and transfer Hysio's essence to your friend." Mala said as she moved to stand up and looked at them both.


[To be continued]

 

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