((How does one keep up with all the new augments?!))
((How does one keep up with all the new augments?!))
"It figures that once I’m put back under, the rest of you start popping up like daisies," he rationalized, looking her up and down. “All that matters is that now we’ve made contact. Have you come across any of the others in your time awake?"
"Several, yes, but they’re scattered about, some more unwilling to rejoin with you than others." she summarized, having spent enough time out in the open t have surveyed their kind and find an interesting number who were less than she’d once thought them to be.
“There’s lots to worry about. Thou I’m sure we can handle it.” he whispered,”But my focus isn’t true…” he admitted his gaze never leaving her face.
“Is that so?” she asked, threading the fingers of her left hand through the hair at the nape of his neck. “Speak your mind if it will bring you comfort.”
A slight smirk was on his face now, the feeling of his hair being pulled was something he delighted in. “I’m afraid just simply speaking won’t bring me much comfort.”
She leaned in, her lips hovering over his as she spoke, “Then do what will bring you comfort as it is needed after all. We cannot allow for distractions this evening, dearest.”
He was trying to maintain his patience, for the love and care a Captain had for his crew, no matter how harsh they could be, was one that remained withstanding; yet Keita was testing him at this point, his breathing having sharpened, his fists clenching and relaxing in a repeated fashion.
"Then so be it." Khan growled lowly.
He was on the brink and she could feel it; part of her was dying to push him over, for him to feel like she did, but another knew better than to challenge him. It all boiled down to which portion of herself spoke louder. “If you want to hit me, then do it. It won’t change anything, but then you’ll have less anger for the rest of them. I’ll gladly take it for my family.”
"Keita, you’re awake too, now?"
"Captain." she greeted without the loss of formality. "I’ve been awake for almost a month. It was challenging to find you without normal resources."
((I have returned and I shall begin working on things that I owe!))
December 19, 1990
“Khan,” he answered politely, shaking her hand. He got the feeling that even him being English would not legitimately excuse him if he kissed her knuckles, even if it was a habit he had when formally introduced to any woman, be they five or ninety-five. At more than one of these events he’d ended up dancing much more frequently with the five-year-olds whose fathers trusted him out of a vain assumption at his proper upbringing.
When a waiter flitted by, he tagged the man by the sleeve and brought their needs to his attention. He had no intention of eating, simply because he was not in the mood for it. A beverage, on the other hand, was a fashionable enough thing to do to requisite one being needed for image if nothing else. Before he came he had gotten familiar with the food and drink menu, and did not have to spare it a glance before knowing what to order. “A glass of the Guardian Peak Shiraz for myself, and whatever the lady pleases.”
After she ordered he looked back to her with a smirk. “Though it s quite fine to be introduced,” he agreed. “Formality is a dying art, with casual research becoming to simple. I cannot say that I have the subtlety to manage two names at once. I fear I would get confused, and lose myself to one or the other.” He knew that many of his advisors had wanted him to have a pseudonym of some sort, but he had never managed to bother himself with the task.
If anyone wanted to know who he was, they could find out. Secondarily, if he wanted to disappear, he very well could; to names or not. Perhaps it was clinging to an old sentimentality of being what one’s name implied, but he believed it was a system that suited him.
Sometimes naivete was the only way he could sleep at night.
Even though her exposition was genuine, he could feel that there was something bubbling underneath the veil of her control. It was panic; a desperate sense of failure that she seemed totally willing to dive headlong into. It was reckless, it was selfish, and it was exactly what he would have done had he been that young green sapling that she seemed so fond of reminiscing. Before she disappeared into the house he grabbed her by her wrist and held her for a split second.
He was not rough with her, but he was furious with himself. “You’re not sorry,” he snarled, but kept his grip loose. “The only reason you said any of that was to make me sorry; maybe sorry enough to let you get away with martyring yourself like a hapless child out of a belief that your love is one-sided.” He let go of her wrist then, keeping his eyes locked on hers before she turned away for the millionth time in her life. “You did not succeed.”
Then, he let her leave. But he only did so knowing that he would not let her win that fight against herself. She wanted him to give up, to bend over and let her self-deprecation win because maybe then it would feel better. If there was one thing he had learned, however, it was that life was never meant to feel good. What was right and what was worth it hurt and ached and cost so much to obtain, but was never worth giving up on.
If it meant breaking into Starfleet itself to steal a ship, he would let hell boil the earth before he let her continue believing that he couldn’t love her back.
December 19, 1990
Khan was surely a title and not a name, it was clear with the detached nature of the word, but the reasoning behind its placement was unknown and she hardly felt now was the time press such a matter. In fact, it was hardly relevant what his name truly was or had been, because a man without a name is just as much a threat as one most well known. Though, she would come to find, that fitting a name to the man who be a most challenging prospect than most others she’d encountered.
"Carmenere; Cremaschi Vineyards, please." she added with a pleasant small directed to their all too human waiter who stammered off into the distance as if he’d just been bitten by a spider. If it had not been personally insulting to the men of her country, Keita would have offered a soft laugh, but appropriate or not she was displeased with the staff they’d selected this evening.
Placing her hands gingerly on the table as if she truly was the delicate flower she often pretended to be, she allowed her own features to twist into a playfully instigating smirk. “Are we not each comprised of several layers? Catherine is the heart of my existence, though the take time to exploit her, but Keita can surely be anything. I would trust a man like you, Khan, would understand.”
Often times, Keita felt more like an actress than she did a superior being and that is what had distanced her from formal identification. There would always be those who truly knew her and those who thought they did, but somewhere hidden beneath whatever facade she’d adorned was the truth; she was no more a princess as she was a martyr.
One day it would make sense to her, the need to hide behind falsification, but her naive heart could not yet grasp the terror of such a day.
He was right and she hated him for it. Her anger was the most genuine feeling she’d suffered through since before their exile, but she was the only one to blame. All she’d ever done was run away from those moments most worth fighting for. There was a breaking point, she knew that better than most, and it seemed he’d all but pushed her over the edge. Hatred was directed internally and it was only then that she realized, if she was going to stand and fight for anything, it would be this.
With all the determination of a dying sun, she stood from her place of reckoning and marched back out to the battle field. A fire burned in her eyes, one that had not been present since the night Charles died, but this time its purpose was not destruction, but rather salvation. “I am not a martyr.” she began as she pushed him up against the side of the house hard enough to get her point across.
"What do you want to hear, hmm? Would you like to know that I’m selfish? Well there you are, I said it. Yes I’m selfish and I’m a child because I already lost one person I love and I swear to god that I will not lose another. Now you cannot stand here and tell me that you would do any differently, we both know you would. You have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do nor what my intentions are if yours would be no different."
She held him there for just long enough, her forearm pinned against his chest, though they both knew if he wanted to move he could. “Damn it.” she whispered harshly as she leaned forward and claimed his lips. The kiss was not one of desperation as those previous, but of passion, the one thing all relationships prior had been missing. This was not going to end in her favor, nor was she going to have the last word, of that she was sure, but this moment was something she’d consider worth living for.
((ADUAHHDJIKADAKLDS honey, are you lost? ;3; yours is so beautiful and I am just adijadsd YOU ARE SOME TOP NOTCH QUALITY MISS.))
Aww you’re so sweet, thank you!
At her words, again came his flinch, something so very uncommon in the Captain. He averted his gaze, allowing her to yell, his nails digging sharply into his palms. It took a long, hard while for Khan to reply to such, swallowing thickly through the barbed wire sensation in his throat. “… I will not stop you from leaving, Keita.” He murmured, albeit too quietly for such a typically strong figure. “Just know that should you ever wish to return, you will always be welcomed.” Was all he said, turning to the side without a glance.
Keita ground her teeth together at his attempt to remain civil, hardly the reaction she’d wished to have inspired. It was clear that he felt nothing toward the degradation of their family and for that she would never forgive him. “I promise you,” she began with a threatening tone, “that will never happen. If I ever see you or any of your blind worshipers again, I swear it will not end in your liking.”
The other recognizes the smile as genuine and is pleased that the feeling of friendship is still reciprocated even after all this time. “Romulus. Fascinating. I had heard that Romulans were currently a bit at odds with humans. Apparently something Starfleet did. Hmph.” Stella gave a mock yawn and stretched for good measure. “Yes, I suppose it is good. Someone has to take all of the patients that you don’t want to and still leave their hearts beating.” She teased.
"Apparently so." she agreed though the history of the conflict was not outwardly known to her, it was neither relevant nor important at this time. "Hearts are hardly important, but your dedication to your work after all this time is so admirable." Keita laughed softly, offering her old friend a mock salute as to lighten any mood that could have been dampened by the harsh reality of their awakening.