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JL | Lt Shran, Lt Dai'Xun, Doctor MacLeod | "Tha Mi A 'Toirt Mo Bheatha Dhut" pt 1

Posted on 241709.06 @ 16:01 by Lieutenant Craig MacLeod & Lieutenant Anaxar Shran & Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun

Mission: Ballynamony

With the fall of dusk to night, Craig had hurried through the rest of the process needed to finish off the oil he'd been working on. With darkness came further cold, not that the day hadn't been bitter enough, but the night would be especially cold. Cold wasn't their friend. It would never play by Si'a's rules and he knew it entirely way too well by the way her friends continued to react to the feel of it on her skin. Whatever she was, she required all things summer pressed against her and not the foulness of wintertide's caustic and unforgiving hand. It was likely that she would pass no matter how hard he and Claire and Anaxar fought to keep her going, succumbing to her injuries and an environment she should never have been brought to. Her captivity alone was beginning to take it's toll, he could see it in the way she looked at him and the dank walls of the garrison as a whole. She was a child of the stars, belonging to the freedom they offered and this... It had to be hell closing in all around her and stealing from her that wispy quality of ethereal nature he identified with as being her for some reason or another.

Grabbing a handful of discarded post ribbons and cordage, along with the reeds he'd gathered, he stuffed them in his coat pocket along side the small bottle of elixir he prayed for turn the tide for her. The walk from his home to the garrison was nothing but a bit of footwork made a bit more trifling by the ice that coated the top of the well worn street, but he practically ran it knowing that time was running short. A few soldiers gave him little more than a raised eyebrow, recognizing him as a man of both impatience and medicine. There was little they could do to stop him and no true reason to question him. His patients were his patients whether they were seen as heathen scum or not.

"Anaxar?" Craig called as he finally pushed through the cell door, a guard closing and locking it behind him. It didn't trouble him any. Anaxar and Si'a weren't a threat, "I brought ye the medicine for Si'a." He explained, fishing the bottle from his pocket. In the dim light he could see her curled against him from beneath the blankets he'd procured for them earlier in the day. She was breathing, the rise and fall of them easy to pick out in the shadowed light of the torches from the hall. But for how much longer? The thought was physically painful, pricking at his heart.
Footsteps and the creak of the opening door roused Anaxar from his slumber. He did his best attempts to stay awake, in order whisper what comforts he could give to Si'a whenever she surfaced from the depths which continued to drag her ever deeper, ever further out of his reach. And in order to stave off dreams. But it was a losing battle, sleep was a strong master.

This time, Anaxar recognised the footsteps, even before he heard the voice. He lifted his head, fixed Craig with his sightless gaze. What good would herbs and potions do against the relentless bleeding, and whatever else was wrong? By now, he feared even a regular sickbay or hospital, with all their medical wonders (but none of those wonders could restore his sight, even those had their limitations) would not be enough to save her. She was fighting, fighting still, so much strength in that fragile body, but willpower alone had never been enough to stem the tide of death. But the man was trying, at least, and he could do more for Si'a than Anaxar himself could. It hurt to be so powerless, so… so weak.

"What can I do?" he asked hoarsely. The direct question referred to the application of the medicine, but taken broader, it also referred to his general helplessness.

"We need to wake her just fer a little while." Craig's response was soft as he considered their choices and implications. The bits of string and such in his pocket weighed heavy against his hip, a constant reminder of their presence. "You'll be needing to get her to drink this. It willnae taste verra nice, but..." Did he really need to say that it was the best he could do? Anaxar wasn't a stupid man, not by a long shot. "with some luck the combination will slow the bleeding down enough to let the source start to set." That's what it was supposed to do. That's what he sincerely hoped it would. It didn't answer the deeper resonance of the blue man's questioning, though. Swallowing a knot, Craig rest the bottle of oil in one of Anaxar's hands and curled his fingers around it for safe keeping.

"Ah... I've been meaning to ask ye... Are ye and the lass..." He paused, trying to figure out the best terminology to use. "Are ye wed?" is she alone? is what he meant, and the question bounced in his brain like a ball in a rubber room. The implications were painful enough, sending the woman off, should she die, alone was one no one of his like ever wanted to think of. Not when her last moments could be spent in the company of knowing she would be remembered.

Anaxar's hand curled around the bottle, held it tight. It took a few seconds before Craig's question sank in. "No…" he sighed at last. "All this… it happened so fast…" He had thought there would be more time. Wasn't that always the joke? There was never time, never enough. There had been this one touch, this one ray of light which seemed to hint at a promise of a new dawn. But the light was growing dimmer and dimmer still, and deep inside, Anaxar was afraid of what would happen if it went out. The hand which held the elixir trembled.

"Ah... I see." Craig replied. He didn't, not really anyway. The level of protection the blue man offered seemed so deep and her level of comfort with him spoke much to the same. Nothing made sense after that point and nothing likely ever would. There was a point, though, that he knew he could fix. "I can ah..." He sniffed uncomfortably, "I can bind ye... Ifn ye'd be willing, the both of ye." He gestured between them, all too aware that Anaxar couldn't see. He'd seen the old rites done so many times, heard the words spoken by his father as he wed so many members of their clan. It was practically second nature now, he likely could have done it in his sleep. There would be no Laird present to bless it, no way they could consummate it, but the symbolism of the act would be enough to preserve virtue. It would have to be. "After we get that medicine down her, o'course."

"Bind?" Anaxar's antennae twitched, his equivalent of a frown. They were prisoners already, locked up in a cell, and Si'a was dying, for crying out loud. What'd people want to bind them for, then? What were they afraid of?

A moment's thought made it clear that this was not what Craig was implying. The word had a different meaning, and in combination with his earlier question, it was clear that the one had something to do with the other. He had a reason to suggest this, the man wouldn't have suggested it if-

His heart fell. "Ask her," he said, his voice so hoarse it was almost a croak. "I'm willing..." If this is the last thing I could do for her… If she goes into the night, into the dark, she will not go alone… part of me will go with her, will always be with her…

Quiet was a self defense mechanism. It was so easy to follow when it felt so much better to just lay still and simply 'be' instead of fight and fuss. Si'a listened as the two men spoke, the doctor's brogue steadily becoming more of a comfort as she realized he was more one of them than one of the soldier types. He was caring. It spoke volumes. "I heard." She replied, her voice a bit muffled by the blankets and Anaxar's chest. He'd do that for her. Put himself out for her. Would all chiefs do as he had? Would they risk that much to keep their people alive? More... Would they do so much for them to offer comfort after the uncertainty of death? "You will tie us up?" She asked, pulling down the blankets just far enough to free her face, her eyes glinting in the light as they searched the auburn doctor's silhouette. So much. So fast. Without the Vindicator, she would die. Where was the Vindicator? Without it he would likely die. That was most important. Would the act give him comfort? Too many questions.

"Tie ye up? Oh lass... No... Well... Aye... Sort of." Craig's brow furrowed as he spoke and reached to tap Anaxar's closed and trembling hand, reminding him of the oil that would need to be dispensed. "I'll be binding yer hands together with a bit of ribbon as ye take vows, pledge your fealty to one another." He explained, or at least he tried to. The cell hardly seemed the place to create such a union. A great hall, a meadow teeming with heather, anything but this hell would have been better, but they'd have to make due. He could only pray, in silence of course, that they'd both live to make better of it.

"Oh..." Si'a replied, nodding in sudden realization, "Like tying the knot." She'd heard the phrase used by Terrans a time or two, more than that really. She knew the implications and knew just how 'legal' the act could be considered given their current situation. It was the thought that counted in this act. Looking up at Anaxar, she couldn't help but wonder what it was that went through his mind when he gave his consent. His face was made of stone, offering no tell of what his thoughts may have been, but she could feel him shake. Both of them thought she was going to pass. It hit her like a ton of bricks, confirming the worst of her suspicions. No matter how much better she felt with a little warmth, the pain was always there as a constant reminder of something deeper and more sinister lurking just beyond the horizon. She was dying in spite of their best efforts. This was for her more than it was for him, at least in her mind. A gift? A way to ease her worries and troubles? A way to offer her something to depart with? Who wanted to die alone... She nodded against the throbbing of her temples, "Yes," She found her voice, "I will." give him that.

To Be Continued...

Lieutenant Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer

Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun
Stellar Cartographer

Craig MacLeod


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