Out in the Open
Location: Personal Quarters | USS Standing Bear
Oriana sat across from Hayashi. She’d arrived about forty-five minutes ago to a set table and a wonderful meal. They’d consumed it in a strained silence and as a result time seemed to move at a snail’s pace.
As they focused on dessert, a decadent cake that tasted like ash upon her tongue Oriana decided that enough was enough. Unable to take it anymore she sighed, “Haya I came to talk. We really need to talk.”
Hayashi looked over at her and scrubbed their hands down their face. “I guess you’re right.” Suddenly dessert didn’t seem to appetizing to them either. They pushed it away and then sat back. Looking at Oriana they opened their mouth but the words wouldn’t seem to form.
They tried a few more times and finally gave up standing up to pace.
Oriana stood and walked over to them placing a hand on Hayashi’s shoulder. “Haya, we have to talk, come, sit with me on the sofa. I know it’s hard and you’re not the feelings kind of person but we’ll take it slow.”
Hayashi held her gaze for a moment and then gave a slow nod. “Alright.”
They let her lead them over to the sofa and sat down tucking one leg under them and turning so that they could look at Oriana. Just the sight of her beautiful eyes and the kindness that radiated through them calmed Hayashi’s rattled nerves.
She smiled and reached out taking Hayashi’s hand. “Slow. Let’s start with the whole Mirror thing and why you had to go to Vulcan and the solitary recovery where none of us could see you.”
Hayashi bit their lip and then decided that if they were going to move forward with Oriana, they needed to be honest about a lot of things that they’d been avoiding; this was certainly one of them.
“It started with my mirror counterpart,” Hayashi began.
Oriana stayed silent barely breathing, not wanting to Haya to clam up. They were like a deer; the slightest sound could spook them if they were talking about something that they didn’t feel comfortable about.
“Soral, mirror verse Soral found out that the mirror Hayashi was sick and would die. This…Soral had me scanned in secret and found that I had the same condition.”
Oriana’s eyes lit up with alarm but she said nothing, she knew that Hayashi would finish in their own time.
“I was still in the early stages, a telepathic illness. The other me was not in the early stages. Both Sorals agreed to work together and came to us with an offer, a merging of the mind and katra, it would take a skilled healer to do this and to ensure that only that which was not compromised would be transferred from one to the other.”
“So…Soral, our Soral, convinced his counterpart that you were best served here.”
“No, the other was beyond saving so I was the ‘logical’ choice,” Hayashi rolled their eyes well aware that they could just have been the illogical choice too.
Suddenly that word, logic, took on a sickening meaning to Oriana. She swallowed past the lump in her throat. “So…you are both Mirror and this world Hamura?”
Hayashi smiled, “More this verse then the other. A small part of that Hayashi is in here,” they said tapping their head. “Small, but vocal. I have memories that aren’t mine, experiences…some not so noble.”
Oriana held onto their hand tightly. “I…how is all this possible?”
They shrugged, “I don’t know but…it’s been difficult to take. Then this thing with Ops. The mirror verse…that Hayashi was Ops, Soral put them there, ripped them from Engineering because he needed someone he could trust. Something that never sat well with that Hayashi but their loyalty to Soral was…absolute. Those are the same words that the captain used with me; ‘someone I can trust’ just those damned words.”
Oriana squeezed her eyes shut. This was her Hayashi yet not. “I’m sorry Haya.”
They shrugged, “Someone once said that life was a stage and we were actors. I would add for someone else’s amusement.”
She sighed, “It’s not like that Haya.”
They smiled then as if lost in a memory. “No matter the verse the Oriana is still the same. My cheerleader and advisor, my friend.”
She smiled. “Well, friend and cheerleader yes, I don’t know how much advice I can give that’s actually good.”
Hayashi reached over tenderly tucking a stray lock behind her ear. “You have no idea. Sometimes I think that you are the only thing keeping me here tethered to reality.” They sighed heavily as if they were Atlas holding up the world. “That brings us to the other thing that we have to talk about doesn’t it.”
Oriana stayed silent.
“What changed for us? When we shared junior quarters because there was no space, we had our own rooms but we ate together, read together, hell we even cuddled and slept in the same bed. I mean I may have moved to senior quarters but…”
“It’s not that easy Haya. I told you from the start relationship aren’t my thing. I…I’m not like others.”
“That’s a good thing Ori.”
“Not for me. Not for someone whose felt like an outcast and a burden and not normal all her life.”
“You are normal Ori. You are unique and loving and kind and … frankly I’ve been searching for someone like you for my whole life.”
Silence filled the room so unbearably loud that Oriana wanted to hold her hands over her ears. “I’m still…finding myself.”
“I get that. I think I am in a way too, especially with this merge but above all else I don’t want to loose the friendship.”
Oriana was silent then. She sighed. “Can we start over?”
Hayashi smiled. “I think that’s the best advise ever. I think we both have to get to know one another and ourselves again.”
Oriana gave a nod.
Hayashi reached over and took her hand. “Can you stay with me tonight just sit here; we don’t have to talk.”
She smiled. “Of course.” She wrapped her arm around Hayashi’s arm and laid her head on their shoulder. They stayed like that silent just soaking up one another’s aura and thinking, letting their minds work through everything that had come before and perhaps dream about the possibilities of the future.
Neither got any sleep that night and by the time that the mechanical lark began to scream, telling both it was time to leave their cocoon of comfort, they were both exhausted but feeling slightly lighter for having finally laid bare a portion of the burden that they both carried.
Today was a new day.
Oriana stretched first, “I should go…I need to see the captain for breakfast.”
Hamura smiled, “I want to tell you to skip it but I have new ship parts coming in and a long day ahead.
They both refreshed themselves in the bathroom and Oriana headed out to her quarters to freshen up and change into her uniform. It would be a long day indeed.