Private Mess - A Little Suffering is Good for the Soul (tag Kastarak)

Posted Aug. 11, 2022, 2:32 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) (Trinity Fister)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor / Counsellor) in Private Mess - A Little Suffering is Good for the Soul (tag Kastarak)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) in Private Mess - A Little Suffering is Good for the Soul (tag Kastarak)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor / Counsellor) in Gym - A Little Suffering is Good for the Soul (tag Kastarak)


Having been oblivious to the buzz and fever of the gymnasium, the various people working out, grunting, talking, breathing, and treadmills running, weights clinking…, T’Aria’s suggestions caused in Kastarak a sudden realization of the reality: they weren’t alone, and this was a highly private conversation.

He readily agreed.

“Please, if you could spare the time,” he said. His heart was pleading, but he tried to keep a straight face.

He had not run enough to begin perspiring, so he hoped they could spare the showers before going. If this conversation was a shuttle, it needed to be caught now, not later, lest they’d miss it.

– Kastarak

(OOC: cue the elevator music of the transition scene. Dodededododedo~)

( ooc: teehee ;) )

“I will make the time,” T’Aria said with a sideways glance at the door, “come with me.”

“Of course,” he replied, before he even had registered a sense of relief in his gut. Once it was registered, he purged it. He knew that following T’Aria and discussing it would be logical. Emotions were of little help until they would actually speak of it. A serene mind until then would be helpful, and, moreover, logical.

Truthfully, she did not know where to take him that didn’t carry the risk of someone interrupting or overhearing their conversation. The common areas – the gym, mess hall, galley and lounge – were too populated at this hour. She didn’t have an official office, only a conference room she commandeered when work demanded the facade of privacy, and it seemed inappropriate to ask Taggart to borrow his office. (That would bring more attention.) What about Sickbay? No, that seemed insensitive, as if implying he needed medical attention. Would he read that deep into it? Was she reading too deep?

T’Aria dismissed the idea as they approached the Gym doors and she gestured him to the nearest Turbolift.

He followed, a step behind T’Aria. He did not want to talk with her needlessly until they were somewhere private. He just hoped it would not be in the turbolift. Perhaps they would go to her office?

In any case, he kept quiet.

“Deck Two,” she ordered, earning the schliiik of the turbolift doors followed by a muffled whirring. Though their journey lasted less than a minute, the silence was excruciating (at least to her). T’Aria gestured Kastarak ahead of her when the doors peeled open before leading him to the Private Mess – the only neutral and often vacant space that came to mind.

Why was this silence so uncomfortable? Surely that wouldn’t be logical? Kastarak was confused. He quickly purged the feeling. Now was not the time for emotion. Serenity of mind, that was all he needed until they could speak of it.

The last time he had been here, he had been with his friend Ngogav Sega’a and collague Todd Applegate. They had been cooking, and there had been awkward exchanges. Would there be awkward exchanges again?

“We should not be bothered here,” T’Aria said once they were securely inside. “Would you like something to drink?”

“Thank you, a cup of tea would be welcome”, replied Kastarak.

Her offer was genuine but, more importantly, it was an invitation for him to lead the conversation at his pace, on his terms.

— T’Aria

But he didn’t say anything at this point....

– Kastarak

His silence reminded T’Aria that it might be discomfiting to stand in the centre of a dimly lit, cold room and talk about it. So, she took the lull as her cue to let him get situated while she retrieved teabags and cups from the adjoining galley.

“Please, have a seat…” she lifted a passive hand to the nearby table, “I will return with your tea, shortly.”

T’Aria hesitated before turning on her heel to approach the galley.

As a child, her grandmother would prepare a blend of Favanit petals and Redspice to soothe her on nights when terrors toyed with her young and irrtational mind. Their subtle sweetness and spice felt like a warm hug, easing the shivers that made their desert home feel like the Andorian Tundra, and comforted her into sleep. Her terrors faded into memory, but she held onto the medicine for moments of emotional tension – moments like these, where she wanted to help her friend feel comfortable… secure. Favanit and Redspice were just re-emerging on New Vulcan along with an array of native plants. They were hard to come by, but T’Aria hoped suspected Sega’a had something comparable in stock – something familiar.

Her pantry-searching lasted mere minutes before she came across a shelf of bagged and loose-leaf tea housed in tinted glass containers. She traced a finger over the labels until one poorly-named “Vulcan tea” popped out to her. T’Aria took the jar and opened it to see if she could smell what was in it, but there was too many other aromas to confirm whether she was sensing its contents or those aroud her. It wasn’t important. Removing two bags, she set them aside and replicated two cups of 85 C water to steep. T’Aria took the cups and returned to Kastarak, placing one next to him before taking a seat nearby.

T’Aria sat in silence for many seconds, unsure of what (if anything) to say, until she landed on something simple and direct:

“How are you feeling?”

— T’Aria

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