DISCLAIMER: Paramount Inc owns all rights to the characters, universe and everything else Star Trek related. This story is copyright (c) 2003 by Illy. Rated PG.



Witness

Illy



Make me a witness, Take me out, Out of darkness, Out of doubt.

She drifted back to into full consciousness serenely, being pulled up from the dream that encompassed her by something that she couldn't quite identify. The heavy drapes were pulled over the window next to the mattress, but she could tell from the few chinks of light that filtered through that it was already daylight again. The smell of spicy incense permeated the air. It was exotic and intoxicating, and she took a deep breath and smiled slightly to herself, for a reason she couldn't quite recollect.

It took her a few more moments to realize that this wasn't her room. It wasn't her mattress, or her drapes, and the robe loosely tucked around her definitely wasn't hers.

And she was alone.

A flood of panic welled up, unbidden, and she chided herself for it, for her stupidity. But still it sat there, in the pit of her stomach, gnawing away. Why wasn't he here? With her? Thoughts of him began to swim before her eyes, and she suddenly felt like crying. What if it was too soon? What if right now he was as far away as possible, in regret of their decision? She didn't want to have ruined what she -- no, what they -- had spent so long working for.

And the harsh light of day was very different to the long cool nights of the planet. Yesterday this had seemed so very right. The logical conclusion, as he would have said. But now…

* * *

Will we…

They had entered the gallery to get out of the heat of the evening. The day had been extremely hot, even by his standards. The artwork on display was a mix of Terran and Vulcan, an apt coincidence for the two of them. They had wandered between stands of paintings and sculptures for a good few hours, neither of them saying much to the other in companionable silence. Neither of their minds had seemed to be fixed on the artwork, rather on the acute attention it took both of them to stop from mentioning the strange feeling in the air. It was heady. She felt the sweat trickling down her back, partly from the heat, and party the concentration, sticking the light sundress to her, and room began to spin gently, as everything slowed to a crawl. Some still working corner of her mind, ever the nurse, noted that she was probably suffering from mild heatstroke. She stumbled, and his hand came to her elbow to steady her.

It stayed there.

Burn

His touch was fiery hot, and yet deliciously cold. Something seemed to connect, a spark leaping along her skin. At that moment she could have believed in magic. She could feel him, his aura. His eyes bored into hers, and she found herself lost. Nothing at that moment existed except him, and the relentless heat that surrounded them. She no longer knew if it was from the burning sun, or from the rising desire. Nor did she care.

He spoke then, and she looked at the words fall from his lips, uncomprehending-- "We should leave." She nodded in assent, although she was unsure about what she was agreeing with. His arm wrapped around her waist, as if she was about to fall, they started the walk back to the apartments that they had rented for their leave.

In heaven?

It was only logical that he had gone to his room; it was closer, and the heat had obviously affected her. He guided her to the mattress in the corner, and pushed her gently onto it. She missed his touch, but cursed herself as she whimpered when it left her. Moments later she had a tall glass of water in her hands, and she was sipping gratefully.

"Thank you."

"Thanks are illogical; I was doing what was necessary."

His hand moved to her forehead, feeling for her temperature. She was sure the heat was washing off of her in waves, was sure he must feel it, the depths of her emotion pounding away along with the thump of her blood through her veins. She shut her eyes, trying to regain some semblance of control.

His fingers slipped along her face until they rested on her temples. Her eyes opened, to find his inches from hers, staring with her with such intensity that it hurt.

"May I?" His voice was unsure. She nodded.

Moments later the hesitancy was gone; as were their clothes. The night was long and hot, and consisted of nothing but the two of them.

* * *

The confusion in her mind seemed to suddenly quell, as she came to her senses more fully. Something was different… something that she couldn't quite identify. He was here, she was sure of it now. She pulled the robe off the bed, and tied it around herself. Moving to the next room, she found him, sitting cross-legged on the floor, in a meditative pose.

He turned to face her before she had a chance to speak, reaching a hand out towards her. As their fingers touched, she felt a spark course between them, and suddenly she knew. She couldn't help the huge grin that spread over her face and she could see it reflected in the merriment of his eyes.

"Good morning," she whispered.

"Good morning," he replied in all seriousness, "I think it might be hot today."

Suddenly, she could see that everything was going to be alright, at least for now. As the fledgling bond opened, and the burning began once again, the word t'hy'la echoed in her ears. She had no reason to doubt that he was here to stay.

Make me a witness.



Fin

Lyrics - "Witness" by Sarah McLachlan, from Surfacing, 1997.



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