Not switching to DTV
Join Date: May 2003
Location: just past the pot o' gold
Current Game: TrackMania Nations
((JP with FFWM! YAY!))
The Ship that was Formerly Pauel's, en route to Cocyta
Arai didn't understand how "normal" people could handle it. Arms outstretched, fingers brushing against the narrow walls of the corridor toward the cockpit. Without the Force, her balance was off. She'd already stumbled twice since leaving the dorm and she was having a rough time focusing her mind on anything. She reached the cockpit and vaguely realized that Dom was there... and then the toe of her right shoe imitated a stray spear and drove into the floor. Completely offset, she fell headlong into the cockpit with a startled yelp.
The yelp made Dominic start. He had been watching the constantly-warping tunnel of hyperspace for quite some time now...and her collapse had been the first sign of movement that he'd seen in some time. He blinked, seeing her on the ground, and he immediately pulled his feet from the dashboard and stood up, crossing to her.
"Arai!" he said, bending to help her up. He couldn't understand the sequence of events; one minute he was alone, the next minute she was on the floor.
By the time he reached her, she was on her hands and knees, trying to collect herself. Slowly, she reached up, grasping his arms and pulled herself up on her knees.
"Sorry," she murmured. "Not quite..." She blinked. "Not quite myself... at the moment."
"Yeah...I'll say." He got down on his knees, helping her to balance with one hand while he placed the back of the other against her forehead. She was so pale, almost as if she had a..."No fever." he murmured, then tilted her chin upward a little so he could see her eyes. Something felt off - not in that intuition way, but in that strange echo way that he sometimes got. The same thing he'd felt when meeting that Sith woman for the first time..."What's wrong?"
"When we were with Pauel..." she said slowly. "... before you pulled us out the window? I saw what was coming just enough... little twitch of the hand, snagged his bag. Ostanovium inhalers..." She mimicked the gesture of using one. "Puff." She grimaced. "Was it like this for you? All disoriented and like..." She sighed. "Like something's missing? Something you need for survival?"
Dominic looked at her for a long moment, as if he hadn't quite understood what she had said. Then, slowly, "You...you took ostanovium?" The way he said the words...he sounded hurt.
Arai's eyes widened, dismayed by how pained he sounded. She was used to feeling emotion through the Force, but to hear it in a voice - especially the voice of someone she cared about - brought her to the verge of tears.
"I-I'm sorry," she stammered. "I-I thought... I thought that's what you wanted..."
"Wanted?" he repeated. His hurt was turning, as it always did, into pain quite quickly, and he narrowed his eyes now. "You think I wanted you to take ostanovium? You think I wanted you to poison yourself??"
The tears flowed freely now and she bowed her head, looking for all the galaxy like a young child, ashamed at having been caught with her hand in a cookie jar. "Noo," she murmured, trying desperately to control her voice. "To be Force-free..." She looked up earnestly and asked, "But didn't Pauel say the inhalers were safe?"
"He did, but he also believed that the pills were safe!" Dominic shook his head, standing up and pulling her to her feet. Slowly, carefully, he maneuvered her into the seat he had vacated a moment ago. "Why would you ever want to get rid of the Force, Raia?"
Brushing a hand over her tear-streaked cheeks, she shook her head. "I couldn't keep doing that to you," she whispered. "My... the Dark Side... my episodes kept coming faster, and every time you stopped me, I saw you getting weaker." She sighed put her head in her hands. "It had to end."
Dominic's eyes widened...and then his entire body seemed to deflate. He sank to one knee while she was seated, and he touched her cheek to make her look at him. "You did this for me?"
Through her tears, Arai nodded and brought her hand up to his. "You did such a good job of saving me. Someone had to save you."
The pilgrim sighed and closed his eyes, leaning in to touch his forehead to hers. "I don't need saving, you silly little thing." he murmured. "You have nothing to do what's going on with me...and even if you did, I wouldn't want you taking those kinds of risks. They aren't worth it."
Gently, she pushed him back until she could look into his eyes. "Will you at least consider the tattoo as a possible cause for your symptoms?" she pleaded.
He looked at her, askance. "Raia..."
She looked almost desperate. "Please."
"Fine." he said grudgingly, standing up again. "On one condition."
Her eyes lit up. "Anything."
"Tell me where the other inhalers are."
She stared at him for a moment. Then, she nodded. "In the dorm, under the bed."
"Thank you." he said, turning to the corridor. But he stopped halfway there and turned to look at her, wagging a finger. "Don't move from that seat, you understand me?"
Her eyes sparkling, Arai nodded solemnly. "Not an inch," she promised.
"Good girl." he said over his shoulder, with an air of laughter that was very different from his prior attitudes. A moment later, he had disappeared down the hall.