Just Hear Me Out
Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Timeline: Concurrent with the taking back the Elysium posts
His idea was clever.
He knew that Miran Lalor liked to keep up with her fencing training. It was almost like a religion with her and the Captain. As far as he knew, the two sisters were at the very top of their game, and he also knew that such a thing came from their pure devotion to their craft. So when Ken Waters saw that Miran had booked Holosuite 2, he immediately suspected that it was for fencing practice with a computer partner in the Captain's absence.
A few small bribes had bought him the access code for the holosuite. He'd step inside, Miran would be pissed as all hell that he'd invaded her privacy, and then she wouldn't be nearly AS mad that he was back in Phoenix's life. Again.
It wasn't a smart idea, or a particularly good idea. But his idea was clever.
He punched in his purchased code, and the doors to Holosuite 2 slowly pulled apart.
The nearly 15 year old was busy. She was not paying attention to the doors opening behind her, but was too busy trying not to get her head cut off as she sparred against the training program. She had been at it for what felt like hours, but had it only been half an hour? She blocked a swing at her head with her light sword and muttered a curse in Erisian.
Without a word, Ken stepped over to the arch and quitely tapped away at the recessed panel. In the sparkling storm of a quiet shimer his clothing was replaced in the head-to-toe garb of a computer generated fencer. Double-checking that the holosuite safeties were intact, he reached up to pluck his sword from the air. He tested its weight in his hand. From a dozen feet away he saw Miran's opponent drop to his knees and then fall onto his back.
Triple-checking the safeties, Ken dutifully stepped up behind her to replace the hologram as her next adversary. The computer chirped to advise her that her next opponent was ready at her back.
Ken's very brief training with Phoenix flashed through his mind as he smartly saluted with his sword and then slid into the ready position, waiting for her to turn around and attack.
When she turned her eyes narrowed. Where her sister's eyes went from clear blue to icy grey when pissed, Miran's brown eyes went almost black when angry. Her mouth firmed into a thin line as she shifted her weight. She didn't speak, just swung her sword, at his mid section.
Ken just barely managed to knock her strike clear, though the contact with her blade shook its way along the length of his weapon and into the bones of his arm. "Prophets, Miran!" he yelped. Staggering back a step he adjusted his grip on his sword, its point floating in front of him uncertainly as he tried to guess the moment and direction of her next attack.
Ignoring that, Miran swung again, this time knocking his sword aside and aiming lower than his stomach. Her eyes watched him and her lips curved into an evil smile.
The point of her sword stopped suddenly, a fraction of an inch away from making him a new man -- or rather making him a man no more. His eyes were as wide as his mouth, and he struggled to cough up his words. He didn't know if she had stopped her attack of her own accord or if the holosuite safeties had forced her weapon to slow. "We need to talk," he said.
She lowered her weapon slowly. "Talk about what?" she asked coldly.
He didn't take his eyes from the tip of her blade. "Computer keep the safeties on no matter what. Please confirm."
The speakers in the holosuite chirped a response. He wasn't exactly sure what that chirp meant.
"Miran," Ken said slowly, lowering his own weapon. He knew she wasn't afraid of him, but he made the gesture regardless. "I love your sister. I'm in love with her. Very much so. You heard about what happened with us in that other reality?"
She studied him. She had spoken with her older self. Had seen the loss on the woman's face and the other aspects of her life. "I heard" She said calmly. "Seems that the children were pretty wild. No discipline."
"But there were children, Miran," Ken said, and he physically dipped himself into his words. "Can you believe it? I was a father in that life. A father! And you were an Auntie." He extended his hand to her and then slapped it back against his own chest. "And we were a family. You and me. A real family."
"WERE" She said coldly. "And after meeting your children... heaven help us."
"Miran," Ken said to her, his voice somewhere between pleading and astonishment, "Don't you get it? Phoenix and I are meant to be. In this crazy universe where nothing ever goes our way -- not even a little bit -- I finally got something: A nice temporal slap in the face to show me exactly how important your sister is to me. How important you both are to me."
She lowered the sword completely. "Are you going to marry my sister this time around?" she asked throwing the question at him from left field.
His body went rigid for a moment. Marry Phoenix Lalor? Surely the idea had crossed his mind before, particularly after everything they had heard about on that planet. But to hear someone speak the words out loud was another thing altogether. His eyes dipped to the tip of her weapon. "Which answer is going to stop you from running me through with that thing?"
"Neither." She admitted. "But it's a good question Ken. And if you were on Erisia you would not be sleeping with her until you married her. So are you going to ask her?"
He knew the answer. Immediately. And not the sword, nor the scornful sister, nor his own self-doubt would ever change it. "Yes."
Miran tilted her head at him. "Good. You can live. For now. Hurt her again, they won'tbe able to find your body. "