<USS Banshee> "Spinning Wheel"

  • From: "Sarah Stewart" <cyanah@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 12:57:07 -0700

"Spinning Wheel"
by Captain Rhiannon Morrigan
and Ensign Cyanah Kaelyre
She stood at the door for several minutes without moving. No one was in
corridor to give witness to the fact that the Queen of Cool was slightly
disheveled, her hair hastily and sloppily braided, her uniform rumpled
from her recent nap on the couch in the security office. She was unaware
of anything but the burning desire to know something, anything to make
sense out of what had transpired in the last six hours to turn her world
from an orderly and pristine citadel to something out of the pages of a
recent space age soap opera. Morrigan drew a ragged breath and raised
her hand, usually strong and sure but now trembling, to ring the chime
of the quarters of Ensign Cyanah Kaelyre... the catalyst of her
Cyanah was reclining on her couch reading the latest issue of the
Starfleet Astrophysics Journal, clad in her usual off-duty attire. This
time it was a black version of the casual Delosian sundress type garment
that she favored so heavily, but with an interestingly-tailored cut to
the neckline and bottom hem.
She had taken up reading the SAJ after her duty shift to clear her mind
of the turblolift snafu with Captain Morrigan. Cyanah could scarcely
believe that she had survived the encounter, much less was still a
Starfleet officer, and because of her continued life she had reason to
suspect that the Captain may have actually enjoyed the kiss. 
Nevertheless, she could not allow herself to dwell on it. Cyanah had
made the move, and if Morrigan wanted anything else to come of it, she
would respond in her own way. The only thing Cyanah could do was to wait
and immerse herself in her work so that she wouldn't kill herself with
the hopeful anticipation.
Cyanah was surprised when the door chime rang, as she wasn't expecting
any visitors. It's probably Sara, she mused to herself, coming to
complain about Josh and Tony's latest fight over her. Smiling at the
thought of conversation with her friend, she answered the door and was
quite startled to see a disheveled Captain Morrigan on the other side
instead of an exasperated Ensign Crusher.
"C-Captain!" she said. "Please, come in!" She hurried back into the room
and attempted to clean up the assortment of PADDs that littered her
coffee table.
Rhiannon entered the ensign's quarters and watched the flurry of
activity.  In the past, it would have amused her to see a lower ranking
officer so rattled by her very presence.  Presently, it just made her
more aware of the woman's obvious distress. Without speaking, she
crossed to Cyanah and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Don't go to any
bother; I'm not here to inspect your quarters. I only want to talk to
you... is now a bad time?"
Her grey eyes flickered over the ensign as if seeing her for the first
time. The diminutive frame and fiery hair had a dramatic effect,
creating a picture of helplessness and strength that anyone would find
appealing if they looked at her outside the confines of duty.
So now would be the "chat about it later" that the Captain had mentioned
in the turbolift. Cyanah was acutely aware of the woman's hand on her
shoulder as she examined Morrigan's appearance and decided that she
wasn't there to kill her after all. In a reversal of roles, Cyanah
smiled warmly, hoping to put the Captain at ease during what was
obviously an emotionally trying time for her. "Of course, Captain.
Please, have a seat." She swept a couple of PADDs off the couch onto the
floor, sat down, and gestured to the empty seat next to her.
"No," Rhiannon asserted as she sat gingerly at one end of the couch. "At
the moment, I am not Captain. Call me anything you feel comfortable
with, but that." In an effort to appear more accessible, she turned
towards Cyanah at an angle, tucking one leg beneath herself. "Just
because I happen to be in uniform at the moment, does not mean I am here
on any sort of official capacity. I am here... I want to know..." She
sighed and shook her head. "Ens... Kaelyre..." she stopped herself
again. "May I call you Cyanah, or is there some other name that you
"Rhiannon," she said, easily using the Captain's first name since
Delosian culture was more relaxed on the use of titles and surnames. She
would now be referred to on Delos as Lady Cyanah, but rarely would the
name Kaelyre surface in daily usage. "Please, call me Cyanah," she
continued, keeping her warm smile even though she was concerned about
Rhiannon and this breach in her usual armor.
"Cyanah," she said gravely. "I want you to know that I am not harboring
any ill will towards you in respect to our incident in the turbolift...
and if I said or did anything afterwards that may have caused you
distress, I do apologize. It was rather sudden and I was taken quite off
guard." She looked at Cyanah for some indication that she had not hurt
the woman's feelings.  The reason I am here, however is that... that..."
She sighed and closed her eyes as she pressed the tip of her finger to
the space between her eyes. D'nalls had done what no one had been able
to do for her before... relax her, but the effects were wearing thin and
the tension was returning.
Cyanah exhaled in relief, glad that the Captain would not hold the
incident against her, but then quickly resumed her supportive attitude.
The woman was obviously in turmoil and needed something, but Cyanah
could tell that even Rhiannon had yet to figure out what that something
was. Cyanah remained silent and waited for her to continue, not wanting
to interrupt something that was difficult enough to say.
Morrigan opened her eyes and caught Cyanah's gaze. She took a deep
breath and held it for a moment before releasing it. "Let me start at
the beginning. With me. I am Captain Rhiannon Morrigan of the USS
Banshee. Before that I was Commander Morrigan of the Fighter Research
and Development unit. I have always defined myself this way... by what I
did. It became who I was."  A frown puckered her eyebrows. "I'm not
saying it is right. It is the way that it is."
Rhiannon surprised herself with her own honesty. "Much to my mother's
dismay, I have had no interest or desire in exploring or discovering my
more... more... human side." A ghost of a smile lifted her lips.
"I am...at a loss... to tell you exactly what I am... feeling at this
moment." A woman more accustomed to action than words, she stood
suddenly and stepped over the scattered PADDs. "Have you ever had a
hamster, Cyanah?" She had turned her back to the ensign and was looking
at some artifact on the wall without really seeing it.
Cyanah blinked once in surprise at the sudden change of tone, but
replied, "Not a hamster in particular, but a small animal, yes."
"They seem to live their whole life running on a wheel. They don't go
anywhere, they just run, and seem happy in their running. Then one day
someone comes and gives the wheel a spin and the hamster loses control.
They turn upside down and hang onto their wheel for dear life and when
the wheel stops turning, they are disoriented and confused." She turned
on her heel and looked at Cyanah once more. "Do you understand what I am
trying to tell you?"
"Your wheel has been spinning."
"Metaphorically speaking, yes." Rhiannon tapped a fallen PADD with the
toe of her boot. "There are a lot of things I don't know, Cyanah. About
myself. But something happened in that moment when our lips met, and my
life is not the same, nor will it ever be." She smiled. "If you had the
nerve, you could probably ask Commander Andros. I'm sure they were
running some sort of pool at the academy as to whether or not I had
blood, ice, or circuitry running beneath my skin."
Cyanah laughed, her face brightening from the heavy atmosphere their
conversation had generated so far. "Just so you know, Rhiannon, I wasn't
nervous around you because I was afraid that you'd barbeque me like the
other ensigns are."
"Oh, really?" Rhiannon quirked an eyebrow in amusement. "The thought of
standing in my ready room and getting a tongue lashing doesn't fill your
very soul with terror?"
Cyanah shook her head. "Though I'm sure it would be an experience, no.
I'm not in Starfleet for anything but the science, which I could just as
easily do elsewhere. Now that I'm an officer and can study science in
the field, promotion means nothing to me. I mean no disrespect, of
course, but I had my own reasons to appear nervous."
A throaty chuckle escaped her as she shook her head. "That makes two of
you now who fear not the wrath of Rhi. Three if I count Andros." A
contemplative look crossed her face. "Cyanah, I'm going to be brutally
honest here. As far as sexuality goes... I'm a first year cadet." She
crossed back to the couch and sat. "I don't know who I am or what I am
in that area. I don't know if I'm interested in men, women, hamsters,
nothing, or everything."  
Rhiannon shrugged to hide her nervousness at revealing so much. "I never
had the time or the interest to pursue it... and with everything that is
going on with the ship... I'm not sure now is the best time." She
paused. "But is there ever really a best time? I am beginning to doubt
that this is something I can schedule into my career... it just
"No, it's not normally something you can plan, but a vital part of
growth as a person, nonetheless." Cyanah took Rhiannon's hand and gave
it a reassuring squeeze. "Rhiannon, it is of course up to you to decide
what to do next. But if you wish for me to be a part of it, even a small
one, I will."
Morrigan sighed deeply in relief. "Thank you, Cyanah. I appreciate it.
Young Crusher could learn a lot from you." She looked at their clasped
hands for a moment and gave a gentle laugh. "Do you know... that next to
you, I feel like a giant?"
Cyanah joined Rhiannon in laughter. "When I said, 'a small part', my
height is not quite what I meant."
Rhiannon's lips lifted in a full smile as the weight of her unease began
to fall away. "My mother would love you, Cyanah. You are a lot of what
her Goddess embodies." She stood without releasing the woman's hand,
pulling her up with her. "I would be honored to have you make this
journey with me." She hesitated for a moment before raising her free
hand up to Cyanah's chin, tilting it upwards.
"No mixed signals here, Cy." She lowered her head carefully and brushed
her lips against Cyanah's as if asking a question. Not sensing any
negative response, Rhi pressed her lips more firmly, savoring the full,
soft feel of them before gingerly deepening the kiss to taste her mouth.
Time seemed to stop as she allowed her senses to feed on the moment.
Reluctantly, she pulled back and straightened, allowing her hand to
stroke Cyanah's face before returning to her side. She smiled softly.
"Good night, Cyanah... and thank you." Her voice had turned husky and
dark like a well aged bourbon.
Cyanah reached up to caress Rhiannon's cheek and locked eyes with her.
"And thank you, Rhiannon, for accepting me as a traveling companion."
The two women stepped apart and Rhiannon wordlessly exited with a glance
over her shoulder. Cyanah was pleased to realize that her foolish antics
in the captain's presence had come to an end.

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