Title: - Where real failure comes…
Author: - Femme_Slash_Fan AKA Elizabeth Fox-Foster.
Rating: - PG-13.
Fandom: - Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Characters: - Ro Laren / Guinan.
Warnings: - Light mentions of abuse.
Spoilers: - None really, a little for the episode “Pre-emptive Strike.”
Word Count: - 1098.
Written For: - Teh_Gandu.
Prompt: - During/Post Pre-emptive Strike. With Ro/Guinan somehow meeting months after the events of Pre-emptive Strike. How they meet is up to you. “Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading in on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That’s really when failure comes.” – Tom Cochrane.
Author’s Notes/Summary: - When Ro finds herself remembering her past, she searches out an old friend… (Working this story out mostly from fact-sheets.)
Ro Laren had been pretty smart from a young age and she’d learnt a lot when she was on the Enterprise then again with the Maquis. She now found herself reluctant to go and see Guinan, but she also wanted to desperately.
She had known the woman since early her career aboard the Enterprise. The woman had ignored her when she’d said she wanted to be alone. They had soon become firm friends.
Now, several months had passed and she was nervous and a little skittish as she’d suffered plenty abuse and troubles with the Maquis.
She took her time in the familiar corridors of the nearby Space-Station.
The clothes she wore were Maquis-made and she stood out from the most of the crowds.
She spotted Guinan sat in a nearby bar and found herself smiling. She crossed to join her and settled slowly, wincing.
“What happened to you?” Guinan asked instantly, she wore her usual clothing and hat, this one a bright purple.
“Don’t ask.” The answer came in a hiss, the pain causing the Bajoran to double over a little. “Let’s just say I screwed up.”
Guinan snorted softly. “You look like you need some medical help.” She stood and pulled Ro up, apologising as the woman hissed again.
The two made slow progress to the Medi-bay. The doctor held her comment in and settled to healing the damage. Guinan stayed in silence. Once the doctor moved away she spoke again. “What did they do to you?”
“I can’t tell you.” The reply was harsh but pained.
“You’ve known me long enough to know I won’t judge you.” Guinan’s voice held something more than friendship, a different type of tenderness.
“I know.” Ro sighed, not wanting Guinan to see her struggle. She finally looked up and spoke weakly. “I don’t want to remember it.” The confession was soft, different from her usual tone.
“Ro, just tell me… maybe I can help.”
“Guinan.” Ro’s voice was pleading with her.
“Okay, I won’t force you…” Guinan sighed. “I’ll leave you be.”
Ro gave a low growl then began to speak, unwillingly. “Stay?”
“Of course I will.” Guinan agreed softly. “Until you tell me to go.”
“Thank you.” The words held both relief and a small sigh.
Guinan smiled slightly, calm. “Your welcome Ro.”
An easy silence fell now. Both women content in each other’s company.
The silence was broken finally by Ro’s sudden sobs.
“Ro.” Guinan sighed, wishing she could take away the pain. It hurt to see this beautiful and proud girl hurting so much. “I wish I knew how to stop you hurting.”
“Don’t leave.” The words barely registered at first, Ro hadn’t meant to say them. “Please.” She meant it all, Guinan always made her feel safe.
“I won’t.” Guinan soothed quietly. “I won’t leave you Ro… you mean too much for me to do that now.”
A small smile crossed Ro’s lips before fading again. “Good, I need you here.” The words had been underlying every conversation they had, now they were spoken.
“I’ll be here.” Guinan replied simply. “I promise.” She barely hid her smile, glad she had finally heard the words she’d wanted to hear for a long time.
Ro glanced over at her silently. Her look said it all. ‘Good’.
Guinan laughed, wondering if she should tell Ro about the changes on the Enterprise, what had happened between Beverly Crusher, the ship’s medical officer and Deanna Troi, the ship’s empath.
She gave in with a small smile. “Turns out you were right about Troi and Crusher…” She began.
“Who made the first move, and when?” Ro asked instantly, seeming to forget her troubles.
“Deanna, I think she asked her in the medi-bay.” Guinan replied, laughing.
“About time.” Ro replied smiling, seeming different from her old tense self.
“I know.” Guinan agreed. “I think they knew everyone had them figured out.”
“We all knew the second we met them…”
“They didn’t know, clearly…”
“Well, I’m glad they finally got sorted.” Ro smiled. “They deserve to be happy.”
“See, that’s the Ro I know and love…” Guinan replied. Then paused and flushed. Busted.
“Say that again.” Ro asked softly. “Please…”
“That’s the Ro I know and love.” Guinan sounded a little worried and confused.
“Guinan…” Ro sounded amused. “Do you mean that?”
“Yes, I do.” Guinan replied simply. “Why?”
“Because… I think I feel the same.” The answer was hesitant.
“Ro…” Guinan paused then spoke gently. “Are you sure?” She paused again. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I trust you.” The reply was strong. “So, yes, I’m sure.”
“Promise me you’ll tell me if I hurt you?” Guinan asked suddenly a little shy and edgy.
“Of course I will.” Ro agreed. She knew why Guinan asked, the woman hated pain and tried not to cause it unless she had to.
“Okay.” Guinan murmured, clearly reassured by Ro’s words.
Ro stood finally and glanced at Guinan. “Can we get outta here?”
“Sure.” Guinan replied smiling. “My place or yours?”
“I don’t have a place Guinan.”
“So, mine then.” Guinan shrugged. “Why not stay with me for a while?”
“If you don’t mind?” Ro asked, then agreed easily. “Sure, why not?”
“Of course I don’t mind.” Guinan laughed.
The two exited the medical area together, smiling.
After a short walk, the two entered Guinan’s room.
Ro settled quietly on Guinan’s bed, watching her as she spoke. “Should I get a job here?”
“Well, I’d sure like to see you more often.” Guinan shrugged.
“Then I’ll try.” Ro shrugged back. “’Til then I’ll stay here.”
Guinan laughed softly. “Your welcome to.” She glanced at Ro again then shrugged again. “I don’t mind much.”
The two fell silent again, just watching each other, again.
“So?” Ro asked then shrugged, stopping.
“Let’s get dinner going.”