Seimei and Khaiya
by Jaelynna and Keeley
He had to pause a moment to catch is breath, to let
the darkness pass from his vision. The need to do so
made him angry, impatient and a little afraid as he
waited for his heart to cease dancing and
somersaulting in his chest and resume its usual steady
walk. But discipline and training soon asserted
themselves, forcing anger and fear to recede, bringing
mind and body to heel. Fear and anger, Lt. Commander
Chang had often admonished, were a deadly duo. Master
them and the spirit would be invincible.
Khaiya narrowed his eyes against the bright morning
sun, his feet once again finding their own path
through the heavy greenery. He had been struggling
against those opponents since Michael's nascent
psychic gifts had erupted so spectacularly, shattering
his mind's peace; searing through his mental shields
and disturbing his own psychic equilibrium. Struggling
and losing-- as his recalcitrant body attested to. His
study of yoga and martial arts, his training as a
Black Lion, had given him a satisfying, empowering
control over his mind, body, and psionic abilities.
But in the space of four days, that had unraveled.
Pain had awakened him in Med bay two days ago--a
vague general ache in his body, a pounding in his
head, a throbbing in his hip. He was up and stumbling
toward another room in the infirmary before he knew
it, fear and anger at war in his psyche.
Jordana--someone had hurt her! Nausea and dizziness
had overcome him and he had reached out for the
nearest wall for support. Pain, like the grinding of
bone against bone had lanced up his arm, leaving him
gasping. He rested a moment, cradling the aching limb
to his chest, willing the hurt away. The pain hadn't
been his. Deliberately he engaged the mental exercises
to focus and ground, to separate self from other.
Jordana--he'd known the Feel of her since before he
was born. But this other...?
Moving cautiously he had found her room and stopped
stunned in the doorway. His sister was bruised and
battered but essentially unharmed. Michael was with
her. From the feel of the ether, they had quarreled.
That didn't happen often but when it did, the
atmosphere always had a hot, charged, tense feel.
Khaiya didn't attempt to pry but his sister emanated
anger, indignation, frustration and worry. Michael on
the other hand Felt... satisfaction but also a
vague...horror? ...That was when he noticed: the
ensign's left arm was encased and in a sling.
That was two days ago. In the days since, the
inadvertent bond formed during the unintentional
sharing that had occurred when both Talent and dark
memory had laid Michael's mind open, had strengthened
and deepened, leaving Khaiya, with his faulty shields
and sensitized psi, vulnerable.
Khaiya wasn't prone to migraines but pain in his head
had left him blind and retching twice in as many days;
his emotions had swung furiously from anger to
anxiety, to self-hatred, to a depression that made him
want to dig deep into his wrists until the blood
flowed. None of this was his pain. This was Michael's
pain. The seemingly unshakable first ensign stood on
the edge of an abyss, dangerously out of balance. And
he felt alone...alone. For the first time since he
had met Michael two years ago, Khaiya understood him
perfectly. His Talent, fueled by his natural
compassion, flared nova bright in sympathy, seeking to
stabilize and soothe, to bring balance to a mind alien
yet now frighteningly familiar. Unconsciously, his
psi would seek across the rapport to calm when the
anger flared, to correct the neural-chemical
imbalances that fueled the depression...it left Khaiya
drained on all levels, his spirit buffeted by winds
that blew his own past back at him in tearing gales
and left him struggling for safe harbor. He had
absolutely no control over what was happening, which
terrified him. He had experienced such deep linking
before: shortly before his parents died and during the
shadowed time with Primacy. Only death had severed
those connections. He suppressed a shiver, briefly
overwhelmed by memory.
Khaiya sighed, frowning, stepping over a felled tree
branch. The worst of it was, it wasn't only himself
caught up in this storm. His sister, Winter, Seimei,
Michael...they all swirled round in the maelstrom. The
strain was getting to all of them. He knew it affected
his behavior--making him more withdrawn then usual.
His colleagues watched him with wary, concerned eyes,
were cautiously solicitous, which only serve to make
him more hostile and ill tempered. Winter had come to
him briefly, concerned over his initial loss of
control in the hanger as well as his present state.
She sensed his distress. He almost told her; almost
let his shields become transparent enough for her to
read through them. But her mind was full of Michael
and he could detect his faint scent on her body. His
shields had remained opaque. Something inside of him
did not want to confess his weakness to her...his
fear...to admit that knowing what Michael was and had
lived through, and what he felt now broke open wounds
of his own that burned deep. He would not burden her
so. Not when she had gone to Michael and kept him from
the abyss at least one more day. It made him feel less
guilty about not acting on his instinct and going to
the First Ensign himself. He had been avoiding Michael
like the plague.
His sister worried about him as well, pressuring him
constantly to confide in her. That Michael had closed
a part of himself off from her left her puzzled and
hurt. He wanted to-- he trusted her more then anyone
in the world-- but how could he reveal to her the
secrets of Michael's soul if Michael hadn't told her
himself? Close as Khaiya was to her, her distress was
like hot water on sun burnt skin to his overwrought
psi, adding to his control's erosion. And those
secrets weren't just Michael's. They were Seimei's as
He ducked under a low hanging tree branch to avoid
glistening spider web, making toward a little rise in
the terrain. Intertwined, they were all intertwined,
like that spider's web. They made a tapestry--weft and
warp, skein interlocking with skein. Who'd have
guessed such a blessing was also a curse? But that
interdependency had brought him out today. Michael
was only a part of the equation. And Jordana and
Winter were but another smaller part. Himself, he was
the least important part of all. No, he was out here
now because of Seimei, truly the other half of the
complicated picture. Even unconscious from sedation
and backlash, her anguish had crackled through his
mind. The confrontation with Michael had rocked her
enough to break through the artificial emotional
barrier created by the drugs she relied on for
survival. He had felt her barricades whither as the
medication wore off. Even on a subconscious level,
the ferocity of her unrestrained emotions frightened
him and made him cringe. But when he had awoken, he
had felt a strong need to see her, to go to her, to
offer her what reassurances he could. After all, she
was his responsibility. Then it had hit him that she
was like Michael. Alien. Apart. Alone.
Of course, he had always Sensed her otherness. She
had never alarmed him, however, in the way Michael
had, even from the first when Lt. Commander Yuy had
introduced them and given Khaiya the difficult task of
managing her medication. As he had taken in the tiny
doll-like girl who stood impassively before him, he
had been struck by a strong sense of familiarity. That
feeling of having known her before had overcome his
usual reserve. From such tentative beginnings, they
had developed a strong working partnership. Khaiya
trusted her as he did few people in his life. He
admired the clarity of her thoughts, her analytical
ability. Her honesty. She had never before, however,
revealed her PanDoRa history. The information was
important. How was he to do his best for her with
A frantic mewing drew Khaiya's attention a little to
his left --- A little cabbit-like creature that could
have come straight out of an old Tenchi Muyo episode,
was struggling in the vines of one of Yggdrasil's
lovely, but deadly carnivorous plants. Khaiya knelt,
gently prying the vines from around the frantic little
creature, projecting calm so that it would not bite
him in fear. It chittered at him when freed and
scampered off into the foliage.
*And what if she had?* He asked himself, sprinting
the last few meters up the incline, * Would you have
become afraid of her? Refused to work with her out of
fear and distrust? * He'd never know the answer to
those questions but none of those things would happen
now. He knew Seimei as well as anyone. She was as
wary of people as he was yet somehow the most delicate
of connections had grown between them. He would never
betray her like that; no matter what demons she
conjured from his subconscious. Through the bond with
Michael, he understood a new part of her, and that at
least, was a good thing. He could face her with this
new understanding, even if he couldn't yet even look
at Michael. But a baby step was still a step.
He looked out over the small basin below him, really
the crater of a long extinct volcano. Seimei was
below. It did not surprise him that she came here; it
was a favorite spot of his own for yoga and
meditation. Sending her the telepathic equivalent of a
knock to let her know he was near, he preceded down
The air around her was cool, a faint breeze stirred
the trees around her and animals could be heard as
they moved through the bushes. None of this however,
bothered the young woman as she sat in relaxed
meditation deep within herself, yet aware of
everything around her at once as she attempted to deal
with the unfamiliar turmoil inside her. This chaos
was wrong; she was supposed to be calm, logical, just
like they'd created her to be... so why were her
thoughts so disordered? Bouncing from Michael, to
Winter, to her past and then back again, twisting and
churning, and all the while she could feel nothing.
Like a child beating it's fists against a wall, she
found herself desperately seeking some trace of
emotion that would prove that she wasn't the cold
emotionless machine the doctors had tried to make her.
So she finally sought the one place she knew peace in.
A special place she could relax and let go of her
The sound of familiar footsteps approaching, then
stopping a short distance away drew her out of her
contemplation and without opening her eyes, she spoke
a soft welcome.
"Seimei." The unfamiliar tone in his voice brought
her around to look at him. His posture was stiff, an
statement that had equal measures of fear,
uncertainty and concern passed briefly across his
features before they resolved themselves into the
usual neutral lines.
She blinked and moved to her feet in a smooth,
effortless movement, keeping her face empty of
"You felt it then." Her voice was quiet, yet carried
easily in the sudden silence that now filled the
"Yes..." His voice held the faintest bit of
apprehension. She felt herself stiffen slightly. Not
since he had first met her had he seemed so
uncomfortable in her presence. Barriers she had not
been aware of relaxing snapped into place once more as
she stood, facing him calmly.
"I had wondered." A part of her went cold and dark as
she waited to see what he would do next.
His response surprised her.
"Are you alright? "
She stared at him as if he'd spoken a foreign
"Of course. Why would you ask?"
Khaiya took another step toward her, "I... I have
never Felt anything like that from you before. I was
afraid for you. It reminded me of Mi-" He stopped
before completing the name but Seimei knew he meant
Michael. Something twisted inside her at the near
mention of her partner's name but she suppressed it
automatically. She was not going to think about
Michael now. She answered succinctly, features
"It was simply a momentary break down of my normal
"It was more then that," he countered, his voice soft
She shifted her weight slightly, turning from his
assessing gaze. He was right, and she didn't like it.
"Yes. It was."
Gracefully, he sank down into the grass of the
clearing, looking up at her, waiting for her to
continue. Closing her eyes, she tried to explain
something that for her had no more substance than a
"When the drugs wore off, everything that's been kept
repressed up until now broke free." She paused,
striving for memories, feelings just out of reach. "I
lost control." It was amazing just how hard it was
for her to say those simple words.
"That's an understatement I would think," He responded
with a slight smile. His voice was soft and warm.
Something inside her wanted to reach up and wrap her
arms around his neck, cuddling against him like a
child. Her rational mind immediately rejected the
image. She wasn't allowed to do that, it wasn't
right. She was an adult and should act like one.
Instead she settled near him on the ground, trying to
find more to give him.
"Vague images, feelings I may have but can't
experience were all magnified and twisted. I
experienced violent mood swings, hallucinations,
nightmares... I do not believe it was very pleasant."
She closed her eyes, shuddering from the effort of
trying to remember things that her mind had locked
away. Why was this so hard for her? Why couldn't she
remember? "It's hard for me to recall what actually
happened when the drugs were gone, like everything's
blocked from my mind, hiding somehow..."
"It doesn't surprise me that you don't remember," He
began, idly running his fingers through the grass,
brow furrowed in thought, "It could be a side effect
of the medication. Or it may be your mind's way of
protecting it's self."
She opened her eyes again and nodded, another shudder
working it's way down her spine before she regained
"Perhaps... I don't like not remembering."
He looked at her. He had noted her shudder she knew,
her break in control.
"I don't think," He said after a long moment, "That
your emotions are as suppressed as we thought,
She shook her head. "Khaiya... there are times I can
almost feel, times I know I should be feeling and what
I should be feeling, but it isn't there... there's
only this deadness inside me. Sometimes I wonder if I
feel anything at all or if I'm just a machine created
by the professors to kill."
The boy's eyes widened slightly and he shook his
head, his silver-ivory hair fluttering in a stray
"Seimei, that isn't true. You aren't a machine... or
an automaton. You aren't dead to my Empathy. I can
feel you, just like I can Sense your thoughts. If you
were dead inside, I wouldn't be able to See you that
She looked at him, her eyes dark, reflecting his
image like mirrors. "You feel inside me." She touched
her chest and then her head. "Here?"
The look she turned on him was compelling.
He nodded, grey-violet eyes meeting her own directly.
"You feel different to me than most people... muted
usually... quiet... but yes, I feel here and here," He
imitated her gesture, pointing to his head and his
heart. "I wouldn't feel anything from an organic
This is what she needed to hear from him, this
reassurance that she wasn't simply a killing machine.
"Then what DO you feel Khaiya? Because I don't feel
anything." He was quiet for a long moment, considering
"I feel...a desire to know more of this life... and
this world...to understand people and why they do the
things they do..." He turned back to her. "You feel
like a curious kitten to me...one who will bat at the
fire because it's pretty and you don't know it will
burn... That is what I get from you...Only the
emotions that go with those discoveries-- joy, pain,
fear...are blunted...not quite accessible." He smiled
at her a little wryly "If that makes any sense... Some
things are hard to put into words."
She stared at him, fascinated by what he said, trying
to match what he was saying to what was inside of her
but not quite being able to.
"You say all this is inside of me? How can you
Khaiya shrugged, raking a lock of hair from his eyes "
I just do. My Gift lets me pick up these things...plus
I get to watch you almost everyday... your body
language, your actions, your words tell me even more
then my empathy or telepathy."
Seimei moved closer to him, staring steadily at his
face as if she were trying to probe into his mind and
see what he saw.
"You watch me, make sure I'm feeling?"
Did someone really care that much?
Khaiya flushed, glancing at his hands a moment that
were still playing with the grass, "Of course I think
about you... and pay attention to what you are doing
and how you are feeling...I know we work
together...but I care about you as well. As a person."
Tilting her head, she thought about this. A person,
not a tool, not something to be used... he saw her as
a person... and most of all, he cared. Something
inside her warmed and she curled up beside him,
resting her head on his arm. "Will you always watch
me? I need to know that I'm still feeling."
He didn't answer her but she felt him shift slightly,
a hand barely touched her, tucking a stray strand of
hair behind her ear.
::: Of course I will. I promise. And if you need a
little reassurance, you only have to Reach for
me...I'll hear you...:::
She nodded, not doubting him at all. He had never lied
to her thus far. But still a question tormented her.
When finally she asked, her voice was soft, almost a
"Will I ever feel?"
A long pause, then she felt him shift against her.
:::You'll feel Seimei. I promise.:::
Her head moved in a slight nod. That would do.
She lay for a moment, enjoying the quiet. Just
sitting with Khaiya made her feel calmer than the
meditation she'd been doing before he'd arrived.
Briefly she wondered if that was his doing, but
shrugged the question off as unimportant.
"Some day, I'm not going to need those drugs."
Khaiya answered her, though she hadn't phrased the
statement as a question. His voice was distant and
contemplative as replied, his gaze distant.
"I'll talk to Professor Tengoku if you will allow me,
now that I know the truth...I'm learning more every
day..." He laughed little, "Even working on System One
is teaching me new things...we will find some answer."
He gave her a little nudge. "You know I can't resist a
challenge. The tougher, the better."
She nodded, wishing for a moment that she could feel,
then she would be able to express the affection she
knew was inside her more clearly.
"I will write Professor Tengoku and ask him to
::Thank you,:: Khaiya sent to her, his mind voice
tickling the insides of her head. She felt something
flow from him that felt like warmth and peace, and
:: It will all work out...you will see.:::
He chewed on his lip a little as he said aloud. "I
have been thinking... we need to come up with a
stable, portable formulation of the drug, one that can
be stored in an injector that you keep with you..."
Seimei tilted her head, considering this. "I believe
what I have is sufficient. If I had been back in my
room as scheduled, the lapse would not have occurred."
He looked ready to protest but she shook her head,
"If it will make you feel better, I shall make up a
case that will allow me to carry the syringe at all
This seemed to mollify him because he gave a reluctant
"Some new ideas have recently come to me that I think
may help us..."
"Such as?" She didn't tell him the things that had
already been attempted and the horrible failures that
had been the results; she didn't want to discourage
him. And perhaps he would have other ideas. She
would be sure to make sure all her medical history was
made available, including the testing she and the
professor had done privately.
"Nothing concrete yet, I'll let you know when I get
things figured out." His smile told her that no
amount of coaxing would make him say more so she
allowed the subject to drop. Instead, she closed her
eyes and relaxed against him, allowing the
conversation to laps into a rare moment of peace for
both of them.
Seimei sat, enjoying the quiet and listened as his
heartbeat slowed and the tense muscles in his body
slowly relaxed. With a rare flash of insight she
realized she was not the only person caught up in the
recent turmoil. Khaiya had felt her lapse in control
and from his previous comment; he must have also
caught Michael's emotions too. How much was this
affecting him? With a glance at his now sleeping
face, she noted the signs of strain and it bothered
her to realize that she'd managed to add to it with
her own problems. However she didn't think that she
alone was causing the tension that remained even as he
slept. What else was he up to? Perhaps she should
just ask? No, Khaiya never shared, even when it was
obvious that something was wrong. The only thing she
could do was offer her silent support and keep a
closer eye on him. When he needed her, she would be
there. As for her recent loss of control- it would
never happen again, Khaiya wouldn't be subjected to
the chaos she knew waited on the other side of the
wall in her mind. Firmly resolved to increase her
control over her unruly mind, she allowed herself to
finally drift off to sleep beside him.