#IlynaApartment – October 24, 2016

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Ilyna looks down at the table. The question hit her hard, even if it's one she should start expecting, and she looks uncomfortable. Her curse took away a crucial component to conception, but she was still an asari at the sunset of her maiden years. "It's fine," she finally answers, looking back up at her. "That's a thing most asari... starts to think about around my age." As much as she wanted to give an

honest answer, Vasquez was the last person that should know about her condition. After a moment's pause, she gives a proper answer the question, "Yes, I did hope to become a mother some day," she glances over at Li, "and now I am." She completely avoid talking about the lack of a partner.

Vasquez studies Ilyna during the initial silence, her frown remaining. As the asari starts to speak she eventually cracks a small smile and glances at Li as well. She takes a sip of her coffee, which has started to reach a more tolerable temperature. "She's a good kid." she says, before returning to silence. It's clear that there's something else she wants to say, but can't quite bring herself to do so. "I think she's

still a little scared of me..." she says instead, her voice quiet as her gaze goes down to her coffee cup.

Ilyna can't help but let out a slight chuckle. She can remember Li telling her that before the expedition. Ilyna could understand it to some extent. "I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding," she says, lowering her voice a slight bit more. "She was very unhappy about me being on that expedition."

Vasquez lets out a faint sigh, still staring at her coffee. She looks very uneasy as she glances up at Ilyna, looking like she's going to say something but then going quiet again. She glances towards the window, looking out at the snow. "Do... you think I'd make a good mother?" she asks, the words only reluctantly leaving her mouth. There's an unusual fragility to her scarred face as she looks back to the asari, her eyes

reflecting how exposed she feels.

Ilyna tilts her head. It was obvious to her that the question was difficult to ask. The asari didn't know what to say at first, she didn't feel she knew her well enough to make that judgement. On one hand, the woman was a mercenary, but on the other, she sat on the sidelines for most of the jobs. She'd also have the same support as Ilyna on Aite: the agency and their friends. "Yes," she eventually responds,

seeming very uncomfortable as she picks – and doubts – her answer. "I'd think you'd make a good mother. I... I know you care, and... that you're principled and strict when you need to be." While that is exactly why Ilyna resented her mere days ago, that was her own fault to some extent.

Vasquez sighs, heavier this time. She doesn't feel the relief she had hoped for. "I know I'm not very good with kids. I don't know what I-... I should go. Thanks for the coffee." she says as she rather hastily stands up, leaving the cup untouched aside from the single sip she took earlier.

Ilyna stands up, as well. She can't leave it on that note, so she has to say something. Maybe she shouldn't have said exactly what she meant with the limited information she had. She was commited to it now, however. "I didn't mean it that way," she says. "I think that's what'll make you a great mother."

Vasquez seems ready to leave, but when Ilyna speaks she stops, putting a hand on the table and looking down at it for a moment. "I know what you meant. I just-... you don't have to say that. I know what I'm like." She turns around to face the asari. "I'm sorry about earlier." she says, as she realizes she hasn't said the words. She then adds: "And I'm sorry for bothering you. I'm... just trying to gather my nerves." She

shoots another glance in Li's direction before meeting Ilyna's gaze, an uneasy but determined look to her as one of her hands almost reflexively moves to her abdomen. "To... to tell Jason." An uncomfortable half-chuckle, half exhalation follows the quiet words.

Ilyna raises her brows as she realizes what she means, or at least she thinks she does. They're already getting married, after all, and she specifically said tell instead of ask. Though, Ilyna won't voice her guess, otherwise Li might overhead. "Oh," she says. "I'm... certain he'll understand and support you." As for the aplogy, she accepts it, and a smile does show up. "You weren't bothering me," she says.

"I'm actually glad you stopped by, Vasquez."

Vasquez actually smiles slightly, even if just barely. "I-... thank you." she says simple, as she fails to say anything else that she had wanted to, still very much uncomfortable. She nods a few times. "I'm-... I need to head back to the office." she says. An obvious excuse, but she couldn't do any more of this. She shoots Li a last glance, considering calling out a goodbye but opts against it as she puts her gloves back

on and heads for the door.

Ilyna remains by the table, watching her leave. She wasn't going to question her excuse. At least she leaves it on a good note. "Take care," she says. "Send me a message if you need help at work..., or if you'd like to talk."

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Ilyna T'Rea
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