Dinner goes well, and soon enough everyone's bellies are full. Li has Ilyna and Halisi join her for a nature documentary after that - it seems to be her favorite thing to watch after Super Centurion. The doctor is happy to oblige, although she suggests to Ilyna that a post-meal drink would sit well - maybe a good time to have a taste of the bottle that was gifted? Thankfully, this documentary proves less gruesome than Sands of Tuchanka,
#IlynaApartment – May 25, 2021
and after a while Li is sleeping soundly curled up between the two of them on the couch, no doubt tired after a long and play-filled day.
Ilyna does restrain her own drinking when Li is around, but one glass of Serrice Ice Brandy would be fine. She has only had half of it so far, though. "It's... going to take a few more days to check out all the new toys," she murmurs fondly, glancing down at Li who is fast asleep beween them. The asari sounds tired as well, which is hardly unexpected after the long day.
Halisi is nursing her glass as well, in no rush. Just a few sips to follow dinner and maybe soothe a bit of lingering awkwardness. She's quite comfortable on the couch, one arm on the backrest and legs folded to her side in her seat. Her attention is drawn away from the footage of some faraway alien ocean to Ilyna as the asari speaks. Her words make her gaze fall to Li next, smiling a little. "Yes, it seems you have your work cut out
for you." she agrees with a quiet chuckle. "I would offer further assistance, but, well... duty calls." she offers regretfully.
Ilyna looks up at Halisi as she speaks, giving a few small nods. "I know," she says. "We'll be fine, though... I think." She chuckles before reaching out to place her glass on the table, and turns her attention to Li again. "I should carry her to bed," she says as she shifts around to ger her arms under her knees and back. She had thought ahead and gotten her ready for bed in the break between Super Centurion and the
documentary. "I'm not worried about us waking her, but still...." It's a lie, for she is worried about Li waking up and quietly listening in to something that may hint at her condition.
Halisi nods. "Of course." she says, shifting to make it easier for Ilyna to scoop Li up. "I won't go anywhere. Promise." she adds, flashing a small smile before taking a small sip of brandy.
Ilyna gets up from the couch first before scooping Li up. "I'll hold you to that," she says as she begins to carry her into the bedroom, where she gently lays her on the bed and tucks her in. "Good night," she says in a barely audible whisper as she stands back up, regarding her in silence for a moment to make sure she's still soundly asleep.
Li stirs just a little as she's put to bed, and there's a faint noise almost like a mumble, but she never wakes, turning a little and slipping an arm under the pillow before growing still and quiet.
Ilyna gives a small smile when Li adjusts to her new sleeping position without waking, and makes her way back out of the room. She dims the lights all way down on the way out so that were Li to wake up, she would not be in total darkness. The door closes behind her and she gets back in the couch, an nervous excitement surfacing as the time has come for the moment she had anticipated even before Halisi suggested it.
Also, she can't shake the fact that this moment reminds her a lot of the night of the kidnapping, but she won't bring that up even if it adds to her nerves. Ilyna doesn't speak right away, instead reaching for her glass of brandy and taking a sip.
Halisi is, as promised, right where Ilyna left her. Her silver eyes are on the darkness outside the window, thoughts perhaps not so far from Ilyna's, but her attention soon shifts as the asari makes her return. She flashes her a small smile as she retakes her seat, softer and more cautious than before. "Does she still have trouble sleeping on her own?" she asks with a glance back towards the bedroom, the smile gone, expression turned
Ilyna sighs, and she gives a small nod at the question. She is frowning as well, and the question does sadden her. "Yes," she says. "Can anyone blame her? The memories are still fresh, and...." She takes her eyes off Halisi, looking down at the deep blue brandy in her glass. "I don't want to put pressure on her," she says. "She'll heal at her own pace."
Halisi nods softly. "Of course. After everything she's been through it-... it's no wonder." she says quietly, still looking at the bedroom door. She lets out a sigh, eyes turning to Ilyna. "But it's over." she says, the words meant as a reminder for herself as much as they're addressed to Ilyna. "Now we can live. Without worrying about all that." she says, the smile that crosses her lips still fighting against heavier emotions.
Ilyna is quiet for a moment after Halisi finishes speaking, before she gives another nod, looking up at Halisi. "And before I know it, I'll be worrying about the usual things that comes with entering the maiden stage," she says, a small smile breaking through as she speaks with some fondness about what will undoubtedly cause this worrisome asari a great deal of stress. "You know, adolescence; the hormones, the drive
to learn and explore, and all the trouble she'll get into. I know you don't call it that, though." She chuckles, though this diversion isn't really helping ease her nerves about this conversation.
Halisi chuckles warmly, looking down at the glass of brandy in her hand. "Oh, you've got a while to go before you have to worry about all that." she points out, taking a small sip before adding, eyebrows furrowing slightly. "Although I suppose it might not feel so far away for you." Her gaze shifts back to Ilyna, studying her as the documentary narrator goes on faintly in the background about the one-year life cycle of some miniscule
Ilyna gives a small nod at the first statement, and she's about to say something when Halisi hits her with the last question. She breaks her gaze for a moment to ponder how to best put words to her thoughts. "It is," she says, returning her attention to her, "but I'm not raising her alone. I have you, Jason and Linda. I couldn't be more spoiled for choice when I need expert advice, but... I still worry about it every
Halisi lets out a quiet snort. "I don't know that I'd call myself an expert." she points out. "But you know I'm happy to help when you need it." she assures, a soft smile on her lips. "So... like with many things, my advice is... worry less." she suggests, smile turning into a smirk as she raises her glass in a hint of a toast and takes another sip.
Ilyna raises a brow at Halisi's denial of expertize, but she doesn't comment on it. The advice brings out a small sigh, but she does lift her glass in turn. "If only it was that easy, Halisi," she says. She then shifts a little closer, and her eyes seeks Halisi's. "I worry about us, too," she says. "That I'll make you uncomfortable, and it's... just a matter of time before others pick up on it, and..." She sighs and
Halisi lets out a soft sigh, reaching over to set her glass down and ending up a little closer as she settles back against the couch, turned to her side to face Ilyna. "I know... I know it's not that easy. I just... hate to see you so stressed." she says apologetically. "And adding to that is the last thing I want." she adds, silver eyes fixed on Ilyna. "So... if you're serious about wanting to give this..." she gestures between the
two of them with a small shrug. "...whatever it is..." A fleeting smile. "...a chance? Then tell me what you need. What I can do to make things easier for you. To make you feel... safe. Comfortable. Relaxed." The smile returns again, small and soft, but it stays as she waits patiently for a response, studying her face in the light of the TV.
Ilyna sets her glass down in turn, and meets Halisi's eyes as she speaks to her. She does gives a small nod at the question, but she has no immediate answer for the instruction. Ilyna looks like she is about to speak after a moment, but stops herself, and closes her eyes. She then lets out a slight annoyed sound directed at herself and she takes a quiet but deep breath. "It sounds unhelpful, I know, but... I... would
like you to be more comfortable," she says, opening her eyes again and reaching out her right hand to take Halisi's. "Don't be so... careful, I suppose is what I'm trying to say."
Halisi blinks, looking caught off-guard by Ilyna's words. A flustered chuckle slips out as she looks down at their hands as she intertwines her fingers with the asari's. "Oh. Well..." She hadn't considered the possibility that her caution, born from a desire to respect Ilyna's boundries, to give her time and space, might come off as discomfort, or maybe even fear. That couldn't be further from the truth. She lets out another quiet
laugh as her gaze lifts to meet Ilyna's, studying her face as she leans a little closer. "I think I can manage that..." she muses, right hand sliding along the back of the couch until it reaches the asari's neck, a light, tentative touch, watching her for any sign of unease. She swallows, and there's a bit of hesitation before her next words, but when they come they're accompanied by a tilt of her head, and a hint of a smirk
tugging at the corner of her mouth. "If I were to cease to be careful, then..." a shrug that's more visible in the movement of her face than her body, eyes going over to the coffee table briefly before meeting Ilyna's again, the smirk clearer now, all hesitation vanished. "I suppose I'd tell you that I would very much like to kiss you." she says in little more than a whisper, her words not quite a question, but they beg for an