A Friend's Sacrifice (part b)

From the Story Arc: A Sistah's Burden

Previous Story in the Arc: A Friend's Sacrifice by Gaia's Soldier (Monday, August 29, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: A Friend's Sacrifice (part c) by Gaia's Soldier (Tuesday, August 30, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005)

Hecate walked past Soyuz to the bedroom door. "Is she awake?"

"Da." The large red-headed woman nodded. "Stubborn as ever. I caught her moving bed closer to window. Say she want natural light for to be reading."

"She is getting better. A bit of activity should do her no harm."

Soyuz snorted. "Then obviously you have not seen size of bed. Bozshe moi! Is huge. I have heard Vlada speak of American decadence but I have no idea what truly meant until I see apartment."

Hecate patted her on the shoulder. "We all find comfort and home in our own ways." The smaller women rapped gently on the bedroom door. The response was a muffled crash and the sound of someone getting into bed in a hurry. "Aura may I come in?"

"Yeah, sure." The quiet voice from the room had a touch of guilt hidden in it.

Hecate tried to hide the amused smile with a stern look as she entered the room. The open window, and the green BDU shirt poorly hidden under the sheets, wiped away all amusement from Hecate's face. "Sneaking out?"

"I just wanted to get a look around the neighborhood. Get a feel for the place?" Aura frowned. "What?"

Hecate sighed. "I placed the wards on that window for a reason, the ones on the house as well… . They are to keep you safe."

Anger crept into Aura's dark eyes. "To keep other's out, not to keep me in…"

"No. They are not meant to imprison you." Hecate sat in the chair next to the bed.

"You said I was getting better."

"Yes, Aura, you are. But tell me, how long do you think you'd have been out there before you'd have seen someone in trouble and rushed to aid them?" Aura was silent. "You are not even wearing your med-patch. Or your communicator either."

"How can you tell… ?"

"Doesn't really matter." Hecate chuckled. "You really think a quick trip out is worth the risk?"

Aura pouted and pulled the covers around herself. "I can't just sit her and do nothing, Hecate. He is still out there doing things. Fighting. I feel useless here."

Hecate moved from the chair to the bed, and wrapped an arm around Aura's shoulders. "He wants you out there with him too. You know that. But he's not willing to risk your safety any more then the rest of us are." The mystic squeezed her friend's shoulder. "It will not be long before you are better and out there knocking heads by his side."

"I want it out."

Hecate's eyes widened. "What?"

"I want it out." Tears filled Aura's eyes. "I want it out now."

"Aura, honey. You know removing it could kill you."

"I don't care." The dark skinned woman's lip trembled and her eyes turned hard with anger. "You know Anthony mentioned children a few days ago. Our children. How do I tell him the doctors said with this thing in me I can't have any? How do I look into the face of the man I love and see the disgust he feels for this thing in me? How can we ever be lovers with this in the way?" Hecate saw the fear her friend was trying to hide. "I don't want to die, Hecate. I want Anthony and I to stand a chance together without another complication getting in the way."

"He loves you no matter what…"

"For how long? How long would it take until this thing would cause too big a gap between us even for that love to fill? Till it all became too much for him? Till he would start to feel to same disgust for me he feels for it?"

"I don't think he…"

"I am not willing to risk even the chance of losing him because of what those damn Rikti did."

Hecate wiped Aura's cheek. "The Rikti didn't really do this, Aura, though I will admit they are responsible for the being needing to bond with you."

Aura looked away. "The doctors don't seem to be able to tell me what will happen to it if they remove it. Will there be a way to save it even if I can't be saved?"

"So you care what happened to this thing now?"

"Well, you said it was a prisoner like I was. Can't say I blame it for trying to survive. Just not willing to hand over my body as a place to hang its little alien hat, you know?"

"No the doctors do not believe there is a way to save either of you surgically. However…"

Aura brightened. "However?"

"There is a way magically. It is not risk free, but it has more of a chance than any other option we have had."

"When can we do it?"

Hecate's was somber, her mood mirrored none of the excitement Aura obviously felt. "Anthony is getting what I need now. I must check the charts to see if this is the best time. Plus it would not hurt to speak with the ancestors, since I have never done this before."

"But you'll do it?" Hecate nodded. Aura hugged her tightly.

Hecate returned the hug. "It'll be okay , Aura. If this is what you need, it will be done. Sacrifices will have to be made, but you and Anthony will have your chance." She was uncertain if Aura could hear over her happy sobs but it didn't matter. Hecate knew what needed to be done.