An Early Morning at the Old Border Patrol Barracks



"Yilli, Yilli -- wake up!"

"I... help me relevel... duoconscious... Oh, no. I've hurt you. I'm so sorry."

"It's nothing. I just cut my lip, it's not even bleeding."

"In a minute, I'll heal it."

"Don't worry about it. Try to relax. Let me help you."

"I'm so sorry."

"Don't cry, you didn't do it on purpose. The back of your head must have hit my mouth. Please let me hold you. Here, I'll wrap the blankets around us. You're shivering, I'll warm us up."

"Thank you."

"Just rest. Let me engage your field more deeply. I'm here for you. Breathe with me... deep... slow... breaths, that's better."

"I must have scared you. I'm so sorry. It's just the nightmares."

"It's all right. Skyepar told me about it. You don't have to be alone with the nightmares, Yilli, I'm here to help you."

"You've done well. You've held them off well. They usually start within a few days of transfer. I... can't ask my members to sleep with me. I can't let them see this. There are... worse ones too."

"I know, Skyepar told me. He said it would help you to tell me what they're like for you, and I want to hear it when you can tell me."

"This is the one where I'm the kill. The opisthotonic convulsion is what happens in the Kill. All the muscles contract at once, opposing each other. A Sime can break his own bones, if he augments. But in that dream I'm a Gen, and I can't. Fortunately, I guess."

"Would you like to make lateral contact? Would that help you?"

"Let me heal your lip... There."

"Thanks. Let's lie down again. I'll help you sleep."

"We'll have to get up in two hours, but you can sleep a little more."

"I'll stay up with you. Would you like me to make you some trin?"

"No, you stay in bed. I'll build up the fire and make the trin. It's too cold in here for you."

"Okay. It is a little chilly."

"I'll light the lamp, too."

"Come back under the covers here, while we're waiting for the water to boil."

"Your field is such a comfort. You did well for me just now."

"Please let me know if there's anything that helps you when these things happen. If I know in advance I can be ready."

"I... It's a lot to ask... I can't expect it of you when you're not really awake... But try not to show any fear. Even if you're not afraid of me, but afraid for me... if I zlin fear in some of these dreams... I..."

"You can never harm me, Yilli, you know that."

"I attacked Roza, once. She was having a nightmare too. I seized her arms with my tentacles, and we both woke up."

"See, you didn't really hurt her. I bet she was glad to wake up."

"Yes. Yes, we both were. But her arms were bruised."

"Here, Yilli, take my arms, zlin what I feel when you do that."

"How beautiful. I've admired the texture of your nager from the first I zlinned it, when that channel in Capital brought you to help me, even before you had a chance to show me the full beauty of it. And to zlin those emotions carried on it... Even far from need, like this, it's so beautiful. Thank you. Just letting me zlin that is a gift."

"I'm so glad I can give it, Yilli. I want to give you everything I can. Please don't be afraid to ask me. I don't always know what to do for you. You have to help me learn."

"You have such good intuition. It's a real pleasure for me to see what you come up with yourself. And you learn so easily, so well, it's a pleasure to teach you."

"It was good this afternoon, learning to help you with the cramps. Would... would the same sort of technique have helped with the convulsion?"

"There's a different technique to work on seizures. You have to work on the brain, not the muscles, stop them there. Skyepar can do it, but it isn't easy, even for him. He's collapsed more than once, afterwards, even with excellent support from Roza. But what happens to me is just a dream, it's not neurological, not a real seizure. And it only lasts a few seconds, no longer than a kill. Just help me wake up, help me relevel. Maybe we should sleep farther apart. Next time I might break your nose."

"I'll risk it. I wouldn't want to give up holding you when we sleep. You can zlin how much I like it, how much it means to me."

"I can. And it is very good for me. I haven't gone this long after transfer without nightmares since Roza and I were last together. It's made a big difference in how I feel, how much work I can do. You've done extremely well, Janush. You've taken very good care of me. All the naztehrhai have commented on it. You're learning very fast, your sensitivity and precision in field management are developing remarkably, your selyn production rate, not just your production, continues to rise... It's a real privilege to teach you, to help you develop your gift. The water's boiling, I'll be right back."

"You make everything so easy for me, Yilli. You're such a good teacher."

"It's easy to be a good teacher, with a good student. I'll leave the mugs here, where we can get them when the trin finishes steeping. I'd like to do something a little self-indulgent if you don't mind. I'd like you to open your field, so I can feel what you feel, and I'll run my hands and tentacles over you, feel your muscles, focus my attention into your body. I want you to relax with your eyes closed and just focus on enjoying it. I'll gradually touch you more and more lightly, more and more intermittently until I'm just touching you nagerically. You may be able to follow what I'm doing even then. I'll work in a repetitive pattern, so you can use the anticipation to help you follow it. The self-indulgent part is that I think you'll find it very pleasurable, and I'll get to feel it too, and it will also make me feel good to do something that gives you pleasure."

"Shall I just lie here like this?"

"Turn over and I'll start on your back, then I'll ask you to turn over again."

"Okay... feels really good, Yilli, but you can zlin that."

"Yes, I'm enjoying it with you."

"I think I can feel the nageric part."

"I think you can too."

"Am I still following you? I think I am."

"You are... you're doing very well... let me help you turn over now... just stay relaxed... good... I'll start the sequence from the beginning..."

"I love your touch, Yilli... zlin how much..."

"Yes, I can zlin it..."

"I feel so safe with you... it's a pleasure to relinquish to you..."

"Yes... your trust is beautiful to zlin... you're following this well, Janush, I didn't expect your sensitivity to be this good..."

"I really can feel the nageric component."

"Yes, you can... I'm going to change the pattern now... just relax and enjoy..."

"Yilli..."

"It's all right... just stay relaxed... flow with it..."

"But you're past turnover... I don't want to upset you..."

"You aren't upsetting me... I can enjoy it with you... it's something I've wanted to try... I've never had the opportunity before..."

"If you're sure... you're irresistible, Yilli... I never imagined..."

"Just relax... keep your muscles relaxed, and follow the pattern..."

"I wish I could do something for you..."

"You are... just enjoy, so I can enjoy it with you... the more you feel, the more I feel... this is really remarkable, Janush..."

"It is... the nageric part is incredible..."

"I'm going to engage your field more deeply..."

"Yes... it feels so good... I feel so merged with you..."

"Just focus on what you feel... feel it for me... feel it with me..."

"... you're so good to me..."

"Sleep now..."

"Only if I can hold you..."

"So stubborn. All right."

"Was that from Skyepar's book?"

"The last part was from one of Granda's stories, about my Grandma Yilli."

"Tell me about her."

"She died before I was born. That's why I'm named after her. She was a Wild Gen. Granda bought her as a dying child in exchange for working on a raider's hangover. He healed her and she became his First Companion. He loved her very much, and she loved him too."

"I love you, Yilli."

"I know you do, Janush. Let's try to sleep now."


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