Strange Condition
By Lokaia
Disclaimer:: Not mine. If it was, I'd make the entire show cute little slashy/romance-y scenes with a couple of gory action things thrown in every once in a while. But alas... not mine.
Summary:: Cat/???. But I CAN tell you that it's not slash. *GASP*! Lokaia? post non-slash on FF.net?? HAS THE WORLD GONE TOPSY-TURVY???
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"Stop preening," Suzee scolded. She placed her hands on her hips and glared at Cat. "Come on! Isn't there something else to do besides watching you brush the blue section of your hair six thousand times?"

Cat hardly noticed her friend's speech, staring at her reflection in the mirror. She ran the brush through her hair thoughtfully and propped her chin onto her hand. There was a pause and she glanced back at Suzee. "Did you say something?"

Suzee sighed. "Come ON. Harlan and Radu are playing minbar chess and I want to watch."

"Why do you want to WATCH?" Cat demanded. "You know they take forever to finish a game."

Suzee only grinned. "Exactly. Harlan looks the best when he's scaring the daylights out of Radu, and Radu looks best when he's got the daylights scared out of him. And whenever they play a game together, that's what happens." She groaned out loud when Cat dropped her chin onto her hand again. "Cat--"

"Suzee, I really don't want to watch you drool over Radu and Harlan today," the Saturnian interrupted. She reached for the brush again, ignoring Suzee's groans.

Suzee leaned against the wall, folding her arms. "What's been with you lately? Besides classes and meals you never want to talk to anyone else."

Cat began to work on the yellow ring of her hair. "That's not true. I was in the command post with Harlan yesterday."

Suzee snorted. "Helm duty. Goddard made you, and you know it. Besides, you weren't exactly having a lively conversation."

"He had nothing interesting to say," Cat protested, but Suzee noticed a slight coloring in the Saturnian's pale cheeks.

The Yensidian raised an eyebrow. "Nothing, huh?" Her eyes narrowed in thought. "You were kind of talkative to begin with... and then Harlan started talking about--" Suzee paused, a grin passing over her face. "Girls. Harlan started talking about girls he used to date." Laughter fought to escape from Suzee's lips. "Wow. No wonder you don't want to go watch him play."

"Shut up," Cat snapped, dropping the brush with a bang. She stood and walked from the bathroom.

Suzee followed her quickly. "What's the big deal? He's gorgeous. Now if he'd only shut up every once in a while..."

"Shut UP, Suzee," Cat replied, throwing herself onto her bunk.

Suzee sat beside her, watching the Saturnian curiously. "Look, Cat, I know he's annoying, but... it's not anything to be ashamed of."

"Says you," Cat mumbled into her pillow.

Suzee paused. "Okay," she said slowly. "Well... what is there to be ashamed of exactly?"

After a moment of silence, Cat turned her head towards her friend. Without looking her in the eyes, she sighed. "It's... it's just... it's not that easy, Suzee. And... and he doesn't like me like that."

"How do you know?" Suzee asked.

"He just doesn't."

Suzee rolled her eyes and sighed. "With me as your best friend and you STILL don't know how to get a guy to fall for you?"

"Maybe I just don't want to do it your way," Cat grumbled. "Maybe I want it to actually mean something."

"Don't be stupid," the Yensidian replied. "Boys are there for attraction's sake. There's not much else. I say just kiss him. What have you got to lose?"

"Dignity, pride, respect, brain cells--"

"Okay," Suzee interrupted. "Forget that part then. Why don't you just tell him? He'd tell you."

Cat paused, idly fingering the fabric of her bedspread. "Well... because. He wouldn't tell me about that. He's... shy about that stuff."

"Shy?" Suzee repeated. "Are we talking about the same Harlan?"

"No." It was said bluntly and Cat didn't wait for Suzee to react before continuing. "He doesn't act like Harlan... usually does. He's sweeter, kinder. Different. I don't know how to act around him." Cat paused, and Suzee, a bit out of her element, waited for her next words. "I... I tried to talk to him today. Without thinking about it, so that didn't work very well."

There was a beat of silence that Suzee quickly filled. "What did you say?"

The Saturnian shrugged. "I just started talking about how being at the Starcademy was for me. That I was an outcast. I thought he'd like to know."

Suzee grinned. "Guilt. Okay, now THAT I can handle!"

"No," Cat said quickly. "It wasn't guilt. It was something I thought he'd like to know." She paused and sighed. "I guess I was wrong."

"Why? What happened?"

"He... he listened to me, and responded and everything. But... I don't know. He didn't progress the conversation any more than that. I guess he just thought I was getting it all off my chest."

Suzee nodded. "And then?"

"Then he had ComPost duty, so he left."

"Well, Cat, it's obvious what you have to do!" Suzee chided. "Just tell him! Everyone knows you two like each other. Once you bring it out into the open, you can stop being such a wimp around him."

Cat sat up on the bed, shaking her head. "No... I don't think I will. Forget it, Suzee. Let's go watch the minbar game." She jumped to her feet and out the door, trailing Suzee behind her.

Suzee stopped very suddenly in the corridor. "Wait a minute," she said slowly. "Harlan didn't HAVE ComPost duty today...."

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"What do you mean you know why she's not here?" Harlan demanded.

There was a shrug. "When she talked to me earlier, she seemed kind of depressed. I think she wants to be alone."

Harlan scoffed. "How alone can you get with your imaginary friend around all the time? Come on, Radu, what really happened?"

"I told you," the Andromedan protested. "She was talking to me about how lonely she was at the Starcademy. She seemed really upset about something. I wish I knew what it was."
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((A/N:: Oh, come on. Like I could do a fic without the Christa slut? WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!))