17

Simulations

Smiling with slight arrogance and pride Jesse lifted another cinnamon bun to his mouth, his eyes taking a much need break from the computer screen they'd been glued to as they peered over to the doorway at the newly arrived presence before shifting them back to his task. Although he appeared to be in deep concentration, a closer look would reveal the worry he had been trying to conceal deep inside him lately, and he was glad no one had taken a long enough look recently to spot it.

"Hey, you," Lexa's voice carried as she approached from down the hall. "Whatcha doin'?"

"Not much," his words were just distinguishable as he multi tasked his chewing with his speaking. "Just working on a new program," he answered, refusing to lift his eyes from the screen, not just for the mere fact he was hard at work, but also so he might continue to keep his worries bottled up.

Lexa's eyebrows rose slightly as the man lifted his free hand to draw the top of the laptop to a close as she drew closer and suddenly his "not much" became even more interesting to her prying eyes.

"Does 'not much' have a name?" she pressed, placing her hands on her hips as she finally reached his seated side.

Swiveling his chair around to her in one swoop it was obvious he was in a good mood, or at least pretending to be, and she only hoped that would further convince him to let her in on whatever he'd been up to in secret recently.

Jesse smiled as he swallowed the last bit of his tasty afternoon treat. "Nope. It's just this program I made for Shalimar. Sorta a uh, therapeutic counselor so to speak."

"Ah," the brunette nodded. "How's she doing?"

"A little better. I think she sunk into a low spot recently so I made this little program to give her sorta a booster shot. Help her feel better again."

Standing from his chair he reached for a swig of his water bottle to wash down the last of the frosting still clinging to his inner lips before flashing her a triumphant smile.

"You certainly seem proud of it."

Jesse nodded in agreement. "Yeah. As long as it does some good. See ya later."

The blonde flashed another proud smile before exiting the room in search of the feral he was eager to explain his new program to and knowing full well the sooner she dealt with whatever had been bothering her lately the sooner she could be herself again, or at least as much of herself as she'd been since the psionic's passing, that is.

Assuming the most likely place the feral would be at this time was training in the dojo, Jesse headed down the hall in search of her and it wasn't long before she came into view, spin kicking her way through the air with the beauty, grace, and agility he'd always admired in her.

He smiled as he approached her, standing patiently as she finished her last set of round house kicks, and he handed her the much need towel, and the feral accepted his offer by graciously allowing her sweaty body a wipe down.

She smiled, turning to greet his friendly eyes as she finished. "Hey, what's up?"

"I have something to show you. I know you've been a little on edge lately and I told you I wanted to help so I've made a new program and I think you should give it a chance."

"Yeah, ya know we've been through this."

"I know you don't wanna admit how you've been feeling but at least give it a shot. Ya never know, ya might just smile again one of these days."

Sighing, Shalimar silently agreed. If nothing else she didn't want to offend him for trying to help her, though the fact she'd been that obvious in the first place was her own fault anyway. Any maybe his "surprise" would in fact help cure the recent aches her heart had become plagued by and that thought, as fleeting as it was, enticed the feral.

He smiled pleasantly and twitched his head to the side with a gesturing grin. "Close your eyes."

Shalimar sighed again, following his instructions, and he could tell she was reluctant. Sometimes he wondered if she enjoyed the pain she'd bring upon herself in little waves every now and then. Maybe it was her feral instincts or maybe the empty void she seemed to carry now would never truly be filed again and she'd accepted that, refusing to ignore the pain when it came creping over her randomly anymore. Whatever it was, he only hoped his efforts would provide her the temporary band aid she required, and hopefully, some much needed closure to be optimistic.

"Open them," his voice finally came allowing her to free herself from the darkness of her mind.

At first, she wasn't sure she'd opened her eyes at all as she stared ahead. She couldn't be really be seeing what she thought she was seeing, could she? No, she couldn't believe it. Emma wasn't there. Her eyes must still be closed or she must've hit her head a little too hard when she was training and now she lie unconscious on the floor. Those were surely the only times she was blessed with sight of the psionic. She wasn't really here, in the training room, standing right before her with a smile on her face just as bright as ever.

She almost believed it, for a second that is, or at least she had wanted to. Oh how long she had wanted to. If only she hadn't been a feral and hadn't known deep down that whatever, whoever she was seeing before her right now wasn't Emma. But couldn't she exist in the dream just a little longer?

"Hey, Shal," Emma greeted, happily, so happily it almost made the feral sick. Well, sicker than she was already feeling that is.

Somehow managing to peel her eyes from the sight she'd always loved more than anything, Shalimar turned back to Jesse, her expression showing she didn't have to say anything to him.

"I've programmed a simulation of Emma," he began to explain to the shocked feral who only half heard him as her mind was still swirling and her stomach was quickly catching up. She felt as if she'd just eaten a huge cake and then taken a ride on the twister at the carnival and the unpleasant feelings were nearly enough to overpower her just standing there.

Jesse continued on, glancing down at the remote looking object in his hand as he spoke. "I've attributed her as close to the real Emma as I could, memories using the Neuroimager and backups of ours on hard drive, emotional concepts, and data from numerous tests run on Emma, and of course, her physical characteristics."

Clearly, the feral thought. She was stunning, though Emma had always been stunning in her eyes, but this, this girl before her now, dare she say it, she was…flawless. But than again, that was just Emma, as far as she was concerned.

"I've missed you," Emma informed, keeping that bright smile across her face as she began to step towards the blonde.

Time seemed to become distorted to the feral. She almost felt like things were moving in slow motion, yet much too fast for her, and the sensations were enough to make her head spin, as all the emotions piling up, backing up, were quickly jamming her clarity.

It was the first time, in such a long time, she could remember running from anything, she thought, as she rushed herself down the hall and out of the room, plowing into her door to fall upon her bed. Serial killers, mutants, and murderers never made her bat an eye, let alone take off like a child with watery eyes, but just the sight of the psionic again, in her own presence, was too much, at least, too much too soon for her fragile heart to withstand.

Soon enough the molecular was outside a closed bedroom door, uncertain of what to say, but knowing he had to say something, and hoping in the fragile state his friend was in that his words would be only those that were in her best interest.

"Shalimar," he called through the barrier, but only silence responded. "Come on, I just wanna talk about this," he offered in his best sympathetic voice before finally phasing himself through in a sigh.

Carefully, he approached her, allowing himself a seat on her bed beside the lying feral. Though she wasn't in full tears quite yet, he could tell she was close, and he wanted to do whatever it took to keep those salty drops of pain at bay as much as possible.

"Why don't you come talk to her?" he suggested. "It might do you some good."

"I'm disgusted, Jesse."

Jesse was silent, knowing where that response had come from and knowing deep down she did want to see the psionic, and stood from the bed, deciding time was what she needed right now, not convincing.

"I know how you feel, Shal. She was one of my best friends too. But when I talked to her the first time, it-"

"I loved her."

Jesse was silent after her sudden words, taking in the meaning he knew she was implying by the soft tone in her voice. He'd known her for years and he'd never heard that tone in her voice before. As he stood there thinking deeper into it, it occurred to him, he'd never heard a happier tone escape the blonde as when she was with the psionic, and suddenly it all made sense to him.

Sitting himself back down, he rested a comforting hand against her back, hoping to ease her pain, that awful pain she was in that he could only imagine.