Disclaimer: The background belongs to Tribune, Roddenberry-Kirschner, and others. The characters mentioned below are my own. Author's Note: This occurs during the early part of "Part of This World". It was one of two or three ideas tossed at me by Deb, my co-writer-to-be, and was a challenge to look at Marianne from the point of view of one of her siblings.

The Odd One Out
by Estirose
copyright 1999

Nessa watched her half-sister sleep. She doubted that Marianne was even aware she had visitors, or even that her door was unlocked. The covers were half-off, kicked away by the bed's restless occupant. Marianne's stomach was still flat, with no indication that she was finally caught up with the rest of them. She couldn't wait until Marianne tasted the joys of motherhood and saw what she'd been missing all this time. Once she did, she might stay up here. Where she belonged.

Marianne had always been the strange one, the family rebel. Nobody claimed to understand her, not at all. Born a decade before the rest, her experiences had no doubt shaped her differently, and caused her to want to live her life upon Taelon-controlled Earth. Oh, Nessa had heard stories, of course, remembered her father's memories as he struggled to keep Marianne and her mother safe, but when Marianne had refused to look at mates the few times she was aboard ship....

It took a full Kimera, one who broke the rules, to bring Marianne home. To show her what she was missing, in the way only a mate could. To bring her to understand how stubborn she'd been and how selfish. Marianne would turn over a new leaf. Maybe she'd go back to Earth, tie up loose ends, but in the end she'd come back to her mate and child. As things should be.

Marianne was lucky to have Ra'das, a rebel in his own way. Surely her transition would be eased by understanding one didn't always have to follow tradition. Nessa remembered Ra'das' anxious, furtive questioning about Marianne, and the feeling that she had that Ra'das had finally found his one. His lifemate.

Nessa couldn't imagine life without Jo'aso, her mate, or Ch'eri, Pas'cal, and Ro'bie, their children. Her life was fulfiling, her friends many, her family as close as she wanted them to be. She was never bored... who would be, in the heart of *this* place?

One would have to be really odd not to like this place. Even Marianne couldn't be that odd. She wasn't, really. She just needed to be shown the way.

Smiling, Nessa left her half-sibling to her dreams.


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