((Raga/Journs Quarters, Deck somewhere, USS Astraeus))
Serala had just gotten the news. While she couldn’t have been more proud of, and happy for, her friend, she was also going to miss him terribly. She and he had been a team ever since she’d graduated from the Academy. And now he was moving on to bigger and better things. With his transfer imminent, she wanted to make sure to drop in and give him a bit of a private farewell. So much was changing for her right now, and she really could have used his support, but there was no way she was going to stand in his way on this one. Especially since she’d always felt she’d taken his spot as First Officer several years ago. This was something that was a long time in coming. She pressed the door chime, waiting for one of them to answer.
Ishka sat at their dining room table ready for a private goodbye with two of the most important people in her life (aside from the two children she and Toryn had brought into this universe together) and yet, she felt strangely alone.
A glass of brandy was cradled between her hands and she had been occasionally nursing the drink, mostly sitting in silence. She still hadn’t fully processed the news and could hardly believe what was happening. In a matter of days, they would be leaving one of the truest homes she’d ever known for a completely new vessel where they knew no one. It was a lot to take in and she still wasn’t entirely sure how she felt about it.
The tension from Ishka was palpable as the two of them sat there. It didn’t take a psionic link to know that Ishka was bothered by the news. The brandy did that well enough.
Thankfully, the door chime interrupted at just that moment, pulling Ishka away to answer it. While she was far from drunk, the alcohol (by virtue of a private non-synthenol stash she’d been collecting) had begun to make its effects known. She stumbled momentarily before making her way to the door to let their guest in. Pressing her thumb to the plate inside, she took a step back as the doors opened.
Serala entered the cabin to find her friends sitting there sharing a moment together. No doubt, he’d broken the news to Ishka and Serala wondered if the doctor would be going with him or staying on the Astraeus.
Serala: Jolan’tru. I just heard the news. Congratulations.
He looked up at the doorway to see his best friend when she entered, clearly excited for him.
She knew that she should say something, but just didn’t have the words. Even with Toryn having told her earlier to give her time to process, she still was sick at the thought. However, she wouldn’t ruin this for her amato. It was a big deal. A career changing decision. He deserved this even if she wasn’t sure how to feel about it just yet.
Raga: Thank you. Apparently, I’m the second officer with the most experience with the Akira class in the fleet. I suppose I can’t be a second officer forever. ::He smirked wanly::
She slid cautiously back into the chair, giving him a wane smile and a nod. What was she supposed to say to tha? He was more than qualified, and she wasn’t just saying that because she was biased. She’d seen him grow so much since stepping into the spot. Countless occasions where the burden of leadership, and sometimes command, had rested on his shoulders. Even through the haze of anxiety at the change, she felt inordinately proud to call him hers.
Serala: Well, all I can say is that it’s about time. :: beat :: Well, that and that I am going to miss you terribly. We’ve been in this together since I came out of the Academy. It’s going to be very different without you around.
The Romulan moved over to one of the seats and gave an inquiring look to the pair before just taking a seat. It was their home and she didn’t want to presume.
It took Ishka a moment to catch on, the realization drawing a slight blush before she gestured to the empty chair at the table.
Toryn placed a hand on his amato’s hand gently, to reassure her as best as he could and nodded to Serala. The half Romulan and he had served together since their Academy days. He’d graduated a couple weeks before her, and yet she’d made First Officer first.
Raga: Indeed we have. I’d be lying if I said that this was easy for me. This crew has been my family since the Academy. This is home.
Serala took the seat and nodded.
Serala: But what is it you always say? Once an Atlantean? We’ve come a long way since then, but we’re always going to be that. And you more than deserve this, my friend. I’ve always felt a bit like I stole your spot as our First Officer. I’m glad you’re finally getting this chance.
A slight smirk curled his lips.
Raga: Well, you did. ::He grinned wider and then let a soft chuckle loose:: I appreciate that. Part of me feels like I’m taking the spot from someone else more deserving but the Captain said that Commander Niac was impressed by my file.
It was a very impressive file, so she had no doubts that it was true. Serala had never met Commander Niac, and knew very little about him, but he was damn lucky to get Toryn as his Number One.
Serala: You’re going to make a great Number One, Toryn. And you have the experience. You’ve taken over for me a few times, and even been in command a time or two. Just keep doing what you do. But, be ready for the extra paperwork.
She threw him a teasing smile. It was true, there were all the personnel reports and evaluations, mission reviews, department reports and reviews, etc. The paddwork just never seemed to end. And like her, Toryn seemed to prefer the action to the desk.
Ishka turned her hand over under Toryn’s, weaving their fingers together and squeezing. While she’d never been a first officer, she’d seen some of what Serala endured and it caused her to hesitate. Was command something she wanted? Her rise up the ranks had been paused first by meeting Toryn and then later by having their children. Though part of her had enjoyed the leadership position in Sickbay, she privately wondered if she wasn’t best off submitting to Toryn’s leadership, wherever that led them.
She would follow him to the ends of the universe and would be whoever or whatever he needed her to be. She only hoped that was enough.
Toryn smiled at feeling Ishka’s fingers interlaced with his and he gently brushed at her mind telepathically. A tender psionic touch that they shared many times.
Raga: I hope so. ::He mused:: I’ll do my best to live up to the expectation.
There was a lengthy sigh from him and he added.
Raga: It’s going to be hard to leave everyone behind. This is home. ::He corrected himself:: Well, Ishka is home. But the ship is a close second.
Serala smiled. Okay, she smirked.
Serala: Oh, you don’t get away that easily, my friend. You both are still Bean’s godparents, after all. And–
She paused. Was this really the time to break the news? Ishka already knew, but had she told Toryn? Either way, he was leaving soon, so it was either now or when he was a hundred light years away.
Serala: Her little brother or sister is going to need godparents too.
The Al-Leyan’s brow raised slowly and he looked between Serala and his beloved, suspiciously.
Raga: Or? Implying you don’t know yet. ::beat:: Do we know the father and do I need to have a word with them?
What could he say, he was protective of his best friend.
Ishka rolled her eyes at the man seated beside her and shook her head. She should have thought to ask, true. But Serala had clearly been struggling with the idea of another little to care for and Ishka had figured if the Romulan woman wanted her to know, she would tell her. After all, they’d been close friends for years and there was very little they didn’t share.
An amused grin crossed her lips. Among those things was a deep affection for the at times reckless Al-Leyan beside her. She wondered if whoever made posting decisions had considered that reckless streak in their discussions about offering him a first officer position. His reputation as a Destroyer of Tables was a running joke across the ship, even with those who didn’t know him all that well.
Toryn suspected Serala was or already had a hell of a conversation with her mother about the new arrival.
Serala chuckled at that. Toryn would no doubt do exactly that. But she was more than capable of defending her own honor, and Elements preserve anyone who crossed her.
Serala: Correct, I don’t know yet. It’s only been a couple of months. And no, you don’t need to have a conversation with him. Unless it’s a “congratulations” conversation. It’s my mother that he needs to watch out for. She’s less than pleased that her replacement has gotten me pregnant. I doubt that was the reason she sent him to Shemsh.
He let out a soft chuckle. To be an insect on the bulkhead for that conversation.
Raga: As long as you’re happy, that’s all I care about. You deserve it and I’m glad to see you’re finding happiness again. Stevok would be proud of you.
Serala gave him an appreciative smile and a nod.
Serala: Thank you, daehlen. And I hope you’re happy as well. We will definitely stay in touch. I am not abandoning my best friend no matter the distance between us.
Raga: Same. And expect you to keep this family safe while I’m gone. Someone’s got to look out for them. ::He briefly chuckled:: I imagine Esa will be glad she won’t have to fill out any replacement requisitions anymore.
That brought a sudden burst of genuine laughter. Toryn, also known as Destroyer of Tables, Chairs and other Furniture, would no longer be here. Engineering would probably appreciate it as well.
Serala: No doubt. No doubt. :: pausing and growing more serious :: Seriously, daehlen, I am going to miss you. So much is changing and it’s a lot to process. I try to be strong for everyone, but you’ve always been one of the few I could turn to when I needed strength of my own. I am going to miss that. :: to Ishka :: Ishka, you keep him safe. And I don’t want to hear about him getting anymore Purple Hearts.
She smiled, lifting her hands.
Journs: That never was my choice anyway. ::glares playfully at Toryn:: And you damn well better not go back to that stupidly brave streak of yours. Your children need you. If you leave me alone to raise them, I will find some way to kill you in the afterlife.
Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga
Second Officer/Chief TacSec Officer
USS Astraeus NCC-70652
Astraeus Staff Member
Writer ID: A239410TR0
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USS Astraeus NCC-70652
PNPC Lieutenant Commander Ishkabela Journs, XnP/GS
USS Astraeus, NCC-70652