((Beta Quadrant, Par’tha Expanse, USS Atlantis, Deck 6, Holodeck 1))
::Lael stiffened as Jolara approached, the fire of jealousy once again igniting in her chest and abdomen. Though intellectually, she knew Jolara didn’t pose any kind of threat, her body seemed to think otherwise. A possessive desire to kiss Toryn right there, to claim him, flooded her mind. Instead, she leaned closer, her hand brushing against Toryn’s, ready to grab it in case the lack of personal space between them didn’t sink in for Jolara.::
Raga: Commander. It’s good to...see you. ::smiles wanly:: Even though it’s only been a few months since the final exam, Atlantis has been through enough it feels as though it’s been far longer.
Rosek: ::forces a smile:: Rune. It’s good to see you, too. And actually, it’s a funny story. We started talking a couple months ago via subspace. The chemistry was so intense. When I heard Brell was being promoted to Captain and was the Commanding Officer of the same ship Toryn served on, I couldn’t resist the chance to meet him in person.
Raga: It certainly was unexpected. I’ve never been called out of the blue by anyone like that before. But our fathers have apparently been good friends for a long time.
Jolara: ::locking eyes with Toryn:: We need to talk.
::Lael said nothing. Standing so close to Toryn was killing her ability to think. Though she didn’t want him to leave, she didn’t have any hold over him. That bit of logic managed to break through the haze that seemed to be clouding her judgement. Given the serious expression on Jolara’s face, she had an idea of what the conversation topic would be.::
::Jolara’s interruption served as a temporary bucket of ice water. Lael stepped away, putting a bit of distance between herself and Toryn as she tried to keep her frustration at bay. Was she so attracted to Toryn because he was the only male Al-Leyan present? Or was it something deeper? She had no way of knowing for sure, despite how much she wanted to believe that their attraction wasn’t just the result of some biological urge.::
Raga: Oh..well of course. ::looking to Rosek:: Would you excuse us a moment Lael?
::Lael said nothing, simply nodding. She tried to ignore the pair as they walked in the opposite direction, presumably to get out of her hearing range. Making sure that her mental walls were built as high as they could go, she moved even further away from them, having no desire at all to hear exactly what they were saying.::
::She soon found herself leaning against the far wall, her arms across her chest in a somewhat defensive gesture as she delicately sipped the glass of brandy. Despite her calm facade, she was panicking. She had started her season and from the research she’d done on the subject since the conversation with her dad, she was in a world of trouble.::
::Though she’d been aware that Al-Leyans frowned on mating with other species, she hadn’t understood the extremes. But if Rune’s expression was any indication, the consequences were far more severe than the documents she’d read had implied. What had her dad been thinking trying to set them up when he knew full well what it would mean for Toryn?::
::She sighed, closing her eyes for a long moment as she attempted to calm her racing heart. Thankfully, the room was packed and this provided a cover for the sweat now starting to form at her temples. If anyone asked, she’d simply blame it on the environmental controls being off, like she’d done earlier when Rahman had asked. Just a bit longer and she’d have stayed a legitimate amount of time and could make her excuses.::
::She needed to get back to her temporary quarters as soon as possible to apprise Chythar of the situation so he could begin looking into it. With communications spotty in the Shoals, she expected it might take him at least until morning to receive a written message. A face-to-face communication wouldn’t be possible. She’d just have to provide as much information as she could while being as concise as she could.::
Rosek: ::opens her eyes and smiles wanly:: It was a long trip...even via slipstream. ::offers her hand:: Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek of the Veritas.
Rosek: ::pauses:: It’s an interesting story, actually. ::smiles wanly:: Our fathers are Haemachuo siblings. ::grins wryly:: My father took it upon himself to play matchmaker.
Rosek: ::sighs and runs a shaking hand through her hair:: It’s complicated. I--I’m with someone. But when Toryn and I talked via subspace a couple of months ago… ::smiles sheepishly:: I haven’t been able to get him out of my head.
::Lael opened her mouth to respond, but was interrupted by Rear Admiral Renos.::
Renos: Good evening everyone. May I have your attention, please. ::It was more a statement than a question. Renos wasn’t used to being ignored.:: Commander Brell, please join me.
::Thankful for the excuse to end a conversation that was rapidly heading for awkward, she slipped by Dermont, headed closer to the stage for a better view. This was the first time she’d really seen Renos in person, though she’d looked at nir history. Ne’d commanded the Darwin, the ship Janel had served aboard when he was still alive. She studied the J’naii, curious. She hadn’t met many genderless individuals in her time and herself couldn’t fathom not identifying as one gender or the other. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Brell approach and step up onto the stage.::
Renos: Starfleet represents the Federation’s best and brightest. Among such excellence it can be hard to stand out, however, you’ve made a strong impression upon everyone who has touched your life. You have shown incredible resilience and flexibility in the faces of overwhelming challenges. You’ve brought your considerable intelligence to bear in multiple duty posts from security and science, to engineering and operations where you’ve served most of your career. As an officer in command, you’ve been able to rely on the expertise of others, bringing out their best. You are one of the finest officer’s I’ve had the pleasure to call a colleague - and a friend.
::Lael didn’t know Renos well enough to know if ne was prone to emotional speeches, though it seemed to be the case based on how long ne had gone on already. And though she was familiar with Brell only be reputation, the clear display of pride on Renos’s part was more than enough for her to understand how well deserved the honor was.::
Renos: Commander Brell, I hereby promote you to the rank of Captain. You now carry the rights and responsibilities that go alongside it. Congratulations.
::She watched as the black half pip was replaced with a full gold one, Brell’s excitement clear in his expression.::
Brell: Thank you, sir, I don’t know what to say to such praise.
Renos: There’s only one thing to say.
::The smirk on Renos’s face was priceless, but the look on Brell’s was even moreso.::
Renos: You sir, are out of uniform. ::Smugly::
::She laughed out loud, so hard she was struggling to breathe. When she’d at last gotten herself back under control she looked up to see an amused Brell trading his current dress uniform jacket for one befitting his new rank. It fit him well, the woman Lael assumed to be his partner taking the old one.::
Brell: Better sir?
Renos: Wonderful. You look fantastic. ::Beaming at him::
::Brell redirected his attention to the group in front of the stage.::
Brell: Commander Williams if you would join me please.
Williams: With pleasure, Captain.