[I/Q] JP by LtCmdr DeVeau and Cmdr Saveron: Important Conversation

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Jan 19, 2016, 8:56:59 PM1/19/16
to Invicta
OOC This takes place before Saveron's departure, posted with permission from Sarah.

((Saveron’s Quarters, USS Invicta))

::She had been more than eager, more than willing to ‘practice’ affections with him, and over time they became more adept at certain things, more comfortable with cross-cultural conventions.::

::When his lips brushed against hers, she had returned the kiss without hesitation.  From there, things had progressed, and though at first, in the back of her mind, she wondered what Saavok might think should he walk in on them, those thoughts were quickly washed away and overcome with the sensations and emotions sparked by their closeness.  In all honesty, she had wanted more.  Desire mingled with the pleasure the kisses produced.  When he began to touch her further however, she stiffened.::

::The timbre of her thoughts changed dramatically, even as he felt her body stiffen under his hand. He paused, not wishing to cause any discomfort, and gave a wordless mental query.::

::A breath later, she captured his wrist with her hand to keep it from wandering further and broke the kiss.::

DeVeau: No.

::The tension in her body intensified with that single word, and the grip on his tightened before she realised how she had responded physically. Once that realisation came to the forefront, she released him, cheeks high with pink.::

::Something that he had done had been physically or mentally disagreeable for her.::

Saveron: It was not my intention to cause you discomfort. ::He said gently.::

::He had overstepped some cultural boundary he decided, as he withdrew both his mind and his touch. Up until that moment she had given every indication that his attentions were welcome, but clearly he had crossed some line. Letting her go he sat back to give her some space.:: DeVeau:  Sorry...I’m just…

Saveron: No apology is necessary. I regret that my actions were disagreeable.

DeVeau: They aren’t, but...I’m just...I’m not ready to go there yet.

::There was no lack of desire, that was for certain, but Alora couldn’t quite bring herself to that point.  Not yet.::

Saveron: As you wish. ::He paused.:: May I hold you?

::He held out an arm, offer her a hug, if she wanted it.::

DeVeau: Always.

::Alora immediately returned to his embrace and settled herself in his arms.  Although part of her wanted to pick up where they’d left off, there was that other part, that nervousness, that set up a blockade.  If nothing else, she would take pleasure in his closeness and enjoy his mental touch as well as his physical one - as long as it didn’t go too far.::

DeVeau: I don’t mean to be…

::What?  What word could she say to describe?  Alora wasn’t even sure she could effectively communicate her reticence.::

Saveron: We agreed that our relationship would require patience and understanding. ::He said gently.:: Will you explain to me why my actions were unwelcome?

::He offered her the two-fingered ‘Vulcan kiss’ gesture, offering the shallow mental contact to renew what had been broken when he let her go. He found it easier to communicate with her mind to mind, when they were not both trying to interpret complex topics past language barriers as well as cultural incongruencies.::

::In that, Alora was not hesitant.  Her fingers joined his, then uncurled so she could clasp his hand in hers, allowing him to deepen the connection if he so desired.  His mental touch was just as welcome to her as the less intimate touch was.::

::Cuddled together on the couch he could sense her inner conflict, and waited patiently whilst she martialled her thoughts.::

DeVeau: ~ I want you, but… ~

::But there were so many things that held her back.  It wasn’t Saveron himself but other issues.  How could she communicate that?  How could she do so in a manner that didn’t hurt his feelings?  Granted, he was a Vulcan and emotions didn’t affect them like other species, but that was still a concern in spite of that knowledge.::

Saveron: ~ There is no ‘but’. If you do not find such agreeable at this time, then that is all that needs to be said. ~ ::He said simply.::

::She had previously indicated that she preferred him to take the initiative, but if she did not wish him to take things that far, all she need do was say. There was no need to rush their relationship; he was content.::

::That didn’t stop her from trying to explain without going into details.  The problem was, she found it agreeable, as Saveron put it, and yet not agreeable at the same time, as odd and contradictory as that seemed.::

DeVeau: ~ I haven’t had the best experience with men. ~

::A man.  A boy, really.  That had been a long time ago, before Starfleet, before the Academy.  Still, the experience had remained with her and her caution was due in part to that.  Probably mostly due to it, but there were other things too.::

::The idea that she had been mistreated was disagreeable.::

Saveron: ~ You know that I would never seek to cause you harm. ~

DeVeau: ~ I know.  That’s just part of it though.  I just… ~

::Alora wasn’t sure what to say.  Although she knew the depth of her feelings, she withheld some of that from him.  Again, the fear crept up an underlying current that she knew shouldn’t be there but was.  Not fear of him, but of something else.::

DeVeau: ~ I don’t want you to think I don’t desire you or that I’m not somehow content with you. ~

::Even though his break with his ex-wife had been years prior, Alora knew it affected him even now.  How could it not?  Such was evident in the times he asked if she was content with him.  Those questions mirrored her own comments and questions as to whether he tired of her company.  In that, they both suffered from insecurity.::

Saveron: ~ I do not. When I touch your mind, I know. ~ ::He assured her.::

DeVeau: ~ I know everyone is different, every culture is different, but for me...I need to wait.  I need to wait until we’re both sure. ~

::He had no objection to progressing their relationship slowly. As a member of a long-lived species, he was content to explore their relationship over the course of years, but something in Alora’s thoughts caused a measure of uncertainty.::

Saveron: ~ ‘Sure’ of what, exactly? ~ ::He asked.:: DeVeau: ~ Of each other.  ~

::No, that wasn’t quite right.  She needed him to be sure of her.::

Saveron: ~ In what way? ~ ::He queried, unclear on her meaning.::

::His thoughts were measured, controlled, much as his spoken words were when he was exploring a concept and didn’t quite have the measure of it yet. Was this some euphamism Terrans employed?::

DeVeau: ~ Until we're both sure that this isn't something we will regret and wish to dissolve. ~

::Although she hadn't put it into concrete thought before, Alora realised she already knew her own answer.  That did not mean Saveron had the same answer and she would not ask him to give it to her.  He needed to come to that on his own terms.::

Saveron: ~ Do you mean, ‘until we are Bonded’? ~ ::He asked, a reserved tone to his thoughts.::

::That was hardly unusual, it was quite normal for young Vulcans, particularly amongst the more rigorous adherents to the modern interpretations of Surak’s teachings. Lust was an emotion and Vulcans matured later than most other species. But Saveron wasn’t a young man about to bond for the first time, and his previous bonding had not ended well. He was in no hurry to do so again.::

::Emotions reflected back more quickly than words did.  A sense of warmth at the idea was tempered by a hesitancy and an unwillingness to push him toward that.  Although they had known each other for several years by that point, they had not explored anything beyond friendship until the last few months.  Couple that with a past of pain that was quite significant, she was unwilling to move any faster than he was comfortable with, and knew he would offer the same amount of respect toward her and her feelings on other aspects.::

DeVeau: ~ I...guess that is what I mean. ~

Saveron: ~ Is it? ~ ::He did not sense recognition in her thoughts.::

DeVeau: ~ I just… ~

::How could she explain?  The last time Alora had a relationship, the situation had  ended in what a Vulcan would call a ‘disagreeable’ fashion.  If she had allowed herself to become so deeply intimate with her previous boyfriend, she knew she would have completely regretted it when things ended, especially since they had ended badly.  With Saveron, she couldn't imagine feeling that way, but if eventually he decided that things weren't going to work, Alora didn't want to feel regret in that regard.  For her, that sort of physical intimacy was more than just feeling good, more than just saying she cared about him.  For her, it was offering a part of her being, and she didn't wan t to do t hat if there was a chance the other party would eventually toss it aside - like T’Rel had done to him.::

::Thoughts moved faster than words.::

Saveron: ~ I will never regret our relationship, regardless of the outcome. ~ ::He assured her.:: ~ As I do not regret my bonding with T’Rel. ~ ::Could he explain how he felt about that, when there were times he still wasn’t certain himself?:: ~ It was a complex situation. ~

::Maybe he didn’t, but Alora might.  She wasn’t a Vulcan, her emotions were a large part of who she was and she couldn’t turn them off.  Although she tried, sometimes she just couldn’t understand, though she could certainly see how he wouldn’t regret it in the case of his children.  Who could regret their children?::  

DeVeau: ~ Complex? ~

::He settled back a little, turning his thoughts inwards as he sought for an explanation.::

Saveron: ~ T’Rel was chosen for me, and it was a cross-cultural bonding. ~ ::He thought.:: ~ When we were Unbound the Temple declared that Bonding ill-advised, though there are many perfectly functional cross-cultural and even cross-species Bonds. But there was an unwillingness to compromise between us. ~ ::And he would own some fault for that.:: ~ That is why I would have us approach our relationship with patience and understanding. ~

::He found it preferable that she informed him of that with which she was not comfortable, he simply wished to understand the reasons behind it. Understanding was key, and that willingness to compromise. It was her lively mind and vibrant company that he found both agreeable and fascinating; so very un-Vulcan. He did not wish to do anything that would dampen her spirits.::

DeVeau:  ~I have no intention of rushing things.  I am just trying to explain my feelings on the matter.~

::Which wasn't easy when attempting to explain them to a Vulcan.::

Saveron: ~ I suspect that we may be facing the cultural barrier. ~ ::He thought simply, having not truly understood what Alora was trying to say.::

::There was a moment where they were as alone with their thoughts as they could be.::

DeVeau: ~ With Vulcans...how are relationships done?  I know you said bonding young isn't uncommon,  but do you have a chance to…~ ::What would be the best term to use?::  ~...court?  Before I mean?~

Saveron: ~ Children who are betrothed know each other.~ ::He and T’Rel had been neighbours. ~ But I think you ask about those who must find their own bondmate. ~ ::He supposed.:: ~ It is still common practice for preliminary bonds to be forms for children, but for those like my own who do not - and those who have lost their bondmates - then you are correct, we do ‘court’.~ ::Though probably not the way Terrans did.::

::That thought was caught by her and from it rose another question.::

DeVeau: ~ How do Vulcans court?  ~

Saveron: ~ We spend time in each other’s company, discuss concepts and life views, consider possible future paths, investigate each other’s interests. If we find such agreeable then we continue that close company. Whilst the Bond forms precipitously during Pon Farr, it can also form slowly over time when close company and contact is maintained. There are those anthropologists who believe this was the original pattern. ~

::Before they took greater control of their lives and natures.::

DeVeau: ~ It sounds very much like what Terrans do. ~

::What they were doing.::

Saveron: ~ If we find, following a period of time in close company, that we are not mutually compatible, then we return to our previous friendship. ~ ::He continued.::

::It was the only logical thing to do. Vulcan culture saw no reason for a failed courtship to have any further effect. It was only unusual situations like himself and T’Rel where things became difficult.::

DeVeau: ~I see.~

Saveron: ~ And what of Terrans? One would anticipate that relationships as portrayed in your popular media are somewhat stylised. How do they occur in reality? ~

DeVeau: ~ Terrans court in much the same manner, though often times if Terrans don’t find themselves ‘compatible’, friendship isn’t maintained.  Sometimes it is, but not always. ~

::Certainly not in the case of her previous relationship.::

DeVeau: ~ As a species that isn’t telepathic, we don’t form bonds, but we do have marriage, which is supposed to be forever.  Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. ~

::Something Alora desperately wanted to avoid, a dissolution like that - and she was certain Saveron wanted to avoid the same thing.::

::From what he had observed, that ideal was never adhered to completely, even amongst species who held to it strongly.::

DeVeau:  ~ I remember when we had that conversation a few months ago, you mentioned how rituals which predated Surak were a part of Vulcan culture.  Is that one of those?  Is there a ritual involved? ~

::He assessed the sudden change in direction.::

Saveron: ~There is a formal Bonding ceremony, but it is merely an acknowledgement of what will form, or has already formed, depending on the culture. Although traditional, it is not necessary for recognition of the Bond.~

::The telepathic Bond between mates was a physiological and psychological formation and therefore not something whose presence could be denied.::

DeVeau: ~ You mentioned...intimacies as well when we were talking. ~ ::Which indicated that it was separate from the Bonding ceremony, unless that had been included with the ceremony and she had understood it as something separate.::

Saveron: ~ You indicated a discomfort with the subject. ~

::A hint of pink darted across Alora’s cheeks.::

DeVeau: ~I’m not ready to...partake in that personally,~ ::Yet.:: ~But I have to admit, I was reminded of the discussion we had. ~

::Which had been a very interesting conversation of extremes, in a sense.::

Saveron: ~ What did you wish to know? ~

::Alora shifted so that she was situated a little more comfortably and rest her head against his shoulder.  With the telepathic link, it was almost effortless to converse with him.  She lay her hand flat, palm up and guided his over to join with hers.::

DeVeau: ~We had been talking about how certain aspects of Surak’s teachings hadn’t permeated all parts of Vulcan culture.   You had indicated you would share how that was so. ~

::And since they were alone and it was on her mind, she might as well pick up where they left off.::

::Of course she would want to know about that.::

Saveron: ~ I was referring to Pon Farr. It is not a time of logic. ~ ::He said, not doubting she would be aware of the phenomenon as everyone in Starfleet seemed to be.::

DeVeau: ~I’ve heard of it, but... ~

::But it wasn’t something Alora had ever really looked into deeply before.::

::He sought for the best way to explain.::

Saveron: ~ The time when a young man first undergoes Pon Farr is when he forms the adult Bond with his mate. It is a time that involves both physical intimacy and deep mental connection. The ceremonial acknowledgements may happen prior, or post, as culture dictates. ~

::He’d never seen logic in the Golic tradition of making the couple undergo the ceremonial aspect before the private part; perhaps they considered it a test of the young man’s self-control. Amongst his own people the celebration happened afterwards.::

DeVeau: ~So...in a way, it’s kind of like marriage.~

::Sort of.::

Saveron: ~ I was given to understand that marriage is a legal contract. ~

DeVeau: ~ A legal contract is part of it, but that’s not the whole of it. The legal contract is so that governments recognise the connection between two people, and makes certain things easier should something happen - like the death of a spouse. ~

::Which was an extremely unpleasant thought.::

DeVeau: ~ But that’s not what bonding, or Pon Farr, is?  Just...a different take on it? ~

::He realised he was being habitually evasive; Vulcan’s didn’t speak much about their private affairs, though he was more open than most. But given their current closeness, Alora had a right to know.::

Saveron: ~ Pon Farr is a physiological condition, hormone driven, where the individual’s biology is entirely focused on reproduction. It has a significant psychological component in that direction as well. ~ ::He explained.:: ~ The drive is… difficult to control, and dangerous if not sated. ~ ::Which was the practicality of the situation.::

DeVeau: ~ Dangerous? ~

Saveron: ~ Eventually fatal. The body cannot sustain that state indefinitely. ~ ::He’d only had to explain it to Teron before.:: ~ For a man with a Bondmate or an intended mate, the situation is resolved by following through with that drive. ~ ::He gave a mental shrug.:: ~ For a man without a mate, there are difficulties. After several days he enters the second phase, known as the Plak Tow, where he becomes entirely irrational as his body prepares to fight to obtain a mate. It is these combat situations, which are governed by ancient tradition, to which I alluded. ~

DeVeau: ~ Oh. ~

::She’d heard and read very little, and the detail was rather shocking.::

DeVeau: ~ And if he can’t obtain a mate? ~

Saveron: ~ Then he dies. ~ ::And that was the truth of it.::

DeVeau ~Dies?~

::Alora tilted her head upward to peer at him.:: DeVeau: ~Why?~

Saveron: ~ Multi-organ failure usually. ~

::That probably wasn’t quite what she was asking.::

Saveron: ~ One can only assume that, in evolutionary terms, it led to a selection of stronger, more fit mates. There are analogous physiological processes in many Vulcan species. ~ ::It was just an aspect of the way they had evolved.:: ~ Remember that, in evolutionary terms, Vulcans are a violent and warlike species. Survival of the fittest. ~

DeVeau: ~I see.~

Saveron: ~ Even the combat aspect became ritualised, though in a manner that far predated Surak. ~

DeVeau: ~Ritualised?  How?~

Saveron: ~ Kun-ut-kal-i-fee; the Right of Challenge. ~ ::He gathered his thoughts to explain.:: ~ It may come to pass, either before initial Bonding, or later in life, that one half of a pair comes to prefer one other than their bond-mat e. If the preference is returned, the outside individual may offer challenge. Traditionally it occurs when one of the pair undergoes Pon Farr, which all men and many women go through. Tradition holds that the outside individual challenges the other for the individual of their preference. It is a challenge of combat, and it is to the death. ~

DeVeau: ~ You mean...like...T’Rel. ~

::She hated saying that name, but the thought was out before she could hold it back.::

::The strength of emotion that came with his bond-mate’s name was unexpected.::

Saveron: ~ Affirmative. That is why I left Vulcan. I did not wait for Serok to declare kun-ut-kal-i-fee. ~ ::There was a pause.:: ~ Understand that what I did was unusual, and against our traditions. ~

DeVeau: ~ But do you think you made the right decision? ~

::Alora knew what she thought about it, but it was important that Saveron was at peace with that decision.::

Saveron: ~ Affirmative. I made the logical decision. We do not need to be bound by traditions. ~ ::That was something he firmly believed.:: ~ It was not simple, and the process of Unbinding has little to recommend it, but I would make the same decision again, in the same situation. ~

::That didn’t mean that he hadn’t wondered for years what would have happened if he had remained. Now, thanks to Q, he felt he knew.::

::Alora nodded, her cheek gently rubbing against the fabric of his shirt.  Her hand tightened its hold upon his.::

DeVeau: ~Would you be offended if I told you I’m glad it happened that way? ~

Saveron: ~ I would be unsurprised, given the alternatives.~

::Unbinding was something only possible with modern mental discipline, as practiced at Temple level. Before Surak a Bond was until death; hence the reason that challenges were always fatal. Had he faced the challenge he would either have died, or killed Serok and been left with a mate who no longer wanted him. Neither outcome seemed acceptable.::

DeVeau: ~ Well, of course there’s that reason, but also another. ~

Saveron: ~ That we would not have had this opportunity? ~ ::He guessed.::

DeVeau: ~Yes. ~  ::She agreed wholeheartedly.::  ~ As selfish as it is, yes, that is why I am glad. ~

::The undertone of an unspoken thought of ‘mine’ echoed beneath the words.::

::There was a lot about the end of his Bond with T’Rel that he would wish happened differently, or not at all. However none of it had to do with his own choices, but the choices of others, and there was little he could have done to influence that. So he accepted the present for the good that it held.::

Saveron: ~ I also appreciate this opportunity. ~

::The thought was measured, calm. He was at peace with events.::


***************** Cmdr Saveron

SO and CMO

USS Invicta

R238802S10 & Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau

Chief of Science

USS Invicta


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