((Starbase 118 Ops - Alora’s Quarters))
Alora flopped on the couch and closed her eyes. The day in of itself hadn’t been particularly bad. Nothing had exploded. No one had gone missing. Experiments had been processed. Things had been orderly. In that respect, it had been a good day.
For her, personally, however, it had been a difficult day. Fortunately, she’d been able to avoid seeing the First Officer, which was a Very Good Thing. She wasn’t sure what would have happened if he had . Despite that, her emotions were running high, and she found herself with less patience than normal. For the most part, she’d remained in her office, going over reports, checking on experiments. She wasn’t about to let her problem interfere with her job. For a while, it had even helped distract her. That distraction ended at the end of her shift. Now, alone in her quarters, she found her thoughts wondering, and memories and emotions were surfacing that she didn’t really want to deal with.
Then, the door chimed.
Alora opened her eyes. She wasn’t expecting anyone, but that didn’t really mean anything. After all, she herself had shown up at people’s quarters unexpectedly. She started to speak to tell the computer to allow entry, then paused. What if it was Nijil? Instead, she queried, but found it wasn’t him, but rather Ruwon. That was much better.
DeVeau: Come in.
That was the cue for the computer and the doors parted to allow the Romulan entry. Alora sat up, then stood, offering a genuine smile. It was actually good to see him. Someone else. Someone friendly.
DeVeau: Hey Ruwon, I wasn’t expecting you.
He stepped into her quarters with his hands behind his back, nodding his head in greeting.
Ruwon: Good evening. I hope I’m not intruding.
DeVeau: No, not at all. Please...won’t you sit down?
Alora motioned to the rather comfortable couch, then switched and took up one of the arm chairs - which was also rather comfortable. It could have been puke green and she wouldn’t have cared - she was more concerned about how they felt.
Ruwon: I thought I’d see how you were doing. It sounded as if you might - well. Might need to talk. ::His tone grew gentler.:: I brought wine.
That was unexpected. Alora’s brow furrowed and she glanced at the bottle, then let her gaze return to the man himself.
DeVeau: Why do you say that?
How did one admit to witnessing someone’s no doubt embarrassing public incident? Ruwon paused for a moment.
Ruwon: Call it counsellor’s intuition.::He inclined his head. This was Starfleet, he reminded himself - one didn’t have to dance around everything.:: That, and I was in the area when you had an incident the other day. I wanted to make sure you were alright.
As soon as she said it, though, Alora realised what she meant. Yeah, that had been a low point of the day, one that she wished she could just forget about it. Unfortunately, at least one person she knew had obviously been witness to it. Immediately, her expression fell.
Ruwon cringed. Her falling expression was what he’d hoped to avoid, but now that they were here -
Ruwon: It wasn’t that obvious.
DeVeau: You're off duty. I don't like counseling with a friend when he's off duty. Shouldn't mix personal and professional.
Ruwon: Alora. I think we’re already friendly enough to ignore that. It’s not as if we’re required to counsel each other.
Alora flicked her gaze away from the man, looking somewhere, anywhere but at him. One hand reached up to slowly run down her face.
DeVeau: It's...hard to talk about.
Raymond had been there from the beginning. His face had appeared before hers one day upon awakening in sickbay. He'd already known what had occurred, and even then, Alora had struggled. She struggled now. She struggled every single day.
Ruwon: You can take it slowly.
DeVeau:. I know, I know.
Alora's hand returned to rub at her eyes.
She managed after a moment.
DeVeau: Are you going to share any of that wine, or is it all for you?
Ruwon: Have at.
Alora accepted the glass and sipped at it. She was not a big wine drinker, preferring the sweeter drinks, but the bitterness of what Ruwon brought seemed strangely appropriate.
Ruwon took a swig of his own glass, watching her with a strangely piercing gaze. Things seemed worse than he’d thought they were, and he was both interested and worried. Interest - well, he’d been trained for a long time to see other’s struggles both as a tragedy and as something to study. Old habits died hard, no matter how much he longed to kill them.
Ruwon: It’s alright if you’d rather just vent. ::He inclined his head.:: This isn’t a counselling session.
DeVeau: Vent? About what?
Ruwon: ::He shrugged.:: About whatever you like.
DeVeau: I’m not sure I have anything to really vent about.
Alora idly spun the glass which in turn caused the wine to twist into a funnel inside. She stopped, but the liquid kept spinning .
DeVeau: I honestly don’t have any complaints right now. What about you?
He looked at her plainly, then, his flat expression saying more than words ever could. Yeah, right. But if she didn’t want to tell him, he knew better than to push it - after all, this wasn’t a life and death thing.
Ruwon: Mmm. I could use a break from the Federation’s cheeriness.
A single eyebrow arched upward and Alora allowed herself another sip of the wine before she prodded further.
DeVeau: The Federation’s cheeriness? What do you mean?
The Romulan huffed, tilting his head away for a moment.
Ruwon: Call it habit, or conditioning, or whatever - things here seem too pleasant. If you found a station like this in Romulan space, they’d all be having happiness injections to test for civilian control, or something. Nice places were always a trap. It’s hard to shed that feeling.
Alora lowered her glass, resting the flat part of the stem in the palm of her other hand. She leveled her gaze at Ruwon, but it was contemplative - and friendly.
DeVeau: Do you not feel safe here? Like...something’s going to spring on you?
Ruwon: Something like that, yes.
DeVeau: Why? What are you so afraid of?
As played by
Starbase 118 OPs
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops