((Starbase 118 Ops - Counseling Offices))
Another week, another counseling session - one in person rather than with Raymond, that was. He still continued to check with her weekly, but Alora was being dutiful by at least going to a weekly counseling session that wasn’t conducted over subspace. If Raymond sat in on those sessions, she knew he’d been disappointed. Alora wasn’t giving the counselor much, but she also just wasn’t to the point where she could open up. With Raymond, he’d inserted himself into her life so completely after the accident, she’d grown to like him and respect him quickly. He was warm, and more than just a counselor - he was a friend. In addition, he’d /been/ there from the beginning, which had added a different dynamic. What she was doing...it was different. He said it would take time, but it didn’t help that it seemed like she went to a different counselor every time. Maybe she should just stick with Ruwon. She’d just have to finagle a type that matched up with his schedule. At least they had a history, and something of a friendship - and that counted for a lot.
As Alora exited the office and stepped into the waiting room, another body entered from the outer door. Here was a man she’d not encountered before. That in of itself wasn’t unusual, for the base was huge, and she was constantly seeing new faces about. What caught her eye were his eyes and his hair. Both were violet - one of her favourite colours - so there was no way she was not going to notice. Immediately, a smile sprang to life and she noted his colours. Medical.
Yael had been nose deep in a data padd and hadn’t heard the door activate, but lifted his eyes to find a Human woman with long brown hair, green eyes, and a Lieutenant Commander's rank approaching him. He smiled his own disarming smile, but kept his posture somewhat stiff and formal.
Yael: Welcome to the counseling office, ma’am.
Alora offered her a hand in standard Terran greeting.
DeVeau: Lieutenant Commander Alora DeVeau. A pleasure to meet you.
Always with the hand shaking. He kept smiling, but nodded his hello to her instead of taking her hand. He couldn’t keep making excuses so just had it out with the simple truth instead, hoping his demeanor would sway any insult.
Yael: My apologies, but I don’t shake hands. ::pausing:: A pleasure to meet you, Lieutenant Commander. I’m Ensign Yael.
DeVeau: Please, just Alora, and that’s fine.
Alora had been in a relationship with a Vulcan, so she knew some species - or just some people in general - just didn’t like to do things like that. Especially if they were telepathic.
DeVeau: So you’ve just arrived on the base?
Yael: ::laughing lightly:: Is it that obvious? Just this morning, direct from Earth. I caught a freighter and arrived a week ahead of schedule. ::pausing:: Did you have an appointment with someone? Or are you a walk-in?
Both fine options, but he didn’t want to steal someone’s patient if she already had a dedicated counselor.
DeVeau: I /had/ an appointment. Counselor Stendhal was called away, so I had to sit in with someone else.
She would have preferred Ruwon, but he hadn’t been available at a time Alora was. Not that she necessarily would have opened up to him either, but she was definitely more comfortable with him.
Yael: I’d be happy to fill in, if you need an impromptu session. Though you’ll have to forgive me, I haven’t had time to study the crew records just yet.
DeVeau: Ha, trying to get me more counseling? No, I’m fine.
At least, that’s what she kept telling herself. Sometimes it was true, too.
DeVeau: Are you originally from Earth?
He didn’t look like it, but with the way species mingled and married and the variety that could be found, Vulcans could grow up on a colony, Humans in space, Denobulans on Earth. It wasn’t unheard of, and Alora hated to assume.
As for Ashley, he knew that phrase as intimately as anyone else who uttered it. “I’m fine” was probably the most popular lie in the universe. Still, his smile never waivered.
Yael: I was born on Denobula Prime on the Southern Continent. However, my mother is Human, so Earth is my second home. Alaska, specifically. And you?
DeVeau: I’m originally from Earth. Born in Virginia, moved to Japan when I was ten. My parents are still in Japan - along with a couple of brothers.
Alora’s green eyes twinkled with amusement.
DeVeau: And now you have less that you have to look up about me.
Yael: Quite right. ::setting the data padd on the desk, he motioned toward the seats… it made his electro-stabilizing hand braces a bit too conspicuous, but he’d been practicing at ignoring they were noticeable at all.:: Can I get you a drink? *Not* for a formal session, of course.
Not for a formal session, but an informal one? Alora knew that trick, but it was far better of an atmosphere than in the counseling offices themselves. Why not? Even if she didn’t seek him out as a counselor, she always enjoyed getting to know people - and there was nothing wrong with making new friends.
DeVeau: Sure, why not?
Yael: How long have you been stationed on the StarBase? Have you taken to it well?
DeVeau: I’ve been here...about two months. What about you?
Yael: It’s actually my second round on the StarBase. I was stationed here several years ago after being posted to the Duroniss II Embassy, but I took a sabbatical to further my education. ::pausing:: How have things been? Not too much drama, I hope? Romulan invasions? ::pausing again:: I heard a few tales about liberated Borg drones.
Not much drama? Ha! One didn’t go into Starfleet to avoid drama. She’d heard there were some officers who lived fairly uneventful lives, but Alora definitely did not fall into that category.
DeVeau: No Romulan invasions - we actually have a Romulan counselor board. But yes, Borg. We did have to deal with Borg. Before that...I’ve heard about some interesting events.
Yael: Sounds as if things here stay pretty active. ::pausing pointedly, he set purple eyes on her:: So if you *weren’t* fine, at any point, I do hope you would come see someone. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many factors at play. Happens to the most sturdy of us.
Despite the frank statement, his smile remained. It was a part of his armor. It was one Alora knew all too well - she utilized it herself. She chuckled, her own gaze meeting his, green and purple, a great combination. Her eyes remained steady on his.
DeVeau: After all, what are counselors for?
Alora motioned toward the doors.
DeVeau: Come on, if we’re going to get a drink, it might as well be in the Commercial sector. Besides, I bet there have been some changes since you were last here.
The science officer ambled toward the doors which swished open for her. She paused in the threshold and looked back.
DeVeau: Come on, I don’t bite. ::Those lips then spread into a mischievous grin.:: Hard.
WIth that, she passed through into the hallway.
Yael: I… suppose that’s fine.
Trying not to read too much into her biting comment, he had to step out from behind the desk to follow, which he did quickly enough, matching her pace in the corridor. He was barely taller than her, though he may have had one or two inches on her. It was nice to not *always* be the shortest person in the room.
DeVeau: So. ::Alora clasped her hands behind her and set an easy pace.:: Tell me about Alaska.
Yael: The winters are the best time of year. The air gets so cold you can hear the ice crack from miles away. ::pausing:: I’ve never been to Japan.
DeVeau: That is a shame. Though, I really can’t talk - I’ve never been to Alaska.
((Starbase 118 Ops - Commercial Sector))
They spent a few minutes walking the Promenade, and it was true, there had been a lot of changes. They sat at a small table at one of the eateries, where Yael ordered yet another coffee, double sweet. It was the elixir that kept him running. Alora ordered chocolate milk, avoiding the bitter flavour of Yael’s chosen beverage. Their drinks were delivered and he couldn’t help watching the diverse array of people walking past.
Yael: It never gets old. But you never really get used to it either. All the different people a StarBase brings in.
Alora stuck a straw in her glass and sipped at it. Her eyes wandered about, taking in the scene - and she knew exactly what he meant. While the galaxy was indeed a melting pot, the Starbase seemed to be the epitome of that - and it was glorious.
Yael: Earth is beautiful, and Denobula is a rare gem in the void of space. But *this*... this is completely unique.
DeVeau: It is. Far different than a ship too - and I like how there are so many people that come together here. I don’t usually sit still for long, but I do sometimes here, just to watch.
Her gaze shifted again, that time falling upon the counselor.
DeVeau: So where were you stationed before now?
Yael: About… four years ago, now? I spent most of that time on Earth.
DeVeau: Back home, huh? What brought you there?
Yael: ::smiling at her now:: I missed it. *All* of it. The exploration. The excitement of the unknown. The challenges. The people. ::pausing:: Even the drama… ::he pinched his fingers nearly together in the air, leaving a small space:: … but only a little bit. There’s always something new to learn, something new to be educated on, and this is the forefront.
DeVeau: I can understand that.
Alora had about gone crazy in the short time she’d been on a complete leave of absence from Starfleet. She hadn’t only missed it, she /needed/ it. Despite the fact that things were often crazy, Starfleet was stability. Normalcy. Sanity. Staying away from it had only made things worse.
DeVeau: And I agree. Always something new to learn. That’s one of the wonderful things about Starfleet - I’m always learning.
Yael: It’s definitely an ongoing endeavor.
DeVeau: So tell me more about Ashley Yael. Half Human, Half Denobulan, at home on both planets. What sort of things do you enjoy?
Wondering momentarily what sort of truths he should divulge, he landed on the safe answers. It could be dangerous to get into the so-called unsafe answers.
Yael: I’m fairly boring. Usually I have my nose stuck in a data padd, or I’m working.
Ensign Ashley Yael
StarBase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops