OOC: Note, this comes after the conversation with the Captain over the Comms but before "Merry Christmas"
((Starbase 118 Ops - Alora’s Quarters))
Yael: ::getting serious again:: Alora, you *need* to take care of this. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We *all*... well… many of us went through this. It’s a bit awkward, but it can be fixed.
The Denobulan hybrid watched her in silence for a moment.
DeVeau:. I don't know if I want to.
Yael: Can you tell me why? Did you… did you *always* feel this way?
Ashley waited another moment, then stood and relocated to the couch, bringing along both their drinks.
Yael: Come. Sit.
Alora turned, staring at the man who had become such a dear friend in such a short time.
DeVeau: I don’t want to talk. Yael: I don’t want you to feel forced… but I *can* order you to sickbay for treatment, if you don’t have a good reason. ::pausing:: I don’t *want* to do that.
She turned, facing the stars, the lights that moved ever so slowly with the rotation of the massive construct in space. Alora closed her eyes, breathing in deeply, letting it out slowly. She could hear the low, almost imperceptible hum, an undercurrent that accompanied life on the station.
Yael: ::his tone easing:: Alora, you let me talk to you about things… things I haven’t talked about with *anyone*. Not even the counselors after… after escaping Duronis. Let *me* help *you* now. Just *talk* to me. What are you feeling?
She didn’t move, though she opened her eyes, fingers carefully caressing one of those star-shaped leaves.
DeVeau: After Kalin died…
He stayed quiet, letting her think and sipping his cooling coffee. She *never* talked about Kalin. What could this have to do with Captain Taybrim?
DeVeau: There was this massive...hole. Just gone. Wiped out. And I loved a man who was no longer here, whom I could no longer see or touch.
Yael: … yes?
DeVeau: When he died. Part of me died with him.
Yael: ::softly, with understanding:: Right...
DeVeau: And now...it feels like...like that part of me is alive again. Alora’s mouth tightened, her eyes shimmering, the leaves of the bonsai blurring. Her hand dropped, then met her other, fingers twisting together.
Yael: I imagine that is very *disorienting* for you.
If one expected never to feel something again, and then suddenly felt it, it could throw one's entire center off balance.
Oh that didn’t touch the tip of the ice berg. Alora had suddenly been bombarded with it, and it had thrown her breathless.
Yael: But this could be a good thing too? You can still love. It’ll be different… with Sal. But it’s still love.
He was assuming the Captain would be a part of the conversation, of course.
Alora shook her head.
Yael: Maybe the word love is premature. Intense feelings for someone.
Was it love? It felt like love. It felt like what she had known before. And yet…
DeVeau: But...I’m not…
Yael: … not what?
DeVeau: I’m not supposed to.
He smiled, but his eyes were sad.
Yael: You’re *allowed* to have your feelings. ::pausing:: And these might not be genuine. If it’s the compound, you can be cured, and… it’ll go back to normal.
DeVeau: I feel like I’m betraying Kalin. And yet she couldn’t help but revel in having that part of her back. That capability. Even if it was for someone who had no feelings for her, no intention of seeking a relationship, he was alive. That part of her was alive.
Yael: What do you *want* to do?
DeVeau: I don’t know. ::Her voice warbled and she paused, speaking again with a little more control.:: I don’ t want to betray Kalin, betray his memory...but I don’t want to lose that piece of me again.
That made the Denobulan pause. She didn’t think she could feel this way again and then suddenly it was upon her… perhaps she didn’t want to lose those feelings, now that she’d learned she could have them again.
Yael: Okay… theorize with me, for a moment. Say you get treatment. The feelings you have now go away. How do you feel about that?
That made Alora pause. Why wouldn’t the feelings go away? They hadn’t been present before, hadn’t had any inkling in that direction until the Festival.
Yael: Now, the alternative… you *don’t* get treatment. You continue to have these feelings, for the Captain. Can you work efficiently like that…?
DeVeau: I can.
She had done it before. Alora could do it again. With Sal, it would be harder, hiding those emotions since he was empathic. That didn’t mean she had to bring it up. If she didn’t mention it, she was sure he would ignore them.
Yael: Would you pursue him, or not? ::reminding her:: He’s the *Captain*... he might not be able to… you know.
Even consider dating a subordinate. He was fairly sure Sal would think very hard before anything were to happen in his chain of command.
Alora turned at that, her eyes rolling.
DeVeau: Seriously? Do you know how many captains I know who have courted and even married a subordinate?
Yael: ::nodding:: I’m sure some have.
DeVeau: More than you think.
Yael: But we’re talking about Sal. And just theorizing.
Alora paused again and shook her head.
DeVeau: I wouldn’t pursue him. I’m sure he’s not interested anyway.
Yael: ::still smiling:: And if you don’t get treatment, or approach him… then what? You just suffer?
Alora turned her back to him again, arms crossing over her chest as the stars once more received the attention of her gaze.
Yael: Nothing you do now betrays Kalin. Alora… he wouldn’t *want* you to suffer forever. Would he?
Her voice was soft as she answered.
DeVeau: No. Yael: What would he say, if he were here now?
The laugh that answered him was sharp, yet it caught a little at the end, the mark of a choked sob and she didn’t answer right away. When she did, the words were shaky.
DeVeau: That I’m being an idiot, probably. That I should go get treated.
Kalin wouldn’t have cared for the synthetic emotion that had been thrust upon her - or anyone else for that matter.
Yael: So then. What do you want to do? Not for Kalin. Not for Sal. For *you*. What do *you* want?
DeVeau: I want Kalin back.
But that was impossible. She knew that. Alora’s throat tightened and she sank down onto the window seat, shoulders slumped, still unable to look at the man who was with her. She knew she didn’t want to lose that part of herself again. Yet, was it worth pining over a man who only knew her as an officer and nothing more? Was it better than the alternative? In a sense, she felt more whole. In another, she felt more lost. Alora didn’t know which way she was going.
DeVeau: And….and I want...him.
Alora didn’t speak his name, but it was obvious of whom she spoke.
Ashley waited, letting her think and watching her posture slump. That wasn’t quite what he had meant, but the answer was genuine. It wasn’t possible. But at least she had *said* it.
Yael: Okay. So… the treatment is there. Whether you get it or not, it’s entirely up to you. It can wait if you’re not ready, or don’t know.
Alora turned her head, just enough to see him from the corner of her eye.
Yael: There’s no reason to rush things. You should take a little time and just *feel* things. It’ll be there if you decide you want it.
There was a pause, but eventually she nodded, unwilling or perhaps not trusting in herself to speak at that particular moment. Feel things. It was hard to feel things. And yet she wanted to feel things. Alora both ran away and ran toward those feelings. When she tried to aim for the pleasant, however, she was bombarded with the unpleasant. It was an ugly, painful dance.
Yael: And if it gets in the way of your ability to function… ::he leveled an amethyst gaze on her::... I’ll *know*.
There was a sniff. The tears had managed to spill from her eyes, a few trickling down her cheeks, but it was followed by a soft laugh.
DeVeau: Oh yeah? Yael: I’m fairly intuitive, I’ll have you know.
DeVeau: I’m a pretty good actress when I want to be.
Yael: And I’m pretty good at getting on your nerves.
DeVeau: That...is actually really true.
Reaching up to wipe at her eyes, then brush the tears off on her shirt, Alora rose again and finally rejoined the Denobulan on the couch.
DeVeau: How about a movie instead of a game?
Yael: Sure. ::he crossed one leg over the other, relaxing back:: But… not a romance.
DeVeau: I was thinking more of a comedy.
Alora definitely needed something to make her laugh.
Yael: Have you ever heard of Mel Brooks? Human director. He did a great take on Frankenstein.
DeVeau: I have not. But...Frankenstein? That’s not exactly a comedy. Far from it.
Yael: Trust me. It’s hilarious. DeVeau: All right, I’ll take your advice. Put it on!
Hopefully it would be enough to distract her. Hopefully it would be enough to take her mind off of the conflict that warred within her - at least for a little while.
Ensign Ashley Yael
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Chief Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops