OOC: Takes place after Lael’s counseling session, but before the meeting in the Science Lab.
((Officer’s Lounge, USS Veritas))
::Lael sighed as she clutched the mug of Ligonian spiced tea for dear life, raising it to her lips to take a large sip. The liquid rolled over her tastebuds, the warmth seeming to reach to her very soul. It was a comfort--a constant in a world of turmoil and one of the few things she knew would never change. Today was better than yesterday had been, but still not near pleasant enough for her to call it a good day.::
::Fever-induced dreams had woken her twice last night and she’d finally had to give in, reporting to Sickbay before she was actually due for her next dose of the medication. Chythar had provided the next dose reluctantly after she’d reassured him that she’d done everything she could to ride it out. Due to their connection, she’d been able to sense his concern. But she knew his nonverbal tells so well by now that even without her gifts, she would have been able to see the lines of worry etched into her best friend’s features.::
::The counseling session with Ensign Dugoras earlier and the revelation that had come with it wasn't helping. If anything, she was more of a mess than before she’d reported for her session. The doubt that had before been a mildly annoying buzz in the back of her mind was manifesting itself into a full-blown foghorn, blaring so loudly that she could scarcely hear herself think.::
Blair: You know, if you don’t peel yourself away from working for at least a little bit a day, you’ll go crazy.
::She started, looking up, surprised to find herself staring into the familiar hazel eyes of none other than Alex Blair. She released a stuttered sigh and forced a smile onto her face, hoping that Alex wouldn’t see right through her.::
Rosek: Hey, Alex. ::lifts the PADD she’s working on:: Yeah, an Engineer’s work is never done. I’m trying to put together a team for the trip down to the planet tomorrow. The Captain thinks my proposal to produce an isotope of the Romulan element has promise.
Blair: Sounds like you’ve made a breakthrough then. ::Alex paused and looked his friend square in the eye.:: But that’s no reason to put on airs for me Lael. What’s up?
Rosek: ::smile falters and she sighs, laying the PADD down:: Okay. You caught me. ::grimaces and sets the tea down, running her hands through her hair:: I’m trying desperately to distract myself from the situation with Toryn.
::The downside of her abilities combined with her and Chythar’s connection was that she didn’t even need to touch Alex to pick up on the fact that he didn’t really want to be having this conversation. A slight flush crept into her cheeks as she realized how much she’d been unloading on him lately. It seemed no one had any real answers for her. Was she doomed to drown in this mess?::
Blair: I can totally understand that. ::break:: Any progress in that regard?
Rosek: ::sighs in irritation:: I had a session with Dugoras today.
Blair: That’s great Lael! So did you make any progress on figuring things out?
::If only that were the case. She’d opened up to Dugoras in hopes that he’d offer her some magical solution or that, at the very least, she’d come to some grand realization that would make her decision that much easier. Only it hadn’t. In fact, said epiphany had only left her with even more questions, sending her mind racing with the possibilities.::
::As much as she knew she likely should, her heart just couldn’t let go. They’d connected in a way that she hadn’t ever connected with anyone. It was intense and it was damned overwhelming. How had he found his way so deep into her heart without her realizing it? What did she really feel for him?::
Rosek: ::grimaces:: You’d think so. But I only came out of it more confused than when I went in.
Blair: Yeah, I can see how that could happen. ::pause:: Anything I can do to help?
Rosek: ::shakes her head:: I--I don’t know what to do. I love Jon. But I’m beginning to wonder what exactly is between Toryn and I...if us meeting and everything that’s happened isn’t fate.
::Her and Jon’s interactions hadn’t been nearly as emotionally charged as her and Toryn’s. She wasn’t sure whether it was the fact that Jon was a psy-null, that she and Toryn had both been in their seasons and driven by the primitive mating urges of their species, or if it was something deeper.::
::Being around Toryn had tested the limits of her control, making her skin feel too tight and her body feel like it was on fire while simultaneously giving her the sensation of being immersed in an ice bath. The telepathic and empathic connection had only exacerbated those feelings. She’d been an open book to him::
Blair: You know, matters of the heart can sometimes be the most difficult. But, and I think I’ve told you this before, you need to do what makes you happy.
Rosek: ::grimaces:: The million dollar question in this whole mess it seems.
Blair: So that begs the question, what feels right to you? What would make you happy?
::Was Jon really the man for her? The question surprised her, but she realized she’d been questioning that since he’d walked out on her that night. He clearly cared about her and there were obviously things she loved about him or she wouldn’t have him in her life. But could be what she needed when she needed it most?::
::It was scary to imagine the possibility that she was settling...that she was so focused on having a baby that she’d fool herself into believing there was chemistry just so she could get pregnant. She closed her eyes, a pained grimace contorting her features. She missed Jax desperately. It was a hole she thought she’d filled when Maddy had come into her life. But Toryn had reopened that wound.::
::How well did she know Toryn, really? She had small details, but did she really know enough about him to say that he was the person she was willing to spend the rest of her life with? That she’d never regret leaving Jon and what was surely one of the more stable relationships she’d ever been in.::
Rosek: ::sighs and runs her hands through her hair:: I honestly don’t know. Jon is the exact opposite of the type of guys I usually go for. He’s steady, he’s stable...but at the same time, Toryn makes me feel alive in a way I haven’t since Jansen and I ended things.
Blair: Lael, I know it sucks but sometimes we have to make the hard call, and sometimes that will lead to people getting hurt. But you know what? It’s worth it.
::She sighed, hearing her own voice in those words. She’d said similar enough things to Chythar on several occasions and while she knew they had a strong ring of truth to them, it was hard to make the connection with her situation with Jon. She wanted to give him another chance...to believe that something of the spark that she’d felt at first with him was still there.::
Blair: While you still love Jon, are you still in love with him or is it the easy way? ::pauses:: Would you be able to live with yourself if you don’t see what it is between you and Toryn?
::Not that anything happening between her and Toryn was much of a possibility at the moment...if ever. The fact that they both shared Al-Leyan heritage was actually more of a hindrance than a help. Because she also had Human heritage, they were literally a world apart. She was an outsider among her father’s people. It would be stupid to sacrifice the kind of love Jon clearly felt for her to a chance that Toryn would willingly cross that line.::
::She shook her head. She’d been down this road. Even if he’d been willing to make the sacrifice for her, she wouldn’t have let him.::
Rosek: ::murmurs:: I wish this wasn’t so damned complicated.
Blair: Those are the questions you need to ask yourself, and honestly no one else can answer them for you Lael. Again, I’ve told you this before, but you will have me and Chythar here for you no matter what you decide. But I think you’ve hit a point where you need to make a choice.
Rosek: ::grimaces:: You know I hate it when you’re right, don’t you?
Rosek: ::sighs:: Thanks for the pep talk.
Rosek: ::gaze drops to her PADD and she shrugs:: I guess the lack of sleep hasn’t been helping. ::grimaces:: Chythar synthesized a medication to help delay my season, but it’s made me more of an insomniac than usual.
Rosek: ::sighs:: I’d kind of hoped that he’d be able to synthesize an injectable dose of Al-Leyan male pheromones...to trick my body into thinking Jon is Al-Leyan. But the way things are going with Jon and I, finding an Al-Leyan exile might be my best shot.
Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Eng.D.
USS Veritas NCC-95035