Wisdom & Confessions
Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: Communication Conversation - Various
Pausing with the paintbrush poised to make another colourful stroke on the canvas, Laura Kingsley tilted her head and listened. And sure enough, there it was again… with a reluctant sigh, Laura Kingsley set aside the paintbrush and rose from the stool as she removed her apron. Moving deeper inside the house she passed the room where the children were studying before dinner and into the family room.
Touching the computer terminal as it chimed again, the image of Soral and Alex on their wedding day disappeared to be replaced by a familiar face. “Soral! Are you looking to speak to the children? They’ve been … waiting… to hear from you.”
"Perhaps after our conversation. Are you well? The children?" He paused. "Alexandra?"
“I am well, I’ve been painting while the children catch up on schoolwork. They very much enjoyed the time on Earth with Alex although they missed you. As for Alex… she is doing okay. A work in progress. And you? How are you?”
He sighed. "I am...tired Laura. Perhaps even what Humans would call exhausted." He admitted.
Laura frowned, “then perhaps you should take time to care for yourself. Rest. Heal. I obviously do not know all the details nor do I need to. But being in a cave … why are you in a cave?”
"I would say meditation however that would be a lie." He thought a moment. "I am on Bajor." He knew that's all Laura would need to put it together.
“I knew a rather charming young man from Bajor,” Laura mused, “he made the most beautiful clothes. Janlik. He spoke of his home with such passion and made me promise to visit. Never did get around to it.”
"Now would not be the time but when things settle I shall ensure you visit Bajor." He sighed. "Is Alexandra really alright?"
Laura glanced over her shoulder, as if expecting to find her daughter standing there. When she turned back, she had a definite sadness in her eyes. “No, Soral, I don’t think she is. She seems lost. And I have not seen her so… unsure of herself, of her path, in a very long time.”
"I am trying Laura. I know she finds it difficult because I carry my mirror Katra, as do I however, I know not what I can do to ease her mind."
“I’m not sure there is anything you can do, but be patient,” Laura told him. “And keep being patient. Take things one day at a time. You both need to essentially start from scratch. Go on a second first date, find whatever it was that had you both so head over heels in love. You cannot just pick up where you left off. But I think you understand that.
But also… and I say this in confidence not to betray her but to help you. And please do not feel she has ever betrayed your confidence either… while on Earth we stayed at the home of a friend. Someone she went to university with. Of course he was a few years older and has a wife and children now. Family pictures were on the walls and when I asked her why she seemed so sad looking at them, well, she said it was because she wouldn’t have any knights or her princess? She snapped out her melancholy as soon as the children appeared. I know at the moment having children is not possible but she seemed at peace with it before. After all, she’s young and she always told me that she’d adopt if it was what you both wanted. But in that moment … she seemed so sad.”
She fell silent, sure she had said too much before adding, “she is also considering resigning from Starfleet.”
He looked stunned a moment. "My mirror self and her mirror counterpart had children. Triplet boys, she named the knights, and a girl. Lexi, her counterpart died while giving birth to their daughter."
“Ah, I see… She told me she didn’t remember much of her… of Lexi. But then I expect Alex always tried to spare me sleepless nights worrying.”
"If you wish I can send you a debrief of what happened. I have given my statement on Vulcan and that is public record."
“The Ambassador sent me a copy,” Laura assured him. “Soral… honestly - in your heart - what do you wish for?”
"My wife and family back. However since I was a child I learned not to make wishes. They never seemed to come true and I doubt that much has changed."
“Your wife and family are still there, Soral,” Laura told him. “You just need to be willing to fight to make your family whole again.”
"I am uncertain I have the strength. When one fights all their life it becomes difficult."
“When it comes to your heart, your family… there is always strength to be found. Otherwise you need to let yourself admit that what you had with my daughter is lost to you and let her go.”
"I do not believe it lost but if she wishes to let it go I will not fight it. You and I are practical people Laura. We know she deserves better."
“Soral,” Laura chided, as if speaking to a child. “Deserves better? No. What she deserves is what makes her happy. Love is… unpredictable, frightening and intense. It can make you cry or fill you with joy. And for whatever reason, Alex’s heart decided on you. And I believe she still loves you.”
There was some spark of hope in his eyes. "Perhaps. Time heals all, I believe that is the Earth saying."
Or at least lessens the sadness, Laura reminded herself. “If I may, Alex may need time but so do you. Take time to heal, to find who you are. And to be sure it is Alex you want and need in your life - for her, not for an echo of this Lexi your counterpart clearly loved just as much. I cannot begin to imagine what it was like for either of you, so I cannot judge. All I can say is have patience and take things a day at a time. She is young, often stubborn and we both know she has a temper … but she has a good heart. And you are good for her. And, frankly, if you weren’t then you’d be answering to me.”
He bowed his head. "Wise words. I shall take them to heart." He paused. "Are the children well?"
“They miss their father,” Laura replied simply. “They enjoyed the visit to Earth and the theme parks, it was a new experience for them. Very different to the normal order of lessons and study they do here. N’Vek is excited to be coming to stay with you, Severine is… struggling to hide how much it bothers her to stay here, although she remains committed to following her own path. And Soval is much more settled. His grades are vastly improved. I think they all enjoyed how much better they endured the rides at the parks than I did. I had hoped Alex would give them a better run for their money but even she gave up once or twice before she lost her lunch.”
He allowed himself a smile. "Have I expressed how grateful I am for you?"
“Always once two many times,” she countered with a rueful smile. “I enjoy spending time with them. Feeling useful.”
"You are always useful." He rubbed the back of his neck. "Laura...do you like surprises?"
“On occasion,” Laura nodded.
He battled with himself. Should he tell her that the Vulcan Ambassador was planning a proposal? "I see." He paused. "May I ask you something?"
“Of course,” she nodded.
"Have I set a heavy burden upon you by asking you to care for the children? Has your life been...made worse by it?"
Laura’s eyes widened in horror, “whatever would make you think such a thing? And, need I remind you, I was neither forced to move to Vulcan nor have I been held here against my will. Besides, they largely care for themselves and occasionally keep me out of trouble.”
"I wish for you to have a happy life. I...just feel that I may have hindered that somewhat."
“I assure you that you have not,” Laura told him. “So there is no need to feel as you do.”
He rubbed the back of his neck as if feeling very guilty.
“Please tell me you don’t still feel as if you have somehow burdened me with three wonderful grandchildren?” Laura demanded, although her tone was light, teasing.
"I am glad you care for them. I hope that Alex and I will have our own some day." He looked at Laura. "I...am at a loss. I know something that you do not and I feel guilty knowing it."
There was a glimmer of amusement as Laura replied. “Given your work, I’d imagine there is lots you know that I do not. But if it troubles you, just spit it out.”
"Indeed....but this is something personal." He ran his fingers through his hair. "I...that is he...the Ambassador approached me with respect to you."
“About me?” Laura frowned, “whatever for? I can’t imagine anything you could answer that I couldn’t answer myself.”
"He...wished for me to grant him your hand in marriage.....I told him that is a question best asked to you...he has a plan. I believe he spent seven hours researching the proper Human proposal methods...I think he mentioned penguins...I do not know what that has to do with proposals."
Laura paled as she listened. Propose?! Words escaped her for the longest time before she managed to utter, “penguins?”
"Indeed. I do not know the details." He hit a few buttons. "I have however taken the liberty of preparing a file on your suitor. In order to assist with your decision. It holds a full medical and psychological work up."
“Soral!” Laura chided, “you can keep that file to yourself. I don’t need to know such things to make a decision like this one.”
"Is it not wise to ensure that he is a good man....he is by the way. I have studied the file in detail."
“It is a violation of privacy,” she retorted. “And I already knew he was a good man.”
"Indeed however if your daughter found out I had let you marry an unbalanced Vulcan with a murky medical history I would be floating in space. It is my duty as the son in law and a man who fears his wife's wrath to ensure you are safe."
“Let me?” Laura repeated, “she would know you had not let me do anything. I am, after all, a grown woman.”
"I did not mean to imply you were not it was just a precaution. He is medically fit and psychologically sound. You may marry him if you wish. Married once and appears to have been much in love. Kind man, somewhat prone to emotions. Loves to travel."
“Noted,” Laura nodded, her thoughts somewhat distant.
"Did I do something wrong in telling you?"
Laura shook her head, waving away his concern. “No, of course not. I’m… glad you did. I have a lot to think about.”
"I shall support whatever your decision." He paused. "You must put your happiness first Laura. I wish to see you happy. You are the only mother I have ever known."
“Sweet of you to say,” Laura smiled, “and I think of you, and the children as family. Just as I have always seen Alex as my daughter, even if not by blood. I assure you, I am happy.”
He gave a nod. "I am looking forward to dancing at your wedding...should you accept the proposal."
Laura held her tongue, for she doubted he would like her answer when he was already contemplating dancing at the reception. “For now I will settle on you and my daughter finding your peace after all that’s happened.”
He sighed. "That will be a long road."
“Have patience, it will happen.”
The rest of the conversation didn't take long and Soral was called away before he could speak to his kids but he had some hope that things would work out between him and Alexandra.