Something Fishy This Way Comes - Part III
Operation: Lobes & Liberties
Location: Ready Room USS Standing Bear
Previously on Something Fishy This Way Comes....
She fell silent as she tried to think around the conflicting feelings the news brought. Relief, yes… because through Lexi’s memories she knew them all and four children were of her own - alternate - flesh and blood. Unease, because all but the youngest knew a very different life to the one they’d find here in the Federation. And what was to stop them trying to live in the manner they knew best by this point in their lives. And fear. Because hadn’t the boys been the very children she and Soral had been trying to save in her dream?
And then there was his question. Could Severine, Soval and N’Vek be harmed by the presence of their older, alternate selves? It was a question there was no answer to. Not without more information.
“I’m sure Lexi would appreciate the steps you had taken,” she said quietly. “How safe is safe?”
"They will be living on Betazed in a home I have prepared for them there. I have Vulcan counselors and Betazoid empathic counselors there to aid them in the transition to this verse. I will be...at some point taking a leave of absence to be with them and wish to introduce them to their...siblings here."
“That’s… a lifetime of therapy waiting to happen,” Alex pointed out. Arguing would not be wise. He would do what he wanted; she was sure. “While I’m sure most of them are able to look after themselves…. do they have security?”
And now the continuation....
"Of course. I would not leave it to chance. They are our children."
“Your children, with Lexi,” Alex corrected him as she stood, nursing the hot chocolate in both hands as she went to stand by the viewport. Lost in thought she was silent for a long time before speaking up. “I feel lost. Like I can’t trust my own feelings or memories. Hers. Mine. Sometimes it’s so hard to tell.
I remember when I held our boys,” she added, glancing down at her hands, “but I didn’t do that. She did. Even so, my instinct is to protect them.”
Soral was quiet for a long time. "It is like that with me. His memories, mine they all merge. I am...attempting to better understand them. Perhaps the key for you as well is to reflect on the memories and take strength from both her and your memories. Honour the difference. Humanity is built upon change and growth so... perhaps this is like that. We grow from all the experiences, bend, change."
“I don’t know how to do that,” Alex admitted, turning to face him, “on this very bridge she murdered the former captain. Crushed his heart with little more than a thought. All the while wanting to share the news we… they… were going to be parents again.”
Soral sighed. "I am aware. The history of this ship is...sometimes unnerving...I think to him too but this was their life not ours. Here you will make new memories, as will I."
“Ever think that trying to do that, here, is perhaps not the healthiest option?” Alex mused. “And while I can’t get out of my own head it hurts you. Us. As if I haven’t done enough of that already.”
He studied her for a long moment. "Alexandra we have both...hurt, as you say, one another. Our greatest weakness is Lexi and Soral's greatest strength, Communication. It is not something we are good at. As for this ship it has been healthy for me. I draw a certain strength in being here. Of course, i am used to the Captain's Quarters ... however the XO's quarters have been interesting nonetheless. We each have to find our peace with all this and time is something that is required."
“I don’t know how to start fixing all of this mess,” Alex whispered as she stared out of the window again. “But then again I can’t even sort out bad dreams never mind something as complicated as us.”
He kept his mouth shut. He wanted to say love was not complicated but...perhaps it was. "I can assist with the dreams if you wish."
“You don’t want to see them, or what inevitably happens to you, or the children, or both,” Alex said quietly as she shook her head. “Perhaps the doctor can give me something so I can just sleep…. I’m sorry I couldn’t help with your question.”
Somehow he had a feeling she would look into it eventually. "Sleeping aids will not help. This something within the mind. If you do not wish my help I could arrange for a Vulcan healer to help."
“We aren’t exactly surrounded by them at the moment,” Alex pointed out, “and on the ship I can hardly escape out a window. It isn’t that I don’t want your help…. Honestly, yes I was a little drunk but that night I came to see you? I don’t even remember falling asleep. I just remember waking up in our bed and feeling safe.”
"Alexandra you are always safe when you are with me." He sighed.
“But I am never going to be her,” she countered softly. “And that is what a large part of you wants. Wanted enough to traverse barriers between universes to find me. And now to bring people from there to this reality. It terrifies me to think of how close I was to disappearing altogether.”
He sighed. "Me as well. I...do not know where we go from here."
Alex smiled sadly, as she stood up and rounded the desk. “I think you do,” she told him, “Or Mac and Haru wouldn’t be where they are… and that’s …
I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt to consider what that means for our future but, well, that’s okay… I don’t want you to stay here just because you feel obligated to me. I want what is best for you. I want you to be happy,” she told him as she leaned in and kissed him softly. “I don’t regret becoming your wife, Soral. But I do regret all the pain I’ve caused you and that I wasn’t anything close to what you needed.”
He took her by the shoulders. "You have never caused me pain and all I need is you. If anyone should be apologizing it is I."
“Soral, you forget I was there - I know the pain of our bond breaking, the anguish you felt leading up to it. It was Sara’s doing but if you had bonded with literally anyone else it would never have been in jeopardy,” she reminded him. “And all those times you felt I was letting my emotions cloud my judgement? Or let’s not forget that I never realized the danger you were in until it was too late? You almost died! Would a Vulcan wife have been fooled like that? Would you be able to keep so much of yourself locked away from her?”
"Perhaps not but I do not love a Vulcan woman."
“I love you too,” she whispered back.
"So, is this something we can build on or not?" he had to ask even though he feared the response.
Placing her hand on the side of his face she frowned, the memory of her nightmare so vivid. “I don’t know,” she admitted, tears stinging her eyes, “I don’t even know how we start rebuilding this.”
"A brick at a time I am told." He sighed and cupped her hands to his face. "There are many options for us out here."
“How about for now we go a cobblestone at a time?” She suggested. “You know, baby steps?”
He actually smiled. "Indeed. A most logical plan."