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Chocolate, sprinkles and unicorns - Part II

Posted on Saturday, 30 December 2023 - 1:39pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Commander Soral

Mission: Operation: Lobes & Liberties
Location: Station

Previously on Chocolate, sprinkles and unicorns....

“An interesting hypothesis father,” Severine said as she held her hot chocolate cradled in both hands just like Alex did beside her, “but it is also possible the child has simply grown tired of making such a fuss, is it not?”

“Absolutely,” Alex agreed while at the same time her mother muttered, “unlikely.”

Sitting down with Aria cradled in her arms, Laura looked across at Soral, seeming to see past so much of the mask she suspected he wore. “Soral, it seems you have much planned already. Is New Romulus prepared for you?” she kept her tone light, to ensure he knew she was teasing him.

"Perhaps not. I am not an easy person to prepare for. However, once we raise New Romulus to former glory we shall see if the bridge between the Federation and the Romulans can be mended." He studied Alex. "Do you wish to hold her?"

And Now, The Conclusion...


Alex’s eyes widened, “me?”

“She’s almost asleep, a few seconds,” Laura encouraged. “If it is too much I’m right here to take her.”

“Or I can,” Severine added with a confident nod, in her mind still the big sister. The oldest and bravest. “And I promise not to eat aaaaallll the cookies.”

Laura chuckled, not missing how her granddaughter emphasised the point by picking out a chocolate chip cookie and devouring it in three bites.

It was a bad idea, she was sure of it. Yet with Bella staring her down she wasn’t going to make it seem like a baby phased her. A few seconds … a few heartbeats… how hard could it be? Releasing her grip on the mug she nodded, feeling all eyes on them as Laura carefully placed the baby in her arms.

For a second she could barely remember how to breathe, amazed by the blue eyes staring back at her. She - or rather Lexi - knew those eyes. Except the baby was no longer a newborn. Still so small, like a porcelain doll with dimples and an adorable face framed with vivid red hair. Alex brushed a fingertip over those tiny dimples, grinning at the incoherent rambling and little laugh it seemed to elicit from the tip of the baby’s toes. It was impossible to argue that in those baby blue eyes there was something… recognition?

Laura smiled as she watched over them, ready to step in but hoping it would not be needed. And it seemed the pair of them were in a little bubble of their own the moment they laid eyes on each other.

Soral hid a small smile. He hoped that she would be brave enough to come to dinner but most of all he hoped that she found some healing in seeing their child.

“… prefer mint chocolate but he also enjoyed Brussel sprouts,” Laura lamented with an over dramatic sigh as she took a bite out of a cookie, keeping the conversation going. “And what of you, Bella? Do you like chocolate? Please have a cookie. They are delicious.”

“It is a food with no nutritional value,” Bella pointed out. “It would be illogical to value its taste while ignoring the negatives.”

Laura opened her mouth but found herself quite speechless.

Soral shook his head. "Perhaps but the Romulan side of you will enjoy it. I ... have developed quite the sweet tooth," he admitted.

“Which reminds me,” Laura said suddenly, reaching for a bag which she passed to him, “Severine and I found some of your favourites while on our shopping trip. She thought they may help you feel better.”

"Thank you." He accepted it. "Retail Therapy sounds...interesting. I would like to learn more about it."

“It is very simple, father,” Severine piped up, “and grandmother is an excellent teacher. You purchase items which bring you feelings of joy. Or for your friends and family. It can be anything - a plant, a coat, chocolates….”

“Indeed. Alex and I once went to Milan and spent an entire week while I got over a heartbreak,” Laura confided. “I bought a beautiful dress. Beautiful. I still have it. The funny thing is I can’t remember his name. Robert? James? John…?”

Bella raised an eyebrow but stayed silent. What an odd woman.

"I see. Perhaps a trip for retail Therapy with all the children."

“There is a shop with antique weapons my brothers would enjoy,” Severine enthused in between mouthfuls of cookie. “The owner is a Klingon. He had a … unique odour.”

Bella scrunched up her nose in distaste.

“You have ice skating plans,” Laura reminded her.

“It’s alright,” Alex spoke up, Aria now sleeping soundly, “we can go skating another time. Spend time with your brothers, as much as you want.”

Severine smiled warmly. “Thank you.”

Suddenly three very distinct voices called for their mother. Soral turned in time to see the Triplets his mirror self had with Alex running towards them, having broken away from the Betazoid governess.

Her attention on Severine, for Alex it was like being hit by three mini tornadoes as three boys launched themselves at her, each one singularly determined to be the one who made it to them first. She barely got a glimpse of the descending chaos before she, her chair and the three ‘knights’ were sent crashing to the floor. All the while an unfamiliar voice continued to call after them as the governess gave chase.

The woman was quite out of breath as she drew near, her face turning white as a ghost when she saw Soral and realised he had seen her very publicly lose control of the triplets. “I -“

Her words were interrupted by cries of delight from the three boys interspersed “a little help please!” as Alex was kept pinned beneath the bundles of energy.

Soral's eyes widened. "Boys!" his voice raised ever so slightly. The three scrambled up. "Sorry father," they said. Soral had managed to grab Aria from her before they descended. He handed the baby to Laura and then helped Alex up. "Are you alright?"

At Soral’s voice the weight was suddenly gone and instead his shadow fell over her, hand outstretched. She reached up and grabbed it, unsurprised when he seemed to effortlessly pull her to her feet. Brushing off her clothes she nodded. How to say it wasn’t possible to feel any more pain when every inch of her body still ached. “Yeah, I’m okay…” she assured him as her eyes fell on the three boys watching them, the picture of innocence.

“My cookies!” Severine suddenly exclaimed as one by one the seemed to rise up from the plate and float towards the hands each boy had clasped behind their backs.

Soral sighed. "Boys. What have I said about showcasing your abilities. Now then." He held out his hand. "The cookies."

With their heads down they handed him the cookies which he handed to Severine. "We do not take from people, especially family."

All three blushed and apologized to their sister. Soral turned his gaze to the governess. "You were employed because you share abilities with the boys and could teach them to use them properly. Build on their mother's training. I am impressed with their abilities, not their attitude, something also under your charge."

"My apologies Sir."

"Hmm." He turned to the boys. "What have you to say for yourself."

They looked to Alex. Lexi had always been the disciplinarian but she did spoil them. Soral sighed. "Go ahead, greet your mother. Gently."

The boys ran up and wrapped their arms around her.

Alex simply stood there, completely lost as she looked to her mother. What was the right thing to do? Despite Soral’s words she was not their mother, she hadn’t endured a nightmare pregnancy to bring them into the world or lived just to have the briefest of glances of Aria before her life ended. Yet Soral was seemingly determined to blur that line. And the three boys were so happy, so delighted and the word ‘mother’ was swirling around her like a suffocating blanket.

“Soral,” Laura said softly as she touched his arm. “…perhaps baby steps are needed?”

He gave a nod. "Boys."

The pulled away. "She is still recovering. You all have lessons." He motioned to the governess. "Perhaps all the children should have lunch together and then their lessons. Aria needs her rest. Please take them. Severine may stay."

The governess gave a nod and taking Aria hurried the boys away. Soral turned to Alex. "Are you alright?"

“I…” yes, no and every shade of grey in between. “I need a minute… excuse me…”

Backing away from him she turned on her heels and headed for the restrooms nearby, hurrying inside to one of the cubicles and only relaxing as the lock clicked in. Breathe… in, out, in, out. Head resting against the cool metal door she picked an old favourite and began reciting the period table in her head. Making it all the way to Selenium before she heard a knock on the door.

"Are you in there?" Severine's voice rang on the other side of the door.

“Yeah, I, I’ll be out in a second. I just need a minute. I’ll be right out, I promise. Go, enjoy your cookies.”

There was a long pause. "It was a difficult encounter," She began. "They are your children yet not. I cannot imagine what that is like." It sounded wise beyond her years but also the voice was off, more mature. For the Severine that stood there was not the young one but the one that had grown with Lexi as her mother. She'd seen the spectacle and intercepted her father as he was on his way in to check on Alex.

"I cannot begin to understand what you are feeling but...I can imagine it is not easy."

It took a long moment to realise the voice wasn’t quite right, more mature yet still Severine. Unlocking the door Alex opened it just a few inches, enough to confirm her suspicions. There she was, a young woman who still had that confidence and fire she often saw in her younger self. “This is a psychologists dream, they’d done out on this for years,” Alex commented as she kept the door only partially open. “But the worst part is, I’m not her. I’m not their mother, no matter how much they or Soral want me to be. It’s cruel to let them think I’m her. And that’s all I could hear. Mother, mother, mother….”

She felt that panic building up again and shut the door. Periodic table from the top. Hydrogen…

Severine crossed her arms. "Perhaps, but you always... or rather Lexi, the woman I saw as my mother, always said Psychologists were put into existence so that their patients can make fools of them and feel entertained. Now, as to Father...Indeed it is....not right for them to think of you as Lexi but maybe not so cruel. They are young now but he will tell them who their mother was and maybe knowing that a version of their mother is out there will help them heal. It has been healing for me and to be honest Soral is really not their father at least not this Soral but he is now both versions as are you so perhaps you didn't go through the labor but they do carry your genes. Scientifically it's fascinating I admit."

“She is not in my head,” Alex snapped before she sighed. “I apologize… that was uncalled for. Perhaps if it wasn’t me I would agree it’s fascinating.”

"True enough. It's all a bit weird and you need to have time to adjust to all this. Just be patient with yourself. My brothers and I wish to befriend you as for the young ones...our counterparts know you as you. Aria and the knights will get there. Although I swear those three are a menace. Once I came into the room and all my shoes were floating on the ceiling..."

A small smile played on Alex’s lips. “According to Soral I used to do similar things but to his dog,” she conceded as she opened to door.

"Indeed. May I tell you my observations?"

Alex studied her for a moment before nodding, “sure.”

"You and Lexi have one big thing in common. You both have had...rough lives and experiences yet both of you have an endless amount of strength. Draw on that now. I know that things are not...what they should be, however I am confident that they will get better. As confident about that as I am about father's vulture syndrome...he is probably circling the bathroom as we speak."

That Alex could agree on, her gaze falling on the door which led back out to the promenade. Apparently untouched it swung open to reveal Soral pacing back and forth until the opening door made him stop. “Apparently you have vulture syndrome,” Alex informed him from across the room.

His eyes darted to Severine. "Really?"

"You've always supported free thinking, I was thinking freely, out loud." She looked at Alex. "I better go and calm the boys. Will you be alright?"

Alex nodded, watching her go. “I was going to say the knights might be a handful, especially Mac, but now I’m thinking maybe Severine’s teenage years may be a headache or two.”

He sighed. "I am starting to rethink the Vulcan convent...”

“My mum spent time in a convent. Didn’t do her any… actually scratch that,” Alex decided.

"Hmmm. I am sorry if I made you uncomfortable."

“It’s in the past, forget about it,” she assured him as she walked to the row of sinks, splashing water on her face as she watched him in the mirror.

"I do not know what to say. I think it best that you take your day with Severine and your mother as planned. If dinner is too much then...I am alright with that as well."

“You need to work on that poker face to make it in politics,” she chided him gently. “I know that you want this big family dinner and I get it, I do. But I just… I can’t. And I’m sorry. Besides, it isn’t a day. It was hot chocolate and cookies before I have to be in medical. You will have your dinner and, as a bonus, my mother will be there! So really, I should apologies twice. Just keep her away from the wine.”

"I like your mother. She is what I picture mine would have been like. Or rather what I would have liked her to be like."

“Me too,” Alex admitted. “I know that sounds insane but without my mum I’d be… who knows where? Maybe by bad luck I’d have still been on Mars and not on Earth that day. A lot of what ifs. But what I do know is that when it comes to mothers, I absolutely won the lottery with her.”

He gave a nod. "Well I shall let you all get back to your time. I have a few matters to tend to." What he still didn't say was how much he loved her and missed her.

She gave a small nod. "I'm sure you do. Enjoy dinner and... safe journey. I can't imagine what you are going to try to do will be easy but if anyone can do it, you can."

She touched her hand to the side of his face while standing on her tip toes to kiss his other cheek. "Stay safe," she whispered before slipping past him to return to the others.



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