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Home at last

Posted on Monday, 25 May 2020 - 5:37pm by Commander Soral & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley

Mission: Operation: Recall
Location: USS Fontana | Shuttle Bay & XO Quaters
Timeline: 2393-MD07 close to midnight into MD08


The Casablanca had been late in returning. All the other shuttles had returned long ago but the Runabout had been delayed, mainly due to Soral's conversation with his friend and then the Senator. It was not just a breath away from Midnight and the shuttle had just put into the bay. Rose and the other passengers were gone and Soral was just finishing off loading a few of the items.

Back on the bridge Ensign Rester had just finished logging the Runabout's return. She wondered briefly if she should follow the orders given to her by Kingsley. She sighed, the woman did outrank her. She was well aware that Kingsley was probably asleep but hit the coms anyway. "Ensign Rester to Lieutenant Kingsley."

“=/\=Kingsley here...” Alex smothered a yawn as she sat up on the couch, end credits playing on a movie. She was wide awake by the time the Ensign finished replying. In fact she was halfway out the door, tugging on her uniform jacket as she headed for the shuttlebay. Crossing towards the runabout, she peered inside to find Soral alone.

“What time is this to be coming home?” She teased as she entered.

Her voice washed over him like a warm blanket on a cold day. He turned letting his eyes feast on her as if he had not seen her in ages. He crossed over to her and gently cupped her face in his hands. He didn't kiss her but caressed her face as if convincing himself she was real. "I was not sure you were back yet."

“Right here waiting, safe and sound,” she assured him with a bright smile. “How was your trip?”

"Long." He turned away picking up his pack. "I am glad to have returned." He said. "We did learn a few useful items." He turned back to her. "How about yours?" His mind was still racing with all that he'd learned and seen.

“Pretty uneventful,” she confided. “I’m not sure I would survive there for long. Especially without you there. But hopefully the supplies have made a slight dent in our bad reputation out this way.”

He gave a nod as they entered the lift. "Deck one," he said. The lift hummed to life taking them home. He was oddly quiet though. Somewhere along their walk he'd reached out, held her hand, but there was something not the same about him.

Alex kept hold of his hand as they exited the lift and went into their quarters. "Why don't you change and I'll fix you something to eat. You must be exhausted... unless you'd rather sleep? Or tell me what has you so troubled? Do I need to go fight some warrior nuns? I will totally give it a shot."

He stopped and looked at her, there was a haunted look in his eyes that lasted a brief moment. He then sighed. "Perhaps some food. I do need a shower as well." He bent down and kissed her gently cradling her cheek in his hand.

Deciding to leave her questions until he felt more... well, Vulcan, she let him go and busied herself with making him a light supper. "Maybe we should watch Gremlins next," she suggested to Bones as big, hopeful, brown eyes watched for any scraps. "Although feeding after midnight is not good. Or was it before midnight. I can't remember... it's a classic anyway. You'll love it. Here, sad eyes, just don't tell..."

Adding a few dog friendly scraps to the nearby bowl she set down Soral's plate and settled down in an adjacent seat to wait for him.

Soral had dropped his pack in the bedroom and had headed straight for the shower. He made quick work of getting the dust of Vashti off of him and it had given him some quiet time to set himself straight. He dried off quickly and changed into comfortable pyjama pants leaving his shirt off. He headed for the kitchen filed a tall glass with water and took a seat by the plate. He looked at it a moment and then made short work of the sandwich. "Gremlins sounds good." He said. He noted that Bones was happily munching away too.

"You heard that, huh?" she grinned. "I'd put it on now but you look tired. And we have a hard time making it to the end of a movie. Besides, you seem like a big part of you might still be on Vashti. What's on your mind? Was it your friend?"

A sensible person would have ignored it all and not even asked. Because she feared that the friend he had spoke of perhaps hadn't provided him with the hope he was after. "Please tell me," she added softly as she took his hand.

"In part." He held on to her hand. He tugged her onto his lap and laid his head on her shoulder so that as he talked she could stroke his hair, something he found soothing, and so that his breath tickled her collar bone. He sighed contentedly. He had missed her. "With respect to us he will research and get back to me. Mainly it is what I saw. Those who were hungry, tired, sick. Starfleet....we have turned our backs on them and yet we expect forgiveness." He sighed. "I can now understand Stillwater and why he left."

Alex was silent for a long moment. "Starfleet made that choice, not you," she reminded him. "The sins of the father... or something like that. Starfleet, the Federation - both seeking forgiveness when they don't forgive themselves. Well, those that ever wanted to be involved at all. I remember how it was, on Mars.

So many brilliant scientists and engineers just told to set aside their work, their research, for years. There was a lot of resentment. And of course, the synths were created. I remember the headlines, my dad hated them. All this anti-Romulan rhetoric spouting up. People hating us trying to help our enemy. He always said the best thing you can ever do with your life, is help someone else. And that's what he did. Every day."

"He sounds like a good man." He simply said.

“He was. I guess I just feel sad that they made so many sacrifices to the evacuation and then it was an excuse to some people to do what they always wanted. Helping Romulans was never winning opinion polls. Or votes. Oh... this got serious. Tell me what I can do to help you?” She asked softly.

He sat back and looked into her eyes. "Just seeing you helps." He kissed her. "Shall we go and rest?"

“Rest?” She repeated, arching her eyebrow, her smile mischievous, “what about that legendary Vulcan stamina?”

"Perhaps rest was the wrong word." He stood lifting her in his arms. "I have missed you."

She kissed him as he carried her. “I missed you more.”

Like all other nights there was passion and love yet something more. A need that he knew not existed. He savoured being with her, holding her. Every touch, every caress was as if it was the first.

Several hours later he lay with her in his arms. Thinking her asleep he whispered some words in Vulcan, words that were a testament to his great love for her. He was truly in trouble. There was no way he could marry T'Aurora now. He wondered if she'd still feel the same way about him if she found out the truth about him.

Barely stirring she tightened her hold on him, “sleep,” she whispered, her head resting on his chest.

"Yes my love." He said and then finally allowed himself to drift into slumber. His mind quieted. He wasn't due on duty until second shift tomorrow and knew that he could sleep in. When he awoke Alex was not beside him.

Sitting on the edge of the sofa, staring out at the stars, Alex was lost in thought. The cup of hot chocolate in her hands warmed her before she had even taken a sip, the rich smell filling the room. She had slept only briefly, dreams of her father, of Mars intertwined with the harsh reality of knowing that very soon she would face losing Soral too. And she was angry with herself. He had been so honest about it from the beginning, he had warned her that they were something that couldn't last, even though he had seemed to have a change of heart.

He had given her so much to think about. After his marriage, could they continue? Her heart screamed yes, her brain was not so convinced. And her heart was not accustomed to ruling over decisions.

Besides, when it came to Sorel, she was not convinced she was able to think logically. If at all.

With a sigh she absently clamped one hand down over the top of her cup, inadvertently stopping the path of the silver spoon which had been slowly circling the interior of the cup while her attention was elsewhere. Only the sudden silence, now that the spoon wasn't hiting against the inside of the cup, made her realise anything was amiss. Although as she studied it, she could not for the life of her think what was even striking her as odd. Clearly, she decided, she just needed sleep. Lots and lots of it.

Soral came out of the room just in time to see her face. "Is everything alright?" He asked coming to sit beside her.

“Hmm?” She replied slowly, glancing up. She offered him an apologetic smile, “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

"No. When I woke you were not there. Besides we must get up and face reality shortly." He didn't relish going back on duty. Particularly since he'd see Victrix and things between them were a tad strained.

“Sorry, I couldn’t get back to sleep,” she said as set her glass down on the nearby table. “Maybe we could take a sick day?” She grinned.

He sighed. "Actually I will give the away team members a day off. I...I will need to be on the bridge soon." He closed his eyes. "I am hoping that the Commander decides to leave early. I do not wish to see her at the moment." He thought back to the comedy night. He was not ready for that talk.

“Nope,” Alex said with a shake of her head, “you can’t make the rest of us rest and not rest yourself. As for the Commander- avoiding the issue is not going to make it better. You both have to find a way to at least work together.”

"I am fine." He stood and walked over kissing the top of her head. "I do not need rest. I did a lot of that on Vashti. I was not much use medically. Doctor Rose did the heavy work."

“That makes me sad, if you were getting all that rest when I was missing you,” she pouted.

He took her hand. "I did not say I was not missing you. You are the reason I am still here in fact." He confided.

“What do you mean?” She asked curiously, the words lost in a yawn. “Why... why wouldn’t you be here?”

"After the Commanders display by right I should have transferred out." He didn't mention the offer the senator made.

She held his hand in both of hers, “what she did was absolutely wrong. Please do not let one incident, when she was drunk, make you doubt your worth, your beautiful spirit and your place. Which for now is right here.”

He held on to her hands. "My place is with you my love." He said. "I almost forgot. I brought something for you from Vashti."

“A present?” She grinned, some of her energy returning.

"Indeed." He walked over to the pack he'd brought back last night. He rummaged inside and pullout out a rectangular box that had taken up the entire pack. He'd left supplies and other items with the Vashti nuns so he could fit this box. He'd, perhaps, gone overboard but he'd purchased an evening dress, necklace, and earing, and bracelet set. He'd let her open it and wondered if she would like it.

Alex watched, curious as he produced a large box. “Vashti clearly is a better tourist spot than Morning Garden,” she observed as he set the box down. “You know this was completely unnecessary....”

"Indeed. I wished it. Vashti has some beautiful items. They deserve to be displayed by a beautiful woman."

Careful, she pried open the lid to reveal the contents. “Soral!” She breathed, “these are beautiful!”

He delighted in watching her reaction. "I am glad you like them."

She set the box aside and kissed him, “I do, thank you!”

He held her hand. "How about I make some breakfast and you tell me about your trip."

“Breakfast sounds...” she turned her head as she smothered a yawn with her hand, “good. Sorry. Maybe just extra strong coffee?”

"I will make it. You rest."

“Okay,” she conceded, “you win...”



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