Posted on Tuesday, 5 January 2021 - 5:59pm by Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Captain Barret Stillwater
Location: Sickbay - Neonatal care
T’Lanna was sitting at her son’s bedside, since he’d be spending the next month or two in special care this was the only chance she had to be with him. She was pouring over name choices wondering what to call him, she wanted to honour both her Vulcan and his father’s Human heritage and it was proving difficult to choose.
Stillwater was proud to have a baby aboard the USS Standing Bear. Though it was not an ideal starship to raise a child, he did everything that he could to make the starship more accommodating for the new parents and their child. Barret had made arrangements while at Jupiter station to ensure changes were made that he had discussed with T'Lanna. He was more than willing to give her ample time before having her report back to duty, even extending the medical leave if she needed it.
"Looks quite a bit like his father," Stillwater said with a warm smile as he entered the small section of Sickbay that had been turned into a makeshift neonatal care. Stillwater looked at everything. This is going to have to do he thought to himself. He had never intended to have children aboard the Standing Bear. It simply was not designed for children nor families in mind. "How is he doing? How are you both doing?"
“I’m fine, and Doctor Alexander tells me Jayce is doing okay.” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “Thank you for this” T’Lanna looked around. “For all of this. It means so much to be able to have Jayce onboard ship with me. I was considering giving up my career if I had to, I couldn’t face being away from him. Now I don’t have to worry.”
"I could not lose one of the best and brightest officers aboard, especially not now. The Federation is in such a dark period of time, everything is up in the air. Andorians have been postulating about pulling out of the Federation ever since we began extracting the Romulan refugees before the Romulan star went supernova and before the attack on Mars," replied Stillwater. "The recent upheaval on Earth now? I need you now more than ever T'Lanna. If that means surrendering up a cargo bay for this little guy...well worth the investment." He smiled at the baby. "So is that you have decided to name him? Jayce?"
T’Lanna nodded. “After his father, Jason was my best friend and I want to honour him by naming his son after him.” She sighed. “I just wish Jason was alive to see his son.”
"I remember you showing me what Jason looked like. Jayce certainly looks like him, but I can see some of his mother in him too," Stillwater replied. "His biological father may not be here to see him or raise him, but you have a good man in your life who I suspect is going to fill that role admirably for Jayce, and whenever you need anything. If Jayce ever needs anything, this crew will be here for you."
T’Lanna nodded. “I know, I feel very lucky to have all of you. You’ve become my family and Raith means everything to me. As for everything that’s going on, I feel safer here.”
Stillwater scoffed. "Now, that is the honest truth," he said shaking his head. "I feel better knowing that you and Soral are aboard the Standing Bear, and Jayce. He may not be full nor even half Vulcan, but people do not seem to care right now whether you are full or quarter nor the differences between being Vulcan or Romulan. Right now, if someone has pointed ears....they are safer in space than on Earth."
T’Lanna nodded. “My son has my ears, I’d rather he be safe here. Right now I’m terrified to be off ship, either that or it’s my mothering instincts kicking in for Jayce’s safety. Speaking of which, how are you now Sir? All healed from your poisoning I hope?”
"What's a little poison when hundreds of other things can kill me?" he replied and shrugged. "I'm fine. I have a Federation to be concerned about and a whole crew plus one baby to look after, and I am not letting anything harm either of you."
“That’s a relief as I’d rather have you here than anyone else Starfleet would send us!” She smiled warmly. “Thank you for being there for me when I went into labour, I appreciate it.”
"Some Commanding Officers would say marrying two of their crew is a great honor, but being there when one of my crew brings a new life into this universe? How could there be a better honor than that."
T’Lanna smiled warmly. “As strange as this might sound, I’m starting to think of you as a father figure. I have the upmost respect for you. Speaking of which may I ask your advice? It regards Talarn?”
Stillwater nodded. "I am nearly double your age and your Commanding Officer. I have a tendency to come off very father like. What would you like advice on?"
“I’ve been trying too hard to gain a friendship with Talarn. Last time we spoke I had him convinced that I was invading his privacy and reading his thoughts!” She sighed. “I didn’t ... I wouldn’t, perhaps I was feeling an empathic link due to our pasts as Borg but I wouldn’t invade his privacy! I just want ...” she paused. “I just want to be friends with someone like me. Up until now I’ve been alone where being an ex-b is concerned, now I don’t have to be.”
"Nor should you be, alone that is," replied Stillwater. "Talarn was assimilated a very long time ago, but he has come a long way in leaving the collective behind. One thing to take in consideration is underneath the ex-b is a Cardassian. He's very suspicious of empaths and telepaths. It took me a while for him to even like me let alone marry me. Hell, we served together for a long while before I even considered him even remotely romantically."
“Of course!” T’Lanna sighed. “I was so busy seeing the ex-Borg I didn’t pay attention to the Cardassian underneath. Some Counsellor I’m turning out to be when I fail to notice something as easy to see as that!” She shook her head. “Thank you for reminding me, I will endeavour to see the man that is Talarn rather than try to connect with a past that I always wanted to forget.”
"That Spoonhead can be tough to get to know, but patience is everything. He will open up when he's ready, but if you get him on music, theater, or the arts in general, you will find him quite the chatterbox."
“Thanks I’ll remember that” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “So where do events on Earth and everything else leave the ship at the moment? I know I’m on maternity leave but if you need me I’ll do what I can to help.”
"They leave us on the edge," replied Stillwater. "We go wherever we are told to. The Federation will press on even in these dark and uncertain times."
“I’m glad to be back out in space, away from all this.” T’Lanna looked concerned. “While we’re docked up we’re a prime target for anyone trying to prove they get at the Federation and the alien populations onboard their ships. Not that I’m saying our security personnel would fail to keep intruders off the ship.”
"This close to Earth, docked at Jupiter station...any attack on us or Jupiter station would result in immediate response. Of course, Mars and the fleetyards were attacked, and well...we know how that went, but because of it security has been tighter in the sol system."
“Of course” T’Lanna nodded and smiled. “I’m sorry I’m just worrying about nothing, I guess that comes as part and parcel of being a new mother.”
Stillwater waved it off dismissively yet politely. "You have every right to be worried," he said. "I was poisoned albeit that was a long time coming, there have been a lot of protests and civil unrest on Earth towards Romulans...apparently any Vulcanoids now. The Federation has been shaken to its core, and key government officials have perished in a heinous attack. We may be relatively safe where we are, but I sure the hell would feel a lot better as far from Earth as we can get as soon as we can."
"Agreed" T'Lanna nodded. "That way we'll all be a lot safer, or at least we can hope! I guess it depends what Starfleet assign us to do next."
"Commander Soral and I have a meeting soon with Starfleet brass," he replied. "I suspect it pertains to new orders and given the state of matters I would wager what's left of my life after my own failed assassination attempt" added Stillwater with a deep gut chuckle, "I would say we can anticipate going back to patrolling the Federation borders and trying to keep peace and order."
“Good, the sooner the better!” T’Lanna smiled. “Actually I need to contact my father, make sure everything is alright wherever he is right now. I don’t know where his ship was going and up until recently I haven’t really cared that much. I’ll be honest I was never much of a daughter until Soral made me realise that my father was just trying to teach me about my heritage. I have Soral to thank for getting me back with my father. I want to make sure he’s alright.”
"I am sure he would appreciate knowing you are alright as well," Stillwater said with a small nod. Families were a difficult subject, but he had his own family in Talarn and in this crew.
T’Lanna nodded. “I’ll call him in a little while, I want to introduce my father to his grandson.” She grinned.
"Sounds great," replied Stillwater. "If you need anything, just let me know. I have to go make sure one of my dress uniforms fits and head back down to Earth."
“I will thank you Sir” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “Right now all I plan to do is get some rest before Jayce’s feeding time comes round.
Stillwater smiled. "Sweet dreams, don't let the subspace aliens take ya...again," he added teasingly.
T’Lanna grinned. “Never again Sir, never ever.”