Posted on Saturday, 3 April 2021 - 1:56pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali
Operation: Trail of Tears
Location: Science Department
Pineapple. Spearing a segment of the fruit, Lieutenant Kingsley studied it for a long moment before letting it drop back into the bowl. She was beginning to truly despise the taste, the sight and the smell of it. Of course it was all in a good cause but every girl had her limit. She had most definitely found hers. Pushing the bowl away, she stood, stretching out aching muscles from too long behind a desk and eyed the clock she had sitting in the corner of her desk. Her shift was over hours ago, yet clearing the stack of reports had updates for the various experiments being conducted on the ship took time. Accuracy and quickness were rare companions.
And then she had spend an insanely long time debating over the invitation which had made it's way to her over subspace.
She vaguely remembered the weekend which followed her first graduation from Cambridge, mostly thanks to some creativity on the part of her fellow students given she was was definitely not old enough to be in many of the places they ventured into during their celebrations. And now, with her PhD finally complete, it was once again time to don the caps and gowns. She had hesitated, knowing her mother would once again love to find her way front and centre to cheer on her accomplishment. It would be just as embarrassing (and wonderful) a second time around.
Yet a return to Earth was hardly a guarantee and while they had worked well together over long distance, when face to face again, James may just want his Rolling Stones t-shirt back. She made a face at the thought and wondered what he'd do if he knew her mother had burned it.
No, she would celebrate here. With Soral. Or on Vulcan with her mum and all the family together. Leaning across the desk she called up the message, scrolled down and was about to hit 'decline' when the door chime rang out.
"Come in!" she called out as she shut down her screen, turning to face the door. "T'Lanna, how are you?"
T’Lanna stepped inside pushing a pram with a snoozing Jayce inside, and offered a warm smile. “I’m okay, thank you.” She walked over to Alex and parked up the pram where it wouldn’t be in the way. “I’m glad to have Jayce out of Sickbay at long last.”
“I can imagine,” Alex smiled, pausing to peer down at the sleeping baby before pointing to the replicator, “something to drink?”
“Something stiff, please” T’Lanna nodded.
“Things are that bad?” Alex asked in surprise.
T’Lanna offered an apologetic smile. “Sorry I’m just ... still adjusting and recovering from the onslaught I got in the nebula. Soral tells me that the influence stretches a long way, and being so sensitive to it I’m most likely still picking up on it.”
“Ah, gotcha. Well, how about a hot chocolate or even some spice tea?” Alex suggested.
“Ohh hot chocolate! Definitely hot chocolate!” T’Lanna grinned. “There’s nothing like chocolate to brighten a mood.”
Fetching the drink, she set the beverage down and gestured to the adjacent seat. “Please, sit,” she said as she ordered a water for herself. “How is Raith adjusting to everything? He must have woken up to a world of changes?”
T’Lanna nodded and sat down. “Thank you, Yes he did but he’s adjusted better than I have! It’s been pretty stressful being away from Jayce, and recent events on top of that didn’t make it any easier. Raith has been my rock! I’d be lost without him.” She paused to pick up her mug and carefully sip her hot chocolate. “Mmmm now that is good.” She gently cradled the mug taking another sip before putting it down. “I spoke to Soral before I picked up Jayce, I promised him that I’d check how you’re doing. I understand things are ... difficult at the moment for Soral, it must be hard for you?”
“He asked you to check up on me?” Alex asked, incredulous. “You are supposed to be on maternity leave. Besides, I’m fine. You should be focusing on you, Raith and Jayce.”
T’Lanna shook her head. “Soral didn’t ask me to do anything, I volunteered to speak to you.” She offered a warm smile. “My maternity leave has been something of a busman's holiday so far, not that I mind. Up until now it’s kept my mind off Jayce being in Sickbay, now he’s home I’ll need the time to look after him and establish a routine.”
“A busman’s holiday?” Alex repeated, brow furrowed in confusion before she waved it away. “So why did you volunteer?”
“Because I’m your friend” T’ Lanna offered a warm smile. “It can’t be easy with everything that’s happened of late, Soral is worried about you. More worried about you than he is about himself.”
“Soral worries about everyone more than himself,” Alex pointed out.
T’Lanna nodded. “That’s true, but he’s changing and whether that change is good or not is another thing.”
“He’s had a lot to deal with,” Alex agreed. “N’Vek’s mother always seems to have a unique ability to open old wounds and hurt him.”
T’Lanna nodded. “I understand. How do you feel about being a mother to so many children?”
“That is more a question for my mother,” Alex pointed out. “She is with three of them everyday. She has always loved children, it’s partly why she and my father adopted me. Ultimately, family is important to Soral. He would never leave someone to a life without one - in some shape or form - and I love that about him.”
T’Lanna nodded. “I’m not talking about your mother or Soral, I’m asking about you Alex. How do you feel? Do you want children of your own? Would having so many children already make you shy away from having a baby?”
“It was in the grand plan, having kids when we were ready. But that is ... unlikely. So the alternative is to try and provide a good life for all four of them, the way my parents did when they adopted me,” Alex told her. “I guess a part of me is overwhelmed by it all. I mean, I’m twenty three. I guess I always imagined, in the run up to our wedding, that we’d have more time. Just us. And then he learned about the twins, right before I - our bond was severed. And now it’s getting even more complicated.”
T’Lanna nodded. “That’s understandable, you’ve gone from no children to a houseful in a very short space of time. I know it’s wearing on Soral, and he’s obviously worried about how you’re coping as well. If you ever need to talk, or just to vent then you know where I am.” She gently rocked the pram as Jayce stirred in his sleep. “It’s strange for me having Jayce home, but I feel more ... complete now he’s finally with me. Don’t let your plans of having a baby change if it’s what you truly want. You may end up regretting it.”
“It isn’t a matter of wanting or not, we can’t. And that may not change,” Alex said simply. “For now I’d settle on us being able to have a proper date night.”
“Ohh I see” T’Lanna nodded. “I’m sorry to hear that. As for a date night, make time to be together. You need your personal time.
“I think we are heading to Vulcan the first chance we get,” Alex said.
“Alex have you thought about medical intervention? There are ways, with help that you and Soral could have a child of your own. It would require Starfleet’s approval given the genetics laws but I don’t see why they’d disapprove if there are medical grounds as to why you both can’t have children. There’s the option of a surrogate as well.”
She opened her mouth to clarify that it wasn’t her being unable to have a child which was the issue but stopped herself. While she knew Soral confided in the Lieutenant, who knew if he had spoken specifically about this? “It will work out,” she said finally as her workstation chirped to signal an incoming message. She saw the name attached and hit decline.
“I’m sorry, I offended again didn’t I?” T’Lanna gave Alex a concerned look. “I wasn’t saying it was you, I was meaning if there was a problem in general.” She offered a smile. “I’m sure it’ll work out for you both.”
“You didn’t, I know you are just trying to help. I’m just not comfortable speaking about things that involve Soral without consulting him first. It feels... wrong.”
T’Lanna nodded. “Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to either. I consider you both good friends, Actually I was wondering if you’d both consider becoming what earth customs call a godparents, to Jayce? I’m planning on asking the Captain as well.”
“Godparents? I... I’d be honoured. I can’t imagine Soral would have any reservations either.”
“That’s wonderful, thank you” T’Lanna stood ready to be on her way. “I should be going, Jayce is going to be waking up soon and I’ve no doubt he’ll be hungry.”
“No problem, I was just about to head to the gym, too much paperwork for one day,” Alex commented as she stood.
T’Lanna grinned, “I hear you there! I’ve got paperwork galore. Thankfully Ryan and Emerick are helping on that front.”
“I think having a child may be a drastic way of getting someone to help with my paperwork,” Alex grinned as she walked them to the door. “Make sure you get some rest in between looking after this little guy.”
“I will, I already promised Emerick the same thing” T’Lanna gently pushed the pushchair in-front of her as she headed out of the door.