Preparations - Bonded Once More
Posted on Saturday, 12 June 2021 - 12:17pm by Lieutenant Haru Hernandez & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley
Operation: Neu Reich
Location: USS Standing Bear | Various
Timeline: 2394 MD 35
The journey from the Brig had been a silent one. Or, if her companion had spoken at all, Lieutenant Kingsley had been far too preoccupied to notice. All of the worries and fears she had for her husband were coming to fruition, and all of the implications for him. And for them. Which did little to quell the storm of doubts and 'what ifs' currently occupying her thoughts.
What if this didn't work? Her fear wasn't entirely for herself, mostly it was for him. They were trusting on a single scan to have faith that she was almost healed enough for them to try again. It was a huge leap of faith. Doctor Hades had said something about a week, or thereabouts. Something like that. Had it been long enough? She hoped so. She also hoped that Soral felt the same. Or, in his current condition, would he even think of the consequences?
Or what if, despite his words, he didn't want to bond with her at all? What if all his concerns about her relationship with the children was his way of trying to say he had decided this marriage was not what he wanted? Or needed?
That was the biggest fear of them all. Soral loved her, he cared for her... of that she had no doubt. Perhaps a little too much at times but still. Was she the best choice as a wife for him? Honestly? Perhaps not.
With a Vulcan or even Romulan wife, he would have someone he would see as an equal. Perhaps she would embrace motherhood in a way he would approve of - in a way she herself had not quite been able to. Indeed they'd probably be expecting another child by now while living on Vulcan doing Vulcan like things. And of course as her thoughts followed that path she pictured T'Paris in her place, a picture of serenity as she stood at Soral's side.
The turbolift doors opened, snapping her out of her spiralling thoughts as she followed Haru down the corridor. She needed to distract herself. "So tell me the plan one more time?" she asked him quietly.
"The Pon Farr program is one that all Vulcans have, I have my own. It's a replica of the land that belongs to Vulcans that has usually been in their family for years and a place where we...ride out our … um... seven year itch. Soral never had a clan place since he was abandoned as a child so the land he got, the opening of a new house it all cements that his children won't go through all this. Now his land...I've never seen so this will be new for me too but the gist of it is you will change into your robes, the ones he gave you that hold the family crest on it. Soral will be in his robes...which won't be easy given his state but there will be a brief ceremony lead by a Holo priestess. Mac, I, Hayashi will be there. Do you wish anyone invited there? T'Lanna perhaps? A close friend?"
Alex shook her head. Three people already seemed like more than enough and there was nobody on this ship who could calm her nerves the way Soral did. She was sure T'Lanna would rise to the challenge but she had more than enough to be dealing with herself, what with the pending negotiations and looking after her son.
"The robes are in our quarters, I can go get them," she told him. They were neatly stored away well away from the reach of curious puppies.
Haru put a hand on her arm bringing his chair to a stop. "Alex, I will stand by your side if you will have me. I know this is scary and new and your worried but it will all work out. Soral loves you."
She smiled softly. "I know," she assured him. "And thank you for the offer. But I will be fine. You will all need to focus on dealing with Soral and I know that is not going to be an easy task. If I know you all have his back, I'll be okay."
"It's not gonna be a fight. Trust me he'll calm down. The ceremony will take place when he's in the final hours of the plak tow so when he's calm. He won't be able to speak but I guarantee you he will recognize you. You're presence will calm him. I will stand as your brother, if you will allow me to."
"I'd... I'd like that, thank you," she said after a moment.
He smiled, "Let's go get those robes. I think I'll let Hayashi help Soral change. Only person he'll let near him for obvious reasons."
"Lets make sure nobody can use the holodeck first... otherwise Soral's suffering may be prolonged because someone wants a game of basketball."
"I've booked it for you both for the next three days."
Haru blushed. "That's the usual....time it takes to work the kink out."
“Why not a week?” Alex countered incredulously. “I’m starting to get why Vulcans go home…”
He laughed. "Well it does happen every seven years." He took her hand as they moved on. "Don't you worry I'm sure you two got lots of practice."
“Like I’m telling you,” she said, sticking out her tongue.
He laughed. "Alright now let's get those robes and then get you onto the holodeck."
“Will you look after Bones? He isn’t too much trouble, promise,” Alex asked him as they entered the quarters she shared with Soral. Sure enough, the curious pup came barrelling towards them.
Haru scooped the little dog up. 'Come on buddy, you'll stay with me and Mac a few days."
“Another thing,” Alex added as she disappeared into the bedroom and retrieved two garment boxes. “What Mac said… about being healed?”
Carrying both boxes in and setting them down on the table she frowned, “I am. Mostly. In theory. We haven’t exactly tested it. I’m sure Soral will be able to forge another bond, I mean we did it by accident first time around….”
"Wait, Alex if you're not healed....You shouldn't go through with this. If Soral was in his right mind …. he would never let me let you go through with it."
"Well, Soral isn't exactly in his right mind and if we have no choice. Dr Hades said around a week, so it is close enough," Alex reasoned. "And the worst thing I've had is a headache."
Haru sighed. "Okay but if your husband hunts me down after." He grinned. "Shall we get to the holodeck. My quarters are on the way we can drop Bones and get him some water and food and then we can head over."
"Yeah, lets go."
It was a quick trip and to Haru's quarters where Hamura was waiting to take Soral's robe. Minutes after that they arrived the holodeck. It took Haru a moment to pull the program from the memory banks and another minute for it to adjust. The door hissed open for them and they stepped into the Vulcan like heat that the holodeck was producing. The land was rocky and after a short climb they came to a clearing that was set up with a fire pit and a large gong with Vulcan symbols. Haru pointed at the pit. "This is where the brief ceremony will take place. After that," he pointed to a cave. "That is the um...bed chambers that is set up in that cave."
His awkwardness snapped her out of her staring. It was impossible but she felt like she knew this place… probably from Soral and the previous bond. Still it was disquieting. “Oh, right… I can go change in there, right?”
"Yup. When you're ready come back here I'll wait for you."
She hoped her nerves did not show as she retreated to the cave. Candlelight from fixtures on the walls cast the interior in a soft, muted light that was soothing. As was the somewhat cooler air. Perhaps that was why her hands were shaking a little as she bypassed the bed to an area just to the right that was slightly partitioned off. As she set down the box and began to pry open the lid, she realised she had never actually seen inside.
Back on Earth she had tried on an outfit of emerald and gold, after which Soral had given the owner a piece of his mind because the outfit covered her ears. Only then had he ordered the dress in a few different colours and added wedding robes for them both.
Lid removed she carefully peeled back a layer of tissue paper as she touched the soft fabric and lifted the garment out.
Outside Haru waited. He got the call from Mac that Soral was ready for transport. Haru gave the all clear and within moments a form shimmered into existence. Soral appeared and then retreated to a corner, silent, meditating. Within minutes Mac and Hamura joined him on the holodeck. They waited for Alex to come back out.
With little choice but to leave her hair a mass of insane curls, Alex emerged from the cave in the robes. Grateful for the cool touch of the fabric against the raging heat of Vulcan. Or rather the recreation of it. Spying Haru she made her way towards him, acutely aware that in what barely passed as a breeze, every step made the garment shift so that it emphasised every curve while still maintaining the Vulcan tendency for modesty. Kind of. “Is Soral here? Is he ready?”
Haru gave a nod.
She turned her back to Haru, scooping up her hair, “you need to deactivate the inhibitor. There is a switch…”
Haru did as she asked and Mac and Hamura showed up. Hamura sighed. "I've never seen Senpi like that."
Mac turned his head to where Soral was turned away from them. He looked lost in a world of his own. "None of us dare approach him. Alex you have to go. It will take him a moment to recognize you."
“And until he does?” Alex all but squeaked even as she began walking. The heat seemed to reach into her very core, and she would have given anything for some ice cold water.
Every stepped inches her closer until there was a clear distance between them and their witnesses. “S… Soral?” She said his name quietly, uncertain if he would respond but quite certain he would hear her.
Soral's head snapped towards her. His eyes were vacant for a moment and then recognition. He walked towards the center where the Holo priestess had been activated. She motioned to the two cushions that had been placed there. Soral knelt on the cushion. Haru hovered over to Alex and held out his hand. "Ready?"
Taking a deep breath in a rather unsuccessful attempt to calm her nerves, Alex nodded and flashed him a grateful smile as she he took his hand. It wasn't lost on her that this was a man her father had known, had saved. And probably, in his wildest dreams, her father would never have imagined that Haru would then be a part of her life purely by a series of coincidences that had brought this little group together as part of the Standing Bear crew. Now they were a little family of their own making.
Haru accompanied her to the center where the priestess was. Before they reached the pit two rather frightening looking guards stepped up holding a weapon. The priestess asks. "Who is it that wishes to approach."
Haru cleared his throat. "Here we go. Ye hold Vulcanish." He sighed. "I cometh to thee oh Priestess. With me I bring a she that is my sister, she that is to be bride."
The guards stepped back.
"Thee can approach."
Haru looked up at Alex and whispered. "Yupeth. Let'seth goeth." He gave her a wink trying to put her at ease.
Her heart still racing from the sudden appearance of the guards, Alex offered a somewhat shaky smile as she relaxed the vice like grip she had on Haru’s hand. Breath Alex…
The Priestess indicated the pillow across Soral. "You may kneel. Soral will ring the gong three times at 20.5 second intervals. You have until then to challenge the marriage if you wish to do so." She looked at Alex. "Do you understand?"
“I understand,” Alex nodded as she knelt down on the second cushion, offering Soral a warm smile. “But there will be no challenge. I promise.”
The Priestess gave a nod. "Thee are about to see the Vulcan soul. It is something that is not shared with outworlders. Soral."
He stood and as the Priestess stepped aside, he smashed the hammer into the gong once.
While she had expected noise, she hadn’t expected so much of it. And as the sound of the first strike echoed around them, she had to remind herself to be calm, in control. Even though it felt like the priestess, hologram or not, was staring into her very soul.
Soral hit the gong a second time.
This time she was prepared, letting the wall of sound echo and die down. Two down. One to go…
For the first time he met her eyes, there was just a little weariness, a fear in them as he lifted the hammer to strike it a third time.
She didn’t look away, a small smile playing on her lips which she hoped gave him reassurance. She had meant what she said. She had no intention of challenging him or their marriage. She gave him a small nod, willing him to make the third strike so this part could be over.
Soral hit the gong a third time.
The Priestess gave a nod. "It is done. The mind must be woven together now."
Haru called a halt to the program. He motioned for Mac and Hamura to follow him out. He waved at Alex. The next part was for Soral and Alex alone.
Soral held out a hand that shook slightly.
After the doors had closed and locked, leaving them alone for all intents and purposes, Alex took a deep breath as she ordered the program to resume. She tried to relax, to prepare herself for the next part. She wasn’t a Vulcan, she could not forge the bond. For that, she had to trust Soral to forge a new bond in place of the one they had lost.
Soral placed his hands on her temple. He murmured in Vulcan then looked at her silently asking if she was ready to forge the bond, to redeem what was stolen from them.
She met his gaze and gave him a small nod. She loved him, trusted him and now had to have faith that her brain was as ready as the rest of her.
Soral tentatively touched her mind. Even in his weakened condition it was clear that he was looking out for her. A brief burst of joy filtered through as he realized that she was healed and that the bond could be forged.
Closing her eyes, Alex almost cried at the familiar presence that accompanied Soral’s touch. So subtle and subdued at first and she loved him all the more for it. Even now, in the grip of the blood fever which challenged logic and reason, he was enough of himself to be cautious. And his joy came like a wave, washing over her as she revelled in it, tried to focus on it and grab hold of it as if it had actual physical form.
And as he continued to forge the bond, to restore what they had lost, the emotions she felt from him became more tangible and intense. As one their emotions and thoughts were laid bare, an intimacy like no other. His love for her was like a blinding light which took her breath away. She felt tears roll down her cheek, happy ones. It was almost exactly as she remembered only far more intense, raw. And behind it all was a fire which raged.
Soral was lost in the feelings of the bond and the power over it. With the bond forged he lifted her in his arms. "My wife." He whispered knowing that this bond would cause her blood to burn. "It is time." He was trembling but still he would carry her to their awaiting marriage bed and tonight their bond would lead the way of their love.
She could barely breathe, let alone speak. Instead she kissed him, all of her emotions pouring into that one moment. The universe could implode around them and she would neither notice or care. All that mattered was that he was with her and beyond the needless worries and doubts of the past few months all that remained was the absolute certainty that they loved one another and beyond that, nothing mattered.