Haunting - Part III
Posted on Monday, 12 July 2021 - 6:30pm by Commander Soral & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley
Location: USS Standing Bear | Various
Air knocked from her lungs, Lieutenant Kingsley lay on the mat, breathing hard as she summoned energy to get back onto her feet. With the back of her hand she dabbed a spot of blood from the corner of her mouth, her eyes fixed on the holographic opponent who now waited with infinite patience for her to retake her starting position. She was definitely not winning this one, but was too stubborn to concede.
Besides, she had landed a few solid hits of her own.
And it was better than thinking about what had happened, she thought as she took up her position and the ring around them lit up green, a signal to begin. Her opponent, a Vulcan, was faster. Stronger. And she was gonna have plenty of bruises to show for it. There was movement at the corner of her eye and, in the split second of distraction, her opponent had spun, delivering a kick just below her ribs that near enough lifted her off her feet as she flew backwards and hit the mat hard. Again.
She tapped her hand three times on the mat and the ring went dark, the opponent dissolving into nothingness. Breathing hard, Alex lay there, catching her breath as she tried to think of what to say. She turned her head to the side as she began untying the gloves which had protected her hands. "I thought you wanted to be alone?" she managed finally.
"Indeed. I felt that you were in danger." He walked over to her helping her remove the gloves. He took her face in his hands. "Alexandra, we have spoken about this exercise program."
Her eyes widened in surprise. When she had found him using the programme, her husband had been in the grips of his Pon Farr and most definitely not his usual self. And while he had flatly refused to let her use this appointment he hadn't strictly forbidden using the programme. Of course, she had neglected to change said opponent once the programme was up and running. Beside, their conversation at the time had been brief. Interrupted by Mac.
“As I recall we didn’t really have the chance to finish that conversation,” she said after a moment. “And you wanted to be alone and I wanted to...."
What was the right word? As she had left the others back on the base she had been angry. Her initial anger at Soral for keeping secrets - again - had been swallowed up by her anger at Evesta. Or whatever name she went by these days. They hadn't asked. How could he have just let her go? Over and above everything she had done to him, she was a spy and belonged in a cell or an interrogation room.
By the time she came here she was fairly certain all of the emotions she had been packing into every punch and kick wasn't entirely her own. There was a fury, far beyond her own anger. And it all boiled down to four things. Severine. Soval. N'Vek. Soral. The names had been a mantra for every blow she landed and (more frequently) every blow she took in return.
"... vent so I came here. Seemed a good idea at the time. He's tougher than your average Vulcan."
He sighed, "Indeed he is." He took her hand and lead her to the bench. He'd have to lock the program under a code; he filed that gem under lock and key. "Alright, sit. We must talk about all this." Suddenly there was nothing more important then the urge to hold her. He pulled her into his arms and just held her. "I am sorry you were dragged into this."
She wrapped her arms around him, thankful that his wish to be alone seemed to have passed. “You thought she was dead. You couldn’t have known,” she reasoned. Which didn’t mean he had a free pass. “You did know you were having headaches, thought you were hallucinating… Why didn’t you tell me? You promised no secrets.”
"It was not a secret. I had hoped that last night we could speak about it and we could see doctor Rose together but the XO meeting on the station was called. When we agreed to meet for lunch I had no intention of speaking about this until tonight however I thought I saw her again that morning."
“You should have told me,” she insisted, although there was no sting to her tone, just a resigned acceptance that it was what it was. “What now? She’s alive Soral. How could she just abandon them? They need to know…”
"They will not know. She has agreed to stay away. They will know that she loved them and will hold good memories of her. N'vek, however, must be told about his true father." He gently moved a stray bit of hair from her forehead. "They have a father in me, a mother in you. That is all that is relevant."
“Soral, you can’t keep this from them,” she whispered. “She says she will stay away… for how long? And if they learn of her from someone else, or from her -“
Her voice trailed off, so easily able to imagine how Severine especially would react.
He sighed. "We will keep the option open. Right not I believe that we are both...in a state of unrest emotionally."
“Unrest might be an understatement,” she whispered.
He sighed. "I know. There is something I would like to do."
“You can kiss me anytime,” she teased lightly, although her usual enthusiasm for tormenting him wasn’t there.
He did just that. When they came up for air he said, "Besides that tonight we will put everything behind us. We are going to dinner and to celebrate your graduation."
Alex grinned, her eyes full of mischief. “I knew you thought that gown was sexy!”
He raised an eyebrow. "It's not the gown but the person it covers." He stood. "Let us get ready. Tonight I shall sweep you off your feet." As if on cue he lifted her into his arms.
She yelped, laughing as she held on tight. Cupping the side of his face with one hand she studied him closely, eyes full of concern. “You don’t have to do this,” she whispered. “We can stay home, just us. I can feel how much this has all upset you…”
"Yes but being with you, celebrating this with you will be just what I require to get past it. You have been and shall always remain my sources of endless happiness, you and the children, my grounding in my Romulan half." He pressed his forehead to hers. After a quick kiss he was on his way. They still had to change and a night to celebrate.
=/\= Present Time =/\=
Soral looked up from his second drink, coffee as Alex walked into the observation lounge as if his memory of their magical evening after the storm had conjured her. They were here to speak to N'vek who would call in shortly, to tell him the news. They had talked about things and telling the kids in person about their mother was something they decided on, there were still thins to consider about telling them but the biological link was one thing they would tell them. N'vek first and then Laura and the other kids would join them on screen where all would hear.
"I have gotten a report from my brother," he said to Alex.
Studying him, Alex frowned, “a good one or not so good?”
"N'vek is my son. He was able to obtain a sample and the V'shar labs did the rest."
“Do you want me to stay while you speak to him?” she asked. It was going to be difficult but N’Vek also believed she did not want him around. She didn’t wish to make this harder.
"Of course I wish you to stay. N'vek has the wrong idea with respect to you. He believes that you do not like him. I wish him to see that it is not true."
Alex smiled softly, touching her two fingertips to his, "it will be alright."
"I hope so," He said. Before he could finish a com from the bridge called saying that the call from Risa was on standby.
It took a moment but the image shifted and changed to show N'vek and Laura sitting side by side.
“Hello!” Laura called cheerfully, waving.
“Hi,” Alex waved back.
“We are both curious to know what this is all about,” Laura admitted.
Soral looked at N'vek who said, "Hello Father. Hello Lady Alexandra."
“Hello N’Vek,” Alex smiled, resisting the urge to ask him to call her ‘Alex, just Alex’. For one she knew it would upset Soral and for another he may see it as her being difficult just… because.
N'vek gave a small bow, much like Soral did.
"N'vek, I have some news. Do you remember that the woman from Vulcan came to see you and to take some blood samples and cheek swabs?"
N'vek gave a nod. "For the Vulcan database, she said."
"Yes...Vulcan has a genetic profiles on all its citizens but this was partially for me to confirm something."
N'vek looked from Alex to Soral. "Okay..."
Alex could literally imagine her mother exploding if Soral didn’t explain. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you will like the ending.”
"I had recently gotten some information with respect to possible family of yours."
N'vek looked afraid. Had Lady Alexandra convinced Soral to send him away? "A...are you sending me away?"
“Of course not,” Laura assured him, quiet certain she would have had some advance warning. “You are family.”
"Indeed, you are. Blood family."
N'vek looked confused. "It appears your mother had...many faces."
"Well she was Tal Shiar."
Soral's lip twitched. "Indeed. I knew her once before. It appears that the Vulcan woman I knew was not Vulcan. She was Romulan. N'vek you are the product of that union. I am your father." Suddenly one of Alex's wars of the stars movies flashed through his mind and a similar line within it.
N'vek just stared.
“You… and his mother?” Laura broke the silence, glancing at her daughter who simply nodded. Laura shook her head in disbelief.
"Evesta or rather Annandrine was his mother I knew her under another name when we were together eleven years ago."
"What matters now," Alex interjected, wishing to spend as little time dwelling on her husband's history with that woman as possible, "is that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, N'Vek."
"He always was," Laura added with a warm smile. "Family is more than just flesh and blood."
A small smile played at Alex's lips, "I know mum."
N'vek was still quiet so Soral stepped in. "N'vek...if I had known you existed I would not have allowed you to spend a day being raised by someone who is nor your father."
N'vek gave a nod.
"But you require time to process."
N'vek smiled a little. "Yes father."
He sighed. "Take the time. I will be speaking with Severine and Soval later."
N'vek gave a nod. He stood and he left. Soral hung his head. He wasn't sure how that exactly went.
"I'll give him some time to process and then speak to him," Laura assured them. "It is a lot for a child to take in."
Alex frowned as she looked at Soral, muting the line as she turned to face him, "I think you should go to Risa. He needs you to be with him right now and there is a fairly good chance Severine needs to vent to move past her feelings too... your children needs you more than a hologram does."
"We cannot afford to go now. Our ship...needs us. Perhaps when we drop off Biacami and her husband for their honeymoon."
"Both of us can't but you can," Alex insisted. "Soral, the captain would understand."
"Perhaps. We shall see. I will speak to the Captain."
Satisfied, she unmuted the channel.
"So," Laura asked, "what now?"
"I do not know. This is...unchartered territory." Soral looked at Laura. "I cannot help but think that both your lives would be easier without all this going on. I can only apologize."
"Soral!" both woman chided him in perfect unison.
"Life is never meant to be easy, nothing worthwhile is ever easy," Laura added sternly. "Now, stop feeling sorry for yourself and worrying about what two grown adults are thinking and feeling and consider your children. I say this with love but if you are going to be with someone, then there is always a chance a miracle happens and you are blessed with a child. Right now, you have to deal with it as best you can."
Soral was once again reminded of what he'd missed growing up, the simple matter of fact tone and support of a mother figure. He gave a nod. "Indeed. I will try to make it to see the children."
“They will enjoy having you here, Severine especially,” Laura told him.
"Severine is still angry at me. Her temper is as volatile as Evesta's." He sighed. "Perhaps I should relent to her going to a Vulcan temple to study."
“Or you let her vent and get it out of her system,” Alex suggested.
"Perhaps." He covered Alex's hand with his and then turned to Laura. "We should go for now."
“Of course,” Laura smiled. “Speak soon.”
As the coms turned off Soral pulled Alex into his lap and laid his head on her shoulder. He just needed to be here with her.
“It’ll work out,” she whispered.