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JDL | Com Ivanova, Lt Sha'mer | "Time"

Posted on 241803.12 @ 19:40 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Lieutenant Ra'lin Sha'mer

Mission: Lacuna

No sooner had Smith left her office than Rochelle had collapsed into her big cushy chair and set her throbbing forehead into her hands. Life wasn't getting any more simple - if anything it was becoming all the more complicated. Nothing made sense, two and two were no longer equaling four, and everything felt as if it were spiraling out of control. She didn't know how long she'd sat that way, contemplating life - or something like it - when the telltale double hiss of a door opening and closing announced the entry of one of her most trusted. Almar would have set upon her quickly, coaxing from her an answer about her state of being - perhaps even tapping on the cooled half-touched raktajino on the shiny desk top in front of her. Archer would have made some remark about drinking too much the night before.

This person did nothing of the kind. All she could hear next was the gentle click of PADDs finding their rightful place along the corner of her desk, waiting for her review and further processing. That act alone meant she was 'safe' within her sanctuary with Ra'lin there to listen, rather than demanding answers, in her own patient way. "I did stupid last night... No it has nothing to do with alcohol, though I wish I could blame my behavior on it anyway." The redhead grumbled, not quiet ready to look up and square herself away - the embarrassment still hot within her bloodstream.

"Want to talk about it?" Ra'lin had picked up the PADDs which had been waiting for her in exchange of the others she'd just put down. Reports to be filed away, roster changes… which reminded her, incidentally, of the promise she'd made to the man who was assigned to the mysterious vessel which didn't seem to exist. Later today, probably. She settled down in her corner and began to skim through the first PADD, giving Rochelle the room to settle her thoughts and make a decision.

"Yeah." Rochelle nodded, slowly forcing herself to sit upright instead of hiding behind the pretend shield created by her hands, "I met someone last night... Thought 'what the hell' because masquerade and I didn't recognize anything about him - and no... No..." A single delicate hand was held up as if to halt any form of thought before it could develop, "I didn't sleep with him. I danced with him. Challenged his intellect a bit... Never thought I'd see him again when I cupped his cheek and then pulled the Cinderella routine minus the missing glass slipper." She rambled on, resting her head back to stare at the ceiling and the shadows cast by the well lit wall of bonsai trees and treasures behind her, "Besides... He was supposed to be assigned to some ship I've never heard of before," the held up hand gestured flippantly as she scowled, "Surprise. He's our new fucking diplomat and he's here and was looking for the ice queen because of something said reminding him of her and I, like a moron, came clean because that's what I do." The rambling paused, giving her a chance to peer over at Ra'lin with cheeks that threatened to beam hot and red even from under the dusting of makeup she'd put on that morning to help conceal the circles under her eyes.

A sort of half-laugh exploded from Ra'lin, before she could reign it in. It surprised her as much as it did Rochelle. "Oh! Well, that solves *that* problem at least… I mean-" now her own cheeks began to colour as the blush, never shirking what it seemed to see as its sworn duty to embarress her as often as it could, made its merry appearance. "I met him too and offered to help him find where he was supposed to go by matching transfer rosters to his name. Only I was still locked out of the computer last night so I promised to help him sometime today…" She snorted. "Oh, he's going to have a lovely impression of us both."

The Commodore could only groan, closing her eyes and shaking her head.

"Yes... Well... He's been and gone and what not." Rochelle finally found her voice, sheepish as it was, and tipped forward to get a better look at her Yeoman, "But wait... There's more." She added, holding up a finger and reaching for her now cold coffee, "I have tea with him over the weekend... And Vlimar? Frenchman we sat with for a bit? M..." She hid behind a long sip of the cold, sweet drink, "Lot of history there. Like pre-marriage to Landon history, but again... I didn't sleep with him. I feel the need to clarify because apparently there's rumors going around that I have one hell of an appetite." Her eyes rolled, the heavy glass clinking as it was rested back on her desk top.

"Psh, rumours," Ra'lin said with another snort. "While we're docked here, gossiping is people's favourite pastime, and since you're most in the picture, you're the most popular topic. Nobody takes it seriously. Well," she amended with a shrug, "few people do. I guess that's another price of command – everything you do or don't do is open for speculation. But…" she strolled over to the replicator and ordered some hot water for tea, "…would you have liked for anything more to happen? All rumours aside?"

A single russet eyebrow quirked skyward in response, "With whom?" the Commodore asked, watching Ralin as she explained away the rumors in such easy style - reaffirming that her quiet ease was the perfect counter to Rochelle's snappy fire.

Ra'lin blinked. "Um. I don't know? With whomever you would have, might have felt comfortable enough to do so?" She slipped back into her chair. "With someone who can see that behind the mask of the ball, under the mask of the Commodore, is a real person who seeks a real connection with someone from time to time…" She had seen *that* side of the struggle more often than she'd liked. Though both her parents had been lucky they'd found each other, that pattern was impossible to miss.

For a moment, there was silence as Rochelle considered the question and the statement. Her mouth pursed and her posture relaxed, but hardly drooped, before she finally answered, "Someday." with the slightest of little shrugs, "As of right now everything with Landon is entirely way too fresh. That wound is still scabbed up, not even a scar yet." Her nose twitched as she spoke, her eyes growing darker, awash with more of those wintry waves that never seemed to quiet, "I'm afraid to say I miss him."

Ra'lin nodded slowly. Here she was out of her depth. Never having been in any serious relationship herself (though here her thoughts flashed back to the night before and how she had danced with Craig, and that stealthy whisper deep inside going Maybe, someday…), she hadn't experienced any breakups either, not to mention the level of betrayal, and the whole mixed bag of emotions she would be able to sense if she allowed her shield to crack just a little. There was so little she could say to this. "I guess, time," she ventured at last. It was trite, she knew it sounded that way, but that didn't mean it wasn't true in some way, either.

"Time indeed." The redhead nodded, taking it for what it was and allowing the feeling of it to surge across the planes of higher reason and emotion - reminding her that she was uniquely human at best no matter what the stories may have said. She was alive, mortal, and subject to the same insecurities as any other of her race. The fact she allowed herself a moment to feel them, to understand and reason with them, simply meant that she wasn't losing touch with reality. It was an acceptable fate, one she walked with willingly hand in hand. It didn't mean she had to like it, or the reasons for it. Landon would always be on her mind and tattooed somewhere on her heart. Her fingers subconsciously rose to brush the mark of their pair bonding as she guided hair back behind her ear. So far, he'd been true to her in that regard... But the drugs... That was a worse betrayal, one she refused to shoulder the blame for.

But it didn't stop her both from loving him or looking to the horizon for a better tomorrow

---

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Lieutenant Ralin Sha'mer
Captain's Yeoman
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

 

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