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JL | Com Ivanova, Javaan Irelle | "Snickerdoodles"

Posted on 241808.24 @ 13:21 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Captain Landon Neyes

Mission: Lacuna

Dinner was supposed to be a happy occasion filled with smiles, joking, run downs and anecdotes about the day… And the occasional macaroni fight. None of it was happening, as if the evening tradition of sitting around the table had suddenly lost its magic - and it didn’t take Rochelle very long to figure out the how… And the why.

Javaan was solemn and silent. So very unlike his jubilant, vivacious self. There wasn’t much to suggest that just a few months ago the boy was the one leading pillow fights and pranking his mother with hidden water guns supplied by a father who would duck into another room to hide his laughter. A father who’s spot at the table was auspiciously vacant… That would remain vacant. Pressing her lips together in sympathy, Rochelle set her fork down and reached to take the boy’s free hand. The busy one was shredding a piece of lettuce, forsaking the rest of his salad to wilt beneath the copious amounts of dressing he’d insisted he needed. “Javaan…”

“Yeah?” He didn’t bother looking up from that poor, vivisected leaf. Maybe it was better that he didn’t, saving his mother from an eyeful of what Landon may have looked like as a young boy. Unlike him, the boy had a chance at keeping his father in his life. Divorce wasn’t death. Landon was fighting to survive and heal.

She shifted her seat closer to her young son, brushing hair behind her ears and shoulder as she did. Her lips met the top of his head first, then her cheek as an arm went around him, “You want to talk about it?” Talking… More talking. It was hard to believe that she was open to the act of conversation after everything that had transpired that day already - but Javaan had to come first… His happiness and health were paramount.

“Why doesn’t daddy come to dinner anymore?” He asked, the fork finally ceasing its quest to eviscerate the vegetation before him. Mom’s touch was welcome and warm, she’d always been there for him, but there were questions that went unanswered and a feeling of overwhelming loss and abandonment that was beginning to eat at him, hollow him out, “Is he dead?”

She choked, “No! Jesus, no. Daddy isn’t dead.”

“Then why doesn’t he come to dinner anymore? Did I do something bad? I cleaned my room, momma.”

Rochelle’s lips pressed together again and her head shook - a hand came up to stroke the boy’s beautiful deep chestnut locks. Any darker and they’d have been Landon’s rich chocolate - and she sighed quick and heavy. There was no escaping this, no beating around the bush and playing hide and seek with the blatantly obvious. The longer she went without having this discussion, the worse it would be for the somber little boy who was already so downtrodden and sad - the image of which left the ache in her chest feeling worse than it already did. “No, Vaan,” she shook her head with a small, sympathetic smile, leaning back to give herself the change to cup his jaw and draw his face up and gaze towards her, “You didn’t do anything wrong, baby, and I’m really happy you cleaned your room.” Not that a three year old could really make all that much of a mess. Toys. A few random bits of clothes. A collapsed blanket fort that Helsa had spent more time inhabiting because it often harbored half-finished snacks. She’d noticed when it all disappeared, but thought little of it. Maybe he’d gotten tired of Helsa stealing pop tarts or chewing on plush toys.

No such luck.

She swallowed the knot that was growing in her throat, “Daddy’s gone away for awhile, ok? He’s sick and he’s getting better.” She nodded, brushing hair back from the boy’s softly dappled forehead. Sometimes it was hard to believe that she’d created such a work of art - they - had created such a work of art. He was a masterpiece, really, made of ten fingers and toes and eyes big as saucers, deep as the deepest seas. He’d inherited his mother’s pixie-like pout and father’s noble nose and strong jaw. From minute one, Javaan had been the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen and the fact he’d come, unbidden, as proof of a selfless and fathomless love made him all the more amazing.

And now that beauty was tainted by a deep and troubling sadness that she was responsible for. She’d sent his father away. What the fuck else was she supposed to do? Wait until Landon succeeded in killing himself? Them?

“Can we make him get well soon cards?” The boy perked up some, hope filling his bright, lamp-like eyes and replacing the confusion she’d found mere seconds before.

She managed a smile and a nod, “Yeah. I think he’d really like that. You know what I think he’d like more?”

“Cookies?!” Javaan’s smile burst forth through the storm clouds, transforming his pout into sunshine. He sat a little straighter and that hope doubled.

Rochelle's heart throbbed in her chest and she nodded again. “Absolutely, baby, but I think he’d really like to see you. We can set you up on a holodeck with him.” Her fingers ruffled through his mane, sending it askew. Baby silk. It was still baby silk.

He gasped in what could only be described as rapture and nodded in an over animated fashion that made her smile in spite of her sadness, “That way I don’t get sick too! I'll make sure I'll tell him all about school and you and Helsa and how much we love him! He'll get better real fast!” Javaan exclaimed - and the smile almost faded.

Javaan being sick like Landon was her worst nightmare realized. Worse than Tr’Bak. Worse than the destruction of the ship. Worse than death itself. Everything she did now was to see it through that the boy didn’t meet a similar fate, that he grew strong and proud, because that was what he deserved - nothing less, but so much more. “Exactly, baby, exactly.”

Exactly.

If only he knew how integral he was to the death of that sickness, or so she sincerely hoped. Javaan hadn’t been enough to slow Landon’s descent into darkness, but there was still hope that the boy could be the catalyst to bring him back from the brink and turn him around before he obtained that wish of ending it all.

It still left so much more to talk about, but her son was happy now and filled with hope. His worries had been alleviated enough to pique his voracious little appetite, sending him back to his salad with renewed gusto and chatter over what flavor cookies to bake. It wasn’t Christmas, but Landon’s penchant for peppermint snickerdoodles refused to go unnoticed and the argument of ‘but they’re daddy’s favorite!’ won out more than she’d liked to have admitted.

Her son. Their son. The best of both of them spun together into one wondrous package… How the hell was she supposed to be the one to break his heart and explain to him the evil that was divorce and sole custody? How the hell could she explain drug addiction and how it makes living things less important than a momentary feeling. How did doing what was best translate into her having to be the one to tell him that family nights would never happen again? No more Christmas mornings together, no more anything… No more family. How the hell was she going to be able to tell him that she’d chosen to end and tear apart their family because the man he loved and idolized had chosen a life of addiction over them? ‘He’s sorry, but…’ just wouldn’t cut it.

But for Javaan… Anything for Javaan… She’d figure out how and why and when… She had to.

---

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

Javaan Irelle
Boy Wonder

 

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