Previous Next

JL | Com Ivanova, Capt Neyes - "Fire Meets Gasoline" Pt 2

Posted on 241910.26 @ 14:08 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Captain Landon Neyes

Mission: Lacuna

Her eyes found his, almost begging him to understand. Maybe even begging him to let things go, but it wasn’t that simple. It could never be that simple. “So you threw me away instead of stopping to ask me what I thought or trying to work through things…” Landon sighed, pausing mid-stride to come about and really look at her, “Fuck Vrith tr’Bak, ok? Forget him. He finished last in every encounter we have with him because he can’t beat us.”

“He already has.” Rochelle breathed in response.

Again, the Trill’s head shook, “No. He didn’t. He’s done a lot to hurt us and a lot to try and throw us off, but none of it means anything because we’re alive, Rochelle, we’re here. Right now. In spite of all of his crap, we’re here and that’s all the proof in the universe we ever need of success against him. If we quit, if we walk away from one another, we let him win. I’ve never known you to ever give up, especially not when it counts. You’re the most stubborn woman, the most stubborn person I have ever met. You don’t just give up because you think there’s no other way out, you find ways of winning.”

She didn’t like his aim or the accuracy of his words. They hit where he needed them to; somewhere in the pit of her belly where she’d tried to bury away every emotion she’d ever felt for him - where she’d hidden the pain of loss and swore to persevere, to endure, regardless. Her tongue wet her lips as her hands stilled and she stood folded and closed off once again, “He’s robbed us of so much.”

“Only because you’ve let him. I wish I was with you when you needed me most, but you sent me away and I swear to you that was the worst thing you could do if you were trying to save me from tr’Bak of all things,“ Landon continued, daring to take a step closer in her direction, his brows furrowing and the lines of his face deepening as he regarded her knowing he was treading deep water. Pushing was something that needed to be done, and he knew it. Too much had gone unsaid, too much had been swept under the rug and forgotten for the sake of propriety and it had come at a price far too costly for either one of them. The question was whether or not she would relent or he’d be drowned, caught up in her powerful undertow. “I should have been there with you.”

“You should have been there for a lot.” Rochelle snapped, lifting her chin high in sheer defiance against both his words and his forward motion. Yielding to him wasn’t an option, retreat not in her vocabulary even if it could have been considered a ‘tactical withdrawal’ - the time for those things had long since passed and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do to resurrect it… More importantly, she didn’t want to.

“Quit.”

“I’m sorry?” She blinked up at him, an eyebrow raising high.

“You heard me,” Landon countered, meeting her gaze, “I said quit. Stop the bullshit. I'm not giving up on this without a fair try, no matter what nasty snide little comment you make. I refuse. Can you just try to accept this?”

‘This’.

By ‘this’ he meant ‘me’... Him. Them. The chance to prove himself he had practically sunk to his knees to beg for - and still wasn’t above begging for. Begging, however, wouldn’t fix this. Rochelle had never catered to groveling regardless of who it came from, it simply wasn’t her style to capitulate to that sort of maudlin stimuli and he, of course, knew this. It was part of the global picture of why he loved her as much as he did, why he’d fallen in love with her… Become addicted to her. Part of him realized that she was deeper in his veins than any drug he’d ever taken or alcohol he’d ever imbibed. She was that which he couldn’t recover from, not even over the distance or through the test of time because he knew, somewhere, she was there waiting across the stars feeling the same way he did whether she wanted to admit it or not.

He loved her. He’d always loved her.

“I don't want to look back in a few years from now and think 'We were magnificent, we were truly magnificent, and I screwed up because I was too afraid to push the point. Because I gave up.' I want to tell people, our children, the story about how so many things tried to cheat us out of the best thing in our lives and we didn't let it." Slowly, he reached for the cuff of one of her sleeves, fingering the fabric before tugging on it gently. It was warm, just like her, but a far cry from the silken softness of her skin - but it was a start. A fair start.

She didn’t flinch or pull away. Instead she allowed her arm to fall in his direction, effectively killing the barricade she’d placed between them. For a long moment they simply stood there, silent, and watching one another as if contemplating their next move in this twisted game of Chess they found themselves playing. She loved him. He loved her. But it wasn’t that simple anymore.

Rochelle's eyes closed, a thick fan of copper lashes falling like a veil to hide her thoughts away from him. It wouldn’t work, he knew her too well, could read her like a book, but it offered her a small chance to pretend everything was nothing more than a vicious dream. It wasn’t. It wasn’t. His fingers on her sleeve, adding weight to her, promised that he was real and everything they’d gone through was just as real and Christ how she hated this reality they’d found themselves in.

When she didn’t pull away and fight him, she could feel and hear him sinking to his knees and her breath caught when he pressed his forehead and the fingertips of hand against her - more accurately, the space and spread of cloth and skin over her womb. “I’m sorry, Roc…” He whispered, curling his fingers against her tunic, “Once second I was realizing you were pregnant and the next being told we’d lost it… Same day, same minute. I’m so fucking sorry. I knew but I didn’t know.”

“Not every story has a happy ending, Landon, life isn’t a fairytale and sometimes... “ Rochelle shrugged, pursing her lips, “Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be.” Christ, she could barely recognize her own voice for the gravelly roughness of it as she forced herself to speak and tried so damn hard to tamp down the emotions he’d stirred up within her.

The Trill’s voice was strained, but steady. Pointed, bare, raw, and honest - he wouldn’t be denied his chance to prove each word to her even if it took a lifetime, “I may have been screwed up, but I wanted the baby as much as I’ve always wanted you. ”

“I know…” Rochelle breathed in response, knowing that if she said another word it would be her complete undoing. She could hear it; the heartbreak and hope intertwined within every syllable and it killed her… Lord how it killed her, but he deserved better. The life they shared and lost deserved better. Still, It was all she could do to force her eyes open to look at him after so much emotion had poured from his lips by way of his soul - afraid that his reverence to their lost child would rip her apart at the seams.

And it did.

She found a man in mourning, something she realized she’d denied him by extracting him from her life before he had a chance to truly process what had happened or given him even a bereft second to come to terms with it. He’d had to wrestle that monster on his own, away from everything he held holy and prized while she’d, albeit unhealthily, sunk herself back into work in order to execute the heartbreak such a loss had conjured. She’d never once stopped to think through her own hurt and anger that he may be hurting too. Instead she’d let that hurt and anger fuel the fire she’d used to scorch the very ground that served as a base for their marriage… And yet he’d persisted, smoking and singed, he’d persisted.

His eyes were closed, from what she could tell, and the way he held her made it seem as if he were praying at the altar of a Goddess that had forsaken and damned him. Rochelle could have stepped away and left him there, even ordered him from her ready room, but instead she found shaking fingers soothing their way through his hair and holding him, comforting him as much as herself.

"I can't say for certain what's going to happen. I'm not a fortune teller, I can't read stars, but I do know that I'm all in until I'm dead and buried, no matter how crazy it gets or how desperately the universe tries to tear us apart. I'm here. I'm yours." Landon’s voice may have been muffled by her body, but the poignancy of the words echoed none the less. He knew she’d hear them as much as he knew that all the wishing on stars he could ever do wouldn’t bring back what was lost to them, “I’m not asking you for forgiveness right now. I’m not asking for you to take me back and forget everything like it never happened because it did and we need to remember it, all of it,” He continued, smoothing his fingers over her abdomen, “but I am asking that you honor your word and give me that chance to make this better, maybe not right because what happened could never be right, but better.”

Part of her wanted to promise him that everything would be alright, that it would all be as it should and time would heal all wounds - something warm and wooly to aid in his healing, but she couldn’t lie to him. There were no guarantees in life, or love, and there certainly weren’t always happy endings to every saga. Theirs was an interesting case, to say the least, but she wasn’t quite ready to stare at it head long and process it in any other way but ignoring it for sake of something easier to swallow. The glaring point that she simply couldn’t refused to be blown out, it’s fire burned brighter yet regardless of how hard she fought to extinguish it and say ‘later’. “Okay…” She nodded, wetting her lower lip.

“Okay?” He asked, looking up at her.

Again she nodded, though this time swallowed the knot in her throat, “I’ll try harder at this… At giving you a fair shake.”

Landon’s expression, once so worried and filled with pain, began to soften and he carefully pushed up from the floor to rise to his full height. So much of him wanted to draw her in tight, but he knew better than to crowd her or exploit her emotions at a time like the present. Instead he dipped low and rested his forehead against hers, “Thank you,” the words sounded silly and even a little grim, but what else was there to say that she’d accept? There simply wasn’t much, and when he gathered breath and opened his mouth to say more, he found himself interrupted by the sharp chirp of her combadge going off.

Her eyes found his, tainted in part by regret as she moved off and away from him to take the call. “I’m sorry.” she mouthed, returning to her desk and away from the heat of him and he, tugging on his shirt and righting himself, nodded and waved her on back to her job. Progress had been made, old wounds had been opened, but progress had been made and with some luck those wounds would learn to knit and set correctly in promotion of healing. True healing.

A few quick goodbyes were made, knowing full well that such an abrupt end to their conversation was inherently wrong, but unavoidable. They deserved more and the discussion was far from over. Landon’s fingers burned where he’d touched her and his chest was tight with emotion and adrenaline. If anything, there was now proof that things could be mended and that there was indeed a future lying in wait for them. Second chances… He’d take what he could get.


---

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213

Captain Landon Neyes
Retired

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe