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Jalana

PNPCs Lt Jack Gard & LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena - This Isn't Forever

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((USS Conny - Gard Quarters))

::To say the last few days have been easy, would be the equivalent of saying the Titanic wasn’t such a big deal. Family visits were reasonable under the best of circumstances. But there was never best times. Jack had managed before though, and continued to do so with all the grace and stride he could muster….

It wasn’t easy.

Heng, his father in-law, from his first marriage would always find that one thing to say to sour the mood. Whether it was at breakfast or dinner. The old man’s only saving grace was that he was mindful enough to say it to Jack only. And ~he~ was able to ignore it.

Between that and Akeelah, her hoverchair, and her “I have no limitations” attitude. He didn’t fault her for it in the least. It was incredibly hard to give up some control, and even more so to ask for help. He had to catch her a few times when she overextended herself, trying to prove to everyone that she was just as capable as before. Much to Liling’s amusement, who remarked on the “fire” she saw in the woman. The older woman was always more forgiving and looking ahead. She knew Tabitha needed a mother figure in her life to grow up well rounded.

The computer signaled an incoming message, private and important, from StarFleet command. He, begrudgingly pulled himself away and took the message in his room… Well Akeelah’s room.

And now he stared blankly at the screen and the words that filled it. He read it, reread it, and read it one more time. The context never changed… But his world was about too. They had just gotten settled, just started to make friends and focus on family.

He wouldn’t argue it, or fight it. But he would had to talk about it. Jack stood from his chair and walked to the door, just enough for it to open… It would crush her… Both her’s. ::

> Gard: Akeelah? ::he called out solemnly.::

:: Akeelah had Tabby on her lap. The girl liked to sit with her, tell her about the day, the children, the projects, things she had learned… And no matter if Tabitha knew it or not, she loved to show that Akeelah belonged to her and Jack any possible moment. Akeelah had especially noticed that when her grandparents were around. Not that Tabby did it more then, it was just felt stronger in those times. She was just listening to hear what Tabby imagined they could do during shore leave, when Jack called. ::

D'Sena: Yes?

Gard; Can you come here for a minute?

::Tabby jumped down to follow.::

Gard: Just Akeelah for the moment, sweetheart.

Tabitha: Oh tay. ::she pouted a little turning back to sit down. It was the last day she would have with her grandparents for a little while.::

:: The Rodulan smiled at Tabby before moving the chair towards and into the bedroom Jack had assigned for her when she moved in. She watched his face. He didn’t look like he had good news. ::

D'Sena: What is it?

Gard: I just …::sigh.:: Need to talk to you about something.
:: She nodded and closed the door. It came by itself really, for some reason she had the feeling Tabby shouldn’t hear it. Maybe because he had not called the girl in as well. Her voice lowered as she moved to him. ::

D'Sena: You sound like you got some bad news.

::He huffed, like the kind of huff that said “you don't know the half of it”. It was and it wasn't bad news, because this kind of thing happened all the time. But it affected a lot of things in that person’s life, as well as the lives they’d been apart of. It made the news more of a love hate ordeal.::

Gard: Something like that...

D'Sena: What?

Gard: ::he looked her in the eyes.:: I have new orders.

::Those few words said a lot. He wasn't sure how she would react; anger, hate, disappointment… he could only surmise it wouldn't be anything pleasant.::

:: She was stunned. Not a single muscle in her body moved, her eyes fixed on him - staring - as if the meaning of the words would change if she waited long enough. But it didn’t happen. ::

D'Sena: You are not serious.

Gard: I am. ::his words, tone and body language was completely serious.::

:: She was stunned. This couldn't be happening. But it was happening, if she wanted it or not. She tried hard to stay rational, but it was difficult. How could he just leave? And Tabby! They had come into her life like a spring rain with the force of a storm. And now they were ripped out of it again. The pain of that realisation hit her like a knife in the guts. It hurt so much, that she couldn't sense any emotions but her own.

But she had to be strong, not show how hard this was. ::

D'Sena: When will you have to leave?

::It was difficult to say if he was more crushed by her lack of showing emotion, or his own. But the pit in his stomach was heavy and constricting.::

Gard: I am to be ready to leave tomorrow. ::he frowned.::

:: Tomorrow? That soon? That was impossible! They had plans. Starfleet couldn't do that. Of course they could. But she needed more time. She had just been called Danny's mother and it had felt so good,so right. And now this. No, she couldn't break down now. She had to be strong. ::

D'Sena: I see.

::He sat down on the edge of the desk, arms crossed and tucked in close.

oO These things happen… Oo He kept telling himself. There was reallly no one to blame. And it certainly wasn’t him trying to run away from anything. To someone who knew him, they would know that wasn’t an option for him. He never ran.::

Gard: You’re shutting down… ::paused.:: What are you thinkiing?

:: As his hands took hers and his face came into view he drew her attention to his eyes. Those eyes… ::

D'Sena: Are you sure that is the only reason you're leaving?

:: The words had come out before she was even aware of the thought. But that has been it. The fear she had ever since he had seen her in that blasted chair for the first time. Would he still want her now that she was damaged goods? He had to take care of her in a manner that was too much even for her. Why would he want to stay with her and play her nurse? ::

::He grew a little defensive. Couldn’t she see that it affected him too? Couldn’t she see that these choices had long term, snowballing consequences for all those involved? It took a lot for Jack to calm down his boiling mind. He wouldn’t let her just walk out of here though. Well roll. Of course he could understand why she would.

With one hand, he grabbed the arm of the chair and kneeled down in front of her. Being on his knees made him just about the same height as her in her chair. He then took up both of her warm hands and simply held them.

What could he say?... ::

Gard: I’m not running away. This doesn’t scare me. ::he looked at her chair.:: But we knew, from the beginning, what we signed up for when joining Starfleet. ::he shook his head and open his mouth to say something… But nothing came.::

:: She looked at him and somehow his touch helped her to stay in the here and now. And there she felt it, the sadness and helplessness that felt like hers but wasn't her own. Her stomach sank and a knot formed in her throat. That was when the wall came tumbling down. To feel that she was not the only one in pain undid it all. Her vision began to blur and her voice cracked into a shuddering whisper. ::

D'Sena: You can't leave… I need you.

Gard: ::his shoulder sagged.:: I’m sorry.

D'Sena: What… ::She swallowed hard.:: … will happen to us? s? Our family?

Gard: I’m not giving up. ::he said sternly.:: There are those who have dealt with worse, so I know we can make this work. ::he swallowed hard.:: If you’re willing.

:: Hearing his conviction relieved her. Where a moment ago she had been afraid of losing him, now sparked a glimmer of hope. He would be on another post, but he wouldn’t be out of her life. He and Tabby would still be her family. They could see each other during shore leaves, send messages, talk over subspace connections, maybe even through holodeck connections. His hands still in hers she squeezed them and nodded, trying to hold back the tears welling up in her, tickling her nose. :: 

D’Sena: Of course I am. ::She raised the gaze of her black eyes to look at him, her voice cracked as she spoke again.:: I love you, Jack, I’m not giving up on us.. 

::He took her in a hug, one filled with promises for the future. This wasn’t forever. And it certainly wasn’t over. Not if he had anything to do with it. He could only hope that she would wait…. 

Sometimes that was even harder to ask of someone…::

Gard: Then we will find a way.

::He stood up with a nod. As much as he would have prefered to stay with her forever, it was going to have to end at some point. They would have to rejoin those outside of here, and they would have to tell to Tabby.::


------

Lt Jack Gard
Engineering Officer

~~
Lieutenant Commander Rustyy Hael
Chief Engineer
USS Conny
A239202RH0


LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena
USS Constitution-B

simmed by

Captain Jalana Rajel
Commanding Officer
USS Constitution B
Image Team Facilitator

A238906JL0
 

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