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JP - Lieutenants Elizabeth Snow and Lephi: A Tearful Goodbye, Part I


Alleran Tan

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Wow, we're visiting the Chin'Toka for all of like five seconds and this amazing sim pops up! I loved reading this, and it was really well written.

Lephi. :')

-----

((Chief Engineer’s Office, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka)) 

 

The PADD sat idly on the corner of Lephi’s desk, largely ignored. If she didn't acknowledge the news, surely she couldn't be expected to follow the instructions contained within. She turned her attention back to the work that had taken over so much of her desk.

 

Her hands gently rubbed her furrowed brow, and for a moment she allowed herself to focus on her thoughts. They shifted quickly between her unfinished engineering projects, the wedding… Her heart sank. Elizabeth. No matter what trinkets she brought the doctor, it wouldn't repair the hole in either woman's heart that this news was sure to leave.

 

She picked up the project she had been working on and the PADD with the dreaded message, and put them in a box for easy carrying. As she picked up the box, she couldn't help looking at the opening lines once more.

 

// 

STARFLEET PRIORITY THREE

NEW ASSIGNMENT: USS Gorkon NCC-82293

 

FROM: Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds

TO: Lephi

REFERENCE: Ship's Orders

DUTY ASSIGNMENT: Chief Engineer

// 

 

Wiping a tear from her eyes, she dimmed the screen and made her way out of the office for the last time, heading to their quarters. 

 

(( Sickbay Complex, Deck 10, USS Chin’toka ))

 

With the mission now behind them, things were starting to return to normal. Well, normal for shore leave anyways. The days seemed a bit longer without all the patients flooding through the doors, which was something Elizabeth was thankful for. She would rather have a long, uneventful, day than to see anyone in pain. 

 

Now that things were switching modes, she and Lephi would be able to finally spend some time together instead of the quick conversations in passing. Something she was looking forward to and she'd finally be able to sit down and have a conversation with her parents. It felt like ages since she had talked to them. She was ready to see their faces again and hear their voices. 

 

She was finishing up with a patient when Wyla reminded her again that she was due to leave. 

 

Snow: ::smiling:: I'm going, I'm going. ::to her patient:: Now, you, stay out of trouble. Why don't you try something a little less extreme next time. Okay?

 

With a sheepish grin, the Ensign made her way out of Sickbay. Elizabeth turned to Wyla and gave a playful salute before exiting herself. She began making her way down the corridor, wondering if Lephi was already off duty.

 

((Corridor, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka)) 

 

Lephi carried her small box of personal effects down the corridor with a feeling of numbness in her limbs. It was all too real now, the effects of the order too immediate. Her arms were tired, and the lightweight box felt heavy in her arms; undoubtedly weighed down by the burden of what was to come. 

 

She passed by the door to their quarters the first time by accident, consumed by her thoughts. The next several passes were intentional, and after the fourth, she leaned against the wall and slid to the floor; unable to face what she was certain was inside. The Ferengi sat for what felt like hours, but could have just been minutes, until a voice brought her crashing back to reality.

 

Elizabeth rounded the corner into the corridor in which their room was located and stopped in her tracks as she saw Lephi sitting against the wall opposite their door. A puzzled and concerned look formed on her face as she began to wonder why her imzadi was sitting in the hall. She slowly approached, speaking up only when she was a few feet away.

 

Snow: Umm.. Imzadi? What’s wrong? 

 

Lephi: Oh hi. I uh… I thought you were already home.

 

She studied the woman on the floor with growing concern. Noting the box the Engineer had and the fact that she had looked like she had.. What was the phrase? Seen a ghost. Obviously something was wrong. She offered her beloved a hand to help her off the ground. 

 

Snow: I worked over a little. ::still watching her:: You never answered my question. 

 

Lephi felt small and unsure of herself. Sitting on the ground looking up at her beloved, she was suddenly aware of how foolish she must look. When Elizabeth offered her a hand getting up, she took it gratefully and brushed herself off. 

 

Lephi: ::slight pause:: I think we'd better go inside.

 

She avoided making eye contact as she bent down to pick up her box, and shuffled quickly into their shared accommodations.

 

Elizabeth sighed and turned heel to follow Lephi inside. Her worry and concern grew more as she anxiously awaited to hear what was making her partner act the way she was. She kept her mind in check, keeping her focus on Lephi. 

 

((Snow & Lephi’s Quarters, Deck 14, USS Chin’toka))

 

Snow: Okay. We're inside. Now, will you, please, tell me what's going on?

 

When they were both inside, Lephi collapsed on the couch, the box sitting beside her. For several long moments she tried to speak, but could not find the words. They both knew it was a possibility when they got together, but after a year it had fallen off of their radar.

 

Lephi: I've uh… been uh… reassigned. 

 

Her ashen face showed how shocked she was when Lephi got the sentence out. Maybe she had misheard her? Even though she knew she had heard right, she was too stunned to even ask for clarification. 

 

The silence was deafening to Lephi, who sat there numb. She searched her brain for the right words to say next, but they still wouldn't come. She reached feebly into the box next to her and handed Elizabeth the PADD, still avoiding eye contact.

 

She watched as Lephi approached, keeping her eyes averted the entire time. Her body caught up to Lephi's words and heart twinged as it sank into her stomach. She took the offered PADD and looked at it still in disbelief as she read it. She knew this was a possibility, they both did. But could someone really prepare themselves for this kind of news? 

 

She was still working through the shock and disbelief as she pulled Lephi into her arms, gently hugging her tightly as she fought off the tears that would inevitably fall. It was just another obstacle for them to overcome. 

 

Snow: It'll be alright. Just another obstacle for us to overcome, right? As many as we've had to work through already, we're practically experts. 

 

Lephi felt herself being pulled into a warm and loving embrace, though she felt as if she could feel the distance between them already. Her heart ached and felt heavy in her chest. So many things left unsaid between them in the moment as they held tightly to each other. The tears and sadness she had spent the afternoon numbing herself against now flowed freely, and she laid her head on her lover's shoulder while she sobbed. 

 

Lephi: It's ::sob:: not fair. I love you ::sob:: so much, Elizabeth. 

 

Elizabeth rubbed Lephi’s back. Her thoughts went to her parents and then to Mei and Evan. She would have to inquire with Mei and her parents to see how they managed the distance. She knew they would make it through and be just fine, but it was the inbetween, the emptiness that worried her. She couldn’t check in on Lephi everyday to make sure she was alright. She wouldn’t be able to be there to silence the demons that lived inside Lephi’s mind. She wouldn’t be there to know if Lephi was injured during a mission. She wouldn’t be there to lift her spirits after a long hard day. All of that would have to wait until a video call, where she could remind her that she loved her and no matter the distance that she was only a transmission away if she ever needed her. Though it wouldn’t be the same. She had her friends on the ship, but they couldn’t fill that void. That different kind of loneliness that Lephi would leave once she was gone. The tears had already started to fall. She was right. It wasn’t fair, but this was what they signed up for and they knew it might happen, but none of that would make this moment any less easier. 

 

Snow: I love you too, Imzadi.

 

Lephi knew she had to trust that their love was strong enough to get them through this, and on some level she was positive it was, even if she couldn't see that right now. Though she said nothing, Lephi knew that Elizabeth was wrought with worry. It was in her nature, she had too much heart for her own good. 

 

She pulled back from the hug, smiled warmly at Elizabeth and turned back to the box, wiping her eyes as she went. She pulled something out, and closed her hands tightly around it, keeping it a secret for now. 

 

Lephi: ::Through tears:: It's about a two week journey between the Chin Bin and my new ship. I've uh… ::holds out her hand:: I've got something for you. 

 

Elizabeth returned the warm smile and watched her partner through tear filled eyes as she retrieved something from her box. Turning back to Elizabeth, Lephi held out her hand and Elizabeth reached out her own, letting Lephi set the item gently in it. It was a necklace. She smiled and examined it closer, only to discover it was in fact a locket. Opening it up, she spotted a picture of Lephi inside. It was her favorite picture of the Engineer.

 

Snow: It’s beautiful, Imzadi. 

 

Lephi: It's one of a kind, I made it myself. 

 

Even through her sadness, she was filled with pride. This locket was perhaps the most meaningful thing she'd created in all her years tinkering. 

 

Hearing that made her smile that much bigger and made the locket even more special to her. She ran her thumb over it, admiring it as she looked back up to her Engineer. 

 

Snow: It’s amazing. I absolutely love it. ::smiling::

 

Lephi smiled genuinely for perhaps the first time since the transfer order came across her desk. Making Elizabeth smile made her happy beyond the ways she knew how to describe, and the best was yet to come. 

 

Lephi: I haven't even shown you the best part yet! 

 

She turned her attention back to the box and retrieved her matching locket. Flipping it open revealed a photo of the two of them holding hands on the holodeck recreation of Lake Cataria, colorful flowers blooming all around them. 

 

As she ran her thumb over her locket, Elizabeth's locket began to glow with a radiant light. Lephi looked longingly at the beautiful woman, as if trying to commit every beautiful line, curve, and feature to memory as she reacted.

 

Elizabeth, again, watched as Lephi retrieved something from the box. Another locket. It was similar to hers with different details engraved in it. She smiled at the picture, the memory of the day it was taken danced through her mind. How she wished the part where Lephi was leaving was all a bad dream that she would wake up from. As Lephi rubbed her thumb across it, hers began to glow. She watched it in amazement as her eyes again filled with tears. Both happy and sad for their bittersweet moment. 

 

Lephi pulled Elizabeth into a warm hug, stroking the back of her head with one hand and lovingly rubbing her back with the other. For a while they sat in a silent embrace, and when she spoke again it was in whispers. 

 

Lephi: ::whispering:: It's okay, my love. We're strong enough for this. Our love is strong enough. 

 

She held the locket tight in her hand and laid her head on Lephi’s shoulder, breathing in the subtle scent of Lephi’s perfume with each breath she took. Not wanting the moment to end. She pulled back from the hug enough to look at Lephi. Taking in the beautiful sight before her before she spoke.

 

Snow: Would you like help packing?

 

Holding back more tears that threatened to streak down her face, she managed a meek nod of her head in affirmation. 

 

Lephi: I have the operations crew packing up my office, but I would love some help with the things here. Or, your company at least while I do the work.

 

Elizabeth smiled as she imagined her beloved “packing” her things. Holding back a laugh as she said she would do the work. The last time Elizabeth let her pack something, it was a jumbled mess of things just tossed into a suitcase.

 

Snow: Are you sure you should be the one packing, Imzadi? If I recall correctly, you and I have a very different idea for what packing is. ::teasing, biting her lower lip::

 

The engineer playfully glared at Elizabeth and laughed for a moment. The doctor did have a small point, not that Lephi could ever let her know that of course. 

 

Lephi: It's true! ::jokingly throws her hands up, signalling defeat.:: Packing is my one flaw in life. 

 

She stood up and motioned towards the bedroom. 

 

Lephi: ::teasing back:: Perhaps you should do it, being that you have no flaws and all. 

 

Snow: Maybe I will. 

 

Elizabeth pushed Lephi playfully and ran towards the bedroom, laughing. 

 

A hint of sadness pulled at the edges of Lephi's mind, but she pushed it aside. If these were to be her last memories of Elizabeth in person for a while, she was determined to leave her with good ones. 

 

She covered the remaining distance between the couch and the bedroom door in a few short strides and within moments was inside. Lephi flung herself on the bed and patted the empty space next to her. 

 

Lephi: Packing is so boring! Lay a while with me first. ::puppy dog eyes:: Who knows when we'll be able to again?

 

Elizabeth smiled and crawled onto the bed next to Lephi and laid down close to her where they were eye to eye. She would miss waking up to that beautiful face. She would also miss the warm body laying next to her. Her heart twinged again as she thought about the little things she would miss in her partner’s absence. The two days the Ferengi had left were awful. She wasn’t sure how she was going to make it through full time. She reached her hand out and caressed Lephi’s face, as she watched her lovingly. 

 

Lephi laid on the bed with her eyes closed, feeling the light touch of her beloved. It was such a simple thing, yet it made her heart soar. She opened her eyes and reached out, taking Elizabeth's hand in her own and stared deeply into the striking blue eyes of her partner. Silently she cursed the fact that she spent her time working on those baubles and not on a freeze ray so she could stay in this perfect moment forever. She brushed loose strands of Elizabeth's hair off of her neck, and her hand hovered there for a brief moment before pulling her fiancée's face in closer and kissing her deeply. 

 

After what simultaneously felt like forever and an instant, she pulled away, remembering all the packing she still needed to do. 

 

Lephi: ::muttering:: Sorry, I didn't mean to… I still have to… 

 

Elizabeth returned the kiss with a more intense passion. In this moment, her worries faded away and it seemed as though time was standing still. That was until Lephi pulled back. She smiled a devious smile and pushed up to her knees.

 

Snow: That you do and it won’t take any time at all to get done. 

 

She moved over and pinned Lephi down. She giggled as she moved her left leg over the Ferengi woman and straddled her.

 

Snow: Relax, Imzadi. We still have plenty of time.

 

There was a playful glint in Lephi's eyes, and the regret and guilt she had felt melted away in that perfect moment of pure bliss. She wiggled under the light weight of her beloved, trying in vain to flip her over, but she was helplessly pinned. 

 

Lephi: Looks like I have no choice, but to listen to you. ::feigned disappointment:: That's such a shame. 

 

Snow: Isn’t it just. ::teasing::

 

Elizabeth leaned down and kissed Lephi once more with the same intense passion she had before.

 

 

Fade to black…

 

=============================

Lieutenant Elizabeth Snow

Chief Medical Officer

USS Chin'toka NCC-97187

D238803EH0

 

&

 

Lieutenant Lephi

Chief Engineering Officer

USS Gorkon NCC-82293

 

Community History Team Member 

Chat Team Member

Wiki Team Member

 

A239706L10 

=============================

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