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Cmdr. Gogigobo Faihrug & Cmdr. Alora DeVeau - "Shattered Glass" (Part I) & (Part II)


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Their sims are always beautiful. @Gogigobo Fairhug and @Alora DeVeau

 

Quote

((DeVeau Home, Betazed))

 

 

Silence settled around her.  The rooms, which had been filled with laughter and cheer now were empty, devoid of the friendly people who had occupied them for a short time.  Bedrooms had been swept, linens changed, and now no trace of those who had come calling remained.  All had returned home.  All, except one.  Gogi was the last of them, not that Alora was any hurry to send him on his way.  Truthfully, she wished her friends could stay longer, but she knew their time was limited, as was her own.  Their homes, their duties called to them.  Having been there for several weeks, Alora herself would return very soon, but now her departure was a lot harder.  Initially, she felt like an intruder.  Now, she felt like she belonged there.  And yet, she didn’t.  Although Alora finally knew where she was headed, she also understood that her time in Starfleet was far from over.  She would return and fulfill those obligations, somehow balancing those of the house with the help of Ryzek.  

 

For now, she enjoyed her time spent, and was glad that Gogi had remained.  The house felt big and empty now that the others had gone.  Giving Ryzek and Jwasha the night off, Alora prepared a simple meal for her and Gogi to enjoy - their last one before his departure the next day.  Her own would come a couple of days later.  So there they remained, the last two in the house, enjoying a meal of oscoid chowder, some kimden rolls along with blue-leaf salad with fresh dressing made with uttaberry wine vinegar.  Alora had gotten the stew just right, chunks of oscoid neither too big nor too small, the subtle flavour of spices mixing well with the savoury saltiness of the seafood, which the uttaberry dressing complimented quite well.  One thing she had made that was from earth was cheesecake, but it too was topped with uttaberries.  Settling down, she gazed at the man across from her, grateful for his friendship, grateful for the friendship of all who had come. Somehow, she had needed that time, needed the presence of others. 

 

DeVeau: I hope you like it. 

 

As for Gogi, he was just about as happy as he could be. The time he had spent on Betazed had been refreshing. It was a beautiful planet, with a lot to offer. In some ways it reminded him of Bardeez, although the weather and the people were quite different.

 

He had also made a few new friends on the trip, which was always a good thing.

 

Then there was this breakfast

 

It was lighter than a traditional Bardeezan breakfast, but it was also absolutely delicious!

 

Fairhug: ::swallowing a mouthful of kimden roll:: Like it? I love it! In fact, I'm impressed.

 

DeVeau: I know how to cook.  I can’t do a whole lot of fancy dishes, but I can make some pretty decent meals.  My father made sure I knew. 

 

Not a lot of people in Starfleet cooked because of the availability of replicators.  However, her father hadn’t particularly liked eating from replicators unless necessary, and so cooked most of the meals for his family.  

 

Gogi wasn't a bad cook, himself. Bardeezans preferred home cooked food to replicators, after all. Bardeezan culture was full of odd nostalgic quirks, while simultaneously embracing other technological advances. It might seem strange to others, but it worked.

 

He stopped to take a mouthful of green tea, before looking back across the table to Alora.

 

Fairhug: So, do you feel rested and ready to go back to Denali.

 

DeVeau: Yes, I want to get back to work. 

Though Alora was fond of the home that was now hers, and had grown only more so over time, she also had a duty to Starfleet, and her time as an officer had not yet come to an end.  At some point, it would, but that was likely still far in the future.  It was hard to leave Betazed now, but she had something powerful that called to her.  

 

Gogi smiled as he took another bite of kimden roll, making sure to swallow before talking again. That was one thing that he’d had to get used to when he joined Starfleet - table manners. Not that Bardeezans didn’t have table manners, they were just much more relaxed than a lot of other species, he’d found out.

 

Fairhug: I know what you mean. Rest is good, but work gives us a sense of purpose. ::pausing for another sip of drink:: How are you finding your new position?

 

It was an odd twist of fate that Gogi and Alora had first met when Gogi had been retraining on Starbase 118 after a leave of absence, before he was assigned to Denali as a Marine Officer. Then, when Alora transferred to Denali, it had been the Bardeezan who was chosen to replace her as FO on 118, resuming the role he had left before his leave of absence.

 

Their paths had crossed and crossed again, but it seemed that, for now, at least, fate was conspiring to keep them apart.

 

DeVeau: I’m back where I started, in a sense, as a science officer.  I loved being a First Officer, but this was my first love.  

 

Scooping a bit of the stew, Alora enjoyed the savoury flavour that left a pleasant tang on her tongue.  Dipping her bread into the thick, creamy broth, she inclined her head to Gogi. 

 

DeVeau: What about you?

 

Fairhug: It’s strange, now that I’m back on One-One-Eight, it almost feels like I never left.

 

He had been around, but of all the places he’d served in, the Starbase did feel the most like home. Probably because it had the most memories attached to it, many of which were pleasant memories.

 

Duronis II had been his first posting and while he’d had some good times there, he had also had to contend with hostile Romulans on several occasions.

 

His time on the Apollo-A had been relatively brief and had included a mission in which their CO had been kidnapped by a race of subspace beings, before the ship had been unceremoniously decommissioned to cover for a diplomatic situation that was not the fault of the crew.

 

Denali also held fond memories and had he not been stationed there, he would never have encountered the Bajoran orb that had unexpectedly helped him to gain some perspective and closure regarding the deaths of his father and brother, but again, his time there had been short and he had spent a lot of it stewing over his personal grief before the Bajoran orb mission.

 

Starbase 118 was familiar and there was some comfort in that. 

 

DeVeau: I can understand that. 

 

Although she had not returned to the Starbase when posted there, she had felt at home immediately.  Now, she was elsewhere, but Denali was quickly becoming another home, one that held promises of a bright future, both for her and her child.  Slender fingers lightly traced a path over the swollen belly as she thought of yet another home, Betazed, a place where she had once been a stranger and was now embraced as one of its own.  Some day, she would retire there, and her child would inherit the house as was proper.  

 

Fairhug: I guess we’ve both come full circle, in a strange way.

 

DeVeau: Have? 

 

Fairhug: Did you achieve what you came here to achieve?

 

He didn’t know exactly what it was that Alora had needed to do here on Betazed, but he knew it was important to her and that being the case, he appreciated the invitation moreso, since she could have easily preferred to take care of whatever it was on her own, without distractions,

 

DeVeau: Yes.  And no.  There are many things that still remain unanswered.  My role as a matriarch means that I will always have things I must strive to do, things to achieve.  I have someone who I must care for.  It’s…

 

There was a pause, during which Gogi considered which word Alora must be searching for. Having no children of his own, the Bardeezan could only imagine the variety of emotions one might feel on the cusp of such responsibility, but the first word that came to mind was…

 

Fairhug: Scary?

DeVeau: Daunting.

 

She admitted.  It all weighed upon her shoulders, and yet somehow freed her at the same time.  Alora wasn’t sure how to explain the strange juxtaposition of emotions that flooded through her at various times.  

 

DeVeau: And…

 

Another pause. Gogi had blurted out the first word that had come to mind moments ago and instantly regretted it. He didn’t want to add to Alora’s concerns, so this time he played it safe.

 

Fairhug: And what?

 

She didn’t answer at first.  Alora’s eyes fell, casting themselves upon the dishes spread out before her, studying them and yet not focusing upon them at all.  Her fingers twirled the spoon in her hand back and forth, over and over.  

 

DeVeau: Most days, I’m okay.  But sometimes…it feels like I’m walking on glass, and at any minute, it’s going to shatter. 

 

More silence followed, broken only by the clinking of Gogi’s spoon as he scooped up some oscoid chowder, trying his best not to slurp too loudly as he considered Alora’s metaphor.

 

Fairhug: I can only imagine what you’re going through, Alora. It must be hard…but if these past few days have shown us anything, it’s that you are very much not alone in this. Yes, the ultimate responsibility lies with you, as it should, but there are so many people who are willing to travel across quadrants just to spend time with you. Imagine what they would do for your child!

 

She knew that, and she was grateful for it.  Friends, both old and new, had come together to be with her.  She hadn’t done it out of the need for pity, but it had been done for a selfish reason nonetheless.  She was lonely.  She was frightened.  But he was right, they had made the time anda effort to be with her.  

 

DeVeau: I know. And I’m grateful. 

She truly was.  Over her time in Starfleet, she had made many friends.  Some had only lasted for a season, while others remained and likely would do so over her lifetime.  For however long she had them in her life, she would treasure them.  

Fairhug: I, for one, would protect you both with my life, if need be. 

 

The admittance took Alora by surprise and her eyes lifted to fall upon the man across from her.  He took another sip of green tea, before placing the cup down gently, yet purposefully, watching it all the way as he did so.

 

After a moment, he looked back up to the young woman sitting opposite him. Yes, she was an experienced, decorated Starfleet Officer, a Commander, a First Officer, Chief Science Officer and all the rest, but at this moment, she was simply his friend and she was in need of some reassurance, it seemed.

 

Fairhug: You know, you are one of the reasons I am still with Starfleet today.

 

That surprised her even more than the first, and her brow furrowed as she tried to fathom how she could have had that sort of influence on him. 

 

DeVeau: What do you mean? 

 

Fairhug: When I returned to Starbase One-One-Eight to complete my retraining, I wasn’t sure that I was making the right decision. I was leaving a very different home to the one I left the first time I joined Starfleet.

 

That wasn’t unusual, many people had hesitation about entering Starfleet, or even re-entering after a long leave of absence.  Even though she had been in his place once, coming back from a time out of the service, she had never known that sort of doubt, and she hadn’t realised he’d harboured it either. Yet, she also understood why people struggled with that sort of decision.  

 

DeVeau: I see.  

 

Fairhug: That meal and conversation that we shared, it reminded me of what life in Starfleet is like. The people that you meet, the connections that you make. It helped to convince me that I *was* doing the right thing.

 

Her expression softened.  She hadn’t thought of their interaction in that kind of light, she had simply met a man whom she found interesting and engaging, and who she knew had been in the same position she was in at the time - First Officer.  Now, he was her friend, and they had sort of swapped places, in a sense, but that hadn’t done anything to dampen that friendship.  

 

DeVeau: I had no idea. 

 

Gogi let out a small chuckle.

 

Fairhug: So, you see, you helped to shape my life and I bet any of the people who came here to visit would say the same, to some degree or another. That’s why I would never let you face such a big change alone.

 

Alora had never given herself credit for any such thing, but she was flattered and honoured that Gogi did.  She was grateful to him, grateful to all of them, for coming, even if it was for her selfish reasons, to be with her and spend time weith her.  

 

Tears stung her eyes, though a smile managed to crack through.  Even so, they fell as she was unable to restrain them; first one, then another, and another.  They trickled and streaked down her face for a few seconds before the dam broke and she burst into sobs.  

 

Gogi’s eyes widened. He had intended his remarks to be positive, which made the reaction from Alora rather unexpected, although he was aware that pregnancy in other species did have numerous effects, both physical and mental. Perhaps heightened emotions were one of those effects in Terrans.

 

Quickly, he stood, dropping his spoon into his soup, not that he noticed, as he rushed over to Alora, kneeling beside her and pulling her into a sort of sideways hug.

 

Fairhug: Hey, sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you.

 

She accepted the embrace, leaning into it gratefully.  Words refused to form, and instead she simply sat there and cried a little longer, tears streaking her face in thin rivulets down her cheeks while Gogi tried to comfort her.  

 

Fairhug: I know I’m not exactly close by, but if there’s ever anything you or the little one need, just let me know.

 

It was strange how things had worked out. How Alora had arrived on Denali just as Gogi was leaving. He had been excited at the idea of getting to work with his friend when he had heard that she was transferring, but then duty had called him in the other direction and now they were exactly as far apart again as they had been before.

 

DeVeau: I know. 

She finally managed that small reply through the tears, the sobs softening, though the effort resulted in a hiccup that punctuated her words. 

 

DeVeau: It’s not that…

 

Gogi leaned back a little, looking into Alora’s face.

 

Fairhug: There’s always Doctor Garev.

 

The Bardeezan broke out into a laugh. As good of a doctor as the Vulcan was, he wasn’t exactly known for his bedside manner.  Alora stared at him, caught off guard, but the laughter did its job.  The sobs mostly faded away, she reached up and wiped away the water that drained down her face as best she could.  

 

DeVeau: No…no, it’s not that.  It’s just…I don’t know.  I’m just so grateful.  

 

She was grateful for him, for Wil, for Evan, for Madison, and for all those who had come to see her. As Gogi had said, they had crossed light-years to be with her, even if only for a brief time. Yet, at the end of the day, she was alone. The darkness she usually managed to keep at bay reared its ugly head, amplifying her loneliness. Leaning against him, her forehead pressed to his shoulder, Alora contemplated all that had transpired and mourned all she had lost. Her glass had shattered, but soon enough, she would pick up the pieces and put them back in place—tentative, delicate, held together only until the next time its strength failed.

 

Fairhug: Well, I’m grateful to you, too.

 

DeVeau: I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to…

 

He leaned back a little with a shake of his head and the wave of a hand.

 

Fairhug: There is nothing to apologise for.

 

Straightening up, the more tears that had remained in the reservoir escaped and sought their own path downward.  Her fingers wiped them away as they had done the others, and she inhaled deeply.  She could feel his arms around her, a friend comforting a friend, close and comfortable.  The scent of the food wafted merrily over to her, reminding her of the corporeal pleasures that still remained.  The soft light cast a gentle glow around the room, soothing and calm.  Another breath followed and Alora managed to wrangle herself back together. 

 

DeVeau: I’m okay.  Thank you.  

 

With a warm smile, Gogi stood, offering a reassuring rub on Alora’s back as he did, before heading back to his seat.

 

Fairhug: So, we didn’t get the chance to talk much like this the last few days. Do you know if it’s a girl or a boy? Do you have a preference?

 

Despite modern medical advances, most people on Bardeez still preferred to wait until the birth to find out the gender of their offspring. Another old tradition that had somehow clung on in the face of an ever changing galaxy.

 

The shift in topic was well timed, and Alora was grateful.  With her emotional outburst now quelled, she wiped away the remaining vestiges of her tears.  A small smile appeared, for in the midst of all the trauma, this was, at least, a light in the darkness. 

 

DeVeau: I don’t know.  I want to be surprised.  

 

She often switched between he and she when referring to the baby, unable to give a name to the child just yet, though she had two picked out.  To the second answer, she added a shake of her head. 

 

DeVeau: I don’t have a preference.  I just want the baby to be healthy.

 

Because of her condition, her health, as well as that of the baby’s, had been monitored closely.  

 

As Alora spoke, Gogi looked down at his soup, searching for the spoon. With dismay, he realised it must have sunk into the bowl when he went to comfort his friend.

 

Fairhug: Ahh, damn it.

 

DeVeau: Did I say something wrong? 

 

He looked up, confusion etched on his face for a moment, before realisation set in.

 

Fairhug: No! Sorry, ::pointing to the bowl:: I lost my spoon.

 

Her eyes drifted down to his side of the table, and sure enough there was no spoon visible.  A moment’s passing brought the realisation of what his gesture had meant.  The full gambit of the emotional roller coaster that pregnancy often brought on became fully displayed as she burst out laughing.  Poor Gogi’s chowder, rather than simply bowing to its fate that it should be consumed, consumed the spoon instead. 

 

He looked up at his host, a smile creeping across his lips. He was happy that he had been able to brighten her mood, even if it had come at the expense of his cutlery.

 

Fairhug: Suggestions, Commander?

 

Shaking off her laughter, Alora’s fingers motioned toward his fork.  

 

DeVeau: You could go fishing for it.  

 

Gogi held up a finger in recognition of the idea.

 

Fairhug: A little more crude than a tractor beam…but I’ll give it a try.

 

The mood now much lighter, Alora settled back into her food.  Nothing had changed.  She still had the trauma of the past, and the clouds sometimes shadowed the sun, though they never held her in darkness for too long.  Before her sat one ray of sunshine in her life, and she had numerous others.  Hiro.  Madison.  Stefania.  Will.  Raissa, Kestra.  Others who filled her life with more than enough light to fill in the shadows of that sadness.  There was hope.  Alora knew that, and it was what kept her going.  That, and the knowledge that she was deeply cared for by friends, and family.  

 

 

 

*****

 

Commander Alora DeVeau

Chief Science Officer &

Second Officer

Denali Station 

&

Matriarch of the 15th House

Betazed

M239008AD0

 

 

&

 

Commander Gogigobo Fairhug

First Officer

Starbase 118 Ops

E239411GF0

 

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I'm appalled this hasn't been sent to the Ops mailing list yet, so thanks for posting it here! Wonderful read ❤️ 

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