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[Round 8] Loving a Stranger


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((Lee's Quarters))

::Talon had taken a shower, dressed in her gown and robe, and sat down on the couch with a cup of coffee to read the daily reports that Marty had just sent her on her padd, when the door chimed.::

Lee: Come

::She looked up as the door opened to see Jaxx entering.::

Jaxx: ::smirks:: Am I intruding?

Lee: ::smiling:: No, I was reading the daily reports Marty sent. Join me in a cup of coffee?

Jaxx: I, um...::checking his chronograph::

Lee: ::noting his hesitancy:: You can sit down if you like. What's up?

::Jaxx replicated a cup of vreeca and sat down, he had always been a good poker player and keeping a cool face was always easy for him, unless he was around Talon. She always seemed to be able to tell when his mind was somewhere else.::

Jaxx: I miss you.

::Taken a little by surprise, she gave him a quizzical look.::

Lee: Miss me? How? We've been together for two weeks.

Jaxx: We just spent shore leave on Bajor together and I still miss you.

::Her eyes softened, understanding now what he was talking about.::

Lee: Is it me you miss, or my face before the fire?

Jaxx: ::standing up:: I sat by your side assuring you everything would be okay...you were the one who was supposed to have a hard time adjusting, turns out you have adjusted fine...it is me who is having problems.

Lee: ::sadly:: I know, Jaxx. I've noticed the distance you put between us.

Jaxx: Every time I look at you, I feel as if I am betraying you. Sounds weird, uh?

Lee: No, it's not weird, considering the changes in my appearence. I look like a stranger, even though I'm still the same person inside.

Jaxx: I thought that time would just help, but it hasn't...so I have again buried myself in work to keep my mind from dwelling on the issue, however, now it seems I cant get any work done...you are all I think about.

::Talon folded her hands in her lap, looking down at them, trying to think of something that would assure him. In a moment she raised her head and looked at him.::

Lee: ::softly:: Jaxx, it will take more than just time. If we have any chance at all of a future together, then we both have to face things straight on and not keep them buried inside us.

::Jaxx took a moment, he gathered his thoughts then walked over to her window then sat on the sill and looked at her.::

Jaxx: We have had some close calls...

::A smile curled the corners of her lips as she reflected on some of the things they had been through together.::

Lee: Yes, we have. Sometimes it seems like more than our fair share.

Jaxx: Do you remember when the Bodai Shin boarded the ship and you were trapped in the Cargo Bay?

Lee: ::laughs slightly:: How could I forget?

Jaxx: At that moment, all I could think about was getting you to safety. I charged into the Cargo Bay like an idiot. I was fresh out of the Academy, and there was this girl I just could not get out of my mind. And when she was in danger, I leaped into the fire. ::Jaxx paused, then sighed:: Bad choice of words...And when the Brotherhood attacked Earth...All I wanted was revenge, and for you to live. I was a little younger, a lot more naive. I couldn't let anything happen to you. Now as I have worked and evolved and got promoted and promoted again, then took on the role as Chief Counselor...I feel different...it is as if I am not the man who sat at your desk claiming your office. ::laughs::

Lee: ::laughing with him:: Yeah, but you got it anyway, and then Lt. Commander Aadi's. You have accomplished a lot, Jaxx. I'm very proud of, and for, you. ::standing, moving to the window beside him, taking hold of his hand.:: But that has nothing to do with why you are telling me all this. What is it, Jaxx?

Jaxx: I have come in search of forgiveness. No matter how I play life out in my head, I gave you the order that sent you to the Bachelors Quarters...I gave you the order to coordinate things...a job that was mine, but no...I wanted to go to the Academy, and rub elbows with the brass...I was too busy trying to get this job, that I forgot to do my job. And with that...you suffered the consequences.

::There it was. He had said what Talon suspected was the root cause of him putting distance between them. He was feeling guilty for something that was not his fault.::

Lee: Jaxx, you had no inkling that the Brotherhood would attack the Academy. No one did. We all were taken by surprise.

Jaxx: ::tears began to build up in his eyes:: You can sit there all you want and tell me that I am not responsible...I am.

Lee: And so am I. We all under estimated them. What happened was caused by collective errors in judgement. No one person was to blame. Jaxx, I love you, but you can't continue feeling it was your fault.

Jaxx: I love you, and I want nothing more than to be with you, always...but how can you still love me, after all of the physical and emotional pain that my orders have caused?

Lee: ::turning to face him, speaking in a no nonsense tone:: Look Jaxx, you may have given the order to take care of the children, but it was me who was ultimately responsible for my actions. There was no way I could have stood by and let the children suffer the burns. I made the decision to take the mattress out of that room, because the pain I would have felt, knowing I could have help and didn't, would have been far more than I could have stood. Now, if you love me... then love me as I am, and don't let guilt hold you back on your career goals.

::Leaning closer, she put her arms around his neck and kissed him gently.::

Lee: ::quietly:: I love you, Jaxx.



Lt. Andrus Jaxx

Chief Counselor

USS Challenger, NCC-12886


PNPC Lt.Jg. Talon Lee

Assistant Chief Counseling Officer

USS Challenger, NCC-12886

Dr. Talon Lee SIMed by LtCmdr Toni Turner

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