JP: A New Page

Simming since 1994 this is widely regarded as one of the most successful sims in history. Taking place on an Akira class vessel the Potemkin crew lives through the greatest sim experiences available.

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JP: A New Page

Postby Kris » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:27 am

A New Page

Joint Log

Commander Tom Arnet & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Rollands

Set prior to “Ocean's Breadth” sim

Things were never as easy as one would expect them to be. This whole situation was no different Jayla thought as she stared at the patterns weaved into the carpet of her quarters. She’d spoken with many people since returning from the freezing cavern, though some things were still not quite clear. She couldn’t blame any of them, as they had nothing to do with the situation as a whole. There was only one person that she could blame for how she was feeling, and that was herself.

Why had she held so much back, when she knew it had been the best time to talk? It had taken only a few short days to realize how much still needed to be stated and there was only one person it needed stating too. This was why she’d sent off a message to Arnet, asking if they could speak again when he was feeling up to it. While not indicating what she actually wanted to discuss, given their most recent discussion, Rollands figured he could guess what it was about.

Arnet was nonplussed by the message, coming as it did on the heels of this last misadventure. He wasn't sure what there was left to talk about, considering how certain death and Da wine had made them say most everything there was to say.

He had half of mind to say "Sorry, but not now. I'll see you on the bridge." But that wouldn't be very gentlemanly, and certainly not keeping with the deferential and conciliatory attitude he wanted to adopt while dealing with all things Rollands. Theirs had been an awkward and strange dance, and he didn't want to do anything to make it even more awkward or strange.

So, having been released from sickbay and feeling that sooner was better than later, Arnet found himself standing outside her quarters. He had thought about doing it in his office, but that felt too formal. He could have done it in his quarters, but that felt too intimate. The October Lounge felt too casual and a secret nook somewhere in the bowels of the ship felt too serious. So here he was.

He reached out and rang her bell.

The sudden bell caught Jayla by surprise as she had started to stare at the stars out her window. There were many people that could be standing outside that door, most of them just wanting to check up on her and see how she was doing. Turning back to face the door, she put on the best face she could in case it wasn't who she was honestly hoping it was and sighed.

"Come in," is all she stated as she awaited whoever was on the other side if the doorway.

At the invitation, Arnet walked inside, absorbing for a split second the decor around him. Not one to decorate himself, it was always fascinating to him how people chose to spruce up the ship's generally utilitarian quarters.

But that's not why he was here. He located Rollands after another moment and took a couple steps toward her.

Keep it light and upbeat he told himself.

"You rang, madam?" he said. Okay, it sounded more than a bit cheesy, but it struck the right tone.

Not quite the statement she would expect from Arnet, but it still made Rollands chuckle a bit, which was actually a good thing.

"Yes, I suppose I did. Didn't expect you to show up quite that quickly though."

She knew what it was that needed saying, but at the same time she wasn't going to be a rude host.

"You're more than welcome to sit," she stated, nodding to the open seats in the room. "You...you want something to drink?"

"Well, as they say, never keep a lady waiting," he replied, finding a suitable seat on a nearby sofa. "And I'll take something warm, if you have anything like that. I'm avoiding cold drinks at the moment, as you will certainly understand."

Nodding, she went over to the replicator and got two cups of hot tea. She'd been drinking quite a bit of it lately and it seemed to do well to keep her warm. Bringing the cups of tea over, she handed one to him and sat back down.

"Hopefully this works for the warm drink. I've been doing the same, avoiding anything cold if possible." She took a sip and then sighed, looking over to him. "That message probably confused you when I sent it, considering everything we talked about before. Am I right?"

"It did seem odd, coming as it did after ... everything," he said, gratefully accepting the tea. "So, love, seeing as you seem more than the eager to get to the point, why don't you tell me what is on your mind?"

With a sigh, Rollands knew she had to say what she invited him here to say.

"Look, I don't want any of this to come across as rude or anything of the sort, though it might seem that way. After we got back on board and after I thought about it a bit, I realized that though everything on your side might seem cleared up, it isn't on mine."

She shook her head, trying to come up with the right words in all of this. It was digging at her, and she was trying her best not to seem to emotional though it.

"It's my fault that I didn't say everything, even with the wine. I realize that and am not blaming you in the least. But it doesn't make any of what I'm about to say any different. You got to say everything you needed to say, and I acknowledged it. I wouldn't dare ask you to change anything, because I understand how you feel now. Believe it or not, it does help, quite a bit. There are things I should have said right up front, especially when you asked if I did actually love you. I...I skirted around the answer and didn't say things the way they should have been said."

Jayla didn't even notice that she had suddenly stood up and started pacing a bit as she had been speaking, still trying to come up with the words. Instead, she decided to be blunt about all of it, though she never was one to be blunt about anything.

"The actual answer to the question is...yes, I do love you. I figure you gathered that with all that we said in that cavern, but it still needs saying. But..." she went and sat back down, looking at him. "Even though I'm guessing you figured that out a while ago, my feelings were never...acknowledged. I won't be able to get past it if how I feel is never fully taken care of."

She stopped herself, realizing that she was going far to into her own emotions than she wanted too. As many times as she had told herself that this wasn't going to happen, she could feel tears welling in her eyes and whispered to herself, "No...not this, not now."

Arnet had stayed quiet while Rollands' feelings came gushing out, and he watched patiently as she paced back and forth why confessing her love for him. When she had finished, and that old, blasted silence came creeping in, he leaned forward and placed the still full teacup on the coffee table in front of him.

"Well then," he said without a hint of sarcasm, condescension or mocking, "Do you feel better to get that off your chest?"

Turning back to look at him after collecting her thoughts, she stood for a minute just looking and then nodded.

"I'm sorry I did it that way. I didn't know of any other way of doing it. It didn't feel right just leaving you a letter or a recorded message. I didn't mean to keep it bottled up."

Jayla wasn't sure how to gauge his expression or what he thought of what she was saying. She went back to her seat and just stared at the tea still sitting in her own cup.

There were a myriad of ways he could react to her outburst, and most of them would have gone very badly indeed. At a moment like this all he could think of was Warp and that Vulcan recitation he would chant whenever things got emotionally rough. He had never bought into that particular philosophy, but it was looking better now than it ever had.

"Jayla," he said, trying to get her to look up from her teacup. "Is that how you really feel? I'm not angry, hurt, disappointed or anything else by what you just said or how you said it. I just want you to look me in the eye and tell me that's how you feel."

Hearing the fact that he wasn't angry or hurt or anything by what she said, she managed to get herself to look up from her teacup and look him in the eye.

"It is how I feel. It's how I've felt for a while I just didn't know how to tell you. I guess I was scare of your reaction to it."

"And I don't blame you. Half the time I don't know how I'll react to things like this," he said. "I do wish you had told me sooner. I would have ... well I quite frankly don't know what I would have done, but I would have made bloody sure that I didn't cause you a single iota of unnecessary grief," he said, doing his best to maintain eye contact and not retreat behind the callousness he had built up over the years. Most times he didn't care that he was too direct, harsh or snarky. But this one of the few situations where he wanted to make sure he didn't leave any pain in his wake.

"I know I should have. I tend to keep things bottled up and have been told by multiple people that it isn't a good thing to do. Guess they were right. I didn't mean to push everything out like that all at once. Frankly, I should have said it down in the cavern." She looked down just for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts, then looked back up, knowing that he was trying to keep the eye contact.

"I never believed you wanted to cause me any grief. A lot of this was me keeping things to myself when there was no reason too. I..." she sighed, "I get nervous when talking about these type of things, I never know what the outcome will end up being."

"Well then," he said at last, his own nervousness starting to come to the surface. "Now that you have told me, and everything is out, what do you we do now?"

She wrung her hands together and shook her head, "I was sort of hoping you would have an idea for that. I didn't expect honestly for you to still be here after everything that I said."

"Well, I'm sorry to disappoint," he said. It was quite literally the only thing that came to mind. Unfortunately, it also ushered in another period of increasingly awkward silence.

"I am actually sorry, you know," he finally said, "For so many things. But most of all ... that I can't love you the way that you deserve. I mean, here we are, you've borne your heart to me, you've made me what looks like some rather tasty tea, and all I can think about is that I don't want to hurt you ... except that deep in my heart of hearts I can't seem to feel the same way you do. If that hurts you, I'm sorry again, but lying will only hurt you worse."

"I'd never ask you to lie to yourself or to me about your feelings, it isn't fair to have you do that. You don't have to think that you hurt me, because you haven't. I think the problem was I held out hope for something that wasn't actually there, and never was there. I wouldn't ask you to attempt to return something that isn't there."

After another moment silence that started to become awkward again, she actually managed to get a small smile to cross her face. "The only thing I ask is that we don't lose what we already do have. The friendship that we've already formed, I wouldn't want to lose that. It's...it is one of the strongest friendships that I have on board."

"I think I can manage that if you can," he said. A pause, and then. "Can you manage it?

With a nod, "I think that I can. I'd rather stay close friends then lose anything we already have. Should make our conversations a little less awkward as well."

"As if anything can do that," he said standing up and offering his hand. "Then it's agreed. Friends, coworkers and what not. All this ... messy business is done and behind us. A new page, as it were."

Smiling, she realized that even though this whole thing started as an emotional roller-coaster, she felt better than she had in a while. She took his hand and stood up. "A new page, for sure. Thank you for listening to me ramble on for however long that was. It was needed, that is for sure."

"One is glad to be of service." He smiled, giving her a firm handshake before letting go, not wanting to let the contact last too long. "See you on the bridge, I suppose."

A pause. A brief moment's consideration.

"That is, of course, unless you feel like a working dinner. Lots of paperwork for an executive and second officer on this ship, and I, for one, am just simply craving a properly prepared steak."

Raising an eyebrow, then smirking, she nodded, "That actually sounds extremely delicious. Besides, I was going to sit and read reports all night and probably not even eat dinner. So, steak and work, sounds like a plan. Wherever you feel like having the steaks, lead the way."

"Well, as it turns out, I happen to have a rather spacious office that is perfect for this sort of work. And, I believe Jim is more than capable of rounding up a perfectly cook meal for the ship's leading officers."

"Then I say we call Jim up and attempt to enjoy the rest of the day that we have, even though we'll be working."

"Agreed."

It was only hours later, after a thoroughly enjoyable meal and work session, that the realization hit him.

He never actually drank any of that tea.
Kris: SLA Council Moderator
USS Lionheart First Officer (XO): Commander Christine Sterling
USS Potemkin Second Officer (2O) & Chief Science Officer (CSO): Commander Jayla Rollands
USS Mercutio Tactical Officer (TAC): First Lieutenant Brielle Jayde
Starbase 27 Chief Science Officer (CSO): Lieutenant Commander Nayeli Behar
SS Heimdall Medical & Employee Relations: Catrina (Cat) Kali Tendai
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