|Crew of the USS Astraeus|
|Lieutenant Carter Greyson|
:: Carter entered the room and had a seat at the desk across from the good counselor. Their first meeting in Ten-Forward had been totally awkward, but somehow he couldn’t get around the fact this counseling session was probably going to be similarly awkward. oO This is to deal with the tactical console and request to transfer to engineering, not the fact you think she’s hot. Oo ::
:: Raissa looked up, surprise briefly crossed her expression before she masked it. She was so lost in her thoughts surrounding recent events she actually hadn’t heard him enter the room. She forced a smile, she remember seeing him on the bridge during the situation with the Mercury. He had been tense but had handled it. She could only hope that her own pitiful performance up there wouldn’t affect how he viewed her ability as a counselor. ::
Moonsong: Ah, Mr...uh…. Greyson. Thank you for coming. ::she rose from her desk and gestured to the two comfortable chairs to the side:: Why don’t we sit over there? I find it much easier to talk without a desk between people.
:: He nodded and got up to have a seat in one of the comfier chairs, taking a breath to relax himself. Unlike his roomie Chythar, he actually seemed to relax fairly easily. Probably because he didn’t have anything to distract him, like weird unusual abilities. Although, he couldn’t help pausing to admire her beauty for a couple of seconds. ::
:: Raissa took the seat across from him and set a padd down in her lap. It took her a little effort to focus. At least the young man across from her was easy on the eyes. She mentally shook herself. She had to keep the professional distance. No matter what. ::
Moonsong: Perhaps you would like to tell me why you think you are here?
:: Greyson’s brows furrowed in a slightly confused expression, but he kept himself relaxed. He smiled faintly and replied with what seemed like a practiced neutrality he developed at the academy. oO Stay on topic. Engineering requests, tac consoles. Oo ::
Greyson: I would assume it’s to figure out if I’m suffering from PTSD when the console exploded. Fear of a relapse if it tries to eat my face. :: Beat. :: I was also instructed by Captain Egan Manno and Commander Core to discuss a desire to transfer to engineering.
Moonsong: :: she wasn’t aware of how she chewed her bottom lip as she considered his words :: That would be quite a change. Tell me, during the mission, what was it like… being near it again?
Greyson: Commander Mei’konda saw my hands shaking while I was using it during the last mission. I’m not sure if it was the same console, but I do remember the spot where I was bleeding at CD’s feet. And later, when I spoke to Commander Core and the Captain, the engineer said the console was probably one of eighteen that had experienced a power surge before I got to it.
Moonsong: So… perhaps… because of what happened that’s what is driving you to shift departments?
:: He exhaled slowly, still keeping himself relaxed. ::
Greyson: That’s my thought, yes. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
Moonsong: ::a dark eyebrow went up :: If an engineering console blows up in your face, will you shift to another department?
:: She had a point. He honestly didn’t know. And he remembered the words that Commander Core had said regarding engineering being one of the most stressful places on a ship during a crisis. ::
Greyson: I don’t believe I will be requesting a transfer if an engineering console blows up at me, no. It’s not...I don’t understand what it was about the tactical console, but I don’t think my place is behind it. Tactical mind or not, I suspect I may have better luck working with my hands rather than my head.
Moonsong: :: nods :: I see. :: she rose to her feet :: Let’s go to the bridge.
:: The tactical officer blinked a few times. ::
Greyson: Is that necessary, Counselor?
Moonsong: :: nods encouragingly :: Yes, I think it is. I need to observe you in the environment that is causing the issues for you.
:: Based on his reactions when he was on the bridge, standing at that console, she suspected he didn’t have a case of PTSD. His reaction to a stressful incident wasn’t as severe as it could have been. ::
:: He blinked again, nervous about going onto the bridge to stare at the console that had become the reason he was worshiping Chythar as a savior -- because his life had been in danger since something on the bridge attempted to murder him. Or at least, it went boom in his face. ::
Greyson: Yes, ma’am. As you wish. :: and he stood up slowly, walking over to the door and extending his hand. :: After you.
:: Raissa nodded at him as she walked past him ::
Moonsong: You’ll be fine, ensign.
:: She led the way out of the counseling offices and to the turbolift. As she stood beside him she couldn’t help but notice how tall he was. She was tall herself and she had an old fashioned tendency to appreciate a man who was taller. ::
(( Turbolift ))
:: Carter looked nervous. Tense. He didn’t want to go to the bridge during his off-hours, but by the same token didn’t feel that he could actually set foot on the bridge again while he was off duty. Nervous. He swallowed hard, not sure what to say. Just in quiet contemplation. Awkward silence. He eventually lowered his gaze to the ground and thought to himself oO If it wasn’t for her calm demeanor, I probably wouldn’t be doing this without someone ordering me to do it… Oo ::
:: Raissa didn’t find the silence awkward. She was as comfortable with silence as she was with talking. Although the small confines of the turbolift made her very aware of Greyson’s presence. She wondered if he was aware of the effect he had on people. She glanced at his expression. He appeared to be oblivious so probably not. ::
(( Bridge ))
:: Unfortunately it was a short trip from Deck 9 to the bridge and she forced herself to step out of the turbolift. She turned and focused on Greyson... ::
Moonsong: :: she kept her voice soothing:: It’s all right, ensign. :: It was like coaxing a baby chick to her hand. A very tall baby chick. :: You can do this.
:: Greyson swallowed hard and stepped reluctantly out onto the bridge. Glancing around and finding no other officers except the night shift, he stepped over to his tactical console. He glanced down at it with paranoia, forcing himself not to cringe or jump back from it. ::
Greyson: Not looking forward to it...
Moonsong: ::she nodded noticing he was able to walk directly to the tactical console. She could easily read his tension:: What are you feeling?
Greyson: Paranoia. Tension. Fear, maybe. Um...Fear at this thing suddenly deciding to blow up again? Uncertainty of the next 8 seconds that I will be looking up into CD’s eyes with medical teal over me and blood everywhere… :: His voice nearly cracked at the end, like he was truly scared of this thing. ::
:: Raissa watched him carefully. She had to gage how far he would be willing to push himself past the fear. If he couldn’t do it, there would be no other option but for him to be transferred. It could be debilitating enough to affect his career in Starfleet. ::
Moonsong: :: Her voice was as calm and soothing as possible as she stood beside him :: The fear is normal. It hurt you. Very badly. :: She laid her hand on the console :: It’s how you handle the fear that is important.
:: Carter’s eyes closed as he silently counted to eight. His breathing slowed during that count, as though he was gauging his actions. Or counting down his lifespan. Then he opened his eyes and glanced around, still on the bridge. Still in one piece. Still standing next to the Counselor Moonsong and the console. The console was still in one piece. He glanced down at it. And blinked for several seconds. ::
Greyson: Go on...tell me I’m paranoid.
Moonsong: :: she answered him seriously :: You are paranoid.
Greyson: What would you suggest, then?
Moonsong: There is nothing wrong with healthy paranoia. The reason Starfleet exists is because the Federation is paranoid. What I want you to realize is that you have a choice. You have to decide who is in control. Is it you or is it this console? :: her hand seemed to move across the surface in a caress :: You must choose if you want to allow this aspect of paranoia affect and control you. That means allowing it to control the direction of your life. Something like this can affect all aspects of your life including your career. :: She waited for his reaction. Often people would become angry at something that stood in the way of their dreams. ::
:: He closed his eyes and considered her words. Considered Commander Core’s words about offering to help him finish the engineering program through Starfleet Academy. Considered his position at this console. Considered the past, the present, and the future. His future; where did he belong? In Starfleet, yes -- engineer or tactical? Both hands gradually clenched to fists, and he opened his eyes slowly to meet her gaze. ::
Greyson: I don’t want to give it that power. I think...I truly believe that I need the extra training so I don’t run or shy away from exploding consoles. Commander Core has offered to help me do that. I’m inclined to take him up on that offer.
Moonsong: :: she nodded :: Knowing how something works can often go a long way to giving you a sense of control.
:: Raissa looked down to where her hand was on the console. After her console refresher on the Battle Bridge, she had a good idea what did what. She deliberately and incorrectly started a level one diagnostic that would lock the damned thing up for hours of confusion ::
:: Carter’s ears perked for a moment and he glanced down at the console as it beeped. He took a breath to calm his shaking hands, which were twitchy from paranoia and the anger he felt at the blasted contraption. He blinked for a moment before his hands flew across the surface to stop the diagnostic loop. He managed to stop it before the console locked. ::
Moonsong: :: her voice was a soft caress :: Who is in charge, Carter?
Greyson: :: blinked at her use of his given name, noting the position of her hand on the console; the shape of her hand’s slender fingers nearing the buttons necessary to lock the console into a state of uselessness. :: In charge of which? :: Beat. :: Between me and the tech? I am.
Moonsong: It’s not the console. It’s fear. If fear is in charge and if you can’t get past it, you don’t belong here. :: sometimes the truth was harsh but necessary. ::
:: Greyson’s eyes narrowed once again. oO Ouch… Oo He was more angry with the console than at her; she wanted to help him. The console wanted to blow up at him. It already had once. ::
Greyson: No it isn’t. :: He just watched her now, as though waiting for something bad to happen. Again. Yet her expression was calm, almost serene as she looked up at him ::
Moonsong: It won’t be easy or quick. You’ll need to work to push past this. But I think it’s possible for you to succeed. You have fear aversion which is natural. But I don’t think you have the more serious PTSD.
:: Raissa paused a moment debating on sharing something that would help him, she found herself surprised how his focused gaze on her made butterflies wake up in her stomach. She quickly picked something innocent from when she was a teenager. ::
Moonsong: When I was younger I was thrown by a horse. They are large and have teeth and hooves. He broke my leg. What do you think I did?
:: Greyson’s gaze softened a bit, his hands gradually unclenched. The anger had faded, for the moment. As he pondered over what he thought she did, he had an idea of what she was getting at. ::
Greyson: You avoided them for a while, then once you got over the fear you tried to get back on the horse’s back. Maybe not that horse, but a horse. Right?
Moonsong: :: she chuckled dryly :: Almost. My grandfather took away my crutches, carried me down to the stable and put me back on Demon’s back. I had a choice. Hold on and take control or end up with my face in the dirt again.
:: His eyes closed for a few seconds as he considered her words. He found he like the sound of her laughter. Then he nodded faintly as he opened them. ::
Greyson: I understand. And I belong in Starfleet. May take me time to get over it, but I belong in this uniform.
::She nodded and then made a note on her padd ::
Moonsong: There is one more thing I want you to do for me. :: she pointed to the engineering console behind them. ::
:: He glanced over at the engineering console she indicated, then turned his gaze back to her with a raised eyebrow. ::
Greyson: What’s that? I mean, I know it’s an engineering console, but what do you want me to do?
Moonsong: :: she cocked her head to the side :: Go to it. If you’re serious about transferring…
:: He looked at the console again, then strode over to it. He needed this opportunity to remove his fear of exploding consoles. He needed the knowledge to prevent this from happening to him, or anyone else, again. Commander Core had said as much when they spoke. ::
Moonsong: Have a seat. This could be your new duty station.
:: He sat at the terminal as she said, taking a few breaths. He wasn’t shaky, his paranoia slowly ebbing away. ::
Moonsong: What would happen if you had to reconfigure it to act as a tactical console?
:: He didn’t have to think long, as that was something he did know from his days in engineering classes. One of the easier reconfigurations. For him, anyway. ::
Greyson: Open it up, swap a couple isolinear chips, then reconfigure the controls to function as they do on a tac console. Why?
Moonsong: Would you fear it was going to blow up in your face?
:: There was a pause. One that he reconsidered that day on the bridge. Then finally, he spoke in a calm voice, his tone filled with conviction. ::
Greyson: No. As you said, knowing how something works can go a long way toward granting the sense of control I am seeking.
Moonsong: :: she smiled as she stood next to him :: I think you’ll be fine, ensign. I can say you are fit for duty. It’ll take time, but I am confident you can handle the fear and eventually conquer it. I don’t see any reason for you to see me any further about this.
:: He gave a faint nod, and smiled softly at her. Part of him wanted to thank her with a touch, but instead, like a gentleman, he smiled faintly and forced words instead. ::
Greyson: Thank you, Counselor.
Moonsong: :: She found herself smiling back at him instinctively. He had such a nice smile :: You’re welcome, Ensign Greyson. :: with that she turned away and headed toward the turbolift. ::
:: He followed her in. ::
(( Turbolift ))
Greyson: Deck 9.
:: He wanted to head back to his quarters, think about the strange feelings she had awoken within him. He did still feel the anger, but there was something else he couldn’t explain. An unknown emotion to him. Attraction, maybe? ::
:: Raissa glanced at him from beneath her dark lashes. She was trying to get her wayward reactions under control. She reminded herself of the the first time she had talked to him in the lounge. He wanted to talk like people but that hadn’t lasted long. It was as if he couldn’t wait to get away from her. Like many, no doubt he felt all conversations were a counseling sessions and reacted accordingly. She thought about the professional ethics she had to adhere to. They weren’t just to protect the patients. But to protect the counselors from having their own emotions tromped on when the patient moved on. ::
:: Greyson glanced up at the ceiling. ::
Greyson: Computer, halt turbolift. :: He paused. Took a slow breath, and then spoke again as he met her gaze. His own eyes had softened slightly from the angry glare that he gave the console while they were on the bridge. :: Our...last conversation, in Ten Forward...ended rather abruptly. This conversation about the console has helped, but...is it weird that you seem to have stirred another emotion in me besides the anger overcoming the fear at the console?
:: She was surprised that he halted the turbolift. And then doubly surprised at his words. She looked up at him, feeling warm color touch her face ::
Moonsong: :: she kept her tone neutral :: Possibly gratitude. This is common and acceptable, Ensign. Don’t worry. That, like the fear, will pass as well.
Greyson: :: shaking his head :: No, it’s...I can’t explain why it doesn’t… :: He bit his lip, realizing he probably wasn’t making any sense. He took another breath and tried again. :: It’s not gratitude. It’s a sense of attraction, I guess.
:: Raissa felt her face grow hot filling her face with a becoming color. She gripped her padd tightly with both hands as butterflies in her stomach proceeded to have a wild party. ::
Moonsong: Ah… thank you for the compliment, Ensign Greyson. I’m…. flattered. :: and felt like an idiot for not seeing any of the signs. She was so busy trying to suppress her own attraction to him, she missed anything hint of interest from him. :: I’m told… this can be a common occurrence between counselors and patients. Most of the time it fades when the sessions end and you spend more time with others.
:: Greyson’s eyes lit for a moment at the flattery remark, then he felt a rock hit his mood when she said it was a common effect. He sighed heavily and gave a faint nod. ::
Greyson: Computer, resume.
Moonsong: :: her voice was abrupt :: Computer halt. :: The turbolift had barely moved several feet. :: Ensign, it is important that you understand what the situation is..
:: Raissa took a deep breath before she looked up to meet his eyes with her own. This was going to be a lot harder than she realized. ::
Moonsong: It has been my experience that people are often grateful to counselors for their help. And…. I know I’m not ugly…. All my focus… is on the patient and what they need. Everyone likes that. To be the focus of attention. To have someone to pay attention to what they think and feel. But it’s one-sided and it’s never returned. We learn fast to accept that because that’s not what a relationship is.
:: She took a deep breath and let it out. This was so difficult. ::
Moonsong: If we don’t learn the rule…. we’re no good as counselors. :: she shook her head slightly :: If you recall the last time we spoke, you couldn’t seem to get away from me fast enough.
:: He tried to wrap his mind around what was being said. The thought that he was in love seemed so...real, or strange. He didn’t know what it was. Maybe it was gratitude and transference. It didn’t matter -- he felt the same way about Chythar. And it was bothering him. He didn’t know how to explain it, and it would probably make things worse if he did. Yet, she was a counselor who could probably help him through it. ::
Greyson: Last time, I wanted to keep the conversation going but you didn’t seem to want to until after you reviewed my file. :: Beat. :: Okay, so let’s assume for the moment I’m not in love with you; and that this is all just transference and hero-worship. I have the same feelings towards Chythar, because he saved my life. When I spoke with N-- :: Beat. oO Correct yourself, derpy. Oo :: Commander Calderan, I let my feelings for him slip out into the conversation. She advised me to be direct and ask about Cross; his former...um...interest, I guess...of a different ship. Am I experiencing transference towards you both? Gratitude that masquerades as love at first sight?
:: Raissa looked away, her professional facade slipping a little. First he shocked her by using the word love. They hardly knew each other. More precisely, he knew absolutely nothing about her. Her heart sank as he went on to say he felt the same way about Skyfire. ::
Moonsong: :: She took a deep breath and let it out. She set her gaze firmly on the wall next to him. :: The fact that you feel the same way about Dr. Skyfire, that we both… helped you in some way… oO Try to make sense. Oo. I… I don’t know what love is. ::she let out a shaky breath struggling for words. She couldn’t ignore that it hurt a little :: But this isn’t about me. It’s about you and how you feel. Have you talked to Dr. Skyfire? You may be able to resolve what you are… experiencing once you’ve done so.
:: He shook his head. He had only come to the conclusion his feelings toward CD was possibly something more than hero worship during the mission, during his “babysitting” of Dr. Rahman. Then again, while they were on the bridge just now...he wasn’t thinking about CD. He was thinking about Moonsong’s apparent nervousness while she sat alongside the captain as she tried to hide it from everyone during the mission. ::
Greyson: Negative. Only reached the conclusion while everyone was on the away mission. Haven’t had much of a chance to talk to him since they got back.
Moonsong: Th-then I would advise you, as your counselor, to talk to him. The longer you avoid it, the longer you’ll have to deal with unresolved issues with him. See how he feels. You might be lucky and he shares your… regard.
:: Carter’s brow furrowed once more, this time in genuine confusion. He honestly didn’t know how to approach the question with his roommate savior. And he was so baffled he stood there in silence as he thought about her words. ::
Moonsong: When in doubt…. just tell him how you feel. oO Great. Time to spew cliches.Oo
Greyson: :: nodded faintly :: Alright…
:: Raissa looked up at him. For a insane instant she considered leaning up to kiss him. Her face heated at the thought and the butterflies were having a hoedown. She swallowed hard. ::
Moonsong: I’m… I’m glad I was able to help.
:: He felt the silence, closing his eyes as he let himself envision what life would be like if she wasn’t his counselor. He saw her blushing, and he wanted to act on it. oO She is cute when she blushes. Oo ::
Greyson: No problem...shall we resume?
:: Raissa’s face flushed as she looked away from him. ::
oO Damnit get a grip, girl. It’s not you he wants. O.
Moonsong: Of course. Computer… resume.
:: It was only a matter of moments before the lift doors opened on Deck 9. ::
Moonsong: Good luck, Ensign.
:: He nodded faintly as the doors slid open. ::
Greyson: Thanks. I’m going to need it.
:: He gave her one last smile, then headed towards his quarters. He felt like he didn’t have many choices. He felt like he had to talk to CD, and knew that was going to be like a bad trip to the dentist. Due to the uncertainty, he didn’t know what to expect from his feelings. Let alone what the heck he was going to say to the good doctor. ::
Ensign Carter Greyson (PNPC)
Tactical Officer/Engineering Requestee
USS Garuda NCC 73809
Simmed by: Lieutenant JG Skyfire
Ensign Raissa Moonsong
USS Garuda NCC 73809
|Ensign Carter Greyson
USS Garuda NCC-73089
Decisions and Commitments