SIM:German Galven - Surprising Vulnerabilities
((Rosek & Galven’s Quarters, USS Astraeus))
Lael had been laying on the bed staring at the ceiling of their shared quarters for the better part of an hour and was still no closer to grasping what she’d learned during her latest visit to Sickbay. Apparently, she’d forgotten in the chaos of tracking Lenik down and had gotten a shocking reminder when Dassa had checked her chart. Naturally, she’d been a bit nervous when Dassa had brought up the need for standard procedure to check her out. Even knowing that the possibility existed hadn’t fully prepared her for the reality.
She ran her hands through her blonde hair, tugging at it and worrying her lower lip. A thousand thoughts were racing through her mind and she hadn’t quite decided how she felt about the bombshell yet. Yes, she’d thought about this and had even daydreamed about it a bit. But this soon? She was still so young. Was she really ready for this kind of responsibility?
German had just come back from writing down his mission report after a long day on the bridge. Not that it was a bad long day, he quite enjoyed working and loved seeing the rainbow streaks of stars and cosmos fly by as he occasionally would glance out the viewscreen when a particular nebula or two was on the monitor that he wanted to study more. There was even a fog of dark matter that he was quickly able to determine what had faltered their communications array.
Before he arrived at his and Lael’s shared quarters, he had ran by the kitchen in the Pagratti Lounge to get a few ingredients that he learned to make without using the replicator. He came through the sliding door with a bag in tow. He set it down on the kitchen counter and then put the desired food in the chilled box he had gotten during a retro holodeck assignment he created for the students and cadets, then headed to the bedroom to change his clothes when he saw Lael on the bed.
Galven: Hey honey. Wait till what I have to tell you about what happened today on the bridge. Are you hungry?
Food had been the last thing on her mind until German brought it up. She was still feeling a touch queasy, but a chicken salad sounded absolutely amazing right now. Not wanting to set off the nausea again, she rose slowly and moved up the bed so she was leaning against the pillows. Once she was comfortable, she met German’s gaze and offered a wane smile.
Rosek: I am a bit hungry. ::pauses and pats the bed:: There’s something we should talk about first though.
She’d been nervous about this conversation for two days. She was fairly certain how he’d react, but she was still coming to terms with the change that was headed their way. As excited as she was at the prospect of becoming a mom, there was so much going on.
Rosek ::worries her lower lip:: I wasn’t feeling well a couple of days ago so I went to Sickbay.
He glanced at her more carefully and noticed that she wasn’t really being her usual self. He tilted his head and approached the spot where she had patted on the bed and he sat down with his legs draped over the side. Usually when there was something she needed to talk about, it meant that her day on the bridge or most likely one of the younger cadets had irritated her to no end. He placed his hand on top of hers and presented her with a warm smile.
Galven: What’s going on? Was there an issue with one of the junior officers? I’m going to assume it was Bee again. Right?
Oh hell. The couple of butterflies that had been fluttering around in her abdomen turned into a whole kaleidoscope. She inhaled, then exhaled shakily as she met German’s gaze. Why was this making her so nervous? She knew German wouldn’t be anything less than thrilled. It wasn’t exactly how she’d planned for this to go, but she’d learned after four and a half years in Starfleet that nothing really ever went exactly according to plan.
She paused, losing her nerve, and instead reached for the PADD on the bedside table. Entering a series of commands, she pulled up the file she was looking for and offered it to German. She then sat with her legs crossed, waiting for his response.
German didn’t grab the PADD right away because he was so confused as to why Lael was acting this way. It might have been something to do with some two missions ago when she had the incident with Lenik and it was allowing her anxiety and PTSD to flare up. He brought his hand to hold hers and squeezed it and then picked up the PADD. He tilted it horizontally trying to figure out what he was looking, but then it dawned on him as he arched both his eyebrows. The Denobulan felt light headed a bit and had to regain his bearings after he realized his head was swaying a bit.
Galven: This is a sonogram, isn’t it? ::looks down again:: Is… Are you.. ::points to her and then the PADD:: You’re pregnant?
Rosek: ::gaze drops to her hands and murmurs:: Figures that your mother knew before me or the doctors did.
Galven: What? She knew before me. Even you? Anything else?
Rosek: ::pauses:: Just something she said to me. I thought she was imagining things at first. But then the fatigue and the morning sickness started. It took me feeling faint during a conversation with Cadet Rulix on the bridge for me to finally visit Sickbay about it.
That much was true about his mother. She did have her ways of knowing what was up even before somebody else knew. He could barely get into any trouble at school without her knowing about it. But that didn’t matter now. Lael was pregnant. Which meant… He let out a quick gasp and then looked down at the sonogram again.
Galven: I… We’re going to be parents. ::looks up and smiles, but then frowns a little:: Doesn’t look like you’re too thrilled. Is what happened during the Montreal’s last mission bothering you again?
Rosek: ::smiles:: Don’t get me wrong. I’m over the moon. ::worries her lower lip:: It’s just a lot to take in. I only really had one female maternal role model growing up...my Aunt Louise. Mom was gone a lot and until the last year, we didn’t have that great of a relationship. I resented her for not trying harder to get dad involved in my life. ::pauses:: I don’t want to be the kind of mom that my mom was...too busy working to give me the kind of attention that would have kept me from getting into so much trouble when I was younger.
He nodded and understood her dilemma. His mom was kind of the same way although she was around a lot more than usual. Even more so than his father who was always going on some Xenobiology space trip to another different planet. It bothered him sometimes because there was never a real man to teach him what things or however things are done, but he powered through it. Just like how he was going to help Lael through this. He scooted closer to her and brushed his lips with hers and then gave her a gentle hug.
Galven: I didn’t have active parents growing up as well, but I know that we’ll damn sure be better providers. And I know for certain that my mother will hover over the child as well. God knows how overprotective she can be. Honey, we’ll get through this. God is on our side. It’s under His control.
The mention of his mother reminded her of the absence of her own family. The smile faded and she closed her eyes, sighing.
Rosek: ::murmurs:: I wish my family was here. Really miss dad and Kellan.
Galven: Well other than your dad, what is Kellan doing? Can he come with us to the Eagle Nebula? I can send him a video message right now if you like. ::picks up the PADD::
Rosek: ::shakes her head:: It’s too dangerous. Kellan is just as much of a target as dad. ::grimaces:: I can only imagine how worried Ava must be about Liam.
There wasn’t much that was going to change Lael’s mind on this one. Even if they were going to an unknown region of space, she would still be worried about them. German needed to figure out a way to change the subject or at least push the conversation elsewhere and fast because she was looking very homesick right now.
Galven: Honey, I want you to be happy. I’m still feeling like the news of us having a baby should call for something that I can cook up. I have to learn how to make food for another person now. ::smiles::
Rosek: ::smiles wanly:: Even Jon’s best attempts to teach me how to cook didn’t always end too well. At least I’m past the stage where I can boil water without burning it.
Galven: ::chuckles:: Well, now I must teach you how to cook as well. I learned from the chef at Pagratti’s. Would you interested in cooking classes? I mean I’m good with replicated food either way and without you trying to burn our quarters down. ::playfully nudges her shoulder::
Rosek: ::closes her eyes and pinches the bridge of her nose:: Maybe when I’m not struggling to keep alert to perform my duties.
He sighed and got up from the bed. He figured she’d be hungry at some point so he grabbed the bag that he got at the restaurant with all the goodies and different types of vegetables. Some meats. When he walked into the kitchen, he just stopped what he was doing and couldn’t get his mind off that they were going to be parents, but he knew that needed to be there for Lael in times like this. When she wasn’t feeling her best. He sat the food down on the counter and then walked back to the bedroom.
Galven: I know that times are--
Rosek: ::grimaces:: I’ll manage. I’ve spent my entire life taking care of myself. Dad wasn’t around, mom wasn’t around much, and Kelllan needed me to take care of him more than the other way around.
Galven: Wait though. When did it become just about you? I’m going to be here right by your side every step of the way. We’re a team and taking care of each other is what we’re going to do, honey.
She tensed a little, her gaze meeting his for a long moment. He didn’t understand. How could he possibly? It wasn’t so much about the baby so much as it was about her anxieties of who she’d be as a parent. She had an independent streak a lightyear wide and the thought of letting anyone take care of her when she could do it just fine herself was a difficult one to come to terms with. She’d never needed anyone. She still didn’t.
Staying with German was a choice. It scared her to think that she was like her mom and could walk away without looking back. She didn’t want to be like Adelynn. She didn’t want to push away when things got difficult. Yet, it didn’t take much for her become bored and move on. The thought of that happening with German...of how she could hurt him...bothered her more than she was willing to admit.
Not sure what to say, she chose to remain silent for long moments, thoughts racing around in her mind that just wouldn’t settle. The doubts were threatening to drown her.
Rosek: I--This is a lot to process.
He was going to need to talk to her another time when she had more time to process and he was going to need some time for himself as well. Lael was his first real romantic relationship and so with a pregnancy added into the mix, he needed to respect how she felt. He knew about her anxieties so when she had told him a few moments ago about not knowing much about being maternal, well he didn’t know much about being a father as well.
Galven: I know. ::sits down on the bed:: I’ve only cared for my sister because my parents were hardly around and I managed to lose her. So I’m worried that I wouldn’t be a good father. Being a first time parent… there’s a lot of unknowns out there. It’s scary.
It was getting him a little nervous, but not too worked up so he wouldn’t worry Lael about it. Although when he spoke about Arlil, it felt like he was gritting his teeth not to stumble over his words.
Galven: I don’t know what to do either.
Shifting on the bed, she turned and leaned into him, laying her head on his shoulder. Something about him being there next to her, holding her and touching her made the rest of the world fade away. As much as a part of her wanted to push away, her heart was telling her to trust German. Given her abandonment issues, trusting other people was something she’d always struggled with. Even her friendship with Chythar was mostly built on her being the strong one. With German, she didn’t have to be. It was okay for her to be vulnerable and to be uncertain.
Rosek: ::murmurs:: I love you.
He shifted as well on the bed and put a little bit of distance between them. He was feeling confused and when he was feeling excited about the news, he now felt pretty miserable. German didn’t know how to be a parent. Out of all the things that he studied in his line of work which was practically everything. Not that he was the best at it, but he knew too much about certain things, but the one thing that escaped him was being a father figure. He didn’t know how to do that. He glanced up at Lael and wondered why she would love him when he could know next to nothing about nurturing someone. He closed his hand and balled it into a fist and covered it with his other. He was feeling pretty stupid.
Galven: I don’t know why. I’m hardly ever present in here. I’m always working on the next big thing or whatever is going on in a mission. I hardly ever talk about what’s going on with my feelings. I do love you too, but I’ve never learned how to be a dad. Mine was barely around.
The intensity of his feelings combined with the physical contact meant that she couldn’t help feeling what he was feeling. She felt a sharp pang of guilt tightening in her chest as she lifted her head and raised her hand to his cheek, their gazes meeting.
Rosek: ::softly:: Hey. We’re both scared. But it’s going to be okay. Being a parent isn’t a walk in the park. We’re going to make mistakes. The important thing is that we stay focused on our child and do our best. ::smiles wanly and brushes her lips against his:: You’re going to make a great father.
His face lowered again, not really wanting to look at her right away so quickly. He knew that she was right because German tried to tell her that before, but when he finally realized that he wasn’t the smartest in parenting, he felt vulnerable enough that he was feeling weak. It wasn’t her fault. She needed things said in her voice to make herself feel better. The Denobulan learned quickly in their relationship that she was extremely independent. Days like now were a harsh reminder of that. Lael didn’t need him as much as he liked to think sometimes. She was her own provider, but he did like having to be there for her. Even if it wasn’t that much.
Galven: I wish I could say the same about you being a great mother, but that won’t help any until you see for yourself. What are we going to do now?
Rosek: ::smiles nervously:: One step at a time I guess. I--It’s not quite real yet, even with the sonogram.
Galven: Yeah, but even with yours and mine physiology, it’d be a difficult process. Do you want to go through with that? Because I know if I have an opinion on the matter it won’t make a difference.
Rosek: Hey, this isn’t just my baby. It’s our baby. Of course you have a voice in this.
That much confused the hell out of him because she just said that she always took care of herself and that she was usually the one taking care of others. He was going to need to talk to her more, but probably now wouldn’t be the best option. There was about a few minutes of silence and he met her gaze with his.
Galven: Why do you want to be with me?
A smile turned up the corners of her lips. She didn’t need a man in her life to feel fulfilled. Sure, it could be lonely sometimes, but she could manage if she needed to. These days there were all kinds of ways for a woman to have children without needing more than a biological contribution from a man. But from the moment they’d met, German had been different. He’d made her laugh and had accepted her as she was. Even knowing about her independent streak, he’d never tried to change her and she’d never felt like she had to change for him to love her.
Rosek: ::murmurs:: I don’t need you to take care of me. But I want you to. You’re the person I trust to just hold me and let me find my own way through. You never pressure me to do things your way and I always feel so safe with you. It’s okay for me to be scared because you’re there. ::grabs his hand and lays it on her abdomen:: And you’ll do the same for our child.
The feeling of his hand on her stomach made him grin. He looked down at her bare stomach and was just going through the potential memories that he would have to raise a child. No matter if they were female or male. He was feeling all kinds of emotions. More notably were nervous, anxious, yet overjoyed and thrilled. Once he was done feeling her abdomen, he took his hand away and brushed her hair with it.
Galven: I will do the same for them. And I hope that they’ll be just as strong willed as their mother. Only I hope that I’ll be able to give them good traits of my own. ::worries his lip::
She hadn’t meant to drag down the mood. She was excited about having a baby with German. The surprising news, however, had brought to the surface her old insecurities and anxieties. It would take some time and likely more frequent trips to a counselor to work through them, but she was determined to be the best mother she could to her child and that, it seemed, meant looking at what she needed to change about her attitudes and approaches for that to happen.
Rosek: ::murmurs:: Why don’t we eat in the Pagrati Lounge or the Officer’s Mess tonight? You can make me dinner another night. It’s been a long day and I think we both need some stress-free time to just be together.
Galven: ::shakes his head:: I’m not hungry anymore.
Rosek: ::pauses:: Do you need some time for yourself? I can entertain myself for awhile if you need me to.
Galven: You don’t need to remind me how much you can do for yourself. I don’t know what I need. I just don’t want you to think I’m being selfish about needing my own time to think.
The sudden shift in his mood confused her and, if she was being honest, it hurt a little. She understood why he needed it. She was the same way sometimes. It had been a risk letting herself be vulnerable with him and reaching out in a way that was uncharacteristic for her. She wasn’t at all sorry that she had. If German needed time to think, she would respect that.
Rosek: ::murmurs:: You, German Galven, are the least selfish man I know.
Galven: Thanks, but I’m hardly honest with myself until it’s times like this I need an empath to make me realize how screwed up I am. I’m not blaming you. It’s my own fault. With Counselor Cattan gone, I haven’t been able to talk much about what I’ve been feeling. Hell, I didn’t know how I was feeling. Now that we’re going to have a child together, I’m going to need to get my emotions better handled.
It was hard on her...being so selfless. Jealousy and intolerance had been her companions for so long that it took a supreme effort to see past her on perceptions of the situation and consider his perspective. He’d proven his love for her time and again. It was about time she started showing him how much faith she had in him...in them.
Rosek: ::murmurs:: You and me both. ::pauses:: If you need me to go, I won’t be upset. Just realize that just because I’m not physically with you at a given moment, that doesn’t mean you’re not always in my thoughts. I love you and will give you whatever you need. Don’t ever feel guilty about asking for something you need from me.
He glanced up at her and felt somewhat better. She was more mature than the woman he met a year ago. He recalled when she was the one stammering over words and he was the more brazen one.
((Flashback)) ((Officer’s Lounge, USS Veritas)) ((Time Index: Stardate 239508.30))
Galven: You know…::hears oldies music playing in the background:: Hey, do you care to dance? I’ll take the lead. I’ve seen the way you take a punch when distracted. ::winks::
Lael arched an eyebrow at the offer. It was probably bordering on inappropriate to accept, given that she was engaged to Jon and had feelings of a very complicated nature for Toryn on top of the fact that the man asking was at least a few ranks below her in the chain of command. But the distraction from her relationship troubles and her less-than-stellar love life was one she’d been needing.
Galven was certainly charming enough.
Rosek: ::arches an eyebrow and stands:: I’ll have you know, Mr. Galven, that I attended finishing school and am properly trained in several different styles. ::smirks:: Including a couple I learned outside of that training that I’m not sure are entirely appropriate anywhere but in a crowded club.
German took her hand and walked over to a more open area. He didn’t want them knocking over anything or anyone.
Galven: You know, you really should get that eyebrow looked at. Got a bit of a twitch! ::He spun her around with grace.:: Let’s see what you got Ms. Rosek! Be careful not to split the other side of your lip. ::He bent her over and looked down at her:: I’m not a doctor, but I could take care of that for you. ::He brought her back up:: What were those couple of moves you were talking about?
Rosek: ::bumps his shoulder playfully with hers and grins:: If I have an eyebrow twitch, it’s your fault.
Suddenly, she picked up on whispers from the other side of the room as a couple of officers glanced in her and Galven’s direction and she blushed a brilliant shade of red. People were watching...staring. It was likely they’d be the talk of the ship. She disengaged from him and cleared her throat, smoothing her uniform jacket.
Rosek: I, um--It’s getting late. ::smiles:: It was nice having someone to talk to who wouldn’t interrogate me. ::pauses:: Thank you.
Confused, he noticed her look around and he looked behind him and saw that people were looking at them and saw their mouths moving. He didn’t want the night to end so abruptly because he had such a fun night and hadn’t had one in a long time stuck in the office.
Galven: Are you sure? We could go somewhere more private?
Rosek: ::pauses:: I--German, you’re very sweet. But I’m engaged to a Human...a rather jealous Human and I’m not the type to engage in intimacy with someone else when I’m in a committed relationship. ::blushes:: I--I suppose I got caught up in the moment.
Galven: A moment that could last a little longer? ::holds her hands::
She stared at him for a long moment, her gaze dropping to her feet, worrying her lower lip. It was a nervous habit from her early years at the Academy that she’d never quite been able to completely shake. It came out most often in situations when she didn’t quite know how to react.::
Rosek: ::breathily:: I--
German saw that she was conflicted and was only trying to reassure the Al-Leyan woman he had a crush on. It wasn’t everyday a beautiful woman was staring back at him. He took both her hands again and guided her out of the club.
Galven: ::brushes her cheek lovingly:: Lael, you’re an extremely intelligent woman. We can continue having a good time?
She sucked in a sharp breath and jerked her hands from his as though burned.
Rosek: I--I have to go.
Galven: No, I’d rather you stay here with me if that’s okay. I--::half heartedly chuckles and grimaces:: I remember when you were the one all tongue tied. ::sighs::
A bright red flush crept into her cheeks at the memory. From the moment they’d met, there had been a chemistry neither one of them had been able to deny. Despite being engaged and having very complicated feelings for Toryn and Bear both, she’d found German very charming. It had confused her to no end. Her desire for a man to be entirely devoted to her had contradicted how she was behaving and it hadn’t sat well with her.
Though she still felt guilty for hurting Jon, Toryn, and Bear, a sense of peace filled her at the thought of being German’s and German’s alone. He loved her and she loved him. There was a sense of rightness to that.
Rosek: Did you want to watch a holofilm? A new action film just came out that I’ve really wanted to see.
That was something new and different German hadn’t done in a while. There was a holodeck suite on board that did show specifically movies and on certain days, an older Terran film that German thought was interesting would be on, but he never gave himself the time to do those kinds of activities.
Galven: Sure, yeah. That sounds like a good idea. I haven’t been to the movies in a transwarp minute. ::smirks::
She rolled her eyes and bumped his shoulder with hers.
Rosek: You and your time references. What am I going to do with you?
Galven: ::shrugs:: I already know what you’d do with me and the result of that will be out in about nine months. ::chuckles and winks::
Rosek: ::huffs:: Come on, you. Before I change my mind and leave you to your own devices for the night.