SIM:Heath and Toni Reconcile
|Embassy Duronis II|
|Rear Admiral Toni Turner|
Ships Commanding Officer-USS Thunder-A
Commanding Officer-USS Thunder
Commanding Officer-USS Resolution
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:: After a long day at the holodeck Zoo, Heath and Toni agreed that a light dinner and bed was in order for their tired, and somewhat cranky daughter.::
::After they ate, Toni stayed in the living area, while Heath told Vee a bedtime story, allowing them the quality time she felt they both needed together. Curling up on one end of the couch, she kept thinking about all that had happened in the past year, and how the events had changed their lives. The most decisive event had come when he was transferred to the Steadfast. Until that happened they were on their way to reconciliation in spite of the baby she had been carrying. When the Steadfast was decommissioned, she had hopes of him returning to the Challenger, but when he was sent to SB118 Ops, she had all but stopped hoping they could ever get back together.::
::When Heath came out of Vee's room, he was grinning - the quintessential image of a proud father. Toni smiled and motioned toward the other end of the couch, then poured him a drink from the decanter on the coffee table.::
Turner: ::holding the drink out to him:: I thought you could use this after the day we’ve had.
:: Taking the drink, Heath huffed out a sigh and sat down on the other side of the sofa, rubbing his tired eyes with the pad of his thumb and forefinger.::
West: Definitely, thank you.
:: It went down well, he hadn’t really drank since he’d stopped working in Mission Control. Heath raised a questioning eyebrow at Toni with a grin.::
West: When did she get so self-righteous?
Turner: ::laughs:: She has a way of cutting to the chase. Never a dull moment around here.
West: She didn’t get it from me, that’s for sure.
:: He leant forward and placed the glass on the coffee table, leaning his elbows on his knees. For a few seconds, he wasn’t really sure what to say as the silence mulled around them. Should he bring it up? Should they leave it as it was? It had been strange being with his family again but on the other hand it felt incredibly normal, as though he’d missed out on a big part of it while he was elsewhere.::
:: He relaxed back into the sofa, his head resting on the back of it and he closed his eyes.:: West: So, what happens now? Turner: What do you mean? West: Between us, Toni. ::he looked over at her:: What happens between us? Is this all just for Vee’s sake? Give her what she wants while I’m here? <nowiki>::She poured herself a drink, mulling over his questions, then took a sip. She had a feeling this was going to be a difficult conversation, and she needed every brace she could get in case it went badly::
Turner: ::softly:: Heath, I have the same questions as you do... but no matter what has happened to us, I wouldn't do that to you, and certainly not to her.
:: Breathing out the start of a laugh, he looked down to the glass on the table.::
West: That’s not the same scotch, I take it.
::Feeling the sting of his words as he was referring to the Scotch Brikk and she had drank that had resulted in the unintentional conception of a child. She dropped her head. They cut deep, as she thought he would never forgive her. Looking up at him again she shook her head negatively::
Turner: No, Heath, it's not. I hope you were joking about that.
:: He smiled.:: West: Yes, I can joke about it, because it stopped bothering me a while ago. You know, when I first got transferred to the Starbase I really wanted you to be happy with Brikk, I really did, because if I couldn’t make you happy then he could. ::he leant forward again:: When I found out you’d lost the baby… ::his hand raised then dropped back to the sofa:: I don’t know what I felt.
:: The Marine tongued his cheek. What had he felt? He’d never actually thought about it. He’d been so busy on the Starbase, doing this, that and the other that he’d thought of Toni, thought of Vee and not much else.::
West: Regret. Regret that it wasn’t mine. Regret that he was there when I wasn’t. Regret that Vee would grow up loving her little brother and I couldn’t do the same. ::he bowed his head:: I regret a hell of a lot of things, Toni and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I can’t ask you to forgive me for all of them.
Turner: I have regrets too, plenty of them, and I can't ask you to forgive me either. We can't change what happened or what we did, or didn't do, but if we still care enough about each other, we still have a chance to put it all behind us, that is, if that's what you want.
::She took in a breath, holding it until he spoke, almost afraid of what he would say.::
:: If she was afraid, he was quaking. Silence hung between them and in the few minutes that it did, their eyes trained on one another. It was too late to say sorry and mean it. There was only one way they could go together from here and that was forward. If they wanted to, either one could walk away now and yes, there’d be pain, there’d be hurt, but it would be nothing compared to what would happen if this didn’t work.::
::It was time to lay it on the line, and she did without a hint of hesitation.::
Turner: I still love you, Heath, why would I not want to try? And I don't mean, try for Vee, I mean to try for us, because if we can pull it together it will not only be for our happiness, but her's too.
:: He didn’t say anything at first, just let the statement dwell in his mind for a second. Finally, his eyes drew a long look into hers.::
West: Then we try again. We pull it together and we try again.
Turner: I would like that, Heath.
:: The distance between them seemed to narrow slightly. Heath knew that this was what he wanted, he had done for a long time, to keep his family together but it wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly. He looked to Toni and smiled gently.::
West: We take it slow. I’ll still be on the Starbase.
::As much as Toni wanted for him never to leave again, she knew that it was inevitable.::
Turner: I know, and right now, I'm at a point in my career ... well, a transfer to your starbase is impossible too.
:: He put his hand on the divide between them, the sofa that separated them with the intentions of closing the gap. Instead, his hand remained there.::
::Her heart made her want to be in his arms at that moment, but it was no time to muddle the issues they faced with passion. It seemed more important to talk it out and find solutions with a clear head, and honesty.::
West: I’ve been transferred back and forth since I came back from… ::his eyes closed for all of a second before opening as the memories flashed over:: …the edge. It wouldn’t be reasonable to transfer again so soon.
Turner: I know, and it's time you had a chance to concentrate on your career. So far you have taken a backseat to mine, and I want better for you.
:: Unlike the previous evening or that morning, the moments of fleeting kisses and a prohibited love didn’t reappear. This time, they were being their adult, Officer, Starfleet selves and thinking clearly about the situation that they had put themselves in. They loved one another but expressing that love at that moment in time didn’t seem… logical. Heath picked up the glass from the table and finished it off with one down swig.::
West: Could this be harder?
::The question would normally have caused her to laugh, but the irony in it was far from humorous.::
Turner: ::quietly:: No, I don't think that it could get any more difficult, but I want things right between us in every way, so down the line we won't have any more regrets.
::Her hand fell next to his on the couch, wanting him to take it. They'd made the most difficult decision they had ever had to make, and although she knew it was the right one, she wouldn't make the first move toward affection until she was sure that there was nothing else to clear the air between them.::
Turner: What about Vee? Do you want to take her with you for awhile, or do you think you will be able to cope with her and your duties too?
:: He debated the connotations of her question. It would be better for him to have Vee on the Starbase but even Heath had to admit that the rambunctious child would rather be with her mother. Taking a moment to really consider the option, he shook his head and carefully moved his hand over hers.::
West: I’ll take Jax. Vee should stay with you.
::She smiled. She had hoped he would see it that way, but Vee was his daughter as much as her's and she wanted him to know that the option was open to him, and that she trusted him with the only precious thing in her life, besides him.:: Turner: ::nodding:: She will feel better knowing Jax is watching after you. <nowiki>:: The small, affectionate gesture was capped off by Heath standing, walking over and kneeling down on the floor in front of her. His left hand touched her face and brushed his thumb over her cheek, his fingertips coming to rest just below her right ear. He gazed up into her blue eyes and for a moment saw his reflection in both.::
West: I do love you, Toni. I will always love you.
::Her eyes misted. She had thought she would never hear him say that again, and she couldn't hold back the emotions that they brought.::
Turner: I love you too, Heath. I never stopped. You are in my heart always.
:: He reached up and nudged her nose with his. Looking into her eyes, the Marine leant inwards and kissed her lips softly, drawing back. It was as though he was asking for her permission to be everything she wanted him to be again; father to her child, husband to herself and most importantly a friend, a confident and a lover.::
::Suddenly Toni realized that all the pain of being without him was over, and they were embarking on a new segment to their relationship. A bigger challenge, but one with a stronger, more meaningful bond than they had ever known.::
Turner: Heath, are we doing the right thing?
:: His hand dropped to her leg and his warm lips sought out her throat. They stood up together as he trailed several warming kisses from her collar bone to her right ear and anointed the point behind her earlobe with his bottom lip. He whispered softly, gently and enticingly.::
West: Let me show you.
::Her hands sought his, then slipped hers into the warmth of them, pulling them around her waist and moving closer to him.:: Turner: ::whispering softly:: Yes, show me. <nowiki>::She had no misgivings. They had been meant for each other from the first time they saw each other. He was everything to her and the only one who ever made her feel complete. Now he was in her life again for always and forever.::
:: She wasn’t inside his clothes, but she was as close as she could get. Heath closed his eyes and just “felt” all the feelings that had stayed in the remote recesses of his mind finally coming back out. His hands found her hips, hers going to the back of his neck.::
Turner: ::breathlessly brushing her lips across his:: I want you.
:: His eyes remained closed but his lips touched hers, feeling the rush of warmth and, as a breath cascaded over his lips, his next words were a challenge, an invitation and a basic instinct. Taking her hand in his, he tugged her towards his temporary bedroom, his eyes not leaving hers and for the first time in a long while, both of them could truly say they felt whole again.::
- JP By
- Major Heath West
- Diplomatic Envoy
- Starbase 118 Ops
- Cmdr Toni Turner
- Commanding Officer
- USS Resolution NCC-78145