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My Immortal

Posted on Wed Jul 31st, 2019 @ 9:07pm by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Laena ben-Avram
Edited on on Thu Aug 1st, 2019 @ 9:11am

Mission: S1E3: Barbarians at the Gates
Location: Overwatch Station
Timeline: MD 3

It had been 24 hours since the unspeakable had happened. There was a replicator full of intoxicating beverages that might have been tantalizing to some. Akiva was no stranger to suffering. Life, it seemed, was one long series of catastrophic events after another, and he had long ago learned how to save face and cope.

Laena, for her part, was a kindred soul. Her life was a tragic crescendo that had peaked with the loss of her unborn child and the small, growing family she was to start with Akiva. Whether to drag out the present moment in eternal misery or to rip the bandage...

The two of them had sat together in silent abjection, unable to speak to one another but neither wanting to be apart. It was mutual misery that demanded company. Tears had shed until puffy eyes ran dry, where sobbing turned feeble until smothered altogether by exhaustion.

Finally, loneliness overcame the fog of grief in Akiva. He slid his hand across the sofa he shared with Laena in search of her hand. "Kallati," he said, voice hoarse and cracked. "There are no words for what has happened. There are no more tears, at least not at this hour. We may mourn for the rest of our lives, but we will do so together. Of that you have my word."

Laena just stared at him for a moment. Her red, saline eyes began to quiver at the emotional trigger for tears that just wouldn't come. Emotionally depleted, all she could do was cover her face with both hands and wail.

The first instinct Akiva had was to take her in his arms, which he tried to do. But Laena pushed herself free. "No..." She heaved a few more sobs, fighting to regain her breath. "No, there's... Akiva..." Her face contorted in grief, but she pressed on. "I have to tell you something."

Sensing the gravitas of the moment, Akiva just nodded and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. It was bittersweet to Laena, but she returned it anyway.

"Last week..." Why did this have to be so hard? Laena cleared her throat and started again. "Last week I got some good news." She had wanted to say it was great news, but it came with stipulations. "Akiva, I was accepted to the Academy."

Akiva couldn't help but smile. It still hurt. Every fight they had ever had over the future of their relationship, from their budding courtship clear to the present day, came rushing back to him in a flood. This was no lover's quarrel, though. It was the backhand from the cruel hand of fate that wouldn't stop hitting. "I couldn't be prouder," he managed to say through renewed tears.

"I haven't responded yet," Laena said, almost ashamed to look at him. "I... I wasn't sure what you would say."

This was it. Literally the very thing that had caused so many fights. What had been a potential outcome was now a harsh reality. Starfleet wanted to separate them. They knew the terms. They'd argued over the possibilities more times than either cared to recall.

"You've studied for this." Akiva wanted to vomit. Instead he spoke. "It's a wonderful opportunity. You should take it. I want..." No, he didn't want her to go. He couldn't lie to her. "I want you to be happy."

Laena wept again with soft dry heaving. What moved her more than his positive response was the realization that going to Earth and attending the Academy would make her happy. It would be the realization of a decade of work to overcome her hellish past and make something of herself. His supportive words did help some, but she just couldn't shake the guilt.

"Akiva... I feel so wrong..."

"What do you mean, kallati?" Akiva asked. Women were the pinnacle of complexity among all of HaShem's creations. If she had something to say, he'd wait for her to get it out.

The admission was damning. She couldn't say it, but she couldn't leave with it bottled up inside either. "Losing the baby... it hurt so much. I never thought I would love..." She winced at the turgid storm tearing apart her emotional center. "Part of me, though... feels relieved." She wanted to hide her head in the sofa cushions and never show her face again. "I felt so torn. I love you. I want to make you happy. I want a life with you. But I also want to fulfill my dream. I want to be who I know I am inside. Oh, Akiva... I feel like I killed--"

Akiva pressed his fingers against her lips. She needed to say her piece, but he would not let her speak those words. "No. No, you did not. HaShem gives, and HaShem takes away. If this is the path before you, then you must walk it. As must the both of us." He raised her chin upward, locking their eyes together. "I will put in a transfer for the Sol system as soon as one is available, but you cannot turn down your opportunity."

"No," Laena said, shaking her head. "I hate this place. I have since the day I came here. But you are good for it. You are a light in this darkness. The evil stored in these vaults needs a strong man of character to keep it at bay, to keep it from corrupting him with power. If anyone can do it, it's you... ishi." My husband, spoken in the tongue of his people.

The truth in her words, melded as a compliment and a pronouncement, was hard to argue. Akiva wanted to, but he'd already committed to never lie to her. "All right," he said at last. "We both commit to this path. Together. If death can't tear us apart, then neither will this." His right hand brushed along her temple and came to rest cupping her jaw. "I love you, Laena."

When their lips met, there was no passionate spark, no spike of adrenaline or pulsating desire. Just tender loyalty.

"I love you, Akiva." Laena pulled away. "But... I need to do this alone. I can't be split like this. We need to put... this... on pause, until I graduate. I'll lose my mind otherwise."

The Academy was stressful. It had been awhile since his years on Earth, but Akiva couldn't deny the even more brutal truth of what she was saying. "You are my bride. That will never change."

"And you will be my husband," Laena said. "One day. For now, I have to be just a cadet. I hope you understand."

In an abstract way, Akiva did. But this was too much. After all this, she just wanted to walk away? "I understand your words, but not your heart. Nonetheless, I stand by what I've said. Do what you must."

In past times, that would have spurred a fight that would've spanned hours or even days. Now, on the cusp of the death of her old life and the beginning of a new one, Laena couldn't help but laugh. She wasn't amused. She was spent. "Okay, then." She reached her hands up over his shoulders and joined them together around his neck. A pained but hopeful smile spread across her face. "There are so many ways we don't understand each other. What I know is this. I'll wait for you if you'll wait for me."

Her lips met his again, this time carrying the promise of eternal love and an invitation for passionate indulgence. Akiva felt so confused and conflicted, but he felt in his soul that her unspoken promise was true. In that moment, he knew that despite their distance and separation, he would never let her go. Arms and legs enfolded, they joined themselves together as man and wife one last time on the sofa. In the morning, Laena would send her acceptance to the Academy registrar and Akiva would sign off on the transfer, and the two would go separate ways. But tonight... they were immortal.


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