<USS Banshee> "Wilting"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2005 10:22:03 -0800

by Lt. Commander Joshua Asper
& Lieutenant Telsia Ehling

A dozen roses. Whatever was between them, Josh figured that the fresh scent of roses would lighten the mood and erode all the bad blood that seemed to have been brewing between them as of late. Telsia was still afraid that Josh was being untruthful with her. In all honesty, she was right, but Josh wasn't going to tell her that. It had been a long road since they had got back together. Ups and downs aside, it had been a rocky road.

He strolled into the quarters and looked around. "Telsia?"

Hearing her name called from the living room, Tel raised her head and looked out through the bedroom door at Josh, who was standing there with roses. Sighing, she went back to changing from her uniform into more comfortable civilian clothing. "I'm in here Josh," she called.

The sigh was enough to echo. Taking a step into the bedroom, he leaned over and handed her the roses, "For you, beautiful. I know that there's been some tension between us lately and I wanted to say that I'm sorry for whatever made you feel this way. We had been doing so well. I want to go back to crawling into bed at night next to the woman I love."

At the mention of their bed, Telsia frowned slightly. The intimacy in their relationship had been slightly lacking lately and she was starting to wonder if a lot of the tension between them had to do with their sex life, or lack thereof. "Thank you," she said, taking the roses and bringing them to her nose. "They smell wonderful and will beautiful on our dinner room table." Having finished changing, she moved out into the main room to put the flowers in a vase.

He sighed, "Tel, what's wrong?" He figured that, by now, it was always something with her and she had gotten really good at hiding the fact. He was tired, it was time to broach the subject.

"Hmm?" she asked, not really paying attention to what Josh had asked. After a few moments though, it sunk in. "Oh, nothing's wrong, just a little tired. You know how it is when these guest people visit the ship, craziness trying to make sure everything is perfect."

He just stared at her, letting his facial _expression_ do it all.

Telsia sighed as she looked at Josh. "Look, I don't feel like getting into a fight with you. I feel like that is all we do anymore and if I start telling you what’s wrong we're going to end up in another fight and I don't feel like dealing with it."

"Great, let it fester," he let the words drip with sarcasm.

"Oh, so you want to fight again is that it?" she asked, turning to glare at him. "Fine, we can fight. I'm pretty sure you were lying to me about who the woman was back on that starbase and I hate not trusting you, but I just don't trust you Josh. What man wouldn't jump at the chance to get away from his nagging fiancé and child and have a fun little meeting with some random woman that would help you forget all your duties? Do you really want me to sit here and tell you that that is what I really think happened and how I really think you feel?" Tel looked at him, ice shining in her eyes. "Do you really want to start this fight today Josh?"

He spun on his heel, glaring daggers back at her, "You think you have it all figured out. You think that you just know someone. What kind of fiancee would think blatantly that the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with is lying? What kind of person does that make you? I can only tell you so many times that nothing happened. Nothing happened. Don't you understand that? I love you and I love Cameron." She was right, he didn't want to argue about this, but it had to happen sooner or later.

"You’re right Josh, I do have to question myself when I doubt you," she yelled back. "But at least I've never given you a reason to doubt me, I wasn't the one that left, or did you forget that? I have my reasons to be scared and to be doubtful and, yes, I have tried to deal with them but they’re still here. And you know what, all of this makes me the worst sort of person, a person that loves with a cold heart." With that Telsia turned towards the door and stormed out of their quarters, not sure where she was going, just knowing she needed to get away.

Josh tromped after her, slamming his hand into the vase and sending roses to the floor, they came apart and scattered in all directions, shards of glass accompanied. Bursting through the door after her into the corridor, Josh called out, "Why do you have a need to run away from all your problems? I don't understand you. You have no reason to not trust me. I can't fathom why every time you don't understand something it turns into a gigantic conspiracy that is bound to destroy our relationship."

Glad that the corridor was empty, Tel stopped in mid step and turned to face Josh. "I haven't learned how to trust you yet Josh. Trust doesn't just come naturally to everybody, some people need to learn how to trust and I'm one of those people. And why do you always have to turn everything around on me?" Tel moved forward, tears were brimming in her eyes, she hated fighting with Josh but there was no way for her to get out of it this time. "Every time we have a problem it's because you did something and I misinterpret it, but you always turn everything around on me, can't you admit that sometimes you're the problem or that sometimes you start the problem?"

"You can't blame me that you misinterpret EVERYTHING. You're damn right I turn things around on you, you just said that it's because you don't understand it," Josh put his hands on his hips, sighing heavily as he did so. "In the end it all rests on your shoulders, Tel."

"Fine," Telsia said, throwing her hands up in defeat, while at the same time struggling to keep the tears down that threatened to spill over. "Your right, it all rests on my shoulders, all of it. I take full responsibility for all our problems. So, your off the hook, nothing is your fault, everything is mine." Moving, she turned her back on him and began to head down the corridor once again.

"What is your problem!" Josh practically screamed it, "I don't get it! You're not some helpless person that you always play yourself out to be! You're not someone who sits at home and worries about where I am. You should never feel that way. Why don't you trust me? Relationships should never be this hard!"

"Why should I trust you Josh!?" Tel turned around and screamed back at him. This time she wasn't going to fight the tears, instead she let them flow. "You left me once before and I ended up marrying a man that stole my life, while you flew around the galaxies meeting women and having fun! Why should I trust you?! When every time we land somewhere, I wonder if we're going to run into one of your many friends from the time we were apart and that you'll miss those days and decide that your not ready for a marriage commitment to me and for a child. Cameron and I were thrown into your lap, I know and understand that and I'm scared one of these days your going to realize that because of Cameron and I, you can't live the life you want, that you'll end up resenting us and leaving again." Tel's voice sounded empty and hollow to her own ears as she continued speaking.

"I'm an emotional wreck, Josh, I've been like this since you left, all those years ago in the academy. I'm the not the girl you fell in love with, that girl died, now I'm a woman trying to put some order to the chaos that is in my life." Telsia looked up and met Josh's eyes for the first time since she started her speech. Tears ran silently down her cheeks, leaving wet pathways. She shrugged, "I don't know what my problem is, that's all it comes down to."

Josh took a step towards her, palming her tear-laden face with his hands and kissed her delicately on the lips. "Each time this happens, what do I tell you? I'm not leaving. You could bring every friend I've ever had to this ship and I would never choose them over you and Cameron, our son. You say that you need to learn how to trust, you just need to trust that you're the one for me. Period." He kissed her again.

Josh's tenderness only caused Telsia to cry harder. She felt horrible for not trusting him, horrible for always starting fights, horrible for simply being who she was. Deciding to stop pulling away emotionally from Josh, Tel leaned forward and buried her head in his shoulder, sobs shaking her shoulders.

Oh, to be human. Josh stroked her hair gently as he shushed her. He kissed the top of her head and pulled her as close as he could. "I love you, Telsia. Maybe we need to get away. Move to a planet and settle down, leave this dangerous and ever-changing lifestyle behind. Cameron is going to be put in the line of fire sooner or later and we can't protect him from everything."

Telsia mover her head to look up at him, confusion showing on her face. "You want to settle down?" she asked, not sure she had heard correctly. Josh had never seemed the type that would want to settle down, in truth, Telsia had never wanted to settle down, that was until she got pregnant with Cameron. Now, settling down was a secret dream of hers, one she never told Josh but wished it would happen some day.

"Do you?"

She battled internally with the answer to that question for a few moments. Tel didn't want to say yes and have Josh disappointed at the idea of leaving the life he loved but she didn't want to lie and say no. Of course, her own desires were torn on the issue. She did want to settle down and raise a family with Josh, away from the violence that could come with a Starfleet career but at the same time, she didn't want to leave the friends she had come to love so dearly.

Slowly, Telsia nodded her head. "It wouldn't be too bad of an idea. Cameron would be safer on a planet, settled then he would up here on a ship, plus it could give us a better option for having children," Tel shrugged as she said this, trying to be as nonchalant as possible.

Josh smiled, nodding, "Just promise me something, OK?"

Worry etched her features for a moment before she smiled and nodded.

"Wherever we do go," he paused, kissing her lightly again, "we go together."

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