USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Swallowed Whole By Judaism

Posted on Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 12:49am by Petty Officer 1st Class Laena

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Akiva's Quarters - USS Vindex
Timeline: The morning after

Waking up in the morning was typically seen as a wonderful experience. A chance to realize that you've lived another day. A chance to start fresh. A chance to make today the best it could be.

But sometimes, waking up in the morning brought back a flood of memories from the previous day that spoiled what could have been a great mood. And this is the situation Laena found herself in.

There was the quietest of noises as her breathing turned from the rhythmic tempo of sleep to the slightly more erratic, yet still rhythmic, beat of the waking hours. Her nose twitched as a few of her hairs had fallen and tickled the tip. She took a deep breath and breathed a soft sigh of contentment. Her body felt warm as she was melting into the embrace of a pair of arms held around her. Her eyes barely opened as she looked up at the man's face that laid next to hers, her mouth curling into a slight smile.

Yes, this was contentment in a way that Laena had never known before. For the first time in a long time, Laena was experiencing a calming peace like no other. No nightmares to haunt her dreams, no tactile sensitivities to remind her of the atrocities of her past. No. Laena was experiencing bliss in the arms of the man she loved. A man she would spend the rest of her life with.

And that was the moment that her world came crashing down. Laena's eyes shot open as the memory of the commitment came flooding back to her. Her pulse quickened as Akiva's words played through her head over and over. Swearing to spend their lives together. Beads of sweat formed around her hairline as the panic began to rise up within her.

She had spent so long escaping those who would imprison her. She'd become strong. She'd become resilient. She'd become independent. And yet...she was still in chains.

Very gently, Laena slipped out of Akiva's arms, thankful that her movements didn't phase the snoring Commander one bit. On her tippy toes, she walked over to the bathroom and closed the door behind her quietly.

She leaned on the sink as warm water began to pour from the faucet. She took some in her hands and splashed it onto her face, hoping to wake herself up from the nightmare she now found herself in. But alas, she was already awake. She looked up to the mirror and stared at the reflection she saw.

Who was this woman? She barely recognized herself. Once, where a young girl stood, defiant to her captors, now stood a helpless woman who relied on others to protect her. "You've become soft," she said to her reflection, her lower lip trembling. She swallowed hard as she realized what she was actually seeing in her face. "You've become a victim."

And yes, this victim had become completely content to live out her days with a man who could protect her from her fears, but who also forced her to make promises she wasn't comfortable making. She turned off the water and turned back to the room, opening the door quietly. She leaned against the door frame and watched Akiva sleep.

Her emotional state was literally at war with itself over what she had done. On one hand, she loved this man, and he was everything she wanted. But on the other hand, she felt like she was losing apart of herself to him. Like her identity was being swallowed whole by the Judaism that he so desperately clung to. She trembled, unsure of what to do.

She had to talk to someone. She needed advice. But who would understand Akiva's cultural rules of dating like she would? And that's when an idea struck her. It was a terrible idea, and as Laena would soon learn, this would cause more harm than good, but at the moment, she felt completely and utterly lost. She was out of options.

 

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