USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Another Perspective

Posted on Tue Aug 15th, 2017 @ 1:53am by Petty Officer 3rd Class Rebecca Ainscow & Grace Ainscow

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Counsellor Maera's office
Timeline: Mission Day 101; 09:30

Rebecca and Grace made their way down to Jaya's office for Grace's appointment. Despite arranging the appointment and wanting to go with her Claudia was surprised - and slightly upset - that Grace had insisted on Rebecca going with her instead. Nevertheless she respected her daughter's decision and Claudia got on with her work for the day as normal.

"I'm sorry you had to miss work, Becca," Grace said.

Rebecca smiled. She was surprised Grace had asked her to go along instead of Claudia but she was happy to accept. The Yeoman had managed to do a lot of her work for morning in the ninety minutes she had before Grace's appointment - so it wasn't much of an issue to take time out.

"It's fine, Grace. I've done a lot of it anyway and I can go back once we've spoken to the counsellor. Are you sure that you want to do this? The counsellor won't mind if you decide you're not sure you want to do it anymore," Rebecca replied.

Grace nodded. "Mum said it would help so I want to see if it works"

"Alright. Let's see if she's ready for us," Rebecca responded.

Rebecca pressed the chime next to the door and waited for an answer.

"Welcome." Jaya greeted them with a warm smile. She bent over with hands folded between her knees to look Grace in the eye. "Both of you."

She waved her hands toward her furniture -- a couple of armchairs and sofas, a rocking glider, and her lounge pad. "Please, make yourselves at home. May I get you anything?"

Grace looked at Rebecca for some reassurance before walking alongside her stepmother to the comfortable looking beanbags. Sitting down one one of them Grace watched as Rebecca took the other. Grace looked around the room and the various items which were placed around it. Some caught her eye more than others because she simply didn't recognise what they were.

"May I have a glass of orange juice please?" Grace asked.

Rebecca smiled. "A hot chocolate if you don't mind please Counselor"

"Of course," Jaya said. She quickly brought them from the replicator to her guests, then took her seat. A steaming cup of Seyalian tea sat on the coffee table. "I was already enjoying a cup when you arrived."

The scent was understated now, which disappointed Jaya. Rather than savor the smell, she merely gave it a whiff before sipping. "Now, since this is our first time together, how about we begin by telling one another about our day."

Setting her tea down and happily folding her hands together, Jaya smiled up at the ceiling to gather her thoughts.

"This morning, I woke up and told my new husband good morning with a kiss." She scrunched her nose at Grace in a teasing expression. "And then I listened to the sound of ocean waves lapping against the seashore while breaking fast and preparing for the day. The sound always fills me with wonder, and reminds me of worlds beyond the cold metal walls of starships."

She smiled at Grace and Rebecca. "Who wants to go next?"

"When I woke up I had my breakfast - some cereal with a glass of milk - then Becca took me to school and told my teacher about my appointment. Becca went away to go to work and then she came back to bring me here. My mum went to work before we left - I think she's sad about something but I don't know what" Grace replied.

Rebecca was pleased that Grace had gone before her without as much as looking at her for reassurance. She then gave her account of how her day had been so far.

Rebecca spoke. "Well...I woke up and got ready for work before preparing everyone's breakfast whilst Claudia was getting herself ready for the day. We shared breakfast together and then as Grace said - I took her to school and went to work. Now I'm here drinking hot chocolate."

Jaya nodded with slow, reassuring approval. "I see," she said, taking them both in. "And how did all of that make you feel?"

Grace took a drink out of her cool glass of orange juice.

"I felt confused because I don't know if my mum is sad with me. She spends a lot of time at work or in her bedroom. Then she seemed sad when I asked Becca to come with me instead of her. That made me think even more that I've done or said something to upset my mum" Grace responded.

Rebecca shrugged. "I'm not sure what to say to be honest. I usually get up first and check Claudia's schedule for the day and then prepare the morning meal for us all. I'm happy to do it but of late it feels a bit less cordial and a lot more awkward. As for how my job makes me feel...I like it. It's more enjoyable than I first expected"

"I hear a lot of uncertainty coming forward, and that almost always happens when we don't communicate enough." Jaya leaned forward to take both of them by the hand. "Come on. Let's circle around." She scooted onto the floor and tugged for them to follow suit.

"Now, let's look at this from another angle," she said. "Is it possible that your mom is worried you are upset with her?"

Grace and Rebecca joined Jaya in the circle - the former more reluctantly because she was comfortable on the beanbag. Rebecca was pleased with how well Grace was doing up to now.

"Maybe. I can't wait to be a big sister but...I'm scared we might have to go away and live with my grandparents again. It's like me being worried and sad about that has made my mum sad too" Grace replied.

Becca shook her head. "That won't happen. I promise"

"Your mother is the captain now," Jaya said. "That means she's the boss. Nobody's going to take you away from her, and she's not going to send you anywhere. But I can tell you one thing..." Jaya released Rebecca's hand and enfolded Grace's small hand with both of hers.

"She loves you--more than you can know. Trust me. It's a specialty of my kind to know that." Jaya winked. "And I also know that you love her. I think it would do the both of you a world of good to say so more often."

Grace listened to Jaya's words and processed them one by one. She had lived with her grandparents for most of her life and it was only really now she was spending any time with her mother - her only living biological parent.

"She's a great mum and so is Becca. Maybe I should do something to cheer her up - like paint her a picture or make her something at school. School doesn't feel the same since Elsie left though and I really miss her" Grace responded.

"That sounds like a great opportunity to show your mother how you really feel," Jaya said. "And I think that will encourage her to be more open and expressive with you." She cocked her head to one side and leaned in close. With a half smile, she whispered, "Being captain is a hard job, you know. Sometimes they need a little help from special little girls."

Grace nodded. "Maybe I could help her like Becca does - but in our quarters instead of around the ship. They always look really tired but I don't really know what to do. What do both of you think? I mean I can't cook or anything - but I could probably help by keeping my room tidy and getting her a drink from the replicator"

"I think your mom would like that Grace. Sometimes she just needs to come back to our quarters and forget about everything and just relax. There is the baby to think about too so anything you and I can do will really help her" Rebecca said.

Jaya beamed with glee. "I think that's a fantastic idea. Life never happens all at once, after all." She subtly turned a glance toward Rebecca. "It's always built one day at a time. That way, when big events happen, we find we've already grown into them. And, often, we see nothing was ever as ominous or frightening as it may have seemed before."

"I'll start on it right away" Grace responded.

Grace was delighted with the response and decided to put her plan into action that very afternoon. She would paint her mother a nice picture in her art class and present it to Claudia - with the plan to ask Rebecca if she would help her cook for them all later.

Rebecca nodded. "I think the whole situation has been tough on us all and I think it was important for Grace to see that there was another perspective to look from. I think given the circumstances it's going to be harder for Grace but Claudia wants to make up for that more than anything. It will take time as you say but I really think it's going to be worth it"

"Yes, Grace is clearly growing up into a fine young lady," Jaya said with a smirk and a glance toward the girl. "And I know you have a sisterly relationship with Biynah, as well. Perhaps she could provide some insight into the role of a sister?"

Jaya smothered the shudder that the mere thought of Biynah always evoked from her. It was unnatural for a sentient being not to have a detectable mind. Though it was her duty to be objective, there were some lines that Jaya just could not bring herself to cross. But if it helped her patient, then the outcome would speak for itself.

Grace beamed. "I really like being a sister but I'm not really sure what I'd say to Biynah about being a big sister herself. I think Biynah would be really excited when my mum tells her though"

"Maybe we can arrange it with your mom so that you can tell her instead?" Rebecca suggested.

Grace almost jumped up in the air with excitement at the idea.

"Really?" Grace asked.

Rebecca smiled and nodded. "Of course"

"I'd love to do that. I just want to make mum happy first though - she might say no if she's still sad" Grace replied.

Rebecca responded. "All that your mom wants is for you to be happy and she'll be happy too. Counsellor Maera can help her with the being a Captain stuff that makes her feel sad sometimes."

"Absolutely," Jaya agreed. "My job is to help Captain Ainscow to know what to do with the Vindex. Your job is to help your mother Claudia by living to the fullest of who you can be. If we work together, then she'll be the happiest woman in the galaxy."

Grace nodded excitedly. The session had really opened her eyes to how Claudia was feeling - even though it wasn't Grace's fault she was upset there were things Grace could do to make Claudia feel at least a little bit better than she was now.

"I'll do whatever I can to help out" Grace replied.

Rebecca smiled. "We can do it together so that way we don't do any more than we can manage. We can help your mom out at home and then Counsellor Maera can do what we can't do. She's trained to talk to people and help them to understand and deal with their feelings"

"I'd like to do something like that when I'm older" Grace responded.

"I bet you'd be great." Jaya smiled. "You're a very easy person to talk to."

Grace giggled. "Thank you. What do you think Becca?"

"The Counsellor is right. We both believe in you and so does your mom - you've always wanted to help people and that shows in you wanting to help your mom feel better" Rebecca replied.

Grace smiled and then looked at Jaya. Feeling she had run out of things to say she wanted to try and delay going back to her class just a little bit longer - at least so Rebecca could finish her drink.

"Do you think you can make my mum feel better?" Grace asked.

"I'll try," Jaya said. "So far, so good, I'd say. Now, how about I send you off with a treat for the walk back to class?"

Grace watched as Rebecca finished her drink before turning back to Jaya and nodding.

"That would be nice. Thank you" Grace responded.

"Help yourself to the replicator," Jaya said. "I need a quick word with Becca."

When Grace hopped up, Jaya leaned in close to Rebecca.

"I know you're keeping a brave face with the other two, but you aren't in this alone." Her hand slid onto Rebecca's forearm with a gentle brush of encouragement that went beyond the physical. "There is nothing wrong with feeling scared or overwhelmed. If you ever need to talk privately, my door is open."

In truth Rebecca did have times she felt like everything was resting on her shoulders to be the sunshine on a rainy day. As much as she loved her wife and stepdaughter Rebecca felt that she had very few places to turn outside of her family life when it came to talking about how she felt.

Rebecca nodded. "Thanks. I love them both but sometimes I just feel...well...overwhelmed with everything. It is a lot for me to take on but I think if we all do it together then our lives will all be much easier. Claudia speaks very highly of you and I can see why - you've made a difference to Grace this morning and I...we...really appreciate it"

Jaya smiled and leaned in for a hug. "It was my genuine pleasure."

Rebecca returned the hug and felt like she had lifted a large weight off of her shoulders. Letting go a few second later she turned to see Grace had helped herself to four chocolate cupcakes.

"I hope they're not all for you Grace. Even I doubt you could eat all of those between here and the classroom" Rebecca said.

Grace shook her head. "Nope. One for you, one for mum, one for the Counsellor and one for me"

Grace offered Jaya one of the four cupcakes she had replicated whilst passing two to Rebecca - seeing as it was more likely her stepmother would see Claudia before she would.

"That's sweet of you Grace. Thank you" Rebecca replied.

"Thank you, that is very kind of you," Jaya said as she smelled the cupcake. She quickly palmed it behind her back. "I should have you visit more often."

Grace giggled and nodded. "I'll bring you one next time I bake some with Becca"

"Come on you. Let's get you back to class - thank you Counsellor" Rebecca said.

Grace smiled. "Yes. Thank you for helping me, my mum and Becca"

"Thank you for sharing with me," Jaya said, giving Grace a hug as well. "I look forward to your next visit."

With everyone's goodbyes said Grace and Rebecca left Jaya's room with a new sense of optimism about the future. Rebecca was very proud of Grace and she couldn't wait to tell Claudia about how it went. With a plan of action decided upon between Jaya's office and Grace's classroom Rebecca couldn't wait to put it into action that evening.

For Jaya's part, she smiled after the two long after they left. She remembered the cupcake still hidden behind her back. A quick step to the replicator would let her dematerialize it in short order. If she indulged sweets with every patient, she would be twice the size she was now.

On second thought, it was given to her with love from a sweet little girl. Jaya looked down at the cupcake and saw only Grace's smiling face. With a shrug, she bit into it and then rolled her eyes in ecstasy.

"Only one bite," she told herself.

 

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