Dance Lesson, Part 3
Location: Millie's Quarters
Millie murmured something, her fingers holding tightly to the sleeve of his uniform. She walked gingerly on her left leg, the repair still a little on the uncomfortable side. It didn’t matter, however. She wanted out, and she would have walked back out on a broken ankle.
He wrapped an arm around her waist for support as they walked down the corridor slowly. “That's it… one step at a time. You're doing great.”
Millie took in a shaky breath, trying to blink back the tears that threatened to erupt at a moment's notice. She leaned ever so slightly against Vox, feeling a safety in his presence. Once at her quarters, she exhaled the tense breath she'd been half-holding through the whole ordeal.
He helped ease her softly into a chair. “There, that should do it. Now you should just relax and keep the weight more on your other leg for a day or so.”
Millie pushed herself right back up out of the chair, shaking her head. “I--I'll be fine. I just need to keep working.”
He looked her in the eyes. “Millie, you need to de-stress. Trying to work when you're overwhelmed can just lead to more down time. Please…” He gestured with his hand to the chair. “Care for a drink?”
Millie looked away, tears brimming in her eyes. She opened her mouth to speak, but her lower lip trembled.
He walked up to her, placing a hand gently on her shoulder. “Millie… What's wrong?”
Tears began to trickle down her cheeks. “I--I didn't want anyone else to find out…”
“Find out what?”
“You can tell me anything. No one else has to know…”
“Edra figured out that--she found m-my other injuries, and s-she knows…”
He furrowed his brow as he searched for answers. “Knows what?...”
Millie choked back a sob. “That my mother u-used to…”
“It's okay… No one else has to know about that.” He gave her a hug of reassurance. Sometimes what needs to be said doesn't necessarily need to be said…
Millie pressed her face into his chest and sobbed. All of the fear and anxiety from the last hour came flowing out in the form of tears. At least, in this moment, she felt safe.
He gently pulled back from her. “I bet you'd be more comfortable if you changed out of your dress. Then you can get some much needed sleep.”
A momentary laugh broke through the tears. Millie wiped the tears from her eyes and nodded. “W-will you stay for a little bit? I...I don't want to be alone.”
He nodded. “Uh, yeah, sure. I'll just be out here.”
Millie disappeared into her bedroom for a few moments, and returned wearing shorts and an oversized t-shirt.
He suddenly felt overdressed in his uniform but he made the best of it by plopping onto a couch and smiled.
Millie settled in on the couch next to Vox, pulling her legs up and curling herself up against the cushion. “I’m...sorry that I unloaded on you a little bit ago.”
He smiled faintly. “It's really nothing to apologize for, Millie. It can all be a little overwhelming at times. You can't hold it all in forever, after all.” He suddenly realized that many people must do that by nature. After all, he was in the same boat. He didn't share much with anyone either.
Millie leaned her head against the back of the couch. “It’s just…” The counselor sighed. “I sometimes wish that things had been different between my mother and I, you know?”
“Yeah, sometimes the regrets start piling up. One thing that I've learned over time is that you have to let go of regrets. You can only do the best you can at the time with the information you have at hand. Second guessing yourself later when it is irrelevant doesn't help you…”
Millie's fingers began unbraiding the pile off hair atop her head. “Da...but it is hard to let go of family.”
“It is always hard to forgive. That’s the biggest challenge in life, to be honest.” He interlaced his fingers with hers and gave them a squeeze. “But that’s what makes family so important.”
Millie pulled the last pin, letting her hair cascaded down to around her shoulders. “But, perhaps, we make our own families. Ones we can trust, da?”
At this point, Vox’s eyes had closed. The comfort of the moment lulling him to the other side as he half nodded. “Mmhmm.”
The counselor gave a soft chuckle. “You going to fall asleep here? Maybe I should get you a pillow.”
“That's okay… Millie…” And with that, he faded into oblivion.
Millie gave a soft chuckle, leaning to let her head rest on Vox's shoulder. “You're beginning to make this a habit, Commander,” she murmured softly as she gave way to her own exhaustion, drifting to sleep beside him.