Location: Vox's Log Cabin, Pacific Northwest, Earth
Timeline: Shore Leave Day 21, early afternoon
After a small mid morning nap, Brielle had snuck out of the bed once again leaving Vox to continue snoozing. This time, she'd gone off to the bathroom get in a shower. Once done, she wrapped herself up a towel before catching her reflection in the mirror. "Damnit," she whispered as she stopped at the mirror, running a hand along her cheek. She hadn't completely thought things through...
Vox rolled lazily out of bed and stretched. He heard a few more pops than usual. One of the fantastic things about getting old, he mused. He shuffled out into the hallway and knocked on the closed door to the bathroom. "Hey Brie, do you want some breakfast?"
Jumping at the sound of the knock on the door, Brie sighed. "Sure, I'm not picky so go ahead and I'll eat whatever," she looked back to the mirror. How was she going to explain this? She hadn't let anyone see her without any makeup since she started her shore leave off the ship.
"Alright then." He then made his way to the kitchen and took out a pan, placing it on the cook top. His cabin had a replicator but he enjoyed doing things the old fashioned way. It helped keep him grounded. He heated up the pan as he started slicing a block of ham into little bits on a cutting board, along with several vegetables. When the pan was hot, he cracked several eggs into it and broke up the yokes.
Having found one of Vox's shirts that was long enough to be like a short dress on her, Brie had made her way out of the bathroom and to the kitchen but really didn't look over too Vox as he was making food. She just sat and kept her hand against her face, looking out at the snow, obviously distracted.
"Ah, there you are. Have a good shower?" He smiled and let his eyes follow her form over to the window. She looked good in that shirt.
“Hmm? Oh, yeah, I suppose so.” She didn’t look over at him, but was curious what smelled so good. But, following her nose, she took a guess, “Eggs, right?”
He smiled and nodded as he added the ingredients to the pan. "Yeah, my father taught me how to make them when I was a kid. It was a simple way to learn cooking." He took a spatula and started moving things around. "Come take a look."
Brie shook her head, “I’ll take your word for it, Vox...” She still didn’t move from where she was at. She did want to go over but at the same time, she didn’t want to let her face be seen in its current state.
Vox frowned faintly at that odd choice of words. "What's wrong, are you afraid of a hot skillet?" He chuckled softly to signal that he wasn't being serious.
“I’m okay,” she said, obviously not sounding like she was. “I guess...” came a whisper after.
His brow furrowed as he finished up the omelets and brought the plates over to the round wooden table with a pair of forks. "Come sit and eat. I have salt and pepper." He was starting to wonder why she was acting so aloof. Did he say or do something?
Going over, Brie gave in and lowered her hand away from what she was covering on her face and glanced over to him, but didn’t sit down.
Vox took a bite of omelet and then sprinkled some salt and pepper over it. He glanced over at her and then back to his plate but suddenly did a double take. "Brie... where did that come from?"
Putting her hand up to the bruise that was on her face, she finally sat down. “Three weeks ago... an argument...”
He slowly set his fork down and wiped his mouth with a cloth napkin. "You and Razot?... He Seriously hit you?" He gave her the 'are you kidding me?' look.
Brie nodded slightly, “Slapped my across the face while we were arguing.”
"It's okay... I'll handle it." He started thinking of all the possible ways he could correct this problem.
“Vox...” She reached over and put her hand on his, “Please, don’t.” Her eyes were begging him to not do anything rash.
He actually let out a deep sigh of care and slight frustration before washing it away with a smile as he patted her hand with his. "It's okay. Nothing I do will lead to trouble for you or myself."
“Really, please don’t,” she looked down and shook her head. “Everything with him is done and over. I didn’t think the bruise would last this long. I didn’t go get it looked at for... obvious reasons...”
He looked down at his omelet as he chewed his food, trying to to show what he was thinking or feeling about the issue. He blinked a few times. How could anyone hit someone they love that horribly, if at all?
Watching him carefully, Brie frowned. "Vox?" She had a feeling she knew what was going through his head, same that would likely be through many people's heads if they saw what mark was left on her. Though, it did worry her that it was that bad after three weeks still.
"I just... It's hard to not want to do something about it. That's a lot to ask a man, and a friend." He looked back into her eyes. "It's like he just... gets away with it."
"I know... he didn't do anything besides that. And I don't know where he is and I'd rather just be done with him." She ran her finger gingerly along the bruise. "Still hurts like hell though."
"I can't promise that if I see him, he won't be going to the infirmary but for now... I'll leave him be." He let out a quiet sigh and continued eating.
Brie bit her lip. "You're not the only one who wants to send him there, Vox. Believe me." She tried to catch his eye. "I didn't know how to stand up for myself, so I just took it."
"I guess I don't understand how a person can just... take abuse. That has to be a survival instinct of some kind. You deserve better than that..." He wiped his mouth with a napkin and continued, "You do it the same way you face a threat to the ship. You just teach yourself to react a specific way to certain situations."
"That's why I stood up to him. Told him what was going on, that I had to get out. I'd become so used to it that I just didn't fight any of it." She looked down, "I... should have told him sooner. I was so afraid. I could take on anything on the bridge, hell, I'm a tactical and security officer... but I couldn't face him."
"Sometimes, facing those we share feelings about can be the ultimate test." He reached over and squeezed her hand. "We have to learn to overcome that fear."
Brie looked up and squeezed his hand back. “You’re right... and I did... but a little too late.” She moved her chair over closer to him and let her head lay against his shoulder.
Vox wrapped his arm around her and rubbed his hand up and down her side. He didn't want her to be hurt anymore. Hopefully, she would be able to move on now that Razot was leaving the ship.
"You're awful sweet to me, Vox," she said after a while of just laying there on his shoulder. She let her eyes linger back up to him, running a hand through his hair gently.
"Let's go to the bathroom and fix up that shiner. I have a dermal regenerator in a drawer." He slowly pushed back his chair and stood up with a helping smile.
Lieutenant Commander Brielle Jayde
Second Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Vox Templar
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Mercutio