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Author Topic: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)  (Read 1985 times)

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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #75 on: December 24, 2019, 08:55:10 pm »
[Williams Ranch]

Judy first turned to Tess's statement about appreciating the protectiveness.
"Before we dive into this journey, I want to say that you can be protective without being controlling or abusive, and that it's natural. Max is very protective of me, and God knows how hard my health and I have made it for him," she said, in a brief moment of levity. "There is a right dosage of protectiveness, and that dosage is higher than zero."

She rapped her knuckles on the wooden desk, to signify a transition.

"This is going to be a running process, to some extent even a lifelong work of improving yourself and maintaining good habits, but the major steps, establishing good habits and wringing out the bad ones, can come now. As a first step, there are a couple of rules that are nearly absolute," she stated in a calm, Professorial voice and steady intonation. "The most absolute rule, Rayek, is that you never force Tess's hand or try to, and it does go the other way too. Not through threats like this, and not through other aggressive means. When one of you is uneasy with something the other is doing, you talk it out clearly, openly, honestly, and as calmly as you can, and you try to understand each where the other is coming from, and then come to an agreement. Max and I have found that when we do this, we can get on the same page almost all the time, and we've never had a fight. And yes, this does apply even in a group situation; you can ask to step away for a minute, and talk."

Judy reached for a glass of water to have a sip and refresh her throat, and then went on.

"If you want a demonstration of what such a conversation should sound like, I can ask Max for an assist, without giving him more context than you allow. Would you be interested in that?"

Judy and Max had had difficult conversations, including many in which she had wanted to force him to go one way, and a few where he wanted to do so to her, but they always worked respectfully to a consensus.


"I promised, but I never promised to keep the promise" - Levi Eshkol

Offline Tess Moreno

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #76 on: December 31, 2019, 07:38:34 am »
Lt. Cmdr. Tess Moreno
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Executive Officer's private quarters (shared with Tess)](after S2M1 - mid-October)]

Tess grimaced when a certain word came up again and again. "Could we just agree on not using the word 'abusing' or 'abusive' in that context?", she asked quietly. "I really don't feel abused. That is as far away from Rayek's nature as we are from home." She felt the desire to be held by Rayek, but she refrained. It would look weird. They could do that later.

Tess listened to what Judy said and she agreed to pretty much everything she said. "I realize", she began and glanced back to Rayek, her eyes searching his, "that it's not easy for you to decide what kind of protection is wanted and what is not." She paused. "If I refer to that incident we just spoke about ... I didn't find it wrong that you wanted me out of the room. There I felt the protectiveness I liked. But we have to draw a line when it comes to allowing me to decide what I want to do and what not if it is left to me to decide that. I'm not talking about orders, but Captain Solluk left the decision to each one of us individually. That is the point I would wish for you to accept and respect my personal decision." She didn't mean to poke that wound unnecessarily, but rather hoped to explain what she wanted from him.

If it was always feasable to have a 'talk' about such matters Tess wasn't sure about. When Judy suggested to demonstrate with her husband how they dealt with such things, Tess nodded. "Sure, I'd be okay with that."

Species: Ba'ku
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Tess' biography (updated Nov 29th, 2019)

Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #77 on: January 01, 2020, 06:22:00 am »
Cmdr Rayek tr'Lhoell
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Executive Officer's private quarters (shared with Tess)](after S2M1 - mid-October)

Despite Tess' quietly spoken request to avoid the word, Rayek was relieved at Judy's statement that it was possible to be protective (something he didn't think he'd ever be able to not feel) without being abusive, or controlling.  He just needed to learn how.   

He nodded seriously at Judy's first rule.  No forcing.  That would be difficult.  Rayek didn't do well with not getting his way.  Her suggestion was to have a conversation about the issue.  Would a conversation about his fears have convinced Tess to have left the meeting? He doubted it...  But if he'd done that rather than make the threat - he wouldn't be on eggshells with the Captain currently.

In his periphery he could see Tess' nodding every so often in agreement with what the counselor said.  So this method had Tess' approval.  When Judy paused a moment, Tess turned to him to speak next.  The held eye contact highlighted how important this was to her, so he listened attentively as she pointed out the difference between his protectiveness in wanting her kept out versus his disrespect in not accepting her decision to remain.  He nodded.  He understood that, now.

When Judy offered to have Max and her demonstrate, Rayek was grateful that Tess accepted.  He'd need to see how such a conversation could potentially work for him to determine if he could manage such.  "Yes, that would be appreciated."

« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 06:23:12 am by Rayek trLhoell »
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #78 on: January 01, 2020, 01:39:01 pm »
[Williams Ranch]

"All right. I'll just have to go and see if Max wants to do it," Judy answered. "Like I told you two - no forcing."

Judy went to the next room, where her husband was. After a minute or so of conversation, they returned to the screen and sat down side by side.

"We've chosen to revisit a conversation we had earlier this year. I'd suffered a small heart attack rather recently, but I wanted to go on a diplomatic mission nonetheless," Judy explained.
"Lights, camera, action."

She took off her glasses, and they began the re-enactment.

"I know you're not going to like it, but I want to go on a first contact mission to Sivao," Judy stated. She looked into Max's eyes, to help him engage in the scenario. "I think Starfleet needs my skills there."
"Judy, you just had a heart attack," Max reminded, putting a hand on his wife's shoulder. "Will they have the knowledge to treat you if something happens again?"
His acting talent was a little weaker, and he was less comfortable in the scenario, but he was trying this thing for Judy.
"I'll stay close to the Gibson," Judy promised. "I'm a big girl; I can take care of myself."
The dialogue was improvised, though the conclusion was known ahead of time and the rough beats were devised in their brief conversation before.
"No, you can't," Max replied, causing Judy to laugh. She had to give Max points for that improvisation, or at least a little kiss.
"I'll be more careful than usual; I promise," she said after finishing the brief kiss.
"You're not going to make a habit of this, right?" Max asked, following a true-to-life but pre-determined story point. "Those survey missions you go on are going to be a little scary for me now."
"If I go this time, and it's hard on you, I won't agree to go on survey missions, okay?" Judy offered. "Let's just see how it goes."
"You have yourself a deal," Max responded.
Then, both of them stood up bowed, and sat back down. Max put Judy's glasses back on her.

"Not exactly a Tony-worthy performance, but I hope the demonstration did its part," Judy told their audience. "Let's debrief now. What did you notice going on in that conversation?"


"I promised, but I never promised to keep the promise" - Levi Eshkol

Offline Tess Moreno

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #79 on: January 05, 2020, 03:35:33 pm »
Lt. Cmdr. Tess Moreno
[Katra Station - Rayek and Tess' quarters]

Tess cast a smile to Rayek when he too agreed on Judy and Max doing a little demonstration.

She sat and watched and found she actually could relate to Max' fear of something happening to Judy especially since she just have had a heart attack. If something like that would be happening to Rayek she thought she'd be similar protective .... and would think thrice about letting him go anywhere outside her sphere of influence for a longer period of time.

When the demonstration ended Tess looked to Judy in anticipation of a follow up question that soon came. She wasn't exactly sure whom of them both she was asking. Or if she should answer at all. She looked back to Rayek briefly before she spoke. "I liked that you found a compromise but also respected Max' fear of you going on these survey missions with the prospect of ceasing that altogether of it didn't go well with him this time."

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Tess' biography (updated Nov 29th, 2019)

Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #80 on: January 05, 2020, 09:45:07 pm »
Cmdr Rayek tr'Lhoell
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Executive Officer's private quarters (shared with Tess)](after S2M1 - mid-October)

While Judy went to speak to Max, Rayek silently held Tess' hand and waited.  When both Judy and Max returned it seemed that her husband had agreed.  He couldn't imagine that being a fun experience for Max - reliving an old argument.

Rayek watched as the pair talked about Judy attending a diplomatic mission, and the Romulan fully understood the man's concerns.  As the discussion came to an end, Rayek frowned.  He frowned because the conversation ended in pretty much the same way as his threat had.  Both the men's concerns were ignored and the women did as they planned the entire time.  The only appreciable difference was that Max was viewed as being supportive and a proper partner, while Rayek was deemed as abusive and controlling.  He hated the comparison.

Tess, of course, approved of the conversation.  She thought the 'compromise' of Judy going regardless of the danger perfectly acceptable because there was 'understanding' that if it Max found it difficult she wouldn't go next time.  Well, what if there hadn't been a next time at all because Judy had another heart attack and died?   What if there wasn't a next time because Starfleet Intelligence learned of Tess' involvement in the secret meeting and she was taken from him and imprisoned for treason?

But Rayek realized no one wanted to hear those arguments to the 'compromise solution'.  That wasn't supportive... it was controlling. 

No, he needed to learn how to be supportive and accept that he wouldn't get his way.  He had to learn how to ignore the instincts and common sense that told him something was a threat to either him or Tess.   

Knowing that everyone was waiting on him to respond, Rayek let the frown fall away.  "I'm not certain I agree with that being considered a compromise, but I believe I see how these conversations are supposed to go."

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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2020, 11:22:37 pm »
[Williams Ranch]

Judy and Max put their hands together, on his lap, and listened. Judy wasn't at all surprised - her position was more analogous to Tess's than to Rayek's, and she had ultimately gotten to do what she had set out to.
"Rayek, suppose I told you that Max was, in fact, very worried about me, so I stopped going on survey missions?" Judy asked.
"Judy did," Max confirmed. "We had a deal, and we went through with it."
Judy squeezed Max's leg appreciatively. He was her rock, and she didn't know how she managed six decades without him.
"But do tell us, Rayek, what would you consider to be a fair compromise in this situation?"
Max gave Judy a little doubtful look, thinking she was tending towards her more aggressive side, but she reassured him with a nod. Rayek would have to say what he thought was a fair deal.


"I promised, but I never promised to keep the promise" - Levi Eshkol

Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2020, 11:58:10 pm »
Cmdr Rayek tr'Lhoell
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Executive Officer's private quarters (shared with Tess)](after S2M1 - mid-October)

Rayek gave a slight shrug at Judy's initial question.  The fact that she honored the agreement she made with her husband was noble but that first contact mission had still gone ahead.   There had been no compromise on that.  He was llkely going to make things worse for himself by answering but lying about what he thought when Tess was right there felt wrong. 

"The arrangement you made with your husband for after that first First Contact doesn't change the fact that you did not compromise initially.  You went ahead and had your way.  It might have very well cost your life - in which case any agreement afterwards would be moot.  A compromise to me would be that your attendance at the First Contact be by video rather than in person... or held on your ship where proper medical care could be on hand.   Doing something to address and mitigate his concerns to your health."
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2020, 11:06:42 pm »
[Williams Ranch]

Judy shook her head and muttered, "oy vey," under her breath. She could see they'd found another area of work.

"You're coming here from a place of serious lack of trust," she pointed out. "That would be the case if I was a very reckless person. If I was going to snarf down a bunch of fatty steaks, or go skydiving, then yes, there would be a real risk of me getting a second heart attack. Max trusts me to be more sensible than that, even when he makes fun of me. Even when he disagrees with my considerations, he trusts my judgement enough, and the fact is that I applied my judgement several times. I judged that it was safe for me to beam down to the planet, but that it was not safe for me to go on the primitivist rite of passage the crew was invited to partake in. I judged that I should wear a little monitor that kept pinging sickbay, so they could beam me out at the first sign of heart trouble, and I judged that I should make my commbadge vibrate to remind me about my meds - which didn't matter, because Max called me four times a day for that reason. If you can't trust a woman's judgement, then frankly, you have no business being with her. Part of what makes Max such a model husband is that yes, he's protective, and he worries about me, but he trusts me - and I trust him."
Through this speech, Judy's hands left Max's lap, and she gestured softly to punctuate her speaking. He, in turn, sat and listened to her, blushing slightly as she praised him.
"You can also say that it wasn't a compromise, because I have no right to tell Judy what to do or not to do," he proposed once she was done. "So I didn't give anything up."
"That's an excellent point," Judy complimented, giving Max a peck on the cheek as was her custom. "You should never seek to control what a spouse is doing. You should persuade, implore, beg, bargain, but not control. You don't have the right to control your spouse, unless they give it to you."
Judy had a feeling these words would strike at Rayek and his customs, much as they would strike at any human man of the olden days, but she eyed Tess as well for a reaction.


"I promised, but I never promised to keep the promise" - Levi Eshkol

Offline Tess Moreno

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #84 on: January 08, 2020, 02:55:30 pm »
Lt. Cmdr. Tess Moreno
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Shared quarters]

As Rayek answered and answered again Judy's question, some surely might have viewed him as the stubborn incorrigible Romulan. But Tess listened. She tried to really listen and understand what he was trying to say. It wasn't so that she hadn't done that before. She always listened, especially when they were talking through such important things.
But right here and now it was when she suddenly understood something important. Rayek critized about Judy and Max' performance that nothing had been done to address and mitigate Max' concerns. Was it possible that Rayek thought she didn't take his concerns and fears serious? That she'd just walk over it? Her heart sank at the realization that she might have made a big mistake.

So there were always two sides of the same coin. From Tess' point of view Rayek had tried to decide for her what to do. But from his point of view she had ignored his concerns. Had not addressed them. Mitigated them. Granted, there probably couldn't have been a worse time for that - sitting in a meeting, the room full of senior officers. The 'how' had been not Rayek's best choice. But it probably would have stood testament for greatness and love if she just would have left without creating a scene and would have sought to speak to him about it afterwards how she felt.

While she thought about that she was vaguely aware of what Judy was saying. By the time Max spoke, remarking that he didn't have the right to tell Judy what to do and not to do, Tess' attention was back fully on the conversation.

At Judy's final words, Tess cringed slightly. "To be fair, I never would want Rayek having to beg or bargain something from me." She briefly looked to Max before she glanced back to Judy. "I agree, Rayek has no right to tell me what to do and what not. But the right to force him I don't have either. Compromises are good. And I agree that we should keep trying to achieve them. But as much as Rayek wanted for me to leave, as much I didn't. The question is: why did he have to be the one to draw back? To accept my decision? It could have very well be me accepting his wish for me to leave. I realize that both scenarios are not idea. But what scenario ever is?"

She paused briefly and then looked back to Rayek, her eyes soft and all the love she ever felt for him showing. "I apologize for not having realized sooner what you were trying to say what you need. I will try to improve on that. And I'm sure, as we spend more and more time together, building and shaping our relationship in trust and love, that we will learn to be pros to master such situations in the best possible way for us." She smiled at him.

Turning her head back to Judy, she added. "Don't get me wrong. I don't plan on fawning upon him every single time, but I want to be ready to push back my personal preference if it's possible in the situation." She looked to Rayek. "Perhaps if we both do that, we'll get better at this and will be able to create compromises if needed."

Species: Ba'ku
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Tess' biography (updated Nov 29th, 2019)

Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #85 on: January 11, 2020, 04:02:51 am »
Cmdr Rayek tr'Lhoell
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Executive Officer's private quarters (shared with Tess)](after S2M1 - mid-October)

As suspected his honest response earned an 'oy vey' from Judy before she stated her opinion that he was lacking trust.  Rayek frowned... trust had nothing to do with it.  In fact, he was certain Max trusted Judy prior to the heart attack.. yet she still had one.  Trust was not a factor.

Rayek was about to comment this when the next words by Judy stunned him into silence.  First she stated that he had serious trust issue.... Then had the nerve to imply that he had no business being with Tess if he didn't trust her judgement.   Rayek was livid at the unspoken suggestion that he shouldn't be with Tess.  He held himself rigid looking away from the screen while Judy continued blathering self-importantly about her perfect husband - the man who apparently Rayek didn't measure up to because Judy thought he didn't trust Tess.  But she was wrong. 

The older couple seemed to backtrack on their advice, earlier promoting compromising to keep the relationship healthy... only to now imply that compromise wasn't a needed because he had no say in the decisions Tess made unless he implored or begged?  Well he'd tried that - in front a whole meeting room of his peers and it had still been ignored - and he'd been desperate... and for good reason too.   

The results of their treasonous meeting were clearly evident with the Captain's loss of Command.  The rest of the Department Heads were fortunate that Command hadn't pulled their commissions or worse.  Yes from his perspective and past experience there was a worse.  Despite the pleasant and democratic facade Command showed to the populace, Rayek had little doubt that his superiors had the ability and the willingness execute them all for treason over the Omega particle secret.   

While he silently fumed over Judy's words, Tess started to reply with her own perspective.  She didn't want him having to beg.  This was troubling to Rayek. 

So what other options did he have then?!  It was wrong of him to control or force the situation to something he could accept - he could see that now; yet she didn't want him imploring her to see his side.. so what else was there?  Not saying or doing anything at all? Just accepting each time that he couldn't or rather shouldn't protect her?  When he told her he would do anything for her... he never imagined it might be to just stand  aside to allow harm come to her.  He didn't think he was capable of that... the incident with Beja was proof, and now threat towards the Captain.  For a moment anger turned to despair.

Then he heard Tess saying that she thought compromises were good, and she questioned why it had to be him to accept her decision.  He turned to gape at her, his outrage at Judy's words, and even his despair at his own terrible thoughts fading as Tess turned to him and apologized.  He blinked back tears when she implied that they would work on finding solutions together - compromises at times.  But he recognized it was way better than the alternative. 

He nodded barely managing not to enfold her in his arms gratefully - which he would have done if Max and Judy were not observing them.  "I'd like that."
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #86 on: January 11, 2020, 10:10:11 am »
[Williams Ranch]

Judy sighed, and then returned to the muttered refrain of "oy vey."

She shook her head.
"Well, Tess, I think I might not have been clear. I'm not saying you need to ride roughshod over all of Rayek's concerns, and neither is Max. One of the benefits of a long-term partner, a spouse, is having a close advisor. Mind you..." she turned her gaze towards Rayek. "... part of being an advisor, not a manager, is accepting that sometimes your advice, however noble you think it is, will not be accepted, and sometimes it shouldn't. Think about it, if Tess did everything you told her to, would she still be the woman you fell in love with?"

Judy took a nice, long sip of water before finishing.
"So yes, Tess, you can and should listen to Rayek, but you shouldn't feel obligated to do it too often, or to do it when what he says sounds wrong to you."

Judy glanced at her wrist. Their allotted time was approaching, and this would be a good stopping point.


"I promised, but I never promised to keep the promise" - Levi Eshkol

Offline Tess Moreno

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Re: Two Birds, One Stone (Tess & Rayek, Judy)
« Reply #87 on: January 14, 2020, 03:46:43 pm »
Lt. Cmdr. Tess Moreno
[Katra Station - Deck Two - Shared quarters]

Tess smiled wider at Rayek when she saw that he seemed to be happy with the solution. They both had to try. She squeezed his hand, the desire to hug and kiss him and assure him that they would figure it out together was strong. But they would have time enough for that later.

"Me too", she replied quietly to him, smiling.

When Judy then spoke up, she didn't really seem to be happy about how this discussion had turned out. She nodded slowly at her words as she tried to filter the best out for her. "My first goal from now on in such situations will be to try and understand Rayek's point of view. Understand his concerns and what makes him act so overly protective. Then I will counterbalance with my own desire and opinion. And try to find out what is left where both opinions overlap. I realize that it might mean in some cases to have my will, but not at all costs. It also means to learn to give in and do something against my will. It's a process, right? We will make mistakes but we are ready to learn from them. Time will teach us." Moving her gaze away from Judy she smiled at Rayek.

Species: Ba'ku
"You explore the universe. We've found that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself."

Tess' biography (updated Nov 29th, 2019)

 

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