"You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello"

OFF: Mavis' send off post... I hope I did her justice. Love ya, chicka!

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Wendi with the chocolate hair

The one with the smile that could light up a room. The one with diamonds for eyes and a heart of pure gold. Yes… That Wendi. Captain of the Federation ship Endeavor, newly minted and sent off on her maiden voyage on what could only be described as the mission from Hell.

Yes…

That Wendi.

The one better known as Nableese.

The one that made him sigh and butterflies take flight in his gut.

That Wendi.

His Wendi.

"I'm either putting you to sleep or making you cry." Her voice shattered Jeleth’s reverie. He blinked and immediately shook his head.

"No! Neither! You... You give meaning to my life." The Romulan stammered, watching her eyes go wide. Reaching for her hand, he kissed her fingers and pressed her hand to his cheek. Never had his feelings for a woman been so strong or felt so good, "You... You do give meaning and purpose to my life, Wendi, I know you'd never consider me if this hadn't come about and I know you'd prefer to go slow and see where things lead... I know I want you... I... I need you, I'm happiest when I'm with you. I want you to come with me, far away from this mess."

Though against her better judgment, Wendi felt her heart take flight and her mind wander far far away from the call of duty and all things Starfleet. It wandered off to the rogue notion of leaving all of it to become nothing more than 'yesterdays' to be sorted out by bureaucrats and politics just as everything else eventually was. Somehow in that moment, right that very second, she realized that her place wasn't within Starfleet or the stuffiness of their regulations and protocols - it was out in the wilds, illuminated by starlight and graced with every freedom and fortune providence would shine upon and find them worthy of receiving.

Life, she realized, they deserved life. "I've had doubts as to what would come of this. The feeling of losing control is disturbing," She admitted.

His long, olive fingers caressed her thighs as he replied, "It shouldn't be. I've already lost control where you're concerned. It's only natural when you care for someone."

"Starfleet is too fastidious for that. I felt I was never perfect enough for Starfleet's liking."

"Did you feel you didn't deserve better? Is that why you accepted this position?"

Jaleth saw anger flash in Wendi's eyes, "Why are you preoccupied with Starfleet?"

"We're talking about you. I want to know why you joined and stayed with them... Why you'll find it necessary to stick it out in a world that doesn't appreciate you the way you deserve to be treated. I need to know the rationale for your behavior, what you've learned from it, how it might affect your future... How it might hurt me." Expressing his thoughts would likely only aggravate the situation, Jeleth knew that he could be confrontational, that he needed to remember to rein in his mouth. With a sigh, he embraced the woman in his lap in a silent pledge that Wendi was the beginning chapter of his eternity, but he needed to know everything about her.

Wendi, in turn, gently pushed Jeleth away and stood up. "I don't know if it will work with us." She nervously fingers the necklace Jeleth had given her the night before. He would refuse to accept the jewelry back if she handed it to him - after all... It was his first gift of love to her. He'd explained that with her he felt the love of his elderly guardians that had once surrounded him. It might have seemed ridiculously, perhaps even harboring some type of Freudian overtone; she didn't know. However, she knew one thing for absolutely certain: that he loved her more passionately than she'd ever thought possible. He loved her and all of her imperfections and hoped, in time, she would love him just as much.

Wendi crossed her arms in front of her, "I feel comfortable with you, but I have to go through the third degree about my choices with Starfleet, and the reasons I joined, this will sever our future relationship." She sighed, "Weren't you ever with a woman that you knew wasn't good for you and stayed when you should have ended it?"

Jeleth stood up and retook Wendi's hand in his. As he looked into her eyes, his dark, penetrating gaze made her feel as if he was looking straight into her soul. "I'm not going to mince words," said Jeleth, "I've never had qualms about letting go of a bad thing. If you want to question me about my way of handling life, I will give you a direct answer. I'm not perfect, not are you, but you should feed good about yourself as I do about you. I see many wonderful qualities in you, so don't accept less than who you really are," He nodded as he kissed her forehead and folded her into his arms, "And don't push me away. I'm not going to hurt you."

Wendi felt her body go lax in his arms. For the first time in her life, she actually felt safe. Fighting back tears, she begged herself not to cry; 'there's nothing to cry about. I love him', she thought. “Okay…” She whispered.

"Let's go to bed. We both need a good night's rest. If you like, we can leave after breakfast - just you and I." Jeleth murmured into her hair as they walked, arm in arm, into her bedroom.

—-

The next morning, they were up at four. They packed barely anything, though grabbed a few trinkets and treasures that Wendi held dear to her heart. By five, they were pirating a shuttle. By seven, they were out of the sector and allowing the stars to guide them to the rest of their lives. Together. Free from the shackles of both the Federation and the Empire.

For the first time… Wendi was truly able to breathe knowing that someone would find the note she left and understand what it was to fall in love and be given a chance at true happiness. She knew they’d value that love, that freedom, above all and know that it was the chance of a lifetime - one no one should ever pass over… And she hadn’t. She’d run wild and unruly with the intention of giving it, and Jeleth, her all.

And they lived happily ever after.

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