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Sleeping in the Black

(Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene - takes place sometime overnight between 2388.029 and 2388.030)


Space is many things...








Contained within a single galaxy among one hundred billion galaxies, within a single asteroid field among countless others, and spinning within the confines of one of thousands of space stations located in said asteroid field lay a lifeform unable to rest. While the remainder of the universe continued in a state of constant motion, this particular ceiling appeared to be frozen in time. He sensed motion however. Not in the visible movement of his environment, but in the incessant hum throughout the station. Most people couldn't hear it if they tried, but an engineer could. Especially Nijil.


Even simply shutting his eyes did not hold back his restlessness. Tossing and turning stopped over an hour ago. "Jylliene?" he asked softly.


Stirring in the bed beside him. “Hm?” came the reply.


"Are you awa-," he stopped himself, realizing she'd not said that if she was indeed asleep. "I can't sleep."


“Something bothering you?” she asked, stretching slightly, then rolling over to look at him.


"No. I mean not really," he let his answer drift off, then abruptly restarted. "It's just work, or the amount of work. It's not really harder, just more work. More people? Station is the same size, problems are the same generally. Well, maybe it's not work." He swallowed. "You can tell me honestly, am I a good father?"


Jylliene peered at him, then rubbed his shoulder. “Yes. Annisha is a challenge, but you love her, and she loves you.”


"I hope so." He frowned, albeit out of her view. "I'm not her real father as you know and he is still al-." He stopped himself in case Annisha had bugged the room.


“Doesn’t matter, e’lev. I mean - I know it matters to you, but you are still her father. Elements know it’s a bigger job than keeping this station running, but you aren’t in it alone.” The Trill reached out and squeezed his hand.


For a moment he poured all his stress into her warm touch. He let out a nearly inaudible moan, the timing of "not alone" and her contact just right, "Thank you. I never really thought I'd be a parent just a few years ago and then take in a child not of my own blood. I was not prepared."


“With your own, you’d at least have a few months’ warning,” she mused in agreement. With a slight smile, she added, “She only made me love you more.”


Nijil squeezed her hand this time. "For some days I was worried things were moving too fast, that you think I would bond to you immediately and leave for the remains of the Romulan empire. I was in knots."


“No, I’ve seen your orders. You’re stuck here,” she replied with a grin and a wink. “No, I didn’t get that sense from you at all.”


"Really? I sure felt it. And I'm feeling the same all over again when she had this relapse. I could feel how vulnerable she was. I could taste the fear."


“It may not be the last time she’ll do that. But we’re both here for her. And I’m here for you now - and will be.”


Nijil grasped Jylliene's hand and brought it up to his lips, pressing a kiss onto the back of her hand. He then began to move her hand back to her side as he felt a wave of contentment flow over him, but not before falling fast asleep.

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