Posted Sept. 29, 2023, 9:58 p.m. by Lieutenant V'alura Belmont (Scientist on Medical Leave) (Abigail G)
Posted by Lieutenant Achilleas Petrakos (Chief Science Officer) in Slumber Party Secrets (Tag Achilleas)
Posted by Lieutenant V’alura Belmont (Scientist on Medical Leave) in Slumber Party Secrets (Tag Achilleas)
Posted by Lieutenant Achilleas Petrakos (Chief Science Officer) in Slumber Party Secrets (Tag Achilleas)
Posted by… suppressed (6) by the Post Ghost! 👻
V’alura hummed, keeping her hands and feet steady as she carried a tray towards the coffee tray. A simple thing, right? Carrying a tray? No so much when you’ve been afflicted by a mysterious disease that saps your strength and makes getting out of bed into an Olympic sport. Of which V’alura would win the gold at this point. Perhaps carrying trays laden with sweet treats and a pitcher of strawberry lemonade would be her next gold metal. Alright, V’alura. . . Final stretch. Careful placement of the feet. Maintain grip on the tray. . . V’alura carefully bent over to set the tray on the flat surface of the coffee table. Success! The crowd roars with cheers!
“Whew!” V’alura righted herself and gave her living quarters one last critical look. She had convinced the nurse that dropped by to check on her to help her hang up some fairy lights and replicate a few extra fuzzy pillows. She’d also replicated a big bowel of popcorn and a second bowl of salted nuts. Thus covering all her sweet and salty bases. Satisfied that everything was ready, she let herself rest for the moment on the couch.
It was a shame Solal declined her invitation for a slumber party. A bridge too far as far as ‘human activities’ went. V’alura debated going the whole nine yards in trying to logically explain the purpose of the party and the positive result it would have but ultimately gave up on that. One must pick their battles and this was one she’d never hope to win. Thankfully there were plenty of other slumber party candidates for her to invite. Achilleas should be here soon. V’alura couldn’t wait to see the slippers he said he had.
Approaching V’alura’s quarters, he held a bag containing a set of freshly cleaned comfortable pajamas and a pair of pink bunny slippers, a thoughtful gift from my sister. Standing by her door, he pondered for a moment whether to announce myself or simply enter. Opting for courtesy, Achilleas pressed the door chime and waited.
Upon receiving her invitation, he stepped in, the bag with pajamas and slippers in hand. “Good evening,” He greeted her with a warm smile. “As promised, I brought some appropriate sleepover attire.” Gesturing to the bag, he continued, “And it looks like it’s going to be a relaxing evening.”
V’alura smiled from her spot on the couch, “Evening, hon, come on in. The restroom is right through that door if you want to change.” She sounded better. Thanks to the breathing treatments she finished right before setting up. Though there was little that could be done for the fatigue if she had to pick one thing to improve then it was talking. V’alura wore a comfortable pair of lime-green shorts that came about mid thigh. Up top she wore a black tank with a green alien head and the words ‘I Believe’. One of many shirts she bought at her trip to Roswell years ago. On her feet she had a pair of super fluffy pink slippers.
“Any movie requests for the evening?”
V’alura’s smile and improved tone of voice reassured him that she was indeed feeling better. He acknowledged her direction towards the restroom with a nod of gratitude. As he entered the restroom to change, he glanced at the bag in his hand. It was a thoughtful gesture from his sister, the pink bunny slippers. He changed into the comfortable pajamas, appreciating their softness against his skin. Slipping into the pink bunny slippers, he couldn’t help but chuckle at their whimsical appearance.
Emerging from the restroom, Achilleas found V’alura comfortably settled on the couch. He returned her smile. “Nice choice of attire,” he complimented her, then pointed to his own slippers. “We’re color matching.”
At her question, he pondered for a moment. “How about a classic comedy? Something light to start the evening?” he suggested, his gaze warm as he settled onto a nearby chair.
V’alura smiled, “Pink bunny slippers, a classic.” She wiggled her own slipper-covered feet, “One classic comedy coming up.” She flicked through her list of movies before settling on one of her all time faves. She put on Legally Blonde and pulled the bowl of popcorn closer to herself to snack the first few bites, “So, this is perhaps my favorite movie ever,” She began, “I hope you don’t mind if I talk during because I know everything there is about this movie.”
Which was not an exaggerated statement. As the movie played V’alura gave background information about the time the movie was set, facts about the production or actors. She stayed quiet during the important bits but towards the end her facts and stories turned more personal. “I was fourteen when I first watched this movie.” She took long pauses between sentences, all the talking slowly catching up to her. “Changed my whole life. Not just because I wore almost exclusively pink for years afterwards. But this movie inspired me to be myself, unapologetically. I didn’t have to a Vulcan or a Human. All I had to be was me.”
She smiled, “This movie was also what inspired me to become a professional actor. Because I wanted to make movies that would inspire other young girls to be themselves.” She wanted every awkward girl or boy who felt like they were caught between cultures or the expectations of others to know that they weren’t alone. That they were enough as they were and they could define themselves.
Achilleas settled in, listening with genuine interest as V’alura selected Legally Blonde. He watched as she wiggled her own slipper-covered feet, her enthusiasm evident. As the movie began, she started sharing facts and trivia, making the viewing experience more engaging.
He chuckled when she mentioned talking during the movie, finding her passion contagious. As the movie progressed, he found himself not minding her commentary at all. In fact, he appreciated the extra layer of insight she provided. He could tell how much this movie meant to her.
As V’alura shared her personal connection to the film, Achilleas was moved by her story. He admired her determination to be herself and to inspire others to do the same. Her words resonated with him, and he nodded in agreement. “That’s a beautiful sentiment,” he said quietly, touched by her openness.
As Legally Blonde reached its conclusion, Achilleas turned to V’alura with a warm smile. “Thank you for sharing this movie with me, and for sharing your story. It’s inspiring to see how it’s shaped you.”
“I loved acting,” V’alura said in a nostalgic way, her smile not quite reaching her eyes. There was an old sadness there, intermingling with longing and acceptance. “Acting made me happy. I loved the people I met, the places I traveled too, constantly growing and evolving as I gained new skills and honed old ones. Acting was how I learned to control and hone my emotions. People forget that Vulcans aren’t emotionless. We’re more emotional than humans.” Powerful feelings domesticated by practice and willful tempering. She closed her eyes, remembering all the wonderful and terrible people she met. The characters she lived as and brought to life. “Don’t get me wrong, I love being a scientist but they are very different professions and lives. Hell, remind me to tell you some stories from my Julliard days because my Academy stories are faaaar tamer by comparison.”
V’alura reclined against the back of the couch, “Okay, now your turn. Tell me something deeply personal about yourself. Or what inspired you, I wanna know. Oh, and do you want to put on another movie?”
Achilleas listened intently to V’alura’s reflection on her acting career, sensing the complex emotions beneath her words. He could see the depth of her passion for the craft, even as she had moved on to a different path. Her description of how acting allowed her to control and channel emotions resonated with him. It was clear that her experiences as an actor had left a profound mark on her.
When she asked him to share something deeply personal, Achilleas considered for a moment. He appreciated her openness and wanted to reciprocate. “Well,” he began, “what inspired me to become a scientist was a deep fascination with the mysteries of the universe. As a child, my father, who knew astronomy as a necessity for navigating sailboats at night, used his knowledge to navigate sailboats at night. He would take me out to sea, and we’d spend hours stargazing.”
Achilleas continued, “I remember the first time I looked through a telescope on one of those trips and saw the rings of Saturn. It was a transformative experience. From that point on, I knew I wanted to explore the unknown, to understand the intricacies of the universe. It was a calling, much like your passion for acting.”
He smiled at the memory before considering her suggestion. “As for another movie, I’d love to watch another one. Do you have a favorite you’d like to share, or should I pick one this time?”
Though V’alura knew jack all about fathers, she knew how special those bonding moments were with a beloved parent. Her own mother was a scientist whose curiosity and passion for her job heavily influenced V’alura. The glitz and glam of acting may have captured V’alura’s heart but the sciences were always on her mind. It was her mother who encouraged her to apply for and to take classes at UC, Berkeley while working as an actress. A very good decision as it gave her fall back plan when, well, when V’alura felt lost and alone. “That’s such an amazing story. I bet your father is so proud of you,” V’alura said, the corners of her eyes crinkled from her smile. “My own mother was obsessed with organizational ecology. She’s actually one of the formost experts in the field, but she could talk about her work all day long.”
V’alura let out a little laugh, “We actually had to start organizing our calls to each other. It was so easy for us to spend the whole hour gushing about our current projects. Now we have each phone call broken down into sections and we take turns trading off the longer talking section.” Some of the joy slipped away as she thought about her rather dismal calls of late. They made the switch to text messages but it wasn’t the same. She played with the fuzz on her slippers. Soon the doctors will figure things out and V’alura will be her usual chatterbox self again.
“You pick this time,” Her eyes brightened as she thought of something and leaned across the table to pull a box of nailpolish into her lap, “You got to let me paint your nails. It’s part of the slumber party package!”
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