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There's Nothing that Doesn't Exist

Posted on Fri Nov 23rd, 2018 @ 2:27pm by Lieutenant Commander Jael Steiger & Dutch Lowek

Mission: Spoilt Settlers
Location: Pontresina, Switzerland, Earth
Timeline: Shore Leave after 'Spoilt Settlers'

The ground was still covered with snow as Jael knelt herself gently down and prepared herself for the inevitable chill that would soak through the knees of her black insulated pants. She had been rather spoilt on the Centaurus with its environmental controls along with being away from her hometown of Pontresina, Switzerland long enough to separate herself from the memories of its white winters.

Donned with a charcoal gray beanie, a black heavy insulated jacket to match her pants and black snow boots, Jael’s gray knit gloved hand brushed the fallen snow off of the metal memorial markers in front of her. Her eyes looked over the words etched permanently and still standing against the harsh Swiss winters.

Noah Steiger.

Sira Steiger.

S’git nüt wo’s nit git.” Jael stated to no one in particular.

Dutch knelt down beside her, wearing a similar outfit of a black insulated jacket and matching pants and gloves. “‘There’s nothing that doesn’t exist.’” His lips tilted up at the phrase that she had picked to be placed on her parents’ graves. This was the first time he had been here and the first time Jael ever discussed what happened with her family in every darkly twisted detail. He couldn’t help but fall even deeper in love with Jael’s strength; after all her father did she still made sure his name and memory remained intact.

“My father had a very interesting perspective on things,” her green eyes glistened amongst the slow-falling snow that danced around them. “He pushed me to my very limit, physically, mentally,” she paused, “emotionally, if he could.” She turned to Dutch and gave him a small grin. “He was the most brilliant man I had ever met. He was always thinking, creating. Most of his best work and discoveries even as a boy came during his manic episodes. Some of his best work came from his depressive episodes. His parents, my grandparents, did not understand or maybe did not want to believe that he was not stable. But I question whether if stabilizing my father would have made his life, our life, better. Where would the science and art community be if he was not a part of it?”

Dutch’s eyebrows furrowed at her very honest thought. Was she suggesting that life wouldn’t have been better with her parents still alive? It was a very real question. Where would she be if her parents never fell victim to her father’s extreme neurosis? Would she be the same brilliant, strong, unwavering woman that she is today? Would she still have walked into the Intelligence office, placing her box of items on the desk across from him? Would they still have met and found their way into each other's arms? Was her father’s desperate and unspeakable action the reason why he and Jael were at this point in their shared lives?

Jael felt the questions pour out of him, and placed a reassuring hand on his cheek. “Life is not so black and white, as you know. It was not my father who took my mother’s life; it was a disorder that had been tightening its grip on his brain for over forty years. I could blame him or my grandparents for not seeking out treatment but they did not know this,” she pointed towards the markers, “would be the end game. I could sit and be angry and blame everyone and everything for the death of my parents but it would not change the past. My father and my mother would still remain buried underneath us.”

Dutch placed his hand over hers, giving it a soft kiss with his cold lips. He hoped he would never have to go through what she had as a teenager. He hoped he would never have to understand the trauma and it felt eerie hearing her calm demeanor and matter-of-fact tone of voice during her retelling. It was like she was reading facts from an Intelligence report. But this was how she dealt with her mother falling victim to her father’s murder-suicide and being the one to find the bodies on her living room floor at the impressionable age of 15.

Maybe it really was fate that brought all four of them here under the falling Swiss snow.

“You know, Dutch,” Jael’s serious face had relaxed as she locked eyes with his and separated herself from her darkness, “you look at me the same way my father looked at my mother. I actually have a theory that my father, filled to the brim with the chaos of his world around him, wanted to leave to achieve a greater level of consciousness and couldn’t bear to be without her by his side.”

Dutch let off a light chuckle as he kissed her gently on her lips. “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna kill you and then myself just so we could possibly live on some theoretical higher plane in the time-space continuum.”

Jael’s grinned widened as she shook her head as his exaggerated statement. “My point is this: my father loved my mother very much, Dutch. I was the product of their love. They made me who I am today and still influence my every thought and movement. They cared for me very deeply. I never believed I would be able to recreate that same bond with anyone. That is, until I married you.”

Dutch’s chest tightened as he listened to her warm and intense words. There was more to his wife than anyone would ever be able to know or even understand. Underneath her cold cement wall was a passionate, caring, brilliant, energetic woman that loved him. The words ‘product of their love’ struck a chord with him, sending a thrill throughout his system. If his Jael-ese was on point tonight, he couldn’t help but think, and agree, with what she had just possibly insinuated. He secretly had harbored the dream of being able to have a child with Jael, never believing it would ever happen with the lifestyle they led. “You want to have a child,” he stated breathlessly, “with me.”

Jael nodded slowly in affirmation. “I know it has only been a few months and it does not have to happen right away since there is much work I need to accomplish on the Centaurus first, but sitting here and thinking about my own family… there was so much joy, so much happiness in my house growing up both here and in San Francisco. I love you so much, Dutch. You have kept me alive and going through everything. You have given me a reason to reach past my limits, much like my father did. I want to be able to continue to pass on this love to the next generation.”

Dutch paused, going through the words over and over again. He needed to make sure this wasn’t his imagination getting the best of him. At the same time the excitement at the prospect of creating a new life with her was beginning to simmer into a boil deep inside of him. When he absolutely couldn’t contain it anymore, he let out a loud cheer that echoed off of the surrounding headstones and wrapped his arms tightly around her. He jumped to his feet, burying his head in her neck as he felt her arms and legs wrap themselves tightly around his torso.

“You never cease to surprise me, J.J.” Dutch dipped her down and planted one hell of a kiss on her lips as the snow continued to fall gently around them.


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