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Meeting the shrink

Posted on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 @ 9:21pm by Lieutenant Commander William Gunnison & Lieutenant Veznia MD PSyD

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Chief Counselor's office

Will headed to the Chief Counselor's office. He pressed the door chime and waited for the call to come in. He took a deep breath. Even after almost 3 years since Kelly's death, one would think he'd be used to the idea of meeting counselors, but it never really got easier.

Veznia was mid-meditation when the chime rang out startling her from her peaceful state of mind. "Come in." She called, getting to her feet.

"Counselor," Will said upon entering. "Nice to be able to officially meet you. I'm Lt. Cmdr. William Gunnison. I'm to understand you wanted to see me?"

Veznia smiled her wide, Denobulan smile. "A pleasure. Call me Veznia." She gestured to the many comfortable places to sit. "Make yourself at home."

Will took a seat in one of the chairs, not quite sitting on the edge, but not leaning back all the way, either. "Only if you call me Will in return," he said.

“Alright, Will. Can I get you anything?” Veznia crossed your the replicator.

"No, I'm fine, thank you," Will said.

Veznia returned with a small cup of a pastel blue liquid and sat opposite Will. "What brings you in today Will?"

"Did hear that you were making the rounds of the senior staff, and figured that I'd better check in," Will said. "More officially, though, my wife was killed three years ago, and a part of the condition of my assignment on board a Starfleet vessel is that I check in regularly with the counseling staff. My son and I have both been seeing Counselor Goff regularly, but I did want to check in with you to make sure you were made aware of things and to see if you had any questions."

"Counselor Goff has actually transferred her notes to me, and I hope that's okay?" Veznia admitted. "She's been offered a research position with Starfleet Medical, and though she will still be working aboard, her time will be otherwise occupied."

"Certainly, I leave it up to your discretion," Will said. "Let me know if there are any changes to anything or anything you feel you need to know immediately before anything else."

"I am curious in particular, how you think your son is handling things?" Veznia crossed her legs.

"He...seems to be...I don't know if 'adjusting' is the right word," Will said. "From a logical standpoint, he knows that his mother would want him to keep moving forward and not be crippled by grief. From an emotional standpoint, of course he was hit very hard by what happened, more than the rest of us in the family were. As adults, we've had more of a chance to accept the idea that sometimes people near and dear to us are taken from us far sooner than we think they should be. Cole wasn't given that opportunity, and that makes it all the more difficult for him."

Vez nodded. "Remind me how old he is?"

"He's 12," Will said. "I'm trying to figure out where the time has gone."

Smiling warmly, Veznia nodded. "My mother always used to say that it was if she blinked and we had all grown." The Counselor shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Speaking of her life on Denobula was not typical of her. "What about you? How have things been for you recently?

"I'm...hanging in there," Will said. "I know Kelly - my wife - would not have wanted me to wallow in pity and sorrow, though it's not easy, We always kind of thought that if one of us were to go before our time, it would be me, the one who was out traveling around the galaxy, rather than her, the one who was in the heart of the Federation."

Nodding again, Veznia leaned in slightly. "May I ask why you chose not to be together?"

"It was never intended to be permanent by any means," Will said. "We lived together the first 4 years of our marriage while I was at the Academy and she did her undergrad work, thanks to the advantages of transporters. We both had our aspirations, and had for years, and we loved each other and as such, neither one wanted to ask the other to give up their dreams. We'd planned that after I graduated from the Academy, I'd have my various assignments in Starfleet while she would go on to get her law degree and practice law. After I got some experience under my belt and had a certain amount of seniority to be able to have some say in my assignments, the plan was that I'd eventually request an assignment at some place like the Academy or R&D, or at least a Starfleet facility like a starbase. While I know most bridge officers tend to be aiming for a command of their own some day, command track never particularly interested me, so I was more than happy to accept positions of the type I mentioned. If it was an off-Earth assignment, she would join me and pass the local bar exam so that she could practice law there. Unfortunately, we never had the chance to get that far."

The story touched Vez. "Love is a beautiful thing. So powerful to span that distance for you both." She crossed her legs. "At what point in your beautiful story is Cole born?"

"He was born a year into our marriage," Will said. "And yes, we did want kids, and we'd planned on having more after Cole, but somehow never managed to get around to having any more after he was born."

"May I ask how you arranged for the child?" Veznia asked. "With the two of you living separately?"

"At first he lived with both of us, of course. After I graduated, Cole largely stayed with Kelly, though we made sure to talk via subspace communications whenever reasonably possible. Cole would visit me whenever arrangements could be made, and we felt that the ship I was assigned to at that particular moment wouldn't be assigned to any dangerous missions while he was on board."

"That must've been a hard living situation for all of you." Veznia commented, looking to his face thoughtfully.

"It was," Will said. "I'm not going to lie - it was difficult, but Kelly and I both got to claim great extended families who helped out, and also had some support from other 'mixed' families we knew who had some members who were Starfleet and others who weren't, so knew and understood what we were going through."

"In Denobulan family units, there can sometimes be over one hundred notable relations." Veznia nodded. "It's comforting to know that other cultures create those expansive relationships as well. It is a true support system." She paused, and regarded Will.

"Have you been able to count on their support in the wake of your loss?" She asked.

"Yes, fortunately they've been an immense source of support," Will said.

"I'm glad to hear that." Veznia said. Though she would have liked speaking for even longer with him, but unfortunately their time was coming to an end. "We are almost out of time Will, and I have another appointment coming in. But if it's okay with you, I would like to start booking you in with me, and Cole as well."

"Of course," Will said. "Let me know what your schedule looks like. Barring anything crazy going on, I am generally available during non-Alpha Shift hours, and similarly, Cole's usually available whenever school isn't on."

Vez smiled, "Of course. I'll take a look at my appointments and let you know."


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