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Hope, Apprehension and Moving Furniture
August 15th, Tag Jax
Star Trek-AOS

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#1
A few days before, Jaya had left to go back to her universe, which would involve delicate negotiations and plans and other things that Kaalth wasn't totally sure that he understood, but that was ok, because that wasn't the part he cared about.

The part that he cared about was that Jaya was going to bring Nala back with her. And not the copy that had vanished when Jaya left the Hub, either. No, this was going to be the real woman. Whenever he thought about it, his stomach twisted with nervousness. Suppose the real Nala didn't like him? Thought that she could do better? And she could, there was no question about that. Guys had lined up for a copy, and for the real thing? But he'd gotten to know her, or at least a reflection of her, and maybe that would help give him a chance.

Which was why he was making sure that her quarters were going to be ready for her. He'd already moved all of his stuff out, to a room next to Jax's, and then spent the next few days deep cleaning the room. Now it was time to move everything back in, and he was walking down the hall, carrying a armful of freshly laundered blankets.
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Sons of Anarchy-Main TV Universe

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#2
Well, Jax knew what this was all about.

Jax had his own thoughts regarding Jaya’s departure and her supposed return with her cousin. He would be the first to acknowledge that he knew damn well nothing about Nala, since he’d stayed away from her since he got to the Goddess. Part of it was because he just didn’t feel right about the whole ‘copy of a real person’ thing, of course. The other part was that she was Kaalth’s wife (sorta), Kaalth was a good guy, and Jax didn’t want to be the guy who moved in on his buddy’s wife. Normally, that wasn’t an issue, but Nala was crazy hot, and there was that whole pheromone-drugging thing going on, and… well, he didn’t trust himself, simple as that.

Still, there was a lot hinging on Nala going along with what Jaya wanted. Was that really how it would go? He supposed that Jaya was persuasive, but she also just seemed to assume that everyone was going to do what she wanted. Yes, there was the fact that she was quite often right about that, but that was beside the point. There was also the fact that Jaya was going to have to tell Nala that there was a dude here that she’d ‘given’ Nala to (or given to Nala? He supposed that it was going to depend on how Jaya put it and how Nala was inclined to take it), which in his experience with women (admittedly human women), would be a signal for them to get indignant and tell you to go fuck yourself.

Still… What went on with Jaya was Jaya’s business. This was Kaalth’s part of it, here, and that was much more Jax’s business. He’d butted out when Kaalth had been cleaning up the place Nala would be staying, since that would just be creepy for him to help with, but he could help him move his stuff, right? “You got anything else?” he asked, closing his door behind him.
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#3
"Yeah, in a little bit." Kaalth said, looking up as Jax walked in "Do you think I should make the bed now, or should I just put everything away and make it when she gets here?" the way he asked the question showed more than a little nervousness, which became more obvious as he continued talking "I don't want everything to get old and dusty and gross, but I don't want to....I'd have to come into her room, when she was here to make the bed and that seems kind of creepy. Speaking of creepy, there is a vase and a couple of pictures that I got for-that I got before. Should I leave them? Or give them to her as a present later? I don't even know if Nala will like them, and if she doesn't...I mean, I could get rid of them if she doesn't, but if she does, I'd like for her to know that I got them for her. They weren't expensive, but copy-her liked them, and women like it when you get them nice things. Especially if you're trying to-" Kaalth looked down embarrassed. After all, he'd been raised to believe that it wasn't proper to be overt about showing interest in a woman "I should have gone back with Jaya." he said, finally "Then I could have just talked to her father, and he could have set everything up, or had Jaya's mom handle it, and..." he looked miserable "She's going to hate me."
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#4
At least Kaalth saw the things that were a problem too. Jax really would have hated it if he had to point out to Kaalth just how fucked up this situation was, but… yeah, it was kind of fucked up. “Hey,” he said, “Relax. We’ve got this, all right? Just… make the bed and get it over with. If Jaya’s gone for more than a couple days, go straighten it all up again. It’ll be fine.” Jax set himself to carrying another box for the big green lunk, trying to sort his head through what was weird and what wasn’t weird. If it were him… okay, he didn’t have any comparable situation to apply to this, at all. “Ah… I’d say… leave them. I mean, the whole room decoration will have to go if she doesn’t like it, not just those. Leave them. If she likes them, you can say later that you got them, if she doesn’t, you can just keep quiet and she can just figure they came with the room or something. But she’ll probably like them, right? I mean, a copy of you is still going to like what you like, right?”

He set the box down on the bed, rounding on Kaalth, deciding that this was the time for some tough love… well, sort of tough. He didn’t think the Orion would be able to take anything really harsh. “Hey, stop it,” he said. “Jaya knows her family. Jaya knows her time. You? You’re from way back before her. I know you’ve picked up a lot, yeah, but you aren’t ready for that. Besides, Jaya has to talk Nala into coming here in the first place, right? This whole place is crazy, it’s a hell of a lot to process. You think it’d be better to make her process this place and that Jaya set her up with you all at the same time?” He shook his head. “Look, I’m going to teach you a concept we use on my world, it’s called ‘plausible deniability.’ If this works out better with you staying here? Great. If anyone thinks anything bad about it? You just apologize and say that you didn’t think it was your place to butt in when Jaya wanted to go on her own. I’m not saying you blame her, just… you know, make sure they know that it wasn’t your call. You’ve got this. You got her once, now you just need to keep your eye on the prize and do it again. You already know what she likes, right? How the hell can she be ready for a guy that already knows how to make her happy? Easy, she can’t. Just keep your eye on the prize, brother. Wait for her to get here, then be that guy she never expected.”
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#5
"Yeah, you're right." Kaalth said, trying to pull himself together "I'll just make sure the bed gets changed every so often, and that will be cool. I hope that the copy-her liked the same things. Or most of the same things. I mean, I'm kind of depending on being able to impress her by knowing what she likes and stuff. Like you said, that'll make her happy and she won't be expecting it, since I asked Jaya not to tell her about the copy-Nala. I mean, once I got to think about it, the thing was kind of creepy. Like, at first I didn't care because-" he looked embarrassed "well, you saw her, man. But then later, once I got to thinking about what the real thing would be like...Anyway-yeah, I hope its going to be ok. Because the first time, with the copy, I didn't exactly like, win her over or anything. Jaya just noticed that I had a thing for Nala and told me to talk to her, and then awhile later she told me to move my shit into Nala's room. That is how we did it, back in the old days. Now-I mean, girls want you to talk to them and give them presents and I don't even know. I sorta learned but...its scary, man."
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#6
“All right, Nala is Jaya’s cousin. If Nala’s anything like Jaya, she’s not going to want some guy just fawning over her and falling all over himself about her. She’s going to want a guy that does what he’s supposed to do and makes her happy. I mean… I’m not talking obedience here, I’m talking effectiveness. With you all, the women are supposed to be the brains, and the guys are the muscle that makes it happen, right? You’ve got to make sure that everyone knows that you’re the guy who gets shit done. She needs something taken care of? She needs to know that you’re the guy she can go to. So… what’s your thing? You’re the guy that keeps this place running when Jaya’s not around.” Okay, that was a bit of a stretch, but the horse needed a carrot to chase now. “I know that it’s not like with our women, you can’t expect her to come to you, but… make her want it a little, you know? Don’t just go letting her think she could walk all over you just because you want this to work.”
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#7
"Yeah, I guess." Kaalth said "That was kind of how we did it, back in my day. If there was a girl that you liked, you just kind of made sure that you were always there, getting shit done where she could see you. I mean, its still like that but-it isn't enough to just get stuff done, they also want you to talk and be like a friend and, well, I'm still not used to hanging out with women like that. Its weird. I just always thought that I'd either be working or taking care of the house and the kids, when they were little. I mean, its scary." he sighed "I know that Terrans are way different but how do you do it? Like, walk up to a woman and just start talking?"
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#8
“Shit, I don’t know man,” Jax admitted. “I’ve screwed up two marriages, you really think I’m the man to ask a lot of advice on women from?” Then again, this was a guy who had already made it work with this girl… sort of. He just needed to get to the point where he could make it work again, right? “All right, everyone says that the copies are supposed to be true copies, right? So what did Nala like? I mean, however Jaya set it up, you’ve talked to someone a hell of a lot like her, right? So what’s she like? What does she like to do? What makes her laugh? Look, she’s not expecting anything, and you already know what won’t be a bomb with her. You’ve got the answers to the tests already?” Still, he had to start the conversation, and… well, Kaalth seemed kind of focused on certain aspects of this girl, which, to be fair, everyone who saw her focused on. “All right, you really want to be able to do this? You go up to her when she’s not busy. Do you guys have anything that can filter out the pheromones? Like… I don’t know, we had these filters you could put in your noses on my world, they used them in shithole countries where the air was hard to breathe. You guys have anything like that, something that she won’t notice? If you do, use it, keep your head clear to start things off. Don’t let your eyes go below her chin when she’s looking at you. Try to pretend you’re talking to a really, really pretty guy at first, and just talk to her like you would then.” Okay, easier said than done, but he had to find some angle that would work here.
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#9
"I'm not asking you for advice on how to be a good husband." Kaalth said "I'm pretty sure I can do that part. Its the...its all the stuff that comes between meeting her and getting married that has me worried. You're good with talking to the girls and stuff. I mean, you and Jaya-and she's scary, man."

Kaalth thought for a moment, it was hard to say what Nala liked, because she had always been so nice to him. She'd liked his food, she'd liked spending time with him, she'd liked teaching him to read...it was hard to say how much of that was what she liked, and how much of it was her being nice to him. Then Jax made a strange and disturbing suggestion "But if I can't smell her, how will I know if she's into me? Besides, she'd notice, and think that I was nuts. I mean, it'd be like closing your eyes every time someone came into a room." that said, the rest of the advice sounded fairly sensible "Ok, so just talk to her about work and stuff and just be chill. I think I can do that."
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