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JP - Lt. Blackwell, Lt. Cmdr. Foster & Ensign Th'Zarin - Old Memories, New Regrets

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Bar fight. Love it. The chaos sustains me. Excellent characterization, and the last line made me lose it.

 

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((Starbase 104 - HopCat Bar and Lounge))

::The HopCat Bar and Lounge was an establishment owned by a Terran and Klingon Duo - Hazel West and K’len Duroth. Featuring a mix of Terran 20’s art deco combined with a variety of intergalactic cultures, the restaurant featured wallset leather sets with tables, cozy areas for small cloistered talks, and with round tables scattered in the space for groups who wanted to mingle. Along one wall, there was a large bar, featuring liquors, spirits, and drinks from around the universe. In the back, there was a kitchen that provided food and treats that spanned a wide array of guest needs. A set of stairs led to a catwalk that widened into further seating areas with comfortable chairs and tables, with each seating area having it’s own “theme”. Finally in the center was a stage that features accommodations for a wide variety of performances and, in the past, was rumored to have even been transitioned into fighting cages for more violent sporting events. The walls were designed with small nooks and crannies that allowed for the display of artwork from all cultures, and above the bar there was a bat’leth displayed on the wall.::

:Rue walked in alone, nodding to the hostess at the front and paying her cover charge with a polite smile.  She was dressed in a long sleeved dress with a color blocked pattern of green, white and black, the hem falling to her thigh, black nylons and combat boots, with a leather jacket. As she stepped in and into the main area, She looked around and gave a low whistle. oO Holy cow - mum and dad would love this place.Oo. At the moment, the restaurant had a few customers but had not yet filled with the throng that would come with later night. She admired a few of items of the decor and then decided to walk up towards the bar.::

Blackwell: Evening ::She smiled towards a bartender, and then glanced at the expansive beer, wine and liquor list. She hemmed and hawed for a few moments, and then decided and glanced to the bartender:: I’ll just have a Cordian blackberry wine, please.

Bartender: ::dressed in a smartly pressed white shirt and dark pants, stood across the bar with a hospitable gaze:: Of course Miss, would you like to start a tab?

Blackwell: ::She nodded:: Sure, put it under Lieutenant Blackwell - U.S.S Constitution-B.

Bartender: ::His head bobbed up and down in understanding, and he smiled graciously:: Of course, Lieutenant. I’ll have your drink in a moment.

::She nodded her satisfaction with that and turned her attention towards the bar to enjoy the ambiance. The trip was two fold - first, she wanted to see if it was a place she could recommend to the rest of the crew. Second, she was feeling rather introverted, and while she could have hid in her quarters, she always found herself ultimately listless. It was better instead to go out and see something new, and to be alone in the crowd. When her drank came, she gave her thanks and then looked towards the stage where a performer was setting up to play a strange instrument she did not recognize::

::To say that this was a mistake, was an understatement. To say that Gabe Sharpe was on the verge of madness or at least being a stalker, was likely full on denial. But nevertheless, he had felt compelled to see if he could have another “chance” meeting. He hadn’t planned on it working out, but when he had spotted Rue walking the entertainment quarter, he followed - not thinking, not considering. As she sat at the bar, he went in and carefully made his way to the catwalk where he could sit without her seeing, though he couldn’t decide if that was what he actually wanted. As he sat in a chair that gave him a view of the bar from above, he ordered a strong gin and tonic that would keep his nerves from giving him away.::

::To say that this was providence would not do the situation justice. Ish Th’Zarin came only for a pint of Andorian ale and a change of scenery. After his conversation with Taurek he was trying to temper his drinking somewhat… not necessarily because he agreed with the counsellor’s assessment that his drinking was a form of self-harm and a method of self-medication for his anger issues, especially over his chan father. In fact, he was so offended at the idea that he was drinking in moderation just to prove that he could, and that Ch’Volnik didn’t have some unknowing hold on him.::

::So there he was at the bar, eying up a sturdy Klingon couple who seemed to be snarling at one another in flirtation, when he glanced over and saw Lieutenant Prudence Blackwell with a glass of wine. He’d dressed in a tight black tanktop--the better to show off his arms after a session on the weights--and a pair of fitted Andorian track pants. He figured he’d cut a dashing figure with his Nova Squadron bomber jacket slung over his shoulder.::

::He was in the seat next to her within seconds.::

Th’Zarin: Sorry to bother you, Lieutenant. ::holding out his hand, grinning:: Ensign Ish Th’Zarin, Constitution HCO. We haven’t met yet.

::She looked over to Ish and blinked, as if coming out of some fog of thoughts, and smiled. She set her glass down and offered her hand to shake and nodded.::

Blackwell: Oh yes, - I think I recognize your name from the updated rosters. Welcome to the crew.

::The smile and greeting was genuine if easy to chalk up to professional courtesy::

Th’Zarin: I haven’t been aboard too long, but I recognized you from the officer’s mess the other day. I couldn’t help but take notice.

::He smirked, giving her a quick but intentionally obvious once over with his eyes, antennae wiggling suggestively.::

::Rue was not someone who self-depreciated her own appearance. She was confident in her own sense of self to extend that out to how she looked. Nevertheless, she knew when someone was undressing her with their eyes, and she always was divided by it - on one hand, it was appealing - being wanted, being desired. On the other hand, the feminist instinct told her to smack down the behavior. Deciding neither side had a good case she merely raised her eyebrows up with an amused face::

Blackwell: Well, I know I’m always at my best when I’m at my work - and I was helping Commander Saveron at the moment with accommodations. By the by, is everything working out with yours?

::Gabe’s drink had been delivered. He had intended to sip it, but instead ended up downing the cup when he watched some young Andorian approach Rue. He couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the wiggle of the antennae caught his eye - he was certain it was not simply a nervous reaction. He looked to a passing waiter and ordered a refill, keeping his eyes on the scene below him::

::Ish’s eyes widened a little at the remark. She was Chief Ops, but she couldn’t possibly keep track of every little detail aboard the Conny. She couldn’t possibly know he’d been shunted into family quarters to live with his fiancées. He pretended to play it cool.::

Th’Zarin: I’m sharing quarters, and I could do without my roommates most of the time.

Blackwell: Well… if you need to have any changes, let me or my staff know. We want our staff to be as comfortable as possible ::She sipped her wine.:: Have you met anyone else besides your immediate colleagues?

::Again, that got a concerned antennae wriggle from Ish. He suddenly had a horrible fear that she had somehow read his personnel file and learned about Taurek’s efforts.::

Th’Zarin: A couple. No one who really… caught my eye. Present company excluded.

::He leaned against the bar, inching a little closer to her. Although in his mind he could see Taurek floating beside him lit up by the stars of the Lembetta Cluster. He pushed that image away. When he took a sip of his drink he noticed a young… Terran, maybe? Most pinkskins all blended in together in groups. This one was sitting by himself nearby, a drink in front of him, and he was staring intently… even intensely at Ish and Blackwell. Now that gave Ish some ideas. Maybe he could wrangle this into a little ménage à trois--a fantastic Terran phrase--if he played his cards right.::

::Gabe leaned over the railing, attempting to keep his head down and keep between the space of the half wall and the metal rail itself. He had drank too much, too fast, and his stomach was burning. That burning felt like it was spreading through his body, and to his heart. He felt locked in place, like a coil ready to spring.::

::She took a close look at him with his light blue eyes and skin. She took a deep drink of her wine and felt her skin tingle slightly, a strange flutter up her spine. She swallowed and smiled faintly, quirking an eyebrow.::

Blackwell: You Andorians really don’t abide by personal space do you?

Th’Zarin: ::smirking:: Not gonna lie, I don’t really do subtlety.

::A massive understatement.::

Th’Zarin: I think life can be too short, especially for those of us in service, and that if you see someone who’s beautiful, someone really eye catching, you go up to them and tell them. If they tell you to frak off, you frak off, but if they don’t… well…

Blackwell: ::She nodded to that:: It’s a good philosophy - Seize the day, take chances.

Th’Zarin: Like, right now. If you told me to buzz off and never talk to you again, I’d do it. I like a challenge but I’m not a creep. Obviously I’d prefer to stay and talk to you. oO Among other things. Oo But I’ve told you I think you’re eye catching, so the ball’s in your court, Lieutenant.

Blackwell: ::She gave a low breathy laugh:: I’ll take the compliment.

Th’Zarin: I’m not the only one. That guy hasn’t been able to take his eyes off you since I sat down… unless he’s looking at me, in which case… what do you think?

::Ish nodded at the man sitting nearby.::

::Gabe hastily attempted to duck again, but only managed to flail himself over the foot of the table and found himself gripping the rail, nearly avoiding flinging himself over. He managed to straighten, and cleared his throat. Caught, he did the only thing he could do, which was boisterously wave.::

Sharpe: Prudence! Prudence Blackwell! What the hell are you doing here?

::She stared at the sight of a lanky, sunset haired man clumsily avoid flinging himself on the caught walk, and stared, her words caught in her throat. She blinked again, as if unsure she was seeing him, and then realizing it was real, downed the entire thing of her wine - a wine that while safe for humans, was a good deal more potent than most would drink.::

::Gabe looked back and realized that the color was draining out of her face. He thought about just trying to vanish - awkward, but the thought of leaving her with the punk that was far too close - that made him stay. He ambled down the stairs of the catwalk.::

Sharpe: Prudy Prudy! You’re looking great, and who is your friend here?

Th’Zarin: ::dubious:: You know this guy?

::Rue suddenly felt her arm snake around Ish tightly - not hurting him, but as means to hold her back::

Blackwell: Gabe Sharpe. H… How nice to see you. Ish, this is Gabriel Sharpe -we went to the Academy together.

::Gabe walked towards them, and put his empty glass on the bar just beside Rue, angling to stand so that Rue was between them, and then offered hand to Ish.::

Sharpe: Hi there. Nice to meet you.

::Ish narrowed his eyes. His antennae angling forward slightly as if trying to get a better feel of the situation. He’d had more than a few experiences where an ex showed up… or sometimes when a current partner had showed up in one of those dreadful monogamous arrangements… and this was one of them.::

Th’Zarin: Ish Th’Zarin.

::Rue looked between the two, feeling like she was sandwiched between a rock and a hard place, and then smiled wanly to Gabe:: We just arrived on the U.S.S Constitution-B. What are you doing here ::and she looked towards the bartender and motioned for a refill of her wine::

Sharpe:: I’m part of engineering here on the Starbase. Almost to Lieutenant Junior Grade in the next month.

Blackwell: Ah, Congratulations ::she got her second wine and sipped at it, looking between the two::

Th’Zarin: ::smirking, teasing:: Must be really exciting, the glory of fixing toilets in the name of Starfleet.

::She cleared her throat at the awkward silence. She struggled - she was honestly somewhere between wanting to simply walk out, make a lame excuse, or hoping something would explode to give a distraction. When neither of these things seemed to make sense, she went to polite conversation, and then finally looked to Gabe.::

Blackwell: So ...do you frequent this bar often, or is it a favorite of the Starbase crew?

Sharpe: Well, my friend Mia recommended it. She’s on duty tonight so I thought I would check it out. ::He waved to the Bartender:: Another Gin and Tonic - and whatever my two friends here want. ::he smiled blithely at Ish::

Th’Zarin: Another Andorian ale, since the nice pinkskin’s offering.

::He accepted the glass and took a big gulp before he turned back to the Terran man. There was an awkward silence between the three of them as the club’s music blasted in the background. An old 20th century Earth dance tune, something about a hound dog that cried all the time and had trouble catching rabbits. Ish decided he’d rather be dancing with Prudence than sitting here with this creep. Maybe he could scare him off.::

Th’Zarin: So, I take it you two have done the ol’ Denobulan wriggled before.

Sharpe:: :He started to glower:: What did you say?

Th’Zarin: You know, docked the starship in the maintenance station. Went diving in the depths of Risa. Pet one another's tribbles. Sex.

Blackwell: ::Dryly as she sipped at her now refilled glass of wine: Well, Ish - true to your word you are as subtle as a tactical nuke. And I suppose the game is up, as they say. Yes, we know each other, though we parted ways a while ago.

::Gabe was silent for a moment and then downed his gin in a dangerously quick fashion.::

Th’Zarin: Well, what happened, who screwed up?

Blackwell: ::She thought of spitting out something spiteful and then she shook her head:: Well go with both of us.  We both did some really stupid, selfish things. ::she glanced at Gabe and shrugged, before taking another gulp of wine::

Sharpe: ::He looked at Rue, and for a moment looked shocked at her admission, and felt a pang of guilt:: It...wasn’t your… ::and then he trailed off::

Th’Zarin: ::smirking:: I was just telling dear Prudence how life’s too short to beat around the proverbial bush. ::to Sharpe:: Don’t know how much you know about Andorians, but we mate in foursomes. I’m trying to figure out if I can get you two back together for a bit, maybe get in some practice.

::Gabe set the glass on the bar down too sharply - the glass did not crack, but it was close. His eyes met Ish’s.::

Sharpe: Actually, if we are going to be honest, I was thinking I should get your blue [...] away from Rue, you piece of space trash. ::And he grabbed Rue’s arm firmly:: Rue, let's go.

Blackwell: Excuse me? :: while she had to talk loud to be heard over the music, her voice was not what one would call yelling. Instead it was low, commanding and firm. She narrowed her eyes:: Ensign Sharpe - hand off. Now.

::Ish leapt up from his seat, emboldened by the couple of drinks he’d had and this pinkskin getting physical with his former lover. Passion Ish could handle, but roughhousing someone who’d done nothing was where he drew the line.::

::Ish might have focused on helm and astrogation, but he’d minored in Security/Tactical, and he’d studied Andorian hand-to-hand for years. Strategic takedowns to end fights quickly were the best way for Andorians to win fights. Ish planted himself and his hand flew out to the pinkskin’s wrist, putting pressure on the sensitive joints and wrenching his arm away from Prudence. Ish danced around the Terran, pulling his arm behind him and slamming him against the counter.::

Th’Zarin: Come on, pinkskin, I thought we were all friends.

::Gabe was no fighter, but like every academy student, he had gone through some tactical classes, and he was in great shape, but never the less, he was caught off guard. He grunted sharply as his face hit the bar.::

::Rue blinked as she watched Ish pull out a move she had seen plenty of times, and realized that she was in the fantasy of every teenage girl, or and the nightmare of every adult woman - two men, fighting, and seemingly because of her.::

Blackwell: Woah woah woah. Easy! Gabe! Ish! Calm down.

Th’Zarin: I’m calm as an icy lake. I think it’s Gabe here who needs a lesson in manners.

::All eyes seemed on them suddenly, and where a rather large bouncer dressed as a host was making his way over, the crowd suddenly began to cheer.::

Crowd: Fight fight fight! FIGHT

::With the pinkskin pressed against the bar, Ish was lapping up the attention of the crowd that was gathering around them. He gave them a lopsided grin.::

::Propelled by the sound of voices and the jeers, and fueled by the bravery that only alcohol could give, Gabe grabbed his empty glass in his free hand and slammed it against Ish’s nearby head, and pushed off the counter to break free of the Andorian::

Blackwell: GABRIEL, the hell?!

::She went to try and break up the two, only to be held back by two spectators who were now entertained by the spectacle. Before Ish and Gabe could tear each other apart, the two were herded towards the stage, where the band was now clearing way for the new act. The Klingon Bartender got on the microphone and called out “And here it is folks! The First Bar fight of the Night! Lets see what these lads have in store for us!”::

::Now this was Ish’s kind of place, how had he never heard of this place before tonight? Sure, he’d have to go to sick bay to get the shards of glass removed from the side of his head, but a bar brawl turning into blood sport seemed like a perfect way to release some of the tension. As he started to prowl the perimeter of the stage, he took his tank off and dabbed at the little ribbons of blood streaming down the side of his face. This got him a few wolf whistles, which the young Andorian didn’t mind one bit.::

Th’Zarin: Don’t worry, pinkskin. I won’t beat you to a pulp, just tenderize you a little.

Sharpe: ::His mouth broke into an aggressive teeth baring grin, fists clenched:: Keep telling yourself that. Let’s see what color you are after I make you bleed. ::and he shot out with a quick jab, using the intertia of the crowd towards the “fighting stage” to try and herd the Andorian::

::Ish took a couple of aggressive steps forward, feinting to Gabe’s right as he tossed the bloody tank top at the Terran’s face. He used the opportunity to swing himself to the man’s right and deliver a blow to the pinkskin’s ribs as he spun around, trying to dance out of the way of a counter.::

::Gabe ducked and grabbed the shirt away from his face, and felt the blow to his ribs with a grunt. He stooped slightly but then tossed the shirt to the floor and charged Ish, driving him into the ground, hoping to use his mass to an advantage.::

::Ish felt the body slam into him and they tumbled to the ground, the Terran on top of him, Ish’s forearms instinctively covering his face.::

Th’Zarin: ::grunting:: I like your idea of foreplay, pinkskin.

::Rue was pushed back and eventually was able to worm away from the spectators that held her, but the crowd as between her, and the fighting stage. Rue hoped that perhaps security would show but those hopes were dashed when she saw that the bouncers, instead of calling security, had now closed the doors and were standing guard, enjoying the show. She blinked, and looked towards the stairs, and ran to ascend them to get a look over the stage::

::Gabe snarled and tried to leverage himself up to smash his fist against Ish’s face, knuckles bloody.::

Sharpe: You slime. Why do you even want her?

::The Terran got a couple of good hits even as Ish tried to block his punches. The Andorian kicked his legs out and flexed his entire body, trying to get his ankles up underneath Sharpe’s armpits from behind so he could try to throw him off.::

Th’Zarin: ::grunting from the pain and effort:: Why in the twenty frozen hells not? She’s a… beautiful woman! I’d treat her better than whatever you put her through, pinkskin!

::On the catwalk, Rue ran down, smooshing herself between the onlookers until she was at a spot that overlooked the stage. She forced her way to the front and tried to cry out.::

Blackwell: You asses! Cut it out!

::Ish finally managed to hook his ankles underneath Sharpe’s armpits and in one explosive motion he extended his body out, throwing the Terran backwards. Ish leapt after him, using the momentum so he ended up on to of the pinkskin. Fists flying as he knocked Sharpe across the face. He was already feeling the strain though it had only been a couple of moments of going at it. As much as time he’d put into stamina training, his physiology didn’t make that kind of physical effort any easier. He’d feel this in the morning.::

Th’Zarin: ::shouting:: Yield and it’s over, pinkskin!

::Sharpe’s face was speckled with blue blood from Ish’s knuckles, nose and face. Another broken nose in as many weeks… Sick Bay would start asking questions…::

Bartender: And it’s the flying Andorian and the Angry Red tonight folks. Place your bets, as this one is going to be over soon! Place ’em place ’em!

Sharpe: To hell with you - you have no idea who the hell she is!

::And as Ish threw him back, Gabe landed on the stage, thudding hard. That was going to hurt. A lot. He managed only to barely perceive the flying andorian coming at him, and took one fist to the face before grabbing the Andorian’s hands and began to grapple. He started laughing blindly.::

Sharpe: You have no idea who she is ::another painful laugh:: if you did, you’d know better… ::and was silenced as they rolled over one another::

::Rue gritted her teeth and slipping one leg over the catwalk railing, positioned herself over the combatants. There were certainly many times where an idea like this would have struck her as insane or at the very least, quite stupid. Instead, she took no time to think and leapt down, landing with a sharp grunt.::

Th’Zarin: ::grunting, trying to free a fist to strike out:: Dude… I think you’ve got… some serious issues… and coming from me, that’s really saying something!

::Gabe tried to push Ish off of him and gain some sort advantage, only to feel a hand on his shoulder and to be pulled off Ish by Rue herself, grappling him from behind, with his hands despite the size difference. However, not realizing it was Rue who held him, he attempted to shake her off, bending forward and throwing her over his back and towards Ish::

::Ish’s scrambled to his feet, his eyes going wide as Prudence Blackwell went sliding past him. She slid to a halt nearby. Ish was sweating, his body screaming after the few minutes of physical strain. He’d have to work on his upper body strength more...::

Th’Zarin: ::gasping for breath, readying to charge at Sharpe:: Frozen hells...

::She was shocked, to say the least. Gabe had never shown any interest in combat, and she’d always been able to best him, but now the thought had occurred to her - perhaps he let her win, and that made her angry. She managed to avoid hitting Ish and instead slid onto her side in a skid and smoothly righted herself, standing.::

Blackwell: You -unbelievable- [...]. ::She held a hand back towards Ish to hold back.::

Th’Zarin: ::gasping:: Come on… I could do this… all night...

Sharpe: ::He blinked:: Rue- Wait, why are you in here? Get out of the way, Are you serious?

Blackwell: As serious as a damn heart attack, Gabriel. You wanna fight - you can fight me. Or, you can salvage whatever wreckage of respect I have left for you, and -leave-.

Sharpe: ::His face fell - the anger drained and was replaced by a confused sense of shame:: I’m sorry, I didn’t.. ::he was cut off by the approach of the bartender turned announcer::

Bartender: ::He stepped on stage and attempted to shoo Rue off the back:: Lady lady, we got a fight. You can sleep with whoever wins alright?

Blackwell: ::She growled at the announcer:: You want a fight ---

Th’Zarin: ::growling:: I’ll show you a fight!

::Ish charged at Sharpe and brought a fist into Sharpe’s stomach, hard as he could.::

::He seemed to put two to two together. It was a moment of logic cutting through alcohol and shame, and realizing he couldn’t simply walk off with the crowd watching, he instead did the least manly thing he could think of. As Ish’s first hit his stomach, he lurched forward, eyes rolling back, fell forward as if unconscious.::

Bartender: ::He looked at the unconscious human and made a “Hm, okay” expression, shrugging and tilting his head to the side:: Okay then, we got a Winner! ::and went to the Andorian and raised his arm up.::

Th’Zarin: ::grinning, blood dripping down his face:: You pinkskins are wild, Prudence! Really know how to party! Although I think we should get to sick bay or something… My face is my best feature.

Blackwell: ::She breathed hard and groaned : Oh hell, Wyn is going to love this...

(( USS Constitution - Airlock ))

::The last twenty minutes had been a blur. She had managed to coldly and methodically ensure that Ensign Gabriel Sharpe was conscious, aware, and taken back to his quarters on the Starbase. She answered as few questions as possible and spoke to as few people as possible before herding Ish back towards the Constitution. As they walked, she said relatively little save to respond towards the questions or comments Ish made to her as they traveled::

::Prudence and Ish got more than a few stares as they made their way through the starbase and onto the Conny. Blackwell didn’t look to bad, more disheveled from getting tossed around and steaming from the turn the evening had taken. Ish, however, was shirtless--his tank lost somewhere in the scuffle and his bomber jacket slung over his shoulder--knuckles bleeding, cuts along one side of his face, and grinning like an idiot with every wide-eyed stare and double take.::

Th’Zarin: So who’s this guy who’s going to fix me up? Another ex?

Blackwell:::her expression was blank, and her eyes were fixed forward as they walked:: No, his name is Lieutenant Commander Shar’Wyn Foster. He is a friend.

::Her voice sounded calm, but aside from the slightly faster breath from the fast pace they had walked.::

Th’Zarin: ::sighing:: I’m not sure how many more pinkskins I can deal with tonight, Chief.

Blackwell: He’s Andorian.

::She lead them towards the turbolift and hit the panel to open the door and stepped in, waiting for him to come in before pressing to close and hitting the proper floor.::

Th’Zarin: ::raising an eyebrow dubiously:: “Foster” is not exactly a traditional Andorian name.

Blackwell:  He was raised by a human, Lieutenant Commander Cade Foster. He grew up on earth - I’ve known him since childhood ::as if she was providing a brief biography for a speech rather than taking a bloodied hot head to a doctor::

Th’Zarin: Huh… ::pause:: Is he cute?

Blackwell: ::She hit the button and swallowed slowly:: He’s attractive, but also taken. ::Before she could say anything more, the turbolift door open and she walked ahead. Finally she hit a panel along the wall and contacted Wyn’s comm badge::

Blackwell: ::Asked in a rather methodical monotone:: =/\= Wyn - it’s Rue. Could you meet us at sickbay, please. =/\=

::The voice at the other end of the line was bright and brash with a notably Terran accent::

Foster: =/\= Seriously, Rue what did you do to yourself now? =/\=

Blackwell: =/\= I have a crewmember who needs some attention. Ensign Ish Th’Zarin, Andorian - Abrasions, bruising, some minor contusions, and potentially embedded glass. =/\=

Foster: ::Doctor Foster sounded thrilled. Absolutely thrilled.:: =/\= Well, you two had an interesting night.  And you’re OK? =/\=

Blackwell:: I’m fine. I’ll bring him to sickbay.

Foster: =/\= Yeah, I’m already there, stop on by. =/\=

Blackwell::  Thank you. We’ll meet you there. 


::A few moments later they were at SickBay. Rue nodded to Wyn as they walked in and she gestured between the two Andorians.::

Blackwell: Lieutenant Commander Wyn Foster, please meet Ensign Ish Th’Zarin -

::Wyn Foster was already on the defensive.  Most of his interactions with Andorians had been less than pleasant.  Between the half Aenar biology and the human upbringing he didn’t exactly fit with most members of his species.::

::Ish looked Foster up and down. He’d grabbed a couple of shots on his way out of the club to dull the pain, so he was still feeling great.::

Th’Zarin: You’re right Chief, he is cute. ::smirking:: I’m liking it on this ship more and more.

::There was many a time that a comment like that might have made Rue blush, or laugh, or both. Instead she nodded with some assent to his conclusion. For most who didn’t know her, she likely was reading as just fine and calm. A leader who needed to deal with a rather messy situation. For Wyn, however, it may have appeared that the surface was just far too calm. Regardless, she looked at Wyn, and said with the same emotionless calm.::

Blackwell: Thank you for coming, Commander.

Foster: It’s my job.  ::He took a step forward, tricorder already out and working::  Now what happened?

::Ish pointed to his broken nose with his bloodied fist, then he pointed to the cuts along the side of his face.::

Th’Zarin: The Chief and I were walking along, minding our own business, and I tripped and fell… and I lost my shirt somehow. Happens a lot, if you can believe it.

Foster: ::He fixed th’Zarin directly in the eyes, antennae canted forward and spoke in an absolutely no-nonsense tone:: Bull[...].

Blackwell: I’ll explain afterwards, Wyn.

::And while the Andorian’s were verbally sparring, she walked towards the corner of the sickbay where there was a bench and sat quietly, her eyes appearing to be on the two Andorians.::

Foster: Get up on the biobed.  ::He patted the surface before flickering a glance towards Rue.:: You sure I shouldn’t be checking you out, too?

Th’Zarin: ::sighing, complying:: Listen, is this, like, an official visit to sickbay, or can we just sort of all relax and enjoy ourselves? I’m fine, Doctor. I’ve looked worse. Just patch me up and I’ll be on my merry way.

Blackwell: ::Like a good commanding officer to an underling, she said to Ish:: Let him work. He knows his stuff. ::and glancing at Foster:: I assure you, I’m not hurt. He’s the one who is unfortunately bleeding.

Foster: I see that.  Alright, we’ll start with the nose.

::He placed one blue hand on the back of Ish’s head and the other he placed on precise points alongside his nose, pressing carefully with his antennae curled forward feeling for the break before he reset it.::

::As Dr. Foster got to working on him, Ish’s skin tingled from the touch.::

Th’Zarin: ::to Foster:: So, what’s going on with your gonads? You a chan? Thaan?

::Rue closed her eyes at that and swallowed. She tried to shut them out for a moment. She knew Foster could more than handle himself, and at the moment, the ideas her mind was coming up with for actions were nowhere rational or appropriate. She felt a hideous numbness on herself, a sickly sense of logic that was likely more the result of adrenaline than inner strength - and she was not sure how long it would last. Not wanting to test her reserves at the moment, she opened her eyes again and started to pick a bit at her dress, which had acquired a bit of glass and dirt somewhere in the mix, and hoping for the moment she could simply sink into the background.::

::Dr. Foster stopped, fingers alongside the break in a very tender position.  He fixed his crystalline blue eyes on Ish’s and spoke in dangerously low tones.::

Foster: I am what you would consider both a thaan and a fade.  Meaning I’m half Aenar and therefore due to hybrid biology incapable of producing offspring without medical intervention.  Then again I have the medical knowledge to breed damn near anything with anything.  Any questions?

::And that was the moment he reset the nose with blinding fast accuracy and a nasty crunching sound. Ish grunted, mostly from surprise at the noise and the force of the motion.::

::Foster’s low and precise explanation managed to pierce Rue’s emotionally fogged brain. She winced faintly, not at the crunching sound, but at the consideration of what Wyn likely was feeling. She pulled herself out of the dregs of emotional shock long enough to keep her eyes on Ish, ready if the young Andorian decided to make himself more of a problem.::

Th’Zarin: Hey man, if everything works okay, you’d get no complaints from me… ::focusing on Foster’s antennae:: Though I think you should get your antennae checked. They’re kind of… all over the place...

::Next came the glass.  He snatched up a sterilization tool and swept the area before readying a coagulation tool and a forceps.::

Foster: Hold still.  ::Pause::  Quite frankly, I don’t give a targ’s hind end what my species thinks of me.  I came to peace a long time ago with the idea of a race that didn’t care if I lived or died was unworthy of my attention.  Individuals, however, I will take on a case by case basis.

Blackwell: ::she managed quietly, with a smile that could go in the history books as the weakest ever, despite its genuine nature:: And speaking as one of the individuals you have helped, I’m grateful. ::Before glancing back down and picking at an errantly broken fingernail::

Th’Zarin: ::rolling his eyes and antennae:: And people say I have a chip on my shoulder, frozen hells...

Foster: Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  ::Unconcerned.:: So you guys gonna tell me what happened?

::Glass was removed, now it was time to fix the rest of the bleeding cuts and scrapes.  All very neat and tidy.::

Blackwell: ::she exhaled:: Yes. ::with a weary resignation::

Th’Zarin: Yeah, what was that guy’s deal, Chief? Seemed like a pretty big creep to me.

::She felt her stomach churn at explaining everything, and wasn’t sure if she wanted to throw up, cry, or an ugly combination of both. She took a deep breath instead and started to speak clearly and evenly, albeit without much energy.::

Blackwell: I went to check out a club tonight, see if it was something I could recommend to the crew. Ensign Th’Zarin went separately, and we bumped into each other and well, struck up some conversation. Unfortunately, someone… I was once involved with happened to be in the bar as well. He saw Ensign Ish and I...conversing and decided to… I don’t know… ::she stood and paced:: break us up, interviene. Who the hell knows. He was obviously drunk. Either way, Ensign Th’Zarin and he started verbally sparring and that escalated to this individual… decided to get a bit grabby to pull me out of the bar.  Ensign Th’Zarin attempted to intervene and from there, it escalated.

Foster: Wait a second, someone assaulted you on the Starbase in a barfight?

::Wyn’s tone had dropped to dead serious.  For some reason these two were pussyfooting around this matter and Wyn was shocked that no one had mentioned the perpetrator being dragged to the brig.::

Th’Zarin: Assaulted her?! Did you see the state of me when I walked in?!

Foster: I meant you.::He clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, flicking his antennae towards Ish:: Though she’s not doing all that great either. ::He muttered that last bit.  He knew Rue well enough to tell when something was wrong.::

Blackwell: No, he didn’t… ::she rubbed her face as she paced, attempting to hide the fact she was wiping away rebellious tears, and when she felt she could trust herself, she pushed up her sleeves:: See, no bruises. Not even a mark. He didn’t grab that -hard-. ::She glanced to Ish:: And for the record, had you given me half the chance, I could have calmed him down. And that isn’t some victim’s bull[...], I know him.  He’s -never- been violent. Hell, the man nearly failed combat class. I had to tutor the jackass.

Th’Zarin: ::scoffing:: You pinkskins… I might have muscles for days, but I’d never use them to rough around my lovers, even an ex. ::to Wyn, flexing a little:: Unless they’re into that kind of thing.

::Doctor Foster paused in his ministrations and looked between Rue and Ish.::

Foster: Is the guy who did this in the brig?

Blackwell: ::she shook her head, with a look of exhausted dismay on her face:: No -the...bar we were at treats barfights… apparently as some sort of spectacle. By the time we managed to get out… I just wanted to get Ensign Th’Zarin back here, ensure and figure out how to go from there.

Th’Zarin: ::to Blackwell:: I thought you said this guy was cool...

Foster: No, I’m dead serious.  Unless you threw the first punch ::He pointed to Ish:: it is unacceptable for a Starfleet officer to do this to another Starfleet officer without consequences. ::He fixed his crystalline blue eyes on the other Andorian:: And whether I know you or not or like you or not is irrelevant.  I will advocate for you and press charges on your behalf because it’s the right thing to do.

::Rue sighed faintly and nodded, looking quietly to the floor as if the carpeting had either some means of answers, or escape, or because the adrenaline was finally allowing the wine to hit.::

Th’Zarin: Listen, Th’Foster… nope… just doesn’t sound right. Doctor? Doc? Shar’Wyn? That’s better. Shar’Wyn, you seem like decent thaan, but no one was “assaulted.” I mean, I was, but I “assaulted” the creep right back.

Foster: It’s Wyn.  ::He paused and asked clearly back towards Ish:: Did you throw the first punch?

::Ish grinned. If there was one thing he loved to do, it was recount barfights.::

Th’Zarin: So here’s how it went down, and you back me up on this, Chief. Andorian sees girl, girl sees Andorian. ::to Blackwell:: Girl… likes Andorian?

Blackwell: Girl likes Andorian enough to converse ::she started to pace again, letting Ish speak:: but girl isn’t sure of anything else at the moment.

Th’Zarin: Good enough. Pinkskin sees girl and Andorian. Pinkskin feels his manhood shrivel slightly at the sight of all these rippling blue muscles. Pinkskin tries to pull girl away from Andorian. Andorian doesn’t like that and puts him in a grapple. Andorian meets glass… pinkskin and Andorian meet cage fight without the cage. ::to Wyn, with a suggestive wink:: Andorian meets Andorian.

Foster: ::Without missing a beat.:: you’re cute too, but I’m taken.  ::his flickered his gaze back and forth:: So punches were traded, I get that.  Barfights are barfights.  But… you’re both telling me that it’s OK, that you want to give this [...] permission to invade your conversation when neither of you are doing anything against morals or regulations, grab her ::he stabbed a finger towards Rue:: and fight dirty by shoving shards of glass in your head?  ::He flicked that finger towards Ish.:: Which I might add the top shard was only seven centimeters away from the base of your left antennae.  Had that glass or your head been positioned a little differently you’d be off balance for the next week and a half.  ::He drew in a long, slow breath:: Look, I can’t tell you what to do.  You don’t want to press charges, don’t press charges.  But if it were me, I don’t give anyone permission to hurt me or to hurt anyone I care about.  And I will always offer advocacy for anyone who comes into this sickbay and needs - or might need - it.

Blackwell: ::She nodded and finally settled down on the chair again, head in her arms:: It’s...just stupid and complicated. And frankly put, I probably need to go talk to him again and figure out -precisely- what I want to do.

::Doctor Foster would argue that she should have station security go talk to him.  But he decided to bite that tongue for a moment and pry for more information.::

Foster: Who is this guy, anyways?

Blackwell: Look ::she rubbed her neck and chewed on her lip for a moment, and started to speak with a bit more energy, her expression one of exhausted misery:: This guy...his name is Gabriel Michael Sharpe...and he is He...was once my fiance. Not just...some guy I dated. I was going to marry him….in fact, the plan had been right after graduation from the academy. Marry, get on the same Starship, and have the happy ending. ::She glances at Wyn:: I mentioned a relationship that went right off a cliff...well, this was the one. I suppose you can argue it was both of our faults. Long story short...he got over zealous in our last years about me making “safe, smart” choices, became really controlling, and I put my foot down. He responded by...sleeping with someone else..which I had the absolute thrill of walking in on, by the way. After that, things were done between us. I returned the ring,  I was assigned to help with a temporary mission, then got a final assignment here on the Conny...and haven’t spoken to him until tonight.

::She then felt a whimpered sob she was attempted to swallow, failed, and then muttered a curse to herself and got up, walking to where a dispenser of paper towels was and wiped her eyes.::

::Ish looked to Foster, then moved over to Rue and put a hand on her shoulder, he hoped comfortingly.::

Th’Zarin: Men are all redbat guano, Chief. And I am one.

::Wyn made a harrumph sound as if to say that was a little unfair.::

::Somehow in her mind, and spirit, she felt haggard and weary, and she accepted the gesture and for a moment leaned towards the touch just to feel something other than hurt.::

Blackwell: No, men are not redbat guano….just sentient beings… women can be just as wretched if not worse… and I’m not saying his… status as once being my fiance absolves him of being an [...]. Far from. Him being an [...] is -precisely- why things went down in flames. That said, the idea of screwing his entire career seems completely… I don’t know… maybe it is reasonable. I don’t know.. ::She rubbed her face again:: That is -why- I need to talk to him… figure out what the hell got into his head.

Th’Zarin: Probably too much alcohol. ::to Wyn:: Not that I know anything about that. ::another wink::

Foster: Honestly, you want the sober explanation?  A counselor should find that out.  Anyone can let something fester and over time it turns them into a monster.  And it sounds like this Gabe guy has a history of meltdowns.  ::He let that linger.  Escalating meltdowns.  So what would be the next one and who would it be aimed at?::

Blackwell: Look, I’m not going to argue he isn’t violent… given evidence to the contrary ::she motioned to Ish:: but with all respect… I -can- defend myself, and at the moment, he’s in as bad of shape as Ensign Th’Zarin - possibly worse given the last hit he took. He isn’t attacking or fighting anyone at the moment.

Th’Zarin: Yeah, I was declared the champion of whatever that dive was called, or something. I kicked his frakkin’ [...].

Foster: I don’t doubt it.  ::He tipped his antennae towards Ish before turning towards Rue:: So he’s settled… for now.  But he’s got a history of meltdowns and a pattern of escalation.  So what happens when he grabs the next girls and she’s not as able to defend herself as you.  ::He looked pointedly at Rue:: And he punches the next guy who isn’t a big blue chunk of man meat who fights back?  ::He paused and let that sink in.:: The precedent you set now may mean innocent people get hurt - or spared - later.

::Wyn was adamant about this, as if he already had personal experience.::

::Rue looked up to Wyn and looked to him with a mix of regret, resignation, loss and frustrated vehemence.::

Blackwell: In the last twenty minutes, all of those thoughts have occurred to me, and worse. I… know you think I’m naive and I don’t see the issue, but I do. That being said, I’ve also seen the type who's willing to antagonize and threaten those perceived to be weaker, and what happens when it escalates… and how the escalation slips through the cracks, and dealt with as well - though that is another story. That said, even Starfleet has cracks… even if we go through the process, and it looks like he may get consequences, that is no sure deal. Bureaucracy and red tape has a way of either burying people… or cushioning their fall. ::she looked down and pushed her hands through her hair before looking up and standing:: And It’s entirely irrational… past is past, all that, but I feel a lot of  blame in this. I need to fix it and it has to be now. ::she stood up and looked to Wyn:: I’m going to find him. Going to deal with it. Will you come with me?

Foster:  Yes, I am.  ::firm::

Th’Zarin: ::jumping to his feet:: I can go too!

Foster: Haven’t you hit the guy enough for one night?  ::He asked, not unkindly.  There was caution and humor in his tone.::

Th’Zarin: Aww, come on, Wyn. Don’t bench me!

Foster: Most of the action is going to be extremely boring. A lot of talking with security and official paperwork. Not very fun.  ::he was quite sincere about that.::

Blackwell :::She looked to Wyn and nodded, murmuring quietly:: Thank you.

Th’Zarin: ::muttering:: Didn’t even frakkin’ get any tonight… damn pinkskins…

Foster: You know what, if you wanted to get it on so bad you should go find my dad. He's had a lifelong fantasy of a multicolored threesome. I'm sure you and he could hook up and find some dashing exotic lady on the Starbase and go have a night of fun.  ::The sad thing was, Wyn was very serious about that too.  Cade Foster had been a wonderful father to him, but he also had his own very strange and not always socially acceptable quirks.::

Blackwell: ::She was so fuzzy brained that at the moment, she couldn’t even react to Foster’s mentioned. She managed to look at Ish:: I’ll… follow up with you later.

Th’Zarin: ::blinking, distracted, to Rue:: Oh yeah, sure. ::to Wyn:: Your… dad...

Foster: All I ask is if you do it, don't tell me about it in the morning. I don't need to know that about my dad.

::Rue waited patiently at the door, arms folded quietly.::

::Ish just sat there on the biobed, blinking, feeling like he was either too drunk or not drunk enough for what Wyn had just said to him.::

Foster: ::looking towards Blackwell:: Alright, this is your show, you telling me where the road goes.

::Rue nodded silently and lead the way out.::

::Ish sat there a moment longer, his mind gone blank.::

Th’Zarin: Computer… who is Wyn Foster’s father?

END

 

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