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  1. ((Blueheart’s Quarters, USS Atlantis)) ::Dreams never follow a coherent sequence.. :: ((Dreamscape – flashback to stardate 238908.22)) ((Il Diavolo Blu, Living Museum District, Sigma Iotia II)) BLUEHEART: We have a reservation. ::The girl was in her early twenties. She had on a glittery sheer sleeveless blouse that extended to just below a small waist. A similarly colored pleated skirt barely covered her knees, seemingly attached to her blouse via a loose-fitting silver chain that functioned as a belt, perhaps. Her pitch black short hair stuck to her scalp in undulating rivulets, held in place with an ample amount of mousse and a beige hair band with a large silver flower on one end. She had thin lips, painted a deep blood red, to compliment her rouged cheeks. Her violet eyes sparkled as she nodded to the gentlemen and turned around to draw and hold open heavy scarlet velvet drapes. Raj and Emerson spent a full minute to take it all in. Red. Nearly everything bled, oozed and dripped red. From tablecloths to tea-light glasses, the curtains all around the room to the walls themselves, the rose-scented candles to lamp shades, the suspenders on the men playing in the band to roses worn by the waitresses. All varying hues and species of red. Raj nearly squealed in delight. The pretty girl in the sheer-colored fluid dress escorted them to their table before duly departing. Raj was aware of stares directed at them, and having a table in the middle of the room didn’t help to divert some of that attention. Emerson, on the other hand, was fully aware and basked in the stolen glances and intimate whispers suddenly having sprung all around them. The band played a lazy, bluesy number. All the players were dressed in black shirts, black pants, black fedoras, and narrow red suspenders. Whirls of blue smoke drifted languidly to the chandelier-decorated ceiling above, like lifeless jellyfish. Most of the male patrons of the club were evidently middle-class as ascertained by their outfit of jackets and vests and suspenders and fedoras, smoking cigars and slim cigarettes, but there were a number of upper-class gentlemen present as well, dressed in top hats and tuxedos, smoking pipes and drinking brandy; women with elegantly coiffed hair strung with pearls, or in beautifully crafted cloche hats, smothered in mink, ermine, fox and chinchilla, draped on their men’s arms. Emerson helped Raj into his seat before taking a seat himself.:: BLUEHEART: ::reaching out across the small round table to tighten the noose of Emerson’s tie:: There. Perfect. ::Emerson wore a dark olive green thin-lapelled jacket and vest with matching straight-cut slacks that ended slightly above the ankles. Raj was initially hesitant about green altogether, fearing it might make him look like a leprechaun, but the final ensemble was well worth the risk. Underneath the vest he had on a crisp white shirt buttoned at the wrists with ivory cufflinks. His tie was a solid mauve and hid behind his vest. Slicked back with a ton of hair gel, the red-haired xenolinguist almost looked bald, not having his luscious curly tresses running wild. But this was well camouflaged with an olive fedora with a thin camel band around its circumference. Raj had stuck a dappled partridge feather on one side of Emerson’s fedora, and he admired this ingenious accessory ever so often. The first officer had on a similarly tailored midnight blue vest and trousers, over which he threw on a matching jacket that had barely-discernible mauve pinstripes. He also wore a lavender shirt underneath with a solid magenta tie, and a midnight blue homburg with a broad mauve band. A nine-inch golden pheasant tail feather stuck to the left side of his hat completed the outfit. Both men wore polished black-and-white banded shoes with white socks, as was the what-was-I-thinking fashion of the era.:: WAITRESS: Drinks, gentlemen? ::Her multiple droopy silver necklaces chimed against the table.:: BLUEHEART: Absinthe for me. RAVENSCROFT: ::giving Raj a curious look:: oO Seems the Prohibition doesn’t extend to this part of town. Oo Red Death. Oh, and bring me a cigar. BLUEHEART: ::after the waitress sauntered away:: You don’t smoke. RAVENSCROFT: Neither do you drink anything stronger than wine. BLUEHEART: ::grinning mischievously:: ‘Tis a good night for recklessness! RAVENSCROFT: oO If I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s drunk already. Oo ::chuckling:: You’re not having a midlife crisis are you? BLUEHEART: What? ::He laughed.:: RAVENSCROFT: You want to prove to the young jay-gees that you’ve still got it by getting drunk, getting laid and getting into a bar brawl? BLUEHEART: ::sly grin:: Getting laid isn’t so bad. RAVENSCROFT: ::smirking:: Unless it’s with the Captain. BLUEHEART: Ack! RAVENSCROFT: What! I think the Captain cuts a dashing figure.. for a two hundred-year-old. BLUEHEART: ::wide-eyed with disbelief:: He’s my commanding officer! It’s inappropriate! Besides, he isn’t my type. RAVENSCROFT: Well, that didn’t stop a certain--- BLUEHEART: ::scolding:: Hey! RAVENSCROFT: When you’re drunk, you’re drunk. ::shrugging nonchalantly:: Things happen. BLUEHEART: ::narrowing his eyes and glaring at Emerson:: Then I had better keep you on a very short leash, lest you stray. RAVENSCROFT: Ooh a leash. Kinky. ::The waitress returned with their drinks and cigar. She waited until Emerson clipped off one end before lighting it. Emerson fished out a wad of greenbacks and handed it to her with a complimentary wink and a tip of the hat. She giggled and bounced away.:: BLUEHEART: ::rolling his eyes:: Aren’t you going to pinch her bottom? RAVENSCROFT: Good idea. Then you can spank me for being a naughty, naughty boy. ::Emerson inhaled on the cigar, unsuccessfully suppressing a paroxysm of violent coughing, then exhaled a cloud of blue-grey smoke above his head. Raj stared at the absinthe spoon and sugar cube set aside by the waitress next to his shot of the green alcoholic drink. Ignoring the accompanying paraphernalia, he downed the entire glass of absinthe in one gulp and turned red as a lobster, breathing through his mouth to let unseen flames escape his scorched esophagus.:: BLUEHEART: ::mildly breathless::Wow! RAVENSCROFT: ::frowning, amused:: I’m pretty sure that’s not the way it’s done. BLUEHEART: ::waving at another waitress, a brunette this time, with his empty glass in the air:: Seems like there’s a lot of things I don’t know--- ::He stopped abruptly and stared blankly at Emerson.:: RAVENSCROFT: ::after a few silent seconds:: Well? Go on. The suspense is killing me. BLUEHEART: ::to the returning brunette waitress holding a bottle of Spanish absinthe:: Leave the bottle, dear. ::Emerson fished out another wad of bills and paid her handsomely. Returning his gaze at Raj, he found him already downing his second shot straight up, coughing and hacking afterwards. Emerson gently reached out across the table and placed a warm hand over his friend’s.:: RAVENSCROFT: ::in a soft, endearing voice:: What’s really going on here, Raj? ::The band struck up an up tempo number. There was applause all around and little squeals of delight and giggles of excitement. Middle-class ladies and gentlemen, women clinging to their long necklaces cascading down their necks, in front of their dresses, and men holding on to their fedoras and tugging on their suspenders, left their tables and rushed to the area in front of the stage on which the band played. They danced. The women’s slinky dresses shimmering like diamonds as they spun, kicked and gyrated to the fast jazzy number. The men’s shoes made rhythmic taps and clicks on the well-polished hard wood floor, their moves just as smooth, just as passionate. The movements were so fast Raj couldn’t tell if the dancers were doing the Charleston, Lindy hop or black bottom. The dance partners came together only to separate. The men twirled their gals over their heads, over the floor and around their waists. Those pouty lips. Those swaying hips. Strong muscular arms on delicate porcelain skin. A frenzy of flailing arms and legs, synchronized and coordinated. Raj felt the blood rush into his cheeks. His heart pounded in tandem with the bass. His soul wailed with the horns. He stood up, straightened his back, breathed excitedly, and removed his jacket, letting it fall onto the back of his hardback chair. He reached out his right hand for Emerson. With his posture slightly askance, his left arm bent behind his back and his right outstretched before him, he was not unlike a cavalier goading his opponent to a duel.:: BLUEHEART: ::with passion and fire in his eyes and charm on his lips:: Dance with me! ::And so began the duel.:: ((End dreamscape/flashback)) TBC ====================================== Commander Raj Blueheart Commanding Officer USS Atlantis NCC-74682
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