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JP - Lt. JG Trovek and Lt. Sherlock - Live~Love~Drink

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We all know how much talent is around our fleet. But I can't help to point out two of the writers I enjoy the most here. I am lucky to have them both put up with me and ever since they joined I saw they were great additions to the fleet.

This is my way to thank them now that their two PCs meet. I joined the three parts so we can all read them together. I loved reading this @Lt Aine Olive Sherlock and @Arys.



((Starbase 118))

The last time Aine was on 118, she was a four bar Cadet. She’d been sent there for her finals. Next stop was the USS Resolution. It hadn’t been long, but somehow seemed a lifetime ago. The size of the place still overwhelmed her. She couldn’t understand how the crew could manage. Some would say it was a city in space, but in reality, it was its own continent.

Starfleet had invited her to speak at a seminar for Security Officers in the sector. By invited, they meant required. She wasn’t terribly happy about it either. The incident on Rinascita station was still fresh in her mind, but they insisted she speak about it. With the failings of SFI and a successful, in so much as the hostage was safe and unharmed, rescue attempt. She still felt it was a failure as she and Meidra had both been injured. Herself, critically. But they say you learn nothing from your successes and everything from your failures. The presentation itself wasn’t long, but the question and answer session after and the face-to-face talks that inevitably came after made the day long. Luckily, Starfleet had put her up in a nice hotel. An actual water bath was something she missed and always longed for, non-existent on the Resolution and only for the CO, XO, and VIP’s on the Excalibur.

Having asked around, Aine had been suggested a few places to get dinner and drinks, but she knew next to nothing about any of them. First stop was a place called Blue Sparkler. The name was interesting and when she first walked in and saw all the bright neon and dancers hanging from the ceiling, she froze, did an about face, and walked away. Not exactly the place she was picturing, she’d have to have a talk with that JG who suggested it. Next stop: Salty Dawg.

((Salty Dawg, San Francisco District, Starbase 118))

This was much more her kind of place, dirty. Surely there was good whiskey and greasy food here. And the food might even be real. She saddled up to the bar and ordered a dish called chvarci, it was mostly pork fat and sounded perfect, and a whatever they had in the way of cheap whiskey. As she settled into a steady pace of spoonful after spoonful of the interesting and delicious bowl of chvarci, a fellow Starfleet officer entered and sat near her at the bar. A quick glance followed by a second as she noticed slight ridges on the woman’s nose. Her interest in Bajor and it’s people had steadily grown on her since her shore leave there during the Gratitude Festival.

The ‘Bajoran’ seemed to have a sixth sense for people noticing her, or perhaps she simply had glanced at Aine at exactly the same time. Their eyes met, for a split second only, and then she offered something between a smile and a gamely smirk.
The moment ended as unexpectedly as it had begun, as the woman turned away and towards the barkeeper.

She appeared relaxed as she leaned against the counter, idly pushing some crumbs onto the floor. Once the barkeeper returned with a plate of grease-dripping fries and a glass filled with an amber liquid, the Bajoran - who in truth was a Human-Bajoran hybrid - turned and once more glanced at the fellow Starfleet officer closeby.

Trovek: Mind if I join you?

Her voice was melodic, but deeper than one would have expected from someone with her relatively petite build, and she did not seem to wait for a response either as she made her way towards Aine.

Sherlock: Um… ::gesturing towards the nearest stool even though the new guest was taking a seat:: …yes, please. Join me.

Aine continued taking spoonfuls of her dish into her mouth, though the scoops were getting self-consciously smaller.

Sherlock: So, are you a Science Officer aboard the station?

Trovek: ::raising a very vulcan eyebrow:: I’m a medical officer, and guess what, I even have a name. How about you?

Sherlock: Oh gosh, I’m sorry, I’m Aine. Chief of Security for the USS Excalibur. oO Awkward start there! Oo

Trovek: Aine…an Irish name, isn’t it? Oh, I’m Arys, but no fancy title attached to it. Just one out of what feels like a thousand doctors here.

Aine found the name fitting in some way. She didn’t know the name or what it meant but there was something about it that seemed to fit the woman.

Sherlock: Arys. ::Aine offered a smile:: I think I can remember that.

Arys sipped from the glass which, from the smell of it, was filled with whiskey, though a slightly more expensive kind than what the other woman was drinking. For a moment, Arys closed her eyes and savoured the complex flavour.

Trovek: Excalibur… the name does ring a bell, but I am not yet sure what kind of bell. I think I’ve heard of the ship before.

Sherlock: It’s assigned to the Borderlands. Commodore Nicholotti’s ship.

Aine honestly didn’t expect the Doctor to know the ship. With the fleet as large as it is and with someone who was stationed on a station the size of 118, there really was no reason for her to.

Trovek: ::still in thought:: Hm… it will come to me eventually. My brain is a little fried and I am just trying to catch a break between the work I *get* assigned, and the work I am assigning to myself.

That was a bad description of a perfectly reasonable strategy. The truth was that Arys’ didn’t like her quarters, or free time. And so, she buried herself in enough work to keep her busy. Evenings in the one bar or the other, and dinner breaks in whichever restaurant or café she fancied.

Sherlock: I can relate.

Trovek: How come?

Sherlock: I mean, it’s just this thing I do. Work is my escape. It’s been that way for a few years now. On our old ship, I used to take extra shifts to avoid ::beat:: life. So, what’s got you pretending to be at work?

Arys nodded thoughtfully at the other woman’s words, and once more brought the glass of to her lips.

Trovek: I guess it’s the same for me. Yesterday I was hoping for someone to have an accident that would give me an excuse to stay in sickbay, rather than leave work and try to be a person.

She offered a shrug - she didn’t want to go into more detail, and it wasn’t like she owed anyone an explanation.

Aine let out a slight laugh in reply. She thought about the various things in her personal life she didn’t confront. How some of those were still around even.

Sherlock: ::raising her glass to Arys:: Well, then I guess I’m in the right place and in good company.

Aine downed her drink in one shot then gestured to the bartender for another. She took a quick look around the room. Though the aesthetic wasn’t like the pubs back home she’d sneak into, it definitely carried a familiar atmosphere. A certain sense of comfort and calm came over her.

Sherlock: Do you come here often?

Trovek: Every now and then. I am actually not here that terribly long, I transferred from the USS Juneau just a few weeks ago - and you know what it’s like. Work, work and… don’t forget, more work.

She emptied her drink and ordered another one, but at the same time neglected the fries. Not a surprise really, she didn’t look like someone who even knew what fries were. Instead, she looked just on the edge of underweight, but at the same time her nails, makeup, and the way she carried herself were almost elegant. Either way, she didn’t seem to fit in here at all.

Aine froze at the mention of the Juneau. Although the woman had said her name was Arys, there was still a hesitation that made her wonder if this was “Isa.” No, it surely couldn’t be, “Isa” was an engineer. But what if she knew her? What if they were friends? What if they blamed Aine for Sil’s choice to leave?

Sherlock: The…Juneau?

Trovek: Yes, the Juneau. Out in the Aavaro Wilds. Captain Oddas’ ship.

Sherlock: ::hesitantly:: I’m actually somewhat familiar with that ship.

Trovek: ::tilting her head:: You are?

Aine knew she should have just smiled and nodded. With the potential to have just opened a huge can of worms.

Sherlock: I have a friend…crewmate…who served on the Juneau. Lieutenant Silveira.

Arys blinked a few times, and should probably just shut up, but where was the fun in that?

Trovek: The guy who *bit* someone?? Oh! That’s where I remember the name from, the crew was on the USS Resolution before, right?

Aine took a deep breath, the kind that makes you an inch taller. The kind when you let it out your body just slumps forward. She looked down at her drink before looking at Arys.

Sherlock: ::mock exasperation:: Yes, the one who bit someone. And yeah, that was on the Resolution. oO Man, all of Starfleet probably knows about that one! Oo

Trovek: I never met Silveira. I only know Tito, his ‘brother’. Grumpy fella, and a stalker, but I have heard about the biting incident. And you’re *friends* with Silveira?

Sherlock: I am ::beat:: was ::beat:: I don’t even know anymore. It’s a long story.

One that Aine wasn’t sure she wanted to regurgitate.

Trovek: Oh come on. I have… at least another fourty-five minutes.

Sherlock: ::taking another deep breath:: Well, it goes back to my fourth year at the Academy. He was there taking the return officer’s course. We ended up on the same final. He was confident and dashing. Had a real go-getter's attitude. I was kind of taken by that. But I was also naive. But we ended up getting assigned to different ships. We talked every now and then but nothing more came of it. Until…

Arys nodded and listened quietly, a skill she had cultivated when she had become a Councellor. That said, this wasn’t work. The Doctor *adored* gossip, and Tito’s ‘brother’ Sil seemed a viable source of gossipale behaviour.

Sherlock: He basically showed up on Deep Space Two Twenty-Four and confessed he had feelings for me. Before I could even give him an answer, he’d left his girlfriend on the Juneau and transferred to the Resolution. Next thing I know, ::looks at Arys and makes a biting motion::.

Aine downed her second drink, albeit slow and steady this time.

Arys couldn’t help but grin, and nodded. She found the whole affair quite entertaining and had never understood how Silveira had gotten away with a warning only. She knew Tito had slapped him, for one. She also really hoped the man got mandatory counselling.

Trovek: It doesn’t sound complicated, you know? Just bothersome. And he seems a little impulsive.

Sherlock: That’s just it, he can be…incredibly impulsive. And on top of that, I feel like I’m somehow responsible.

Trovek: Not really… I would understand if you don’t exactly feel like you want him around. Just remember you don’t owe him anything.

It reminded Arys a lot of Tito, who had requested a transfer from the Juneau to One-Eighteen because he wanted to be closer to Arys. It made her extremely uncomfortable, and like she was expected to *want* him here. Would he snap and bite someone, Arys would probably also feel like it was somehow her fault.

The Bajoran-Human hybrid gave an encouraging smile and ordered a refill for both of them. They both seemed to be needing it.

Trovek: How long are you staying? Honestly, you should try to enjoy it as much as possible, I imagine the Reso-calibur isn’t near as comfortable.

Sherlock: Oh, it’s just for a couple days. I had to speak at the Security Conference today and tomorrow I have some seminars to attend. But I may take some time to look around. It’s a big place though. Any suggestions?

Arys thought about this for a moment. She did not feel particularly social, but she figured that the poor woman could use a break - and wondered if it was her destiny to fix the broken hearts Sil left behind whenever he had another stupid idea.

Trovek: I’d like to take you out to a restaurant. Cardassian cuisine, it’s quite good. Drinks after.

Aine looked down at her partially finished bowl of stewed pork. She was never one to turn down a chance to eat (more) and especially if it was something she’d never tried before. And more drinks? What person in their right mind would pass that up?

Sherlock: Never had Cardassian before. ::beat:: Let’s do it.

Arys nodded, then also glanced down at Aine’s bowl of whatever that was, and her own unfinished fries.

Trovek: This evening?

Sherlock: That would be perfect.

Trovek: ::pushing her luck:: Aaand are you going to wear something nice? It’s a restaurant. But if you’re more comfortable like this, I don’t mind.

Something nice? Aine suddenly had flashbacks to Bajor. When the then borrowed Excalibur arrived her friend and crewmate Iljor had mentioned that everyone dresses up. She had to excuse herself from the bridge as the “nicest” clothes she owned were flannel shirts and black leggings and she’d needed to do some research to figure out what to wear.

Sherlock: No, definitely no uniforms. I’ll…uh…I’ll wear something *nice*.

((Later that evening, Aine’s temporary quarters, Starbase 118))

When Aine said she’d dress nice, she really didn’t know what that meant. Dressing nice wasn’t her forte and since dressing nice at the Academy meant Dress Whites, that was good enough for her. Having grown up around small farms and mostly boys, there was rarely a need to “dress nice.” Much like her visit to Risa and Bajor, she had to browse the catalogue in the replicator to find something. Skipping right past the dresses, something she just never felt comfortable in, she eventually settled on simple black slacks and a loose fitting white button down…her spit polished issued shoes would suffice for footwear since they not only matched, were comfortable and she didn’t know how long this night was going to last.

Aine, now dressed for the night, sat and waited for Arys The Medical Officer. She browsed through her PADD looking at layouts of the MASSIVE Starbase 118. She thought that maybe she could memorise some of its layout. Alas, she could barely remember all of the Excalibur and it was a far cry from the tiny Resolution in which you couldn’t forget a thing if you tried. If you asked, she wouldn’t be able to tell you why she did these things, even when they weren’t necessary. She shut off the display on the PADD when she realised she was trying to work when she didn’t need to. Just like back on the Resolution, taking extra shifts even when the whole ship was on shore leave. The separation of work and life that she’d learned to do while at the Academy seemed to be creeping more and more onto the life side of things. She thought that she would need to start relaxing a bit more, not let herself be so professional even when off duty but still on the ship. And she’d start right now. Leaving the PADD on the desk, she looked into the mirror. Hair pulled back tight into a ponytail. This would not do. She pulled the elastic tie out of her hair then began to vigorously rub out her hair so it was flailing everywhere before somewhat smoothing it back out. Better. And not a moment too soon as the chime to her door rang out.

Sherlock: Enter.

Arys had made an effort. Somehow, for some really stupid reason she didn’t quite understand, she felt responsible for Sil and his actions. Like some weird family she had never really wanted, but now was stuck with. She also secretly was looking forward to going out with someone. She hadn’t really gotten to making any friends here yet, and she didn’t really want to.
Arys wore… black. A black dress that reached down to her ankles and would be boring with its modest cut if it wasn’t for the silver embroidery on the sides and the belt that fastened it at the waist. Black shoes, black fingernails, subtle makeup. The curly hair falling in soft waves over her shoulders.
Of course, Aine would be forgiven for not noticing any of that, considering that the Bajoran-Human hybrid was carrying flowers with her. Red roses, Antarian moon blossom and Cardassian midnight orchid, to name a few. They were nice flowers. The kind of flowers every woman should be happy about getting.

Trovek: You look beautiful.

As Aine stood to greet her guest, she couldn’t help but notice just how stunning the woman looked. The blackness of her hair and dress sharply contrasted with her alabaster skin. Stunned…that’s how she felt by the woman before her giving HER a compliment.

Sherlock: Oh…::looking down at the rather plain clothing she was wearing::...uh…thank you. And you look ::beat:: you look amazing.

Arys gleamed at the other woman. She wouldn’t mention that she wore exactly three outfits when she was going out, all of them tailored and custom made, down to isolinear chips with replicator patterns. It made her look put together when in truth she didn’t care much about fashion. The advantage of wearing black was that she could match it with… other blacks.

Trovek: So do you. Here, I got you some flowers.

She basically shoved the flowers into Aine’s face. Perhaps as a means to distract her.

Sherlock: I feel underdressed. Should I find something else to wear?

Trovek: I think you look beautiful, and it's about what you feel comfortable wearing. You don’t go out a lot?

After the shock of having flowers shoved in her face, another thing she wasn’t used to, she took them in hand. Looking around, Aine didn’t have the first clue what to do with them so she just held them awkwardly.

Sherlock: I do, kinda. Usually it’s just me and some of my crewmates. Nothing exciting.

Trovek: Oh that’s fine. I didn’t go out at all when I was younger. During the first half of my teenage years I lived on Bajor in what was basically a monastery oO Or felt like it, anyway Oo and the second half was a small city in Finland, on Earth. We had…. Snow. And pinetrees. That’s about it.

Sherlock: It was mostly farmers and fisherman where I grew up. Occasionally, the boys and I would head into the nearest city and sneak into the pubs.

Another awkward moment in which Aine took the chance to replicate a vase and water for the flowers. She set them on the desk. Looking at them, she didn’t even know if a bouquet like this had a front or back. Being a less girly girl was definitely showing.

Sherlock: ::turning back to Arys:: So, where are we off to?

Trovek: I’ll surprise you, but I promise it’s nice.

((Fèřafèřaý Geb - The Creative Kitchen, Starbase 118 Ops))

Fèřafèřaý Geb - ‘The Creative Kitchen’ was a place that served traditional Cardassian cuisine with a cosmopolitan twist. The restaurant was intimate and elegant, and it seemed to be made for people who appreciated privacy - or just any Cardassian, really. The dimly lit circular room had a large fish tank in the middle of it, while the rest of the restaurant was predominantly filled with two-seater tables and booths, most of them protected from each other by some visual barrier for privacy.

Arys appeared to have reserved a table - at least it seemed that way as a waitress led them towards one of the booths, taking their order for drinks.

Trovek: I hope you like it. It’s… special. And the food is amazing. You’ll leave here, loving Cardassian food. I promise.

Sherlock: I trust you.

Truth be told, Aine loved eating most things. She never shied away from trying foods most others would be repulsed by. And more often than not, she ended up finding something decent to eat when others were missing out.

Arys pressed on a holo-emitter that brought up a menu, but didn’t seem to pay as much attention to it as seemed appropriate. A sigh escaped her lips, and for a moment the woman seemed thoughtful. Then she snapped out of it.

Trovek: Sorry. I… used to come here with someone. That’s all.

Sherlock: Well, is there anything you’d personally recommend? Admittedly, I don’t know the first thing about Cardassian food. Or Cardassian anything really.
Oh Arys had a lot to say about Cardassians, but none of it was appropriate right now. Instead, she decided to elaborate on their cuisine.

Trovek: Cardassian cuisine is quite heavy on meat or fish, and not so much on starchy foods. There is something called sem’hal stew, which I quite enjoy.

Sherlock: What’s in it?

As if that actually mattered. Really, Aine just wanted to know, but it wouldn’t change a thing…she’d still eat it.

Trovek: Different roots and vegetables, and I think they serve it with savoury ikri buns.

Sherlock: That sounds perfect.

The server brought their drinks and took their orders. Aine took a sip, still not sure what it was, just some Cardassian drink. But she enjoyed the bitterness. The more it sank in, the more she liked it, which probably meant most didn’t. She remembered Iljor and his opinion of the “swill” of her homeland that was stout and she was sure he’d hate this.

Sherlock: So…

Arys ordered their food in what sounded like pretty passable Cardassian, and then turned her attention to Sher.

Trovek: So. How did your conference go?

Sherlock: It was ok. I was only nervous before and after speaking. During, it’s just business as usual.

Trovek: What did you actually talk about? I know the topic, but what made you give that talk?

Sherlock: Starfleet feels people have more to learn from failures than successes. There’s truth in that, but it doesn’t make any of it any easier. None of it was anything people don’t already know. Actionable intel, operational layout, equipment and deployment and ::beat:: I’m boring you with my job. ::offering a smile:: Sorry.

Trovek: What are you sorry about?

Arys thought that all of what Aine was saying made a lot of sense. As a Doctor, she wasn’t involved in matters such as security and intel, and no one ever came to sickbay because everything went well. Thinking back to the incident with Terra Prime, she wondered if such a conference had also taken place. If people were learning from failures.

Aine thought about the way she handled life now. Since the Academy, she’d kept things compartmentalised. So much so that personal life was disappearing more and more. Everything seemed like work. Not necessarily in a bad way, but the sudden fear of losing one’s self began to seep in.

Sherlock: I’m not very good at this. It seems like it’s either time to work or time to drink. I’m a little out of practice with socialising.

Arys let out a sigh and nodded in understanding. She could relate, even though for her it was either time to work, time to research for work, or time to get fresh coffee.

Trovek: I have a degree in Counselling, which is the only thing that really keeps me able to have conversations. ::shrug:: I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with focussing on work, especially at our age.

Sherlock: I don’t know. I just feel like I’m missing something. Or missing out on something.

Trovek: Well, as soon as something starts to bother you, you can think of ways to change it. What I meant is that you don’t really have to adhere to anyone’s standard of work-life-balance.

Sherlock: That’s just it, I take extra shifts. Do foot patrols when it’s not necessarily needed. So I don’t have a lot of free time intentionally.

Trovek: ::with another shrug:: If I had more free time I would need to deal with some personal stuff, and I really don’t want to. So I avoid it with work, mostly.

Aine let out a slight laugh and shook her head.

Sherlock: Boy does that sound familiar. It was my counsellor at the Academy that recommended the compartmentalization. My second year there wasn’t so great. Personal life was interfering with school and my grades were dropping.

Trovek: So, to strictly divide your time between work and free time? ::she raised a very Vulcan eyebrow but then settled on a shrug. It seemed to be her gesture of preference, at least today:: It’s not bad advise. I am not sure it’s *good* advise either, but hey - one thing I learned when I got back into medical was that anything goes as long as the result means someone gets to live.

Sherlock: Security’s not all that different. Do what you have to ::beat:: that others may live.

Aine raised her glass as if toasting the philosophy and took another drink. The oddly familiar sayings and feelings made her relax a bit. She found it amusing that a chance encounter like this was just what she needed. To think her plans were to spend the night in her room reading reports.

((Fèřafèřaý Geb - The Creative Kitchen, Starbase 118 Ops))

Trovek: ::nodding:: So you work and drink. No friends or boyfriend - or girlfriends - who want your time? Or do you just drink *with* them?

Sherlock: A couple friends…crewmates on the Excalibur. No partners. I was interested in one guy, but  he, well, we talked about him before. ::making the same biting motion as she did before:: I actually haven’t had a serious relationship since, well, year one at the Academy.

Thinking about the length of time, Aine let out a sigh.

Sherlock: It’s been a long time.

Trovek: Ugh. Same. ::sigh:: Well, essentially I just ended one, but the relationship before that was a good few years ago. Both kind of a waste of time. Men are useless.

Sherlock: Ugh, yes! It’s definitely starting to feel that way. ::takes a deeper swig of her drink:: I’d say there’s one thing they’re good for, but it’s been years for that too.

Aine paused and looked down at the table wide eyed, the drink was definitely starting to hit her more than she thought, evident by her confessional. Arys replied with a laugh, and shook her head at the other womans reaction.

Trovek: I am sure we can find you someone who isn’t an utter disgrace to be seen with. If that is what you want. Or a holodeck.

Sherlock: I don’t know, and do people really use the holodeck for ::beat:: that? I mean, you always hear rumors, but really?

The waitress reappeared, serving them both the stew Arys had suggested. Carasssian cuisine, or perhaps just this specific restaurant, appeared to put a lot of emphasis on presentation. The  rich browns of the stew were coupled with different greens and purples, and little flakes of red and yellow. The ikiri buns around the bottom were miniature size and sprinkled with some sort of cheese and herbs.

Trovek: Enough about men, let’s enjoy the food. Did you know that, on Cardassia, dinners in particular are an almost sacred affair? It’s when families come together, and a lot of time is spent cooking, preparing and consuming those meals. ::pause:: That was your daily bit of random facts you don’t really need to know.

Sherlock: My knowledge of Cardassia is really limited. I know everyone’s at peace now, but given what we studied at the Academy I never really thought they had much depth to them. In a way, it’s nice to know that family is that important to them.

Considering the tradition’s she’d just learned about, Aine wasn’t sure if there were “rules” for how they ate. She took one of the small ikiri buns and tore it in half, dipping one of the halves into the broth. Holding it there for a few seconds as the color slowly darkened as the broth soaked in. When it looked just right, she took a bite. The earthiness of the flavors was offset by the complexity. Nothing about it seemed overwhelming, everything seemed in balance. Arys’ words about how serious the Cardassians took their meals showed in the care with which they selected and blended ingredients.

Trovek: Do you like it?

Sherlock: It’s really good. Like, REALLY good. Almost calming to eat.

The woman grinned and nodded, copying Aine’s attempt on eating Cardassian soup.

Trovek: It really is. It’s one of my favourite restaurants, though home-cooked is still something you can’t beat. I can’t cook. ::she sipped from her beverage, savouring the bitter taste:: I was learning how to cook.

Sherlock: Same, my mother was the cook in our family. Father did the farming. I used to get fish for us. You said you were learning? Like you’re not anymore?

Arys made a face and brought the cup to her lips while thinking of an answer. For a moment she seemed to not want to respond at all, but eventually she spoke.

Trovek: I was learning how to cook *for* someone. ::beat:: It’s not a thing any more. At least I am pretty sure it’s not.

Aine paused. Yet another familiar phrase and feeling. She didn’t want to pry, but she also couldn’t just dismiss it.

Sherlock: But you want it to be.

Trovek: ::another pause:: Yes. I think so. Part of me thinks so, the other part thinks it’s unhealthy and pointless. And now I am bitter that I started learning cooking for someone who-... ugh.

Sherlock: I don’t want to speak out of place, and honestly, I’m not the best with these things. But ::beat:: you shouldn’t do it for them. If they like YOU, then you shouldn’t try to change yourself for them. For instance, I’m never going to be a cook, so if a partner wants that, then they better just get used to eating out or my amazing replicator skills.

Trovek: I don’t quite agree. I mean I would never do something that I absolutely hate, but some things are important to people. My per-.. ::she took a deep breath:: the man I was interested in, he’s Cardassian. Culturally, cooking food together is important, and getting dinner cooked is a sign of appreciation. That’s why I tried to learn it.

Sherlock: I see, so you wanted to establish a shared culture? You don’t have to tell me anything, I mean, we just met, but can I ask what happened? Why do you think it’s over?

Arys groaned, and bought herself some time by chewing at the ikri bun. She didn’t want to talk about it, and yet she did. Apparently talking about things was good. Or so she used to tell people when she worked as a Counsellor.

Trovek: ::deep breath:: So… Cardassians have this weird thing. Some oath, because for Cardassians everything always needs to be over the top, apparently. ::She bit her lip and forced herself to lower her voice:: Okay, from the beginning. I asked him to join me and a friend for dinner. I wanted to introduce him as … well, my-.. ::she hesitated again:: …It’s dumb. I used to call him ‘my person’.

Sherlock: It’s not dumb. It makes sense, you’re together after all. Continue.

Trovek: And he said yes, but only if I don’t refer to him that way in public. That was already not a great start into the conversation. Then I told him about that friend I am having dinner with, and apparently he swore some fracking stupid oath to her to be her protector.

Sherlock: Wait! So the person he swore an oath to, is the person you wanted to have dinner with, and he doesn’t want you to tell them you two are together? That sounds really suspicious to me.

Trovek: I think its like… a godparent, but different? I read up on it. It’s difficult to explain, but a godparent comes closest. Soo… evidently that was news to me. And I asked about how far it extends. And essentially, if me and her were in a shuttle crash, he’d come rescue her first.

Aine’s face scrunched suspiciously. She understood oaths. They had to take them as officers. But even then there is some flexibility and freedom to still be who you are. This whole Cardasssian ideology of forgoing someone who means something to you for another who, outside of the oath, means less, just didn’t sit well with her.

Sherlock: I don’t want to judge, oh hell, I’ll just say it, that sounds ridiculous!

Trovek: ::sigh:: Thank you. He of course finds it ridiculous that I wasn’t too pleased.

Sherlock: I see it this way, if you can’t depend on your…person…in a life or death situation, what else can’t you depend on them for? It’s like a ::thinking back to her own issues she’d described after the Resolution was lost:: a big spiral.

Trovek: I have to clarify that we weren’t *together* as such. Like… he came to Earth with me. Helped me with my family. We were writing each week when I was on the Juneau and we met pretty much every second evening since I came here. I looked after him when he was sick. So… I might just have misinterpreted it. ::sigh:: Probably my fault.

Sherlock: ::sitting back in her chair, holding her drink:: That sounds pretty damn together to me. ::takes a long slow sip::

Trovek: Maybe Sil can bite him.

Sherlock: Oh god, I’m sure he would. ::rolling her eyes::

Maybe it was that this was all a chance encounter. Maybe it was that so many things seemed so familiar. Whatever it was, Aine felt lucky to be having this evening. She hadn’t been able to open up quite this much in quite some time. It felt refreshing, thanks to good company.

They spent the next hour or so mostly talking. Arys seemed to not manage more than perhaps half the bowl of soup and one or two ikri buns, and eventually she pondered what to do next. The evening had progressed, and eventually Arys suggested:

Trovek: I feel like getting drunk. How about you?

Sherlock: I didn’t know you spoke Irish.

Trovek: ::grinning:: I mean we can see how many bars we can manage. I’d give it at least three.

Sherlock: Three? This sounds like a challenge.

Trovek: Most fun bars have a minimum of a few drinks. I hope you can hold your liquor.

Sherlock: ::giving a sly grin:: Lead the way.

The pair left their mostly uneaten meals behind and headed off into the depths of Starbase 118’s vast arena known simply as the Commercial Sector. Aine hadn’t had much chance to see it, save for the two outings with specific destinations. Moving through it now with Arys, it was overwhelming. She wasn’t even sure where they were. Once described to her as a city within the station, it was far larger than any city she’d ever seen. Even San Francisco seemed dwarfed by the many districts around them. Whether it actually was larger was irrelevant, it was the sheer idea of this existing within a bubble. Starfleet was amazing. The ships themselves seemed like lumbering giants in space, but this, not even her imagination could come up with this. A tipsy confidence during dinner began to slip away leaving an anxious nervousness.

Sherlock: So, where are we heading? Hopefully not one of those places I’ve heard about that lies between registered decks?

Trovek: ::innocently:: No… of course not…

Aine raised a suspicious eyebrow. Sure. Sure.

[End Scene]

Lt. J.G. Trovek Arys
Medical Officer
Starbase 118 Ops


Lieutenant Aine Sherlock
Chief of Security
USS Excalibur


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