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Part of USS Rubidoux: Prompts & Developments

You win. Now, we drink!

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Strolling through the extended docking tunnel. Eviea Merrova kept her gaze on the end of the tunnel, the receiving area, and the Starbase beyond. In part due to the near transparent construction of these bridges, combined with the fact she knew both how fragile it’s construction was and the docking area was not far off total vacuum, crossing them was always a source of unease for her. 

This time the added edge of keeping an eye out for a rival who she expected to be close by, having watched the Roo glide past the Lakota which was already in dock. She reached the end of the tunnel, stepping though into the very plush and welcoming lounge. 

“Smartarse.” She called after a wry grimace spread across her features as she sighted Noli Auru. To be honest Eviea getting in first was a long shot at best, and even though her pride had just taken a bit of a hit, she was looking forward to a bit of company off ship.

“I warned you,” the smug Bajoran grinned, folding her arms across her chest and leaning against a bulkhead. “She’s not the Enterprise,” the ‘Blonde Bombshell’ added, “but Lakota ain’t no slouch.”

“That is plain enough, still worth it was worth a go if only to see the smile on the Chief Engineer’s face. The words ‘kid’ and candy store’ were made for that moment.” Eviea expounded, first with a shrug at the reminder of defeat and then a fairly animated recollection of a past conversation, as she continued towards her friend/rival, and threw her arms wide for a friendly hug as she closed the distance.

Returning the hug, the Bajoran let out a whistle as they embraced. When they released, she looked her friend up and down. “Have you been working out? You look amazing!” Noli exclaimed, using her grip on the Betalgusian’s hand to forcibly twirl the woman and get a good look at her improved physique.

Being spun around was not something new when it came to her interactions with Noli. Eviea grabbed onto the back of a chair halfway around the second pirouette.

“Why thank you I have.” She commented with a grin, tensing her stomach and giving herself a light slap. 

“But I stepped up my workout a few months ago, had an away mission where it was a push to keep up, which I didn’t like, that was also about the same time we took on a second officer who’s very determined to get to the centre chair. Just like a good friend of mineI!” She explained with a combination of an energetic nod, a shrug, and rueful look, the later when she reflected how much the officer in question was keeping her on her toes, and couldn’t resist slipping in a comparison.

“Oh, I’m in no rush to usurp Nazir,” Noli scoffed, brushing off her friend’s comparison as she sauntered towards the nearest bar area. “Just a taste as XO is more than enough for me,” she shook her head, slipping onto a stool at the promenade establishment. With a simple wave of her hand, she summoned the barkeep. “Saurian brandy,” she instructed, then looked at Eviea.

“Andorian Ale to open. My tab, I lost a bet.” Eviea followed up with a sweet smile and a shrug towards the barkeep. “I hear you on that point. There are certain perks to being the right hand.” Eviea agreed, the comment prompting a reflection on the times she likely made her XO’s of the past a little more challenging than it needed to be. This was broken by the arrival of drinks.

“To Reckless bets.” Eviea proposed, lifting her drink and swiveling slightly on the stool to face Noli.

“To reckless bets,” Noli echoed, chinking her glass against her friends beverage of choice, then downing the contents of her own small drink. It never ceased to amaze her how she could be so stupid in ordering the amber nectar, knowing how it made her feel like her throat had been stabbed with needles over a thousand times a second every time it slid down her oesophagus. Gasping for air for a second, the Bajoran mouthed the word ‘Wow’ as cracked her neck to the left and right. “I don’t think I’m the winner in that one,” she spoke through a croaky voice.

Eviea had barely downed her shot, enjoying the warming and smoothness for a moment, when a glance at Noli’s reaction caused a laugh that almost caused a return of her drink. Planting a sleeved arm across her mouth for a moment. 

“This is why you’re such a good drinking buddy, with no taste buds for the rest of the evening, we could just go on the cheap stuff. Lucky for you I’m not that sort.” Eviea threw up two fingers for another round, and crossed two pointed fingers in front of herself and Noli hoping the intention would be picked up on. The answer in the form of two fresh glasses arrived in front of them, one of each shot, Eviea reached for the Saurian brandy. “What’s good enough for one.”

“That’s not a good idea,” Noli shook her head, watching the barkeeper pour even larger glasses this time. “You do recall what happened the last time you drank this stuff, right?” the Bajoran couldn’t help but grin when she recalled the time several years ago where Eviea had drunk Noli under the table, but nearly ended up in a scrum with some rather nasty Tellarites.

Regret at the choice only happened when the brandy was finding it’s way down the inside of her neck, although it felt like it was trying to find a way through. The glass went back to the bar top and she drummed both hands on the edge, her face screwed up, “Gawwk. You’re right, not a good idea. But I still maintain the Tellarites needed to be gone, the barkeep said so. Security had a different view but that was standard back then. Lesson was I recall to keep moving, you up for a crawl?” Eviea suggested, flagging down the a bartender for a check and planting her thumb on the offered PADD.  Throwing an arm across Noil’s shoulders, Eviea slid down from her stool, attempting to drag Noli along.

“You get me for an hour,” Noli shrugged, knowing she had to be back aboard to oversee the refit of the bridge module before the ship departed. Letting out a grin, she wrapped her arm around Eviea’s waist. “How many bars can we hit in 60?” she quizzed, pointing at the next location just a few dozen meters away.

“Works for me, I’ve got to be gone not much long after.” Eviea responded with a smile as the pair strolled out together, she had tractor emitters to install and beef up, for the upcoming towing job. “I think we can manage ten, but depends on speed of service, lets face it we can put ’em away.” She plumped for a suitably ambitious target number, it was just another game though, the time spent catching up would be as important to her.

An hour later and the target of ten had been eclipsed, with unlucky thirteen very much on the horizon until the chime struck twice and their reunification came to an end. Downing her final beverage, an ale of the Romulan variety, the Bajoran stumbled to her feet, feeling incredibly woozy. “You always do this to me,” she scoffed through beer-tinted goggles.

“Two Black Coffee’s to go, and I’ll have another.” Eviea flagged a server down shortly after the chime sounding, Looping an arm around Noli by way of support. “Yeah I should know better by now.” Was her response with a delayed and halting chuckle due to the amount she had put away. “But so we keep this between us, get this down you before you get back aboard ship.” Pressing into the hand of her drinking pal a branded take away mug, full of the only cure for a drinking session Eviea relied on.

Steadying herself long enough to take ownership of the coffee, it wasn’t long until the Bajoran had downed the steaming beverage. She’d deal with the burnt oesophagus in the morning. “We should do this again soon,” she spoke between deep breaths, as they walked arm in arm to the docking ring again.

“Oh we will. Next time we make the same dock.” Eviea responded flashing a smile and a look across to Noli, in between sips of the black stuff that would get her through the next task. Reflecting on the simple fact that, good friends were such a gift.

  • Eviea

    Executive Officer