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Part of USS Neptune: Darkness Comes Swiftly

Old Flames Part 3

Scarlet Fire Brewhouse
February 25th 2400
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(WARNING: Read At Your Own Risk. Could Be Traumatic For Some)

Felicity had been hard at work, as the usual business of the bar changed with each shift. She had hired some help to make sure that people were happy and the reputation of the bar stayed high. Felicity still talked to almost every person that came into the bar making sure to have that connection as the crew sometimes were away from home for month’s even years. Felicity had been trying to convince Mary to come to join the ship in some regard, but that hadn’t worked yet. Mary kept saying she was going to find a position near her apartment, but every time it seems something was going to open it didn’t happen. As to Felicity and Michael that was a story she had never expected to reopen. Michael had opened up to her about many things that had happened over the years including the treatment from his wife. In every conversation, Felicity could tell he was not happy anymore.

She had suggested that he just divorce her, but Michael couldn’t bring himself to do it due to how busy his life had been and the transfer to the Neptune all excuses and Michael knew it, but he wouldn’t admit it. Felicity was a comfort to him and he had admitted that she knew he wanted to be with her, but felt obligated to do things the right way. As her mind wandered Michael walked into the bar with a smile on his face. After the two of them started talking regularly his demeanor had improved significantly. She smiled back at him and motioned him to the seat at the bar in front of her.

Michael nodded and made his way to the seat. His shift had ended though the Captain’s shift never truly ended, he was hungry and Felicity had the best food on the ship, at least that was his opinion. It could have been that he just liked her company, but he was going to agree to disagree on why he felt the food was best. Felicity’s smile warmed him every time he saw it no matter the situation she seemed to be the one thing that felt normal in his life and for that he was grateful that he had walked into the bar that night a few months ago. “Looks like this place is pretty busy Lic.” he said as he finally sat down.

She nodded “It has been especially with this free time you have given the crew the past few days. People seem to love it here and the Trident lounge, but then again I don’t have lounge singers in here.” She smirked. “I think just some light ambiance is all you need though that’s not to say I don’t enjoy going to the lounge.” She winked at him hoping he had caught the hint.

He nodded “I know I know we need to go to the lounge I think tonight would be the time to do it. That is if you close at your regular time tonight and don’t stay open later than your supposed to.” He said poking fun at her. Felicity had a habit of staying open just so others could come in and relax later in the evening, especially those who have nothing else to do.

“I will be closing the regular time, especially if you’re taking me on a date.” She said with a smirk and a bat of the eyes at him. She laughed and regained her composure “Would you like something to eat or drink?” she asked in the most sarcastic manner she could muster.

Michael shook his head “Why would I want food from here? The service is detestable, though the view is better than anything I can think of.” He said with a wink at Felicity. Her face turned bright red from the comment.

“Stop your making me blush at work.” she said now even more aware of her surroundings.

“Oh we can’t have that now can we?” He smirked pushing just a little more. It was all in good fun and he knew Felicity was not going to be mad, even if she wouldn’t admit it she liked it. Felicity had put up with his antics for months now and just to feel a bit younger he did things just to make sure he kept her on her toes. She had been the crack of light in his world he didn’t know he needed, but he was so thankful for her and he could never express that to her, or could he?

Felicity rolled her eyes at the remark knowing Mike was joking she replicated his favorite and set it down in front of him. He grinned “See even with my sarcasm and jokes you still know what I like. Well you know more than that.” he winked again causing her to blush once more. The laughter between the two of them wasn’t even acknowledged by the members of the bar. Mike ate his food making some small conversation with Felicity who was still tending the bar and talking to him and the other patrons.

(Trident Lounge)

After a slight delay, Felicity and Michael made their way into the lounge wearing the appropriate attire and grabbing a seat near the stage. The lounge was the talk of the ship and not something most ships had. Michael was hard on his crew, but he tried to keep morale high and that was what the lounge did. The show was going to start soon, but Michael saw the main lounge singer approach him.

Paloma had a habit of going and seeing the patrons of her show before the show started and tonight was no different except she saw the face of the Captain, which was a rare treat. She went over and greeted the Captain and his guest whom she was sure she had heard about. “Captain, what a pleasure to see you tonight and your guest as well.” She said in the normal floaty demeanor she gave.

Felicity smiled “The name is Felicity it is nice to meet you Ms.?”

“The name is Paloma Gomez the Tridents main attraction so to speak. Your reputation proceeds you being the most prominent bar owner I have ever heard about. Even when patrons come here they mention your place” She chuckled.

“A pleasure to meet you, Paloma. I am sure your show will be great.” Felicity said reassuringly.

Paloma smiled “Thank you for the kind words! I would love to talk longer, but I need to get back and prepped for the show. Captain, again a pleasure to see you tonight. Felicity, I am sure we will meet sometime in the future. I may have to come to check out your bar.” She said with a wink before she walked towards the area backstage.

Felicity looked at Michael and smiled “Thanks for bringing me, Mikey.” She said as she inched closer to him feeling the warmth of his body was comforting to her.

Michael looked over and squeezed her hand “For you Lic I would give the world.”

She smiled back and settled in as the lights dimmed and the show started. The show was spectacular and now she knew why the lounge was so popular. It wasn’t just relaxing, but Paloma had a way about her that made the show exciting and kept the audience on edge. After a rather embarrassing moment for Michael the show went off perfect and just the way he had wanted it to for Felicity.

(Timeskip)

The night before was great and Michael couldn’t have remembered the last time he had so much fun. He looked over and next to him was Felicity with her arm around him. As he began to wake up he looked to see they were in his quarters, which was not the normal turn of events. He tried to remember what happened the night before but then looked at the nightstand seeing the bottle of Whiskey and two glasses, which helped him remember why he couldn’t remember. An ironic thing that, but something he dealt with nonetheless. He pulled Felicity closer and laid there not wanting to wake her up from her peaceful slumber.

Sophie had arrived back on the ship eager to talk to Michael he had been quiet lately and she wasn’t sure why. They had been fighting here and there, which was her fault. She hadn’t been on the Neptune since Michael had received it, but she could tell it was quite a ship. She had left Starfleet to liaison for the Federation as a linguist. It had been almost six months since she had last seen Michael and knew it was a long time to be away.

She made her way through the corridors of the ship trying to find Michael’s cabin. As she walked by crew members she could see them looking at her and whispering. She wasn’t sure what was up, but she knew she would get to the bottom of it. After a reluctant member told her where Michael’s room was she stormed there. As the doors opened she saw the quarters unusually clean with a faint scent she did not recognize. She put her bags down and took a deep breath it was time to finally see him. She walked to the bedroom entrance and saw Michael in bed with someone else. Her heart broke as she looked closer she recognized the person with Michael. She stepped in where Michael could see her and screamed “WHAT IS THIS?”

Michael jumped at the scream and looked over to see Sophie in the doorway. The scream jolted Felicity awake and she looked over to see Sophie there, in a way she was relieved, but in another way she knew this was going to be a problem. She looked at Michael who sit there with a look of calmness on his face.

“It is exactly what you see Sophie.” He said coldly with no emotion in his voice. After six months of dealing with her lies and abuse, he was over it and he didn’t care.

“Michael, but why?” She said as tears streamed down her face “I have been nothing, but good to you.” She said as she slumped over, looking defeated.

“EXCUSE ME?” He said with apparent anger in his voice “Nothing but good to me…you know that’s a load of crap Sophie. You have done nothing but berate me and talk down to me. You were mad I got this command, but you make it seem ok to everyone else, you tell me I am the problem when I always poured everything into our relationship. Do you have the audacity to say it’s me? You are the one who brought this on yourself. I am done dealing with the lies, the deceit, and the pain I have felt for so long.” He said seething as the events had finally come to a head.

Felicity felt like she needed to leave, but with Sophie in front of the door and Michael still, beside her, she was conflicted. She knew everything that Sophie had put Michael through after he had opened up to her one night. He still had made excuses about breaking up with her, but she felt this was it. “I think I should go.” She said as calmly as she could muster.

Sophie looked at her with daggers in her eyes “Yes, go you, traitor.”

Michael stopped Felicity “No if anyone is going to leave it will be you, Sophie. I had been putting it off and putting it off, but this was the final straw, especially when you come in and act like the innocent one when you have been the one who has been the problem for so long. I am done, Sophie…I am done dealing with it all. This is it we are through and that’s final.” He said with no remorse in his voice.

Sophie stood there still crying and looked at the floor “I know I have been the problem and I am sorry for the way I have acted, but I am willing to work on myself and was going to tell you that. Why would you do this to me? Why not talk to me first?” She said as she continued to cry.

Michael looked at her for a moment and shook his head “You still think that after all you did I would be so open to forgive you. It doesn’t work that way and you know it.” He looked over at Felicity who had stayed quiet this whole time and pulled her close “I don’t think we were ever supposed to be together Sophie. I always loved Felicity and that hasn’t changed. I also guess you should know that I have a daughter with Felicity. When you were being the controlling person from the beginning at the Academy the two of us got together and it happened. I don’t love you anymore Sophie…for a time I did and I figured you would be part of my life forever, but then you changed and I could never figure it out until someone else figured it out and told me.”

He pulled a PADD off his table and opened the pictures of Sophie with another man. “Would you care to explain this?”

Sophie had a look of horror on her face as she didn’t expect to see those photos “I uh…I know them from work.”

Michael gave her a flat look and scrolled to another picture “So you kiss someone you work with that intimate? Ok, sure Sophie I believe that about as much as I believe you want to change. These pictures were taken on multiple occasions for the past few years and you knew what you were doing from the beginning. You need some serious help if you believe that I would also love you when you have been cheating on me for years.”

Sophie looked at Michael and looked away from him the shame of what she had been hiding finally being discovered. She had tried to hide things for so long and in that time she had begun to push Michael away. She realized that she didn’t love the other person, but loved Michael so she had cut things off with them a few weeks ago. “I…I ended things with them a few weeks ago…I wanted to be with you and only you…I wanted to fix the mistake I made.” She said as tears again trickled down her face.

Felicity was still there silently feeling awkward, but when she heard Sophie had been cheating on Michael she looked beyond surprised. She looked at Michael “Who told you about that?” She said trying to make sense of the situation.

Michael looked over at Felicity and mouthed the word “Mary” before looking back at Sophie “Well, you should have thought about that months ago when you stopped talking to me. I knew about this but was giving you a chance. You have no one to blame but yourself. Now get your bags and leave we will finalize things as soon as possible. In the meantime I suggest you either take the temporary quarters on the ship or leave, but this is it, Sophie. I am done.” He said as he put his arm around Felicity.

Sophie nodded slightly and turned to leave, feeling defeated over the whole situation. They both had hidden their secrets, but hers had been for so long and now she had lost the only person she had ever loved. As she walked out of the room her heart shattered knowing this was the end for her and Michael.

Michael looked over at Felicity who was still in shock “Well I did it, Lic.”

Felicity looked over at him trying to determine how to react. This was one of the weirdest events she had ever encountered, but Michael had done what he had promised for so long to her. She looked at him and nodded slightly “You did…I didn’t think you would do it with me here.” She said as she sit there for a moment.

Michael nodded “Well, I knew you needed to know the full truth if our relationship was to work. This was a weird situation and I didn’t expect it to happen like this, but it is over.” He pulled Felicity close and looked into her eyes longingly “I love you Felicity and I always have.”

A tear of joy trickled down her face “I love you too Michael and though this was not the way I figured it would happen I am so happy you have always felt the same about me as I have you.” She said as they gave each other a passionate kiss before getting up and dressed preparing for the day ahead. Things were different now, but a different both of them had wanted for so long.

Comments

  • Scandal! I really appreciate how you're exploring the civilian ecosystem of the Neptune. It's so interesting how they operate in tandem with the stricter guidelines of Starfleet officers. I made sure to go back and read the earlier parts of this slow burn story -- such an engrossing messy tragedy where everyone is kind of right, and everyone is kind of wrong, and they're all just doing their best, and yet hurting each other -- seemingly irreparably! I can't wait to see how this turns out.

    March 23, 2022
  • Definitely think Felicity needs to steer clear of this train wreck! XD

    March 25, 2022
  • TBD

    I love the overall dynamic transformation of Mike's character, though I ultimately don't agree with his choice, I love the way you tell it. Well done!

    October 3, 2022