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Revelry and Reunions

Posted on Sun May 12th, 2019 @ 7:04am by Lieutenant Dante Rawlins V1 & Warrant Officer Patrick O'Mara & Matthieu Bellerose & Captain Charlotte Reynolds V1 & Lieutenant Caroline Isley & Lieutenant JG Morgan Lindsay V1 & Ensign Colby Pierce & Lieutenant Ian Acainus & Ensign Claire Lafayette
Edited on on Sun May 12th, 2019 @ 7:19am

Mission: Shoreleave: Earth
Location: Kingston, Jamaica, Earth
Timeline: A Few Days After Returning To Earth

Matthieu Bellerose, local bartender, and general layabout walked down the beach, dressed in a flowing white sarong, and nothing else, listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the wonderful breeze caress their skin. Above them, in the awe-inspiring blue dome of the sky, the sun beamed down, catching in the strawberry blonde curls atop their head, and kissed their skin with its warm glow. Somewhere off to their left, up the beach, closer to the plant life, someone was playing a reggae song, and they felt themselves swaying along with the music.

Just down the beach, a bit was the bar they were headed to. Their shift started in about an hour, and they weren't entirely excited. They'd spent the day asleep after a very long night and weren't completely sure they'd make it through another one. With a shrug they shook their head, they were just saving up to get out of here anyway, and at least they could live in paradise while they did so. Holding their arms out to the side and looking up at the sky with their eyes closed they spun around in the sand, smiling and just enjoying the sensation of the breeze, the warmth of the sun, and the sounds around them before falling back onto the sand.

Almost an hour later they finally walked through the doors to the bar. It was nearly four, and they hadn't expected to find anyone inside, but was actually surprised, at one of the tables was a dark-skinned human in a pair of board shorts, and an unbuttoned floral print shirt. Behind the bar was the owner, and part-time day shift bartender, who nodded to them as they came in.

"Good morning, sleepyhead!", Raul said as Matthieu walked up.

"Morning, Raul, how was the day?", Matthieu asked, sliding behind the bar.

"Slow as all hell, honestly. He's the only customer I've served all day. That music you probably heard coming up the beach sorta stole our thunder today. Some sort of gathering. I honestly figured you'd be there, was worried I'd be pulling a double.", Raul said, only half jokingly.

"Nah, I wouldn't do that to you. Besides, I need this job.", Matthieu replied. "I can take things from here if you'd like.", they added.

"You sure?", Raul asked.

With a nod and a smile, Matthieu waved him away and busied himself making sure he was all set up for the night.

Over the next few hours they helped exactly two people, the man who had been there when they arrived, and a stunningly beautiful woman who showed up shortly afterward to meet said man, and then left with him on a glass-bottomed boat. When the comm system dinged they nearly jumped out of their skin. Walking across the bar and slapping the switch to activate the system they were surprised to see the boss man there on the screen.

"What's up, Raul?", Matthieu asked, pursing their lips in confusion.

"Listen up, I'm willing to bet you haven't seen any more business than I did today. Am I right?", he asked.

"Yup.", Matthieu replied.

"Alright, just got a tip-off that the Paradise Bar and Grill just lost their evening shift bartender for the festival. They don't have anyone else that can run things, so they called me since we're the next bar up the beach. They've offered us the use of their entire set-up because they don't want to leave the party-goers out to dry. I called in Shelly to run the grill, but she can't tend bar, so what I was thinking is shut down the bar, and run on over to the party and see what you can do to sort out their bar. I'm sure it's a disaster, but you'll manage, and you'll have some fun to boot. I heard that boy you had your eye on last week is performing, so there's also that.", Raul said, with a sly smile.

Rolling their eyes Matthieu chuckled, "Shut up, you ol' perv. Even if he was going to be there he wouldn't be looking at me. Anyway, yeah, I'll do that for you. Might be fun, like you said, and besides, we'll make a hell of a lot more money there than we are here.", they replied.

An hour later, just as the sun was going down, the bar closed up for the day, and after meeting up with Shelly, Matthieu settled themselves behind the bar at the festival and got busy making drinks. Mostly it was locals, but they saw a few people he'd never seen before and figured most of them were tourists or Starfleet officers on shore leave since a ship had just been reported to have come in. Either way didn't matter to them, business was business, and business was booming.


Ian did plan on spending a lot of time with Elias while on shore leave and perhaps he could persuade him to leave the ship at some point, but for now, the other man wasn't coming down to the surface. Ian, on the other hand, did want to see the sites. He had heard, through the ship's scuttlebutt that there was a party of some kind going on, so he had decided to see for himself.

He had checked into a hotel that was right on the beach because he didn't want to go back and forth to the ship He left the room dressed in a pair of blue and maroon swim trunks and a colorful Hawaiian shirt that he had left unbuttoned. The sand felt good beneath his feet and the sun against his skin.

He slid into an empty seat at the bar and smiled at the androgynous looking person standing there. "Good afternoon," he said, "I'm feeling rather adventurous. You have any special drinks?"

Matthieu gave the approaching man an approving once over, and then a smile as he sat down. "Special drinks, huh? I think I can accommodate you on that.", they replied to the question posed, before turning to the bar to get started.

Returning a few minutes later they sat down a tall chilled glass full of a brilliant ombre orange liquid over ice. "It's called a Bridgetown Breeze, I hope you like it. It's got rum, guava and lychee juice, and lime. It's my current favorite drink, actually.", the said, leaning forward on the bar to be easier to hear over the loud tropical music.

Ian, keeping his focus on the other person's face took a sip of the drink, letting it rest on his tongue savoring the flavor. "Wow," he said raising his voice and leaning forward as well, "this is really, really good. How did you come up with it."

Matthieu chuckled, "Oh, no, it's not mine. It's an old mix, actually.", they replied. "I'm glad you like it though!", They added with a smile.

"Yeah, it's really good. Love the beach and the atmosphere too. Must be nice to live here. Have you been here long?"

The question wasn’t given much time to breathe when a woman’s voice cut through the room. “And did you see those eels?! Those eyes were so freaky!” The woman entered, having donned her sundress again and tied her bright red hair back. Claire Lafayette was having a blast so far. She turned away from her companion and spotted a second Defiant Crewman in the room. “Oh, fancy meeting you here,” she said to Ian with a wave.

Ian turned away from the bartender, "It's a small universe," he said, "how are you this evening Ensign?"

“Quite good,” Claire said, settling into a seat. “Though exhausted. We were swimming out in the reef for quite a while.”

With a warm smile, Dante watched as Claire and Ian spoke. Motioning to the bar he got the bartenders attention. "Two drinks please, something fruity for the lady, and a Cuba Libre for me.", He said, hoping Claire's predilection for a sweet drink earlier meant she truly enjoyed them.

Matthieu smiled and nodded, having recognized the two from the bar earlier in the afternoon. A few minutes later they placed two drinks on the bar, one tall tumbler filled with soda, rum, and alcohol with a splash of lime, and the other a frozen mango margarita. "Enjoy!", they said with a smile.

Dante picked the drinks up and turning he handed the margarita to Claire. "Hope you don't mind my ordering you a drink. I didn't want to interrupt y'all's conversation.", he said.

“Why thank you, sir,” Claire said accepting the drink and taking a sip. The mango was a nice twist. She leaned back slightly to let Dante into the conversation as she replied to Ian. “So are we expecting to see many others down here? I know people have been trying to get together for a while.”

"I'm not sure. I know I heard a few people talking about meeting up over leave, but I never heard of any definite plans. I'm actually pretty shocked we ran into Ian here." Dante replied indicating the other man with a tilt of his glass.

"How are you enjoying Jamaica, Lieutenant?", he asked turning the conversation back to Ian.

Taking another long sip of his drink and turned to Dante, "Seems like we're having a reunion or at least a party. How are you doing?"

"Doing well, just spent the day out diving on the reefs. How about yourself?", Dante replied.

Before Ian could respond Matthieu chimed in, "Wait, so you guys didn't plan to meet up here?", They asked.

"Nope, not at all.", Dante replied.

"That's crazy! I wonder what the odds of that happening are?", Matthieu asked with a huge smile and a chuckle.

"It is rather odd," Ian admitted, "but rather than trying to figure it out, we should just embrace it. Perhaps invite more of the crew and turn it into a party."

***

The argument could be heard before the patrons actually saw the couple. A brown-skinned woman with dark cornrows framing her heart-shaped face stormed through the bar followed by a tanned man of medium build.

“Ann, wait we can talk about this. It’s not my fault. She found out I was a doctor and asked about skin cell carcinoma,” the man called behind her.

The woman skidded to a halt turned and stalked back, poking him in the chest with a finger. She was shorter than he, but not by much. “She was topless!”

“She had a mole she wanted me to look at,” he protested, “Don’t be a prude. It’s that kind of beach!”

“A mole. Sure. You know what, Morgan. I could by that if you had used a tricorder. I saw you poking at it.”

The man identified as Morgan said, “What? The tactile dermal density can say a lot. I think, and informed her, that it seemed more like a skin tag from her bikini than anything else.”

“You’re always doing that,” she flared. “We were supposed to be on a quiet weekend away before you go to deep space and you’re…diagnosing strange women!”

“Physically speaking, she wasn’t that strange. A reasonably standard specimen with unique personalities, as we say in the trade,” he tried to joke.

“And you were poking at them,” she retorted loudly.

She slapped him then, telling him. “I’m done. I’m going home, don’t bother to follow me!” She had telegraphed the blow and he hurriedly pulled the sunglasses off his face then slid them back on after the blow. She stared at him, turned on her heel and stalked from the room.

Turning, Morgan glanced around and muttered, “Well…shit.” and took his walk of shame to the bar. When the bartender approached, he said “A pitcher of pineapple hop.” When the man looked at him, he shrugged. “I apparently have the afternoon, at least, free. What better thing to do than drown my sorrows?”

Ian trying, unsuccessfully not to smirk turned to his companions and said, "And you guys think I'm bad. Even I wouldn't try such a lame excuse. At least us Akadians are honest about such things."

Approaching the bar with the requested pitched Matthieu sat it down and nodded to the man that had ordered it. "Here you go. After that little scene I feel like maybe a straw would be better, but here's a glass just in case ", they said with a playful smile. "And, remember, this party goes all night. I'm sure you can find someone else if you really wanna.", They added, chuckling lightly.

Morgan grinned at the drink and then Matthieu, "Well I'll start with the glass and see how it goes. A straw would put the alcohol straight to my head and I don't need that quite yet." Pouring, he sipped and smiled approvingly. "Now that's better." Then he shrugged toward the bartender, "It needed to end and it was better here and now than at vacation's end since I've been assigned to a tall ship, destined for locals unknown: specifically one called the Defiant. As to the women, well. I'll wait for my face to stop stinging."

"Fair enough, let me know if you need anything else.", Matthieu said, wandering off to check on his other patrons.

Dante had heard their conversation, however, and turned to the new man in the group. "Did you say you'd been assigned to Defiant?", He asked.

Morgan looked up, over the brim of his glass judging the large man and nodded "According to Bureau of Personnel, I am her new Chief Medical Officer type doctor." He considered briefly, then said, "I'm Morgan Lindsay, by the way." Switching the glass to his other hand, he held it out in greeting.

"Good to meet you! I'm Dante Rawlins, chief helm, and I'll let the others introduce themselves.", Dante replied, shaking the other man's hand.

"Ian Acainus, Chief Diplomat. and if you couldn't tell, I'm not Terran. I'm actually an exchange officer. Good to meet you, Doctor."

“And I’m Claire Lafayette, science officer,” the woman added as she lifted her drink in greeting. “And if your choice of bar is any indication, looks like you’ll be fitting in just fine.”

Morgan greeted the others after shaking the helmsman's hand, swapping the glass to his other hand again and raised it in salute. To the Diplomat, he stated, "I had noticed variations of the norm, so thank you for informing me." Chuckling then, he commented "If not, I may have sat here for an hour or two trying to decide one way or another.'

Turning his head toward the Claire, he smiled. "I'm tempted to leave you believing my choices sound, but truth be told if Ann hadn't insisted on Jamaica, I had planned a week long camping trip in the Russian subarctic." Taking another drink from his glass, he asked, "So I'll bite. How is the Defiant to serve on. From the bit of research I was able to do, it seems a hard billet on medical officers."

Claire shrugged. "I can only speak for myself, but Defiant has been pretty good to me. The circumstances around us have been...less than ideal. But the crew is great. We'd been on the front lines of the Klingon conflict for a while though. I think that put a strain on medical."

"I have to agree. That was an incredibly intense time for medical. Enough that I'm not really surprised we went through a few cmo's.", Dante replied. "Still wouldn't want to be on any other ship, though." he added, smiling as he took a sip of his drink.

Morgan contemplated that for a moment and then raised his nearly empty glass in a toast, "Well, here's to breaking that tradition. Hopefully, you all don't hold a lottery to see how long this cmo will last." He touched glasses around, drained his then refilled it. As more people entered, his attention was diverted.

There was a lot of conversation coming from the bar and some of it was definitely recognizable. The blonde woman that walked in stopped for a moment. Was this a good idea?, Caroline Isley thought to herself. Bright sun. Warm weather. Socializing with other crew members. Well, the last wasn't as bad as the first two, but the science officer usually tried to keep her distance. Especially since . . . well that wasn't important right now.

Caroline was wearing a blue swimsuit that nearly matched her usual science colors, and a white cover up. The suit, like her uniforms, was just a bit too tight for both her height and figure. She considered that her style. On her feet were sandals and there was a pair of sunglasses over her blue eyes. Although she was dressed casually, there was the usual slight frostiness to her manner as she walked in with a bag (containing a change of clothes in case the ship needed her on short notice). Isley had heard rumors of a crew gathering here and she wasn't surprised. She saw Ensign Lafeyette (who could miss the hair?) and casually walked toward the bar, hoping someone recognized her so she wasn't the one making introductions.

Matthieu saw the lady walk into the party area and start towards the bar, and was immediately curious. She didn't have the usual euphoric smile on her face that most had in a place like this. As she stepped up they smiled at her and leaned against the bar, "What can I get for you?", they asked, a little loudly to get the attention of the officers she'd obviously been coming over to see.

Isley pushed her sunglasses slightly down her nose with one hand and looked at the bartender. She rarely drank so she wasn't even sure what she wanted. "How about something . . . fruity?" she said, almost uncertainly.

"Say no more.", Matthieu said with a smile and a wink. "I'll be right back.", they added and moved off to make her drink.

Dante had turned as he'd heard the bartender address someone and had seen a woman that looked somewhat familiar. It wasn't until she'd spoken, however, that he made the connection. "Lieutenant Isley!", he said, his voice rising a bit in surprise. "This is getting crazy. I had no idea so many of us were coming to Jamaica! Come join us!", he added with a broad smile.

Caroline looked over at Rawlins and his group and gave him a small smile. "Hello," she replied, somewhat formally as she took a step closer. "I didn't expect to see so many Defiant crew here either." She looked around again. "We seem to have taken the place over."

"We do seem to have a tendency of just taking places over," Claire said with a laugh, thinking back to the less fun situation that led to them fortifying a bar on Arcadia. Claire gave a slightly more sheepish wave than normal to her superior. "Good to see you off ship, ma'am!" She wasn't really sure whether or not to use rank or name, so she took the safe approach.

"Ensign Lafayette," Isley said, in the same tone as she would have used on the ship. "Good to see you, too." Her tone softened just a bit. "I hope you . . . and everyone are having a relaxing time so far." It was obvious the crew had earned it.

Dante held up his drink, and was just about to say that he was when the bartender walked back up and sat Caroline's drink down. It was a frosty pale blue drink, and the smell of coconut rum was very obvious. "I was just about to say the drinks are helping to do just that, and now it looks like you can see for yourself.", he said.

Matthieu nodded, "Drinks always help!", he said with a laugh, and then nodded to the frosted glass he'd just but down. "That's a Frosted Coconut, I hope you like it. It's a little rich, but I try to not make it too strong, so if it needs a bit more kick just let me know.", they said, and then left the others to their fun.

Colby entered the bar. He was wearing swimming trunks and a jacket. He looked around, seeing many people he already knew. He was looking for someone new to get to know. He walked over and sat on one of the stools at the bar.

Matthieu saw the new visitor walk up, and also noted the fact that there was obvious recognition in his eyes when he saw the group of 'fleet officers, but that he made no move to join them. "What can I get for you?", they asked with a smile as they approached the area of the bar the man had sat at.

Colby looked at Matthieu and nodded. "Anything resembling a beer available?"

"No, they don't sell beer here," Claire teased from some distance away, as she tried to keep a straight face. The idea of a bar without at least a single selection of beer seemed a bit silly to her. That said, she'd been to a few weird bars.

Colby looked at Claire. "What do you recommend then?"

Claire laughed briefly, but then she stopped when it seemed he wasn't joking. Her eyebrows went up and she looked around for a moment to make sure she wasn't crazy. "Wait...Colby, I was kidding."

Colby looked at Matthieu. "Alright then.....whiskey neat...and whatever the lady is having."

 

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