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Part Two: Confirmation

Posted on Wed Jun 24th, 2020 @ 2:54am by Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick & Ashshy Ayan
Edited on on Fri Jul 10th, 2020 @ 5:41pm

Mission: Death in Paradise
Location: Various
Timeline: [Backpost] After Part One

----next day----

Fick slid into the seat across from Ayan with a plate of food that was still moving. "Heya!" He grinned. "So you're Bajoran," Fick said casually, as if it wasn’t obvious by Ayan’s nose ridges or his visible earring, marking him as a follower of the Bajoran Prophets.

Ayan looked up at Fick in surprise and nodded. "Hello Lieutenant Vecon," he said and returned Fick’s smile.

"Hi there. You're Ayan... right? Retol?" Fick asked while he chased some of his food around his plate.

Ayan chuckled. "That was my name," he said. "Bajoran names tend to be maternal, so when I married Eiri I changed my name to Ashshy Ayan." He smiled a little. "But yes, Retol Ayan was how I was born."

"Oh... that's... I had no idea it was maternal. Does that mean I shouldn't even use my father's name at all?" Fick started to stuff wiggling worms into his mouth as fast as he could.

Ayan tipped his head back and forth and attempted not to watch Fick eat. "It depends. Sometimes, with cross-species names, the parents name their children otherwise," he said. "I take it you would like to learn more about being Bajoran?"

Fick shrugged. "Yeah, I mean... I only sort of know some things. Just what they teach at the Academy. My mother is Risian. I grew up on Risa."

Ayan nodded a little. "Did... was your father not teaching you about that?" he asked. The sentence was said awkwardly. Ayan felt awkward about the conversation. He might change this young man’s life with information that he wasn’t even completely sure about.

Fick tipped his head to the side a little. "No, he said he didn't think that it would do me any good and that I should just learn my mother's ways. My father is kinda... he's weird about Bajoran stuff. He never seems to want to talk about anything."

Ayan nodded and smiled grimly. "Yes," he said. "We should most certainly talk about this, but perhaps not here," he said, looking around the populated mess hall. "Shall we go to my quarters?"

"Sure. Unless you’re asking me there for anything, but talking," Fick joked. "Should I get a to-go box?"

Ayan laughed. “I think you’re taken and so am I, so I promise, just talking.” He shook his head. "We can finish eating here," he said, not wanting Racht loose in his quarters. "Also, congratulations on your promotion," he said with a smile.

"Thanks!" Fick smiled. "I really didn't expect it my first year out. Of course the bubble thing kinda took the excitement out of it." He picked up some of his wiggling food with his fingers and tipped his head back to drop it into his mouth. "Mmm..."

Ayan chuckled. "Did Lieutenant K'Laus introduce you to Racht or did you enjoy that before you met him?" he asked, eating his own lunch.

"I've always loved Klingon food. Because I grew up on Risa I got to try all sorts of things. The Klingon boyfriend was sort of secondary. Although, K'Laus isn't really a Klingon Klingon. He was raised by Talarians. Not that they're much different from Klingons. They just look more like humans."

Ayan chuckled. "Interesting," he said. "Remind me, what is his assignment again?" he asked. "Are you two just dating, or are you living together?"

"Well we sort of live together. He's the Chief Supply Officer and a Lieutenant. We kinda live in my quarters then go live in his and then back to mine."

"Now that you're both Lieutenants," Ayan said with a chuckle. "You at least would qualify for bigger quarters," he offered then he nodded. "Ah yes, I remember that," he chuckled. "At least you don't have to sneak encounters together."

Fick giggled. "Sometimes we sneak encounters anyway." He leaned across the table with a grin. "We've been trying the Jefferies tubes."

Ayan rubbed his forehead and laughed. "Well… don't get caught," he said with a shake of his head. "Or people might get demoted." He snerked a little to himself.

Fick nodded. "Yes, Sir. So where did you grow up?"

"On a station," Ayan said. "My parents took us up there after the occupation ended. I was born in a camp, but I don't remember any of that. I'm lucky," he said.

Fick nodded. "When did you get your earring?" He had been looking at Ayan's earring all through lunch.

Ayan smiled and took the earring off, holding it out for Fick to observe. "This is my third," he explained. "One when I was old enough to truly understand the teaching in the temple. One when I became an adult and one when I married Eiri," he said. "They bear the symbol of your family. In this case, my two families and other things that are important personally."

"Wow. Complicated.! My father never wore his. He had one. I just didn't know what any of that meant. He got mad at me when he would catch me with it. He got mad about me asking most stuff about Bajor."

Ayan nodded as he finished his food. "I think I have an idea why. We can discuss that," he said. He pointed at a few features on the earring. "That is the symbol of my home temple on the station and that is my family's symbol and that is Eiri's."

"Awesome! Why is Eiri's so different? Is it because he's Vulcan? He's Vulcan, right?"

"Vulcan and Betazoid, actually," Ayan corrected.

"Oh. Oh man," Fick chuckled. "So... can he hear people's thoughts too?"

Ayan chuckled a little and nodded. "Yes," he said. "That's how he figured out I was interested in him. He usually does not listen in to casual thoughts, but… well… my thoughts were hardly casual about him."

Fick laughed. "Oh. I see. So you had suggestive thoughts about him?"

Ayan laughed. "Oh yes!" he said. "Although, we kept being star-crossed for quite some time."

Fick finished his food. "Star-crossed?" he asked. "I'm not sure I know what that means."

"A human term," Ayan said. "One of my commanding officers called us that. No matter what we did, we were doomed to not be a couple for a long time," he said. "On different assignments. On a ship where everyone was in bunks. That kind of thing."

"Ugh! Yeah, I can see that could happen, but that must have been awful." Fick wrinkled his nose. "Well, I'm done eating if you want to go."

"Of course," Ayan said. He rose from the table and put his things away and then led way back to his and Eiri’s quarters. Once inside he gestured towards a comfortable looking seating area. "Can I get you anything to drink?" he asked, going to the replicator to get a raktajino for himself.

"Sure. I'll take a raktajino. Double sweet, please and thanks," Fick grinned and picked a place to sit. He was small enough to sit cross-legged on the sofa.

Ayan ordered both of their drinks and brought them over, taking a seat in a chair, and handed over his mug. "So, a good question to start with is both what do you know, and what do you want to know?"

Fick took the mug. "Well, I know nothing. I know exactly what they taught at Academy and that's it. I know there's a religion and I know there was a horrible occupation for a really long time, but as far as what any of that really means. I have no clue."

Ayan nodded. "Where would you like to start?" he asked curiously. "That's a lot to cover."

"Yeah, it seems like a lot." Fick sighed. "I dunno. What does the earring mean? Maybe we could start there?"

Ayan smiled. "A symbol of our faith," he said. "It's called a d'ja pagh. It is traditionally worn on the right side, where it is closest to our pagh… or what the humans call a soul. Before the occupation it also served as a marker of one's caste, but there were no castes after the Cardassians arrived."

"That... that thing you said about my father... what did you mean?"

Ayan nodded and leaned forward a little, taking a breath. "Fick, this could be something that is very surprising and hurtful and hard for you," he said. "We hardly know each other. I want to give you a moment. If you would like to learn of this from your family or a friend or someone else other than me, I wanted to give you that chance."

Fick raised his eyebrows. "Are you serious? My father isn't going to tell me anything. If I'm ever going to figure this stuff out it's going to have to be from someone else. He doesn't volunteer information about anything. Not that he’s a bad father, cause he’s not. He was just very closed about his own people and I can’t find his name in any of the records or I would look him up myself. It’s like he didn’t exist."

Ayan nodded and sighed a little. "All right," Ayan said. "I just wanted to make sure you were sure." There was a momentary pause for Fick to jump in with a stop. Failing that, Ayan pressed on. "During the occupation some Bajorans worked for and with the Cardassians… providing the pretext of a legitimate Bajoran government under the Cardassians. Some were forced… others were willing… and all were involved in some way in the occupation itself," he said. "Most were.... Well… most were killed after the occupation, but those on other planets, or stations, or those not known right away… were not." He looked at Fick directly. "I remembered it the other night. Vecon Milos was a member of that government and was not on Bajor after the occupation ended." He stopped for a moment to let that all sink in.

There was a moment where Fick just looked at him, then his eyebrows furrowed suddenly and stayed that way, then he frowned. "He... he worked for the Cardassians? But the Cardassians were the enemy?" It was sinking in slowly.

Ayan nodded. "They were the occupiers, yes," he said. "And he worked for the Bajoran civilian government that worked for the Cardassians." He was repeating himself, knowing that more questions were going to come.

Fick sort of sagged, but it was not one of disappointment. It was more like relief. "Well... I guess that's why he never wanted to go home. His own people probably think he was a traitor and he might have been. He's... even if he was... he's broken now," he said softly.

Ayan looked down and sighed. "I can imagine," he said softly. "I take it he has been carrying that on his own?"

"Yeah, he never told me any of that crap. It makes it all make sense though. I sort of feel bad for him. He said once that all of the Bajorans he had loved had died in the Occupation... like his family and everything. I never met any of them. I’ve actually never been to Bajor."

Ayan nodded. "That is common to have lost one’s entire family," he said quietly. He looked up at Fick. "I am… well, I am a little surprised this has not come up before in your Starfleet career," he said. "Other Bajorans that recognized the name, I mean."

Fick shrugged. "I haven't met a whole lot of Bajorans. The ones I did meet were like... not interested in me once they figured out I was raised on Risa." He looked at Ayan. "Are they prudish or is it just me?"

Ayan chuckled a little. "Bajorans are rather prudish in compared to Risans," he said. "It took me a long time to even not be prudish with Eiri. Actually, Bajorans are very prudish in comparison," he said with a smile.

Fick laughed. "Yeah Risians don't have a lot of hang ups."

Ayan chuckled. "And Bajorans… are very… well I suppose the word you would say is bland… overall. Not that we don't have some wild ones, but you know what I mean." He shook his head. "I am sure you would still consider me quite the prude. And since you go by Fick… most Bajorans would figure that was your Bajoran family name."

"Oh yeah? It's not my fault that people don't know anything about Bajoran names!" He laughed. "I kinda like being Lieutenant Fick and my mother's people only really do one name. I just... man.... you really think he was part of that?" he looked at Ayan again.

Ayan sighed and shrugged a little and nodded. "It's certainly possible," he said. "We can find out, if you would like. Would you like me to call you Lieutenant Fick?" he asked. "I only call you Lieutenant Vecon because I thought you knew."

"I mean Vecon is my surname, but I’ve always liked Fick... so I don't mind either. I didn't do what he did."

Ayan nodded. "You didn't," he said. "Some Bajorans… well… some Bajorans still don't see things that way." He looked at Fick. "Think on it. Tell me later what you want to be addressed as." He smiled a little. "What other questions do you have?" he wondered.

"So... it probably wouldn't be a good idea for me to get an earring... huh?"

"It would be a little odd… some do it," he said. "Some that are not particularly followers of the Prophets do get earrings, but it perhaps does not send the right signal unless you start attending Temple and actually believe, and that's quite a time commitment, but some do." He tipped his head back and forth. "If you are looking for a symbol of your Bajoran heritage, there might be other things… although things that are not necessarily up to uniform code."

Fick made a face. "I think I'll just stay out of it. Although, I wouldn't mind learning more about the religion."

"There is a temple on ship," Ayan says. "Well, we meet in the holodeck, but still," he chuckled. "I would be happy to teach you more if you would like. Just so you understand… not to push."

Fick leaned forward a little. "I don't speak Bajoran," he said softly, like it was a secret. "And they do the Temple thing all in Bajoran."

Ayan laughed softly. "I figured," he said. "The translator will deal with that," he said, poking the comm badge on Fick's chest. "But you can learn as well if you'd like."

"I speak Klingon though, " Fick grinned.

Ayan grinned a little. "Oh? Did you learn that on Risa?" he wondered.

"Yeah, I always wanted to snag me a Klingon... so I was always trying to impress them when they were on Risa... I think some of them might have been interested if I was... you know... more of the warrior type."

Ayan snorted a little. "So how did you snag our poor Supply Chief?" he asked with a grin.

Fick shrugged. "I'm not really even sure... we spent a lot of time insulting each other and then he tried to strangle a guy I was hanging around with... which I guess was his way of declaring himself my boyfriend," he laughed.

Ayan shook his head and laughed. "Well, that sounds very Klingon," he said. "Why a Klingon?' he wondered, leaning forward, curious.

Fick eyed Ayan. "Why not a Klingon? Come on. All those big, meaty warrior types... grabbing you... I don't know about you but I like to be grabbed..." he grinned.

This did get Ayan to flush a little. "The thought has come to mind," he said. "But… well… I'm not sure I could handle that much aggression at first."

"Oh man. It's so hot to be with a manly man. He can be tender too. He actually surprised me a few times," Fick laughed.

"Surprised you? By being tender?" Ayan asked, just not following the conversation.

"Yeah, I expected him to be rough all the time. I was totally okay with that, but when he wasn't it was surprising. Very tender and very hot. He makes me crazy."

Ayan blushed and laughed. "Well, I hope… I hope so," he said, trying not to be too awkward. "See? Total prude still," he said.

Fick giggled. "Sorry. I guess that’s probably not the things I should discuss. What about your boyfriend? I had lunch with him. He's really pretty... like a model. Or a fairy... "

"Well, he is my husband… and he is rather adorable," Ayan said. "What about him?"

"I dunno. What do you guys do for fun? I've been having a hard time getting K'Laus to do anything besides workout."

"Ahh," Ayan said. "Well… there are the holodecks. They have a lot of programs that you can modify." He shrugged. "We occasionally eat with friends in the bar. Eiri has his research. I have temple and sometimes a little music." He shook his head. "There are a lot of hobbies on the ring."

"Yeah there's that Cardassian's shop. It's got music stuff in it. I've never tried music... I mean I had lessons and stuff, cause Risa.” Fick made little air quotes when he said “Risa”. “But not anything I took seriously."

"From what I hear, the shopkeeper teaches lessons,” Ayan suggested. "To be honest Eiri has been stuck in science work and I've been stuck trying to entertain myself… so other than our nights together, there hasn't been too much time for fun together."

"Yeah, K'Laus and I have the same problem. It's like all we do is work, eat and sleep. It's good that the shopkeeper gives lessons. Maybe I'll check it out. I've been thinking of trying to make other friends so I have people to do stuff with. K'Laus and I don't always have the same schedules."

Ayan nodded. "That you should certainly do," he said with a little smile. "And it's tough at first," he said. "Sometimes I miss Eiri. When I was still with Starfleet, sometimes I would miss him for days. It's definitely tough."

"At least we're on the same ship for now." Fick sighed. "I'm crazy in love with him though."

"Aw," Ayan remarked, looking at Fick. "Well, we're on a fairly long mission, right? So it should be some time before you have to worry about that again. Sounds like he makes you happy."

"Oh gods yeah. Like all the time. Like everyday." Fick chuckled. "It's kinda horrible. Sometimes it's hard to get through the day."

"That's the way," Ayan said. "As long as you make each other happy, it should work out." He smiled a little. "Why don't you and your Klingon stop by for dinner sometime," he suggested. "When we all have similar schedules."

"Really? That would be awesome!" Fick bounced on his toes. "I think it would do him some good to hang out with another couple. It's just getting him to want to be social... he's grouchy."

"I can't say that I've encountered a Klingon that was overly social," Ayan said lightly.

"Yeah he kinda likes things where he can drink and sing loudly." Fick nodded. "Thank you! That would be awesome! We'd love to do that. And don't think you just have to serve Klingon food... he likes a lot of other stuff."

Ayan nodded. "I'm sure we'll chat about that more as it gets closer," he replied. "Is there anything else you want to know at the moment?" he wondered.

"What would you do if you were me? Would you try and talk to your father? Or would you just leave it alone?"

Ayan took a deep breath and nodded. "I probably would. I can't say I know much about your father or your relationship, but it might help him open up and if things are already bad..." He shrugged a little bit. "Is there much to lose?" he asked. "It just depends on how you come across. If it's just accusatory, that might not serve anything… but… well… I can't really make that decision for you,and you have every right to be angry at him."

"I'm not sure I am angry at him..." Fick tipped his head back and forth. "I mean, I sort of understand doing what you have to in crisis. I'm sure all of that was worse than anything I could imagine and he's lost everything because of it... like his whole identity."

"Something… to think about," Ayan said. "I would think on it for a while, but yes, yes I would try and talk with him."

Fick nodded. "I'll give it a try. We'll see how it goes. Thanks. I'll keep you updated."

"Please," Ayan requested. "And when you have more questions about being Bajoran… I'm happy to talk."

"Someday, I want you to tell me about the Prophets, but today is not that day."

"That's… a very long conversation," Ayan responded with a laugh.

"Yeah it seemed that way. " Fick grinned. "Well I should go. K’Laus is off shift in like an hour and I want to see if I can get him to go out. I don’t want replicated food.”

Ayan smiled and rose. "I understand. Glad we had a chance to talk."

"Me too and thanks! It was great to talk to you!" Fick jumped up, grinning.

To be continued…


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