Porcelain and Poison
Location: USS Pandora - Deck 05 - The Luna Eclipse
Lieutenant K'Laus was a rare, but not impossible sighting to see in the Luna Eclipse. He was not one to frequent the Pandora's recreational deck with the exception of grabbing a bite to eat at Pandora's Box or his frequent training sessions that he conducted privately in the Holodecks. He had started to embrace more and more of his conflicting cultures: Human and Klingon. These two were not always in alignment and somedays he did feel more Human than he did Klingon yet other days he would swear on the blood of Kahless that he was Klingon, and you could not risk arguing otherwise unless you wanted a quick trip to Sickbay with a broken nose or some fractured ribs.
K'Laus had entered the Luna Eclipse with purpose. He had invited several individuals that he knew, trusted, and had high respect for. They; however, would not likely be arriving for another several minutes. Lieutenant K'Laus invited his bondmate to this evening's festivities and it was in fact, Fick who was helping K'Laus learn more and more about himself and his cultures. He knew Fick would be there early enough to help him set up. A member of the Eclipse's wait staff approached K'Laus only for the half Klingon to snarl him away. "You were not summoned!" he shouted at the man and shooed him away in a gesture of annoyance.
Lieutenant K'Laus found a circular table and began changing the decor. He stripped it of the plain table cloth and replaced it with one he had brought himself. It had some Klingon embroidery on it, something traditional and very ceremonial about it. He heard the chittering of clinging porcelain coming from behind him. "Gently, Fick, gently," he said turning to softly reprimand the man whom he shared his heart and soul with. Pandora's helmsman was carrying a medium sized box that contained several porcelain teacups of Klingon craftsmanship. "Those are genuine antiques. They were made in Boreth," he explained why he was so uptight about them clanging together.
Fick blew the little bit of hair that had flopped down in his face, away, his arms loaded with a large crate filled with the tea set. His eyes met K'Laus' and he snorted. "I'm trying, Hun... I'm only so tall though and this crate is huge." He stood there with the crate in his arms for a moment. "Hey, take this. I'm afraid to try and set it down! What's with the tea set anyway? Not that I'm complaining..."
K'Laus took the tea set and gently placed it down. "You've helped me with learning more about my cultures. One of the traditions that I came across in my studies was..." The half Klingon mumbled softly, "The Klingon Tea Ceremony," he said begrudgingly. "It's a poor translation, but it is what it is. It involves a special tea that's mildly toxic to Klingons and nearly fatal to Humans."
Fick's eyebrows shot up and he looked at the tea set with new appreciation. "Oh yeah? I've never heard of that. I want to try it... but is it going to kill me? You said nearly fatal to Humans. I'm not really human at all... but they are probably pretty close to me ancestry wise. I mean I don't really look all that different from a Human and I'm susceptible to the same things they are. Is there a remedy or anti-toxin I can take?" He was obviously excited about it and started helping K'Laus unpack the tea set. "Hey... why are we doing a poison tea ceremony?"
"Consider it rehearsal for the wedding when that happens," replied K'Laus. "We do not want to kill anyone at the wedding, especially our guests. Klingon traditions are very strict. The killing does not happen until after the wedding when we are on our honeymoon," K'Laus teased. "Do not worry. I have taken the precaution of having science and medical prepare several hyposprays with a concoction to diminish the effects."
Fick feigned disappointment. "Awww... but I wanted the killing to be part of the wedding..." he joked. "That would be messed up if everyone took a drink of their tea and dropped dead." He giggled in a sort of morose sort of way. "So... we're going to drink the poison tea and then stick each other with hyposprays and hope we don't die? That sounds awesome!" He seemed to mean what he was saying. There was something completely exhilarating about the potential of sudden death. At least for Fick. Most people might think he was sick in the head for feeling that way, but in a lot of ways he'd always been a thrill seeker and this was definitely a thrill.
"It is recommended we stick with the hypos before consuming the tea, but why not live on the edge?" K'Laus replied with a chuckle. "I have been wanting to try this tea ceremony since I learned more about it. I know Klingons and tea ceremony do not seem like they go together, but when you factor in the potential death, it all sounds very Klingon."
Fick snorted. "That's some bullshit. Klingon's have a lot of culture and a lot of class. It just doesn't look like class to species who aren't used to the way they show class. Doesn't mean they don't have it. Klingon culture is filled with ceremony, tradition and honor. It might seem brutal to some, but it's not like that at all for Klingons. It's a matter of perception. Humans are real quick to say what they think is right and wrong, but only by their own definitions. I honestly think they're mostly horrible at putting themselves in the shoes of other cultures." Fick rubbed his hands together and grinned with excitement. "I think it sounds glorious!"
"You won't see too many Klingons invited to a Betazoid ceremony," replied K'Laus. "Nor do Klingons traditionally take mates from Risa, but I am not exactly the gold standard for a Klingon nor am I as antiquated. There were times where your House dictated who one had as a mate, and bastard children were not meant to see the light of day."
Fick chuckled. “I know. Believe me. I’ve met some more traditional Klingons in my day. They’re pretty aggressive and keep to a high standard of tradition. I’m glad you’re not one of those, cause you’re right, we totally would not be together if you were more traditional.” Fick shrugged. “If other people don’t like it then too bad. I don’t care what other people think or do. I only care about what you think.”
"I may be Klingon by blood, but those ridged head traditionalist pricks won't except me as Klingon yet, not entirely at least." The confession was a bit more direct that K'Laus had intended. "I'm still a child to them because I haven't been jabbed by enough painsticks and I haven't had all this ceremonial stuff yet."
K'Laus had a low growl to his voice. "Why do Klingons have to be so set in their archaic ways. They still look down upon wearing a Starfleet uniform, and even more disappointed that I am not in security."
Fick watched K’Laus as he spoke. “You know... it doesn’t matter what they think. I still love you,” he said softly. “I know you’re also trying to reconnect with your people, but all of those ceremonies don’t mean shit to me. You are what matters to me. If you want to do all that stuff and feel like a good Klingon then I’m all for it... but if you don’t want to then I’m still all for it. I just want you to be happy. Honestly, I don’t know why they do all of that... some like tradition, even if it’s a little silly or old and pointless.”
"You are not wrong. Most of it is ridiculous and pointless, but I still want to be accepted by them." K'Laus was reluctant to say what was really eating at him, but he felt compelled to say something. "What happens if I don't get to do all of this Klingon stuff before it's curtain call?"
Fick stated at him. “Curtain call? Whose curtain call? Cause I’m not dying again... I don’t know about you.” He chuckled. “I don’t think there’s a special Klingon hell you go to if you don’t do all that stuff. Klingons’ Gods are petty if there is. I’m not sure I believe any of that anyway. Dead is dead.” He paused for a moment, frowning. “I hope it’s okay with you that I’m like that.”
"True, but if I'm not a worthy warrior with honor do I get to... you know?" asked K'Laus. "Do you ever think about that sort of stuff."
“Yes, I do...” Fick nodded. He reached across the table for one of K’Laus’ hands. “You’re already a warrior. Even a worthy one. Maybe not by Klingon standards, but you’ve come up against plenty of adversary and excelled. It’s about perspective.”
"This is true," K'Laus said. He felt his mood lifting a bit thanks to Fick. "Just because I did not take the path most Klingons take does not mean I am without honor." The man grunted. "I am plenty Klingon!"
Fick grinned and beat a fist on the table in solidarity. “Hear hear! Exactly! So we gonna drink this tea?” He was actually looking forward to the tea.
"Hell yeah we are!" K'Laus grunted. The Klingon fetched a hypospray that he had brought with him. "Better take a round of this. I don't want to kill you with the tea... safety first."
Fick laughed and offered his arm for the hypospray. “I’m not really ready to die again... especially not from tea. I mean... maybe if I died doing something really heroic, but not poison and not in my tea. Although I am really excited to see what poison tea tastes like.” He grinned, his eyes on K’Laus. “You know I love you... right?”
"It takes like really strong and pungent tea, nothing terribly special. It may be a bit bitter, but unless it ends up killing you, you will be fine. Your tongue may feel like it was hit with a phaser blast though." K'Laus chuckled. "I know you do and I love you, but neither of us are going to die from this tea. I've been extra cautious about it."
Fick grinned and rubbed his hands together. “Well, let’s do it! I’m excited actually. Thank you for doing this. You have to do all the pouring though.” He stared at the tea pot. “Do Klingons put sugar in their tea? Or milk? I bet they don’t...”
K'Laus scoffed and then chuckled. "And dilute the GLORIOUS taste of looming death?" he replied, his emphasis on the glorious part was dramatic and clearly sarcastic, poking a bit of fun at his people. "Don't worry, I have cream and sugar right there," K'Laus added, gesturing to the items on the tray. "There's no harm done adding them. I may want to connect more to my Klingon heritage, but even I know there's no dishonor in cream and sugar."
Fick laughed. “I wasn’t sure if cream and sugar were manly enough for your warrior’s tea,” he teased with a grin and the tip of his tongue. “I’m gonna try it without first, but if it tastes like shit I’m adding cream and sugar! I want the total experience... minus the dead thing.”
With everything ready and the two prepared, K'Laus poured two cups of tea, allowed Fick to adjust his tea to his liking. K'Laus partook in some sugar himself knowing how bitter the tea would be. "If this doesn't end up putting some hair on that smooth chest of yours, nothing will, except for a second puberty," teased the Klingon with a smirk.
“Mmm... second puberty? I’m trying for an actual adult,” Fick joked. He raised his cup. “Toast?”
The Klingon raised his glass. "For the honor of grayskull!" he shouted and snorted. "I did not know what else to toast... how about here's to not dying from this terribly strong tea," added the Klingon. He quickly slung the cup and threw the warm liquid to the back of his throat and swallowed. His facial expressions, contorted and such said it all.
“Qapla’!” Fick shouted. He did not slam his tea. He sipped and made a terrible face. “Oooh gods... that’s... cream and sugar!” He snatched both from the tea and added lots of both, stirring and looking at K’Laus with his tongue hanging out. “It’s bloody awful... I can’t get it off my tongue.” Fick laughed and tried the tea again. “Much better.”
K'Laus sat his cup down and pulled Fick closer to him. "My little warrior," he said with a grunt, grabbing a meaty bit of the helmsman's rump. The Klingon titled Fick's chin upward and kissed him passionately.
“You kn...!” was all Fick managed to get out before he melted into K’Laus’ kiss.