Location: Deck 5
Ignatius was fuming, livid, hurt. He was still wearing a casual, grey linen suit with sunglasses perched perfectly on top of his head as he slinked effortlessly down the Crescent boulevard, but internally, he was mad. He'd just left his store in disarray after having an argument with Raven Mattel; something that was both a long-time coming and still kind of surprising. Even so, he needed to cool off and find a distraction. He wasn't into the heavy personal training and weird competitive holodeck games like the Starfleet folks; Ignatius wanted a soothing cocktail, soft music, dim lighting, and real conversation.
With that in mind, he sauntered into the Eclipse and slid onto an empty booth, hoping to grab the server's attention as soon as possible.
Fick had been in the Eclipse for about an hour, when Ignatius slid into the place. When he sat down in the booth behind Fick's, the mildly drunken pilot turned and leaned over the back of the seat to look at the man. "Hey Ignatius," he said softly. "You okay?" Even though the clothier seemed like he was fine, Fick could sense there was something more to his arrival... or maybe he was just tipsy and reading too much into everything.
Ignatius was surprised by the question, turning his head to see the young pilot staring from behind. "Oh. Hello. Yes, I'm fine, thank you. Or at least I will be after a stiff drink."
On cue, the bartender arrived and Ignatius ordered a stiff Old Fashioned, heavy on the whiskey. Perhaps sensing his customer's mood, the bartender quickly scurried off to fulfil the order. It wasn't long before the beverage was placed in front of him and Ignatius took a tender sip.
Fick got up and brought his drink with him and sat down at Ignatius' table, setting his drink down again. "So... you're only okay after a stiff drink for a couple of reasons... personal drama... your job... or your lover. So, which is it for you tonight?" Fick wasn't about to let the man sit by himself for a stiff drink. "I'm honestly just here because K'Laus is on shift and I'm tired of sitting in our quarters..." He snorted in humor.
"Personal drama," Ignatius replied quickly. "I wish it was either of the other two, at least I'd somewhat know what to do." He sighed, wanting to change the subject, "You and the Klingon, still going well then?"
Fick took a long drink of his beverage and nodded. "Oh yeah. It's funny. I always wanted to be with a Klingon... and the Klingon I end up with is unlike any other Klingon out there." He laughed. "I think in some ways that's what I really love about him. He's very good to me. Sometimes too good... more than I deserve. Do you want to talk about the drama? You don't have to... so please don't feel pressured. I just know when I have drama... sometimes it helps to talk about it."
"That's very special, Mr. Fick. And not at all more than you deserve," Ignatius said gently. "Did I hear correctly that wedding bells may be on the horizon?"
Fick started to blush, the color rising to the tops of his cheeks and slowly creeping down his face. He nodded and took another long drink. "Yes... I... I think I'm still in shock. I mean... don't get me wrong. I want to marry him. I never, in a million years, expected him to ask me. Or anyone to ask me, for that matter!" He chuckled. "Least of all a Klingon... I sort of always thought that if that sort of asking was going to happen it... well it would be me doing the asking." He waved a hand, both for a refill on his drink and dismissively at the same time. "He really surprised me... I have no idea how to plan it or where to start... I haven't even told my parents..." He looked at Ignatius. "Did you ever want to get married? Or do you?"
The slight embarrassment coming from the usually boisterous pilot amused Ignatius, and he realised how seriously the young officer was about this relationship. Ignatius had seen many great romances come and go around him, but he actually felt assured that Fick and K'Laus were deeply committed to each other. Of course he felt a pang of jealousy, given he was missing a life partner of his own, and Fick's follow up question didn't help. "I was engaged once... many years ago. Back on Earth. I thought it was the real thing at the time, but we fizzled out when I was no longer convenient to have around." Ignatius gave a large, somewhat sad sigh. "I'm still hopeful of finding someone. Part of why I wanted to join an active vessel that allowed passengers was because I wanted to see what else the galaxy could offer. Who knows, I may find my own Klingon one day."
Fick raised his glass to Ignatius' statement. "Here, here!" The glass, however, was still empty when he went to drink from it. "I'm sure you will find someone. Things happen for a reason. I really believe that. Some things are fleeting... they happen to teach us something... but when you find the one that matters it will be the perfect one. That doesn't mean we don't have to sift through a lot of garbage on the way there." He chuckled. "What... what would you look for in a partner?" Fick asked, as he finally managed to flag down someone who would fill his drink.
The Ignatius grinned as he returned the toast, finishing off his short glass in one go. "To the garbage!" He said as he sat the empty glass back down. He was glad Fick was looking for a server. "To be honest, I don't mind being on my own. I like my independence, I like not having to check in with anyone. So, I guess I wouldn't someone the same as that. They can have their free time and friends, and I'll have mine." He frowned for a moment, "Assuming I have any friends, that is."
Fick snorted. "You have friends. Don't be silly. You're always hanging around the other shopkeepers and Raven..." His eyes narrowed and he looked around. Funny how your vision got all blurry when you were fairly drunk. "Where is Raven? You two are almost always together."
"And welcome to the 'Personal Drama' portion of our evening," Ignatius remarked with dry sarcasm. "Raven and I are not speaking currently. Things had been getting tense between us for a while. I felt she was picking fights with me over nothing. Then we had a major blow up the other day and now... we're not talking. Actually, we were supposed to be going to the Captain's costume party in matching outfits, too. so I don't know what to do."
"Women..." Fick remarked dryly. "This is why I don't date those. I'm so sorry. Do you want to talk about it? Does she not wanna be friends anymore? Anytime I've had women pick fights with me over and over it's usually because they can't just say they don't wanna be friends... they gotta make us not being friends my fault. If you get my meaning..."
Ignatius immediately started to say, "Well Raven's not really a wom-" He paused, facing contorting in confusion. "You know, when we were on Hesiod Blue, she only brought drag to wear for the whole trip. And never once did she wear boy clothes... I think she made a comment about people judging, but I thought it was because she wanted to maintain her reputation as a diva... What if it was something else?"
Fick smirked, his fingers roaming around the rim of his glass. "I don't think Raven wants to be thought of as a man. I don't think Raven feels like she is a man... regardless of her equipment. Which is why I insist on the pronoun. It's really not about what she has, but how she wishes to be addressed." He chuckled. "Risa has all sorts of people. I had to learn a long time ago to adapt to their wishes when it came to gender and preference." He tipped his head from side to side. "Of course, I've also never seen Raven with a boyfriend... so I don't really know."
"Oh I am such an idiot!" Ignatius cried, his palm meeting his forehead. "I gave her a pair of pyjamas. Though they were feminine, at least I thought they were, they were still unmistakably men's pyjamas. I must have insulted her greatly." He sighed loudly, "But in my defence, she hasn't really spoken about this to me. I thought she'd tell me everything, right?"
Fick laughed. “Now that sounds like a woman. They will also tell you that you should know what’s wrong when they’ve given you no indication of what might actually be wrong. Not saying that Raven is like that, but... well... here we are. Sans Raven. Of course, you must also be prepared that whatever she’s mad about has nothing to do with pajamas.” He leaned back in his seat. “So... the way I see it. You have two choices. If Raven loves you... I mean friend like... then she won’t stay mad forever. You’ll just have to give her space until she’s ready to talk about it. Oooor... you can just say you’re sorry for the pjs and see what happens.” He shrugged and grinned. “Maybe...” he added with a chuckle.
Ignatius laughed, "Maybe. I would much prefer to address this head on, but I don't know how to bring it up. If she's not going to tell me what's wrong, I don't want to put my foot in it again."
Fick tipped his head back and forth, seemingly to take measure of the situation. "I don't know... to be honest. I don't know Raven that well... I mean I do... but only by reputation, not personally. I mean, if it were me... I'd rather someone just say something, but I wouldn't be mad and not tell you anyway..." He shrugged. "I would definitely say something to her, but I might just ask why the heck she's mad. Tell her how much you value her friendship..."
The clothier nodded, "I appreciate your insights, Fick. I think that's the course of action I'll need to take. I just hope it works."
"I do too. I'd hate to see you two not be friends," Fick replied.
"Me too," Ignatius replied, trying but failing to not sound too glum. Shifting in his chair, Ignatius took in a deep breath and decided to move on. "So, on to better subjects. When are you two gentlemen getting hitched anyway?"
Fick blushed again, the color rising just at the tops of his cheeks. "Soon... I think. My mother is currently in negotiations with K'Laus over location. I knew she would be all crazy when I told her. She really liked K'Laus when I took him home to meet them. My father is a little more traditional, although he knows better than to interfere with Mom." He chuckled. "I've just been having a hard time figuring out what I'm supposed to wear. Everyone has their traditions... but K'Laus and I are far from traditional... for either of our cultures."
"Well, to me that sounds chock full of possibilities," Ignatius said with a hopeful change in tone, "You guys get to make up your own traditions. I mean, we're what - a decade - away from the new century? Time to put away old concepts of a single-culture identity and create your own multi-racial, harmonious, boutique lifestyle." He gave a small wink. "And it means you'll need custom, tailor-made suits for the occasion."
Fick stared at Ignatius for several moments in silence, blinking slowly. None of this had occurred to him. Finally, he nodded and a little smile played on his face. "Yeah... yeah, you're totally right. We will need new, tailor-made, custom suits for the occasion." He was quiet again, but only for a moment. "Are you volunteering?" he asked, adding a little bit of an eyebrow wiggle for effect. It wasn't like he made money for being in Starfleet. He did wonder how he would pay for anything that sounded as fancy or as special as Ignatius made it sound.
“Oh I’d love to!” Ignatius beamed giddily. “It’s been forever since I’ve done a wedding and, truth be told, business has been very slow for me lately. I did a few outfits for the costume party, but ever since we left Paradise, there hasn’t been much use for my services.” The clothier paused awkwardly. “Speaking of...” he bit his lip and looked to Fick. “Would it be okay if this was my engagement and wedding present to you both?”
Fick was staring and blinking again. He was also silent for several moments. "I... I'd be honored. You'd... you'd really do that?" Fick was so touched that it actually made him a little emotional, but he put on a stiff upper lip and blamed it on the alcohol.
Ignatius started to wonder if he’d said something inappropriate, worried that he was breaking social convention by offering his services in lieu of a proper gift. But with business so slow, he didn’t have a choice. When Fick said that he would be honoured, Iggy’s fears melted away immediately. “I would love to, if it’s okay by you? I promise nothing too avant-garde or outrageous. I think K’Laus somehow wouldn’t be interested in the current couture trends from New York. But it will be classy and stylish.”
"Stylish, I like the sound of and yeah, I don't know a lot of Klingons that would enjoy caged birds on their heads or live fish in their shoes..." Fick joked. He had to admit that he himself didn't know a whole lot about avant-garde styles. "He might want sometime more Klingon... if you know what I mean. I'm still not even sure where or what kind of ceremony we're even going to have..." he chuckled. "But I would be totally honored if you would make our suits." Fick sipped at his drink. "Oh... and if you go to talk to Raven... make sure you take her something pretty. Fit for a lady... trust me, it will help."
Nodding, Ignatius smiled, "Good advice. I already have a million ideas for your suits." He leaned back in his chair and looked at his watch. "And I'm just drunk enough to start working on them!" Without pause, he pulled out a small PADD from his jacket's suit pocket. Turning it on, he used his finger to start drawing upon the screen. "Like this?" He showed Fick for approval. "And maybe... something like this?"
The two friends stayed late at the bar as Ignatius was too excited to stop sharing ideas; Fick and Ignatius going back and forth for hours as they designed the wedding suits together. Long after everyone else had gone, they were discussing ideas as Ignatius frantically drew them on his PADD. He was able to forget about his problems with Raven for a while and for the first time, was able to get back to what he was most passionate about.