After The End
Location: Deck 5: Rec Deck, "The Flying Pants"
Raven Mattel sauntered into the Flying Pants with a deep sigh. The ship was in the middle of yet another crisis, with the officers onboard seemingly all engaged with the final journey back to the Sol system. As a civilian, Raven, had very little to do during these mission times; visitors to Little Caesar's dried up, most of the Rec Deck was shut down save for a few essential services, and she had nothing else to do except sit around in her quarters. She didn't want to watch anything from the library, she'd already done a lap of the observation wing, spent some time in the gym, and reorganised her closet.
Requiring human interaction, Raven had looked up passenger whereabouts on the computer and found her closest friend Ignatius was in his shop, so she decided to go annoy him in order to pass the time. As she entered, she found Ignatius looking studiously at his console behind the counter as a series of fabrics and designs went flashing past the screen. He was diligently searching for something; writing down notes, making the odd comments. He looked engaged with his work and Raven almost felt bad about interrupting. Almost.
"Hey good lookin'," She cooed as she entered.
"Hello there." Ignatius spoke back, though didn't take his eyes off the screen.
Raven cleared a pile of fabrics off a chair and settled down into it. Next to the chair was a PADD showing an old copy of Vogue Risa.
"Resort wear. Again?" She scoffed at the clothes on the cover. "How original."
If the clothier had heard it, he didn't respond.
"Surely there's something more inventive out there besides palm prints and Safari hats?" Raven continued, flicking her thumb across the screen to turn the page.
"Hmm." Ignatius murmured, almost inaudibly. Raven noticed he wasn't actually listening and she frowned.
"You know, I like this shaved head look on page six." Raven said jokingly. "I think I might shave my head and just go bald. Wouldn't that look fab on me? Uncle Fester vibes."
"Yeah." Ignatius answered.
With a huff, Raven plonked the PADD back on the table and spoke, "Iggy, what are you doing there? You're being frightfully dull."
"Darling, I am working." Ignatius said with a sigh, giving her a sideways glance. "I'm researching."
"Ideas for a new collection?" Raven asked, standing up and leaning over the counter to see the screen. "Or has someone commissioned you for something?"
"No, my dream." Iggy replied, now completely turning around to see her, his face beaming with excitement.
"The one you had under the influence of the Sonic Harmoniser?" Raven enquired, trying to hide her skepticism. They had all experienced a walk into their deepest desires, to see what would make them happy. Ignatius had told Raven all about his dream of holding a Fashion Week show which had caused the entire fashion industry to sing his praises. Much like her own dream, it had been about living out a joyful fantasy because that's what the Sonic Harmoniser did to people. But it was only ever temporary.
"Yes!" He smiled, "Remember, I told you about the glowing, luminescent clothing I had designed in my dream? I'm trying to make it a reality."
Raven smiled, "Yes! They sounded super chic and futuristic. I'm surprised we don't have clothes like that already?"
"Not like in my dream." Ignatius shook his head. "We have optic fibres which can carry lights, but they're very hard and heavy to wear. My dream clothes were soft and sheen, like silk. And we have fabrics which can glow under ultra violet lights or in the right settings, but my clothes were glowing all the time and in changing colours. It was magical."
Raven nodded along, "They sound fabulous darling, but how are you going to make them a reality?"
"I don't know." Ignatius shrugged, "That's what I'm trying to research now. To see if anything already exists that could replicate what I saw in my dream, or if it's even possible to make."
"Oh." Raven commented. She could see how excited her friend was about the prospect, and clearly he was determined to find out if it could work. But she didn't want to see him disappointed either. "What if you can't, though?"
"Hmm?" Ignatius had turned back to the screen to keep looking, distracted once more.
"What if your dream clothes were exactly that - just a dream?" Raven asked quietly.
Ignatius paused and looked down, "I thought about that." He sighed, "And, well, if it can't be done right now, then I want to take the time to figure out how to make it possible. Invent it. I feel like in my dream I was happy not because of all the applause and the recognition, but because I had achieved my goals and my purpose. I feel like the clothes are my purpose."
Raven furrowed her brow, "That sounds fabulous but also like a lot of work. How are you going to invent something that doesn't exist?"
Ignatius turned to her and gave a half smile now. "When we get back to Earth, I'm going to look into returning to New York and opening a studio there. If I can't figure it out on my own, I will invite others to the studio to help me invent the fabrics."
"In New York?" Raven blinked. "Not on the Pandora?"
Ignatius nodded, "I can't do that kind of research here, Raven. This is a Starfleet vessel on a mission; they don't have the time or resources to give to me so I can invent this. This is a civilian project, not a Federation one."
"But they have all that fancy equipment. And Mindo might want to help!" Raven protested, aware her voice was going up an octave. "Surely we can ask."
"I need to be on Earth to do this," Ignatius said gently, reaching out to grab her hands. "In contact with other fashion experts. I thought... maybe, I could see if there are some Science or Engineering students from Starfleet Academy I could borrow, maybe it can be a project they can be graded on? Eitherway, I have to be on Earth, Raven."
"But what about your shop?" Raven looked around the Flying Pants with a forlorn expression.
"I came onboard the Pandora to find my passion again, and to experience new things." Iggy explained. "I feel like I've done that. I've found something I'm passionate about and I'm ready to move on to the next challenge. Besides, I never really did get a lot of business out here, there's not much call for a clothier on a Federation starship."
Raven nodded, biting on her lip. "What about us? I'll be losing my best friend. You've been my everything, Iggy."
Ignatius looked down at his feet, giving a sad sigh, "I know and I'm sorry, Raven. I mean, you could always come with me? Be my muse and my model? The first person to wear the Ignatius Glow line."
The thought of the Dynamic Duo taking New York was too much to fun; hitting up the clubs, shopping on 5th, creating a stir on the fashion scene. It caused both of them to joy to think of the grand times they could have together.
"Oh that would be fun!" Raven said with a small laugh. "You'll need someone fabulous to wear such a garment!"
"I couldn't think of anyone more fabulous than you, darling." Ignatius smiled, dipping is head to his friend.
Raven clapped her hands, "Oh! Imagine the shows I could do in those clothes!"
"Sure. Maybe." Ignatius shrugged, "I mean, I don't want the line to look like costumes. It should be regarded as ready to wear clothes, primarily."
"Oh, I see." Raven blinked, trying not to feel disappointed. "But I guess I'll be the cover girl then."
"Yeah." Iggy said. "You'll headline the runway show."
"I suppose I can still do shows on the side, right?" Raven spoke, her tone softening.
"It's New York, darling, you can do anything." Ignatius smiled.
Realising something, Raven's face dropped a little, "It'll be a shame not to have Terrekal, Mindo, and Zo around, though. I felt like I had really found something special with Little Caesar's and Planet Nine. For the first time, I was actually performing instead of just lip syncing."
Ignatius nodded, "True. I mean, we could ask them to come too?"
"Right." Raven tried to remain hopeful but there was doubt in her voice now. They both knew Mindo and Zo wouldn't given up their careers just to hang out, and Terrekal had exhibited no desire to stay on Earth. "Maybe."
There was a quietness in the room, being filled only with the feeling of uncertainty. What had seemed like a great idea at first was quickly dissipating into reality.
"Of course, I left Earth and Risa to find myself and create a new career." Raven added, "Like you did."
"Well you've done that." Ignatius was still on the Hopeful Express. "Now you know you want to transition and you'll be my top model."
Raven just nodded, as the doubts began to concrete. She opened her mouth to speak, then stopped. Finally she sighed, "Except I haven't found my purpose yet. I know I want to transition, but what about after that? I'm still reinventing myself as an artist as well, and I still want to experience what the Expanse has to offer."
Ignatius looked solemnly down once more. "I know." He sighed as well. "Transitioning is just the first step for you, not the last. You still want to find out more."
"I do." Raven tried to hold back the tears, "I'm just sorry that you won't be here to see it happen."
Despite his usually placid demeanour, Ignatius was getting teary as well. "Me too."
The two friends reached out to each other and hugged, holding on to the other so tightly.
"Come on now." Ignatius said after a moment, "I ain't leaving just yet. And I'm going to stay with you during your transition, right? I won't leave your side until you tell me to."
"Deal." Raven replied, wiping a tear off her cheek. She looked to her friend with a sad smile, "Hey, let's head to the bar. We have to make the most of our time together now."
Ignatius laughed, "Deal." He replied.