Episode 71: Distastes

Tarique nodded. “I understand.” Crossing the short distance to the other musicians he paused to regard the Bajorans. “Greetings.” He offered a polite nod when Kyore stepped forward. “I have brought sheet music for a number of songs that may be appropriate for the setting.” He handed them over, deftly avoiding any physical contact. “Shall I set up?” Stepped up he made quick work of the tuning pins to ensure the notes would sound properly. From his vantage point he was privy to a clear view of the disarray. It seemed the rumors regarding Terrans rather lax approach to hosting foreign species was true- and for a founding member species no less. Any comments were kept to himself as it would neither add to the side or provide any new insight. A peculiar point; however, was the accuracy with which Wells both understood the culture and executed it’s application. The attention to detail was impressive, especially in light of the complications.

Zletka had just finished hanging their dresses up in their protective sheaths when Rao came walked through the door. The Betazoid wasn’t sure if the stains on the suit were the same from yesterday or if more had been added. “How was your day?” She asked, turning back to smoothing out the dresses. “It was…challenging. It really is like they say- driving starts to look a hell of a lot different once you know how to car was put together.” Rao pulled hair free and began to stepped into the bathroom. “How about you?” Mina called while stripping down. A low pulse from her band caught her attention just in time to read Marcus’ message. A small smile formed. “He’s so sweet.” Mina murmured.

“Who? Marcus?” Zletka appeared in the doorway. “Tell them to come her. Vinaa helped me get the dresses. We can show them.” She gave her friend a smile before leaving her to shower. “Wait! You have both dresses?” Mina began to step out of the bathroom when Zletka blocked her. “Shower first and then you can see.” Zletka waved her back in the bathroom and closed the door. “How am I supposed to reply to Marcus?” Mina challenged. “I’ll do it.” Zletka settled on the bed and a few keystrokes later she was typing up a message to Marcus: {Come to the room. We have dresses to show you. Sunsan can explain and we can go to the movie after.}. Zletka pressed send, listening as the shower turned on. Tapping the side of the pad a devious smile formed and she brought up the messaging app again: {Let’s stay at your place after. I missed you last night.} With a flick of her wrist she tossed the padd on the bed and waited.

Throughout the entire event, Tarique kept his gaze down and focused on the music. His fingers expertly strumming the chords and working the pitch in line with the musicians. Seeing the unpleasant exchange; however, was not necessary when you could hear every grunt or sigh from those in attendance. This insight he was receiving was quite interesting. The disparity between hearing something second hand and acting witness to it was an obvious, yet perhaps underestimated phenomenon. His expression remained flat and unchanging even when the discussion reached a fever pitch. With a subtle glance at Kyore he adjusted his position to take part in the farewell number. Once the Ambassador and his wife departed he raised his gaze to begin helping the Bajorans pack up their items. The comments on Professor Savok were noted though he was initially inclined to speak. And then the Admiral hit her. Stepping down he approached the two with his hands firmly clasped behind his back. “It is not Vulcan custom to take offense where none was intended, Admiral.” He spoke flatly. “I am also not a Bajoran, but their abilities proved apt in recreating traditional Vulcan music.” He added. Looking back at the Bajorans he could see they were almost done. When one of them held up the Ka’athrya looking for a case to put it in he merely raised a hand. “I did not bring a case. I will carry it back to my housing. Thank you for your assistance.” He gave another polite nod before turning his attention to Cadet Wells. Subtle signs of distress were apparent though they were not excessive such as in the Admiral.

Stepping around to the other side of the table he began to remove the plates and cutlery, stacking them to place in a staff’s waiting hand. “These two sets should stay together for future use.” He explained quietly before moving to collect high hanging decorations. When one of the Bajorans approached him he ceased his action. “Would you mind if we were to borrow a few sheets of music?” The Bajoran spoke very politely causing Tarique to lean over in order to get a better view of the particular songs. “Yes. You may keep them. I have the songs memorized and the sound your company produces is quite aesthetically pleasing to the ear.” He replied in kind. After the Bajoran thanked him, Tarique returned to the task of helping clear the remnants of the dinner.

Rao stepped out of the shower and slipped into the red fabric. “Oh…This feels so luxurious!” She turned to get a better look at herself in the mirror. “Where did you did get this on such short notice?” She asked, holding her hair off her back. “Vinaa took me to a store downtown. It took a few hours and plenty of negotiations, but we finally agreed on this dress.” Zletka explained as she buttoned up the back her dress. “Negotiations, huh?” Rao shook her head, “So what made you guys decide on this?” She asked while turning around to help Zletka into her dress. “I felt it should be floor length with sleeves since it’s going to be a formal event…and Vinaa felt it show you off a bit- specifically your waist, legs, and breasts.” Zletka smirked. “We compromised on the cleavage thought since the mess covering only gives the illusion.” The Betazoid stressed the word ‘compromise’. “I see. Well I love it.” Rao turned Zletka around to get a look at her. “Um..I also see a slit on your dress, a bit of your back and-” She feigned a gasp, “is that a whole arm I see?” Fanning herself she spun around for a dramatic effect. Zletka rolled her eyes. “I’m hardly on anyone’s radar. I’m a plus one of a plus one.” She pointed out. “Plus, my mother gave this to me and it’s the only chance I’ll probably ever have to wear it on Terran.”

Once the event was successfully packed away he collected his instrument and approached Cadet Wells. “Will you be retiring for the evening or do you intend to complete more work?”

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