The After Hours Pub
Heart and Soul
Location: Deck 14, family quarters
It had only been day since Ensigns Briaar Gavarus and Fiona O’Dell had been banned from Ten-Forward on the U.S.S. Hera for harassment of the staff, and the tubby Tellarite, in particular, was not taking it well.
In the morning, she grumbled and pouted her way begrudgingly out of bed and barely put forth any effort into presenting herself as an officer. Her uniform tunic was wrinkled and worn two days in a row. She hadn’t shaved, leaving a patch of platinum blonde, scraggly hairs on her chin, and she didn’t seem to care at work or on the job. To say nothing of nursing a rather aggressive hangover in the morning from drinking late into the night in their quarters after the ban.
The only thing she did pay attention to properly was her partner Fiona, and their fuzzy little Minotaur babe, Minerva. For them, she would care. But her interest in her career seemed to evaporate when the wait staff of Ten-Forward had decided that they had had enough of the pair’s behavior and habit of being belligerent drunks. It was a move that had been a long time coming but had sideswiped the portly porcine, nonetheless.
On duty, Briaar went out of her way to avoid their chief, Lieutenant Mona Gonadie, and just tried to keep her head down and be as invisible as possible. But for the two-meter tall Tellarite known for her big mouth and surly disposition, being quiet and unassuming had the effect of being extremely noticeable. By the same token, the talkative O'Dell's sudden turn to the taciturn was unusual. But either the chief knew and was giving them their distance, or was otherwise occupied.
Coming back to their quarters after work, Gavarus set the rambunctious little girl down, took the pips and commbadge off her tunic and tossed them uncaringly on the small table next to the couch and went over to the replicator to order a Natty light for herself and a pint of Guinness for Fiona.
Setting the Guinness on the coffee table for the miniature Mariposian who went into the bedroom to change out of her uniform, Gavarus flumped down hard on the couch, which creaked and cracked in protest and pulled open her tunic as she took a large swig of her beer.
Crawling up onto the couch, the tiny Minotaur didn’t understand the complex emotions the larger of her two mothers was feeling and clearly projecting, but she knew something was wrong and looked over to the ginger test pilot with a confused expression as O'Dell made her way out of the bedroom. Activating 'El Matador', Fiona pointed to the red flag the chibi bullfighter was waving. Given Minnie's developing need to charge at things, she and Gavarus had brainstormed a program that would make the toreador appear in a clear path to the child, who would 'catch' the red flag of a forcefield, which would end her charge safely.
"Alreet, I've got an idea. Tis a longshot, but I been thinking on it all day, and I think maybe I've got a decent enow plan that it joost might work," O'Dell informed Gavarus as she stepped up top the reclining Tellarite, pickup up and taking a sip of her pint.
Gavarus let her head flump back on the couch, her knee-jerk reaction wanting to be dismissive or surly. But with Fiona, she just didn't quite know how to be that woman. She could be that with almost everyone else on the ship, but not here and not with her. Instead, she let out an overly long, resigned sigh.
"Okay, shoot. What's your plan." Briaar said, taking a long drink of her own beer and almost killing it on her second swig. "Gotta be better'n my plan of telling the whole damn ship to eff off."
"Well, 10-Forward is a civilian service on a Federation starship," Fiona said, taking a sip of her pint, then using it as a scepter as she spoke. "So that means they allow private services onboard. With that said, seein' as how a pub onboard is just a nod to the fact that we're all g'win ta drink and socialize, Why is there only one? There should be options. So, why not start an after hours pub of our own? We could run it after work, before bed. We close the pub doown innyway, so why not let it be OUR pub instead?"
With a raised eyebrow, Gavarus tilted her head as Minnie charged past, giggling as she continued to chase down the holographic matador. "So, wait? You think we should open up... our OWN place? Here on the ship? I mean, I know that 10-Forward is civilian-run, but it's still kind of a standard thing on starships, ain't it? I mean... how would we even go about doing that?"
The protestations came one after the other, but it was clear that she was thinking about it nonetheless as she started stroking her chin and muttering. "I mean... yeah, the ship had, like, a bunch of empty space, including lounge areas that are, like, nothing but a replicator and some chairs. And mess space that's not being used... but WAIT!"
"Wait, Fee! What do we know about running a PUB!? And what's more, why would the Captain even LET us?!" Gavarus protested, trying to poke holes in her own interest in the idea.
"Wahhhhhl, we know what WE like in a pub, aye?" Setting her drink down, Fiona flopped on the couch beside her porcine partner to snuggle next to the much larger woman. "So i reckon that makes us as qualified as innyone to run a bar. Replicators mean the staff is minimal, and fookit, we'll just have holographic barmaids so's nobody's feelings kin get hurt. I mean, we kin set the menu for bar food and the replicators make what we tell 'em to, we can offer whativvir beers or spirits we like, and if the Captain wilnae go along with it..."
Turning, Fiona rested her chin on the round tummy of the Tellariute. Hewwr eyes were flinty and determined. "If the captain wilnae go for it, then we'll resign our commissions and fook right the hell off. They dinna want us in the pub on the ship, then we'll open our own. If they dinna want to let us do that, then we kin resign our commissions in Starfleet and they can fook right off, we'll go make ourselves a life in the civilian sector. I'm still a test pilot and you're an engineer. Not like it'd be hard for us to make our own way, aye?"
"I been thrown oota pubs before but.... this hurt ye," Fiona fairly cooed, her voice soft and soothing. "I see how much it's affected ye. It's a rejection on a lot of levels, and I get that. And I wilnae stand for innybody makin my girl this unhappy."
"This was... where we went, ya' know. It's where we hung out and... and where we kinda... became a 'we'." Gavarus said, her eyes cast down as she tried to smile for Fiona. "And I'm still pissed about how they pulled that bullshit on us. I mean... we've been going there forever and..."
"Ya' know what, F*** them. They can have 10-Forward." The portly porcine said with a bit of a forced determination as she pouted. As she did, Minnie rushed at the holographic red flag and yelled out a squeaky "F***!!" of her own.
"Plus... nobody would give us shit about having Minnie with us," Gavarus said with a nod and the first legitimate smile of the day.
"Me Da and me brothers raised me in a pub, and joost look how I turned out, aye? Get him, Minnie! You show that matador!" Fiona laughed as they watched their bull-headed daughter chase her holographic playmate. "I suppose we could appeal the 10-For'd decision, but they threw us oot, so fookem."
"Yeah. I got no frickin' need to go beggin' t' assholes that don't want us around. They can piss off for all I care." Gavarus grumbled, her eyes trailing away from both Minnie and Fiona. "It's just... well..."
There was a long stretch of silence from the touchy Tellarite as she rolled her eyes at herself for a moment. "You... remember what I told you. About those nightmares I had when the ship was trapped in that effed up place. Where... everyone... even you... was only ever pretending to tolerate me before finally telling me the truth. It's been... I mean... between never being good enough back home and those nightmares... having the entire frickin' staff get together and decide to set a shitty ass trap to give 'em an excuse to kick us out. It makes it all feel like those nightmares were basically true."
Stealing a swig of Fiona's pint rather than disturb how the ginger mop-top was snuggling with her to get a fresh beer of her own, Briaar let out a most heavy pout. "It just... reminded me that most people would prefer it if I wasn't frickin' around."
Patting the tummy of the rotund Tellarite, the midget ginger moppet sighed. "I dinna care. I dinna care of the entire universe doesna want ye around. I do and' Minnie does, so that's all that matters. Waahhhhl, the Chief does too, and I think Mrs. Dox likes ye though she'd n'er admit it. The rest o'the universe can go fook itself if they dinna like ye though," Fiona finished, her face troubled. Having been thrown out of plenty of pubs, she too had never been banished, and this was an unusual situation for her as well. But Briaar was now deeply hurt by it, so Fiona had to find a solution.... or at least that's what her guilt was telling her.
"What really pisses me off, though, is that they did that to frickin' YOU!" Gavarus said, leaning into her tiny partner. "I mean... I GET it with me. I know what I'm like. I know the score. Hell, I never would have even met you if I didn't annoy everyone in Engineering so much that they moved me to the flight deck to deal with the L-C's habit of tinkering with shit herself."
"Which... really, on it's own... who frickin' cared. An' yeah. The Chief is awesome. And J-Bomb is cool. Hell, even the L-C is coming around. But the rest? Eff that shit. But what I'm pissed about is how they pissed on YOU!? C'mon, that's just effed up." The petulant porcine protested, "You just LITERALLY saved all of our frickin' LIVES! We'd all probably be in weird nightmare comas being eaten by creepy tenticle space monsters if not for YOU! And if not for YOU, the Captain's crazy ass mother would have got away. You're a frickin' badass. A big, gods damn frickin' HERO! And what the f*** do they do to repay that? A week later, they tell YOU to get out!?!?"
"Ungrateful frickin asshat piece of shit, cockwaffle motherf***ers! Let 'em have that boring ass wannabe pub!" Now Gavarus was Turing her sadness back into anger, but she was aiming that anger, now. "You're right! There's plenty of space. The Cap'n lets all that pirate crap on the ship, The L-C used to keep her own private ship on Flight Deck 2! What CAN'T we open a pub on our own time!? OUR Pub, OUR rules!!"
"Exactly!" Fiona chimed in, rolling over to flop on the couch next to Briaar, then snuggling against her, compacting her limbs and curcling up into a rather compact bundle as she did so, then a hand snaked out to retrieve the pint glass for a sip, after which she returned it to the three-fingered hand of her partner. "We know what we like to see in a pub, so why not make our own? I mean, hero crap aside, nobody disses me girl and gets aweee with et!"
Taking another swig of Fiona's Guinness, Gavarus let out a deep and throat belch that caused the miniature minotaur to stop in her tracks and giggle in between the deep breaths she was taking after all but running her little legs ragged.
Crawling up awkwardly onto Gavarus' prodigious paunch of a middle, the fuzzy little humanoid cow let out a gentle moo as she joined in on the group hug with her mothers.
Lowering the tone of her rant accordingly, Gavarus lightly pet Minnie's head as she replied. "You're right. We can do this. And I bet the Chief and the L-C and Jae would have our backs too. So, even if we can't get a GREAT space, that doesn't matter. We can set up some holographic windows and replicate those awesome, old fashioned wood fixtures. Like the big, old bar face and the stools with the old leather seats. Really make it old school and warm and shit. Like... a place people will WANT to go, rather than just go because there ain't anywhere else to relax on the damn ship."
"See? That's why Ah love you," Fiona O'Dell sighed, dreaming of her own wee pub. "Ye get it."