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More Fixing the Fixer Part III

Posted on Thu Jul 13th, 2023 @ 10:20pm by Michael Taggart & Ensign Paisley F'rar & Lieutenant Vura
Edited on on Thu Jul 13th, 2023 @ 10:33pm

4,438 words; about a 22 minute read

Mission: Episode 14 - The Poseidon Adventure
Location: The White Stag Pub Poseidon Station
Timeline: MD008 1300 hrs


Last time on More Fixing the Fixer Part II

"Don't worry about me," Vura responded with a melodious laugh. "I'm a big girl. I can handle myself and any patients quite well. And, I do want to know, Paisley. I want to know everything...." She finished the last bite and said, "Alright you, let's get you to the White Stag."

Paisley smiled. "Only if you're finished! I don't want to rush you," she said, already gathering her bags together. "I should use the transporter to get this stuff back to my quarters," she said, thoughtfully.

And Now The Conclusion...

Vura sauntered through the Promenade. She knew that she was attracting looks. It could not be helped and she did not care. She turned to her Cajoran friend and asked, "You're sure, now, that you want to meet everyone at the White Stag?"

Paisley shrugged. "Lady, I had a threesome with two Romulans and a Bajoran. Whatever you think is up your sleeve is a cake walk," she said. "Lead the way!!" She let Vura lead them out so she could follow.

"Talking big...talking big.... Let's see how you do when you meet everyone." With that she led Paisley into the Irish pub and called out to everyone musically, "I'm back!" She paused dramatically, "And I brought a friend."

"Welcome back!" The crowd responded as was custom. "It's like ye never left." The Scottish voice could be heard from behind the bar. "Now who be this lass that comes with ye. And perhaps more importantly what are ye both drinkin?" Mickey's smile broadened as he took a towel from the waistband of his apron and wiped his hands. The towel was replaced as quickly as it had been obtained.

Vura brightly smiled at Mickey. "It is good to be back, Mickey. My friend, Paisley, here also serves on the Pioneer. Assistant Chief Engineer, despite only being an ensign," Vura told him proudly. "I'll let her speak for herself as to what she desires. As to my desires, Mickey," she gave him a mischievous wink, "I think you know what I want." With that, she gave a small nonchalant shrug to Paisley, smiling all the while.

Paisley looked around. THIS wasn't really a place she'd expected Vura to go. At least not on her own. It seemed a bit...low brow, perhaps, for the Deltan. She looked at Vura. What was going on?! She smiled at the man, though. "Whiskey, neat, please..." It was late enough in the day to start drinking, right?! She'd only have the one, anyway. Besides, it'd settle her nerves before she saw her new friends again... She moved towards the bar, settling her tall frame onto a bar stool. Her cute sundress and updo seemed a bit TOO much for this atmosphere but it was too late to get on some jeans. Oh well.

"Well now fine drink orders for some fine lasses." Mikey said with a broad smile as he poured the drinks. "Assistant Chief Engineer on the Task Group flagship. Now, dat is nothin to shake a stick at. You must certainly know your work. Now, Vura here knows how we operate here at da Stag. Jus one big happy dysfunctional family are we. So you can share your woes an I will offer some advice. Or ye can simply offer up a toast as is our way."

Paisley smiled. She liked the man already; he seemed fatherly somehow-NO. He reminded her of her mentor, Jamie Taylor. Jamie was her favorite person ever, and though they didn't talk much, the Taylors had been instrumental in her involvement in the Fleet. "Why not both?" She said, sipping her drink. She raised it in the air.

"To Luz e aua", she said, in Kardasi. "To new friends, and peace for all," she said. It was a traditional Cardassian greeting. Or at least it was traditional to HER. She glanced at Vura. "Let's sit!" She said. She turned back around to Mickey. "Anyway, Vura wanted to show me your bar. It's fantastic. Reminds me of old holovids from Earth," she said. The friendly Carjoran spared no one her chatter, and that would include this man. "Isn't she fantastic?" Paisley gestured to her friend with her drink. "How long have you been on the Station?" She asked. Her woes could wait a moment.

In response to the toast the bargoers turned to face Paisley all of them had smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts. "Here, here! Well said! Welcome to the Stag!" As well as many other greetings and signs of welcome could be heard from the group. Who then turned back to their drinks and conversations.

Vura laughed at Paisley, and in a playful voice scolded the Cajoran, "My my. Is that the best you could do, Paisley? I'm disappointed." She looked over at Mickey and shared a mischievous glance. "Perhaps you should show her how it is done, or tell her about the toast you gave when I wandered in, and my traditional toast in response?"

Paisley gave her friend a LOOK. "Yes, it's the best I can do when you THROW this at me! I am an engineer, not a linguist!!" She shook her head, but settled in for her "lesson." She was curious. Luckily, she was also pretty much one of those people who tried most things once and went along with things pretty well.

"From what I heard and the way you have talked to me, I think you're a cunning linguist, Paisley." Vura gave Paisley a smug smirk, her head rising slightly to make her point.

"Now lasses I am sure ye are both great. Here be the menu and I recommend the Scotched Eggs. If ye be needin anyting 'tall jus ask. But I would be on da lookout as the Commanding Officer o dis station not ta mention yer own Commodore like to stop in." Mickey smiled and raised a shot glass of some auburn liquid. He tinked his glass with Paisley's and Vura's in turn, and then drank the liquid down. With a slight wink he returned to his work and his other patrons.

"Oh, really? I wouldn't have painted the Commodore as the sort to spend time in a place like this," she said. As she'd noted before, it seemed...quaint, maybe a bit lowbrow, even. "Anyway, it's fine if he sees me here; I am off duty and I never drink to the point of excess," she shrugged. "WHAT, VURA? You keep looking at me!" She said. "Thank you, Mickey, was it?" She sipped the drink. It was a bit stronger than she was used to, but she could hold her own. "You painted this place like it was kind of dangerous, but it's just a regular bar, Vura." She said. So dramatic, the both of them.

"Dangerous? I never said anything about dangerous. I said that there was a bit of a hazing ritual, but I admit it was just a toast. Now, as to the Commodore, I actually met him here, Paisley. I'm far from concerned about him. He's more of a voyeur, anyways." She snickered at that comment, remembering the moment they met.

Vura then turned to Mickey, "You know what I need, Mickey." She then gave him a knowing wink and smiled back at Paisley.

Paisley raised an eyebrow. "That's a really dumb hazing," she said. "At LEAST make someone wear a dumb hat or something!" She said. Then, she LOOKED at Vura. "Ooh, what DO you need?" She laughed. "How do you MEET these people, anyway?" She asked. "And me, too. Like I said, I'm off duty. If anyone is going to keep track of my alcohol intake, they'll be sorely bored. I am not NEARLY the party girl that people think I am," she said.

Vura frowned at Paisley. Did she really insult Mickey's rituals in front of everyone here? "Not a party girl...? Well, that's a disappointment. I like to have fun."

Paisley made a face. "I have fun. I just have SMART fun. The Cardassian can't be allowed to run too wild, after all," she said. "It's mostly just a cover, you know. I'd rather have full control of my faculties in case I gotta get myself out of trouble with a quickness," she explained. "Try mine." She extended the glass to Vura.

"But trouble can be a lot of fun," Vura informed Paisley with a wink. She then took the glass from Paisley and sipped it. She smiled. "Ah, just as I had hoped."

She smiled. "Yes, it is!! They're fun drinks. A bit too sweet sometimes but takes the edge off, and that's why I am here, after all, right?!" She shrugged. The Carjoran turned her attention back to the other patrons. "We should mingle!" She was very social, and always was interested in the next new thing.

Mickey Taggart was a barkeep and better than most barkeeps at that. As such he never stopped listening to the conversations around him and the one which occurred between the two women from the Pioneer took most of his attention at the moment. He has kept quiet long enough and so he spoke up. "First of all... Low brow... Low BROW... I will have ye know that this is a fine Scottish Public House. Much like ye would find back home and if ye think it tis low brow than you can make sure the door don't hit ya where da good lord split ya. Next, the only thing that is dumb is someone who is closed minded like yeself. I thought ye Starfleet types were taught to participate in people's cultures and respect dem. Well if dat is da case den you would know that a toast at a Public House in Scotland is welcome to da family. This is more den a bar, we are family here. Dat is why the Commodore, and Admiral come here. So I would kindly ask dat you keep your rambling mouth to yerself. Quit talking bout being off duty and enjoy yerself. Ye can do dat or leave yer choice..." He stopped his rambling and poured another round fer all three of dem. "Now make yer choice, and just to show ye that I am not a bad person. Dis one is on da house."

Paisley blushed a shade of purple. He was right. She was being rude. "I apologize. You're correct. My deepest apologies. And to you, Vura," she said. She really didn't mean to embarrass her friend. Or Mickey. "I was just surprised that a place like this even EXISTED. I don't frequent pubs regularly so I was...overwhelmed," she explained. She took the drink. "Can I have a re-do on the toast?!" She asked. "Vura is right; I CAN do better. She just...threw me in here," she said, with a weak laugh. Now she felt badly.

"It is good for you, Paisley. You cannot be prepared for every situation. You have to learn to go with the flow a lot more and as Mickey said, be open to new experiences."

The Counselor then turned to Mickey and apologized for her friend, "As you see, Mickey, I have my work cut out with this one," she told him with a small giggle. "I may have to bring more people here for some impromptu therapy. What do you think about that?"

Paisley made a face, but Vura's point was made. "Ok, Vura," she said. "I will try to be...looser. I just...I like knowing what's coming. It's easier to navigate." Coming along with Vura was wild enough, but maybe Vura was right. Since she'd left Cardassia, she'd been pretty regimented in things.

Mickey smiled, he was never a man who could hold a grudge for too long. In his opinion that made for a poor life. "Right, my family, and friends and of course ye drunkards all. We have nother newcomer to our warm hearth. She may be a rough starter but let's see how she handles the Stag eh? We welcome her with open arms and in fine Scottish tradition. So raise yer tankards for A TOAST!"

The people throughout the bar began to laugh and cheer. Things like "a toast... yes a toast. Come on Mick." Taggart quieted the group down and raised large metal tankard. "But ye who social pleasure charms, Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms, Who hold your being on the terms, 'Each aid the others', Come to my bowl, come to my arms, My friends, my brothers!" When he finished the crowd could be heard, "Well said. Here Here! Friends and brother all are we!" and things of the sort as they all took a swig. For his part Mickey took a deep swig of his drink then the crowd quieted down and raised their glass again. Taggart leaned over to Paisley. "Well lassy seems yer up. I wouldn't keep em waitin too long. Thirsty people and such." He laughed at his joke and raised his glass.

Paisley thought for a moment about what to say. Finally, a few thoughts came to her. Having finished what was now three drinks, she was feeling braver and a bit dizzy.

"To friendship, a treasure that knows no boundaries, may it flourish and grow stronger with each passing day. We stand here today, united by chance or fate, brought together by shared experiences and the desire to build something beautiful. Raise your glasses high as we celebrate the joy of new connections and the bonds we've forged. Let us cherish the moments we've shared, the laughter that has echoed in these halls, and the conversations that have sparked our curiosity. With every gathering, we have created memories that will forever hold a special place in our hearts."

She drained the last of her Andorian Starburst and then sat back down. "Was that better, Vura?" She asked, with a smile. Doing uncomfortable things was probably a good way for her to operate-she needed to make some changes in her life, after all.

There was a brief silence among the denizens of the Stag. They sat and looked at Paisley and absorbed what she had just said. But suddenly and all at once the place erupted in comments. "Here, here! Well said, well said indeed. Welcome to the Stag." Among other comments could be heard. Mickey smiled like the cat who swallowed the canary. He slung back his drink. "That will do, Lass! That will do indeed." He said before turning to another customer.

Vura shook her head at Paisley. "Long winded, just like you," Vura replied and then laughed melodiously. "I would not change you for the universe, Paisley. You're quite the character." She then conspiratorially whispered to Paisley, "I'm more surprised that with all the alcohol that you consumed in such a short period that you're able to speak coherently. Don't worry, I'll have someone get you back home to Pioneer...."

Paisley laughed. "It's the lizard, Vura," she said. "But thanks. I'll be ok." As Vura knew, she had a family history of problem drinking so she was able to hold massive amounts of alcohol, but she really WASN'T much of a drinker. "I am glad I could redeem myself." She said. "That was embarrassing!" It was important to Paisley that Vura not think poorly of her, so the chance to fix her mistakes was always welcome to the Carjoran. "But maybeee I'll go home with one of these fine people," she gestured to the bar patrons. "The night is still young."

"Ahhhhh to be young," Vura told Paisley.

Paisley laughed. "You're still young, Vura," she said. "Come on, you can't tell me that no one in here is at least good looking to you, even if you can't touch them," she said. "Did you mingle the last time you were here, or did you sit on that stool like a broccoli?" She asked. "How are you going to have FUN on Leave if you're vegetating all the time?"

“Oh, I touched Mickey,” Vura revealed with a mischievous grin. “We shook hands and he introduced me around. Mickey’s a good fellow.” She favored Mickey with a sly wink. “Believe me, Paisley, I’m not Vegetating, as you call it.”

Paisley gave another toss of her head, and a "lieutenant" to Vura. "Listen, Lieutenant, you need to be careful about touching any old person," she said. "And ok...right now, though? You're lying about like an eggplant," she said. "WELL. Sitting."

"I don't touch any old person," Vura replied coyly. "He wanted to shake my hand and it was rude to refuse, now wasn't it?" She beamed at Paisley. "And I do quite a bit while sitting. Watch this." Slowly, she lifted her leg and started to cross it over her other one, knowing that many were watching her every movement.

Paisley laughed but shook her head. "And here you were worried about ME losing my faculties from too much drink," she said. "You'd best be careful, Miss. I can only hide you in a Tube for so long before someone notices," she joked.

"And why would you hide me?" Vura asked Paisley with a mischievous grin.

Mickey walked over to the ladies and placed a pint glass filled with an amber liquid in front of Paisley. "Dat drink is compliments o da lads by the fireplace."

To Vura, she replied. "You can't just go around TOUCHING innocent people!! Only the guilty ones," she said. "That's how a girl gets into trouble, you know!!"

A drink appeared in front of them. She smiled. "Oooh, see? MINGLE," she said, with a smile. She realized that an idea was playing at the back of her mind, and maybe a bit more alcohol would ply it out. Or maybe not. It seemed a BAD idea, but maybe it was because she was in that twilight area between the clarity that came from just enough vodka and then too much, which made SLOPPY ideas. She couldn't have that. "Thank them for us," she said to Mickey, but raised the glass in their direction. "Who are they? Send them something from us, too," she said. A sip later, and she had the idea. Oh, yeah, it was bad. She'd keep THAT thought to herself because otherwise, Vura would SURELY commit her.

Vura knew that her friend had a rough day. She just confessed her interest in the very person that she had been torturing because she could not figure out how to handle her emotions. Well, she certainly deserved to let loose and drink. However, Vura was concerned that the amount of alcohol that Paisley was consuming might lead to bad decisions. Maybe she would just sleep it off with one of them. What was the worst that could happen? A little regret. "Are you sure that you want to do that, Paisley?"

"Want to do what, Vura? Send a drink back to some cuties who sent us one?! Yes, it's polite. And I am nothing if not polite, after all," she said. "Besides. Don't I need to expand my horizons off of a certain Engineer, anyway? Wouldn't it be good for me to see what else is out there?" She held the glass for Vura to take. "It's delicious." She smiled at her friend.

If the Deltan had eyebrows that were not painted on, she would raise them skeptically. "I am not certain that is the best way to handle your dilemma, Paisley."

She knew that she was close to drunk, if not already over that threshold, and was fighting to keep her faculties. She HATED losing control, and she definitely hated it MORE happening in front of someone she liked and respected-a thing that not many had from the feckless young woman. MOST people didn't bother to try to understand her, though, but rather dismissed her as "young and stupid", rather than the product of a damaged and damaging childhood in a culture where appearances mattered more than anything, and she didn't fit that appearance.

"Who said anything about fixing something? Maybe the fun will help. Remind me that I am still desirable, on the market, and shouldn't...focus on one thing or one person. Besides, if you keep bringing it up, I CAN'T get over it, right?" She kept her tone light, but they both knew she way lying. "Besides, what does it matter? You said already it'd take time, but here and now? I want to do something stupid that won't ruin my life. This won't. I'll be careful. You can even follow me to make sure I don't do the stupid thing," she said. "And I'll stop with this," she said, pushing the empty drink glass forward. "Say, Mickey, can I have some iced tea of some kind?" She knew Vura was right-she was drinking too much-and that was out of character and she definitely needed to stop. LAST time she'd drank too much, she'd had a pregnancy scare and was worried about being kicked out of school and having to return to Cardassia. LUCKILY, it had worked out, but she had clearly learned. Until...now.

"Paisley," Vura started carefully. "You are still desireable. Did you forget about your Romulan friend? How much stupid do you want to do? It is only about 1300, so, maybe some more exercise?"

Paisley made a face. "No, I didn't. But I have all afternoon, Vura. The amount of stupid is vast," she said. "And the problem with the time is that it doesn't matter on shore leave, Vura. It doesn't matter for ME what time it is. However. YOU don't need to be late for your afternoon appointments on my behalf." She said. She was sobering fast, mostly because Vura was correct, and she knew it. "Wait, what day is it? Maybe I am your afternoon appointment?" It was set for Wednesdays, wasn't it?! Oh no, she was really not doing well. The room spun a moment, but she drained the tea. "The problem with stupid things, Vura, is that I don't know they're stupid until AFTER I've done them." She said.

Vura giggled. "Well, that's what we call a learning experience in my field. Now that you have had this experience, hopefully you will recognize it in the future and avoid it." She gave her friend a light wink.

"I already have filed away 'don't go to bars with Vura' in my head," she said, absently. Her mind was still on the men in the corner, but as she was sobering up, she did know that most of the time, her stupid choices could be prevented if she paid closer attention. "Mickey, can I please have something a little tamer this time?" She asked.

"Comin right up..." Mickey said and moments later he presented two pint glasses with a rich brown liquid brimmed to the top. "Fresh apple cider. Pressed it meself from apples from home. This is the non alcohlic stuff. Just refreshing." He smiled and then went about cleaning the bar.

About a minute or so later Taggart returned to the two ladies. "Far be it from me to step into the Counselor's session. But we bartenders are a wee bit o Counselors ourselves. So, take dis fer what it is worth. New relationships and experiences are wonderful and I am glad to facilitate dem here at the Stag. However, when you are inebriated is not the time to do it. So if ye would like I will tell dose lads o yer interest and ye can meet another day when you are shall we say in better spirits. Whaddya say?"

Paisley smiled at Mickey. "Thank you," she said, when the apple cider was placed in front of her. "And I do understand. If you could, that would be lovely, thank you. I would appreciate it." She said, sipping the juice. "Oh, this is really good!! You should sell this! You'd make a killing!"

Vura gave Mickey a warm smile. "Or, better yet, Mickey, let me handle it in my own way. I think I need to get Paisley back to the ship. Thank you again for being such a gracious host. It has been a pleasure again." Then, turning to Paisley, Vura told her friend, "There's nothing wrong with going to bars with Vura. There is only a problem when someone is a wee bit depressed and coming to a bar and drinking in excess." Vura made sure to say "wee bit" just like Mickey would.

Paisley sighed. "I am NOT depressed, Vura. Just confused," she said. "Annoyed, angry, upset. But not depressed. I am probably the least depressed on this base," she said. It was true, Paisley didn't much wallow in her blues when she allowed herself to feel them. "I will be fine," she said. "I've survived 22 years basically on my own. I haven't died yet," she said, a bit defensively. "I just don't see why I am the one people worry about, when it should be that...MAN...who interloped on everything." She made a face. "But I will go with you, if you're insisting." Weird that SHE was usually the one to bolt, but this time, it was Vura.

"I think it is time, Paisely," Vura answered, feeling that her friend's safety was paramount. "Yes, you have survived, Paisley. Now, though, it is time to learn to live. There's more to life than survival."

She tossed her head, but had nothing sassy to say. "Fine." She said, her tone slightly sour. "Let's go. Thank you, Mickey," she said. She tossed some Latinum on the counter as she followed Vura out. "Sheesh, imagine being cockblocked by a damn Deltan!" She said. "I am FINE, Vura. You're being silly." She said.

The irony of Paisley's statement of being cockblocked by a Deltan struck Vura as extremely humorous and she laughed melodiously. "Protective, may be a more correct statement. Let's go." She then waived to Mickey and said, "I'll be back if I can. Save a seat for me."

A Joint Post By

Ensign Paisley F'rar
Damage Control Specialist, USS Pioneer
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Lieutenant Vura
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer
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Michael "Mickey" Taggart
Owner, White Stag Pub
Poseidon Station
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