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Wishful Drinking

Posted on Jul 21, 2017 @ 4:50am by Captain Siobhan Reardon & Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Jul 21, 2017 @ 4:50am

Mission: Aftermath

“Wishful Drinking”
(Continued from “Ladies’ Choice”)

=/\=

Location: BOLARUS IX
Scene: Palace of the Planetary President - Sitting Room

“So you’re not going out on the balcony right, Mom?”

Xana looked at Dahlia, who was otherwise seeming absorbed in her PADD, curled up in an ancient chair that her teenage daughter appeared to be making comfortable anyway possible. “It’s not my intention to go back out.”

Whatever else was going to be said was lost as Gavi and Erika’s voices began to rise. “You can’t become an actress!”

“What do you care? You run around helping poor people, Saint Gavi. Some of us don’t want to be saints. Some of us want to be artists,” Erika shot back as she stormed away from Gavi.

Gavi followed her. “Artist? That’s laughable. There hookers in Rabinu that make more than actresses. And not the highly paid hookers either.”

Suddenly the room got very quiet. At the same time both Ben and Xana spoke:

“What’s a hooker?”

“How do you know what the going rate is for a hooker in Rabinu?”

The 21 year old man stood there and frowned. “I don’t have to answer that,” he said to his mother.

Erika smirked. “Answer Ben’s question,” she said in a sing-song voice. “What’s a hooker, Gavi? How do you know about *hookers*?”

The doors swooshed opened and the thin, well dressed Bolian man walked in and visibly and almost audibly winced at that. “Well as loathe as I am to interrupt what I’m sure is scintillating conversation,” Yalar Traras said dryly as he came in.

Ben leaned draped himself over Xana’s chair. “Mom, I still don’t know what hookers mean and now I don’t know what scintillating means.”

Yalar sighed. “Moving on--”

“We’re leaving finally,” Dahlia sighed.

The new Chief of Staff nodded. “I have made the preparations. We will be leaving on the B-IX HIGHTOWER.”

Xana looked up at that, eyebrow askance. She was going to have to get into a better rhythm with her Chief of Staff. “I appreciate the initiative,” she began.

Yalar waved a hand. “Think nothing of it.”

“I mean it’s not everyday my family and I get to travel on a...coal transport,” she continued on trying to stifle her own eye roll that would have done her kids proud.

The Chief of Staff looked puzzled. “Family?” Looking around at the four children he asked, “Wait…*they’re* coming?”

“We’re sitting right here,” Erika pointed out as she waved her arms around.

Gavi sighed. “I’m not coming.”

Dahlia finally looked up from her PADD. “Say “hi” to the hookers.”

Having given up on his mother, the youngest child went over to his sister closest in age and said, “Dee, I *still* don’t know what a hooker is.”

“Shocking,” Dahlia muttered rolling her eyes.

Xana ignored her children and looked over at the Chief of Staff. “Yes, they’re coming; all but my oldest.” Giving a look at him she muttered, “And he’ll stay away from his new friends in Rabinu.”

“My mom means the hookers,” Ben explained as he ran over to Yalar, tugging on his impeccable suit. That caused the Chief of Staff to give the 7 year old an askance look but the youngest boy ignored that as he continued on. “You know, I’m still not sure what that is but it’s gotta be good if nobody is telling me.”

“Mom, you don’t control where I go,” Gavi shot back.

Masterfully ignoring her children, Xana waved her hand, “At any rate, my three youngest children and I have arranged transport and will meet you on VULCAN.”

The doors opened again and President Anaha Xall walked in. “Listen,” she said as she nodded once everyone gave the proper Bolian salute with their fist over their heart and head bowed, “there’s only one *real* reason I nominated you.”

Xana raised her eyebrows as she raised her head. “Yes, Madame President?”

President Anaha Xana hobbled over to her newly appointed Councilwoman. “You damn well better get some funds for Bolarus IX,” she announced, banging her walking stick for emphasis. “You have run around this damn galaxy helping everyone else out including your other damn planet. Well now it’s time to remember your people. Remember the Bolians.”

There was so much Xana wanted to say to that, so much she could have pointed out. Instead she simply said, “Thank you for the appointment, Madame President. I’ll remember all Bolians when I go back to Vulcan.”

“Humph,” the President said.

Ben started nudging on Xana’s arm and she gave him a glare, which under *normal* circumstances would have been the end of it. However, they were in the presence of an eccentric politician. “What is it, boy?” Anaha Xall asked. Tilting her bald head she considered him. “I understand you were quite popular yesterday, you and your siblings here, as you went out with your mother. Did you have something you wanted to say? It’s not everyday the President of Bolarus gets to talk to her young constituents.”

Ben swallowed a lump in his throat as he realized that not only was his mother giving him a glare, but so were all his siblings. Still he looked up to the lady they had to salute and asked, “When you said my mom had to remember the Bolians...did you mean all the Bolians? Even the hookers in Rabinu too? Not that I know what hookers are but nobody will tell me who they are and I’m just wondering.”

=/\=
Location: SIREN’S SONG, in standard orbit around BOLARUS IX
SD: [2.17]0718.2033
Scene: Transporter Room

The door swished open and Captain Kinderman and Siobhan entered. Sio tried to be careful and not let the voluminous skirt of her crimson dress catch on anything. The dress was trimmed out in ivory lace and ecru ruffles and was a bit more formal than her everyday wear. She’d styled her hair to one side with some jeweled combs and made sure the curls were perfectly arranged in a cascade over one shoulder. It wasn’t every day they had guests, and special ones they were. It was hard to believe it had been over three years since her friendship with Xana had been renewed in difficult times.

Sly had worn his shiniest boots and his pointiest hat in honor of the event. “Ye Ready?” he asked both his transporter mate and his first guest, and they both nodded. “Do the thing,” he commanded.

Five people materialized on the platform. Xana, Erika, Dahlia, Ben, and a Bolian male Siobhan didn’t recognize, but he looked all business. “Welcome aboard,” The redhead said cheerfully as they stepped down from the slightly raised platform.

“Captain Sly Kinderman be at yer service, Lads and Lasses,” he offered warmly with a bow, as the Bolian man was the first to approach him.

“Captain- Traxx Vara. I am Councilwoman Bonviva’s security detail. May I see the Bridge and ask a few questions about your vessel, all in the interest of safety, of course.”

Sly slapped the bodyguard heartily on the back, pleased with the idea. “Absolutely! We can do that straightaway. Follow me, Mister Vara. I’m sure Milady will have no trouble getting our remaining guests settled in,” he said with a wink.

Siobhan inspected each of them in turn. If there was any doubt of the time that had passed since she had visited the family villa, the kids’ appearances were more than enough proof. Erika was almost an adult, and she carried herself as such, but still seemed to have ample giddiness left to demonstrate she had some room left to mature.

Dahlia looked entirely too serious for being the younger sister, her hair cropped short and expression hesitant. To say that she didn’t look thrilled to be here was an understatement.

Ben’s eyes were big and expressive as he took everything in about the Nautical-inspired craft. He was still a little boy but he’d grown too, his face a little less round and innocent as Sio remembered..

Xana looked the same, but completely exhausted. Ben tugged at her jacket and she leaned in. “I didn’t know they still had pirate ships,” he said. ”I thought that was just stories and stuff.”

“Neither did I,” she whispered back to him, noticing the incredible detail in the outfits everyone was wearing.

Sio hugged Xana. “Congratulations. I didn’t know you were moving up in the world.”

“And I didn’t know you were… what exactly *are* you doing?”

“I requested a leave of absence, and Sly’s an old friend. My mom and son were in on it too, and the next thing I know we’re on vacation, sailing. When I got your message, I realized I could be your ride to VULCAN. And that’s what we did. So anyway, I can give you a tour of the ship. We have a-”

Xana was typically direct. “Where's the booze?”

“Um, don't you want to-”

“No.”

“Why?” Sio asked.

Xana drew a ragged breath. “Because in the last 6 months, I got divorced, quit my atrocious job, got a new job only to have people riot against me, and as a reward for all that, I get to serve on the same Council as my former boss who off the record is the most infuriating man I think I have ever worked for- so spare me the welcome wagon and just pass the drinks.”

Siobhan stared at her for a couple of seconds, her almond-shaped eyes widening a little, but as quickly as she bugged out, she rebounded, wrapping an arm around the taller woman and pointing them in the direction of the bar. “Okay then. Right this way.”

=/\=

Scene: Davy Jones’ Locker
Time Index: about twenty minutes later

“This is…” Xana struggled to find a suitable description. “Cozy?”

The room was small, only meant to hold maybe a dozen people, and the rich mahogany bar and navy blue walls did nothing to make it any more spacious. In lieu of a bartender, there was a self-service station outfitted with rows of bottles and the equipment needed to mix, blend, and ossify to one’s heart’s content. Instead of a traditional window looking out to the stars, a giant brass-trimmed porthole graced the outer wall. Pendant lights with aurora borealis crystals were dropped from the ceiling in different heights, giving the feeling of bringing the stars inside.

“I never said the ship was large, just that it was a pleasure yacht and well appointed.” They’d made sure the children were settled in their staterooms before the short trip to the far side of the deck.

“No need to apologize.” Xana raised her glass of wine. “A toast to this not being a coal transport vessel.”

Sio raised her hurricane glass filled with a rum drink she had called a Bahama Mama and they clinked, and then they sipped. “That’s horrid- is that how they planned to get you off BOLARUS?”

“I kept hoping they were joking,” Xana agreed. “But you should have seen the look on Yalar’s face. Did I say ‘thank you’ yet?”

“You don’t have to.”

“I think I do.”

Sio topped off Xana’s wine. “Your meeting with the Cardassian Sisters is in the morning. I’d say that negates any thanks you owe me.”

“Who are they?”

“The wardrobe mistresses for the ship and her crew. Otherwise known as Cloh'nee, Curt'neh, and Ca’him. During your stay you and yours will be dressed only in the most suitable attire.” She gestured to the red dress “You don’t think I came up with this by myself?”

Xana was curious, but she doubted everyone was going to be pleased. “I don’t think Ben’s going to be happy.”

Sio smiled, remembering. “Drey didn’t like it either. That was the time we were stowaways on the USS GRANT, Sly’s last ship before he retired and it was decommissioned. We’d been taken off the PANDORA and were headed back to Starfleet for reassignment.” She went to get a refill, her drink gone.

“What are you doing here, Siobhan Reardon? *Captain* Reardon? You are still a Captain, aren’t you?” Xana’s voice sounded irritated.

Sio stopped halfway between the bar and the table. “The last I checked, I was,” she said flippantly, sitting down and taking the paper umbrella out of her drink before continuing to get sloshed. “It was in the way,” she said about the discarded decoration.

“Why aren’t you doing that now?”

“Doing what?”

“Captain stuff. Commanding a ship. Being in charge.”

Sio nursed her drink for a minute or two. “My mojo’s gone,” she finally said. “I couldn’t Captain my way out of a paper bag right now.”

“Cazzate,” Xana said sharply, pouring the last of the wine into her glass. “If you keep going you can overcome anything.”

“Really? On a scale of one to ten, how are you doing? Why did you and Jake get a divorce?”

Xana thought about that for a moment. She desperately wanted a drink but her arms had that heavy, tingling feeling that normally was in her legs before she collapsed. No need then to lift up her arm for a drink to only then have it drop. Instead she looked out the window. “You taught at SFA for Drey’s childhood didn’t you?”

Sio looked at Xana; she knew that her friend knew this. However, she could sense that the azure woman was trying to lead her somewhere. “Yes, I did.”

“Why?” Looking at the stars the Councilwoman asked, “You like space. Let’s be honest, part of you needs space.”

“I need many things, Xana, some of it conflicting,” Siobhan pointed out softly. “But I was an adult and Drey was a child. What I needed was secondary; his needs *had* to come first.”

What she would have given to be able to pick up her drink. Instead she stared at the stars, still hunting for an answer or a part of herself, and instead finding neither. “I have to imagine it wasn’t easy being a single mother,” Xana said softly. Finally turning her head around, “I mean kids get sick, there’s homework, the worry alone can keep you up at night over the slightest thing….”

Siobhan sipped her own drink and was going to say something but the haunted look in the other woman caused her to stop herself, and whatever she was going to say died on her tongue. For a moment her mind went to her miscarriage and she wondered what would have happened if she had Dex’s child. How life might have changed. Perhaps it would have made a difference...or just delayed the inevitable.

Instead she had a radiant young man that was hers. “There was no real conscious decision. Drey was mine and I knew that I had a responsibility to care for him. More importantly I wanted to give him the best home I could, for however long or little time I had him,” the red-headed woman said softly.

“I understand,” Xana nodded. “I have four kids--”

Sio smiled teasingly, “Trying to outdo me?”

“Obviously,” the azure woman said rolling her violet eyes. Becoming serious she said, “And I am their only parent. For three of them, it’s because their other parent is gone; dead or missing. And with Jake…”

“And with Jake…?” Sio prompted.

Xana looked down at her hands for a moment. “He needs something I can’t give him, he needs to be on the front-line of a Starship. And he’s wonderful at it. I have picked a life, that until recently I was good at and was good for my children. It was stable, I was home every night, and I got to serve the Federation or a homeworld of mine. My kids were safe, I was a good servant to the people and...I was a terrible wife.” Looking up she shrugged. “That’s really all it was. There was nothing else really to it. He needs something more, I’d like it if every time he went off I wasn’t mentally preparing for his funeral...maybe if I had someone who appreciated, I don’t know what to call it--”

“It’s called emotional labor,” Siobhan explained. When Xana looked at her she clarified, “The worrying, the checking in on the kids, making sure they have what they need. Raising good, decent people. You’re doing all the emotional labor.” Shrugging she said, “Jake is doing all the sacrificing of himself, and it’s admirable. But what you’re doing is also noteworthy and should be appreciated.”

There was a long pause as Xana thought about that. Finally she cleared her throat and said, “Thank you. I guess we divided up our marriage a little too much and as such we left each other after nearly 9 years. It’s not bad, it’s amicable as far as these things go.”

“Hmm...amicable,” Sio murmured as she got up. “Let me know how “amicable” goes, will you?”

Xana looked up at her. “What does that mean?”

Siobhan refilled her drink, concentrating more than she had to. Walking back over she said, “You don’t love someone intensely, divorce them only to be friends, no wait, *amicable*.” When the other woman scrunched up her face in a near scowl she chuckled, “I just find it...curious. That’s all.” Sio wanted to tell Xana that she would probably always love Jake, and that Dex dying was still more painful than she could have imagined, regardless of how far apart they had been and for how long. But she suspected Xana already knew most of that.

Finally the feeling receded from her arms, and Xana found it safer to pick up her wine glass than say something else. As she was drinking her wine, Siobhan continued on talking. “Or if you’re so *amicable*--”

“Oh for gods’ sake, Siobhan--”

“You should have no problem dating again,” the red-headed woman continued on. Watching the normally collected woman choke on wine she asked innocently, “I’m sorry does that vintage not agree with you?”

Xana was flabbergasted as she slammed down the wine glass, her face turning a dark blue. “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve dated?”

“I could guess but that’s not the point,” Reardon stated. Looking at her she said, “Now this is going to sound crazy but you don’t have to marry the next person you date--”

“You’re hysterical,” Xana sighed, strongly suspecting that Siobhan remembered that Jake was the first person Xana dated after Gene’s death.

Siobhan smiled. Becoming serious she said, “People are not meant to be alone. And children are wonderful but that’s not the kind of companionship I’m talking about.”

“You know when I asked for a ride, I suspected you were going to go into Counselor mode,” Xana said. “I didn’t think you were going to be giving dating advice.”

The red-headed woman gave an elegant one shoulder shrug. “It’s time-honored advice really. You know what they say.”

“I’m afraid to ask what *they* -- whoever *they* are -- say,” the azure woman said as she got up to get more wine, only slightly annoyed that she wasted good wine earlier.

Siobhan waited until her friend was back at the table before dispensing more advice. “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.”

Xana just looked at the brightly colored drinks that Sio had been downing. “I think I need to switch drinks.”

“Okay,” Sio said gamely and took Xana’s wine and plopped the rum concoction in its place.

The newly appointed Councilwoman laughed. “Not what I meant.”

“You weren’t specific enough.” She sat back in her chair. “I think I might be drunk.”

“So, Siobhan, did you take your own advice?”

“Which advice was that?”

“Getting under someone to get over someone?”

The redhead’s pale complexion deepened so that it nearly matched her hair. She gulped some of the stolen wine. “None of your business.”
“That means nobody,” Xana tittered. “All talk, no action, I see what’s going on here.”

“I almost-” Siobhan tried to explain her near miss with one Lieutenant James Barton, but it was too private, even in her inebriated state. “But we were doing it for all the wrong reasons. It just didn’t work out.”

That sobered up Xana, momentarily. Trying to help her friend she said while leaning across to pat her hand, “Well, obviously you don’t want to get over the right person to only find a wrong person on top - I mean get under - under the right over the wrong - damn it I can’t do this while drunk!“

Sio chuckled then. “Just drink tonight,” she advised. “These problems will all still be here in the morning,” she said clinking her glass with her friend’s. “Let’s just hope enough brain cells are left for us to do something about it.”


=/\=
A Joint Post by

Sarah Albertini-Bond
~writing for~
Councilwoman Xana Bonviva

And

Susan Ledbetter
Writing for

Siobhan Reardon
On leave

 

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