Annyeonghaseyo Artemis
== Post-mission thread open for all crew to attend - hosted by Eun Ju Han in Officer's Lounge, Artemis ==
It had only been a couple days since Han Eun Ju had come on board the Artemis. This was her new adventure, her new home, and so far she was loving it. Of course, it was nice to have Damian so close they were able to spend some time together when they were both off shift. She also was getting closer to Mara, who had become quite a friend, to the new Ensign assigned to the ship. Mara had helped Ju along with Damian to plan a little party to not only allow Ju to meet more of the Artemis crew but to have a little celebration on the ship.

With Ju being from Korea, she wanted to incorporate some of the things she loved about her home country while creating a party for everyone to enjoy. It would not be the same caliber as the Christmas party but there were some aspects that Mara had added which Ju allowed because, she enjoyed the creativity and well Mara flavor.

Mara, Ju, and Damian had spent the afternoon working in the Officer’s Lounge turning it into something special. A hologram view of the mountainside in Korea dominated the back wall. Overhead paper lanterns hung from the ceiling with ribbons offering mood lighting as well as some unique charm. A long table was set along one of the walls with all sorts of beautiful cakes, snacks, and deserts from Korea. The cakes were carefully decorated with fruit and offered low-sugar options. There were cupcakes, pastries, cheese cakes, and all manner of sweets. On the other main wall, there was a long ramen station where boiling water, noodles, flavoring, eggs, onions, bean sprouts, and other ramen additives were waiting for people to custom make their own ramen complete with bowls and utensils. To the left of the ramen station was another area sat up with fish cakes skewered on long wooden sticks, tteokbokki, as well as kimchi and roasted sweet potatoes. A collection of vintage Kpop songs were playing over head low enough to let casual conversation ensue but loud enough to be heard if you were listening; bands like BTS, ATEEZ, TXT, Seventeen, Super Junior, Itzy, Blackpink, and more played.

Next to the door, just as you entered was a table filled with soju and all the beer brands she could remember, freshly cold and replicated along with glasses for mixing. Koreans had a heavy drinking culture and soju was in the middle of nearly all of it. If things got crazy, and she kind of hoped they would, she also had a set up for karaoke which was also deeply rooted in her culture. She could have done more modern ideas too but she wanted to have some old school fun with her new shipmates and feel a little less homesick on the way.

Ju herself was wearing a pair of black jeans with slashes throughout the legs showing her skin. She wore a pair of high top tennis shoes which were white with powder blue lining and accents with some bedazzled gems on the rim of the sole. Up top she wore a simple power blue tshirt with the logo TXT emblazoned on the front and underneath it said ‘Tomorrow X Together’ in a different font. Like normal it was tucked into the front of her jeans but not in the back. Her hair was left to hang loosely around her and long ribbons hung from her earrings brushing the tops of her shoulders. She had also put small clear gems underneath her eye lashes on the lower lid to add some sparkle and a little lip gloss on her lips. She was living for this party thing and couldn’t wait for everyone to join up and have a great time. Ju hoped that it would be as lively as the Christmas party.

==Tag all Artemis==
==Mention of Damian and Mara per writer permission==
Now that she was well and truly out of the funk that she had been in since returning from the curse ship, and settled into her new quarters, Aeryn was definitely up for some socialising with the rest of the crew. So when she received the invite to a party in the officer's lounge, the newly promoted redhead wasn't about to turn it down. Aeryn liked to enjoy herself, and if it was anything like the one Mara had organised at Christmas, they were guaranteed a good time.

Naturally, she had heard who was behind this particular shindig, and Aeryn had to admit that she was looking forward to meeting Damian's new girlfriend properly, rather than listening to scuttlebutt. It was good to see Damian happy, which is all she wanted for her friends, especially since she had been lucky to be with Beka. All that was left was for Aeryn to decide what to wear, and in the end, the Commander settled on a strapless patterned playsuit, a pair of comfy black sandals, with a couple of Celtic braids at either side of her long red hair, leaving the rest of it loose.

While looking and feeling good was important to Aeryn, comfort was key as she approached the Officer's Lounge. Allowing the doors to open to reveal the transformation inside, standing on the precipice as Aeryn took it all, knowing that Beka should be right behind her.

" Wow impressive. I've never seen the lounge looking this good".

== Tag Ju & Beka ==
Robin hadn't originally intended to attend the party. The nurse wasn't feeling particularly social and had spent her off-time since returning to the Artemis self-confined to her quarters, catching up on reading and generally wasting time. She'd been learning to play the Vulcan game Kal-toh, and found it a genuinely enjoyable challenge, though she'd only played computer opponents so far. Her goal was to get good enough to challenge Dr. Sonaalk and at least make a decent game of it, but even with her enhanced mind that was a good long way away. The cardiologist was a master. The best Robin could hope for would be to not lose in too humiliating a manner.

But she had recognized her rotten mood and knew she had to force the issue, make herself get out. The Callisto mission was still hanging over her like a weight. Between that and whatever was happening with Benjamin Elias it was like she felt like another part of her soul had been left behind on the away mission. Sometimes the young medic wondered what would be left of her after a few more years. Would she end up as bitter and cynical as some of the other medics she'd met?

So she'd dressed in something other than a uniform or nightshirt and left her quarters for something other than her job. She was wearing her usual off-duty outfit, a conservative blue knee-length skirt with a white blouse. In a way she was trying to reconnect with the Robin who'd first come aboard the Artemis only a couple years before, the naive girl who'd been awed by everything and fumbling around in the dark.

I'm way too young to be having these thoughts. I'm starting to behave like a cynical veteran and I'm sick of it.

As Robin entered the Officers' Lounge her mood did brighten up a bit. There was food, and lots of it, something that always made the perpetually hungry Augment's day. The new engineering Ensign, Eun Ju Han, was here and Aeryn had evidently just arrived as well. The purple-haired nurse (with difficulty) refrained from heading towards the food table like a shark heads for a wounded seal. Instead she walked over to the party host.

Manners, Mayfair. You were raised better than that.

"Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself since I didn't get the chance to at the Christmas party," she said, her soft southern accent presenting itself.  "I'm Robin Mayfair, the CMO. Nice to meet you. Thanks for throwing this party. I really need it."

== Tag Eun Ju Han ==
There was nothing that Damian was looking more forward to than Ju’s party. After everything that had happened, which wasn’t just about the mission, he needed something that was bright, fun, and engaging. Ever since he’d learned that Ju was aboard, he’d spent a decent amount of time with her. What Damian realized quickly though was that no one else really knew her. Oh sure, they’d heard the scuttlebutt about the DS9 glitter incident, which many of the story versions got horribly and completely incorrect. Or the scuttlebutt about the Christmas Party. Instead of combating all that one person at a time, or even combating it at all, it was better to just change the narrative; a big party, hosted by Ju herself… with Mara and Damian’s help of course.

After helping out with the decorating, getting food, and arranging for the drinks, Damian had taken off back to his quarters to get ready. Now, he was strutting himself down to the Officer’s Lounge in style. Ju had picked out a pair of raw denim jeans that were an incredible dark blue, and he had decided to pair them with deep burgundy hi-shine oxfords. For his top, Ju had tried to sell him on wearing a k-pop branded t-shirt. Instead, Damian managed to sell her on something else. It was a black v-neck t-shirt that was FITted tight and slim, leaving little to the imagination. As an accessory, he wore a fashionable analog all-black stainless watch and a thick sterling silver cuban link chain necklace.

As he approached the venue, he saw that Aeryn and Beka were just entering the door. A devilish smirk broadened large across his face as his footsteps carried him closer. As soon as they were inside meeting Ju, and he was within range, he slid in behind Beka with enough noise to make his presence known. Then, he leaned down and spoke in a low voice,

“Hey, lemme know if you need something to wet your whistle,” he barely held onto his chuckle.

“Cause there’s plenty of drinks I think you’d like on that table over there…” he gestured toward the libation station.

It was the flimsiest of covers for his reference, and he knew by opening with that particular salvo he’d get a volley in return. Though over the years, he’d come to enjoy the verbal exchanges with Sydesh despite their rocky start. Plus she was a damn good medical officer. It wasn’t just her abilities as a surgeon either, but her work ethic too. Beka put in the hours, and made sure that whatever she was doing was done right the first time.

“...oh Aeryn good to see you! Love your style girl, you look amazing. So glad you both could make it,” Damian followed up quickly before Sydesh could reply, trying to change tact and perhaps dodge a spicy barb back from Beka.

Coleman could see Robin not far ahead, and while he planned to say hi to her too, he stopped where he was for the moment. The further he tried to get away from Beka, the louder she’d just shout her eventual reply to him. So, instead, he figured he’d hunker down for a moment with them instead.

== tag Beka especially, but also Aeryn. Ju and Robin too as they probably would overhear at least his conversation with Aeryn ==
Eun Ju was concerned that no one would show up. Her culture was a lot for someone that didn’t know anything about it. But, also, she hoped that they weren’t going to pass it up just because she was a new Officer on the ship. She knew that the Artemis liked a good party which was why Damian and Mara had helped her put it together so she could meet more of the ship and get to know them. Eun Ju was a social person so she really hoped to make friends so that she had people she could count on and hang out with that weren’t all tall, dark, and commanding.

Nerves pitted in her stomach as she waited for people to arrive. I put the time right .. right? Mara had helped, Damian had helped too, word had surely spread over the ship allowing for people to know there was a little party for those who wanted to join. She had planned out the booze, the drinks, the food, and everything else. Eun Ju turned around to survey the scene that she had managed to put together which she felt was really good and cute and made her miss home even more.

One day I would like to take Damian home… to Korea with me.

A voice from behind her stating that they had never seen the lounge this good causing Ju to turn around with her hair flaring around her slightly. Someone came! Not just one person, two! Ju felt as though a lot of the pressure she had felt only moments ago had slipped away off her shoulders now that someone that wasn’t Damian or Mara. “Thank you!” Ju said with a bright smile. “I really wanted it to feel like a different world when you walked in here. Thank you so much for coming, I’m Eun Ju, the newest Engineer on the Artemis.” Ju held her hand out for the red headed woman with a bright smile on her face.

Then right behind her, was another woman with a pixie cut came in looking at the food before she focused on Ju. The other woman was the Chief Medical Officer for the ship her name was Robin. “Thank you for coming Ms. Mayfair, I really appreciate it. I’m Eun Ju, the newest Ensign for Engineering. I really appreciate you coming!”

Damian came back, her eyes shifted to him and was so glad she had convinced him on the tight shirt and jeans. The man just was fine, and she was so glad that he had come and helped her with the party. It was going to be great, now that people had showed up, Damian was here, everything was going to be great. The stress of holding a function was gone which meant she could just enjoy herself. Damian spoke to their guests and Ju smiled brightly.

“Yes! Yes, please make yourself at home. I have traditional Korean food and drink all over the place, there’s something for everyone. I really hope you’ll have fun, and I’d really like to get to know you both. They’ll be karaoke later, if you’re interested.” Ju said with a bright smile just excited that people had come!

==Tag all==
Parties were good. Socialising was tricky. Lucy was careful to stick to her limits when it came to drinking. Food could be a different matter. She smiled as she caught the scents from the Officer’s Lounge as the door opened. It was a lot to take in. Beautiful and a little overwhelming. She work black skate shoes, baggy denim cargo pants, an XL navy t-shirt and her brown leather jacket. Comfort clothing when faced with a social setting. She tried to breathe steadily as she took in the effort taken to redecorate the Lounge. She was familiar with K-Pop, though not enough to get a grasp for it as a whole.

Lucy had taken an interest in the history of Terran music, though she preferred the stuff that moved her. K-Pop. J-Pop. C-Pop? Some of her favorite anime had tunes that totally slapped. Her preference fell more towards Blackpink over BTS. Too damn pretty. Their songs weren’t terrible, but their musical style had those brick wall moments. Discovering Visual Kei had been a weird experience. Metal Classical stuff like Versailles was fun. The words could be strange.

Lucy did like to turn off her universal translator to vibe with the music. It was a curiosity to consider how music could be received when those listening didn’t understand the words.
It was a curious and welcome distraction from preceding events and it looked like the crew had received a new crew member. Eun was now part of the Artemis crew. She’d been an Engineer on the Philadelphia previously and there was the eventful drinking game on DS9.

A little more romance wasn’t a bad thing. Depended on how the Captain viewed things. The crew could be very cohesive. If you were in, you were in. Lucy didn’t understand her part in the crew. She wandered over to the ramen table and tried to figure out what she liked. Noodles, meat, and vegetables were all stuff she enjoyed. Getting the mix or balance right was different. She also wondered how Korean ramen compared to Japanese ramen.
News of another party had been very gratefully received by Beka. Since the much-needed spinal surgery right at the start of leave, the redhead had a real spring in her step. She also felt like she had a lot to catch up with, and she was going to start right now.

The doctor actually knew some Korean and had been to Seoul a few times in her taekwon-do journey. She hadn’t had the chance to properly immerse herself in the culture, but she’d had a rummage through mythology for some inspiration. Beka still enjoyed manipulating replicator patterns to make her own clothing designs, and she’d wanted to make something for the occasion. She’d found what she was looking for when she came across the sinuous Korean dragons.

The black dress she was wearing was long-sleeved and modest by her standards, with a high neckline and the diagonal hem halfway down the shin of her right leg and rising diagonally to just above her left knee, with a split to the middle of her thigh and paired with some calf height boots with a slight heel.

But it was the bright and vivid image of a dragon that really caught the eye. She’d worked hard on the colours, choosing really vibrant shades of yellow and orange to really make it pop against the dark background of the dress. The dragon’s tail started level with her right knee and wound its body around her legs, hips and back, the creature having exactly 81 spines to tie in with the myth. The beast’s neck started from under her left arm and the stylised head went across her chest. Beka had tied her ginger hair into a carefully layered ponytail, and the end of the ponytail hung down on her right where the dragon would be breathing fire.

Typical that me and Aeryn got different memos Sydesh thought as she approached. The two entered at the same time and took a look around.

"Wow impressive. I've never seen the lounge looking this good,” said the new CSO.

“Yeah. Someone definitely put the effort in!” Beka replied. She went for the table of drinks, but the familiar face of the FO cut across her.

“Hey, lemme know if you need something to wet your whistle,” Damian said, barely holding onto his chuckle. “Cause there’s plenty of drinks I think you’d like on that table over there…”

He tried to quickly move onto Aeryn, hoping that flattering Beka’s girlfriend would somehow keep the fiery redhead from biting back. That was never going to happen - the wicked grin on the doctor’s lips said she was ready to spar.

“Oh yeah. I had my eye on a nice 15-year-old whiskey, but I think it might be a bit old for your tastes,” Beka replied. “Still. I won’t drink it myself. Me and alcohol isn’t the most obvious inappropriate relationship in the room, but it’s up there.”

She winked mischievously and reached out for a can of soda.

== Back atcha boss man.  Wink ==
" I agree that they have" Aeryn agreed when Beka echoed her sentiment regarding the transformed officer's lounge. Her girlfriend looked absolutely stunning in the dress that she had made, even if Aeryn felt a little underdressed in comparison, but it was nothing for her to stress about, as they were here to have fun.

" Well you've definitely succeeded with that, as it's breathtaking, and you wouldn't think we were on Artemis," Aeryn said warmly when Eun Ju responded to her positive comment and introduced herself. Aeryn knew who she was, thanks to being friends with Damian, but it was nice to finally meet her properly.

" Welcome aboard, it's good to finally meet you. I'm Aeryn".

It was then that Aeryn spotted Robin as the CMO made her introductions before Damian caught the new CSO's attention, particularly with how he interacted with Beka. Whatever was said, Aeryn knew it would be in jest knowing the FO as she did, as Damian then spoke to her directly.

" Thanks, you scrub up well too," she remarked with a grin, as Ju then told them more about the setup before Beka responded to Damian. This is going to be interesting Aeryn thought to herself as Lucy entered and made her way over to the ramen station. Seeing the science officer reminded Aeryn that she needed to check in with her at some point, since she was now her DH, but work talk could wait for the time being as Aeryn spoke to Ju.

" We do like having fun, and I'm sure we could be tempted by karaoke, can't we, Beka?".

With her girlfriend reaching for a can of soda, Aeryn decided to start with the same thing, thinking there would be plenty of time for something stronger.

== Tags ==
Miles walked the corridors of the Artemis, thoughts of the last mission playing through his head. It was weird, in a way, for how his perception of it all played out. Breakneck speed from the briefing to entering the system (via cloak, another issue altogether) to dock with the Callisto. Then, an almost sluggish crawl as they made their way through the ship, engaging the Cardassians, coming up with a plan to retake it that became unnecessary as the Cardassians left the ship. And then the almost imperceptible escape that felt like such a blur that details just blended together for Miles. Almost out of body/not even there feeling.

He also thought of Lina. He missed her, having not yet had a chance to see her aside from some video calls. But those were still few and far between, and he hadn't, as of yet, been able to arrange for another one since the mission had ended. Conflict of schedules, different locations. Something they knew they would be dealing with, and they were making it. The messages helped, even if he couldn't be as open about them as he would have liked.

Which was another worry on what kind of backlash those involved would be facing. It was a waiting game to see, but it felt like a ticking time bomb. It was stressful. But, stress they could deal with. And apparently were at least trying to mitigate, if the invite to the Officer's Lounge for a post-mission "party" were any indication.

Miles didn't know much about the host, one Ensign Eun Ju Han, a recent addition to the crew since the mission. Regardless, he welcomed the camaraderie that events like this one offered. The thought was broken as he realized he had arrived at the destination.

As he stepped through, he took notice of those in attendance. It appeared most, if not all, had already migrated to their various groups. Eventually, Miles would seek someone or a group to speak with. For now, he was okay with getting a drink. If someone wanted to approach him, that would be fine, too.

==Tag anyone==
"Thanks, you scrub up well too," Aeryn had replied, and Damian was about to speak, when Beka couldn’t help but pipe up.

Easy bait, he chuckled to himself as she spoke, with Sydesh making a swing for some low hanging fruit. Which was exactly what Damian was hoping for. Boxing was one thing, but verbal sparring was another. The latter was something he hadn’t been practicing a lot of recently, especially since donning his third full pip. While a solid majority of the crew would give as good as they took, getting into a verbal dustup with Beka was akin to a bare knuckle boxing match. It was the best kind of practice.

“Whiskey is good,” Damian replied back instantly to Beka with an equally mischievous wink, “but lately I’ve been on a soju kick.”

There was only a cursory delay before he continued.

“But I guess that at least half of the scuttlebutt I’ve heard about you is true; your best and worst trait is ironically your mouth. Suppose Miller knows more about the former than I do.”

With that, Damian moved right on along toward the second subject of Beka’s jibe. It wasn’t any surprise that the rumor mill had spun up fast, and if the entire ship didn’t already know about Damian and Ju, then they would after the party was done. It wasn’t something that he planned on thinking about too much, as the gossip that might surround the pair of them would probably be harsh. Though, as Beka had already demonstrated, some of it would be directed very squarely toward him. If Coleman had any say, he’d prefer any such gossiping to be on his shoulders.

Having gone on a couple of dates in the short time since Ju had come aboard. They’d already been growing their previous friendship into something more. It wasn’t really any surprise to him. There was a solid foundation that they’d built up over time, an easy trust and a bond that was forged back when they first met on DS9. That was nurtured consistently even while they had been on separate ships, until the bottom fell out of the Perhelia debacle. Though they seemed to pick up right where they left off, and maybe made up for some lost time too. It had only been a couple of days, but those had been filled with shore leave sized moments for them both.

“Mmmm, mmmmm, mmmmmm,” Damian’s smile was wide and bright as he pulled alongside Ju.

“Girl, you are dazzling, as always.”

Damian’s flirtation was about Ju’s appearance as a whole, while also being specifically about the clear gems she was wearing, which sparkled in the mood lighting. Without any hesitation at all, Damian reached out to Ju, gently wrapping an arm around her as his palm reached her back. Then he pulled her in towards him, his other hand touching her chin and tilting it up towards him. Staring into Ju’s eyes for just a moment, Damian leaned down. As their faces neared, his hand cupped her face while his thumb softly brushed her cheek. Damian’s lips parted slightly as he placed a lingering kiss on hers, enjoying the sweet taste of the peach-flavored lip gloss. His lips then started pulling at hers, dragging along them in a slow, delicate motion. Breaking away, inches from her, Damian’s eyes reopened and took yet another moment to look into her eyes.

“Can I get you anything to drink?” his voice was low and rumbling.

“As you could probably already tell, I’m a little thirsty tonight.”

== tag Beka and Ju ==
People were still incoming and it made Ju’s heart swell every time someone walked in. It had only been a couple days since reuniting with Damian and their relationship was already being whispered about. They spent a lot of time together since they had it because she knew come mission time they could be on different shifts, on different ships, who knew. It was best to make the most of their time together. She also wanted to put in the effort to solidify their relationship before things got hairy because in Starfleet that was always a concern. This party, would hopefully help her connect with other officers too so that they knew she wasn’t some kind of crazy Command Hunter but instead just a young officer that had fallen hard for the charm of a Commander.

Damian was trading banter with the woman in the dragon dress, the dress along was absolutely gorgeous and Ju wished she could have thought about something like that. But no, it wasn’t really her style, she was more of a comfort queen. Still, as proven by the Christmas party she could dress up if she needed and wanted to. Aeryn introduced herself and Ju returned her attention to the red headed officer. “Thank you so much! That’s very kind of you.”

“It’s really good to meet you too. I didn’t get a chance to get around the Christmas party as much as I liked. Mara and I hung out the most and I really wanted to meet some people here since I’m stationed on the Artemis now.” She knew that a lot of people would think she had chosen to come to the Artemis because of Damian. She would be lying to say that hadn’t been on the list of reasons but it was surprisingly not at the top. When she had made the decision to request transfer a lot of other things were happening at the time and she felt as though the environment here might work out for her. Captain Crawford knew that was the case and had accepted the transfer after talking to Eun Ju in depth.

When Aeryn mentioned they would be up for karaoke Ju’s smile brightened. “Great! So many people, I find, are too shy to belt it out. I’ll definitely join you both!” Ju had grown up in a culture where karaoke was something you did on weekends, when drinking, with friends, when ever. Sometimes just as a stress relief so she was excited to find others brave enough to play with her.

A strong arm came around her waist and pulled at her. Ju looked up to find Damian had moved from talking to Beka and now stood in front of her. His hand came up to tilt her chin she could see his dark eyes shifting over her face. Ju’s cheeks dusted slightly pink at the visual inspection of her face. Damian told her that she was dazzling like always causing a soft smile to cross her face. “I definitely agree, the shirt choice is perfect,” before she could say anything else he leaned down and kissed her thumb brushing across her cheek. As always her stomach clenched and her body tensed. Not because she didn’t like it but because it was a very public display and she was not used to such things. She was going to have to be dating Damian, their entire relationship would likely be on display until people got tired of it.

Ju’s head spun and her heart was clocking about three times it’s normal speed. Good thing a doctor is here… she thought as the kiss ended and her brain was still flatlining as he looked down at her.

Damian asked if he could get her anything to drink. She just stared at him, her brain in reboot mode at the moment. He mentioned something about being very thirsty tonight causing her face to turn bright red. In public, they were discussing such things, Ju was going to have to get used to being so open with things like this.

“I – I – actually- I was.. I was going to make some somaek for everyone.” Ju said now that her brain was functional again she wanted to make a very normal night out Korean drink that combined soju and beer together. It was commonly drank with friends and it wasn’t just the drinking it was watching someone make it. Kissing his cheek with a quick peck she escaped his arms pulling at the collar of her shirt a few times to cool off from that whole.. display.

Ju headed for the bar where she got glasses out, she tried to get one out for everyone. Then she poured the beer from cans into the glasses until they were three quarters full. Afterwards she balanced shot glasses on top of the beer glasses and filled each one with two shots of bitter soju. “This is a traditional Korean party drink, it’s a bit bitter but it’s fun!” she said to the room as she knocked the first shot glass into the bottom of the glass of beer which caused a chain reaction dropping a shot glass into each glass to mix the two liquors. One glass, the first, didn’t get a shot glass so she dropped it in herself and handed one to Damian.

“Since you’re thirsty,” she said with a playful grin giving him a wink. “Please try some everyone!” she called out to all the attendees.

Tonight was going to be fun! Maybe she would actually get a little drunk. It depended on how many people drank with her, she supposed.

==Tag all==
Jaein stepped into the officer’s lounge and immediately felt out of place. Some kind of music was playing on the overhead, while a beautiful mountainside dominated one wall, though he couldn’t place it. Paper lanterns hung from the ceiling, and two walls had different buffets set up – one of sweets, the other of some kind of noodle dish he didn’t know. A few people mingled around the room, all in off-duty attire and very friendly with one another – in fact, one couple seemed to be trying their best to stand in the same spot, they were so close.
And just inside the door was a table full of various types of alcoholic beverages. He pulled on his uniform jacket’s hem uncomfortably. Yep, definitely out of place today. He had to be the oldest person in the room, too, and by a longshot. His salt-and-pepper-but-mostly-salt hair contrasted with the gold and silver of his Bajoran earring, and though he couldn’t see it the lanterns were reflecting from it, as well. The engineering gold of his uniform tunic also felt just a little warmer in the lantern-light, though that wasn’t something he’d notice either.
But there was nothing for it. If he was going to figure out what happened, he had to be here. So he took a few steps in, slowly, and looked down at his padd again. On the way up, he’d pulled up the personnel files to find out what Commander Coleman looked like, but the turbolift had stopped before he could actually look. He took a peek now, and—
No. It couldn’t be.
He looked again. It was.
He couldn’t hear what he and the young woman he was talking to were saying, but he did see the way that she turned a red so bright he could’ve used her as a warning indicator. She turned and headed towards the bar, and Jaein stepped closer to the sweets table to get out of the way for a moment while he regained his composure. He took a cupcake to help that along.
She started pouring drinks, each with some beer and then some shots of a liquor he didn’t recognize. “This is a traditional Korean party drink, it’s a bit bitter but it’s fun!” she said to the room, which filled him in a bit on the rest of the décor and other foods, though he still knew nothing about it. Then she tapped a glass, and the shots fell into the beers with a splash and a clink.
“Since you’re thirsty,” the woman told Coleman playfully. “Please try some everyone!” she called out to everyone, making her the likely host.
Well, he thought, there’s probably no better time to interrupt. Especially if everyone’s going to get plastered soon. He stepped up to the little group at the bar table and caught Coleman’s eye.
“Commander?” he said, trying mostly to keep a certain dignity. “I’m Commander Omdor Jaein; you have a second to talk about your chief engineer?”

If the truth be told, Cera didn't actually believe there was anything worth celebrating at the moment, unless someone had an affinity for dumpster fires. Yes, the Artemis' team had made it back physically unscathed with one noted exception but the fallout seemed to be reaching nuclear levels.

Her own personal life was now entirely in shambles, though she supposed that might have been the case whether Ben was locked up in the brig or not. He still hadn't given her an answer for his decision to run away over her choice of dinner companions and with him now facing legal issues courtesy of his own stupid honesty -- the irony was strong when he couldn't be honest with her --, her feelings and desire for closure were very much on the backburner. She was currently considering reverting to the written form to gain her closure but she wasn't sure it was worth the effort.

Fortunately, the rest of the mess had kept her busy enough that Ben only lurked on the edge of her thoughts during the day. While there was little she could truthfully do for Ben or Tyra or Coleman, she'd made it her mission to be as useful as possible, whether that meant dropping off food or coffee or merely listening for helpful tidbits of information that floated through DS9 from time to time.

She'd even tried to convince Tyra that attending the party might be a welcomed distraction for the captain but she'd been waved off with a sad smile that was tinged with more guilt that Cera liked to see. With no luck there, in a surge of pettiness that would make her mother proud, Cera had forwarded an invite to the party to the alleged cause of her issues with Ben. After all, if he was going to accuse her of something…

However, if she was entirely honest, it was the competing interests of curiosity and nosiness that had her attending the party. She'd been present for the Quark's debacle that had introduced Coleman to his much younger friend and she'd been present for the Christmas party. She was also well aware of both Eun's and Coleman's meetings with Tyra, as well as all of the very scandalous gossip that had accompanied news of her transfer. Cera had even gone as far as to try to mute the salaciousness of some of the rumors but she'd be honest, she didn't buy the whole "getting to know each other" story. If it was true, it wouldn't be true for long, not with what she knew of Coleman's track record. He had never made her job difficult when it came to finding out details of his love life….

And it seemed he wasn't going to start now as Cera had no sooner entered the room before her eyes were drawn to a showing of PDA that would no doubt hit the grapevine faster than Coleman could cram his tongue down his "friend's" throat. The half-Betazoid immediately regretted checking the mood of the room on entry, pulling her senses back as quickly as she could before she learned more than she wanted to. Fortunately, the second half of the newest members of the Love Boat seemed significantly more embarrassed about the display, though she supposed she'd get over it soon enough. Coleman was easy on the eyes and Cera had certainly never heard any complaints from his previous "friends".

I can't decide which is worse: one's hiding and one is putting on a show…

Her dark eyes flicked over the party as she pushed forward. It seemed she had some competition on the party planning front from Eun and Calleja, which was very surprising coming from the muscular security officer. Cera supposed she had a soft side just like all of the other muscle heads, though she would have guessed it was a softness for puppies not K-Pop inspired parties. At least, it seemed that Cera had guessed correctly in dressing more casually with black jeans and an off the shoulder gray sweater.

She carefully steered clear of the main group, not necessarily feeling that being in the middle of the Love Boat was in her best interest at the moment. At least not until she had a drink or two in her and that probably wasn't a good idea until she had something in her stomach.

The desserts and snacks had immediately caught her eye but it was the ramen bar that drew her in, the scent catching her attention as it pulled her back to a very enjoyable trip to Little Seoul on Luna. She smiled at Lucy as she approached, nodding her head slightly.

"If you like your ramen spicy, those dried red peppers and that oil next to the soy sauce will give it an amazing zing. Or some good ol' fashioned gochujang," Cera offered warmly as she dumped a significant amount of fresh veggies into her bowl before carefully selecting a few pieces of thinly sliced beef for her bowl and then, placing a few of the dried peppers in the bowl as well. She

"If you don't like spice but you still want flavor, doenjang is a good addition," she motioned towards a container of brown paste. Then, she smiled a little apologetically, though it was still her megawatt smile. "Not that you need my help, mind you."

With her toppings and meat selected, she fetched some noodles and then, carefully ladled the liquid into her bowl. She heard the call for drinks as she finished but decided it was in her best interest to take a few bites first. After all, she looked put together and well but it was an uphill battle altogether.

== Tag Lucy! ==
“Whiskey is good,” Damian replied back instantly to Beka with an equally mischievous wink, “but lately I’ve been on a soju kick.”

There was only a cursory delay before he continued.

“But I guess that at least half of the scuttlebutt I’ve heard about you is true; your best and worst trait is ironically your mouth. Suppose Miller knows more about the former than I do.”

Beka smirked.

“A lady doesn’t tell. Well. I’m no lady, but Aeryn knows more about that too,” she said with a grin as Damian went to sweep his beau off her feet.

I love his enthusiasm, if nothing else! Eun must feel like the centre of the universe around him.

It was Aeryn that brought Beka into a conversation that ended pretty much the same second that the doctor turned around.

"We do like having fun, and I'm sure we could be tempted by karaoke, can't we, Beka?"

“We certainly did at the Christmas party,” Beka replied, a smile on her lips as she watched the host and the FO. “But you know who I want up on that stage? However much she’ll never go? Calleja.”

The redhead nodded to where the Amazonian officer was setting up some equipment.

“I get a bit of vocal coaching from Ensign Halee every now and then. And she cannot stop talking about her star pupil. Never misses a session. Practices daily. Never named her, but she did let slip that it’s someone senior in Security who talks like a docker. That leaves one very big suspect…”

Sydesh was quiet as Eun explained the tradition of somaek and gave a little demonstration. The doctor didn’t touch alcohol so she wouldn’t be able to partake, but she did appreciate the theatre that went into it.

“If you want some, go,” she said, gently nudging Aeryn. “I’ll stick to the soda but you don’t have to.”

== Tags! ==
It had been a bit of a surprise to Mara to get the call to help with another party, and definitely had been another surprise when she saw who had called her. But the newly-minted Chief of Security had something of a soft spot for anyone who treated people as well as Ju seemed to, and it was definitely good news that the young engineer was joining the crew, so she’d agreed to help and pitched in.

Mara had put her list of contacts at Ju’s disposal and called in a couple of favours to get Support on board. She’d also leaned on a few of the opinion shapers in Security to make sure there was a solid turnout, although like most Security personnel the prospect of free drinks had been plenty to get them here. There had been a constant stream of off-duty gold tunics through the door of the lounge.

As she finished setting up the equipment, the Bandaran turned to look around. Calleja was dressed in her usual heavy black pants and boots, the left side of her head shaved and her hair braided and brushed over her right shoulder. Her olive green sleeveless top showed off her incredibly hard-earned muscular arms and wide shoulders, but it also bore a huge crest with a stylised unicorn standing up and holding a chainsaw at the end of each arm. It was an in-joke with the Captain but the Security chief had been unable to resist, even if very few others were going to understand the relevance.

With her work done, Mara decided it was time to eat and headed to the ramen station. Korean culture wasn’t her strong suit but she had been around when the bar was set up and the instructions given, so she knew what was what. Picking up the biggest bowl she could find, she ladled out a generous portion of noodles and dressed the bowl with pretty much everything on offer - meat, eggs, vegetables, the works. She loved her food spicy so she’d gone in on the peppers and gochujang too.

Mara turned around, letting the conversations wash over her as she worked her chopsticks like a pro. Damian and Ju were putting on quite the show and that made her grin. But her head tilted as she heard her name, and she listened as it turned out it was Sydesh who had said it.

Not this again. I swear, I should have left that little bitch on that station…

“I get a bit of vocal coaching from Ensign Halee every now and then. And she cannot stop talking about her star pupil. Never misses a session. Practices daily. Never named her, but she did let slip that it’s someone senior in Security who talks like a docker. That leaves one very big suspect…” Beka’s voice trailed off.

Oh hell no. And I am so given’ Halee shit for that.

The doctor was in the process of giving away one of Mara’s bigger secrets - hidden away under the muscles and the accent was a singing voice every bit as well-trained and powerful as the rest of her. Music was a refuge for the Bandaran. It helped her decompress and escape into another world. But there was absolutely no part of her that was remotely ready for performing publicly.

Calleja was still wolfing down noodles as she discretely moved through the party-goers, happy to use Ju’s somaek demo as cover until she was stood behind Miller and Sydesh. She leant forward, her voice soft.

“You out me, I will take great pleasure in makin’ your life on board this ship a very special kinda hell that only Security can do,” Mara said to Beka, loud enough only for the two redheads to hear. “You might be datin’ one of my friends but I will still fuck you up if you keep comin’ after me. You don’t wanna be friends, fine. Message received. Now here’s one from me. Back off.”

== More tags! ==
The playful verbal sparring match between Damian and Beka wasn't quite over, with the FO giving as good back, thanks to his not-so-subtle references to Ju and Aeryn. Particularly Aeryn's knowledge of Beka's mouth, which Beka only encouraged, and since Aeryn had nothing to hide, she chose to answer with a grin. It also didn't stop the redhead from continuing her conversation with Ju.

" That's understandable, and now that you're here it'll make things a lot easier for you to get to know everyone".

Ju also seemed keen to join Aeryn and Beka in performing karaoke, before Damian moved to his paramour's side and silenced her with some PDA. Such actions would surprise anyone, but thankfully Ju quickly recovered, leaving Aeryn potential ammunition to tease her friend later. While Ju decided to prepare drinks for everyone and showed off her knowledge regarding her culture, Beka agreed to the idea of karaoke, going so far as to share who she would like to see perform.

It was then that other people started to arrive, and one man in particular caught Damian's attention, while Aeryn processed the information that Beka had shared about Ensign Halee's star pupil. Aeryn didn't think it was a coincidence as Ju finished her demonstration and Beka encouraged her to try some. Normally Aeryn would be okay to just stick to sodas, but before she got some Somaek to try, Mara had come up behind the couple and made her feelings known about the subject.

" Okay you two, let's call a ceasefire on this," Aeryn said quietly, aware of the situation between her friend and girlfriend. She hoped that in time the pair could be at least civil to one another, but they were here to enjoy themselves. " Beka won't out you, and tonight is all about us having some fun".

Whether her attempt to calm the situation before it escalated worked or not, she didn't know as she grabbed a Somaek and took a generous sip.

== Tags ==

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)