Christmas, Candy and Conversation (RP Log)
|19 Mar 2014|
- Vrillak's Finest Clothiers [Deep Space 9]
- The spacious interior of the shop is lit by soft, subdued lighting. Display cases containing ready-made wears run the length of the shop, creating a series of long, narrow aisles. Fitting rooms are located in the rear of the shop along with the tailor's workspace where custom items are made and alterations done. A pair of comfortable-looking chairs sit near the front counter which features a register and credit scanner. When the proprietor isn't making clothing items, he is usually to be found here, talking to potential customers and showing them samples of various materials.
Carey is studying the designs of the various clothing items on the rack. Every now and then she reaches out to touch something, brushing her hand along the silhouette of a garment or gently rubbing the cloth between her fingers.
Entering the shop, a laser tool held casually in one hand, Vrillak smiles at her. "Ah, Miss Carey. Ensign Carey, I see." A bow. "How are you, my dear?" His tone is warm. It's been a while since he first saw her and he hasn't forgotten her.
Carey turns with a surprised smile. "Oh, hi!" She gestures to the uniform. "I'm Aliyah when off duty." Her smile turns to a grin. "I'm doing well, how are you?"
"You know, my dear," Vrillak says, crossing to a bolt of red fabric on a work table, "For being only one species on the station, you Terrans certainly set the tone. I know one of your holidays is coming, and I've already had a Naussican ask me for a ... santa, suit? I've had to research this item, but I am a tailor, after all." He beams.
Carey giggles. "Now that, I'd love to see." She sighs wistfully, the smile still lingering around the corners of her mouth. "I haven't seen a Santa suit in person since I was a little girl."
Vrillak says, "Well, if you stop by here around the 23rd, I'll show you a red and green suit for a four-armed biped.""
Carey laughs again. "Wow. Some Santa. I wonder what the appeal is? I mean for people who wouldn't normally celebrate Christmas."
Vrillak says, "I don't know. Most people seem to have a Terran friend or a Terran friend with children, or maybe it's the festive gift giving.""
"Yeah, it could be," Aliyah says, nodding and smiling. "Children certainly make it even more special. I babysat a lot when I was a teenager, and even though my little neighbors didn't celebrate Christmas, the lady who adopted me always commemorated it with me, and part of that was giving presents to those kids. It was great fun watching them open them."
Vrillak nods, the laser tool humming in his left hand. He works almost casually. "And what are you going to do for this coming Christmas?"
Carey sighs and sits down on one of the available chairs. "I don't know. Most likely not much. I have a token gift for my superior. It isn't much. He's a Vulcan and doesn't celebrate it to my knowledge, and he hardly knows me yet, so I didn't want it to be anything that would make me look desperate or rude." She grins. "Although I might be desperate, but just for friendship and not desperate enough to show it." She laughs lightly.
"What is it with that Vulcan," Vrillak says thoughtfully. "You know, about a year ago, a smiling Vulcan lady came to me and asked me for a range of clothes to, as she put it, entice a Vulcan." He chuckles, looking thoughtful.
Carey gasps and covers her mouth, but another laugh escapes. "Oooh my! That defies imagination! But that's no bad thing...for me, anyway. I'm just the nurse." But she's still grinning.
"Yes, you should have seen what I made." He shakes his head. "There I am telling tales out of school as you might say."
"Probably better I didn't," Aliyah says, chuckling, "curious though I am, now. I used to dabble in clothing design myself, but that definitely would have stumped me."
Vrillak says, "Oh, a couple of dresses, classily elegant and somewhat sensually designed."
Carey nods. "That makes sense, I guess. Oh, dear." She touches her temple. "Let's talk about something else." Her tone is still cheerful. "I grew up with telepaths. Believe me, the fewer weird things floating around in one's head, the better, and I genuinely like and respect my boss."
Vrillak smiles. "Vulcans are touch telepaths, my dear. If he's not touching you and you're not a telepath, he won't know what you're thinking."
Carey says, "I know. But there are people here who are not, and I know at least two of them are close to him. That would just be awful."
Vrillak's lips spread into a near grin. "You make an excellent point."
Carey laughs at his expression. "Yeah. Definitely awful...moving on! What about you? I know a little bit about most known cultures, but most of that is about physiology. So, any particularly special or favorite holiday?"
"I'm afraid we don't have anything like your Christmas," he says. "We have a day once a year when little children are rewarded by their parents and schoolmasters for that year's service to the state."
Carey's brows knit in a puzzled expression. "The state? Little children?"
Vrillak nods, smiling as though it's obvious. "But of course, my dear. To a virtuous Cardassian, service to the state is the highest ideal and loftiest goal."
Carey still looks completely baffled. "But...young children?"
Vrillak says, "Why, naturally, Aliyah. Isn't it true that if you train young children in the virtues early, they're likelier to practice them in adulthood? For Klingons, it's the warrior ethic. For the Ferengi, acquisition and greed. And for us, service and loyalty to the state."
"I suppose so...although, honestly, I see absolutely no virtue whatsoever in acquisition and greed. But I guess I'm just wondering how little children could serve the state." Aliyah's tone and expression aren't critical, merely curious.
Vrillak smiles. "For what it's worth, I don't see any point in raw acquisition and greed either."
Carey grins. "Glad we agree on that."
Vrillak bows. "May it be only the first of many things on which we agree."
Carey's gaze is now locked on his face. "We might agree on various points of fashion and taste, I'm sure." But although her tone is still light, almost bantering, her eyes tell him that she didn't fail to notice that he didn't answer her question.
Vrillak meets her gaze easily. His is relaxed and friendly. "If there's something you want to ask me--it looks like there is, do go on."
Carey relaxes the intensity of her gaze. "I do love to learn about other cultures and races. I'm very curious to know what service youngsters can do a government. But if it's for some reason a secret..." She touches the Starfleet emblem on her uniform jacket. "I do understand."
Vrillak laughs quietly and smiles. "No secret, my dear lady. Everything from community service to cleaning up litter to recitals of history and poetry to turning in criminals and disidents is service to the state." There's nothing omenous about the last part of the list. He lists the last two things as though they're as natural as the first half of the list.
Carey smiles again, her shoulders relaxing, although their tenseness would have gone unnoticed to someone not looking for it until that moment. "Ah, that makes sense. Teaching kids community-mindedness from a young age sounds like a good idea to me."
Vrillak nods. "Community mindedness, yes that is a major part of it." Crossing to his replicator, he asks, "What would you like, my dear?"
Carey blinks. "Hmm? Oh! Oh, how kind of you. Hot chocolate?" she asks tentatively.
"One red leaf tea and one Romulan cocoa," he orders. With a shimmer, the drinks appear, and the hot chocolate even has a dollip of wipped cream on top. "I'm told Romulan coco is unbeatable," he murmurs, handing it to Carey. Sipping his tea, he finishes, "of course, I'm more inclined towards tea, myself."
Carey sips and smiles, particularly savoring the whipped cream. "Thank you. Tea is my usual drink. Jestral tea, actually. But it just wouldn't be right not to have hot chocolate at Christmas. May I offer you something festive? I've been hoping to find someone to share them with."
Vrillak smiles. "That's very thoughtful of you."
Carey takes a stick of candy wrapped in shiny paper from her pocket. It is curved at the top like an old-fashioned gentleman's cane, and red, green, and white striped. She offers it with a smile.
Vrillak takes it. The way he holds it in his hands suggests he's never seen one before. Unwrapping it delicately, he holds it up to his nose, his expression curious. "Hmm, what is this made of, my dear?"
With a warm, gentle laugh, Aliyah turns it in his hands so that it's pointing curve up. "Peppermint, sugar, and artificial dye, probably. But they're very tasty and a traditional Christmas treat. They're called candy canes."
"Ah," Taking a large bite, he crunches. "Very interesting. I don't know as I like the taste of this ... mint, was it? But the gift was thoughtful, my dear."
"You might like it better if you lick it or suck on it instead," Aliyah says kindly. "But even if not, thank you for letting me share. My father used to eat them just like that...one crunch." She laughs again, but her eyes are briefly sad.
Vrillak sucks on the shaft of the caine. "Ah, that is better."
Carey takes a second candy cane from her pocket and unwraps it. "This is especially good, I think." She breaks the candy into little pieces, careful not to drop any, and drops them into her cocoa. As she gently jostles the cup, swirls of color mix with the dark chocolate.
Vrillak watches, interested. "Well, I have to find you a Christmas gift."
Carey blinks, surprised and touched. "Oh..." She flutters the fingers of one hand. "You don't have to do that." She tries to hold her smile in place, but for a moment her face betrays some of the less than happy thoughts the coming holiday raises in her.
Vrillak smiles. "But I shall. You've made things a bit more festive for me, and I will do the same for you. Hmmm."
Carey's expression clears. "It was just candy." She smiles. "Do you...I mean, I've never been in such a mixed group before except at the academy for my officer's training, and any students who could went home for the holidays. Are Christmas celebrations something you usually join in?"
Vrillak shrugs. "I never have before." He smiles.
Carey says, "Well...if you would like to experience a little bit of the holiday for education's sake or just for fun, let me know. I'm sure we could arrange it."
Vrillak smiles. "I'll probably take you up on that, Aliyah."
Carey grins. "Great! Is that definite enough that I should put the time into getting it ready?"
Vrillak thinks about it for a beat. "Yes," he says simply.