Captain Gorel Karn of the U.S.S. Yorktown (story)
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Join Date: Feb 2013
03-23-2013, 02:33 PM
Gorel stood outside Kanar, attracting no few looks. He thanked his ancestors that he'd had his suit retailored when he first got home, thanks to the profusion of family dinners and gatherings. He wasn't much for such finery, really, but such things were expected, and Cardassians were excellent tailors. His mother had given his father a significant look when he passed them on his way back out, a look which took a decade and a half off his mental age. He wasn't some hormone-addled teen any more, no matter how he'd flushed and stammered when he told them his plans for the evening.
He'd arrived at Kanar early, but there was no sign of Niri, and since she was the one with the reservations, he'd opted to wait outside. He told himself that it was because he'd feel awkward standing at the desk, in full view of the staff and other diners, which had a bit of truth to it. The thump in his chest every time he heard a single pair of clacking footsteps approaching told him that there might be some truth elsewhere.
And then she was there, and his chest tightened, like it hadn't been four years with no word either way.
Everything about her was beautiful and poised, like a thoroughbred racer. Her dress was deep blue and clung to the ends of her shoulders, displaying the ridges of her neck in their entirety; her hair was woven up tightly but simply, with only a single gem-tipped pin thrust through it. Her face was carefully made up with shades of blue, but only on her forehead did the color truly draw attention to itself. She was beautiful and everything he wanted and could not be permitted.
"There you are, Gorel," she said, as they quickly embraced. She gave him a quick look up and down, her mouth tightening but her eyes widening.
"I thought I told you to wear something nice?" His heart thumped.
"Hello, Niri. I know, I thought it would barely be passable here at Kanar, but now that I've seen you, I know I won't be the worst-dressed person inside."
Her lip curled in a magnificent sneer as she took his arm. It was an odd sensation, so familiar, and yet so different than before. On the Venezuela, they'd had to be careful to moderate themselves, both out of respect for the chain of command and in order to prevent any of their colleagues from reporting them for mediation. Here on Cardassia Prime, they could be themselves.
Immediately upon entering, Niri observed to the staff that Gorel would never have been able to get reservations for such a fine place himself. Gorel countered by pointing out that it was his uncle, not Niri, who had obtained the reservation, and as such she was little more than a hanger-on upon his family's influence. The staff shared a few amused glances as they led the couple to their table.
Each of them attempted to order for the other, which initiated a quiet argument that lasted for several glasses of kanar over the relative qualities of a classic zabu steak in yamok sauce vis-a-vis the deconstructed halant stew with fried krintar crisps. In the end, each of them decided to eat what the other had initially ordered, which prompted another two-glass argument that was ended only by the return of the waiter with their meals. Gorel criticized the excellent deconstructed stew for its pointless complication of a traditional meal, while Niri fed Gorel a piece of steak off of her own fork so he could see how boring it was. Next came the larish pie, which they enjoyed while debating the relative merits of the Oralian restoration, the Federo-Cardassian Treaty of 2386, and the Union's trade agreements with the Ferengi and Remans. By the time they reached the oceanleaf tea and were reduced to quibbling over minor details of the Detapa Council's recent decisions, their fingers were lightly touching on the table, and Niri's calf rested against his under it. When the bill arrived while she was away from the table, Gorel gleefully paid the entire (substantial) thing with a broad grin; the waiter, despite his professionalism, was young enough to flash him a congratulatory thumbs-up as he left the table.
The dinner was as perfect as Gorel could have hoped.
When Niri returned and learned that he'd paid without consulting her, her eyes narrowed dangerously.
"There are certain words, Gorel Karn, that I want to say to you, but that are inappropriate for such a public space. I'm staying at a hotel not far from here; you're coming back there with me to hear exactly what I have to say about your wrong-headed obsession with patriarchal values."
An older man at the next table gave a quiet and suspiciously timed cough, covering his mouth. Gorel stood and straightened his jacket, looking imperiously down his nose at Niri.
"Oh, I'll join you, but only because as a hidebound patriarchal old zabu I enjoy listening to a woman howling about things she can't control for hours."
The man coughed again, this time not quite muffling the sound of a laugh. Niri's face and neck flushed.
"Hours, is it? We'll just see about that."
Their pace as they left the restaurant, arm in arm, was as a brisk walk just shy of trotting.
Last edited by thesciencer; 03-23-2013 at