Everyone Wants To Learn Battle Ballet

OFF: This be my challenge post...since ya'll seem to wanna get Zazi drunk let's DO IT.

ON:

(Ten Forward Lounge)

Zazi had never felt more...disturbed. Uneasy. Not in her element. Except for the first day of Academy, but who didn't feel that? The lounge was loud, populated by laughing crew and a few arguing drunkenly.

She let out a slightly shaky sigh. Jenny had told her to relax on her off shifts,and not to ponder about work, or even do the things she normally did...which was alone...in her room...alone.

Maybe Jenny was right. Jenny could have been a great counselor, if not for her intense love of the tricorder.

Zazi side stepped a few rough housing Ensigns, her nose wrinkling as she slowly made her way up to the bar. She had stripped off the usual wear, instead favoring a wrap that wound around her torso and had a sleeve on one shoulder, along with flowy pants that she was informed appeared like 'dancer' pants.

She wasn't so sure about that, but she did love the thin material.

At the bar was Bolak. She had met him, previously, to give a dressing down to along with the Captain. Maybe that was the incorrect usage, but all the same, she wasn't sure if he would...feel most pleasant towards her.

He seemed to be enraptured by shaking a tumbler, tossing the drink into the air with a spin and expertly landing it in a glass with a...cherry on top? He bowed to a small scattering of applause, laughing in that open way he had. "Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all night, every night!"

She gently cleared her throat, gaining his attention despite how quiet she was. He happily slid the glass to an eager man who tried to impress another woman with the stem of the cherry, for some reason. Bolak slid over to her, grinning his wide, infectious grin.

"Heeeey, Doc! Wow, this is the first time you've shown up! Can I interest you in some ale? Wine? You look like a wine kinda gal."

Zazi's mouth did that flicker thing where she wasn't sure to smile or cringe. 'Gal'? ...what did that mean? She shook her head slowly. "I haven't sipped wine since my cousin's betrothal. Andorian ale, if you could."

Bolak winked at her, bringing up his hands in a sort of gun motion, clicking his tongue. "That was my third guess! And yeah, of course!"

He dragged a bottle over containing the bright blue drink, and with a few interesting maneuvers, managed to pour the shot in a way that it bounced off the ice like a small waterfall. She blinked, tilting her head with a small smile. "Very entertaining."

"What is life if not entertaining?" He slid the glass shot to her, still grinning wide. "...soooo."

Zazi raised a delicate eyebrow as she picked up the shot. In a move that didn't exactly fit her, she downed the shot in one go, cracking a piece of ice fiercely between her teeth before swallowing. "...so?"

Bolak blinked, fingers twitching on the bottle. "Want another there, doc?"

"...yes."

With another expert spin, he poured her another glass. This time she took a small sip, her shoulders sinking a bit. "Jenny believes I need to loosen up. Loosening up is not...something I am prone to do."

Bolak nodded, his head bobbing in a clean sweep as he put the bottle back. "I gotta say, you don't exactly strike me as the type to, well, have a ton of free time. What do you like to do, doc? You can do karaoke! I bet you got a great singing voice!"

She stared at him, his blinding smile piercing even the darkest of nights. She took another sip. "...I do not sing."

Bolak's smile didn't droop, but she could tell he was stumped on what to say next. "What about...darts? Pool? Do you swim? The world is your oyster!"

"...I...dance." Zazi's fingers twitched around the shot glass, putting it down, having halfway drank it as she folded her arms beneath her.

Bolak's eyes widened, and he seemed to lean in, slapping a hand on the bar between them. "Dance? Like at a club?"

"Ballet."

"Oh." He seemed to lean back, nodding smoothly again. "That sounds kinda neat! Got any moves to show off?" He put his arms up a little, shimmied in place.

Her unexpected laugh caught them both off guard, and she slapped a hand over her mouth with wide eyes, then slowly lowered it, her antennae twitching. "There is no showing off. And that is not ballet, that is belly dancing." Her amusement glinted in her eyes as she tilted her head. "But...perhaps I can show you one move. It doubles as a self defense tactic."

"Amazing! Hang on." He put up a little card that flickered 'Be back soon!' in various forms. She shrugged, standing up from the stool, taking a sip of the drink before leaving it. He led her over to a semi open place on the side. The chairs were moved in such a way they 'guarded' the open area in a circle. She crossed her arms as he stood in the middle with wide arms.

"Teach me, oh great doctor!"

Before she could answer, she heard the squeak of a 'hey!' and something bumped into her. She looked over, relaxing a bit. It was Aji, who by the looks of things had a drink or two herself, but couldn't resist joining them. She seemed to hold onto Eight's hand tightly, although Eight seemed a bit confused.

Zazi nodded at them. "Hello, Aji. Eight."

"Zazi!" Aji puffed up, putting her hands on her hips. "We didn't know you were here or we'd invite you to our game!"

Eight shot a look at Aji. "It was not a game. You merely said 'dare me to drink this' and did it anyway."

Aji waved a hand. "Semantics! What are you two doing?"

Bolak clapped eagerly, nearly bouncing on his heels. "Dear old Doc was going to teach me some kick butt ballet!"

Zazi seemed to fluster, her face turning dark, even more so as Aji gasped, near stars in her eyes. "That's so unfair, we're your friends too. We should kick just as much butt!"

Eight blinked. "...must we use the word butt repetitively?"

Zazi sighed, running her hand over her face. "Okay, okay. Here, just. Stand in a line, okay?" She shooed Bolak to the side, convincing Eight to join in even as she seemed aloof to the whole idea. Or maybe she was into it too, she didn't seem the type of person one could convince to do something she didn't want to.

Zazi stretched out her arms above her, bringing them down slowly. "First thing is, you always aim for the neck, because your next aim will be for their face."

Bolak seemed to pale a bit. "I-I think that's a little harsh, don't you?"

Eight shook her head, holding her arms out like Zazi was, mimicking her. "Her logic is sound. When one is unable to breathe, the next step would be to incapacitate them."

Aji quickly moved into a weird pose...Zazi recognized it as 'karate' from her roommate's obsession with old movies. "I like it! What next?"

Zazi couldn't help but chuckle softly, clearing her throat as she cupped her arms around her. "Steady yourself first, take a breath...and..." She seemed to rise up, straightening her back, and then like a whip her foot sliced through the air in a curve, and she brought it back as she spun, looking like a delicate ballerina rather than the attack she just did to the air.

"It works better with knives attached to your shoes."

Bolak shivered. "Remind me never to make you mad, doc."

"Noted and processed, bartender."

Bolak shot her a cheeky look, and while he seemed to spin, the robes he wore did not give him any way to move it seemed. Aji seemed to be thrilled to kick at the air, giving 'hi yahs!' and giggling drunkenly when she stumbled.

Eight seemed to concentrate, kicking the same way, but rather than looking like a ballerina coming into a spin, she seemed almost jagged like...robotic.

Zazi took a step close to her, reaching out to cup her elbow a bit. Eight looked at her in bewilderment as Zazi lowered the elbow. "Like this. If you keep them up high, your balance will be off kilter and you will fall. Like a skirt. Let the swing of the leg carry you into the spin."

Eight nodded, and she did it again, a whip against the air, but this time rather than elbows and locked knees, she seemed to spin like leaf on the wind, her eyes shut for just a moment before opening, her arms loose around her for just a moment before opening. If Zazi thought about it, for a moment, it seemed there was a sheen on her eyes, as if tears, but they disappeared as soon as the moment passed. "...I accept this method. I require more to understand."

Aji seemed impressed as well, spinning once before nodding. "Kick butt ballet sounds amazing! Plus it's good combat. It would be fun and we could spend more time together!"

Bolak laughed, slowly spinning in place before he sighed. "You all can, I think I've had my fill of this fun dance, however I wouldn't be adverse to attend and cheer you all on." He gave a gleeful thumbs up, and he seemed tired despite them not really doing much.

Zazi looked between them. Eight still looked...bored but she had this look in her eyes Zazi couldn't quite place. Aji had the cutest look, big wide eyes, her hands in little fists under her chin and oh stars above her nose twitched.

Zazi was not a block of ice. Well, not now anyway. She sighed, nodding her head slowly. "How about once a week then, we can gather at the holosuite and practice and I can show you my style of battle ballet?"

Aji cheered, nearly bursting as she jumped in place. "Yes! ...I need another drink!" And with that she scurried off back into the crowd. Eight let out a slow breath from her nose, her eyes flicking to Zazi. "I must go and corral her, before she gets someone else to 'dare' her." She paused, her fingers twitching against her thigh before she spoke, "I will be at these lessons." And with that, she too, was gone.

In some way, she heard 'I'm happy to join' behind those words.

Bolak smiled at Zazi. "Hey doc. Don't forget. If you ever need a place to relax, even from stuff you do to relax, lounge is here for you."

Zazi let out a huff of a laugh, sliding a hand up onto her hip as she looked at him. "That so? You as well, bartender?"

Bolak gave a wink and another set of hand guns. "They call me Bolak , or Bolak the Great, or 'hey hottie'."

Zazi shook her head. "I think I shall stick with Bolak then. So long as you call me Zazi."

"Deal!" He held his hand out to her, and for a moment, she paused. This seemed like some line she was crossing, something that once done, would not be able to go back to. Breaking a bubble or something akin to that. She was often told she had slightly cold hands, but that was an excuse right now.

She held out her hand, and he squeezed her hand, then placed his hand over hers, and the giant grin turned warm around the edges. "It's truly a pleasure to meet you!" And with that he let go, scurrying back towards the bar.

Her antennae twitched, standing up rigid, staring after him in the slightly dim light of the lounge. With a start, she realized what time it was, and she had to hurry back to go and rest before her next shift.

She could hear Bolak laughing raucously with the other patrons, but when she looked back, he had caught her eye, and eagerly waved at her.

She hurried out of the lounge. It was just a handshake. They were just very kind to her is all.

It took a bit, half asleep in her quarters, the blankets tucked tight around her, as she thought, 'they like me.'

What an odd, odd sensation friendship was.

Lieutenant Commander Zazi Sh'viakrik
Chief Medical Officer
USS Endeavor NCC-9819

Lt. Commander Aji D’moonh
Chief of Engineering

Lt. Eight of Eleven
Intelligence Officer
Dr. Zazi Sh’viakrik
Chief Medical Officer

Bolak
Bartender

By Corliss Fortune

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