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The Little Pink Dress

Posted on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:32pm by Carrie Dalton

Mission: Part of the Team
Location: Promenade

He'd lost all track of time, for all Lieutenant O'Reily knew it was late afternoon or middle of the night, either way he felt bone wary. His feet ached terribly, his eyes droopy and his jaw line peppered with stubble, he caught his dogged reflection in a shop window on the promenade as he staggered homeward.

He pinched the bridge of his nose as the exhausted face copied the movement with a sleepy glazed expression, the dark eyes peered past the haunted face into the shop behind where he could just about make out movement.

Then, to his surprise another face joined his. The second was a blond woman, human, bright blue eyes and a beaming smile. He jerked away from the glass startled by her sudden appeared as she watched him from inside the store, her cheerful expression slipped into that of guilt and regret for scaring him. Then, with another smile she was gone.

Nick blinked at his own refection for another moment feeling bewildered by what had just transpired.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you jump,” came a voice from beside him. He knew without turning it was the same women. “Why don’t you come in, it looks like you could do with some coffee.”

The Counsellor smiled and turned to face the women, “That’s very kind of you...” he started with the intention to politely decline, that was until he sensed her loneliness and longing for a face to talk to. “I’d love to,” he finished giving into his good nature.

Her face lit up, “Good,” she beamed and hurried back inside the store.

Nick followed. He’d never been inside the store before, or any store in fact since coming aboard. He’d wanted to browse the shops but he’d been waylaid with job after job including a short spell on the Streadfast. Several of his belongings had yet to be unpacked he recalled moving deeper into the store while the blond woman began to talk from the room beyond.
His fingers touched the fabric of the dress modelled by a manikin, another model, a male, bore a crisp chequered shirt, heavy blue trousers and beige boots. Other couple further on displayed what the Counsellor assumed was swimwear, another, smaller figures were suppose to be children wore smaller garments, while others posed to an imagery audience some eye watering shoes, low cut tops and even shorter skirts.

“Do you like them?” the women asked offering him a mug of strong smelling coffee.

“You make them?” he nodded detecting a sense of trepidation in her tone.

“Every stitch,” she replied with pride. “None of this has been replicated. Slow work, but really rewarding.”

Blowing on the hot liquid Nick admired her skill and courage for such specialized enterprise. “That’s quite a challenge,”

She shrugged, “I enjoy it, besides its all business – oh where are my manners? I haven’t even told you my name! I’m Carrie Dalton, and welcome to my little store of ancient fashions.”

“Nick O’Reily, Counsellor,” he replied. “I like your store, it’s nice to hear you enjoy making these not just to for business sake.”

“It’s a bonus,” Carrie agreed. “Business is a little slow at the moment, but I’ve not been here long. I’ve relocated from Deep Space Fourteen, the Dominion were stirring in the darkness and I didn’t really want to hang around to find what was going to happen next.”

“A wise precaution,” Nick commented moving again around the store.

Dalton watched him eagerly but bit her tongue until to stem her excitement from bursting from her body. Still a spinster Carrie was ever keen to impress men, though remembering how her last encounter with Counsellor Iyden Brell on DS14 ended with her putting some hasty distance between them both when he tried to explain the symbiont he carried. She’d panic and sprinted away from the cafe frightened it was going to leap from his chest and attack her.

“Do you have something that would fit a four year old girl?” Nick asked pausing at the children’s ware.

With a smirk Carrie crossed over feeling a little piece of her fade with the knowledge Nick was turning into another man she couldn’t have. “Aww you have a daughter?” she pulled a dress from the adjacent rail, “I bet she’d simply adorable.”

Redness crept into Nick’s cheeks, not trusting himself he placed the coffee down on the window seal. “No, Annabel’s not my daughter. She’s my colleagues but I look after her from time to time.”

“Oh I see,” Carrie recovered with another hopeful smile. “So you’re not, you know, married?” she stole a quick glance to his hands.

“No, no,” Nick tried to laugh off her advances. “The marriage and family is more my sisters forte.”

“Oh,” Carried repeated feeling let down again. She shook her head and rummaged on the rail before pulling out a bottle green dress. “What sort of thing are you looking for?”

Running his hands through his hair Nick blinked realising for the first time he really didn’t know what he was doing here except attempting to be gentlemen. “I honestly know.” He sighed. “I was thinking of something pink, a dress maybe.”

The shop owner gave a gleeful smile: “I think I know the perfect thing.”


 

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