[Shadowdancer] The Dinner by a lot of invited guests

Chailin Dal was more than pleased to turn the cafe over to his friend Eislin 
Rissa for the night. He even offered to help set up and serve, leading Rissa 
to wryly observe that it was most likely because of Jawi.  Not that Dal was a 
bad kid, Rissa told her, but he'd seen Dal staring at her.  
It was pure pleasure to be able to cook.  It was something so vital, yet so 
simple.  He'd even managed to find some Ferengi food for the new transfer.  He 
hoped the crew would be pleased.
Bella looked around, surprised at how pretty the Bajoran cafà was. The smells 
all around them were fantastic and she couldn't wait to eat some 
non-replicated food. They had only been away from the station for a few days, 
so of 
course, nothing else had changed. Rahm Izad was as nasty as ever, but it was an 
excuse to get off the 'dancer. Rem had been working the hell out of her, Cait, 
and 
Rissa to get that hull-plating job done. 
The Phoenix's crew had gone, including Pasha, which made Bella a little sad. 
That man was...fascinating. Yeah, that was it. 
She wished Nate and Dan had been able to come, but he said he had meetings to 
go to and that Bella was supposed to make apologies and Micah would stand in 
his place, etc. Nate said he hated to be rude, and hated even more to miss 
real food, so he really must've been busy. She dreaded hearing him tell the 
crew 
the mission. 
Bella sat next to Rem at the table and Micah was on the other side. Ambika 
was next to him. He'd been all fawny over her the last day or so. She wasn't 
sure what was up there, but didn't really care. 
Rissa made the announcement for dinner and everyone filled their plates just 
heaped full of the food. One bite and Bella knew she was gonna be sick later 
because it was so good, she was going to eat way too much. 
Jawi had helped Rissa and Dal with the serving but the food was all by 
Rissa's hand.  Goddess but the man is an artist.  She watched him out of the 
corner 
of her eye.  The sparkle was still there.
Cait really hated this station, but the little cafà was sweet and full of the 
kind of smells she missed from her time on Bajor. The crew were all around 
her and she was feeling really out of place. Sean was sat next to her, filling 
his face, but for some strange reason Cait wasn't that hungry. She picked at 
the food, it was gorgeous, but she couldn't eat much of it. Every so often, she 
felt eyes upon her and when she looked up she saw MacDonald staring at her. He 
smiled in a fairly charming way, but it made her feel even more uneasy. Colin 
and Sianar were sat opposite, deep in conversation about Si's latest 
acquisition. The Ferengi was looking more at home in the new crew than Cait 
thought 
she would. It made her happy but a little lonely as well. A gentle buzz of 
conversation caressed the table and slowly Cait began to feel more at home. 
These 
people seemed to really enjoy each other's company and she needed to fit in at 
some point.
MacDonald glanced at Cait again. He didn't understand why she didn't like 
him. Women loved him. An award winning smile, play a song for them, talk about 
his travels, and they were eating out of his hand. Even Ambika had been 
impressed and he figured it wouldn't be long before he hooked up with her. 
After all, 
shed been comfortable enough to get undressed in front of him... Then again, 
she was Betazoid and they're pretty comfortable with being nude. Looking down 
the table for Ambika, he realized he couldn't get a good look at her because of 
that arrogant XO, Micah. 
Mike didn't understand one bit why these kids ran everything on the ship. The 
people in charge should've been the people like him and Rissa. Men who'd been 
places and done things, not little brats still in their twenties. And that 
Bella girl wasn't even twenty, he was pretty sure, being a good judge of 
women's 
ages and all. She got paid more than he did and that was crazy. Yeah, this 
whole ship was just upside down. It may not hurt to check out some other job 
opportunities while he was here. He slowly turned his attention back to Cait 
when 
he thought she wasn't looking. 
Jawi made a face at MacDonald's actions.  If he started looking at her like 
that, she would put his lights out herself.  There was no need to ask Rissa to 
do it for her.  She smiled at her favorite Bajoran, making him flush.  I bet 
he would be glad to stop that oaf's lechery.
Micah watched Bella and Rem with amusement. He could tell Rem was getting 
frustrated trying to explain more on the process of a level one diagnostic that 
he wanted to run on the warp core while they were here and Bella kept insisting 
that the âdancer would tell her if there was a problem. He thought about 
interjecting to tell Bella she was wrong, but it was so much more fun watching 
Rem 
do it. Besides, she'd feel like they were ganging up on her and she'd be 
intolerable.
A sweep of his gaze over the table showed almost everyone in conversation. He 
was glad the crew seemed to get along. There were a couple of odd ducks, like 
Hyter, who appeared to be talking to himself about something, maybe even 
debating. And there was MacDonald. He'd come onboard with Ambika, but from 
talking 
to her, he knew she found him a little creepy. She had gotten the impression 
he wasn't completely what he claimed to be. She couldn't read him at all and 
it wasn't as if he was blocking her, she said, there was just a void. Micah had 
tried himself, and she was right. There was just nothing there. Maybe he 
should talk to Nate about it.
He turned a bit and smiled at Ambika. She was sweet and he liked talking to 
her. She wouldn't let him bullshit her and he found that amusing. A little 
disconcerting because he hadn't met a lot of people that he couldn't charm, but 
she was one of them. The even stranger thing was, she seemed to like him 
anyway. 
Maybe not in a romantic way, but she was still talking to him.
Turning his attention back to the conversation across the table, Micah 
interrupted, telling Bella to run the diagnostic and stop arguing with Rem. She 
was 
pissed and there would be hell to pay for it, but at least it shut her up and 
Rem didn't look like he was about to lose his temper. 
Chailin Dal shooed Rissa and Jawi away when they tried to help the staff with 
the clean up.  Nice guy, Rissa told himself, he'll do good with this place.  
Maybe I ought to ask the Ferengi lady about our deal sometime.
Jawi approached and slipped an easy arm around his waist.  This was good, 
Rissa thought, like a good family meal.  He looked at Jawi and smiled.  I ought 
to ask her to marry me one day...

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