“The holodeck is that way…” Corey continued to follow Diziara as he half turned, looking back at the junction where they’d just taken a left instead of a right. She laughed.
“We’re not going to the holodeck.” She caught his hand in hers and grinned. He raised an eyebrow, but followed.
“You said you wanted to karaoke.”
“We’re going to.”
“What are you up to, Kitten?”
She smirked, and they continued down the corridor quietly when she didn’t answer. When they reached one of the observation lounges, she led the way in without pause. Corey chuckled softly as his eyes moved over the clusters of people at the tables, the holoprojector displaying colorful graphics, and the rack of microphones that stood next to the performance area.
“Were we invited, or are we crashing?” His eyes moved quickly from person to person as he took inventory of who was present. “Is there anyone here ranked above lieutenant?”
“Probably not before we darkened the doors. Find us seats and I’ll get us drinks.” She leaned down to steal a kiss and grabbed his ass before she headed for the self serve bar.
He shook his head as he moved toward an empty table in the back. A PADD sat in the middle, and seeing people at other tables looking at PADDs also, he picked it up. It contained a database of the available songs and he started to skim.
After a couple minutes, he looked up to notice the ambient chatter had all but stopped. No one was looking at him as he looked around — but it was pretty obvious they were making an effort to not do so.
“I think we’re killing the mood, Kitten.” Corey collected the purple drink Diziara set in front of him as she sat down. He made a face as he sipped. “Did you bring a flask, or did someone actually have–“
“They were trying to hide it as I reached the booze table. I had to swear you wouldn’t care and give them the recipe for the succubus napalm. Don’t tell Spiegel, he’ll try to kill me.” She took the PADD from him and started to flick through it. “Limesicle invited me, but I don’t think he expected me to bring you along. They’ll relax after I sing something, hopefully making it clear to them you’re not going to be a wet blanket. Maybe When You’re Good to Mama?”
“They have Lily Allen’s Fuck You. Go straight for the throat.” He laughed and she smirked.
“I could just do the Lemon Song.”
“And if Stace wanders in, you’ll never hear the end of it—and nor will I—for not singing Killing Floor instead. Besides, that one’s better when you have help.” Corey winked and she shoved him. “I’m tempted to do Under Pressure, but it’s a duet.”
“You think you still need to ask after all these years? Submit it.” She leaned in for a kiss as he took the PADD back.
“Diz and Cor, sittin’ in ah tree–“ Stace landed in the chair next to Diziara, setting a glass of blue liquor on the table in front of him. He pulled his guitar strap over his head before putting the instrument on the chair next to him.
“Well, there goes the party.” Corey flicked through the list to Under Pressure as Diziara leaned over to kiss Stace.
“I’ll have you know, Corey talked me down from the Lemon Song for you.” She tapped his glass with hers and he chuckled.
“Ta mate,” Stace said, raising his glass towards Corey.
“Self preservation, I assure you.” Corey grinned as he raised his glass in return. “Didn’t bring Rose?”
“The sorts of fings Diz likes to sing need the ‘lectric, not acoustic. Don’t know if’n they’ll even let me play, but figga don’t hurt to ask, yeah?”
“If they say no, I’m sure it won’t take much to get you over for dinner and playing after.”
“Let’s plan on that anyway?” Diziara grasped both their knees. Corey laid his hand on hers. “Tomorrow night?”
“Can do.” Stace reached for the PADD as Corey set it down. “Did they have any Johnny Cash or BB King?”
“I think I saw both–“ Corey started to answer.
“If I don’t get to sing Zep, you don’t get to sing Cash. Fair is fair.”
Stace made a face as he pondered. “I might be willin’ to not say a fing if’n they’ll let me accompany.”
“If they’re smart, they will. Has anyone here heard you play?” Diziara looked around as Stace shrugged.
“Ain’t really played nofin’ public like. Just for friends, yeah?”
“Clearly we need to set you up in one of the shipyard’s main junctions, leave your guitar case sitting open in front of you, and just have you play during Alpha shift a few weeks running. They’ll figure out you’re the real deal.” Diziara’s finger found his rib, and Stace smacked her hand away.
“Only if ya sing ‘long wif me, luv.”
“Corey won’t be able to spare me from trying to break shit for him that long.”
“I might be able to figure it out, if it means seeing what this lot does when faced with a proper pan handler. What would they even drop in the guitar case?” Corey sipped his drink as someone ambled their way to the microphone in the performing area.
“Hopefully booze. Since Jon’s retired, our liquor cabinet is getting a little mundane.” Diziara pouted.
“Like anyone here is going to have anything interesting, especially that they’d share.”
“Says the man who’s currently enjoying some Romulan Ale.”
“Of a vintage that I suspect isn’t pre-nova.”
“Are you saying we should share next time?”
“It’s not like we have enough to share with a group this size, even if we were willing to accept we likely wouldn’t be able to replace it.” Corey shrugged as the microphone made a small noise and the person who stood at it tapped it. The room fell silent.
“Welcome everyone to what’s to hopefully become a somewhat regular event. I hope enough of you have started in on the liquid courage that we have a queue already formed–“ He picked up a PADD from the table that held the equipment, and his eyes skimmed it. He looked up, scanning the crowd until he settled on Diziara. She blew a kiss, as his eyes darted to either side of her, and then pointedly didn’t stay resting on Corey.
“You’re in trouble, Kitten,” Corey said softly, leaning close to her. She grinned.
“Well, given that the brass present has not made a fuss over the liquid courage, I suppose we should turn the stage over to him and the hellion who somehow managed to bamboozle him into marrying her. Give it up for Admiral Waterhouse and the Death Kitten.”
The room was so silent you could have heard a pin drop as Diziara strode up to the front of the room with a shit eater grin. Corey followed behind her, carefully keeping a neutral face — inside he was having to make an effort to not let Diziara’s amusement infect him, as he was afraid he would spook the audience if he dropped his poker face too soon.
“Sir, if you–“ The man moved towards the rack of microphones as Corey approached them.
“I assure you, Peláez, I have been singing karaoke longer than you’ve been alive.” Corey flashed him a polite smile as he quickly zeroed in on the two microphones he wanted — one was more substantial and antique looking, as Diziara preferred, and the other more modern and sleek. Behind him, Diziara fussed over the microphone stand, and soon slid the upper half out of the lower.
“Diz, er, what are you–“ Peláez stepped towards her, and Corey laid a hand on his forearm.
“I thought you knew her better than that.” Corey handed Diziara her preferred microphone, and she slid it into the holder at the top of the half a stand she held.
“Limesicle always forgets he shouldn’t challenge me.” She winked at him. “At least he hasn’t ma’am’d me yet.”
“You heard he sir’d me, right? It’s like they’re all convinced I’m a dragon and I’m going to eat them all alive.” Corey chuckled and Diziara smirked. Looks were exchanged throughout the crowd as Stace’s laugh broke the silence. “If you’d be so kind.” Corey gestured towards the karaoke equipment, and he locked eyes with Diziara.
“Do you, I mean, how do you want the lyrics–“
“Goyo, Corey and I have sung this song together so many times that if one of us forgets the lyrics, we’re probably having a stroke and should be taken to the med bay.” She winked at him again, and he silently slunk to the equipment to get the song playing.