Karl was at the bar, serving drinks as always. A good number of the crew were engaged in chitchat, and Rutter was embroiled in a very serious looking game of dominoes with—of all people—T'Roc.
Rutter was scowling dreadfully as he peered at his tiles. He toyed with one, turning it over and over in his hand. Finally he knocked, unable to lay anything, to which T'Roc let out a triumphant roar and put down her last piece. Rutter grinned. I could tell he was quietly pleased that T'Roc had won—not that he would have let her win! Rutter wasn't the sort to throw a game. No, T'Roc would have won that game fair and square.
Grinning widely, T'Roc got up, slapped Rutter on the shoulder and approached the bar. She was looking so triumphant anyone would have thought she'd just won the Forcas III bat'leth tournament, not a simple game of dominoes.
"Ah!" she suddenly shouted, spotting Al and I. "Glad you could join us! Karl!" she shouted. "Drinks for the bookworms!" and then she promptly disappeared, joining some officers at another table.
Al and I, still flummoxed, went to the bar where Rutter joined us. Still curious as to why Jarrod would have been so insistent that we take a night off from our studies, I had to ask, but Rutter just shrugged, took his drink and returned to his dominoes.
"Actually, that's down to me," said a voice from behind.
"Rosie!" I exclaimed.
He scowled furiously at me and then proceeded to order his round.
"I really do wish you wouldn't call me that," he grumbled. "Makes me feel like an acne-ridden, spotty teenager again."
A secretive smile passed over his lips as some distant memory came back to him, and Karl grinned as he delivered Rosie's drinks.
"It doesn't feel like a bad feeling from here," Karl teased. Rosie actually blushed at the Betazoid.
"How's it down to you then?" I demanded.
"Huh? Oh, yes. Well, I hadn't seen you around for a while so I asked a few questions and found out you'd been hard at it since the captain gave you the extra time off. I figured you needed some proper downtime so made a recommendation to the captain."
I couldn't interrogate further as the last of his drinks arrived and Rosie scurried off.
"What can I get you?" asked Karl.
Food was easy and I ordered, but to drink, I couldn't decide. My eyes scanned the array of bottles on the back bar as I debated.
"Surprise me," I suddenly said. Karl grinned and turned away to make me something. Meanwhile, my gaze settled upon something odd. Among the glasses on the top shelf, a little, shiny, silver dish was on display. Leaning against the wall, I could clearly see the caricature of a cat's face etched into its surface. How curious!
"What's the cat's dish for?" I asked when Karl returned.
He looked at me, puzzled.
"Feeding the cat, silly!"
"I didn't know you had a cat."
"Oh," I said, confused. "So who else has a cat then? I thought Beastie was the only one on board."
"So did I!" he laughed, delivered our drinks and immediately turned to his next customer. I was determined to ask more questions, but it would have to wait. My food had arrived and I was hungry. After that, I just forgot. Not to worry, I can always ask him tomorrow.