2,021 words; about a 10 minute read
It wasn't lost on Addison, the discomfort that Fee was exhibiting. She had heard the woman mentioning that the clothing she was wearing wasn't fitting that well. This made Addison wonder if the woman was having trouble to get uniforms to fit her and also take her own comfort in mind. She sent out a message to Fiona.
"Mccafferty, er Fiona would you meet with me in the Geronimo lounge please? And you can wear civilian clothing, and are you interested in some pie and some coffee?"
Fee had startled when the message came through! She'd forgotten to turn the notifications off on her PADD, and looked around, embarrassed. No one had seen it, thankfully. She typed back to the Doctor.
"Hello. Um, the Lounge?" Oh, dear, there was a lot of people there! Still, she would go, because she was dutiful and didn't say no. "And pie is good. I don't like coffee but I'll have tea. See you soon." She signed off, but gathered her things, and left the Astrometrics lab. She caught the Turbolift to the rec deck, and found the Lounge. Luckily, it was an off time, and it wasn't TOO busy. She hadn't been on duty, just hanging out in the Astrometric lab because she liked it, and so, she was dressed today in ill-fitting, baggy jeans with a hole at the knee, a t-shirt that had a neon-blue dinosaur printed on it, and a black-and-white flannel shirt over that. Her red hair flowed from a low ponytail over one shoulder. Her shoes...wait, was she WEARING shoes?! She looked down. She was. Black sneakers. She looked about twelve years old, like she was rebelling against her parents by dressing "edgy." For her? It was comfortable, and no one could see the chili stains from her lunch. She spotted the doctor at a table, and crossed to it, her gaze averted but moving slowly and carefully, so as not to bump into or touch anyone accidentally. She stopped at the table. "Hello." She said.
Addison watched as Fee made her way to where she sat, but then looked down so as to not look like she had been observing. When Fee did arrive at the table Addison looked up with a warm and genuine smile. "What sort of tea would you like? Ahd also what sort of pie?"
Fee smiled lightly. "Um, just some black tea, plain, please. I don't know what kind of pie; we don't eat pie on Vissia and I've only had pumpkin pie before and I don't care much for it." She said. "Maybe something with fruit, like a berry pie? Is that a thing?" She did not know. "Vissia is a neutral planet to the Federation, but we don't interact much with anyone," she explained. "I am hoping to change that," she said.
"Well I plan on having a piece of triple berry pie, which has blueberries blackberries and raspberries in it. And black tea. I'll let them know." as a server came over to get their order. "And I'll just have some green tea instead." Addison added. "Well since I don't know much about your people, I would like to get to know them. I was wondering about something, have you spoken to anyone about making certain your uniform was comfortable?"
Fee nodded. "That sounds nice, thank you, Ma'am." She said. "My uniform?! The Quartermaster said that it was the smallest size he had, but I have since heard that I can special order from a general replicator. I will do that. I am unused to them; as a Civilian, I haven't had to wear them until this posting." She explained. "And I've been trying to dress more professionally, anyway, since I am now a senior staff member. My former CO didn't mind my clothes, but some people have mentioned it to me, so I am trying to at least wear the civilian tunics." She found them mostly cumbersome and itchy, though. "Feel free to ask me anything about Vissia or my people; I would love for them to get more recognition. We've just started to develop a warp-travel program, even!!"
"Well besides my being a doctor I am very much into science. Tell me, have you ever gone shopping before? Once we have our pie and tea, I canprogram up a shopping area to where we can find the proper fit for your clothing and some material that will fit comfortably upon you. At times there are those who are well textile sensitive so need a special cloth to wear." Addison replied.
Fee shrugged. "Not in awhile. I don't like shopping much-too many people, and too much noise." Their pie arrived then, and Fee paused to take a small taste. It was good! She smiled a little bit. "Wow, that's very good. Not too sweet, either!" She put the fork down, carefully, picked up her tea, sipped it, replaced it, picked back up the fork, and cut a neat piece. "I appreciate your understanding. Do you find the polyester fabric to be uncomfortable? I get too warm when I panic, sometimes, and then it's itchy!" She said. She methodically put another piece of the pie into her mouth. She put the fork down, then chewed carefully. If Addison watched carefully enough, she could see that Fee chewed exactly ten times before swallowing.
"The uniforms shouldn't be polyester unless they decided to cheap again." Addison spluttered. "I do not wear polyester, it makes me itch and I am very picky as to the cotton I wear, even the jeans I've got on. They've got to have give to the fabric moving, and flexing as a person moves. Therefore I'll see that you can get material that will work for you and will not give you any irritation."
Fee smiled lightly. "Thank you. I appreciate it. I suspect that it maybe because the Civilian uniforms are rarely used, so they DID do a cost-saving measure with the fabrics." It was only a guess, but it made sense. "I understand about clothing needing movement! I can't work well if my clothes are restrictive. I hardly wear leggings and dresses for that reason." She took another small bite. "My mother left when I was very young, and my father did his best at trying to dress me appropriately, but he's one of those types of people who are most comfortable in overalls and work shirts," she said. "We have a food production farm, but also, he is a mechanic, as well, to earn extra money. Or WAS, while I was in school." She said.
"Not a bad sort of occupation, I have respect for someone being a mechanic. Plus being a farmer, not bad either." she took a few more bites of her pie, "So when we get done here, I'll set up the holo program to have a clothing store to get your measurements, plus get some uniforms to fit you comfortably, and are comfortable. How is anyone going to be able to work under such conditions." Addison exclaimed.
Fee had momentarily wondered if the woman had other motivations-no one was usually this kind to her. While no one was mean, most people simply ignored her. Some had been friendly but at an arms' length. She knew a part of this was her fault-she wasn't outgoing and didn't know how to make friends easily, plus she had her self-esteem issues. Only a few had bothered to speak to her for more than a few necessary moments during the workday, and she'd always treasured those. She decided to trust it, and nodded. "Thank you. That would be most helpful," Fee responded, trying to relax a little bit. "Yes, we respect hard work on Vissia, as well. Sometimes I don't feel like I work hard ENOUGH. But I know that's just how I was raised-my job is important. Everyone's is." She said, more to convince HERSELF. Finally, she let out a small laugh. "Well, I don't know who could work with baggy clothes!! In my job, it is dangerous!! Just what I need-set fire to my sleeve with a Bunsen stove or something!" That would be just her luck, anyway. "How will it work? Will there be a hologram or something to take my measurements? It's been awhile since I've done it myself; I've only used the replicator for fancy clothing once before. Most of the rest, I just use the standard Small size, and hope for the best." Clearly, that plan was failing.
"Currently a hologram would be the best bet just for the best fit. I'm not too bad on the measuring but, with the hologram/computer taking readings as to how your body reacts to certain materials, makes for an even better fit and comfort." Addison giving an encouraging smile.
Fee just nodded. "Ok! Thank you," she said. She was slowly relaxing as she became more and more at ease with the Doctor's presence. She did better with women-though only slightly-and even better than that with medical personnel-likely as a conditioned response that they were "safe" and care taking. A fill in for the mother-like care she'd never had. Her father was fine, but he wasn't a mother. "I understand. I do know that I usually wear an Earth size extra-small, and my inseam is very short-16 inches Standard," she said. It was hell being small. She could never find anything that flattered her, which is why she dressed how she did.
"I have to get clothing specially made for me. Broad shouldered, long waist and legs. I am not the run of the mill woman either. I am very particular as to what I wear. And shoes don't get me started on those. I have to be comfortable with what I have on my feet, I have very picky feet." flashing a grin at Fee. "I just can't wear pointy toed boots or even heels."
Fiona nodded. "I definitely understand. I wear flats. Usually sneakers, but sometimes sandals. I just wish they'd make me appear a little taller. It is hard to command respect when you look like a teenager," she said. "Plus, they hurt your feet!!" She had stopped eating, but remembered that the pie was there, so made she took a bit more. She really WAS hungry, she just simply forgot sometimes.
"Oh, I will say this, I did find a pair of heels that were so very comfortable, I was able to run in them. Wait why hadn't I thought of this yet. I could have the computer create a pair of comfortable heels based on the design I once had. It will probably take a few tries but... if I can find some heels that are comfortable. Sort of like a personal Cinderella story.Trying to find a shoe that fits properly." Addison mused outloud.
Fee chuckled lightly. "They are certainly handy for that kind of thing," she said. "Unless you're oddly shaped, and the Computer thinks I am joking around. I have put in a ticket to Ops but they're swamped, and the woman said it would be a day or so until she could override it." Fee was used to things like that happening; she was very sure that she wouldn't die of old age or even a work accident-it would be from drowning in clothing.
"Well then let us see what happens."Addison said kindly. The holo seamstress came over to measure Fee, first eyeing the petite woman, basically taking scans, to get the precise measurements. "This is like doing a bio scan but just for clothing." the scan was made, and Addison gave a bit of a smile."The next part would be choosing the cloth" Addison remarked then her combadge beeped "Doctor Talbert here."
"Doctor you are needed in Medical" came the reply.
"I'll be right there."Addison stated, she then gave an apologetic smile. "Well it looks like we're going to have to take this up later. I've got to get going. Sorry to run out on you, but duty calls." with a wave Addison leaves with a brisk walk.