Go Not Gentle

Debra Fran Baker





The mess hall was draped in white, and the air was filled with the scent of flowers. Tears flowed from almost every eye. A new bride and groom held each other tightly, overcome by feelings they never thought to express. Seven of Nine stood apart from all of this, a blonde statue trying to understand what we were doing there together. My captain, my Kathryn - my wife - walked to the front of the room slowly and began to speak.

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"I will not wear a white gown even for you, Tom Paris!"

"But, B'Elanna...!"

"Don't 'but B'Elanna' me, blondie. If I'm not going to wear a Klingon gown, why should I wear the wedding clothes of *your* subset of humanity?"

I could hear Tom sigh across the mess hall.

"Maybe it was a mistake to let the two of them get married." Kathryn smiled over Neelix's latest concoction.

"They'll be fine, Kathryn."

"The first Voyager wedding. I'm surprised it took this long, Chakotay."

"Okay, Tom. I'll get dressed up for the wedding, but I'm not wearing white. It's bad luck."

"Bad luck?"

Harry, who was refereeing again, looked at him. "In my culture, white is for mourning. A bride would never wear white. If B'Elanna thinks it's bad luck, it's bad luck. Red, now..."

"I'm not wearing red, either. At least, I'm not wearing a traditional Klingon gown."

"Too bad. I like those cutouts."

"Pig."

"And you love it, too."

"That's because I'm a fool. Tom, I'll wear a dress. I'll even wear a long *red* dress, but no veil, no crown and no cutouts."

Harry cut in. "If B'Elanna isn't going to be wearing a traditional gown, does that mean I can't be your sword bearer?" He sounded disappointed.

"*You* are going to be my best man." Tom sounded confident.

"My man of honor." B'Elanna challenged him.

"Can I be both?"

"You are both, Harry. We couldn't do this without you."

They were quiet again, until they found something else to argue about.

"Kathryn..."

"Don't say it, love. When we get married, we'll do it in dress uniforms. Either that or we'll have a Betazed ceremony." Her eyes sparkled.

"Do you really want that? It would mean seeing Neelix nude."

"Hmmm. Afraid of the competition, Chakotay?"

"When are we going to tell the crew about us?"

"After we get those two settled. I don't want to upstage them."

I nodded. We weren't keeping our relationship a secret, but the engagement would stay undercover for a few more days.

"It's not going to surprise too many people, you know."

Harry chose that moment to walk by them, carrying his tray.

"Actually, Captain, there's a betting pool."

"What are they betting on?" I couldn't keep the grin from my face.

"Who proposed, when and how you'll announce it."

"What was your bet?"

"The captain proposed two weeks ago and Tom and B'Elanna will get a surprise during their wedding. Assuming they don't kill each other first. If they do, I get everyone's rations anyway