|Fandom:||Star Trek Voyager|
|Categories:||Ship, Het, Humor, Romance|
Delaney/Kenneth Dalby |
|Characters:||Jenny Delaney, Kenneth Dalby, Megan Delaney, Chell|
|Summary:||Megan Delaney, now happily married to Chell, fixes up her sister.|
|A/N:||Written for Dakota's Decathlon, Javelin, hosted by Neelix. Our fuzzy faced Morale Officer should enjoy this one, because what's better for morale than a wedding?|
|Credits:||This fic wouldn't have been possible without The Star Trek Encyclopedia by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda. |
Beta by Kim.
|Disclaimer:||Voyager and its characters belong to Paramount Pictures. Infringement intended and very much enjoyed.|
Married people and cult members have much in common. Both groups begin their indoctrinated lives with an elaborate ceremony, after which they move through a number of predictable stages.
Married People, much like Cult Members, tend to actively seek recruits at all times, driven by a deep need to expand their ranks. Married People, however, are less likely to present potential targets with pamphlets and rarely pass out flowers at major transportation hubs. While more subtle, they do tend to be more persistent in their efforts. Married People have been known to pursue intended recruits for years on end. The most successful way to avoid them is to leave the planet, although even this may not quite do the trick.
Recruiting behavior tends to begin about six weeks into the marriage, which is about the time when the happy couple has begun to tire of inflicting their wedding album upon unsuspecting strangers.
A freshly married couple goes through six important stages before they begin active recruitment. First, there's the brief period immediately following the ceremony where they honestly believe that their friends and relatives will enjoy participating in the chicken dance.
Then they skip off to enjoy their honeymoon, and for a while they aren't much bother to anyone other than room service waiters and perhaps the unfortunate hotel maintenance person who is called upon to repair the mysteriously broken shower head at three o'clock in the morning.
Then, at about two weeks, they will recall that they aren't the only two people in the universe and finally put on some clothes. Some couples suffer several relapses, but in most cases this only means that stages two and three experience some overlap.
The wedding album entertains them for a while, but then they reach Stage Four and have their first argument as a married couple, This usually happens when she realizes that he fully intends to keep both the velvet portrait of dogs playing poker and the armchair with the unexplained smell.
Once someone suggests that she banish the offensive items to the guest bedroom, now rechristened the den, the couple experiences a brief but enthusiastic replay of Stage Two.
Stage Five centers around the couple's urgent need to throw a dinner party, and may share some similarities to Stage Three, because the holoimages from the honeymoon have by now been developed.
Stage Six is quite often triggered by contact with single friends during Stage Five, and the recruitment begins.
They first target their single relatives and various members of the wedding party. Siblings and cousins are followed shortly by close friends, old roommates, and assorted coworkers. Eventually even former lovers are prodded into blind dates.
Megan Delaney, freshly married to Chell, followed this time-honored tradition and set out to pair off her twin sister Jenny. Since Chell didn't have a brother or cousin on board Voyager, she had to choose from among his friends.
Kenneth Dalby had once dragged Chell's unconscious body through a swamp while under Cardassian fire, an act of bravery which Megan figured qualified him as a worthy brother-in-law. She therefore decided that he ought to share a meal with her sister as soon as humanly possible.
"I'm telling you, Jenny, the married life really is the good life."
Jenny rolled her eyes at her sister. "That's not what you said when he hung that up."
They both eyed the portrait of Vulcan sehlats playing kal-toh with distaste.
Megan shrugged. "It makes him happy." She poured them each another cup of tea. "So, you're on alpha shift next week, right?"
Jenny wondered when her sister had developed a fondness for tea. "Why do I fear answering that?"
"Don't make any plans for Wednesday night." Megan winked at her.
Tea, and now winking. Jenny wondered if she should have the EMH scan her twin for an extra set of brain waves.
"The Doctor developed the holoimages of our honeymoon for us." Megan pulled out an album nearly large enough to require its own antigrav sled. "Wait til you see our honeymoon suite. It was huge."
There were holoimages of every square inch of the honeymoon suite that Tom Paris had programmed on the holodeck. Pictures of the elegant bed. Pictures of the elegant bed in a significant state of disrepair. Pictures of Chell taking a pictures of himself in the mirror. They even had an image of a man in overalls and bedroom slippers, smiling sleepily from the shower.
"That's Floyd," Megan explained. "I felt bad waking him, it was nearly four in the morning, but the shower was spraying everywhere. Those really aren't strong enough to support very much weight."
"Waking him?" Jenny laughed. "Megan, you were on the holodeck."
"Oh, here's one of Juan. We were so lucky to meet him, he knew everything about the island. There's so many spots that the tourists don't usually find."
The hyperspanner skittered underneath a console. Dalby dropped down onto his belly and tried to fish it out, cursing as he skinned his wrist.
"You sound like a man who needs a night out," Chell said.
A night at Sandrine's sounded like a fine idea. "Think the little woman'll let you out for the night?"
"Oh, this was her idea." Chell grinned down at him. "See you at nineteen hundred hours?"
Dalby grunted his answer and poked at the wayward hyperspanner with a plasma infuser.
Dalby stared sullenly at his cup of tea while Chell rambled on about the price of honor bar cashews. "But weren't you on the holodeck?"
"Well, technically, but I don't know why Paris would program such a high price for a little package of nuts."
"You didn't have to actually pay."
"Yes, true, but -- "
"Chell, sweetheart, why don't you show him the holoimages from the helicopter ride over the island?" Megan thrust a thick album into her husband's hand. "I'll just go see what's keeping my sister."
"The helicopter tour was included in the package," Chell said.
Dalby blinked at him. "Of course it was, you were on the holodeck."
Megan found her sister badly losing a pool tournament in Sandrine's. "We've been waiting for you."
"Come to dinner and you'll find out."
Jenny rolled her eyes. "One more game."
"Jenny, the only person on board who hasn't beaten you yet is Naomi."
Several people laughed and Jenny turned pink.
"Actually, Naomi beat her yesterday afternoon," Joe Carey said. "You won't want to miss the rematch."
"That's it," Megan said. She grabbed her sister's hand and dragged her from the holodeck. "You should be banned from that game for your own good."
"And that is the very beach where they filmed the holonovel Mystery at Bikini Cove," Chell explained. "They let us pose right in front of the lifeguard station where Cindy and Luke found the missing necklace."
"You mean it wasn't protected by velvet ropes?" Dalby asked.
"Oh no," Megan said. "The whole beach was open."
"I should think it would be," Dalby said. "Since you were on the holodeck and all."
"We also went to an authentic luau," Chell said.
"Included in the package?" Dalby stared at the rapidly cooling tea in his cup.
"Oh yes," Chell said. "It was a very good package. Excellent value."
The replicator beeped.
"That's the roast." Megan leapt to her feet. "Chell, dear, could you give me a hand?"
Jenny leaned towards Dalby. "We'll make a break for it after dinner. Follow my lead and I'll buy you a beer."
Dalby decided that he might possibly love Jenny Delaney.
"Did they show you the holoimages from the helicopter tour?" Jenny asked as they savored their hard-won freedom in Sandrine's.
"Oh yes," Dalby said. "I understand the tour was part of the package."
Jenny erupted in laughter. "Drink!"
They both took a healthy chug of their beers.
"What's the deal with the tea?" Dalby asked.
Jenny shrugged. "Megan claims they discovered that blend on their honeymoon, at, and I quote, 'an out of the way coffee shop that the tourists don't usually find.'"
"I honestly don't think they know they were on the holodeck," Dalby said. "It's like they shared some sort of delusion."
"I swear my sister used to be normal," Jenny said. "I don't know what's come over her lately."
"Love," Dalby said softly. "It has a way of making you a little crazy."
"Ever been in love, Ken?"
"Oh yes." He drained his glass and stared into it.
Jenny touched his hand. "What happened?"
"Cardassians," he spat.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"It was a long time ago," he said. "A couple a times a year I get very, very drunk, but for the most part I try to remember the good times."
From the tone of his voice she could tell that wasn't quite true. She squeezed his hand softly and signaled Sandrine for another round of drinks.
"So what about you?" Dalby asked.
"What about me?"
"Ever been in love?"
"I've thought so a time or two, but I'm pretty sure I was wrong."
"Probably were then."
They sat in silence for a while.
"Do you play darts any better than you play pool?"
Jenny sighed. "I suppose I'd have to."
"Well then." He stood and pulled her to her feet. "Let's find out."
Her aim with a dart was significantly better than her aim with a pool cue. "That's three beers you owe me now," she announced.
"Maybe we should switch to pool?"
She laughed. "Not on your life."
He liked her laugh. It was genuine, not the flirty laugh some women used as an excuse to let their hand come to rest on their date's arm.
"Or we could take a stroll through airponics," he suggested cautiously.
"Just what kind of girl do you think I am?" She put her hands on her hips and scowled at him. "Of course we'll be taking a stroll through airponics."
Megan cuddled up to Chell on the couch. "Jenny and Ken have been out every night this week."
"I know. He's even told her where the still is hidden."
"Wow, I thought it might be getting serious." She wiggled closer and nibbled his ear. "I think Celes might have a thing for Billy Telfer. Could we invite them to dinner?"
"Megan, love, I'd agree to just about anything right now."
"Is that so?" She crawled into his lap. "Let's talk about replacing that armchair."
Dalby slipped his hand into his pocket, checking for the hundredth time to be sure that the jewelry box was still there. Earlier it had escaped underneath a console in engineering, and B'Elanna had nearly taken his head off when she caught him fishing it out with a plasma infuser.
Every detail in Sandrine's stood out to him tonight as he waited for Jenny. He'd never noticed the slight hum of the icemaker behind the bar, or paid attention to the way the light reflected off the windows beside the front door.
He hoped he wasn't moving too fast, but as soon as Jenny came through the door he knew he couldn't wait another day. Her dark hair fell to her shoulders now that she was out of uniform for the day, and he couldn't help but admire how her dress revealed exactly the right amount of creamy skin.
She smiled, clearly delighted when Sandrine brought over the bottle of champagne instead of their usual pitcher of beer, and he knew he didn't have to worry about her answer.
"Don't forget to include the chicken dance in the playlist," Jenny said. "Everyone always has so much fun doing the chicken dance."
"Chicken Dance," Harry said. "I'm sure we still have the sheet music from Megan's wedding. Did you want the Hokey Pokey as well?"
"It wouldn't be a wedding without it," Dalby said, beaming as Jenny nodded her enthusiastic agreement.
"Of course it wouldn't." Harry made another note on his PADD. If he ever got married, he wasn't putting the chicken dance on the playlist. In fact, if his fiance suggested it, he'd consider breaking off the engagement.
The mess hall echoed with the sound of silverware clinking against champagne glasses. Jenny Delaney, still slightly out of breath from the chicken dance, stretched up to kiss her new husband.
"So what did Tom program for your honeymoon?" Chell asked when the applause faded.
"Hawaii," Jenny answered. "I've always wanted to go there. I can't believe I'll finally have the chance to see it."
"Well, the holographic version anyway," Megan said. "I'm sure it'll be lovely."
"You'll see for yourself when we get back," Dalby said. "The Doctor loaned us his holoimager."
"Look at the way the captain and commander are dancing," Megan said. "You should invite them to dinner."
"Oh, I will! And have you seen the way the Doctor looks at Seven of Nine?" Jenny grinned. "We'll definitely have them over. Harry Kim's still single, too. It's about time he met the right girl."
Megan laughed. "Just make sure she doesn't knock him out of a gondola on their first date."
Jenny blushed. "Lucky for me, Ken has a better sense of balance."
Dalby grinned. "I'm the lucky one, because we're not honeymooning in Venice."
AND SO THE RECRUITMENT BEGINS ANEW
Background and graphics made by Dakota. © 2003
Star Trek™©, Star Trek: The Next Generation™©, Star Trek: Voyager™© and related properties are Registered Trademarks of Paramount Pictures. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, January 2005.