To have in both body and spirit
Posted on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 @ 2:06pm by Queen of the Artans Enalia Telvan & Lieutenant Mona Gonadie & Petty Officer 2nd Class Ila Dedjoy & Death & Maica III 47 & Hera & Baroness 2nd Class Schwein von Alcott & Commander Rita Paris & Lieutenant Commander Thex sh'Zoarhi & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox & Lieutenant Commander Sonak & Lieutenant Samuel Clemens XV & Lieutenant Asa Dael & Ensign Tathaa
Edited on on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 @ 2:29pm
Location: USS Hera, Main shuttle bay
The pre-party mood was good in the shuttle bay as the crew had started to arrive. The soft sound of an Andorian romance song being sung by one of the fly girls had filled the area which was now packed with the senior staff and enlisted personnel.
Outside, standing beside the side entrance were Rita and Thex. The Andorian engineer had changed into the light blue dress that she and her mate had both chosen. She felt nervous as she waited for the appropriate time. Why she didn't know- after all, she'd been naked with her mate in the shower less than an hour ago. Looking over at her human friend she gave a weak smile. "Think I can do this, Rita?"
Offering a warm smile. Rita Paris took the delicate cerulean hands in her own. “Yes, Thex. I know for a fact that you can do this, and that it’s going to go great. Then you and she will be wed under the stars, and start the beginning of the greatest adventure of all. I should have done it years ago, but… I thought we had time. Being separated from him taught me how much I needed him, and I wanted the universe to know he’s the one for me. And she’s one of the ones for you, so here we are. You are going to be great, you look beautiful and you can SO do this,” Rita pep-talked like a champ, and this was definitely a moment for it.
Walking around inside, mingling with the crew, Mnhei'sahe Dox and Mona Gonadie were arm-in-arm in similar blue dresses with white trim. Mona was far better at mingling than the introverted Dox, but among friends and family, she was a bit more comfortable.
On the other side entrance, Tathaa breathed in as she waited for her time to go in. " Thank you for doing this Asa. " She said looking at the El-Aurian who was waiting with her.
“It is truly my honor,” said Doctor Dael, still wearing the blue suit with white shirt, and they had placed a small blue flower tucked behind one ear. Improbably, they were also wearing flip flops with silver-white sequins on the straps.
“You holding up ok? Any last minute jitters? Fear of public speaking?” Asa inquired of Tathaa in a soft voice, pitched so only she could hear.
" I'm good. Just want to get it started. It's the wait that worrying." The blind girl replied.
“Waiting does suck. It’s going to be ok, though, and then you can party-hardy, right?” Asa cooed softly, reaching up to gently run a hand along Tathaa’s back, hoping to provide a calming, grounding energy.
As was his unfailing habit, Sonak arrived at the exact designated time. Arriving, he went straight to the member of the honored couple of this gathering standing beside his own bride and nodded respectfully to both of them.
''Lieutenant Commander; may I offer my congratulations on this most significant moment in both your lives. May it bring you as much fulfillment as my own union brings to Commander Paris and to myself.''
In a rare public display of affection, Rita reached over, placed her hand on her spouse’s shoulder and kissed Sonak on the cheek. “You always know just what to say, you smooth talker.”
The Vulcan just raised an eyebrow but said nothing, now well accustomed to the behavior of his wife but a bit nonplussed by her displaying this familiarity in front of the crew, Not that he really minded. But still, protocol was always prominent for him. He had yet to acquire, let alone master, the flexibility of his Human mate. But he was learning; slowly but surely.
After all, this was the perfect example of what he had just said.
"Thank you Sonak. I hope it does as well. Just want to check, but you have the Shapla I gave you, Rita? I don't want us to start and not have them. " She asked her human friend.
“Of course!” Rita produced the locket, and the small ceremonial knife which would be used for cutting the hair to be placed in the locket at the appropriate moment of the ceremony. “And I am sure Asa has the other one. I’m keeping them in hand, and hiding them with the wee bouquet here. Multipurpose!”
" Thank you Rita." The andorian said as she gave her friend a slight hug. They just needed the captain to arrive and they could get the ceremony started.
"I'm just happy for you, Thex. You are way too good a catch for someone not to come along- sweet, kind, clever, brave, honest, athletic, a great dancer and a hell of an engineer. Tathaa is the lucky one, and she'd better take good care of you." Smiling wistfully at the lovely Andorian bride, the Earth girl sighed. "Here's to the start of a wonderful life. Love of my life, please find a seat where I can easily see you, because I always cry at weddings. Seeing you right there will help shore me up emotionally."
As was his wont, the bionic Beauregard was watching (ever watching) over the gathered, enjoying the positivity which was so rare among intelligence communities.
Sam smiled, thinking of first time he'd met Thex. He'd spent much of the previous evening drinking with Rita Paris, flirting professionally, as he gathered information on his new posting aboard the Hera. She gave as good as she got, though, to his initial surprise. Upon later observation, of course, he came to the conclusion that the Bombastic Blonde would be an amazing intelligence asset for any organization. Thex was her roommate at the time, and was an impressive interference runner at breakfast, and a loyal friend.
Whenever possible, he gave a supportive grin to the brides-to -be, tipping his chapeau. He was looking forward to seeing how the quad filled out over time.
It was about that time that Enalia arrived with a bit of an entourage wearing her Starfleet dress whites. On one arm hung Hera herself, on the other, her holographic Orion wife, and around her were four of the largest, beefiest security personnel on the ship. Walking alongside Enalia's wife, Maica, was the pale, thin woman dressed all in black that only a small handful of crew member, and holographic life forms, could see. The personification of Death and the Hera's other cosmic VIP.
They were escorted to a small table in the back with two chairs and glasses of water, where Enalia helped Hera and Maica the seemingly non-existent being be seated. Then after some brief small talk, the Captain headed over to meet the rest of the guests while Maica saw to the comfort of the two at the table.
Being one of those very few that could see Death, Dox flashed a wide smile to her friend seated at the table of honor.
The spotted Captain headed towards her place at the altar to perform the ceremony, commenting to people on the way and telling them they look nice.
Leaning over to Tathaa, Asa whispered, “When do I give this to you?”” holding out the shapla from where it had been safely stored in Asa’a breast pocket.
"When the Captain says you may present us with it," the anear replied quietly back.
As the Captain's entourage arrived, Sam spotted... her. The girl in the cloak. He'd wondered if he'd imagined the lovely girl with what looked to be some Earth Asian heritage, ever since he woke up in Sickbay. If he were being honest with himself, he'd been afraid to ask anyone about her, fearing that she was some sort of trick of his apparent near-death experience. He'd been remembering bits and pieces of his time on the Mississippi, but they were hazy, like a distant daydream.
But not her. She was crystal-clear, and had been ever since he first glimpsed her sweet smile, behind Doc Asa. She'd explained that she was Death, but she surely didn't seem unfriendly.
Who was she, really?? It's not like there was any reason for Death to be attending weddings as a guest.
Or was there...?
"You look radiant, Thex. The Captain's up there at the altar, so are we ready? Time to do this?" Rita asked as the Captain performed a flourishing gesture, and the brazier atop the altar burst into a flickering blue flame.
"Time to light this candle." Thex said as she walked through the doors and to her position on the left of the altar. At the same time Tathaa did the same on the right.
Unsure of custom, Rita was reasonably certain this was where she was to wait in the wings for her cue. Somehow weddings were always complicated affairs, no matter the race or creed. But the tradition was what counted, and the happiness of the couple. It looked like Asa had their role down as well as they waited across the hall, and Rita shot them a high calibre smile.
Captain Telvan looked out over the crowd and started the speech she had memorized. "Assembled beings of the crew of the USS Hera and gathered guests. We are here today for the sacred Andorian ceremony of bonding to join Thex and Tathaa in body and spirit, to love and to cherish, until death do they part." Motioning for the two to step forward, she waited for them to reach their places before continuing.
With a smile on her face the andorian stepped forward and moved to the right of the altar. Her eyes fell on the Aenar she was now going to pledge to be with forever. Nothing could now make her happier.
Once Thex and Tathaa were in place, Enalia continued. "Are there any witnesses to confirm under the stars that the bond that these two share is true? If so, please step forward now and present the sacred Shapla."
Nodding to Asa, Rita did her best to follow the pace set by the frenetic physician, so that they would arrive at the altar around the same time.
For their part, Asa was walking as fast as dignity would allow, reaching Tathaa while smiling broadly. Drawing the Shapla from their jacket pocket, Asa said simply, "I confirm this bond is true," reached out and trimmed a small piece of Tathaa's hair, placing it gently in the shapla, and then handed it to Tathaa, closing their hand over hers briefly, squeezing them in an encouraging manner. Their task complete, Asa took a step back.
Waiting until Asa had spoken and their task was complete, Rita stepped forward with the small blade in hand. Taking hold of a curl of hair deliberately left down by maica's styling finesse, Rita sliced it off cleanly. Placing the lock of hair within the locket, the shapla, she handed it to Thex. Sure, she worried that the couple hadn't known one another very long, and this all seemed to be moving very quickly. But she had known about Sonak from nearly the second time she had laid eyes on him, so who was she to question?
"I confirm this bond is true," said the tall blonde human woman as she handed the locket to the lithe and lissome chief engineer with a smile.
Thex almost jumped as Rita handed the locket which she still gripped tightly as she faced Tathaa. " Um I had a speech written down, but it's now all just gone from my head. All i can say is... I love you Tathaa with all my heart. " Thex said as she placed the Shapla over the anear's head.
" Thex. A few months ago i never thought i could feel this way for another being. I now know what all the legendary poets meant went they described love in the ballads. I love you Thex." The anear stated as she placed the locket over the andorian.
The two reached out holding each over's hands tightly as they waited for the last words from the captain.
From the audience, Mnhei'sahe Dox had her comm badge in her hand, set to silent and set to send a message to one of the Hera's shuttles floating out in space, ready to enter the Wormhole on Dox's signal to ensure it would open at the best possible moment. The excited Romulan bit her bottom lip as the moment was clearly almost there. Hoping she had it timed right, she double tapped her badge sending the cue to her pilot.
Enalia raised her hands out to her sides to encompass the ceremony. "Then as a Starfleet captain of the USS Hera and by the power vested in me by the United Federation of Planets, I pronounce you bonded. You may now share your first kiss as one."
The two ladies from andor didn't need to be told twice as the two of them embraced in a passionate kiss. A few tears were in both of there eyes as the holo recorded flashed as the wormhole erupted behind them.
It would be a photo for the ages.
From the audience, tears erupted all around. Mnhei'sahe Dox and Mona Gonadie clutched each other's hands tighter as smiles beamed across their faces.
Unsure of the socially expected reaction, Asa began clapping, smiling hugely in happiness for their friends.
Sonak of course did not clap. His face impassive, he offered two extended fingers to his human wife.
Stepping away from the bridal couple, Rita held out her index and middle fingers in a matching gesture, and smiled lovingly at her logical mate. Turning to watch the brides, she leaned against Sonak, sighing contentedly as a tear rolled down her face. "Ah, weddings..."
'' A solemn moment for a most important life moment,'' he whispered with the utmost seriousness and conviction.
Enalia stepped back from her position so she wasn't too prominent in the pictures and clapped.
Hera and Death also clapped, both wishing for happiness for the newly bonded couple in their own way.
Thex and Tathaa held the kiss for what to them felt like an eternity before the sounds and lights of the room came flooding back. The two of them turned to face the crowd smiles on both of their faces. " Thank you, everyone, for being here and sharing this wonderful moment with us. I hope everyone will enjoy the gift of the andorian ale bottle beneath your seats. Now please, eat, drink and be merry." The andorian said still beaming from happiness as the empty food tables began to fill up with food.
Leaning over, Dox pulled the bottle from underneath her seat and looked it over with a smile, extremely happy that on a ship so often plagued by tragedy that Thex and Tathaa had found each other. The young Romulan woman rested her head on her Miradonian partner.
"This was just beautiful, wasn't it Jhu Dhael?" Dox called Mona the Romulan term for 'Angel Bird'.
Mona pulled an identical bottle out from under her seat, the same smile on her face. "It makes me want to have a similar ceremony with you, Minay," she replied, using her pet name for Dox which was the Miradonian word for 'Nightfeathers'.
"See. Ceremonies can be pretty nice." Dox pressed her cheek up against Mona's shoulder. "Look at everyone. How happy they are. After everything we've all been through, it's just wonderful to see."
On the dance floor, Rita and Sonak waltzed to a slow orchestral piece. As it ended, a bluegrass tune that the bionic chief spook Clemens had requested started playing, with a much livelier gate. Rita and Sonak stepped into it, taking the three-step waltz into high gear as they began improvising a line dance.
"It's a wedding and you brought a date. Dance, you goony birds!" Rita called from the dance floor as she do-si-doed with the stenorious stoic scientist.
The 'gooney birds' in question, Mnhei'sahe and Mona got up to join the dancing with the much more gregarious Miradonian taking the timid Romulan by the hand and pulling her along with a smile.
There was an old Earth song that Asa particularly liked, and they mouthed the words to "The Rhythm is Going to Get You" in time with the unknown song that was playing. The doctor was by no means a good dance- quite the opposite in fact- but what they lacked in skill, they made up for in enthusiasm. Asa shimmied and two stepped on the dance floor, sometimes with a partners, but just as happily without, joyously celebrating their friends union.
“Where’s Maica? Hey, you holographic hottie, get your grumpy wife out here on the dance floor!” Rita called out. While under ordinary circumstances the first officer would never call the captain something so disrespectful, this was off-duty, a casual affair which was a celebration where people were expected to celebrate. And she knew the captain preferred not to cut loose in front of the crew, but there was a time and a place. This was both. "Come on Maica, i know you can dance to beat the band, so show us whatcha got!"
Maica grinned wide as she held her hand aloft for Enalia as if she were a princess and Enalia were a prince about to sweep her off her feet at a grand ball.
"Grumpy! We'll see who's grumpy!" Enalia winked playfully as she and Maica took to the dance floor, beginning an amazingly well choreographed yet seemingly spur of the moment waltz similar to that from an old romance movie including spins and Enalia lifting Maica over her head.
Amongst the dancers, the happy couple put on a show that only two individuals with a love of dance now joined as one could do. Both were staring deep into each other's eyes with there antenna wrapped around each other tightly.
As the music slowed the two slowly peeled apart, but not before another kiss to which the two looked slightly embarrassed. " Well would anyone care for a slice of cake?" The anear asked to the crowd
Leaning slightly back from Mona while they danced closely, Dox smiled and called back with a laugh, "Cake? Yes, fat girl wants cake."
The Reconstructed Revenant Redhead, meanwhile, having congratulated the truly lovely couple, was taking the opportunity to approach the current incarnation of Death, who he'd last spotted being seated with the Captain's entourage.
If'n he could find her in the crowd...
A few of the hulking security officers in their dress uniforms moved throughout the party, passing out flutes of a glowing pale blue liquid for the toast. Eying Asa nearby, Rita wasn't sure who took the best man's toast at a wedding, but she was reasonably certain this was the time for a toast. Someone had to volunteer, so as Thex's... what was it she called it? A Witness, right.
In Earth wedding tradition style, Rita fetched a fork and held up her glass, tapping insistently at the crystal, though not hard enough to chatter it. It had the desired effect, quieting everyone and getting their attention. Aliens across the universe still responded to some earth traditions, it seemed.
"Hello! We just saw our friends Thex and Tathaa become bonded. We all witnessed it together, and it was beautiful. Now they begin their lives together, and they'll have tumultuous adventures and injuries and concerns and fights and reconciliations, and all of the wonders and curious joys and odd pains of a relationship with another person to whom you're committed. Including disagreements over how the sock drawer is to be laid out, who showers first in the morning and who gets to be the big spoon."
That drew a few chuckles from the crowd, so Rita brought it home. "When two become one, that's a fierce and unbreakable bond. It can give you strength you never realized you had, it can make you courageous past your own limits, and there is no obstacle that you will not find a way to overcome than for love. Everything we do- all the madness we face and the threats that we oppose, we do so, at its core, for those bonds we make- with our mates and with the people who matter in our lives. For there is no greater force in the universe than love. Love for our mates, love of ourselves, and love of the wonder of the cosmos, it's infinite combinations in infinite diversity. That is what drives us on in this life, and what we spread to the universe."
"Here's to the love of Thex and Tathaa. Long may it shine!" Raising her glass, she turned on the full million watt smile. "Cheers!"
The newly bounded couple raised their glasses to the toast both with a smile on there faces. " Thank you Rita that was a wonderful speech, I hope we can go a few weeks before the argument about the sock draw though," Thex responded with a cheeky smile.
Her anear lover winked at her as she picked up a knife for the cake cutting. It was in the shape of a federation comabdge though a few of the lines were slightly wonky. Cleary it had been made by someone who didn't have acess to regular sight. " You did a great job with it love." Thex said as she gripped her mates hands as they cut the first slice from the giant cake.