My Best Friend's Wedding
Jane Griffen (JaneG100@rocketmail.com)
Disclaimers: Paramount owns the crew of Voyager and some of the other characters I've written into this story. However, I own the rights to Heather Whitney, Erin Nelso, Kirsten Dion and the story. Please e-mail me at JaneG100@rocketmail.com. Thanks!
CHAPTER ONE: HARDROCK CAFE
In Paris, France, a waitress who was working her shift at a cafe on the top of a skyscraper that had a magnificant view of the Eiffle Tower, which was still standing through five and a half centuries of a civilitation growing and expanding. The blonde haired woman paused as she waited to deliever an order for table ten, watching a beautiful raven colored haired half-Klingon woman sipping her cup. She seemed to be waiting for someone, but since she had pointedly requested a table for four, the waitress - her name was Kirsten Dion -wondered if she was only waiting for her date or if she was simply waiting for friends. Only when her friend Erin Nelson tapped her on her shoulder did she turn her attention back to her job.
Stirring her cup of cappachino absentmindedly, Lieutenant Commander B'Elanna Torres went over the news she had just recieved. Even now, she couldn't believe it. How could he do this to her? Sure, they had broken up, but they were still close friends. And she still loved him. That was the bad part. She knew she shouldn't, but she just couldn't help it. Whenever she thought of his cerulean blue eyes....
Stop it, you p'toQ. B'Elanna told herself, slamming her spoon down on the saucer. She grimaced. Even though she had changed a lot in the past five years, her temper could and would take over.
It had been about a year after they'd started dating that both had realized that their relationship was not going to work out. They hadn't fought, yet they both seemed to understand what the other was getting at. So they had stopped "courting", as Seven of Nine - now Lieutenant Commander Annica Hanson - had once put it. But, even though they were no longer dating, they were still the best of friends and would confide in each other about everything and anything that happened to them.
Four years after Voyager had been stuck in the Delta Quadrent, they had found an unstable wormhole that led to the Alpha quadrent. Using Borg technology, the crew had been able to accomplish what they had thought would be impossible. They had been able to stabalize the wormhole.
After being pronounced heroes, all of the Maquis - plus Tom Paris - had been granted pardons and had been allowed to keep their ranks. Most still served in Starfleet, although a few had decided that after four years of surviving on nothing but their wits, they had had enough of space travel.
She herself was still Voyager's cheif engineer, although for the past two months she'd had to let Lieutenant Joe Carey - who had requested he stay on Voyager - be in charge while she worked with several other high-ranking officers on a new kind of warp travel. Seven of Nine had also been among the group, but she had had to leave two weeks before to rendezvous with Voyager. Heather Whitney and Harry Kim had also requested that they stay onboard Voyager.
Tom Paris was still the cheif pilot, although he had mysteriously requested shoreleave for five months after a party at his parents' house. He and his father had come to an understanding, and they were very close. No one had been able to guess why he had wanted such a long-term vacation. He hadn't even told his closest friends. Only now did B'Elanna have a sneaking idea why he'd left. And it hurt. Like *hell*.
Captain Kathryn Janeway had worked hard to protect her crew, B'Elanna mused. She had personally gone to talk with the Starfleet admirals about the Maquis and how they had served under her with a loyalty that she had never known before. She was still the commanding officer on Voyager - like that would ever change, but her personality *had* changed. No longer was she conservative among the other senior and junior officers. In fact, she was downright outward at some moments.
*But that wasn't isn't the biggest change in her life.* B'Elanna thought, momentarily forgetting the horrible news she'd recieved that day. Best of all - in *everyone* on Voyager's eyes - she was now married to Commander Chakotay, who served as her first officer.
Some positions had changed on the senior staff. Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, now Commander Tuvok, was now serving as the first officer to Joel Prat, captain of the USS Smokes.
Also, Seven of Nine had been given the rank of "Lieutenant Commander" shortly after their return to their native quadrent. But, Starfleet had told her to use her human name, "Annica Hanson". No one who had been on Voyager when it was stranded in the Delta quadrent, listened, though. She was still fondly called "Seven", except when there were visitors from Starfleet Headquarters. Then everyone jokingly taunted Annica, calling her by her rank and last name. Seven/Annica was now the senior Astro Metrics Lab officer.
Neelix was also still onboard, although he did his fair share of work besides cooking. A few weeks before sensors had actually picked up the wormhole, Neelix had talked Tuvok into letting him be on a security team. After trying it out for a week, he decided that he would like to try being a security officer as well as the cook and ambassador. Captain Janeway had consented willingly, and Neelix still kept up his duties on *both* fields of work happily.
The Doctor's program had been updated by top scientists and professionals, and he was still the cheif Doctor. But, he was not alone in the field of medical study. Now the Doctor was assisted by twenty-five medical officers. However, Captain Janeway had requested that he be allowed to remain her cheif medical officer, even if his program had only started out as being the "Emergency Medical Hologram". B'Elanna remembered Tom joking about how he was relieved not to be working full time in the same room as the Doc. She frowned, remembering the news she had recieved before leaving on a shuttle to come to Paris, France, to meet three of her best friends in the universe: Tom Paris, Harry Kim, and Heather Whitney.
But now he thinks he's too good for us. We're not good enough for him. she thought angrily as she picked up her mug and took another sip of the steaming liquid. At the same time she was thinking that, she also remembered how nice it was to drink *regular* coffee, not the tarlike liquid Neelix made, which was the Talaxian's version of the drink. When she had first heard the news from a message sent from San Fransisco, California, she had thrown a picture frame across the room. Then she had regained her composure, only to lose it and start crying hysterically. Finally, she had shrugged the news off, reminding herself that she was supposed to be at the Hardrock Cafe in Paris, France, at 2400 hours military time. No matter how hard she and her friends tried, they still couldn't get Heather to say it. She would just say "noon".
Hearing a familiar cheerful voice, B'Elanna's spirits were lifted as she caught a glimpse of Heather Whitney - soon to be Heather Whitney-Kim - and Harry Kim. When they had announced their engagement three months after Voyager had returned to the Alpha quadrent, everyone had been thrilled, saying that they made a perfect couple. B'Elanna was inclined to agree. They *were* a match made in heaven.
"B'Elanna!" Heather screamed, forgetting that they were indoors and in a restuarant. Amused and annoyed glances were sent her way, but she didn't care. The half-batazed was running as fast as she could as her high heels made clicking sounds. She hugged B'Elanna tightly, then drew away, smiling widely. Harry followed her, smiling as well.
"Oh, my God! I'm so glad you came!" B'Elanna exclaimed, eyeing her friend. At twenty-nine, Lieutenant Commander Heather Whitney was as slim as ever. She wore a sleeveless black dress and her golden brown hair - which shone in the sunlight - was pulled tightly back by a skinny black velvet hairband. To top it off, Heather wore black high heels, adding an inch or so to her 5' 7" frame.
Heather laughed, still smiling as she dropped the black purse she'd been carrying onto a chair. "Why wouldn't we come?" she asked kiddingly, although she *did* wonder why B'Elanna had asked such a stupid - in her opinion - question.
B'Elanna then turned to Harry Kim, as her past sadness vanishing momentarily.
"Hey, Starfleet! No time no see!" she teased fondly, hugging the now Lieutenant Commander who had been one of her best friends since Voyager had gotten stuck 75,000 lightyears away from Earth in the Delta quadrent. Harry wore khaki pants and a dark brown shirt.
"Maquis!" he replied.
The three sat down, all trying to speak at once.
Finally, Heather's question was heard. "Where the hell is helmboy?" she demanded to know in mock anger.
Harry smiled softly. "He'd probably be late for his own wedding."
Heather howled. "Oh, that's a good one. Tom married." she shook her head. "Somehow, I doubt that would ever happen. Unless..." her voice trailed off. In her opinion, Tom and B'Elanna should have never split up in the first place. And everyone else on board Voyager had agreed thoroughly. They were *perfect* for each other. And whenever she saw either one of them, she always felt waves of longing and love. She snorted, as if she hadn't proved her point. Only when she saw that B'Elanna's complexion had turned ashen white did she stop and look questioningly at her fiance.
"Tom *is* coming, right?" Harry asked, not really wanting to know what he thought he knew.
B'Elanna took a deep breath. "No, he's not." she gazed questioningly at her two friends. "Didn't you get a message from him too?"
Heather shook her head. "I didn't get anything. And I know Harry didn't."
Harry took B'Elanna's hand, concerned. "What's wrong?" he asked softly.
B'Elanna pushed a padd that they hadn't noticed before in Heather's direction.
Heather picked it up. She read it silently then dropped it. Shock was etched in her face. "What?" she asked, sounding horrified.
"I know." B'Elanna said in a whisper.
"*What*?" Harry asked, concerned.
Heather picked up the padd again and took a deep breath. "Dear B'Elanna," she read. "I thought you should be one of the first to know. I know this sounds weird - I feel like I'm in heaven - but I'm getting married! Please reply as soon as you get the chance!" Heather looked up, her mouth hanging open. "From Tom."
"Oh, my God." Harry muttered. Then he looked at B'Elanna. "Are you okay?" he asked.
His response was a growl and a pair of murderous eyes met his dark ones. "The man I love is getting married." B'Elanna spat. "Am I *supposed* to be okay?"
Heather bit her lip, seething. "How could he go and propose! How could he? Doesn't he give a damn about us? He's getting married! Oh, my God! How could he? That little..." her voice broke off as she realized their waitress had come. "Oh, um..." she scanned the menu. "Can I have a mocha latae please? Thanks."
The look on the waitress's face was priceless and B'Elanna felt sorry for her despite her own problems in life. But then what Heather said registered and her hand flew to her mouth. She glanced over at Harry, who was trying hard not to laugh.
Harry glanced at the blonde haired waitress and smiled. "Don't mind her. She just found out her best friend is getting married and she didn't know about it before now. I'll just have some hazelnut coffee." he explained.
Kirsten Dion smiled nervously. "Oh, um, well, I hope you have a nice time at the wedding." she said.
Heather smiled. "Sorry. And I'm sure we will." she said. "We *all* will."
B'Elanna glared at her but managed a sharp smile. "Sorry, I'm just not having a good day today." she told the young waitress.
Kirsten smiled, this time the smile was genuine. She took thier orders, then hightailed it back to the kitchen.
"I can't beleive he went and proposed to a total stranger!" Heather continued, seething. Her blue eyes, which were normally sparkling cheerfully, where narrowed in anger.
Harry started laughing. B'Elanna smiled, even though she agreed completely with Heather.
"What's so funny?" Heather asked incredulously. "Tom's getting *married*!" she shrieked.
Glances went their way and Heather shut up.
"What's so funny is that you're ranting on and on about how Tom went and got married, when it's his own business and you have no right to interfere." B'Elanna said pointedly. "Besides, I didn't know that you were waiting for him to propose to *you*."
Heather kicked her under the table and Harry laughed silently.
"Yeah, Heath. I never knew there was another man. If I'd known that, I wouldn't have proposed to you in the first place." Harry teased.
Heather knew he was kidding, and she didn't want to make a scene in the restaurant, so she just sat there and glared at her fiance.
"But I can't believe he's getting married." B'Elanna whispered.
Harry and Heather turned to her.
Heather frowned. *B'Elanna, you still love him, don't you?* she asked telepathically.
B'Elanna's eyes met hers. "I never stopped."
"Well, I always wanted to crash a wedding." Heather stated, leaning back and smiling peacefully.
Harry nearly choked on his coffee,which the waitress had brought. "Who the hell do you think you are?" he asked.
B'Elanna and Heather stopped talking and stared at him.
"His friend, and what the hell do you mean?" Heather asked innocently, finding the situation hilarious. Tom. Married. The two words didn't match. Unless it was: Tom and B'Elanna. Married. That did match.
"Check!" she added to herself.
"What?" B'Elanna asked, confused.
"You want the check now?" a waitress asked, passing by.
Heather's face showed a group of emotions. "Oh, uh...no thanks. Not yet." she said pointedly.
"What I *mean*-" Harry's voice broke off as he glared at his fiancee. He loved Heather with all his heart, but sometimes she could be a little bit too much. "-Is that it's Tom's life and if he choses to get married to someone, even if it's a-" Batazoid "phsycopath-"
Heather threw a napkin at Harry. "I am not a phsycopath!" she exclaimed.
Again amused and annoyed glances were thrown her way.
"Like I was saying, it's not our decision." Harry finished.
Heather sighed, fiddling with yet another napkin. What Harry said made perfect sense. It was just that she never had been sensible, so why start now?
Heather turned to B'Elanna, concerned. "Listen, why don't we go directly to where Tom's staying and surprise him? We can hear his version of the story-"
"Oh, my God, Heather! You're making it sound like a murder case! For God sakes, he's only getting married!" Harry said loudly.
Erin Nelson and Kirsten Dion stood at the front of the cafe, listening to the three friends talk. Their conversation was hilarious. Of course, they weren't eavesdropping, just keeping an open ear as they added up bills for different tables.
"You know, I have half a mind to go over and ask them if they'd mind me writing a book about them." Erin whispered.
Kirsten laughed and nodded. Their stories *would* make a good novel.
After discussing the situation thoroughly, they decided the best thing to do was to set a date to visit Tom. Heather was still with the idea that they should crash the party, B'Elanna was moping because of the plan fact that Tom was getting married, and Harry had no idea what to do.
"All right, let's go." Harry commented, standing up. He pressed the padd, paying the bill.
"You're sure you'll be okay?"Heather asked B'Elanna again, concerned.
B'Elanna smiled weakly. "I wonder what else could possibly go wrong?" she asked.
Heather opened her mouth to reply.
"That was a hypothetical question, Heather." Harry told his fiancee.
B'Elanna sighed. She only wished it were a hypothetical question.
To Be Continued...