CHAPTER THREE: CAVIAR AND ESCARGO
Lisa Doav walked down the hall of her future in-laws' large house. Pausing outside a door, she knocked.
"Come on in!" Samantha Paris called. At thirty-one, Samantha had strawberry blond hair that fell halfway down her back and jade green eyes. She was married to Richard Dawson, a lieutenant in Starfleet. He was currently serving on a deep-space mission on the Smokes, but would soon be back.
"Hey! Have you seen Tom?" asked Lisa, walking into Samantha's old bedroom. Samantha was flipping through some of her old things.
Looking up, Samantha frowned and shook her head. "Nope," she said. "Why?"
"We're supposed to go pick out his tux." Lisa explained, sitting down on the bed next to Samantha.
Samantha laughed. "I'd help you look for him, but I wouldn't be much of a help." she said, patting her tummy underneath her maternity clothes. She was seven months pregnant and couldn't wait until the baby was due.
Lisa laughed. "That's okay." She felt a surge of excitement sweep through her. She still couldn't believe she was getting married. It all seemed like one big dream. "What're you doing?" she asked, seeing the scattered collection of papers and pictures.
"Oh, I'm going through all of my photos I've taken and gotten over the years. I'm going to try to organize them." Samantha replied, gesturing to the multiple piles.
Lisa picked one up, which revealed an adorable blond-haired and blue-eyed little boy. "Is this Tom?" she squealed.
Samantha grinned. "Yup."
"Oh, my gosh! He's so cute! How old was he in this picture?" she asked.
Samantha smiled. "Seven, and he was such an angel." she paused, laughing, "Too bad I can't say that much about him now!"
Lisa smiled. "In my opinion, he's a sweetheart. On our first date..."
Samantha nodded politely, listening to Lisa as she chatted enthusiastically while she sorted thorugh the photoes. She picked up one that was lying face down on the bed. When Samantha realized who the photo was of, she quickly put it back down and swallowed her laughter while Lisa continued to talk. The picture she had picked up was one of the many pictures Heather Whitney had shown and given her at Samantha's parents' party. Most of them were of Tom and his friends, but she had forgotten about the one she had just seen. While Whitney had described the countless nerve-racking and exciting events that Voyager had been through, the science officer had subtlely hinted that Tom and B'Elanna had dated for quite awhile. In the picture, the two were embracing in the holodeck on a sandy beach. Samantha decided that was not a picture Lisa should see. She made a mental note to give the photo back to Heather when she saw her at the wedding.
A rap on the door made Lisa stop talking. Samantha looked up. "Yes?"
Alyssa, her short blond hair pulled back in two pigtails and her blue eyes twinkling, stepped into the room. "Anybody want to talk to Heather, B'Elanna, and Harry?" she asked, smiling. Seeing Lisa, she added. "Tom's in the living room talking to them."
Lisa stood up. "Thanks!" she replied. "Oh, Tom!" she called as she walked briskly down the hall.
"So, what do you think?" A'Lyssa asked her younger sister.
Samantha only laughed. "That Lisa should never see this picture," she said, showing Alyssa the picture of Tom and B'Elanna.
At that, both women burst out laughing.
The next day, Heather swung her legs back and forth in her seat as the small shuttle docked at the landing pad in San Fransisco. Even though the flight had only been fifteen minutes, her legs were cramped.
"Is Tom going to meet us there?" she asked her fiance, who was absentmindedly reading a datapadd.
Harry looked up. "He said he'd be there, along with Lisa." he said, putting the padd away.
"So, we're finally going to meet her." B'Elanna commented emotionlessly.
Heather grinned weakly. "Yep!"
The shuttle docked and the passengers stood up. The three friends got their suitcases and walked into the large shuttleport.
"I don't see him," Whitney called immediately.
B'Elanna grinned. "You are *so* impatient!"
"Well, excuse me!" Heather retorted, but smiled anyway.
Harry just rolled his eyes. Sometimes, he didn't understand how he could understand Heather. Or B'Elanna, for that matter.
Torres's smile faded as they walked down the crowded hall, following Harry. Heather walked next to her, for once completely silent.
"No snide remarks? No jokes? Heather, you *have* changed!" B'Elanna remarked, trying to act like she didn't care that she was walking into a nightmare. She didn't know what else to say. She herself wasn't exactly cozy with the idea of seeing Tom again, not after so long. The last time they'd seen each other had been four months ago, and from the conversation she'd had with him yesterday, he'd changed a lot since then.
Whitney only stuck out her tongue, then smiled softly. "I'm not the only one." she said modestly.
"Come on, you two! I think I see him!" Harry called. Both women practically ran up to him.
"Where?" B'Elanna asked.
Kim grinned. "I only said that so you'd hurry up. You guys can be so *slow* these days!"
Torres laughed, but Whitney protested in mock anger. "We are *not* slow, Lieutenant Commander Kim! And how *dare* you say that about me, when my time for the mile was faster than yours at my last physical!"
"And here you are lying to me that she's changed so much in the past few months, Harry! Now I'm disappointed!" a familiar voice kidded. Heather's jaw dropped open and B'Elanna quickly spun around. Harry only laughed.
Tom whistled. "You look great, B'Elanna!" he exclaimed, hugging the startled engineer.
B'Elanna drew back, regaining her demeanor. She smiled widely at the pilot, trying as best as she could to mask her true emotions. Of course, it wasn't that hard to do, since she was kind of estatic to see him again. *Too bad it's not because he's getting married.* she thought wistfully, then banned the thought from her head.
"Don't I get a hug, helmboy? Or are you too good for us senior officers now?" Heather teased, grinning. Tom laughed and hugged her and Harry. "It's so good to see you guys again! It's been so long since I last saw any of you!" Tom said, grinning like a schoolboy.
*Where's Lisa?* demanded Heather telepathically to Torres, who shrugged slightly.
Harry nodded, oblivious to his fiancee's question. "Too long." he agreed.
"Lisa!" Tom called.
Heather let go of her suitcase since it was too heavy, and turned to look in the direction Paris had called. B'Elanna picked it up. "What'd you put in it?" she asked, before setting it down.
*Only the necessaties.* Heather replied firmly.
B'Elanna smirked. "Only the necessaties" from Heather meant she had packed practically all of her belongings.
A slender woman about Heather's height emerged from the crowd, walking hurriedly. She smiled widely. She had blond hair that fell to her chin, and blue eyes that searched the crowd eagerly. As soon as she spotted Tom, she quickened her stride until she was standing next to him. She smiled at the other three. "You must be B'Elanna," she exclaimed, hugging the half-Klingon tightly. B'Elanna hugged back, mildly confused. She hadn't thought Lisa would be like Heather.
"Yeah, I guess I am." she replied, letting go and smiling.
Lisa turned to Whitney and Kim. "And you guys must be Heather and Harry," she said, hugging them both.
Heather grinned. "And you must be Lisa," she proclaimed.
Lisa laughed. "I'm so glad you were able to make it. You don't know how much it means to have you at our wedding." she said, leaning against Paris, who only smiled at her.
"So, how's Voyager?" he asked curiously. "It's been so long since I last saw her."
Heather rolled her eyes. "That won't be for long. Voyager's docking at Starbase 47 for drydock in a few days, after they return from their mission. So just about *everybody* you know on the ship should be there for your wedding!" she informed him. "Captain Janeway was *so* confused when you sent her that message."
"Why?" Lisa asked, as the five headed for the door.
"Because Tom didn't tell *anybody* who you were!" B'Elanna answered for her friend, shooting a glance at Tom.
Tom only shook his head and laughed. "C'mon. Lyssa and Samantha are dieing to see you guys."
B'Elanna nodded her head in agreement, and the five walked out of the shuttleport. As much as she hated to admit, her first impression of Lisa was pretty good. She liked Tom's fiance.
"That's right." Samantha said firmly as the caterer read off the list of appatizers. She had been talking to the woman for five minutes, but still couldn't figure out the reason she had called.
"Now, do Tom and Lisa want black caviar or red caviar?" the caterer asked, looking up from the list laying on her desk.
"Pardon?" Samantha asked, horrified.
"I said, would they like black or red caviar?"
"Uhhh-" Samantha's answer was cut off whens he heard her sister screech, "They're here!" from the other room. "Listen, can you hang on a second, because they just got home. I'm sure Lisa would know what you're talking about a lot better than I do right now! All right?" Without waiting for the caterer's answer, she stood up from the table and went as fast as she could to the front door. She could already see her sister hugging Heather.
Her mother, Suzanne Paris, looked up from the living room, her green eyes sparkling merrily. "Thank goodness they're here! I was about to worry!" she said. Turning back to the flower decorater, she continued talking. From the drift of the conversation Samantha heard, they were discussing what color roses Lisa should carry down the isle.
Samantha nodded. "Me, too!" She quickly hurried down the path. Sure enough, Tom, Lisa, Heather, Harry, and B'Elanna were all there, with Alyssa chatting to Heather and B'Elanna while Tom and Lisa talked to Harry. "Hey, guys!" she called.
"Oh, my gosh! Sam!" Heather said, turning around and hugging Tom's sister. "It's so good to see you again! So, when's the baby due"
"It's good to see you, too, Heather. Two more months." Samantha replied. She then said hi to Harry and B'Elanna. "Oh, and the flower-decorater's here and he needs to talk to Lisa. And the caterer's on hold. Something about what color caviar?"
Tom grimaced. "That comes in different colors?"
Heather blinked. "Caviar?" She turned to B'Elanna and asked. *What's that?*
Torres shrugged, then mouthed, 'I don't know'.
"Yeah, and the caterer also wants to know how much escargo you guys want." Samantha informed her brother and Lisa, trying to keep a straight face. Lisa just raised an eyebrow.
"Listen, we've got rooms set up for you, so would it be okay if Alyssa and Samantha showed you where they are? Because the caterer has to get her order in by tonight." Paris pleaded.
"Sure, go ahead! We'll get unpacked and then help." B'Elanna volunteered.
"Thanks!" Lisa called, then the two took off, hand in hand. The five followed at a more liesurely pace.
"Harry?" Whitney questioned in a serious tone, when B'Elanna finished telling Alyssa about Paris, France.
"Yes?" Kim asked, not sure he liked the tone Heather was using.
"I am going to say this once, and I don't want to say it again. I am *not* eating snails at our wedding." she said solomnly.
Everyone burst out laughing as they walked into the house.
"Come on, your rooms are upstairs." Alyssa beckoned towards the stairs.
"All right, but I have one question." Torres stated as she followed Tom's sisters up the stairwell.
"What the heck is caviar?"
Tom sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. Since Lisa was busy talking the the flower-decorater about her boquet, he was stuck with talking to the caterer. And that was *not* an easy task. Finally, he finished informing the woman on the other end what exactly they wanted, and turned off the desk computer. *Now what?* He got up and peeked into the living room. Since Lisa was still busy talking with the decorater, he decided to go visit with Heather, Harry and B'Elanna. Seeing him, Lisa waved, then turned back to the decorator. "No, I want white roses." she stated firmly. Tom sighed and continued to the stairwell.
B'Elanna closed the dresser drawer, thinking about Lisa. So far, she really liked Tom's fiancee. Lisa was energetic, just like Heather. Unlike Heather, B'Elanna hadn't brought all of her possesions on shoreleave. She laid a padd on top of the dresser, then brushed her hair quickly. She gazed out to the balcony, which extended the length of the house. Doors opened out from every room that faced the ocean. She opened the glass door and stepped out, leaning against the railing. The view was spectactular. While the front lawn was decorated with flowering bushes, trees, and multiple flower beds, the backyard was full of sea grass, which slowly merged with a sandy beach. She was struck by the beauty of the ocean. Remembering the last time she'd visited the area, she smiled. The party had been a lot of fun. Of course, the highlight was when Harry had accidentally pushed Heather off the dock. The half-batazoid hadn't been injured physically, but her ego had been bruised. She smiled as she remembered the sight of Heather swimming freestyle back to the shallow end. It had been hilarious. But then again, Whitney hadn't been too happy when Tom had snapped a picture of her dripping wet.
"What's so funny?"
B'Elanna turned around to face Tom.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." he apologized.
"It's okay. I guess I should be used to it. I was just remembering what happened the last time all four of us were here when Heather went for a surprise swim."
At that, they both laughed.
"I remember that." Paris replied. "But that wasn't the best part. When Seven asked why it was so funny that Harry had accidentally pushed Heather in the water and was told it was funny since he didn't mean to, she pushed Harry in."
The two laughed again.
"That's not funny!" a familiar voice protested. B'Elanna whirled around. Heather and Harry stood there.
"Yes, it is." Torres retorted, grinning.
"We'll just have to see about that. Next time you're out on the dock I'll push *you* in." Whitney replied, but she smiled. "So, helmboy, how can we be of service?"
"Well," Paris's voice trailed off as he smirked. "The wedding's pretty much planned, although the groom and bride's parties have to go and get fitted for their tuxes and dresses." He frowned as Heather laughed.
"You mean to say you don't like to shop?" Heather asked innocently.
"Watch it, or else you'll be thrown in the water again." Tom shot back.
Whitney replied by sticking her tongue out at him.
"There's only one problem about that." continued Paris, still frowning thoughtfully.
"And what's that?" B'Elanna asked curiously.
"Lisa's best friend can't make it to the wedding, leaving her with no possibilities for a maid-of-honor, and I don't have a best man yet."
Heather raised her eyebrows, but didn't comment.
"Which is why Tom wants Harry to be his best man and I'd like you, B'Elanna, to be my maid-of-honor, since I've heard such raving reviews about you from Tom." Lisa's voice drifted towards them, and everyone turned around to spy Doav walking hurriedly towards them. "What do you think?" she asked, her question directed towards Torres.
"Hey!" Tom protested.
B'Elanna gaped. *Maid of honor?* "Uhh..." she smiled. "It would be an honor." she said sincerely.
Lisa smiled gratefully. "Thanks a lot."
Harry grinned. "Is that true?" he asked in a condescending tone.
"I'd be honored."
Tom grinned. "Thanks."
Lisa turned to Heather. "I hope you don't mind." she said apologetically.
Heather shook her head. "Of course not. Besides, I've got something else to do at your wedding."
"What? Eat snails?" Tom jokingly asked her.
Whitney rolled her eyes. "No way, flyboy. But I'm not gonna tell. It's a secret."
"Not if it's anything like stardate 5128.9," Torres commented, grinning. On that particular day, she had told Heather all about her date with Tom the previous night before. Heather had sworn to secrecy. As it turned out, she only told one person: Harry. Unfortuantly, Harry had sworn to secrecy too, although he'd told one person: Seven of Nine. Seven, not knowing what 'cross your heart and hope to die' meant, told the Doctor, who then told Ensign Delany when Meg came in since her cat had scratched her. Meg had then told her sister, who'd told countless others. By the end of the day, everyone was gossiping about it. B'Elanna had confronted Heather, who had admitted she'd told Harry. Jenny and Meg had volunteered to stop the rumor, saying they hadn't known it was a secret. No one ever told Tom, though.
"What?" Paris asked, confused.
Torres smiled while Heather and Harry laughed. "It's a long story," she admitted.
"Since Tom and I don't have to go make last minute plans at the church till later, what do you say we all go swimming?" Lisa suggested.
"Last one in is a rotten egg!" Tom added.
Everyone rushed off to their different rooms. No one wanted to be the rotten egg.
To Be Continued...