This part is dedicated to Sarah for letting me use her as a sounding board and to bounce off ideas! Thanx, Sarah! I promise I'll write a part of Camp Brandy soon :) This part is copyrighted December 1998 by Jane Griffen. All feedback welcome at JaneG100@rocketmail.com. See Part 1 for original disclaimers.
CHAPTER FIVE: SHOP 'TILL YOU DROP
Kathryn Janeway yawned as she sipped the cup of coffee she had just replicated. Although the replicators had been upgraded since Voyager's arrival in the Alpha quadrent, they still couldn't replicate the real thing.
"What's wrong?" Chakotay asked, walking in from the bedroom.
Kathryn looked up. "Nothing's wrong." she replied. "Why do you ask?"
"You've got this look on your face that you only get when you're deep in thought about something." Chakotay explained, sitting down next to her on the couch.
Kathryn set the mug down and leaned against him. "I'm just thinking." she said lightly.
Chakotay gave her a dubious look. "About what?"
"About the letter we recieved from Tom." Janeway conceded.
Chakotay grinned. "I still can't believe he's getting married." he replied. "It seems like just yesterday he was chasing after B'Elanna."
Kathryn laughed. "That was over two years ago." she said, then frowned. "Gosh, that seems like such a long time ago."
"It does, doesn't it?"
"I still can't believe that only two years ago we weren't even officially dating." Kathryn remarked softly.
Chakotay squeezed her hand and she smiled up at him. Then her azure eyes narrowed. "I talked to Heather and she doesn't even know who Tom's fiancee is. Of course, they're supposed to be in San Fransisco now."
"Can we contact them?"
Kathryn shook her head. "There's no way we could. Voyager's still too far out."
"Do you think it's B'Elanna?" he asked, after a few seconds of silence.
Kathryn's head shot up. "What?"
"You have to admit, thier breakup was pretty sudden, all things considered." Chakotay explained. "And besides, they really loved each other."
Janeway nodded. "I know, and they really were perfect for each other. Although they did have thier differences." Chakotay muttered something about B'Elanna being hostile and she laughed. "They never did give a reason for their breakup." she paused and looked directly into Chakotay's dark eyes. "Did they?"
The commander shook his head. "You know I would've told you if she had told me, Kathryn."
Kathryn sighed. "Well, I guess we'll find out soon enough who the mystery woman is."
Lisa opened her eyes as the sunlight streamed through the window, directly into her eyes. She groaned and turned over, but the alarm kept on beeping. "Go away." she mumbled.
"Rise and shine!" came an excited voice.
Lisa rolled over and looked up at Tom, who was already dressed. "How can you be so cheerful in the morning?" she grumbled, but she sat up anyway.
Tom opened a window, and the screeches of seagulls floated into the room. "Voyager arrives today!" he said, as if that explained everything.
Lisa smiled as Tom walked around the room. He looked like an excited school boy. When he gave her a pleading look, she relented. "All right, all right! I'm coming!" she remarked, then stood up and grabbed a bath robe. She got a change of clothes and changed while Tom waited for her outside. A few minutes later, she walked into the hallway, donned in khaki shorts and a blue spahgetti-strap tank top. A brush was in one hand, and her other hand was busy wrapping a scrunchie around her hair. The two proceeded down to the kitchen, laughter emitting from the open doorway.
Alyssa, Heather, Harry, and B'Elanna were in the kitchen. Alyssa was standing next to the stove, a spatula in one hand, and Heather was busy stirring something in a large bowl. Harry was rummaging through the cupboards, and B'Elanna was setting the table.
"So then I ask Harry if I'm hostile, and he starts turning red and stammering. Ooh, I was *so* mad at him!"
"Who, Harry?" Alyssa asked, flipping a pancake on the grill.
Heather nearly choked on the orange juice she was drinking. Harry produced plates and handed them to Torres, who set them out on the table.
"Of course not! Why would I be mad at Harry? It was *Tom* I was mad at."
"Why?" Lisa asked.
Tom followed. "Morning!"
Heather covered up a yawn.
B'Elanna burst out laughing. "I'll tell you later." she promised.
"What smells so good?"
"Blueberry pancakes." Alyssa informed the two. "How'd you guys sleep?"
"Like a rock." Tom replied, "What can we do to help?"
Harry's brow furrowed. Heather's face lit up. "You two can be the gineau pigs!" she announced.
"Almost done!" Alyssa called, then flipped two pancakes onto the plates Harry had gotten out. Heather handed them to Tom and Lisa.
"Wonderful!" Lisa said through a large bite. "Where did you learn how to cook?"
Grinning, Alyssa replied, "Mom taught me! She's a traditionalist, but she's a really great cook!"
Lisa smiled. "I'll bet!" she said, reaching for the syrup.
"I don't want to sound like a demanding house guest-"
Tom pretended to groan. "There she goes again. Bet you anything she's gonna ask what we're going to do today." he told Lisa, looking over at Heather has he spoke.
Heather threw a dishtowl at him. "Very funny." she said sarcastically, then frowned. "What are we going to do?"
Alyssa, Tom, and Lisa burst out laughing. Torres smiled, then pulled up a chair and sat down. Heather rolled her eyes and Harry shook his head.
"The rest of the pancakes are done!" Alyssa said, informing a sleepy Samantha Paris, who stood in her pajamas at the doorway.
Samantha grinned, then ended up covering a yawn. "Sounds great." she mumbled, plopping down in a chair next to B'Elanna.
"What time does Voyager arrive?" Harry asked curiously as everyone started to eat. True to Lisa's word, the pancakes were delicious.
"1500 hours." Tom explained. He reached over and squeezed Lisa's hand. "I can't wait for you to meet everyone."
They shared a secret smile, and Heather muttered. "Me, too. I can't *wait* to see the look on her face when she meets the Delany sisters."
B'Elanna, hearing Whitney's comment, burst out laughing. Unfortuantly, she had been in the process of drinking orange juice, and it came out her nose. Thankfully, most of it went on the floor. "I'm so sorry!" she apologized through laughter.
Heather shook, laughing silently-both at her comment and at the sight of orange juice coming out of the chief engineer's nose. Seeing the bewildered look on Lisa's face, and the suspicious look on Tom's face, she shook her head frantically. "My comment had *nothing* to do with the two of you! I was just talking about Jenny and Meghan." she explained.
Harry dropped his fork. "I almost forgot about them." he mentioned.
Heather's jaw dropped open. "How could you forget about them?" she exclaimed, then frowned and turned to the other engaged couple at the table. "You told them, right?"
Tom nodded slowly. "Yes, and they're staying at their sister's house-"
"They have a sister?" Whitney exclaimed, her face lighting up with delight.
Kim groaned. "You shouldn't have told her that, Tom. Now there'll be *four* incredibly talkative women, and I'll be the one listening to them for most of the time."
"Oh, shut *up*, Harry! We can have even more fun!"
From the floor (B'Elanna and Alyssa were mopping up the orange juice, B'Elanna apologizing continuously), B'Elanna spoke up. "For once I actually agree with Heather." she commented.
Tom sighed. "Oh, c'mon B'Elanna! Don't turn into one of them!"
Chewing, Heather continued to put her two cents in. *What do you mean, one of them? If we weren't at your parents' house, I'd throw something at you.* informed the pilot, and let everyone else in the room hear her so that no one would be clueless.
"You already did that, Heather." Tom remarked.
Lisa, Alyssa, and Samantha laughed.
*We are going to have so much fun at your wedding, Tom! It'll be like a high school reunion!* Whitney almost spat out the food she was eating at that train of thought. "Is Shelly coming?"
Tom sighed. "How come I knew this topic would come up?" he asked to no one in particular. Lisa smiled. "Yes, Shelly will be arriving the night before the wedding. The Intrepid doesn't get in until the afternoon before, and she has a debriefing at Starfleet Headquarters.
"Oh, my gosh! I can't to see her again! The last time I saw her was a few days after we got back from the Alpha quadrent, and she had to leave the next day!" Heather proclaimed.
"Who's Shelly?" B'Elanna asked curiously, sitting back down again. She smiled sympathetically at Lisa, knowing that the other woman had no idea who Jenny and Meg were, and probably didn't have a clue as to who this 'Shelly' was. Lisa grinned back.
"Oh, she's one of my best friends from the Acadamy! She's exactly like me-"
"Help." Kim muttered, and Heather whacked him with her napkin.
"We used to gang up on Tom all the time." Whitney finished.
Torres looked from Tom to Heather, then back to Tom. "You mean to say that she's like her?" she asked, pointing to Heather and meeting Tom's gaze.
"They could be twins personality wise." Tom replied.
"If I remember correctly, everyone thought that Heather and *you* were twins." Samantha replied, setting down her glass.
Everyone became silent; Alyssa nodded in agreement.
Heather and Tom looked at each other.
"This is going to be a long day." Tom told the half-Batazoid.
"I couldn't agree more with you." Heather replied, then smirked. "Although it was kind of funny when-"
"Where to first?" B'Elanna asked three hours later. She, Lisa, and Heather were walking down the streets of San Fransisco. After breakfast, Alyssa had had to leave for her job as a multi-cultural designer. Samantha was supposed to meet a friend, and Tom and Harry had had to go try on tuxes for the wedding. Since Owen and Dana Paris had both been long gone before breakfast, that had left Torres, Doav, and Whitney with nothing to do. Torres had said so, but the only reply she had gotten was two incredulous looks from Doav and Whitney. Supposedly, San Fransisco was *the* place to shop.
"Well, let's see. We could try the Gap, or Macy's, Delilas sometimes has cool clothing, Expressa, Lylas, is Contempo's still around?"
Lisa nodded. "And they've expanded. They have such great clothes now!"
"Then we'll go there, too!" Heather replied.
Lisa grinned. "And there's this great street cafe I've been meaning to go back to. Tom and I ate there one time, and the food was fantastic! It's not replicated, either!"
"Is it called Macaroni Grill?" Whitney asked curiously.
Doav gaped. "You mean to say you've been there?"
The science officer nodded rapidly. "Did you try the salmon sufle? It was *so* good. Although it's been awhile since I've eaten there."
B'Elanna sighed. She now agreed fully with Heather when the half-Batazoid had said that it was going to be a long day.
"What about you, B'Elanna? Have any fond memories of San Fransisco?" Lisa asked, turning to the half-Klingon.
The engineer frowned. The truth was, she hadn't really had much of a social life at the Acadamy. Most of the other cadets had avoided her because of her heritage, but she and Denise, her roomate and one of her few best friends, had used to go to... "Is The Extreme still around?" she asked, referring to a clothing store Denise had dragged her to when they had had a day off. In the end, the two young women had had a blast trying on multiple outfits. They literally pulled their shopping bags back to the dorm.
Lisa smiled and stopped. Heather, who had fallen into step behind, almost ran into Tom's finacee. Doav, meanwhile, had turned towards a store across the street. "Look familiar?"
A rather large store was across the street. It's name was 'The Extreme'.
B'Elanna grinned. "Let's go!" she exclaimed enthusiastically. *Maybe this won't be so bad after all!*
Twenty minutes later, Heather ran up to Lisa. "Check this dress out!" she said, holding a short sleeveless black dress up against her figure. "What do you think?"
Lisa set aside the pile of clothes she had collected. "Just a sec." she muttered, then looked up and scrutenized the dress. "Awesome!"
Heather nodded. "Yep!" she replied, looking over the clothes Lisa had went through. "Hey, this is cool! Where'd you get it?" She held up a short flippy dark blue skirt.
Doav looked up. "Over there!" she tried to point, but the clothes she was carrying got in the way. In the end, she jerked her head in the direction she had been trying to point in.
B'Elanna walked out of the changing rooms, wearing denim jeans. She pulled to a stop before the two. "I've tried on three pairs of jeans, and none of them fit!" she said, stamping her foot in frustration.
Lisa scrutenized her, "What size are those?"
"Six for the length, but they're practically falling off!"
"What about six slims?" Lisa supplied.
Torres looked hopeful.
"Catch!" Before B'Elanna could do anything, another pair of blue denim jeans hit her right in the face. She snatched them away. "Thanks!" she said, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. She marched into the changing stalls again, and Heather winced. She hadn't meant to throw them right at Torres. A minute later, B'Elanna emerged. "Thanks, Lisa!" she replied, her regular pants in one hand. Before she could say anything else, another item was shoved in her face.
"Go try this on." Heather ordered.
B'Elanna knew better than to argue with the empath, so she reluctnantly took the dress. Standing in front of the mirror, she surveyed her appearance. Purple was her favorite color, and Heather had very good tastes when it came to clothing. The dark purple dress she wore fit her figure perfectly, and fell to just above her knees with two-inch slits on either side. The dress didn't have any sleeves, but it showed a lot of her back and the top circled the base of her neck. She twirled around, then walked back out to where Lisa and Heather were discussing tops.
"Turn around." Whitney commanded, and B'Elanna did so, feeling rather self-concious. When she turned back around to face Lisa and Heather, both were smiling.
"Well?" she asked, rather timid. She herself loved the dress, but she didn't know if it was too fancy.
"It's perfect!" Lisa exclaimed.
"Drop-dead gorgeous." Heather added, and from the tone Torres knew that the practical joker was not teasing.
"What do you think of this?" Lisa held up a peach dress that sparkled slightly in the sunlight that poured in through the skylights. It went below her knees, and had spahgetti-straps. Torres nodded her approval. "Go try it on!" she suggested.
That left Heather, who shyly held up a dress. B'Elanna, knowing her friend's tastes, didn't even bother to glance at it. "That goes for you, too." she added.
Whitney charged into the changing room, and Torres followed. Soon the other two women appeared.
The peach dress fit Lisa to a 'T', and Lisa looked beautiful in it. Her blonde hair set off the light color perfectly, and as she turned around B'Elanna couldn't help but admire her taste.
Whitney followed, looking rather timid as she stood in front of them. The dress she had on was dark navy blue, with silver lines creating patterns. Small sparkling diamonds were sewn together on the patterns, and the neckline was a little low. But Heather definetely had a great figure, and it fit her wonderfully. As the half-Batazoid moved, the diamonds sparkled.
Both Lisa and Heather looked self-concious, and the turned around to face B'Elanna, who stood with her arms crossed. "You two are pathetic." she remarked plainly.
Doav and Whitney were both confused by the statement.
"What?" Lisa asked quietly.
"You guys are *so* *pathetic*!" B'Elanna replied, louder this time. She laughed. "You two look spectacular, and you guys are so beautiful! You have got to get those dresses!"
Lisa giggled. "Phew! I thought you were going to say we looked awful or something!" she said, relieved.
Heather nodded in agreement.
"You guys would probably look wonderful in burlap sacks." Torres muttered. Heather grabbed an empty hanger and flung it in her direction. Lisa shook her head, smiling. "Let's go find some more clothes!" The three women hurriedly changed back into their normal clothes within minutes, and bought the dresses.
"Where to next?" Whitney asked, carrying her shopping bag over her shoulder. She pulled out her sunglasses and put them on.
"How about Contempo's?" Lisa suggested.
"You're on!" Torres remarked, and they headed off for the next clothing store.
Two hours later, the trio walked into the Macaroni Grill, an indoor/outdoor large modern cafe. Heather nearly swooned at all the smells. "I'm in heaven!" she called as she spotted a large chocolate cake.
B'Elanna rolled her eyes, explaining to Lisa about Heather and chocolate. The two words almost always went together. They found a table outside and set their shopping bags down. After getting the dresses, they had looked for shoes. B'Elanna had settled for dark purple suede with two inch heels, Heather had settled for navy blue high-heeled sandals, and Lisa had settled for peach sandals.
Heather had insisted that they get hair accessories, and B'Elanna had picked out a pair of butterfly clips that sparkled like the navy blue dress for the empath. Lisa had decided on a thin peach hairband, and the two had insisted that B'Elanna do something with her hair. Finally Torres had relented, promising to braid part of her hair like she had done for a short time while Voyager had still been in the Delta quadrent.
"Hi! My name is Tricia and I'll be your waitress. What would you like to drink?" a young woman asked.
The three quickly ordered, and were pleased to find out that Tricia was actually a second-year cadet, covering for a sick friend.
"I'm still betting I'll drop a tray." she joked, then walked off to another table.
"Where to next?" Torres asked a few minutes later, sipping her drink. She made a face. "What is this?" she asked. Heather had insisted that she try a drink.
"Bitter lemon." Whitney supplied, then answered both questions. "I really need to find some tops. I've got all these pants and skirts, but no tops!"
"Lylas has a good selection," Lisa suggested. "I need to get a new bathing suit. I've had the one I wore yesterday for two years."
Whitney frowned. "I've never worn a bikini before." she admitted, glancing down at her figure. Try as she might, she couldn't bring herself up to try one on. She had a feeling she'd look awful in it.
Doav smiled wickedly. "There's this great bikini store down the street. We'll go there after Lylas." she said, and dropped the subject before Whitney could protest.
Torres smiled at the thought of Heather wearing a bikini. She just couldn't picture it.
Heather whacked her with a napkin. "Very funny." she said sarcastically. "What about lingerie?"
B'Elanna covered her face with her hands at the look on Lisa's face. Trust Heather to bring up a topic like that. Remembering the time on Voyager, she started giggling.
Whitney looked at B'Elanna strangely. "What?" she asked.
"That time on Voyager, when-" Torres couldn't say anymore; she was too busy laughing.
Heather's eyes went round.
Lisa looked from B'Elanna to Heather. "What happened?" she asked curiously.
That only made B'Elanna laugh harder. Whitney looked at the engineer. "Can I tell her?"
Torres waved a hand. "I don't mind. It's just-"
Heather laughed. "I know, I know. The Doctor refused to treat him, too, saying that if he had caused the injury himself, why should the Doctor have to fix it?"
Torres shook her head, her eyes brimming with tears due to her laughing fit. Seeing the bewildered look on Lisa's face, she started to explain. "Okay. Where to start..." her voice trailed off as Heather started laughing again. "Heather, stop it."
The half-Batazoid complied, although Doav knew that Whitney had to try very hard not to laugh.
"All right. It must've been about a year ago, but anyway: The night before, I didn't have any pajamas to wear since all of mine were dirty, and since I didn't have any replicator rations left to use, I had to wear this piece of lingerie that I found at the bottom of my drawer-Heather, shut up." she added, for Whitney was shaking with laughter. Lisa, sensing that the funny part was yet to come, had to smile.
"So, the next morning, I actually got to sleep in since my shift didn't start until the afternoon. It was 0800 hours, and I had forgotten that Tom was coming by to deliver the conn report I had asked him to do since we had just finished running a series of tests on transwarp drive down in Engineering. The doorchime rings, so I go to answer the door. Tom's there, and while he hands me the conn report he gives a cat call. I was *so* mad at him that I punched him." B'Elanna winced. "Rather hard, too. After that I slammed the door in his face and went to get changed."
Lisa laughed, "I can imagine you doing that to him." she admitted, grinning at the half-Klingon.
"But that's not even the funny part." Heather replied, then took over. "Tom went to Sick Bay to get a dermal regenerator since 'Lanna gave him a black eye, and I was there, too, since I was discussing this cell experiment with the Doctor. Of course, the Doc *had* to ask what had happened to Tom, and if I remember correctly, before Tom could even say anything, the Doctor added 'Did you get into another catfight with Lideutenant Torres?' I was in his office, and I started laughing *so* hard." Whitney tryed not to laugh.
B'Elanna shook her head. "Later on Tom said he heard this thud, and Heather was on the ground laughing." she chimed in, smiling.
Heather slammed her hand down on the table in order to not laugh. "I couldn't help it. After all the squables you two had about *nothing*, it was just too much to hear the Doctor comment on the two of you. And then the Doctor refused to treat him because he claimed it was a 'self-inflicted injury'."
"I heard the Delany sisters had a lot of fun teasing him about it, but he was smart and kept his mouth shut about the whole thing." B'Elanna concluded, smiling.
Lisa was laughing. "Life onboard Voyager must have been a riot." she said.
Heather nodded vigorously, "Oh, it was!"
"It was bad enough with Tom. When Heather came the entire ship wreaked with havoc due to the pranks the two used to play on each other!" Torres remarked.
Whitney retorted, "We weren't *that* bad." she told Doav. "Besides, you had just as much fun as I did on April Fool's Day."
"Of course, that was because *you* were the one who had your hair dyed blonde." B'Elanna shot back.
Heather rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I helped dye Tom's hair black, Tom helped dye Harry's hair neon pink-" she started giggling. "And then Tom helped dye *my* hair *blonde*."
"You don't like blonde?" Lisa asked.
"It goes back to the Acadamy." Heather replied. "Blondes are *fine*, but I think I'm going to keep my original hair color."
Tricia came back with their orders. "Here's the salmon special for you, linguini and vegetables for you, and here's the tortilini soup." she said, setting down the plates. "Can I get you anything else?"
Heather looked wistfully over at the chocolate cake, but B'Elanna said quickly. "No, thanks. Maybe later, though."
Tricia walked off.
"So, where exactly is the wedding going to take place?" Torres asked, cutting up the salmon with her fork.
"We were thinking about having it outside, but there's this gorgeous cathedral nearby that is absolutely exquisite!" Lisa replied.
“Where to now?” Heather asked when they were done eating.
B’Elanna had to smile when Doav, grinning wickedly, replied, “Bikini store.”
To Be Continued...