This part is dedicated to Sarah and Julia, who are always telling me to write more! This part is copyrighted March 1999 by Jane Griffen. All feedback welcome at Paramount owns William Riker, as well. Sarah owns Aria and Learra, who are from Changing the Future, and we both own Shelly (its kinda confusing, so I'm not gonna go into details). Morgan owns Jennifer Hamilton. See the main page for the rest of the disclaimers.


The next day flew by in a flurry. Lisa knew about the party, but she didn’t tell Tom about it and didn’t mention it to anyone either. Everyone split up in the morning, agreeing to meet at a small coffee shop near the Academy.

 B’Elanna nearly sighed with relief as she entered the small coffee shop, closing her eyes in bliss as she felt the air conditioning cool her body. After shopping for three hours with Seven, Kathryn, and Heather, she now knew fully well what the term: “shop ‘till you drop” meant. “Phew!” she declared, setting down her three shopping bags at the side of a long table that was unoccupied. Kathryn plopped down next to her, exhausted. Heather sat down, smiling. “That was fun!” she declared.

 Torres resisted the urge not to lunge for Whitney’s throat. After realizing that they weren’t getting anything done at the San Francisco Mall (a seven-story mall nearby), Chakotay and Harry had started to complain. Kathryn had suggested that the women and men split up; the women would do the shopping and Chakotay and Harry could meet Tom briefly at Starfleet Headquarters before meeting the women back at the coffee shop for lunch.

 Janeway took in a deep breath, closing her eyes blissfully. “I love the smell of coffee,” she declared.

 “No, duh,” Whitney muttered, grinning at the captain. She glanced around. “I remember this place. This is where Tom and I first became friends.”

 “You’re kidding,” Seven said, her brow furrowed as she glanced over at the half Betazoid.

 Heather shook her head. “Our friends Daphe and Drew set us up on a double blind date with them and we ended up talking for half the night after they gave up on us.” she explained. “Those were the days. Tom said that Shelly’s coming with her husband tonight so they’ll be here for the party, as well as another one of our friends, and Learra and Aria and will be here on the wedding day. I can’t wait to see everyone. Its been awhile since we all saw each other. All of us got together right after we got back from the Delta quadrant, but that was a long time ago.”

 Seven smiled. “That must have been interesting.” she said.

 Heather laughed. “No kidding. Tom and I were a match made in heaven, but we both knew that if we dated it would be disasterous. We never, ever had the urge to have an intimate relationship with each other - thank God for that-” Kathryn, B’Elanna, and Seven smiled at that, “but we we we’ve been best friends ever since. We have been through practically everything together, from the Caldik Prime incident to the Maquis.”

 B’Elanna smiled. “I still can’t believe you sang at the Sady Hawkins Dance,” she teased.

 Heather rolled her eyes. “I lost a bet. What could I do? It was better than stripping and running naked across campus.” At this statement she laughed at the shocked looks on her friends faces. “I was only kidding,” she assured them. “I’m going to sing at Tom and Lisa’s wedding as my gift to them. Well, that and a diamond-carved picture frame from Harry and me.”

 Seven raised an eyebrow. “You plan to sing at their wedding?!” she asked incredulously.

 Whitney grinned. “Why not? I may sing at the party tonight, too, just for fun.”

 “Which song?” B’Elanna asked, mildly surprised. She had never thought of Heather as the singing type. She had just assumed that Heather had goodnaturedly sang a song for the dance. Heather hadn’t commented about their late night discussion at all, and the chief engineer was slightly relieved.

 “Probably 'Falling Into You' by Celine Dion, but I’m going to look through the database some more. Wanna help?”

 “Sure,” Kathryn offered; Seven and B’Elanna nodded. “I remember this coffee shop was well. My friend tried to set *me* up on a blind date with Will Riker.”

 “From the *Enterprise*?!” Heather nearly screamed.

 B’Elanna glared at her, and she shut up.

 “Captain William T. Riker?” Seven questioned, wondering if she had heard right.

 Janeway blushed. “Yes,” she admitted.

 “Oh, my gosh! Now that I think about it, you must have gone to the Acadamy together. What happened?” Whitney asked excitedly, leaning forward.

 Kathryn glared at her. “The date was over in less than five minutes. Let’s just put it this way: I walked out on him.”

 B’Elanna snorted. “You walked out on Captain Riker?” she asked.

 Kathryn grudgingly nodded.

 A waiter came over and took their orders, then left.

 Heather eyed the people in the coffee shop. “Hey, look! There are some cadets!” she commented, observing three young women and four young men. All of them wore the standard Acadamy uniform.

 Torres grimaced. “I hated those heeled-shoes. They hurt so bad, especially when you had to go on those survival missions.” she commented.

 Seven nodded in understanding. “Heels are terrible when you’re trying to work!” she added.

 Heather grinned. “One time Shelly and I tried to see who could be taller in heels. We ended up almost breaking our ankles on a survival mission.”

 Janeway laughed. “I can see you doing that,” she said.

 “See Heather doing what?” Harry asked, sitting down next to his fiancee and giving her a quick kiss. Chakotay did the same to Kathryn.

 “Seeing Heather wearing four-inch heels on survival missions at the Acadamy,” Seven explained.

 Kim’s eyes widened. “You must have broken your neck!” he remarked.

 “Actually, Shelly was the one who tripped and fell. But she broke her ankle, not her neck.” Whitney offered off-handedly.

 Chakotay rolled his eyes. “What were you, an airhead?” he teased.

 B’Elanna snorted. “Oh, I can see it already. Heather being one of those blonde ditsy boy-crazy girls.”

 “I was not!” Heather protested.

 Everyone else laughed. Kim shook his head. “Is that why you refuse to have your hair dyed blonde?” he joked, remembering the time during April Fool’s Day aboard Voyager when Tom and Jennifer Hamilton had dyed Heather’s hair blonde as a prank. Heather had *not* been amused, to put it lightly.

 “So, what are our plans for the rest of the day?” Chakotay questioned, looking over at Kathryn.

 Janeway’s brow furrowed. “We might as well go back to the Paris’ house and help Dana and Owen set up for the party. You didn’t tell Tom and Lisa, did you?” she asked, glancing down the table at Heather and B’Elanna.

 Torres glanced over at Whitney and accusingly commented, “Heather slipped up.”

 “Heather!” Chakotay said, exasperated.

“It wasn’t *my* fault! I just let it drop! I didn’t even know it was supposed to be a secret until afterwards!” whined the empath defensively.

 Seven smirked. “You could never keep a secret,” she remarked.

 Heather’s jaw dropped, thinking of the conversation she had had with the chief engineer the night before. *Shows how smart the Borg are,* she thought dryly. “Actually, I can.” she protested. “I’d tell you but that wouldn’t be keeping secrets now, would it?”

 Seven smiled. “I guess not,” she admitted.

 “Did you finish getting the stuff for the party?” B’Elanna asked Harry and Chakotay.

 Before the men could answer, the waiter came back, bring the women’s drinks with him. He took Harry and Chakotay’s orders, then paused before leaving.

 “Yes?” Heather questioned.

 “I couldn’t help overhearing, but are you from Starfleet?” he asked, stammering a little.

 “I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you,” Whitney replied, a serious look on her face.

 B’Elanna kicked her. “She’s only kidding,” she said, “But yes, we are from Starfleet.”

 “Oh.” The waiter didn’t know what else to say, so he thanked them and left.

 Torres watched him go, then turned back to the men. “Did you?”

 Chakotay nodded. “We got all the things on your list, although I don’t see why you asked for Tootsie Rolls,” he said.

 Kathryn gave Heather a quizzical glance. “Heather?”

 “Wha? Oh, those are for me. I really like them and the replicated ones just aren’t the same,” explained Whitney.

 “Oh, gosh. Heather!” Seven remarked, slightly exasperated. Trust Heather to add something on the list just for her.

 “But they’re good!” protested the science officer.

 “Watch her go on a sugar high for the rest of the week,” B’Elanna joked.

 “Why, what are they?” Kathryn asked.

 Harry sighed. “Pure chocolate.”

 “Oh, God.” Janeway said, putting her head in her hands. Then she sipped her cup of coffee. “Delicious.”

 “And you say *I’m* obsessed?” Heather retorted to everyone.

 Seven shook her head. “You are, you know,” she told her.

 Whitney sighed, then popped a Tootsie Roll in her life. *So what? Its the little things in life that bring pleasures,* she reminded everyone telepathically.

 “Actually, the saying is that its the little things in life that make a difference,” Harry shot back.

 *What *ever*!*


To Be Continued...