Paris' Wedding


By Tommyhawk1@aol.com
(c) 2001 by Voyeur. All Rights Reserved.

Illustration of Paris' Wedding

Lieutenant Paris was traveling back from a routine scanning expedition, alone and enjoying it. Even a shuttle-craft by yourself could be better than a starship that you had gotten utterly sick of looking at. At least with a shuttle, you could turn to suit yourself! Like that interesting light display just to the port side...
*
That was no light display. A ship was under attack! A craft of unknown design as small as Paris' shuttle was being bombarded by two larger ships, who appeared intent on destroying it. As he watched, he saw one of the craft's nacelles split off and explode.
*
Paris knew that he couldn't outfight the two ships. "I just hope you're not an escaped criminal." He muttered as he gunned his shuttle into top speed. His course would take him just within transporter distance. As he reached it, he locked onto the craft's contents and beamed all living things aboard. What he got as his trajectory took him away from the two craft which finished destroying the smaller ship was a battle-burned alien reminiscent of Neelix. The skin was smoother, without the decoration of scales Neelix bore, and where Neelix seemed rather yellow in color, this alien seemed almost purple.
*
Paris activated the universal translator. "Don't be afraid." He said. "I'm a friend. Who were those people who attacked you?"
*
"Enemies." came the single word answer.
*
Paris grinned wryly. "I mean, were they of your species, or another?"
*
"Oh, another." the alien hastened to comment. "Where's my ship?"
*
"Debris by now." Paris said. "I got you out of there just in time. If you can tell me where to take you, I can get you back to your main ship or your planet."
*
"You saved my life?" the alien said.
*
"Well...yeah." Paris said. "It was nothing."
*
"Oh, it was much more than nothing." the alien came over. "I now owe you my life."
*
Paris groaned. Chakotay had said as much to him after a similar situation, and Paris had found it to be a royal pain, his friend-turned-enemy-now-turned-friend-again, but still not trusting him very much. "Really, I would have done it for anybody."
*
"I know, and I believe you." the alien said. "But I am N'Gah of the N'Gimelii and I must repay this blood debt."
*
"Uh, you don't have to." Paris said.
*
"Yes, indeed I do." N'Gah said. "There is only one way to repay this debt in the Laws of the N'Gimelii. I will adopt you as my son."
*
"Son?" Paris said. "Look, tell me where to take you and I'll beam you down and you don't ever have to even tell anybody I saved your life."
*
"Where are we going?" the N'Gah said, and he pointed.
*
Paris looked out to see an incredibly large ship hovering overhead. His sensors hadn't even picked it up. "Oh, shit!" he said with heartfelt feeling. "The Captain isn't going to like this one bit! I was already supposed to be back a half hour ago." Quietly as he could, he activated his personal distress beacon.
*
* * * * *
*
"We're closing in on Paris' beacon." Kim said.
*
"Very good." Captain Janeway said. "Can you locate where it's coming from?"
*
"Not a planet. He seems to be adrift in space. I can't locate the shuttle." Kim's voice carried a bit of pain.
*
But as they closed in, their eyes showed them what their sensors could not, an immense ship. Paris was obviously aboard, and Kim heaved a sigh of relief. His friend may be captured, but he would be alive.
*
"Open hailing frequencies. Alien vessel, this is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation ship Voyager. Please respond."
*
There came a longish pause, then the screen lit to show Paris alive, dressed in odd clothing, but looking well. N'Gah was now seated at his command chair, which resembled an earthly throne. "Welcome, Federation ship Voyager." N'Gah said joyfully. "I am N'Gah of the N'Gimelii. My son has told me that you are friendly."
*
Janeway didn't make the connection. "We are happy to hear of your son's recommendation. I see you have rescued one of my crewmen. May we please request his return to our vessel?"
*
"You don't understand." N'Gah said. "My son is your former crewman."
*
"I don't understand." Janeway agreed. "Make we speak with your son directly?"
*
"But of course." N'Gah said.
*
"Paris, what is going on here?"
*
Paris gave a deprecating shrug. "I saved his life and he felt he had to repay me." Paris' eyes drifted over to Chakotay. "That meant he had to make me his adopted son."
*
"Can you leave?" Janeway asked.
*
"No, Captain." Paris admitted. "Not without offending the N'Gimelii."
*
Neelix buzzed Janeway and Janeway said, "Sound out." The picture remained. "Go ahead, Neelix."
*
"Captain, these are the N'Gimelii."
*
"So they've told me."
*
"They are a space-dwelling species, ever since their home planet was destroyed by a nearby supernova. They place great emphasis on their families, but they are quite peaceful. Very good traders, as well. I've had dealings with them from time to time in the past. I suggest you start by offering to exchange information."
*
"Very well." Kathryn flipped the "sound on" switch from her own communications panel. "N'Gah, I have been advised to offer you an information exchange."
*
"Wonderful." N'Gah said. "I need information on your people to make my son happy in his new life with me."
*
"As soon as we can set up the links, we will contact you again. Paris, is there anything we can send you?"
*
"Other than help? I can't think of anything." Paris said. "But they're treating me well. It seems I am now N'Gah's heir. Upon his death, I inherit this ship and twelve others run by his family. So everyone is being very nice to me."
*
"I'm glad to hear it, but don't start counting your profits yet. Janeway out."
*
* * * * *
*
"N'Tah?" came a timid voice at Paris' side.
*
Paris turned in exasperation to the diminutive, definitely female-type N'Gimelii at his side. "O'Tih, I told you, my name is Tom. Tom Paris. Pair. Iss. Say it."
*
"Pair. Iss." O'Tih said.
*
"Now say it all at once."
*
"N'Tah Em Paris."
*
Paris sighed. "Close enough, I guess.
*
"I must give you the honored sound." O'Tih said. "Otherwise I bring dishonor on our family, my brother."
*
"Please stop calling me your brother." Paris said. "I won't be here that long."
*
"But you are my brother." O'Tih said, her eyes wide and a little hurt. "N'Gah my father has declared you his son. I am N'Gah's daughter. Can you not rejoice with us."
*
"Maybe later." Paris sighed.
*
"I came to see if you wanted to study the Law of the N'Gimelii with me some more?"
*
Paris smiled. "All right."
*
He started to move, but O'Tih put her hand out and gestured.
*
"Oh, right!" Paris turned to N'Gah. "Father? May my sister and I go to her quarters and study?"
*
"Of course, my son." N'Gah said expansively. "My ship is yours."
*
"Right." Paris said and followed O'Tih out the door.
*
"Such a strong son I have." N'Gah mentioned to his younger brother N'Dim. "He will guide my people well when I am dead."
*
"I'm sure he will." N'Dim said. But the look in his eyes said that N'Gah's new son would not long survive his father.
*
* * * * *
*
"All right, what do we have?" Janeway asked.
*
"A very thick volume of poetry they call the Laws." Chakotay said. "It seems to govern every aspect of their lives. A person could live their entire life and never say anything except quotes from what is covered in the Laws."
*
"Is there anything in the Laws that can help us?"
*
"I have been reading them as quickly as I can." Tuvok replied. "And I see only one way to get Paris back among us without causing war with the N'Gimelii."
*
"And how is that?"
*
"An offer of alliance with the N'Gimelii by marriage." Tuvok said. "We arrange for a marriage to take place between the N'Gah's son, our Lieutenant Paris, and a member of our crew."
*
"Well." Janeway looked at B'Elenna. "I'm sure we can find someone who will be happy to marry our Lieutenant. I can annul the marriage when we get away from their ship." Janeway added, as B'Elenna's face turned from startled to angry. Her last comment caused B'Elenna to turn almost wistful. Janeway sighed. Keeping crewmembers happy with such few combinations was very tricky.
*
"I am afraid that Lieutenant Torres would not suffice." Tuvok said. "As the son and heir of a mighty ship-owner, Lieutenant Paris could not marry too much beneath himself."
*
"Then me?" Janeway asked.
*
"If we had been able to get the information on the N'Gimelii without giving anything of ourselves in return, we might have managed it. But I'm afraid that the first databank they accessed was our personnel files. The N'Gimelii only marry once, and they marry for life. You are not eligible even if your husband were dead."
*
"Then who do we have who fills the requirements?" Chakotay asked.
*
Tuvok appeared as embarrassed as any Vulcan can manage. "The N'Gimelii have a physical oddity about them. While they are unquestionably bisexual as are our own races, they have the ability to change their sexes."
*
"You mean they're male one day and female the next?" Chakotay asked, intrigued.
*
"Not quite so quickly. But over the course of a few months, upon a conscious choice by the N'Gimelii, they can change from male to female or female to male. Their costumes and even their names are designed for this. Should N'Gah convert from male to female, his name would become O'gah."
*
"Oh, God!" Janeway agreed. "How does this fact help us?"
*
"Their ship's officers are also close family members. N'Gah's first officer is also his younger brother. While they know by now by now that we are not family members, the mere fact we share this ship means we are linked, in their eyes, by relationships."
*
"So who are you suggesting be chosen as Paris' new wife?" B'Elenna asked
*
"Commander Chakotay has never been married." Tuvok said. "His rank aboard ship would be acceptable. And his sex would not be considered by the N'Gimelii to be an obstacle. I suggest, then, Commander Chakotay, that you call the ship and immediately propose to marry Lieutenant Paris."
*
B'Elenna burst into loud laughter. "I love it! Let me know when you do it. I want to set the communicators for record. He'll go ballistic!"
*
Kim joined her in laughter. "I can get a pool up if you'll give me a few hours." he said. "You know, does he say yes? Does he faint? Does he get angry?"
*
Janeway grinned but cut the fun short. "It has its humorous aspects." she agreed. "But if it will get us back our Lieutenant with no hurt feelings on the part of the N'Gimelii, then I say we do it. I'll be happy to perform the ceremony for you."
*
"The N'Gimelii require that the ceremony take place on a planet." Tuvok said. "I will scan for a Class M we can use."
*
"In the meantime, Commander, I suggest you practice getting down on one knee." Janeway said. "Meeting adjourned."
*
Chakotay followed her out. "Captain...."
*
Janeway cut him off. "Commander, I know this is personally embarrassing for you and for Lieutenant Paris, but you have heard the alternative. I'd rather have these people our allies if they are widespread enough to be known by Neelix and be in this sector as well. We could use their help."
*
"Just what do I have to do?" Chakotay asked.
*
"Propose." Janeway said.
*
"I mean, for the marriage ceremony."
*
"I don't know. I suggest you ask Tuvok."
*
Tuvok had come up behind them and his name was enough to permit him to join in. "The marriage festivity is a joyous occasion, full of colorful costumes and high spirits. After the ceremony of joining, there is a witnessing of the defloration of the bride...."
*
"What?" Chakotay said.
*
"It is a ritual only." Tuvok hastened to say. "People will be present, but they will be facing away from you. Surely you and Paris can arrange to make a few appropriate noises while you pretend to engage in sexual intercourse."
*
"So I get to lie on top of Lieutenant Paris, probably both of us nude, and make grunting noises?" Chakotay said.
*

"That is essentially the concept." Tuvok agreed. "With a rising crescendo at the end, and then everyone cheers your success and gives you their wishes that your marriage will be fruitful."
*
"It'd take more than good wishes for that to happen." Chakotay said.
*
"We could speak to the Doctor about a little assistance should you two decide to continue your marriage." Janeway said. Chakotay looked, but there was no smile on her face. "Otherwise, after the ceremony, what happens?"
*
"As the younger, Paris would be expected to join us rather than Chakotay join the N'Gimelii." Tuvok said. "The N'Gimelii will assume him to take the submissive role in the relationship. Another reason I suggested Commander Chakotay over Lieutenant Torres."
*
"Commander, if you're that uncomfortable with doing this, I will ask Tuvok to continue reading the Laws and try to find another solution."
*
"No, Captain." Chakotay said. "I'm a little uneasy about this solution, but it seems to be safe enough. But I won't get down on one knee in front of Paris. He could take that the wrong way."
*
"The N'Gimelii don't kneel to propose." Tuvok said. "They don't even speak directly to their intended. They speak to the father and the words are set forth in the Laws."
*
"How do they go?" Chakotay said.
*
Tuvok paused, then said, "Honored one, your child has graces of a gazelle and the charms of a delicate flower. I would humbly ask you to let me pick this fragrant flower and plant it in my own garden, for I would then be the most grateful of all creatures."
*
Kim and B'Elenna, behind them, burst into more laughter.
*
Chakotay said, "Am I ever going to be able to live this down?"
*
B'Elenna and Kim looked at each other. "No." And laughter followed their group down the passageway.
*
* * * * *
*
"Voyager is hailing us." N'Dim said to N'Gah.
*
"Open channels." N'Gah said. He turned to his new son. "How are you doing with your studies, my son?"
*
"Well enough." Paris said. "There's a lot to learn."
*
"Yes, but the Laws are what hold us together as a people." N'Gah said. "Read them again and again until they become a very part of your being. Until then, O'Tih, be his constant guidebook to the Laws."
*
"Yes, Father." O'Tih said.
*
"I don't see why you don't become his heir." Paris whispered to her.
*
"You are older than I am." O'Tih said. "I was his heir until you were born in my father's debt of honor."
*
"But that's not right." Paris said, exasperated. "You should inherit your father's ships, not me. Just because I saved his life...."
*
"He owes you more than his life. He owes you everything he possesses, and he has given them to you, by making you his son. It is a high honor. Accept it." O'Tih said complaisantly.
*
Paris sighed.
*
The screen came to clear. Commander Chakotay's face was in the screen.
*
"He looks odd." Paris said. "Last time I saw a look on his face like that, he was about to order some Maqui to fly a death mission."
*
"May I speak to you, honored sir?" Chakotay said.
*
N'Gah waved his hand. "Speak." he said.
*
"Father does not know this man. " O'Tih explained. "Father, it is the second in command of their ship."
*
N'Gah sat up straight. "I attend your words." He said.
*
O'Tih smiled.
*
"N'Gah, your..." Chakotay paused, and Paris heard a titter from the screen. What was so damned funny here?
*
"Honored one, your child has the graces of a gazelle and the charms of a delicate flower. I would humbly ask you to let me pick this fragrant flower and plant it in my own garden, for I would then be the most grateful of all creatures." Chakotay said.
*
"What is he doing?" Paris whispered, seeing everyone react.
*
"You are honored. Your second in command is proposing marriage."
*
"To who?" Paris wanted to know.
*
O'Tih looked at Paris, puzzled. "You, of course."
*
"Wha--?" Paris looked at Chakotay as he continued.
*
"Let our lines become one and let our fortunes and families extend through the stars. We will have a galaxy of happiness, and it will extend when your flower becomes my own."
*
Chakotay bowed his head and N'Gah considered it. "Your position is an honored one." he agreed. "And I am honored you wish my son for your wife. I had worried about his being able to have sons and daughters of his own, but if I marry him to one of his own species, there will be no problem with that."
*
"His wife?" Paris' voice raised and cracked.
*
Chakotay looked at him, and the stolid, dark face could not hide a blush creeping up his neck.
*
"Father will not agree." O'Tih said. "To get you as a son and lose you so quickly to this man. He will not agree."
*
"Oo-oh!" Paris said. "Now I understand completely. How do I convince our father to let me marry this man?"
*
O'Tih looked disappointed. "I will give you the words. Let us go and stand before him."
*
* * * * *
*
Chakotay was standing on the bridge with what he hoped was confident poise. The ensigns were all giggling and he couldn't really blame them. Kim and B'Elenna were right, he'd never live this down, and neither would Paris!
*
Paris stepped to one side of N'Gah on the screen, and a smaller N'Gimelii was at his side. She whispered to him and Paris obviously echoed her words.
*
"My father, put aside your fears. This is the one I choose. His title is honorable and so is his demeanor. His body is--like a lion I would ride?" the last on a rising note of incredulity. He closed his eyes and rocked in the pain of humilation. "Oh, man!" he said. The smaller N'Gimelii tugged his arm and he recovered. "I want this one for my husband, to." There was a sizeable pause while the smaller one repeated the last phrase, "to take my gift of my body and use it as he will! Harry, you'd better not be transmitting this any further than the bridge!"
*
"Keep calm, Lieutenant." Janeway said. "N'Gah, my son has offered marriage to your daughter, Paris. Let our ships fly as one craft through the cosmos."
*
"I will consider this." N'Gah said and cut the screen quickly.
*
"Paris realized what we were doing." Tuvok analyzed. "His words will carry great weight. The N'Gah cannot refuse Chakotay as a son-in-law now without losing honor in the eyes of his family."
*
"Tuvok, I keep worrying that we're overlooking something. What could possibly go wrong here?"
*
"A great deal." Tuvok admitted. "The Laws are not so much a code as a long work of poetry. There are innumerable passages where I could be misconstruing the meaning, or where the meaning has changed since the words were written down many centuries ago."
*
"What's the worst thing from our point of view." Janeway said.
*
"If N'Gah declares that Paris is older than Chakotay." Tuvok said. "We would lose them both. In fact, we would all become chattels of the N'Gah. At least until the N'Gimelii have a conference, and that only happens every five hundred years."
*
"Long enough to delay our getting home." Janeway said. "Come on, N'Gah, call us back!"
*
* * * * *
*
N'Gah paced. "My son, I have only just found you! How can I lose you again so soon?"
*
"You won't be losing me." Paris said. "You didn't have me yesterday. What will you lose if you don't have me tomorrow?"
*
"Do you want this man?" N'Gah asked. "Is he truly the man you love?"
*
Paris paused. This was a hard question to answer. "Well, father, I have known him for a long time..."
*
"I have known many N'Gimelii a long time and I would not have ever married them!" N'Gah dashed. "Do your loins burn at the sight of him? Do you dream of having his manhood inside of you, pulsing in desire until he fills you with the joy of new life?"
*
These were words from the Law, Paris knew. But the images they invoked from several half-remembered dreams were suddenly vivid before him. "Yes, Father, I do." he said. To his surprise, he was telling the complete truth! Better not let Chakotay ever guess that about me! he decided.
*
"Then it shall be done!" N'Gah said. "N'Dim! Call back Voyager and settle the dowry my son is to take with him. And do not be stingy. My son shall not be small in honor before these people!"
*
* * * * *
*
Captains Log, Personal Entry--The N'Gimelii have given us an enormous dowry for the marriage of Paris to Chakotay. With the aid of the supplies they have beamed to our cargo holds, we can travel for many months before having to stop and replenish. Still, Chakotay seems more and more uncomfortable with the passing days. It's not the teasing, which is unavoidable. Something else about this is getting to him.
*
Janeway read over and sent the log entry to storage. She looked up at Chakotay, reading a storage chart. Nothing odd, except that he had been reading that storage chart for the past hour. "Chakotay, in my ready room!" she said finally.
*
She got up and made it to the door, looked back, and saw she was alone. "Chakotay!"
*
"Hm?" Chakotay looked up. "Sorry, Captain. I was thinking."
*
"Pre-wedding jitters." someone said.
*
"Enough of the jokes." Janeway snapped. "They were funny the first few hours, but give them a rest!"
*
Chakotay followed her in to complete silence. "Now, what's bothering you?" She demanded.
*
"Captain?"
*
"You've been drawing inside yourself ever since you made that marriage proposal. If this is bothering you, I could always...."
*
"No, Captain." Chakotay cut her off, something he rarely did.
*
"Then what? So we arrange a fake marriage for a few hours. It's better than fighting these people. Isn't it bad enough with the Kazon and the Borg to add these people to our list of enemies?"
*
"It's not that, either."
*
"Then what?"
*
"Captain, you don't know my people." Chakotay said. "We don't take marriage lightly. For me to propose marriage to Tom's adopted father and not take it seriously is an insult in the eyes of my people as much as those of the N'Gimelii."
*
"Are you saying you want to actually marry Tom Paris?" Janeway asked.
*
"I don't mean exactly that." Chakotay said. "But I'm saying that if I go up there and take the vow, I'll take it seriously. We will be married."
*
"But two men, in olden times, that wasn't even allowed, was it?"
*
"Depended on the culture. It wasn't common among my ancestors, but it was done from time to time." Chakotay said. "Especially among the mystics of my people."
*
"Well, if you want to say 'I do' and mean it, that's your affair." Janeway said. "But I don't imagine Tom will be thinking anything more than 'Great, now I can get out of this place.'"
*
"I know." Chakotay admitted. "I'll try and explain things to him before the ceremony."
*
* * * * *
*
N'Dim met with his immediate family in a little-used part of the ship. "I think the day has finally come for the family of N'Dim to take control of this clan." he said.
*
"Why is that?" a cousin asked him.
*
"Have you been reading the database we got from Voyager?"
*
The cousin shuddered. "Anarchy."
*
"I stuck with it long enough to find out one thing. They don't change sexes."
*
There was a muttered gasp among his people. "But the marriage about to happen...."
*
"Cannot possibly produce children. They are both males, and will remain males until they die."
*
There was a brief incoherent discussion. "What shall we do?"
*
"When it comes time for the defloration of the bride." N'Dim said. "We shall not turn our backs. When these two males try to fake making love, we will declare the dishonor of N'Gah. His son and heir will be his downfall."
*
Behind a set of boxes, O'Tih, in her private space for her old playthings and new items she didn't want to share with the family, listened to every word.
*

She must warn her brother.
*
* * * * *
*
Paris listened to her, and tried to act surprised. "Do you mean that my relatives are going to be watching to see if I actually get--deflowered?"
*
"Yes." O'Tih said. "And you must not pretend this act. It will destroy my father and my family. N'Dim's family will take over his ships and his titles. Please, call back this man and call off the wedding."
*
"I can't do that." Paris said.
*
"But you must. If you are male, then you couldn't possibly have a virginity to offer, not now and not ever. Please, N'Tah-Em, there will be others who will seek your hand. Or you could seek. Even here in this ship there are those who would be happy to be your wives."
*
The look in her eyes told Paris who one of those would be. He lifted her head up gently. "You don't understand. I have to get home again. The only way I can is if I marry someone from Voyager."
*
"But does it have to be this man?" O'Tih begged. "How can you possibly be deflowered by him at the wedding ceremony tonight?"
*
"I don't know." Paris admitted. "But I'll think of something." Actually, he admitted, what he meant was he would be trying to think of something besides the obvious answer!
*
O'Tih finally let go of him and smiled. "Then let us think of other things for a few hours to exercise your body and rest your mind. It will let you think clearly. I could call my cousins and arrange a game of grav-ball."
*
"All right." Paris said.
*
"Paris played the game, really meant for N'Gimelii children, but difficult for him with its changing gravitational fields. He finished tired, sweaty, and looking at O'Tih and her cousins. If he didn't go through with this, they'd become dishonored members of the family of a dishonored captain. He had read what happened to such families. He didn't like it one bit.
*
O'Tih was right. His mind was clear, and the decision had been made.
*
* * * * *
*
The Voyager bridge crew left their ship in the hands of their "skeleton crew" and beamed over for the festivities. B'Elenna was practically bubbling. "I can't wait to see this." she said. "Both of those big lunks standing there and trying to pretend they're madly in love with each other! This is going to be so damned funny! Wait until he sees my wedding gift!"
*
"I hope we didn't get him the same thing." Kim smirked, toting a similar sized package.
*
"Don't worry." B'Elenna said. "If you got him what I got him, he can use the spare."
*
"You should control yourself, Lieutenant Torres." Tuvok said. "Chakotay has behaved very calmly through this entire matter."
*
Kes was with them. "How do you think they'll really behave?" she asked.
*
Tuvok got directions from a servant and led the way to Paris' chambers. "I think that Lieutenant Paris will behave in a manner appropriate for an officer of Starfleet."
*
And as he opened the door, Paris' shout hit them. "No! I'm not coming out! Never!"
*
"What's going on?" Tuvok asked Captain Janeway.
*
She turned to him. "Lieutenant Paris has locked himself in the bathroom."
*
Kim looked at B'Elenna. "Sounds appropriate to me."
*
B'Elenna looked at Kim. "Yes. I am inspired by his courage."
*
"Enough of you two." Janeway said. She pounded on the door. "Paris! Listen to me! It's not that bad!"
*
"Yes it is!" Paris screamed. "I'm not going to be married in this get-up. Forget it!"
*
"I am so sorry." a N'Gimelii snivelled. "I studied your databanks very carefully. I chose the wedding garment for its color, quality of materials and flattering cut. I didn't know!"
*
"You did a wonderful job." Janeway assured him while she shuffled him out the door. "It's a beautifully authentic work, one I never thought to see so far from our home world. You are a master at your craft. He will wear it, never fear. I'll see to that. Paris!" she shouted again. "It's not that bad!"
*
"Yes, it is!" he shouted again.
*
"Is it that bad?" B'Elenna asked.
*
Janeway looked, gave a stifled grin and nodded. "It's pretty bad. The N'Gimelii forgot about one basic aspect of human behavior. Given their own culture, it's perfectly understandable. Paris! Your friends are all out here, and I promise you, none of us are going to laugh! Chakotay had to wear a traditional N'Gimelii costume and you should see it. Enough color to knock you blind. He looks like a harlequin with feathers! You'll look okay next to him." Pause. "There's not time for the N'Gimelii to make another costume for you. You have to wear this one. Now come on out."
*
"Okay. But if anyone laughs, I'll punch them right in the nose!" Paris said.
*
"All right, everyone, act like Starfleet officers. Anyone so much as smirks, and I'll revoke their replicator rations for a month. Understand me?" Janeway said. Then she snorted, stifled her laugh. "And that goes for me, too."
*
Kim had squinched his eyes shut. "Oh, please!" he said. "Let it be what I think it's going to be, please!"
*
"What? What?" B'Elenna said.
*
Paris walked out.
*
Kim said. "It is."
*
"Go ahead." Paris said. "Laugh. Get it over with." Standing there in his white-lace, full- length wedding gown, complete with headpiece, veil, train and a bouquet of small blue flowers held in hands wearing gloves that went to his elbows.
*
"I'm not laughing." Kim said.
*
"Not me." B'Elenna chimed in.
*
"Well, you ought to be." Paris looked down at himself. "Every one of you has to be holding back some really cute comment, so why don't you all just say it and get it over with."
*
"We promise we'll hold them back until the day you can look back on this and laugh." B'Elenna said.
*
Paris managed a smile. "Thanks, guys. I owe you big time for this. I just hope the rest of the Voyager crew can be as decent about this predicament I'm in. Next time I get the chance to play the hero, I'm going to pass to the next guy in line."
*
"Let's go get you married." Kim said. "I always wanted to be there on the day you got married."
*
"Yeah?" Paris said.
*
"Yeah. And I have to say one thing." Kim paused.
*
"What?" Paris said suspiciously.
*
"You've never looked lovelier." Kim laughed. "A month of Neelix's cooking! It was worth it!" he crowed. "It was worth it!"
*
"Hah. Hah." Paris said. "With friends like this, who needs the Borg?"
*
* * * * *
*
Outside, Paris broke away from the others and spoke urgently with the Doctor, who nodded, pulled out a travel hypo, and shot Paris full of it. "That should take care of it." he said when he was done. "But I am puzzled about your costume."
*
"What?" Paris said.
*
"Well, as I understand the meaning of the color white, isn't it rather inappropriate?" the Doctor said, essayed a rather odd smile, in that his lips were the only part of his body that moved.
*
"Developing a sense of humor, Doctor?" Paris said. "I'll be sure to laugh at that one as soon as I get over being so damned scared."
*
"Wedding day jitters are quite common." the Doctor said. "I could add a mild sedative on top of the dose I just gave you. It should be enough to allay your nervousness."
*

"Thanks, anyway, Doctor, but I got other problems." Paris said. "Where's my, uh, betrothed?"
*
"Over there." the Doctor pointed. Paris looked and managed to smile. Janeway was right. He looked like a partihued parrot. Paris heard laughter, looked, saw three female ensigns he had been dating off-and-on for some time. "Be sure to throw the bouquet our way, honey." one said. Another chipped in, "I always figured I'd lose him, but I figured it would be to one of you two." Another cackle of laughter.
*
Paris ignored them, made his way to Chakotay. The women called after him, "Hey, it's bad luck for a bride to be seen by the groom before the wedding!"
*
Paris made it to Chakotay, and the two of them carried on a very private conversation, full of quiet intensity. Janeway watched, curiously, as Chakotay at first seemed surprised, then nodded, then blushed. Paris flushed bright red as well, but he kept on talking. The Doctor joined them, and at Chakotay's request, gave him a hypo shot. Wonder what that was about, Janeway thought to herself. Music welled and she looked up. Whoops, wedding started. Always figured she'd be the one having to perform the ceremony, so she cherished the role of spectator, sitting in the front row aisle.
*
The ceremony was long and flowery in its language. Giggles permeated the entire section of humans. The N'Gimelii, though, seemed very nervous. Janeway found herself watching one who she knew to be the N'Gah's brother and second in command. It was like he was plotting mutiny.
*
Finally, just when Janeway was wondering how much more she could take, it was done. The N'Gimelii apparently didn't believe in kissing the bride, but instead immediately wheeled out a small mattress.
*
"Let the new couple shed their garments and prove their love before the assembly, like the two halves of an etu fruit, two in form but one together, forever."
*
The N'Gimelii immediately got up from their chairs and proceeded to surround half the bed. A gesture from the priest, and Janeway realized, motioned her crewmembers forward to form the other side of the circle.
*
There were a few more words chanted as Chakotay and Paris, prompted by gestures, began to remove their clothes. Janeway found herself staring at the two men as Paris fought the zipper behind him, and Chakotay, realizing, moved to undo it himself. A nice touch, she thought, makes them appear more loving. Chakotay's hands moved over Paris' shoulders like a loving caress.
*
The Doctor was beside her. "Excellent." He whispered. "I judged the dosage correctly."
*
"What is it?" Janeway asked.
*
"For Lieutenant Paris, Tritosthezine, to let him relax his muscles by changing pain sensations into pleasurable sensations. To facilitate the defloration. For Chakotay, Xexol, which is wonderful at removing emotional inhibitions." The Doctor saw her startled look. "They asked me for it and they obviously needed it."
*
"I agree." Janeway said. "But do you mean to tell me that they actually plan to go through with this--defloration?"
*
"Yes, I believe they do." The Doctor said. "Isn't it called for in the rituals?"
*
"My God!" Janeway said, turned back to the proceeding. Watched as Chakotay's hands stroked Paris' body now uncovered to the waist, cupping Paris' nipple and pinching as he slid his hands over the taut breast. Paris moaned at the pinch and moved, and the ludicrous gown fell to his feet in an oval pile, leaving him wearing nothing but a small pair of briefs. Which did nothing to hide his rather prominent erection beneath it!
*
The priest moved around. "Now is the time when our people turn their backs." he said to the Captain.
*
Janeway caught everyone's eyes and made a circling motion, and the crew turned, obviously reluctant to miss this sight but obeying their captain. Janeway turned, stepping so she could keep an eye on her mischievous crew.
*
"No." N'Gah's voice said. "N'Dim, what is your family doing? Give my son and his husband their privacy in this moment. It is in the Laws!"
*
"I take the dishonor on myself." N'Dim said. "We know your son to be no N'Gimelii, and he will not have a virginity to offer this human. How will they make love? It is you who will bear the dishonor."
*
"Very well." N'Gah said. "Let it be done. But I shall remember this insult." N'Gah turned to Paris. "My son, it seems you must love your husband for the first time to a crowd of watchers. I cannot stop this, but I can avenge it."
*
"Thank you." Paris said, hissed as Chakotay's hands moved to his groin and stroked across his crotch. "Oh, God, I don't care right now! I don't care! Let everyone watch!"
*
Janeway could not stop her crew with that comment no matter what she could have said. She turned herself and looked at her first office and navigator as they peeled off their briefs to be nude before each other and the assembly. Twin erections were seen, a pale, circumcised cock on Paris meeting a darker uncut one on Chakotay, to be crushed between them as they embraced, and kissed fervently!
*
"They have taken drugs!" N'Dim stated. "I saw their physician giving them the dose with my own eyes."
*
"When has that been against the Laws?" N'Gah asked. "Your own wife smoked a chirpa root in order to make it through the ceremony."
*
"But they have been drugged into behaving as they do. Ask their physician!"
*
"Physician of the humans, tell my stupid younger brother what you have given my son and his husband."
*
"Lieutenant Paris received 3 milligrams of a sensory alteration drug. He is undoubtedly finding that it is converting the pain of embarrassment into physical pleasure when combined with Chakotay's stroking motions. Commander Chakotay has received 5 milligrams of Xexol, which merely frees a person of their inhibitions. Neither of these drugs compel behavior."
*
"Satisfied?" N'Gah said. "Or have you not disrupted this solemn moment sufficiently?"
*
"I will be satisfied when they have coupled." N'Dim said. "And not before."
*
"My son, you should let your husband take you now."
*
"I could use some lubrication." Paris panted.
*
"That is not permitted under our Laws." N'Gah said sadly.
*
"No matter." Paris said and the Voyager crew gasped as he knelt down and took Chakotay's hard cock into his mouth and slurped with obvious enjoyment. Chakotay's hands reached down to nestle inside his hair and the only sound in the astonished assembly was the smallest suckling sounds as Paris slathered Chakotay's love muscle with his saliva.
*
Paris stood at the end and wiped his lips. "That should do it. Let's do this now, Chakotay, before I lose my nerve. Right now!"
*
Chakotay was fully in the grip of the drug and his own desires, he lowered Paris to the mattress and, as Paris wrapped his arms and legs around Chakotay's dusky body, Chakotay entered him without hesitation.
*
"A-a-a-a-a-a-aaahh!" came a sighing like sound from Paris as he was impaled.
*
And B'Elenna fainted dead away at the sight. Kim caught her and held her up, until she recovered, but he could not take his eyes off his best friend as he was being fucked by Chakotay.
*
"Pause but a moment, my son-in-law." N'Gah said. "Witness, one and all, the blood on the mattress, testifying to the defloration of my child, O'tah-Em by his husband, N'Cha-Koh-Tey. Let no one doubt that this marriage has been confirmed."
*
"It is confirmed." came an answering murmur from the N'Gimelii.
*
"It is confirmed." Janeway said, alone of the Voyager crew.
*
"Complete the defloration, my son-in-law." N'Gah said. "Until you have planted your seed within my daughter's fallow field, the act is not yet done."
*
"Come on, Chakotay." Paris said. "Before the drug wears off and this starts to hurt instead of feeling so God-damned good!"
*
There were no more laughs from their crewmates. Everyone had been so dazed by events that a dead silence and wide-eyed gazes were all that emanated from the crew as Chakotay began to fuck Paris, wringing sounds of pleasure from his young mate, who clawed at his back with touches that first were gentle, then dug in and held tightly as Paris' climax approached. Chakotay grimaced at the piercing of his back by Paris' fingernails, and the pain turned to pleasure, and he was orgasming, shooting his white load into Paris' body while Paris in turn sprayed them both with a hot flood of liquid passion.
*
As the sounds of their lovemaking ended, and Chakotay fell, gasping atop Paris. The priest intoned. "It is done! A life-bond has been created. Let all who witnessed it never attempt to break this bond!"
*
And the N'Gimelii gave forth with a booming sound that was their form of a cheer, and Tuvok realized it, said, "Everyone applaud now." Clapping hands turned to sounds and some laughter, but Paris, lying there beneath Chakotay's heaving body, sticky with his own jism and feeling utterly drained, found that he didn't mind in the least.
*
* * * * *
*
Janeway went into Sickbay to see Paris sitting on a bed. "Well, you don't seem any the worse for wear, other than a little blood loss." The Doctor was saying. "I've repaired the minor tears in your rectum and deadened the pain, and you should be as good as new in a short time."
*
"Thanks." Paris said, slipping off the table with a quick grimace. "Hello, Captain." he said. "Don't I get any time off for a honeymoon?"
*
"Take the rest of the day." Janeway said. "Just be back at your post by 0800 tomorrow."
*
Paris gave an exaggerated pout. "I thought two weeks was the common leave granted by Starfleet."
*
"It is, but I need you at the helm." Janeway said. "How do you feel?"
*
"Yes." The Doctor said. "How is married life?"
*
Paris grinned. "Frankly, Doctor, I find it's a pain in the ass. I'll just be glad to get my things out of Chakotay's room and get my life back in order again."
*
"You'd better hold off on that until you hear out your visitor." Janeway said as she gestured and a small form slipped out from behind her.
*
"O'Tih!" Paris said.
*
"N'Tih." he corrected Paris. "With you gone, my father beseeched me to become male so I could take his place one day. I have bowed to his wishes as a dutiful child should."
*
"Well, I know you'll be a better captain than he was, if the help you've given me and the Voyager is any indication." Paris said.
*
"That is why I am here." N'Tih said. "To warn you."
*
"Of what?" Paris said.
*
"My uncle N'Dim is still seeking to use you to remove my father from power. You have seen how our people's ships don't show up on any scanning device."
*
"Yes, I have." Paris said. "How does that work?"
*
"Borti." N'Tih explained. "It converts the frequencies other than visible light into tachyon particles."
*
"N'Gah gave Voyager a coating of borti as part of his dowry for you." Janeway explained. "It doesn't work as well on the materials we use, but it will help keep us off Borg scanners."
*
"It does more, as well." N'Tih said. "It is possible to pick up the tachyon particles and convert them into visible light again with the proper equipment. We use it for instantaneous communication. With the borti coating Voyager, my uncle can watch you and your husband at any time, anywhere on this ship."
*
"You mean we're going to be spied upon? Constantly?" Paris asked.
*
N'Tih nodded. "I fear that is true. N'Dim will not rest until he has proof that you have ended your marriage. That will let him dishonor my father and remove him from power."
*
"Then...that means...."
*
"Yes." N'Tih said. "And I have come to beg you to make your marriage last. I know your people allow marriages to end, but the N'Gimelii do not. When you divorce N'Cha-Koh- Tey, my dearest O'Tah-Em, my father will be removed from command."
*
"So I have to keep living with Chakotay?" Paris said, incredulously.
*
"By the Laws of the N'Gimelii, you must also make love at least three times per week." N'Tih reminded him.
*
"Great Jesus Christ!" Paris said, running his fingers through his hair. "What the hell am I going to do, Captain? Once was all right, even fun in a kinky sort of way, but three times a week! Ye-ow!"
*
"I can give you both a regular prescription for the Xexol." The Doctor said. "It isn't habit-forming and it should make your love life much easier."
*
"I suggest you start by having a heart-to-heart talk with Chakotay." Janeway said. "See what you can work out."
*
"I'd better do just that." Paris said. "He's at least going to have to trade off with me half the time. Rank does NOT count in the bedroom!"
*
"Doctor." Kes said. "I was wondering about one thing you said at the wedding. The drug you gave Paris, I don't recall that particular feature about it."
*
"It doesn't." The Doctor said. "Tritosthezine only deadens pain signals from the nerves. I thought that the Lieutenant could use a little bit of placebo to assist him through the ceremony. It seems to have worked quite well."
*
"Then Paris actually enjoyed himself." Kes dimpled.
*
"Exactly. And we would be indiscreet to ever mention this again."
*
"I understand."
*
Janeway smiled as she watched her young officer walk away. What would he do when he found out that Chakotay was just as serious about the marriage as the N'Gimelii? How would Paris handle his own feelings under the circumstances? It would make for some interesting observations in the days to come.
*

THE END OF PART ONE

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After the Laughter