It was late, and Dante kicked a random box of, something, out of the way as he fiddled with the small replicator trying to program in the latest weird craving that Natasha decided she wanted today. It was 4am local time, but did she want breakfast, no, she decided to invent something he had never even heard of. “Baby are you sure you want this? Like, really? I cant just get you a banana and a chocolate bar or something?”
Turning away from his gorgeous, Moby Daye sized and very demanding pregnant bridezilla, Dante mouthed what she had just said silently and kept pushing buttons. Pausing a moment he took a look at some of the boxes, for some reason Natasha had decided she needed all of this, and it was too much to fit in the Geralts cargo hold as they travelled to Gamma Tiltium for their wedding. He shook his head and hit the final button, the delicacy appearing before his eyes and the smell of it instantly filling the shuttle.
“Really, baby.” He picked up the hot bowl of chicken noodle soup and looked down into it. Floating in the top were odd fluffy grain like orange sticks that were giving off an obvious fake cheese scent, the orange powder seeming to be floating off into the bowl.
“Where in any quadrant, did you ever decide or learn about chicken noodle soup and these things called cheetos? Mixed together? I think I’d rather have Gagh.”
Captain Knight, CO
“Parenting Magazine,” Natasha said taking her first sip. The look on her face spoke volumes. She was in heaven as she ate her breakfast. Curling up in the co pilot seat, Natasha tucked her feet under her assuming almost the exact same position she had almost three years ago. That time she was headed to a new ship: the Saracen. This time she was headed to a new life: as Mrs. Dante Knight. Looking out the cockpit window, Natasha saw the first glimpses of Gamma Tiltium’s curve against the blackness of the starry night. Pulling a PaDD from the seat next to her, Natasha gave Dante a smile. “If you had to pick your favorite letter what would it be? 1. A vowel. 2. A consonant. 3. A dipthong,” Natasha read the quiz out to him. It had been a long time since she polled Dante for her online quizzes. Almost three years in fact but it was time to get back to the basics of who they were.
“A consonant,” Dante said as he sat down in the pilots seat beside her, watching with some concern as she ate her breakfast. Three years ago they had started a new life, one that was bound to have a few bumps and curves on the way but one that both of them had always wanted. Dante smiled at her as he watched her, she was his everything and always had been and now, she was going to add something that was going to be their everything. He knew that wanted to marry her, to show her that what he felt was real and meant something to him. That she meant everything to him and was the woman he wanted to be with. Three years ago on a shuttle they had come to the Saracen to start a new life. Now, they were on a shuttle travelling to meet their friends and family. People who loved them, so that Natasha and Dante could start another new chapter in their life, as Husband and Wife.
“Consonants are the things that make everything else work, bind it all as one. Everybody give the vowels and dipthongs special attention when they couldn’t do what they do without the consonants.” He turned to her and smiled, until he saw the bowl of chicken soup and cheetos. He avoided looking at that and looked at Nat instead, “Next Question…”
“What is the best neutral color A. White B. Gray or C. Beige,” Natasha asked and let out a loud laugh. If anyone ever cloned her husband there would be one thing that she would use to tell them apart: His revulsion on the color beige. Since she had met him Dante had never liked beige and this was a continual theme in his life. His tirades on the color over the years had sent her into fits of giggles. Dante was passionate about many things and lad back on all the others. If you got him in the right mood and mentioned beige however, he typically became a one-man stand up comic due to his fiery rhetoric of why the color should be stripped from existence. This would always be her sure-fire way to know it was Dante and not some cloned imposter.
Lt. Natasha Knight medical
Dante almost coughed on the coffee he had just taken a mouthful of, well choked was likely the wrong word, he snorted and a trickle of coffee emerged from his nose which led to a series of mouth closed ‘coughs as Dante tried to control the urge to spit out the coffee, swallow it and stop the nasal caffeine drip all in one moment. “Seriously?” He asked her, looking at her with a highly raised eyebrow the moment he had conquered the demons. “You wait till I have a mouthful before asking that? Eat your cheetos and like them.” He turned back to the controls and viewport, but worked hard to stifle a grin and keep the serious look on his face. He had to regain some kind of dignity at least.
Natasha let out a huge laugh. “I will,” she said taking another huge bite off her breakfast. “Foh answer dis, hite, aige, or ay,” Natasha said talking with her mouthful. Of course, she covered her mouth with her hand but this only seemed to make her speech more mumbled. Being with Dante for the past fifteen years, however, would have allowed the man to interpret her speech without much trouble.
“Does that actually say that?” Dante asked skeptically, “I mean the answer has to be B. Gray is the only valid answer.” Turning back to her he reached out, and put a finger over her lips in the time honored “shush’ gesture, as he picked up the coffee cup again and took a drink, his eyes on her the whole time.
“Ugh you just have gunmetal gray on your brain becuase you love Starfleet and they are all gray,” she rolled her eyes stirring her breakfast. “You know I am right. I think you mom lied. You did not have animals on your mobile but little gray constitution class starships circling your bed. You know I could he answered this without your help but give me your line of reasoning.”
“First of all, white is not a colour, So it can’t be on that list. Secondly, Beige is not a colour. It is the evil embodiment of despair and sorrow,”
“Despair and sorrow,” Natasha raised an eyebrow yet her soon to be husband ignored her interruption and continued.
“the culmination of thousands of generations of suffering, of below par performance. Of grandmothers who give handkerchiefs for Christmas.” Dante reached out again and patted Nat’s tummy gently, then leaned forward and gave it a kiss before he spoke directly to their baby. “Don’t you worry my little neonato, I will fight Babushka for you on that one, no handkerchiefs for you. I promise okay. I’ll lose, your Babushka is an intergalactic ninja with a rolling pin, but I’ll fight her for you.”
Now he followed Natasha’s tummy up, past her curves so he was face to face with her, but much,much closer. “Lets just, put that over there, shall we?” He moved the soup and cheeto mix to the side and put it on a small table, out of Nat’s reach. “Beige is not a colour, okay? So we go with B. As in, I want to be with my wife to be.” He kissed her gently, softly. “Next question?”
“What is ambrosia a salad or a pudding,” Natasha said and slowly drew out her words as her mind drifted elsewhere. “Are you sure Kelly is going to be there? Last I heard she was halfway across the quadrant?”
Gamma Tiltium Beach
A soft breeze blew the white silk tulle gently against the archway. Everything had been set up according to Natasha’s dream. She and Dante had come to this spot for years to dream about their future. From ensigns without a credit between them to the respected officers they became, this spot on the sand held all their dreams and the hopes of their future. It was the only place Natasha could imagine to start their life together. Dante would have given her the world. He would have married her anywhere yet this stretch of sand was the only place she wanted. White chairs, arranged in rows, sat empty for now. Soon they would be filled with guests. Pink and purple flower petals lined a long stretch of white fabric that she would walk down. Bouquets of flowers sat in vases lined the front of the archway while the soft blues of a turquoise sea framed the spot as their backdrop. The sound of the ocean had a soothing rhythm as the last of the touches were being added by the men and women of the USS Atlantis.
Natasha had been ready to hire a team of workers yet Kelly had refused. Instead, a slew of crewman prepared everything as diagrammed out as if it were a white-glove inspection. Kelly was overseeing the event with the sharp eye of the most diligent wedding planner. Nothing would come between her two friends on this day. This was why Dante was safely getting ready in the diplomatic suite and Natasha in Kelly’s quarters. No detail would be left to chance on her watch. Heck if the planet were to blow up, Kelly, being a captain, had the power to wed them if need be. Before the sunset over the waters of the ocean, her two friends would be married.
Lt.Natasha Knight Medical
USS Atlantis Diplomatic Suites
In the Diplomatic Suite Dante paced the room in front of the large window, Gamma Tiltium visible below and off in the distance, Outpost 42 where Natasha had been posted for years and he had used as a base for patrols in this sector. Duncan was also there, his friend who had let him and Natasha use his holiday home on Gamma Tiltium on many occasions including now, for their wedding and honeymoon.
Duncan watched him, both men dressed in their suits and ready for the day ahead of them. “You look worried,” he said quietly. Duncan always had the relaxed yet serious poise of a man who knew exactly what he was doing at every moment, a habit from his upbringing no doubt that drove Dante wild as his own hot blooded passions never stayed still long enough for him to come close to Duncans suave confidence. Like now, Duncan was sitting on the sofa of the Diplomatic Suite looking like he was the Captain of a Starship, and not a simple Lieutenant and Department Head of Science on Gamma Tiltium.
“Yes,” Dante said and muttered something in Italian under his breath that made Duncan raise an eyebrow. “This is the third time my friend, third. First time, I was called away to an emergency. Natasha would have killed Kelly and I had the wedding actually gone ahead, but we would still have been married. Second time, I told you about Natasha losing the baby and never telling me until recently.” Duncan nodded, and pushed himself to his feet to walk over to his friend, putting a hand on his shoulder.
“That wasn’t your fault and she had her reasons,” he said to Dante in his casual but confidant English accent. “You’ve forgiven her, and love her still, so does she. She always loved you. Even when you were away for so long she loved you. She’s a good woman, Dante, and she will be a good wife and amazing mother to your miracle. Relax, enjoy today. We have this my friend. We have a Battlecruiser and a Starbase watching over us, and a communications blackout due to start in fifteen minutes. We got this. Third time’s a charm, my impatient Italian friend.” Clapping his hand on Duncan’s shoulder, Dante could only look out at Gamma Tiltium and wait for the call to the transporter. Kelly herself had arranged the Security route to the Transporters, times included so that Dante and Natasha would avoid each other before the moment they were to be married.
Captain Dante Knight, CO
“God you look beautiful,” Kelly adjusted the veil around Natasha’s shoulders. This was not the first time she had done this but it would be the last. There was no point in worrying her best friend of the past 15 years but Kelly had it under control.
“As I have twice before,” Natasha laughed. Then her small chuckle turned into a larger belly laugh that shook her whole body. Kelly stepped back some and scrutinized the soon to be Mrs. Knight.
“Care to share fun time bear,” she joked with Daye. The reference to the small, colorful stuffed toy was only known to four people in the universe. It was an inside joke that only a large quantity of booze, cramming for mid-terms, and a close-knit group of friends could share. Natasha was fun time bear due to her propensity to find humor in the most unlikely events. Kelly was WTF bear due to her ability to craft a scheme that few could combat. It was not that Kelly was ever vindictive unless you crossed her or her own. It was more that Kelly could mastermind plans only rivaled by the most iconic bad guys and come out unscathed. Dante was serious bear. Part of it was due to his more logical approach to life. Dante was the unofficial leader of the foursome so he had to be the more serious one to keep the others in line. The other part of his name spoke to his catchphrase of asking seriously when the two most important women in his life came to him with a dilemma. Nat and Kelly rarely could keep a straight face when he uttered the reply seriously as his way to ask for clarification on a path they were choosing to venture down and why. Ric was adventure bear. The name spoke to Ric’s need to experience all that life had to offer.
“Well, you know how Dante and I always say three times a charm. He broke it off once. I did a second. What if this guy,” Nat rubbed her belly lovingly, “decides to come early.
The comment made Kelly’s face fall. She had planned for every contingency even down to mother nature. The only variable she hadn’t planned was biology. Snapping her fingers she spoke one word: Lauren.
From the back of the room came Shan with her ever-ready tricorder stealthily tucked inside the bouquet. Scanning Natasha, which would have looked to anyone else passing by as Shan blessing her with flowers in some tribal fashion, Lauren read the results and sighed. “The baby is still due three weeks from now. We are good,” she stated confidently. The Atlantis’ skipper was already high strung over this event so Shan was not going to mention the 5% chance the results were wrong.
“Don’t say that again. I mean it,” Kelly shoved Natasha’s shoulder. “I have contingency plans for pulsars, communications from headquarters, rogue pirates, crazy ex-lovers, natural disasters, illness, and plague, kidnapping, power outages, land-based assaults, medical emergencies, and parents. Do not make me plan on moving the ceremony to sick bay.” Turning slightly to Lauren she added in a low tone, “prep sickbay to have room for the bridal party. Also make sure the clergy have the version of the vows that say do you take her, do you take them, you are married.” After issuing the order, Kelly went back to adjusting the veil.
Natasha let out a deep breath and suddenly became serious. “I can’t believe in less than one hour I will be Mrs. Dante Knight. Some people may say what is the point after fifteen years but there is something special about taking his name. I have loved him since about the first moment I laid eyes on him. All I want to do is now is spend the rest of my life with him,” she said looking past her reflection and unto Kelly’s face.
“And you are going to have an amazing life and make me godmother to every single one of your kids,” Kelly smiled at her friend. “You know I will rock at it and since I can’t play favorites I am going to want them all.” The idea of kids and a family was on and off Kelly’s radar for years. Seeing her friend this happy might have nudged that blip back into the sensor field. “However today is about getting you married so ready,” Kelly asked eagerly as she moved around to hug Natasha.
“Since the fall of 2376,” Natasha joked back.
Lt. Natasha Daye on her way to be Knight.
Gamma Tiltium Beach
A soft breeze blew the white silk tulle gently against the archway. Everything had been set up according to Natasha’s dream. She and Dante had come to this spot for years to dream about their future. From Ensigns without a credit between them to the respected Officers they became, this spot on the sand held all their dreams and the hopes of their future. It was the only place Natasha could imagine to start their life together. Dante would have given her the world. He would have married her anywhere yet this stretch of sand was the only place she wanted. White chairs, arranged in rows, were filled with guests. Friends and family that had travelled from far in some cases. Pink and purple flower petals lined a long stretch of white fabric that she would walk down in minutes. Bouquets of flowers sat in vases lined the front of the archway while the soft blues of a turquoise sea framed the spot as their backdrop. The sound of the ocean had a soothing rhythm as the gathering waited patiently for the Bride and Groom to arrive.
The sound of a transporter made the guests turn their heads, to see Dante and Duncan, suited and ready, smiling, appear at the end of the aisle. With them was a small creature that trotted at Duncan’s heels obediently. Four legged, with wings and a face that looked like a cross between a bird and a dog, it wore a ribbon that matched the colour of the men’s suits. Dante took a moment to pause and look around at the group. The beach and the day was perfect as if Gamma Tiltium knew what was expected of it and was obliging. The breeze light enough to move the silk tulle and let the scent of flowers from the forest nearby drift over the area.
“No you are not beaming into our wedding,” Allison said to Rico picking an imaginary bit of lint off her dress.
“But did you see that? That was awesome honey. What about..” Rico started to give a very specific reason as to why they should consider it but didn’t manage to make it very far before being shushed.
“I don’t care how cool it looked.” She did not even need to hear what her boyfriend was going to ask her. She could feel the awe and excitement in his body language. Why the groom and his best man were entering the wedding this way she did not know but what she did know was Rico was not going to enter her wedding like it was an assault.
“Really?” Rico asked her, but at the same time smiled and slid his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. “You know a wedding is 99% to impress the crowd, right? What could be more impressive than beaming in to show everyone you are the boss?”
Allison just held up a finger to stop Rico from speaking. Turning to him she smiled. “I am 100% sure there was some reason they beamed in and it is not a new wedding trend,” she laughed laying her head on his shoulder.
The guests were of course filled with people that Dante and Natasha knew. “Looks like they are ready for you,” Duncan said quietly as he and Dante began to move up the aisle casually, greeting the guests as they went. “Of course they are,” Dante whispered as he paused and greeted people. “Did you see the Security Team that Kelly assigned to the place? They could have dropped them into a Klingon bachelor party and had them saying ‘please’ in five minutes.”
In minutes, there was no rush, the three reached the front of the aisle where Dante and Natasha would say their vows and become Husband and Wife. Turning to face the guests, who had resumed chatting and laughing as they waited Dante straightened his suit and looked at Duncan. “You got the ring, right?”
“What ring?” Duncan asked him with a look of disbelief.
“My Ring, Natasha’s ring, you know the rings that we are going to wear when we get married? Duncan?” Dante was still smiling to everybody in front of them, but he had suddenly become possibly the greatest ventriloquist in the Federation. Not a person would have known he was speaking if they were more than a foot or two from him.
“Oh that ring,” Duncan said, the look of disbelief melting into a look of nonchalance that was ruined by the look of mischief in his eyes. “Why didn’t you say that in the first place Captain? I have it, Trico has it.” He nodded down towards the dog-bird thing at his feet. “It’s in a case tied around her ribbon.”
“Listen here you English Buffoon,” Dante told his friend, his lightly accented Italian becoming notably stronger as he looked down at little Trico. “Do not do that to me, not a third time okay? No, Duncan. That is not okay.” Despite his words, he breathed a sigh in relief and grinned, then looked at Duncan with a raised eyebrow. “You gave our ring to your bird-dog thing? What if she eats it or someone stole it?”
“Trico? No Dante. She’s the safest place for that ring to be, see?” He looked down at the creature who gave a small chirp-bark, then blew a small puff of flame out of the corner of her mouth. Dante could feel the heat of it from feet away. “See, she will look after it, and she won’t eat it, she has better taste than that.”
“Okay, so you gave it to the bird-dog Dragon thing. Good thinking Dunc.” He grinned and nervously readjusted his suit for the hundredth time, then paused and looked at Duncan. “What do you mean she has better taste than that?”
Captain Dante Knight, CO
Natasha and the wedding party beamed down a few feet from where Dante and Duncan beamed down. The look on Dante’s face instantly had Kelly on full alert mode. “What is going on,” she spoke into her comm badge.
“Nothing ma’am we are five by five,” the young ensign said with a tight voice. Why he was chosen for this shift in the big chair he had no idea. All the senior officer on the Atlantis had miraculously been pulled away for something else. Probably fear that if something went wrong, Kelly would blast them into space to easily hide the body.
“Then why does the groom look like he has a phaser to his back,” Kelly hissed. =/\=All teams report in.=/\=
“Oh look!” Duncan said by way of distracting Dante from his momentary lack of focus. “Their they are. Alright old boy,” he clapped Dante on the shoulder, “let’s get this show on the road shall we? Natasha looks amazing.”
=/\=Beach clear=/\= a deep baritone replied back having the characteristic echo sound of some marine wearing an assault helmet.
=/\= Reception area clear =/\= a feminine voice replied back with the soft sounds of clinking china punctuating her words.
=/\=Long range sensors are still showing nothing ma’am=/\= the comms officer reported from the bridge
=/\= Wedding guests are clear =/\= a voice said with the sounds of the surf in the background.
Not finding a solid reason for the wedding to move to the safety of her ship, Kelly decided it was safe to begin.
“Yes, she does doesn’t she.” Dante stood at the end of the aisle and looked back down to Natasha’s party. She looked beautiful, radiant and very, very round. His lips curled into a grin as the realization that after many, many years and a couple of attempts, he and Natasha we’re about to become officially husband and wife and shortly after, would have a family. That thought made him happier than he could have imagined even through the nervous butterflies in his stomach that he would never admit to. Facing an opposing fleet was nothing to the thought of being a good Father and Husband to the people that he loved more than anything in the world. His greatest desire was only that Nastasha would be the happiest woman in the world and love him as much as he loved her.
“Cue Bruce and Maybelle,” Kelly said. Almost instantly a little girl and a large lizard appeared at the top of the aisle. Wedding music began to play softly as Maybelle began to walk down the aisle spreading flowers. Bruce had looked entirely bored until he spotted something at his father’s foot. It looked like a bird of some sort. Bruce’s tongue flicked out once and then twice. It had been a while since breakfast. Maybe the little critter needed to be removed from whatever his parents were doing now. Lately, his mom and dad had acted so weirdly. He knew something special was happening but he wasn’t exactly sure what it was. What he did know was that the little bird-like thing was not behind a thick layer of glass like the other yummy tidbits back at the ship. It was then he felt the little tug from the leash beckoning him to move forward. Maybe if he walked slow enough he could catch it before it flew off.
“Is there a problem,” Natasha asked taking a step forward.
“No, get back there. We have an order for this. We rehearsed this. Jessica get moving,” Kelly motioned for the woman to start down the aisle. The sooner she got the bridesmaids to their position the sooner she could get next to Dante and figure out what was going on.
“You need to relax,” Jessica rolled her eyes at her long-time friend but put on a dazzling smile as she started down the aisle.
Natasha smiled and then let out a small grunt rubbing her back. Holding her breath she let it out slowly as the pain seemed to cycle.
Watching them, Dante saw Natasha’s sudden discomfort and frowned. “What’s going on there?” He muttered to Duncan, “Why is Nat looking uncomfortable?”
Duncan looked back down the aisle, adjusting his view from the adorable looking Maybelle and Dante’s giant lizard, and from the beautiful and happy looking Jessica coming down after them. “Judging by the looks of it, it’s baby pains. Don’t worry, I know Kelly did a thorough check everything is fine Dante. Let her handle it.”
“Who is that woman with them in the bridal party?” Dante said, indicating a stunning dark haired woman with Natasha and Kelly, wearing the dress of a bridesmaid. “I’ve never seen her before?” Duncan just shrugged.
“That is Doctor Lauren Shan, Sir.” A strong but quiet voice sounded beside Duncan causing both of the men to look around. Beside them had appeared a tough looking Bajoran man with dark hair, just a slight reddish tinge to it and wearing the same suit as Duncan with a Starfleet comm-badge pinned to the lapel. “The Captain assigned her to the party to monitor Mrs Knight.” He paused and looked at Dante for a moment with a knowing look as he said those words. “I work in Intelligence, Captain Knight. I was assigned to case the crowd before taking my post beside you, as one of the groomsmen. I’m Lieutenant Devon Rand, I’m honored to be part of your wedding Captain.”
“Assigned?” Dante asked, and just raised an eyebrow and looked at Kelly, who was taking no notice of him. “Yes Sir, assigned.” Rand nodded, “The Captain decided that it was better to take precautions, and while the communications blackout is in effect for the wedding we have a special line open to the Atlantis and Commander Nash who is monitoring the situation from his Office.” He patted his suit pocket in which was a noticeable bulge.
“Are you serious?” Dante asked the man. “You would think Kelly has snipers positioned in the tree’s as well.” He turned his head and looked over the long, winding treeline that joined the beach and ran for as far as the eye could see. Gamma Tiltium was almost totally undeveloped and wild.
“She does.” Rand said simply and easily, his own eyes travelling back over the crowd.
“No....no you do not do this now,” Lauren moved her bouquet towards Natasha and scanned her quick. “Braxton Hicks. You are fine. Do not make Kelly nutter than she is,” Lauren’s eyes darted between her CO and the woman that she did not know but was ordered to wear a dress and monitor her like she was about to drop dead.
As Kelly watched the woman move down the aisle she quickly turned her attention to Natasha. ” I am going to be right there. Right there,” she pointed to a spot at the altar. “Do not dawdle. You look beautiful but as soon as you see me turn around start down the aisle. You look beautiful,” Kelly said giving her friend a quick hug before turning to walk down the aisle herself.
Natasha heard the music change and took a deep breath. It wasn’t that she was nervous. It was more that she was overly excited. If the pace of her emotions was to match the pace of her stride, Nat would break any Olympic sprinters record just to reach Dante’s side.
“Dis is not a race Tasia,” came a deep and soft voice to her right. “It is a procession. It is also a step to ensure our customs and traditions do not go unforgotten,” her Babushka said pulling her veil down over her granddaughter’s face. “You need to remember your roots my dear,” she hugged her granddaughter. Natasha hugged her grandma tightly and scanned the crowd. Dante said her parents couldn’t make the ceremony but if her Babushka was here her parents had to be.
“Baby girl,” Connor Daye said to his daughter turning her around to face him.
“Daddy,” she said taking a step back from the spot where she was just about ready to walk down the aisle. “Dante said you would be here.”
“I would not miss this for the world. Didn’t miss the first two,” he joked hugging his daughter. Natasha didn’t care if the music played for hours. She hadn’t seen her parents in several months. Hopefully, they would be able to stay around to see the baby be born.
Just as she was about to head down the aisle, another contraction hit. “Conner I am not sure this wedding is going to happen,” Nat’s mother said in a low tone.
“Mom I just,” she held up a finger, “need a second,” Natasha said. “I may look like a beached whale but I am going to make it down the aisle even if I am on a stretcher and my wedding march is Lamaze breathing,” she said in a slightly angry tone. “No one is going anywhere. Now get into your....oh my Sukin syn,” Natasha moved to Russian cursing as if on instinct. “Dante, ya ub’yu tebya, yesli mne pridetsya proyti cherez eto bez narkotikov (Dante I am going to kill you if I have to go through this without drugs.).
“You are da true Russian voman. Look at your heritage. Katya gave birth in the woods fleeing assassins from the Mongol hordes that attacked her village. Anya gave birth while fighting the battle of Stalingrad. Ludmilla destroyed the Roman Warbird in 2165 while in labor not leaving the command seat until the sky was filled with shards of her enemy. You can make it twenty feet down a white carpet. Catch your breath and follow me when you are ready. I shall stall him until then,” Babushka said in a determined tone as she spun and began to make it down the aisle.
“Oh god mom. Stop her. You have to stop her. Kelly will kill, maim, or space any....hun,” she inhaled sharply as a Braxton Hicks contraction shot through her.
“Baby you need to sit down for a second. Brides are always late. You are always late. No one is going to notice anything. Just give it like ten minutes okay. Conner go get Dante,” Natasha’s mom said in a hushed but firm tone.
“Um between Kelly and Babushka there are some places even I fear to tread. She will bring him,” Conner said wrapping an arm around his daughter’s waist.
Babushka took the moment of family tenderness and chose to set about her task. As the bridal procession played and the guests turned to see Natasha coming down the aisle they would have been more than a bit confused to see an elderly lady with a cane instead of a woman dressed in white.
“Wow,” Mason whispered to Paris from their spot near the front of the guests, “Dante must really be in love, Natasha aged quite, uh, badly since last time we saw her huh?” He looked at Paris and kissed her on the cheek, “Just like I’m so in love with you, you’ll always be my wildcat, even with a cane.”
“I heard they got caught in a weird time travel thing,” she said slowly trying to figure out why Dante was marrying someone in their 90’s. Natasha said that their first mission had almost stranded them in the past but maybe Paris should have taken the call via holovid and not holocomm. “At least…it shows true love,” Paris tried to sound positive.
“Kelz?” Dante said to his long time best friend and ex-XO, “Why is Babushka coming down the aisle? I thought we had her chaperoned by Nash on your ship until the last moment?”
After brushing a stray hair from her face, Kelly looked back up the aisle waiting to see Natasha instead she saw the one person that only ever got her way. “Dante. Dante,” Kelly hissed in an angry tone. “What is she doing and where is Natasha?”
“That is my question exactly, Kelz. What happened to Nash?”
=/\= Urghh, Capithan? =/\= A rough and gravelly sounding, and very drunk, voice came through Kelly’s comm. =/\= I fink wee mighte hafe a problum. The old Bafurshga goth awah frum me, I shwear she wash hear a moomentago. I haad her at migh deshk, and whe whure drinking. Und then shee shimmered and thurned hinto a flush mohnkay. A bihg hwone. =/\=
=/\=I told you no drinking. None. Net. Zero. Bubkiss for the Babushka =/\= Kelly snapped into the comm badge. =/\=I told you that that woman…on a mission…is the most dangerous person in the universe. She is like the Tribble Whisperer only in a small little headscarf of evil. Wanna know why I can drink anyone under the table. I spent half my holidays and a score weekend passes with Ludmilla Petrov. I have seen that woman drink Klingon’s under that table with Romulan Ale and then get up and make borscht and you thought you could out drink her=/\= Kelly’s voice was mostly shock and less angry as he spoke. =/\=She was also a top Starfleet engineer…in her day. Ever heard the term monkey’s uncle. It’s an idiom you oaf used to express complete surprise, amazement or disbelief. She was on to you the second you slid over the first vodka shot =/\= Kelly moaned into a low tone.
The steady clunk, clunk, clunk of babushka’s cane matched the pace to the music as she made her way down the aisle.
“Babushka,” Dante said to Natasha’s grandmother, his eyes fixed on hers and his voice steady. “What are you doing?”
Oh thank god she thinks it’s your fault, Kelly silently threw Dante under the bus and let out the breath she did not realize she was holding.
“You did not go to the priest and seek a blessing when you proposed to her this time,” the old woman said walking down the aisle.
“I’ve already done that twice, Babushka.” He explained calmly. “Twice, and got the blessing and reciept both times. Where is Natasha?”
“You did not accept the dowery,” she threw out another tradition.
“I have a Battlecruiser. A dowry isn’t needed Babushka.” He looked at Kelly and tilted his head slightly.
“Dis…dis is not something you will skip. Marriage is nothing if you do not respect the traditions Tasia’s parents have taken her,”
“What?” Dante asked, sounding shocked. A third time lucky, and this time it was Babushka and her parents?
“What,” Kelly said taking a step forward. Wrath of irate Russian grandmother or not, Kelly was not going to allow this to happen. “No way.” =/\=Atlantis security team this is the cap=/\=
“This is about him,” Babushka pointed her cane at Dante. “Now hush. They are hiding her until Dante completes a series of challenges set up to show the strength of his love. Now,” she said with a soft smile. “You are an Italian and Italians are known for their silvery tongues. Tell me Dante Aligheri why do you want to marry my granddaughter and tell me in sonnet form.”
“You know I am terrible at poetry.” Dante said to the old woman calmly. “Babushka, let me show you how much I love Natasha and what I’ll do to show her my love, and have her as my wife.”
His eyes narrowed as he stared hard at the old woman and for a moment, it was as if only he and Babushka existed. A tumbleweed rolled through the space between them in whatever alternate reality existed around them, and an old forgotten western tune blared out. Wah Wah Waaaaaahhhh
“Kelz.” Was all Dante said, nodding once, and then looked at the addition to his own party. “Rand.”
“Do it,” Kelly said barely above a whisper as she brushed a strand of hair behind her ear to hide her mouth. She had no issue taking anyone out for this wedding but the Russian grandmother came from a national history of cross me and you will not see it coming. Natasha joked that it was the long cold Russian winters that allowed Russian woman to harbor the grudges they could develop.
Rand took the half dozen steps forward and came next to Babushka, putting his arm around the old woman. “Come on Mother, lets get you seated and comfortable. The wedding will start shortly.” At that moment, a blue streak lanced out from a tree in the wilds of Gamma Tiltium and squarely struck Babushka, who slumped ever so slightly as Rand took the weight and then walked her to her designated seat in the front row, guiding her stunned body into the seat and placing her hands tidily over the handle of her cane in accompaniment to a powerful snore from the old woman. A few steps later and he was back at his post adjusting his cuffs.
“Thank you Lieutenant. I’m going to pay for that later, Kelz.” Dante said quietly and looked towards the only building on the beach. Duncans holiday home. “I’ll only be a moment, hold my place.”
------------------- 30 Minutes Later ------------------------------
Dante stood beside Duncan and Rand, Trico at his feet. At the end of the aisle, Natasha stood with her Father. Her mother had returned and was sitting next to Natasha’s Grandmother. Dante had eyes only for his wife, anything else and he risked making eye-contact with the now awake Babushka and that was something he was going to avoid for at least a month.
Keeping his eyes on Natasha was easy however. She was huge of belly, and adorable. Beautiful in her dress, Dante could imagine nothing he wanted more in this universe than waking up to her for the rest of his days. Showing her how much he loved her and their about to be family. He took a breathe, a deep one that seemed to drag in forever, and felt Duncan’s hand on his shoulder. A slight squeeze of support was all he needed. “Lets do this.” Dante whispered to Kelz, and seconds later, the wedding music began to play.
Captain Knight, CO
As the music began to play Natasha lost track of everything that had taken months to plan. The flowers, altar, guests, and location no longer held any special meaning. It was all just things except for the man waiting for her. Dante was the only thing that ever mattered in her life. He was the one she wanted to experience life with. Dante was the one man she wanted to grow old with. As the song started, Natasha began to slowly move down the aisle until she was standing in front of Dante.
“Who gives this woman to marry,” the minister asked.
“I do,” Conner said then turned to Dante. “I am giving you my world. Take care of her,” he said then kissed Natasha and moved to his seat.
Lt. Natasha Knight. medical
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