Posted on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 @ 8:48am by Captain Henry Crow & Banks & Commander Edra Crow & Commander Vox Templar & Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick & Lieutenant Commander Brielle Jayde & Lieutenant Constance Stewart & Lieutenant Edruj Daughter of Thrawn & Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova & Lieutenant JG Chance Crow
Location: Crow Ranch
Timeline: A week after the BBQ
Banks looked at herself in the full length mirror, her stomach tied in knots. Her dress was just a common white spring dress
and on her head was a crown of wildflowers fresh from the ranch. The day had come and she could hear the guests assembling outside on a picture perfect day. Per superstition she hadn't seen Chance all day.
Brielle finished slipping on one shoulder of her blue dress that Banks had picked out for her as she noticed the bride-to-be looking at herself in the mirror. Brushing a curled bit of hair from her face, she walked over with a smile. “Butterflies? Been there, twice actually.” She put a gentle hand on Banks’ shoulder. “You look amazing you know? I think you’re going to leave Chance speechless.”
Banks looked over her shoulder. "I told him I didn't want anything fancy like the last time I almost did this. But now I'm worried he'll think I think our wedding wasn't worth being fancy."
There was a soft rap on the door behind Banks and Brielle. "Oh, I think this wedding will be just perfect for the two of you," came the thick, Russian-accented voice from the doorway.
Banks turned and smiled. "I wasn't sure if you got my messages and the invite."
Millie stepped though the doorway and chuckled, her simple blue dress hugging her tiny form as she crossed the room and planted a kiss on each of Banks' cheeks. "I would not miss this day if I had to fight a Klingon army to get here, Дорогой."
"Don't say that too loud, we have one on the crew now." Banks grinned. "You missed our grand journey into another galaxy and all the fun. How've you been?"
The counselor gave a smile. "Это был причудливый и ужасный торнадо строительства." She caught herself, flushing red. "A whirlwind. Absolute whirlwind. The construction of the new education wing at the Bolshoi school is nearly complete, and the new flooring just went down in the library. They will be able to start moving in the books in a few weeks." She paused. "And da, I know there is a Klingon aboard. I have been given updated files on all of the crew members, new and veteran alike."
"Does that mean you're going to be with us again?"
Millie smiled at Brie's inquiry, giving the woman a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Da. I will have to go back to the Bolshoi for a few days to wrap up some details and hand off some responsibilities. But it will be good to see all of you again."
Banks grinned at Brie. "There's even more people to see now that we have another little addition to the crew."
Millie grinned over her shoulder at the bride-to-be. "Just because I have not been on the ship does not mean that I am totally oblivious." She patted Brie on the arm. "You and I will get to talk more soon, da? I should probably make sure that the groom hasn't escaped out a window. I really do feel sorry for the guy, having to put up with *her* now." She gave Banks a wink and another hug before quickly slipping out the door.
Laughing as Millie left the room, Brielle turned back to Banks. “You had to bring up the newest addition, didn’t you? I am surprised this dress fits as well as it does considering it’s been less than a week. Or that I even have the energy to do any of this wedding type stuff. But,” she went back over to Banks and fixed a little bit of her hair, “This is your day. The day for you and Chance. Don’t worry about anyone else.”
"When we're back from the honeymoon I'll be giving you the dates and times I'm claiming for babysitting." Banks smirked a little before sobering. "I don't think I've ever been more nervous in my life than right now."
“You can have whatever days you want for babysitting, I promise.” Brie tried to give a reassuring smile. “That’s the butterflies. Until it’s all said and done, they will sit there. But you have nothing to be nervous about. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the two of you happier than when you are with each other.”
"I can't remember being happy before." Banks took a deep breath and steadied herself. "I wonder if he's as anxious as I am."
"Likely so. But that's a good thing believe it or not." Brie grinned and adjusted Banks' crown. "You ready for this?"
Banks nodded. "Let's do this."
A wide smile crossed Brie's face as she looked to Banks. "Come on then."
Banks and Brie left the room and walked down to their staging room just inside the house.
The bride to be took a deep breath. It was then something in the back of her brain told her they weren't alone. She swung around and stopped cold when she took sight of a middle aged couple and a stern looking man behind them. She looked at Brie. "Could...could you give me a minute?"
Following Banks' gaze, Brie immediately put her guard up on instinct when she saw the others there. But when Banks told her to give her a minute, she let out a heavy sigh. "I'll be right outside the door." Her eyes never left the others until the door was closed between them. Had Banks been expecting them?
When Brie left Banks let out a breath. "How...when.....how?"
"Hello kitten." The older man said with a grin as the woman approached Banks and they embraced.
"How?" Banks repeated.
"Your Captain pulled some strings with Mr. friendly here. Do you think we'd miss our daughter's wedding?"
Banks turned her eyes to her mother when they broke the hug. She looked healthy and happy, two things she hadn't been the last time she'd seen her. "I never thought I'd see you again."
Her mother couldn't help but straighten the wedding gown as only a mother could. "We can't stay. We've been allowed to come here and see you but if your father were to walk you down the aisle...."
"Someone might be watching."
Her mother nodded as Banks turned to her father and they hugged. Their relationship had always been rocky but he looked as if he'd softened too with time. "And where is Carlo?"
His father shook his head. "He's on an assignment."
"He went into Starfleet if you can believe it. We don't know where or what ship just like he doesn't know where they moved us when he left. And don't you go looking for him either. It's safer for the both of you."
For once in their relationship she didn't argue.
Her father looked her in the eye. "Is this guy good to you?"
"He's the best."
"And you're happy?"
The stern looking man cleared his throat.
"I think that's his way of saying we have to go now."
"I won't see you again will I?"
"No kitten, you won't."
Banks went to a table and handed the man a small device. "Take the picture."
He began to object but the look in her eyes shut him up as she stood between her parents and smiled widely with tears in her eyes. Afterwards she kissed both of them and watched as they were led out of the room and past Brie and out the door to the shuttlepad.
When the door closed she looked at the picture they took. Of all the things she'd obtained over the years this was the most precious.
After watching the two leave and walk out the door, Brielle carefully walked back into the room, closing the door behind her. "I take it you knew who they were?"
Banks quickly wiped the corner of her eyes. "Some old friends."
"Here I was worried, given all we've dealt with in the past." Brie walked over and wiped one of the stray tears off Banks' cheek. "You okay?"
Banks nodded. "As I'll ever be."
Millie found her next, well, 'target', hovering back behind the scenes. She chuckled softly, crossing her arms in front of her. "I should have known I'd find you investigating the food table, Captain."
He looked down at her. "Counselor, it's been awhile." He motioned to the catering. "My wife and the happy couple insisted I not do the cooking for this one. It hurts a man's pride but we'll see how good it is when the time comes."
Millie chuckled. "It is good for you to relax every once in a while. To step back and enjoy the moment." She placed a hand on his arm. "How have you been, Henry?"
"Stressed, depressed, on the verge of admitting I'd never be standing here looking at the countryside with my own eyes again but here we are and on top of it, the family is celebrating. Hard to beat that."
She nodded. The Captain had come a long way since she had first joined the crew. The fact that he was openly admitting his concerns was a rather large milestone. "Perhaps," Millie said with a smile, "we can start to unravel things once the festivities are over. Over dinner?"
"You've been here for ten minutes and already trying to rope me into therapy? You work much faster than before." He gave her a light hearted side glance.
Millie chuckled. "And you're more likely to talk if I don't meet with you in my office. You've come a long way since we first...
начал спорить." She paused, as if trying to recall the non-Russian words. "First butted heads."
"That's what happens when you get old. Being wise comes with the territory."
"Old, perhaps. But I believe the word 'stubborn' is far more appropriate." Millie chuckled, reaching out to snag an olive from one of the food trays, and popping it into her mouth. "But you should go," she said, half-chewing, "go see your friends, and enjoy the festivities."
"Go mingle. You sound like my wife." But he did leave and follow the orders.
For the second time in as many weeks Edruj found herself in a setting she was unaccustomed to. She was a scientist first, and a warrior second large gatherings were not her forte. But when she was at the Academy one of her instructors told her of an old adage, when in Rome. So for her crewmates wedding she opted for her dress uniform, resplendent with a silver and gold sash depicting the crests of the empire, her family and house with the addition of the emblem of Starfleet, the tree things that she cherished most. She had her long hair pulled back into a tight ponytail tied with a leather thong.
She smiled at the guests present took a deep breath and let it out as she began to mingle.
From the ground floor Banks peeked out at the crowd. She could see the Admiral Henry had lined up to handle the ceremony. She could also see Henry mingling and was anxious for him to return to the house so he could walk her as she'd requested. It was the only part of her prior wedding experience she wanted to repeat.
Vox straightened his black bow tie as he surveyed the crowd before leaning close to Caressa's ear next to him. "I think we are the best dressed guests, don't you think?"
Caressa smiled. She was dressed in a long red evening gown, with a halter top, cut out back that dipped down to the low back. It was slit up to the thigh on the right. She donned red 3 inch stiletto heels with crystal accents. A diamond necklace lay at her neckline that matched her bajorian ear jewelry. She leaned to his ear, "I agree, maybe the sexiest too?" Taking him by the arm as they walked.
Edruj noticed the way the other crew was dressed and wondered if she made a poor decision with her choice of dress. "Forgive my intrusion Commanders but is the uniform not appropriate?" she said as she approached Vox and Caressa.
"Lieutenant, you are certainly dressed more than appropriately. We just decided to dress up for the occasion since we are on shore leave and can get by with it," she said as she leaned into Vox. "I think we clean up well!"
He nodded in agreement as he fiddled with his cuff links. "Not too shabby, if I say so myself. Though, who could compete with you?"
"Indeed you do, I think the saying is that you appear to be ready to cut a rug. On Q'Onos for a wedding you display anything that you hold dear and honor. For your honor is the honor of the union, of the marriage. You honor the bride and groom by your presence, your spirit." Edruj replied almost wistfully.
Caressa smiled and nodded at Edruj. "Thank you Lieutenant! Hopefully dancing will be in order after the ceremony! She grinned at Vox. " No one can compete with us! Did you wear your dancing shoes? " She playfully looked down at his feet and then catching his eye. She gave him the wicked evil grin.
Millie slipped out of the house, and out onto the lawn, smiling at the buzz of activity.
Edra walked around the lawn, checking to make sure everything was in order. The chairs were all in place, beginning to fill up, flowers and other decorations just right and waiting for the ceremony to begin. She looked around to see people arriving. Their newest officer, along with others in dress uniform, and some who had dressed out of uniform. She did a double-take when she saw Caressa and Vox. Were they...an item? Whether they were or not, they looked good together.
Then another familiar face caught her eye. "Millie?"
Hearing her name, the counselor turned. "Edra!" She crossed the distance between them and embraced her friend, lightly kissing both of her cheeks. "It has been far too long!"
Edra returned the greeting with a beaming smile. "It has. Are you here just for the wedding?"
Millie shook her head. "нет. Starfleet is recalling me back into service. Things at the Bolshoi have been settled, and are ready to function much more smoothly in my absence. We've made some...personnel changes that I feel will be beneficial to the ballet. I will take a shuttle back to Moscow for a couple of days after the wedding, and then I will be joining you back on the ship."
Edra smiled, "Excellent! We have missed you. I'm sure the message is waiting for me, but I have been helping get this together," she gestured to their surroundings.
Millie smirked. "It's not just you. I am not sure that your husband entirely expected my return either. Likely for the same reasons." Millie gently took one of her hands. "How have you been?"
"Not too bad, though, better since we miraculously made it back here." She paused, tilting her head. "I don't know how much you know about where we've been for the last year."
Millie shook her head. "Starfleet is still working through the red tape of that briefing. I assumed there would be quite a bit of catching up for me to do, da?"
Edra nodded. "Indeed. And there will be plenty of time for it...later. For now, enjoy yourself. I need to go see how things are going for some people." She winked as she stepped away.
After her conversation with the Commanders Edruj thought she would simply do what scientists do best, observe. She took a glass of something called champagne and stood in the back of the room watching the various people interact and noting the status of those interactions.
Constance showed up her long black hair in a up-do white satin ribbon tied around the base of it. She was wearing a knee length form fitting yellow satin corset dress. Gold sparkling earrings with yellow diamonds in them . And gold sparkling Stilettos. She knew she may be a little over dressed but at least she looked good. She didn't like weddings but she wouldn't miss this one for anything in the world. She looked around as she walked across the lawn everything was beautiful yet simple. She saw her crew mates all dressed in their best which was a rare sight everyone looked good. Especially Vox and Dr. Melanick they stole the show. She chuckled to herself it was good to see Dr. Melanick back and smiling. Constance just roamed around checking things out.
Caressa smiled at Constance, she cleaned up rather well. Taking Vox by the arm as the music started to play. " Looks like we need to find our seats. Are we Bride or Groom?" spoken with a humorous tone and a inquisitive look.
Constance smiled back at Caressa as she wondered which side to sit on she thought about sitting on Banks side seeing how she wasn't sure how much if any of Bank's family would show up. Maybe to play it safe she should sit on the grooms side in case some of Banks family shows up it wont be so awkward.
Millie slipped out to where the friends and family were gathered. She quietly slipped over to the Bride's side of the aisle. She seated herself...alone, as usual, laying her hands in her lap, and just observing.
As she noted that things were in place as much as they would be at this point, Edra eased her way toward her husband. "Have you checked on Chance yet?"
"No, I figure he hasn't run away given that she could track him down within an hour." He grinned. "You think we should?"
She gave him a look as she nodded. "Yes...do you remember how you felt on our wedding day, before the ceremony?"
"I don't know about you but I was calm and collected." He gave her a wink as he led her to the groom's room.
She pursed her lips. "Mm hmm...don't think I don't know the truth, she said as she put her arm through his.
When they arrived at the door Henry knocked. He wasn't sure if the boy was dressed and didn't need to add to any anxious feelings by barging in with Edra.
She called through the door so he'd know who was here. "Chance, it's Mom and Dad."
From inside the the bedroom, Chance looked at the door, then back to the window he stood in front of, looking down on the whole set-up. He was dressed, fairly casually, as that's what they'd decided, and showered. But as ready he was to go, he wasn't sure he was ready to walk out the door. "Come in," he said uneasily.
Henry entered with Edra, smiling as he could feel the nerves. "How you feeling?"
"I'm not sure," he answered. "I know people get jittery, but I didn't think we had to worry about it since we've waited so long for this day, and we've been looking forward to it. So why are these questions just now coming to me?"
Edra stepped forward and took his hands. "Oh, honey, those questions aren't changing anything. You two have had time to work the biggest things out. There will still be other things to work through, but that doesn't change what's happening today. You are ready for this."
"As soon as you see her coming down the aisle it'll all go away, trust me."
Edra nodded to Henry's comment.
Chance though turned toward Henry. "Is she ready? Is she waiting on me?"
"Yea I think its about time to get the show on the road." He lightly clapped his son on the shoulder. "See you out there."
Chance nodded as they left, taking a deep breath. This was just like any other day, right? He didn't have a reason to be nervous. This was what they both wanted, right? It had been his idea anyways. And there wasn't much changing, they were just making things official...in a manner of speaking.
Well, as he'd been told, it was time to get going. With one more check in the mirror, he left the room and exited the house, making his way to his spot at the front of the crowd, waving to Kieran who was with the girls. He would be glad when he wasn't the focal point anymore.
The officiant, an Admiral by the name of Durant nodded to Chance. "Just follow my lead son, you'll do fine."
With a gulp that he tried to hide, Chance nodded.
Henry knocked on the door and poked his head into the room, grinning to Brie and Banks. "I think it's time."
Banks nodded, letting out a deeply held breath before turning to Brie. "I'll see you out there. And thanks for everything today."
Brie saw Henry and gave him a smile before turning herself back to Banks. “See you out there. You’re going to take Chance’s breath away when you walk out there.”
Henry turned to Banks when Brie left and blinked finding her mere inches away. "I didn't know what to get the assassin who has everything so..."
Banks gave him the tightest hug he'd ever felt and just as he was pretty sure she'd break his ribs she released. "Thank you."
"Come on, let's get you hitched." He led her out of the room and to their waiting spot, looking at the assembled crowd. "Ready?" She nodded as the music began.
Constance sat in her place looking around she was hoping one day her and Hayden would tie the knot and start a family. Where was he anyway she hadn't seen him come in yet she wondered if he was going to make it at all. When she herd the music start she silenced her thoughts and focused on the wedding.
Brielle took a deep breath. She’d been on the other side of this twice before, but never a maid of honor, or really any other part in a wedding. The music had started, and she knew what that meant. She looked back, making sure everyone was ready before doing anything else.
Chance stood at the other end of the audience, hands behind his back. “You got the rings?” he asked in a hushed tone.
“Yes!” was the answer he got from Krat, a Trill friend from the Academy, and his Best Man. “For the 17th time, I have them. Relax, it's gonna be fine.”
Brielle looked out ahead of her, seeing Chance standing and waiting. A smile crossed her face, seeing the nervousness, knowing it would vanish soon enough. She then started her way down the aisle.
“Wait!” Banks said quietly before kicking off her shoes, taking her down at least two inches. “I’m not doing the uncomfortable shoe thing again.”
Henry shook his head as he lead her by the arm down the aisle.
Chance had watched Brie make her way past all the guests, and had used that to keep from looking back toward the house. When could he finally see her? Was just until she showed up, or until she hit the aisle, or was it when she reached him? He could only watch Brie so long though, and once she was in place he decided to quit worrying and just look back.
Brie stepped to where she was supposed to stand, making sure that the ring was still where she’d tucked it away. Her eyes then shifted to watch Banks walking towards them.
And the she was. Her dress was not big, nor elaborate. A simple white dress, balancing between casual and formal, but it was just perfect on her. In her hair she wore a crown of wildflowers the girls had collected from the property and she held a matching bouquet. Their eyes met and he felt a warmth flood through him. Suddenly all this nervous energy evaporated, and he knew this was the right thing.
Henry led her down the aisle and released her at the front before sitting next to Edra, who took his hand and smiled as he sat down. "A little dèjá vu?" She whispered to him.
Banks stepped into position across from Chance and her couldn’t stop smiling.
The Admiral began. “We are gathered here today to join this man and this woman together as husband and wife. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, through tough times, arguments, nights spent on the couch, and frustrations like you never thought imaginable. But it’s also going to sustain you both with love, support, and a connection which needs to be experienced to be explained. And now it’s time for the vows. Chance Tomlissen Crow, do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?”
“I do,” he responded, placing the ring on her finger.
“And do you….” The Admiral stopped, and leaned in, lowering his voice. “Uh, do you have an actual name?”
Banks looked at him, and leaned closer whispering something.
“And do you, Patricia Maria Apollonia Fenow take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?”
“I do.” She slipped the ring on his finger with a smile.
“Then with the authority vested in me, hearing no reason why this man and this woman should not be joined together, am happy to announce you are hereby husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”
Chance smiled, held her face in his hands and pressed his lips to hers, holding them there a few moments longer than probably expected.
She smiled through the kiss before they broke contact and she finally heard the applause.
Brielle clapped along with everyone else. In her mind, she could only think that it was about time. She had a huge smile on her face as she watch the happy couple.
Caressa watched as the cermony took place, she clapped for the happy couple and hoped that they could find the happiness that she sought for. She looked at Henry and Edra and could see the glow of happiness that spread across there faces.
As the couple walked back up the aisle together they stopped several times to see close friends. When they finally reached the back Henry stood from his chair.
"All right folks, now it's time to celebrate. You know how we do things around here, we don't like leftovers, so eat up and enjoy yourselves!"