I used to do this years ago, when I published my own fanzine ( remember those heavy, paper self-published, magazines one used to buy at conventions, and lug home? I wonder, if they still exist? ). It was a collaboration between myself and my friend K'Zell( Yar! A good Klingon name thot be:) ). She did the Worf part, I did the Riker part. Since then this poor thing's been sitting around in a hard copy file just waiting for someone ( other than us ) to read it. Remember, artistic/poetic license and humor are the keywords, so nit-picking is not allowed. Hopefully you will enjoy it and, please by all means, please submit a review. Qapla!

Klingon Sex Appeal

Well, the trouble started on evening on Deck 51 when one William T. Riker stopped to have chat with Worf.

They were discussing the usual mundane things of a Starfleet officer's life. But, during the course of said conversation, with the Enterprise's Chief of Security. Riker could not help noticing then women who passed them.

The first, was a tall, willowy blond in medical blue, who obviously went out of her way to pass the Klingon and whisper:

"Hello Honey bunch." in a silken voice as she passed. Riker did a double take, and Work simply stared after her retreating back.

Their conversation resumed, and a few minutes later as another member of the opposite gender approached. This one wearing the colors of Engineering or Security ( surely Worf knew ). She was small, but stocky with jet black, large black eyes and olive complected.

"Hi Pussycat." she said, as she smiled sweetly up at the big Klingon, then continued on her way.

"Pussycat?" Riker thought to himself, as he gazed at his Klingon companion. "A pussycat Worf is not." he thought. However, before Riker could voice that thought, someone else approached.

This particular lady was an Kenjian. And since their culture and religion was very similar to Earth Muslims, she was draped in mauve fabric from head to toe. All that one could see was her almond shaped, dark brown eyes and a tiny patch of chocolate colored skin.

Reportedly, she wore her Starfleet uniform beneath all of that cloth. But, no one knew for sure. Certainly, her roommate, who was also a Kenjian was not telling.

Her religious taboos prevented her from verbalizing any type of endearment to a man who was not hers, so she like scores of Kenjian women before her, used her greatest asset. Her eyes.

As she approached Worf, she skewered him with a brazen stare, which lasted for a total of ten seconds until she passed him.

"Well, I'll be. . . . . . " Riker thought, as he watched her progress down the corridor in a billow of mauve.

"Okay Worf, what's your secrete?" Riker asked aloud.

"Secrete?" Worf rumbled.

"How do you do it?" Riker asked.

"How do I do what?" Worf dead-panned.

"We've been standing her for ten minutes, three women passed and . . . . . " Riker's discourse was cut short, yet again.

"Oh-no! Not her too!" Riker thought. It was Ensign Alysa Chan. The very same young lady he had invited to dinner two nights ago. However, she had simply turned her nose up at him, and his invitation as if he was a lowly skullery knave. Now, as she passed Worf, she gave him a shy smile and a wink. Worf gazed after her also.

"This is maddness!" Riker thought, as he mentally crossed her name off his list of hopefuls, permanently. "Okay, Worf. What are you carrying in your pockets? Load stones or Juju Dust?" he asked.

"Load stones? Juju Dust?" Worf deadpanned again.

"Oh, I get it, Klingon Selective Deafness Syndrome." Riker thought. "Something is attracting women to you like humming birds to nectar. Would you mind letting me in on what it is?" he asked.

"Let you in on?" Worf asked in all seriousness.

"What are you using to attract women?" Riker practically shouted. Deciding to dispense with the beat-around-the-bush conversation, because he was simply not getting anywhere with the Klingon.

"I am not using anything to attract them." Worf stated.

"Oh? I suppose you're going to tell me that it's your handsome face that drawing them to you." Riker replied.

"It could be." Worf stated, drawing himself up to his full height, and pinning Riker with a withering stare.

"I'm not touching that. . . . . " Riker thought.

"It might be Klingon Sex Appeal. " Worf stated, in a clear, rumbling, no nonsense tone.

"Oh damn!" Riker thought. "That means there is not hope for me at all!" he said, in frustration.

"What do you mean?" Worf asked.

"Quite obviously, I am not Klingon, therefor I will never have Klingon sex appeal. I think you know the rest. . . . . " Riker replied, sheepishly as his hopes plummeted.

"I see you have misunderstood me." Worf said.

"Huh?"

"Klingon Sex Appeal is that name of a new cologne Alexander sent me for Father's Day." Worf intoned with obvious pride.

"Oh?" Does it really work?" Riker asked. His hopes soaring in the light of this new revelation.

"According to the advertisement it is supposed to work with the first try. However, I have not noticed any changes." Worf stated, nonchalantly, as he raised his massive shoulders in a half-shrug.

"Haven't noticed? You've gotta be kidding me, right Worf!" Riker replied.

"No, I am not kidding. No, I have not noticed." Worf replied, as glowered at Riker. If anything, the commander did not want to call the Klingon a liar, especially when he was standing "this close" to the Klingon. Riker quickly decided on another tact.

"Let's just say, for conversation's sake, if someone wanted to try some of this stuff. What would they have to do?" Riker asked, hesitantly.

The result was instantaneous. Worf's intense, dark eyed gaze, locked with Riker's blue eyed gaze for one half a second. Then a sly half-smile crept into the right corner of the Klingon's mouth. It would have been frightening to behold, had Riker not known the Klingon for so many years. It was only Worf's way of preventing himself from laughing in his friend's face.

"You?" Worf rumbled, incredulously.

"Yeah, me. Is there something wrong with that? Riker bluffed.

"No. But, there is no guarantee the results will be the same for a human, as they are a Klingon. . . " Worf started.

"Look Worf, just cut the crap and bring the cologne to my quarters at 1800 hours, okay?" Riker stated.

Worf showed up at the Commander's quarters at the prearranged time, with the "item in question". Riker was surprised to see that the cologne was in a bottle small enough to fit into the Klingon's large palm.

"This is it?" Riker asked, reverently, as he held the small, ornate, black glass bottle up to the light and watched the opaque contents swirl around inside.

"Yes"

"Expensive?"

"Very. I strongly suspect my parents bought it, and sent it to me for Alexander, even though his handwriting was on the card." Worf replied. Riker noted the Klingon looked "just a tad sheepish" when he said that. "It looks like his parents are trying to play matchmaker again." Riker thought. Of course, he knew better that to voice that opinion.

"Well . . . . it's the thought that counts." he said finally, breaking the uncomfortable silence that hung between them. Worf simply grunted his agreement.

"The instructions say that it is potent and one should use it sparingly. Please do not do something you will regret." The Klingon warned.

"Me? Do something I'd regret?" Come now, Worf. You should know me better than that." Riker replied.

"Yes I do, and it's your butt." Worf replied, as he simply gazed back at Riker, then took his leave.

After the Klingon had left, Riker had a chance to get a better look at the little bottle. It's black glass was boldly emblazoned in PlaqaD. For all the Commander might have known, it could have said "Skunk Water. Apply Liberally and as often as needed." But he was desperate and willing to try just about anything to boost his popularity with the opposite gender.

The next morning, after his sonic shower, he opened the bottle and sniffed his contents. That's when he noticed that it had not scent.

"Well, if it doesn't smell, it can't be all that bad. . . . . " Riker thought. So, casting all caution to the wind, he doused himself with the liquid, got dressed, checked himself in the mirror, and left his quarters.

Five minutes later, Commander William Riker strode off the lift and on to the bridge like Ceaser. ready to conquer the universe. He slid into his chair, and pretended to listen intently to Data's Report of The Day, as he waited for the action to start.

"Good Morning, Deanna." Riker said, in his most suave voice, to the Betazoid Councillor who sat down next to him.

"Good Morning, Will . . . . . . Phew! What's that horrible odor? Troi asked, as she sniffed and wrinkled her nose in distaste.

"Oh-oh!" Riker thought. "Horrible odor? What horrible odor? I don't smell anything."

"Of course you wouldn't smell it! That's because it's coming from you!" Troi whispered, as she fanned the air in front of her nose. Out of the corner of his eye, Riker saw Data sniffing around his Ops console, turn, and home in on him like a blood hound. All Data needed to do now was bark. Riker silenced the android with a withering gaze.

"Worf warned me. Why didn't I listen? I'd better go wash it off before. . . . ." he thought, as he rose from his seat, intending to go the "the fresher" and do just that. But, Captain Picard chose that very second to step off the lift and strode down the ramp to his seat.

"Whoops! Too late!" Riker thought, as he abruptly sat down, and tried to make himself small and unnoticeable for the entire shift.

For the rest of the day, the results were the same. Similar complaints were made by women, about the strange odor, which was coming for his person. Descriptive adjectives ranged from the odor being akin to everything from "Ferrengi Barf to Targ Poop". Even the usually staid Dr. Selar wrinkled her nose in distaste and snorted something uncomplimentary in Vulcan, as she passed Riker on the way to Sickbay. Everyone else opted to stay as far away from him as possible.

That could not be more evident that when Riker was off-shift, and decided to stop by Ten Forward for one of Guinan's Solace Specials. Within five minutes, all of the female patrons had left. Leaving only Guinan. If the odor bothered her, she never let on. For all she did was quietly serve the commander his usual two drinks and chatted with him as if nothing was wrong..

It was well into the ship's night, by the time Riker decided to head back to his quarters. By then, the was throughly disgusted. He had decided that he was going to use his precious monthly water allotment to scrub himself from head to toe. Then he was going to return the remainder of Klingon Sex Appeal to it's rightful owner with his blessings.

Riker was so intent on calculating how many bottles of Blood Wine he'd have to buy Worf to replace the amount cologne he'd wasted, that he did not know he was being silently and stealthily stalked. By the time he early warning system went off ( all of the tiny hairs on his neck standing on end ) he was literally pounced upon.

He was further horrified to find that he was swept off his feet, and slung across someone's shoulder as if he were a ten kilo sack of quadrotriticale. Now, all he could see from his, new, upside down vantage point on life, was the hinder part of a very shapely lady. And all he could think was: "Where the HELL is Security when you need 'em?"

When they arrived at her place, recognized her immediately. Though he'd never actually seen her, he had heard so much about her to recognize her on sight. This particular lady was one of the few Klingon exchange officers, who were now serving on the Enterprise, as a direct result of his short-lived stay aboard the Phagh.

Unfortunately, Riker was away on assignment when D'Ynn arrived. She had caused quite a stir and flurry of bets, as to whether Worf would take an instant liking to the statuesque, Klingon, beauty. When he did not, a lot of credits exchanged hands for the next few days. In fact, some were still paying off their incurred debt. . . . .

He had a good opportunity to look at her now, as she put him down on her bunk. She was the same height as he, with dusky skin coloring, intense dark eyes, and wavy, jet black hair. Of course, she had brow ridges and the heavy bone structure inherent to all Klingons. She was also strong as hell, and strangely enough, she really was beautiful, but, she scared the whatis out of him.

"I hope I didn't frighten you too badly." she said, in a throaty contralto whisper. "If I have, you can always press charges against me for assaulting a superior officer." she continued as she ran her hands through his hair.

"That's if don't have a coronary first!" Riker thought, as she bared, kissed and nuzzled his neck. "Great, just what I always wanted, my own Klingon Vampire!"

"

Oooohhh! Poor baby! You're scared to death! Your little heart's racing along at warp nine." she cooed.

"Who's wouldn't be with you exploring one's neck, that close to one's jugular vein!" Riker thought, as he frantically tried to squirm away.

"Has anyone ever told you that you are handsome, and have the most beautiful eyes?" she asked, of Riker as she locked gazed with him. He was finding it hard not to get lost in that soulful gaze of hers.

"Not quite so dramatically." Riker gulped. As he shifted uncomfortably. He ironically remembered the numerous times he'd used a variation of that same line on the many women he'd tried to impress in the past.

"You don't have to be so shy. I don't bite." she said. ". . . . . . unless you want me to." she whispered as an afterthought.

"Look, it's been nice. I'd better get back to my quarters for some shut eye. I've got an early shift tomorrow." Riker lied, and exaggerated a yawn. He tried to get up and leave, but she had him in a relaxed version of Klingon Defense Hold # 17. The very same hold Worf had been trying to teach him how to break for the past six months, without success.

"There is an old saying among us Klingons: If the Trag has already been in for most of the night, why send it out?" she purred. Riker caught the drift of her words and cringed inside.

"By the way, what's the name of that great smelling scent you're wearing? It's practically irresistible." she said, after a few minutes of total silence, except for breathing in the semi darkness in her quarters.

"Irresistible! That's why Worf warned me!" Riker thought.

"Everyone said it smelled horrible. Those who didn't stayed away from me as if I had the plague!" Riker replied.

"Everyone like who?" she queried.

"

Women." Riker replied.

"Women? Why would women . . . . . ?" she started, as she sat up. "What's the the name of it?" she queried. Riker told her, and watched as she threw her head back and laughed, a good, old, hearty Klingon laugh. Giving him full view of two rows of sharply pointed teeth. To think that only minutes ago she was nuzzling his neck, made his blood suddenly run cold.

"Silly Human! You should have known better than to use a Klingon product which is meant to attract Klingons. What did else did you expect to catch?." she chided, as she continued to chuckle.

"But. . . . but, when Worf wears it, women come out of the woodwork. . . . " Riker started.

"Oooohhhh I seeeee. We haven't been too successful with the opposite gender of late, so we decided to try Klingon Sex Appeal to boost our popularity, didn't we?" D'Ynn asked.

"Uhhh . . . . . ." Riker blubbered, as he blushed to nearly the same color as his uniform tunic.

"Don't worry, your secrete's safe with me." she whispered, as she smiled. "And from what I've already heard, practically every woman on this ship thinks Worf is a hunk. So, he doesn't need Klingon Sex Appeal." she continued.

"What about you?" Riker asked, hesitantly.

"My tastes tend to run towards the more exotic." D'Ynn replied, as she gazed deeply into his eyes.

"That's what I was afraid of." Riker thought. "Look, I really have to go, perhaps we can have dinner one night. . . . . . ." he started.

"Oh, that simply will not do. Not at all." she said, cutting Riker off. A sly smile inched it's way up both corners of her mouth, as she slowly shook her head.

"Why not?" Riker asked, suddenly alert, and not liking the suggestive tone of her voice.

"I've caught you and you are mine. So you're not going anywhere until I'm finished with you. And if you're really good, I just might keep you." she said, as she pinned him with a sultry gaze, and licked her teeth.

"Keep me?" Riker though,

" . . . . . hey, wait.. . . I don't. . . . . I'm. . . . I'm not." was all he managed to sputter. He was up and off the bunk in a move so swift, that it caught D'Ynn off guard. However, she recovered a mere second later, and had him trapped like a fly under a glass.

"Did you actually think I was going to let you get away that easily, my sweet?" she asked, huskily.

"Oh-no . . . . . . . " Riker squeaked.

"Oh yes." D'Ynn purred.

"Mmmmooommmiiieeee!" Riker thought.

It's hard to say when the Commander regained consciousness. Especially since he did not remember losing consciousness in the first place. Riker opened his eyes and watched Worf's fearsome visage slowly swim into focus before him. He took a few hesitant sniffs and automatically know that he was in Sickbay.

"D'Ynn reported that you had passed out, so you were beamed . . . "

" . . . . . . directly here." Riker finished, weakly as he tried to sit up. Only to find that every bone in his body ached. He uttered a couple of Klingon cuss words as he flopped back on the bed. He was about to drift off to sleep when he remembered something.

"Bye the way, where is D'Ynn?" he asked, hesitantly.

"Preparing for her relatives arrival." Worf intoned.

"Her wha . . . . . .?" Riker asked, as his eyes snapped open to stare at Worf.

"Her relatives. She is preparing for their arrival." Worf repeated.

"What for?"

"While you were unconscious, she informed them by subspace transmission that she had taken a mate and wishes them to met him." Worf said, trying to be as tactful as possible. There was absolutely no doubt in Riker's mind, who the him was. For he distinctly remembered her saying: "If you're really good, I just might keep you."

"She what?" Riker shouted, as he abruptly sat up, ignoring the pain. His shout brought three nurses and Dr. Crusher running to see what was going on.

"Will! You shouldn't be sitting up!" Crusher said.

"I'm okay . . . " Riker replied, as he waved away the hand held medi-scanner she was running across his torso. "I just heard some rather distressing news, that's all." he continued, breathlessly, as he was having a hard time keeping a tight rein on his emotions.

"Calm down, Will! You're starting to hyperventilate." Crusher said, then yelled for a nurse to bring a "HV kit, stat!"

A second later a nurse pelted in, handed the doctor a package and rushed out. Crusher tore open the sealed package, flipped out it's contents, and placed what looked suspiciously like a "paper bag" over Riker's nose and mouth, and ordered him to breath in and out slowly.

"Worf, you promised me that you wouldn't tell him until he was physically ready to handle the news. ." Crusher accused, the Klingon.

"It's alright, Beverly. I kind of conned him out of the news." Riker managed to rasp, before Worf could respond to her. Crusher looked from Worf to Riker. Sincerely doubting that Riker was capable of conning Worf out of the paper bag she held, much less something he'd sworn to keep to himself until he was ready was ready to tell it.

"Alright Worf, if you really must tell him, go ahead. But please try to keep the racket down to a minimum. You're scaring away all of my customers. Oh, and by the way, if you need to throw up, please use this." Crusher said, as she handed the paper bag back to Riker. She then turned and swept out of the room. Knowing enough to leave alone, two friends who decided to cover each other's back, when in trouble.

"Okay Mister. Give it to me straight. What's this about D'Ynn finding a mate?" Riker demanded of Worf.

"Did she stand up and howl something in Klingon?" Worf asked, totally throwing Riker off guard.

"She said a lot of stuff in Klingon. Some of it I understood, some of it I didn't." Riker replied, as he shrugged.

"Did she stand up and howl something afterwards?" Worf persisted.

"Afterwards?" Riker asked.

"Yes, afterwards." Worf responded, and gave him a hard glare which translated "Do I have to be literal?"

"Oh." Riker replied, as he blushed seven hues of red. "I . . . I don't remember . . . . " he continued.

"How could you not remember?" Worf asked, incredulously.

"You can forget a whole lot when you are scared to death!" Riker retorted. Worf remained silent.

"A Klingon woman is nothing to be frightened of, William."

"Oh yeah? Perhaps you should have been there to tell me that when she ambushed me on my way to my quarters!"

"She ambushed you?" Worf queried.

"Yep, swooped down on me and carried me off as if. . . . . . " Riker started and stopped,upon hearing a strange sound. It started as a low rumble, then a low chuckle, finally the Klingon threw his head back and roared with mirth. Riker stared, as his friend laughed at him for a good five minutes straight.

"That is what you get for not following my instructions." Worf continued, once he had calmed down.

"How much of it did you use?" he queried.

"Practically the whole bottle." Riker murmmered.

"How much?"

"Practically the entire bottle!" Riker shouted. Both men started, as a nurse popped in and fixed both of them with a reproving glare.

"You owe me ten bottles of Klingon Blood Wine." Worf stated.

"Ten bottles of Blood Wine! Are you nuts?" Riker replied.

"It is either that or fifty pieces of gold pressed latinum." Worf intoned.

"Fifty pieces of . . . . . this is highway robbery!"

"I warned you that Klingon Sex Appeal was both expensive and potent. Can I help it if you did not heed my warnings?"

"Of course you're right, Worf. I'll pay you back, but mind you, on Starfleet pay, it may take a while." Riker replied, contritely.

"Back to the subject of D'Ynn. Did she howl something, afterwards." Worf asked.

"Come to think of it, she did howl and rattle off some stuff in Klingon. . . . " Riker replied.

"And you did not protest?" Worf asked incredulously.

"Protest! I didn't understand a damned word she said!" Riker shouted, then clamped a hand over his mouth as he remember Crusher's warning about raising a ruckus. Worf waited for another nurse to come rushing in to reprimand them. However, when no one showed up, they continued.

"What she did was announce to her ancestors in the Black Fleet that she was taking you to be her mate. What you were supposed to do was stop her by protesting, before she finished her vow. Since you did not. . . . " Worf started.

" . . . . . . you mean I'm . . . . I'm married?"

"Yes."

"You set this whole thing up, didn't you?" Riker accused.

"Set this up?"

"You knew that cologne would attract the only Klingon female on board the Enterprise, and you gave it to me on purpose!"

"I gave it to you because you insisted on trying the product, despite my warnings. I did not hold a phaser to hour head and force you to douse yourself with it. Can I help it if you no longer possess the adeptness to attract the female species of your own race, or any other for that matter? Worf stated.

Riker glowered at Worf in response. But that had about as much affect upon the Klingon as a drop of water on a volcanic eruption.

"I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm gonna get you back for this. . . . . . " he thought.

"Alright, I've got myself into this mess and now I've got to get myself out of it. There is a way out, isn't there?"

"Yes. There are two. One, if her father considers you unfit. . . . " Worf started.

" . . . . . . then what?" Riker asked, cautiously.

"He will kill you."

"Great, what's the other?"

"Death."

"Something tells me I shouldn't ask who's."

"Either your's or hers"

"Oooohhh greeeaat!" Riker thought.

"These relatives of hers, when are they expected to arrive?" he asked aloud.

"We are scheduled to rendezvous with the USS Colin Powell, and beam them over, six hours and twenty-five minutes from now." Worf intoned.

"Impatient buggers, aren't they? Well, I guess I'd better be up and at 'em if I'm going to future in-laws." Riker said. As he sat up painfully and carefully got to his feet.

"There is more." Worf rumbled.

"Now what?" Riker thought, wondering if he should sit down again, just in case. But, he decided he effort was just too much. "Worf will catch me if I fall. I think. . . . ." he thought.

"You will need a second."

"A what?"

"A second. A best man, so to speak." Worf replied.

"For what?"

"The bonding ceremony."

"Bonding ceremony! Now wait a minute! You didn't mention a thing about a bonding ceremony!

"You did not ask." Worf replied.

"Oh my, we're really on a roll today, aren't we?" Riker fumed to himself. "That shouldn't be too hard.

You'll be my second." he said.

"I must respectfully decline." Worf said.

"Why?" Riker asked, flabbergasted.

"My discomendation. I do not believe D'Ynn's family would appreciate my presence. It may also bring reproach upon you . . . . " Worf intoned.

"

Damn!" Riker spat. Remembering in vivid detail the cold and callous treatment Worf had received from his supposed fellow Klingons. Since that fated incident on the Klingon home world eight and a half months ago.

"So, who will I. . . . "

"It is possible to have the ceremony without a second. However, you will be challenged by her father as to why you do not. And, if he finds your answer to be suspect. . . . . "

"I know. . . . . I know, he'll kill me." Riker finished.

"Are you alright, William?" Worf asked, after a few minutes of silence.

"No, I'm not alright! I'm minding my own business and I get kidnapped by a woman I've never seen in my entire life. I wake up in Sickbay with my head splitting, and aching from head to toe. I find out I'm married and theres a good chance her father might put me out of my misery, six hours from now, and I haven't revised my will yet. To top it off, my supposed friend is having fun at my expense. . . . No, I'm not alright!" Riker replied, through clenched teeth. To which Worf responded with a knowing stare.

"Don't you dare say it!" Riker warned.

D"Ynn's relatives arrived a half an hour earlier than expected. This caused one William Riker to have a semi private fit. It was semi private because Worf was present.

He had tried to sleep, but his nerves were shot. He'd tried to eat, but his stomach was in knots. He had a headache the size of Watanabe Nebulae. He had tried on six outfits, because he could not decide what was most appropriate for him to wear, and wound up casting all aside in favor of his day uniform.

All he wanted was to be left alone, but that was not to be his lot this day, and for many days afterward. Finally, in utter frustration, Riker left his quarters leaving behind a discarded pile of clothing on his floor and a silent Worf sitting on his sofa.

The Commander was careful to keep his mind blank, as he strode into a waiting lift and gave it the verbal order to go to the level of the main Transporter Room. He did no even want to consider the possibilities of what could go wrong with his meeting D'Ynn's relatives. Intergalactic war, being one of the first and foremost.

When he arrived, he found that about three thirds of the party had already arrived. They were already milling about in the Transporter Room proper and in the corridor adjoining it.

To Riker, even though the Klingons were now allies with the Federation, it was no less disturbing to see so many of them in one place. He was somewhat comforted by the fact that Security had been discreetly stepped up for this impromptu gathering.

"Captain White Eagle must've really had a fit!" He thought, as he fondly remembered the tall and stately American Indian lady who was the Colin Powell's captain. The one he would never have the opportunity to get better acquainted with, now.

He didn't have far to look in order to find D'Ynn's father. He was off the side and conversing with Captain Picard. Riker was just thinking of making a quick exit, when Picard called him over for introductions. "Well. Here goes nothin'." Riker thought, as he worked his way through the crowd.

"This is my First Officer, Commander William Riker." Picard said. Riker remembered at the last second that Klingons did not shake hands, and inclined his head. In response, he received on of "those piercing gazes" that he thought only Worf specialized in, which clearly said: "So you're the one my daughter has taken. I am not impressed."

"Neither am I." Riker thought in response as he stared boldly back at D'Ynn's father. A staring contest ensued for the next ten seconds. A typical Klingon rite of passage that would've sent most humans packing.

"I am Refar." he replied, in a rumbling basso.

He towered over Captain Picard, and he was a full head taller that Riker. His thick, jet black mane showed only a mere hint of gray at the temples. His powerfully muscled body showed no signs of the weight gain and softness which seemed to afflict the older, inactive Klingon males.

Unlike the rest of his party, whose clothing favored full body armor, gauntlets, sashes, and hides which were either polished, brushed or oiled to perfection. Refar's outfit consisted of a simple black pair of pants, shirt, vest, cloak, and boots. Not saying that he was not carrying his own personal armament concealed withing the loose folds of his clothing. The Commander sincerely hoped there would be no reason to find out.

In short, arrangements had been made with Captain Picard to use Cargo Deck C for the ceremony. According to Refar, it would take approximately one hour to have the place readied. So Riker had time to go back to his quarters and get properly dressed.

"Why bother having a ceremony in the first place? I thought you said that D'Ynn's already claimed me before her ancestors in the Black Fleet.?" Riker asked, of Worf as he got dressed.

"The only reason is because she has sisters." was the rumbled reply.

"So, what has that got to do with it?"

"If D'Ynn does not lay claim to you before her sisters, they will have the right to challenge her to the death for your possession, if they so desired." Worf intoned.

For a hot minute, Riker ego fancied the thought of several Klingon women fighting to the death for him. But, he inwardly cringed at the thought of what might happen to him if one of D'Ynn's sisters actually got a hold of him. "There probably won't be enough of me left to feed a Trag." Riker thought, glumly.

"From what I've heard about D'Ynn's sisters, you are much better off with her. At least she is in the medical field, and will treat you gently, as she knows you are fragile." Worf stated, voicing Riker's fears to the tee.

"Aww Jeez, what'd I get myself into? I think I'm gonna be sick." Riker said, as he started to rummage around for the HV kits Crusher had sent him "home" with.

"You don't have time." Worf said, as he glanced at the desk chrono.

"Can I at least faint?"

"Finish getting dressed, William. It would bode ill for you to be late." the Klingon replied, as he gave Riker a harsh stare of chastisement.

"Alright! I'm goin'! I'm goin!" Riker said, as he flung on a borrowed Klingon vest, and headed for the door.

"William." Worf called, just before Riker reached the door.

"Qapla!" Worf said.

"Thanks." Riker replied, with a half smile, as he sadly gazed back at his friend. At that moment, all resentment he had towards Worf, disappeared. And Riker sincerely wished that the Klingon could stand at his side for this occasion even though it was "a shotgun wedding". But alas, he had to turn aside and to alone.

When Riker arrived at Cargo Deck C. He found that it had been literally transformed into a Klingon palace of sorts.

Heavily brocaded wall hangings hung from and covered the bulkheads. The deck below his feet was covered with thick carpeting. Heavily carved, wooden tables, which were laden with food and wine were strategically placed in spots next to dining couches.

The entire place was lit with many candles. Spiced incense scented the air, and the gentle strains of Klingon music filled the air, along with conversation. Riker blinked at the number of Klingons present, as he did not recall this many of them being in the Transporter Room a mere hour ago.

"Where are K'Nect and Zyfor?" one Klingon male whispered harshly to another, as Riker passed them.

"This is just a few of us who were able to make it at such short notice." the other replied.

"Only a few! How man damned relatives could one Klingon woman have?" Riker thought, as he felt rather than saw D'Ynn join him at his side.

"Father wishes to see you." she said sinply.

"What terrible thing have I done now?" Riker asked.

"Nothing. He just wants to question you." she replied.

"This must be the part Worf warned me about." he thought, as he followed her to the lightly raised dais, where both parents sat side by side in ornate throne-like chairs. He was introduced to D'Ynn's mother, Veshna, who was of undetermined age. She had also kept herself well, despite bearing nine children.

"Tell me Commander. How did you manage to bewitch my daughter so? She has avoided my attempts to marry her off, many times. My latest attempt was foiled by her entering the Imperial Academy. I strongly suspect that her true reason for accepting the exchange assignment on board the Enterprise was to further herself from my grasp. . . . . . " Refar started.

"Father!" D'Ynn exclaimed. While Veshna gave her husband and ill-disguised look of dissapproval.

"Oh boy! Family dirt slinging time!" Riker thought.

"Well, I am interested in finding out what net he used to snare you. Is that wrong, my daughter?" Refar asked.

"No, it isn't, father. . . . . . . " D'Ynn started.

". . . . . . . this is not the time nor place to discuss such things, my husband!" Veshna hissed as she indicated the room of long-eared relatives, who'd surely carry the tale back to the twelve corners of the Empire, swifter than a sub-space transmission.

"You are right. I will spare you for now, but one day, I will hear it." Refar warned.

"I don't think so." Riker thought, as he glanced at D'Ynn. The expression on her face said the same.

"Your Captain speaks very highly of your exploits, and loyalty. You should have a second, yet you do not. Why not?" Refar asked.

"Oh-oh!" Riker thought, as the room grew suddenly silent. One could hear a pin drop as everyone waited for him to answer that all important question.

"I don't have one, Sir." Riker replied.

"You are a terrible liar, human." Refar replied. "How can a a man of your stature, not have someone to stand with you on such a momentous occasion?" he continued.

"A man of my stature? What the hell has Jean-Luc been telling this man?" Riker wondered. He took a deep breath and told Refar about Worf and his reluctance in coming. When he finished, ther was a long silence. Just as he was beginning to think that Refar was going to let him stand there until he dropped, the elder Klingon called one of his sons, gave him rapid fire orders in Klingon, and sent him off. No doubt to fetch Worf.

"Oh great! That's gonna be one really pissed off Klingon when he gets here!" Riker thought.

Refar's son appeared five minutes latter with Worf , who was also dressed in all black, with the additon of his famous sash. He directed one of his infamous "I am not pleased." scowls at Riker, who shrugged and guessed they were going to have another one of their "discussions" when this was over.

"Worf son of Mogh. I, my family and clans are not citizens of Klinzi, but one of her sister planets.

I do not consider myself one of those who chose to discomendate you. Nor, do I agree to their actions as being just. I respectfully request that you take your rightful place beside your friend as second. However, if you refuse, I promise no dishonor will befall you or your friend." Refar intoned in his profound basso voice.

"I will stand." Worf rumbled, in reply.

"Al-right!" Riker thought, as he beamed. Knowing Worf would not wan to miss this for the universe.

The ceremony was in three stages, which were not complicated. First was the pledge, the couple made to one another to cover each other's back for life. Since the pledge had to be in Klingon, it was Worf's duty as second to lead Riker in saying the long and throat constricting responses.

Next, was the exchange of weapons. Since Riker did have a proper set of knives to exchange with D'Ynn, a heavily carved wooden box was handed to Worf by one of her brothers. No doubt, brought by Refar, just in case.

Once that stage was over, one of D'Ynn's sisters poured Blood Wine into a large, elaborately designed goblet. Refar, who took a a deep swallow and handed it to Veshna who took a healthy gulp. Commemorating their approval of D'Ynn's choice of a mate. Next the wine was handed D'Ynn who

took a swig, than handed it to Riker who took a gulp. Lastly, the goblet was handed to Worf, who drained off the Blood Wine, threw the goblet to the deck and smashed it to powder underfoot. Stating that by his action, the couple was forever sealed. At that, a tremendous shout went up among the guests and onlookers, scaring the daylights out of Riker.

"I hope this means they approve, or I am dead meat!" he thought, as he looked around, and spied his fellow crew members mingling with the crowd.

Picard was there with Dr. Crusher. So was Data who was patiently tolerating curious stares from a group of five Klingon women. Troi was there also, and being regaled by a young Klingon male, by the looks of it. Riker silently wished him "Good Luck".

George came up behind him with O'Brian in tow, clapped him on the back and congratulated him. Both went off in search of food and drink. Guinan who was having an in-depth conversation in Klingon with an important looking, older Klingon male.

Riker decided to find himself something to eat and drink also. Only to be chased away from the tables, not once but three times.

"Come here, you silly thing!" You're not supposed to eat with the guests. There is a special table over here just for us." D'Ynn said, as she took Riker by his hand and led him to where "the couple" was supposed to eat.

"Now, you lie down . . . . . . " she said, as she reclined on a dining couch meant for two.

"Then what?" Riker asked, as he sat next to her, and flinched a piece of fruit from the nearby table. He was about to bite into it when D'Ynn snatched it away. She bit into the fruit's skin, expertly peeled it and pushed Riker into a reclining position on the couch.

"I'm supposed to feed you." she said, as she offered him a slice of the fruit.

True to her word, D'Ynn kept Riker well fed and and watered ( or wined ) during the rest of the evening. During a long interval between the meal and entertainment, Riker was officially introduced to all of the relatives, including D'Ynn's sisters

He was surprised to find that none of them resembled D'Ynn or her parents in the least. Their Junoistic proportions rivaled most of the Klingon men present. And although, among Klingons, there was no such term as "ugly", all five sisters were "as ugly as mud fences". He immediately put the question to D'Ynn when they were alone.

"They are not my blood sisters. They are, how would you say, adopted. My father's brother and his wife both died in a border scrimmage with those impotant pests, the Romulans, when they were mere tots. So father was honor-bound to take them in, and raise them as his own. Thus, they have the same rights and privileges as I who is blood-born to him." D'Ynn said.

After hearing this, Riker silently thanked D'Ynn a thousand times for claiming him publicly. He also thanked Worf for warning him about. . . . . .

"Speaking of the Devil, what's he up to?" Riker thought, as he looked around the room for his friend.

He found Worf on the other side of the room conversing with a young Klingon woman. All while D'Ynn's sisters hungrily admired him from afar.

"Ah-ha! So we've stuffed ourselves with food and drink and now we're moving in for the dessert?" Riker thought, as a perfectly wicked idea came to mind and he decided to put it into action. Now, all he needed was a writing stylus and a piece of paper.

He got both from Geordi, who always seemed to carry such things ( heavens knew why ), and as neatly as possible, he wrote down Worf's Universal Post Office Box Number, Official Starfleet Mailing Address and U-Mail Address. He handed the stylus back to Geordi, and slipped unnoticed, over to where D'Ynn sisters were standing.

"Evil, Eviline, Evermean, Kruel and Kruelia." Riker thought to himself, as he did not remember their names, and these seemed to be the most appropriate. He attracted the oldest one's attention and handed her the note.

His dastardly deed done, he scampered back to his dining couch. He watched as the rest of the sisters gathered around the eldest, to examine the slip of paper, whisper excitedly in Klingon, and discreetly point in Worf's direction.

"Revenge is a dish best served cold, my friend!" Riker thought. He poured himself another goblet of that fruity Klingon wine, and silently toasted the blissfully ignorant Worf.

Approximately ten minutes later, Refar called Worf away from his conversation with the young lady

"Enjoying yourself, thus far, Worf?" the elder Klingon asked, as he poured himself a goblet of wine, and refreshed Worf's.

"So far." Worf intoned, highly annoyed that he was being called away from his "rendezvous."

"Decent home cooking for a change, not that replicated garbage Starfleet officers have to eat every day, eh?" Refar asked, as he threw an arm around Worf's shoulder, and walked him out of Cargo Bay C.

"Sir?" Worf asked. The nuance of the subtle gesture was not entirely lost on him.

"Ah, you grow impatient with me, so I'll get to the point, then." Refar replied sagely. Worf grunted his agreement, as he took a sip of wine, steeling himself for the worst.

"Have you noticed that I yet have five unmarried daughters?" Refar asked. The unmistakable sound of Worf choking on wine mingling with the sound of Refar pounding him on the back could be heard echoing in the corridor.

The End