Author Note: I know I said I'd get this updated (fairly) quickly, and I'm sorry for the delay. Basically, the idea I did have for this chapter wasn't working, so I had to go back and rewrite the entire chapter. It's done now though and I hope you like the finished result. I'm warning you now, it is a little bit fluffy. And by a little bit I mean a lot.
Tying the Knot
Pavel Chekov's hands were trembling slightly as he did up the buttons on his dress uniform, pulling the material around his waist to connect to a clasp on his side, noticing how the clothing stretched uncomfortably over his chest. It must have been at least eleven months since he'd last been forced to wear this hated thing – a nightmare in starched yellow and silver braid- for the Rigel 7 diplomatic meeting he'd accompanied Kirk and McCoy on (he couldn't remember much about the actual night but he definitely recalled the hangover he felt afterwards), but surely he couldn't have grown that much since then. He was quite resigned to the fact that the thing had never fitted well anyway.
You're getting fat, Pavel. Need to lay off Sulu's cooking and probably need to stop resembling a Hoover whenever you eat, unless you want to start looking like a beached whale.
Shut up, Chekov told his irrational thoughts firmly as he spared a look at the reflection in the full-length mirror he was currently standing in front. A twenty one year old Starfleet officer stared back at him with apprehension, smart black trousers accompanied by the painfully hideous dress-uniform he was trying to pull further down over the tops of his trousers. He felt like he was fighting a losing battle. Giving the task up as a lost cause, the figure in the mirror gave the top one final irritated tug, breathing out in a shaky half-controlled breath and running a nervous hand through his dark blonde curls- his attempt to tame them into some resemblance of order had definitely been a lost cause. Turning away from the figure, Chekov flicked a quick glance over at the clock taunting him from his bedside table. Five minutes to go. God he hadn't been this nervous the last time they'd tried to tie the knot about two weeks ago, although to be honest, last time they hadn't even gotten close to walking down the aisle, thanks to the Fesarians- who'd decided their idea of fun would be to destroy the Enterprise then move on to completely obliterate the Federation. Now, all the worry he'd managed to push to the back of his mind while he'd worked on repairing the ship from the extensive damage the Fesarians had inflicted on the Enterprise, had come to a head with a vengeance. Chekov's heartbeat seemed to be elevated- was that normal? - and it felt like he hadn't eaten for a week, his stomach doing crazy back flips and making him feel like whatever he had eaten that day at lunch with Uhura, he was probably going to bring right back up again.
There was a sharp rap on the door to his quarters and Chekov jumped as his thoughts were interrupted by the figure who had just entered; tall, thin and unusually free from the stubble that usually grew stubbornly on the man's face.
"Ready, kid?" McCoy asked as he shuffled awkwardly into the lieutenants quarters, also wearing a dress-uniform- the blue hue of the medical staff, that looked a size or two too small, and unconsciously mirroring Chekov's previous actions as he tugged half-heartedly at the uniform "Not panicking too much I hope?"
"I'm ready" Chekov muttered, turning to study the doctor with a nervous grin, making his reservations known. Bones knew him too well to fall for any of Chekov's ill-disguised attempts to hide his panic.
It's natural, he told himself, pre-wedding nerves, everyone gets them. But this was a big day, a day he wouldn't miss even if every Romulan on Romulus descended upon the Federation. Today was the day he and Sulu had been planning for months, arranging simultaneous shore-leaves and going through every channel and Starfleet to get them cleared, the paperwork signed and temporary replacements found. The Russian was quite happy with the thought of spending the rest of his life with the man he loved, so why was he worrying? What if Sulu decided at the last minute this wasn't what he wanted? Chekov locked eyes with Bones "I'm not too sure about the panicking part of the question though"
McCoy gave a gruff smile as Chekov walked towards him, the doctor patting the Russian on the shoulder in a subtle show of paternal affection "Don't worry. Everyone gets nerves before they tie the knot. It's quite normal"
Chekov groaned and for once envied Spock for his Vulcan ability to control his emotions. What he would give to possess that ability right now… "My stomach feels like it's entered the Olympics pole-vault"
"I felt like that when I married Jocelyn" McCoy reassured the younger man, his tone calming as he studied Chekov with storm-grey eyes. He paused thoughtfully "I also felt like that when I divorced her though, so…"
Chekov gave him playful shove as the two of them walked out of the Russians quarters. "You aren't really helping me, Leonard"
McCoy gave a laugh "You keep calling me that and I'll give Kirk some more embarrassing stories about you then the ones he had planned for his speech" he checked the watch on his wrist. "C'mon kid. Don't want to keep the groom waiting"
"Where is he?" Sulu asked for at least the fourth time, turning to look at the Vulcan standing next to him; a picture of stoic tranquillity and calm, especially compared to Sulu's frantic glances over at the doors that served as an entrance to the rec-room, the helmsman wringing his hands nervously as he waited, standing near the front of the room, guests and other various people who seemed to have invited themselves to the ceremony standing behind him. Sulu looked over to his left, where Uhura, dressed as impeccably as usual in red dress-uniform, gave him a small encouraging smile. Sulu returned it faintly, feeling ill and turned back, staring at a blank spot on the wall in an effect to distract his racing mind.
"Sulu, the ceremony is not scheduled to begin for another three minutes, seventeen seconds. I'm sure Chekov will not be delayed much longer" Spock cast a piercing blue gaze over at the worried man standing next to him, someone over the last four years that he had come to regard as a friend- a fellow colleague who for the most part was able to exercise a steady degree of control over his actions, and could consider the best way to go about things in a logical way. Now, however, did not seem to be one of those times.
"Are you sure that your health is not becoming negatively affected?" Spock continued, noticing the acute levels of near-panic displayed in Sulu's expression "Your heart rate appears to have increased significantly from the norm, and your blood pressure is indicative of high stress levels."
Sulu laughed faintly, without any real humor and it felt more like he was going to be sick soon if things didn't start looking up, his stomach twisting itself in tightly pulled knots of tension.
"Has it, Spock?" he replied, sarcasm ineffectively masking the worry in his voice "I wonder why. It might be because of the fact that I'm just about to marry the man I love with all my heart and I'm shit-scared that the fact he isn't here, right now, means that he's decided he's not going to come at all"
Spocks eyebrows moved together in a confused frown, the halogen lights of the rec-room casting almost white highlights across the smooth black sheen of his carefully cut hair. "That is illogical"
Sulu's hands shook as he looked at the clock on the nearby wall- oh God, two minutes – but he fought hard to control his spasming muscles, breathing in and out deeply in an attempt to relax both his wound up mind and tense body. It had little success.
Hurry up, Pasha. My old mans heart can't take much more of this
To Spock, he replied: "You're posted aboard a ship almost full of humans. You should be expecting our near total lack of logical action and emotional control", while inside his head the panicking had reached a new level of almost-hysteria, Sulu swearing inside his mind and praying to space-gods, Klingons or anyone else he could think of, while his brain turned slowly to jelly, that Chekov would hurry up.
"But not from you" Spock considered the helmsman "although you do react emotionally to most stimuli, as dictates your human heritage, you are usually able to find a solution to the problem at hand with little interference from your emotions, unless your mate or those close to you are directly threatened"
"He's not my mate quite yet," Sulu muttered, but felt an inexplicable glow as he heard Spock refer to Chekov in that way. The Vulcan, however, chose to ignore his comment as though Sulu had not interrupted.
"To paraphrase one of Uhura's curious observations, ' you think with your head rather then your heart' for the most part; although how the human brain can be housed anywhere other then the head is a concept beyond my scope of understanding"
Spocks' seeming confusion brought a smile to Sulu's face, despite everything that was going wrong " Another one of our human il-logicalities, Spock. We do have many"
Spock nodded to himself as though too verify a fact, then tuned his attention back to the helmsman looking panicked before him " Regarding your concerns, Sulu" Spock continued, those blue eyes fixing upon him once again "I do not think that Lieutenant Chekov is of a mind not to come"
"Because he loves you," Spock replied with an honest tone, and even though Sulu knew Vulcan's couldn't lie, he found himself believing in what Spock was telling him. "There can be no doubt in your mind or anyone else's whom you have served with over the last four years, that you both feel strong attraction and affection towards each other that had not seemed to have diminished over time"
Sulu breathed out slowly, smiling at Spock gratefully. He didn't need to comment and he knew Spock was not one to take open gratitude, but he hoped the Vulcan knew how much that had meant to him. "I just hope you've remembered the bloody rings" Spock's answering eyebrow raise was almost a smirk.
The helmsman turned, feeling rather then seeing the Russian approach. A couple more seconds, which passed by slowly, time almost freezing in a torturous jest, and the door slid open gracefully, with barely a hiss of air (he'd have to comment on that to Scotty) to reveal Chekov. Sulu didn't think the Russian had ever looked more beautiful. To his knowledge, no-one ever really managed to look that good in a Starfleet dress uniform, but Chekov had pulled it off, the starched yellow- while not the best colour to be able to wear at a wedding- complimenting his porcelain skin and bringing attention to the clear sea blue of his eyes, which scanned the room frantically on entry before catching Sulu's gaze and lighting up in a smile
God, Pasha. You look beautiful.
Chekov walked across the carpeted navy floor of the rec room to stand next to Sulu, the helmsman immediately sticking his hand out for the navigator to take. The weight of Chekov's hand was warm, comforting, and his presence allowed Sulu's panic to drain away into non-existence as he turned to smile at the Russian. Everything was ok now Chekov was here.
"You got here then?"
"You know me" Chekov smiled back, his expression gentle and calm "I vouldn't miss this for the vorld"
It was about then that Captain Kirk came into view in front of them, walking assuredly from where he had been waiting next to Uhura up onto the raised area of the rec room, the ceremonial platform in place for special occasions and live band performances from members of the crew. Kirk looked down at the two officers in front of him, looking very much at home in his gold braided dress uniform, the three stripes of captaincy placed neatly on his upright collar. To the left and right of the two officers were a couple of rows of people, nothing big, where select members of the crew stood who had been invited. Spock stood to the left of Sulu, followed by Chapel and some doctors from the hydroponics department, while to the right of Chekov stood Bones, Uhura, Lieutenant Kevin Riley and Ensign Xanth, who had an air of a younger Chekov about him, seventeen, excitable and eager to learn. Chekov and Xanth had struck up a quick friendship, when the ensign had first boarded the Enterprise a year ago. The two chatted easily during work hours, and when they'd gone down to Melos VI it had been Chekov watching out for Xanth, making sure he didn't do anything intoxicated that he would regret (it turned out that Xanth's race, the Xoran's, got drunk really really easily), much like Scotty or Kirk had done when Chekov was seventeen – although Chekov had been able to hold his drink a lot better then Xanth.
Sulu and Chekov had expressly said that they wanted a simple ceremony, nothing special, as they could celebrate properly in the shore leave they had at home with their Sulu's family, before they went on the honeymoon. It was obvious though, that like many great plans, it hadn't turned out that way and many of the guests had brought more people along with them. In fact by the look of it, everyone had brought another one or two guests to the 'simple' ceremony and it seemed like Scotty had even gone so far as to bring the majority of the engineering personnel with him, the back few rows lost in a see of crisp red uniform.
It made Kirk smile to know that all these people were here to celebrate Sulu and Chekov's long-overdue union, not because they had been made to (although the promise of a reception afterwards had probably persuaded some of the more reluctant people), but because they had wanted to, because they had cared. Kirk felt very proud of his crew today.
Looking down at his helmsman and navigator, he smiled again, holding a hand up to indicate the start of the ceremony.
"Can I have some quiet please?" The various conversations struck up between rows quickened down, people turning away with a nod and turning to the front, all eyes on Kirk and the couple. Kirk was quite used to having the attention, being the captain – and he would be lying if he said he didn't enjoy it- but Sulu and Chekov obvious weren't, Sulu flicking a smile at Chekov while shuffling nervously, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, while the Russian turned an embarrassed pink colour.
Kirk paused for a moment, allowing everyone to quiet down properly. He had had a speech prepared for this ceremony, had spent time he should have spent reading through engineering reports and Starfleet transmissions writing down what he thought he should say, but as he though about the importance of today, and what it meant for the two people before him, he decided to hell with it. They weren't bothered about any fancy speeches, and what Kirk really needed to do and what had been lacking from his planned speech, was speaking from the heart. He though about it for a moment, before taking a deep breath and starting the proceedings the same way he always did.
"It's one of the great pleasures of being Captain, going back to the days of seafaring sailors, that I get to be a part of a marriage that involves members of my crew. Every one of these unions are special and thankful most of them last" Kirk paused "This obviously isn't the first wedding I've oversee'ed and these two aren't the first couple I've ever given my blessing to, but this is one of the few wedding's I've held, where the officers involved are very close to my heart. I've known them both for about four years and by the end of the first day I had met them, both of them had separately saved my life. I owe them both a lot, not only because they saved my life but because over the last four years, they've become more then colleagues to me, more then just officers. They've become my friends and somehow that means more to me then anything" He paused again, before his features changed from his serious honest look to a cheeky trademark Kirk grin.
"And now, back to the union of these fine gentlemen, Pavel Andreievich Chekov and Hikaru Sato Sulu, because let's face it, it's about time. We've all been waiting for this day for a long while and it's hard to think that it was only three years ago they finally decided to stop pretending they didn't want to jump each others bones every time they had shift together"
At that, Sulu too went a pink colour, but he had expected such a comment. Kirk wasn't known for his traditional comments, and as it was his job to deliver a speech about the two before they were married, Sulu knew Kirk was going to take the opportunity to joke with them as much as possible.
"Anyway, as I was saying, we've all known this day was coming, ever since they both finally admitted their feelings towards each other, and I can see no better way of celebrating their union then having them surrounded by their friends and colleagues. These two share something special together, something really special, and one day I hope I'll be able to find the sort of love like they have" Kirk paused again, before smiling
"And now, to business. Do you, " he looked at his helmsman, " Hikaru Sato Sulu take Pavel Andreievich Chekov to be your lawfully wedded partner?"
"I do" Sulu's grin seemed to get wider as he looked over at Chekov, clutching the navigators hand tighter as he said the two words that he'd been waiting to say for so so long.
"And do you, " Kirk continued, turning to look at his navigator, all the while knowing exactly what the Russians answer would be " Pavel Andreievich Chekov take Hikaru Sato Sulu to be your lawfully wedded partner?"
"I do" Chekov's answer was barely a whisper, his voice full of raw emotion, but everyone heard his words and the honesty of which he said them. There was no doubt that this was what the two of them wanted with every fibre of their being, and the fact that they were getting married just seemed natural. Like it was always going to happen, and it was just another step forward in their relationship.
Kirk grinned, and although he had said the words he was about to say so many times, he didn't think he had meant it more seriously then he did now. "And now with the power invested in me, I now declare you to be legally married. Let me wish you both the best life possible together" he winked at Sulu, who seemed to be mirroring the thousand watt grin Chekov usually displayed " You may now kiss the bride"
The other people witnessing the ceremony began to clap, and Sulu thought he saw tears of happiness in Uhura's eyes as she joined in. Chekov rolled his eyebrows at being called a 'bride', but otherwise ignored Kirk, turning round to look at Sulu, the rest of the room seeming to dissolve away until it was only the two of them, together, properly at last. It was everything Chekov could have ever hoped for, and he smiled as their lips met in a chaste kiss, although there was an undertone of a promise of more later as they drew away, the kiss simply the start of many more to come. Chekov would be sure to hold Sulu to that promise later on.
It had been a long night, with most of it going by in a coloured blur, Sulu and Chekov suspended in a perfect bubble of slowed time while the rest of the world moved by and the night wore on into late hours. There had been dancing at the reception, which was being held in the mess hall, for those interested, and over the evening several spontaneous toasts had been held for the couple, Scotty in particular delivering a number of ever more rousing speeches which seemed to increase in number and length the more Scotch the Scotsman consumed, his tone gradually gaining the happy but slurred speech of a man who was having a very good time.
Finally though, the evening was drawing to a close, visitors gradually wandering back over to Sulu and Chekov to yet again offer congratulations before retiring to be in time to catch some sleep before their next shift. There was only a handful of people left now, scattered across the room in huddled social groups, Kirk and Bones were reliving nostalgia over in a corner of the room, the wedding bringing up memories of interesting and exciting moments aboard the Enterprise involving the two helm officers, of which there seemed to be many. The stories had now moved away from the topic of the couple, and seemed to have moved on to their Academy days, Kirk animatedly regaling Bones with another one of his stories of conquest, while Bones just raised an eyebrow and poured himself another glass of Saurian brandy.
Scotty had long been put to bed, Xanth dragging the Scotsman away, blue webbed fingers holding tightly to the Scotsman's arms, casting a bemused grin at Chekov as the engineer burst into another joyful rendition of ' Take me home again Kathleen'- that, while unusually was not a native tune of Scotland, was at least a song Scotty thankfully knew some of the words to.
Uhura's eyelids were heavy with the soft promises of sleep as she came over to Sulu and Chekov to say her goodbyes, interrupting the couple's slow dance with a quick apology. Due to the very few people, Sulu and Chekov were now the only people left swaying to a quiet tune on the floor space set aside for dancing. The fact seemed of little concern to either, the two moving in sync in slow circles, Chekov resting his head against the hollow of Sulu's shoulder blade as they did so.
"We'll be off now," she said, gesturing over to Spock who had followed her across to the two, holding back to allow his partner to wish the two goodnight. The comms officer wasted no time, hugging each tightly in turn before parting, looking at them with a contented smile on her tired face, her eyes sparkling with a happiness for her two friends. She had known that this day would have happened eventually, and she was glad to have been proved right. No two people deserved happiness in her eyes more then her best friends, who had always been destined to end up with each other. "Congratulations, again"
"Thanks Nyota" Sulu smiled back, giving his old friend another hug while nodding his thanks to Spock. He suspected that the Vulcan didn't really do informal emotional hugs by way of gratitude. It wasn't that logical. Not that Sulu as a human really cared about the logic of things like friendship.
"I hope you know we're expecting kids from the two of you" Uhura grinned jokingly as she again hugged Chekov, wrapping her arms affectionately around the slender Russians shoulders before letting go. God, he'd grown up a lot since the small shy kid she'd met at the Academy seven years ago.
"It'll take a bloody miracle" Sulu laughed back, the image of Chekov tucking up a young child in bed drawing itself unbidden in his mind. He would never admit to anyone, not even Chekov, how much that image made him happy. They had plenty of time for raising a family yet, but he didn't feel quite ready for that yet. Let things take there own time.
Uhura waved a mocha hand as another goodbye as she walked off with Spock, wrapping a stray strand of newly cut short hair back around her ear from where it had escaped from one of its tightly pinned designs, the Vulcan taking her hand in a rare display of affection as they headed back in the direction of their quarters.
Sulu turned to look at Chekov, a gentle expression in his eyes as he regarded the man in front of him. He couldn't quite believe that they were now married, after waiting so long. It was an idea that seemed too much like a dream for Sulu to believe, but it was true and they were now together forever. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"Want to take a break?"
"Da" Chekov nodded, and taking Sulu's hand, like Spock had done with Uhura's only seconds before, they walked off the dance floor- passing Kirk and Bones and Lieutenant Rodriguez, who was asleep in his seat next to Yeoman Teller, who was also dozing- until they reached the window. Through the protection of the outside shields, they watched the stars for a moment, Sulu standing behind Chekov and wrapping his arms around the Russians waist- an action that could have been perceived as possessive if not for the caring look in the helmsman's eyes- as the two stood silently.
"Any regrets?" Chekov whispered softly, turning his neck to look up at Sulu.
"Nah" Sulu replied with a grin, pressing a soft kiss against Chekov's forehead. "You're stuck with me now"
" I don't mind that" The navigator smiled, looking out once again at the ethereal beauty of the stars " I don't mind that at all"
Ok, this was going to be a five-parter, but because the ideas I had for the next two chapters just don't work down in writing, I'm going to stop it here. Don't worry, I won't stop writing Sulu/Chekov, but I'm going to try and work on some other stuff as well while I do so.
Live Long and Prosper , people. :-)