"You are simply breathtaking."
"Salen!" Joanna exclaimed in alarm. "What are you doing in here?"
"I came to see you."
"You can't see me before the wedding...it's bad luck."
"Bad luck?" Salen repeated confused. "My luck tends to increase whenever I see you."
Joanna chuckled and shook her head at the Vulcan's ignorance of superstition. Seeing that he was forgiven Salen stepped up and wrapped his arms around Joanna's waist. Her elegant white dress was made of soft silk and trailed to the floor. With her hair pulled up and accented with a gauzy veil and flowers she looked far more feminine than usual.
Salen stared intensely at her until she was forced to blush. A smile twitched the corner of his mouth. The dress uniform he wore sparkled a deep blue in the morning light that was streaming in from the near by window. The metal that was pinned to his chest had been given to him under the recommendation of Councilman Ringer. Joanna didn't even remember what the false reason had been given at the time, it had actually been for helping save his daughter Amelia in an illegal operation.
Remembering all of the events that had led up to her agreeing to marry him Joanna reached up behind Salen's ear and brushed at the now deactivated device that was still embedded in his skin. The tiny gem no longer glowed, but it couldn't be removed since part of its action was to act as a hearing aid. Salen took the gentle touch for an invitation for a kiss and leaned in with his lips parted in a vulpine grin. Joanna snatched the tip of his pointed ear and stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Ow..." Salen winced in exaggerated pain.
"Don't even think about it."
"More bad luck?" Salen chuckled as she released him.
"No, I just spent forty-five minutes on my makeup and I'll be damned if I'm going to let you smudge my lipstick."
"I do not understand any of the rituals surrounding this wedding." Salen sighed.
Feeling bad about having tugged on his ear Joanna offered him her hand for a more traditional Vulcan kiss that wouldn't involve ruining her make-up. Salen's eyes lit up brightly and he gently brushed his fingers against her own. Taking her hand fully in his Salen stared at her with a slight sigh.
"Salen? Something wrong?"
"Let me take you out to dinner." Salen said suddenly. "Or down to the beach or something."
"Wha...like right now?"
"Yes, right now."
"Salen, half of Starfleet is out in the ceremony hall waiting to see us get married."
"I...I know...it is terrifying, we should just run off and elope somewhere."
"Salen, don't worry, everything will be fine."
"Salen!" McCoy growled as he stepped into the room. "What on Earth are you doing in here, Boy?"
"Sorry, Dr. McCoy, I was ju..."
"I don't want to hear it, get out, it's bad luck."
"So I have been told." Salen smiled.
"Salen," Joanna said softly "if you don't want to do this..."
"Good, just remember that line when they ask you for it." Joanna smiled.
Salen brought Joanna's hand up and gave the back of it a delicate kiss. McCoy took Salen by the arm just above the elbow and pulled him over to the door. Shoved out into the hall Salen blushed a bright green when he found his father looking up at him with an amused expression.
"Couldn't stand being away from her for ten minuets, eh?" Pike laughed.
"I just wanted to make sure everything was okay."
"Then let's go."
Admiral Pike held his hand out and Salen instantly took it. Sinking down to his knees as he did when he was first living with his adoptive father Salen pressed Pike's palm against his chest. Pike smiled as Salen looked up at him submissively, a habit he'd never be able to break himself of.
"Thank you," Salen whispered "I would never had made it this far without you."
"I don't know about that, Salen, you're a survivor. However, it's an honor to call you family."
"Come on, time to add to the family."
"I am so nervous."
"Every man is. You'll do just fine."
Salen swallowed heavily and got back to his feet. Pike laughed at Salen and rolled his wheelchair back. Together they made their way down the hall to the ceremony. The Academy had opened their Hall of Ceremonies to them for the wedding. It was a beautiful day outside and the California sun streamed in through the giant windows. The Starfleet flags outside fluttered in a light breeze. The hall itself was decked out with white roses.
"There you are." Razor called out. "I was starting to think that I'd have the luck of marrying Joanna myself."
"Not a chance."
"Let's get this party started." Razor slung his arm over Salen's shoulders. "Time to shackle you up in the bounds of holy matrimony."
"Humans have such odd views on marriage."
"It's a love/hate relationship." Razor shrugged.
Razor laughed at the confused look that Salen gave him. He lead Salen up front where the rest of the wedding party was waiting while the guests began filing in. Salen knew very few of the people attending his wedding personally. As an Admiral's son there were man high ranking officials coming out of a sense of respect for Pike rather than any personal connection to the bride and groom. Joanna's entire family consisted of her father just as Salen's did. As for Vulcans the only two in attendance were Spock and Ambassador Tek'tiel. Salen scanned the crowd for a moment before sighing.
"Something wrong Salen?" Razor asked.
"I had hoped that T'Pring would come."
Salen looked up as Kirk joined them. He offered Razor and Salen warm hand shakes. The Captain had agreed to officiate the ceremony. Uhura and Spock came up to greet them as well. Spock's young son Daniel pulled at the collar of his formal wear and looked around with wide curious eyes.
"Are you ready for this?" Kirk asked with a bright smile.
"Not really." Salen admitted.
"All this formality will be over soon, then you guys can get back to living your lives." Kirk assured.
With the hall nearly full the wedding party took their places. Razor was the natural choice for best man and he stood by Salen's side with a proud smile on his face. Salen hated to admit that he didn't know Joanna's maid of honor very well, a childhood friend of hers. Salen was starting to shift his weight nervously causing Razor to nudge him in the ribs.
"Breath, Salen." Razor suggested.
Soft music informed the hall that the bride was about to enter. Even though Salen had seen her just a few minutes ago he was still stunned by her beauty as she walked towards them with her father at her side. McCoy brought his daughter up to Salen and gave her cheek a kiss before giving her hand to Salen. McCoy hesitated slightly to give away his only daughter but he did grace Salen with a brief smile before stepping away.
Salen barely heard any of Kirk's words as he began the ceremony. He was glad that razor was there to give him another nudge when it was his turn to speak. Salen took both of Joanna's hands in his own and stared into her crystal blue eyes. The scars on his face glowed a bright green as he flushed.
"It's okay, Salen." Joanna whispered. "You don't have to say anything if you don't want to."
"This is not the first time you have left me speechless. I have been in awe of you from the first moment that you decided to speak to me. I have to admit that you are hard on a Vulcan's heart, to this day you still bring out emotions in me that I have no chance of understanding. However, you also bring out the best in me. Love is not an easy concept for any of us to understand, I have come to the only logical conclusion: that love is not meant to be understood, it is simply to be enjoyed. I was given a second chance at life years ago, but I only learned to enjoy it to the fullest when I met you."
Salen finished with a shy smile. Joanna's eyes had brightened with tears which now slipped down her cheeks. Unable to respond Joanna tried unsuccessfully to stop her tears. Salen reached up and brushed her tears away.
"Joanna?" Salen asked nervously.
"Damn it, Salen." Joanna chuckled through her tears. "I had a whole speech ready...and I can't remember a word of it."
"Just tell me you love me."