CHAPTER 9: I DO
The day of the wedding was bright and beautiful...at least, as well as it could in the Delta Quadrant. Kathryn and Lizzie were together getting ready for their double wedding in Kathryn's quarters, thanks to the Dr.'s holographic emitters.
"My dear Kathryn," exclaimed Lizzie when she first entered the room, "I couldn't be happier for you! And the fact that we get to share this special day together makes it even more splendid!"
"What, no 'I told you so'?" asked Kathryn, eying her friend suspiciously.
"Oh, that was next," said Lizzie with a wink and a smile.
Laughing, Kathryn went over and hugged her friend.
"Lizzie! I'm so happy, I can hardly stand it! And I get to share this happiness with one of my best friends…" Kathryn sighed, her shoulders sinking somewhat.
"Kathryn, what is it?"
"It's just that...I don't deserve such happiness."
"O Kathryn, of course you do! Everyone deserves happiness in their life...even the captain of a starship," Lizzie said, smiling at her friend and squeezing her hand reassuringly.
"Thanks Lizzie," Kathryn said, embracing her friend.
"That's what friends are for Kathryn. Now, what do you say we make ourselves so gorgeous our fiancés drop dead at the sight of us."
"Sounds like a plan," Kathryn said, laughing.
Several hours later Lizzie left to go find Jane, and soon after the doorbell chimed.
"Come in," said Kathryn, expecting Tuvok to come and tell her it was time. Instead she turned around and was face to face with Chakotay.
"Chakotay! Don't you know it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding," she said with a teasing glance and quick smile.
"I don't believe in superstition," he said walking over and pulling her to him.
"You're going to ruin my dress," she breathed.
"Who cares," he said, leaning forward and kissing her.
Breaking apart, he began stroking her cheek with his hand. "You are so beautiful Kathryn!" And indeed, he was right. Her dress had a deep red fitted corset top complete with Captain's pips and StarFleet insignia and a flowing white skirt. The look was completed with her long, deep auburn hair waving down her back.
"Thank you," she said blushing, "you don't look so bad yourself."
Chakotay's tux showed off his muscles to perfection and looked amazing on his strong body.
Laughing, Chakotay just pulled her even closer and she rested her head on his chest.
"Are you sure you want to go through with this?" he asked her, a note of apprehension in his voice.
"Chakotay," she said, pulling away from him and looking him in the eyes, "I love you! I've never been so sure of anything in my life!"
Suddenly a horrible thought hit her…"Are you...getting...cold feet," she whispered. The whole thought of it made her ache inside. Now she had him, she couldn't imagine a day without him.
Seeing the pain in her eyes and the worry on her face and leaned in and kissed her more deeply and passionately than he had ever done before. When they broke apart he whispered, "Never. You are my life Kathryn. I never want to leave your side."
Embracing him again, they stood holding eachother for several minutes until he said, "I should probably sneak out. The ceremony will be starting soon. Don't want anyone catching me in here."
"No you certainly don't," she responded with a laugh, "get out of here. I'll see you in a few minutes."
"I'll be waiting for you Kathryn," he said, giving her one last, soft kiss before he departed.
True to her word, several minutes later Kathryn and Tuvok were standing outside the door to the holodeck where Lizzie and Mr. Bennett were already waiting.
"Kathryn!" he said, coming over and embracing her. "I was so happy when I received your invitation, though I can't say I'm surprised," he finished, giving her a wink.
"Now Papa, don't tease dear Kathryn," said Lizzie coming over and taking his arm. "Are you ready?" she asked, turning to Kathryn.
"I've been ready since I first saw him," Kathryn said with a smile.
"Me too," said Lizzie, returning the smile.
"Well then, what do you say we go get ourselves married?" Kathryn asked, taking Tuvok's arm.
"I agree wholeheartedly!"
The doors opened and there they were. Darcy, in his shirt and coattails, had eyes only for Lizzie and he couldn't help smiling when he saw her there on her father's arm in her beautiful lace dress. She smiled back and her fine eyes shone with happiness.
And Chakotay? Well, Kathryn was breathtaking to him. He couldn't take his eyes off her and his face split into the handsome grin Kathryn loved so much. It took all his strength and will power to keep from running down the aisle and snatching her from Tuvok's arms. Seeing him, her face split into a radiant smile and her eyes shone with such love and devotion that everyone in the room could see it.
They walked down the aisles for what felt like hours for Kathryn. She wanted to break way from Tuvok, run down the aisle, and jump into his arms. That was where she belonged. One glance at Lizzie and Kathryn could tell she felt the same way. Finally, they were at the end of the aisle and he was there in front of her. Reaching out, he took her hand from Tuvok and drew her close to him, wrapping one arm around her waist.
Next to them, Darcy took both of Lizzie's hand in his and stared at her as if he'd won the Lottery. He had eyes for no one else but her and only looked away from her when the priest began the sermon…
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…"
Neither of them heard a word of the ceremony. They were so focused on each other that nothing else existed in the whole world. It wasn't until Kathryn heard Chakotay say, "I do" that she realized her part was coming next.
"I do," she said.
"I now pronounce you all husbands and wives, you may kiss the brides."
Chakotay smiled down at her, then drew her close, tipped up her chin, and kissed her...softly at first, then more intense and insistent. Next to them, Darcy and Lizzie were kissing too to the cheers of the crowd. Too quickly they broke apart and they were facing the crowd. Kathryn and Chakotay smiled at their friends and ran down the aisle, laughing all the way as people threw rice all over them.
At the end of the aisle he swept her into his arms as she threw her bouquet to the waiting crowd. It was caught by B'Lana who was immediately caught by Tom and kissed. Laughing, Kathryn and Chakotay watched them and then left the holo-deck. She squirmed, trying to get down but he just held her closer.
"No way, We have ten minutes until the reception in the mess hall and until then you are mine," he whispered in her ear, then began kissing her neck
Smiling , she allowed him to carry her into a little niche in the corridor.
Setting her down, he drew her close and kissed her passionately.
"I love you Chakotay," she said.
"And I love you, Kathryn," he replied.
The reception was beautiful...grand chandeliers, giant chocolate cake, large dance floor...the whole shebang. The brides were both glowing and their new husbands were reveling in their happiness. Everything was perfect.
"And how could you expect it not to be captain," Nelix told her, "I did plan the whole thing."
"And we thank you Nelix," said Kathryn, giving Chakotay a look, "everything's beautiful."
As he went off the dance with Kess (who had made a special appearance for the wedding), Kathryn turned and kissed Chakotay.
"If he planned this entire wedding, I'll give up my command," Kathryn said laughing.
"As I understand it, Jane Bennett planned a large amount of the festivities today."
"Remind me to thank her," Kathryn said, "I don't even want to know what would have happened if Nelix planned this thing."
"Now, now, I'm sure Kess would have toned him down a bit."
"I sure hope so," she said, laughing.
"Dance with me?" he asked her.
Leading her to the floor, he wrapped his arms around her and they began to waltz, scandalizing many of the old biddies in the crowd.
Smiling, Lizzie whispered something to Darcy and he soon led her on to the floor, causing Mrs. Bennett to faint...the first positive thing she'd done all evening.
Soon everyone was on the floor, waltzing to the music.
Laying her head against his chest, Kathryn sighed with contentment as Chakotay held her even closer to him.
"Don't you ever let go," she whispered.
"Never," he whispered back, kissing the top of her head.
"You're not going to leave me, are you Darcy," Lizzie asked him as they were dancing.
"You wish…" he said with a grin.
"Darcy, I do believe you're actually making a joke," said Elizabeth, laughing.
"I learned from the best," he said pulling her close and kissing her.
"Mmmm...I love you."
"And I love you too...dearest, loveliest, Elizabeth."