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[Round 7] Planning Tradition

FltCapt. Sidney Riley

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((Ethan's quarters, *USS Independence-A*))

::Matthew was finally asleep. Karynn was sitting on the couch, leaning on

the arm with her legs tucked up beside her. She smiled at Ethan from across

the room.::

Ehlanii: I wouldn't mind something to drink while you're up.

:: Finishing off his yawn with the back of his hand, Ethan shook his head

slightly to get rid of the residual aftershocks and [...]ed an eyebrow in her

general direction.::

Brice: Raspberry Mocha, by any chance?

Ehlanii: ::laughing:: It's getting a bit late for caffeine... I was thinking

of maybe something a bit stronger?

Brice: Ooh, does this mean I have to crack out the vintage or would a tall

glass of Romulan tickle you?

::Karynn laughed. Romulan ale did seem to be a bit stiff for her comfort.::

Ehlanii: Something weaker than Romulan ale. I don't think I want to pass


:: The Engineer smiled.:: Brice: Tea? Coffee? Whiskey? Brandy? Beer?

Stout? Come on, Kii, I'll run out of ideas soon and resort to water.

::She scrunched her nose up.::

Ehlanii: Not beer. ::she shuddered:: I still don't like the stuff. I'll

let you pick between whiskey, brandy, and wine.

Brice: Ah wine, I forgot we had any of that.

:: Sue enough, stashed at the back of the small cabinet underneath the vinyl

player was a bottle of red. The label was in Italian, so he couldn't read

it or remember where exactly he'd procured it from. Still, two glasses in

hand, he sat down next to Karynn on the sofa and popped the cork out with a

satisfying "pop".::

::The Haliian took one glass from him, and held it while he poured. The

dark red liquid streamed into the cup. At about half a glass, Karynn nodded

and smiled.::

Ehlanii: That's enough, thanks.

:: He poured his own and set the slightly dusty bottle down on the table in

front of them. For a long moment, he contemplated the liquid, swilled it

around the glass a bit before putting the glass down alongside the bottle.

He slid his arm across the back of the sofa and sighed.::

Brice: Is it just me, or are these days getting longer?

::She sniffed her glass before raising it to her lips. It was a dry-ish

wine, but beyond that she really had no clue about what it was. She

snuggled into his body, leaning her head against her shoulder.::

Ehlanii: I'm sure our new CMO would tell you that each day is still

precisely 24 hours long... although I bet he'd break it down to the number

of seconds.

Brice: ::smiles:: Not micro-seconds? He's not good enough yet, then.

:: He brushed his own head against hers gently and sniffed her hair, rather

subconsciously at first, then his brain got a hint of the fragrance.::

Brice: I missed this on DS17.

::She snuggled in closer, gently rubbing his leg with her thumb.::

Ehlanii: And I definitely missed this. :: She paused.:: You know, we really

ought to start making plans for our wedding.

:: Ethan took a deep breath.:: Brice: Plans? Like what?

Ehlanii: ::laughing:: You sound so serious. We have where and when,

roughly, but it might be nice to work out *how*. What we each want included

in the ceremony and such.

:: The Engineer saw an opportunity to take.:: Brice: Well, the *how* sort of

comes with us saying vows, exchanging rings and that's pretty much it

really. We can go on honeymoon, if you like.

::Karynn laughed and snuggled in deeper.::

Ehlanii: Yes, but do we use Terran vows? Haliian vows? What from Earth do

we include, what from Halii do we include. Which of our friends are we

going to have in our wedding party? HOw are we going to incorporate

Matthew, if at all?

::She tipped her head up and smiled at him before gently kissing the edge of

his jaw::

Ehlanii: See? Lots of questions.

:: He blew a sigh in response and let a small smile play at the corner of

his lips.::

Brice: All aright, all right. I get the point. I think we might need a

padd and some creative magnitude for this discussion. Did you have

something particular in mind? Anything Haliian we "without doubt" need to


::She nuzzled his shoulder, moving her head to rest against his chest.::

Ehlanii: We *always* use the *canar* during our vows on Halii. I'm told it

makes that moment that much more intimate. ::She paused, thinking for a

bit.:: I've always imagined using the traditional *Haliian* vows.

Brice: Doesn't that mean I'll have to learn more Haliian? At least enough

to get me through to the end. ::he looked down to her and kissed her cheek,

lowering his voice:: What's wrong with just saying I love you and I will do

for a helluva long time?

::She closed her eyes, smiling gently at the warmth of love that came with

his kiss. At the same time, she felt a twinge of sadness. Since she was a

girl, she had always loved Haliian weddings and especially the beauty of

Haliian marriage vows. She chewed the inside of her bottom lip gently.::

Ehlanii: I... ::she sighed.::

:: He caught the sigh and moved slightly to get a better view of her gentle

face, softening his voice for the reply.::

Brice: "I" what?

Ehlanii: I guess... its just something I always wanted. ::she paused:: I

suppose we both wouldn't need to say them in Haliian. ::smiling slightly::

Our guests really wouldn't understand if we did anyway. Maybe...

Brice: Maybe... ::he smiled:: Maybe we should say them in Haliian. Disable

the Universal Translator for the ceremony until afterwards.

Ehlanii: ::laughing:: I was thinking more like you could be *my* translator,

in a way. We say the same vows but I do it in Haliian, you do it in

Federation Standard?

:: Now that was a better idea. He nodded in response, leaning forward to

pick up the glass of red and finally trying it.::

Brice: I think that's a rather good idea.

::She took another sip of her wine, savoring the pleasant flavors and trying

to ignore the slightly odd aftertaste. She enjoyed wine from time to time,

but it did have that rather strange kick to it. Leaning back into his

shoulder, she gently brushed his hand with her own.::

Ehlanii: What about you? Any traditions you want to include?

:: He tongued his cheek for a second and let out a small, breathless


Brice: A handfasting would be agreeable with our family. It's simple,

traditional and interesting enough to be diverse for the ceremony. I think

you'd like it.

::Smiling she closed her eyes, just resting peacefully in his presence.::

Ehlanii: Sounds cool. Tell me more about it.

:: The fact that she used the word "cool" made him chuckle.::

Brice: Well, a handfasting is the tying of hands together to symbolise a

union of two people. We have the ceremony, our hands get tied together with

ceremonial rope or braiding and we exchange vows.

Ehlanii: ::grinning playfully:: Haliian or Terran vows?.

Brice: ::smiles:: By choice, both. How about incorporating them? Melding

them together somehow.

::She bit her lip. Doing both made sense... but working them together?::

Ehlanii: I like the idea of getting both in there. I'm not sure about

mixing the wording, but using both at some point in the ceremony would be


Brice: Sounds good. Gets both cultures across anyhow. ::he frowned

slightly:: So what's actually involved in a Haliian ceremony? Doesn't

involve getting naked does it? I'm still not a hundred percent on public


::Karynn's musical laughter filled the living room of Ethan's quarters.::

Ehlanii: Getting naked? No. There's actually traditional Haliian clothing,

but I just assumed that only I would be in the Haliian "wedding dress." The

ceremony itself is fairly simple. Mostly it centers on exchanging

traditional vows while holding the *canar* and then sharing a drink from a

ceremonial chalice, symbolizing prosperity, joy, and, of course, sharing our

new life together.

Brice: And that is pretty much a handfasting, only without the traditional

dress. Could have it done in my uniform or overalls. ::he grinned:: Now,

my Indy overalls still with grease stains. I like the sound of that.

Ehlanii: ::laughing:: How about your dress uniform?

:: His eyebrow [...]ed, the corner of his mouth rising with it.::

Brice: Not in the whites. Come on, I barely put up with them for the awards

and the rest. Getting married in them would be defeating a rather big

point. It's like marrying into the service as well as each other. I'd

rather have something completely separate so when we do look back in years

to come, we can think it was a day where we didn't have to worry about

Starfleet getting in the way.

:: As he rose to stand up, he kissed the top of her head and moved to

Matthew's doorway, looking into the slightly open gap at his sleeping son.::

Brice: Besides, I don't suit them. Overalls, that's a good contingency


::She laughed and set her glass on the table. Crossing to stand behind him

she wrapped her arms around his waist, leaning her head against his shoulder

she looked into Matthew's room.::

Ehlanii: ::quietly:: Not overalls. But we can figure out something

suitable. ::She paused for a moment and then spoke quietly.:: It's still

hard to believe, you know?

:: He smiled to the dark room in front of them as a little snore echoed

around. He leaned his arm on the doorway and ran his hand along Karynn's


Brice: What is?

Ehlanii: Us... getting married... the three of us being a family... even you

being in my life. All of it, I guess. ::She smiled, leaning her head on

his arm, closing her eyes.:: Sometimes it just feels almost too good to be


:: He turned around and ran his hands along her waist, wrapping around her

waist, looking down into those eyes he couldn't escape.::

Brice: I like that. The three of us. ::he chewed his bottom lip:: You

could... adopt him after we're married, you know. Jack's going through the

process right now.

Ehlanii: ::nodding:: I'd like that... that is, if he can have four parents.

::smiling:: I don't really know the rules.

Brice: Biologically, it would still be me and Rebecca, obviously. ::he

sighed:: But, considering Jack and you will be in his life from a young age,

you can apply to the Federation to become his legal guardians in the event

of me and Rebecca... dying, as it were.

Ehlanii: ::nodding:: Then I definitely want to. ::She tightened her hug

just slightly and spoke quietly, more to herself than to Ethan.:: A family.

:: He breathed a smile.:: Brice: Our family, love. A unit of three.

::A playful smile crossed her features, a twinkle sparkled in her eye.::

Ehlanii: For now at least.

:: Eyebrow. He pulled back slightly and took one long look in her eyes.::

Brice: Excuse me?

::Her eyes twinkled in merriment and she laughed quietly.::

Ehlanii: I'm just saying that one day, sometime in the future, it might not

be just the three of us. Maybe you and I could... ::she shrugged:: ... not

yet but someday, perhaps.

:: The thought hadn't actually occurred to the Engineer. He was so

preoccupied with Matthew and trying to cope with him full-time that he

hadn't given having another one a second thought. Still, the idea wasn't

entirely unpleasant.::

Brice: In the future. In the far flung, right over there, way past the

sunrise future.

::She took a step back and ran her hand along his arm until she was tugging

on his hand. A smile played as her features as she nodded, taking another

step back toward the empty bedroom.::

Ehlanii: Far in the future... got it. Although past sunrise future might

mean I'm far past even being able to try...

:: A slight grin played around at the corner of the Engineer's mouth and

followed the tugging hand.::

Brice: Well, I didn't say anything about practising.

::A sparkle twinkled in her eye and she took a few more steps toward his

door, pulling him along gently.::

Ehlanii: I think that can be arranged.

The End

Lt. Cmdr. Ethan Brice

Engineering Research and Development

*USS Independence-A*




Lt. Cmdr. Karynn Ehlanii

First Officer

*USS Independence-A*

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