Dave Ryan was one of the groomsmen. He came over to Lili and introduced himself, “Frank and I were college roommates. I understand you were Jenny's roommate on the Enterprise
“Yes, that's right,” Lili said; managing a small smile, “Thank you for taking my son down the aisle,” she adjusted her sleeve. It was the same blue as her dress, but sheer, and her tattoos were translucently visible under it. But right now it was too hot to have sleeves, even filmy ones.
“He took his responsibility so seriously! I hope nobody tells him those rings were fakes.”
“They'd better not, or he'll be one disappointed little boy. He'll want to do it again.”
“You live in the Lafa System, right?”
“Yes,” she said.
“My wife and I are thinking of maybe settling in a place like that. Tell me what it's like.”
“Cooler than here,” she said, fanning herself, “And the people are wonderful.”
Deb still stood there, but Chip had to get back to his DJing work, so he left her there.
Jonathan came over, “I, uh, I was thinking. You might want to train as a pilot. I'll be needing one for the night shift. Would you do that?”
“I, I don't know. I've had a lot of changes in my life lately.”
“Well, think about it. I need someone I can trust. Deb,” he said very quietly, “I'm sorry it's all like this. I wish there was a way that life could go on without you being hurt.”
“I'm Security,” she said, “Wily like a cat. And beyond pain.”
Chip got everything back on auto and came back. He hadn't missed the exchange.
“Look, um, it can be tough to get into the swing of a new schedule. I, uh, shift starts at zero hundred hours as you, as you know. So every night, at, like, nineteen hundred, I get up and go to the gym. Then I shower and have breakfast. You're, uh, you're welcome to join me for any of that.”
“Even the shower?”
“Huh. Uh, maybe after you're a little more over the guy you're trying to get over, okay?”
“Yeah,” she smiled a little at him, light brown eyes suddenly noticeable to him.
“So, uh, tomorrow, then?”
“Yeah. Just the gym and the breakfast. Not the other thing, uh, for now.”
He went back to his DJing tasks and announced, “Now, I wanna see everybody out there! This next one – I know you all know it – it's by The Sweet Cupcakes
– and it's dedicated to the ladies of the NX-01
and their many admirers. And I count myself among them. Here it is – 'Tough Girl'
The music started, and he looked over and saw three bridesmaids turn on their heels as one and walk away from Aidan, good and fast. Aidan. Best-looking guy on the ship – everybody knew that. And he was just big, tall, goofy Chip Masterson. He balled his right hand into a fist and pointed it up by his chest, then suddenly jerked it downwards and simultaneously said “Yes
!” through his teeth.