Spoilers: Shuttlepod One
Disclaimer: Owned by Paramount. I just like messing with
Summary: Everyone loves a good wedding... don't they?
Ex astris (Lat.): From the
Everyone loves a good wedding, don't they? The men in freshly pressed
suits, women in floppy hats that would make great kites, batty old aunts passing
around the baby photos like there's no tomorrow. Kids in mini-tuxedos and cute
little silk dresses running up and down the aisles of the church, generally
creating havoc. The best man combining rehearsing the speech with consoling the
groom in one of the back rooms, trying to persuade him that his bride-to-be is
only running a little late, and hasn't in fact had a change of heart and run off
with the photographer, milkman or other miscellaneous man that she has ever even
looked briefly at.
That would be me, by the way. The best man, not the groom. And I don't need
to worry about the speech. I have two versions, both memorised perfectly. The
first, which I have written down and is full of embarrassing memories, jokes and
innuendo, which everyone expects. And the second, which I can never say because
it will ruin everything.
And right now my friend is pacing up and down the room, nervous as anything
and I can't help but smile as I watch him. To look at him now, you'd think the
fate of the whole galaxy was resting on those shoulders of his, when all he's
doing is getting married to the woman of his dreams. And I'm the one he's asked
to bear the responsibility of poking fun at him at the reception afterwards, I'm
the one he nagged for weeks before I finally agreed to come and do this for
But there you have it. I shouldn't have come here. I shouldn't be here now,
listening to this man's lame jokes and calm questioning of proceedings outside.
Despite everything, I came here, to be here for him. I didn't try to build up my
defences before I arrived, because looking at him now... it wouldn't have made a
difference. Whether I crash from a great distance or a shorter one, it still
hurts like hell on the way down.
I always thought he was gorgeous, right from the first time I laid eyes on
him, but I never let my hopes get any higher than my ankles for both emotional
and... physical reasons. Six months later we nearly died in that shuttlepod
together, and conversation drifted around to previous relationships. Between us
we had three relationships and a string of failed women, with not one mention
from him of any men but then again no implication that there were never any. And
my hopes started climbing again.
I guess it all came to a head about four years into the mission. Another
shuttlepod mission, another near-certain outcome of death. And to my surprise,
he was the one who initiated the whole thing. He was the one who stated so
calmly that he'd be damned if he wasn't going to go without a bang. Took a few
moments to realise he meant it literally, and by then it was too late.
One night of passionate, unadulterated... amazing sex. One night for me to
fall completely in love with him.
And one night for him to break my heart into microscopic shards of what they
used to be. Clichés down the pan, I honestly thought I'd die when, back on
Enterprise, he cornered me one night and made some lame joke about it being
one-off and didn't we both prefer women anyway?
In some ways I knew that that was inevitable, that something like this wasn't
ever meant to happen to me. And in some ways I started to hate myself, for what
I clearly wasn't, and for what I could - or should have been.
And nothing changed. Nothing on the outside, that is. As far as everyone else
was concerned, we were still 'bestest buddies', we still had drinking
competitions with the helm shift ensigns, we still conspired to control what the
movie of the week was going to be, whether we actually succeeded or not.
Life went on.
And then he met someone else. Someone who completely swept him off his feet.
Someone who, like me, had spent so much time among the stars with him. Like me,
someone he knew and trusted. Unlike me, someone he fell in love with in
And that's where the story ends. Because I'm here, and he's here, and in the
end, nothing changed.
There are noises of appreciation coming from outside the little room where
the both of us are still waiting, and one quick poking of the head outside
reveals everything I never wanted to know.
My friend's bride is coming up the aisle, holding onto her father's arm.
Don't get me wrong, I mean... she's a beautiful woman, both on the inside and on
the outside, but as the pair of us come out of the cathedral's tiny
side-vestibule and take our places at the front, in front of the people watching
with misty eyes and many a tissue within easy reach, I can't help but hate
Because, you see, I loved Malcolm first.
Scientia, the sequel to Ex Astris.
material is posted here with the author's express permission. Please do not
repost this material without permission directly from the author.
Feedback? Comments? Thanks! Drop us a few lines:
Two folks have made comments