Author: Vicki L. Reid
Email: dekrrini AT aim.com
Summary: Worf's going to the chapel and he's gonna get married, but first he gets waylaid by a few friends.
Acknowledgements: Elise, Anna, and all the other inhabitants of the Garden who love Worf and Troi as much as I do. Thanks, also, to Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis who continue to bring Worf and Troi to life on both the big and little screens.
Disclaimers: Paramount owns all things Star Trek, including the crew of the Enterprise and the universe in which they live. I'm only borrowing a few of them for fun--not profit.
Lt. Commander Worf sat stiffly in his chair, arms folded tightly across his chest. Every pore on his body oozed irritation and frustration. "I do not see the point in this display," he growled.
Without taking his eyes from the female dancer in front of him, Commander Will Riker grinned broadly. "It's a human custom, Worf," he told him. "It's called a bachelor party. Every soon-to-be married man has one last fling before losing his freedom."
"Klingons do not have flings," Worf retorted.
"Lighten up, Worf," Will urged. "Sit back, have a cigar, and enjoy the floor show. It took me months to write this program. You can't imagine the hours of research I had to put in to determine just what a 20th century strip club looked like."
Tassels swirled in Worf's face, but his look of disdain and irritation never faltered. "I have never understood the human male's fascination with female mammary glands," Worf said.
Geordi and Data reluctantly moved their focus from the stripper to Worf, while Riker simply shook his head in disbelief. "You've got to be kidding," Geordi said, staring wide-eyed at the Klingon.
"I suppose you love Deanna for her mind," Will said incredulously.
Turning to look at the commander, Worf replied, "Of course. Her mind, her strength of will, and her courageous heart. Is that not why you once loved her?"
Riker looked away from his friend, the very picture of embarrassment. "Deanna's mind wasn't the first thing I noticed about her, Worf," he admitted reluctantly.
Worf turned toward the other two seated at the table with him. "Geordi," he asked, "do you not admire Deanna's mind and courage?"
Shifting uncomfortably in his seat, Geordi replied hesitantly, "Yeah, Worf, I do." He sighed deeply. "But I've got to admit that her mind isn't the first thing I noticed about the Counselor either. She's a beautiful woman; and I'm just a man."
Everyone turned to look at Data, who stared back at them with wide-eyed innocence. "I'm just an android," he reminded them.
Worf stared steadily at the other man. "You have an emotion chip, Commander," he stated. "You therefore must have some feelings for Deanna."
Inclining his head, Data responded, "Of course, she is my friend."
"You're skirting the question, Data," Geordi accused.
Riker glared at the android. "If we answered, so must you. Tell Worf your first impression of Deanna."
"I assumed she was a capable ship's counselor," he answered. "Or Captain Picard would not have chosen her for his ship."
Apparently unwilling to let his friend off the hook so easily, Geordi asked, "What about after the chip was installed? What was your impression of Deanna then?"
"She has one incredible set of hooters," Data said seriously.
"Data!" Geordi exclaimed. "You can't say things like that!"
Tilting his head to one side, Data asked, "Why not? It is the truth, after all."
Both Riker and Geordi looked askance at the android, as if wondering why Data still couldn't understand the nuances of human social interactions. "But it's not polite to tell a man that his fiancÚ has incredible hooters," Riker told him.
As his two superior officer continued to berate Data, Worf smiled to himself, thinking up his next embarrassing question for his friends. After all, if he had to put up with a human bachelor party for his friends, the least he could do is find some enjoyment in their equal discomfort.
"Do all human males put physical appearance before heart?" Worf asked, concealing his grin with difficulty. "It is not the Klingon way."
Will sighed audibly, seeming to find this question even more unsettling. "Probably not all human males," he answered, "but a large segment of the male population would put looks before heart."
Looking a little shamefaced himself, Geordi agreed, "I hate to say it, but the Commander's right. Most men put more emphasis on looks when choosing a mate."
"Why does this concern you, Worf?" Data inquired. "Your chosen mate is very beautiful and courageous. Many men envy you that Deanna picked you as her husband."
"Because of her soul?" Worf asked.
"Because she's beautiful, Worf!" Data exclaimed. "There isn't a man alive who doesn't admire Deanna's h . . . ."
"Data!" Geordi and Will exclaimed in unison.
When Data looked at them quizzically, Will continued, "Let's not go out of our way to convince Worf that all human males are interested in only one thing."
Before Data could answer, the management of the establishment pushed an enormous cake into the room. "What is the significance of the cake?" Worf asked, eyeing the huge confection with a wary eye.
The three men looked at each other with obvious dismay. Worf could see that although they had once thought that having a scantily clad woman popping out of the cake would be great fun, they were having second thoughts. Hiding his smile behind a grimace, he asked again, "What is the meaning of the cake?"
Will Riker shifted uncomfortably in his chair as he stared at his Klingon friend. "It's another human custom, Worf," he sighed. "But it's one I think we could forgo."
After exchanging looks with Geordi and Data, Riker replied, "It's another human male instance of preferring looks to substance. Sorry, Worf. Let's just forget the whole thing."
Riker motioned to the management to remove the cake, but Worf stopped them. "I wish to learn the significance of the cake," he demanded. "This is my party, is it not?"
"Yeah, it's your party," Geordi sighed.
"What happens now?" he asked.
Nodding to the management, Riker said as bump and grind music began to play, "Just sit back and enjoy, Worf. I know we won't."
Seconds later, a beautiful female, clad in a Starfleet uniform, popped out of the cake. Eyes wide with astonishment, Riker and the others turned to look at Worf who wore a wolfish grin on his face. "I win!" Worf exclaimed, rising to his feet and helping Deanna Troi from the cake. Looking down at Riker, he added, "I, too, have studied 20th century strip clubs, Commander."
As Worf and Deanna left the holodeck hand in hand, Will Riker watched in awe. At the tone of wonder in his voice, Worf knew he had completely fooled the commander this time. "Well, I'll be damned," Will said. "I wonder how Worf got Deanna to agree to pop out of the cake?"
Turning to face them one final time, Worf said, "Because I love her mind, her courage, and her heart above all else."