Infinite Diversity by jespah
Summary:

Love is love, as daily prompts turn into the colors of the rainbow. Written for the 2015 Twelve Trials of Triskelion, Week 7, Daily Prompts.


Categories: Enterprise, Alternate Universes, Expanded Universes Characters: Archer, Jonathan, Ensemble Cast - ENT
Genre: Drama, Family, Friendship, Humor, Romance, Slash, Tragedy
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Interphases
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 2020 Read: 2031 Published: 28 Jun 2015 Updated: 04 Jul 2015

1. Chapter 1 Wisdom (Red) by jespah

2. Chapter 2 Fairness (Orange) by jespah

3. Chapter 3 Grace (Yellow) by jespah

4. Chapter 4 Melancholy (Green) by jespah

5. Chapter 5 Distance (Blue) by jespah

6. Chapter 6 Generosity (Indigo) by jespah

7. Chapter 7 Perseverance (Violet) by jespah

Chapter 1 Wisdom (Red) by jespah
Author's Notes:

E2 timeline.

I write the ship with two kicks back in time (e. g. the first attempt to right things fails). This scene takes place during the first, during the book, The Three of Us.

“Okay, Dave, you’re smarter than I am. You tell me how we get this crap off our hands.” MACO Corporal Frank Todd was, along with Stellar Cartographer Dave Constantine, up to his elbows in red dye. The sink in their shared quarters was clogged and filled with reddened water. The products of their efforts were all around – dyed tee shirts. There were enough for everyone on the NX-01, even the children and the Ikaarans they had picked up, for the Enterprise was lost in the Delphic Expanse and had become generational. 

“God, we look like a coupla serial killers. And, dammit, now my nose itches.” Frank started laughing. “C’mon, it’s not funny! I’m suffering here,” now Dave started to laugh, too, “and all you can do is make fun of me. Some boyfriend you are!” 

“Hey, it was your idea to dye a bunch of tee shirts in rainbows for Pride Week.” 

“We were good with every other color. The violet came out really well. I’m still not sure about the indigo, but it looks nice.” 

“No one’ll notice, Dave.” 

“They’ll think it’s more of the blue.” 

“No, it’ll be fine. Still,” the MACO nodded at the drippy tees, “we’re gonna end up with a rainbow cabin. Captain won’t like it. I bet Hayes’ll give me KP duty for this mess.” 

“KP! We should call Lili!” 

“And make that poor gal clean up this mess? She already does enough. I say we own this one.” 

“Yeah, you’re right. Uh, Frank?” 

“Hmm?” 

“My nose still itches.” 

Frank came over and kissed Dave’s nose. “Better?” 

“Of course. Huh, I think intelligence is knowing we should all wear rainbows for Pride Week, eh?” 

“Yeah, Dave, but wisdom is knowing not to dye them in our quarters. We are never gonna live this down.”

Chapter 2 Fairness (Orange) by jespah
Author's Notes:

E2 timeline.

The Ikaaran species is canon, although full-blooded Ikaarans are never seen, and only one's name (Esilia, Jonathan Archer's wife) is ever mentioned. I write Ikaarans as having a major population problem on Ikaaria, causing them to separate their children by gender and send out single-sex work gangs to farm or mine. After a few years, the ships return, and another set goes out. I also have them handle their population problem by building in a form of genetic self-destruction, an early death they call 'the decline'.

In canon, Archer meets Esilia when her ship is caught in a spatial anomaly. I follow that, but since I provide two kicks back in time, Esilia is only there for the second go-'round. This scene takes place during the first.

“It’s not fair,” Science Crewman Diana Jones complained. 

“What isn’t?” asked Preece Ti, an Ikaaran. She had been the Science Officer on her ship but it had gotten stuck in a spatial anomaly. Within the Delphic Expanse, it and the Enterprise – which had been kicked back in time – were prisoners of the timeline. The NX-01 was generational. Couples had formed, including between the Ikaarans and human men. The Ikaaran ship had been distaff. 

“No choices. Everybody else has a choice, except us. No offense. But we’re the only lesbians. Everybody’s pushing for us to be together.” 

They were in the Observation Lounge, which had become the Ikaarans’ home. With the others married to or living with human men, Preece Ti had it to herself. There was a bowl of fruit on a table. She picked up a piece. “What is this?” 

“There’s a rapid change of subject. It’s an orange.” 

“Is that not a color?” 

“It’s the same word.” 

“I see. I chose this orange,” the Ikaaran tongue was a little unpracticed in saying the word, “when there were apples and peaches I could have had. If it had been the last item in the bowl, would my selection be any fairer or better?” 

“We can always grow more on Paradise and Amity.” Diana referred to the two planets they had claimed for agriculture.

“The number does not make the matter any fairer. Diana, there is but one choice. I am fortunate, for you are beautiful, kind, intelligent, and you would be my choice even if the numbers were reversed and this was a ship where all wished for same-sex pairings.” 

“I, I don’t know what to say, Preece Ti.” 

“Is it fair to you?” 

“Yes. I shouldn’t have had such doubts. It’s more than fair.”

Chapter 3 Grace (Yellow) by jespah
Author's Notes:

Prime timeline. This is a direct sequel to Bread.

“There’s a certain grace,” former President Jonathan Archer declared, “in caring for someone in the throes of an illness that is all-consuming, progressive, terminal, and incurable. And then that disease, Irumodic Syndrome, robs the victim of their faculties.” He glanced at the widow; this was a funeral. The woman took a yellow handkerchief from her handbag and began dabbing at her eyes. 

“Every year, it seems, I preside over a memorial service for someone who had been on the NX-01.” Archer continued, “And so here we are again. We were in many battles on the Enterprise, but none was as hard-fought as this one. For what is it to save a world, when you cannot save the person you love more than anything?” 

He paused. “While Starfleet Rabbi Leah Benson never fired a phase pistol, she battled this disease but it consumed her beloved. Wars are sometimes fought with drugs and therapies. Rabbi Benson is a general in such a war, with too many medals to count. But the one medal she wanted more than anything would have been the one where Diana was never affected in the first place.” 

Leah looked up. Archer added, “Science Ensign Diana Jones was lovely, bright, kind, and well-liked. She met Rabbi Benson after the Xindi War. Their love was as deep and abiding as any I’ve ever seen. Far as I’m concerned, they’re both heroes.” 

He stepped down from the podium and approached Leah. “In another timeline, she married an alien woman. I don’t know anything about that union. But I do know that your marriage was the best one I’ve ever seen. Every day, I strive for my marriage to be just like yours and Diana’s was.” Overcome, Leah hugged him, clutching the yellow handkerchief – Diana’s favorite color.

Chapter 4 Melancholy (Green) by jespah
Author's Notes:

E2 timeline again. Kelsey's story is told in more detail in the prime timeline in the story In Memory of Kelsey Haber.

Come to me my melancholy baby 

It was an ancient recording. But Security Crewman Kelsey Haber knew all the words, and sang along. A little dance was added, and a non-regulation green dress was worn, the short, flippy skirt adding a little pizzazz to each hip sway. 

Outside, the Delphic Expanse beckoned, and the sights of a familiar system that the crew had named Amity were in view. Amity was where peach trees grew, and weddings were conducted sometimes, and even the Ikaarans loved it. Paradise, the other claimed world, was hot and had beaches. But Amity, there was something about Amity. And so it was to be the site of yet another wedding, of the son of Communications Officer Hoshi Sato and Quartermaster Chandrasekar Khan. The groom was a nervous kid named Toru Khan and his bride was one of the half-Denobulan Phlox girls, Roberta. 

“I’ve got no date,” Kelsey – alone – murmured to no one. “A pity. What a waste of a perfectly good dress.” A quick glance in the mirror confirmed the next thing said. “I look pretty damned hot, if I do say so myself.” 

There was an alarm, and the captain’s voice came over the intercom. “It might be nothing, but we’re not taking any chances today. Go to and stand by your stations. This is not a drill. Repeat: this is not a drill.” 

Kelsey doffed the dress and got back in uniform and stuffed the dress into a drawer. He ran into the hallway, and no one would ever know.

Chapter 5 Distance (Blue) by jespah
Author's Notes:

E2 timeline, taking place during The Three of Us. These guys are the other couple. When Lili was hired, she replaced Preston, who was moved over to Navigation as a part of the amp-up to the Xindi War. Preston shows up in More, More, More! and Before the Fall; Luke shows up in A Perfect Note.

“Who’d you leave behind?” Navigational Crewman Preston Jennings asked as he looked out a viewing portal at the Paradise System, where sandy beaches and blue oceans beckoned. 

“Hmm?” asked Tactical Crewman Luke Donnelly as he tucked into his dinner. It was Taco Night. 

“Back there, out there,” Preston gestured vaguely in the direction of Earth. “Before all this.” 

“Say, this procul is pretty good,” Luke referred to an amphibious squid found on Amity. Procul were dumber than a bag of hammers but they made good eating. “Chef and Lili really outdid themselves.” 

“You listening? Earth to Luke! Who’s out there? Or was, or will be? Kicked back in time, heh, the verb tenses are all screwed up.” 

“Nobody in particular. Listen, I don’t wanna fight. It’s out there, the past or future or whatever, and it’s too distant to have any meaning anymore.” 

“Was he better looking than me?” 

Luke looked straight at Preston, who had not been his first choice. That had been Dave Constantine, but Dave was with Frank Todd. Preston was friendly enough – usually – and he was decent-looking, but his hair was mainly history. Luke figured that was sapping the younger man’s confidence. “Like I said, all of that is the other side of the universe.” 

“So he was.” 

“I never said that. Preston, let it go.” 

“If you’re unhappy with me, Luke, you don’t have to stay.” 

“I never said that,” Luke repeated. “Nothing – and nobody – matters but you.” 

“You’re just saying that because you got no other options. Todd and Constantine are forever, but you and me, eh, not so much.” Preston got up and left. 

Luke watched him go, and the few meters to catch him seemed more distant than the entire Delphic Expanse.

Chapter 6 Generosity (Indigo) by jespah
Author's Notes:

E2 timeline. I write two kicks back in time, and a similar scene occurs in both. Chris is involved both times. This is a missing scene of either The Three of Us or Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

“Are you sure you’ll do it? I mean, absolutely certain?” The captain peered at the young redheaded pilot. “This has every indication of being a suicide mission, Harris.” 

“I know, sir,” replied Christian Harris. “I am prepared to do what needs to be done.” 

“You won’t be able to back out. That anomaly field could be deadly.” 

“Sir, you and the other guys need a purpose, right? This Ikaaran ship – I bet it’ll hold purpose for you.” 

“You mean it might have women,” Archer stated. 

“Maybe it will. You never know, sir.” 

“Got your eye on anyone?” asked the captain. 

“No, sir. I don’t know if Dr. Phlox told you.” 

“He wouldn’t; your medical history is kept confidential. Is it serious?” Archer bit his lower lip in concern. 

“No, sir,” Chris chuckled a little. “He said I have low testosterone. It explains, a bit, why I am the way I am.” 

“Which is –?” 

“Asexual, sir. I haven’t gone after anyone because, well, I never would under any circumstances. It doesn’t need to be fixed so I told the doctor not to bother.” 

“Are you okay emotionally, though? I mean, I imagine it could get a little lonely, Crewman.” 

“I’m okay. I got a lotta friends, sir. So I’m never really lonely.” 

“Wish I could say the same,” the captain admitted. He sighed, looking at a small indigo ship caught in an anomaly field just outside the viewing portal. “Let’s go get that ship. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be an all-female one, eh?” 

“Fifty percent odds, sir. I’m pulling for you. And I’ll be happy to pilot.” 

“That’s very generous of you.”

Chapter 7 Perseverance (Violet) by jespah
Author's Notes:

Back to the prime timeline, and what life is like when you're part of an open marriage. Direct sequel to Temper and Tumult.

Puréed, mashed immature olowa fruit sailed past their heads, landing on the opposite wall. Violet mush slowly began oozing downwards. “Now, Tommy,” Melissa Madden told their son, “you need to eat this. Have one spoonful for Mommy.” 

Her partner, Norri Digiorno, said, “He ate for Lili. You did,” she addressed the baby, “but not for us, eh? I swear; the olowa isn’t any different here.” 

“C’mon, Tommy, you can do this,” Melissa steeled herself for the inevitable, and received a teaspoonful of mashed olowa fruit on her right cheek. 

“That does it, I’m calling Lili,” Norri announced. 

“No, wait, we can do this. We’re his parents, with Doug. This is our job.” 

“I’m sure she went through this with Joss,” Norri said. “Plus, seriously, a professional chef? I bet she adds pixie dust to the olowa or something.” 

“Pixie dust? You must really be sleep-deprived. Okay, Tommy, one more pixie-dust-laden bite for Mommy.” 

Now the opposite wall received a matching splotch of violet paste. 

“He’s got a good arm on him. Doug said he wanted a baseball team. Guess who’s pitching?” Norri also received a mashed olowa facial. She turned to Melissa. “Now do you wanna call Lili?” 

Melissa sighed. “One more try?” 

“You have persevered enough. He just won’t eat without whatever magical thing she says or does.” 

“Yeah, you’re right.” She flipped open her communicator. “I want to talk to Lili Beckett, just outside of Fep City.” There was a pause. “Lili! We can’t get Tommy to eat. What kinda pixie dust did you put in the olowa? He won’t eat it any other way. We’re desperate. We’ll try anything.” 

Lili answered, “Vanilla extract and a little orange marmalade.” 

“Really? Okay, one more try. Thanks, Lili.” Melissa smooshed it all together and, finally, the violet mush disappeared.

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