I like oranges and they figure fairly prominently in a lot of my Star Trek fan fiction. Much of this was by the accident of the time when I was posting Reversal. The story, and its initial posting dates, both occurred near Halloween.
On the day right after Lili and Doug first make contact, Chef Slocum insists on a day’s menu with every single food item including oranges. There are oranges in every single thing made, from the French toast batter in Captain Archer‘s breakfast with Malcolm, to the main dishes at dinner and everything in between.
And through it all, Lili chops oranges, all day. When nighttime comes, she reeks of them. When she makes contact with Doug that night, he buries his nose into her shoulder and inhales, and breaks their silence for the very first time, by asking, “Oranges?” Laughing, she just replies with one word: yes.
As noted above, the appearance of oranges in Reversal sparks a deeper relationship between Lili and Doug.
Her rather strong aroma helps to convince him that she’s real, and so he feels confident enough to speak with her, and that breaking the silence won’t also break the spell.
Her chopping of oranges becomes a source of some pain when she cuts her hand with a French knife. This gets her to Sick Bay, where she converses with Phlox about her experiences, and he conducts a physical examination that alerts everyone that what is happening to Lili is very, very real.
In the chow line, Tripp Tucker complains about the overabundance of oranges, and asks for fruit that is anything but an orange.
receives a gift for his birthday of various kinds of nut butters and jams, including one lone jar of orange marmalade, from Fortnum & Mason.
On vacation in Fep City at the start of Temper, Malcolm and Lili talk about earlier days, and he hearkens back to that same day during Reversal, when she smelled of oranges.
He equates that to “sunshine and happiness”, and remarks that that was when he first noticed her, and realized that he wanted more out of life than just duty and work.
This is why, when he sends nut butters and jams, he makes sure to include a special gift of orange marmalade from Fortnum & Mason, which is a signal to Lili and is a gift to her, rather than Joss and Marie Patrice or anyone else.
Later in the story, when she finds an empty jar of Fortnum & Mason orange marmalade on Empress Hoshi‘s ship, the Defiant, Lili knows that her house has been ransacked by agents of the Terran Empire.
The Three of Us
Because Reversal is not a part of this timeline (and neither is Doug), the reference is different. This time, it’s a harvesting party on Amity, where an orange tree has died.
Jay asks Shelby if the wood is strong and can support a lot of weight. She suggests an Osage orange tree instead, as the fruit doesn’t taste very good and it was just a fallback, which is no longer needed, as regular oranges are growing just fine. Plus the Osage orange wood is a lot stronger than regular orange wood. He accepts her recommendation, and makes a cane for the permanently injured Ethan Shapiro.
Like a little orange Easter egg, oranges pop up in my fiction from time to time. They even make it into my original fiction.