Hi! I admit I haven’t been following the RP too closely so this is going off the idea and initial start up of the pairing. But I do find it pretty goshdarn adorable.
One thing I do note and like about the RP is it starts up after everything’s happened with canon Kes (ignoring “Fury” as we all should always) so there is no question she is an adult. Ocampan physiology is super vague onscreen and canon Kes really fluctuates between being treated as a teenager or an adult based on what the current plotline requires of her, which can make her relationships and flirtations a bit creepy sometimes. For reference, Dalby is 36 in “Learning Curve” while Kes is not quite two and her actress was 21.
Kes is great for Dalby. She’s an excellent listener, is not afraid of conflict or negative emotions, cares deeply about people, is super supportive, and is young and sweet and a ray of sunshine in the dark. Dalby is less great for Kes as he comes with a lot of baggage. He’s a widower, a criminal, he was fighting (losing) a war, and objects to Starfleet protocol. He’s dealing with a lot of trauma. But Kes is attracted to damage (Neelix, Tom) and to helping (The Doctor, Voyager) and they are both mentored by Tuvok. I think it would be wild and adorable if Tuvok arranged a Kes and Dalby pairing in the Vulcan matchmaking tradition, though Gerron is more her peer, and Tuvok wouldn’t do it unprovoked. If provoked, however, well it’s a cute fic idea.
I do think this should be a slow burn relationship. I know “Learning Curve” wants us to believe that a few days of Tuvok Boot Camp culminating in a random emergency have solved all of Dalby’s issues but that’s just silly. Dalby needs therapy, but on Voyager he has to settle for Tuvok and/or Kes (or Chakotay, but there’s history there that could easily impede healing) and I can absolutely see that inadvertently devolving into feelings that throw both Kes and Ken off balance before finally settling into a romance. And given that time, and especially if it starts after she’s had the time and space she requests in “Warlord” and the growth she’s looking for in “Scorpion” and “The Gift”, it has a good chance of being a lasting thing.
Could it have worked in canon? Not in a million years. Kes was shuffled off and Dalby was a one episode and done guest star (why Voyager why). If Kes was not sent away, she’d be more likely to end up with Harry or back with Neelix (shudder), and if Dalby returned he would probably be dating Henley or pining for his dead wife forever. They could maybe bond over their shared and uncomfortable attraction to Tuvok but no, that would never be acknowledged in canon either.