Fake Fan Fiction ❯ The Unexpected II ❯ The Wedding Part 2 ( Chapter 25 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
Title: The Unexpected II
Chapter 24 - The Wedding, Part 2
Chapter 24 - The Wedding, Part 2
Pairings: Ryo/Dee (mostly), some Dee/Ryo
Warnings: Yaoi, Male/male, MPREG, AU If you don't like, don't read!
Disclaimer: FAKE is not mine. We have Sanami Matoh for giving us Dee, Ryo and the rest of the 27th precinct characters. Any OCs appearing in this fic are mine.
Pairings: Ryo/Dee (mostly), some Dee/Ryo
Warnings: Yaoi, Male/male, MPREG, AU If you don't like, don't read!
Disclaimer: FAKE is not mine. We have Sanami Matoh for giving us Dee, Ryo and the rest of the 27th precinct characters. Any OCs appearing in this fic are mine.
A/N: Just a reminder about whenever Akira, Ryo's grandmother, uses Dee's name. The literal translation of the katakana for Dee is `Dei'. There's a slight difference in infliction when saying `Dee' and `Dei' using Japanese pronunciation, even if they both more or less come out to `Dee'. Akira and the rest of Ryo's family speak English well enough to make the difference. Thus most of Ryo's Japanese relatives call him `Dee'. However, Akira does not, even if she could. She prefers it, and her special way of bringing Dee into the family. So whenever she is speaking, you will notice that Dee's name is spelled `Dei'.
So I'm going to attempt a posting marathon over the weekend and see if we can get past this wedding. The Unexpected II is complete in draft form. I don't plan to start writing part III until some time in September, I think. (I'm going to take a break in August to write some more Torchwood fics, including a FAKE/Torchwood crossover with the most talented Gracie Musica, over at our LiveJournals).
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All eyes were on the doors in the back, the guests waiting in the candlelight. Excitement was heavy in the air. Very few faces on the MacLean side looked indifferent or if they rather be elsewhere. Much to Estelle's delight, the overall feeling from her family's side of the atrium was excitement and anticipation. The majority of those who were strictly set against the marriage did not show. On Dee's side of the atrium there was enthusiasm and delight. Friends and acquaintances of both grooms, who were scattered among all the sections added to the mounting anticipation.
The first notes of the selected song started, just a violin for the first few bars before the pick-up began. The next few bars were whimsical as the music with full orchestra built to it's tempo. In those bars, the lights in the arches went on, starting in the back and lighting one after another to the front in quick succession. While the arches were being lit, lights along the aisle went on, following the pattern of the arches, lagging only slightly behind.
The doors opened and as the netted lights of pastel colors started to come on, starting from the center aisle and spreading to the sides, the children merrily made their way down the aisle. There were eight pairs of children with girls on the left and boys on the right. Some skipped along the way. All the children were smiling and laughing, enjoying the moment. They were a rainbow of colors, with two girls each in pink, lavender, yellow and light blue satin dresses. The skirts were full ballroom style, with two tiers. The slightly ruffled top tear was split, opening in the front and showing the lower skirt. The bodices were sleeveless and there were clusters of flowers the same color as the dress on the waist, just above where the top tier of the skirt met. All the girls had their hair down with wreaths of flowers crowing their heads. The boys, like the groomsmen, had black suits, with vests and ties to match the color of their partner. They walked fast and then as the melody changed at about 30 seconds into the song, they were already halfway down the aisle. They started to shake the cherry blossom branches in time with the music, making the bells ring to the music.
When the Processional started, there were gasps of pleased surprise and murmurs of approval. Guests watched with smiles on their faces. There were some “aw”s and “ooh”s heard. Just about everyone found the children delightful and adorable.
As the bells first started to ring, JJ and Drake came through the door, heading off the procession of groomsmen and women. JJ was bouncy and excited as he made his way down, along the white runner with the blue trimming on the edges. Drake felt uncomfortable, fearing he'd make a fool of himself in front of all the rich people of not only Ryo's family, but Dee's, as he had met the Lanes the night before at the rehearsal dinner. Rich families aside, Chief, Rose and most of the others they worked with who were in attendance would never let him live it down. Despite his anxiety, he was happy for his two friends and in a great mood, which helped in his not showing any of his fears. They had managed to make it to the wedding in time, and they were going to keep the events of earlier that day from Ryo and Dee until the happy couple returned from their honeymoon. It turned into a good day for Drake, and he planned to enjoy the rest of the night and all the wedding festivities Dee and Ryo had lined up. Both men wore boutonnières with a pink Asiatic lily and blue thistle, the pink flower to match their vests and ties.
Immediately behind them followed Elina and Janet. Both women had bright sunny smiles as they went down the aisle. They clutched their bouquets, heads held high. From the looks on the faces of guests they passed, they had caught the attention of those who were interested in the fashion of the wedding party. Sounds of approval and appreciation followed as they walked.
If the guests were expecting all men and women to be dressed alike, they were pleasantly surprised with the coordination and styling of the wedding party. Marty and Darla followed the two women in yellow. Like all the groomsmen, Marty wore a black Italian tuxedo. His vest and tie was light blue to match Darla's gown. His boutonnière was a blue iris and blue thistle.
Adriano and Pedro looked as suave and stylish as the men before them, and just as excited as JJ. Adriano practically bounced his way down, with Pedro stealing glances at his lover and laughing. Their vests and ties were lavender, and had boutonnières of purple freesia and blue thistle.
Julie and Jocelyn caused more murmurs of approval from the fashion conscious female guests in their pink gowns.
Ted and Jim were next with yellow vests and ties, and yellow Asiatic lilies and blue thistle. Jim played off sophisticated as he walked. Ted glanced at him and shook his head. Leaning just a little to Jim as they walked, Ted said just loud enough for Jim to hear, “Dude, just don't expect me to dance with you tonight.” Jim laughed, Ted joining him.
Emiko and Tsubasa wore blue. Ryo's Japanese first cousins that he was closest to were in high spirits and very proud to be part of their cousin's wedding.
Elisa and Karen finished the section of Groomspeople, dressed in lavender. Like everyone before them, they were having the time of their lives, judging by the smiles on their faces.
The entire wedding party beamed as they made their way in time to the lively paced music. To the guests, it was obvious it a true celebration, festive and exciting as the wedding party walked with a flair, taking normal strides as they smiled and laughed with delight while they made their way toward the front. Sounds from the guests told them that everyone was enjoying themselves. There were even some applause as they passed.
The children had already made their way to the front, passing along the sides of the bridge. They made their way to stand around the canopy on the outer edges, the girls on one side, the boys on the other. The groomspeople where halfway down the aisle by the next change of melody. The guests never realized that only 25 seconds had gone by before the next two went through the door.
The atrium was filled with aw's again as Dani and Stefen came through the door and started their walk. Dani's light blue dress had a full ballroom two tiered skirt. The top tier was satin and scalloped, the edges done in appliqué of beads and silvery thread. The bottom tier was tulled. The sleeveless bodice had a portrait neckline. The shoulders and center of the bodice were appliquéd in the same fashion as her skirt. She wore little blue lace gloves. Her hair was pushed back in front with a flower hair band and hung in the back in a cascade of curls. Stefen's suit was the same style as the other boys, his vest and tie matching his sister's dress.
Dani held a smaller version of the women's bouquets, while Stefen had a bubble maker, leaving a trail of bubbles behind them as they walked.
They were only a quarter of the way down the aisle when the melody changed off again, once again having a whimsical quality to it. With the change in music, Bikky and Carol entered, as it was their turn to go down the aisle.
Carol looked glamorous, and Bikky was proud to be her date that day - and just about every other day. It was plain to see Carol was excited as she walked in time to the music, a little bounce to her step. She carried a basket of calla lilies and blue irises.
Bikky looked to be the happiest boy on the planet. He did not bother to play off his tough street thug appearance he normally hid behind. He was too happy for the two men he called his fathers to try. Although they were already a family, both men having adopted him and they had been all living under the same roof for nine months, he felt after that day they would really become a family. A few months after that, their family would grow when his sister or brother will be born. He had to admit he also enjoyed being a part of all the fancy trimmings surrounding him. He didn't even mind the suit, especially since thankfully, as formal as the wedding was, Ryo and Dee opted for ties instead of bow ties, going for a more modern look in formal. And he had Carol at his side. He glanced at her, smiling more in appreciation of how beautiful she looked in her expensive gown.
Carol caught his glance and smiled at him. Bikky smiled back before both teens went back to concentrating on making sure they kept the upbeat timing of the Processional.
Dani and Stefen were now just past halfway down the aisle, the groomspeople filing along each side of the bridge toward the canopy. Once again the music changed. The excitement level of in the atrium rose, because they knew the two grooms were almost about to make their grand entrance.
No one was sure how they were going to do it. For most of their guests, this was the first gay wedding they had attended and how no idea how it was worked. Seeing only just the two best men at the altar, it was obvious that both Ryo and Dee intended to make the walk down the aisle. Those who read the program knew they were being escorted by Elena and Mother, but not how. Would they walk in together, or one behind the other? If the latter, who would go first?
Those who knew Dee were willing to bet he would be the first one to enter, given the aspect of the bride enters last in a traditional wedding. Not that anyone saw Ryo as feminine, but Dee's friends thought they knew the dark haired groom well enough that he would not want to enter last. It did not matter if he was pregnant. There were just some things Dee Laytner was consistent about. Those who knew Ryo better knew the part-Japanese groom was easy going enough to go with whatever his handsome soon to be husband would decide.
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Dee stood in the hallway, moving along as the wedding party filed out into the atrium in time to the music. He watched the door get closer and closer. In a matter of seconds he would be making his entrance and on his way down the center aisle to finally be married to Ryo.
As if reading his mind, Ryo turned his head and smiled at Dee. “I love you,” he mouthed.
“Love you too,” Dee mouthed back.
The music filled the entire top level atrium, including in the entranceway. From the moment it started up and he heard the reactions from their guests, Dee wished there was a way he could watch the entire processional, from start to finish.
“It sounds like it's going lovely,” Elena exclaimed, hugging Ryo.
Mother stood next to Dee, her arm hooked around his, dabbing her eyes with her hankie. “Yes, it does,” she commented with a smile. “It's everything I've dreamed of for my boy, but feared I could never give it to him.” She dabbed at her eyes again.
Dee smiled at her. His own eyes, shining more an emerald green, were glistening with tears, but they stayed where they were. He placed his free hand on his bump and gently rubbed it.
Mother leaned up, closer to him. “Are you okay, Dee?”
Dee nodded. “Yeah. Just butterflies. And a baby kicking.” He chuckled. “Easy there, chibi. It'll be our turn soon enough,” he softly said, still rubbing his swollen tummy.
Ryo whipped his head around as Diana approached the doorway, Daniel holding an arm in front of her until just the right moment. The wedding choreographer held a stop watch and was checking the time, sparing an eye to look inside to assure himself all was proceeding like it had the night before.
Ryo glanced at Dee, who smiled back at him. “Chibi's very excited. So is Daddy.”
“So is Papa,” Ryo replied as Daniel lifted his hand, giving Diana the signal to start walking through the door.
“Aw!” Elena exclaimed, smiling at Ryo, then at Dee. “Too precious.”
“Ohmigod!” Dee gasped as it was Ryo and Elena's turn to stop near the doorway. Daniel held his hand out again, waiting until it was their cue. “This is it!”
“Yes, Dee,” Mother laughed. “It's happening.”
“It really is happening,” Ryo said before Daniel started to give him to cue to get ready. Ryo reached back to quickly squeeze Dee's free hand. He turned back to find Daniel lifting his hand.
“And… congratulations on your most amazing wedding day,” Daniel said, signaling Ryo and Elena to start walking.
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Diana entered the atrium all smiles, holding her flowers and appearing like a beauty queen. She felt the excitement in the air and it was growing. As much as there were murmurs and some applause as she passed, she knew she was not the main attraction to this delightfully festive occasion. She was just the warm up. The signal that the two men everyone had come to see and pay well wishes to were right behind her.
She looked ahead and noticed the majority of the wedding party was already lined up around the canopy, with Dani and Stefen approaching the bridge. Bikky and Carol were almost halfway to the altar. The one thing that stood out most in her mind at that moment was that she had never seen Bikky walk so tall and proud. He held his head up, but not in the challenging way of the street. That was one happy boy.
She was nine rows down when she heard the change of melody again and braced herself for the guests response when the first of the two grooms made his grand entrance.
Ryo entered the atrium with Elena on his arm. “It looks gorgeous!” Elena exclaimed as they took their first step. Ryo knew Elena meant the wedding party in procession, and the lighting which looked different without the sun shining down and the overhead light fixtures on. Now it was just the lighting put up for the wedding, with the candles on the columns going up along the center aisle flickering that was used, with the last of the lighted sky above, streaked in vast hues of purples, pinks, yellows and blues, softly muted by the falling snow. It was almost as if the sunset had coordinated itself with the theme colors.
He did not actually hear the end of her exclamation as the guests were all standing, starting to applaud as Ryo started his walk toward the altar with his aunt. He also heard gasps of surprise and he knew it came from him entering first. He could not help but smirk a little, feeling proud and finding he could love Dee a little more for allowing him to walk first.
`Just wait until they see Dee in his white suit,' he thought as he smiled out at their guests, acknowledging some with a slight tilt of his head. He was aware of Elena lifting her other hand to her face. He looked at his aunt to find her dabbing a stray tear. She was all smiles. She looked over at Ryo, knowing she was caught. Ryo winked at her and they both chuckled. So far, he was doing fine ignoring the lump in his throat. He could only imagine what Dee felt like. Ryo did not feel a baby kicking, but he had enough butterflies of his own in his stomach to feel like something was fluttering.
He thought that when the moment finally came, the walk down the aisle would be surreal to him. As he walked with Elena under the lighted arches of flowers, and past the marble columns with the flowers and hurricane lamps, everything was crystal clear to him. He swore he could make out every smile, every wet eye in the room as he passed. His mind captured who was wearing what. It was as if his mind was photographing each second, everything he saw, even peripherally, for him to remember with vivid clarity for the rest of his life.
The only surreal thing to him was that time seemed to slow down. He could hardly believe it had been already eleven seconds when the melody changed again, taking on a softer, sweeter strain. He only knew it was eleven seconds because he knew that was how long they had from the time Ryo entered the atrium to when Dee did.
As the music changed, he heard more gasps, cheers and applause. He could not help but look back and steal a glance of Dee as he came through the doorway with Mother on his arm. Dee's Adam apple bobbed as the crowd welcomed the second groom. As he forced himself to look forward and watch his footing, he caught Bikky's eye as he started to walk along the bridge. The boy immediately whipped his head forward when he slightly bumped into the bridge. Ryo chuckled a little at his son, shaking his head slightly in amusement.
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Dee's mouth fell open as he got to glance inside the atrium and at the proceedings before him. Mother squeezed his arm. He noticed all eyes were on Ryo as he passed with Elena and once he passed guests, they were starting to look back, straining for the second groom to enter.
“Breathe, Dee,” Mother instructed as Daniel started to lift his hand.
“And… congratulations, Dee. Enjoy a long and happy marriage,” Daniel stated, giving them to signal to go.
“Oh God,” Dee muttered as they took their first steps. He almost stopped and froze at the reaction of everyone in the atrium. People were whistling, cheering, clapping and some of their friends were even yelling out encouragements. He felt the atmosphere of the atrium to be of high spirits, excitement and love. The only thing that made him keep walking and not stop was his need to follow the man in front of him, looking so fine in his charcoal gray tuxedo. Dee needed to follow him and at the end of that walk, marry him. And then live happily ever after.
Before Dee put his attention on the excited crowd there to wish them well, he could not help one more glance at Ryo's ass, enjoying how it looked in that suit. As his attention went to smiling out to their guests and acknowledging them, especially the more enthusiastic ones, he knew with every step he was walking toward his destiny.
He was meant to be with Ryo. It was a long hard road to finally get Ryo as his lover. By the time Ryo first told Dee that he loved him, Dee already knew he wanted to be more than just a lover. This wedding was only to affirm what they had already settled into. Ryo was his life, his other half of his soul. He knew Ryo felt the same about him. When they moved in together, it was because it was the next natural step to take. They found they could no longer say good night and sleep alone, seeing the other at sometime the next day. They wanted to spend every day together, sleep every night next to the other. Getting married was the next logical step, even if Dee had trouble believing it was actually happening.
He looked ahead, managing to force his vision past Ryo, to the rest of the wedding party. Everyone was already in their positions around the canopy, except for Diana, who was a few rows ahead of Ryo, starting to veer off to walk along the bridge. Suddenly he had no problem believing it was happening. It felt very real, and so very right to Dee. He did not even seem to mind when he had to reach up to wipe a tear that finally slipped past his eyes.
As they got to the foot of the bridge, Ryo and Elena stopped. Elena started to hug Ryo. “Ryo, sweetie! I'm so happy for you. Now go and get yourself hitched to that fine husband of yours,” she gushed.
Ryo wiped a tear from his aunt's cheek, smiling at her. “I intend to, Aunt Elena. And I never intend to let him go.”
“Of course, sweetheart.” She glanced back. “Oh, speaking of the handsome devil.” She smiled as Dee and Mother approached the bridge.
Ryo and Dee's eyes caught and their wide sunny smiles got brighter.
Elena was hugging him again. “I'm so proud of you, Ryo. And I know so are your parents.”
“Thank you,” Ryo replied, turning back to hug his aunt again.
Dee and Mother came up to the bridge and stopped just behind Ryo and Elena. Mother reached up to hug Dee. “Oh my baby boy! I want you to be happy for the rest of your life, and I know you will, because you'll have your wonderful Ryo.”
Dee laughed, sounding a little choked up. “Yes. Yes, I am.” He hugged his mother, giving her a kiss. “I love you, Mother. Thank you for everything you've put up with me in the past, and seeing me through for this to happen.”
“You're my miracle. You deserve it,” she replied, hugging him again and kissing his cheek. With a bright smile, she released Dee and then went over to Ryo for a quick hug. “You take care of my darling boy, you hear,” she said, kissing Ryo's cheek when he leaned down.
“That's what I intend to do, ma'am,” Ryo replied with a laugh. He hugged his mother-in-law. “I'm going to love him for the rest of my life.”
“I know, you will.”
While Mother hugged Ryo, Elena went over to Dee. “Sweetness, this is it. I know you and Ryo are going to last a lifetime.” She hugged her very soon-to-be-nephew-in-law tightly.
“I know it too,” Dee said, excited, hugging her back. He kissed her forehead. “And again, thank you for accepting us, Aunt Elena.”
“How can I not?” She looked up at him with tears streaking her cheeks. “Go get married.” With a smile she walked away from Dee, Mother at her side. Rick and Franklin were waiting on the side to escort the women to their chairs. As they made their way to their seats in the front row, Elena could not help but notice the three empty chairs, off to the side, directly facing the side of the canopy. They were designated for loved ones not able to be there. Ryo's parents, and Jess.
Ryo grinned at Dee, stepping up to the small platform that was the base of the bridge and held his hand out for Dee. With a smile of his own, Dee took Ryo's hand and joined the man he loved on the platform. Together, they stood, hand in hand, taking one last look around the atrium, waving to their guests, amid more applause and cheers.
“Let's do this,” Ryo said, and took a step forward.
To cheering and applause, the two men walked over the Japanese bridge. By the time they stepped off the platform on the other side, to stand before the canopy, the music started to wind down.
It was the longest and happiest four minutes in their lives so far.
Their officiate entered the canopy from the side, coming from behind the wedding party on that side. She wore a long red robe, with a hood. Behind her were four others who stood on the other side of the altar.
Some shocked gasps were heard, but not sounding threatening.
The woman made some gestures to the altar and then turned to face Ryo and Dee. She lifted her head, to reveal an older woman, with auburn hair. She smiled out past Ryo and Dee to their guests, seeming to encompass all with a glance.
“Welcome everyone,” she started, her voice picking up on the microphones overhead. “And on behalf of Ryo and Dee, we thank everyone for sharing this most joyous joining. A little about myself, and how I ended up with the honor here today. I am Lady Stephanie. I had worked for Mother Maria's orphanage for a few years sometime back.” She gazed over to the woman who did not look so much like a nun, and more like a proud mother, weeping with happiness at her son's wedding. She sat next to Elena, who sat next to her mother. “Dee was ten when I first started to work there. After I left, I stayed in touch with Mother Maria and Dee. Basically I've watched him grow from a boy to the fine man standing here.” She smiled at Dee. “Speaking to Dee, I have no doubt of his love for Ryo. And as I got to know Ryo, I know there's no one else for him but Dee. I was honored when they came to me, and asked to perform this ceremony for them.
“Today, Dee and Ryo have chosen a Handfasting for their wedding ceremony. I am glad, because it suits them and the special love between the two men.”
Amused, she glanced over to the first row where the family sat, because a squeal of delight came from Siobhan when handfasting was mentioned. Clarisse was smiling more, nodding her approval at their choice. Stephanie knew Mother Maria's family were of Celtic Pagan roots, and they were excited that Dee had decided to have his marriage ceremony in the traditional style of the Lanes.
“I will not force anyone to believe in anything that goes against their beliefs,” Lady Stephanie stated. “However, I think everyone here believes in the magick of love. Especially when a love creates a special magick without much effort from a couple, except loving each other. This is what I feel when I am around Ryo and Dee. This is what I ask everyone to feel and believe in as these two fine gentlemen take their vows.” She paused, looking out to the guests. Some looked slightly uncomfortable, others looked excited, as if they knew what they were about to witness. Most of the guests looked intrigued. She quickly assessed that as far as most of the guests went, as long as Ryo and Dee ended the day married, it did not matter which method they chose.
Smiling out at the guests again, she said, “So, without further ado, let us start.”
She had to pause again, smiling wider as there were some applause and the excitement started to grow again. She thought that it was a shame how most of the guests did not realize what a beautiful magick their enthusiasm created and how it lent power to Ryo and Dee's joining. Not that the happy couple needed any help, but it never hurt when there was a supplement.
She smiled again at Dee and Ryo, then took a deep breath.
“Know now, before you go further,” she started to intone, “that since your lives have crossed into this life you have formed ties between each other. With full awareness, know that within this sacred space, you are declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family.”
Ryo's breath caught, suddenly overwhelmed with the moment. It was only a few months ago that he was still hiding from his aunt and uncle. At the time, he thought he would never dare tell his grandparents, or the rest of his family. Except for Mother, Diana and some friends both him and Dee got to know together and felt comfortable about, he hid from friends too. And from co-workers and bosses, but that had been Dee's decision too. They wanted to remain partners at work, and odds were once their relationship was public knowledge, they would be split up.
Now he was standing before the canopy he was to be married under, in front of all of his family, and relatives, along with Dee's. Their friends and co-workers were scattered throughout the sections. He had noticed Chief and his wife as Ryo came down the aisle, and in the 3rd row was Commissioner Rose. Almost 300 people were there to watch him and Dee get married. Ryo knew he would have still been standing there with Dee if most of their friends and family did not support him. He would have married Dee anyway. The idea that so many people said yes, showed up and most of them gave total support was more than he had imagined. It made him feel more proud than he already felt.
He felt Dee's eyes on him, and he smiled at Dee, trying not to wipe at his eyes, that were starting to sting. Dee returned the smile.
“The heat of the hearts' passion, the light created by both, to lighten the darkest of times,” Stephanie continued to intone, raising her hands. She gazed at Dee. “Do you, Dee Lane Laytner, come to this union in free will?”
Dee nodded, swallowing. He took a step forward to stand just before the step up to the platform. “Yes, I come in free will,” he replied.
Murmurs were heard around the atrium as Dee took a step up onto the platform.
Stephanie smiled at Ryo. “Do you, Randy Ryo MacLean, come to this union in free will?”
Ryo took a step forward to stand just before the step to the platform. “Yes, I come in free will,” Ryo replied, smiling up at Dee, who was looking back at him.
Dee held out his hand and Ryo took it as he stepped up to once again stand next to Dee.
“Who bears witness to this union?” Stephanie asked, looking around.
“We do,” the wedding party replied in unison. “We come to share the joy of this union.”
Stephanie's coven members walked from behind the altar, carrying cords. They set them on the altar. Each of the coven members took position at a different corner of the canopy.
Stephanie turned to face the altar. With her hands over the cords, she spoke. “These are the cords of love, the ties that bind.” She faced Ryo and Dee again. “Will these cords be accepted in free will and love?”
Together, Ryo and Dee answered, “Yes.” Both men's voices seem to crack a little from emotion.
She gestured for the couple to come closer. Looking solemn, she looked at Dee again. “Dee, will you cause Ryo pain?”
Dee swallowed. “I may,” he replied.
“Is it your intent?”
Dee shook his head firmly. “No.”
Stephanie smiled kindly at Dee, then at Ryo. “Ryo, will you cause Dee pain?”
“Is it your intent.”
His eyes on Dee, he shook his head. “No.”
Stephanie smiled. Looking at both men, she asked, “Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?”
“Yes,” came the reply in unison. Their eyes met.
Drake and JJ left their places to join those before the altar. Stephanie picked up an orange cord and handed it to JJ. Looking out at the guests, she stated, “So the binding is made. Please join your left hands.”
Dee and Ryo turned to face each other, and Ryo took Dee's left hand in his. JJ draped the cord over the joined hands, smiling brightly at first Dee, then Ryo. “Enjoy,” he said low. Drake loosely tied the cord as the couple smiling in thanks to their friends. The two men went back to their places.
“Ryo,” Stephanie said, a little loud, as she noticed the two men seemed to be spellbound as they gazed in the other's eyes, with big smiles on their faces. When Ryo turned his head slightly toward her, she asked, “Will you share Dee's laughter.”
“I love Dee's laughter,” Ryo said. “I mean, yes.”
Chuckles and squeals came from the guests. Dee laughed.
Stephanie giggled a little too. “Dee, will you share Ryo's laughter?”
“Of course,” Dee replied. “Yes.”
“Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?”
“Yes,” came the reply from the two men, once again their gazed locked.
The High Priestess picked up a yellow cord as Elina and Janet came forward. Elina received the cord from Stephanie. “And so the binding is made,” she intoned, and gestured for Elina to drape the cord over the two clasped hands. Janet tied the cord, and the women went back to their places.
“Dee, will you burden Ryo?”
“I may,” Dee replied softly.
“Is that your intent?”
“Ryo, will you burden Dee?”
“Is that your intent?”
Ryo shook his head firmly. “No.”
“Will you share the burdens of each other so that your spirits may grow in this union?”
“Yes,” they replied in unison again.
Adriano and Pedro came over as Stephanie picked up a brown cord.
“And so the binding is made.”
Adriano took the cord and draped it over their hands, joining the other two cords. Pedro set to tying it. Pedro gave Dee a teasing grin before they returned to their places.
Dee laughed. Ryo caught the meaning as well and snorted, giving Dee a wicked grin, which made Dee laugh more.
Stephanie clasped her hands before her, looking intently at both men with appreciation. She felt the magick pouring from them. Their love was a most wonderful energy.
The guests stared on with rapt fascination, most of them smiling at the proceedings. For many it was a different type of ceremony, and a very beautiful one.
“Ryo,” Stephanie asked, her voice full of the delight she felt. “Will you share Dee's dreams?”
“Of course. Yes.” Ryo smiled brightly at Dee.
“Dee, will you share Ryo's dreams?”
Dee nodded, his eyes starting to water as he gazed at Ryo. “Oh, yes I will.”
Stephanie shook her head amused and smiled. “Will you dream together to create new realities and hope?”
“Yes!” came from both men.
Dee placed his right hand on his swell, rubbing gently. “Sorry, excited baby,” he mumbled.
Ryo's smile was beautiful as his eyes swept down from Dee's face to fix on where Dee's hand was.
Meanwhile, Emiko and Tsubasa had joined them.
“And so the binding is made,” Stephanie stated, smiling more.
Tsubasa took a blue cord from Stephanie and draped it over the clasped left hands. It brought Ryo and Dee's attention back to what they were doing. Emiko tied the cord and the two went back to place.
Stephanie tried to look solemn as she asked, “Dee, will you cause Ryo anger?”
Dee gave Ryo a crooked, apologetic smile. “I may,” he replied, seriously.
“Is that your intent?”
“Ryo, will you cause Dee anger?”
Ryo took a heavy breath. “I may.” He reflected how the questions seemed right for the ceremony the night before at rehearsal, but suddenly the weight of the more serious questions were hard to admit the answers. It would never be his intention and answered that question sincerely. How could he intentionally hurt or cause pain to Dee?
“Is that your intent?” Stephanie was asking him.
“Will you take the heat of your anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?” the High Priestess asked.
Both men nodded, once again gazes locked as they replied together, “We will.”
Marty and Darla came forward.
“And so the binding is made,” Stephanie said, handing the red cord she had picked up to Marty, who draped it over their hands. Darla tied it.
Dee swallowed thickly, hit with a wave of emotion. He found it incredible and so endearing that they had friends from both work and outside of work, as well as family partake in this special part of a Handfasting. He lifted his right hand to swipe at a stray tear that escaped from his eye.
Stephanie took a step back, smiling at the couple. “Now we get to the good part,” she said out to the guests and winked. It earned some chuckles around the atrium. “Ryo, will you honor Dee?”
“I will,” Ryo replied, his voice loud and strong.
“Dee, will you honor Ryo?”
“With my heart and soul,” Dee replied. He grinned apologetically at Stephanie. “I will,” he corrected, using the scripted response.
“I believe you. I believe Ryo will do the same.”
Ryo nodded, gazing at Dee with pure adulation and love.
“With a ground of solid foundation, the breath of knowledge, the flame of inspiration and an ocean of understanding, do you, Dee, now pledge yourself to Ryo forever and a day?”
Dee's smile was beautiful as he looked at Ryo. “I do.”
Ryo swallowed, finding himself trying not to start weeping with joy as his eyes were fixed on all the beauty that was Dee.
“With a ground of solid foundation, the breath of knowledge, the flame of inspiration and an ocean of understanding, do you, Ryo, now pledge yourself to Dee forever and a day?”
Ryo's smile matched Dee. “I do,” he replied.
Stephanie held her hands over the tied, joined hands for a moment, then smiled at the men as she moved back again. “As you are one, yet individuals, please break free from the cords.”
With a mental countdown of three that only they shared, Ryo and Dee shook their hands, pulling them apart, loosening the cords. The cords dropped to the ground as their hands separated.
“The cords may look broken, but they will never be broken. From this day on, you will walk as one, yet individuals. That is the blessings of union. Your union, like the rings you will give shortly, is like a circle, everlasting and never broken,” Stephanie stated.
Gasps and appreciative murmurs and sounds came from their guests, as they realized where they were in relation to a more tradition ceremony. Women were dabbing their eyes, amazed at the beauty of ceremony and the love between the men. Men grinned in appreciation and fascination.
In the front row on Dee's side, Mother was still wiping her eyes, watching her darling son take his wedding vows in this lovely traditional way of her family. She may have forsaken the Path when she choose to become a Catholic nun, but she still found beauty and even some innocence in the old ways. Despite gay marriages being legal, it was hard to find a Catholic priest to perform such ceremonies, and for those who did, they would usually have to hear about it. Which is why the old priest who was like an uncle to Dee sat in the row behind her, also watching the ceremony. Dee did not want to put the priest through that. He also came to an agreement with Ryo that they were going to be married in a rite that accepted them for who they were and did not frown down upon them. It was she who suggested Stephanie to Dee. Dee had no idea that the Wiccan High Priestess was an ordained minister for the State of New York.
Next to her sat Elena, who was also full tears of joy. At times she would rest her head against either Mother's, or Estelle's heads, happy for her nephew and the man he wanted to spend his life with. Estelle watched, thinking she had never seen something so beautiful, that if the ceremony was performed in a plain room, it would still be as beautiful. The elder MacLean lifted her hankie too to dab at tears. Franklin sat with his arm around his wife's shoulder, smiling proudly at his grandson. From what he witnessed, he had no doubt there was no one better suited for his grandson and pitied the next idiot who tried to put Ryo down for marrying a man. Akira sat on the other side of Franklin, full of smiles and tears. Like everyone else, she enjoyed watching this beautiful ceremony for two even more beautiful men. She could not think of anything more perfect for a ceremony than the one she watched being performed.
Stephanie looked over to Eddie, who came over, reaching into his pocket and taking out the ring he had been safekeeping all day. He set it on the altar. As he walked back into place, she looked at Barry, who did the same with the ring he held.
Stephanie did a quick blessing of their rings on the altar, then picked up the circular disc they were set on. She held the disc up in both hands above them, as if for all to see. “These are the symbols of love and unity, but they are still individual. Become as one when you face the challenges of the world, and the pain that comes with change. But within this union, be your own persons, unique, individual, and always growing. I ask that you allow each other to change, to become more than what you are at the present, and that you never find yourself with bitterness that comes with stagnation. With these rings, for he who gives it, and he who wears it, let it symbolize an eternal bond of love.”
She put down the disc, and picked up Ryo's ring to hand to Dee.
Dee's hand was trembling slightly as he took the offered ring. He turned again to Ryo, smiling.
“Dee, repeat after me these words, and then add the words you have chosen to solemnize your vow,” Stephanie instructed. “I, Dee Lane Laytner, do handfast myself to you, Randy Ryo MacLean, forever and a day.”
Dee licked his lips, hoping his voice would come out as clear and strong as the conviction in his heart. Taking a deep breath, smiling at Ryo through glistening eyes, he said, “I, Dee Lane Laytner, do handfast myself to you, Randy Ryo MacLean…” he had to pause and catch his breath. It started out strong enough, but his voice cracked on Ryo's name. His heart was racing as he realized this was the homestretch to them finally being married. He took another deep long breath. He did not want to start weeping like the women in their families, at least not until after they were over with the ceremony. “…forever and a day,” he finished, his voice strong again.
He placed the ring on Ryo's left hand, which was held out toward him. Tenderly, Dee caressed the hand in his, his eyes meeting Ryo's again. “Although we have lived together, it has not been enough,” he started to say the vows he wrote and impressed to his memory. It was easy remembering as he looked into Ryo's eyes. He saw his future, his destiny there. “Today I choose to make a deeper commitment to you. You are everything I ever hoped to find in a lifemate. I will love you forever, and under all circumstances. I will stand by you always. I will have faith in you and encourage you in everything you do. I will be here to listen to you, to laugh with you, and to hold you. I will work with you as we build a life together and raise a family, and I promise to be the best person I can be. I will be your friend, your love, and your partner for all the days of our lives.” He lifted the hand in his and kissed it.
Ryo's eyes started to water again. He had managed to get this far, but Dee's words, the feeling as he spoke, the way he looked at Ryo as he spoke almost undid him. Then that last gesture. His skin still tingled from where Dee's lips were. He drew a ragged breath, smiling at Dee, then looking down at his new white gold symmetrical designed band with small diamonds running through the middle of the front half of the band.
He turned his head when he heard Stephanie clear her throat. He saw her holding out Dee's matching ring for him to take. With a smile, he turned to Dee with the ring in hand, and grasped Dee's offered left hand in his.
“Ryo,” Stephanie said, after giggling a little, “repeat after me these words, and then add the words you have chosen to solemnize your vow. I, Randy Ryo MacLean, do handfast myself to you, Dee Lane Laytner, forever and a day.”
Ryo's smile grew as he looked up at Dee, noticing a single tear going down Dee's right cheek. He couldn't help himself. He leaned up and lightly kissed the tear away. He looked sideways at Stephanie and said softly, “Sorry, couldn't help myself.”
Sighs of endearment and aw's filled the atrium when Ryo kissed the tear away, then chuckles at Ryo's not so apologetic apology.
Ryo took another deep breath and gazed up at Dee again, still holding his hand. “I, Randy Ryo MacLean, do handfast myself to you, Dee Lane Laytner, forever and a day.” He slipped the white gold band onto Dee's finger. Both their hands trembled.
Ryo's lips pressed together as once again he was hit with an overwhelming emotion moment. He attempted to start saying his written vows. “Dee, I… I….” Tears started to fall from his eyes. “I'm sorry… I'm just so… happy,” he started to cry, unable to go on.
Dee's eyes went wide, then he reached out with both hands to wipe the tears from Ryo's face, gently caressing his cheeks. “It's okay, baby. Me too. Now try to stop or we'll both be standing up here weeping.”
Ryo managed to laugh a little at Dee and smiled up at him. “I'm okay. I'm sorry everyone…”
He did not have a chance to further apologize as everyone started to clap, showing their approval at Ryo's display of his love for Dee. Those in the front row, that included Mother, Elena, Estelle and Akira, were standing up as they clapped. All smiles, they hugged each other, so happy for their boys at the altar.
Encouraged by family and friends, Ryo took a deep breath. “Dee… I thought I had something clever, witty and hopefully as beautiful as your vow, but…” tears started to fall again as he gazed lovingly at Dee, “it doesn't work. How can words explain how my heart soars with even the simple things, like what you did just now? All I can tell you is… what you already know. What I make sure to tell you everyday, and…” he paused as Dee wiped more tears from his face. “that I intend to tell you everyday for the rest of our lives.” He placed his hands over Dee's, looking deep into watery green eyes, the most beautiful eyes Ryo had ever seen. “That I love you, and that I'll be with you, and only you forever.” His smiled widened. “There are no words, in any language known, that can express what I feel in here….” He removed one of his hands from covering Dee's and placed it against his chest by his heart, “Being with you.”
Stephanie moved close to the two men and stated low, “Don't you two dare kiss each other for another five minutes.” She chuckled. “Catch your breaths for a few seconds.” She stepped back to join her coven members at the altar.
Dee and Ryo stood close, now holding hands, and pulling themselves together. Stephanie made her preparations to conclude the ceremony. She lifted a cauldron from the altar and setting it on the floor, one of the others lit it. The atrium was quiet, with exception to some weeping, and soft murmurs. The wind chimes could also be heard as they gently chimed in the breeze of a well placed air unit. Another coven member moved it to set a few feet away from the couple and closer to the edge of the platform.
The sun had set by then, and the sky beyond was starting to turn dark. Inside the atrium, the lights that were part of the set up were the only illumination. It was light enough to see faces, including of those standing on the platform, inside and surrounding the canopy, yet just dark enough that the lights inside lent more magic to the atmosphere.
Dee had taken out a hankie and was wiping Ryo's face, smiling at him adoringly. When Dee finished wiping Ryo's tears, the brown haired man took out the frilly handkerchief that Akemi had loaned him for the ceremony, and returned the favor, cleaning the tears from Dee's face.
When both handkerchiefs were in their pockets again, Stephanie stepped up to them. To the guests, she spoke. “What you just witnessed, and not planned as part of the ceremony, was more of that special type of magick of their love.” She smiled out at everyone. “Now… I beckon Dee and Ryo to cross over the fire, which symbolizes the heat of passion and love, and the warmth of hearth and home.”
Ryo and Dee positioned themselves so they stood side by side, facing the cauldron. The guests now had a side view to the happy couple, including Dee's profile with baby bump. Holding hands, they walked over and carefully stepped over it. As the wedding party started to clap their hands, as they were instructed during the rehearsal the night before, the rest of the guests followed suite.
Suddenly almost everyone was standing up, clapping and whistling and cheering on the happy couple, realizing a monumental moment of this ceremony had occurred. Those who preferred to not clap and remain seated still had to stand if they wished to see the remainder of the ceremony over those who were standing.
Ryo and Dee's heads turned in amazement. Their eyes started to glisten again as they smiled brightly with thanks to the guests.
Stephanie gave the guests a few moments before she raised her hands to start quieting them. During the time, another coven member had taken away the cauldron and set it before the altar behind Stephanie. She gestured for Dee and Ryo to come back and stand before her.
Smiling brightly out to the guests, she announced, “Let us all now join Ryo and Dee in extending their joys today to all their families, and especially to Bikky, their son, who will share a home with them.” She glanced down at Dee's tummy, then back to the guests. “As you all probably are aware of already, their family will grow come this summer.”
More applause followed her words.
Bikky and Carol came from their places. Stephanie handed a handmade broom, the handle made of twigs and straw bristles bound together with cords in the wedding colors.
Smiling, Bikky walked past his fathers, with Carol moving past them on their other side. They stepped off the platform and went to the edge of the bridge. Bikky placed the broom on the ground, then stood on one side, as Carol stood on the other side.
Stephanie was smiling more as she gestured for the guests to quiet down. “This is my favorite part,” she told everyone. She lifted her head high, looking at the two ecstatic men before her. “And now,” she started, her voice loud and with authority, “as you, Dee, and you, Ryo, have pledged yourselves to each other as partners in life, by the authority invested in me, by the State of New York, I pronounce that you are…” her smile widened as tears came to the men's eyes again. Dee appeared to be holding his breath in anticipation, while Ryo squeezed Dee's hand. “Husband and husband.”
Dee released his breath with a happy gasp, and Ryo let out a little whoop of joy. More applause and cheers. Poppers that were handed out to guests, started to go off as streamers and confetti went into the air over the guests and floated gently down. Glittery confetti started to blow over everyone from machines set on the sides.
Deciding not to attempt quieting the festive guests as they welcomed the newly wed couple, Stephanie just raised her voice as she stated, “You may now kiss each other.”
Dee turned to Ryo as Ryo's arms were already going around Dee. Their heads moved together and they kissed. Dee's arms encircled Ryo as they kissed while the celebration among the guests continued. Ryo broke the kiss just long enough to breathlessly exclaim, “I love you, Dee.”
Suddenly Dee found himself being gently dipped backward as Ryo preceded to kiss the life out of him. Dee hung onto Ryo tighter, returning the kiss with all the love he felt at that moment.
Laughter and surprise accompanied Ryo's sudden move.
Reluctantly, Ryo pulled Dee up and broke the kiss. Dee grabbed one more light kiss to Ryo's lips, and rubbed his nose against Ryo's. “I love you, too,” he said, laughing, his face flushed from emotion.
Stephanie came over to them, calming the guests. She made Ryo and Dee turn to face their guests. She shook her head, laughing. To the guests, she happily proclaimed, “It is with great pleasure that I present to you - Ryo and Dee Laytner-MacLean!”
Once again, the majority of their guests started to cheer. Mother, Elena, Estelle and Akira joined in a group hug, all the women openly weeping with joy. Franklin and Rick were proudly applauding with huge smiles on their faces. Aokis and Lanes were hugging each other.
All the groomswomen were wiping tears from their faces, as well as most of the groomsmen.
“Go now,” Stephanie beckoned the newlyweds. “Turn and cross the besom, symbolizing hearth and home, and join those who are anxiously awaiting to welcome you as a wedded couple.”
“Oh my God!” Dee murmured, tears falling from his eyes again. He squeezed Ryo's hand. “We're married!”
“Yes,” Ryo laughed. “We are. We really are. Now everything else planned can all go to hell, and I won't care. I'm married to you now, and that's all I care about.”
“Me too,” Dee agreed. “Shall we?”
Ryo nodded. “Let's go.”
Once more, the first notes of “Atlantic Crossing” filled the atrium, among the cheering. Ryo and Dee had decided they wanted that same song to be playing as they left the atrium as a married couple. As the notes swelled, together, hand in hand, they stepped off the platform and went over toward the bridge. They paused a moment to smile at Bikky, then Carol.
They stepped over the besom and continued their way across the bridge. Carol quickly picked it up as soon as they stepped over it, and handing it to Bikky, the two teens followed the happy couple over the bridge. Diana was starting to leave the platform to also follow as the song continued to play, with Dani and Stefen and the children next, and then the rest of the wedding party filing off the platform and following the couple as they lead everyone to the back and out of the atrium. The immediate family filed out from their row and followed everyone out of the atrium.
Along the walk, Dee and Ryo were waving and calling out “Thank you,” to everyone they passed, until they found themselves back in the entrance. Ryo lead Dee down to where they were to stand for the receiving line, as the rest of the wedding party entered the entrance, everyone laughing and in a great mood.
As the wedding party started to line up for the receiving line to meet with guests as they left, Ryo had one of the ushers get a chair. Dee looked at Ryo in question.
“You've been on your feet from the time you left your suite and we have a very long night still ahead of us. So you're going to sit down for this part. Everyone will understand. It's not like this,” Ryo smiled softly as he rubbed Dee's tummy, “is a secret.” He leaned up to kiss Dee's lips lightly. “Now sit down and relax, Dee Laytner-MacLean, or I'll have someone go in and pull Vince out and have him tell you.”
Dee tried to pout, but ended up smiling at what Ryo called him. “I am, aren't I? And you're Ryo Laytner-MacLean.” His kiss, while soft, lingered. Dee knew it was useless to protest. Ryo was right anyway. It was the smart thing to do. It would not be the first time his ego would have to suffer a little for the sake of the baby, and far from the last. Besides, he intended to do more than just sleep in the honeymoon suite at the Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue, across the street from Central Park, that was waiting for their use after all the partying. “Okay. For you and Chibi.”
“Thank you, Dee,” Ryo replied, smiling at him.
One of the security men came over, carrying one of the ornate, upholstered antique chairs that was hidden away for the ceremony. Ryo thanked him, noticing Mother, Elena and Rick, Akira, and Estelle and Franklin being escorted past the wedding party toward them.
The family took a few minutes to congratulate the happy newlyweds with hugging, back slapping, hand shaking and kisses. After the family got to personally see Ryo and Dee first, the rest of the wedding party came over to extend their well wishes, all exclaiming how beautiful the ceremony was until it was time for everyone to take their places as the guests started to exit from the atrium.
The music had changed to “The Mummer's Dance”, by Loreena McKennitt, filling the atrium and the entrance hallway where the wedding party were gathered. Many of the Lanes had started to sing along as they left the atrium, and were joined in by some of the MacLeans, especially from the younger generation. It created a joyful sound, creating more to the magic that still surrounded the day even with the ceremony now over.
Dee sat down in the chair, realizing it was a very good idea. He felt the relief course through his body to finally be off his feet and sitting. Ryo went to stand behind the chair, rubbing Dee's shoulders and leaning over to murmur loving words to his new husband until the first of the guests started to come out of the atrium and into the entranceway.
# # # # # # # #
A/N: Just some notes about the ceremony here. The actual ceremony was altered from the original version by a wonderful woman named Lady Beckett, who is a High Priestess in the San Diego area. I first came across this beautiful version of a Handfasting in the book, “Circle of the Cosmic Muses” by Maria Kay Simms back in 1997. There's a story about this that I must share with everyone. When I read the ceremony in the book, it stuck with me. It was simplistic, yet touched on the most significant meanings of what marriage and commitments means. A few years later, where I worked at the time, one of my friends got engaged and wanted a Handfasting on the beach. Being we became friends because of common beliefs, she went to me asking if I knew of any rituals that she could consider, and also if I knew of any High Priestesses in the San Diego area that were also ordained ministers for the state of California. Of course, that ceremony came to mind immediately and the next day I brought in the book for her to read it. Meanwhile during that day, we contacted several Wiccan circles, putting out word of her need for an ordained High Priestess. The next night, while at home, she was reading the ritual when she got a phone call. It was from a woman who introduced herself as Lady Beckett and that she was interested in doing the ceremony. My friend nearly dropped the book from her lap. As they talked on, Lady Beckett mentioned the same ritual, and my friend laughed, saying she was just reading it when the phone rang and it came highly recommended by a friend. Needless to say, I got to see this ritual performed at La Jolla Cove, at sunset, performed by none other than the most gracious Lady Beckett. I got to speak to her that day, as I was part of the ceremony, but also had assisted my friend with the preparations for the day (it was a DIY wedding, very unlike the one you just read, but every bit as beautiful). The ceremony was so amazing and beautiful, we had people coming down to the Cove from the apartments and hotels overlooking it, asking which religion was it and gushing about how it was the most beautiful wedding ceremony they had ever seen. Many of those people actually joined in halfway through, standing on the outer edges of the circle. Since then, I had the pleasure of revising it a few times when I presided over Handfastings (two were for same-sex commitment ceremonies). When it came time to marry Dee and Ryo in the RPG I'm part of, I sent the ceremony to Gracie Musica, once again revamped to fit the circumstances of Dee and Ryo in the RPG. She loved it, and we used it. Then finally, I tweaked that version for what you just read. I removed most of the parts pertaining to a Wiccan ritual, making it basically a non-denominational ceremony. Dee and Ryo are not Wiccan, and despite his choice for ceremony, is still Catholic, but with an open mind in this fiction. I hope everyone enjoys the choice for ceremony as much as I love this particular one.
“Atlantic Crossing” is from a CD called “Celtic Shores” by The New Milenium Orchestra. “The Mummer's Dance” is by Loreena McKennitt from the CD “Book of Secrets”.
While there are touches of Ryo's Japanese heritage throughout the wedding, my Ryo is also half Scottish (yes, MacLean can also be Irish despite the spelling, but since I'm part Scottish, I decided from when I started to write FAKE fanfic that he's Scottish too). Also my Dee was raised by Mother Maria to be Irish, and embraces that as his own heritage, since he does not know what his own is. With both men having Celtic heritages, then I figured the overall theme of the wedding will be Celtic.
Alrighty, enough rambling here - I'm going to see what I can do about getting one more chapter up tonight, among the other fic I should be working on tonight.
The Unexpected Chapter 24
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