Fake Fan Fiction ❯ The Unexpected II ❯ Afterglow ( Chapter 26 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

Title: The Unexpected II
Chapter 25 - Afterglow
Rating: R
Fandom: FAKE
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: And the marathon continues… There might be one more chapter tonight. If not tomorrow. For those of you who had reviewed already, I'm glad you're liking it. I'm curious to hear more thoughts on the wedding. And remember, this is a happy occasion. I wanted Ryo, and especially Dee, to have what they will remember for the rest of their lives as the perfect wedding (even after they learn of all the mishaps that had gone on through the day. LOL!)
# # # # # # # #
Inside the suite Dee had used to get ready in, Ryo sat down next to Dee, offering a crystal flute shaped champagne glass filled with Martinelli.
Dee accepted the glass with a kiss, smiling at Ryo. “Thank you, my husband,” he said with a grin.
“You're welcome, my husband,” Ryo replied, also smiling. He lifted his glass. “To wedded bliss.” His glass chimed against Dee's and he took a sip.
Dee did the same before lifting his for a toast. “To finally being married to you.”
Ryo's smile got wider as they drank to Dee's toast. They continued to drink from their glasses, sharing kisses between sips. When the glasses were empty, Ryo took Dee's and placed both on the table next to the lounge they sat on.
The newlyweds had their jackets and ties, along with Ryo's vest hanging and waiting for when they were ready to continue the rest of their big day.
Ryo had previously arranged for some time alone in one of the suites before heading over to the reception. After the receiving line and the last of the guests were in the elevator going down, everyone in the wedding party stayed up in the atrium, taking wedding photos. Ryo planned for a mock getaway from the ceremony site and just go around the corner. As they were getting ready to leave, they found out that the hansom cab was in the last stages of repair, but there was a black Bentley waiting for them with an explanation of what had happened to the hansom cab. So Ryo and Dee went downstairs and into the Bentley, allowing for the guests who stayed behind to wish them well. As the guests went on their way for cocktail hour at Bridgewater's, the two ecstatic grooms were dropped off at a back entrance, giggling and still dusting off glitter confetti and streamers that the guests threw at them on their way out of the building. Before they left, Sharon had assured that after speaking with the people with the horse and carriage, it would be there to take them over to Bridgewater's.
Until then, Ryo's plan was to have Dee rest up a little. It was already a long, exciting and emotional day for the two of them. Even with a new sense of peace settled around them knowing they were married, the rest of the night still promised to be long, with more excitement and enjoying themselves with family and friends. Ryo did not want Dee to collapse, and had planned out some things to make the day as easy as possible on Dee, while still allowing his new husband to have fun on their wedding day.
Ryo grabbed the blanket next to them on the lounge and settled them down to lay back on the thick, comfortable pillows. Shaking out the blanket, he covered them with it. Dee's arms were immediately around Ryo, pulling him close and kissing him deeply.
“Dee,” Ryo warned, chuckling. “This is not wedding night time. This is resting to assure we can make the most of wedding night time.”
Dee pouted, which was exactly what Ryo expected. He snuggled closer to his dark-haired husband, starting to lightly kiss him, one hand rubbing the baby bump. He smiled as he got the expected result from that. Dee seemed to melt in his arms. His smile got bigger as he felt another kick, while Dee grinned knowingly, giggling at the look of wonder on Ryo's face.
“I can feel him again,” Ryo said, awed.
Dee chuckled. “She must be feeding off my excitement or something, `cause she's been active all day, especially during the ceremony. It's the most I've felt her yet.”
Ryo kissed Dee again. “He's probably doing somersaults for joy that his daddies are married and had a very beautiful ceremony.” He smiled lovingly at Dee, his husband. Ryo was enjoying running those words through his head, overjoyed that they were true. He watched as Dee started to snicker and joined him as they once again fell into their `It's-a-he-no-it's-a-she' game they enjoy to tease each other with.
“That's probably what's up with her.” Dee rested his head on Ryo's shoulder as he turned onto his side, and sighed happily. “That was a ceremony that dreams are made of.”
“So, you're happy?” Ryo asked, trying to keep a straight face.
Dee's head shot off the pillow to stare down at Ryo, who grinned impishly up at the incredulous look Dee gave him. “Happy?” Dee asked. “Just happy? Holy shit, Ryo! I had never been to a wedding like that ever! As fancy as your cousin's was last year, not even that matched. And here… this was our wedding. That was my wedding day. Even after realizing I wanted to marry you, I never dreamed that we'd have something like that. It was just… damn….” Dee sighed happily, trying to find the right word to sum it up. “Magical,” he finished.
Ryo smiled up at Dee. “'Cause we are, Dee.” He reached up to caress Dee's cheek. “Stephanie says she means it when she says our love is magickal. I have to admit that I believe her.”
Dee nodded. “Me too.” He settled his head down next to Ryo's again. “I can't wait to see the video. I want to see what everyone saw for the entire Processional.”
“Oh, I do too,” Ryo agreed, pulling Dee close again. “So many people had so many wonderful things to say about it. Even some of the old farts who still had some doubts. And it wasn't all flash and flair just for flash and flair. Everyone saw it as the right introduction, making our wedding that much more special.”
“Everyone seemed to like the ceremony itself,” Dee stated softly, putting an arm across Ryo's chest. He was enjoying being held by the man he now called his husband, in a quiet interlude for some post-ceremony afterglow. “I'm glad we went with that one. It seemed to have more meaning than the standard vows to promise to cherish and obey.”
“Yeah. It seemed to touch on all the important factors that make a marriage work.” He kissed Dee's head. “On what two people in love should remember.” He started to laugh. “Your family certainly loved it.”
“Well, they're all Heathens anyway,” Dee remarked with a laugh.
Ryo chuckled along with Dee. Since meeting them, Ryo had discovered that while Dee's contact with the Lanes over the last few years had mostly been through Mother, and the last time he saw them was when he was sixteen, Dee was very fond of the people he called his cousins. “Except for Mother,” he added.
“Yeah. But she's always been a bit of a rebel.” Dee grinned at Ryo. “She had that streak in her long before she announced to her Pagan family that she was going to become a nun. Then she really became a rebel. Even if she says she had no choice, that she `heard' her Calling, they still tease her.”
Ryo studied the look that came to Dee's face when he finished speaking. There was something there that did not match the levity of his voice. “Why do you think she became a nun?” he asked Dee.
Dee pressed a kiss to Ryo's neck. “As far as she's concerned, I never told you this, so don't mention it to her. Okay? Her family knows, and since now you're officially family, I'll let you in on a family secret. She didn't become a nun right on the verge of womanhood or anything. She was engaged once, to a man she dated since high school. They were planning a huge Lane style wedding. Then she was told she was unable to conceive. Mother was heartbroken. She wanted children - lots of children. Apparently so did her fiancé, `cause he split on her, wanting his own biological children. Back then, a single woman could not adopt either. And she was too heartbroken to dare take that chance with another man again. Not long after that, her parents were killed in a traffic accident. So she became a nun, I think to escape her pain and heartbreak. She originally worked with the orphanage. When she found out it was in danger of being closed, she used her inheritance money to keep it open and eventually she took charge of it.”
“Oh,” Ryo uttered, looking sad for his mother-in-law.
“At least over the years, she had more children call her Mother than she imagined. She was happy again, doing what she could to take care of orphans until she could place them into good homes. Then she managed to adopt me. She swears to this day that God lead her to Sisterhood so she could get me.” Dee smiled tenderly. “Which is why she still calls me her miracle.”
“It looks like it all worked out for her,” Ryo remarked, running his fingers gently through Dee's hair. “And she was one extremely happy mom giving her son away today.”
“Yeah, she was.” Dee smiled at Ryo. “I think she loves your grandparents for allowing us to have the wedding we are in the middle of.”
“Even if they didn't, I have a feeling we'd still have had something of a grand wedding, judging from bits and pieces I've been hearing about the amount settled between my family and yours on what the Lanes will be paying.”
“Yup. They told us that they had planned to surprise Mother when I finally announced I was going to get married, and foot the bill for a Lane style extravaganza.”
“Well, in that case, I'm glad we did a ceremony the Lanes can appreciate.”
“Me too. But I agreed because I wanted to be married by a minister in a faith that would appreciate our love for what it is,” Dee admitted. “I'm so glad that so many people, Catholic, Pagan, Shinto, or whatever, enjoyed our ceremony and appreciate it and us.”
Ryo giggled. “You know, I believe Shinto falls under Pagan. Only because it isn't Christian, Judaism or Moslem.” He started to gently rub Dee's belly, while softly nuzzling the side of his face. “So I think that makes some of my family Heathens too.” He laughed, snuggling closer to Dee.
“I do believe you're right.” Dee sighed contently. “That feels good.”
“Then relax and enjoy it,” Ryo stated, smiling at Dee. His smile widened when Dee nodded and closed his eyes to take Ryo's advice and relax.
It was only a few minutes before Dee fell asleep. Ryo set the alarm on his watch and cuddled up next to Dee, intending for the two to have a half hour nap, before getting ready to head over to the reception.
# # # # # # # #
“Okay, so I should be expecting this, but all I can say is, whoa!” Ted remarked to his co-workers as the wedding party arrived at the reception venue.
Bridgewaters was located in South Street Seaport area, situated above the historic Fulton Market. It was a popular choice of venue for many businesses and organizations to hold conferences, as well as a popular space for weddings and other private parties.
The wedding party came out of the private elevator entrance onto one of the terraces and entered the cocktail reception through what was called the Museum Club foyer. The venue was broken into two spaces: The Bridge Club and the Museum Club. The reception itself was to be held in the Bridge Club, which consisted of the two original rooms Dee and Ryo had managed to reserve and built up the rest of their wedding around. There was the Terrace Room, which they had passed upon entrance. From what guests were able to see as they walked past along the terrace, it served as the buffet room, where the food was to be served. The Bridge room was designated for the tables and dance floor. The highlight of the room was its northern view of Manhattan and views of Brooklyn, including the Brooklyn Bridge, which was most prominent from the northeast windows of the room. It was that alone that decided the happy couple in their first choice of venues, since the Brooklyn Bridge played a major role in the night they had officially become a couple.
A week after Dee and Ryo had signed on Sharon as their wedding coordinator, they had received a call from the woman saying that the Museum Club had become available for use that night. They had consulted with Sharon and they found themselves adding the additional space to their contract with the venue, then started to revise their plans for the reception.
The Museum Club side was on the southern end of the venue, its windows looking out to the New York Harbor to the south, Brooklyn and the South Street Seaport to the east. Coming from the elevator, guests were lead along a terrace on the western side of the venue and were treated to views of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River and New Jersey.
The cocktail reception was held in the Museum Club. It gave the impression of being that, the walls waiting for an art collection. Otherwise, it was a large open space with bright white walls along the inner side of the space, while the side facing the outside was all windows and doors leading to the terrace.
The décor for the cocktail reception reflected the entrance to the ceremony. Along the walls and windows were the white lighted tree branches and cherry blossom trees. The floral arrangements were a combination of those in the ceremony's entrance and in the atrium itself. They were long arrangements utilizing all the flowers selected by Ryo and Dee, and set in high planters of blue glass. Like the floral arrangements on the pillars going down the center aisle, there were large hurricane glasses set in the center of each arrangement with candles flickering within. Blue lighted netting draped across the ceiling, along with Japanese lanterns in pink, lavender and yellow. Effect lighting gave the room an overall feeling of blue and white, with small moving splashes of the pastel colors in designs.
Set up along the walls and windows were various bars, each one designated for a particular type of drink. There was a bar for champagne and wine, another for beer, and others for margaritas, martinis and mixed drinks. Other bars served non-alcoholic beverages and there was even one set to serve coffee and tea, should that be the liquid choice of a guest. Some of the bars were ice sculptures, while others were made of glass blocks. Those bars reflected all the wedding colors in different patterns. The remaining bars were silver and blue.
The terrace beyond was accessible through several doors. Tables and chairs were set up under a wide awning, protecting guests from the snow. Heating lamps provided warmth against the cold. More Japanese lanterns hung, along with fringe lights in the pastel colors.
Recorded jazz and classical music played as guests arrived and mingled. Waiters in tuxedoes greeted guests with platters of hors d'oeuvres of many varieties.
Janet looked at Ted in amazement. “And after that ceremony, were you expecting the reception to be decorated in crepe paper and tacky fold out bells?” she asked.
“Well…” Ted shrugged. “Like I said, I should have expected something like this. Nevermind. How about let's just say I'm impressed.”
Janet shook her head. “I guess that would work.”
JJ looked at the two amused. “Actually, when they first booked, they only had two rooms. They were going to have cocktails in the main room, not like this and have a space just for cocktails.”
“Oh?” Marty asked. “How did they manage this then?”
Diana smirked as she joined the small group in a corner not far from the entrance. Some of the others from the wedding party had already started to mingle with the other guests. She pulled Rose along with her. “I don't think Ryo considered it,” she stated, having overheard the conversation. “I know if definitely flew over Dee's head.”
“Wha?” Drake asked. “What are you talking about.”
“The cancellation came through not long after they hired the wedding coordinator,” JJ remarked.
“So?” Drake looked confused.
“So, the other room was reserved previously to Ryo and Dee getting the initial contract. You know, for birthday parties, anniversaries. Something like that.” JJ looked up at Drake, expecting him to get it.
The other man still looked lost, along with most of the others surrounding him.
Rose snorted. “It means through the wedding coordinator, the MacLeans `bought' out this room so Ryo and Dee could have the entire place to themselves.”
“They can do that?” Drake asked, looking horrified.
“Rich people have no scruples and can be ruthless,” Ted stated. “Yeah, I heard about stuff like that.” He tried not to smirk when he heard three throats being cleared in response to his first statement. He gazed at JJ. “I didn't mean you, of course.”
Rose frowned. “I'll tell you what. This is all speculation on our behalf. So no use in upsetting the newlyweds on what turned out to be a most spectacular day. Correct? So the first one who opens their mouth to Ryo and Dee will hear it from me.” His gazed settled on Ted. “Am I understood?”
“Yes, sir,” Ted replied, not looking happy.
“They might find out on their own eventually,” Drake pointed out.
“And no reason to upset them if they don't,” Diana said. “I don't want Ryo, and especially Dee to have a bitter taste looking back on today.”
“Besides,” Rose added, “do you really want to upset the pregnant guy?”
Heads all around shook. Rose's last statement made them realize there was no debate on the issue.
“Looks like they're going to let everyone in for dinner,” Marty observed.
“Just remember to stay behind,” Diana reminded the group. “Once the band starts playing, they'll announce us in.” She smiled sweetly at Drake. “Don't worry. There's plenty of food, so there will be something there when we go in.”
Drake frowned at Diana, while the others laughed.
Ted studied Diana. “You're eating this up, aren't you?” Ted asked her.
“Aren't you?” Diana questioned.
“Thought so.”
The others laughed again.
“Just think of it,” JJ started. “If we're all feeling like kings and queens, then imagine what Dee must be feeling today. After all, him and Ryo are the most pampered, being it's their wedding day.”
Ted shook his head. “I tell ya, if it was just today, it'd be bad enough. But there's tomorrow's brunch and the big send off. And then a week of being pampered in luxury in that big fancy Bahamas resort for the honeymoon. Dee had better not come back expecting us to continue catering to him.”
Janet giggled. “Some of us will anyway. You know, the baby and all.”
Ted rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Hey, I'm going to go get a drink. Anyone with me?”
“I'm going to go talk to Emiko and some of her family,” Janet said, excusing herself. “I'll see everyone when we get called in.”
Ted watched Janet walk away from them.
Drake clapped Ted on the shoulder. “Damn, dude. That's worse than just striking out. Looks like the game is over.”
Marty shook his head. “You ask me, the season is over.”
“She's a fickle flake anyway,” Ted remarked. “I can do better.”
No one dared say anything. Instead, everyone headed toward the bar, where Barry and Eddie were already getting their drinks.
Janet approached a group standing near the windows, looking out onto the terrace and the southern skyline of lower Manhattan. “So, how are you liking New York?” she asked Martha, who was among the group.
Dee's Japanese friends seemed to have become her escorts for the day. With Ken, was his wife, who had flown in the day before. The couple planned to stay an additional few days after all the wedding celebrations so their family could have a chance for sightseeing. Dee had never met Ayumi, but spoke to her on the phone a couple of times and always sent presents for their children for birthdays and holidays. Hide's wife stayed in Japan, deciding to stay behind with their children. Being seven months pregnant herself, she thought it best, but insisted that her husband go to New York and spend some time with his college best friend during the wedding celebrations. The couple had been married immediately after college graduation, and Dee had been part of their wedding day. Two weeks after their wedding, Dee had left Japan to return to New York. Yuki's current lover could not take the time off from work to accompany him. Since all three men were friends with Martha during their college years, it was like another reunion for them.
As Martha was flown in by herself, she was glad to be in the company of familiar faces. She had also had time to catch up on things with Ryo's old unit buddies, whom she had not seen in years.
She smiled at Janet. “Oh, it's all I expected!” she replied. “Almost as beautiful as Bangkok and Tokyo. I'm so glad I could come here. And Dee and Ryo look so happy, yes?”
“Oh indeed,” Janet agreed.
“I'm happy for them,” Martha said. “Especially Dee. I always felt he needed a good man.” She winked at Janet. “I always felt he was never meant to settle down with a woman. But he needed a man he could trust enough to allow himself to be the one taken care of. Which was something Dee was never able to allow when I knew him.”
Dee's other friends nodded. “Dee always had to take care of everyone else,” Yuki added, “but I also knew, somewhere inside, was a part yearning to be taken care of. He has his mother, but by the time I got to know him, he felt he had to take care of her. Even from Japan. He would send her money from the part time jobs he had through school.”
“He always gave me that impression too,” Janet stated. “Meanwhile, Ryo gave me the impression that he needed to open up and be able to reach out to someone. Don't get me wrong. Ryo has always been warm, kind and with a beautiful smile for everyone. As long as you didn't get on his wrong side. And even for those, he was still there if they needed help.” She giggled before continuing, “He could be quite a flirt too. Ever since we met, he was good with flirting with me. A shame that Dee already had moved in on his feelings for him to take me up on an offer for coffee or whatever before things progressed between them. Ryo was also one of those who were always willing to help someone, always the guy with words of encouragement or just lending quiet support. Still, when you got to know him, you noticed that wall he kept around him. Until Dee managed to help tear it down.”
They were interrupted by an announcement that the Bridge Room was open and everyone could proceed to their tables.
The group excused themselves, and along with everyone else who had their table numbers already, headed for the Bridge Room.
The members of the wedding party, along with close family started to gravitate toward the couches set to the side of the Museum Club. Some of them were already lounging, drinks in hand, nibbling on hors d'oeuvres as they talked.
Julie smiled at Janet as they approached the gathered group. “Well, I'd say Dee and Ryo had an amazing wedding day. And we're only at the start of the reception.”
Barry nodded as he put his arm around his wife, pulling her close. “They certainly went for big and beautiful, and succeeded.” He laughed. “And somehow managed make New York City an underlining theme, from old New York to new.”
“Tell me about it,” JJ agreed.
“I just love New York!” Emiko exclaimed from her seat. “I want to live here. Besides, I'd be closer to Ryo, Dee and the baby.” She giggled.
Everyone laughed along with Ryo's Japanese first cousin. As the wedding party continued to talk, the band inside the Bridge Room started to play a rendition of “Are You Ready 4 This” by 2 Unlimited, with one of the singers welcoming the guests on Ryo and Dee's behalf. Barry started to laugh at the choice of song, and others followed. Rose rolled his eyes, but even he grinned as Diana hugged him, laughing. Franklin looked at his wife, who smiled widely.
“Oh, it'll give those old dinosaurs in there a shaking,” Estelle said with a giggle. “And I'm sure the younger generations are bouncing up and down. No matter how you look at it, it's apparent that it's now party time.”
“I would say so,” Franklin stated, then finally laughed.
“I made sure that Ryo and Dee remembered to include some of the more pop songs that they like for the reception. They went for formal at the ceremony, but like Mom said, it's time to party,” Elena stated.
“I hear the more hip songs will be played to announce everyone into the reception, and then some jazz and classical during dinner,” Akira stated. “After dinner, more party music.”
“Yes, that's what they decided,” Elena agreed. “I hear they also included some big band and swing for dancing too. I think they did a fine job in choosing details to make this a formal and elegant wedding, and yet lots of fun. Did you hear the guests during their ceremony? I had never seen so many people give newlyweds a standing ovation.”
“And all that cheering and clapping,” JJ added. “I thought it was cool. I know they were surprised.”
Mother clasped her hands in front of her, a huge smile on her face. “Everyone who came up to me had so many wonderful things to say,” she said. “Now only about how handsome Dee and Ryo looked, and how happy they are, but about the wedding itself.”
“Dee looked absolutely regal, Maria,” Estelle said, beaming proudly. “And so did Randy. My goodness, do they make a dashing couple,” she gushed. “No doubt people are going to be talking about their wedding for a long time to come. My family thought I was just bragging because Randy is my grandson. They should know better.” Her smile got wider. “Everyone has had a lovely time already, and the reception is just getting started.”
“I'll tell you what,” Barry stated. “If those hors d'oeuvres are any indication, I can't wait for them to announce us in already so I can hit up that buffet.”
“No kidding!” Pedro agreed. “I could make a meal on the hors d'oeuvres alone, but I know it only gets better inside.”
Sharon came over to the group. “I trust everyone is enjoying themselves so far?” she asked.
Heads all around nodded.
“We're quite proud of Randy and Dee,” Franklin stated. “They did a marvelous job on planning for this wedding. And you, my lady, are a true miracle worker to pull all their ideas into this amazing wedding in the time you had.”
“My reputation is for pulling together weddings that would take a year to plan in less than a month. At least Dee and Ryo already had venues when they first contacted me. Most couples didn't have that much. They pulled off the hardest part on their own.”
“That is exactly why I chose Sharon to refer our grooms to,” Elena said. “I heard much about what she is able to do in short amount of time.”
Sharon laughed. “That's my specialty. Ah, I hear the first song is winding down, so if everyone could get ready to be announced in.” Sharon smiled at Mother. “And Mother Lane, once again, may I say you truly look like the proud Mama you are. My congratulations to everyone of you in Dee and Ryo's families.”
“Why thank you,” Mother said, blushing.
Akira, who was sitting next to Mother, smiled. “Amazing, but with this marriage, I feel like I have gained family.” She smiled first at Mother, then Estelle.
Franklin nodded. “Indeed. I find it amazing too, but I do believe Randy marrying Dee ended up undoing the damage Frankie's marriage to Rayna caused. Plus we have additional family through Dee.” Franklin took his wife's hand and squeezed it. “Frankie and Rayna must be overjoyed today. And so proud of their son.”
“Oh I agree,” Estelle said, her eyes misting a little. “I wish they could have been here on this momentous and beautiful day in their son's life.” She smiled. “Well, shall we?” she asked the group, starting to stand up. Eddie, who was standing, held his hand out to help her up. Barry was helping Mother, while Tsubasa helped his grandmother.
They waited around in the foyer just outside the Bridge Room, where the table and dance floor was set up. Then band ended the song and went into a rendition of “Celebrate” by Sly and the Family Stone. The same singer who spoke to the guests earlier got their attention once again as he got them clapping along with the music. After the song's introduction, the wedding party was announced in. While guests clapped to the music and cheered, each member of the wedding party was introduced as they entered in the order Sharon directed them. Barry, JJ, Pedro, Tsubasa and Janet threw their arms up high in the air when their names were called, as the others waved in the direction of the guests. Pedro, Adriano, Emiko and Diana started to dance their way toward the area the wedding party was to be seated. It prompted the others to follow suit, except for Rose, who tried to maintain some semblance of decorum as he escorted Diana to the tables. Eyes opened wide as they finally saw the area they were to be seated, along with Dee and Ryo.
There were two long tables situated just before the first level on the platform. Each table seated eight. The table linen was blue with yellow swags hanging before each person.
Between the two tables was a step up to the first level of the platform. On that platform were two tables seating three on each side. Blue linen with pink swags designating a seating on that row. Another step up between the tables to the main platform, set up like a stage. On each side at the edge of the platform were two more tables seating three. Over the blue linen on those tables were lavender swags. The tableware was the same as the other tables in the room. Blue, silver, crystal and white were the colors of dishes and glassware. There were plates of various sizes, round and square, including soup bowls and salad platters stacked in a way that was pleasing to the eye. Napkins for the tables on the platform matched the color of the swag. Small wreaths of the wedding flowers with little hurricane glasses and a lit candle within was set between each person at the table. Set at each place was also the menu card. Like the wedding invitations and the programs, the cards were a portfolio. When opened, there was a card with a list of all the foods offered at the buffet, another card for sweets and a third card that had the official engagement photo of the two grooms, with a message Dee and Ryo wrote up as a thank you to their guests.
Set a few feet back on the platform was a round table set for two. Unlike all the tableware used for the other tables, the tableware was blue and crystal, and all crystal glassware, trimmed in silver. The table linen was a shimmering blue. Calla lilies and blue iris made up the flower arrangement for that table. Right behind the table was an arrangement of cherry blossom trees and white lighted tree branches. As a backdrop for it all hung light blue curtains and dark blue swags, spanning from the end of one of the 8 place tables to the end of the other. Lighting helped set the mood of the tables, including changing spotlights on the curtains, and at the end of each rectangular table was an upward spotlight changing through the wedding colors.
On the platform's right side was a long table facing the platform, designated for spouses, dates and additional family of those in the wedding party. On the left side of the platform, next to the one of the long tables were three long tables set up in a `U'. The children of the wedding party were lead over to that table. There was another small backdrop and effect lighting to designate that the table also held some prominence.
“Oh my God!” Elina gushed as they approached the platform. “This is just beautiful!”
“Tell me about it!” Janet exclaimed.
“Oh look!” Emiko pointed out to the far corner left of the wedding platform and the windows beyond. “It's the Brooklyn Bridge! How beautiful!”
Julie smiled at her husband. “Oh yes. Dee and Ryo did alright with the wedding arrangements,” she said.
“Definitely. I think if we told Dee two years ago, he'd have a wedding like this, he'd have laughed,” Barry said, smirking.
Drake snorted. “Hell, if you told Dee the same thing a little over five years ago, he'd have laughed at you for being so stupid to believe he'd want to get married.”
“So true,” Ted sighed, as those who had known Dee for a long time laughed.
“Well, look at him now,” Barry said. “Aw I think our little Dee is all grown up. Married, with a baby on the way, a big beautiful wedding. It makes me misty.”
Julie slapped Barry's arm playfully. “Go on and tease, you big brut.” She lifted a tissue to dab at her eyes. “I think it's just lovely.”
JJ grinned impishly. “Oh please, somebody ask the band to play `When You Wish A Star', or `Fairytales Can Come True'.”
Drake did a double take at JJ. “Dude, that's on you.” He laughed. “But shit, I'd pay you fifty bucks if you do.”
Pedro laughed. “How about `Someday My Prince Will Come'.”
The others broke out in laughter as they went to take their assigned seating around the platform. The groomsmen and women were seated at the two long tables in the front. Barry, Eddie and Diana were to go up to the first level behind the long tables, sitting down on the table that was on the platform's right. Julie sat just in front of Barry at her table. Rose and Akemi were escorted to their seats on the long table along the platform's right side. Elisa's husband came over to join them at the table. Right behind them were Tsubasa's wife, and Emiko's husband, Daito, who were also seated at the table. Also joining them were Karen and Jocelyn's husbands.
Diana sat back in her seat, looking around, appreciating the set up. “This is just amazing,” she remarked, loud enough for those close to her to hear.
All the other tables were round and seated 10 guests. They had light blue linen, with silver overlays. The same tableware and glassware were used as the wedding party. Each place setting at a table had a different color napkin, alternating in pink, yellow and lavender. The table settings were like those on the wedding party tables, but a little bigger. On each side of the centerpiece were long thin abstract vases that lit up from within and had a small cluster of long stemmed calla lilies and blue iris.
She noticed that some of Ryo's cousins, along with Vince and David were seated at tables near the front. There were a few empty tables, apparently for Akira's other children with their families, and Sarah and Clarisse. From what she could tell of the other seating, tables were pretty mixed. Dee and Ryo had come up with an unique idea to mix guests at the tables. Rather than having assigned designated seats, they had scrolls hanging from the cherry blossom tree. Guests were instructed to take a scroll. It was Ryo's idea, his wicked sense of humor coming to the surface. Rather than having guests sit in little cliques, especially from his family, he thought it would be fun to mix things up a little. Chances were members of the various families, along with their friends and co-workers would end up thrown together at the tables. Dee loved the idea immediately, after he stopped laughing at the thought of some of the MacLeans ending up at a table with some of the poorer members of St. Joseph's, the church affiliated with the orphanage. One side was for couples to pick from, and the other was for singles. Each scroll had a table and seat numbers on it. The guests were surprised at first, and a few looked affronted. For the most part, once everyone was settled down, Diana could see that conversation went on, even if there were not the little expected cliques sitting together, especially within the elder MacLeans. It worked well because instead of a sit down meal, there was a buffet. Cliques could be formed at the buffet tables, or outside in the Museum club side while getting drinks, and even on the terraces.
Windows were framed with pastel lights, while clusters of fringe lights in whites and pastels hung from the ceiling. Effect lighting of blue lit up sections of walls and windows, while the ceiling was lit up in a combination of the pastel colors, with moving blue designs.
Diana sighed in appreciation. “This is all just amazing,” she stated.
“I can't wait to show the rest of the family that didn't show just what they missed. This is the best wedding in MacLean history!” Jocelyn exclaimed in excitement. “And I'm glad.” She looked around at those seated close to her, realizing she had their attention. “Ryo had a lot of prejudices to stand up to, and he did it in a huge way. I'm so proud of him.”
“I agree,” Tsubasa said. “Anything small would be like sneaking or slinking to most of the MacLean elders, and even to some in our family. Instead, Ryo stood tall and proud with the wedding of all weddings. Good for him.”
JJ, overhearing, suddenly had new insight to why Ryo had pushed for a big wedding and encouraged Dee until they came up with the one they were in the midst of. It was a wedding for royalty. Realizing how true Ryo's cousins' words were, he had to admit his respect grew for Ryo at that moment. Not only did Ryo give Dee the type of wedding he felt they deserved, it meant he stood up to opposing family members. The wedding as it was, was Ryo's shout to all his family that he was who he was, in love with who he was and damn proud of it.
How could someone not respect that? JJ wondered.
“Hard to believe something like this is Dee's wedding, huh?” Drake asked him, pulling at his pink tie.
JJ smiled at Drake and shook his head. “No. Not hard to believe. This is Dee. This is the way he had always lived his life, and now Ryo is going to live it the same way.”
Drake looked at JJ confused, missing what Ryo's cousins had to say about the wedding. “Excuse me, but the last time I looked, Dee was just a poor working class shmuck like the rest of us. Ryo too, despite his coming from a great big influential rich family.”
“Not the money. The message. The meaning.” He indicated all the décor within the room with a flip of his hand. “All this, screams that Ryo and Dee are in love, and plan to spend the rest of their lives together. And anyone who doesn't like it, can just fuck off.”
Drake looked at JJ, then shook his head. “Well, yeah. I guess it does that all right. So when do we get to go and eat?”
JJ laughed. “After this song, I think.” He picked up the card and opened it to look over the buffet menu. “Oh wow! Would you get a look at what they're serving!”
Drake was also studying the menu card. “It does seem to have something to please every palate in the room. Which is a good thing. What's with this grilling station?”
“Apparently some things are grilled to order,” JJ said. “Nice. That means you can have a nice steak, potatoes and veggies. And if you're a good boy, you can even have some macaroni and cheese.” He snickered.
Drake glared at JJ. “So I'm a man of simple tastes. But I'm up to trying out something I haven't had before. You know, try out some of that rich people food, just to say I did.”
JJ laughed, taking out the sweet and dessert card. “Oh my! A chocolate fountain! That'll be yummy! And all these fancy French, Italian and Japanese pastries. Will I have room for some wedding cake?”
Drake started to look around the room. “Um, maybe that's why there's so much pastries.”
“Hm?” JJ asked. “Oh, speaking of, where is the wedding cake? I want to see it. From what they described, it should be lovely. Almost too lovely to cut up and eat.”
“There isn't one,” Drake stated. He pointed over to the corner of the room where the Brooklyn Bridge was visible. “However, my guess is that it should be over there.”
JJ looked over to where Drake had indicated. Set up in the corner was a wrought iron threefold screen designed with intricate scrolls. Scattered about the upper half of the screen had candles glowing in colored votive glasses. The bridge was still visible behind the screen. A glass table was set within the screen. However, there was no cake to be seen.
“Hey, what happened to the cake?” JJ asked.
Barry cleared his throat and leaned across his table. “It's on the way. We were assured it would be here before dinner is over.”
JJ's eyebrows rose as the rest of the wedding party on that side, looked at Barry. “There was a traffic accident, involving the vehicle transporting the cake. Apparently, it was made off site in one of the kitchens affiliated with this place.”
“Oh God,” JJ muttered. “How bad was it?”
“A fender bender, we were told,” Diana explained. “No one was hurt, but a couple of the layers on the cake were DOA. So they took the cake back to the kitchen to fix up what survived and remake what didn't. Thank goodness, only one of the layers destroyed had intricate scrollwork on it.”
“Do Dee and Ryo know?” Drake asked.
Both Barry and Diana shook their heads.
“No. Not yet. We're hoping it shows up before they do, and then they don't have to know until after they get back from their honeymoon,” Barry said.
“Or if some well intentioned guest mentions it, at least it will be here already,” Diana added. “I hope,” she muttered.
The current song ended, and the band started to play a rhythm that was familiar, yet could be one of many songs. One of the female singers of the 18 piece band was getting everyone to start clapping again, and stating that the family of the newlyweds will be entering the room.
“Oh, after this, all we need is Dee and Ryo,” Julie exclaimed.
The singer had everyone on their feet and clapping.
# # # # # # # #
Sharon smiled at the assembled family members as the sounds of clapping accompanied the music. “This is it, ladies and gentlemen. And once again, please enjoy this most joyous day.”
Estelle stopped before Sharon. “I should have asked earlier, but is our little surprise in place?” she asked.
Sharon nodded. “Oh yes. You know it took a bit, but I know it will be worth it. It will be just before the last song.”
Estelle beamed. “That's wonderful. At least the boys picked an early end time, so all the guests should still be still accounted for. Thank you. For everything you have done for this most delightful wedding. I know my grandson and his husband are so happy. And they deserve everything they have.”
“Indeed they do, Mrs. MacLean. Now, I do believe it is time for you to party.”
“Thank you, again, Sharon,” Mother exclaimed. “And God bless you.”
Sharon smiled as the band went into the first notes of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.
To the surprise of most guests, and the delight of many, while their names were announced individually, the group entered the room as one. United. Franklin and Estelle MacLean, grandparents of Ryo Laytner-MacLean. Elena and Rick Harcourt, aunt and uncle as well as second parents of Ryo Laytner-MacLean. Akira Aoki and Maria Lane, grandmother of Ryo Laytner-MacLean and mother of Dee Laytner-MacLean. Bikky Laytner-MacLean, son of Ryo and Dee Laytner-MacLean. Clarisse and Siobhan, cousins of Dee Laytner-MacLean. Akira's other children, Ryo's aunts and uncles. They all entered, waving and smiling, talking amongst themselves, and laughing among the music and announcing. They were escorted to the platform to join the wedding party.
Carol's eyes opened wide. “Oh wow! This is just…. oh wow!”
Bikky laughed. “That's what you get for going to get your hair done instead of going with me and Ryo to see the set up before going over to the ceremony.”
“I'm not complaining. And I'm glad I went. Everything had to be just perfect, you know,” Carol remarked. “Just like everything else is today. It's all so beautiful.”
Bikky nodded, happy for his dads.
Bikky and Carol were seated behind the wedding party on the left side of the platform. Elena, Rick and Akira sat down at the table behind them. On the table on the other side, behind the best men and maid of honor, sat Mother, Estelle and Franklin. Those two tables shared the platform with Ryo and Dee's table.
“I hope Dee doesn't get too spoiled,” Mother giggled, looking around. Seeing it earlier in the day, empty and in daylight, was very nice. But now with the room filled with guests, and the New York night sky beyond the windows, there was a different ambiance to the room, aided by the lighting and flickering candles on all the tables.
“Oh pish, Maria,” Estelle said. “Let the boy be spoiled. Carrying that baby for our Randy, he deserves this and a whole lot more.”
Mother smiled. “I'm so happy to hear that. Dee is my treasure. And I know Ryo was meant to be with him.”
“I agree wholeheartedly,” Estelle stated. “I've never seen our Randy look so happy and… vibrant… as he is with Dee. For that alone, we're grateful.”
“Ladies and gentlemen,” another member of the band spoke into a microphone. “The Terrace Room is now open for dinner. Please use the plates at your setting for the buffet. But fear not, you are allowed to make multiple trips to the buffet, and there are plenty of extra plates should you need.”
As guests chuckled and started to stand, he added, “For the next hour or so, we will be playing some softer music for your dining pleasure. One more thing, as you can see, the grooms are not here yet, but we expect them to arrive soon. We will announce when they arrive downstairs to give anyone interested ample time to be here when they make their grand entrance.”
The band struck up a slow jazz song as guests filed out of the room and across the foyer into the Terrace Room.
Once again, they were treated to sweeping views of the lower Manhattan skyline. The room had netting like in the Museum Club. Lined up along the walls were various food stations. There was a pasta bar, a soup bar, vegetable station and a vegan station. The entrée station was set up along the windows looking onto the terrace. Some of the guests went outside to smoke, waiting for the crowd getting their food to dwindle down. Next to the entrée station was the grilling station, where certain meats were grilled up to order. There was a seafood station, and sushi bar. The sushi bar was another ice sculpture, with pagodas and temples that the various sushi was set upon for picking. The salad bar was also sculpted from ice. The dessert and sweet bar was set up in a corner, with the chocolate fountain as the center of attraction.
Music from the Bridge Room floated into the room as guests picked out their food.
Waiters were on hand to serve food onto plates, and there were some waiters with trays to help guests with more than one plate return to their tables.
“Oh my God,” Drake groaned. “I doubt I'll be able to have even a bite of everything here.”
“You don't have to. Just take what you like,” JJ remarked.
“It all smells and looks so good. Gah, what will I pick first?”
JJ shook his head. “Whenever you're done, just meet me at the table.” JJ went off to fill his plate, leaving Drake to his dilemma.
“You're not right,” Drake whined. “You're supposed to be my partner.”
“This time, you're on your own, partner,” JJ laughed.
Marty came up and slapped Drake on his back. “Have fun, man.” He laughed as him and Darla went past Drake over to the salad bar.
“Now how can someone look so upset at an affair such as this,” Drake heard David say from behind him. He looked back to find David and Vince come over to him.
Vince smiled at him. “Hello Drake. You look smashing in pink.”
Drake groaned. “Hi Vince, David. Please, I can't wait until I can loose the pink. Dee and Ryo so owe me for this.”
David shook his head. “Seriously. It does look good on you. Don't sweat it.”
Vince smirked. “Don't worry, man. We know you're straight. You're forgiven.” He winked at Drake. “But I think I'm as perplexed as you are. There's so much good food, I don't know where to start.”
David leaned over to kiss Vince's cheek. “If you want, I can get food for us both. If you trust me.”
Vince put an arm around David and kissed him lightly. “I trust you. So if you don't mind, please.”
David laughed as he patted Vince's chest. “You're such a helpless man sometimes. But don't change. I'll talk to you later, Drake.” He went off to inspect the various food stations.
Drake sighed. “Since I don't have anyone to get food for me, I might as well start figuring out what I want.”
“Go for the lighter stuff first, so you don't get full right away,” Vince suggested.
“Right. Gotcha, Doc. I'll catch you later.”
“Okay, Drake.” Vince snickered, watching Drake wander off. As he waited for David, he found himself pulled into a conversation with some of Ryo's relatives, thanks to Eunice.
The main topic among guests was the lack of a wedding cake visible, which lead to lots of speculation as to why. Those in the know tried to squash growing rumors by explaining the truth, but talk will still go on, and some pretty bizarre explanations went around.
Half the guests had made their first selections and were seated, starting to eat when one of the band members made the announcement they were all waiting for.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just received word that our grooms have arrived downstairs - via the most beautiful hansom cab in all of New York City. So if you wish to greet our newlyweds when they arrive, please return to the Bridge Room. Don't worry, there still will be plenty of food left to come back to.”
Chuckles went around the room as it emptied, all the guests wanting to be present for Ryo and Dee's grand arrival to their wedding reception.