(2019-02-28) I Do
Calvin Shay and Victoria Grey get married.
Players:
calvin..vic..willow..wren..edgar..

Starkweather Music spent the entire month of February as a photo gallery. A dedication to love as photos of residents hung on all the walls and on displays on the open floor. It still functioned as a music store, selling small items that could fit in the storeroom but for the most part, it's been Calvin Shay's romantic fever dream. Until tonight, the 28th of February.

The wedding planner, an old associate of Calvin's, flew in on Saturday. Store's been closed since Sunday as her team descended on the store. Blocking the front windows came first. This was her gift to Cal and Vic. Worry about nothing and trust me. Not that she didn't listen to suggestions, she wanted a chance to make something and Calvin was fine with it. Between recovering, keeping tabs on Vic, and work resuming on his comeback album, the man was happy to hand over the reins. It seems to have paid off.

The store is transformed. White drapes covering the retail walls was first. Second was a transformation of the large space into what feels a bit like a backyard, minus the grass. It's like a simple garden theme with flowers arranged as beds, table and chairs that are similar to patio furniture. The wedding is set to begin at sunset so the lighting is mostly string lights, lamps, and even some flameless candles. It creates a feeling of intimacy. And the guest list reflects that. It's family and close friends and plus ones are at a minimum.

The first floor is both ceremony and reception. The garden tables are arranged to make it easy to see the front, where the bride and groom are presumed to be. Upstairs, the band is set up and that is the dance floor. The wedding is dry, so there is no worry about drunken antics on the stairs.

It's almost time. The upstairs offices are set up for the bride. The downstairs workshop rooms are set for the groom. Guests are checked at the door, twice. Bags are even searched.

*

Vic is relaxed. Most brides would not be, but this one has had the huge church wedding shebang before, and letting the wedding planner run with things was the best thing ever. She took her mother and Willow shopping for their respective dresses, and in keeping with the garden theme, the matron of honor and bridesmaid are in pretty pale yellow dresses of simple cut, so they can be worn for other occasions.

Vic has a sassy little wedding dress, white, with a low V in the front of the plain and simple bodice, short loose sleeves, and a tiered, layered skirt, silk on the outer layers of the dress, and a filmy layer of tulle beneath that goes almost to her ankles. She wears simple white sandals on her feet. On her head is a flower crown trailing a veil to her mid-back. Her makeup is simple, and she looks glowingly healthy, not yet having popped with her pregnancy. She has a bouquet of daisies, her favorite flower, as she does a last turn in the mirror. "What do you think?" she asks her wedding party.

Lucy Carmichael has been weeping on and off all day. She looks happy, proud, and so in awe of her daughter finally rejoining the living after 15 years in darkness. "You're beautiful, perfect. Just perfectly you, Victoria. Not fussy, not floofy, a little bit of rock and roll and sass. It's just right."

*

"Oh. My. Gosh! You look so awesome" Willow squeals as she bounces up and down while looking Vic over. "Calvin is going to fall over with how good you look." Her brow furrows. "I hope he doesn't hurt himself. Maybe we should warn the Best Man that he's going to fall over? Thank you sooooo much for letting me be a bridesmaid. Isn't this awesome?" That last for Lucy Carmichael and it even comes with a hug from the teenager. "I would hug you too, Vic, but everything is sooooo perfect that I wouldn't want to muck it up." Though she is almost trembling with how much she wants to hug Vic.

*

Not being part of the wedding party — and perfectly ok with this — Wren has free reign as to where she needs to be. She is without a +1 despite being well-and-wholly attached. Yaz had classes and studies and projects and Wren isn't about to pigeon-hole her prickly, caring other half into being somewhere that isn't easy for her. It's alright though; Wren has another focus. As things come together for the beautiful bride, Wren is easing her way into the downstairs workshops that she appears to be savvy with navigating. Wren's fine bones and understated elegance shine through in the discount bohemian dress that she wears.. ankle-length and V-neck with the barest splashes of sage green to set her moss-green eyes to glowing. Her hair is piled up and high atop her head in a messy bun, her steps near-soundless, feet outfitted in sensible flats. The basic preparation of her attire suits her to a T and she is, at presnt, searching for Calvin.

"You doing alright?" Asked softly upon finding him. She is ready to help in any way necessary.

*

There are few things that can get Edgar out of jeans and into a suit, but this is one of them. Suits often make one look distinguished and older, but on Ed, they have the opposite effect. He looks like a teenager who's raided his dad's closet. Not bad for a guy in his thirties.

He's on the groom's side, and should he catch Calvin's eye, he gives him a thumb's up and a broad, dimpled grin.

*

It's easy to find Calvin. Grant, his manager and his groomsman, is standing outside of the classroom, looking particularly salty and once inside, it's easy to see why. Calvin and his father and best man, Craig, are by the open window of the workshop, passing a joint between them. Calvin's wearing a dark gray suit with a pale yellow tie. It's a terrible clash with his burnt orange wheelchair, but what can you do? He's cleaned up a bit with a fresh shave and hair trim. He greets Wren with a wave over. "It's almost time, isn't it? Did I lose track of that much? Shit. What's up, darling?" He passes the joint back to his father and starts rolling towards the door. "Walk 'n talk. I'm supposed to be in position."

*

As the music begins, the bridal procession gets organized and makes their way down the stairs to where the ceremony is happening. Vic strides down the stairs with one hand on the bannister just in case. She's all smile, beaming, and looking ethereally happy. Pregnancy has done her good. She hasn't even told anyone to fuck off today. Mark that on the calendar.

*

Willow is at the back of the bridal party, giggling excitedly as they descend the stairs. She offers a frantic wave to Everett when she spots him in the crowd before resuming solemn face for her wedding duties. Which lasts about a second before she is grinning again. "Calvin's here" she whispers to Vic after spotting him in place. Just in case the bride-to-be needed to know and couldn't see him herself. Willow has also taken it upon herself to be flower girl, though the flower petals are being tossed around behind them instead of in front. Like Vic's passage causes flowers to rise up from the ground.

*

Is Wren one to partake in such things? No judgement; she notes the men taking a fortifying hit and doesn't even seem bothered by it. "I'm alright," She offers to Calvin, not wanting to add to any burdens or worries. Truthfully she's fine. She will go to the man as he waves her over and she is comfortable enough now, from the times 'in between', to press a kiss to his temple. It's not a lingering thing but those who know Wren just might see this as a breakthrough.

She will have then either helped the man or at least accompanied him, breaking off soon after to take her proper seat and to observe raptly. Everything is admired: the bridal party, the bride, the groomsmen. Wren is silent and watchful.

*

Calvin is parked neatly by the officiant when the bride and party descend. He looks at her with wide eyes and a slight smile. That's the look of love. Hell, his hands are even up to his chest, as if his heart might burst out if he doesn't hold it in. His father pats him on the shoulder, grinning proudly.

*

Lucy steps off to the side and takes Vic's bouquet from her when she's settled in place. She's still got happy tears in her eyes, and Walt is beaming from the front row on the bride's side. Not a whole lot of folks over there, a few clients who stayed friends, some cousins. Vic only has eyes for Calvin though and they never leave his as she reaches him.

*

Willow sighs heavily and happily as she takes her place beside Lucy, even nudging the woman in case she doesn't realise how exciting this all is. Thankfully, Calvin is already sitting down so doesn't fall over at how beautiful Vic is. One disaster averted.

*

The officiant begins. He's a longtime friend of the Shay family, a fellow rancher and former pastor. He was also the person who married Dex and his parter, Mateo. He keeps it brief with some mild waxing about love in general and then shifts to more personal remarks. "This is not the first time this couple has stood here. The road from altar to altar has not been smooth and easy. He was hard and painful and traumatic. But as I stand here before you, I will say what I believe with all my heart. Love always wins. Always. And Calvin and Victoria are living proof. Love will always win." He pauses for proper effect.

"Now, I know you two aren't exchanging rings. Crazy kids and tattoos. So, we skip that and go right for the, uh, statement of intent. Then the vows or, as I call it, tissue time. I'll say something so you can get it together. Then I'll let you go forth." He nods a little. "Now, join hands. Calvin Dean Shay, do you take Victoria to be the wife of your days, the companion of your heart and your friend for life? To be united in the face of adversity and bask together in the light of good fortune? With these words spoken, and all those as yet unspoken, do you wish to marry Victoria and join your life with hers?"

Calvin has just been staring up at Vic with those big blues. He took her hands and they were so warm. He looks so sure as he says, "I do."

The officiant repeats the same for Vic. "…With these words spoken, and all those as yet unspoken, do you wish to marry Calvin and join your life with his?"

*

Vic is captured fully by those blue eyes of his, and the sincerity int heir depths. "I do," she states firmly, their adorable knotted guitar string ring tattoos joined as their hands are. Her dark eyes well with happy tears. She will totally blame the hormones!

*

Willow will be blaming the beauty of the moment. Tears run freely down her cheeks as she smiles broadly and happily. Such lovely vows too. And the tattoos…that gets another squee as well. When the vows are made there is much applauding and whooting from the teenager.

*

"Now, for the vows. Calvin? These people want to eat and dance so keep it brief?" The Officiant teases. It makes Calvin chuckle as his father hands him a folded piece of paper. "I wrote them down. Like he said, if I spoke from the heart, we'd be here all night." He shifts a bit, takes a deep breath. "Vic, I won't make the same mistakes again. That is my first vow, the strongest vow, my best vow. I promise to be a good, proper husband to you. I will be there when you need me. I won't stray. I will treat you like the queen that you are. You are beautiful and so strong. I live in a world that is no in any rush to disagree with me. You, on the other hand, don't let me get away with any of my bullshit and I have never loved you more than /after/ you have straightened me out. That's priceless to me. So I vow to do everything in my power to make sure you feel happy, safe, and loved more than anyone else in the world. I love you and I won't ever stop." He's doing so good. Not one tear shed. Yet.

The Officiant looks to Vic. "Victoria, do you have your vows?"

*

Vic squeezes Calvin's hands as he says his words, then she swallows hard before saying her own. "Calvin, the love you've shown me is new, and unique, and understanding. It comes from a place of knowing, both of us knowing what we've gone through before, and how we dug our way back out of times both good and bad, to be who we are today. It is special, and genuine, and fierce, sometimes all at once. It's brave, and vulnerable, sometimes all at once. It belongs to us, and it is nurtured by who we are, and how we love one another. Thank you, for being you, and for loving me. I promise I shall be your loving wife, and your annoying one, and your worried one, and your joyful one, the rest of my days."

*

Willow stops her leaping around when she realises there are even more vows to be heard. Eyes agog at the extended romance. And such lovely vows. Way better than hers. She may have even stopped breathing at the beauty of it all.

*

"Calvin and Victoria, you have expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises you have just made. It is with these in mind that I pronounce you, husband and wife." Oh, the Officiant just beams. "You have kissed a thousand times, maybe more. But today the feeling is new. No longer simply partners and best friends, you have become one and can now seal the agreement with a kiss. Today, my friends, your kiss is a promise. Seal it and go forth as partners in life."

Calvin, all flushed and blinking, beckons Vic down to him. If she takes the bait, he'll pull her into his lap and lay a serious kiss on her, even dipping her a little. All done to the whoops and hollers of his family, friends, and bandmates.

*

Oh Vic takes the bait, and the switch makes her laugh merrily when they come up for air. She wraps her arms around Calvin's neck and beams at her husband. "Today and everyday," she murmurs to him. She takes her bouquet back from her mother and tosses it to the crowd, "Go get it vultures!" she announces as it goes airborne.

*

Edgar clasps his hands together and steeples his fingers against his lower lip. He's not teary-eyed, honest. He laughs, though, when Vic tosses the bouquet. Then he takes a hankerchief and dabs his eyes with the corner, because damn it, weddings do this to him.

*

Willow seems shocked at the suggestion that Vic and Calvin have kissed thousands of times - and the 'priest' knows - but the joy of the occasion makes it all okay. And she doesn't scramble for the bouquet at all! Instead, she giggles at all those poor single women still searching for love.

*

With that, it's party time. Cal's done this twice (thrice) before. Vic's done it once and big. Outside of the bouquet toss, it's just a party. Some head upstairs for the dancing. Some stay downstairs for the food, which takes the place of the altar in short order. No one can really pinpoint when the bride and groom disappear to honeymoon land but the moment they do, Craig Shay opens the bar and closes the stairs.

"Now, the party can begin!"

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