A Fairy Tale Wedding
Once upon a time, far, far away in the Sanc Kingdom, there lived a beautiful Princess named Relena. She fell in love with a handsome pilot called Heero. After a lengthy and somewhat strange courtship they decided to be married...
Miliardo Peacecraft was pacing impatiently, frequently checking his watch and scowling more each time he looked at it. His white tuxedo had been custom-tailored for the occasion, but he looked much better than he felt. He was not happy, but he had decided to be civil for his sister's sake.
It was bad enough that Relena insisted on marrying that pilot, he thought, but now she was late in arriving at the church!
“It’s about time,” Miliardo thought crossly as he saw Relena’s car come into view. Pagan conveniently pulled the car up to the curb in front of the church’s main entry.
Miliardo opened the door for his very pregnant wife; he took her hand in his and assisted her as she struggled to get out of the car. Relena and Dorothy popped out of their respective car doors, their arms filled with boxes of wedding finery, before Pagan could assist either of them. Mrs. Darlain emerged from the car last of all with a bit more decorum than the happy bride and her Maid of Honor, having waited for Pagan to open her door, which pleased him very much.
Relena could see the unspoken “you’re late” message in Miliardo’s ice blue eyes, so she gave him a sisterly peck on the cheek and flashed a bright ‘happy bride’ smile, which had its desired effect on her irritated sibling.
Noin took Miliardo’s offered arm as she waddled into the church foyer, her voluminous sapphire blue dress blowing in the moderate breeze.
“I’ll find you a place to sit,” he offered kindly, but unnecessarily.
“I’ll be just fine,” Noin told him. “You don’t have to worry—I won’t go into labor or anything before the ceremony.”
“But—“ interjected the first-time-father-to-be.
“I’m pregnant, not sick, remember?” Noin said patiently for the umpteenth time in the last few weeks. He was just about driving her crazy, the way he had been hovering over her all of the time. She laid her hand on her nervous husband’s shoulder to reassure him. “And I’m not due for three weeks yet.”
Duo nodded an acknowledgement to Noin as he walked quickly past them, greeting the group of women as he held the door open for them. The ladies with their packages went through the doorway, Dorothy last of all.
“So, how are you today, Maid of Honor?” Duo was attempting to make light conversation, but it didn’t sound that way to Dorothy’s ears.
“I can’t believe you came to the church dressed in that,” was her response, referring to his black jeans, boots and t-shirt with “Eat at Mama’s Café” written across the chest in large bold red letters.
Duo looked down at his shirt. “This? You must’ve never eaten at Mama’s or you wouldn’t say that. She makes a mean patty melt combo.” Dorothy just rolled her eyes. “And her chocolate malts are outta this world!” he enthused.
“Why don’t you go and help Heero while I help dress the bride?” she said coolly and walked away. She had never made an attempt to pretend to like Duo, whose outgoing personality, which she considered to be an annoying lack of manners, grated on her nerves. She had somewhat regretted having accepted Miss Relena’s offer for her to be her Maid of Honor after she found out that Duo would be Heero’s Best Man because that meant that not only would she have to walk down the aisle with him after the ceremony, but she would be obligated to dance with him as well. Just the thought of it made her shudder.
Act II: Dressing the Bride
“Keep very still, Miss Relena, while we take care of the sleeves so they won’t tear,” Dorothy instructed the nervous bride; Relena was shaking, but she was as calm as she could manage. Relena was usually comfortable in any situation, having addressed government officials of both the colonies and the earth sphere many times in the past few years, so she wondered why she was so nervous now.
Relena was standing with her arms stretched over her head as Dorothy and Mrs. Darlain inched the close-fitting lace sleeves down to her shoulders. She was wearing a long-line strapless bra and a hoop to make the skirt of her gown bell-shaped. She was glad to finally put her arms down and help them to straighten the bodice and drape the skirt over the hoop.
The bodice was of white silk overlaid with lace. The sleeves, including the shoulders, were made of sheer lace which narrowed to a point at the wrists and were fastened on the inside of the wrist by small cloth-covered buttons. It had a scalloped neckline and the bodice came to a point at the waist. The front of the skirt was alternating layers of white lace and tulle ruffles and the back of the dress was one large piece of lace gathered at the waist and falling in graceful folds to the floor.
Relena’s dress was the dress that Queen Peacecraft had worn at her own wedding. It had been placed in safe-keeping, with the intention that Relena would wear it when she married. When Pagan revealed the location of the dress and the wishes of her birth mother, Relena had decided that she wouldn’t even consider wearing another dress.
Act III: Dressed to Perfection
"You look so elegant, Miss Relena," Dorothy said as she studied the bride's reflection in the large gilded mirror. She added one more pin to Relena's hair just to be extra-sure that the curls would stay put and gave Relena's hair a final pat.
Relena leaned forward in her chair, rested her elbows on the vanity table and decided that her hair looked perfect. The pinned curls were lovely and she was glad that Dorothy had offered to style her hair but she guessed that there must be nearly a hundred pins holding it all in place. Well, at least that is what it felt like.
Both young women were startled by a sharp knock on the dressing room door. "Is everybody decent in there?" they heard Duo ask.
Dorothy opened the door and was immediately irritated by the cheerful Best Man's happy lopsided grin. She noticed his change of attire and was thankful that the inappropriate "Mama's Café" shirt was no longer being seen all through the church.
"I'd like to have a private chat with the bride, if you don't mind," Duo said a bit saucily, addressing Dorothy. He could tell by the slightly sour expression on the attendant's face that she was less than happy to see him, which was exactly the reaction he had hoped for.
"I'm afraid that Miss Relena is too busy to be bothered right now," the Maid of Honor replied somewhat coldly.
"No, really--it's all right, Dorothy," Relena insisted.
Duo raised an eyebrow as if to say, “See? I knew she would want to talk with me.”
Dorothy turned away from his slightly smug and mocking expression and went to get her purse. She held her head high and was determined to leave the room with her dignity intact. She was annoyed by the low chuckle in her ear as she swept past Duo. She was tempted to confront him--to tell him what she really thought of him--but she checked herself because she didn't want to spoil Miss Relena's special day. Instead, she quickly closed the door behind her. She gave a little cry when the door caught a sizable amount of her long platinum blonde hair. She turned red with anger and embarrassment when she heard Duo laugh heartily at her predicament. While she was trying to pull her hair from its confines without opening the door, Duo saved her the trouble by opening the door for her. She stumbled forward as he handed the ends of her captured tresses to her.
"You forgot this," Duo said, his face full of hardly suppressed amusement. "It'll be easier for you to leave if you take it with you."
Dorothy snatched her hair out of his hand and left in a huff. How dare he jeer at her! What wouldn't she give to slap that smirk right off his face! She vowed that she would tell him just how uncouth he was, but at some other time.
Relena had twisted in her chair so that she was facing the door. “Milady,” Duo said dramatically, complete with a sweeping bow. She thought that he looked quite handsome in his white tuxedo as he knelt on one knee and looked up at her as he kissed her hand. Relena couldn't help but laugh at his "naughty boy" expression.
"Why do you take such delight in irritating Dorothy?" she asked, but he could tell that she wasn't annoyed with him.
"I dunno. For fun, I guess. Maybe because of her slanted purple eyes--or those wild eyebrows of hers."
Well, whatever the reason, Duo was obviously unrepentant.
"I see you're all decked out for the occasion," Duo observed as he admired the bride. "I don't think I've seen so much lace on one person in my life!"
Relena smiled and smoothed the ruffles on her skirt.
"Are you nervous?" Duo asked.
"How is Heero doing?" she asked, evading his question.
"Oh, you know Heero. He's spent the last two hours leaning against the wall with his arms folded and his eyes closed," Duo reported. "I even wondered if he'd fallen asleep but I don't think he did."
"Has he said anything?" Relena's brows puckered slightly.
"Oh, just to make sure I don't lose the ring."
"Yep," Duo answered.
"He didn't say anything about me?" she asked anxiously. "What if he's changing his mind? What if--"
Duo put a finger to the worried bride's lips. "No more of that now," he said with finality. "If he had any doubts he never would have asked you to marry him in the first place."
"He's here, isn't he?"
Well, there was no arguing with that.
"You have captured his heart and he is a very willing captive," Duo said lightheartedly.
"Oh, Duo," Relena giggled as she hugged him. "You're such a wonderful friend."
"So are you," Duo replied; his smile reassured her. "You don't have to worry about Heero at all. Just enjoy your big day."
Act IV: Miliardo's One Last Hope
The bridesmaids were all assembled, waiting for the organ to start playing the chosen prelude to the Bridal March. Relena was standing behind them, nervously staring into her bouquet of deep red roses and baby’s breath when Miliardo took his place at her side. As much as he didn’t want to do it, it had fallen upon his shoulders to give the bride away.
Dorothy gently lifted Relena’s veil from the back and pulled it forward, draping it lightly over her pearl tiara and covering her face, careful not to put even one hair out of place. Relena smiled her thanks to her Maid of Honor through the soft white lace-edged tulle.
Relena slipped her hand into the crook of Miliardo’s arm as the long-awaited music began to pour forth from the magnificent pipe organ. She glanced at his face to gauge his reaction.
“Are you really sure you want to do this?” he asked, giving her one last chance to escape. “You don’t have to, you know.”
Relena smiled shyly, her crystal blue eyes shining. “I’m really, really sure,” she answered confidently, giving his arm a gentle squeeze.
“Okay,” her brother said. “I’ll not mention it again.” He lifted the corner of her veil and kissed her cheek. “I really do hope you’ll be happy,” he said sincerely.
“Oh, I will,” she assured him. “I definitely will.”
Act V: The Ceremony
Dorothy led the bridal procession, followed by Catherine, Sally and Mariemaia, all of them looking beautiful in their floor-length, rose pink gowns, and carrying small bouquets of pink and white roses. They were wearing soft white gauzy fringed shawls that were so long that the ends of the fringes fell to just past the backs of their knees.
The booming sound of the beginning notes to the Bridal March startled Relena slightly. “You’ll be okay,” her brother reassured her, patting her hand; she smiled gratefully in return.
Everyone stood and watched as the bride entered the church escorted by her tall, handsome brother. She concentrated on making sure that she wouldn’t trip on her skirt, all the while keeping her eyes on her solemn groom.
Heero’s cobalt eyes shone in admiration as he watched Relena walk down the aisle on Miliardo's arm. Duo, Quatre, Trowa and Wufei stood with him, watching her as well; all of the men looked quite dashing in their white tuxedoes.
When Relena got to the altar she turned to face Dorothy, who carefully lifted her veil and folded it back. The bridal party all turned to face Pastor Brown.
"We are gathered here today in the presence of God and these witnesses to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony," Pastor Brown intoned. "Heero Yuy and Relena Peacecraft, I must remind you of the solemn and firm nature of the relationship into which you are about to enter. Marriage is the voluntary commitment of a man to a woman and a woman to a man to the exclusion of all others and is entered into with the desire, the hope and the firm intention that your union will last for life."
Pastor Brown opened his Bible and read these well-chosen verses:
Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church
Duo's eyes went wide. He turned to look at Quatre and he could tell by his expression that Quatre had witnessed the disastrous event.
Quatre subtly motioned to Duo to tell him to break the bad news to Heero, but to do it quietly. Duo nodded to Quatre and inched over toward Heero and lightly poked him with his elbow to get his attention.
"I dropped the ring," Duo mouthed to the dismayed groom. Heero rolled his eyes and then quietly passed the message on to the pastor.
"Will the congregation kneel as we seek the Lord in prayer," Pastor Brown invited. The guests kneeled and closed their eyes. "Heavenly Father, we thank You for bringing these two young people together to have their marriage blessed in Your sight," he began to pray, keeping one eye open as he watched the frantic groomsmen crawling around on the floor looking desperately for the wayward ring. Quatre found it next to the tiered silver candelabra and raised it high to signal the fact to the others. He passed it to Duo, who held it tightly in his fist; he was determined not to drop it again.
The four groomsmen reassembled themselves so that they were kneeling respectfully in their original positions.
Pastor Brown watched the whole charade and timed his prayer to end after the chaos had subsided.
"...We ask this in the name of our precious Savior. Amen."
"Amen," responded the guests and then returned to their seats.
And no one was the wiser.
”I will now ask you to make your vows,” said Pastor Brown, with great solemnity. “Do you, Heero Yuy, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep only unto her until death do you part?
“Do you, Relena Peacecraft, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others keep only unto him until death do you part?
“If any man can show just cause as to why these two may not be lawfully joined together, let him speak now, or forever hold his peace.” Miliardo shifted uncomfortably but he kept his promise to his little sister. When there was no response, the pastor continued. “The ring, please.”
Duo opened his tightly held fist and produced the wandering ring. As he gave it to Heero he saw him raise one eyebrow, so he smiled a sheepish “But it’s all cool now” smile as he carefully dropped the ring into the groom's hand. The imprint of the ring was deeply engraved into Duo’s palm, so after giving the ring to Heero he rubbed the spot with his thumb to ease the soreness.
Heero passed the ring to the pastor, who held it up for the guests to see.
“A ring is a circle, never-ending, just as love is never ending. Therefore it is a perfect symbol for the commitment these two young people are making to one another today.” He handed the ring to the groom. “Heero, now repeat after me. ‘With this ring I thee wed...”
“With this ring I thee wed...” Heero repeated solemnly as he slid the band onto his bride’s ring finger. Dorothy passed Heero’s ring to Relena, who repeated her vows in a clear, calm voice, her nervousness gone.
“You have declared before God and these witnesses that you will live together in holy matrimony. Now by the power vested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the pastor paused and then looked only at Heero. “You may now kiss the bride.”
And so he did.
Act VI: After the Wedding
Relena threw her bouquet and Dorothy was the lucky one who caught it. Dorothy heard Duo cough so she looked over at him. Not only did he have that sly smile and the mocking and evilly gleeful look in his eyes that she especially hated, but he winked and gave her the thumbs up sign. Dorothy turned away. "Ooooh!" she screamed inside her head and inwardly she stamped her foot; she rubbed the hand against her dress that had touched his jacket unwillingly when she had exited the sanctuary with him after the service.
Relena didn't miss seeing any part of Duo's pantomime so she smiled at Dorothy; but for Duo she tried to look stern. His lopsided grin and the innocent look in his blue-violet eyes charmed Relena, as usual. She never could be irritated with him when he looked at her that way, and he knew it, so he used it to his full advantage.
The newlyweds were showered with rice as they left the reception hall. They discovered that Heero’s black car had been polished to a high gloss and was appropriately decorated for the occasion, courtesy of their friends.
Heero assisted his bride as she gathered up her skirts and stuffed them into the car.
Relena giggled as she picked the rice out of Heero’s hair and from around his collar as they drove down the highway.
“I never understood that custom,” he said quietly. “Seems to be a silly thing to do.”
“It’s an ancient custom that throwing rice on the newly-married couple will bring them fertility.” Relena gave her husband a sly look.
Heero raised one eyebrow but made no other reply.
“Of course it doesn’t actually work, and no one believes that it does but it is a tradition,” she continued. “Besides,” she said as she brushed rice from a crease in the shoulder of his coat, “it was fun.”
As Heero glanced over at his bride he saw that she was rosy with laughter and dancing and obviously very happy. Her smile brought a bright gleam to his eyes and she could tell that he was trying not to smile.
Relena settled back and nighttime came as they drove on toward their hotel. They were making their way through the busy city traffic, just blocks away from their destination, when a car moved out into the intersection on a red light and hit the driver’s side of their car.
Relena was dazed momentarily, but she assured Heero that she was unharmed when she heard him ask. She was very surprised to find that she had hardly moved upon impact. The voluminous hoopskirt took up the seat from her door to where it touched Heero and this is what had kept her safe. She had been so busy with arranging her skirts after she had gotten into the car that she'd forgotten all about wearing her seat belt.
Heero pulled the car into a parking lot only one block away from the place where the accident had occurred. “Don’t worry, Relena,” he assured her, “neither of us was going fast enough to do any real damage, so I’m sure that no one was hurt.”
He tried to open his door but it wouldn’t open, so he made sure that the car wasn’t locked and tried again with no more success than the first attempt had yielded. He restarted the car, pressed the button to lower his window completely, shut the car off and climbed through the opening.
Relena watched him run down the sidewalk and across the intersecting streets without stopping because, as luck would have it, the light was green. She decided to follow him, so she arranged her skirts in such a way that she could emerge from the car without providing a show for the passers by. She pulled her lightweight red velvet cloak closely about her and carefully pulled the white faux fur-trimmed hood up over the pearl tiara of her veil.
She ran down the sidewalk to the corner, being very careful not to fall in her high heeled shoes. As she waited for the light to change she had the random thought, “I must look like Little Red Riding Hood getting married.”
A man came up from behind her and stood next to her as he waited to cross the street. He looked carefully at her before he said, very tongue-in-cheek, “Going to a wedding?”
”I just came from one,” the distracted bride answered hurriedly before she quickly crossed the street to join her groom. It surely was a unique way to start their new life together.
Act VII:All Safe and Sound
Heero and Relena arrived at the hotel not long after exchanging insurance information with the other party in the car accident. After signing the register, Heero surprised Relena by picking her up and carrying her all the way up the red carpeted staircase.
”What are you doing?” Relena giggled.
”I’m carrying you across the threshold,” Heero looked at her with a sparkle in his eyes. “And I’m carrying you the right way this time,” he told her and he couldn’t help but smile. Just before the newlyweds left the reception hall, Duo had had a private chat with the groom about the proper way to carry a lady.
”But you don’t have to carry me until we get to the room,” Relena said. Her groom’s words were not lost on her and she delighted in his rare smile.
”Here, take this,” he said as he handed her the card that would open the door. “I can’t do it without putting you down, and I’m not going to do that.” She slid it into the slot and turned the knob.
Inside the room Heero set his laughing bride down. “What’s so funny?” he asked.
Relena put her arms around his neck. “Because I can already tell that our marriage will always be full of surprises.”
And so the handsome pilot moved into the Peacecraft ancestral home as the husband of the beautiful Princess, much to the consternation of her brother. And they lived as happily as can be reasonably expected ever after.
Standard disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Wing nor any of its characters. Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise, Sotsu Agency and TV Asahi.
This story is dedicated to May, for her input, and also to GWBoyzAngel, both of whom waited so long for me to finish writing it. ^_^