The FUTURE. Sort of. Maybe.
The beach again
1: NOT DIRTY!
2: NOT DIRTIER!!
[Pre-played with the groom of otherness and the ever-loved futurebucs_star. OOC is a smaller number than three, and IC is... in the wedding post. Or will be shortly. Though this happens offscreen.]
|Xander squinted into the mirror again and gave his bow-tie one last tweak. Not stalling, really. Just taking a last minute alone to... stall.|
A little. Maybe. Now that it was finally here, and he was in here, and everybody was out there. Or almost everybody, everybody who could make it and might not blow up the future if they met themselves or tip off SPD that they were trying to game the system if they showed up. Willow and Anders and Z and Parker and Dawn and Isabel and half of Fandom Island, most of the people he called family but thank God not the ones actually related to him because no, that was a conversation for later, preferably by smoke signals, and did he have to start spelling that G-d in his head or was it okay because he wasn't actually converting and Bridge wasn't all that religious either and Bridge, Bridge was out there, and and and he was outside kindasorta in a tenty way for whoever's sake so where did all the air go, and--
The cabana's cloth wall rustled, and somebody found some air because there was an intake of breath.
|"You have to come with me. Now." It was a girl's voice, sharp and worried-sounding, just outside the tent-flap.|
Xander opened it, peering into the twilight to see a thin, pale figure, dressed in a ratty gray sweatshirt and jeans. The voice and the face were both familiar, but just on that edge of Where do I know you fr--- Except he did.
The grin almost hurt his face as he said, "Bronwyn."
|"Dad." She bit her lip, and the smile she gave him, unlike the amazed one he was flashing at her, looked forced. "You've gotta come with me. It's important. Before it's too late."|
|She was too thin, and too pale; he could see that even in the faint light from the Coleman lamps in the cabana and what was left of the fading day. And of course, too old, but he'd seen a picture of her as a teenager, maybe a couple years younger than this. "What're you doing here?" And he still couldn't stop himself from smiling.|
|"Trying to fix things." She reached for his hands, tugging him out of the cabana, through the sand. Towards the side that wasn't lit by the torches and glow-lights for the ceremony down the beach. Her own hands were cool, even though the heat of a California sunset hadn't quite slipped away from the air.|
|Xander let her pull him into the dimness near the shore, still staring at her. He quirked up one edge of his mouth, wondering what she thought she needed to change, because so far, seriously, tonight was perfect. He'd never have expected this, but... perfect. "I think that's cheating, hon'."|
He said that like a guy who'd never used somebody else's reports of the future to do that very thing.
|Her eyes were grayer than the greenish hazel he remembered, here where the darkness bleached the waves to silver, but they were just as wide as her five year old self's had been when she said, "Totally cheating. But it's worth it. It's gotta be worth it."|
|At the seriousness in her voice, his smile slipped away. "Why? What's wrong?"|
|She sounded so sad and lost and... wrong for everything that he remembered as Bronwyn, that Xander couldn't help himself. Still holding her hands, he tried to pull her into a hug. "Whatever this is, we'll make it right, baby. I promise."|
|She let him hold her for a second, then she squirmed and pulled away. "Don't make me remember why I used to love you," she said quietly. "This is hard enough as it is."|
|Xander stared at her, something inside his chest plummeting towards his stomach. "Huh? What happened? What did I do?" That last question came to his lips too easy, like he'd been saying it all his life. Maybe he had.|
|She cackle-snorted at him in a laugh that sounded so much like his own that Xander couldn't, for a second, see Bridge in her at all. "Where do you want me to start?" Then she looked away towards the ocean. When she turned her face to him again, she was shaking her head. "No, that's the point, I guess. It starts here. The rest of it never would've happened if you didn't do this." She gestured down the beach towards the lights of the chupah and the gathered guests.|
|This didn't make any sense. Or, some nasty little voice that he'd never chased out of the shadows of his head whispered, maybe it made too much. Even though Xander was shaking his head too, hard, like he could shake it out. "The it is not getting got here. Getting married? If I didn't do that, there wouldn't even--"|
|"Be a me," she finished, exactly as he'd been going to. Hard not to see Bridge in her now, when she was plucking the words right out of his mouth. "Yeah. And how bad do you think it has to be in the future that I'd come back here to tell you that's better? You'd be better off, Dad would still be--" Bronwyn crossed her arms and turned her back on him.|
|"What? Bridge would still be what?" He reached for her shoulder, but Bronwyn jerked away from his hand.|
|"Don't touch me." She spun around to face him, shoes scrunching in the sand, something in her eyes half anger, half...|
|Xander backed away, not even able to process the other emotion he saw there. Which didn't stop him from recognizing it as fear. He just didn't know what to do with that. "You think I would..." Hurt you? He couldn't even finish it aloud.|
|She just stared at him steadily, eyes narrowing. "You will. You did." She closed them completely for a moment; when she looked at him again, there was nothing mixed about her expression. It was all anger. "Me, him, everybody."|
|He shook his head again, not denying, just not comprehending. Well, not wanting to comprehend.|
|"You've met you," she said coldly. "Is it seriously that hard to believe? Do I have to show you before you listen to me and walk away from this? Fine." Bronwyn reached for his hands again.|
|When her skin touched his, it wasn't cold this time. It was like standing in the middle of a thunderstorm, the tallest thing in a three mile radius. For a split second everything went white -- then black.|
The FUTURE. Sort of. Maybe.
|He was slouched in his chair, fuzzy 3-D-vision with the busted green laser flickering in and out of full color in the corner, pain when he shifted like the springs had stabbed through the upholstery and into his spine, and it was all... old. Wrong, but when wasn't it? Familiar. Like the sound of a bedroom door slamming, and footsteps stomping through the living room.|
"Where d'you think you're going?"
|"What, like you care? Out," was the sullen response. When Xander twisted his neck to look towards the door, she was slinging a bag over her shoulder. |
|Behind her on the wall was a flash of red, stripe running across the shoulder of a uniform, and that was enough to make Xander close his eye, take a chug of the beer in his hand. He wouldn't take the picture down, but he didn't like to look at it.|
"Down at the spaceport with those green kids?" His tone didn't leave much room for guessing at his opinion of said kids. "You get hauled downtown for hanging around smuggler's alley again, don't call me. Maybe Z'll bail your ass out this time."
|"You didn't do it last time. I know she paid for it. I saw the check." He opened his eye in time to see Bronwyn roll hers at him. "And Britz and Macha have names, y'know. It's a new thing. Their mom got tired of yelling 'Hey you, green kid, c'mere.' "|
|Xander shifted in his chair, sitting up despite the sharp complaints of his spine. "Don't get smart with me," he snapped, pointing a finger at her. "Yeah, I had to borrow money. In case you hadn't noticed, it's not exactly rolling in, now that I can't work anymore." |
|"Whatever." She moved towards the door, apparently dismissing him, then paused for a moment, as if changing her mind, before turning around again and stalking over to the chair, hands on hips. "No, you know what, not whatever. Yeah, I noticed. And I noticed Grandma and Grandpa offer to help, even pay for surgery, and I noticed you turn them down over and over. I noticed you keep tearing up the claim forms for D--"|
|"Don't even." Xander pushed himself up from the chair, wincing. Straight might be too tall of an order, but he could still manage up. After a couple of tries. "I told you not to bring that up again. I'm not taking handouts from Mr. and Mrs. I Sold My Kid To SPD For A Gig With The Symphony, and we're not taking anything from those people. What's wrong with you?"|
|For a moment Bronwyn's glare wavered, replaced by something softer and far more vulnerable -- just in time to take the full blow of his question like a punch to the gut.|
|Xander could even see the impact, some small, long-forgotten part of him cringing while the part that was on his third beer of the night before she even walked into the room just nodded approvingly that he'd made his point.|
|"I miss him too," she said in a small voice, all of her control clearly directed to holding back the sudden wetness in her eyes. "Every day. But he's not coming back."|
|He knew there was something... but he'd lost it somewhere, that ability to hold still and listen, put his own hurt aside, and find the right thing to say back. There was only tiredness and frustration and the need to lash out when the words came too near to what he already knew.|
"Well, thanks for the newsflash! Now here's one for you: you know why? Because SPD yanked on his leash one last time, and he went running back, just like always." His voice rose in loudness and pitch. "Forget about family, 'cause once they sell you to the big blue dog, you're always his bitch."
|"You really believe that." Bronwyn shook her head. "No, you really wish you believed that, because then you can pretend I do." Her voice hardened. "Dad didn't go on that mission because SPD yanked his chain, and you know it. You want a newsflash? Here's a newsflash: so do I!"|
|That threw him for a loop, shocked silent, but at last he said, low and barely controlled, "You don't know what you're talking about."|
|"You think?" she sneered. "'Cause I think you're scared I do. I hear what you think, remember? I know when you're lying. I don't even need to tune you out of my head anymore. This place stinks with it. It's all over the walls. Stuck in the furniture."|
|Lower still, and less controlled. "Shut up."|
|She went on like she didn't even hear him. "All I understood back then was you were always yelling or gone and Dad was always sad, but I'm not eight years old anymore. I know--"|
|Again. Quick like that first flash of lightning, one-one-thousand... "Shut--"|
|"--what you did!" Bronwyn was flat-out yelling now, eyes blazing. "God, I'm sick of this! I HATE you! You think Dad forgot about family? Bitch, plea--"|
|Two-one-thousand, before the thunder catches-- "UP!" His hand flew down, and he could barely see her through the red and white light that seemed to explode in the space behind his dead eye, but the crack, that he could hear in his head before his palm ever reached her face.|
It echoed down into the darkness after him as everything faded away.
The beach again
|The blackness burst into soft gray light, seconds after and not soon enough, and he was standing by the ocean again. |
|Bronwyn in front of him again, in her older, thinner form. One hand up to protect her face, just like before, as his arm came down.|
|But Xander was in control of his body now, not being dragged along through some direct-to-holosuite horror movie version of his life. He jerked his hand away, breathing hard. Pushed damp hair back from his forehead. "Not. Gonna happen."|
|"It already did," Bronwyn said. "For me." Her hand didn't move from her face, like she was still trying to block the blow that he'd never landed. Would never have landed. "You can fix it, though. For you and Dad. You can make it right."|
|He'd never been more grateful for the simple ability, one he hadn't had in the nightmare vision that she'd shown him, to bend his own neck and look down.|
Not looking at her helped, let him focus. Let the mist in his head clear out with the cool breeze off the ocean, so he could think. So he could, even with his eye closed, see.
So his voice didn't waver when he asked, "What am I supposed to do?"
|"Don't go down there. Just leave. Send him a postcard, make something up, but walk away now."|
|For a moment, just a moment, Xander let himself comprehend the idea. "That would kill him."|
|"No, it won't. It'll break his heart, but he'll live. That's the whole point."|
|"Even if it means you're never born."|
|"Isn't Bridge staying alive more important to you than somebody who doesn't even exist? It is to me. If you ever really loved him, you'll let him go."|
|Xander was utterly silent in the seconds before he looked up. He needed that silence and those seconds, to tap the bubble to the middle of the level. Hang everything straight in his head.|
"Yeah, no. Not gonna happen," he finally repeated, bringing his gaze up to meet hers. "That all you got?"
|"...What?" She'd wrapped her arms around herself, making her look even more fragile. |
|He breathed deep again, and yeah, it came out too fast and too shuddery and maybe threatened to knock him off his feet, but it came out. And then there was another one, and another, and funny how that whole respiration thing works. |
"I cheat on Bridge and he runs off gets himself killed? Seriously, that's the best you can do? That plot was lame ten years ago, and at least then it wasn't a re-run." And he'd had the not-very-good excuse of being an eighteen-year-old moron at the time.
|"After everything I showed you, you don't believe me?" The surprise in her voice sure seemed genuine, at least.|
|Thank God it was the only thing that did. |
"Oh, I believe you want me to hurt Bridge for some reason." Xander nodded, keeping a tight check for now on the urge to move. "I'm just having a hard time believing there's anybody dumb enough to think I would. Or try to convince me I'd ever lay a hand on our kid."
|A child's sigh, gusty and impatient, drifted out from behind a cracked boulder nearby, possibly obscured by the lapping of the waves on the beach. Or possibly not -- it was a rather exasperated sound after all, the sigh of someone who just wanted the tedium of chores over with so it could be playtime again.|
|It was enough to distract Xander's attention, at least, so he looked over towards the rocks.|
|The sight over by the rocks was perfectly innocent, really -- nothing that would, say, attract the attention of anyone who'd gone on pre-wedding bad guy patrol. Just a young girl drumming on a sketchpad with one of the crayons she held, scowling mightily as if her artistic efforts weren't going as planned, and it was frustrating her.|
Well. Innocent except for the distinct flavor of crazy in that scowl, especially if she wasn't exactly an unfamiliar young girl. It was entirely true, though, about the artistic efforts not going as planned.
This was all taking far too long for her liking.
|She wasn't completely unfamiliar, but the judges would forgive Xander for being just a little thrown off his game on that score at the moment. As such, it took him a few seconds of grasping for the memory before he took a step past whoever was pretending to be his daughter, and pointed a finger at the little girl. "I know you."|
|"You don't know me," replied the girl, the emphasized word flippantly bratty as she pretended to be too engrossed in her crayons and sketchpad to hear him; it looked and sounded for all the world like a child's bad attempt at feigning innocence, but with a certain malicious undertone that ought to have come from someone much older.|
Selecting a crayon in a shade so noxious Crayola wouldn't even attempt making it for fear of toxin accusations, she began to draw what looked like a monster. A monster way to the right end of the grotesque scale, to be precise.
And while Xander's attention was diverted toward the girl whose name he might not remember as Mora, the figure behind him wearing older Bronwyn's face was rippling and changing
|"Yeah, I do. If you're going for the wacky Space Battles tricks with my memory, it's not working," Xander told her, not noticing what was going on behind him. "Maybe try waving your hands around or something?"|
|She rolled her eyes, not that the gesture was readily visible with her back still to him. "You haven't talked to me enough to know me," she pointed out with a huff, more petulant than bratty now, and patronizing in the way only small children who know they're right and you're wrong could be. "And waving your hands around is silly. The Power Rangers can do it if they want to, though."|
The shape that had once looked like Bronwyn looked . . . a lot not like her now, tall, bulky, and purple with one eye taking up most of the middle of its oversized face.
"Besides," Mora added, "you took Cindy Sunshine away."
|"I did who with a what now?" Or maybe he had that backwards.|
|"She was my dolly!" Mora was on her feet now and facing him, fists clenched and glaring fit to tattoo a Xander-shaped outline onto a target with metaphorical knives. "My dolly, and he took her away!"|
|Most days he was slow with this kind of thing, and there was a lot more half-coherent babbling before he put two and two together to maybe make something between three and five. Today was not a slow day, though. Not after what he'd just been through.|
"That's what this is about? Seriously? The creepy doll?"
|"Cindy Sunshine isn't creepy!" screeched Mora, and a stomp of her foot sent sand flying. "You're creepy, all of you, and if I can't have my dolly, he can't have you!"|
Remember the big one-eyed purple thing behind Xander1? It was taking a step toward him now.
|Was he really having this conversation? Was this really the part of this conversation he should be having? "Hey, I'm all about equal rights for the monocular, but I know from creepy, and that thing is--"|
|Mora gave him a smile that embodied creepy. Also infuriatingly smug.|
And something behind him cracked what sounded like very large monster knuckles.
|"I'm gonna regret this, right?" Xander asked rhetorically as he turned around.|
And blinked at what he saw.
"Well, at least we're even?"
|. . . oh, look, it really had been very large monster knuckles after all. What do you know?|
One-Eye wasn't actually making a move to attack Xander just yet; he was still with the knuckle-cracking and posing. There was a certain amount of intimidating posturing that was required before taking the first swing.
Also, there was smug chuckling, the kind that made a large purplish monster's entire body shake
|Mora clapped her hands gleefully and danced around in a circle.|
"I made him, you know," she crowed. "So it's true, you're really afraid of that. One-Eye knows. He sees your worst nightmares. I drew him that way and he knows what you're scared of."
She stopped her dance and gestured with the crayon still clenched in her right fist. "But I drew him to be strong, too. Strong enough to stomp you into teeny-weeny pieces."
|Oh, look, right on cue: cyclopean purple monster bum-rushing Xander2 in 3, 2, 1 . . .|
|"Hey, watch the tux - it's rented!" Xander did his best to dodge.|
|Luckily for the tux, at least for the moment, One-Eye's blow was on a course to clip Xander on the side of the head.|
"Just think," Mora said scoldingly -- a tone that absurdly fit a ten-year-old child much better than you'd think it would. "If you hadn't taken Cindy Sunshine away, I wouldn't have to do this."
No, Xander hadn't been the doll-abductor. No, Mora didn't know who the real culprit was.
No, she didn't care. Stupid mean ugly humans. She hated them all.
|"I did--" and then there was ducking, and he brought up his arm in time to block the blow, though it still rocked him back. "--n't."|
He scrambled backwards towards the cabana, which was the closest place he could think of that held anything approaching a weapon. Not that he could think of anything approaching a weapon that it might hold.
|"Did too," called Mora, but any further witty (ha) repartee from her was rendered a moot point by the howl One-Eye let out as he put on speed and flailed after Xander.|
Hey, Mora hadn't said she'd drawn him to be graceful.
|"Did not times infinity plus one and if this whole thing is supposed to be some kind of frakked-up parenting lesson can we pretend I didn't just say that?"|
While he hadn't been saying that, Xander had also backed his way into the cabana, and now he did some flailing of his own, looking for anything handy to hold the monster off.
|"Do we have to?" Oh, look, One-Eye talked. He was also perfectly capable of following Xander into the cabana, although being that spiky up around the top he got a little tangled up in the doorway.|
|"Well, I guess as long as you don't bring it up at dinner parties," Xander allowed, while grabbing and throwing the nearest throwable object he could find.|
Because his discarded jeans were going to cause serious damage, yo. 2D20 at least, plus a dex roll.
|Oh, sure. If he made his attack roll, anyway -- |
Unfortunately being tangled up in the tent flap pretty much meant One-Eye wasn't going to get a saving throw, which didn't stop him from engaging in a little bit of clunky banter.
"Oh, no!" he exclaimed mockingly as a belt loop on the jeans snagged one of the spiky tendrils on his head and dangled in front of his eye. "What are you going to do, denim me to death?"
|"Don't make me break out the plaid flannel, mister," Xander said as he shoved his shirt aside and grabbed the folding chair it had been draped over. "I'll do it. Don't push me." That last was accompanied by a not-too-ungainly chair-throw.|
|One-Eye was really failing his dex rolls here, all tangled up in the tent flap now, and over the clunk of the chair bouncing off his torso Mora could be heard yelling, "Hurry up and finish! I want to go play!"|
|"Working on it!" Xander called back, even though he was pretty sure she wasn't talking to him. Chair out of his hands now, and not quite dumb enough to headbutt the thing given he had no idea if it had poisonous spikes or radioactive skin or something, he reached for the only reachable thing left in the cabana: the free-standing full-length mirror.|
|As he left the chupah and the guests and the really kind of uneasy feeling that was rippling through the atmosphere behind, Bridge was really, really hoping that the cause of the delay was some kind of last-minute wardrobe malfunction. As he got closer to Xander's cabana, the shriek of "hurry up!" and the sight of the purple... eye... monster... thing kind of disabused him of that notion. Well, mostly. Possibly the fact that a pair of pants was dangling off its face could count as a wardrobe malfunction.|
"Hey! What the frak do you think you're doing?"
|"Teaching you a lesson," Mora informed him loftily. "Horrible dollnapper!"|
|"Dollna-" Bridge starts to reply in confusion, but then she's running off, and really, the more pressing concern in Bridge's mind is the freaking monster in between him and, oh yes, the guy he's supposed to be *marrying* right about now. Which is why he's aiming a kick at said monster's midsection.|
|"Ow, hey!" objected One-Eye with a kick blindly aimed . . . nowhere near Bridge's head, which was what he'd been aiming for, although it might swerve into the vicinity of a kneecap or solar plexus, maybe. "Cut it out! Why don't you pick on someone way bigger than you?"|
He started to do that thing with his hands -- the one that, odds were good, a lot of people from Bridge's California might recognize on sight as the precursor to a very, very big bad thing.
Which was to say, suddenly he was filling up a lot more of the tent doorway, and the roof might just be bulging upward a bit.
|"The frak?" Xander charged forward and slammed the full length of the full-length mirror right into his face. Er, eye-holding thing.|
|As soon as he'd noticed the signs of "I am about to grow skyscraper sized" coming from the monster, Bridge had reached for a certain device that had been clipped to his belt, hidden by the tuxedo jacket.|
Holding the Judgment Scanner towards the monster, he flips it open.
"I hereby charge you with unlawful disruption of a wedding ceremony!" he says. The scanner flashes a few times as it takes the readings, and then emits the verdict: GUILTY! A moment later, the monster is gone and there's something about the size and shape of a playing card sitting on the sand. Bridge picks it up and scowls briefly at it, before walking over to Xander.
"So, uh. Hey."
|Xander dusts off his hands and runs one through his hair, pushing it back. "Hey. So you know that thing where nobody from Newtech City is here so SPD doesn't catch on ahead of time that we're trying to green-card me in?"|
|"Somehow creepy doll girl who hangs out with your archnemisis|
|"Well, she's from the future of my future," Bridge points out. "Our future. So it'd already happened for her."|
|"Which, okay, is cheating, but bad guys tend to do that."|
Totally cheating, a young girl's voice echoes in his head, and a shadow crosses Xander's face.
|Yeah, Bridge doesn't miss that at all. "What did she *do*?" he asks, concerned. "I mean, aside from the obvious with the making you fight a monster that was wearing your pants on its face."|
|"Like that's not bad enough?" Xander says, not so much trying to joke his way out of this discussion as.... he really doesn't know what. Just being himself. It's genetically encoded, like the buttery thing.|
|Xander..." Bridge says quietly. "Please?"|
|Explaining means thinking about it again. Except that's a crap excuse because he hasn't stopped thinking about it for a second. The truth is, explaining it means admitting to it, and he can't even reach for the first word without something nasty and bitter burning up his throat to choke him off.|
But he said please, and if there's anyone Xander owes the truth to even when it burns, it's Bridge.
"That monster she made - it wasn't a monster at first." He glances down at the sand. "It looked like Bronwyn."
|"It- what? She what?" Bridge is not the kind of person who gets angry often, or easily, but the thought of something using Bronwyn's face in order to get at Xander does the trick.|
|Xander nods, a short, sharp one. Short words, too, because those come out a little faster, if not less burny. "Older. Said she came back to fix things."|
|"Riiiiiight," Bridge snorts disbelievingly. "Because Mora's so concerned with your well-being. Or... anyone's."|
|"She didn't exactly say hi Dad, creepy one-eyed doll girl sent me," Xander replies, a little shorter and sharper than he means to. He rubs at his uncovered eye, then adds, "Sorry. I just..."|
|Bridge draws back slightly, more than a little startled by Xander's tone. "What did she do?"|
|He takes a deep breath. "Told me to leave. Not marry you."|
|"How is not getting married supposed to fix things?"|
|"She showed me the future. She said it was the future. And it was all..." Broken. But the bitter burn is in his throat again, and he shakes his head.|
But if there's anyone he owes the truth to...
Xander looks up, meeting Bridge's gaze. Points to his gloved hands. "Can I just... show you?"
|Bridge nods, pulling one glove off and stuffing it in to a suit pocket before reaching to take Xander's hand.|
|It's some kind of twisted blessing, Xander supposes faintly, that re-playing it in his head is as easy as finding words for it... wasn't. It's just there, the fake Bronwyn talking to him on the sand, the tiny, cramped apartment in the future, all of it, spilling out of his head and into Bridge's in a flood that he can't choke off.|
|And Bridge is watching, and listening, and then his grip on Xander's hand is tightening as he shakes his head. "That's not you," he says firmly. "That won't be you. You're so much better than that."|
|Xander shakes his head. "No, I'm not. Not much better than that. But you're right, it's not gonna happen."|
|"If I'm right about that, I'm right about how much better you are than that fake-future version of you, buster," Bridge insists stubbornly.|
|"You trust me more than I do," Xander says, but it's gentle now, words not sticking in his throat anymore, now that there's nothing left that he hasn't admitted to. For better or worse, Bridge knows it all.|
He pauses for a moment, but doesn't break eye-contact. Finally he says, "That's why it's never gonna happen." He's not let go of Bridge's hand; there can't be any mistaking what he means. "Not because I can't be that guy -- believe me, it's in the genes. But you trust me not to, and that's worth something. By which I mean everything."
|"You're the person I trust most in this or any other universe," Bridge replies. "The person who I'm planning on getting very, very old with. Which reminds me, we've got this group of people waiting for us to get started on that..."|
|Xander takes a deep breath, then nods. "Yeah."|
1: NOT DIRTY!
2: NOT DIRTIER!!
[Pre-played with the groom of otherness and the ever-loved futurebucs_star. OOC is a smaller number than three, and IC is... in the wedding post. Or will be shortly. Though this happens offscreen.]