[identity profile] hermia-sophia.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] estdeus_innobis
Sunday, April 4
The garden behind the Whitechapel Inn

We awoke in each other's arms, both terrified. Valmont, because he feared that I was being attacked; I because I felt something wrong in the world, something beyond the long sleep and painful thirst and weakness. Some ripple of Power that was twisted and wrong. But under it all I could sense Nanshe's presence helping to set the dream-world right again. And Valmont and I had each other, and we were safe, and despite everything, that makes the waking world right.

And neither of us wanted to postpone the ceremony. We wanted - no, needed to continue. Needed to make some new beginning, needed to make life go on as it was supposed to.

And so, still shaky, we went to the abbey this morning at dawn.

Valmont said that I was the one guiding this part of our wedding solemnities, for I was the one closer to the gods. So I arranged the offerings for us to burn on Nanshe's altar: two little bundles, both the same. Not hair. Not incense. Not anything that would be in an Athenian wedding offering to the gods. We are making our own way, here.

So there are herbs from the garden that I planted and he cooks from. The first lilacs that Valmont gave me, and the lilies I gave him, both now dried into fragrant shadows of themselves. Splinters of wood from an empty keg for his profession; scraps of paper from an old book for mine. (Lydia offered me a book that was falling apart anyway; I would never have taken a page from a book otherwise! She gave us a gift, too: a lovely leather-bound and gilt-edged volume of Yeats.) And cotton candy - even though it made everything terribly sticky and I feared it would melt, I had to put cotton candy in there, for the memory of that first night that we soared above Excolo on the ferris wheel and felt as if we were flying. And because it made both of us laugh when I put it in, and we should begin our life together with laughter.

We smile as we light our offerings, and as we smell the fragrance as it floats up to the heavens.

Now, back in the garden behind the inn, I smile again as I wait to take my place next to Valmont and in front of Mab. I've found more lilacs for the bouquet, white and purple both, standing out against the shimmering deep blue fabric of my gown.

I have no parents to bring me to the altar, and neither does Valmont. We just have ourselves, and are giving ourselves to each other.

There they all are. Our friends - all of the people who have grown dear to us in the last year. Our Alice, looking lovely and more grown-up than ever. Mab, tall and serious. And Valmont, who looks so magnificent that my heart leaps at the sight.

I feel a nervous thrill run through me as I step out. Dear gods, I'm getting married! For an instant, I'm terrified, as I stare down that long aisle. But then I realize, why should I be afraid? At the end of the aisle is Valmont. I have nothing to fear as long as he is there.

At the end of my long journey, he was here waiting for me.

So I take a deep breath and step forward, towards my new life.

[Open to wedding guests!]

Date: 2011-04-05 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valmont-vicomte.livejournal.com
I woke in terror, thinking I had failed, my quest had failed and my love was about to die - and then she was in my arms, and through my raging thirst and pounding headache I felt a relief that went down to my bones.

And today I am to marry her.

There were lots of offerings at Nanshe's altar today - three days of dreaming probably makes people want to speak to her - but we had space for our gifts. For me there's not much meaning in the godly part of the sacrifice, but the symbolism for Hermia and me - that counts for a lot. Our two lives wound together. Yes.

It's a fine bright day, and the garden looks beautiful. Nohte made us a wedding arch (http://sherisflowers.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/011-copy1.jpg) with the flowers Hermia loves best, and I stand beneath it wearing my grey morning suit (http://www.clothing-for-men.com/product_details_112.htm), Edmund at my side as my best man, our friends assembled. The back door opens, and Hermia steps out. She is as beautiful as I have ever seen her, and I feel that my smile starts somewhere at my feet.

Date: 2011-04-05 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chester-excolo.livejournal.com
It's a good thing I can't die, at least not by any of usual means. Woke up with a helluva hangover, but still alive. An very glad to be back to thinkin' properly too, that story stuff is okay when some one's tellin' one but it's kinda awkward to tryn' ta live one.

Real glad all the folks I know n' care bout made it back okay, I know people're gonna wanta know what happened n' I could feel the way the Power shifted again. Can't tell what happened fer sure but it was big. Somethin' to look into another day.

Today Hermia marries Valmont. S'a real nice day an' all the guests are in the garden waitin' for Hermia to appear. The door opens n' there she is. I bet everyone could feel it when they lay eyes on each other. Hope this wedding brings happiness to her. To both of 'em.

Date: 2011-04-05 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glass-beddau.livejournal.com
Honest truth, I think it strange they're having the matter so public; still it's plain they're happy, and leave that stand.

Standing quiet to one side and wearing my brown dress again, and all told trust that if I am here at least I'm not drawing attention. Though think I could've come in a dress woven of raindrops and neither of them'd notice. Lace my hands together and tilt my head to one side and watch, and find'm smiling faint to see them both so happy.
Edited Date: 2011-04-05 03:38 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-05 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iago-excolo.livejournal.com
Quietly, I step up behind my love, smiling as I watch the unfolding scene. Valmont and Hermia are marrying and both look rather pleased and quite in love as well.

I snake an arm around Milady Glass' back and hold her gently as I whisper in her ear, "You look ravishing, sweet girl. I'm a lucky man to have you by my side today." I glance at the soon-to-be married couple and quietly add, "They look made for each other and I'm honored they invited us to bear witness."

Date: 2011-04-05 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kateohara.livejournal.com
It's a lovely day, though not so warm that I regret wearing my embroidered wool dress (http://www.vintageous.com/dresses/vc2630.htm). Tess and I find a seat next to Glass and Iago. I smile at them both, and then turn my attention to Hermia as she walks up the aisle.

"She looks so lovely," I whisper to Tess, and I smile as she reaches Valmont. I would never have thought he would settle down. But after the last year I don't think I'm ever going to doubt a leopard can change its spots ever again.

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Date: 2011-04-05 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com
I slipped into the garden and took a seat towards the back. I suppose I would say it's because I have Rose in my arms, and it's so I can leave easily in case she gets fussy. Truth be told, Rose is the least fussy baby I have ever encountered. She usually conveys any discomfort to me silently before she vocalizes it.

No, I am hiding towards the back because this is my first real social occasion since Rose was born, and I am quite frankly a little scared for both of us, her more than I. I know I shouldn't be, I think she can take care of herself, but a mother's worry is a mother's worry. I fiddle with her sweater (http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5100/5582046489_ff577a2c12_z.jpg), making sure she's warm enough, then smooth down the skirt of my dress. (http://www.kohls.com/upgrade/webstore/product_page.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524892720936&pfx=pfx_shopcompare&cid=shopping3&mr:trackingCode=BEB0FED5-4C4E-E011-A0C7-001517B188A2&mr:referralID=NA/)

Then again, I don't think anyone will notice us, what with Valmont looking so handsome, and Hermia glowing, eyes only for each other...

my smile could split my face as I swipe a tear away from my eye.
Edited Date: 2011-04-05 02:12 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-05 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
I slip past the garden gate just as Hermia emerges from the inn. Not wanting to attract any attention to myself, I wait until she's at the end of the aisle and under the arch with Valmont before I move to join the guests.

I spot Wanda hanging towards the back, little Rose in her arms, and I quietly make my way to her lest I make anyone rise out of their seats.

"You're looking quite well for only having a baby three weeks ago." I murmur to Wanda with a wink, then give the baby a smile. "You're looking lovely too." I whisper to Rose and get that ghost of a smile.

Date: 2011-04-05 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com
As they start the ceremony, I find I am joined by Dr. Constantine.

"You're looking quite well for only having a baby three weeks ago." My smile quirks up a bit as Lucien even goes so far as to compliment Rose as well.

"Three days of not eating helps. Let's just not talk of stretch mark, hmmmm?" I joke quietly, lest we disturb the ceremony. "You're looking good too for a man that's probably been run ragged for two days straight." And he does, hair pulled back, white shirt and black vest with blue tie. Miao is indeed a ....

Look around. "Where's Miao? Is she alright?" I ask, realizing they are not together.

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Date: 2011-04-05 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shards-of-alice.livejournal.com
It's strange, being awake after being asleep for so long. Everything seems so bright now, too sharp and too real almost. But I do get up, I can do that, and I get put on the pretty dress (http://images3.chictopia.com/photos/modernromance/4425080258/beige-vintage-hat-blue-vintage-dress-white-kids-socks-red-topshop-shoes-_400.jpg) I picked out just for the special day, and I take the stairs easy as I can, but make it to the bottom just fine.

Some things are easier now, I think. Maybe my head hurts sometimes and maybe I don't remember all the steps along the way, but I get where I'm going no matter all of that, so it's fine. Especially today. It's an important day - special - with Valmont so nice-looking in his suit and Hermia in the most beautiful dress I've seen, ever, and all the hustle and bustle in the crisp morning air. It lets the world sink back in some so I'm ready when the time comes, I'm standing in the fresh cut grass and smiling in the sunlight even with all the people around, watching the way his eyes light and the way her's do too, and-

and-

We should move

I'm going to move. The sun's too bright here, it's all in my eyes even when I close then, and I want to see. I want to see - it is not good a man should be alone - and so I tiptoe around everyone, around the chairs and back, back into the garden until my back's resting against the trunk of a tree and the shadow's fallen all around. It's cooler here, not nearly as bright and white-hot as before, and I settle in the grass with my dress all around my legs to watch Valmont take his wife.

Date: 2011-04-06 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westin-sagert.livejournal.com
I do not particularly care to sleep again, frankly, although I suppose I must. I certainly do not care to dream. Between the horrors of that tea room and then that strange and tangled nightmare of the forest, I am feeling distinctly unrested and rather worried about my hands to boot.

Still, I have accepted the invitation, and it would be frankly the worst kind of self-indulgence to renege on that commitment just because I was feeling a little worn. The ceremony is a rather less elaborate affair than I have seen before, but it is certainly heartfelt, and they seem quite happy.

I see Alice crossing to the shade not too far from my chair and nod politely to her, but of course I don't speak. I hope, briefly, that she is well--and then I am distracted as I realize I am running my fingers over my hands again, making sure that motor control and sensation are still at a fine pitch.

I make myself stop as I listen to Valmont and his wife recite their vows. Really, fidgeting would hardly be acceptable.

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Date: 2011-04-05 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
Have to admit that I was as disoriented as everyone else when I woke up. Spent most of my time since then helping to check on folk. Even this morning we were still checking on the people that don't make it into town proper as often.

Its been a strange time, but hey- its Excolo. Its always strange here. But today the joy is overwhelming the strange, and I find myself glad beyond measure. I smooth my hands down the sides of my skirt (http://mystylefest.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/michael-kors_belted-stretch-wool-dress_c2a31055_1.jpg) as Hermia makes her way down the aisle to us. The love between the two of them is almost palpable, and I find myself smiling at the thought of how I once warned Hermia about him, and of Jack threatening to hang him off the Pontalier Bridge. How far we've come.

Once they're together in front of me I smile and address the gathering in front of me, "Friends, we gather here to give our blessing to a bond that growing love and respect has created between this man and this woman. They meet here publicly to affirm their promise and covenant to be husband and wife to each other. They have overcome many struggles to stand here today, together, united. Our presence here is a testament to our love and support that we offer them as they affirm this bond."

Date: 2011-04-05 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jack-hollow.livejournal.com
Awh, Hermia. I just... I ain't got the words. I don't need 'em. Bin such a strange week, the dreamin' an' then the crazy last coupla days an' even with alla that right now I'm somewhere beyond happy. Glance ta Mab standin' there fer a second an' feel a flicker of a grin--memories a' talkin' about the Pontarlier--an' then go back ta watching Hermia and Valmont.

Always knew there's some grace in life, but it's still a joy ta see it shining through so clear in a friend's face.

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Date: 2011-04-06 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] verite-belrose.livejournal.com
It's a nice day for a wedding and much warmer than Wanda's, though I made sure to bring a sweater that one of my regulars knitted for me, it's a only a bit darker than the bright green of my dress.

There's more people here than there were at the engagement dinner and i find myself looking for a few others as well. I see Mab at the front with Valmont and it's hard to miss Jack, but I can't see Liam.

I catch sight of Johnny and his boyfriend and I make myself look away. Then Hermia arrives and she looks gorgeous and very happy. I wonder if I'll ever find some one worth getting married to or if I'll be just like Mama and only have bed-friends instead.

Hermia and Valmont do it differently than Wanda and Kent did and I sorta like this one better. more for us to see and it looks like they are planting something so there'll be a physical reminder around rather than just words.

Date: 2011-04-06 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaeresteade.livejournal.com
I thought I knew what I was going to be doing today, but it seems not to have turned out that way. I do know Mr. Laclos meant well, saying he’d rather have me as a guest than working at his wedding. Of course it’s his to do what he wants at, but now I’m left trying not fidget and think about Miranda and wonder what the hell I’m going to do at the reception.

I managed to grab a seat a seat next to Verite, thank God for small mercies. She looks like a May morning, in green up to her hair, just shining. Best that could be said for the way I’m dressed is that it’s presentable. No buttons missing, no wrinkles in the shirt, something like a crease in the pants. Tarquin wouldn’t let me wear all black to a wedding, so it’s my white shirt, and there’s most of a shine on my boots. Nothing wrong with my hair, at least.

Trying to pay attention to the actual wedding going on, since that’s the point of being here. I am terribly happy for Mr. Laclos, and Hermia too, for that matter. They fit together, there’s love there, so much sometimes it hurts to look at them. And this is their day. The way they’re having the ceremony seems strange to me, but it’s nice. I always thought of weddings being in churches, but if this one were, I wouldn’t be here, so that’s just as well. It suits them, how they’re choosing to begin together. Just need to concentrate on that, I guess.

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Date: 2011-04-06 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leah-pontarlier.livejournal.com
Watching Hermia and Valmont get married I hold onto my questions. Karina and Maryk both say they are well enough to come to this gathering but I still think Karina looks tired like she did at the start of her trouble and Maryk is keeping a close eye on her. I am fine and have been since yesterday when I visited Pontarlier. I touched the water and felt lots better so I walked right in and I felt all better right away.

But we have chairs to sit on and so it should be okay for Karina to be here, Maryk said that if I want I can stay when he and Karina go home. They are only planning to stay for a little bit.

Date: 2011-04-06 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lei-miao-shan.livejournal.com
Mrs. Danvers did not want me to come today. She worried for me, going out so soon after it happened. I only recently regained the strength to walk. But I had to go, I told her. How could I miss such a joyous day? And anyway, there would be all of my friends there, should I need help. Finally, she consented to drive me. I dress in an elegant red qipao (http://www.efushop.com/products/SCT/Silk-Tapestry-Satin-Qipao-cheongsam-SCT72.jpg)...it is not my first choice, but I select it for its long sleeves. Mrs. Danvers has wrapped my wrist, but I do not wish to upset anyone, and so I keep it hidden within my sleeve.

When I arrive, I sit at the back. How lovely and happy Hermia and Valmont look. I am sorry very glad that I can be here to share their joy.

Date: 2011-04-06 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
Wanda pushes me away with a grin, then I make my way over to Miao. I manage to slip onto the seat next to her without distrupting too many people.

"I know the bride is supposed to be the most beautiful woman at the party... but I can't take my eyes off of you." I whisper near her ear, grinning broadly, just happy to see her.
Edited Date: 2011-04-06 11:19 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2011-04-07 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
The invite to the wedding was a surprise, as I don't know either bride or groom all that well, though it could be because of Johnny I suppose. There are lots of other people here, I only really recognize a few of them, though I think I've seen most of them at least once or twice. Just about everyone goes to either the market or the Miskatonic at some point.

I'm glad that just about everyone's watching the ceremony, it makes me feel less awkward about being here. As if I've snuck in somewhere I shouldn't and will be asked to leave as soon as I'm noticed. I know that won;t happen, because I've got the invite right here in my pocket as if I need it for the proof that I've got a right to be here. I wish we were sitting somewhere else, like under the tress, where I could maybe play something nice and light that will make people happy but not let them notice me. since I can't do that I just concentrate on the simple but very nice ceremony going on up front.

Date: 2011-04-08 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kateohara.livejournal.com
The service ends and I applaud along with everyone else. It was lovely. Hermia and Valmont are surrounded by a crowd straightaway, of course, so I think I'll wait before trying to give my congratulations. I see Damien, and I think about my conversation with Glass and think today could be a good chance to speak to him about everyone's dreams.

"Hello Damien," I say. "You look smart. How are you? I hear Valmont's suit came from your store, it looks very nice."

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Date: 2011-04-12 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glass-beddau.livejournal.com
Something of a thin crowd 'round the table, though day's mild and clear enough there's no trouble to waiting. Wine... comes to me that there wasn't any colour particular mentioned, and guess one red and one white'll suit well enough.

Wait patient for folk to clear aside so I can have a turn.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
I make myself keep walking and not turn around. Something is wrong, although Miao told me she is fine. Something is, and if we were not at a wedding, I would pull her aside and try to get to the bottom of it.mood

Make my way to the refreshment table, and I find my mood lifted slightly upon seeing Glass.

"And a fine day is made even better for seeing you." I say pleasantly, coming up beside her. "Hello, Glass." I reach for a much needed glass of vodka, and take a sip. "How have you been faring?"

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Date: 2011-04-14 05:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] norn-verdandi.livejournal.com
I ask what Ri wants me to do about Jarmyn and she thinks about it before shrugging. "Dunno. A few minutes ago I did, but now...don't know." She thinks about it for a little longer, saying, "Um no. You don't have to stop. You don't have to stop flirting for me." I'm about to ask if I can still flirt with her too when she kisses me. That answers that question and I happily hold her close.

"Ladies—"

Obviously, I wasn't paying enough attention to anything but Ri because Jarmyn arrives without me noticing it. Shame on me, and I smile sweetly at him as I lean against Ri with one arm around her waist.

I notice the drinks and beam brightly as I snag mine and Ri's, handing it over to her. "You have perfect timing. We finished our drinks and we're doing the best we could with my flask...and each other too." There's no need to hide anything, not according to Ri and if Jarmyn doesn't have a problem with it, then the day just got better.

I reach out to him, drawing him to sit down close to us as I say, "We were just talking about you but don't worry, we only said good things."

Date: 2011-04-14 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] verite-belrose.livejournal.com
I lose myself in the kiss, and feel of Verdi's hands drawing me close. Then I hear a voice, Jarmyn's close by,Ladies— I blush hotter than I've ever blushed before but I look up, and he's not mad. I think he maybe liked what he saw. Verdi leans against me one arm round my waist and I lean back against her and smirk up at him.

You have perfect timing. We finished our drinks and we're doing the best we could with my flask...and each other too. Verdi hands me a glass and I take a big sip. She gets him to sit down near us. We were just talking about you but don't worry, we only said good things.

"It's kinda your fault. You said to tell her the story and then walked away..." I tease.

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Date: 2011-04-16 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westin-sagert.livejournal.com
"I am honoured to hear it (http://estdeus-innobis.livejournal.com/409061.html?thread=10391269#t10429669)," I say, "and to have been invited. I-- If I may?" I say, proffering a small wrapped package (http://excolo-ooc.livejournal.com/1257128.html). "It's been a while since I attended a wedding, and I was not sure if I should send this later, or pass it along now, and--" Westin, man, you are babbling a touch.

"In any case," I say, "I do hope it's suitable; I understand that you and Valmont share an appreciation for the written word."

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