Author: Russet Fox aka Liz
Pairings: A little P/H, mostly S/H
Disclaimer: Diadem belongs to John Peel. Believe me, if I owned it, i would keep writing more books!!!
Summary: Score's two best friends are getting married. So why isn't he happy?

Hey Guys! I was watching "wild weddings" on TLC and i thought that the diadem triangle o' love (haha Kirstie) could use a wild wedding of its own. I'm planning on their being maybe three or four chappies, this is only the first.
Score adjusted his tie in front of a large piece of polished metal that passed for a mirror on Ordin. There was going to be a wedding in a few hours, and though it wasn't his, he was unaccountably nervous. A small boy - a page, his King Arthur knowledge told him - knocked on the open door and gave a curt bow. "Lady Helaine wishes to see you, Master Score." Score had adapted marginally to all the bowing and scraping that came with being "nobility" in his two weeks on Ordin. The occasion? The wedding between Helaine and Pixel, of course.

Score hadn't seen it coming. Sure, he'd teased Pixel about their blonde companion, but then there'd been emergencies and power-hungry wizards. And somehow, in all that time, he'd missed the tender glances and softness he'd assumed accompanied love. It was just Pixel, methodical and nerdy, and Helaine, stubborn and athletic, and then Pixel with his arm around Helaine, announcing their intentions to marry, with Score gaping on the couch.

It hadn't been a long engagement. In fact, they made arrangements to travel to Ordin perhaps a week later, Score tagging along, feeling about as useful as a third sleeve on a sweater.

Score took one last look into the mirror, confirmed his usual studliness, and followed the page. Helaine probably wanted help fighting with her father again.


"Helaine, your visits are rare and usually have a point. What have you come to have granted this time?" Lord Votrin grumbled. This seemed to be everyone's cue to look down into their plates. Finally Helaine dropped her savage knife loudly on her plate.

"I'm getting married father."

"Devil's bones you are! Who would have you?"

"Uh... that would be me." Pixel coughed uncertainly.

"Hah! Helaine, you've gone mad. You're too old to be married, and not to a strange blue child, no matter what his nobility. I'VE never heard of the house of Calomir. Besides, daughter, you're far too pig-headed to be wed, certainly-" Score looked at Pixel and Helaine, who were doing a splendid job of looking like scolded children. Well then.

"Hey." The quiet power of interruption halted Lord Votrin's tirade.

"You can't talk about Helaine like that."

Lord Votrin opened his mouth but Score continued. "She's twenty, she's a bright young woman, she's my best friend, she saves the universe for a living, and she's getting married whether you like it or not. This is supposed to be the happiest day of her life, and as her father, you're just going to have to grit your black, rotting teeth and bear it." Lord Votrin gaped before Score added snidely "Besides, aren't you the one who thought she was ready to get married when she was twelve?"

Lord Votrin spluttered as Helaine pushed back from the table coldly. She did not look at her father, but at Score, and the glance she cast was one of bewildered graciousness. Nobly, she stalked out of the room. Pixel blinked and looked to Score for direction.

"Go on, go after her." Score waved his friend after his fiancee, and Lord Votrin turned with a glance towards Score.

"I say, Lord Score of the House of New York, I rather despised you as a spineless coward before, but I think I may be changing my mind"

*End Flashback*

Score paced behind the page. He'd been in the Votrin Keep before, both on Zarathan and in a few visits, so he knew fairly well where Helaine's room was, but custom dictated that he follow the page. The little boy knocked politely on the door, and Helaine issued a muffled welcome. Score tentatively pushed the door open and closed it with a quiet click behind him.

He hadn't expected to see her in full-blown wedding gear, and he certainly hadn't expected her to look so damn good in it, either. The dress was white; a long, embroidered, satiny shift that hung in clean lines to the floor. Score didn't really know much about dresses, but in his mind he'd pictured Helaine in something poufy and layered, like a giant cake, that she would look ridiculous in. This was... elegant. It was also unbuttoned, exposing the ties of a corset and her pale back and shoulders.

Score cleared his throat loudly, feeling he'd intruded. Helaine looked at his reflection in the mirror and smiled with a relieved look on her face. "Score." She turned and reached to him, giving him a friendly hug. She then turned around and reached awkwardly at her back. "Can you help me with these?" She pointed to the nearly one hundred buttons.

Score stepped forwards. "Don't you have maids or something to do this for you?" He asked, even as he gingerly reached for the bottom button.

"Hah. Chattering, mindless, blithering fools. Besides, I wanted to talk to you."

"To me?"

"Yes, you."

Score waited for Helaine to elaborate while he worked on the buttons. His fingers were in what his father termed 'dangerous territory', down below her waist, on the seductive curves of her - Score stopped himself.

"Why am I getting married?" Helaine asked quietly, peering into the mirror with a frown.

Score gave a short laugh. "You're asking the wrong guy, Helaine."

"I guess...it just seems like what I'm supposed to do." She answered her own question after a short while.

Score laughed derisively at that, too. "Since when have you done what you're supposed to?" There was silence for awhile. Score concentrated on the tiny buttons, and not on what lay beneath. Finally, he asked: "Well, do you love him?"

"No, well, yes, I don't know." Helaine burst. Score waited. "I mean... It's not the way I thought it would be. Flowers, kisses, eternal springtime and happiness. But maybe that's my problem...I'm being unrealistic and fantastical, wanting to run with unicorns."

Score smiled. "But unicorns turned out to be real, didn't they?"

Helaine nodded into the mirror. "I get the feeling that I'll...that I'll grow into it. Loving him, I mean."

"Then why don't you wait until you're sure? Why do you have to get married now?" Score probed a little harshly. He was out of dangerous territory, now.

"I'm running out of time... I'm twenty years old Score. My life is almost halfway over."

Score did a few quick calculations. "The hell you are!" He laughed. "Helaine, you're a magic user. Garonath was at least a hundred years old, and he had a rotten core. You're going to live to be an old, old woman."

Helaine frowned into the full-length mirror again. "But I do want to get married while my father is still alive."

"Your dad is quite a character." Score smiled. "I see where you get your stubbornness from."

"Did you really mean...what you said... to him about me?"

Score answered without hesitation "Yes." His fingers were moving up her back more rapidly now, used to the task at hand.

"Thank you."

"Well, it's the truth. I hope you didn't run off and cry about it."

Helaine snorted, causing Score to loose his grasp on his current buttonhole. "Hardly"

It was quiet for a short period. Score had reached the middle of her chest and was struggling a little to get the fabric to meet.

Noticing this, Helaine offered "It's my mother's dress. She was married in it. She...uh..." Helaine looked down at the region in question "was considerably less endowed." She blushed at this, as though her breasts were abnormal growths that didn't belong on a warrior. Score thought they were just marvelous, but he wasn't about to let her in on that. He kept buttoning until her long blonde hair got in the way. Gently, he gathered it up and gave to her to hold.

"So, I've never been to a wedding on Ordin. Do I get to throw rice?" He attempted to joke.

Helaine looked confused. "That's a terrible waste of food." She sniffed. "There's a small ceremony in the church, then my father presents Pixel with a sword and my dowry and gives me a sow and we have a big feast."

"A sow?"

"Yes, Score, a pig. For prosperity and luck."

"That's it? There's no honeymoon?" Score asked. When Helaine's reflection in the mirror went blank, he explained. "You know, the bride and the groom go off somewhere to relax and have..." Score paused. There was no way he was going to explain the primary entertainment of the honeymoon to Helaine, especially not since she was going to be married to Pixel. Married! It sunk in.

"Whoa." He said. There were five buttons left.

"What?" Helaine turned around, concerned.

"You and Pixel are going to get married. And...you know. 'First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.'" Score sang uncertainly. Helaine stared at him oddly until she realized what he said.

"Baby?" She squeaked, with an un-Helaine gasp. She stumbled towards the bed and sat down. "I didn't even think about...that."

"You didn't think about much, did you?" Score sat down next to her. "Like where are you going to live? With me in the castle on Dondar? On Ordin? Calomir? How are you going to raise your children... by his faith or yours? And what about..."

"Stop stop stop!" Helaine cried, putting her hands on her ears. Score obeyed, and saw that her face was flushed and eyes shiny. He sighed and wrapped a friendly arm around her.

"I'm sorry, Helaine." He said quietly, giving her shoulders a little squeeze. "I'm sure you and Pixel can work everything out."

"I don't want to work everything out!" Helaine burst, pounding her fists against the bed. "I want -" She looked up at Score and choked. "I want..." she repeated, so softly he could barely hear. She tilted her head up near his hopefully, and her eyes burned holes in his. Score leaned forwards as though possessed.

"What?" he asked, already knowing the answer. Their lips touched so delicately he didn't quite know if it was a kiss or not. They met again, more solidly, and Score felt Helaine's hand reach up to touch his cheek. Their lips met a third time, with force and feeling, before Score realized what he was doing.

"No." He managed, pulling his mouth away from hers. "No," he repeated, "we can't." Helaine's head shot back, frightened.

"Oh, oh..." she started, but Score quieted her.

"Shh...." he hushed wordlessly, pulling her in to him to rest against his chest. He held her quietly for a few minutes, then helped her stand. "Come on," he said with a smile. "I've got to finish your buttons."

SO??? What do you think? REVIEW PLZ!!!
(that button right down there)