Clara was lying in bed, enjoying a peaceful sleep when suddenly the sound of a crying baby jolted her out of bed. She looked around and remembered that she was at Amy and Rory's and today was her wedding day. A huge smile came over her face as she got up, anxious to start her day and finally marry the man of her dreams. She put on her robe and walked down the hall to see Amy sitting in a rocking chair feeding Melody, in the baby's room.
"Happy wedding day!" Amy exclaimed when she spotted her in the doorway.
"Thanks!" She answered.
"Rory should have breakfast ready downstairs if you want to go start. I'm just going to finish here and then we'll be down." Amy told her.
"Sounds good." Clara said as she left and went downstairs to see Rory in the kitchen.
"Good morning. You hungry?" Rory asked as Clara walked into the kitchen.
Clara got a smell of the cooked bacon and suddenly felt a wave of nausea hit her. She had been hungry, but all of a sudden, she felt like she was going to be sick. She ran to the closest bathroom and emptied the contents of her stomach. Once she felt like there was nothing more to come out, she splashed some water on her face and went back out to the kitchen.
"I'm so sorry Rory. I don't know what overcame me." She said as she took a seat at the kitchen island.
"It's okay. Maybe you're just nervous about today." He said as he handed her a glass of water.
"Why would she be nervous?" Amy said as she walked into the room and passed the baby off to Rory.
"Well why else would she be sick." Rory said.
"If you weren't on the pill, I'd say you might be pregnant." Amy said as she started dishing some eggs onto a plate. She turned and looked at her friend, who had a look of shock on her face. "You're still on the pill, aren't you?
"I went off it." Clara stated. Amy looked at her in awe.
"When was your last period?" Amy asked, getting excited. Clara started doing the math in her head and realised that she was late and obviously hadn't noticed in the craziness that her life had been.
"I think I should have started 2 weeks ago."
"Clara! You might actually be pregnant! Come on." Amy said as she grabbed her friend's arm and dragged her back upstairs.
"Amy! Where are we going?" She asked surprised.
"To take a test. I have some left from when we were trying before Melody."
They walked into the bathroom and Amy quickly found a pregnancy test. She handed it to Clara and told her that she would wait downstairs. Clara stared at the stick and couldn't believe this was happening again. Although this time was much different from the last, as she was now hoping it would be positive. She briefly thought about calling John, but then thought she would wait until she knew for sure. There wasn't any point in worrying him if she didn't have to, especially today.
John woke up to an empty bed and house. He had wanted Clara to stay with him last night, but after the rehearsal dinner, Amy had insisted she go back to their house because it was bad luck for the bride to see the groom on their wedding day. His wedding day. A day he never thought he would have again. Just a year ago that he thought he was destined to spend the rest of his life alone, but here he was about to marry his impossible girl. He got out of bed, excited to start his day and get to the point where Clara would finally be his wife. He glanced at the clock and noticed that he had about thirty minutes to get dressed before Donna and Lee would pick him up to take him to the venue.
Once he was ready, he had about two minutes to spare before Donna was knocking on his door. He threw it open and greeted his friend with a huge smile.
"Well someone looks like he's ready to get married." She said. "Lee's waiting in the car, so are you ready?"
"You bet." John said as he grabbed his suit and the rest of his luggage.
Clara had picked a venue about thirty minutes just outside of London, called Lovekyn Chapel in Kingston. She had gone to look at it with Amy and called him that night so excited about it, that there was no way he could say no, so he told her to book it despite not seeing it. He didn't need to because all that mattered was that Clara loved it. The location meant that most of the guests had to get hotel rooms, so they were able to book a block at a near-by Hilton. John and Clara would have one of the suites, which is where Clara was going to get ready before the ceremony and John would get ready in Lee and Donna's room.
The drive didn't take long and when they arrived at the hotel, Lee checked them in while John was doing his best to not get recognized. Donna had done really well so far at keeping the wedding out of the media, so hopefully no paparazzi would show up, but all it would take was a couple of fans to snap some photos and post them online. Lee returned with the key and made their way up to their room, where once inside Donna gave a sigh of relief that John had made it this far without being spotted.
John looked at his watch and saw that it was still another two hours before he could see Clara again. He wanted badly to call her, but knew she would be busy getting ready with Amy and his sister.
"Hey Donna, do you think you could do me a favour?" He asked as he opened his bag.
"Sure." She replied.
"Do you think you could go find Clara and give her this?" He said as he pulled a small box and an envelope out.
"Absolutely." She answered as she took it from him. "You relax a bit with Lee and I'll go find her."
"Aunt Clara, you look pretty." Heather exclaimed, as she watched attentively to the bride having her make up done.
"Thanks Heather. You look adorable." Clara answered as she smiled down at the little girl. Clara had asked Hanna to be a part of the wedding, along with the two kids and all happily agreed.
"I look like a princess!" She exclaimed as she twirled in her little white dress and Clara chuckled.
"Yes you do, but remember today is about Uncle John and Aunt Clara, not you." Hanna said as she placed some flowers in her daughter's hair.
"I know. Can I go play with the baby now?" Heather asked, once her mum was done.
"You can go sit next to Aunt Clara's gran while she is holding the baby and read them a story, but do not touch her." Her mother told her and the little girl ran off to show Melody and Gran one of her story books.
"When can I go see Uncle John?" Max asked, starting to get annoyed being around so many women.
"As soon as you put that video game down and come here so I can put your tie on." Hanna said. The boy did as he was told and let his mother finish getting him dressed.
A knock was heard at the door, so Amy walked over to answer it. She wanted to be sure it wasn't John and that he wasn't trying to sneak a peak of Clara before the ceremony. She opened it a crack, but then opened it wider once she saw that it was Donna.
"Come in." Amy said happily.
"I bring gifts from the groom." Donna said as she entered the room.
"We agreed no gifts!" Clara exclaimed as she turned to look at Donna.
"Well you know him, he never listens." Donna said as she passed the box and envelope to Clara.
"You're telling me." His sister added.
"Thanks for bringing it Donna. How's he doing?" Clara asked.
"Very excited to see you and to finally become your husband." Donna answered.
"Well the feeling is mutual. Did he say if I should open this now?"
"He didn't, but I want to know what he got you, so I say open it."
"Alright." Clara said as she opened the envelope first and took out a hand-written note.
To my Impossible Girl,
A little over a year ago I spotted you in a pub and from that moment on I've never been able to get you out of my mind. You were just a girl that I thought I'd never see again, until one year ago today you stood across from me at a convention, smiling and nervous. I thank the heavens for that day because I was finally able to put a name to the girl I dreamt about at night. Thank you for becoming a part of my crazy life and taking a chance on a man who thought he'd never find love again.
I know that we said no gifts, but I saw this and knew it would be perfect for you today and every day after. Open it now before you read the rest, if you haven't already.
Clara put the note down and opened the box. Inside was a white gold floral designed locket with a small sapphire in the middle. She flipped it over and saw the words 'Love Always' engraved on the back. She then opened it and suddenly felt her eyes start to well. She looked back to the letter and started to read again.
I know how much you wish your mum could be here today, I wish that for you too, but at least with this locket you can carry her close to your heart today and always.
I'll see you soon. I'll be the handsome man at the front waiting for the most beautiful woman in the world to join him.
She put the letter down and looked back at her mum's picture inside the locket and smiled. It was the perfect gift.
"You okay?" Amy asked as she came up beside her with a tissue.
"I'm perfect." She said as she dabbed her eyes, careful to not ruin her makeup.
"Good. Now let's get you dressed." She said.
"And that's my cue to leave." Donna said. "I'm going to head back and make sure John starts getting ready."
"I'll come with you, Donna. This little guy wants to see his uncle and I want to have a chat with him before the ceremony."
Donna left with Max and Hanna, leaving Heather with Clara, Amy and Gran. Clara walked over to her dress that was hanging on the door and couldn't wait to put it on. She was very excited to see John's reaction when she walked down the aisle
"What do you think?" John asked as he stood in front of Lee.
"You look handsome enough to marry." He answered.
"Good, that was the look I was going for." John replied as Donna and his sister walked in with Max.
"What, no kilt?" Hanna asked as she walked over and hugged her brother.
"Nah. I did that the first wedding. I thought a nice black suit would be better for this one."
"Good idea. Go on, let me see." She said as she stepped back.
John undid the button on his jacket to reveal a black waistcoat and a flash of silk red lining, very similar to the one in his costume from the show. He specifically asked the shop for that detail, knowing how much Clara loved it.
"Very dapper." Hanna said.
"And nice touch with the red." Donna added.
"Thanks. So, did you give Clara her gift?"
"Of course. You made her cry." Donna replied.
"Happy tears I hope." He said.
"Yes. It was very thoughtful, John." Hanna said.
"Thanks. I just know how much I wish our parents could have been here. How much I wish they could have met Clara."
"They would have loved her. I know because I love her. She's perfect for you just as you are for her."
"Thanks Han. Now enough of this emotional stuff. Max you look like a dashing young lad!" John said taking the attention off of him.
"Thanks Uncle John. I look like you."
"That you do, let's hope Clara doesn't confuse us." He said as he teased his nephew. "Now I think I'm going to walk over to the chapel and let Donna and Lee get ready. Want to come with me Max?"
"Sure." The boy answered.
"Alright, be sure to not let anyone see you. Donna said.
"Got it, disguise mode on." He said as he pulled his glasses out of his inside jacket pocket and put them on.
He took Max's hand and left the room with his sister. They walked down the hall until Hanna stopped in front of a door.
"I'm going to make sure Heather's not driving Clara nuts. See you in a bit and Max, be good for your uncle." She said as she slipped inside leaving the two.
John stared at the door for a moment, knowing that Clara was on the other side of it. He couldn't wait to see her and now it was only a short time before he would.
Clara stood in front of the full-length mirror as her Gran stood next to her, smiling.
"You look so lovely, dear."
"Thanks Gran." Clara replied.
"The dress is perfect Clara." Hanna added. "John is going to love it."
Clara had chosen a simple but elegant flowing chiffon Greek style wedding dress with a round lace neck line and a sheer lace back that had buttons running up the middle. There was a small train, as she didn't want anything too long and she finished the look with a modest pearl and diamond headpiece and the necklace that John gave her, which matched perfectly. As the women were admiring the bride, a knock came to the door.
"Everyone decent?" Clara's dad said as Amy opened the door.
"We are. Come in and see the bride." Amy said as she let Dave in.
He stepped in and couldn't stop the smile that formed when he saw his daughter. He also couldn't help the tears that suddenly formed in his eyes.
"You look beautiful, darling." He said as he placed a light kiss on her cheek.
"Alright everyone, let's give Clara and her dad a moment." Amy said as she fastened Melody into her pram. "We'll meet you guys in the lobby."
"Thanks Amy." Clara said as all the women left, leaving her with her dad.
"So, are you sure you want to go through with this?" Dave said as he smiled at his daughter.
"Surer than I have been about anything in my life. I know John isn't the man you envisioned I would marry one day, but there really is no one I would rather spend the rest of my life with."
"I imagined that you would choose a man who treated you right and made you happy. A man who would love you more than anything and be a real partner for you. There is no doubt in my mind that John is the right man for you. Is it strange that my son-in-law is older than me? Yes, but I wouldn't have it any other way because I see how happy you make each other. Your mum would be proud of the man you chose and most of all the woman you've become."
"Thanks dad. That really means a lot. And I know that Linda and I haven't had the best relationship, but I'm glad that she's starting to come around and came today."
"Thank you. Now are you ready to go get married?" He asked.
"More than anything." Clara said as she beamed at her father.
John was standing at the front of the chapel with Donna next to him. It was the perfect place for them to get married and he could see why Clara loved it. It was a small chapel that held just enough people for them to keep this as an intimate close friends and family ceremony. Chairs with chair covers had been set up and formed an aisle up the middle where John would soon become Clara's husband. He couldn't believe that the time had finally come and in a matter of minutes Clara would be standing next to him. Who would have thought one year ago today when he bought her a drink at the pub that he would be standing here now.
Music started to play and the back doors opened as his sister started to walk in with Max and the two walked up to the front, followed by Amy and Heather. Once the women were settled at the front the music changed again and John suddenly felt a flutter of excitement course through him. He first spotted Clara's dad and then there she was. His bride. She looked like an angel sent from heaven. He locked eyes with her and she with him and both couldn't stop smiling as she and Dave walked towards him. Once they reached the front, Dave kissed Clara on the cheek, whispered I love you, and then turned and shook John's hand.
"You look beautiful, sweetheart." John whispered as he took Clara's hand and they turned towards the officiant.
"Thank you everyone for being here today to witness the marriage of John and Clara. As their family, friends, and loved ones, you have been chosen to share not just this day with them, but to ensure they have your continued support as their two lives become one. Now by request of the bride and groom, we're going to keep this short and sweet."
Everyone laughed and the officiant motioned for Clara and John to turn towards each other, so Clara handed her bouquet to Amy and then took both of John's hands in hers.
"Your marriage begins with the vows and promises you speak to each other today. John do you take Clara willingly and completely, withholding nothing? Will you protect her and give her your deepest considerations of her feelings, desires and needs? Will you strive to keep your love flexible and adapt to changing circumstances in the marriage? And will you be Clara's counselor, lover, and best friend, from this day forward?"
"I will." John answered smiling at Clara.
"And Clara, do you take John willingly and completely, withholding nothing? Will you protect him and give him your deepest considerations of his feelings, desires and needs? Will you strive to keep your love flexible and adapt to changing circumstances in the marriage? And will you be John's counselor, lover, and best friend, from this day forward?"
"I will." Clara said as a tear began to run down her cheek. John put his hand into his pocket and took out a handkerchief to wipe it away.
"John and Clara, by coming here today you have now taken the initial step in what hopefully will be a wonderful and lasting life together. Understand, that a union between two people takes work. Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is a relationship ever complete. It needs constant nurturing. A good marriage is one that fosters respect, a devoted love, and a willingness to make sacrifices for each other. These are the foundation blocks of a newly formed union. Symbolically you have been brought together as one, yet are still two separate entities with unique ideas, talents and ways of being. Respect and value those differences, and your relationship will flourish. Now, both of you repeat after me." The officiant then read the vows for them to say.
"Clara, I take you to be my wife, to share with you the laughter, to kiss away the tears, and to give you all the love in my heart, as long as we both shall live." John said staring deeply into Clara's eyes and in that moment, there was no one else in the room with them.
"John, I take you to be my husband, to share with you the laughter, to kiss away the tears, and to give you all the love in my heart, as long as we both shall live." Clara said as once again a tear slid down her cheek. John leaned forward and kissed it away.
"John, we haven't got to the kissing the bride part yet." The officiant said.
"Sorry, but I just promised I would kiss away her tears." John answered and the guests laughed.
"Well, I'm glad to see you're taking them seriously. Now, do you have rings to exchange?"
Max stepped forward and handed the officiant the rings that he had been tasked to hold until this moment.
John took Clara's ring and placed it on her finger as he repeated the words from the officiant.
"I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my eternal faith and undying devotion."
Clara then took John's ring and placed it on his finger repeating the same words.
"May these rings remind you that your love, like the sun, warms all that it touches, like the moon, brightens up the night, like the eye, is a gateway to your innermost soul. And your love, like the arms that embrace you, makes everything right with the world." The officiant said.
"Clara and John, you came here today, in the presence of family and friends, to express your love for, and commitment to each other. Your lives are forever changed. Now, you can face your fears, for you each will be strength to the other. Now, you can brave the wind, for you each will be shelter to the other. Now though you are two bodies, there is one life before you. And there, in that life, may you always find love. It is my pleasure to announce you as husband and wife. Now, John, you may kiss the bride."
John wrapped his arms around Clara and leaned forward, capturing her lips with his in their first kiss as husband and wife. The guests clapped and cheered, but neither of them could really hear it as they were so caught up in each other. They finally parted and the officiant guided them over to the side to sign the paper work, before bringing them back to the front.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Clara and John Smith."
The couple couldn't stop smiling as they walked out of the chapel, their family and friends cheering them on. Once they got outside John looked down at Clara and kissed her again. He thought his heart would explode with the amount of love he felt right now. Their moment alone, didn't last long as they were soon joined by their guests, who offered their congratulations before heading off towards the cocktail party while John and Clara took some photos with family and then by themselves.
The photographer finished with them and went off to get some shots of the guests enjoying the party, which finally allowed the bride and groom to have a moment to themselves.
"You look so handsome, John." Clara said as she ran her hand down his tie.
"Thanks, but I don't look as good as you do. You are absolutely stunning and I'm the luckiest man alive to call you my wife." He placed a soft kiss on her lips as she giggled.
"I think I'm going to need some time to get used to being called your wife." She said.
"Well good thing we have the rest of our lives to do that." He took her hand as they slowly walked through the garden towards the reception site. "So, did you like my gift?"
"Oh my gosh John, yes!" She exclaimed as she stopped walking and looked down at her locket. "It's perfect."
"I'm glad. I know that we said no gifts, but when I saw it, I knew I wanted you to have it."
"Well, actually it turns out I got you a gift too." Clara said. "But you're going to have to wait about 7 to 8 months to see it."
"Oh, you didn't have to get me anything sweetheart. But why do I have to wait so long to see it?" He questioned.
"Well it's going to take that long for it to be ready." She answered smiling and looking down at her belly.
It took John a moment to catch on, but then it finally hit him from her look.
"Clara! Are you telling me you're pregnant?"
"Yes." She nodded and smiled at him.
"How? When?" He said completely shocked.
"Well I'm pretty sure you know how babies are made." She answered.
"But you're on the pill."
"I went off it after your sister's visit. When I saw you with the kids, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to have a family with you and I knew that I wanted that sooner rather than later. I just really didn't think it would happen the night we moved into our house."
John scooped Clara up in his arms and spun her around before putting her back down again.
"That is the greatest gift you could have given me and us. When did you find out?"
"This morning. I got sick this morning when I smelt some bacon. I then did the math and realised that I was late. Luckily Amy had some tests, so I took one. Had to make her promise to keep her mouth shut."
John laughed and pulled Clara in for another hug. "Wow, we're going to be parents!"
"I know. Terrifying! I think we may need to take Melody out to get some practice." Clara chuckled.
"Who would have thought one year ago today you could barely speak to me and now we're married and going to become parents. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us Mrs. Smith."
"Me too, John Smith, starving artist from Glasgow." She smiled at him repeating the line he used to get her to calm down that night in the pub. "Best decision I ever made was going to that convention."
John took her hand in his, bringing it up to his lips and placed a soft kiss on it before the two walked off towards the reception to join their guests. Towards their future full of so much wonder and possibility.