Disclaimer: Again, I don't own Charmed.
I was nervous, nervous as I hadn't been since...
Well, ever, when you think about it. I don't recall ever being this nervous.
It was a little irritating.
I tugged at the collar of my shirt, trying to rid myself of its non-existent chokehold. I couldn't believe my reaction. I stood in front of hundreds of people I don't even know on a daily basis most of the year, and now, in front of hundreds of people that I know, I am having a panic attack.
Eh, at least I'm here. More than I could say about most things in my life, or people I've known.
Five years. It hasn't been easy, or even fun all the time, but it's the kind of difficult that you want to put up with. The kind that you know makes you a better person.
I should have gone with the cummerbund instead of the vest, now that I think about it. This vest keeps riding up on me.
Five years since I had run into Phoebe purely by chance outside the coffee store. Five years since I had asked her to join me at a friends wedding just as an adult to an adult.
The smug bastard is down in the third row, smiling at me. He could have told me this place got this hot.
Five years since we had started, on a light basis, having coffee together whenever I was in town. Truth be told, sometimes I went to San Francisco just so we could have coffee. But she would come to Los Angeles from time to time to do the same. It isn't all that long of a trip.
I glanced down at the front row. Piper is sitting there, trying to keep her two children from squirming too much. Wyatt is better at it than Chris, but then, Wyatt's older than Chris.
I bet there were words spoken when Leo got home the night after she found out. To have been a fly on the wall during that 'discussion' and live to tell about it.
Paige is off to the other side of the stage, in a cream colored dress. She flashed a smile at me, something that is still a rarity between us. First time I showed up at the manor to pick Phoebe up for dinner, she orbed a lamp at me. Damn thing was more solid than it looked. Threw me back against the wall. She tried to orb the grandfather clock at me too, but Phoebe put a stop to that. Or so I heard, being that I was kind of unconscious at the time.
One session with Leo healed the cuts right up, but my pride took longer. And trust between me and the other sisters took longer still.
But it came.
I tugged at the cuffs to my jacket, trying to do anything but focus on the fact that I still have five minutes before anything starts. Leo puts a hand on my shoulder, comforting me. Strange how he's so supportive of even someone who used to be his charges mortal enemy. Must be why he was assigned to them.
Four years since we officially reinstated our relationship. Or started a new one, perhaps. She had left a guy by the name of Jason because he was always off on business to some country or another. They just didn't see each other enough, and it ate away at the core of what she felt she needed for a relationship to work.
And, as she admitted one night over wine, it just got...dull.
Is it just me, or is time dragging extremely slowly? I wonder if Tempus is in the assemblage. It would be just like him to show up and play a prank on me.
It isn't my fault he didn't think the one I played on him three decades ago was funny. I thought it was a hoot. Oh, the sound he made...
It's odd, being human. I've had eleven years to get used to the idea, but it still amazes me from time to time. I age now, will die one day. Something that all the things I did in my time as a demon never prepared me for. I thought I was going to die, eleven years ago. At the time, I actually welcomed it.
What I fool I was.
The doors at the back of the room open, and there she is.
Resplendent in a long white gown that contrasted her dark hair – up in soft coils and curls on her head – she walked down the aisle, the trailing edge of her gown barely dragging behind her. She wore no veil, just a garland of white flowers. Her bare shoulders were deceptively feminine. I knew that she had the power behind her arms and legs to knock a trucker on his ass.
Seen her do it before. His fault for barreling up to her drunk one night at the club.
The music comes up, soft and graceful. Then the real bout of nervousness hits me. This is it, this is the time that I have waited for since...well, since that night she and I shared a bed for the first time in years. We didn't do anything more than just lay there, in each others arms. It felt natural.
She has that dazzling smile on her face, her eyes gleaming like twin gems in her face. The bouquet of flowers in her hands is a mixture of daisies and pink roses.
Someone tried to explain to me once what the meanings of various flowers meant. The color, the type, cut as opposed to live, and so forth. It never really sank in.
To me, they were just something that accented a beauty that surpassed all things on this sphere by far.
The music isn't the traditional theme. It's a light, lilting piano tune that some college friend of hers wrote and was now playing at the keyboard. She had titled it 'The Air that I Breathe.'
It fit perfectly.
Everything is so surreal. It wasn't like this last time. I don't know why, it just seems more, more...
I flash back on all the times we've shared, both before and after my new change in being.
Falling in love.
Faking my vanquishing.
Being possessed by those spirits.
The training we did together.
Going to Paris just to have lunch.
Those nights in front of the fireplace.
Defeating the Source.
That day in front of the coffee shop.
Those nights of coffee and cake.
Laughing at things that would have been so silly if not for the growing we had done in the time apart.
Those nights spent just talking.
Discovering just how much I truly had changed.
Discovering how little our feelings had.
Speaking of the things we've done in the time we were apart.
The long drives from LA to San Francisco.
The phone conversations.
That night as we walked through the park, arm in arm, slipping the ring in her pocket as I pulled her in for a kiss.
The look on her face when she reached in her pocket later and felt it.
The look on her face now.
I barely heard a word of what the minister said. I was so caught up in her beauty that it was like I was on autopilot, responding automatically while drinking in every facet of her. I didn't want to miss a detail, not this time.
Not ever again.
We said our vows, and exchanged rings. This time, they were much different. The one I had picked out for her had a vine design engraved into it, with the vines ending in the Triquertra design that was so prevalent in her life. I had thought the design fitting. The one she had picked out for me was adorned with a simple engraving, a phoenix rising from the flames. The band was a bit wider than I was used to, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. It fit.
Both me and us.
I knew because of her empathic skills she could feel my nervousness and my excitement. I didn't need any skills to tell that she was feeling the exact same way.
I could see it in her eyes.
I could feel it in the way her hands trembled slightly.
And this time, I'm not going to go mess it up by mucking about when they go vanquish the Source.
Or so she says, anyway. We'll finish discussing that one later.