AN: All right, I just got finished reading a translation of the Ziggy videogame "Pied Piper" which doesnt seem to be coming out in the US... Which sucks for all us Rabid Ziggy Fans. But there was nothing about Ziggy's wedding in the game, other than the proposal and the aftermath. Sooooo... I decided to write what I thought would have happened! So, I took all the names and stuff like that fromand internettranslation. I can't put the link up here 'cuz FF.N won't let you put up non-literary symbols. I wanna give credit to the translator, though. How 'bout this... http:(doublebackslash)zarathustra(dot)kaisho(dot)org(backslash)Hope taht works, and hopeeveryone enjoys it!
I must be totally and utterly insane.
Somehow, without any recollection of the events of this morning before that very moment, I was standing at the altar- suit, bowtie, cummerbund and all. And it felt as if the bowtie was trying to squeeze the life out of me as I stood there, sweating nervously, looking on as my fianceé walked ever-so lightly down the aisle.
She'd wanted a traditional service. And, of course, I'd agreed. She wanted it in a church, not one of those neo-Christian fascists like the Immigrant Fleet passed themselves off to be. A church, a simple service, friends and family only. Of course, when word got out that invitations were being extended to close friends, suddenly Jan Sauer was everyone's new best friend around the station. I didn't have any family to invite, besides the Chief (who was as good as my own father). So of course, my whole detachment had shown up.
It was the first time I had seen her family. I could say something trite like, "It's easy to see where Sharon gets her good looks from," or go into some tangent on whether I should call them "Mom and Dad." But no, this had to be our first meeting, right on the aisle. Her arm was linked with that of her father, her in a resplendent gown of whites, he in a moth-eaten tuxedo that had obviously seen better days. It felt to me that it had been a while since the man had been to any such occasion. Sharon told me that her father's name was John. John Rosas. I pulled nervously at the constricting bowtie and its stranglehold on my throat.
I could see a woman with hair precisely the same shade of auburn as Sharon's sitting in the first pew. A hat was perched daintily on her tuft of curly hair, and an ancient handkerchief was clutched in her shaking hands. Her name was Mary Rosas, so I'd been informed. I didn't understand her emotion. She'd been through Sharon's first wedding, so shouldn't my own be a bit anticlimactic by measure? Nevertheless, she had tears in her eyes as her daughter passed by.
And finally, she stood before me, that smile of hers shining through the deep emotion that had settled into her within the last few days. As per her wishes, I had not once seen her in her wedding dress until that moment she began walking down the aisle. And she was glowing within it; her hair pinned back and curls framing her delicate face. I never wanted to look away from her eyes, the eyes that caught my heart the first time they glanced my way.
"Who brings this woman to marry this man?"
I had hardly noticed the priest behind me until that moment, when his voice, loud and intruding, had shattered my thoughts. Sharon saw the change on my face, and she bit her lower lip to suppress a laugh. Her father gave her a quick glance, and then his eyes rested on me. It was a penetrating gaze, but there was no malice in it.
"I brought her here to get married," her father started, "and I don't suppose I can stop things once they get moving, can I, Sharon?" He sighed, smiled, and kissed her on the forehead, as if afraid to let her go, again.
It must have been maddening to her parents. Letting go of her hand, which slipped into that of a man, only to see him die. And now again they let her fly away from them, into the arms of some other man (who, they must think, would never compare to the first) and they had no way of stopping her. I watched as his eyes met mine again.
"Now, Mr. Sauer," he stated, as if he were my own father, "if you disrespect my Sharon, just remember that Federation police aren't hard to track." A small murmur of laughter washed over our friends and families. I nodded, allowing myself a smile.
"You have nothing to worry about, Mr. Rosas," I assured him. He nodded, lovingly clasped his daughter's hand, then retreated to the pews to sit with his wife. She was sobbing silently.
I felt Sharon slip her small hand into mine, giving it a gentile squeeze, as we both turned to face the priest.
He was old. Or, at least, old according to our standards of the time. I'm sure the meaning of the word "old" in 100 years has probably changed. But to me, he was old. Thin reading spectacles rested on his nose, and he pushed them up to his eyes with one thin finger. Just as he opened his mouth to speak, I heard a tiny voice from down the aisle.
"Aah! Wait!" Both Sharon and I spun, her veil going askew as she did. Her son Joaquin was charging down the aisle at full speed, clutching the two rings closely to his small body. He had been dressed up nicely in a small tuxedo, but from beneath his pants, his old athletic-styled shoes padded on the red carpet. Laughter again fluttered to the rafters, and I felt my face flush unexpectedly. Joaquin zoomed towards us, then darted beneath our intertwined hands as if ducking under a bridge, and sat neatly in front of the priest, whose glasses had fallen again to his nose.
"All right!" Joaquin called triumphantly. "We're ready now!" Sharon laughed amiably, and I reached down to ruffle the boy's hair affectionately. Funny, I had never cared more about children than after I had met Joaquin. I blushed again, remembering I had been drunk at the time. The priest, now a little more than agitated, found his place in the book he had been about to read from, pushed his glasses back up his nose, and began to read.
"This is the time you have chosen to become husband and wife. We are here, not only to witness your commitment to each other, but also to wish you both every happiness in your future life together. Within its framework of commitment and loyalty, marriage enables the establishment of a home," I glanced at Sharon. Both of our faces had simultaneously turned bright red, "where through trust, patience and respect, the love and affection that you have for each other may develop into a deep and lasting relationship." The bowtie was feeling tighter and tighter with each word. Sharon brushed her thumb comfortingly across the palm of my hand. "We, who are witnessing your marriage, hope that despite the stresses inevitable in any life your Love, Respect for each other, your trust and understanding of each other will increase your contentment and heighten your joy in living."
There was a very pregnant pause. Someone coughed, then a sneeze. Somewhere, a baby was crying. Joaquin yawned, but tried to stifle it as the priest glanced accusingly down at him. Sharon and I both shot the priest equal looks of disdain that were both well hidden from the holy man, for he continued his speech.
"Every day you live, learn how to receive love with as much understanding as you give it. Find things within yourself, then you can share them with each other. Do not fear this love." Love. The word struck me to the core, and there it grew. I had never known such love before, let alone as strongly as I felt it at that moment. I loved that woman so much, so strongly, that I would rather have foregone the ceremony and just kissed her at that very moment. But the priest spoke on. "Have an open heart and a sincere mind. Be sincerely interested in each other's happiness. Be constant and consistent in your love." Sharon saw my thoughts in my eyes, and I made no attempt to hide them. She looked surprised for only a moment, then I saw my own thoughts reflected in her eyes. "From this comes security and strength. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us on this day of your marriage. Try to commit yourselves fully and freely to each other."
Try? How could I ever waver from her? She's the perfect woman.
"Before you Jan Sauer and Sharon Rosas are joined in marriage in my presence of these your family, friends and witnesses, I am to remind you of the serious and binding nature of the relationship you are now about to enter." He watched both of us, each watching each other. As if we had convinced him, he continued. "Marriage, as most of us understand it, is the voluntary commitment of a man to a woman and a woman to a man to the exclusion of all others and is entered into with the desire, the hope and the firm intention that it will last for life." Then he said the words I had been hoping her would skip. "If there are any here that feel that these two should not be wed, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace."
I visibly winced, and turned my head involuntarily. Surely someone in my detachment would have something witty to interject, something to prod me with. Maybe Sharon's parents were really against me and were waiting fro this perfect opportunity to dispirit me. Sharon laughed again, and I turned to her, eyebrows raised in surprise. Her glee was filling her entire face, as if to say, "Silly boy, we're perfect for each other. Everyone can see that." And the tension slipped from me, and I smiled. A real, full smile that was nearly painful.
"I shall now ask you to make your marriage vows." The priest turned first to me. Joaquin became suddenly attentive. "Jan Sauer, do you take Sharon Rosas to be your lawful wife, to love her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others keep only unto her so long as you both shall live?"
My voice caught in my throat. The emotion stopped up my words, and I stood like a wide-mouthed idiot for what felt like some great time. Sharon stared straight into my eyes, not with impatience or anxiety, but with calm, understanding eyes. She felt what I did. Jan Sauer, the unfeeling Captain of the Special Forces, was in love, and afraid to admit it. I cleared my throat at last, and to the silence of the church I announced:
Raucous cheers from my assembled fellow Federation police erupted into the silence. The tension escaped from my body in a sighing laugh, which the woman clutching my hands (both of them, now) mirrored.
"Sharon Rosas, do you take Jan Sauer to be your lawful husband, to love him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others keep only unto him so long as you both shall live?"
"I do!" She called loudly, announcing it, our love, to the world. And her eyes never left mine. Joaquin began to clap. The priest stared down his nose at the boy.
"The rings, please," he stated loudly. Our ceremony was becoming quite the loud one. Joaquin jumped to his feet, juggling the rings clumsily and dropping them twice in his surprise. The reaction from the pews was a mixed voicing of sympathy for the boy and laughter at the clanging our rings made on the floor. After Joaquin had mixed up our rings, he switched them, face redder than his mother and mine's combined, and he hid his face in his tuxedo jacket and ran to sit with his grandparents.
"If the two of you would exchange vows, and place the ring on the finger of your loved one..." The priest seemed to be getting rather tired of dealing with us, despite what I had forked out to pay for him. Then it hit me.
Shit... Shit! Vows! I'd forgotten to write vows! I frantically glanced around me, as if they would appear out of nowhere. Sharon looked concernedly at my face. Damn, the woman was smart; she could tell just by looking that I'd forgotten. But this was her day, her day more than it was mine, and I never wanted her to feel as if she'd been let down, especially by me.
So I began the adlibbing.
"I-" I caught myself, as the room had become deathly quiet with my first word. "I don't think I've ever been the traditional type. You can't be when you grew up the way I did. Marriage wasn't... romantic. It was a duty. It was business. And even then, when I was a young man, I always knew it wasn't meant to be." I took a deep breath. "You know how hard it is for me to tell people how I feel about them, especially people I care about. But today in front of all these people, I have no problem telling you that-" this was it, I couldn't hold it back any longer, "-I love you." I was rolling down the hill now, and there was no way of turning back, or stemming the flow of words from my mouth. "I'm standing here and I still can't believe that I deserve you. I wouldn't be the man I am right now if it wasn't for you. I thought I was brave, but I found out that it takes more courage to open up to another person. I thought I was strong, but you showed me that it takes more strength to let people see your feelings. And I thought I knew how to love, but now I know that it's much harder to let someone love me. That someone is you. You saw into my heart when no one else could and you believed in me."
I let out a long, shaky breath. Sharon gazed for a long while at me, her eyes an unreadable mix of emotions. I finally leaned forward until my forehead rested against hers, and I closed my eyes, slipping the ring onto her finger. She was trembling.
"I love you, Sharon Rosas," I told her simply. I was hardly aware of the applause of the gathered. Sharon kneaded her hand into mine, and as I pulled away, she ran her thin fingers through my bangs.
"I don't know if I can top that, Jan," she said with a smile. I was taken aback. She was crying. She bit her lip upon seeing my expression. "I didn't want you to see me cry."
"Sharon," I uttered, concerned, but she stopped me with a finger to her lips.
"I just wanted you to know you've done so much for me." She paused to wipe away the tears as if they had never been there. "When I first met you, I thought I would just have the pain and loss, and that was inevitable. That was my fate, but you changed that. You made me see that things could be different." I remembered how she spoke of the ashen world she had lived in when her first husband died. "And it's because of you that we are here... On top of the world. I love you, Jan. I love that smile... that face... the way you laugh, when you give up and finally let yourself laugh. I love the way your mind works... the things you think about. Your voice... It comforts and soothes me. I love you, and I would be honored to be your wife." She laughed, in turn giving her ring to me. "And here I had promised to never get involve with another Federation man." Another round of applause, just outside of my hearing.
"As you have consented together," I started at the voice of the priest, who I had all but forgotten about, "to be bound to one another in lawful marriage, you have made special promises to each other which have been symbolized by the joining of hands, taking of vows and by the giving and receiving of rings." For some reason, his voice had softened, no longer the sharp-voiced priest he had been before our vows. "By the authority vested in me, according to the laws of Abraxas, I now pronounce you to be husband and wife."
He had hardly finished with, "You may now kiss the bride," when I had scooped my wife into my arms and kissed her. I kissed her as if it was my last day on earth. I kissed her as if the sun would die if I did not. And I loved her. I know now that I never told her enough how much I loved her. And I would have continued to kiss her had one of my operatives by the name of Michael not shouted above the cheering din, "Let her breathe, Captain!"
We broke apart, both of us red and laughing. Then numbness fell across my face as I started long and hard at the woman that was now my wife. A sudden darkness came to my heart, the feeling that the happiness we shared only moments before would die, though our hearts would never fail each other. Something, someone, would kill that happiness. My face must have expressed my thoughts, for Sharon rested a hand on my cheek.
"Jan? Are you all right?"
I looked over her, veil still askew and bright eyes still resonating the happiness we shared in our embrace, and the darkness of my vision faded.
"I'm fine," I said at last.
"May I introduce to all," the priest called over the tumultuous roar of my Special Forces unit, "Mr. and Mrs. Sauer." Another cry from the attending, and the rousing cheer for "another kiss!" went up all around.
Well, of course I complied. Whistles, cheers, and the sobbing of Mrs. Mary Rosas filled our hearts as Sharon and I were joined as one.
'Till death do us part.