Disclaimer: I do not own Artix Entertainment. Trip, Lizzie, and Rayne belong to Dark-Angel-874. Maria and Natalya Despair, and Serras Nerra belong to me.

Two Weddings and a Funeral

December. The month most people are gearing up for Frostvale, the town of Battleon was in an even more frenzied rush. Not only did they have to prepare for Frostvale, but for not one, but two weddings. Rayne and Lizzie wanted to have their wedding in Frostvale, during Frostvale (If that makes any sense at all.), so Trip and Aria decided that, while the other two were at it, they'd have their wedding in Frostvale during Frostvale (Okay... okay... I'll stop confusing you now.).

Aria had done such a fantastic job designing Safiria's dress, that Safiria wanted to return the favor.

"But... But... I wanna design it!" Aria had called. Safiria simply wrenched the pad from her hand.

"No! My turn! I want to show my gratitude for my dress, by making a nice one for you... besides... I've always wanted to see more of you. You always hide behind those baggy clothes, which, might I add, do nothing for your figure. Now go! I'll be done in a day or so..." She tried to shoo Aria out.

"But... but... this is my shop!" Aria replied. Safiria looked about, mouthed 'Oh... right.' smiled, and left. She had gone down the road to Warlic's, where Maria was busy enchanting the four rings.

"Hey, Kitten." Safiria cooed behind the Guardian. "What do you think would look good on Aria?" She asked, the pad and pencil poised to take notes.

"Something that makes it look like she at least has some figure..." Warlic interjected. Maria stood and smiled.

"I'm with the Mage, one hundred percent! Oh, and something you can see her breasts, at least partly." Safiria shot her a dirty look. "Whaat? I can look, as long as I don't touch! Right?" Maria smiled. "Besides. Dresses like that always drive women wild. And you know what they say. 'A wild wedding day leads to a wild wedding night!'"

"You'd know all about that, wouldn't you?" Warlic muttered. Both Despairs looked at him.

"Yes, actually." They replied in unison. Warlic just shuttered and continued creating the enchantment for Maria.

"So... Let's see. Whatcha' making for them?"

"Enchanted rings. In case if one of them are in trouble, cough Trip and Rayne, cough... They can call upon the powers of the ring to help them. The ring colors correspond with their eye colors, the Sapphire one is for Trip, the Emerald is for Lizzie, the Chocolate Amethyst one for Rayne... and finally, this little beauty..." She held up a ring made of pure amber. "Is for Aria." She put the ring down with care.

"Why does Aria get a pure amber ring, again?" Warlic asked.

"Well, a, I was too lazy to cut the amber into gemstone size, and b, pure amber has very high magical properties. I can put an even more powerful enchantment on it!"

"Who's paying for these enchantments, Maria?" Safiria questioned.

"Aritx, why?" Maria replied.

"He okayed this?"

"Well... no... not really. I kinda snuck into his room and stole that pickle jar he has that's full of little gold pieces... I left a note saying I'll pay him back later." She replied. Safiria simply gave her the 'He's gonna kill you' look. Maria simply smiled, reached around, pinching her vampiric wife quickly on her rear. She let a small squeak out and jumped slightly.

"Hey. No butt pinching in my store. You're liable to break something. Then you'll have to buy it".

"So, what kind of enchantment are you putting on these rings?" Safiria questioned, her cheeks flaring slightly.

"Good question. The pure amber one I'm enchanting with Fire Water, a little spell cocktail I made up. Think of it as a combination of Solar Incinerator and Aqua Purge. Potentially very nasty. The Sapphire ring will emit an ear-shattering howl, rendering anyone with above-par hearing deaf. Unfortunately, that rules my on the 'oh god my ears are bleeding' list. The emerald ring will actually drain the victim of blood, transferring it to the wearer, so long as the ring is in contact with the target. And, the Amethyst ring will explode whenever it hears 'Raggle Fraggle', resulting in a large-scale area of effect explosion." Safiria stared at her, while Warlic gave an aghast look. "It will create of shield rendering the wearer invulnerable... jeez, can't you two take a joke?" She just went back to looking over the rings, while Safiria continued to sketch the dresses.

-

Rayne, who was usually about as stone-faced as they came, was shaking like a leaf about to drop off the tree. She was pacing nervously around the room, muttering something inaudibly. She had already re-arranged the furniture in her room five times, and had chopped three practice targets to shreds. But, no matter what she did, she just couldn't stop shaking.

'What the hell...' she thought to herself, holding her vibrating arm. 'I'm the freakin' leader of the Pria knights, and I'm shaking in my boots!' she continued to think about how stupid it was for a knight to be afraid. 'What am I afraid of? It's supposed to be a happy day. It's not like anything can go wrong... Yea... Yea, that's it. Nothing can possibly go wrong today! It's a perfect day! It will be perfect, and nothing, come hell or high water, can change that!' She smiled, and her body remained still. She sighed, threw herself upon the couch, placed both hands over her face, and smiled. "Thank god." She spoke.

-

Aria had found her own special way to compensate for Big Day Jitters. She could be found in her shop caring for her animals. As she stood after feeding a particularly voracious Vampragon, she happened to glance in the mirror. Safiria was right. She did hide her figure behind pounds upon pounds of baggy clothing... maybe getting out of it will do her some good. She untied her apron from the back, folded it nicely and laid it on the table. She unzipped the back of her six sizes too big dress, letting it drop to the ground. A cold wind brushed across her body. She took a step towards the mirror, looking at her body's reflection. She placed her hands on her on the sides of her upper chest, turned into the mirror some and slid her hands down her body, tracing the curves she kept hidden from the world. She hated being proved wrong. The only time she actually felt like a woman, was at night before bed, the only time she actually saw what she looked like, the only time she knew she had a figure.

"Wow. Right place right time." A voice muttered. Aria jumped three feet in the air, grabbed her clothes and threw them over herself. Her face went beat red, as she turned to see who it was who had entered. It was a red-haired Guardian, Serras. "Ya know, you're so red, I could probably cook an egg on your forehead. Whatcha' doing?" She asked.

"N-nothing... Nothing at all... why?" Aria frantically threw her clothes back on, trying to avoid eye contact with Serras. "W-what can I do for you?" She finally asked, after tying her apron back on. Serras just laughed.

"Nothing, really. I'm just around to see how you are. Big day and all. I am here to provide all manners of comfort to you. Be it tea... foods you need in the oven... Help you feed your cute pets." Serras petted a small Flytle which was looking up at her with big eyes. It cooed at the attention.

"Oh, that's nice of you. I'm actually good. My animals keep me company. They also divert attention away, so I can't get nervous." She crouched down with a hand full of animal food and gave it to a Cinder Wolf. Serras looked about her shop.

"Wow, Aria. You sure do have a lot of ropes around here. Any reason behind that?" She asked, feeling one of the ropes in her hand.

"Well, different animals like different materials of rope around them. The hemp is for Dragons... they like something to chew. And, this silk one is for..."

"The honeymoon?" Serras interrupted.

"Huh?" Aria questioned. Serras just waved it away, lined all five of her fingers on her right hand in a line, like if she was going to play Rock, Paper, Scissors, and play paper, and then pulled her hand over her head while whistling.

"Right over the head." She spoke. "Right... well if you need anything... anything at all, come find me. I'm glad to help." She motioned to the door.

"Actually... there is one thing..." She spoke before Serras left.

"Nyes?"

"When you came in..." Aria started, her cheeks flaring again.

"Fear not. I shall tell no one."

"It's not that... when you came in... did you... like... what you saw?" She diverted her eyes. Serras raised an eyebrow out of confusion. This had truly been an odd request. Serras was not into girls like Maria and Aria... but she could, if the time called for it, think like Maria. This, was one of those times.

"Aria... I don't know a man... or woman... on Lore who wouldn't. Don't worry. You look fantastic." She placed a firm, yet comforting hand on her shoulder. Aria looked up and smiled. "Now that's what I like to see. A smile."

-

Orta walked through the Junior quarters in the Female Dormitories of the Guardian Tower looking for Trip's room. She was assigned, by Maria, to see that she was seen to, and was prepared for tomorrow. She finally came to the assigned door, and gave it three good knocks. On the other side, she heard something break.

"Sonuva...!" A female voice called from the other side. "C-come on in..." It continued. Orta turned the knob and entered. On the other side was Trip picking up pieces of a broken Vase which had fallen to the ground and shattered. Orta walked over and helped pick up the pieces. "Thanks... you scared me, and I kinda dropped it."

"It's cool. I drop stuff all the time. Like the time I dropped Krieger's Axe into Lake Azma a couple of weeks ago. Phew... he was not a happy camper." Trip chuckled.

"I remember that. He was howling and hooting for hours at you!" She put on her best Artix impression. "That was, not just an axe, but THE axe! If I cut notches into it for everything it's killed, there'd be no axe left! How could you just loose it!" Her voice returned, and she laughed. "That was classic." Her smile disappeared. "You know... I'm really, REALLY nervous about tomorrow... Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy! Happier then a lark... but I'm nervous. What if... something goes wrong? What if Aria just... leaves me there?" She sighed. "Ah, hell. Who am I kidding? I'm a power core of nerves... Every time I close my eyes, I see Aria's face... just staring at me in disappointment... Like I upset her somehow... then she runs away crying... And then everything goes dark... And I'm alone... cold and alone. I always wake up in the middle of the night crying, and I don't know why... Why? Why do I wake up sad? Why do I think she doesn't love me? Why... Why do I feel this way?" Orta looked over at the end table. Three empty bottles of Whiskey and half a bottle of gin was there, along with several empty glasses.

"What ever it was, I don't think the booze helped..." Orta muttered.

"Not really, no." Trip smiled, then her face changed once more to the frown. "Ya know what, screw this! I'm going tomorrow, and if she leaves, what do I care? I can find another lover!" She shot into a standing position. "I am one of the most desirable women on Lore! No matter what, I will get married dammit!" She shouted, her fist in the air. She slumped back down and grabbed to bottle of gin.

"That's the spirit. Now gimme that before you give yourself alcohol poisoning." Orta yanked the bottle from her grip.

-

Natalya had the all-important task of checking on Lizzie, to make sure she didn't need anything. Thankfully, the lived on the same floor, so finding her room was easy.

Natalya came to Lizzie's door and, just before she touched the knob, she heard a slight moan from inside. The older Despair sister's eyebrow shot up, and her body stopped. She waited for a while. She heard another moan followed by a sharp grunt. Natalya's face warped with confusion, and she got down on her knees and peeked through the keyhole.

"Oh, you naughty, naughty little girl..." She muttered to herself, hardly audible, a wide smile crossing her lips. She stood, smiled and walked back down the corridor. "I don't think she needs anything."

-

"Alright, team! Report!" Maria commanded to Orta, Natalya, and Serras. All three saluted. First up was Serras.

"Aria's fine, commander. No jitters, just some concerns which were quickly uprooted and destroyed!" She stepped back in line, then Orta stepped up.

"Similar report, ma'am! No jitters, just a bad case of drunken clum-HIC-clumsiness." She stepped back. Natalya stepped up.

"Uh... I have nothing to report, save for that she's enjoying herself." She stepped back in line, the two flanking her shuddered and regained their posture.

"Uh... right then." Maria cleared her throat. "Everything seems to be in order. Safiria is finishing up the gowns now. She should be bringing them... now." As Maria finished, the Vampire Queen glided up to the formation with two boxes, one in each hand.

"Natalya Despair. The care of this most gorgeous wedding dress has been entrusted to you. Come heaven or hell, see to it that it is delivered safely to its proper owner, Lizzie Muira." Safiria cooed, handing the box to her like a commander giving her troops a medal.

"Yes, ma'am!" Natalya replied, snapping a salute.

"Serras Nerra. The care of this most gorgeous wedding dress has been entrusted to you. Come heaven or hell, see to it that it is delivered safely to its proper owner, Aria." Safiria continued, handing the second box to Serras.

"I shall not fail!" Serras replied, her face turning stern.

"Now, I have new orders for you, team. Orta Dragoon, while Serras and Natalya are delivering the dresses tomorrow, you and I shall meet with Trip and Rayne, respectively, and see to it, that neither of them see the bride-to-be, as it would be inappropriate. You are not to let your target stray from your sight. Is that understood?" Maria commanded. She was handling this entire thing like a military operation, and for a very good reason.

You see, Maria has a military mind. She's spent so much time in combat, that her brain has been wired to handling everything like a some military raid, because if she doesn't nothing gets done, and everything fails. She desperately wanted to make their weddings as perfect as they had made hers, so she ran everything like it was the military. The others just went with it because it was fun.

"Sir, yes sir!" Everyone echoed and went about their duties.

-The Next Day: The Big Day-

The weddings were set back-to-back, a recommendation from Captain Krieger (Even though he was officially barred from both of them). The first was decided to be Rayne and Lizzie's wedding (After Rayne won five games of Ra Shom Ba in a row to get that.) Trip and Aria's second. Aria didn't mind being last, it gave her more time with the animals. Obsidia was present, actually allowing herself to pull away from her dark arts. To cap the Dynamic Necromancy Duo off, Zorbak propped himself up on Obsidia's shoulder to watch.

"Ugh… I can't take this anymore! I gotta see her!" Rayne shouted, trying to open the door. She turned the knob and ran right into Maria, who was standing in the door frame.

"Going somewhere?" Maria cooed.

"Yea. To see Lizzie."

"Sorry, Rayne. You know the rules. You can't see the bride on the wedding day, until the wedding." She replied, ever unmoving.

"I don't care what you say! I'm going to see her!"

"Figured you'd say something along those lines. So you and I are going to play a little game. It's fun." She pulled her hands from behind her back and smiled, a long, silk rope in her hands, a leather whip in the other. "It's called, I tie you to a chair, and if you so much as flinch towards the door, I whip you raw. How about a go?" After the terrified look faded from her face, Rayne regained her composure and sat on the bed, arms crossed. "Ah, don't be like that. It's a fun game. Safiria likes it."

-The Big Event! Lizzie and Rayne's Wedding-

Everyone filed into the open field where it was decided to have the ceremonies. It was a typical Frostvale day, snow falling gently to the ground and a cold breeze in the air. The Moglins of Frostvale helped the Battleon Guardians set up. Chilly and Viola were in charge of the ice sculpture Chico suggested, while Mab, Dodo and Kleemus helped Serras set up the chairs.

"Isn't Wolfblitzer coming?" Natalya asked her sister. Maria smiled and shook her head.

"Wolfblitzer? No. The last thing we want is captain perverse ruining everything."

"Hey, Maria. What did I miss?" A familiar voice asked. Maria jumped and turned around.

"Wolfblitzer?!" She shouted, her heart beating faster. "I thought I tied you up good!"

"Ah, that you did, Maria. Except you forgot one thing. You didn't gag me." He smiled.

"No!" Maria gasped.

"That's right. I chewed my way out."

"Of chains? How'd you manage that?" She questioned. He just smiled.

"Oh, I had some help with the chains. The ropes, duck tape and magical barriers were the easy parts. I managed to file the chains down with… uh… let's just leave it at I'm glad I haven't shaved in three days." He smiled, rubbing his chin. Maria and Natalya sighed.

"I don't know what you are, Wolfblitzer. A nerd, or a freak of nature." She turned her attention to Warlic, who was setting the podium up. Again, he had been delegated to play the part of the vicar. It was unanimously decided, because he did such a good job for Maria and Safiria.

"Aw." Wolfblitzer smiled. "I love you too." He tried to give her a hug."

"Just sit down, and not one word, whistle, or wolf howl outta you, got it?"

"Yes ma'am." He sat. An organ situated near the podium Warlic was standing at began to play, with Orta at the keys. Maria looked about. 'Where was…' Before she could finish her thought, a figure jumped in front of her and landed in her lap.

"Sorry I'm late, kitten. Had to finish some last second modifications to Aria's dress. Miss me?" Safiria smiled, wrapping her arms around Maria.

"Every time I look at you, every day we're together, you amaze me." She muttered.

Having no father to speak of, Lizzie was walked down the aisle with a smug-looking Crystal Lion. As she passed Maria, she shot her the 'never be alone' look and continued walking. Maria was dangerously devious. Rayne had been standing there the entire time, wearing what looked like a modified Guardian Plate. Only it was lighter. It was the new Ceremonial Robes Captain Krieger was so uptight about recently. She guessed Artix wanted a test-run. Looking at Rayne was funny. She was trying to keep her 'hard as stone, cold as steel' appearance about her, but was failing miserably, once you noticed how sweat-soaked her collar was. Lizzie's dress was far more magnificent then Safiria had told everyone.

The base of it was a bone white. There were small, silver pellets sewn in which gave it a shimmer in the Frostvale sun. The bottom was cut so it trailed behind her, leaving a path in the snow. The sleeves hung down some towards the wrists, while they were tight to the upper arm. In the collar was set a pure-platinum of the Pria Knights. The back of the dress was embroidered with a silver serpent curling itself into a gorgeous pattern, small flower buds growing from the snake's back and underbelly. Pauldrons from Battleon Guardian Plate were attached to her shoulders. This was the most interesting aspect of the dress. It showed both Lizzie's gentle, feminine side, but it also portrayed the battle-hardened fighter they all knew she was.

"Safiria!" Maria whispered sharply.

"What? Don't like it?" The vampire asked.

"Like it? It's beautiful! Where did you get the inspiration?"

"My brain, my dear. I'm not all looks." She responded, grinning.

Rayne looped her arm around Lizzie's, a nervous smile painted on her face. She leaned over and whispered something inaudible in her ear. It must have been nice, because the bride smiled, blushing.

"Dearly beloved…" Warlic began, two words that silenced the crowd. "We are gathered here on this most joyous occasion to witness to union of these two, under the bond of holy matrimony…"

The time passed so quickly. They said their vows in, what seemed to Maria, to be record time. The moment of truth had finally arrived.

"I now pronounce you locked in wedded bliss. You may kiss the bride." He finished. Rayne needed no such invitation. She pulled Lizzie towards her and landed a passionate kiss on her lips. Warlic nodded and smiled. A sure sign of approval. Maria gave the two her own little nod of approval. They interlocked arms and walked back down the aisle, forever bound to one another.

Maria cracked her knuckles in preparations for the next. When Artix said 'back to back' he literally meant that. She spied Warlic rolling his neck some and taking a big drink of water. He really despises talking for any length of time. He stood back up and regained his composure, ready for Trip and Aria. Orta took some time to shake her hands out before starting to play again. Trip was seated in the front row for Lizzie and Rayne's wedding, and had now stepped up for her own. She was a little more collected then Rayne, but was still visibly nervous. She was also wearing the Ceremonial Robes, only hers were purple instead of white. The curtain was drawn back behind the crowd, and everyone's heart (Or at least everyone who had a working heart) stopped.

Aria was lead out from the back by Serras. Aria's dress was, by far and with being as fair as possible to Lizzie, the most beautiful thing Maria had even seen.

It looked more like armor then a dress, but it was a dress nonetheless. The top was ghost white, the actual top only coming halfway up her chest, fishnet covering her shoulders and upper chest. Her upper and lower arms were covered in similar material used in the top, and the same color. Fishnet gloves adorned her hands. The bottom of the dress looked like a bikini bottom with an attached long, thick black fishnet skirt, which touched the ground. The bottom itself merged seamlessly into the top, however it wasn't attached per say. The boots were only knee high, with fishnet covering her legs. Maria turned to Safiria with awe.

"Well… we can all thank Obsidia for that one. I call it 'Bonelace Catch'." Maria watched Trip take a step back in loving horror. It was unlike Aria to wear anything that fit. However, Aria wasn't nervous at all. She just smiled the whole way down. Maria spun around to face Obsidia.

"I want one of those!" She muttered. Obsidia only smiled and gave her the thumbs up.

"Dearly beloved, we are once more gathered here..." Warlic started after Trip locked her arm around Aria's. "To celebrate yet another union in holy matrimony." He thought for a second. "Okay, considering I forgot the rest, it's the short-short version. That okay?" Everyone laughed.

"I don't have much love of long ceremonies, either." Trip and Aria muttered in unison.

"Creepy." Maria told Safiria.

"Right then. Do you, Aria, take Seya Hitai to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?" He spoke.

"I do." The pet shop owner replied.

"And do you, Seya Hitai, take..." Warlic started.

"I do." Trip responded when he finished. Warlic folded his hands in front of him and spoke.

"Then I now pronounce you locked in wedded bliss. You may now kiss the bride." Trip made short work of that request. She grabbed Aria by her shoulders gently and pulled her towards her, kissing her. Maria watched this go on for about a minute. Safiria thought she saw a tongue somewhere in there... After about another thirty seconds Warlic rolled his eyes, and cleared his throat loudly. They reluctantly pulled away.

Set up outside was a feast large enough to keep every Guardian fed for weeks on end. Everyone took their seats, with the two married couples at the head, sitting next to one another. The table was abuzz with life.

"Hey! Those hush puppies are mine!" A Guardian shouted.

"ICE CREAM!" Twig shouted over the din, wrenching the ice cream bowl from Wolfblitzer's grasp.

"Easy, Twig, easy! I'm sure not even you can eat that much ice cream... Wait... I take that back..." Serras muttered.

-Later-

With the ceremony over, and everyone well fed, the guests retired to the caravan that took them back to Battleon. Two special, elaborately decorated carriages took the married couples back to a privately own estate on the outskirts of Battleon (Maria had bribed the owners to let her use it for two days. By 'bribed' I of course mean 'thanked god for the seduction feat'.) It was a large estate, which could comfortably seat (or in this case, comfortably bed) two newly wedded couples. Needless to elaborate, the four of them were up for an... interesting night.

-The End-

Now, by this point, most of you are wondering, "Where's the funeral?". Well, here it is. By now, most you know that marriage is a commitment between two people. And when two people make this commitment, a part of that person dies. And that part is their individuality. As a single, unmarried man or woman, we have free reign over what we do, when we want to do it, and how. However, when you become married, you must compensate for your partner's likes and dislikes. This makes the individual in us all, die. We must all make sacrifices for marriage, and Lore is no different. In marrying one another, Trip, Aria, Rayne and Lizzie lost their individuality. This is the price we must all pay for happiness.