Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Registered trade names property of their respective owners.
Part of this chapter reflects the story Good Riddance.
Chapter 15 - Dearly Beloved
Will's immediate family arrived in Middleton for the Thursday evening wedding rehearsal. Friday Monique gave them a guided tour of her town. Barb discovered Bonnie starred in The Mattress Factory and arranged a private matinée for any out-of-town guests who might be interested at the Off-Elm Street Theater in Lowerton on Saturday after the wedding.
The women of Casa Possible invited Cat Tyler and Barb to the party for Monique on Friday evening, but Barb needed extra sleep and Cat explained that the only way she could make it would be to assign Monique to work. They kept it low key. Most of Monique's friends from high school, college, and church left early and the house mates moved the remnants of the party to the back room at Columbia to Kenya. Ron would have been accepted as one of the girls, but Bonnie had bent his arm and gotten him into the kitchen at the Off-Elm so the two of them missed it.
"What in the hell is up with those two," Shego muttered before taking a sip from her latte.
"And is Bonnie really interested in Alan?" Kim wondered.
"Or does Ron still secretly pine for Zita?" Monique intoned in the voice of a television announcer.
Zita shot her a dirty look for asking the question.
"Alan?" Justine asked.
"Her co-star," Monique explained. "Major hunk. If I wasn't engaged to Will I might have thrown myself at him. Felix is lucky you haven't seen him."
Justine just smiled.
"So, when are you and Felix…" Kim inquired.
"Probably soon," Justine began, then hesitated, "I, uh, need to talk with my lawyer," she said, looking at Shego.
"Pre-nup?" the green woman asked.
"No, I have, ah, some other questions."
They took Monique by her old apartment when C2K closed. Will was staying at the big house and Monique didn't want him to see her before the wedding. And her Momma wanted her baby home one last time before she became a married woman.
There was no party for Will, a fact he appreciated. Ron worked, Kenneth was preoccupied with Barb's health, and while Martin would have loved to take Will out to a strip club he suffered from the chronological inability to get through the door.
His parents took Will to dinner, with Kenneth and Barb, on Friday evening. He was too nervous to remember anything that was said. His dad and Kenneth swapped stories about how little they remembered of their own nuptials while their wives insisted they remembered everything about their wedding days.
After dinner Will returned to the big house, wondering if he'd manage to sleep at all that night.
Saturday dawned exactly as the weatherman had forecast, to the dismay of many in the wedding party and delight of Rev. Robinson. The day promised to be sunny and hot. The church had done so well on the fund drive that a couple more improvements had been slipped in with few outside the Board of Trustees being aware of them, which included an air-conditioning system that would see its debut for the Grant wedding.
Martin headed for the church early.
"You're not going to ride in the limo with us? It's getting here at eight-thirty."
"In the groom's party, Momma. Got to make sure the groom shows up on time and sober."
His mother's eyes narrowed. "I trust Will. But I wish I knew what you were up to."
Marty dropped his tux off in the room he had been told was set aside for the groom's party and phoned Will. "You on your way yet?"
"Ten minutes. Ron made me some eggs and toast. I hope I can keep them down."
Marty was out on the corner in front of the church eight minutes later, scanning the streets. He almost missed it. Will did not drive his BMW. But the driver of a couple year old Saturn which turned onto a side street two blocks from the church looked familiar. A minute later Will and Ron, carrying their tuxes in plastic bags, came around the corner. He directed them to the room where they'd change.
"You coming in with us?" Ron asked.
"Be with you in a minute, going to look over the new parking lot. They put up some hoops so guys can play b-ball when there's not a wedding."
As soon as Ron and Will went into the church Marty sped in the direction of the car. The fact Will wasn't driving his Beemer proclaimed the fact he expected the car to be 'decorated' when he got out from the wedding. And Marty didn't want Will to be disappointed.
'Tiny', leaning back on an old folding chair, sat in the shade by the Saturn. "Back off, Marty," he warned as Monique's brother examined the car.
"C'mon, Man, he's gonna be family. I need to mess up the car for him."
"Righteous Flea gave me a Grant," Tiny said, pulling a fifty from his pocket, "to watch this car. Now if something was to happen to it, he might want the General back. 'Course, if I had another fifty I could give him his back and I wouldn't have to sit out here all morning."
Martin dug out his billfold. It cleaned him out, but it was important to observe tradition. On the other hand, he needed to get back to the church and provide himself with an alibi. He dug out his cell phone.
"Yeah, is Steve there?"
"Hold on a minute please."
A minute later a familiar voice got on line, "Yeah?"
"Urkel, this is Marty. I need you to do a number on a car--"
"No, nothing permanent. The guy who's going to marry my sister drove it to the church."
"I don't soap windows with a big heart."
"Aw man, I'm asking you to, like, disconnect wires and stuff. I want it so when they leave the church and are all ready for the honeymoon it'll take hours before this car is ready to move."
"All four tires and the battery."
"All four tires, and the battery. You're asking for my time, I'm asking for some payment. He come out, car is up on blocks - all four tires gone. Send him to my uncle's salvage yard. I'm thinkin' we'll have some in stock exactly the right size."
Martin hesitated a minute, then gave his friend a description of the car and plate number, along with the location and headed back for the church.
Kenneth had arrived and was in the process of changing when Martin got back. Marty buckled down and finished his tie in a dead heat with Barb's husband. Marty and Kenneth left Ron watching Will, and Will trying to get Colin, who had the job of ring bearer, into a small tux. The two waved to Monique as she arrived, looking only slightly calmer than Will and she swept past them and headed for the changing rooms reserved for the bride's party.
Kim, Bonnie, and Justine arrived a few minutes after Monique with Kasy and Sheki in tow. A woman from the church showed Bonnie where to sit with the guest book and Justine took her assigned place by the gift table.
The two men stayed out by Bonnie. Between the two of them they could identify almost everyone who arrived and whispered names and relationships to Bonnie.
Two men in uniform, accompanied by a small girl, came in and Marty snapped to attention. "Grandpa Teddy! Glad you could make it, Sir."
"At ease, Marty," his uncle Chester laughed. "Do you have any idea how disappointed we are in you?"
"No, Sir. But I hope you'll get over it."
"It's my own fault, I fear," Marty's grandpa sighed, "I gave him a book on the Tuskegee Airmen when he was only four."
They all laughed, but the little girl tugged on Uncle Chester's sleeve, "Grandpa, where am I supposed to go?"
"I'll ask your cousin in just a minute, child."
"Martin and William couldn't make it?"
"No, neither could get leave. But where do I take Graça?"
Marty gave direction to the bride's room, where Graça would be dressed to act as ring bearer for Monique.
"Two Martin Grants?" Kenneth asked as the two men accompanied the girl.
"Yeah, Martin King and Martin Luther."
Monique was not fully dressed yet, and Kim wondered if she would need to wrestle her down to the ground so Cat and Barb could finish dressing her when the knock came on the door with the call, "Can an old sailor come in?"
"Grandpa Teddy!" Monique squealed and ran to open the door, then dropped to her knees to hug her young cousin.
"You sure you don't want one of us to walk you down the aisle?" Uncle Chet offered. "Either of us would consider it a huge honor."
"I know," Monique said. She stood and gave her father's father and brother each a hug and kiss, "But Momma raised me these last few years by herself… I think it's what Daddy would have wanted."
"Can't argue with that," Uncle Chet said, pretending he didn't need to wipe away a tear.
"Out," Momma ordered, "We need to get Graça dressed and finish with Monique."
"See you in the ceremony," her grandfather promised.
Monique had tried to warn Marty about Aunt Rose, but her words had failed to provide him sufficient preparation.
"Kenneth," she said, standing in front of the two in the narthex.
"Aunt Rose, may I introduce you to Martin Grant?"
She peered at Marty through her thick glasses. He thought her gaze a little unsettling, but then she reached up and pinched his cheek, hard. "Monique's brother. You're a handsome boy. Glad to have you in the family."
While she embarrassed Marty, Charles Duquesne arrived. "Aunt Rose. Who are you torturing?"
"This is Monique's brother, Martin. Isn't he a good looking young man? Tell me, Martin, what other new family do I have here?"
Martin described the Grants there.
"Grandpa Teddy? Your grandfather Theodore?"
"Don't call me ma'am, Martin. Call me Aunt Rose. And I want to meet your grandfather Theodore. Monique told me so much about that young man."
Martin almost pointed out that Grandpa Teddy lived in a retirement home, but thought better of it. To Aunt Rose he might still be a young man.
"Will any Dukes be here?" she demanded.
Martin thought for a minute. "One, I think… Studying to be a pharmacist at Upperton--"
"Hear that, Charles? A Duke. I feel positively Jeffersonian. Martin, you must make certain I am introduced. Don't disappoint me."
"No ma'am-- I mean Aunt Rose. I'll make sure I introduce you after the ceremony."
The ancient relative tottered away on the arm of Charles Duquesne. "Is she always like that," Martin asked Kenneth in awe.
"Pretty much," he answered, "I think you caught her on a good day."
Will's mother and father stood outside the sanctuary, peering in, as the hour approached for the wedding. "There is less family here than there should be," Linda Du complained to her husband.
"It was a distance to travel," he reminded her.
"We've attended functions that were further away, and so have they."
Betty Director and most of the top leaders from Global Justice were there. Will's hard work impressed all of them and they wanted to give a show of support. While a general invitation had gone out to agents only LaTisha Jackson showed up, and mostly out of curiosity. Will's attitude alienated all the agents and they avoided him when possible.
The organist changed the tempo of the music and an usher went to the narthex to bring in family. Momma's side of the family was already seated, and sober, but ushers escorted Grandpa Teddy and Uncle Chet to the front of the bride's side of the sanctuary. Then Will's father and mother were ushered to the front of the groom's side.
It should have been time for the groomsmen to enter, but the usher dispatched to alert them found an ancient relative giving Martin the third degree and there was a slight delay as Aunt Rose was ushered down. Most guests assumed she was Will's grandmother, or great-grandmother.
"Who is that," she whispered to the usher, pointing to a white haired man in uniform.
"The bride's grandfather. Now if you'll just sit here, I'll-"
"I will not sit there, young man. I want to meet my cousin."
"But this is the groom's--"
"Don't talk back to me, young man. Now, seat me by my cousin."
Kenneth entered first. There was a little talking as he went into the sanctuary. Aunt Rose had introduced herself, pulled a small notebook and fountain pen from her purse and was writing Theodore Grant's responses to her interrogation in her spidery handwriting. The minister nodded and reminded Kenneth to move to the right with a slight nod. Ron followed him, and then Martin. Will appeared, looking slightly like a deer caught in the headlights and took his place in the front at the minister's left hand.
Barb moved slowly to the front. After the rehearsal Rev. Robinson had seen to it that a chair was available for the bride's party if Barbara needed to sit down. Barb planned to stand for the whole ceremony, but wasn't willing to be a martyr if she needed to sit. Kim took the middle position and Cat smiled and nodded to Marty as she took her place.
The organist shifted to a lighter tune as Colin and Graça came to the front, each carefully holding a small satin pillow on which a ring had been carefully tied. The two jostled each other slightly, but Grandpa Teddy managed to ignore Rose just long enough (and it wasn't easy) to shoot them a look which quieted them down.
The ushers rolled out the runner and Kasy and Sheki got their moment in the sun. Kasy threw rose petals as she strolled to the front. Sheki marched solemnly along doling out rose petals on the runner. Three-quarters of the way down the aisle Kasy had run out of petals and made a grab for Sheki's basket. Sheki moved the basket away from Kasy and a fight appeared imminent when Shego's stage whisper warned, "Kasy, no fighting."
When the two reached the front Sheki still had almost a quarter of the rose petals she had started out with. She carefully turned the basket over and dumped the remainder. The two were supposed to head over to Shego and Grandma Anne. Sheki went to Shego. Kasy, seeing Graça standing by Cat, figured children were allowed and sped to Kim.
"Kasy, go to grandma" Kim whispered.
"No!" Kasy exclaimed more loudly than she should have.
"Don't worry about it," the minister whispered to Kim and nodded to the organist, who changed the presets on the organ and began the Wedding March from Lohengrin.
The congregation rose and faced the back on the sanctuary as Monique came in on her mother's arm.
Linda Du caught her breath. She had seen Monique many times, but never imagined she could look as beautifully radiant as she did that moment. She took her eyes off Monique for a minute to look at her son, standing in the front of the church. The look of terror had vanished. She had never seen Will look as happy as he did right now. There had been many times Will's mother had doubted if Will and Monique were a good match. There would be days in the future when the worries returned. But at that moment she felt the two were made for each other. She elbowed her husband in the ribs. "Give me your handkerchief," she whispered.
"Why?" he whispered back.
She sighed softly, the man obviously couldn't remember weddings, "Because I'm going to cry."
Monique experienced an odd sensation as she walked down the aisle, it was as if she felt her father's presence beside her. She said nothing, but her Momma would have said she had the same feeling.
At the front of the sanctuary Rev. Robinson asks, "Who gives this woman to be married?"
Momma handed her baby off to Will and headed for the small box of facial tissues waiting for her on the front pew.
"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God – and in the face of this company – to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony…" the minister began. Will didn't hear a word of it. His eyes were on Monique and there was room for nothing else in his brain but how much he loved her. Monique would remember every word of the ceremony.
Will, who had performed the repetition of vows with the minister flawlessly on Thursday evening had trouble repeating them in the actual ceremony.
By mutual consent the phrase "and obey" had been dropped from the vows.
If Will had stumbled during the vows he could at least smile at Monique during the exchange of rings, as her hands were shaking even worse than his own.
Barb gave up on her plan to stand for the entire service and sat down during Rev. Robinson's meditation on First Corinthians thirteen. And while the gospel choir had been mentioned during the wedding rehearsal she had not gained a proper sense of how much they would be a part of the ceremony.
Will and Monique lit the unity candle, and Rev. Robinson intoned, "And so, by the power vested in me by the State and Almighty God, I now pronounce you man and wife."
At least Will had preserved enough presence of mind he did not need to be reminded to kiss Monique. They kept it short and innocent, feeling a little uncomfortable with their parents watching them. Besides, there was this evening to look forward to.
Will and Monique both beamed as they recessed down the aisle. Not even a stern look from their Grandpa Teddy kept Colin and Graça from a little shoving as they exited; the two had stood still too long. Martin, escorting Cat and right behind the ring bearers, whispered, "Colin! Behave!" to no avail.
When Kim took Ron's arm Kasy took Ron's other hand. Sheki refused to miss the recessional and wriggled out of Grandma Anne's grasp to take Kim's other hand. There was a little whispering as the four recessed, wondering how Ron and Kim could have managed a dark haired daughter.
Kenneth gave serious consideration to going down on one knee and asking Barb to marry him as they moved to the center for the recessional. Reflecting that not everyone might find it funny he wisely decided against it, but did lean over to kiss his pregnant wife before they joined the parade to the back of the church. Rev. Robinson nodded to Monique's mother, giving her the cue to join and then turned and gave the sign to the Dus.
The Fellowship Hall was not as dreadful as Barb had feared, and if it lacked something in elegance compared with the receptions which followed the typical family wedding it was more than sufficiently replaced by a feeling of real fellowship.
Rev. Robinson stopped at the table where three choir members were giving Barb child-rearing tips, having discovered this would be her first child. "I hope the service met with your approval."
"It was wonderful… Although I will admit I almost expected you to give an altar call at the end of your meditation."
He smiled, "I was tempted. I'm just delighted we didn't have a birth during a wedding ceremony."
She smiled, "That would have been a first for you, I'm certain."
"Second," he chuckled. "First one happened in a ceremony at the hospital."
A small jazz ensemble provided music for the reception and dancing.
Kasy and Sheki tried to exhaust Ron by keeping him dancing until Bonnie reminded him they needed to head to Lowerton.
Some guests had started to drift away, and Kenneth was getting ready to organize those heading to the theater in Lowerton when a loud noise interrupted the reception. It sounded like a helicopter hovering over the block. Various guests wondered what was happening, the common idea seemed to be a police action in the neighborhood, but Will took Monique by the hand, "Come on, our ride is here."
"What's going on," Monique asked, raising her voice slightly because of the noise.
"I didn't want to get stuck in traffic. I've got my plane at the airport."
About half the guests trailed them out to the parking lot and saw a t-bar lowered from the helicopter. Will looked around and noticed Tiny standing to one side and waved.
The huge man smiled and returned the wave.
"I don't know about this," Monique said, looking dubiously at the place she was supposed to sit and the apparatus to buckle her in.
"You'll be fine." Will assured her, making sure she was secure before taking his place beside her.
LaTisha found herself near Kim and Shego, since Kim was a familiar face even if the two weren't especially friendly.
"I'm surprised to see you," Kim remarked. "I think you're the only agent here… Other than me."
"Couldn't believe Will 'stick up his butt' Du was marrying a sister. Had to see it to believe it."
Shego wondered how the black woman referred to Kim when the redhead wasn't present.
Marty came running up, shouting to be heard over the noise of the chopper, "The car! What about the car?"
"The car?" Will asked, apparently puzzled.
"Yeah, the car you drove here in?"
"Didn't Tiny give you the key? Title's in the glove compartment. My gift to the best man." Will looked up and waved to the man operating the winch who began to bring them up.
Monique gave a small shriek of terror and held on to Will for dear life. They were both laughing as they rose into the air. Monique managed to let go of Will with one hand for just long enough to wave quickly to her friends.
Tiny had one small chore to finish before introducing himself to the slim woman by the redhead and woman with the odd complexion. He pushed through the crowd to get behind Martin. When Martin turned around, after watching Will and Monique safely into the helicopter, Tiny handed him the keys to the car. "Drive safe now."