One Year Later
"Raven? Raven? Are you done yet?"
The only answer he got was the sound of Kori's giggles leaking through the gray door that remained firmly shut.
"C'mon, Cy, let me through!"
Garfield was craning his neck around Victor's body that was shielding the door behind which Rachel was getting ready. Victor merely smirked, his arms crossed across his chest.
"No can do, grass stain. It's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. You know that."
"But she's taking so long!" Garfield whined.
Victor grabbed Garfield's arm. "Let's go, Mr. Groom," he said, dragging him away from the door. "Give the ladies some room." He wiggled his eyebrows teasingly as he added, "I heard Rich isn't gonna allow any tofu today."
Far from firing up in indignation, as he would usually do, Garfield threw another longing glance at the door. Victor shook his head, smiling in an amused sort of way.
Kori heard Garfield grumbling something about taking longer than necessary as he was escorted away from the door.
"He is quite persistent," Kori smiled as she turned to Rachel again.
"Yeah," came Rachel's rather dark voice from behind the curtains. "It's really annoying actually."
Kori remained smiling. She had known Rachel for far too long to think she really meant that about Garfield. She glanced at the clock sitting demurely on one of the dressers.
"Come, they are waiting," Kori said.
There was a long silence before Rachel finally spoke up. "I don't know about this, Star."
"What is the matter?"
Rachel stepped out into view. A white dress with a slight periwinkle tint was wrapped around her petit figure. Tracing her curves, the sleeveless dress remained clingy to mid thigh, before flaring out to a short train. A rounded veil with small floral embroidery at the edges fell to just above her knees. A little bit of silver embroidery lined the top of the dress, adding décor to an otherwise simple dress.
Rachel looked down at herself, revealing the insecurity she showed to so few.
"Do not worry," Kori said, catching at once what Rachel was worried about. "You look wonderful. You look beautiful in anything, sister-friend, especially in the eyes of your love."
Rachel blushed a little. "Thanks, Star."
Kori slightly shrugged her shoulders with a smile. "I shall go and call friend Cyborg."
You can do this, Rachel thought and took a deep breath to calm herself. It didn't work. Her heart remained thudding fast and hard against her ribcage.
Azarath Metrion Zinthos… Oh Azar, it's not working … Azarath Metrion Zin –
Victor's face peered through the door. "Ready when you are, Raven."
Rachel fingered the raven necklace she was wearing openly for the first time, though it had almost always hung at her throat underneath her clothes and uniform. Garfield had gotten it for her for their first anniversary. It was way clichéd, she knew, but nevertheless, she had thought it rather cute. His shy smile as he thrust the clumsily wrapped box at her came to mind and she had to let out a little smile.
At that moment, she somehow knew everything would work out. She didn't believe everything would be perfect. She knew all too well that there would always be problems and arguments and anger between them. But she also knew there was love there to balance everything out. Always.
The usual wedding procession song was played as Rachel Roth walked towards the man waiting for her hand. Victor walked her halfway across the redecorated roof. When he stopped, Rachel offered him a slight smile, which he returned hundredfold. Rachel walked purposely towards her destination, her face confidant and her steps sure.
Garfield Logan held out his hand as she neared, and she gripped it gratefully. Garth stood in front of them, smiling down on them all, ready to read out the necessary words.
Kori stood with little Mar'i embraced in her arms, her face radiant with joy. She kissed the infant gently on the nose before looking at Dick standing by her side. Dick smiled into the jade eyes of his wife, then down at the dark tresses of his daughter. Kori smoothed back the infant's soft tuft of midnight hair and turned the child so she was facing the couple waiting to be newly wed. Mar'i's green eyes shone with innocent curiosity. Dick's hand was on Kori's waist, linking them together as a family.
Victor was standing by Karen now, both smiling up at Rachel and Garfield, a couple they had never expected to form. They'd always known that the bickering between Rachel and Gar was mainly playful, but they had never thought the two would be standing under the canopy, staring so happily at each other. Karen's hand found Victor's, and for once he let it stay there.
Roy stood by Victor with the two bored speed twins beside him. Constantly running his hand through his orange hair, he looked a little awkward and out of place without his mask. But when Garth began to speak, he smiled at the odd twosome waiting to be merged into one for the rest of their lives.
Garfield slipped the ring onto Rachel Logan's finger.
"Now for my favorite part," he whispered.
He drew her face forward with a gentle tug and the world melted away with a simple touch.
Through death, through life, through suffering and pain, through the darkness and the unknown, through space and time, through brokenness and hopelessness, through utter despair they traveled. They remained holding on. They always would.
And they lived Happily Ever After.
This is the end of this story everyone. It's been a long time, and what a journey it has been! As my first story, this will hold a special place in my heart even with all its flaws and blatant problems. It's through this story that I found a voice I was comfortable with. It's through this story that I met one of my best online friends and beta reader, Attemptedflight (formerly Fireflyoflight457)
Thanks for everything, Attemptedflight. I should have thanked you every chapter I posted up here, for all your support and help. You deserve a medal. A shiny golden one.
Thanks also too all my faithful readers, and especially to my reviewers. I love you all! I couldn't have gotten through all 21 chapters without your love.
The anonymous reviewers; Fran, Syd, teentitanswriter, Jessica, Danielle, person, lala3553, luvs2read, Thedungbug, E101 and Nightfire (thanks for everything)
RobinxStarfire101 (for your enthusiastic support in the middle.)
XxNightfirexX (for your helpful and loving support in the beginning…though you disappeared midway. I hope you see this.^^)
SuPeR HyPeR chick 101 (for your support, whatever happens…though you disappeared midway too. I hope you see this.^^)
Werecat1903 (for the two lovely reviews.)
RaeXXstarry (for the two lovely reviews.)
Rava (for the many reviews you gave me.)
Strlgrl4eva (for your never-ending enthusiasm.)
Kataragirl11 (for your consistent support)
RobinxStarfireLuvr (for your lovely story and the reviews that started coming one day.)
BAColeNC (for your constructive reviews. They helped me so much.)
TAUT13 (for steadfastness in your support.)
THUGG (for the two lovely reviews.)
Thank you, everyone. If I missed anyone, feel free to drop me a howler (aka review) and I will apologize sincerely from the innermost chasms of my heart and add your name to the list. It's pretty long. I never truly appreciated how many people were reviewing and reading my fiction.
Though this story is over, the storyline is far from dead. Did you wonder what happened during the year Nightwing was hell-bent on revenge? Well, you'll find out soon enough in my next fiction, already planned and in the making.
Good-bye until then, everyone. Thanks so much for everything…