Disclaimer: While I do own or have permission to use most of the characters in this story (excluding one who appears and three who are mentioned) I do not own the world in which they live.
This CATfic (see www. freewebs. com/ catverse) covers events taking place from shortly after BiteMeTechie's "Of Debts and Debt Collections" (December 2015) through late February of 2017. But don't expect to find it on the timeline, 'cause it surprised the heck out of me this morning when I rolled outta bed and landed on my notebook with a pen in my hand.
HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?
Oh, what am I saying? The world went mad a good long time before I was around to notice it.
Still, can you blame me for wondering?
I stopped writing in my journal in all the fuss, and then I never picked it up again. For a while there, it was almost impossible to get my hands on any paper. And besides, I've been busy.
I guess I should pick up where I left off. The wedding went just fine. My ordination came through in plenty of time, and Daddy and Priscilla actually didn't look too bad in their white rhinestone jumpsuits. Daddy even let me wear something that was hardly embarrassing at all. Sure, it was blue suede, but at least I didn't have to wear the wig.
After finally getting me ordained (after I'd been fighting it for ten years) there was no way he was going to let me get out of the family business, so I took over the chapel while he was on his honeymoon. Turns out, I'm pretty good at this marriage thing. I was so busy, I ended up hiring someone to do my old job.
Nathan was my only applicant. Poor guy was desperate for a job, any job. And I was desperate for an assistant. A former travelling salesman might not know squat about running a wedding chapel, but he was better than nothing. At least he was good at talking to the customers. I could never manage to be nice to the real morons, but it was like Nathan didn't have a temper to lose.
I never did figure out how he kept on smiling like that. I mean, he was having a real rough time. It started with trouble in Gotham, and only went downhill from there. I kept him late one night, listening to the story (I never would have been so brave if I'd met the Scarecrow) and when I realized what time it was, I offered him a ride home. Stupid of me. I should have realized before then that he didn't have anywhere to go. He was so embarrassed to admit it, and when I offered him the room in the back of the chapel, he tried to say no. He didn't want handouts. He had a stubborn sense of honor and an exploitable work ethic.
So, since I wasn't paying him enough to afford a real place to live, I asked him to be my janitor. I couldn't give him a pay raise, but I gave him the apartment, rent free. It seemed fair.
It turned out to be a very good thing. A couple of days later, I came in to find him so sick he could barely move. Every time I heard him cough, I thought for sure he was going to die. If he'd been sleeping on a park bench, he would have. It was horrible. I barely knew him, but I couldn't just sit there and watch this happen. He needed a hospital, so I did something slightly fraudulent. I married the guy so he could use my insurance.
Yeah, that's me, a married woman at last. And boy, wasn't Daddy surprised.
When he came back, I left Nathan as Daddy's assistant and moved to L.A. I finally felt like I could leave and live my own life. It didn't work out so well. I worked nights as a singer in a jazz club, and finished my first year of community college. It wasn't quite what I expected.
Meanwhile, Daddy really embraced the idea of a son-in-law, even though Nathan's not really young enough to be his son. I saw him at every family gathering, and he sort of got to be a fixture. He's a genius when it comes to advertising. I think that's really why Daddy likes him. They started raking in the money, just in time for my new baby brother. I guess I should have seen that coming, what with a stepmom three years younger than me. (I guess this age difference thing runs in the family.) But if he'd have been my kid, I never would have named him Bob Dylan.
Business got to be so good, Daddy asked me to come back and be the chapel's second minister. I said yes. Maybe Rhinestone Weddings really is my calling. I know it's my life. It always was.
I feel like I should tell the whole story, but I want to skip ahead to the good part, when Nathan proposed to me over Thanksgiving dinner. I never thought I would fall in love with my fake husband, but I have. He's such a good man. He's kind. He's...humble. He's always concerned with doing the right thing. He keeps me smiling. I love him. And when he's not suffering from chronic malnutrition and near-fatal bronchitis, he's unbelievably good-looking.
You should see the way he fills out a jumpsuit. Hubba hubba...
Where was I? Oh, right, the honeymoon. We didn't go anywhere at first. Nathan would have taken me somewhere, but I didn't want to leave. You wouldn't have thought a female Elvis would be so popular, but more and more, when people wanted a singing minister, they came to me. I was getting even more business than my father.
Then one day, February 2nd, at 2:00 in the afternoon, I was passing by the reception room when I heard a bang and the sound of breaking glass. And who did I see but Two-Face, straight out of Gotham City, with a girl on each arm and a smoking double-barrel shotgun in his hand. Nathan was hiding behind his desk, with a hole through his brand new computer, waving for me to run away.
I never seem to do the smart thing, do I? I yelled at him to stop shooting at my husband.
He looked at me, flipped a coin, put the gun down, and said, "Graceland Thomas-Samuels?"
I was expecting the same lame jokes everyone always makes, so I told him to call me Grace before he could say anything. He just grinned and stuck with Mrs. Thomas-Samuels.
He wanted to marry the girls he was with. They were identical twins who didn't speak a word of English, as far as I could tell. His idea was for me to marry him to Fumiko while Daddy married him to Fujiko. I told him it wouldn't be legal, but he didn't care. The symmetry was all that mattered.
So we went through with it. He didn't pay, and after checking the coin, he reloaded the shotgun and went chasing after Nathan again.
I guess it could have been worse. He only got him in the knee. And...then the other knee.
I swore I was never catering to a celebrity criminal's whims again, and before long, we were off on our belated honeymoon in San Diego, with nothing but the crutches for company.
Can you guess what happened while we were at the zoo?
Daddy always used to tell me that someday, there was going to be a massive earthquake and California was going to fall into the ocean. He said to ask Mom and Mr. Luthor if I didn't believe him. I never had the opportunity to talk to either of them, but it turns out Daddy was only a little off in his prediction.
Sub Diego is nice once you get used to all the water. When we determined that we wouldn't be able to leave here right away, Nathan started spreading the word that I was licensed to perform weddings.
We have the best...okay, the only wedding chapel under the deep blue sea. The Little Mermaid package seems to be especially popular.
Now I really need to get ready. I have an appointment with the king.
And me without my rhinestones.