Author's Note: BAWWWW The End of The End! 8D Once again, thank you all so much! I hope you've enjoyed this fic, this week, these side stories, and that you didn't mind waiting until the end for Zexion and Demyx. XD

PS - Anyone who wants to know what Roxas was referring to at the reception - just ask. ;)

Ever After

"If you would just hold still for two goddamn minutes, Demyx!" Axel's frustrated voice broke out in the dressing room, failing to disturb the only other occupant or to get Demyx to hold still. The blond musician bounced lightly on his toes, his face a beaming smile with just a trace of nervous jitters around the edges.

"Sorry Ax. I'm holding still. Am. Will. Right now." He steadied himself in front of the mirror, and Axel sighed and put his arms around Demyx's shoulders from behind, beginning again with his efforts to tie his friend's tie.

Cloud watched his younger brother and the best man as stoically as he might watch paint dry. "You're doing it wrong," was all he offered. Axel glared silently, already aware that telling Cloud he should do it then would not work. Cloud's answer to that was inevitably, "I have a job. I'm not doing yours."

Cloud's job, which allowed him to get out of doing anything else, was to walk Demyx down the aisle and give him away. This was apparently more difficult than Axel's job as best man – stand there and look pretty – so Cloud considered his day full and Axel lazy for not taking care of all the rest.

Axel didn't know why they needed the obnoxious pain in the ass around anyway…except he did know, damn it. Cloud was Demyx's only close living relative since his mom has passed away, except for an estranged father who had never replied to the invite to even come to his gay son's commitment ceremony. And while Cloud was annoying as hell most of the time, his unfazable attitude had come in handy just this once – being asked to give his brother away hadn't made him so much as blink. Axel was actually pretty grateful for that. Demyx and Zexion needed all the supportive family members they could get – between the two of them, their count was a little low.

Finally managing to get Demyx's tie tied, Axel stepped back. "There. Don't tug on it! Geez. You're gonna screw up all my work."

Demyx wasn't really listening. "Axel? Do you think the others are doing okay? Should we maybe check on them? If they need anything…"

Axel planted a hand on Demyx's chest and stopped him from leaving the room – for the fifteenth time. "They're fine. Roxas will take care of Zexion. You just chill."

Demyx took a deep breath and nodded, trying. "Right. Okay. Everything's fine. It's just a walk, a few words, couple rings, and a kiss, right? No big deal. We can totally handle that. It's good. We're great. We're gonna…" Demyx paled. "We're gonna be together for the rest of our lives, after all…"

Axel watched his friend's breathing speed up. Again. Good lord, here it comes…

Demyx turned to him suddenly. "Axel, what if he changes his mind? What if he doesn't wanna go through with it? What if we totally don't work, and we end up just another horrible statistic? What if I can never get his family to like me? Oh my God…what am I doing?"

And again, Axel stepped in, grabbing his friend's shoulders and shaking a little while Cloud sipped water and stared out the window at the lovely spring day. "Demyx. Stop worrying. You're marrying the guy you love. He loves you as much as you love him, and you're both going to be completely happy together. That's it. It's not complicated. It's what you want."

For a long moment, Demyx held his breath…then let it out in a seemingly endless sigh. "You're right." He relaxed with a sheepish grin. "You're right Axel. I'm being silly. It's fine. I'm happy, I'm just…nervous."

"Yeah," Axel grinned, slapping Demyx's shoulder. "It's okay. Everyone is. You'll be fine."

Things seemed to be looking up, when all of a sudden blue-green eyes shot wide again. "Oh my God, did we remember to tell the caterer about the extra three guests? I have to call right now and…"

Axel sighed as he prepared to settle Demyx down again. He just hoped Roxas was faring better. Damn it, Zexion's probably cool as a cucumber and sipping tea.


Zexion was sipping tea…but Roxas had covered him in a makeshift apron made from a table cloth before he served it, because Zexion's hand was about as steady as a palm tree in a hurricane right now, and Roxas didn't want him spilling tea on his tux.

"Ah, you spilled again," the dark-haired girl in the room with them leaned forward to dab a napkin at the tea spots covering the table cloth.

"Sorry," Zexion murmured absent-mindedly. Roxas sighed. This was worrying him. Zexion, the model of efficiency, had been ready for twenty minutes now, and it was still ten minutes before the ceremony. He was unnaturally silent, and he seemed perfectly composed…except for the violently shaking hands. Roxas was getting worried that he'd pass out halfway down the aisle…and even if Zexion wasn't a big guy, Xion didn't look quite strong enough to catch him.

Zexion's sister was the only member of his family who had chosen to come to the wedding. The rest of them were still not speaking to their "embarrassment" of a son. They refused to hear explanations, and to them, the invitation to their son's marriage to another man was only further proof that he was determined to humiliate them. Only Xion had listened. Now, she was trying her best to get the others to hear Zexion's side of the story, but she hadn't been able to make any headway before the wedding. As a result, she was the only one willing to come, and though giving Zexion away was more or less her job by default, she was graciously honored to have it.

She was also very attentive and helpful to have around right now, since Roxas wasn't really sure how to handle the nervous groom. He was Zexion's "best man," but only because he was the only friend Zexion really had at the moment, aside from Demyx. And, well, Demyx was the other groom.

…And Zexion didn't appear to be blinking. Crap.

"Zex, what's the matter? You nervous?" Xion asked gently, petting his arm.

A stiff headshake. "I'm not nervous."

Xion gave Roxas a Look. "Well. I'll get more tea, then." She left the room before Roxas could realize that, given the choice between getting tea and being alone with a near-freaked Zexion…he'd rather make tea.

He sighed and sat down next to the other man – or rather, the breathing statue. There was silence for a few minutes, while Roxas wondered what to say. Ugh…being a counselor is hard. Finally, he decided to just try the direct approach. Glancing over, he asked, "You're nervous, aren't you?"

Like a stuck record, Zexion began with a headshake, "I'm not…"

"You are," Roxas interrupted. "You're nervous." Zexion didn't answer. "It's okay to be nervous, you know," Roxas offered. He tried a weak smile. "Everyone is. It's okay."

Zexion was silent for a moment, then spoke quickly and evenly. "I'm not nervous because if I was nervous it would mean I was having second thoughts and I'm not having second thoughts this is what I want to do and there's no logical reason to question this decision at this point therefore I'm not nervous."

Roxas sighed. "Zexion, don't be silly. Feeling nervous does not mean you're changing your mind. It's just…adrenaline or something. Like…the rush before you do something big, like, I dunno, bungee jumping…" He was going to finish his attempt at explaining, but Zexion turned to him with wide eyes and cut him off.

"Why do people do that? I have never understood the point of throwing oneself off a high point just to bounce up and down in the air! Besides, it isn't safe at all! The cord might break, the distance might be miscalculated, you could hit the ground, you could hit something else nearby, it's just an irrational, pointless, meaningless risk of life and limb, and yet people do it!" His voice was getting louder – thin and high and agitated. "Why do people do it? Why can't they stay on the ground where they are like rational, logical creatures? Why do people have to endanger what they have with some crazy, risky move like…"

"Zexion!" Roxas interrupted. He had a feeling this wasn't about bungee jumping anymore. The other man jumped when he heard his name, as if he'd forgotten there was someone else there. Roxas sighed yet again. "This might seem like a change of subject, but you know, you're not risking anything today. You and Demyx love each other and want to stay together for the rest of your lives anyway. This is just…stating the fact. Like, um…well like, you would never rob a bank, right?" Zexion's forehead crinkled slightly as he shook his head. "Right. So would it be really difficult for you to promise someone that you will never rob their bank?"

Zexion blinked a moment. "No. Obviously."

"Right," Roxas continued. "So this is like that. You never want to break up with Demyx, right? And you're not changing your mind about that?" A slow nod. "And after all your advice to me about believing in your lover and his feelings, you don't doubt Demyx when he says he feels the same, do you?"

"No, he's…I believe him. I trust him." Zexion rubbed a hand over his eyebrows.

"So," Roxas concluded, "this is just both of you stating the obvious, really. If it's already an unquestionable fact, why should it be hard to say it?"

Zexion seemed to process this for a minute, rechecking the logic. Then, he sighed – and most of the tense tremors left his hands. "That's true…I hadn't thought of it like that. It seems so…huge somehow."

Roxas smiled slightly. "Seems? Isn't that a little…illogical?"

Blinking again, Zexion seemed startled for a moment, before he relaxed even further, finally smiling a little ruefully. "That's true. You're right. How…silly."

When Xion came back with the tea, she found her brother looking much more relaxed and happy. She didn't comment, however, except to raise an inquiring eyebrow at Roxas, who just smiled and shrugged one shoulder. I might make a good counselor myself, someday, Roxas thought.


Zexion didn't faint on Xion. Demyx cried at the altar, a little bit. Axel and Roxas stood across from each other and mostly paid attention to the ceremony, but Roxas didn't miss the significant little eyebrow wiggle Axel gave him in a moment when their eyes met. He blushed and directed his attention firmly back to their friends, instead of his lover looking smoking hot in a tux. Axel made a show of doing the same, but he kept one eye on Roxas the whole time.

The service was small, but the reception was a little bigger. Zexion and Demyx were both a lot more relaxed by then, and more capable of dealing with other people…sort of. They were a little distracted by each other.

Demyx's father turned up midway through the reception. The man had apparently decided that his dislike of gay weddings was less important than his fondness for free alcohol, so he showed up and proceeded to get blind drunk. Demyx was so happy at that point, however, that almost nothing could bother him, and he was just glad his father had come at all. Xion ended up being the one who had to keep an eye on the man and discreetly tell the bartender when to stop serving him actual alcohol. Demyx's father got the idea that Xion was Demyx's bride – having forgotten that his son married a man. Xion – who wasn't even wearing white; her dress was a champagne color – tolerated the mistake and smiled as the man slurred about how she was a "vurry pretty lady, vurry good girl." Luckily, rather than making a scene while drunk, Demyx's father passed out on the bar shortly after that, leaving Xion free to get back to her brother's reception.

Roxas gave a very nice best man toast, and Axel began to give a very inappropriate one, to Zexion's horror, but Roxas quickly sidled up next to him and pinched his ass, then murmured under his breath, "Be nice and tonight I'll do that thing you like," so Axel coughed and gave a much more appropriate toast than he'd been planning. He also went the rest of the evening with an excited sparkle dancing in his green eyes. Zexion was incredibly relieved, and Demyx was happy that Zexion wasn't upset.

Demyx, however, was a confirmed cake-smusher. Zexion had already tried to talk him out of the high, honored tradition of the newlyweds shoving cake in each other's faces, but Demyx had made it clear that it was going to happen no matter what Zexion said because it was his favorite part of a wedding reception, so Zexion just needed to get used to the idea. And…Zexion did. Demyx gave in on virtually every other disagreement, so Zexion had decided that it was only equitable for him to bend a little as well. So he wasn't at all surprised by the cake smushed cheerfully into his face, and he even managed a good sense of humor about it as he smushed his piece all over Demyx in return. And then Demyx beamed at him and kissed him soundly…and then he started licking at Zexion's cake-and-icing covered lips, and the next thing the slate-haired groom knew, Demyx had grabbed a nearby plate to hide behind while they cleaned each other's faces off without the help of napkins.

Axel got pictures of the two of them right after, faces glistening with saliva and redder than the roses in their boutonnieres. He got pictures of the plate, too, but he couldn't get around behind the couple in time to catch the really juicy shots.

Not having either a bride's bouquet or a bride's garter to toss, Zexion and Demyx took turns throwing their boutonnieres. Xion caught Zexion's, and Demyx's smacked Roxas in the face before Axel nearly knocked him over grabbing for it…and it ended up in a six-year-old boy's hands by accident. Axel was heard to mumble, "Smacked in the face counts just as well as catching, damn it."

In short, the grooms got over their jitters, the wedding was lovely, the reception had its memorable moments and thankfully no disasters, and Zexion and Demyx were married one warm evening in May. Neither of them had the money for much of a honeymoon – Demyx's work was only just beginning to pick up, and Zexion had only recently started at his new job – but Axel and Xion chipped in so they could stay in the nicest honeymoon suite atop a sky-rise hotel overlooking the city.

Demyx could not get over the tiny little bottles of alcohol in the fridge, or the mints on the pillows, or the concierge, or the view. Zexion could not get over how unbearably wonderful it felt to hold Demyx and feel those familiar arms around him as well and know that they were married, this was his husband now, not just "lover" anymore. It was almost enough to make him cry…and he also had to bite his lip a little to withhold small exclamations of delight at how beautifully clean the room was and how nicely the bed was made.

Until they…unmade it. Of course.


Re-note to readers! Again, hey guys! Just a reminder to check out my current original story on FP! Links in my profile! Thank you, dears! :D