A/N: My beta's prompt? "I want to see their wedding!" But of course it can't be a normal wedding. :P Thanks to Krissy (Kayinay) for such an awesome title, and for reading it and kind of betaing even though she didn't bother sending back the edited version. XD
People have stolen paintings and antiquities. People have stolen other people. But I think my brother and I are the only ones who've ever stolen a wedding.
Of course, it was completely Kat's fault. I mean, how many people would be stupid enough to tell me and Angus outright, "I need you two to handle the wedding." Now, I'm not saying that she doesn't deserve all the praise she's been getting ever since the Henley heist, but really, she's not always that intelligent.
Because weddings required money, of which Hale had a lot. And of course, Angus and I always need money. So we did the only logical thing a good thief would do.
We took the money and spent it on really cool spy gadgets that would help us be the best thieves in the world, hands down.
And it was only after we'd done that that we realized Kat was still expecting her wedding. Oops. So we brainstormed other ideas, and eventually decided that we were fantastic at stealing, so why not just take the wedding Kat wanted? It was brilliant, really, completely flawless.
Kat and Hale got back from their job two nights before the Big Day, and Kat promptly demanded to see what we'd done. Luckily, Angus was on top of it, and he quickly said, "Come on, Kat, won't it be so much better if it were a surprise?"
She grudgingly agreed, and we were in the clear. Because the trick wasn't stealing a wedding—that was the easy part. The trick was keeping Kat and Hale from knowing we stole their wedding. We got enough personalized stuff to make it believable. We worked the kinks out. I didn't doubt it would go smoothly.
Three guys from Belgium, who owed us a few favors, had been drafted to switch out all the nametags for the reception dinner while the actual ceremony was taking place. All but the immediate family members of the bride and groom were given invitations directing them to a random warehouse nestled in the middle of Palermo. And the bride and groom were going to get into separate limos, along with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, and take a little road trip to a quiet church that definitely wasn't on the Italian island where they were supposed to have their wedding.
Replace the priest with Uncle Eddie, who had been ordained for an elaborate heist in 1962, and we were golden.
On the day of the wedding, Angus and I ran over everything to make sure there were no seams in our flawless plan. While Simon helped Hale get into his tux, I was busy ensuring that the waiters knew the happy couple's last name was Hale, not Contadino. And while Gabrielle curled Kat's hair and made last-minute adjustments to her wedding gown (which we were not in charge of, thank god), Angus intercepted phone calls made by confused wedding guests congregating outside that warehouse in Palermo.
Finally, everything was in place, and our family filed into the seats, commenting on how lovely the weather was and how inviting the sparkling ocean looked. Mr. Bishop commended us on a job-well-done before taking his place outside the white tent that Kat and Gabrielle had holed themselves up in hours earlier. Angus and I drifted to the altar, standing beside Simon. I gave Hale a thumbs-up when he glanced our way, and he grinned at us, his own subtle sign of approval.
And then the music started, and Simon remembered that he was supposed to be at the end of the aisle escorting Gabrielle. He jogged to the end of the line of chairs, giving her a nervous laugh as she glared at him. Then he said something, and she rolled her eyes and took his arm. They walked down the aisle together, and his hand lingered over hers for a second before she went to one side and he rejoined us.
Kat came out of the tent then, looping her arm through her father's and focusing her eyes on Hale's. Even I had to admit, it was pretty romantic. They seemed to speak to each other through their gazes, and I had to fight the urge to gag, reminding myself that none of us were teenagers anymore. Hale probably wouldn't appreciate the juvenile action.
Mr. Bishop pecked Kat's cheek and took the empty seat at the end of the first row of chairs, watching with satisfaction as Hale took Kat's hand. His grin was too wide for his face, and she allowed a smile as she stared into his eyes. Uncle Eddie started the ceremony, reciting the words in every chick flick that every girl had ever made me watch.
I wasn't prepared when someone actually objected to Uncle Eddie's statement, "Does anyone have a reason why these two should not be wed?"
All eyes swiveled towards the woman who'd spoken, and I realized that it wasn't just her who seemed furious. The group of people around her glared at us, and as I squinted closer, I figured out that I didn't know who they were. Apparently Angus did, though, because his hand was suddenly around my arm, squeezing to get my attention. When I looked at him, he mouthed, "Close family members," and I felt myself go cold, the way I did when a good heist went south.
Because even though we'd completely covered our bases, sending most of the other guests to that warehouse and ensuring that the bride and groom would be too far away to stop the wedding, we hadn't taken into account that the close family members, whose invitations we couldn't change without risk of them letting the bride know, would still show up to see their relatives get married.
This was why Kat planned our heists. She always covered all the options.
I risked a glance at Kat, who was staring at the random people in confusion. She turned to Hale, "I don't know them. Are they from your side of the family?"
Hale shook his head, and Kat immediately turned to us, "Guys, who are they?"
"Why would they know?" Gabrielle asked, folding her arms.
Kat looked over her shoulder at her cousin, "Because they planned the wedding."
"You got the Bagshaw brothers to plan your wedding?" Gabrielle's voice clearly showed her thoughts on the subject. I kind of had to agree with her. The look on Angus's face showed that he did too.
"Well, you were in Spain for the Museo del Prado heist, and then you were busy with Alberto," Kat complained. "And Hale and I were casing the Pera Museum in Istanbul. We didn't have time."
Gabrielle snorted, "So you got them to do it?" she jerked a thumb at us. "Come on. Even Simon would have been better."
The man in question stood a bit straighter. Kat ignored them, waving her hands to gesture at everything around us, "They did a good job," she said. "I mean, the location's perfect, everything's gorgeous, and our entire family is here to see it."
"Our entire family, plus a few extra," Hale commented dryly, glancing at us. "What'd you do?"
Angus and I exchanged glances, and apparently he decided the gig was up, even though it totally could have continued for at least another three minutes. He ran a hand through his hair, cracking a grin at them, "We may have stolen this wedding."
"What?" Hale said sharply.
"Why?" Kat's brows furrowed. "Our wedding was supposed to be legal, unlike everything else in my life."
"It's legal," I nodded to Uncle Eddie, who was watching the entire exchange with amused interest. "He's actually ordained, so if he says so, you're both legally married."
"That's not what I was talking about, Hamish," Kat retorted, her temper rising. "I don't even want to know how you did this. But you two get to fix it. Now."
Angus and I ran from the altar without wasting a moment, capturing the angry spectators' attention while the rest of our family muttered amongst themselves in confusion. Angus focused on the older woman who'd spoken earlier, "Why did you object to this marriage?" He spoke in Italian, even though the wedding ceremony was in English, so she obviously understood it.
She straightened her hat, glaring at him first, then me, "Because this is supposed to be my daughter's wedding! Where is she?"
"I believe you're mistaken," I said smoothly, lying with the ease of a con artist. "This wedding is for our good friends. You must have the wrong address."
"My daughter is getting married today on this island! This is her wedding! How else would we all have ended up here?" she gestured to the people around her, all foreign to our close-knit family of thieves.
"There might have been a misprint," Angus suggested. "Either way, this was all put together for our party, not yours. I apologize for the inconvenience, but you're more than welcome to stay for the reception, if you should so desire."
The woman eyed us, then scanned the crowd of thieves, as if looking for a blatant sign that this was, in fact, not our wedding at all. I knew she wouldn't find anything. Angus and I had scoured the details of this wedding, and with the small exception of their presence, everything else was perfect.
The man beside her leaned over and whispered, in Italian, "I think they might be right. Our information must be wrong…"
The woman huffed and settled back down in her seat, "Fine." She conceded, but I knew she was still unwilling to accept that her daughter wasn't anywhere nearby. The man apologized to us, and the other guests reluctantly returned their gazes to the altar, where Kat and Hale were conversing quietly.
Crisis averted, Angus and I made our way back to the happy couple, giving them a go-ahead nod. But as Uncle Eddie was about to start reading again, Kat raised a hand to stop him. She met Hale's gaze once again, then turned towards the audience before them, "Sorry, guys. We're going to hold off on getting married for a few months."
As the surprised murmurings of the crowd grew, Angus frowned and demanded, "What? Why?"
Kat glanced at both of us, her lips set in a firm line, "When I get married, I want it to be at my wedding, with only my family and closest friends present. Hale and I are willing to wait, since we can't have that now."
"But, then all of this was for nothing!" I protested.
Hale put his arm around Kat's waist, "Yes. Maybe next time, you'll tie all the loose ends before you attempt something like this."
"But it won't happen again with us," Kat inserted quickly, lest we get any crazy ideas about Round 2. "I'll be planning my own wedding, thank you."
"And I expect to be reimbursed for the money I gave you months ago," Hale said firmly, even though I knew he didn't care about getting the money back. He just wanted to make sure we were effectively punished for our actions.
Angus glanced regretfully at me, and sighed, "I guess we'll have to return all that cool gear," he muttered. And I felt effectively punished.
A/N: Gotta love a family of thieves. If you liked this, check out my other heist society fic, "The Art and Science of Lock Picking" (it's a cute fluff between Hale and Kat). And I feed off reviews! Don't let me go hungry. :P