To Cassie, the creator of this universe that we love so much to play in. Thank you for a wonderful story!
"The lady must have been willing."
– Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), Holiday Inn
They were all in the Pelekais' backyard – or what passed for their backyard, anyway.
There were literally hundreds of guests, though the vast majority of them were experiments and their offspring. These were spread all around the clearing and among the surrounding trees.
How odd that Dib could be surrounded by more than a thousand aliens and yet feel safe. He didn't actually feel comfortable, though – how could he when he was wearing a suit and waiting at the makeshift altar for a beautiful young woman? He was sweating bullets! He was so nervous that Stitch had had to push him all the way up to the altar!
David was walking Lilo up the "aisle," which was nothing more than a wide path in the midst of a lot of fold-up chairs. Lilo wore a white bikini top and matching sarong, as well as a lei and a pink hibiscus in her hair. But everyone who saw her was drawn to her face.
She was radiant.
The little girl who had taught an entire artificial species to "be good," who had opened her heart to the world – and in time, the entire galaxy – who had perpetually overflowed with energy, joy, enthusiasm, and love as a child…
Was now this radiant, beautiful young woman about to say "I do."
Dib's knees almost gave out on the spot.
If Lilo was nervous as she took her place opposite the groom, she didn't let on. She gave him a wink and quick hand squeeze. He gave her a weak but grateful smile in return.
As the pastor spoke, Dib's gaze wandered over the odd assemblage of guests. Of course, there was the immediate ohana: Nani and David and their three kids; Jumba and Pleakley; and Cobra Bubbles. Stitch, in full Elvis regalia, was acting as best man. Reuben was somewhere in the back, finishing up the sandwiches for the reception, or so he had claimed – Dib figured that 625 just didn't want to be caught getting mushy. The Grand Councilwoman was sitting with Jumba and Pleakley, as dignified as ever – despite the commotion right beside her. In an interesting turn of events, Jumba was bawling, and Pleakley was supplying him with tissues and sympathetically patting his big shoulder. Dib looked up to lock eyes with Gantu – sitting on the edge of the cluster of chairs, his huge head propped on his fist – who shook his head minutely and looked away.
One row of seats on the opposite side was occupied half by robots. Zim, with an almost blank expression; Kila, sitting on his right, hands cupped around a covered flower pot the contents of which Dib didn't want to think about right now; MALIK, sitting on Zim's left, Minimoose perched on her helmet; GIR, who had been powered down before the ceremony started; and XR with his steady girlfriend Savy, a blue-haired human who was a little older than Dib and Lilo.
Behind that row sat several Space Rangers – and their families – that XR had insisted on inviting. Captain Buzz Lightyear and his wife, the Tangean Princess Mira Nova, and their three kids; Booster Munchapper, his wife Pam, and their baby boy; and a few more Rangers who belonged to Teams Lightyear, Munchapper, and Nova – one of whom, Erin Frame, had married the former right-hand of the Evil Emperor Zurg, Warp Darkmatter. It was interesting that XR had insisted on inviting all of them.
Dib guessed that, in some ways, the concept of ohana existed in Outer Space, too.
Mertle had deigned to show up, minus her hotshot, New-Yorker boyfriend – though Dib figured her appearance owed more to Gigi's influence than any feelings of friendship on the redhead's part.
His dad wasn't there, which was just as well – an appearance by Dr. Membrane probably would have ended up an embarrassment in front of all their off-world guests.
…And no sign of Gaz. A couple of years ago, when she had turned eighteen, Gaz just… left. Took off without any word about where she was going. Most of the time, their dad didn't even notice that she was gone. Out of brotherly concern, Dib had looked for her for a while – even had Cobra see what he could dig up – but eventually gave up. His sister wouldn't be found if she didn't want to be found.
The sad thing was that Dib didn't even really care all that much anymore about his weird, horribly dysfunctional family. He'd been accepted into another family that was much weirder but infinitely more loving. His home wasn't in Detroit or in the Putchel house here on Kauai…
It was right here.
Right here with Lilo and her family.
Returning his gaze to Lilo's shining brown eyes, he smiled. Yeah. Right here.
Her eyes wandered around the clearing, too, her smile shifting from happy to sympathetic to amused as she studied the large variety of guests. Then her eyes widened, and her mouth formed an "O". Dib followed her gaze and froze. Speak of the devil…
Standing at the very edge of the clearing, leaning against one of the trees.
She looked… bad. Really bad. Her skin was pale, and there were large dark rings under her eyes. She had a sort of… washed-out look to her. Dib didn't want to try to guess what his sister had put herself through. Whatever problems she had were her own fault. Still… She was still his sister, no matter how rotten a sister she had been.
She gave him a slight nod, then disappeared into the shadow of the woods.
He wanted to shake his head. Three years, and of all the times to reappear…
But she'd reappeared at his wedding.
Maybe her heart was quite so Arctic, after all. Maybe.
Dib returned his attention once more to Lilo, who gave him a sympathetic look. He shrugged ever-so-slightly.
"Do you, Dilbert Putchel, take this woman to be your lawfully-wedded wife: for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, honor, cherish, and protect, forsaking all others for as long as you both shall live?"
Dib cleared his throat and said, "I do."
Rats, that came out a little higher-pitched than he'd wanted. …And he would swear that a certain Irken Invader was snickering quietly.
"Do you, Lilo Pelekai, take this man to be your lawfully-wedded husband: for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, honor, cherish, and obey, forsaking all others for as long as you both shall live?"
Lilo smiled broadly. "I do."
Stitch presented the rings, and Dib and Lilo exchanged them.
The pastor smiled and said, "By virtue of the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Lilo smiled expectantly at Dib, and Dib… well, froze. Good grief, he had never kissed Lilo before, and now he was supposed to do it in front of well over a thousand people?!
"KISS HER, Dibstink, before I HUMILIATE myself by DOING IT FOR YOU!!"
Dib's eyes bugged momentarily. ZIM! Why that little… Nevertheless, he hastily leaned forward and pressed his lips against Lilo's.
Oh! Okay, maybe this wasn't so bad…
There was an explosion of applause – and considering how many people were in attendance, the sound was pretty well deafening.
The newlyweds came back up for oxygen and turned to the crowd, beaming. Dib led Lilo down the aisle under a shower of hibiscus blossoms, and then…
It was time to party.
"Reuben really outdid himself with these sandwiches," Lilo grinned, taking a bite out of a chicken sandwich. "These are great."
"Yeah," Dib agreed somewhat absently, scanning the crowd to find Zim. Spotting one tiny Irken among so many people could be hard, only…
"YES!! Such is the AWESOMENESS of Invader ZIM – GIR! CEASE THAT IDIOTIC CARTWHEELING THIS INSTANT!!"
Yep, right over there.
Dib sighed as he watched Zim half-talk, half-yell at Kila and Mik and Minimoose, with a reactivated GIR dancing hysterically around them. "Some things just don't change," he said aloud.
Lilo laughed. "That's okay. Sometimes, it's nice to know that things stay the same no matter what."
"Even Zim's disproportionate ego and screaming?"
The Grand Councilwoman approached them just then, giving them one of her rare true smiles. "Congratulations, Dib and Lilo. I'm sure you will be very happy together."
"Thank you, Grand Councilwoman!" Lilo beamed. Then she did something unexpected – threw her arms around the tall alien woman.
Initially startled at the gesture, the Grand Councilwoman managed to return the hug, somewhat. Withdrawing, she quipped, "It's been a long time coming, hasn't it?"
Lilo blushed, and Dib laughed self-consciously. "I guess so," he admitted with half a shrug.
"AND WHERE IS BEAUTIFUL BRIDE?!" a familiar deep voice boomed.
"Jumba!" Lilo laughed.
"Hey-hey, Lilo!" Jumba beamed, stomping over with both arms spread wide. He grabbed Lilo up in a big bear hug, and she giggled as if she were a little girl all over again. "Oh, this big girl – so beautiful and grown-up and MARRIED, ha-ha! Ohhh, congratulations!" He gently set her down and pulled back slightly. "I guess if you had to get married, you get married to somebody who likes same weird stuff, eh?" He chortled.
Lilo grinned, reaching out to grab Dib's hand. "Wouldn't have it any other way."
"Oh! That wedding was so beautiful!" gushed another familiar voice, much higher-pitched. Pleakley came forward, clad in – it figured – a pink dress. He looked even more ridiculous since he wasn't wearing a wig to complete the ensemble. The noodle-like alien rested one slender hand on Lilo's and Dib's. "I would have cried – I wanted to cry – but somebody –" cue one-eyed glare at an unrepentant Jumba – "decided to grow a sentimental streak on me all of a sudden!"
"Is, ah, allergies," Jumba shrugged. "Too much hibiscus pollen."
Pleakley placed both hands on his torso. "Funny – hibiscus pollen never made you allergic before!"
"Never been exposed to so much at one time before!" Hoping to settle it with that, Jumba began to walk away.
Of course, Pleakley followed. "Just admit it – you got sentimental!"
"Sentimental? Bah! Evil Geniuses don't get sentimental!"
"Well, it sure looked like…"
Lilo shook her head and sighed in a rather motherly fashion. "Yep, some things don't change."
"Indeed," agreed a deep, throaty voice above them.
They looked up to see Gantu bending over them. "Gantu!" Lilo grinned. "Thank you for coming!"
"I wouldn't have missed it," he nodded. "Ah, that is to say… well, Reuben wanted me to come along to try a new concoction, and…" Lilo just smiled and waved him down further. "…Yes?"
She kissed him on his huge cheek. "Thank you."
If the enormous alien could have blushed, he would have. "My pleasure," he mumbled before pushing himself back up and wandering off to find Reuben.
"Okay, Luftballons, just hold it while I give newlyweds their present!" a loud female voice chided.
Experiment 099 – for once, ditching the trademark lab coat and wearing a hula outfit – pranced over to the couple and held up the flower pot Dib had noticed earlier. "Congratulations, guys!" she grinned. "Sorry it's not wrapped properly – couldn't fit the stupid paper right around the pot."
"That's okay, Kila," Lilo assured her, accepting the pot. "Thank you!"
"Um, Lilo," Dib tried to whisper surreptitiously, "don't you think –"
Lilo lifted the orange cloth off of the pot to reveal what looked like a white hibiscus flower in the form of Elvis Presley. "Oh, Kila, thank you!"
"You're welcome!" Kila's grin broadened. "Is pretty much permanent, as long as you give it a little water and sun every day. Pull down this leaf –" she pointed to one of the leaves on the stem – "aaand…" She pulled the leaf down like a lever. The King's rendition of "Aloha Oi!" began to play.
"That's fantastic!" Lilo gushed.
"Only had room for one song," Kila further explained, lifting the leaf and stopping the music. "But I'm glad you like it!"
"It doesn't do anything remotely destructive?" Dib persisted, one eyebrow raised.
Kila sighed exasperatedly. "Other than damage your eardrums if you listen too loud? No."
"It's wonderful, Kila – thank you." Lilo bent down and gave the reformed experiment a big hug.
"Ahhh, nothin'," Kila told her, trying to shrug it off. "Better go now before Zim hurts himself or something."
"That might be a good idea," Dib nodded.
The chairs had been cleared away, and a stage now stood where the altar had been. Up on the stage, Stitch was tuning up his guitar. "Ahem!" he said into the microphone.
Everyone turned to look at him.
"For Lilo – and – Dib," he declared. "Here's lookin' – at you." He began to strum the guitar strings, starting to sing.
Lord Almighty, feel my temperature rising
Lilo grinned and waved.
Higher, higher, it's burning through to my soul
Dib smiled and shook his head. "Well… may I have this dance?" He gestured toward the open ground.
Girl girl girl, you've gone and set me on fire
"You certainly may," Lilo nodded with a barely restrained grin, giving him her hand.
My brain is flaming, I don't know which way to go
Grinning widely, Dib took her hands and spun her out to the "dance floor."
Dancing with the woman he loved and surrounded by his ohana…
Life didn't get much better than this.
Your kisses lift me higher, like the sweet song of a choir
And you light my morning sky with burning love
WOW! My first fic ever for L&S or IZ, and it's BS! Woo-hoo! =D Not only that, but it's even DaLr! Has anybody even ever posted anything like Dib/Lilo when they're adults? AM I THE FIRST??
It was SO much fun working on this! I actually started it almost a year ago, but somewhere along the line, lost the little draft. I think that it was just Dib studying the guests, noting Jumba crying, and catching Gaz. Shame that I lost the original, though, 'cause I'm pretty sure it was better than the rewrite. *sighs*
So why did I finish this now? Well, while recovering from a bad cold the other day, I was browsing through the tons of fanfics I have copied to my computer. I came across Anonymous Materials' masterpiece of a fanfic For the Irken Who Has Everything – I still love that as much as I did when he was still writing it! And I remembered my wedding fic idea that I'd never finished, so I decided to finally do it, and I am so glad I did!
From the very first, the fic was going to take place from Dib's POV – why I can apparently write his POV and not Lilo's, I will never know. But apparently, it works… at least, I hope it does.
I was trying to figure out what the title should be, what song to use… couldn't figure it. Then I had to figure out what Stitch was going to perform… and it hit me. ^^
Sorry that Zim didn't get more screen-time! I wanted to, but I just couldn't figure anything! (Hey, I've only seen the first episode and parts of two others – the rest I get from fics, mostly BS fics. *snickers*) But I LOVE it that he threatened to kiss Lilo for Dib! xD Irken genius, if I do say so myself!
Oh, and why haven't Dib and Lilo kissed before? Weeell… even as adults, they don't really strike me as being prone to open displays of affection. Maybe that's just me. But I thought it was pretty cute. xD
Actually, maybe I should have given some more characters more screen-time, but I only wrote the ones I could get a good feel for. …Except for the BLoSC characters. No problems there, but they were just cameos. xD
Kila's presentation was a last-minute addition. When I wrote the first new draft, I had intended for her flower pot to be her present to the newlyweds, but by the time I'd finished writing the story, I'd forgotten about it. It almost became a what-happened-to-the-mouse scenario! Thankfully, I decided to have Kila talk with Dib and Lilo, and remembered the pot – so it just ended up that she gave them a present. …I like her "eardrums" retort to Dib. xDDD
To anybody who might not recall, the character Pam is an OC janitor on Star Command that Booster was dating. They're married here, about ten years after BS. Erin Frame is my own OC, who cameo-ed in Take on Me as one of Mira's rookies. In my BS fic You Gotta Be that I wrote the prologue for and never got any farther, I switched her name to Éire Fraim to keep her BS identity separate from her "real" identity (like Kila Jookiba and Kila Ilo). Here, however, I switched the name back, since I was using the English names for the other BLoSC characters.
…And that was FAR too long an author's note! But then again, I like to do long author's notes. Sorry about that. I like making-of-the-movie documentaries, and I like to tell people the story behind the stories I write. *shrugs*
Well, Cassie, I hope you love this! Much love and hugs! …And hibiscus. Plenty of hibiscus. =D