Learning Curve

Summary: Maybe, just maybe, she could learn to love Xavin back.

Disclaimed.

"I implore you, Magnificent Oneā€¦ will you marry me?"

Not exactly the proposal she'd always pictured, Karolina thought, staring at the dark-skinned man kneeling in front of her. He wasn't bad-looking, she supposed. Close-cropped hair the color of charcoal and nice eyes. Karolina liked his smile too, a smile that told her she had absolutely nothing to worry about in regards to manners and propriety. This guy was a perfect gentleman.

Which, in retrospect, was precisely the problem.

So she told him - Xavin - that she was gay, hoping that'd be the end of it and he'd back off with the whole marriage thing. "Is that all that's stopping you?" he'd asked, and Karolina almost exploded right there. What do mean, "is that all?" Gender is a pretty big all! She'd almost exploded -

- until Xavin had turned himself into a girl.

Karolina gaped for a while, taking in this new Xavin. Same eyes, same smile - on a body that was, okay, she'd admit it, totally hot.

So Karolina did the most impulsive thing she'd ever done in her sixteen years of existence:

She said yes.

Two weeks later, they got to Tarnax VII, and all through the trip in her rather cramped shuttle Xavin made it very clear that, the second Karolina had any doubts, she'd call off the wedding.

Well, Karolina was doubting. She was chock-full of doubt, and she didn't have a clue what she was supposed to do with it. It was like she could just tell Xavin, "Actually, I'm not sure I want to marry you after all. I'd much rather go home and let millions of Majesdanians and Skrulls die in a pointless war that I could be preventing if only I hadn't chickened out at the last minute."

No, that wouldn't work at all.

So all of her doubtful butterflies stayed right where they were, locked up in her stomach through the planning and dress fittings, right up to W-Day itself, where they made themselves useful inducing a nervousness so debilitating Karolina thought she'd worry herself sick.

That's how Xavin found her, staring through a window off into space and taking slow, deep breaths, trying to assuage her fears.

Karolina snapped at her, grabbing wildly at a stupid Earth superstition - like anything she'd ever learned about Earth was ever going to be relevant again - for a reason to make her go away.

"Deep down, I'm a blushing bride like you," Xavin had said, with that beautiful smile of hers, and Karolin really didn't have an answer for that. She'd babbled some excuse about missing her friends on Earth, and that was true, she did miss Nico and Molly and the others, but that wasn't the problem.

Xavin mentioned she'd brought a little piece of Earth to Karolina, how the wedding band had learned a new song for the ceremony; a Beatles song, because she knew how much Karolina liked them. She'd chosen Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds because it reminded her of Karolina, and right at that moment, ten minutes before their wedding, Karolina knew, without a doubt, that Xavin was in love with her.

Her heart jumped into her throat at this incredibly sweet gesture. Karolina bit her lip, full of wonder that Xavin would spend hours digging through old radio recordings for a girl she'd met two months ago who didn't even return her feelings, and she thought maybe, just maybe, she could learn to love Xavin back.

Half an hour for the ceremony, three or four more for the reception. Karolina tried not to think about how fast she would have to learn before the honeymoon.