A/N: Sorry for the delay, things have been a bit out of control with some family and housing issues (my bathroom floor completely collapsed due to a rather freakish kind of storm haha) but thanks for everyone for hanging in there, and hopefully the chapter and moment so many of you have been waiting for, is well to your liking. Without further postponement I give you Percy and Thalia's wedding.
It had been a good half hour before Aphrodite returned to finish my extreme makeover, wedding edition. She was far less talkative than before, and I partly suspected that Thalia was making things slightly difficult on how she wanted to present us. She half angrily tossed around my hair in one arrangement after another for a couple of moments before glancing at me into the mirror and grinning like Cheshire cat.
"Percy, how about we try and find a good tux that works well on you?" She cut in, pulling me by the hand towards the back closet.
"I think, and this is just from a parental standpoint." Poseidon poked his head into the door, having apparently been listening just outside it with Apollo and Hermes. "That a good sea based color would be best."
"Ooh, positively. We must definitely try those first." Aphrodite beamed a smile at me, which made me slightly wince.
The tuxedo fitting began in an array of colors. Blues, greens, and anything you could possibly imagine as being "sea-based" came across her mind and found it's way in the path of "tryouts", as Aphrodite so agonizingly put it.
It seemed like an eternity of switching tuxedos of all color and variety, with the helpful Apollo making sure to keep Aphrodite from trying to undress me beyond the tuxedo, undershirt and boxers. I caught her lustful gazes on occasion and couldn't help but wish for this to be over as soon as could be.
"Alright boys." Aphrodite beckoned beyond the bedroom door. "Come take a look at the choice, and give us your opinions."
My dad and Hermes both joined our now growing crowd and both gave approval of the tuxedo we had settled on.
"That's quite an excellent choice. Mind if I slip into one similar?" My dad, Poseidon, just had to ask. I nodded my consent, as did Aphrodite eagerly.
Luckily, Aphrodite had made sure that nobody was allowed to see myself or Thalia, once my tuxedo and her wedding dress were picked out and the preparations were wrapping up. I couldn't help but feel rather confident about the outfit though, my emotions were positively steamrolling.
The tuxedo was teal, a medium blue-green mix, with a wing tip design to it. The trim was all done in black and came complimented with a teal bow-tie, the dress shirt underneath was a similarly fashioned black button up. I also had a pair of black Wingtip shoe that completed the ensemble.
"You all set to get started?" Aphrodite asked with kind of knowingly proud smile etched across her face.
"As ready as I'll ever be." I couldn't help the nervous apprehension of the wedding and my immortal marriage to one of my closest friends.
As we all stepped out into the hall, I was greeted by my collection of best men. Grover, Nico and Tyson stood awaiting myself and the others, all dressed in the sea theme for my side of the wedding, but each with their own unique colors and designed tuxedo.
Grover was wearing a forest green tuxedo, with a darker green dress shirt and matching bow-tie. Technically, Grover wasn't wearing the matching pants but he looked quite the Satyr sight in his half tuxedo style.
Nico was wearing a dashing midnight blue tuxedo with black trim on the edges and collar, accompanied with a midnight blue bow-tie and light blue dress shirt. He wore dark blue Wingtip loafers to match.
Lastly was my half-brother Tyson. He wore a viridian tuxedo, a light green shade with a tint of blue, with a white dress shirt and viridian bow-tie. Instead of the matching pants, Tyson had on a pair of brown jeans and his Cyclops sized sneakers.
"Lookin' nice G-man." I couldn't help but compliment my best man and absolute best friend.
"You all look splendid." Aphrodite complimented the whole collection of us.
I saw a few notable blushes from Grover and Nico as we all shared a laugh at Apollo's shining golden tuxedo, my dad's matching Teal colored tuxedo and Hermes simple blue tuxedo that had similar stripes down the side like his jogging suit.
"Let's not keep everyone waiting, boys." Poseidon smiled at us before clapping me on the back and holding me up for a moment.
"Listen, Perseus. I just wanted to tell you of how proud I am of you. This is quite a special moment for our family, and I especially mean for myself, your mother and step-father."
I took the moment to quickly sneak a hug to my dad, before we composed ourselves and Aphrodite hurried us out of the hall and into our places to await the bridesmaids and my bride to be. She assured me that it wouldn't be much longer, and so I proceeded to nervously scan the crowd and guests.
I could hear the commotion build in the grand hall, which meant that Percy must be causing a stir with his best men now. I couldn't help but wonder at what he'd be wearing and how he'd look now. The door swung open as Aphrodite returned for the final touches on my makeup and to let everyone just wait for me, as she put it.
Aphrodite and her entourage of attendants constantly fussing nonstop over me, allowed for a few moments to go over my thoughts carefully. It especially let me run back over the scene that played out previously the night before.
~Flashback to Yesterday~
"Well, my groomsmen are all picked out. Have you gotten your bridesmaids sorted?" Percy asked me with a growing concern.
It was the last possible moment for this, but I was still unsure who the maid of honor was going to be. I could try and ask Annabeth, she had been my best friend for close to a decade now, but things between the three of us had been more than uneasy the past couple of months. That left me unsure about who to fill those shoes. I couldn't ask Rachel, we had never gotten that close and she was helping to perform the ceremonies from her Oracle standing.
"I wish I knew, really.. but unless something just drops into our laps, I got nothing." I forced a smile, as Percy held hold of my hand.
"Don't sweat it, Thals. I think we should talk with Annabeth about it."
I felt a bit uncomfortable doing so, especially since there was an evident rift between us now, despite the patchwork repair job we attempted in Montana.
"Are you sure, Percy?" I hesitated slightly with the thought. "I'd hate for things to get awkward or for something worse to break out later."
"We gotta try, she was a best friend to us both." He replied with a gentle squeeze of my hand, before lightly kissing me across the lips softly.
It took a couple of minutes longer than expected to track Annabeth down, and she reluctantly agreed to pause her Olympus remodelling to have a small chat with us.
"So the big day is tomorrow, huh?" Annabeth asked with a slight apprehension in her voice.
"That's what we were hoping to talk with you about." I chirped with a lightly nervous tone. "I know things haven't been very good between any of us lately, but we used to be best friends."
Annabeth glanced off to the side for a moment before darting her attention back and forth between Percy and myself. What seemed to drag on for minutes, passed silently between the three of us before Percy spoke up.
"We both hope that you would be the maid of honor."
"You're both sure of this?" Annabeth asked with a tint of anxiety, her eyes scanning back and forth between us at a frantic pace.
"If we can't trust each other.." Percy began to remark his reply to her inquiry.
"Then we can't really trust anyone, can we?" I smiled sincerely, finishing his sentence with a light punch to the arm of Annabeth, who I still hoped remained my best friend.
She rolled her eyes emphatically, before giving a dramatically drawn out and smiled. "I guess there is no point trying to argue this one.. I've missed both of you quite a good deal, thanks a lot guys."
I pulled Annabeth into a tight hug, both of us momentarily forgetting the groom to be who was standing beside us. When Percy cleared his throat after a moment, we both gave short giggles and pushed him farther away.
"I have to start preparing to marry your kelp for brains. So get lost already, we have lots of work to get underway."
Percy gave a groan as he began to trudge off down the hallway, but I quickly called back to him and rushed up behind him. "Aren't you forgetting something?"
As he spun around, I planted a loving kiss along his half pouting lips. "Much better, see you soon."
I took back off towards Annabeth as quickly as I had darted after my fiance, interlacing our arms together as we raced down to Artemis's for preparations. My nerves and emotions were both crazily all over the place, but having Annabeth by my side again helped make things feel a world better.
I was abruptly yanked back from my momentary world, as Aphrodite burst in loudly. She was explaining what everything looked like to Artemis and the few attendants who hadn't rushed off to see the beginnings of the ceremony.
"Thalia, let's get your dress on, it's time to go. Your grand audience is awaiting your appearance."
I couldn't put off the moment any longer, nor did I want too. We had finishing everything and I was ready at last. I grabbed the door and pulled it open, butterflies escaping from me as the door swung open wider and wider.
"Thalia, this isn't an easy moment.. but as your sister, I'm very proud of you." Artemis said with a heartwarming, fear melting smile and light hug. "Now, go show 'em how a Huntress shoots her arrows, straight for the heart."
I stood anxiously along with my trio of best men, our varied style of tuxedos and dress made quite the impression on the mortal and immortal guests. Aphrodite had ushered us to enter first, to let the girls each gain a bit of their own attention with their array of dresses.
After a couple of minutes worth of fidgeting, they arrived at last. Nico nudged me in the side playfully as we lightly whispered back and forth like awestruck teenagers.
"Here comes the first wave of awesome."
Grover tried his best not to burst out in a bleat of laughs at Nico's commentary on the individual bridesmaids and their elegant dresses, I tuned most of their conversation out as I watched our counterparts, minus the bride, parade down the aisle and eventually assemble opposite us.
Phoebe and Elyssa, both two of Artemis's Hunters and good friends with Thalia, wore similarly colored gray dresses. Grover helped to point out the differences to me though, as Elyssa had on a cadet grey colored a-line V-shaped halter-neck dress, that stopped just around her ankles.
Phoebe had on a form fitting isabelline grey dress, which is a pale grey-yellow in color. Her dress had simple but wide shoulder straps and drew lots of attention to her body, stopping just above the knees.
"Holy.." Nico gasped at Phoebe, before remembering his thoughts. "She looks amazing, I'm gonna have to see if she'll dance with me later."
Tyson gave a snorting laugh, my attention though focusing on Annabeth and Rachel. I gulped and steadied my nerves, Grover placed an understanding hand on my shoulder for support.
Rachel wasn't actually part of the bridesmaids, as she was helping attend to the overall ceremony, being the Oracle and everything. Her dress was a metallic gold, shimmering brightly as the lights hit it with a relentless spray of angles. It reminded me of the gold outfit from our quest in the Labyrinth, but with a much more defined look, seeing as it was an impressive ball gown type of dress.
Annabeth was another story altogether, she made my stomach jump slightly. She looked stunning and I found myself caught off guard. She was wearing a strapless slate grey dress, that had a tightly woven lace midriff with a silky flowing train. Her hair was pulled back enough to let her bangs hang over her face gently, giving her a princess kind of hairstyle. Before my thoughts could wander anywhere further, the music started up and the doors swung open wide.
"Whoa..." was all that I heard escape Nico, Grover and Tyson in unison. I felt my heart nearly pause as I saw Thalia make her way slowly and elegantly down the aisle. My palms burned with a sudden burst of sweat and dryness at the same time. I stood frozen as I stared, watching the most beautiful girl in existence make her way towards me.
Thalia had on a knee-length black dress, that had flares of punk styling unique to her. Her arms were wrapped in black lace that ran from her wrists up just past her elbows. Her black lace midriff had a layer over it like a leather corset and the skirt flared like a medieval ball gown, with intricate layers.
As she neared me, I hesitantly reached out of clutched at her hand. We stood side by side, in front of her father Zeus and a whole host of guests. I couldn't stop staring into her eyes as she smiled softly to me, making my courage rapidly build. I squeezed her hand as our vows began.
I focused intently on Thalia as Chiron went through the opening formalities and paid the proper tributes to both of our parents. It took a couple of minutes before he finally got around to our part of the ceremony and began uniting us as one.
"Perseus Jackson, do you take Thalia Grace to be your eternal wife and partner. The bearer of your soul and being, the lady of your faith and temples. To see through until the ends of time?" Chiron asked me, Rachel standing beside him giving me a grinning nod yes.
"Yes, forever and always. I'm all in for life." I said with a boyish grin and glance, recanting the words we had agreed to say for each other.
"Now then. Thalia Grace, do you take Perseus Jackson to be your eternal husband and partner. The bearer of your soul and being, the lord of your order and castles. To see through until the ends of time?" Chiron asked Thalia this time, Rachel writing into a large leather bound ledger type of book, annotating our wedding into Olympus records.
"Yeah, I'm all in tonight and for life." Thalia replied back with the same blissfully happy grin that I shared.
We ceremoniously slipped the simple silver and black rings onto our fingers, even though it wasn't a necessity with this being an Olympus style wedding. I caught a glance of my mother in the throng of guests crying between my step-dad Paul and my dad Poseidon, seated on the front row of my half of the guests.
"By the powers vested in me, I now pronounce the immortal union of a son of Poseidon and daughter of Zeus." Chiron looked from us then out to our seated guests and families. "Perseus and Thalia Jackson."
"Hurry up and kiss her." Rachel quietly encouraged as we stood there locked hands, gazing at each other.
I leaned in and passionately kissed my wife for all of Olympus to witness. A well of emotions about to explode inside of me, when a loud clapping erupted at the back of the large palace. I had only been married for a couple of moments when the whole room turned to face the visitor, who offered an unnerving old poem.
"We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes. This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile."
Hades burst from his burst in a fit, as all eyes focused on the teen with chocolate brown hair, medium in length and three vicious looking scars on the left side of face.
"Julian, what do you think you're doing here!" Hades roared at the young man.
"Father, I assure it, I only came to pay my respects to the newlyweds." The youth, Julian, replied curtly.
"This isn't the time or place to be making yourself present, especially not after all this time." A voice blared from the middle of my seating section of guests.
Fumio stood up with a frustrated expression, and I took the moment to lean into Nico to ask if he knew the party crasher. Nico gave a slow nod, and explained as shouts erupted back and forth to the youth.
"Percy, he's one of the missing Romans, and an adopted son of Hades."
I groaned at the explanation and quickly had to catch Thalia up to speed about the events from the chat with Barrick and the Knights. This seemed most stressing news, with terrible timing.
Hades brought my attention back to the interruption at hand. "I want a quick explanation as to why you're even here, boy. You better talk fast if you want to remain living."
Julian put his hands up defensively and gave a unnerving smile. "I apologize to everyone here, but this was the only way I'd be taken seriously if I attempted to bring this news to you at any other time."
Zeus made a motion for Hades to take Julian out of the palace chamber and find out the details. "We will deal with this interruption after our celebration is over, understood?"
Everyone agreed to the decision and Fumio went with Hades to get to the matter of Julian's appearance.
Our scheduled event then proceeded to continue on, as if the blip had never occurred. We had quite a few numbers selected for songs that we had picked to dance too. Our first song was to "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley, which was followed by some Paramore, Lifehouse, and a couple others.
I finally took a breather after a couple of songs, letting Zeus cut in to dance with Thalia as I sat down at our table. Grover informed me that Nico had followed shortly after Hades and Fumio, which I nodded a bit absent minded too.
"Go enjoy your big day, we'll handle all the unimportant things." Grover said as he patted me on the back, leaving the table as my mom sat down next to me.
"I can't believe my little boy has grown up so much, so quickly." My mom gushed as she hugged me tightly.
I sat there just chatting about minor details with mom and Paul, when Thalia and Zeus both joined us at the table. Poseidon followed a moment afterward to borrow Zeus for a chat with Hades, but they both promised to return quick enough.
"You look absolutely lovely, darling." My mom complimented my wife, which made me smile broadly as I thought about being married to Thalia.
"Hey goofball, why the cheesy grin?" Thalia asked as the three of them watched me curiously.
"Just thinking of how glad I was to be married to you." I replied before giving her a kiss.
Paul and mom both proceeded to get up to give us some alone time at the table, but Paul patted Thalia's shoulder and offered a word. "It's good to have you in the family, please feel free to think of us as your parents also."
Before a rush of greetings and congratulations from everyone could erupt, I pulled Thalia close and whispered how happy I was to have her. "Our family really is something, I'm glad we have everyone and I'm especially glad for you."
After the endless parade of people wishing us the best and so forth, our dad both came back to the table and sat down with us, joined by Artemis and Chiron.
"We have your tickets for your honeymoon." Zeus said as he handed us a pair of tickets for a resort in Hawaii. "I'm sure you'll take good care of my daughter." I smiled and shook his hand as my dad cut into the serious moment. "Don't you mean my daughter now, brother?"
We all couldn't help but laugh at the comment, before Chiron commented that we should slip away before things get any crazier around here. Artemis offered to escort us both to our destination and would keep the Hunters out in the islands for some recreational hunting.
As Artemis helped us slip out past the throng of the crowd, she caught me off guard with a sudden hug and threat. "You better take special care of my baby sister, or else."
I couldn't help but nervously gulp, causing both girls to laugh at my discomfort. I gripped Thalia's hand tightly as headed out of the Empire State building and towards Central Park, where Artemis had said we would travel by her sleigh to reach our destination, via personal escort.
Once airborne and in the night sky, I couldn't help but voice my concern for the mysterious intruder at the wedding. "Do you think everything will be alright?"
Artemis sighed but began to explain the situation to us, and why we were being allowed a short window together before hell broke loose.
"After getting all the information from Julian, the boy who crashed your wedding. Hades informed father and uncle, and Fumio and Nico spread the word to the rest of us individually. The Romans are rising and preparing for war, being backed by Atlas and some of his scattered help."
I clenched my jaw at the information, Thalia just listening quietly as she held onto my arm. She asked the question that seemed the most appropriate next.
"How bad would a war with the roman demigods be?"
"Well, when it was just Romans against Greeks, demigods only.. you called the event the Civil War. Throw in some Titans and possibly the Veritas, and we have a full scale war in the balance. Like always."
I thought about the words and just held tightly onto my wife, Thalia. Things were sure to get crazy, but we frequently did crazy. It was how life as a demigod had been, so life as a god wouldn't be much different.
"We'll deal with things accordingly when the time arises, but first I plan on enjoying my honeymoon with you. You share my past, present, future and forever. You're everything I could ever want. I love you." I said as I deeply kissed the girl I loved more than anything.
"You're my second chance, but the only one that will ever matter. I love you too." Thalia replied back as we started the first day of our immortality together, and sealed the moment with our most passionate kiss yet.