Phew. This story took me -literally- AGES. I'd the idea in my head for a year already but the words always seemed to fail me. Well, now it's finally out and hopefully enjoyable enough to get a few encouraging reviews :)
Summary: Everything's out to destroy their big day, the wedding Cody'd always dreamed off. Only a miracle can save it... and this miracle has a name.
Title: One big mess
Warning: Slash, Tons of Angst and The right amount of Fluff
Everything had been set for today. Everything had been planned. They had everything prepared. They'd BEEN prepared. For this. For today. For THEIR day. Big day. Their wedding.
They had started to organize everything the day after Ted's proposal. The state, the location, the guests, the suits, the parson, the music. They'd been done preparing weeks before it. Everything set and done.
And now, everything seemed to fail them. To go wrong. Their day in jeopardy as nothing seemed to work.
"I can't do this! I just can't do this! It's just not meant to be. Not today. And obviously not ever!"
Cody was pacing his room, hands in his hair, ruining the work his stylist had done so neatly, so perfectly just an hour ago. Dustin was occupying the only chair, head in his hands, face pale, staring dully at his else so giddy and glowing younger brother. He'd been deemed best man only minutes after they had celebrated their proposal, the good news told to him via a phone-call and his good mood not faltering ever since. He'd been so damn proud of his baby-brother. He'd finally found love and happiness. A man -he knew- would never treat him wrong. And now that.
"I cannot. This just isn't right. Nothing's right. Shit... Why's everything working against us? Why today?"
He had no idea how to calm the frustrated brunette, no idea how to convince him that everything would be alright, because NOW he did not believe in it either anymore.
"Codes... Baby-boy... Come on. Sit down. We'll figure something out. Just relax. You're making me kinda dizzy."
It was true. All the pacing, rambling and pacing and rambling had made his head pound -sense why he held it in his hands now-, the younger mans nervousness and anger making his head spin. The situation was truly fucked up and neither of them had an idea how it could all go so wrong. Especially not since until yesterday everything seemed to be just perfect.
The wedding was scheduled to start in an hour and nothing was like they had wanted it to be. Like they had planned. Starting with the fact that Ted was not even in town yet.
He'd called an hour ago that his flight had gotten delayed AGAIN. The second time this day already. After what they had planned, he should've been there five hours ago already with enough time to get ready, dress, style and have lunch with their families. But now... He would not even make it in time to his own wedding.
And no matter how much Ted had assured him that he'd be there, Cody had already lost all hope. Not that anyone could blame him after those past 24 hours.
Actually, it had started a week ago already with Ted's father telling them he would not join the wedding. Or rather, Ted's mother calling them to inform them about Ted Sr.'s stubbornness. He'd always been against them. Against them being friends. Them being a couple. Them being engaged. So it had not been a big surprise he'd lecture them on marrying. However, for some reason, they had both believed he would not be the jackass he was being now when it came to the wedding. After all, Ted was his son.
But not even Cody's desperate pleas had changed his opinion. Not even Ted's mom threatening him with a divorce -though she'd never meant it. Not even Ted's one hour phone-call. Nothing had gotten the older DiBiase to attend. And even though he'd never admit it, especially not to his fiancee, it was eating Ted up.
The bigger problems, however, had started last afternoon. Minutes before they had planned the final rehearsal.
He had wisely turned his cell-phone off. Out of habit or out of instinct he did not know. Dumbly though, Ted had not and so it had been no surprise that minutes before the rehearsal it went off. Work. WWE headquarters. They'd needed him for a signing at 'Make a Wish' since someone had dropped out sick. And of course, Ted HAD to go. He'd not even taken that one little hour to go through the ceremony and the receipt one final time.
Sure, Cody had been pissed. Not only at their staff, but also at Ted. But he'd never been able to stay mad at him for long. During their drive to the airport, already, he'd forgiven him, but not until Ted had promised him to be back safe and sound before their big day even started.
Pfff... yeah... We all know how that went.
An hour after he'd dropped Ted off, then back in the privacy of his hotel-room and the rehearsal called off, he was the one to receive a phone-call, one that had meant even worse news.
The band that had been booked to play at the reception after the wedding called their gig off. Their manager didn't even give a real explanation, only saying 'they wouldn't make it', while Cody's grip on the phone tightened and huge welts of tears appeared in his usually so bright ocean blue eyes.
So much for HIS dream. The band had been his only wish, Ted's present for him as he'd let his older lover plan everything else with just a few inputs here and there.
The tears had not stopped running for over an hour after that, not even a call from Randy -who'd let him know that his family as well as Evan's were on their way- able to lighten his mood. Only when Ted had called to announce he'd landed safely and had already arrived at the event, he'd finally felt something at least CLOSE to relief.
After all, the most important thing still was that they'd get married. Band or not. The blond had assured him that he'd have another present ready for him, at the wedding, after the ceremony. One even better than the band alone. One he'd enjoy even more. 'More than OLP? I doubt that!' had been his words 20 hours ago, though his heart had skipped a beat at Ted's show of devotion and affection, of his thoughtfulness.
The southern boy had always known a way to make him feel better, to ease his worries and make his problems fade into thin air.
Right now though, he could care less about Ted's father or OLP. He just wanted his Teddy back. With him everything would be better. The worst was that he could not even get a hold of him since Ted's phone sent him straight to voicemail each time he tried -either turned off or out of energy. He could not even tell his fiancee that the wedding was off. For real.
Not because the parson didn't want to wait for Ted to finally show up, but because... because they didn't even HAVE a parson.
He felt a new wave of fresh tears clouding his vision, frustration, sadness and disappointment over his shattered dreams making him nauseous as he clutched his stomach and -for now at least- stopped his pacing. He literally wanted to just curl up on his bed and cry all day long underneath the covers. Cry until his Teddy came back and make it all better again. Only this time even Ted wouldn't be able to fix this mess. Their mess. Their wedding.
Shortly after Ted had informed him about yet another flight-delay, the parson had called in order to call off their 'appointment' as he had so nicely put it. The reason. None. He had not given Cody a reason, nothing. Not even after pleading him. Not even 2 hours before their wedding was planned to start, he declined.
Not that it had surprised him. The guy had not been excited about their arrangement from the very beginning. They had both seen the look he had given them when they had come to him and asked for his service. The look of utter disgust and sheer disbelief. Even though Ted had known him since his birth. However, he'd given his word to marry them even though it was against his beliefs. And now?
"I can't do this." It was whispered into thick air, the tension in the room almost too much to bear for Dustin as he sadly stared at the shell that had once been his younger brother. This was not the Cody he knew anymore. Not the happy, giddy, kind, hopeful young man who always saw something positive no matter how fucked up a situation was. And he had no idea how to handle his younger brother in that state. No one knew. Only Ted.
Cursing himself under his breathe, he got out of his chair and walked over to the brunette until he stood in front of him, tilting Cody's chin up with his fingers to meet his gaze. Swallowing hard at the defeated look in the young mans usually crystal blues, he forced a smile onto his lips and -taking a deep breathe- spoke in the most steady, convincing tone he could muster.
"Listen, baby-boy! This isn't the end of the world. Even if today is a complete disaster, you and Ted are meant to be. You know that as well as everyone else. You'll marry another day. Another place. You'll have another band play at your wedding, another parson giving you his blessing, a new smoking that will make you look even better than you already do and you'll get the rings you always dreamed off. You've overcome all odds until now. Don't let anything change that."
Through his clouded vision he could see the sincerity in his bigger brother's eyes, the sympathy in them, wanting so badly to believe him. He knew, Dustin was partly right, they HAD overcome all odds until then. From the first hurdle of admitting their feelings to each other, to Vince threatening them if it ever became public, to Ted's father wanting to disown his middle-son, to their co-workers making fun of them. They'd gone through all of this as a 'team' and had finally gotten to the point of acceptance and respect they had always wished for.
But that did not change the fact that this mess was tearing him apart... and Ted was not there to fix him again.
This morning, somewhere between waking up in hope to find Ted already back beside him and the first call from his older lover, he had received his smoking. Black. Simple. With a burgunder dress-shirt. And it had been too small. TWO sizes. He had had no idea how that could have happened. He'd been at the bespoke tailor even. It was IMPOSSIBLE that he'd grown two sizes in four weeks.
He'd even used a special diet to not only hold his weight but to lose some for his big day. And he HAD lost 10 pounds. How was something like this even possible?
No one in the shop had picked up the phone when he had -for the span of an hour- desperately tried to call them. Maybe it had just been a mix-up. A bad one. But he had not reached anyone. And by now he had already given up. Even Ted had not been able to calm him down. Not at first at least. Only the words 'Baby, you look like a fucking angle no matter what you were. Jeans and a white button-up will be perfectly fine. You'll steal the spotlight away from me anyways.' had slightly calmed his nerves. For then.
"I can't..." The rest of the words faded into a choked out sob as he wiped away the tears rolling freely down his flushed cheeks, the phone persistently ringing in the back-pocket of his jeans snapping him out of his miserable state. Quickly scrambling to answer the call, he snapped the phone open with shaky fingers, not even checking the caller-ID.
God, just his voice. In this situation. In his state of mind. Just his voice and he broke out in another uncontrollable fit of tears and sobs, body violently shaking as he dropped down on the floor.
"Baby? What's wrong?"
"The... the... I... It's... it's off."
If his voice was anything to judge by, Ted's face must have looked incredulous at that moment, brows probably furrowed and lips drawn into a deep frown.
"What do you mean, baby? Codes?"
"The... the wedding... It's... it's off. He... he's..." Legs drawn close to his body, one arm wrapped around his waist, his chest was rising and falling heavily enough to make it ache, his voice trailing off into another bitterly painful sob.
"Baby. I dunno what you are talking about. Please... Stop crying. I don't understand you when you're that upset."
Those last words went unnoticed by Cody as his best man had already stepped beside him and praised the cell-phone out of his hand, away from his ear. Though knowing Ted was the only able to make Cody feel better, Dustin was also well aware that the brunette was in no state at all to deliver the facts straight at the moment.
"Ted, it's Dustin."
A loud sigh could be heard on the other end, one clearly made of relief.
"Dustin. What's wrong? What's the matter with Codes? And why's the wedding off?"
'A lot of questions to answer', he thought as he sauntered across the room and plopped down on his chair again, raking a hand through his hair, all the while keeping an eye on his younger brother.
"The parson called a few minutes after you told baby-boy about your flight-delay. He's called the wedding off. Didn't give a reason. Just that he couldn't do the wedding." A heavy sigh escaped his lips as another cracked sob echoed through the room, Cody's hands now hiding his blood-shot, tear-filled eyes.
Dustin could make out the faint mutter of something along the lines of 'That lying, ass-kissing son of a bitch' before a loud screeching reached his ears. Brakes?
"Okay, Dustin. Listen. I'm gonna try fix this shit on my way. I should be there in about an hour. Hopefully. But I need your help."
Though dumbstruck, Dustin nodded his head and hummed a 'Sure', listening closely to whatever Ted told him until -two minutes later- his soon to be brother-in-law bid him Good Bye. Shutting the phone off, he realized that the room had turned silent again and looked up from the technical device to see Cody still on the floor but not crying anymore. Instead, he was looking at him with wide, curious eyes, shirt as tear-strained as his cheeks.
Lips twitching despite himself, Dustin got off his chair and made his way over to his brother, reaching a hand out to him. "Come on. Let's go!"
"Where?" The brunette's voice was still shaky, hoarse, innocent baby-blues regarding him curiously as he smirked and shrugged his shoulders.
In 45 minutes their wedding was supposed to start. Had been supposed to start. And yet, he was willingly following his older brother out of the hotel they had booked for the special day and down the street. After all, he had nothing to lose anymore.
The sidewalk was filled with noisy, hectic and stressed businessmen, time reading a Friday afternoon after all, as they made their way across the street and further into town. With each step they took, Cody missed the comfort and the silence of the beautiful 5-star-hotel a little more, wanting to go back and lock himself in as people piled past him left and ride with horrendous speed, but Dustin's tight grip on his hand would not let him break free. Not that he tried struggling.
They arrived at their destination about 5 minutes later, Dustin being more than relieved the town had one of those shops close to the hotel as he had had no idea where they were going until now.
His brother though did not even realize where they were until he was dragged inside too much in a daze to count one and one together. Only the sparkling light inside broke him out of his state and made him squint his eyes before they went wide in surprise and he -not so manly- let go of a small squeak. "Dustin... We... We can't..."
As if it had not been enough already, Cody's nerves laying blank as he paced the room and tried to think of something to wear at their wedding instead of the smoking that was now sprawled out across the bed, a knock came to his door to interrupt his rather vulgar cursing.
Randy sauntered inside, brows furrowed and lips pressed together into a deep frown, guilt written all over his handsome features, and Cody already knew what was about to come. He just knew.
"We can and we will. You'll pick out whatever rings you want and you'll switch them with Ted today. Parson or not. And tomorrow you'll get them inked just like the two of you wanted to."
"No 'but'. Go pick the rings! We don't have forever."
Blinking confused at the harshness in his brothers voice, Cody reluctantly nodded his head, wondering not only what had gotten into Dustin but also what use there was in buying a new pair. Buying rings at all. Not as if they'd need them any time soon from the looks of it. He obeyed nonetheless, the shop-owner proudly showing him his most precious belongings, golden, silver, with diamonds, with pearls, until one pair came into his line of vision. One that he just KNEW were the ones. Simple and manly yet glorious and expressive.
Those. Exactly like them. Meant to be.
"You forgot them? How can you... How the fuck..." He was at a loss for words, so many emotions cursing through him at a speed that made him nauseous, bones limp, heart aching, head pounding as he -incredulously- stared at his friend, his mentor, the news registering slowly but surely.
He could see Randy really was. Could see it in his eyes, his face, the wrinkles on his forehead making him appear a good 20 years older as he swallowed hard and looked down at his freshly polished shoes.
"I... But... How can we... Without rings?"
While Dustin paid for the rings with his credit-card, Cody stood numbly in the middle of the room, staring blankly off into space, all the events of those past 24 hours making his head spin. Ted's signing, the band, the smoking, the rings, the parson. There was nothing that had not gone wrong. Everyone and everything out to obviously stop them. And yet, he was here with his big brother to buy new rings. A symbol for their strength, their never-ending love. But was it really worth it?
Before he could voice his thought out loud though, he was already dragged out of the shop and up the road again, through the masses towards their hotel. He'd lost all sense of time already as they arrived in the lobby, stunned by the masses piled in the white-golden entrance of the hall they had booked.
A new wave of nausea overcame him as he suddenly thought about how to tell them. How to break the news to all those people who'd come together to witness their wedding. Alone. With Ted nowhere near to hold his hand. No one to steady him and prevent him from breaking down completely. He swallowed hard as he let his eyes wander across the hall, over all his friends, co-workers and family-members, a little over 100 people there to witness their love for each other, to wish them luck. Everyone who mattered to them... besides Ted Sr.
A tuck on his wrist made him turn his head, facing the smiling features of his older brother, his rock for the past few hours, eyes sparkling as he leaned down to whisper in his ear. "Everything will be okay." It were the only words spoken before he felt himself being turned around, the sheepish grin on the blonde's lips not quite registering in his head until... yeah... until he saw HIM.
"Teddy..." It was barely a whisper escaping his trembling lips as a fresh wave of tears welled up in his crystal blues, this time though they were of happiness, of relief as he watched his lover gracefully make his way over to them. The encouraging nudge to his ribs went unnoticed as he felt himself shaking, tightly grasping the box with their new rings that Dustin must've slipped into his hand sometime during their walk back.
Two strong arms enveloped his shivering body, a gentle kiss being placed atop his forehead, soft palms caressing his tense muscles underneath the dress-shirt he had picked out earlier today to replace the suit that had been mixed up. And suddenly everything else became insignificant. "You're back."
Rather a statement than a question slipping past his trembling lips, Cody clung to Ted's formal shirt -light blue, like they had talked about- never wanting to let go again. Not even the faltering noise of their guests registered in his brain, the comforting scent of Ted's after-shave and those strong arms keeping him safe all that mattered at the moment, until Ted hesitantly pulled away.
"Come on, baby... We've got guests waiting."
"But..." His words were cut off short when he spotted the smile on his fiancee's features and that sparkle in his eyes, so full of love and adoration that he did not question him for one second, only nodded his head and followed his lead, wordless, doubtless, cause he trusted him whole. He always had and always would.
Soon, Ted's hand left his lower back and was replaced with the friendly, meaty arm of his father around his waist, Dusty's grin big enough to split his face as he placed a kiss to Cody's forehead. The door in front of them closed behind his fiancee, his head spinning, mind reeling and his heart beating painfully against his ribcage. He had no idea what was happening. Not a clue as to what Ted had spoken about. Didn't know what was about to come next.
Until the door opened again and he was lead into the hall, people left and right arising from their seats, the sound of a piano filling the air. And all he could see was Ted. His Ted. Standing at the front and waiting for him. Just for him.
The walk down the aisle seemed to last forever, his eyes focused solemnly on his lover, his mate, his friend, his fiancee, Dusty's arm leaving him way too soon as his legs felt wobbly, knees shaking during those last few steps he had to take. Just then he realized that Ted was not standing alone, a young man with gelled black hair and a long black robe right at his side, book in his hands and a sympatric smile gracing his lips.
"How did you..."
He was met with a shrug of Ted's shoulders and a sheepish smile before his hands were cradled into warm, sweaty palms and the music died down. A 'Doesn't matter' was mouthed to him before Ted nodded his head towards the stranger who soon began to read the passage they had been waiting for their whole life.
The ceremony was like a blur to him, his mind barely registering the words "And do you, Cody Garrett Runnels,...", lips opening just barely to reveal a shaky, breathy "Yes" as tears streamed down his cheeks. Tears of joy. Of relief. Of content and safety.
How Ted had managed to get there in time and how he'd gotten a pastor in such a short time was a sheer miracle to him. A miracle just like them. And when Ted's trembling voice reached his ears as he spoke the words he'd dreamed of for so many years, Cody knew that no mess would ever be able to stop them...
'Till death breaks us apart.'
Reviews make me update quicker. Well, not really... but they certainly brighten my mood :D