Rogue stepped out of her bedroom dressed in her wedding gown. It was strapless with a lace-up back and delicately embroidered flowers on the front with pearl, bead and sequin accents. The skirt was just as ridiculously huge as Rogue could have wanted, although with the petticoat underneath, it only just brushed the floor. It came with a detachable cathedral train which would make it look even bigger, but Rogue wasn't planning on putting that on until after they got to the church.
Rogue and her bridesmaids had spent most of the morning setting up the reception hall with a few other helpers until it was time to go to the day spa. There they enjoyed massages, skin treatments, manicures, pedicures and had their hair done. After that, they had returned to the mansion to get ready. Gambit was staying at the hotel with his family, as Rogue had been rather insistent on him not seeing her before the wedding. To his amusement, Carrie and Tante Mattie (along with several others) ganged up on him when he commented that it wasn't really bad luck, and he got every response from "Yes it is!" to "It's a charming tradition!" to "I wouldn't advise annoying your bride, especially not on your wedding day."
Carrie was waiting outside the bedroom when Rogue emerged and she smiled when she saw her niece.
"You look beautiful, sugah," she said, and then sighed. "If only your mama could see you now."
Rogue looked down. Carrie gave Rogue's shoulder a gentle squeeze.
"Oh, and before we get any further," Carrie went on. "Ah've been meaning ta ask, do you have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?"
A grin appeared on Rogue's face as she lifted her head once more.
"Well, muh dress is new, and muh garter's blue," Rogue replied, then touched the elegant silver tiara on her head and then the ruby pendant in turn: "And Storm leant me these. The ruby was her mother's."
"Thereby giving you something old," Carrie said with a thoughtful expression on her face. "Well, they look lovely on you."
Anything more she might have said was interrupted by Kitty and Jubilee simultaneously exiting their respective bedrooms. They exclaimed over how lovely the others looked, then Storm came down the stairs leading to her room in the attic.
"Storm," Kitty said teasingly while Carrie fished through her hand bag. "You're not supposed to outshine the bride."
"You and Jubilee look quite beautiful yourselves," Storm replied with a slight smile.
"Good," Rogue said. "That was the idea."
"Has Marrow come out yet?" Storm asked.
"No, not yet," Rogue said. "But she's going to look amazing."
"I can't wait to see her," said Jubilee. "How many fittings did you guys end up doing?"
"It feels like a million," Rogue replied. "But trust me, it's gonna be worth it. Not even Remy'll recognise her."
Kitty and Jubilee giggled.
"Thank you for the loan of your jewellery," Carrie said to Storm, a small present in her hand. "Ah hope, though, that you won't be offended if Ah offer Rogue an alternative to your mother's necklace."
Storm paused and inclined her head. "Not if you have something more appropriate."
Carrie gave her a nod, and held out the present to Rogue. "Ah feel Ah should give you one of your wedding presents early."
A little puzzled, Rogue accepted the gift with a thank you. Well aware of everyone's curiosity, Rogue pulled away the stylish wrapping paper and then opened up the jewellery box inside to reveal a diamond shaped pendant which was literally covered in more small diamonds than Rogue could count. The diamonds were set on geometrically designed raised and recessed platforms made of some kind of white metal. (Gambit would later identify it as platinum, say something about the Art Deco period and insist on getting it insured).
"It was your grandmother's," Carrie said. "She left it to me when she passed on. Ah've never worn it though, and Ah suspect you'll get more use out of it. Ah know Mama would want her necklace ta be worn."
Rogue swallowed hard as she lifted her head to meet Carrie's eyes.
"Thank you," she said. "This really means a lot to me."
"And it's only fitting that you should wear a family heirloom from your own family, rather than someone else's," Storm said as she approached. "Even someone else whom you consider family."
Rogue smiled. "Thank you, Storm."
While the necklaces were being exchanged and put away or admired at, Marrow was in her room, gazing anxiously at her reflection. She felt like her bones were out in force today. There were four spikes about one to two inches long, sticking out of each of her arms from just above her wrists to just below her shoulders. Six thick bones were sticking out of her back. A line of seven flat bones, about an inch thick each and closely packed together were just under her bust. The middle bone actually poked up a little between her breasts, and the last bone on each end curved slightly down her side. As if to coordinate with her arms, there were five two-to-three inch long spikes sticking out of each her legs: two in each shin, one in each knee, and two above each knee. A number of smaller bones were growing out of her forehead.
The skirt Marrow had chosen to wear only just covered her backside. The breech cloth that came with it was designed to join with the skirt so that they looked like one piece, rather than two. It was wider at the back than at the front; a good thing, else it was likely her knee-bones would have been at risk of slicing it, had the ends been any sharper. The cloth came down just past her knees. The only shirt Marrow could wear covered her chest from breasts to neckline completely. Securing it around her neck was no problem, but Marrow had been forced to be very careful about doing up the tie that went around her back at the bottom of the top. Her bones weren't quite in the right place for it to fit neatly, but Marrow was just happy she was able to tie it up without cutting either material or skin with her arm spikes.
Marrow lifted her hands to the mirror as she took in her reflection. Her finger and toe nails were painted pink to match the dress. She'd never had her nails done before, and the only times she had ever experimented with make up she had washed it off immediately after so that no one would see her. The whole day spa thing had been awkward, and Marrow had never felt so far out of her comfort zone in her life. It had taken every ounce of restraint she had not to lash out at the staff, although she had gotten some smug satisfaction out of the looks of surprised relief on the faces of the other X-women.
There was a knock on the door.
"Sarah," Carrie's voice called through the door, "did you need a hand?"
"I'm twenty-six years old. I know how to dress myself," Marrow retorted hotly, then bit down on her tongue to keep from adding 'stupid flatscan.'
"Well, we're all waiting for you," Carrie said. "The transport will be here in a few minutes."
Marrow sighed irritably, and gave her reflection one last look. She walked carefully over to the door in the first pair of high heeled shoes she'd ever worn (how did anyone wear these things?) and stepped out into the hallway. Only Carrie was there, and she frowned at Marrow.
"Don't slouch," Carrie said firmly. "Stand up straight, please. Shoulders back, chin up, chest out. This is a wedding, not an execution."
Marrow gritted her teeth, but obeyed. Carrie gave her a nod when she was satisfied, and then gestured down the hall. They walked to the foyer together, where the rest of the bridal party had gone after Storm had returned from putting her necklace away. Marrow stopped at the top of the stairs and looked down at Rogue, Storm, Jubilee and Kitty. She swallowed hard and wondered why in the world she had agreed to this. They were so beautiful, and she felt like the ugly step-sister.
"Sarah," Carrie said, having noticed her stop.
Marrow swallowed hard as everyone on the ground floor looked up. Jubilee wolf-whistled and Marrow bristled and glared at her. Jubilee didn't seem to notice.
"Sarah! You look amazing!" Kitty exclaimed.
"Come on down, sugah," Rogue said encouragingly.
"Okay," Jubilee said excitedly as Marrow carefully made her way down the stairs, "seriously, on anyone else that outfit would look silly. You actually pull it off. You look hot, girl."
Marrow shot Jubilee a look of disbelief as she stepped off the last step.
"Sarah," Carrie said from close behind. "What do we say when someone pays us a compliment?"
Marrow rolled her eyes and Rogue hid her grin.
"Thank you," Marrow said with forced politeness.
Gambit waited nervously at the church. Henri, Emil, Logan and Piotr were with him and the minister on the short stage; it was only a foot above the floor. The seats were filled with his friends and family; his Guild friends dominated the groom's side, while the X-men, a number of students Rogue had made friends with and the precious few friends outside the school Rogue had made were on the bride's side.
Tante Mattie came down the aisle and gave a nod to the minister as if to say "they're here." Gambit took a deep breath as Tante Mattie sat down next to Jean-Luc. He couldn't believe how anxious he was about this. It wasn't cold feet, not really. He was still quite comfortable in his decision to marry Rogue, and had no desire to run off. He was just acutely aware that his life was about to change forever and wasn't really sure how to handle it.
Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" began to play. Gambit swallowed as he and everyone else stood and turned to face the doorway. Kitty appeared, dressed in a slim cocktail dress that swished around her knees. She held a mixed bouquet of pink and white flowers, and the pink roses matched the single pink rose each of the groomsmen had pinned to their white jackets.
Kitty was halfway down the aisle when Jubilee appeared at the doorway wearing a sportier number. Kitty reached the end and stood across from Henri about the same time that Jubilee go to the middle of the aisle and Storm stood at the doorway. Storm was pretty much the only woman Gambit knew how could pull off the goddess look no matter what she wore.
Jubilee and Storm joined Kitty at the front of the church, across from their respective partners, and it was then that Gambit realised Marrow should have appeared by now. Everyone looked towards the doorways, waiting for the fourth bridesmaid (or the bride, for those who couldn't count). Finally, Marrow emerged, looking frazzled and uncertain. Gambit was stunned at what he saw, for Marrow had never made any attempt to dress up before, at least not that he had ever seen. She met his eyes as she walked down the aisle, and he gave her what he hoped was an encouraging smile and two thumbs up in an attempt to relieve the terrified look in her eyes. Marrow finally made it to the end, and stood next to Storm across from Piotr.
Rogue took a deep breath as she watched Marrow walk down the aisle and then turned her head to catch Carrie's eyes. Carrie smiled and squeezed Rogue's hand encouragingly. Together, with their arms linked, Rogue and Carrie stepped through the doorway. Rogue's heart was beating so fast and loudly that she was convinced everyone could hear it. Then her eyes met Gambit's, and everyone else seemed to cease to exist.
At last, Rogue got to the end. Carrie kissed Rogue's forehead, and then placed Rogue's hand in Gambit's with a smile for both of them. She sat down in the seat saved for her at the front. Rogue squeezed Gambit's hand. He was wearing the white shirt, and the red rose pinned to his shirt matched the red roses in her mixed red and white bouquet.
The music died away and the minister opened the ceremony with a talk on love and marriage. Rogue and Gambit said their "I do"s and exchanged vows. Henri came forward with the platinum wedding rings which Gambit had arranged early into their wedding planning. Finally:
"I now pronounce you husband and wife," said the minister, and he looked at Gambit with a nod: "You may now kiss the bride."
Although Gambit had secretly wanted to dip Rogue backwards when he kissed her, he refrained, instead wrapping one arm around her waist and cupping her face with the other. He kissed her deeply as the congregation applauded, and some cheered. Rogue and Gambit then linked arms and walked over to the table at the side where the register was waiting for them to sign. The photographer took plenty of photos of the signing. Kitty and Henri witnessed it. And finally, the bridal party linked up with their partner and walked down the aisle.
The photographer gathered everyone outside the church for a group shot. Gambit pulled Marrow next to him.
"Hey," he said softy. "Yo' look great, ma petite."
"Oh don't you start," Marrow replied irritably. "I've had people patronising me all day."
"It never occurred t' yo' dat dey might be telling the truth?" Gambit asked.
Marrow met Gambit's amused smile with a disbelieving look.
"I know what I am, Gambit," she said. "No amount of clothing or make up can make me something I'm not."
Gambit touched her cheek gently. "I think you'd be surprised at just how pretty yo' are when yo' stop scowling at folks and start smiling at dem."
"Okay everyone," the photographer said. "Say cheese!"
After a couple of group shots were taken, Rogue, with the help of Carrie, removed the cathedral train. Rogue and Gambit then got on the horse-driven carriage waiting for them while everyone watched and the two cameramen filmed from different angles.
Everyone made their way to the reception, and most beat the bride and groom there. More photos were taken with the bridal party and the families. The photo shoot was short, partly because Rogue had no interest in taking photos for hours on end, and partly because everyone (including herself) was hungry for dinner.
Bobby, who was acting as the MC for the evening, took the stage once he was informed that the bridal party was ready to enter. He called for everyone's attention through the microphone, and asked them to be seated. The reception hall was decorated in whites, pinks and reds. There were low candles in flower-shaped holders on the tables, which were covered in gorgeous white table cloths long enough to touch the floor. White fairy lights were strung along the ceiling, and a canopy of tulle netting draped below them to create a most enchanting effect.
"Marrow and Piotr," Bobby announced.
Marrow and Piotr stepped through the door, her hand reluctantly in his. He walked her to the bridal table and pulled out her stool for her. Marrow stared at him in surprise at the gesture before slowly sitting down.
"Storm and Logan."
Storm and Logan entered the room, elbows linked. Like Piotr had Marrow, Logan also escorted Storm to her chair. He pulled it out for her while Piotr took his own seat at the other end of the table.
"Jubilee and Emil."
Bobby figured that when Emil also pulled out Jubilee's chair for her, that Gambit (or Rogue), had already arranged for the groomsmen to do this for their partners.
"Kitty and Henri."
Bobby waited until Kitty and Henri sat down before making the final introduction:
"And the newlyweds themselves," Bobby said, "Rogue and Remy LeBeau."
There was applause as Rogue and Gambit crossed the polished wooden floor to the bridal table. Gambit pulled out Rogue's chair for her, and then helped pushed her in when it became evident that to do so by herself could easily result in her dress getting stood on by one of the chair legs.
The waiters appeared with the entrees. Everyone ate and chatted with the other people at their respective tables. When different ones finished off their plates, they got up and wander around to other tables to chat. For many, this was their first chance to talk to Rogue and Gambit all day.
"Rogue," said David. "This is muh girlfriend, Jade."
"Hi," Rogue said, smiling up at the couple. "It's a pleasure ta meet you. David's told me all about ya."
"Likewise," Jade replied. "And congratulations on your wedding. Ah hope ya'll are very happy together."
Bobby got up to announce that the main course was about to be served, and everyone casually found their seats once more. They ate, drank and continued chatting away until Bobby once more took the microphone.
"Alright people," he said. "Now comes the boring part of the evening. The part where people make speeches. Oh, but the good news is that after the speeches, we have cake. But only for people who listened to the speeches, so pay attention, 'cause there may be a quiz after. Anyway, first up we have Rogue's maid of honour, Kitty."
Kitty stood and Bobby handed her the microphone. Kitty glanced over the crowd and took a deep breath.
"I first met Rogue about four years ago, but it feels like we've known each other our entire lives. Why, it feels like it was only a few days ago we were playing pirates and...oh wait, that really was only a few days ago," Kitty said, and smiled at her own joke. "I remember when Rogue first brought Gambit home, I was really put off by the age difference between them. In fact that was the basis of my argument against them dating even before they even started dating."
Kitty looked at Rogue and Gambit as she continued: "I ended up crossing a line and nearly lost both of you as friends because I couldn't—wouldn't—see past that. I'm sorry it took me so long to realise that you two not only love each other, but you're also perfect for each other. I'm so happy for you, and I hope you have a wonderful life together."
After the toast, the microphone was passed over to Henri. Henri stood with a devilish expression on his face directed right at Gambit.
"Bonjour," he said. "Fo' those o' yo' who don't know me, I'm Remy's older, wiser and way sexier brother, Henri. I taught him everything he knows. I know some o' yo' may find dat hard t' believe, but everyone who does know me can attest t' the fact dat it's all true. When I was a teenager, Père brought home this dirty, young pup he'd picked up off the street. I 'member being surprised 'cause Père ain't exactly the type t' bring home strays. Still, Père and Tante Mattie got her fed and cleaned up, and cut her long, matted hair, and dat's when I discovered Remy was a boy."
Emil snickered beside him.
"So all o' a sudden I had this little brother I didn't know what t' do wit'," Henri went on merrily. "But I did hear dat femmes like babies and pets, right? And this was when I was interested in my now dear wife, Mercy, but hadn't yet asked her out. So I figured, well, I did catch Remy going through the garbage looking for scraps, and he's pretty little, that's close enough, right? In hindsight, I think dat's when the womanising started. He was just so inspired by my success he had t' try and win fair ladies' hearts on his own."
The look on Gambit's face clearly said "yeah, right."
"No one was more surprised than me the day dat I found out Remy had been dating the one femme for six whole months. And if dat wasn't indication enough dat Remy was in love for the first time in his life, I then discovered dat dey hadn't had sex at all during dat time," Henri said. "Yeah, I know, I was shocked too. Mon frère dating a femme he couldn't touch. Had t' be love. I knew right then dat Rogue was the one fo' Remy. And yo' remember dat Rogue? I welcomed yo' t' the family the same day."
"You're looking gorgeous, by the way, chère. Simply stunning. Remy, on the other hand, just looks stunned," Henri said, grinning at his own joke. "And finally, Remy, I have some advice. Two words that are the key t' a successful marriage: yes dear."
Henri picked up his glass. "To Rogue and Remy, I know you'll be very happy t'gether, and I wish yo' all the best in the new life ahead of yo'."
Everyone drank, and Bobby took back the microphone as he sipped from his glass.
"Yeah, I have to agree Remy does look quite stunned," Bobby said cheerfully. "Rogue always looks stunning, of course. And the bridesmaids are all hot. Especially Jubilee. Not that I'm biased 'cause I'm dating her or anything."
Jubilee flicked a firework at him.
"Hey," Bobby objected. "See what I have to put up with? I'm a battered boyfriend."
"And yo' enjoy every minute of it," Gambit said.
"And Storm looks lovely as always," Bobby went on after poking out his tongue at Gambit. "Personally, I don't think that Storm even knows the meaning of the word 'dirt.'"
Storm smiled good-naturedly.
"And well, Marrow," Bobby said, and Marrow stiffened. "She looks like a warrior princess or something. She's even got a bone crown."
Self-consciously, Marrow put her hand to the bones that were growing out of her forehead and scowled at Bobby. He didn't notice.
"Very hot," Bobby said, then grinned at the groomsmen. "And the guys over here all look umm, very handsome I'm sure. Personally—and I'm sure that someone's going to make me pay for this remark later—I'm just impressed that Rogue got Logan to wear pink. And now to quickly change the subject, for our next speech we have Rogue—"
"Boy! Over here," Jean-Luc commanded.
"Yeah..." Bobby said slowly. "Remy told me you don't get to make a speech. He said, 'whatever you do, don't give Jean-Luc the microphone. He'll just go on and on all night.'"
Gambit hid his laughter. He'd also told Bobby that if Jean-Luc wanted to make a speech, to let him. He just couldn't pass up an opportunity to stir.
"Oh did he now?" Jean-Luc said, and was about to continue with a glare at Gambit when Bobby interrupted:
"But farbeit for me to prevent the father-of-the-groom from sharing potentially embarrassing stories about his son on his wedding day. Floor's all yours."
Bobby handed Jean-Luc the microphone, and the older man stood.
"Don't want me making a speech, pah," Jean-Luc said. "'Bout time yo' got married, mon fils. Was beginning t' think yo' were going t' be spending the rest o' your life just going through women like yo' do cards. Which reminds me, Rogue; merci fo' coming int' our lives and finally giving m'boy a purpose fo' his life, even if it did mean he ended up retiring from the family business. Ain't entirely happy about dat part, but it's worth it if it means I finally get some grandkids out o' him."
Gambit buried his head in his hands. Jean-Luc grinned and refrained from making a comment about bastard children. He figured Rogue probably wouldn't appreciate it, and she wasn't the one he was planning on antagonising...today.
"You're not getting any younger, Remy, and neither am I. I think I'd like t' have a pair of teenage grandkids from yo' before I pass on," Jean-Luc said, and realised his private joke wasn't quite as funny aloud as it had been in his head. "Fo' dat matter, I wouldn't mind some great-grandkids from yo', Gigi, but dat's another rant fo' another day."
Gigi blew raspberries at her grandfather.
"All joking aside, Remy, I'm really very happy fo' yo'. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who believes dat you've found your soulmate in Rogue, and dat's a very special thing. Don't take your marriage fo' granted," Jean-Luc said, now making a concerted effort not to choke up as he inevitably thought of his own dear departed wife. "Cherish every day yo' have t'gether, don't go t' bed angry, talk t' each other, dream and plan t'gether, and above all, never let a day go past wit'out saying 'I love yo'."
Jean-Luc swallowed hard. He picked up his glass and raised it.
"Remy, yo' did good. Rogue, welcome t' the family," he said. "To the bride and groom, may your marriage be long and prosperous."
Everyone drank another sip from their respective glasses. Bobby glanced at Carrie in silent inquiry. She hesitated, but shook her head. She hadn't prepared anything.
"Okay, so Rogue, the beautiful bride, is up next," Bobby said, and handed her the microphone.
Rogue took a deep breath as she stood.
"Remy, when we first met in that bar, Ah never would have imagined that we'd be getting married two years later," she said to him. "Those first few days we spend together were pretty action-packed and they definitely left an impression, you know, what with being kidnapped, robbed and involved on a gun fight on the highway."
"Ah was irritated with getting mixed up in your...situation, but then you ended up mixed up in mine, so Ah guess that makes us even. Ah think what Ah valued the most about those first few days was making a friend who accepted me, untouchable skin and all. You weren't afraid ta hold muh hand, or ta touch muh shoulder, or give me a hug. Beyond that, you flirted with me, took me out on 'friendly' dates. You made me feel like Ah was a person, not an object of fear," Rogue said, tears starting to well up in her eyes. "The more time Ah spent with you, the more time Ah wanted ta spend with you. Ah don't know when exactly Ah fell in love, but Ah did, and that scared me. Ah was scared of hurtin' and of being hurt. And if Ah had things muh way, we never would have gone beyond friends, because Ah couldn't bear the idea of you leaving muh life if things didn't work out."
Rogue reached out and took Gambit's hand with her free one.
"Ah love you so much, Remy. You are a good, honourable man, with a heart of gold. Ah can only hope that Ah fill your life with as much joy as you fill mine," she said and let go of his hand to she could lift her glass towards him. "To Remy."
Rogue handed Gambit the microphone. Gambit stood and gently wiped the half-formed tears from her eyes.
"Well, first I'd like t' thank y'all fo' coming and sharing this day wit' us," Gambit said to everyone as Rogue sat down. "I know I speak fo' Rogue as well when I say dat today wouldn't have been the same wit'out yo'. Especial thanks t' everyone who helped out; Kitty, Storm, Jubilee, Bobby, Logan..."
Gambit continued to read off names from a list he'd written earlier so he wouldn't forget anyone.
"...and thanks t' Aunt Carrie," he continued. "I know dat Roguey has really appreciated your help and support these last few weeks."
Rogue smiled at Carrie, and Carrie inclined her head in acknowledgement.
"Finally, but most importantly," Gambit said as he turned to Rogue. "Thanks t' yo', chère, fo' showing up t'day and agreeing t' marry me."
"I just don't know what I would have done wit'out yo'. I'm not even sure how I lived so long wit'out yo' in my life, as cliché as dat sounds. Ignorance is the only thing I can come up wit'," Gambit said. "Just like yo' I never would have imagined when we met dat we would be getting married. Heck, never thought I'd marry anyone. Yo' kind o' snuck up on me and stole my heart when I wasn't looking."
Rogue grinned at him.
"But I wouldn't have it any other way. Ain't no secret I've been wit' many women, but never anyone like yo'. I never thought it would be possible t' feel the way I do right now, until I met yo', Rogue. I love yo', ma chère, and I'm looking forward t' spending the rest of my life wit' you."
As everyone joined in on the final toast, Bobby retrieved the microphone.
"And now for the cutting of the cake, if our two love birds wouldn't mind coming over," Bobby said as he walked over to the three-tiered wedding cake, complete with a castle topper.
"I suppose we can do dat," Gambit said.
He pulled Rogue's chair out for her as she stood and they walked over to the wedding cake. Gambit picked up the knife, decorated with a white ribbon tied around the handle. Rogue put her hand on his and together they plunged the knife into the lower tier of the wedding cake. The cameramen and photographer captured the moment. Rogue and Gambit pulled the knife out and then they kissed.
"Caaaake," Bobby said. "And now, while the cake is being cut up into slices for everyone—everyone who paid attention to the speeches, that is—Rogue and Gambit would like for everyone to join them outside for the bridal waltz. Please bring the candles on the tables with you; they're floating candles for you to put on the water outside."
So everyone stood, picked up the lighted candles and followed Rogue and Gambit outside to the water. There were fairy lights strung through the trees overhanging the water which Rogue had put into place earlier. The guests where shown where to place the candles, and after placing hers, Psylocke approached Rogue and Gambit.
"Ready?" Psylocke asked, holding out her hand.
Gambit turned his head while Rogue absorbed Psylocke. Kitty supported Psylocke while she fought off the dizziness, and Bryan Adam's "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" began to play. Rogue took Gambit's hand and together, much to the shock of pretty much everyone watching, they stepped onto the surface of the water. Rogue used Psylocke's telekinesis to keep Gambit above the water—only touching his shoes—and to prevent the hem of her dress from getting wet. She also used it to sweep the floating candles out with them as they walked across the surface of the water.
Rogue and Gambit began to dance. At first Gambit had been a nervous wreck about the whole thing, and it took considerable will power on his end not to run away and hide the first time they'd even started to practice (not that he would ever admit that to anyone). Still, he found that Rogue was very good and discreet about her use of telekinesis and he could honestly say that if it wasn't for the fact that he was dancing on top of water, he wouldn't have believed that she was using any at all. Rogue had attempted to explain exactly how she was doing it, but Gambit stopped her, saying he would be happier not knowing the details.
As everyone watched there was much murmuring to the tune of "how in the world are they able to do this" and no shortage—particularly amongst Gambit's Guild friends—of people trying to figure it out. One of the cameramen watched the whole thing through the screen on his camera and shook his head knowing that no one who wasn't here right now would ever believe this really happened.
As Rogue spun around, her skirt created ripples on the surface of the water. Although it was quite dark out by now, the lights in the trees and on the water reflected well enough off the water's surface, Rogue's white gown and Gambit's white suit. There was also sufficient lighting from shore.
Halfway through the song, at prior arrangement, Kitty and Piotr began to dance on the shore. They were joined by Jubilee and Bobby, Storm and Logan, and Henri and Merci. Eventually everyone else so inclined also took partners and joined in the dancing. Warren sat beside Psylocke, who—so recently absorbed—preferred to watch.
As the final notes died away, Rogue and Gambit kissed and then walked together back to the shore. Bobby took up the microphone quickly before things could get noisy and announced they'd be headed back inside now for more dancing and dessert.
The evening went quickly after that, and before Rogue knew it, she was standing with her back towards a group of the unmarried women. Rogue swung her arm and tossed her bouquet over her head. She turned just in time to see Gigi catch it.
"It's mine! All mine!" Gigi shouted, waving the bouquet above her head in glee.
Henri gave Mercy a nudge.
"Yo' think she really will be the next one married?" he asked her.
Gambit joined her with a chair, upon which Rogue rested her foot. With a wicked grin, Gambit slid his hand along the leg of his new wife and located her garter. He slid Rogue's garter off, and then flung it into the crowd of unmarried men.
David looked stunned when he caught the garter. Rogue stifled a giggle as David and Gigi joined herself and Gambit in front of everyone.
"So, ahh," Rogue said, looking between them. "Have you two met yet?"
"No," Gigi said as David shook his head.
"Well, David, this is muh niece, Gigi," Rogue said while Gambit snickered beside her. "And Gigi, this is muh ex-boyfriend, David."
"Hi," Gigi said, waving to him.
"Nice ta meet ya," David replied.
"Likewise," Gigi said.
There was a pause.
"So," David said, holding up the garter. "Ah guess Ah should put this on your leg now."
Gigi put her leg up on the chair and grinned at him. "Please do."
David slid the garter onto Gigi's leg and everyone cheered.
Finally, their guests formed a line to the door, and Rogue and Gambit greeted and thanked each one. It seemed like forever before they finally made it to the door. Everyone followed them out while blowing bubbles from champagne bottle shaped containers of bubble mix. Rogue and Gambit got on the carriage, and everyone waved and called out farewells as the happy newlywed couple departed.
Just before the carriage could disappear completely from sight, Gambit took Rogue into his arms and kissed her soundly.
I think it's official. I did more research for this wedding than I ever did for my own. Do you guys realise that this is the sixth time I've married Rogue and Gambit off? And that's not even counting the X-men Presents series. I think I need a break, haha.
Anyway, for those of you who have been enjoying this series, I'm sure you'll be delighted to know that I have long-term plans for it. There are more stories to come, I just don't know when.
Thanks as always to all my reviewers for their feedback. It's been most appreciated and encouraging.
Congrats to PumpedUpKicks for picking up on the "Purple Dragon" Tavern being a reference to Lockheed. It took me ages to come up with a good name, so it's nice to know at least one person got the joke :-D
Thanks also to my Facebook friends for their input into the wedding plans and the burning question of: who should catch the bouquet and the garter? Hehehe.
I hope you've all enjoyed the story.