A/N: I don't own what I recognize. Thanks for all the reviews. I really appreciate them.
Anne and Erik had agreed on a Valentine's Day wedding. It would be held in Liz and Will Darcy's living room. "I know it's a bizarre location," Anne had told her fiancé. "But they live in that huge old house and we both know that they'll let us use it if we want."
"Liz is always saying that it's the perfect house for throwing a party," Erik had replied.
"And our wedding is going to be a party?"
"The greatest party of 2012," Erik told his fiancée. "We're getting married the Saturday before Valentine's Day. Your family isn't invited. All of our best friends are invited. And you've got the seven coolest bridesmaids ever."
Anne grinned. Of their own accord, Emma, Kate, Liz, Elinor, Marianne, Jen, and Francesca had decided that they would be Anne's bridesmaids. Anne had asked Elinor to be her matron of honor, a title to which the pregnant Mrs. Ferrars had readily assented. And Elinor's husband, Ed, was Erik's best man.
Anne had said that she didn't care what anything looked like; she just wanted to marry Erik. She was wearing Elinor's wedding dress. Because Anne had decided she didn't want anyone to have go out and buy a new dress just for her wedding, all of the bridesmaids were wearing black dresses they already owned.
"You're getting married," Elinor told Anne two days before the wedding. "Shouldn't you be a little more nervous?"
"Nah, I've loved Erik for years," Anne replied, spreading out across the couch. "This is the fulfillment of years of dreams."
"Honey, I had been in love with Ed for three years before we got married, but I was still nervous the week before my wedding."
"It's different. I don't know. But I know that all of my dreams are coming true and I have no reason to worry about my wedding day. I can't explain it, Elinor. I'm just not nervous."
Her friend smiled. "I guess I'm happy for you. And maybe I'm a little jealous. I was freaking out for about three days before my wedding."
"I never understood that. I'm just happy that I'm finally marrying Erik. I can't think of any reason why I would be nervous."
Elinor rested her hands on her pregnant belly. "You have a lifetime of happiness ahead of you. I know it."
"Hey, you're the expert in that area. You are ridiculously happy."
"Yeah, I married a poor philosophy professor who became completely estranged from his family so that he can be with me. And we're having a baby in April."
"And you're blissfully happy," Anne said.
She smiled. "I never would have wanted Ed to break with his family over me, but I wouldn't trade our lives together for the world. I love being his wife."
"That's what I want with Erik," Anne told her. "I want to come home every day and know that I'm coming home to my husband and that he's mine and no one can ever take him away from me."
Elinor laughed. "That was the best part of my wedding day. We went home and I looked into those gorgeous pale blue eyes. And I knew then and there that we really are together until death parts us. And only death can part us. No more Lucy, no more crap from his family, nothing; it's just us against the world until the day we die."
Anne smiled. "He won't leave me ever again. We're getting everything we wanted for Christmas for the past four years and we're getting it every day of our lives."
Two days later, Anne walked down the makeshift aisle in Liz and Will's living room. No one gave her away, but she didn't care. The only person she would have wanted was Ed and he was busy being the best man.
And Erik was waiting for her by the fireplace with a smile and glowing eyes. Ed was grinning at her and Elinor looked like she was about to laugh. In fact, Anne thought she might start laughing.
She managed to make it through the ceremony without laughing, even after the minister said, "It is my pleasure to present to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Erik and Anne Wentworth."
She even managed to walk back up the aisle without laughing. But when they were out in the foyer, she doubled over laughing.
"What's this about?" Erik asked. "Do you think I look funny in this penguin suit?"
His wife shook her head. "Nothing's funny, Erik. It's just, I'm so happy that I think I could burst from it. I'm so happy."
He laughed and pulled her close. "You're mine, baby. You're mine forever. You're stuck with me until one of us kicks the bucket."
Anne laughed again. "And I wouldn't want it any other way."
"Good, because you're all I've ever wanted."
And then Anne laughed again. This time, her husband laughed with her.
The reception was beautiful. Ed and Elinor gave heartfelt toasts talking about the value of love, joy, and hope in Erik and Anne's relationship. "While this relationship has not been perfect or easy, these two people are incredibly committed to each other," Elinor said. "Their relationship is built on a mutual respect and trust that is inspiring to others."
"The path to love rarely easy," Ed said. " And these two have had a harder path than most. But it is in the journey that we find ourselves and find out what we are really made of. Anne and Erik's journey has lasted many years but now, they will travel together forever. They have lived their own lives and battled some incredible obstacles on their own. But now, they have each other. They will journey forward together."
"We're here today because of love," Erik said. "Anne and I are married because we love each other and we wish never to be parted from one another. We were separated from each other for over four years and those were the hardest, most painful years of our lives. We learned from that pain and those struggles. And it has made us better, stronger people. Now, we are together. Annabelle, I love you. I love you so much, and I cannot imagine my life without you."
"You're all I've ever wanted. Like most girls, I had a dream guy as a child. But you exceeded even my wildest dreams. You're all that I've ever wanted and more. When you asked me to marry you, you said that I was all you wanted for Christmas. Well, Erik, you're all that I want. I love you with all that I am, and you are all that I want, all that I could ever want."
And then her husband kissed her.
They didn't live happily ever after, but then no one really does; that's the stuff of fairy tales. And Anne and Erik had something that was better than a fairy tale; they had real life. They had three children-Beatrice, Sebastian, and Laura. They worked side-by-side at Kellynch College for many years. And they died within a month of one another at the age of 96.
A/N: Please review!