Author's Note: Okay, you all will certainly be very confused if you read this without taking a peek at Mr. Westerfeld's April Fool's Day prank on his readers first. You can find it at: "http: / /blog /2011 /04 /goliath-reveal-2/" without all the spaces. The wonderful idea arose on the Blog that someone should write a fanfic about it, and so... this happened. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own this.
This was probably the worst day of Deryn's entire life.
She'd always imagined that her wedding day would be the best, but, of course, in her child's daydreams she'd been marrying the dashing boy, not-well, being him.
Her secret was in danger of being discovered, and Lilit had offered to help. She'd reassured Deryn that Dylan getting married would dispel any doubt as to her-his-gender. It was all a barking mess, really, and she wasn't entirely sure how it had happened.
"Ready to go, Dylan?" Lilit popped in the doorway just as Deryn was pulling on her boots.
"Isn't there some rule that says I shouldn't be seeing you in your dress before you walk down the aisle?" Deryn asked defeatedly.
Lilit sighed. "Isn't there some rule that says I can't marry a girl?"
"Bu-" Deryn sputtered, pulling Lilit into the room and darting a glance down the hallway to make sure no one had heard. "That's the point, you ninny!"
"Honestly, Mr. Sharp, is the really the way to treat your bride? We shall have to work on that," she said drily, and left to find her procession of bridesmaids.
Deryn didn't even know anyone in the wedding party aside from Bovril, who was serving as the ring bearer. Of course she couldn't invite her own family, and when she'd asked Alek to be her best man, he'd refused, looking extremely hurt. She had thought he would understand, now that he knew her secret, but he hadn't spoken to her since, and that had been nearly a month now. Her loneliness among all these Ottomans was terrible.
Count Volger and Dr. Barlow would both be there, and Klopp, Hoffman, and Bauer, all in the audience. The only one of them that knew was Count Volger, and as she stepped to take her place on the altar, she could feel his cool, disapproving glare. Barking Clankers.
The organ began to play, and Deryn tried not to break down into furious sobs at her situation while all the people marched down the aisle. She had to pretend to be happy and forced herself to break into a large smile when Lilit strode in. The girl looked radiant in her dress, and her acting was flawless. She had the air of a woman in love, like she could barely keep from running to the altar. She gave Deryn a reassuring nod, taking her place beside her groom.
The preacher began his long speech, droning on about marriage, and Deryn's stomach twisted into a million knots, her legs shaking and turning to jelly.
Just as Deryn was about to protest that she couldn't do this, the far wall of the chapel splintered and exploded inward. From the space that had been panels of carefully painted wood and stained glass and a door, a giant metal stormwalker stumbled in. Squinting through the dust, Deryn could just make out the form of someone piloting the thing, viewport completely open. He looked oddly familiar...
As the dust cleared, she saw his face. It was pale, pulled into a tight grimace. He held a pistol and a sword, and he was yelling. It took a moment before Deryn could make out his words.
"Deryn! Wake up you Dummkopf! You've already slept in past breakfast!"
"What?" Deryn pulled open her eyes to see Alek's eyes alight with amusement, his dark red hair a tumbled mess because he hadn't combed it yet. "I missed breakfast?"
"Yes," he shrugged, "but I brought you some." Alek held out a biscuit slathered with jam, and pointed to a mug of coffee waiting on the bedside table. "What in blazes were you dreaming about? You looked like were having a nightmare."
It was only then that she saw the cleverly hidden worry in his brow. She smiled at him brightly, trying to show she was fine, and said; "You don't barking want to know."