Title: It's Been Us All Along
Rating: very mild T
Word Count: 3,100+
Characters: Kaldur/Donna with mentions of various other couples
Summary: They all pretty much know Donna can look beautiful in just about anything of any color, but he thinks it's even better when she keeps (unknowingly) proving them right.
Prompt: #169: tradition
Other Inspirations: the wedding saying: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe"
Notes: written for and prompted by jenniferhudsonfan33. Exists in the same universe as "My Darling Dear" and "Oh, What Blessings." Pretty soon, this universe will have to get its own name (: What should I call it?
It's Been Us All Along
Kaldur still isn't all that familiar with human rituals, but the sun is beating down and his tie may be a bit too tight, and he thinks that it's a bit silly that they're all in tuxedos and nice dresses with fancy shoes and heels to match and they're standing on the beach. Apparently, it's not uncommon to have a wedding on the shore, but still.
He stands proudly beside his mentor, however, and smiles when Orin and Mera exchange their vows and seal the ceremony with a kiss, her veil tiara twinkling as the sun hits them.
This obviously isn't their first wedding.
But this is Kaldur's first year of being Aqualad and since they never had a ceremony on land for everyone in the League to attend, they decided to renew their vows. They're on a very private island that Batman owns. It must be in the middle of the nowhere in this ocean because is really does feel like their small gathering of barely a hundred people are the only people on this island.
The reception follows immediately after, and basically they're just walking over to another part of the beach where tables and food are set.
"You have no idea how badly I want to go for a swim," Donna tells him, eying the waves rolling against the ocean.
She has her heels in one hand and her dress balled in the other so that it's lifted from the sand. Robin, Wally, and Roy had kicked off their dress shoes almost immediately after the wedding, rolling up their slacks above their knees. Kaldur had hesitated, but only for a second and then slipped off his sandals and did the same. Still, the water that crashed against their ankles was just a cooling tease to the rest of the ocean.
"I think I have an idea," he corrects, and smiles as she laughs.
"I don't know why they won't let us just go in!" Wally mumbles as he, Robin, and Roy walk over to them. "It's unfair! It's really hot and we can't even swim!"
"We're at a wedding, Wally," Roy reminds.
Robin smirks and corrects, "Technically, a vow renewal."
Roy rolls his eyes. "I still don't think that makes it okay to just jump into the water in our tuxes."
"Well, then we won't be wearing our tuxes," Wally says simply, pulling off his blazer and discarding the red vest underneath. Kaldur casts an uncertain glance towards the adults, who otherwise seem too wrapped up in their own casual conversation to notice the kids stripping off to the side.
Roy scoffs in slight annoyance but exchanges a smirk with Robin before the two of them imitate their friend, removing their own blazers and vests.
Kaldur looks down at Donna, who is shaking her head at the three boys, an endearing smile on her face despite muttering, "Boys." Then she meets Kaldur's eyes and gets this playful grin. "How mad do you think Diana will be if I ruin the dress?"
"Very, I imagine."
"Perfect," she says, and then giggles as she tosses her heels onto the sand with the boys' clothes and gives a soft tug at the material of her dress, ripping it to her knees as easily as tearing a piece of paper before tossing it over with her heels. Kaldur feels a tinge of heat rise to his cheeks, and Donna tucks her hair behind her ear and beams at him. "Well? Are you coming?"
Kaldur hesitates for a few seconds. He has never been defiant to any capacity, but there's this sense of rebelliousness bubbling and he finds himself tossing his blazer and vest aside as well, taking the hand Donna offers him.
She gives a toss and sends him colliding with the other three, falling into the water as a wave washes over them, and the cool water feels refreshing.
Donna has a hand over her mouth as she's giggling. Further up the shore, they can hear the chatter of the League and their names being called out as their mentors take notice of them. So Wally speeds behind Donna and pushes her over and Robin is cackling as she's falling into the water, landing between Kaldur and Roy.
Another wave washes over them, and he feels her fingers clasp his arm for support a she turns into his chest and laughs really hard.
M'gann is really into imaginary wedding planning right now, which would be ridiculous if it was any other person. With her, it's just endearing, and everyone goes along with it. Red Tornado even bought a biweekly subscription to some bridal magazine under his alias, and she has folders for each of them with clippings and notes and recipes and whatnot, as if she were planning a real thing. It's pretty amusing.
They're running laps around the base of the mountain one day when it starts raining pretty hard out of nowhere. They were out there for a few hours before it started pouring, so when they dry off and walk into the living room, they weren't at all expecting the mess that the girls made.
But there are cupcakes on the table, and the folders are open with everything spread out on the floor. Oh, and they're all in white dresses.
"What happened to your little marathon?" Artemis asks. She's directing it at Wally, but her hair is down and in this braid pushed over her shoulder and her dress is strapless, so he's kind of busy staring and all that ends up coming out of his mouth is, "Huh?" She rolls her eyes and Wally laughs then smiles too widely as he speeds over to her, setting a hand at her waist and dipping his head for a kiss.
"And it looks like we've lost Artemis and Kid Hormones," Robin chuckles, and as if to prove his point, the couple are oblivious to his comment. He shakes his head and plops onto the couch beside Zatanna, pulling her legs over his lap. She beams and says something that only the Boy Wonder can hear.
Conner kneels beside M'gann and actually seems mildly interested as she points to the stuff that's spread out on the floor and gets into this animated explanation.
"We live in a Cave full of couples."
Kaldur chuckles and glances down at Donna. She's grinning at him and pushing her bangs behind her ear, only to have them slip back into place a few seconds later.
"You say that with an undertone of disgust," he teases, and she laughs harder than he was expecting. He's always loved her laugh. "What about Roy?"
Her laughter bubbles down and she rolls her shoulder back, pushing the thin strap into place as she admits, "It's complicated." He arches an eyebrow and she shrugs, causing the strap to fall back over, and she huffs a little and pulls it back on. "It was kind of stupid to begin with."
"I do not think falling for someone can ever be stupid," Kaldur tells her, and she gets this sad smile because she knows him well and knows he thinks of Tula, at least for a second.
"Well," she exhales, "Don't get me wrong, because I'll always love Roy, but—I just don't think it was ever meant to be more than a sibling kind of thing. Besides, there's the age gap, and…"
Kaldur nods, and because he likes to think he knows her almost as well, he asks, "Is there someone else?"
She just smiles in a way only Donna can do when she's disappointed, and Kaldur's eyes soften. He wants to say something, but then she's linking their arms together and pulling him slightly and asking, "Split a cupcake with me?"
"Alright," he chuckles. It's impossible to say no to her.
They walk into the kitchen and sit on the barstools, after she's placed a cupcake on a small plate and grabbed two spoons from the drawer. They dig their spoons into opposite sides of the cupcake and then toast their spoons together before slipping it into their mouths, settling into a silence. It's always been easy like this between them, to be with Donna amongst the chaos and feel comfortable.
"I really shouldn't be eating this," she laughs a few bites later. "The last thing I need to be doing is gaining weight, especially if I ever hope to wear an actual wedding dress."
"I believe it is impossible for you to be anything less than beautiful."
She kind of blinks slowly and blushes, ducking her head so that her hair falls over her shoulder and biting her lower lip as she smiles. "And when the time comes for you to get married," he continues, making her look back up at him, "I will gladly help make sure you are able to wear the dress you want."
Her answering smile is dazzling, and he knows he should be alarmed by the warmth he feels when she tells him, "You're amazing, Kaldur." But at the moment, he can't be bothered by it.
He was a little hesitant when Wally had told them the wedding color would be orange.
It's not at all a traditional color, but then again, they're not at all a traditional couple so Kaldur supposes that's alright. But Artemis didn't want to be cliché and do green just because she had posed as Ollie's sidekick when they'd first met, and Wally claimed red wouldn't look right because of his hair and because Artemis said red with her blonde hair made her think of ketchup and mustard.
And the orange they picked is a deep shade like garnet and compliments the couple beautifully, so obviously it was the right risk to take.
The newlyweds dance the mother-son and father-daughter dances at the same time. Wally's laughing at the way his mother is blubbering in his arms, and Kaldur doesn't miss the way Artemis tries to be subtle about the way she dabs the corner of her eye after Ollie said something to her that made them water.
Donna is sitting beside him at the head table, her hand over her heart as she's biting down on her lower lip as if to prevent the wide smile on her face from getting any wider.
She's in an orange bridesmaid dress that matches the band of color at Artemis's waist, and they all pretty much know Donna can look beautiful in just about anything of any color, but he thinks it's even better when she keeps (unknowingly) proving them right.
"After all these years," she whispers to him when she leans in, "They're still as in love as they were when we were teens."
"I beg to differ," he whispers back, and has to stop from chuckling at the look she shoots him. "They are even more in love than they were ever before."
Her eyes water a little, and she doesn't nod or anything, but it's pretty much unspoken that she agrees.
When the song ends and switches to another one, Artemis and Wally are dancing with each other once more. Mary takes her seat beside her husband again, who kisses her temple and hands her his handkerchief, and Ollie pulls Dinah out of her seat. Then M'gann gets up with Conner and shortly after, Robin and Barbara join the other three couples on the dance floor.
Donna scoots her chair right next to his and leans her head against his shoulder, smiling as she watches more couples starting to dance as well.
He'll admit he's a little worried when Roy joins in with Kory. They all know that the two aren't together (Roy only told the eight of them from the Team about Jade), but still, he's not sure where Donna's feelings stood towards him. When she leans a little more into his arm and laces their fingers together, though, he knows his answer.
He stands up suddenly, making her sit up and look at him with furrowed eyebrows.
He catches Artemis's eyes from over her husband's (that will be weird for a while) shoulder, and she waves them over, making the thin bracelet around her wrist slide down her arm a little. Then he looks back down at Donna and extends his hand and asks just loudly enough over the music, "Can I have this dance?"
She beams a brilliant smile at him as she nods and places her hand in his, letting him pull her onto her feat and lead her onto the dance floor. His hands are at her waist and hers are on his shoulders, and she leans her forehead against neck and closes her eyes. She tells him softly against his ears, "This is kind of perfect," and yeah, it's pretty much unspoken that he agrees, too.
They're at her favorite vintage store in town when they get a text from Bruce about Dick and Barbara. It isn't particularly alarming, and he apologizes for giving them bad news on Valentine's Day, but Donna texts him back that she's glad he told them. Then she gives Zatanna a call after Wally calls him, and they find have to sit down on a wooden bench as they are trying talk rationally about the entire thing.
When Kaldur tries calling Dick's phone, it goes straight to voicemail like Wally told him, and Donna purses her lips as she ends her call with Zatanna.
"She's going to try and find him," Donna informs, and he nods. "She said to not cancel any of our plans."
He knows her, though, and knows that look on her face and that tone in her voice. "I will not at all be hurt if you want to, though," he tells her, and she looks at him. "I care about Dick very much as well, so I do not mind rescheduling if—"
She cuts him off by pressing their lips together.
"You're amazing, did you know that?" He chuckles. "No, I… I mean, of course I'm concerned. But Zatanna's his best friend, too, and she'll take care of it. It's Valentine's Day. I want to spend it with you."
He smiles. She never needs to justify herself to him, but he still likes when she does. It just shows how big her heart is.
"Alright," he says, standing up and offering his hand. He pulls her onto her feet and she loops their arms together as they make their way to the cashier.
When she tries to pay for her blue studded earrings, Bonnie—the elderly lady who owns the store and they've become rather fond of—smiles a wrinkled smile at her and says not to worry. Then she gives Kaldur a smile before reaching under the register and handing Donna a film canister. Donna's eyebrows pull together at the sound she hears when she shakes the canister by her ear.
"What's in it?" she asks to no one in particular, or maybe both of them, as she's popping off the lid.
She holds one hand and tilts the canister with the other.
A silver band with a twinkling diamond in the center lands in her palm, and for a second, she's just looking at it. Then her mouth falls open slightly and her eyes widen a bit, and he takes her hand in his and pushes the nerves he feels bubbling inside of him when he lowers himself onto one knee and takes the ring from her palm, holding it between his index finger and thumb.
"Donna," he says slowly, and a hand flies to cover her mouth, "would you do me the incredible honor of becoming my wife?"
There are tears in her eyes when she nods furiously, and the other people in the store are cheering—Bonnie especially loudly—when she practically yanks him back onto his feet and tugs him forward to bring their lips together.
(Later that day, during dinner, Wally calls and practically deafens Kaldur when he announces that Artemis is pregnant; and early that next morning, Donna gets a call on her cell phone that ends with a bright smile and a giddy announcement that Zatanna spent the night with Dick. Kaldur laughs and pushes his fingers through her hair as he kisses her as they bathe in the warmth of the sunlight from the window.
Needless to say, yesterday was probably one of their favorite days, ever.)
Donna's already been intimately involved in two of these—Artemis's and Diana's—and yet, she knows exactly what it means when people say that when it's yours, it's just different.
She's getting married.
The nerves she feels are entirely positive and yet, she's kind of hyperventilating in her little room in the church.
Everyone's around her and being careful not to step on her dress, and she knows today is going to be amazing and that everyone will help make sure of that, but she still feels jittery. So she focuses on her breathing and doesn't face her reflection in the mirror as Diana is carefully sliding the veil tiara into her hair. Artemis clasps her bracelet around her wrist and Megan slips the earrings into place.
Zatanna stands in front of her and takes her hands in hers, and the others step aside. "God, you look stunning," Zatanna marvels, and Donna lets out a breathless, nervous laugh. "Are you ready?"
"That is probably the single most redundant question you can ask a bride on her wedding day," a voice chimes in, and Dick is there in his tux, standing in the doorway frame.
He walks over Zatanna and the two kiss briefly but sweetly.
Then he flashes a smile at Donna and tells her, "Kaldur's waiting for you at the altar and let me warn you, you're going to want to run down that aisle and to him. But you're in a church and you have your entire honeymoon for that stuff, so please don't act upon your hormones when you see him, because you know I am physically incapable of holding you back."
She laughs again, except it's not shaking at all. Dick has a… unique way with words, but she's always known he says exactly what you need to hear.
So she bites her lower lip and nods. "I'm ready," she answers, and the others take another minute to give her a quick group hug before leaving to take their places. Dick produces a small, silver coin from his pocket and winks at her before dropping onto his knee and gingerly lifting the hem of her dress, slipping the coin into place in her heel.
Then he grins at her when he's up again and she links their arms together when he holds his out. "Let's go get you married," he says in this sing-song tone, and she couldn't agree more.