A/N: Seventh in my 'The Making of Theta Tyler' series. Only three stories left after this one, I'm afraid, although there is potential for a follow-up series.
Theta Tyler paced the corridor nervously, muttering his vows under his breath. His hands were shaking, his palms were sweaty, his hair wouldn't lie flat and Alex couldn't remember where he'd put the rings. All in all, Theta's wedding day was going rather badly.
"Look on the bright side," Alex had suggested "things can't get much worse!"
That had not helped Theta's confidence at all, and he found himself wishing that his Mum was here, so he could ask her if she and Dad had felt this nervous on their wedding day.
"Found the ring!" Alex announced, rather breathlessly.
Theta looked up to see his best friend of seventeen years stood in front of him, triumphantly holding up the wedding ring Theta was to give his new wife.
"Where was it?" Theta asked, running a hand through his already messy hair.
"It was in my pocket the whole time," Alex replied.
Theta rolled his eyes. He had met Alex seventeen years ago when they were five. It had been their first day of school and Alex had let Theta play with his yellow digger. The two had quickly become firm friends, and had been through a lot of things together since. And so, Alex had- quite naturally- been the obvious option for Theta's best man. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and Theta turned round to see his Uncle Tony stood there, grinning.
"How are you doing?" Tony asked, crossing the room to his nephew.
"Fine, little nervous though," Theta replied, smiling shakily.
"Ah, that's normal! Just pre-wedding jitters. Everyone gets them," Tony dismissed.
"And how would you know? You've never been married!" Theta pointed out.
"True," Tony conceded "but I've been to a lot of weddings,"
The three men descended into silence for a few long moments, before Theta suddenly spoke.
"Do you two think I'm doing the right thing?"
Both Tony and Alex stared at him.
"Doing the right thing?!" Alex echoed incredulously "Mate, this is Ella we're talking about! You've been dating five years! You'd do anything for her! Of course you're doing the right thing!"
Tony chuckled, nodding in agreement.
"Yeah, I remember the first time you told me about her," Tony added "you were fourteen, hopelessly in love with her and too scared to ask her out in case she said no!"
Theta blushed at the memory, ducking his head.
"Haven't you got…I dunno, ushering or something to do?" Theta griped at his Uncle.
"Nope! Not until the guests arrive!" Tony announced, grinning and ruffling his nephew's hair.
Both his Uncle Tony and Ella's older brother Callum were ushers for the wedding, something Theta had insisted on as he wanted his Uncle to be a part of his wedding. It was partly because Theta wanted to thank his Uncle for being there for him throughout his life, and partly because just over two years ago, Pete had finally passed away, leaving just Rose, Tony and Theta. And right now, Theta needed his family to be together. Theta was about to speak when there was another knock on the door. Looking up, he saw his Mum hovering in the doorway, evidently unsure whether to come in or not. Standing, Theta quickly crossed the room and hugged his Mum.
"I just came to see how you were doing," Rose told her son gently, straightening his tie and attempting to flatten his hair.
"I'm doing fine, Mum." Theta replied "You didn't need to get here this early; we've still got another forty-five minutes before guests begin arriving,"
"I know," Rose replied, smiling softly at her son "but I had something to give to Ella,"
"What was it?" Theta asked, brow furrowing.
His Mum merely smiled in reply and shook her head.
"I'm not telling," she replied "you'll have to wait and find out,"
Theta sighed in exasperation, although he didn't mind that much, really. Rose suddenly took a step back, looking Theta up and down appraisingly.
"Oh, look at you! So grown up!" Rose murmured, tears coming to her eyes.
"Mum," Theta moaned half-heartedly "don't cry!"
"Why? Afraid I'll embarrass you?" Rose asked her son, grinning through her tears.
"Never," Theta answered softly, his tone adamant. He smiled softly at his Mum.
Theta slipped the ring onto Ella's finger, smiling softly at her as he did so. It was a perfect fit (thank god for that, Theta mused) and he could tell that Ella loved it. Theta felt immensely proud of himself for that. But then, it was Ella's turn to present him with his ring, and as she was handed the ring by her maid of honour, Theta saw that it was a plain- but expensive- silver wedding ring. However, his breath caught as, just as Ella slid it onto his finger, he saw a hint of something engraved on the inside of the band. Memories of his childhood came rushing back, memories of hiding under a mass of blankets as his Uncle Tony and his Mum told him all about his Dad. His Mum had kept some of his Dad's more valuable things in a box under her bed, and among them had been a plain but expensive silver wedding ring that Theta had been allowed to look at but never touch. Pulling himself out of his memories, Theta looked round and met his Mum's eyes. She simply smiled gently at the puzzled look on her twenty two year old son's face and nodded. Theta swallowed, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to spill, smiled at his Mum and turned back to his new wife.
Later on, as the photographs were being taken, Theta managed to pull his Mum to one side.
"Are you sure about this, Mum?" he asked her gently.
Rose nodded, grinning. She leant up and kissed her son on the cheek.
"100% sure," Rose confirmed.
"W- What does the engraving say?" Theta asked his Mum quietly.
Rose smiled and just begun to walk over to Tony instead.
"Find out yourself," she called back to him.
Frowning, Theta slipped the ring off his finger and studied the inside of the band. Again, it brought back memories of his childhood, of his Mum telling him of the promise she had made to his Dad before they were originally separated, the same promise they made each other at their wedding. There was just one word engraved in it.