It was finally time for the wedding to begin, and Isa had just gotten everyone settled into the hall and ready to begin the proceedings.
Much to her surprise, it wasn’t the animal guests who had caused the most problems— It was several of the people guests (namely, that gnoll girl Cackle and Malinka’s adoptive brother Bojangles) that she had to grab by the ears and drag down the aisle to their seats.
Really, actually, the only animal that gave her any trouble was that armadillo, Tex— And that was Orson’s fault, as the man had discovered the creature would chase the tiny dot of light that reflected off his cuff-links around the floor. And once she figured out who was causing the problems, it was easy enough to put a stop to it.
Now all they had to do was wait for the bride and groom to make their appearance; as Ken was just explaining what Don was to do one last time, and Becky was helping Mimi find perfect form she wanted to shape-shift into for the ceremony.
Isa had decided to use this small window of time to quickly go over everything again….
She pulled out the notes Becky had made, and examined them carefully.
“no balons – don scared of them”
Read the first one; so Isa did a quick lap of the hall to make sure that nobody had tried to be helpful and brought any in.
She was satisfied to find that nobody had, and so moved onto the next item.
All of the major decorations were correct; the flowers were pink like requested, and the arch had been set up at the alter…. The catering had all arrived and been put in place at the sides of the hall (including the horrifying raw-meat wedding cake) and almost everyone was in proper formal dress.
Mimi’s maid of honour, a sentient little robot called Fuzzy, was doing a little dance to entertain the bridesmaids (which consisted of a goanna named Sheila and Becky’s genasi friend, Marilyn Berger). They were all dressed accordingly— Though Isa wasn’t sure how Marilyn had the patience to wear matching dresses with a robot and a lizard….
The music wasn’t playing, yet; though the DJ Becky had hired (luckily she’d been able to talk Mimi out of live music) was alert and ready to start….
Isa turned, scanning the room again.
Jareth and Isabel were in their places sitting in the front with Mimi’s brood…. Malinka was getting Grigori ready to carry the “rings” down the aisle…. Poor Benny was getting ready for his assigned role as the flower girl (though, as he picked at the basket of petals in his hand and flourished it like a weapon, Isa wondered if he wasn’t going to enjoy his role). And the officiant, a kobold called Wendy Shedskin, was standing at the alter; waving to her boyfriend in the crowd and grinning widely….
The only people left now were Ken and Becky; of whom were caring for the bride and groom.
Oh this whole thing was just ridiculous!
Isa let out a breath, and shook her head as she gazed over the event.
Hm… who was that?
Isa’s brow furrowed as she spotted an unfamiliar drow loitering around the hall’s entrance…. This wasn’t anyone she recognised, and she was fairly sure that Orson hadn’t brought any of his family with him (and if he had then, well, they could deal with scolding him when he heckled the other guests!), so she made her way over to them with her arms crossed tightly and stepped in front of them to block their view of the event.
‘Can I help you?’ Isa asked, curtly.
‘Oh— Uh…’ the drow hesitated, for a moment, before regaining their composure and clearing their throat. ‘Yes. Hello! My name is Tebryn and I really hope I’m not intruding— Nobody was out the front and the door was open… I saw that there were some animals hanging around just inside it, so I thought I might just pop in to make sure it wasn’t meant to be shut?’
‘Oh, yes, thank you,’ Isa let her shoulders relax, and nodded; making for the door to check it was closed and that none of the animal guests had gotten out.
When she was satisfied that nobody had escaped, she half-closed the door before turning back to Tebryn; waiting for them to pass her and head outside…. Though, they simply stood there, gazing around at the event hall with wonder.
‘Is this a wedding?’ they asked.
‘Yes,’ Isa replied, her curt tone returning when she realised they weren’t getting the hint to leave.
‘Oh, that’s wonderful! Who’s getting married?’
‘You wouldn’t know them,’ Isa replied.
‘Oh, heh, no. Of course not!’ Tebryn waved a dismissive hand, and Isa narrowed her eyes as she braced for the obviously-coming pitch. ‘It’s just… well… I work for a local news website, and I write columns about events and other things that happen in town. And I mean, a wedding is always wonderful to read about— Especially one like this! It’s absolutely gorgeous!’
‘That would be my daughter’s doing,’ commented Isa; opening the door wider to indicate to the drow to leave.
‘Oh, is this her wedding?’
Isa’s eyes narrowed, then. ‘I don’t think that’s really any of your—‘
‘—Mon amoureuse?’ Ken’s voice cut in, and he poked his head out of one of the side-rooms. ‘Becky has just texted me. She is ready; and so is Don.’
‘Ah, are they the bride and groom?’ Tebryn asked— And Ken gave her a very quizzical look.
‘Who are you?’ he asked.
‘I’m a local event reporter,’ they explained. ‘I was wondering if I could, perhaps… take some photos and write an article?’
‘Do you think you will survive it?’ Ken asked, grimacing as he looked them up and down. ‘Because a Becky-run event is not for the faint of heart!’
‘Honey, I’m from the Underdark,’ Tebryn reassured. ‘I can survive anything!’
Isa let out a curt hum as she cast Ken a glance— And Ken just shrugged.
‘Ugh, okay, look—‘ Isa sighed. ‘I don’t have time to chase you out, so just…. You can stay, as long as you keep out of the way and don’t make fun of my daughter in whatever you write!’
‘Make fun of? Why would I…’ Tebryn trailed off as Don walked out from behind Ken and gave a chorus of joyful honks to get their attention.
‘Huwnk! Hoonk! Hahwnk!’ he exclaimed, before shaking himself out happily and tapping his feet.
Tebyrn just stared.
It was clear that they understood, now, whose wedding this was.
‘O-hoh!’ they breathed a laugh of disbelief. ‘Oh I see. That’s… that’s adorable!’
‘Mm,’ Isa gave a hum, turning away from Tebyrn and ushering Don towards the main hall. ‘Ken? Did you explain everything to him?’
‘As best I could,’ Ken told her. ‘Though I’m not sure that he understood the concept of “vows” so I, uh… I told him to just say something from the heart?’
Isa let out a long breath, before motioning to Don. ‘Alright…. Don. Do you remember how Ken explained to do this?’
‘Mhm,’ Isa nodded. ‘I go first. Then, once I get to the end of the aisle, you and Ken walk down. Okay? It’s easy enough. Can you do it?’
‘Good boy,’ Isa praised; though she had no idea if it was actually deserved or not as she quickly brushed her hair down and entered the hall.
She motioned to the DJ, who turned on the music and made the guests all fall silent as they turned to watch the processional.
A deep breath and, not quite liking the amount of eyes that were on her, Isa began the slow walk to stand to the side of the alter (besides the photo of Barbra that Mimi had apparently insisted be present).
She wasn’t sure if the fact she knew most of these faces made this whole thing better or worse— All she did know, was that when she reached the end of the aisle and turned around, Don let out the loudest honk he had ever honked before; drawing all attention to himself as he began to tap his feet and circle excitedly.
‘Don! Don! Down the aisle!’ Ken laughed, giving the mimic a nudge that sent it sprinting towards Isa. ‘Oh— No— Slowly, Don!’
‘Hwunk!’ Don replied, skidding to a stop at the alter in front of Wendy; where he proceeded to continue his foot-tapping dance.
It sent a wave of laughter through the guests; some of them even clapping and cheering for the creature as Ken took the opportunity to hurry down the aisle without being looked at.
He took his place just behind Don, leaning over to pet the animal into settling down; and then motioned for the rest of the wedding party to come and join them.
Okay… so far so good, Isa couldn’t help but smile as each member of the wedding party made their way over. Benny— Oh, no! Benny!
Isa had to bite her lip as Benny squeezed a handful of petals into a tight ball and hit his friend Hazelnut in the back of the head with it.
‘OW YOU CUNT!’ she shouted— And immediately covered her mouth and curled up to make herself small. ‘Ow, you cunt!’ she repeated in a hushed whisper.
Benny chuckled until he caught Ken’s eye— And Isa realised the man’s dagger-like glare was even more vicious than her own as he motioned to his throat.
I will kill you! Ken mouthed; much to the humour of the other guests.
At least everyone seemed to be having fun….
‘Now, will everyone please stand for the bride?’ Wendy’s voice cut in over the giggles, and the room fell silent again as everyone rose to their feet and turned to the end of the aisle—
Well, almost everyone. Isa spied Romero sitting and fiddling with his sleeve until the man he had come with slapped him on the back of the head to get his attention and pulled him up.
And, then… Becky and Mimi stepped into the room.
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