Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your patience with my slow updates, I know I suck haha. Junior year is the hardest yet (I have no idea why I decided to take three AP classes, as I now have no social life to speak of), so I rarely even have time to be on the computer, let alone write a chapter. -_- I bet you're all getting sick of my excuses, huh? lol. But I actually have a legit reason this time! So there! And... this chapter is super short... ;_; I'm losing my touch haha.
Note: In the comics, Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl are actually the first to get married, but this is Momo's Awesome Alternate World, and in Momo's Awesome Alternate World, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl get married first. =D The Tamaran comment is referencing Teen Titans- Tamaran is Starfire's home planet. =) Yay inter-DC references! I was very tempted to say "Lightning Lass" instead of "Ayla," but since I never mentioned her having powers earlier in the story and she has none in the show, I left her as is.
This chapter goes out to Lady Talla-doe, who took the time to comment on every single chapter before moving on to the next one, even though four were out already! That is friggin awesome! =3
Disclaimer: If I owned Legion of Superheroes, I wouldn't be writing this fanfiction. And what do you know, I'm typing away!
It is an unfortunate human trait that when one is anxious about the arrival of a date, time seems to significantly speed up, as if watching the turmoil of a person's life is entertaining to whoever, or whatever, is watching from up there. This never affected me as a robot, as I not only never had reason to be anxious, but also found such a theory illogical and highly improbable. Now, the idea that time moves slowly or quickly based on a person's anticipation of what is to come, a notion that was once silly to me, has profound effect on my life.
I do not know why I am so wary of the day of the wedding. I expected myself to be exuberant to see Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl say their vows, to be witness to the start of their new lives together... and I still am; but the feeling of cautious curiosity, a new emotion to add to my growing list of human experience, is the most prominent within me at the moment. And it does not take too much inner scrutiny to identify the cause of my confusing and complex feelings.
Superman. It is always Superman.
"Come in," I call when a knock comes to the door of my room.
Lyle struts in, wearing a sleek, well-fitted tux and a self-assured grin. I roll my eyes and turn back to the full-length mirror before me, adjusting my magenta-colored tie and trying to deny that Lyle looks very... well put-together, to say the least. His outfit really does not differ much from his uniform color wise- he still looks like an over-zealous penguin- but there is a certain magnitude to him in formal attire. Maybe it's the lack of a headband obscuring his forehead.
"Looking good, Brainy," he compliments, stopping behind me and catching my eye in the mirror's reflection. "But where did you learn to tie a tie, Tamaran?"
Despite the oddity of that sentence in both structure and humor, I find myself flustered at the hit at the messy, uneven tie at my neck.
"I never had the need to wear a suit before," I explain in a subdued tone, shuffling while Lyle silently turns me to the side and readjusts my tie. I blush at the sudden close proximity, and my thoughts automatically return to the kiss he unconsciously gave me a few weeks earlier. A strange, guilty feeling takes form in the pit of my stomach, as if I am wronging Lyle somehow by letting him be so close to me.
"There's a first time for everything," Lyle chimes. "That's a nice color for you, by the way."
My blush worsens and I take a hurried half-step back, turning jerkily to the mirror and smoothing my hair into place just so my hands have something to do. The guilt bubble swells in my stomach, an unexplained, unwanted intrusion.
"My eyes used to be this color," I say, keeping my expression neutral as I look at my my reflection once more. "Before I turned human."
Lyle observes me thoughtfully for a moment, thinking there is meaning to my words when, truthfully, I was just saying something for the sake of saving myself from a potentially awkward moment.
"Do you miss being part robot?" he asks, effectively catching me off guard. Lyle is always full of surprises.
My mouth opens to automatically form the word "no," but the word dies in my throat. Something about Invisible Kid makes me become more and more self-aware every day, and I realize the truth as the unexpected words stumble out.
"...Sometimes," I say, my own thoughts foreign to me as I take another perusing look inward. The words keep flowing out without my control. "I've spent my entire life part robot. Sometimes I still reach out for a tool that is too far away to get without moving and expect my arm to lengthen out; or I look at a new piece of technology and am surprised when my eyes don't automatically scan its components.
"It still feels strange not being able to just lock away certain thoughts I wish I did not have. I used to be able to shut off all unnecessary thoughts to focus on a task, and now it requires significant effort not to just drift off. My thoughts were all so organized before, filed and ready at a moment's notice to be accessed. And they were all unattached, just facts and concepts I kept separate from myself. In my first few weeks of being human, that's what nearly overwhelmed me- all of my thoughts conflicted with my emotions, and I began to really think about facts instead of just knowing them. Suddenly, I had entirely different perceptions of things I had filed away in my brain. My opinions and point of view changed the meanings of events and technology. Instead of just asking, 'How?' I now find myself asking, 'Why?'"
I stare at myself in the reflection, past the intelligent, green eyes; past the soft, fully-human flesh; the layers seem to strip away before my eyes, until I am staring at my essence. I barely notice Lyle is there anymore, as all of my attention is focused inward. I try to figure out why all these strange things I am saying sound so right despite them going against everything I had previously thought.
"I used to think it was more difficult for me as a robot," I continue quietly, unconsciously reaching one hand up and touching the green skin on my cheek. "I thought everything would be less complicated if I was organic. But now, I am certain humans have it worse. I marvel at how easy they make it seem to live their lives in a pool of emotions and ideals. It is often maddening.
"Still... I would not go back to the way I was, if I had the choice. In this form, I am free from the past that used to haunt me." Now, I move my hand from my cheek to brush the three pale circles on my forehead beneath my bangs. "I am no longer under any obligation to live a certain way, and with that freedom comes a sense of infinite possibility. I feel... lighter. Happier."
My hand drops back to my side, and I stare a moment longer at my reflection before I come flying out of my inner puzzlements and back to the world around me. My eyes shift from the mirror to Lyle, who has been uncharacteristically silent the entire time. I am surprised at my lengthy response, and, in retrospect, somewhat embarrassed for it.
"...I think that was the longest I've ever heard you speak," Lyle says, earning a half-hearted glare.
He stares intently at me for a moment, making me feel rather uncomfortable, like a specimen on display. Then, suddenly, he reaches up a hand and grazes his fingers against the circles on my forehead, ignoring my flinch at the unexplained touch.
"I guess we do have it pretty hard," he says in a contemplative tone. "But I think that's what makes life exciting. Without all this curiosity and emotion, we would never get anywhere; no one would ever paint, or compose music, or come up with new ideas... Life would be pretty dull."
I smile ruthfully. "Well, my life certainly has been more... interesting lately."
Lyle smiles brightly, and there it is again- that distraught, regretful feeling whispering in my veins that makes me pull away from him and look shamefully to the side.
"We should get going," I say, turning and walking stiffly to the door.
"Um, yeah," Lyle replies, sounding disappointed.
The walk to the open square outside Legion Headquarters is slightly awkward as I adamantly resist the urge to glance sideways at Lyle. In my peripheral vision, I can see him looking curiously at me every now and then; twice, he opens his mouth in preparation to say something, then closes it again and looks away. I know he is wondering why I am acting so strangely, but I refuse to be the first to initiate the conversation... mainly because I do not know the cause of my oscillating emotions myself.
That seems to be happening a lot lately, and I cannot say I enjoy it.
The large doors to the entrance of the building are open, inviting the warm, amiable breeze inside. Long, white streamers and translucent curtains hang from the ceiling and brush the floor at the sides of the entrance, where scores of generous bouquets of white lilies, fresh, yellow tulips, and creamy, pink and white roses sit in elegant vases. The vases stand in perfect symmetry opposite each other, lining the boundaries of the festivities from the top of the stairs, where the podium is, down past the white chairs where guests sit chatting together, to the end of the long, white carpet strewn with pink rose petals. An arch decorated with more flowers bends charmingly over the edge of the carpet, where a man with Saturn Girl's blonde hair and wise eyes stands talking to a woman with familiar plump, gently curving lips and high cheekbones.
It seems that everyone is here, from the honorary Legionnaire to important political figures- I spy Phantom Girl's mother, the president of United Planets, conversing with her daughter in corner. Ayla Ranzz embraces and congratulates her brother on the isle. It is very strange seeing everyone outside their usual uniforms, in light pink bridesmaid dresses and black groomsmen tuxedos. Their serious, important demeanors are shed along with their costumes, and they seem to be average citizens. There is an uplifting feeling in the air that infects every person in the area. It is seen in the way no one can seem to keep a smile off their face or a flush from their cheeks. The contagious feeling swirls around and inside me until I feel light on my feet and a smile tugs at the corner of my lips.
"It's great, isn't it?" Lyle remarks beside me, laughing benignly and turning his face upward to soak in the pleasant sunshine.
"Brainy! There you are!"
Lightning Lad rushes toward me, looking happier than I have ever seen him despite the nervousness shown in the crease between his eyebrows.
"Hello, Garth," I greet. "Everything looks beautiful."
"Doesn't it?" He swells with pride, beaming. "Hey, I have a favor to ask. Would you be the ring bearer?"
I blink back my surprise, but one look at the hopefulness in his blue eyes and I find myself smiling in acceptance at the offer.
"Of course," I reply, and Garth sweeps me into a hug that leaves me gasping for breath.
"Thanks Brainy, I mean, you gave me the courage to ask Imra in the first place, so this really means a lot to me!" he says breathlessly.
With that, he takes my hand and deposits two rings into my palm, one of which is Imra's pink chrystal one and the other a simple, gold band. Upon closer inspection, I discover the inside is engraved with the words, "With love forever, Imra" in elegant, italic text.
"Shouldn't he have waited until the wedding started to give you those?" Lyle inquires skeptically. "What if you lose them?"
"I never lose anything," I retort, pretending to be offended as I place the rings in the inside pocket of my jacket.
"Uh-huh," he says sardonically, barely able to keep the teasing smile off his face.
I am about to reply when a horribly familiar voice calls my name.
"Brainy! It's been a while!"
I turn and my heart stops in my throat. Clark Kent, dressed in an appropriate tux and tie, beams down at me, his kind, blue eyes crinkling under the signature, black curl on his forehead.
"Superman..." I mumble, the throbbing of my heart making my chest ache painfully.
If this had been two years ago, I would have been grinning right back at him enthusiastically, excited to be in the presence of one of the greatest heroes of all time. I would have ranted on my latest projects and missions, try to impress him, win his favor.
But things have changed since then. Correction: I have changed since then. I no longer look at Superman with eager, fanatic eyes, as I did before; I am not a dog aiming to please anymore. My admiration of him still exists, but in a different, much more complex and heartache-inducing way.
I know I have no chance with him, for a variety of reasons. He belongs in the past, so being together with him would be the epitome of a "long-distance relationship," and really could never work. Also, I know he is meant to be with Lois Lane. If somehow, beyond all logic, he chooses me over her, I would be keeping him from her. How would that affect the timeline? I could potentially change the course of history, for the worse. And above those reasons, I know in my gut there is no way he could ever truly, to the fullest extent, reciprocate my feelings.
"Woah, you're Superman!" Lyle exclaims, extending his hand toward Superman. "I'm Invisible Kid, it's great to meet you!"
Superman shakes his hand and smiles cordially, and there it is again. Only this time, as I watch Lyle and Clark smiling and talking to one another, I realize why the guilty feeling gnaws at my insides. Despite the fact that it was Lyle who kissed me, and not the other way around, my having feelings for Superman stabs at my consciousness, as if I am somehow being unfaithful.
The twisted logic of emotions irritates me to no end.
Bouncing Boy runs toward us, his formal wear too restricting to allow him to expand his form and just bounce to us, which causes us to have to wait several seconds while he catches his breath, clutching his side comically.
"You guys... have to... get to your places... now," he gasps. "Wedding's... about... to begin!"
We turn our attention to the seating area, where there is a generally confused shuffling as people try to find their companions and seats. Lyle waves before jogging to his seat in the front row; Superman is a groomsman, so he flies serenely to the arch, where Dream Girl, Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, Ayla, Timber Wolf, and Cosmic Boy are waiting in matching dresses and tuxedos. Bouncing Boy heaves and runs laboriously after him, cursing himself under his breath for the extra slice of pizza he ate the night before. I make my way to the side or the podium, at the top of the stairs.
R.J. Brande stands at the podium, a merry twinkle in his eye, and Lightning Lad stands before him, fidgeting in place from a combination of nerves and excitement.
One by one, the pairs walk down the isle to graceful music- first Phantom Girl and Timber Wolf, then Dream Girl and Superman, then Ayla and Bouncing Boy. Cosmic Boy and Triplicate Girl, the best man and maid of honor, are the last. They take their places on the stairs, the girls on the left, the boys on the right, and fold their hands in front of them.
As if on cue, everyone turns deathly silent. From somewhere within the building, the familiar notes of The Wedding March start up, and all heads turn simultaneously towards the arch, breaths held in anticipation.
A beautiful Saturn Girl in all white emerges from the side, carrying a bouquet of white lilies. The bodice of her sleeveless dress is form-fitting and trimmed with lace, and where it ends at the waist, layers of lace float away from her body and trail behind her as she walks. Her hands are covered with lace gloves that reach half-way up her arms in intricately detailed designs. With her head held high and an uncontained smile on her face, she is positively glowing.
Her father offers his arm to her, and they walk slowly down the isle to the music. Eyes filled with awe follow her every step as she makes her way to Lightning Lad.
When she makes it to Lightning Lad, she takes his hand and takes her place beside him. Their eyes never left each other's since the moment Saturn Girl stepped under the arch.
R.J. Brande clears his throat and begins, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today for the wedding of Garth Ranzz and Imra Ardeen..."
The atmosphere is indescribable as Brande's voice travels across the square, deep and grandfatherly, and the perfume of the flowers wafts dreamily in the slight breeze. The rest of the world and its troubles are forgotten, and, indeed, it seems impossible for there to be any real problems at all; how could there be, when such pure love and happiness exist? Hate and sorrow are emotions belonging to a different world.
When the rings are asked for, I stride forward diligently and hand the rings to Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, who smile brightly at me.
After their vows are said, R.J. Brande pronounces them "Mr. and Mrs. Ranzz," and the couple joins together in a kiss, encouraged by the cheers and whoops of the guests. Petals rain down on them as they run, hand-in-hand, back down the isle, laughing in merriment.
Reviews are welcomed with glomps and happy faces! =D And hey, if anyone wants to draw me fanart... I won't object... *not-so-subtle-nudge*