You spoke to Serana about a great many things that day, but it wasn't until the two of you began to discuss your companionship with one another that you finally had the courage to finally ask her what had been on your mind for a long time.
"Serana, have you ever thought about marriage?" You blurted out.
You weren't sure you'd ever work up the courage again unless you asked her now. You were friends and companions, so you knew the beautiful vampire was fond of you, but you didn't know if she cared for you in a romantic way. You didn't know for sure if she was interested in other women in a romantic way. (Serana had never brought it up and there'd never been a good way for you to bring it up.)
"Oh, I get it. Is that why you're wearing an Amulet of Mara, [Y/N]?" Serana said with a slight frown.
"Y-yes. I was hoping you might want to talk about it. With me." You stammered.
"Look, I care about you. A lot. And I'll come with you wherever you want to go. But... with everything in my past, I don't think I could bring myself into go to a temple and ask for that kind of blessing. It's just... not for me." She was sad and a little wistful as she spoke.
"I understand. If I'd been through what you had, I wouldn't want to enter another temple as long as I lived...Can I ask...even if we can't get married in the traditional Skyrim way do you... do you love me?"
"I told you, I care about you a lot." Serana wouldn't look at you.
You pressed a cool hand against Serana's cheek and cocked your head to the side so your eyes met hers. You hoped your question would sound as calm and soft as in your head. You didn't want to prod Serana endlessly in hopes of the getting the answer you wanted or to upset her needlessly, but you needed to know if she felt the same.
"I know, but as a friend or something more?"
Serana leaned forward, pressing her mouth beside your ear.
"Both." she whispered.
The next thing you knew, your back was pressed up against the slimy cave wall and your hands were tangled in her long black hair. Serana trailed kisses up and done your neck and across your collarbone and you felt her fangs scrape across your bare skin every time she moved her mouth. You gasped a little at first, but realized she hadn't drawn any blood.
Her lips were cold and soft.
She moved her mouth up to meet yours while her hands fumbled with the straps on your breastplate.
Serana had succeeded in unbuckling one strap, when she stopped kissing you. She had a look of concentration on her face and her eyes kept darting back and forth around the cavern.
"Serana? What is it?"
"Don't you hear it, [Y/N]?"
You stopped to listen, but heard nothing.
"Your hearing must be keener than mine."
You picked up your broadsword. Serana had already leapt up, dagger trained on something you couldn't quite make out in the distance. She hurled the dagger into the dark. Whatever it was let out a piercing squeal that seemed to go on and on.
Serana swore under her breath. She turned back to you and mouthed "Run!"
Answering squeals resounded throughout the cavern. A horde of frostbite spiders rushed in, knocking Serana down.
You hurled fire ball after fire ball at the enormous creatures, but there were too many of them. Several of them leapt on top of you, pinning your limbs to the ground.
"Don't touch her!" Serana yelled, but she, too, was overwhelmed by the frostbite spiders.
You took a deep breath then roared "Fus Ro Dah!"
The powerful Dragon Shout hurled most of the spiders backwards with a sickening crunch. You stood up stiffly and limped over to Serana who was still on the ground. You offered her your hand and she took it. She winced as she stood.
"Are you alright?" You asked.
"Fine. What about you?" Serana said.
"Well enough. Let's get out of here before they come back."
Night fell and as you laid down to rest for the night, a thought occurred to you.
"Serana," You mumbled, halfway asleep.
"What if it's outside instead?"
"What? I don't know what you mean?"
"What if our wedding was outside instead?"
You fell asleep before you could hear her answer.
Months past. Your quest to defeat Serana's father, Harkon, felt so long ago now. For a brief time Serana had been melancholy and less lively, but soon became her normal self again. Knowing the kind of man Lord Harkon had been and what his actions had done to Serana's family, you shouldn't have been surprised that she didn't grieve long.
You took a break from quests for a bit to build a house with Serana in Falkreath Hold. With the two of you of you together, it wasn't long before it was livable.
You began living together in the house and sleeping in same room. As you got closer emotionally and proximity-wise, you thought of asking Serana to marry you again. But every time the thought occurred, you felt selfish. You were content with the way things were in your relationship, why get married when you already knew you were going to be together with Serana as long as you lived?
One night you were curled up in bed reading a book (Serana read over your shoulder; sitting with her chin resting on your shoulder and her arms wrapped around your waist), when Serana said "I've thought about your suggestion, [Y/N]. It's a good compromise. I'd be willing to do it that way."
"I suppose you wouldn't remember. It was a few months ago and you fell asleep right afterwards... You suggested getting married outside instead of in a temple. I would be willing to do it that. I want to be with you always, [Y/N]. I love you."
"Do you mean it?" You asked softly.
You felt your heart race.
Is this happening?
Serana pulled you even closer.
"Of course I do."
She planted a cold kiss on your cheek, then buried her face between your neck and shoulder.
"I love you, too, Serana." You said.
You spent the next week few weeks setting up preparations for the ceremony. It had been hard to convince Maramal, the priest of Mara, to agree to hold the wedding outdoors at first.
"And what if Mara withholds her blessing from you for this?" he'd asked.
"My betrothed is afraid of going before Mara in her temple and asking for her blessing... she doesn't have a good history with temples." You had told him.
"Hmm... I see I can't persuade you otherwise, Dragonborn."
Maramal had agreed, on the condition that he would still include a request to Mara to bless the two of you in his service.
Sending out invitations had been easy; neither of you had many close friends or family members.
In lieu of buying expensive new clothing you knew you were only going to wear once, Serana suggested you both wear the clothing you were wearing when you first met.
"That feels so long ago now. I feel like we've known each other forever." You said.
"Not to me. It feels like yesterday, but maybe that's just how it is if you've lived as long as I have. I remember everything about that day..." Serana smiled.
Since the wedding was to be held so late at night (so Serana could stand outside comfortably), you decided against a feast. Instead you decided to pay for all the guests' drinks at the local tavern.
Everything was coming together nicely and both of you were pleased with your decisions.
You barely slept the night before the wedding. You had so much pent up energy and excitement that you decided to go hit some practice dummies for a bit. You must've been making more noise than you realized, because you felt a hand touch your shoulder. You were momentarily startled until you turned around to see your betrothed.
"Couldn't sleep?" Serana asked.
"No," You said. "I'm sorry, did I wake you?"
"No. I couldn't sleep either. I was going to go upstairs to go read in the library. I thought if I read something particularly boring, it might tire me out. Then I heard you out here and I thought I'd make sure everything was fine."
"I'm glad I'm not the only one who's nervous... I'm not afraid that I made the wrong choice choosing to proposing to you, I'm just... anxious to start our lives together. And also a little anxious that a dragon might drop in during the ceremony."
"That would be our luck, wouldn't it?"
You chuckled, "Yeah, we're probably jinxing it just by bringing it up."
There was a brief pause, then you said "I don't think this is helping tire me out. I'm going to go back to bed and see if just lying there will help."
"You could come up to the library with me and I could read to you. When I was a little girl my mother... my mother used to read to me when I had trouble sleeping. If that helped me, why not the Dragonborn?" Serana said. There was a teasing note in her voice.
"Eh, why not? I haven't tried that yet. And besides... you have such a lovely voice." You said with a grin. You took her hand and kissed it.
Serana bit her lip, trying not to grin back. If she could've still blushed, her face would've been a deep red.
She took your hand and led you upstairs to the library. You sat down on the nearest chair while she looked for something to read.
"Aha!" She said in triumph, holding up a dusty old tome.
You made to move to another chair as Serana approached yours, but she motioned for you to stay. You laid your head in her lap and she stroked your face as she read to you. It was a boring book, but the way Serana read it, in her alluring voice, it was the most interesting thing you'd heard in years.
Still, you were tired and you fell asleep after about twenty minutes. The last thing you saw before your eyes closed was her face. Serana was smiling. A real, genuinely happy smile like you'd never seen on her face before.
I love her so much. You thought as you drifted away.
When you woke up, you were still lying in Serana's lap. Your betrothed was asleep, breathing softly.
"What time is it?" You mumbled.
You weren't yet properly awake and you stumbled as you stood. You were careful not to disturb Serana as you headed downstairs.
Morning light streamed in through the windows. It was too bright. You drew the curtains.
"'Least I didn't sleep through my own wedding. My great-uncle did that once..." You mused.
It was early still, but you weren't tired enough to go back to sleep. You rummaged through the kitchen, grabbing some cheese and deer meat, before returning back to the library.
Serana was still asleep, so you ate quietly and leafed through a new spell book. By the time you were done skimming over the pages, Serana was starting to stir.
"G' mornin'." You said through a mouthful of cheese.
"What time it?" Serana asked.
"Early. There's plenty of time to get ready and such."
"Good, there's... something I need to do before the ceremony. I may be several hours, but I'll be back in time. I promise, [Y/N."
"Are you sure? I could come with you." You said eagerly.
"It's something I have to do alone. It's kind of a... tradition in my family."
She gave you a quick peck on the forehead then left.
You finished eating and started getting ready. You went for a swim. You put on some makeup and jewellery. (The circlet Serana had always admired on you, your favorite ring.) Then you located the armor you'd worn when you first met Serana. You didn't wear it much anymore so it was nearly buried.
Seeing it again brought back memories of that fateful day. You smiled to yourself before putting it on.
It was getting closer to dark and Serana still wasn't back yet. You were ready at this point and had headed down to the Bee and the Barb. As you waited for your betrothed, you drank some mead and ate a bowl of vegetable soup.
Guests began arriving. They congratulated you and you thanked them. Maramal arrived and began setting up outside. All the while you wondered where Serana was.
Maybe we need to reschedule. Maybe she's lost or hurt and I... don't have the slightest idea where she is. Serana could be anywhere in Skyrim.
You were about to tell Maramal this when you saw a hooded figure approaching.
Could it be?
The figure took off her hood and you saw her beautiful, glowing eyes in the dark. Serana had made it.
She raced over to you.
"Sorry... I didn't know it would... take that long," Serana panted, "Here... take this."
You took the small box from her hand. It was black and wooden and decorated with tiny, ornate carvings. It was hard to make out in the dim lighting, but it looked to be the Volkihar family crest.
"I know we already have rings, but this... is special. It's been passed down in my family for generations, from Volkihar to Volkihar to give to their spouse. It was harder to find than expected. Mother wasn't even sure she still had it." Serana said.
"Serana... it's beautiful." You breathed.
And it was. The details were astonishing. It was a golden dragon made circular to fit around your wrist. Yellow stones (the same color as Serana's eyes, you noted) were implanted in its eyes and in place of spines on its back. Individual scales were carved onto its body and wings.
You handed it back to Serana and she fastened the bracelet on your wrist.
"Ahem," Maramal coughed, "I believe there is a still a wedding ceremony for me to perform before the day is over?"
You moved apart and stood across from each other on either side of Maramal.
"It was Mara that first gave birth to all of creation and pledged to watch over us as her children. It is from her love of us that we first learned to love one another. It is from this love that we learn that a life lived alone is no life at all. We gather here today, under Mara's loving gaze, to bear witness to the union of two souls in eternal companionship. And though they refused- for personal reasons- to hold this most important ceremony in Mara's temple, may she still give her blessing. May they journey forth together in this life and the next, in prosperity and poverty, and in joy and hardship. Do you agree to be bound together, in love, now and forever?" Maramal intoned.
Serana held out her hands to you and you took them in your own. She looked deeply into your eyes as she said "I do. Now and forever."
"Do you agree to be bound together, in love, now and forever?" Maramal asked you.
As you looked back into Serana's eyes you knew that no matter what, Serana was the only person in all of Tamriel you wanted to spend your life with.
"I do. Now and forever." You said, then leaned in to kiss your new wife.