*A/N - Part two. This is ridiculously fluffy, but I make no apologies. I love fluffy Nick/Jess and I wish we could have seen more of it for S7!*
Feeling a small tug at the hem of her dress as she stands next to Bob, Jess looks down to find Ruth beaming up at her. Her ivory bridesmaid dress is swishing around her little legs as she rocks side to side, and her tiara is all crooked on her head - but her smile is infectious, and Jess feels her heart melt a little in her chest as Ruth beckons her to come close so she can whisper in her ear.
"You look like a princess Aunt Jess!"
"Well, thank you! So do you, Ruthie."
"I know." Ruth states matter-of-factly, and swoops her arm across her body "Now, lets get this show on the road!"
"Don't you ever change..." Jess grins, smoothing down a strand of her baby soft hair and patting her on the head. The guests fall silent, and Jess feels her knees start to tremble with nerves. Gripping Bob's arm even tighter, she glances up at him as he lays a hand over hers and squeezes it in the way that always manages to calm her down.
"I'm right here, baby girl."
"I know, Dad. You always are."
Taking a deep breath, Jess lets him lead her towards the aisle. The band takes their signal, beginning to play the first distinctive bars of Groovy Kind Of Love, and it makes Jess feel warm and fuzzy inside. She suddenly wants to laugh and cry at the same time.
They reach the spot where Nick comes in to view, and Jess can hardly stop the little gasp that escapes as she finally sees him waiting for her under a beautiful floral arch of white and yellow roses matching her bouquet. Bob leads her slowly down the walkway and Jess feels herself biting the inside of her cheek as she tries to hold things together.
Nick doesn't take his eyes off Jess for a single second. She can feel the heavy weight of his gaze on her, but only allows herself to look up once - because it's just all too much and tears immediately fill her eyes, so she puffs her cheeks full of air, looks away, and concentrates on not becoming an emotional wreck in the middle of the aisle.
When they reach the single step up to the platform under the arch, Bob takes a second to cup her face and beams widely at Jess before he leans in to kiss her cheek. Helping her up, he nods at Nick and pats him on the elbow.
"You did good, son."
There is a moment where they just stare silently at each other, drinking in the sight before them, as if no one else is watching.
Just two fools in love standing under the stars on a rooftop.
One side of Nick's mouth curls upwards a little, and he shakes his head slightly.
"Wow, Jess. That dress...you look so beautiful." He chokes out, eyes sweeping up and down her form several times.
"Nick..." she breathes "...did you do all this?"
A slow smile spreads right across his face, reaching all the way up to his dark brown eyes - the amber flecks of the fairy light reflections shining back at her.
"I had some help..." he turns to nod at Schmidt and Winston with a grin and they wave sheepishly at her.
Jess smiles, nervously picking at the skin on her palm as the reality of it all finally hits her. Nick sees her hands start to shake and reaches over to take them both in his - suddenly everything slows down at the mere presence of his touch, and the only thing in focus is Nick's face as he smiles at her and strokes his thumbs along the inside of her wrists.
"So..." He rocks backwards on his heels and raises a brow.
"So..." She bites her lip coyly.
"We doing this, Jessica Day?"
"We're doing this, Nick Miller."
"It's about damn time!" He chuckles softly.
Nick looks anxiously to the officiator, who gestures for him to proceed. He takes a deep breath, and hopes to heaven and back that he can remember everything he wants to say to her.
"I know this isn't how - or when - you had it planned...but, with everything changing soon and having to leave the loft, getting married here felt right. Just like everything else in my life started to feel right ever since I met you. You made all of us better people the day you walked through that door, Jess. We had no idea how much we needed you until you arrived. You've got the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known - and you spend so much of your time putting other people's happiness before your own, that I wanted to do something for you this time. I wanted this to be for you." He sees her bottom lip wobbly slightly and squeezes her fingers in reassurance "I never thought I would be lucky enough to fall in love with someone so beautiful both inside and out, but you had me absolutely head over heels from the moment I met you. And on days when I'm not with you, all I can think about is when I'm gonna be able to get home so I can see your face. I never want that feeling to end. No one on this earth has ever believed in me the way Jessica Day believes in me - and I wouldn't be the man standing in front of you today if you hadn't kicked my ass into shape and pushed me towards my dream every time I lost sight of it. You were there by my side every step of the way, without fail. You understand me more than I sometimes understand myself, and I want to spend the rest of my days trying to show you how unbelievably lucky I feel that you took a chance on this simple, grumpy guy from Chicago. When all is said and done - I just want to have a weird, wonderful life together. I wanna take care of you...and I want you to know that you mean everything to me. You're my everything, Jess."
She sniffles in a vain attempt to stop herself crying happy tears, and Winston quickly steps forward to produce a hanky from his blazer with which he gently dabs her cheeks.
"Thanks" she laughs.
"I got you, girl!" He winks, nodding at Nick and taking his place back off to one side.
Jess takes a shaky breath and gives Nick her best watery smile as she replies.
"This might not be what we planned, but I don't care about that anymore - all I care about is right now, right here. You and me. This is perfect. We've never done simple and straightforward, or had things happen for us the easy way...but that's just who we are! We do big laughs, real passion, and a whole lot of weirdness instead! Nick, you're incredible. One of a kind. You constantly surprise me, and I love that. You are single-handedly THE most annoying person I have ever met..." he quirks his head in agreement, to the chuckles of the crowd behind them "...but, you're also my best friend, my soulmate, and my life would not have been the same without you. I can't wait to spend my days being driven to the brink of insanity on this crazy rollercoaster of a ride next to you. There's no one else that would sing to me in front of a crowded restaurant when I got stood up, or pretend to be a zombie detective just to protect me, or commandeer the local movie theatre to surprise me on my birthday, or miss his own flight at Christmas to ensure that I got on mine...or, or arrange the most amazingly romantic secret rooftop wedding a girl could dream of but, you? You love me in a way I never knew existed. Marrying you is all I want, and there's no one else in this world I would rather wake up to every single morning for the rest of my life...there's no one else but you, Nick."
There isn't a dry eye in the house as they exchange rings, and the officiator himself looks fit to burst with happiness.
"I now pronounce you man and wife." He proclaims to the entire congregation "You may kiss the bride."
"It's you and me, now." Jess says softly with a smile, draping her arms lovingly around his neck as Nick lands his lips on hers, squeezing his arm tightly around her waist, and holding her close to him for their first kiss as a married couple. The deafening cheers of their guests erupt into the evening sky, rising and crashing over them like a wave.
"This is the most wonderful night!" Joan squeals excitedly, grinning at Jess and tugging on Bob's arm to pry his attention away from the tray of canapés to his left "Don't you think, Bob?"
"Hmm? What's that?"
"I said it's just the most wonderful night! Our little ju-ju-bee is all...grown up...and married off..." Joan searches for a tissue in her purse as she starts to cry.
"Oh, Mom" Laughs Jess, pulling her into a hug.
"She's right, sweetheart - I almost started to think this day would never happen. I got tired of waiting for the rocket to go off under that boy's backside..."
"Dad..." Jess warns, and he raises his hands in apology.
"...no, no, you're right. I'm sorry. I've gotta hand it to him, Nick pulled it out of bag with this one."
"You wouldn't be using my name in vain there, would ya, Bob?" Nick sidles up to them, draping his arm around Jess's shoulders and feeling her lean her head against him "I hate to interrupt, but if you don't mind - I need to borrow my beautiful bride."
"What for?" Asks Jess.
"You'll see..." He winks, gesturing for her to follow him until they come to a stop in the middle of the dance floor.
The guests start to gather around them and the music in the background stops suddenly, starting up again moments later as the lights directed at them take on a purple glow.
"May I have this dance?" Nick asks, bowing theatrically and extending his hand to her. Jess rolls her eyes and tugs him to his feet, slipping her hand through his and stepping in to his embrace so close she can feel the warmth of his body through his shirt. She smiles, takes a contented breath, and places her head on that spot just by his collarbone, where she can hear his heartbeat in her ear and feel his chin as it rests itself on her hair.
She's almost giddy with happiness, and if feeling lighter than air was a real thing, Jess is certain they'd be floating three feet off the ground right now.
Nick was right that this isn't how she had planned the wedding to be - but it was ten times better than anything she had thought she wanted.
As one of Nick's hands rests firmly on the small of her back, the other gently holds her fingers in his - pressed tight to his chest as they sway and move around the floor to the song. Nick soon gets caught up in the moment and starts to sing along to her.
"Could you be the most beautiful girl in the world? It's plain to see, you're the reason that God made a girl..."
It's high pitched, croaky, and terribly out of tune - but it's possibly the sweetest sound Jess has ever heard in her entire life. She lifts her head to look up at him and grins like a maniac as he continues to serenade her, until she reaches up on her tip toes to plant a kiss square on his mouth.
"Prince would have loved this." Jess whispers.
"Why do you think I chose it?" Nick murmurs against her lips.
She slides her arms up around his neck, staring into his eyes and trying to soak in the atmosphere, wanting to commit every second of this moment to her memory when she suddenly feels Nick remove her hands and squeeze them apologetically.
"I'm sorry, Jessica."
He steps back from her and points theatrically to the band, who immediately - and seamlessly - switch into a live rendition of Cotton-Eyed Joe. Nick bites his bottom lip and fist pumps along to the music enthusiastically as Jess dissolves into a fit of giggles.
As the night rolls on, some of the guests begin to make their exit, leaving a hardcore group of close family and friends to drink the remaining liquor and dutifully dance their faces off to the band as they continue with their set. Jess is standing next to the entrance to the rooftop, leaning against the cool brickwork for a moment, captivated by the lights and sounds around her. She was holding a tray of mini quiches to her chest that she had managed to secrete away without drawing the attention of her Dad, and was happily eating two at a time to satisfy the late night munchies that came with having so much fun you've just danced for two hours straight.
Jess sees a flash of pale blue approach from her right, and starts to grin without having to turn her head.
"Finally ditched the blazer when Schmidt wasn't looking?"
"Of course." Nick laughs, rolling up his shirt sleeves to the elbow and reaching to unbutton his collar.
"Can't say I'm too disappointed..." she winks and gives him an appreciative gaze "...you know I'm a sucker for those delightful arms of yours, Nicholas!"
"Well, maybe you can remind me of that later." He clicks his tongue off the inside of his cheek and wiggles his brow enthusiastically before they're interrupted by a waiter who arrives to collect the now empty tray sitting on a stool next to Jess. Nick straightens up and leans back alongside her.
"So - Aly's in labour, huh?"
"I know - It's so exciting!" Jess squeals "Although I'm not sure Schmidt was too pleased that her waters broke all over his new shoes..."
"How do you think it's going?"
"Well, as they were headed down to leave the building, she was swearing by every deity known to man that Winston is never coming near her again..."
"Yikes." Nick lets out a long, low whistle.
"Mmhmm. He says to check your phone every 30 minutes for a full progress update. And I'm certain he wasn't even joking."
"Oh, he definitely wasn't - I just got a message from him a minute ago telling me that Aly feels like 'a bowling ball is forcing its way out of her lady parts' and I'm really not sure what to do with that kind of information..." He screws up his face.
A tall, blonde waitress passes with another tray of champagne and Nick reaches out eagerly to grab two glasses. He takes a sip from one and offers the other to Jess.
"To wet the baby's head!" Nick explains.
"Oh. You know, I think we should probably wait until baby Bishop has safely arrived to do that...I'll just stick this over here for later."
"That's the third drink you've turned down this evening!" He shakes his head in disbelief and downs the rest of his glass.
"Is it? I don't recall..." Jess says nonchalantly and fiddles with the flowers in her hair.
Nick waggles a finger at her in mock accusation.
"If I didn't know any better I'd think you were pregn_"
He doesn't even need to finish his sentence.
The moment Nick looks across and catches her eye, he knows instantly that it's true - and his heart nearly stops beating in his chest because it's everything he's never dared to let himself dream of.
"You are?" He whispers, the emotion raw in his voice and scratching at his throat.
Jess's bottom lip wobbles as she smiles and reaches for his hand, squeezing tightly to calm herself as much as him. When she nods, his image turns blurry as her eyes fill with tears.
"I wanted to tell you tonight - I had it all planned out in my head how I was going to surprise you at dinner, but...well, it turns out you got your own surprise in first!" She giggles, his thumb coming up to her face and swiping the tears from under her eye before lingering softly on her cheek.
"So this is...uh, i mean...it's all confirmed?" The words come out a few octaves higher than usual, as he's really struggling to keep his shit together because his insides feel like someone has just set off a firework in his stomach.
"I passed the test with flying colours." Jess grins "But we need to book an appointment with the Doctor just to make it official."
"This is...i can't...oh, wow." Nick runs a hand through his hair and rests it on the back of his neck as he puffs his cheeks full of air and expels it forcefully.
For a split second Jess worries that he's about to panic moonwalk away from her - but then she sees the look of sheer elation take over his features. His eyes flit back and forth between her stomach and her face, and he's staring at her completely spellbound. Wide-eyed and in awe.
"You're going to be a Daddy, Nicholas..." She reiterates, as if knowing he needs to hear the words out loud to help the news sink in.
He looks at her intently, then steps forward and dips his head, planting his mouth firmly on hers. She can practically taste the excitement dancing on his tongue. It's sweet and smooth - and wholly delightful. But there's something else in his kiss that she can't quite put her finger on.
Jess has kissed Nick a lot.
In what she thought was every possible scenario, through every known emotion (good or bad), and if someone had asked her to - she could probably draw them a map of what the inside of his mouth looked like without even trying...but this kiss?
And she knows that sounds bizarre, but it does. It's like she's just tapped into some unknown kiss repertoire Nick had kept hidden away. Some secret vault where this kiss has been hiding, waiting for the perfect moment to unleash itself - and as he starts to pull back, Jess honestly can't stop the way she lifts herself up to chase after his lips for more.
He laughs and pulls her in close for a big hug, wrapping his arms snugly around Jess's tiny frame to envelop her and lifting her clear off the ground as he spins them on the spot, before placing her down again and jumping back quickly with a worried look on his face.
"Oh, wait...is that too tight? Am I gonna hurt you? I don't wanna hurt you!"
"It's fine, you're fine...I'm not made of porcelain." Jess soothes, stepping back in to his embrace and sliding her arms up around his shoulders so she can bury her face in his neck, breathing in the scent of him and kissing the skin just below his jaw. The spot that makes him close his eyes and groan, despite himself.
Every. Damn. Time.
"What's going on here, lovebirds?" Schmidt appears as if from nowhere "At least have the decency to wait until the rest of the guests have left before you start canoodling with each other!"
"Just a husband and his wife enjoying a private moment together at their wedding - nothing to see here." Nick keeps his eyes firmly on Jess with a knowing smile and chuckles, swatting animatedly at Schmidt as he tries to force his way in to their hug.
"Well, you might wanna get your tuchuses back out there because the band are about the play one more song and it's a special one just for you two."
"It is?" Nick frowns, not remembering any mention of it previously.
"Yes. So, if you could just extricate yourself from your beautiful bride for a few minutes, we'd all be exceptionally grateful."
"We?!" They ask together, dutifully following Schmidt, still hand in hand and heading towards the dance floor feeling thoroughly confused.
"It's the last dance of the night, so it's only fitting that you two should be the ones up there. This song choice is a request from all of us...dedicated to the happy couple." Schmidt grins, giving them both a small nudge into the spotlight.
Nick and Jess stand looking around at the small circle of smiling faces before them, both equally intrigued.
When the first bars of the Etta James classic 'At Last' begin to play, everyone starts to laugh and cheer. Jess rests her forehead on Nick's chest and giggles loudly when he turns to them all while raising his arms.
"Ha. Ha. Very funny..."
Jess looks up to see Bob and Tran high-fiving off to her left, Joan and Bonnie clinking their glasses together to her right, and feels Nick's arm snake around her waist.
"Well, we better give the people what they want, Mrs Miller." He says, looking down at her with a smile only the two of them know the real meaning behind.
"I guess we should, husband of mine." Jess nods, lifting her hand to his and sliding her fingers softly into his grasp.
He spins Jess just enough so she's facing away and tugs her very gently back in to him, so his chest is flush against her shoulders as his hands land themselves softly across her abdomen while they continue to sway to the music in their perfect little bubble of happiness.
Jess strokes her fingers down his forearms and rests them there.
"Say cheese!" Yells Joan, bounding forward and snapping away like the paparazzi with her embarrassingly oversized camera.
Nick dips his head and kisses Jess tenderly on the temple, before hugging her a little closer and moving his mouth right down next to her ear - making sure he'd be heard by her and her alone.
"Our first family photo..." He whispers.
"You smiled, you smiled, oh and then the spell was cast.
And here we are in Heaven.
For you are mine at last..."
*A/N - THANK YOU FOR READING! If you enjoyed, please let me know - I love feedback!*