What is it with me ending my Teen Titans stories this time of year? Oh well, Merry Christmas to all of you. I come bearing a gift: a chapter of almost complete fluff.
Also, let's give a round of applause to The Sinful for creating a page for this duology on TV Tropes. Thank you very much, good sir!
Disclaimer: Did the show end on a terrible cliffhanger, leaving us desperate for a sixth season that never came? If so, I don't own the Teen Titans franchise; it belongs to DC Entertainment, Glen Murakami, and Warner Bros.
If anyone had ever told me I'd get the chance to see Raven of all people havin' a nervous breakdown, I'd've thought they were plain nuts, Cyborg thought to himself as he watched the empath pace frantically in front of him. Her anxious energy was a complete contrast to the indifferent persona he was used to, though admittedly she had been much more easy-going during those two whirlwind weeks in Jump several months previously.
Well, easy-going when she wasn't making his blood and circuits freeze in soul-shattering terror, that is.
"Okay, seriously Raven, calm down. Workin' yourself into a stroke isn't goin' to do anyone any favors."
"Calm down? Calm down? Easy for you to say!" the sorceress shot back. "This was a bad idea. We should have waited, scheduled for the summer or even early autumn. And the caterers were late; there is no guarantee that Mammoth was able to organize them all before he had to go to Jinx. And I think Teams Atomos and Bahamut brought more guests than they had previously told us they would, which means we do not have enough chairs, which means some people are going to have to stand, which means we might have to deal with an all-out brawl later. And—"
The mechanical man huffed before stepping closer and physically stopping her and her rant. "Raven, quit it. Everythin's gonna be fine. Last I checked, some of your friends were gettin' everythin' squared away, so don't. Worry. About. It." Letting go of her shoulders with a chuckle, he continued, "And seriously, take a seat. If you don't stop runnin' around like the world's about to go up in flames, you're gonna mess up your… shoe… chef… banana…"
"That," he agreed, not even going to try wrapping his tongue around the foreign sounds again. Raven's English was so good when they first met that it had never before crossed his mind that Azarath might have its own language; he always thought that her familiar mantra was just a string of nonsense words. Curious, he asked, "Why are you even wearin' it at all? It doesn't seem very… you."
She sighed and nodded. "I am quite aware of that, thank you. However, Jinx and I agreed that while our ceremony would be Western in most respects, we would each wear garb traditional for our home cultures. I had simply forgotten how cheerful this is."
That was certainly one way to describe her outfit. The sky-blue robe was wrapped tightly about her, a white sash as wide as her hand was long encircling her waist and lower abdomen before becoming a large bow at the small of her back. Long, loose sleeves, the edges trimmed in the same white as the belt, fell past the ends of her fingertips. Below her hips, the robe flared outwards, turning into something not entirely unlike a skirt that stopped right at her knees and showcased the twisted shapes inked onto her shins and bare feet.
In all honesty, it looked like what he would expect if a kimono, a bathrobe, and a sundress had a threesome at the dry cleaner's.
A knock on the door drew their attention. "Hey, Raven! Let's get this started already!"
"Thanks!" he called to the unfamiliar voice. Turning to the once-again fretting woman, he offered his arm. "Ready for this?"
"Not in the slightest." Nevertheless, she laid her hand in the crook of his elbow, a faint, reluctant smile appearing on her lips. Opening the door let them hear the familiar melody, and with a grin he led the nervous bride to the chapel.
The door leading inside opened before Cyborg could reach for the handles, letting them see a smiling Melvin. She waved them in before skipping ahead and scattering white rose petals in their path. As their route carried them along the left-hand wall rather than through the middle of the room, he could only see a small portion of the attendees, but they alone made for quite a large number. There must be a hundred-fifty, two hundred people here all together. I'm not sure I want to know how they all met, though it would definitely be one hell of a story.
Turning the corner so they could finally approach the alter, the robotic hero had to keep his jaw from dropping as Jinx also appeared from behind the crowd. The rich red fabric wrapped around her legs and draped over her left shoulder, along with the gold and pearl headdress perched on her brow, made her look like an Indian princess rather than the rough-and-tumble fighter he was so used to. Mammoth caught his eye from beside her and gave him a knowing nod; clearly he was not the only one shocked at the transformation. He shifted his gaze away from the glare Persephone aimed in his direction, the blonde not nearly as pleased with her role as flower girl as Melvin was.
The two groups stopping in front of the alter, Cyborg released Raven as she stared at the pinkette and took his place in her retinue between a besuited Gizmo and a white-haired woman wearing a midnight blue dress. He resisted the urge to glance again at Raven's maid of honor; there was just something about her that seemed so familiar.
A middle-aged Hispanic man cleared his throat loudly to get the attention of the distracted couple. "Now that everyone is focused, we can begin. I hope you'll all excuse me if I'm a little rusty; it's been a while since I presided over a wedding ceremony."
"Why did we ask Ruiz to do this, again?" Raven whispered to the woman beside her.
"Because all the other chaplains are terrified of you," the man muttered lowly. "We are gathered here today to witness the union of Nirupama Dasgupta, more commonly known as Jinx, and Rachel Roth, born Raven, daughter of Arella, in lawful matrimony. If anyone present here today has any reason that these two should not be wed… please keep your mouth shut so we don't have to hide your body later."
The wave of soft chuckles caused Cyborg's eyebrow to rise. Yep, she fits in with this group just fine.
"As the brides have declined to write their own vows, I ask them this: Jinx, do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded partner, to live together in the estate of matrimony? Will you love her, cherish her, keep her in sickness and – far more likely – in excellent health; forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?"
Jinx looked Raven up and down for a second or two before a smile appeared and she grasped the sorceress's hands. "I do."
"Raven, do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded partner, to live together in the estate of matrimony? Will you love her, cherish her, keep her in sickness and in health; forsaking all others as long as you both shall live, and not killing her when she inevitably irritates you?"
"You had to include that last condition?" Raven was unable to keep her act up even as long as Jinx had, and she quickly answered, "I do."
Ruiz looked at the assembled guests. "Do all of you witness these declarations?"
"Then bring forth the rings." The shorter of the blond boys present hopped forwards, a pillow in his hands holding two golden bands. Jinx and Raven were silent as they slipped the rings on each other's hand, but their nervous shaking was obvious. "Now, I believe Raven has something else?"
"Timmy." Said boy took his companion's place, two white ribbons laying innocently on his own pillow. "On Azarath, we did not have rings to represent matrimony as the cultures of Earth do. Instead, we used these ribbons, spelled never to leave their bearers' arms unless removed by the person who put them there. I am unsure if that means we are less fidelious than the people here, or just more absent-minded." She waited for the quiet laughter to die down. "Nevertheless, Jinx, will you accept this ribbon as a symbol of my eternal love for you?"
The bad luck charm nodded, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears, and the stretch of silk leapt from Raven's hand to wrap around her right wrist. In return, she slowly picked up the second strip and repeated the ritualistic words. At Raven's own quiet "Yes", the white fabric slithered like a snake through the pink ribbon already around her arm, weaving the two pieces together into a single wristband.
Ruiz tapped the microphone and proclaimed, "Then by the authority invested in me by the United States Army and the state of Colorado, I hereby pronounce this couple to be united in marriage." He smiled at the pair and nodded. "You may now kiss the bride."
And that, my friends, is the end. I currently have no plans for a third story in this little universe I've created, but as you can tell, there's LOTS more to play around with here. So, if any of you decide you want to borrow bits and pieces of the backstory or even want to write about Team Black Magic's earlier misadventures, I have two words to say to you: have fun. I only ask that you send me a PM if you decide to do that; I'm always looking for something good to read : )
Speaking of, storytell18 already has one such story out entitled Collapse from Misunderstandings, and no, I had nothing to do with that decision. Seriously.
All that said, I do have a few ideas for possibly another TT fic, as well as a response to Bloody Brandy's Vegas Vacation challenge. There will be a poll on my profile about what you guys would prefer to read in a few months (whenever Faery Heroes starts winding down), and I'll post a note here to let everyone know.
Silently Watches out.