One hour later everyone was gathered in the great hall, Gwendal standing in his indigo suite in front of the stairs, Yuuri on top of them, behind him the fountain flowing in an endless fall, never stoping...That was when the door opened and Gwendal turned 180 degrees on his heels. What he saw made his breath die out and heart skip several beats. There he stood...Conrad...and he looked...he looked...breathtaking. Litterally. Really litterally, because it seemed as if everything, even time stoped only to admire him and his...his...beauty? No...It wasn’t beauty...He was rather, more along the lines of georgous. Drop dead georgous.
A suit of the palest blue Gwendal had ever seen covered his muscular frame, a shirt of the most intense azure peaking out. It brought out every curve of his body, from the broad shoulders, to the perfectly flat stomach and the hips...oh by the great one, the hips...His lean legs were underlined with tight trousers, but not inappropriately tight as Yozak wore them, but tight enough to give a hint of the fine cruves. And for once in his life, instead of boots, he wore shoes, cloud white shoes perfectly matching with the light colors, making him glow even more brightly.
But what Gwendal’s look settled on was the face. It was...undescribable. He didn’t know how his mother and Yozak achived the silver sparkle of his eyes coming fully into sight, blinding him, or how his face could shine like the brightest light. But the most significant thing on him was the hair. His dark auburn hair was for once in his life glistening in the lights of the hall and the otherwise messy bangs curved inwards, reminding him of the natural waves of Conrad’s hair which adorned his head before he cut them off on a spontanous whim. His left eye was almost covered, his strong jaw hidden completely, the hair falling forwards into his face, creating a game of shadow and light. He looked almost unearthly.
„There, a bit more to the side...“
„Ill add a little powder.“
„No! You are absolutely not going to-“
„Silence. Right now, Im the cheff here. The powder will mate you face and it will bring out the silver in your eyes.“
„So captain? What do you say?“
„What did you do?!!“
Admittedly, at first Conrad was reluctant about his ’new look’, finding it too artificial, but as the doors to the hall opened and all eyes open wide settled on him, mouth agape, the chin somewhere on the floor, he decided that maybe it wasn’t that bad.
He looked around and noticed that almost everybody whom they invited was there. The nobles, Hube and Nicola along with El, some unknown faces, mostly young ones, probably families of the nobles. There were only a few old ones and Conrad suspected it was because of the disagreement with this marriage. The youths obviously didn’t care. For them it was just an occassion to get together and get drunk. Oh well. Unless they didn’t make trouble, it was fine. It semeed that the oldest in the room was Odell von Wincott. As he noticed him, Conrad inclined his head towards him and got it returned with a smile that seemed almost proud.
But Conrad’s heart saddened as he saw that Adalbert wasn’t present. He had invited the lone wolf along with his companions, hoping they would share this day with him, but obviously, Adalbert didn’t feel like it and the others didn’t feel the need to come without him. But Conrad didn’t blame either. He understood.
Several gulps and gasps brought him back to reality and he noticed that still everyone was looking at him like he was a miracle. And Gwendal...Gwendal didn’t seem to know how to move. Conrad couldn’t but smile proudly. And he took a step forward and he felt that he was approaching the future.
There were collective gulps and gasps in the room, but Gwendal still didn’t breathe. He couldn’t. He couldn’t breath, speak, let alone move. He was mesmerized by the sight. And then Conrad smiled, shyly or proudly he didn’t know (but probably the latter, knowing exactly just how narcissistic Conrad could be) and Gwendal’s world stoped existing completely. The only thing that remained was Conrad.
A smiling Conrad, smiling one of those rare smiles, one of those which reached his eyes and betrayed how he really felt. And Gwendal could feel through their sudden invisible bond, that he felt happy. Truly happy. Proud. Self-conscious even. Proud of himself, less because of how stunning he looked and more because of this step he decided to make.
And then they stepped forwards and time was spinning again, spinning fast, as if trying to catch up with those several tousand moments it missed by admiring the half-god which decided to bless them with his presence.
His mother lead Conrad towards Gwendal and joined their hands, Yozak following and stopping just one step behind Conrad. He wore a dress (what else?), this time a decent one. It was periwinkle blue, making his eyes piercing blue and his hair sunset red, his muscular arms and broad shoulders covered with round sleeves, leaving only a small part around the throat exposed. A silver necklace hung around his neck, a blue choker with a single amber stone surrounded by a chain of pearls covering his apple. His mother also wore a blue dress, her’s spring-sky blue, accenting the hair and making her esmerald eyes seem like the green of a flower-field in spring. In shape it didn’t differ from her official dress, it was only less provocative, with a shorter slit and instead of a colletage it went around her shoulders. Anissina’s navy-blue dress was similar. Only her skirt was wider and she wore a crimson capellet.
After their mother joined their hands, Yuuri spoke up: „We have gathered here at this serious occassion...that was how Murata, His Grace the Great Sage, told me that these were the words to begin this particular ceremony with.“ A short silence followed. „However, I don’t feel that this occassion is serious. Not when Conrad smiles like that and Gwendal doesn’t frown. Not when Yozak and Anissina are inconspiciously wiping away tears and Cheri-sama is openly crying. With all this considered, I don’t see why this should be called a serious occassion.“
Gwendal noticed the look of slight surprise which graced Conrad’s eyes as he looked at the young king. „Yuuri...“
Yuuri indeed. That brat has done it again.
„It’s rather a happy one and that’s why I decided to start it with that: We have gathered here at this happy occassion...if that’s alright?“
With that he turned to Murata, who wore a serene smile. „The ceremony has officially already started, Shibuya, with the words I told you, so I don’t see where there should be a problem.“
Yuuri smiled a smile which said he knew about this, actually planned it. „If it’s like that, then let me say: We have gathered here at this happy occassion when two persons, two hearts filled with true love and deep affection stand here in front of me, waiting patiently for the words to seal their already existing bond.“ He glanced at Murata again, this time to assure himself that he spoke the right words. Even though he memorized them for two months straight, he still wasn’t so sure that he knew them. But as Murata nodded, he continued.
„It might be true, that they are bound already by blood, but I had the chance to witness the sincere love of two lovers between them and because of that I have no objections against this bond. Whoever has, he speak now.“
Gwendal could feel Conrad tense, just as he tensed himself. They waited for what seemed to be an eternity, but no one spoke. The thought, that right now would be the best time for an attack to stop this marriage, crossed his mind.
„Very well. I take it as their bond is accepted by those gathered in this room. Who out of the family will step out to guarantee the acceptance from the side of the family?“
Cheri-sama, still holding their joined hands, according to the tradition, spoke up: „I do. First and foremost I do, as the mother of these two persons, whose hands I am holding, of these two hearts, I brought to life. I, their mother accept this bond.“
„With joining their hands and holding them motherly, you prove your words. You may let go.“ She did and took one step back.
„One string can rip, two might not. Who else is there to assure us?“
„I, the brother of their mother, uncle by blood, I do.“ Stoffel stepped forward and smiled at the surprised brothers. Not that they didn’t guess that he would speak for them too, since the incident with Wolfram convinced them that their baby-brother surely wouldn’t, but they didn’t expect his words come out in such a...kind...and caring, truly caring...sincere voice.
„With saying that you prove yourself. Come near.“ Stoffel did as he was told and stood two steps behind them, on Cheri’s right.
„Two strings might not rip, three surely won’t. Who else is there to assure us?“ At least two persons from the family had to officially accept the marriage, but ideally there would be three. But both Gwendal and Conrad were sure, that no one else would speak up. Mainly because there was no one else besides Wolf-
„I, their brother, sharing half of their blood, bound by blood, I do.“
As that voice sounded, their heads whipped around, both of them openly gaping at the youngest of them three, their little brother, the one who supposedly cast them away and the one who was just now accepting them...
„I know, that I was against it, I know how wrong this should be, but as Yuuri said those words...with Conrad smiling like that and Gwendal not wearing a frown and how happy this occassion actually was...“ he looked into their eyes with sincerity, and the thought whether Conrad would smile from ear to ear crossed Gwendal’s mind. „I realized how selfish I have been. All this time. All these years. I love my big brother and I love my little big brother,“ (Conrad gulped silently and Gwendal vagualy wondered if he was near tears) „I really do and I wish them luck. From the bottom of my heart.“
For several moments there was silence in the hall. And then...
„How wonderfull! As expected of my cute Wolfram to accept the sincere love of his two brothers!“ And before Wolfram saw it, he was pressed into his mothers rich (fortunately covered) bossom.
Yuuri was grinning as he said: „With saying that you prove yourself. Come near.“ And while his mother returned to her place, Wolfram stood two steps behing her, on her left.
And suddenly Yuuri realized he forgot his text. With a look of sheer horror he turned to Murata, who smiled reassuringly and mimicked with his lips the lines. And the young king remembered. „Ah, yes!“
Realizing that he uttered this aloud he laughed embarassedly and scratched the back of his head, but as he saw Gwendal’s lips curling upwards and Conrad’s shoulders shaking from surpressed laughter, he relaxed. „As I was saying...With this, the closed circle of family has accepted this bond. But what about the open circle of friends? Is there anyone who can promise to support this bond openly to the world?“
Anissina came forward and laid her hand on Gwendal’s shoulder. „I, Anissina, a friend from for a long time, who has witnessed this bond growing, I do.“
„I take you by your word, friend. Your support is welcomed.“
And then there was silent clacking of heels, as Yozak came forward with slow steps. There was something in his look that made Yuuri anxious and then he rememebered the scene in Gwendal’s office, several months ago, the confession, the story behind it and most importantly the part he played in that story. He came forward until he was directly next to Conrad and laid his hand gently on the shoulder of his...indeed. His what?
„I...Yozak...a...“ the same question was obviously stoping Yozak from continuing. What was he? A friend? No...Never. He never was and never will be. Just as he never will be their lover. There was a movement in his periphere vision and he turned only to meet two brown eyes. Brown eyes sparkling with silver streaks, questioning, understanding, expectant, waiting...
He smiled. „Excuse me. I got distracted.“ He took a deep breath. „I, Yozak, their companion, a person they hold dear, who has witnessed the depth of this bond, I do.“ His eyes travelled from Conrad’s to Gwendal’s and back and the pair understood. He would stay.
„I take you by your word, companion, dear person. Your support is welcomed.“ It really is, he added in his mind. „With this the open circle of friends has showed the support to this pair, granting them access to the world and the future Conrad Weller and Gwendal von Voltaire are heading to.“
„For this, we are gratefull.“ Conrad and Gwendal chorused.
„Then I shall ask you, Conrad Weller, brother of your husband, do you widen the bond you have and are you willing to carry it, through good and through bad, through sickness and health, through rich and through poor, untill death does you part?“
„Yes, I do. Yes, I am. Yes, I will.“
„Be wed.“ Yozak laid a ring into Conrad’s hand and Yuuri continued. „Then I shall ask you, Gwendal von Voltaire, brother of your wife,“ (Yuuri wavered a little at the word) „do you widen the bond you have and are you willing to carry it, through good and through bad, through sickness and health, through rich and through poor, untill death does you part?“
„Yes, I do. Yes, I am. Yes, I will.“
„Be wed.“ And Anissina laid a ring into Gwendal’s hand.
„Stand for your words.“ Yuuri said and the pair exchanged their rings and joined their second hands.
„Three roots of family, will you accept this bond they stood for untill death does you take?“
„Two chains of friendship, will you support this bond they stood for untill death does you take?“
„Yes.“ (Yozak’s reply was a little louder than Anissina‘s)
„Show us your resolve.“
Yozak and Anissina moved simultanously, both of them reaching for the same two ribbons, one purple and one red. First they raised the red ribbon and laid it diagonally across the joined hands. „Bound by Blood.“ They did the same with the purple one, laying it across the red. „Bound by Love.“
Cheri, Stoffel and Wolfram moved too and took a golden sheet. Together they spread it over the hands. „Love by Blood.“
Yuuri came down the stairs and as he reached the pair he laid his hands on the sheet. „With this, I, Shibuya Yuuri Harajuku Fuuri, seal your bond. What blood, love and magic bounded, nobody shall break. So their bond is sealed.“
„Together they stand, together they fight, untill death bonded, husband and wife.“ Their wedding chant. Yes – they stood and fought together. That was what they were: Fighters.
(The wedding chant was a simple sentence, a chant the wed pair had to say simultanously to present their newly formed bond. There were actually 3 of them and the choice depended completely on the pair. Gwendal and Conrad chose the more masculine one, which was often used by male pairs. But it was no rule, just like it wasn΄t rule that female pairs use use the more feminine form and the opposite sex pairs use the third form.
Sharing their dreams, sharing their life, untill death bonded – husband and wife.
Together they stand, together they fight, untill death bonded – husband and wife.
Live for the future, live for the light, untill death bonded – husband and wife.
The 3 wedding chants. Simple words and yet they held so much meaning. They were words which sealed a billion of hearts, promises, people...Just like they sealed them now.)
Finally, finally...Conrad looked into Gwendal’s eyes and what he saw made his breath hitch. His eyes...his eyes were...smiling...
And Conrad grinned from ear to ear.
Murata cleared his throat, his glasses glinting. „On Earth, we have a tradition, that the newlyweds kiss in front of everybody to show that they belong now to each other. Usually, the priests says: You may kiss the bride. Lord von Voltaire, would you mind?“
Gwendal went bright red. „I...that is...Now?! I mean...in public?! That is-“
But he was silenced as a pair of strong arms wrapped around his shoulder and rough lips glued themselves to his own a wicked chuckle escaping them.
„As expected, Gwendal wouldn’t...“
„Way to go, captain!!!“
Conrad tore himself from Gwendal, giggling absolutely uncharacteristically and winked at Yozak in a ‚What can I say? I’m simply awesome‘ matter and without any warning, the spy suddenly burst out into howls of laughter. And all hell broke loose.