"My little Smurfs," Papa Smurf announced, "it has been years since we have had a smurfous occasion like this among our own people, which as your leader and your father I have the pleasure and the privilege of joining these two Smurfs in the bonds of smurfy matrimony."
This announcement was made on a day 10 years after Empath’s return from Psychelia. Since then, many things had changed in the Smurf Village. First of all, Papa Smurf no longer wore a beard. Now wearing only a white moustache, Papa Smurf had felt years younger because of the change. He and his fellow Smurfs somehow also began wearing shirts as Empath did for the first time in years. They suspected that a bit of Empath’s sensibilities from his years in Psychelia had managed to rub off on them.
Empath over the years became more and more active with his fellow Smurfs -- not just the ones around his age, but also with the Smurflings and Baby Smurf, who was finally given the name Miracle -- that he felt the burden of his past weighing him down less and less. The time his father took from him was slowly being made up for in the time Empath spent in his village as an adult, and the fear of being returned to the Psyches had all but vanished from his memory.
Not that it was all good times that happened in those ten years. Neither Gargamel, Azrael, nor Scruple ever returned to the forest, but there were other threats, human and otherwise, that tried to destroy or control the Smurfs for their purposes. Fortunately, during those dire circumstances, Empath stood with his fellow Smurfs, fighting alongside them when they could defend themselves, and using his abilities to protect them when they could not. Nobody ever asked him to be a hero anymore, but Empath knew they could count on him to be there for them when it was needed. And his fellow Smurfs still admired him as one of their own.
Empath’s relationship with Smurfette had slowly changed over the years. As they understood more about each other, their friendship grew stronger and then became a romance. They had their differences and hard times, but they had the courage and the strength to help each other make it through, and they were very respectful of each other.
Then one day in that ten years later, Empath and Smurfette bravely announced to the entire village that they were going to be married. Their fellow Smurfs were shocked by the news, for they knew that the one Smurf they’ve been competing for her full affections had just given her heart away to the one Smurf their age that they could never hope to compete against. They were understandably jealous of Empath as well. But as they got past their jealousy, the other Smurfs decided to give Empath and Smurfette the best wedding they ever had, to express their best wishes for both of them.
As Smurfette had no other females besides Sassette in the village to join in the celebration, the Smurfs invited some of her forest friends to the wedding. Flowerbelle, a woodnymph who had once tried to charm Papa Smurf into marrying her, served as the matron of honor, joined by Laconia the mute elf, Marina the mermaid, Periwinkle the pixie, and a group collectively known as the Pussywillow Pixies, not to mention Gaia and Chronos, the guardians of the forest known best as Mother Nature and Father Time, and finally Handy’s mechanical Clockwork Smurf couple.
Polaris Psyche, Empath’s friend from Psychelia, was also present as the best man. He had been exiled from his own people for nine years and had since lived among the Smurfs, eventually feeling at home with his new community of friends. Polaris also had strong feelings for Smurfette as well, but he felt that Empath and Smurfette truly belonged to each other and so vowed not to interfere with what he saw as destiny in the making.
Empath, who wore his star-patterned suit with a cape and a princely buttoned-down shirt-jacket, nervously watched as Brainy escorted Smurfette down the aisle to him. With her dazzling white gown and veil, in addition to a black star-patterned hat she now wore as a reminder to all that she belonged to Empath, Smurfette looked beautiful beyond what mere words could say. Sassette in her pink and white dress carried the train of Smurfette’s gown before she took her place among the other Smurflings.
"However," Papa Smurf continued, "if there is any Smurf among us who has a reason that these two Smurfs should not be married, please speak now or forever hold your smurf."
Only one Smurf dared to speak out. "I hate..." Grouchy blurted out. Everybody looked at him, expecting him to finish what he was going to say.
Grouchy felt sheepish, unable to say what was on his mind. "I meant that I hate to see Empath and Smurfette not being married today." When everybody turned their attention away from him to continue the ceremony, he added silently, but I hate that it couldn’t have been her with me!
"Empathy Psyche Smurf," Papa Smurf proceeded, "do you take Smurfette to be your smurfully wedded wife, to love, honor, and obey, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for as long as you both shall smurf?"
Empath fumbled in his reply. "This smurf...that is, well...I do, Papa Smurf," he answered, looking at Smurfette, who smiled encouragingly at him.
"And do you, Smurfette, take Empathy Psyche Smurf to be your smurfully wedded husband, to love, honor, and obey, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for as long as you both shall smurf?"
Smurfette never faltered. "I do, Papa Smurf" she answered, with Empath now smiling at her.
"Then, by the powers invested in me by Mother Nature and Father Time, and by all the Smurfs who have smurfed throughout the ages, I shall pronounce Empath and Smurfette as husband and wife," Papa Smurf concluded. "May this bond between them smurf for all time and may nothing on this world ever break it." After the other Smurfs have applauded, Papa Smurf then turned to Empath. "You may now kiss your bride."
"This smurf wishes to have this one dance with Smurfette before we make our vow of eternal love known, Papa Smurf," Empath requested.
Papa Smurf nodded, and Empath then turned toward Harmony, sitting by the grand piano, waiting to play that one song Empath had composed for Smurfette. He knew that now was the time and he started playing it.
Most of the other Smurfs were half-expecting Harmony to do a horrible job playing Empath's love song, since he was pretty well known as the worst musician to ever play any instrument. But this time, Harmony surprised everyone, making the piano and Empath's music sound just as beautiful as the wedding itself. Empath took Smurfette's hand as they danced with each other in their arms and Empath sweetly serenaded his newlywed wife, telling her in words and music that he would truly love her until his time was through. Smurfette felt so captivated, she truly believed everything Empath had said and even sang along, vowing to love him forever as well. As the music came to a close, the other Smurfs cheered wildly as Empath and Smurfette kissed each other.
Jokey had his surprise packages exploding confetti as the newlywed couple made their way to the banquet table, making the first slice in their wedding cake that Greedy had baked and designed with two tiny figurines that Sculptor had crafted on top. The other Smurfs and their guests toasted Empath and Smurfette with smurfberry wine and sarsaparilla ale, some of which got poured on their heads, and even asked if they would ever name their first child after their fellow Smurfs. Vanity with Handy's photo-smurfer made sure he took enough pictures of the happy couple so that they could remember this moment for the rest of their lives. But for the most part, Vanity wanted to remember a wedding that was just as beautiful to look at as he was, every day.
Just before Empath and Smurfette were to embark on their honeymoon to enjoy their first few days of marital bliss, Papa Smurf had to tell Empath something very important that was on his mind.
"Promise me, Empath, that when you smurf your first child with Smurfette, that you wouldn't be foolish enough to smurf him away to Psychelia. I almost missed out on being a Papa Smurf to you the first time…I just don't want to lose the chance of ever becoming a Grandpa Smurf."
Empath knew what Papa Smurf was saying. "You can count on this smurf, Papa Smurf, to make sure that, whether it's a boy or a girl, this smurf will love and care enough for the child to prevent that mistake from happening again," he affirmed. "Of course, this smurf is hoping that it would take after Smurfette!"
"I know that Empath won't smurf anything that bad," Smurfette added, laughing slightly. "But no matter Empath might teach our child about being able to smurf for the stars, he or she will still need me to smurf them back on the ground and remind them about being a Smurf, first and foremost." She hugged Papa Smurf and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you so much for making me a real Smurf."
Papa Smurf blushed slightly. "I should thank you, Smurfette, for choosing to be a real Smurf. This wouldn't be possible if you hadn't smurfed into our lives."
The Smurflings were the last ones who wanted to say something to Empath, but weren't so sure of what to say. Finally Snappy decided to speak for them.
"Hey, Empath, you're not going to forget about us now, are you? I mean, it isn't going to be the same in the village anymore with Smurfette smurfing your reins."
"That is true, Snappy," Empath answered. "But you are part of my family now. No matter what happens between us, this smurf will still care for you and for all the other Smurfs."
"Hey, good luck, Empath and Smurfette," Slouchy said.
"May nature guide you in the right path," Nat said.
"Hasta lasagna…don't smurf any on ya!" Snappy said.
Sassette didn't know what to say, so Smurfette simply hugged her. "Take care of the Smurflings while I'm gone, little sister," she told her.
"I will, big sister," Sassette replied, wiping a tear from her eye. "And take good care of Empath for me. You're already making me jealous of you."
With those happy and heartfelt thoughts, Empath and Smurfette boarded the wicker gondola that a friendly stork was carrying to an island paradise far beyond the range of the Smurf forest. As the gondola lifted itself off the ground and the other Smurfs and guests gathered around it, Empath and Smurfette looked down at their fellow Smurfs as if it were the last time they would ever see them like this. Then Smurfette threw her bouquet to the crowd while Empath threw something frilly of Smurfette's.
"I can’t believe this!" Sassette jumped up and down with excitement. "I just smurfed the bouquet!"
"That’s nothing, Sassette!" Snappy jeered, holding up what looked like a garter. "I just smurfed something even better -- Smurfette’s slingshot!"
"Gee, Snappy, that’s a funny-smurfing slingshot you have there," Slouchy commented, sounding very sly.
"You know what they say," Nat added. "He who smurfs the slingshot must marry she who smurfs the bouquet!"
"Wait a minute!" Snappy whined, caught by surprise. "You mean -- I have to marry Sassette?"
"And I have to marry Snappy?" Sassette asked, also surprised.
Both of them stuck their tongues out at that thought. "Eeww -- that’s gross!" they both said together.
Nat and Slouchy decided to have more fun with that thought. "Snappy and Sassette sitting in a tree, s-m-u-r-f-i-n-g," they sang together, further teasing the both of them. "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a Smurfling in a baby carriage!"
Disgusted, Snappy and Sassette threw the bouquet and the garter at Nat and Slouchy as they laughed. They knew when they had enough teasing, even about something they certainly weren’t going to think about.
Meanwhile, Papa Smurf was watching the stork flying off into the horizon when he noticed Empath embracing Smurfette and kissing in the gondola. He didn’t notice Polaris Psyche standing right next to him until he spoke.
"Empath must have been a really special Smurf to you, Papa Smurf," Polaris commented, trying to understand what his new mentor was now thinking at this moment.
"He was my son, Polaris," Papa Smurf nodded. "He made a change in my life ever since he was born. He made me a Papa Smurf long before I became that name. He made me smurf myself in ways that I have never smurfed possible. He helped bring an entire generation of orphans together into a family, and then eventually became part of it. If he ever thought he lost anything from that, I would say he gained a lot more -- the best of the both worlds he lived in."
"So that must make you the luckiest Smurf that ever lived, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
Papa Smurf sighed, smiling. "No, Polaris...Empath is. He is definitely the luckiest Smurf of all!"
And in the park where the statue of Empath and Papa Smurf had stood, the likeness of Smurfette had now joined them, being held in Empath's other arm.
Nothing else we knew survived of them except for their stories, but the forest that was a part of their world is still there. If you listen very carefully, you might hear the ghostly wails of Gargamel’s rage.
And if you’re good, then...perhaps...you just might catch a glimpse of them.