Disclaimer: Peggy is mine, the X-Men (unfortunately) are not. I’m not making any money off them (even more unfortunately), so there’s no need to get all worked up.
Author’s Notes: This is part of the “Pegasus Flight” series. Previous stories are archived at SummerSky, www.geocities.com/ra_1013. Dedicated to Leila Burke, the most amazing Scott writer I’ve ever met, who gave me the idea for Scott’s speech.
Liked it? Hated it? Send feedback! Write Andrea at email@example.com and PK at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you thought!
"Mmm, something smells delicious! Who's--"
"Bobby! What are you doing?" Jubilee exclaimed, leaping up and putting her hands over his eyes.
"What'd I do?"
"Peggy's in here, you dolt. It's bad luck if you two see each other before the wedding."
"If it helps," Peggy's voice drifted over, "I can't see a thing either. Rogue's got a frying pan in front of my face."
"Look guys, I'm starving. Do I have to eat blind?" Bobby complained.
He heard a chair scraping against the floor. "No, I was just about to leave. Can't eat a thing anyway. I want to go make sure the caterers arrived." Footsteps, then Jubilee finally lowered her hands. Bobby went straight to the table and began piling a plate high with pancakes.
"Somebody's nervous," Rogue taunted in a sing-song voice.
"I am not!" Bobby protested, but his mouth was full so it came out more like "Ifanyot." The others just laughed.
Peggy paused for a moment outside the kitchen door, smiling at Bobby’s reaction to the others’ teasing. She leaned her head back against the wall and closed her eyes, taking a calming breath. She was getting married today. She was ecstatic and terrified at the same time. “And being an X-Man,” she muttered ruefully, “I’ve got more to worry about than whether the caterers show.”
"Peggy?" Scott’s voice floated from the living room, imbued with quiet urgency.
“And here we go,” she sighed. "Yes, Dad?"
"You might want to come to the living room."
"Coming, what's up?" she called as she pushed away from the wall and took another deep breath.
"Stryfe is standing in it with a wedding present."
Peggy blinked a moment. ~Did he just say what I thought he...~ She ran through the doorway to avert a possible disaster. She stopped short as she saw Stryfe, thankfully not in full armor, eyeing Scott warily across the room. Scott looked like he wasn’t sure what to make of the visitor. Stryfe bore a small box wrapped in white paper in his arms. Peggy forced a bright smile on her face and crossed the room. "Stryfe, the wedding's not until this afternoon. You're early."
"Yes, I know... I brought you an omelet pan.”
“An... omelet pan?” Peggy managed to get out before collapsing against the sofa in a fit of the giggles.
Stryfe raised an eyebrow, then looked over at Scott. “Does she do this often?”
“Hey, Slim, were you calling—” Bobby stopped short as he entered the room, blinking at his fiancée giggling on the couch. With a shrug, he looked back up at Scott... and froze. “Scott... are you aware that Stryfe is standing in the room?” he asked carefully.
Scott repressed a smile. “I noticed. He brought you a wedding present.”
“He brought us an omelet pan,” Peggy clarified, having regained control of herself. She walked over to Stryfe and took the box, smiling happily. “Thank you so much.” She looked back over at Bobby and added, “Honey, he’s not going to attack us. You can defrost now.”
Bobby held her gaze for a long moment before reverting back to his human form. “Stryfe brought us an omelet pan?”
“Wasn’t that nice of him?” Peggy beamed indiscriminately over them all. Stryfe shifted uncomfortably for a moment before recalling he was supposed to be grim and mysterious. He opted for glaring at Bobby instead.
"Stryfe just brought me a wedding present,” Bobby said slowly, trying to figure out when he’d jumped into an alternate universe. “Stryfe just brought me a wedding present."
Peggy looked back over at Stryfe with a grin. "You know, I think you're making him have second thoughts."
Stryfe gives her his best innocent look, which would go over fairly well if everyone didn't know better already. "You want me to make him stop?"
Peggy crossed the room again and stood in front of Bobby protectively. "No thanks, I like him how he is."
"Fine, then." Stryfe looked over her at Bobby with a slightly half-hearted glare. It might have been more effective if not for the fact that he gave off an air of being vaguely out of place. "I thought I would warn him to never let you go hungry if he values his life."
"I told you, he can't cook."
"He's doomed, then."
"Not if he stays out of my kitchen."
"I think," Scott observed, "you're having a territorial moment."
"No, we're not," Bobby said firmly, "because I have NO intention of arguing with her." This, at least, was familiar ground.
"That's probably smart," Stryfe told him approvingly. He sounded slightly more relaxed, although he still looked rather as if he half expected someone to attack him.
Peggy smiled sweetly and placed the package on a table. "Thank you so much, Stryfe. I'm glad you came early; we can always use an extra hand setting up."
"I'm not staying."
Peggy looked crestfallen. "Why not?
Stryfe gave her a slightly incredulous look, then looked at Bobby, then rather pointedly at Scott, then back at Peggy. "Think about that question for a few minutes."
"No one will attack you," Peggy promised firmly, glaring at her father and fiancé in order to assure compliance. "I just want everyone to be here!"
"I can take care of myself perfectly well," Stryfe replied, sounding rather nettled, "no matter WHO here attacks me. I somehow doubt, however, that I'm exactly welcome."
"I say you're welcome, and anyone who doesn't agree is free to leave." She looked utterly implacable.
Stryfe, on the other hand, was starting to look slightly... thawed was the word that came to Bobby's mind, ironically enough. He rather thought Scott was studying the unexpected guest thoughtfully, but it was hard to tell behind the glasses. "Peggy," Stryfe said slowly, voice a bit less harsh, "I really don't think you want to chase Nathan out of your ceremony, even if he'd go."
"I won't chase him out if he behaves himself."
"Who are you going to chase out?" Nathan's voice came from around the corner.
Peggy winced and looked around to see her big brother walking through the door. When did this become the family gathering place? She quickly stepped in front of Stryfe before Nathan could see him and shoot first, ask questions later. "You. Stay calm and I'll explain."
Stryfe started to wonder why the person with the least obviously combat-active power and least experience seemed to be trying to protect other parties in the room.
Nathan eyed his sister rather suspiciously, and Stryfe with considerable hostility. "What are you doing here?"
"I was invited," Stryfe said with a good attempt at wounded dignity.
"He brought Peggy and Bobby an omelet pan," Scott inserted helpfully, coming up past Stryfe and Peggy in an attempt to head off anything really bizarre on Nathan's part.
Cable eyed Stryfe again. "And he's hiding behind Peggy because?"
"I am not hiding behind Peggy," Stryfe said indignantly just as Peggy said, "He isn't hiding behind me, I'm trying to keep you from doing something stupid!"
"I don't think Stryfe can hide behind Peggy," Bobby remarked. "He's too tall."
"I could turn into a horse..."
"Maybe if you raised your wings," Bobby agreed.
"Excuse me," Cable said in irritation. "Can we get back to the main point here? Why is STRYFE in the living room? With an omelet pan?!"
"It was a wedding present," Peggy said simply. "I invited him."
Nathan sighed. "Why?"
"I was wondering that too," Stryfe murmured, then looked down at the top of Peggy's head with a slight frown. "Not to mention how you got the address."
"Because it's my wedding, emphasis on my, and I want all my family here!" Peggy snapped.
Nathan stared at her, then groaned. "And I thought the Marauders were bad."
"He's not going to attack us," Peggy said confidently, looking over her shoulder at Stryfe as if to ensure he knew he wasn't going to attack them. "And we're not going to attack him. We can use an extra telekinetic to put up the flower arches."
"The flower arches," Nathan said with as much dignity as was possible for a futuristic soldier-turned-mercenary-turned-hero discussing flower arches, "are perfectly under control as it is."
Peggy smiled happily at Nathan. "I know you're doing a wonderful job. Now then," she looked back at Stryfe, "do you have a tux, or do we have to find one for you?"
"I'm not," Stryfe tried again, "staying." He had the feeling he was weakening. Scott hadn't actually told him to leave. Jean wasn't here. And Nathan... well, hadn't tried to shoot him yet, which suggested the hypothetical if rather illogical possibility that they could actually get through the ceremony without active violence.
Peggy ignored his statement as utterly irrelevant and continued on. "If you don't have one, we could get one made up pretty quickly... you'd have the same measurements as Nathan..."
Stryfe glared at her, which was somewhat lost on the target as she had turned away again and he wound up directing the glower at her hair, which remained oblivious. "Stop that."
"We're a little short on spare beds, but I think I can rearrange a few of the Gen X guys and get you a little room for the night..."
"In case you haven't noticed," Nathan interrupted, "she isn't listening."
"I'm listening," Peggy said, looking at them both in irritation, "but I have a few things to take care of, if you hadn't noticed! Now then, Dad, can you go out and warn everyone not to attack Stryfe? Bobby, has the caterer called yet? Wait a minute, you’re not even supposed to see me yet! Get out before Jubilee comes after you!"
Scott took advantage of the orders given him to slip out of the room. "Um... I'll go call the caterers," Bobby offered, and beat a hasty retreat.
Stryfe looked across her at Nathan. "You're right, she isn't."
"You'll just have to leave without her permission if you want to."
"If I--what?!" Stryfe stared at his twin, who sounded... well, he sounded encouraging about the idea of Stryfe leaving, but he almost sounded as if he'd be willing to put up with his not doing so.
"Nathan, if you have the flower arches under such control, go make sure the rest of the flowers are set up too," Peggy ordered.
"I'm not leaving you here with him!"
"Nate, I spent half a week with him. The worst I got were cramps from laughing too hard." Nathan opened his mouth, then discovered that this defied response. "Besides, he's going to be too busy getting a tux," Peggy continued firmly. "Well, what are you waiting for?"
"He has one."
"How do you know?!"
"You don't want to know."
"Well then." Peggy gestured impatiently at Stryfe. "Go get it! And come right back, because I could use your help intimidating the caterers."
"But..." Nathan protested again.
"I'm not going to hurt her," Stryfe finally said, a little stiffly.
Peggy looked triumphant. "See? Now go! Flowers! Tux! Shoo!"
Nate gave her one last look, then left the room, muttering under his breath about bossy females.
Peggy smiled happily at Stryfe. "I'm so glad you came," she said, hopping up and pecking him on the cheek. "You'd better hurry up; the caterers will be here soon."
Stryfe hesitated, then squeezed her shoulder, a little awkwardly. "How did you get my address?"
Peggy blushed. "Well, I talked to Dani Moonstar, and she still knew how to get in touch with one of the MLF members..."
Stryfe frowned. "None of them should have... well, maybe one. Peggy, you talk to the strangest people..."
"Don't worry, big brother. I can take care of myself." Peggy winked at him, then left the room, presumably to track down the errant caterers.
Stryfe shook his head, then murmured a command to a teleporter in another language and vanished. He wasn't planning to come back, really, he decided as he appeared in his own base. Utterly ridiculous. He'd only make himself miserable and everyone else nervous.
So why was he heading for his closet?
He'd gone back because intimidating caterers was fun, Stryfe told himself firmly, knowing perfectly well he was lying. Although it was fun. The look on their faces when he'd threatened to take over the function they'd been hired to perform had been priceless.
The adoring look Peggy had given him after they left had been something else again.
Nathan had been in paroxysms of laughter, despite the fact that he maintained that no one in their right mind would eat something Stryfe had cooked.
"Well, I would," Peggy insisted. "It's only your cooking everyone's afraid of!"
“I don't poison people!"
"Neither do I," Stryfe replied. "Not my style."
"I ate his cooking for three days, and felt fine. That's more than I could say if I'd been eating yours!"
"I seem to remember this virus...."
"I didn't COOK it!"
"You could get rid of it," Peggy suggested hopefully. "You aren't dead anymore."
Stryfe opened his mouth, shut it, then glared at the tablecloth for no apparent reason. "As if they'd accept a cure coming from me, anyway. They'd suspect I had stuck something even nastier in. And I might have."
"So don't," Peggy replied promptly, "and provide it... deviously. That would work, wouldn't it?"
Stryfe tried to think of a suitable response, ignoring how... tempting the offer was. "Do not put those there!" he snarled instead, marching away and yanking some flowers out of a helper's hands telekinetically. "Who in their right mind would place these together?"
"Hey!" Nathan protested. "That's my job!"
"What, terrorizing people?" Peggy said under her breath.
Stryfe glared at him. "I know, you'll insist on everything. Your mission, your flowers, your—"
"Both of you stop it! And they're my flowers!"
Scott, meanwhile, was busy trying to explain this latest guest to the rest of the X-Men. "Um... okay, Peggy invited Stryfe and he showed up with an omelet pan."
"An omelet pan? Was he out of guns?"
"Shhh!" Scott gave a furtive glance around the kitchen and continued in a stage whisper. "You're mixing him up with Nathan. Stryfe's more into using his own firepower."
"I thought," Hank replied in an equally loud whisper, "that he used a gun on the Professor."
"It wasn't a normal one. And he was impersonating Nate then."
"Did he hit anyone with it?" Rogue piped up.
"Besides the professor?"
"No, with the omelet pan!"
"No. It might dent."
"Why would he care if it dented?" Warren asked.
"He might not, but Peggy would."
"And this would stop him because..."
"It's her present."
"So... just to clarify, Peggy invited one of our biggest enemies to her wedding, he showed up with an omelet pan, and so we're letting him stay?"
"Well..." Scott looked a little disgruntled and pulled at his collar. "And he's helping set up."
"Define helping,” Remy demanded, looking half-baffled and half-amused.
"Um... she said something about the flower arches..."
"Stryfe is arranging flowers?" Storm asked in amazement.
Scott sighed. "No, actually, Nathan's doing that. Peggy's having Stryfe intimidate the caterers. That's beside the point. Peggy wants him here and it doesn't look like he's attacking anyone, so we don't start anything. Got it?"
"Are the caterers okay?" Betsy asked.
"Jean hasn't heard any mental screams. A little gibbering, but I think she induced that yesterday."
“I’m sure I’ve said this before,” Bobby piped up, leaning against the doorway and trying to look calm, “but you have the weirdest family.”
“Hey, you’re the one who’s marrying into it.”
He really should have left by now.
Stryfe looked around the lawn, which was rapidly filling with assorted X-team members in formal wear. He tried to stop hunching his shoulders inside the black dinner jacket. He should’ve worn his armor after all. He felt almost... naked in this. He did not wear tuxedos. He certainly did not do so on the X-Men’s back lawn!
And yet here he was. This was turning into a very strange day.
“Everything shore did turn out nice.”
Stryfe turned his head slowly. A tall blond man and a short blonde woman were standing next to him. He chided himself briefly for allowing himself to become so distracted he’d missed their approach, then stared at the couple. He identified them as Cannonball and Meltdown, two of Nathan’s young protégées. Given that auspicious background, he would have wagered they would be attacking him the moment they saw him rather than engaging in social chit-chat. Stryfe stared at them for a moment longer, then asked slowly, "Are you speaking to me?"
"'Course we're talking to you," Sam laughed. "Thinking about having Bobby Drake as a brother-in-law giving you a headache again?"
At his side, Tabitha suddenly straightened and started poking at Sam's arm urgently, her eyes wide. "Sam!" she hissed. When Sam looked down at her, she gestured at Stryfe's left arm significantly. After a second, Sam's eyes widened as well. Hesitantly, he reached out a finger and poked.
Stryfe stared at him, nonplussed. At the feel of soft flesh instead of techno-organic metal, Sam swallowed audibly. "You're not Cable."
"How very astute of you."
Sam braced himself and looked the other man squarely in the eye. "Ah don't know what you've got planned, but you can forget about it."
Stryfe raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?" He crossed his arms over his chest, feeling rather amused by the situation. "And how do you propose to stop me?"
"You're surrounded, buddy," Tabitha said defiantly.
"Sam! Tabitha! What are you doing?" Cable barked out, stalking over to join them. It was very odd to see Stryfe and Cable standing side-by-side, wearing matching black tuxedos.
Sam looked back and forth between the two of them, his mouth slightly agape. "Uh... sir? That's Stryfe. Shouldn't we... beat the tar out of him or something?"
Cable heaved a long-suffering sigh. "Not... today," he managed to get out through gritted teeth.
"Why not?" Tabitha demanded.
"I'm here by invitation," Stryfe informed her with malicious pleasure.
"Peggy invited him. He brought an omelet pan," Nathan added.
Stryfe looked at his twin, slightly disgruntled. "I understand it's customary to bring a gift to these occasions."
Nathan closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose wearily. "No fighting," he said simply, looking first at Sam and Tabitha, then switching his gaze to Stryfe.
Then he walked away. Stryfe's lips twitched a bit, though he firmly suppressed the smile. He should do this more often. It was proving quite amusing.
Sam and Tabitha watched a little plaintively as Cable departed, then stared up at Stryfe for a moment. Finally, Sam said, "An omelet pan?"
"What did you bring?"
"A popcorn popper. The kind that goes in the fireplace. She wanted one."
"So... what is so strange about an omelet pan?"
"Just that... it's you."
"She likes omelets."
"All right," Sam replied, obviously trying to come to terms with the fact that Stryfe was at the wedding and Cable had just told him not to fight with him, "but how do you know that?"
Stryfe looked at him obliquely. "I know things."
"Maybe omelet cravings are genetic," Tabitha cracked.
Stryfe gave her a more direct and slightly ominous look. "Peggy isn't a genetic relative."
"Scott," Tabitha pursued, perhaps unwisely, "is."
Stryfe raised an eyebrow. "And your point being..?"
"Uh. He likes omelets. I thought maybe you knew he'd gotten her hooked on them, or... something."
"Scott... likes omelets?" Stryfe was looking nonplussed again. It was a worrying expression.
"Favorite breakfast," Sam put in, figuring he shouldn't let Tabitha take all the blame for bringing it up.
"Scott's... favorite breakfast," Stryfe repeated slowly.
"...Yes." Sam eyed his team mentor's clone a bit warily.
Stryfe appeared to be trying to process this information. "I see," he finally said.
Somewhat to all three parties' surprise, Tabitha ventured, "Are you all right?"
"Of course I'm all right," he said stiffly. "It's time to sit down." He stalked away towards the chairs set up on the lawn.
Sam and Tabitha stared after him. "Y'know," Sam said thoughtfully, "he and Cable are a lot more alike than I thought."
"Do you think we should steer him so he doesn't wind up next to Scott?"
"Ah... think we'd better leave that to Jean," Sam decided firmly. “C’mon, let’s sit down.”
Bobby watched Sam and Tabitha walk away with very confused expressions, then turned away from the window abruptly. "What am I doing?" he muttered to himself, plopping down in the nearest chair. The lawn was filling with people, all here for his wedding. His wedding. God, that was a scary thought. Scarier than the super villain mingling with the guests.
"I believe the answer to that question is, attempting to put on a bow tie and talking to yourself," Hank said merrily. "Getting cold feet?"
Bobby snorted and froze his feet propped up on the coffee table. "I've had cold feet since I was fourteen."
"That's dodging the question," Warren laughed, already impeccably dressed in his own tuxedo. "How do you feel?"
"Like I'm gonna be sick," Bobby groaned.
"I don't see why you're nervous," Warren said blithely. "I mean, you're just about to make a commitment to spend the rest of your life with one woman. No more playing the field, staying out 'til five a.m..."
Remy picked up the ball. "Now it jes' be, 'honey, take out de trash', 'don' drink out o' de carton', 'not now, I got a headache--"
He might have gone on indefinitely had Bobby not suddenly run from the room with his hand clamped over his mouth. The door to the bathroom slammed shut and retching sounds could be heard. The others traded looks. "I guess he's more nervous than we thought," Warren ventured finally.
The bathroom door slowly reopened and Bobby emerged, looking slightly green. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Are you well, Robert?" Hank asked worriedly.
"I knew I shouldn't've had that fifth helping of eggs. Or maybe it was the leftover coleslaw. I don't think it was supposed to have green spots." He looked up at the others and suddenly grinned, feeling better now that the offending items were out of his stomach. He walked over to his chair and sat back down, running a hand through his hair. "Don't get me wrong. It's not like I'm not nervous--I mean, this is forever. But at the same time," a goofy grin spread over his face, "I know that if there's anyone out there I'm supposed to spend forever with, it's Peggy."
There was silence for a moment, then Warren said, "Now I'm going to be sick."
Finally, it was time. The decorations had been set, the guests had arrived, and anticipation was so thick in the air it could be cut. The hushed hub of conversation ceased entirely as the minister walked to the altar in front, followed by Bobby and Hank. Bobby had his hands clenched tightly together in front of him and eyes trained on the door where the rest of the wedding party would emerge.
"Breathe, Bobby," Hank whispered. "It would hardly be an auspicious beginning to nuptial bliss if you were to pass out of asphyxia the moment your affianced appears."
Bobby chuckled and relaxed slightly, but he tensed again as the music began to play. Jubilee flashed a cocky grin at the guests as she walked down the aisle. Peggy had argued long and hard with her, forcibly overruling the younger woman's arguments for bright yellow, turquoise, or hot pink as the bridal colors. Instead she wore royal blue and carried a bouquet of mixed white flowers. She winked broadly and Bobby and took her place on the other side of the altar. "Brace yourself," she whispered.
The music changed. There was a rustle as first Jean, then the rest of the guests stood up. Bobby forgot about his queasy stomach, about everyone watching, about their old enemy sitting in the front row. He forgot his own name as the couple emerged from the back door. Scott walked tall and proud, looking down to share a murmured word and a fond smile with the woman on his arm. Peggy squeezed his arm and smiled across the crowd. Then her eyes met Bobby's and the rest of the world ceased to exist.
~She is the most beautiful woman in the world,~ Bobby thought in awe, unconsciously echoing the thoughts of every man to stand at the altar and wonder what he had done to deserve such a vision for his wife. Peggy's dress was simple yet elegant--pure white with a snug bodice, tapered sleeves, and flowing skirt. Her veil was secured by a wreath of tiny white flowers, her pale hair amassed in a braided coil through the center. Amidst all this white, Peggy's bright blue eyes shone out, piercing Bobby to the core. He had to consciously remind himself to start breathing again as Peggy and Scott reached the altar, Hank's words in his mind. He couldn't seem to stop grinning, though, no matter how idiotic he knew he must look.
"Dearly beloved," the minister began after the assembled guests were seated, "we are gathered here today to witness the joining of this man to this woman. If any among you know just cause why these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace." There was silence, though Nathan and Stryfe sported identical frowns, and so the minister went on, ignoring Bobby's sigh of relief. "Who presents this woman to be married?"
Again there was silence. Bobby and Peggy both turned to look worriedly at Scott. Jean sat up ramrod-straight in her chair and affixed her husband's back with a sharp gaze. Scott waited another half-heartbeat, then a smile broke out on his face and he said, "I do." Bobby remembered to breathe again. Peggy mock-glared at her father, then smiled and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Scott offered his hand to Bobby, who shook it solemnly. Peggy traded to Bobby's arm and they turned back to face the minister as Scott took his seat beside Jean, who elbowed him. Jubilee stepped forward to take Peggy's bouquet after the minister finished talking about the duties of marriage. Bobby and Peggy turned to face each other, clasping hands tightly.
"Margaret Eleanor Summers," Peggy winced, "do you announce that it is your intent to be married to Robert Leslie Drake," Bobby winced, "to love, honor, and cherish, cleaving only unto him, so long as you both shall live?"
"I do," she replied softly.
"Then repeat after me: I, Margaret, take thee, Robert."
"I, Margaret, take thee, Robert." Peggy's eyes twinkled at Bo--ah, Robert.
"To be my lawfully-wedded husband."
"To be my lawfully-wedded husband." Bobby's mother sniffed loudly and dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief.
"To have and to hold from this day forward."
"To have and to hold from this day forward." Kitty sighed happily and leaned against Pete, who gulped nervously.
"For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health."
"For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health." Charles smiled on them contentedly.
"Til death do us part."
"Til death do us part." Jean squeezed Scott's hand tightly and shared a brief mental caress.
The minister smiled and turned his gaze to Bobby. "And do you, Robert Leslie Drake," Bobby winced, "announce that it is your intent to be married to Margaret Eleanor Summers," Peggy winced, "to love, honor, and cherish, cleaving only unto her, so long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Bobby answered firmly without a moment's hesitation.
"Then repeat after me: I, Robert, take thee, Margaret."
"I, Bobby, take thee, Peggy," he repeated with emphasis, prompting smiles and chuckles to break out all around.
The minister just sighed and went on, "To be my lawfully-wedded wife."
"To be my lawfully-wedded wife." Bobby squeezed Peggy's hands gently.
"To have and to hold from this day forward."
"To have and to hold from this day forward." Warren hugged Betsy close.
"For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health."
"For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health." Nathan watched them with a stern expression, though his eyes glinted with suspicious softness.
"Till death do us part."
"Till death do us part." Bobby's mother sniffed again and his father was even looking a little misty-eyed.
"The rings, please." Jubilee and Hank both stepped forward to present the couple with their rings. "Peggy, if it is still your intention to marry this man, place the ring on his finger and say, 'With this ring, I thee wed'."
Peggy took Bobby's left hand and carefully slid the ring on the fourth finger. In a voice that hinted more than a little at tears, she repeated, "With this ring, I thee wed."
"Bobby, if it is still your intent to marry this woman, place the ring on her finger and say, 'With this ring, I thee wed'."
With a little grin to hide that his hands were shaking, Bobby slid on the ring and whispered, "With this ring, I thee wed."
"Then, by the power vested in me by the state of New York and the Lord God, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
They just looked at each other for a moment. "I love you," Bobby whispered to his wife.
"I love you," she whispered back. As their lips joined in a sweet kiss, a cheer arose from the guests. Peggy and Bobby were both grinning fit to crack their faces as she retrieved her bouquet from Jubilee and he received a bear hug from Hank. Then they turned back to face their guests.
"It is my pleasure to present to you Mr. and Mrs. Robert Drake!" the minister proclaimed as they started back down the aisle, followed by more cheers.
“May I have your attention please?” Hank’s voice carried out across the crowd as he tapped gently on the side of his wine goblet with a spoon. “I believe it is customary at this point to offer a few words in honor of the newly-wedded couple.”
“Just try to keep them to ones we can all understand, Blue!”
Hank looked offended at the heckler in the audience. “I shall endeavor to maintain a monosyllabic toast in order to remain at your level of mental competency, Logan,” he said with dignity. The ones who could figure out what he said chuckled and Hank smiled in return. “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted... I have known our beloved Popsicle for a number of years, and through those years I have watched him fumble through his relationships with the fairer sex.”
“Hey!” Bobby protested, laughing.
“You are my dearest friend, Robert, but I cannot tell a lie. You fumbled. Rather spectacularly at times. I confess to have placed the occasional wager regarding your ill-fated love life.”
“And got rich off it!” Remy called out. Bobby was turning little red. Peggy grinned and squeezed his hand.
“Perhaps,” Hank demurred. “But I knew things had changed the moment you first beheld our fearless leader’s daughter as a woman rather than a teammate. And since you were taking your life in your own hands by doing so, I knew you had to be serious!” Everyone laughed, even Scott. “At any rate, it has been my fondest wish to see you so happy, even if you had to become a Summers to do so. Ladies and gentlemen, to the bride and groom!”
Everyone cheered and repeated the toast, raising their glasses. “And now,” Hank announced with a grin of anticipation, “the moment I’m sure we have all been waiting for. The father of the bride’s toast!”
Hank pulled Scott up despite his protests, to the cheers and laughter of the assembled guests. Bobby casually leaned back in his chair and surveyed the distance to the nearest car. “We’d never make it,” Peggy whispered, following his eyes and train of thought easily.
“He wouldn’t make you a widow on your wedding day, would he?” he replied worriedly, nervously watching Scott gather his thoughts.
Scott cleared his throat and finally spoke, looking down at the glass in his hands. “Back when the Professor first decided to start his school, I was his first student. For a while, there was only me, and then one day I got sent to find this scrawny little kid in New Jersey to be the next student.” He smiled wryly at Bobby’s parents. “At the time, I didn’t have any family, so Bobby became the first member of my adopted one. When all of these relatives started appearing out of nowhere, I remember wishing I had a little sister so Bobby could really be a part of the family.”
“You’re joking!” Bobby exclaimed, looking at Scott in surprise, prompting more laughs at his stunned expression.
“Apparently, a big brother’s protectiveness has nothing on a father’s,” Scott replied with a self-deprecating smile. There was an eerie echo as Nathan and Stryfe both growled in concert, then exchanged wary looks, prompting more laughter. “It’s no secret that I wasn’t exactly happy when Bobby and Peggy started dating, but lately I’ve been choking back paternal instincts and remembering why I was so eager to have Bobby as a relative. He’s the most loyal friend you could ask for, and...” He looked back at Bobby and Peggy, both looking very surprised. “...I think he’s the best son-in-law I could’ve hoped for. Welcome to the family.” Scott raised his glass in their direction, then raised his voice again. “To Bobby and Peggy!”
Again everyone cheered and repeated the toast. Peggy smiled mistily at her father, hoping he could see her gratitude in her eyes. Bobby looked over at her with a smile. He didn’t see her father taking his seat next to Jean, or the identically-stony faces of her over-protective big brothers. He didn’t think of all the trials and tribulations that they would surely have to face over the next years, both as a couple and as X-Men. All he saw was his wife, and as he leaned over to kiss her, his only thought was that he was the luckiest man in the world.