Chapter 5

Traveler journeyed ahead a bit to see the wedding take place.  It reminded him of the wedding of his great-grandfather and great-grandmother, from what he remembered seeing in his great-grandfather's mind.  The only difference this time around, however, was that Empath and Papa Smurf had switched roles -- Empath was now the appointed minister and Papa Smurf was the bridegroom that he was marrying. Traveler also noticed that Tapper, who would normally wear his green-plaid kilt at whatever wedding he would attend, chose not to wear his at this occasion.
"My fellow Smurfs," Empath began, speaking without any joy or pleasure in his voice, "we have gathered here on this beautiful day, a day very few wish would ever actually happen, to join this Smurf and this Smurfette in the joyous bonds of smurfy matrimony. As it was in the beginning, it shall always be, that male and female shall be joined together as one so that they may share the blessings of love and family. If there is any Smurf who feels that these two Smurfs should not even be married, please speak now or forever hold your peace."
Empath's eyes looked out at the crowd, literally begging for any of them to say anything against this union taking place.  But none of them had the courage to speak.  He knew Papa Smurf was using Polaris to make sure every Smurf couldn't say anything just by the fear of his authority, much like the Psyche Master used his presence to command the Psyches to his own ends.  A minute of silence passed, and then Empath continued.
"Papa Smurf, do you take Smurfette to be your smurfully-wedded wife, to cherish, honor, and obey, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, to love her as long as you both shall live?" he asked.
Papa Smurf didn't feel nervous at all when he answered. "Yes, I do, Empath!"
Empath nodded, though he didn't smile, then he asked, "Smurfette, do you take Papa Smurf to be your smurfully-wedded husband, to cherish, honor, and obey, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, to love him as long as you both shall live?"
Smurfette looked at Papa Smurf when she answered. "I do!"
Empath then called forth Snappy. He raised up the pillow which contained the rings that Smithy Smurf has forged for them. "These rings made of gold will show that the two of you are inseparably bound to each other for all time. You will say your own vows and in turn put the ring on the other's finger."
Papa Smurf was the first to take the ring. "Smurfette, from the day I made you into a real Smurf, I thought that I was recreating a part of my life that I had lost years ago, but little did I realize that I was smurfing into existence something much better than I deserve for a Smurf my age." He then placed the ring on Smurfette's finger. "With this ring, I vow that, from the smurfs of my own soul, to be the kind of Smurf that you want me to be, to smurf you everything that your heart desires no matter the cost, to make you the one and only Smurf that I will always love above all others."
Smurfette took the second ring. "Papa Smurf, you were the only Smurf that saw what I could become and were willing to smurf the chance of making me into a real Smurf, and because of that I feel as if I'm willing to smurf my entire life to you, no matter what others might smurf." She then placed the ring on Papa Smurf's finger. "With this ring, I vow that, from everything that I smurf within me, I will be the Smurfette that you want me to smurf you a home and a family that will always love you, and to have you as the one and only Smurf that I will always smurf above all others."
Empath swallowed hard, for the next part was the most difficult for him to say.
"Then…by the powers invested in this smurf…by all the Smurf ancestors and by the forces of nature and time…I shall pronounce you husband and wife," he finished.  "You may now kiss the bride!"
Still no Smurf said anything or even applauded when they saw the two newlywed Smurfs kissing.  Some even covered their eyes, for it was a sight that was beyond what they deemed was in good taste.

During the wedding reception, Empath and a good deal of the other male adult Smurfs found themselves sitting around the table where Tapper was serving his sarsaparilla ale to the guests.  Apparently, they weren't in the mood for the smurfberry wine that was being served as Papa Smurf and Smurfette seemed to be having the time of their lives dancing with each other, even to the horrific tunes being played by Harmony.  Duncan, who could drink up to a gallon of sarsaparilla ale before he would get drunk, chose to smoke lots of smurfnip along with Lazy, Nabby, Chatty, and Nosey if it would help him to forget the wedding he had witnessed. Tapper had never seen so many Smurfs asking for his sarsaparilla ale at one time, and never had he seen Empath ask for more than just one glass of it.
"My good friend, I have never smurfed you more blue about anything other than the time Papa Smurf smurfed you the truth about yourself," he commented.  "You did a brave thing, smurfing up there and marrying Papa Smurf and Smurfette."
Empath felt as low as his head was on the table that Tapper was serving his ale behind.  "This smurf never felt anything like this kind of heartbreak before," he groaned with some honest feeling behind it. "The most beautiful female Smurf in the world, and this smurf wanted to be with her for all time, and she goes and marries my father!"
"Aye, that she is a pretty girl, Empath," Tapper remarked, "but she is no child, I smurf you.  She may be several years old, but she's still got her own mind and her own heart, and she must follow it wherever it smurfs her, even if it's to the likes of Papa!"
"This smurf can't believe you're not the least bit angry that Smurfette would turn all of us down for him, Tapper!" Empath fussed. "Even you, the one Smurf who thought that this smurf and Smurfette would make a perfect match!"
"I would be a fool if I didn't smurf that a 550-year-old male Smurf and an 8-year-old female Smurf do not an everlasting love smurf, Empath," Tapper responded, "but life goes on, and I do not intend to smurf it wallowing in self-pity because someone like her gets married to someone besmurfs me.  Be grateful you still have a life outside that insmurferable place you call Psychelia, my good friend.  You may someday smurf someone to be with for all time!"
"Yeah," Empath murmured, raising his head long enough to take another drink of his ale, "just not another one like Smurfette!"
"Just look at your good friend, Polaris, and see how happy he is knowing that Smurfette will be cared for, no matter how things turn out between her and Papa," Tapper pointed out as he looked toward Polaris, merely watching as Papa Smurf and Smurfette danced with each other.
Empath looked at Polaris with disgust.  In all the years he had known him, he had never expected Polaris to ever turn against him, not even for the sake of the Psyche Master.  Now he had found a new master to willingly devote his life to, and he was no longer listening to Empath's advice.  Empath now felt that if he had to live his life through Psychelia again, he would rather suffer endlessly in the presence of the Psyche Master than ever make Polaris his friend.

A few days later, the Smurflings visited Smurfette in her new home in the village.  They now saw that she was wearing a red cap on her head just like Papa Smurf.
"Does that mean we have to call you Mama Smurf now?" Slouchy asked.
Smurfette giggled.  "Of course not, Slouchy.  It's just that since I'm now Papa Smurf's faithful wife, I might as well be smurfing what he wears.  According to Empath, it is tradition that the wife smurfs the same-colored hat as her husband."
"Speaking of Empath, have you smurfed him around?" Nat asked.
Smurfette sighed.  "Sorry, Nat, I have been too busy with smurfing my new home in order to even notice Empath.  I do feel sorry for him, but I wish he could smurf over what happened.  I couldn't love him more than any other Smurf like him, anyway."
"But he does love you, Smurfette," Sassette said. "I'm happy that your wish smurfed true and you got married, but I only wish it could've been with Empath.  Somehow I just don't smurf you and Papa Smurf really being happy together like this."
"Well, neither does the rest of the village, Sassette," Slouchy commented.  "Ever since the wedding, no Smurf really wants to smurf anything anymore, and then Polaris has to come and smurf everybody together to do what Papa Smurf wants them to smurf."
"Why is Polaris so happy when all the other Smurfs are so miserable?" Snappy asked, sounding disgusted.
"And why isn't he and Empath smurfing with each other anymore?" Slouchy added.  "I thought they were the best of friends!"
"Look, I can't unsmurf the very thing I smurfed with Papa Smurf," Smurfette said, sounding like the Smurflings weren't appreciating the very fact of being married to Papa Smurf.  "But I just know in my heart that Papa Smurf would be very good to me and that he could never smurf anything to hurt me!  I think it's about time the other Smurfs grew up and started learning that I desmurf to have someone to care for me for all time."
"Well, since you now have Papa Smurf, I was just wondering if you could help me smurf Empath's heart," Sassette suggested, smiling slyly.
Smurfette giggled.  "That may be difficult, Sassette.  Empath is still older than you, and I think you should let him smurf over his heartbreak first, just so he doesn't smurf it the wrong way."
Sassette laughed in kind.  At least they could still humor themselves about Empath, even if he is the one Smurf neither of them will ever have now.

Traveler continued to watch Smurfette's married life with Papa Smurf unfold.  She was a very faithful housekeeper, and though Greedy seemed just as bitter as most of the other Smurfs for seeing her marry Papa Smurf, he nonetheless taught Smurfette some more things about cooking.  She managed to pick up the rest on her own with some cookbooks from the archives house and became just as good as Greedy was.  Her own home was converted into a haven for the married couple with the help of some Smurfs that didn't seem to be holding any grudges against her, Handy being one of them.  And she decorated it with all the style that would have made Vanity proud of her, had he even bothered to look away from his hand mirror to get a glance.
Papa Smurf seemed pleased with each growing day to see his village running smoothly again without any hassles from his little Smurfs, and to be greeted by Smurfette at the end of every day with a hot supper, a clean house, and some warm affection from her.  But Smurfette felt lonely because very few of her fellow adult male Smurfs wanted to talk to her anymore, and whenever she showed herself in public, most of the other Smurfs automatically gave her wide berth and simply went along with their business.  Traveler could see how this change in her history would isolate her from her fellow Smurfs.  His great-grandfather told him that, even though the feeling of attraction felt by her fellow Smurfs had cooled down since Empath and Smurfette had married ten years after they had met, they had never stopped caring for Smurfette because they all knew she had chosen Empath with her heart and her mind.  Here in this history, Smurfette chose only with her heart, and it had blinded her to whatever fate had in store for her.
After yet another hard day had ended, when Smurfette sat down at the dinner table and listened to Papa Smurf talk about what went on in the village, she broke down and cried.
"What's wrong, Smurfette?" Papa Smurf asked. "Is it something I smurfed?"
"No, Papa Smurf, it isn't you," Smurfette replied as she wept. "I just feel so lonely during the day when you're not around.  I try to occupy my time smurfing books, playing with the Smurflings and all, but somehow it just doesn't smurf the same anymore.  No other Smurf ever wants to talk to me, and I don't even know where Empath is.  I feel like I'm losing my mind."
"Now, now, Smurfette, everything will be all right," Papa Smurf consoled as he went over and hugged Smurfette. "I'm sure wherever Empath is, he's smurfing care of himself and will show up in the village when he smurfs over his jealousy for us smurfing together like this.  The other Smurfs will have to see for themsmurfs that there's nothing wrong smurfing on when two Smurfs that truly love each other are meant to smurf together for all time.  But no matter what happens, I just want you to know that I will always love you."
Smurfette felt herself feeling a little better, being held like this. "And I love you, too, Papa Smurf."  She then picked up a pair of knitting needles that were in the process of knitting something.
"Hmmm...looks like you've been smurfing up a little something for Baby Smurf," Papa Smurf noticed, seeing that Smurfette was knitting up a pair of booties.  But then, he noticed from Smurfette's reaction that these really weren't meant for Baby Smurf. She was trying to tell him something.
"I've just been thinking," Smurfette started to say, "about smurfing a child of my own someday that we can both share our love for each other with, Papa Smurf."
Papa Smurf was surprised to hear that from Smurfette.  But he knew somehow that talking about having a child of their own would come up sooner or later.
"Why wait for someday, Smurfette?" Papa Smurf suggested. "When your heart is smurfed on something you always wanted the most, now is a good enough time to smurf for it."
With that, he picked Smurfette up off her chair and carried her off in his arms.  Smurfette laughed as her husband took her away from the kitchen, looking in her eyes like he always wanted to do this with her.  It felt so natural to be alone with him like this.
She felt more than happy that Papa Smurf was her husband.