I have a dream, A song to sing
Laura sang to herself as she checked over the invitations.
To help me cope, With anything, If you see the wonder, Of a fairy tale, You can take the future, Even if you fail:
She smiled down at the invites and read off the names. “Danny Rand. Stephen Strange. Steve Rogers.” She pressed a kiss to Steve’s invite and sent them off on their way.
Early morning the next day
Laura woke up in a bleary panic at hearing Riri, Tony, and Natasha yelling her name. She rushed out of her room and out into the Kalokairi sun without changing out of her rather victorian looking pajamas. She smiled once she realized it was Riri, Tony, and Natasha. “You were supposed to be here hours ago!” Laura snorted, eyeing Riri’s windswept hair and Natasha’s sleep rumpled clothes.
“What a journey! Guess who left their ticket on the kitchen table.” Natasha snickered, nodding her head towards Riri and Tony.
“We said, “We have to get on this plane - it’s our best friend’s wedding tomorrow.” Tony assured.
“We made such a fuss. We were in that plane even without a ticket!” Riri smiled.
“So where is he, then? Your Clint? We are dying to meet him.” Natasha rushed out.
“How’s your mum? I bet Donna’s going nuts over this wedding.” Tony snickered.
“Yeah. Well, listen. I’ve got a secret, and you’re the only ones I can tell.” Laura whispered.
“Oh my God! You’re pregnant!” Riri gasped.
“What? No! I invited my dad to the wedding.” Laura corrected.
“I thought you didn’t know.”
“I found this when I was looking for envelopes.” Laura showed her three best friends the diary. “1998. See? It’s from the year she got pregnant with me.” She cleared her throat and read. “July 17th. What a night! After the show, Danny rode me over to the little island. We danced on the beach, and kissed on the beach, and dot dot dot.” She and Natasha exhanged amused looks.
“What?” Riri asked.
“Dot Dot Dot. It’s what they did in the olden days.” Tony explained. Laura went back to the diary.
“Danny’s the one. I know he is. I’ve never felt like this before.” The other three started when Laura leapt to her feet and began singing one of her mother’s songs.
HOW HE THRILLS ME AHA HONEY HONEY. HONEY HONEY HEARLY KILLS ME AHA HONEY HONEY.
I’VE HEARD ABOUT HIM BEFORE
I WANTED TO KNOW SOME MORE
AND KNOW I KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN: HE’S A LOVE MACHINE
OH, HE MAKES ME DIZZY!” Natasha snorted.
“A love machine?” Laura waved a hand at her skeptical best friend.
LET ME FEEL IT AHA HONEY HONEY.
HONEY HONEY DON’T CONCEAL IT AHA HONEY HONEY.
THE WAY THAT YOU KISS GOODNIGHT” Tony, Natasha, and Riri immediately jumped in.
“THE WAY THAT YOU KISS ME GOODNIGHT.”
“THE WAY THAT YOU HOLD ME TIGHT”
“THE WAY THAT YOU’RE HOLDING ME TIGHT.”
SOPHIE I FEEL LIKE I WANT TO SING”
“WHEN YOU DO YOUR... THING!” Laura and Riri shrieked.
“So Danny’s your dad?” Riri asked.
“Danny told Ma he was going home to get married.”
“Typical fucking man.” Natasha grumbled.
“I know. “August 4th. What a night! I was still feeling depressed about Danny, when after the show Stephen rented a motorboat, and I took him over to the little island. One thing led to another and...dot dot dot.”
“Stephen!” Both girls and Tony shrieked. Laura held up a finger and continued
“What a night! Steve turns up out of the blue, so I said I’d show him the little island. I must need my head examined. But he was so sweet, I couldn’t help it, and…”
“Dot dot dot!” All four yelled.
“Yes! The sperm donor has a name. Well, three names. Danny, Stephen, or Steve.”
“And they’re all arriving for the wedding?”
“Do they know?”
“What do you write to a total stranger? Come to my wedding, you might be my dad? No! They think Ma sent the invitations. And after what’s in here, I’m not surprised they all said yes!” All four squealed and danced around the courtyard singing at the top of their lungs.
“HONEY HONEY TOUCH ME BABY AHA HONEY HONEY
HONEY HONEY HOLD ME BABY AHA HONEY HONEY
YOU LOOK LIKE A MOVIE STAR”
“LOOK LIKE A MOVIE STAR”
BUT I KNOW JUST WHO YOU ARE
ALI/LISA BUT I LOVE JUST WHO YOU ARE
AND HONEY TO SAY THE LEAST
ALL YOU’RE A DOGGONE... BEAST!”
“Oh my God, Laur! Are you sure about this?” Riri asked.
“Yeah! I want the perfect wedding. And I want my dad to give me away.” Laura admitted.
“Well, let’s hope it’s a wide aisle!” Tony snickered.
“You’ve got to keep Mom out of the way. She cannot know what I’m doing.” Laura insisted.
“She’s bound to find out sooner or later.”
“I’m not having Mom frightening them off before I’ve gotten to know them. And with any luck, I’ll know my Dad straight away.” Laura admitted.
“Yeah? And what if you don’t?” Natasha interjected.
“Then I’ve got 24 hours to find out!” The girls and Tony began jumping around the courtyard.
HOW YOU THRILL ME AHA HONEY HONEY
HONEY HONEY NEARLY KILL ME AHA HONEY HONEY!” Tony, Riri,and Natasha left to put their backpacks in their rooms, leaving Laura Alone in the courtyard.
“HEARD ABOUT YOU BEFORE
I WANTED TO KNOW SOME MORE AND NOW I’M ABOUT TO SEE WHAT YOU MEAN TO ME.”
Chapter 3: Money money money
Loki, Hela, and Thor trudged up from the dock to the bar, Loki complaining the whole way about her feet to her unconcerned siblings. Loki was dressed in a gold and green sequin dress that belied her dramatic personality. Hela donned an all black jumper. Thor went more casual. He was wearing a red and black flannel and black pants. “Oh! One more step in these damn heels!”
“What did you expect? A chauffeured limousine at the water’s edge?” Thor snickered.
“Yes! Maria knows I don’t do walking!” Loki whined. Thor and Hela continued laughing at their baby sister’s misfortune.
“Well look what the tide’s washed in!” All three siblings looked up and grinned. There in all her glory was Maria Hill.
“Hey, for one night!” Thor cheered
“And one night only.” Loki yelled boisterously.
“It’s Maria and the Odinkids!” All three former bandmembers bellowed. Hela laughed at her younger siblings.
“Group hug!” Maria insisted.
“Odinkids! Dynamite! Sleep All Day and-” They whooped as they hugged. “-All Night!”
“So. How’s the mother of the bride?” Thor asked. “Oh, all the better for seeing you three. God Loki! Hela! Eight damn years!”
“I know, darling. Blame it on a penchant for jet-setting millionaires.” Loki sighed.
“And screaming children.” Hela smiled.
“Well, I’ve been chained to this place and have constant battles with the bank manager.” Maria sighed
“I pity the poor bank manager.” Thor snickered.
“Uncle Thor!” Laura rushed to hug her beloved uncle.
“Laura Hill, you get more gorgeous every time I see you. Well, don’t I get a big fat kiss for coming all this way for your wedding.” Thor cajoled. Laura hugged her uncle tightly.
“I bet you don’t remember us.” Loki smiled.
“Hah! All that plastic surgery.” Thor snarked.
“Of course I do, Aunty Loki! Auntie Hela!” The petite brunette flying hugged her aunts.
“Aw! Look at my baby, her whole life ahead of her.” Maria sighed.
“Ma, I’m getting married, not joining a convent.” Laura laughed.
“Well, in my day, they didn’t get married at 20.” Maria shot back.
“No. In our day, they didn’t get married, full stop.” Thor corrected.
“A white wedding! I don’t know where she gets it from.”
“Don’t blame me, Maria! It wasn’t my idea.” Clint said as he entered.
“Girls, Thor, meet the leading man at tomorrow’s do. Clint, Thor, Hela, and Loki, my one time backing band and all good time mates. And their punk rocker older sister.”
“Hey! Backing band my ass.” Thor defended. “Hello!”
“Hi! I’ve heard lots about you two.”
“All bad, I hope.” Loki twittered.
“SehSugleymon!” Pietro, a tall sokovian boy with siver and brown hair chirped.
“Sorry, I don’t speak Greek.” Loki said.
“Don’t worry. He’s from Peckham.” Tony’s strong willed girlfriend, Pepper, scoffed. “My name’s Virginia but everyone calls me Pepper.”
“‘Cause your hot?” Loki asked, confused.
“Nah! ‘Cause she’ll burn anyone who hurts Tony.” Pietro snickered. Loki looked Pietro up and down.
“Pepper is my right hand woman and Pietro is my bar staff, waiter, boatsman, general help. Only generally, he’s no help at all. Don’t you have any work to do?” Maria raised an eyebrow.
“Sir! Yes, Sir!”
“Maria, the taverna looks wonderful!” Loki sighed.
“Oh, we’ve got Clint to thank for that.” “Why? What have you been up to?” Hela asked.
“You’ve not been here long, have you?”
“No. I came here to escape from the circus and I never went back.”
“I’d burnt out. I’d been dealing in the world, but you’d never know.”
“But you should see what he’s done to my world. He’s gotten me online!”
“You?!” Thor seemed dubious.
“He helped Tony, Pepper, and I update the tech.
“You’ve got to move with the times, Maria. No more Drachmas under the mattress.” Tony teased.
“Yeah? Just invent me a machine that’ll make the beds.” Maria snarked back.
“You’d still run behind it and do it all again. I know you and grandma.” Laura lauaghed.
“Are you joking? I’d more than ready to put my feet up when the boat comes in.” Maria scoffed.
“Talking of boats, I’d sink that old wreck you’ve got moored by the jetty.”
“Sink it?!” Tony gasped.
“Well, it’s a bit of an eyesore.” Thor admitted.
“Well that eyesore’s going to be my floating casino.”
“What?” Loki gasped.
“Tony and Cling are transforming it into a millionaire’s paradise.”
“Sailing ‘round the islands, gambling under the stars!”
“Oh, I think some of Loki’s exes might be on there.”
“Oh no, dear brother. I didn’t leave them with their millions.” Loki smirked.
“As long as my numbnuts of a husband doesn’t go on there, we’ll be fine.” Hela muttered.
“Well aren’t you three such good influences on Laura. We’ve got serial bride, wife of chucky, and the hermit.”
“She’s lucky to have us as family, Maria.” Thor laughed.
“Well, this is going to be my jackpot, odinkids. I need a break, I mean, a holiday. I’ve been running this place for fifteen years and I’ve never had a day off.” Maria began singing about her daydreams of finding a wealthy man or just plain having a day off.
“A man like that is hard to find.” Loki commented.
“But I can’t get him off my mind.” Maria admitted, propping her elbow on the table.
“Ain’t it sad.” The taverna/hotel staff all rolled their eyes at Maria’s dramatics. Maria then led Thor, Loki, and Hela up to their rooms.