“Why did I let you talk me into wearing a white tuxedo?!”
Roman drapes himself over Logan’s couch, knocking his best friend’s newspaper out of his hands as he flops into his lap. Logan stares at him, unimpressed.
“I did not talk you into anything. On the contrary, I attempted to tell you that wearing a white tuxedo was a terrible idea.”
“Why didn’t I listen to you?!”
“I have been asking myself that question since you met me. However, the reason you gave me for your current misstep was, and I quote.”
Logan presses the back of his hand to his forehead and drapes himself against the back of the couch. “I have to wear a white tuxedo!” he gasps, imitating Roman’s voice and mannerisms to a truly creepy degree. “Only a white tuxedo will offset my perfect golden tan and make me appear to glow when the sunlight strikes me just so! And since Patton always calls me his sunbeam, it seems only fitting that I should be truly radiant for our wedding day! Though not as radiant as Patton of course - ah, my lovely fiancé! How have I gone more than six whole seconds without mentioning -”
“Alright, alright, I get it!” Roman grouses, shoving at Logan’s chest to make him stop. Logan sits up, adjusts his tie, and leans over Roman to get his newspaper off the ground. Rather than reading it, however, he folds it neatly.
“What is this really about, Roman?”
“I’m regretting my fashion choices, Logan! Obviously, I -”
“Roman, be honest with me. It is not the suit which troubles you, is it?”
Roman sits up, clasping his hands together and leaning forward. He looks at Logan, dark chocolate eyes hidden behind his bangs. “It’s that obvious, huh?”
“Not to the average eye, perhaps. But we have known each other since we were approximately fourteen months old, Roman. There is very little that you can hide from me.”
“Geez, Lo, don’t I have any secrets?” Roman jokes. Logan rests a hand on his knee.
“Of course you do, Roman. But your insecurities, your . . . your fears should not be something that you attempt to hide, from yourself or from me. Please do not misunderstand me - I am not attempting to pry into your life.”
Roman quirks a half-smile. “I know, Lo. I know you’re just worried.”
“Tell me, then. What is troubling you? You . . . you are not getting the proverbial ‘cold feet’ about your impending nuptials, are you?”
“No! No, no, I absolutely don’t regret accepting Pat’s proposal! I - I love him, Logan. I love him so much, he . . .” Roman twists his engagement ring around his finger. “Patton is the best and brightest thing in my life. He genuinely loves everyone and everything so much, and he’s so kind and - and -”
“I understand,” Logan says. “I did not think that was the case, but it was necessary to eliminate it from the realm of -”
“What if it’s fucked up?”
Logan blinks. “I . . . I do not understand. Could you please expand on that statement?”
“I love Patton so much, Logan. You don’t even understand, I - I could live without food, without water, without oxygen, without anything as long as I had Patton with me. He’s so important to me and - and I just - what if something goes wrong tomorrow? What if there’s a hurricane? What if Emile loses his voice? What if someone drops my suit in a vat of grape juice, what if Virgil’s shop catches on fire and Patton’s dress is destroyed, what if Virgil ends up in the hospital, what if Patton doesn’t want to marry me, what if he stands me up at the altar, what if -”
“Roman!” Logan says. He shifts his hand from Roman’s knee to holding Roman’s hands, which have begun to grip painfully at his hair. “You are engaging in cognitive distortions which are sending you into a spiralling panic attack. Look at me, Ro - it will be alright. I am going to count for you.”
Logan’s voice is quiet and measured, breaths even and steady as he counts. He looks at Roman, who does his best to maintain eye contact. “That’s it, Roman. Take deep breaths. We are optimizing your oxygen circulation in an attempt to engage your parasympathetic nervous system. The process of counting out your breaths will -”
“Thanks, nerd,” Roman rasps softly. Logan smiles, squeezing his hands.
“Of course, prep.”
“I’m not - it’s not that I don’t want to marry him, Logan. It’s the exact opposite - I want to marry him so much that I’m terrified by the prospect of the wedding being anything less than perfect.”
“Realistically, nothing can truly be perfect,” Logan says. “Much of what exists in this world is inherently flawed -”
“Thanks, Lo, that makes me feel worlds better.”
“I was not finished. Much of what exists in this world is inherently flawed, and therefore striving for perfection is unrealistic. However, this does not mean that we cannot strive for excellence. I may not be able to guarantee a perfect wedding, but I can guarantee that I will do everything in my power to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. You are my best friend, Roman, and I will be here to support you in every capacity that I can.”
Roman laughs, once, before lurching forward and throwing his arms around Logan’s neck. Logan, knowing Roman better than perhaps Roman himself, has already braced himself for impact, catching Roman and holding him. One hand slides up to scratch the curls at the nape of Roman’s neck while the other rubs Roman’s back in broad, firm strokes. These are the motions that have been proven to be the most soothing when Roman gets like this.
“Thank you, Lo,” Roman whispers, and his voice is so choked that if he were speaking to anyone other than Logan, he would be completely unintelligible. “This - I - you - you’re my best friend, you know that, right?”
“Yes, Roman,” Logan teases. “I had assumed that was why you asked me to be your best man.”
Roman makes an indignant squawking noise. “You are my best friend, too, you know.” He feels Roman nuzzle just a little into his neck.
“Love you, Lo.”
“I love you, too, Roman. If it will make you feel better . . . I have made an Excel spreadsheet to deal with potential outcomes.”
Roman pulls away from him, snorting in laughter. “Of course you did.”
“If you do not want it -”
Roman wipes his eyes, giggling. “Don’t be stupid, I know how many hours you must have poured into that. Let’s see it, then.”
Logan can’t help grinning as he picks up his laptop. “It’s color-coded.”
“Of course it is. I’d expect nothing less from you.”
“Patton, I swear to whatever deity exists out there in the great unending cosmos of the universe, if you stand up from that chair one more time, I am going to yeet my fucking pincushion under your ass.”
Patton, who’d been halfway out of his chair, promptly drops back down into it, giggling nervously. “Sorry, Virge, I just -”
“You’re nervous about this dress because it needs to go well. I know.” Virgil pokes their head out from behind the folding screen where they’re working on Patton’s wedding dress. “You do trust me to know what I’m doing, right?”
“Of course I do, Virgil! There’s a reason we’re partners in Fabricadabra!”
“I still regret letting you name it that.” Virgil ducks back behind the screen, muttering to themself. Patton can only see the vaguest shadowy outline of them moving around the mannequin on which his secret wedding dress rests.
“You’re just as good a seamster as I am, Virge, I trust you to work on all of our orders! It’s just that - that you’ve never hidden something you’ve made from me before.” Patton looks at the floor, wringing his fingers together. “I know you want it to be a surprise and all that, but I get married tomorrow!”
“I know, Pats. I’m not, like, working on the seams or anything! I’m just doing finishing touches! I don’t want you to see it before it’s completely done because I want you to have the experience, tm.”
“Did - did you just say the letters ‘TM’ out loud?” Patton giggles.
“Absolutely I did, it was for the fucking -”
“ - freaking emphasis. This dress is the most gorgeous thing I have ever created in my life. This dress has been labored over - SLAVED over - for months. This dress contains my blood! My sweat! My tears! My -”
“ Virgil! ”
“Sorry, Pat, but you get my point! This dress is the most important thing I’ve ever created. It’s my best friend’s wedding dress. I want it to be perfect when you see it for the first time. I want you to see it in all its glory - I want you to see it perfect.”
“Virge, honey, you know I’m gonna love it no matter what! It doesn’t have to be a Dior gown, it’s going to be special to me because you made it! My best friend, my partner in business and in crime, my best - human!”
Virgil pokes their head back out, arching a perfectly done eyebrow. “Did you just call me your best human?”
“Well, yeah! I didn’t wanna call you my best man, cause you’re not a man, I -”
“Bold of you to assume I'm human, Patton.”
Patton laughs. “Does ‘best enby’ work, then?”
“You are too much sometimes,” Virgil chuckles, shaking their head as they duck back behind the folding screen. “You can call me whatever your gay little heart desires as long as it’s not ‘maid of honor’, Pat. I’m really not that picky.”
Virgil falls silent for a few more minutes. Their shadow moves more rapidly around the mannequin, and they alternate between muttering to themself and humming to themself. Patton recognizes about half of the songs they’re humming, and tries to sing along where he can.
“Patton, I love you, but you are so far off key you might actually be in another one.” Patton rubs the back of his head in embarrassment, fiddling with the fraying lace hemming his skirt. “Shouldn’t be much longer, just finishing up a little bit on the sleeves and the neckline.”
“How much overtime did you pull to finish this, Virgil? Have you been sleeping properly? Eating enough? Drinking enough water?”
“I have consumed the life liquid, yes.”
Virgil’s head pokes out again. Patton squints, leaning forward to see how much makeup is covering the dark circles that normally reside beneath their eyes. “Pat, I’m not gonna lie to you. I’ve pulled a couple all-nighters. But I’ve done my best to avoid them, and I have timers set on my phone to make sure I eat and drink water on a regular basis. I’m practicing self-care.”
“I’m proud of you, kiddo,” Patton says softly.
“I know, Pat. I just hope you’re proud of my work, too.”
“Virgil, whatever this dress looks like, I promise it’s going to be wonderful. You know why?”
“Because you made it for me! And I know how hard you work and how detail-oriented you are and how super good at your job you are! I know you worry a lot about how good your stuff is, but I know it’s amazing!”
“Pat, stop, you’re gonna make me blush too hard for my foundation to cover.”
“Why would you wanna cover up your blush, Virge?”
“I have an image to maintain! I am a cold and emotionless void!”
“You’re the cutest little gender-non-conforming void spawn I’ve ever seen!”
Virgil sticks their face out, cheeks and ears a bright rosy pink. “Patton, you are ruining my image right now.” Patton smiles unapologetically. “Come see your damn wedding dress already.”
“Language , kiddo, I - you’re serious?! It’s done, I can come see it now?!”
“Well, it’s as good as I’m gonna get it, so you might as well come look. Plus, I need you to try it on before the wedding to make sure you’re completely happy with it.” Patton almost trips over his own feet in his rush to get out of the chair as Virgil pushes the folding screen aside. All the air in Patton’s lungs leaves it in a single rush of breath.
“Well? You gotta tell me if you like it or not, Patty, I - Patton?”
Patton’s eyes are brimming with tears, hands pressed over his mouth as he stares at the dress. The bodice is gold, with flowy, see-through sleeves of thin, delicate lace. There’s intricate needlepoint along the neckline and the waistline, with delicate floral embroidery on the bodice itself. The skirt is full and flowing, a gradation of blues. It’s so light it’s almost white at the waist, flowing into dark midnight blue at the hem, and the train is embroidered with stars and flowers. The layers of the skirt are varying colors of blue and white, and Patton is starstruck.
“You . . . th-this . . . Virgil, I . . . I . . .”
“Do you not like it? It’s too late to make, like, major changes, but I could theoretically change the - whoa!”
Patton throws himself at Virgil, sobbing openly and pressing soft kisses to their hair and cheek. “Oh, Virgil, it’s perfect!”
“You - r-really? You - you don’t think there’s anything wr-wrong with it?”
“The only thing wrong with it is that you think there’s something wrong with it! Virgil, it’s perfect, it’s everything I could ever want in a wedding dress! I couldn’t have done a better job if I’d designed it myself!”
“Yeah, there was no way in hell I was letting you design and make your own wedding dress, Pat. That would just be cruel.”
Patton hugs Virgil’s skinny little frame close to him, shaking with happy tears and soaking the sleeve of their hoodie. “Virgil, I could not have asked for a better wedding dress. Or a better wedding dress designer. I love it so much, I love you so much, I -”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, I love you, too,” Virgil grumbles. They still kiss the top of his head before pushing Patton away. “Come on, Pats, you gotta try on this thing so I can make last minute alterations. With any luck, you’re only gonna get married once, so let’s go!”
“Where did you learn to tie a tie, the sandbox?”
Roman looks helplessly at Logan, red silk tie tangled around his hands and fingers. “That - Lo, what does that even mean?” Logan laughs, leaning against the doorframe. He’s already dressed in a tailored black suit, dark blue tie knotted snugly beneath his throat, hair neatly slicked back.
“It means that you are attempting to knot your tie with the skill and grace of a five year old in a sandbox. Was that not clear?”
“No, it wasn’t, Lo,” Roman grouses, standing up. Logan takes in his appearance - half-tucked-in shirt, unbuttoned vest, tie loosely slung around his shoulders. “But I appreciate it.”
“Roman, come here. Let me help you, alright? You’re going to look great.”
Roman tucks his shirt in and buttons his vest, letting Logan straighten and smooth his suit before taking the tie in his hands and beginning to tie it. “It still amuses me that you cannot tie one of these properly, Roman.”
“Hey! For all you know, I am the god of tie knots. I just pretend I don’t know what I’m doing so that you’ll keep tying them for me because I know how happy it makes you.” Logan smirks as he knots the tie, carefully adjusting Roman’s collar to make sure it lays flat over his tie.
“I would be inclined to believe you, but I know for a fact that you spent fifteen minutes prior to my arrival here standing in front of the mirror flailing that tie around pretending to be Amethyst.”
“Rude!” Roman screeches.
“Why? I am correct, am I not?”
“You’re right, but you shouldn’t say it!”
“On the contrary,” Logan says, “I am correct, and therefore I absolutely should say it.” He pulls his hands away from Roman’s neck, smoothing the lapels of his tuxedo jacket down neatly. “You may inspect my handiwork now, although I daresay you will find no fault with my knot. And even if you do, I can rest secure in the knowledge that it is infinitely better than anything you could manage.”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re the most intelligent being that has ever lived, we get it,” Roman says breathlessly, staring at himself in the mirror. “I . . . th-this is really happening, isn’t it?”
“Yes, Roman. It really is. You are going to marry Patton today, and it is all going to be perfect.”
Roman’s hair is curled, falling neatly around his face in soft waves and ringlets that perfectly frame his eyes. Despite his penchant for dramatics, his makeup today is remarkably subtle. His eyelashes are darker and slightly curled, with minimal glitter on his eyes and cheeks. The boldest thing about his face is his bright red lipstick, perfectly matching his red silk tie.
“You look amazing,” Logan says. “I am proud to stand at your side as your best man.”
“Thanks, Lo,” Roman says, tipping his head back to knock gently against Logan’s shoulder. “But you can’t do that - not yet, anyway.”
“Because you’re not wearing any makeup.”
“Roman. There is a lifetime ban on you putting any sort of products on my face. You know this. Need I bring up -”
“Lo, please? I promise I won’t do anything too dramatic, and it’s not that I think you look ugly without it I just think it would complete the look! Please, please let me do this? For my big day?”
He bats his definitely-mascara’d eyelashes, and Logan sighs. “I reserve the right to veto the look if I think it is too ‘out there’, Roman.”
“Oh, thank you thank you thank you! You won’t regret it, I promise!”
Twenty minutes later, Logan is blinking at his reflection in the mirror to clear the phosphenes from Roman furiously blotting foundation against his face. True to his word, Roman has not done anything too dramatic - Logan recognizes minimal contouring on his cheeks, shimmery silver eyeshadow, the barest trace of eyeliner. He looks . . . he looks good.
“Do you like it?” Roman worries. “I can take it off if it’s too much, I -”
“Roman, I - it is - satisfactory,” Logan cuts him off, trying not to sound choked up.
“Damn it, Lo! You’re gonna make me cry with all your compliments, and if my mascara runs I’ll kill you I swear to God.”
“With your penchant for crying at emotional situations, I’m impressed that you think you’re getting through this wedding without wearing waterproof mascara.”
“Patton, if you don’t stop moving I’m gonna take your eye out with the mascara wand!”
“It’s rude to threaten someone on their wedding day,” Patton giggles.
“It’s not a threat!” Virgil snaps. “You’re so damn ticklish and fidgety that I’m gonna end up accidentally stabbing your eye out! And then Roman’s gonna kill me to defend your honor and Logan’s gonna help because he’s been Roman’s friend longer than he’s been my boyfriend and -”
“Virgil! Calm down!” Patton says. He gently takes their hands, careful not to let the mascara smudge on his gloves. “I’m sorry, I’ll sit stiller. More still? I’ll fidget less, I promise.”
“Do you not trust me to make you look good?” Virgil asks, in a small voice.
“Oh, sweetheart, of course I do! Just look at you!” Patton gestures to the beauty-guru level makeup on Virgil’s face, from their silvery-purple-black eyeshadow to their dark purple lipstick to the way their cheekbones shine just a little more than the rest of their face. “You’re the best makeup person I know! But don’t tell Ro I said that, okay?”
“Don’t worry, Pat, I know better than to injure Princey’s precious ego. The last time I did that he pouted around for a whole week until I apologized. Not that I meant it - I was right the first time."
“Hey, be nice,” Patton warns. Virgil shrugs, quirking a smile.
“Sorry, Pat. I know how much Princey means to you. If it makes you feel better, I don’t hate him like I did when we first met. Him not being a dick about my pronouns helped.”
“I told you he wouldn’t have a problem.”
“I know you did, Pat. Now hold still. Emile’s gonna be here to pick us up at any minute, and you need to be ready.”
Patton lets go of Virgil’s hands and obeys, letting them work their magic on his face. He doesn’t see the point in wearing excessive makeup every day the way Virgil does; he likes having his freckles on full display, and he doesn’t mind showing the occasional acne scar or blemish. But Roman had mentioned wearing makeup on their wedding day, and he hadn’t said that Patton had to but he thinks he would feel weird if Roman had makeup on and he didn’t.
Plus, Virgil really likes doing makeup, and they’ve apparently been planning what they’d do for his wedding for years now. Patton would hate to let all that work go to waste.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be done soon,” Virgil says, gently dabbing at Patton’s face. “If Emile gets here before I’m done, he can just wait.”
“I don’t want to make him wait too long!” Patton argues. “He’s doing us a huge favor by agreeing to officiate the wedding!”
“Please, Pat, you didn’t even have to pay Emi. He just loves weddings. He’s a loser like that.”
“Don’t you like them too, Virge?”
“I will admit that over my dead body, and I am denying any candor in your statements,” Virgil says, smooth and practiced. “Now blink onto my finger, I’m almost done.”
Emile shows up right as Virgil is preparing to put Patton’s lip gloss on. “Virgie! How’s my favorite twin?”
“I am your only twin, Emile, and I hate that nickname,” they grouse.
“Oh, look at you! You look so pretty!” Emile coos. Patton is inclined to agree; Virgil is wearing a silver button-down with a black vest, and a tie the same rich purple as their flowing knee-length skirt. Tall black boots lace up to just beneath their knees, and they have flowers matching the ones in Patton’s bouquet woven into their French-braided hair.
“Thanks, Emi. You look . . . adequate.”
“Oh, Virgil! That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!” Emile squeals, twirling around to show off the flaring of their pleated pink dress. “You’re doing such a good job with Patton’s face! Did you paint his nails, too?”
“Well, someone had to do it,” Virgil grouses, but based on their tone Patton knows that they’re pleased with their twin’s praises, smiling shyly as they focus on carefully applying his lipgloss. “Pat, smack your lips together, and then you’re just about ready to look in the mirror.”
Patton does as he’s told, looking down at his feet. His toenails are painted a bright, cheerful yellow, and he wiggles his toes where they poke out of his sandals. Virgil’s intricate wedding dress fits him perfectly, and beneath his gloves his fingernails are painted sky blue with swirling red-and-gold designs. Finally, he looks up into the mirror propped on the nearby table and sees Virgil’s makeup.
“Oh, Virgil,” he whispers, putting his glasses on and seeing his face in sharp, striking clarity. “I don’t care what you said about the dress, I’m paying you extra for this.”
“Pat, you don’t have to -”
“It’s happening, Virgil, whether you like it or not,” Patton sniffles, and then he’s hugging Virgil tightly.
“Hey - careful, Pat, your makeup hasn’t set yet! And you’re gonna wrinkle our clothes, and -”
“Shut up and take my love, Virgil.”
“Y-yeah, okay . . .”
It takes Emile another seven minutes to shepherd them out the door and into the car, but Patton catches the secret proud smile gleaming on Virgil’s face as they help him get his train into the car.
The church where they’re getting married is small. The wooden beams bracing the ceiling arc like the beams in the hull of a ship; when they’d first inspected the venue, Logan had gone on some sort of tangent about the historical and symbolic significance of the beams. Roman hadn’t bothered listening, too busy whispering and giggling with Patton and looking at all of the mosaics and stained glass and gilded paintings.
Now, standing at the altar, Emile at his side and Logan at his back, he tilts his head up, up, up to look at the ceiling. Dimly, he remembers Logan’s voice saying, “It is meant to represent the hull of the ark, the ship that supposedly carried two of every animal to safety during the Great Flood of the Christian mythos. The thought in designing the church to mimic this boat is that it will carry the members of its congregation safely to heaven.”
Privately, Roman hopes that this marriage will carry his and Patton’s relationship through the rest of their lives. He knows the divorce rate in America, he knows how likely it is that the average marriage won’t work out. But he refuses to let himself go down that road. He loves Patton, and Patton loves him. They’ve discussed their future a million and one times - he knows how committed he is to making this work. This is going to be the start of the rest of their lives.
His cousin Thomas is up in the choir loft, gently cracking his fingers and running them lightly over the gleaming keys of the organ. Roman can see Virgil waiting in the first pew, gazes out across the sea of faces belonging to his and Patton’s friends and families. Thomas looks down at him from the choir loft and cocks his head to the side, asking if it’s time. Roman looks down the aisle and sees two silhouettes waiting behind the opaque glass doors, glances up to Thomas, and nods. Thomas begins to play, letting a few instrumental bars pass by before he starts singing, voice rich and strong.
The door opens, and Roman loses all the breath in his lungs in one swift, silent rush.
Patton walks down the aisle slowly, timing his footfalls perfectly with the beats of the song. There’s a shimmery veil over his face, held in place by a glimmering silver tiara with sparkling gemstone flowers. Roman hasn’t even seen his face yet, and already he knows Patton is gorgeous.
The dress is stunning; he can see Virgil beaming, and he makes a mental note to slip a hundred dollars into their pocket before the night is over. He knows exactly how hard they’ve been working on this secret project, and how long they’ve been working on it, too. He’s seen Virgil’s handiwork, of course, wears their neat, precise stitches in a lot of his clothing. But that’s mostly minor tweaks - hemming pants here, fixing a torn sleeve there. This is the first time he’s seen one of Virgil’s original creations.
If this dress doesn’t get them catapulted to center stage of New York fashion week, Roman is going to sue the entire fashion industry.
The top is all delicate lace and intricate embroidery, clever flower patterns and flowy sleeves. But it’s the lower half that’s drawing gasps and exclamations from the wedding guests. There’s a pure white ribbon wrapped around Patton’s waist, tied neatly in a bow behind him. The skirt starts off pure white, but as it descends it becomes pale blue, growing deeper and darker and fuller and richer as it heads toward the floor. The train is a midnight blue, so dark it’s almost black, with shimmering stars and flowers sewn in. It’s only because Roman knows Patton asked for one that he knows what he’s looking for, but he finds it quickly - the train is detachable. Patton hadn’t wanted to change into a separate outfit for the reception, but he couldn’t very well dance with a full train behind him.
Virgil really is the cleverest designer that Roman’s ever met.
Patton reaches the altar right as the song crescendos to its climax, and Virgil carefully slips up to stand behind him. His beloved’s face is obscured by the veil, but Roman can tell that Patton’s wearing makeup. Virgil probably did that, too.
Roman owes them so much money.
“Dearly beloved,” Emile starts, practically bouncing in place, “do you how do?” His characteristic greeting draws confused murmurs and whispers from the gathered crowd. Roman can hear Virgil’s palm smack against their face without even looking at them.
The ceremony flies by like lightning, but it feels like forever until Emile is stepping back and they’re putting the rings on each other’s hands, saying their vows. Roman pulls Patton’s glove off, smiling softly to himself when he sees the designs on his nails. He takes the ring Logan offers him and carefully slides it onto Patton’s ring finger.
“Patton,” he says. “I - I wrote this whole big speech, and I even had Logan proofread it for me to make sure it was grammatically correct, but . . . but standing here now, looking you in the eyes - well, as best as I can, anyway -” Patton laughs softly, and some of Roman’s nerves dissipate.
“I agonized over the right way to do these vows for so long, and now that we’re here, now that we’re doing this I - I don’t think it matters as much. I’ll let you read the sappy speech later, but - but right now, all that matters is that we’re here, that we’re together. I love you, Patton, and I don’t care who knows it, but I also really want everyone here to know it.”
More laughter, from everyone else this time. “You are the sun in my sky, the light of my life, the reason I want to keep being the best version of myself. I don’t know if I believe in the concept of people who are fated to be together, but if I did, I know for a fact that I would be fated to be with you. And even if I wasn’t, I would choose to be with you. I - I would always choose you.”
Patton squeezes his hand, and then he’s taking a ring from Virgil’s hands and carefully sliding it onto Roman’s finger. “Roman, my sunbeam, the day that I met you used to be the best day of my life. Whenever I was feeling sad or alone, I would think back to that day and I would remember that you were out there, somewhere, even if you weren’t with me at that exact second. And I would think about the light in your eyes when you look at me, and the way you smile right before you kiss me, and the way you take those few extra seconds to make sure our fingers are perfectly laced together. Those memories always made me feel warm and happy, like I was standing in the summer sunshine. But that’s not the best day of my life anymore.”
Roman blinks in confusion, but Patton keeps talking. “The best day of my life will always be this day, when I look you in the eyes. And I’ll choose you, and you’ll choose me, and we’ll keep choosing each other for the rest of our lives. Sorry I kinda stole the last bit of your vows, honey, but what can I say? You’ve always been the creative one between us.”
There are mixed smatterings of laughter echoing in Roman’s ears, but all he can focus on is the fire in his cheeks and ears and the water in his eyes. “Pat, my makeup is gonna run,” he whispers.
“Logan didn’t make you wear waterproof mascara?” Patton asks, but Roman can tell he’s smirking beneath the veil. “Virgil made me.”
“I told him to,” Logan whispers. Roman considers kicking him, but he gets distracted by Emile’s voice. The ceremony continues on, with Roman and Patton holding each other’s hands tightly. Roman tilts their hands slightly, marvelling at the way the multicolored sunlight streaming through the stained glass glints off their wedding bands.
“You may lift the veil now,” Emile says gently. Roman squeezes Patton’s hands once before letting go and tenderly taking the lacy edges of the veil. He rubs the soft material between his thumb and index finger before carefully lifting the veil and flipping it over Patton’s head to reveal his face.
If he still had breath in his lungs, Patton’s face would steal it from him. His cheeks are glowing and rosy, and his eyes are perfectly framed with dark lashes and subtle eyeliner that brings out his irises. He has golden-red eyeshadow artfully painted on his upper lids, and his lips are a beautiful soft shiny pink. His mouth is slightly open, and Roman just wants to lean in and press kisses against it over and over and over again.
“By the power vested in me by the state of Pennsylvania, I now declare you husband and husband! You may now kiss the groom!”
Roman gently cups Patton’s face, careful not to smudge or smear Virgil’s beautiful makeup job. He gently swipes his thumbs over Patton’s cheeks, right beneath eyes that shimmer with tears. “Hello, husband,” he murmurs, leaning down to brush their noses together. Patton pushes himself up on his tip-toes and presses their mouths together, cupping Roman’s face in return. On one cheek, he feels the softness of Patton’s glove, and on the other he feels the cool metal of Patton’s wedding ring.
His arms slide down to wrap around Patton’s waist and brace his back as he dips him, keeping their lips pressed together as wedding bells begin to ring and the congregation erupts into thunderous applause. He’s kissed Patton a hundred, a thousand, a million times, but this is the first time he’s kissed his husband , and the searing fire in his lips and butterflies in his stomach are fresh as the very first time he’d ever kissed Patton.
Somehow, he prefers this kiss to the time Logan had slapped him a high-five while they kissed.
(Later, at the wedding reception, Patton turns his back to the crowd and throws his bouquet of flowers. When he and Roman turn around, Virgil is holding the bouquet, and Logan is fidgeting awkwardly.
“Would now be an inopportune time to propose?” he asks.
“YES, because this is MY WEDDING DAY!” Roman screeches, even as Virgil shakes their head and furiously pulls Logan in for a kiss.)