The big day was here, and Clementine was pretty sure she was going to pace a hole through her floor.
She was getting married to Violet today. Well, as official as getting married could be in the apocalypse. The kids had pulled together and scavenged supplies to decorate and even gathered new clothes and shoes for the others to wear. There was even some makeup in stores. It turned out not many people had a use for it when dead people started walking around.
Clementine herself was dressed in a blue sun dress, a pair of tights on underneath and a pair of ankle boots. The tights had been loose on her prosthetic leg, but Ruby managed to alter it so it fit a little better. It certainly wasn’t an ideal wedding, but it wasn’t exactly practical to carry an entire wedding dress back to the school.
Clementine ran a hand through her short hair, used to her hands getting tangled in the curls, but James had spent an hour straight combing out all the knots and smoothing it down the best he could. He was standing in the doorway now, watching Clementine pace with a raised eyebrow. “Clem, calm down.”
“I can’t!” Clementine said, not even looking in his direction. “I think I’m going to go insane. What time are we supposed to start?”
James shrugged, glancing down the hallway. “Whenever they’re done decorating and moving the piano outside.” Clementine groaned, flopping backwards on her bed with a dramatic sigh. “Clem, it’ll be okay-”
“Let me leave.”
James shook his head, a loose strand from his braid falling in his face. “I can’t do that.”
Clementine rolled her eyes, running her hands over her face. While the kids had been forced to throw most wedding traditions away or didn’t remember them, the one they’d stayed firm on was not letting the brides see each other before the ceremony. Louis remembered that it was “bad luck.” And they needed all the luck they could get.
Normally AJ would be at Clementine’s side, but he was outside helping decorate. He was about 11 now, and had already grown up to Clementine’s shoulder. He was going to be tall. But he was still a kid, even if he reprimanded Clementine every time she said so. Since he wasn’t here, she had the closest thing to an older brother she’d ever had standing at her door.
Clementine felt the bed sink next to her as James sat down. “Hey, you’re overthinking this. Nothing is gonna go wrong. We still have someone posted on watch.”
“It’s not that,” Clementine sighed, pushing herself up to sit next to him. “I’m just… nervous, I guess. What if I mess up? What if Violet regrets marrying me? What if I’m not a good wife? What if-”
“Hey,” James said, grasping her hands in his. “Relax. Violet loves you. No one is perfect, but she loves you even with your flaws. Okay? You two will make it work, no matter what.”
Clementine rested her head on James’ shoulder and he wrapped an arm around her waist, giving her a comforting squeeze. They both looked up as loud footsteps sounded in the hallway and Louis stopped outside the door. They need us. Outside. Louis signed, and when Clementine moved to stand, he shook his head. No, to help with the piano. If they break it, someone will die today.
James chuckled, pushing himself up. “Duty calls, I guess,” he said, following Louis out the door. Clementine didn't miss how Louis’ hand moved to the small of James’ back, and she smirked as she watched them walk off. Maybe there was something there after all.
Clementine sighed, looking at the closed curtains blocking her view of the outside. The others had wanted to keep everything a surprise. It was like they wanted her to be as antsy as possible.
“Psst,” someone from her doorway whispered, and a grin spread on her face as she spotted a flash of blonde hair and a figure discreetly slip in her room. “I was finally able to distract Lou, he’s been on me like a guard dog-” Violet stopped short when she turned around and saw Clementine standing before her.
Clementine was just as speechless. Violet wasn’t wearing a full tuxedo (again, not practical) but she’d cleaned up her face with a washcloth and washed some of the grease out of her hair, and was wearing a pair of black jeans and a white collared shirt. And she was stunning .
They cut off laughing as they spoke at the same time, drifting towards each other like magnets. “God, you're… you're so beautiful,” Violet breathed, cradling Clementine's cheeks with her hands.
Clementine leaned into her touch, reaching up and grasping one of her hands in her own. “So are you.”
Violet looked down at Clementine's lips then back up at her eyes, and Clementine moved forward, their lips brushing briefly. “Wait,” Violet murmured, a look of seriousness passing over her face. “Is this bad luck too?”
Clementine rolled her eyes, giving her bride a gentle shove. “Oh, shut up,” Clementine said. Violet chuckled and pressed their lips together briefly, before she tossed a gaze over her shoulder.
“I'd better go,” she said regretfully, kissing Clementine on the lips and then her cheek. “Wouldn't want anyone to catch us.”
“Mm, no,” Clementine hummed. “That's even worse luck.”
Violet laughed, giving Clementine's hand a squeeze before running into the hallway. Clementine let out a giggle when she heard Tenn's scolding voice and Violet's cry of “I didn't do it!” down the hall, then feigned innocence when James reappeared. He raised a brow, and she shrugged. “What?”
James shook his head, a light smile on his face. “5 minutes, Clem. Also,” he added, “Ruby wanted me to give you this.”
James handed Clementine a bouquet of flowers that she hadn’t noticed him holding. They were a mixture of lavender, pink and white flowers tied together with a flimsy dollar store ribbon. One of the flowers in particular caught Clementine’s eye.
“Sweet peas…” she murmured, and her lips grew into a smile as she thought of Lee. It was almost like he was here with her. Wherever he was, she hoped he was proud of her.
“Whoa, are you okay?” James asked, and Clementine suddenly became aware of the tears on her cheeks. She wiped them away quickly, letting out a sigh.
The time flew by before Clementine knew it, and her arm was looped around James’ as they stood behind the doors of the dorms. They could hear Louis playing, the notes of his music soft and muffled by the walls. Clementine took a deep breath, and James patted her hand with his. “You ready?” He asked, and at Clementine’s nod, he used his free hand to push the door open.
Clementine let out a gasp when she saw the courtyard. There were colorful streamers everywhere, and and old rug had been rolled out to form a pathway. There weren’t that many of them, but there were seats on either side. All of Clementine’s friends were there, smiling at her, and a feeling of happiness she couldn’t contain swelled in her chest.
Violet stood at the end of the aisle, smiling wider than Clementine had ever seen her. They’d already seen each other, but the sight of her still threatened to leave Clementine breathless.
Clementine and James walked to the front, and when Violet held out her hands for Clementine to hold, James took Clementine’s hands and placed them there. She gave him a nod, and he nodded back and went to sit down.
Louis’ music subsided, and he sat down next to James. Violet and Clementine looked to Aasim, who was marrying them. He read from some sort of book, but Clementine could barely hear him as she gazed at Violet. Her palms were clammy from nervousness but she couldn’t stop smiling. Violet seemed to feel the same, her green eyes soft and kind.
AJ brought forth the rings when it was time. He gave Clementine a huge smile, and she winked back at him. They’d found the rings in the same place Violet had found the ring she’d proposed with, and had chosen bigger diamonds this time. They would likely fall out or not fit properly, but it didn’t matter to either of them.
As soon as they both had the rings on their fingers, Aasim didn’t seem to know what to do next. No one really remembered how weddings went, and if they were being honest, they were making this up as they went along. “Uh… you may now kiss the bride.”
Clementine beamed, and Violet wasted no time. She swept her into a kiss, and Clementine broke away smiling as the other kids clapped and cheered.
The reception was just another party in the music room, complete with the record player and pretty candlelights from all those years ago before they rescued the others from the boat.
At one point when everyone else was mingling, Clementine and Violet sat off to the side, leaning into each other with Violet’s hand resting on Clementine’s knee. “God, I really can’t believe this,” Violet sighed, rubbing Clementine’s knee with her thumb. “I’m married to Clementine I-don’t-know-your-last-name-which-is-kinda-weird.”
Clementine laughed, kissing Violet on the cheek and resting her chin on her shoulder. “I don’t even remember my last name, Vi.”
“Well, as depressing as that is, I literally cannot be unhappy right now,” Violet said. “Mine was Clark. Is, I guess. Haven’t used it in years, though.”
“Clementine Clark has a nice ring to it,” Clementine said, a grin spreading across her face. “Like a superhero name, kinda.”
Violet let out a laugh. “Superheroes don’t hold a candle to you. I mean, look at you. You’re a total badass. Prosthetic leg, covered in cool scars and still kicking.” Violet poked at the scar on her arm from the dog bite, and Clementine gently battered her hand away.
“I still can’t fly,” Clementine said, and Violet shrugged.
“Oh well. Still cooler.”
“Can’t shoot lasers out of my eyes.”
“ Still cooler.”
“No superhuman strength.”
“One, that’s literally not true, two, when are you going to give up? My wife is way cooler than any superhero ever.” Violet sighed happily. “God, that feels good to say. My wife. You’re my wife.”
“I am,” Clementine laughed. “You’re my wife, too.” The two fell into comfortable silence, swaying back and forth gently to the music.
Violet broke the silence. “Where do you want to go for a honeymoon?”
Clementine nearly snorted. “What?”
“I’m serious! We can go anywhere you want,” Violet said, leaning back. “I’d want to go to Venice. Or Paris. Somewhere in Europe, I think. Or the Grand Canyon,” she added with a smile.
Clementine thought for a moment. “I think I’d want to go to the Bahamas.”
“Oh, I’d fry,” Violet laughed. “I never tan. I just burn.”
“Well, we’d bring sunscreen, obviously.” Clementine looked Violet up and down with a smirk. “Though, it would be pretty entertaining to see you cherry red from head to toe. Like a strawberry.”
Violet rolled her eyes, leaning her head on Clementine’s shoulder. “At least one of us would be amused.”
They fell quiet again, just relaxing and leaning against one another. The stress of today and the day before was slipping away, replaced only by the fact that Clementine’s wife was here, right now, leaning on her shoulder. Clementine hadn’t even noticed her eyes shut until AJ bounded up to her. “Clem!” He said, extending a hand. “Come on, let’s dance!”
Clementine exchanged an amused glance with Violet, taking AJ’s hand in hers and putting her hands on his shoulders while he put his on her waist. It was definitely a bit awkward since Clementine was still taller than AJ, but not by much anymore.
“My little goofball,” she said with a smile, playfully rocking him to the music. AJ rolled his eyes, though there was no actual anger in the gesture.
“I’ve told you before, Clem. I’m not little, and my name is AJ.” Clementine just smiled.
“Are you having fun?” Clementine asked, and AJ nodded eagerly.
“Yeah! I’ve never been to a wedding before,” AJ said, looking around the room at all the decorations they’d spent days doing. “It’s fun. Did you ever go to one, before this all started?”
Clementine nodded. “One. When I was… 6, I think. I don’t really remember it, honestly. It was a lot different than this, though. More formal.”
“Oh,” AJ said thoughtfully. “I like this one better.”
Clementine grinned. “Me too.”
AJ suddenly let out a snort, and Clementine looked over her shoulder to see Louis, who had apparently convinced Violet to dance, to do a spin. “No.” Violet said, and kept her feet firmly rooted to the floor. Louis just rolled his eyes, doing his own spin and trying to duck beneath Violet’s arm, though their height difference didn’t make it easy. “Oh my God,” Violet sighed, looking at AJ with a desperate expression in her eyes. “Switch with me. Please.”
AJ complied, and Louis took AJ’s hands and made him laugh as he started dancing upbeat to somewhat slow music. As Violet rested her hands on Clementine’s shoulders, Clementine made eye contact with James, who was standing off to the side with an amused expression on his face. He gave her a friendly nod, and she nodded back.
Clementine and Violet moved slowly, Violet glancing down at Clementine’s prosthetic every so often. “I won’t fall over again, Vi,” Clementine said jokingly, but Violet’s face fell.
“I remember the first time we did this after you lost your leg,” she sighed, leaning into Clementine’s chest slightly. “You were so damn disheartened because you thought we weren’t going to be able to dance anymore, but God, I just wanted to see you smile. You stumbled and fell and you just… broke down…”
“I was scared I wasn't ever going to make you happy again after that,” Violet confessed. “That you would just be… a shell of the girl I fell in love with, that I’d never get you back.”
“Well, you were wrong,” Clementine said, giving Violet's waist a small squeeze. “You've made me so damn happy. More than I can ever describe.”
Violet laid her head down on Clementine’s shoulder, and Clementine didn’t need to see her face to know she was beaming. “I’m glad.”
They danced long into the night, and no one dared interrupt their joy.