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(It was a great love) one for the ages

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Josie kept her hands entwined with Penelope all the way home.

She couldn’t stop smiling and laughing, and every now and then, she would just start crying.

Penelope was going to be her wife.

Josie was going to be able to look at the love of her life, and say that she was married to her.

Josie looked at the streets, lit by the stars and the streetlamps, looked at the cars rushing past, and the other people walking down these streets.

The last time she had left this city, she had been heartbroken.

Now she would leave it engaged to the same girl who broke her heart.

Because that girl had come back to her, and had fixed it.

Had admitted that she was wrong, had told Josie that she was sorry, and had spent every moment since making up for it.

Josie turned to smile at Penelope again.

Penelope smiled back.

“So, how long have you been planning this exactly?” Josie asked, laughing as she did.

Penelope swung their entwined hands back and forth, before twirling Josie around.

“Since the first Christmas we spent together.”

Josie stopped to look at Penelope with surprise.

“Wait, really?”

Penelope stopped by Josie and nodded.

“When I saw the bracelet you got me, when I saw your smile as everyone opened your presents, I just knew that I had to marry you. Maybe not then, but I knew that I was going to do it. So, I started planning it then. I knew that I wanted to do it here. I think that was the first thing I decided on.”

Josie leaned in and kissed Penelope.

She couldn’t wait to do that for the rest of her life.

“So, I’m guessing that everyone knows that you planned to do this?”

Penelope laughed and nodded.

“I told Maya first. She helped me with some little things. Then I asked your mum for her blessing, just after out two-year anniversary. She said yes, and so she started helping me. Then I asked Lizzie, because I know that she’s your sister, and I wanted her to know, and then she told Hope, and fair warning, but I’m pretty sure she wants to take the reins on wedding planning.”

Josie smiled.

“I’ll help her, but I think if she was mostly in charge, I’d be okay with that.”

Penelope nudged Josie.

“You should let them know. They knew it was going to be tonight, and they’re probably on the edge of their seats waiting to find out how it went.”

Josie scoffed.

“Like I’d ever say no.”

Penelope smiled.

“Still, you should tell them.”

Josie nodded, and then pulled Penelope closer to her.

“I’ll tell them in the morning. I want to spend this night with you and only you knowing.”

Penelope laughed.

“If you want to deal with a million calls from everyone we know, be my guest.”

Josie shoved her lightly.

“I’m trying to be romantic.”

Penelope kissed her nose.

“Don’t worry love, it’s working.”

Josie tugged on Penelope’s hand and pulled her onwards.

They were silent for a moment and then Penelope spoke.

“Still, if my orgasm gets interrupted by your sister calling us, I will be very put out.”

“Keep it up and you won’t get an orgasm at all.”

“Well, in that case I shall remain silent for the rest of the night.”

Josie rolled her eyes and smiled and she leant into Penelope, just enjoying her warmth.

+++

Luckily for both of them, everyone waited until the morning to call.

Knowing them, they were all on a group chat, and had all decided that Josie and Penelope would want to ‘celebrate’ their new engagement that night.

For that reason, Josie hoped that her mother was not on the aforementioned group chat.

When Josie woke up, she ignored all the texts and went straight to Instagram.

She posted a picture of her ring, with the caption So glad that I’m your lover for the rest of my life<3.

Then she called Lizzie back.

She picked up on the first ring.

“Josie! I’m assuming you and Penelope are done having celebratory sex, so please, tell me everything!”

Josie laughed.

“It’s perfect. Everything about it was perfect. I’m so glad that I get to call her my fiancée.”

Lizzie chuckled.

“She asked me if she could marry you. She said that she wanted to let me know what she was doing because she knows how much you love me, and she wanted me to be a part of this.”

Josie laughed.

“She told me something similar. For the record, you definitely get to be wedding planner. And my maid of honor, if you want to.”

Lizzie squealed, and Josie could feel the suffocating hug that she would have been enveloped in, had Lizzie actually been there.

“Yes Jo! Oh my god!” Josie heard her clear her throat. “I would be honored to be your maid of honor.”

Josie giggled.

“Good. And tell Hope that she’s a bridesmaid.” Josie looked up as she heard Penelope walk into the kitchen.

“Alright, Penelope’s here. Do you want to talk to her?”

Lizzie scoffed.

“Of course. But I’ll call her myself. You need to talk to mum.”

Josie nodded.

“I will. I love you Liz.”

“Love you too Jo.”

Lizzie hung up and Josie turned to Penelope.

“Hey,” Penelope said with a smile, wrapping her arms around Josie.

“Hey,” Josie replied, leaning in to kiss Penelope.

Penelope Park, her fiancée, her soon to be wife.

Josie couldn’t fucking believe it.

Penelope’s phone started ringing and she groaned.

“Alright, I guess I’d better go talk to your sister.”

“That’s your soon to be sister in law.”

Penelope smiled.

“Can’t wait.”

Penelope picked up the phone, and Josie could hear Lizzie screaming through the speaker.

Josie shook her head with a laugh, and called her mum.

“Josie! How’d it go?”

Josie laughed.

“It went great mum. I love her so much and now I get to be married to her.”

Her mother laughed.

“Josie, I’m so happy for you. She’s the one.”

“I hear that you’ve known about this for a while.”

Her mother scoffed.

“Jos, I’ve known that you two were going to be married from the first day I met her. No one looks at someone who isn’t their soulmate like that.”

Josie smiled, and then a thought occurred to her.

“Did you look at dad like that?”

Her mother sighed.

“Josie, your dad and I were complicated, okay sweetie? I can tell you; Penelope wouldn’t do something like that to you. I can tell you now, you’re going to be okay.”

Josie nodded.

“I know. I just wish he cared enough about me to be there for even one of his girl’s weddings.”

“He doesn’t deserve a girl like you or a girl like Lizzie.”

“Do you want to walk me down the aisle?” Josie blurted out.

There was a pause, and when her mother spoke next, Josie could hear the tears in her voice.

“I would love to honey.”

“Great.” Josie sighed. “I love you so much mum.” She could feel tears of her own pricking at her eyes.

“I love you too Josie.”

Josie put down the phone to see that Penelope was watching her.

Wordlessly, Penelope walked over and hugged her.

“It’s okay, I’ve got you.”

Josie sniffled and started crying into Penelope’s shoulder.

She loved how well Penelope knew her.

“I just hate him so much.”

“I know. I promise. I won’t be like him. If I have to spend all the time in the world showing that to you I will, I-”

Josie cut Penelope off with a searing kiss, holding her close, so close that she felt her own tears mingling with the new ones springing from Penelope’s eyes.

Josie pulled back, keeping her hands firmly on Penelope’s face.

“No. You could never do to me what he did. You are not him. And you aren’t your parents either. You aren’t cold, and you aren’t harsh. You are amazing, and you love me so much. I trust you with my heart, and I know that you will keep it safe. Okay, so don’t feel like you need to prove yourself to me.” Josie wiped the tears from Penelope’s cheeks, and felt Penelope do the same for her.

Penelope nodded.

“Okay.”

Josie took a quiet breath and then said softly.

“And I’m not Sasha. I said yes because I love you, because I want to spend the rest of my life with you, not because of pity, okay? So, don’t be afraid of that. Because I will never leave you. You are all that I want for the rest of my life.”

Penelope sniffled and smiled.

“Thank you. And I know, I know you aren’t her, but-”

“But some wounds are really deep,” Josie finished.

Penelope smiled and nodded, tears running down her face.

Josie laughed.

“We shouldn’t be crying right now. We should be happy, we just got engaged.”

Penelope nodded.

“Mm, especially when there are so many other things that we could be doing instead,” Penelope said, leaning close to Josie’s ear.

Josie laughed.

“I think we did enough of that last night. You can wait a little more for the next round.”

Penelope laughed.

“I was talking about drinking tea and going to celebrate with our friends. Get your mind out of the gutter Miss Saltzman.”

Josie grinned.

“On that topic, we should decide who is taking whose last name.”

Penelope hummed.

“Hmm, which sounds better? Josie Park or Penelope Saltzman?”

Josie walked over to the kettle to start making their tea.

“We could always hyphenate if we can’t come to a decision.”

“True. But, let’s not worry about that right now. Let’s just enjoy the happiness we have now.”

+++

After plenty of celebration with Ethan, Maya, Landon, and all of their friends, Josie and Penelope found themselves on a plane home.

At the airport, Lizzie, Hope, and Josie’s mother were all there.

They were all hugged enthusiastically by both Josie and Penelope.

Josie was surprised that she didn’t stain permanent ribcage damage from Lizzie’s hug.

Lizzie and Hope let them go eventually, and on the car ride home, Josie’s mother asked for every detail about London.

They didn’t share every single thing, but there was enough to occupy the whole drive home.

When they got home, Josie and Penelope danced around the kitchen.

Both of them were barefoot, and they were surrounded by the fairy lights that they kept up constantly.

Penelope claimed that it would be good practice for their wedding.

Josie knew that Penelope just wanted to hold her.

She didn’t mind.

Josie wanted to hold Penelope as well.

They fell asleep that night knowing that one day they would wake up on their wedding day, and one day everything would finally be perfect.

+++

It took a little bit of time to get to that day.

Josie was surprised that they managed to wait that long, that at no point they had just decided to elope, to run off into the forest and live as hermits, but happily married hermits.

She was pretty sure that they only reason why they hadn’t was Lizzie.

Lizzie kept Josie on track, made sure that their wedding was everything that they both wanted.

Lizzie went dress shopping with Josie, and went suit shopping with Penelope.

Josie couldn’t wait to see what Penelope looked like in a suit.

It would most likely be stupidly hot.

Penelope was working with Lizzie, as she apparently was a very good organizer of events.

Penelope told Josie that it was because of her ‘annoyingly pretentious upbringing’.

Josie just loved seeing her fiancée and her twin working together.

Lizzie was a force of nature, and Josie was so glad that that was her sister.

Hope was also dragged along, mostly to stop Lizzie from going power crazy, but her main job became keeping Josie company when Penelope and Lizzie were in their bridezilla mindsets.

Josie was glad that she got to spend time with Hope.

She had really missed her best friend.

Her mother tried to help, but Josie insisted that she needn’t bother, because everything would be handled.

She eventually decided that she would be of no help, and she just hung out with Hope and Josie.

It felt a little bit like high school.

Just Hope, Josie, and her mother, hanging out in Mystic Falls.

The good thing was though, that they’d left all the pain of high school behind.

Hope was doing much better, she wasn’t the sad loner, and her art no longer showed the pain of her heart.

Josie’s mother wasn’t dealing with trying to get out of a marriage to an abusive dick.

Josie wasn’t dealing with all the teen angst that came from having a jerk father, and from not knowing where to go for comfort.

Now they were all happy, or at least as happy as they could get.

Josie wasn’t going to pretend that everything was fine.

She had bad days.

She still had nightmares.

There were still many nights where she woke up shaking, because she thought that she had lost the people she loved, or because she could swear that her father was right there.

Penelope held her hand through it all.

+++

Josie knew that Penelope still had her issues. Of course, she knew. Getting engaged wasn’t a magic fix all for problems.

Penelope still refused to communicate sometimes, would shut off and go cold.

Usually, Josie was able to just coax a gap open, and would make sure that Penelope let her stay.

Sometimes, it was harder than others to do that.

For instance, three months before their wedding, Josie woke up in the middle of the night completely alone.

She frowned.

Penelope never usually got up during the night.

Even if she’d had a nightmare, which only occurred occasionally, she’d usually just lie there catching her breath until Josie woke up.

So, that meant that something was wrong.

Josie got out of bed quickly, not even bothering to pull the sheets back over the bed.

Her heart started racing, as thoughts of all that could have gone wrong raced through her brain.

Surely, it was fine, but what if it wasn’t?

What if Penelope was gone?

She walked into the living room, and her fears were put to rest.

Penelope was sitting in the middle of the room, curled up in a ball on the couch.

Just as she’d relaxed, she realized that she could hear Penelope crying, could hear her gasping sobs.

“Penelope?” she whispered into the dark room.

Penelope lifted her head up, and Josie heard a little strangled gasp.

She heard Penelope try to form words, saw her pull into herself just a little more, and Josie reached for the lights.

Penelope gasped as the room fell into light, and so did Josie, as she saw the state that Penelope was in.

Her eyes were red, and her body was shaking so violently that Josie thought she might never stop.

“Hey, Pen, what happened?” she asked, rushing over.

Instinctively, she checked for any signs of alcohol or drugs. She couldn’t see or smell anything, so, she just moved to calm Penelope down.

“Pen, hey look at me.” She reached out for Penelope, and for a moment, Penelope leaned towards her. Then, she was pulling away, shaking her head.

“No, no, no.”

“Pen, it’s okay, I’m here. I’m not going to hurt you. Just breathe for me, it’s alright.”

It took a little while, but eventually, Penelope started trying to catch her breath, and then, when she was finally calmed down, she pulled back into herself.

“Pen, what’s wrong?”

“It’s stupid,” Penelope replied tonelessly.

Josie almost laughed at that.

“Pen, what do we say about expressing emotions?”

Penelope just stayed silent, staring at the ground.

Josie frowned, moving just a little bit closer.

“Is it about me, did I do something?”

Penelope’s head shot up at that, shaking emphatically.

“No, of course not. You’re perfect.”

Josie smiled sadly.

“But something is bothering you.”

Penelope sighed, looking down again.

“I just don’t want to think about it, because I don’t want to start crying again. And really, I should be over this. I should be, but my brain just won’t shut up and I’m really scared.”

“Why?”

Penelope leaned back against the couch, looking up at the ceiling.

She slowly let out a breath and then spoke.

“Do you know how many months there are until the wedding?”

Josie tilted her head to the side.

“Three, but what does that have to--oh.” Josie suddenly realized what was wrong.

Sasha.

Three months before their wedding, Sasha had cheated on Penelope.

Josie reached out to wipe away some of the tears that were falling down Penelope’s cheeks.

“Yeah. And it’s stupid, because you would never do that to me, you’re a better person than her, and I’m a different person than I was back then, and so much is different, but it feels like my brain is just screaming at me, constantly telling me that there’s no way that I’m going to be able to have a good thing and keep it.” Penelope shifted closer to Josie, and let her envelop her in a hug.

Josie rested her head on top of Penelope’s.

“It’s okay. Brains can be stupid, and trauma is painful. I get it. Believe me, I get it. You just have to talk to me, and to trust that I’ll be here.”

Penelope nodded.

“I know, and I do. I was just so scared when I woke up, and I couldn’t stop seeing her, and I just needed to get up and walk.” She smiled at Josie, “Thanks for pulling me back down to earth. I needed it.”

“That’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I intend to do as long as you’ll let me. Just always come back to me.”

“Always. I’ll always come back to you.”

+++

It was the thirteenth of January when Josie woke up next to Penelope, knowing that today was the day.

Penelope rolled over and smiled.

“Hey fiancée. You nervous?”

Josie laughed.

“Very. You have no idea how many times I have practiced my vows over and over again.”

Penelope grinned and kissed Josie’s hand.

“I bet it’s not as much as me. Believe me, I want everything to be perfect for you as well.”

Josie nodded.

“I love you. So so much.”

Penelope kissed her forehead.

“I love you so so much too. And today I get to show you just how much.”

Josie nodded and pulled herself up.

“We should probably start getting ready.”

“Or we could stay in bed a bit longer. We could have our last sex as a non-married couple.”

Josie laughed.

“Pre-marital sex? I can’t believe that we’re heathens.”

“And we’re both girls. We’re the worst kind of heathens.”

Josie rolled her eyes and clambered out of bed.

“Come on Pen, you need to get up.”

“But Jojo, this bed is so comfy and warm. You should come back and warm me up even more.”

“Pen.”

“Baby, it’s cold outside,” Penelope sang softly.

Josie slapped her lightly.

“Get up. There can be plenty of warming up later tonight.”

Penelope hummed.

“You promise?”

Josie rolled her eyes again.

“Pinkie promise.”

Penelope held out her hand, and Josie shook her pinkie, holding in the urge to laugh.

Penelope nodded and pulled herself out.

“Well, I dibs the first shower.”

Josie sighed as Penelope pushed past her.

“You’re lucky I love you.”

“So lucky.”

+++

The wedding ceremony was to be held in a garden.

There was a really nice one, just a little way away from where Josie and Lizzie had gone to school as kids.

The pavilion was already set up, and it shone white in the daylight.

Josie was to get ready with Lizzie and Hope, and Penelope was to get ready with Maya and Landon.

There had been some dispute over that, but Penelope’s argument was that Landon was basically her brother, and that he and Maya were probably the only people who would be able to calm her down if she panicked.

Besides Josie of course.

Josie’s dress was beautiful.

Lizzie had designed it herself.

They had gone shopping, but Josie had realized halfway through that the only dress she wanted to wear was one that Lizzie made for her.

Lizzie had cried when Josie had tried it on the first time, and was crying again now.

“Lizzie, it’s alright,” Josie told her.

Lizzie sniffled.

“I just can’t believe that my baby sister is going to be getting married. You’re all grown up now.”

“Lizzie, there’s literally three minutes between us.”

“I know, but I’m still the older sibling.”

Josie sighed.

“I know. I can’t really believe it either.”

Lizzie nodded and wiped away some of her tears.

“This is your big day Jo. Are you ready?”

Josie nodded.

“I’ve been ready for this day for ages. I’ve spent three summers knowing her and loving her, but I want them all.”

Lizzie smiled and turned to Hope.

“Your turn now.”

Hope laughed, but Josie could see that she was tearing up as well.

“Is the legendary Hope Mikaelson crying?”

Hope sniffled and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.

“Nope, it’s allergies.”

Josie just stared at her.

Hope blinked back a few more tears.

“Maybe I’m emotional about this. Don’t make it a big deal.”

Josie laughed.

“I’ve come a long way from when we first met, haven’t I?”

Hope laughed.

“Yeah, you really have. I’m so proud of you Jo.”

Josie stepped into a hug with Hope, trying not to cry and ruin her makeup.

Lizzie wrapped her arms around the both of them, and Josie buried her head into Hope’s shoulder.

“I love you guys,’ she mumbled out.

They laughed.

“Love you too,” Hope and Lizzie murmured.

Josie pulled back and wiped away the tears gathering.

Hope cleared her throat.

“That’s enough of that. It’s time to go make that girl your wife.”

+++

Josie linked arms with her mother as she waited for the moment in which she would walk into the ceremony.

Her mother smiled.

“You ready?”

Josie laughed nervously.

The butterflies in her stomach were going crazy.

“Everyone keeps asking me that.”

“It’s okay. It’s a big step.”

“But I’m ready for it. I want to be with Penelope.”

Her mother nodded.

“I know. I can’t believe that both of my baby girls found someone who made them happy. I’m so proud of you two.”

Josie nodded.

“I’m proud of us as well.”

“That’s all that matters really.”

The music started playing and Josie took a deep breath.

“It’s time.”

Her mother squeezed her hand.

“Let’s go baby.”

Josie walked around the corner and into the pavilion.

The music playing was the bridal march, because Lizzie had insisted that it was tradition.

Josie looked up through teary eyes and saw her.

She saw the love of her life, her actual soulmate, and she fell in love with her all over again.

Yeah, she was making the right decision.

Penelope looked so good in a suit.

Josie walked down the aisle and met Penelope.

Penelope smiled, and Josie could see that her eyes were shining just as much as Josie’s.

Their eyes met and Josie was reminded of that first night.

Of a pair of strangers looking at each other from across a bar.

How much had changed since then.

“Hey fiancée,” Penelope greeted. Josie knew that she wanted to get as many uses out of that word as she could.

Josie smiled.

“Hey fiancée. Ready to get married?”

Penelope smiled.

“Always.”

They turned to the priest.

Josie mostly tuned him out so that she could look at and focus on Penelope.

She looked so beautiful.

She caught Penelope sneaking glances at her as well, and couldn’t help but feel like a high schooler with a crush.

Then, they reached the time for them to read out the vows.

Penelope went first, as they had agreed, because Penelope thought that if Josie went first, she’d cry too much, and she wouldn’t be able to say her own.

Josie disagreed, but let Penelope go first anyways.

“Josie Saltzman. When I met you, I felt like a nobody. I felt like no one cared about who I was, I felt like I was never going to find someone who loved me, and I didn’t think that I deserved to find someone who loved me. You changed everything for me. When I saw you for the first time, I knew that you were going to steal my heart. Even if we danced around each other for a while, the first time I kissed you felt like nothing I had ever experienced.

“I was stupid at first. I didn’t realize what I had, and I didn’t let you in. I walked away from you, because I didn’t think that I had a reason to stay. I was wrong. The only reason I ever needed was that you existed, that you loved me. And that was why I came back to you, because I knew that you were all I needed, all I would ever want. I thought I’d lost you, but you proved me wrong, you let me in, you helped me accept love that I didn’t think I was worth, and you showed me that yes, I was worth it.

“The past years that I have spent loving you have been the best of my life. I never want to be apart from you. And so, I asked you to marry me. And you said yes, and now, I’m about to be the happiest woman on earth, because I get to love you every day. I get to wake up and see your smile, your eyes, hear your voice, hear the beautiful words that you craft, feel your love, see the way you care, and I get to know that I’m yours, and that you are mine.”

Josie was crying.

She could feel her hands shaking.

She just wanted to kiss Penelope, to hold her, to love her, no matter what.

Josie wiped away her tears and smiled.

“I have no idea how I’m going to follow that,” she joked and the crowd laughed.

She looked at Hope and Lizzie and they smiled at her, nodding as if to tell her that she could do this.

She looked at her mother, who smiled, tears streaming down her cheeks.

She turned to look finally at Penelope, the love of her life.

Penelope nodded and mouthed ‘you’ve got this’.

Josie smiled thankfully and took a deep breath.

She could do this.

She had written so many songs about Penelope, had sung so many in public, or just to Penelope.

All she had to do was focus on the words, focus on Penelope.

She could do this.

“Penelope Park. The love of my life, the woman who I think might actually be my soulmate. I came to London because I was looking for something new, because I wanted to change my life. Suffice to say, you have changed my life so much. I met you, and I convinced myself that I wasn’t going to fall in love with you. I was very wrong, because well, look at you. You’re amazing, how could I not fall in love with you?

“As you mentioned, things didn’t go as they should have the first time around. I got scared, and I lied and I hid, and you did too. We made a mess of things and we both ended up getting hurt. It seemed that no matter how many times I fell in love, no one stayed. Then you knocked on my door on New Year’s, and you told me that you had come back for me, and I thought maybe you might be the one person to stay.

“And stay you did. Through every dark moment, through every time that I wanted to give up, you were the one who convinced me that I was strong enough to keep going. So, I did. I realized that you were the one person I could depend on, that I needed you in my life. You stood by my side when it felt like the world was against me. So, I wrote a song to say that I was sorry for shutting you out, for forcing us to break each other’s hearts. And you came back to me, you stayed in my heart. Since then, everything has been better. You have helped me love myself, you have helped me accept help, you have helped me become a better person.

“I said yes to your proposal, because I love you and because I never want to be apart from you. My heart has been borrowed by people who did awful things to it, and yours has been beaten blue with heartbreak. We found each other, and fixed our broken hearts. I swear that I will always be true to you, if a little overdramatic at times. I swear that I will keep loving you and your turtle smile, your shining green eyes, your laugh, your battered heart, your caring arms, your amazing mind, and just, you. Every part of me is yours and every part of you is mine. I love you so much.”

Josie was surprised that she was able to get through the whole speech without just dissolving into sobs.

Penelope had been right.

Her eyes were gushing like a waterfall, and Josie instinctively wiped her tears away.

Penelope laughed.

“Thanks.”

“Anything for you.”

The priest cleared his throat.

“And now,” he turned to Penelope.

“Do you, Penelope Park, take Josette Saltzman to be your lawfully wedded wife, until death does you part?”

Penelope nodded.

“I do.”

“Josette Saltzman, do you take Penelope Park to be your lawfully wedded wife, until death does you part?”

“I do.”

The priest nodded.

“I now pronounce you wife and wife; you may now kiss the bride.”

Josie and Penelope didn’t need to be told twice.

+++

Josie and Penelope’s first dance was to a song on Josie’s album, the one that she had released on their anniversary.

Josie had wanted to dance to Afterglow, but Lizzie had told her that it wasn’t a very good slow dancing song.

Josie disagreed, but the song they danced to instead was also very good.

It was called Enchanted, and Josie had written it about how meeting Penelope had changed her life.

They danced gracefully, holding each other close, knowing that they would never have to let go.

Later, Josie danced with her mother as Penelope danced with Lizzie, and Josie felt a little bit sad that Penelope’s family didn’t come.

They hadn’t been invited, obviously, Penelope didn’t want them here, but Josie still felt sad for these people she had never met.

They didn’t get the chance to know and love the amazing person their child had turned into.

It didn’t matter though.

Penelope had her own family, and it was one that was much stronger than any of her own blood.

Josie danced with Maya, who laughed as they reminisced about how Penelope and Josie had tried to hide the fact that they were sleeping together from everyone.

At the time, Josie had thought they were subtle.

As it turned out, literally everyone knew.

She danced with Ethan, and they talked about college, about all the dumb stuff they’d done back then.

She danced with Landon, and they talked about Penelope’s past, and how he was so glad that she’d found someone like Josie.

She danced with Hope, and Hope teased her for stealing a line from her vows to Lizzie. Josie just laughed, remembering a time when she hadn’t known if she would ever get to love Penelope.

Lizzie gave a speech, in which she embarrassed Josie greatly, but it was okay, because Maya embarrassed Penelope just as much in her speech.

The two of them just held each other and laughed, cringing at the awful stories.

At some point during the lunch, Penelope turned to Josie and smiled.

“What?” Josie asked.

“You’re my wife.”

Josie grinned back.

“And you’re my wife.”

Penelope laughed.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to get tired of that.”

Josie smiled and took Penelope’s hand under table, squeezing it softly.

“Good, because you get to say it for the rest of our lives.”

Penelope squeezed her hand back.

“I’m okay with that.”

Penelope rested her head on Josie’s shoulder and Josie smiled.

"Mrs Josie Park-Saltzman. You know, it really does have a ring to it," Penelope told her.

"Mrs Penelope Park-Saltzman. I'm glad that you listened to me," Josie replied.

Penelope just laughed.

They were quiet for a moment.

Then Penelope turned to Josie.

“You know, at some point, I think we should go back to London, for real.”

Josie smiled and nodded.

“I think you’re right. After all, it was your home, and the first place I ever really connected to.”

Penelope nodded.

“But there’s no rush. We have all the time in the world my dear.”

+++
That night, the newlyweds went home.

To the house where they’d painted the walls, where they’d made love so many times, where they’d spent the past two years.

It was their place, the place where they made the calls.

The Christmas lights were still up, because Josie thought they looked so pretty and Penelope had long since forgotten how to say no to Josie.

They walked inside, and slowly undressed each other, reveling in the knowledge that this was their life now.

They were married.

Josie would go on to write even more songs about Penelope, would sing to entire stadiums about how much she loved her.

They would scream back to her, and Josie would feel like the whole world was watching her.

She felt like that now, even though Penelope was the only one in the room.

She supposed that made sense.

Penelope was her whole world.

Penelope pushed her against the bed and kissed along her neck.

“You looked so pretty today Jojo. I’m so lucky to be yours.”

Josie laughed as Penelope moved down to her chest.

“Says you. Seriously, it should be illegal to look that good in a suit.”

Penelope kissed her belly button, and then rose back up to look at Josie.

“I shall make a point of wearing suits more often if this is how you feel about me in them.”

“Please do. But first, I think there’s something you should be doing.”

Penelope nodded.

“Our first marital sex. I’m so proud of us.”

Josie rolled her eyes.

“You’re such an idiot.”

“But you love me.”

“Don’t you forget it. Now, if you don’t touch me already, I might have to do it myself.”

Penelope’s eyes darkened, and she kissed Josie soundly, her fingers gliding down Josie’s body.

Josie broke the kiss to moan as Penelope finally touched her right where she needed.

Penelope watched Josie as she gasped and moaned.

Penelope’s touch had never been gentler.

Josie remembered once hating when Penelope did this.

She loved it so much now.

She felt so loved this way.

Josie came down from her high and rolled them over, kissing all over Penelope’s face.

They had done this so many times.

So many times, had they touched each other, so many times had they sent the other into heaven, and yet every time it still felt special.

Josie supposed that was because it was with each other.

It didn’t matter what they were doing, because if they were with each other, they would probably enjoy it.

+++

At 2am Penelope woke Josie up to dance with her in the kitchen.

Josie couldn’t say no to her either, so she let Penelope lead her.

Penelope convinced Josie to sing the music for them, and Josie happily obliged.

She started with songs that Penelope knew, and then moved into one that she had been working on, one that would be released soon.

We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til January

Penelope chuckled and muttered something about how they really needed to take those down. Josie smiled and kept singing.

This is our place, we make the rules

And there's a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear

Have I known you twenty seconds or twenty years?

“It’s been three years, actually.”

Josie rolled her eyes and kept singing.

Can I go where you go?

Can we always be this close forever and ever?

And ah, take me out, and take me home

You're my, my, my, my lover

Penelope’s eyes softened and she kissed Josie softly.

When she pulled back, she motioned with her eyes for Josie to keep going.

We could let our friends crash in the living room

This is our place, we make the call

And I'm highly suspicious that everyone who sees you wants you

I've loved you three summers now, honey, but I want 'em all

“I want them all too.”

“I know love.”

Can I go where you go?

Can we always be this close forever and ever?

And ah, take me out, and take me home (forever and ever)

You're my, my, my, my lover

Josie stepped back a little and started spinning them around.

Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand?

With every guitar string scar on my hand

I take this magnetic force of a girl to be my lover

My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue

Penelope’s eyes lit up in recognition, but she said nothing.

All's well that ends well to end up with you

Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover

And you'll save all your dirtiest jokes for me

And at every table, I'll save you a seat, lover

Penelope pulled Josie back in, and when she started singing the final chorus, Penelope joined in, both of their voices matching in perfect harmony.

They were perfect together.

A little bruised.

And sure, maybe they got a little lost on the way to each other, but they were found, and that’s all that matters in the end.

All that matters is that at the end of the day, they were together, and ready to face whatever came next.

Can I go where you go?

Can we always be this close forever and ever?

And ah, take me out, and take me home (forever and ever)

You're my, my, my, my

Oh, you're my, my, my, my

Darling, you're my, my, my, my lover