The long awaited marriage on the USS Gorkon! Beautifully written and absolutely draws you in from the off. Now, to the Reception!
((Former Chapel, Reichsburg Cochem, Earth))
::It was a small gathering of people in the castle's old chapel. Quinn's father, of course, shepherding Dylan and Amelia. Her elder brother and sister were there too, accompanied by their spouses and the small horde that was her nieces and nephews — including the eldest, Ryan, who had elected to wear his dress uniform to the occasion, much to her sister's dismay. Walter's family was smaller; his mother and step-father, and his indomitable grandmother.
::Petra Bjarnadottir was there as Walter's witness, in a sunny yellow dress that befit the season, her hair tumbling over one shoulder in thick curls. Not a surprising choice, all told. He had a soft spot for the fiery administrative officer, as he did for anyone who could legitimately hold their own against him. The pair had met as members of the infamous Yarahla Nine, and it had been to Walter's ship that Petra had first sought refuge on when her marriage had begun to fall apart.
::On the other side was Jo Marshall, who had only managed to stop smiling within the last five minutes. Her hair down for once, the waves of blonde reached her shoulders and flown down over her tea dress, the cut falling just below her knees. A friend to both, this time there solely for the bride; her commanding officer, and a friend through the trials and tribulations weathered together. Hands clasped in the small of her back, unable to fully leave the officer behind, she glanced over at Petra and shot the woman a quick wink.
::Then of course, there was the bride and groom themselves. Walter wore a navy three-piece suit, waistcoat and tie in dove grey, and he wore it well. Neatly pressed, shoes shined to a mirror polish, he was as perfectly turned out as it was possible to be. Quinn stood beside him, her dress in shades of silver and sky blue, the delicate chiffon embroidered and beaded with flowers. Her hair was swept up and away from her face, but otherwise left to fall in loose waves about her shoulders.
::Leading the ceremony was a local officiant, Miriam Schulte. With a head of short, white curls and a twinkle in her grey eyes, she was clearly a woman who loved her job. With the bride and groom stood in front of her, the guests seated and (more or less, in the case of the younger children) settled, she began.::
Schulte: Family and friends of Walter and Quinn; welcome to their wedding ceremony this afternoon at Reichsburg Cochem. In this place, high above the busy town below, we take ourselves out of the usual routines of daily living to witness a unique moment in their lives. Today they join together in the union of marriage and to all their guests, they are happy to share this moment with you. Because you are the ones who love, support and know them so well, it is only fitting that you are the ones to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them.
::Her accent was almost identical to Walter's, though stronger for remaining in the lands of her birth. Warmth exuded from her every word, genuine in her delight.::
Schulte: Walter and Quinn are pleased to have their parents and children in the front row, close by for the ceremony. Quinn thanks Stephen for providing her with opportunity possible and for being the best father anyone could ask for. ::Glancing over her shoulder, Quinn saw her father swallow as he smiled at her, his adam's apple bobbing in his throat.:: Walter appreciates all the love and support Annalise and Daniel have given him over the years.
::Where his temperament had come from his grandmother, it was clear where Walter had got his looks from. His mother had a head of luxurious, pale blonde hair, swept into an elegant chignon for the wedding, and the same piercing blue eyes as her son. Annalise smiled at him, squeezing the hand of the man stood beside her, Walter's step-father Daniel Wolff.::
Schulte: A wedding day is often a day when couples miss those no longer with them. For
Quinn and Walter, there are family members whose memories they hold dear. Walter's sister Emilie passed away some years ago; he misses her very much and holds her always in his heart and mind. Quinn would like to take a moment to remember her mother; she wishes Sarah could have met Walter, and knows she would have been happy for them both. And so it is that our couple present themselves to be married; with fond memories to brighten the day, and surrounded by the people they love the most.
::If she was honest, when it came to her mother Quinn wasn't sure of any such things. But she knew that the sentiment was something that would delight her father to hear, and so into the ceremony it had gone.::
Schulte: As our couple prepared for this part of this wedding celebration, they reflected on what brought them together, and what keeps them together. A shared career, shared interests, a shared stubbornness, ::a quiet chuckle rippled through the guests, while the bride and groom shot wry grins at one another,:: and through it all, an implicit acceptance of the other as an individual, as well as a partner. It is this mutual respect and understanding for one another that led them to select "On Marriage" by Kahlil Gibran as the reading for their ceremony, which will be read by Walter's grandmother, Else Brunsig.
::At the mention of her name, a slim, elegant woman stepped up to the lectern. She had a strong jaw, severe blue eyes, ice-white hair and a voice that made everyone sit or stand a little straighter. A formidable woman and a serving judge, Else commanded the attention of the room with ease.::
E. Brunsig: "Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
::The sentiment echoed around the former chapel for a few moments, resonating through those in attendance. Else returned to her seat, though first she sent a sly wink in her grandson's direction, and his answer was a wry, crooked smile and a dip of his head.::
Schulte: We come now to the words that take Quinn and Walter across the threshold from being engaged to being married. A marriage, as we here understand it, is a voluntary and full commitment. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life. Before you declare your vows to one another, I want to hear you confirm that it is indeed your intention to be married today. ::She paused, and smiled first at the bride in blue.:: Quinn, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Walter in marriage? If so, answer "I do."
::A small grin caught at the corners of Quinn's lips and she glanced up at Walter. Standing there, doing what they were doing, it wasn't something she'd ever really thought would come to pass. And yet, there they were, saying the words and sealing the deal.::
Reynolds: I do.
Schulte: Walter, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Quinn in marriage? If so, answer "I do."
Brunsig: I do.
::Quinn's breath caught in her throat, a supernova igniting behind her ribs. There hadn't been a gram of hesitation in his baritone, his answer assured and confident.::
Schulte: Walter and Quinn, having heard that it is your intention to be married to each other, I now ask you to declare your marriage vows. Please face each other and hold hands.
::If there was any part of the ceremony that made her nervous, this was it. Quinn wasn't one for emotional declarations, for putting the fragile parts of her heart in the plain view of others. She turned and reached for his hands, smiling at the warmth of his skin against hers, the light scratch of his calloused fingertips. His thoughts brushed against hers, soft and frictionless, like silk sheets sliding against one another. That sent her mind spiralling, and it was only a gentle tug on her hands that brought her back into the present, a blush on her cheeks and a sly, knowing smile on Walter's lips.::
Reynolds: There are three words that are stronger than I love you. Today I stand in front of you to say "I choose you". I choose you over all others. I choose you to share happiness with. I choose you to care for. I choose you to have a family with. I choose you to grow old with. ::She took a breath.:: Walter Brunsig, I choose you to love for the rest of my days.
::She felt his hands tighten around hers, a faint flush creeping up from under the collar of his white shirt. The effect of her words on him, and the effect of the words he was about to speak.::
Brunsig: Today, Quinn Reynolds, I join my life to yours. From the moment our paths crossed, you’ve fascinated me, challenged me, frustrated me and improved me in ways no person has done before. I have fallen in love with you again and again. I promise to be true to you, to support and encourage you, and to challenge and frustrate you. I know that we're good for each other and that we will continue to grow stronger together.
::Quinns stood there, smiling at him, struck by his vows and the fondness in his gaze as he'd spoken them. Left wordless and quite enraptured, it was a good thing that there was someone there to propel the service along.::
Schulte: Your wedding rings are the outward and visible sign of the inward and invisible bond which already unites you. Petra, please give Quinn's ring to Walter.
::The Icelander stepped forward, pressing the simple ring into his palm with a nod and a smile. After a pat on his elbow, Petra stepped away from the broad-shouldered blond, and the officiant continued, still beaming away, her eyes sparkling.::
Schulte: Walter, place the ring on Quinn's finger and repeat after me—
::He took her hand again, echoing the words while he slipped the gold band onto her finger, next to the glittering diamonds of her heirloom engagement ring.::
Brunsig: With this ring, I marry you; with my loving heart, with my willing body, and the promise of all my tomorrows.
Schulte: Jo, now please give Walter's ring to Quinn.
::Stowed in a particular place for safe keeping, Jo retrieved the band from the pocket of her dress and smiled at the woman with a small nod of her head as she handed it over.::
Schulte: Quinn, place the ring on Walter's finger and repeat after me—
::One hand curled around his, Quinn eased the ring onto his finger. Nerves dried her throat and slid a tremulous rasp into her voice. For once, she didn't care.::
Reynolds: With this ring, I marry you; with my loving heart, with my willing body, and the promise of all my tomorrows.
Schulte: May the wedding rings you exchanged today remind you always that you are surrounded by enduring love. ::The officiant smiled and clearly elated, she clasped her hands together:: Now, by the power vested in me by the town of Cochem, it is my honour and delight to declare you husband and wife. You may seal this declaration with a kiss.
::Their hands still intertwined, Walter dipped to do just that, and Quinn rose up on her toes to meet him part way. Soft, tender and lingering, he left his forehead resting against hers, just long enough to murmur a few words.::
Reynolds: Husband. ::She grinned.:: We actually did it.
Brunsig: Chilly day in hell.
::He smirked at her, the wry observation making her huff a quiet laugh as they parted. Quinn wasn't the only one laughing, and Miriam Schulte chuckled, gesturing open-armed to the pair.::
Schulte: I am pleased to present the newlyweds! Walter, Quinn — your wedding ceremony is over, and it's time to celebrate!
Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds
Captain Walter Brunsig