What do you know, for once it’s actually been a while since I’ve posted a Blank Matermind story.
I’m so proud of myself.
Anyway, now we’re back because I was shoved by many friends into writing Dallas and Kaity’s wedding.
I don’t know how far in the future this is or what other things around might have changed and that rather scares me here. Buuut we’re just focusing on Dallas and Kaity for now because they’re cute.
And Dallas is very, very nervous.
Behold, the story!
An hour until the wedding and I hadn’t actually gotten to talk to Dallas in the past whole day. Barely anyone I talked to had, in fact.
We’d just seen flashes of him. Glimpses as he frantically flitted from place to place, checking that all the wedding details were in place and as perfect as he could make them. Even if straightening streamers and checking on the food table was very far from being his job. He’d already insisted on paying for literally everything out of his own skimpy budget. You’d think he could leave just a few jobs to everyone else.
Him being the introvert that he was, I’d determined beforehand that I wouldn’t be too in his face before the big day. He’d have enough socialization and we could give him a bit of quiet.
But my determination was wavering.
I stood off to the side of the hallway, leaned against the wall with my arms crossed. Looking thoughtfully down towards the door of the room where Dallas had holed up.
Supposedly to eat dinner.
The rest of us had already eaten, since this was just going to be a reception with cake. A rather small cake. Another necessary budget cut if Dallas was paying for everything.
The least he could do was eat the takeout Fernsby had gotten for him . . .
I drummed my fingers against my arm, not shifting my position. I glanced down briefly and took note that my hands had a slight shake in their movements.
Not that it really took too much for me. But I was still kind of nervous. And this wasn’t even my wedding.
It only had to be that much worse for Dallas . . .
Again, I seriously considered busting into his room and checking on him.
There was the sound of footsteps behind me, a voice following.
“He come out of there recently?”
I turned to see Dallas’s older brother and best man, Lucas, coming to a stop beside me. He looked past me down the hall for a few seconds and blew out a half-sigh.
I shrugged a little. “Haven’t talked to him since early yesterday morning.” I glanced over at him again, still getting used to the uncanny family resemblance. Lucas was different from Dallas in a lot of ways. He smiled more. Was definitely taller and stronger. Had a lot more freckles and his hair was redder. But I still felt like I was looking at some alternate universe version of Dallas whenever I looked at him.
Silence for a few seconds.
“I’m guessing being brother and all, you’ve talked to him more . . .?” I ventured, running a hand through my hair.
Lucas let out a small laugh. “As far as an actual conversation, you talked to him more recently than me. He’s rushed past and apologized quite a few times, however.”
A small sound I couldn’t quite identify came from the room.
I squinted down at the door.
Lucas crossed his arms in an imitation of my stance, looking over at me. “I vote on going in to check on him.”
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.” I pushed off the wall and the two of us walked down towards the room.
Lucas got there first and he knocked twice on the door. “Hey, green bean. You in there?”
I listened, hearing a few bumps from inside. A bit of scrambling around. And was that . . . quiet gagging . . .?
The takeout wasn’t that bad, was it?
Lucas waited for another second, looking over at me, then he tilted his head and just turned the doorknob, coming in. I stepped in after him.
Dallas staggered a couple steps as we came in, looking like he’d just come from the bathroom. He straightened up, clasping his hands behind his back.
Probably hoping we didn’t notice the grey shade of his face or the somewhat disheveled state of his suit.
I blinked, glancing back over at the bathroom door.
Lucas raised his eyebrows.
Dallas swallowed. “Just a . . . I . . . had a bad bite from lunch. It’s alright.”
We could all very clearly see that Dallas hadn’t touched his lunch.
“Your nerves doing alright?” Lucas asked, looking him up and down.
Dallas made a few vague gestures, shifting his position and taking a deep breath. I could see that his hands were shaking. “It’s . . . a really big day. I just hope everything goes well.”
I worked up a kind of nervous grin to give him. “Well hey, you can’t do much wrong by Kaity at least . . .” my voice trailed off as I noticed a familiar blue flicker around his hands that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. My smile faded.
Lucas blinked, just looking confused.
I took a step closer as Dallas clasped his hands together, rubbing at them. I pointed. “Was that . . .?”
Dallas pressed his lips together. I could read the answer on his pale face.
“Last night I . . . couldn’t sleep very well and there had been a light flickering in the living room so I tried to fix it.” Dallas swallowed again, running his fingers through his hair to smooth it down. “And I got . . . well . . . shocked, in that attempt and . . .” he held up his hands again. The flickery blue was very obvious now.
“And your . . . powers turned back on,” I finished flatly.
Silence for a good minute or so.
Okay so superpowers at a wedding. That was . . . unexpected. No easy way to turn them off right now. In fact there was really no way that I knew of. And we couldn’t go on a scientific research expedition now to find things out like that.
Of all the times to go play junior electrician . . .
I took a breath and shook my head, pulling a smile back onto my face. It was a wedding. A happy day. Things couldn’t be that bad, right?
I clapped one hand on Dallas’s shoulder in a friendly gesture that made him jump a little.
“I mean hey,” I shrugged. “Not the worst thing that could happen, right? Do a bit of showy teleportation to get your bride out the door down the aisle? It’ll be fun.”
Dallas gave one slow, hesitant nod and another swallow. He took a breath and straightened his back again, looking between me and Lucas.
“Sorry, I can deal with it. It’ll be alright. No problems.” He cleared his throat. “I just wanted to . . . to thank you both for st-standing with me on this . . . m-momentous . . .” he stopped, his expression shifting.
I frowned. “Dallas?”
“I-I’m sorry, if you’ll excuse . . .” he shoved my hand off his shoulder and ran to the bathroom to throw up again.
Lucas and I stood there awkwardly.
“He . . . never did handle being the center of attention very well,” Lucas remarked quietly.
“Just pray he can handle it through the ceremony,” I muttered.
The ceremony was taking place in just a small church outside of town. A slightly run down church, but cute all the same. More set up for Sunday meetings of dedicated, faithful old people than wedding services . . . and the musty smell lent to that fact . . . but it worked.
And if I did say so, the simplicity of it really lent itself to the tone of Dallas and Kaity’s relationship in general.
Small and faithful and pure.
Even if not high budget.
Dallas had nothing more to throw up in his stomach, so he insisted he’d be fine and that we shouldn’t tell anyone. Which we did. He’d covered for me enough times that I didn’t have a problem with it, protecting Dallas’s wedding-day-dignity and all. Though Lucas was a little more reluctant in being sworn to silence.
And besides, he didn’t throw up again anyway.
We’d probably be okay. Dallas swore me in on a backup plan in case we weren’t anyway. (And seriously, his backup plans had backup plans.)
So there we all were at the church. Everyone inside lining the small pews. Dallas and the pastor at the front of the church. And all us groomsmen/bridesmaids outside and waiting for our signal to go marching in.
I swallowed, adjusting my bowtie a little. Spring wedding, so at least it wasn’t suffocatingly hot. But bowties still weren’t my favorite things to wear. A breeze blew through and I made another attempt at smoothing my hair down.
It failed miserably.
On a hunch, I glanced over at the bridesmaid line and saw Liza smirking at me. I rolled my eyes.
Fernsby stood nearest to the white wood framed entrance, his neck craned expectantly. Then the music started up and he turned, gesturing to all of us.
It wasn’t like we were slouching before, but everyone stood up straighter.
And leading us in . . . setting the slow and dignified example . . . walked Mr. and Mrs. Fernsby, arm in arm. Moving like they were one with the slow music march.
Of course it was just . . . walking. Not like you can do a whole bunch to mess up walking. I was still slightly nervous following after Fernsby. And maybe it was just some of Dallas’s lavish nervousness had rubbed off on me from being in such close proximity. Something like that.
I linked my arm into Liza’s and blew out my breath as we took our place in the lineup. Waited until the others ahead of us had started down. Then started walking ourselves.
Liza glanced up at me, raising one eyebrow like there was some unspoken joke. I looked back down at her and gave a tiny shrug. She chuckled.
I looked back up towards the front. Dallas stood there as stiff and straight as a post. Watching the door but not seeming to see anyone that was coming through it. He had his hands clasped behind his back.
Probably so no one can see the flickering if he loses it a little.
Honestly he hadn’t been doing too badly since he’d showed Lucas and me. No accidental teleporting or unexpected forcefields. After so much time he’d had with them before he probably had the powers more than under control by now. It wouldn’t even be a concern.
I caught his eye for a second and grinned encouragingly. He managed a shaky smile back. Hey, it was more than I’d gotten before now.
Liza and I split, going to the separate sides of the altar to take our places in the rows and stand nicely.
The rest of the wedding crew came up the aisle and split off in similar fashion. And then a pause.
I bit back a grin, knowing what was coming next.
Leif came tromping up the aisle, his hair a mess and his bowtie way looser than it should be. But he was smiling while he carried the cushion with the rings at least. He came up to the front and looked over at me.
I winked at him and gave a small nod towards where he was supposed to stand by Lucas. He took his position and we waited again.
A small “yay!” echoed through the church and Cardboard came running up the aisle, hurling petals every which way. A few guests on aisle seats flinched back. Cardboard wheeled up alongside Liza in the bridesmaid line and came to a stop.
And then Kaity’s song started up, softly playing over the speakers.
A few more seconds and there she was at the end of the aisle, walking up with her arm linked in her dad’s arm. Just as small as ever in her fluffy dress, holding her daisy bouquet and practically glowing in the dark with happiness.
Most fathers usually look a little misty eyed at that point but I think just being in proximity to that much sheer joy counteracted it for Kaity’s dad. He was grinning right alongside his daughter as he led her up the aisle.
I glanced sideways over at Dallas, noting Fernsby doing the same.
It was hard to not join in on the grinning after seeing the involuntary, lopsided and still shaky nervous smile Dallas was giving Kaity back. I’m pretty sure everyone in the church had to be smiling here.
Kaity practically bounced up the few steps to the altar across from Dallas. She beamed up at him again as the music faded out, and I heard her give what sounded like just a barely-audible squeak of excitement.
Dallas still smiled back but . . . man I was really starting to wonder how he managed to look that excited and that nervous at the same time. I could probably count every freckle on his face with how pale he was.
Maybe I should nudge Lucas over to catch him if he keels over backwards here . . .
There was a very slight blue flicker from his hands.
The preacher started up. “Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to witness the holy matrimony between Dallas Knight and Kaitlin Culpepper . . .”
And on it went, in your typical plain-vanilla fashion of wedding speech. Not even delivered very interestingly.
I kind of tuned out after the first few lines and just watched the people around. Mainly Dallas and Kaity. And the rest of the people in the audience.
Bad News was snapping pictures like a madman. Probably got a couple good ones of me trying to sign to him to cut it out for a few seconds.
The preacher kept on with his talking. Saying how good of children in the faith Dallas and Kaity were and we were all so proud and yada yada . . . stuff like that.
The guy barely even knows them, what’s he going on about? Get to the vows already and get it over with. Don’t make Dallas endure through anymore time on stage than he has to.
I blew out my breath, running my fingers absently through my hair.
Fernsby subtly elbowed me like he’d sensed my impatience and therefore sensed my need of quiet scolding.
I straightened back up and clasped my hands again, looking back to Dallas and Kaity. Aaand here we finally were at the rings and vows.
Leif stepped forward as he was prompted and held up the ring cushion.
Dallas murmured a thanks and fumbled to untie the ribbon with his shaky hands. It took a little longer and I saw his face flush, his hands flickering slightly. But he got the knot undone and each of them took their rings.
There was some sort of symbolic something the preacher remarked on about the rings that mainly sounded like something out of the Lion King. And then they put the rings on each others’ hands.
The preacher smiled. “Now if you will both join hands and repeat after me.”
They joined hands. I saw Kaity straighten up as if trying to be taller and Dallas swallow hard.
The preacher turned to Dallas first. “’I, Dallas Knight’.”
Dallas cleared his throat a little, his breath trembling as he opened his mouth. “I, Dallas . . .”
And then there was a blue flash and he disappeared.
Kaity jumped back with a gasp.
The preacher looked about ready to profane the holy sanctuary with a few unholy words. I spared him the trouble.
Well then. Time for the backup plan to be enacted.
Everyone was saying something. Lucas was groaning . . . Fernsby was wondering “what in heaven’s name . . .”
General confusion and freaking out was spreading fast among the guests.
I stepped forward, turning in a slow circle and waving my hands to everyone. “Heyyy everybody, please remain calm. Just a slight delay in the ceremonies here and we’ll be back with you shortly. Sit tight and everything’ll be fine in just a bit here. Thank you.”
Eh, it didn’t do much. But a few people calmed down. I strode over to Kaity really quick.
She was just staring at the spot where Dallas had been, blinking.
“Hey.” I reached out and patted her shoulder.
She looked up, still in shock.
“It’s okay, Kaity. He accidentally got his powers flipped back on last night and has been having a bit of trouble with them. Just with all the nervousness and all . . . being in front of people . . . we figured it all out beforehand on the off chance that this happened and it’s fine.” I managed a smile down at her. “Don’t worry, he’s still in the building somewhere. We’ll find him.”
Kaity swallowed and nodded, her expression tightening a little.
“Something to tell the grandkids about though, huh?” I patted her shoulder one more time, then turned and gave News the pre-arranged hand gesture of “let’s move out”.
News and I had already had our backup-plan conference a little before the wedding. And in case Dallas accidentally disappeared, we were splitting up the church.
He took the east side. I took the west side.
And hopefully we’d get through this search as fast as possible.
I made a quick scan of the main chapel room and then went past to all the other rooms. Opening and closing doors everywhere. But no Dallas. And after checking all the doors on the top level, I was starting to get seriously worried.
I tugged at my hair, stopping and frowning. “Where’d you go, Dall?” I muttered.
Still the basement, right?
I blew out my breath and headed for the stairs down to the basement. That technically went into News’s territory as well, but whatever.
I swung open the door and went down the stairs two at a time, going down into the musty church smell that was multiplied by ten down in the basement. I wrinkled my nose a little and blinked a few times, trying to adjust my eyes so I could see. Man, it was dark down here.
I backed up a few steps back to the stairwell and fumbled around for the lightswitch. A lone lightbulb, hanging from the ceiling by a few wires, flickered on, casting yellow light around the small basement and buzzing quietly.
No Dallas visible. There were a few doors around. Closed closet doors. I started towards the first one and paused.
I heard quick, panicked breathing coming from a different one.
I jumped over, yanking open the door as fast as I could. And there he was. Sitting next to a vacuum cleaner in the closet with his head in his hands.
I let out a whoosh of breath. “There you are. Okay, c’mon, let’s go.” I hit his arm and started for the stairs.
He didn’t move, still hiding his face in his hands. His hands which were still very obviously flickering and shaking.
I stopped and tipped my head, walking my few steps backwards, then crouching back down next to him. “Hey, Dall? You okay?”
Dallas took in a shuddery breath and let it out, still not looking up at me. “I-I can’t just . . .” he groaned softly. “I left Kaity. I didn’t even . . . the vows . . . just left her at the altar and . . .”
“Hey, hey, you didn’t do that on purpose. She gets that.”
“I can’t go back up there,” he muttered, clenching his fingers into his hair. “Ev-everyone saw how . . .” He gritted his teeth, groaning again. “Well, I mean I . . . have to I know but . . . I was trying so hard to not have that happen and it didn’t work. On Kaity’s wedding day . . .”
“Dallas, it’s your wedding day too.” I put a hand on his shoulder, trying to get him to look at me. “C’mon. No one’s blaming you.”
For me, who probably would have just walked right back up and cracked some joke to the rest of the assembly to ease the tension if I was in this situation . . . it took a bit of a shift to realize exactly how much mental agony Dallas was in right now.
Dallas who was still getting over the mindset that he couldn’t let people know he needed to eat food to survive.
And this was a wedding, where in his mind everything was supposed to be more than perfect because it was a big day and nearly everyone he loved and respected was here.
In his mind he’d probably just committed an unspeakable sin for which he must become an outcast from all society.
“Hey bud, look at me.”
Dallas took a few seconds, but looked up at my face, his expression still scrunched in an agonized wince.
I raised my eyebrows at him. “Listen, in . . . marriage, or in anything really, people make mistakes. Everyone does and you have to know that going in, that you can’t just get everything exactly right. I mean . . . God knows you’ll do a whole lot better than I could at a lot of that stuff, but you gotta give yourself a break sometimes. Not everyone’s gonna hate you because of one flub up.”
Dallas bit on his lower lip and looked back down at his hands, twisting them together in his lap. He took a couple of deep breaths, then pushed back to his feet. “Okay.”
I got up with him, giving a smile. “Alright then. Let’s get you married.”
All the commotion in the main room died down as soon as I walked in with Dallas.
I waved a hand. “Yep, got him. Everyone please take your seats and let’s get this thing back on track.”
Thankfully, everyone more or less listened to me.
Dallas didn’t look at anyone, instead fixing his gaze at some indeterminable spot on the wall behind the preacher as he walked back up to his spot. I was caught in the scramble of the rest of the groomsmen to get back into our lineup.
I waved off a few questions and shushed people, just saying that I’d found the groom and he was here now and the subject should be dropped.
And then, slowly but surely, the rest of the church fell silent.
Everyone was back in position.
Dallas and Kaity back in front of the pastor, who looked quite frazzled by now, Dallas still looking physically in pain from embarrassment and Kaity still looking slightly worried, but mostly relieved.
“Right,” the preacher said. A little louder than necessary. He shuffled through his small book, opening to a certain page and pointing his finger down to a line. “Let’s pick back up where we were, shall we?”
Dallas winced and swallowed.
“Now, if you’ll please join hands again.”
“And Mr. Knight, if you’ll repeat after me,” he continued, moving a little faster like he was trying to get as much in before one of the couple disappeared again. “’I, Dallas Knight . . .’”
Another blue flicker caught my eye and I winced.
Dallas took a breath and looked at the ceiling as he slowly let it out.
C’mon, buddy. You got this.
I saw Kaity give Dallas’s hands a small squeeze with her own. She smiled reassuringly as he looked back down.
And there was a bit of Dallas’s smile coming back. His hands stopped flickering.
His voice was quiet, but he repeated the words.
“I, Dallas Knight . . .”
“Do take you, Kaitlin Culpepper . . .”
“Do take you, Kaitlin Culpepper . . .”
He repeated the rest of the words with a bit of a stronger voice, the tremble gone now.
For richer or poorer. In sickness and health. Until death do us part.
You know, if you’re repeating after someone else, it’s usually a little hard to make it sound like you really mean it. But I’m telling you right now that Dallas meant every word from the bottom of his heart.
There was a second of silence after they finished the regular vows. The preacher nodded to Dallas, who took another breath before speaking again.
“Kaity, I . . .” he stopped for a second. “While I really didn’t understand you at first . . . just why you liked me or how actual love was even supposed to work or . . . any of it. It’s hard to imagine now what life would be like without you. You’re . . . the best person in the world to me and I promise I’ll always do my best to keep you happy and safe for the rest of both of our lives.” He gave Kaity a shaky smile. “I love you.”
Then his expression shifted to terrified concern for a few seconds as Kaity let out an overwhelmed, quiet sob.
“Oh my goodness I’m sorry, did . . .?”
“No, no, Dallas, it’s happy. Happy crying. It’s okay.” She sniffled a little, giving a small laugh and beaming at him.
Dallas looked relieved, but still a little worried. “Oh. I . . . alright.”
I bit my lip, trying to hold back my own idiotic grin.
Then it was Kaity’s turn to repeat the vows. And she definitely matched Dallas there on sincerity again. Man, I was never looking at the plain vanilla wedding vows the same way again, after hearing these two say them.
The preacher gave her the small nod cue to say anything else she wanted.
Kaity took a deep breath and let it out, just fixing her gaze on Dallas’s face for a few seconds before speaking.
“Dallas, I’ve loved you . . . honestly pretty much since my family was first watching all those Hero Project promotionals.” She laughed a little, ducking her head for a second. “All my brothers thought Amazing Man was the coolest thing ever and . . . no offense Mr. Fernsby, you really are . . . amazing.”
Charles chuckled and shook his head. Kaity smiled and started in again.
“But I only had eyes for his sidekick. I mean . . . you weren’t particularly physically impressive. Your powers took a while to behave themselves and . . . well . . . it looks like they still don’t sometimes.” Dallas’s face reddened and Kaity made a small face at him. “It was just that in all of the interviews and every time we’d see something with . . . you fighting the forces of evil or . . . things like that . . . “
I could tell it was involuntary, but she glanced over at me for a split second.
Yeah, I know.
I wiggled my eyebrows.
Kaity’s grin stretched a little sideways as she kept talking. “You always had such a true hero’s heart. And you still do. That’s what I fell in love with and it only became more obvious when I got to know you in real life. Just . . .” she blew out another breath and shook her head a little to get her hair out of her eyes without letting go of Dallas’s hands. “You’re my hero, Dallas Knight. And I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be your wife.”
Man, there was something in my eye.
I blinked a couple of times to clear my vision and cleared my throat. And to my surprise, as I looked, Dallas was actually having a more serious problem with something in his eye.
What do you know?
Kaity squeezed his hands a little again.
Dallas coughed out a bit of a laugh, smiling. “Is this it? Happy crying? I’ve never had that before.”
Kaity gave a quiet laugh along with him. “I think so.”
The preacher stepped back, holding up his hands as he closed the book. “I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Knight!”
I cupped my hands around my mouth. “You may now kiss the bride!”
And, for once not nervous in front of a crowd, Dallas did.
All together now…
Hope you guys enjoyed your cuteness/happiness dose for the day. ❤
Have a great rest of your week!
And…. dang…. rest of your June. Where does the time go?