PHD #523: Under the Eyes of Philomeides
Under the Eyes of Philomeides
Summary: Quinn and Bran finally get hitched.
Date: 03 Aug 2042 AE
Related Logs: A whole relationship story arc's worth.
Bran Cidra Evandreus Kallistei Leyla Quinn Sawyer Trask Ulixes Amato Malani 
Lake Philomeides - Gemenon
Nearly thirty miles across and fifty miles long, Lake Philomeides is the terminus of the great River Ourania that winds its way through the canyons of eastern Gemenon. The roar of Lampridis Falls can be heard day and night as two thousand cubic meters per second of pure fresh water pound down the red cliffs on its far western side. Below them rise gentle ridges covered with dense scrub and the occasional stand of trees, all of them crisscrossed by hiking paths and nature trails now partially overgrown. The wreckage of a sunken side-wheeler juts out from the middle of the lake, her crimson paddles covered with algae and barnacles, her two white-and-red smokestacks pointing down toward the surface. The words 'PRINCESS MARY-ANNE' are still visible on her stern, each peeling gold letter gleaming brightly on a beveled black plaque.

On the lake's eastern bank stretch the five marinas of Lampridis Town, only two of which survived the Cylon Holocaust. They're home to a forest of boats, whose tall masts and billowing sails lend the shore a splash of gaudy color. On its south-western side amidst a orchard of apple trees rise the great marble columns of a temple over a thousand years old, sacred to Aphrodite Pandemos — the Goddess of that Love which all people share.

Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close
Post-Holocaust Day: #523

It may not be one of the lush knolls to have been found on the Quinn family homestead back on Aerilon, but Lake Philomeides is undeniably picturesque and a more than suitable place to hold a small wedding ceremony. In the distance of the western bank roars and cascades Lampridis Falls, majestic by all but the most jaded of standards. Here, on the southwestern shore, nestled against the fragrant apple orchard that ensconces deeper within the marble temple of Aphrodite Pandemos, a handful of Harriers have assembled to witness the formal joining of two of their own.

Concealed in a little nook until the bridal theme commences, a very dapper Kal Trask awaits for his cue to walk his self-adopted sister down what passes for an aisle. Even though he's already done his duty to tell her how beautiful she looks — which is a most earnest assessment — he does so yet again. "Really. I can't get over that you're even more stunning than I am. That is no insignificant feat."

And then Maggie makes her appearance. The dress is a summery sort of dream, elegant, heart achingly feminine and well sewn to her body. It's a cream gown with an empire waist. Sheer, periwinkle fabric has been sliced into triangular pleats from the waist down, and is sewn into a scarf like halter behind her throat. It makes the gown almost like some dancer's garb, flowing and easy around Maggie's still somewhat hourglass frame. The periwinkle fabric matches the garland of wildflowers that just slightly pull her perfect waves of red off of her face. Otherwise, Maggie's hair falls free and half way down her back in luscious, long locks. Her hair has grown quite a bit since the end of the worlds. She's smiling, just a touch of make up making her lips and cheeks glow. Her eyes momentarily flicker across the crowd, and then they land on Bran for a few long heartbeats. Finally, she reaches her fingertips out for Trask, swallowing her heart back down her throat. "…T-thank you. We should do this before I faint…" She breathlessly laughs.

Evandreus' choice of wardrobe is almost completely rendered unto insignificance by the cute little yellow dress and matching flowered headband the little 'flower girl' riding in the harness on his chest is wearing. Behold the adorable, nevermind the Bus Driver. Fortunately, Short Kal is not yet big enough to stop Evan from holding onto a concertina he's been practicing with since preparations have been underway for the event, keeping it above kicking range and out of grabbing range for the optimum ability to play it undisturbed. He's settled up near to what's working for an altar, doubling as musical accompaniment and bridesmaid of sorts, looking down toward where he can just spy Boots, looking for some sort of go signal.

Cidra is in attendance. No gown for the CAG, but she's in her dress grays, ruddy brown hair swept up in a more elegant style than the haphazard bun she favors on duty. The faintest hint of a bittersweet little smile graces her lips as she spots Quinn, and she offers the Raptor pilot a deep inclination of her head.

Off to the side, opposite Evandreus, who has been set on the side of the bride's family, is Leyla, dressed, as well, in her dress greys, neat and pressed, and comfortably settled on the side of the groom, Bran, her brother in everything but blood. There's a quietness to the woman that seems as much a part of her as it always does, but the smile that comes now and again is indication enough of the joy she takes in the event.

Sawyer is here with her faithful camera, already having snapped stylistic photographs of the setting as well as some candids while everyone was preparing and dressing for the occasion. With the assembled group being the closest thing she has left to a family - the closest thing a lot of them still have - all the pictures she's taking are far more personal than any she'd have taken merely for her job. Not a part of the wedding party, but bearing a matching flower in her hair to the bride's own, Sawyer sits now with her camera idle, toying with the hem of her sundress as she waits for the progression of the bride to begin for a new round of photos. The nervous gesture has her running the fabric between her fingers, the fidgeting her only tell that she's not entirely as placid as her facial features make her out to be.

Picturesque and beautiful: Those two words sure do describe the scenery well enough but not quite Bran given his constant self-correcting of his dress greys or general anxiety in trying to be just as perfect as the background is; he's about as disorganized as usual and doesn't have a pen on hand to click at with his usual of tics. Then he takes notice of Quinn, which leads into his standing there with a deepened breath. At first standing at ease, and smiling, he relaxes his posture all the more and retains just the smile from his position at the would-be altar.

With Shortcut sitting on the bride's side of the aisle, possessed of a silent excitement, it's only fair that Team Bran has an equal showing. It is there that Matatau Amato and his apprentice-slash-assistant Malani respectfully regard the proceedings, their ceremonial tools already prepped for their role in the marriage rites.

The Go Signal for which Evan has been waiting is nothing more than a quizzical 'We're supposed to start now, right?' look. Frakked if Trask actually knows. Instinctively, his gaze flickers to the left to register Bran. Okay, good. The groom hasn't bailed, so that can't possibly be the reason for the hold-up. And so it's back to Bunny, with a 'Dude, we're kinda waiting on you' expression upon the SL's face. Without missing a beat, he quietly quips to the understandably anxious bride, "I'll carry you down there if I have to, but the threshold is Sam's job." Because, even now, he can't be entirely serious. Affectionately, he gives her arm a squeeze with the one of his own that she's looped through.

Quinn has always been a sort of take charge kind of gal. With everyone here, gathered and ready, her arm through Trask's arm, Maggie doesn't actually wait for music. This doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to happen, so she's married, she has a proper family. "I'll be fine. Let's go," she whispers, and then she begins to take a few steps forward, suspecting Evandreus will catch up with the music a moment later. She just looks to Bran now, as they walk, smiling wider as she catches his eyes.

The rehearsal may have been a little fuzzy, as evidenced by the awesome communication skills of the elite Raptor squadron. But Bunny lifts his chin at the look from Boots, then nods his head, crossing one leg over the other and taking a deep breath. Don't frak it up, Buns. A long note serves to introduce the area to the fact that the music is starting, protracted and echoing in the little lakeside glade. And then, like that, the note fades into near-silence, hovering there before it explodes into a flurry of a tune, light-hearted and skittering but with the depth of a song long-tested by time, surviving from some primal pull it has upon the heartstrings, an undercurrent of home.

The appearance of the bride, the gown, the dapper SL on her arm… or is she on his… brings a wider smile to Leyla's lips. Elder sister to her younger, Leyla seems more than happy to see these two finally taking the steps they've been waiting so long for. And from Quinn, to Evandreus, and the bundle of yellow on his chest. And then back to watch the procession.

As the wedding literally stirs to life with both music and movement, Sawyer slips back to her feet and lifts the camera at the wedding. Thankfully the flash isn't needed, so the only distracting aspect of her presence is the subtle click every time the shutter flashes closed and another moment in time is preserved in digital format. Behind the camera, the reporter's lips subtly curve into a warm smile, no doubt spurred both by the bride and the sight of Kal in dress greys. She's a girl. She's allowed to get a little mushy at weddings.

Cidra blinks as the wedding music begin, watching as Trask escorts Quinn down the aisle, slightest of smiles remaining in place. She watches, silently, breathing deep of the outside air and listening close to the joyful music. It's a fine day, indeed.

Bran ends up glancing aside to the ones around him, trying to send a gesture or two of what is the problem without signaling too much given he's trying to look all sorts calmed and collective. That's about when he turns back to Quinn and returns to smiling, resettling his feet even if he isn't going to bolt any time soon. Then the music plays and all is well again. That's a decent load off of his chest. He can do this. He can totally do this. He's going to do this.

What is not a Harrier but someone who skillfully navigates turbulent, low-visibility situations? Surely a wedding qualifies as such. Minor trouble with the launch notwithstanding, it's a smooth course towards the groom. With a loving, brotherly kiss to the beaming bride's cheek, Trask disengages from Maggie and maneuvers to get her in proper position for Bran, whom he solidly pats on the shoulder in a 'you totally know I will grind you into dust if you hurt her, but I otherwise approve and bestow upon you my blessing' way. That done, he steps aside and gives Evandreus a beckoning tilt of his head. If anyone's going to be speaking some poetic pre-vow address, it's best to leave it to someone skilled at that kind of thing.

For his part, Bootstrap simply steps aside, pausing to determine that he's at a suitable distance, which actually might look a wee bit comedic, and then assumes a laissez-faire parade rest. A few months ago, his universe would've felt ravaged by a sense of abandonment. Today, however, as much as any person is humanly capable, he's full of selfless love and happiness for the woman inked and carved into his arm as his sister.

Quinn finishes the walk down the aisle, catching everyone's eyes for a heartbeat or two — Cidra, Leyla, Evandreus, Sawyer, and of course her boys up front. She slips from Trask's arms to Bran's arm, returning the kiss to Trask's cheek gently before she fully breaks off and just settles at Bran's side. She quietly mouths, "I love you…" As the priestess in front invites Evandreus, and any others who wish to speak, to step forward and give their words to see the couple off.

There are a few more clicks from Sawyer's camera before she's lowering it partway. She keeps it poised at chin level, watching the passing off of the bride from brother to fiancé with a sort of wistful look on her face. It's hard to say exactly what place it stems from, but the expression quickly disappears as she raises the camera again. Click.

Cidra is still and silent for her part, as the ceremony begins. Cloudy blue eyes perhaps, just perhaps, a little misty as she look on her two pilots. The happy couple.

Silence as well, from Leyla, though the glance from Quinn receives a warm smile, and a nod, as close as such a special occasion can allow the woman to get to a thumbs up. Once Quinn is successfully handed off, she turns all of her attention to the front, and the sharing of words. But none from the blonde pilot. Perhaps she has something saved for later.

It's a nice easy round of a tune, too, so when the Bunny gets to the end of it he can tie it right back to the beginning of the thing and on and on until the bride has been handed off to the groom and the pair are in place, letting Bunny slow down the pace of the round and come to a nice, easeful conclusion. He unfolds himself from the chair and sets the concertina upon it, giving his thumbs instead for Short Kal to hold onto as he strolls her on up to the pair, looking to his Mumsie with eyes already a little watery. He clears his throat, and begins.

"When all the spirits of heaven fell in love with Aphrodite, and she had all the strong and virile Lords in competition for her hand, she gave her heart to Hephaestus, the limping god, whose haggard shape, when set next to her beauty, was said to have made all who looked upon their wedding to laugh." He breaks there in the story to cut a slice of a smile and lean to Bran, joking, "No offense, dude," before he goes on. "And Aphrodite… she didn't blush from their laughter, but she said… let them laugh and be merry, for laughter is joy, and a marriage should be built on joy and on shared laughter and smiles. And so the Lord Zeus smiled on the wedding, and named the heavenly daughter Philomeides… she who rejoices in the sound of laughter. This last year and a half has seen a lot of opportunity to mourn, and only a few to laugh and be joyful. This one here's a good example of the latter," he adds with a grin, bouncing to jostle the baby at his chest, eliciting a gurglegiggle from Short Kal. "So here? Now? Let's store up the joy and smiles we can, in this union, under the eyes of Philomeides. We love you, mom," he adds, by way of finishing up the speech quickly before tears start coming.

Bran quietly, weakly chuckles under the weight of the pat to his arm; he's not nervous at all, he's happy. He also figures he should sober up his expression some with another relatively deepened breath and turn to better face Quinn after glancing over his shoulder to the others behind him. He dares an "I love you more" being mouthed back before listening in. He doesn't even take offense, just a quick and good-natured chuckle from the likes of him. "Perfect eloquence as always," is murmured by the ECO.

At that little speech, Kal seems momentarily stunned, blinking. Surely he knew it'd be lovely and poignant and romantic, seeing how it's Evandreus speaking, but the man nonetheless was not fully prepared to feel such a stirring from his stuffed into a burlap sack sense of sentimentality. "And this is why I delegate," he tells everyone with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor. Then, to the bride and groom, he adds, "But, yeah. What Buns said."

There is a subdued little laugh from Sawyer sometime around when Evandreus says 'no offense' but rest assured by the time the little tale is through, even the reporter who prides herself on being able to outwardly control her emotions (well, mostly, as long as you don't ask Trask) is looking a little glossy eyed.

Maggie listens to those words, blinking a few more tears back as she squeezes Bran's hand tightly. She nods a silent thanks towards Evandreus. And then she looks back to the priestess who calls for the vows from the couple themselves. Maggie breathes in slowly and then looks to Bran and only Bran. For the moment, the rest of the world is forgotten. "Sam… family was my entire life. A dozen siblings on a tiny farm, helping each other survive, and then I left for the stars. I didn't look back. I forgot who I was. But fate doesn't let us forget. She gave me Kallistei as a blessing, and then she gave me you. My completion. She gave me my family, and you are our rock. My partner, Kalli's father, the final heart that was missing. I love you so much, these words seem foolish to try and encompass it. All I can hope is that our family will grow, if not in blood, then in love, for decades to come."

Cidra is allowing herself to shed a few tears now as well. They fall slowly at first, just trailing down her cheeks as she listens to Quinn's words. Her own eyes go to no one specific at the ceremony, beyond the couple, though eventually they do drift off, into the blue heavens of the sky, and perhaps up to the stars hidden above.

Evandreus continues to bounce a little bit, keeping Short Kal occupied as she sees her mom and begins to make Wanty Wanty noises. But he manages to keep her from making too much of a fuss while he tries not to drip too many tears on her head.

People are totally going to start crying sometime soon and Bran should look around just to see who does and when they do. That thought is shoved into the back of his mind which leads back into his overall amazement, thanks to Quinn. He smiles to her, holds her hands. "I, uh," he lamely starts when it's his turn. There's a choked laugh, appreciative of everything, of everyone gathered. "Well, my entire life I've focused on my duty to the Fleet. For the longest of times, that was my family. It never made me feel complete though, always striving for more. Then, I met you and everything felt right in spite of it all these past months. As your husband, I will always love you. I will hold your heart, our family, gently through all of our lives together. I will laugh with you, cry with you. I'll be there for you. Margaret Quinn, I love you." Rings? Rings.

Rings? That's Kal's cue. Popping behind the alter, he retrieves some soft-woven cord he traded for. The kind that is suitable for a traditional Aerilonian handfasting. "Lemme just get in here for a minute," he says, trying to loop and sash it like he'd been told to do when he acquired the thing. That done, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small box of blue velvet, and he props open the lid to reveal two gold rings. They are simple but pretty: one a woman's wedding band, and the other an engagement ring with a modest-sized but quality diamond. These are proffered to Bran so the groom can utilize his free hand to place them on his bride.

Speaking of which, "Oh, yeah," Trask tacks on. "It'd help if I held this." The bouquet, that is. That way Maggie's able to accept the tokens.

A curious look, from Leyla, as she sees the goings-on. Truth to tell, she's never been to anything but a Taurian wedding, and they don't do any of this rope and rings stuff. At least not in her town. So it's all new to her. To her credit, she does try to mask the curiosity. It wouldn't do to just be staring at the couple trying to get a handle on what's going on.

There are some things that can be captured with a camera, but others still that need to be seen with an unaided eye. Slowly, Sawyer lowers the camera again, her head poised slightly quizzically to the side as she watches the proceedings and seemingly focus for a moment on the ring box. Finally, there's another little snort of laughter and she's hiding once more behind a lens.

Quinn drops a few more tears, especially as Kal wraps the handfasting rope around their palms, joining their hands together for their lives. She can't stop crying after that, but they are all tears of joy. And then rings are pulled out and her jaw just drops in shock. She didn't expect this in the least. Her eyes dart between Kal and Bran, trying not to cry any further as she just nods in mute, overwhelmingly happy acceptance.

Evandreus stifles a tearful giggle himself as he reflects upon the fumbling going on at the altar. But it's hardly a foul omen, a tripping at the threshold of a marriage, but just another moment of laughter between family.

This is the hard part. Bran mustn't drop one of the rings. There's a quick nod of his head to his SL in muted thanks and appreciation before he actually tries to move after the handfasting. He's slow and careful, delicate, with his movements like explained to him. "Just, uh," the man doesn't finish the statement but he does return to his happy grinning.

Where did those rings come from? That's one answer the investigative journalist already knows, seeing how they had been hers until she lost a certain wager. Bran, however, had been kept in the dark about the jewelry's origins and told to take the credit. Odds are that Maggie will eventually piece things together. And if she never does, the look on her face at this exact moment is more than enough for Trask. The man, after all, has his rare moments of making up for being such an insufferable ass, and those moments truly are epically thoughtful.

'Just, uh.' Bran's hemming and hawwing makes the Bunny grin lopsidedly and edge his way across there to elbow him a little. "Go on and kiss her already, dude," he stage-whispers.

Quinn stands there, waiting for Bran with wide, expectant eyes. He's the man, it's his job to lean in and take his kiss already!

"I am- I am. You can't rush perfection, you know." Bran looks aside with a mock scoff and then melts down into a good-natured grin, followed by his turning back to Quinn. He lingers there for a moment in just smiling but that doesn't last for too long given it's kissing that needs done. He pushes aside any anxiety and steps in closer, bridging that distance between the two of them just so he can take his kiss.

Quinn laughs deeply, and then her lips are taken by Bran's, and it's almost all over. She practically falls into his arms, letting him cradle her whole body for an almost indecently long, deep kiss for the public hemisphere. She presses tight to him, savouring every last second of their first kiss as husband and wife. Finally, though, she has to come up for air. She slowly pulls away, smiling wide and teary eyed to him before she turns to the crowd and the Priestess does announce: "Presenting, Mr. and Mrs. Linus Bran!" Maggie gives a bit of a wave.

Sawyer is through being the good journalist, recording everything for prosterity's sake. Afterall, she can't hoot, holler and otherwise make a very unladylike ruckus at the kiss and the proclaimation of the married couple.

As the happy couple are announced, in the time between the part of the wedding that speaks to Quinn's heritage and the one that speaks to Bran's, Leyla steps finally forward from her position on the groom's side. She asks no accompaniment, but only settles herself and begins to sing. In deference to Quinn and those who do not speak the Taurian language, she sings the song through once in her native language, and then in standard.

Ko te aroha ano- he wai
E pupu- ake ana
He awa e ma-puna mai ana
I roto i te whatu— manawa
I roto i te whatu— manawa

Ko tona matapuna he ho-honu
A- ina ia ka rere ano-
A- ina ia ka rere ano-

He tai timu
He tai pari
He tai ope
He tai ora
He tai nui

Love is like water
continually bubbling up
a river that will keep flowing
from within the very seat of the emotions.

From a very deep source
it will keep on rising

an ebb tide
an incoming tide
a forceful tide
a living tide
a full tide.

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