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Aoiroo

Ringing of the Bells (IC)

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Carrie felt sort of bad and it wasn't just because that her sister made her wear heels. It also wasn't because her face felt heavy from from the pale foundation that evened out her off skin tone and muted out her freckles, or the eye make up that she wanted to rub off just because of how weird it felt or the red clips in her hairr that were holding her bun just a little to tightly. It wasn't because her dress, which wasn't horrible and in fact it fit her well, it was just that it was strapless by popular concenus of the other bridesmaids, which left her with her least comfortable bra being used for the required support. It wasn't even that she was driving for the first time in a good long time as she was loaned her sisters cars to pick up her date. It was in fact, well because of her date.

Now it wasn't because the person she had asked was unpleasant, or even unattractive. He was probably a few notches up there in looks. She might of felt less bad if he wasn't a good guy, because she literately called him out of the blue for a formal occasion she had thought she was prepared for up until she had been warned that her father's aunts were able to make arrangements to come. While she loved her large extended family, being her age and single was a strange and foreign concept to them. While she can take teasing and nagging to a point from the rest of her family who have accepted that slowgoing in this area was a part of her personality, her great aunts seemed to have this strange notion that maybe they should try and help her meet some people to remedy this. Three previous family events in the last eight months led to five proactively prearranged introductions to a variety of 'eligible' guys, as well as three dates that were also arranged without her knowing that led to her standing them up every one for her other standard nightly activities. Tastes, personalities and actual datability aside the whole process was awkward as all hell and to side step it, she had two options avoiding her dear old great aunts, which had worked before, but being an actual part of the ceremony this time sort of highlighted her attendance and would make her not interacting with them rude. So the second option, an alternate was there, which she would of been fine getting usually, except it was hard to find anyone free around Christmas. Even with the late timing she doubted she'd be able to snag any of her guy friends to swing around and help her. Now she was asking someone she had only met once or twice, barely knew out just to serve as a distraction for a wedding date. She did a lot of deliberate using of people in the past, but she prefered she had history and it wasn't something like this so out of the blue.

Having the whole cartrip over to the address he'd given her over the phone the previous night to mull this over didn't help her expression as she got to the front door in the red dress that was mostly covered by her oversized black jacket. She even took a moment to pull out the compact from her pocket to check her face, it was strangely smooth and nice looking, and the red lipstick matched well with the dress, it did not however match the thin lips put into a deep scowl as she closed the mirror and sighed. There was nothing for it, she felt bad, but hopefully she wouldn't make his evening terrible dispite the mind numbing subjection and questions going to be poured on by her relatives. Reaching out a painted finger to the doorbell she let out a final sign before trying to force herself into a smiling,

Well if all else, fails this evening, at least there'll be free food.

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Wesley had never been put on such short notice before! A wedding on Christmas Eve? Still, he was not about to say no to a friend in need. It wasn't like he had plans anyway. This little shindig probably would't cut into his sleeping time. Santa would be proud, he chuckled to himself. But he had to get ready. He had something formal. He cleaned up real nice. Dreads and facial hair perfectly cropped. No tattoos showing, didn't want to upset his date's folks. Now all he had to do was wait for Caroline. A knock on the door, just in time! He opened the door and smiled, "Welcome to..." His joyful tone was cut off. Wow, he thought. He shook his head and tried not to stare. He blushed, "Excuse me. I... uh," He stopped and cleared his throat, "Come in. Or do we have time for that?"

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Taking a second as he asked her to come in she almost instinctively tried to peer pass him into the house. She couldn't see much, but maybe some tasteful furniture and a wall hanging plant but let out a sigh,

"We should, but most likely not. If I'm not there almost immediately I'll get a bunch of worried messages sent to my imaginary cell phone from the bride who while not being able to go three weeks without crashing a computer, can send two dozen well punciated texts a minute."

Moving from the house, she gave a quick appraising look to her date and his striped suit. He cleaned up real well, but wearing something like that demanded a quip,

"Which sax player did you nick this little number off of?"

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Wesley smiled, he knew she didn't know that this was one of her father's Sunday best outfits. Right now it would be needlessly dramatic to even bring it up. He chuckled weakly, "I wish I could have done better for you. It's one of the few suits I own." He smittenly sighed looking her over, "But you my darling, look wonderful. Red is one of my favorite colors." He locked the door and reached out his arm like a proper gentleman, "So, if time is wasting m'lady, let us not waste anymore."

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If she blushed from the display, it was heavily muted by the make up, still she chuckled a little at the display of grandor as she grabbed onto his arm,

"You look really nice too Wes, just busting your chops cause I'm nervous."

Walking over to the dark blue subaru she let out a sigh as she opened the car door and reached under to push back the seat so her date would have adequite leg room before moving over to the drivers side and closing the door. Buckling up, and checking the mirrors she turned the key and let the car buzz to life.

"Didn't tell you before, but I sort of playing maid of honor in this wedding. Probably why I'm so painted,"

Pulling the car onto the street she kept talking as she started off towards the docks,

"Anyway, for when I have to pulled away for helping the bride, or dealing with the drama of the other brides maids, the majority of my father's side of the family is of a Central and South American flavor, so if you can speak Spanish it might help. My mom's side is Polish, most don't live in the country though her sisters are coming, and they're reasonably decent people. Grooms side, don't know the genetics, but there's a lot of military. Grooms father's a general, and he's paying for the venue. It's a yaht by the way, a large one, and it'll all be inside. So, any questions?"

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Wesley nodded in acknowledgement of the apology. If she only knew. Maybe one day they would talk about this, but not today. Today was the day to celebrate the joyous unification of souls. Undue pressure on a maid of honor would seem down right criminal! "Don't worry, Caroline, you look positively stunning in that 'paint'." He listened to the rundown of the guests and what to expect. "Sorry, I don't speak Spanish or Polish. Though I do speak the main dialects of Chinese. Amazing what you learn in the line of work we're in." He chuckled. "So a lot of military, eh? I've heard quite a few stories about our boys and girls in uniform on the table. I do so love hearing those. Seems like your family is a fine bunch." He pondered for a moment, "What side do I sit on? I'm not related to either side. What's the tradition for family's guests in a wedding?"

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She smiled again and snorted at the comment. She knew she looked nice, but stunning was probably a stretch.

"My mom's Polish, but she was born in the states, though she knows Polish her sisters don't so it's not an issue. My dad's family, well most of them know English, but they prefer to speak Spanish, and they all know I speak Spanish so the moment they see me that's likely the language they'll greet in. I'll try to translate when they start, but they all talk really fast."

Easing onto the break as they got to a light she turned to talk to him,

"You sit on the brides side probably, my brother will probably want to chat you up, he'll be the one with dark hair and glasses that pokes out a few inches above everyone elses head. He's has a black belt in nerdy, generally nice, but always has to have the last word in an argument. Also, if a fight breaks out during the reception there is an eighty percent chance that he is directly involved."

As the light turned green she turned the car down the road,

"So, is there anything else you might need to know, other than maybe the whole power restriction. No one in my family knows I'm different except for the bride, and she doesn't know that I'm working nights. Other than that, I'd greatly advise you to be yourself, because you are way to good a guy to try and hide behind some BS you thought up to try and impress other people."

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Wesley

HP: 3 - Condition: Learned

Caroline was modest about her appearance. Wesley admired that virtue in her. He listened to her explaining of things as the car sped along. "Hopefully there will be no fighting on this day of matrimony," he said shaking his head with a smile. "If your family is anything like you've said them to be, then I will have a great time." He sat quiet for a second, then reiterated, "But hopefully no fighting. We get enough of that on the nightly job." He chuckled. "I'm pretty sure I know enough. Is there anything you want me to know or wanted to know about me? This would be the perfect time to say or ask." He smiled.

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Carrie was silent when he offered her asking a question. It sort of made her nervous but she did have one she wanted to ask. As she made it to a stop sign she let out a breath and decided to just ask,

"Why weren't you already booked for today?"

It was something she hadn't thought about fully until than, since she had been hurried for most of the day up to her guilting over dropping this into his lap. It was doubtful he would cancel on somebody, he didn't seem like the type to have it in him. Which meant it was strange, it was Christmas Eve after all. Even if he didn't celebrate Christmas, there were several holidays that came along the exact same string, and because of the shut down of just about every major business during these times it was at very least an excuse to go visit family and friends.

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Wesley

HP: 3 - Condition: Walking on Eggshells

Caroline didn't know. Well, there was no time like the present to learn. But how would he say this without looking either insensitive or distressed. This was a day of happiness, not sadness. He sat silently for a moment trying to collect his memories of Christmas past and put them all back in his mental box. "My friends all have plans. That's the simple answer. They have many things to do today. I'm sure there are more important people than me on their lists." He sat there with his hands folded on his stomach, twiddling his thumbs trying to think of anything to say that would make this pill easier to swallow. "And my family," he paused with hesitation, "I can't see them any more. They've left. But hopefully they see me." He glanced upward, then to Caroline and then forward again. Hopefully this didn't upset her.

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Coming to a stop at a red light, Carrie's hand went instantly to her face as she let out a breath and put her head back on the rest,

"Aww damnit,"

Pinching the bridge of her nose she let out a sigh,

"There isn't a freaking thing I can say to that, that would sound like shallow pity, falsified understanding or something incredibly inappropriate."

Glancing over to the suite again she grimanced,

"And, a suit that looks like it could fit in around the fashion age of the seventies or eighties is probably an inheritance of said deceased family, and now you're going to feel bad about ruining the mood with your own problems. Damnit again, the whole thing turns this into a freaking awkward mess huh."

Looking up she saw the light turned green and she continued down the street before making two more turns than pulling into a marina parking lot. When the car came to a complete stop, she looked at him again and let out another sigh before setting her head onto the headrest again,

"I'm too damn curious for my own good."

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Wesley

HP: 3 - Condition: Comforter

It upset her. Didn't call that happening or anything. "It's not your fault," Wesley said in a comfortingly monotone voice, "You didn't know." He put his hand on hers as she down shifted and lightly squeezed. He looked at her with a gentle smile and spoke with a reassuring voice, "I love my family and keep them in my heart, but today is about something else. You. Your family. The celebration of life. Worry will only keep you from enjoying this momentous occasion. I promise to not say anything more that will make you do so. OK?" He nodded.

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She felt the light squeeze on her hand and looked over at Wesley. Given him a weak and awkward smile she moved her hand away as grabbed the door handle,

"You're really too damn nice, you know that."

Stepping out of the car she grabbed her coat as she moved along to the other side and skimmed the marina for there boat. The luxury yaht was set out near the outer dock and had a few cars down towards it, most likely because the marina itself was probably too small for the larger boat.

Parked just a bit in front of the car was a truck which most likely meant Anny was already here, walking up the walk, Carrie could spot a few cars belonging to several of her relatives and as she got closer to the deck, she saw them chatting it up in there nice clothing as well as a few bridesmaids easily spotted in duplicates of her own dress. The first person, or rather pair of little people to notice her arrival both broke out into a run in their best Sunday clothing. Two newly aged four year olds with brown hair and eyes ran over,

"Auntie Carrie!"

This rather subtle announcement of her arrival brought about the twins parents, a tan dark haired man who dwalfed Carrie by about a foot and a half, and a lighter dirty blond who she in turned dwalfed by two and a half inches. With a much longer stride, Trent made it to Carrie just shortly after his kids whom she had to explain that she could not bend over safetly in her dress before he arrived,

"Hiya shortie."

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Wesley didn't know if that was a compliment or not. Too damn nice? He smiled with a slight bit of confusion. He would have opened the door for her, but she got out before he did. So he did the next best thing. He offered his arm to escort her towards the gathering. Though the gathering would wait, it seemed Caroline had a diversion in the form of a child. Namely two cute kids. Smiling at the situation, the youngsters were followed by their parents, he guessed. Not wanting to be rude and interrupt the reunion, Wesley nodded a greeting and a quiet, "Hello," to the much taller man (he had him by half a foot!) and then his wife. Didn't want to get off on the wrong foot.

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"Hello,"

The woman smiled,

"I'm Carly, and this is Trent."

The taller man raised his hand,

"Yo, see you got my little sis on your arm."

"And I have your littler demons on mine, Trent, tell your demon spawn that I don't have any treats. Anny confiscated them before I came here."

The taller man bent over,

"Rarw!"

The little ones both squelled in delight and started to run as there father started to make an immitation of a monster and started chasing them. Well not really chase, as fast as the two might of been, with there father's stride he only had to walk normally to keep up.

Carrie herself got up straight and dusted off her dress before walking over and giving Carly a light hug than turning to Wesley,

"This is my date, Wesley, this is my sister in law, and as he stated that's my brother chasing his demon offspring."

Carly smiled and gave a nod,

"Does Anny know you're here yet?"

Carrie let out a sigh,

"No, we just got here and I still don't have a cell phone so we should probably head over."

Walking back Carrie grabbed Wes by the arm and led him to the boat.

"Alright, you have officially met the most sane member of my extended family, what do you think so far?"

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