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"Okay, so what do you think about this?" Erin rested her back against the front passenger door of the Maserati convertible and studied the binder in her lap. She addressed her question to Trevor's legs, since they were the part sticking out from under the car. "We have the wedding in May, on the grounds here, over by that pond Aquaria's been mucking out. We get a trellis and a little platform built, rent a bunch of chairs, and have a florist do up a whole pile of flowers and cattails and stuff so it looks nice out there. Then we clean out the second floor ballroom, get a serious waxing done on the floor and have the bulbs in the chandeliers replaced, and have a reception in there? Easy, and we don't even have to go anywhere." 

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"Makes sense," Trevor's voice echoed from under the ostentatiously orange four-seater, a slight grunt underlying his voice as he twisted about to get the leverage he needed. The Maserati's owner hadn't been taking particularly good care of the car, at least not by the dark haired mechanic's standards, but at least she'd been actually driving it, which placed her ahead of his backlog of appointments for showroom pieces. A distressing number of the idly wealthy simply wanted modifications done to their already ludicrously expensive luxury vehicles simply for the sake of having larger numbers to rattle off to impressed party guests and Trevor had not problem making them wait in favour of someone who could at least articulate why they wanted their handling tightened up ever so slightly.

It was still a challenge to resist the urge to go above and beyond using custom components and technologies that would have been difficult to explain outside of military equipment but he managed. "Good excuse to fix up a couple more rooms, too, hnh?"

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"Maybe," Erin allowed coyly, grinning down at her binder. "We'd need to remodel at least the big back kitchen and the second floor bathrooms. The plumbing up there is more haunted house than manor house. But besides that, it's just, you know, spruce up the ballroom and that coatroom thing and that sitting room up there, and we can just close off the rest of the house." She tapped her pen against her lips. "Unless we wanna have guests staying in the guestrooms, but that might be too much of a hassle." 

She leaned sideways to stick her head under the car and have a look at what Trevor was doing. "Greasy," she observed. "If you're going to paint a Maserati such a terrible color, the least you can do is look after the poor thing." 

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"To be fair, brought it here. Almost like looking after it," Trevor reasoned even as he found another component that was going to need to be replaced entirely and pursed his lips slightly in mild annoyance. Needing a brief break from all of that, he looked down the length of his own body to meet Erin's eyes, ruby red irises reflecting what little light there was under the car. "Know I've dragged my feet on remodeling, restorations. Sorry." With everything going on in their lives it had never seemed like an immediate priority, especially since there was only so much room in the manor that they used with any regularity but Erin had an equally valid point in that it was a shame to let large swaths of their home deteriorate. "Torque driver?" he requested, holding out one hand.

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"It's only been a few months, really," Erin pointed out, handing him the needed tool. "And there's been a lot going on, so it's not like we've just been procrastinating. But it would be kind of nice to really open the house up for a party, get it looking really cool again." She rolled to her stomach on the garage floor, the better to watch him working. Erin didn't always come out to the garage when Trevor was working late on a car, but it was nice sometimes to lend a hand or just spend some time with him. Plus she could lift the car with one hand if he needed to get under it, which was a pretty useful skill. "So May at the house, and we'll line up some contractors over the winter. How do you feel about little sheep?" Erin consulted the binder, her forehead furrowing. "Alex suggests 'little white sheep wandering around the grounds for a pastoral feel.'" 

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There was a dull thud followed by muted muttering as Trevor bounced his forehead off of the undercarriage. "Sheep. As in the wool-producing animal?" The cleaned out pond and a trellis for flowers had all sounded pretty reasonable and nice within a certain aesthetic but he wasn't at all sure about actual livestock. "Just... loose? Don't know. What do sheep even eat?" he pondered, setting the torque driver down on the garage floor so that he could massage his forehead. "Is pastoral good? Are we aiming for pastoral?" Neither of them came from rural backgrounds but he supposed a wedding was something like a themed party to begin with so perhaps Erin had her heart set on emulating that sort of setting. He couldn't really fathom why Alex might have suggested it otherwise. "Oh. Wait. 'Black sheep' joke?"

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"I have no idea," Erin admitted. "I think they eat grass? I mean, I guess they must, everything on the farm eats grass. Except chickens," she added. "And pigs? Basically all I know is that if the farmer doesn't take care of them, the goats seem to be the only thing that survives, pretty much. When I was going through the midwest, I'd stop sometimes and open up gates and fences, but it was pretty much just goats and chickens left by then." She shrugged. "Having them on the lawn seems like a recipe for sheep poop anyway. We can scratch that one. Live music for the ceremony and reception? Seems less smelly, anyway." 

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It was tough to see in the shadows under the car but Trevor's expression softened slightly into a subtle frown when Erin described her first hand experience of the hardiness of goats. It was impossible to ever actually forget the horror that she'd come through before they'd met but there was still always a little surge of irrational frustration that it could have been prevented. It was hard to shake the visceral image of her walking alone past abandoned farms littered with the bodies of animals less able to fend for themselves.

Shaking it off without comment, he instead replied, "Live music. Absolutely. Much better than sheep offal."

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"Truly spoken," Erin agreed, not seeming to notice the moment of melancholy. "We'll make sure it's a band that can do swing music, that'll be fun. We haven't gotten to go out dancing in forever." She made a checkmark on the top sheet of the binder. "And maybe like a string quartet for during the ceremony, cause that'll be a lot easier than hauling a piano onto the lawn. And they'll sound good, I like that string music stuff. Um, let's see, officiant." Erin chewed on her lower lip as she moved down the page. "Who should we get to actually do the ceremony? We could just hire a justice of the peace or something, but it would probably end up being a supervillain in disguise or something." 

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Trevor made a soft grunt of consideration as he returned to working on the undercarriage of the Maserati. "Hnh. Could get a recommendation from someone?" he suggested in lieu of a better suggestion before joking, "Mark is probably certified to officiate weddings." The suggestion was a joke, anyway. That actually did seem like something their friend would have taken time to add to his repertoire for the sheer drama of it. "Nina is like a ship's captain." Although he maintained his perfect deadpan it was increasingly clear that something about trying to imagine the most unlikely candidate had struck a chord with his particular sense of humour.

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"Definitely not Mark. Not ever Mark." Erin shook her head vigorously. "God only knows what kind of vows we'd end up signing onto if he was the one leading them. But he'd be a good groomsman," she suggested. "I bet he'd throw a hell of a bacheor party. I was thinking about having Nina for one of my attendants, like maybe it might help bring her into the group more?" she mused. "Do you think Headmaster Summers, our headmaster Summers, the old one, would he be able to perform a wedding?" 

Edited by Electra

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Trevor considered the question for a moment, pausing in his work. "Maybe? Was always surprisingly prepared but seems like a stretch even for him. Could ask." He wasn't sure how one went about broaching that sort of topic but they weren't going to get very far by guessing. The whole organization of the wedding seemed to be rife with unfamiliar or awkward social situations but that wasn't much of a surprise. "Think Nina would appreciate being asked at the very least, mmh. And groomsmen. Right. How many of those am I supposed to have...?" Neither of them had the largest social circles outside of their costumed identities. He was beginning to feel less like he was planning an intimate ceremony and more like he was fielding a small army.

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Erin shrugged. "As many as I have bridesmaids, I guess. I think it's supposed to be like matched sets. I was thinking about Alex and Eve and Nina, and maybe Yolanda to be a junior bridesmaid who gets to wear a dress but not go to the bachelorette party. So you'd need three guys and an optional fourth younger guy, and then we need to round up some kids for flower girl and ring bearer, but I think that's it. Unless, like ushers? I guess? I don't know. I'll ask Alex about that one. Who do you want to ask?" 

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"Mark," Trevor replied immediately, even though he assumed it went without saying. He'd been putting off formally asking his friend to perform as best man to postpone the ensuing fit of excitement but it seemed like largely a formality anyway. It was the best man's role to ensure that everything proceeded smoothly, as he understood it, and he knew for a fact Mark had given weddings in general far more thought than he ever had. "Joe." One didn't charge into battle over and over with someone over the years without wanting them close at hand for a different sort of ordeal as well. He mulled over his other options. Corbin wouldn't be available, he knew, and he didn't really have very many close friends, male or otherwise. How necessary was that qualification, he wondered? "Hnh, Redbird." Furion customs were different from their own but it was hard to name anyone else who'd done more to preserve the sanctity of date night and otherwise support both of them since the moment they'd met.

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"I like that," Erin agreed with a nod. "Redbird will probably be really pleased, too. She likes all that ritual and stuff, I think it reminds her of the Furions. Better not let her give any of the toasts , though. Or do any of the planning. I'm not sure we'd survive the tug of war betwen her and Alex. We'll have to figure out the guest list, but that's something I'm way willing to let Alex start and then play with, cause I don't even know how to start there. Gives me a headache, makes me start daydreaming about Las Vegas."

 

Snagging a creeper from near the tool kit, she rolled under the car, right next to Trevor. "They wouldn't hate us like, forever forever if we ditched them all and eloped, right?" she asked, reaching out to ruffle her fingers through his hair. "And we could do a honeymoon right there in one of the hotels. I hear they have hot tubs shaped like wine glasses and all kinds of weird crap." 

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"Probably not forever," Trevor agreed easily, setting the torque driver down on the cement and tilting his head into her fingers as much as he could in the cramped space underneath the car. The garage had a more fully equipped repair bay a little further inside but it was currently occupied by an ongoing project and he tended to be a bit of a traditionalist in some respects. "Might never forgive myself for taking you on a honeymoon in Las Vegas, though." There was something to be said for skipping all of the ceremony but he was determined to start off their marriage with something a little more spectacular than a novelty jacuzzi in a theme hotel.

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"Yeah, maybe." Erin chuckled, scooting a little closer. "So what did you have in mind instead?" she asked, voice low and teasing. "Seems like planning a honeymoon should be a lot more fun than all the boring wedding planning stuff. I had some ideas..." She was cut off by the sound of her phone, ringing where she'd left it near the door to the garage. The cheerful electronic tones of Owl City's Hello Seattle  made her sigh and close her eyes. "That's Jessie," she told Trevor. "She was upset earlier because of some dustup with Glamazon and Nereid, those Atlantean girls. She's called twice today already." She looked in the direction of the phone, then back to Trevor. "She'll wait, I can always hold her hand later. Honeymoon plans?" 

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A small frown crossed Trevor's face as he reflexively tried to fill in the blanks from that limited information. "Tt, I'll talk to Aquaria next time she's in, get her side." There was more than just tension between the Deep Ones and Atlanteans, he knew, but any first hand account he'd gotten had been unsurprisingly partisan and he wasn't entirely sure how that enmity translated to those of either culture living on the surface. He doubted their enthusiastic groundskeeper would have started any trouble unbidden but he also suspected it would take much more than a particularly unkind word or invasion of personal space to convince Jessie she needed to defend her friend or vice versa. Still, both Nereid and Glamazon had reasonably good reputations to the best of his knowledge and so long as Jessie hadn't been calling from a holding cell it couldn't have been anything too dire. "Rather hear your plans," he told Erin, something almost like playful teasing creeping into his habitually level voice as he turned his attentions back to the present. "Anywhere in the world, what do you think?"

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"Anywhere in the world, huh? We're ruling out space entirely, then?" she teased back, twisting her lithe body till her nose nearly brushed his. "I guess that's fair, from what I saw of space, it's not very romantic. And the beds are incredibly hard. We need someplace with a good bed. A strong bed," she added with a chuckle. "I dunno, I've been thinking about places I've never been. Maybe we could visit Australia. I hear they have really nice beaches, and we had fun with that in France, and then there's all the weird animals and outback touring and crazy stuff they have down there too. Or we could just hole up in a nice hotel suite anywhere for a week, give somebody else the phones and communicators, and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist at all. Both sound pretty good to me." 

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Trevor communicated his high regard for Erin's commitment to structural integrity with a low sound that rumbled from the back of his throat. "Australia. Could be good." Slipping one hand over her waist and hip in the limited space under the car he leveraged his creeper right next to her's, ignoring the protest of wheels sliding sideways across the concrete. Tipping his head until their noses touched he let his lips part in the broad smile that never appeared unless he knew nobody but Erin was watching. "I am going to marry you," he murmured happily, giving it the reverent weight of a mantra, willed into fact by being spoken aloud.

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"Yep," Erin agreed, matching his smile and lifting the car a little so she could scoot right up against him. "You're probably crazy to do it, but hey, I like that about you. Can't be that much scarier than facing down Omega or the armies of hell, right? And the food's going to be a lot better." She took advantage of the close quarters to give him a leisurely kiss, one hand cupped along his jaw. "I've been thinking about names, since Alex brought it up a few days ago. I don't know if I want to take your name, or keep mine, or do some combination of both. I just know that Erin White-Hunter sounds like a character from a Jack London novel and I'm not going with that one." 

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The Maserati creaked softly in protest to Erin's pushing but Trevor didn't seem concerned in the least. "If it's crazy, who'd want to be sane?" he questioned philosophically, leaning his cheek into her fingers as he returned the slow kiss. He pondered the question of names for a moment when it was brought up. "Hrm. Hunter-White still works, I think. Completely up to you." He didn't need to say that enough people had expected her to change her name already, nor that it didn't matter one whit to him what she was called. "Could hyphenate my name too? To match?" His own reference for that sort of thing was a little murky; his mother had hyphenated her name and kept it that way even after his parents had separated for largely utilitarian reasons; there were circles in which 'Hunter' carrier some weight.

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"If you want," she agreed. "I like your name. It suits you. I like my name. It reminds me. And this position is incredibly uncomfortable." With a wry grin, she settled the car into place and slid out from under it, smoothing out her disordered hair until he joined her. "Ten bedrooms in this place and we wind up in the damndest places." Still sitting on her creeper, she rolled over to him and gave him a considerably more thorough kiss than she'd been able to a moment ago, unbuttoning a couple of buttons on his coveralls and running her hands over his shoulders and through his hair. "Wanna play hooky from work and wedding plans?" 

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"Twist my arm," Trevor sighed heavily, the sound turning appreciative as Erin's fingers ran over a shoulder muscle stiff from working under the car. With one hand, lightly stained with engine grease at her waist he leaned forward and guided them downward until her back lay along the creeper. The fingers of his remaining hand found the hem of her t-shirt and rolled it upward so that he could plant a kiss low on her sternum. Working his way even lower he hummed, "Need to start practicing for Australia anyway."

 

A considerable while later they were forced to confront the fact that while the garage had its charms the concrete floor was not particularly comfortable for lethargic cuddling. That didn't stop them from trying, naturally, Erin's creeper having been inadvertently rolled away at some point to knock into a toolbox on the other side of the room.

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Erin yawned and stretched langorously, a lazy smile on her face as she reached for her shirt,which had miraculously landed nearby. "Bedrooms are way overrated," she decided. "Furniture is just a social convention to keep us off the floor. The kinda cold floor," she added, wriggling the shirt back over her head. On the other side of the room, her phone chirped at her, reminding her she had a new voicemail. It had chirped several times, but only now was she ready to feel vaguely guilty about it.

 

She kissed Trevor on the forehead, then rolled easily to her feet and snagged her blue jeans off the windshield of the Maserati as she went to collect her phone. "We've got some ground beef in the fridge," she suggested as she scrolled through her phone's many baffling menus, "and I think some potatoes left too. We could grill out tonight before it starts getting too cold. Maybe some veggies..." Her face went suddenly blank, her eyes flat as the voicemail began to play.

 

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