I'll Dance At Your Wedding

set piece: the fifth movement of the Dance sequence


I'll dance at your wedding, I'll dance at your wedding,
I'll dance at your wedding, I'll have a wonderful time.
I'll dance at your wedding, I'll dance at your wedding,
I'll dance at your wedding—your wedding and mine.
—"I'll Dance at Your Wedding", Herb Magidson and Ben Oakland

Apollo woke up with a sense of immense well-being. He lay there for a centon or two, just revelling in the feeling, and then reached out for Starbuck. The other half of the bed was empty. He opened his eyes and looked, but didn't see his blond lifemate anywhere. He got up, and went into the washroom: no Starbuck in the turbowash but he'd been there. Apollo used the facilities and then looked out in the front room. Still no Starbuck. For nearly an entire half centon Apollo was afraid that he'd gotten cold feet and run, but then his sense reasserted itself. The man he'd made love with the night before didn't have a single cold body part, and running was the last thing on his mind.

It was, however, possible that his father had come up with something, though it was unlikely that Starbuck wouldn't have woken him up... He sat down on the bed and spotted the note on the bedside table.

Pol—I'm off with Giles, who says you're not supposed to see me today before the wedding. Strikes me as humorously improbable, or maybe hilariously probable all things considered, but what do I know? Anyway, Giles promises to get me to the church on time. As for you, Boxey promised to wake you by half past seven, if you weren't up already (Apollo picked his chrono up and looked at it: 7:40. Ten centons to spare. He went back to the note.) and give you this. Theni's gonna come pick him up at eight. Boomer, when I woke him, said he'd be over here ... there ... by 7:80 at the latest to make sure you got fed (don't want you passing out halfway through) and dressed. And, yes, I know you already know most of this, but it doesn't hurt to make sure. Right? Do not start repacking, Pol, we did that yesterday and it's only two nights and if you do, you'll be late and mess everything up. If we forgot something crucial, we'll buy it. And it's not like I plan to leave the room anyway... Love you. See you at nine.

Apollo folded the note up and smiled. Such meticulous planning: how unlike Starbuck and yet how like him. Apollo had always known Starbuck could be down to the micron when it counted. He sighed in contentment. Less than two centares and they'd be married.

He'd been a bit startled when they'd actually started talking about the wedding yesterday to discover that it had somehow morphed from a simple him and Starbuck and Boomer in the registrar's office into a rather formal affair in the hall next door to it, with Giles best-manning Starbuck and Rhonda and Freya's four-yahren-old daughter carrying flowers, and Dietra staying up (her Bronze had third shift) to sing 'The Voice That Breathed O'er Eden'—"just joking, Pol"—and virtually everyone that either of them knew who was off duty showing up.

"Your father made his position clear, and they don't like it," Starbuck had said, adding, "Close your mouth. You won't catch any flies, but you do look fairly like an idiot."

"But," Apollo had said, feeling like an idiot.

"He can't clobber everyone," Starbuck said. "And anyway, you deserve it."

At least they weren't wearing dress uniforms... though Starbuck was delectable in his, and thought Apollo looked good in his blues, Apollo had last worn those to Seal with Serina. Not something he wanted anybody thinking about today. Sure, some people would, but he didn't have to encourage them. Besides, as a mere squadron leader, he shouldn't wear blues anyway, and he didn't like the dress tans, and ... well. He was going to be a lot more comfortable in the white and emerald silk that Athena had brought him. He'd never owned anything made of silk before; he'd tried it on and couldn't believe how it felt. Or how Starbuck had looked when he saw him in it.

Starbuck hadn't mentioned that Giles had told him about that bad-luck-to-see-the-bride superstition. He wondered if Giles had mentioned the 'bride' part, decided he probably had. Starbuck had made a couple of comments about joining Apollo's family, and insisted that Apollo get to answer all the questions first. That latter might be just making sure that Apollo actually meant it, but... He'd also refused to tell Apollo what he was going to wear. As long as he didn't get any more bride-like than that, Apollo could appreciate the joke. But he'd better not show up in a gown.

He snickered, suddenly picturing Giles in some horrible peach-toned bridesmaid's gown. That might even be worth it.

Giles... Apollo remembered sitting in the ready room yesterday, polishing up his report and watching Giles and Starbuck down at the other end of the room. They'd been engaging in some kind of equiplay that involved a lot of mock punches and hilarity. He hadn't been able to hear what they were saying, but it hadn't bothered him; he'd just leaned back in his chair and enjoyed watching Starbuck enjoy himself. It had actually been close on to ten centons before he'd realized that that was what he was doing: enjoying it. Not a smidge of jealousy. Just pure pleasure at watching Starbuck move and laugh and have fun.

He would probably never do that, himself, he knew. He never had, and it would probably get him locked up if he tried, poor Apollo, he finally snapped; it just wasn't him. It was Starbuck though, so it was doubly good that he no longer fumed when Starbuck did it with others. Triply.

"Da-ad!" Boxey interrupted his thoughts. "Are you up?"

"Yes, I am," he called back.

"Good!" Boxey charged into the room. "Does your arm hurt? Did you take your pill? Don't forget to wash your hair!"

"No, yes, and I will. I mean, I won't." He hugged his son. "Happy?"

"Yes!" Boxey nearly choked him hugging back. "I was afraid Grandfather would think of something else."

"Well, he didn't."

Boxey sighed hugely. "I can't wait."

"Me, either," Apollo confided.

"Do I really have to go to instruction afterwards?"

"Yes. Your teachers aren't all that happy you're missing the morning session."

"Boo to them, poo-poo to them, and that's what I shall say!"

"Where did you hear that?" Apollo laughed.

"Aunt Theni," he said. "Can I get off for her wedding, too?"

"Sure. Why not? But please don't actually say 'poo-poo' to your teachers."

"Okay, Dad."

That was so sweet that Apollo racked his brains. "And don't say 'bah' or 'ha-ha' or 'hey', either. Or 'boo'," he added.

"Okay," he sighed, and then brightened. "I can say 'good day'?"

"Sure," Apollo agreed, doubting that Boxey's teachers would recognize that as an insult. "Now, you'd better let me get washed before Boomer and your aunt show up."


So they both took a turbowash and had kava waiting for Boomer when he arrived. Between them they got Boxey dressed, and Apollo asked him one more time if he was sure he wasn't upset that Elissa was in the wedding and he wasn't. Boxey sighed and said, patiently, "Flowers are for girls, Dad. I don't mind."

And then the door opened and let in Athena and Bojay, she in icy pink and he in dark grey and pale blue, which made his eyes, to Apollo's astonishment, look nearly the same color as hers.

"Aunt 'Theni! Uncle Bojay!" Boxey dashed over to them and leapt at Bojay, who caught him and gave him a hug.

"Good morning, Apollo," Athena hugged him. "You're not dressed."

"And if I were, you'd tell me I was going to spill something on it," he hugged her back and then held out his hand. "Bojay." He knew shaking hands was stilted, but he couldn't think of what else to do.

"Congratulations," Bojay said. "I wish you very happy."

Athena smiled at them. "Here," she held out a small package. "Boomer, stick this in their bags somewhere, would you? Apollo, it's for both of you, don't open it till you're in your room, okay?"

"You already gave us a present," he said, his eyes going to the quilt she'd inherited from Ila, lying on the couch for them to snuggle under while they watched the vid Starbuck had insisted on hooking up in the front room. Watching vid with Starbuck under a quilt... that didn't sound like a bad night's entertainment to Apollo.

"Well, I'm giving you this, too," she said, "it's not much but it's heartfelt. Now, we'll take Boxey and get out of your hair, which needs combing, by the way. See you in the hall."

"Bye, Dad," Boxey said. "Don't be late."

And then they somehow only had a half-centare left, and Apollo had to dress and find the ring—his paternal grandfather's ring, an heirloom, he knew he'd lost it—in the envelope marked here's the ring, Pol on the service room table. Boomer pocketed it and grabbed the small piece of luggage and hurried Apollo out the door.

"You remember your lines?" Boomer asked.

"Vows," Apollo said. "You?"

"I memorized 'em, don't worry," Boomer said. "Besides, I've heard 'em before."

"I want to use Word," Apollo had said to Starbuck after they'd gone to bed the night after they'd made up.

Starbuck had raised himself on one elbow and looked seriously at him. "Really?" It had been not quite neutral.

Apollo had sighed. "See... I know you don't believe, but..."

"But you do," Starbuck had said, reaching his hand out to brush Apollo's hair back.

"It's more than the Temple and the priests, you know. It's... Starbuck, when I said the Last Words for Harker, it was for him. But somehow, it was for me, too. I mean, the rest of that day I felt it. Inside. The Lords haven't abandoned me." He had paused, trying to figure out how to say it.

"I know. You're a believer. That's why I didn't promise Boxey he could stop going to Temple."

"Temple...," Apollo had said. "I don't know if they'll want to see me there. But I want to go. I do believe."

"I know. We can use the Word, if you want to. I don't mind. Just—"

"You don't have to come to Temple," Apollo had said quickly.

"I know. I was going to say, just don't ask me to say something I don't believe in."

"Can you say you'll have me as your wedded spouse, to live together from this day forward keeping yourself only unto me so long as we both shall live?"

"Yes," Starbuck had answered softly. "I can say that."

"And can you live with asking the gods to bless our union?"

"As long as we don't say it's not a union if they don't."

Apollo had sighed comfortably. "No. We don't say that. But they have."

"If you say so," Starbuck had said.

So Boomer and Giles had suitably edited bits of Word to say. Starbuck was happy with it, and Apollo really did feel better.

He and Boomer got to the door just before nine. Giles and Starbuck were already there. Starbuck was in pale cream, with blue embroidery on the collar and cuffs the exact same color as his eyes. He was gorgeous. Apollo could have stood there and stared at him all day. Fortunately, Boomer and Giles were ready for that reaction and hauled them into the hall, where they came to and managed to walk to the front on their own. It was SRO; Apollo couldn't believe it. All of Blue. Red. Green. Most of Orange. A good chunk of Bronze and even a couple of reps from Purple and Yellow, who were on duty. A lot of medical and ops. He even spotted Tigh and Omega...

The registrar came out to meet them, carrying the forms. He looked out over the huge crowd and blinked. Then he looked at them and actually smiled before saying, "Apollo, do you consent in marriage with Starbuck?"

"I do," Apollo said almost before the question was over.

"And do you, Starbuck, consent in marriage with Apollo?"

"I do," Starbuck answered.

"Then, by the authority vested in me by the Council, I pronounce you wedded, your lives and properties one, and your futures joined. Sign here."

Apollo signed his name back four generations as he'd always signed everything, and then watched as Starbuck signed his one word. It didn't matter, nothing mattered, even how short and plain the ceremony, if you could call it that, was. They were married, by all the gods, they were married, and nothing could come between them. When Starbuck raised his eyes to Apollo's, he could see the same glad certainty in them as he was feeling.

They stood just a moment looking at each other, and then Boomer cleared his throat and moved to stand between them. "Forasmuch as Apollo and Starbuck have consented together in union, and are now here to witness the same before the gods and this company, they will now exchange Rings, one with the other, as a sign of the pledge which they have made: Apollo, that thou wilt have Starbuck as thy wedded spouse, to live together from this day forward keeping thyself only unto him so long as ye both shall live?"

"I will," Apollo said, and he'd never meant anything more.

"And Starbuck, that thou wilt have Apollo as thy wedded spouse, to live together from this day forward keeping thyself only unto him so long as ye both shall live?"

"I will," Starbuck's voice was clear and confident. More, Apollo realized: triumphant. Then he held out his hand and Giles handed him the ring he'd managed to buy somewhere (plain, austere, perfect: just like you, Pol) and he slid it onto Apollo's left hand. "With this Ring, I witness my vow."

Apollo took his ring from Boomer (a cherished family treasure: just like you) and slid it onto Starbuck's hand. "With this Ring, I witness my vow," and he closed Starbuck's fingers over the ring and kissed his hand. "Cherish, trust, and adore," he said softly, "till death, and beyond."

Starbuck tightened his fingers around Apollo's and said, "Forever, Pol." Then they turned to face the rows of people.

Giles moved up beside Boomer, taking his time, giving the moment its due. "We ask the gods to bless this union, that these two persons, living faithfully together, may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof the Rings given and received are a token and pledge, and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together until death does them part."

"Amen," said Apollo, and Starbuck echoed him.

And then Dietra's voice rose in a song he'd never heard before, Starbuck's choice he supposed. He was startled at first by the pureness of her contralto, and then the words registered. "...I still believe the words we said Forever will ring true. Love is certain, love is kind, Love is yours and love is mine, But love isn't something that we find, It's something that we do."

He looked at Starbuck, and his lifemate—his husband—raised their joined hands to his lips and kissed them, and then leaned forward to kiss Apollo. Apollo wasn't big on public kissing, but this was their wedding, and you kissed at your wedding... He saw his reflection in Starbuck's blue eyes and lost half the song in the kiss...

"Love is wide, love is long, Love is deep, and love is strong, Love is why I love this song, I hope you'll love it too. I remember well the day we wed, I can see that picture in my head. Love isn't just those words we said, It's something that we do. There is no request too big or small, We give ourselves, we give our all. Love isn't someplace that we fall, It's something that we do."

the end

The ProgramThe First DanceThe Second DanceThe Third Dance
The Fourth DanceThe Fifth DanceThe Sixth DanceThe Seventh Dance


Original Fantasy:
  Autumn Afternoon | Ilya's Wedding | Something... | Last Corner | Morgans
Original Fan Fiction
Star Wars | Power Rangers | Real Ghostbusters
Battlestar Galactica | The A Team
Space 1999 | Alias Smith and Jones | Jurassic Park III
Go Back to List of Karen's Fiction