SCENES FROM A WEDDING
If ten years ago someone had said to Leo that he was going to marry a woman and three men at the same time, he would have laughed hard enough to give himself convulsions. Not only the idea was so impossible to sound totally preposterous – a human beings are gonna fly like eagles
kind of thing – but it was also an extremely illegal concept. So, thinking about it, nobody would have actually dared to say something like that ever, not even as a joke. This kind of jokes weren't very appreciated back then and, in the best of cases, would lend you with a Decency Department Inspection.
The Country had known a very long period of freedom and acceptance before the NCP came in, the National Conservative Party
, but Leo doesn't remember any of that because he was born after the change in government. Actually, he was born more or less in the middle of it, and he was too young to remember, so the only things he witnessed with his own eyes were the consequences of the NCP government, and growing up in them, he considered them quite normal.
He was five when he found out that over the wall that surrounded his playschool there was another playschool for special children
, boys that looked a little like girls and girls who liked to be boys. He was ten when those schools were closed and all those special children taken away. But he didn't know what was happening back then. His father didn't explain and the newspapers were simply too vague for a kid his age to fully understand.
In a very short time – the few years he needed to grow up – words like homosexuality
were completely erased. And not only those specific words, but every term that could refer to sexuality in every form, even the only one that was legally permitted.
Marriage between man and woman was naturally encouraged, but highly controlled.
Everyone was expected to live by a set of very strict moral rules that would have been unthinkable and laughed at just ten years prior. The Country had gone back almost a century without even a flinch, and everybody who didn't agree was buried in the ghetto or dead.
Leo grew up in the City, and the ghetto was already part of it by then.
Nobody would go there, except the police or the politicians when needed, and nobody would talk about what was in there. As much as he's ashamed of this now, he didn't question anything until Blaine made him. He was accepting the situation, even though he wasn't quite content with it. He didn't fit the stereotype of the perfect boy
as Meredith didn't fit the one of the perfect girl
, but they would try to survive in the world they lived – by bending the rules for one another – rather than really fight against it, partialliy because they actually didn't know another way was even possible.
Press and news were controlled, the net and the borders were closed, and while the rest of the world was moving forward, the Country was trapped in a bubble that looked dangerously like a very bad copy of the 1950, one of the eras the NCP loved and approved.
The change, when it happened, came from the ghetto itself – and it was the most obvious place, really. Hundreds of people locked away and forgotten by the normal people
like they didn't even exist, forced to live in shacks, in a gray place with no law to protect them, no life, no future.
The least it could happen was a revolution.
Adam had fled the city at the age of ten to come back years later as a hero. Following the footsteps of his parents, he finished what they had started, bringing down the government with the help of the UN, and taking temporary control of the nation. Ghettos were instantly dismantled everywhere, the people liberated and the wall of ignorance fell, forcing everybody to see what the reality was, forcing them to accept that no matter how tight they closed their eyes, people different from them were still there, and they were going to continue to be different because different was okay.
Adam had opened a communication channel with every part involved.
For a very long time he had really just listened to everybody. He had helped those in need, but he had also reached out to those who were his enemies. He had been perfect, and as a result, he was elected President in the following legal elections. The Nation was ready to give him – and the colorful circus that inevitably came with him – a real chance.
Leo was proud to have been part of this.
Helping the revolution had been a direct consequence of his finding out what was happening. There was no way he was gonna stay idle after he discovered the truth. And not only because Cody was in the ghetto and Leo had fallen in love with him. The people in the ghetto were the living proof that he and Meredith were not weird, and he was going to fight for them.
Now, almost two years later, some things are different, others are on their way to change, but the Nation is open again to the rest of the world, and people can be what they want to be without fear of repercussion, at least not from the government itself. Problems are still there – some of them brought a lot of people to the hospital, Adam and Cody included – but nobody is gonna stop for that, and that's what matters.
There's a whole new kind of freedom to do whatever makes you happy, which for Leo means – among other things – being together with the four people he loves most in the whole world. Somewhere along this relatively short but life changing journey, he found out that he can't just love one person. As Meredith so beautifully put it, he feeds on love, which can sound sappy but it's quite true. He fell in love – real love – with all the people that are in his life right now, and he couldn't do without a single one of them.
Actually, up to a while ago, the number was just three.
Three were the people he was with – Meredith, Cody and Blaine – but then Adam swept in, or came back (but had he really left? Leo's not sure), to be with Cody. It was hard for them to accept the fact that they were going to have to share him, but they did somehow. And that is why by 10 a.m tomorrow they're all gonna be married.
That, of course, if all the preparations don't kill them all first.
The ceremony is taking place in the house.
They had very few options in that sense. The wedding had to be impressive but safe, with Adam being the President at all. They had some great locations in mind, but Casey rejected them all for safety reasons – and also in the hope of postponing the whole affair indefinitely – and after a few months of mounting frustration, it was down to having the ceremony in the house or not having a ceremony at all, which at that point looked like a good option too.
Luckily the big mansion they currently live in – a generous non voluntary gift from Meredith's late father, who would have rather committed suicide than letting his only precious daughter live in it with her boyfriend and her boyfriend's many boyfriends – seemed to respond to all the requirements Casey had set in order to give the wedding green light.
The house has been decorated with white and pink roses all over the banisters of the stairs and along the doorframes. The main room has been dismantled and refurbished just for the occasion with tables and chairs, and a stage for the strings quartet to play on. The hall – which is in fact a studio in normal days – where the actual ceremony will take place has a new white carpet, two wings of chairs to accommodate the guests and a beautiful antique table to hold the registers for the signatures. The entrance hall is a triumph of flowers around the white wooden arches that will welcome the guests that are expected to arrive soon.
Even without guests, the house is already crammed anyway. Besides the bride and grooms, there are the bride's hairdresser and make up artist, Casey and a whole command of his men, a few chosen photographers and close relatives, even though their number has been reduced to three – Leo's father and Cody's parents – after the rebellion and their consequent abjuration by many of their loved ones.
Cody's parents have been fretting around their son all morning, leaving Leo's father alone in the big house. The poor man doesn't know what to do with himself; with these many people around, he doesn't think Leo needs his help, and he wouldn't know how to help anyway, so he's basically stepping aside here and there, trying not to get in anybody's way.
Dave has taken the news of his son marrying four people discretely well, all considered.
He had just barely found out that Leo liked both boys and girls alike, and he already had to understand the concept of polyamory, but he did a great job being all accepting and whatever floats your boat, son
. The point for him is not acceptance. There's no question that he loves his son and accepts him no matter what. But for his simple and very traditional mind this is all very confusing. He knows what all the labels mean – he comes from the time when they were actually created – but some things are new for him too. And one of the newest thing, of course, is Cody and the fact that he's genderfluid.
"It means that sometimes he feels like a boy and sometimes like a girl," Leo tried to explain to him at the beginning of all this.
"But he's a boy," David replied.
"He was assigned male at birth," Leo corrected him, being specific was part of his job as a lawyer for equal rights. "But he's neither a boy or a girl."
At that point, the desperation was clear on Dave's face. He even liked the kid, he was so cute and funny, but he couldn't understand him for his life, and that made him feel at fault. "But he has to be something," he whined, unable to grasp the multifaceted concept that is Cody's sexuality.
"Just think of him as Cody," Leo offered. "It's easy as that."
It's not easy at all for him, but Dave accepted the suggestion and tries to go with it.
Besides, it doesn't happen often that he has to discuss Cody's sexuality with him and, once he got used to see him wearing skirts and dresses – something that David did pretty quickly because Cody looks extremely good in them and it's easy to forget all together that he's been assigned male at birth
as his son put it – he had exactly zero reason to ponder on him any further since Cody is adorable and everybody would consider themselves lucky to have him as a son-in-law, as he is about to do.
Leo sees him smiling at one of their photos hanging in the hall as he passes by looking for the other grooms. As a matter of fact, he finds them in Cody's room, getting ready for the ceremony. Blaine is still in his shirt – his jacket resting on the bed – and he's helping Adam with his tie. "It is unacceptable that you don't know how to tie your tie," He says. "You are the President."
"I must have missed the passage in the constitution where it says that it's one of the requirements," Adam snorts.
"Well, it should be," Blaine replies. "A well dressed man is always a delightful sight, and God knows if this Nation needs good things to look at."
"We could dress him in a suit and throw him to the people next time he speaks in public," Leo suggests, entering the room. "They won't even need to give him back."
Adam is about to reply with something equally mean, but Blaine beats him. "Don’t' even start, you too!" He scolds them, and then sighs. "Leo, did you even try to look presentable?"
"I am presentable!" Leo says outraged, showing himself off. He's either totally oblivious to the shirt sticking out from his pants or he doesn't care, not to mention that he's wearing his tie loose around his neck, as a long strip of silk.
"Come here," Blaine says, pulling him closer by the jacket. "Aren't you wearing a suit every day to work? Is this how you go out?"
"No, Meredith fixes me," Leo explains, while Blaine puts his shirt back in his pants and makes a perfect knot to his tie too. "I don't understand why we couldn't just dress casually."
"I don't know," Blaine chuckles. "Maybe because this is a formal occasion, and you're marrying the President of the United States?"
"Ah! I knew it had to be Adam's fault," Leo jokes.
Adam was trying his jacket on, but he stops just to make a show of writing on his hand. "Look at me, I'm drafting a Divorce Bill just for you."
Leo genuinely laughs at this. "You're a prick!" He says, in between laughs.
Blaine looks at the two of them affectionately.
This is how they should be all the time. This is how they used to be when they were little, Blaine remembers it very clearly. Adam was Leo's shadow, and there was nothing Leo would do without including Adam.
Adam would usually go all No, we can't do that
before following his friend anyway, knowing that Leo would find a way to hurt himself or get scolded if he didn't tag along. They lived according to the unwritten law of friendship that's better to be grounded both than leave a friend alone.
That forces a stupid sound of tenderness out of Blaine's throat. "Aw, you were so cute," he says aloud, following a line of thoughts the other two know nothing about. "Why can't you just be like this all the time?"
"Because he fucks my boyfriend," Leo promptly answers.
"Excuse me?" Adam replies. "I could say the same about you."
Leo snorts. "As a matter of fact, you can't. If anything, you're the lover that we decided to keep because that would make Cody happy."
"You make out with this lover
," Adam points out.
"And that's totally not the point," Leo replies.
Adam looks at him with the eyes of incredulity. "You're unbelievable! How is this not the point? This is exactly
the point, Leo."
Blaine sighs, rolling his eyes. "What is unbelievable is that today you two are gonna marry, and you're still hating on each other," he says. "Adam, you vouched for polyamory to the whole Nation. You're gonna be the first president with multiple partners. And you, Leo, you are the spokesperson for this specific kind of relationship. You are promoting
it to the people! Did you two even listen to yourself?"
They both clear their throats and looks down, like little kids. Sometimes Blaine really wonders why he put himself in this situation. Why he had to hook up with people so much younger than himself. Most of the time it's like running a kindergarten again.
"So," Leo clears his throat again, casually, "have you seen Meredith yet?"
Blaine wasn't expecting an apology by any of them.
They can be persuaded to apologize about pretty much every other matter, but when Cody is involved, the only good result you can manage is for them to stop momentarily, and it's a miracle if you do it quickly. Sometimes they just go on for days and a lot of screaming, pouting and door slamming is involved. "No, it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding," he answers. "But Cody said she's a vision."
"Cody saw her?" Adam frowns.
Blaine chuckles. "He firmly believes the tradition can't work on genderfluid kids because when the tradition started, genderfluid kids were not acknowledged. He called it a loophole," he explains.
"Also, I'm feeling like a bride today," Cody offers in his own sweet voice, showing up at the door, "and the tradition says nothing about brides seeing other brides before the wedding."
The three men turn around and three jaws drop simultaneously.
Cody's wedding dress is a weapon of mass destruction, and none of them had the slightest idea that it was going to be like that. The kid wears the shortest pair of lace shorts they have ever seen on him under a white, fluffy tutu, and a tight, creamy white corset of military inspiration, with a fake double-breasted fastening and golden buttons. On his head, he wears a simple crochet headband that just makes his face look all the more feminine. And yet, he's not exactly a girl.
Leo is not aware of taking a step forward until Blaine stops him, grabbing him by his shoulder. "Where do you think you are going?" He asks. "It's best for everybody if you don't get near him right now."
"That's unfair!" Leo protests instantly. "Have you looked at him?"
"That's exactly why you are forbidden to touch him until after the reception," Blaine confirms.
"After the reception?!" Leo almost screams.
Adam pats him on the shoulders. "Sorry, bro," he says sincerely, he can feel Leo's pain right now, "we're trying not to scare the guests by banging each other stupid right in the middle of the ceremony. They might misinterpret the gesture."
"How?!" Leo keeps screaming, and it's not clear if he's more distressed by the temporary imposed celibacy or by the guests' supposed failure at seeing why they would want to have sex with Cody, in any case he's taking Adam's word seriously.
Cody chuckles and has pity on him, getting close enough to give him a comforting little kiss before stepping back again – he loves him a lot, but he also knows him, and if he wants to be presentable at his own wedding, he can't orbit around Leo much. "Don't worry, Leo," he just says, winking. "I'm gonna keep the dress."
The shift in color of Leo's eyes says everything Cody needs to know about what's gonna happen when the wedding is over and the banishment is lifted. Leo goes crazy for him in a skirt, especially if said skirt is a tutu. That might be one of the reasons why he asked the fashion designer to add one to the original design of his wedding dress. If he knows anything, Leo won't even take the dress off him.
Leo realizes the same thing and lets out a frustrated moan, letting himself go face first on the bed. "You're not helping," he whines. Then, he crawls back up, trying to put himself back together again. "You could make amend by telling me what does Meredith look like right now."
"I would never do that and ruin her moment," he says with an impish smirk. "You will see for yourselves soon enough."
Soon enough is actually three hours later, which is not soon at all on Leo's clock. Luckily, he's been passing all this time shaking hands and nodding left and right without knowing what he was actually nodding at, and being generally nervous.
It turned out that Casey's commando is not the only armed group present at the wedding. Casey is so nervous about the whole event – according to him, any kind of criminal act can be potentially perpetrated today from a simple
shooting to a meteor rains maneuvered with non-existent technology to literally crash the house – and so he called backup, and the head of all these separate groups of armed men all want to check in with the President and
the head of the house. The fact that the two figures don't match is driving everybody crazy.
After this roundabout of reports and What do you want me to do about that, sir?
, it feels quite relaxing to be finally at the register table, waiting for Meredith and Cody to arrive. At least, none of Casey's gorillas can approach him with yet another question.
Behind the table, the functionary is already preparing all the papers they will have to sign besides the register itself, after he has done his speech. The three of them are standing in front of him, Leo in the middle with Adam and Blaine on each side of him. The room is quickly filling with people. Front row on the left side there is the small group of their relatives, the biggest absent being Meredith's mother. They have reached out for her several times in the past two years, but she was always adamant about not wanting anything to do with her daughter, or any of them for that matter.
The fact that she hates them more because they are four queers than because they were involved in the killing of her husband is proof enough of her being an evil woman. Meredith tried to talk to her and explain why they did what they did, that the rebellion had tried to reason with the man for years until they were left with no other choice, that people were suffering and something had to be done. Meredith gave up on her completely when she said that all those people – Meredith's people and Meredith herself – deserved what it had been done to them, and that her father had shown mercy on them, instead of putting them out of their misery as he should have done. From that moment on, Meredith has no mother anymore, and there was no reason to be sad about it because probably she never had one.
That makes him realize something about them being a very big group of people.
Organizing this wedding has not been easy – if traditional weddings are no piece of cake, try and have one with five people involved – and they had to think a million details over and all agree on each and every one of them, but among all the things they discussed, their honeymoon night never once came up. And Leo has really no idea what they're gonna do tonight, and it's not a small problem at all.
They are a mostly non-sharing polyamory group, that's the definition he himself came up with to explain the different typologies of these kind of relationships to the general public. Their dynamic is quite simple, really. He is sexually involved with any other member of the group (Adam included, if he takes the few times he, Adam and Cody had a threesome into consideration), but they don't have intercourse with each other, with the sole exception of Adam and Cody. And then, there's Blaine's peculiar situation. He's a father figure to Cody – no other feelings involved there – and, on some level, even to Adam, and he's gay, which means that he has no sexual interest whatsoever towards Meredith, despite loving her very much as part of the family.
Usually, this situation isn't a problem at all, they take turns with Leo according to their needs and that's it.
But tonight things could be much more complicated. Even if Leo spends his wedding night with Meredith – which is probably a given, since she's his original
fiancée, so to speak – and Adam spends it with Cody, given that Adam is on tonight that is, that leaves Blaine alone on his honeymoon, which is not even an option. But Leo is the only one who can spend it with him, and that would mean leaving Meredith alone.
There's evidently too little of him to go around today.
"We have a problem," Leo hisses, leaning towards Blaine.
Adam frowns at both of them. "Be quite, you two!"
But Leo has no time to be quite (when does he?), not when a catastrophe awaits them. "You don't understand, Adam! Come here!" He insists, pulling Adam closer, so that they can huddle. "We have a problem."
Adam sighs. "It's actually us who have a problem, but we decided to keep you, don't worry."
Leo doesn't even register his words, and that says something. "I mean about the wedding," he clarifies, looking at them as if they could read what the problem is on his face. They can't.
Adam is aware that his joke missed, and he knows that it can only mean one thing. "Leo, if you're having cold feet now, I'm afraid it's too late," he says, patting him on his shoulder. "Cody and Meredith are about to arrive, and Casey won't let you run away. Nobody is allowed to enter or leave the room without his consent."
"I mean tonight!" Leo insists, frustrated. "What are we gonna do tonight? How?"
Blaine and Adam look at him and realization suddenly dawns in their eyes too.
There's no sensible way to divide into couples and they can't be all together either. The mere idea of spending the night somewhere near Cody when he's with one or both of his boyfriends makes Blaine wants to cry. It's already hard enough to come to terms with the fact that he's somehow marrying
him, but they can't ask him to do more than that. "Don't expect me to find a solution," he says, taking a step back and shaking his head, knowing that whenever Leo's got a problem, he turns to him.
Panicking a little, Leo turns to Adam. "Tell me that at least you're off," he says. "It'd be one problem less."
"Are you kidding me?" Adam snorts, and there's a vague hysteric undertone to the sound he makes. "I haven't touched Cody in two months to be sure I'm gonna make it tonight. If I don't have sex, I'll burst."
"But you can't do it!" Leo protests, and this time his complaint has nothing to do with Cody. "If you have sex, what am I supposed to do? Flip a coin? I can't go with Meredith and leave Blaine alone, or the other way around."
"Overdo it," Adam suggests him. "First one room, then the other."
"What? No! I don't even do that on normal nights!" Leo says, plainly outraged. "It'd be gross and totally not romantic. You suck at giving suggestions, Adam. You're not helping."
"And how are you helping exactly? It's you who goes with everyone, it's your problem."
"It wouldn't be a problem at all, if you hadn't tagged along," Leo replies, struggling to keep his voice low. The guests are starting to guess that they're not just chatting. "You make us an odd number."
"Excuse me? Without me, you'd have two people waiting for you to finish with the third!" Adam points out.
"At least they would keep each other company!"
Blaine wonders once again why he hasn't just moved to Bali and lived the rest of his life surrounded by tanned boys, none of which emotionally dependent from him. "Listen," he says sternly, the organ player has already sat down and the general vibe of the room tells him that their brides are coming, so he needs to be very quick about this, "we are going to be in Ibiza tonight. We go out, we get in the first club we see and we drink and dance ourselves stupid, until we fall asleep on the dance floor. The first night is gone, we can easily divide those that follow equally. There, problem solved."
"That's perfect!" Leo says. Apparently, avoiding first honeymoon night's awkwardness was more important than having sex for him. This is a first.
Adam doesn't agree with him, but he doesn't have another solution, so he accepts his fate bravely.
There's no more time to discuss anyway because, after a nod from the functionary, the organ player starts to play the wedding march. As a full hall of people stands up to greet the brides, Leo, Adam and Blaine turn around and their jaws struggle to stay in place for the second time in three hours.
If Cody alone was gorgeous, he and Meredith together are simply breathtaking. Their dresses are so well matched that they don't outshine each other in the slightest. Instead, they seem conceived to be looked at together, one not fully complete without the other, exactly like the beauties who wears them. Meredith's long blond hair is collected in a bun on top of her head and decorated with the same lace Cody's shorts are made of. There are flowers on her elaborated corset and she wears a big, fluffy skirt made of fabric waves that leaves her long, pale legs naked. Leo has never seen her look so gorgeous, and he can feel his own legs shaking just looking at her.
He must swallow pretty hard at the sight, because Adam chuckles at his side. "Are you still sure you wanna skip sex tonight?" He asks, smirking.
"Shut up. I hate you," Leo says, unable to tear his eyes off Cody and Meredith.
"That must be the reason why you're marrying me," Adam whispers to his ear. Luckily, there's no time to reply, 'cause Leo truly is speechless this time.
One hour and a great deal of signatures later, they are stuck with a hundred people – Leo doesn't really know how they can possibly call it a intimate ceremony
with so many people around – in the main room, while the quartet plays a romantic but joyful song and Casey is really busy embarrassing himself with a speech he's clearly not fit to give.
At some point he started clinking a knife against his glass and insisted to say a few words
He even stood up but the twins have not been blessed with height by Mother Nature, so it didn't do much for his scenic presence. Luckily for him, he's got a strong, assertive voice, so nobody dared to look away or get distracted. More than giving a speech, he's taking their guests hostage.
"I will say this," he starts, pointing at them. "These people are a real mess, and I hate them all. They are... Well, for starters they are too many, and they are stubborn, annoying and impossible to keep safe. All in all, they are unable to take care of themselves."
"Well, it could have been worse," Blaine murmurs sarcastically to the others.
"Yes," Adam nods. "He could have turned his men on us."
"For one," Blaine says.
"If they end up making my little brother suffer," Casey continues, speaking to the guests as if the five of them weren't even there. "I'm gonna kill them all, that's for sure."
"If anybody is shooting a video right now, it's gonna be viral by tonight," Leo comments, looking at what seems like their end, here played by Casey.
"Maybe I should stop him," Cody sighs, taking a step forward. But then he stops, hearing what Casey is saying next.
"But the point is this, you see?" Casey says. He looks over to them, and his expression doesn't really change – it's still the stubborn, angry frown it always is – but it's got a sweeter look to it, one only they can get. "They are unable to take care of themselves, that's why they need each other. When they're not fighting over stupid things, they are the less idiotic group of people I've ever seen."
Cody smiles, tenderly at his brother's words, and he's not surprised when he hears his voice tremble and his eyes get lucid. He feels the same way after all.
"Is he crying?" Leo asks in shock.
Blaine chuckles, amused. "It looks like he is."
"Oh, my God! We have to take a picture, so we can blackmail him later!" Leo says, looking frantically for his cellphone.
Blaine stops him from doing anything as he hugs him from behind. "Shut up," he whispers, leaving a tender kiss on his cheek. Leo feels Meredith's hand slip in his and Cody's featherweight against his side as Adam presses Cody against him with his own body. This morning he was scared about this marriage, but the truth is they were married before this and no signature can change the feelings that were already there, it only makes them more real, and so stronger and better. Point is, he doesn't know what's gonna happen next – not tonight, not the nights that will follow. He only knows that he's never been happier, and if that's the start, there's no reason for him to fear the rest.