"NO," they shouted in unison.
"Don't be so backwards," Max told them with a slightly oily smile. "It's very in right now."
"What about Beatriz and Mary?" Beetle offered, by way of a compromise. There was a long pause. He elbowed Booster, who had a faraway look on his face and the slightest hint of drool on his chin.
"You can go and tell Beatriz yourself then," Max replied.
Beetle, having a very distinct vision of the several pieces he would be broken into, tried a new tack. "What about all the backlash?
Max positively beamed. "That's the best part! This is the sort of thing that commands national media attention. We'll have pundits screaming about it for weeks."
Booster gave him a funny look. "Was that supposed to be encouraging?"
"Just trust me," Max told them, smiling beatifically.
Booster and Beetle eyed one another uneasily, completely unconvinced.
At Ted's insistence, the plan was to skip the wedding and move straight into the press conference. Unfortunately, when Mary found out, she (after expressing her congratulations and her regret that they were all going to burn in hell) took it upon herself to plan a simple ceremony. Even more unfortunately, when Max got wind of the plan, fourteen people in a board room at Kord Industries turned into two hundred people in a ballroom at the Metropolis Grand.
Booster adjusted his cowl for the third time. "This is going to end badly," he said, to no one in particular, as he regarded himself in the mirror.
"I'm sure the ceremony will go off without a hitch, sir," Skeets told him, fluttering unobtrusively over his shoulder.
"Not what I meant, Skeets," he replied with a sigh, but their conversation was interrupted by Sue, who brushed off his uniform and pushed him towards the door.
Feeling terribly conspicuous, he stationed himself in front of the officiant, shifting nervously from one foot to the other. He stared out over the crowd; it looked a little like a wedding was supposed to happen, but a costume party had broken out instead. The marriage of Michael Carter and Theodore Kord (if there had been one; the possibility seemed remote) may have passed without notice, but the marriage of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle was a must for any superhero of note. And not just heroes, apparently: Booster would swear later that Rainbow Raider had been in the back row.
The French doors at the end of the aisle swung open, and everything after that was a bit of a blur. Beetle came down the aisle, the minister said a few things, he duly collected the rings from his Best Robot, there was a kiss, they ate some cake, he decked Guy in the parking lot. In all, it turned out to be a lovely day.
Booster couldn't help feel the slightest pang of regret over the fact that none of it had been real.
"Should I carry you over the threshold?" Booster tried to joke as they reached the door to their suite, but Ted glared at him.
No expense had been spared on the honeymoon, apparently, and their suite was spacious and expensively tasteful. Ted was happy to see that there was a comfortable-looking couch; he had no doubts that he'd be spending several sleepless nights on it.
Ted startled at a loud pop behind him, and found Booster pouring out two glasses of champagne, bottle and flutes pilfered from the gift basket in the kitchenette.
"To wedded bliss," he said flippantly, raising one of the glasses. Ted took the other and threw it back in one gulp before taking the bottle. He carried it into the bedroom with him, swigging from it intermittently as he unpacked his suitcase.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were upset about something," Booster deadpanned, entering the room and throwing himself lightly onto the bed. He patted the comforter beside him. "C'mon. Gonna be a long week otherwise."
Ted sat down reluctantly, not relinquishing his grip on the bottle. "We never should have let Max talk us into this."
"Still upset that we made a mockery of the sacred institution of holy matrimony?"
"You do realize there's no good way out of this, right?" Ted was aware that he sounded just a tiny bit hysterical. "This is serious."
"You can retire, or change your codename, or just tell Max to go to hell," Booster pointed out, to no avail. Ted was clearly on a crazy little roll.
"This is going to change both of our lives, whether you like it or not," he went on. "We're going to be together- forever. You won't be able to so much as look at somebody else when you're in costume without having the papers all over us." He went to drink from the bottle again, but Booster snatched it away from him.
"You're being crazy," Booster said, trying to calm him. "It's not even legally binding. It's not like it has to mean anything."
Ted took a deep breath, not sure if he was actually going to get the words out. "What if I said that I wanted it to?" He asked, hating the way the words sounded.
He could practically see the thought click over in Booster's mind. "You never told me you were-"
"I'm not," Ted snapped.
Booster eyed him skeptically. "I think wanting to get married to a guy is pretty gay."
"It's not-" Ted stopped. "When this happened in my head, you weren't this calm."
Booster rolled his eyes. "In the future-"
"Please don't 'in the future' me now."
"All I'm saying is gender doesn't matter." This was clearly the last thing Ted was expecting to hear, especially coming from him. "What? I thought you were straight! I didn't think you'd wanna hear what I thought about the hot checkout boy."
"I'm not gay, alright? It's- It's-" Ted stammered, before stopping to breathe. "It's just you."
There was a long silence. Finally, Booster leaned over and took Ted's face in his hand, kissing him with surprising gentleness. Ted felt a weight had been lifted, like birds were singing, like half a dozen other romantic clichés were suddenly all true.
Booster broke away, smiling. "Damn good thing you married me, then."
It was a long, quiet week without them. Battles were fought and won without color commentary, and paperwork was actually completed for the first time since the team's inception.
After the all-too-brief respite, it was, of course, terribly jarring stumble over them in the kitchen, Beetle attempting to make a sandwich, both aided and hindered by Booster, who had his arms around Beetle's waist and who kept trying to steal the bread. Perhaps even more jarring was all the giggling.
Beatriz rolled her eyes. "You can quit with the act. Max isn't here."
"What act?" Beetle asked over his shoulder as Booster led him away by the hand.