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Gabriel Reyes stands leaning against the ancient, wood paneled wall in a starched-stiff suit of black and white. With every shift of his shoulders or knees, the rigid yet soft material of the suit bends awkwardly with his movements. Gabriel sighs and deigns to move as little as possible, yet his eyes glance up and narrow as he watches as Gerard Lacroix paces the the floor in front of him. A grown ass man flitting around the dressing room like a chicken without a head, currently on his third mid-life crisis this morning alone.

 

God weddings were dumb.

 

Gerard looks absolutely besides himself in terror as he catches his visage in a nearby floor length mirror. His bowtie has become crooked again, and his naturally wavy, raven locks are rebelling against half a hair gel bottle’s work to tame the hair in a slicked back ‘do.

 

He cowers and grabs the mirror with pale, shaky hands and starts furiously carding his hand through his hair.

 

Gabriel can only shake his head. He’s given up trying to calm the groom-to-be. Gerard seems absolutely comfortable throwing himself into a panic attack and an early grave over the state of his appearance alone on his wedding day.

 

Gabriel observes the early morning light filter through the dainty transom windows. It paints the musty little room in tints of blushing pinks and creamy yellow. Gabriel’s mama once taught him that you could tell what the weather of the day would be like just by watching the morning light. Gabriel doesn’t have to look out the window to know there isn’t a cloud in the summer sky. It’ll be perfect today.

 

He doesn’t bother to school the small smile on his face.

 

A soft knocking at the door across from Gabriel garners his attention. He glances up.

 

“Hey. s’open.”

 

On cue, Jack pokes a wary head in the doorway, before entering completely. He’s wearing the same standard-fare monkey suit. The same carnation-red tie. The same oxfords so shiny someone could shave themselves in its reflection. Yet the sight steals the breath from Gabriel’s lungs for a moment all the same. In a perfect world, in a different life, maybe the stolen oxygen from Gabriel’s person would be warranted. In a perfect life, a different world, they might've been the one’s getting hitched on a beautiful summer day in the middle of southern France.

 

That perfect, foreshadowing morning light would light up Gabriel’s dressing room. He would be the one with heart failure right now.

 

But they don’t live in that world. They don’t live that life.

They never could.

 

Jack wears an uneasy smile as he spies Gerard having a mental breakdown at finding a single gray hair above his right ear. He glances over to Gabriel and gives a wry shrug.

 

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

 

Gabriel doesn’t notice he’s still staring. Still through narrowed eyes. Not until Jack clears his throat.

 

“Uh. Am I, Gabe?”

 

That does the trick.

 

“No---no. We….” Gabriel sighs and miserably gestures to Gerard. Jack lets out a face-warming laugh and trots over to Gerards wretched form. He places a solid palm on the quivering frenchman’s shoulder and says something in his ear that Gabriel can’t hear. Gabriel pushes himself off the wall, opens his mouth to say something, when two more figures come bustling into the room.

 

“--I TOLD you they would still be here, Ana!”

 

“Yes dear. You did. You were right.”

 

“And to think you doubted me! Me !”

 

“Yes dear.”

 

Reinhardt enters arm and arm with Ana. Together they dominate even more of the small dressing rooms space with their existence.

 

Torbjorn and his young wife appear in the doorway not long after. Though they simply peer in; more than comfortable not to enter themselves. Torbjorns wife wears a tight, polite smile as she surveys the cramped little room and she covers her giggle with a hand. Torbjorn shakes his head and sighs, and he meets Gabriel's gaze with a disgruntled look. Torbjorn tries to say something, yet whatever he tries to say is smothered by Ana and Reinhardt’s one-sided argument. He sighs again, and the couple wave to him before disappearing down the hall.

 

Finally, Ana finds an opening, and cuts off her discourse with Reinhardt to catch Gabriel in conversation instead.

 

“It seems that our presence is unnecessary, as Jack has already found you two. We sent him along to hunt you and our groom down, but Reinhardt insisted we make the trek here as well.” Ana grins.

 

Gabriel hums, still glancing in Jack’s direction; Reinhardt has joined in on his mini-intervention of Gerard.

 

“Yep,” Gabriel offers, popping his ‘p.’

 

“You know there’s not much time left, right? You two should already be in the chapel by now.”

 

“Yep.”

 

Ana schools her expression, she turns her head and hums knowingly now.

 

Gabriel feels a soft, gloved hand on his cheek, and he glances down to meet Ana’s eyes. She doesn’t have to say a word to tell Gabriel she’s sorry that Jack and Gabe could never have what Gerard and Amelie will soon have. She doesn’t need to verbalize that both he and Jack are loved and supported, and that everything works out for a reason. She doesn’t need to tell him to soldier up and press on.

 

“You should get him going, the service starts in ten minutes.”

 

“Yep.”

 

She shakes her head, still smiling.“See you there, Jabril .”

 

“Yea, Ana. Whatever you say, boss lady.” Gabe offers with a returned smile. Ana pats his cheek and withdraws. Gabriel watches as Ana muscles Gerard out of a very emotional bear hug from Reinhardt. The german lets go reluctantly and shouts more watery words of praise and luck towards Gerard before the door shuts them out in finality.

 

Gabe treks over to Jack who seems to have--for the most part-- talked Gerard off of a very high metaphorical bridge.

 

“-- you just need to remember that, okay? You proposed to her for a reason. And she said yes to you for a reason. You didn’t doubt yourself back then, so don’t doubt yourself now .”

 

“But--but I, what if she--”

 

“She already knows who you are, and what you do. And she still loves you. If she really wasn’t okay with your work with us, she would’ve said so by now, trust me .”

 

“I just….she’s just so wonderful, and breathtaking, and perfect -- Dieu, she is perfect -- and famous and rich and I……” Gerard shakes his head. Looking so lost . “I came from nothing. I have little to no family of my own. My work will take me away from her more than I care for. My wok will do nothing to further her own standing, her own future. She said she doesn’t care about that, but her family does and I-- I don’t know if I’m worth her losing her family.” Gerard gazes between the both of them.

 

He looks down, he holds his face with a worried hand, he mutters softly. “Her father could not even be bothered to give her away today….her mother will not return any of her calls….”

 

Jack and Gabe consider each other for a moment. Something flickers in Jack's eyes of cornflower blue and he rounds on Gerard.

 

“They’re not real family if they're not there for her. Besides, you may not think so, but Amelie knows that you’re worth it. She wouldn’t have wasted her time otherwise…..and neither would you. You are here right now because she sees something in you that’s worth the risk, even if you don’t. You do not get to decide what is best for Amelie in this regard. You do not get to question her word, and you do not get to walk away from this one.”

 

Solid words from the corn boy. Gabe raises his eyebrows marginally, slightly impressed.

 

Gabe follows Jacks lead and places his own hand on Gerards other shoulder.

 

Enough is enough.

 

“Junior--you’ll be making a bigger mistake if you chicken out, trust me. Jack’s right. What you’ve got here? Not everyone gets that in their lifetime, and even fewer get to act on it. You’d be doing the rest of us a disservice by not taking this chance and running with it. You hear me?” Gabe has seized Gerard by his shoulders and spun him to face him, head-on. Gerard gapes at Gabe, unblinking.

 

“Huh!?” Gabe shakes him a little for good measure. “You deaf? Or do I gotta repeat myself.”

 

“I---I.”

 

“You, you. Now, I want you to pump yourself up, fix your hair, that stupid ass bowtie of yours, get out there and get yourself a happy ending!”

 

“O-okay--”

 

Now , damnit! Go, go, go!”

 

He spins Gerard again and pushes him towards the door. Jack rounds on Gabe.

 

“Uh Gabe maybe you should--”

 

“RUN MAGGOT, THAT’S A GODDAMN ORDER!”

 

Gabe nor Jack has ever seen the frenchman run so fast. Jack can’t help but choke out a snort as Gerard smacks his head into the doorframe on the way out. His muffled, delayed cry of surprise and pain is heard halfway down the hall.

 

Gabe turns to Jack. “You were saying, Jackie-boy?”

 

Jack shakes his head.

 

“You disapprove of my methods?” Gabe says with faked offence. Clutching his chest dramatically.

 

Jack bites his lip, trying so badly to school his expression. He locks eyes with Gabe before murmuring softly, ….. run, Forrest, run.”

 

They both lose it then.

 

----------------------

 

Gabriel Reyes stands there at the head of the chapel’s aisle, with Gerard on his left, and Jack on his right. The rightful place for any Best Man. Gabe is still surprised that he was asked to be such. He figures someone more personable, more sociable like Reinhardt, Liao, Jack would be better for the position. But Gerard was adamant when he’d asked Gabe. He ranted. He raved. He insisted ….

 

He drunkenly begged Gabe to take on the position outside of a shitty bar in Sienna at three in the morning while he dry-heaved into a dumpster.

 

Gabe has to school himself to not shake his head. The crying emotional mess that existed in the sun-bathed dressing room is no more. Gerard stands tall and confident now, as the violins and harp begin to weave audible silk from silence. Canon in D Major. Pachelbel. Gabe hates that he knows it by heart. But only a little bit. Jack nudges Gabe with his shoulder and subtly nods his head to his right. Gabe follows Jacks indication and spots Ana and Reinhardt in the crowd, sitting beside Torbjorn, his wife, and numerous children. Ana offers the gentlemen a tiny wave and warm smile before she’s gone from their line of sight. The small crowds on both sides of the aisle rise from their seats at the steeples and turn to face the entrance of the chapel.

 

When a figure in white materializes from all the way down the aisle, Gabe can hear Gerard’s breath catch in his throat. He chokes out an inaudible squeak and his eyes start to water. Gabe can also hear Liao chuckle from a few men down the line. Gabe peers to get a better look at the future Mrs. Lacroix.

 

Gerard sure knows how to pick ‘em, that’s for sure.

 

She’s beautiful. Radiant really. A diamond shaped face. High cheekbones, a soft brow, yet a proud chin. Soft black hair is pulled back into an impeccable bun accentuated by a jeweled headband. The lace veil does little to mask her stark-red lips, or the rest of the beaming brides rosy visage. The flared skirt of her satin and lace gown oddly enough blends in well with the sweetheart neckline and torso trimmed by a soft, feathering material.

 

True to Gerard’s word, she isn’t escorted down the aisle by a taciturn, elderly father or any father of any variety at all for that matter. Instead the future Missus is delivered down the aisle on the arm of a busy-looking, younger girl with tawny-red hair and striking amber eyes. Possibly a sister or girl cousin if her resemblance to the bride resemblance is anything to go by. She grins ear to ear as they stop at the end of the aisle and she glances back and forth between her sister? Cousin? And the groom, before she catapults herself onto her tippy toes and whispers something in the bride's ear that makes her laugh nervously. The girl shoots Gerard a mischievous grin that makes him swallow the lump in his throat. She beams at the woman and slowly unveils her. Amelie gazes lovingly down at the younger girl before they wrap each other in a tight embrace. They exchange kisses on the cheek before the girl races down the aisle to find an empty seat.



Amelie gives a stunted, warm sigh and turns to Gerard to face him. The priest begins to deliver the standard wedding drivel, and the service's onlookers take their seats.

 

Gabe tries to listen intently when the sermon first starts out, but he quickly loses heart and interest. One, because it’s kinda long winded. Two, the priest speaks in an almost monotone voice that sends Ana’s toddler, Fareeha, into a deep sleep. And oh yea--three, it’s all in french and Gabe hasn’t spoken a lick of it since high school.

 

Gabe turns and sees Amelie gazing into his friend’s eyes with nothing short of pure adoration. Gabe can’t see it, but he’s sure Gerard looks just as blindly lovestruck as her right now. Sometime during the procession Amelie manages to rip her gaze away from that of her lover, and notices his perfectly straight and neat bowtie, his hair painfully gelled straight and in place. She crinkles her eyebrows at him and tilts her head slightly, confused.

 

Gerard returns the glance until Amelie rolls her eyes and untangles their hands to tilt his bowtie till it lies  slightly askew around his neck. She reaches up and delicately cards a few fingers from the raven locks over his forehead until they come undone from their gelled-up prison. The priest is still talking, droning into the middle distance. Gabe sees Gerard’s shoulders quake as he lets out a few nervous, breathy giggles, which Amelie returns. Gerard in turn undoes a few stray pieces from his love’s bun that come to frame her forehead.

 

Jack breaths out a laugh next to Gabe. Gabe can swear he feels the ghosting of Jack’s weight shifting so that he’s standing shoulder to shoulder with him. Jack tilts his head to where it almost almost comes close to grazing against his own head---shoulder--neck--- wherever.

 

Eventually the priest gets the hint and shuts up a little bit, allowing the young couple the chance to exchange vows. All in french. Go figure!

 

Gerard clears his throat and shakily pulls a crumpled slip of white paper from his jacket’s inner pockets, he goes to open it, to start reciting, but the words are tangled on his tongue. They strangle him to silence. He blinks down at the paper, back up at her, back down at the paper, back up to her---

Gabe starts, taking a small, unnoticeable step forward, when Jack braces his forearm with his hand. They lock eyes again. Jack shakes his head.

 

He needs to do this on his own, Gabe.

 

Gabe blinks slowly back at Jack the way a house cat high on complacency blinks at their human.

 

I know.

 

Jack slips something small and dark into his hand and Gabe reluctantly stops gazing at Jack to look down. A device of some sort, it looks alot like the discreet comms they use on missions. But it’s different. Gabe lifts an eyebrow, looking back up to Jack. Jack gives him a flat, smug smile and taps at the inner lobe of one of his ears. Gabe hears Liao clear his throat and glances further down the row to spot Liao tapping at his own ear. He mouths out ‘translator’ with equal smugness.

 

God damnit.

 

Really?

 

Really?

 

Gabe stunts a growl as he quickly shoves the ‘comm’ in his ear. And just in time too-- he looks up to see Amelie place her hands steadfastly over the paper. She takes it from him and holds it in a clenched fist at her side. She grins at Gerard, a challenge in her smile. A dare in her eyes.

Unfortunately for Gabe, his comm--translator---thing, takes a few minutes to turn on and reset itself. So he bears with the french a bit longer.

 

“Mon chou, ne me lisez pas. Parle moi?” She implores, affectionately.

 

Gerard nods dumbly, mouth hanging just the slightest bit open.

 

She waits, eyebrows raised, still smiling. “S'il vous plaît?”

 

He clears his throat, lets out a breath, straightens up, and smiles tightly at her.

 

As he begins the speak. Gabe can’t help the smile that grips him, it spreads ear to ear. He almost feels like a father, watching over his son. He huffs. Ridiculous. Gabe? A father? Never.

 

He wishes. Oh he so does. But that dream, that life-- is as unattainable as his own wedding day in the summer sun. As unreachable as his own morning light filtering through the window.

 

Gabe doesn’t regret his decisions. Nor does he mourn the consequences, but damn do they suck massive ass.

Gerard finishes his rather poetic, on the spot vows which gives way to Amelie’s equally tearful and sappy dialogue.

 

The priest prompts them to say their 'I do's' which they do, enthusiastically. He then drones on that Gerard may kiss his bride--which he does, enthusiastically.

Everyone launches out of their seats, hollering, clapping, smiling. Fareeha whines in her mother’s arms at being woken up so harshly, but she’s a fast learner; just like her mom. She’s quick on the uptake and joins in on the mind-numbing revelry.

 

Gabe watches as Jack pauses to whistle through his fingers before he claps his hands, smiling that photo-ready smile. So natural, yet so tainted now. Years of being saturated with nothing but its shell in all the papers and news has warped it for them both. Jack is tired but willing and able to play the poster-boy puppet; and he’s forgotten how to smile any other way on his own. And Gabe? Well, too much of any good thing really could become a bad thing.

 

Something in his chest tightens, watching Jack. Watching how the light from the stain-glass windows of the cathedral paints him in the colors of a perfect day's weather. It’s almost as if time has slowed suddenly, Jack’s clapping slows and stops as well. His smile falters but still remains. Agonizingly slow, he turns to Gabe and meets his eyes. A chorus of cheering and shouts renders them both deaf, but they’re far from blind-- thank God for small miracles. Jack takes in a breath like he’s about to say something, he starts to make his way to Gabe---

 

And then Jack has completely vanished from Gabe’s line of sight. Instead a wall of stiff, gray suiting assaults his eyesight and he glares up to see a boisterous Reinhardt swoop in to sweep Gerard and as many  groomsmen as he can in for another colossal hug.

 

Gabe is proud with himself for only letting his shoulder slump slightly in disappointment. The wedding service has devolved into a screaming, cheering fest where Amelie manages to man-handle Gerard out of the germans grip like Ana did some few hours ago and the young couple make a break for it down the aisle, hounded by friends and family made of friends wherever they go. They bolt outside, arm and arm, cackling and whooping like schoolchildren, gripping onto each other as they burst out of the chapel’s front doors where they are assaulted with flower petals by a rapidly growing crowd at their flanks.

 

Reinhardt turns and sweeps Gabe into the hug as well. He rolls his eyes but lets himself be held. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s keeping Jack company in the germans squishing, air-depriving embrace.

 

Yea. Okay.

 

Maybe weddings aren’t so dumb.

-----------------

 

Ana doesn’t stay for the cocktail hour, or the wedding reception that follows, much to Gabe’s surprise. And Jack’s. And Torbjorns. In fact, it seems the only one who saw Ana’s absence coming was Gerard himself. Gabe admits to himself having seen the pair argue in hushed tones briefly during the cocktail hour held in the chapel’s garden. It’s all tight shoulders and stiff words that he’s sure were meant well. Gabe blinks in understanding. Not once did Ana herself physically wish Gerard well in that dressing room. She hasn’t spoken to him all day, and now she’s leaving. Gabe can’t help but feel that some sullen, silent agreement had been made between the two prior, and he is now just an unfortunate witness to the aftershock. Ana briefly squeezes Gerards shoulder--neither one of them really looking at each other while they talk, before Ana departs, her dress is a storm of dusty-rose colored lace and white.

 

Gabe shakes his head. He knows what Ana is doing. She never ever wears white if she can help it.

 

She only wears white to funerals.

 

--------------

 

The cocktail hour turns into cocktail hours and a perfect day’s weather infects the clear, dazzling night to follow. The reception takes place just outside Sainte Bernadette in those same gardens Ana and Gerard had their ‘fight’ in. Gabe knows for a fact that the now Mrs. Lacroix had enough money and social standing to make Versailles her bitch for a day if they wanted, but oddly enough the most dramatic french couple he will ever know opt for  small, quaint, and sentimental.

 

The reception is an absolute blast.

 

The fine liquors and booze flow freely and fine, small lantern lights on silver wiring are strung up, surrounding the perimeter of the gardens, waterfalls ,mazes and the seating areas. It’s a fine night for stargazing, and they are all just south enough of the bigger cities to escape the nightly smog and air pollution that blots out the little bright lights that gleam in the daily darkness. There’s a general sense of good cheer among the attendee’s and Jack ropes Gabe into mingling. Gabe is unfortunately acquainted with a rather petulant old friend of Gerard from his frat house days whom Gabe wants to strangle after only five minutes of conversation. He is then fortunately acquainted with the only family of the bride’s to attend; her deviously charming younger sister--- sister he made sure to ask. Not a cousin, ha suck it Liao I won the bet-- ,Matilde who had a voracious appetite for meaningless conversation and razor sharp senses. Especially when she went on to offhandedly mention that before Amelie and herself were written out of their parents will, she screwed the family banker and made off with their share of the inheritance, eloping with her foreign lover in Madagascar along the way and blowing almost half of her own share within a fortnight.

 

Jack’s eyes went wide and he smiled fake-interested and nodded his head, nervous. Gabriel grinned and found himself invested in their exchange of exploits and wits. Oh he liked her .

 

She was the picture of what Blackwatch would look for in a recruit.

 

Oh that and he met Amelie’s Uncles Florian and Meghren. A polite, reserved couple who were more than willing to play the part of wallflowers at their own niece’s wedding.

 

Gabe had just excused himself from a parlay with Matilde in favor of tracking down and speaking with Gerard’s father; a veteran officer in the French Foreign Legion, when he feels a tug at his sleeve. He swivels and locks eyes with a familiar set of blue iris’. Very  f amiliar. Jack offers a straining, genuine smile and holds out a glass of champagne to Gabe. He takes it. Mouthing out a thank you before he sips at it. The silence between the two men drowns out the strains of Edith Piaf’s recorded singing in the distance.

 

“Do you know why Ana didn’t stay for the reception? Reinhardt won’t tell me, and the others didn’t even know she’d left.”

 

Gabe offers a mirthless shrug. “You’re guess is as good as mine, Jackie.”

 

Wait

 

He pauses, and shoots Jack an incredulous look. “And you expect Reinhardt of all people to spill the beans about anything pertaining to Ana ?”

 

Jack huffs out a laugh, shaking his head at himself. “Nah...no you-you’re right.”

 

Gabe shakes his head, taking another sip before offering, “I saw her arguing with Gerard during cocktail hour. Don’t know what it was about though. Whatever it was about--it’s got nothin’ to do with us, trust me .”

 

“I know. I know. I just wish she would’ve stayed. She loves weddings. And I’m pretty sure Reinhardt’s gonna walk away with a broken heart tonight. He was looking forward to dancing with her and Fareeha.”

 

Gabe hums in acknowledgement. Ana and Reinhardt had been growing closer lately. It’s been about a year since Ana and Tarhe split on amicable terms. Gabe had at first chalked up Ana and Reinhardt’s affections to be little more than harmless flirtation and frivolous gestures between two old friends, but he had his doubts. Especially recently when Fareeha had prepared two Father’s Day cards. One got shipped out with priority mail to Canada and the other now sat as a permanent fixture in Reinhardt’s home office back in Stuttgart.

 

“Yea well Rein’s just gonna have to deal with it then.”

 

Jack shoots him a pathetic look, an eyebrow crinkled in doubt.

 

“Okay. Fine. We’ll deal with him then.”

 

Jack offers a flat smile, nodding in a gesture that screams, ‘uh, yea .’

 

Gabe finishes his glass, and firmly plants it on the platter of a passerby waiter.

 

“Look, Jackie. I was about to talk a walk around the---”

 

An obnoxious pounding on the DJ station microphone kills any further conversation in its crib. All eyes and attention are drawn to the gardens far corner, and the duo that is Liao and a thoroughly disgruntled looking DJ.

 

Liao loudly announces for all attendee’s to draw their attention to the cobblestone walkway to the far right and welcome the rest of the bridal party into the fold, which the crowd does with much fanfare and screaming. God the screaming .

 

Gabe sends Gerard a mental ‘thank you’ note for not including the groomsmen in many of the traditional bridal party obligations or rituals. After all, half of his groomsmen are Overwatch operatives and leaders who barely managed to fly in for the wedding itself.

 

The bridesmaid’s come bustling in wearing identical summer dresses; all flowing and purple. They’re all tall, athletic in build and each one is more beautifully intimidating than the last.

 

Ballerina’s.

 

They are headed up by a glowing Matilde who takes her rightful place as the Maid of Honor, who is the only one to wear a dress of stark crimson comparable to that of only her sister's lips. She scans the crowd as if searching for a challenge to her authority and locks eyes with Liao, grinning that evilly delightful grin of hers until Liao takes the hint, clears his throat, and gives a particular shout out to said Maid of Honor.

 

Yep. Blackwatch material through and through. Gabe allows himself a smile. He has half a mind to leave Matilde with one of his ‘business cards’ before the night is over.

 

The DJ frowns and crosses his arms, glaring daggers into the back of Liao’s head.

 

The rest of the bridal party shuffles in with little significance and the DJ manages to rip the mic away from Liao quick enough in order to announce the arrival of the new Mr. & Mrs. Lacroix. A hush falls over the reception, and Jack and Gabe find themselves automatically drawn to the front of the crowd, hoping for the best view there is. They end up aligned with Torbjorn who somehow managed to muscle his way through to the front. Reinhardt lumbers up to join them with Bayless, Mirembe and Singh; all members of Ana’s personally commanded strike team.

 

Suddenly a beat strikes up oddly funky and last century in sound, foreshadowing the new couples entrance, and for perhaps the millionth time this night, Gabe thanks his sainted grandmother for translators.

 

Gerard and Amelie enter the plaza in a bit of a hurried whirlwind. The first thing Gabe notices is that Gerards bowtie has been turned comically vertical around his neck. Jack must see this too, because he starts laughs out a belly-deep chuckle that has him pressing his hand to his mouth.

 

For a fleeting moment, surrounded by stars, lantern lights and cheesy ass music--Gabe considers pressing something else against Jack’s lips.

 

Gerard enters literally bridal carrying Amelie in his arms. He trots in as fast as he can, making sure to exaggerate his steps to make his bride’s ride seem bumpier than it actually is. Gerard is smiling ear to ear, laughing like a loon and pressing hurried kisses to Amelie’s temple. Her hair has fallen completely out of its bun and now hangs in wavy coils of rich, black locks that frame her face. She is laughing as well--so hard that she makes absolutely no noise at all and her face has gone completely red; her visage now matches the shade of her lips. She switches between clapping her hands and wrapping her arms around her husband's neck; as if there’s a chance in hell that Gerard would drop her.

 

At Liao’s insistence as honorary hype-man/replacement DJ the crowd goes absolutely ballistic, whistling and clapping. Gerard lets his wife down with all the tenderness a new mother puts her newborn to bed with. She’s still laughing, burying her red face into the crook of Gerard’s shoulder; hugging him close. They stay like that until the noise dies down; which takes a while.

 

Eventually some of the bridal party----namely Matilde and a few nameless bridesmaids manage to get the reception quiet down. Matilde then makes her way over to the DJ booth and wrestles the mic away from both the paid DJ and the unofficial, unpaid DJ long enough to announce the new couple will now have their first dance as man and wife. Gabe, Jack and the rest of the attendees back up to allow for more room. He can physically feel Reinhardt’s sigh reverberate through him. Jack glances at Gabe expectantly until Gabe pats Reinhardt on the arm reassuringly. Reinhardt looks down to offer Gabe a watery smile.

 

“Hey big guy, why don’t you give Ana a call? Make sure she got to the hotel alright, okay? Torbjorn’ll record their dance for you, won’t you Torby?” Torbjorn lets out a put-off huff.

 

“Hey, I’m here to enjoy the wedding too--!!!”

 

Torbjorn’s wife pats Reinhardt’s other arm. “--Of course we will, dear! Go on. Tell Ana Astrid says ‘hello’ and I still have that parenting book for her if she wants it.” Reinhardt nods and turns to smile at the little group before departing, fishing his phone from his pocket. Torbjorn grumbles and hobbles back to his table to fish out a camera from his wifes purse.

 

The instrumental piano music starts to play, and Amelie and Gerard disentangle themselves from their embrace, prepping for this dance to come.

 

“Uh. Sir?” Bayless speaks in a hushed tone to Gabe.

 

“Drop the formalities, Stewart. What’s up?”

 

“Should…..shouldn’t one of you go with Lieutenant Wilh--Reinhardt? Just to make sure everything’s okay?

 

Gabe casts Bayless a sardonic grin. “He’s a big kid, Stew. I’m sure he can handle a phone call. Even if it is one with Ana Amari .”

 

Jack snorts, his shoulders shake with the action. Gabe wishes he could make him laugh more often.

 

Gabe pipes up again. “Now what you could do to make your superior officers okay is that you could go and grab us some more champagne, mm?”

 

Bayless flatly agrees and he takes Mirembe and Singh with him.

 

Up ahead, Gerard and Amelie slowly come together again. Gerard pulls his wife to him closely by the sides of her torso as Amelie winds her arms around his shoulders and behind his neck. That’s when the singing starts.

 

Lorsque la pluie vient souffler sur ta peau, Que le monde entier pèse sur ton dos
Je pourrais t'enlacer et te tenir chaud,
Pour te faire sentir mon amour.

 

Gabes eyebrows knit in confusion. His eyes narrow and he jostles the translator in his ear. When that doesn’t work he takes the damn thing out of his ear and glares at it, turning it this way and that. Jack notices his dilemma and mouths ‘what’s wrong?’ Gabe waggles the translator at him fruitlessly in answer. Jack shakes his head and takes out his translator as well, and he shuffles closer to Gabe.

 

Je sais que tu n'es encore sûr de rien, Même si je ne veux que ton bien

Depuis que tes yeux ont croisé les miens
Je sais à quelle place tu appartiens.

Jack leans in close to Gabe, taking both of their translators and slipping them into his jacket pocket. Much to Gabe chagrin and surprise, Jack hesitantly opens his mouth and starts to sheepishly mumble out the words in english in time with the sung french verses.

 

Jack is singing to him…... for him .

 

Kinda.

 

Gabe frowns and looks straight ahead at the couple swaying in place.

 

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue.

I’d go crawlin’ down the avenue.

No. There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do.

 

To make you feel my love.

 

It’s at that moment that both Jack and Gabe catch Gerards gaze. He is dancing with Amelie in a position where her back is to the crowd, and Gerard opens his eyes to glance at them.

 

They’ve never seen Gerard so happy.

 

Gerard wears a watery smile a mile wide, canyon deep. He hugs Amelie closer to him and exhales a breath. Gabe shoots Gerard a thumbs up, Jack offers him a reassuring smile and a nod, still singing along. Gerard blinks his eyes in understanding and mouths out a genuine ‘thank you’ to his groomsmen. With that, Gerard closes his eyes again and presses his head closer to his wife's, gently rocking her to the words of a love song over fifty years old.

 

Oh the storms are raging on the rolling sea,

And on the highway of regret.

 

Gabe turns his head to look at Jack, who’s still staring straight ahead so he turns to his other side, just in time to see Astrid plant a kiss on her husband's head. Despite Torbjorn’s grumbling behind the camera, he does not rebuff his spouse's affections. Gabe can feel Reinhardt sidle up behind the group. His weight and presence rejoining the group is more of a comfort than he knows.

 

The winds of change are blowing wild and free,

You ain't seen nothing like me yet.

 

For the first time since the song Amelie picks her head up from her husband's shoulder, and Gabe can see why. She’s in tears, and it’s not from laughing. They stream down her face in two, uneven straits down her cheeks, tinted black by the mascara she’s wearing. Gerard’s wife is an ugly crier, just like he is. Gerard must feel her doing so, because he pulls back just the slightest bit, he’s still swaying with her when he runs his thumbs underneath her eyes, stopping the traitorous tears in their tracks.

 

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.

 

Gerard presses multiple, tiny pecks to her cheeks, the tip of her nose, her lips. Amelie smiles and huffs, eyes closed. She returns the kisses gratefully, breathing out a half-hysterical laugh. The last few notes of the song trill out, followed by Jack’s voice; untrained, but rumbling and deep.

 

Nothin’ that I wouldn’t do.

Go to the ends of the Earth for you,

To make you feel my love.

 

To make you feel my love.