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Happily Ever After

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For most girls, the idea of their wedding was like a fairytale. The big puffy dress that floated around them as they walked, the beautiful venue, their husband waiting at the altar with their friends and family smiling and crying in the seats.

Alyssa Greene, however, had the fairytale wedding, just a day away. Her dress wasn’t that puffy, but it did puff out just a bit - the tulle of her skirt flowed out behind her in a train, glittering in the sunlight - just enough to give her waist some definition. The venue was beautiful, of course. It had to be. But...there was no husband. Her soon to be wife would be waiting for her, however, and her friends and family would be smiling through happy tears in their seats.

That would be tomorrow. Today, she was just a stressed out bride to be, trying to get everything done and perfect.

“Is my dress here?” Alyssa asked, pacing around the room. Here she was, in the happiest place on earth, and she couldn’t even enjoy it because of how freaked out she was.

Shelby nodded. “Emma’s Gran put it in her room, but it’s safe and sound there. I promise.”

Alyssa let out a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank god for Betsy.”

“Why are you so stressed?” Kaylee asked, collapsing into the couch. “Everything will be fine.”

Alyssa raised an eyebrow. “In less than twenty-four hours, Amanda, I will be married in Disney World,” she said slowly with a false sense of calmness. “Everything must be perfect, so I have a fairytale wedding.”

“Okay, Jesus, rel-” Kaylee started, but cut herself off. “You’re not too stressed for an impromptu bachelorette party, are you? Because we have some plans!”

“How big of a bachelorette party?” Alyssa questioned.

Shelby shrugged, folding one of the shirts on the floor into a neat stack. “Just the three of us and Aya. Very lowkey. We’re just getting dinner. But-,” she paused, reaching into her purse, only to pull out - to Alyssa’s dismay - a white pair of Minnie Mouse ears with a long veil. “You have to wear this when we go.”

Alyssa paused, contemplating. Knowing Kaylee and Shelby, they probably got Emma a pair of ears just horrible and embarrassing, but you only got married to your high school sweetheart and soulmate once, right? She grabbed the ears, sighing. “Fine.”

 

Emma’s bachelorette party had already begun, in the most chaotic way possible. Even though it was her party, she was only having one drink that night, for her own sake. She wanted to be able to enjoy her party, and not black out. Plus, the last thing she wanted was a massive hangover on her own wedding day.

Nick and Greg did not have the same idea. They had barely had been at the lounge for ten minutes before the two were just about done their first drinks, meanwhile Emma and Kevin had barely taken a sip of their drinks.

It didn’t take long for the two to become intoxicated, and Emma couldn’t help but laugh at their stupidity as she recorded a video of Nick drunkenly singing along to Nickleback while Greg played with Kevin’s hair. She sent out the video to Alyssa, with a caption of ‘are you having fun? Miss you,’ before clicking her phone off.

The phone buzzed on the table a few minutes later, with a photo of a slightly pouty Alyssa holding a glass of wine with her Minnie ears on. ‘Miss you too,’ she wrote back. Emma couldn’t help but smile, partially because of the obnoxious bridal ears, but also because of her soon to be wife’s adorable expression. She wanted to kiss her, hold her, but the unwritten rules were rules, and they weren’t allowed to see each other until tomorrow.

Perhaps it was for the best. Who else would make sure Kevin, Nick, and Greg didn’t get hurt in Disney and make sure Emma didn’t ask to see Alyssa’s dress early?

“Let’s go jump into the lake!” Nick yelled, rather loudly, as he headed towards the door.

“Sir,” the bartender called after him. “You’re not allowed to jump into Crescent Lake.”

“Okay, but why?” Greg responded, climbing off his boyfriend’s lap. “That sounds like fun!”

The bartender sighed. “Ma’am, please pay your bill and take your party out of here.”

Emma nodded, attempting pull Nick and Greg along as Kevin paid. However, Nick was five inches taller than her, and double her height, so it was not an easy fight. As they awkwardly stumbled out into the warm Florida air, they bumped into Alyssa and the girls. Emma couldn’t help but laugh when she saw her fiancé’s ears, especially since the veil slightly covered her eyes.

“What are you wearing?” Emma laughed, holding the intoxicated Nick steady.

“A gift from the girls,” Alyssa rolled her eyes. “Want some help? We’re done with dinner.”

“If you can just help me get them back to the hotel, that would be great,” Emma sighed. “Kev isn’t much help..”

“Got it.”

In an awkward dance, the fumble to get the two drunken men back - plus two women who were tipsy off wine and tired of their high heels - began. Eventually, though, the group made it back to their hotel, and Nick and Greg were placed in their beds for the night. Emma and Alyssa pulled each other close for a few moments, mere centimeters from kissing, before Kaylee, Shelby and Aya swooped in and pushed Alyssa to their room. Emma sighed, watching her leave without a kiss goodnight. It was the last time, she reminded herself. The last time we’d have to do this. Hopefully for good.

♡♡♡

At seven in the morning, Alyssa was woken up to a pillow to her face.

“Good morning, bride to be!” Shelby sang out. “Time to get ready!”

“My wedding isn’t until 5, let me sleep,” Alyssa groaned, rolling over.

“Mm, no,” Kaylee laughed. “Get up, or we’re forcing you up!”

And just like that, Alyssa was out of her nice, warm, impossibly comfortable bed, and forced into a chair for hair and makeup. She got time to eat and move around, of course, but for the next eight hours, she became Kaylee and Shelby’s styling doll.

“Emma isn’t going to know what hit her when she sees you!” Shelby cried, taking a sip of her iced tea. “You look beautiful, ‘Lys.”

“Thanks, guys...but can I take a nap before my wedding? I promise I won’t mess up my hair or makeup,” Alyssa pleaded.

Kaylee sighed as Shelby clicked her tongue. “Fine,” they nodded.

 

A few doors down, Emma was not feeling so peaceful and relaxed.

“What if she doesn’t show?” she muttered, mostly to herself, as she paced around her room. “What if I have to stand there...in front of everyone...in Disney World, looking like an idiot because Alyssa got cold feet?”

“Em,” Kevin spoke up. “Deep breaths. You’re starting to hyperventilate.”

Emma shook her head, wrapping her tie around her hand. Baby pink, Alyssa’s favorite color. “No I’m not!” she shot back, her voice quivering slightly.

Greg jumped to his feet, wrapping his cousin up in a hug that was just enough to provide contact but not enough to overwhelm the already fragile and stressed young woman. “Shh..” he soothed. “Why would she do that? She’s so excited to be marrying you, M&M.”

Emma looked up at Greg, feeling foolish and childish. “What if she isn’t?” she asked in a small voice.

Nick let out a groan. “She is, Emma! You’re stressing for no reason, so relax!” he cried, only to be dragged out of the room by Kevin.

In enough time, sure enough, both young women were calmed, prepped, and ready for the wedding. The two were pushed into separate vehicles, and carried off to the Magic Kingdom where Alyssa was transferred to Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, and the wedding began as the carriage traveled down Main Street. Emma - standing at the altar with Greg, her best man, and Kevin and Nick, her bridesmen, by her side - watched as Alyssa stepped out of the carriage. She looked nothing short of a princess with the beautiful gown and perfectly styled hair and makeup, as well as the way she elegantly floated down the aisle with her mother by her side in a similar blue color that the bridesmaids wore. Emma nearly lost her composure right there, but she tried to hold herself together until Alyssa was next to her.

“Friends and Family,” Trent began, running his hands down his suit. “We are gathered here today to celebrate the union between these two beautiful young women that I’ve gotten to know extremely well. To me, these girls - or women, rather - are like the daughters I never had. I’ve watched them grow and mature and become the women you see before you.”

“Move it along, Trent!” Dee Dee yelled from the audience.

“Right, yeah. So, Emma and Alyssa have written their own vows, which they will share with us now.”

Emma and Alyssa exchanged a few glances, before Emma spoke up. “I guess I’ll go first since I got sacrificed by my soon to be wife,” she joked. “I was the only out lesbian at my school. Not the only out gay kid,” she grinned, fistbumping Greg behind her, which made the audience laugh.

“Anyway, I got bullied and picked on endlessly for most of high school - even by some of the people standing nearby me - until an angel walked into my life in junior year. Alyssa and I were in the same chemistry class, and we were lab partners. She was sweet, a bit bad at chemistry - considering she blew up peanut brittle in our second lab - and just as gorgeous as she is now, and I was head over heels. In November of junior year, I worked up the courage to ask her out, and she said yes,” Emma smiled. “Alyssa was my first for...a lot of things. Almost everything, actually. We saw our ups and downs, but here we are. I love you more than the world, I’m so grateful for you and the life we’ve created together. You’ve become more of a beautiful, powerful, creative woman than I could ever imagine, and I’m so proud of you. I love you, baby.”

“Okay, my turn,” Alyssa wiped away some stray tears. “I thought I had a perfect life in high school. I was on the cheer team, I had two great best friends, I was the student council president, I had straight As, I was the poster child for the girl headed straight to an Ivy League school or something. But, something felt off my entire life.”

She paused, looking at her mother briefly and then back at Emma. “I dated some guys, but I didn’t feel anything. When I saw Emma perform at our Thanksgiving assembly in junior year, and she sang ‘Imagine,’ I was absolutely in love. I had to keep my sexuality hidden for most of my high school career, but Emma was my one safe spot. She always was, and she is,” Alyssa said, choking back tears. “I’m usually not this emotional, forgive me. I love you, Emma Nolan. I’m meant it when I said it the first time, I mean it every time I say it, and I mean it now. I love you so much.”

Trent wiped away the tears on his cheeks with his sleeve. “Oh my god, you two,” he sighed. “Let’s get this moving. Do you, Emma, take Alyssa to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

Emma nodded. “I do. Very much so.”

“And do you, Alyssa, take Emma to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

“Oh my god, yes I do,” Alyssa laughed. Trent instructed the two to exchange rings, before he spoke again.

“Well, by the power vested in my by the Internet and the state of New York, it is my honor and delight to declare you two married. You may now kiss the bride.”

Emma pulled Alyssa close and kissed her as though she is the last meal on earth and Emma was starving.

“Okay, you guys!” Alyssa called out in her student council president voice when she pulled away. “We’re going to head to Epcot for dinner! Feel free to go to your hotels and change, and meet us at the Epcot entrance!”

 

With their matching Mickey ears, and hands intertwined, Emma and Alyssa lead their wedding party into Epcot. They paused in front of Spaceship Earth, where the group took various combinations of photos - the brides, Alyssa and her bridesmaids, Emma and her bridesmen, the brides and their parents, and the entire group - before Emma smiled wickedly at Kevin and signaled to Shelby to start recording a video.

“Hey, Kevin!” she called. “Who do you think the hottest girl in school is?”

Kevin stared blankly at her, before realizing and his face lit up. “The Epcot ball,” he replied, though his hand was laced with Greg’s.

“Well, I like Alyssa, and not just because she’s pretty and smart and my wife-”

“Epcot..” Kevin finished, only to get an eye roll from Alyssa and Greg stifling laughter.

After the group’s photo session and general tomfoolery, they headed to dinner in the World Showcase, which was essentially everyone got to choose food from any country, rather than worry about customizing the menu to fit everyone’s taste. The end of the night quickly rolled around, and the newlyweds broke off their group and went to a bench overlooking Crescent Lake. Emma pulled Alyssa close to her, pushing Alyssa’s ears out of her face, before kissing her cheek.

“I got us some macarons,” Alyssa smiled, pulling the box out of her purse. “I know they’re not a cake, but I thought it was still cute.”

“It’s great, ‘Lys,” Emma replied, grabbing a macaron and breaking it in half as the fireworks began. “I love you, Alyssa Greene-Nolan.”

In the soft light of the fireworks, Alyssa pressed a kiss to Emma’s lips before biting into her macaron. “I love you more, Emma Greene-Nolan.”