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where you go, I go

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"Love is patient," Progress says to the assembled on a clear June day, as a candle burns. "Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Progress turns to Justice. "Do you come of your own free will to make this woman your lawfully wedded wife?" she asks.

"I do," Justice says, one brown hand toying with a bit of ribbon on her white gown.

Progress turns to Liberty. "Do you come of your own free will to make this woman your lawfully wedded wife?"

"I do," Liberty says, her pale hands unmoving on the red gown she wears.

Progress nods to Justice, who faces Liberty.

"Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage," Justice says. "Minds innocent and quiet take that for an hermitage; if I have freedom in my love and in my soul am free, angels alone that soar above enjoy such liberty."

Liberty smiles. When Progress nods, she begins.

"When things are confused I discuss them with you until they make sense. When something good happens you are the first person I tell so I can share my happiness. When I don't know what to do in a situation I ask your opinion and weigh it heavily with mine." She continues through the Schutz poem, which describes her relationship with Justice as well as anything can. "Thank you for being my friend," she finishes. "Thank you for being my love."

Justice is smiling.

"Do you have rings?" Progress asks. Victory steps forward, rings in hand, and offers one to Liberty, one to Justice.

"Because this ring has no end or beginning, it signifies the continuation of true love," Justice says. "As I place it on your finger, I give you all that I am and ever hope to be." The ring slides easily onto Liberty's finger. Liberty repeats the words and puts the second ring on Justice's hand.

"What Liberty and Justice have brought together in the bonds of love, let not these bonds be broken," Progress says. "For as much as you have exchanged vows of sacred matrimony and symbolized your intent with the giving and receiving of rings, it is my honor to pronounce you woman and wife. Please seal your marriage with a kiss."

Liberty isn't sure who moves first, or who catcalls.

When they break apart, Progress is grinning. She takes a moment to compose herself, then says, gesturing the assembled to join in, "We extinguish this flame but not the light of joy, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we are together again." She puts out the candle.

Liberty's more muscled; she sweeps Justice off her feet to carry her to the pavilion for the party.

(Three days later, Justice is fucking Truth. Liberty sighs and brings out the video recorder.)