Ten years. It's been ten years since we met Mother Earth and lost Derek, along with my potion of Ultimate Healing. It's me, Vanessa Clemens, back for yet another set of adventures. Our newest adventure starts on my twenty-fifth birthday, three days before Jack and I had planned for us to get married. It was an eventful day, starting first thing in the morning. I still shared a room with Rapunzel and Merida. It was the same design as the beds we had at school, three bunks in a row. I was on the bottom, Rapunzel in the middle, and Merida on the top bunk.
First thing in the morning, I had a fitting for my wedding dress. The final fitting, actually. Merida, Rapunzel, Thimble, and Bitsy all had fittings with me, for their bridesmaid dresses. The maid of honor was Merida, because she won the coin toss. Also, because Jack's main groomsman was Hiccup, and it would be really cute if the married couple's best friends were married and the two main side facets of the wedding. I cared about this kind of stuff.
I stood up and knocked on the side of the bed to wake the other two up. School for that week was cancelled, so nobody had to get up to go to or teach any classes. Rapunzel's head sprang off the pillow, but Merida simply groaned and rolled over.
"Meri, the fitting?" I said. She slowly opened her eyes. "It's today. I got up in time for the fitting for your wedding and Rapunzel's and Thimble's. I at least deserve the same courtesy from you."
She sat up, probably hoping I would stop talking. In a matter of minutes, everyone who was taking part in the fitting was out of bed, dressed, and racing after me in the hallway. The tailor was down the stairs, and our stairwell was one of those curved ones. I'd done this many times before, but when I slid down the railing, I still squealed and laughed in excitement. The girls rode behind me. When I was nearing the ending of the rail, I saw Jack standing at the end of it. I smiled and leaned forward as the rail ended. I went flying and landed in his arms. The other girls slid down and landed on their feet. Jack twirled me in a circle and we kissed. He set me down on my feet and I hugged him.
"How is the crown prince on this fine morning?" I said with a mock-bow. He laughed.
"He fares better now that he has seen you this morning, my princess," said Jack smiling. We kissed again, this time for a bit longer. The tailor's shop was a few feet away. He poked his head out, saw us kissing, and smiled.
"Oi!" he exclaimed. We broke apart and looked towards the elderly tailor. Everyone loved Ziggy. What he said next is exactly why. "Would you crazy kids save the making out for your wedding night? We have a fitting today!"
"Well, I don't want Ziggy to kick my ass. See you in an hour or so," I said to Jack. He kissed my cheek and the girls and I ran for Ziggy's shop.
"See you then, Miss Clemens!" he called out. I smiled.
"And the same to you, Mister Overland!" I replied without looking back. Ziggy ushered us into his shop and shut the door behind us.
He took us to the back room and opened the closet. Inside were seven garment bags. Six of them contained bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. One of them had my dress, and the other had my reception dress. Yes, I had a reception dress. Sue me. Ziggy read the tag on each of the bags and handed one to each of the girls. He handed me both of the last ones and we all went to get changed. I'll leave my dresses to be a surprise.
Each of the girls came out one at a time. Bitsy was first. I allowed the girls to choose not only the color of their dress, but the style and design too. No two were even close to the same. Bitsy was a seventeen-year-old girl and her shirt red dress was perfect on her. It had a twirly skirt, a lowish neckline. At the tip of the neckline, there was a little cluster of red and white jewels. No alterations had to be made, so she took it off and joined me to see the other girl's dresses.
Next out was Merida. She was surprisingly okay with wearing a fancy dress. Her dress was floor-sweeping and had a puffy skirt. Not too puffy though. It was strapless and had two layers; a dark green under layer, and a black tulle over layer. It had a belt with a big black and white gemstone cluster on the right side. She spun in a circle for a few minutes, we oohed and ahed and she took it off.
The next one to try her dress was Rapunzel. Her dress was simple. Pale purple, spaghetti straps. Floor-sweeping, flowing and ruffled. On the front of the belt, it had a line of fabric roses in the same color and material as her dress. She twirled a lit. She loved it because she could dance all night even in the fanciest dress she'd ever wear. She joined us a few moments later.
Thimble came out next. She was the only one in my bridal party who was a full grown woman. It looked kind of awkward. Her dress was short and had a twirly skirt as well. It was light green. It had cap sleeves and it cinched in at the waist, where a white belt was tied into a bow on the right side of the dress. She was stunning in the dress.
The final alterations for the flower girl dresses were later in on in the morning. Yes, there were flower girls. Rapunzel had one in the wedding; Tammy. She was five. Thimble had the other one, Twine, four. The name does not surprise me. Thankfully, none of my other friends had children yet. Well, that's not entirely true, Ariel and Eric had two, but it hardly mattered. Once we were finished with the fitting, we gave our bags back to Ziggy, waved good-bye and then rushed out of his shop. We went to the jeweler to check on all the jewelry we had ordered. There were the wedding bands (finished), my tiara (also finished), my necklace and earrings (nearly finished). Next stop was to the cobbler's. No, they did not make cobbler, they made shoes. Duh. My shoes were finished, and looking at them made me squeal. They were gorgeous.
Wedding planning was finished for me for the day, Rapunzel and Thimble would deal with the flower girl dresses. I flew around the courtyard, waving to all my friends who were visiting for the wedding. Among them was Tamara, who had returned safely home but kept in touch. Snow White and her husband, Ron. Kida and Milo. Nuvola and her boyfriend Tyson. Tiana and Aladdin, who had fallen in love only about five years ago. Giselle, who had taken a break from travelling. Melody and Ariel and Eric and their two kids, David and Rachel. The Guardians, all but Manny, but he was going to be the priest at the wedding. Mother Earth wasn't coming until the day of the wedding, same as Manny. Jack's mom, Monica. Hiccup's mom and dad, Camille and Stoick. Mickey.
I flew over to the front gate just as my mom's carriage rolled in. King What's-His-Face didn't come, but that was fine because he wasn't invited. I landed just as her carriage pulled up to the front gate. The footman opened the door and out stepped my mom. She had pretty violet eyes and strawberry blonde hair like I used to. She was dressed just like a queen should be. We'd gotten closer, so when she saw me, she smiled and rushed forward to hug me.
"I'm so glad to see you, Mom," I said as I wrapped my arms around her. She smelled like vanilla. I inhaled the smell deeply, never wanting to forget it. "Thanks for coming."
"Are you kidding?" she replied. "You're getting married, why would I miss it?"
"You haven't met Jack yet. At all," I replied, letting go and stepping backwards. "I mean, it's still weird, even if you know a lot about him."
"How bad can he be?" Just then, a snowball came flying in our direction. I leapt in its path so that it hit me and not Mom. "Who threw that?"
Jack came swooping down and laughed. Mom's eyes widened and Jack laughed again.
"Mom, this is Jack," I said. Jack landed and held out his hand to her. She shook it slowly and cautiously. "You know, the one I write about all the time and am marrying in a few days."
"I'm aware," said Mom, letting go of Jack's hand. "I didn't expect him to be so…like this."
"Yes, they all say that," said Jack. "But I assure you, I am a Guardian. Officially sworn in and everything. Thank goodness Vanessa finally got sworn in nine years ago."
"Jack, I think we should let Mom go to her room and settle down," I said, saving Mom from a long Jack conversation. I could handle them and actually enjoy them. It would be harder for Mom.
She followed the footman off and Jack turned to me. "She doesn't seem impressed."
"Yeah. I would be too, if the first impression I got of you was the one she just got."
"True enough. Oh, I forgot to say this to you this morning. Happy twenty-fifth birthday, Vanessa."
"Thanks Jack." Then a bunch of people came behind us and asked me to go with them to check on things. They'd learned early not to rely on Jack for advice like that. "See you tonight."
He smiled and nodded and I let the group lead me away. I didn't get to leave until the sun had set. That would mean I was there for a few hours. I slowly made my way back to my room. Rapunzel wasn't there, just Merida and Hiccup making out on the couch. I smirked.
"Oi!" I said, imitating Ziggy. They looked at me. "Stop making out!" They laughed and Hiccup left. Merida flopped down on the couch with a dreamy look on her face.
"Hey, isn't my party tonight?" I asked. She sat up fast.
"Oh, right. I believe it 'tis. Are you sure about it though? The party I mean."
Before I could answer, there was a soft tapping on the window. Merida peeked out and smiled.
"Look out your window."
"Why? What's going on?"
"Look out your window! Prince Charming is throwing pebbles!"
I went to go see what she was talking about. I swung open the window and there was Jack, smiling and tossing another pebble from hand to hand.
"What are you doing?" I asked. He cleared his throat.
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, with hair so fine. Come out your window, climb down the vine." I looked from him to Merida with that 'Is this really happening?" face. I finally came up with a witty response after a few seconds.
"The feat you ask, dear sir, isn't easy. And I won't respond to that line, it's far too cheesy." He rolled his eyes and I ducked back into the room.
"So what does he want?" asked Merida. I sighed and put my head in my hands.
"He wants me to climb down the vine."
"Well, do you want to?"
"What? I…It's a recipe for disaster!"
"Do something impulsive for one in your life. You're getting married! Do you want a regular bachelorette party, with twelve screaming girls?" I groaned at the thought of it. "Or do you want to stroll in the moonlight with your almost Prince Charming?"
"But he called me Rapunzel."
"It's a metaphor. Do you want to go with him or not?"
I threw on a cloak and flew out the window. I landed softly in the grass beside Jack.
"That's a lot of arguing over me," said Jack. I rolled my eyes and we walked away.
"So where are we going?"
"The most cliché place for a date I could think of."
We rounded a corner and the playground came into view. I turned to him and rolled my eyes. Then I ran to the swing set. I sat there and felt the cool night breeze ruffle my hair. Jack started pushing me on the swing. We played on that playground for a few hours. Then I headed back to my room and him back to his.
"So, was it worth it?" asked Merida.
"Yeah. But now I am tired out beyond belief."
"Here's a bright idea. Sleep, maybe."
I laughed and changed into my pajamas. I flopped down in my bed and passed out the second my head hit the pillow.