Wartime Wedding

"Sorry I'm late!" Bastian gasps, hanging his long rubberized greatcoat on the rack. "The mail truck was slow to leave Pabianice, but I got here as soon as I could…" 'Here' is a small chapel, little more than a shrine, just off the main road and a good two hours' walk from the front. The town that would come here every Sunday is now the headquarters of the Reconnaisance Brigade, and in rather safe hands. All the more importantly, the Division's chaplain was visiting, so when Bastian won lots for the town pass, he and Elsa put a tentative plan into hectic motion. If the collar of his dress uniform is wet, that's small price to pay; it is, after all, the dress uniform that just arrived, not some ugly field wear. "I'm really sorry," he adds, adjusting his tie nervously.

Elsa is, actually, in a dress. It's not a hugely elaborate white gown of lace and beads, but a simple white sundress. It has an empire waist line and carefully flows out from there, but is of a thin enough fabric that it still shows the curves of her frame nicely. She holds a few wild flowers that she found on the side of the road in her hands as a bouquet. No, perhaps they aren't supposed to see each other before the wedding, but this isn't a regular wedding! So, she smiles wide as she catches sight of him, her little white shoes actually white slippers (she couldn't find shoes!) but they look charming enough. "It's alright…I don't think anyone's going anywhere yet…."

Bastian is simply stunned, and fumbles with his collar for several long seconds. Pushing a minute, really, or close enough that the Chaplain gets involved. "Come on up, boy," the tired-looking soldier-priest teases, "this won't be legal forever." An icebreaker of a joke, but they all probably know the truth behind it.

Chastised, Bastian starts to hurry… but then straightens himself and approaches the altar at a more purposeful, dignified pace. He'd almost have pulled it off, too, if he hadn't bounced up the steps at the last minute, gushing, "You look radiant, Elsa."

Well, it certainly wasn't the wedding she always dreamed of. Her father and mother God only knows where, brother probably dead..But she loves the man who stands at her side now, and that was all that really mattered in a wedding. She reaches her left hand in his direction, wrapping her fingertips overtop of his and giving his fingertips a warm, reassuring little squeeze…"You look… so handsome. You're uniform is perfect.." She's actually blushing a little, this being the first time she's seen him in a dress uniform.

Bastian extends both hands, curling his fingers round Elsa's in return. A solemn fingetip-to-fingertip touch isn't something he's going to settle for, really. "I'm sorry, I know—no offense, Sir," he asides to the chaplain, "I know this isn't, er, a real wedding. No! I mean, it's real!" Bastian laughs nervously, eyes flickering around as though there might be a man with cue cards out the stained-glass window. "But… you, and me, and… family… and things… like that…" He stammers off, face growing as red as a drunkard.

Elsa doesn't allow herself to kiss him on the lips yet, that will be saved for after the ceremony, but she leans across and presses a softer, reassuring sort of kiss to his blushing cheeks. "This wedding is fine. It's perfect… We're going to be -married- and that is all that matters." She slips her second hand into his and now gives both of his palms a tight squeeze before her paler eyes flicker over towards the Chaplain…"And thank you for doing this… I know it's a bit out of the way…"

"That's why I'm here," the holy man replies, bestowing bride and groom with a benevolent look. Also sensitive, for he blocks any further awkward words by opening the black bible almost extravagantly. "Shall we begin?" The question hardly lingers for longer than it takes him to flick away the red silk placeholder strap. "Marriage, brothers and sisters…" The old man pauses, eyeing both briefly. "Right. At any rate. Marriage is a union. We Germans, of course, are quite familiar with the difficulties of unions…"

Elsa at least LOOKED like a good German, matching Bastian rather nicely for that. If anything, his red hair might get an arched eye brow when little else between them would. She draws in a deep breath, though it is indeed somewhat shallow, suddenly finding herself onslaught by a rush of nervousness she wasn't feeling previously. She smiles wide, though, and holds Bastian's hands all the tighter for it.

Bastian is hushed by that chaste little kiss, giving his bride's hands a slow squeeze in return. He silently thanks the holy man, and all through the little speech two things are evident. First is that he hasn't thrown out traditional religion as many Germans have, evident from the nods and little smiles at some of the finer references in the Chaplain's sermon. The second obvious fact is that he's taken with the woman in front of him. It's not that there aren't those last-second doubts in hm that make his toes wiggle in an urge to flee. No, that's there, and to be honest would take effort to ignore. It's more in the way he eyes her, as though afraid she could disappear in a puff of smoke. Even those serene sighs are done with eyes wide open, lest he blink and waken from the dream.

Edwin enters the church in his dress uniform, looking snazzy due to the design but apparently hasn't been taking too much care of it considering the wrinkles and tinge of black marks on the pants. He peers about and spots a fellow German soldier with a woman in a dress apparently getting married. Curious, he tip toes in and sits at a pew silently. Next to him is a sleeping nurse.

Indeed, it's not the sight one might expect every day, especially in this war, but things were almost calm and they were far enough from the front lines that it was safe enough to stop and just take time to do this. So, here is the shot gun wedding. It might be clearly that for the fact the bride's dress seems to just be a white sundress and she is in slippers instead of shoes, but, somehow, it works. Elsa blinks as she listens to the Chaplain speak, suddenly finding her eyes are rather moist and she couldn't admit to why. It's certainly not sadness. She's waited too long for this. A single tear escapes as she listens to the holy words the man speaks about devotion, loyalty and a woman to be in service of her man. She cannot help but nod in agreement a few times, but is eager just to get to that final part. The whole section of vows and proper marriage words takes surprisingly little time. It's only a simple, little speech… a reminder of the love that is already shared and the pledge to share it the rest of their lives under God's eyes… And finally, he gets to the end, "Do you, Bastian Hertz, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife under the Lord's eyes?"

What, already? That seems to be what flickers behind Bastian's eyes, and indeed the question jolts him head to toe like an electric shock. "He sent me an angel," the young man whispers, perhaps unwittingly. There's a ripple that runs through his body, straightening and stiffening flesh and spirit in a visible manner. A healthy glow warms his face, and the man leans ever soo closer to his imminent wife. "I do," he declares with a finality, and the simple ring he slips onto Elsa's finger at the prompting seems to radiate the understanding and serene acceptance of those vows.

"Do you, Elsa Kohl…" The Chaplain spares the newcomer an almost imperceptible nod of welcome, not missing a beat in his rites. "take this man to be your lawfuly wedded husband under the Lord's eyes?" The growing audience seems to make the preacher himself grow an inch taller, and add a fraction more momentousness to the occasion as well.

Edwin 's lips turn into a smile. After all, weddings are supposed to be happy times, no? He leans back against the wooden pew and continues watching. His eyes water a little as he watches. It's always nice to see two souls united. He blinks a few times to clear his eyes.

Elsa doesn't quite yet realize they have any sort of audience, but she'll probably be blushing hard and half falling over herself thanking the man when she realizes he is there. She is now, however, caught up with the man infront of her. She only barely hears the priet's words. "I do." She echos, a heartbeat too late, but it is done. She slips a simple, somewhat old looking gold band across Bastian's finger. It was the only thing she could find in town, but it will do.

The Chaplain stops for just a moment, drawing in a deep breath and carefully shutting his large black book. "…Then, before these witnesses and under God's eyes, I now pronounce you man and wife. You make kiss your bride…"

Bastian doesn't let Elsa's hand go when the loop is slipped over his finger. He lays his freed left hand overtop the one Elsa uses to ring his finger. She may be a heartbeat slow, but he's a breath too soon. Once the proclamation of man and wife is made, Bastian is pulling her close, leaning in to the blonde before him to kiss her before the priest has even said the word.

Elsa gives a small laugh of enjoyment as she feels herself being prematurely pulled into that kiss, but she is certainly not complaining. She wraps her arms tightly around his shoulders and allows herself to be kissed long and deep, her fingertips clutching into the back of his dress uniform. She tilts her head, extending the pleasure…losing herself in that final moment of glory. Yes, they'd only known each other a rough month or two.. but it felt like they had waited years.

Edwin claps along with any other witnesses, standing up. The sleeping nurse next to him, however, does not stur. She's too tired probably. He then looks awkwardly as the couple has a long and passionate kiss.

He drinks of her lips like fine wine, if such an overused phrase can be pardoned. It is apt enough, for Bastian can't seem to get enough of the emotion sharing lip lock. So he doesn't let go for as long as he can, save what brief separations are necessary for breath… or for ducking to take Elsa's knees out from under her and cradle the lovely in his arms with a whoop and a laugh.

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