(1940-04-10) All the Things You Are
Details for All the Things You Are
Summary: Flight Leftenant Charles (Birdie) Faulkner takes Rena to be his lawfully wedded wife - and hopefully make an honest woman of her, once and for all.
Date: 1940/04/10
Location: Westminster Abby

"I'm afraid I'm just making it worse," Rena says, her hand trembling slightly as she tries to perfect the arrangement of pin-curls around her head. The veil is resting on a soft-cushioned chair nearby, and her father leans against the wall, holding the bouquet. He's an older man, but he's aged decently well. He has cool gray eyes that seem sharp and keen like a hawk's, somehow; and while his hair has begun to silver, he is just as much a redhead as his daughter.
"M-maddie, you remember everything, right? How it's supposed to go and all." Rena hopes so, because she's occasionally faltering and drawing blanks in her mind. Nerves.

Madeline is also posed in front of the mirror, peering at her new dress, and fingering some of the little lace details. She's very pleased over the pretty frock - even if it isn't quite so nice as Rena's. "Oh, umm, yes!" The girl answers brightly. "I just have to go down ahead of you, and spread the flower petals, but not throw them waaaaaaay up into the sky even though they really ought to be because Birdie's a pilot and all." But they'd already had this discussion at the rehearsal. "That's it, right?"

Rena allows herself a small, nervous giggle: "Yes, that's right. I wish we could have it our way, but what with this being such a grand church, we've got to be respectful."
Pausing to look at her curls once more, the young woman breathes a small sigh: "I know you're going to love him, Maddie. He really is absolutely wonderful. And he's just crazy about books!" Straightening, she turns to her father and smiles more softly: "And he's so very much everything you ever wanted for me - and more, Dad."
The older man tries very hard not to show much emotion, but his eyes seem to be a little misty: "Well, I can't complain that 'e ain't old enough to take propah care of my songbird," he jokes, trying to break the tension."

"Well, he flies with Dai, so he must be nice!" Madeline says cheerfully - a bit of 'logic' that if she really looked at it, even she could see right through. "I do like books. I could loan him some - does he like science fiction?" she asks. "And why does everyone call him Birdie? Can I call him Birdie? I wish you didn't have to be Mrs. Faulkner. He should be Mr. Lee, instead. Don't you think?" She turns away from the mirror to look up at Rena as she talks - meandering from one topic to another with little rhyme or reason.

“Well,” Rena says after a moment of thought, “It'd be grand if we could work it so it were the other way 'round with last names. But…” She leans in and whispers conspiratorially behind her hand: “We've got to let men 'ave things like that so it seems like they're in charge.” Rather like appeasing a child with candy, that. One must maintain the illusion.
Rena's father coughs, pretending not to laugh at the remark.
“As for Birdie…” Rena stops and looks somewhat quizzical, “You know, I never asked him why they called him that. I suppose because he's such a great pilot.” One final glance in the mirror and she's done primping. “I think it's fine if you call him Birdie. His real name is Charles, but he's always saying he prefers the nick.”

That being said… Rena can delay no longer. The hour has arrived.

Maddie doesn't pretend not to laugh - she giggles openly. "Still - it'd be nice if he were Mister Lee!" At the indication from Rena, Madeline gives her dress one last glance, then retrieves her basket - before giving Rena a sudden, warm hug. "I'm so happy!" she says brightly. Of course, the hug causes her to spill some petals, and she struggles to hastily scoop most of them back into her basket, so she can get into place.

Rena smiles and returns the hug just as warmly. She truly does look like a radiant bride, today. Radiant and very much at peace with her decision. She knows she's doing the right thing, this time. "So am I, Maddie. More than I've got words to tell."

Dress uniforms having, thankfully, been put aside for the duration of the war, Faulkner only has to deal with not tripping over the unfamiliar sword he wears as he paces back and forth near the altar. The majority of the small crowd are also in RAF uniform, those lads of the London Defense Squadrons who could get away for the day.

Faulkner's family - his grey-haired father in a severe civilian mourning dress, his mother in clothes fashionable amongst the wives of well-to-do country squires, and his brother and brother's family - fill about half a front pew. Someone has managed to get one of the RAF's chaplains to the church on time as well, and the older man flips through the Book of Common Prayer, making sure he remembers how the whole 'marriage' thing is supposed to go.

For one so bereft of actual blood relations, there is quite a little assortment of people on Rena's side of the aisle. They are dressed in their best clothing - which might be considered a little bright by some - and they certainly don't match one another. Friends and well-wishers from back in the day when she was a showgirl; and, it's easy to guess that most of the young ladies are showgirls themselves. They're on their absolute best behavior possible for the occasion, and doing their level best to not seem out of place at the same time.
A few of the girls can't help but stare at the well-off family over on the other side, occasionally whispering something and stifling back giggles to one another. Finally, the eldest female of the pack (and the finest dressed) casts a severe, warning glance at the youngsters. Finally, silence is achieved, and the sense of quiet decorum resumes.

Guy is wearing his sword, because, well, he's got it. Aside from that, however, he's in service uniform, apart from actually _wearing_ his medals, rather than simply the ribbons. He ambles up to Faulkner, to murmur, "No sign of her yet. My car's outside, you still have a chance to run for it, old man!"

It is a good thing that he's more then adept at dressing properly when out and about in London though this time he's clearly overdressed for a normal day out or walk in the park. Graham is wearing a suit nicely pressed and well kept. He looks to the church thinking or wondering why he'd never been inside previously. Oh well first time for everything and he'll enter into the area nope still not caught fire.. that's good. He walks into the main hall to be shown "Uh, friend of the bride." he says with a thankful smile.

"It's no use, old man, she'd find me." Faulkner says, with a nervous laugh. He slaps his gloves into his opposite palm, then tucks them into a big bellows pocket to avoid the nervous tic. "Besides, she probably drives as well as me, these days. Blast you for getting her started on that."

Guy gives a chuckle, and nods, turning to give a rather gruff smile towards some of the showgirls, "Fascinating friends she has, doesn't she?"

"Lord love a duck," Rena mutters nervously. She's as twitchy and on-edge as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Even her voice has become a little shaky.
Her dress is not as ostentatious as it might have been a year ago - before all this war nonsense began - but it is demure, sweet and lovely, nonetheless. Creamy white satin, without too much embellishment beside, it seems to suit the little redhead perfectly.
"Do I look alright?" She whispers tremulously to the older man beside her. All this time, he's been standing aside and looking on with quiet thoughtfulness, reserving his regrets for time lost and harsh words spoken in the past. When the question is asked, he smiles and gently hands the bouquet of roses to his daughter and kisses her on the forehead. "You look as beautiful as your mum the day I married 'er. Sure as sure. In fact, you look close enough to 'ave been 'er twin. She'd be so proud of you."

The answer enough to make Rena's eyes well with tears - happy ones, for a change. Without another word spoken, she slips her arm through her father's and they walk together to the door. Deep breath… cue the music… and go in.

Graham spots at least two he knows thus far he'll give a nod to Guy and Faulkner as he is lead to the bride's side of the crowd sitting just behind the brightly colored group though he doesn't seem to mind this. "Hello, i'm Graham Cohen. I work with Rena and a friend of her's." he'll offer greeting friendly as he ever is. Its clear he's nervous a little just looking over the assembled though just shifting about a bit in his seat.

Seren is one of those folks gathered on the bride's side of the church, though her attire is not among the brightest nor flashiest. She could have blended into the other side of the church well enough, if not for a hat that doesn't quite fit the situation. But it's close. As the music changes, Seren turns with those around her.

And the music starts, and everyone, of course, turns to look down the aisle, as Faulkner gets into his place, presumably with Guy, who is doing the duties of best man.

Guy moves into his position. Flanking. Wingman. That sort of thing. And he starts theatrically patting his pocket for, presumably, the ring.

Graham hears the music change and turns in his seat like many other he only then spots Seren and offers her a small wave as well though the auror is silent watching for the doors and everything for things to commence. He's calmed his nerves now though and is just taking in as things go on.

Entering ahead of Rena, Madeline walks at what is clearly a repeatedly practiced pace that has her tapping her toe with each step to keep her from racing down the aisle. She reaches into her basket, decked with colorful ribbons (some of which she put there herself and don't really match, per se, but still look very nice in Maddie's eyes) and scatters about some fresh flower petals. She lets them drop and flutter to the floor with a minimum of throwing - that is, until she gets to the end of the aisle, at which point she takes her last handful and tosses it high into the air before retreating to her seat up at the front. …what? She had to! He's a pilot!

Rena falters the moment she's inside the door. The Abby is so outlandishly grand and huge for such a little and insignificant woman. At least, that's how she feels. The sheer scale and the weight of the history of the place is enough to give anyone pause. However, swallowing hard, she lets her eyes drift downward to the roses in her bouquet. If she focuses on the flowers and just lets her father do the walking and leading, she won't be so overwhelmed.
It feels as though it takes forever to reach the end of the aisle where the actual people are stationed, and Rena does not have the nerve to lift her gaze until then. Her glance falls on her old stage friends, and Graham and Seren, and she finally begins to smile. And then, they arrive at the alter where the men are waiting. The smile brightens into a girlish beam directed at Guy before softening again as her gaze moves to Faulkner. Now, she only has eyes for him. It all feels like a dream, somehow.

After Rena reaches the front, and the music dies down, the Chaplain opens his book and clears his throat. After a moment, he's back in the swing of things, "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honourable estate…." He continues on with the opening until reaching the "Therefore, if any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace."

A brief pause. Nobody is going to object, surely.

The Chaplain then turns to Faulkner, "Charles, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?"

Faulkner nods, and answers, "I will."

Guy casually shifts, so he can see Rena's face when she gets to the 'Forsaking all others' bit.

Now is not the time to be feeling dizzy. Keep it together, Rena… It's a good thing she's still got her father's arm to cling to, for the moment.
Now, the chaplain turns to the young woman and speaks: "Irene, wilt thou have this Man to thy wedded Husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?"
The past is in the past. Everything will be different now. This time around, things could not be more right. The young woman catches the look from Guy for a fleeting instant, and her expression shows no doubts or reservations. And so, lifting her chin, Rena - or Irene, rather - answers: "I will."
The father of the bride gently unwinds her arm from his, giving her over to Faulkner's charge.

Shelley arrives late - the better to, well, avoid most everyone, the truth be told. The bride is already at the alter, with the chaplin droning on, when she slips into a pew near the back - well removed from the rest of the guests. After all, it'd be rude to draw attention to herself during the ceremony and Shelley would never be ru- okay, no one would really believe that. She just doesn't want anyone to see her at a wedding.

The bride wanders and at least Graham smiles immediately. He can see that she's nervous though when she smiles properly he grins as she seems to relax a bit further. The auror turns back in his seat and will face forward now listening to the ceremony. He has heard the vows spoken by just one other couple but still they are nice to watch be exchanged.

The minister takes Rena's hand and puts it in Faulkner's as they recite their vows. "I Charles take thee Irene to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward…" Finally, it's Guy's big moment, and the Minister turns to him, "The ring?"

Guy casually produces one from his uniform breast pocket. Yes. There the whole time. He removes it from the lace on which it had been secured, and tucks that away, before handing it to Faulkner.

When the ring comes out, there are some small murmurs from the congregation, and while those seated alongside Seren are among those, she herself is merely craning her head to see a little better, solemnly watching the proceedings with a great deal if quiet curiosity.

One can always trust Guy to just do everything in a cool, calm and collected way whilst taking everything in stride. Rena allows herself a fleeting smirk. It means so very much to her to have him here today. It means the world to her. Surely he knows that.
With her slender little hand held in Faulkner's, she doesn't dare glance back to the gathering of people. Part of her worries that one of them might cause a disturbance to the decorum when it's all over. It would be just like some of her show-folk to whistle and cheer.

Faulkner accepts the simple gold ring from Guy. It's blessed, and then taking Rena's much smaller hand in his, he says, "With this wing, I thee wed…" and he slides it onto the ring finger of her left hand.

The couple kneel together for a blessing, and then the minister puts his stole over their interlaced hands, "Those whom God hath joined, let no man put asunder." Then, "Charles and Irene having consented together in wedlock…" The moment that they've been waiting for, "I pronounce that they be man and wife together."

Is it improper to kiss in church? Who cares. Faulkner takes Rena in his arms and gives her a kiss.

Graham watches in silence as the ceremony carries on. The ring brought out he does sit up a bit to get a look of it if he can though he's also looking from the couple and over the crowd. He smiles to see Rena happy which had been sort of in question for too long. He will watch as the ceremony is sealed and claps politely.

Rena has flown through the sky on both broom and plane; she's sped down the road at breakneck speed in a car, but nothing can really compare to the joy and exhilaration she feels in her heart right now. She's up in the clouds - not down there on the earth. Irene Lee is no more. Irene Cassandra Faulkner is her name from this day forward, and she couldn't be happier.
Even as she enjoys the loving kiss shared between herself and Charles, her friends decide that the silence can be borne no more. Decorum be damned. They erupt in joyous cheers, clapping and… god help poor Irene, whistling in the somber edifice of Westminster Abby.

Guy gently claps his gloved hands together. Then he retrieves his hat, and Faulkner's from the front Pew. Clearly, a chap doesn't stay covered in Church, but equally clearly, an officer should be properly dressed as soon as he exits.

There is, of course, more praying, and a sermon on the nature of men and women to follow, but that part seems to pass quickly enough. Eventually, it is time for the recessional, and Faulkner takes Rena's arm in his and they head for the back of the church.

With Rena's friends hooting and hollering right behind her - is it any surprise Madeline joins in as well, bouncing in her seat as she claps enthusiastically. "Yay, Rena!" the girl calls out - popping to her feet to follow the wedding procession back up the aisle. It takes a little while to realize (and remember) that the chaplain is going to give a sermon before they all leave the church. Who can blame her? They didn't practice that part! She reluctantly sits back down, and stares down at her feet as she swings them idly. Her shoes have a nice bright polish to them - she really must remember to thank her mum for polishing them up. It takes a moment to realize that the sermon is over, once it does finish, and she hastily pops to her feet again to trail after the wedding party.

Its after the rest of the spoken words and it seems the couple are retreating. Graham stands up "Congratulations you two." he says as they pass each getting a smile from the auror though he will hold his place until its time for them to follow.

Guy hands Faulkner his cap, and dons his own, at the appropriate moment, offering his arm to a bridesmaid as he limps down the aisle. Whether or not the other takes his other (sword) side remains to be seen.

"Thank you, Graham. I can't even tell you what this all means to me," Irene answers softly when they pass her fellow Auror. Then, as they walk, she leans her head against Faulkner's arm briefly, breathing a sigh of contented relief. "Oh, Birdie… Do you even know how happy I am right now?" She asks, just loud enough for him to hear. They are a lovely pair together. He looks so dapper in his uniform, and she, so lovely in her dress.
The two bridesmaids look at each other with a sparkle of mirth in their eyes when Guy offers his arm: "Lor' it's him!" Dora says conspiratorially, keeping her voice low. "You mean the cad what taught Irene to drive?" The other asks, feigning a wide-eyed expression. Dora, the dark haired one, and Agnes the blonde don't even hesitate to seize Guy's arms from either side. Even he gets to exit the church in style today.

Shelley smiles briefly at Rena as she passes and, being so close to the back, has no trouble in slipping out before the rest of the guests. She doesn't even bother to stay around to see whatever it is the Muggles are doing with their swords.

As they emerge from the Abbey, Irene and Faulkner are greeted by two lines of RAF officers, holding their dress swords. At the word of command, the blades go up to form an arch for the couple. At first, they are blocked by the first pair of officers - until Faulkner kisses her again, gaining them the permission to pass. Faulkner shakes his head and smiles a bit as his colleagues, but as they pass the last sword in the arch, one of the swords drops and gives Rena a light tap across the bottom as she passes, "Welcome to the Squadron, Ma'am!"

Who would have ever thought Irene would have a wedding like this? She certainly never dared to hope or dream of it. As if it weren't marvelous enough to have the ceremony in the Abby, now as they leave, they pass through the sword arch. It's all too much for her to take in. It's so much bigger than she is, and she smiles radiantly. The tap from the sword comes as a bit of a surprise, judging by the look on her face. However, she is quick to laugh gaily. Now, she really is part of the 812th.

And it as at this point, just as Guy is looking a bit irritated, that a roar can be heard. Ah… would this be why? A little late, but not _too_ late, three Spitfires dip down to what MUST be the limit of the 1000ft over built up areas 'rules', in a neat V formation, overfly the wedding party and soar on off, up to more sensible heights.

Skipping down the aisle - quite literally - on the heels of Guy and his double escort comes Madeline Evans, in her pretty little dress. She's pleased as punch to be the 'center' of the attention (or near enough), and her expression shows even more delight as swords are pulled out to form an arch. She happily traipses through, doing a little twirl part way, and emerging just before the spitfires fly overhead. "Whooooooa," the girl says in awe. "I want aeroplanes to fly over my wedding!"

There's a car waiting to whisk Rena and Faulkner off to the reception at the Officer's Mess, but they stop to extend well-wishes (and doubtless for photographs) before leaving. Faulkner turns to Guy, after the Spitfires pass, "That was some pretty sharp flying, old man. I hope that London Defense doesn't get too purple-faced about it on my account."

Irene's mouth drops open as her gaze quickly moves to the sky overhead. Will today's wonders NEVER cease? A delighted little squeak escapes from the young woman before she can stop it from happening as the spitfires roar above them. She is the complete contrast of Faulkner's reserve. She practically skips over to the Squadron Leader, throwing her arms around him. "You reprobate. You're the best in the world." She says, kissing his cheek before letting him go again. "And all of this is your fault. I won't ever forget it."
It had to be said before rejoining her husband at the car. If it weren't for Guy, she wouldn't be here, happily marrying the love of her life… And all of this because she bumped into a grumpy man on a snowy night.

Guy laughs softly, "Oh, it was nothing. They needed a training flight…"

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