Four Weddings & A Funeral
Summary: It's sad that it took four weddings and a funeral to get to this point. But when he thought about, he wouldn't trade it for anything.
Maia and Tanner
March 15th, 2018
He got his invitation in the mail. He was emblazoned letters read: CHERI HAMILTON FORMALLY INVITES YOU TO THE MARRIAGE OF JAMES TANNER LLOYD AND MAIA DANIELLE HAMILTON. Blayne had gotten the call earlier in the year. Tanner needed a best man, so Blayne grudgingly agreed to do it. His tux was hanging in his tiny closet of the Chicago apartment he owned. He was currently working his way up in Med school, at one of Chicago's highest rated universities.
People always said he was a future deadbeat in high school. And they were right, until he got off of his butt and realized that he needed to care more. Of course, caring meant doing good in school. Not going to his old best friend's wedding. He sighed and placed the mail on his counter, before changing into his scrubs and driving to school. The wedding was in two weeks. Great.
Blayne rushed into the boathouse's guest suite, where the groom and groomsmen were getting ready, carrying his tux in a hanging bag. Tanner was pacing nervously, already dressed, a single white rose in his lapel. "Blayne, man," Tanner said hurriedly. "I'm freaking out, freaking. Out. What if she ditches me? What if she gets hit by a meteor?"
"One, that'd be hilarious," Blayne deadpanned. "But two, it's also impossible. I'm pretty sure she's been in love with for forever, and she accepted the proposal right? That's a good sign."
Tanner stared. "You suck at romance."
"I suck at nothing, I just think it's stupid," Blayne shrugged, changing into his tux. He added the white rose to his lapel. "What do you need me for?"
"Well, I think the photographer wanted to get the groomsman and bridesmaids together before the wedding, and then do the rest of the pictures afterward," Tanner explained, opening a heavy wooden door that led to the dock. Maia was immediately in love with the idea of a lakeside wedding, and having the reception in the boathouse. It was a gorgeous venue and a beautiful early spring day. Blayne walked over to where Braxton Mason, Owen Mattox, Jacob Shake, and Matt Branton were waiting, all goofing off, like the old days.
Braxton was tall and wiry, with scraggly brown hair and blue eyes. Owen was a shorter, stockier guy, with wide-set brown eyes and tan skin, his dark brown hair falling over his eyes. Jacob had buzzed hair, and constantly laughing blue eyes. Matt, an Italian guy, grinned when he saw Blayne.
Blayne hardly awknowledged them, instead looking over to where the bridesmaids were laughing loudly. Oh no, he thought, looking to where the maid of honor was standing, beside a short blonde he knew looked familiar. Hannah was here? He could see her from a mile away, hair long again, and twirled into a curly updo. Madison (long blonde hair, blue eyes) was beside her, looking elegant in the blue dress, and Alyssa Franks (a meium-height girl with curly brown hair) was there too, not to mention Cortney Pugh (a tall, pale, dark-headed female) and Alex Lambert, the Latina track star. Blayne cursed inwardly at how quiet Hannah was. Crap. She'd mellowed out over the years, which probably meant he could carry on a conversation with her. Which he didn't want to do. At all.
She laughed quietly at whatever Madison was saying, eyes glancing over to where he was unsurely. Like high school. He quickly turned to face Shake and made small talk, waiting on the photographer. Once arriving, she immediately paired them off.
"Okay," she smiled, looking trendy in a scarf and boots, "I want you and you-" she pointed to Alyssa and Braxton, "you and you-" Owen and Madison, "you and you-" Alex and Matt, "and you and you." She pointed to Cortney and Shake. Hannah looked taken aback when she realized she'd been paired with Blayne.
Blayne, of course, inwardly cursed and walked over to the short blonde holding the bouquet of white roses. "Let's get this over with," he mumbled. Of course the first words he says to her after four or five years would be those. Great.
She bit her lip and touched her face, knowing Maia might kill her for messing up her makeup before pictures, then nodded. The groomsman were lined up along the edge of the dock, and the bridesmaids were to sit on the wooden railings beside them. Hannah was terrified of falling off. They posed for the picture, then Hannah quickly hopped down, almost ripping her expensive dress. She rolled her eyes and Blayne said, "It would have been hilarious if you would've fallen in."
"No," Hannah said, "What would've been hilarious would have been your dead body after I told Maia it was your fault." She grinned and raised an eyebrow, walking away to the next picture spot. Blayne whistled. Was she always that witty? Huh. He'd never noticed.
Soon, all of the pictures were taken and it was time for the wedding. Hannah waited patiently as the music started and looked out to see all of the groomsmen standing there, looking quite dashing. But she shook her head and started to focus again. It was her time to walk down the aisle...as a bridesmaid. She took a breath and walked down the aisle, noting that the wind was picking up, making her dress blow to the right. It'd look either awful or amazing in pictures, and Hannah was hoping for the latter so she wouldn't have to face Maia's disappointed face.
She stood beside Madison and smiled happily, her breath catching as Maia walked in, her elaborate ballgown looking stunning on her Marilyn Monroe-esque figure. She looked gorgeous. But she turned to look at Tanner. His face said it all and more. It was her favorite part of the wedding, seeing his face. The vows were exchanged and the two became Mr. and Mrs. James Tanner Lloyd. Now it was time for the reception.
The music was loud, but not overly so. Hannah clutched her glass of champagne like a lifeline as she stood awkwardly to the side. Madison, almost drunk, bubbled up beside her and said, "You know what my favorite part about weddings is?"
"What?" Hannah laughed.
"Random hookups with the groomsmen," Madison winked, then guaffawed. "Just kidding! I have a fiance, I can't do that anymore! Oh hey, someone is handing out more champagne..." she said, then teetered away on the sky high heels. Hannah had slipped hers off earlier, in favor of some beat up Toms no one could see underneath her dress.
"Hookups at weddings, huh?" A familar voice smirked. Hannah turned her head to the side to see Blayne, this guy she had a crush on in high school. She gulped.
"I don't hookup," Hannah warned, mostly to herself, though Blayne didn't know that. "Or date really..."
"Mm," Blayne hummed, casting his eyes downward. "Seems like you were taller earlier."
"Three inch heels aren't my friend," Hannah said, pulling up her dress to reveal the tattered Toms. "I might break my neck. I trip over everything."
"Like powercords. And pencils. And air," Blayne said, referring to seventh grade. That was an awkward year. They'd had every class together.
Hannah grinned and brushed a strand of her long hair out of her face. "Yeah. Like that. So what did life have in store for you?" She tried, changing the subject.
"I'm at med school in Chicago," Blayne started, and Hannah raised her eyebrows.
"Chicago?" Hannah asked. "That's like, 789 miles from New York."
"That's..." Blayne started. "Creepy."
"I know my city," Hannah said. Blayne felt a tinge of...something when Hannah referred to New York as 'her city.' Had she forgotten Oxford that quickly?
"Well, I live directly in the city," Blayne said, watching as Hannah's green eyes shone. "It's kind of amazing there. I see why you wanted New York so badly. Big cities are great for blending in."
"Or standing out," Hannah contradicted. She looked around the lakehouse, watching as Maia and Tanner shared their first dance. She sighed.
"What's wrong?" Blayne asked awkwardly.
"Nothing," Hannah mumbled.
"Do you..." Blayne began. "Want to...talk about it?" He wasn't very good at this talking thing.
"Nope," Hannah said.
"That's a first," he laughed. "How's New York? Is it everything you always talked about?"
"So much more..." Hannah breathed. "Turns out everyone in NYC has a lot of problems. Therapists are both needed and wanted. Did you know one time Miley Cyrus came by my office, hoping for some help? I had to sit through the whole appointment without either laughing or calling Caleb."
"Caleb?" Blayne asked. He sounded familiar.
"My old best friend," Hannah smiled wistfully. "He lives in Alabama still. Married. With a kid."
"Well, you sound happy about it," Blayne said sarcastically, his black curls ruffled. Hannah was going to say something but Maia came over, face red slightly from dancing so much.
"Hannah! You've got to dance to this song, it's like, required!" She babbled bubbily. "Who doesn't like Damian McGinty?"
Damian's single 'Home Tonight' was slow, and very Micheal Buble-esque. Hannah obliged and got pulled by Maia to the dance floor. She was a horrible dancer, Blayne admitted with a laugh, especially slow dancing with another girl. When Maia got stolen by Tanner, Hannah looked around awkwardly before trying to leave. However, a savior in the form of Connor Culver, a tall basketball player who was not one of Blayne's friends in high school, danced with her laughingly.
Blayne was ticked. Maybe she didn't want to dance and he just waltzes in and steals her. Against her will. Stupid Connor.
Alex and Cody
June 5th, 2018
Seriously, this was getting ridiculous. It was the second wedding this year. Alex was getting married to one of Blayne's (nicer, better looking and overall better) cousins, Cody, and he was invited. But it was ridiculous because Hannah was most likely going to be there. It was a beach wedding in North Carolina, and it was going to be at sunset, meaning Blayne had to be casual. Which was a bonus. He didn't think Alex would throw a very fancy wedding.
He was staying at a hotel, and on the day of the wedding, put on some khakis and a white button-up, and Sperrys, and made his way to the beach where the wedding was. He was faced with a cute little blonde eleven year old passing out programs, wearing a lightweight red dress. Her hair was extremely curly and she was smilng widely.
"My name's Marleigh, what's your name?" she asked. Wait, was this Hannah's sister? He remembered her being born in seventh grade. Hannah was gone for a whole day.
Blayne grabbed a program and said, "Blayne. I'm Blayne." His hazel eyes scanned the beach.
"I've heard of you!" Marleigh grinned. "Hannah says you're the bad word she saw at Maia's wedding. I don't like you," Marleigh said, stomping her foot. Blayne smiled and walked down to his seat. He sat where he could see Cody's face pretty good. His favorite part of the wedding was looking at the poor sucker getting married's face. Seeing the expression made him believe that he might get that one day. When he looked away the feeling was gone.
The music started up and the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. He didn't recognize any of the bridesmaids until he got to Hannah. Her hair was pinned back on one side (it was cut short again, like in high school) and the red, short dress was swaying in the light, cooling breeze. She was carrying a bouquet of tiger lilies and she was smiling widely when she stood at the front, waiting on her best friend to walk down the aisle.
Alex looked beautiful, her long, long hair down and curly, a veil not present. Her dress was almost Grecian-looking, and extremely simple. It was perfect for the beach. When reaching the altar, the vows were exchanged and they were married. She grinned as the two ran into the ocean, getting soaking wet. She didn't seem to care because she motioned for everyone to join them. Blayne watched as Hannah took off her flip flops and ran to the edge of the water, hesistantly stepping in. Alex, of course, pushed her in head first. She got completely soaked and her stress was sticking to her.
She stomped over to where Blayne was standing, watching the display, and mumbled, "Made me pay 200 dollars for this dress, it better be dry-cleaned..."
Blayne laughed as the make-up ran down her face, making her look like a raccoon.
"What?" She asked, glaring.
"You look horrible," Blayne said truthfully. She just crossed her arms and went to go change for the casual reception.
Alex had changed into a light blue sundress and gladiators, and her hair was pulled into a ponytail. Obviously comfort was the most important thing, considering the reception was under a tent on the beach. It was getting steadily darker and lanterns and tiki torches littered the outskirts of the tent, providing light to the close group of people.
Hannah was looking comfortable in short white shorts and a tank top, covered by a baggy, oversized striped cardigan and flip flops. She watched happily as her best friend danced the night away, clutching a Dr. Pepper with her free hand. She was sitting on one of the tables, and Blayne was watching her from afar.
This was the second wedding both of them had been to. Not together, per se, but they were both there. What was the coincedence in that? He gulped and got the courage to walk over there to talk to her when-
"Oh my gosh, Connor!" She grinned as he pulled her off the table.
"We have to dance again, you promised," Connor grinned, still as tall as ever.
Hannah nodded as a fast song came on, and the two made their way to the dance floor.
Blayne sighed and sat back down. This party sucked. You know, he might just leave right-
"Dude," Owen groaned, sitting down beside Blayne. "You seriously need to get over yourself and go talk to her."
"To who?" Blayne feigned innocence.
Owen glared. "Seriously? Don't play this game. You are an idiot if you can't see you've been in love with her since eighth grade."
"Who on Earth are you talking about?" Blayne asked increduously. "I honestly can't believe you think I-"
"Think?" Owen interrupted. "I know. Seriously, it took me years to come to terms with the fact that Madison was crazy, but she was the only crazy for me, know what I'm saying? You, however, are a pathetic little med student that has absolutely no courage whatsoever and you think you're better off."
Blayne was about to say something but Owen cut him off. "I don't wanna hear it. Get your stupid little idiot self over there and dance with yo' woman."
"You have never been gangsta," Blayne deadpanned. "Don't ever talk like that."
"Whateva!" Owen said, and with the energy of a frat boy went to go dance wildly with his fiance. Blayne sighed and slumped on the table, head on his hand.
Owen and Madison
November 11th, 2019
"You picked my birthday as your wedding day?" Blayne asked as Owen pinned the pink carnation to his lapel.
"Yeah, dude, it's so I won't forget it," Owen winked. The two had an ongoing joke in freshman year that they were gay. It seems like they still kept it going.
Blayne groaned as he looked at all twenty bridesmaids clad in hot pink. Madison has always been known to go overboard. They each wore silver glitterly stilettos. At the end of the line Hannah looked very uncomfortable. Wait, Hannah? Blayne groaned and hit his head against the door. Owen looked on in shock.
"Are...you okay?" He asked, backing away.
Blayne nodded. "Hannah's here."
Owen grinned and punched Blayne's arm (hard to do considering he was six foot two). "I knew she'd show up! When Madison searched for her twentieth bridesmaid, I suggested Hannah. You're welcome!" Owen sing-songed.
Blayne groaned and lined up beside Owen. The ceremony was in a fancy, expensive ballroom. Most of the decorations were hot pink, zebra, or sparkly. If the person he married wanted a wedding like this, he might end the engagement. It probably looked great to most people, but Blayne hated it. He thought it was an eyesore.
The slowed-down version of a Justin Beiber song started up and Owen began to sing. Blayne wanted to get the heck out of there. This whole wedding was just...Madison. It was driving him crazy. The bridesmaids made the long walk down the aisle, teetering on the four inch heels, with a little blonde girl throwing out the flower petals (pink, of course). Hannah looked plain uncomfortable, but no one would know unless they knew her really well.
Madison walked down the aisle with her father next. Her dress was surprisingly simple, but it fit her really well. The two exchanged vows and walked back down the aisle. Blayne sighed in anticipation for the reception. Her cake was probably zebra print.
He was right. Of coure, with all of the alcohol and dancing, it was a pretty good reception. Until Madison turned bridezilla and screamed at Hannah for changing out of her stilettos.
"You okay?" Blayne asked. "She's kind of brutal."
"Yeah, it's cool, it's her day and all," Hannah mumbled, biting her lip.
"So?" Blayne interjected. "It may be her day but you're still a person and you deserve to be treated like one."
Hannah looked up at him with wide eyes. "Says the high who pushed people into lockers in high school..." she trailed off. She ran a hand through her shoulder-length blonde hair and sighed.
"I'm not the same guy," Blayne said stonily. "I'm not who I used to be."
Hannah just looked down.
"You haven't changed," Blayne noted. "You still let people walk all over you."
"No I don't," Hannah began, then changed her answer. "Maybe I do..."
"See?" Blayne pointed out. "You changed your answer. You need to stand up for yourself."
"I don't want to make anyone mad," Hannah said, slipping on a thick jacket over her formal dress and grabbing her purse. "I'd better just go."
"Well then why don't we both go," Blayne suggested. "The best man leaving at 9 with one of the bridesmaids is bound to start some kind of scandal."
Hannah rolled her eyes and just walked away, Blayne following close behind.
"You better not follow me to my apartment," Hannah warned. "I have a rape whistle."
"Please," Blayne deadpanned. "Knowing you, there's probably mace hidden in your jacket pocket."
Hannah grinned and whistled for a cab. She was so glad that they decided to have the wedding in her city. She knew her way around and no one could call a cab like she could. When one stopped she hopped in and much to her chagrin Blayne joined her.
"What are you doing?" She stage-whispered, for no reason at all.
"Maybe I could get a personal tour of New York?" Blayne questioned.
Hannah shook her head and rolled her eyes. "Maybe next time."
"So there's going to be a next time?" Blayne grinned, handing Hannah his phone number.
April 18th, 2020
"We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Heather Hyatt."
Blayne gripped his seat with an edge that hadn't been there in years. He glanced around the Chicago funeral home to see people crying, some full on sobbing. He just sat there, motionless, feelingless, like he was in high school. Once he finally dug himself out of the hole something put him back there again. He felt tears well in his eyes as they continued to say nice things about his mom.
He was twenty-two years old, with no mom and no dad. He felt completely and totally alone. They closed the casket to get ready for the burial. Suddenly, a small hand tapped him on the elbow.
"Are you okay?" A familiar voice asked, and Blayne turned around to see Hannah, wearing a yellow peacoat over a black lace dress and ankle boots.
"No," Blayne admitted for the first time since the overdose. "No, I'm really not."
"Do you need to talk about it?" Hannah asked, daring to smile half-heartedly in such a somber enviroment.
"No," Blayne said, turning away.
"Are you sure?" Hannah bit her lip, as she watched the casket being put into the hurse.
"No," Blayne said, before he broke. He cried, and cried, and cried, and cried, for the first time since he was ten. He let everything out, the frustrations of his teen years, to all of his problems up till now. He leant on the small girl's shoulder, both twenty-three year olds trying to be as quiet as possible. But it was okay. Hannah felt her heart break for him, instead of because of him.
"How did you get here?" Blayne asked, wiping his eyes. They were walking to the gravesite, seeing as it was only a short distance away.
"I drove," Hannah admitted. "Nonstop. I'm kind of tired, but I'm sure with some coffee I can make the trip back."
"It's 789 miles," Blayne deadpanned, wiping his tears still. "That had to have been at least-"
"Ten hours," Hannah yawned.
The two became silent as the pastor said a few words, and they prayed for a minute or two and the service was over. Hannah immediately stepped in a hole, and by instinct Blayne grabbed her hand. By instinct he may have forgotten to let go. One of the local churches had provided a few meals for the family (Blayne), so a few of his closest friends drove back into Chicago for lunch with him.
"We're really sorry, Blayne," Maia said, holding her baby bump. (Christian James Lloyd was due in two months.) "If there's anything we can do, let me or Tanner know. We're here for you."
"Thanks," mumbled Blayne.
Owen and Madison walked up, too, hands clasped. Owen pulled Blayne in for a hug, the other man towering over him, and said, "It'll all work out, buddy, it'll all work out."
Hannah was last to leave his house, and she simply smiled and the two hugged.
"You can stay here if you want," Blayne rushed out, before turning a bit red. "So you won't have to drive so long."
"Thank you," Hannah said. "I appreciate it." The two sat in silence for a long time, the TV drowning out all thoughts.
"I hear Chicago is becoming pretty active in the theatre department," Hannah said suddenly. "And My Fair Lady is closing soon. Being Eliza for so long is draining." She had gotten cast in an off-Broadway musical earlier in the year.
"And NYU could use some med students," Blayne mumbled. "I'm sure that they'd accept me."
"Yeah..." Hannah started awkwardly.
"I like you," Blayne said, feeling like an idiot. "Have since high school." He looked over to a picture of him and his mom from high school. He felt a pang in his chest.
"Same here," Hannah breathed. Silence. "What does this mean?"
"When I get myself together again..." Blayne deadpanned. "Do you want to go to dinner or something?"
"I think that'd be great," Hannah grinned.
THREE YEARS LATER
Hannah and Blayne
May 25th, 2023
"Oh Lord..." Hannah said, pacing back and forth. "Oh Lord..."
"It's different when it's your wedding, huh?" Maia grinned, holding hands with a two-year-old Christian. He was in a mini-tux and looked aboslutely adorable. He inherited Maia's curls, but they were brown, and Tanner's shade af blue eyes. He was biting his fingernails, and Maia swatted his hand away. He had a yellow carnation tucked into his lapel, because sunflowers are too big to put in a lapel. Hannah looked as stunning as she could get, in a lace sheath dress and white flats. Her bridesmaids were clad in soft yellow dresses and white flats, and the dress was really comfortable. Maia was expecting again, a little girl, and Madison was heavily pregnant with twin girls.
Hannah should've been mad that everyone was pregnant for her wedding, but she just laughed it off and ordered mostly maternity dresses. Marleigh was a bridesmaid this year, too, and at fourteen was a spitting image of her sister. Alex too was a bridesmaid, and Hannah had four in total.
She grabbed her bouquet of sunflowers and paced again. The wedding was being held in her grandparent's backyard, underneath the old oak tree that had been there since Hannah could remember. A piece of white satin made the center aisle and white wooden fold up chairs supported the few guests. Madison was beside herself because some Broadway recruiters were there for Hannah, and she wanted to quote-unquote "dazzle it up."
"It's so hard to be dazzling without glitter!" Madison complained, walking over to Hannah.
"I'm sorry," Hannah said, not sounding sorry at all. "I don't like sparkles."
Madison pouted and placed her hand on her belly. "Little Harper Ryan and Aria Grace Mattox will like sparkles, it's their room theme!" She smiled and watched as Hannah began pacing all over again. "Chill. You don't want to look nervous walking down the aisle."
Alex grinned and slung an arm around her best friend. "You also don't want to look sweaty," she joked.
"Oh God, my pictures are going to look horrible!" Hannah said, wringing her hands. The slow music began to play and Hannah watched as Christian doubled as the ringbearer/flowerboy and the guests cooed. Alex followed, then Madison, then Maia, then Marleigh as the maid of honor. Finally, it was time for Hannah.
She walked down the aisle at just the right pace, and when she saw the look on Blayne's face, the deal was sealed.
Yeah, it was so much better when it's your wedding.