Her closest friends and family-members (minus the one contentious objector and her dear, lost Flynn) had completely taken over a beautiful manor-house and just four hours earlier she had stood in front of them in a medieval-looking hall and they had exchanged vows to love each other forever.
And they would. Deirdre honestly believed it. She would love Giles forever, or as long as his mortal life lasted. She had no idea her marriage was rushing headlong towards disaster before it would ever really get the chance to begin.
The wedding had been officiated by someone Deirdre didn't know because Peter had informed her that he couldn't perform a legal wedding ceremony when she had asked him. Instead of presiding over her wedding, the man who had saved her life on more than one occasion was asked to give Deirdre away. Deirdre couldn't help but notice that he hesitated letting go of her. She mistook it for fondness and flashed him a bright smile he hadn't quite returned.
Their wedding attendants had lined up, not adhering to gender because Deirdre had so wanted Flynn to be her Best Man. Instead, the spot beside her was left empty to signify his absence. Deirdre didn't feel like covering it up and throughout the ceremony, she felt his absence like a hole in her heart, but she carried on. She said the words she was supposed to say. She smiled and slid the ring onto Giles' finger and she let Giles put a ring on hers. She kissed Giles when they were announced as man and wife, and she smiled brightly as they made their way back down the aisle as one.
The reception was loud and happy. Deirdre mingled now, flitting between small groups of the people she loved as Serenity and Godric played piano duets on stage. Giles and Deirdre's twins were being looked after by the nanny, and every once in a while Deirdre glanced over to make sure they were getting on okay.
Deirdre was sipping strawberry champagne cocktails, her favourite, and trying not to get so completely drunk that she started talking like a pirate. It was what she did was she was drunk, but it was her wedding day, not 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'. Her name was Deirdre Raines now. They had signed the license and it had been witnessed and everything. It was legal. Maybe Deirdre Raines didn't talk like a pirate like Deirdre Gallagher had. She honestly believed she had time to discover these things about her New Self. Which meant she also believed that being married meant she would have a New Self.
She didn't feel any different yet.
Peter walked over to her and Deirdre downed the rest of her drink quickly out of respect for him. She wouldn't drink in front of her Peter. "Hey," she smiled widely at him and then she rushed into his arms. "I love you, you know." She looked up at him and then she nuzzled his face with hers, which caused him to laugh out loud. Music to her ears.
"You're a little bit tipsy, aren't you?" Peter asked, his voice conveying his fondness. Deirdre was one of the reasons he had come back to London. She was the reason he was still here. She had been the catalyst for so much, and he in turn was the reason she was still here. Nothing would ever break that bond.
"Just a little, but hey look, no pirate!" she said, beaming at him before nuzzling him again.
"But I like pirate Deirdre. Though face-hugger Deirdre is new and interesting. You're getting make-up all over me..."
"Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's secondhand Maybelline!" Deirdre sang loudly into his ear as only Deirdre could. "I could give you eyeliner and then you'd be so pretty!"
"Oh please no," Peter begged her lightly, because he knew he would do anything if she asked him. And Deirdre didn't usually ask anyway, she just did it. "Thomas already called me a girl because I cried the entire ceremony. But it was so beautiful!"
Deirdre laughed heartily and she pulled back so she could survey the damage. "Just a sec." Deirdre grabbed a napkin from the nearest table and before Peter could stop her, she had licked the napkin and wiped at the make-up on his face.
"Augh she licked me!" Peter screeched, since he was, at heart, a germaphobe.
Giles, who had been chatting with Quinn, came up behind Peter and Deirdre and he laughed, "my wife is licking someone else already?" he asked, grinning at her.
"Yes, would you like me to re-enact it?"
"No please!" Peter said, wiping at his face now with an entirely different napkin. He would have to find his wife. She would have his hand sanitizer.
"I'd rather just kiss you again," Giles said, before dipping Deirdre and kissing her deeply. It sent a happy little thrill through her body and when they straightened up again, Deirdre promptly grabbed Giles' wrist and dragged him somewhere Peter had absolutely no intention of following. And this the marriage was consummated in typical Deirdre-style. In the bridesmaids dressing room, wedding dress up over her head, her garter around Giles' hair.
And when bride and groom returned, changed into their party clothes, it was almost time for dinner to begin.