ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2012-07-13 12:06 am

Fake News | Aasif & Olivia | PG | What Do You Wear To A Geek Wedding, Anyway?

Title: What Do You Wear To A Geek Wedding, Anyway?
Rating: PG
Pairings/Characters: Olivia & family, Aasif, background Olivia/Kristen and Kristen/Rich
Warnings: Mental health issues (anxiety, OCD)
Disclaimer: #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. Characters belong to the Report. Names of real people are used in a fictitious context, and all dialogue, actions, and content are products of the author's imagination only.

Olivia's a bridesmaid at her girlfriend's wedding. It's not great for her insecurities. Luckily, she has an Asian-ish friend around to give her a pep talk.

For my [community profile] hc_bingo round 3 card, prompt "panic attacks".

The happy newlyweds-to-be had booked time for the ceremony at a fancy old house in the countryside, its contents and grounds preserved by the local Historic Society for the education and enrichment of generations to come. The rooms where the bridesmaids were getting dressed, for example, were full of Victorian beds and chairs, with the original curtains and slipcovers moldering happily away behind protective ropes.

Also, the wedding was superhero-themed. Olivia had a feeling she and Kristen were the only ones who saw nothing weird about this arrangement.

Not that it was a cosplay extravaganza, or anything. Except for Stephen (who had shown up in full Batman gear, which he was going to regret after about fifteen minutes in the sun), most of the connections were pretty subtle. If you hadn't read the right Uncanny X-Men issues, you would have no idea that Emma Frost had ever worn something as modest as Kristen's bridal gown. Jon was in a completely average suit, and Olivia had assumed he was too normal for this nonsense until she spotted the Green Lantern ring and cracked up. Sam's dress was cut in such a way that Olivia had assumed it was playing into the theme, until she complimented Sam on the homage and got a confused "Who's 'Power Girl'?"

As a bridesmaid, Olivia had been able to call dibs on Wonder Woman. Her dark blue strapless sheath dress came with gold accessories and a subtle star pattern in the fabric. It was classy enough to pacify even her mother (who had originally found "that tacky comic book nonsense" almost more scandalous than the fact that Olivia's partner was marrying someone aside from Olivia).

At least, until it refused to zip up at the side.

"You see?" exclaimed Olivia's mother, while her sister yanked at the zipper and she tried, unsuccessfully, to hold her breath. "You buy this nice dress and now you not even fit into it! Why you in a bridesmaid dress at all, huh? You should be a bride!"

"Mom, please," panted Olivia. "It's fine. This is fine."

"It not fine! This woman good enough for you, why she want to go marrying someone else? You leave her, bam, you find someone else in a heartbeat. Men all over, they line up just for chance to kiss your hand! Why you not go for it? You want to break your mother's heart?"

"All right, Mom," interrupted Olivia's sister, abandoning the effort (with Olivia now taking rapid, erratic breaths, it was a lost cause at this point) to take their mother's arm. "Let's go look at...a thing. Uh...bouquets! Olivia's supposed to have a bouquet, right? Let's go find that. And maybe yell at some people if it isn't pretty enough."

Okay, fact: Olivia loved her mother to death. But at the moment the door closed with the other two women on the far side of it, she silently thanked God, Allah, Artemis, Thor, H'ronmeer, and whatever other deities might be listening in.

When she had managed to work herself down from the panic attack, though, it started to sink in that she was alone in the bedroom of a vintage house, staring at the way her bridesmaid dress looked in some dead woman's mirror. This was how horror movies started.

Olivia congratulated herself for not screaming when someone knocked.

"Are you decent?" called the visitor. Aasif. Good, he was definitely not dead, unless something had happened in the last hour that Olivia didn't know about.

"Mostly!" she called in answer. "Close enough. I mean, my boobs are falling out of this thing, but I've got cups on underneath."

"So...does that mean I should come in, or...?"

"Get in here."

Aasif was wearing a suit with no tie, his top two buttons undone to reveal a glimpse of a Superman undershirt. A credible pair of fake glasses completed the ensemble. "Heard you're having Tiger Mom problems," he said. "So I figured I'd offer my Asian-ish wisdom."

"What I could use is to spontaneously lose five pounds." Olivia sat down in a huff (on one of the chairs they had brought in, because the Historical Society would have a fit if they touched Lady McColonial's original duvet), sticking her hands under her thighs to keep them from pulling out her hairdo or something. "This isn't fair! I used the exact same diet I break out before I do a bikini photoshoot, and for twice as long, too, so I wouldn't have to feel bad when I ate a truly disgusting amount of pie at the reception. I'm not even kidding, it was going to make people spontaneously develop diabetes just watching me. And now the stupid—dress—won't—fit...."

"Okay, okay, just hold on for a second!" ordered Aasif, projecting his Authoritative Reporter voice over her increasingly choked one. "It sounds like you need a distraction. Journalism drill! Where does the event take place?"

"Th-the historic estates of somebody or other," sniffled Olivia.

"Who is involved? No civilian identities, please."

"Uh, let's see. Wonder Woman. The White Queen. Wolverine. Superman. Batman. Green Lantern. Let's say Power Girl...."

"Who's Power Girl?"

"The one with the boobs."

"Isn't that all of them?" Before Olivia could try to explain the origin story, though, Aasif went on: "Never mind. That kind of detail work is for bloggers. Next question: will this wedding be good for Barack Obama?"

"Um." Olivia chewed on her lip, thinking. "I's a traditional man/woman marriage, so it won't energize the Republican also won't screw with Jon's credibility by association, and let's face it, while he kind of can't even with Obama sometimes, he really can't even with Romney. And while the open-marriage thing might grab their attention, it didn't exactly get them worked up against Gingrich, so...yes?"

"Perfect!" exclaimed Aasif. "That's exactly the kind of quality analysis the 24-hour networks were built on. Now, keep that same sense of objectivity and tell me: is the dress what you're upset about? Because we can figure out something to do about that. Or is this one of those things where it's something else completely? And if so, are you going to make me guess? Please don't make me guess."

He was making her laugh, which helped as much as anything else. "It's a little bit the dress," she admitted.

"And the rest is...?"

"The rest is...why him? Which is stupid! I know! He's her primary, he's the guy she was living with before she even met me, he basically has dibs. It doesn't mean she doesn't love me. I know that. But is there something I could have done? Like, what if I had a steady gig in New York? Or if I had pushed her about it being a feminist statement to go for the all-lady wedding? Or if I put my foot down and said, no, I am not settling for—"

"...or what if you bulked up, donned a mask and costume, and went out crimefighting by night?" said Aasif. "There are infinite possible what-ifs, and since we are not in fact filling airtime on a 24-hour network, I'm going to cut you off there. Now give it to me straight—well, straight-ish. Is all this your anxiety and/or your mother talking? Or are you actually not fine here?"

"Anxiety," said Olivia glumly. "And Mom. Mostly."

"Uh-oh. You have talked to Kristen about this, right?"

"Of course! the sense that I told her I couldn't be happier for her and she said that was great."

Aasif groaned. "That's it," he said, striding toward the door. "I'm stopping this wedding."


The word exploded out of her without having to think about it, as Olivia leaped out of the chair. Her half-zipped dress was jostled down her torso with the motion; she yelped and grabbed at it, hiking it back mostly into position while Aasif waited with remarkably non-voyeuristic patience.

"I want Kristen to get married," she panted at last, following the threads of realization that her outburst had clicked into place. "And okay, maybe we need to have more of a conversation about me being a panicky heap of insecurity sometimes, but I want it to be after I've stood by her side at her awesome vintage superhero wedding. Even if this stupid outfit falls apart completely and I have to do it in somebody's borrowed T-shirt."

Aasif relaxed into one of his curving smiles. "Now that's an answer I can believe in. Although, c'mon, someone around here has gotta have a safety pin or something."

"Oh, sure, I've got one in my purse," said Olivia absently. "But what self-respecting Princess of Themyscira wears her formal dresses tacked together with pins?"

"Couldn't you cover it up? I mean, they just did a Wonder Woman costume redesign that gave her a jacket, right?"

Olivia stopped short as the understanding sank in. Then, wardrobe malfunctions be damned, she grabbed Aasif and squeezed him into a tight hug, tearing up this time for only the right reasons. "Ohmigod, you're right! You are the best geek protégé ever."

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