17 days, 21 hours and 1 minutes later
“Hey, man. Have we told you how happy we all are for you?” Joe asked as he waited with Pete in the airport terminal.
“Yeah. Thanks. What if her flight got canceled?” Pete nervously chewed on his nail as he searched the mass of people.
“We’re still a couple minutes early, and the screen didn’t say anything about it being canceled. Just relax.” Joe clapped him on the back. Suddenly someone bolted through the crowd, almost knocking Pete to the floor as Haley flung herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“I missed you.” Pete laughed, capturing Haley’s lips. She opened her mouth and the kiss got more heated until Joe cleared his throat loudly.
“Hi Joe.” Haley pulled away, out of breath.
“It is LOVELY to see you again.” He gave her a quick hug.
“I know, isn’t it?” she grinned, giggling. “Come on guys, you have a lot of stuff to carry.” She pulled them towards the signs for baggage claim.
“Where’s Hemmingway?” Pete looked around them.
“He’s too big, they made me check his crate.”
How much stuff did you really have to bring?” Pete whined, both his and Joe’s arms full of suitcases of different sizes.
“I have a lot of stuff. I had to bring everything for the wedding and everything for tour.” She began pointing at each one. “This one has all my clothes for tour, this one has my shoes, this is my makeup, this has all my sketches and notebooks for work. Although Kimmy and Tim have that pretty much taken care of. That is my dress, so don’t squash it.”
“What dress?” Joe looked at the garment bag in his right arm.
“My wedding dress, Joe.” Haley gave him a blank look.
“Oh, right. Got it.”
“Come on.” Haley skipped over to a corner where a security guard had told her they put oversized luggage, as Pete and Joe slowly dragged their loads behind her. She stopped in front of a pile of golf clubs, surfboards, shipping boxes and something that looked like it contained a tuba. She made her way over to a small stack of pet crates off to one side. “Hemmy? No. Hemmy? No.” she looked in each one. “Hemmy? You’re a cat. Hemmy!” she swung the door open as he leapt into her arms and growled at the cat next to him. “Was that mean…Mr. Jingles picking on you?” she looked at the name on the cat’s crate. “Let’s go.” She picked up the empty crate as they made their way to the car.
“Hey, boy.” Pete reached out and scratched Hemmy’s head as the dog just tilted his head, looking at him nonchalantly and licked Haley’s cheek. “Traitor.” Pete scowled at him.
“Did you paint my dog’s toe nails?” Pete squinted at the pink claws resting on Haley’s shoulder as he shoved all the bags in the trunk.
“We were bored.”
“But he’s a boy. You couldn’t have picked a more manly color at least? He doesn’t look tough.” He cried shutting the door loudly.
“I love you.” Haley smiled sweetly.
“You can paint his nails any color you want.” He grinned and kissed her.
“You are so whipped.” Joe shook his head, climbing into the drivers seat.
“I don’t care.” Pete shrugged, following Haley into the backseat.
“Are you serious? I feel like your chauffeur.” Joe whined, looking in the mirror at them making out. Haley reached forward and plopped Hemmingway into the passenger seat. Joe sighed.
“So what do you want to listen to?” he hit the radio button, nodding at the dog as Hemmy wagged his tail. Haley pulled away quickly.
“What’s wrong?” Pete breathed, kissing her shoulder. Haley gave him a look, glancing at Joe and pulled his hand out from under her shirt, reaching back to re-hook her bra.
“You’re going to get us pulled over.” She slid over, sitting straight in her seat.
“Come on, Baby.”
“Hey, wasn’t there something we wanted to ask Haley?” Joe swiveled his head around to glance at them before returning his eyes to the road.
“Do you think we should wait for the other guys?” Pete scratched his head.
“Wait for what?” Haley looked between the two, confused.
“Well, we were talking the other day about the tour, and you coming on the tour…” Pete said slowly.
“Am I not allowed to come?” Haley wrinkled her eyebrows.
“God, no! Of course you’re coming. We were talking about how great you were on the Panic tour, you know organizing stuff, keeping track of where they’re supposed to be.”
“Babysitting them.” Joe cut him off.
“Yeah. So since you’re going to be there anyway, we thought you could be our tour manager.” Haley gave him a blank look. “We’d make sure you had enough time for your fashion stuff, and face it, you’d probably be doing all that stuff anyway.”
“But now the label will pay you.” Joe piped in. Haley thought about it for a moment.
“Yeah, sure. I guess.”
“Awesome. I’ll have Bob talk to you about what you have to do.” Pete grinned.
Pete’s phone rang in the middle of rehearsal a few days later. There were three days until the wedding, and everyone was really stressed out. Tim had arrived the day before and he was running around the city with both moms doing last minute errands. He pulled his sidekick out of his pocket, expecting it to be yet another request for directions from one place to another. He saw Bill’s number and instantly expected the worst: Haley panicked and ran away again, or there was an accident and they were on their way to the hospital, or she decided she was a lesbian or something. “Hello?” he said into the phone, waving the other guys to stop playing.
“Hey, it’s Bill…I think you should come over here.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked, all the blood draining from his face.
“I don’t know.”
‘I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” He slammed the phone shut and tossed his bass into a corner.
“What happened?” Andy asked, standing up.
“Something’s wrong with Haley, I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Pete’s rushed out the door.
“No, we’ll come with you.” Patrick nodded, as they all filed out of the studio and into Andy’s car, since his was the closest.
“Did he say what was wrong?” Andy asked cautiously.
“No. He just said to come over there.” Pete shook his head. “Can we go any faster?”
“I’m sure it’s nothing.” Patrick placed his hand, reassuringly, on Pete’s shoulder.
“I don’t know, she did run away to Japan.” Joe shrugged, looking out the window. Pete looked panic-stricken as everyone glared at Joe.
“You’re not helping.” Patrick smacked him in the back of the head.
The car screeched to a stop in front of William’s apartment building and the guys flew out, they stopped and pressed the elevator button but ran up the two flights of stairs when it didn’t arrive quickly enough. Pete banged on the door and it swung open to reveal Bill’s worried face. “What happened?” Pete panted as they all filed into the apartment.
“I don’t know, she won’t say. She just keeps saying it’s ruined.” He led them into Haley’s old room where there was a small whimpering lump in the middle of the bed covered with the comforter. “Hales, Pete’s here. Will you talk to him?” Bill poked the lump with his foot.
“It’s ruined!” Her muffled voice sniffed.
“Baby, what’s ruined?” Pete took a step closer. A hand poked out from under the blanket and pointed to the TV in the corner that was playing the annoying soundtrack of the weather channel. “I don’t get it, what’s wrong?” he shook his head. She sat up and peeked her head out, her eyes were all red and her makeup was running down her cheeks.
“It’s going to rain all week. There’s thunderstorms and lightning and gale force winds. You know my hair looks worse than Joe’s when it gets wet.” She cried, exasperated.
“Hey, I worked really hard on this.” Joe patted his fro.
“It’s ok, we can bring umbrellas and set up tents.” Pete gently rubbed her back.
“There’s a flood warning, tents would float away. This is a disaster.” She pulled the blanket back over her head.
“We can find someplace indoors.”
“There’s 250 people, where are you going to find someplace big enough in three days?” she called out from inside her cocoon.
“I have an idea!” Patrick perked up.
“Yes! Time to use our best man super powers. Team-Pete’s-wedding, AWAY!” Joe ran out of the room followed by Patrick and Andy. “I SAID Team-Pete’s-wedding, away.” Joe stuck his head back in the room.
“I’m coming.” Pete turned back to the blob in the middle of the bed. “I’m going to fix this for you, even if we have to have it at a Holiday Inn in Ohio.”
“I like Ohio, they have cows.” She sniffed.
“I told you I was going to fix it, and I fixed it.” Pete smiled as he drove through the city the next morning. “Are your eyes still closed?”
“Yes.” Haley sighed.
“We had to call in a couple favors and give away a few free tickets to our show, but we found a place inside that can hold 250 people.”
“That isn’t gross?”
“It isn’t gross. Open your eyes.” He pulled into a parking space. Haley blinked her eyes open and looked out the window.
“Yeah! Patrick thought of it, he remembered seeing something on their website about private events. There was actually supposed to be a show that night, but Andy knew one of the guys in the band, and they rescheduled. The guys are rounding up everyone we know to move all the tables and everything over here.” Pete jumped out of the car, opening Haley’s door for her. They walked in the front door and Haley looked around as Pete beamed proudly.
“Wow, this is going to look really nice.” Gabe, Bill and Ryland were stapling white and purple fabric to the walls, since they were the tallest, as Victoria forcefully instructed them on how to drape it. She finally pried the staple gun from Gabe’s hands and did it herself. Pete’s brother, Andy, Nate and Jon were setting up tables and Alex, Spencer and Patrick were following them, unfolding chairs. Brendon and Joe were placing tablecloths while Mike and Michael set out silverware, as they all complained about how girly it was. Sisky and the Butcher were fighting on the stage about how to set up the little pagoda at the end of the aisle. It was currently at a 45-degree angle, and only with someone holding it up. Tim was running around the room in circles yelling at anyone who wasn’t working fast enough, mostly Ryan and Kat who were carrying in flowers and stuff but stopped every couple feet to giggle and throw stuff at one another. “How did you get everyone to do this?”
“I told them I’d get them all kicked off the label.” Pete grinned. “And they wanted to do something nice for you. Turns out, they really like you.”
“Really?” she asked, sarcastically.
“Yeah, they couldn’t care less about me though.”
“I can kind of see that.” Haley grinned. Pete gasped, dramatically and elbowed her in the side. “Ow, hey!”
“So we didn’t have enough room to sit and watch the ceremony and then have the tables, so people are just going to sit at the tables, the aisle will go down the middle here, they’re going to put in a ramp.” Pete gestured to the stage. “All the stuff will happen on the stage and then someone will clear it off and it’ll be the dance floor.”
“Wow, you really thought this out.” she nodded, impressed.
“It was a group effort, we were brainstorming last night.” he shrugged.
“Just take all the credit yourself, they’ll never know.” She whispered before skipping off into the room.
“Are you really going to wear ALL this?” Pete asked, hauling Haley’s suitcases out of the car. The wedding was tomorrow, and they would have to be on the buses ready to leave at 8:00 the morning after to make the show that night, so they were loading as much as they could a couple days early to save time.
“You didn’t have to bring these two. They’re for the wedding, they’ll stay at Bill’s house.” Haley pulled two bags out of his arms and put them back in the trunk. “This one and that box go inside, and everything else can go underneath.”
“What’s so special about these?” Pete looked at the two rather small bags.
“That one is my makeup, and the other one is for the bedroom.” She winked.
“Oh…can I look at it?” he tried unzipping it after he deposited the others in the cargo compartment.
“No! Not yet.” She grabbed it away from him and walked up the steps into the bus.
“We’re back here.” Pete led her to the back and tossed his bag on the queen size bed in the back.
“What happened to Joe? He was right behind us.” Haley looked around the bus and out the window.
“Oh, he’s on the other bus for now.” He scratched his head.
“But isn’t it usually you and the dog and him and the weed and them and the cleanliness?”
“Yeah, well…we’re technically on our honeymoon, so Joe asked Patrick and Andy if they’d mind if he rode on their bus. He thought we’d like the privacy.” He kissed her lightly on the lips.
“Oh. How considerate.”
“And the door’s soundproof.” Pete slid the bedroom door out of the wall.
“You were that confident in yourself?” Haley smirked.
“Well, it was originally built to be a traveling recording studio, but it’s an added bonus.” He grinned. “You think we should test it out?” he guided her towards the bed.
“Not now, we all have to get to Timmy’s rehearsal or he’ll get mad.
“Everyone line up!” Tim clapped to get everyone’s attention at the rehearsal the night before the wedding. The three bridesmaids and the three co-best men took their places as Haley yawned in boredom and Pete typed away on his Sidekick. Haley’s phone buzzed in her pocket, she pulled it out and read at the screen:
1 NEW TEXT MESSAGE
“Did you text me? You’re so weird.” She whispered to him.
“Silence! If we don’t pay attention, we’ll all look retarded tomorrow? Is that what you want?” Tim shouted. Haley flipped her phone open.
-u look hot- “So immature.” She shook her head, giving Pete a look.
-ur gonna get us in trouble-
-u wanna get out of here- he smirked when she looked over.
-do u wanna look retarded tomorrow?-
-tim scares me-
-me 2- Tim stepped in front of them and held out his hand.
“I’ll take those.” He scowled at both of them as they sheepishly placed their phones in his hand. “I’m confiscating these, you can have them back at the end of the day. Were you texting each other? That’s ridiculous.” He glanced down at one of the phones before putting it in his pocket. “Ok, as we were. You do all this, la-dee-da, I do, I do, then walk back down the aisle starting with you.” He pulled Haley and Pete out of the lineup. “Then you all line up and start walking on my cue, I’ll be up there.” He pointed to a spot in the center of the balcony. “Start with you, then you, then you.” He stood the couples together, it was Patrick and Giselle Bundchen, then Andy and Victoria, then Joe and Kimmy. “No, no no. This is all wrong. You’re like a foot shorter than her. You two switch.” He pointed at Patrick and Joe. “She’s still taller than you.” Joe nodded his head at Giselle, grinning. Giselle gave Haley a look, and they both just laughed. “Do you have any flats?” Tim asked Giselle.
“I have flip-flops.” She shrugged.
“That’ll do, this wedding’s going down the drain anyway. You’re dismissed.” Tim waved them off.
“So, what are you guys doing tonight?” Haley turned to the guys.
“Bachelor party.” Pete smiled.
“Yeah!” Joe high-fived Andy.
“Cool, are you going to have strippers?”
“Um…noooooo…” Joe averted his eyes, guiltily.
“Hey, guys. I got a huge stack of singles. This is going to be awesome!” Dirty ran over. “Oh.” He spotted Haley and hid the wad of cash behind his back.
“I don’t care.” She laughed. “As long as he doesn’t get anything contagious and no one shows up looking for child support in nine months.”
“Dude, this is the best chick ever!” Dirty gave her a hug that was more of a headlock.
“Eew, my face is in your armpit.” She pried herself away from him. “Just make sure you all drink a lot of water so you don’t look too hung over in the pictures. I’ll see you guys later.” She started walking away.
“What are YOU doing?” Pete called after her.
“Oh, we’re not getting strippers either.” She shrugged.
“Guy strippers? Eew.” Joe shook his head.
“Come on, lets go get Patrick de-virginized.” Gabe said, approaching the group.
“I’m not a virgin!” he shouted, adjusting his glasses.
“Sure you’re not. Just like I AM.” He slung his arm over Patrick’s shoulders.
“Alright men, there are a few ground rules we need to cover.” Pete, Joe, Patrick, Andy, Dirty and Gabe who were all lined up along the hallway like fugitives. Haley was pacing in front of them, lecturing as Giselle stood menacing behind her, glaring at everyone. It was the day of the wedding, and everyone was getting all prettied up, or as pretty as Dirty could get.
“Aren’t I not supposed to see you?” Pete asked.
“I don’t care, I’m not dressed yet.” She waved the question away.
“Should I close my eyes?”
“If it makes you feel better.” Pete shrugged and left his eyes open. “So…this is the most important day of my life.
“What about Pete?” Joe pointed at him.
“No one’s here to see how pretty Pete looks. Vogue magazine paid $7 million dollars for the pictures.
“7 million.” Giselle echoed.
“Those pictures will last in the tabloids forever.”
“We have several very large security guards keeping out the paparazzi. If anyone-ANYONE-gets drunk,” she pointed at Dirty. “High,” she pointed at Joe. “Or in anyway obnoxious,” she pointed at Gabe. “I will have them throw you out. I don’t care who you are.” She pointed at Pete. “I will not have you making my grandmother feel uncomfortable.”
“Her grandmother’s very sensitive.” Giselle piped in.
“Or doing anything that would give the magazine anything bad to say about me. We have a very touchy relationship right now. Any questions?”
“No, ma’am.” Patrick said as they all shook their heads and Dirty saluted.
“Good, because I have absolutely NO problem throwing any of you out.” She spun on her heel and left, as Giselle huffed and skipped after her.
“Oh my god, this is really happening!” Haley breathed as Giselle squealed and wrapped her arms around her and hugged her tightly as all the girls were lining up to walk down the aisle.
“I feel like you’re my baby sister getting married!” Giselle let go and straightened Haley’s veil.
“Ok, places everybody. It’s almost go time.” Tim breezed into the room. “Let’s go through the checklist. Something old?”
“This necklace is my grandmother’s.”
“I borrowed Victoria’s mascara?” Haley scrunched up her nose.
“That doesn’t count.” Tim shook his head.
“You borrowed your necklace and earrings from Harry Winston.” Kimmy pointed out.
“Oo, that counts.” Haley nodded enthusiastically.
“Ok, something blue…” Haley lifted her dress up to reveal a pair of electric blue patent leather platform sandals with thick straps that crossed over her toes and wrapped around her ankle. “What am I ever going to do with you?”
“I got them in Japan, I knew they’d come in handy.” She grinned. “Except I’m WAY taller than Pete, I’ll have to slouch.”
“You will do no such thing!” Tim shouted, appalled as William stuck his head in the door.
“Hey, has anyone seen Ryan? He’s supposed to help usher people to their seats.”
“I saw him around here a few minutes ago.” Victoria said, looking around. Just then there was a loud thud from a closet in the corner. Kimmy went over and cracked the door open, giggling. Tim peered in and swung the door open with a sigh.
“Out. Both of you. You have jobs to do.” Ryan and Kat guiltily sulked out of the closet with mussed hair and rumpled clothes. “Can you send your dad back here? We’re just about ready.” Tim called as Bill retreated from the doorway, laughing at Ryan.
“Oh, yeah. Sure.” The girls all lined up in their positions. Kimmy and Victoria were wearing long lavender dresses with dark purple ribbons around the waist, while Giselle had the same dress in opposite colors to distinguish herself as the maid of honor. Tim did a final adjustment on everybody’s dresses and hair as Mr. Beckett arrived. Haley looped her arm through his as Tim pinned a flower to his jacket.
“Your mother and I are so proud of you sweetie.” Mr. Beckett kissed Haley’s forehead as the music started.
Pete, Joe, Andy and Patrick filed up on stage and stood at the makeshift alter like a row of penguins in their matching tuxes. Pete kept fidgeting, straightening his tie for the 100th time since they got up there. He looked out at the crowd of people looking up at him. He was way more nervous to be standing there than he had ever been playing a concert. His eyes locked with his parents sitting in the first row, who seemed to sense his nerves and gave him reassuring smiles. He chuckled at the wad of tissues in his mom’s hand. She was already dabbing at her eyes while scolding his brother and sister for teasing her, like always.
“So what do we so again?” Joe asked, patting his freshly cut hair. They practically had to use a lawn mower, and he had been pouting about it all day.
“We just stand here until it’s over, then walk out.” Patrick sighed, it was the fifth time he’d explained it.
“Oh, right. I’m with Giselle. I’m totally going to touch her butt!” he grinned. “But that’s all we do?”
“Yeah.” Patrick nodded.
“Man, I thought we got to do something cool.” Joe whined.
“We don’t ACTUALLY have superpowers.” Andy laughed.
“I know that.” Joe scoffed.
“Dude, relax.” Patrick clapped Pete on the back, stopping him from fixing his tie again.
“I’m just nervous.”
“Don’t be, I saw Haley when I went to the bathroom and she looked hot.” Andy said.
“Why was she in the guys’ bathroom?” Joe wrinkled his eyebrows.
“She wasn’t, she was in the hallway right by them.”
“Oh. I wish we had super powers. Or like James Bond, we already have the outfits.” Joe nodded.
“James Bond has a bow tie.” Pete grinned.
“We could probably tie these in a bow…” Joe examined his purple tie. “Why purple?”
“Haley likes purple.” Patrick shrugged. They all immediately shut up as the music started and the doors in the back of the room opened. The three brides maids slowly marched down the aisle before the song changed and Haley appeared in the door along side her father. Pete held his breath as he watched her walk towards him. Right then, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and he couldn’t imagine ever being happier. His mind flashed back to the sad, scared girl he didn’t even know existed walking towards him off the plane from Japan not too long ago. So much had happened since then, to her, to him and to both of them. It was the end of their old lives apart, and the beginning of their new lives together. He was going to protect her. Nothing would ever hurt her again.
“Pete. Breathe.” Haley whispered, giggling as she stepped up beside him. He smiled over at her and turned to face the priest. The rest of the ceremony went by in a blur. Before he knew it, Haley kicked him lightly in the shin.
“Oh, uh…I do.” Joe handed him the ring.
“And do you, Haley Amanda Beckett, take Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III to be your lawfully wedded husband?” the priest turned to Haley.
“I do.” She grinned.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride.” Pete beamed and planted his lips on Haley’s, dipping her back as she shrieked in surprise into his mouth and the entire crowd burst into applause.
Here's the bridesmaids dresses: http://bluefly.com/pages/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=2047122641&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2007186721&rvform=true
I have no idea where that whole "end of the old, beginning of the new" paragraph came from. It's freaking poetic. And to think I thought of it at 3:00 in the morning!
So, anyway, that's the end. Hope you liked it. There's a SLIGHT possibility I will fulfill some people's requests for a trilogy, but it won't be for a couple months. I don't have any ideas right now, and I don't want it to be some cliche "have kids, they're happy-no they're not, did he cheat? Does she still love him? But they all live happily ever after in the end. Unless one of them dies tragically." And I'm getting kind of tired of the characters, I've been writing these stories since, like July. It's exhausting. I think I might re-write another story I posted on here but abandoned part way through.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who reviewed both stories, you're the reason I kept up writing, knowing that someone was enjoying it.
I should have the first chapter of my new/old story up in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for it.