Author Topic: Mr and Mrs Foster  (Read 199 times)

Lucas Foster

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Mr and Mrs Foster
« on: August 14, 2020, 06:40:08 PM »
The big day had finally arrived, and though he wasn't the one getting married, Johnny Storm was a bundle of excited nerves. Thankfully, he'd kept his fiery disposition under wraps, otherwise Liv would kill him for ruining his tuxedo before the ceremony even began. He looked close to tears as Fliss joined him, almost ready for their walk down the so-called aisle. The Grangers had graciously offered up the gardens for the wedding, and so far, it was turning out to be a gorgeous day. Of course, it didn't hurt that the resident warlock was there to make sure the weather cooperated.

Out of sight of the guests rushing to be seated and the groom himself, Fliss bit her lip as she joined her father.

"How do I look?" she asked, almost afraid of the answer.

The dress wasn't even a dress, technically - instead, she wore a lace cropped top and separate flowing skirt in soft white, her burnished blonde hair falling down around her shoulders in soft waves. No veil for Fliss, or ornate jewelry - just a little bunch of wildflowers her sisters had picked for her, and a sparkling brooch shaped into a blue dragon from Alexei.

"Gorgeous," Johnny said, looking his oldest over with a father's adoring eyes. And old, he thought, though he didn't say that. Too old. How had she grown up so fast? He exhaled a sigh as he looked at her, feeling a mixture of pride and wistfulness.

She smiled, her amber eyes flickering with warm fire for a moment before she reached up to hug the man who had chosen to become her father. "I'm not leaving," she promised in a low voice by his ear. "I'm still going to be around. Nothing much is changing."

"You're always gonna be my baby girl," he whispered back, sniffling suspiciously as he hugged her back, careful not to crush her dress. He knew she wasn't going anywhere, and that nothing much was going to change, except that she belonged to Lucas now.

"Good," she whispered in agreement. "You and Mom are the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm really proud to be your daughter." Drawing back, she blinked away the urge to cry, kissing his cheek affectionately. "There's no one I would rather have walking me down the aisle, you know."

"Careful or you'll ruin your makeup," he told her, seeing the tears in her eyes, and reaching into his tux to offer her a handkerchief. He hoped they were at least happy tears. He loved all his children, but there was always going to be a special place in his heart for his oldest, whether she was biologically his or not. "Your mother and I are so proud of you, Fliss."

"I love you, Daddy." Smiling as she carefully dabbed her eyes dry, Fliss tucked the handkerchief back into place, glancing up at the sound of Cas and Dani herding all the little girls from the Storm and Rogers families into place. She tried not to laugh, still amazed those two had agreed to be bridesmaids and corral the very excited small children in their pretty dresses.

"I love you, too, baby," Johnny told her. That was no secret. He and Liv had fallen in love with Fliss almost from the first time they'd met and had been determined to give her a chance at happiness. Never had he imagined that he'd only love her just to lose her, but Liv had reminded him that he wasn't losing a daughter so much as gaining another son in the form of Lucas. "We just want you to be happy."

He glanced momentarily at the organized chaos that was gathering nearby and couldn't help but smile to see all those pretty faces, all of whom he had come to adore. "I am the luckiest man in the world, you know that?" he said to no one in particular.

"I am happy," Fliss promised him. "And the only reason I ever got a chance to be this happy is because you took me in, and gave me a family. I'm always going to be a Storm deep down, you know." Her smile warmed, watching him glow with pride at the sight of all those little nieces and daughters gathering together in a riot of color and giggles.

"Damn straight you are," Johnny said, maybe a little too loudly, but if anything, he was honest. He looked over at Maria with a smirk. "Language, I know!" he said, signing to her that he loved her, too.

The silent Storm offered up her cheerfully soundless giggle, breaking away from the others for a moment to hug her big sister about the waist. Maria blew a kiss to Johnny, and hurried back to grab Bessie's hand again, taking her responsibility to help her little sister walk down the aisle very seriously.

Fliss chuckled softly. "I guess it's time to get this show on the road, huh?"

"Before the troops get too antsy," Johnny replied, referring more to the gaggle of girls than to their guests. "Shall we?" he asked, offering his arm to Fliss to make that much too short walk down the aisle to hand her over to her future husband.

She took a deep breath, sliding her arm through his. "Let's do it." Ahead of them, they heard the music begin, watching as the gaggle of small princesses started to make their way down the garden aisle, some skipping, some staring, and some remembering to toss a few petals as they went. Fliss almost wanted to give them a round of applause for making it.

Johnny couldn't help but chuckle a little as he watched the girls make their way down the aisle ahead of them, but for the moment, most of his attention was focused on the young beauty at his side. Fortunately, he was fond of Lucas and trusted the young man would do his best to make his little girl happy.

As they stepped into view of the waiting guests, Fliss had a moment of wanting to run away. Not from Lucas, not from marriage, but from all those eyes on her. Being the center of attention had never been her favourite thing in the world. But today, she couldn't escape it, and as soon as her eyes met Lucas' gaze, she lost that urge to run. Her smile relaxed, warming as she let Johnny lead her down the aisle toward the man she loved.

Lucas had been waiting a long time for this moment. For years, he'd been terrified Fliss would meet someone else, love someone else, and forget all about him. She'd been his first love - his only love - and though they were young, he knew he would never change his mind about her. Today was the first day of their rest of their lives together, and he wasn't about to let anything or anyone spoil it for them. His face lit up at the sight of her, looking more beautiful than ever.

All eyes were on Fliss as Johnny walked her down the aisle, until they reached the front and he gave her over to Lucas, whispering quietly for his ears only, "Take good care of my little girl."

"What, do you want a blow by blow account of the wedding night as proof?" Fliss murmured, the only person close enough to hear that whisper and unable to let it pass without comment. She grinned at her father impishly.

Johnny smirked. "No, thanks. Ignorance is bliss and all that." He didn't want to think too hard about his daughter's sex life, anymore than she probably wanted to think about his. There was nothing else that really needed to be said, and so, he merely kissed his daughter's cheek and gave her over to her soon-to-be husband.

Giggling, Fliss slid her hand into Lucas', offering him a bright, beaming smile as Johnny retreated to his seat beside Liv in the front row. "You look so handsome."

Lucas couldn't help but smile as he took Fliss' hand in his, and why shouldn't he? He was at long last marrying the girl of his dreams. "You look gorgeous," he whispered back. He was clad in a white tuxedo with a blue tie and lapels that matched the blue in his eyes, white wings folded neatly against his back, there for all to see.

It couldn't have been more obvious to the guests who had been invited to witness that the bride and groom were very much in love. Perhaps they had already lived through their honeymoon stage, their comfort in each other's company radiating from them despite their young age. Whatever it was that connected them, it was deep and meaningful, and today was more about making it official than showing it off.

Johnny reached for Liv's hand as he retook his seat, surrounded by their children as they witnessed the happiest and perhaps most important day of Fliss' life. The love that radiated not only from the couple about to be wed but the bride's family was palpable. The same could not be said, however, for the family who sat across the aisle. They had reached an agreement, however, to keep the peace for the sake of Fliss and Lucas. It was evident to most everyone there, though, that there was no love left between the groom's parents. It was enough that they had agreed to remain civil, at least for now. Beside Lucas stood Matt - his brother and best man - who couldn't help but glimpse at Cas every now to share a smile that hinted at their own romance.

Liv squeezed Johnny's hand, knowing this was as hard for him as it was wonderful. He and Fliss had a close connection; he might struggle for a little while with her new status as a wife. But they would always be around. She glanced over her shoulder at her own sister, amused to see that Lucy was only just keeping it together and probably only because Tony was present and might see "the scary one" cry. Across the aisle ... well, it was complicated. Jessica had been white-lipped for a while when her ex-husband had walked in, but a concerted effort by Gordon and his children had both separated her from the man and distracted her. At least they all knew they could handle any outburst that might happen.

And just in case they couldn't, Tony and "the scary one" had made it clear to Daniel Foster that they would tolerate no nonsense. Today was a happy day - one for celebration - not family drama. So far, so good, but the Avengers present weren't letting Senator Foster out of their sight, until the festivities were over.

All of this was lost on the happy couple as they made their vows and exchanged their rings, safe and warm in the comfortable bubble their families had worked hard to wrap them in for their wedding day. They both knew there would likely be a little awkwardness after the ceremony, but there was none of that in the here and now.

As far as Fliss and Lucas were concerned, it was a perfect day, and their family and friends were determined to keep it that way. It wasn't long before the groom was kissing the bride and the officiant was declaring them husband and wife. Applause broke out from the crowd, along with some whistles, all of them seeming almost as happy as the couple themselves.

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Lucas Foster

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2020, 06:42:01 PM »
It wasn't at every wedding that the bride and groom were immediately swarmed by children, small and bigger, wanting to be the first for their hugs and congratulations. For a moment, Fliss and Lucas virtually disappeared in a sea of little arms and faces.

Also amid a sea of bubbles, as the children could no longer refrain from blowing bubbles at the happy couple in lieu of rice. Lucas beamed a smile, looking happier than Matt could ever remember seeing him.

As for Matt, he didn't waste a moment in claiming Cas, now that the ceremony was over. "Next time, it will be us," he whispered in her ear.

Grinning back at him, Cas winked, hooking her own arm about his waist. "You betcha," she agreed. "Next month suits you, or do we want to do this whole shebang with the many and the few, too?"

Matt's eyes widened before the look was replaced with a grin. "Nah, we don't need all this. I'd marry you today, if I wasn't worried about stealing Luc's thunder." Or was it Fliss' thunder he'd be stealing? Either way, he took advantage of the moment to steal a kiss.

Cas giggled into that kiss, quietly delighted that Matt was on board with the plan to just skip the fuss and get it over with. She hugged close to him, her smile never wavering as she watched the relevant parents start to gather up the pertinent children from around the happy couple.

But there was one parent who didn't make a beeline for Lucas and Fliss and who didn't have a small entourage to take control of. Daniel Foster was nothing if not charming. He was a politician, after all. Being charming was practically a requirement of the job. He was handsome, too, as evidenced by the genes he'd passed along to his sons.

"Matthew, are you going to introduce me to this lovely young lady?" he asked, as he came up beside Matt and Cas.

The look on Matt's face momentarily faltered. He'd almost managed to forget his father was there, but he supposed it was as good a time as any to introduce him to Cas.

"Dad, this is Cas. She's my ..." He paused a moment, as if debating how to define their relationship. "My fiancée."

Cas blinked, finally able to put a face to the specter that had been looming for the last couple of years. She glanced just once at Matt, and decided to behave herself for once. "Hello, Mr. Foster." She deliberately did not call him Senator; she was a Rhy'Din native, and that system of governance did not exist in her sphere.

"A pleasure to meet you," Daniel offered, reaching for Cas' hand. "May I call you Cas?" he asked, though it was how she'd been introduced to him.

"It's pretty much the only thing I answer to, so sure," Cas allowed, giving Matt's father her hand to shake - deliberately giving him her left hand, so he could see the ring on her finger that signalled just who had the prior claim here.

Matt was relieved to see his father give Cas' hand a polite shake before letting go. Thankfully, he hadn't tried to further charm her by kissing her hand or any such nonsense, which would have only make the introduction that much more uncomfortable.

"I didn't realize Matt was seeing someone, but then, there's apparently a lot I haven't been told," Daniel said. He had a polite smile on his face and there was no accusation in his voice, but they all knew what he meant.

"Well, it's hard for people to bond when you're blatantly not interested in them as a person." Matt should have known Cas wouldn't be able to keep herself from being blunt, but that was certainly kinder than some of the things she had said about his father in the past.

If she thought she was going to incite anger in Matt's father, she was wrong. He was a politician, after all, accustomed to putting on a mask in order to hide his true feelings. "It's even harder to bond when their mother takes our sons away and doesn't tell me where they are," he countered.

Cas didn't react, simply smiling sweetly. "There's two sides to every story, Mr. Foster," she said pleasantly. "No one on this side painted themselves like a hero or blamed you exclusively for what happened. Maybe there's a lesson in that?"

"That is very true. There are two sides to every story, and as far as I know, you only have one, but enough about the past. What's done is done. I am glad to see Matthew has chosen a young lady who has enough gumption to speak her mind," he said, seemingly unflappable, at least for now.

"No approval necessary, but thanks." Cas' smile warmed, glad to have that out of the way, squeezing her arm gently about Matt's waist as she leaned a little more into him.

"Well, I suppose I should offer my congratulations to your brother and his wife. Would you excuse me?" Daniel asked, looking from one to the other.

Cas glanced at Matt, hoping she hadn't overstepped her bounds, but since he hadn't done much, if any, of the talking, she'd filled the void.

"Dad, be nice. Lucas deserves to be happy," Matt warned his father. After all, neither Matt nor Lucas were to blame for their parents' breakup.

Daniel smiled again, looking almost amused at his son's warning. "Of course, Matthew. I am not here to cause trouble. I am happy for you both."

"I'm a dick, it's all good," Cas assured the man who would be her father-in-law fairly soon, chuckling at her own delightful description of herself.

Behind them, Fliss and Lucas had been rescued from the children, slowly beginning to make the rounds of all their guests as the chairs were cleared away for picnic rugs to be laid out across the lawn and garden for the reception.

"That makes two of us then," Daniel replied with an equally saccharine smile before departing to presumably congratulate the newly married couple.

Matt frowned as he watched his father depart. "Sorry about that," he said, though his father had done nothing to elicit an apology thus far.

Cas snorted with laughter. "Honestly? That went better than I was expecting," she assured Matt. "At least I didn't call him a dick. He did that."

"He's a politician," Matt said with a shrug. "He knows how to play the game." He watched while his father worked his way through the crowd, just as he might while campaigning for office.

"We should get him chatting to Mr. Stark," she suggested with a low laugh, lifting her chin to kiss Matt's cheek. "He can't make trouble here today, sweetheart. Mr. Storm might set fire to his ass if he does."

Matt smiled, visibly relaxing, not only because of her kiss but because she had reminded him that they were surrounded and protected by people his father was no match for. "If he dares cause any trouble, then he has it coming. Hell, Fliss might do it herself!"

Cas snorted with laughter, giving him a gentle tug over to where his mother was chatting to the Rogers. A little reinforcement of that relationship seemed to be in order, since it looked like his dad was making the rounds.

"Everything okay?" Steve asked as Cas and Matt approached their little group. He'd noticed Matt's father chatting with them and hoped he hadn't upset them in any way. What he was really asking though, was whether or not he needed to intervene.

Cas, never one to rest on her laurels, snapped her fingers saucily. "No fear, I handled it," she declared, grinning up at the literal superhero. "Bog standard human with a big mouth won this round."

Jessica chuckled quietly, but her eyes had turned to Matt with enquiring concern.

"It's okay, Mom," Matt said, catching his mother's gaze. "There's not much he can do with so many people here keeping an eye on him," he pointed out.

"I know." Jessica seemed to relax a little. "I just don't want him upsetting either of you. But then you both have fierce young ladies attached to your hips, so I shouldn't worry at all."

"I'm not upset," Matt said, though he was frowning. He had always felt more torn by the rift between his parents than Lucas had, maybe because he'd been younger when it had happened. "He just wants to be part of it, Mom. I mean, we are supposed to be a family."

"Matt, my relationship with your father should not impact your relationship with your father," Jessica told him. "I haven't done the best job of keeping you impartial, I know. But if he is here as a father, then make the most of it."

Matt frowned back at his mother. "My life is here now," he said, taking hold of Cas' hand as if to emphasize his statement. "I'm not going back."

"That doesn't mean you can't rekindle a friendship with your father, though," Jessica told him, stroking his cheek. "You've grown up into a good young man. I trust your sense and your instincts. If you want to have a better relationship with your father, that is your choice."

"Thanks, Mom," Matt said, still unsure  about the possibility of rekindling his relationship with his father, but relieved his mother wouldn't hold it against him, if that was what he wanted. He glanced over at Lucas and Fliss, as if to make sure their father wasn't upsetting them.
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Lucas Foster

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2020, 06:42:23 PM »
A little of what was being said floated over to them.

"... babysitting a kid with wings made of fire?" Fliss was saying, her amber eyes dancing in amusement as she teased her father in law. She didn't like the man, but she wouldn't be rude. Not today, anyway.

"Is Dad offering to babysit?" Matt asked, looking incredulous. He knew his father well enough by now to know he'd probably pass the kid off to one of his employees. He leaned close to Cas to whisper quietly, "Fliss isn't ... is she?" Hesitant to use the word "pregnant".

Cas smirked. "Not a chance," she whispered back to him laughingly. "Fliss is playing the perfect daughter in law to wind him up."

It was Steve's turn to frown. "Maybe I should step in," he said, turning to see if he could locate Tony in the crowd. Maybe it was time for Senator Foster to meet the Avengers.

Beside Steve, Lucy bit down on her grin. She had a feeling the three men of the family would enjoy intimidating Senator Foster, but Natasha was the one who would scare the ever living crap out of him. "No hitting," she murmured to her husband teasingly.

"Nope, just a friendly introduction," Steve said with an almost mischievous twinkle in his eyes. "Pardon me a moment?" he asked, touching a kiss to Lucy's cheek. Who know? Maybe introducing themselves would be a good thing, so long as the Senator didn't try to use the introduction for his own purposes.

"Have fun," she replied, smiling as he kissed her cheek. She didn't think it would take long for him to locate her brother in the milling guests - the problem might be getting Tony to give Morgan back to Pepper before talking to the senator.

Thankfully, Fliss and Lucas were being polite, but the line of well-wishers lining up behind his father was growing. "Dad," Lucas said, seeing the line growing. "We can talk later, okay?"

"Hmm?" Daniel murmured, glancing behind him to see he was holding up the line. He smiled and shrugged, as if to apologize. "Well, I am the Father of the Groom."

"Suck it, Fly-Guy, I'm Iron Man," a familiar voice said from nearby, announcing the arrival of Tony Stark in company with a few other interesting parties.

"Fly-Guy?" Daniel echoed, turning with narrowed eyes to find himself facing Tony Stark. He had never met the man personally, but he'd seen him on TV often enough to know what he looked like.

"Senator Foster," Tony greeted him easily. "I don't think we've met." Behind him, Natasha was rolling her eyes, wondering how she'd been roped into intimidating the father of the groom at the wedding.

Lucas looked between the trio, turning a little pale. He didn't want any trouble at his own wedding, and he knew what that trio was capable of. "It's okay, Mr. Stark. We're just talking," he assured them.

"What, I'm not allowed to kiss the bride?" Tony asked innocently, grinning as Fliss offered her cheek to her uncle. "And you're both absolutely certain I'm not allowed to buy you a house?"

"Well, I suppose we will talk later, son," Daniel said, backing away and allowing the trio to step forward, even if they were cutting in line.

Lucas seemed at a momentary loss for words, as if he was unsure who he should focus his attention on - Tony Stark or his father.

"Sure, Mr. Foster," Fliss agreed. It hadn't been going too badly, on the whole. She squeezed Lucas' arm encouragingly, before leveling a Look on her uncles. "You can take the hero out of the suit, huh?"

"I didn't say a word!" Steve said in defense of himself. He had been looming largely behind Tony and Nat though, with Tony doing the talking and Nat glowering beside him. He chuckled as he stepped forward to drop a kiss on Fliss' cheek and shake Lucas' hand. "Congratulations, you two."

"I would like to make it clear that I was not an active participant," Natasha offered, winking at Fliss as she gave Lucas a kiss on the cheek. "I can totally pin them both down later if you want me to."

"I think we had the desired effect," Steve said, feeling just a little sorry for Luc's father, who had surrendered, practically with his tail between his legs. "Would you excuse me?" he said, deciding he was going to take it upon himself to offer the proverbial olive branch.

"Just so you know, it was all his idea," Tony said as Steve stepped away, absolutely at home with throwing his friend under the proverbial bus. "Not that I mind cutting in line. You two look awesome today."

Johnny came up to join the trio, one hand on Tony's shoulder and one on Nat's, a big grin on his face. "Did I miss an invitation to the party?" he asked the pair.

"I think Steve was a little worried you might make the man's pants start smoking," Nat informed Johnny.

Fliss rolled her eyes. "You do realize he's family now, right?" she asked the three of them.

"He's still my father," Lucas said, in defense of the man, despite any personal feelings he might have about him.

"No offense, Luc," Johnny interjected. "We're just trying to keep the peace." Though it was Steve who seemed to be doing the negotiating.

"Well ... thank you for the thought," Fliss said, "but we've got this. I was doing so well behaving myself, too." She looked up at Lucas with a fond smile. "At least I think I was."

"We appreciate it. We really do," Lucas reiterated. "Just ... He is my Dad, you know?"

"Hey, who's holding up the line?" came a voice from behind them, in a teasing tone.

"I am, and it's utterly exhausting," Tony declared, turning to offer his most charming smile to whoever it was complaining. "I need sustenance. Romanov, feed me."

Natasha narrowed her eyes. "You got it."

"Ever hear of the word 'please'?" Johnny reminded his brother-in-law with a roll of his eyes. If anyone was going to get into an argument, it was more likely to be this trio than a sole estranged Father of the Groom - at least, for now. "Looks like Steve is playing peacemaker," he murmured, looking over at Steve and Senator Foster as he stepped aside to let other people offer their congratulations.

"He's the one who nearly started a war," Nat pointed out, taking hold of Tony's suit by the lapel to drag him back over to the picnic rug where Liv and Pepper were comparing notes on babies and feeding the various children who came by wanting snacks.

"I wouldn't call it a war," Johnny said, as he followed Nat and Tony back to the little circle of spouses and children. "I'm starving. Where's the food?" he echoed Tony's complaint, even if he was Father of the Bride.

"The caterer put together these enormous picnic baskets," Liv reminded her husband in amusement, her lap currently filled with Morgan and Maria. It was a much less formal wedding than any she had ever been to, and she was very proud of Fliss and Lucas for sticking to their guns on it. It felt like it was their celebration.

"So, where's mine?" Johnny asked, pouting like a child. He really wasn't much better than Tony when it came to patience, though he was unlikely to admit it.

Liv laughed, freeing one hand to pat the blanket beside her. "In the basket, sweetheart," she promised him.

Maria grinned at her father, licking her fingers before starting to sign. "There's sandwiches and chicken and grapes and tomatoes and pastries!"

"You got me at pastries!" Johnny told Maria with a grin as he dropped onto the blanket beside her. It was no secret he was happiest when he was with his family. "Alex!" he called, summoning the boy over from where he'd been running around on the grass with the other children.

Bessie crawled into Johnny's lap as soon as he was sitting down, taking advantage of him being still for a moment to claim a cuddle. Tony, however, was still protesting as Nat forcibly sat him down and rammed a chicken leg in his mouth.

Johnny laughed at Nat and Tony. "I think that's the first time I ever saw him shut up," he said, offering Bessie a grape as she crawled onto his lap.

"Nat has many skills," Liv commented in amusement, handing Morgan back to Pepper so Tony could be pinned in place for a while with his own daughter once he was finished with his drumstick.

"Apparently, one of them is enforcer," Johnny said, grinning in amusement. Whatever it was that had been said to Luc's father, it seemed peace had reigned, so who was he to argue with the methods.

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Lucas Foster

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2020, 06:42:48 PM »
"So," Tony said, now his mouth was not full, "who failed to tell her that a wedding dress is supposed to be a dress?" He grinned at the proud parents, content in the knowledge that Johnny couldn't hit him while he was holding his daughter.

"Why don't you go ask her that?" Johnny said, with an almost daring expression on his face. Fliss had always had her own sense of fashion and individuality, and he was proud of her for it.

"Let's see now," Tony mused. "Get punched by a bride on her wedding day, or get a straight answer from her parents? What a terrible choice. What do you think I should do?" This is was asked to Morgan, who just gave him a gummy smile and tried to share her half-eaten PB&J with him.

"I think you should quit while you're ahead," Johnny suggested, not wanting to get into a debate with Tony, especially about what kind of dress Fliss had chosen to wear.

"She almost wore a tuxedo," Liv said with a chuckle. "I think this suits her much better, personally."

Maria nodded in agreement. "Fliss looks really pretty."

"Fliss looks gorgeous," Johnny agreed, almost challenging anyone to argue with him. It hardly mattered what she wore - in his eyes, she'd always be beautiful.

Tony caught Johnny's look with a smirk. "Yeah ... that's a face I'm not arguing with," he declared, lifting Morgan to stand on his legs. "Uncle Johnny is a fiery mess, isn't he?"

The toddler giggled, bouncing on her father's leg happily.

"Lucky you're holding a baby, or I might make a fiery mess out of you," Johnny said. The pair got along better these days, but they still had their moments - mostly when Tony couldn't keep his big mouth shut.

"Ignore him," Liv suggested in amusement. "You didn't see his face when you were walking down the aisle. He looked like a proud mother himself."

"No comment," Tony said, averting his eyes.

"Aw, I'm touched," Johnny said, deciding not to twist Liv's words into something crude for the sake of the children within earshot, though he was sorely tempted. "I didn't know you cared," he added, reaching over to pat a too-warm hand against Tony's cheek.

In true Tony style, Johnny's hand found purchase on Morgan's cheek as Iron Man raised his daughter as a human shield between them. "About her," he argued, though it wasn't convincing.

"Uh huh," Johnny murmured, with a smirk, knowing better than to push his luck too far, where Tony was concerned. "You just love your Uncle Johnny, don't you, Morgies?" he said, tickling his fingers beneath Morgan's chin.

The little girl giggled delightedly, batting at Johnny's hand as the adults around her smiled at the little interaction. Seeing Tony Stark not only happily married, but embracing fatherhood was certainly a change from the man who had been decked by his younger sister while she was heavily pregnant just a few years before.

"You and Izzy and Marnie are gonna be besties someday," Johnny said, as though this much was given, though Tony and his family still called New York home. At the very least, they were cousins.

"Don't forget Sarah and Natalie, too," Liv said, glancing over to where the two sets of twins were apparently very seriously considering something Martin was showing them. "They're practically a girl band."

Johnny sighed. "We have a lot of kids," he said, as Bessie pushed off her father's lap to go find out what her sisters were up to. "Ugh," he murmured, wincing a little. "She keeps that up and my days of fathering children will be over."

Liv eyed her husband with a grin. "You mean you don't have your hands full with our brood yet?" she teased playfully, knowing perfectly well that on the days when he was left with sole parental duty, she tended to come home to absolute chaos.

"Hands and feet," Johnny replied. He'd wanted a big family, but he hadn't anticipated having one quite this big. Still, he adored each and every one of them and given a choice, he wouldn't change a thing. "Just keeping my options open!"

She laughed at that, leaning over to kiss his cheek. "Between the children and the animals, I'm not sure we have time to play like that right now," she teased.

"There's always time for that," Johnny said, grinning at his wife and leaning close to touch a kiss to her lips. Thankfully, there were no newborns waking them up at all hours anymore, but he hadn't dared suggested adding another.

"You have to replace me, after all," a familiar voice commented, as a figure in white thumped down onto the blanket beside them. Fliss grinned at her parents, not even blinking as Marnie appeared from nowhere to clamber into her lap.

"Impossible," Johnny said, his smile widening as Fliss joined them. "You're irreplaceable." Meanwhile, it looked like Steve and Daniel Foster had finished their chat and Steve was now talking to Lucas. "You almost gotta feel sorry for the guy," Johnny said as he looked in Daniel's direction.

"I kinda do," Fliss admitted, absentmindedly sharing a pastry with her youngest sister. "He screwed up, big time, but maybe this is the beginning of him trying to fix the holes he's made. I hope so, if only for Matt and Lucas' sake."

"Maybe," Johnny said, uncertainly. Time would tell anyway. "Either way, Matt and Lucas will always have a place here with us," he assure her. It didn't matter to him whether they were related by blood or not. Lucas was married to Fliss, and Matt was Lucas' brother; that was good enough for Johnny.

"I know." The bride smiled fondly, deeply grateful to her family for the way they had embraced not only Lucas, but Matt and Jessica as well. "But this is important to them. Just as well I'm studying psychology, or I might not have noticed that!"

"I know," Johnny said with a wistful smile. He could relate more than anyone might think. His relationship with his own father had always been a strained one, and the man had died before they'd been able to make amends. "Maybe I should go talk to him," he mused aloud as he watched Daniel meander about, looking a little like a fish out of water.

"If you do, try not to get annoyed," Fliss advised. "He talks like a politician, even when he's trying to be sincere. I think it's a reflex."

"Kind of like Tony talks like a used car salesman," Johnny said, just loud enough for Tony to overhear him. "What do you think I should do?" he asked, of his eldest.

"I get sales," Tony muttered back, but he was being distracted by Isabel, who had come over to see what was interesting her twin.

Fliss considered her father's query. "I think, if you're going to talk to him, it should be as a dad," she suggested. "I mean, you have your own experiences that have made you into the father you are, and you're an amazing father. He's made a lot of mistakes, and he needs to accept that it is going to take time to mend those bridges."

"You think Steve got through to him at all?" Johnny said, ignoring Tony for the moment as he continued to watch Daniel Foster from afar. He didn't think the man was evil; just misguided. He didn't think it was too late, even for him.

"Maybe?" Fliss sighed softly. "I don't know. It's not a conversation I can have with him; I'm just the stranger who married his son right now."

"And I'm that stranger's father," Johnny said, with a frown on his face. He seemed to consider a moment before moving to his feet, first removing any children that might be taking up space on his lap. "I have to try," he told her. Even if he failed to convince the man, at least he could give him some food for thought. And then, he was going to focus all his attention on celebrating his daughter's wedding and not letting anyone ruin it for her.

Fliss smiled gratefully. "Thanks, Dad." She leaned over to kiss his cheek, glancing up as a shadow passed over the garden - Lir, performing a small fly by so he could see the wedding as well.

Rather than be terrified by the dragon's fly-by, the children were suddenly shouting and waving excitedly to the dragon, who had grown too big for the aquarium he'd once inhabited in the Storms' home. Johnny chuckled at the sight and noticing the look of abject terror on Daniel Foster's face, decided this was a good time to intervene.

"I won't be long," he promised Fliss before making his departure.

Liv laughed quietly as he went. "Perhaps I should have talked to Alex about what Lir wanted to do today," she mused, wiping sticky faces and fingers with her apparently inexhaustible supply of wet wipes.

But Alex looked as excited as anyone, a proud grin on his face to know that that was his dragon doing the fly-by. No matter how big Lir got, Alex would always think of him as his special friend. "Mama, Mama, look! It's Lir!" Alex shouted as the dragon crossed the sky again.

"So I see!" Liv called back to her son with a wide grin of her own. "He's frightening some of the guests, though, sweetheart. Ask him to land somewhere, and you can take him some food."
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Lucas Foster

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2020, 06:43:26 PM »
"Okay, Mama!" Alex said, closing his eyes so that he could telepathically connect with Lir and ask him to land somewhere nearby but not too close to the gathering, so as not to scare anyone - even though the only one who seemed concerned about the unexpected appearance of a dragon was the Senator.

"Lir's harmless," Lucas said as he rejoined them, stealing Johnny's place beside Fliss and reaching over to snag a sandwich from the basket.

"We know that, but some of the guests don't," Liv pointed out cheerfully, climbing to her feet to go and help Alex put together a ridiculously large amount of fish for his best friend.

Fliss draped herself against Lucas' back, arms about his shoulders as she absently stroked his folded wings. "My dad's going to have a manly talk with your dad," she warned him quietly. "I think he just wants to help, though."

Lucas winced at that. "Today is our wedding day, Fliss, and I'm not gonna let anyone ruin it, especially not my dad," he told her. So far, there hadn't been too much drama, and he wanted it to stay that way. "It's not that I don't want anything to do with him. He just has to understand that our lives are here now."

"He'll get there," she promised her husband softly. "But he has to let go of his picture perfect idea of how that's gonna happen. It's going to be messy, and it'll take a long time, and he hasn't realized that yet. But just the fact that he wants to do it is a big step for him."

"Does he?" Lucas asked, looking a little skeptical. "Or does he just want us to pretend to be the perfect little family for the sake of his career?"

"If he wanted that, he would have tried to woo your mom back to him years ago," Fliss pointed out in a quiet voice. "Instead, he's accepted that she's moved on. He didn't contest the divorce. That's not a man who wants the perfect little family for his career, baby. If he truly just wanted that, he could have married someone else and had more kids."

"What do you think he wants then?" Lucas asked, before taking a bite of his sandwich. He couldn't help but be skeptical of his father, after all he'd seen and heard over the years. He knew his father's first love was his career, not his family, or so it had always seemed.

"I think he's realized that his career pales in comparison to his sons," she said in a low tone. "And I think he doesn't know how to rekindle those relationships, so he's falling back on old habits."

"I don't know," Lucas said, still sounding more than a little skeptical. He was willing to give his father a second chance, but unlike his brother, he wasn't very optimistic about it.

"How about this, then?" Fliss suggested, drawing her fingers through his hair. "Don't approach it as rekindling a relationship with your father. Try looking at it as making a friend out of a troublesome acquaintance."

Lucas wasn't sure he liked the sound of that either, but he refused to let anything upset him today. "I'm not getting my hopes up," he told her, his expression relaxing as she drew her fingers through his hair. "Besides, don't we have better things to talk about than my father?" he asked, smiling as he leaned close.

She giggled, brushing the tip of her nose to his. "Whatever could you possibly mean?" she asked, feigning innocence. "Are we already planning when we're going to give my dad a heart attack with a grandchild?"

Lucas chuckled. "Don't you think we should wait 'til you graduate?" he asked, brushing his nose against hers and looking in no hurry to pull away.

She grinned back at him. "Yeah, probably," she conceded. "Maybe until I actually have a job and an income." Giggling again, she looped her arms about his shoulders, pressing a slow kiss to his lips. "Happy, baby?"

"Always happy when I'm with you," he assured her, pressing another kiss to her lips, slow and tender. "How long do we have to stay?" he whispered, eager to get started on the honeymoon.

Fliss laughed again, hugging him warmly. "Not much longer," she promised. "We can skip out once we've cut the cake."

"Well, what are we waiting for?" Lucas asked with a smirk. The party wasn't really for them, he thought, but for their friends and family. The real celebration would begin once they were on their honeymoon.

"Mmm, so impatient, Mr. Foster," she teased affectionately, though she fully agreed with him. They had spoken to everyone who had come to celebrate with them already; no one would mind if they disappeared sooner rather than later.

Lucas seemed to have forgotten about cake, though, as he was too busy kissing his new wife. There was no encouragement needed from the party-goers where that was concerned.

"Ahem," a voice Fliss would probably recognize as her father interrupted.

Completely unabashed, Fliss took her time in ending that kiss, slowly drawing back to grin up at her father. "You called?" she asked innocently.

"Where am I supposed to sit?" he said, pouting like a child. He'd barely had a chance to start his lunch, much less finish it before he'd gone off to talk to Luc's father.

"Did the rug run out while we were busy?" Fliss asked, always happy to tease her father. "How did it go?" She tilted her head curiously at him, one arm still around Lucas.

Johnny plucked one of the twins up off the blanket and settled her on his lap, claiming her spot on the blanket. He shrugged at Fliss' question. "Have to wait and see, I guess. He made it pretty clear that it was none of my business, but I told him that you two getting married made it my business. Oh, are those pickles?"

Tony flicked a pickle across the rug to Johnny, ignoring the vaguely censuring look that got from Pepper. She had visions of a food fight breaking out, spurred on and encouraged by Iron Man.

Fliss rolled her eyes, smiling back at Lucas. "I guess we should go find the baker, then, huh?"

Johnny caught the pickle, saluting Tony before giving it a crunch. "Today is your day," he reminded Fliss and Lucas, gesturing at them with what was left of that pickle. "So try not to worry. We've got your back ... backs," he added with a grin.

"Who said I'm worrying?" Fliss answered sweetly. "This is my horny face, not my worried face."

"I did not just hear that," Tony declared, looking horrified.

"You wouldn't hear it if you weren't eavesdropping," Johnny remarked. "You're not leaving already, are you?" he asked, turning back to Fliss and Lucas with a small pout.

"We'll cut the cake first," Fliss promised her father. He should know better than to ask a newly married couple to stay and party when there were other things they should really be doing.

At that, Lucas moved to his feet, reaching down to pull Fliss up with him. "Time to find the baker," he said, repeating something Fliss had said just a few minutes before.

Liv reached out to squeeze Johnny's hand as the newly-weds slipped away from them. "It's only two weeks away," she reminded her husband affectionately. "They'll be back in no time."

"My little girl is all grown up," Johnny murmured sadly. It was bound to happen sooner or later, especially considering the fact that she was already a teenager when they'd adopted her.

"But still your little girl," Liv murmured against his ear, depositing Marnie into his lap as Isabel started to climb on his shoulders. Bessie was watching him with worried eyes from Pepper's side. "Like all of your little girls."

"I adore my girls," Johnny said. No denial there. "And my boy," he added, with a grin. He and Liv had only had one son and that son had been adopted, but Johnny had never complained. He adored each and every one of his children; each one was special in their own way, whether boy or girl, adopted or not.

Glad to see him smiling again, not dwelling on some misplaced sense of loss, Liv winked at him. "Maybe next time we'll get a brother for Alex," she murmured impishly, quickly filling her mouth with mango.

"Next time?" Johnny echoed, eyes wide. He'd assumed they were done having children. After all, they had five of them still living at home, with two under the age of two. And yet, they were both still young enough to have more, if they wanted.

She snorted with laughter at the look on his face. "Ask me again in three years," she suggested, tucking a cocktail sausage between his slack lips.

Rendered speechless, not only by the cocktail sausage but his wife's statement, Johnny could only mumble and nod his head in reply.

Across the lawn, Fliss was laughing as she and Lucas waited for the cake to be brought out for them. "I think Mom just broke Dad," she said, gesturing to the gob smacked Johnny.

Thankfully, Johnny had not choked on the sausage, finding his voice again once he'd chewed and swallowed it. "Are you serious?" he asked, his question aimed at Liv, his voice rising an octave higher than usual.
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Lucas Foster

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2020, 06:45:16 PM »
Liv's sweet smile didn't change one iota. "Have I ever not been serious when it comes to this?" she asked innocently.

"But I thought ..." He trailed off, once again at a loss for words. Though he and Liv hadn't really discussed it lately, he'd assumed they were done having children, if only for her sake.

"A conversation for another time, maybe," she suggested, leaning over to kiss his lips tenderly. "I didn't think it would break you quite that hard."

"I didn't think you wanted anymore," he told her, his voice quiet for her ears only, as he kissed her back. "You're not just the best P.A. ever; you're the best wife and mom ever," he told her with a grin.

"You never asked," she whispered, nuzzling close for a long moment. "I love our chaotic house, and now Sebastian is on board with my methods, my job is nowhere near as stressful as it was. When we've had a year of no diapers, we can revisit the idea."

"Okay," Johnny replied, resting his forehead against hers, savoring the quiet of the moment. At least, until Alex came running over to tug at his sleeve. "Papa, Papa, come play ball with us," he said, his face flushed from exertion.

"I bet Uncle Tony is good at ball, too," Liv told their son with a faintly cheeky cast to her smile, knowing perfectly well that Tony was the last person most would expect to play soccer with children.

To her surprise, though, Tony chuckled, handing Morgan over to Pepper. "Sounds like a challenge," he declared. "C'mon, fireball, let's show them how it's done."

"Have at it, Tinman," Johnny said, rising to the challenge, though it didn't seem like Tony was suggesting any sort of competition between the two men. Johnny shucked his suit jacket and tie and tossed them onto the blanket.

Tony joined him in that, both men heading over to where the older of the small children were playing kick about with a ball. Liv chuckled to herself, shaking a hand through her hair. "One of them will accuse the other of cheating in less than ten minutes."

A collective cheer went up from the kids as Johnny and Tony joined in the play.

"I'm not playing referee," Steve pointed out, as he bounced his youngest on his knee. He hadn't been asked to join, and that was perfectly fine with him.

"It looks like Nat might have been roped into that," Lucy mused, leaning her chin on his shoulder. "Oh, no, wait ... she's playing for the other team. This could get a little aggressive."

"Do you think I should even things out?" he asked, though he looked perfectly content to remain where he was. Joining the game, he thought, might give whatever team he joined an unfair advantage.

"Do you want to?" his wife asked with a faint chuckle, nuzzling her cheek to his. "You can join in the inevitable grudge match later."

Steve shrugged, smiling in amusement as he looked to Lucy. "Not really. But as soon as it gets ugly, I'll probably have to step in to end it," he said, as if he was the father figure of the group.

"You could leave it to Colin," she suggested impishly. "He doesn't get to defend his wife very often." She grinned, knowing that Colin actually liked that about Nat.

"Maybe," Steve conceded with another shrug. Maybe they'd listen to Colin better than they listened to him. Thankfully, it was just a game.

"It's keeping Johnny's mind off the bride and groom making their escape, anyway," Lucy commented, glancing across the busy lawn to where Lucas and Fliss were posing for photographs with the cake.

"What's he worried about? They're only going on their honeymoon. They'll be back," Steve pointed out, unsure what Johnny was upset about. Then again, Steve didn't have to worry about one of his daughters getting married for a long time.

"It's something most dads go through," Lucy mused. "Even though nothing is really changing, your daughter getting married is still her promising to put another man first in her heart for the rest of her life. It's a kind of goodbye to what was."

"But she's always gonna be his daughter," Steve argued, unsure how he'd feel about it were Fliss his daughter. "Do moms feel the same way?" he asked, curiously, though he wasn't sure if Lucy would know either.

"I don't know," she said thoughtfully. "Maybe you should ask Liv, or Jessica. They're the important mothers here today, after all. Although I'm not sure Liv would give you a straight answer if there's any chance Johnny might overhear you."

"Well, how would you feel if it was Lianne getting married?" he asked hypothetically. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen for many years, as she was only just going on eleven years old.

"I don't know," Lucy admitted, still giving it thought even as she spoke. "Happy for her, but maybe a little sad as well. She wouldn't be just our little girl anymore."

"She's not gonna be our little girl forever," Steve said, frowning a little in thought. Of course, the same could be said for all their children - no one remained a child forever.

"Part of me is always going to think of our children as our little boys and girls," she admitted, resting her brow against his for a long moment. "I can sympathize with Johnny, but I think he's taking it hard because he's only had Fliss for, what, seven years?"

"Something like that, yeah," Steve agreed. "He'll be okay when he realizes nothing's changed. She's always gonna be his daughter. Nothing can change that."

"Maybe he's getting caught up on the symbolism of it too much," she suggested quietly. "Or remembering how he and Sue kind of pulled apart after she married Reed."

"Yeah, but Johnny moved to Rhy'Din, and Sue stayed there," Steve pointed out, though Sue had married Reed long before Johnny had left New York.

"You can't logic away an emotional response to something, love," she said gently. "That's what this is - an emotional response. He'll think it through on his own time, but for now, he's going to struggle a bit."

"I guess," Steve admitted. There was nothing he could do to help Johnny anyway. This was something he was going to have to work through on his own.

"Besides, once he works it out for himself, he can help us in a decade or so," Lucy added, her voice more robust now as she chuckled once again.

"I don't think that's something we have to worry about right now. Anyway, a wedding is a happy thing. I don't see Fliss and Lucas going anywhere, do you?" Steve said.

"Oh god, no," she laughed in agreement. "Their roots are so firmly down, they might actually need to be hacked out of the ground to get them to move away from the Grove, much less away from Rhy'Din."

"There's plenty of room at the Grove," Steve said, though there were more families than ever before living on the grounds. "And if they need a bigger place, I'm sure that can be arranged." No one was complaining about feeling crowded; in fact, everyone seemed to enjoy living in their little corner of Rhy'Din.

"Are you wishing grandchildren on Johnny Storm before he's thirty now?" she asked Steve laughingly. "Because that will be hilarious when it happens. He'll be torn between horror and delight."

"It will be fun calling him Grandpa though," Steve said, chuckling at the thought. He was always the one being called "Old Man", though physically he was no older than Johnny.

A yell from the soccer game caught Lucy's attention just in time to see Natasha take Tony down with a flying tackle, purely so Martin could sprint past him easily with the ball at his feet. She snorted with laughter. "I thought they were playing soccer, not rugby?"

"That's what I thought, too," Steve said, turning his attention to what was going on with the ball game. It wasn't so much about who won or lost though, as it was just having fun.

There was certainly enough laughter over there to prove that fun was being had. Fun enough, in fact, to distract from the disappearance of the bride and groom, who had managed to abscond without fanfare, disappearing to their own home to change before setting off for their honeymoon.

There was laughter, too, as the newlywed couple slipped away, amused at how easily they'd been able to do it, without even being missed, despite the fact that it was their day. The cottage they shared wasn't far, and they could still hear the voices and the laughter even from there.

"Looks like we managed the first part of Operation: Escape The Family," Fliss said with a giggle, carefully hanging her wedding top and skirt up in the closet.

"Yeah, but don't you want to say goodbye before we go?" Lucas asked, as he changed out of his tuxedo and into a t-shirt and shorts. Shirts were always a problem and had to be specially made to fit around his wings, which he kept neatly folded on his back, unless he was flying.
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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2020, 06:45:39 PM »
"Do I want to see my dad trying not to cry?" she asked, her smile gentling. "He might resent it a little, but it'll be better for him if I just call later on."

"He loves you," Lucas said, though that much went without saying. He sometimes envied her relationship with her father, though it had come late in her childhood. He couldn't really remember a time when he'd ever been close to his father.

"I love him, too," she said, pulling a tank on over her head. "But that's why I don't want to make him cry. He's having fun right now, and Mom can cheer him up fast when he notices we're gone. She knows I'm gonna call tonight."

"It's not like we're gonna be gone forever," Lucas pointed out, just as others had for Johnny's sake. There were few outside the family who understood why it was that Fliss' father felt such a strong connection with her. It wasn't just the fact that they had chosen her, though that was part of it. It went far deeper than that, and it was something Johnny rarely spoke of with anyone but Liv, so how was Lucas to understand it?

Fliss chuckled softly. "I know," she agreed. "But I guess it's hard for people to remember that my dad's an emotional sausage at heart. He feels everything incredibly intensely, which is why his reactions seem so over the top. He knows we'll be back, and we're not going to be leaving the Grove any time soon. He's just all caught up in his emotions right now."

"My dad's the exact opposite," Lucas mused aloud, as he carefully hung the tuxedo on a hanger and set it in the closet. They had already packed for their trip, so there wasn't much else that needed doing.

She turned to him, looping her arms about his waist. "I think your dad's spent so long pushing his emotions to one side, he needs to relearn how to feel them," she said softly. "It's not impossible."

"All he really cares about is his career," Lucas said, a frown on his face as she pulled him closer. It wasn't the first time he'd said it and it probably wouldn't be the last. Was he willing to give his father another chance? Of that, he wasn't even sure. "Anyway, I don't want to talk about him anymore. We're going on our honeymoon. We should be happy."

"Well, I'm happy," she said impishly, rising onto her toes to bump her nose to his. "Aren't you? Am I going to have to work harder to make your endorphins rise?"

Lucas couldn't help but smile. Fliss always had a way of making him feel better. "Of course, I'm happy," he said, his arms going around her to pull her even closer. "But I'll be even happier when we're on our honeymoon," he told her, touching his nose to hers.

She beamed, brushing her nose to his. "I guess it's time to open that envelope Uncle Tony gave us, then." She didn't seem all that eager to let go, however, enjoying the gentle warmth of just holding and being held.

Lucas rolled his eyes at the mention of Uncle Tony, and yet, there was a smile on his face. "Is this going to be like a game of do you want what's in the envelope or do you want to trade it for what's behind the curtain?"

She snorted with laughter. "According to Steve and Lucy, he's got good instincts when it comes to honeymoons," she mused, lifting her chin to kiss his lips quickly.

"So, where's he sending us?" Lucas asked, assuming she didn't know the answer to that question. He was just a little skeptical about "Uncle Tony's" choosing a honeymoon destination for them, but since the man was paying for it, he didn't think it would be right to look a gift  horse in the mouth.

"Let's take a look." Reluctantly drawing away, Fliss picked up the ornate envelope on the coffee table, carefully opening it up to reveal details of some kind of accommodation booking and instructions on how to open a portal to get there.

"Laucala Island?" Lucas said, as he read along with Fliss. "Is that on Earth?" he asked further. Though Earth was his native planet, he'd never heard of it.

"Like I'd know," she laughed, handing him the evidence of their booking as she explored what else was in the envelope. "Oh, it's part of Fiji. I guess it must be tropical, huh?"

"Yeah, Fiji is in the Pacific," he said. "North of New Zealand, I think," he added, though he wasn't sure she knew where that was either, seeing as she wasn't from Earth.

She nodded slowly, though her expression made it clear she did not have the first idea where these places were. "I went to Disney in a place called France once," she offered innocently, wrapping her arm about his waist. "Okay, this says there's a portal we can open with this stone next to the hawthorn tree in our yard that will take us to an arrivals lounge on the island."

Lucas chuckled. "Yeah, it's nowhere near France," he told her. He wasn't an expert in geography, but he had a pretty good understanding of where most places were located on Earth.

"So it won't rain on us?" she asked playfully, knowing perfectly well there was nowhere they could go that was completely free from rain at some point in the year.

"It could, but if it does, at least, it's warm," he replied. Then again, going in August meant it would be winter there. Still, he didn't think it got that cold in a tropical clime such as Fiji.

"So I guess we're ready to go, then." Fliss bent to pick up her bag - she had never understood how her mother could fill a suitcase to bursting for a three day trip, but then, she was definitely not as well groomed as Liv.

"Shouldn't we thank him or something?" Lucas asked, as he, too, reached for his bag and slung it over a shoulder. He didn't really want to chance running into his father again, but he didn't want to be rude either.

"Phones are wonderful things," she reminded him with a small smile. It would be nice to say goodbye, but they both knew if they went out to the party looking ready to leave, they wouldn't be allowed to go for at least another couple of hours.

Lucas smiled. "True. Shall we?" he asked, hiking the bag higher. Now that all the fuss of the wedding was over, he was looking forward to the two of them relaxing and spending some well deserved time alone together.

"We absolutely shall." Sliding her hand into his, she headed for the back door, making sure to lock the house up securely before they made their way down the line of their yard to where the hawthorn tree grew.

Back home, no one would believe anything about portals or even that such a place as Rhy'Din or the Nexus existed. There had been a time when he hadn't believed it either, but seeing was believing, and in a matter of minutes, they'd be back on Earth, albeit on the other side of the world from the place he'd once called home.

And it really was as simple as that. With just a couple of steps, they went from the warmth of a Rhy'Din summer to the heat of a Fiji winter, stepping into a lounge that had clearly been created for the sole purpose of portal usage. Fliss gasped at the change in the air, blinking in surprise. "Wow."

"Wow is right. Look at that view!" Lucas said, drawn to a window and the view of tropical paradise that awaited them. It was a little disorienting, suddenly stepping from one world into another.

"Gods, it's so bright," Fliss breathed, leaning into his side as she took in the verdant greens and blues of this Polynesian island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. "Two weeks of this? Hell yes!"

Lucas chuckled. It was certainly full of more tropical beauty than any place he'd ever been before. "But does it beat Disney Paris?" he teased her.

"I'm assuming I'm going to understand what people are saying here," she offered with a grin. Behind them, they heard the sound of a door opening, a warm, friendly voice speaking.

"Welcome to Laucala. Mr and Mrs Foster?"

Lucas opened his mouth to reply, but before he had a chance to speak, another voice interrupted and he turned to see who it was. His heart leaped in his chest to hear Fliss referred to as "Mrs. Foster". Up to now, that form of address had always belonged to his mother. "Yes, that's us."

Fliss' response to hearing herself called that was to giggle in absolute delight, hugging Lucas' arm as they turned to greet the Polynesian woman who had come to collect them.

"Mr Stark made very clear the arrangements for your arrival," she said cheerfully. "If you would come with me, please"

"So glad Tony decided all of this for us," Lucas whispered to Fliss, hopefully quiet enough that the woman wouldn't overhear him. His tone was sarcastic, but so far, he had no reason to complain.

Laughing, Fliss drew him to fall in behind the woman as she lead them out of the lounge and almost immediately onto a jungle pathway, where an electric car was waiting. "He has issues with trying to make things perfect," she admitted. "This is partly why I wouldn't let him buy us a house."

"Because he wouldn't buy us a house," Lucas guessed. "He'd buy us a mansion." And a mansion was not what they needed or wanted. They were perfectly happy in their little cottage at Maple Grove. But houses and vacations were two different things.

"Mmhmm," she agreed. "Whereas two weeks of pampered luxury, I can live with."

The woman in front of them chuckled, gesturing to the little electric car. "If you follow this pathway to its end, you will reach the Peninsula Villa, which is yours for the next two weeks," she told them warmly. "All amenities are provided, and all information you may wish for is available within your villa. Welcome to Laucala, and congratulations."

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 06:45:58 PM »
"Villa?" Lucas echoed, brows arching upwards. He'd expected a suite or maybe even a bungalow, but an entire villa? "You mean, like a house?" he asked, wondering if he'd misunderstood

The woman nodded, still smiling. "Yes, Mr. Foster," she assured him. "Mr. Stark was very clear that privacy would be cherished."

He exchanged glances with Fliss, looking curiously intrigued. When he thought of a villa, he imagined something Roman or maybe Grecian looking, but they were nowhere near the Mediterranean. All they could do was follow the path and see where they wound up.

Fliss claimed the drivers' seat, taking a moment to take a look at the controls before she started the drive through the lush foliage and shaded jungle. "It's so quiet here."

Lucas dropped their bags in the back before climbing into the passenger seat, letting Fliss drive. "Except for the birds," Lucas remarked, pausing a moment to listen. "And the water."

"It's like paradise," she mused. Even the car was quiet, as close to silent as technology could be, able to pass along the jungle trail without disturbing the wildlife all around them. And before long, the trail came to an end, revealing a beautiful Polynesian villa made up on multiple levels overlooking the sea. "Whoa."

"That's it?" Lucas asked, eyes wide and mouth practically dropping open in shock. "But ... we're not the only ones staying there, right?" he asked, despite what the woman had told him and the fact that Fliss only knew as much as he did.

"It doesn't look like there's anyone else here," she murmured, pulling the little car to a halt. She stared up at the villa, nestled in and out of the trees, almost seeming to be a natural part of this isolated part of the island.

"That-that can't be it," Lucas murmured doubtfully. "Can it?" They'd followed the woman's instructions, and there was no mistaking that the path had led them here.

"The path doesn't go any further," Fliss pointed out, rising from the car to look around, just in case she'd missed a turning that hadn't existed.

Lucas pushed out of the car, as well, but it seemed they were where they were supposed to be. There was one way to find out for sure. "Should we go check it out?" he asked, a little nervously. It was either that or go back where they started.

"Uh ... sure." Absently pulling her bag from the back onto her shoulder, Fliss turned her wide eyes to Lucas in amazement. "I'm beginning to think he'd have bought us a castle if we'd let him."

"Bought us?" Lucas echoed, as he grabbed his own bag and slid it over a shoulder. "We don't need a castle, Fliss." They didn't need a villa either, but it was their honeymoon. "We're never gonna be able to repay him."

"He'd never let us try," she pointed out. "I think he gets more out of spoiling us than he's got out of a lot of his life so far. Family's still a pretty new concept for him."

"Yeah, but ..." Lucas started, tilting his head to taken in the view. "This is ... amazing," he whispered. His own family had never been hard up for money, and yet this seemed far beyond their means. He'd never seen anything like it.

"Money doesn't really mean anything to Tony Stark," Fliss murmured, climbing the steps up to the first level, Lucas' hand in hers. Though the villa was charmingly simple, it was also luxury on a scale neither of them had ever experienced. "Oh my gods, we even have our own pool!"

"We have our own everything," Lucas remarked as the pair started their exploration of the so-called villa, which was split into separate hut-like structures, which were connected by wooden walkways. Each room was luxurious and comfortable, but simply decorated, not over the top like one might find in a New York penthouse.

Fliss dropped her bag onto the nearest couch, walking straight back out onto one of the walkways. She leaned forward onto the railing, taking a deep breath of the sea breeze. It was hard to believe that barely half an hour ago, they had been in Rhy'Din.

Lucas dropped his bag beside hers and followed her onto the walkway, pausing a moment to take a deep breath and look around at the paradise that surrounded them. "This is amazing."

"And it's so peaceful," she breathed, closing her eyes as she enjoyed the sway of her hair in the breeze. "And all ours, for now, anyway."

"So ..." Lucas said, turning to face her with a smile on his face. "What do you wanna do?" he asked. It was still daylight - at least here - and they had two weeks to do whatever they pleased.

"Well, I could think of a few things," she said teasingly, looking up at him. "I mean, a couple of things came to mind the second she called me Mrs. Foster, I have to admit."

"And what would that be?" Lucas asked, sliding his arms around her to draw her close, a sparkle of mischief in his eyes. It wasn't too hard to read her mind, but he wanted to hear her say it.

"Mmm, I think marking my territory covers it pretty well," she mused, turning into his arms with a wicked little smile on her lips. "How do you feel about hickeys, Mr. Foster?"

"Hickeys?" Lucas echoed. "Is that really what you want to do right now?" he asked, still looking amused. He could think of better things to do, but she was on the right track.

"It's more of a ... side effect," she answered, wriggling her fingers up beneath his t-shirt. "Maybe the heat is getting to me already. You should probably take me to bed."

Lucas grinned. "I wondered how long it would take. I'm surprised you didn't ask me back in Rhy'Din," he said, drawing her closer. Though they were presumably alone, he wasn't feeling all that comfortable here yet.

She laughed, lifting onto her toes to kiss him affectionately. "I could give you a massage, seeing as you're getting tense on me again," she suggested. "I'm good with my hands these days."

"I'm not tense," Lucas argued, though the tension he was feeling now was of a different kind. "Should we go check out the bedroom?" he asked, that amused smile on his face again.

"Oh, yeah?" She patted his backside with familiar affection. "I bet I could crack a coconut on this if I really tried." Now there was a mental image that made her laugh.

"Can we not put that to the test?" he asked with a chuckle, though he knew she wasn't about to actually do that. He wasn't even sure if there were any coconuts to be had here.

"No target practice with your ass, got it." Fliss grinned up at him, rising up onto her toes to brush her lips to his. "We're married now, you know. Who'd've thought one dropped school bag would end up here?"

"We were bound to run into each other eventually anyway," he reasoned, though he was glad how things had turned out. He was starting to relax again, the tension in him slowly unwinding. "You know, they probably have a spa here. We could both get massages."

"Mmm, we could," she agreed. "But that means getting back in the car. I'm much more comfortable all wrapped up in you."

"I don't mean now," Lucas said, chuckling at her reply. They had two weeks to explore and enjoy everything the place had to offer, after all. But for now, there was one thing that definitely was on both of their minds. Lucas leaned in to brush a soft kiss against her lips before reaching for her hand. "Come on, Mrs. Foster. Let's go check out that bed."

"Any idea where it is?" she asked, glancing around. They definitely had a sort of lounge on this level, with the infinity pool, and the walkway to her left appeared to lead to a bathroom that seemed to be open on one side toward the view over the ocean. There was a level above them, however. "Up there, maybe?"

"I'm sure if we keep looking, we'll find it," he told her. There didn't seem to be any instructions for them on finding their way around, but he wasn't opposed to exploring.

"I mean ... you could just fly us up there," Fliss suggested impishly. "Pretty sure we could find our way back down when we eventually get out of bed."

Lucas smirked at her suggestion. "I could, but I don't want to be reported as a UFO." Now that they were back on Earth, there was a very distinct possibility of that, if he got too carried away.

"Spoilsport," she teased, but she didn't press. The wings could still, on occasion, be a sore spot for her husband, after all. "Fine, we'll walk," she said with exaggerated weariness totally belied by the wide grin on her face.

"I didn't think you liked flying much," he said, though he wasn't too sure. Though he loved being airborne, it just wasn't something they did together very often.

"I love flying with you," she assured him, sliding her fingers between his to give him a tug in the direction of what looked like a hidden stairway. "I just don't like you having to hold my weight, so I don't ask much."

"I don't mind," he told her, but again, he was a bit leery about flying here on Earth where someone might see them. Back home in Rhy'Din, it didn't much matter, but here, he was worried about being seen as a freak or worse.

❤️Fliss & Lucas Forever ❤️

Lucas Foster

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Re: Mr and Mrs Foster
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2020, 06:46:14 PM »
She squeezed his hand with a smile. "Baby, it's cool. Have feet, will walk. We can go for a flight anytime on Rhy'Din. Here and now, I don't want you worrying. We're here to enjoy ourselves and each other."

"Maybe I should figure out a way to carry you better," he said, though off the top of his head, he couldn't think of anything. At least, unlike Johnny, he didn't have to worry about anyone catching fire.

"Maybe," she mused. "Or we could save it for sweeping romantic moments instead." She grinned over her shoulder at him, beginning up the beautifully carved wooden stairs that curved upward to the next level.

He chuckled as he followed her lead. "You think flying is romantic?" he asked, looking amused. It wasn't exactly Titanic, but he could understand the attraction. He loved spreading his wings and soaring through the air, but he knew it could be scary for some.

"Don't you?" she asked, almost sounding surprised. "I mean, for one thing, it means we have to hold each other real close; we're totally alone together. And it's proof of how much I love and trust you. I know you won't let me fall."

"I guess if I was Superman," he remarked with a shrug of his shoulders. He wasn't sure why he'd sprouted wings. There were times when he found them to be more of a nuisance than anything else, but he had to admit, there was nothing so liberating as flying.

"Superman's a dick," Fliss said with absolute confidence, pausing as she reached the top of the stairs. There was the bedroom, simply furnished and decorated, and blessed with a wide deck from which to view the bay, the ocean, and even a fair chunk of the island, yet still hidden away by the screen of trees.

"Wow," Lucas murmured as they stepped into the room. Each room, it seemed, was separated by a walkway, giving the villa the illusion of looking almost like an assortment of huts perched amidst the trees. It wasn't so much the sumptuous bed or the tasteful furnishings that captured his attention though as it was the view.

"This place is incredible," Fliss breathed. "Can you imagine how beautiful it is at night? No artificial lighting. We'll be able to see the stars so clearly tonight."

"It's amazing," Lucas agreed, drawn to the view outside the window. Not only was there an amazing view of the ocean, but a deck with upholstered lounge chairs and even a pool.

Their purpose in coming up here forgotten for now, Fliss kicked off her shoes and sat down on the edge of the pool, swishing her legs to the knee through the cool, clear water as she looked out over the bay. "Tony said something about submarines," she mused. "I thought he was joking, but I'm starting to think he really wasn't."

Lucas followed suit, tugging off his socks and sneakers and depositing them inside the room before sitting down beside her and immersing his feet in the water. "You could go scuba diving," he suggested. "Or sailing."

"We could," she corrected, leaning up against him as he sat down at her side. "I bet there's a lot to do on the island as well. If I ever let you get dressed, that is."

Lucas smirked. "I'm already dressed," he reminded her. Or still dressed - whichever way you choose to look at it. He didn't remark on the scuba diving though, as he wasn't too sure about going under water.

She laughed. "For now," was her teasingly ominous response to that, though she seemed content to sit and enjoy the breeze and the view in his company for now.

"I wonder if there's any champagne," he mused aloud. Seeing as how someone seemed to have thought of everything, he didn't doubt there was at least a bottle or two provided for their enjoyment.

"There's gotta be a bar somewhere," she mused, glancing over her shoulder to the bedroom beyond. "We've got everything else, that I can see."

"I'm gonna take a look," he said, moving to his feet. He didn't have to go far, as there was a mini-bar right there in their bedroom, with a complimentary bottle of champagne and two glasses. Someone seemed to have already provided nearly everything a honeymooning couple might have wanted, and whatever they didn't was readily provided via a phone call.

While he was wandering, Fliss laid back against the sun-warmed wood of the smooth deck, stretching her arms up above her head to feel the sunshine on her middle as her tank rode up. She closed her eyes, a happy smile on her face. This was pretty close to heaven.

The nearby sound of a cork popping assured her he'd been successful in his search for the bubbly beverage. And it wasn't the cheap stuff either, but the real thing, straight from France. Lucas returned a few minutes later with two fluted glasses filled with a clear, bubbly liquid sure to tickle their noses and their taste buds. "Success," he said, as he reclaimed a place beside her.

Opening her eyes, Fliss pushed herself to sit up again, grinning as he handed her a flute. "Wow, you can really smell that it's the real thing," she said, a little shocked by this revelation. The bubbles almost immediately went up her nose as she swallowed, making her splutter with laughter. "I am so not fit for posh company!"

"Neither am I," Lucas said, chuckling at the way she wrinkled her nose at the bubbles. He lifted his glass to her, a soft smile on his face. "To us. May we have many happy years together."

Giggling, she tapped her glass to his with a beaming smile. "Lots of smiles, lots of laughter, and very little boredom," she added, lifting the glass to sip more slowly this time. "I love you, Luc."

"Nothing wrong with a little boredom," he said, though he doubted life would be very boring so long as they were together. "I love you, too, Fliss. More than words can say," he told her, leaning close to brush a kiss against her lips, both of them tasting of champagne.

Who needed words? They'd been together since their mid teens, already with more time spent together than many other couples tying the knot at a similar time of life. They knew each other inside and out, fitted together near perfectly. They had a lifetime ahead of them, and this ... This was just the next step in their journey.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 06:54:49 PM by Lucas Foster »
❤️Fliss & Lucas Forever ❤️