At a hotel bordering New York City’s Central Park, Northstar’s suit is hanging from a lamp. Two rings sit in their boxes on the balcony wall next to a white rose buttonhole. Jean-Paul is in deep thought. There is a knock on the door and Bobby Drake wanders out to inform him that Kyle’s parents have arrived. Jean-Paul asks where they are. Bobby tells him that they are in the library listening to Kid Gladiator’s suggestion that proper weddings require blood sacrifice, ritual fighting at the altar and deadly acts of spitting. “Just kidding,” he adds, before Northstar can respond. Northstar leans onto the wall and Bobby asks if he’s okay. He replies that he’s never felt better, nervously adding that it’s the happiest day of his life. He hands Bobby the rings and asks him to give them to his sister. He also asks him to stall Kyle’s parents. He’ll just be another minute or two.
Kyle thinks back to a week ago. He thought the worst had already happened when Kyle said he wouldn’t marry him. He was hurt and angry so he went out looking for a fight. He walked right into a trap that used Kyle as the bait. He found his teammates, Iceman, Gambit and Wolverine, out of their minds, but he didn’t care. He would’ve traded all their lives and his own if it got Kyle out of the situation.
(one week ago in the sewer)
Kyle has a pistol to his head and is about to pull the trigger. Northstar leaps at him and just manages to pull his wrist away from his head as the bullet leaves the gun. He tells Kyle that he doesn’t want to hurt him and Kyle replies that he doesn’t want to hurt him either. But, he adds as he head butts Jean-Paul, something’s wrong in his head. He aims the gun at his boyfriend and begs him to run. He can’t stop himself. Northstar replies that whoever is controlling Kyle can kiss his ass. And Kyle can too if he thinks he’s leaving him there.
He tells Kyle to fight this; to look at him and fight it. He knows he can. He isn’t going to run from him. They can end this right now, together. Kyle keeps the gun aimed at Jean-Paul and he asks why he can’t just do what he says. He’ll never forgive himself if he kills him. As Kyle speaks, the gun goes off again, but the bullet only manages to graze Northstar’s forehead. Kyle stumbles and Northstar runs to hold him. He asks Jean-Paul if he’s okay. He assures him he’s fine and is right there. “You should have run when I told you,” groans Kyle. Jean-Paul replies that Kyle should know that he has problems taking orders. Kyle says his head is killing him. Jean-Paul wonders if he knows who is responsible.
Right on cue, Karma appears and apologizes. She is holding her stomach as blood oozes from her wound. Jean-Paul is surprised to see her and tells her it can’t be her. She wouldn’t do this. Karma grimaces and says that she did. She is sorry for everything. He has to believe her. Jean-Paul believes her but he needs her to talk to him. She says no and aims a pistol at him. She warns him that she’s not safe to be around. As she stumbles into the darkness she tells him not to follow her. He has Gambit and Wolverine to think about, and Kyle. All of them are free now but she cannot promise how long that will last.
Everyone has made their way to the medlab. Beast is checking out Iceman whilst Cecelia Reyes takes care of Kyle. Hank informs them that Rachel says they’re all clean and there is no trace of Karma’s presence in their minds. Iceman asks rhetorically why he isn’t as relieved as he should be. Northstar can’t believe she would deliberately hurt them. Wolverine admits that he’s the last one to talk about mind-control but, the fact is they don’t know what happened. Cecelia tells them that she’s been checking out the hospitals for reports of young women brought in with her specific injuries but there is nothing yet. Hank finds this worrisome. If Karma is as wounded as they say she would have suffered considerable bod loss. “In other words she might be…” He stops talking, as everyone thinks about what this might mean.
Bobby admits that he still doesn’t remember much. Northstar replies that he called himself a God. Does he remember that? Bobby says he does, and then Northstar punched off his head. Cecelia reckons their memories are fine. Jean-Paul turns to Kyle and tells him that he knows he’s not really okay, but they can talk about it and this time he promises to listen. “I almost killed you,” says Kyle with a frown. Jean-Paul reminds him that he didn’t. Maybe Karma was overwhelmed by Kyle’s undying and all-consuming love for him. Kyle knows he’s trying to be funny, but he honestly thinks he might be right about that. They hug each other and Kyle whispers into Jean-Paul’s ear, “Yes.”
Jean-Paul pulls back and asks what he means. “Yes, I’ll marry you,” replies Kyle. Jean-Paul tells him he has no idea how badly he wanted to hear him say that, but he said no before and he believes he was right to. He admits that he was stupid and bull-dozery about them. Kyle smiles and replies that Jean-Paul isn’t a good listener. That was evidenced by all the not running away from a crazy man with a gun he did tonight. They still have the same problems but life is too short. “I love you.” Wolverine turns toward the door and tells the lovebirds to save it for later. They have work to do. Hank asks if there is a delicate way to interrupt. He has class in five minutes… in this lab. Bobby quips that he’s a real romantic.
(Central Park, now)
Preparations are being made for Kyle and Jean-Paul’s wedding. Friends have been assigned specific tasks. Quentin Quire reckons they won’t even get to the ceremony. Anole calls him a pessimist, but Quentin asks if he’s ever heard of a super hero wedding that wasn’t crashed by aliens or six-breasted women or Amazon women wearing nothing but thongs. Rockslide jokes that that’s the kind of wishful thinking he can get behind.
As Storm flies around the park, possibly ensuring the sun stays shining for the wedding’s duration, Kyle’s parents walk with Jean-Paul. Mr. Jinadu tells Jean-Paul that he watches the news and sees all these people doing incredible things, and it’s amazing. He asks if Kyle feels comfortable around this. He knows Kyle is a remarkable man, but he is only human. Before Northstar can reply, he is whisked away by Kitty Pryde, who wants to know how the flowers are to be arranged. Her helpers say they bought every rose in New York City and want to build a monument with them. They’ll be showered in petals during their wedding.
As Lockheed’s presence unnerves Mrs. Jinadu, Sasquatch approaches Jean-Paul and explains that his sister asked him to find him. He’s supposed to place the seating cards for the reception dinner, but he has Avengers mixed with X-Men and X-Men mixed with Avengers. It could cause trouble. Would he like Alpha Flight to sort it out?
Warbird then walks over to speak to Northstar. He asks Kitty to show the Jinadu’s where they will be sitting and then asks Warbird what’s up. He hopes it’s not another décor emergency. Warbird comes right out with it and states that she will not be attending his wedding. Northstar pauses for a moment before asking why not. She replies that for her to attend would be a lie. She cannot and does not recognize the validity of the ceremony vows. She takes no joy in saying this as she respects him, but this is how she feels. Again, Jean-Paul pauses before asking her to stay. Stay as his friend. As his teammate. Warbird sticks to her guns and turns. “I’m sorry,” she replies as she walks away leaving Northstar to himself… but not for long.
Next to grab his attention is Wolverine. He asks Jean-Paul to walk with him. Jean-Paul asks how the search for Karma is going. Logan tells him they still haven’t found her but he’s heading out after the wedding to follow up on a lead. He asks Jean-Paul to relax. He shouldn’t concern himself with this. He has enough on his hands with the wedding. Jean-Paul admits he’s worried about her, but Logan reminds him that this day won’t come again. He can take it from someone who knows.
Hank McCoy then calls over with a pressing question. It’s occurred to him, as the officiate, that he still hasn’t seen his vows. Surely this isn’t the time to go from fastest man alive to biggest procrastinator on Earth? Jean-Paul says it’s fine. They’re just going to wing it. Aurora then arrives and tells her brother that it looks like he could use some air. They take to the skies holding hands and slow down when they approach a helicopter. He asks if she remembers how they used to race. She tells him that if it’s an invitation, she promises she will win, even in formal-wear. She says that she wishes they could have known each other when they were children. Jean-Paul replies that he knows what she’s thinking, but she’s not losing him.
Aurora knows this and, reaching into her bag, she pulls out a box. She opens it to reveal some mementos from way back, including his old Alpha Flight pin. That will pass for something old and the season passes to the Habs will pass for something new. Also in the box is an official Northstar bobblehead, which is hers, but he can keep it, despite it being a limited edition. She figures that with Beast, they have the blue covered. Jean-Paul gives her a big hug and thanks her. In all the rush he almost forgot. Has she noticed that things are moving really fast? “You usually like fast,” she replies. He feels this is different, and Aurora agrees. She looks him in the eye and assures him that people will understand if he doesn’t feel ready. They did this so quickly, it’s not too late to back out.
Jean-Paul gives her a look and speeds towards Central Park. She quickly catches him up and he tells her that it wasn’t exactly the pep-talk one hopes for on their wedding day. Aurora says he’s right. She’d probably kill him if he did this to her. But… he’s her brother and she loves him. She can tell that something is wrong. If she’s way off about this he should just tell her. All she wants is for him to be happy.
The siblings land as the catering staff finish off their preparations. Northstar assures Aurora that he’s ready. Honestly. This has all been fast and it’s been fast for Kyle too, but moving fast has never let him down before. This is what he wants. Kyle is the only person in the world who’s right for him. He’s… he’s home. Kyle then appears from behind a hanging drape and says hi. The couple hold hands and Aurora leaves them to it. Jean-Paul tells Kyle that he’s not supposed to see him before the ceremony. Kyle wonders if maybe that should be his line. When Jean-Paul asks if he heard what he told Aurora, Kyle replies that what he heard is him confessing that he’s in a little over his head. That must be a first. “You’re not nervous?” asks Jean-Paul. Kyle says no. He knows why he is there. He asks Jean-Paul to take a breath and look around.
Nearby, they see an arch being created from ice by Iceman and guests arriving for the ceremony. Bobby drops ice cubes into someone’s drink. Rogue wonders if she’s just being sentimental, but she can’t help but wonder if her mothers ever thought about getting married. And, would it have made a difference? Sitting nearby on a branch is Jubilee who joins X-23. Jubilee thinks this is cool. The last wedding she went to was ages ago. She asks Laura if she’s ever been to a wedding. “Only as an assassin,” replies Laura. “…ooookay,” says Jubilee.
Inside the marquee, Havok sidles up to Puck who is nursing a beer. Puck admits that, though he’s a progressive guy, this is a lot to take. Alex replies that he’s happy for Jean-Paul and Kyle, but he can’t stop thinking about what his grandma would say about all of this. Hank McCoy readies everyone for the start of proceedings and everyone takes their seat. As everyone awaits Jean-Paul’s appearance, Gambit wonders if he’s having second thoughts, but Cecelia asks him to hush. A blur shoots past everyone and Jean-Paul stops next to his sister, who tidies up his bow-tie. “Fastest man in the world, late to his own wedding,” quips Beast. Jean-Paul reckons it’s a good turnout. He mentions that there are a few empty seats, but Aurora says they don’t matter now.
They turn to see Kyle being walked down the aisle by his father. Mr. Jinadu asks if he’s okay. “Never better, dad,” replies Kyle. His father says there’s a lot of weird there. Can he handle that? “I dunno,” admits Kyle. “Worked out so far.” Kyle whispers to Jean-Paul, asking if he’s going to run. He knows he can’t catch him. “No way,” replies Jean-Paul. “You’re here. I’m here. Nowhere else I’d rather be.” They hold hands and Hank begins the ceremony. He says that they are gathered in this beautiful place to witness the joining of Kyle Jinadu and Jean-Paul Beaubier in marriage; an intimate union which only love can create. He tells them that this is their moment to speak from the heart and seal their commitment.
Jean-Paul begins by saying he knows how precious life is, and how fleeting. Kyle responds by saying what a gift it is to have someone to share life with. Jean-Paul tells him that he will never take that for granted. He promises that. Kyle promises in return to love him in good times and bad. They promise to cherish each other, inspire each other and Jean-Paul promises to be his home. Hank asks if they vow to give themselves to each other with love and compassion and trust. “I do,” they say in unison. Hank pronounces them husbands and partners for life. “You may kiss the groom… both of you.” As the pair kiss, Jean-Paul raises them into the air as white roses shower down around them. He asks Kyle if he’s ready for this. “Yeah, mostly,” he replies. Jean-Paul calls him a jerk. “You love it,” smiles Kyle.
The wedding party gets going with Rogue and Guardian arm-wrestling whilst people dance the night away. Storm asks Wolverine if he’s well. His eyes seem sad. Wolverine tells her that he’s remembering his own first dances, and the dances he never got to have. He burps and admits that he must have had too many canapés. He tells Ororo that he needs to get some air and kisses her on the cheek. She reminds him that she’s a married woman now. “Oh, I know,” grins Wolverine. As he heads outside, the sun is setting on Jean-Paul and Kyle’s wedding day. As Logan walks, he once again feels a churning in his stomach. He looks over and sees Karma hiding behind a tree. He says her name just before his stomach inexplicably explodes!