Title: The Wedding Night
by Bad Faery
Disclaimer: I'm not sure who owns Black Adder but I know it isn't me. No copyright infringement is intended, as I'm making no money off of this.
Captain Blackadder walked into his rooms to discover Baldrick arranging a veil over Lt. George's hair. "What in God's name do you two think you're doing?"
"Well I have to have some kind of wedding dress" George replied. "The General has already seen my performance dress. Do you think I should carry red roses or white? White is more traditional, but the General gave my red roses the night of the ball..."
Blackadder sighed in exasperation. "George you're not actually planning to go through with this are you?"
George looked affronted. "Well sir, I don't see how I could do anything else. I did say yes and a man's word is... well.. his word."
"The operative word being 'man'."
"Oh come sir! It won't be that bad. The General is a perfect gentleman. One little peck after 'you may kiss the bride' and it'll all be over."
Blackadder wondered once again how George's brain managed the strain of keeping him upright and speaking while still having enough left over to remind him to breathe. Quite a herculean task for his four remaining brain cells. "George, might I remind you that a marriage generally follows a wedding?"
"Or more to the point. A wedding night."
George thought hard. "Maybe if I kept the dress down he wouldn't-"
"I think he'll notice, George."
The wedding went off without a hitch. Admittedly the chaplain had looked appalled at first but one poorly-veiled threat from Melchett had quickly seen him doing his best for the 'lovely couple'. George, or rather Georgina, had seemed completely composed, playing the part of the happy bride to the hilt. Perhaps he really did have a future on the stage. Melchett had fidgeted nervously until his bride appeared, Georgina's presence calming him instantly. Once one got past the glaring oddity of the situation, they really did seem to be a happy couple.
In a remarkably short time vows and rings were exchanged. George had to pry Melchett's away from Baldrick, who was sobbing too hard to participate. Blackadder handed his over gladly, waiting for the moment when the General would notice his beloved's hands were calloused from shooting practice. But the moment passed without comment and Blackadder comforted himself with the knowledge that at least he wouldn't be there when Melchett discovered who exactly he'd married. Perhaps he'd have time to think of an excuse after all.
At last the climax of the service was upon them. The chaplain pronounced them husband and er- wife and told the General to kiss his bride. Melchett lifted George's veil and looked deeply into his eyes for a moment, before lowering his lips to the lieutenant's. The kiss, their first, was slow and tender. Not at all what Blackadder had been expecting from the horny old bastard. George looked shaken when Melchett finally lifted his head and the general smiled at his nervous darling. "I love you, Chipmunk."
And when George replied, "I love you, Anthony." Blackadder had the feeling that he meant it.
George, who'd remained composed through the ceremony, was losing what little mind he had. Everything had been a mad whirl since the moment the General had kissed him. Once the chaplain left there was a flurry of toasts and congratulations before the couple retired to a luxurious suite of rooms that Darling had arranged. Melchett had apologized for the lack of a honeymoon and promised him a world-cruise the moment the war was over. That was assuming he survived the wedding night.
Somewhere in the dim recesses of his mind George knew that this moment would come. He'd been having so much fun pretending to be Georgina that he'd managed to avoid thinking about it up until now. He'd enjoyed the time he spent with the General, he was really quite charming when he was out of Captain Blackadder's scope. He was also a superb dancer.
And a superb kisser.
George was not a smart man but he knew one thing. Men were not supposed to like kissing other men. It simply wasn't done. It was disgusting. It was immoral. It was wrong.
And he'd enjoyed it.
The General had looked at Georgina in a way he'd never looked at George. Not just with love, but with respect. Melchett had known George since he was a child, therefore George would always be a child in his eyes. He was someone to be joked with and petted but not listened to.
But the General had listened to Georgina.
They'd talked for hours and Melchett had been interested in Georgina's opinions. He'd really listened to what she had to say. Nobody had ever listened to George before.
He'd told himself it was just the companionship he was enjoying. Something new after spending three years just talking to Baldrick and the Captain. He certainly wasn't falling in love.
Then Melchett kissed him.
And George found himself looking forward to the wedding night.
He knew this was not going to have a fairy-tale ending. He'd carried the charade as far as he could and there was no turning back. The General was going to want to consummate his marriage. And he was not going to be pleased to find out that his perfect woman was none other than George St. Barleigh.
Maybe the General would kiss him again before he shot him.
The door opened behind him and George turned to see the General- his husband- enter the room. Melchett smiled at his bride. "Here we are at last, Chipmunk. I feel as though I've been waiting for this moment forever."
George turned away, unable to bear the sight of love and happiness in the General's eyes. Not when he knew that it would be supplanted by disappointment and rage in a matter of minutes. He jumped as he felt a pair of warm hands rest upon his shoulders, "Don't be nervous, darling. I'd never hurt you. What's the matter with my little chipmunk?"
"I-" George shook his head as he found himself on the verge of tears.
"Oh darling, don't cry." The General gently turned George's face to his own. "We're together now, everything will be fine."
With those kind words, George began to sob. Melchett pulled him close, whispering soft endearments as he stroked George's back. "There now, darling. Shhh... Everything's all right. Oh my beautiful darling. Easy, my love. Shhhh..."
George reveled in the embrace, burying his face in the General's neck. He concentrated on memorizing the feel of Melchett's arms around him as his sobs gradually stopped. The General held him for a few more moments before pulling back slightly and kissing his forehead. "That's better, chipmunk. Now what's the matter?"
Taking a deep breath, George stepped out of his husband's arms and crossed to the other side of the room. The moment had finally come and he could no longer delay his hour of reckoning.
He forced himself to look Anthony in the eye as he made his confession. "My name isn't Georgina."
Melchett looked confused and George completed the revelation by removing his wig. He felt oddly naked without it as he watched the light of realization dawn in the General's eyes as he took in George's military haircut.
"That was you? The whole time?"
George winced. "Yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir."
Melchett sat down heavily on a nearby chair. "Good lord."
Not seeing a proper way to answer the General's last statement, George remained silent. He looked over at his husband, who had buried his face in his hands. Melchett sat silently for a moment before saying quietly, "That explains it then."
"Sir?" George queried, not sure if the General's words had been directed at him.
Melchett shook his head. "Nothing, George. So how did Blackadder find out, eh?" Not waiting for a reply, he continued, "What does he want? Did he think that if he gave you to me, I'd send him home?"
"I'm sorry, sir?" George couldn't understand the General's reaction. He'd expected one of the man's towering rages. He'd been prepared to endure shouting and having furniture thrown about before being introduced the the business end of the General's service revolver. He hadn't expected this bleak despair. He returned his attention to the General's words.
"And how did he put you up to this? Did he blackmail you? Or was it a bribe? One night with old Walrus-Face and you're free to go home. Was that it, George?"
"I'm not sure what you mean, sir."
"Or maybe it was one of his jokes. Dangle you in front of me, only to snatch you away at the last moment. Yes, Blackadder would enjoy that."
The growing level of bitterness in the General's voice was beginning to make George nervous. Captain Blackadder was a wonderful commanding officer. It wouldn't do for the General to be upset with him. He might try to take away his command. Or worse.
"Sir, Captain Blackadder didn't have anything to do with this."
"He was the one who arranged for me to take you to the ball!"
"Well yes..." George thought fast, not an easy job for him. "He thought you were making a rather good joke, sir. Just something to pass the time while we waited for the order to advance. He just didn't want to interfere."
"He thought I was joking?" Melchett stared at him in disbelief. "What about the wedding?"
Inspiration struck. "He thought it was at Captain Darling's expense, sir. He thought you were trying to get a rise out of him. He never thought you thought that I was...um..."
At this George ran out of words. It didn't seem to matter. Melchett nodded slowly, apparently accepting his explanation. The Captain's dislike for Darling was well-known, it wasn't outside of the realm of possibility that he'd been willing to help take the piss out of him, as it were. George heaved a sigh of relief. He'd gotten the Captain out of trouble all by himself. This might be the greatest moment of triumph in his life. Even better than the time he'd helped win the tiddlywinking competition.
"And what did you think, George?" the General questioned with a glint of hope in his eyes.
George drew himself up proudly, he knew exactly what the General would be wanting to hear. "I didn't think, sir. I was following orders." Yes, that's right. Following orders like a good soldier.
His words did not have the desired effect. "Just following orders, eh?" Melchett repeated bitterly, seeming to deflate a little. "Of course."
He was missing something. The intuitive part of George's brain, normally dead silent, was, for once, raising Cain. Something very important was happening in this room. George knew it. He just didn't know what it was. Not being tops in the 'figuring things out' department, he was tempted to ignore it. But the little voice in his head insisted that if he didn't at least try, he'd regret it for the rest of his life. He concentrated hard, mentally replaying everything the General had said since he'd discovered that Georgina was merely George in a wig.
"Yes, George?" the General asked, wearily.
"When you said, 'How did Blackadder find out?' what did you mean?"
Melchett stared at him for a moment. "You really don't know, do you?"
"I thought it was obvious, and you didn't have the foggiest notion."
"I'm afraid I don't understand, sir."
George's words fell on deaf ears. Melchett was once again lost in his own thoughts. His next words, when they came, seemed to be directed more to himself than towards the other occupant of the room. "When I saw Georgina, I felt as though I'd been struck by lightning. I worshipped her instantly. I didn't understand how that could have happened to me, not when- But it did. I was so proud of myself, I thought I'd finally overcome it. And she was you the whole time. It all makes sense now."
George considered that it might make sense to the General, but he was still lost. "Sir?"
Melchett looked at him musingly. "You were such a lovely boy, George. I always thought so. And then you went away to school and I didn't see you for years. I wondered, sometimes, what kind of a man you'd grown up to be. Then you enlisted and came back into my life. I recognized you right away, you'd been a lovely child but you were an even more beautiful man. You hadn't lost any of that innocence or sweetness..."
The General paused to try and gauge George's reaction to his words. The lieutenant certainly appeared stunned, but he couldn't tell if his words were coming as a pleasant or an unpleasant shock. Melchett sighed and decided to make a full confession. "I wanted you the moment I saw you and it's only gotten worse over the years. Georgina was the only woman I'd ever had feelings for and I couldn't understand where they were coming from because I was so obsessed with you. Some part of me must have recognized you even in that ridiculous dress and responded. I thought Blackadder knew how I felt about you and set us up, either as blackmail or as a joke."
Light dawned on George. "Sir, are you saying that you... love me?"
"Yes George, that's exactly what I'm saying." Melchett sighed again, totally defeated. "What do you want?"
George, still trying to process the knowledge that his husband actually loved him, didn't follow the question. "Sir?"
"To keep this quiet, what do you want? An honorable discharge? You'd be able to go home with no shame."
"Oh no, sir!" George was shocked. "I couldn't do that. It wouldn't be right! I joined up to fight for my country and that's what I'm going to do, by Jove!"
Melchett nodded, "Fine, fine. Not a discharge. What then? A promotion? A new post? Money? What? Just name your price."
"I don't want anything, sir."
The General closed his eyes. "George, please reconsider this. I'll be drummed out of the service. This... this is my life. I'll give you anything, but please don't do this."
George stepped closer to his husband. "Anything I want, sir?"
Melchett waved a hand. "Yes, anything. Just name it."
"In that case, sir." George knelt down beside the General. "In that case, I want you."
The General's head jerked around so he could meet George's eyes. "George?"
"I want you, sir. I've always admired you. I liked being with you when you thought I was Georgina, but I didn't realize that I loved you until you kissed me." He laughed a little hysterically. "Captain Blackadder always says that I'm not too bright about things. I thought you'd shoot me when you found out who I was and all I could think was that maybe you'd kiss me first-"
Melchett cut him off by placing a hand to his face. "You really mean this, George?"
The General inspected his face with a dawning sense of wonder. "You do, don't you? You really do mean it."
"I think we can dispense with the formalities now, don't you Lieutenant?"
"Call me Anthony. After all, we *are* married now."
Any lingering doubts the General might have harbored were dispelled by the brilliant smile George directed at him. He pulled his beloved close for a tender kiss, still not quite able to believe that the much-longed-for George was really his at last. Maybe Blackadder deserved a reward of some kind for this. He'd think about it tomorrow.
After an endless moment, George pulled back from the kiss to look at the man who'd so recently become his husband. It looked as though he was going to survive his wedding night after all. He wished that he had the words to tell the General how delighted he was by this turn of events. Not being a poetic soul, he fell back on the tried and true.
"I love you , Anthony."
"I love you too, Chipmunk."
And it might not have been a cunning and subtle turn of phrase, but it was quite satisfactory to the new lovers.