As if the incident with two former students last semester hadn’t been shocking enough...
Dean Hardscrabble gazed down at the bouquet of flowers in her well-manicured claws with her usual apathetic expression, though her amber eyes shone with some amusement as well as rare joyous surprise.
It was no doubt rather awkward as she, the Dean of the School of Scaring, walked down the incredibly long aisle as all eyes fell on her.
Actually, it wasn’t an aisle. It was the university’s stadium to be exact.
Abigail Hardscrabble lifted her gaze and analyzed everything that hours of work had been put into to make the usually rough and dirty field appear more sophisticated and majestic. All eyes, from the surroundings within the field to every seat upon the stadium, fell on her and her bright bouquet of flowers. She stifled a chuckle as every student’s eyes shone with excitement and smiles deepened, bearing witness to the start of a beautiful moment.
And for all of it to occur on the first night of the new semester.
Every student of the university had been invited to attend such a rare occasion, and every student offered his or her part to make the wedding a dream come true. The Smile Squad paid their tribute by having printed out flyers and posting them all over the university, detailing what exact decor was required if anyone was interested. Next item on the list was the food. Any food would work, it just had to be presentable and wedding-like.
When came questions for an ideal wedding cake, who better than the students of the cooking program putting their skills to the test? Of course, with a whole university, volunteers were present to make not one cake, but more than enough to fill a dozen bake shops. The largest was made, of course, particularly for the bride and groom to cut in front of everyone; their personal cake.
Every student brought his or her own recipe to the stadium, tables surrounding the field with various dishes; the sight made mouths water. Decorations such as streamers, flags, and even flowers littered the walls of the stadium. Even columns were positioned high to carry more feminine decor, followed by the red carpet in which the Dean herself was walking across.
It was almost hard to believe that this was the exact location where the final Scare Game event had taken place last semester.
What was even more amazing was how truly united her university was. It was a kindness and a blessing most tearful. Of course, she wouldn’t dare cry in front of thousands of students that looked up to her as someone of high importance.
Dean Hardscrabble broke away from her thoughts when she heard a quiet cough beside her and turned her head.
Walking beside her was no other than fellow Scaring 101 professor and dear friend Derek Knight. The dinosaur-like monster gazed at her through his spectacles, his eyes playful as he gave her a silly grin.
His boss raised an eyebrow, and the corners of her mouth gave off that rare smile as she eyed him, her gaze almost giving off such a surprising appearance. She broke her gaze and immediately cleared her throat from the small embarrassment before she darted her eyes back toward the end of the stadium as they neared the flight of stairs.
Both university members stood facing each other. Between them was a priest, two of his tentacles holding a book while another was turning to the right page.
Again, their gazes met, and Abigail Hardscrabble sucked in her cheeks, looking even more embarrassed as she stared at Derek Knight once more, who was becoming rather amused by her intimidated state.
“Thanks, you two.”
Both turned to see a stout man with glasses and a cephalopod-like appearance as he held his tentacles behind his back, his tuxedo gleaming in the stadium’s lights. Despite the smile under his bat-like mustache, he was beyond nervous.
Of course Don Carlton should be. He was, after all, the groom.
Gasps and murmurs echoed throughout the stadium as both turned their attention back to the red carpet.
Sherry Squibbles dared not cry, refusing to allow her makeup to run down her face and ruin her new wedding dress. Her outfit was a glistening white lace that descended to her padded feet, complete with a veil that laid over her face, complimenting her blonde hair that was in the most perfect curls the stylist could muster.
She smiled through the transparent material at everyone who came to her and Don’s wedding. She recalled fond memories of when she had attended Monsters University, and she felt like the luckiest woman in the world that she was able to have her wedding at her old alma mater.
Even luckier because she was marrying the man that always made her son smile.
Standing right beside Don was no other than Scott Squibbles, aka Squishy. He was made in charge of the ring.
Sherry still recalled last semester, the day after the final Scare Game, how mortified her son had been when he learned that one of his own ‘brothers’ was engaged to her. Don had tried to make light of such an uncomfortable situation, and Sherry, as much as she wanted to deny it, had her doubts that maybe it could really work out.
While the other Oozma Kappa members, especially former ones Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan, were happy for Don, both mature monsters knew Squishy was trying to hold a facade as to not show how even more dismissive he was about the whole engagement.
Both Don and Sherry loved Squishy very much, and a month into the summer, when they had decided to hold their wedding at the exact place where they realized their feelings for each other, both adults sat with Squishy and spoke with him about their engagement once more.
They asked him if it was best that they not marry. While Don was deeply in love with Sherry, he didn’t want to make things difficult for his friend and fellow ‘brother’. As for Squishy’s mom, she wouldn’t want things to blow out of control between him and a member of his fraternity. The choice was Squishy’s, and despite if the outcome was severe, they would respect his decision.
This had taken him by surprise, amazed how much both would sacrifice just for his sake.
But he gave them his blessing.
The real reason he had been so nervous about the engagement had little to do with the fact that Don was his roommate and more-so that Squishy was going to have a dad after so long.
It was around middle school that Squishy’s biological father left him and his mom, and for weeks it had left the young boy both devastated and sleepless. Then the years went by and things resumed for him and his mother, just the two of them. When university rolled around and Squishy’s high hopes in the Scare Program had been crushed in his first year, that’s when Oozma Kappa had been born.
All thanks to their dear president Don Carlton.
It wasn’t until after both adults had asked him for his decision that Squishy had realized how much of a father Don had always been to him, even when they were just classmates in Professor Knight’s class struggling to meet the Dean’s expectations.
Don cared deeply for him as for the rest of their little fraternity. His wise words and positive attitude were always his comfort, even when things looked dim, especially around the time the Scare Games were announced and they had been very disappointed they didn’t have enough members to compete; before Mike and Sulley came into their lives.
In the innocent young monster’s opinion, Don was more of a father than even his own had been before he walked out.
Now Squishy stood proudly beside his soon-to-be stepfather, excited to hold the name: Scott ‘Squishy’ Carlton.
Beside them was no other than the groom’s men. The best men Don had ever met since he went back to school: Art, Terri and Terry, and especially Mike and Sulley.
Each of them wore a matching tux, although for Art, the purple monster was basically just a pair of legs. The closest thing to a tux was that he had to wear black bands around each leg and a basic bowtie just below his mouth. Terri and Terry, much like their OK sweater, dressed in one single tuxedo with two head holes, both of them wearing ties. For Mike, it wasn’t too much of a challenge for the little green monster’s appearance, he managed to find a tux that fit around his circular body and slacks that worked perfectly for his skinny legs. As for Sulley, obviously not being the tuxedo type, the massive blue monster wore a shirt that displayed a picture of a tux.
Don smiled at them, feeling his anxiety slowly diminish as his soon-to-be wife reached the top of the stairs, standing beside Dean Hardscrabble as Don himself stood beside his fellow professor.
It surprised everyone that the two had chosen the university’s renowned members to be the Best Man and Maid of Honor, especially for Hardscrabble herself. She rarely ever gets surprised, save for last semester. But when her student’s mother rushed up to her, right in front of everyone, her chubby hands holding her claws in an overly-friendly manner, the words ‘Please be my Maid of Honor, Abigail!’, her mouth had nearly fallen to the floor. Rarely anyone called her by her first name, save for Derek Knight a few times.
The request felt like a rush to the head, and though her voice was inaudible, former Mrs. Squibbles was able to hear that long-awaited ‘yes’. Thus, the petite woman hollered with joy, right in front of everyone, making the Dean nearly want to hide herself within her own wings as her students murmured with excitement that the head of the Scaring Program was actually going to play a huge role in the wedding.
“Dear students, workers, and guests of Monsters University...” The priest began aloud, a headset with a built-in microphone inserted upon his head. His voice echoed throughout the stadium for everyone to hear. “We are gathered here today...”
Mike Wazoski smiled, blinking away any tear that dared escaped from his giant cornea as he watched his dear friend. He let out a quiet sigh, feeling completely elated and truly happy for such a big, glorious, and interesting occasion. With every student having come for this particular day, he felt they had never been this anticipated since the Scare Games.
The single-eyed monster reflected back on what had just occurred last semester. So much had happened, and so many things had changed. While Mike knew that what he had expected of himself was over, he still clung to different kind of dream. One he especially shared with his best friend, James P. Sullivan, which he mostly liked to call Sulley.
Ever since getting expelled last semester, the duo were able to get jobs at Monsters Inc....as mailroom workers.
They were going to work their way up, their dream of becoming the number one scare team brought into effect. Everyone was fully-supportive and encouraging to them, even, much to Mike’s shock, cocky Roar Omega Roar president gave him a simple quip to ‘be careful around the mailroom. They’re tough.’
To think Mike and Sulley were almost going to go their separate ways and move back to their homes, leaving behind not only the university but their brothers/friends of Oozma Kappa. And, though no one was aware of it, Mike was especially going to miss Randall Boggs. As surprising as that would be, Mike couldn’t be mad at the reptilian monster forever; after all, if anyone was truly to blame for that cruel prank pulled on them last semester, it was, undoubtedly, Johnny Worthington. Randall was just a mere pawn in his plan, and someone who could so easily be pressured into doing wrong. Mike had to feel sorry for him, he just wanted to be with the ‘cool kids’.
Mike scanned the massive crowds in the stadium, wondering if he could spot his former roommate anywhere. It was possible the shy lizard might have pulled another invisibility trick, knowing Mike would be looking for him amongst the students. He caught sight of Roar Omega Roar on one of the lower sections of the stadium, watching the wedding with both interest and amusement. Johnny Worthington himself held his usual confident smirk, arms folded as he watched one of the Oozma Kappa members, the one he liked to call ‘grandpa’, getting hitched.
He turned his gaze back to the bride and groom, and beside the bride, other than Dean Hardscrabble herself, stood the bridesmaids.
Mike could hardly call them that, what with their usual black attire and the deadly atmosphere that they always carried.
Out of all the girls, let alone sororities Mrs. Squibbles-now-Carlton could have chosen in Monsters Univesity, she went and chose Eta Hiss Hiss, aka HSS.
Why she chose them, the bride herself expressed that the girls pale and black seemed like ‘such an adorable little group’, having looked past their frightening and creepy exterior to have them each fitted with a similar upper body wear. Lace collars was the choice, and to make it more compatible, they were black.
As the priest continued, much to Mike’s utter astonishment, Rosie Levin, leader of Eta Hiss Hiss, actually shed a tear as she clutched her flowers, her tough girl exterior altered as her bottom lip quivered at the sight of the bride and groom. The woman was a brick wall with glasses and many piercings on her horns, and rarely anything could intimidate let alone move her.
And here she was, the toughest sorority leader just ahead of Slugma Slugma Kappa (EEK) leader Carla Delgado, crying behind her black glasses. One of her sorority sisters, Sonia Lewis, reached a tentacle into the pocket of her leather jacket before handing her dear leader a tissue, her snail-like eyes also brimming with tears at the beautiful moment.
Well, how do you like that? Mike thought with slight amusement as he watched the HSS leader dab her eyes.
However, his single eye shifted away from her before falling directly on the seventh bridesmaid. HSS only had six members, and this particular monster was actually in no sorority.
The seventh bridesmaid smiled, her light purple hands clutching her flowers as she watched the happy couple exchange vows, her single eye of bright aquamarine blue blinking back a tear. Although not the same could be said for the five snakes that served as her hair.
Celia Mae was her name, and Mike was still so astounded how he had gotten together with such a monster.
It had all happened during the beginning of summer, a few months after he and Sulley were expelled and had taken jobs as mailroom workers in Monsters Inc..
”Looking good, Sulley!” Mike exclaimed with confidence as they exited out the company’s doors, now on their break. “We’ll make that record for sure!”
Sulley rolled his eyes, slinging his mailroom uniform over his shoulder for the time being. “It’s just mail, Mike.”
“I’d like to call it a stepping stone toward the real thing,” the one-eyed monster insisted.
The larger monster let out an amused chuckle as they walked out of the parking lot and into the streets of Monstropolis, looking for a nice shop to spend their break in before returning to work.
“Anyway, called Don, he said Mrs. Squibbles, or should I say Sherry, will be making her special slimy kraut casserole when we get home.”
Mike’s mouth watered at the thought of Squishy’s mother’s cooking. He thoroughly enjoyed such fine dishes, though he wouldn’t dare want to compare them to his own mother’s.
He couldn’t wait until work was over for him and Sulley so they could take the bus back to their former OK brothers. Since expulsion, and the miracle that was able to find jobs in the company’s mailroom, Mike and Sulley didn’t have to depart all the way back to their homes. They were staying with Oozma Kappa. Adding more to their happiness, despite having been expelled, the two were still welcomed to Monsters University grounds. They had made quite an impression on its students, changing the whole perception for monsters everywhere. They, mainly Mike, was the sole reason Oozma Kappa was considered one of the higher fraternities of the campus, so close to Roar Omega Roar.
Both Mike and Sulley entered a nearby ice cream shop, Sulley eager to try their hot mud sundae with sprinkles. As the two took their seats, waiting to take their orders, Mike had out in front of him a piece of paper which he furiously scribbled on.
“By these calculations,” he declared, “we’ll be able to promote ourselves on the MI totem pole in no time at all!”
“Easy there, calculator,” Sulley laughed. “We’re on break right now. Save it, will you?”
Mike didn’t even lift his gaze from his work. “Please, Sullivan. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to make me take a break even during break.”
“Are you two ready to order?”
Mike put down his pencil before looking up to their server.
“Yes, we’d like-”
He immediately stopped in mid-sentence, his one huge eye wide.
Standing before their table was a lovely female monster, her body tall and twig-like as she wore a white uniform, and her short hair made entirely of snakes that were waiting for his order. Her single eye held the most beautiful shade of aquamarine blue Mike had seen; it nearly resembled his single eye color.
Mike was a loss for words, the corners of his mouth curving nervously as he felt his face grow hot.
“I...uh...” He stuttered, feeling his throat dry up.
Sulley took one quick glance before he dove in to save his best friend. “Yeah, we’ll have two hot mud sundaes here, please. Extra sprinkles.
The waitress smiled as she wrote down their order, the snakes in her hair hissing soundly.
“Coming right up,” she said before walking away.
Mike watched as she disappeared behind the counter into the kitchen, his expression dazed and his mouth so low his retainer could slide right out. Sulley smirked, folding his arms as he leaned back against his seat.
“Why, Mike Wazowski,” he guffawed playfully, “aren’t you looking a little flushed.”
The smaller monster immediately snapped out of his mesmerization, blinking back into reality as he gave his best friend a confused one-eyed stare.
“What?” He exclaimed in denial. “No, come on!” He looked away rather sheepishly.
“Admit it,” Sulley laughed, “you were practically drooling all over the table!”
“Was not!” Mike retorted.
“I’m back,” sang a familiar voice that quickly grabbed his attention.
Mike wheeled around in his seat just in time to see the waitress stroll over with a tray of their order. She bent down in front of their table and placed the sundaes before them along with their spoons. She smiled, mostly at Mike.
“Enjoy,” she said sweetly before walking off.
Once again, Mike couldn’t break his gaze from the sight of her, his fingers reaching over trying to find his spoon. Sulley could hardly stifle a laugh as he watched the awestruck expression on his best friend’s face.
“You should ask her out,” he suggested.
Mike shook away from his glance and stared at him with shock. “What?” He exclaimed. “Oh, no, no, no...” He rapidly shook his head. “Mike Wazowski is not the dating type. Besides, she hardly noticed me.”
Sulley’s raised an eyebrow at him. “Hardly noticed you? Did you see the way she just looked at you while she was serving us? Buddy, she’s interested.”
“Well, I’m not,” Mike denied, looking away rather embarrassed.
Sulley was unconvinced. “Then you would’ve noticed that you’re using your pencil instead of your spoon.”
“Wha...?” Mike turned back and gazed down at his sundae. His pencil had been inserted into the creamy scoops, and when he withdrew half of it was covered in hot mud and sprinkles. He gave a nervous chuckle as he furiously tried to wipe it off with his napkin.
During the time they were savoring their sundaes, Mike looked over his shoulder every now and then, watching as the waitress with snakes for hair served other customers. He watched in awe at the movement about her, how she spoke, how adorable her snakes acted. She really was something in Mike’s perspective.
Finally, after finishing off their sundaes, Mike placed their money on the bill pushing it to the side of the table and awaited for their server. He stiffened a bit as she came by, picking up their payment.
“I’ll just be a sec getting your change,” she said.
“No, no,” Mike spoke out, his voice nearly quiet. “K-keep it.”
The waitress’ single eye widened before she looked over the payment. It was much more than what a server was often tipped. She looked back at Mike, smiling.
“Well, thank you,” she cooed, “that’s very generous of you. Mr....?”
Mike felt a lump in his throat, trying to find the words. “Yeah, I’m Mr....uh...” He felt his face grow hot.
Sulley rolled his eyes before saving him once again. “His name’s Mike. Mike Wazowski.”
Mike stared at him, dumbfounded, than smiled nervously at the waitress.
“Well, then,” she giggled, “thank you for your generosity, Mr. Mike Wazowski.” She smiled sweetly at him.
“Um, uh, yeah...” Mike gulped. He immediately hopped out of his seat, catching both the waitress and Sulley by surprise. “Hey, uh, Sulley, I think it’s time we head back to work?” He forced a smile, fearfully looking away from their server.
Before Sulley could say anything, Mike rushed out the door.
Oh, boy...Sulley thought with a sigh.
Mike pressed his back against the side of the ice cream shop, breathing heavily. He must have looked like such a fool in front of that cute waitress! Even her snakes were looking at him funny.
“Oh, I am so stupid!” He cried, smacking a hand to his forehead. “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”
“Hey, Mike?” He turned around to see Sulley just exiting out of the shop’s door, looking rather pleased. “Your receipt.” He held out in his giant paw a small piece of paper.
“Yeah, you can just trash that...” Mike said, feeling rather bitter.
“Oh, I don’t think you really want to trash this, buddy,” Sulley insisted with a proud grin as he handed it to him.
Mike looked over the paper, scanning the prices, the payment, their change...
His single eye widened as he stared down at the bottom portion of the receipt.
Written in bright blue marker was a phone number, followed by a message.
My name’s Celia Mae.
Beside it was a smiley face with a single eye.
The green monster’s face about turned red as a tomato as he stared at it, his mouth curved in an open smile, his retainer nearly falling out. Sulley just laughed.
“Not interested, huh?” He gave his best friend a pat on the back.
Mike smiled to himself as the memory faded.
He remembered the moment mailroom work had ended for them that day, and Sulley opened his big mouth to Oozma Kappa, they, especially Squishy’s mother, had heavily encouraged him to call Celia Mae and ask her out.
It wasn’t like he didn’t want to, having quite good luck with women long before he went to Monsters University, but the anxiety had been eating at him so much that it was Art who had to dial her number because Mike’s fingers froze right in front of the phone. He then, much to everyone’s surprise, tackled Art to the ground when the pair of legs finally got ahold of Celia and blandly asked if she was interested in dating ‘Mr. Frozone’. Having grabbed the phone by the shocked purple monster, Mike had immediately gotten over his fear and apologized, lightly joking ‘that’s how college buddies are’.
After that and the two finally settled a time and place, Mike officially made a date.
From that moment on, the two found themselves becoming closer, every date becoming as wonderful as the first. Over a sundae Celia would get with her worker’s discount, they would talk about their interests, what books they read, where they both came from, and where their education took place. Celia felt sorry for Mike when he explained how he and his best friend winded up getting expelled from Monsters University, but he assured her that they had found their silver lining in Monsters Inc.’s mailroom, working their way up. When Mike asked her if she was a student at his former university, he wasn’t surprised when she said no.
He was surprised when she admitted she attended Fear Tech, MU’s rival university.
As big a shocker as it was when his friends later found out, they didn’t hold it against her, especially Sulley, still recalling the pig incident from the beginning of the previous semester. While both universities were, indeed, rivals, and would prank each other every so often, there was no severe grudging.
And soon Mike had received a kiss, thus declaring they were officially boyfriend and girlfriend, much to everyone’s delight.
The little monster shifted his gaze from the bride and groom and stared at Celia across from him. She looked so beautiful, wearing a simple party dress that complimented to both the bride and HSS, half-white and half-black. Even the snakes in her hair were each wearing a black-and-white collar to perfect the outfit.
Over the summer, since he and Celia had become a couple, Sherry had begged for her to become one of her bridesmaids. Though this surprised his girlfriend, Celia was more than honored to do so.
Celia Mae caught his gaze as the priest was near the conclusion of his script. She hunched her shoulders a bit shyly, giving that same sweet smile that always made his heart melt. Her snakes appeared just as adorable as they each watched him in a friendly manner.
“Then by the power invested in me,” the priest said finally, “I now pronounce you, Mr. and Mrs. Don and Sherry Carlton. You may now kiss the bride.”
Anticipation plagued the entire stadium as all eyes looked up at the giant video screen that zoomed in on Don and Sherry. And right in front of the entire university, they shared their first kiss as husband and wife.
The entire stadium erupted in deafening cheer. As that happened confetti immediately bursted from every exhaust pipe that was installed into the stadium just for the occasion.
Don and Sherry slowly pulled away, gazing at one another with tearful eyes as white and green paper rained upon them. Before Don knew it, he was nearly tackled by his fraternity brothers, all hooting and hollering and nearly crushing him in embrace.
“We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK!” Oozma Kappa bellowed repeatedly, their voices carrying them over the thousands of screaming students in the stadium.
“Now this is better than a frat party!” Art laughed.
“Hey, Don!” Sulley reached down and grabbed the married man’s shoulder happily. “Congrats on you and Mrs. Squi-I mean Carlton.”
Don smiled proudly. “Why, thanks, fellas. And it sure was nice of ol’ Hardscrabble allowing us to have the wedding here at the university.”
“Yeah, it an an anonymous vote,” Mike pointed out with a chuckle, “Even Professor Knight raised his hand in agreement.”
Suddenly, Don was nearly tackled as something clung to his side. He looked down to see Squishy, his stepson, hugging him happily.
“My best friend is my new dad!” Squishy exclaimed happily. “That may sound wrong to some people, but it doesn’t for me!” His five eyes looked up into Don’s only two, a sincere smile played on his lips.
The look on his new son’s face nearly brought Don to tears as he leaned in and embraced him.
They were both startled by the sound of a loud, familiar voice that echoed through one of the stadium’s microphones. They turned their attention to a large, purple, bird-like monster with horns. Beside him was a girl much shorter in comparison, her pale face holding the usual somber expression as the cheers and confetti continued.
“The president of Oozma Kappa, everyone!” Greek vice-president Brock Pearson hollered as he gestured toward the groom. “Now a married man!” The enthusiastic monster’s announcement elicited even more cheers and applause from his fellow students.
The president of the Greek council Claire Wheeler merely rolled her eyes. “It’s a wedding, meathead. Calm down, will you?” She sighed.
“You weren’t last semester at the final Scare Game event,” Brock teased.
Claire’s eyes widened before she turned away, her pasty face becoming a little red.
Roar Omega Roar got up from their seats, watching out for other students as they casually walked down the steps of the stadium, the wedding party now having officially begun. Johnny Worthington lifted his gaze back up to the video screen, bearing witness once more as the bride and groom shared another kiss as Oozma Kappa cheered for them.
It seemed rather awkward as well as a little lewd to watch two mature adults smacking lips, especially when the groom himself was the president of their rival fraternity.
Yes, Oozma Kappa had officially become the top rival of Roar Omega Roar, Jaws Theta Chi coming in close. Despite the final Scare Game event having been rigged by their former member James P. Sullivan, Johnny had to admit(though never to anyone)that the hopeless team was now a pact of champions. Their diversity was their advantage. Most of all, that Mike Wazowski was the sole reason they had made their official mark in MU history.
It was embarrassing, honestly, ROR being taken down by who used to be the lowest on the totem pole, but Johnny wouldn’t allow intimidation get in the way of his perpetual confidence.
OK may be okay, but Johnny was sure his team would take them out at the next Scare Games.
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a loud sniffle. He looked down beside him and took great notice of one of his members furiously wiping away his tears with a claw.
Chet Alexander hiccuped as his single eye released yet another giant tear. His fraternity brothers watched him in utter surprise.
“I always get emotional at weddings,” the crab-like monster confessed.
The stadium was incredibly packed with students as the party commenced; many have stated that that the wedding was ‘one of the best university parties in MU history’.
Voices chattered throughout the night, music blared through the giant speakers as the DJ scratched on his records, and students lined up to get a second or third helping of the food, particularly one of the wedding cakes. Don and Sherry had cut theirs, the moment having been captured on the wide video screen.
Many of the students, single or not, joined the bride and groom as they danced on the installed platform. Especially Mike and Celia.
The small green monster never broke his gaze from his girlfriend as he held her close, swaying soundly to the beat, her arms wrapped around his head.
“Have I told you how absolutely lovely you look tonight?” He said smoothly.
“Well, you told me this morning,” Celia joked, “around the afternoon, just before the reception, and after the bride and groom cut the cake.” She gave a small giggle. “So yes.”
Mike’s green skin became slightly red as they continued dancing.
“Bet you’re going to be real tired once you go back to classes tomorrow,” he said in an apologetic tone.
Celia laughed. “Probably. Though I’m not going to be the only one.” She scanned the mass array of students surrounding them. No doubt every student tomorrow morning would be fighting his or her hardest to stay awake during class.
But it was worth it. How many times would MU hold a wedding? Probably once in every monster’s college life, and she knew the ones who started just as Freshman were very lucky to be part of the experience.
Mike merely chuckled, then looked past Celia to take notice of Sulley standing right beside one of the many buffet tables. His best friend smiled, raising a cup of cider to him.
As Sulley sipped his drink, Art came over, a pleased expression on his face.
“You know what I’m betting will happen this year?” The pair of legs said rather boldly.
“That OK will win the Scare Games for sure?” Sulley smiled.
“Well, that,” Art rolled his eyes rather knowingly. “And no doubt at least one of us might end up as lucky as Don!”
Sulley nearly choked on his drink before he stared at him with wide eyes. “You’re not thinking of getting married too, are you?”
“What? Dude, nah!” Art retorted. “I mean getting a girlfriend, man!”
The larger monster let out a relieved sigh. “Any likely candidates?”
“Not really,” the purple monster responded dejectedly. “I’m honestly trying to figure out who exactly will be ‘the one’. My ‘one’. You know what I mean?” His eyes shone hopefully.
Sulley’s expression softened, lowering the cup away from his lips. “Hey, if you made it back into the Scare Program, you can definitely find your ‘one’.”
Art brightened at his sincere statement. “Thanks, man,” he said happily. “Because, let me be honest, Donna Soohoo is far from ‘the one’, let me tell ya.” He jabbed a thumb behind in his direction.
Confused, Sulley turned his gaze over to a few students. His eyes fell on one of the Slugma Slugma Kappa sorority girls. Donna Soohoo was unlike any girl, honestly...she was basically one single purple tail whose pink hair hid her face entirely. Most students often wondered if she even had a face to begin with.
Sulley watched as said girl slithered toward a rather stout monster, intimidating him as her bushy front was inches away from his face. Seemed she was flirting.
Art cringed before turning back to Sulley. “Yeah, she’s cute, I guess...but not really for me. Or for some other guys, honestly.”
“Good choice, buddy,” Sulley agreed.
Terry Perry could only rub his forehead in embarrassment as his younger brother danced. Being conjoined twins, if Terri was dancing, then Terry was part of it as well. While the younger Perry flailed his arms and kicked his tentacle-feet in the air, just as he had learned from dance class last semester, the older Perry would keep his half of their single body still as possible, arms to the side and tentacles firmly planted on the ground.
“Come on, brother,” Terri encouraged. “It’s a party, you should be dancing!”
“I would if my brother didn’t dance like a chicken walking on coal,” Terry muttered.
“Don’t be a hater,” his brother retorted. “FYI, I’m the one who took the dance classes while you decided to take boring English.”
“Now don’t be a hater there,” Terry warned him.
Naomi Jackson directed herself away from the conversation with her Python Nu Kappa sisters and her eyes fell on the bickering twins. Mainly on the older one.
Her purplish pink face flushed with anxiety as she took a few deep breaths, her hands clinging each other with tension.
“Okay, Naomi...” She told herself. “It’s the new semester, and there he is. You had all summer to work it out. Just go over there and...and...”
She swallowed the huge lump that suddenly evaded in her throat. Her mauve-colored hair began to feel hot and sweat slightly poured down her cheeks as she continued watching Terry Perry.
Last semester, when the Scare Games had begun and Oozma Kappa had signed in at last minute, she shared the determination alongside her fellow PNK sisters that they would crush them, doubting they would even make it past the first event.
Boy, did their perception of them change when they succeeded in the second event, having escaped the grasp of the terrifying librarian and beaten the EEKs.
They were not like any other Greek group, Naomi knew. Unlike any other, especially her own, this group of monsters was actually diverse. Each differed and possessing something that would benefit greatly to their team.
And everyone started looking at them differently, especially, much to her amazement, Johnny Worthington as well. When he told her sorority to inform OK they were invited to a party at the ROR house, Naomi had believed that the so-called ‘big monster on campus’ now respected the team of misfits.
Boy, was she wrong.
The humiliation OK had gone through when paint, flowers, and other adorable stuff had been rained down on them, Worthington, with a cold smirk, calling them ‘the most adorable monsters he had ever seen’, everyone had been shocked by the treatment.
But they laughed. Even her.
It was forced laughter, actually, trying not to appear out of place with the others for fear of being just as misfitted as OK. True, it seemed funny...but it was still downright cruel.
An hour before the Oozmas were set in the trap, Naomi could clearly remember how much fun they were having at the party. The music blared, everyone was on the dance floor, and OK was experiencing real university fun. Even the mature student, whose dance moves may have seemed old school but fit just the same.
She would never forget the look on Terry Perry’s face when they danced together. How happy he appeared, how into the beat he was, even though he had firmly stated he wasn’t one for dancing. But his younger brother dragged him to the floor, and with much encouragement from the PNK girl herself. Terry had moves even his Dancing major brother couldn’t keep up with.
What made the moment more fulfilled: magic.
Out of Terry’s sleeve he had pulled out a pair of flowers. Just for her.
She loved tricks. And the flowers were simply amazing. She treasured them as she continued dancing with him, all hostile feelings having melted away long before OK had arrived at the ROR house.
Now all of that was a simple memory, the moment forever burning in her mind as she would always remember the outcome.
He looked just as shocked and even heartbroken as the rest of his team when they realized they were pranked. The look in his single eye displaying so much hurt as the laughter invaded his ears, crushing whatever spirits had been lifted that night.
And Naomi had laughed at him just to save face.
After that night, it was as if their meeting had never occurred at all.
She still remembered the third to final event of the Scare Games and her team had failed miserably to ‘avoid the teen’ while Oozma Kappa had come in second behind Roar Omega Roar. As infuriated as she was that they had lost, Naomi, deep down, was happy for OK, confident they would beat HSS and make it to the final round. To prove they were more than they appeared.
She wanted to congratulate them despite PNK having lost, but she had been too scared. She was afraid of facing Terry Perry once again after all the garbage he had gone through the day after the party. She never even spoke to him after the Scare Games ended, nor even tried as the year came to a close.
Now summer was over, a new semester had begun, and Oozma Kappa, minus Mike and Sulley, were now back in the Scare Program.
Naomi gulped, resorting back to reality as she remained still, watching the older Perry twin. Her knees wobbled, and she felt sick to her stomach; she should have never have had that third helping of blackberry stew.
“Okay...” She breathed quietly. “H-here I go.”
Each step forward was like dragging a rock across a race track as she kept her three eyes on the twins’ direction. She bit her lip, her dull claws clenching and unclenching with every agonizing moment.
She needed to see him.
To apologize to him.
To plead to him.
To hold him.
Having finally finished arguing, Terry just allowed his brother to continue embarrassing himself before he scanned the wide range of students surrounding them. He could see the HSS girls at one corner idly swaying their bodies, he could spot Art sporting some killer moves with his leggy appearance, he witnessed a member of Jaws Theta Chi dancing while shoving an entire sandwich into his mouth, he could see Naomi Jackson walking in his direction-
Terry’s mind immediately screeched to a halt. His single eye widened in horror.
Hs brother took notice of his expression. “Terry?”
Before he knew it, he was being dragged off, his older brother desperately wanting to disappear amongst the crowd.
“Let’s, uh, dance somewhere else!” He said quickly as he pushed their way past dancing students.
“Terry!” His younger brother exclaimed with even more confusion.
The older Perry turned to him with a nervous smile as they resumed running. Before he could re-focus his attention on where they were going, Terry bumped into someone, his arms having wrapped around whoever was in his way to keep from falling backwards.
“Dean Hardscrabble!” He gasped.
The head of the Scaring Program looked down at him and his brother with her usual apathetic expression, though she raised an eyebrow in confusion. Then her eyes fell on Terry’s arms, which were wrapped around one side of her waist and nearly touching her tucked-in wings.
“I believe there is an explanation for having arrived in such a manner in this moment, is there not, Mr. Perry?” She asked, eyeing the older twin.
Terry winced, feeling his face grow hot with embarrassment as his twin cowered beside him, gazing at the intimidating face of their Dean.
“I, uh...” Terry stuttered for an explanation.
“Hey, brother,” Terri shook him before gesturing behind them. “Isn’t that Naomi Jackson?” He didn’t notice the color drain from his twin. “Hey, maybe she’d-”
“Will you dance with me?” Terry blurted out forcefully, having dared to look the Dean right in the eye.
Terri looked at him as if he were crazy, and Hardscrabble herself looked incredibly surprised by the request. She stiffened a bit, regarding how his pair of arms was unintentionally still upon her waist.
However, she held her head high and gave an expression that was impassive to the best of her ability.
“Normally, it would seem unwise for the head of the university to dance with a student,” she spoke indifferently. “However, more unusual things, such as having been chosen to be the Maid of Honor of the mother of a fellow student, have occurred this ongoing evening.”
Terry could have sworn he saw some humor in those serious eyes of hers.
“I shall dance with you then,” she permitted.
The older Perry twin momentarily froze, his single eye enlarged and he nearly lost the feeling in his own pair of arms as the Dean took hold of each of them. One hand placed on her waist while the other was held in her manicured claw. By now, several other students witnessed the Dean place her free hand on the section between the twins’ heads, which served as Terry’s ‘other shoulder’.
“Look who’s dancing with the Dean!” Hollered one voice as more eyes fell particularly on Terry Perry as he was forced to sway his body alongside Dean Abigail Hardscrabble’s.
“They look so cute together!” Squealed another voice.
“Hubba hubba!” Shouted another.
Terry appeared completely mortified as he carefully stood by the Dean’s side, his fingers trying to be as subtle as possible when it came to actually touching her. Hardscrabble herself still seemed rather uncertain with the position they were in, but she remained silent, simply allowing the student to direct in any dance he wanted, her eyes not bothering to look into his as her body was nearly still but slightly swayed. His brother, however, made light of the moment, dancing his own groove as he was merely the unintended third wheel of the situation. Everyone was paying attention to the older Perry, thankfully.
Terry did his best to hold back his dinner, his face flushed with the humiliation that he really was dancing with the head of the Scaring Program.
Such an image was probably going to be embedded in his mind for a long time. Better yet, it was more than likely going to make the wedding photos which would most definitely be posted in the yearbook.
But all that was better than having to face Naomi Jackson again.
Keeping that in mind, Terry kept close to the Dean, though did everything in his power not to actually press his body against hers. Students were already clicking away on their cameras.
Naomi Jackson just stood there, arms to her sides as she watched the older twin dance with Hardscrabble. As soon as he had seen her, Terry, dragging his brother along, had done the unthinkable just to escape a moment with her. He had pushed his desperation into the arms of the Dean herself, risking both humiliation and his dignity.
Just so he wouldn’t have to see her.
Dejected, pained, and heartbroken, Naomi simply turned away from their direction, the laughter of students as they took photos of the unlikely pair inaudible to her ears as she walked toward a nearby buffet table, just wanting to drown her sorrows in ice cream, cake, and other foods that would serve as comfort.
Art and Sulley paid witness to Terry as he continued dancing with Dean Hardscrabble. Both monsters looked utterly confused as well as a little astounded.
“The guy just entered the lion’s den,” Sulley commented.
“Yeah...” Art considered doubtfully. “She’s not his type.”
Sulley managed a chuckle. “Well, looks like Scaring class started off a little interesting this semester.”