On his wedding day, he and Daily Alice had gone among the guests seated on the grass, and many of them had given gifts, and all of them had said “Thank you.” Thank you: because Smoky was willing, willing to take on this task, to take exception to none of it, to live his life for the convenience of others in whom he had never even quite believed, and spend his substance bringing about the end of a Tale in which he did not figure. And so he had; and he was still willing: but there had never been a reason to thank him. Because whether they knew it or not, he knew that Alice would have stood beside him on that day and wed him whether they had chosen him for her or not, would have defied them to have him. He was sure of it.
- excerpt from Little, Big by John Crowley