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UAgirl
4.20.08, 11:58 PM
Somebody shoot me now. I have absolutely no willpower, or I wouldn't be starting another new story when I have so many WIPs already.

I sat down to tackle Anna Begins and had no luck, then I tried my hand at Believe with the same results. I couldn't churn out a one shot because this idea kept rearing its ugly head (or not ugly, lol). Finally, I decided to give into temptation, and viola!

New story.

I don't plan for this to be a long story, but I never plan for my stories to be long, and they have a tendency to get, well, long.

LOL!

We'll see what happens.

Rating of this fic: will range from G to possible R. should interest be enough that I decide to continue.
Pairings: Sheridan/Luis (come on, this is me), Ethan/Theresa, Gwen/Antonio, probably Kay/whoever writes themselves to be with her, lol

Any similarities to other fics are unintentional.

On to the story.

Hope you enjoy!

















My Best Friend’s Wedding




Chapter 1





God sure works in mysterious ways, Sheridan mused, hazarding a look at Ethan out of the corner of her eyes as he navigated the compact Civic through the lanes of traffic that would eventually lead them to Harmony and take her home. The years had been kind to him. To her starved eyes, he looked much the same as he always had; older perhaps, but the same.

His dark blond hair was trimmed and styled neatly just the way he’d always worn it, even through the requisite awkward teenaged years. The top two buttons of his navy shirt were undone, and the material fit him like a worn, comfortable glove. His long fingers gripped the leather-bound steering wheel lightly, and the summer sun’s bright rays caught and glinted off of the unadorned golden band he wore on his finger.

The ring’s reflection danced and made Sheridan smile, and in the back seat of the vehicle, she knew it had entranced their other traveling companion even more, for he was, their prior introduction at the airport notwithstanding, unusually silent. Turning sideways in her seat, she craned her neck around to get a better look at his expression of awe. Placing a gentle hand on Ethan’s arm, she nodded at the slack-jawed toddler.

Ethan’s blue eyes crinkled slightly around the edges when he smiled into the rear-view mirror at the visage of his young son seated in his booster seat, teddy bear dangling forgotten from his lax fingers as he watched the play of light in fascination. “Nicky,” he adjusted the mirror so that he might meet the eyes of ocean blue, “Did you tell Aunt Sheridan about our new baby?”

“It’s in my mommy’s tummy,” Nicky told her earnestly, small brown fingers rolling and tugging at his ear lobe. His dark brows seemed to frown as, unbidden, a tiny yawn escaped. Thick black lashes fluttered against his cheeks as he blinked slowly, struggling to keep his eyes open for the duration of their trip.

Sheridan and Ethan shared a small smile between them when, mere minutes later, a small snore reached their ears over the soft music playing on the radio. “So Daddy,” she teased, facing the open highway in time to notice the exit sign proclaiming Harmony was only a short distance away. “How does it feel?”

With a tiny laugh, Ethan spared her a brief glance, happiness in his eyes. “You’re not going to believe me.”

“Try me,” Sheridan insisted, tearing her eyes away from the familiar landscape as it rolled by outside her window to look at him, really look at him.

“Like all my dreams have come true.”



~*~



There was still a certain quaintness to the Bed and Breakfast, a quality that seemed to transport Sheridan to another time and place. Placing her last suitcase at the foot of the bed, she dropped down on top of the floral quilt and cast her gaze around. A tall antique armoire and desk and chair were the only three pieces of furniture in the room besides the bed and its accompanying nightstand and lamp. A bouquet of fragrant, colorful roses rest upon the desk in a crystal vase, and against that vase, was a folded sheet of thick white paper bearing her name. Sheridan had just crossed the room and was fingering the paper’s edge when a familiar voice dispelled the stillness that had settled around her in her pensive mood.

“Those roses are from Mama’s garden,” Theresa informed her. “She thought you might like them.”

“I love them,” Sheridan whispered, carefully lifting one of the velvety flowers to her nose and breathing in the perfumed scent. Turning on her heel slowly, she was surprised to find the petite young woman heavily pregnant, her small hands resting on the shelf of her belly. Biting back an amused smile, she couldn’t hide the humor in her eyes from the other woman as she approached her, one hand drifting toward the roundness that held in it Nicky’s little brother or sister of its own volition. Her touch was tentative and her teeth worried her bottom lip as she asked Theresa with her eyes if the gesture was welcomed or not, especially by her. “Ethan said you were due soon, but I had no idea,” she murmured, pulling her hand back abruptly when she felt the movement of a tiny foot beneath her open palm.

“The week after the wedding,” Theresa confirmed, grabbing Sheridan’s hand in both of hers and refusing to let her put any distance between them. Brown eyes regarding Sheridan kindly, Theresa replaced Sheridan’s hand on her belly. “Ethan’s happy you’re finally home. We both are.”

Sheridan swallowed hard, hoping Theresa read the thank you she couldn’t say in her moist eyes and letting her hand fall back to her side. “Tell me,” she said, turning her back to the other woman so that she might wipe her tears in private. “Are the bridesmaids’ dresses truly awful?”



~*~




“Don’t go too far, Nicky!” Theresa warned, following her son’s progress with a watchful eye if not a fast foot as he raced ahead of them on the sidewalk, the lure of twinkle lights and not-too-distant laughter too powerful to ignore.

Ethan smothered a chuckle as he watched her waddle forward, and he splayed a hand at the small of Sheridan’s back when her steps faltered, slowing to a near stop. Prodding her into motion gently, he spoke to her as if this was an ordinary day, not the first time she’d traveled the sidewalks of Harmony in years, and definitely not the first time she’d gathered the courage to confront her past. “Don’t chicken out on me now. We’re almost there.”

“I know,” Sheridan muttered, the white skirt of her dress billowing in the breeze as she attempted to stall the inevitable. “Ethan, I don’t think I can do this.”

“Yes, you can,” Ethan encouraged, taking her hands in his own and giving them a squeeze. “You wouldn’t have agreed to be the maid of honor otherwise.”

“Daddy!” Nicky’s figure was small and shadowed in the darkness, but his childish voice was instantly recognizable. “Hurry up!”

“You heard him,” Ethan grinned, pulling her along when her reluctance seemed impossible to overcome. “They’re waiting for us, all of them.”

“Promise me you’ll rescue me if I need it,” Sheridan pleaded, eyes large and worried and bright in the darkness.

“You won’t need it.” Ethan was confident, and his hand shackled her wrist when she would have taken flight. “Now come on.”




~*~



Iced lemonade in hand, Sheridan watched the ebb and flow of the party underneath the protection of a tall tree strung with fairy lights. Drifting to her ears amidst the muted murmurs of friendly conversation and jovial laughter were notes of pleasant music, the female voice somewhat familiar to her. Much closer, the crickets serenaded her with their song, and the leaves of her sheltering tree rustled and whispered to her. Soothed by the quiet, she startled when a deep voice interrupted her solitude.

“You going to hide out here all night?”

Antonio emerged from the shadows, arms open, and Sheridan had no choice but to allow herself to be wrapped up in his welcoming embrace. She was thankful for the cover of night when she felt herself flushing under his scrutinizing gaze, and she lowered her chin when he started speaking again, holding her at arms’ length to get a better look at her.

“I didn’t think you’d come. In a million years I didn’t think you’d agree to be her maid of honor, but Gwen swore you would.”

“We’re friends,” Sheridan answered. “Good friends, I’d like to think. Once upon a time, best friends even, that made a promise to each other. I had to come, Antonio. Even if…”

“Even if you didn’t want to,” Antonio finished for her, pulling her into a tight hug then releasing her again. “Thank you. I know how hard it must have been for you to come back.”

Sipping at her lemonade, Sheridan shook her head, blue eyes glittering like sapphires. “You have no idea.” Thankful when Antonio didn’t try to dispute her comment, she lapsed back into silence, letting herself enjoy the way the breeze seemed to lift her hair from her neck and caress her skin. She looked up, meeting his dark eyes again, when she felt the light pressure of his hand upon her bare arm.

“It’s not going to get any easier standing all the way out here.” Hands in his pockets, Antonio ambled forward, shoulders shrugging in affected nonchalance that wrung a reluctant smile from Sheridan’s lips. “Join the party. Don’t let my bride worry herself sick about you being all by your lonesome.”




~*~




So persuaded, Sheridan let herself be swept up in the celebration and found that time had softened old hurts, at least some of them. The good people of Harmony she remembered were still good people, fair people. If they didn’t welcome her home with open arms, they at least opened the door for her with a smile, and she appreciated the gesture.

She danced. First with Hank, who was still a first class flirt, then with Chad and a couple of people she didn’t recognize, friends of Gwen’s or Antonio’s; she wasn’t sure which. She danced and she swayed and without even realizing it, she started to have a good time.

As the evening wore on, and the beauty of the stars started to compete with the twinkle of the fairy lights, lemonade was exchanged for something with more of an alcoholic flavor, and her old hurts started to dull at the edges. Her smiles weren’t so scarce, and her dances given more freely.

Her forehead resting against Hank’s cheek, she moved her naked toes through the plush summer grass and watched Ethan and Theresa sway to the music, Nicky between them. She let her arms hang loosely around Hank’s neck, and her mouth brush his ear, singing along softly. She forgot, for too brief a moment, the reasons the moment she inhabited could never be lasting, and let herself dream that she wasn’t just coming home for her best friend’s wedding; she was coming home to recover her lost heart.

Then the song ended, and time seemed to blur around the edges and freeze when she found herself staring helplessly into another pair of brown eyes over Hank’s shoulder, eyes that didn’t smile or soften when they landed on her, eyes that tormented her dreams: the eyes of Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald.















To be continued???

Thanks, as always, for reading!!!