Written September 2001
Synopsis: Madeline asks Paul to give her away. Takes place shortly after overthrowing Adrian.
Disclaimer: The characters within are property of LFN Productions, Warner Bros., and USA Network. No infringement is intended.
Madeline blinked once, twice, a third time in surprise. She hardly even recognized herself. She was…beautiful. She always thought of herself as attractive or handsome–but never beautiful. She took a deep breath, straightening her posture, and backed away from the mirror. The form-fitting white dress made her chuckle. White–the color of purity and innocence, two words she would never use to describe herself. Nevertheless…she couldn’t wear black to her wedding. She entertained the thought for a moment, laughing quietly.
Paul entered the tent hesitantly. Madeline was admiring herself in the mirror. He watched her for a moment, wondering what kind of thoughts were going through her head. She was, after all, getting married. Was she still surprised? He knew he was. “Hey.”
She turned and smiled. “Hi.”
“Everything’s ready out there. We’re just waiting for you.” He clasped his hands behind his back. “Are you ready?”
She faced the mirror once again, her expression growing solemn, and gave a tight nod. “How’s the groom?”
Paul laughed. “He’s…nervous, but very excited.” He came up behind her, placing his hand on her shoulder. “You can still call it off, you know.”
“No. I’ve waited too long already.” She picked up her short veil and placed it on her head. He adjusted it for her then stepped away so she was alone in the mirror.
“You look beautiful, Madeline.”
She continued to stare at herself in disbelief. Beautiful… “Thank you.”
He looked at her for a moment longer, as if a question was on his lips. Finally, he started to walk away. “I’ll tell them you’re ready.”
Ready…ready… “Wait!” She spun around and looked at the ground. “Paul, would you…” She took a deep breath, lifting her head. “Would you give me away?”
He froze, meeting her eyes. “Madeline–”
“I know it’s unorthodox and maybe a bit strange, but…but I don’t want to walk down the aisle alone. And what better person to give me away than my–my best friend?”
He opened his mouth, turning away suddenly, blinking back his tears. He looked up, staring at an invisible point on the tarp, unable to face her. “Do you remember the day we took over Section?”
She smiled. “Of course. It wasn’t that long ago.”
“At the time, I thought, ‘It can’t get any better than this.’ I mean, we rule the world. What more could anyone want?” He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment and tilted his head to her. “And now…seeing you standing here and asking me this question, I realize…it does get better. It can only get better.” He walked to her, taking her hand and kissing it gently. “I would be honored to give you away.”
She embraced him happily. “Thank you, Paul.”
Pulling away, he crooked his arm. “Come on, before they start without us.” She put his arm through his and clutched his hand tightly. He handed her the bouquet with a smile.
They stepped into the sunlight and began the short walk to the small wedding party. Madeline glanced over the cliff at the sun as it sank into the ocean. Then she gazed at Paul and almost chuckled at his nervousness.
The witnesses were somewhat surprised when Paul announced he was giving her away, but Madeline ignored them. As the justice of the peace began the ceremony, she felt like she was floating. Her entire soul was focused on the man she was set to marry. Their vows and their love for each other would have to remain a secret, but she didn’t care. He was her life; nothing would change that.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Paul sighed, briefly closing his eyes. Finally… He gazed at Madeline and broke into a wide, open smile. Madeline Wolfe–his friend, his lover, his wife. He bent down to kiss her, and it felt like the first time. In a way, it was. Yes, he thought with a grin, it can only get better.