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Sam the Sham | And the Fair Rose | Nightmare on Maddie's Street | Up the Down Rabbit Hole | Same Time, Every Year | When My Heart Finds Christmas | David's Christmas Carolers | When Cowgirls Collide | Moonlight Adventures in Babysitting | Sixteen Candles Times 2.5 | Walking My Baby Back Home | The Heart of the Matter | The Seven Year Switch | Happily After Ever | Moonlight Bleu | I Am Combustible........David | Fighting Fire With Fire
Happily After Ever
The sun shines, the birds sing, David grumbles, it is all normal in the life of Maddie Hayes.
"We're going, David."
"No, David, we're going and that's the end of this discussion."
He huffs and he puffs, but her resolve must be made of brick because David can't quite manage to blow it down. He is running out of ideas, so if this last one doesn't work, a murder-suicide will be the next choice.
He waits until just the right moment - when she has her back to him, busily sealing their fate with each item she throws into the open suitcase - before he makes his move. Coming up behind her, he twines his arms around her waist and nuzzles her neck.
Maddie jumps, sending undergarments (along with a suspicious pair of heart-patterned boxers) flying every which way. "David!" she exclaims, squirming. "I'm trying to pack..." a small groan creeps from her lips before she can hold it back. "You should go home and do the same. Our flight leaves at eight tomorrow morning."
"Yeah," David mumbles, kissing her rapidly increasing pulse, "and I'll bet you've actually been packed for days and this is all for my benefit."
"So what if I have?" Maddie asks, defensive.
Rolling his eyes, David ignores her, instead slipping a hand beneath her robe. He grins as another moan erupts from her. *Yes* he thinks, *works like a charm every time*
~ ~ ~
Not wanting to risk opening her mouth, Amy instead opts for staying on the bathroom floor, her head resting against the cool of the bathtub.
"This is NOT happening," she mutters, reaching up to flip the lid of the toilet down with a grimace.
"Ames? You all packed?"
For the time being, Amy decides to ignore Richie's voice and concentrate on herself for a moment.
She had been feeling fine up until a few hours ago. Amy grimaces and mumbles, "It was probably all the damn shrimp you ate for dinner, Amy you idiot."
There is a knock on the bathroom door then, and suddenly Richie is there. "God, Amy, why the hell didn't you call for me?"
She shakes her head. "It's nothing, Rich." Shakily, Amy gets to her feet. "I'm OK," she assures him with a forced smile.
Richie seems to except this explanation. He grins and sweeps her into his arms. "We're getting married, Amy!" he exclaims, swinging her around.
Amy groans when he set her down. "Yeah, Rich, we are. But if you do that again, we're going to be getting married in here."
Immediately sorry, Richie moves to kiss her. He frowns when she flinches away.
"Don't, I'm gross," Amy whispers, darting to the sink and quickly brushing her teeth. She then turns around and twines her arms around Richie's neck. "OK, now."
Richie chuckles. "Demanding little thing, aren't you?"
"Mm-hm," she hums, impatiently jerking his lips down to meet hers.
When they pulls apart a moment later, Amy stays in Richie's arms, her head on his shoulder. "I like your brother," she murmurs, his heart beat strong and sure against her own.
"Good, I was hoping you would," Richie responds, kissing her temple. "I'm actually surprised it's me getting married and not him."
"Why's that?" Amy asks, moving away, but keeping hold of his hand.
Richie allows her to lead him into the bedroom and begin unbuttoning his shirt. "He and Maddie --"
"Blue Moon Maddie?"
"Yeah. He and Maddie have been together for about seven years now. I always thought that they'd get there before I did." He obediently steps out of the pants Amy has unbuttoned.
"What's stopping them?" Amy asks, her words muffled briefly as she pulls her shirt on. "I mean, they seemed so....comfortable....together."
"They are. They've been through some rough times. In '89 Maddie miscarried their baby --"
At this, Amy cringes and presses her hand to her own abdomen. "God, that must have been horrid," she whispers, shuddering again before drawing her nightshirt over her head.
Richie nods and turns off the overhead light. "It was pretty bad until about a year ago."
They both climb into bed and Richie leans over and turns off the bedside lamp. "Now I think the only thing stopping them are their own insecurities."
Amy rolls over onto her side, a question on her lips, but then he touches her, and - as always -she is lost.
~ ~ ~
David wakes slowly, completely satisfied with himself. *Yes siree, I am surely the luckiest man in LA*
Maddie stirs in his arms and he tightens the arm he had resting just below her breasts, effectively pulling her more into him.
The man in question rolls his eyes. "Yeah, it's me," he whispers. He will never fully understand why she always asks his name first thing in the morning. It makes it seem like she is hoping to wake up to find someone else.
"....time is it?"
David glances over at the illuminated numbers of the alarm clock. "Six-thirty."
Maddie groans and snuggles back into David's chest. "We need to get up," she murmurs.
David makes a noncommittal noise and drops a kiss onto her bare shoulder. "Why's that?" he asks, moving from her shoulder to her neck.
Ignoring his advances, Maddie swings her legs out of bed and stands. "Our flight leaves at eight, David. I told you that."
He watches her walk across the room, nothing but a sheet draped over her slender body, and falls back to the pillows with a sigh. "Murder/suicide it is," he mumbles.
They will catch a flight to Florida, then from there they will board a cruise ship headed for the Bahamas. The Bahamas, where his brother would be shackled to one woman for the rest of his life.
Jerked from his thoughts, David puts a smile on his face and turns to Maddie. "Yes, dear?"
As anticipated, Maddie makes a face at the endearment. "We're almost to the airport," she says with a sigh.
"Still time to turn back," David replies, already leaning up to poke the cab driver.
Maddie pulls him back by the collar of his shirt and shoots him a bewildered look. "What's wrong with you, David? I thought you wanted to do this?"
David sighs and runs his hand through his hair. "It's not that I don't want to...it's just that...."
"Spill it, David."
He glances at her with a leer. "That takes a little encouragement, Maddie."
He sighs again, looking out the window. "I guess I thought....God, I don't know what I thought. But I guess I thought it pretty hard."
Maddie makes to comment on this - and the fact that he is confusing the hell out of her - when the cab halts and the driver demands money.
"We'll talk later," she promises, patting his thigh as she gets out.
"Oh, can't wait," David mutters sarcastically.
Maddie turns to him as he removes himself from the cab. "Did you say something, David?"
"Yeah," he says, propelling her towards the entrance of the airport, "I said we're late."
"What do you mean, the boat's already gone? It wasn't supposed to leave for another fifteen minutes! Boats don't leave early!"
Amy turns away with a small smile tugging at her mouth just in time to see Maddie and David hurrying towards them. "Something wrong?" David asks as they come to a stop beside Amy.
Richie, exasperated, whirls away from the flustered dock employee. "Yeah, there's something wrong.....we've apparently missed the boat."
Maddie looks at her watch in confusion. "We've got another fifteen minutes ," she says. "Are you sure?"
Running his fingers through his hair, Richie nods. "I must have gotten the times mixed up."
"It's OK, Rich, we'll just get another boat and be a little late....the wedding isn't until tomorrow anyway," Amy says, rubbing Richie's back in soothing circles.
Richie nods reluctantly and smacks himself on the forehead. "Idiot. I'm such an idiot."
David, smiling a suspiciously sympathetic smile, claps his older brother on the back. "Aw, don't be so rough on yourself, bro, it could've happened to anybody." He considers, and then adds, "Well, not anybody.....certainly not me --"
Rolling her eyes, Maddie elbows David and glares at him. "We can catch another boat tomorrow, Richie......don't worry, we won't let you miss your own wedding."
Throwing an arm around Richie's shoulder, David says, "No, we sure wouldn't want you to miss gaining a ball and chain - and losing your OOF." His sentence is cut off as Maddie's heel comes down on his foot.
Smiling apologetically at Amy, Maddie pulls David to the side. "What is wrong with you?"
"What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you??" Leaning against the wall, David pulls his foot up and examines it. "I think you broke something."
Maddie sighs and takes his hand, making him look up at her. "I don't want to be here anymore than you do, David. But it's only a weekend, and then we get to go home." She smiles. "Just think, free food, free drinks." Raising an eyebrow, Maddie whispers, "Free cake...."
David smirks. "That'll teach 'em, Blondie." Sighing, he squeezes her hand. "I just really don't want to do this."
"This, this," David says, motioning toward where Amy and Richie are standing close together, arms around each other. "All this love crap, it's just not my scene, you know?"
Shaking her head, Maddie smiles. "It's not exactly my ideal weekend, either. But, he's your brother."
"That still has not been proven," David interjects.
Maddie goes on as if she hasn't heard. "And he's not only your brother, but he's the only brother you'll ever have."
"Yeah yeah yeah."
"And after all is said and done, he's still going to be your brother."
Bringing the hand that is holding his up to his mouth, David kisses it lightly on the palm. "So full of wisdom," he mocks.
"Better than what you're full of, Addison."
He chuckles, then sighs. "All right.....so what you're saying is that we should make the best of it."
At her nod, he smiles. "Fine, but I'm not stopping with the wedding jokes....I've got a ton and I may never get to use them again."
~ ~ ~
"So, basically, what you're telling me is that there is no possible way to get out to the islands without super human powers?"
The dock employee swallows and nods, eyeing Richie's reddened face with trepidation. "There's a storm brewing off the coast, Sir. The islands have been put on standby until further notice....." She pauses and types something into the computer. "It should be a week at the most."
Running a hand over his face, Richie groans. "I can't wait a week."
The employee shrugs helplessly. "I'm sorry, Sir."
"I can't believe I screwed this up for her." Richie leans his elbows on the counter and puts his head down.
David, who has been standing at the pamphlet board for the last few minutes, turns and grins at his brother. "Hey, Rich, come here," he calls, waving absently with his hand.
Richie mumbles a polite thanks to the dock employee and walks to where David is standing. He slumps down into one of the chairs and puts his elbows on his knees, bracing his head in his hands. "I'm such an idiot," he mutters.
"I think I may have found a solution, Rich," David says, holding a pamphlet out to Richie.
Sighing, Richie takes the pamphlet and stares at it for a second before laughing shortly. "Thanks, Dave, but she'd never go for it. Amy's not a traditional person, but believe me, she's more traditional than that."
"I'll bet she'd love it," David protests with a smirk. "Mickey, Minnie, Donald --"
"Sleepy, Happy, Doc, and the rest of the gang, I know."
"You forgot Dopey."
Richie shakes his head. "I don't need to name him when he's standin' right in front of me."
David chuckles and claps his brother on the shoulder. "You must be gettin' old, Rich. That was the lamest comeback I've ever heard."
Feeling a little better, Richie gets to his feet with a groan. He throws an arm around David's shoulder. "I sure am gettin' up there, Dave....How about helping an old man to his hotel room?"
Wary, David nods. "Sure. But if you ask me to change your diaper, you're on your own."
"This is ridiculous, Amy. You realize that, don't you?"
Amy sighs and pushes a lock of her hair from her face. "I'm sorry that you think the way I feel is 'ridiculous', Richard, but it is the way I feel."
"We've been basically living together for the past five months, Amalia. Why are our sleeping arrangements such a concern now?" Richie exclaims, hot, tired, and fed up.
Groaning, Amy plops down on to one of the beds in the small hotel room. "Richie, if we were getting married tomorrow - as planned - we wouldn't be sleeping in the same room." She tries not to glare, really she does, but Amy has never been very good at keeping a straight face.
Richie's face falls and the anger seems to drain out of him. His voice barely above a whisper, he asks, "How many times am I going to have to apologize, Amy? How many times before you forgive me?"
Standing quickly, Amy puts her arms around his waist and rests her head on his chest. "I'm not angry, Rich, just disappointed." She lifts her head to look into his eyes and forces a smile to her face. "I'm just trying to keep with tradition. You never know, we may get a boat out tomorrow after all." She lifts her eyebrows and smirks. "It's bad luck to sleep with the bride before the wedding."
Chuckling, Richie kisses Amy's forehead. "I think it's a bit late for that, don't you?"
Laughing, Amy presses a kiss to his lips. "I love you, you idiot."
"Does that mean I get to sleep in here?" he asks, his face brightening in hopefulness.
Amy shakes her head and breaks the embrace. "But if you're very good, David might let you cuddle."
"It's only for one night, David." Maddie pushes the suitcase across the floor with the toe of her shoe. "Besides, he's your brother."
Groaning, David shoves the suitcase back with his own toe. "How could I forget, you keep reminding me!"
Feeling irritable, Maddie kicks at the suitcase, sending it flying in David's direction once again. "You don't expect me to sleep with him, do you?" At his startled look, she smiles. "I didn't think so."
David winces as the suitcase hits his foot and glares at Maddie. There is silence as they both stand there, unsure of what exactly comes next.
Clearing his throat, David bends to pick up the abused suitcase. "Well, I'm glad we settled that," he says, shaking his head in confusion as he walks out the door.
Maddie smiles and watches the door until it clicks shut, then shakes her head and turns to the dresser, beginning to take off her jewelry.
"Get off of me, you pervert!"
The tall woman pushes at the man's chest, obviously angry and upset, and certainly not wanting his advances. She is beginning to feel frightened, and the feeling only heightens when the man does not let her go, but instead easily holds her arms above her head with one hand while his other roams freely down her body.
"What part of 'No' did you not understand?" she yells, hoping her voice is loud enough to be heard above the din outside. She is just about to scream again when his hand leaves her body. Her sigh of relief turns to a gasp of terror when she sees the knife he holds instead. "Jesus," she gasps out. "Why are you doing this?!"
"This time," the man whispered, his voice full of venom, "you'll stay dead."
~ ~ ~
She isn't angry, but she is working herself up to it.
Amy sighs and plucks at the cheap bedspread adorning the hotel bed. It is made of some weird slippery material that she has never seen before. This thought makes her cringe because it leads into the thought of how many people have slept in the bed before her. "Ew," Amy mutters with a sigh, but doesn't stop with the plucking of the loose threads.
It isn't that she thinks Richie did it on purpose - he wouldn't do something like that when he knows how much she's been looking forward to it - it's mostly that, well, she is supposed to be getting married today. "Dammit!" Amy shouts, throwing back her head.
There is a knock on the door and Amy calls out a tired `come in'. Richie swings open the door wide and she is disgusted to see that he is actually smiling. "Good morning, honey bunch."
Sickened by his blatant happiness when she is so miserable, Amy forces a smile to her face and replies, "Good morning, poopy head."
Still smiling, Richie sits down on the side of the bed. "I would have thought you'd be more excited on the day of our wedding."
"I would be more excited if we were actually getting married today, Richie," Amy says, smiling painfully the whole time, "but as it stands, our parents are probably having the time of their lives while we're rotting here in Never-Never Land."
He laughs. He actually laughs! "Well, I might have a solution to that problem." When Amy makes to protest, Richie holds up his hand to silence her. "Just hear me out, will you?" She nods and he goes on. "I know that it's not ideal, and you can't imagine how sorry I am that I screwed up so badly, but at least we're together."
Amy notices suddenly that he's been hiding one hand behind his back ever since he came into the room. "I swear, Richie, if you bring out anything even slightly resembling tickets to Las Vegas I'm going to kill you." She smiles sweetly. "And believe me, no jury would convict me."
His grin hasn't dimmed and he brings his hand around in front of him. "Well then, I guess it's good that I went with David's idea." Dropping the pamphlet that David had earlier presented him with on the bed, Richie awaits Amy's response.
It is most definitely not the response he is looking for, however. In the next second, Amy throws back the covers and sprints for the bathroom. Richie winces at the retching sounds and glances at the camera, before getting up to go to the bathroom door. He has his hand on the handle when he turns to the camera and says, "I told you she'd never go for it."
"I just don't see why we have to stay, Maddie, that's all."
Maddie shades her eyes and once again searches the crowd in the restaurant for Richie and Amy. "We're here for support, David. He's -" she stops before she can say `your brother'.
"Right, he's my brother," David mocks in a high pitched voice. "But I can provide support in a number of ways, Maddie." At her skeptical look, he continues. "Over the phone, through the mail....besides, what good are we sitting here doing nothing?"
Finally spotting Richie, Maddie waves a hand above her head. "Over here," she shouts, catching his attention. To David she says, "We're staying, end of discussion."
She doesn't hear his response of, "That's what you think."
She has been crying for about ten minutes when he knocks on the door. The walls in the hotel are paper thin and he can hear every sob and every gasp for breath. It breaks his heart.
Therefore he does exactly what he knows she won't want. He knocks on the door. "Amy?" he calls through the flimsy wood, "Let me in."
Surprisingly, she obliges, undoing the chain and clicking the bolt on the door, then swinging it open. Instead of greeting him, however, she throws herself to the bed and buries her face in a pillow.
Rubbing his chest right above his heart, Richie sits on the side of the bed and rests his hand tentatively on Amy's back. "Hey," he says quietly, "will you sit up and talk to me?"
Pushing herself up to a sitting position, Amy laughs shortly and pushes a piece of hair behind her ear. "I look like a drowned rat."
Richie laughs and wipes a lingering tear away with the pad of his thumb. "Yeah, but you look like my drowned rat."
Amy makes a sound between a sob and a snort and shakes her head. "How the hell did we end up in this place," she gestures around her with a hand, "when we should be on a cruise right now?"
"I screwed up," Richie admits, taking her hand in his and kissing it gently. "I know you worked hard to plan, and you can't imagine how sorry I am--"
"Oh stop apologizing already, it's not all your fault." Amy sighs. "I should have double checked the times." She strokes her thumb across the back of his hand. "I just wanted everything to be perfect."
"It can still be perfect, you know," Richie says, pulling out the pamphlet he had presented her with earlier.
Amy throws him a skeptical look before picking it up and flipping through it. "Disney World, Richie?" When he nods, she laughs and shakes her head. "The one time I get married, I get married in Disney World....how fitting."
"From the pictures, it can be a very nice ceremony," Richie says with a smile. "Besides, what does it matter where, as long as we're together?"
Snorting, Amy grins and runs a hand through his hair. "That was overly sappy, Addison."
Smirking, he leans in and kisses her lightly on the lips. "Yeah, well, don't get used to it, you only get a couple of sappy comments a month and then I'm through."
Amy laughs and pulls at the fabric of Richie's shirt. "Come here, you."
"Gladly," he responds, launching himself at her.
~ ~ ~
Maddie rolls her eyes and wipes a tear of sweat from her forehead. "I want to go home, David. It's hot as hell here."
David shakes his head. "I'm disappointed in you, Maddie. After all, we're here to offer support to my brother and his fiancé. What good would we be all the way across the continent?"
"Whining is not attractive, Ms. Hayes." He moves close to her. "Besides, weren't you the one that said, "After all is said and done, he's still going to be your brother"?"
Maddie shakes her head. "Me? Does that sound like something that I'd say?"
David nods innocently. "Scroll back to the first act and you'll see." He brings a hand up and strokes her cheek lightly. "This is his wedding, Maddie, I need to be here."
"You're so full of it, Addison."
Smirking, David replies, "Yes, but you love it."
Rolling her eyes, Maddie braces her hands flat on his chest and waits until he moves to put his arms around her waist. She then pushes hard and watches with satisfaction as he loses his balance and falls to the floor.
Turning her back to him, Maddie walks to the bed and picks up the brush she had dropped there earlier.
David blinks up at the camera for a moment before a slow smile creeps across his face. "I like my women feisty," he says before lunging at Maddie, knocking her to the bed.
Maddie doesn't think she's ever been in a room so full of Disney characters before. She hopes she will never have to be again. All around her there are half-dressed Cinderella's and Prince Charming's. Not to mention the disturbing amount of Mickey Mouse's.
Or would that be Mickey Mice?
Smiling, Maddie holds in a chuckle. "This place is starting to make me giddy," she murmurs.
When Amy leans over and whispers, "Is this place giving you the heebie-jeebies?" Maddie laughs out loud and nods.
"I thought it was just me and my aversion to Disney movies," she whispers back, eyeing a tall young man dressed as Peter Pan.
Amy smiles and is about to reply when the dressmaker comes out of the back room, holding up a dress. "You're lucky, this is the only dress that we have right now, and we only have it because of...." She bites her lip as if she's said too much and goes on quickly. "Well, never mind that - I'll have to make some alterations, but otherwise it looks like it will be a good fit."
Maddie and Amy exchange looks and Maddie inquires, "You were going to say you only have this dress because of something?"
The dressmaker smiles nervously and shakes her head. "It's nothing really, we just had a recent accident here at the park."
"What kind of accident?" Amy asks with a raised eyebrow.
Waving her hand in the air as if to dismiss them, the dressmaker says, "We've got so much to do in so little time--"
"What kind of accident?" Maddie repeats Amy's question with a sideways glance at her.
Sighing, the dressmaker looks around once more before beckoning them into the back room. "Last night there was a murder in one of the dressing rooms back here."
Maddie glances at the dress the woman is holding. "You mean that someone murdered the woman playing Snow White?" At her nod, Maddie quickly looks at Amy.
"Have they caught anyone yet?" Amy questions.
The woman looks momentarily wary, then shakes her head. "I don't think I should tell you anymore. I think I've already told too much."
When she makes to leave the room, Maddie stops her with a hand on her arm. "Please, ma'am, I'm a detective, perhaps I can help."
Amy holds in a groan. "Maddie--" she begins, but is cut off by the dressmaker's enthusiastic agreement.
"That's wonderful! Why, maybe you can even find the bastard that did this to poor Adelaide--"
"Her name was Adelaide?" Amy asks with raised eyebrows.
The woman ignores Amy's question and goes on. "But are you sure you want to spend your vacation doing work?"
Not even hesitating, Maddie says, "Anything to help the happiest place in the world."
Amy is not able to hold in her snort of laughter.
~ ~ ~
The fifth time Richie looks at his watch an hour has passed. He is slowly losing patience with his brother, who, for the past forty-five minutes, has been rifling through the rack of tuxedos.
"For the love of Mike, Dave, they all look the same," Richie finally explodes. "Just pick one!"
David turns at this and grins. "Really? Any one I want?"
"Yes! Just pick one so we can get out of here," he checks his watch once more. "We're supposed to meet Amy and Maddie in thirty minutes."
"OK, Rich, how about that one?" The grin hasn't faded and Richie suddenly finds himself sorry he'd said any one.
He turns to look to where David is pointing and groans at what he finds. "Amy is going to flip!"
David watches as a young mother, one child clinging tightly to her hand and another in a stroller in front of her, shades the sun from her eyes and attempts a smile for her husband. He shakes his head as the flash goes off and the man smiles and nods.
"You really love her, Rich?"
The question seems to catch him off guard and Richie just stares at his brother. "No, Dave, I'm just marrying her for her law degree." He laughs shortly. "Of course I love her, what kind of question is that?"
David shrugs and goes back to his people watching. "Just checking."
"What's wrong with you, Dave?"
David forces a smile to his face and takes a sip of the soda in front of him. "Not a thing." He takes another sip and licks his lips. "Why do you ask that?"
Richie shrugs and sips at his own drink. "Where are we anyway?"
David looks around them. "Fantasy Land, I think? Who the hell knows?" There is a pause for a moment before David says, "You know, I knew a man once. He told me something I'll never forget."
Looking around for the women, Richie absently replied, "What was that?"
"He said he never knew what happiness was until he got married-"
"That's sweet," Amy says as she approaches the table. She kisses Richie on the lips and sits in the chair next to him. Maddie, however, merely sits.
"-and by then it was too late," David finishes with a smirk.
Maddie turns to Richie with a frown. "Has he been like this all day?"
Richie snorts and offers his coke to Amy, who accepts. "Worse."
"I resemble the remark," David mutters, playing with the straw in the glass.
Maddie rolls her eyes and stands. "Come on, David, I want to look around a little." When he merely looks at her, she pulls him by the arm out of his seat. "Richie looks like he's had just about enough wedding humor, let's go." Looking directly at Amy, Maddie says, "Meet back in two hours at the dress shop?" At Amy's nod, she smiles and pulls David off.
As he is being dragged down the sidewalk, David shouts one last thing to our happy couple. "Marriage certificate is just another word for a work permit, Rich."
Richie shakes his head and throws an apologetic look at Amy, who shrugs.
"I don't know how you talked me into this," Maddie grumbles, pulling the blue bodice up and slipping her arms through the holes. "My hair isn't even black."
Amy smiles and motions for Maddie to turn so she can be zipped up. "That's what the wig's for."
Maddie jerks around as Amy finishes zipping. "The wig is where I draw the line," she says. "I can't imagine what has worn it before me."
Laughing, Amy turns her back to Maddie. "Since you're my replacement maid of honor, will you button this for me?"
"Sure," Maddie replies with a smile. As she finishes, she smoothes the fabric down Amy's back and grips her shoulder to turn her. She steps back and whistles.
A faint blush comes to Amy's cheeks and she turns to the mirror. "You like it?"
Suddenly finding herself having to force a smile to her face, Maddie tries not to think back to her own wedding. It was so long ago, but the memories made it seem like yesterday.
"OK, I got it...we're pulling into Vegas in a couple of hours. I've never gambled
before, I hate gambling...repulses me."
And oh, how they had gambled. Not with money, but with affection. And that in itself is a dangerous game. Especially when you're carrying another man's child.
They had been sitting at the blackjack table when she'd seen them. A man, a woman, and a baby in a stroller. They weren't in the casino, but just outside, walking by. Maddie had been fascinated by the way the parents seemed completely in tune with each other. They were so normal, so extremely calm, so....boring.
"Let's get married."
It was out of her mouth before she knew what she was saying, and by then it was too late because he was looking at her like she was insane. "Married?"
She swallowed and nodded. "Haven't you ever had that dream where Elvis is marrying you?"
"No, no I can't say that I have," he replied with a look akin to humor. "That's a bit more of a gamble than I was planning on, Maddie."
Nodding her head, Maddie smiled. And then, to her horror, burst into tears. Walter was a bit at a loss as to what to do with her and merely led her to a bench outside and rubbed her back.
As she gained control over her emotions once more, Walter smiled and said, "If I had known you were going to take it so hard, I would have said yes."
"The offer is still open," Maddie said, her eyes shining in the moonlight.
He hesitated only a moment before nodding. They were indeed married by Elvis. Two weeks later the marriage was annulled.
Pulled from her thoughts, Maddie jerks her head up and blinks at Amy. "I'm sorry. Did you say something?"
"You OK?" Amy asks, concerned. "You look like you just saw a ghost."
Shaking her head, Maddie smoothes down her yellow skirt and pulls up her white collar. "Just remembering something." When Amy reluctantly accepts this explanation, Maddie smiles and reaches for the veil, settling it securely on Amy's head. Pulling the delicate lace over her face, Maddie asks, "You ready to get married?"
Amy nods without hesitance. "Without a doubt."
"Well then, let's go get you married."
Richie eyed David's choice of formal wear with something akin to horror. "She's not going to like this, Dave."
Holding up part of the offending suit, David grins. "Neither of them are, that's what makes it so much fun." He pulls off his shirt and is left standing in nothing but a wife beater and a pair of boxer shorts. "I can't wait to see their faces."
Running a hand through his hair and muttering to himself, Richie paces back and forth in the small room, making David dizzy.
"Will you relax? God, you act like this is some big deal."
That stops Richie's pacing and he stares at David. "What the hell is wrong with you, Dave?" When David opens his mouth to speak, Richie cuts him off. "No, just sit back and shut up. I've had enough of you and your negative attitude. You've done nothing but make horribly unnecessary comments from the moment we got here. You have managed to turn a really bad situation into an even worse one, and I'm tired of it." He takes a breath and walks to the door. "So why don't you just stay in here where you're safe, David? God knows you wouldn't want anyone else to be happy."
As the door slams, David winces, sighs, and hits himself on the head with the heel of his hand. "Well, at least it got his mind off of his nervousness," he mutters, pulling on a pair of pants.
When he is at last dressed, David chuckles at himself in the mirror and swings open the door. "Show time," he says, making his way to the courtyard where Richie waits.
"Do you, Amalia Lyne Roberts, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
Amy's mind drifts from the first sentence. All she is aware of is the fact that she is binding herself to one man for the rest of her life. Has she made a mistake? Is it too late to take it back? She shakes her head to clear it and stares at Richie as his face falls from the careful smile he has been maintaining. She realizes at that moment that everyone is staring at her. *Oh, God* "I do." At the minister's look of skepticism, Amy nods vigorously. "No, I really do. Really."
Richie smiles, relieved, and nods at the minister to continue. He just shakes his head slightly and clears his throat. "And do you, Richard David Addison, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
Instead of listening to this, Amy directs her gaze and her thoughts to her soon-to-be brother in-law. She thought that Maddie was going to kill him when she saw what he was wearing. Amy could understand this sentiment, but it wasn't all David's doing, she was sure Richie had had a hand in it also.
"I do," Richie says, pulling her out of her thoughts.
As suddenly as it began, it is over. Amy stares down at the ring on her left ring finger in awe, not quite sure what to make of it all yet.
"I always wanted a sister, you know."
Whirling at the voice, Amy smiles at David. "I have one...they're not all they're cracked up to be." On impulse, she hugs him. "Thank you for doing this, David, you have no idea how much it meant to both Richie and myself." Kissing him on the cheek, she steps back. "I do wish you would have gone with a more conventional suit, however."
David grins and motions down at himself. "What is more fitting when we're in Disney World?"
"Oh no, I didn't mean you shouldn't have come as one of the characters, I was just always more partial to Pluto, myself." She laughs. "Goofy always bugged the hell out of me."
She shrugs and motions to the cake table. "They're taking the rest of the pictures."
David nods and takes a sip of his champagne. "Yep, sure looks like it. Better get over there before they start without you."
She begins to walk away, but turns back after a few steps. "Thank you again, David."
"No prob," David says, a smile on his face. As she turns away, it fades. David sets his glass down on the nearest table and wanders off toward the dressing rooms.
~ ~ ~
He is standing off in the shadows, sure that no one can see him. But he sees her. Oh, does he see her. How stupid he was to think that he could kill her for good last time, when it hadn't worked the first five times before. Now here she was again, smiling, having a good time.
But he would fix it. He would fix her.
This time, she'd stay dead.
"I'm freezing my ass off, Maddie."
Rolling her eyes, Maddie just crosses her arms across her chest and edges closer to his side.
"Wasn't it much warmer this afternoon? I thought Florida was warm year round."
His complaints are slowly wearing on Maddie's last nerve. She sighs and turns into him with a shiver, burying her face in his neck. "Yes, David, it's cold," she mumbles.
"We could always just turn--"
She pulls away quickly, a look of complete irritation on her face. "We've been waiting in this damn line for hours, this was YOUR idea, Addison!" Once again, she scooches closer to him. "We're not turning back. Now, would you just put your arms around me? I'm freezing."
She has to sneeze twice before he takes her protests of "No, David, not just another turn. I'm soaked and I'm freezing!" seriously. She has already been through five turns on Splash Mountain and not only is she now extremely wet and cold, but she thinks maybe she's getting sick.
They are halfway out of the park when Maddie remembers that she left her purse in a locker at the beginning of the ride. Telling David to meet her at the entrance, Maddie hurries back to the ride. As she pulls the key from the pocket of her soaked jeans, a sharp pain makes its way through her head. The last thing she sees is a large plastic head that looks remarkably like a wet rat.
It is dark. And cold. Her head hurts.
Maddie is first aware of these three things. She is next aware of the largeness of the room she is in. She looks up and gasps. Above her hangs a man, swinging from the rafters in the stillness of the room. This is when she realizes that she is in the main room of the Haunted Mansion.
Her sigh of relief is short lived because just then the door slides open and in walks the man she had seen before. The drowned rat. Except now, in the dim light before he rolls the door shut, she sees that he is a character - not a prince....a bad guy. Jafen....Jaiden....Jafar? That's what it is, Jafar! From Aladdin.
"What the hell is going on?"
Jafar just shakes his giant plastic head.
"Why am I here?"
Again, the head shakes, offering no response.
Maddie, getting more frustrated every second, slowly gets to her feet, wincing at the wetness of her jeans. "Answer me, you giant heap of Tupperware!"
The head shakes back and forth, creating quite a comic picture.
Throwing her hands up in the air, Maddie mutters, "Oh, this is ridiculous," and starts toward the door. She stops when she hears the clicking of a cocking gun. Putting her hands up in the air, Maddie turns slowly.....
Just in time to see a hidden door fly open and knock the gun from Jafar's hand. David smiles at Maddie and waves, therefore missing Jafar slamming the door right back in his face. Jafar then runs to the sliding door and throws it open, running out into the crowded streets of the theme park.
Maddie rushes to the now prone David and slaps him lightly across the face. "David, get up! That was the killer, David, get up!"
"I'm up, I'm up," he mumbles, dizzily getting to his feet. His head makes a rattling sound as he shakes it.
Taking Maddie's hand, David pulls her out the door and into the sudden sunlight. They both stop a moment to let their eyes adjust, and then they begin running through the park, following the bobbing plastic head in the crowd.
They chase Jafar throughout the park until David, panting for breath, stops and looks directly at the camera. "You know, I thought this was supposed to be a docile episode. A little fun, a little sun....a lot of cake...."
"David, come on!"
Waving at Maddie, he starts to jog in her direction. "We'll get you for this, Sarah," he mutters, coming to a stop next to Maddie. "Where'd he go?"
"I'm not sure...." she turns left, then right, shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun. "I thought I saw him near there," she points at the Dumbo ride, "but I don't see him now."
Just as David was about to turn and retrace their steps, Maddie pointed directly at one of the Dumbos. "David...does that thing look unstable to you?"
Looking up, David nods. "Yeah, it looks loose."
Maddie makes to comment, but is cut off by a gasp in the crowd as the Dumbo that she has just pointed out flies off of the ride, smacking right into the giant, plastic head of Jafar.
David and Maddie slowly walk to where the man is lying.
"Wow," Maddie says, at a loss for words.
Nodding, David exclaims, "How lucky was that?!" Looking at the Dumbo in sudden disgust, David spits upon the purple elephant. Maddie looks at him incredulously, but he only shrugs and says, "It was in the script.....Sarah hated that damn movie."
"I think we've got bigger problems than that, David." Maddie points in the opposite direction and David turns to look. Coming toward them are three security officers. Looking back down at the Dumbo, Maddie asks, "How much do you think a flying Dumbo goes for these days, anyway?"
The airport is hot and crowded and Maddie is desperately looking forward to sleeping in her own bed tonight. She finds herself constantly dodging David's questions of what is wrong and why she is acting so distant. She also finds herself constantly dodging David's arms.
Instead, she acts happy. She forces a smile to her face and is cheerful the whole time, even allowing David to put his arm around her waist. "I can't believe after the wedding, that you guys actually want to honeymoon in Florida," she says.
Richie smiles, and throws his arm around Amy's shoulders. "Got it on good authority that this place can actually be decent once in a while." Amy elbows him playfully and slips from his embrace to hug a startled Maddie.
"Thank you for everything," she murmurs. "Kind of unconventional, but I had fun."
Maddie nods. "Congratulations," she says with affection, "and I had fun too."
David pulls Richie to the side and takes his hand in a firm shake. "Congratulations, Rich." Drawing Richie into a hug, David whispers, "Take good care of her, Rich, there's only the one."
Richie turns and looks at Maddie pointedly, then back at his brother. "Ditto on that, Dave."
David and Maddie watch as Amy and Richie walk away, arms around each other. "God, I'm glad that's over," Maddie comments as they turn to leave.
Nodding his head, David says, "Still, I don't think I've ever seen him that happy before."
Stopping suddenly, Maddie looks up at David in mock horror. "Why David Addison, are you trying to say that you've changed your mind about marriage being....what did you call it?....."the most overrated institution in America"?"
"Nah," David says as they begin walking again. "After all, marriage is very much like a violin; after the sweet music is over, the strings are attached."
Looking disgusted, Maddie shakes her head. "That's horrible, David."
They wind their way toward the boarding gate, slowly getting lost in the crowd until all you can hear is their voices.
"I really hope Bert managed to keep the staff in line without the whip this time."
"Whip?" Maddie's voice is amused and curious at the same time. "Do tell...."
FREEZE FRAME (oh god, it's over!)
Thank you's go to....
Diane, Lizzie, and Sue (not always in that order) - I have no words to describe these ladies. Their patience astounds me and their talent blinds me. Thank you for not yelling and screaming and pitching fits when I said, "I don't know if I'm going to make Sunday." and, of course, for supporting me when my computer refused to cooperate. If I do say so, we rock!
Aubrey - Faithful beta and number one fan. My own personal self esteem coach. I just wish she'd write an ep with me sometime. Thanks, Chiky, for more things than I can count.
Heather - I wouldn't blame her if she began charging me for her services. I owe you chocolate, Heath, and lots of it.
Vicki - For help even when she had to ask, "Who is this?" If you ever need a favor, I'm here for you.
Walt Disney - What can I say, the man was a genius. And he's probably rolling in his grave at the atrocities I performed at his park. :)
Wedding Planners all over the friggin' world - I don't envy them, but I sure do have more respect than I did.
I'm sorry that this took me so long, folks. Procrastinate is my middle name. Hope it was somewhat worth your time :) --- Sarah