Title: Some thoughts on marriage

Author: f.f. lindy

Authors notes: This is my first edfic, but I realized that this show would be SO MUCH FUN to write. Please review or send feedback or even hate mail. There's nothing I love more than knowing someone read something I wrote.

To set the scene: this would take place about a year from now, with what has happened on the show so far (and a few additions from my writers imagination).
"Carol, I think he might be the one," Molly told her soberly over lunch. She let a smile play across her face. "I think this might be it, but I don't see how it'll work."

"If it was meant to be, it'll work out. Trust me." Carol smiled at her nervous friend over the little table.

"We've been together for almost ten months, and I know that's not all that long, but at my age."

"At your age nothing, Molly. You're barely thirty. Lots of women aren't married when they're thirty. I'm not. Just give it some time."

"What do you mean you're not married?"

She held up her left hand and pointed to her ring finger, "I mean I'm not married."

"Regardless of whether or not you have a ring, you know who you're going to marry."

"I'm in a relationship, so are you. If you think I'm married then you are too."

"Carol, if Steve and I broke up, what would you do?"

"I'd run to your house with a gallon of ice cream. Why?"

"Because if Steve and I broke up ice cream would help, and in a couple months I'd be back to my former self. You can imagine Steve and I breaking up, and so can I. I can't imagine the day you an Ed aren't together anymore, can you?"

"No, but."

"Carol, have you ever been with someone that you couldn't imagine breaking up with? Even when you were putting on that wedding dress were you thinking, 'this might not last forever'?"

"I wasn't thinking that, not right before the wedding."

"What were you thinking?" Molly asked.

"What if it were Ed?" Carol sighed.


"But, Ed might not want to get married. Sure we may not see it now, but maybe, some day, we won't see eye to eye about something."

"Carol, if you and Ed broke up, would you ever be able to marry another man without thinking, 'what if it were Ed?'"

"I don't know Molly. How do we end up in these conversations? It's lunchtime. I have to go back and read The Great Gatsby in ten minutes. Why don't we talk about something normal?" Carol said heavily.

"Carol, will you tell me what is going on?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean why do you get all weird every time we talk about marriage?"

"I don't get weird. You bring it up a lot, and I might be sick of hearing about it, but I don't get weird."

"Every time on of us has a serious boyfriend that last more than a few months, we talk about marriage. That's the way we've always done it. It seems like this time, with Ed, you're being weird about it. Why?"

"Why do you think that we need to talk about me getting married? Am I engaged? No, I'm not. Just because I have been with Ed for a year, two months, and seven days after being on of his best friends for almost three years why should you expect that he is going to purpose? Why? Why would anyone expect that of him?" Carol was upset. She was wringing her napkin between her fingers.

"Carol I didn't mean for you to-"

"Well maybe I don't want to hear about how your boyfriend is going to purpose even though you've only been with him ten months and I've been with mine 14!" Carol snapped. She threw her napkin on the table, reached into her purse for her share of the bill and slammed it down as well. She stormed out of the restaurant and walked as quickly as she could back to school. It was cold outside, though it was May. Rain clouds collected overhead and began to fall apart on Carol as she walked down the street. She felt the tears brimming in her eyes and let them fall, knowing the rain would run her mascara anyway. She slowed her pace and got wet.

When she arrived back at the school she walked into her classroom and tried to straighten herself before her Junior English class beginning in five minutes. She took off the wet sweater she had on over a blouse and pulled her extra out of the closet where she always left it. She took off her shoes and left them under her desk, walking around in her nylons hoping they would dry faster that way. She got into her file cabinet to find the questions she'd written for chapter seven of Gatsby and started to copy them up onto her chalkboard. She finished with a few minutes to spare and managed to find her mirror and make up to fix her face before 30 smart mouthed sixteen year olds stormed her classroom. The bell rang at one o'clock that told students to move to fifth period. She sat down and started to sort through the piles of papers until she found the one for her fifth period.

She managed to run her last two classes of the day efficiently, and to her knowledge none of them could tell what was bothering her. After she had set her last class to work she heard two of the senior girls talking about their boyfriends and what they were going to do after graduation. She kept her composure until one mentioned marriage. Julie, an18 year old one month away from graduating was wondering when her boyfriend was going to pop the question. Carol spun her chair away, so she didn't face the students and brought the pile of papers she was correcting with her on her lap. Her eyes filled up with tears that threatened to fall, but she willed them not to and managed to last until three o'clock when the bell rang that excused her class. She packed all her papers up into her tote and grabbed her purse from the desk drawer she kept it in.

As she walked past Molly's office she thought about going in to apologize, but she realized, an apology would call for an explanation, and she didn't have the energy or the courage for an explanation. She walked out to her car and found a rose on the windshield. There was a note under the wiper blade and she pulled the little card out and opened it.

Rose number 433, for all the days I've held you Rose number 1314, for all the days you've know

Rose number 6446, for all the days I've loved you

She smiled breathlessly, tucked the note in her purse and held the rose tenderly in her hand. She unlocked the door and got in, her faith in love restored. She drove home and checked my messages. "Hey Carol, it's me," she heard Molly say, "I just want to apologize for whatever I said that upset you at lunch. I promise, I won't talk any more about weddings or marriage, or even men if you don't want to hear it. I hope you have nice night. Maybe we can all go to the Goat or something. I'll talk to you later. Bye."

"Hey sweetie, I hope you had a nice day. I was making sure we're still on for tomorrow afternoon, but we both know this call was just an excuse to hear your voice on the machine. I'll see you tonight, bye."

After half an hour she called Molly at home, feeling bad that Molly felt she had to apologize, and thinking maybe she could get away without explaining herself. Luckily, she did, and they decided to go out with Nancy and have a girls night. As she talked on the phone she smiled over at the red rose on the table, where she'd set in when she walked in. When she was off the phone Carol got up and put it in a thin glass vase. She left the house again, for Ed's office in the bowling alley.

Upon arriving at the bowling alley she walked right in to the office and closed the door quietly behind her. Ed looked up and smiled. "Hey beautiful."

"Thanks for the rose today," she grinned. "It really brightened my afternoon."

"Did your afternoon need brightening?" he asked, unusually in tune with her emotions.

"It's been a long day, but I only collected assignments from two classes today, so I should have a fairly easy evening. I did most of it in class. Tonight Molly, Nancy and I are going out. Molly thinks I need a girls night out. I've been a little irritable lately."

"I think you're wonderful, but I'm sure you'll have fun with the girls. Mike and I can hang out with the baby. We'll have a good time, it'll be like high school, except we'll be watching Mike's daughter rather than his sister."

"Did you really babysit his sister in high school?"

"Yep, in the afternoon when his parents were at work Mike had to watch her after school and I'd hang out with him while he did. He'd listen to me talk about how bad I wanted you."

That night, after a few drinks had all three of them a little more talkative than usual, Carol reached into her purse to pay and found the card from Ed. The other two women eagerly asked about it. She pulled it out and showed it to them. "So, what's tomorrow?" Nancy asked.

"Nothing," Carol responded, confused. Nancy handed the card to Molly, face down, and pointed at something written on the back. Molly smiled and passed it back to Carol who looked at it, surprised.

Rose number -1, for all the days since you said yes

"What are you going to agree to tomorrow?" Nancy asked.

"I don't know. We're going out to lunch but."Carol trailed off as Molly's face began to glow. "What?"

"Nothing," Molly said.

"Well obviously something."


"I hate you," Carol whined.

"I know."

Carol managed to make it through the first four of her classes in the suspense of lunch break. Molly had her almost believing that Ed was going to purpose at lunch. The hints that Molly had dropped the night before along with the note Ed had left make Carol think that maybe she didn't have to wait anymore. Ed walked in at the end of fourth period, just as the students were finishing up an assignment. They all set them on the desk in front as they walked out of the room and Ed walked over to the papers, playing with them nervously as Carol got ready to leave.

Ed acted a little nervous throughout lunch, and Carol thought it was a good sign. She kept expecting him to burst out into song, or pull some amazing stunt and woo her again. Molly was not great with secrets, and Carol liked to think she could read Molly better than anyone else. When they paid the bill and got up to leave Carol felt her heart sink in her chest. She had been uneasy before, uneasy to the point she snapped at her best friend, but this, this made her stomach tie in knots. She swallowed hard and tried not to let her disappointment show.

Ed gave her a kiss as he walked out of the classroom. "Have a nice afternoon," he told her. He smiled nervously and waved as the bell rang that brought her next batch of students in. She gave them an assignment and sat down at her desk to correct the papers from the previous class. She let out a heavy sigh as the juniors went to work writing quote responses from Gatsby. As she corrected the first paper from her fourth period she was surprised to find six answers when only five were required.

You should marry Ed Stevens because he loves you enough to do anything for you.

The next paper had an extra answer as well, equally as surprising, but oddly similar.

You should marry Ed Stevens because he could defend you.

As she read on and corrected the more papers she realized that every single one had an extra answer, and every one was a reason to marry Ed. Carol was shocked, and even convinced for a while that she was imagining them all. She was very glad that none of the students asked her questions about the assignment, because she was drawing enough attention to herself with her confused faces without anyone hovering over her shoulder. When she got down to the final papers she saw a bump under the pile. She corrected one then found a half sheet at the bottom of the stack.

You should marry Ed Stevens because he wants more than anything else in the world to marry you.

The handwriting was oddly familiar and she felt a tear roll down her face as she turned the paper over to see what was in the envelope stapled to the back of it. She unsealed the envelope, making enough of a ruckus to get the attention of a good part of the class. As she tore into the white paper she peered inside. A diamond ring fell out into her hand. She gasped and started to cry, slipping the beautiful ring on her left hand.

"What happened? Was that a ring?" one of the students asked.

"I'm engaged," Carol told herself more than her students.

"What?" another student shouted.

"Ed, he just, it was, he purposed."

"Congratulations!" Some of the girls got up to give her a hug.

Not long after the ring was on her finger the bell rang and her students got up to leave. Almost the moment it rang Molly walked into the classroom, trying to be inconspicuous. "Molly," Carol smiled, "can we talk about weddings?" She held up her left hand and flashed the ring. Molly gave her a hug and congratulated her. "Look at this," Carol pulled out the stack of papers to show off all the students' statements.

"You think he did that all on his own? Class rosters don't grow on tree you know."

"You knew about this? You let me think he was going to purpose at lunch, and let me yell at you about talking about marriage, and you knew about it all along?"

"Pretty much yeah," Molly said.

"Thank you," Carol cried and ran to give her friend another hug. "You'll be my maid of honor, again, right?"

"Right," Molly chuckled.

Students had begun to file into the classroom so Molly headed back to her office, wishing Carol luck with her last class. After the hour, that seemed to drag on forever, Carol quickly packed everything up, hoping to head to the bowling alley on her way home to fawn over the romantic act of her fiancé. As she rushed out of the mail building and spotted her car, she saw Ed standing beside it. She saw him and started to laugh, then ran to him happily. He caught her in his embrace. He gave her a kiss then whispered, "Can I take that as a yes?"

Carol nodded into him and kissed him again. "How did you do it, Ed?"

"It was really a simple example of trickery and bribing a bunch of high school students."

"You bribed them? Every single student did your assignment. Even kids who haven't done anything in my class all year turned one in. What did you bribe them with?"

"Well, I wrote them all a letter asking them to do this for me, and explained in that letter that you would most likely give everyone a few points for writing something, and that a teacher preoccupied with planning a wedding would have less time to make a really hard final. Maybe I used a few other tactics, but I'm afraid they'd make you blush."

"I'm not even going to ask Ed."

"Good, and don't ask the kids either. I don't want the ring thrown back in my face. Diamonds are sharp."

She laughed and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Let's go." She unlocked the door and got in her car, letting Ed get in the other side. "Maybe tonight we should take everyone out for an engagement drink or something. We can all go to the Goat or something."

"Good idea. Then we can go home and, well I'm sure we can find some way to celebrate." He set a hand on her thy and they drove to the bowling alley.

The Goat was relatively empty on the Thursday night. The usual group of college kids were there, but the place was empty enough that Mike, Nancy, Molly and the new couple were able to have their run of the place in celebration.

As they lay in bed that night, Carol snuggled into her new fiancé and spoke. "Where are we going to live?"


"After we're married, are we going to live here, or at your place, or."

"Well, my house has two bedrooms, and I rent. This place has three, right? And you have out a mortgage."

"Are we going to need three bedrooms?" she asked sweetly, not disagreeing, just curious.

"I don't know, are we?" he gave her a gentle kiss and held her closer.

"I guess these are things we're actually going to have to talk about," she said.

"I can't wait."

"Really?" Carol asked.

"Really. I have been waiting all my life. And you are Carol Vessy. Not only am I getting married, settling down, starting a family. I'm doing all that with the one woman I could never live without."