1Finality

"...until death do you part?"

Even though he'd known the question was coming, Benny hesitated. He looked from the minister to Alison, ice princess in her sleek white wedding gown, with that pale blond hair and the ever-present slightly sardonic smirk. She watched him expectantly, one eyebrow slightly raised as she waited for him to respond, though from her expression she knew exactly what his response would be.

A second later his gaze shifted to the pews, and to his friends, who filled the front row on one side. Mark and Roger, well-dressed for the first time since Benny had met them, and Roger at least, looking decidedly out of place. April, next to Roger, who caught Benny's eye with an encouraging smile. Collins stood directly behind Benny, his best man despite reluctance on Collins' part and vehement protest from Ali, who hadn't wanted any of his friends in the wedding anyway. But there was an empty spot next to Mark where Maureen should have been; perhaps Mark had saved the seat in the vain hope that maybe she would show up, despite her earlier flat refusal.

Movement in the back of the church caught his eye, and when he turned slightly to look he had to blink to be sure he hadn't imagined it. Maureen stood there silently, looking directly at him with her eyes full of accusations. She'd worn a long black coat and jeans, hardly appropriate for a wedding, but even so she looked–

The minister cleared his throat and Benny started visibly, faltering for a second. "I– I do."

"And do you, Alison Grey..."

Benny stopped listening momentarily and looked to Maureen. Once more their eyes met, and for the briefest instant Maureen stared at him with the most unreadable gaze he had ever seen, then turned and walked out. As she opened the door, the icy January wind whipped in, tugging at her hair and coat, but she simply ducked her head, hunched her shoulders, and stepped out into the cold. The heavy doors echoed when they closed, or at least seemed to in Benny's mind, with a sound of utter finality as he at last focused on what the minister was saying once more.

"...until death do you part?"

And Alison met Benny's eyes, her cold gray gaze nothing like Maureen's, and smiled that ice princess smile, and answered, "I do."