Most of the characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. All others belong to me, and if you want to play with them, you have to ask me first. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

Spoilers: none really

That line just wouldn't leave me alone.

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Can the love be real when the flowers aren't? -- Sara, Rashomama

Simple, she had said firmly, and somewhat to her surprise Grissom had acquiesced easily. There was no reason why he shouldn't have, of course, but her pessimistic side had persisted in believing that the whole thing was going to be hard somehow.

Plus, a man with that wide a romantic streak might reasonably be expected to want something more than a brief and businesslike exchange of vows in an anonymous hotel conference room. But all he'd said was Yes, dear with that fond little smile, and she had gone ahead and kept the arrangements to a minimum.

Oh, there was going to be a party afterwards, there was no getting out of that, and she didn't really want to try--leaving their friends out entirely would have been rude, and Sara did want to celebrate with them.

She had left the party arrangements up to Grissom, though. He had talked her into this, laying out delicate, casual arguments until it was the only logical thing to do, and he could just take the consequences.

Some very small part of her wished wistfully for dress clothes and music and flowers, but Sara shut it up as forcefully as possible, feeling an odd horror at the thought. So often it seemed to her that weddings took on their own momentum, became more about the trappings and traditions and absurd expectations than about love and life.

Hollow.

So much of her life had been like that, empty--so much had been promises without strength, words without feeling--

On the other hand, when Grissom promised something, she tended to believe him.

He'd been at his most courtly all morning, and now as they faced the hotel entrance her arm was snugged through his, a reassuring pressure. Sara let him lead her inside and down the carpeted side hall; the simplest option had been to go to a judge's chambers, but the courthouse held too many work associations for them both, so she'd chosen a more neutral venue.

A small panic fluttered under her breastbone, countered by a slow welling of solemn, strange joy. Within a few minutes they would be wife and husband, a bond she had never really expected to share but one that she intended to take very seriously.

She slowed as they reached the appointed door, and Grissom released her, reaching out to open it. She walked through ahead of him, and halted abruptly.

The bland, impersonal conference room was a sea of roses.

The scent was intense, cool and sweet and classic. There were bouquets on every flat surface, huge vases brimming with stems; there were swags on the walls and several potted bushes in big ornamental planters. Color rioted through the room, from velvety red-blacks up through orange and pink to a brilliant sunny yellow. There was scarcely space for the lectern, let alone the conference table that should have been there, and the green freshness underlying the perfume told Sara that the flowers were real.

Every one of them.

Stunned, she turned and looked at Grissom. He was wearing that tiny endearing smirk of his, and he'd apparently already raided the supplies, because he held one bloom in his hand, a gorgeous pink-veined white on the perfect edge of blossoming.

"I know you wanted simple," he said, his smile curving wryly. "But I wanted to...mark the occasion."

Grissom stepped close and tucked the rose behind her ear, his touch as light and deft as ever, and yet she could see his fingers shaking just the slightest bit. "Indulge me?"

She was crying, she could feel the tears running down her cheeks, but she didn't care at all. Taking his hands in hers, she leaned forward and kissed him, one slow sweet caress that was a promise in itself; then laced their fingers together and led him to the lectern, and the judge waiting there.

End.