When it was over and they could talk about it
They were sitting on the couch
She said what on earth made you stay here
When you finally figured out what I was all about
He said I always knew you'd do the right thing
Even though it might take some time
She said, Yeah, I felt that and that's probably what saved my life

By nightfall, they stood in the chapel at the Circus Circus casino. While still miles out of town, they had been met by an armed patrol from the casino. The management was sufficiently impressed by Tallahassee's exploits that they insisted on sending a helicopter to pick them up. The ceremony was presided over by a member of the clergy not ordinarily involved in such proceedings, one Sister Cynthia Knickerbocker.

Tal led Wichita down the aisle, still in her specially selected get-up but wearing a white fur coat over everything else as a token concession to tradition and general modesty. Columbus stood at the end, dividing his gaze between longing looks at his bride and nervous glances at Little Rock, who stood beside him in lieu of a best man. Tal guided his hand to Wichita's, and on contact his mind fell under a cloud of warm, friendly static. He only sporadically followed what was being said, and saying yes when something was expected. He was sure he botched even that; at one point Wichita stifled a giggle and Little Rock gave him a furtive kick in the shin. He took the longest sustained interest when Sister Knickerbocker recited a Bible verse he had memorized at around age ten and could still remember: "Love is patient... Love is kind... Love keeps no record of wrongs..." At that phrase, he met Wichita's eyes and saw sadness there. He squeezed her hand, and she smiled, though a tear ran down her cheek.

Then the time came to kiss the bride, and he all but fell upon her.

Sister Cynthia loudly cleared her throat. He looked up, and Wichita pushed him back. "The bride requested an additional ceremony," she said. Wichita stepped back, leaving him to face Little Rock.

"Do you, Little Rock Arkansas, take this man Columbus Ohio to be your brother-in-law, to help and put up with no matter how annoying he gets?"

Little Rock's face contorted with every appearance of long thought. "Okay, I do."

"Do you, Columbus Ohio, take this woman Little Rock Arkansas to be your sister-in-law, to protect and take care of like your own sister?"

"I do," he said.

"Then, you may now shake hands." They did.

Oh love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Make us whole

As Columbus carried her awkwardly over the threshold of a penthouse honeymoon suite, Wichita said, "Wait. Do you need to ask me-?"

"No," he said, not needing to be told the question. He only wiped away a tear before shutting the door behind them.

In the chapel, Sister Cynthia listened to Little Rock while she cried on Tallahassee's shoulder. "He was just one," she said, "just one man we left on the side of the road. But there were so many! I can't even remember how many!" She only cried harder as Tal tried to put his arms around her. "And we almost did the same thing to you!"

There is a hope... there is a healing... and a promise to stay.

Columbus and his bride reclined in the hot tub. He whispered in her ear, and flushed but managed a sheepish grin as she burst out laughing. "Oh, my, God, that is exactly what your name would be! Maybe I'll call you that in bed from now on." She started to say something more, but he ducked her head under the water. She ducked his back, and soon they were in another wrestling match which neither wanted to win.

Tal lay on a couch, which he had moved to look out onto the balcony. "Somewhere out there," he said, sweeping the skyline expansively,"there's a grocery store. And somewhere in it, there's the last box of Twinkies."

"And the last pack of Trident sugarless gum," Little Rock added, sounding sleepy but still cheerful.

"Yeah! And in the back there's two sisters... who really love each other... and just need to know that other people care about them too."

"I'd like to meet them."

"Me too, pup." And soon, both slumbered.

So come with your love, and wash over us.

I'm definitely not done with this series or my story arc, but this is it for this fic. Thanks to those who followed this far, especially those who have left reviews. If your interests run that way, you can also check out "the Rookie" under Terminator, which I plan to give an extra push in the immediate future (Wichita/Krista as treated here has quite a bit in common with my OC Cass in that story), my completed fics on this site, and my fiction and nonfiction on other sites. And Sara Groves is worth a look too!