AN: I dreamt this story - or just the image of them on the gazebo. I hope it's worked out okay. It's quite fluffy.

Set: Post series, no spoilers.

Pair: Amanda & Simon.

The Barefoot Contessa Look

Simon Lloyd is standing on a wooden gazebo. The roof is made of some kind of dried leaves or straw – something that puts him in mind of Hawaii. They are actually in Portsea, though - which is probably for the best. He can barely stand the humidity in Singapore airport when he's had to stop over on the way to Germany, he doesn't think he'd cope with Hawaii.

They're in Portsea because one of Amanda's school friends is getting married and asked Amanda to be a bridesmaid. Simon leans against a pillar and considers the situation.

He'd been watching her pace around her flat on her mobile while he sat on the couch. He hadn't really paid attention to what she was saying, only of the way she prowled around the house. Every now and then she would laugh and make his smile grow a little wider. Once she had gotten off the phone she had walked over to him and stood at his feet, hands on her hips. He had lifted an eyebrow to prompt her.

"I don't want you to freak out." She'd begun, her tone far too calming – the tone he used when telling patients' parents something bad. "But one of my school friends is getting married."

"Why would that make me freak out...?" He'd asked, genuinely confused.

"It wouldn't..." She'd frowned, briefly looking at him as if he were a foreign form of life. "No, the point is, she asked me to be a bridesmaid and I was wondering if you'd like to come with me."

"Once again, what about this is making me freak out?"

"Weddings are just... couple-ish. I wasn't sure if – "

"Shh." Simon had muttered, catching her hand and kissing it. "I'd love to go with you, Amanda."

Amanda had grinned and perched on the arm of the couch before kissing him with ill disguised relief. Sometimes she really didn't give him a lot of credit.

And now they're here. Well, he's here and Amanda's off somewhere placating the bride – which she'd really better hurry up and do if Madeline wants to get married at sunset. He wonders briefly whether she'll postpone the grand event if she misses the sunset, just for the sake of so called 'perfection'. He can't help but flash back to Amanda saying once in a mediation that, surely, the marriage was the more important event than the wedding.

While he's contemplating this he catches sight of Amanda. She's approaching him daintily – her dress pulled up in one hand and her feet bare – and he loses all thought for anything outside his line of sight. She's wearing a pale blue dress, which is so long if she lets it go she'll almost trip on it. It's light and simple, a little detail around the bust and spaghetti straps but not much else about it is of note – except, and it's a serious exception, how good it looks on her. In her free hand she holds a bouquet of flowers, an array of yellows and whites and pale pinks with a few dark reds thrown in. Her hair is pulled back with a clip that has matching flowers wound into it; soft purple eye shadow frames her eyes, but her lips are a deep blood red – much darker than she would usually wear. It matches the dark red flowers in her bouquet. He can only assume that Madeline is a woman of many facets {or chronically indecisive}.

Her lips pull up in a half smile, and it's at this exact moment – when she's standing there before him in the late afternoon dressed up to be a bridesmaid and looking like the bride doesn't have a hope of standing out that he realises he wants to marry her.

As in, he has a sudden and burning desire to be married to her. He has to marry her. He doesn't care how – he doesn't mind if it's so huge it rivals Charles and Diana's – with tails and bowties and her in a million kilometres of white lace, or if they sneak away to the court house during lunch break and they're in work clothes {although when he imagines this scenario she does miraculously have a ring of flowers atop her blonde curls a semblance of a veil floating down to her shoulders}. He imagines her in a black suit and white shirt with that ring of white flowers and the pure white veil – he imagines them sitting on one of those uncomfortable mahogany benches and they're laughing; he winds an arm around her shoulders and she rests her chin on his shoulder and they look completely happy; and he thinks how wonderful it would be to spend the rest of his life with her.

He smiles at her. She rubs one foot on the top of the other in an attempt to dislodge sand from between her toes.

"The Barefoot Contessa look not all it promised it would be?" He queries.

"Definitely not. Bloody Maddy. My feet are going to turn to prunes from hovering 'just on the edge of the ocean, but not too far in!'" She imitates her friend with impressive accuracy for a woman who can't do impressions.

He can't help himself. He laughs at her and holds out his hand. She lets her dress fall and accepts the offered hand, letting him draw her nearer to him and kiss her knuckles.

"You look beautiful." He whispers.

"You don't look so bad yourself." She grins back at him. Simon's eyes roam over her, the intensity of his gaze making goose-bumps erupt over her skin. "I would really like to kiss you." She announces just as his fingertips reach forward and run lightly down the side of her body, taking in the soft fabric of her dress.

His eyes linger on his fingers against her dress while he talks. "I won't stop you."

"Lipstick." She sighs and he looks at her finally.


"Mm." She nods her agreement. Simon touches her curls tenderly, and presses a kiss to her cheek, then one to her temple.

Suddenly aware that her bouquet is dangerously close to being squashed between them, Simon takes a half step back.

"I'm glad I'm here with you." He tells her earnestly.

"I'm glad you're here, too." She runs her non-bouquet-holding hand down his tie, memorising the texture of it.

"Do you think the person who invented thatched roofs ever imagined gazebos in Portsea with fake palm roofs?"

A grin pulls over his face and she can see him prepare for a lecture.

"Well, firstly, thatched roofs were invented before Australia was discovered, and secondly I think people were making shelters from palm leaves before thatched roofs were invented, so – "

"Alright, Mister Smart Arse." Amanda smirks, stopping herself from kissing the smug look off his lips. Something makes her glance over her shoulder, and she sees the sun sinking lower in the sky. "Shit, Maddy, come on." The stress is evident in her voice. Twisting back to him she says "It'll be dark before we even get started."

"Maybe not." Simon states, eyes fixed on something behind her. Amanda follows his gaze and sees Antony, the groom, striding towards them.

"Amanda, Mad's having a crisis – she wants you." Antony announces.

"If it's about her garter again it's still around her flowers." Amanda informs him wearily. Confusion flashes across Simon's features. "Don't ask." Amanda states – almost pleads. She doesn't have the time to explain the long and complex trail of thoughts that led Maddy to the conclusion that the only way she wouldn't lose her garter was to hide it in her flowers.

"No, I dunno what it's about. I think she's almost ready, though."

Amanda exhales deeply and goes to walk towards Antony, only to discover her hand is still firmly encased within Simon's. An expression of pure mischief crosses her face and she kisses him.

"I thought Maddy was going to kill you if you ruined your lipstick?" Simon's query is barely coherent.

Amanda's lips curl with wickedness before she playfully says: "Screw Maddy," and kisses him again.

When she does finally pull back, her eyes are shining – everything about her is flawless. Her hand is still in his and they look completely happy.

While she skips away from him into the sunset and towards her crisis-riddled friend, Simon thinks how wonderful it will be to spend the rest of his life with her.