Author's Note: Roughly finale-compliant, with a minor touching of Kevin/Winnie.


The wedding band played in the background, and a few brave souls were on the dance floor. He sipped at the champagne and watched as she flitted amongst the crowd and conversing with ease with everyone.

In so many ways, this was her day. Her family, her friends, her beautiful white dress with the miles of ruffles. Not that it wasn't his as well, but people didn't go to the wedding to fuss over the groom, which was fine by him.

And then he saw her. Her, something that was only his, making her way toward him. He'd sent her a letter about this, casually dropping in the information about date and time and location, but never dreamed that she'd actually come home for it. "Hey, Winnie," he said, shifting his weight nervously onto his other foot.

"Hi, Kevin," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. "It's a really nice wedding you have here."

"I didn't think you'd come."

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

The song playing ended and a new one started. She cleared her throat, looked down at her shoes and asked a question: "Could I have this dance?"

"But, I'm -"

"One dance, for old time's sake."

It wasn't like they had never danced before, but as they made their way out onto the dance floor, it almost felt like the first time in a way. Maybe in a way it was. It was the first time that they'd be doing this with no expectation of anything to come out of it.

It was just two friends sharing a quiet moment.

"I always thought this would be our wedding," she said. "We always found our way back to each other."

"I did too."

"You really love her, don't you?"

He looked at her, the fearful look of hope suspended in her eyes, and as much as he wanted to say things to make her feel better, like, "no, I've only ever loved you and I'm marrying her because she's here and you're not," the words that came out were much more blunt, much more his style. "I really do love her. You'd like her too, if you got to know her."

She nervously cleared her throat and nodded, as the song swelled to its crescendo. "I thought so," she said. "I guess we'll always have high school."

"Yeah, of course we will, Winnie."

"Look how far we've come since then."

And he had to agree with her: they'd come a long, long way. Everything had changed, and yet, he could look at her and see a little fragment of the past within her, back when everything was as it was. He'd heard people mention that you never forget your first love, and there was no way he could ever forget what they had. They'd come from being little suburban kids to full-grown adults with their whole lives in front of them.

He didn't want to think of what could have been.

The song was beginning to end, and they didn't make a move to break apart.

"Bye," he said, locking his gaze on her for a fraction of a second longer than he had all evening, "have a wonderful life out there."

"You too," she said, a tear or two glistening in her eye, "I'll send you letters from Europe."

"You'd better!"


Later, Kevin walked out of the reception with his new bride laughing on his arm, and Winnie walked out by herself, ready to catch her plane back home to her own life.

It was time to go their separate ways.

-fini-