This is not a MaryxGray story. If you're looking for that, press the back button. Thank you ^_^

Breathe

The church halls grew very silent. Claire began wondering what was going to happen next. The sound of a creaking door nearly sent her out of her pew. She was sitting front row. Claire looked over, blond hair tumbling over the shoulder, to see Carter with a bible tucked under his arm entering from the back door. A small murmer broke out among the small grouping of Mineral Town livers. The entire town was here. The church was more than enough room for the citizens to gather. Claire watched as Carter got into place behind the podium and flipped through pages and pages of endless bible stories. He paused for a moment and scanned the crowd. His eyes fell on Claire. She quickly averted the gaze and began straightening her skirt. Claire pressed hard to get rid of the imaginary wrinkle in her bright blue dress. The door opening again caught her attention. Claire looked up and had the air knocked out of her.

There was Gray in a crisp black tuxedo closing the door quietly behind him. He paused for a moment and straightened his bow tie and ran a hand through his somewhat combed red hair. His blue orbs of eyes looked out amongst the people as if trying to pick someone out. His eyes stopped at Claire. She watched something ooze into his gaze. It softened for a moment and they only stared at each other. Then his eyes hardened back over and he made his way to stand before Carter at the podium. Flashes excitedly went off in the church, though Claire didn't know where people went to get their film developed. Claire looked to her side to see Kai. He was staring at the blue roses that decorated the entire church. When he felt a gaze on him, he looked over.

He wanted to talk to her, but nothing came out of his opened mouth. Claire shook her head and looked back over at Gray and Carter. Mainly just Gray, though. He looked so handsome in his perfect tuxedo. No lint attatched to the back. He looked so different without his hat, too. She had seen him many times without it... No. She refused to think of those times. Claire hiccupped slightly and bowed her head.

Don't take me back there, She snapped at her mind, feeling tears burn behind her eyes, Don't you dare! It was too late, though. The memory gate had flooded over and all the good times were coming back. She had seen him many times without it. She often knocked it off when she used to kiss him so passionately. Kai patted her hand gently and offered a kind smile. Claire weakly smiled back and swallowed the lump in her throat. A hush fell over the church. Carter nodded off to Elli who was now seated at the organ bench.

Elli took in a deep breath and began playing. The song was perfect. Well, how Elli played it that is. The shifting of pews made Claire look over her shoulder. Everyone was rising in a ripple effect. Kai and Claire shot to their feet and turned towards the aisle. Stu and May appeared at the front and parted directions as probably practiced. Then Anne escorted by Cliff appeared. The brides maid dresses were stunning. They were a grey with straps that tied behind the neck. Popuri and Rick appeared next and parted directions. Something told Claire that Gray didn't get a say in who was representing him. Probably only Cliff as his best man. Suddenly, Elli transitioned into The Bridal March. The song was a death tune to Claire. It made her want to curl up in a ball and cry. Gray's back was facing her, but she could see he was tense. His blue eyes casted down the aisle and they widened slightly.

That's when Claire saw it. A flash of white. She looked over and her eyes almost bugged out of her face. There was the bride. Mary. Her black hair was piled atop her head in a fancy bun with two curly strands framing her curved face. She must of had contacts in because her glasses weren't sitting on her nose. Her lacy veil was pushed back so you could see her rosy face. Her dress was just as stunning. It was old-fashion. It had a modest cut below the collar bone. It stuck close to her torso but jutted very princess-like once it past her hips. She was escorted by her father who looked ready to cry. They slowly took the steps, mainly because of Mary's dress. When they reached the top the music stopped and there was silence in the church.

"Gray," Everyone heard Basil say in a soft oozing voice, "Take care of my little girl." He requested. A flash of a camera went off again. Gray nodded with a half-smile and shook Basil's hand. Mary then kissed her father's cheek and stepped up infront of the podium, facing Gray. Basil went to join Ann and Saibara on the opposite front pew.

"You may be seated," Carter announced and everyone sat. There was silence as Carter flipped through the pages of the bible and cleared his throat. He looked between Gray and Mary with a bright smile. "We are gathered here today to witness a holy and beautiful ceremony. Joining two lives forever together. Gray Williams and Mary Sumbers." Those two names together stung Claire deep and she bit her lip, "What is love?" Carter asked, rhetorically, "Love is trust. Love is comfort. Love is compassion. All these traits these two will undoubtly have. And I have been informed, the bride and groom wrote their own vowels." Carter nodded off to the couple. Mary did a shakey smile and took in a deep breath.

"Gray," She said, her eyes watery like, "it seemed like just yesterday you were the new kid here in Mineral Town. I'd like to say it was love at first sight." Mary took in an uneven deep breath. Gray nodded off to her, as if trying to encourage her to finish, "I know we can make this work," Mary finally continued after a brief silence, "You and I are different, which makes us so alike. Words can't express how much I love you, Gray Williams. Everyday I want to please you as a best friend, a wife, and a companion. The journey that awaits us is uncertain, but with you there, I'm sure we can conquer anything." Mary's mother slowly snuck up the steps and held a lacy white hanky out for Mary. A small chuckle broke out among the crowd as Mary accepted it and gently dabbed her eyes.

"Mary," Gray began, his voice strong. It echoed through the large halls, making Claire's heart ache for him more. "I never thought I'd..." He paused for a moment and took in a deep breath. Some people seemed to lean forward in anticipation. Even Claire found herself doing the same. Gray looked over his shoulder slightly and for a small moment, he and Claire made eye contact, "I never thought I'd fall for a girl like you," He restarted slightly uncomfortable, "In my comic books I read when I was younger, I always thought of the kind of girl I wanted was like Batgirl." Laughs broke out in the crowd as Mary smiled lovingly at Gray, her eyes encouraging, "Instead I was blessed with you..." He seemed to choke at the end of the sentence. He looked nervously over the crowd and looked at Claire again, making her heart pound harshly in her chest. Gray looked over at Carter, who nodded.

"That was beautiful," Carter said, softly, looking between the two, "And now... the rings?" Cliff reached into his tuxedo pocket and pulled out two shiny gold bands to Carter, almost tripping in the process, "Thank you." Carter said, and held a ring out to Mary and Gray, "Do you, Mary Sumbers, take Gray Williams to be your lawfully wedded husband, through sickness and through health, 'til death do you part?"

"I do," Mary replied, almost in a whisper. Tears were welling up in her eyes again. Then with a shakey hand she slid the golden band on Gray's ring finger. Mary made quick eye contact with Claire before returning to Carter and Gray.

"And do you, Gray Williams, take Mary Sumbers to be your lawfully wedded wife, through sickness and through health, 'til death do you part?" Carter smiled over at Gray encouringly. There was a silence, though. Two simple words. Mary nodded slowly to Gray with a smile, partly mouthing the words 'I do'. Gray looked over his shoulder at Claire. Claire could only stare back, shaking in her seat, tears ready to pour over her eyes.

"I..." Gray's voice cracked slightly and resounded through the church hall. People began murmering and looking at each other. Saibara was leaned forward, hands clenched in desperation, whispering the simple two words to Gray. Even Mary seemed very confused as to why he couldn't sputter the words out, "I..." Gray started again, but his voice caught in his throat. He looked back at Claire.

"What is he doing?" Kai whispered, shaking his head in disbelief.

"I don't," Gray suddenly said. The crowd gasped in unison. Gray stepped back from Mary, whose mouth was dropped open in surprise. He dropped the gold band. Everyone watched as it thudded to the thick maroon carpet below. Gray then pushed the ring off his finger, "I don't." He repeated, shaking his head. "I can't, Mary."

"Yes you can, Gray." Mary took a slight step forward. Carter only watched on, horrified. Poor priest had probably never seen this happen before. "It's just two simple words." Gray shook his head again.

"No. I can't," He simply repeated.

"Why not?" Mary asked, her eyebrows knitted together.

"Mary, I'm inlove with someone else," Gray admitted. Another gasp from the crowd. "I'm sorry, but I can't marry you if I don't love you."

"B... but," Mary now had tears flowing down her cheeks, her make up running with it, "You told me you loved me." She said, her voice getting slightly higher.

"I know I did," Gray said with a resigning sigh, "And it was wrong. But it would be even more wrong if I married you on those words." Mary covered her hand over her mouth, muffling her short gasps from crying. "Mary, I'm really inlove with Claire." All eyes shot to the blonde farmer sitting front row. Claire's face flushed a scarlet red. Gray turned to her, "I love you, Claire!"

"G... Gray," Claire whispered, her voice cracking. She stood up slowly, not sure if her legs would hold her up or not. "You do...? After everything that's happened between us?" Tears were now pouring out of Claire's eyes.

"Of course I do," Gray crossed to her, taking her hands into his. His calloused palms tickled her soft hands, "Nothing can ever change the way I feel for you." And infront of all those people and the sobbing bride, Gray pressed his lips to Claire's.

Claire melted against his body. They matched perfectly, as if they were made for each other. Her hands ran through his red curls as his arms wrapped around her lower back. Every worry or thought melted away as the kiss put her under his intoxicating love spell. When their kiss finished there was silence in the church. Then Kai jumped to his feet and began applauding. Slowly some other people began standing and clapping. Mary let out a small shriek and went bounding down the aisle, Basil and Ann chasing after her. The applause began to melt away, but Saibara was still clapping. Claire was surprised by this. Her blue eyes stared across the aisle at the clapping old blacksmith. He chuckled lightly and winked good naturedly at her. Claire smiled and looked up at the smiling Gray.

"I love you," Claire whispered, pressing her palm to his cheek. He melted to her touch.

"And I love you," He replied.