"We're not going down!" Guy screeched unhelpfully. He tightened his grip around Caroline's ankle, until Caroline felt like Guy was trying to screw her foot off. Caroline looked down along her wedding dress, along the two men dangling from her feet, down at the ground that was still stubbornly moving further away from them.
"Mac, we're all going to die!" Caroline screamed. The strings of the two dozen balloons she was holding, where cutting into her hands. Caroline looked up at the white and purple balloons and resented them for their unrelenting buoyancy.
"No we're not," Mac replied calmly to Caroline's panicky squeal. We're going to be fine," Mac continued, ignoring Guy who seemed preoccupied with commenting on Caroline's personal grooming habits.
"What?" Caroline exclaimed. Mac had always been a pretty stable person, but even he must be able to see they were all going to plummet to their deaths, just as soon as the balloons decided they weren't going to lift three people any more. And even though Mac's lifespan had been drastically shortened recently, he couldn't be calm about the inevitable pain that came with plummeting to one's death.
"Make a wish," Guy suddenly said. Caroline ignored him.
"Caroline," Mac said.
"There's something I've been meaning to tell you," Mac said from somewhere just below Caroline's feet.
"Can't it wait?" Caroline asked slightly incredulous.
"I suppose," Mac responded.
Caroline looked around her, they were almost above the castle now. The white decorations waving in the wind as if they were used to seeing three smartly dressed people floating next to them. Caroline looked at Mac again, though all she could see was the top of his head, his hair looking almost ginger in the sunlight. After a small pause Caroline caved. "Oh alright, tell me."
"It can wait," Mac said.
"No, tell me, tell me now."
"Oi!" Guy suddenly exclaimed. "Oi! Stop that!" he yelled. Caroline twisted her head around to see what was happening. The groundskeeper of the castle was standing on a ladder just below Guy, holding one of those poles with a hook on the end. Caroline recognised it as the kind you usually used to open sky windows that were beyond reach, but this groundskeeper had hooked the pole behind Guy's waistband and was tucking him - and along with him the other two balloon travellers - down. But that wasn't the only thing he was pulling down.
"Stop it!" Guy screeched as he tried to hold on to his kilt with one of his hands, but he needed both his hands to keep hold of Caroline's ankle. "And stop looking up my kilt!"
"Stop struggling, you're going to fall," Mac told Guy.
"I would if that ginger dwarf didn't keep trying to pull my trousers down!"
"A kilt is more like a skirt, isn't it?" Mac asked, his face perfectly controlled.
"Very funny," Guy answered. Despite the chance of his grip slipping and him falling, Guy let go of Caroline's ankle - with one hand - so he could hold on to the waistband of the kilt in hopes of not revealing his underwear in front of an entire group of young women who would later try his famous 'I'll meet you in Zurich'-line on .
"What was it you wanted to say?" Caroline pressed Mac. Her curiosity was slightly more overpowering than her fear of death at the moment.
Guy let out a small shriek as he almost lost his grip on Caroline's ankle. Quickly he let go of the kilt's waistband so he could grab hold of Caroline's ankle with both hands again.
"Oi!" Guy exclaimed again as the inevitable consequence of his letting go of the kilt happened; he felt his kilt almost slip over his hips. "Stop tugging me!" he yelled at the groundskeeper while he tried to struggle free from the hook.
"Stop struggling or we'll all fall down!" Mac yelled, finally losing his composure.
"Stop it!" Guy yelled, but it was too late; he already felt his kilt slipping down, revealing a sliver of Guy's pants - a white pair covered with miniature Swiss flags.
"Why are you wearing pants with the Danish flag, mate? And why are you wearing pants at all, isn't that a kilt?" The ginger groundskeeper asked. He started to laugh.
"It's the Swiss flag!" Guy yelled at the man. "I'm Swiss!"
"Half-swiss," Mac and Caroline added simultaneously.
"Alright mate," the groundskeeper said. He reached out and grabbed Guy's ankle, pulling him to the ground, while slowly descending the stairs himself.
Sue White, her new boyfriend, and Martin rushed forward to help the three floating doctors to the ground. Martin managed to get his arms around Mac's legs, though it wasn't clear why he thought that would help matters. In the most awkward manner possible, with Mac's body sliding down his own, Martin managed to get Mac to the ground. Sue White's new boyfriend, took hold of Guy's waistband and pulled him down. And there goes the kilt, Guy thought as he felt a sudden breeze against his upper thighs. Sue's new boyfriend slapped Guy on the shoulder, as if to congratulate him on being back on the ground, either that or congratulate him on standing there with his plaited kilt around his ankles. Sue White took hold of Caroline's ankles and managed to press every inch of her body against Caroline's while dragging her to the ground. Only when her feet finally touched the solid ground, did Caroline let go of the balloons. The white and purple balloons drifted back up into the blue sky as if simply continuing on their journey.
Caroline staggered away from Sue as she said, "Thank you." "You're welcome," Sue said in her familiar way of almost disturbing flirtation.
Mac put his hands on Caroline's arms to steady her. "Was that the honeymoon?" he joked.
Caroline turned to face him. "It better not be," she said and smiled. Mac leaned in and kissed her.
"Hey, hey," Guy said as he pushed Mac and Caroline away from each other. "We have a reception to get to," he said. "And drunken bridesmaids," he added very quietly.
Caroline looked from Mac to Guy then back at Mac again. Mac smiled at her and took her hand to lead her to the castle. Now the show of the three of them drifting up into the sky was over, almost all the guests were already heading for the dinning room.
Guy was walking in front, his kilt getting blown up at the back by the wind. Martin came to walk next to Guy. Martin was holding on to his own kilt to prevent it from blowing up. "You're back on the ground at least," Martin said. "Even if everyone has now seen your pants," then he paused, apparently thinking things over. "Lucky you were wearing pants at all." Guy glared at Martin. "Well at least my kilt looks like a kilt, eh schoolgirl?" he nodded at Martin's legs - indicating the tiny kilt Martin was wearing. It did look like one of those red plaited skirts you'd imagine 'naughty' schoolgirls to wear.
Caroline watched Martin as he kept trying to get his kilt back in place, because it kept riding up after every few steps he took. Any woman with experience wearing mini-skirts would have done it with a lot more grace. Martin however looked like a weird penguin whenever he tried to get the skirt back in its original position.
Caroline lost interest in Martin's struggle when she remembered Mac's words. "So what was it that you had been meaning to tell me?" she asked Mac. Mac looked at her and then at the guests walking in front of them. He slowed his pace and eventually stopped walking. Caroline stopped as well, looking at Mac and then realising he was waiting until all the guests had disappeared into the castle. Caroline was staring at Mac, his hair and skin almost the same colour in the sunlight. In her mind she went over all the possibilities she could think of. All the things he might say to her once the guests had disappeared from sight. Of course there was one option she was really hoping for.
Martin was the last of the guests to disappear inside, still holding on to his mini-kilt. Mac watch him disappear from sight and then turned to Caroline. "There might have been a mix-up."
Caroline's breath stopped. She knew what those words could mean, but if she got their meaning wrong and let herself hope, even if for a few moments, it would be devastating. "You mean, with your results?"
"Yes, in the hospital," Mac said. "I can't be certain just yet," he quickly added. "But maybe."
Caroline forced herself to breath. "How do you know?"
"Sue White discovered it," Mac said. "After I told her I was dying she apparently went after a 'cure,' though I told her I'd seen the results myself and there were no treatment options."
That did sound like Sue White, Caroline had to admit. She remembered how ferocious Sue's tactics were when she thought her chances with Mac were under threat by Caroline. Caroline shivered a little when she thought of all the near death experiences she'd had that week. Or how Sue had single-handedly gotten rid of Mac's ex Holly, by discovering Holly had lied about her son being Mac's. Or that weird car crash that had almost killed the man whose job Mac had wanted. A terminal decease was no match for Sue White's obsession.
"Then why didn't she say something?"
"I told her not to," Mac said.
"Oh," Caroline said and she felt her heart sink. She knew why he hadn't wanted her to know yet, he wasn't sure, couldn't be sure if it was true.
"Hey," Mac said so Caroline would look at him. He rubbed her arms and then pulled her against him. "There's a good chance. Do you remember Dr. Green?"
Caroline lifted her head from Mac's chest and looked at him. "You mean the one who stole printer ink and tried to get high on it?" She asked confused.
"Yes, that one," Mac smiled. "Well he died last week. From a brain tumour they didn't know he had. And that hadn't shown up on his routine checks, while it should've considering its size."
"That's what you have," Caroline said.
Caroline pulled free from Mac's arms. "Then you're not dying! They must have mixed up the results!" She said. "That also explains why you have no symptoms! If the decease was really as advanced as they said, you should have symptoms by now, but you don't. Because you're not sick."
Mac smiled at her, but not as joyful as you'd expect from a man who'd just gotten a new lease on life. "Sue just told me after the ceremony, so I can't be certain yet. It might not be true. I need to get a new scan first"
Caroline bit her lip. "We should go to the hospital. Now."
"What about the reception? The guest? Our families?"
Caroline looked over her shoulder towards the castle. "Not having to see them is an unexpected bonus, definitely," she smiled. She took Mac's hand and pulled him along with her. "We'll take the Bentley," she said. Mac smiled and let Caroline drag him along with her.
"Where are you two sneaking away to?" Guy asked. He came running up to them. "I'm supposed to do a speech in a few moments, it would be nice if the new couple were there to listen to it. Otherwise a lot of my jokes won't work." He looked at Caroline in a significantly frightening way. Caroline shuddered to think what Guy's best man's speech might be.
Caroline decided to add missing Guy's speech to the list of added bonuses of missing the reception. "We're going back to the hospital," Caroline said. "We need to get Mac's head scanned."
"As I have been saying for years," Guy said, but he turned serious when he saw the expression on Caroline's face. "Scan?" Guy asked suspiciously, he looked from Caroline to Mac. "What's changed? Are you feeling sick?" It was one of those few moments Guy seemed to really care about something.
"No," Mac said, he hesitated, not sure he should tell Guy he might not be dying. "There might have been a mix-up with the results in the hospital."
"So you might not be dying?" Guy asked, his eyes growing wide.
"Mac isn't dying?" A voice suddenly said. Martin had come outside as well. "You're not dying?" Martin asked, looking at Mac. He almost ran toward Mac and hugged him, but he paused mid-way during the hug when he saw Mac looking at Caroline as if asking for help.
"We don't know yet, Martin," Caroline said as she loosened Martin's hands from Mac's shoulders.
Martin let go and looked at the group. He seemed to be putting things together. "Where are you going?"
"To the hospital, but you can't come," Guy said and he pushed Martin back in the direction of the castle.
"Why not?" Martin whined. "I want to come too!"
"There's a height restriction," Guy said as he gave Martin another shove.
"Martin can come," Mac said. Guy glared at him.
Martin's face lit up, until Guy gave him another shove. "By the way, does anybody know where Boycey went off to?" Martin asked. "We were supposed to do a routine together." Martin suddenly looked shocked. "Oh no, now I've ruined it!"
Caroline remembered the mime Martin had done at Angela's funeral and she was pretty sure she could add the fact that she would never see what Martin had planned for her wedding, to her surprisingly long list of added bonuses.
"We're not bringing Boyce as well," Guy said, not using the nickname Martin had for the guy.
They reached the car park where the most flashy car there was a white sports car with an open roof and a huge sign saying 'Just Married.'
"We're not going to fit in there," Caroline said, slightly disappointed.
"We'll just take the caterer's van," Guy said.
"We can't do that," Caroline said.
"I'll leave a note," Guy said reassuringly, though Caroline didn't take it that way. "Besides, you didn't see what they did to the food in there, they deserve to walk back home," Guy added.
Caroline looked at Mac and he just shrugged. "Fine," she said.
Guy walked over to the driver's side.
"Let's not," Mac said as he pushed past Guy.
"What?" Guy asked, slightly insulted.
"You know what," Mac said, narrowing his eyes.
Guy grumbled something, but walked over to the passenger's side anyway.
"You'll have to get in back Martin," Caroline said.
Martin didn't move, instead he was just staring at the van, looking pale as death itself.
"Martin?" Caroline asked.
"I don't like vans," Martin said.
"All right," Caroline said slowly, not understanding Martin's fear.
Guy however knew why Martin feared white vans. "Get in the back, shorty," Guy said helpfully. "We're hardly going off a cliff - again."
Martin wasn't convinced.