Disclaimer: I do not own anything. If I did I would be out in Hollywood writing for the show instead of posting fan fictions from my home computer. This is my first fan fiction! Feel free to post comments! I love feedback!

You May Now Kiss the Bride

"You ready for this, baby?" Cricket's dad asked her just moments before the church doors would swing open and the two of them would walk down the long, red isle to her soon-to-be husband.

Cricket began trembling so hard one of the petals from her large dark and light blue bouquet began to detach and gently fall onto the polished church floor. Her dad immediately grabbed both her hands and began to say what he hoped would calm her nervous heart.

"Now listen," he began looking directly into her big blue eyes "There isn't a damn thing you need to worry about. You love Blake, that's evident. Why, every time I see the two of you together, I see something in you I haven't seen with anyone else, and that's the honest-to-God truth. You love him Cricket, I have full faith that you are making the right decision."

Cricket smiled once her father was finished speaking, it was all she could do at that point. How she wished that her father's advice could have actually helped her, but unfortunately, it wasn't Cricket's devotion she was uncertain of. Cricket had known about her future husband's sexual orientation for years, but to her, all that was, was some label. It didn't stop him from buying her roses on Valentine's Day, taking her to a nice restaurant on her birthday, or just being there for her when something tragic happened in her life. In most ways, they were as normal as any heterosexual couple would be, why would marriage change any of it?

Cricket didn't have time to ponder that answer because just seconds later, the large wooden door swung open to reveal the church pews filled with five-hundred of her closet friends, family, employee's, and he dashing Blake beaming at the alter. His eyes lit up the moment he saw her step out, arm and arm with her proud father in her strapless designer gown that sparkled under the bright church lights, She stepped gracefully, one in front of the other, passing her smiling co-workers, childhood friends, and her sobbing mother in the front row. She reached the church podium and headed her maid-of-honor, Carlene, whom she hardly recognized with the face-lift she had gotten just weeks before, the bouquet.

"You look beautiful!" Blake mouthed to her as the pasture began speaking.

Cricket could feel tears building up in her eyes, most of joy, but some of terror. Was she really ready to commit herself to a life of lies and celibacy because she loved someone so much that being gay didn't matter as long as she could be with him? Was Blake really worth all of that?

She looked into Blake's warm, blue eyes, so full of hope and anticipation. Then again, why shouldn't they be? After all, he was getting the best of both worlds a woman to cover up the fact that he's gay, but also an open-ended relationship with his farm hand on the weekends. He wasn't the one who was losing something.

"The couple has decided to exchange their own vows," the pasture announced once through with his speech "Blake, if you'll please begin" he said motioning to him.

Blake pulled out a folded piece of paper from his right pant pocket. She could see his neatly scripted handwriting through the white computer paper and bleeding pen marks.

"Cricket," he began tentatively, shaking his paper in every direction "From the moment I laid eyes on you in class freshman year I knew you were different. After all, not many people had the guts to argue the Vietnam War with out ex-military history teacher." There was a laughter throughout the crowd "Now I got to admit, I was pretty nervous asking you to homecoming that first fall, especially after you had just seen me drop the ball in the last 5 seconds of the JV football game, costing us the winning title. Why, I was shaking even more than I am now, and almost chicken out and went with my second cousin. But Cricket, I'm so, so glad I didn't. You are by far the best thing that has ever happened to me. I honestly don't know where I'd be today without you. No, I do know, I'd be lost, baby, and I thank the lord every day that I found you cause honestly, if I drop dead tomorrow, I'd die a happy man because I doubt anything that ever happens in my life will be even half as good as today, when I marry you."

Cricket could hear sniffing throughout the church hall as Blake folded up his vows and placed them back in his pocket. Blake had never been much of a writer, but somehow, even with his awkward transitions and unnecessary statements, he managed to bring the entire crowd to tears.

Nervously, Cricket grabbed the paper containing her vows from the pasture and began to speak.

"Blake," Cricket sighed, "It was not exactly love at first sight. When I first saw you in history I thought you were an incompetent freshman in way over your head, you gave stupid answers to questions including, using a copy machine to re-print money to resolve the Great Depression and having a Peace Rally in Israel to protest the Holocaust, you never did your homework, which I suppose explains your less then stellar question responses, and insisted on flirting with me every chance you had, even at my grandfather burial services. I've got to be honest, when you asked me out, the only reason I said yes is because I refused to go alone with Carlene."

She turned to Carlene

"Sorry, sweetie" she said then quickly turned back around

"We'll talk later" Carlene responded reaching out and tapping Cricket's bare shoulder.

"Anyway Blake, I'm not sure if it was the surprisingly intelligent conversations, or the fact that you looked really good in a light blue shirt that drew me in, but that night, after the dance, I knew I had accidentally come across something truly special. Now I could go on and on about all the thing's I promise but you already know those, what I will say though is that I promise to remain faithful to you, to love you unconditionally, and to accept you, just the way you are."

Cricket and Blake simultaneously wiped a tear from each other's cheek. Following the vows, the pasture had them exchange their $10,000 rings and pronounce them husband and wife. Cricket could finally breathe a sigh of relief, at least she didn't have to agonize her decision anymore, it had already been done.

The party following the wedding was a very classy, black-tie affair with waiters dressed in tail-ended tuxes and white gloves, and everything served on fine china plates.

"Cricket!" Carlene and Sharon yelled as they stampeded over to her, arms waving. "Congratulations!" they both screamed giving her a big group hug

"Thank you ladies." She said grabbing three champagne glasses from a passing waiter and handing one to each one of them. "A toast to three long and happy marriages. May they be filled with love, wealth, and power"

"And sex!" Carlene chimed in laughing, then glancing over at her husband, who was conversing with the other men.

"Of course Carlene" Cricket said rolling her eyes "Lots and lots of sex"

Cricket could feel the words taunt her as she spoke them to her friends. It was like the time back in high school where she was the only one of her javalina friends to be invited to Amanda's after prom party and she spoke so highly of it, hiding the fact that after about twenty minutes, Amanda pushed her in the pool ruining her green designer dress.

Cricket ignored her feelings and along with Sharon, took a big sip of her drink. She quickly noticed Carlene awkwardly standing there just looking at the glass.

"Sweetie, you're supposed to drink it." Sharon said with the proudest grin on her face assuming she was being helpful.

"Actually," she said placing her glass down beside her place setting. "I'm.."

"You're pregnant!" Sharon interrupted placing her own glass down then going to hug Carlene.

Carlene and Sharon began hugging and jumping up and down.

"Oh honey, I'm going to give you all these books and doctors you should have, oh it'll be so much fun going baby shopping together! Are you having a boy? I think you're having a boy!" Sharon continued

Sharon had just given birth to her first son Bozeman not too long ago and had decided that made her the expert of all things baby.

Carlene Thanked Sharon then turned to Cricket.

"Aw! Isn't it wonderful Crick?"

Cricket wanted to say yes. She took a second to come up with a brilliant response that didn't seem at all envious of her wonderful sex life but all that came out was,

"You've only been married a month!"

"I know!" Carlene said "I'm oh so blessed aren't I?"

Not long after, Sharon quickly dragged Carlene away listing off every single bit of baby advice she had, giving Cricket a chance to finally be alone with her husband who was walking toward their table.

"Hey baby! I was just talking to Zach and-"

"Can we have a child?" she blurted out over top of him.

Blake looked stunned for a second then smiled and responded,

"Sure! Why not?"

"Uh…because you're gay!" She thought to herself in her mind before actually responding

with "Great! I was just wondering because Carlene just found out she is and it'd be kind of nice if all our kids were around the same age."

Blake nodded then kissed her before going back with his guy friends.

The rest of the party consisted of course, after course of food that was so decorated, it looked like it should have been in an art museum, a lack-luster DJ, and Ripp and Zach having a drinking contest that resulted in the two of them stealing the microphone away from the DJ, who at that point, was too distracted flirting with one of the waitresses to care, and singing "Route 66" as a "bonus wedding present".

Once the party had ended and there was nothing left but stained white table cloths and napkins thrown every which way, Blake and Cricket headed upstairs to the honeymoon suite they had booked at the hotel. Everything about it screamed love from the stupid heart-shaped soap bars in the bathroom, to the deep red rose petals surrounding the already red bed.

"My God, it's like Valentine's Day threw up in here." Blake remarked as he untied his tie and hung it on the cupid arrow shaped towel rack.

While waiting for Blake in the bathroom, Cricket carefully stepped out of her wedding dress and placed it back in the dress bag. She then changed into a less-than modest lace black and red "nightgown" compliments of Carlene.

After what seemed like forever, Blake finally joined her in the bed wearing his "I Heart Jesus" boxers that always made Cricket laugh. He began inching closer and closer to her in the bed, finally putting his arm around her and pulling her close to him.

"Gosh I love you baby." he said squeezing her tightly against his chest.

"You Don't have to do this." she said pulling away from him while Blake gave her a perplexed look. "You don't have to pretend that this marriage is something it's not. I know as well as you do that come Monday, you'll be off with your ranch hand while I'm left all alone trying to get out business off the ground."

Then, just like that, she felt the tears rush down her face like a trickling waterfall. The were the tears that had been building up since that start of their wedding, since the proposal, since the day she realized she had fallen in love with a man who could never under any circumstances truly love her the way she needed.

"Hey now." he said rubbing his hand on Cricket's shoulder trying to comfort her "Listen to me. Every single thing I said in those vows today were one-hundred percent true. You were the best thing that every happened to me and my life would be a complete mess today if I didn't have you in it. Heck, if this whole marriage was just my way of getting a permanent gay beard I would have never brought it up in the first place because I could not live with my self knowing that I was using someone as amazing as you for my own selfish reasons."

Cricket scooted back into Blake's arm's. She looked up at her husband looking at that same warm smile that melted her heart all those years ago. In that moment, she realized that gay or not, she really did love him in a way she never had for any other person that had come into her life. If this was a way for her to be with him and have him in her life, that was good enough for her.

Blake reached for the TV remote on the bedside table and flipped to the pay-per-view movie channel to purchase the same movie he took her to on their first official date.

They were cuddled up together under the red, velvet blanket just as happy as they were back in high school. So much seemed to have changed since then, and in many ways, it had.

One thing that hadn't changed, though, was that for better or worse, they were in love.