At breakfast the next morning, Jonah asked, "You ready to go?"
"Just about," Roger replied. "We need to go back to Black Jack for a little bit, then we're all set."
"What do you need there?" Jonah asked.
Emily was about to retort, but Roger spoke first. "We're going to get married. Do you want to come?" Emily shot a glare at Roger.
Jonah looked at Emily. "You weren't gonna tell me?" Emily looked away guiltily. "You two go ahead," he said gruffly, masking the hurt.
Roger shook his head. "For all I know, you're the only family I have left. I want you to come." He glanced at Emily. "I'm sure Emily does, too, she's just too stubborn to admit it."
Jonah studied Roger's face, gauging his sincerity. "Ok. I'll come."
Roger and Emily strode hand in hand through the tents and stalls, Jonah trailing a little behind. Finally they reached a more permanent structure sporting a J&R logo. Emily threw Roger a questioning glance. "J&R have assumed a number of legal duties so the officials are free for matters needing professional legal consideration. Paperwork doesn't count," Roger explained.
The trio entered the building and were directed in the appropriate direction. They found themselves in a small but neat room divided into a waiting area and a workspace. A few moments later a smiling young blonde woman entered. "Welcome to J&R. My name is Trish. What can I help you with today?"
"We'd like to get married," Roger said.
"Wonderful! Congratulations," Trish said. "This is the sort of thing that makes me love my job." She grabbed a form from a tray and laid it on the counter. "You'll just need to fill this out. There's a section for both of you. I'll also need to check your identification."
Roger and Emily pulled out their licenses. Emily looked at hers. "It's expired," she remarked.
"Don't worry about it," Trish responded. "I just need to make sure your signatures match. I'll be issuing you new identification anyway."
"Really? Since when does that happen at the same time as getting a marriage license?" Emily asked.
"J&R prides itself on fast and convenient service." Trish smiled as she took their licenses and quickly found that their faces and signatures matched. She pulled out some type of machine and set it on the counter. She typed some information into it and pressed a
button. Two new ID cards slid out. "Once you sign your marriage license, you can have these and you'll be all set," she said brightly.
Roger and Emily turned their attention to the form in front of them. "Do some of these questions strike you as profiling?" Emily whispered to Roger, attempting to appear as if she just needed something explained to her.
"Yeah," Roger frowned slightly. "Do you want to leave it?"
"No," Emily replied. "Let's get it done."
A few minutes later, Roger slid the completed form over to Trish. "All done."
She smiled and signed her own name on the appropriate line and stamped initials on a few more lines. She ran the form through another machine and handed Roger the form back. "You can keep that, but it's not necessary. Everything you'll ever need for identification purposes is on these ID cards," Trish said as she also handed Roger and Emily the cards. "You're all set. Congratulations again, Mr. and Mrs. Hammond."
"Thank you," Roger said and Emily echoed. They walked back outside and stopped outside the building.
"Well, J&R certainly gets things done faster than the government ever did," Jonah remarked.
"Yeah," Emily agreed. "It doesn't seem real," she continued, "not without vows."
Roger set his bag on the ground and took Emily's hands in his own. "I, Roger Joseph Hammond…" Emily's brows knitted for a moment in confusion, "…take you, Emily Susannah Sullivan…" Emily finally realized what was going on and was practically beaming, tears pricking her eyes, "…to be my lawfully wedded wife. I promise I will always love and cherish you, come what may, for as long we both shall live."
Emily smiled at Roger. She leaned in to kiss him, but he said, "No kisses until the end, Emily. You haven't said your vows yet." Emily smiled again. "I, Emily Susannah Sullivan, take you, Roger Joseph Hammond, to be my lawfully wedded husband. From now on, my home is wherever you are. I promise I will never abandon you, but I don't promise to always agree with you. I will love and cherish you as long as we both shall live."
"Now we can kiss," Roger said with a wink.
Jonah had been against the building a little uncomfortably during this little exchange. He examined the ground with great enthusiasm, but he heard every word and he couldn't help his eyes watering a little bit as his little girl finally got married. He blinked rapidly, erasing any signs of sentimentality. Fortunately, neither Emily nor Roger had paid Jonah much attention. "Feel better now?" Jonah asked, sarcasm returning.
"Yeah, I do," Emily replied.
A/N: Another short little bit. Sorry. But hey, Jake's safe. ;-)