A/N: This ficlet represents a scene I would have loved to have seen in "Good Faith", just before Clay was discharged from the hospital. I hope you enjoy it.
Brenda took a moment to just breathe. She had solved her case and the victim's girlfriend was under arrest. The stent in her father's main artery had been replaced and he was recovering nicely. The doctors were confident that he would soon be discharged from the hospital. And since her mother was spending most of her time with him, Brenda would finally have a quiet dinner alone with Fritz tonight. This feels just as good as a date night. I can't wait, she smiled to herself.
But her moment didn't last long. The calendar on her desk reminded her that in just under a month she would be married. Fritz had already made their honeymoon arrangements and she needed to spend some time figuring out how to get her parents to stop pressuring her into being married in a cheesy wedding chapel. But she didn't know how to get her parents to back off and accept her wishes for a simple private wedding in a hotel room. I'm runnin out of time so I've got to work on that, she resolved.
The caterer had been hired and, with the help of her squad, she had decided on the cake and it had been ordered. The decision about the wedding gown had been made and, while she would have preferred not to wear a white wedding gown this time, it had been easier to acquiesce to her mother's wishes, and so she would wear Willie Ray's gown. But Brenda was ok with that. She had to admit that the gown was beautiful and it did make her parents happy. And, most important, she knew that Fritz would love seeing her in it.
But she knew that she had more to do so she stopped twice on her way home: once at a print shop for wedding invitation samples, and once at The Parthenon for Greek take out.
That evening, while Fritz cleared the dishes, Brenda withdrew the samples from her purse and spread them out on the table before calling Fritz back into the dining room.
"Honey, we need to decide on the invitations and get them ordered," she said. When she saw that she had Fritz's attention she continued, "The printer said that he has all of these in stock and that he can print them in 24 hours. If we choose one tonight, I can place our order tomorrow and pick them up on Friday. So, which do you like?"
"Well, they're all beautiful," Fritz said looking at the dozen samples she had spread out for him.
They both stared at the array. Finally Brenda suggested, "Why don't you pick the three you like the best and I'll pick my favorite three and we'll see if we have any in common."
After reviewing them all, Fritz pushed three to the center of the table. Brenda also chose one of the same ones that Fritz chose but really liked one of her other choices the best.
Fritz saw her linger on her first choice and said, "That one looks like the one from my first wedding, but if it's the one you really want, we can choose it."
When Brenda heard that, she pushed it back into the general pile. "I like it, yes. But I certainly don't want anythin remindin either one of us of our previous weddins. That's bad luck." So she picked up the three that Fritz had picked out. "I like this one but I don't like the font. It's too fussy and hard to read. If we could have this font," she said as she picked up another sample, "I'd choose this one."
"I don't really care about the font so I'd be fine with that." Fritz was amenable. Actually, he was more than amenable. He was thrilled. Brenda was finally focused on the wedding.
"Ok, one decision down, one more to go," Brenda said, clearly pleased with herself and with Fritz's willingness to be flexible.
Fritz watched expectantly as Brenda pulled a yellow pad of paper from her purse and ripped off a sheet for him.
"We need to decide on the guest list. And, think small," she cautioned. "Write down the names of the people you want to invite and I'll do the same."
"Do we want to invite spouses?" Fritz asked.
"Well, the only spouse on my list would be Lieutenant Tao's wife. She's the only one I've ever met. And Provenza's and Flynn's ex-wives could triple our list," she joked.
Fritz laughed and nodded, "The only spouses I feel I'd have to invite are Annette Oakes and Ginny Martin." They both busied themselves writing down their guest lists and when they'd finished, they exchanged papers. Brenda had eleven people on her list and Fritz had fourteen on his.
Fritz looked at Brenda's list and an expression of annoyance moved across his face.
"What's wrong?" Brenda asked.
"Ughh. I wish Pope didn't have to be at our wedding."
"Oh, for heaven's sake, Fritzi. You have to be reasonable. I can't invite everyone else that I work with and not invite my boss. Besides, I want him at the reception."
"Ok. I get that he's your boss so we have to include him, but why do you…" Fritz started but was interrupted by Brenda.
"Because I want him to see my weddin ring. I want him to see me in my weddin gown, happy and incredibly in love with my new husband."
Slowly Fritz realized why. "So what you're not telling me is that he's still coming on to you."
Brenda heard the anger still rising in his voice and took his hand in both of hers.
"This will make him realize that nothin is gonna change my mind."
But Fritz was still angry. "What has he done to you?"
"Nothin, Fritzi. Honest. It's more of a… a…" She looked across the room, as if the word she was searching for was hiding in the folds of the curtains, "More of an attitude."
"Has he been sexually harassing you?"
Fritz's tone and change in body language told Brenda that his anger had reached the boiling point so she sought to lower the temperature. "No, of course not. But we have a history. Really, I think it's just because he's all alone. Even though I've told him that I'm not gettin involved with him again, he just can't help himself. He's just lonely, honey, and I think seein us on our weddin day will make him realize he's got to search for someone else."
"I'm not so sure. Will Pope is a hopeless womanizer and cheating is in his DNA. What makes you think our marriage will stop him?"
"Because he doesn't really believe that I'm gonna go through with marryin you. And when he sees that I have married you and how happy I am, he'll realize that there is never gonna be anythin more between him and me."
Does Brenda really believe that Pope will lay off once we're married? Fritz wondered. She's so gullible where he's concerned. I'd like to make a giant slingshot out of those stupid suspenders of his and launch that bastard into another solar system.
"Earth to Fritz," Brenda said. When he refocused his attention back on her she smiled and said, "You went off somewhere."
"I was just thinking that I still would like to punch his lights out. Maybe that would be a better lesson than…"
Brenda spoke earnestly. "No, honey. Believe me, this will be the best way. You have to trust me on this."
He sighed and relaxed. "All right, we'll do it your way. But I still don't trust him. And you can tell Pope that if he ever comes onto you again he'll answer to me."
Brenda was relieved that his anger had cooled somewhat and she knew Fritz wouldn't do anything violent, so she just rolled her eyes, mumbled something under her breath about alpha males, and turned her attention back to the business at hand. "Countin my parents and your sister, we have twenty-eight guests. Do you think our place is big enough to hold them all?"
Fritz knew the subject of Will Pope was closed so he replied, "I think so. It's not a sit-down dinner so we don't have to set up tables. The caterer will take care of renting extra chairs and any extra tables if we need them for the food and the cake. Besides, people will mingle so we'll be fine," Fritz reassured her.
"Ok, that was easier than I thought it would be," Brenda said in relief. "I'll drop the samples off in the mornin and place the order. If you can get the addresses for your list we can write them out this weekend."
"I have them all at work. I'll print them off and bring them home tomorrow. Do you want me to stop at the Post Office and pick up stamps?"
"I don't think we need them," she replied. "We can just hand out the invitations at work and they can give us the RSVP cards back."
"Ok. That's simple enough," Fritz agreed.
"Then we'll be done. Claire and Mama are doin the flowers so all I have left to do is buy a new pair of white shoes," Brenda said, relieved that everything was settled.
As she started to put everything away, Fritz took her in his arms. "You know, now that I think about it, there is one more very important piece of business still outstanding," he said as he kissed her.
"Oh? And what would that be?" Brenda asked softly.
"We need to start rehearsing the honeymoon. And with your mother at the hospital, now is the perfect time to start."
"I do believe you're right," Brenda smiled and nuzzled his neck.
As they began walking toward their bedroom, the back door opened and Willie Ray walked in, "Oh, good, you're both here. It seems like we haven't had enough time together since your father's stent failed."
Brenda and Fritz looked at each other, smiled, and walked into the kitchen.
A/N: And now, please leave a review.