Sarah, he thought, might just about be ready to cry, and Buck shot a nervous look Chris's way. Yep, Chris was frowning at him suspiciously as he escorted Sarah the last few steps down the aisle, like Buck had done something to upset her between the bride’s lounge and the altar.
He shrugged, helpless. It had seemed like a good idea at the time; her father had disowned her for this marriage, her mother had passed, and she was an only child. Somehow, volunteering over coffee to walk her down the aisle and give her away had become Buck being the 'man of honor', and losing his shot at giving Chris the kind of send-off he deserved. He'd suspected that was part of why Sarah'd done it. So had Chris.
Gratefully, he lifted her veil, chucked her chin with his knuckle and mouthed, mock-afraid, "He'll kill me if he thinks I made you cry."
She laughed instead, tugged at his lapels so she could kiss his cheek, and then stepped in front of him, up beside Chris.
Nice. Chris looked relieved, like he'd thought she would no-show, which had Buck laughing under his breath. None of which made this 'man of honor' thing suck any less, especially when Sarah handed him the bouquet and her girlfriend Marie wouldn't let him pass it on. Oh, well. Least these things were short.
He sighed and stood between Sarah and four of her friends, none of whom would he get lucky with at the reception since they thought he'd stolen their place. And Chris had added insult to injury by letting his sister be his 'best woman'.
Bastard. Julie Larabee was dyke enough, she and Buck could've switched sides and maybe no one would have noticed.
Well. Least Chris was taller than Julie. Barely.
Buck tried to tune in to the priest who was talking about spiritual joining and the blessed covenant of marriage, and wondered why the hell people thought they needed to do this. But then, Chris and Sarah were the exceptions, because he'd never really doubted they'd be here one day. They already shared a covenant; he'd seen it, witnessed and been humbled by what was between them. This was just a formality, to let the rest of the world know too.
When he sighed again, the priest actually turned to give him a look, which made him snort quietly. Didn't matter; Chris and Sarah only had eyes for each other, and that was just how it should be. He listened closely when it was their turn to start talking, touched to his soul when they exchanged vows, Chris so reverent and soft Buck knew nobody outside this tight circle up here would ever hear them, and Sarah’s voice stronger but choked with emotion.
He was man enough to admit he got a little choked up by the exchange: no promises, not from either of them; just the reasons they knew they should be together, the anticipation of growing old together. He did his bit during the exchange of rings, and gave Sarah back the bouquet when she asked for it, and wondered if she liked him less than she let on. Because if she did like him, she wouldn't have made him give up hosting Chris's bachelor party, and give up all hope of seducing a pretty woman in a frilly dress, which was pretty much the best thing about weddings.
Still. It wasn't his wedding. If Chris could tolerate Julie, Buck could tolerate a wedding without sex.
The priest introduced Chris and Sarah to the assembled crowd, people stood and cheered, and Sarah turned to hug him briefly before Buck caught Chris shaking his sister's hand. Then everybody trailed back down the aisle, Buck alongside a grinning Julie and three other pairs behind him, to a lounge of sorts. Chris was laughing, the gals were whispering, and Sarah was glowing. If this 'man of honor' thing meant he'd helped her feel that way, even a tiny bit, it was worth it.
Still, maybe he could skip the reception.
After ten minutes of picture taking, he eased up beside Sarah and touched her elbow. "You two have a good time at the reception," Buck whispered, wondering if she was even hearing him.
She frowned. Which meant she did. "You'll have a good time too."
He shrugged a shoulder. "Thought I might skip it."
Sarah Connelly was scary enough when she propped her fists on her shapely hips and stomped her foot. Sarah Larabee was a whole new order of scary. "You're coming to the reception," she said.
She grabbed the sleeve of his shirt and marched him a few yards away from the rest of the crowd. "Caroline?" she demanded. "Anita? You really think I'd put those two in my wedding party if not for you?"
Buck blinked and looked back to everyone in the party but the bride and groom being assembled on the church steps. "Huh?"
"Buck!" she hissed. "They've been dropping hints about you for months. And they like each other. Do you understand?" She raised her eyebrows and tilted her head meaningfully
Buck glanced back over to--oh. Oh. "You set me up?" he asked.
"Of course I did!"
"You really do care," he said, moved that she'd think of him at all, much less think of this.
Her eyes went brilliant and damp and she touched his cheek again. "I know why Chris sometimes calls you an idiot, Buck."
Well, now Buck did too. "I, uh, think I'd better get over to that wedding party. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be in those pictures.
"Yes," she smirked, "you are. Just--if more pictures happen later, please make sure I never see them."
He kissed her cheek and squeezed her waist. "Long as you stay out of my dresser drawers, darlin', you'll be safe."
He moseyed over to the party, smiled warmly at Anita and Caroline, and then eased into the tight space between them. They barely made room for him, and by the time the group photos were over, he was half hard and they were both wet.
Best wedding. Ever.