AN: Here we come to the end of this story. Hope you all enjoyed the ride.
I feel like I've awakened lately. The chains around me are finally breaking. I've been under self-restoration. I'm becoming my own salvation. Showing up, no more hiding, hiding. The light inside me is bursting, shining. It's my, my, my time to butterfly. What I've learned is so vital. More than just survival. This is my revival. This is a revival. Revival ~ Selena Gomez
"Ok, why don't you take a look and tell me what you think?" the makeup artist suggested.
Abby stood up and surveyed her image in the mirror. She had decided to keep with her signature look instead of going beachy. Red lipstick, brightened eyes. "It looks perfect," Abby approved. The top half of her chestnut hair was twisted into a braid.
"Let's get you into the dress," Marsha clapped.
Bethany unzipped the protective bag and brought out the dress.
Abby slipped off her robe and stepped into the dress. Bethany zipped up the back.
Abby's eyes went back to the mirror. The applique on the top was just how she remembered it. Abby drew her fingers down to where it started to fade out on the skirt.
"This is happening," she breathed.
"Yes, it is," Chloe squeezed her daughter's shoulders.
Elena snapped a pic of the mother and daughter moment.
"Something old and borrowed," Chloe brought out the veil.
"Something blue," Abby flashed her engagement ring, showing off the blue topaz stone.
"Something new that is also blue," Bethany handed her the bouquet of heirloom roses.
Rachel presented Abby with a large jewelry gift box. "I saw this while Derek and I were out and I couldn't resist," she explained.
Abby opened the box and set the lid aside. "It's gorgeous, thank you," Abby lifted a long necklace like chain of blue, white, and clear crystals that made a string of various seashell shapes.
"I think it's called a halo," Rachel replied, "It goes in your hair somehow."
"I saw some of these on Pinterest," Bethany remarked.
"Probably not as pretty as this one," Abby replied, "Thank you."
Chloe helped her integrating it with the braid before placing the veil on top.
"I'm so grateful Mike found you," Rachel reached out for a hug.
Abby returned her embrace, "Thanks for sharing him with me."
There was a knock at the door. "Is everyone presentable?" Brennan called through the barrier.
"Come in," Chloe beckoned. They were all dressed anyway.
Abby turned to her father and looked up at him sheepishly. "Well?"
"My baby is all grown up," Brennan marveled.
"Stop," Abby patted his chest, but sniffled, "You are going to ruin my makeup and there is no time to reapply it."
There was another knock on the door jam. Johnny popped his head in. "The guests are getting seated," he announced.
Elena let her camera drop on its strap. "I should be heading out." She ducked out behind Johnny.
"Looking Awesome, Abs," Johnny winked at her before disappearing.
"Ready, Starshine?" Brennan offered her his arm.
Abby looped her arm though his, "More than ready."
Mike escorted his mother to her seat. He took his place up at the altar.
The string quartet took up their instruments.
The guests stood and turned around.
First little Ava strolled down the aisle giggling as she tossed rose petals in the air. Nathan gathered her as she finished her petal tossing.
Johnny escorted Marsha.
Johnny took the position next to Mike. "Nervous?" he whispered.
"Only if she doesn't come out," Mike licked his lips.
"Just wait 'til you see her," Johnny nudged Mike in the shoulder.
Elena caught the moment with a quick snap of her camera.
Next down the aisle was Charlie and Bethany.
Once the bridal parties were in their places, the quartet started on the bridal march.
Mike held his breath. His heart beat in his ears. He spotted her coming down towards the aisle. Toward him. A rush of air hit his lungs.
Brennan padded Abby's arm. His daughter seemed to float beside him. Her eyes were glued on the man she was about to marry.
They stopped at the end of the aisle.
The "Friends, Family, both biological and chosen," the celebrant began, "welcome and thank you for being here on this important day. We are gathered together to celebrate the very special love between Michael and Abigail, by joining them in marriage." He zeroed in on Brennan. "Who gives this woman to this man?" the celebrant asked.
"She gives herself. With the blessing of her mother and father," Brennan answered. He let go of Abby. Brennan stepped back to take his seat in the front row beside Chloe.
Mike reached out for Abby. She handed her bouquet to Bethany then took both of his hands as she joined him in front of the celebrant.
"There will be a lot of talk about love this evening, but what do we mean by love?" the celebrant asked, "It is to look into the soul of your beloved and accept what you see. When we love, we see things other people do not. We see beneath the surface to the qualities, which make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving eyes is to know inner beauty. And to be loved is to be known, as we are known to no other. Loving someone is a reason to stretch beyond our limits, to become more for the sake of the other. It is an all-consuming task, a lifelong endeavor. The journey we've been preparing for all of our lives."
He looked to the beaming couple then continued to address the guests once again.
"Marriage is a very special place. It's an oasis, a haven, and a sanctuary where we can safely learn about ourselves in the presence of another. Marriage is like a great umbrella that shelters love from the elements. As this Michael and Abigail enter into marriage, they do so with thought and reverence. They give thanks for the past, which brought them here, and look forward with hope to what the future will bring."
Mike stroked the back of Abby's hands with his thumbs, trying to convince himself this was real. Abby squeezed back assuring him. She was there. This was no dream this was real.
"If anyone has reason why these two should not lawfully be wed let them speak now or forever hold your peace," the celebrant announced.
Mike and Abby just smiled. Nothing to fear. All the cards were on the table now.
"The couple have written vows to each other," the celebrant tipped his head towards Abby.
"Mike, you came back into my life and I knew I was staring right at my other half," the bride began.
The breeze picked up.
Mike took off his blazer and wrapped it around her shoulders.
The beginning of her vows fled from her mind. "That night we first met we walked out on this beach. I got cold. You wrapped your jacket around my shoulders then and I," Abby had to catch her breath, "I think I fell in love with you in that moment."
Mike didn't miss a beat, "I remember how bright your eyes were that night. And your smile. Wow. You knocked me off my feet and you continue to blow my mind. You championed me even when I thought I wasn't worth it."
"Know I will treasure you, grow with you. I promise to be your shelter when you need it for the rest of our lives," Abby added.
"Abby, you are my light. You make my life about more than just survival. I choose you. I choose to be yours. I promise to always choose you," Mike vowed.
"Do you have the rings?" the celebrant requested.
Johnny handed Abby's over while Bethany gave him Mike's.
"Wedding rings are made precious by our wearing them. Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that, despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight," the celebrant continued. He handed one to Abby.
"Place the ring on Michael's finger and repeat after me," the celebrant instructed.
"With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you. Today, tomorrow and always," Abby repeated.
The celebrant gave the next one to Mike, "Now Mike place the ring on Abby's finger and repeat after me."
"With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you. Today, tomorrow and always," Mike smiled.
"By the power vested in me by God and the state of California. I now pronounce you husband and wife," the celebrant concluded, "You may now kiss your spouse."
Abby grabbed his face and captured his lips with hers. He melted into the kiss. Mike grasped her waist and pulled her flush to him.
"Welcome, Mike and Abby to the floor for their first dance!"
Mike lead Abby out on the dancefloor. They faced each other as the song they had picked began.
We can't give our two cents of how tall we want to be. We don't get an opinion on our ethnicity.
They whirled around the dancefloor, taking advantage of every square inch of space.
But the one we spend our life with. That we get to choose. And I choose, I choose you.
He twirled her out. They both stretched out their arms to finish the movement. Mike brought Abby into him again. Her back rested against his chest as they swayed together.
I choose you, to be by my side. I choose you, to hold me at night.
She angled her face back to him and smiled. He dipped down and brushed his lips against hers.
It's the biggest decision I'm about to get right. I choose you, I choose you
Mike spun her back around to return into hold. As the song finished, he dipped her just for fun.
She laughed as they came up.
Mike kissed the back of her knuckles as they walked back to their table.
Abby survey the reception area with delight.
Everything set up just as they planned. The venue, a pavilion, stood right on the beach. The exterior was draped with string lights. Candles along with a few stronger lights illuminated the interior of the tent and dance floor. The table centerpieces were heirloom roses surrounded by seashells.
Johnny stood up and clanked on his glass.
The guests lifted their glasses.
"I have seen some crazy stuff, but now I have seen it all. If Mikey can get married- there's hope for my ass after all," Johnny toasted.
Mike laughed so hard he almost spilled sparkling grape juice.
Johnny's eyes turned to Elena.
"To the bride and groom," Bethany stood up, "To the joy that you share. Thanks for letting us be a part of your lives. I can't wait to spoil my future nieces and or nephews."
After the toasts were over, music began to play once more.
Charlie checked on Jojo, asleep in his car seat.
"Looks like he's complying with his curfew," Rossabi noted.
"You are such a hardass," Charlie muttered.
"You love my hard ass," Vincent smirked.
She snorted. Charlie tapped his butt for good measure.
"What do you say we get to the part of the night where I destroy you on the dancefloor?" he quipped.
"It's on," she rejoined.
They handed off the twins to Rachel and Derek.
Vincent escorted her onto the dance floor.
The couple began to dance, only for Vincent to feel a tap on his shoulder. He angled back to see a muscled man with polished scuff. He recognized Charlie's ex by her description.
"May I cut in?" Briggs requested.
Vincent looked to Charlie.
She nodded her hesitant approval.
Rossabi stepped aside.
One of his hands took her held out one while the other went to the small of her back.
"You look amazing," Briggs crooned.
"Thank you," Charlie replied. To look at her you wouldn't know she had given birth four months ago.
"I thought no one was supposed to outshine the bride on the wedding day," he quipped.
"I come close, but I'm still second today," she smiled toward the bridal party table.
What was Paul's game plan? He hadn't just shown up at that moment. Knowing her ex, he had been there watching them for a little while at least.
"You got cleaned up," Charlie noted, "I thought you were allergic to suits."
"I don't think jeans would help me blend in here," Briggs swept his eyes around to gesture to the other guests.
She tilted her head, "Not really."
"It's really good to see you," he said.
They waltzed together under two disapproving glares from the groom and co-best person.
"Your cover's been blown," Charlie noted.
"You're worth it," he replied.
"You wouldn't say that on an op," she countered.
"Johnny and Mike aren't packing," Briggs scoffed.
"Vinny is," Charlie raised an eyebrow.
He bit the inside of his lip, "Is that a warning not to get out of line?"
"I can handle my own business," she replied.
They twirled around until the man in question was in Briggs' line of vision.
"You had a girl," he noted.
"Yeah, there's my Charlotte," she acknowledged.
"Charlotte," Briggs repeated trying in vain to suppress an amused smile.
"That's Vinny's doing," Charlie replied.
"She's beautiful just like her mama," he tipped his head.
"Her brother isn't that bad looking either," she remarked.
"Her brother?" Briggs brow furrowed.
"I had twins," Charlie admitted.
"Lucky dog your husband," he said with all the warmth he could muster. The feel of the wedding ring on her finger burned his skin.
"He's a great guy," she vouched.
"I guess he had Mike's seal of approval," Briggs noted.
"He lights a candle for our peanut," Charlie informed him.
The former couple shared a silent moment for the child they had lost.
"He better keep treating you right," Briggs began.
"Johnny would gut him before you could do shit," she asserted, "Not that I'd need him to."
"Never," he agreed with a chuckle.
"Clyde can take care of herself," Charlie insisted.
"Are you happy?" Briggs studied her face.
"Yeah, I am," she answered. Charlie licked her lips. "How about you?" she questioned.
"The house is flooded with new agents," he replied, "With Paige's arrest- I'm the only one of our crew left. Even Johnny's bailing on me."
"Maybe you should see that as a sign," Charlie offered.
Briggs shook his head, "I'm a lifer."
The song ended.
"Goodbye, Paul," Charlie pulled away.
He let go of her one last time.
Charlie rushed over to her husband. She kissed him as he rocked their daughter.
Mike noted Briggs walking away. He brought his hand up off of Abby's knee.
"I'll be back," Mike kissed his wife's cheek.
"Where are you going?" Abby placed her hand on his knee.
"There's someone I have to talk to," Mike looked over towards the retreading Briggs, "It won't take a minute."
He pushed up and out of his chair.
"Briggs!" Mike called.
Paul froze in his tracks. "Hi, Mike," he turned around.
"What are you doing here?" Mike inquired.
"I came to say congratulations," Briggs smiled.
"You're leaving right after you danced with Charlie," Mike countered.
"I didn't know if you wanted me to walk up to you and your wife," Briggs covered.
"Since when has something like that stopped you?" Mike retorted.
Briggs raised his hand, "I get why you left me off the guest list."
"Charlie didn't ask and Rossabi didn't either," Mike informed him.
"I'm not here to cause any problems," Briggs asserted, "I just had to see her. One last time."
Mike relaxed his shoulders- not that he believed Briggs would give up so easily. "Rossabi treats Charlie like a queen," he contended.
"So she says," Briggs' eyes went to Abby who had gotten up to mingle. After a moment, he stole a brief glance at his ex. "Some of us don't get second chances," Briggs noted.
"I got lucky," Mike acknowledged.
"Don't mess it up," Briggs directed.
"I'm not letting Abby down again," Mike affirmed.
"Congratulations, Mike," Briggs tipped his head, "See you on the flipside."
Mike shook his head as his former friend walked away.
Mike heard a dog bark and turned around. That was not Summer or Titus.
"BD!" Abby exclaimed.
BD bowed low to the ground, lifting his butt and wagging tail in the air.
"Do you wanna dance?" Abby offered out her hands.
The border collide mix barked happily before jumping up and placing his paws in her hands.
"Where have you been?" Mike crossed the dance floor to them.
BD got down from Abby's hands and greeted Mike.
He squatted down and scratched behind the collie mix's ears.
"There you are," she cooed at her husband.
"Hey," he briefly looked from BD to her, "Looks like he heard about the wedding."
"We've missed you, Buddy," Abby stepped to Mike's side.
BD barked happily before running back off onto the beach and into the dark.
"We got BD's seal of approval," she beamed.
"Is everything ok?" Abby inquired.
"Yeah," Mike nodded. He pushed off his knees to straighten himself. "Dance with me," he requested.
Abby wrapped her arms around his waist.
Mike embraced her joining his hands at the small of her back.
"Are you enjoying the party?" Mike asked.
"Dinner was awesome and everything is- It's been magical," she answered, "How about you?"
"We definitely picked the right cake," Mike quipped.
Abby giggled and pressed her cheek to his. He felt her smile against his skin. "Husband?"
"Yes, Wife," Mike grinned back.
"Let's get out of here," Abby purred.
"Your wish is my command," he twirled her to the edge of the dance floor. Not even waiting for the song to end they stepped off. Mike scooped her up into his arms and headed towards the exit. They were more than ready to privately celebrate this new open chapter of their lives.