AN: This story will be a series of AU one shots based what may have happened on certain storylines had gone a little differently. These have been floating in my mind for a while now and I've finally decided to put them to paper! I've got writers block with Harmony Ever After & hopefully this helps! Enjoy and review please!
AU: What if Gwen had stopped Rebecca's plot to frame Theresa for the tabloid leak?
She'd done it.
She'd watched the man she loved marry another woman.
Gwen chuckled to herself and she wasn't sure if it was from grief or madness.
The blonde glanced around to make sure no one had seen her and was unsurprised to find they hadn't.
She was sitting alone by the open bar and all eyes were focused on the two glowing couples in the center of room. The newly married couples were having their first dance, swaying and gazing at each other lovingly.
Glancing over at Sheridan and Luis, Gwen felt her eyes stinging.
Sheridan could certainly pass for a princess tonight, her newly married glow rivaling the brightest of stars. The Crane heiress donned a stunning white gown that showed off her slender arms. The gown pinched her waist and flowed out around her; her new husband was just as dashing in a matching white tuxedo.
They were just as beautiful as Gwen dreamed, she and Ethan would be on their special day.
Sheridan and Luis stared into each other's eyes as they danced around the room, almost as if they were the only people in the room.
But they weren't.
Reluctantly, the blonde looked over at the other happy couple dancing around the room.
Ethan was undeniably handsome in his dark tuxedo, smiling brightly with her in his arms. Her long dark hair was piled into a bun atop her head. Gwen had to admit her dress was beautiful, accented with lace sleeves and a wide flowing skirt. Ethan looked as happy as she'd ever seen him as he twirled around the dance floor again and again with her.
Had he smiled that wide when he held her?
Had his eyes shined quite as brightly?
Gwen shook her head and downed the last of her drink. It didn't matter. He'd chosen to be with her. After all the years they'd spent together, after all the plans they'd made he chose her.
The blonde heard her laughter and looked up to find that Ethan had pulled her bun loose, letting her long dark hair flow around her as he held her close.
"Save it for the honeymoon!", Chad yelled, and the room erupted in laughter.
It was all too much and suddenly Gwen felt the tears coming. She quietly fled through a side door.
The blonde breathed shakily for a few moments trying to pull herself together; as the night air filled her lungs and she calmed slightly.
Gwen tried telling herself that she'd done the right thing by stopping her mother from going through with the tabloid scandal. It was bad enough that they'd exposed Ethan's paternity. Even after everything he'd done to her Gwen couldn't bear to hurt him anymore than she already had.
She couldn't believe how low she'd sunk in the battle for Ethan's heart, she'd lost sight of who she was.
Gwen shook her head as she looked up into the night sky. Her mother had been so sure that once Ethan's paternity was exposed she would find the next rich guy to cling to. But she hadn't. She'd dug her heels in harder and vowed to love him no matter his last name. And it seemed that Ethan had fallen even more in love with her. If it weren't for Sheridan Gwen would've left Harmony months ago.
"God I'm pathetic", she laughed wiping her tears.
"No, you're not", a voice said startling Gwen.
The blonde turn to find her best friend behind her.
"Sheridan? How did you- "
The bride held up her gown to show her bare feet.
"I ditched the heels after my last tango."
Gwen have her a half smile.
"I'm sorry I asked you to come", the Crane heiress said moving closer to her friend. "I was being selfish not realizing how painful- "
"It's fine", Gwen interrupted rubbing her arms. "Now that I've seen them in action maybe my heart can finally understand that Ethan and I are really over."
Sheridan closed the distance between them and took the blonde in her arms.
"It's not fine. None of what happened to you is fine! It's painful and it's heartbreaking, believe me I've been there."
Gwen clung to her friend and let the tears she'd been holding all night flow.
"I found Luis right after my biggest heartbreak", Sheridan as she rubbed Gwen's back "I was so sure Jean Luc was the one and we were going to live happily ever after."
Sheridan pulled back from the hug and wiped Gwen's' cheeks.
"But honey he wasn't. Now I'm not comparing my situation to yours, I'm just saying that everything happens for a reason. I know it hurts now but it could've have been worse."
"What could have been worse than this Sheridan?", the blonde asked sniffing.
"You could've married him, she replied. "You could've married Ethan and spent the rest of your life in that crazy love triangle. At least now you're free and you have the chance to make your life whatever you want it to be".
The two women stood quietly as Gwen tried to absorb the gravity of Sheridan words.
"Thank you", she finally said staring at the new bride. "Thank you for everything Sheridan. Tomorrow I'll be on a plane to New York and I think it'll be the beginning of a fresh start for me. You should go and enjoy your reception, I'm sure Luis is looking for you."
"He can wait", the Crane heiress scoffed watching her friend closely. "He stepped on my foot at the end of that last tango."
Gwen chuckled at Sheridan's blatant attempt to cheer her. The two women hugged again.
"Promise you'll stay in touch with me", Sheridan demanded. "I mean it Gwen".
"Of course, I will and you can always come visit me in New York."
"I will and you can come visit me here in Harmony too." Sheridan offered. "I'm serious. Who knows how things will be a year from now."
"Go enjoy your reception Sheridan", Gwen said. "I'll let you know when I've made it to New York."
The two women exchanged hugs and I love yous and then Sheridan Crane Lopez-Fitzgerald went back to the happiest night of her life.
As Gwen drove home she thought back to Sheridan plea. She frowned and gripped the steering wheel tighter. She loved Sheridan dearly, but she had no intention of returning to Harmony, ever.
The following morning the blonde beauty boarded her plane to New York, having left her tearful mother behind. Rebecca Hotchkiss was still intent on becoming the next Mrs. Crane and her daughter wished her good luck.
Gwen, on the other hand, had no intention on wasting her life on a man who was in love with someone else. She'd take her rightful place as heiress to her fathers' company and work through her pain. She'd put herself first and not focus on happily ever after right now.
Hell, she didn't know if it even existed anymore.
A few hours later Gwen Hotchkiss was making her way through the airport to her waiting car.
"Excuse me. Excuse me miss", -a voice called startling Gwen.
"Yes?", the blonde turned around frowning.
"You dropped something", a handsome man said holding out a folded piece of paper
Gwen took note of his dark brown hair and hazel eyes as she warily took the paper.
Jared Casey 866-567-5412, she read
Gwen looked up at the smiling man and raised her brow before turning away.
"Are you going to call?", he asked as she began to walk away.
"Maybe", she replied not turning back. "I have to find someone first".
Gwen stuffed the paper into her purse and continued to her destination, missing the confusion on the man's face.
Maybe once her heart began to heal, she'd give him a call.
But first she had to find someone she'd lost in all the madness of the past year.
Before she could be anything to anyone again, she had to find Gwen.