It wasn't a church, or a barn or even anything remotely indoors.
There was grass, and flowers and an arch way above them.
There was a field, but no butterflies and no mints. Nothing the barn back in Seattle had.
The lady at the office had suggested the place, citing that they seemed happy and April's admission that she wanted a field wedding had triggered the elder woman into dragging them out onto a field in the middle of a beautiful resort.
It was windy, but the sunshine overtook the breeze and the goosebumps running up the bride's arms weren't from the cool air.
They were doing this. She was doing this, with the right man.
"Are you ready?"
They had nodded, his hands on her waist over the now worn-in wedding dress, her feet nervously tapping against the blades of grass.
"More than ever."
She had stood beside him, letting the wet leaves moisten her gown. She takes a breath, hands shaking before he takes on, holding it and holding her, claiming her as his.
Her veil had been abandoned somewhere along the way from Seattle to Lake Tahoe, and her hair was beginning to fall from her braid, the twelve hour drive having taken a toll on her appearance. But he had reassured that she was still her, and still beautiful, and he still wanted to marry her more than anything.
His jacket had disappeared, probably in his car, maybe back at the resort.
Thankfully they offer quick and short weddings, with assured legality and a glorious honeymoon suite. Expensive, deluxe, but his credit card doesn't have a limit and he'll give her everything she deserves.
Rolling up the sleeves of his shirt, he digs into his pocket to retrieve the rings they'd purchased somewhere a couple of hours away. Hers was silver, his was gold. Similar in a way and yet slightly different, a little like them.
She accepts the ring from him, biting her lip when he grins, green eyes alight and focus on her own. She'll never grow bored of this, of him.
"Do you have any vows, or-"
"Yes." April cuts the minister slash manager off, eyes wide as she glances over to him.
Her hands twitch and she smiles, licking her lips.
"I just- I," she pauses, taking a breath and peeking a look at Jackson, at her right groom, at her very-soon-to-be husband, "I love you. I know you know that, but I- I haven't said it yet and I need to. Because you did and it was beautiful and you deserve to know that I love you too. I do. I love you, Jackson. I always have."
He grins at that, watching she glances down at the grass, breath shaky.
"You're my best friend." She tells him, "I know a lot of people say that, and, you know, say that they're married to their best friend, but you really are. You always have been. You were there for me when I needed you, and you supported me when nobody else would and I can't thank you enough for that."
"Let me finish?" She almost giggles, licking her lips again and brushing a strand of hair behind her ear, "I'm not done." She grins, a soft blush covering her cheeks, "I am happy that you were you, that you are my first, my everything." She admits, "I love you, and I know I've made some mistakes but I want you to know that I only ever want to be with you, that I will only ever be with you. I love you, and I have missed you, and I want you."
He smiles, that million-dollar grin he always uses to get his way but that never quite managed to work on her. He's happy, and content, and so relieved that she's marrying him and nobody else. He had won, he had prevailed. He had loved.
"I-" He swallows a breath, a small frown gracing his face as he tries to find the words.
They matter, they mean something, and he wants to get them right. Again.
"This is has been a... strange fifteen hours, and I know you're probably tired and want nothing more than to sleep and eat and probably cry a little bit, but- I love you. You know that, and I know that you do because I made a point of telling you that. In a weird way, really, but I didn't see another choice, because I needed you. And I could have sat there and not moved and watched you start your life with someone that wasn't me, but I didn't want to. It was selfish, and wrong, but I think I was meant to do it. I think I was meant to choose you, and you were supposed to choose me. You were always supposed to choose me. And I've never- I've never believed in soulmates or fate or... anything, really, but I believe in this, and in you, and in us. Because I want this. I want to marry you, and to love you, and to make you happy. I want you."
He can see her staring at him in awe, tears down her face and cheeks flushed, and he continues. He'll always continue, always reassure her, always love her.
"I want to be your husband, because I am ready. I'm ready to start my life with you, to have a family with you. I want a life with my best friend and I know that my timing is kinda crappy and we haven't always done things the right way, but I'm sure. I am sure that you are it. That you are meant to be with me. That you are my soulmate. And I'm not a guy who believes in soulmates."
April breaks into a soft laughter then, reaching across to touch him, to cup the sides of his face and drag him closer.
"I love you." She mumbles, forehead pressed to his and eyes teary as she chews on her lip, ring pressed to his flesh.
"Do you?" He grins, sparkly-eyed and proud, rubbing his nose along hers and waiting for the minister to finish this thing already.
He can't wait anymore. He needs her, wants her. He can't wait to kiss her, and hold her tenderly, and touch her in a way that only he ever has. He can't wait for her to be his wife, and to be her husband. He can't wait to love her.
Jackson pulls his head away from her for a quick second, watching as the man beside them quotes and speaks and fails to hide the smirk on his face.
"I now pronounce you-"
It's too late.
April is already kissing him, her husband, her love. Her hands are on his face, eyes closed tight and lips pushed against his in need, in desperation.
They're married and in love, and they've missed each other so much that their only wish is to head up to their sacred honeymoon suite and declare the love, the passion, the need that had been missing for the past year.
"Me and you, right?"
"Me and you." Jackson nods slowly, nibbling on his bottom lip for a second before he grabs her by the waist, pulling her up swiftly and twirling her around as she squeals.
They had done it. She had done it, with the right man. With her perfect man. With her best friend.