With This Ring: A Satire
Author: Summer Reign PM
Grissom and Sara get married. Wedding crashers abound.
Title: With this Ring: A Satire
Author: Summer Reign
Disclaimer: Not mine, it all belongs to CBS. Also, any similarity to any real live person/persona or rumored person/persona is PURELY coincidental. All people herein are imaginary. Really.
Spoilers: Everything. Especially the Episode Which Shall Not Be Named henceforth.
Author's Warning: This is not my usual style but I find it oddly cathartic, slightly amusing, and mostly sad…but, YMMV.
Satire: Artistic form in which human or individual vices, folly, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, sometimes with an intent to bring about improvement.(Concise Encyclopedia)
Traditional. Not a word one would normally associate with Gil Grissom or Sara Sidle. But, that's what they decided. Sort of.
The wedding was, after all, put together in a flash.
There were no gift registries.
No engagement ring (fancy or plain).
No great hall for a reception.
No party favors.
And no guests, for that matter.
But, the ceremony was taking place in a small church with the bride in a knee-length, cream-colored, satin dress and the groom in a dark suit. Costa Rica was more than just a jungle, after all. They did have high-end stores and malls and such.
There were two gold wedding bands, two nuns for witnesses, and flowers—real flowers (because their love was real, so the flowers just couldn't be fake)—and they were everywhere-: not just in Sara's bouquet and Grissom's boutonniere, but adorning the altar and on the end of every pew. It was all so intimate and beautiful. And, that was very much in keeping with Grissom and Sara's relationship, as anyone with a lick of sense would instinctively know.
They listened intently to the priest's words and then it was Grissom's turn. His soft voice echoed through the empty church.
"I, Gilbert, take you, Sara, to be my lawfully wedded wife.
To have and to hold, from this day forward…"
"Stop!" The wedding party of five turned toward the direction of the disturbance. Ten people were bumbling into the church, uninvited. Grissom and Sara both groaned when they saw who they were.
They thought they had ditched them forever.
No such luck.
"Rewrite!" One of the men said…and came barreling down the aisle with red sheets of paper in his hand. He gave one to Grissom and one to Sara…and they both frowned. Then, Grissom's face turned a shade not unlike the one on the sheet before him.
"No," Grissom said, through semi-clenched teeth. "Absolutely not. Call Carol in here."
"She's back in the States. Besides, she approved it."
"Then call him. He's an executive producer…"
"Just a figurehead position now, man. You know that. Come on…say the words, dude. That's the deal. We write 'um, you read 'um. And make it snappy. We got work to do. Got some hash-tags to invent!"
"None of this makes any sense. What…what brings any of this about?"
"Who cares? It just does, okay? Details…they just get in the way." The writer said, waving his hand about like he was chasing an errant gnat.
Gil looked at Sara. She was nothing if not practical. "Say it, Grissom. You know them, they'll probably change their minds before they even leave Costa Rica. It's… probably not as big a deal as it seems. Maybe it's just some stupid joke Carol is playing on us. Let's…just do this and go on with our lives."
He took a deep breath…gave the writers a dirty look, then looked at Sara and began again.
"I, Gilbert, take you, Sara,
to be my lawfully wedded wife.
To have and to hold from this day forward
In sickness…(but not that mental disease that caused your mother to off your father. I know I never told you but I totally buy that murder gene scenario and….really, it's only a matter of time…and I sure don't want to be there when you go postal) and in health (so, you better stay healthy),
For richer (I've been saving my pennies, believe me. I'm about to close the deal on a sweet, sweet house in Vegas. 2.9 mil. It's made primarily of glass which means I won't be throwing stones, but dodging bullets from murderers is not out of the question) or poorer (yeah, right)
To love and to cherish (as long as it doesn't get in the way of bug research and dead things—and, as long as you don't suck face with the first guy who comes along after I stoically set you free, without giving you any reason for doing so)
Till death do us part (And, maybe not even then because…really, a study of your genetic makeup may be proof of that murder gene and, at the very least, would make an excellent paper for the Applied Psychodynamics in Forensic Science magazine. Always a favorite.).
"Geez," the Spokesperson Writer said. "You think HE would approve of that reading? You were supposed to give those additions a little zing, inject some humor in the proceedings. You know. Like, I'm being serious but not really—and yet, it's all true? Cause, weddings are so serious. You kind of just want the groom to drop his drawers or something. You want to run through that again?"
"Fine. But, you know, old Billy Shakespeare isn't going to like it. He's a stage actor, you know."
"Leave him out of it. I read your lines. That's it."
Sara smirked but it wasn't her usual happy or sarcastic expression. This one was kind of a sad, resigned smirk.
"Okay. I guess it's my turn now…
I, Sara, take you, Gilbert,
To be my lawfully wedded husband
To have and to hold from this day forward…until you decide we should have a (she looked down at the paper and grimaced) long-distance relationship?"
"Bastard!" A female voice echoed through the church. The nuns gasped, then shushed her immediately, but she lifted her chin defiantly. "Sara…I feel you, hon! Don't worry. I got your back!"
Sara rolled her eyes.
"In sickness and in health (although I will probably never know if you're sick since I'll rarely see you after these first few months)
For richer (and, man, will I love that house—for a while anyway…because it's perfect for stalkers and plotlines!) or poorer (ditto on that "Ha" thing!)
To love and to cherish (but not enough to find out what is really wrong when you dump me by phone)."
Sara stopped, her eyes filling with tears. She looked at Gil. "Really?"
"Never," he said under his breath.
She sighed and continued, "Till death, or a long-distance relationship gone terribly, terribly wrong…"
"Filthy bastard!" the bitter female yelled out again, while the nuns shushed her even louder. She replied by sticking out her tongue at them. "You're going down," she mouthed at Grissom.
"Do us part…" Sara finished.
The writers rumbled between themselves, and—as a group—stood up. Spokesman Writer came up to them.
"Great. That's a wrap. Carol said we need to work on continuity…so, there you have it. We set up the situation, even if the Great Unwashed out in TV land don't know it. Gotta go now. How's this…'hashtag Team Sara, hashtag Team Grissom?' Awesome, right? Although, Sara…you'll still fall short. You always do. No offense. It's the way you walk or something. Man, I have to remember that in three years. Hashtag Team Grissom! Ha! Someone write that down! Guys…let's go! Gotta catch up on some tweets and see if there is some good…uh…" he looked at the priest for a moment, "….botanicals…for sale in this country."
The writers giggled en masse and made their noisy exit.
Rings were rather dejectedly exchanged and a chaste kiss was shared.
The newly married couple left the Church—and the nuns tsk'ed among themselves—saddened by how crestfallen this previously happy couple looked.
Grissom and Sara sat on a bench in front of the church and just stared into space for a while.
"We should have gone to Antarctica," Sara said.
Grissom shrugged. "Didn't do Mulder and Scully much good, did it?"
"True. I really thought…they'd stay away. We're not even part of the show anymore."
"They must have 'plans.'"
"Why can't they ever be good plans? No, it always has to be serial killers and burn outs and nervous breakdowns."
"Well, I guess it's the nature of the beast. We needed sadists to write about the dark side of life but…when it comes to love, they just can't seem to see beyond the twisted black hell of their souls."
"That's really poetic, Gil."
"Thank you, Mrs. Grissom," he said, trying to lighten the mood.
"'Sidle'… they wouldn't let me take your name. It was in the notes on my copy. Apparently, it's better to keep the name of my abusive murdered father than the filthy bastard who will choose work over me…even though there never is any mention of that in any subsequent scripts. Or so they say. Subtext, you know…"
He sighed. "Subtext used to work in our favor."
"The good old days. Grissom? Why did we get married? It makes no sense, now that we know they are planning on ripping us apart. Actually, the whole darned thing makes no sense. We worked…so hard … for so long. We just angsted and emotionally bled all over the place and…for what?"
"I've had enough drama."
"I've got to make some phone calls. He'll help. He's very invested in our romance."
"They won't listen. Not unless he comes back full time and kicks some ass."
"You know he can't do that."
"He will protect us, though."
She hooked her arm through his and rested her head against his shoulder.
"He may not be able to. And—you know the sad part? In spite of what Botanical Writer said, some people will forget him. Will blame him for everything. And, if it weren't for him—and her…and the chemistry they gave us, those damned sadists wouldn't have anyone to rewrite for. They will ruin his legacy. They will ruin US."
"Sara…they can only try. We still have our ace in the hole. We have the others. They will surely save us. They did it before. Remember the planes? The flood of letters? The balloons?"
She laughed for the first time that day. "The balloons. I forgot about them. To be a fly on the wall of that office…"
Grissom continued…"and, if they can't—for whatever reason—I still have a feeling our legacy will be just fine."
He grinned. "There are writers out there who were not in that church this morning. There are writers who write just for the love of the characters. Just for the love of filling that blank page with something…wonderful. They respect our journey. And they will keep us alive. And together. And give us the happiness these stingy bastards are determined to deny us."
"Positive. They haven't let us down yet," he took her left hand in both of his and put it over his heart. "Whatever we are made to do or say, know…deep down…I belong to you. And always will."
The paid writers, who had been distracted from fully leaving the church grounds after running into a bunch of weeds that they had to further examine… looked over at the sad sack couple on the bench. Botanical Writer was perplexed for a moment, then told the others to pull out their rewrites for the day.
"Why? We're done." Bitter Bastard Yeller in Church Female Writer said.
"No. When Sara returns, she needs to be satisfied and happy. Have a new air about her. One of confidence…security. We need them to be happy for a while. Really happy. Sickeningly happy. We need to lull the audience into believing this shit for…I don't know…a year or two before pulling the wool right out from under them. It will be SO AWESOME! Martyr Sara Returns! Erase their memory of the vows. I don't want them to know what will hit them, either. Serves Grissom right for being so petulant about his lines."
"But, that was the whole reason we came here!" one of the heretofore silent ones said.
"I know, I know. Continuity and all that shit. But, we can't let that stand in the way of the sucker punch. It's gold, man. Think of the reaction! Shit. We will have all their panties in a twist. Coverage in the papers again. Just like the so-called Golden Days. They think those guys were creative. Rambo and all of them! Ha! We'll show them creative. It will be awesome. Erase it, erase it, I say!"
They all talked and argued and looked in pockets and pocketbooks until someone found a #2 pencil with an eraser.
"Done," one of them said, and—as a group—they abandoned the plant that really was a weed—but, not the kind they wanted and went off to see if they could find some Central American….botanicals—because—they enjoyed stereotypes and liked to take advantage of one whenever they could.
Grissom and Sara were sitting on the bench, lulled into an almost stupor-like state.
"I'm wearing a wedding band."
He looked down on his hand. "So, am I."
"I don't remember our wedding. At all. Just…going down the aisle."
"Me, too. Watching you go down the aisle, I mean."
They just stared at each other, neither one of them knowing what to say.
Another group of people—far greater in number—were quietly watching the couple.
One whispered to the group. "We can't have this, you know. It's a travesty."
"Canon, " another said, shaking her head sadly. "Can't go against canon."
"I'm heartbroken," said a third.
"They just…ruined everything," a fourth stated. "Everything."
"Not everything. You know what we have to do."
As a group, they lovingly looked at the couple on the bench. They were witnesses to so many beautiful, subtle moments over the years. Moments that inspired them to take Grissom and Sara to places the paid ones never dreamed of. And they especially remembered that one moment of so much joy, when…at least on the surface…it seemed they were all, finally, on the same page. Every last one of them. Professionals and amateurs.
Yes, they knew what they needed to do. And, as a group, they dug into their purses and pulled out their pads of paper and their pens.
Grissom and Sara grasped hands. Their brand new weddings rings sparkled in the sunlight.
"I, Gil, take you, Sara, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health…to love and to cherish…all the days of my life."
"I, Sara, take you, Gil, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health…to love and to cherish…all the days of my life."
"We now pronounce you husband and wife," one of the new writers wrote. They smiled as they reverently watched the newly married couple kiss and embrace, truly happy again, and then quietly left as Grissom and Sara headed back to the hotel to begin their honeymoon.
They knew they had a rough road ahead of them. Many unexpected twists and turns they would need to fix.
But, no one ever said the job of a fan fiction writer was pretty.
Dedicated to: The awesome people at YTDAW. For campaigns and group therapy. Laughter, tears and everything in between.