Author's Note: This moment comes about 3/4 of the way through the series finale, 'Til Death Do Us Part, part 1.
The Home Front: Lou
Lou could barely feel her feet. She clenched and unclenched her hand around Jesse’s forearm. She’d thought she’d gotten over all her pre-wedding nerves a couple weeks back, after talking with that dressmaker in Seneca, Emmett in Fenton, even Rachel last night while waiting for Kid to return. But they were back. With a vengeance.
The doors in front of her started to open with an ominous sounding creak. She gulped back her fear. She could do this. She wanted to do this. She loved Kid with every fiber of her being. There was nothing she wanted more than to have him by her side for the rest of their lives.
“It was the idea of doin’ somethin’ ye’d have ta live with fer the rest of yer life that scared me,” Emmett had told her. “Funny. All of that just disappeared, soon as I said… ‘I do’.”
He’d been right about the first part. She just prayed he was also right about the rest. Because all she wanted to do at this moment was to break and race for the barn and Lightning and freedom. And then, it was too late.
The doors swung wide, and she found herself staring down that long, long aisle at the Kid, surrounded by their brothers. Well, most of them. They’d tried to get Jeremiah and Teresa here, but the nuns wouldn’t let them go until they saw the marriage certificate. And Emma was too close to delivering her first child for her and Sam to come. But all the rest of their family was here.
Suddenly, the idea of taking that first step forward wasn’t quite so scary. Just as each step toward the woman she was today had been a little easier with their help, their support.
She felt a slight tugging at her arm and looked down to realize Jesse was trying to urge her forward. She looked back up with a shy smile as she took that first slow, hesitant step forward.
Her eyes scanned the church, surprised at the number of townsfolk who’d showed up for her wedding. Her gaze stuttered when it reached Teaspoon.
You’re beautiful, Teaspoon mouthed.
Moving on, she caught Kid’s eyes and then it all clicked into place. She wondered what she’d ever been afraid of. She fought to keep her smile demure and ladylike when she really felt like grinning like one of the boys after breaking a troublesome mustang. Keeping her gaze locked on Kid’s, she stepped forward with growing confidence. Yes. This was where she was meant to be. She could almost feel his arms around her, celebrating her homecoming after a long run. It took all she had not to race to the end of the aisle, tripping over her skirts with every step, to leap into his embrace.
The sound of the church doors once again swinging roughly open interrupted the organ music rudely. Turning to see who would be so crass, Lou caught sight of Jimmy bursting through the entrance, an unfamiliar woman close on his heels.
He pushed his hat back off his head and smiled at her. “I hope… you two don’t mind if I join you.”
She smiled. No. She didn’t mind. Her homecoming wouldn’t have been complete if one of her brothers had been missing. Reaching out, she slipped her free arm through his and turned back to face her future. It no longer held any fear for her. The future wasn’t anything strange or scary. It was simply a home she hadn’t explored yet.