DISCLAIMER: NCIS and its characters are the property of CBS, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Title and summary from the Leonard Cohen song "Dance Me to The End of Love."
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

When the Witnesses are Gone
By Geonn


Here they come now, down the stone steps of the church. I back up a step and hit the side of a car, turning and glaring at the machine as if it got in my way on purpose. I lift the camera and snap a few photos of the happy bride and groom, bemoaning the fact that no one throws rice anymore. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's bad for the birds. But as a wedding photographer, this bubble crap is really killing the mood. Rice had a presence, a feel. Bubbles... blah.

The bride and groom are in the limo now and I'm all but done. I reload the camera for one last shot of the limo pulling away, hating to waste an entire roll for just one shot but knowing the bride will rip me a new one if I miss this chance. So I snap the photo and I'm left with 26 exposures. I go walking, abandoning the church and searching for anything photo-worthy.

There's a red robin on a tree branch. Some rosebuds are in bloom. I turn the corner and find myself in the courtyard in front of the public library. There's a crowd milling about, mostly students in various stages of panic due to one deadline or another. In the center of the steps, two women draw my attention.

One is dressed in classic Goth attire; big heavy biker boots, a short black skirt, knee-high socks and a black t-shirt. Her face is pale, her jet black hair tied in twin ponytails. The woman she's holding hands with is her polar opposite. Straight brown hair, sensible shoes and a comfortable-looking suit ensemble.

The 'normal' one is laughing, pulling on the Goth's hands. It's not an honest attempt to get away; I get the feeling she could escape if she really wanted to. The Goth moves closer and leans in to bury her face in the other woman's hair. The other woman laughs loud enough for me to hear it and turns to kiss her partner's lips.

I bring the camera up and snap a few photos. I get the entire shot; the stone steps, the crowd standing around and not noticing, the clinging of hands on Sensible-Shoes' back. I wind the film, watching as Goth pulls away from the kiss. Her black-painted lips move as she says something to Sensible Shoes and they both laugh. Another kiss and Sensible Shoes breaks it this time. She looks around nervously, her head slightly ducked down as if to avoid being noticed. I gather this is their first public display of affection and Goth is much more at ease with it than Sensible Shoes is.

I snap some more photos, hoping to use the surrounding shots to form a panoramic view of the library courtyard. I snap a few more photos of the women as they walk away, holding hands and occasionally bumping shoulders. I wonder who they are, which one of them leads when all the witnesses are gone. Is Sensible Shoes more aggressive in the privacy of their bedroom? Does Goth become shy and awkward?

I take another picture as they walk away down the street, the tree branches hanging heavy with freshly-budding rosebuds stretching out above their heads. I wind the film and start walking again. Only three more shots before this roll of film is filled. I look over my shoulder and see that Goth and Sensible Shoes are already gone.

All-in-all, not a bad way to finish off a roll of film.

The End

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