The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

by Mary Ruth Morris

Chapter 1- The Proposal
Most of the Homicide team was at banquet hall putting the finishing touches on the decorations. Both Mare and Olga were helping out. It was going to be a big celebration- Gee's anniversary of 20 years on the force. Olga and Munch were putting up streamers while Kay told the band where to set up and Mike helped Mare put the food she had prepared into the large refrigerators in the kitchen. "You think you made enough?" Mike asked as he held five large Tupperware containers in his arms. "God I hope so," Mare said. She looked at Mike with a worried look on her face, "What if there's not enough..." "It will be fine. You made enough for an army. Now take these things, my arms are getting numb," he laughed. Mare smiled. Finally Mike was getting back to normal. He had gone to a police convention the previous weekend with Tim Bayliss and John Munch and when he got back he was moody and was always underfoot. Mare put all of the containers in the 'fringe and Mike took her hand and walked out to the hall. Munch had Olga laughing so hard that she was having a hard time with the tape, and for some reason Brodie was video taping everyone. "What is he doing?" Mike asked. "He's making a tape for Gee- to show him how much work we put into the celebration. I think its a nice idea." Kay rushes over to them, "OK- I'm going back to the precinct. You guys coming? Do you need a lift?" "Mike does. I have to get to the office and catch up on some work. Is that OK Bear?" Mare asked turning to Mike. "Yeah, no problem. See you later Sugar," and he kissed her quickly on the mouth and was gone with an "I love you," called over his shoulder as he followed Kay to her car. Mare turned to Olga and Munch who were still trying to get the streamers to look normal. She shook her head. "Do you guys have any idea what you're doing?" "Well Mare..." Munch says in his sarcastic tone, "It looks to me like we're hanging streamers." "Don't be a smart ass Munch," Mare said, trying to keep the laughter out of her voice. "OK, then I'll be a dumb ass." That was it. Both Mare and Olga were roaring with laughter. "I've gotta get to the office. I'll see you guys tonight. Brodie, keep an eye on them!" And with that she was off. "Look who she's asking," Munch said. Poor Brodie pretended not to hear. The office was alive with energy. Everyone was looking forward to the evening ahead of them. Everyone except Gee- and that was only because he had no clue that there was to be a party in his honor that night. And Kellerman was being antagonistic to everyone who looked at him sideways. "What is your god-damn problem man?" Lewis asked. "What are you talking about?" "You've been bitchy ever since you got back from the convention. What's wrong? You didn't have a good time?" "Forget the fucking convention," he paused, "It has nothing to do with that." "Well whatever it has to do with, suck it in and put your happy face on-we have a body to go see." And the two partners were out the door and heading to the crime scene. Munch and Olga came in to tell Kay that everything was ready and so that Olga could see her man- Tim Bayliss. "Hey Sweetie, you miss me?" she asked as she came up behind him and put her arms around his waist. He turned around and smiled down at her. She was smiling and that drove him wild. Everything she did drove him wild. "Olga! I'm so glad you're here. Frank and I are going to grab some lunch do you want to join us?" "I'd love to!" Olga loved Tim's partner, Frank Pembleton. He seemed so tough and cantankerous but Olga knew he really had a heart of gold. She loved going with Tim to visit Frank and his family. His wife, Mary, was fun to be around, and his adorable daughter Olivia was so cute and she loved the look Tim got in his eyes when he was playing with the toddler. "We'll have that some day," she always thought. Frank ambled by, "You coming or what? I'm starving dammit. Oh hi Olga!" he lightened his tone and smiled at his partner's girlfriend, "You coming with us?" "As a matter of fact I am," and Olga linked her arms through both Frank and Tim's and they headed to the Waterfront for burgers and shakes. Gee came out of his office. "Where the hell is everybody? Munch- where's Bayliss and Frank?" "They just left for the Waterfront and they didn't invite me the bastards." "This isn't a god-damn lunch club! What about Kellerman and Lewis?" "No idea." "Why am I not surprised. Kay! Where's Kay?" Gee bellowed. "Right here boss," Kay said as she came out of the ladies room. "I need you and Munch to go over to the DA's office and get that search warrant Danvers promised me 3 hours ago!" Kay was reluctant for a second but knew she had to suck it in. "OK Gee. No problem. C'mon Munch." Lewis and Kellerman drove back to the precinct after gathering their evidence and questioning witnesses. It was a pretty *open and shut* case but the two detectives liked to be thorough so they would start officially investigating once Julianna Cox got her report to them. "So are you going to tell me what has your briefs in a twist? What's going on? You and Mare aren't fighting again are you 'cause..." "Mare and I are fine dammit. Stop being so god-damn nosy!" Kellerman snapped. "I'm just saying that you have a really good thing with her. She puts up with your crap..." "Hey, I said stop being nosy Lewis!" "Mike- man. Calm down! I'm on your side. If there something I can do..." "There's nothing anyone can do because nothings wrong." "Okay- whatever." ***Later that night...Mare and Mike's boat. Mare was hurrying around. She had to get to the banquet hall early to put the food out. Mike was buttoning his shirt and watching her run her fingers through her shoulder length auburn hair. He walked over behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. She smiled at him in the mirror. "You almost ready my Bear?" "I just have one last thing to do." And he turned her around and kissed her passionately. "Hey, what was that for? Not that I'm complaining or anything." Mike looked deeply into her eyes. He let go of her and walked over to the bed and picked up his dinner jacket. "Do I need a reason to kiss my Sugar?" "No of course not." "Good," and he kissed her again- only this time on the cheek. "We better get to the hall," he said as he took her hand and led her out of the bedroom and off the boat to the car. On the way over Mike was very quiet. Mare looked over at him and marveled at how handsome he was. "He's mine. He's all mine," she thought with a smile. She reached over and messaged his shoulder. He looked across at her and smiled. "I love you my Bear," Mare said with a smile. As if to answer her Mike turned on the turn signal and pulled over. He put the car in neutral and pulled Mare into his arms and kissed her passionately. "I love you so much Mare," he said between kisses. He continued to kiss her and then suddenly pulled away. Silently, he put the car in gear and pulled back on to the road. Mare could only stare at him in confusion. That was twice now that he stopped before things "got going". She was worried now. Meanwhile... Tim and Olga were getting into their car and heading to the party. Tim looked across at her. She was wearing a deep green tank dress with satin trim. She had pulled her hair up and when she walked past him in the hall he could smell her perfume: Lancome's Tresor. It took all his will power not to grab her and make love to her right there in the middle of the hall. (Although- Olga wouldn't have minded!) They chatted on the way to the party. Kay was going to be bringing Gee in less than an hour so they all had to be there. "This is going to be a blast," Tim said, "and I get to spend the entire evening with the most beautiful woman there." "Oh you shut up," Olga said with a laugh. "I'm serious! I can't believe that I am engaged to such a great lady!" Olga smiled at him. She loved Tim so much. She thought back to the previous month when Tim proposed. It was weird. She hadn't been expecting it but she knew the day would come when she and Tim would decide to marry. She just didn't expect it 6 months after she had moved to Baltimore. Everyone in the precinct seemed to be having problems in their relationships. Lewis and Barbara had had a blow-out in the break room; Munch had just broken up with his latest girlfriend and was being his usual philosophical self; Brodie was mooning over Kay; and even Mare and Mike were bickering over the most inane things. But she and Tim were holding strong. One night she came home from work to find a candlelit dinner waiting for her and Tim pouring champagne. "What's this?" she had asked as she put down her briefcase. "I thought it would be nice to have a little time to ourselves?" "We always do though." "But nothing really special. I wanted tonight to be more than us falling asleep while watching Letterman." Olga looked at Tim sideways. He was up to something but what? She found out during dinner. Tim kept staring at her and she was starting to get self-conscious. "What? Tim, you're making me nervous. What's going on in that head of yours?" Tim stood up and walked over to her. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a small box. Getting down on one knee and opening the box at the same time he asked her what she had been waiting for her whole life: "Olga, will you marry me?" Olga was stunned. She started to cry and nod at the same time. "Yes. Yes, I'll marry you." Tim took her left hand and placed the ring- a beautiful diamond solitaire- on her ring finger. It fit like a glove. Then he gathered her in his arms and kissed her passionately. He had never been that happy in all his life. Olga awoke from her revelry to find them at the party. "Ready Sweetheart," Tim asked as he held the door and his hand out to her. Olga took his hand and smiled. She got out of the car and kissed him squarely on the mouth. "That's just a preview of what's to come later," she whispered in his ear. All Tim could do was grin like an idiot. Tim, Mike, Frank, Barbara and Meldrick sat at their table. Brodie was taping the festivities, Munch was at the bar, and Mare, Mary and Olga were in the kitchen arranging the food on platters. "Mary, this is sweet of you to help out but you should be out with Frank- you guys never get to 'let loose'," Mare smiled at her. "Girl, Frank and I 'let loose' all the time," and with a wicked grin she added, "We just don't 'let loose' in our car in the precinct parking lot!" Olga and Mare looked at Mary then at each other and the three of them started to roar with laughter. "Ohmigod! Who told you?" Olga squealed, blushing three shades of red. "Olga Honey- if you're going to do the 'nasty' with Tim in the parking lot at least make sure John Munch isn't around." The three friends continued to laugh. Mare took a platter of crackers and minted spinach dip out to the party. She looked over at the precinct's table. Mike was watching her intently. "There's something on your mind Bear, and I wish you would share it with me," she thought to herself. After all the food was out and it looked like everyone was there- not just the Homicide Unit but also old friends of Gee's who had traveled to share in his celebration- Mare, Olga, and Mary went to sit with their friends and await Gee and Kay's arrival. The table was alive with conversation. Meldrick and Barbara were getting along for once, and Tim was in an animated conversation with Olga and Mary. Frank and Mare were chatting about a movie they had both recently seen- Mare loved it and Frank hated it- so of course he was trying to change her mind! Mike remained quiet and lost in his thoughts. He held Mare's hand under the table and every once in a while he would give it a squeeze. Mare would look up every time and smile and/or lean over and give him a kiss on the cheek. Finally the guest of honor arrived. Gee was taken aback and very moved by the celebration given in his honor. "Congrats Gee! You made it man- 20 years on the force! Woohoo!" Tim yelled. Gee went around to everyone and thanked them. He was so honored. Later at the buffet table he raved about the food. "This dip is excellent! And this shrimp thing is 'to die for'. You guys didn't have to cater!" "Mare made everything Gee," Munch said. "Really? Where is she?" Gee looked around the banquet hall and spotted Mare talking with Frank and Mary. Mike was by her side. He walked over and gave her a big bear hug. "Mare, you are the sweetest. I love the food!" he turned to Mike, "Kellerman, you are one lucky guy." Mike grinned, "I know Gee." The band started to play and the festivities really started. Everyone was out on the dance floor having a great time. Gee and Kay were jiving all over the place with Kay's wild red hair flying around her. Brodie was in awe (as usual). Mike didn't feel like dancing so Mare was up with Mary and Frank. Then with Munch. Finally a slow song came on and Mare went over to Mike. "C'mon, I need to hold my Bear," she said as she led him out to the dance floor. He took her in his arms and held on tight. It was one of their favorite songs- "Your Song" by Elton John and Mare was completely content as she looked around her. Frank and Mary were stealing kisses while they were dancing and Tim and Olga- Mare timed it and they didn't come for air for at least a minute! She was so happy for them getting engaged. And so soon too! Mare didn't think she and Mike would tie the knot for a while- if ever. Mike was gun-shy after his tempestuous marriage to Annie- Or as Mare called her- "The Mattress". But marriage certificate or not, Mare loved Mike and knew that he loved her too. It would take nothing short of death to separate them. Mare kissed Mike lightly on the neck and whispered in his ear, "Are you having fun?" Mike looked at her and dropped his arms from around her waist and took her hand. "Lets get some air." And he led her from the dance floor out into the Baltimore night. It was early spring but there was still some cold in the air. They were quiet as they walked and when they reached the park, Mike stopped and pulled Mare into his arms, kissing her with every once of his strength. "I love you so much Sugar," he breathed into her hair. "I love you too my Bear," Mare smiled at him. She was so happy she could burst. "I've never known anyone like you before. I want us to always be together," Mike said as he held both of her hands. "We will be Mike," Mare said as she kissed him on the nose. Mike smiled and got down on his knees. Mare figured he wanted to make love there in the park, "Hell, we did it in the parking lot, why not here?" she thought. But Mike had other plans. He looked up at her and clearing his throat, asked, "Mary Ruth Ella Morris, will you marry me?" Mare was in shock. She never saw THAT coming. For one of the few times in her life she was speechless. Mike took this as a bad sign. "You don't want to do you?" Mare came out of her trance and looked down at him. She smiled and then got on her knees so that she could be eye level with him. "Yes! Yes, I do! Michael Scott Kellerman I'll marry you any day of the week and twice on Sunday!!" That's all Mike needed to hear. "Everything is alright," he thought, "She said 'yes', now I can put everything out of my mind. Nothing else matters!" Mike pulled Mare into a tight embrace and hugged her and kissed every inch of her face and neck. He stopped suddenly and looked at her with a worried expression, "Mare, Honey, I didn't get you a ring." Mare smiled through her tears, "Honey, I don't need a ring! I have you! That's all I want!" "The hell you don't!" Mike said as he stood up and pulled her up behind him, "Tomorrow- we're going shopping and I'm going to buy you the most beautiful ring in Baltimore!" Mare shook her head at him and smiled, "I love you my Bear." "I love you too Sugar." And they headed back to the party, kissing and promising to fool around later when they got back to the boat. They walked in and headed back to the dance floor where everyone was starting to fall into another waltz. This time to "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion. Mike turned to his fiancee, "May I have this dance, Mrs. Kellerman?" "Oooh I like the sound of that!" Mare giggled as she let Mike pull her in. Tim and Olga sashayed their way over to them, "Where have you two been? We've been looking for you for the past hour? Mare- Some woman wants to talk to you about the food. She loves it and wants you to cater for her," Olga said excitedly. "Well, I don't know about that. I'll have to ask my fiancee what he thinks," Mare said with a smile. Olga and Tim looked at Mike and Mare in awe, "What?" Tim asked. Mike and Mare looked at each other and smiled. "We're engaged!" they said in unison. "Ohmigod!!" Olga squealed as she hugged them both and Tim shook Mike's hand and kissed Mare on the cheek. "This calls for a toast," Tim said. "No Tim. Its Gee's night," Mare said. "OK, OK," Tim said. But he and Olga grinned at each other. Within the hour, unbeknownst to Mike and Mare, everyone knew that they were engaged.Frank called a toast and they thought it was for Gee. "OK- I have only a few things to say," Frank said. "Thank God!" Munch said loud enough for everyone to hear. "I'd like to congratulate a man on the homicide team. He's a great guy- although sometimes I don't always agree with him. But tonight- I realize that he is not only a great guy- but a lucky one. He's got a great job and an even better woman at his side. Mike and Mare congratulations!" Everyone turns to them and Mare and Mike are aghast. Before they know it half the precinct is hugging them. "I'm going to kill Bayliss," Mike said. But he was smiling. Mare was just as happy. ***Later on... "Gee, We're sorry- this is YOUR night!" Mare said as she danced the samba with him. "Hey! I'm glad there's somebody else to help me keep Kellerman in line! Don't worry about tonight. There's no on else I'd rather share this day with than you and Mike." "Thanks Gee," Mare smiled at him. Kay and Mike sambaed over to them and Mike asked, "You're getting a little close to my fiancee don't ya think Gee?" "She's too beautiful to not be dancing Kellerman," Gee said with a smile. "Mind if we trade?" Mike said, smiling at Mare. She was smiling back. "Hey! What am I chopped liver?" Kay asked with a smile. "C'mon Kay- I'll dance with ya!" Mare said with a laugh. And the two women started dancing. Gee and Mike started to laugh at them- Two of the most stubborn women trying to dance and both trying to lead! "She does that to me too!" Mike said. When Mare and Kay were finished giggling and trying unsuccessfully to bossa nova they went back to Gee and Mike. "Can I have this dance?" Mike asked Mare with a smile. "For the rest of your life," Mare grinned back.

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