Popping the Question
Just a quick one off of Liam helping his best bro, Jaal, prepare to pop the big question.
“Nervous?” Liam grinned at the fidgeting angara who was sitting on the other end of the couch fussing with his rofjin.
Jaal drew in a deep breath, stilled his hands, and exhaled slowly. “I admit,” he confessed, “I am feeling a bit apprehensive.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be.” Liam leaned over from where he sat and punched the other man lightly on the arm. “We’ve gone over this scenario a hundred times. You’re going to be fine. It’ll all work out, you’ll see. You love her, don’t you?”
“Of, of course I do,” Jaal stuttered, looking slightly offended that Liam would even have to ask him such a question. “Have I not made it clear that my very heart beats for her? That I want nothing more than to remain by her side for the rest of my days?”
“Perfectly clear,” Liam chuckled. “And believe me, the feeling is mutual. Ryder lights up like a Christmas tree every time you walk into the room.”
Jaal looked confused, his mouth turning down at the corners. “Christmas…tree?”
“Never mind,” Liam waved off the question. “I’ll explain it to you later. The point is, you have nothing to worry about. She’s as smitten with you as you are with her. With things beginning to settle down with the Kett and the new colonies up and running, it’s time to look toward the future, you know? Make a home. Make a life…preferably one that doesn’t involve being shot at and traipsing around inside of Remnant vaults.”
Jaal nodded, “I suppose…I suppose you are right. I just…I want this moment to be as perfect as she is.”
“And it will be,” the human man assured. “Everything has been arranged just like you wanted it. I saw to it myself.”
Jaal let out a relieved sigh. “You…are a good friend.”
“I try my best. Which reminds me…” Liam leaned over the arm of the couch and dug around inside of a bag, pulling out a small, black box. “Here,” he pressed it into the other man’s hands. “I went ahead and picked this up for you…well…technically for Ryder.”
Jaal’s face lit up. Excited, he cracked open the box. His large, blue eyes drank in the sight of the small jeweled band nestled within. With slightly trembling fingers, he plucked the ring from its velvet confines to examine it closer. He’d come up with the design himself after learning that humans exchanged jewelry with one another as a symbol of their commitment and he’d wanted to give Ryder something as unique as she was. The angara had no such custom but if it was a part of his Darling One’s culture, he wanted to honor it, to show her the depth of his devotion in a way she was familiar with and would understand.
The blue and purple swirled stone he’d had harvested from his home planet of Havarl glittered from within its silvery setting, reminding him of the vastness of space his love had crossed to come into his life. He felt a smile tug at his lips. It was more than he had expected. Flawless. Almost as beautiful as the woman he hoped would soon be wearing it. His heart stuttered happily in his chest at the thought.
“Well?” Liam pressed, “Its good right?”
“Mmm,” Jaal rumbled. “It is perfect.”
“You want to run through it one more time?”
“Yes,” Jaal nodded. He felt slightly more confident with the ring actually in his hands. “If you do not mind.”
“Sure thing. So,” Liam pushed himself up off of the couch to stand. “From the top then. Just take a deep breath, relax, and pretend that I’m Ryder. You’ve got this.”
“Right. I can do that.” Jaal nodded and also rose from his seat and approached the other man. He closed his eyes for a moment, picturing his beloved in his mind and instantly felt more at peace. More centered. He opened his eyes and gingerly took Liam’s hands into his own, imagining his love’s small, soft hands in their place. Yes. He could do this.
“Sara,” the angara began, swiftly taking a knee as Liam had advised him was traditionally custom for one asking their other half for their hand in marriage. “My heart and my soul, I feel as though I have always loved you…”
At that moment, without warning, the door to Liam’s little sanctuary slid open. Gil, the ship’s resident engineer, came striding in. “Hey, just came to invite you two to…poker…tonight…uh…” Gil blinked. The sight of the crisis specialist seemingly being proposed to by their angaran crew mate, ring and all, stunned him silent for a moment. “I can, uh, I can come back later. Sorry, uh, sorry to interrupt…”
Liam and Jaal stared after the man as he turned swiftly on his heel and disappeared back out the way he had come. Liam looked amused. Jaal’s expression, however, ran more along the lines of acute distress.
The human burst out laughing at the angara’s distraught look, “Better get a move on, mate, if you want to keep the element of surprise. With Gil’s mouth, I give it about a half hour before the whole crew knows something is up. You don’t want him blabbing to the Pathfinder.”
“Shit,” came Jaal’s muttered reply as he quickly rose to his feet and straightened himself. Just like that, the nervous fluttering filled his stomach once more.