My first contribution to Ransom Week; a Nurseyrans piece centered around the prompt “Engaged”
The ring on his finger was extremely noticeable the next morning. Justin held his hand up so that he could really look at it; it was a solid gold band with emeralds set in it all the way around. It felt heavy; not because of the material, but because of the weight of what it meant to him now. It wasn’t just some ring he was going to be wearing; it was the ring Derek’s mother had given his father when they had been married.
Justin’s mind went back to the night before, their simple evening that changed the course of their lives forever.
“Nothing big,” Justin asked of Derek when he came in from the hospital. He was supposed to be on vacation now, otherwise he would overwork himself.
“No idea what you’re talking about,” Derek grinned, draping himself over Justin, who was sitting on their couch. This apartment was theirs; had been for almost six years now. It had seen a lot from the two of them, unsurprisingly, from their biggest fights to Justin’s residency to the publishing of Derek’s first novel. It was their home.
Somehow it made sense to Justin that Derek would propose to him here, away from prying eyes, in their little home, that had seen them through so much.
“Nothing big,” Justin has said, but Derek had already planned one of the biggest things yet. When they were pressed together, watching Grey’s Anatomy (so Justin could point out the points that were realistic and the ones that were clearly fictional, mainly, it was a pastime for them), Derek quietly took Justin’s hand in his own, and the next thing Justin knew, there was a ring on his finger, and a story on Derek’s lips.
“Before my dad went off to Iraq he gave me this, told me to keep it safe for the person I wanted to marry,” he murmured, “I had to get it taken down a size, and the huge emerald that was in the middle had to come off. But last month I…”
Derek shrugged, looking up at Justin, who was still too shocked for words. “I looked at you, covered in spit and vomit and all that other nasty shit, laughing at whatever Holster said, and I wanted to. Right then. I wanted to marry you.”
His chill was failing him, Justin could tell, he was getting more and more nervous, wondering if what he was doing was right. Justin could always tell when Derek was starting to panic. It had taken a while to grow accustomed to and he couldn’t always see the signs in the beginning but now he was so attuned to his boyfriend it was easy to see when Derek was becoming unsure.
“You think your dad would have liked me?” Justin asked as he brought his gaze up from the ring to Derek’s eyes. He saw the relief there before it flooded Derek’s features. Derek pressed himself closer to Justin, giving him a small, chaste kiss.
“He would have loved you.”
And Justin truly believed that.
His belief in it and the movement at his side brought him back to the present. Derek shifted so that he was nearly on top of Justin, his face pressed into Justin’s neck. Justin smiled and brought his hand down so that it rested in Derek’s hair.
The sun glinted off the band around his finger; a promise, reminder, and engagement all at once.