"Flynn?" Eve called out when she heard the Annex's front door shut.
"Eve," came his slightly distant reply from down the hall. "Where are you?"
"Main room," she answered, eagerly making her way across the room as his footsteps grew louder. A moment later he appeared at the doorway, his hair in its usual dishevelled state and a warm smile on his face the moment he laid eyes on her. "There you are," she said, hurriedly wrapping her arms around him as relief washed over her.
Though he welcomed the affectionate greeting, Flynn's brows furrowed in mild confusion. Returning the hug he asked, "You okay?"
"I call you a few times and you didn't pick up. Then Jake and Cass tried too and they couldn't get through either," she explained as she took comfort in burrowing into his neck.
"My battery died. I'm sorry," he expressed regretfully. "I didn't mean to scare you." He pressed a light kiss to her temple just before she untangled herself from him.
"It's okay. You're here now." As if beginning to regret her sudden show of emotion, Eve glanced down at the ground and brushed her hair behind her ear, her cheeks blushing slightly. "Sorry," she smiled shyly. "I didn't mean to- I just panicked when I couldn't get hold of you."
"Don't apologise," he said softly, gently brushing back the stubborn lock of hair that had fallen into her face again. "You're allowed to feel like that...I just don't want you to have to." A pang of guilt hit him upon seeing her obvious fear of losing him.
She flashed him an appreciative smile then asked, "So how'd the job go?"
"Oh it wasn't a job job, more of a personal errand, and the place was really busy so it took longer than I anticipated," he explained.
"Oh," Eve simply uttered, mildly surprised. It wasn't like Flynn to run off on an errand in the middle of the day. "Is everything okay?" she found herself asking.
"Yeah of course, hon, don't worry," he assured her. Taking a quick glance around the room and finding Jake leaning over the balcony at the mezzanine with his head buried in a book and Cassandra at one of the desks pretending to do the same but very clearly trying to listen in on the couple's conversation, Flynn motioned to the empty hall behind him and asked, "Could we just..?"
"Hm? Oh!" Eve quickly peered over her shoulder, and understanding that he wanted them to be alone, let him usher her to privacy, his hand on the small of her back.
"Are you sure everything's okay?" she asked once they were alone in the stone corridor of the ancient building.
"Yeah yeah, I just...didn't want an audience for this," he informed her.
Eve's eyes widened as a combination of confusion and panic set in. "Flynn..." she began, wondering where the conversation was going. Before she could say another word Flynn reached into his jacket and pulled out a small navy, velvet box and handed it to her.
"This is what I went to collect. I saw it online but the store here didn't have it but the guy said he could get it for me and would get to him faster than it would be delivered to me..." Flynn mumbled on as Eve stared at the box in her hands.
Slowly she pulled open the lid, revealing a stunning silver necklace a pair of earrings. The pendant, she recognised almost immediately, was shaped like a carnation, its numerous ruffles conveying the flowers' petals, each dotted with tiny diamantes that matched the simple studs that sat above the sparkling piece.
"I know it's only little but I really really wanted you to have it, and soon," the Librarian continued to ramble before Eve finally spoke, cutting him short.
"It's beautiful," she simply said, awe in both her voice and expression.
"I know you keep the flowers I give you," he revealed, making her cheeks turn pink once more. "This one is different, it won't ever lose its colour or petals with time. It will always be with you just like I promise to be, and it will never die just like my love for you. You can keep it forever, like I hope you'll keep me." He waited a second before adding, "Cheesy I know," a blush creeping to his own cheeks. He wasn't about to continue his awkward rambling when Eve flung her arms around him and held him tight. Immediately he hugged her back. "I just thought, you know, you'll know I'm always with you, because I will be, Eve. I'm never running or letting you go or losing us again."
"I like you thoughts," she snuffed as tears began to trickle down her cheeks. "Have I ever told you that?"
Flynn furrowed his brows, glancing upwards momentarily and squinting as though in deep thought, then answered with a smile, “I think so. Most probably." Once Eve unwrapped herself from him, he brushed his thumb over her cheeks, wiping away her tears. "You okay?"
She nodded, sniffing again. "Yeah. I just...I mean I've had people...and I've loved before but it always ended up being just me, an empty apartment, and even emptier refrigerator, and even with us...I guess I always figured that at some point it'd go back to being just me and that's nothing against you...it's just what I'm used to so I expected it," she tried to explain. Flynn's thumb drew soft stroked over the back of her hand as he held it, listening intently to what he knew wasn't easy for her to reveal. "But this...and you. I believe it this time, and you really love me," she said as though the idea was only just dawning on her.
"You bet I do," he confirmed. Holding her hand a little tighter, he raised his free one to her cheek and cupped it lightly. "You're not alone anymore Eve, you never will be again," he promised. "Okay?"
Again she simply nodded as fresh tears continued to roll down her flushed face. Leaning in closer to her. Flynn pressed his lips to hers, lingering against them when he felt her respond. When their lips broke apart they rested their foreheads together and just stood silently for a moment.
"Will you put it on me?" Eve requested in a whisper once they'd parted.
"Of course," he smiled back, leaving another kiss at her lips. He let the blonde carefully remove the necklace from its cushion and said, "There were matching earring available but I thought you'd wear these ones more because they're not too fancy for work and they're more practical."
"Good thinking Librarian," Eve praised him as she spun around and held her hair out of his way.
"I can get the matching ones too though if you like, just in case you want to wear them out of work," he continued as he hooked either side of the chain together.
"It's fine Flynn," she assured him as she rested her palm over the pendant. "I love exactly what you bought. It's perfect, all of it, just as it is."
"Just like you," he returned in a soft voice, lips coming to press a gentle kiss to the back of her neck.
"I'm glad you remember," she grinned, turning to face him and letting her arms slip around his neck as his hands came to rest on her hips.
"That you're flawless? It's a fact that never escapes me," he played along.
Eve leaned in once more, bringing her lips to his. "Thank you," she whispered. "Not just for the gift but for trying...and not laughing at me when I'm being a sap."
A soft chuckle escaped Flynn's lips. "Well, I heard that's what you do when you love someone." He gave a little shrug as he added, "So what am I supposed to do."
With a broad smile stretching across her cheeks, Eve lightly brushed her nose against his. "Love you back Librarian."
As they headed back into the centre room of the building, panicked shuffling and muttering could be heard. Ezekiel had joined the other two Librarians and as Eve and Flynn entered the room all eyes fell on them, namely on Eve's left hand which was tightly grasping Flynn's.
"Ha! I told you!" Cassandra cried jubilantly, sneering at both boys.
"Dammit," Jake muttered, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out some form of dollar bill, and handing it to the apparently victorious redhead.
"I didn't say that was gonna happen, I said he'd gotten himself into trouble," Ezekiel appeared to argue. Shooting his gaze to the extremely confused couple by the door he asked, "Did you get in some kind of trouble? I mean I'm not judging, but did you?"
"What?" Flynn frowned, exceptionally confused. "No." He glanced at Eve who shrugged back at him, clearly just as perplexed as he was.
Ezekiel groaned and muttered under his breath before reluctantly throwing his own slightly crumpled note onto Cassandra's desk. "Thank you," the synesthete accepted, flashing him a bright smile.
"You cheated," Jones snapped back. "You were listening from the start."
"I couldn't hear anything, and Jake was the one who said Flynn was going to propose," she argued back.
"What?!" Eve cried.
"Flynn was going to what?!" the Librarian in question shouted.
"Were you guys spying on us? Did you place bets?" Eve demanded to know, her frown deepening with every second.
"You bet that I was in trouble?!" Flynn narrowed his eyes at Ezekiel.
"She started it," Jake muttered, pointing at Cassandra.
The mathmagician gasped and shrieked, "Jacob!"
"You did," he argued, shrugging his shoulders.
"Well Ezekiel brought real money into it," she shot back trying to take the heat off herself.
"Of course I did! What's the point betting without getting win money?" the Australian questioned.
"But you didn't did you?" Cassie replied smugly.
Jones narrowed his eyes at her. "I remember when I thought you were sweet and innocent," he spat back only for Cassandra to stick her tongue out at him.
"You thought I was going to propose?" Flynn added to the bickering, shooting a glance at Stone. "In the hall?!"
"Ha! That's why I said you weren't," Cassandra replied before Jake could. "I knew you'd do something far more substantial if you were proposing to Eve."
"Thank you!" Flynn answered in appreciation.
"Flynn!" Eve cried.
"Don't encourage them," she pleaded.
"Well I'm sorry but she's right, I wouldn't just drag you into the unexciting realms of the hall to ask you to spend the rest of your life with me," he argued.
"So not the point right now," she muttered before quietly adding, "But thank you."
"Welcome," he beamed at her, giving her hand a quick squeeze.
Steering her gaze back to the rest of the group, she said, "Okay new rules: No spying on each other, no betting on each other, and no telling on each other! You're supposed to have each other’s backs."
Her statement was met with reluctant mutters of, "okay," and disgruntled mumbles of, "fine."
"Good," she said before she strolled back across the room to the desk she shared with Flynn, the man in question trailing along behind her, hand still locked with hers.
As she sat down at the desk and Flynn made himself comfortable on the edge of it, Cassandra asked, "So when are you getting married?"
"Cassandra," Eve drew out, a hint of warning in her tone.
"I'm just curious," the redhead defended. "It would be a big occasion and there would be a lot to plan."
"Can you be less cu-" Eve started before spying Jones walking by Cassandra too innocently. "Jones give her her money back." Giving another startled gasp, Cassandra frowned at her colleague in both anger and disapproval.
"I was just taking back what's mine," Jones argued. "And you said no betting."
"When I said that it didn't negate all previous bets that were made," Eve declared. "She won that money fair and square. Return it."
With a sigh and roll of his eyes, Ezekiel placed the money that he'd tucked into his sleeve back into Cassandra's awaiting outstretched palm. "Can't believe you tried to steal it back," she muttered, still frowning at him.
"I can't believe you think I'd ask Eve to marry me in the hallway," Flynn suddenly cried out, peering up at Jake who was back on the mezzanine.
The art historian rolled his eyes and argued, "I thought you were just gonna ask her outright. No fuss, no song and dance. That's romantic man."
All four Librarians continued to bicker around Eve who simply shook her head as she brought her hand up to cover her face in exasperation, though deep inside she couldn't help but feel a swell of joy at the fact that the ridiculous group were her family.