“Hey,” Ryan says. He grabs Jon’s hand – which is impressive, considering how much he’d had to drink before, during, and after the plane ride – and stops him in his tracks without falling over.
“What?” Jon asks. He turns back around just in time to see Ryan shakily lowering himself onto one knee, his fingers still twined with Jon’s.
“Hey, so,” Ryan starts. He uses his free hand to push his hair out of his face. “Jon, do you want to get married? I mean, I’m kneeling on a rock right now and I don’t have a ring, but will you marry me?”
Jon glances around in the darkness that surrounds the two of them. He isn’t quite sure this isn’t an elaborate prank set up by the other three during the plane ride while Jon napped. When no one with a video camera pops out of the shrubbery lining the dirt-packed path that Ryan and Jon had been walking on before Ryan proposed, Jon figures it’s probably not a joke – or, if it is, that only Ryan is in on it.
“Are you serious?” Jon asks.
Ryan’s hand tightens around Jon’s. “Of course I am.” He actually sounds wounded. Jon feels sort of bad for doubting him.
“You’re drunk,” Jon says instead of answering.
“Drunk on love, maybe.” Ryan tugs on Jon’s hand. “Are you going to answer me or what?”
If anyone were to pinpoint the majority of Jon’s downfalls, they’d all come back to his tendency to indulge all of Ryan Ross’ weirdo whims. “You’re proposing to me next to a graveyard in a foreign country. This is not how I thought this would go.”
“Is that a yes?” Ryan asks. “Because seriously, my knees hurt.”
Jon isn’t sure why he says yes – maybe it’s because he really does love Ryan or maybe it’s because he loves the idea of marriage, but fitting them both together makes more sense than a lot of things in Jon’s life have as of late. “Yeah, okay, we’ll get married.”
Jon helps Ryan onto his feet and wipes the dirt off of Ryan’s dress pants for him. “Hang on,” Ryan says. “I want to make this official.” He leaves Jon and runs his hand down the wrought-iron fence that borders the graveyard that the path they’re on runs along. Ryan walks along the fence until he finds an opening and slides into the graveyard before Jon can follow or stop him. Jon imagines fifty different ways he could be hurt. He’ll be a widow before he’s even properly married.
After ten minutes, Ryan returns with a bunch of purple flowers in his hands. “Here,” he says, presenting them to Jon with a little bow. “For you.”
“You expect me to get married using graveyard flowers?”
“We’re being resourceful.” Ryan takes Jon’s hand and tugs him close before kissing him. It’s chaste and gentle, like Ryan doesn’t want to explore too much before the ceremony. “Now we’ve got to find someone to officiate!”
It takes the two of them fifteen minutes to walk from the area they were exploring back to the little slice of town near their hotel. They have a free day tomorrow and a show the next day, so if they’re going to do this, they’d better do it now. It’s easier than Jon could have imagined finding a dinky chapel. Ryan buys them both pre-wedding shots from the bar adjacent.
“Oh, shit, should I be looking at you right now?” Ryan asks. “Wedding rules confuse me.”
“I don’t think this is like a traditional wedding,” Jon says. He still has the flowers Ryan stole from the graveyard. “We could always make our own rules.”
“I like how you think, future husband.”
The marriage is uncomplicated. Jon dresses in a hoodie and flip-flops; Ryan’s hair is dirty and his button-down is unfastened. Jon holds a graveyard bouquet with both hands. Ryan summons cheap metal rings from the lobby of the chapel out of nowhere. It’s nice.
In the morning, Ryan wakes up considerably more sober. He doesn’t freak out like Jon suspects he might, though. “I make my best decisions when I’m drunk,” Ryan had said as he crawled on top of Jon in the hotel bed they were sharing. They spend the first hour of their honeymoon arguing about which one of them should take the other’s last name. They decide that, whenever they get around to changing names or anything official like that, they’ll probably hyphenate.
They don’t tell Spencer and Brendon. They don’t tell anyone. It’s easier that way – no one would understand and Jon’s mom would kill him if she knew he got married without her knowledge. It’s a secret, but it’s their secret, and Jon likes the idea of no one knowing that he and Ryan are husbands. It’s just for them. They’ll tell people someday – nothing stays a secret forever – but for now it’s fine.