Nepal is set to stage same-sex weddings on Mount Everest as part of a bid to promote the country as the homosexual tourism capital of Asia.
"Nice," Ryan pronounced.
"Cold," Simon corrected.
"Nice for the Nepalese," Ryan said, throwing the newspaper down on the breakfast table. "All the gay Sherpas can get married now."
"Didn't Bill Rancic once compare you to a Sherpa?" Simon wondered. "You could be all set."
Ryan sulked and poked at his lukewarm egg whites with a fork. "I know you think it's stupid, so just spare me the lecture."
"Seriously, I don't want to talk about it."
"I don't think it's stupid. Lots of people want to get married."
"Since when do you take anything I say seriously?"
Ryan looked up and gave Simon a withering you are a complete idiot, aren't you? glare.
Simon flushed. "Do you think about this often?"
"You're a lousy liar."
"I'd just like to know that the option's available. Besides, I want to have kids someday, and I think two people should get married before they start a family."
"What you are is completely mad," Simon said. "Ryan—"
"I warned you," Ryan said. "I don't want to talk about it."
"Fine," Simon agreed. "We won't talk about it."
Ryan sipped his coffee. Simon sipped his tea.
Thirty seconds later, Ryan said, "Someday I'm going to dump your ass by playing 'Single Ladies' into your voicemail."
Simon put down his own newspaper and buried his face in his arms.
"If you like it," Ryan added, "then you shoulda put a ring on it. Bitch."
"I don't think Beyonce says 'bitch,'" Simon said to the table.
"That's the Seacrest remix," Ryan explained, standing up and clearing his coffee mug and plate from the table.
"You don't want to marry me," Simon said. "You don't even want to be out."
"Not now," Ryan answered. "But in a few years, when Idol's over—"
"Not a chance. You wouldn't marry me even if I asked."
"Try me," Ryan challenged.
"All right. Let's get married."
"You're not supposed to ask like that!"
"Ha," Simon crowed.
"That doesn't count. Seriously, 'let's get married'? That's your idea of a proposal? You suck."
"Yes," Simon said, "I do. So I don't know why you're so keen on getting married, when you're already getting the milk for free."
"First: ew," Ryan said. "And second: it has nothing to do with that."
"Then why?" Simon asked. "And don't tell me it's about having kids, because you know I don't want kids, married or not."
"Maybe that's why," Ryan said. "You don't want to have kids with me, you're in England half the year, we can barely live together when you are here, we're not exactly monogamous—maybe I just want something to say that we're together. Something to say that what we have means something."
Simon looked away. "You already know—you know that it means something. You know that—you're important to me," he stammered. "If you need a piece of paper to prove it, I'd be happy to write you a personal note."
Ryan shot him a death glare, dropped his breakfast dishes into the sink with a deafening clatter, and left the room.
Simon sat at the table, unmoved. "I think we're already married," he observed. Then he smiled and got up to chase after Ryan. It wasn't the first time. It wouldn't be the last.