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When's it's all over

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Watching Gretta eat her lunch is both a fascinating and disgusting sight to behold. She tears into her hamburger like she hasn’t eaten in weeks, unselfconsciously licking the grease from her fingers whenever it drips too far down her hands and wiping any that makes it onto her face with the back of her arm. Despite his best efforts she's absolutely incapable of learning basic table manners—or, to be more accurate, she doesn't much care.

He waits until she comes back up for air before asking the question that’s been burning in the back of his mind ever since she’d woken up from her thousand year nap and made him her champion, glancing up at her from his own barely touched chicken nuggets.

“So, what happens after all this is over? You know, after all your enemies are gone and you're no longer Gretta ‘the besieged’ and just Gretta the...princess.”

Gretta cocks her head a bit, thoughtfully putting her decimated burger back down on her tray. “Well, first I will need to rebuild my castle, and then I will need to establish a new kingdom in the forests of Woodside. After that we shall be wed and produce many heirs to the throne to continue my family’s legacy.”

She rattles it all of so easily that he’s only just now realizing that she's probably thought about this a few times before, and the implication makes him choke on his milkshake. “Excuse me, what?

“I know, it is quite unusual for a princess to marry a suitor that is not of royal blood, but as my champion you are afforded a certain status,” she shrugs, completely misunderstanding his concerns.

He shakes his head, fighting down the blush threatening to creep up his neck. “It doesn’t work like that anymore, Gretta. You can marry anyone you want.”

“Really?” she asks, perking up a bit, and when he nods with relief she smiles. “Perfect. Then we shall be wed.” The matter settled she grabs a handful of fries and shoves them into her mouth, leaving it wide open as she chews.

He rubs at his forehead, exasperated, because she's clearly not understanding anything he's trying to say. “No, I mean, you should marry someone you want to. You know, someone you love, respect, and want by your side forever.” And if he’s being honest he sort of wishes he could be that person for her, because despite having lost so much she’s still one of the best people he’s ever known. The concern she shows for him and even perfect strangers constantly astounds him, and he can't help but think that Woodside would be lucky to have her as their queen.

Gretta takes a sip of her drink and pensively cocks her head, eyebrows furrowed as she carefully considers his words. “So, you are saying that I should wed a person I admire, revere, and wish to have at my side until the end of my days?”

Dwight snaps his fingers and points at her excitedly, fighting to smile against the slight feeling of melancholy growing in his chest. He's glad she knows now that she should never settle for anything less than a life full of love and happiness, even if it's not with him. “Exactly!”

Smiling brightly, she nods a final time. “Then we shall be wed. Our children will be strong and decisive, yet fair.”

And she looks so satisfied and sure of it all that he can only shrug and sigh. He supposes that there are worse things in life than having to marry a princess who’s smart, strong, rich, and beautiful.

Knowing when he’s been beaten, he snatches a fry from her messy tray and pops it into his mouth, smirking at the affronted scowl that flashes across her face. “So, what were you thinking for names?”