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The Funeral

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Robert didn’t ask for this.

Yet, he couldn’t complain.

It was the first time he had seen Rosalind smile in ages, aside from a few stolen moments in darkened rooms. She was no longer a part of the mundane plane of existence, bound to arbitrary physical rules, but instead, a noncorporeal, dissonant energy. 

And he was bound to her, as she was to him.

There were worse ways to end up with the love of his life for the rest of eternity, he supposed, but he wasn’t a huge fan of the idea of dying. Or its execution, really. He found the whole ordeal of the fragments of space particles that made him him being shattered to pieces quite painful and inconvenient, but not terrible once he noticed that he was together again at the end of it all.

Rosalind didn’t seem to mind death too much. She fussed over how they dressed her corpse, naturally, and the general aesthetics of the funeral. It was almost as though she knew she was to die, but Robert knew that she was just morbid by nature. Where he saw beginnings, she saw endings.

Robert pondered this for a while as he watched the funeral proceedings, until he felt her much smaller hand slip into his, intertwining their fingers.

“With the way this society is, we could never do this.”

“Because they think us as siblings?”

“Not necessarily.”

“Then why?”

“Because it implies premarital intercourse, or at least far from appropriate fancying.”

“I suppose it does.”

“Then you should be glad that no one can see us.”

Rosalind hummed in thought for a second as they closed the caskets. “I suppose we should’ve thought through our bed situation.”

“Our bed situation? What of it?”

“I never did arrange for you to be a long-term guest.”

“I suppose I didn’t plan on staying. But after being here, it wasn’t like I could leave you.”

Some color rose to Rosalind’s cheeks. “Still. The folks of Columbia would find adult twins sharing a bed to be quite disagreeable.”

“They do say twins tend to be physically quite cozy.”

“Not in the way that we are.” She gave him a peck on the cheek. “I suppose it doesn’t matter now. We’re dead, as far as Columbia thinks, and the secrets in that bed will die with us.”

“Will they?”

“Oh, I’m sure people will talk.” She gave him a sideways glance. “But I’m not one to be bothered with the talk of simple people. We have a universe to explore.”

“Speaking of the universe…”

Rosalind turned. “What of it?”

“I have something for you.”

She smirked. “Material things are hardly something to be of concern of us now, brother. But what is it?”

“I know you’re not a woman of tradition--”

“I like some traditions. Giving candy out to kids on Halloween is nice. And Christmas presents.”

“Yes, well, I’d like to have many Halloweens and Christmases with you.”

“You will have infinite holidays with me, my dear, whether you want to or not. I don’t think we can be separated now.”

“I should hope not.” Robert sank to one knee.

Rosalind’s eyes widened. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Asking for your hand in marriage.” He took her hand in his, those delicate little fingers practically made for working with the small parts of machinery she often tinkered with.

“I--”

“You don’t have to say yes. You never have to say yes. But I love you, and in the world we left behind, I could never do this.”

He expected Rosalind to quip, but all she did was cover her mouth with her other hand. 

“So now we’re alone. Truly alone, with no societal norms or morals to tell us what to do. And if we are to make things right and live all these infinite years together, I’d like to do so as husband and wife.”

Again, he expected Rosalind’s usual sharp tongue, but all she did was burst into tears. 

Robert bit his lip to keep it from quivering. He rarely saw Rosalind cry, as she often retreated to do so in private. Watching her cry was heartbreaking, as though the muscle that no longer beat were being sawed in half, even though he knew she was truly happy.

“You asked knowing I’d say yes,” she finally managed with a hiccup.

“I did not know how you would respond.”

“Why not?”

“You told me yourself you vowed to never marry.”

“Of course I did. Have you seen the men of Columbia? They’d turn me into a housewife within a fortnight!” 

“I would never do that.”

“I know that well.”

“In fact, I’d say I was more of a housewife than you.”

Rosalind snorted. “Your cooking is far superior.”

“Well, my dear Rosalind, will you marry me?”

Her eyes sparkled with a sheen of tears. “Yes. Yes, of course. A million times yes. To infinite powers.”

Robert swallowed the lump in his throat as he slipped the ring on her finger. As expected, she lifted her hand to inspect it.

“What is this design?”

“I made the ring myself.”

“I can see that. What did you put on it?”

“Do you remember, around when I first came to Columbia, we wanted to see the fabric of the universe themselves?”

“How could I forget?”

“You said they twisted around each other, like braids, while I saw spirals. I carved spirals in yours, so you can always see things the way I do.”

“And braids on yours?”

“Precisely.” He took his own ring out of his breast pocket and showed Rosalind. 

After a few moments of scrutiny, she shoved it onto his finger and tackled him to the cemetery ground, covering him in kisses until those fabrics swallowed them whole, taking them everywhere and nowhere at once.