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How Not To Marry Your Soulmate

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Tahani is like, crazy hot. That kind of goes without saying, but Eleanor feels like she probably says it a lot. Maybe too much. She says it so much that Chidi does this little preemptive sigh whenever Eleanor says Tahani’s name. And look – it’s not Eleanor’s fault she got a crazy hot soulmate!

And sure, like, the British thing is kind of annoying. And she can be so much to deal with that sometimes Eleanor is grateful for the excuse to go over to Chidi’s tiny, cramped apartment for an ethics lesson, just because Tahani’s been so over the top that day.

But she’s crazy hot.

And she tries.

She tries so hard to bond with Eleanor, and it’s really forkin’ sweet, if Eleanor is honest (which she’s trying to be). And hey, they both have shorty forkin’ awful excuses for parents, which is something they can bond over and also kind of makes Eleanor feel a little bit better about her lot in life. Like pretty little perfect rich girl’s parents were awful, too. At least, in spite of everything else, awful parents isn’t something that rich people don’t also have to deal with.

And did Eleanor mention that Tahani is really forkin’ hot?

Because damn, it’s like someone figured out what her perfect girl would look like and put her in front of her.

It’s not like Eleanor is in love with her, or anything, and maybe, since she doesn’t technically “belong” in the Good Place, Tahani isn’t actually her actual soulmate, but whatever.

She’s going to enjoy it while it lasts (and maybe she’ll be lucky enough that it’ll really last forever).

So, like, when Michael announces that it’s time for those lucky few with romantic soulmates (which not everyone has; Jason’s soulmate is a golden retriever, and Chidi’s is a smoking hot nuclear physicist – but in both cases, they were informed that said soulmate was purely platonic, which… really, Eleanor hopes Jason would have understood that without being told, but who knows) to marry their soulmates, Eleanor is kind of psyched.

Well, really, she’s also kind of freaking out, because, like does marriage in the Good Place mean the same thing as marriage back on Earth? Her own parents got divorced, and sure, Tahani is much better than either of Eleanor’s parents ever were (and Eleanor might not be the best person to have ever lived, but she’s pretty confident she’s always been better than her parents were, even before she died), but like, is divorce even a thing in the Good Place? Should she even be worried about it?

Tahani seems delighted at the prospect, which kind of makes Eleanor feel all kinds of stupid warm fuzzies inside, though it’s coupled with dread when Tahani starts rattling off all of the ridiculous rich people things she wants to do for their wedding.

She’s almost relieved when Michael looks Tahani in the eyes and says, “Oh, no, Tahani; was I not clear? You won’t be planning the wedding. Jianyu will take care of that for you.” 

Almost.

“What do you mean Jianyu will be planning the wedding?” Tahani asks, and Eleanor wonders if she’d be so offended if she didn’t already know Jianyu is secretly an idiot Florida trash bag. Probably.

“Well, he doesn’t have a romantic soulmate of his own – and Chidi is already planning Gunnar and Antonio’s wedding.”

Eleanor manages not to snort. Chidi’s going to be miserable. Gunnar and Antonio are the worst, and like, she knows she’s in the Good Place, but she’s still pretty sure Antonio is legit a psycho.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Eleanor says, with a meaningful look at Jason. “Probably just like a quiet little buddist-y thing, right?”

As soon as she says the word “little”, she’s aware of her terrible mistake. Tahani looks like she might cry.

“Babe,” Eleanor says to Tahani. “The important thing is that we’re getting married, isn’t it? And I’m sure Michael won’t care if you plan the honeymoon!”

Tahani sniffs. 

“I think that’s a great idea,” Michael says.

“Well,” Tahani says with another little sniff. “I suppose.”

“Great! So, uh, Jianyu can come over our house, and we can get started!”


“Okay,” Jason says. “So. Me and my boy Donkey Doug once had to plan a wedding for this reality show called Shotgun Wedding, so you’re in good hands, homies.”

“‘Shotgun Wedding’?” Tahani repeats with more than a touch of apprehension.

“Yeah!” Jason says. “Best local reality show in Jacksonville! It beat out Swamp Court, and that’s saying something!”

Eleanor rolls her eyes. Typical Florida. “Okay, man, but what are you going to do?”

Jason shakes his head. “Just leave it to me. Janet?”

Janet appears. “Hi! How can I help you?”

“I’m planning Eleanor and Tahani’s wedding, and I need your help! First, I think we need some jalapeño poppers!”

“Jalapeño poppers? For the – for planning the wedding, right?” Tahani asks. “A petit amuse-bouche while you work?”

“Nah, not a moose bush,” Jason says. “For the wedding. And, oh, dip, y’all need a cake, right?”

“I wouldn’t say we need a cake,” Eleanor says, mostly because she’s terrified of what horrible excuse for a cake Jason will come up with. “I think we’re fine without one.”

“Now Eleanor, don’t be ridiculous,” Tahani says. “Of course we need a cake. I thought a traditional wedding cake, perhaps with a twist – Earl Grey or lavender? Oh! Or both?”

“Nah,” Jason says. “That sounds boring! We’re gonna do a wedding cake burrito!”

“A – what?” Eleanor asks. 

“A wedding cake burrito,” Jason says, like it’s something everyone’s heard of. Or, even, like a real thing, and not something Jason just made up, which Eleanor is pretty sure is actually the case. “Oh! And pancakes! And a mountain dew fountain!”

“Why don’t we just elope?” Eleanor mutters to Tahani, who laughs like she’s covering up some great despair.

And, really, Eleanor’s pretty sure she could plan a better wedding than Jason.

“Oh dip!” Jason says. “We should have a Jags trivia contest!”

“At the wedding?” Tahani asks before she can contain herself.

“Yeah!” Jason says. “Well, like, maybe after?”

“Buddy,” Eleanor says. “Try to keep in mind that this is mine and Tahani’s wedding, not yours.”

“I know that,” Jason says. “Trust me. I’m, like, practically a real wedding planner.”

“What, er, what happened on that episode of Shotgun Wedding?” Tahani asks.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Jason says. “I threw a molotov cocktail at a alligator and they never aired it.”

“Lovely,” Tahani says through clenched teeth.

“Tahani, babe, why don’t we go get some fro-yo? And, uh, leave Jason to his wedding planning?”

“Gladly,” Tahani says.


“I can’t believe Michael’s letting that trash bag plan our wedding,” Eleanor hisses in the comfort and privacy of Chidi’s apartment. Tahani has come with her for the day, but there’s no ethics lesson to be learned. Chidi is too absorbed in his own wedding planning. “I mean, I like Jason, don’t get me wrong. He means well. But – good god, he’s the dumbest person I’ve ever met, and I’m from Phoenix, okay? People in my office legit quoted Linkin Park – it was even in our sales script.”

“I know,” Tahani whined. “But it’s not as if we can actually do anything about it, can we? He won’t listen to us.”

“Guys,” Chidi says from under a stack of papers and books. “I don’t mean to interrupt, or derail what is clearly an important conversation, but do you think Gunnar and Antonio’s wedding should be inside or outside?”

“I dunno, man,” Eleanor says. “Isn’t that up to you?”

“My best friend wouldn’t even let me be his best man because I couldn’t even plan his bachelor party! Or decide on a speech! How am I supposed to plan a whole wedding for two people I barely know?”

Eleanor shrugs. “Just ask Janet to do it for you.”

“But Michael asked me to take on this responsibility, and I agreed,” Chidi says. “I’m not going to shirk my ethical responsibility just because I’m a little bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of what I’ve agreed to.”

Eleanor eats a spoonful of frozen yogurt and shrugs again. “Then pick outside.”

“But what about insects? What if it rains? What about wind? Passerby?”

“Okay,” Eleanor says. “Then have it inside.”

“But where? If I pick the restaurant, am I jilting other local business owners who might have wanted that publicity? Or worse, am I depriving some of our neighbours of their own night out because I decided to plan a wedding there?”

“I hardly think they’d mind,” Tahani says.

“But what if they do?” Chidi demands.

“It’s the Good Place, dude,” Eleanor says. “I don’t think any of that’ll be a problem. Meanwhile, we have an actual problem. What the fork is a wedding cake burrito? Even Janet didn’t seem to know, and she knows everything.”

“I – I don’t know,” Chidi says. “A wedding cake that’s been rolled up like a burrito?”

“But then what’s the filling?” Eleanor asks. “And how do you eat it?”

Tahani buries her face in her hands. “Oh, our wedding is going to be a disaster, isn’t it?”

Eleanor pats her shoulder. “Cheer up, babe. We still have the wedding night to look forward to.” 


The longer this goes on, the more Eleanor’s convinced that Tahani is right. Their wedding is going to be a disaster. The planning itself is a disaster.

“Why did Jason have to be in charge of the clothes, too?” Eleanor asks herself. She has half a mind to beg Tahani to switch, but in her heart, she knows Tahani would never, under any circumstances, wear the frilly monstrocity Jason has selected for her.

She looks at herself in the mirror.

It’s not like she doesn’t like dresses. She’s just particular about them. She wouldn’t mind if Jason had picked a sexy little mini dress for her, even a really skimpy one (maybe especially a skimpy one). She likes to show off what she has, after all.

But this.

This.

This is just too much.

She has half a mind to rip it into pieces and make Janet get her a new dress – a better dress – but she doesn’t actually do that. Because she can’t help but know that it’ll not only embarrass Tahani, but it’ll also make Jason sad, and on top of that, Chidi will give her his Disappointed Face, and it’ll give him a stomachache, and he has enough bullshirt to worry about.

Ugh. Why is she putting up with this bullshirt just to avoid upsetting her friends and her soulmate?

She knows Tahani hates this whole mess, too, but Tahani is way too polite and well-bred to even think about throwing a fit, like Eleanor deeply wants to. But fine. She’ll put up with all of it.

Because she’s trying to be a good person, and she doesn’t want to see Chidi’s Disappointed Face, or see Jason look like a kicked puppy, or embarrass Tahani by making a scene.

God, this was all so much easier before she’d actually gotten close to these people. Or anyone, really.

Being nice sucks.

Especially now that she has to wear this ugly, terrible dress in front of, like, three hundred people a week from now.

But she’s careful to put it away properly and not, like, irreparably damage it, or anything (even though Janet will easily make a new one if she does), because she’s still trying this whole being good thing, as much as it sucks and as much as she’d rather be wearing a skimpy little white dress to make Tahani drool.

Jason is her friend, and she’s not going to do him dirty like that.

When she gets back down to the living room (well, the living room Jason is in, because Tahani – and now Eleanor, too – has like fifty of them), she tells Jason with a forced smile that the dress is “great”.

Apparently appeased with his day of work, Jason leaves.

Tahani sinks into her settee. “Oh, was yours just awful, too, darling?”

“It sucked,” Eleanor says. “Just this – ugly, terrible frilly thing. I don’t know what the fork Jason was thinking. Well, scratch that. I know what he’s thinking. He’s from Florida.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Tahani says. “I didn’t think anyone I saw at Pharell’s private session in Miami would ever have approved of my dress.”

“Yeah, but Jason’s not, like, a celebrity who lives in Miami. He’s a DJ from Jacksonville. Trash recognizes trash.”

“I do wish you wouldn’t refer to yourself as ‘trash’, darling.” She reaches out and clasps Eleanor’s hand.

“I can probably be convinced,” Eleanor says with a sly grin.

Tahani laughs. “Yes, well, I think that can be arranged.”

Eleanor lets Tahani lead her upstairs to the bedroom, and pulls her down into a kiss. It isn’t fair what a fantastic kisser Tahani is, but really, she deserves this much at least.

Eleanor doesn’t even realize Tahani is unbuttoning her shirt until she feels Tahani slide it off of her shoulders. She should probably feel self-conscious, but she doesn’t. Tahani keeps kissing her as she unbuttons her jeans and pulls them down. Eleanor only has a second to wonder if she’s washed her bra recently before Tahani has that off, too, and has Eleanor’s breasts in her hands.

“Oh, fork,” Eleanor manages.

She tries to get Tahani’s clothes off, but Tahani steps away.

Eleanor didn’t even know it was possible to take off a perfectly tailored gown that quickly, let alone underwear, too, but Tahani seems to be perfect at everything.

And oh fork. Tahani is absolutely gorgeous. Her breasts are full and round and perfect, and her legs go on for days. Her skin is a perfect, warm brown, and she has a perfectly maintained strip of hair between her legs. On earth, Eleanor had never, ever let herself think she’d come this close to having sex with someone half as hot as Tahani, and now here she is.

She doesn’t even think before pulling her pants (and shoes) off the rest of the way, and then her underwear.

And then Tahani is kissing her again, and Eleanor reaches out to cup her breasts (which are even more perfect in her hands). They stumble over to the bed. Eleanor feels Tahani reach between her legs, so she spreads them to give her easier access, and oh god, Tahani’s touch is feather-light and teasing and it makes Eleanor’s toes curl. 

She buries one of her hands in Tahani’s long, perfect hair as Tahani strokes her first, and then, ever so slowly, slides a finger inside of her. Fork, fork, fork. Tahani finds Eleanor’s clit easily and works circles around it with her thumb as she thrusts into her with her finger. Eleanor can barely take in her surroundings – everything is Tahani. Her touch, her breath, her smell, her weight, her hair, her lips on Eleanor’s neck… 

She feels herself coming close, so she tells Tahani, who slides another finger inside of her. Eleanor comes with an almost embarrassingly loud shout, and Tahani kisses her and keeps massaging her until she comes down.

“Holy shirt,” Eleanor says.

“Did that do anything to convince you, darling?”

“I don’t know,” Eleanor says with a smirk. She flips Tahani onto her back and spreads her legs. “I guess that all depends on how loud you yell.” Without letting Tahani catch her breath, she kisses her way down Tahani’s stomach and settles in between her legs.


“So,” Jason says to Eleanor a few days later, which means just four days before the wedding. “How many strippers should we get for the bachelorette party?”

“Strippers?” Eleanor repeats. “Dude, you know normally I’d be all for it, but like… wouldn’t it be people we know?”

“Oh, I guess so,” Jason says. 

“I dunno, man,” Eleanor says. “I don’t know if we really need a bachelorette party.”

“Of course you need a bachelorette party!” Jason says. “The bachelor party is the best part! That’s when you get to get drunk and go to the strip club and get in a dance-off with the stripper’s ex-boyfriend!”

Eleanor knows better than to ask if that’s something that actually happened (it’s too specific and too Florida not to have). “Maybe we don’t do that,” she says.

“Nah, just leave it to me, homey. I got this.”

“Jason, bud,” Eleanor says. “I don’t think we, like, need strippers. I mean, if you can find a hot mailman for me, go for it, but – I don’t really think that’s Tahani’s thing, you know?”

“No,” Jason says. “Who doesn’t like strippers?”

“I just kind of think maybe she’d rather have some fancy dinner party, or something.”

“Oh! Say no more!” Jason says, and before Eleanor can fully process what’s going on, he’s already run away.

“I definitely think I need to say more!” Eleanor calls after him, but he’s too far away to hear her. “Well,” she says to herself, “that went well.”


She gets the invitation later that day while she’s helping Chidi (which is probably the only way Gunnar and Antonio will ever happen) and lowkey learning ethics.

It’s not as bad as it could be, though that’s probably just because Jason’s sixty-person dance crew isn’t in the Good Place with them (thank god). Janet appears, says, “I’ve been asked to give you each one of these,” and hands Chidi and Eleanor each an invitation.

You’re invited to Eleanor and Tahani’s totally awesome murder mystery bachelorette dinner party!

“Oh, no,” Chidi says, voicing Eleanor’s thoughts.

“Look on the bright side,” Eleanor says, “at least it looks like I talked him out of the strippers?”

“Strippers?” Chidi asks.

“Yeah,” Eleanor says. “I gave up hot mailmen because it would have made Tahani uncomfortable. You’re welcome.”

“Okay, but I really don’t think that this is any better.”

“Listen, I once took a Buzzfeed quiz that guessed I was probably from Florida. It was bullshirt, obviously, but it does probably mean that I know how to deal with Jason. We understand each other. Trash bag to trash bag.”

“But Jason can’t go telling people he’s Jason! I don’t think Jianyu, a Taiwanese monk, would throw a party like this!”

“No offense man, but most of the people here would probably be all of this kind of cheesy bullshirt. Just, y’know, not Tahani. Besides, Tahani’s the only one who’s thrown any parties around here, anyway. Maybe the rest of the neighborhood is super into murder mystery parties. We don’t know.”

“Except we do know that Jianyu is not supposed to plan a murder mystery party!”

“Do we?”

“Yes!”

“I mean, if you say so, man, but I don’t think that’s going to blow our cover. As long as he keeps his mouth shut, we should be good.”


The murder mystery party is surprisingly not as terrible as Eleanor expects. It’s actually kind of fun. Well, except for the fact that Chidi gets into her head, and she’s kind of low-key worried the whole time that Jason would blow his cover, but… no. He keeps silent until the last guest leaves.

“Oh, dip, I can’t believe no one guessed that I was the killer!” Jason says once it’s just the three of them.

“Perhaps that’s because you didn’t talk the entire time,” Tahani says, and if Eleanor has to guess, she’d bet Tahani’s just a little bitter about losing.

Tahani can be hella competitive.

“I mean,” Eleanor says, “I did eventually guess right.”

“You said I shouldn’t talk!” Jason says. “I’ve been trying to talk to everyone, but you won’t let me!”

“I know that, of course,” Tahani says. “I merely believe that perhaps it would have been best if you hadn’t made yourself the killer knowing that you couldn’t talk.”

“Oh,” Jason says, like the thought’s never occurred to him before. And, well, it probably hasn’t. “Tahani, you’re so smart!”

“Yes, well,” Tahani says, and she smooths her skirt. “I’m glad that’s behind us. Eleanor, darling, I’ve booked us a spa day tomorrow.”

“That sounds forkin’ amazing,” Eleanor says. She’s truthfully not all that interested in a spa day, and under normal circumstances, she’d probably try to get out of it, but after tonight, she could use the time to relax. And drink. “People drink at spas, right?”


The next morning, however, when Tahani and Eleanor get to the spa, a sign on the door reads that it’s closed.

“Oh, so kind of them to tell us,” Tahani scoffs. “Janet?”

Janet appears. “How can I help you?”

“I had a reservation at the spa for today – why ever is it closed?”

“I’m so sorry about that,” Janet says. “The spa is closed today because Michael needs my assistance with a very important project, and I can’t be available all day.”

“Yes, well,” Tahani sniffs. “You could have told us.”

“It’s fine, babe,” Eleanor says. “Why don’t we go home and take a nice bath and massage each other?”

“I suppose,” Tahani says. “If it truly can’t be helped.”

Eleanor tries not to feel offended. But, well, at least trying counts for something, right? Besides, they’re all pretty stressed with all the wedding stuff. It’ll be over soon, and then they can really relax.


Eleanor is just putting on her wedding dress when Janet appears. “Holy fork!” Eleanor says. “A little privacy, please, Janet?”

“Again,” Janet says, “I know everything in the universe.”

“That’s not the point,” Eleanor says. She puts on her dress anyway. “What’s up?”

“Michael would like to speak with you.”

Eleanor looks down at her dress. Not how she’d like to be seen, but short of offending everyone, it can’t be helped. “Fine,” she says. She heaves a dramatic sigh, but it’s mostly for effect. 

She follows Michael to one of the many rooms in this maze of a house. He’s pacing, which is never a good sign.

“What’s up?” Eleanor asks.

“Let’s just wait for Tahani to get here,” Michael says.

Eleanor opens her mouth to protest, but then Tahani walks through the door and says, “Michael, don’t you know that in human culture it’s bad luck to see your bride in her wedding dress before your wedding?”

Tahani looks smokin’ hot, though. And, god, Eleanor just knows Tahani hates her dress (a super hot strappy little white dress Eleanor would probably wear herself) more than anything else about this whole disaster-to-be of a wedding.

“There’s not going to be a wedding,” Michael says. “Didn’t you go to Gunnar and Antonio’s wedding yesterday?”

Eleanor and Tahani exchange looks. “Uh, we kinda lost track of time…”

“I did send a gift,” Tahani said. “I’m not a monster.”

“Giant insects invaded the wedding! And it rained! Chidi had put up a tent, just in case, but the wind tore it down. Even the backup – the other shop owners got jealous, and customers got angry, it just... it was a disaster. We’ve had to put a pin in all soulmate weddings until we can figure out exactly what went wrong. Maybe we’ll have Janet plan it. I don’t know.” He waves a hand.

“So the wedding’s… cancelled?” Tahani repeats.

“I’m afraid so.”

“Oh no,” Tahani says. “All this work for nothing! And are Gunnar and Antonio quite all right?”

“They’re fine,” Michael says. “Chidi’s really taking it harder than anyone.” 

“That’s simply dreadful,” Tahani says. “I – I quite understand your decision, though of course I’m terribly disappointed.”

Tahani’s also a pretty good liar.


“I can’t believe this is the second wedding I’ve planned that’s been cancelled!” Jason says, throwing his hands up in the air.

“Yeah, it’s a real shame,” Eleanor says, comfortably in her own clothes at least. “I mean, the party’s already set up, right? So we can just enjoy it ourselves?”

Tahani’s already gone out to comfort the whole neighborhood, because of course she has, so it’s just Eleanor and Jason.

“Oh!” Jason says. “I made you guys a song!”

He runs over to a DJ booth, which is when it hits Eleanor that she’s lucky that the wedding was cancelled, because maybe Chidi had a point about them getting found out.

What proceeds is the most obnoxious and terrible thing that some people (not Eleanor) might generously call “music”. 

She stuffs her face with jalapeño poppers to avoid having to say anything to Jason when he asks, after it’s finally over, if she liked the song. He seems to take this as high praise, and high fives her.

“So, I gotta ask, dude,” she says. “What is a wedding cake burrito?”

“It’s a burrito with wedding cake inside,” he says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“Like, just wedding cake, or like… a real burrito, but also with wedding cake?”

“A real burrito with wedding cake, duh,” Jason says. “Janet made me one! You wanna try some?”

“I… I think I’m good for now, bud, thanks,” Eleanor says. “I’ll stick with the jalapeño poppers.”

“Suit yourself,” Jason says, and when he cuts open the wedding cake burrito, Eleanor is pretty sure she just dodged embarrassment in front of the entire neighborhood, because there’s no way she could have eaten that. Jason, on the other hand, seems perfectly happy to stuff his face.

Yeah. The wedding getting cancelled is a good thing.

She thinks.