It’s been with him for months now. He carries it around with him religiously, refusing to let it away from his person for even a second. There’s a certain fear in this, what he wants to do. Part of that is what makes him so hesitant. The other is some perfectionist side he didn’t realize he has, eager to make no mistake, eager to have everything just right before anyone moves on. Arthit closes his eyes, resting his head on his desk.
“Arthit,” Earth says, sitting back in her chair to look over at him. “Are you alright?”
She knows what he’s thinking; she knows he is, but he also so very isn’t. A calming hand is placed on his back, and he leans into the touch the way a child would lean into their mother’s. “I’m so afraid,” he finally admits, quiet. He only dares to because the office is technically closed, the two of them stuck working on a project meant to last until the end of the week, the same as Arthit’s personal deadline.
“It’ll be fine,” she finally whispers, soft for no reason other than an intimacy between close friends. “You’ll be fine.”
Arthit nods, though the pressure in his chest is only minimally lessened at her words.
The week passes by fast, the quickest a week has ever gone by, and when he clocks out on Saturday, he’s got jitters, wondering if he can find any reason to stay. But then Earth gives him a look, and Arthit’s phone vibrates in his pocket, and between Earth and the not-yet-confirmed-but-known-well-enough call of Kongpob, Arthit is effectively swayed into leaving and getting this over with. Not that proposing to his boyfriend of ten years is something he wants to just get over with, but God, if it doesn’t terrify him to his core.
Those rings Kongpob and he had exchanged there in the airport those few years ago, the unspoken promises they wear proudly on their fingers, he knows what those promises were, what they still are, but he could take off his ring any moment, call things off, walk away (again, and it would be him, Arthit knows it would be), and Kongpob would let him.
But marriage? It’s just too much to simply up and walk away from. In marrying Kongpob, he’s putting himself in the picture, removing all possibilities of a different life for Kongpob, a life without him in it, a life filled with simplicity. Kongpob may be the one to make the final decision, but who is Arthit to force him into that decision?
The ring in his pocket says it must be him. The meeting he had with Kongpob’s parents, those days prior to buying the ring, that says it must be him. When Kongpob’s parents gave him their blessing, in their eyes, so similar to Kongpob’s, they said: If it must be anyone, it must be you.
Arthit gets home only a few minutes after Kongpob, and together they eat a quiet dinner. In the privacy of their own home, because that’s what they share, a home , they hook their ankles together under the table and look at each other like lovestruck teenagers, all soft and warm. And when they finish, Kongpob suggests a walk, and Arthit knows it’s time.
And so they walk, finding themselves following a familiar path and yes, yes , this is the moment, Arthit must do it now, with the moon shining above and a moon shining beside, otherwise the moment will pass, disappear into the dark of the night, and he’ll be left waiting once again.
“Kongpob,” he says, stopping entirely, Kongpob still walking now a bit ahead of him. Kongpob turns around, having realized Arthit was no longer beside him.
“P’Arthit?” His eyes are wide, bright in the silver moonlight, and though they’re older now, much older, Arthit can’t help but think he still looks how he did at eighteen, defiant and beautiful. He may be taller, shoulders wider, stance prouder, but he’s still Kongpob… but Arthit thinks he could love any version of Kongpob.
The weight of that thought alone sends him to one knee. Kongpob lets out a small noise. It’s almost lost to the wind, but Arthit hears it, and it makes him smile as he pulls out the box he’s carried around for months. He opens it.
“Kongpob,” he says again, and his voice comes out shaky, but that’s okay. He just has to get the point across. For Kongpob, he thinks, just presenting the ring is enough, but Kongpob allows himself less than he deserves, and Arthit wants to give him more than what he deserves. So he continues: “I know we wear rings already, and I love what they mean—and I love that, I love you —but that’s also why I have this one.” He tries for a smile, however, wavering, even as the tears start to spill. God, he’s such an ugly crier. But Kongpob is staring down at him like he’s put the stars in his sky, like he is the stars in his sky, and that reminds him—
“What is it that you said to me?” he asks, heart in his throat. “I’m your only sun?” He shuffles closer, holds the ring that much higher. “If I’m your sun, you’re my moon. I shine only for you, Kongpob.”
Kongpob’s breath catches in his throat, and Arthit swallows, a million words running through his head, but only a few coming out.
“I just love you,” he finally says, “okay? I love you so much, and I don’t think I can ever go on with my life if you’re not in it.”
“Arthit,” Kongpob chokes.
“So, Kongpob Sutthilak, my moon, my, fuck, my everything, will you,” Arthit sucks in a breath, “will you marry me?”
Kongpob sinks to his knees now, too, and Arthit can’t breathe, stuck in this moment as he and Kongpob lock eyes, as Kongpob reaches into his own pocket, and oh God, oh fuck, oh holy shit, oh my God, no, no, no—
“You still are,” Kongpob begins to say as he opens up his own velvet box. “You still are my sun. You still light up my dark, warm me inside and out.” He stutters, a few tears finally spilling down his cheeks. “You take my breath away, Arthit Rojnapat.”
Arthit’s tears double now, twin streaks rushing down his face. “Kongpob….”
“Marry me,” Kongpob says, desperation coloring his tone, like he’s been waiting for this moment as long as Arthit has, maybe even longer. “Make me the happiest man alive, Arthit. Marry me.”
“God of course,” Arthit finally says, a wet laugh accompanying his words. “A thousand times yes.”
Kongpob practically shoves the ring on his finger, hands shaking, eyes wet, their tears mixing together when they meet in a kiss. Arthit blindly takes out the ring he carries, searching for Kongpob’s hand with his own, slipping it on, letting out a helpless laugh into their kiss.
“I love you,” Kongpob breathes when they separate.
“I love you,” Arthit echoes.
They share one final smile before helping each other up back to their feet, wiping away tears and giggling at themselves. It’s as their finally calmed down, though their eyes are still quite watery, smiles still wobbly, that Arthit takes Kongpob’s hand in his and hums. “You never actually said yes, by the way.”
Kongpob lifts their joint hands to his lips, pressing a kiss to Arthit’s now-doubly-decorated ring finger. “I’ll always say yes if it’s you who asks.”
Arthit, even with their imminent marriage, even with years of reciprocated love between them, still blushes and looks away. “Yuck.”
“Yet you said yes anyway,” Kongpob teases.
Arthit looks back at him. “And so did you.”
Kongpob laughs, loud and joyous, head tossed back and eyes squeezed shut, and Arthit has never wished more for a moment to last forever, but he also knows—with Kongpob to be his husband, what comes after marriage—there are still levels of happiness he has yet to discover. He knows he’ll also wish for those future moments to last forever.