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The Best Pep Talk Ever

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"Kaliyo," a voice softly asserts as the Rattataki shifts against the cold, metal wall. Bug Boy. She never truly had anything against him except for the fact that he was so... creepy. Sure, it wasn't fair for her to judge him just like that. But Kaliyo was not a fair person by any standard. "We were hoping to talk to you about something."

"Yeah?" she said flatly, making a point to sound as bored as possible. As if she had more important things to do, like leaning against her wall, than answer his question.

"We know that you have been with Cipher for a long time." At this, they pull out a box... an engagement ring. A beautiful silver band with a twisty, delicate pattern carved across the top. Kaliyo whistled.

"Daaamn. Look, I'm not sure how to tell you; oh, skip the bullshit. I'm just not interested. Okay? I'm not even your type. Sorry if I'm breaking your heart... if bugs have hearts, I don't know. Regardless-"

"Kaliyo," the Joiner interrupted, "This is intended for Cipher."

"I know, Bug Boy. I'm just fuckin' with you." Kaliyo reached over and lightly slugged him in the arm, knuckles and all. Of course, 'lightly' was by her standards. Vector rubbed at it gingerly, the sensation looping around the Killik consciousness, causing them to feel more than they probably should have.

"This is a situation we do not wish to take delicately. We were hoping for... advice on the matter."

"Advice, huh? You know, Bug Boy, if you ask me," Kaliyo said, throwing her arms behind her head, "Marriage is just an excuse to tie someone down."

"We do not wish to tie Cipher down..." they said, furrowing their brows. The joiner was now unsure of themselves. Maybe talking to Kaliyo about something like this was a bad plan.

"And there's her career you gotta think about. Lady like that is gonna wanna move up in life. Rise through the ranks. She won't have time for someone like you to tie her down." Her words pierced their heart.

"We only wish-"

"And furthermore. Moving in together will be hell. You both have weird habits, I'm sure, and you're going to drive each other crazy for, oh, I dunno. At least a few years, if not forever," she scoffed. "Yeah, it sounds like the two of you are going to be doomed."

Vector looked down at their ring, inspecting it thoroughly. Was this a mistake? It didn't feel like one to them at the time... They thought they cared for Cipher greatly, and that naturally this would be the next step. Perhaps...

"But why should that stop you?" she spoke softly, causing Vector to perk up in surprise. "When has anything in life ever been easy? Especially things that we desire. Vector, if there's anything I've learned... it's to go for what you want. Grab it before it's gone. Make it yours. Fuck the 'what if's and the 'why's. If you love her, you'll make anything work out."

Oh, if he could see the dumb look on his face!

"So, Bug Boy," she said, turning to face him now with a lopsided grin. "What're you going to do?"

They fingered the velvet box with one large gulp, searching their consciousness for some sort of answer. He wasn't quite sure how to put it in words, but this would have to do...

"We will make Cipher the happiest woman alive."

"Atta boy. Now, I think I saw her last in her quarters..." she winked pervertedly. "Maybe you can catch her before she gets to sleep."

Nervously, they grasp the ring box harder. Now was the time. They knew what to do... Vector marches forward with a stutter in each step, making their way around the corner when suddenly; 'THWAP!'

...did Kaliyo just...

...smack their ass?

They looked over their shoulder to ask, but was met with a very strange smile on Kaliyo's face.

"Think of it as a Rattataki good luck charm."