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A Proposition

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On their anniversary, Ronin wanted to do something special. He had called into Dareth's favorite fancy restaurant and reserved a table. He had gotten his hair trimmed; it was getting shaggy after all. He had purchased a suit, nothing too fancy, just something nicer. He stood now in front of the mirror, adjusting his tie. Should I wear a tie? Ronin thought. Would that be too much? He shrugged and finished the final touches to his attire. Surely Dareth would like this. Ronin sighed. He wanted this to be perfect, he wanted everything to be just right for tonight. Dareth had been out running errands. Ronin told him he didn’t need to, but Dareth had insisted that “It’s got to be done sooner or later.” So of course, although Ronin objected, he took this as an opportunity to make the dinner a surprise. He had called Dareth and told him to meet him at the address of the restaurant. Dareth never bothered to remember the exact address of restaurants and stores, so he would have no idea where it was Ronin wanted to meet him. He picked the small object off the table and slipped it into his pocket before heading out the door.

When Ronin arrived at the ornate building, he was happy to see that he had gotten there before Dareth. Perfect, he thought, I’ll be here waiting for him when he shows up! Ronin took a deep breath and shook himself of his nerves. He laughed at himself. What did he have to be nervous about? Nothing, not yet at least. When he pushed opened the front doors and walked inside, the aroma of expensive food hit him like a bat. The lights were dimmer in here, and so he blinked a couple time to get used to the sudden light difference. After looking around a bit, he found his way to the hostess. Upon seeing him, the hostess smiled that generic, welcoming smile that all employees smiled. "Do you have a reservation or would you like to put your name in now?"

"I've already got a reservation." He told the hostess his name and was seated at his table. It was a small booth in the back corner of the restaurant, dimmer than any other part of the building. It seemed, in a way, more romantic. He stared down at his watch. He still had a while before Dareth was supposed to meet him there. He reached into his pocket and pulled the small, black box out of his pocket. He ran his thumb over the lid before carefully opening it and staring at the contents. He was mesmerized by the small shining object for what felt like an eternity. He sighed and closed the lid, slipping the box back into his pocket. So far, everything was going according to plan. He relaxed and lost himself in his thoughts. After a while, he checked his watch again. His eye widened. More time had passed than he thought. It was now past the time Dareth was supposed to meet him. Maybe he got caught in traffic? Ronin thought to himself. Everything was going so well, he didn't want it to be ruined now.

Thankfully, it wasn't long at all before Dareth walked up to the booth in the corner. He had obviously been home, he was wearing something nicer now and had fixed up his hair again. Damn, Ronin thought, he did recognize the address; he got all dressed up! Dareth sat down on the booth opposite Ronin and smiled at him. “This restaurant? I can’t believe it, you never go anywhere fancy!” Dareth chuckled. Ronin smiled sheepishly.

“Well, you know, it is today and I know you like this place so…” Ronin trailed off, but he didn’t need to say anymore. Dareth was happy, and this relaxed Ronin. At least he likes the location, he thought. After a while, the waiter came to take their orders, and after that, the two talked. Talked about their days, talked about each other, it was nice. Ronin set his chin on his hand, and remembered he had shaved.

Oh god, please let it be subtle, he thought, please don’t let him notice, pleas- “You shaved!” Shit.

“Uh y-yeah! It was getting a bit prickly s-so I u-um…” Ronin didn’t finish. Dareth was smiling a small, quizzical smile.

“What’s up? You never shave. What’s going on?” Ronin stammered, he couldn’t find the words to say.

“I-it’s nothing its j-just-“. Ronin subconsciously patted the box in his pocket. Thankfully, the waiter arrived at that moment with their food. Ronin began to eat without saying anything else. Dareth was concerned now, he could tell, but he started eating anyways. They sat eating in silence. Dammit, Ronin thought. And just when everything was going so well. Now it was just awkward silence, Ronin trying to avoid Dareth's concerned gaze all the while. It seemed like the dinner went on for an eternity. An eternity that Ronin didn't want to live in anymore. He wanted it to be over. He was suddenly beginning to regret this whole idea. But he couldn't back out now, he'd done so much! Ronin was trapped in an area of the inability to move backwards, but his fear gripped him from moving forwards with his plan.

When they finally finished eating their dinners, Dareth looked up at Ronin. “Rony, what’s wrong? Please tell me. I'm just worried.” Ronin took a deep breath, the nerves returning. No, he thought. This is no time to be nervous. You've be waiting for this too long. It's now or never, you can't put this off another year. He exhaled.

“W-well” Shit. His voice had cracked. He cleared his throat to try again. “W-we’ve been dating for a long time now…” Dareth nodded and thoughtfully put a finger to his chin.

“3 years.” Ronin coughed, nodding, and leaned over the table, taking Dareth’s hands in his own.

“I-I just wanted to ask…” He felt his heart jump to his chest. There was absolutely no backing out now. He was shaking, and he was sure Dareth could feel this. He tried to steady himself, mustering all his strength. Ronin pulled Dareth out of his seat and led him to stand next to the table. Ronin knelt down, pulling the small black box out of his pocket. He fumbled with it a bit in his hands. He could feel eyes on him from every direction in the restaurant. He took a deep breath, steadied his heart as best he could, and asked the question he had been meaning to ask for years. “Will you marry me?”