by Rachael Sabotini
All standard disclaimers apply, whatever they might be. Implied slash, I make no money; I mean no harm.
The box was on the table when I woke up, and my partner was gone. I could still feel the dip in the bed where Duncan had spent the night, smell him in the sheets that covered me, but I couldn't sense him anywhere.
He'd left, then. He had told me he needed to, that he had some things to do. I hadn't really thought about it. Neither of us is the 'joined at the hips' type.
Yet here was the box.
I stared at it. No gift-wrapping, nothing special about it -- heck, it wasn't even that expensive white paper that they use in the better-class stores. No, this was recycled paper, dark brown and ugly, if you wanted to know the truth.
Still...I sat up and picked it up, turning it over in my hands. Light. The box was very light, and rough under my fingers. I was wrong about it being recycled. The paper was handmade, and now that I held it close, I could see that it had a dozen different threads running through it. Hesitantly, I opened it, half-dreading, half-expecting what I would find.
A ring. Plain white-gold band, unadorned. Just my size.
I stared at it, wondering what the hell I was supposed to do. Just a ring, lying there, waiting for me to either put it on, or close the box. Schrodinger's ring when Duncan left it on the bedstand, now open, now revealed. If I put it on, I accepted that the worst of it was over; if I left the box closed, he still wouldn't take it back.
A thousand years could pass, and Duncan wouldn't take back the ring. He's like that. He'd leave it with me, always on offer, until I decided I was ready.
It's one of the things I like about him. He wants me to drive, and I am more than willing.
I slid the ring on and smiled. I didn't know when Duncan would be back, and it really didn't matter. He'd never ask about the ring, and I'd never tell him; I'd just be wearing it.
Happily ever after is a long time for an Immortal. That's why we never talk about it.
Duncan and I... I couldn't help grinning as I looked at the ring, promising myself to remember to get him one.
We have some odd ideas.