Disclaimer: I do not own anything from CoM. But you already knew that, of course. Silly me.
He always figured that out of all four of them, Sandry would be the one most excited about marriage. She was, after all, a noble. Weddings were practically in her blood. Aren't marriages what those fancy aristocrats thrived upon? It seemed to him that that's the only topic he ever heard of when he was in the presence of nobles. Talks of some noble marrying some other noble and what that noble's wedding dress would look like had always bored him to tears when he stayed at the Citadel. And although she had never actively participated in any of those discussions of matrimonial subjects, he had always thought Sandry was as gung-ho about the idea as much as her fellow nobles.
True, she had almost been forced to marry back in Namorn. And the one man she deemed likely to marry had kidnapped her. But still, those incidents shouldn't be enough to stop her from wanting to be married. They couldn't really form lasting impressions that made her shun away all her suitors and proposals--right?
As far as he could see, there was nothing for her to be scared about when it came to marriage. Nothing at all.
So, why had she said no to him?
He had believed, the moment he thought of proposing to Sandry, that she would automatically say yes to him. But she had said no. A big, fat, resounding no. N.O. Daja and Tris, listening to the proposal through their mind connection, were just as shocked as him. They, too, had been positive that the stitch witch would consent.
Was it something he had said that turned her off to the idea of being his wife? Up until the nightmare proposal, he knew Sandry's and his relationship had been a happy, albeit not perfect, one. They had long ago gotten past the awkwardness of their mutual attraction to each other and somehow stopped thinking of each other as siblings. They had already taken care of Daja and Tris finding out (an event that involved escaping a stuffy formal ball, a midnight rendez-vous in the garden, forgetting to block their mind connection to their friends, and lots of teasing the day after). They had even resolved the issue of his being a former street rat, and her a Duke's grand-niece, realizing that as long as they were in love, it didn't matter what they were.
Or was it just him in particular? Could she not see herself not married to him for the rest of her life? Because when he pictured his own future, she was all he saw. He had actually been looking forward to marrying her, of seeing her in a beautiful white dress (most likely of her own design), of sharing a life with her, of having a family with her. Granted, he didn't think himself quite ready for children, but he wouldn't mind seeing his own babe on Sandry's hip.
Shaking his head, Briar tried to rid himself of these thoughts. He glanced down at the ring he held in his hands, turning it around as the light from the window reflected off of it. It was a pretty ring, simple yet elegant, with a solitary diamond surrounded by tiny gold roses. When he had bought it, he knew it was perfect for his Sandry. And yet, she had taken one look at it and then thrust it back into his open palm.
Nothing he thought of was a reasonable answer for why she declined the proposal. Shoving the ring into his pocket, he rose from his chair and left his workroom. If he couldn't think of a plausible reason, then he was going to get one straight from Sandry herself. He at least deserved that.
Feeling for her through their connection, he found her talking to Daja outside. When he reached the doorway, he stood still, letting himself take in the scene before him. Daja was holding up a bolt of cloth for Sandry as she looked over it with a sharp, calculating expression, probably planning in her mind what she'd create with it. He caught Daja's eye over Sandry's head, and motioned for her to leave. The smith mage gave a stiff nod and excused herself, handing the cloth back to her foster sister.
Once Daja was gone, Briar took a step forward. Sandry, folding the cloth over her arm, glanced up to see who was approaching her and smiled when she saw him. The same smile faltered, however, when she noted his serious countenance. She reached forward and wrapped her arms around his waist, asking, "What's wrong?"
He couldn't help but smirk down at her, placing his hands on her shoulders as he let out an exaggerated sigh, "Nothing, really. Just that you refuse to marry me."
The corners of her lips fell into a frown. Before she could say anything, Briar placed his hand over her mouth. "All I want to know is why."
When she didn't speak, he asked, "Is it because of what happened in Namorn? With Fin and Shan?" She shook her head, burying her face in his chest. "Or can you not see yourself with me?"
Her head shaking turned vicious and she looked up at him with wide eyes. "No, it's neither of those. I can see myself with you, it's just that..." She didn't finish her sentence, looking away from him in shame. He pressed her to continue and she bit her lip, "You'll tease me."
Holding her tighter to him, he chuckled. "You've never minded my teasing before."
"I won't tell you if you don't take this seriously," Sandry warned him. He reassured her that he was being serious, and she took a deep breath before explaining, "I don't want to be good-for-naught!"
"Yes, just like that maid said." Now that it was out, words came rushing out of Sandry, and Briar could barely make sense of anything she was saying. It was all gibberish about someone named Pirisi, being noble, and waiting and marriage. By the time she was done, Briar was deeply confused. Sandry, taking pity on his dazed face, said, "Pirisi said that noble girls are only good to be waited on and married. And I don't want to be good-for-naught!"
That was it?He had been mentally torturing himself for hours on end with logical reasons why she wouldn't marry him, and that was it?
"You don't want to be married," he voiced slowly. "because you don't want to be good-for-naught?" He took a couple of seconds to breathe in and out, calming himself. But that still didn't stop him from snapping at Sandry. "That's stupid!"
"No, it's not!" she shot back. "When I get married, I'll be expected to be at my husband's beck and call, and stay at home and all those other wifely duties. I don't want to do that. I want to work with my magic and go where I please and not have not have to depend on my husband so much. I like how my life is right now, and I don't want to change anything by getting married."
"You think I wouldn't let you live how you want?" He leaned down to press his mouth against her forehead.
"No, I--" Sandry stopped when she saw Briar grinning down at her, realizing he was teasing her.
"Then what's the problem? I'm not expecting anything from you as my wife, except for the usual duties."
"Usual duties? What are those?" her tone was wary, uncertain that she actually wanted to find out the reply to her question.
He kissed her then, holding her so close to him that her feet left the ground. It was a long and passionate kiss, one that made Sandry's hair stand on end and sent an intense heat throughout her body. When he pulled away, the heat in his gray-green eyes answered for her, but he responded anyway, "I think you exactly what I expect from you."
Blushing from the roots of her hair to her neck, she cried, "Briar Moss, if you think I'll marry you just to--"
He kissed her once again, effectively cutting off her complaints. Once they parted for air, he could see Sandry getting ready to start again, and he had to cover her mouth with his hand again so he could speak. "Sandry, just be quiet and agree to marry me already."
Her annoyance dissipated, and she glanced into his eyes searchingly. She found his love for her gleaming back, and sighing in defeat, she held out her left hand.
Authoress's Notes: Hello, readers! It's been awhile since I've written fanfiction, much less CoM fiction. I don't know exactly how this idea came to me. I just remember thinking about how Sandry is opposed to marriage, and then I thought of how Briar would feel, and then boom! This was born. I haven't read CoM in about a year or so, and characters may be a little OOC. But whatever, it's my fic, so they're allowed to be like that. And I know that TP said that they're strictly siblings, but there's chemistry there, and I will act upon it!
So, here's a cutesy little one-shot for you all to enjoy. This was really fun to write, and I finished it within a day, which almost never happens when I'm writing something. I really love Sandry/Briar. They're probably the easiest pairing for me to write about.
There should be another one-shot up soon. I wrote it...a lot of months ago, when I was still in school. I even typed it all up but then I clicked some random button and deleted it all and never felt like retyping it. So I found it today and decided to retype it and work out some kinks and then post it. So...yeah...that will be up soon. It's another cute Sandry/Briar one-shot...because what else would it be?
Please excuse any grammar/spelling mistakes. I'm on my sister's lap top and the key board is small and condensed, and it's easy for me to miss some keys.
Thanks for reading (and reviewing, if you choose to do so.)!