Always by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or any of its characters.

To say 'I love you' in Klingon is qabang, and in Afrikaans Ek is lief vir jou. Debbie wonders how it would be said in Elvish, or Goa'ould, but it'd likely be as hard as it is in English.

English is the one language that she knows, along with the ever-popular Bad English. She aims to learn another language, any other language, one day, but it'll have to be one day that isn't today.

Today, her boyfriend has asked her to marry him, and she can't think of anything to say. She wants to say, 'I love you!' but suddenly her mouth just won't work. She wants to say, 'Forever!'

Irrationally, she thinks of her parents, and wonders if she should say, 'Hang on, what about if we want to get divorced later, and end up hating each other later because I got your coffee table and you got my seal figurine in the settlement?'

Then she laughs, and her boyfriend is sitting across the table, probably wondering if one or both of them has gone mad.

So she says, "Yes. Always. Just don't mention it to anyone living." She's just finished laughing, and her voice is kind of funny still, and all he can do is stare.

She gets it later, but at this moment, she's suddenly furious. He's jerking her around, she is convinced of it. She gets to her feet, and storms on out of that restaurant… café… sandwich bar. What a place to propose! Over a lunch of a sandwich and a cheap coffee!

She's never going to marry him now.

Later, she apologises. She finds him in the middle of writing a letter – to her, she supposes – and tells him that he must stay, that she was out of sorts, that she is marrying him, and that he must stay. She cannot marry anyone else; she can't. They're going to have children together, and her parents are going to be grandparents.

So he must stay.

He agrees to stay, and they sit down on the sofa together to watch the Weather Channel on his expensive television set – he has Pay TV.

She could never afford Pay TV, and she does love him.

Translations provided by Dorothy Morrison's Enchantments of the Heart: A Magical Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 2002, New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.