Dante Hicks has two rings he never takes off. The ring on his left hand is the simple gold band that Becky gave him at their wedding. The ring on his right hand is the Claddagh he's always worn, only now he keeps it turned differently, to let people know that his heart belongs to someone.

Most people don't suspect that the rings represent two different people.

Randal Graves has a Claddagh like Dante's, though he doesn't wear it openly.

He remembers rolling his eyes when Dante gave it to him. He'd said, "Jesus, Dante, matching rings? What, are we still in high school?" But he'd smiled when he said it.

Randal wears his ring on a chain and keeps it hidden under his shirt.

Randal doesn't notice his ring has fallen into open sight until he sees Elias staring. He quickly slips it under his Batman t-shirt and answers the question in Elias' gaze with the challenge in his eyes.

Elias didn't see the ring closely. He only knows that it's gold and Randal doesn't want people to see it. He casts curious looks at Randal for the rest of the day. He suspects something.

A week passes before he lets his theory slip to Randal, who grows very still and very quiet before darting next door to report to Dante.

"Dante," he says. "Do you still keep a shotgun under the counter?"

"Yeah…" Dante says carefully. "Why?"

"Elias has gone completely batshit. We're gonna have to put him down, like Old Yeller."


"Kid thinks I'm some kind of ring-bearing dark lord from those damned movies of his," he says with a barely straight face. "I told you this day would come, but you didn't believe me. Now hand over the shotgun."

"You are not going to shoot Elias!" Dante says.

"Do you wanna do it?" Randal says.

The door bursts open before Dante can answer. "For the Shire!" Elias bellows, swinging a plastic sword. It makes pre-recorded clashing noises as it hits Randal's shoulder.

"The gun!" Randal cries, trying to fend him off. "Get the gun!"

"Oh god." Dante covers his face with his hands. The shotgun is within his reach, but he doesn't trust himself to pick it up. He's not sure which of them he'd shoot.