The Good News
Captain Urchin entered the small, sunlit room where a young squirrel was replacing the old flowers on her bedside table with new ones, humming quietly to herself. The song was one he knew well, a beautiful children's hymn that everyone on Mistmantle had heard as a youngster. Sepia was out of bed, her fur shining softly on the afternoon sun coming through the window. She looks beautiful, he thought.
Sepia looked up when she heard him come in, and smiled. It was only then that he realized that she had not yet seen him wearing his circlet, and he shifted his feet self-consciously.
"Oh!" she said, "They told me you'd been made a captain. Well done! It's funny to think of it, really."
"Let me do that for you," Urchin said, offering a hand.
"No," she answered, "I'm not that delicate. And I'm longing to get out to the fresh air. Can we go down to the sea? Don't worry, I won't blow away." She wheedled, and sternly stared at him when he gave her a look that clearly said, I'm not too sure about that.
Urchin had carefully prepared a speech to tell her, but he put of saying it, nervously enjoying the anticipation. They went down to the shore and sat on the rocks. Urchin thought about how many times they had done so before and how different and important this time was. Sepia splashed her paws in the water, and exclaimed on how everything was fresh and clean after being held in that room for so long, while Urchin happily held her hand and just watched her. He was glad that she was herself again, not the fragile, thin, thing that she had been after the rage tide.
That speech is going to be ridiculous, Urchin thought, mentally crumbling up the paper and throwing it away. Then he turned to her, the love of his life, and his best friend, and took a deep breath. Sepia Smiled up at him, gentle and encouraging, oblivious to the storm of anxiety raging inside him.
"Sepia, I love you. Will you marry me?", he blurted out. There, he said it. He looked down, embarrassed. She probably thinks I'm stupid to ask her, he mentally kicked himself for being so thoughtless.
Sepia didn't say anything, just stared at him, trying to register what he had said to her, since she had been focused on the gentle warmth of his voice. Then it all came back to her.
"I was wondering when you would ask." Urchin looked up as Sepia said this, her kind face showing love and absolute happiness and joy. "Yes, by all means, yes a million times!" she cried, throwing her arms around Urchin's neck.
Joy and relief filled Urchin, and he looked into her loving eyes and kissed her. Then, jumping up, Urchin grabbed her hand and laughed. "Let's go and tell everyone!"