So this was just a small little one-shot I cranked out because I was feeling all schmoopy (that's not a word, oh well) after watching BD and listening to Turning Page. It's super fluffy, you've been warned but I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

Thank you to DerdriuF and Theheartoflife1, who answered my bat-signal with their talent, time and lovely selves.


Here's the thing you women don't know:

You don't know what it feels like to have your whole life boil down to a question.

Or the answer, really.

You don't know what it's like to put your pride—really, your heart, but we're men, so that's inextricably linked to pride, and we're men so we don't talk about our hearts—on the line, to feel like your mouth is so dry you'll never speak again but have all these words you know you need to, have to, are dying to say. You have no idea what it's like to think of the millions of things you could say and not be able to choose just one.

How she smiles and it makes me feel so light, how she puts her warm feet on top of mine because my toes are always cold, how she changed everything for the better, like whether it was buying me a Brita so I'd stop drinking tap water or making me fall so in love with her that I'm ready to do this.

You have no idea that we think things like this on a day as important as this one, but also, that because of her, I think things like this every day. You have no idea what it feels like to have your hands shake so hard, you think you'll drop your grandmother's ring. You have no idea what it's like to resist the urge to touch that ring over and over again because touching it helps you imagine what it's going to look like on her finger and is the only thing that's keeping you calm. It's the only thing you want.

You don't know what it's like to propose.

She'll say yes. I know she will because it's us. The first time I saw this girl, my girl, my Bella—because she's not just a girl and she is mine—I knew I had to kiss her. And it was just dominoes from there. I saw her and I wanted to kiss her. I kissed her and I wanted to touch her. I touched her and I wanted to love her, and I loved her and I love her and I only want to keep loving her.

I don't know what she'd say was her favorite moment of our relationship. Maybe she'd say the first time I told her I loved her, which was when we rode on Space Mountain, because I was convinced I was going to die or maybe piss my pants, and thought she ought to know I loved her before one or both of those things happened. Maybe she'd say her favorite moment is still to come.

My favorite was probably the first time we slept together. Not the actual sex, that's on its own list, with every other time we've had sex, because… well, it's sex. And it's her, and I love both of those things a lot. But the morning after our first time, when I woke up to muffled giggles—that's my favorite moment.

I was groggy and tired and hard because she was still pressed into my body. But her face was buried in the pillow and all I could see was her shiny brown hair, tangled and wild, all over my bedspread.

"Why are you laughing?" I asked.

Her head jerked to the side as she realized I was awake. She didn't say anything, just continued to laugh.

"What?" I asked. "Why are you laughing? You know, it's not good for a guy's ego to wake up to the girl he's in bed with laughing."

She rolled her eyes. "You hardly need to worry about your ego withering away."

"Fair enough. But why are you laughing?" I asked again.

She giggled and said, "You owe me fifty bucks."

"What?"

"Fifty bucks. You owe me. In fact, it should be a hundred, but I'm being nice and only taking fifty."

I raised my eyebrows. "How do I…. how…" I trailed off.

"How what?" she asked.

"How do I ask you if you're actually a hooker without asking you if you're actually a hooker?" I replied and she burst into laughter. I loved that sound, I loved how her eyes squinted and scrunched shut and her mouth opened wide and her top lip jutted up to show a tiny bit of her gums. I loved that I was close enough to see all this, that I was saying the words that were making that happen.

"I'm not a hooker," she said, then burst into giggles again. "I can easily say this is not the conversation I pictured us having the morning after."

"What was the conversation you pictured us having?"

"That's just it! That's why I was laughing. I didn't picture us having any conversation. I wasn't supposed to sleep with you on the first date! I bet my friend Alice one hundred bucks that I wouldn't."

"Ahh. That explains the fifty dollars," I replied. "So why'd you give in?"

She smiled. "I guess I liked you more than I liked a hundred bucks."

I put my arm around her waist and pulled her to me, kissing her thoroughly. She kissed back, soft and sweetly slow, like we could and should just stay here, doing this forever. I wished we could.

"Tell your friend Alice I'll give her a thousand dollars. Ten thousand dollars."

She smiled. "That's how much you like me?"

"Maybe even more," I teased, but it was the type of joke where we both knew I meant it. She'd been there the previous night; she had to have seen it in my eyes, the way I moved. That was sex but it was also so much more.

It was the start of something that I was now going to ask to never, ever end.

"Wow," she said. "That's a whole lot." She kissed me again, in the signature way where her lips just fit around and on and over and in between mine perfectly. "I like you that much, too," she whispered quietly.

I'm not sure why that moment is my favorite over so many good ones. Maybe it was because it was a Saturday and I got my wish to just stay like that for the rest of the day. Maybe it's because after that, everything just clicked for us. Maybe it was because I got laid the night before. But I'm pretty sure it's because it was her, and it was the last first time I ever had, and it was the last first time I ever wanted.

I look over at her, running around the apartment in a bit of a frenzy to get ready. She's beautiful and smiling—it's my favorite thing about her. She smiles so much and she makes me smile so much. She tells me she loves me all time, sometimes out of the blue for no reason. She's much shorter than me, so sometimes, she'll just kiss my shoulder or neck. She's never once mentioned about how I cry every time we watch The Shawshank Redemption, even though she wiped away my tears the last time.

It's her birthday and we're getting ready to go to dinner with all her friends and family. I don't think she has any idea what's going to happen, but it's perfect. She looks beautiful, all zipped up into a blue dress with her hair up. She's got these earrings on that make her face look so delicate—almost like she was painted, but not, because she's so much more alive, so much more beautiful than that. She never wears rings, I've noticed lately, because you notice that sort of thing when you're thinking about what the girl you love will look like wearing your ring.

With a final glance in the mirror, one hand smoothing down her dress, she turns to me with that wide, perfect smile she has.

And I know, this is the moment. There are so many with her, so many perfect moments, but I want to do this now.

But see, this is so much. It's everything and only a tenth of what I want to tell her. What I want to spend the rest of my life telling her. And my mouth is so much better at kissing her—because I'm sure that's the reason it was made—than putting sentences together to sound the way I want them to.

So I put down my pen and hand her all these words, written down, just the way I've thought them, the way I've felt them.

She reads them, doing that smiling and laughing while still crying thing you girls are so good at. But when she's done and looks up, the only thing I see, the only thing I'll ever need to see, are her eyes.

I kneel.

She smiles.

"Will you marry me?" I ask.

Here's the thing you women don't know.

You don't know, have no idea, couldn't possibly comprehend or even fathom, how happy you make us when you say:

"Yes."