They were each other's partner in crime and best friends. Why not expand that just a little bit more?
Doon had always liked Lina.
Well, maybe not always, but just for a really long time. Their friendship had ended at some point, but to only be rebuilt a few years later, now their friendship was stronger than ever. Doon comforted Lina when her grandmother had passed away, they had worked together to find the way out of Ember. Eventually, they did, taking Poppy, Lina's little sister with them. After they had dropped the message, everyone eventually went up and followed him.
When everyone was gathered, they had made a journey to Sparks. Things were rocky between the people of Sparks and the people of Ember. Lina had decided on her own that she would stow away in Caspar's cart to go with him and Maddy to see the lost city. Doon had worried about her despite the events happening in Sparks. Lina had returned, and everything was getting resolved, everyone now a citizen of Sparks.
Seven months later, their first winter was coming along and everything was becoming scarce. The two decided to go on another adventure- to go back to Ember, maybe find some things to help their people out in Sparks. Doon had been captured by the Troggs, but had escaped. The diamond he found with the Troggs shattered on accident as he was trying to protect Lina from the wolves. The two had found more diamonds, all of them helping Sparks.
Later on, Lina had gotten a gift from Mary and Mrs. Murdo, a horse named Fleet. She had taken Fleet to deliver messages from village to village. Time passed Lina and Doon would live under the same house hold near the Pioneer Hotel with Poppy, Doon's father and Mrs. Murdo living closely near them. Eventually, Lina's great-great-granddaughter would have all the pictures Lina drew before, while living in a similar city she had drawn. But that's another story.
This one's about what had started that.
As mentioned before, Doon had liked Lina. For a while. And not friendship like, either, like-like kind of like. It was obvious to everyone, but themselves. Of course they had the same affections for each other, but they never knew if the other returned them. There were times where one of the two would attempt at confessing, but only to say another thing, fearing that it would destroy their friendship.
Lizzy, before she had met Scawgo- or Tim, had fantisized about being Doon's girlfriend. She eventually realized that he was too serious for her, plus, he was more interested in Lina anyway. Now, years after, everytime she had seen Doon and Lina talking to each other, neither one of them making a move, she frowned and flipped her hair, like she was right now. Lina had just returned from her job as a messenger and guiding Fleet to the stable. After that, Doon and Lina had sat down, her telling him about her last delivery, eyes twinkling, Doon's attention all focused on her.
"It's a wonder why neither one of them has made a move yet," Lizzy fussed as she combed her red hair. "It's obvious that they like each other, right Tim?"
Tim nodded. Tim was a young boy who was with the Troggs before he had eventually lived with the Noam family. Now he was a young man. He still limped while he walked, but Washton had created something, or rather, re-created something to help him walk. It was a stick and helped him walk, unlike a cane, it would be placed under his arm, and he moved along with it. A crutch, Washton had called it. He had seen one in a book in the library. Of course, he didn't learn how to read fluently yet, but it looked so easy to make in the book, so he built it only with a visual sense. Tim had spoken more, but was still quiet. He was a very good listener, listening to his girlfriend's commentaries.
To be honest, he could never picture them together, Lizzy was chatty and rather pretty, on the other hand, Tim was quiet and well, had a limp. Apparently, Lizzy brought the best in him, and then they had been together ever since.
Lizzy gave out a big sigh and stared at Lina and Doon. "How long is it until they're gonna start dating?"
"I don't know," Tim cracked a small smile. "Kenny told me about how Doon was gonna ask her out."
Lizzy's eyes shot up and she looked at Tim with an interested look. "Really now?"
From the distance, Lizzy saw Doon say something, while scratching his neck. After saying it, he had coughed, and looked away before Lina had threw her hands around him and kissed him on the cheek. Doon remained motionless before he wrapped his arms around her and kissed Lina's forehead.
Lizzy crossed her arms and nodded, satisfied. "Finally."
Years had passed and now, asking Lina out seemed so little as what he was about to ask her now. They both twenty, and still together. Doon had helped in the library Edward Pocket was keeping track of whenever he didn't work in the fields.
"I don't know Kenny," Doon grumbled as he placed some books on the shelf. "Got any advice?"
Kenny shook his head. "I saw some books on love and romance, maybe you can read those and get some ideas."
"Alright, thanks," Doon had then searched for the romance books Kenny was talking about. Too bad he had to go back home before Doon could ask where they were. After a few minutes of skimming, Doon had eventually found a book and read it. He just looked at a couple of lines and made a conclusion.
True love was when you felt that if you were seperated from that special person, you wouldn't feel complete. Life would be hard living without them.
Doon thought about this. What would life be with out Lina? What would it be like if he didn't speak to her or had made those adventures with her? He would miss the way how she talked about her adventures, take care of her little sister, and at times, take him along with Fleet, delivering messages. But most of all, what would it be like if they had never made up? Would they still be stuck in Ember?
And all of a sudden, it came to him. Because of them making up with each other, them re-building their friendship with each other, they saved their people. And without knowing it, they had saved each other from other things, always looking out for the other.
Doon had reached his conclusion. He likes- no, loves Lina. And he wants to be with her as much as he can, maybe have more adventures with her. As best friends, more than friends, partners in crimes, and hopefully, as a married couple.
His heart raced a bit at the thought of that. But he had to find a good way to propose to Lina. He wanted it to be surprise to not only her, but anyone who cared to know. So from that day, he began researching.
Doon read books, skimmed them, wanting to skip to the part where the male character would propose to the female character. From it, he concluded that it invloved getting a ring, down on one knee, presenting the ring, and as it said in the book, "pop the question". Didn't seem to difficult, he said to himself. But where would he get a ring?
Weeks had passed and roamers would stop into village, offering them things they had found in the Empty Lands or the lost cities, the villagers bargaining for it. Doon had stopped by all of the roamers' sales, hoping to find a ring. He had thought about using one of the diamonds they had found into a ring, but it was too big, and he felt that it wouldn't suit Lina. Plus, if he were to cut the diamond, he was afraid that he would either break it or drain its power, so he shut that idea down. His only solution now was to see if a roamer had a ring on them. In an exchange, he would give them a diamond. Seemed like a fair trade, Doon concluded.
One day, Lina had left to deliver a message that would take her three days to go there and back. For six days, she would be gone. She had offered Doon to go with her, but he refused, saying that he was waiting for something. Lina asked him again, but only got the same answer. When she was to leave the next day, Doon had seen her off, giving her a kiss before she left. This was a routine for them whenever she would go on off without him on a trip.
On one of those days where Lina was out, two roamers had stopped by in the village. Taking off their hoods, one of the roamers had a smile full of pride, to which Doon had recognized him instantly. It was Torren along with his older brother, Caspar. Torren had grown up over the years and became a roamer with his brother.
The villagers had gathered around them, welcoming them first. Doctor Hester had greeted her nephews as well as Ben Barlow. After the greetings, the bargain had began. The two had found both useless and useful items. But mostly useless. The useful items were quickly traded, the useless items only filling the cart.
When the crowd had decreased, Doon made his way to their cart. "Hello Torren."
"Do you have any jewelry?"
"Yeah, but I never knew you were interested in them," Torren snorted as he looked for the box full of jewelry. "Is it for you, or let me guess... Lina?"
"Who told you?"
"It's pretty obvious."
"Of course," Doon sighed and searched for a ring. It would be beautiful, he said to himself. It would have to reflect how he saw Lina. Beautiful, nothing too flashy. Something that caught his eye the moment he would see it. A ring that would sparkle like Lina's eyes whenever she talked about her deliveries.
After a bit of searching, Doon had started to give up, until he had found one. It was a gold ring, or used to be a gold ring. It was small but big enough for there to be some engraving on the outside and a stone in the middle. He wasn't sure what stone, but it reminded him of Lina. He looked inside the ring and read the engraving, "To my partner in crime." It seemed that this ring was just made for him to give to Lina.
"I'll give you guys a diamond for this."
Lina had returned a couple of days later and before she did, Doon was writing down the things he would say to her when proposing.
He had it all planned out the day before Lina was to return. But now all he had to do was practice on someone. He asked Kenny, but he was busy helping his mother after she had forced him to assist her in cooking. Doon had then asked Tim, knowing what a good listener he was. He had agreed, and Lizzy, now his wife frowned. She had volunteered to be practiced on, but was turned on. Rude, she huffed.
At the end of the day, Tim gave his approval, and so did Lizzie, but she still had complained about being turned down. Tim calmed her down by kissing her, which got her to stop complaining. Doon looked at them and hoped that he and Lina would be as happy as they were, and maybe even more.
The next day, Lina had returned to Sparks, instantly met by Doon. "Hey Doon!" She greeted.
"Lina, I have to ask you something."
"Hold on, I have to get Fleet back in the stable. I'll meet you at the Pioneer Hotel in a bit, okay?"
The two had met by the hotel later on, and they sat on a bench. "So what was it that you wanted to ask me?"
This had felt so familiar to what had happened when Doon asked her out. This time, he was more nervous. "How was your trip?"
"Great!" She said. "The crops in the other villages are doing great this year- ohh and I met this fortune teller, apparently they can see the future! I asked her about the cities I always draw, but she just told me that I would have a big surprise when I got home!"
"Oh," Doon coughed. "Torren visited the other day with his brother."
"Did they trade anything?"
"A few things," Doon said. "Pots and pans, things like that."
"Did you get anything?" Lina asked.
"Yeah, actually," Doon went on the ground on one knee and held Lina's hand. Doon was trying his best not to mess up while Lina was confused at what was happening. "Lina, you've been with me for everything, finding our way out of Ember, getting to Sparks, and helping the people here. We're each other's best friends, then more than friends, all the while, partners. But," He took out the ring and slipped it into Lina's left ring finger. "I want to be more than that."
"Like?" Lina asked.
"Us, married," Doon answered. "Lina, I want you to be by my side and be my partner for the rest of our lives."
Lina giggled. "I thought we already were."
"No, partners," Lina said. "But I'd love to be your wife Doon."
Doon smiled, a rare event, Lina had observed. "Look at the engravement."
Lina read it. "To my partner in crime... Did you do that?"
"No, but it I think I was meant to find it," He said. "To give it to you, partner."