A/N: Even if this story crashes and burns and you all hate it, I'm proud of it. I really loved writing this for some reason. It was a real relaxer, typing up a fic about Conrad proposing to Belly. Made me happy. (:
Also, don't be intimidated by the big, scary paragraphs. It's just Conrad talking. ;D
Another note: This is CONRAD'S POINT OF VIEW.
Disclaimer: Still don't own the characters. Sigh.
I drove the car into the driveway of the summer house at Cousins, Belly's eyes taking everything in from the passenger's seat. I took a breath, patted my pocket and the outline of the ring case for good-luck, and stepped out of the Mercedes. Belly came out after me.
"Wow. We're really here," she murmured, laying her head on my shoulder. "I haven't been here since..."
She didn't need to say anything. The last time she was here, I was here, was the not-so-wedding between her and Jere. Man, did that bring back memories. My heart hammering in my chest after saying what I thought would be my last goodbye to her before she became Isabel Conklin-Fisher, having a fall out with Jeremiah... it all came back to me.
Hand in hand, we walked around to the beach. I could feel her relax as our feet touched the soft sand. She picked up a wad of it and chucked it at the back of my head, giggling the whole time. God, she was gorgeous. The freckles she was so self-conscious about made her look beautiful. Belly's eyes were so clear and piercing that they took me away from reality. And her hair. I didn't know if it's the Pantene she used or if it's naturally smooth and weightless, but I loved it. Her. The sun was a perfect orange-purple, reflecting on the ocean water, and I knew it was time. "Be a man," I heard my dad say.
I untangled my hand from her waist and looked her in the eye. Belly stared back at me quizzically as I slowly bent down. The minute I had one knee propped up and my hand rummaging through my pants pockets, her eyes bulged from her sockets and a gasp escaped her lips.
"Conrad? What are you-"
"Isabel Conklin," I began.
"-doing? Oh, God, what's that you're pulling out of your pocket? Is this why you took us to Cousins? You said we were getting McDonald's! Also,-" Belly babbled before I cut her off.
"Belly, shut up and listen. I love you," I said.
That got her to quiet down.
"Ever since the beginning, you were always different to me. The girls in my 2nd grade class were so obsessed with Barbies and pink, while you found happiness catching sand crabs and putting them in Steve's swim trunks. Then came middle school. I went through this weird moody phase with my guitar and a couple of Pearl Jam albums, but you still followed me around. I'd never admit it, but you made me feel special. Like I was important. Worth it. In one summer, you could make me happier than my dad ever did in a year." I took a breath. "Then came high school."
Belly's eyes were glassy. She knew what was coming.
"You showed up to Cousins that summer looking... pretty. I mean, you've always been pretty, but I really noticed it then...but it was at the worst possible time. Mom was sick again. Dad proved he was an ass. Lastly, Jeremiah saw the change in you, too. But I took a chance that year and stayed with you. Loved you. It was the best time of my life."
"Conrad," was all Belly whispered, a single tear rolling down her cheek. I kissed her hand and pressed on.
"But the high-tide came and screwed everything over. Mom was-" my voice caught. I cleared my throat. "Mom was gone. Dad was being himself, a psychotic businessman, and was selling the house. School didn't matter anymore. Neither did love. Prom night was not so magical, huh? I'm sorry for that night. The weight of all that shit just... poured down on me. It was never your fault for our fall out."
"Th-that makes sense," Belly lightly laughed.
"So, anyways, you and Jere came to my rescue and did two things for me. One, you helped me pass my finals. And, two, I realized you and Jere need each other. I didn't deserve to love you. I was going to hurt you. So I let you go," I concluded.
"Conrad. You can stop now," she smiled. "I get it."
"But here's the part where I realize what a stupid person I am for handing you over to Jere!"
"I'm at Susannah's memorial garden thing. I see you and Jere holding hands. And I snap. But what could I do? You were dating because of me! Then, you two suddenly announce that you're engaged and... God, that might've been the worst moment of my life. You were his girl. I couldn't take you away from him. Until I realized he cheated on you. It gave me a reason to fight for you and... I think I won."
"Your story-telling skills are quite amazing," Belly giggled, a couple of tears streaming down her face.
"The story's not done yet, though. Because this is the part..."
I took out the velvet ring case with one hand and took her hand with another.
I opened the ring box, revealing a diamond infinity sign. It took me forever, plus thousands of dollars, to get the rings. They needed to be perfect.
"...ask you, Isabel Conklin, to marry me."
Belly stood there, crying her eyes out. I reached up and brushed the tears away with my thumb. All of a sudden, she cracked the widest grin I'd ever seen on a person's face and replied, "Did you really have to ask? Um, yes. Yes, Conrad, I'll marry you."
All I could hear was the ocean. If there were people around, I would be screaming "SHE SAID YES!" and twirling her around dramatically on the beach. But there were no people.
I did it anyways.
Sliding the infinity ring on her finger, I picked her up like she was nothing and spun her around a couple times. "Conrad!" she shrieked. "Put me do-" That last part was cut off by our laughter.
"SHE SAID YES!" I yelled at the top of my lungs, running around on the beach while she rode on my back.
We laid down on the beach, even though the sand seeping into my pants was getting uncomfortable.
"So, we're getting married," she breathed. I laced my hand with hers.
"I guess we are," I replied breathily, kissing her softly on the cheek.
"And I have a feeling that, this time, things will be perfect." Belly had that dreamy look on her face, as if she could imagine it all. I know I could. "Also, this ring, Conrad. It's... beautiful. It matches my Infinity necklace!"
"You know me, got to keep things coordinated," I joked, running my fingers through her tangled, yet soft, hair.
"Do you think she's watching?"
'She' as in Susannah.
"Yeah, I think so. Hey, mom. I finally did it. I know you were messing around when you said I'd marry Belly as a kid, but, this time, it's for real." I waved up at the starry sky.
"Love you, Susannah!" Belly called upward. She turned back to me. "I'll be Belly Conklin Fisher. I always dreamed of this. And only with one of the Fisher boys. I'll finally be yours."
I placed my hands on her cheek and turned her head in my direction. "Belly button, you've always been mine. And I'll always be yours. You're my everything." She pressed her lips to mine and it was a slow kiss, not rushed at all.
I mean, what was the hurry? We had infinity.