"Will you marry me?"
Rita felt her knees starting to shake, and her head was spinning. She felt dizzy and weak, like someone had sucked all the life out of her. She tried to open her mouth to respond to Roddy's extremely important question, but her mouth felt dry and she felt as if her head was going to explode. She felt like crying, laughing, giggling and screaming all at the same time.
Oh my god he said it! He actually said it! He asked me to marry him! Roderick St. James of Kensington just asked me, Rita Malone, to be his wife! Oh wow!
Roddy stared up at Rita, and took her long silence the wrong way. He sighed and slowly stood up.
"I'm sorry… that was dumb…I mean, I love you very much Rita…so I thought it would be appropriate to ask now but…I guess not."
He stuck the ring back in the box and set it on the ground. He looked at her one last time before walking past her, practically sobbing. He had almost reached the tunnel when he felt a hand clutching his arm.
He turned around slowly and looked at Rita. She gasped slightly. He had tears rolling down his face like a river, his eyes were red and puffy, and his frown was so…frowny….that it looked as if it was permanently drawn onto his face. He looked into her eyes and Rita's heart became heavy. She could see the sadness and pain, the heartbreak… it was too much. She hugged him tightly.
"Roddy…the silence didn't mean 'no'…"
His eyes widened and he could feel his heart pounding.
"It d-didn't?" he whispered.
She pulled away gently and looked at him with her arms around his neck.
"I was speechless. You have no idea how long I've waited for you to do that…I love you more than I can say, Roddy… you mean so much to me. I would never even dream of saying no to anything you ask."
She thought for a moment.
"When it comes to our relationship…not when it comes to the Dodger."
A smile played at the corners of Roddy's mouth as he held her.
"So…was that a yes…?"
Rita looked in his eyes and smiled as she lessened the gap between their lips.
"No dip, Sherlock… You are so clueless sometimes…"
"I know…but it's fun to act stupid around you because then you seem less stupid by comparison, so basically saying that you're-"
"Oh just shut up and kiss me."
"As you wish, Mrs. St. James…"
Rita smiled as he closed the gap completely. She pulled him as close as she possibly could as he pressed her closer to him. Before this, their kisses were quick and somewhat nervous…and neither of them actually enjoyed them. But now, this kiss was unlike any other. It held all the love and joy and complete happiness that the couple felt for each other, along with excitement for the years to come. They probably would've kissed all night if Rita's stomach hadn't growled. They pulled away and laughed.
"I guess that means it's time to go home…" Roddy said as he poked her stomach lightly.
"Yeah…" Rita yawned and smiled.
"C'mon…I'll give you a piggyback ride back to the Dodger."
Rita grinned and jumped on his back, and Roddy made his way through the tunnel being careful of Rita's head. Once they reached the Dodger, Rita was fast asleep. Roddy smiled softly as he laid her down on the bed near the back of the boat. He didn't know much about driving, but he did know how to get them home without crashing…a lot. He tucked Rita in, then walked up to the controls and started the boat.
15 minutes and two crashes later:
"Rita…wake up sleepyhead…"
Rita yawned and opened her eyes to find that Roddy was kneeled next to the bed.
"Hey…how long was I out?"
"Not long…I got us home…"
Rita sat up and stretched.
"Really? No crashes?"
Rita smiled and gently kissed his cheek, then stood up.
"Looks like the lights are all off…I guess everyone else went to bed already…"
Roddy stood up and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind.
"Yeah…it's almost midnight…"
Rita blushed softly and leaned into his embrace.
"C'mon…let's get inside…"
Roddy let her go and gently took her hand, then walked with her, side-by-side into the house. As soon as they walked in, all the lights flickered on.
The couple laughed as they were swamped by little rats. After plenty of noogies, hugs and goodnight kisses, Rita's mother and father came down from upstairs.
"I thought I told all of you to go to bed!" her mum yelled.
All the kids yelped and ran off to different parts of the house to their respective rooms. Rita's dad, who had gotten his entire body cast taken off, smiled and hugged his daughter.
"Where have you two been?"
Rita blushed softly.
Roddy smirked very slightly and wrapped an arm around her waist.
Rita's parents both raised their eyebrows.
"Oh really? Well…I hope you brought back the milk like I told you to." Rita's mum said, crossing her arms.
Rita's eyes widened slightly.
"Oh. Well… we…forgot."
"Mmhm. Alright you two. Spill it. What happened?"
Rita looked at her father, then at her mum, then at Roddy, who smiled. She blushed softly and held up her hand for her parents to see.
"This…is why we forgot."
On her ring finger, was a bright, medium-sized diamond ring. It had a simple beauty and when the light hit it just right, it sparkled brilliantly. Her mum gasped and covered her mouth smiling and tearing up, as her dad grinned.
"Well, finally!" he laughed. "Congratulations, my boy!"
Roddy chuckled as Rita's dad hugged him tightly.
"My daughter…is getting married…" her mum said quietly, looking at her daughter with happy tears in her eyes, and a big smile on her face. They both hugged, and Rita's mum cried with joy. Rita clung to her mum smiling and laughing through her happy tears.
"I can't believe it! My daughter is finally getting married!"
Roddy and Rita's dad had stopped hugging and were now talking and laughing. Rita's sibling peeked into the room and one of them spotted the ring.
"OH MY GOD RODDY AND RITA ARE GETTING MARRIED!"
Rita and her mum stopped hugging and laughed as all the kids ran in and hugged the couple. Roddy laughed and rubbed their little heads.
"HEY! YOU GUYS SHOULD KISS!" one of the younger siblings yelled. Roddy looked at Rita, who looked at her mum who looked at Rita's dad, who laughed.
The couple smiled and Roddy grabbed Rita's hand, then swung her into a dip and kissed her. Listening to her siblings laughs, gags and cheers.
An hour later:
"C'mon Rita...I just put the last of the boys to bed for your mum…we're the only ones actually up…"
Roddy gently kissed her cheek as she yawned.
"Alright, alright…let's go to bed."
Roddy picked her up princess-style and carried her up the stairs to their room. Roddy's bed was on the far right of the room, while Rita's was on the far left. He laid her down and tucked her in, then kissed her forehead and smiled when he realized that she was fast asleep. He moved her hair behind her ear and kissed her one last time before walking to his bed, pulling his jacket off and crawling into bed.
Around midnight, Rita woke up and noticed that the moonlight was shining through her window and hitting the ring on her hand so perfectly that it reflected onto the ceiling. She stared at the reflection for a minute, then blushed and smiled as she realized that the reflection formed the words:
I Love You Rita St. James 3
Rita smiled and closed her eyes thinking,
Rita St. James… I love it…