Hello again, guys! So, I got this amazing idea from DizzyRedhead, where Mal would have been originally bringing Natara out to propose to her. So I switched some of the details, such as how long they've been dating & such. So this is just a slightly different twist. The main differences are the very beginning, & the end, where Mal goes back for Natara. If you don't wanna re-read this in its entirety, just read the last few parts again. (:
So yeah, a huge thanks to DizzyRedhead! :D Enjoy & review!
(POV - Natara Williams)
We are lost. Even though Mal won't admit to it, I am m not an idiot; we are literally in the middle of nowhere, dirt roads and all. It's pouring rain, and despite the strong beams of light from the headlights, we can barely even see 10 feet ahead of us. As far as I can tell, there is not a living being any where within a 20 mile radius of us. That's not all, though. Mal left his phone back at his apartment, and mine is useless, anyways; there's no reception out here at all. Mal has been forced to reduce his driving speed to literally 10 miles an hour; the pounding rain refuses to allow him any quicker passage. Every so often, a flash of lightning illuminates the sky, and thunder rumbles around us. Large, cold drops of rain pelt down from the dark, cloudy sky, making loud pattering noises against the metal frame of the car.
Mal is in a tux, and I am in a light blue, knee-length dress. Mal and I have been dating for exactly a year now, and tonight he said he wanted to take me out. However, he refused to disclose the specific location as to where we were driving to. He told me to dress fancy, so here I am in a dress, completely lost in the middle of who-the-actual-hell-knows-where.
"Mal," I say tiredly, leaning forward and resting my elbows on my knees. "Just admit it; we are completely lost."
We have been driving for hours, and neither of us have had much to eat today; our sleep patterns have been messed up due to work; and on top of it all, we have no means of contact with anybody else outside of this car. We are both frustrated and exhausted, but there's really nothing to do but keep driving.
"No, we're not!" Mal argues back, scowling irritably. "I know where I'm going; it's just raining too hard to do anything about it!"
I sigh and gently massage my temples, attempting to relieve the headache I have obtained from lack of sleep, little food, and caffeine withdrawal.
"Mal," I say again, growing increasingly annoyed at Mal's stubbornness. "I know your man-pride doesn't like to admit it, but there is no other way to address the status of our little situation right now; we are in the middle of nowhere, and you have no idea where you are going." I don't really mean to sound so angry, but I am too annoyed and tired and hungry to care at this point.
Mal turns and gives me a momentary sharp glare before turning his attention back to the seemingly-endless country road in front of him.
"Natara, we are not lost," he growls back. "Now please let me drive... in silence."
"Drive to where, Mal?" I snap, ignoring his request for silence. "We have been driving for 2 damn hours. And if I recall correctly, you told me we were 'almost there' over an hour ago."
He opens his mouth to reply, but the sputtering of the car's engine cuts him off. Mal's attention snaps to the fuel gauge, and he curses under his breath when he sees the little white ticker-arrow pointing right to the 'E'.
"Dammit," Mal yells, pounding his fist on the dashboard.
"Wonderful," I exclaim sarcastically, turning towards him. "So now, not only are we completely and utterly lost in the middle of God-only-knows-where, but it is also pouring rain, my cell phone has no reception, and we are also out of gas."
"Well, what do you want me to do about it, Natara?" Mal snaps, visibly beginning to lose his forcibly-calm facade.
"What the hell were you thinking?" I bark back, ignoring his question. "Were you trying to get us stranded or something? Because congratulations; now we're stuck here!"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Mal growls back sarcastically. "I thought taking my girlfriend out on our one-month anniversary would be a nice thing to do. I thought you'd like a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant that I had to make reservations for a week ago. Obviously not, though, since all you've done is complain the past hour."
"Oh, so now you're just pushing this all on me?" I yell exasperatedly, turning angrily to face him. "I'm not the one who insisted on not bringing the damn GPS, because you 'knew where you were going', and 'wanted to surprise me'. Well, you did surprise me. I didn't know you could do such a damn good job of getting us stranded in the middle of fricking hick town with no gas or cell phone reception while it's raining cats and dogs outside!" I know I should shut up and apologize, but my temper is getting the best of me at the moment.
"So this is my fault, is it now? If I recall correctly," he says, mocking what I said earlier, "You're the one being a complete bitch about it! I was just trying to make this a special night, just for us; and what the hell do you do to thank me? You complain and whine the whole damn drive."
"Thank you? Really, Mal? And why in the name of hell would I thank you? Oh, yes, thank you so much for stranding us out in the middle of hell, all because you were too prideful to just bring the damn GPS! All you needed to do was swallow your pride for 2 fricking seconds and grab the GPS, and we wouldn't be in this situation right now! Yes, thank you so fricking much, Mal. I really appreciate it. It's just been a great day. It even competes with the day I broke up with Oscar for my all-time favorite days. Thinking back, maybe I should have stayed with him! He never blamed me for a crap-date that he pulled! Oh wait, he never did pull a crap-date, unlike you. Really, Mal, I-"
"You know what, Natara?" he yells, interrupting me. "I'm getting really fricking sick of your ungrateful bullcrap. I try to do something nice for you, and all you do in return is be an insensitive little prick to me the whole way there. Do you honestly think I tried to run us out of gas and strand us out here? No, I was just trying to have a nice evening out with my girlfriend. The very least you could do is show a little gratitude, and at least try stop being such an arrogant bitch all of the time! I'm getting really sick of this unsensible crap, Natara."
Mal slams his fist against the steering wheel, causing the horn to honk loudly. I hardly hear it, though, because his words hurt. As much as I don't want to admit it, that really fricking hurts. I am determined not to let him win, though. I can't show that he got to me. I will not give him that satisfaction.
I open my mouth to spit out another sarcastic reply, when Mal interrupts me.
"Dammit, Natara!" he yells suddenly and forcefully, slamming his hand against the dashboard. "Just stop and shut up already! And you're right," he adds, unbuckling his seat belt and grabbing the door handle; "Maybe you should've stayed with Oscar." With that, he opens the car door and steps out into the pouring rain.
His words hurt like hell, but I refuse to let my emotions take over right now. He didn't physically hit me, but it feels like a punch to the stomach. I defiantly step out of the car, too; and within moments, I am soaking wet.
"I would be better off with him than you!" I scream at him as he turns and runs off, disappearing into the storm. Hurt and defeated, I sink down into the grass by the side of the car, allowing tears to stream down my face and sobs to wrack my body. I let his words sink in, and they hurt more and more every second. I hate crying, but I let myself do so, anyways. I completely let go, succumbing to the harsh sobs that I am unable to stop. I am soon bawling so hard that I can't breathe, but as hard as I try, I can't stop the tears and sobs from overcoming me.
I know I said horrible things to him, too; but right now, I don't care. I don't care that my dress is soaked, or my once-curled hair is a tangled mess, or that my carefully-done make-up is now streaming down my face in ugly black streaks. I just don't care. I feel so alone and unwanted right now, that I can't even calm myself down enough to stop crying. I shift to my knees and put my face in my hands, struggling to breathe. Rain still pours down on me as I start crying again. Hot tears and cold rain collectively stream down my face, and I don't bother to wipe either away. I'm just feeling too horrible to care at all.
I should have known this would happen. Everyone else left, so why shouldn't he? I guess I'm just too impossible to be around for extended periods of time. I really can be an insensitive prick sometimes; and I guess I have been complaining nearly the whole drive... Honestly, I can see why they all left... Especially Mal. He is handsome and charming and funny, and he could probably get any girl he wants. He probably has all sorts of gorgeous women to choose from; so why would he pick me, anyways? I mean, I know I'm not bad-looking, but I also know that I can't compete with those tall, beautiful blue-eyed-blondes that I always see staring at him. Maybe I'm pretty, but those other girls are just drop-dead gorgeous, and he could have any of them he wants. Obviously he wouldn't choose me; I'm just... me. I guess I'm just not cut for this love thing.
(POV - Mal Fallon)
"And you're right," I yell at Natara, opening the car door. "Maybe you should've stayed with Oscar!" I yank myself out of the car, slam the door, and run off into the pouring rain. I don't know where I'm going, but there aren't really many places to go out here, anyways. The rain hasn't let up, but I can still make out roughly where I'm headed.
After several minutes of sprinting, I slow down and eventually stop, breathing hard from the run. My shoes are caked in mud, and I'm soaking wet and freezing; but I don't really care. I lean down on my knees, trying to catch my breath. I am still mad, but I'm also beginning to feel guilty, too. I knew the things I said would hurt her, and I said them anyways. Maybe I really should have just grabbed the GPS; then we'd be at a nice dinner right now, and not fighting in the middle of hick-ville. On top of that, I didn't have to be such a dipstick about it. If I would have just kept my temper under control... God, I am such a damn idiot! I yelled at her, insulted her, and then what did I do? I left. I fricking left. I just got out of the car and ran like a coward, leaving her freezing and hurt in the pouring rain. I'm just as bad as those other pricks who have left her. I hurt her, and I can't leave her like that.
Suddenly, I know what I have to do. I don't care that it's me having to apologize for being a moron; I just don't want to lose her like this. With that, I take off running, full-speed, in the direction I came from.
The headlights are still on, but they're dimmer than normal. Great, the battery must be wearing out. I look in the car and see she's not inside. This instantly worries me; I hope she hasn't gone too far. I slowly circle around the car, almost blindly, until I can make out the light blue of her dress. She's sitting on the wet grass, leaning against the side of the car. Her knees are pulled to her chest, and her head is buried in her hands. I can't see her face, but her shoulders are shaking and I can hear muffled sobs even above the roar of rain, so I know she's crying. Guilt stabs me hard in the chest, realizing that I did that to her. She almost never cries.
I don't know if she'll be able to hear me, but I call out softly anyways, not wanting to yell again, even just to say her name.
(POV - Natara Williams)
I don't know how long I've been sitting here, bawling my eyes out on the side of an isolated dirt road; but when I hear Mal's voice softly call out my name, my head snaps up before I can stop myself. It's still raining, hard as ever, but the soft beams of light from the car's headlights dimly illuminates the road a few feet out, so I can tell it's him. I glare up at him through blurry, tear-filled eyes, not even bothering to try and wipe them away. If he's been standing there for any more than 5 seconds, he's already heard me sobbing, anyways. I try to steady my voice, but it won't cooperate.
"What do you want?" I choke out, hating the unsteadiness in my voice. I don't mean to be so tight with him again, but the hurt gets the better of me. I'm honestly just waiting for him to tell me that we're done, and that he can't handle me anymore. I wouldn't blame him. "If you're going to break up with me right now, just leave. I don't want to hear it. I know I'm a selfish, insensitive bitch, but I don't really want to hear it, okay? Just... please leave."
(POV - Mal Fallon)
I call out her name and her head snaps up. She glares at me, eyes narrowed. Her guard is up. I can't really blame her, honestly; I've been a real moron lately. Her eye make-up is running down her face, and even in the dim lighting, I can tell her eyes are red from crying. She's obviously soaking wet, shivering, and still crying; but she doesn't seem to care. Several strands of wet hair hang in her face, but she ignores them.
"What do you want?" she snaps brokenly. "If you're going to break up with me right now, just leave. I don't want to hear it. I know I'm a selfish, insensitive bitch, but I don't really want to hear it, okay? Just... please leave."
"Natara..." I say again, walking over to where she sits on the ground. I kneel down beside her, but she avoids looking at me. She looks down instead, blinking tears out of her eyes. "Natara, just listen to me..."
(POV - Natara Williams)
"Natara, just listen to me..." he says quietly, kneeling down beside me. I avoid his gaze, because I hate when other people see me cry. Especially Mal.
"Natara, please look at me. Please." I shake me head in the negative, because I don't trust me voice right now. I look the other way and cover my mouth with my hand, trying to stifle another round of sobs. I can't help but shake with the effort, because I desperately want to break down again. If he'd only just get it over with and leave, I would be able to lose it in peace.
I feel his hand on my back, gently rubbing it and trying to coax my gaze back to him.
"Natara... please..." he pleads again, reaching out and gently turning my head towards him. I don't remove my hand from my mouth, but I weakly meet his gaze. He gingerly reaches out and brushes a few loose strands of dripping wet hair out of my face.
"What?" I croak out, removing my hand from my face and swallowing the sobs threatening to spill out again.
"I'm so sorry, Natara. I'm so, so sorry. I let my temper get the best of me, and I took out my anger on you. I didn't mean a single word of what I said, and I'm so sorry that I hurt you. I regret everything negative I said to you, and I wish I could take every single word of it back. I'm so sorry."
He pauses momentarily, gently grabbing my face and brushing tears and rain off of my cheeks. I stare weakly back at him, still breathing undesirably unevenly.
"But I'm not leaving you. I'd never leave you. You're my best friend. You mean so much to me, and I never want to lose you; especially to some stupid fight. You're sweet and funny and smart, not to mention absolutely beautiful; and if I had a choice of anyone in the world to be with, I'd still choose you. You mean the world to me, and I'm so sorry I was such a moron. I hate that I hurt you."
He pauses, then shifts to one knee, pulling a small velvet box out of his jacket pocket before continuing.
"I love you so much, Nat. I never want to lose you, and I'll never, ever leave you. I would understand if you don't forgive me, but just... please know that I love you more than anything in this entire world, and nobody could ever replace you."
He opens the box, revealing a sparkling diamond ring. My eyes widen and I clamp my hand over my mouth, staring at him in utter disbelief.
"So please, will you marry me, Natara?" he finishes, smiling at me.
"M-Mal..." I let another sob escape, staring at him speechlessly. I really did expect him to just walk off and leave me here. I definitely wasn't expecting him to say... all of that, let alone propose.
I nod my head vigorously, eyes still widened in shock. "Yes," I say, smiling uncontrollably now. "Of course I'll marry you."
Suddenly I feel guilty, too, as I recall all of the stupid things I said to him. I feel tears running down my cheeks again, but this time they're not full of sorrow; they are pure tears of joy. I reach over and wrap my arms around him, and I feel him slide his arms around me, too, holding me close in his embrace.
"I'm so sorry, too, Mal. I didn't mean anything I-" He cuts me off by leaning down and colliding his lips with mine. My arms are around him again in an instant, kissing him back with all the strength I have in me. His arms slide back around me; one against the back of my head, and the other across my shoulder blades. He holds me tightly, and I feel so safe in his arms.
"I love you, Mal," I murmur once we pull back. "Thank you for not leaving me. I love you so much."
"I love you too, Nat. I'd never leave you. You're mine forever now."
I smile up at him through tears of joy and pull him to me again. Love may hurt, and it might not always go as planned; but when you find that person who really loves you, he'll be there through your best times and worst. I've found that person, and his name is Malachi Charles Fallon.
(POV - Mal Fallon)
"I love you too, Nat," I say softly, gently playing with her hair. "I'd never leave you. You're mine forever now."
In this moment, I know that what Natara and I have is completely real. Not only is she my best friend, but she's beautiful and strong, and so smart it's almost scary. She has her insecurities, like everyone; but to me, she's perfect. Sure, I've dated other girls before, and I always catch (admittedly attractive) blue-eyed-blondes staring at me. But what I said to Natara is completely true; if I could have a choice of anyone in the world to be with, I would still choose her. I love everything about her, from her appearance to her personality. I know her insecurities about love, and I want to prove them wrong. She's worth the fight, no matter how hard it gets. I am going to marry her.