Akbar tilted his head to the side. "What about it?"

Arthur took a deep breath, scanning over the chosen page of his book. "It appears that your marriage is not valid. . ." He mumbled. "You know the line for marriage, till death do us part?"

The silverette nodded slowly in response.

Arthur looked up at Akbar sadly. "Well. . . I'm afraid death already has brought you apart. . ."

Akbar's eyes widened ever so slightly. Unconsciously, he twisted the golden band around his finger.

"The only way you two could continue to be together is if Matthew agreed to die and remarry you. . ." The Englishman continued, closing his book.

Akbar looked down, his hair hiding his face.

"I could never ask him to do that. . ." He shook his head.

Arthur tucked his book into his satchel, giving a glum sigh. "Well, you at least have to tell him he's able to leave now. . . As much as it may hurt, it isn't right to hold someone against their wishes. It would only end badly. You have to give him a choice."

The Prussian nodded, still toying with the – apparently meaningless, now – ring.

After all this . . . I'm going to lose him.

oOo Time Skip oOo

Matt was sitting casually at the same bench he had first really talked to Akbar, learned his name, and received Kumakuro as a gift (Hadn't seen the damn bear since, though). He had decided to walk around a bit, and wound up there. Choosing to stop and relax at the familiar spot, now Matt was kind of zoning out, drifting away into various thoughts. The blonde barely noticed when a certain corpse gingerly sat next to him.


Jolting at the sudden break in silence, the addressed man turned to face the silverette.

"Oh, hey, Akbar," Matt said simply, sitting up straight. It was then he noticed a certain emptiness in the ice blue eyes of the other. If Matt had managed to learn anything while in the world of the dead, it was that if Akbar's eyes looked empty, something was wrong. He felt a strong amount of worry bite at him at the sight.

"Is something wrong?" Matt asked.

"You can leave now. . ." The silverette breathed. He was so quiet; it was a miracle Matt could hear him.

"What are you talking about?" Matt raised an eyebrow, questioning the meaning behind the words. Did he mean he wanted Matt to leave him alone? They'd been spending so much time together, he'd kind of gotten used to being around him. It would suck if Akbar just suddenly wanted him to get lost.

The Prussian's shoulders fell, his head tilted down. "We can't be married like this. You can go now. . ." Akbar slowly removed the gold ring off his finger. Gently taking Matt's hand, he placed the band in the other's palm. As Akbar moved to look at Matt, the blonde closed his fingers around the ring.

Confused, Matt started up, "Akbar, what's wrong with you? I thought we already talked about this-"

"It's not about that," Akbar cut him off. "While I'm a corpse and you're alive, we can't be wed. Death has already parted us; we're not married," He explained quietly.

I can leave? Matt let the shocking information fully set in. Since he had arrived here, he had been trying to get out. But now that he finally had the chance. . . Did he really want to?

"So. . . There's no way for us to be married?" Matt asked.

Akbar was quiet a moment, as if thinking.

"There is," He finally spoke.

"And that way is . . .?"

". . . You would have to die, and then we would remarry," The silverette finally told.

I can finally get away from this freak fest of a town!

Matt was practically ready to click his heels in his excitement to get out of the place. Sure, the people were nice enough—better than the jerks he was used to back home—but being around so much death was still a little freaky. Matt felt like a sore thumb, too. He was the only living person around and everyone's eyes were always on him no matter where he went. He hated having so much attention. Attention had only ever caused him trouble. Hell, it was what had gotten his parents interested in his life. That had been nice before they'd started meddling. Before he'd known what hit him, he was being carted off to be married just because that was what needed to be done. No one ever considered what he wanted.

What do I want? Matt paused, struck by the fact that he finally had a chance to think about what he really wanted out of life . . . or, erm, death.

He glanced over at Akbar, who was still watching him with those deep, sad eyes, as if waiting for that final blow once again. Matt hated that look. He didn't like seeing Akbar so lifeless. So what if he was dead. Matt had seen more lively corpses in his time in the Land of the Dead than he'd seen in living people from his own realm. Akbar should be smiling, his eyes lit with laughter. Matt wanted to give him those smiles. He wanted to give Akbar the life he'd always deserved.

Hold on, hold on! Slow down. Matt berated himself. Let's think this through a little bit more before I decide to kill myself because some guy's got cute eyes. Pros and cons, Matt, pros and cons.

He rubbed his eyes, thinking it over. What did he have going for himself in life? He had his parents that he loved, but they were so annoying . . . Enh, they had each other. They'd be fine. His fiancée? Well, she had some boy toy, so she was set. What else did he have . . .?

Was that really it? Why the hell was his life so sad?! Trying to think more positively in a really morbid situation, he considered what his death would be like. He'd have a nice enough bar to hang out at. That Gilbert guy and Maddie girl seemed like they'd make nice enough friends. And Alfie . . .

Nope. Dying wouldn't work. He'd kill Alfie if he had to spend so much time around him. But, since he couldn't kill him, it was going to be a looonnng afterlife.

And then there was Akbar. Most of Matt's time here had been spent with him, so he knew the silver-haired man pretty well. He actually didn't mind being around Akbar too much. . . Akbar would make dealing with that douche worthwhile, actually. If he thought about it a little, he probably had a better time just with Akbar than with anyone he knew up in his world. The strange man had somehow managed to become important to Matt in a very short amount of time. That was something most people weren't capable of doing in years. But marriage was a huge step, and death was even bigger.

Pros and Cons. . . .

He thought of how happy he felt when he saw Akbar smile and laugh. How, despite being a corpse, Akbar's hands were still soft and fit perfectly in Matt's own. How it seemed like he made the things in Matt's life just a little more worthwhile.

Maybe eternity with Akbar wouldn't be too bad. . .

"Alright," Matt finally spoke, shrugging a bit.

Akbar blinked. "You're agreeing?"

"Yeah, I didn't have plans this weekend, anyway," Matt responded, a small smirk making its way across his face.

Despite himself, Akbar started laughing. His eyes shut as he chuckled, his hand raised in front of his mouth.

Matt grinned back at him. "So how about that wedding?"