A/N: Just what the summary says. Hope you enjoy!
Robert has been in Columbia for four months before Rosalind notices the ring.
She honestly can't believe she missed it before, she always prided herself on her observational skills. But somehow, even after watching him gesture with his hands, and write things for the last four months, she didn't notice it.
She thinks maybe she didn't want to. It very well could have been selective seeing, if that were in fact a term—it might be, she doesn't know for sure, but it's irrelevant anyway.
But one night, they're discussing what might happen if the Songbird ever turned rogue—what effect that would have on the city, and the girl—when Rosalind notices the ring.
She grabs Robert's hand, feeling slightly awkward about it—they're close, of course they're close, but she still feels a little uncomfortable making physical contact with him. She pulls it closer to her face, examining it. It's obviously a wedding ring, and Rosalind looks up at Robert, raising her eyebrows.
"Ah. Yes. That," Robert says, looking down at the ring. "I was expecting you to ask sooner."
"I didn't ask, brother."
"Well, I expected you to non-verbally express your confusion. Is that better?"
"Are you going to ask? Or are you just going to stare at it?"
"Would you like me to ask? I do get the feeling that you'll tell me one way or another," Rosalind says.
"You never ask me before diving into a long-winded explanation of a concept. Not that I mind, I'm just using that as an example."
"Tell me about the ring."
"I'm married," Robert says. Rosalind expects him to go on, but he doesn't—just sits silently as if waiting for her to react.
"You know, brother, I am smart enough to have deduced that before. I should have been more—"
"Specific?" Robert asks. "Agreed. But you weren't."
"Must you be so willfully obtuse?"
"I don't know. Must I?"
"Robert," Rosalind sighs, exasperated. He does this to her sometimes, just endlessly contradicts her for no apparent purpose. She does find it fun—but that's irrelevant, and besides, this time she actually wants something from him.
"Rosalind," he sighs back, exactly mimicking her tone.
"Tell me about the girl," Rosalind says.
"What girl? Comstock's 'daughter'?"
"The one you married. You are a genius, Robert. Act like it."
"The one I married? Her name was Bridget. I didn't love her," Robert says.
"Then why did you marry her?" Rosalind says, feeling a sudden relief—like she was holding her breath and she finally stopped for air.
"My father would only support my research if I married a rich girl," Robert says, shrugging. "Didn't he offer you the same deal?"
"There was no deal for me," Rosalind says. "I either stopped my research, or I was thrown out of their lives."
"I take it you chose the latter?"
"It was no choice, brother. There was absolutely no choosing involved."
"Spoken like a true Lutece," Robert says, nodding approvingly and smiling.
"Are you sure you didn't love her?" Rosalind asks, it's a point that needs clarifying for her—though she's not sure why. If Robert was happy then, it makes no difference now, for he's with Rosalind now—and she will do anything to keep him that way.
"Quite. I only love one woman, Ros."
"And who is she?"
Robert smiles again.
A/N: All feedback is super appreciated.