A.N- This is not a sequel to my other Belgariad one-shot, Just This Once. I hope you guys enjoy it! As usual, I don't own any of the characters or the setting.
Edit: It's been brought to my attention that in the first Malloreon book, there is a "proposal" scene, and that my story kinda messes with canon as a result. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I hadn't actually read the Malloreon when I wrote this story, and didn't know that this scene was in it. I'm going to keep my story the same, though, because the way it ends is different to the scene from the book. (read: I can't think of anything better to replace it.)
Princess Ce'Nedra couldn't sleep. She was standing on the deck, staring at the moonlit water. They were on their way back to Riva, where she would finally be getting married. For some reason, however, that thought didn't quite make her as happy as it
/should've done. Garion hadn't really spoken to her much since they'd left Cthol Mishrak, and their reunion in general had been fairly average. Perhaps that was the problem, the fact that after everything they'd been through together, it seemed he
/didn't really care about her as much as she cared about him. Yes, that was it. She'd gone to all that trouble of raising an army for him, after he'd left without so much as a word of explanation. On top of that, they'd hardly spoken beyond a fairly
/standard greeting. She was just about to go inside when she heard footsteps behind her. Instinctively she froze, expecting someone to attack her.
"If you're going to stand out here in the cold, the least you could do is put your cloak on," she glanced round at the familiar voice, then immediately looked back at the sea again. She didn't want to talk to Garion right now.
"Go away," she snapped. Her hands tightened around the railing. Trust him to come out now.
"Ce'Nedra," he began, but she cut him off.
"Don't. Just leave me alone, please," she heard him come closer, and sighed. She should've guessed he wouldn't listen.
"Not until you tell me what's bothering you," he came to lean against the rail, keeping a respectful distance from her. Part of her did want to move closer to him, even just for the warmth, but at the same time she didn't want to give in just yet. Aftera
moment of silence, she responded.
"I'm not sure where to start, really." Shouldshe tell him her doubts? What would he say? Would he take them seriously, or would he just laugh them off in an attempt to make her feel better? There was only one way to find out. "Can I ask you something?"
Sheglanced up at him, just in time to see him nod.
"What is it?" She took a deep breath.
"When you were… when you were gone, did you miss me at all?" there was more she wanted to ask, but that would do as a starting point. She turned to look at him, and he nodded again.
"Of course I missed you," he paused, frowning. "More than I thought I would, to be honest," she wasn't sure how to process that. Had he really disliked her that much, that he'd expected being parted from her to be painless? Tears pricked her eyes, butshe
blinked them away. She couldn't afford to cry right now, not over something so trivial.
"Did I mean that little to you, then?" the words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. She heard him take a step towards her.
"You didn't. Trust me, you really didn't. I guess I just didn't realise how much until now," she wasn't sure how to respond to that. There was still one more question she wanted to ask, then she'd be done.
"Did you ever forget me?" the answer to that one scared her a little, but she needed to know the truth.
"Yes…" he paused, shaking his head. "I mean, no. It's complicated, alright? A lot was going on, I didn't really have time to think about what I was leaving behind. Look, at the end of the day, it wasn't you I forgot. It was more what we'd had to
/become… what they'd made us become." Ce'Nedra could feel the tears start to roll down her cheeks, but she quickly wiped them away. Crying in front of him was definitely not a good idea.
"So you didn't want to marry me," that stung more than it should've.
"You do have to admit, it was a bit sudden. I mean, as far as I'd been aware we'd just been friends before destiny decided to change things," he paused, and she heard him sigh. "Destiny has changed a lot between us, and I'm genuinely sorry if I've hurtyou
at all. I never wanted to do that, you know," she did know that much. It still didn't do very much to kill the pain she was currently feeling, though. She felt a warm hand on her shoulder and turned to look at him. Could he see that she'd been
/crying? She went to turn back around again, so that he couldn't see. However, he reached out and caught her face with one hand before she could look away. He was now standing quite close to her, and she couldn't help but wonder what he was going todo
next. He leaned in slowly, giving her time to protest. When she didn't do anything to stop him, though, he tilted her chin up and kissed her. At first, Ce'Nedra wasn't sure how to react. She was pretty sure this was the first time Garion had evervoluntarily
kissed her, and she didn't want it to stop. Quickly, she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. Eventually, they both stopped, looking at each other. Ce'Nedra wasn't really sure what to do next. Garion stepped back and shewondered
if he was about to leave. Then he said something she hadn't really been expecting.
"Have you still got your engagement ring?" she frowned, not sure why exactly he was asking that.
"Yes, of course I have it," where was he going with this?
"Give me your hand, the one with the ring," she did, and was surprised when he slipped the ring off her finger. She was just about to ask what he was doing when he bent down on one knee and held out the ring. "I didn't really get to ask this properlybefore,
but, will you marry me? Even though we're already technically engaged?" for a moment, she stared at him, then she smiled. She hadn't been expecting that, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise.
"Well, when you put it like that, of course I will!" He slipped the ring back onto the finger and stood up, pulling her into another kiss. This time, though, he did start to walk away. Before going back inside, however, he turned back around.
"I'll seeyou in the morning, alright?" she nodded, not sure how else to respond. She stayed out for a few more minutes, staring down at the ring on her finger. She definitely felt better about going back to Riva now.