Written for Hogwarts' Pinata: (genre) romance and for Sapphic September 2019, Day 12: "Marry me?".
Word count: 965
whose heart would not take flight?
"Did you know," Riley asks, sliding in the seat on the other side of the table from Maya, "that two girls can get married now?" Her eyes sparkle as she says this, and Maya's heart lurches with horribly mushy feelings.
"Yes," she replies without blinking, because not even college!Riley can beat high school!Riley in terms of peppy happiness and random non-sequitur and appearances, and also, Maya had actually known this.
(Maya's also long since accepted that if she sits down somewhere on campus, Riley will somehow find her and join her (it's why she tries to pick all the best places).
She'd suspected Riley of putting a tracker somewhere on her, but vigorous checking had since disproven that, leaving Maya with only Riley-magic as the other option, and ain't nothing she can do about that.)
Riley pouts, dropping her head into her arms and staring up at Maya, who pauses her sketching with a fond huff. "What?" she asks.
Riley pouts harder, and whines, "Why didn't you tell me?"
Maya, who remembers all the parades and news coverage — also, some of their classes, impressively enough — just stares back incredulously. "I didn't know I had to," she protests. "Why did you think all the parades were for?"
"... People who love rainbows? And love?" Riley answers sheepishly. She looks so much like her teenage self that Maya has to bite back the urge to check nobody's actually invented an age-regression machine yet, but alas, they're all still tied down to the inexorable passage of time.
She snorts. "Well, you're not wrong. But also, they're gay. Usually. And no, I don't mean gay as in 'happy'," she hastens to add as she sees Riley perk up.
"I wasn't about to say that," Riley lies, pouting again.
(It's a really adorable pout.)
Maya rolls her eyes pointedly. "Sure you weren't."
Riley lasts two seconds before confessing that yes, Maya's right, she had been about to say it, and Maya laughs.
"Anyway, what did you want to say?" Maya asks, because by now she's got a second sense that lets her know when Riley got distracted from her original point.
It's very useful, and it's never been wrong — as proven once again now, when Riley perks up suddenly.
"Oh, right! Thanks, peaches, I'd almost forgotten." She grins widely at Maya, practically shaking from excitement, and Maya blinks back.
"Okay, now I'm kinda getting worried."
"Peaches!" Riley protests with a laugh. "Come on, it's nothing bad I swear. It's something great, even!"
Maya hums, unconvinced. Riley's 'something great' range from awesome to disastrous, and Maya can never know where on the scale any particular instance will fall until Riley's already roped her into participating.
Riley, enthusiasm undaunted, keeps smiling sunnily. "It means we can finally get married!"
"Wait, did you just almost forget to ask me to marry you?" Maya blurts out, before the words truly register and she backpedals, her cheeks burning hot. "I mean, what?"
"What?" Riley repeats, frowning. "No, I didn't forget to ask you, we did that ages ago — I meant that I forgot to remind you we could get married now, silly." She grins again, and her eyes sparkle.
Maya feels like she's entered another dimension. It's a familiar feeling, around Riley, but somehow she's never gotten used to it and probably never will, since she hasn't already.
"What do you mean," she says slowly, feeling faintly hysterical, "by 'we did that ages ago'?"
But even as she says it, she remembers, and she feels herself pale.
God, they had been so young, and playing at being adults, which was always Riley's favorite game, right after inventing new worlds for them to live in.
Maya can't remember how it started now, but she remembers this.
Riley, staring at her with all the seriousness a ten-year-old can have, saying her parents were best friends and they were married.
"Does that mean we have to marry too?" Maya had asked, thinking that didn't sound quite right but also not minding because anything involving more Riley couldn't be bad.
(Even tiny Maya had been, in retrospect, head over heels for her best friend. It's still embarrassing now, and they've been dating for over a year.)
"No, silly!" Riley had laughed, and Maya remembers feeling hurt about that, wanting to curl in on herself and vanish, because Riley's next words had made the sun come back. "You have to ask me first!"
"Oh!" Maya had exclaimed, grinning her favorite grin — the one where her tongue poked out through the hole her last milk tooth had left. She'd bent down on her knees — that's what all the guys did in the movies to propose, and Maya isn't a guy but Riley told her to ask, so she's gotta do it right — and she'd grinned up at Riley, her heart fluttering as Riley grinned back and clapped in excitement.
And she'd asked, "Marry me?"
Obviously, Riley had said yes — and then she'd dragged Maya off to chase the literal butterflies she had seen enter her room, Maya helplessly, fondly following after her.
Riley had been inconsolable when her mother had told her they wouldn't be able to get married, though in retrospect they'd always phrased it more as a 'you're ten, please wait' kind of thing than a 'this isn't legal'.
Her mind back in the present, Maya hears herself say, "Oh." Her heart flutters, and she feels ten again, staring at the prettiest girl she'd ever seen and not having the words for the things she'd been feeling.
Well, Maya has the words right now. She has all the words.
Still, the only ones that feel right are, again, "Marry me?"
Riley laughs, tears of joy shining in her eyes, as she surges forward.
(She says yes, of course.)