IC date: Spring 89, 1008
OOC date: June 18, 2013
Location: Blackbird's House
PCs: Rusty-Gears and Blackbird

Back at the prairie … and by prairie, I mean Blackbird's place, the trio have settled on his couch. It was an evening of ice cream and excitement, and the hour has struck fairly late. By now, Sadaka is fast asleep curled against Blackbird, and he gently strokes her mane with one hoof.

"Rusty," he says quietly, so as not to wake his charge, "I'm sorry. About all of that."

Rusty-Gears blinks over at him. She looks for a moment as though she might spout a lecture of some sort - and then apparently thinks better of it. "I'm just glad it went… as well as it did. That could have been… unpleasant."

"Yeah. It could have. It would have, if not for you." Blackbird keeps petting Sadaka's hair, quiet and contemplative. "I can't do that again," he says quietly, shaking his head. "I can't just check out like that. That was idiotic and irresponsible. But it won't happen again. You saved my rear end back there, Rusty. Many times. Thank you, and I'm sorry for being such a…just such a knucklehead."

Rusty-Gears sighs. "You've got a lot of good stuff here, Blackbird. Stuff lots of mercs would give anything to have, even if they don't want to admit it. You've got honest employment. Friends who care about you. A foal who adores you. /Respect/. Lots of schoolfoals look up to you, I bet." She leans back on the couch, fidgetting idly with one hoof on the edge of the cushion. "I wasn't going to watch you just… walk away from all that." She shot him a sideways smirk. "No matter how much of a knucklehead you were being."

Blackbird listens, nodding a little bit. "…Yeah. I went into mercenary work because I didn't have a family, you know? Now I have it in spades. And I almost… Jeez." He shakes his head with a soft snort, but he smirks her way. "A /complete/ knucklehead. I don't know how you managed to deal with it so well."

Rusty-Gears chuckles faintly, giving a small shrug. "Well. I've done a few… knuckleheaded things in my time, too. At least you were trying to be noble. Do the right thing and all that."

Blackbird echoes that chuckle, reaching over to brush a forehoof against hers affectionately. "Y'know… I don't think I know much about your past," he says. "You don't have to say if you don't want to, of course, but if you ever feel like talking about it… I'd be interested." He offers her a soft, lopsided smile.

Rusty-Gears sighs softly, twitching an ear. "It's not exactly something I… chat about," she admits slowly. After a beat, she smirks. "…I guess we could've maybe avoided a lot of this whole thing if one of us were more talkative? Eh. Hindsight."

Blackbird chuckles there, and nods. "Communication is perhaps one of my failings," he admits with a small smirk. He's quiet again for a little bit, just petting Sadaka's mane as he thinks. But eventually, he murmurs, "Hey, Rusty…"

Rusty-Gears looks over at him. "Hmm?"

"I'm just…thinking." Blackbird bites his lip thoughtfully as one hoof slips into the cushions of the sofa, idly. "…I love you. And I'm really unbelievably lucky to have you. I mean, in so many ways — not just because you curb my stupider impulses. I mean, you make me laugh, and you're so /smart/ and you understand me, and you're a great mom to Sadaka… I don't know that I've been able to communicate it very well to you, but I care about you a lot. And given everything that just happened, how unreliable I've been, and all that, I certainly wouldn't begrudge you a no, but uh…"

He swallows, and withdraws his hoof, apparently not as idle as he seemed: it's a small black box. He glances at Sadaka and elects not to get up for now, though there's a bit of nervousness in his gaze. Instead, he opens it, revealing a hematite bracelet — the kind of thing stallions offer mares for… He offers it to her crosswise over the couch. "…Rusty, would you do me the honor of…of marrying me?"

Rusty-Gears blushes faintly as he talks, looking torn between sheepish and maybe just the slightest bit pleased with herself. Hey, every mare loves a compliment, right? And this is a bunch of them all at once!

And then the bracelet comes out. She takes a moment (or three) to legitimately just gape at him. And the bracelet. And him. If she'd been expecting anything, this was not it! She looks stunned. Maybe a little misty-eyed. And, after a moment of bewildered gaping, she's smiling wide enough to strain something. She'd probably tackle-hug him if they weren't both quite aware of the foal asleep like… right there. So she settles for a faintly squeaky "YES!" that somehow manages to be low-volume but still appropriately loud for such an occasion (hey, it's a skill), and the best one-armed hug she can muster without unseating either of them.

Blackbird looks very nervous. He's trying to hide it! But gosh is he ever nervous. He watches her every reaction. The gaping, that probably means a no, right??? But, for once, FOR ONCE, he doesn't let his emotions run away with him: he sits steely still, ready to take his lumps: 'it's too soon' or 'you just ran off and tried to get yourself killed are you crazy' or — yes?

He blinks rapidly, and then suddenly the biggest grin spreads on his face, echoing her own. "R- really?" he asks, and he returns that hug tightly, as tightly as he can. He fumbles the bracelet out, picking up her hoof to try and slide it on. It's not easy being Earth Pony. But he's grinning like mad, looking up at Rusty. "You're— you're adorable," he laughs, grinning brightly. "Holy jeez. This…this makes you my fiancee. I have a fiancee. A fiancee who is you." Eeeee!

Rusty-Gears giggles a bit, nuzzling him and offering her hoof willingly. "That is how these things work, I think." And then she giggles again, because 'eeeeee' seems to be the appropriate response here.

Blackbird finally manages to slip the ring on, and then he's holding her closely and kissing her and nuzzling her. As best he can, anyway, given the awkward position around the sleeping foal. "Well… well, I'm really dang honored, Rusty. Really and truly."

Rusty-Gears nestles cozily against him, smiling. And maybe blushing the slightest bit. Eeeeee yay~ "Well, I'm glad you think me… worth asking. Really. I know I'm tough on you sometimes, but… it's 'cause I care." She gives him a light nuzzle, grinning. "So, thanks for putting up with my nagging."

Blackbird nuzzles and hugs her against his side. "You are exactly as hard as you need to be. I'm not an easy pony to deal with. But I think I'm gonna be better. That all…/sucked/, sure, but it was…eye-opening, shall we say." He smiles lightly at her and kisses her forehead. "I can't help but feel that the worst is over."

Rusty-Gears nods happily, letting out a breath. "I think so too. That whole thing's passed… now we've got a future ahead. And, y'know, I think this isn't too bad a place to have that in," she adds with a chuckle. "Anywhere else we'd just be kind of strange."

"We're my kinda strange," Blackbird grins. "And marrying you in the Harbor… yeah. That sounds about right." He pauses for a moment, then flicks one ear. "…I don't know the first thing about weddings though," he admits with a frown. "Are we supposed to get a priest or something?"

"Or a government official, or something like that." Rusty gives a small shrug, waving a hoof. "We'll figure it out. Maybe you can find a book on it," she adds with a teasing grin.

"…That would probably be good," Blackbird grins, laughing a little. "I wonder if the schoolhouse has any books on weddings. Somehow I think…not."

Rusty-Gears giggles. "Yeah, that seems like it's not exactly schoolbook fare. Maybe the library. Or the town archives or something. I dunno. Might have to order one in."

"Town archives. Now that would be an interesting trip," Blackbird laughs. "Oh, geez. Do you think we should wake up Sadaka? Should we tell her tomorrow? I don't know protocol here."

Rusty-Gears chuckles, kissing his cheek lightly. "Let her sleep. It's late. We can tell her in the morning." She blinks, and twitches an ear nervously. "I hope she's happy about it." It's a bit difficult to pull a 'what if she doesn't like me' - it's not like the three of them don't hang out together /all the time/ already - but still! WHAT IF.

Blackbird nuzzles her back and adds a kiss of his own. "Yeah, you're right. She should get her sleep." When she expresses that worry, he blinks, and grins. "I'm sure she'll be happy about it. I mean… she loves you. I don't see how she couldn't be happy about it." Then again, he doesn't see how /anyone/ could be unhappy about it right now. Cloud 9 is a nice place to be!

Rusty-Gears relaxes a bit at this reassurance, nodding. "Yeah. Right. …I hope so." She chuckles faintly, smiling. "We'll get the whole thing sorted. Doesn't have to be too fancy. Celestia knows I'm not so skilled with 'fancy'." Don't let her try to make decorations or something. Nothing explosive.

"Yeah, I don't think fancy's really our shtick," Blackbird laughs. "Can weddings be small? I like small weddings. Do…" He pauses and blinks. "Do you have parents?"

Rusty-Gears shakes her head slightly. "Nah. Got a brother somewhere. Think he's still out in Las Pegasus." She blushes faintly. "…Dunno if he'd want to come out here for that, though."

"Oh, gotcha. Well, you've already pretty much met my … old family, such as she is." Blackbird offers a lopsided, embarrassed smile. "But. My new family's a thousand times better." He gives her a squeeze, and smiles down at the sleeping foal. "Anyway… I guess we'll just sort of take this one step at a time, huh?"

Rusty-Gears smiles and nods, giving him a light nuzzle. "Yeah. One step at a time sounds good to me."

Blackbird settles into the couch with a pleasant yawn, hugging her close. It really is getting late and it's been a very busy week. Month. Whatever. "One step at a time it is, then. I like one step at a time."