a tad too spontaneous

Sometimes I miss the old Argentina, even though I never knew the version that didn’t have trauma and misery clouding up her brain. She was whiplash brilliant in everything she did, it seemed. She very rarely missed a day of school, and if she did, they never made any difference on her ability to jump into whatever discussion-

“Miranda, what kind of wedding do you want?”

Miranda looked up from his place in the armchair, a lamp illuminated beside him since it wasn’t cold enough for a fire, to notice Anders slipping hastily through the suite doors. In his hands were several brochures for various parks and resorts, which he laid on top of the notebook that Miranda had swiftly shut when the doors had opened. The rest of the page only contained a new paragraph about falling asleep in Argentina’s car while listening to the radio and another one about a free day in swimming class back in seventh grade, but yesterday’s recountings were still visible from the other side of the paper. “Anders-”

He sat down on the floor next to Miranda’s armchair. “We could just go to the local courthouse and get a civil union, or we could travel for a few weeks to some exotic country and lose our minds while Giles keeps this place running. Either way, I’m going to have to bribe someone’s silence, whether it be the officiant or the airport management-”

“Anders,” he cut in, setting down the notebook and scattering the brochures at his feet, “we aren’t even engaged yet, and you’re already babbling about a honeymoon. Slow down. What’s the plan for today?”

Anders folded his hands in his lap, shame starting to bloom on his face. “I wanted to find a place where I could take you dress shopping tomorrow. I’d like to avoid the masses of couples who want to get married on Valentine’s Day.”

“Couldn’t you get one from the same place that you get the pajamas and day clothes from? Where do you keep getting alo these clothes, anyway?” Miranda’s eyes narrowed. “Does downstairs contain some sort of illegal sweatshop?”

“No! Nothing of the sort. My mother owns a seamstress shop where she employs disabled people… like a Goodwill of sorts, but not for the public’s junk. Her employees get paid overtime to create things for you, but they don’t have the skills or the resources to make something as intricate as a wedding dress. I wrote a letter to her a few weeks ago where I let slip that I was in love with you, and she’s been nagging me to let her see you ever since. I suppose I should take care of that before we get married.”

“Do you actually have a plan for me, Anders, or are you just riding on your own coattails?”

“Isn’t love itself supposed to be unplanned and spontaneous?” He reclaimed the brochures and opened the top one, vivid images of faraway ruins shrieking photoshopped brilliance as Miranda glared unconvinced. “I think you’d get a good history lesson out of Arles. Lyon looks pretty peaceful.”

“Anders, going to France for a few weeks isn’t going to change the fact that you and I have zero chemistry together.”

Anders set the brochure down, flinging his arms about the room. “We live in a laboratory, for crying out loud, Miranda! If we have no chemistry, we can simply just make some!”

He rolled his eyes, leaning back in the armchair and picking his notebook back up again. “I’ll believe it when I see it for myself, Cupid.”

“Are you saying that you want your oxytocin levels raised? Because I can do that.”

“Fine then. Give up the fight to get me out of my own free will and pump me full of drugs. I expected nothing less of you, Anders-”

Miranda’s words were met with a slap to the face as Anders knocked him out of the armchair, sending his notebook to right before the fireplace. As he got up off of the knee he’d landed on and rubbed his quickly-reddening cheek, Anders spat out before leaving the room, “You chose to be here, Miranda. I could have just as easily chosen some other subject to be my partner. Be thankful that I’m not demoting you back to normal subject status.”

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