Kay, I got it.
It was a perfectly mundane day. It wasn’t good or bad, just an ordinary Wednesday, the type that reliably passes the time between the excruciating drag of Monday morning and the enthusiastic relief of Friday afternoon. Charles gave his morning lecture, helped a few struggling students with their lab reports, and spent the afternoon updating his slide decks from last semester’s lectures to reflect the slightly modified course of this semester’s curriculum. At four thirty, Erik texted him.
Charles barely looked up from his laptop as he typed back, one-handed, Korean?
Meet you there, buzzed the reply less than a minute later. He noted it, put his phone back on the desk, and went back to adjusting his powerpoint.
Erik was already waiting for him outside their favorite Korean Barbecue. Charles kissed him in greeting and followed him inside. Their conversation was pleasant, but not particularly noteworthy. Erik’s co-workers were twits. Charles’ undergrads were promising. Both remained skeptical of the other’s assessment. There were long stretches of comfortable, familiar silence. Charles reminded Erik they were meeting Raven for bunch on Saturday morning. Erik reminded Charles they needed to go grocery shopping before next week.
The sun was nearly set by the time they began to walk back towards their apartment. Erik pulled a knit cap out of his pocket and Charles cursed the gloves that were sitting atop of a pile of papers on the desk in his office. He hunched over against the wind and held his scarf close, grimly determined, until Erik squeezed his shoulder. He turned around. Erik was holding out a pair of fleece lined gloves that Charles knew, from experience, were very warm.
“Take them, you’re freezing,” Erik said. If Charles was anyone else in the world, Erik would have said he deserved to be cold for not keeping track of his things, as usual.
Charles took the gloves slowly and looked at Erik. Looked at Erik.
“Thank you,” he said. Then, “I think we should get married.”
If Erik was startled, it didn’t show on his face. His expression didn’t change at all. Charles put on the gloves, still watching.
“Any particular reason?” Erik finally asked.
“No,” Charles said honestly. “I just thought, ‘Well, this is an incredibly ordinary day, but I like it.’ And I think I’d like for all the rest of my incredibly ordinary days for the rest of my life to be just like this. Would you?” He paused and added, “And I love you. More than I’ve ever loved anyone, really. But you know that.”
Erik hummed in acknowledgement. He smiled, just a little—barely a smile on anyone else, but so very telling on Erik’s face—and said, “Okay. Sure.” The smile widened. Charles smiled too. “Come on, you’re still freezing. You need to wear a heavier coat. It’s not spring yet.”
“It’s after daylight savings,” Charles said. “It’s close enough.”
Erik held out his hand, and Charles took it easily, naturally, and they began walking once again.