“Surprise” – A Snippet

(A/N: Sometimes I’ll write little “snippets” – basically just flash fictions with a single scene. There’s not a ton of plot progression, but I get to play with character interactions and see if I can wrap it up in a short amount of words. I liked how this one turned out.)

They met on the park bench by the duck pond, their favorite place to sit and snuggle and watch the stars on cold nights. But tonight was different. Dave sat on one end and Sue on the other, facing each other.

Finally, he spoke. His fingers twiddled and jittered against each other. “So… I have something really important to tell you.”

She caught her breath. This was the moment! “Yes?”

He breathed deeply, bracing himself, and Sue leaned forward expectantly. Then he stared her straight in the eyes and blurted, “Sue, I’m a superhero.”

There was a long pause. Sue stared at him, face blank. “What? Really?”

“Yeah.”

“…Prove it.”

His hand burst into flames. “Proof enough for you?” He gave her that small grin that she loved.

“…Yeah. Yeah, that about does it.” Sue blinked, digesting this turn of events. “Um… no offense, but that wasn’t what I thought this was about,” she admitted carefully.

“Well, of course you wouldn’t, but… wait, what did you think it was about?”

She looked at her hands. “Nothing.” A small laugh. “I guess this explains how you keep me so warm when it gets chilly out.” A smile flickered across Dave’s face. Sue tilted her head, examining this man she’d thought she knew. “So… why are you telling me?”

“Because, Sue.” Dave took her hands and looked her in the eyes. For the first time, she realized that maybe that bright glow in his brown eyes wasn’t from the streetlamps. “You had to know something this important about me before I had the right to do what I’m about to do.” Her eyes widened as he pulled the small box out of his pocket and opened it, bending one knee into the snow. “Sue Jackson… would you be willing to marry a guy who regularly catches on fire and stays out late chasing bad guys, but who loves you to the end of the earth?”

A beat passed as Sue stared at the ring and Dave’s worried face in shock. Then a brilliant smile burst free, and she wrapped him in a crushing hug that made him gasp. “You never disappoint me, Dave,” she laughed. “Of course I will.” She drew back suddenly, and smirked in his face. “As long as you don’t bring any supervillains home with you.”

Dave held her for a moment before understanding sank in, and a bright laugh jumped from his throat. He drew his fiancé close and kissed her hair. “Deal. I love you, Sue. And I’ll always take care of you.” Dave’s eyes burned with a fiery orange light. “No matter what.”

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