The sun was just starting to rise. It is a peaceful dawn in a small Ravkan port. Almost perfect, if it wasn’t for the yelling coming from a certain sharpshooter that had just arrived with the crew of a small warship.
“NINA FUCKING ZENIK HURRY THE FUCK UP!” Jesper shouted from outside The Wraith.
“I’M TRYING TO SAY GOODBYE TO MY BEST FRIEND IDIOT,” she shouted back.
“FIRST OF ALL, I’M OFFENDED. AND SECOND OF ALL, WE ARE SEEING HER IN LIKE SIX HOURS!”
Nina rolled her eyes and hugged Inej again. “Can’t believe I got myself into this,” she said to Inej.
“It Is your duty as best woman.”
“Was it so bad with me?”
“No, it was a walk through the Ice Court. Now go, I’m sure Jesper is going to
explode if he waits any longer.”
“Aye aye Captain Ghafa,” Nina saluted her and left the ship.
Jesper was waiting anxiously for her on the deck. “What was taking you so long? We still need to get to the caverns, find the damn metal, have extra time so that I can do this without screwing it up and-”
“Jes, you need to calm down. It’s just sunrise. We aren’t far away, thank Inej’s ride for that, and you won’t screw it up.”
“Nina, these are wedding rings we are talking about. They need to be perfect. Also, she only brought us cause Kaz had business to do here.”
“She would’ve brought us anyway. And I really doubt Wylan will mind if they’re not ‘perfect’.” He shot her a look. “Anyways, you will do just fine. Your powers have improved greatly since you started training them. And considering this is just doing some rings and not shooting someone who is over a hundred yards away, you will do great.”
Jesper took a breath. “Thanks.”
They started walking inland to the small miner town they were headed. It was an hour away from the Ravkan river port they had arrived at. Nina stared at her home in awe, Jesper didn’t have time for admiring the view.
Halfway through, Nina sat down to take a sip of the water Inej had insisted them on taking. She was right, of course, as both grishas were as thirsty as one could be.
“Remind me again why we needed to come all the way here to get this thing?” Nina asked.
“Because Gethishinn is one of the rarest, but also most beautiful metals out there. They are much cheaper here. Not to mention, it is Wylan’s favorite metal.”
Nina groaned. “Why does your fiancé have to know metal stuff?”
“Isn’t he wonderful?”
“Come on, let’s get there quickly before you start-”
“I just need this to be perfect. Like- wedding planning is the basic prologue of marriage, so good beginning is a good heads up? And-”
And it’s too late. “Jesper, calm down. This is going well. Now stop bugging around and let's keep going.”
Nina started to leave Jesper behind, but he quickly caught up. “Hey, you are the one who wanted to rest!”
Once they got to the small miner town, Jesper felt like a total fish out of water. He couldn’t understand half of the words everyone was speaking, so Nina had to make all the connections. “There is a small jewelry store nearby,” she said once she finished talking to an old lady. “She said we could find gethishin there for a good price.”
“Sweet! Lead the way then.”
After buying the metal and having lunch, Nina sat down with Jesper on the outsides of the town for fresh air. He needed a peaceful space to work. “They need to be special, like Wylan.”
Nina sat in front of him. “Close your eyes,” she commanded. He did and nodded, still holding the metal in his hands. “Think of what makes him so special, and start molding it. No need to look at it.”
“Nina I need to see what I’m-”
“No you don’t.”
He let out a deep breath. “Okay. Wylan is- the most wonderful person I’ve ever met. I love the way he smiles and how his eyes reflect the sky. I love it when he talks to me about the thing he loves like he is singing it. I love every time I walk by the music room and see him playing the piano or the flute, concentrating like there was nothing else in the world. I love it when he holds my hand. I feel safe by his side. He makes me feel at home. He makes me want to be the best version of myself. And I just- I just can’t see myself sharing my life with anyone else.”
When he opened his eyes, he saw Nina holding two rings. She was smiling brightly. The rings were black, but under the sun, a series of notes shone through, like a music sheet engraved in metal.
“Did I really just do these?” He said holding them.
“Looks like the Van Sunshines have their wedding rings,” she said with a laugh, but Jesper was sure he saw her eyes tear up a little. (Or maybe they were his own.)
Jesper handed over the rings to Kaz once they got back to The Wraith. Even if Nina was the best woman, they all believed it was a better idea if Kaz took care of the rings. (“If anyone lays a finger on them I’ll make sure they walk out of the place without hands”, he had said when they asked him to do the task. Jesper and Wylan were both satisfied with the answer. Maybe years ago they would’ve been concerned, but not now. Now it gave them peace, as odd as it may sound.)
He and Inej examined them closely. Inej congratulated Jesper for his work, as they were beautifully made. Kaz started murmuring something.
“What happened?” Jesper asked him.
“Do sol, do,--do--do-re-mi-fa,” Kaz read in a surprisingly musical voice, emphasizing between the black and white notes. “Sol fa, mi,--mi sol, la si, do re mi fa. Which song is that?” At the silence, he asked, “What are you all looking at?”
“Since when do you know how to read a music sheet?” Nina asked for everyone.
“I might’ve picked up a few things from Wylan.” He said, poker-faced as always. “So, which song is it? I don’t think I’ve heard it.”
“Me neither, and I’ve been to like every canteen of every port,” Inej added.
“I- I don’t know. It just, I don’t know, wrote itself.”
“It's nice,” Jesper was surprised to hear Kaz say that. “Wylan will like it.”
“I hope so.”
“It better be. I didn’t spend the whole day with this crybaby for nothing,” Nina bothered.
“Nina, dear, let me remind you who Wylan spent the day with,” Inej said smiling.
“Oh shit.” They all laughed at the memory of Matthias when he found out he was going to be the wedding organizer. Jesper thought he had never seen him happier.
“I bet they spent at least an hour looking for suits.”
“Oh Nina, Kaz told you he only spent an hour there?” Jesper laughed at how naive she was.
“Yes? I mean Inej and I only took forty minutes in my dress.”
“Ghezen, Nina. We spent five hours there, one lunch break, and then two more.” Jesper cleared the air for her.
“We only got out because I threatened to shoot him if he tried on another suit.” Kaz added to the story.
“Poor Merchling, he must still be looking at napkins.”
All Jesper could think about as they sailed their way back home was Wylan, and the fact that he loved him.