Trying not to let it get to you, you waited to collect your food items then turned and left the cafe, letting out a sigh before straightening a little and going back towards the alley to find Tamaki.
Down the alley, Tamaki had had a little time to think everything over. He had felt your hurt when he admitted that he has only wanted to give the rings as promise rings and it made his heart sink.
“I never meant to hurt Y/N… why was I only thinking of promising anyway? We are already married in RFO… what’s holding me back?”
He looked down at his hands then up at the sky, trying to find the reason for not jumping to engagement phase like you had wanted.
“She’s right… we can get engaged now and get married when we’re able to. There’s nothing stopping us.”
His heart felt lighter and he smiled to himself from under his fringe.
“I need to tell her that I want her to be mine!”
With a light step he stood up and started towards the end of the alley, just as you were coming back with the food in plastic bags.
“I got our food to go,” you said, your face still showing signs of dejection.
You were expecting to find your timid Tamaki hiding still but as you looked up, you saw him striding purposefully towards you.
“Jiki?” you asked, when you saw he was looking you directly in the eye.
“Where are the rings?” he asked confidently.
Surprised by his sudden conviction, you pulled them from your pocket and handed them to him.
He opened the box and took your ring out, kneeling down on one knee and looking up at you fondly.
“There is nothing holding me back this time. Y/N, will you marry me?”
Stunned, you stood there looking down at him for a bit before speaking.
“Jiki… it’s ok, we can just keep them as promise rings, I don’t want you to feel pressured to—,”
“No, Y/N, please… answer me truthfully, will you marry me? I love you and I want to be the one to stand by your side forever, in game and in reality I want us to be one. Will you marry me?”
He was so sure of himself that it bought you to happy tears.
“Yes!” you said in a happy, quivering voice, “yes!”
He stood up and took you hand gently in his then slid the ring into your finger- it fit perfectly.
“I can’t believe it’s the same as my ring as in RFO!” you said as you hugged him, “I love it and I love you, Jiki. Are you sure you’re ok with this?”
“I am very sure, Y/N,” he said softly, hugging you back, “you have made me strong and you have always been there for me. I want to be there forever for you too.”
You hugged him again, feeling much better than you had a few moments ago.
It was a happy night that night. You spent more time with Tamaki, then as the sun set, you made your way home to do some study (ok, watch anime, who am I kidding) and then go to bed.
You did find it a little hard to go to sleep because of the adrenaline, but you were now engaged to Tamaki! In real life! What kind of amazing dream was this?
The following afternoon, you decided to dive together from his place to do some more investigation into the BB group and went about your duties in game with your contractors.
“Hey… so,” you asked Delilah as you followed her around the kitchen, carting things for her, “do you ever do catering stuff for the higher ups?”
“Sometimes,” she said, stacking some bread baskets on your arms.
“Do they come to this level? Or do you go to their level?” you asked.
“Mmmm… to their headquarters,” she replied, picking up some more baskets and banging them together to rid the excess crumbs.
“Headquarters! Isn’t that like, top secret?” you asked, walking after her as she walked along a little further and picked up more from the bench.
“You sure ask a lot of questions, do you always talk this much?”
“Yeah… I guess,” you replied, “I’m just curious about this group ,that’s all. I mean, don’t you want to know who is at the top of all this… running the show?”
“No one has ever met him,” Delilah replied.
“I’m sorry, what? What do you mean?” you asked, stepping into the back baking section where other workers were busily making bread and other baked goods.
“No one knows who he is,” she repeated, “I mean… I don’t even know if it’s a ‘he’? But everyone says ‘he’.”
“Surely someone knows the name of the person? Or are there a few at the top?”
“I have no idea,” she shrugged.
“So how did you get into this then?” you asked her.
She stopped and looked at you.
“If I answer that question will you stop talking and get bask to work? We have a deadline to meet.”
“Oh? Oh… yeah sure. So how did you end up getting contracted?” you asked, placing the bread baskets in the washing area and chasing her outside to where she was going to check the laundry.
“When I got in game I worked on level 1 as a bar maid. It was ok, I guess, but some players were really annoying. Treating me like an NPC and trying to solicit me.”
One day I heard about a group that was contracting players to work in a bakery and they would give you all the skills you needed immediately to be able to cook well,” she said, “so I enquired and ended up here and now I run this kitchen. I love it.”
“Oh… I see… who are you contracted to?” you probed.
“Henrii,” she replied, “she drops in rarely now because she’s leveled up heaps and is off doing other stuff but she is the one who contracted me.”
“Have you ever tried to leave? As in… break the contract?” you asked her.
“No? I don’t want to. I like it here,” she replied, avoiding eye contact and stiffening up with one arm clutched across her chest in the other, “you’ve asked enough questions, now go and work, please, before I get annoyed.”
You really wanted to push for more but decided against it. You already had the name of someone above Delilah so you were happy with your progress.
“I wonder how Tamajiki is fairing with Praetorian?” you wondered as you left Delilah and headed back inside to your cooking station.