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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · LGBTQ+ · #2277431
Ralph and Dennis escape the end of the universe.
The world shook. It simply shouldn't. The "world" they lived on was actually a multiversal creature they lived inside. It existed off to the side of what was traditionally accepted as reality. Dennis spun on his stool to face Ralph where he worked at his bench soldering microelectronics. Dennis's fear multiplied when he saw fear in his partner's magnified eyes. Ralph ripped off the magnifying glasses he had been using to see his work.

"What in all that is holy and good was that?" Ralph spat.

Dennis wished he could throw himself into Ralph's muscular arms for comfort. Ralph was taller, stockier and overall more rugged than Dennis looked. He made Dennis feel safe just being in the same room, usually. Right then, Ralph seemed as frightened as if Dennis suggested they leave their business/home. Ralph was stoic as long as he didn't have to leave that familiarity. He could even handle customers. But outside, there were times he couldn't form a sentence. It was alright Dennis took care of procuring materials and meeting in person with customers. Those things and "prettying up" Ralph's devices were the meat of what Dennis did for their partnership.

"It felt like an earthquake!"

"No, because we aren't on a planet! The Middle of Everywhen doesn't quake."

"I told you I thought I felt something the other night." Dennis pointed out.

Ralph opened his mouth to respond but three sharp knocks on the door to their office stopped the conversation. Dennis tabbed the door open and a red-headed woman entered. "Cool! It is you guys! I need you to detach your portal from this MOE and let me take you somewhere safe!"

"Why should we go with you?" Dennis asked, Ralph was stiffly silent. "We don't even know you!"

"Maybe so, but I know you two, or at least your multiversal alternate selves. I know what you do in here and that you are both geniuses when it comes to tech."

Dennis stood taking up a position between Ralph and this strange woman. It did sound like she knew their reputations at least.

"Come on Dennis! I know you just felt that quake. In less than Ten minutes this entire universe will be destroyed. And yes I know that a Middle of Everywhen isn't within a universe but it does cling to the surface of one and when it goes so does this place."

"Okay so I believe you have heard of us, but why should we believe you care if we are destroyed or not?" Dennis challenged the woman.

"You and Ralph are friends, partners and quite likely madly in love with each other, though neither of you wants to chance to ruin what you have to pursue the relationship. The alternates of you that worked for and with me and my people eventually got over that and were married, happily until the dangers of our profession caught up with them both. Frankly, I miss you guys."

Dennis opened his eyes wide and spun to stare at Ralph, incredulously his friend's eyes finally showed the secret longing that Dennis had long felt. "Dennis, I believe her."

Dennis was near tears, he reached for the embrace he had craved earlier. They held each other briefly before Ralph broke the embrace and toggled the switch to detach the portal from the MOE.

"Okay, I'm going to shut you in and take you to my home base. You shouldn't notice anything. I'll knock when we get there." The woman stated and shut the door.

Ralph smiled tenderly down at Dennis. Dennis felt like his heart was in his throat. "So, Den, you as attracted to me as I have been to you?"

Dennis blushed, "I have wanted more from our relationship since we both moved into this place."

"I have too, I just didn't know how to ask. You are always so business-like," Ralph reached a hand out to touch Dennis's face. There was another knock on their door.

The woman opened it with a smile, "Easy peasy! Now I am going to send someone in to medically check you two into The Preserve then you will be visited by an intake coordinator to get you guys established. I hope you'll consider joining our Research and Development team."

"We'll consider it." Ralph placed a gentle hand around Dennis's shoulders, "You rescued us from the end of a universe, but we don't even know your name."

"Angela Daniel's, I was the chief factor when your alternates were alive. I actually married the two of them. It was about the sweetest thing I have ever been a part of."

"Out of curiosity, which of us proposed?" Ralph asked.

She smirked at him, "Dennis of course. He was always more in touch with his feelings."

"I guess it makes it my turn," Ralph smiled and dug through his random parts bin retrieving a small silver ring. He knelt on one knee and offered the ring to Dennis. Dennis blinked, it was an actual ring, with a tiny diamond set into it. Ralph had it within seconds, he knew what he was searching for and where.

"Have you been planning..."

"I was getting the courage together. I ordered it from one of those fussy pants jewelers behind your back. I didn't know when or if I would ever have the balls to give it to you. Dennis, would you marry me, please!"

Dennis blinked for several minutes, then nodded. He was as speechless as Ralph could be around strangers in a strange environment.

Ralph wrapped his big arms around Dennis, picking him up. The hug lasted several minutes and Dennis felt the safest he ever had. When Ralph put Dennis down he passionately kissed Dennis. For the second time that day, Dennis felt the world move.

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