Tyger was already in the hospital. He knew he was going to go into surgery soon; after all, his arm was utterly ruined and bound with a tourniquet. He lay there staring up at the ceiling, wishing for all the world that he had a about three or four cigarettes right about now, instead of a nearly ruined pen. He knew Marcy was on her way, and he fought hard to maintain consciousness. He knew he had lost some blood and the shock from the trauma was also starting to get to him as well. He only hoped that she would arrive while he was still conscious and before he went into surgery. He reached over with his free hand...no, not his free hand, his only hand, and pulled the pen from his mouth and held it in his fingers as if it were a cigarette and bit his lip. The pain lanced through him and that did a good job of allowing him to hang on for a little longer.
His consciousness ensured, at least for the time being, Tyger allowed his mind drift off, to think about the curse that Jama had told him had been placed upon him. He didn't know who put it there, or why. He knew he had to do three things; he already had two of them figured out, his only problem was he was finding it difficult to figure out what it was he had stolen that needed to be returned to his rightful owner. He had stopped stealing things when he joined XSWAT. Perhaps he did not need to go that far back, but he really was having a hard time thinking of something. Granted, he could also go out and steal something and then return it...but that, somehow did not sit terribly well with him.
All thoughts of the curse were shattered when Marcy entered the room. Tyger smiled to her and tiredly waved to her with his left hand. "Hey babe, long time no see."
"You got that right buster." Marcy was frowning, obviously concerned. That concern changed to worry when she saw the remnants of his arm, still bound in the makeshift tourniquet. "What in the hell happened?"
"Maser." Tyger answered wearily. "Don't know why, but it overloaded and exploded in my hand. The docs say that they are pretty sure they can fix it with no problems.
"I see..." Marcy returned, worrying at her lip.
Tyger reached out and took Marcy's hand in his own, his feline eyes searching her own for a few heartbeats. "Marcy... it seems that every time I go out, I get fucked up. Most of the time, it seems that I come back worse off every time." He paused for a moment, his hand gripping hers as if seeking support and strength. "Marcy. I love you. That's all there is to it. But the way things are going, there is a dammed good chance that when I go out, I ain't gonna make it back. I ain't scared or anything, but... I wanted to get something off of my chest for awhile now. And I wanted to do it before I no longer had a chance to do it.
"I...I don't have a ring for you. Not here anyway...but, I wanted to ask you now because i...it's something that I need to know before there ain't a next time." Tyger paused and closed his eyes. As he took a long, deep breath, his grip on Marcy's hand tightened a little more. He opened them, a smile, diminished by his weariness. "Marcy...will you marry me?"
Marcy gasped as the question was asked. She hesitated, almost beginning to speak but stopping herself at the last second. The pause ended as she grasped the Clade's good hand between both of hers, the palms somewhat clammy.
"Tyger, you know I really care about you." She said, her voice tight, eyes brimming. "Being with you is wonderful, and it feels like love, but..." She shook her head slightly, curly hair bouncing at her shoulders, pain very clear on her face.
"I just don't know right now.... There's a lot to think about." She held up a hand. "Please, just let me... let me finish." She took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders. "My family is..." She glanced away. "Kind of traditional. And, there's more. Y-you have a..." She took another breath. "A history of violence. I know you'd never hurt me again!" She interjected quickly. "But this is building a life together you're talking about. Sharing everything. And I owe you nothing less than full honesty."
"There's also the fact..." She started, laughing a bit even as tears slid down her cheeks. "That you have a bad habit of getting shot in the line of duty." She waited for his reply, still clutching his good hand in hers.
Tyger remained silent the entire time. He did his best to keep his face neutral, even going so far as to bite his tongue to do it. "Hey now, that's not fair. I've been good about not getting shot up...hell, even this time, I kinda shot myself" He laughed lightly, trying to bring some humor to his situation. "I mean, I pulled the trigger and the dammed thing overloaded and just blew up..."
He grew silent again and squeezed her hands lightly with his one good one. "I don't know what to say about your family. I mean, your dad...from what you told me... wasn't the best guy around and caused a lot of problems for you." Tyger continued quickly. "Not that he meant to or that he's a bad guy or anything. But...I don't really know what it's like I guess. You and the Ninth are the closest thing I've ever had to a family. I guess that's kinda why I want to start one. To have a real family. And there is no other person I would rather share that with. I also understand that not everyone would be very understanding of the whole thing, whether it's your family or just some random people on the street."
Tyger gently wriggled his hand out of Marcy's grasp to wipe her tears away. "Don't do that. You're much prettier laughing and smiling than you are crying." Once he had cleared her tears away, he took hold of her hands once more with a light smile. "I know that I have a nasty habit of getting into or causing trouble. I'd like to think that I've gotten better about it too."
He grew silent for a few long moments and then smiled a little. "You taught me that there's more to life than mecha and the 'Great Blue Yonder'. There's dances, and bars, parties, Christmas and otherwise. But most importantly, there's a woman who cares about me and has accepted me for who I am; whether I'm a troublemaker or the best XSWAT officer this city has."
Another pause and he looked at her with all seriousness, his face neutral in emotion but caring at the same time. His hand squeezed hers. "...but I'd give it all up if I had to. It wouldn't be easy. But I'd do it and I wouldn't think twice about it if that meant givin' you that peace of mind."
Marcy couldn't help but sniffle even as she smiled, the expression lighting up her face. Her cheeks were red with strong emotion, her fingers grasped his tightly. "I don't want you to give up." She whispered, swallowing. "Don't ever give up—promise me!" Unspoken, her eyes and posture indicated she meant more than just Tyger's job.
Tyger gave that half cocked 'Han Solo' grin as he replied. "Marcy, you know me better'n that. You know I would never give on anything. Not without one hell of a fight first." He lifted her hand up a bit to kiss her knuckles lightly, that smile still on his face.
"But I ain't talking about giving up anything Marcy. What I am talking about is sacrifice. I dunno about you, but sacrificing something that is personal, for the greater good and for what's important in a person's life." He smiled a bit again. "Well, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I'm more than willing to sacrifice everything for you, because you are that important to me that I'm willing to do anything for you."
Marcy cried. She couldn't stop her eyes from welling tears as she lifted the Clade's hand to her lips and kissed it. "In that case." She said, her shoulders sagging with relief. "Yes, Tyger. Yes—I'll marry you."
Tyger's face lit up with, much in the same way it did during a particular incident at Van Gorean's house in the Omega Sector. He was speechless himself for a moment, but then he pulled her close and hugged her with both arms, ignoring the furious pain that resulted from the embrace. "Whatever it takes Marcy. It doesn't matter. I'll make you the happiest woman alive. Whatever it takes... I swear it."