As Long As We Both Shall Live
She said yes on the day she learned she had three months to live. He'd asked twice before but, painter that she was, she couldn't be bothered with formalities.

He was a musician, no lover of formality himself, but if the gig called for it, he could sight read with the best of them; any genre, classical to bop. He had stopped asking after she said no the second time; he didn't want to invoke third time demons unnecessarily.

They'd been coupled for longer than any of their friends remembered.

Artists - painters, musicians, poets, sculptors, actors or dancers - are notoriously bad at taking care of themselves. That doesn't stop them from trying to take care of other artists; in that they are much like the rest of humanity. The major difference being that the result of their obsession may well be an unforgettable sonnet, a perfectly realized composition or just the perfect chord for a moment.

He hadn't asked because he wanted to take care of her or to make hospital visits easier. When others asked why, he couldn't come up with reasons, and she didn't care to. It felt right, was what each of them ended up saying, each in their own distracted circuitous way.

They are notoriously bad at taking care of themselves. They are also notoriously sensitive to the way things fit together. Sometimes you need to act contrary to all reason and knowledge just to prove you are human.

She died three months to the day after their wedding. He held her hand.