AN: Okay, this fic is finally done! Thank you to everyone who has stuck with this fic through my extremely long absence and thanks especially to all those people who left me comments while I was away. You don't know how nice it was to hear from everyone – it really helped keep me motivated to finish this story and get through a pretty tough year. You are all amazing, wonderful people! This story is only here because of you.
"Pass the syrup, please."
Mamoru watched in amusement as his girlfriend of 9 months, 6 days, and 23ish hours poured even more syrup over her already soaked pancakes and shoveled another forkful into her mouth, chewing contentedly across from him at the table of his apartment in Tokyo.
The 'ish' was only because Usagi and Mamoru disagreed about when exactly they'd started dating. Mamoru believed it was the moment they began making out in a very public brunch spot, but Usagi insisted it didn't count until he'd labeled their status to a very loud and noisy Minako who had called him practically squealing later that night. It was still in the same day, though, so fortunately he didn't have to worry about any arguments over their anniversary.
"I've always wondered how you've managed to stay so thin, eating the way you do."
Usagi glared at him, though she only looked like an adorable chipmunk, meaning completely non-threatening. Knowing she wouldn't care for that comparison, he swallowed his chuckles and settled for his trademark smirk, the one he now knew both drove her insane and also, if the mood was right, made her incredibly aroused. It was a nice trick to have up his sleeve.
Today, however, she simply swallowed and responded primly, "I get my exercise."
He couldn't stop his eyebrow from raising even if he wanted to. And he didn't. "Mmm, like last night?"
He watched with satisfaction as a blush stole over her face. Usagi wasn't shy in the bedroom and she could render him into an incoherent puddle faster than the other way around, but she still always blushed when he was sexually suggestive. He loved it.
Seeming unable to come up with a response, Usagi stuck her tongue out at him childishly, though from the way she swallowed immediately after, he could tell she knew it hadn't had the effect she wanted.
They were interrupted, unfortunately, by her phone ringing.
She glanced at it, "It's work."
"It's morning. And a Saturday."
She rolled her eyes at him. "As if you're one to talk."
"I'm in a new position!"
"Well it's from the office we're working with in New York so this is really the only time I can take it anyway."
And with that she opened her phone and answered. In English. She was talking in English. Usagi. Usagi was talking in English. To someone else. They were conversing. In English.
He still hadn't picked his jaw off the ground by the time she hung up and she looked at him confused.
"You can speak English?!"
Usagi stood up, her plate miraculously clean before her, and put her hands on her hips. "Yes, I can. Surprised?"
Mamoru leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest. "Impressed."
She rolled her eyes again.
"And a bit turned on," he added, grinning as she sniffed and began collecting her dishes to bring into the kitchen.
"Well unfortunately we don't have time to indulge any of your other weird kinks this morning – "
" – or we'll be late to your best friend's wedding!"
Mamoru glared after Usagi before angrily picking up his own dishes and stalking toward the kitchen. "I request one teensy thing in the bedroom and now I'm labeled as a hentai forever…"
Usagi watched giddily as Motoki dipped Reika on the dance floor, their first dance almost over.
They had been married this morning in the temple near Reika's home and Usagi still couldn't believe she'd been allowed to be there. Reika was an only child and had asked Usagi to accompany her and her parents. Mamoru had come too, standing as a witness with Motoki's larger family as the couple completed the marriage ritual.
Now, she stood on the edge of the dance floor Makoto had created inside her restaurant for the reception.
While their wedding ceremony itself had been traditional, Reika had insisted that their reception contain elements of the Western tradition, having witnessed a number of weddings during her time spent abroad in England. Usagi, Unazuki, and Rei were thereby acting as her bridesmaids – though the only thing this really involved was wearing cute matching dresses – while Motoki had asked Mamoru, another friend from college, Natsuo, and Reika's cousin, Jei, to be his groomsmen. There had already been speeches given by herself and Mamoru (Motoki's best man), cake shoved in each other's faces, and a fun game involving shoes, and now the dance floor was officially open! Usagi was pretty sure she hadn't stopped smiling all day.
Feeling a slight pressure on her back, Usagi turned to find Mamoru sliding up next to her holding two flutes of champagne.
"Find any men you want to take home with you? That is the whole point of attending a wedding as a bridesmaid, isn't it?" He asked, handing her one of the glasses.
Usagi laughed, "I'd say you've watched too many movies, except I'm pretty sure I made you watch all of them and will, most definitely, continue to do so."
Mamoru chuckled and clinked his glass against her own. "That's true."
After taking a sip, she glanced around the room. "However, I will say that Motoki has some pretty attractive friends."
He grinned at her. "Any in particular catching your eye?'
"Well, all of his groomsmen are pretty dashing."
"Including the best man?"
Usagi shrugged at him with smirk, but then pushed herself onto her tiptoes to kiss his cheek, "Especially the best man. That is why he's the best of men, after all."
Mamoru snorted into his glass and tucked his arm around her waist. "I'll take it. But what about the others? I don't know if I can say you really have a chance."
Following Mamoru's nod, Usagi couldn't stop the giggle that bubbled up through her chest as she caught sight of Rei glaring down a glass of wine that Jei was trying to offer her. "Wouldn't they be adorable? He hasn't been able to stay away from her all day!"
"Yes, but she looks like she's one more dance request away from punching him."
Usagi giggled again, "True, but that's just how Rei is. She doesn't like to put her time and effort into something that isn't going to pan out and she can be rather picky. Honestly, though, if she really didn't want him around her, he wouldn't still be here. I think she might actually like him."
Mamoru looked down at her in surprise, "Really?"
Usagi nodded, noticing with glee that while Rei had put her back to Jei in order to engage an older woman in conversation, she was now holding the wine he had offered her. "Just wait, I bet he'll get her on the dance floor by the end of the night."
Mamoru hummed in interest at that idea, but then pivoted them slightly to where the food was laid out on the far wall. "And what about Natsuo?"
Usagi beamed, "Well he's definitely off-limits now."
Makoto, while technically a guest, had not been convinced to leave the reception up to her staff members, and had been helping to bring out food and organize the space since they started. She was now, however, deep in conversation with Motoki's other groomsman, Natsuo, who Usagi had heard complimenting the food earlier. Even better, he seemed to actually know what he was talking about. Where Usagi used words like "yummy" and "delicious," Natsuo had pulled out the big guns, discussing texture, flavor palates, and composition. Usagi was pretty sure she had actually witnessed Makoto finding her soulmate.
Mamoru nodded, "Looks like you may be out of luck then."
Usagi sighed dramatically, "It's true. Besides those two, the only passable men here are with Mina and Ami-chan."
Ami had brought along her boyfriend of four months, Zakiasu, who was one of her fellow doctors. They were currently seated on one of the many tables positioned around the edge of the dance floor, heads bent close in conversation. Zakiasu was very similar to Ami – reserved and kind, but playful once he felt comfortable with you. Usagi was delighted to see that they seemed just as smitten with each other as ever.
Minako, on the other hand, was currently dancing rather scandalously against her own date, one of Mamoru's coworkers, Kunimatsu. After Mamoru had officially been offered the CEO position in Tokyo, Minako had insisted they go on the bank's website to see what kind of environment Mamoru would be in – "We are who we meet, Usagi-chan! If he's going to be surrounded by a bunch of crochety old men, you should know." It turned out, however, that there were very few old men working at the Tokyo branch. In fact, there had been quite a few young people, and quite a few handsome young men. Upon seeing Kunimatsu's picture, Minako had uttered a very eloquent "fuck yes" and then proceeded to call Mamoru to stake dibs.
While Mamoru had refused pointblank to help Minako in her "man-catching" scheme, after having lunch with him (they got along surprisingly well) he had offered up the information that Kunimatsu was single and Mina had somehow managed to orchestrate a meeting that led to drinks, dinner, and a string of dates. While they weren't currently official, Mina had plans to change that soon. As she had put it, "We're almost at the point where I've wormed my way into so many aspects of his life, he won't remember how he lived without me."
Kunimatsu's normally stoic demeanor never really stood a chance around Minako, and while to many onlookers he might have seemed pretty detached from the action around him, Usagi was fairly certain he was smiling, and he seemed only too happy to keep Mina exactly where she was.
Mamoru chuckled into her ear, "I guess you're stuck with me then, love."
Turning in his arms so she could look up into his eyes, Usagi smiled, "I guess so."
"So how does it feel to be a married man?"
Mamoru and Motoki were collapsed on some chairs near the edge of the room, both needing a break from dancing and the general excitement of the reception.
"Honestly?" Motoki asked, the same goofy smile on his face he'd been sporting all day, "It feels pretty damn good."
Mamoru clapped his friend on the shoulder and watched as Motoki's eyes eagerly sought out his new bride. Reika was dancing with Rei and Minako and she did indeed look stunning. Mamoru's eyes, however, slid quickly over her to find Usagi, who was nearby, twirling a couple of Motoki's younger cousins who Reika had dubbed their flower girls.
Mamoru felt his heart soften at the sight.
"Have you, uh, been thinking about, you know, moving forward with Usagi?"
Mamoru turned his gaze back to his friend and fought back a grin at Motoki's attempt at subtlety. Matching his tone, Mamoru leaned back and shrugged nonchalantly, "I have plans."
Motoki's eyebrows hit his hairline and his smile grew even more. "Really?"
With a small grin, Mamoru nodded, "Really."
And he did. He had decided waiting until their one-year anniversary felt like long enough. He wasn't planning on telling anyone, but he'd had a ring picked out after dating Usagi for only three months.
Motoki looked like he wanted to ask more, but then the DJ interrupted the music to announce that it was time for the bouquet toss.
Seeming to realize he could grill his best friend later, Motoki motioned with his head and they wandered over to edge of the dance floor to watch the proceedings.
Many of the young women and a few of the men were currently jostling each other to get into the best position as Reika stood looking over her shoulder from her place in front of the main table. Mamoru saw Usagi determinedly planting herself near the edge and winced. He felt bad for the people who got in her way – he knew from experience just how sharp her elbows could be.
Somehow, though, Reika's toss went a little eschew. Mamoru watched with interest and then horror as Usagi threw herself to the side, managing to snatch the bouquet from the air almost perpendicular to the ground. Without much thought, Mamoru threw himself forward to brace her fall, pulling her into his arms just before they hit the ground.
A small, worried crowd quickly formed around them and Mamoru groaned softly as Usagi gingerly removed her elbow from his gut. "Sorry, Mamo-chan!"
When he opened his eyes, however, it was to see Minako looking down at them with a grin.
"Hey, Mamoru. I know what it means that Usagi caught the bouquet. But what exactly does it mean that you caught her?"
Mamoru let his eyes fall closed again with a grunt as Usagi fussed over him, trying to see what damage she'd done this time. Her hands were soft and she smelled like lavender.
What did it mean? It meant he was pretty goddamn lucky.
AN: Well there you have it! I might write a little one-shot describing the kink I was imagining (it's really tame, just a funny joke I decided didn't work in the piece itself), but otherwise this story is done! HUZZAH! I hope it feels complete for all of you :) I know it was spaced out a lot…but I had so much fun working on this piece and you guys gave me such lovely feedback the whole time!
(Hopefully) obviously, I tried to pick names for the four guys that felt similar to the Heavenly Kings' names or the American versions people give them sometimes, since it felt weird to have four random guys named after gemstones… sorry if that was weird, but I wanted to hint at a nice future for everyone :)
Anyway, I'll try to start working on completing my other fics now and, again, thank you all so SO much for being part of this journey with me! It has meant the world to me!