Eight months ago

She had her own private office now, a door and everything. Benefits of being the personal agent to the now most-requested model-cum-superhero-cum-President-of-the-World. It wasn't a large office, but it afforded the most needed measure, which was privacy. Which was quite fortunate, because currently Ishihara Sumi was mopping up the mess she made when she sprayed her mouth full of coffee all over her desk, and partially over her client.

"You're what?" she managed, separating a few important, sopping, pieces of paperwork and binning the rest.

"Engaged." Masayoshi said cheerfully, as if she had not just had single most unprofessional moment in her career. "I wanted to get a ring, but Gotou-san said that was ridiculous. I had a cool one picked out too, but he said that 'men don't wear engagement rings, Masayoshi.'" He crossed his arms and humphed. "He won't even agree to the pretty rings we saw while shopping, he just wants plain gold bands, isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've everheard?"

Ishihara sat back in her desk chair and closed her eyes, composed herself. "You're engaged to ... Gotou-san?"

When she opened her eyes, Masayoshi had sat forward in his chair, blue eyes big and sparkling, and such an open, innocent look of pure love that she thought she was going to get just a touch nauseous. He had moved his hands to his knees, back and shoulders straight as he nodded enthusiastically. Ishihara took a deep breath.

If she was being honest with herself, she'd known something was up between them for months now. She had seen the way Gotou looked at Masayoshi when he wasn't paying attention; a pretty solid mix of affection and just straight-up smitten. She had figured on the fact that Masayoshi hadn't noticed such a thing, he was quite oblivious at the most inopportune of times ... but then they had that big talk about love. Maybe it had opened his eyes.

However, she had an important duty here, too. "You can't marry Gotou-san, Masayoshi," she said, as gently as she knew how.

Masayoshi furrowed his brow at her, openly confused. "Why not?"

"It's not legal, for one thing." Of course, people held weddings all the time, just for show - the legality of marriage was more or less a status change, and plenty of male and female couples existed happily as common law, just not official.


"So, it's not - it just really isn't done, Masayoshi." She crossed her arms, tried not to imagine the ratings plummet when it got out that the world's single most eligible bachelor was not only not batting for the presumed team, but had also benched himself...?

Masayoshi cocked his head to the side slightly, and there was a glint in his eye that she recognized. "Well, guess what my first official act as President of the World is gonna be?"

"Masayoshi," Ishihara said.

"Do you really think anyone will oppose me?" he asked, bright-eyed innocent and now he was playing it up, he'd had this discussion before, it seemed. "Who isn't going to let the President of the World get married to his fiance - who also, by the way, helped save Japan from the machinations of the Prime Minister?"

"There is going to be an international media feeding frenzy," Ishihara said, not directly to Masayoshi, but to the ceiling. Masayoshi sat there still, back straight and grinning huge.

One day ago

Mizuki had wanted to wait, as through the door to the staging room were coming a rather odd set of grunts and thumps, but Mari had enough of waiting and slammed the door open with her shoulder, leading with her cell phone. "I sure hope I get a shot of Samumenco's ass!" she yelled, and Mizuki sighed deeply, following her in.

Fortunately, what was going on was no less weird. Gotou had Masayoshi in a headlock of sorts - some kind of arm-and-headlock combination, she didn't know one wrestling move from the other, and Masayoshi's face lit in pure relief when Mari barged in. "What the hell," Mari said, phone still out and other hand on her hip, "kind of gay-ass shit is this?"

Gotou hadn't released Masayoshi yet. Masayoshi wriggled in his arms. "Let me goooo, Gotou-san, we have guests-!"

"Not until you say uncle." Gotou sounded completely unimpressed. He looked right past Mari, and explained himself to Mizuki. "We're trying to decide who gets to keep their family name."

"And you didn't stick to janken because...?" Mizuki asked, as Masayoshi sensed Gotou's distraction and squirmed enough to bite his arm. Gotou yelped, but his grip slackened for a split second, just enough time for Masayoshi to eel free and put Mari between him and Gotou.

"Another tie," he said, sounding relieved.

"You guys are getting married tomorrow, I'd say the whole name thing is kind of important," Mizuki said, and Mari shut off her phone with a grumpy noise. "You've filed the paperwork by now, right?"

"Yup," Masayoshi said, rubbing his neck. "Ishihara-san got it for us. We're all ready to go!"

"So whose family name is on it?"

"Both of ours," Gotou said with a heavy sigh, seating himself normally on the ground. "We're the first to get processed after the provision passed, and no one could decide how to handle it so they just put both."

"But a koseki has to be under one family name," Mizuki said, realization dawning. "Oh, boy."

"We'll figure it out!" Masayoshi said. "Besides, I think Gotou-san would fit my family name nicely."

"Oi," Gotou growled, and Masayoshi, still hiding safely behind the much-shorter Mari, stuck his tongue out at Gotou. "You are aware that Gotou is my family name."

"Really?" Masayoshi said with wide-eyed wonder.

"Okidoki," Mizuki said. "You boys need a time out, I think."

"I don't know, I think Samumenco gets way more interesting when he's sassy," Mari said.

"What are you two doing here, anyway?" Masayoshi asked, looking between them, and over to Gotou, who had sat down against the wall in the small room. "The rehearsal's just about over."

Mizuki pointed at Masayoshi. "I'm here to collect you."

Masayoshi blinked, looked at Gotou. Gotou sighed hugely, but he was smiling. "It's traditional, 'yoshi. Generally you don't get to see each other again until the actual wedding."

"What! That's stupid." Masayoshi made a face. "I don't want to do that, being with Gotou-san is more important."

"Too bad, it's not up to you," Mizuki said, prodding him in the side. "Besides, your Flamengers buddies are here to haul you off to your bachelor party."

"Well, except the cute one," Mari said.

Everyone, very slowly, looked at Mari. "The ... cute one?" Masayoshi said the words slowly, horrified. "Which one is-"

"The one with all the guns." Mari actually had a moment there, with a dreamy expression on her face. "Not as cute as Gotou, mind, but he looks killer in a military uniform..."

"Ah," Masayoshi said, the horrified vibe not leaving his tone.

Gotou hauled to his feet. "Your friend Black is here for me," he said. "He offered to take me drinking, same as Nick. Probably won't be as exciting as whatever the rest of them have planned for you, but I'm okay with that."

"Yeah," Masayoshi said. He was blushing, currently - and Gotou grinned easily, and Mari turned red too, except he wasn't looking at her, but above her at Masayoshi.

"See you tomorrow, 'yoshi," Gotou said softly, and Mizuki started to turn pink, with how intently they were looking at each other.

"Jeez," Mari said loudly. "I would say get a room, but we ALL know what sort of depravity would occur within." She shoved Masayoshi in the side. "C'mon, Samumenco, you'll have the rest of your life to make googly eyes at him, let's go get you wasted."

"Wait, wasted?" Masayoshi said, alarmed, as Mari manhandled him out the door. Mizuki sighed as the squawking continued to fade down the hallway.

"I'll make sure nothing gets out of hand," she reassured Gotou.

"Thank you," he said. "It's hard enough to keep this on the down-low as it is, the last thing we need is Masayoshi streaking naked down the street at two in the morning."

"Please don't ever suggest that to Mari as an option, because she will take it as a personal challenge to get him there," she said. "Have a good night, Gotou-san."

Three months ago

"Looks like the measure will pass by June," Ishihara said, clicking around on the tablet that Masayoshi had bought her specifically for the wedding planning. "I can't believe you really managed it."

"It's just for Japan," Masayoshi said with a dramatic sigh, as if that was a personal failing that he hadn't miraculously legalized marriage for everyone in the world in the span of just a few months. He looked down into his bowl of rice contemplatively, as Gotou, sitting beside him, rolled his eyes.

"What he really means is, 'thank you for believing in me,'" Gotou translated, and Masayoshi looked up.

"I would think that would be obvious," he said, offended at Gotou's translation. "Anyway, June," he said, tone taking an uptick. "I've always wanted to be a June bride!"

Ishihara sighed. "Tell me you're not going to be wearing a dress, because that will be the top of every news cycle on every continent for a solid year."

"I've talked him out of that, thankfully," Gotou said.

"I think I would look stunning," Masayoshi said.

"I didn't say you wouldn't," Gotou murmured. They were both turning a mild shade of pink, which would be endearing if Ishihara hadn't grown immune to them blushing at each other like teenagers over every third thing.

"I only suggested it as a joke," Masayoshi added, for Ishihara's sake.

"I don't really care at this point," she said with an amused sigh, and set her tablet down on the table. "I just don't want any surprises."

"I invited Harakiri Sunshine!" Masayoshi said proudly.

"Yeah," Ishihara said. "Things like that."

Three weeks ago

Masayoshi looked at himself in the mirror as the tailor measured up his leg. Ishihara sat in a large armchair in the corner of the room, a little bit away from all the mirrors. "I still think you should have let me design my own tux," he said, looking over his shoulder at the mirror behind him.

Ishihara wasn't looking up at him. "What color would that tux have been, Masayoshi?"

"Mm, something restrained. Maybe maroon? Closer to the color of the suit I wore to fight Alien Flamenco-"

"That's exactly why I didn't," she said, and looked up. She'd been flipping through the most recent news, watching for any indication that the wedding plans had been leaked, but nothing seemed to have surfaced, yet. They'd promised an exclusive interview to Konno and his website with the caveat that they got nothing if anything got leaked through their website. So far, it was all quiet.

Masayoshi had his arms out as the tailor pinned a few places on the suitcoat where it didn't sit quite right on Masayoshi. It was a soft grey color that really brought out the blue in his eyes, with a black trim that few would be able to successfully pull off. Masayoshi was a model through and through, and could pull off a lot that most people wouldn't be able to handle. "I wonder what Gotou's tuxedo will look like," Masayoshi said dreamily, and Ishihara smiled at him.

"You'll know soon enough," she said, and tapped an icon on the tablet.

"I think this whole tradition thing is silly, of not seeing each other's outfits until the wedding."

"Usually it's just the bride," the tailor said in an off-hand manner, speaking around the pins in his mouth.

"Ishihara-san! Gotou-san's not the bride, I want to see his outfit!"

"Neither of you is the bride," Ishihara reminded him. "I convinced MinaMira to play the reception, by the way."

"I don't know if I want Mari near Gotou-san when he looks that sexy," Masayoshi said, and the tailor coughed a little.

"He won't be in his police uniform, it'll be fine," Ishihara said. "Besides, he's already made his choice."

Masayoshi flushed pink again, looking in the mirror and pleased with himself. "Yeah," he said softly, happily. "He has."

Five months ago

"So," Gotou said, as he sat down on the edge of his bed. "We need to decide how we're gonna do the paperwork."

"Paperwork?" Masayoshi had his head on his arms, most of the rest of him tucked securely under the kotatsu. "What paperwork?"

"The koseki paperwork," Gotou said, and tapped a folder he'd brought with him, sitting on the table above Masayoshi's head. He watched Masayoshi roll onto his back and scoot into a sitting position all without ever letting his lower half emerge from the oven of warmth underneath the heated table.

"What do you mean decide? We just put both our names on there, once we're married, right?"

"Koseki paperwork is done under one family name," Gotou said, enunciating very clearly.

"Oh," Masayoshi said. He squinted at the center of the table, and then looked at Gotou. "You're taking my name, right? I think it sounds better."

"I thought you were going to do everything my girlfriend would do," Gotou said, tone artificially pleasant.

"Well, yeah," Masayoshi cocked his head. "But I'm the last surviving Hazama, the name will die with me."

"I'm an only child too, Masayoshi."

"Hm," Masayoshi said.

"Yeah," Gotou said. "Hm."

"Well, good thing we've got some time to sort this out!" Masayoshi said, and flopped right over onto his back. "Neo Red Axe'll be on soon, next week will be my guest appearance!"

"Masayoshi," Gotou said with an exasperated sigh. However, he left the paperwork atop the kotatsu and sat down on the floor, tucking his legs under the kotatsu himself, propping his atop Masayoshi's, and leaning back against the bed to watch the television too.

They'd deal with it later.

Thirty minutes ago

"Ugh," Masayoshi said, secure in the shade of the tent slash changing room. "Whose bright idea was it to have this thing outside?" He squinted out the gap in the flap, and then rubbed one eye blearily. "The sun is so ... sunny."

"It was your idea," Ishihara said. She tugged him away from the flap and turned him around, straightening his bow tie. "How hungover are you, on a scale from one to ten?"

"Is ten 'I'm gonna barf?' Because I'm gonna barf."

"That might just be nerves," Ishihara said, fetching a small bin that someone had thoughtfully left in the tent. Masayoshi sat down holding the bin between his legs, and inhaled deeply.

"Why would it be nerves, I'm not nerv-" he swallowed suddenly, and tilted forward. Ishihara rubbed his back encouragingly, but he thankfully didn't actually throw up, even if he retched just a little. "I'm not nervous," he managed to get out after a few throaty hacks.

"I think you are, just a little," Ishihara said. "It's okay, though, I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be on their wedding day."

After a few more pathetic gross retching noises Masayoshi lifted his head and gave Ishihara a watery grin. "Thanks for being here," he said.

"I'm sorry you didn't have any family who could come," she said, rubbing his back still.

He blinked at her. "But you're family," he said. "Kinda."

Ishihara actually blushed, just a little, touched by that. "Thank you, Masayoshi. That means a lot."

"Also, I think I saw one of my cousins out there," he said. "But I don't know him real well. We've hung out a few times, but he tried to teach Gotou to swim and Gotou wasn't very happy with how that turned out."

"I remember that story," she said, when her phone buzzed in her purse, sitting on the folding table. "It's almost time. You gonna be okay?"

Masayoshi stood up and tugged on the bottom of his suit coat, setting it back properly on his shoulders. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and then nodded. "Yeah," he said. "I am."


Gotou's first three thoughts, as he stepped out of the small changing tent, went something like this:

Fuck, I am so hung over.

Harakiri Sunshine actually came. Is he wearing a tailored suit and his helmet? And is he seriously sitting next to Totsuka, what the hell.

"Damn, Masayoshi."

Actually, well, he said that last one out loud but that was okay because Masayoshi had turned a pink that he could see from here. They both crossed over to the small dias where Kaname, the officiator, was waiting for them - it maybe took a little longer than in rehearsal because they were both quite clearly staring at each other, completely oblivious to the hush that had rippled across the audience.

"Wow," Gotou breathed, quiet and for Masayoshi's ears alone as they faced each other.

"You look amazing, Gotou-san," Masayoshi said, blue eyes watery. They both stared at each other for a second - and then smiled, and relaxed, and Masayoshi held out his hands. "Are you ready?"

"No turning back now," Gotou said, and took them.