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Story: [Weddings and Relationships]

Summary: Just because you knew what you were getting yourself into, didn't mean you wouldn't get nervous. And the priest got paid by the hour.

Genre: Romance, Humor

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Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

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It's interesting how men treat romantic relationships.

It's seen as pathetic to not have one, it's seen as pathetic to have one and actually spend time to maintain it, and it's seen as pathetic to have a romantic relationship fall apart on you.

It's like men have deliberately set up themselves and others for failure in the eyes of society. Because every relationship is a two-way street, which means that both sides need to be willing to dedicate the time to maintain it.

A good example being the ridiculousness of grooms-to-be joking about a ball-and-chain, as if they didn't literally instigate the whole ordeal themselves. Complaining that a girlfriend would leave them simply because they were unwilling to put a ring on their finger, just made it all the more obvious that there was some serious degree of communication-failure between them.

If you consider the 'tying yourself to one person'-part of the relationship as your 'big compromise' for making the relationship work, then you've clearly misunderstood the purpose of having that relationship in the first place. If you're so desperately attracted to other women that it becomes such a strain on your daily-life that it can be classified as 'equal' to the effort of doing... basically anything at all in the actual relationship, then perhaps you should reconsider the relationship outright.

Culture being what it is, certain pressures will no doubt play a part in forcing a man's hand towards getting a ring, but the end decision will always be on their own head. And with relationships being two-way streets, the end result needs to make both people happy.

And nobody is happy in a relationship where they're forced to work themselves to the bone on an emotional level, simply to keep things from falling apart on them.

It's like holding a conversation. Sure, you can hold it with a brick-wall, but after an hour or so, you're going to move on out of sheer boredom. Maybe get a cat instead. Cats tend to be much better listeners than brick-walls. Mainly because they will randomly walk away in the middle of the conversation, signaling an easy end to the inane chatter about the weather. Dogs are better still, since you can see that they're clearly interested in the attention from their ridiculously wagging tail, but they have an unfortunate tendency to fall asleep on you when you fail to move either towards the kitchen or the door.

Parrots mostly just yell stuff at you. Or repeat what you're saying back in a mocking tone. They're kind of dicks.

No, best of all is to find someone you don't mind spending the rest of your life talking to about inane bullshit, and who will happily spend the rest of their life talking about inane bullshit right back at you.

That'd been my thought-process, and it was something that I still believed in.

That didn't make it any less nerve-wrecking to actually stand there. After a ring had been procured, after a dramatic proposal over breakfast-cereal, after trudging through explaining to all of our friends and family-members that nobody had gotten anyone pregnant and that the actual wedding didn't desperately need to be arranged within a nine-month-period, and after then spending hours on godforsaken hours on end making sure that the whole event would be both acceptable-to-our-crazy-parents and within budget.

All-in-all, everyone had grudgingly given their approval to a variety of budget-options, because somebody promised to splurge horribly on her wedding-dress. As in, I kind of doubted that she'd actually done so, but she'd certainly convinced everyone else of it. So now nobody was complaining about the shitty decor. It was understandable that a bride-to-be would want the most expensive dress, after all. Even if it forced the rest of them to work on a much tighter budget.

I loved her so much.

And of course that's the moment when she enters. And she's stunning.

Not quite as stunning as I'm sure she'd be if Asahina hadn't bullied her into a traditional choice in dress, and nowhere near as stunning as she'd be if Koizumi hadn't sensibly confiscated her homemade hand-buzzer before she could use it on the relatives that she didn't like. But stunning nonetheless.

"Close your mouth, Kyon." Haruhi mutters quietly, rolling her eyes as she comes to a stop next to me.

There's a great many things I could say in response to that, but – considering the ceremony – they'll have to remain unspoken. I'm not sitting through any more of this than is absolutely necessary, especially not a second time through just because I couldn't keep from interrupting someone with snark.

I can keep my snark on the inside perfectly well, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about my little sister and her enthusiasm.

Which is why the whole 'speak now or forever hold your peace' is sort of forcibly enforced by having Nagato right next to my little sister. Mainly because she'd dropped hints that she was going to force Haruhi to agree to pile-drive me awake for the rest of my natural life.

Echoing Haruhi's own grateful glance towards the stoic woman as she silently clapped her hand shut around my little sister's mouth, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Koizumi and Tsuruya both were too fond of tradition to ever interrupt a ceremony for anything less than an actual emergency, Asahina was far too dedicated to getting a front-row seat to an actual wedding to interrupt it for anything at all, and Nagato would probably manage to handle an emergency all on her own and inform us after the ceremony was over and done with.

With my little sister neutralized, the ceremony didn't have a single hiccup.

Except for that one moment where our parents made outraged sounds over Haruhi's gleeful retelling of my proposal.

So what if it was done over cereal and included a receipt for the ring because I hadn't remembered to write down her ring-size? It'd worked, hadn't it?

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A/n: For a while now, I've been thinking about trying to rewrite the first fanfiction that I ever wrote ("The Confusion of Kyon", back in early 2009), just to see how different it'd end up being. This is that attempt.

And yes, the "snark on the inside" comment is very much a joke on how I tend to write his dialog without giving him quotation-marks to mark what he actually says. It made me laugh.