"Tomoyo-chan, what is your dream?"
"Perhaps, you want to be a singer? A fashion designer?"
"Sakura-chan, I want to fall in love…and be caught securely when I do."
"But what's the point of falling in love then?"
"If the person you love will readily catch you, you're just looking for a trampoline. Dakedo, you are looking for a companion."
"So what are you saying? That I would allow myself to get hurt when I fall? The ground is not always soft and the impact of my fall can break me."
"Iie. What I am saying is, when you fall in love, you would want that person to fall along with you, take your hand, and reassure you that no matter what happens, he won't ever let you go."
"But what if he lets go?"
"Someone will come from behind and fall with you still. It's a long way down, and so many people can fall down with you. One of them may turn out to be *the* one. Uncertainties and risks are the thrills of falling."
"Yes. Isn't it wonderful?"
Tomoyo's eyes welled up with tears when she remembered her conversation with Sakura some years ago. Now more than ever, she believed her genki cherryblossom.
If I had been afraid, I wouldn't have jumped and allowed myself to fall in love. Then I wouldn't have met my eagle.
She looked at her groom lovingly, who was listening to the priest solemnly.
"I do," he said firmly, conviction and pride resounding in his voice. He glanced at her and smiled, nearly taking her breath away.
She smiled back, tearfully even. She had fallen in love with him for three years already, and they still hadn't let go of each other. It was destiny. She knew it.
The twenty-year-old bride turned to the priest.
"Do you, Daidouji Tomoyo, accept this man as your lawfully-wedded husband, in sickness and in health, through thick and thin, for richer or poorer?"
She nodded. "I do." She beamed lovingly. "But hopefully, for the richer."
Everyone in the church laughed.
Behind her Sonomi, bound by the wheelchair and hair covered by a bonnet, but not looking less beautiful, smiled at her daughter proudly. Fujitaka nodded approvingly. Both were thinking of the same person – Nadeshiko.
The priest cleared his throat. "Then, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
Eriol turned to his bride. "May I?"
Tomoyo grinned. "Always the shy type eh?" She tiptoed to meet his lips. Everyone applauded happily as the two kissed passionately.
Sonomi was wheeled towards the couple by Fujitaka. Tomoyo knelt and kissed her mother. "Thank you," the daughter said. "Your manipulation paid off."
Sonomi laughed. "Mothers know best."
"True, true." She clasped her mom's hands. "Mom, you'll pull through this. Your chemotherapy is going great! You'll be growing your gorgeous hair soon again."
"I don't care about my hair. I want grandkids."
Tomoyo blushed while Eriol chuckled. "We'll do our best to provide you a lot of them soon enough, Daidouji-sama."
"Call me 'Mother'." Sonomi's eyes twinkled. "Take care of my love."
"Yes, Dai-Mother," said Eriol, chuckling.
As everyone lined up for the wedding picture, Nakuru handed Tomoyo a letter. "Read this later," whispered the servant.
Tomoyo's eyes glistened with tears. "T-This is from Mizuki-sensei!"
Nakuru winked. "She knew that eventually, this would happen, but she couldn't attend. Oh anyway, read that later. Don't ruin your make-up with your tears, Honey. And you still have to throw the bouquet. I'm catching it."
The new wife nodded and placed the letter next to her heart as Eriol ushered her to pose with everyone in the family, then with the whole class that Eriol was teaching in the university.
"Sir, do we get direct pluses in our card for our attendance?" piped one student in.
Eriol smiled graciously. "Of course!"
"Sir, we don't have Trigo classes for the week, right?" piped another. "You know, it's your honeymoon and all."
"I have a student teacher who will replace me," smiled the teacher.
"Stop asking Sir Hiiragizawa! He must be really nervous now. He'll be taking his finals exams tonight!" someone said loudly.
"Have you already reviewed thoroughly, Sir? The test would take all night," laughed one student.
Eriol chuckled. "Why, yes, I did. I prepared for it my whole life." He grinned at Tomoyo. "Tonight will be the best performance of my life."
She blushed. "Eriol-kun!"
"I'm going to play the piano."
She hugged the letter closer to her heart. She knew that Kaho was also happy.
"I love you, Eagle," she whispered to her husband.
"I love you even more so, Nightingale." He gave her a light kiss before hugging her tight.
In the letter, Kaho simply wrote:
I'm sorry for borrowing Eriol from you for a few years. I'm just happy that you have him back – you always had him. He was yours all along. He loved you since the day he met you.
Be happy. Your happiness is mine too.