A/N: Here's the requested epilogue. Somehow, it makes me so sad to write this…somebody tell me that it's normal. (By the way, this is really sappy, but that's how I like it )
Before I start, here are some readers that I'd like to thank:
White Alchemist Taya
typically azn gurl
Eight Years Later
Tenaya, now twenty-two years old, spun around in her beautiful white dress, a grin plastered on her face.
"It's gorgeous." Joan breathed, taking a step forward to feel the material.
"Holy cow. Is this silk?"
Tenaya's grin widened. "Yep! 100! Can you believe it?" She looked down at the dress, made of silk so light and soft that she felt like she was wearing a cloud. "I bet this thing cost a fortune." She leaned down to pet Hikari who, now extremely old, was lying faithfully at her feet.
"You bet? You mean, you don't know?" Joan gaped. "What, sis, did you steal it or something?"
Tenaya laughed. "No, of course not. I just…didn't pay for it. Ryoma did. I insisted on paying for it, but he switched my credit card with his that morning."
Joan smirked. "Sneaky little bugger."
Tenaya rolled her eyes. "Tell me about it."
"Hurry up Tenaya! There's so much to do and so little time!" Mrs. Rialles ran around frantically, grabbing hair products and makeup compacts.
Tenaya laughed, and stepped down from the podium where had been standing and grabbed her mother's hands, gently twirling her around happily. "Calm down Mom. We'll get it all done, don't worry."
Her mother smiled. "I know honey, I just like to worry, you know me. Now Joan, get out of here! You can't see the bride until after she's ready."
"Ryoma, you need to calm…down." Fuji said slowly, trying to smooth out Ryoma's frazzled nerves. "You're freaking out."
"I know! I know, but I can't help it!" Ryoma said frantically, adjusting and readjusting his tie. "There's only ten minutes to go!"
Mrs. Echizen smiled. "You're messing up your hair dear. Come here."
"Mom, I'm twenty-three, I can do my own hair." Ryoma replied, annoyed, but he didn't complain as his mother started running a comb through his hair again.
"I can't believe how nervous I am." Ryoma said, biting his lip. "The US OPEN is nothing compared to this!"
Fuji smiled his knowing smile. "Well, unlike the US OPEN…this only happens once in your whole, entire lifetime."
Fuji laughed. "You'll do fine, you look great, every thing's going according to plan, I'm sure Tenaya looks beautiful—"
"Tenaya!" Ryoma gasped.
"Hold still dear, I'm almost done." Mrs. Echizen said, running some gel through his dark locks.
"I haven't even seen her in her dress yet! Done yet Mom?"
"Good." Ryoma said, turning to walk out the door.
"Hold on." Nanjiro said from where he was sitting in the corner, reading his 'newspaper'. "You know it's bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony."
Ryoma made a face. "Dad, I know. But…."
Nanjiro lowered the newspaper to smirk at his son. "Like Fuji said, I'm sure she looks beautiful."
Ryoma sat down, sighing.
Fuji stood up himself, brushing off his tux. "Speaking of me, I think I'll go see how Tenaya's preparations are coming along."
"That's a great idea!" Ryoma said, suddenly excited. "You're her best friend, I'm sure she won't mind!"
Fuji just smiled.
"Yeah!" Ryoma stood up. "Go see her and tell me how she looks."
Fuji laughed, walking towards the door. "Yeah right, I'm not telling you anything. You'll find out for yourself."
Ryoma crossed his arms. "That's not fair."
"Oh well, you'll get over it." Fuji shrugged. "Now I'm off to see Tenaya!"
Ryoma sighed, and sat down once again, flicking a piece of lint off his pants.
Nanjiro flipped a page in his newspaper. "Stop fidgeting kid."
Ryoma rolled his eyes. "You're helpful as always."
"I know." His father sighed happily, smiling widely. "Where would you be without me?"
"Ah!" Tenaya gasped lightly as a pair of hands covered her eyes. She stood there for a second, pretending to think. "Fuji!" She said happily.
"Darn. How do you do that?" Fuji laughed, lowering his hands as Tenaya turned around to smile at him.
"I can recognize your hands. And plus, who else comes to see his best friend in her wedding gown to offer consolation five minutes before she's about to get married?" Tenaya beamed, wrapping Fuji in a bear hug.
Fuji laughed, hugging her back just as tightly. "That's freakishly specific. And accurate."
Tenaya pulled away from him to smile. "C'mon, after ten years of being your best friend, anything short of being able to read your mind would be embarrassing."
Fuji's smile widened, as he leaned down to place a kiss on her forehead. "So how are you feeling, Miss bride-to-be?" He said.
"Excited!" Tenaya's eyes sparkled as if to emphasize her point. She laughed as she spun around the room, her dress twirling gently around her ankles. "I can't even put this feeling into words! Just wait until you get married, Fuji, you'll know what I'm talking about."
"If I get married that is."
"Oh stop, of course you'll get married, you're like, the perfect guy. Women fall at your feet wherever you go." She joked.
Fuji laughed. "Not quite."
"So…nervous at all?" Fuji cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Not one bit."
"Well that makes one of us." Fuji said, sighing.
"Men. What's there to be nervous about?"
"Well, to start with, I could trip on the way to the podium and land on my face. Or Ryoma could accidentally run into the pianist, making him mess up. Or perhaps I could knock over the cake onto your mother or—"
"Okay, okay, I get it." Tenaya laughed. "You'll both do fine, stop worrying and try to enjoy it."
"TENAYA!" Mrs. Rialles yelled from the back room. "It's time! Hurry!" She rushed into the room frantically, but with a smile on her face, holding the beautifully delicate veil that matched Tenaya's dress.
She smiled, and then turned towards Fuji. "I gotta finish up! Now go!" She said, shooing him out.
Fuji smiled back. "Okay fine." He said, running off in the other direction. "See you soon!" He said, waving.
Tenaya rushed back towards her mother, who tearfully placed the veil on her head, its sheer material gently falling over her face.
"I love you Tenaya." Her mother whispered.
Tenaya's eyes teared up as well. "I love you too Mom."
They stood there for a few moments, staring at each other with misty eyes.
"Now go!" Mrs. Rialles said, gently pushing her daughter forward.
Tenaya nodded, and picked up the hem of her dress, trying to quietly run towards the back of the aisle way. There she met Carter, who was walking her up the aisle since she had no father.
"Hey little sis." Carter beamed, looking great in his tuxedo. "Ready?"
Tenaya shivered in excitement, wrapping an arm around her brother's elbow. "Ready."
The curtain lifted in front of them, and Tenaya glanced around at the faces beaming back at her in the crowd. They all gasped as she stepped forward into the sun, it's light bouncing off the crystals on her dress and creating a soft, rainbow of lights. The ceremony was placed outside, in a small park, with only about a hundred of the couple's closest friends and family. Joan was her maid of honor, and Fuji was the best man. Surprisingly, Sakuno and Tomo were the bridesmaids, along with Nikki and a few other friends, for they had become a lot closer to Tenaya in the past few years. And of course, Kikumaru, Momo, Tezuka, Takashi, Oishi, Kaido, and Inui were the groomsmen.
It had been the wedding Tenaya had always hoped for. A place where she could be with the most important people in her life all at once, to celebrate something that she had been dreaming of for what seemed like forever. A place where she could feel the wind's soft caress on her cheek as she walked towards the man she loved.
She kept her face down, mostly to hide the grin that was plastered onto her face, as she walked up to the aisle, not to the traditional wedding song, but a piano piece she had comprised herself. It had a beautiful melody, with an accompaniment of soft flute in the background. Reaching the end of the aisle, Carter leg go of her and gave her a hug, and she kissed his cheek in return. And as she ascended the stairs, a tear slipped down her cheek, before being hastily wiped away. For at last, it seemed like all the loose ends of their lives were being tied together in this final knot, and that through thick and thin, she had come out as the happiest woman alive.
Ryoma's heart stopped as Tenaya stepped out into the beautiful late-May sunlight, looking like an angel. He had made it up to her to decide what wedding dress she wanted, and he was amazed at her decision. It was crystal white, strapless, and beautifully simple. The top edge of the dress was adorned with delicate lace flowers, sakura flowers, with centers of crystal. The amount of crystal flowers on the dress lessened as it went downward, as if fading away, so that the bottom of the dress was plain, shining, white silk. The veil on her head was made of similar material, except for the fact that the silk was a lot thinner, therefore exposing her beautiful face just a little. The crown that went in her hair was a simple white headband, adorned with a few pale blue crystals. Her hair had been piled on top of her head, with a single crystal sakura flower pinned on the side, and a few strands of hair hanging down gently to frame her face.
The result was breath taking. He marveled at how porcelain smooth her skin was, and how the dress beautifully showed off her perfect figure, without exposing too much. At the moment, Ryoma felt like the luckiest man alive.
Tenaya carefully stepped up onto the podium, and walked up to stand before Ryoma, before raising her head slowly. She could barely keep herself from gasping out loud. Although not as fancy as Tenaya, Ryoma still looked incredible. She didn't see him in a tux often, and she made a mental note to try and make him wear them more. He was wearing a simple black tuxedo, with a forest green tie (her idea, to bring out his eyes more). She looked at his beautiful face, mesmerized. His mom had done a good job with his hair, putting just enough gel in it. He had the exact same hairstyle as he did in high school, except his hair was now a little longer, framing his face to a spot just above his jaw line, with a few strands hanging into his face. His forest green eyes were compelling, making her breath catch in her throat.
Every time they were together, they were reminded of just how much they loved each other. Throughout their eight years of being together, Ryoma would sometimes be feeling down, which then gave him a sense of insecurity and a lack of trust. These were just phases, and Tenaya learned to nullify them with a warm voice and gentle words. He would say that he wasn't good enough for her. He would look at her with those pain filled eyes, and ask why she hadn't moved on. And she would always respond in the exact same way—she would wrap her arms around him and hold him close, kissing away his tears. Then she would whisper in his ear that it was she who would thank God for everyday that he was still in her life. She would tell him that she used to think he was a blessing that would have to be taken away eventually. This always restored his hopes, and he would tell her that he would never leave her side. She would then smile, and say the same.
these thoughts running through their head as they looked at each
with loving eyes, they bowed. They had decided, instead of having a priest recite vows, they would write and recite their own. So, with Tenaya being first, she took out the small slip of paper on which her vows were written, and eyes trained on the paper, she opened her mouth to begin.
"Ryoma. Each day that I face, I look forward to spending it with you. You are the foundation for my world when it wants to crash down. You are the light in my life when there seems to be nothing but rain, and you are my shoulder for crying on. I love you for who you are, a sweet, passionate man who, although secluded on the outside, never misses the chance to tell me "I love you". And I love you for who you make me, a caring, considerate woman who would do anything to keep you content. I love you because my heart is only ever happy when I'm with you. You are my ticket to happiness, and I promise to never let you go. Forever and always, I'll be your biggest fan. I can't wait to wake up each day with you by my side."
Tenaya finished, and looked up at Ryoma, whose eyes were tearing up with happiness. She took the wedding band that they had picked out, and slid it onto his ring finger carefully. He looked at it and smiled, picking up his own paper slip of vows. He had worked extra hard on them, being the type of person who didn't exactly have a way with words.
"Tenaya. Every time I am feeling lonely and abandoned, I remember you, and my uncertainties disappear. I have learned through you that there are people in this world whom you would be willing to give your life to without a second thought. Through all of our hardships, you never once walked away, and I love you for believing in me like you do. You are the one who keeps my ambitions, my hopes, my dreams alive. You, with your loving arms, keep me from running away, and with you in my life, I am given the strength to face my fears. You are my joy, my love, my world. I believe that my happiness lies in your hands to do with as you will, and I love you because you've only ever handled it with the ultimate care. You, Tenaya, you are my happily ever after."
Silence overtook the crowd as Ryoma finished, placing Tenaya's wedding ring onto her ring finger. A tear ran down Tenaya's cheek as he looked up to meet her gaze. Everybody there, including all of the groomsmen, had tears in their eyes, for they had never witnessed something so pure, so wholesome as what they felt for each other.
Even Nanjiro, who was their priest today, couldn't help but shed a few tears. But he quickly wiped them away, as he stepped onto the podium behind them.
"Do you, Tenaya
Rialles, take this man to be your lawfully wedded
"I do." She said, smiling gently.
"And do you, Ryoma Echizen, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do." Ryoma replied, smiling back.
"Then I pronounce you…husband and wife." He said, eyes tearing again.
A roaring applause overtook the ceremony as the crowd stood up in a standing ovation. They were so loud that the last part of Nanjiro's speech could barely be heard.
"You may kiss the bride."
But Tenaya and Ryoma could hear nothing, for they were in their own world as Ryoma gently lifted up her wedding veil. He stared breathlessly into her sparkling gray eyes, marveling at how gorgeous she really was. He leaned in towards those perfectly shaped lips, locking them with his in a short moment that, to them, seemed to extend until forever.
There were a match made in heaven, and they knew it. They knew how lucky they were, for not many people in this world find their one true soul mate. Their eight years together had taught them, more than anything else, that to love another person like they loved each other was the greatest gift of all. Somehow, knowing this made everything seem worth it.
It was now dusk, and all of the guests had left. Only Tenaya, Ryoma, Fuji, and the groomsmen were left. Inui, Takashi, Tezuka, and Oishi were chatting, and Kaido, Kikumaru and Momo were eating cake. Ryoma was talking with Sakuno and Tomo, who were offering their congratulations, and Tenaya had sat down on the edge of the water fountain next to Fuji.
She looked down at the simple but beautiful band on her finger. Engraved in tiny writing on the inside of both of their rings, barely visible, were the words 'My life began when I found you.'
"I'm married. Can you believe it?" Tenaya sighed happily.
"Yes." He said, admiring her ring with her. "And I'm so happy for you."
"Thanks Fuji." She said quietly. "I never would have made it without you."
Fuji laughed. "So I'm that important huh?" He joked.
She smirked. "Nah, I only said that to be polite."
Fuji stuck out his lower lip in mock sadness.
Tenaya laughed, hugging Fuji suddenly, almost knocking them both into the fountain. "I'm just kidding. You know I love you...You're the best friend a girl could ever ask for."
"And you're the best friend a guy could ask for. And I love you too." He said, placing his forehead against hers. "I know you'll be busy, now that you're married, but promise to call me every once in a while?" Fuji asked.
"As much as you like." Tenaya beamed. "And you can call me or visit me whenever you want, I'm always here if you want to talk."
"Really? Wouldn't that annoy Ryoma?" Fuji cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Hmph." Tenaya smirked. "He'll get used to it."
They laughed together, and pulled away from each other.
"Friends forever?" Tenaya asked, sticking out her pinky.
Fuji smiled, and pinky-promised her. "You bet. Oh, here comes Ryoma." He stood up and winked. "I'll let you two have some alone time."
Tenaya smiled. "Thanks." Then she looked over at Ryoma, looking handsome in his tux as he walked her way. "Ryoma." She said, smiling.
Ryoma smiled back, feeling his heart swell with happiness as he watched her grey eyes sparkle as she said his name. The way they did with no one else. "Hi Tenaya. How are you feeling?"
Tenaya smiled up at him from where she sat. "Tired, but happy. Who knew planning a wedding was so tiresome?" She said, trying to suppress a yawn but failing.
Ryoma laughed, extending out a hand. She grabbed it, pulling herself up, and intertwined her fingers with his as they started walking.
"We made it…" Ryoma whispered.
"Yeah…through everything." Tenaya replied.
He pushed his bangs out of his eyes and turned to look at her. "Can you believe it's been eight years?"
Tenaya shook her head. "Nope. We've been together for so long…"
"And I've loved every single day of it." Ryoma smirked.
"Me too." She said, smiling.
They sat down on the grass, and then lay on their backs, staring up at the sky together.
"What do you think would have happened," Tenaya began. "If my mom hadn't let me come back to Japan? What if the last time we ever spoke to each other was that time you said goodbye to me at the airport?"
Ryoma was silent for a few moments before shuddering. "I don't even want to think about it."
She laughed, getting up and placing her hands on the grass on either side of him, looking down into his beautiful, shining green eyes. "So," She smiled. "Think you can bring home your tenth grand slam? Wimbledon is in a month."
"As long as you're cheering for me." He looked up at her, grinning.
She smirked. "With binoculars, an autograph book, and my Sharpie!"
He rolled his eyes. "Crazy fan girl."
She laughed, collapsing on top of him. "Your crazy fan girl."
She leaned down to give him a quick kiss on the lips.
"Well what about you?" Ryoma said.
"What about me?"
"You're competing too."
"Yep! If I win first place, it'll be my twelfth grand slam. And I'm a year younger than you." She said teasingly.
He muttered. "Always one to point out that you have more grand slams than I do."
"Of course." She laughed. "Gotta keep the husband in check right? Don't worry, you'll be as good as me someday." She smirked.
He leaned up and kissed her on the lips. "Don't get too cocky."
She rolled her eyes. "Look who's talking, Mr. My-ego-is-bigger-than-my-head."
He laughed along with her at this. "You know what I've noticed?"
"Yeah?" Tenaya said quizzically.
"I've noticed that most couples that both play pro tennis meet through tennis right? And that most of the time, their tennis careers tear them apart. But us? We didn't meet through tennis, and it only brings us closer."
"You're right." Tenaya said. "And our career only promotes healthy competition."
"Yep. Without it, we'd turn into a pair of sickenly sweet romantics."
She cocked an eyebrow at him. "You mean we aren't?"
He laughed. "Okay, well we're a pair of athletic sickenly sweet romantics."
"With too much money and no where to spend it." Tenaya finished.
They laughed, and she leaned down to kiss him again. "I love you." She said against his lips, and he responded by smiling into their kiss and pulling her closer. "I love you too." He whispered, holding her as she lay there, her head on his chest, listening to the beating of his heart.
"You know what I feel like doing?" Tenaya said suddenly, looking up.
"What?" Ryoma said.
"Guess." She smirked.
"Play tennis?" He asked, although he already knew that he was right.
"Yeah!" She jumped up off of him.
"Now?" He said, getting up.
"Uh-huh! I've never played in a wedding dress, and I'll probably never get another chance to. And I bet you've never played in a tux."
"That's because I can't." He pointed out.
"Excuses, excuses. You're just afraid you're gonna get your butt kicked." Tenaya crossed her arms.
"Ha, yeah right! You're the one playing in high heels."
"So?" She said, running towards the fountain. "C'mon. We'll play doubles with Fuji and Kikumaru!"
Ryoma sighed, and then smiled, following after his wife as she ran towards the others, announcing the match. They all looked at her as if she was crazy for a while, before shaking their heads and laughing. Fuji, Kikumaru, Tenaya, and Ryoma grabbed their stuff, with Tenaya and Ryoma leading the away across the lawn to the tennis courts and Kikumaru and Fuji behind them. The rest of them followed suit, waiting to watch the match.
Tenaya and Ryoma walked slowly in the front, hand in hand. She sighed happily, looking up at the exquisite sunset before them. "So this is happiness?"
He smiled his charming smile as he turned to look at her, and kissed the back of her hand gently. "Happiness, is when I'm with you."
They looked at each other and smiled as the rest of their friends chattered contentedly behind them.
"Then I look forward to spending the rest of my life like this."
A/N: Finally, it's finished! I'm really happy with the epilogue actually. I hope you guys liked it too. This story was such a big part of my life, that now that it's finished, it feels like I'm incomplete. Like something's missing. It's not a very happy feeling...oh well. Do any of you guys who write fanfics feel like this too? If so, then that makes me feel a little better.
IMPORTANT! If you liked "Translate This", then please keep a look-out for my next story "Forget Me Not" (unless I decide to change the title). It's not exactly a sequel to Translate This, but it takes place almost right after this epilogue. Although instead of Tenaya and Ryoma as the main characters, the story focuses mainly on Fuji. Tenaya and Ryoma will be making appearances in the story though. Pairings are TenayaXRyoma and FujiXOC.
Again, a BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY who read my story and enjoyed it. I couldn't have done it without your guys' support. And for those of you who review after I've stopped updating, don't worry, I still check my story reviews and reply to them. I read each and every review at least a few times. (Yes I get that bored). So please continue to leave reviews!