Happily Ever After
Dark/Riku one shot

Dedicated to Emilie

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when life is taken from the world, it kills a piece of everyone from which it was taken.

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"Riku, will you marry me?"

"Yes, of course Dark!"

"Dark?"

"Yes?"

"Do you love me?"

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Rays of light poured through colorful stained glass windows, turning the church alit in bursts of color. Sunset lay just beyond the horizon; a truly astonishing sight that could be clearly viewed from the large glass windows at the podium. Adorning the high podium was an array of candles that cast the gigantic church aglow. Flowers enshrouded every desk, table, and wardrobe in sight, a finishing ornament to décor every room on this plausibly splendid day. It was like the weddings from storybooks – the ones where the prince marries a princess and they gallop away on a silver steed and live happily ever after.

The brilliant flames of candles and the alluring music that the adept violinist quartet mastered were sent into a hazy blur when she entered. She was the princess of the storybooks, about to marry a handsome prince she loved. She seemed to float down the aisle, an angel tiptoeing upon the clouds; not noticing the crowd's hushed gasps as they set their sights upon her beauty.

The candlelight illuminated her alabaster face, alerting the world of her renowned appearence. Her creamy white skin was soft to the touch, and her short auburn hair rippled like a wave as she walked. She wore an exquisite white dress that could take a man's breath away, and a garland of flowers encircled her head. Her brilliant eccentric eyes locked upon her prince - the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, however long that may be.

He too was a sight to be seen, looking startlingly handsome in his tuxedo. Vivid violet hair stuck out from his head in strange angles, yet oddly enough, fell perfectly in place. He had crimson red eyes that were cunning with lively fire, and had a devastating smile that charmed many women. He hadn't taken his eyes off her since the moment she entered the chapel. In all honesty… he hadn't taken his eyes off her since the day he met her.

His firm hands gripped hers, looking into her eyes with such a devotion that she smiled. Something lingered there that she could not place, but before she could probe deeper, the Priest began to speak. He tightened his hold on her hands; he had been waiting for this day for longer than she would ever know.

"Marriage is an alliance of two people who have found each other after a lifetime of searching. It is the entwining two people that have found happiness of their own that they have never shared or discovered with anyone else. A happiness that cannot be destroyed, manipulated, exploited… or taken away."

"Here, in this holy place, we join these two lost souls and relieve them from their lifetimes of separation. And they will continue on together, to tackle life's problems, and share their happiness, until the end of their days."

"Riku Harada, do you promise to take this man, Dark Mousy, to love and to hold. Through sickness and health, richer or poorer, till death do you part?"

Do you love me?

"I do."

They exchanged their eternal vows to each other, and rings were placed on both of their fingers. Then they sealed their eternal happiness with a kiss.

Unfortunately for them… not all stories finish with a happy ending.

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After a thousand congratulations, hugs, toasts, and dances, Dark and Riku snuck outside for some fresh night air. They walked towards the massive garden behind their wedding reception. Plentiful colored flowers stretched across the fields, covering their surroundings in a sea of greenery. The cool night air embraced them welcomingly, but the air was quite humid, hinting that it might rain.

"Great, rain," Dark muttered under his breath. Just count on the rain to ruin his perfect day.

Riku giggled, kneeling to pluck a white rose from its bush. It was her favorite flower, he knew; he had them placed there just for her. Of course he wouldn't let her know that though. He'd rather not ruin the magic… he'd rather take the lucky chance of seeing her smile.

She stood, touching the rose tentatively. "I like rain, it replenishes the earth. It gives our world life."

"Hn." Dark shrugged. He walked up behind Riku and embraced her from behind, pulling her back into his arms. She sighed contentedly, and leant back into his intimate hold. Their connection to each other was undeniable; they fit together like two puzzle pieces. How he wished they could stay like that forever…

But, as they say, nothing can.

Suddenly a crash of glass could be heard from inside interrupted their cordial moment, followed by a long rant of swearing from their guests. Dark gave an exasperated groan, but made no move to see what was going on.

"Dark? Maybe you should go check up on them," Riku said almost reluctantly, not willing to admit she felt rather safe in his arms.

He tightened his embrace on her. "Why should I? It's our wedding reception, why should I let them ruin it?"

Riku laughed and turned around in his arms so she was facing him. She took her hand and jabbed him playfully in the chest. "Go check on them, ok?"

Dark sighed. "Fine." He was delighted to see her smile up at him, just looking at her made his heart skip a beat. He kissed the top of her forehead quickly. "I'll be back soon, so don't go anywhere okay? Promise you'll still be here?"

If only he knew that this decision would be the most drastic mistake he would ever make in his entire lifetime. If only he knew that he would regret leaving her side, if only he knew that it would cost him more than he could afford. If only he knew that those simple words would haunt him for the rest of his life.

"I promise."

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He was angry, so god damn angry.

He stood in the shadows, watching the couple. He had always been there, when they met, when they had shared first kiss, and now when they had just gotten married. Just watching the two of them together brought his body twitch in diabolical rage, bringing his corrupted mind over the line of insanity. Some say he had lost his mind… but most say he lost his heart.

"Where did Dark come from anyway?" he shouted inside his brain, "I saw her first! You stole everything from me… and now you've stolen her too..."

The couple didn't even have the decency to invite him to their wedding, although he didn't expect them to. He came anyways; sneaking past security was a cinch. He had come to make her regret choosing Dark over him. A couple of years ago, he would have laughed if someone told him that in the future he would kill a human being. Now however, jealousy can change everything.

He loaded his gun, steadying it.

"Hey Dark?"

"Hn?"

"It's rather embarrassing but… sometimes I think I'm living in a fairytale."

"Like Cinderella?"

"Yeah. Ever since I was a little girl, I've waited for some prince charming to come and sweep me off my feet. Sometimes I believe our happiness is so great, that it's magical, almost unreal. You are my prince, and I am the princess… and someday, we're going to live happily ever after."

She paused.

"Let's live happily ever after, Dark."

He snarled at the memory. He watched silently as Dark disappeared behind the hedges to check on something inside. "You think you're so noble, don't you? You stole her from me, you son of a bitch. If I can't have her…"

He raised his gun.

"Then no one can."

He fired.

-

Dark whistled as he walked outside of his reception. He couldn't wait to tell Riku it was only a clumsy Daisuke who had knocked over a table of wine glasses, and a humiliated Risa admonishing him.

Studying his surroundings, he silently applauded at how nicely the gardeners had tended for his wedding. No one could have asked for a better scenery. Walking towards the area where Riku awaited him, he plucked a couple of lilies from along the sidewalk. He wanted to see her face light up with gratitude when he surprised her with them. But then he heard it.

The gunshot.

His bouquet of flowers crashed upon the ground.

A pandemonium of emotions ran through his heart, fighting his irrational brain to focus. Instant fabrications of thoughtless explanations sprung into his mind, only to quickly be shoved away. He couldn't just jump to conclusions. It couldn't have been Riku. Of all people, it couldn't have been her. Besides, it had taken him a while to check on his reception, so she should have left by then.

He was delighted to see her smile up at him, just looking at her made his heart skip a beat. He kissed the top of her forehead quickly. "I'll be back soon, so don't go anywhere okay? Promise you'll still be here?"

"I promise."

Realization crossed his face like a brick hitting him square in the forehead. He ran full-fledged towards the area where Riku was, anxiety spreading across his body like wildfire. His heart panicked, beating intense fear to every cell in his blood. The god's couldn't be so cruel. They just couldn't. His breath hitched as he got to the clearing where he had left her.

And then he saw her, dying in a pool of her own blood.

In a heartbeat, he was at her side, kneeling towards her trembling form. He blindingly looked for her injury, and almost immediately he found it, it was pretty hard to miss. His breath caught. He was no doctor, but she was bleeding profusely from her left shoulder, right next to the heart. A fatal wound.

Her eyes fluttered open, and she smiled slightly when she saw him. He touched her hair with quivering fingers, touching the sticky strands that were covered in blood. She was so beautiful, even on the brinks of death. Too beautiful for this world, too beautiful to be taken away from him.

"Who did this…?" he whispered almost inaudibly. She shook her head, signaling that she didn't know.

He pulled her weak form into his arms; his head tilted towards the heavens, as if threatening them. Suddenly an inhuman rage possessed him, bringing him over the edge of his self-control. "I'll kill you!" he screamed to the gods. "I'll kill you, I'll kill you! I'll kill you for doing this to her…"

Her tiny cry alerted him that he had to be strong. He had to be strong for both their sakes. He then spoke softly to her. "Let me go get you help,"

"No," she begged, her eyes widening in utmost desperation. "I-I don't even feel it. Please, just…don't leave me alone."

"I have to!" he cried, "You don't deserve this… You have to let me get help." He stroked her hair softly, unwilling to believe this was real. It broke him to see her like this, so weak, vulnerable. It killed him to imagine a life of not seeing her at all.

"No, please, Dark," she pleaded.

"R-"

"I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

He gave out a startled gasp at her dark declaration, an explosion of mixed up emotions battling in a twisted war inside him. He grasped her in a tight hold, knowing that each passing moment could be her last. Dark visions of his future clouded his vision. He would have died for her, without a moment's hesitation. In fact, she was the only reason he was still alive... and now she was going to be taken away.

He tried to be optimistic and fill her with false hope, "It's okay, you look fine. You'll make it, it's not too bad."

She gave a faint smile. "Liar. You're always lying," she gave a forced laugh… "Always trying to make me happy. Don't…" she took a ragged breath, "…ruin this last moment with lies and broken promises."

"No. Please. I will save you," he tried to assure more himself than her. "I'm your knight in shining armor and I'm here to save you," he said, his cracked voice expressing his utmost anguish. "We're going to live happily ever after!"

He could lie to her; he could lie to himself. But he couldn't lie to his own heart. His efforts would be in vain if he carried her to help. She may not have that much time left.

No!

She couldn't die on him, she just couldn't. This world could not be so cruel, not after all that it had done to him. Hell, he would have done anything if their positions could be switched. Life could do whatever it pleased with him, but as long as Riku stayed untouched.

Marriage is an alliance of two people who have found each other after a lifetime of searching

"Dark…"

"No, don't talk! Save your energy," Dark said, although he knew that it was a lost cause. They both knew that all the finest doctors in the world couldn't save her now. He couldn't cheat Fate, no matter how hard he tried.

"No…no…I…" she began, but she wouldn't finish… or maybe she just couldn't.

"I know what you want to say." Dark interrupted, inhaling a sharp breath. He cradled her head lovingly in his embrace. He hoped she would understand all the things that he wouldn't have time to tell her. But there was one confession he had to make. "That evening, when I asked you to marry me, I know I didn't answer if I loved you or not."

It is the entwining two people that have found happiness of their own that they have never shared or discovered with anyone else.

"I'll be damned if you say what I feel for you is love. From the moment I laid eyes on you, a day hasn't passed by where I haven't thought of your face. I knew from that moment on, that I liked you. When I got to know you, I became fond of you. And when you smiled at me… something inside me melted. Riku… what happened… when we were married… we were supposed to grow old together, have children together, live life together… If you want to hear that I love you, then Riku, god damn, I-"

Her slender finger on his lips abruptly silenced his heart-wrenching confession. He looked at her uncertainly, but suddenly understood when his eyes began to burn and blur. They say that tears are symbols of the heart expressing its own sorrows. For the first time in his entire lifetime, Dark Mousy was crying.

A happiness that cannot be destroyed, manipulated, exploited… or taken away

He was about to wipe them away, but she beat him to it. She tenderly touched the hot tears that ran down his face, staring into his eyes lovingly and trying to apologize. The greatest pain he would ever receive would be her doing.

She voiced something inaudible, so he leaned shakily forward so she could whisper it in his ear.

"I'm sorry I couldn't be your princess."

Her eyes began to feel heavy and she lost feeling in her body. Her breathing became more arduous to receive, resulting in heavy, ragged breaths. Her eyes clouded with sorrow, before closing her eyes. He understood that this was the moment he knew would come – the moment he dreaded – the moment that he couldn't prevent – the moment that wasn't supposed to happen so soon. The gods were unkind for taking her away from him. Death was cruel for not taking its toll on him too. The Fates were wicked for killing her and forcing him to helplessly watch her die… on their wedding day.

He knew that in this moment, that Riku was dying.

Here, in this holy place, we join these two lost souls and relieve them from their lifetimes of separation.

Do you love me?

Her voice began to fail, so she desperately mouthed it to him, tears springing as she shut her eyes. "I love you."

He choked back the tears, as he caressed her face softly with his hand. His heart was breaking into a billion pieces with his last confession… because he was not willing to let her die without letting her know the truth. "I love you too."

At this declaration, she smiled at the words that she had been waiting to hear since the moment she had met him. Now she could die complete, and with the man she loved, in an endless field of flowers. There was no other way that she would have rather had it.

…And then her resistance to Death failed; her lovely eyes closed, her last breath drawn, and her blood ran cold in his arms.

And his heart stopped...

And they will continue on together, to tackle life's problems, and share their happiness, until the end of their days.

A few days after Riku's death, Dark disappeared to never be heard from again. Some say that he died from heartbreak and joined her in heaven. Some say he found another woman, and he lived happily ever after. Some say he found her murderer and achieved vengeance. But some say, he's a lost soul looking for its partner - he's still searching for her, even now.

Let's live happily ever after, Dark.

The End

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A/N: Well that was a rather long one shot. I really don't expect this to get much feedback since the first part lacks dialogue and action. Oh well, I tried.. (: Poor Scatter, who has to read the whole thing. If you actually read the whole thing, major props to you!

Who killed Riku? Some of you may be wondering. I was wondering the same thing as I wrote this. Well, it turns out to be our friend Ukawa, remember, the lesser character that takes advantage of Riku... haha (:

R&R please :D