AN: Written for an LJ fic-swap. The challenge: A bittersweet fic about Shiratori and/or Takagi and Sato getting together. Hope you all enjoy this—it's sort of a short one. I don't own Detective Conan!


The Best Man

May the best man win.

Famous last words, aren't they?

I was absolutely stunned when you asked me to play this role. I guess I wasn't expecting him to pick me—I would have thought anyone but me. I'd thought you would ask Megure-keibu, really. But no, you wanted me to stand at your side.

I know I could have said no, but…I didn't.

So here I am, standing at the front of the room with you, watching you pace back and forth anxiously while you wait for the Big Moment. It's funny, really, but you've never been very calm when it comes to her, have you?

Finally, the music starts. It's time. You jump to attention—old habits die hard, eh?

The processional seemingly takes forever to make its way down the aisle. But finally…

Here she comes.

Everyone gasps, a collective intake that seems to suck all the air from the room.

It hadn't really occurred to me to wonder who would give her away; I was in too much of a stupor. Her father was killed so long ago, and her mother is crying in the front row. I remember someone saying that Megure-keibu had always been like a father to her. He looks proud to be walking her down the aisle, as though she is his daughter by flesh and blood, rather than by a long-standing personal friendship.

Look at her…

There's a reason that everyone was so awe-struck.

Doesn't she look lovely in white lace and silk? The flowers she chose suit her—daisies for loyalty. Baby's breath for happiness. Apple blossoms for fortune. She flat-out refused to have roses in her bouquet. It was too cliché, too overdone. She let her mother drape the church in rose petals, but she chose what she would carry. I heard her telling Yumi about the Battle of the Bouquet, as it were.

Beautiful…

She seems so happy as she takes your hand. The pink blossoms match her complexion. She's blushing. But I need to stop wool-gathering. It's starting.

It goes quickly. Vows are repeated in voices that are soft, but clear enough to be heard at the very back of the sanctuary. A contract is signed, in four hands. I'm acting as a witness to this union. Strangely enough, my hand does not shake.

And before I know it, it's over. You may kiss the bride. The only reaction I have is to sigh, and watch quietly as you make it official, sealing the deal and enforcing your promises with a kiss.

Look at you—you're blushing more than she is!

I follow along towards the back of the church, dutifully acting as the best man. Meanwhile, the friends, family, and well-wishers stampede to greet the newly-married couple. I just stand, getting jostled around by all the chaos and bustling people, watching the rolling sea of humanity.

…and there she is, coming towards me through the crowd. Her smile is brillaint enough to block out the entire crowd around her. Radiant—sheer joy. She's reaching for me now with one hand, pushing her errant veil back with the other.

An embrace. A thank you.

On a whim, I ask, and she turns her head to let me kiss her cheek. It's the closest to kissing the bride I'm going to get. She looks beautiful in white and flowers. You both look happy. I guess there's nothing more I can do or wish you. I lost.

Time for you two to be on your way. We'll see you soon enough, at the reception.

I give her hand one last squeeze…and let go.

You help her into the waiting limousine before climbing in yourself. Everyone chases after the limo, blowing bubbles and throwing flowers and cheering for the happy couple. I hang back, just watching.

Congratulations, Takagi.

The best man won—and the prize is very precious.

Take good care of her.


PS. Thus ends my first foray into the Satou/Takagi fandom. I love them to pieces, just needed the muse to get me going. Shiratori…I sorta feel sorry for him. I've read/heard differing things concerning western-style weddings in Japanese culture, so…I tried :)

Hope this counted as bittersweet. Thanks, all! Much love!