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The Birthday

Moon Kitty 2005

June 6th, 2006

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It was a sunny day at the mansion, and everyone was bustling around, trying to clean the house before Aoi got back from the store. Today was her nineteenth birthday, and Kaoru wanted the house spotless and decorated. He wanted to throw her a huge party.

However, he wasn't quite sure what he was going to give her. He had sat up late many nights thinking hard about what would be the perfect gift for Aoi, but nothing came to mind. At first, he thought about a new kimono.

That idea was quickly scratched from his mental list. A new kimono seemed too impersonal, even though if he had gotten it for her, she would've said she loved it and given him a tender kiss as thanks.

He wanted to give her something in return for what she had given him on his birthday. Well... They had made a party and she had cleaned the house single-handedly. Everyone else had gotten a present for him, but Aoi had simply smiled and blushed, whispering that she would give him his present later.

However, he couldn't complain. The present Aoi had given him was nothing short of amazing. He still blushed every time he thought about it. He just wanted to make sure that what he gave her was just as nice.

Taeko had went with Aoi to the store; she was still as stubborn as ever. She insisted on making dinner, even though it was her birthday.

She was just incredibly stubborn.

But that was probably one of the reasons why he loved her so much. And because that even in the face of all the adversity they had shared, she was still so optimistic and had been there for him through all of it, even when he had thought of giving up hope of them ever being together.

He admired her.

It was as simple as that.

"Kaoru?" Tina asked, poking her head in the doorway of the living room. "Where should I put all of Aoi's presents?"

"Um, just put them on the table in the sitting room. We'll have it in there."

"'Kay."

He ran a hand through his hair and sighed, placing a fist on his hip, smiling softly as he watched Chika wipe the windows down. He was sure this was going to be a good birthday. But as he sat on the couch thinking about a possible gift, and as he realized the time was growing nearer and nearer, he was growing more and more nervous as he realized he didn't have a gift for her.

He sighed again and picked up the remote, flipping through random channels as a feeling of despair filled him. It looked like he wasn't going to be able to get her anything for her birthday this year.

However, as he looked up from his lap to turn the TV off, a image on the screen made him stop in his tracks. An idea formed in his mind and he smiled brightly, shutting off the TV before leaping up and grabbing his keys, running from the house.

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Aoi walked in the front door and smiled at Taeko appreciatively as she offered to carry the bags the rest of the way to the kitchen. She walked up the stairs, nearly falling over as Chika launched herself at her happily. "Happy birthday, big sister!" she squeaked, her smile seemingly lighting up the room.

The older woman smiled and rested a slender hand on the girl's head. "Thank you so much, Chika. How are you doing today?"

"I'm doing great! You're gonna love your party later!" And with that, she barreled down the stairs, her arms held out at her sides.

Aoi bit her lip in excitement and continued on her way, intent on straightening up the house before her party started.

I wonder where Kaoru is?

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Kaoru exited his car, pulling a large wrapped box from his back seat and staring at it intently. If his hunches were correct, then she would absolutely love this gift... at least he hoped so.

He looked up and saw Aoi smiling at him through the window she was wiping. He smiled back gently and blew her a kiss, chuckling as she blushed and turned away. He loved that about her. She was still so innocent.

He put the item behind his back and bounded to his room, placing the box in it before walking to the house, surprised to see that all the decorations were already up as a couple confetti poppers went off in his face. He smiled as the confetti fell, revealing Tina and Chika.

"Time to get this party started!" Tina cried as she whipped out a tall bottle of sake.

Chika and Kaoru sweat dropped and followed her to the sitting room, where he found Taeko carrying out a small cake and Aoi already sitting on the couch. His breath caught in his throat. She looked incredible.

Apparently Tina and Taeko had managed to her in a evening dress, because she was wearing a long loose-sleeved midnight blue dress, her bangs pulled back in sparkling butterfly barrettes. A slit was formed on the side of the dress, showing a considerable amount of leg. There was a little lip gloss on her, and her eyelids sparkled beneath a small layer of eyeshadow. Her eyes seemed to be shining brighter than usual, and tiny blue earrings dangled from her small earlobes.

He swallowed and walked over to her, kissing her on the cheek softly and whispering in her ear, "You look incredible."

She blushed and caught his hand, glancing at him shyly. "Thanks," she whispered back gratefully.

Tina giggled and shoved a present into Aoi's hands at the same time as taking a large swig from the sake bottle. Everyone looked at her skeptically, knowing she was going to be passed out in a matter of twenty minutes or less.

Aoi pulled back the wrapping paper and blushed bright red, pulling the wrapping paper back over the garment before anyone else could see.

Unfortunately, Kaoru had seen as well, and his face resembled a cherry as he looked away nervously. He pulled on his shirt collar a little and swallowed roughly, trying to get rid of the images in his head of his love interest wearing that rather scanty piece of provocative clothing. His pulse picked up speed, but thankfully was distracted as she began to open a different present after muttering an embarrassed 'thank you' to Tina.

Chika had gotten her a notebook with a lot of shimmering purple and pink flowers on the front and a small pink pen. Taeko had gotten her a bracelet, earring, and necklace combo set, all with beautiful small rubies. By the time she had gotten to the last present, Tina was already passed out on the floor.

After cutting the cake and giving everyone a piece, Aoi placed hers on the table and got up silently, slipping out of the room while Chika jumped on Tina and Taeko was talking to Kaoru.

Once outside, she took a deep breath, placing her hands on the railing. She almost didn't hear Kaoru, but still jumped as he placed his hands on her shoulders.

"Whatcha doin' out here?"

She smiled a little. "Just getting some fresh air." A small nagging thought crossed her mind. I wonder why he didn't get me anything... is it that he doesn't love me anymore?

He wiggled his nose a little and sniffled, the outside cold making his nose run a little. He reached into his pocket and whispered to her, "Last year... on your birthday... did you like the clothes I was going to buy for you?"

She blinked confusedly. "Yes, I liked them very much. Why?"

"So... you don't have a problem with western customs?"

She stared at him, bewildered, and held his hand. "Kaoru, what are you talking about?"

He smiled nervously, worrying his lower lip a little. "Follow me."

Aoi smiled back reassuringly, squeezing his hand a little tighter as she followed him to his room. I wonder what he's so nervous about... Once in his room, he kissed her lightly and put her hands over her eyes, whispering, "Don't peek."

She nodded in understanding and strained her ears to hear what he was doing. There was slight rustling for a few moments before she heard him say, "Okay. You can look."

She opened them, only to have her jaw drop in utter surprise. The thing that Kaoru was holding before her was one of most single-handedly beautiful things she had ever seen in her life.

It was a wedding dress... a beautiful, white, sequined wedding dress with lace trailing all the way down from the bodice to the bottom of the skirt, the sleeves falling off the shoulders slightly, shimmering pearl buttons clasping the front of the dress closed. The top of the skirt had light pink tulle on it, and the bodice had small patterns all over it.

She reached forward to run a shaking hand over the material, her eyes filling up with tears. "It's beautiful," she whispered, emotion closing her throat as she stared up at him silently.

He smiled at her reaction and placed it gently back into the box, taking her into his arms. "I want it to be for our wedding. I love you... and I want to be able to have a real wedding with you... complete with a dress, a tuxedo, our friends, a cake, and some horrible band that will insist on being paid far too much."

She giggled, wiping at the tears that were falling down her cheeks, sniffling a little as she wrapped her arms around his neck. "I would love nothing more."

"There's one more thing."

She blinked at him as he reached in his pocket and pulled out a box, opening it to reveal a small diamond ring with sapphires around it. She gasped in surprise as he slid it on her finger and said, "It looks wonderful on you."

Aoi pulled his head down to capture his mouth in a sweet kiss. "And you look wonderful with me," she whispered, smiling a little, embarrassed that she had even said it.

He blushed a little and placed his hands on her hips, kissing her like there was no tomorrow, lowering her to his futon slowly.

"That I do," he whispered lovingly into her ear before pulling the blankets over them, and as he kissed her neck again gently, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, the ring sparkling happily in the faint moonlight.

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Authoress Notes

Good? Bad? Loved it? Hated it? I dunno, I thought it was going to come out a different way than this, but as I started writing I changed my idea a little. Lemme know if it changed for the better or for the worse. Laterz!