Mokuba: JMeg does not own Yu-gi-oh.
JMeg: Well here we are everyone! Yes, this is the final chapter of Arranged Marriage. I hope you all have enjoyed reading this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It's been a great 8 year process (yes I did torture many in the wait, and I apologize for that), and I know it's weird reading through the growth of my writing style as I started this in middle school. Hopefully I'll find time to do minor edits to the older chapters, so it will be less awkward.
Please enjoy everyone!
Splash. Clink. Dong. The repetitious sounds reverberated throughout snowy night. Concurrently, a line shuffled forward as each group finished their prayer at the shrine. Above the noise, a loud ruckus could be heard in the middle of the line.
"I'm telling ya guys! She's my sister! She should be praying with us!"
"Honey come on now. No more negative thoughts," said a blond woman while she adjusted her scarf.
"That's right! It's New Year's, so it's the time to look forward to the wonderful things coming and letting go of the negativity of the past year. We must come in with a peace of mind-" started a brunette woman, but she was suddenly cut off.
"Miho-chan, come on text back! Please say yes!"
"Honda, I was in the middle of talking!"
"Ya know what! I'm just gonna grab my baby sister away from that jerk."
"Don't you dare! You'll humiliate her! Besides she already promised to go with us next year!"
"As I was saying, we are supposed to be here with a peace of mind-"
"I got a text from Miho-chan! She says I can go to her place to eat mochi!"
"Honda! Stop interrupting me!"
A man with multi-colored hair held his hands up and said, "Now now guys. Let's all take a deep breath and-"
The other four whipped their heads towards him and cried out, "Stay out of this Yuugi!" The short man could not help but smile at the group in front of him. 'Things are how they should be.'
Farther up the line was a smaller commotion amongst three individuals.
"Tell me again why we are here," asked the man irritated by the incessant whispers behind him. All glaring attempts failed to silence these murmurs.
"Nii-sama you need to get out more, and it's also our first New Year's as a whole family!"
The blue eyed man squeezed the tiny hand that nested in his pocket, causing the owner's cheeks to heat up.
"Mokuba-kun, you know Seto and I haven't gotten married yet."
"You guys are practically husband and wife. Just because you two are going to wait a few more years to hold the ceremony, doesn't change what's in your hearts!"
Shizuka giggled, "Oh Mokuba-kun."
Soon it was their turn. Shizuka reached into her kimono sleeve, pulled a few coins out, and handed them to the Kaiba brothers to toss into the saisen box (A/N 1). Eagerly Mokuba rung the bell a few times, and then the three bowed twice before clapping twice. As they prayed, Shizuka took a peak at the tall CEO.
A few months had already passed since that day, and she convinced him that they were too young to marry. As a compromise, they would remained engaged until she was ready. As Seto said, it was to keep certain people from trying anything. Unfortunately for him, Noah dauntlessly visited a few times, despite Seto's insistence that he would murder his step-brother.
Her school life got better after summer vacation, since false rumors surrounding Pegasus J. Crawford and Siegfried von Schroider's relationship became the new media interest. Of course, fan girls still came around to verbally harass her, but Shizuka was definitely getting better at ignoring them.
Her brother remained the only one in the group against their engagement, yet the attempts to break them up decreased after seeing how happy his precious sister was with the cold blooded man. In spite of this, Jounouchi and Seto continued their hostilities whenever they were near each other, reassuring everyone that they had not gone insane.
Since her return from America, Anzu and Yuugi decided to not jump into a relationship, but Shizuka had a feeling once Valentine's Day came around things would change. On the other hand, she was not sure how Miho and Honda were going to end up. Nevertheless she hoped the best for them.
Above the noise in the shrine, she could hear her friends' loud voices. Shizuka closed her eyes again, and a faint smile crept onto her face. 'So much has happened last year, but please let me make more wonderful memories with everyone this year. Thank you.'
Bowing a final time, the three headed towards the omamori (A/N 2) stall since Mokuba declared he needed one. As he ran ahead of them, Shizuka asked Seto, "What did you pray for?"
Seto scoffed, "I do not pray. I only did this to please you two, besides I have everything I need." He reached out taking her hand again and shoving it back into his coat pocket. Blushing Shizuka smiled at her fiancé, as his deportment barely changed after all this time.
They reached the energetic boy who eyed all the omamori that were placed out. "Onee-chan! I've never bought one of these before. Pick one for me." Laughing she reached over for the gakugyō-jōju (A/N 3) one.
Handing it to Mokuba, she said, "This one for education will be best for you." Looking at the omamori, Mokuba scrunched up his face. "But I'm already the best in school! Sigh. Well since you picked it, then I'll take it."
Mokuba turned to his brother and said, "Nii-sama, you should let Onee-chan pick one for you!" Frowning Seto replied, "I do not need such superstitious items."
However, Shizuka had already paid for a shōbai-hanjō (A/N 4) one, and gave it to Seto. "Here…unless you want a different one…" Quickly taking it, he shoved it down his unoccupied pocket.
"Well I'm gonna buy an en-musubi (A/N 5) for ya sis," cried out Jounouchi as he slammed down the money. Glaring at the taller man, he cried out, "That way ya'll find a better man than this bastard."
"You moron. You do know that en-musubi is not exclusively used for finding a partner. Well one cannot expect much from a mutt," retorted Seto.
Before Jounouchi could respond, Mai appeared taking the money and dragging Jounouchi away by the ear. "Get back in line mister! We haven't prayed yet." Pausing she waved at Shizuka and said, "Happy New Year! We'll see you at home."
Mokuba ran after them, crying out, "Hey wait up guys! I want to say Happy New Year to everyone!"
The remaining two decided to find somewhere quieter to wait for Mokuba' return. Glancing up, Shizuka found a few snowflakes in Seto's hair, and tried to brush them out with her free hand. He in turn grabbed that hand and kissed each finger.
"Your hand is cold," he stated as he shoved that hand into the pocket containing the omamori. For a few minutes, they stood as such, enjoying each other's company. With her heart fluttering, Shizuka stood on her tips of her toes and kissed Seto on the cheek.
Bending down to her eye level, he gave her his infamous smirk before kissing her on the lips. "You missed."
The hue on her cheeks became a deeper red. 'How does he still make me feel like this every time?'
Sensing Mokuba would take his time talking to Yuugi and the gang, Seto led Shizuka somewhere to sit. Watching the snowdrift, the two savored this peaceful moment.
Simultaneously, their eyes gravitated towards each other, and olive eyes met cobalt blue. Eyes scintillating, he leaned over to tenderly kiss her forehead before the couple returned to gazing at the expansive dark sky filled with descending soft white crystals.
A/N 1: Saisen box: a coin box found at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. It's to collect offerings to the gods.
A/N 2: Omamori: these are amulets/charms/talismans sold usually at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan, but you can definitely buy ones with your favorite character (Hello Kitty, Pikachu, etc) for fun.
A/N 3: Gakugyō-jōju: a specific omamori for success in education or passing tests.
A/N 4: Shōbai-hanjō: a specific omamori for success in business or money.
A/N 5: En-musubi: a specific omamori for success in marriage, love, or finding a partner.
JMeg: That's the end folks! Thank you everyone for reading this story! I hope this was a good calm wrap up after all the previous passionate chapters. I just felt they need some peace after the tumultuous getting together.
Also, keep an eye out. I'm working on 2 possible silentshipping stories that will contain a CCS crossover, but I'm still working on the plot so we'll see. If you have enjoyed this story, then I hope my future stories will be just as good. Thank you! Keep reading and writing everyone!