Maki Mihara yawned as she sleepily stretched her arms out. Opening her eyes, she looked down at her fiancé. Akira Matsumoto continued to sleep as Maki smiled gently, stroking his cheek.
Maki got out of the bed, dressed only in a large white shirt. Her dark hair reached below her shoulders in small waves; slightly tangled from the night's sleep. After washing her face, Maki lazily brushed her hair.
Just as Maki was about to start breakfast, the young woman heard the postman drop off the mail at the front door. Closing the refrigerator door, Maki went to retrieve the mail.
Entering the hall, Akira yawned loudly. "Good morning!" he said cheerily. He found his fiancée near the front door, staring at a letter. Wrapping his arms around her from behind, he kissed her on the cheek. "What's up?"
Maki failed to respond. Reading over her shoulder, Akira curiously read the letter in her hand…
Dear Mr. Akira Matsumoto and Ms. Maki Mihara,
Here at Destiny At Work, we pride ourselves in having the highest rate of successful couples. As you know, we are relatively a new dating service set up here in Japan, but also one of the best in our line of work. We are now expanding our business, in other countries such as England as well as online.
Three years ago, both of you applied to our dating service. Your applications were reviewed and it was decided you were compatible for each other. One of our specialized matchmakers ensured the initial stages of your relationship. Today, you remain a loving couple.
This year, we plan to increase the endeavors we personally take care of. We have decided, out of the hundreds of couples we help create, we will help one couple take the next step: marriage. This year, we plan to make you Destiny's Married Couple of the Year. We will help you with the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the wedding, and the honeymoon. All expenses will be paid here from Destiny At Work.
Congratulations. Please reply as soon as possible so we may start with the planning.
Tomoyo Daidouji, Chairwoman
Eriol Hiiragizawa, Chairman
Destiny At Work: Where Fate Brings Couples Together
Destiny At Work
The Prodigious Matchmakers
However, there is no coincidence in the world. What is there is "hitsuzen". And what brought you together was also "hitsuzen". --Yuuko, from Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Author's Note: Card Captor Sakura and its characters rightfully belong to CLAMP.
Perfectly manicured hands flew quickly over the keyboard. A ruby colored nail clicked ENTER.
"System is ready," Nakuru Akizuki said.
On the other end of the connection, long, deft fingers followed the same motions. There was a click on the screen there, a selection from the text there. ENTER.
"We're online," Yukito Tsukishiro confirmed.
Eriol Hiiragizawa clenched his jaw. Tomoyo Daidouji held her breath.
And at precisely 7:03 PM, the whole Daidouji Manor erupted into cheers as the first e-mail popped up onto the screen. Tomoyo jumped into her boyfriend's arms and kissed him happily on the lips. Sonomi Daidouji and Fujitaka Kinomoto congratulated Yukito for his fine computer skills.
"And we're in business," Nakuru said with a grin, spinning around in her swivel chair.
In England, the Hiiragizawa Mansion had turned much into a fine party scene. Kaho Mizuki smiled as Eriol gave her a quick kiss. "I need to call Tomoyo," he murmured apologetically as he let her go. He grabbed her left hand and kissed the knuckle above the diamond ring. "I'll be back."
In Japan, Tomoyo giggled as Touya Kinomoto made an attempt to pull her back into his embrace. "Not now," she said. The phone rang incessantly until Tomoyo picked it up. "My, Eriol. Couldn't you just celebrate a little before returning to business?"
Eriol chuckled. He didn't have to ask how she knew it was he; Eriol knew she had an uncanny intuition. "Just wanted to have a celebratory chat with my Japanese partner."
"All systems go? The website works on your side of the world?"
"Yes, of course. But we'll have to tweak it a little. The layout doesn't agree with me."
"Hmm. You're right. It's too simple. It needs to give off the sense of romance."
Out of the corner of her eye, Tomoyo saw her best friend Sakura Kinomoto enter the room. Before dropping her school bag, Sakura grinned and grabbed the nearest champagne glass. Sakura raised her glass in congratulations of Destiny's newest venture.
As soon as Sakura saw Tomoyo raise her glass, they both drank. "Oi, don't drink too much, Monster" Touya, her brother said, rapping the side of her head.
Normally, the younger sister would have glared at him, but she was too happy for her friend. Sakura opted to roll her eyes. "So everything's good?"
"Everything's great," Touya said proudly. "It's only been five minutes, but there are already 100 hits."
"Really?" Sakura and Touya were nearing the big television that served as a huge computer screen. "Hi, Yukito-san," Sakura said with a smile.
"Hey, Sakura-chan!" Yukito beamed. "You missed the big moment."
Sakura sighed. "I was going to run all the way here after my last meeting, but the director wanted to talk to me." Sakura worked as a curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum.
"The website looks good, Yuki," Touya complimented, eyeing the website's heading of 'Destiny At Work'.
"Oh no, it's all thanks to Akizuki-chan. She did all the hard work."
"Nuh-uh, Mister," came a voice from the speakers. "You did all the complicated stuff."
At the Kinomoto sibling's confused faces, Yukito laughed. Minimizing the website window and opening another window on the screen, the video camera showed a cheerful brunette. To Nakuru, Yukito said, "Thank you, Akizuki-san."
Nakuru grinned and raised her glass of champagne from her seat in England. "To our overbearing bosses."
Amused, Yukito raised his glass while Sakura and Touya stifled their laughter. "To our bosses."
"So, who's Destiny's first online member?" Sakura asked.
"We're just about to find out," Tomoyo said, coming up from behind.
"Click on it," Eriol told Nakuru. Obediently, Nakuru followed her boss's orders and selected the profile the first client had filled out.
Name: Xiaolang Li
Describe yourself: Messy brown hair, amber eyes. Serious. Dedicated to hard work. Quick to anger. Skilled in martial arts. Only son of a prominent family. Loyal to family and friends. Honest. Sincere.
Describe what you are looking for: She must come from a respectable family. Polite. Patient. Cheerful. Naturally pretty. Poised. Confident but not arrogant. Outgoing. Pure. Honest. Sincere.
Kaho, who had wrapped her arms around her fiancé, stopped reading the survey when the picture of the client finished uploading. "Eriol dear, isn't that Mr. Syaoran?"
Tomoyo and Eriol were prodigies.
She had an amazing singing voice, a natural skill with cameras, and a flawless design in making clothes. He played the piano perfectly, comprehended long and difficult tomes, and tended to a beautiful garden. She was poised; he was polite. She was beautiful and he was handsome.
By the age of ten, they were already famous within their respective communities. They achieved 4.0 GPAs, acquired large fan clubs, and appeared unofficially in tabloids. The fact that she was the daughter of Sonomi Daidouji and that he was the grandnephew of Clow Reed was a trivial, insignificant detail.
They first met each other when they were thirteen, at an Australian music competition. She liked his cynicism and he grinned at her idiosyncrasies. Even though they entered together at the last minute and they only had one practice, Tomoyo and Eriol won first place as a vocal and piano duet.
They spoke the other's language fluently, and agreed to keep in touch.
By the time Sakura was in high school, Tomoyo was already in college. The raven-haired girl was only mildly surprised to see familiar blue eyes twinkling behind spectacles in her classes. Eriol grinned back, and on the next day and the day after that, his seat was next to hers.
All the fan clubs and the tabloids whispered rumors, but when confronted about their relationship on a live radio show, Tomoyo couldn't stop laughing. Before the security shooed the press away, Eriol simply gave them his usual enigmatic smile.
As their graduation project, Tomoyo and Eriol unveiled an impossible computer program. It took in a name, facts and figures, and snippets of random information, and spat out the answer to its calculations: a person's soul mate. Nobody could crack the secret needed to make the program, but it worked so well people said it brought the destined together.
Thousands of people clamored to obtain the computer program. Millions of dollars were being offered in order to buy it. But Tomoyo glanced at Eriol, and Eriol spoke into a microphone saying:
"It is not for sale. Program DESTINY will be used for the business named 'Destiny At Work'. "
A silence filled the crowd, as they looked each other in bewilderment.
"Opening in April, 'Destiny At Work' will be a dating service open to the public who can pay a simple fee. Both Tomoyo Daidouji and I, Eriol Hiiragizawa, will work to find you the person just for you."
In April, the little office in Japan opened with overflowing letters. The letters were from people begging the newly crowned King and Queen of Matchmakers to set them up. Under the supervision of a matchmaker who was personally trained by Tomoyo or Eriol, each of the letters were answered in due time, and each person were more or less satisfied with the results.
'Destiny At Work' was almost like a hobby to Eriol and Tomoyo. Considering that Tomoyo was going to inherit Daidouji Incorporations and Eriol would definitely own Reed Industries, 'Destiny' was more of a service to the public. Together or separately, Tomoyo and Eriol trained potential matchmakers for six months. The remaining months of the year were dedicated to hands-on matchmaking. Tomoyo and Eriol watched their students, many of who were older than both bosses, with a careful eye. These matchmakers not only brought two people together, but also helped a couple with the beginnings of their relationship. If things did not work out romantically, the matchmaker helped the couple become good, lasting friends.
Only one couple each year was to be publicly paired by program DESTINY. Tomoyo and Eriol kept any pair of destined names revealed by the program secret. But each year, Tomoyo and Eriol would take one couple and work with them.
A couple whose personal matchmakers were the finest of them all. The public loved it.
The was first couple Takashi Yamazaki and Chiharu Mihara. They were good friends, but shy lovers. It took seven months for the two to confess, but there were three complete months left when the couple crossed the point where matchmakers were no longer needed.
The second year was Yoshiyuki Tereda and Rika Sasaki. There was a thirteen-year age gap, and he was her elementary school teacher. They had a history that made them wary of each other. Their parents were opposed to it. By the end of the year, however, they were engaged and the parents wholeheartedly approved.
Now, as Destiny was in its third year, Destiny had 1000 student matchmakers, 200 professional matchmakers, and 300,000 people waiting to meet their match. Destiny had a Tokyo and London branch and an online website.
In spite of this, Destiny's Couple of the Year had yet to be revealed.
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