So this will be the last one of the 'Return' series. I also want a vote through reviews, here are your choices!
1. Mai has the baby
2. Naru proposes to Mai
3. Naru and Mai first official date
VOTE! And thank you to all my reviewers of my other stories, I appreciate all the support!
Mai Taniyama rolled over onto her stomach and moaned as her alarm clock went off in her ear. She reached a hand out from beneath her covers and attempted to hit the offending piece but she missed and only succeeded in knocking it to the floor and onto the person's head that was sleeping on the floor next to her bed.
"YEOWCH!!!!" Ayako sat up clutching at her head and then looking down to see that clock lying there in her lap. She turned the offending object off before looking up at the girl who had caused it to attack her. Ayako sweat dropped as she saw that Mai had fallen back asleep and the older woman shook her head.
"Mai, you need to get up." Ayako gently shook the girl but the only response she got was Mai turning away and asking for five more minutes. Ayako smiled as she remembered the days that she had also begged for those five minutes but had never gotten them.
"Oh, well….I guess some other poor soul will have to marry Naru." Ayako said before squeaking as Mai sat up and glared at the priestess and Ayako wondered briefly if God had pressed the 'smite button'.
"My Naru!" Mai cried before her eyes began to droop and she fell back onto her bed and Ayako groaned. She was never going to get the bride to be out of bed and she could just imagine all the ways Naru would think of torturing her if she didn't get his fiancé to the temple in time.
'This is going to be a very long day.' Ayako thought. She was right in her assumption. It took her nearly an hour and a half to get Mai out of the bed and dressed in a pair of sweats. And that was with the promise of black coffee. Ayako wondered how the girl could drink the stuff.
"Would you quit staring at my hair? I know it looks horrible." Mai mumbled into her cup. She really had no idea what had possessed her and Naru into having a traditional Japanese wedding. Maybe it was because her mother had always wanted her to have a Japanese wedding and Mai felt like she owed it to the woman to have one. Although at seven thirty in the morning, and nine hours away from seeing Naru, going to the courthouse and getting a certificate was looking pretty good.
"Mai, your hair doesn't look terrible….now, I've made a list of the things we need to do before we got to the Temple and start getting ready. Takigawa and Lin are supposed to have Naru there by six o'clock." Ayako said as she sat down with Mai on the couch in Ayako's apartment building. All of Mai's things had already been moved into Naru's house but Ayako had refused to let the girl live with Naru until after the wedding.
"Well, the first thing that better be on that list better involve me and a nice hot shower." Mai said as she drained her cup and Ayako smiled and shook her head before pointing to her small bathroom.
"Be quick. The woman that made your wedding kimono is expecting us to pick it up at ten." Ayako said and Mai nodded before she stood and went towards the bathroom, mussing her hair up even more as she went.
'I swear….that girl…' Ayako thought affectionately as she turned the TV on. She could remember the day the two 'love birds' as she called them had announced their engagement to the rest of the 'unofficial' SPR team.
Mai had been hiding her face in Naru's chest, unusual in itself that Naru was hugging her back, and had been shaking her head frantically. Everyone else, with the exception of Masako who was traveling, had been worried that something had happened to Mai. That was until Naru had gently kissed Mai on the forehead, causing everyone's mouth to drop open, and looking up at them with fiery eyes as though willing them to defy him.
"Mai and I are getting married." he'd said defiantly and everyone had sat there stunned before Takigawa jumped up and whapped Naru on the back causing the black haired man to let Mai go and then the monk hugged Mai tightly.
"Congratulations!" the monk had said before he found that Naru was glaring at him and he let Mai go hurriedly and the girl tried to hide her flaming face in Naru's chest but everyone had known that her face was the color of a tomato.
'Those two will be alright….I just know it.' Ayako thought with a smile on her face as she waited on Mai to get out of the bathroom. Almost an hour later, Ayako hadn't expected the girl to be speedy, Mai exited the room while drying her still short hair with a towel and dressed in a tan skirt and pink shirt.
"This is as dressed up as I am going to get until the wedding." Mai said and Ayako nodded with a smile on her face. Ayako stood up and they put their shoes on before leaving after Ayako made sure that her door was locked. Ayako watched Mai out of the corner of her eye and felt a motherly pride flame inside of her.
Mai had grown up so much in the past four years they had all worked together but Ayako had never thought Mai would get married. Especially to Naru with how he had always seemed to ignore her. Ayako had even asked Mai afterwards why she was marrying Naru.
"Because…I've seen the real him…the guy no one else sees behind that cold exterior. Not to mention I love him." the girl had replied with a blush before turning away from the miko and Ayako had shrugged it off. Let her marry who she wanted, it was her life after all. Ayako also knew that Naru would take good care of Mai.
'He better or I'll curse him until the day he dies.' Ayako thought very protectively as they reached the shop and entered.
Naru couldn't remember the last time his stomach felt so odd. He was certain it had never felt the way it did at that exact moment. Almost like it was going to jump out of his body and start tap dancing. No, he would have remembered if his stomach had ever felt so weird before. And no occasions were coming to mind.
'Then again, you were never getting married before.' said a voice in the back of his head and Naru groaned before thumping his head against the wall of the Temple. The fact that they were in the one room that had a clock didn't help things at all. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. TICK-TOCK!
Naru whirled around and glared the offending clock and realized he shouldn't have done so. 'Thirty minutes.' said the same little voice and Naru slid to the ground and watched the clock. When was the last time he had felt so nervous? He truly tried to think of a time and realized there wasn't one. He had never felt nervous about anything in his entire life so why was his wedding any different?
'Because you know she's too good for you? You're afraid that she's figured that out and will leave you. Maybe you should leave her alone, let someone like Monk-san marry her.' that same voice cackled and Naru let his head thump back against the wall and stared up at the ceiling. Why wasn't he arguing? Was it because he knew it was the truth?
He looked down at his hand and sighed. Why had someone as lively and friendly as Mai chosen him of all the people in the world? She accepted his offer to work for him and she had worked on Saturdays without him even asking. Whenever he'd end up in the hospital (which had started happening a lot when she joined SPR, ghosts seemed to love to target her) she was always the one sitting beside him until the nurses ran her off. He never had any success in trying to get her to leave the hospital.
"Why me?" he whispered to his hand and suddenly Mai's voice seemed to echo in the room with her vibrant energy.
"N-Naru…of course I'll marry you! I…I love you more than you love yourself!" he let an uncharacteristic smile spread across his lips. She definitely knew him better than others. He pushed himself up the wall and walked over to the mirror and saw that his reflection was pale. That wouldn't do. He didn't need Mai worrying over him on their wedding day (or night his evil little voice said gleefully).
"I…love her. She loves me." he whispered to the mirror before turning to the black kimono hanging beside the door. He slowly began to get changed, his stomach returning to its odd little dance. Naru just hoped he could make it through the ceremony without getting sick.
Mai could feel her whole body shaking as Ayako tied her hair back with a white ribbon to finish off the kimono. Mai clenched her hands tightly until Ayako gently took them and smiled at the girl. Mai returned it nervously before both women looked up as Takigawa entered, Mai saw Ayako blush, and smiled at Mai. Ayako winked at Mai before leaving the room.
"Ready to go?" Takigawa asked and Mai shook her head and Takigawa laughed before he hugged her and she relaxed into the hug, wishing she could stay in his protective arms forever.
"Hey, look, kiddo, I can't protect you anymore. But I know that the person I'm handing that responsibility will do a much better job than I could. After all he's much younger and could probably handle some of your escapades better than I can." Takigawa joked and Mai giggled and smiled at him.
"But he's usually the one that gets me into those escapades." she pointed out and Takigawa just shrugged before kissing her on the cheek and winking.
"Hey, you're still alive, right? Come on, let's get this show on the road…I'm hungry and that food outside is looking really good!" Takigawa teased and Mai giggled before nodding and slipping her arm through his and letting him lead her to the Temple and she felt her stomach jerk angrily.
"One." she could see the people stand as Takigawa whispered softly into her ear trying to calm her and failing. "Two." she saw Naru standing there and she took a deep breath and focused on him. "Three." she began to follow him and smiled at Naru who bowed his head slightly before winking at her. So it wasn't a smile but to her it was even better.
The ceremony flew by and if someone asked Naru and Mai what the priest had been saying they wouldn't have been able to stay. They were both to nervous and focused on the person they were standing beside to even notice. Naru was barely pulled away from his thoughts enough to say "I do" and then kiss Mai at the end. Although he would have never missed a kiss from Mai. They were too sweet to miss.
The reception was overrun by Mai's school friends and the SPR team. Mai stayed by Naru, holding onto his arm the whole time, and blushing every time someone congratulated them. Naru just nodded and didn't speak until it was time to 'feed' the cake to each other.
"Open wide." Mai giggled as she held the cake out in front of his face with a smile and Naru tried to lean back. He might have loved Mai but he did not trust her with food in her hand, especially food that she could shove in his face.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I'M TO OLD TO GET MARRIED, YOU DUMB MONK?!" screamed a voice and Naru and Mai whirled around to see Ayako standing over Takigawa with a chair in her hands. John was attempting to grab the chair away from the enraged miko.
"Ayako!" Mai cried and the priestess glared at the girl and Mai hid behind Naru and the woman turned her attention to the monk who was trying to get away from her but failing when the chair came crashing down on his head and Ayako gave a satisfied snort as he lay on the ground swirly-eyed.
"Ayako…." Mai moaned and Naru rolled his eyes before looking down at his wife, there was a word he thought would never be in his vocabulary, and give a shadow of a smile. He was surprised when Mai wrapped her arms around his waist and smiled up at him before standing up on her toes and meeting his lips.
'My Mai-chan.' he thought possessively while ignoring the whistles coming from the crowd. He didn't care. After all he had Mai, what else did he really need?