Title: of white, flowing silk
Word Count: 756
Prompts: 364. bless the union & 013. celebrate

Akari stared at the overwhelming abundant amount of white silk laid out before her. Even without touching, her breath caught in her throat. How on earth would she be able to do this? The last time she'd tried, it had been nothing less of a spectacle. That time, her mother had even helped, and still, the obi had ended up being tied backwards. Ryusei had not looked overly impressed, but then again, Ryusei never looked particularly impressed with anything.

Hesitantly, Akari reached out a tentative hand towards the flowing fabric of the uchikake kimono. The patterns and amount of detail on the expensive garment made her head swirl. It was undoubtedly the most beautiful kimono she had ever seen, so beautiful that Akari didn't even want to think about how much it had cost Ryusei.

In her amazed trance, she failed to hear the heavy footfalls that had rounded the corner, into the dressing room. Thinking that her mother had finally arrived, Akari swirled around anxiously, only to be stricken back by a surprising sight. The old woman that was definitely not her mother breathed in sharply, before barking, "What do you think you're doing? Don't touch it!"

Akari jumped away from her position and landed quite painfully with her left hip meeting the sharp corner of the dressing table without mercy. The elderly woman that greeted her had such a deep scowl etched on her wrinkled face, it seemed as if it were her permanent expression. When Akari only stared at her meekly, she sighed again. "Well? Why are you just gawking at me? Strip!"

Oh. A dresser, Akari thought as she obeyed the woman's orders. Of course Ryusei would hire a dresser. The garment was entirely too beautiful for Akari's clumsy self to ruin. In her haste, her fingers slipped as they fumbled with the buttons of her cardigan. With another heavy sigh, the woman traversed over and removed Akari's clothing swiftly and promptly. By now, Akari was sure that her face was a gorgeous shade of tomato red.

"Breathe, girl, breathe, I'm not going to eat you."

It was only then that Akari noticed the breath she'd been holding, and again did as she was told. "Sorry," she mumbled.

This, at least, seemed to appease the woman's hostility for the moment. Akari saw a change in her face as the woman reached out for the garment, letting the silk fall delicately through her fingers. It was the type of passion Akari often saw in Ryusei when she danced, and suddenly, she wasn't so afraid of the old woman. She was apparently all business, though, because after the moment had passed, the dresser turned and started barking orders at Akari. Turn around, raise your arms, bend your knee, hold your hair up… Akari soon lost track of the commands sent her way, but she followed each to the best of her ability.

If there was any day to screw something up, today was so not the day.

Three hours later, Akari's heart was beating so fast she was sure it would burst.

From behind her, she could sense the nervousness emanating from her parents. From diagonally behind her, she could sense the tenseness and not-yet-approval from her future father-in-law. Oh my god, she thought. It's finally happening.

The Shinto priest cleared his throat as he began his required role. Under her million layers, Akari was sure she was shaking from the nerves, but she couldn't really be sure. For god's sake, she couldn't even see Ryusei. The traditional ceremony had them facing forward towards the priest. For a moment, Akari resented the decision to hold a traditional wedding. At least in a westernized ceremony, she would be facing Ryusei at the most critical moment of her life.

Just as these thoughts passed through her mind, she heard Ryusei's voice. His whisper was so quiet that Akari didn't hear the content at first. She shifted slightly, favouring his side.

Then, "You are so beautiful," he paused in his whispers as the priest took a short pause. When the old man continued again, his voice booming, Ryusei continued, even softer than before. "I love you." His declaration was murmured so quietly Akari was nearly sure she'd heard wrong, but those syllables were so precious and dear to her that they had to have been right.

Suddenly, the little trivial things didn't seem to matter so much anymore. All that mattered was them and this moment, and all the million moments that would follow this one.

note: uchikake kimono is a traditional wedding kimono, usually tremendously elaborate.