Title: 2920 Days

Summary: And friends, that's all we'd ever be. Hiroki/Takako onesided, Shinji/Takako implied, AU set after years BR timeline

Genre: Romance/Angst

Rating: K+

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"Lace would come off last, and honey, take it slow—"

"Mom!"

Her mother's lips curved into an undecipherable smile. Takako looked at her mother, trying very much to understand but she was feeling overwhelmed herself—she merely could not think.

"Someone's a big girl now."

Her mother pulled her into a tight hug and the first threat of tears surged beneath her lids. Takako heaved a sigh and pulled her mother tighter, leaning her face on her shoulder like she used to when she was just a little kid.

Takako kissed her mother lightly on the cheek. She never really understood how these things worked; she was sad at the same time that she was feeling lightheaded, both from excitement, anxiety and happiness.

Just then, a knock came to pull both women away from their reverie.

"Chigusa-san?"

Hiroki Sugimura came to view, looking very much like a debonair prince, his hair tied in a clean ponytail. He was apparently nervous, as he shifted his foot at the door, waiting for Takako's mother to make her exit.

Takako smiled at him brightly and he wondered how much happiness there was in her heart at that moment—her smile, if only he could bask in the glory of it.

Hiroki came closer and crouched down near her chair, crossing his legs on the floor and very much uncaring at the creases it would make on his formal suit. As Takako's mother shut the door, Hiroki took Takako's left hand on both of his. He let himself a bittersweet smile as his eyes found its way to the glittering diamond in her finger.

"We could make a fortune from this, huh," the martial artist started, not knowing where to start.

Takako's eyes lingered to where her best friend was looking and then produced a little, almost shy, laugh.

"I remember how I'd always tell Shinji I'd pawn this if he ever gets late again—I mean, god, trust him to fuck up his own proposal," Takako shared, her laughter fully blooming into a full mirthful sound. She took the same hands that were holding her left hand with her right.

This was a moment where two best friends held into each other, like friends normally would do, being there every step of the way for each other, taking all things and conquer them together because friends—that was all they could ever be.

"Shinji," Hiroki whispered in an unsure mutter, wondering how one word, two syllables could make his world different. It had always been Mimura from her, Mim or fucktard. Never Shinji. Never until—well, his best friend was right; trust Mim to fuck up things, and trust Mim to make his way out through it. He laughed at the mental image of his friend covered with blood, body dumped on the road for good riddance, and robbers scampering away, something thousand yen richer, with the possession that now fortunately hooked on Takako's ring finger.

"Don't tell me—"

Hiroki laughed at the subtle distress on Takako's voice and his hand grazed her cheek, pushing an imaginary strand of hair beneath her ear.

"No, he's down there, very much likely competing with you for a nervous breakdown contest…"

"I'm not nervous!" Takako said defensively, appearing to act nonchalant despite the slight shiver in her words.

"No, you're obviously not," Hiroki snorted, "geez Taka, you think that after all this years I can't see through you?"

Takako flashed him a smile that crumbled the walls of his resolve, and when it became a full smile of just being totally happy and in love right now, he wanted to hold that smile in his hands.

"Oh I don't know," Takako shifted, "do tell me Hiroki, what am I thinking right now?"

Hiroki tapped his nose consciously, both to annoy her and to think. He sure did not know what she was thinking but he, unfortunately for him, was fully aware of what he was thinking. He opted for the safest answer he could muster; after all, if he got a wrong answer, Takako would not surely take off his limbs and make a bloody mess out of her white gown…

"You're not thinking of anything at all. You can't."

Takako straightened herself in delight, bending over to punish her friend with a light punch in the arm. Her hair grazed the side of his face fleetingly, and he caught the familiar whiff of her lady-like perfume. It was sweet and seductive and oh someone was obviously prepared for the nightlife-crossing-the-day activities.

Hiroki watched at a good distance at Takako's slight intake of breath before coming up with a good retort like she would always have. When after a good full minute, she was just smiling at him like she was rendered crazy; he broke a smile his own and tightened his hold on her hand, very much feeling the pain of her ring stone.

"I don't know, Hiroki, I do feel weird," Takako was rambling, "…it's like this is too, too, too—"

"---surreal?"

"Fuck yeah, and how long has it been really----"

"---eight years?"

"Yes, eight years! But I feel like…shit, I just probably fell in love yesterday," Takako flustered, biting her thumb until Hiroki took it away.

He smiled at her, and patted the hand that he held, "That must be good shit," with emphasis on the last word.

Takako laughed at her profanity, something that she never really grew out of. She inhaled once again at the thought—surely, it had been eight years (and counting) but whatever she was feeling, she could only describe it into something like the pure newborn feelings of falling in love just yesterday. Heck, even after eight years (and counting) she would still feel a little tingly with the mere mention of the word like a school girl just because she never thought it would happen to her.

"That's normal," Hiroki broke in her thoughts, "obviously you're thinking…holy crap, who would've thought?" He tapped his nose again and continued, "…but trust me pretty, some day you'd be laughing double in laughter when you're about to say to your grandkids, 'Kiddies, I used to call your grandfather fucktard back in junior high—"

"I would not---"

"…then he fucked me so bad and swept me off my feet—come on, you would not be in here had it not happened so don't go scrunching your noses on me—"

"Hiroki!"

"—I mean, who wouldn't have fallen for charms such as his?" That earned him a smack, for the second time, in the shoulder.

The martial artist looked at the beautiful girl in front of him and with nonchalance on full blast mode, he innocently asked, "What?"

He was about to give him tips on her honeymoon night, malicious intents aside of course, but stopped himself when he noticed the very obvious blush on her cheeks. He wanted to hold her as he felt as if the last tainting of childhood escape this beautiful woman in front of him; he wanted to hold on to them before he would finally, and eventually, let her go.

Silence enveloped them for the nth time that night. Hiroki checked his watch and he suspected that a knock would soon be heard on the door.

"You look beautiful," and at that Takako attempted to smack him again, but he caught her hand in his and continued, "…you are in love and will soon be walking that aisle towards that man—oh God, punish me for saying these things—who promised, and will do so again, to be with you until his own death fucks him over."

Takako only looked at him solemnly.

"You are in love and you look very beautiful in it. It suits you," oh there was that tap on the nose again, "…so if you just feel like you just fell in love yesterday and that's eight years of falling in love again and again and again—"

"God, why must you be such a girl over these things?"

"—God, why must you be such a prude interrupting my moment," he coughed and continued, "…then that's 2920 days of being just beautiful over and over again. Geez, isn't Mim so lucky?"

"I am always beautiful and damn straight, he should feel lucky," Takako said, rolling her eyes.

"And at your wedding, you still wear your vanity as heavy as this white uhh, thing...purpose totally defeated when Mim finally strips this off you and devour—"

"Hiroki, stop!"

Both friends smiled at each other, that smile that held their childhood, up until this moment, up until the moment that both of their lives would change and they would still be friendsbecause that was all they would ever be.

Takako Chigusa, the bride, told Hiroki Sugimura, the best man, those words he would probably regret hearing…

"You were my first love."

…but he would all be kinds of happy hearing anyway.

"...I was hoping I'd be your last."

They held each other tight until Takako's mother called her to be ready at the other side of the door.

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When Hiroki drank his third glass of tequila that night, he felt a strange of happiness seeing his two friends dancing ever so slightly in the middle of the crowd. Takako's hair was down in curls (from a sleek bun earlier) and she changed into a more comfortable dress that clung until her knees. Shinji was whispering something in her ear, and she laughed; his hand was holding her possessively in the waist and a glass of champagne was held in his free hand.

They looked like a couple, a married couple, happily facing the brand new day.

(And quite literally at that, because they both were weird to have their wedding sometime freaking midnight).

A waiter passed him by and he went for another glass. The first drops of wine came to his lips and it tasted bittersweet. He raised it at them, and Takako caught his eyes in the crowd; when she nudged his husband to Hiroki's direction, Shinji gave him a salute and Takako blew him an innocent kiss.

He raised his glass to a toast and he said to them, but more so to himself, "To 2921st."

And counting…

~fin

A/N: Hee hee, I think I love you more now Hiroki. Unbeta'ed because I'm lazy, and angst because I am in the mood. Again, the normal pardons that are in order—forgive for OOC-ness (hey, they should have matured), grammar stuff and everything else that needed pardoning because I'm sleepy.

Dedicated to imjuzakyd most especially, but to jenizaki, Hickoryflower and SkyLilies as well, thank you for being here with me still in this little lonely fandom.