A/N: This is going to be the final chapter of this story, and will include an epilogue. For those who liked it, I will be writing a second multi-chapter Higurashi fic soon, though that might focus on a different pairing. Thanks to my reviewers, when I invent an award system, you'll all get one. Now, time to bring this to it's close:

It's Been So Long, Ch10: The End is Nigh

Shion trembled slightly as Mion fussed over her sister's dress. "Stop moving so much Shion, you'll ruin the dress."

"Easy for you to say, you aren't getting married in an hour," Shion replied, while trying to get the dress to go properly round her slight bump on her stomach. She was five months along and had started showing a little.

"Maybe so, but that's all the more reason for you to stay still, you don't want to get married while looking like somebody dragged you through a hedge backwards," Mion complained as her sister refused to stay still for more than two seconds.

"I wouldn't mind, as long as it was Satoshi who pulled me through the hedge." Shion smiled as she thought of Satoshi, and went off into a daydream. Mion took advantage of her sudden stillness to quickly sort the dress out.

"There, it's done, so now just don't muck it up until after the ceremony please," Mion pleaded.

"Uh... what?" Shion was still daydreaming about her soon-to-be husband, and had taken no notice of what Mion said.

"Never mind, now come on, it's time to go," Mion hurriedly, though not too hurriedly for the sake of the dress, pulled her sister out of the house and into the car that was waiting to take Shion off to be married.

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Satoshi waited nervously in the room that Keiichi had led him into when they arrived. He could be described to be sweating buckets, although that would be a gross understatement. He tried to calm himself down, but there were two pressing matters on his mind. The first was obvious: he was to be married in an hour. The second was that Mion had threatened him extensively that if anything went wrong, then she and the Sonozaki elders would hold him personally responsible. So if anything went wrong today, Satoshi was dead meat.

He steadied his breathing and looked across the room to where Keiichi sat smirking at him, "Something amusing?"

"Well you don't have to be so nervous you know, this is supposed to be a happy day."

"Yes, but if anything goes wrong then the Sonozakis will hunt me to the ends of the Earth, and then further," Satoshi was quite rightly terrified of them, though Keiichi still found it amusing.

"Well then you'd better hope that nothing goes wrong, hadn't you?"

Satoshi sighed, and wondered how Shion and Mion had talked him into letting Keiichi be the best man. As it happened, Shion had fluttered her eyelashes, and Mion had threatened to torture him if he refused. Satoshi had, somewhat grudgingly, given in and agreed, though why they were so desperate, he had no clue. Keiichi and Satoshi did not dislike each other, but there was a certain animosity between them, one that the twins they loved did nothing to reduce. Maybe that was what came from being with two sisters, maybe their personalities just conflicted, maybe there were just too many testosterone fueled arguments over the girls for them to get to be real friends. Whatever the reason, they just had their problems with each other, but now was not the time for that sort of argument, or for Satoshi to be any more stressed.

Satoshi looked at the clock, then stood, "Nearly time, we need to go."

"Okay, just correct that face of yours before we get out there. We don't want the ceremony ruined by the priest fainting from seeing that face of yours."

Satoshi smirked, "Well of course we don't want anything bad to happen, I mean, Mion would be horrified to hear that you spiked the priest's drink."

"Wh-what?" Keiichi looked genuinly scared. Satoshi simply laughed, and left the room.

-----

Shion was unable to sit still for the whole car journey, and now she was standing at the entrance to the church, about to enter, with her father with her, while the attendants to the wedding had already started heading to their places. She was trembling slightly, out of her pure nerves. It came to her time to enter, while the music played, but she did not hear it, she did not see the people around her, she did not feel the floor beneath her feet. All she was aware of was the alter, and the suited blond man who stood before it, looking back at her, and smiling. In what seemed like hours to Shion, but was really only a few moments, she was by his side, and the priest spoke as the music died away.

The ceremony continued, with Shion giving the right replies at the right times. She was still absorbed with Satoshi, and thoughts whirled round her head. Then a single sentance passed through her mind, the priest's words: "You may kiss the bride."

Shion felt Satoshi's lips on her own, and her thoughts calmed in an instant. She was Satoshi's wife, she would be with him forever now. This was the best day of her life ever. After all the hardships they had faced, they were together at last. It had been nearly seven years since they first met, and now they were married.

'Now Satoshi-kun and I can be together forever, along with our baby.' They broke off the kiss and looked into each other's eye.

In Satoshi's eyes, Shion read 'I love you.'

In Shion's, Satoshi read 'I love you too.'

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Epilogue: Eight Years later

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Satoru Hojo walked up to his family's house and knocked. His mother opened the door and smiled, "Afternoon Ru, how was school?"

The blonde boy entered and put his school bag down in the, "It was okay, but Chie-sensei set us loads of work, and Mikai needed loads of help."

Shion smirked, "He takes after his mother like that."

"Aunt Mion is really busy though, she's not lazy, and she doesn't always need help like Mikai."

Her son's words made Shion smile even more. Of course, Mion wouldn't show that side of her to Satoru. It was hardly surprising that the boy could not see the similarities between his Aunt and six year old cousin.

A noise came from upstairs, as a five year old girl with her mother's bright green hair crashed down the stairs, "YAY! Onii-chan's back!" She charged into her brother and hugged him.

"Suzu, calm down please!" Satoru colapsed as his sister hit him full on.

Their mother laughed as she watched the two. Then she walked over to them "Okay you two, Suzu get off your brother, he needs air I think." Suzu climbed off her Satoru, who emphasised his gasping for air. "Now Satoru go and get changed out of your school clothes. Your father will be back early today, so we can have an early dinner together."

"Okay Mum." Satoru went up to his room, followed by his sister. Shion smiled and set about preparing dinner. Soon after their marriage, she and Satoshi had moved into a house in Hinamizawa. Their son now went to the village school, along with his cousin, and Suzu would start there soon as well.

She heard the front door being unlocked, and then Satoshi entered the kitchen. Shion looked over to her husband, "Hi Satoshi, I'm almost done with dinner."

"Okay, then I'll set the table."

Shion kept an eye trailing after him while he went to the drawers to get what they needed to eat. Eight years of marriage, and he still had that effect on her occaisionally. She finished the dinner and took it over to the table.

"Shion..."

"Yes Satoshi?" Shion turned to her husband. He took her head in his hands and pressed his lips to hers.

When he broke off the kiss he smiled at her bemused face, "Something wrong?"

"That was a little sudden..."

"Do I need a reason to kiss my lovely wife?" Satoshi turned to leave the room, "I'll get the kids."

Shion touched her fingers to her lips. Her lips curved up. She was glad that she had fallen for him. She was glad she had waited for him for those six years, waited for him to come back, to wake up, to find her. She was glad that they had loved each other. She was glad of everything that had happened between them. She looked down at the wedding ring on her finger, the one thing she always wore. The thing she was most glad of... was the life she had with him. She looked over as Satoshi came in again, with Suzu holding onto his arm, while Satoru followed behind him, in a more dignified manner. This was the happy life she led now, with her family, and she would continue to lead it.

She and Satoshi deserved their happiness, and as for their former troubles, it's been so long since they encountered them.

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It's Been so Long: Fin.

Auf Wiedersehen

Der Blaue Wolf