---EPILOGUE---

I looked at Hotaru blankly. She was, for a hundreth of times now, in just this day, smacked Ruka on his head … hard. It wasn't Ruka's fault actually. He just commented on how she would look nice wearing one of what I was wearing --- a wedding gown. Yes, me and Natsume. Getting married. Right after we graduated high school. It wasn't opposed though. In fact, our parents were exhilirated. Like it was their plan all along. Actually, it was. We didn't know that we were each other's fiancee since birth. And it was funny how we just made things a whole lot easier for them.

We were at my room here at the pavillion, and Hotaru was helping me along with the other girls with the pin on my hair and anything else. Ruka, of course he couldn't help me. Natsume might smother him if he finds out. But he couldn't go to Natsume's room, the room just across mine. For the past year, the two have, believe it or not, actually became best of friends. I didn't know how. One day, they just talked and had a couple of beers and then, poof! Magic. They were best friends. But as I was saying, the best man couldn't go and greet his best friend, the groom, simply because Hotaru said so.

These last few days, I noticed how Hotaru became so moody. She became like a spoiled brat, and whatever she wanted, she had to have it right away. And she was being especially mean to Ruka.

Sumire laughed at the sight of the two. "Imai," she called. "You might want to be a little less violent towards your boyfriend."

Hotaru just wrinkled her face but didn't say anything else. And it was followed by the giggles of Anna and Nonoko, and even our youngest, Aoi.

I laughed remembering how these two turned out to be together. It wasn't special really. There was no boquet of flowers, no kneeling down the floor. It was actually funny, but somehow ended romantic. It happened a year ago, at Tsubasa-senpai and the other's graduating celebration. We were all having a party at Tsubasa-senpai's house, and as usual, the two were arguing non-stop. Hotaru just got a hold of another of Ruka's embarrassing photos. And Ruka, as usual, was raging mad … or so I thought.

"Imai! Give it here!" He yelled at Hotaru despite the eyes that were locked on them.

"Tough luck, Nogi." The girl smirked as she poured another cup of apple juice.

"Stop giving me headaches, Imai! And look at me while I'm talking!" He demanded like a child. Honestly, who could take him seriously if his face was blazing red like a child throwing a tantrums? We were even laughing at them. Back then, I thought how Ruka might have looked a bit like me when Natsume would tease me. That very moment, I knew what feelings they held for one another. Actually, they were practically screaming it to the whole world through their non-stop arguings.

Hotaru still didn't look at him. "If you want me to look at you, tell me something serious. Something more serious than me getting a whole lot of money through this. I might listen then." She told him, and then continued murmuring to herself. "I wonder how much I would earn. Hmm... Maybe a cosplaying Ruka would satisfy the fan girls more."

I was shocked as Ruka exploded. Without second thoughts, he grabbed Hotaru by her shoulders to make her turn his way and kissed her full on her lips. We all gasped in shock, but Tono-senpai was fast enough to have grabbed a camera and recorded it. Even Tsubasa-senpai got a hold of his cellphone and shot a picture or two. "How the hell could I say something serious as this when you can't even hear the little things I was telling you?" He whined like a child as he flushed red even more.

Hotaru blinked, totally caught off-guard. She looked at Ruka with her usual stoic face and asked, "You do know that you'd have to take responsibility for that, right?"

Ruka was stunned, at least he looked so stunned to me. Then, he smiled and kissed her again.

"And also for that." Hotaru added once they broke the kiss.

The guy smiled and answered the girl, "Sure."

I felt a hard press on my hair and it made me come back to the present, here at the day of my wedding. Hotaru was still trying to fix the pin on my hair and Ruka was still whining. I smiled again. "Hotaru, why are you so moody these past few days?" I asked her so curiously.

My question made all of the people with me stop to listen well. My best friend looked sharply at Ruka. "Ask him."

"Well?" Sumire crossed her arms on her chest, impatient.

"Why is she like that, Ruka?" Nonoko asked curiously.

"Uh... Well... How do I say it...?" Ruka was at loss of words. Well, that was unusual.

I heard the doors opened, and Youichi came in on his white tuxedo. I took a deep breath. Wow. Our ring bearer was just so handsome, I thought. He walked inside and with a plastered grin on his face, he answered the question that we were asking. "Hotaru-nee is preggy."

Silence.

Sumie choked on her own breath. "What the hell?!" She screamed so loud, it was almost deafening. But I could care less. What I was so focused on was on what Youichi just said.

I stood up in shock. "Hotaru!" I called her so desperately.

"Well, it happened." She answered calmly.

Aoi and Nonoko squeeled in excitement, Sumire was dumbstruck to even react more, and Aoi was giggling non-stop with Youichi.

I looked at Ruka who was blushing madly. I didn't know what I felt, I was just so shocked that I couldn't breathe properly. "Ruka..." I called him in almost a whisper. "You!" I pointed my finger at him. I wanted to say so many things, but heck, I didn't have the right. All I could do then was to just accept the fact and support the two. I cleared my chest with a deep breath and looked at him again. This time, I remembered what happened a few years back with him and Luna ---- there at the Lover's turf. I shook my head at the memory. "You." I called again. "I always knew you were a pervert."

Sumire looked at me and whispered. "And I thought Natsume was the perverted one."

Aoi and Nonoko laughed even harder with this, and me? Well... I was stunned at her that I wasn't able to make a comeback.

::::::::::

Mom held me tight. For the first time in my life, I felt the fear in her, fear of letting me go. But I also felt the proudness that she had for me. This was the moment that I really felt the presence of my 'mom'. She loosened her hug and looked at me. "I can't believe this." She almost whispered. Again, she was getting emotional. But I guess I could sort of understand. After all, she was permanently giving me away to be with Natsume.

I smiled at her. "Mom, you're doing it again."

She laughed hearily. "Well, I guess this really is it. Just remember, if ever you want to back down, you can still say 'no' at the altar."

My eyes widened. Was that supposed to be a joke? "Mom!"

She laughed again as she stood up. "Just kidding, honey. Well, I think I'll go out and check some things outside, okay? I have to make sure he won't ditch you."

I rolled my eyes. "Mom. You're making me even more nervous."

She bent down to me and kissed me on my forehead. "That was a joke." With that, she stepped out of the room.

Honestly, she could be a real pain sometimes. She even made me imagine some sort of things. I looked at my reflection. "He won't do that, right?" I asked as if my reflection would flick me in the forehead and reply back at me.

Ten minutes later, I was rattled when I thought I heard Natsume's voice just outside. I stood up and quietly walked towards the door, believing that he must have been calling me. My hand fell on the doorknob, and I already opened it a bit when I saw him with his dad.

"I never thought you would come." I heard Natsume said.

There was a short pause, and I heard his dad sighed like a tired old man. "Well," He answered. "I thought I should stop hanging out with the study room once in a while."

I almost forgot. They had a misunderstanding between them, a father and son's quarrel. Maybe, I thought, this would be the right time to start and patch things up in them. "Hn." Natsume quietly answered. "Well, that's a start."

I smiled to myself when he said that. Because that definitely meant 'Okay, let's try again.'

From now on, perhaps Natsume's life would turn for the better.

::::::::::

Back then when I was a kid, I wanted to have a magical wedding with all the fairies flying around me, dwarves and elves and all the magical creatures surrounding me as the witnesses, the magical king as the high priest, and a prince riding a white horse waiting for me. It was magical alright. Typical for a young girl.

Now that my wedding was really happening, I smiled. I had a simple garden wedding. And though I didn't have fairies flying around me, nor a single magical creature and a king as the witnesses, at best I had families and friends. And though I didn't have a white horse, the prince was still there waiting for me. The prince with a mesmerizing crimson eyes.

The first time I met him, I thought that he was a contradiction. His eyes was warm, but his gaze was cold. His gaze made me feel like I was drowning in a sea of cold fire. But now, he was looking at me with such warm passion in his already warm eyes as I walked down the aisle. There was no contradiction. He was looking at me just as he was. No pretention. No mask. There at the front was Natsume Hyuuga with all he ever was.

I laughed. I thought there was no magic, but I was wrong. Definitely, there was something magical. The fact that we met at the school, the fact that we became classmates, the fact that we became seatmates and friends slash enemies, and the fact that we fell for each other. It was all because there was a magic invisible strings. Strings that were attached long before we were even born. It was magic alright. How my parents knew his. How his parents knew mine. And how our fate was tied together. Yes. Magic ...

I smiled at him, waiting for the love song that I picked for my entrance to end.

He smiled at me, waiting for the time for the both of us to actually say...

"I do."

-THE END-

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awww...

it ended. T^T don't you think this is a bit long for an epilogue? Haha!

Well, couldn't help it.

Thank you for you guys who stayed with me 'til the end.

You guys were really sweet. Thanks! Huhu..

anyway, please wait for the upcoming story that I would post soon!

And please continue to support me...!

--- cristofori's dream (keith) ---