Despite all the years spent together as friends Souji still felt mildly awkward about walking in on Yosuke without knocking, partially due to the occasions when Souji had witnessed embarrassing moments that he'd like to have forgotten.
Still, no matter how many years passed, the tradition lived on. Souji would lift a hand, rap on the door twice and wait for Yosuke's "come in!" before opening the door, just as he had today. Today was different from any other day, however. Today, Souji opened the door to find Yosuke in a white suit, fiddling with his bow-tie as his brows furrowed in concentration.
Yosuke turned around, expression immediately brightening as he looked at his best man. "Souji! Just in time; can you help me with this?" He tugged on his poorly done bow-tie for emphasis.
"Sure thing," Souji replied, crossing the room to Yosuke and retying the bow. "You excited?"
"Are you kidding? Of course I am!" Yosuke beamed, cheeks reddened with excitement. "I gotta admit, though; I'm getting pretty nervous without my music to listen to. Chie said I shouldn't bring the headphones because 'it'll mess up my hair and then Yukiko will never marry me,'" Souji couldn't resist chuckling at that, Yosuke joining in too. "But yeah, speaking of Yukiko, have you seen her yet? How does she look?"
"Haven't seen her yet; Chie won't let anyone but Rise and Yukiko's parents see her," Souji said distractedly, devoting most of his attention to the task at hand. Tying a bow-tie for himself was one thing, but doing it for another person was a lot more difficult.
"Man, not even you? Damn, I guess she's pretty into this. If she won't even let her boyfriend in, there's no way I'll be able to sneak a peek before the ceremony!" Yosuke laughed loudly at his own comment, almost ruining the finishing touches Souji was putting on his bow-tie.
Finally satisfied with his handiwork, Souji pulled back, small smile gracing his lips. "Chie loves weddings and things like this. I'm going to propose to her soon, though. If I wait too long she'll probably ask me instead." Souji chuckled softly, basking in the peaceful atmosphere before speaking again. "So what are you guys doing about your honeymoon?"
Yosuke's smile, which had never left since his friend came in, relaxed a bit, eyes looking into the distance at a place Souji couldn't quite see. "Well, we were talking about it a while ago, but we both decided that we just want to be home, in Inaba at the inn. When we figure out a place we want to go we'll go, but I don't even care. As long as we're here, together, I feel like I don't need anything. We have forever."
"Just don't go and forget your friends, okay? We need your idiocy to liven things up every once in a while." It was then that Yosuke actually noticed Souji, actually took in his features. His smile was so bright, but his eyes appeared...sad. Did Yosuke miss something?
And then it clicked.
"Dude, Souji, don't...I won't put you aside just because I'm married! You're my partner, do you know what that means? It means we're friends for life! I don't think I would even be with Yukiko if it wasn't for you. And it's not just that; none of us would be friends, hell, we probably wouldn't even know each other if it wasn't for you.
"Everything we've been through; facing my shadow, meeting everyone, solving the murders, and even just normal stuff! I'm a way better person because I met you, and you're my best friend. Remember that bandage I gave you six years ago? That was a promise. A promise that you and I would be friends forever, no matter what happens. I wouldn't trade your friendship for the world, Souji. Just know that. Not for the world."
Souji wasn't sure when he had started crying, nor did he know when Yosuke had either. But here they were, two best friends standing and crying together, one about to step into a new life as a married man and the other not quite there yet, but both standing together, just as they always would be.
And in the blink of an eye Souji found himself watching Yosuke, his best friend and partner, exchanging vows with the soon-to-be Yukiko Hanamura, and he felt peace. Just as clearly as Yosuke and Yukiko were before him Souji could see Chie and himself standing in their place; Chie's cheeks rosy and her eyes watering. When that time came Yosuke would be standing where he himself was now, watching Souji as he finally took his step forward into marriage with Chie, the love of his life.
No matter how much time passed, no matter what came at them, they would still stand together as two friends, connected forever by the unbreakable bond of friendship.