In the Ishida family the first-born blonde is always sent off as a bride to the Yamagi. This has been all good and well, except now – the first born blonde is Yamato. When tradition is carried out and he's married off to a Taichi Yamagi – what is going to happen? (Yamachi still – Tai will never be anything but an uke for me). This was inspired by the manga 'Yome ni konai ka'

A new kind of "Wife"

"No way! I refuse to do this! You can't make me!"

I glared at my parents. How dare they look so composed when they ask me to do the unthinkable? They both were seated on the tatami mat across from me, hands folded calmly in their laps. Kari sat next to me and kept her hand firmly on my arm, forcing me to stay in my place. Otherwise, I'd have stalked out of this room the minute I heard their idiotically unreasonable plans.

"Please," Mom was the first to try to appease me. "Try to understand – this has been our tradition for generations."

"The first son born to the Yamagi family always takes the first-born blonde daughter in the Ishida family as his bride." Dad trotted out the old tradition, as if I hadn't heard it since I was born. "Your uncle, my eldest brother, had an arranged marriage with Minako Ishida and you've seen how happy they are."

I've always known that this was expected of me. Hell, I'd even looked forward to my beautiful future wife. Blondes were rare in our society; in fact other than members of the Ishida family, I didn't know anyone who was a blond. But Dad forgot to mention one important detail.

"That's all good and well – but I've seen Yamato Ishida and that behemoth is not a daughter!" I tried to picture the 6'1 giant as a blushing bride – the result would have comical if I wasn't so close to the situation.

Mom shook her sadly. Hikari was shaking violently from trying to keep in her laughter. The little rat. I shot her a death glare, letting her know she was in for some serious hurting later on.

"Son, I know this is hard – none of us expected this outcome. Really we tried to delay things as long as we could… Any time any Ishida had a child, we kept hoping it would be a girl. But you're getting up in the years now & none of the Ishida women have had any child since Takeru and he is 15 now. I think it's time we threw in the towel and accepted that your bride is going to be male."

I grumbled under my breath but they're not twisting the facts. The part about waiting is true. It's unheard of for a 29 year old man like me to still be unmarried in this society – my parents were so certain that there would eventually be atleast one daughter born into the Ishidas that they had waited well past the time propriety allowed to try to arrange my marriage. They hadn't even bothered preparing me for this scenario at all. But now it looked like the only option left if I was not going to destroy a 500 year old tradition.

"Try to understand, son. If we fail to live up to this agreement, three-quarters of the Yagami holdings are automatically forfeited to the Ishidas."

That part was true too. The tradition had been created in first place by my great-great-great-great-great-great ancestors with the Ishidas because for the longest time prior to that, the Ishida and Yagami clans had been in war. To avoid any of that in the future, an iron-clad contract was created.

"Look at this way Tai," Kari smirked at me. "Maybe Yamato will want to switch roles and let you play wife once in a while."

I saw red. Tradition be damned. I was not doing this!

The priest in front of me glared sternly.

Oops. My face must have glazed over as I remembered that Wednesday evening when my parents had enlightened me about their vision for my future. It was one in a long list of days I'd come to despise lately – the visit to the Ishidas to hammer out details in the arrangement, my engagement ceremony… my private meeting with Yamato. I shuddered and forced my thoughts away from thinking about that particular Saturday too closely. If the events of that afternoon were to be extrapolated, I could guess Yamato Ishida was definitely not coming to me as an inexperienced virgin bride.

But today was easily the most miserable I've ever been. My wedding day.

My 'bride' *oh god – I think I'm going to throw up* sat by my side in a silk white kimono printed with delicate pink and blue cherry blossoms. I had almost laughed out loud when I first saw him in it. It would've looked beautiful on a slim young woman, blushing prettily as she shyly hid her face from her groom. And even though I hated to admit it, I could see it matched Yamato's coloring well enough. The whiteness of the material picked up the paleness of his skin without washing him out, the blue flowers approximated the blue in his eyes. But the overall effect was ridiculous. The guy was over six feet tall, wide-shouldered, broad-chested and there was not even a hint of a blush on his face. Instead he wore an easy smirk which would only grow wider as our eyes met accidentally, drawing a heated flush onto my cheeks.

This was not a bride. Couldn't anyone else see the madness of the situation?

I peeked a glance over at where my sister and cousins were sitting. Daisuke and Hikari were clutching each other for support as they tried to keep from falling over with laughter. Koushiro was hissing at them, probably telling them to calm down but they weren't taking him too seriously on account of the wide grin he was sporting. Even Yolei, who had only turned eleven 2 weeks ago hid her mouth behind her hand but I could see her eyes crinkled up with mirth.

They're all bastards, I decided, viciously destroying the reputation of my mother and aunts in my mind. I looked guiltily over at the older women in my family wondering if they had read my thoughts… there had been rumors and whispers about abilities.

Jun was the only one not laughing at my predicament; she was too busy glaring daggers at me. I'd heard she always had a crush on Yamato, had tried to make plans to run away with him. Why didn't you go through with it, back then? You'd have saved us both a lot of trouble. I knew it couldn't have been that hard. After all, Yamato did have a reputation as rampant ladies-man before we were married. And I'd had the misfortune of experiencing one of his attempts at seduction at our private meeting.

Don't lie. You know you enjoyed it. A whisper betrayed my mind. An unbidden memory came up.

We were alone in the large Ishida household garden.

I was in Yamato's arms, my hands pressed up firmly against his chest. Yamato had tipped up my chin with one hand; his other arm was wound possessively around my waist and the attached hand gripped my hip, brushing dangerously close to my ass. His intense blue eyes explored my face so thoroughly that I could feel the heat in my face. I was sure there must be a blush on my cheeks despite the dark brown tone of my skin. His mouth trailed over to my ears before I heard the whisper.

"I'm yours."

Then with a possessive smirk his mouth descended on mine.

Turning green, I inadvertently glanced over at Yamato. He was wearing that same smirk and I quickly turned away as I felt my cheeks heat up again. Don't want to turn into a tomato in the middle of the ceremony and give my jackass cousins even more to laugh about.

Instead, I looked over at the strict faces of the Ishida family, hoping to calm myself down. Contrary to what I had expected before meeting them, they were not a family of all blondes. In fact, the majority of them were dark-haired, although they were universally much paler than we were. Apart from Yamato, his mother, Yuuko, and his brother, TK, stood out as the only proper blondes. They were among the few members of the family whose names I could remember, although I recognized a couple more from the engagement ceremony. The nervous looking dark-haired man sitting in between the adults and the 'kids' was Jyou. He was the first-born Ishida male and would therefore be taking over as head of the Ishida empire when the time came. I didn't know anyone else but I could see that the Ishidas had not lied when they said there were no daughters born to them in this generation.

Still, out of all the choices, I wondered why I was getting saddled with the lecherous idiot sitting next to me right now. I looked at TK. If I had to marry a blond from the Ishida clan and if it had to be a man, why couldn't it have been him? Looking into his kind, calm blue eyes, so different from Yamato's smoldering, vivid ones, I could tell he was a decent kid. He looked like someone who would accept a bad situation for the good of his family, the same way I had.

But he was ofcourse out of the question, being only 15. Yamato however, just happened to be the ideal age for marriage at 21 years old. Moreover, he was conveniently the first blond born into the family, nevermind that he was the first-born male blond. All this led to my current predicament of being married to the least suitable man in the world.

I had been distracted through the priest's incantation but Yamato's sharp jab at my waist pulled back my attention to the task at hand. The priest poured sake into 2 small cups and I mirrored Yamato's actions and drank from it three times being careful to put it down at the same time as him as tradition demanded.

Then I turned to face him as the priest instructed. I could feel his eyes on me as I lifted the elaborate white-gold, jewel-encrusted necklace that he would wear to symbolize his status as my wife. But try as I might, I could meet his eyes. Quit blushing you idiot! Who's the bride here? Anyway, you've got to learn to look at him without your head exploding with blood! I thought furiously to myself as I felt my cheeks heat up again. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen today.

"You are now man and 'wife'." The priest declared, smirking a little on the 'wife'. I groaned inwardly while struggling to keep my face calm. Even this paragon of holiness understood the farce that was my life.

Yamato and I both stood up. "Tai's shorter than his wife!" I heard Takako, one of my littlest cousins laughed. A couple of other little kids from both sides of the family giggled.

Hey! I'm 5'9.5 – a perfectly respectable height for a man! In fact, it was even on the taller side for our society. It was not my fault the retard I was saddled with was an amazon! And it certainly didn't help that he was wearing a white headpiece that added 6 more inches of height to already gigantic proportions. The white piece was supposed to signify his virginal status to the gods, but ofcourse that was a big joke too. Just like the rest of this entire ceremony, this entire charade that was to be my life.

I groaned again and then walked out of the Shinto temple, leading my 'wife' into our new future.