Disclaimer: The manga artist would never be this mushy.
A.N. What? Actual, real, fluffy romance out of me? Traditional lovey-dovey, ooey-gooey romance? No way. O.o I hope you're more satisfied with this longer fic.
A man with a handicap made evident by the sunglasses he wore indoors and the cane he ran along the ground entered the lobby of a quality hotel. With none of the hesitation to be expected of the blind he crossed the polished white floor directly to the waiting area.
In the midst of plush red couches and tasteful end tables covered in magazines stood an old woman. Her face was full of wrinkles, her hair was grey and her glasses outdated, but she stood straight. Halting directly in front of her the man spoke:
"I promised you that I'd devote all of my strength to Haruka, and I have. Would you like to come to our wedding?"
On a brilliant red carpet stood a figure out of fairytale, a princess or an angel, clothed all in white. The room behind her was decorated opulently, traditional, beautiful, a combination of dark glossy wood and gold. All of the surrounding splendor paled when compared to the beauty of the bride.
Everything was perfect, on the outside.
It was an event Haruka had been waiting for, more than that, expecting, all of her life. Even so, now that it had come to this she was so nervous. A bit over a month before the wedding, Mamoru had disappeared for two weeks. Being pre-cognitive did not make her omniscient. She had no idea where Mamoru had been or what he had been doing.
Now, standing in the gorgeous annex of the church of her dreams, waiting for the wedding march to start, anxiety was bubbling up. Mamoru had proposed to her, sure, but it had been in his usual style, not what you could call romantic. She'd set the date, planned a modest wedding, booked the pastor and church all on her own. The only sign Mamoru had shown of being interested in the proceedings at all was the wedding dress, bouquet, and veil he'd presented her with upon his return from his mysterious trip.
It would be a modest ceremony with no guests, from her visions she expected that. Was this intimacy and brevity, the lack of sentimentality just Mamoru's style or was it because he didn't feel the wedding was important?
What if his absence had been a sign of cold feet? Haruka always known they'd get married, always assumed they'd fall in love, but was she relying on her visions too much? What if Mamoru had meant the things he'd said about marriage being the next logical step, a practical solution? She couldn't help but wonder, deep down, did he really want to marry her at all?
Looking back now, she realized that he'd never actually said that he loved her. Given his personality she hadn't expected a romantic verbal confession and hadn't let it bother her. But now that lack was creating a vortex of uncertainty and doubt in her mind and heart.
The first notes of the wedding march drifted through the door. That was her cue. The recording she selected sounded even better than she'd hoped, almost like a live musician.
The chapel she entered was the same gorgeous place she'd seen in all of her visions, identical in all details except one; every pew was filled. All around her were faces she could barely recognize, they'd changed so much, next to faces she knew better than the back of her hand.
As part of her mind kept her mechanically marching to the music, Haruka looked around in amazement. There were Sierra, Igawa, and Juliet. Anna Riddle, Tate Karito. The classmates she'd saved when she was thirteen. Everyone was there, every friend she'd loved and lost due to her abilities and lifestyle.
In the front row, on the bride's side sat the biggest shock. It was her grandmother. Now she understood. The wedding gown she was wearing, the one Mamoru had brought her, was the one her grandmother had been making since she was a child.
Holding her tears in Haruka turned to focus on Mamoru. If she cried, she reminded herself, her makeup would run, ruining this perfect scene.
Even with all the surprised joy and emotion she'd been feeling, the most memorable part of her wedding service was when Mamoru healed the fear in her heart and swept away her doubt with his vows.
Turning to her, Mamoru pledged, "It was my job to keep you safe, now it's also my job to keep you happy. To protect not just your life, but your heart. I'm not just marrying you to keep you to myself. I will take care of you from now on, because I love you."
Gazing into his eyes, Haruka returned, "I've always known that I would grow to love you, but now I feel that love. Nothing, no future could make me happier than to be united with the man who always was and always will be the most important person in my life. My whole life has been leading up to this moment, and it makes all the waiting and trials I've faced worthwhile. Until Death Do Us Part."
Glass of golden champagne bubbling in hand, Mamoru let the sounds of the reception wash over him. Leaning casually against the refreshment table, he surveyed the fruit of his efforts. The reception he'd planned, the people he invited, and the radiant smile on Haruka's face. Nothing was as satisfying as this, the sound of his wife laughing, happy from the bottom of her heart.
Today was a glorious day, not only his wedding day, and the success of his plans for Haruka's wedding gift, but the culmination of years of work beyond that; conspiring with Wise Man and collaborating with criminals as well as The Network, keeping Haruka's powers low profile, guarding information about her and fighting the leaders of the Galboa Republic. Today it all succeeded, his ambitions came to pass.
Haruka had lost so much. She'd lost her life, her family, all chance of living normally. Still she hadn't been resentful, had never blamed him for not doing a better job of keeping her from criminals' attention, hadn't complained. She chose the best of bad options, and chose to be grateful for what happiness she could find in a future with him.
While Mamoru had come to love Haruka, and desire to share a future with her, he was not satisfied. The blind swordsman didn't want her life with him to be a consolation prize, a comfort in the face of all she'd lost and would never have again. Finally he'd worked enough to succeeded in making her safe. Safe enough that she could have everything she might have had her life not taken such a bad turn.
Now she didn't have to choose between a normal life and a life with him. He'd given her the best of both worlds; the ability to see her family without endangering them, and the chance to lead a life as safe as she wanted, filled with normal happiness.
"For you, Haruka, a wedding gift."
A.N.: How was the transition between scenes and the narrative versus dialog? How did I do for consistent Point of View? Should I have left the ending off? How was the presentation? Was Mamoru too out of character, especially in that last line? Was this better or worse than my other stories?
With this I've set a new record for most UDDUP fics posted in a row, with nothing done by other authors, surpassing CurrentlyIncognito. Who will end my streak?
I challenge you!