Epilogue

They were marrried in late June. the majestic mountains rose around the setting, high and purple and kissed with snow. And from them flowed the rush and roar of pristine waters, splashing down into the white foaming creek. Here, in the outdoors was the perfect place for a wedding, at least to Tezuka and Fuji.

A handful of people, friends, family and some of those they were able to help, or rather, searched from being lost in the mountains, had gathered to add their blessing to the union.

Heart full, Tezuka gaze around at the small gathering while waiting for the moment he could finally claim Fuji as his forever.

His mother, father and grandfather were all smiles. He smiled too, thinking how his family accepted him and Fuji with open arms.

All the former thoughts that he was not made for marriage had been nothing but pride. He hated to fail and he'd failed once.

Fuji squeezed his arm and pointed to an eagle lazily soaring overhead. He looked at the noble bird, but then turned his gaze back to Fuji. He could look at his beautiful "bride" forever. And he knew without a shadow of doubt, with Fuji by his side, he would not fail.

Sheriff Inoue and his wife came up, good people, Tezuka thought.

"Ready for the ball and chain, Tezuka?" the sheriff kidded.

"Can't wait," he answered truthfully.

"Nothing can complete someone than his other half. And I think you found the right one."

"Yes, sir, I did." His gaze automatically sought out Fuji. He was crouched down talking to the little boy, Ryoma, whom they'd recued a month ago.

"Ah, and before I forgot, I thought you'd wan't to know the D.A is pursuing charges against Akutsu."

"Good."

Akutsu Jin had been fired when his intentional sabotage of the Emergency Management Department was discovered. The disgraced former deputy immediately packed but was arrested before he could leave his house. But his actions had been more than vicious jealousy. Tezuka was glad to know the D.A agreed.

He still shuddered to think of how close he'd come to losing Fuji when the deputy sent him on that wild goose chase outside his assigned sector. If he'd had his way, he would have throttled the man himself. Now he could rest easy knowing the courts would take care of Akutsu Jin.

"I hope he's learn his lesson. Sorry to cost you a deputy."

"Better no deputy than a conniving one who doesn't care about the people he serves."

Tezuka had to concur. He was about to say much when his "bride" started toward him and he lost all thought.

"Ready?" Fuji asked, his words a bit breathy.

"Yes, Love. I was ready a long time ago." He kissed him on the nose. "You look gorgeous."

Fuji insisted on simplicity, but even in the simple blue-colored kimono with sakura petals embroidered, he still looked magnificent. His brown hair and stunnig oceanic blue eyes stood out.

"So do you." Tezuka was wearing a black suit that brings out the best of his looks and made him look...delicious, yummy, sexy, hot?(_AN: okay, I got a bit OOC there... I don't know which one you prefer, but for me, I prefer all of them or more, who agree?)

He smiled into those eyes and thought how deep and precious was the love and trust he saw there. And he planned to spend the rest of his life treasuring both.

Holding hands, they walked to the designated area where the attendants waited. The minister, a 50-year-old man, opened his Bible and began to read.

Fuji listened to the ancient words in awe and amazement. He'd never dream of finding someone like Tezuka Kunimitsu. A man he could trust with his life as well as his heart.

And yet, here he stood, more sure of himself than of anything in his entire life. Somehow, with Tezuka's insistent love, he'd erased his fears and opened his eyes to all the beautiful things he'd been missing. He'd even convinced him to give talks to schoolkids, instinctively knowing he'd love it. He'd been right.

His beloved had been right about so many things. And he would ever be thankful that he'd stubbornly pushed his way into his life, loving him until he'd come to his senses.

In his heart Fuji knew he had changed for the better. He would always be a strong, independent person, but with Tezuka by his side, he would be more than that. He would be free from the bonds of despair and free to be the loving and cheerful person he once was.

His lips quavered as he spoke the beautiful promises, but he quavered, not with anxiety, but with emotion too strong to repress..

Tezuka's hand shook in his as he promised to love and care for him for all the times. Fuji's throat filled with love. His big, though, confident military man trembled with love for him.

As the last vow quivered on the wind, the minister asked, "Are there rings?"

Fuji and Tezuka smiled into each other's eyes and then turned around to their two attendants. Hunter and Chase, handsomely dressed in black-and-white vests, sat patiently at their heels. Each carried a gold band on a ribbon around his neck.

The onlookers chuckled as Fuji and Tezuka removed the rings, quieting when the minister received them for a blessing. Holding the golden circles high, he spoke of their symbolic nature. He talked of the gold as a cherished treasure whose value never faded, just as the love of the couple that's being joined as one was an unfading treasure to cherish. And then he spoke of the circular shape which had no beginning and no end, signifying eternal love.

And as Fuji slipped the gold band onto Tezuka's strong, wide hand and then stepped into his groom's embrace, the circle of love he'd longed for all these lonely years was finally and forever complete.

~END~

I WANT TO CRY!

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see you again soon!