Anaru gets married when she's twenty-five and not ready.

"It'll be fine," she tells the mirror. She lays her hands palm-flat against it, tips forwards to her forehead presses there too. It's damp under her arms, and beneath the bodice of her dress it's even worse. The fabric didn't breath.

"Oh, god," she moans, with her eyes closed, and tries to will herself out of fear, out of indecision.

She looks up, into her own face, slightly flushed and prettier than she'd ever been, almost perfect.

And then she seizes the skirt of her dress, and marches smartly out of the room, blowing past the groom's men as she barged across the hall, her heart fluttering angrily in her throat.

His back faces her, and he looks out past the forest on the other side of the window.

"Atsumu," she calls, helplessly, and he turns around with his eyes closed.

"It's bad luck for me to see the bride," he notes, wryly. Anaru makes an impatient noise, and moves closer to him.


He laughs, and looks at her, touches the junction of shoulder and neck so very, very lightly. "You look beautiful."

"This feels wrong," she confesses, staring desperately up into his face, begging for him to understand, "Don't you think? Isn't it weird?"

"No," Yukiatsu frowned, and seemed to almost role his eyes, "You're beautiful and you make me happy. Why shouldn't I marry you?"

Anaru tensed, sensing his impatience, sensing something mean, and vindictive. She wondered if she could be accused of the same thing-if she was waiting for Jintan to come running in as graceless as he always was, waving his arms around and yelling, "Stop, stop the wedding!" Saving her and whisking her away.

"Because you don't love me," she says, at last. He looks over his shoulder at her, and smiles.

"So what? You don't love me either."