Bells chimed their joyful tune as confetti flew into the air and a lush red carpet rolled out onto the floor. People seated on either side of the aisle rose up and clapped, women gasping into their hands and men nodding in appreciation as a tall figure entered the hall. Her hair the colour of blushing cheeks, eyes glowing and wide as her hand held tightly to the colourful bouquet in her palm. From beside her, a tall brown haired man wiped away happy tears as he struggled not to hug his daughter to death.

From the far end of the hall, where the carpet met its end, a well built, lean man smiled brilliantly, years of missing the lady in front of him melting away into sheer joy and thankfulness. In the six years he was gone, his beloved fiancée had transformed from the adorable sixth grader he knew to a beautiful lady who turned heads and captured hearts.

And she was all his.

Hinamori Amu was finally to become the newest . And he couldn't be happier.

Step by step, his blushing bride came closer and closer, the details of her dress becoming clearer and clearer. It really was a pretty dress, he had to admit. It was a simple gown, a modest square neckline embroidered in gold that showed just a hint of her newly grown cleavage and went down to accentuate her waist where a shiny gold sash was tied. From there, the dress spread out elegantly and ended in a small train, her little heels clicking on the ground.

But no matter how stunning Amu's dress might've been, it was her face that caught his attention. Her lips were wide in a smile, her cheeks high with laughter. Her lashes fluttered in anticipation and in her eyes, there was everything he ever wanted.

This was their promise.

This was their forever after.

This was their happiness.

Holding out his hand, Ikuto reached out to clasp Amu's own and pulled her up the little stage to face the man who would marry them.

"Was I an idiot for leaving?" he whispered, zoning out of the familiar matrimonial speech.

Amu glared at him, stepping on his foot to get him to pay attention before giving up and nudging his arm with her shoulder, an embarrassed expression donning her face.

"We were so young then, if you hadn't left, we might have never gotten to where we are now." She looked up, "And I quite like where we are now." She added with a grin, her smile widening as he smirked in return.

"I guess you're right." He acknowledged, nodding slightly before turning his attention back to the front.

Amu sniffed haughtily, "Of course, I'm always right."

She decided to ignore her fiancée's snort as the fateful question was asked.

"Tsukiyomi Ikuto, do you take Hinamori Amu as your lawfully beloved wife?"

Not missing a beat, Ikuto smiled softly. "I do."

He turned to her, "Hinamori Amu, do you take Tskukyomi Ikuto as your husband for all eternity?"

Somewhere inside of her, Amu could hear her charas cheering, all four of them urging her onward, pulling their lips into kissy faces, all laughing and smiling. She looked over at her foster parents, Yui's teary smile and the arm she wrapped around her emotionally over-stimulated husband. The already married Kukai and Utau grinned at her, their little daughter Asuka bubbling and humming like most one-year olds do as Utau shot her a thumbs up, nodding as Nagihiko, Rima, Kairi, Yaya and Tadase all looked up at her, happy for the future she had chosen and hopeful for her future.

She had made it hadn't she? She had survived everything life had thrown at her, from the deaths of her mother and sister to her father abusing her for something she had never done. She had braved the fear of the foster system and she had found two amazing people who loved her like she was their very own. She had created unbreakable bonds with her best friends, and even found a little family with the three people who loved her the most, one who she was here to marry today.

She deserved this didn't she? She deserved this happiness right?

When Ikuto left, she hadn't cried like she wanted to, she hadn't sobbed or broken or even lost a piece of herself. He had held strong onto the promise he had left her, the promise he left her in the form of the key to his heart. She had grown strong, she joined the volleyball team and became the captain for the soccer team. She took up painting and threw herself into her academics, hoping she could become someone Ikuto would be proud to come back to. She applied to every university with a good teaching program and was finally accepted into the best of the best, the University of Tokyo. And through all that, through every passing day and every minute that dragged on like time only wanted to taunt her, Ikuto never came back once.

He would write sometimes, call once in a blue moon too, but it wasn't the same. It was never the same as feeling his hot breath on her neck and the feel of his hand held tightly in hers. It wasn't the same as him sneaking into her bed or stealing a bite of her takiyaki or even taking a bite from her ear. To be honest, during their time apart, they weren't really together, not really. It was more like, you're the one for me and therefore, you're the only one I need. They didn't see other people and they never really wandered from each other's thoughts. Amu knew he would come back just as Ikuto knew he would always return. It was an unspoken promise, yet a promise nonetheless.

And it made her happy, happy to know that he HAD come back. That he had arrived at her doorstep in the middle of the night and without wasting a minute, without even wasting a second, he pulled her out the door, grabbed her hand and pushed a glittering ring on her finger, all silver and diamond as he hugged her soundly, pulling away only to stare into her eyes with an intensity and emotion Amu had never seen before, and said the one thing every girl wanted to hear. "Amu, marry me."

Her eyes had widened considerably and any sleepiness that might have lingered disappeared as though summoned to a far off land. Her legs shook and suddenly, all control over her words had vanished. There was something in her chest, something heavy and sad and unspoken that pulsed painfully every time she gazed into her past lover's burning eyes.

"I'm sick of waiting, I'm here now and I don't ever want to leave so please, give me a reason to stay. It's been six years, I don't even know what to say for that but let me hear your voice for the rest of my life, let's be together, let me be everything you wanted." He wanted her, he wanted her so badly that he knew if she left him, if turned him away after all their waiting, he might just break. But she didn't, and somewhere, he knew she wouldn't. Because she had shrieked and threw herself at him and just cried out his name, over and over until she knew he was real and he was back and he was here and he loved at her and oh god, he wanted to MARRY HER!

"Yes!" she shrieked, "who else would I possibly marry, Ikuto you're back!" she laughed and cried and Ikuto spun her around because finally, finally, he was home right where he belonged.

Back in the present, Amu looked down at her chest, the familiar weight of the Humpty Lock resting on her chest. It was beautiful as always and when she gazed at it, gazed at the lock that had seen her trials and her blood and her tears. Seen the battles she'd fought, the battles she'd fought with the man next to her and the time she had saved him, she knew. She had always known really, but it was nice to have a reminder every once in a while.

Looking up, her golden eyes blazed in determination and hope as her mouth curled up in a smile.

"I do."

From behind her, Yaya cheered as Utau hooted along with her.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."

She jumped into his arms, giving him the kiss they had both been missing for six long years as the crowd behind them whooped and cheered, crackers popping and catcalls whistling through the air. And as she turned around, her hand held tightly in her husband's own, Amu smiled.

Just like Dia had said all those years ago, with her husband to her left, her friends behind her and her family to her right and her own heart that shone brilliantly in the darkness, there was nothing she couldn't make through. In the adventure that was life, she didn't have anything left to fear. Because when you know you're not alone. When you know you'll always have a loving hand and word, when you know that no matter what, there will always be someone to catch you when you don't have the strength left to stand, you can't help but go on, always living, always trying because really, when you have people as great as she did, there was nothing she couldn't face. Because she'd always be alright.

Always.


Wow guys...it's finished. I'm kinda a little sad and I'll admit. I had this chapter finished for a while but I just couldn't find the heart to post it. I know I haven't been updating recently, but I have a really, really good idea for a multi-chaptered fic and I think you all will really like it.

Thank you to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who reviewed and favourited and followed. You all gave me the inspiration to keep writing and it really made me happy.

Thank you everyone for reading!

Until next time!