Author's Note: So this is the ending for our favorite couple. I guess after all the angst they contained, they decided to be happy with each other for real. This is Chapter 10 and the final chapter. Please read and review! Thanks! :D
Chapter 10: The End Where I Begin
Two weeks passed since Naoki had recovered from his early stage of meningitis. According to the doctor, typical kids around his age would probably die because of low resistance to the disease. But there was a miracle and Naoki became a bouncing little boy once again.
Jeri was happy since she was again in a relationship with the man she completely loved and the father of her child. She told her family that she told Takato the news and they were happy for her. The other tamers were already aware of Takato's son and they introduced them to their children as well.
"If that man comes to harm you again, he better say goodbye to this world!" Mr. Katou threatened with a grin.
"Oh no. He won't, Daddy!" Jeri winked. "He knows he already has a liability from me!"
The mention of "Daddy" brought a bell to little Naoki's mind.
"Mommy, when will Daddy go here?" Naoki asked.
"Hmm… I don't know! He still has work, Baby!" Jeri said and patted her son's head. "He said that he would spend a week in Osaka because of business."
"Oh! Okay!" Naoki smiled.
"So, Sis! When's the wedding?" Masahiko jested. He made Takato promise that he should not hurt Jeri once again.
Jeri chuckled. She did not even bother planning a wedding. Right now, what mattered most was Naoki alone. Besides, the brunet father was also taking time in spending his son. After all, four years was long enough for him and Naoki to be separated.
"I don't know, Masahiko!" Jeri shrugged.
"Hey, Naoki! Want to have a little sibling?" Masahiko grinned at his nephew and winked at Jeri.
"Oh, stop it! You're scaring the kid!" Jeri prodded her stepbrother. "Don't listen to him, Naoki! He's just being stupid!"
Naoki chuckled and hugged his mother.
"Sorry! I just wanna know what Naoki's reaction will be if he will become a brother too!" Masahiko winked.
Jeri snorted. Her stepbrother never changed.
"Oh, brother!" Jeri smacked her head.
Two nights later, Jeri was alone at home while Rika was with her. Rika was supposed to teach Jeri in baking a cake. That was one thing she learned during the time Jeri was in America.
"You really have a thing for chocolates, right?" Rika asked.
"Of course! Naoki took that from me!" Jeri giggled. "I even brought Naoki home with these!"
"Hmm. So, how are you and Goggles?" Rika asked with a grin.
"Nah! We're doing well! We're just really taking it slow!" Jeri smiled.
Rika tried so hard to stifle her laughter. She could not take it and that became a sound of laughter.
"You and Takato? Taking it slow?!" Rika asked with a laugh. "That's hard to believe!"
"Yeah, Rika!" Jeri insisted.
"Oh well! Have it your way!" Rika smirked and continued kneading the dough.
Jeri only laughed good-naturedly to her friend's antics.
"Rika, what do you and Henry do as a married couple?" Jeri asked. "Were you still doing that… you know… thing?"
Rika laughed at Jeri's choice of words. Jeri might be a hopeless romantic but she still could not bring the courage to say those kinds of things.
"Of course! We're doing that! As long as Miyako won't hear a thing we're… crying!" Rika cackled a laugh. She was totally amused with what she and Jeri were talking about.
"Crying?!" Jeri's eyes widened as plates.
"Crying in euphoria." Rika chuckled.
Jeri only laughed. She was too curious of her friend's happy life as a married woman and as a mother.
"So, how's being the wife of the CEO?" Jeri asked.
"It's kinda… good," Rika replied. "I visit Henry's company every now and then but I don't want to remember the time I substituted Henry! His stupid associates from different companies tried hitting on me at that time! But I have a guess that it's probably because I don't go out of the house and show up as THE WIFE OF THE PRESIDENT."
"What did Henry say after you told him that?" Jeri asked.
"He only laughed!" Rika snorted. "I blame Terriermon sometimes for inflicting Henry with too much happiness! But when it comes to the serious stuff, Henry will devote everything to it."
Jeri laughed. "Did you ever argue about who would take care of Miyako way back?"
Rika smiled. "Hmm. As far as I could remember, Henry never left my side when Miyako was born. It was like he brought his work at home for the first two weeks. His friend understood what we were doing so he volunteered to take charge of the company until Henry got back. But when Miyako was six months old, he said that did not want to return to work and he offered to take care of our baby."
"Aww! How sweet of your husband, Rika!" Jeri exclaimed. "I wonder what would be the image of Takato taking care of a kid!"
"Well, I'm happy that he's caring enough but seriously, he tends to spoil Miyako sometimes!" Rika replied with a laugh. "But above all things, Henry is really a great man, husband and a father."
"I'm envious…" Jeri said as she placed the mixture in the oven.
"Unless Takato proposes to you for real this time!" Rika winked.
Jeri only blushed. A lot of people were already questioning her and Takato's relationship if they would take it to the next level.
"Oh, I don't know, Rika… Maybe… Just maybe…" Jeri answered in a shrug.
Then, they heard something was sounding outside. Rika twitched her eyebrows because she was certain that she was hearing something.
"What could that be, Rika?" Jeri asked.
"I don't know but I'm sure I'm hearing things!" Rika replied. "Probably, someone's singing and I hear some strumming on the other part."
Then the two made their way towards the door. Jeri opened the door while Rika went with her. They realized that nothing was in front but they still heard the singing noises.
"What's that, Rika?" Jeri asked. "Do you hear it?"
"Technically, yes. But I can't decipher what's sounding or whatever!" Rika answered while she placed her right hand near her ears.
Jeri nodded as she and Rika continued walking until they reached the gate. When Jeri opened the gate very wide, she was surprised to see a brunet singing in front of her. When she rubbed her eyes, it was Takato who was actually singing and that caused Jeri to turn crimson. He was accompanied by his four friends, the former male tamers, but they were not singing. Jeri tugged Rika as they saw the one who was responsible for the strumming. When they looked closer, it was actually Henry who was strumming. When Henry saw Rika, he immediately winked at her which caused Rika to turn slightly red. Jeri was already crimson and that made the blush even harder when she realized the lyrics.
"I don't mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved
And she will be loved"
That was what Takato sang. She heard it with her ears that Takato sang with Henry as the instrumentalist while the three other tamers were his backup. She could not believe it. But, she was wondering why he was singing in front of her and in front of their friends.
Wow! Takato sang for me again! Jeri thought. But what's the occasion?
Henry stopped strumming and brought the guitar with him. He went beside Rika and grasped for her arm. He smiled at her.
"You're awesome," Rika whispered in Henry's ear.
"I know!" Henry exclaimed. "But let's wait for the show!"
"Huh? What show?" Rika asked.
"Watch and learn, Sweetheart." Henry grinned as he and Rika turned their gaze to the brown-haired couple.
Rika eventually silenced and watched as Henry would say.
Eventually, Takato cleared his throat and fidgeted for something in his pocket. When he grasped it, he took the small ring box and knelt in front of Jeri. He opened the box that contained the diamond ring. That was the same ring he used when he proposed to Jeri years ago but he got rejected by her. Right now, he wanted that rejection to be acceptance.
"Jeri Katou, will you marry me for real this time?" he asked while showing the ring once again.
Jeri's heart was pumping wildly. Her eyes were wide as plates as she felt emotions of love, acceptance and trust collide in her body. Her face was slowly forming a smile.
"Yes," Jeri said inaudibly.
Takato seemed not to hear her answer. "What?"
"Yes!" Jeri answered, louder this time.
Takato purposely played deaf in front of her. "What's that, Jeri?"
"YES, TAKATO MATSUKI! I WILL MARRY YOU!" the brunette cried as she instantly threw her arms around him.
Takato was already being hugged by his girlfriend so he immediately returned the hug back.
Henry, Rika and Ryo were watching from one side and all had grins on their faces.
"It's about time!" Rika commented.
Then the other adults watched as Takato broke away from Jeri and took her hand so he could place the engagement ring. When the ring was already in Jeri's left ring finger, the newly engaged couple hugged each other once again.
Suddenly at one side, Kazu had enough of Takato hugging Jeri.
"Are you going to stand up and hug all night?" Kazu wailed. "Sheesh!"
"Way to ruin the moment, Kazu!" Kenta said while scolding.
The couple did not seem to mind the two men. What mattered to them was that they were going to have each other forever and ever with their young son.
A month later, it was already the wedding of the brown-haired couple. Inside the church, the church was heavily decorated. The white balloons stood at the entrance of the church while forming an arch. There was a white decorative cloth hanging at the ceiling and there were white flowers placed near the pews. Alice ushered the guests since Jeri told her that Rika was already here. She helped the guests in the pews and returned to the front part of the church.
Takato was already in the church while wearing his black tuxedo. He was standing at the altar and the man on his left, Henry Wong, was his best man. From afar, Takato could see his bride walking towards him, clad in a long white sleeveless gown while her brown hair was down and reduced to curls. He was happy now that both of them were getting married for real and they would be saying "I do" in front of their young son.
After all the things that happened, she really became more beautiful than ever, Takato thought with a smile.
"There's your wife, dude!" Ryo, who was in Takato's right side, nudged him. "I mean your bride!"
"I know!" Takato grinned.
"You indeed got yourself the woman, Takato!" Henry grinned while standing in Takato's left side.
While she was walking, Jeri could see that Takato looked more handsome today with his black tuxedo and his brown hair was laid to the side. Eventually, she arrived at the altar with a smile upon seeing Takato.
"You look wonderful today, Jeri," he whispered into her ear as he offered his left arm to her.
"Thank you!" she whispered back and put her right arm in Takato's.
The two walked to where the priest was with Takato standing on the right while Jeri on the left.
"Dearly beloved, we gather here today to bind these two individuals in marriage: Takato Matsuki and Jeri Katou."
The entire congregation witnessed the wedding ceremony as the priest continued his litany. At this point, Takato and Jeri were facing each other and joined hands.
"Do you, Takato Matsuki, take Jeri Katou to be your lawfully wedded wife?" the priest asked Takato.
"Yes, I do," Takato answered and smiled at Jeri.
"Do you, Jeri Katou, take Takato Matsuki to be your lawfully wedded husband?" the priest asked Jeri.
"Yes, I do," Jeri answered and smiled at Takato.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife!" the priest declared. "You may now kiss the bride."
Takato moved towards Jeri and gently pressed his lips onto hers, urging Jeri to kiss him back. Jeri's lips brushed against his and kissed him as well. They had the urge to part because the audience was already giving them a big round of applause but Takato continued kissing Jeri while she did not mind. When they broke apart, Takato immediately hugged Jeri while she returned the hug.
"I love you," Jeri whispered.
"I love you more, Jeri," Takato added.
When they had let go from each other's grasp, Takato and Jeri turned to face the audience who was happy for the two of them already and they smiled at them.
Takehiro and Mie Matsuki stood just a pew away from the married couple. Mr. Matsuki placed his arm around Mrs. Matsuki.
"Our son's all grown up and married for real!" Mrs. Matsuki said to Mr. Matsuki.
"I know, Mie! Love conquers all obstacles!" Mr. Matsuki replied.
Jeri's parents stood at the opposite side where the older Matsuki couple stood.
"What do you know, Tadashi? Jeri finally found her love for all of her life!" Mrs. Katou said while wiping tears of joy from her eyes.
"I know, Shizue," Mr. Katou assured as he laid his arm on Mrs. Katou's shoulder. "Naoki, you're happy, right?"
"Of course, Grandpa! I'm happy because Mommy and Daddy are going to live together now!" Naoki squealed.
At the third row, Takato and Jeri's tamer friends were happy for the newly married couple. Their college friends also sat with them.
"Way to go, Takato!" Kazu, Kenta, Henry and Ryo exclaimed while Takuya, Koji, JP, Koichi and Tommy applauded for them. All of them wore black suits of the same style.
"Yeah, Jeri!" Alice, Zoe and Rika called out. Alice wore a green long-sleeved dress. Zoe wore a purple short-sleeved dress while Rika wore a red dress with short sleeves.
Right after where the tamers were sitting stood Ichiro and Hana. Both of them felt envious as the love of their lives had found love in each other.
Where can I find a girl like Jeri? Ichiro wondered.
Then the two of them turned and saw each other.
"Hi?" Ichiro asked the black-haired woman who was wearing a brown dress.
"Hello," Hana replied to the black-haired young man who was wearing a black and formal suit.
"I'm Ichiro Mikado, by the way," Ichiro said as he offered his right hand.
Hana seemed reluctant but eventually accepted his hand. She decided to try again this time.
"I'm Hana. Hana Okana," Hana replied as she shook Ichiro's hand.
Then the newly married couple arm-in-arm walked from the altar and they were making their way towards the door. All of the guests were cheering for them.
"I can't believe so many people attended our wedding!" Jeri said to Takato while walking arm-in-arm.
All of their friends started throwing their confetti to the brown-haired couple. Naoki was smiling for his parents already. The couple had gotten outside the church and found their white bridal car. Takato opened the door for Jeri and he had let her inside.
"Thanks, Mr. Matsuki!" Jeri smirked.
"You're always welcome, Mrs. Matsuki!" Takato grinned and he sat beside her.
When the couple had finally settled inside the car, they gave the driver the signal to leave the church.
"To the Royal Hotel in Shinjuku!" Takato said to the driver. "Thanks!"
"I love you, Takato!" Jeri said.
"I love you more, Jeri!" Takato said and kissed her in her right temple. "Can't you believe we managed to have a child before getting married?"
"Yeah!" Jeri chuckled as she sat straight up in the car.
Later that day when the car arrived at the hotel, the couple alighted from the car and walked inside the hotel lobby so they could go to the ballroom.
"I see…" Takato said and extended his arm for Jeri. "I think they're waiting for us so shall we?"
"Right!" Jeri said as she placed her hand on Takato's arm.
The couple walked together to the ballroom. A white cloth hung in the ceiling and the white balloons stood at the entrance while forming an arch similar to what the appearance of the front part of the church. They saw that their friends and families already arrived there. Even their guests from the office were also there so they marched in formally with Jeri's hand on Takato's arm while music was playing.
"Congratulations to the newlyweds!" Ryo declared and the others agreed. Others started throwing confetti once again around them.
"Thanks, guys!" Takato said.
It was not long before Takato's friends started playing the slow music. When they heard the music, Takato looked at his beautiful bride with a smile and Jeri saw this one.
"What?" Jeri asked with interest.
"Shall we dance?" Takato asked while extending his hand to Jeri.
Jeri accepted his hand with a smile and they walked to a spot where they could freely dance. It happened that Rika and Henry were dancing beside the spot where they were in.
"How's our favorite couple?" Rika grinned as her hands were around Henry's neck while her husband's arms were around her waist.
"Insanely good!" Jeri winked as she placed her hands on Takato's neck. "Right, Honey?"
"Yeah!" Takato agreed and laughed.
"Hmm. Come on, Hon. Let's just dance," Henry said with a smile.
"Sure!" Rika winked and this time, it was Henry's time to blush.
~ Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift you open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
So kiss me ~
"So kiss me," Jeri sang the lyrics as well.
Takato did not need much prodding on his part and lowered his lips to Jeri's and once again, their lips met. They stayed that for some time and slowly broke away, blushing.
"And here we are! We're still carrying our trademark as the hopeless romantics!" Jeri chuckled as she noticed her and her husband's blushing.
Not long after, Naoki wearing a black tuxedo came to his parents.
"MOMMY! DADDY!" he cried and hugged his parents with his two small arms.
"Naoki!" Jeri smiled.
The little boy noticed that his parents were dancing so he giggled. He did not want to disturb their special moments.
"Okay! I'm going to Grandma and Grandpa Katou!" Naoki smiled as he released his parents.
Then Naoki began running around so he could see his grandparents, Jeri's parents.
"He certainly took after you, Takato Matsuki!" Jeri chuckled.
"Why not? I'm happy that I created a mini-me, Jeri Matsuki!" Takato winked.
Jeri snorted and smiled as well. "Let's just dance, Takato!"
"Alright!" Takato relented and danced with Jeri by swaying to the tune of the song happily.
The pain is LONG GONE and we have MOVED ON, Takato thought. But this will be THE END WHERE I BEGIN my new life with my family. I won't ask for more.
"I love you!" they said to each other. They did not plan it to be unison.
"No, I love you more!" they ended it at the same time.
"Fine," Jeri said. "I love you and you and you alone, Takato!"
Then the newly married couple continued dancing with smiles on their faces.