Disclaimer: I do not own Daa! Daa! Daa!
Title: A Whole Shitload of Hearts for Miyu
Summary: The wedding business is her specialty, and the beautiful dresses she bestows on every bride that drops by their shop. Everything must be perfect. But how can you handle a group who misunderstood your husband as a complete douchebag?
"Hi! Welcome to Momoka's Bridal. I'm Miyu Saionji and I'll be your attendant today."
It was a usual busy day for Heiomachi's most respected wedding shop. They offer very tasteful couture for all wedding-related events for all ages. But undeniably, the most celebrated highlight of their store is their bridal gowns.
Take your call and they'll surely deliver. That's what Miyu, Christine, Nanami and Aya promised their clients the moment they stepped in their shop. Simple, elegant, fun, vintage – you name it! Momoka's Bridal surely has them all.
It was a business they started right after college, a stretch of Christine's dream who can't get enough of romance, romance and romance. And after 5 years, it became the talk of the wedding town, and they can proudly say they haven't had a dissatisfied customer since.
Miyu crossed the lobby with the bride and her entourage and put on a professional smile. "I've already talked to your wedding planner and have seen your engagement portraits. My take is that you want something dreamy yet simple. Is that right?"
The bride today is a petite woman with doe eyes, a sweet smile and yards of softly curled hair. She looks like a doll that Miyu's already rubbing her hands in anticipation. This will be fun.
The bride nodded and smiled. "I'm in love with flowers ever since so I would want something 'flowery' but not overly done that the gown itself can consume me." She stated with a laugh. "I'm small, but I want something that comes with a powwow without being large. I hope I'm helping."
"That's a start." Miyu acknowledged and closed the file. Then she stopped and turned to the group with an open expression. Time to get personal, Miyu decided. "Tell me about the proposal. I heard it warrants five stars in the 'aww' department."
"Don't start." The maid-of-honor warned.
The bride lightly pinched her friend's arm and laughed. "I hate that. But it's true." She said to Miyu. "I turn mushy at the instant I tell someone of my engagement. And when I go mushy, I can't stop talking. So I'm telling you to hide now. You're forewarned."
Miyu lightly touched the bride's arm and grinned. "I'm all game for mushiness."
The bride winked back to her maid-of-honor before sharing her story. "My fiancé and I were co-members at the gardening club back in high school. He was a 3rd year at the time I entered and was so dependable that I fell in love with him. We dated for a year before breaking up because he's going to college. On graduation day, I thought it was the last time we'll see each other.
"But after 6 years, he barged into the wholesaler where I work in desperation because their previous contact cancelled at the last minute and he knew he'll be fired as an organizer if he can't solve the issue. So he shouted for the owner like a whirlwind, all sweaty in his suit, and I was there hauling up baskets of flowers in my not-so-pretty coveralls. But it was all so romantic. We recognized each other instantly.
"I guess it was fate that we met again after all those years, dated again and realized we were meant together. So the day he proposed, he took me to a sunflower field at his hometown. Amidst all the fragrance and beauty, he proposed on his knee and held out this ring." She lifted her hand and admired the diamond before looking at Miyu with a radiant smile. "He said I had to take it since he just spilled a whole shitload of hearts at my feet."
She dreamily sighed. "Isn't my man the best?"
That was good, Miyu had to admit. "He certainly is if he can put that steady glow on you."
"I know, right?" She spread her arms to encompass the whole store. "Before we go, let me first say that I just love coming here. Everything's so pretty! I'm actually kind of nervous to see the perfect wedding dress for me. But I know it's here somewhere."
Miyu beamed at her. "You've come to the right place then. That's where we come in – to help you find the perfect dress, even if it meant raking the whole place." She added with a wink. "This way, please."
But ten gowns later, a bottle of champagne and a bunch of boos and oohs, Miyu and the group were burned out. The bride flopped down at the center of the room still in an off-shoulder dress that the rest claimed was too simple for her.
"I think we still have something in the back that may suit you." Miyu positively announced.
The bride apologetically smiled. "I'm very sorry for this, Miyu-san."
"Don't worry about it."
The bride sighed heavily. "It's bad having the Crazy Bride Syndrome."
Miyu laughed at her client's expression. "Experienced that. I'm actually married."
The whole group scowled and boo-booed at her. One of the attendants expressed it. "Get out! You have this I'm-single-yet-I'm-happy-and-contented aura. You can't possibly be married!"
"I think that's a compliment, but really, I am. Three years." She fished her necklace out of her suit and showed them the gold ring that hanged from it.
"I'm sorry to ask this but," another attendant treaded carefully, "why don't you wear it? Are you – probably – not happy?"
Silence prevailed across the room. Miyu waved her hands in the air in an attempt to shoo the gloomy atmosphere away. "Oh. No. That's not it. My husband insisted I make it a pendant because I keep on forgetting to put things on unless they hang from my neck."
A lot of confused faces came that made Miyu realize her last statement was weird. "It's like wearing an ID, you know, or a badge. In my case, one of my compulsions is necklaces. I don't go out without one." The girls chorused an ooh.
Miyu continued. "Anyway…whenever I do wear the ring, I kind of always forget where I last placed it that he was – one time – very angry I'll eventually lose it."
"He doesn't have to be angry about it," murmured the bride.
"Well…I think he has the right. Anyone would be if you accidentally slipped and almost flushed the ring…" She comically made a whoosh gesture with a matching whistle and grinned.
"Down the toilet."
Maniacal laughter filled the store. The mother's bride even dabbed at some happy tears before turning to Miyu. "You can't blame the poor man. Why don't you tell us more about him?"
Miyu casted a swift glance at her watch and estimated that a little gossip won't hurt. The next client will be coming in about 40 minutes and she already had a hunch to what dress will perfectly match her bride. She only has to warm them up so she can nudge them to the right way – her way. It's a diabolical plan but it completes the task. And she sure can enjoy some girly time even among strangers.
To please them more, she even took a seat that placed her at the circle. "Okay, where do I start?"
"What is he like?" One excitedly asked.
This is easy, Miyu thought. "He's always buried inside our house. He's kind of a recluse if I put it that way."
"But what does he look like?"
Miyu shrugged. "Just your ordinary guy. Brunet, brown eyes, but quite tall. And oh! He does keep a messy hair and he doesn't like to smile." Miyu chuckled. "You can tell he's not very charming."
Still interested, another asked. "And what does he do?"
"Well, he's your typical nerd, so he reads a lot – and I mean a mountain – of books every day. When he's not, he's lazing around the house watching the History Channel or reading comics."
It doesn't sound like he has a job. They had a brief thought Miyu's slaving so he can continue his hermit ways. Poor girl.
"What do you do together for fun?"
Miyu picked up the bouquet set from the table and fluffed it some as she warmed to the task. "We cook meals and do the chores usually. We're both a home person, that's why."
"And when you're not?"
She turned to the left and answered with a bright smile. "We like to argue over the littlest of things. Oh, I tell you. He's a terror and a sadist. I can never win against him."
They were appalled but they saw Miyu still smiling dreamily, unaffected, that one of them continued. Maybe there's some hope for this man. "Maybe you can tell us about the last sweetest thing he did for you." She even looked around for support and they nodded. Then they all looked expectantly at Miyu.
Miyu, in turn, even had the audacity to blush from remembrance. Their hearts lifted. This got to be good.
"It's cute actually. It takes monstrous effort just to pull him outside but he eventually agreed to watch this romcom movie with me. Well, he slept halfway through and even drooled slightly at my jacket. It's so funny he kept on blaming it on my 'stupid tears' – to quote him."
Their shoulders slumped at once. That's it?! they wanted to scream. There's something definitely wrong with the man, not taking care of his lovely wife. Better yet, there's something wrong with Miyu herself if she can't see how obnoxious her husband is.
"Miyu dear, maybe you could cite other instances. We're not quite with you there yet." The mother of the bride wished hopelessly.
Miyu smiled longingly and shook her head. The others even wondered if the guy did some witchcraft to woo her. "I can't really explain. If he has any romantic bone in his body, I'm not aware of it. But he does gestures so uncharacteristic of him that I find adorable." Her voice lowered to a whisper as if sharing a secret. "I call it the Blue Moon Phase. Because, well, it happens once in a blue moon. It's sooo heart melting."
Who is this guy? they wondered. What did he do that can make her gooey at the mere mention of him? The man needs some training! He has to know he can't treat a special woman like Miyu so carelessly! He has to appreciate her!
"Wake up, Miyu-san!" The bride hysterically cried. "You should leave that guy!"
Miyu jerked out of her reverie and held up both hands quickly. "Wait! I don't think –"
The rest of the group hovered over and brushed her hand comfortingly. Miyu can't comprehend what's going on. "You don't deserve this. We understand what you're going through but this guy is clearly bad for your health. I know this lawyer who specially handles divorce–"
Miyu frantically shook her head. "Thanks, but no! You see–"
Someone squeezed her hand to get her attention. "Do you have a child? It certainly complicates things if ever you two have a child."
"We don't have, for now. In fact, I just found out this morning that I'm pregnant." She beamed ecstatically and held up two fingers. "Two months."
That's when everyone broke down and took their turns to hug her. Miyu smiled amidst the confusion but welcomed every hug she received.
When everyone settled down, Miyu passed some tissues around before sitting straight and looking at everyone. "Please hear me out. I don't know where you misunderstood, but I love my husband and there's absolutely no doubt he also loves this child."
She reached out and clasped the bride's hands with hers. "He sure has his flaws – who hasn't? – but I can't ask for a more perfect man for me. He's wonderful, and yes, a bit mercurial." She added with a wink. "But really wonderful. And more, he loves me a 'whole shitload of hearts' back."
She watched the bride smile back as she recalled using those exact words. "I'll remember that. Our men are so damn lucky to have us. They're very stupid if they let us go."
"I sure second that." She said, which made them laugh. "I just knew from the first moment that I'll enjoy working with you."
The bride grinned. "Miyu-san, the feeling's mutual."
Energized, Miyu stood up and clapped to grab everyone's attention. "Okay, ladies, let's get this done. But who wants a champagne first?"
"Excuse me. Miyu? Can I–" And he stopped as a group of seven obviously-just-finished-a-crying-jag women stared at him wide-eyed in a mix of surprise and curiosity.
"Kanata! What are you doing here?" Shocked but pleased, Miyu walked towards him hurriedly.
"Hanakomachi said I could come over since you're probably done…" Kanata glanced at the women who, after recovering, huddled to speculate on him. Sighing, he looked back at Miyu. "But I can see that you're not. So I'll just wait outside until you finish."
Miyu smiled knowingly and turned to her clients. "Um, girls, can I be excused for a minute?"
Instantly on their toes, the group gestured with a go-on-it's-fine-but-share-us-the-deets-later signal that made Kanata briefly wonder what's going on.
Miyu walked him out and stopped at a corner in the lobby since all fitting rooms are currently occupied. It's the most private space in the store they can afford to have within such short notice anyway.
Unbeknownst to them, the women Miyu left moved to the door to look upon them.
Miyu frowned at her husband. "Okay, mister. We both know you can't find any material here."
He smiled dangerously at her. "You know if I have my way – and I usually do – this place could be the perfect setting."
Miyu playfully cuffed the side of his head. "Stop that. You'll ruin our business."
"You're changing the subject, but I won't let you. So spill it. Why did you come?"
In response, he handed over the paper bag he brought. Miyu peeked at it then laughed which made Kanata scowl at her. "You came here just to give me a can of orange juice?"
His scowl deepened. "I decided I needed some air. It then occurred to me that it's been a while since I last take a look at your shop so I dropped by."
Touched, she smiled at him. "No, you don't. Just so you know, I already have three fussing partners and an overprotective mother who want me to sit all day. So I don't need my workaholic husband to add to the list."
"I can make you come home with me." He announced confidently.
She cuffed him again in a way of scolding. "Just for that, you deserve a beating. But really, Kanata, I'm not forcing myself. All I do is smile prettily, shake and nod my pretty head, and if I as much as lift something, my partners frantically call someone to do the hauling for me."
"That's a good idea. Why don't I carry you home?"
Miyu laughed again but placed her hand at his chest for good measure. "Okay. I'll make you a promise, well three actually. I'll drink this orange juice," she motioned to the can, "I'll call you if anything happened – although we both know that's highly unlikely," She held up her hand before he can say anything. "and, I'll let you fetch and walk me home later."
Kanata narrowed his eyes. "We'll use the car."
"Sure. No problem." She replied sweetly.
Kanata waited a moment. Then sighed in surrender. "Jeez, woman, you drive a really hard bargain. You win."
"Yay!" In impulse, she gave him a smacking peck at the cheek. "I'll see you later then."
He scowled at her again before moving closer to gingerly kiss the top of her head. He then gave her a serious look. "Be good."
He placed his hands at his pockets and looked down at her still-flat tummy. "You too, fudge." He spoke out loud, coining a pet name to their unborn child.
Miyu wanted to melt, but she motioned for him to walk away. "Go home now, papa. Earn a living."
"Six o'clock." He finished as he walked out.
When she returned to the room, they all swarmed at her like bees. One bridesmaid clasped her hand tight and with overtly bright eyes, exclaimed. "Oh my gosh! We just made the connection. You didn't tell us that your husband is none other than the Kanata Saionji! This is so exciting!"
Another grabbed her shoulder. "He is Japan's Occult King! Oh, the stories he makes. They never fail to give me the creeps!"
Miyu turned her head to the other side as well. "I recently watched the movie adaptation of his last book and gosh! It was so craftily made that I dreaded going to the bus station for weeks. When I finally overcome that, I then realized I can't look at other passengers faces. It was a scarring experience. And I'm sure I could hate him for it. But it doesn't change the fact that Kanata Saionji is a genius."
Nodded assessments from all of them. Miyu was so proud she could claim she's his number one fan, if not for the fact that his plots scare the shit out of her. She can't even tell them that his writing started as a way to ward off her suitors in college. He claims it's more effective than punching their faces. Boys.
"I just didn't realize that he lives here at Heiomachi. He rarely goes out in public, and when he does, it happens at university seminars and writer conferences where speakers can change at the last minute. I was in one so I instantly recognized him. But then, rumors spread that the name 'Kanata Saionji' is actually a pseudonym."
"But it's not!" The bride almost squealed. "He's real and his wife's picking the perfect wedding dress for me! And oh!" Her eyes twinkled and she giggled helplessly. "And your stories. We kind of thought you're wasted on him, that he's nothing but a grumpy, socially withdrawn douchebag who–" She stopped in midsentence and realized she's badmouthing the man to the wife herself. "I'm sorry."
Miyu laughed hard at her expression that the others joined her. Holding her stomach, she tried to let out the words. "I wholly agree that he can be a 'douchebag' sometimes but that's just him and I accept that part of him. But I guess it's partly my fault that I didn't cite his most sterling qualities. He does have some, truly." And they laughed again at that.
"So…can I have his autograph? Please. Please. Pretty please?" The maid-of-honor can't help her excitement and the request was repeated by everyone. Well, they all can't help their excitement. Miyu doubted she can get a word in, so she listened and smiled at their tirade.
After a satisfying workday, Miyu sat at her desk transferring all her notes to her computer. She really love her job. She showed brides and their attendants to the most beautiful of dresses and she freely tweaked and played at them.
At six o'clock sharp, Christine knocked at her office. "Miyu-chan, Saionji-kun's here. Should I show him in?"
Miyu stood and picked up her bag. "I'm finished anyway. Thanks, Chris-chan. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Take care, mama." Christine teased as she held the door open – to which Miyu laughed heartily.
When she slipped in the car, she quickly kissed her husband's cheek before settling in her seat. "Hi."
But Kanata didn't answer and instead reached out to the back. Then he plopped the package at Miyu's lap and started the car.
Miyu carefully opened the bag and giggled. "Oh, I can get used to this."
"Make sure to share some or you'll get fat."
Miyu tsked at him then grinned. "Meanies don't get anything. This is all mine."
She peered down at her chocolate hot fudge sundae and finally admitted to herself it's her most craved food. She scooped a spoonful and moaned at its heavenly taste. And because she's grateful, she scooped another one and held out the spoon to her husband.
Without taking his eyes off the road, Kanata turned his head and chomped down the ice cream. "Should've got one for myself."
"I'm in a good mood today so you'll get another scoop. " Miyu looked carefully at her husband and noticed the dark shadows under his eyes. "You're not overworking yourself, right?"
Kanata shrugged. "The story is progressing well. It's just that my mind's been occupied with…other things."
"I should be saying, 'Stop worrying,' but you won't listen. So now I'm only asking you to trust me." Then she put on her scolding look. "And don't listen to my parents."
"Fine. But you might as well be projecting to the peanut gallery."
Miyu laughed in spite of that. "I know. But I can still try."
So when they got home that night, Miyu knew that another set of people would be fussing over her. They would be overreacting over the smallest of her worries. They would insist on doing the chores she normally does.
But they all took that effort because they love her.
Slipping in her husband's office since she knew he'll be working until late at night, she brought him his daily sustenance of cookies and milk.
She sat before him while he tapped incessantly on his laptop. Resting her chin on her palm, she twined her legs with his under the kotatsu until the corner of his lips lifted in an unmistaken smile. They've done this countless times before and still her heart flutters in secret.
"Thank you, Kanata."
"You're welcome, Miyu."
"I love you."
His brows raised in reaction and his delighted eyes met hers. "You're being cute."
"I love you. Now go to bed and rest."
Miyu nodded but didn't make another move whatsoever. Kanata didn't comment either.
So they stayed awhile, comforted in each other's company. Truly it's a wonderful life.
XOXOX Owari XOXOX
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