The Most Beautiful Day of My Life - Chapter 1: Morning

The birds were chirping, the sun started peeking over the horizon...Tokyo began to wake up on that beautiful Saturday morning.

And what a glorious morning it was. The beginning of a new era. Glory, glory, Halleluiah!

That was what flew inside Miki’s head that day as she ran up the stairs to her guest bedroom, where a slender woman with short chestnut hair was still sleeping peacefully.

“What a slacker,” the raven haired café owner murmured to herself, pulling the sheet off the other woman’s body. “Wake up, sleepyhead. Rise and shine!”

“A few more minutes,” the other one grouched, rolling over, pressing her face in the pillow.

“Kaori, get your cute little butt off that bed, right now! Don’t you remember what day’s today?” Miki grabbed her ankle, pulling gently. “Get up, get up, get up!”

Kaori opened one eye, groaning. “It’s still dark outside. Go away.”

Miki rolled her eyes, sighing. “Living with that lazy schmuck for all these years left a mark, I see. It’s not dark outside, the sun rose half an hour ago.”

“Only half an hour ago?” Kaori mumbled into the fluffy pillow. “Why did you wake me this early for? Go away, I’m tired.”

“Tired?! I thought one night away from him would finally restore your energy...” Miki wiggled her eyebrows. Since Saeba confessed to Kaori he loved her, the two seldom left their apartment, or more specifically, his bedroom.

Heavy footsteps sounded in the hallway. Ijuin Hayato, a.k.a. Umibozu, squeezed his bald, fiery red, at the moment, head through the door, his sunglasses steaming up. “Ladies, the others are already here.” His ears smoked a bit. “Good morning, Kaori.”

The redhead beamed at him. “G’morning, Umi-chan.”

The smoking signals from his ears increased in volume. Miki shook her head at her husband’s shyness. “Honey,” she murmured, “why don’t you wait downstairs?”

He looked at her thankfully, disappearing into the hallway.

“See?” Miki dragged Kaori out of bed. “The girls are already here.”

Kaori looked beyond confused. “The girls? Why in the world would they be here at such an ungodly hour?” She scratched her head, her eyes still glazed from sleep.

“Kaori? Are you pulling my leg? It’s Saturday, remember? You slept here tonight, because...”

Kaori bleached, slapping her forehead. “Oh my God! I’m getting married!” She grabbed Miki’s shoulders, shaking her vigorously. “We’re going to be late! What time is it?”

“It’s still early, you said it yourself.” Miki grinned mischievously.

“I wasn’t lucid when I said that, Miki. Stop fooling around. I have to get ready!” Kaori jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom, waving her hands frantically. “I’m late...I know I’m late...He’s going to leave...” There was some grumbling and then, “If he leaves, I’m going to kill him!”

“What’s all this ruckus about?” came a throaty inquiry from the hallway.

Miki walked out of the bedroom, noticing Saeko and her two sisters at the top of the stairs. “Hey, gals. Kaori went bananas with me.”

“Kaori? What’s the matter?” the Detective asked.

The object of their scrutiny poked her head out of the bathroom, a toothbrush between her teeth. “I’m so late,” she mumbled, somehow managing to keep all the foam in her mouth. How did she do that, anyway?

“Late?” Reika lifted an eyebrow. “Late for what?”

Yuka bulged her eyes. “Oh, God...She’s pregnant.”

Kaori sputtered, toothbrush flying. “No, I’m not.” Could I be? “I’m late for the wedding!”

Saeko looked at her wristwatch. “It’s seven a.m., Kaori. The wedding’s at noon.”

Kaori leveled an ugly glare at Miki, tapping her foot, frothing at the mouth. She looked so adorable. Angry as hell, but adorable.

Miki adopted an angelic look. “What? It was you who jumped at conclusions; I just woke you up, honey.” Her gaze flew to her feet. “Hmm, Kaori...that’s Falcon’s toothbrush!”

Something heavy, and probably expensive, shattered downstairs. It was immediately followed by a loud thump and male laughter.

“What did he smash?!” Miki yelled.

“Let me see,” Mick answered shakily from below. “One, two, three...six or seven teacups, a teapot and a china platter!”

“Sorry, Umi-chan!” Kaori took the stairs. “I didn’t mean to use your toothbrush...I also have a pink one!”

There was another thump, some scrunching of glass, and more laughter.

“Umi-chaaaan, I didn’t know you like pink!” another male voice guffawed.

Kaori almost rolled down the stairs. “Ryo?!”

“Hey, honey!”

She stopped dead in her tracks. “What are you doing here?! You’re not supposed to be here! Mick, why did you bring him here?!”

Ryo sighed. “Don’t get hysterical, baby. I missed you, that’s all. I felt lonely tonight...Where are you, anyway? Why are you hiding? Come and give me a good morning kiss.”
“Go away, Ryo!”

“Sweetheart, I just want a kiss. Come on, baby, just a little one.” He moved closer to the stairs.

Kaori squeaked and bolted upstairs. “Miki! Stop him!”

“What’s the matter, hon?” Ryo’s path to the upper floor was blocked by four furious women. “Could you please get out of my way, ladies?”

“Hell, no, Saeba.” Miki, arms akimbo, shook her head vehemently. “Not a step further, do you hear me!”

Reika, Saeko, and Yuka joined her, efficiently blocking the stairway.

He rolled his eyes. “What is this?” He leaned his foot on the first step and suddenly found himself looking down the barrel of a gun.

“Don’t you even think about it,” Miki growled.

Ryo’s eyebrow climbed. “Umibozu, get your fainting butt over here right now! Your wife totally lost it.” He climbed that first step.

Saeko, a dagger in her palm, didn’t even blink. “Over my dead body, Ryo.”

“And what a cute body it is. Come here, Saeko-chan, give us a squeeze.”

There was a rumble on the upper floor, Kaori yelled, “Fore!” and the four women plastered themselves to the wall just in time. A large, extra-spiky, white kompeito came tearing down around the corner, smashing Ryo to the floorboards.

“Bastard! Pig! Idiot! Cretin! Swine! Pervert!” With each word, a hammer followed.

However, Ryo wasn’t under the spiky ball anymore. Darting past the women, expertly (they’ve been living together for many years) dodging the mallets, he ran upstairs, grinning like an idiot. “Honeybunch! Come to your Ryo-chan, baby!”

Hearing him almost at the top of the stairs, she screeched louder, scurrying to the bedroom, and slammed the door shut...right in his face. Damn, he was too quick!

“Sweetie!” He rattled the doorknob. He was starting to worry. “What’s the matter,” he asked softly.

“You’re dense, that’s what!” she bit out on the other side of the door.

“I don’t get it, baby. I just want to see you.”

“That’s the whole problem! You’re going to ruin everything.”

Now he was spooked. What was wrong with her? “Ruin what? Kaori, open this door!”

“I can’t,” she whimpered.

“Kaori...God, baby, are you sick? Let me in right this second!”

She smacked her head against the door. Was he faking it or was he just incredibly stupid. “You can’t see me before the wedding.”

“Of course, I can,” he interrupted.

“No, you can’t! It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony!”

Ryo rolled his eyes. Women and their stupid superstitions. “Is that why you made me sleep alone tonight? That big bed was so cold without you in it...Now step aside, honey, I’ll knock this bloody door down!”

“Do it and you’ll never see me again, Saeba Ryo!”

He flinched at the promise in her voice. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”

“Brain tumor serious.” She sighed, splaying her palm on the wooden surface. “I missed you, too. I wish I could touch you.”

“Me, too,” he breathed on the other side of the door. “I’m hard as a poker here...Honey, what was that sound?”

Kaori lifted herself from the floor. “You blasted horny asshole! I was trying to be romantic, here!”

“I need you, babe,” he pouted.

“Boohoo, to you. You’ll just have to wait ‘till tonight to relieve a certain part of your anatomy.”

Nope, just until I can get you alone in the limo. “Oh, well, in that case, I guess I’ll just go pay a visit to the stripper Mick got me for my bachelor party,” he said thoughtfully, his eyes twinkling mischievously.

Kaori took a deep breath. Ok, girl, count to ten, you can do it. “We both know there was no stripper. Mick wouldn’t risk his jewels on a stunt like that. I know you’re just provoking me so I would crash through this door with my hammer. Well, guess what, buddy. It isn’t going to work.”

He sighed heavily, leaned against the door, and slid to the floor. “Does this no-seeing rule includes no talking?”

She tapped her finger on the tip of her nose. “Never heard of the no-talking rule.” She sat on the floor, her legs crossed. “Talking is nice. I like your voice. It has such a sexily muffled ring to it coming through the door like that. It makes me all hot and bothered,” she breathed throatily.

He swallowed loudly, observing the sudden ridge in his gray slacks. The girl had a voice and imagination to drive any man out of his mind. He still remembered the unbelievable phone-sex they had one night when he was on one of Saeko’s top-secret, bullshitty assignments. He was almost unable to walk the next day.

“Ryo? Are you still there?”

“Yeah,” he sounded strangled. “Hear you loud and clear.” He adjusted himself. “I wish this day would be over, though.”

“Oh,” she sighed. “Are you having second thoughts?”

“No, why?”

“Wishing this day would be over.”

“Yeah, so you’d already be my wife and again in my bed.”

“Oh, yes—” She cleared her throat. “I mean...is that all you can think about?!”

He grinned, giving Mick, who poked his head around the corner to see if he was still alive, an OK sign. “I’m a male in my prime, babe.”

“I know,” she answered dreamily.

The bulge in his slacks increased. Damn, he wanted her. Right now! “Kaori, what are you wearing?”

“Shorts and a tank top, why?”

“I’m letting my imagination loose.”

There was a pained groan on the other side of the door.

“If I promise to keep my eyes shut, would you let me in?”

Miki!”

His head snapped up. “What are you doing?”

“I’m calling Miki, so she can kick you out!”

“You can be so mean sometimes, muffin.”

“Muffin?!” Mick doubled up with laughter. The others were pretty much in the same condition as they all congregated in the hallway.

“Oh, shut up, Mick,” Kaori mumbled behind the door. “I think it’s cute.”

“See?” Ryo stood up, dusting his rear. “She thinks it’s cute. Moreover, if you don’t want to lose any of your teeth, you’re going to get off my back.”

Mick lifted an eyebrow. “Cranky, are we? She didn’t let you in, I presume.”

“Mick,” Yuka pulled his sleeve. “Don’t push it when he’s cranky...By the way, where’s Kazue?”

The American slapped his forehead. “Shit! I forgot to pick her up at the airport.” He bounded down the stairs, mumbling, “She’s going to kill me and feed me to the poor. I know she is.”

Miki shook her head, walking towards the guest room door. “Kaori, did you holler?”

“Yes.” Kaori bumped on the door. “Could you please make Ryo leave. I’d like to get ready and I can’t do that with him thinking lascivious thoughts.”

Miki grabbed her gun again, pointing it at Ryo’s midsection. “You heard her, you perv. Get out. Falcon, escort him out, please.”

Umibozu grinned evilly. “Gladly.” He grabbed Ryo by his T-shirt and threw him down the stairs.

“Take it easy, Umi-chan!” Kaori yelled. “I’m going to need him alive at noon!”

Umibozu walked leisurely downstairs, picked Ryo up, and carried him outside, dropping him into a heap on the sidewalk. As he prepared to return inside, his wife slammed the glass door in his face.

“Go help him get ready, Falcon. Your tux is already at his place.”

“But, Miki—”

“No buts! I don’t want you underfoot while we prepare for the blessed occasion. You only keep blushing, anyway.” She waved him away. “Now shoo!”



Kaori poked her nose out of her room, seeing Miki return. “So?”

Miki grinned. “They’re gone. Just in time, too. I was going to start screaming.”

Saeko’s lips twitched. “Your husband is just so adorable.”

“Easy for you to say. You don’t have to live with him 24-7.”

“It can’t be that bad,” Yuka patted her hand.

Miki gave her a droll look.

Kaori was a nervous wreck. “Hello? Focus here. I’m the one getting married to a pervert. I wish he were blushing when he saw a patch of naked skin.”

Reika put her arm around her shoulders. “Don’t worry, Kaori. He changed. We all know he did. Now he drools only for you, girl.”

Kaori batted her eyelashes. “Oh, I’m so honored.”

“Ok, girls,” Saeko clapped her hands. “Enough chitchat. We have to get her ready.”

The four women pushed our poor Kaori in the bathroom where they dunked her into the bathtub, the water scented with rose oil. They proceeded with fussing over her in the bedroom, combing her hair (she has short hair, what’s there to comb?), adding touches of make-up here and there...

Then, the time came to put the dress on.

The Nogami sisters, never seeing it before, remained speechless. Kaori’s wedding dress was adorable. Made of white silk, strapless, with a long flowing skirt, it looked like a ball gown fresh out of a fairytale. It hugged Kaori’s figure to perfection, emphasizing her height and curves...

“Damn, Kaori,” Reika gawked. “Are you sure you wanna give your would-be husband a heart attack before the ceremony?”

Kaori panicked. “What? What is wrong with it? Is it torn? Is there a smudge?”

Miki grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her. “Breathe, Kaori. There’s nothing wrong with the dress, except being stunning. Reika meant, Ryo was going to lose it.”

Reika nodded enthusiastically. “He’s going to drool like a bulldog, girl!”

“He might even jump her bones in front of everybody,” Yuka put in.

“Yuka!” Saeko tried hard not to laugh. “Where did you learn this?”

“From Dad,” the girl shrugged.

Miki looked at her wristwatch. “It’s not like this isn’t fun and all, but it’s almost eleven. Shouldn’t you go get ready yourselves?”

As the Nogami sisters scurried away, Kaori looked at Miki thankfully. “You really are a gem. Umi-chan can be grateful for having you.”

Miki hugged her. “Stop, Kaori, you’re making me blush.”

Kaori returned the hug, laughing. “No, I’m not. Shouldn’t you be getting ready, too, ‘maid-of-honor’?”

“Crap, you’re right!”

X
Y
Z

Half an hour later Miki was even more nervous than Kaori. The happy bride-to-be had to fetch her a glass of water, her friend was so pale.

“Miki?” She looked worriedly at her friend. “Are you OK? You’re not going to throw up on my dress are you?”

“I don’t think so.” Miki gulped the water down. “How can you be so calm, anyway. It’s your wedding day, for crying out loud. Aren’t you in no mood to puke all over yourself?”

Kaori smiled sheepishly. “I did it in the bathroom while you were getting ready.”

“Oh, that’s explains it.” Miki bulged her eyes. “Holy guacamole! Check out our ride.”

Kaori looked out the window, noticing a long silver limousine stopping in front of the café. “Ryo never mentioned a limo...” she murmured.

“Who cares!” Miki grabbed her hand. “Let’s go.”

Kaori followed her friend outside, waiting for Miki to lock the glass door. She eyed the long car suspiciously. “Miki—”

Miki was already seated on the comfortable leather seat. “C’mon, Kaori, move your cute tush. You of all people can’t afford to be late today!”

You’re just nervy, girl, that’s all. It’s just a car. Mentally thanking Ryo for the surprise, Kaori stepped into the limousine.


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