Lightly swinging her legs, she continued to flip through the catalogue. Blithely circling things here and there, she passed through various dresses and blouses when she felt his hand on her upper thigh. Glancing over her shoulder, she turned to see him lean forward from where he sat at the head of their bed to settle on his stomach beside her.
Leaning toward her, he nosed her hair, kissing her ear and cheek. Nudging him away, she busied herself with the glossy pictures. Wouldn’t that grey blouse look so good with a pair of black pants? She could tie her hair up too and look chic as fuck. Hmm. Definitely worth looking into.
But her husband didn’t want her to, apparently, because he kept vying for her attention.
“Oh, what is it?” she snapped.
“Well… You know… I’ve been thinking lately, and I wanted to ask you if you’ve ever… If you’ve ever wished we had had a wedding.”
“We did have a wedding. And it was nice.” Closing the magazine, she momentarily watched the muted TV show as the bride-to-be showcased her dress before turning back to her husband, who was intently studying her. “But there are times when, you know… Weddings are…” She sighed before waving a hand in the air nonchalantly. “Every girl grows up dreaming about their wedding day.”
“Would you like to have one then?”
She picked at her nails like she always did when she had something on her mind. The iridescent green flaking from her nails, she studied them for a while before softly saying, “We’ve been married for six years now. If we were going to have one, we should have had it six years ago.”
“There’s no law that says we can’t have one. The circumstances of the time, we had to choose between a wedding and a honeymoon, and we both agreed that a honeymoon would be money better spent. But as you’ve said, we’ve been married six years now, and our lives have drastically changed. There’s no question in whether we would be able to handle one financially. The average wedding costs roughly $27,000, and we made fifty times that these past three months even without accounting for your income. So the real question,” he said pointedly, as if he knew she would try to hide behind this issue and that, “is if you genuinely want one.”
Liesl yawned and stretched before trotting her way to her mother, where she plopped herself down on the magazine and promptly curled up to take a nap. Softly petting her, she fondly smiled at the puppy before ruffling her soft, white fur with a sigh.
“…It would be nice,” she admitted reluctantly. “But I’m fine with not having one.”
“My love, I didn’t marry you to make you fine. I married you to make you happy. And if you really want one, then we’ll have one. Do you have any ideas for when you’d like for it to be?”
She looked at him. He couldn’t be serious. Were they really going to have a wedding? Now? Why? What had prompted this? He wasn’t doing this to distract her, was he? Sure, ever since they had come back from visiting Milly, she had been a little subdued and under-the-weather, but it wasn’t so extreme to go as far as to hold a wedding. And yet, here he was, proposing they marry all over again just for the heck of it. What was he trying to get at? It couldn’t just be because he suddenly felt like going through the hectic, stressful process of wedding planning.
“I’m fine, you know. It doesn’t bother me as much anymore.”
Settling her chin on her hands, she tilted her head to study him. Shifting closer, he reached over her back for her hand. Lacing their fingers together, he gently kissed her forehead. Closing her eyes, she sunk into his warmth.
“I just want you to be happy. That’s my one and only wish in this world: for you to smile, Cera. There’s nothing more that I love than your beautiful smile.”
“You’re a terrible liar,” she murmured. “But I suppose I’m not completely innocent either.”
Inching closer, she lay down beside him. Reaching for his face, she brushed his hair away from his eyes. Winding her arm around him, she sighed.
“A spring wedding would be nice. We can have the reception outside, with a marquee.”
Smiling, he pulled her closer.
“A spring wedding would be nice,” he agreed.
And so it was decided: a spring wedding it would be.
. . .
“Oh! Um… Hello, Suzaku. This is Euphemia li Britannia. I’m not sure if you remember, but we met at the gala for the International Animal Coalition a few months ago.”
“Oh, shit,” he blurted out. Face reddening, he cleared his throat. “Uh… I mean… H-hi. Sorry for that,” he stammered. “I didn’t mean to- I’m really sorry. Of course I remember. I could never forget.”
She giggled, thankfully, and he felt some of the anxiety melt away. At least she was laughing. Laughter was always good. Of course, laughing with him was significantly better than laughing at him, but beggars couldn’t be choosers, could they?
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said shyly. “But I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind showing me around your city next week. I’m supposed to fly there for a conference, and I’m afraid I have some recreational time which I’d like to spend sight-seeing.”
“Oh… Yes. I’m sorry. I hate to impose. If you would rather not, then please don’t feel any obligation to answer positively. It’s just that…you’re the only one I really know, so I asked for your contact information from the president of your branch, and… It was rather shameless of me to do so, wasn’t it? I’m sorry.”
“No!” Urging himself to speak in a more quiet, less alarming tone, he paused as he searched himself for the proper words. “No, I… I would be honored. Next week, right? I should be free then.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful.” And he could positively see her radiant smile through just her sweet, sweet voice. “Thank you, Suzaku.”
It wasn’t until they had finished detailing their rendezvous point when the full gravity of what had happened hit him. Floored, he sat down heavily on the edge of his bed. Covering his face, he squeezed his eyes shut as he felt the heat radiate from his face and his smile widen so much until his scarlet cheeks hurt. But even then, he couldn’t stop smiling. By God he was going to see her! Him! Suzaku Kururugi!
Suzaku hadn’t really been raised in a particularly religious household, but perhaps – just perhaps – there was a God out there, or at least a higher power. How else would she have chosen him of 7 billion others?
Track 37: Chemicals Collide