Author Note: Auspicious is my collection of YzakxShiho oneshots that I update whenever inspiration hits. Enjoy.
This first one, Decision, and probably the second story in this collection deal with the ever-so-cliche arranged marriage theme, but hopefully my take will be interesting.
Ezaria was pleased.
Everything was going so well. The invitations had arrived on time, the lemon meringue Conway had prepared was divine, and Yzak had only been twenty minutes late to their meeting. Twenty minutes! That had to be a record.
Ezaria sipped her raspberry mint tea and smiled across the coffee table at her dumbstruck son.
"Is everything alright, dear?" she asked, placing her teacup on its saucer.
Yzak snapped out of his trance and growled. "Mother!" he yelled. "You just told me I'm engaged."
"Isn't it wonderful?" his mother beamed, clasping her hands. "I get to plan a wedding, how delightful! I haven't since my own to your father all those years ago." Yzak swore there were stars in his mother's eyes.
Reaching for a package on the table, Ezaria said, "And the invitations just arrived. Here, take a look."
"You have a date set already?" Yzak exclaimed.
"Yes, of course! It's in six months, so you and Shiho have time to get used to each other in the meantime."
Yzak dropped his face into his hands and groaned.
Ezaria looked up, alarmed. "What is it? I thought you and Shiho worked well together! Everyone agrees she seems to be the only one who can stand your temper, aside from Deakka."
"That's not the issue, Mother," Yzak snarled through gritted teeth.
"Oh, I'm sure it'll be fine. How about hyacinths and lilacs for the bouquet? I hear Shiho's favorite color is green, perhaps we can work that into the theme."
"Purple," Yzak muttered from his slumped form on the couch.
"What's that, sweetie?"
"Shiho's favorite color is purple, not green."
"Oh, is it? Well, purple it shall be."
Yzak slumped further into the couch.
Ezaria was worried.
The wedding had gone off without a hitch. Without one single hitch. No tantrums from Yzak, no disappearing bride, no spilled wine on the councilor from Junius City.
Something must be wrong.
She knocked on the door to Yzak and Shiho's apartment in Martius Four, a penthouse suite Ezaria had gifted them as a wedding present. It had been three months since the wedding, and Ezaria was shocked to not have heard a peep from them since.
No one answered.
Shrugging her shoulders, Ezaria tried the door. It was unlocked, surprisingly. She pushed the door open, and let herself in.
"Yzak?" she called out. "It's your mother. Shiho?"
The foyer was quiet. "I should have called before I came. Ah, but what's the fun in that? Surprise visits are so much interesting."
The living room, spacious and open, was also empty. Ezaria looked about, wondering where her son would be. Suddenly, a loud noise came from the kitchen accompanied by a shriek.
"Yzak!" came Shiho's shrill voice.
Ezaria could hear Yzak's reply but couldn't make out the words.
"Eh? I wonder what's going on," Ezaria wondered out loud. She was about to move into the kitchen, when Shiho bolted toward the study, Yzak following quickly behind.
"Shiho! Get back here," Yzak barked.
"Over my dead body, Joule," Shiho yelled back.
"Oh dear," said Ezaria. "Yzak, Shiho!" she called out, making her way to the study.
No reply. From within the study, a series of thuds could be heard, followed by loud cursing from Yzak.
"Sweetie! I came to see how you and Shiho were doing—"
More loud thuds and a high-pitched squeak.
Ezaria entered the study, eyes immediately drawn to the books strewn about the room in their struggle. Yzak and Shiho were nowhere in sight.
Peeking behind the desk, Ezaria spoke, "Yzak dear, must I tell you how to keep your study tidy? I was worried about you two—"
She stopped at the sight of the couple. Shiho lay on her back on the floor, propped up on her elbows. Yzak knelt over her, straddling her waist and effectively pinning her on the ground. He had a wicked grin on his face, as if he had caught his long-sought prey, his hand reaching underneath her shirt and moving upwards. Shiho, who had been holding her breath, gave a squeal when his hand reached her breast.
"—but it seems you two are busy at the moment. Maybe another time, then?"
Yzak's head snapped up at the sound of her voice. Recognition flashed across his face, and he and Shiho turned bright red as they scrambled from their compromising position on the floor.
"Mother!" Yzak exclaimed. Shiho, eyes averted, said nothing as she fumbled with the hem of her shirt. "What are you doing here? How did you get in?"
"The door was open. Do you not know how to lock your own front door?"
"Apparently not," Shiho mumbled under her breath. Yzak reached over and gave her rear end a small pinch. Shiho let out a small yelp and immediately went to rub her bottom all while glaring at Yzak.
"Well, enough of that. I just came to see how married life is treating the both of you."
"Wonderfully," Yzak answered through a forced smile as Shiho jabbed him in the side with her elbow.
Perhaps things weren't so bad after all, Ezaria thought.
"Ezaria, would you like some tea?" asked Shiho, placing a tray onto the table.
"Yes, thank you," Ezaria answered. "Yzak, have you given any thought to the proposals from the council I sent you?"
"I've been a bit preoccupied in the past few months, if you've forgotten, Mother," Yzak snarled as he poured himself a cup of tea. "Getting married against your will tends to keep you busy."
"Yzak! How can you speak to your mother like that?" Shiho interjected, lifting her cup to her lips.
"This is coming from the woman who didn't speak to her mother for two years when she joined the military?" Yzak barked back.
"Yzak, do not speak to your wife that way!" Ezaria spoke up.
Yzak, annoyed at being tag-teamed by his wife and mother, muttered something about finding proposals as he left the room.
"I'm so sorry, Shiho. You must excuse him." Ezaria reached for a cookie from the tray on the table.
"It's fine. I've gotten used to his temper after working with him so long."
"That's good to hear." Ezaria sipped her tea. Honeysuckle strawberry, how nice. "I knew I made a good choice in picking you. You seem very capable in matching Yzak's personality. He can be very...intense. But I'm most surprised at how quietly you two agreed to this arrangement. I expected more of a ruckus from at least Yzak."
Shiho put her cup down, pensive. Across from her, Ezaria nibbled on her cookie, staring out the windows into the city of Maius Four.
"Ezaria," Shiho began. She took a breath. "If you must know, Yzak and I had been together for a while before the engagement."
Ezaria turned her head and smiled sweetly. "Oh, I know," she said simply.
"Eh? You…you knew? How?" Shiho stared, dumbstruck.
Ezaria laughed, a twinkle in her eye. "I have my ways. And besides, why else do you think I arranged the marriage between you two? I knew it would take Yzak years before he proposed, but I desperately want grandchildren now, so I thought I would take the initiative and speed things up."
Shiho, mouth agape, couldn't speak.
"I expected at least some resistance from Yzak, but when he made absolutely no fuss, I knew things were either horribly wrong or amazingly right. And it seems like things have turned out right."
Ezaria took another bite of her cookie. Ah, toffee almond. Heavenly.
Yes, things were going amazingly well.