April third, two days before the wedding, Tadase cornered Nadeshiko.

Well, not so much cornered as just pulled her into the other room while everyone was talking.

"Nadeshiko, what are you doing? Why are you pretending to be Nagihiko?"

Nadeshiko wanted to cry at these words; it had been so long since someone called her by her own name that she just wanted to cry.

But if she let herself start crying now, she wouldn't stop.

"How could you tell it was me?" Nadeshiko knew it would do no good to deny it, because Tadase was smart and he would figure it out eventually. And part of her was just so relieved that she didn't even want to deny it, even though she knew she probably should.

"You think I wouldn't recognize my first love?" Tadase said with a grin, wrapping his arms around her chest and pulling her into him.

And God, did it feel good to hug him, to rest her head against his chest and be a girl once again.

Why had they ever broken up, anyway?

After a moment the two pulled apart. Tadase held Nadeshiko at arm's length for a moment, just staring at her and taking in that she wasn't dead (Tadase was feeling like crying himself, at this point), before letting go. "So, what are you doing like this?"

Nadeshiko sighed, "Before he died, Nagihiko asked me to do this for him; I think he wanted to make sure Rima was going to be okay."

"That was so stupid; For such a smart person, that was an incredibly moronic final request," Tadase said, somewhat harshly, frowning as he stared at the girl in front of him, "I mean, how much longer can you keep this up?"

"Two days," Nadeshiko muttered, not wanting to think about it too much. "I don't think he expected for Rima to propose marriage so soon, and I didn't know how to turn her down like this; Nagihiko would never say no to marriage."

"You're probably right," Tadase nodded, a sad look on his face, "I mean, your wedding night is sure going to be a fiasco. You definitely don't have the body of a guy, that's for sure."

Tadase didn't mean to embarrass Nadeshiko, but it still left her blushing. "Yeah, that's the problem; do you think she'll be okay with blindfolds and, um..."

"I think she'll be able to tell something's up," Tadase replied, a little pink in the face now too, not quite sure what Nadeshiko was about to suggest but frankly not wanting to know. Nadeshiko sighed, and Tadase reached a hand out and rested it on her shoulder.

"It's okay; I think it'll be good for you to drop this act."

Nadeshiko wasn't sure, though; wouldn't this just hurt Rima so much more than it would have if she had known all along that Nagihiko was actually the one who died?

As Nadeshiko stared into Tadase's comforting eyes something struck her, something that had been nagging at the back of her mind for a while now.

"Hey, Tadase, if you knew it was me, how come Rima doesn't? I mean, shouldn't she be able to tell I'm not the person she loves?"

Tadase smiled a little, "Well, she does love you, maybe just not in the same way as she felt for Nagihiko and, in my opinion... part of her might already know you're really Nadeshiko... She just doesn't want it to be true, so she's probably just telling herself she's imagining it."

Maybe Rima had always suspected it... but even if she did, her mind would probably completely reject the idea. Even the smartest person's common sense could be pushed down in the face of loosing the person you love most in the world.

Rima just wouldn't let herself get hurt.


Nadeshiko didn't want to be there, she really didn't. She should have called the wedding off yesterday, when she still had the chance. Or maybe even this morning. Maybe she should have just "slipped up" and let Rima catch a glimpse of her as she dressed.

But she hadn't done that then, and it was much too late for her to do it now. There would be too many questions, too much curiosity, and Rima would be embarrassed beyond belief.

So she just stood at the altar, wearing a tux that should have belonged to her brother, with Kukai, her brother's best friend, beside her, marrying her brother's love of his life.

With every step Rima took Nadeshiko's heart dropped.

The sound of footsteps and then, internally, the sound of her heart beating sickeningly loudly.

Step, thud, step, thud.

Nadeshiko's palms were sweaty, but she couldn't wipe them on her pants. She just held them awkwardly at her sides, not quite sure what to do.

She wanted to cry, but there was a smile on her face. She didn't think it was a convincing one; everybody could probably see through it as soon as they saw her eyes.

Breathe, breathe, she urged herself. Now would not be a good time to pass out.

Nadeshiko couldn't look at Rima as she walked down the aisle; if she did, she probably would throw up. Instead her eyes scanned the audience. Everyone was looking at Rima with awed eyes and smiles on their faces.

Don't be happy for her, it's all a lie!

Nadeshiko's eyes stopped as she noticed that one person in the audience was not looking at Rima. Tadase was staring at her instead, his eyebrows furrowed and his face obviously concerned.

Nadeshiko didn't want to marry Rima.

Her eyes were hot, hot and wet, and she could feel tears sliding down her cheeks.

Nadeshiko turned towards Rima once again and she smiled, a huge and completely fake smile.

Rima didn't want to marry Nadeshiko.

Nadeshiko felt a hand on her back and turned to see Kukai grinning at her. His hand, warm and big, a man's hand, not a hand like her's or Rima's, patted her gently.

Nadeshiko wanted to run away, she wanted to leave the church and never come back, run until she hit the street then run some more. She just wanted out.

Rima stepped up to join her and smiled up at her, her face a little pink with happiness. "I love you."

Nadeshiko just kept smiling that fake smile she had been smiling for the past few weeks. "I love you too."


A/N: A few people have asked me for Nagihiko's cause of death... and tbh I never came up with one. XD I didn't think it was a large part of the story, so I didn't bother with it. I'm sorry...

Please review; I really appreciate how much feedback I'm getting for this story. :)