The wedding reception was loud and dark, a whirlwind passing by right in front of Nadeshiko's eyes.
She and Rima had already danced together, in the middle of the floor, all eyes on them, and it had made Nadeshiko's head spin.
What would everyone here think tomorrow, when the truth was out? They'd hate her.
As Rima talked with Yaya and Amu, Nadeshiko sat at the bar with Tadase.
"I have like three hours," Nadeshiko moaned, averting her gaze from her wife (her wife!) by dropping her head into her hands. "Three hours before she figures it out!"
Tadase smiled weakly, patting her on the back as he watched Amu jump up and down across the floor. "There's nothing you can do now; just try to break it to her as easily as possible."
"What am I supposed to say, Tadase? 'Oh sorry, but you're not actually married to Nagihiko. Instead, you're now the wife of his twin sister. Oh, where's Nagihiko then? Sorry, he's dead.'" Nadeshiko said harshly, giving Tadase a foul sort of look. She sighed, letting her face soften as she leaned against the counter. "I don't even know how she's going to react. She probably won't even get mad; she'll probably just cry."
"Well, then you'll have to face that. But she can't stay upset forever, right?"
Nadeshiko laughed darkly. "I doubt that."
There was a moment of silence between the two of them, where the only sounds were that of the pounding music and the chatter of the people around them, before Tadase spoke again.
"What are you going to do after?"
"What do you mean, after?" Nadeshiko asked, confused as to what "after" was supposed to indicate.
Tadase sighed before turning to face her. "I mean after she figures out the truth."
This hadn't occurred to Nadeshiko before; she had always thought about what might happen when she was exposed, but not after she was. "I... I don't know. I suppose I'll just follow along with what Rima wants."
"What if she wants to stay married to you? Will you do it?"
Nadeshiko hesitated. "Well, uh, it's probably what Nagihiko would have wanted so yeah, I think I would."
Tadase shook his head, a disappointed look in his eyes. "No, Nadeshiko. Do you understand your situation? You're barely twenty-one, and you're going to jump into a lifelong commitment based solely on what Nagihiko would have wanted. Are you supposed to spend your whole life married to someone you don't love just to please him?"
Nadeshiko, once again, hadn't been thinking that far ahead. Sure, it was easy to say she was fine staying married to Rima, but would she be content with that one, two, ten years down the road? "But it's not as if I dislike Rima."
"Do you like her, or do you love her? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with her and only her?"
Nadeshiko didn't know, she really didn't. Sure, she was awfully fond of Rima, but was it love? Was it the same way she had felt for Tadase all those years ago, or more like how she felt for Amu?
Nadeshiko just didn't know.
Amu had dragged Nadeshiko onto the dance floor and they were slow dancing to some slow song she couldn't name. Back a few years ago Rima would have been unbelievably jealous of this (jealous that someone else was dancing with Amu, that is) but she looked pretty okay with it right now.
Rima really had matured, hadn't she? But what was she going to say after tonight?
Nadeshiko's grip on Amu's waist tightened, and the pink-haired girl frowned as she looked up at her. "What's wrong, Nadeshiko?"
Nadeshiko almost froze on the spot. "Did you just call me Nadeshiko?"
Amu's mouth fell open and turned ten shades of red. "I'm so sorry! I don't know why I said that! I'm so sorry!"
Oh, so it was just a mistake. Nadeshiko let out a small chuckle and smiled at her best friend. "It's fine."
Amu continued staring at Nadeshiko with a blush on her face before speaking, slowly as though she were struggling to get her words together. "But now that I've said it... you do kind of look like Nadeshiko."
Nadeshiko laughed, but it wasn't as jokingly as she would have liked. "Of course Amu; we're twins."
Amu shook her head, her blush increasing. "No, not like that. I mean, yeah, everyone knows you looked alike but this is different."
Amu stopped moving and Nadeshiko was forced to stop as well, holding her in her arms somewhat reluctantly. Amu's eyebrows furrowed slightly as she spoke. "I mean, you really look like Nadeshiko did. Her face was a little slimmer, you know, as was her body. And her eyes..."
Amu stared up at Nadeshiko, her eyes wide as though it suddenly all dawned on her, and in that moment Nadeshiko knew that Amu now knew the truth as well.
Nadeshiko felt sick to her stomach. How had Amu, the most oblivious person she knew, figured it out before Rima? Rima was always quick to catch on, so why was she still clueless now?
What Tadase had said echoed throughout her ears.
"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."
Nadeshiko broke away from Amu, muttering, "I need a moment," before hurrying off the dance floor. Pushing aside the concerned guests that questioned her as she ran off, Nadeshiko quickly entered the men's bathroom (of course, always the men's) and barricaded herself in one of the stalls. She sunk to the floor, not carrying if her beautiful white tux got stained as she gripped the porcelain bowl.
"No no no! Why? Why do I have to do this? Why did I have to lie to everyone?"
And for the first time in a while Nadeshiko cried. Tears were flowing from her eyes, her chest was heaving as she struggled to take in the thick, smelly air of the bathroom.
Nadeshiko leaned forward, gagging before she lost restraint and the contents of her stomach came up through her mouth.
She coughed, tears falling to join the mess in the bowl.
For the first time since his death, Nadeshiko wished she were dead instead of Nagihiko.
A/N: Sorry this is a day late... I had to take on extra shifts at work. =_= And the next chapter probably won't be up until Monday, as I'm going camping over the weekend and won't have access to the internet.
Anyway, if you have a moment please review. :)