"Tie the Knot" "By Mardrena"

July 18th, 1992

      Sunlight peeked through the windows of Mia’s house. Inside their rooms the Ronin Warriors were each waking up. The first thing Kento thought of was breakfast. Rowen rolled onto his side and pulled out the 300 page book that was the source of a very annoying backache. Cye stood up and went to his bedroom door. He looked out to the living room and saw that Tanya and Anubis were still asleep. Very carefully, he made his way to the bathroom and closed the door without waking the two. Sage sat up and smacked his lips because of the dryness.
God, my hair must be a mess! he thought as he fetched his clothes. Ryo was up early and went out to get the paper. Mia had already woken and dressed. The tantalizing smell of Mia’s cooking lured Kento out of his room and downstairs. He stopped when he saw that Tanya and Anubis were still asleep on the sofas. Kento leaned over the back of the one Tanya was sleeping on and gently nudged her. "Hey Tanya, it’s 7:30, rise and shine-" he was suddenly cut off when Tanya, without so much as opening her eyes, reached for her pillow and hit him with it.
      *WHOCK!!* Kento staggered back from the blow and put a hand up to his face. Anubis opened his eyes and saw Tanya place her pillow back under her head. Her eyes were still closed. "When she does not want to be woken she’ll let you know," he said.
     "Yeah, no kidding," Kento mumbled.
      Anubis got up and scratched the back of his neck and yawned. Hmmm...this feels like a nice day, he thought. He rummaged around for his clothes and went to the bathroom to get dressed. Then he returned to the sofa and, following Tanya’s example, folded the rest of his things and tucked them under the cushions. Tanya had finally woken and she also went to get dressed. Meanwhile the other Ronin congregated at the table and sat down to eat. Then Tanya finished dressing and, not wanting to be late, ran into the kitchen. When she ran onto the tile floor she skidded for a few inches. Tanya looked down at her feet and put her hands on her hips.
     "Dammit Mia, these new socks you bought for me suck!" she complained.
     "Well you were in desperate need of new clothes. They just need to be worn a couple of times so you’ll get used to them," Mia said.
     "I don’t see why I had to get new clothes, my old ones were comfortable enough," Tanya argued.
      "Well I would feel very embarrassed if I had nothing to wear but the same clothes I had worn since I was twelve not to mention a hole in my panties the size of my fist!" Mia shouted.
     "Oh yeah, you’d better watch your mouth or else there’ll be a lump the size of my fist on your head," Tanya grumbled and began to eat.
      Mia was washing dishes later on. Anubis walked into the kitchen to fetch the newspaper. "Anubis, have you seen Tanya?" Mia asked.
     "She went outside to hang out clothes," he replied.
     "What! She better not...." Mia shoved open the curtains and growled in frustration when she saw Tanya. She pushed open the window and leaned outside. "Tanya! How many times have I told you not to do that!?" Mia shouted. Tanya was hanging upside down again. She pulled herself up into a sitting position and put one hand next to her mouth.
     "Go soak your head in a bowl of oatmeal!" she yelled. Mia was fuming with anger.      "I do not understand why that bothers you. She is helping out after all."
     "I know that, but she doesn’t need to do it that way!" Mia exclaimed. Anubis only shrugged and walked outside to where Tanya was and regarded her for a moment.      "An ancient method of strengthening one’s endurance I see."
     "Yep," Tanya replied. Anubis walked over to the opposite side of the pole and grabbed onto the horizontal bar. Then he pulled himself up, hooked his legs over the bar, and was now hanging upside down beside her.
     "Mind if I help you?" he asked.
     "No, knock yourself out," she answered. Mia looked up from washing a glass and gasped when he saw both Anubis and Tanya hanging upside down together. She almost let the glass slip but caught herself before she did. Instead she smacked it down on the counter angrily and clenched her other hand into a fist. Ryo walked up beside her and looked out the window.
     "Why do you let her get to you like that? She’s just being herself."
     "She doesn’t have to do it hanging upside down!" Mia cried. She sighed and walked into the living room and plopped herself on the sofa. Then she leaned forward, rested her elbows on her knees, then positioned her chin on her wrists. Ryo came over and sat down beside her.
     "She only wants to help out you know," he said.
     "Yes, but the way she does some things is just so annoying!" Mia mumbled.      "But she does them doesn’t she?"
     "I mean, she does the vacuuming, the ironing, the laundry..." Ryo counted off the different things with his fingers.
     "And the 1001 little things I’m too busy to think about," Mia sighed, finishing Ryo’s statement.
     "She gets a lot of her personality form Mom," Ryo mentioned.
      "What did happen to your parents, after Tanya left?" Mia asked.
     "Dad was killed by a lion a few weeks after she vanished. He was a wildlife photographer and he wanted to go on another expedition to get his mind off of Tanya’s disappearance. Just a few weeks after that Mom left too," Ryo said.
      "She died?"
     "No, she just disappeared. Like she went on a long trip without telling me and never came back," Ryo answered.
     "Then you weren’t the only one who was lonely. All the while Tanya was kept separate from her family your parents left too." Mia placed a hand on his wrist. Ryo looked at her.      "Uh, Mia, this may sound kind of stupid coming from a guy my age. I know you’re older than I am..."
     "Only by a few years. Besides, next to Rowen I think you’re the most mature of the others," Mia reasoned.
     "Well, uh...remember through the Dynasty Wars. I always protected you, but when your grandfather died I suddenly felt that I had a bigger responsibility to you. That he wanted me to take care of you..."
     "I understand what you are trying to tell me Ryo," Mia murmured.
     "I he was still alive, would he approve?" Ryo asked.
     "Yes he would, but with my parents it would be a whole other matter. They probably would if you were like my first boyfriend," Mia answered.
     "What did he look like?" Mia stood up and fetched a small photo album from the book case on the other side of the living room. She pulled out a 4 * 6 and replaced the album. She returned to her seat beside Ryo and handed him the picture. Ryo took one look and recoiled in shock. "Augh!" he responded to the sight of the picture of a gap-toothed, spectacled boy, about fifteen, Ryo guessed, with black hair and a very distanced hairline. He was holding his fingers up in a V-sign and was smiling.
     "I am nothing like your old boyfriend!" Ryo exclaimed. Mia sighed and took back the picture.
     "Then they wouldn’t approve. But who cares, they never really paid any attention to me. My grandfather was more like a father to me than my real one. He home schooled me, that’s why I graduated at such a young age and got a lob teaching at Shinasha," Mia explained.
     "What would you think?" Ryo asked and looked at Mia with his blue eyes. Mia looked back at him with her green eyes and rubbed her neck with her right hand.
     "Well, seeing that you are fighting again, I suppose......" The next thing they knew they found their lips nearing each other. Both of them slowly closed their eyes. Then a loud catcall interrupted them.
     "RYO AND MIA SITTIN IN A TREE, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!!" Cye and Kento sang in unison.
     "And you know what part comes next!" Cye snickered, bearing a wicked grin on his face.
     "Yeah Ryo, if you love her so much why don’t you marry her?" Kento jeered.
     "Allright, that’s it! Your asses are mine!" Ryo yelled and ran up the stairs and chased after the two rowdy young men. Cye and Kento frantically ran for their lives to escape the wrath of the Ronin leader. Meanwhile Mia was resting her chin on the palm of her hand and contemplating what Ryo told her.
      Late, late at night the two went out to the balcony after they were sure everyone had turned in for the night. "Ryo, if we did decide to go through with this, what would happen?" Mia asked. She leaned against the railing of the balcony and looked up at the stars.
      "Well, um, I don’t know myself, actually. After Scar attacked you I just started to feel so protective of you. I’m sure if we did actually decide to go through with it the Dynasty would try to get to you," Ryo said.
     "As if they hadn’t been trying before," Mia added. "Would you want any children?" Ryo’s eyes widened. Then they both burst out laughing but stopped out of fear of waking the others.
     "Let that come in time. There’s still one problem, how are we going to do this without the other guys. They’d just make fun of us," Ryo brought up.
     "We can trust Anubis and Tanya."
      "Let’s not forget Yulie. I’m sure he would understand," Ryo added.
     "I’ll look for someone who can do the services. We’ll do it Friday night after the boys come home," Mia said.
     "Well need some sort of plan worked out so they won’t notice us here. I can talk to Anubis and Yulie. Do you think you can handle Tanya?"
     "If I can handle being assaulted by Nether Soldiers I can handle your sister," Mia replied.
      Whiteblaze had ventured upstairs to see what was going on. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Ryo and Mia embracing each other in a passionate kiss. He shook his head and thought how that had to have been the strangest thing he had seen in a thousand years.

      The week had passed by slowly. Once Sage had walked by the sofa and saw Mia asleep in Ryo’s lap and Ryo had his arm around her.
     "Something’s kindling and it’s not the fire," he taunted.
     "Shut up Sage!" Ryo warned and narrowed his eyes, glaring angrily at the Ronin of Wisdom. Sage glanced at his friend uncertainly then went upstairs to his room.

      Ryo had found Anubis sitting on the sofa reading. He sat down next to him and Anubis looked at him from the corner of his eye.
     "Hey Anubis, how would you like to be my Best Man?"
     "Your what?"
     "Listen, all you have to do is this....

      Mia had seen Tanya stretch out on the sofa and watch a movie. She went to the living room and found her still lounging lazily. Mia walked up to her cautiously. She was nervous about conversing with Ryo’s hot-tempered sister. "Tanya, can I talk to you about something?"
     "If it has to do with my clothes, beat it," she replied stiffly.
     "No, this had to do with your brother." Tanya looked up at Mia with one eyebrow raised skeptically. She sat up and Mia seated herself beside her.
      "Tanya, I know we haven’t exactly been the best of friends, but I need to tell you, here..." Mia leaned over and whispered something in Tanya’s ear. Tanya recoiled in shock and stared at Mia.
     "We’re serious about this," she said. Tanya nodded and Mia finished explaining the rest of the plan.
While the boys were away Mia had gone to a dressmaker to have her gown made. Tanya reluctantly went with her to give her honest opinion. Tanya herself couldn’t actually believe this was happening. After all, she had hinted the special relationship that had been developing between the two since the end of the Dynasty Wars.
      With Anubis’ help Ryo developed a plan so that the four of them would be able to get out of the house without being noticed by the others.

      Friday night had arrived at last. It was about 9:25 and Rowen was sitting in the recliner doing homework. Sage, Cye, and Kento were watching a movie they had rented. Tanya peeked out from the kitchen and studied the situation. She looked at Anubis who nodded in approval. Tanya sighed then walked over to the sofa she slept on. She punched Kento in the arm, forcing him to move to the side. She reached down under the cushion and fished out her night clothes.
     "I’m going to take a long shower. If any of you try to sneak up on me I’ll kick you in the balls once for every year of your lives!" she threatened. Then she went upstairs, entered the bathroom, and locked the door. Inside she set down a small tape player and turned it on. Then she changed into her sub-armor, opened the window, then jumped out. She landed on the ground below and then took off running into the forest.
      Whiteblaze padded up to Rowen and laid his chin on his knee. "No Whiteblaze, I’m busy. Go away," he said. Whiteblaze moaned and then went to where the boys were sitting. He moved infront of the TV
     "Whiteblaze! Move your furry butt out of the way!" Kento yelled.
     "He wants someone to take him for a walk," Cye noted.
     "I’ll take him," Anubis offered. He opened the front door to allow Whiteblaze out then followed behind him into the forest. Anubis transformed into sub-armor mode then turned to Whiteblaze.
     "Go get Yulie. Meet us in the clearing by the Fervor Cave," he ordered. Whiteblaze nodded then ran off towards his goal; to fetch the ring bearer.

      Mia stood in a clearing that was above the Fervor Cave: The infamous scene of Ryo’s first battle against Lord Sabre Strike. A man in elaborate robes stood near a vine covered wooden arbor flanked by two oil lamps that he had set up. He looked up when he saw a red armored figure approach them. Ryo entered the clearing and stared in awe at Mia’s gown.
     "Wow, you’re...amazing," he stammered.
     "Tanya helped me choose it. Where are they anyway?" She looked around. Two other figures entered the clearing. Tanya and Anubis had arrived.
     "You made sure you were discreet about leaving the house, right?" Ryo asked.
     "Very discreet," Tanya confirmed and nodded.

     "Where’s Mia?" Cye asked.
     "She said that she might have to stay to the university a couple of extra hours," Sage answered.
     "What about Ryo?"
     "He’s outside training," Rowen replied.
     "At this hour? Man, he sure is a workaholic," Kento commented.
      Cye stood up and went upstairs to the bathroom door. "Tanya, what’s taking you so long in there? You’ve been in there for more than an hour!" Cye called out and rapped his knuckles against the door.
     "You’d better get your little punk ass away from here you little turd! Or else I’ll kick you so hard you’ll hit your head on the MIR!!!" Tanya’s enraged voice screamed. Cye yelped and fled downstairs away from the Lady Ronin’s threatening voice.

      Tanya went to take her position beside Mia and Anubis took his place beside Ryo. Tanya gently poked Mia in the arm and winked. Mia smiled and looked at Ryo.
     "I have to admit, for all my years of experience this is the first time I have presided at a wedding," Anubis confessed.
     "Thanks for being here old friend," Ryo said.
     "Well, are we ready to begin? Where are the rings?" The priest asked. Just then, Whiteblaze trotted up to the group with Yulie on his back. Yulie dismounted and went up to stand between Ryo and Mia. He took out a small case and opened it, displaying the two golden rings inside. Ryo smiled and placed his hand on the boy’s head.
     "Are you sure you want to go through with this?" he asked Mia.
     "I’ve though this over very carefully. Yes, it would be for the best," she answered.
     "Very well then, are we ready now?" the priest asked.
     "Yep, let’s get this show on the road, there’s a movie I want to see tonight," Tanya reminded.
     "Then let’s do this," Ryo said.

"Hey Kento! What the heck are you doing up there?" Cye called out.
     "Finding this." Kento held up the tape player.
     "I hadn’t heard her say anything in over an hour so I went to see what had happened and I found this," Kento explained.
     "What, did you break down the door or what?" Cye demanded.      "Yeah, something weird is going on here," Sage added.
      Then the front door opened and the others looked up in shock to see Ryo in full Battle Armor carrying Mia in his arms. Mia was wearing a white wedding dress and veil and the both of them had wide grins on their faces. Both of them had a gold ring on their fingers. Ryo set Mia down on the floor and she leaned against him.
     "NO WAY!!!" They cried out in unison.
     "You got married!" Cye exclaimed.
     "I don’t believe it!" Sage stuttered.
     "Oh man Ryo! I can’t believe you and Mia tied the knot!" Rowen remarked.
     "Yep. We’re Mr. and Mrs. Sanada now," Ryo said.
     "Hey, I feel offended! We’re your best buds, and you didn’t tell us? What gives?" Kento argued.
     "If we had told you you would have embarrassed us so much we would have never gone through with it," Ryo answered flatly. The other boys looked around sheepishly. Ryo did have a point.
     "Well gee Ryo, I’m sorry you felt that way about us. I can make it up to you, I’ll bake you a wedding cake," Cye offered.
     "Ooh, yeah! I like Cye’s cooking. It’s way better than Rowen’s," Kento said.      "Yeah Rowen, how is it that you ace chemistry and totally flunk Home Ec.?" Sage asked.
     "That’s very kind of you Cye, but I’m afraid we can’t stay," Mia answered.
     "Yep, we’re going to go enjoy our one-week honeymoon," Ryo said. He picked up Mia in his arms again and carried her outside to where Whiteblaze, Yulie, Anubis, and Tanya were standing. Kento did a double take at Tanya.
      "So that’s where you were!" he accused. Tanya belted him in the chest with her elbow. Ryo and Mia got on top of Whiteblaze and were about to ride off when Yulie ran up to them.
     "Wait up!" He took out a white cardboard sign that he had decorated with tiny bells and colored ribbons and tied it to the base of Whiteblaze’s tail.      "Thanks Yulie, that’s really nice," Ryo complemented.
     "Enjoy yourselves!" he cheered. Ryo nodded and nudged Whiteblaze. The tiger roared and trotted of, bearing the newlyweds on his back.
     "Allright, show’s over, gidadahere!" Tanya hollered at the other boys and pushed them back inside. "Yulie, you can go inside and get something to eat from the fridge."
     "I’ll take you home when you’re done," Anubis said.
     "Oh cool! I get to ride home with Anubis!" Yulie exclaimed then went inside.       Tanya and Anubis remained outside for a while. "Well, that went well. At least they’re happy together," Anubis mentioned.
     "Yeah, but how often is it that a Ronin Warrior marries a teacher and the couple ride off on a giant white tiger with a ‘Just Married’ sign tied to his butt?" Tanya asked. There were a few seconds of silence. Then suddenly they both burst out laughing. Their laughter continued for a while until they finally stopped.
     "Well, I missed the beginning of the movie... you up for microwave popcorn?" Tanya asked.
     "Sure," Anubis answered and shrugged. They changed back into their clothes and went inside. Meanwhile the happily married Ryo and Mia rode off into the night, their
destination; a cruise ship departing on a one week trip. It was a sight to see the newlywed couple riding on a white tiger.