Sailor Moon Snippet One

 

"Mamoru."

"Usako?" Mamoru stood in his doorway, watching Usagi in surprise. She seemed... serious.

"Mamo-chan. I have to... go somewhere. Could you please take care of Chibi?"

"Chibi?"

A bright pink head poked around the doorway, "Mamo-chan!" She tried to get to him, but Usagiís strong hand kept her back.

"I think the others are studying right now, and they can always use help."

Chibi stopped struggling and stared at Usagi in utter surprise.

"Usako -- where are you going?"

"Mrs. Tsuko..." Usagi swallowed, "She asked me to visit her daughter."

"Ah." Mamoru realized now. It was a death-watch. Usagi, being Serenity, carried her inner-peace with her and shared it with others. She brought comfort and tranquillity to them all. Mrs. Tsuko recognized that part of her and did not hesitate to train Usagi in that part of her responsibility. But for a fifteen-year old girl, a death-watch was a hard thing. Mamoru gathered Usagi in his arms and ignored Chibiís demands. Usagiís head dipped briefly to his shoulder, then she straightened up. She touched his face with her hand, staring into his eyes. "Usako..."

She squirmed away from him, and lifted a hand in farewell, her eyes sparkling and the grin back on her face. "See you!" She ran down the hall and disappeared.

"Mamo-chan!" Chibi demanded his attention, and he absently swung her up in his arms. "Well, Chibi-usa. Shall we go see the others?"

 

"Everyone!!" Chibi squealed and ran in to try and hug each person simultaneously.

"Chibi!" The group looked up at her entrance and tried to contain the whirlwind.

Rei saw Mamoru first. "Mamoru? But whereís Usagi?"

"Elsewhere. I came to join the study group."

There was instant combinations of exasperation, apprehension, and consternation on the faces of the four. Mako muttered, "Usagiís going to blow a gasket if she finds out."

Mamoru rolled his eyes at their theatrics. "Usagi suggested it."

A silence was broken by Chibi, "Itís true! I didnít believe it either! But she did! She dropped me off at Mamoruís and told him to come here!"

Chibi... Mamoru tried not to frown at his future daughter.

"Thatís... unusual." Ami was obviously trying hard to be fair.

That did it. Mamoru usually tried to stay out of it, but Usagi was in a hard position, not that they knew it, but all she got from them... "For pityís sake! Usagi is NOT jealous of you!!"

The silence was stronger this time and five pairs of eyes rested on him. Their message of Ďdonít you know anythingí was louder then if they had spoken it.

"Iím serious, people." Mamoru sighed and moved to a couch. It was his own fault. Heíd started it. Now heíd have to explain. He hated explaining things. Heíd much rather theyíd find out on their own. But they wouldnít. Particularly not this. Mamoru felt the curious detachment that meant he was joining in spirit with his other selves. Most of the time, he was just Mamoru, but at times, he was more. He whispered a silent welcome to himself and felt their support and amusement.

"Right then." Mamoru tried to gather his thoughts. The others silently watched him, waiting breathlessly for what heíd say. Even Chibi was quiet for once.

As they waited, Ami stifled a squeak as she noticed his hands under the table, shredding some white clovers. He wasnít holding them a moment ago! Next to her, Mako raised an inquiring eyebrow. Ami shook her head and kept watching Mamoruís hands.

"Okay. I guess the first thing one needs to understand about Usagi is our history."

"What history?"

"Ancient history." Mamoru smiled briefly. "Iím talking about when you lived in the Silver Millennium."

"Donít you mean Ďweí?" Rei made the statement, and Ami and Mako nodded, but Minako just looked away. Mamoru studied her briefly -- heíd always thought that of the four of them, that Minako had retained the most memory. But she was like him. Not speaking of it unless they had to.

"No, I lived on Earth. My family was part of the Silver Millennium, but while most of the Moon Kingdom actually lived on the Moon, our familyís responsibility was more directly on Earth and thatís where we lived." He smiled with memories of Endymion as they merged, "I first met Serenity when I was seventeen and my father brought me with him on his annual report to the Moon Queen. Our friendship was a rocky one at first," and he rubbed a hand on the side of his head, grinning with suppressed laughter, "but it survived and we became close friends."

"Friends?" The general reaction was surprise -- theyíd heard so much about the Ďmiracle romanceí.

"Friends." Mamoru replied firmly. "Serenity was ten years older than me! And I was only my fatherís third son. Of course, that didnít matter so much since the Moon Queen doesnít usually marry."

Already in shock from trying to imagine Usagi as ten years older than Mamoru (though a whisper of memory from within them recalled the beautiful older Princess), the last statement took them totally by surprise. "She doesnít??" Chibi, who had no previous memories to call upon, spoke, and they could tell she had the picture of her mother and father in her mind.

"No, she..." Mamoru blinked, then shook his head, "Never mind. That one just disappeared on me. Must not have been important. Anyway, Serenity and I were friends for over seven years before we realized that weíd crossed that border into love." He closed his eyes, remembering that year with longing and pain. "It was less than a year later that Beryl made her move." He still hadnít opened his eyes, and his pain came through in his voice. "Less than a year..." And what would have happened if the timing had been different? Would I have seen the evil coming if I hadnít been so wrapped up in Serenity? Would Serenity have followed me into death if our love hadnít been so new?

"Oh..." The girls, even Chibi, were enthralled. The love that they all longed for was manifest in their beloved couple, and Mamoru expressed it almost without being aware of it.

"And I was killed. Right in front of Serenity. Taken away from her and she could do nothing. She followed, but our spirits were torn away from each other in the maelstrom. For over a thousand years we searched for each other. Sometimes, we would come close, but without our memories, there was always something missing. Finally, after a thousand years," and the weight of those years was in his voice, "we find each other again. We are whole again. Not just Endymion and Serenity, but Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon, Mamoru and Usagi -- we were WHOLE," and the absolute longing that spoke to them made the others recoil in near pain, "And right at that moment, what happens?" He didnít really have to say, they all remembered, except for Chibi, but he was remembering himself, "Iím taken away from her. Right out of her arms, just about. Taken away..." He started to say what they all knew, but his glance fell upon Chibi and he refrained. In his hands, the crushed juniper made a sweet but bitter smell through the room. "And I die again. Leaving Usagi. Leaving Serenity. Leaving her to deal with the Evil on her own. She had the strength for it. She had the courage. But she thinks she should have been able to save us. She only remembers what she thinks was her failure, though it was really the only way the darkness could have been tricked into manifesting wholly and thereby be destroyed."

There were surprised exclamations and gurgles from the other four, as they tried to adjust that interpretation of what happened into their memories of it.

Mamoru didnít even notice. "And now weíre together again. But she remembers the other times, and worries. Even as itís our duty to protect her, she feels responsible for us, and fights for us. But she remembers..." Mamoru shook his head and fell silent.

Hesitantly, Mako took up the idea, "And she only feels... secure? when sheís with you?"

Mamoruís eyes lighted and he nodded, "As long as I am with her, she can protect me."

"But she knows she canít, always, but she tries," Reiís voice was soft, caring, as she rarely let herself be seen.

"And sheís only fifteen," Ami smiled, "As are we all."

"And so is jealous."

"But sheís not really jealous."

"Especially not of you." Mamoru grinned, "If she canít be with me, sheíd rather that I was with you."

They chimed in as one, "To protect you."

"Exactly. Because she knows that you are not a threat to my safety." But even as he spoke, his grin faltered for an instant, as his eyes drifted across Chibi, who was frowning at her toes. He recovered in practically no time, and of the other four, only Ami noticed.

She frowned, but spoke lightly, "Well, that explains it, I think." They all laughed. "Now, Mamoru, since youíre here... I was trying to explain the principles of refraction -- I donít think I was doing it very well."

"Itís not you, Ami! Itís us!!" Mako laughed, and obediently bent over her book again.