Disclaimer - I don't own Sailor Moon. (gasp!) And I'm sure you're all just shocked to the core ;)

Author Notes: -- [Shoujo-Ai Warning!]

If female/female romance makes you a bit uncomfortable, I suggest pressing the back button _or_ copying and pasting the story into a word document and manually changing all the pronouns ^_^ (while overlooking any comments made towards ladies undergarments).

Comments and feedback always much appreciated and flames (if purely mindless) always enjoyed for entertainment purposes.


Seiya just couldn't tear the grin off her face as she snuck into the living room of her girlfriend's new apartment. Though dumpy, small and closer to resembling a storage room rental rather than a one-bedroom suite, it was prized and adored simply because it was the college student's first.

Stealthily avoiding scattered boxes and the lose piece of floorboard that had earned her poor butt a fast and courteous trip to bruise-ville, Seiya silently crept up behind the blond-haired girl who looked like she had put herself on one heck of a mission.

Try as hard as she might to empathize with the girl's obvious distress, it was just too adorable a picture to immediately interrupt. Balanced precariously on a chair dragged from the tiny closet that was her kitchen to the floor beside the balcony entrance, Usagi struggled hard to keep her toes steady as her hands ever-so-slowly inched their way along the wall to reach the little crevice tucked behind the top of the ruffled curtains.

Dust smeared across her cheeks in jagged streaks like war paint, her shirt and skirt she had just changed into (for another mission far more important), were wrinkled and riding higher and higher up her leg, while her weapon of choice, a feather duster, was held fast between her teeth.

"A little nervous, are we?" Seiya finally couldn't help but remark. "Since when have you been this compulsive? Especially with housework!" she chuckled.

Usagi yelped and nearly jumped out of her skin, dangerously wobbling the chair and threatening to send it flying across the room. "Hmmmmmmph!!"

Quickly, Seiya moved to grab her legs and steady her. "Was that a word?" She still couldn't stop grinning.

Pointedly spitting out the feather duster, Usagi watched with satisfaction as it lightly bounced off the raven-haired girl's head. "Mou, Seiyaaaaa! Do you take pleasure in seeing my heart jump out of my chest? And I'm not being compulsive... whatever that means! I'm just getting into the spirit of moving in."

"Uh huh" Seiya chose not to buy her excuse, absently tracing circles against the suspended girl's calves as she retaliated. "You can barely find your way to the bathroom, you've effectively barricaded yourself out of your bedroom, and your worried about what might be lurking behind the curtain head?"

Usagi shifted cautiously as the other girl's fingers ever so innocently trailed closer to the skin behind her knees. Whether Seiya was doing it on purpose, she couldn't discern, but she didn't fully trust the show of affection. Ever since the raven-haired girl had accidentally stumbled upon one of the most sensitive areas of her body, and discovered how it could reduce her to a helpless mess when tickled there, she had been known to use it to her advantage on whim.

"... Well, maybe I'm a little nervous"

And so she should be, she thought self-righteously. She was about to tell the first man she had ever loved and idolized for two lifetimes that she was ready to move on.

As if sensing the wild tremors Usagi could feel internally, the raven-haired girl reached up and gently wrapped her arms around her waist, resting her cheek against the girl's abdomen while taking care not to throw her off-balanced.

"It's just..." Usagi trailed off.

"I know, I know" Seiya smiled against the fabric of her blouse. "He's a genuinely nice guy, your prince-charming, your hero." She paused. "If you like, I could warm him up for you? I caught him looking down my blouse the other day..."

Usagi choked. "Like I can, right now? Geesz, I was wondering where that bra went -- that's mine you know!"

"Ahhh, good. I thought I was shrinking..."

"I know you have a big ego to stroke, but would you mind saving the exhibitionism for somewhere more ... private?"

"Like, say... within the confines of your new loooooooove shack?" she teased.

With her trademark innocent smile, Usagi patted the other girl's head. "Strut around in your underwear for all I care..."

Seiya laughed, absolutely delighted. While their circle of friends would have had a coronary hearing that come out of the naive and often clueless girl's mouth, Seiya loved being able to bear witness to the fact that her Odango had rampant hormones like the rest of the teenage population. Though often Usagi insisted it was because Seiya had more than enough to rub off and share with the rest of the world.

"Don't think I won't take you up on that."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm counting on it. Now let me come down" she whined. "I'm starting to catch a draft up here"

Looking around she couldn't believe how much work she had left for herself. Classes started up again in only a couple more days, and most of the boxes lying around hadn't even been opened yet. It looked like all the pent-up energy she had built up all morning had been scattered pretty aimlessly.

"Don't worry about it" Seiya waved it off, holding tightly onto Usagi's arms as she once again made contact with the floor. "We'll do it tonight. It'll be like opening presents at Christmas time."

"I can't believe Yaten called it a dump" Usagi huffed, while absently trying to force a piece of floor board back down with the heel of her foot. "I should probably pick up some duct tape for that..."

"So what. The important thing is that it's your dump", Seiya insisted.

"Wha-? Hey!"

Though it was true. That was really all that mattered. It was solid, accountable proof of the changes she had made over the past year, proof of the things she previously thought she'd never be able to do and a solid promise of the chances she would be willing to take for herself in the future. She had liked what had been offered to her on a silver platter before, but finding herself able to carve out her own niche and skip down the mysteriously enticing beaten road (literally, Usagi thought, reminding herself to ask the manager to come in and securely fasten the bathroom sink to the wall) was a downright empowering and heady feeling.

"I'm the next to go" Seiya announced. "I'm sure the only reason Taiki and Yaten keep me around anymore is to take out the garbage and scrub the toilet on a weekly basis for them"

And probably the biggest chance Usagi was willing to take for herself, was right here in her arms, looking back at her with such love and cheerful abandon that it made her heart want to explode. Here she was, putting on such a brave face when she was leaving behind just as much, taking just a chance just as large galaxies away from home and risking a huge amount of disapproval.

"What are you thinking, Odango?" Seiya leaned her forehead against the shorter girl's, the thoughtful expression on her face piquing her curiosity.

"I'm thinking..." Usagi decided to take full advantage if their nearness and wrapped her arms around her companions neck to run her fingers through the strands of her soft, black ponytail.

"I wanna braid your hair! I've got these reallllllly, pretty beads..."

Seiya dropped her head onto Usagi's shoulder and groaned miserably.

"I'll tell you what. We'll sneak a packet of Neo-Citron into Yaten's kool-aid tonight at dinner, and you can have as much fun with her precious, over-priced shampooed hair as you like."


"I'll even take out the Polaroid. Then the next time you have to take out a student loan, we'll sell it on E-Bay".

"Awwww..." Usagi cooed, "You always know just what to say..."

Suddenly their cheerful reverie was shattered by the high-pitched squeal of the telephone. Scrambling, Usagi made a mad dash to the kitchen where the she had just recently discovered the telephone jack. Pots and pans littered the countertops, the tile was non-existent under the never-ending pile of boxes (how had she managed to accumulate so much stuff?) and the nauseating smell of Clorox wafted toxic fumes from the direction of the sink, another one of her random projects that had been quickly undertaken, and just as quickly forgotten. And right in the corner by the stove, was the empty phone receiver.

"Oh fudgee-o..." she cursed. "That's what I get for buying a cordless..."

Fortunately, the person on the other end was a little more patient than she was, continuing to let the phone ring while the frantic girl collapsed to the floor to dig through her scattered possessions. "Where the heck did I put that--aaaaaaaaaaack!"

Usagi jumped as she felt a hand make a grab for her derriere. "Seeeeiiiyaaaaaaaaa!" she fumed. No shame whatsoever, she thought in exasperation and turned around in order to tell her off only to see the grinning girl waggle her eyebrows in her direction in the doorway and put the apparently found silver cordless to her ear.

Oh right. She had put the phone in her back pocket before her last cleaning expedition, hadn't she?

"Moshi-moshi, Tsukino residence!" Seiya's amusement was far too apparent in her greeting. "Oh, Mamoru-san... Yep, she's just about on her way... You betcha.... Yeah, I think it's because she fell asleep to that Martha Stewart marathon the other day..."

Usagi dive-bombed for the phone just as Seiya managed to wrap up the conversation and click the button.

"You ready?"

And that was when everything suddenly came crashing back down to reality.

Silence suddenly permitted everything as the seriousness of what they were about to do stared them right in the eye. Usagi couldn't help but feel a little sick to her stomach and grabbed the edge of the kitchen counter to try and ground herself. Was she ready? If so, then why were there suddenly colors and patterns swimming across her vision? Okay, deep breathes... She could do it. She could explain to who was supposed to be the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor, the truth about how she felt. Couldn't she?

The colorful dots and swirls cleared away to two slightly worried and empathetic blue orbs. With carefully hidden traces of sadness, Usagi noted absently, allowing herself to be pulled up off the floor and held steady in the taller girl's embrace.

"You were pretty busy this afternoon..." Seiya murmured thoughtfully "and as beautiful and as charming as you always are, there's definitely evidence of that right now" she gave Usagi's completely rumpled blouse a gentle little tug. "How about we give Mamoru-san a call back and take a rain check. The newest volume of Shonen Sunday comes out today, and I admit I'm craving a little ice-cream..."

Right. She could go tell Mamoru, which would only be the first of many difficult confrontations to come, or, she could take the doorway with the big exit sign above it right now, which Seiya was holding open for her.

The arms fastened protectively around her waist gave her courage.

"No" Usagi straightened her shoulders and looked defiantly up at her companion. "We have a mission to accomplish!"

It was like watching the sunrise over a clear horizon the way a small, vulnerable smile ever so slowly spread across the taller girl's beautiful face.

Seiya gave Usagi's apartment, Usagi's new life one more thorough glance before cupping the smaller girl's cheeks and softly stroking the flesh there affectionately with her thumb, effectively removing some of the remaining dust. "Are you positive you wanna go through with this?" The emotional, battle-worn soldier just needed a little more confirmation and that one question effectively held every other question that could be asked.

To Usagi's surprise, she actually looked a little sheepish as she continued. "I'm no prince-charming, exactly..."

"Oi!" Usagi forced the girl's chin up and playfully tweaked her ear. Looking into her lover's eyes, it took all of half a second for her heart to fill and burst at the seams. Without thinking, Usagi tangled her fingers in her companion's long black tresses, and swooped upwards to capture her lips in a passionate kiss. It was far from innocent, holding traces of all the battles they had fought together, the sacrifices and tears they had cried to get to where they were, their unspoken promises and... love -- the simplest and strongest proclamation of them all. I love you! She burned the emotion into her lover's skin and Seiya retaliated to do the same.

"Are you ready?" Usagi breathed and pulled the girl to the front door.

"Of course! Hey, I feel like I could move mountains right now. How about we tell Haruka-san afterwards?"

"You've gotta be kidding me!" Usagi laughed. "Are you asking to get pummeled today?"

Seiya just scoffed and followed closely behind her. "Me? Pummeled?"

Yep, Usagi mused as she tried her best to salve her partner's injured pride. She may no longer get to be the regal, all-adored queen and look out the window of a crystal palace, with shining knights at every door, but she was on top of the world.

And the wonderful constriction in her chest, the confidence she had in nearly everything she did and the happiness and love that threatened to bubble over for all the world to see, told her that this was the stuff fairytale's were made of.