Title: Aishiteru
Author: Lisa
Rating: G

Author's Notes:
Hi minna! Here's my latest fic. It's pretty short and sweet…hope you enjoy!
Disclaimers: Sailor Moon and the others don't belong to me, but this story does.

I could feel Usako struggling, trying so admirably to withstand the great power of the Silver Crystal. She was already extremely weak from the torture that had occurred only minutes before, though it seemed like an eternity to me. I wanted so desperately to help ease some of her agony. Yet I was helpless to help her as I lay there, watching her struggle painfully. My heart ached terribly to see her anguish and not be able to do anything about it. Her beautiful face was pale, but a look of clear conviction was plastered on her delicate features. How strong my Usako was. It was one of the many things I loved about her. She never let anything keep her down, and always put others before her. Always caring and never greedy. "Usako..." Her name barely came out from my dry lips. I licked them nervously.

I looked over at the senshi. All four of them were also helpless in aiding Usagi. They were currently lying on the hard stone ground, eyes focused on their princess. I could see the guilt darkening their eyes, as if thinking that they had failed their princess. No, they hadn't failed her. The senshi had remained faithful to Usagi no matter what; they were always there for her, even under the darkest of circumstances. No, if anyone had failed Usagi, it was me. She had come here to save me and was now fighting with her life, her very essence.

I winced as the pain shot through my entire body as I slowly stood up. 'She needs me.' That fueled my determination to reach her, and I gritted my teeth to withstand the immense pain screaming through my veins. I walked over to her slowly. Usako was barely maintaining control of the power radiating from her crystal. I gently put my arms around her, lending my strength to hers. She turned around, smiling slightly in appreciation.

"Arigato Mamo-chan," she whispered to me. Her words were swallowed instantly by the strong winds, but not before I caught them. I smiled gently and gave her arm a gentle squeeze. Her warmth radiated from her, and for a single moment—as long as I dared—I closed my eyes, recalling the happy times we'd once shared. How long ago had that been, when I was last rewarded with her open smile? These past few months and our break up had been torture for my Usako...and I was mostly the cause of her distress. Guilt washed over me. My eyes shot open. 'No,' I thought, scolding myself firmly, 'you can't think like that. Be here for her here, now.'

The rushing of the wind made a loud whoosh sound. In the corner of my eye, I could see that we were beginning approaching Earth. If this meteor were to hit Earth...everything and everyone we knew and loved would be destroyed. But one look at the angel in my arms told me otherwise. There was no way that Usagi was going to let everyone down, even if it…killed her. I shivered involuntarily at those words, trying hard to focus on the energy pulsing within me. I transfer as much of my strength to my Usako as I could muster, praying that it would be enough.

The other senshi gradually made their way to stand behind us, each calling upon the power of their respective planets to aid their beloved leader. With all the positive energy that radiated from us, accompanied be the powerful crystal, we couldn't lose...right? The fierce winds blew at us, but we stood our ground. Power, raw power, surged from all around us, creating a strong barrier. This was it...

I could feel Usako weakening. Her body trembled under my touch, and worry quickly began gnawing away at me. The power of the crystal was clearly too much for her to handle. What would happen if...if she were to be like her mother, Queen Serenity? I vaguely remembered how Queen Serenity had died—by unleashing the full power of the Silver Crystal. Isn't that what Usako was doing now? If she were to die...I wouldn't know what I'd do. She was my life, the girl who hadn't been afraid of saving me from the darkness.

Usako was trying so hard now. Her tightly closed eyes were a sign that she was struggling, even with our combined support. She didn't give up though, just kept pushing at the limits of her power. In that moment, as she channeled her life essence into the crystal, I was forcibly struck by her beauty. She was positively radiant, glowing from her unwavering determination to save us all. I was blinded by her light, her beauty.

The meteor turned away from its target, and I released a breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding. Earth was safe. Suddenly, without warning, the crystal shattered. As panic gripped me, all I could see were Usako's eyes darkening as her life drained from her body. She fell back, and I caught her in my arms. Gently kneeling on the hard meteor ground, I could faintly hear the other senshi's footsteps as they ran toward us.

"Usagi-chan!" I heard one of them call out...I had no clue who. "Don't leave us!" It seemed like my brain had shut down. My eyes were glued to my Usako as she lay there, not breathing, not moving, not…living. I could feel tears forming in my own eyes. Tears. I hadn't cried in a long time. Now it seemed like it was uncontrollable. I embraced her tightly, gently shaking her even though I knew it did no good.

"Usako...no...please...no..." All the other senshi had silent tears sliding rapidly down their flushed cheeks.

I felt a tingling sensation, like something forming beside me, but I shook it off.

"Mamoru..." Someone whispered. Now that caught my attention. "Mamoru..." I turned my head toward the eerily familiar voice, only to be rendered breathless once more.

"Fiore," I managed to say.

He nodded. "Yes, it's me." He knelt down beside us. "Arigato Mamoru," he said gratefully, "for helping me be free. You and Sailor Moon both." He held out his hands, and I stared at the beautiful white flower that rested in the center of his palm, its petals glistening. "I want you to have this flower. My friendship flower."

I gazed blankly at the delicate blossom and was instantly propelled to the last blissful moment we had shared, before my world crashed down around me. If only I kissed her that time, instead of being embarrassed about it! I was suddenly overwhelmed with regrets. I regretted not kissing her. I regretted not telling her I loved her, despite knowing how much those three little words meant to her. I regretted not having spent each day making myself worth of her love.

"Arigato Fiore. But all I want is for Usako to be back with me." I look down at my beloved. Even in death, she looked as beautiful and radiant as ever. If only I had told her...

I watched the small smile still lingering on Fiore's face. "Oh, but you can. You didn't let me finish. This flower contains my life energy." He paused a little. "I know I was selfish before. But I know how much you love Sailor Moon, so I am giving you two a second chance."

I could hardly believe my ears. He was…what? I can..still be with Usako? This wasn't a dream? I closed my eyes, then opened them again. Fiore still knelt before me. No, it was real. Usako was coming back to me! Fiore held out the flower. I gently leaned over and inhaled the fragrance of the blossom. My lips then gently took in its magical energy. The energy that would save my Usako. I lean down and, without any hesitation kissed Usako passionately. Her lips felt cold. What would happen if it wouldn't work?

After a while, I felt Usako's lips responding weakly to my kiss. She was alive! I let go, my face almost touching hers. Her eyes opened slowly and surveyed the bleak surroundings.

"Mamo-chan...minna... Arigato," my princess whispered weakly. All the senshi beamed, and once again, I felt tears forming in my eyes. This time, however, they were tears of utter joy and relief.

As we started to teleport back to Earth, I looked down at Usako. I wondered if this was real, that this angel, my angel was alive and beside me once more. I silently swore to make things right between us. I wouldn't stop until Usako knew just how much she meant to me.

We teleported back to Earth in a flash of light. The stars dotted the night sky, and full moon cast its warm glow upon us, as if welcoming our return home. After many hugs, cheers, and tears of happiness, the rather worn out girls went each their separate ways and left us alone, knowing we had things to discuss privately.

I decided to walk Usako home. "Mamo-chan...can we not tell Chibi-usa about what happened? I don't want her to worry." I knew she was referring to her dying.

"Sure Usako," I agreed.

The rest of the walk was basically silent. My arm was loosely yet protectively draped around her shoulders. I didn't dare let her go, in fear that she would slip away from me as soon as we broke contact. I pulled her closer to me, and she let out a quiet sigh of content. I took in the sweet scent of her golden hair and placed a kiss on her forehead. The night's events would stay out of our conversation for now…we had all the time in the world, thanks to Fiore.

We stopped on the sidewalk in front of her house, and she gave me a weak smile. "See you tomorrow, Mamo-chan." She came closer, wrapping her small yet surprisingly strong arms around my waist. "I don't know how I could've done it without you today," she murmured, rubbing her face into my shirt. I knew that silent tears were running down her cheeks, but Usagi was too proud to let them show.

"You were so brave..." She laughed through her tears, and I wiped them away with my thumb. Cupping her face with my hands, I looked into her glassy eyes. They closed slightly, and I kissed her briefly. A light went on inside the Tsukino residence, and I had a feeling Kenji was watching us. The flashback of him saying that he had a gun under his possession was enough for me unwillingly step out of her arms. Usako didn't bother to stifle her yawn, and I chuckled.

"Get some rest Usako. I'll see you tomorrow." She nodded and started to turn away from me, a light blush decorating her rosy cheeks. I watched her every movement: the way the gently breeze blew at her hair, the way she brushed the loose tendrils behind her ear, the way her waist swayed adorably as she walked the few steps to her doorstep. I drew in a breath and wondered for the thousandth time that day how I'd managed to win her love.


From the uppermost step of her porch, she faced me, her eyes soft. "Yes Mamo-chan?"


Thanks for reading! Please leave me a quick review!

This story was first written January 2001, edited/revised October 2002.