:: Bittersweet Goodbye ::
Summary: Mamoru's heading to America and Usagi must send him off with a bittersweet goodbye. Secrets of the past are revealed to the inner senshi and Usagi will experience the joys & trials of a long distance relationship.
Author's Note: This is a much shorter chapter than I'm used to writing, but I thought this moment was much too simple and lovely to be part of something really long, so it became its own story as opposed to a flashback, which was the original intention. As I mentioned before, the story has begun to change more and more, and moving away from the Mamoru/Usagi romance. I will try to stay as true to it as possible, though a lot of the side story material is leading up to a story I want to write that centres around the Shittenou and the Inner Senshi. So my apologies if 'Bittersweet Goodbye' derails a bit. Hopefully not too much, though. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or anything associated with it. The story below, however, is mine, and please don't use it without my permission.
'…' – thoughts
"…" – spoken
* * * * *
Bittersweet Goodbye - Chapter 9: Waiting For You
She paced back and forth, a bundle of excited nerves and raw energy. She glanced at her watch again. 8:48 pm.
"Odango, could you stop pacing please? You're kinda making me dizzy."
"Hush, Haruka. Leave her be."
"She's been pacing almost non-stop for two and half hours. Save for the occasional staring at the flight arrival screen and the quick trip to the bathroom, she's done nothing but walk back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, ba-"
"I get it, Haruka." Michiru sighed and shook her head. It never failed to amaze her how childish her partner was sometimes. "Just be patient a little longer, love. They've been separated for four months now, and it's not like she had a lots of time to adjust to the idea of him being halfway across the world studying. She's obviously anxious to see him. Wouldn't you be if the situation was reversed?"
"Nope, not at all," was the glib response.
"Oh?" Michiru raised one elegant brow. She smoothed out an imaginary wrinkle on her skirt. "You wouldn't be restlessly waiting for my return after four months of being apart?" If Haruka heard the slight edge under Michiru's casual tone, she didn't show it.
"Nope, because I wouldn't let us be separated in the first place. I'd follow you to the ends of the galaxy, and then some. How's that for devotion?" She flashed Michiru with slow, wicked grin.
"Idiot," Michiru muttered, but not without a soft smile on her face.
The minutes dragged on by. People came and went as yet another delay was announced for flight AA7087 Boston to Tokyo, ETA: 10:40 pm. The winter weather in Japan was causing havoc to the schedules for all incoming flights, forcing some to make temporary stops at other airports until the weather cleared up.
And still Usagi waited.
Haruka and Michiru brought food to her as she refused to leave her post by the exiting doors for international flights. She had been waiting for more than five hours, in which three separate delays had been announced. The little rabbit was looking more and more weary.
"Usagi-chan, maybe you should go home. It's already so late, and who knows how much longer it's going to take? Why don't you let Haruka drive you home and I'll wait here for Mamoru-san? I'll give you a call as soon as he arrives, I promise."
"Thanks for the offer Michiru-san, but I'm going to wait. I want to be the first person he sees when those doors open. He's going to be here soon, I can feel it."
"Oh, Usagi-chan, I know you want to see him, but I'm sure Mamoru-san wouldn't want you pushing yourself like this for him."
"Probably not," Usagi agreed, "but I'm going to do it anyways. Do you want to know why?"
"Because you love him to distraction?" she teased.
"Well, there is that," Usagi laughingly admitted. "But it's mostly because there was never anyone waiting for him at the orphanage. And later when he grew up and lived on his own, there was no one to say 'Welcome home' or 'How was your day' when he returned to his apartment. I was lucky; I had Mom and Dad, and even Shingo. Mamo-chan didn't have anyone. But he's got me now. I'm going to be his family and I want him to know that I'll always be waiting, no matter what. That's not silly or anything, right?"
Michiru looked at the young woman in front of her and felt touched, as always, by Usagi's generous heart. It was of little wonder, really, that the Moon Princess's star seed shone the brightest of them all.
"No, Usagi-chan, it's not silly at all."
At 1:13 am, a very tired, dark-haired man passed through customs. He waited for his bags to appear on the conveyor belt, his patience wearing thin. He ran a hand through his ebony hair, making it so that it stood out in disarray. More than one woman noticed his sexy bed-head look and tried to catch his eye, but to no avail.
He was exhausted from the long flight, the ridiculous waits at the airports while the weather cleared up, the horrible airline food that tasted like styrofoam, the terrible in-flight movies, and the incessant chatter of the teenage girls who sat behind him during the entire trip (if he heard one more reason about why Zac Efron was so hot, he was going to snap). To add insult to injury it was most likely she wouldn't be here anymore…
Disheartened, he slung his carry-on over his shoulder, and dragged his large black suitcase behind him. He thought about calling her, but glancing at his watch – 1:25 am – thought better of it. He didn't want to wake her – or her scary father – but the desire to see her had grown stronger with each passing hour that his flight was delayed, that it felt like he was jumping out of his own skin with anticipation. Maybe if he turned into his alter ego, he could go visit the Tsukino household and watch his sleeping princess. Though if he was honest with himself, he wasn't sure if he would be able to stop himself from doing more than just watch…
So lost in his miseries was he that he didn't realize he was at the exit until he heard the automatic doors slide open with a soft whoosh. He looked up…and the first thing he was greeted with was the sight of her. The shock of cerulean blue from her beautiful eyes, the shine of silver gold from her long hair, and the lyrical beauty of her voice when she cried out.
Everything seemed to happen in an instant.
He dropped his bags with a resounding thud. Before he realized it, he had run down the ramp and vaulted over the rope that separated those arriving to Tokyo and those waiting for the travelers in one graceful leap. His arms vised around her petite figure like steel bands, holding her tightly against his body. He all but buried his face against the crook of her neck, inhaling the familiar scent of strawberries and something uniquely her. He felt his heart turnover in his chest and settle, like his world was righted again. All his pent up emotions – emotions of love, of longing – came out in a single, cherished word.
Happily crushed in the arms of the man she loved, Usagi wrapped her slender arms joyously around his neck, barely able to contain her joy. "Welcome home, Mamo-chan."
He was home at last.
:: end of chapter 9 ::
Hello readers! Hope you enjoyed the latest chapter, short though it is. I am writing as I get inspired to, so hopefully I'll be able to continue on with a chapter 10. I will try to start it soon, so please be patient and look forward to it. Thanks for reading and please review – it's always wonderful and unexpected to hear from you guys, and inspires me to write more!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!