NOTE: This story is set in the era of the rule of Lady Serenity, also known as Chibiusa in the anime and manga.
"In life, happy endings are rare, and rarely do
they bare fruit of any kind but the selfish
The Promises We Do Not Speak Of
by Blue Jeans
She waits at the window of her dreams. This night was inevitable, like the ones before. He always warns her of his coming by leaving one small feather, white as unblemished snow, laying it on her silken pillow. And though the white of her bedding may hide its whereabouts to any other observer, she always notices it. She anticipates it, even though most mornings greet her with emptiness. But this night, like those of the past, promises things in painful stretches of time, time that cannot be touched by time.
He always leaves with that resolved look on his face, one that says: "I will not return. This is wrong. I am and you are, neglecting our respectful duties." She cannot help but sigh a little. The age old argument warring in his heart will make his appearance pain-filled and guilty, even as he holds her.
He had asked her one evening. "What are you doing here?" he long knowing that there is nothing here for her. He has nothing more to offer her than illusions and unspoken promises he could not make but wish to with all of his heart. All he has are dreams, ones that grasps at nothing and gets no one anywhere. Reality cannot lay its hand on these sacred grounds, but even reality is more welcoming than illusions at times, especially the times between them.
She smiles, as she had long learned to do, because tears could bring nothing but more pain. At least a smile will let these precious moments, untouched and unknown by anyone but them, be kept a bit more dearly in one's memories. Each time, even though the parting breaks her to pieces, she begs him, "Don't let me forget! Don't ever let me forget!" And he had long learned to keep that promise, because it is the only thing he has to give her, it is the only thing he could ever really give her.
Insubstantial memories of illusions and each other were pitiful gifts for a mighty Queen. "It is better than parting," she counters instead.
The window yawns open and the breeze of an unending summer comes billowing into the darkness of her sleep. She smiles, clutching at the sun-hat she made from her imagination alone, donning the dress she had seen in the window of a department store she had passed by as a child and had admired so much. She climbs to the edge and feel the sway of the curtains brushing her skin as she smiles.
His eyes, a burnished color of the horizon when the sun is setting, regard her with their tormented longing. She smiles, anticipating the bliss and the pain that would soon engulf her till she burned with more power than the Ginzuishou could ever give her. It was so sweet it was bitter, so bitter it was sweet, and she opens her mouth to let in the smells of his world, his untouchable and illusive world.
One step, she walks out of her dreams and her world and enter into his. "Elios," she breathes out his name as her lips curve unstoppably at the sight of him. Her eyes are alighted with only his reflection and the place he guards with life and pain and sacrifice.
Unreal light and unreal wind wash over her, as does the feathers scattered from his wings before they disappear completely. Laughing, she encircles his frozen form with her warm embrace. "I have missed you," the words melt in honesty as she does against him. "I have missed you so much." She echoes again, burying her face into his narrow chest as she kneels before him. This way he will not be able to see her happy, pain-filled tears and be condemned by them.
His body trembles wherever they touch. In all the times she had known him, he has not changed, and he could not change. Even if he aged, even if his eyes spoke of a thousand years and more spent in watchful silence, his face does not, nor does his body. At this moment, his body is rigid as he fights back every impulse to break every promise he has ever made to this paradise that he guards.
His pale hand, his white hair, brushes against her against his will. And she thinks to herself, "Please don't forget," because these moments go too quickly and leaves her longing for more.
It could not be.
His priesthood demands his abstinence from the world outside. It demands that he not care for any other but this bleak world of colorful illusions and sunlit loneliness. Beyond, the nymphs that watches over him turn their heads away, eyes cast away from the pain and the joy and the life that will not bleed out till the end of time. It was too tragic, their love, but still she waits for him at her window and he tortures himself with the cutting off of her company until he could no longer bear it alone.
Their kisses are chaste at first. Then he breaks those barriers first – he was always the one to do it – and she would know the passion that will never go beyond this, that lay waiting for them as she laid waiting for him. But unlike their kiss, such passions would never be realized. She knows that she will always meet the tip of the iceberg, but she would never fall off of it. Each time, they would stop, because he was Priest and his vows to never be with a woman holds him to his post and his duties like chains upon his body. It holds him better than the cage Nehelenia had once surrounded him with, and perhaps, even the pain of that captivity could not compare with the one he experiences now.
"You are everything I have ever wanted, and have ever dreamed of wanting," he whispers as her hair dips into the lake and their reflections waver as she glides her fingers through his hair and her feet creates waves upon the calm waters. He can feel the muscles of her thighs tense beneath his cheek, and the skin stretches beneath his hands and fingers. It was torture, sweet and agonizing torture.
She casts careless ripples in the water, ones that spreads towards the temple where he prays. That was what she was in his world, a disturbance, a pebble cast into the unmoving lake of purity. And though he would rather be at peace, he could not deny that the choice was out of his hands the moment he had met her. The pebble had long been cast and the waves long been created. He had watched over her dreams and made her his protector in those days of darkness and nightmares, and since then there had never been any other path he could have or would have chosen to take.
Even this pain, to see her smile at him so, was worth it.
"I know," she gazes upon him with light in her eyes and love, so much love he does not remember how to speak or think or act.
She understands him in so many ways, perhaps more than he did himself. All he really knows for certain is that having her in his arms is better than anything else in the world, better than paradise, better than dreams or illusions, better than even the world outside that he had longed for – the reality he had long abandoned. For once, he wonders if the real sun was like her eyes. It had been so long since his forays in the real world and even then, it was always the moon or the grey clouds of day that greeted him.
He wonders of the city he had left behind, and the children he guards. He wishes that he knew what they did in a life that was sometimes so different from their dreams. He wants to ask her about the kingdom she rules, about the responsibilities she carries upon her shoulders, enough for her to understand why he could not budge from this elusive paradise for her, any more than she could leave her reality for him. But he could not speak those words or share those things with her, because she would only want to stay more if he did and he would need her more than this moment if he lets go of one more barrier, even though he could not imagine needing her more than this.
"The counselors have brought up marriage again," she finally tells him in their peaceful silence. He forces himself not to stiffen, letting his fingers glide against her long legs. "I refused, as always."
"Do I hold you back, my Queen?" he questions. Wet fingers against her calves, tickling her as his digits trail along her skin. He speaks with all the composure he has learned in the all the years he has lived, clinging to that fragile image of tranquility.
"If I had an heir, they argue, I could resign my post like my mother had done." She smiles down and strokes his hair. "But, I cannot allow another man to touch me. I cannot even look at another man so and not feel... resigned, revolted by the very idea. It goes against everything Mother had taught me about love, about fairness, and faithfulness and the heart of a woman."
"My Queen," he turns to her. "Usagi," he whispers as he traces his wet digit across her wet cheeks. "We can end this," he tells her. He always say this, hoping it would stop her tears, hoping he could hide his pain from her, knowing it could not be helped.
For once, she could not smile for him, not for those words. Wet, salty tears fall onto his face. "Stop that," she tells him instead. "Never say those words to me again. Please," she begs.
He could see her pulling away and he wants to go after her, but this time, this time he thinks that if he just holds back she would not come back. If he just holds back, her life would go on without him. And though it will destroy him, he would guard this place for eternity for her and the children she would bear for another man. Her tears though, they call to him, her pain. He was never so cruel, could never be so cruel as to let her cry alone, even if she hated him he would never let her suffer alone.
So, like the many times before, he puts aside reason - because it has never served him too well in the past and he had never really learned to listen to it closely - and gathers her close. "I'm sorry," he apologizes. "I will never say those words again."
She turns to him then, and closes her arms around him. He marvels that after centuries of living, this was as much contact as he would ever be allowed with the woman he loved, yet somehow, it was enough (at the same time, it would never be enough.) As if reading his mind, she chuckles, almost a little bit bitterly. "It was my one-hundred year anniversary as ruler of Crystal Tokyo two days ago," she tells him. "And yet, I'm still the Virgin Queen, isn't that ironic? Most girls can't even hold it past their twentieth birthday-" her eyes twinkle mischievously "-if they're lucky." She reminisces.
He knows she remembers all the times her friends and fellow soldiers had came to her, shy and giddy and spilling the secrets of their late night rendezvouses. He knows that she smiles through those with a calm expression because even for all her years and wisdom, it was something she chose never to experience because he could never give it to her. He knows, sometimes they would say things that would make other women blush with knowledge, but his Queen would look on, inexperienced, wise in all aspect of ruling except for this.
She would be kingless, forever. She had made this decision long ago. Had she not been immortal, perhaps her counselors would have forbid her of her whims of solitude. For now, they just whisper questions behind their hands, wondering why she would not even take on a lover, male or female. But she braves those with her blank eyed smiles, pretending ignorance.
They speculate that she is waiting for some long lost lover, one they had never heard of or known. The previous Senshi turns their head and acknowledges nothing, their loyalties and empathies keep them silent. Her own close knit friends had long forgotten his existence, and she wisely choose not to speak of him to remind them. Their secret was their own, and though it pained them it also gave them something to share outside of their world and themselves.
"Why do you come, Usagi?" he asks her. This is the first time he has, and she wonders why it has taken him so long. His eyes are dark, darker than she remember ever seeing them. They plead for her to be honest, they plead for her to let go...
Most importantly, they plead for her to hold onto him and claim him as hers for eternity. "Damn the rules," she wanted to say to him for years now. Instead, she wisely stays silent, because that age for her had passed, and he had been wise enough to avoid her during that time in her life.
If he had come for her earlier, she knew she would never have let him off the hook this easily. "Because I love you, Elios." she smiles at him. "I love you so much that it would hurt more to leave you than to stay. I would rather endure this pain with you forever than never see you again, never hold you again, even if it is but in a dream."
He stays silent, before he bends down. This time, their kiss is different. She can taste the desperation on his tongue. She can taste all of his emotions: Pain, love, reluctance, passion, defeat, and a multitude more as his fingers thread through her hair, pulling her closer. Her heart beat increases till she was sure she would die from it, die from this happiness alone. Yet, still she lives and she could not imagine how she had ever known living before him.
"Stop loving me," he tells her at the edge of her window, instead of bidding her goodbye when their endless night comes to an end. His hair, his eyes, everything about him wants her to leave, and yet, she can read him well enough to know that they are also begging for her to stay.
"I would stop breathing before that happens," she replies with a laugh to lighten their somber moods. He looks almost relieved, almost broken, but he stays in his world and she stays in her own as the last minutes tick away and their fingers unlace and their hands part to the last digit, her flesh leaving his.
"Goodbye," he sighs. And she knows how much he wants to mean it, but his eyes are still begging for her to stay. Maybe it will be a week before she finds another feather on her pillow, maybe it will be a day or a month or a year. Guessing their next meeting had long been a ritual she had given up on, but it was one she let's herself indulge in when the hours grew too long and the shadows bury her in despair and hope.
"I love you," she says instead with the same smile she wore when she had greeted him earlier. Her fingers trace the contours of his face through the glass now closing to separate them, her eyes trying to capture him in this moment so to sustain her for the time they would be apart. But she had never said goodbye to him, and she doesn't think she has it in her to ever do it, no matter the consequences.
She would never say goodbye, because they were both selfish this way.Morning comes, and she will be greeted by the sun he has not seen for longer than he could remember, longer than the memories of many of the immortal inhabitants of the Utopia she rules over. But to her, she was already leaving her garden of Eden behind, so she glance over her shoulder, even as the windows shut and lock, even as the curtains flutter one last time before stilling, keeping them on two sides of two worlds.
"I will see you next time, Elios." she promises herself and him. He never hears her say those words, but he does not need to. Even if time stopped, even if she stopped breathing, even if one day he may really be so overwhelmed by her presence and his loneliness that he would break his vows, she would never stop searching for him, waiting for him, loving him...
She would never stop seeking all of him and promising all of herself. So, though the entire kingdom asks her to give her heart, if not at least her body, to another, she will refuse. Even if she stood forever by the window of her dreams, her heart, and her soul, she would wait until he comes for her. Only then, will she draw back the curtains and brush aside the barriers separating her from another, and go to him.
Always, she will go to him.
I do not have much time for these any more, but this little one is dedicated to Yumeko, my past editor who worked so hard; and Chaos, since making him wait while ideas run amuck in my head and I try to make ends meet can be a bit daunting. They have supported me in the past, and this is the only way I know to properly thank them. May original ideas live forever, and may authors like them that brings these ideas to life, never stop entertaining our imaginations and changing our points of views on characters and bravery and the way life should
(Please do not plagiarize.)