"I... I have to go..."
Mamoru turned and saw Usagi at the doorway to the kitchen, her jacket and mittens on.
"I have to go," she repeated, "I... I forgot that I need to be... somewhere..."
"Oh," he said, "Well, all right."
Usagi nodded, "I'm sorry, Mamoru-san... I'm... I'm really, really sorry."
Mamoru looked at her, trying to figure her out, "It's not a big deal, Usagi-chan."
"Well... ja." she whispered and disappeared from the doorway.
Mamoru stared after for a while, then shook his head.
'I guess I won't have to consider telling her now...'
Leaving the plates of chocolate pudding on the kitchen counter, he wandered into the living room aimlessly, his heart heavy. He sighed.
'It's probably best I didn't give it to her...'
Usagi checked her reflection in the mirror, adjusting her wedding veil.
"Let me help you with that," Makoto said quietly and smoothed the white laces.
"Thanks, Mako-chan," Usagi said.
"You... you nervous?" Makoto asked.
Usagi was about to answer when there came a knock on the door. Makoto ran to get it.
"Mamoru-san..." she said, surprised.
"Hi Makoto-chan," he said.
Makoto stepped aside and allowed him in.
"Mamoru..." Usagi said hesitantly, "I... I thought you weren't coming."
"I got out of the business thing..." he said, "I... I wanted to be here today. It's your important day. I hope I won't mess up your seating plan."
Usagi gave him a tiny smile, "Well..."
"Makoto-chan," Mamoru said, "If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to Usagi alone for a second."
Makoto hesitated, as if looking to Usagi for permission.
Usagi nodded, "Okay... Do you mind, Mako-chan?"
"Not... not at all..." Makoto said as she disappeared from the room. Mamoru turned to face his ex-girlfriend.
"Mamoru-san, I... I have a lot to do before the wedding... And it'll be chaotic in here in a little while..."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Mamoru said, "I just... I never got to say..."
Usagi looked at him expectantly.
"I'm... really glad that this worked out for you. I wish you all the happiness in the world... And, well..."
He gazed into her eyes and gave her a smile that didn't meet his eyes.
"Congratulations," he said quietly.
Usagi's face was expressionless.
"Thanks..." she said softly.
"I guess I'll go then," Mamoru said, feeling his heart break as he prepared to leave her.
'Goodbye... Usako...' he said silently to her as he turned away,
"She's inside!" Rei screamed as she ran up to Makoto in the hallway, "The enemy is inside, I can feel it! Who's in there with Usagi?"
"Mamoru-san!" Makoto said, "And what are you talking about!? We had a plan! Sailor Mercury and Sailor Venus are guarding the entrances!"
Both girls' eyes widened when they heard Usagi's cry of alarm.
"Usagi-chan!" they cried and rushed to the bride's room.
"The door's sealed shut!" Rei cried.
Makoto pounded on it over and over again, then backed away and tried to kick it open.
It didn't budge.
"Why won't it open!?" Makoto demanded.
"It's not locked," Rei said helplessly, "It's sealed by some sort of magic..."
"What is it, little princess? Surprised?"
Usagi had her mouth opened in shock and Mamoru just stared at the woman who had appeared before them in a green blaze of fire.
"Esmeraude..." Usagi whispered.
"You think you could seal me away forever?" the green-haired woman laughed, "Not a chance. I've been waiting... waiting a very long time for this."
Her eyes narrowed and turned almost completely black, "You killed my prince. You stole his heart, made him betray the Black Moon family, and then murdered him in cold blood."
Usagi swallowed the lump in her throat, still too shocked to say anything.
"I'll have my revenge today..." Esmeraude said, "You'll finally pay..."
Usagi shook her head, "No, Esmeraude. Prince Dimando turned to our side by his own will, and Wiseman was the one who destroyed him."
Esmeraude laughed, "You expect me to believe that?"
Mamoru stepped in front of Usagi protectively.
"You don't want to fight us," he said warningly.
"Oh I think I do," Esmeraude said, "I've trained myself for seven years for this moment, waiting for this chance to take your life. You'll pay for your crimes with your blood!"
"No, Esmeraude!" Usagi said, "Listen to m-"
"Die!" the enemy snarled and threw a dark energy sphere at Usagi and Mamoru.
As the two dodged it, Mamoru transformed into Tuxedo Kamen.
"Esmeraude, we didn't kill Prince Dimando!" Usagi said desperately, "He died honourably, for what he believed in!"
"Lies!" Esmeraude screamed, a long black spear materializing in her hands.
Mamoru threw his rose at her, but she spun her spear quickly to deflect the blow.
Tuxedo Kamen used her moment of inattention to charge towards her with his cane extended. Her spear deflected his rose just as he spun his cane and knocked the spear out of her hand.
Esmeraude's eyes widened in shock as the spear flew away to the side of the room, hitting the wall and bouncing off to the corner behind her.
She fell to the ground on her knees, her eyes showing defeat.
"I'm sorry..." she cried softly, "I'm really sorry..."
Usagi ran over, still in her wedding dress. She offered the green-haired woman her hand.
"It's all right, Esmeraude..." she said gently, "I forgive you... You can start over, with Cooan and her sisters..."
Tuxedo Kamen barely had a chance to gasp when he saw the spear in the corner of the room jerk slightly.
Suddenly, the spear flew at an alarming rate towards Esmeraude, pierced through her body, and continued towards Usagi.
Usagi screamed just as the spear emerged from Esmeraude's chest and headed straight for her.
The Sailorsenshi aimed their power at the sealed door, pouring energy into it.
'Please... Be all right, Usagi-chan...' Makato thought, summoning all of her power to intensify the beam of light aimed at the door.
The spear made a sickening sound as it ripped through Mamoru's body.
Usagi landed on the floor with a thud, after Mamoru had pushed her away from the path of the spear.
Her mouth opened slightly but no sound came out.
"Mam... Mamoru..." she finally stuttered as she got up from the ground.
She let out a strangled cry when she saw the blood pouring out of the wound in his side.
"Mamoru!!!" she screamed.
'True love...' Esmeraude thought, her face distorted in shock, 'This is true love...'
Her eyes turned blank as they stared at the ceiling, her life slowly slipping from her again.
"Why did you do it?" Usagi sobbed, "Mamoru, why?"
Mamoru winced at the pain, then forced himself to smile up at her.
"Usagi..." he breathed.
She shook her head over and over again.
Mamoru closed his eyes.
"So you can... get married... and be happy..." he said softly, and coughed, "Go on now, have your wedding. You've found yourself a good guy, and I wouldn't forgive myself if I let some crazy woman ruin the happiest day of your life..."
Usagi held his hand, tears flowing freely.
"There was no wedding," she said, "After I read your letter, I... I was so confused... This was a setup to get Esmeraude to show up. Rei already knew she was coming..."
Mamoru's breathing was laboured. He tried to shake his head.
"You loved him enough to agree to marry him," he said, "Forget about me, Usako. Forget about Tuxedo Kamen, forget about Prince Endymion. You were doing so well. You don't need me. You've proven that..."
"No!" Usagi cried, sobbing into his blood-stained shirt, "I need you! I've
always needed you! You can't leave me!"
Mamoru summoned all the energy in his body just to shake his head, "No... Usako..."
He coughed, finding it hard to breathe.
Just then, the door broke open, and the four Sailor Senshi came in to find a broken princess crying for the lifeless body in front of her.
"Mamoru..." Usagi said, cradling him in her arms.
The others could only watch helplessly as she continued to cry.
"Mamo-chan... Wake up... Mamo-chan..."
The road up to the grave site was paved with white flower petals. Pink leaves fell from the trees and sailed gently and freely in the air.
Usagi walked slowly up the steps and came upon a tomb stone.
She crouched down and placed a bouquet of flowers on it, as a tear escaped her eye.
February 14, 2008.
Usagi stood up again.
'I wanted to give you another chance,' Usagi said silently, 'I really did.'
With one last look, she turned around and left the graveyard.
Her steps were heavy as they headed down the path and towards her car.
Usagi knocked on the door gently.
"Come in," the voice inside said.
Usagi took a deep breath and stepped into the hospital room. Her eyes traced the large white bandage wrapped around the patient's chest and stomach. His left arm was in a cast.
"Hey," he said softly, "Are you okay?"
Usagi nodded hesitantly. "I think... I think she's at rest now. I wish Esmeraude had lived though... I wanted... to show her the world. All the wonderful things in it..."
Mamoru sighed. "I know."
Usagi put the soup she had brought on the table beside Mamoru's bed.
"Well, um, this is for you. I should get going."
She turned away and headed out.
She stopped and turned around.
Mamoru stared at her, "What you said... before, about needing me. About not wanting me to leave you. Was it true?"
Usagi found it hard to form the words, "I..."
Mamoru decided to take a chance, "Are you going back to him?"
She hesitated, "Mamoru-san, you... you should concentrate on getting better... Can we not deal with this-"
"No, I want to talk," Mamoru said firmly, "I... I need to know."
Usagi looked at him helplessly, then stared at the floor in front of her, "All right."
She raised her gaze to look at him again, "Why didn't you give me the letter?"
Mamoru didn't answer for a second.
"I... I didn't want..."
"Mamoru-san, I can't do this anymore, play this... this game of yours. Five years ago when I asked you if you really wanted to be with me, you didn't answer. That's why we broke up. And all this time we've been apart, only friends, you never said anything. Suddenly, you write a letter saying all these... things, and you didn't even give it to me!"
Mamoru stared directly in front of him, expressionless.
"I guess..." Usagi continued, "I'd just like to feel... wanted... needed. If you really felt that way about me I would never have broken up with you."
Her voice fell to a whisper, suddenly insecure and afraid, "So... what is it, Mamoru-san? How do you really feel about me? Can't you just tell me?"
Mamoru took a deep breath and looked at her, his eyes as sincere as she had ever seen them, "I want you to be happy."
Usagi looked confused, her eyes searching his.
"That's... that's what I want, that you be happy," he said, his eyes closed, "I was waiting and waiting for you these five years, for you to notice me, to fall in love with me again. But you didn't, and the last thing that I'd want is to pressure you or to make you feel guilty for rejecting me."
"That's why I didn't give you the letter. I felt incredibly selfish after I wrote it. I didn't want to ruin your wedding. If you're going to be happy with him, then that's what I want. And if you're happier without me, that's what I want too, that we be apart."
He gazed into her eyes, "Do you understand that, Usako?"
She took a step back away from his bed.
"Oh..." she said softly, "I... I have to go."
"What happened?" Makoto asked her, "You look shaken up. What did he say to you? Does he want you to cancel the wedding?"
Usagi shook her head, "No... He's... He..."
She looked at the engagement ring still on her finger.
"Mamoru-san said... He wants me to be happy... So whatever I choose, he won't mind..."
Makoto put her arm around her best friend, "I guess your choice is pretty clear then..."
"It's all right, Miss," Mamoru said, "I'll be fine out here by myself."
The nurse blushed, wishing he'd let her accompany him on his walk. She nodded, disappearing through the hospital doors.
Mamoru looked around at the scenery before him appreciatively, after two long days of being stuck inside the hospital. He walked slowly towards a bed of roses in the garden behind the hospital, the wound on his side still giving him trouble as he moved around.
He took a deep breath, letting the fragrance fill his lungs.
He turned around and his breath was caught in his throat as he saw the beautiful vision before him. Usagi standing in front of the golden sunset, her face almost glowing. Her eyes were wet from crying.
"I'm not accepting this," she said, holding up the RSVP card she had in her hand, the one he had sent back to her, "I'm not accepting your blessings."
Tears streamed down her face as she walked forward and offered him back the little white card. He took it from her, dumbfounded.
"I don't want you to wish me a lifetime of happiness. I need you, Mamo-chan, you, to give it to me."
Before Mamoru could respond, Usagi had walked towards him and had wrapped her arms around him, "I can't be happy without you, Mamo-chan, I can't!"
Despite the weight she put on him, he didn't feel the pain. He hugged her close to him.
"All right, Usako," he whispered soothingly, "All right..."
"And you can't ever break up with me, or let me break up with you. You have to be with me forever. If you want me to be happy, then that's what it'll take. You'll be there whenever I need you and whenever I want to see you."
Mamoru let her pull away and smiled at her, "I'll do anything you say."
"And you'll love me forever?" Usagi said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
Mamoru leaned forward and kissed her gently. "I promise."
Usagi's eyes watered again, "Okay, Mamo-chan. Then I promise you that too."
He put his arm around her and they walked back to the hospital together, the world around them suddenly seeming brighter.
Mamoru let the card in his hand drop to the ground behind them, forgotten.
After five years, he had another chance with her.
He turned to look at her and held her closer still.
He was not going to let go this time.
AN: I feel like I owe a lot of people an explanation, and an apology, for taking down Part 2 and not re-uploading it for so long. There are two reasons I took it down initially, the first being that I thought I could write Part 2 better (I still think that) and the second because I feel like I didn't flesh out the story as much as I actually wanted to (the reason why I could have written Part 2 better). In retrospect, RSVP really should be more than a two-part story. However, more recently, I realized that if I expanded this story, the plot wouldn't really play out the way I want it to because of the way I wrote Part 1. So, I decided to repost the original story with some modifications, and to write a different story altogether for the longer, more drawn-out idea in my head. So, if you don't all hate me for this missing Part 2 fiasco (I got so much hate mail over this it's not even funny), then do look out for this new story which should come out some time in February or maybe March, titled The Good Guy (I'm four chapters in so far). As usual, thanks for reading! - Phantasy Star