Disclaimers: You would have to drag me out of this room kicking and screaming with snot flying out of my nose before I would admit that Sailormoon isn't mine. :Door opens and two lawyers hand Cori a lawsuit: Whoops, okay, I don't own it. Takuechi-sensei just refuses to share a piece of the pie. :Lawyers come back in and glower at Cori: Tee-hee, anyway, on with the story.
Quick summary: Who here thinks that Usagi-chan could actually stay out of trouble for an entire nine months :Long silence as Cori looks around : Me either. My fanfic is about the troubles and joys of our little odango-ed one's pregnancy with our favorite spore! I know, yay! Read on fellow moonies!
Usagi blinked and looked at the back of the box again. Maybe she had read the directions wrong. It couldn't be. It just couldn't...
She shook her head and picked up the test again. Of course it was possible. She'd known ever since she was a fourteen-year-old in her junior high uniform, knee socks and big bows in all their glory. But still, it just couldn't be. Her mind refusing to wrap around this latest tidbit of news, Usagi checked the instructions for the umpteenth time.
And the results were still the same, just like the last umpteen times she had reread the print on the recycled paper she held. How could it be? Why now?
There was a knock at the bathroom door, eliciting a soft cry from Usagi, and then opened a crack.
"Usako?" A deep and familiar voice sounded from the ajar portal, "Are you alright? You've been in here for a while."
It was Mamoru. Usagi's gaze lifted from the objects in her suddenly numb fingers to her face in the mirror, all color leached from her cheeks and her blue eyes stared back in a helpless panic. All that she could hear in her head was a weakly murmured, 'Oh gods, how am I going to tell him about this?'
'I'm not.' Usagi's chin firmed as she quickly picked up the incriminating evidence and threw it in the trashcan between the sink and toilet. 'At least, not now. I need some time to think this over.'
To her husband, she lied through her pearly-white teeth, "I'm fine, Mamo-chan."
Ha, who said a few hundred years in politics didn't teach her a thing or two?
With a steadying breath and one final nod at her reflection in the mirror, she walked to the door. When she didn't attempt to open it any further, Mamoru smiled and crossed his arms in front of him, leaning a shoulder against the doorframe, "So, what have you been doing in there?"
He cast her one of his charming, killer smiles and lifted his eyebrows as he waited for her answer. Her heart melted into a big puddle at her feet, as he probably damn well knew it would when he smiled at her like that. But she couldn't help but fall for the bait every time. This was her love, her husband, her one-and-only. And now they were going to be even more incredibly blessed. That's what she had to keep telling herself. This wasn't the end of something, it was the beginning. 'A beginning, yeah, that's what it is.'
'The beginning of the most important job you'll ever have. One which you know you'll screw up beyond all repair.' Another, cruel voice snickered in her head. Usagi had to shut her eyes to fight the wave of nausea rolling over her stomach at that thought.
"Usako, what are you hiding?" Mamoru's voice broke into her troubled thoughts and she looked up at him.
Any courage she had mustered evaporated like Kool-Aid on a hot sidewalk when she saw the unmasked concern in Mamoru's deep blue eyes, "Hiding? I'm not- what do you mean, Mamo-chan?"
One dark, damnably sexy eyebrow rose to join the first and he pointed at her through the cracked door, "Usako, just tell me."
Usagi winced and she shook her head in fierce denial, "No, Mamo-chan, I'm not hiding a thing. You're being paranoid."
"And you're a bad liar. What's going on, Usagi?"
Mamoru released an exaggerated sigh and then looked at her seriously, but she saw the amusement and mischief gleaming in his dark, blue eyes, "You know, I was hoping that it wouldn't have to come to this."
She watched in horror as he unbuttoned the cuff of a sleeve and then role it up one forearm and then repeated with the other. She shook her head and gripped the door with one hand, the other clenched and uncurled at her side in sheer panic, "No. Mamo-chan, don't!"
Mamoru smiled evilly before he moved quickly to he push at the bathroom door. Usagi, divining his intentions however, quickly pushed back, so that he was caught half-way in the bathroom, the other half of him still in their bedroom, "Oh, yes Usagi. You were asking for it."
"Mamo-chan, I'm begging you!"
He waggled one finger in her face and then tapped her pert little nose lightly, "You should have told me what you were hiding."
Before she could say another word, Mamoru had quickly slipped through the door and now stood over her, his arms spread wide and his hands curled into claws, "What is it, Usagi?"
Usagi cowered in the corner and gulped nervously.
"Don't make me hurt you." He added menacingly, and when she didn't answer, added with a disappointed sigh, "Oh well, your funeral."
With that, he pounced. His clawed hands made contact with her delicate flesh and he began to wiggle his fingers. Usagi squealed and jumped. Giggles, then full laughter exploded from her and she fought gallantly to stop his tickling fingers, but all was in vain.
"Chiba Mamoru! If..you..don't...stop
that...right...now...I'll-" She managed in between fits of laughter and gulps of air.
"Tell me what you're hiding!" Mamoru demanded gleefully as he moved a hand to the ticklish spot behind her knee.
Usagi screamed and as a last attempt, shoved at him with all her might, sending him across the short distance and into the empty tub. Mamoru looked up at her in surprise, then his eyes lit with revenge and he began to pull himself out, "Now you're gonna get it!"
Usagi screeched, grabbed the door and swung it wide open, so that it trapped her in the small corner behind it, but kept Mamoru's attack at bay. She held tight to the doorknob as Mamoru attempted to pull it away. Finally, when Usagi's lungs began to feel like bagpipes that had lost their wind and she conceded, "I give! I give!"
Mamoru stopped pulling and then wheezed, "About time! I thought I was going to have to set up camp!"
She managed a choked laugh and Mamoru added, "So?"
Usagi didn't need him to elaborate and dropped her forehead onto the smooth door before she released a shaky breath. She was silent for a moment, and inwardly berated herself for prolonging the inevitable. After all, she knew what his reaction would be, what was the point of secrecy.
Finally, she extended an arm from behind her triangular haven and pointed towards the sink. Somehow, she managed to add directions in a voice that verged too closely to tears, "Look over in the wastebasket."
Mamoru said nothing as he stepped away from the door and she listened as his footsteps clicked across the cool, cream-colored tiles of the expansive bathroom. She heard the rustle of paper and finally a moment of silence before a catch in his breathing. Then, there was a very long silence.
Squeezing her eyes shut at the deafening quiet, Usagi could barely hear past the blood rushing in her ears as Mamoru made his way back to the door. She barely connected the creaking with Mamoru pulling the door away from her. When she finally could not tolerate his silence any longer, she slowly opened one eye and looked at him.
What she saw immediately made the other open. He was looking down at her, his intense blue eyes searching hers. In his hand he held the test she had much disputed with a futile effort. The truth was right there, in that one damning pink stripe in all its friggin' glory. Looking back up at her husband she saw the immense joy and yet, the restraint of releasing it. She saw clearly, that he wanted her to say it.
And who could ever resist those eyes?
"I'm pregnant, Mamo-chan."
It took no longer than that. Hearing the confirming words, the joy spilled over from his eyes and into his face and his posture. His smile was no longer crooked, or shadowy, but a sincere smile filled with happiness. He let out a celebratory yell and scooped her into his arms, swinging her from the bathroom and into their large bedroom, discarding the test on the sink countertop as he whooped and hollered. Usagi couldn't help but laugh softly. 'I did this for him? He's so happy!'
"Oh, Usako!" He exclaimed as he set her down and the lightly kissed the end of her nose, "This is so great."
Usagi tried to smile as brightly as him and to make her voice reflect the same unbridled joy, but all she could manage was a small upward turn of the corners of her mouth and a half-hearted reply of, "Yeah, great."
His eyes dimmed and his face fell at her less than ecstatic response, "What's wrong?" Realization struck him and he bent his knees and looked intently at her little, angel-face, "You're not still jealous of Chibi-Usa are you?"
This time, Usagi did manage to smile softly at him and she lifted her hands to caress his face lovingly, "No. How could I possibly ever be jealous of Chibi-Usa? It was a long time ago, and besides, you're mine. I know that now."
Mamoru put his hands over hers and held them there, just to feel her little longer. It was insane how her touch could still effect him so, but he savored every one, saving them for the times when he wouldn't be able to feel her hands, or her arms, or her lips.
"Then what is it?" He asked, pulling himself out of the world she sent him into when she loved him like she loved him then, trying to focus on the current situation.
She sighed and looked down at their feet on the creamy-white carpet, "I just- I wasn't expecting this."
Mamoru blinked in confusion and dropped his hands to her shoulders, "You didn't...Usako, I don't understand."
Usagi looked up at him and saw that he truly didn't. Pulling out of his hold, she walked to the wide balcony doors that looked over the ever-growing Crystal Tokyo. Hugging herself against the cold she could feel entering her body, she pressed her forehead against the cool glass panels of the doors.
"I knew that Chibi-Usa was our daughter, I accepted it and went on. I suppose that it never really occurred to me that there was a process to get where she was when we first met her. Basically, it never once dawned on me that I would be pregnant first." Usagi explained.
Mamoru nodded, seeing her reasoning, knowing that it was
quintessential-Usagi-thinking, then joked, "That's understandable. She was, literally, dropped on us."
"Yeah, but now we have to raise her from the very beginning." Usagi pointed out, hunching closer to the balcony doors.
Mamoru's heart swelled at this. Sometimes he felt that Usagi would never fully grow up. She still giggled the way she did when they had first met, still ate anything in sight. She still tripped over her own two feet, though it was less now and he usually caught her before she hit the ground. She still was the best friend he had ever had and still loved him with all the devotion and passion she had given when they first realized they were meant for each other. She may have been Neo-Queen Serenity of Crystal Tokyo to the world, but to him, she would always be his Usako. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that he never wanted it to be any other way.
"But we practically raised her when she came to us from the future." He pointed out as he joined her by the balcony doors.
Usagi shook her head and answered, "Not like this, Mamo-chan. I'm going to actually give birth to her. I'm going to hold her when she is a little baby and feed her. I'll get to watch her take her first steps, say her first word. I've never been able to do that before."
Mamoru wrapped her into his arms, holding her so that her back rested in his chest and nuzzled his face in her hair. She was so sweet, still, after all these years. He rested his chin on top of her head and stared out at the skyline of Crystal Tokyo and thought about what she had said. It was true, they were venturing into a brand new world, one that they were not prepared for. But they would learn, together they could do anything. Just as the past could testify to, over and over again.
"I'll be there too, Usako." He offered as he held her tighter.
There was a pause, and Usagi begin to trace circles on the surface of the glass. Then she sighed and put her hands on his forearms and kissed a spot of hair-flecked flesh pressed over her breast. Her eyes glittered with tears she refused to shed as she added softly, "I'll have to send her to the past. Again and again, to a life I've already lived. How can any mother survive that?"
"You know it's for the best." He stated, just as softly as she had, "And she always came back. You saw to that."
"But what if I klutz this up? Tell her too much, say something that might devastate the time line and-"
"Whoa, slow down!" Mamoru chuckled, "I can't believe this is my Usako talking."
She was silent for another long moment as Mamoru just held her, smelling her hair and feeling its silky texture beneath his chin. Then, out of nowhere, she asked, "What if I'm a bad mother?"
"You won't be, we'll be great parents." Mamoru assured.
"Easy for you to say, she adored you." She stated glumly, "Chibi-Usa always made it perfectly clear that she thought I was a bad mother."
Mamoru watched silently as Usagi stepped out of his embrace and opened the tall doors that led to the large, semi-circle balcony, an exact replica of the one from the Moon Kingdom in the Silver Millennium where they had first kissed. She stepped onto the smooth, marble surface and the wind caught and danced in her long, golden hair. The cool wind stained her cheeks a light pink. Her blue eyes looked like they wanted to cry, but something gallant and strong kept them behind a wall, all dammed up. He wished that he had something to say, something comforting and something that would soothe away the creases on her forehead. He wanted desperately to kiss away the frown on her pretty, pink mouth. His sweet wife, Mamoru found himself wishing that he had told Chibi-Usa to cut Usagi some slack more often, or assure Usagi that she was being a fantastic guardian to Chibi-Usa. So many mistakes in the past, so many things that they tortured themselves for now. But it was time to change those things. They had an entire future together, and now with Chibi-Usa. Usagi would be a great mother, he just had to convince her of that.
"I'm scared, Mamoru." Usagi whimpered and put her hands up to her face. His heart broke at the lost childishness of the moment and he quickly moved to her and took her back into his strong, understanding arms. In those arms she felt warm and safe. Those arms promised her everything and delivered. She loved those arms almost as much as she loved the man who owned them.
"I'm so scared." Usagi repeated, sobbing into his shirt, "I don't know what to expect. Gods, I wish I had sent myself a note explaining all this when I had first sent Chibi-Usa back."
Mamoru laughed into her hair, still tied up in its signature odango. He decided not to mention that she had been in a quartz crystal, trapped in a bottomless sleep when Chibi-Usa had first landed on them all those years ago.
Instead, he told her, "This isn't all old news with me either, Usako. I've never been an actual father before. Especially a father-to-be. I can only imagine what a pregnancy might do to your behavior, not to mention your eating habits."
Usagi shoved at him playfully, her black mood lifting slowly, "I'm trying to be serious here. You can't stop teasing me for one minute?"
Mamoru's old, devilish smile returned as he wiggled his fingers in front of her face, "Well, if you didn't always rise to the occasion." Then, he allowed his face to grow somber as he added, "But I mean it, Usagi. I'm just as scared as you are. But also know that everything will be okay."
Usagi looked up at him, hope glistening in her eyes, the dams beginning to tumble, "Really?"
"Of course." Mamoru smiled, then added, "You know what else I know?"
"We are going to have a beautiful baby girl. She is going to look just like her mother and have the same good heart. And we are going to love her very much." With this said, he leaned forward to kiss his little odango attama.
But Usagi's soft halting fingers and her imploring words stopped him as he looked up into her bright, blue eyes, "But will she love us?"
"Undoubtedly." He answered.
Usagi sighed and Mamoru watched with amazement as the glow that belonged to an expectant mother began to radiate from her. Her eyes glistened and tears streaked from the corners. She slid her fingers from Mamoru's mouth and wound them around his neck. With a tug, she pulled his lips down to hers, sealing his promises with their eternal kiss.
"Have you heard?" A soft, whispery voice asked, "Neo-Queen Serenity is finally with child."
There was a pause, then the slow uncurling of an evil laugh disturbed the cold, still air.
"About time. Our plan can be set in motion. The queen is vulnerable." The laughing voice hissed, "See to the arrangements."
"Yes, Milady." The first voice whispered.
The soft padding of retreating feet was accompanied by more of the slow, evil laughter that crept like a deadly chill throughout the dark corridors of the Crystal Palace.
"Perfect. Just perfect."
Wow, how evil. That person is bad, I can tell. o.O Okay, thank you for reading! E-MAIL! I'll love you forever! That's a long time!
Written in July of 2000
Revised: Feb. 2, 2002
Re-Revised: Jan. 29, 2005
Note: Please e-mail me no matter how long ago this was written, I'd still love to hear what you think! The date is more for my benefit anyway! Thanks!