Once Upon A Time
All fairytales, no matter how insignificant, begin with a once upon a time.
And always, there is a princess, or a delicate damsel in distress, waiting for a prince, or a handsome knight to save her from a witch's curse, or an evil lord's dark obsession.
The two will fall in love, and live happily ever after.
Chiba Mamoru looked at the exquisite girl besides him, sleeping quietly. Her breathing was even and deep. She had earned her rest.
His right hand stroked her pale cheek, marveling at the softness of her skin. He thought of the many trials they had endured, the people who tried to tear them apart.
So many had tried, and almost succeeded; Beryl, Fiore, Prince Demando, Nehellenia, Galaxia, and even the future sovereign, Neo-King Endymion.
'She forgave me,' he thought with amazement, 'every time…Even when I broke her heart because my future me insisted we needed our love tested.'
He quietly grazed her lips with a gentle kiss. Yes, Usagi forgave him every time. Because she always believed on the love, the two of them share with each other.
The last time, however, was different. Usagi almost believed he left their love for good.
Then, he came.
Kou Seiya. His name seared deep in Mamoru's soul.
He has mixed feelings with the memory of that name. Mamoru was thankful for the knight who came to protect his princess in his absence.
And yet, at the same time…
'You did leave her, you know,' his heart chided. 'Even if Galaxia hadn't come that day, you did leave, ready to pursue your own dreams…' He tried to ignore the voice, but it persisted. 'What would have happened, if he had not been so honorable?'
Mamoru knew Usagi believed with all her heart that she and Mamoru were destined to love for all eternity…But still, destiny is not set in stone. Setsuna herself had told him of this, time, and time again.
"He," spoke Mamoru aloud, "had every chance to continue his 'Once upon a time."
All fairytales, no matter how insignificant, begin with a 'Once upon a time…'
But just because there's a 'Once upon a time', does not mean there's always a 'Happily ever after…
Mamoru gathered Usagi's petite frame in his arms and hugged her. She stirred, and slowly awoke to his embrace.
"Mamo-chan," she asked sleepily, her breath warm against his neck where she had laid her head, "what is it?'
Mamoru did not reply. Instead, he moved back and held Usagi's face in his hands. With a smile, he carefully kissed her, tenderly at first, but gradually deepening the kiss. When he was done, he hugged her again, urging her to rest more.
His heart stilled and found peace. 'Arigatou, Seiya,' he thought, with honest gratitude. 'For respecting my happily ever after.´
A/N: Special thanks to my awesome beta reader, Lady Katherine2...j