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Counterfeited Love

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'Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.'

It was the most awkward of encounters.

Really, really awkward of encounters.

Everyone still remembered that moment in the bar.

Everyone still wanted to know the things that were left unsaid.

It was heaven's providence that Yaten, cocky, I-don't-care Yaten, was present in that company. Otherwise, crickets would chirp, frogs would croak and Seiya, Usagi, and Minako would lapse in a silence so thick you could cut it with a dull bread knife.

"So," Yaten began, "How you guys doing?"

Aino Minako gave the young man a grateful look. "Fine, Yaten-kun," she squealed, pleased to have something to actually say. "Everyone is in college now – well, all the girls are, I mean, save for Hotaru-san since she is now in middle school. Even Usagi is in college!"

This comment earned her three things: A chuckle from Seiya, a smirk from Yaten and a hard whack in the head from her princess.

WHACK.

"Usagi!" Minako screeched, "That hurt!"

Usagi blew a raspberry to her friend. "And that was uncalled for Mina! It's not like I was doomed to never go to college!" The other blonde girl gave Seiya and Yaten an evil glare. "Stop laughing! And as for you, I swear, Mina, sometimes it's like Rei-chan never left with you taking over her place of insulting my every accomplishment."

"Calm down, Odango."

The Moon Princess turned around and gave Seiya a look meant to make him wither and die. "STOP CALLING ME ODANGO!" She stomped her foot for emphasis, gold hair flying everywhere.

The young man gave Usagi a pat on the head. "You haven't changed have you?" He sat down near the woman he loved. "…I like that, methinks."

Minako plastered a brittle smile on her lips when she saw how close Seiya was to Usagi. 'Oh, Seiya, not too close, please. Not now, not ever.' "So, what about you guys? How is everything back home?"

Yaten answered that question, his own eyes glowing with memories of his home planet. "It's rebuilding nicely. The Princess has everything under control and the people are now adjusting to the new lifestyle."

"Eh, what do you mean by that, Yaten-kun?" asked Usagi. The girl was nervously eyeing Seiya's hands which had steadily inched closer to her own. She wondered if she should move away, but a part of her really didn't want to. What harm could it bring, after all?

Yaten's silver head bowed down as a blush spread across his cheeks.

It was Seiya who answered the question. "He meant that people now have gotten over the shock of the Three Lights in male form," he said suavely, his fingers softly brushing Usagi's own, taking delight in the fact that she did not pull her hands back at the mere contact. "We sort of found being male while we were civilian was comfortable so we kept the appearance."

Mina watched as Seiya took the initiative and finally captured her princess' small hands in his own. 'Not good,' she thought, giving Usagi a panicked look. She still remembered Usagi's comments minutes before. 'I'm so sorry, Seiya, but my loyalty is to my Princess…and her Prince.' She didn't want to do this, she really didn't. Kami knew how much she felt saddened that Seiya had to fall in love with a girl already destined to love someone else.

But Mamoru was not just her friend.

He was her future liege lord as well.

And for all that her flaky attitude had always seemed at odds with her being head of the Inner Scouts, Aino Minako was loyal to the core. Not to mention deadly serious of carrying out her duties.

Making sure the future that Setsuna showed to them was carried out was one of those duties. 'Don't hate me, Seiya,' she pleaded silently. 'I am as much as tied by Destiny's prerogative as you are.'

"You know," Minako said loudly, looking directly at the Star Light leader, "I never did figure out if you guys are male or female." Time to put an end to this flirting. "Oh, didn't Mamoru have a theory about these three, Usa?"

At the mention of the name Usagi snatched her hands away as if she was touched by something repulsive. "Gomen, Minako…I forgot what it was," Usagi whispered in a flustered tone, her eyes looking away, her face becoming ashen. 'Mamoru,' Usagi felt like she had just cheated on the man she had loved for more than a thousand years. 'Think always about him and how much you love him.'

The two men gave Minako a small smile. Yaten was not comfortable with Mamoru seeing that he had never really had actual contact with the man, and Seiya…well, Seiya had his own reasons for not wanting any association with Chiba Mamoru. Now was hardly the right time to bring his name out loud. In fact, to be perfectly honest, Seiya would love it if his name was never brought about, period.

Still, their Princess's orders were clear. Make sure that a strong alliance would be forged between their planet and that of Earth.

Earth.

The planet where one day, Chiba Mamoru would reign as King.

'With my Usagi,' thought Seiya, a dark scowl slowly forming on his face. "So, what was the theory then?" he asked Minako, glaring at the blonde for cutting short his moment of bliss. His hands still tingled and he could still feel the softness of Usagi's hands on it.

Minako gave him a glare of her own, seeing that she had still yet to forgive him that stolen kiss and that stolen touch from Usagi-chan. "Angels," she stated. "Mamoru-kun said something about you guys reminding him of angels. Entities without any real gender. Just are." 'But may the devil take you, Seiya,' she added silently, 'For adding this complication to something that should have been smooth sailing to our future.'

Yaten raised a silvery brow. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

The leader of the Senshi gave Yaten a patient smile. "Here, in Earth, we have beings called angels. They were supposed to be God's highest beings, and are in male form, but are not male."

"So…they are female?" Yaten asked slowly, still unsure how if he liked the analogy.

"Iie," said Minako. "They are very handsome 'men' with no genders. They were neither male, nor female but they are always traditionally depicted male. It is only now that angels are being commonly associated with female since ancient descriptions illustrate them with a slight feminine aura."

"Not always," interjected Usagi. She had been listening to the explanation while her thoughts had drifted to other things. She remembered fully Mamoru's theory and thought – nay, believed - that the explanation bore some kennel of truth. "Angels are males. There are four hierarchies to them and two of the lower hierarchy were the one's sometimes painted with slight female features."

Seiya sensed a sadness coming out of Usagi. 'Is she thinking about Mamoru again? Why is it that all he can seem to do is make my Odango sad?' "Well," said Seiya, giving Yaten a wink, "as long as they are handsome, then I really see no problem being likened to one of them."

His comrade chuckled, already agreeing to the comment made by his leader. "What do you think, Minako? You agree with us being angels?"

He waited for the reply, knowing he could always count on Minako to give an entertaining comment. It was a surprise to see her suddenly frowning though and with a grim look on her lovely countenance. Yaten followed Minako's line of sight, saw what had caught her attention and felt like hitting Seiya for being too obvious.

Kou Seiya's hands were slowly but surely once again slowly inching towards Usagi's. He knew he shouldn't. He knew it was the wrong move to make.

He realized he didn't care.

'Seiya,' Yaten thought angrily, 'What the hell is it that you think you are doing?' Nothing good will come out of this, he knew that. His Princess had drilled to Seiya the importance of keeping good camaraderie between the would be Earth leaders and their own. What Seiya was doing was making sure that order was never to be carried out.

'Not freaking good,' Yaten thought gloomily. He couldn't blame Seiya though. 'He really loves her. Ah, shit,' he grimaced and gave Minako a look 'Do something, you stupid girl!'

Minako glared back as if it was his entire fault.

As for Usagi…

The blonde stood up abruptly, bowed politely to her three companions and gave a fleeting smile. "Gomen-nasai, minna," she murmured, eyes never once straying anywhere near Seiya's piercing blues. "I have to go now…Mamo-chan and I have a date this afternoon and I want to get ready."

She didn't wait for a reply, instead giving a little wave and smiling apologetically at Yaten. "Take care of Mina for me, okay? She can do a whole lot of trouble when left with her own devices."

With those words, she left, her own hands still tingling where Seiya's had held it.

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A/N: …And end.

Like I said, I hate OOC in stories unless justified by the author. In this story I will keep every interaction credible with the romance part brought out in a convincing manner. No sudden declarations and over played out Lothario moments. Next chapter to be posted in a week or so.

Also, know that I have two new stories for Seiya/Usagi to be posted soon. One will be an AU and one will be a semi-AU with canon SM. (Angelic themes in one, pure Comedy/Romance in the other).

Kindly leave a review so I would know your thoughts about the story, please and thank you.