Author's Notes: Well, here we are, folks, the final chapter of Tryst. It seems fitting that I am posting the final installment on my last Friday before I go back to school. It's been absolutely wonderful writing and posting this story, and I sincerely hope that this chapter is everything you've hoped for. Enjoy.
Tryst - Chapter 20
Endymion felt the strange weight of the crown as it was placed on his brow. Slowly, he stood up and faced his people. Despite the loss of their king and the hundreds of innocent civilians and soldiers, his people cheered joyfully when they saw him crowned.
He'd only been home for three days, and so much had happened already. He'd had to fix all the damage done in his absence, bury his friends, his men, and his father. He'd had to organize the rebuilding of the villages Seiya had burned to the ground. The past three days had been hell for Endymion, but he'd been given no opportunity to rest. There was too much to be done.
His only joy was the woman standing beside him. Endymion smiled at his wife as the crown his mother had worn was placed on her head. He reached out a hand and helped her to her feet before pulling her in for a kiss.
The cheering from the crowd grew louder, and Endymion felt Serenity smile against his lips. She broke away with a blush, and together they faced their people. Endymion watched as she waved at the crowd, and he saw the love in her eyes, the love she already felt for their people. It eased the pain he felt, seeing that she loved a people that were not her own, and even more, seeing that they loved her back. The adoration in his people's eyes was enough for Endymion; Serenity was the greatest gift he could have given them.
Over the past three days, Serenity had been his rock. She grieved quietly for her father, of course, but she had been strong for him, able to wipe her tears away and replace them with a smile at a moment's notice. She had remained at his side, even when he visited the devastated villages. Perhaps it was the sight of her, grieving for the burned houses and the filled graves, that had made his people fall in love with her. He himself had fallen in love with her all over again these past three days.
She had insisted that they could wait to be married until things had settled down, that there was no need to rush, but Endymion had refused. He'd spent too long fighting to keep her; he would not wait a moment longer than necessary to make her his wife. And so, yesterday, he had married her. It had been as he'd promised her; the ceremony had been elaborate, with more flowers than he could ever have counted. Their friends had been there, as had the remainders of her family, and their people. The only part of his promise he had not kept was that she would be a blushing bride; they had spent every night since his return locked in each other's arms.
Despite the grief he still felt for the many things he had lost, Endymion smiled. He would carry the grief with him forever, but he would lock it away in the deepest corner of his heart. Alexander lost his wife but was able to live the remainder of his life joyfully. Endymion had no intention of wasting any time wallowing in sadness. It was not what his father would have wanted. It was not what Endymion wanted.
If he thought about it, Endymion already had everything he had ever wanted.
Mina smiled contentedly as she watched Kunzite search the floor for his clothing. She didn't mind that he couldn't find his pants, and she was sure he didn't either. For her part, she was simply enjoying the view.
"Stop staring at me like that," he growled as he pulled his shirt out from beneath the bed. He didn't ask her what she'd been thinking when she tossed it there; he knew very well what she had been thinking about.
"Like what?" she asked, crawling out from beneath the blankets to stretch out lazily. They both knew she was teasing him on purpose. He didn't need the mischievous grin to know it.
"You know what I'm talking about, Mina," he said, finally finding his pants. As he put them on, he shot her an appreciative glance. "I know you are insatiable, but some of us have work to do today."
"Oh, really?" she asked, sitting up and pulling the blankets around her for warmth. "And what might that be? I happen to know that Zoisite is spending the day in the library with Amy. Why is it that you must work while he plays?"
Kunzite paused, frowning. "Zoisite is spending the day with Amy?"
"Yes," Mina replied, "and don't you go pulling him away from her to train or work. Those two have a serious connection growing, and I won't have you—"
"Oh, hush," he interrupted. "I wasn't going to spoil their day. It's just strange, because I gave Nephrite the day to escort Lita around the markets."
Mina's blue eyes lit up with excitement, and she bounced happily on the bed, forgetting her nudity for a moment. Kunzite smirked.
"This is so exciting!" Mina chirped, scrambling to her knees. "Don't you see? Everyone is falling in love!"
Sputtering and coughing, Kunzite stared at her wide-eyed. "Pardon me? What did you say?"
"Don't act so surprised," Mina told him. "My friends are lovely girls, and any man would be happy to have them."
"I didn't say they're not," Kunzite said, "but just because they are spending the day together doesn't mean they're in love."
"Think what you want, Kunzite. We will see who is right soon enough."
Rolling his eyes, Kunzite stretched out on the bed beside her. He closed his eyes as Mina's fingers began playing with his hair, untangling it and combing it. She sighed happily. "Besides, you should probably know that I heard a few maids gossiping about Jadeite."
"That's nothing new," Kunzite mumbled. "They're always gossiping about him. What did he do this time?"
He didn't see the wide grin that spread across Mina's face. "Oh, I believe they called her a 'raven-haired beauty.'"
Kunzite shot up, staring at Mina. "Are you sure? Jadeite and Rei? But I thought they hated each other."
"Oh yes," Mina replied. "They hate each other so much they can't keep their hands to themselves." Kunzite laughed, and Mina leaned in and stole a kiss. She pulled back. "So you see, everyone is falling in love."
"Everyone?" he asked quietly.
Mina's blue eyes softened slightly. She placed her hands on Kunzite's cheeks and pressed her lips against his forehead. He let his eyes close, his hands smoothing over her bare waist. He groaned when Mina laughed and pushed him backwards so that she was straddling him.
"Good god, woman," he said, "don't you ever get tired?"
"Never," she replied.
"I just got dressed," he reasoned, giving her a stern glare.
Her fingers began undoing the buttons of his shirt. "Well, then, my lord, we'll just have to undress you."
Endymion sighed as he locked the door to his bed chamber, finally done for the day. To his dismay, it was incredibly late. Serenity had gone to bed hours ago, and the fire in the hearth was burning low. He added another log to kindle the flames and worked it until the room was lit with warm, golden light. Turning to the bed, he was surprised to see Serenity sitting up, naked, watching him. He smiled and went to the bed, crawling to her.
"Good evening, wife," he whispered huskily, nuzzling the crook of her neck hungrily. She giggled softly, her hands weaving into his hair. "What are you doing up so late?"
"Waiting for you," she told him, meeting his gaze. He growled at the longing he saw in her eyes and pulled her to him in a fiery kiss. She melted against him and pulled him down onto the bed. When he pulled away, Serenity left a trail of soft kisses over his face and neck. Endymion had never felt such a gentle, loving touch before. He tried to mimick it, tried to soften the way his hands roamed her body.
"I love you," Endymion whispered. "More than I have ever loved anything in the world."
"And I love you," she murmured into his ear. "So much more than I ever dreamed possible."
Her hands deftly undressed him before smoothing over his bare, muscled chest. Her fingers lingered on the scar that marked the wound he had received during the joust, a wound he viewed as a small price to pay for so wonderful a prize. Her lips touched the mark gently, as though she could kiss away the pain. What she didn't realize was that she already had.
Endymion bent his head down to capture her lips again, trying desperately to show her the love that had filled his heart. He had told her once that he was not practiced at romance, and it hadn't been a lie, but for her sake, he would try. He would spend the rest of his life trying for her.
Serenity kissed him back with a hunger that matched his own, shattering his attempts to be soft and gentle. He groaned against her lips and deepened the kiss before rolling them over so that he was on his back, his hands pulling her closer to him until he could get no closer. She laughed into the kiss and pulled back.
"There is something I should tell you," she said, her eyes sparkling in the firelight. "It's why I waited up for you."
"Can't it wait until morning?" he grumbled. "There are other things I'd rather do than talk, Serenity."
She shot a knowing glance down, but Endymion didn't blush. Instead, he ground himself against her, drawing a startled gasp from her lips.
"Don't tease me, woman. I am not a patient man," he warned, his eyes dark. Her laughter echoed through their chamber, and his eyes softened slightly at the sound. "What are you laughing at?"
"I was just thinking," she said, "about our courtship. About how you 'wooed' me. More like wore me down."
Snarling, Endymion rolled them back over, trapping her beneath him. "As I recall, my lady, it didn't take long."
A smile still graced her lips. "No, I suppose you are right. I was too eager to fall for your gruff charms."
Endymion dipped his head to kiss her again, but Serenity put her hand up to ward him off. Instead, he grasped her hand and gently sucked the tips of her fingers, pleased when he was rewarded with a shaky gasp.
"Endymion, I must tell you something," she whispered. "Be serious."
"Oh, but I am," he told her, kissing her knuckles. "There is nothing about which I am more serious than this."
"You lustful little louse," she said, slapping him playfully. "Here I am, trying to tell you one of the most important things I will ever tell you, and all you can think about is my body."
His eyes swept over her body, taking in every detail, before meeting her gaze again. He quirked a brow at her. "No man, alive or dead, would want to talk when he had you laying naked beneath him." He grinned playfully at her. "But I am a king and must therefore be able to overcome such distractions. Come, my queen, let me hear what you have waited to tell me."
Softening, Serenity placed a hand on his cheek, her eyes filling with tears. "I am pregnant."
Endymion's eyes widened. "What?"
She smiled gently and placed his hand over her flat belly. "We are going to have a baby."
"A child?" Amazed, Endymion smoothed his hand over her stomach before bending down to place a small kiss on her belly. "We're going to have a child."
Laughing, Endymion drew her in and kissed her passionately. She threw her arms around his neck and clung to him, tears streaming over her cheeks. After some time, he pulled back and wiped her tears away. For a moment, his eyes were softer than Serenity had ever seen them before. Then they darkened again.
"Well, we only have nine months before my son comes and keeps you up all night," Endymion said. He bent to kiss her, but she turned her head.
"And what makes you think you won't be the one staying up with him all night long?" she asked. "You are, after all, his father."
"Yes," Endymion said, "and you are his mother."
"Oh, with an attitude like that," she warned, "you'll be lucky if I ever deign to spend another night in your company again."
Grinning, Endymion said, "Fine, fine. I will make you a deal; we'll both care for our child, so long as you keep giving me the opportunity to make more."
Serenity laughed in amazement. "I would be willing to accept that deal."
Kissing her, Endymion mumbled, "That was a generous offer for me to make, you know. We both know that you cannot resist me."
"Is that so?" she asked.
"It is," Endymion told her. "If it wasn't, our little tryst would have never happened. And then where would we be?"
"Then I suppose it is a good thing that I am a kind enough woman to love such a boorish man."
"Yes," he whispered. "It is a very good thing indeed."
He kissed her passionately, pulling her to him. A sigh of contenment escaped her lips as she wrapped her arms around him. Eventually the fire died, leaving only the glow of the full, bloated moon to light their way.
End Part III
Final Author's Notes: Well, that's it. There is no more to Tryst. I hope the ending wasn't too cheesy. I know a lot of stories end in pregnancy, but come on, with the amount of sex those two were having, it was bound to happen at some point. And no, in my mind, that child was not Chibi Usa. You can pretend, though, if you like. I've enjoyed this story so much, everything from planning to writing to reading you're incredibly flattering reviews. I cannot put into words how amazing I felt/feel every single time I got a review or a favorite. I looked forward to updates probably more than anyone reading. I am so sad that this story had to come to an end. I do hope that I get inspired to write more SM fan fiction, because this was such a lovely thing to do.
I just wanted to answer a question I got. Zoey89 mentioned that I said I was surprised at the role Seiya ended up playing, since originally he was meant only to be Endymion's rival during the contest. She wanted to know who the bad guy would have been if it hadn't been Seiya.
Truth be told, no one. When I first mapped this story out in my head, there was no one trying to become king of earth or trying to steal Serenity away (except for her father trying to break them up). In fact, Artemis was never supposed to be on Endymion's side. It was originally meant to be Earth against the Silver Alliance, and that was it. Cadogan was the villain. As I wrote, things got more complicated, Artemis switched sides, Seiya became a main character, and, well, it became the story you've read.
Thank you all so much for your support. It means so much to me, and I will always always always treasure you're kind, wonderfully thoughtful words. Thank you for reading, and I seriously hope this story was as much of a roller coaster for you as it was for me. Thank you for everything.