Here's the continuation of chapter 1! I had to do this since AOL wouldn't let me post this as one long story, so here it is, enjoy! This chapter is very mushy, just a warning to those who don't like that...
Disclaimers: Sailor Moon and the others don't belong to me, but this story does.
That Wednesday morning had to be one of the cheeriest mornings of them all. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, especially Usako and I. We were going to spend the entire day together for we hadn't been doing that lately, so we had some major catching up to do. What we had in mind was half a day at the mall, (Usako's idea of course) lunch, and a nice romantic boat cruise for two on the lake. I was looking forward to the boat ride the most, and Usako the mall and lunch. So the day would be perfect, hopefully. I had taken the day off especially for this, and my employer didn't mind, but only nodded when I told him the reason. "Take a break Mamoru, you deserve it," were his exact words.
We headed off to the mall in my red car, and the second we stepped inside the building, I was instantly dragged off by Usako. She pulled me inside a store, and began to look at the dresses and clothing there.
"Mamo-chan," Usako called out to me in her sweet voice, "do you think this dress suits me?" She held out a dress for me to look at. Ever since we realized that we had more in common than we thought, and let our hearts control us when we were together, (after Usako showed me that I could just be myself around her and not so tense all the time) we called each by our pet names for each other, mine being Usako, and hers being Mamo-chan. I thought that it was a cute and a very suitable name for me, so every time she calls me that, it makes me feel special...and more importantly...loved. Usako's love means more to me than anything and everything, I know that now. How lucky I am to have such an angel by my side...
I chuckled as she picked out another dress, then a skirt, and held it close to her slender body. "Anything would suit you," I commented with a smile. It seemed that I smiled a lot now, and it felt good too.
"All right, arigato!" So she set out to pick out some clothes while I watched her all the while. She was so innocent and pure at heart. She also has a big heart, and that's one of the many things I love about her. Of course, then there's her bright smile that would brighten up anyone's day no matter how sad or upset they were. Usako is truly a special person; no one could be like her, never.
We had lunch at the mall. There were quite a fast food restaurants there. Usako insisted on having hamburgers and chocolate milkshakes for lunch, and I couldn't argue; not when her eyes had that pleading look in it. So that's what we had, hamburgers and milkshakes. I chuckled lightheartedly at how cute she looked as she gorged herself with all the hamburgers she could eat. It was surprising how much she ate, considering that she was so small. I wonder how she could stay so thin and eat so much...
Then came the best part of all; the boat ride. We were both tired and needed something to end our day together. Usako carried two big bags filled with all sorts of clothes, along with a pair of new sandals, all which, in my opinion, looked splendid on her.
We rented a small boat and as I began paddling, off into the still crystal-blue waters, Usako sighed contentedly, and closed her eyes, enjoying every second of it. The sun was just setting now, and you could barely see it, its golden rays slowly disappearing over the horizon. The sky was clear; there was not a cloud in sight. Birds flew over the lake, lading on the trees growing in the park.
I could see other couples out on the lake also, enjoying the peaceful sunset together. It made me feel warm, to know that I was experiencing what the couples were...the wonderful feeling of love. Usako's eyes were partially opened now, and she looked out over the lake. "I could stay like this forever, with you Mamo-chan." she whispered to me, her voice sending shivers down my entire back.
"Me too," I answered honestly and stopped paddling. We were in the middle of the lake now. The sun had set, and it was beginning to get dark. We could still see clearly though.
Usako came closer and took one of my hands, clasping it in her own. Soon, we were embracing each other, never wanting to let go. I inhaled the sweet scent of her soft, golden-blonde hair.
"Aishiteru, Mamo-chan," she said and my heart raced. I knew that she wanted me to say that I loved her too, and I did, but it was hard to say out loud. I looked at her in the dimming light, how pure and loving she was, and realized that I could and would say the words she wanted to hear, the words that were in my heart for so long.
"I love you too, Usako."
She smiled warmly and leaned in for a kiss, and I complied.
It was completely dark now as out lips met in a tender kiss. After we broke apart, I began paddling towards shore, all the while never letting my eyes the angel seated next to me.
As I opened the door to my apartment, I exhaled a deep breath. It had been such a wonderful day, a day that was forever treasured in my memories. I went to bed that night thinking about her, my Usako, and that night, she was in my dreams also. A wonderful dream, one that said we would be together forever, and never be apart...
I didn't see much of Usako the next day, and that was a little disappointing. She was the one who always cheered my up. The whole day at work, I thought about her, and could hardly concentrate on the filing work I was supposed to be doing. A little voice rang in my head, reminding me that tomorrow would be by eighteenth birthday. I closed my eyes as I sat on the chair by my desk which was stacked with tons of paperwork, and imagined what it would be like. Same as ever, probably, except I would be at work that day; it was a Friday, after all. Then, Usako's words rang in my ears again, and I remembered what she had said a couple days ago.
"Mamo-chan, on your eighteenth birthday, I'll make sure it's one you'll never forget! I know you never really celebrated your birthday for the past decade or so, and I'll change that, just wait and see." Those were her exact words. Somehow, a sinking feeling in me gave me the impression that it was she who had forgotten my birthday. I sighed, and a brushed a hand over my hair, messing it up slightly. It was okay, I contemplated. She had so much on her mind nowadays. It was common that people would forget things. I would not remind her nor be upset with her. Yes, it would be okay...just fine...
That night I couldn't sleep. I kept tossing and turning in bed, throwing off the covers and pulling them up again. I was always like this the night before my birthday I guess, a habit, you can call it.
I was pretty glad when morning came, with the sun shining high in the partially clouded sky. I didn't get much sleep the night before, and still felt exhausted. I got up nonetheless, even though I felt like sleeping in a bit more. The clouds were fluffy, like cotton candy, and they looked soft enough to melt in your mouth like cotton candy does. Everyone was busy that day, it seemed. Getting dressed and after having a piece of toast and coffee for breakfast I was off. Getting into my car, I threw the my black leather briefcase into the empty seat beside me, and drove down the streets.
I arrived on work on time, and began to work like crazy. It was like if I was occupied with my work, I would forget that today was my birthday, and the fact that Usako had probably forgotten about it. I shook my head to clear it, and began working again. At least I got a lot done that day. My employer even took notice of my strangeness and commended me on how much I completed. "Well, it's all in a day's work," he said with a smile. "Good work, Mamoru."
"Thank you," I replied, but I sure didn't feel so good.
I went home and after a long day of tiring work, I was going to go to bed the second I went home. Taking out the key from my pocket, I stared at it for a second. It seemed strange, like something was missing. Then, I realized it was because I had given the spare key for my apartment to Usako. I could still remember her face light up when I handed it to her, saying that she would treasure it and never, ever lose it. I smiled depressingly and pushed open the door. It was completely dark inside. I couldn't see anything, only outlines of my furniture. Sighing again, I went to turn on the lights.
Just as my hand brushed the light switch, a pair of warm hands covered my eyes. I stood frozen. What if it was a thief? Who knows what it might have been. The hands still lingered there, so warm and..comforting. In that instant, I knew it couldn't be the hands of a stranger; I recognized the warmth of it. It was Usako.
"Happy birthday, Mamo-chan," she breathed out to me, and my heart began beating faster. Her hands slipped from my eyes, and she turned on the light switch. "I thought you would never get here!" she exclaimed. "I was waiting here for an hour!"
I smiled widely seeing her standing in front of me. It wasn't an illusion, but really her! "Gomen nasai, Usako, for keeping you waiting." I walked up to her and drew her into a tight embrace. "And arigato for remembering my birthday." I added and she smiled back at her, eyes shining.
"Did you really think I would forget?" Her eyes twinkled with amusement. "I would never."
We stayed like that in each other's embrace for some while before breaking apart, and she led me over to the table, and it was full of food! I was surprised, to say the least! Taking a quick glance around my kitchen, I saw that is wasn't totally messed up, and that was a relief.
"You made this for me?"
"Of course, silly!" she giggled. "Why else would I spend two hours in a kitchen for?" she laughed this time, and I joined in. It was funny, since I knew Usako didn't have a clue how to make something..without burning or ruining it anyway...
As we sat down and began to eat the food Usako had made, I realized that it wasn't half bad. It was good, actually! "Did you really make this all by yourself?" I inquired, and she blushed.
"Well...I kind of called Makoto, and she gave me step by step directions on how to make it over the phone."
So the dinner went on like that, Usako telling me about her day with her friends while I ate silently, nodding once in a while. I wanted to tell her how much this meant to me, that she was here with, and I wasn't alone. I didn't; I listened to her describe the events that happened in her day instead.
After dinner, I thought it would be nice to watch t.v., but Usako had something different in mind. "Close your eyes," she instructed me in her sing-song voice and dashed off into another room. A moment later I heard her light footsteps enter the living room again. "Okay, you can open them now."
I did as I was told, and saw that in her hands was a present, a birthday present. "Oh Usako.."
She blushed crimson as I opened it. The present was neatly wrapped, and inside, I found it to be a picture frame. Now, this was not just an ordinary picture frame. It was designed with small bunnies and moons on the structure of it, and Usako had also included a picture with it...a picture of us together in the park, taken a week ago.
"It's..beautiful..." I managed to say, and held it close to my chest. "I will treasure it. Arigato."
Usako sat down on the sofa, and I joined her there, after laying the picture frame delicately on the shelf. It wasn't its permanent spot although for now it was. She laid her head on my lap and I stroked her soft hair, closing my eyes contentedly. It was close to eleven, and I knew it was probably time for Usako to head home. She looked so peaceful laying there, half asleep, like an angel..that I almost didn't want to disturb her. "It's probably time for you to go.." I said hesitantly and she turned her head to look at me. A grin formed on her face and she shook her head. "Well...I told my parents I would be staying with a friend tonight...so..." She needn't continue, I got the idea.
Silence. I could hear Usako's soft breathing and knew she was almost asleep again. "Usako?"
"Thank you for making this birthday the best birthday ever."
Her tired blue eyes focused on face, and she smiled gently. "Sure. I'm glad that I helped you make new, better memories today. I'll always be there for you..." And she feel asleep, softly snoring, a few strands of her hair resting on her closed eyelids.
"Usako.." I brushed the strands of hair away from her eyes, and kissed her forehead, content.
I felt tired too, from the long day at work probably. As I closed my eyes, a vision came to me, so vivid, and yet so distant. It was of a little boy...me. He was so happy then, celebrating his sixth birthday with his parents. I was like standing in the shadows, watching the happy family. "Now make a wish," the woman said. The small boy closed his eyes for a few seconds and then blew out the candles...
My eyes opened once more, and I knew instantly what the vision was..it was a memory, of my childhood. It felt good to have that memory, and with this new one Usako helped me make, I couldn't ask for more then.
Sleep was pulling at me and I gave up trying to stay awake.
Hmmm...so...how was it??? My longest single-part fic ever! *cheers* Was it good? Bad?? Please review or send me your comments to LisaZUMstories@aol.com or Lisafics@sailormoon.com! No flames please! If this fic is a little bit like anyone else's story you might've read in the past, no flames on that either. This idea came to me in my head, and I am SURE I didn't copy it off of anyone else's!
I hope you've enjoyed this fic minna! Now, if you are a little confused, I'll explain. This fic was basically to capture Mamoru's past, and how he never really remembered to have celebrated his birthday before. Then Usagi came into his life, and that changed. Now, I know this was really nothing like how Mamoru's past was, but hey, it's MY story, and it's fiction, so it you don't like it....well, it's not my fault! Oh, a new chapter to "Labyrinth" will be out soon if you would like to read it! Ja ne minna!
Happy late birthday, Mamoru! ^_^
This story written July-August 2001, and posted August 2001.