Disclaimer: Sailor Moon and its associated trademarks do not belong to me, I am simply borrowing them for entertainment purposes and make no money off of this.
Author's Note: I haven't written a Sailor Moon fic since I finished "To be or not to be a Princess" and, as such, my writing style may have changed somewhat dramatically. I will apologize in advance, however, as I now feel compelled to use the original Japanese names as well as several words:
Arigato - Thank you
Onegai - Please
Gomen - Sorry
Mamoru - Darien
Usagi/Usako - Serena
Timeframe: Episode where Saori is attempting to get up the courage to tell Mamoru she cares for him as more than a friend. (Sailor Moon Super S - Episode 132)
Summary: Super Sailor Moon watches as the entity dives for her beloved Mamoru, and sets herself up to be sacrificed in his place. After successfully defeating the monster from the Dead Moon circus, Super Sailor Moon wastes no time in seeing to his welfare.
"Mamo-chan?" Super Sailor Moon didn't even pause before kneeling beside him, already reaching out to grasp his hand.
Mamoru folded it in his free hand and squeezed, the nicks on his skin from the blades Tigers-eye had thrown smarting as they rubbed against fabric. "Usako."
A smile split her features as she reached down to help him up, unaware of their audience. Chibi-Moon and Saori, Mamoru's friends. She had eyes only for him; her attention completely focused. Her arm slid about his chest and she leaned down. "Easy now, Mamo-chan. Those daggers are sharp."
Shaking her head, she reached down to remove one that was hampering him. "Don't mention it - you'd do the same for me."
With Super Sailor Moon's help, Mamoru was able to sit up. His shirt and jacket were in shreds from the desperate force he'd used to break free to help her, and fine lines of red marked where he'd brushed against the blades without thought to his own safety. Super Sailor Moon brushed her fingers against one of the lines of red. "Do they hurt?"
"No." He shook his head. "Nothing hurt as much as the thought of losing you."
A blush stained her cheeks as she helped him sit forward and enfolded his hands in hers. "Mamo-chan..."
Enjoying the feel of his grasp in hers, she silently thanked Pegasus for giving her the power to protect him. To allow her to defend those she loved. And she silently reveled in the moment - they were too few since Chibi-Usa's return - where Mamoru's attention was focused solely on her.
His fingers tightened around hers, that gentle smile she enjoyed so much creasing his lips. "Usako..."
"Gomen, I was just..."
Mamoru lifted her gloved fingers to his lips and kissed the backs of them. "I know. Help me up?"
"Hai!" She released his hands as he released hers - reluctantly - and they set to work on pulling out the daggers still embedding his pants to the ground. As they worked, their focus slowly expanded and the pile of daggers grew.
Both Super Sailor Moon and Mamoru stopped, almost at the same moment, and looked up surprised. Mamoru's expression turned contrite. "Saori-san! Are you alright?"
"Hai; are you?"
"Nothing a trip to my tailor and a bath won't fix."
"I'm glad." Saori bowed to Super Sailor Moon and smiled. "Arigato, Sailor Moon."
Super Sailor Moon smiled and rose to her feet, glancing down where Mamoru still sat, his left leg still pinned by two last daggers. "Dream your beautiful dream, Saori-san. Bye!"
Saori opened her mouth to protest but Super Sailor Moon and Super Chibi-Moon were already gone. She instead crouched by Mamoru's side and pulled on one of the daggers as he pulled the other. "You've met her before, right Mamoru-san?"
Mamoru's gaze followed where the Sailor Soldiers had disappeared. "A time or two. You're really alright?"
"Hai. Can you get home on your own?"
"You're not coming over?"
Saori shook her head. "Gomen. I forgot I made other plans for this afternoon."
They both turned to see Usagi running towards them at a full out run, Chibi-Usa not far behind her. Saori laughed softly. Now she understood and she wasn't about to even try and interfere. "You too, Mamoru-san."
Saori left as Usagi and Chibi-Usa skidded to a halt near Mamoru. Chibi-Usa watched the other woman leave, a satisfied smile on her face, as Usagi threw her arms around Mamoru's neck and held him tightly. Mamoru returned the embrace, hugging her close and simply holding her, reveling in the fact that she hadn't left him - not yet. She was pulled into his lap without a fuss, her face buried in the side of his neck. Surprisingly, she didn't cry - instead she simply held him, as if basking in his embrace.
Mamoru planted a soft kiss on her forehead. "Arigato, Usako."
He waited until she pulled back to regard him curiously. "For loving me so much." Blushing, she ducked her head slightly, only Mamoru wouldn't allow it. Instead he tucked his fingers under her chin and forced her to look into his eyes with gentle pressure. "For loving me enough to risk your own life for mine."
"I.. You'd do the same for me."
"That doesn't make it any less special when you do it. I love you, Usako."
"I love you, Mamo-chan." She smiled and eased out of his lap, offering her hand. "Let's get you home and cleaned up, okay?"
Chibi-Usa jumped in to help him stand and the three of them got Mamoru to his feet. Despite the fact his injuries were superficial, he used it as an excuse to put an arm around Usagi and to hold Chibi-Usa's hand. Not that he needed one, but neither objected, and when Usagi's arm slid around his waist - to offer him support - he felt like the King he would someday be.
This remarkable young woman loved him. There was nothing else he wanted.