May 2008

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is property of Naoko Takeuchi and this is her sandbox - I'm simply destroying the sandcastles ;)

Title: Where

Author: JadeMax

Timeframe: Sailor Stars – before episode 194

Genre: Angst

Summary: Usagi finds it increasingly difficult to sleep as the time she hasn't heard from Mamoru stretches from weeks into months...

--

Why

I can't stop the rain from falling

I'm drowning in these tears I cry

Since you left without a warning

I face the dawn with sleepless nights

No, I can't go on

When clouds are pushing down on me, boy

I can't stop, I can't stop the rain

From falling

Can't Stop the Rain - Cascada

--

Mamo-chan.

Usagi tossed under her covers, a crease furrowing her brow as she rolled, attempting to find a more comfortable position.

Why, Mamo-chan? Why haven't you called or written me?

She was exhausted after another day of pretending nothing was wrong; that everything was fine and she was strong. That she and Mamoru were still in touch - that things were perfect between them as always. Nothing had prepared her for Mamoru's silence from America and now, almost three months since he'd given her the ring at the airport, it was becoming increasingly difficult to sleep, increasingly difficult to continue on like nothing was wrong.

Was it something I did? Something I said? Or are you simply so busy you can't write me?

None of the senshi suspected anything - yet - but it was only a matter of time before something would set her off or the loneliness would get to be too much. Spending time with Seiya helped, but he wasn't her Mamo-chan.

Mamo-chan... I miss you... I want to see you...I want to hear your voice.

A whimper escaped and she bit her lip to muffle the sound, lest she wake Luna. Pulling the pillow over her head, she hugged it hard against her face to smother the half-sob that escaped and soak the tears she could feel on her cheeks.

Giving up on the pretense of sleep, she hugged the pillow more tightly and rolled to her front, biting the fabric. It didn't stem the tears that slid from her eyes - nothing did - but it gave her something to hold. Her hands folded together, over the ring Mamoru had given her, and she curled around the pillow to hold it tightly, her hands close to her heart.

Mamo-chan!

There was no answer to her silent plea - there never was - but her heart cried out for him with increasing intensity. Intensity that threatened to tear her heart from her chest as she clenched her jaw around the pillow to stop the sobs.

Mamo-chan! Mamo-chan, please! I'm not strong enough to endure this silence on my own! Where are you? I miss you - I need you!

The tears slid with increasing frequency into the fabric of the pillow until she felt like she was drowing in her tears again.

In the last week she'd slept little, her reserves breaking down, her optimism crumbling under the blanket of silence. She couldn't tell the girls, they'd only worry about her more, and she'd promised Mamoru to be strong, told him he wasn't to worry about her. If she'd known it would translate into months of nothing from him, she might have told him otherwise.

Mamo-chan...

"Chibi?"

Usagi bit back another sob at the soft inquiry from behind her and struggled to escape from the mire of sorrow and despair that had caught hold of her. Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she willed the pain to ebb, locking it away once more inside her heart.

"Chibi chibi?"

Rubbing her face against the pillow to dry her tears, Usagi lifted her head to find the small girl looking at her with a concerned expression. Extending her arms, Chibi Chibi looked at her questioningly. "Chibi?"

Usagi managed to find a small smile as she pulled the little girl into her lap and cuddled her. The child reminded her of Chibi-Usa to some degree and - by association - Mamoru. The pain in her heart was excruciating, but she tramped it down ruthlessly, drawing comfort from the small child. It was a reminder of Mamoru's promise, of their future - one she wished would come true sooner rather than later.

Chibi Chibi patted Usagi's cheek. "Wet?"

"I'm alright, Chibi Chibi-chan," Usagi assured her softly. "I just miss my Mamo-chan."

"Mamo-chan?"

That drew a genuine smile and Usagi hugged the little girl again. "Would you like to sleep with me again tonight?"

Chibi Chibi's response was to crawl under the covers. Usagi cradled the little girl against her, tucking the small head under her own as if Chibi Chibi were her daughter and not her make-believe sister. The girl was asleep in minutes, leaving Usagi with her thoughts, but this time with someone to hold.

It didn't help as long as it usually did and, as had been the case for the last several days, she couldn't sleep. Instead she lay awake, her eyes on the window and the tree beyond without really seeing it, the tears tracing silent furrows down her cheeks once more. Mamoru's image seemed ingrained in the window pane and as much as it hurt to see, she couldn't look away. Didn't want to. His image wasn't enough, but it was all she had - and would have to be good enough.

Mamo-chan...

As the sun's rays began to turn the night to day, Usagi rose from her bed, careful not to disturb the sleeping child and began to prepare for school.

Another sleepless night

Another day without word from Mamoru.

Another night of wondering what had happened.

Steeling herself for the day ahead, Usagi donned her persona as if she were putting on her clothing. Her face was scrubbed, her hair was brushed until it shone and then retied. The evidence of her sleepless night was hidden behind a skillfully applied cream she'd bought for just that reason.

No one would see her cry - she would be strong until Mamoru came home and she would be waiting for him.

fin