Don't own SM ok guys here it is read it quick quick quick!

Chapter Nine

She had been too late.

It was over.

She could not go on. Her body throbbed, her breaths were desperate gasps of air and her heart felt as though it had been ripped from her chest.

Her true love; the missing piece of her soul.

Gone.

The dust had not even settled, and already her mind was spinning with ways to kill herself. She stared blankly at the side wall, her cheek pressed against the cool marble floor.

Endymion…

No, she could not think of him. Her entire spirit screamed with agony – it was too painful to endure. She must keep her mind on the grim task ahead of her.

None of the Senshi would agree to help her. The Queen would do everything in her power to stop her. Even Messier would not assist with the suicide. She would have to do it herself.

Her head was so busy, it did not register the murmurs around the trial room. But then a low oath from the Senshi lying on top of her caught her attention. Venus was speaking rapidly in her native tongue – Serenity could only understand snatches of the muttering. It sounded like something impossible had happened…

Serenity's heart froze in her chest. Something impossible?

She didn't dare believe it. But the murmurs of the Court became louder, and they all had the same theme…

'How can this be?'

'I don't believe my eyes.'

'It's a miracle.'

'But how…? HOW?'

Serenity lifted her face from the floor and twisted her head. What she saw caused the air to rush from her lungs. Endymion was still there.

And he was alive.

'ENDYMION!' Serenity thrust Venus away with a single push. She scrambled to her feet and sprinted the remaining steps towards him. No one was prepared enough to stop her this time – they were all still too stunned.

With one final choked sob, Serenity threw herself forward and pressed her lips against Endymion's. He was still groggy from Mercury's spray to react at first. But slowly, surely, the kiss took effect.

Energy pulsed through his veins, sparking with passion and pushing the sedative from his system. His mind was awakening; his fatigue was dissipating; his injuries were easing.

He was healing.

A low moan rose in his throat as he finally grasped what was happening. Serenity was stealing her first kiss.

And she was doing it really, really well.

Still chained to the wall, he was unable to embrace her; but she made up for it by wrapping her arms around his neck and threading her fingers through his hair. They needed to be close… so close…

Her body pushed up against his. Her delicate, slender frame was the softest, most exquisite material of the universe, created for him and him alone. He tugged at the shackles, desperate to hold his goddess in his arms, but the chains would not break.

It did not matter, really.

She was still there… kissing him. He never wanted it to end.

He inhaled the scent of her, breathing in the magic and love radiating from her very skin. Her lips melded themselves to his; her tongue danced into his mouth and caused shimmering stars to cascade down to his stomach.

He forgot everything.

He forgot who he was, and what he had endured, and what he had done. All that he was right now, was this kiss.

Her arms untangled themselves from around him, and she ran her smooth hands against his face, as though reassuring herself that he was still there. After several more quick kisses, she drew far enough away to gaze into his midnight-blue eyes.

'Endymion,' she murmured between gasps. 'I love you.'

Endymion was breathless, but he managed to say what he needed to. 'I… love you… too… Princess…'

A small whimper escaped Serenity's lips, and she kissed him again. Endymion's brow creased – there was a strange brightness in front of him. He pulled back and stared at the glowing insignia on the Princess's forehead.

'What is that?'

Serenity raised her hand to touch the mark. 'Oh – it is a crescent moon.' She smiled and pecked the side of his mouth. 'It means you are my One. But I knew that already.'

It was only after she uttered the words that she remembered her audience. She cringed and slowly turned to face the Court. Everyone was staring at her, jaws open. The Senshi were frozen in place – Venus was still on the ground.

'Daughter.' Serenity glanced up at the soft voice from the bench above her. The Queen was gazing down, her hand pressed against her heart. 'The Prince is your One?'

Serenity nodded gently. 'Yes, mother.'

'Oh,' Mercury choked, taking a step forward. 'Oh… oh… This… this is awful! Think of what we almost did!'

'Think what we did do,' Jupiter corrected, finding her voice.

Serenity wrapped her arms around Endymion again, as though trying to protect him from their past actions.

Mars raised her hands to her mouth in horror. 'We could have executed the Princess's true love! Oh Prince Endymion, please forgive us! We are so lucky that our powers did not work!'

Venus got to her feet, her eyes fixed on the couple before her. She did not say anything.

Mercury slowly turned to the man still chained to the wall. 'How did you survive that?'

'The power of the Golden Crystal,' the Queen replied. Everyone glanced up at her, surprised.

'His Crystal saved him from two simultaneous Senshi attacks?' Jupiter gasped. 'I had no idea it was a protection device!'

But Serenity was catching on. 'Yes… it is. It saved him from Venus's Crescent Beam twice in the past. I thought he had just been lucky, but…'

'But it was magic,' Endymion finished in astonishment. 'I do not understand. The Golden Crystal is really that powerful?'

'Perhaps it has not always been so,' Queen Serenity smiled.

Endymion gave her a puzzled look. 'What do you mean?'

Serenity giggled. 'She means that it is possible your Crystal is strengthened by love, too.' She lowered her voice. 'And I bet that kiss just upped its power by a million times!'

A smile tugged at Endymion's mouth. 'It is quite possible, my goddess. May I still call you that, now you know I was not lying about my feelings for you?'

'No,' Serenity said, looking very serious. 'If you call me that, I shall get a big head!'

Endymion chuckled. 'I am willing to risk it. Goddess.' Serenity beamed, and he leant forward, brushing his lips against the side of her cheek. His warm breath caused goosebumps across her skin. 'Oh goddess?'

'Yes?' Serenity whispered, shivering in delight as he reached her ear.

'If it is not too much trouble…'

'Yes?'

'Could you possibly… maybe… unchain me now?'

X x X x X

Serenity paced outside the guest room door, looking rather impatient.

'Is something the matter, Princess?'

She spun as Messier approached. 'No. I am just waiting for Endymion to finish cleaning up. He is certainly taking his time.'

Messier hesitated. 'Uh… he did almost get executed today.'

Serenity pouted and folded her arms. 'That is no excuse!'

Messier pressed his lips together. 'If you say so, Princess.'

Serenity squinted at his expression. 'Wait… is that… almost… a smile? Quick, hold onto something! The Earth is about to start revolving around the Moon!'

Messier's expression wiped clean. 'It will not happen again.'

'Pity,' Serenity sighed. She shot him a curious glance. 'What are you doing here, anyway?'

'Her Royal Highness will be in meetings all day, and has asked me to keep an eye on you.'

'Meetings? What kind of meetings?'

'Very important ones, by the sound of it. It appears that the Moon Court will be reconsidering their system regarding the protection of the Silver Crystal. Seems like today's near-tragedy was enough to make them stop and take a look at those cold-blooded laws.'

Serenity shut her eyes and exhaled slowly. 'I am glad to hear it.'

'So is the Queen.'

'Your Highness.' Venus approached slowly, head lowered and feet dragging across the marble floor.

Serenity didn't reply, despite what formality required. She wasn't sure how she felt about her former best friend at that particular moment. Venus had fought with her the most about Endymion. It was the blonde Senshi who had been the biggest obstacle between the Prince and Serenity. She had been the one to constantly interrupt their attempts to kiss. She had been the one to stop Serenity from reaching her Prince in time. She had been the one to call for the execution to continue.

Venus reached Serenity, still unable to lift her head. 'I have resigned.'

Serenity's heart dropped to the centre of the Moon. 'What?'

'I have resigned,' Venus repeated. Teardrops splashed to the ground, and her shoulders shook silently with sobs. 'F…forgive me, Princess.'

She turned, but Serenity caught her before she could walk away. 'You are leaving?'

Finally, Venus lifted her head. Her face was twisted with despair. 'Of course I am leaving!' she cried. 'I am a disgrace to my rank! I have shown the future ruler of the Silver Millennium no respect! Who was I to argue with the owner of the Silver Crystal?'

'You were just trying to protect me.' Serenity immediately realised the truth in her words. It sounded so right. Venus would do anything to keep her safe.

And so just like that, she forgave her. This was the pure love of Princess Serenity.

Venus moaned, spinning away. 'I do not deserve to be leader of the Senshi.'

'Of course you do!'

'No I don't! I made a terrible mistake!'

'Sometimes those who make the worst mistakes are the people who turn out to be the most helpful,' Messier said quietly.

Venus glanced up to him, wiping her eyes. 'What do you mean?'

Messier placed a heavy hand on her shoulder. 'You will never be able to doubt Princess Serenity again, will you?' Venus shook her head, and he continued. 'Still, she will inevitably deal with much scepticism in the future – especially when she becomes Queen. People will question her decisions. Her followers, her friends, even her loved ones. But you… you will remember this moment, and you will stand by her, no matter what. It is because of your terrible mistake today that you will be the most loyal ally of the Moon.'

Venus sniffled, turning to Serenity with red eyes. 'D…do you think that is true?'

Serenity reached out and took her hand. 'I am sure of it, Venus.'

The beautiful Senshi choked a sob and hugged her tightly. 'Thank you Princess. Messier.'

Messier dipped his head. He did not need to add that he, too, had learnt that same valuable lesson today.

The guest room door suddenly opened and Endymion stepped out. Serenity let go of Venus and turned to him, putting her hands on her hips. 'Well it is about time!'

He grinned. 'Sorry. It took me three scrubs to wash the lingering traces of sedative from my skin.'

Serenity suddenly realised (for was just a tad slow) that Endymion looked good. He had borrowed a fresh change of clothes from one of the members of the Court – the casual attire had a striking effect on his sturdy form. His hair was still damp from the shower, causing dark pieces to fall over his sapphire eyes. He had gotten rid of the stubble, and a wonderful scent of aftershave clung to him, enhancing his allure.

'Oh my,' was the only thing the poor Princess could say before she had her arms wrapped around his neck and her lips against his.

'STEP AWAY FROM TH –'

Messier clamped a hand over Venus's mouth, and she blushed red in embarrassment when she realised what she'd done. 'Sorry,' she whispered after he released her. 'Force of habit.'

It was hard, relinquishing her protection of her Princess. She had spent so many years keeping her safe – she wasn't sure she was ready to let go. Still, she was glad Serenity was happy. Very happy, by the looks of it.

She and Messier stepped back and waited for the pair to finish their kiss.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

X x X x X

The orchestra started up a new song, and Endymion held out his hand. 'At last,' he smiled. 'I finally have the chance to dance with my goddess.'

Serenity giggled, thrilled as her One swept her onto the floor and spun her between the twirling couples. Four Senshi watched from the sidelines, sighing in envy.

'It must be nice, to have a true love,' Mercury said wistfully.

'It would also be nice to have lots of true loves,' Jupiter giggled, sipping at her punch.

'You want it all, don't you?' Mars grinned.

'Yup!'

Venus exhaled slowly, her eyes fixed on the dance floor. 'I would be happy with just one,' she mumbled.

'Even if you think he is a grandpa?' The girls turned as Malachite approached, flashing Venus a grin. 'Care to dance, angel?'

The Senshi leader turned back to the swaying couples. 'Nope.'

She jumped as Malachite pressed his lips to her ear. 'Come on – you might actually like me.'

'That's highly doubtful,' Venus drawled. She walked away before he could respond.

'Ouch,' Jupiter said.

Mars winced at the loss of male pride. 'Yeah. Sorry Malachite.'

The silver-haired man chuckled. 'You think I'll be giving up that easily? Not a chance!' He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. 'I shall find a way to win the angel over one day! Mwuahahahaha!'

'Wow, careful Malachite,' Princess Serenity teased as she and Endymion glided past. 'You sounded truly evil for a moment there. Keep that up, and we may have to have a battle to the death one day!'

'Just try not to get any blood on the carpet before my Coming of Age ceremony,' Endymion said. When Serenity giggled, he frowned. 'What? I was being serious.'

They spun away from the Senshi, back to the centre of the dancing. He held her close, unable to pry his hands away from her body. She did not want him to – his caress made up for all the years she had lived without a male's touch.

Above them, on a heavily-guarded platform, both the Silver and Golden Crystals glowed in harmony. But they were not interested in trivial things like that.

They were together.

They were happy.

And they were free.


YOU BETTER NOT HAVE SCROLLED DOWN BEFORE READING THIS CHAPTER! IF YOU DID, GO BACK UP TO THE TOP NOW NOW NOW - DON'T SPOIL IT!

Whew, sorry about that. I know about the temptation. I'm a self-confessed-scroller, so I know there are people out there who do it too.

For those good readers who didn't scroll...

Awwww... happy endings all round. You guys gotta trust me ;p

So that Golden Crystal was powerful, after all. Silly Endy. (I wonder how he is going to react when he finds out the kitties can talk? ;p)

And I'll bet none of you guessed that the title of the story referred to HER stealing a kiss from HIM, huh? Eh eh eh.

Ok, done gloating.

Oh yeah, and due to several requests, I added a special chapter at the end of The Agent explaning how one becomes an Agent of Fate. I'm happy people were interested enough to ask!! :)

Thank you for being such wonderful readers! Keep an eye out - I'm sure to have a new story soon.

Love,
Kaitlyn