She sleeps so peacefully, a living embodiment of her name. She might seem far removed from the meatball head who threw her test in his face, but he knows that she is the same. He loves her either way, the sleeping angel and the bubbly girl with the big heart. He has loved her since she innocently descended to Earth, driven by curiosity. He has matured enough to know he loved her when she was a ditzy crybaby who was still more alive than anyone he ever knew. And he knows that even when she is Queen Serenity, he loves Tsukino Usagi. He loves her beauty, yes, but he loves her heart even more. It is open, honest and pure. It holds enough love to save the world. It has done so many times. And he knows as long as she has breath in her body, she will gladly sacrifice herself to save those she loves. And she loves everyone. It is a gift, and maybe a curse. But her sunny smile always makes everything seem blessed.
He wraps a strong arm around her sleeping form, bringing her close. He loves seeing her smile faintly and sigh in delight as she nestles into his embrace. For so long, so many things held them apart: fear, mistrust, insecurity, betrayal, and the will of the gods themselves. Now, in paradise on Earth, there is nothing to come between them. They are finally together, continuing a love story begun a thousand years ago, and that will endure for another thousand years.
She murmurs sleepily into his chest. "My wish finally came true."
Many people would consider that statement odd. After all, Crystal Tokyo was nearly two years old. The world was at peace, and she had been Chiba Usagi for nearly three years. What more could she possibly want. Mamoru knew not everyone would understand. They could never understand how big her heart was.
Jadeite's return was the final piece of the puzzle. It wasn't enough for Usagi to have her happily ever after. Nothing less than a happily ever after for each of her friends would do.
And so, when he and Rei raced into the court, with hair still wet, Usagi was more than happy to grant her blessing. Fierce hugs were exchanged among the reunited Shitennou, and joyous laughter echoed in the chambers as the Senshi were each reunited with their soulmates.
Jupiter and Nephrite had wasted no time since their reunion. Their three month old daughter Ayame had already captured the hearts of everyone in the court. She was a gift, they said, born of rain and flowers and love. It still brought a smile to everyone's face to see Makoto have the chance to build a family after being alone for so long. And in Nephrite, she had a partner who would always surround her with happiness and love.
Mercury and Zoisite had not been so rash, taking things at a much more measured and deliberate pace. But even if they had not taken the plunge into marriage, their devotion to each other was clearly evident. Everyone knew they would be married some day, but for now, they were content to enjoy their lives for what they were. Time was on their side, they said, and they intended to enjoy it.
Venus and Kunzite had also plunged immediately into marriage. But they had seemed to be on a perpetual honeymoon. Love was Venus's power, and she let it enrich every aspect of her life. And now that she had a partner in Kunzite who loved her as she deserved, her powers shone forth brighter than ever. If possible, Mina had become even lovelier. And everything around her baked in the glow of her beauty. Even stern Kunzite smiled more. Once couldn't help but smile around Aino Minako. When he smiled, it was much more obvious what about him had captured the heart of the goddess of love and beauty. Wherever they went, love followed. And this time, it would stay.
Rei, normally so graceful and reserved, was suddenly a giddy schoolgirl again. She and Jadeite had waited the longest. That was their way. It was never easy, but it was always worthwhile. There was much to heal and much to forgive, but in the end, love and passion won out. And they were happy to ride the wave of passion and indulge in life, something Rei had never been able to do. Her grandfather married them that very night. Rei's normally cool exterior was breached, and she smiled genuine smiles for all the world to see. And in her husband's eyes, she saw her love reflected back upon her. She had found someone from whom she had nothing to hide, and it was clear that they would share everything for as long as they had.
Mamoru smiled at the memory. It had been so long since he could share happy memories with his guardians. Now, everything was new, and everyone had a second chance to make their dreams come true. He kissed the sleeping angel in his arms. After a thousand years, he never tired of doing so. She smelled of daisies and daydreams, and she tasted like honey and honesty.
"So, everyone got their wishes then? What about mine?" he teased. After all this time, he still loved doing it, although there was no malice in it.
In response, she opened her eyes. Mamoru found himself entranced. A smile graced her lips, a smile that was at once innocent and wise. She truly was an angel fallen from heaven and straight into his arms.
Gently, she took one of his hands in her own and brought it down to her belly. She let it rest there for a moment. Mamoru was puzzled until he felt a strange rush of energy beneath his hands. His eyes widened in comprehension and awe.
She giggled, and suddenly gone was the goddess, and in his arms was the girl he fell in love with a thousand years ago.
"Say it again Mamo-chan…"
"Again…" she said as she sighed in contentment.
And he did as she asked, except he didn't say it with words.
He knew to all things there was a season. He knew things came and went. But as he had learned long ago, the woman in his arms would endure as the brightest shining star. Her heart was filled with all the things that were meant to last: friendship, trust, honesty, dedication and love. And as long as she would endure, the world would endure as well. As long as she lived, so would her love, and that was more powerful than any force in the universe. As long as she lived, he had hope, and that would live forever.