Disclaimer-Sailor Moon and Beauty and the Beast do not belong to me. The song for the chapter title is Life Is Wonderful by Jason Mraz
"… Soon enough, all the servants and friends had their fairytale weddings. The maiden, of course, didn't understand why the prince hadn't asked her to get married yet, and one day she got sick of waiting," a petite, fair haired woman said softly as she smoothed down her daughter's long, tangle-free hair.
"And what happened?" the little girl asked curiously, her wide eyes begging her mother to finish the story she already knew so well.
"She asked him," she replied with a shrug, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Don't worry though. The prince had a pretty ring for the maiden and he gave it to her later that night to make the her happy, but it was all the maiden's doing."
"Why did the prince wait so long?" the girl asked after a moment of thought. Serena smiled at her daughter. Even after a year of hearing this story at least once a week, the little girl always had a different query on the series of events. Last week she asked about the significance of a pretty ring and tonight she questioned the motives of the prince.
"You have to promise not to tell anyone, Rini," Serena said softly as she leaned forward, as if to tell a very important secret to her small daughter.
"I won't, I promise," the girl agreed as she shook her head, a serious look on her face that nearly caused her mother to break out into laughter.
"Okay, I'll tell you," the blond replied as she pushed her long hair away from her face and behind her shoulders. "The prince was scared."
"Scared? But princes don't get scared!" Rini protested in disbelief as she sat up in her bed. Serena smiled at this. No, usually princes in stories weren't scared, but this wasn't just a story.
"Princes are allowed to be scared, love," Serena chastised softly as she gently pushed her daughter back into bed. "Everyone gets scared sometimes."
"Like how you're scared of thunderstorms?" Rini asked innocently as she snuggled back into her sheets.
"Yes, just like that," Serena replied, pulling the comforter tightly around Rini as the small girl let out a loud yawn.
"So why was he so scared?" the sleepy child asked.
"Because he thought the maiden would say no," Serena whispered mournfully. "He was scared she would leave him forever if he asked."
"Well that's silly," Rini pointed out as she allowed her eyes to close. "Why would the maiden ever say no to the prince. She loves him."
"That's what the maiden told the prince," Serena informed her daughter. "It took a little convincing, but the prince finally believed that the maiden would love him forever and so they got married."
"Did the maiden know the prince would love her forever?" Rini asked, her words almost too jumbled for the blond to make out.
"Of course she did. She didn't doubt their love for a second. She knew from very early on that they would get married and start a family with that love, she just had to wait until he was sure of it," Serena assured as Rini's breathing evened out, signifying that the little girl had finally fallen asleep.
"Night baby girl, sweet dreams," Serena sighed as she leaned forward and kissed the four year old on the forehead before tiredly pushing herself to her feet.
"You did not always know," a dark haired man who was leaning against the wall across the hall protested once Serena had slipped out of Rini's room and shut the door behind her.
"Did so," the blond replied confidently as she walked over to her husband and pushed herself onto her tippy-toes so she could wrap her arms around his neck.
"You're going to hurt yourself," Darien warned as he set his hands on either side of his wife's protruding belly, gently cradling the child Serena carried.
"Mmm, it's worth it," Serena mumbled as she lightly pressed her lips against Darien's, causing him to groan and slip his hands around her waist in order to support her better.
"Not worth it," he protested as he pulled away from his petite wife and pushed her down until her bare feet were flat on the floor. "C'mon, love, let's get to bed, okay? It's late."
"I know it's late," the blond yawned, just as Rini had minutes earlier, "but I don't wanna go to bed. Since when have I had the same bedtime as our four year old daughter?"
"Since I got you pregnant again, eight months ago," Darien reminded as he set his hands on Serena's shoulders, turned her pregnancy-laden body down the hallway and walked her to the room they had shared for the past 6 years.
"That's right, this is all your fault," Serena pouted as Darien sat her down on their bed and went to change into pajamas. "I should have never let you touch me," she continued as she slipped off the zip-up sweater she had worn over her pajama top that evening and flopped back on their bed.
"I love you too, Serena," Darien replied as he joined her on the bed, sliding across the empty space until his body was pressed up against hers.
"Good," Serena sighed softly as she turned over so that she could press her face into Darien's chest, his torso curling around her stomach, protectively shielding their baby from any and all unseen danger. "Y'know, you're pathetic too, going to bed at the same time as me and Rini."
"I see nothing wrong with going to bed at the same time as my wife. Besides, I'm trying to store up some hours. I can imagine things with our second child won't be much different then they were with the first," Darien reminded.
"Oh don't remind me," Serena groaned as she closed her eyes tiredly and pressed her nose up against Darien's chest, taking a deep breath of her husband's intoxicating scent for comfort. "It's not fair. I'm so achy and tired as it is. I don't get a break."
"But you get me," Darien replied, attempting to offer a consolation prize.
Serena snorted at this. "Great. Perfect. If that's any indication, Luna will be getting just as much sleep as we do. Again."
"I wasn't that bad," Darien cried in indignation causing Serena to look up at him, mischief twinkling in her eyes.
"No, you were worse. I swear, even Diana was more help with Rini," the blond commented.
"I'll be better this time, I promise," he swore with a solemn look on his face.
"I'm holding you to that," she replied as she lifted her head and set a light kiss on Darien's lips. He responded by pulling her closer and resting his chin on the top of her head, more than ready to turn in for the night.
"Hey, do you ever wonder what happened to Sapphire at the end of all this?" Serena asked sleepily. Darien smiled at his wife's innocence and good intention.
"Sometimes, Serena, but not enough to actually find out. I can look into it tomorrow, if you'd like," he offered without having to be asked.
Serena smiled sleepily into Darien's shirt, knowing he couldn't see it. He was too good to her, even she knew that, and she was thankful everyday.
"No, it's okay. I was just wondering," she yawned. "Goodnight Darien, I love you."
"I love you too," he whispered back as they both finally drifted off to sleep.
Sapphire propped himself up against his headboard with only the streetlights from the not-so-busy, 4 am New York City sidewalk slipping through the shades of his window to illuminate his room. He had one arm curled around the bare shoulders of the woman sleeping on his right while his free hand stroked the thick curls of the woman lying on his left. He smiled slightly as he thought back on the last six years his brother had been in prison.
No, the youngest Prince son wasn't a necessarily a good man, nor was he much of a model citizen, but he kept his destructive tendencies to himself. He didn't involve anyone else. All he did was live his decadent lifestyle to the fullest and run his company. But he wasn't stupid. No, years of watching his brother's debauchery kept him wise. Everyday he remembered Diamond's folly, the stupidity that landed him in prison, which later led him to be declared clinically insane. He remembered how, at the end of his sentence, the older Prince would be going to live in a white padded room in a jacket not meant for the mentally sound.
"Well at least he didn't drag me down with him," Sapphire mumbled happily as he glanced down at the women lying on either side of him. He had money, women, a future, a life and his freedom. What more could he want?
"And they all lived happily ever after," he sighed as he shifted himself further down under the blankets and drifted off to sleep.
Well. That's all for this one, my dears. I hope you like how I ended it. I love Sapphire even though he's a major ass.
So, for the final time, thank you, thank you, thank you to all my readers and reviewers. You guys are the best. I owe you all for sticking with me through this wild ride and I'm more than sure karma will bring the fuzzies around to all of you for your good deed of reading my writing and maybe even leaving some kind words of encouragement.
Please let me know if you spot any technical errors with any of the story via review or PM and continue to check my profile for updates! I hope to have the new Sailor Moon story up and running in a few weeks.
Love and Luck,