==3. Hardship==

Buzz checked the figures again and rubbed the bridge of his nose, sighing. He was typing the final sentence of the financial report when Mira walked into the bedroom. "Hey, hon," she greeted with a small kiss, sounding as tired as she felt. "Whatcha doin'?"

"Finishing the financial report," he replied, completing his sentence and saving the file. He looked up at his wife. "It's not looking good. Zurg could win this war just by making us go bankrupt – we're looking at negative digits now."

Mira winced. "There has to be some way we can get money."

"How? Ever since he took Capital Planet and half the galaxy with her, we haven't been receiving funding. Our savings could only last so long, and now they're gone." Buzz wasn't one to give in to gloom-and-doom – nope, usually, he was the most irritatingly optimistic person ever to grace the galaxy with his presence. But their situation was looking bad – tail-end-of-hope kind of bad.

Mira sank onto the bed and pulled her knees up to her chin. "Maybe Daddy could –"

"He needs all the money he has to keep his own military going," Buzz cut in. He shook his head and lowered it. "I just don't see how we're going to get through this."

Mira got off the bed and moved over to the desk, wrapping her arms around Buzz from behind and resting her chin on his broad shoulder. "We will," she said softly. "Remember how you used to say, 'Evil never wins'? Well, now Evil's won, but it's not permanent – you know that. God has the ultimate victory."

Buzz sighed. "I know. It's just so easy to lose sight of the fact sometimes."

Mira reached down and pulled both his hands up, stroking his wedding ring. "For richer or poorer," she said, reciting their vows. Sometimes, it just felt comforting to say them.

"Well, this is poorer, all right," Buzz nodded.

"In sickness and in health."

"And watching each other's backs," he added with a small smirk.

"To love, honor, and cherish."

"Forsaking all others for as we both shall live," Buzz finished, stroking Mira's wedding ring in turn. "Forever."

"Forever," Mira repeated softly. She moved around the back of the chair and lowered herself onto his lap. Buzz protectively wrapped his arms around her. "We're gonna make it through this."

Buzz nodded, closing his eyes, inhaling the scent of magnolias that hung on her. "It's easier to believe now."

Mira closed her eyes, too, snuggling up against him. "Mm-hmm. Through good times and bad times," she added drowsily."

"Forever."

Author's Note:

Mira's magnolia scent and the vows come from 100D.

Zurg is actually winning for once? I know, I know, it's unfair to leave the story here and not continue it, but, sorry, it's just a one-shot. If you want to take the idea and turn it into a fic, be my guest, just so long as you credit me – thank you!

Watermark might not receive an update until the weekend, but it's for a good reason, because...

I've finally overcome my severe writer's block with my fantasy novel!! Thank You, Lord! I am so energized (read: hyper) about this! New prologue, here I come!

PLEASE REVIEW!!