Diamond in the Rough
Sailor Moon Monthly LJ - Usagi
Serenity was a very, very impatient woman. Although she understood her daughter's dilemma ("I simply cannot proceed without something borrowed, okaa-chan. And Sayuri-chan said I could borrow her favorite vintage pearls from France!") she was far more eager to just get on with the ceremony so she could indulge in a much-needed cry and dream of grandchildren.
"Usa-chan, you've never been one to follow traditions," she reminded the rose-haired woman pacing in the dressing room. "Careful darling, you'll ruin your hair."
Usagi ignored her warning and tossed a frenzied glance over to Arisu, who looked about ready to run her Regina Rapier through her offending colleague. "Where is she?"
The younger woman exhaled sharply as she ran a hand through her long, straight emerald locks. "She's on her way. Got stuck in traffic, or whatever."
"Or more likely, she's hungover," Natsumi muttered to a giggling Sachiko with a roll of her crimson eyes.
Usagi groaned, prompting the retired queen to unclasp the pearls she wore at her own wedding eons ago before offering them to the young sovereign. "My dear, if you would like them, please take them." Her daughter simply smiled and shook her head.
"Even if I were to wear your wedding pearls, I'd still have to wait for Sayuri-chan. I couldn't bare to start without her."
As if on cue, a disheveled young woman barreled into the room while fixing her bright pink curls into a surprisingly lovely updo. Serenity held onto her pearls in case Sayuri had forgotten her own set, but was quite relieved to find that her daughter's decoy had indeed come equipped with the goods. She thrust them at the bride-to-be while panting through a very lengthy apology.
Usagi beamed at her and pulled her into an embrace. "Thanks, Sayu-chan. They're lovely."
Sayuri pulled away and held the queen at an arm's length away from her, examining Usagi with the precision of a Secret Service agent. After a moment, she winked. "You look ravishing, Usa-chan. As per the ush, naturally," she lilted in the Parisian accent Serenity loved so much. It always amused her at the half-French girl's utter lack of French character... with the exception of her natural beauty and love of champagne.
The two girls invited the other girls into their huddle as Hotaru strode into the room, a questioning expression sewn into her face. "Are you ready yet?"
Usagi nodded from the group. "Yes, I think we're ready." Her dark-haired best friend gave her a thumbs-up and vacated the room, presumably to get the attention of the father of the bride.
And that was Serenity's cue to take her seat in the service. She pulled her daughter away from her guardians for a moment and sighed, the first of many butterflies beginning to take wing inside of her stomach. With a sigh, she ran a hand down Usagi's fair cheek. "Usagi, I just want you to know that every woman gets a little nervous on her wedding day-"
Clear red eyes sparkled up at her. "But okaa-chan, I'm not nervous. I'm ready to start the rest of my life."
Serenity felt a tear slide down her face as her smile broadened. "And I thought I was the only one completely void of nerves at my wedding. Well, I guess that means you've made the right choice. But I want you to know that, regardless of how many daughters you adopt, regardless of how many granddaughters those daughters give you, you will always be my Small Lady. My baby girl. And I'll always be here for you, even when I'm not physically around anymore, to guide and support you through all of your endeavours." Tears welled in her daughter's eyes, but she did a good job in keeping them from falling and ruining her make up. "I'm so, so proud of you and the woman you've become. And you're going to be an even better ruler than I, but I won't hold that against you," she added with a giggle.
A large hand rested on her shoulder and she turned to face her dear husband. "My turn for the sentimental mush, Usako."
The previous queen nodded and kissed Endymion before wrapping her arms around her daughter. "I love you, darling. So give Kiku-chan some siblings, please." Usagi blushed as they pulled apart.
And Serenity left the room, fastening once more the pearl necklace of her youth as she took a seat next to her adopted granddaughter. The green-haired child wiggled excitedly beside her, dreamily lifting a doll into the air, or rather, some mirthful dreamland in which the pretty doll was a princess in the sky, drifting over her people with the love and affection only dream princesses are capable of exhibiting. A second tear dribbled down her face at the sweet innocence of this child, this girl who had been a poor little orphan running about the city selling flowers to the big, worldly people above her, this girl who had awakened Usagi's maternal instincts with one toothy grin.
Dragging her eyes away from her darling granddaughter, she turned to the groom. Helios stood below the altar, quietly chatting with Hotaru (his best man, surprisingly enough.) And as if to even deepen Serenity's sureness that these two were made for one another, he practically oozed the same certainty that Usagi had. Granted, he was considerably calmer than the animated bride, but the way in which he kept shifting his amber eyes to the back of the hall suggested that a thin but durable layer of vital excitement simmered underneath his serene facade.
"Obaa-san." Kiku nestled in Serenity's lap, staring with wide-eyed wonder up at her.
"When is Usa-mama going to be marry Helios-papa? I want to see her dress."
Serenity ran a hand through the girl's curly green hair and smiled. "Usa-chan will be here any moment now. In fact, oh! Kiku, look!" she whispered as Michiru and Haruka began playing the processional canon in very much the same way they had during Serenity's wedding. She hoisted the four-year-old up as the doors opened in the back, revealing the most radiant sight the ex-queen had ever seen. Usagi, brighter and more dazzling than an angel, and her father led the small group of girls to the altar, where Endymion contentedly gave her away to her groom. To his, and Serenity's, son-in-law, she realized with a tingle of satisfaction in her chest. Hotaru grinned at her best female friend as the two stepped up to the minister.
Kiku gazed, transfixed, at her "parents" as they quietly made their vows to one another. Hotaru winked at Arisu, who blushed and mouthed something to her lover, before the child decided to jump out of her grandmother's lap and join in the ceremony, much to the delight of both the audience and the participants.
Endymion, who had taken his seat beside Serenity, chuckled and intwined his fingers with his wife's. "She's going to be quite the little princess when she grows up," he whispered softly into her ear.
"She and her multiple brothers and sisters," Serenity corrected as Helios knelt down and lifted the child into his arms before the minister continued his script.
"You're going to spoil them silly."
"...to have and to hold from this day forward..."
"Yes. Yes, I am. As all grandmothers should."
"...for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer..."
Her husband rolled his eyes. "Is that written in the Grandmother's Guide to Being a Grandmother?"
"...in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish..."
Serenity bit back a laugh, instead choosing to squeeze his hand a little too tightly. "It's written in my mind."
"...from this day forward until death do us part," Usagi finished, tears visibly tumbling from her eyes and fading into her smiling lips as she slipped a pure, silver ring onto her husband's waiting finger.
And while the minister invited the groom to kiss his bride, Usagi swung her arm around his neck as she softly pressed a chaste kiss to his lips. Kiku squealed with delight in her father's warm arms.
And the original Tsukino Usagi watched the new family with pride, completely filled with love for those three luminous faces.