Title: Legends of Love
Disclaimer: I don't own anything about Sailor Moon
Authors Notes: THIS IS IT! This is the last chapter. I might write a bit of an epilogue, but this is the end of the story. Thank you all so much for reading all the way through! My next story is already in the works and getting really close to being finished. Please let me know how you liked this story!
Okay, before I continue, I have to give a HUGE shout out to ANGELICLIN. When my Beta Reader disappeared, she stepped up and corrected all my mistakes so I could go back and fix them. If anyone is looking for a Beta Reader, she's awesome. I've gone back and corrected any spelling/grammar mistakes she's brought to my attention so this story should be relatively grammar free. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Serenity shook. Her whole body shook. The scene in front of her played out in slow motion.
She heard Zoicite yell.
She saw Darien lunge.
She felt the two bodies fall to the ground.
The sickening crack of broken bones.
The hotness of blood.
Darien collided with the King so fast nobody else had had time to react.
And then it was too late.
Darien looked almost wild. His blue eyes were a terrifying storm of anger, fear and desperation. His hand was coated in blood, gripping a dagger tightly. The muscles in his arm were ready to tear they were so tense. And the blood seeped steadily from the wound the dagger had dug into the King's chest.
Serenity went into shock.
It happened so slowly.
The King looked up at Darien with unbelieving eyes. Pain was etched across every single one of his dark features. His skin went pale. He took a shuddering break.
Darien didn't move as the blood soaked him. His handsome face was chiseled from stone.
The King looked at her and Serenity couldn't move.
And then he fell. The King's body teetered for a moment, and then fell backwards, sliding away from the long gilded dagger to land with a deafening thud. He wheezed for a moment before going still. The evil of his eyes faded to nothing.
They all stared at the King, laying dead on the floor.
And then all eyes moved to the man who had killed him.
Darien didn't move. He was like a statue, dripping with blood. His eyes focused on her, but didn't hold any emotion at all.
Her heart broke at the look in his eyes.
She moved slowly, cringing at the pain that coursed through her body. She shuffled towards him, slowly taking the wet dagger from his hands and dropping it on the ground. And then she touched him, pulling him close to her and wrapping her arms around him.
He had just killed the King.
"Make it known," Zoicite said gravely. "The King is dead. He died trying to kill the Queen."
A few men hurried out of the room.
Serenity held on to him desperately.
"It's my turn to protect you," she said softly.
Tears began again, cascading down her face. She had to protect him now.
The King's funeral was a devastatingly somber affair. Nobody spoke as they lowered him into the ground. Nobody said anything at all. There were no words of love, and there were no words of hate. Nobody had anything at all to say as the man who had ruled over them all for years was sent into the dirt.
It wasn't until his coffin was completely buried that people felt a weight lifted from them.
Red roses bloomed all around, making the landscape look red like it was covered in blood.
Serenity felt numb to it all. Her husband was dead. The whole kingdom seemed to be in attendance. Every person watched with a solemn face. They didn't look happy. They didn't look sad. Nobody, no matter how much they hated him, had wanted anyone to die.
But there had been no other choice.
Serenity made her way back to Kunzite's house. Raye held her hand tightly, shaking slightly, and Amy walked softly beside her. Her beautiful gentle friend hadn't been hurt. She had been more than relieved to hear that.
Zoicite had found out what was happening when he had left them to find Kunzite, and had realized right away that they had to stay hidden until something happened. His quick thinking had saved them all.
Kunzite was healing. He had been very badly wounded, but he would most defiantly live.
Mina, despite everything she had been through, still smiled. Whatever the King had meant to do to her, he hadn't had time. Serenity thanked the stars every day for keeping her beautiful friend safe from the horrors of her husband. She believed Mina would get through anything, but nobody should have too.
Jadeite wasn't hurt, and neither were Nephrite or Lita. The latter of which had traveled to the city to be with her friends, despite her growing size.
Serenity smiled when she saw her beautiful tall friend, glowing with pregnancy and holding tightly to her brave husband. She approached them easily, and Lita took Amy's hand tightly.
"How is he?" Lita asked softly.
Serenity tried to smile, but her eyes didn't show it. "He hasn't returned."
"What do you think he's going to do?" Amy asked.
"I don't know," Serenity said. "His father could be called a traitor, but it's not a crime to help your king. The only thing he's really guilty of is betraying his son. Darien hated him to begin with. I don't know what he'll do now."
"Did he say he was coming back?" Raye asked.
"He asked me to wait for him," Serenity said.
"As if he really needed to ask," Lita smiled.
Serenity smiled softly. "True. I would wait for him whether or not he asked me to."
"And what about the people?" Amy asked.
"Everyone knows who killed the King," Nephrite answered. "Darien in some eyes is a hero, and in a few others a murderer. For the most part there is no one that blames him for what he did, but he still killed the King. It's hard to accept him as the Queen's chosen person when he killed her husband, no matter what the circumstances."
Serenity nodded. She had addressed the entire Kingdom the day after the King had died and said, very pointedly, that Darien was not to be harmed. He was under her protection, and if they wanted her to be queen, then they had to accept that she loved him.
There had been some shock.
There had been some confusion.
There had even been some tears. But nobody had fought her.
Serenity couldn't call what was happening now peace, but she could call it hope.
The King was dead, and with him went most of the evil in the kingdom. Already they were working to set things right. The advisers had gathered with Zoicite and decided that the best thing to do was to go out into the public and take a general vote on what should be done.
Everyone had an opinion.
Everyone wanted Serenity to stay Queen.
She sighed, feeling weighted down. Without Darien beside her, things seemed so much harder. But she refused to be upset with his absence.
She had hoped that they would never be apart again. But he had insisted on staying at his father's home, to work things out with him. Whether that was good or bad was yet to be seen.
That had been days ago.
The small group made their way through the city until they reached Kunzite's beautiful home.
Darien stood casually at the front, leaning against the low stone wall with a soft smile on his face.
But that wasn't what had stopped her.
"Sterling!" She cried, running quickly to the beautiful white horse that had disappeared before this had all happened.
The horse seemed to immediately recognize her and stepped towards her as she reached up to run a hand along his long nose. She couldn't help smiling in happiness at seeing the beautiful creature again. The white hair shimmered in the afternoon sun and his beautiful long mane was brushed and shining.
Darien stepped up beside her, running a soft hand down Sterling's neck.
"I took him to a friend's," Darien said smoothly, "so the King couldn't hurt him."
Serenity felt like crying.
"I remembered on my way back from my father's that he was there."
Serenity looked up at him when he mentioned his father, hearing the strain in his voice.
"Are you alright?" She asked, stepping towards him carefully.
He smiled, even though his eyes were a little dark. "I will be," he said meeting her gaze. "My father is out of my life for now. I shouldn't have to worry about him."
She nodded. "And…the King?"
He took her hand softly. "I have no torment in what I did to protect you Serenity."
She swallowed, feeling emotionally fragile so close to him again. "Zoicite had set up a way to ask all the people of the kingdom what their opinion is in regards to you. I made a statement saying that you were under my protection, but it might be best to stay out of the open right now. I don't think anyone wants to avenge the Kings death, but he did have some allies."
"Serenity, I'm not going to hide."
"But…." She didn't have a way to argue. She didn't want to refuse him anything. "What if someone tries to hurt you?"
"I know how to defend myself."
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to start working again," he said honestly. "The people here are short on doctors now that this battle is over. I met with a man who works in the city square, and he's offered me a position with him until I can get going on my own. The residence I was staying in before is still open to me, so I will return."
"You're not going to stay with me?" She asked breathlessly, her voice strained with emotion.
He quickly wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her against him and looking down at her seriously. "Of course I'm going to stay with you. But Serenity, you're the queen. My father may be a fool, but he's right about one thing. You and I are from different worlds."
"I don't care," she said stubbornly. "I love you. I want to stand beside you, no matter what anyone says."
He rested his forehead against hers. "It may cause a lot of trouble for you."
"I don't care," she whispered to him. "I'm not giving you up."
"And what if the public refuses to let us marry?"
"Then you can take me as your mistress."
He laughed, his eyes light and free. "I think you have that backwards."
"You never treated me like I was a Queen and you were a servant," she said. "Why should you start now? I'm just a woman, and you're the man I love. I don't need anyone's permission to be with you."
"I love you," he said breathlessly. "And I'm going to spend every single day of the rest of my life proving it to you."
"But I already believe you," she said.
He smiled. "Yes, but proving it is not just for your benefit, it also has massive appeal to me."
"What do you mean?"
His eyes held that mischief sparkle she remembered from first meeting him. "The manner in which I plan to prove to you exactly how much I love you has already proven to be a favorite of yours."
Serenity blushed a deep red and smiled. "Oh."
His laugh was soft. "You're so beautiful when you smile," he said before leaning down and kissing her.
Serenity immediately melted into his embrace. It felt like so long since she'd kissed him, and it was just as amazing as she remembered it. She ran her hands up his chest, pulling him closer to her.
Serenity broke away and looked at her friends who were still standing a few feet away, smiling teasingly at her.
"We're glad to see you return," Amy said softly.
"Serenity was moping around all week in your absence," Raye said sarcastically.
"Don't tease Raye," Lita said shaking her head. "She's so happy now."
They walked into Kunzite's house together as Serenity tried to hide her embarrassment. Sterling was lead happily to the stables.
"So is that the plan then?" Raye asked eagerly. "Are you two hoping to get married?"
"If she'll have me," Darien answered with a cocky grin.
Serenity playfully hit him. "I should refuse you just to wipe that assured smile off your face."
He kept his arms around her, pulling her tightly to him as they walked.
Mina came around the corner, all smiles and happiness. "Kunzite is awake and he's feeling better," she said jumping up and down. Then her eyes fell on Darien. "Darien! You're back! Are you okay? What did you father say? Oh, you should see what the new palace is going to look like, it's so beautiful. Wait, I have something to give you." With that, she ran around the corner.
Lita laughed. "It's hard not to like her, isn't it?"
"She definitely has a way of making you smile," Amy said.
"Has she said anything yet?" Darien asked.
Serenity shook her head. "No, but I think she's going to be fine."
"Of course she is," Darien said as if that weren't the question at all. "Even if she had been terrified the King was going to touch her, she's already moved on and decided that the fact that he didn't means more than he might have. That's the beauty of Mina. She sees happiness in all things no matter how dark."
Mina came running back around the corner holding plans for the new palace tightly in her hands. She quickly rolled them out for him and pointed to the new stables.
"See! They're much bigger than before."
Serenity smiled as Nephrite and Darien started talking about the plans, and Mina eagerly pointed out the gardens and the restoration of Lake Luna. Her eyes were filled with nothing but happiness and she immediately lifted the spirits of the whole room.
Serenity felt warm, as if her heart was growing bigger in her chest. She felt tears in her eyes, but they were tears of happiness.
Things were going to be okay.