Usagi doesn't move when she has a nightmare. She doesn't speak or whimper. She doesn't even curl into a ball.

She freezes and her limbs become stone in his arms. He can feel her entire body tense under him, her slender fingers sliding away from their spot on his chest. Maybe she clutches her already closed eye lids for a fraction of a second or purses her lips into a solid line. Otherwise that, she doesn't move. She doesn't speak. She doesn't even breathe.

And that's the problem, Mamoru had noticed, because Usagi was always animated in her sleep. From the first moment she had decided to take a nap in his arms, the blonde never stopped her movements. It could be irritation to some, though to him it had become one of her funny little quirks that made his life—or in this matter, his sleep—a little more interesting. She would mumble in her slumber, sometimes engaging him in full conversations about flying rabbits and thieving roller skaters. Sometimes she would roll around restlessly, taking the pillows and blankets with her until she falls off the bed in a cocoon of fabric and fluff. And yes, there were times when Mamoru woke up to a sharp pain in his stomach, his lover's foot dealing him a heavy blow as she snoozed off none the wiser, a line of drool cascading down her chin.

Most of the time, however, Usagi just liked to cuddle. She would cling to him, her arms latched tightly around his torso as one of her legs wrapped around his thighs. She stuck her head in between his neck and his shoulder, her petal soft lips brushing against his skin as her fingers curled and uncurled around his shirt. Then she would shift a tiny bit around and sigh, her breath spreading throughout his body. And Mamoru smiled down at her, combing his hands lightly through her soft blonde waves of hair before he drifted off to sleep.

Yet, when Usagi had nightmares, it was more like she was slipping away from him. Her small body would turn to ice as she slowly pulled her limbs from his body. He could feel the stress illuminating off of her, waking him from a soundless dream and bringing him crashing to reality. He'd lean over her, touching her harden body, and feel helpless when she wouldn't wake. Normal things, like kisses and tiny caresses, did not arouse her and only when he shook her body, calling her name out into the dead of night, was he able to pull her out of her self made hell.

The tears would flow. She'd blink awake; her bright blue eyes alive with fear and sorrow, as they poured down her red as apple cheeks. She would whimper as she gasped out his name, her voice hoarse as if she had been screaming at the tops of her lungs. Then she was diving into his open arms and cry and he would comfort her the best he could, squeezing her tight.

The nightmare was always the same.

"I couldn't save you! I couldn't save anyone! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

Mamoru shushes her, whispering that it was alright. That he was safe. That no one was going to hurt him. And Usagi would calm down sooner or later, but she wouldn't sleep, not anymore. Which was fine—because Mamoru was a night stalker anyway— and he'd hold her as she tried to make all the bad thoughts go away. Then they would just talk about whatever they could; what they would do tomorrow, the latest gossip on the street, if Usagi should try out a new hair style. He'd make her laugh and giggle; all the while their hands would be twisted together.

Mamoru feared these nights, because he knew he was powerless to make them stop. He couldn't stop the monsters that hid in the shadows or the blood that spilled from the open necks of their victims. He couldn't chase away the invisible enemies that still threatened Usagi, even when they were long gone and dead.

And no matter how many times Usagi smiled, Mamoru knew he couldn't make her stop punishing herself for every mistake that plagued her mind. But he could try pretty damn hard and…if he was lucky, maybe she wouldn't turn to stone in his arms any more.