Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon, what is more I am not getting paid for any of this, so don't sue me.

Venus and the Vagabond

A silver Millennium fairy tale

Once Upon a time, when Venus was still mostly a wild place, the beautiful young Princess of Venus decided she wanted to go for a ride. Thought giving way to action, she and her horse were soon galloping along in the forest.

She was enjoying the way the wind felt in her hair, and had closed her eyes to enjoy it so she did not see the branch that knocked her from her saddle and down the high, steep hill she was ridding upon.

Head over heels, and heels over head, she rolled down the hill till reaching the bottom where she stopped, quite mussed and with a twisted ankle. "Now what do I do?" Knowing that the walk back to her palace would be long and hard with TWO good feet beneath her.

"Do you need some help?" Said a male voice from behind her.

Venus's head spun towards the voice, her eyes coming to rest on a man dressed in dirty clothes, a dusty cloak and hood covering his head, hiding his face in shadows. He leaned against a tree looking at the fallen Princess.

"A robber!" She gasped. "Stay back, or in the name of Venus, I will punish you!"

The man admired the Princesses beauty, and chuckled at her attempt to pose with her injured ankle. "I am not a robber, your highness, but someone who wants to help. However, if you do not want help, I will be on my way." He turned to walk into the forest.

"No, wait!" Exclaimed the Princess. "I am sorry, and would very much like help!"

The man nodded, and walked to her side, offering the girl his shoulder to lean on. Soon they were on their way.

"Why were you in the woods?" The Princess of Venus asked, for he had no axe for wood, nor a bow for game.

"It is where I live. I have been here since I was a boy."

Venus grew sad, that the man obviously lived alone in the woods. She tried to peek under the hood to see his face, but he turned so she could not. "Why do you hide yourself in your cloak and hood?" She asked.

"I am scarred." The man said. "It is why I hide myself and live in these woods. I do not want any to suffer the ugliness of my face." He sighed, obviously saddened by this fact.

Venus frowned, since she didn't think such a kind person could be ugly at all, but kept her peace for the rest of the long walk to the palace.

When they got to the castle, and the guards had taken up the task of carrying their Princess, she looked to the cloaked man, with a smile. "Come, and have dinner with Us." She said. "It is the least I can offer, a meal and a bath, for one who helped me as you have. I can even offer you a bed to rest this night, so you do not have to walk home in the dark night."

The man gazed at the Princess through the shadows of his cowl. The lovely Princess of Venus had unknowingly taken his heart, and he was loath to leave, so he nodded, agreeing against his better judgment. "I would stay. Thank you, Your Highness."

Soon, he was led to a guestroom by a guard. "The bath is through there, so you can soak your tired muscles. Leave your clothes on the bed, and a maid will come with fresh things, and clean your own."

"Tell her I must have a cloak, for I do not want any to suffer my face."

The guard nodded, and left to do as he was bid, while the cloaked man shed his clothes, and slipped into the bath and the warm cleansing water.

The maid did come, quickly gathering the dirty, thread bare things. She left for the man sturdy but soft boots, and thick woolen leggings. A tunic of silk and belt of hide to match them. Then next to it she left a folded cape that the man had requested.

He returned to the bedchamber, clean from his bath. He slipped on the leggings, and tied on the boots, then he slid into the tunic, and donned the belt. He admired the fine clothes he now wore for a moment, then picked up the cape.

He gasped, for while it was fine and thick, the cape had no hood, and would bare his face for all to see. Before he could think of what to do, a knock on his door gave him a start.

"Come out, and come to dinner, I would like to show you the way." The Princess called through the door.

"I can not. The Cloak your Maid brought has no hood, and I do not want others to see my face."

Venus is a bold planet and her Princess just as bold. She opened the door and stepped inside, finding the man standing stiffly with his back to the door. "Turn, and let me see." She requested, her voice gentle.

"I can not! My face is horrid, and you will hate me!"

"Your heart is handsome, sir, so I can not hate you. Your face means nothing compared to your heart." She stepped closer to him, her hand brushing his shoulder. "Now please, turn and let me see."

Reluctantly, the man turned, and winced as the beautiful Princess gasped in surprise. He started when she touched his shoulder again and said in a gentle voice "When did your face get scarred?"

"When I was a boy." He replied. "I fell from a tree, and the limbs tore at my cheeks and chin. I hid soon after because the villagers all feared my ugliness."

"Well, I can not say anything about your scars, my love..." She smiled, turning his face to look into her eyes. "But you have lovely blue eyes...and a most handsome beard!" For one had grown and covered the scars.

Then she kissed the man, having fallen in love with him as well...Fallen in love before ever her eyes had seen him.

Soon they were married, and lived happily ever after as is wont to happen in these tales.

So the Moral of this story is two fold:

Beauty is in the Heart and Soul and never merely of the skin...

And no matter how bad the time now may be, with time and patience all bad passes with joy to be found on the other side.