A/N: Last chapter! As always, more notes at the bottom. Enjoy!
Chibi-Usa woke me up crying at three in the morning on the day that Seiya and I were to be married. As tradition dictated, I'd chosen to spend the night at Mom and Dad's house so that she wouldn't see me. I climbed out of bed and went over to the crib Dad had pushed into my room, looking down at our baby. I could barely see her through the dark, but just knowing she was there made my heart swell. Tenderly I reached down and picked her up, pressing her against my shoulder. She wasn't hungry, just fussing, but I sat down with her in the rocking chair anyway. When she continued to cry, Luna jumped off of the bed and padded over to me. She leapt up onto my lap and curled up, then began to purr. Like magic, Chibi-Usa's sobs slowly faded away.
"I love you, Luna," I said.
Luna smirked at me in that feline way. "I know," she said smugly. Already she and Artemis doted on Chibi-Usa, spoiling her as rotten as two cats possibly could. I figured that at this rate it wouldn't be long until we had Diana to worry about. "Normally I'd just let you deal with it, but this is your wedding day. You need to be well rested."
"Yeah." I leaned back in the chair and closed my eyes. Months of planning had led to this day, and it made my head spin to think about it all. The press had finally caught wind of us - hard not to, after Seiya put her name on the birth certificate and one of the nurses at the hospital sold her vision of the story to a magazine. It hadn't been as bad as I thought it would be. There was some backlash against Seiya, and a lot of teenage girls out there really hated me now, but the good publicity campaign was helping. Otori was convinced that the upcoming tour was going to do the rest.
Now Seiya and I were going to be married, and after our honeymoon the tour would begin. It wasn't the wedding I'd dreamt about, but it was going to be beautiful. I closed my eyes and imagined the place where we would say 'I do': the concert hall where the Three Lights and Kaioh Michiru had once performed together. Our wedding designer had promised to completely transform it and I couldn't wait to see what it was going to look like. She'd sworn up and down that she would be able to make it into a gorgeous dreamy landscape, sort of like a cross between Elysian and a winter wonderland.
I must have drifted off thinking about it because the next thing I knew Chibi-Chibi, having spent the night with Seiya, was shouting my name excitedly and Mom was shaking me to get me to wake up. "Usagi, you're late!" she shouted, and from the exasperated way she said it I had the feeling it wasn't the first time she'd told me that. "Wake up! You're the only girl I know who would be late to her own wedding day!"
"What?" I blinked at her, my arms automatically tightening around Chibi-Usa. My mind felt hazy and half asleep still, but that cleared pretty quickly when I realized what time it was. I jumped up as fast as I could, spilling a disgruntled Luna from my lap, and handed Chibi-Usa to Mom before grabbing Chibi-Chibi and running into the shower. She was right, if I didn't hurry up I really was going to be late to my own wedding!
Fortunately, after we were done with the shower Mom took Chibi-Chibi to help her get dressed. Chibi-Usa was going to be carried down the carpet by her proud uncle Shingo. Mom and Dad would be walking me down the aisle. Naru was to be my maid of honor, escorted by Taiki, with Unazuki as a bridesmaid escorted by Yaten. Chibi-Chibi was going to be our flower girl. I was hoping she would be able to make it down on her own. That, plus a hundred other things that had the possibility of going wrong, were running through my head as I reached my room. I tried to push those thoughts out of my head while I got my hair and make-up done by one of Mom's friends and then got dressed.
My gown was beautiful and simple, a soft white dream that fit tightly to the waist and then flared out around my hips, with a sweetheart neckline and no straps. Mom had given me the necklace she'd worn on her wedding day to wear. I had to blink back tears as Unazuki helped me to put it on. My hair, of course, was tied up into my traditional odango. Seiya had insisted on that when I brought up the idea of doing my hair in a different style. I'd given in without too much convincing. I looked into the mirror when we were all done and liked what I saw. The girl standing back at me was an adult, but she was still recognizeable as Tsukino Usagi.
"You look beautiful," Naru said softly. She was wearing a pale blue gown. Unazuki was in violet. Both of them were smiling at me when I turned around.
"Thank you," I said, blushing a little. I could've skipped all of the cost and preparation by just using the Luna Pen, but now I was glad that Yaten wanted me to do it like this. Going dress shopping with Mom was one of those experiences I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
"Don't forget this." Unazuki picked up my bouquet and handed it to me. It was made from forget-me-not and lavender, sprinkled with white roses and baby's breath. In one way it was strange not to be carrying a bouquet of red roses. I'd never expected to walk down the aisle holding anything else. But in another way it was also nice, and I lifted the flowers to my nose and inhaled their sweet scent.
"Are you ready?" Naru asked.
"I am," I said confidently. The two of them went through the door first, followed by me. Mom took pictures as I walked down the stairs. I noticed tears in Dad's eyes and even Shingo was blinking pretty hard. I smiled at them both, feeling my own eyes getting a little misty. "Let's go."
The drive to the concert hall didn't take that long. It actually took me longer to get inside. Everyone wanted to see what the wedding of one of the Three Lights would be like, and so there were people all over the place. We'd hired security, but I still had to be patient with all of the people who wanted to snap pictures. In the middle of it all, I could have sworn that I'd caught a glimpse of Berthier. But when I stopped and tried to look again, all I saw was a sea of unfamiliar faces and then Dad was hurrying me on.
"Wait, I thought I saw -"
"You can't wait," he said, putting his arm around my shoulders and hustling me inside. "The security people can only do so much to hold the crowd back, sweetheart."
I knew he was right, but that didn't make me any happier. I sighed and tried to let it go. There was no reason to expect any of them to be here today. "Okay, you're right. Did you remember to bring Chibi-Chibi's basket of flowers?"
"I've got them," Mom said. Chibi-Chibi was wearing a little version of Naru's dress in baby blue, and she was going to be spreading around white rose and forget-me-not petals. She looked up at me and gave me the cutest grin, and I couldn't help smiling back. She was completely adorable in her tiny shoes with her heart-shaped odango. The florist had made her a little white rose circlet to wear around each odango, and those just made her even sweeter.
"So we're ready?" Shingo asked. He was holding Chibi-Usa already. She was wearing an even tinier version of Unazuki's gown in violet. It remained to be seen whether we'd get through the whole wedding before she spit up on it. "I have the rings, and I think that's the sound of the music starting."
"If I may..."
We all swung around at the unexpected sound of the voice. My heart squeezed tight because I knew who it was even before I saw him. Helios was smiling shyly, looking like he was two seconds away from bolting, and for a moment all I could do was close my eyes against the surge of tears that would ruin about an hour's hard work. I had no idea how he'd even made it into the room with all of us there, but then again there was so much chaos that it wasn't surprising no one had noticed before now.
"Who are you?" Dad demanded. "How did you get past security?"
"Dad, no. I wanted him to be here." I handed my bouquet to Unazuki and ran to Helios, throwing my arms around him. I was pleased to note that he hugged me back much more eagerly this time, his fingers clutching at the back of my gown. "Thank you for coming," I whispered, my words meant for his ears only. "I was afraid that you would miss this, that you didn't know it was happening today."
"We meant to come sooner, but I..." He shook his head slightly, watching me from the corner of his eye as he added, "I would never miss the wedding of my... mother."
The slightest hesitation before the word almost made me cry. On any other day it would've. It was only by sheer force of will power that I held it back. I touched his cheek. "Will you carry Chibi-Usa down the aisle?" I asked quietly. Shingo could walk alone, or with Chibi-Chibi. Seeing my future son-in-law, my son, walk my daughter down the aisle was more important.
"Of course," he said, unhesitating in his answer, and when I turned around the whole group except for Chibi-Chibi was staring at me like I was nuts. Ignoring them, I nodded at Shingo. He raised an eyebrow but handed Chibi-Usa over readily enough, allowing Helios to take her carefully. The look on his face when he held her in his arms for the first time - my eyes blurred in spite of my best efforts and I had to turn away, because if I didn't I was going to lose it completely before I even got down the aisle.
"Shingo, will you walk down with Chibi-Chibi?" I asked, swallowing hard.
"No problem," Shingo said, even though I could tell that he was dying of curiosity. "You'd better hurry up, though. I'm pretty sure you missed your cue already."
"Shit," I muttered, realizing that he was right as the music tapered off and then began for a second time. There was a mad scramble for a couple of minutes as everyone tried to get into formation. Taiki and Yaten were waiting for us by the entrance, and when they saw Helios neither of them looked surprised. Chibi-Chibi and Shingo went first, followed by Helios and Chibi-Usa and then Unazuki and Yaten.
As Naru and Taiki waited for their cue, Mom tugged on my arm. "Who was that boy, Usagi? It seemed like you knew him quite well."
That was her subtle way of asking about the 'mother' comment. "He's a friend of - of mine," I said, realizing at the last minute that I couldn't exactly say he was a friend of Chibi-Usa's. I looked down at the stage and the hundred or so stairs we'd have to walk down through the seats, all of which were filled with family and friends and fans. Seiya was waiting there for me in a black suit. Helios was just reaching the stage and when he got there Seiya stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder, gently guiding him and the baby to her side.
"A friend," Dad repeated, exchanging a look with Mom.
"You'll understand someday," I told them both, holding my bouquet up. Taiki and Naru were about halfway down and that meant it would soon be my turn. I was both excited and nervous, but I knew that this was where I wanted to be. There was no doubt left in my mind. Someday when I saw my friends again, and I knew that would happen, I would be able to show them that I'd found the courage to let Seiya know how I felt. To show it in front of everyone, the whole world.
Mom decided to let it go. "Okay. It's time, sweetheart." Her eyes were bright with tears as she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
I smiled at her and, with one last glance up at the full moon, slipped my hand through Dad's elbow as we stepped out onto the stairs.
A/N: And that's a wrap, folks! I have to admit, way back when I began this story I was not anticipating that it would go the way it did - I really didn't think Helios would show up, for example, or there would've been a note about Helios/Chibi-Usa in the first chapter. But not having the senshi to focus on forced me to bring in the lesser used characters in the SM verse that Usagi lost touch with, so that actually ended up being kind of nice. It was definitely different.
I want to thank everyone who stuck with me even though this story was a little different, I appreciate every review even though I often don't have the time to respond. I've had a few questions about what's next and the answer is I'm not sure. I probably won't be starting another SM fic right away. But I don't think I'm done with Usagi and Seiya yet so keep an eye out for the occasional one-shot.