* Chapter 20 – Epilogue; Several Years Later
"So, what do you think of Yuri?" King Yaten of the Venus sector of the Earth, asked his wife as they sat along the sidelines watching their son dance with the princess of the Mars sector during Princess Usagi Lady Serenity's coming of age ball.
Queen Minako observed the two young royalties first before answering. "She is very beautiful like my best friend; but she's got a longer temper, a cooler attitude, and has a more carefree view of her responsibilities." She paused then glanced at the Queen of Mars. "Actually, she is an exact replica of my best friend if she had been given the same chance to live in an environment of love." She smiled as she saw Yuichiro, or rather King Mars, offer some refreshments to his wife.
The silver haired king pressed on. "No, I mean as a possible Lady Grand Ruler maybe?"
His wife tilted her head in consideration then grinned. "Since Mikouko is almost exactly like you and Yuri is almost exactly like Rei, so you tell me. Would you have fallen for Rei?" she asked.
Yaten was dumbfounded, there's no right or wrong answer to Minako's question! If he said yes, he'll most probably be sent to Kinmouku for the night; if he said no, then she'll ask why he asked about Yuri in the first place; he thought and then frowned as he saw the smile teasing his wife's lips. "Since when did you become so clever?" he asked irritably.
"Since the time those plans were laid in front of us telling us how to supply food, shelter and all the basic necessities of mankind after the froze; and I let the reality sink that I had to rule two planets. No more media ops, no more glitz and glamour, no more partying, and no more kicking evil's asses for the sake of friendship bonding." She answered pleasantly enough.
Yaten was silent for a while and Minako thought his thoughts were back to Mikouko who was now dancing with the celebrator herself. "Did you ever regret marrying me Minako? I know it must be tiring for you sometimes…"
The queen of the Venus sector rolled her eyes in a very un-queenly way. "Even if I do regret it, I don't have a choice now do I?" she asked teasingly then patted her still flat tummy. "You must be forgetting I'm carrying your second child, I can't back out now." She furthered.
"So you do have regrets about it…" he concluded seriously.
"Uhmmm…" She paused and scrunched up her face playfully like she was thinking seriously. "No." she said but she was nodding her head.
"Come on Mina! I'm being serious here!" he wailed to her, but not too loudly so as to draw attention.
"Exactly!" she answered him. "You were being serious in an occasion where everyone is festive! This is Chibiusa's, or rather Lady Usagi's day!" she corrected herself because everyone had to stop calling the pink-haired princess 'little' from that day forward.
Her king was silent and he was pouting; an obvious outward sign to her that he wasn't pleased.
"If you must hear it, then NO really; I don't have any reason to regret marrying you. Our story didn't become as tragic as Serenity and Endymion's; nor do we have unbelievably unbeatable demands from our subordinates; plus our union had produced a really wonderful gentleman." She motioned towards their son. "So all the results make it so worthwhile no matter how tiring it gets."
Hearing this, Yaten was satisfied; but as he was about to ask his wife for a dance, Kunzite approached them offering his hand to the queen.
"A dance with me your highness?" he asked politely.
Minako went with him and left her husband. He wasn't alone for long though for Seiya took the seat that his wife recently vacated.
"Hey…" The black haired greeted.
Yaten just nodded in acknowledgement as his gaze followed his wife and the general sworn to protect her.
"They still look so good together, don't they?" Seiya asked, instantly catching the silver-haired's attention.
"I meant Taiki and Ami." He clarified when he saw an eyebrow rising on the Earthly King beside him.
Another nod answered Seiya as Yaten turned his gaze once more to the dance floor; chancing a glance at the couple that his co-Star Light mentioned before finding his wife again.
"I wonder how they stay in-love with each other after so long…" Seiya voiced wistfully while he stared still at the Kinmoukian and Earthen couple.
When silence was all that answered him, he decided to move his chair so that Yaten will not be able to ignore him anymore.
"What?" Yaten asked irritably as Seiya's face hindered his view partially.
"How did you manage to stay happily married after several years?" He asked point blank.
Yaten rolled his eyes. "What is it to you?" he asked back unpleasantly.
"Well, it's not in your nature!" Seiya reasoned then added thoughtfully. "Neither is it in Taiki's…"
"So what now, you're suddenly some kind of love doctor or something?" Yaten asked back, and as usual, sarcastic.
As usual also, Seiya has the habit of pressing on no matter how irritated the other Star Lights are with him. "No, that's the job of your goddess of love and beauty. I'm merely curious."
Seiya crossed his arms as he stared on at his friend indicating he will not leave without an answer. The two of them both knew this drill too well, so after minutes of silence, Yaten decided it won't hurt to respond.
"It wasn't me keeping us together, it was her… I have so many doubts and insecurities with our relationship, but her faith in the two of us never wavered." Yaten enchantedly watched his wife who was now chatting happily with her friends on the other side of the hall. "She is just so…" he paused as he grabbed for the right word in his mind. "Different… No, supreme… The real Minako is just nowhere near the ditzy, carefree, stupid and idol chasing blonde she let us meet a thousand years ago."
Taiki patted his shoulder and Yaten was a bit surprised because he didn't even notice the tall guy approach them. "Sounds like someone's in-love."
"Says the guy who can't even stand two straight days without seeing his blue-haired angel…" Yaten rolled his eyes as Taiki took the other seat beside him.
"Yeah, that just sounds like me, doesn't it?" The brown-haired king of the Mercury sector admitted cheerfully while scratching the back of his head. "But hey, I've waited for 901 years for her to wake up; I think I have the right to be impatient about two more days…"
Seiya now turned his fixed gaze at the other Star Light. "How did you manage to stay happily married after several years?" he repeated his question but aimed it at Taiki.
The tallest Star Light straightened in his seat, raised both eyebrows, looked at his wife from afar, and then smiled before answering. "If the marriage relied on me, it would have collapsed even before Akoumi was born." He paused as he noticed his son dance again with Princess Yuko of the Jupiter sector. "They've been dancing together the whole night…" he mumbled under his breath.
"Anyway," he added as he remembered what he was saying because Hotaru herself asked Akoumi to dance with her, cutting Yuko who was laughing with something the Princess of the Saturn sector said. "Ami believed in US, she never once doubted it; and her faith is infectious in a way. I guess the Earth senshis are strong that way, they hold on to love like life itself."
Seiya slumped back against his seat and watched also from afar the group of Earth senshis that his two friends were staring at. "Why didn't any of them fall for me?" he asked, feeling sorry for himself. "I thought I was the best looking among us three? And also the funniest… I thought girls love gorgeous and funny men?"
The two beside him suddenly laughed and Taiki proceeded into patting his back. "I believe you're better off single anyway…" he said as he chuckled.
"And what exactly do you mean by that?" the black haired light retorted.
"He means that you could run a whole country but cannot most probably run properly a family." Yaten answered.
"Sure I can!" he snapped back.
"Sure…" the silver haired drawled lengthily.
"Yes I can!" Seiya declared standing up.
"Ssshhhh… They're talking about us…" Taiki admonished at the two.
"And how do you know that?" Seiya asked, his annoyance instantly replaced by curiosity.
Taiki motioned a circle on his forehead. "Ami's secretly letting me into her brain…"
"Seiya?" Neo-Queen Serenity asked. "Maybe, if Mamo didn't exist…"
"You?" She asked back at Makoto.
"Maybe also… If he wasn't so into you way back in high school…" The brown-haired queen answered then looked at Ami.
"No way…" She sent a smile at Taiki before continuing. "He's certainly not my type…"
"I'm yes!" Minako answered cheerfully. "I would have fallen for any of them three!" she declared then laughed. "But of course, Yaten has the greatest pull." She added dreamily.
"I guess I'm maybe also…" Rei answered lastly their rhetorical question of if they could have fallen for the leader of the Star Lights. "But he's just so… well… carefree…"
The reception became cloudy meaning Ami was blocking him so Taiki turned instead to his friends and relayed everything.
"There you have it; one yes, one no, and three maybe's!" King Mercury declared gleefully because his wife had her eyes only for him. Or maybe because she's letting him listen that's why she answered 'no'? His mind suddenly teased him.
"Feel better? You could have had my wife…" Yaten monotonously asked him. "But I have a greater pull because you were so carefree."
"Their words…" Taiki motioned towards the group when Seiya was about to retort.
Seiya slumped lower into his seat. "Fine… Fine… But I still believe I am the most handsome and funniest among us three!"
"Yes, you are." Queen Kaykyuu agreed and they all turned around so suddenly because they didn't know that she was there. "And the most loyal too…" she added then caressed his cheek lovingly.
He then smirked his trademark smirk because of the support of their queen.
"See, I told you!" he said then went off to socialize with other planet royalties.
Both Taiki and Yaten shook their heads as they followed with their eyes where their other co-Star Light went.
"So… How are your assigned sectors here?" Queen Kaykyuu inquired as she took the seat that Seiya vacated.
"Very well, I guess…" Taiki answered first, as he was used to giving Kaykyuu the answer among them three.
"Yaten?" she inquired, apparently satisfied with the succinct answer.
"Just fine…" he replied politely.
She tilted her head then watched also the girls on the other side of the hall. "When were the two of you planning to tell me?" she asked, sounding a little hurt.
They both then gave her their full attention.
"It has been more than a month and neither of you two showed up in Kinmouku." She scolded and the two kings bowed their heads in shame. "I know Akoumi and Mikouko are handling your people just fine, but your first responsibility is with your home planet!" she stressed.
"Queen, we're…" Yaten started but Kaykyuu held up her hand to stop him.
To the surprise of the two, she suddenly smiled. "It's okay, but you're supposed to tell me when your wives are pregnant! I wouldn't have worried then why you weren't checking your countries!" she exclaimed excitedly.
Yaten let out a sigh of relief as he realized that their Kinmoukian Queen wasn't angry with them. "I just can't leave Minako when we all know how difficult it was for them to carry a star…"
"I know." She answered cheerfully. "But they're carrying planets now; it's much easier for them…"
"And it only takes 36 weeks for a human baby to fully develop compared to the lengthier fourteen months for a Kinmoukian." Taiki seconded.
"But still, YOU should have told me yourselves!" Kaykyuu insisted still. "I know there isn't a next time but I shouldn't be hearing news about you two from other people!"
"Seiya…" Taiki concluded, guessing who told their home planet queen.
"No, Serenity!" she said while shaking her head. "I was already here last night and we chatted all morning and she divulged that to me."
"I knew one of the descending presence felt familiar…" Yaten mumbled.
They then spotted a palace assistant approach the group of queens on the other side of the hall. They saw the man bend down and then whisper something at Usagi's ear, to which she nodded and he went away with another bow. Neo-Queen Serenity then looked at her friends, she nodded at them and they all stood up and left their seats.
Just then, the music altogether stopped and the dance floor was cleared.
"Kings, Queens, Sires, Ladies, Princes, Princesses, Your Majesties…" The Herald dressed in gold for the occasion began as everyone stood up and moved towards the circle that was cleared at the very center of the hall.
"Princess Usagi, Lady Serenity!" He introduced when Chibiusa appeared on the very top of the stairs and descended slowly while she was escorted by Helios.
Applause was heard and the Palace Herald continued. "Long live the heir of the Kingdom of the Earth!" he proclaimed and everyone echoed, "Long live Princess Serenity!"
Ryu Hino, or Prince Mars, being the eldest prince among the royalties of the Earth (although technically by just very few months), stepped forward as soon as the celebrated princess touched her foot on level ground. He offered her his arm and she gladly accepted.
The music then resounded but everyone took their seats as the son of Queen Mars lead his 'cousin' across the whole circle. When the music stopped, Akoumi Taiki approached her next and danced with her also. Mikouko Yaten followed Akoumi because their names were listed alphabetically although they literally were born at the exact same second. The three princes were followed next by the Royal Generals of Endymion, Kyūsuke and some other friends, her 'uncles', King Endymion himself and then finally Helios.
The smile on Princess Usagi's lips never left her while she was dancing with Helios. The priest could be seen high on her too and they were dancing happily like they were the only people in the whole room, or in the whole universe basing on their ecstasy.
The music stopped, but the two lovers were still swaying to a melody that is entirely their own. Everyone gazed on; some were amazed, some were staring questioningly but her parents were looking not even mildly surprised.
"Should we let them be?" Neo-Queen Serenity asked her husband.
"Usako, as much as we would want to, I think our guests travelled here to witness a coronation." He whispered to her.
After what was said, the royal couple looked at each other then shrugged before standing up. "Here goes…" The King whispered further and the Queen giggled slightly but resumed her bearing instantly.
"Their Most Highnesses, King Endymion and Neo-Queen Serenity!" the Herald announced at the top of his voice when he saw the couple stood up from their throne. This broke the young lover's enchanted dance as expected and both of them approached the throne of Lady Serenity's parents.
The princess curtsied while the priest remained bowed.
Both the King and Queen stepped down and drew near their daughter. Another Palace Assistant approached them and he was carrying a velvet cushion with a crown made of crystal perched on top of it.
The queen got the crown from its pillow and held it gingerly in front of her. "I, Neo-Queen Serenity, bearer of the crystal of the Earth's moon…" she started.
"And I, King Endymion, bearer of the crystal of the Earth…" he continued as she paused.
"passes on my right to rule to the sole heir of this kingdom; whenever she feels ready, she may take it as she pleases…" they chorused as the queen placed the crown on Princess Usagi's head.
The other senshis then took places in a circle around the crowned princess.
"I, Queen Mercury, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
"I, Queen Venus, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
"I, Queen Mars, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
"I, Queen Jupiter, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
"I, Princess Saturn, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
"I, Queen Uranus, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
"I, Queen Neptune, bearer of the crystal of the planet itself…"
They said each as they glowed their colors and directed it to the crown on top of the princess's head. "and my descendants will bestow our loyalty and support to the crowned princess to help her reign over my entire nation." Everyone finished as Princess Usagi's crown sparkled like a rainbow, flashing each of their colors while the princess herself was enveloped by the combined power of her parents.
After their displays of power, Princess Serenity turned around to face the crowd. "I, Princess Usagi, Lady Serenity, sole heir to the crystals of the Earth and its Moon, do solemnly swear to uphold justice, peace and unity among every nation and to provide for every citizen of this kingdom to the best of my abilities. So may the guardians of the universe help me." She finished and cheers and applause and supports were heard from everyone.
Akoumi Taiki, Mikouko Yaten, Ryu Hino, Yuri Hino, and Yuko Kino surrounded their proclaimed leader for the years to come; as Ami Mizuno, Minako Aino, Rei Hino and Makoto Kino walked away and faded into the background.
This is how the story of Usagi Tsukino closed, and this is how the era of Princess Usagi, Lady Serenity began.
A/N: whoop! whoop! it's done, it's done! yeah! I've completed a fanfict. c= Thanks everyone for reading and following this story. (I wish you'd support as well my next one entitled "Unfounded Tomorrow"). That's it, Happy New Year everyone!