A/N: I'm not completely happy with the way this one came out, but I'm happy enough. It's a sad one though; be warned: character death. This came to me as I was pondering the phrase 'moonlight on the water'...and watching a crime drama. Blame the plot bunnies. lol


Moon on the Water

They say there's nothing more beautiful than the moon on the water. Mamoru couldn't disagree more.

They didn't know about the issue until they checked into the campgrounds. It concerned them of course, it was a very concerning matter, but in a way it only convinced them to stay more. They had booked a small cabin in a national park for the weekend so they could spend some much needed time together. Mamoru was between residency assignments and Usagi between semesters and they hadn't really had time to themselves since their honeymoon. As soon as the caretaker told them about the two women who'd gone missing in the last month Mamoru knew his Usako would want to do everything she could to find out what was going on. One look at her crystalline eyes and Mamoru sighed heavily inside and assured the caretaker that they would be extra careful and would call the police if anything went wrong.

He now knew that it would be a decision he would regret for the rest of his life.

At the time he'd chuckled at his wife when she'd nearly said she changed her mind when it came to light that there was an outhouse instead of a bathroom in the cabin. Now he wished he'd jumped at the chance to go home. It was late when he'd woken up to a cold bed. After a minute of clearing his sleep addled mind, he'd been up like a shot. "Usako?" No answer. He padded through the small cabin. She wasn't there. What the caretaker had told them raced through his mind and he didn't take the time to dress past the boxers and T-shirt he'd already had on before rushing outside. How much he'd hoped that she'd just be in the outhouse. Had the situation been any different he may have laughed at that thought. Instead he nearly cried when he found it to be empty. "Usako?!" He tried to sense her, tried to let his heart lead him to where she was. He broke out in a cold sweat when he had to actually search for it…and couldn't breathe when it was so faint that he could barely feel it. He ran towards it like he'd never run before, ignoring the rocks and detritus that dug into his bare feet.

The sight that met him brought him to his knees and time slowed to a near stop. The adrenalin that poured through his system threw everything—every sense—into high relief. He'd come out of the trees and on to the beach of a lake. The sand was cool on his skin as it dug into his shins and sifted through his fingers. The soft breeze ruffled his already sleep tussled locks. The sound of the water gently lapping onto the shore just feet from him barely registered over the pounding of his heart in his ears. The water was dark with the reflection of the midnight blue sky, but he could not pull his eyes away from the reflection of the full moon on the water. It encircled her as if trying to protect her…too late, much too late.

She was face down, floating a few yards out on the lake with her arms and legs splayed. Her long white nightgown both clung to her small form and drifted about her, glowing in the moonlight. Her hair was loose from its normal style as it had not been when they'd gone to bed. It moved and undulated about her with the small waves on the lake. She looked as if she were made of moonlight and marble—cold and lifeless.

A strangled sound tore from his throat as time once again sped to normal pace. He tried to shout her name, but he couldn't draw the breath—couldn't make his heart beat. With all the strength he could muster Mamoru pushed off the sand and dashed into the water disregarding the icy feel against his skin. His breath was hard and fast and irregular as he reached her and clutched her to him. His only words, his only thoughts, were her name; over and over again, more desperate, more anguished with each repetition. He pulled her to shore, laid her out as gently as his over-tense muscles could. His fingers moved on autopilot as his medical training kicked into gear, checking for a pulse, checking pupil dilation, all the while not being able to wrench his eyes from her lips that were far too blue. CPR was second nature to him now and while his head knew what he had to do, his heart was screaming at the thought of pressing too hard, of possibly breaking her small, fragile body. But he tried, oh how he tried. Time had no meaning. How long did he compress and breath and compress and breath, praying she'd cough up the liquid in her lungs and look at him with those china-blue eyes that he loved so much? An hour? Two? Surely he'd kept going long after he knew it was too late. How could he just stop? How could he stop trying? How could he admit that she was well and truly gone?

But at some point he did stop. He wasn't sure if it was a conscious decision. One moment of awareness he was breathing into her still, cold mouth once again, the next he sat beside her, arms wrapped around knees brought up to his chest like a small child. It was then he allowed himself to cry. He cried because she was right beside him, and yet she was gone. He cried because her there was no light in her eyes and no smile on her lips. He cried because he'd failed her. He cried because this was the first time he realized that she was more than just half of him.