Hi everyone! Didn't expect anything from me so soon, did you? :) I know in the final chapter of "In the Dark," I mentioned that I wasn't sure whether I'd continue writing fanfics. But after re-reading that story, I felt bad for torturing Usa/Mamo so much! So I threw together this little ficlet, partly to reconnect with my mushy side and partly to make up for all the angst I spewed out. This piece is short, sweet, and pretty much as close to plotless fluff as you can get. Think of it as my pre-Valentine's Day tribute to our favorite couple. You've been warned!
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon and the others don't belong to me, but this story does.
The lake was surprisingly still that afternoon. Mamoru took in a breath of the crisp spring air, silently reveling in the last rays of sunlight that warmed his face. He closed his eyes for a brief second—savoring the moment—before returning his attention to his book once more.
Usagi curled contentedly against his side, her small body effortlessly molding to his larger frame. In that lazy Saturday afternoon, Usagi couldn't have imagined a better place to be. She had always loved spending time in the park. Having Mamoru's arm draped casually yet decisively around her shoulders while she basked in the park's natural beauty was certainly an added bonus.
She snuck a glance at the man in question and smiled. He was beautiful, especially in moments like these, when he wasn't the least bit aware of just how much he moved her. He looked so handsome as he read, with that stray lock of hair that forever fell into his eyes, that Usagi couldn't help but lean over and brush a swift kiss to his cheek.
Mamoru quickly looked up from his book, the material which had absorbed his attention mere seconds ago all but banished from his consciousness.
Usagi giggled at his confusion. "Gomen Mamo-chan," she said, "but you just looked so cute reading that I just had to kiss you."
She blushed slightly after finishing her explanation but didn't avert her eyes from his stormy gaze. Her breath hitched in her throat as she watched his eyes darken with unspoken passion. Even after two years with him, he still had the power to render her breathless with a single look. Usagi doubted that she'd ever grow immune to those eyes which revealed a language that only she could understand. She wouldn't have had it any other way.
"Well, I'm all yours now," he chuckled, shutting the book in one swift movement.
Before she even had time to blink, Mamoru's lips were on hers, drinking in her love with surprising urgency. Usagi responded eagerly to his kiss, whimpering into his mouth as he ran his hands through her hair and down her back, before pulling her toward him until she could hear his frantic heartbeat.
Yet even as her lips moved against his, she wondered what had changed. Mamoru had always been uncomfortable in publically displaying his affection for her. In fact, there was once a time when Usagi was sure that the king of stoicism (her secret nickname for him) wouldn't have been caught dead even holding hands with her. Now his lips were ravaging hers in an undeniably public spot, where park visitors frequently stopped to admire the sunset. Not that she was complaining, of course; as far as she was concerned, Mamoru could kiss her anywhere, at any time, and she'd never have any objections.
All too soon, however, Usagi could no longer ignore her need for air. She broke free from his addictive lips, positive that her face had gone from rosy pink to a deep shade of crimson.
"That was…" She hadn't words to describe their kiss.
"I know," he grinned boyishly, even as he scrambled to refill his own screaming lungs with air. They faced each other with matching smiles, but Usagi still couldn't shake her surprise at this new Mamoru, whose kiss rivaled those only found in fairytales.
"Are you feeling alright, Mamo-chan?"
He merely laughed, and the sound was so open and carefree that Usagi felt the beginnings of tears prick her eyes. It had taken so long—had involved countless nights in which Usagi had gotten Mamoru to open up about his past and the pain he had endured alone—before they had reached this point. Together, they had confronted his deepest fears, and Usagi couldn't have been prouder to see the hope that now lit up his eyes.
"Why do you ask?"
Usagi fumbled with her next words. "You're acting…strangely. I mean, with that kiss…"
"You're saying you didn't enjoy it?" Usagi's pulse raced at the teasing tone in his voice. The man drove her absolutely crazy; he just had to be aware of his maddening effect on her.
"You jerk." She slapped him on the shoulder in mock irritation.
"Sorry Usako." His eyes grew serious for a second. "It's just…you looked so cute sitting there that I just had to kiss you." Now that he had turned her own statement against her, Usagi could do nothing more but share in his laughter.
He silenced her with another kiss, one so sweet that Usagi was sure that any minute now, she'd ruin their perfect afternoon with her tears. Mamoru caught the slight tremble in her bottom lip and the increasing glassiness of her eyes and understood immediately.
"It's okay, Usako," he said comfortingly, and his hands lost themselves in her golden tresses.
That was all it took.
The tears came, and Usagi didn't entirely understand why. In that moment, she was happy—utterly, undeniably, unbelievably happy—but she couldn't stop the tears that cascaded down her cheeks in an unending waterfall. Usagi felt Mamoru's hands running soothingly down her back as she purged herself of all the pain, the weariness, the…burden she had shouldered these past years. After all the battles she had won—and some she had lost—happiness was finally within her reach. It was just that…destiny had pulled the reigns in her life for so long that this newfound peace was infinitely unsettling. The realization left Usagi with a strange feeling of weightlessness that she dazedly recognized as relief.
The sobs subsided at last, and Usagi became still, securely wrapped in Mamoru's strong arms. She smiled up at him weakly. "Arigato. I guess I really needed to let all that go, didn't I? I'm glad I can always count on you for a shoulder to cry on."
It was partially meant as a joke, but Usagi couldn't deny the truth behind her words. From the beginning, Mamoru had been her source of strength. His encouragement and his belief in her abilities had pushed her to challenge the limits of her power. As her powers grew, he grew with her, and Usagi was forcibly struck by how lucky she was to have her protector by her side.
"Usako." Mamoru reached for her right hand and planted a lingering kiss upon her flushed skin. "We can't change the past…all we can do is look toward the future." His smile widened ever so slightly, and he gave her hand a gentle squeeze. "And personally, the future's never looked better."
Usagi buried her face into his shirt, breathing in his scent that had never failed to calm her. "As long as I have you," she whispered, her words heavy with the promise of tomorrow.
"Usako…I was going to wait, but…"
Mamoru paused and looked down, as if suddenly unable to look into the sky-blue eyes that blessed his dreams every night. "You know I've never been very good with words." He ran a hand through his hair, a nervous habit that he could never seem to break. He drew in a breath and met her eyes once more, taking comfort in the softness of her gaze. "I'm hardly perfect. I spend too much time alone and probably drink way too much coffee for my own good."
Usagi instantly opened her mouth to protest, but Mamoru placed a finger against her lips. "Please Usako…I…I need to tell you this." At her reluctant nod, he continued, silently praying for the strength to finish the most important speech of his life. "For the life of me, I don't know what I ever did to deserve you. But I want you, Usako. I want you more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. So much that it scares me sometimes."
"I can't promise you that we won't fight or cry or have hardships thrown our way. Given our history, I think that's pretty much expected." Usagi laughed a little despite herself, and Mamoru drew courage from the sound. "But I can promise you that I'll love you no matter what happens. If you give me the chance, I'll be here, by your side. Always."
He reached into his pocket and, with trembling fingers, slipped the elegant silver band around Usagi's slender finger. The single diamond clung to the fading sunlight with startling intensity.
"Marry me, Usako."
She kissed him then, without any trace of hesitation, and he had his answer in the way her lips pressed desperately against his. Mamoru had perfection in his arms, and he wasn't about to let go.
Short and sweet as promised, ne? Hopefully I haven't completely lost my ability to write mush, after my long stint with angst. Now I suppose I really should get back to my tax reading…although writing fluff is infinitely more enjoyable. If you're not sick of all this mushiness yet, check out my other sickeningly sweet fic, "Angel in the Snow." :) Please let me know what you think, and have a great weekend!
This story was written and posted February 2013.