A/N: What is it with me an oneshots lately? Ah well, they are all college leaves time for. This is another one that I got a spark of inspiration for and very quickly got it all down. It is my version of what would happen if Mamoru never regained his memories after Beryl was defeated. It's written in a chain of consiousness so there are a bunch of stylistic run-on sentences. Hope you like it!
Forget me not
Forget me never
But if you forget me
Forget me forever
At some point you stop hoping.
It's not really a conscious decision; it's just sort of the natural progression of things. You're going about your normal business and something reminds you of him and you realize you haven't really thought about him in a while. I mean, sure, he's always been there in the back of your mind—how could he not be? He's your soul-mate—but you haven't really focused on missing him. And now that you're thinking about him, it hurts again, but not as much as it used to. It's an ache instead of that crushing force on your heart. You still feel like there is a part of you missing, but you don't feel lost anymore.
It's harder when you see him all the time. Bumping into him on the street, watching him in the arcade drinking his coffee and chatting with Motoki, sitting on a bench in the park reading a book. You can't help but light up when you first see him, for a split second forgetting that he doesn't remember you the way you remember him, and then for a whole second thinking maybe this time, maybe this time he'll look at me and remember. But it never happens, and that's what keeps the pain at a crushing level. Maybe it would be better if he ignored you. You can't quite decide. Would it be better never to hear his voice? Would it be less painful than hearing him tease you and insult you like he did when you first met? It hurts to hear those scathing remarks come from his mouth when you can close your eyes and hear that same voice tenderly saying I love you. But at least you get to have some kind of interaction with him. You can get lost in the heat of your comebacks. In your anger at destiny for taking him away from you. You can tell him how much you hate him, even if you can't tell him why—for forgetting you, for not being there to sweep you out of danger in battles. It's fitting; he's both the cause of your frustrations and the outlet you relieve them with.
But then he leaves. You overhear him telling Motoki that he got into Harvard and will be studying there for a year or two. That he leaves in a month. You wait until he finishes his coffee and hurries off before you casually ask Motoki where Harvard is. America. He's going to America for two years. There would be no bumping into him, no hearing his voice, no more chances to say something cryptic trying to jog his memory. The first time he doesn't show up at the arcade you go a little numb. You look in askance at Motoki, but you turn away when you see his pitying eyes. He didn't even say goodbye. Why would he? You were just a child to him. Nothing but a nuisance.
And so you go on with your life, because that's all you can do. Not even Pluto can stop time—well not without killing herself in the process anyway. Enemies come and enemies go and it becomes so tiring to keep up the constant chipperness. Age and stress mellows you out a bit and you finally buckle down with your school work, but you still find joy in the small things and don't take life too seriously—you're still you after all. You even try to date a little bit even though you know it won't last long. How could it? When you're still in love with someone else and running out on dates before they're over so you can save the city—again. And then somehow, through a lot more pain and heartache, you end the Sailor Wars and the promise of long term peace tastes so sweet and again, for the first time in a long while, you wish he was here to celebrate with you.
It's a day like any other. You're working behind the counter at the arcade to earn your spending money since Kenji-Papa agreed to pay for college, thinking about how school will start up again in less than a month, and how you're getting together with all the girls tonight for a training session and then a sleep over and a shopping trip tomorrow. You hear the doors swish open and you turn to greet the new customer. And then there he is; with his tousled onyx hair and piercing midnight eyes looking even more the prince than he used to and even more gorgeous than you remember. He's a bit taller, and a bit broader, and you can't help but think that he'd turned twenty-four last week. And then you notice that he's looking at you, body just as frozen in place as yours. You can't move, you can hardly breathe and for a split second you feel that familiar hope trying to bubble up maybe this time…
"Well I'll be damned. Odango, is that you? How've you been kid?" The spell was broken and the inkling of hope dies away, but you can't seem to care because he's smiling at you.
"M-Mamoru-san…you're back!" You feel like your brain is betraying you. Work damn it! And then his words register and you narrow your eyes a little. "And please, I'm hardly a kid anymore Mamoru-baka."
He chuckles—oh how you remember that sound—and his eyes glint as they flicker over you. "Obviously." But you're not entirely sure if he meant it as a response to your first comment or your second. He walks towards you and takes a seat on the stool in front of where you're standing. "And that's Dr. Baka to you now."
You cock your head to the side. "Oh?" And then you realize what he's saying. "Oh! Is that why you stayed away so long? You stayed to get your Doctorate. Congratulations!"
His lips quirk. "Thank you." There's an awkward silence and you shift from one foot to the other wondering how long you can stare at him without him thinking you're insane. "I really shouldn't be surprised to find you still hanging around the arcade, should I Odango-chan?"
You let the anger come because it's habit and because you really don't know what else to do. "And what's that supposed to mean, jerk? I'll have you know that I'm a junior at Tokyo University and I finished last semester with a 3.1 GPA!" You slam your hands on the counter to help make your point. He doesn't flinch.
"Congratulations. What are you studying?" His calm question throws you and it takes a moment to collect yourself for the response.
"Um…public relations." You fidget and decide your hands need something to do. This was all just too odd. Here was Mamoru, sitting in front of you, having a civil conversation with you, smiling at you. Before you realize what you're doing, you place a steaming cup of black coffee on the counter in front of him. He looks at it amusedly.
"You remembered." You blush without meaning to. He stays for an entire hour, continuing your light conversation in-between your waitressing duties. When he leaves he calls you Usagi-chan. He came in everyday that week. And the week after that. You don't know that because you were there each time—it's only a part time job after all—but Motoki smiles at you after the days you don't cross paths with Mamoru and he oh so casually mentions that the newly minted Dr. Chiba had been asking about you. And then he oh so casually changes your schedule so there's never a day that you work that you don't see your black haired prince.
He comes in every day at five to get his first round of coffee before his night shift in the ER. After a rather short amount of time you are very comfortable calling each other friends. He still teases you, but it doesn't hurt because now it's all in good fun. And he still doesn't remember you the way you remember him, but it doesn't matter because he's asked you out on his day off and he calls you beautiful when he picks you up and it has nothing to do with Endymion and Serenity and it has everything to do with Mamoru and Usagi.
At some point you stopped hoping. But that doesn't mean that you aren't happy. Because you loved him before you remembered about the past and now he loved you before he remembered too. You aren't angry at destiny anymore, because destiny came through with bringing the two of you together again. And you've decided it doesn't really matter if he ever remembers everything, because either way you still have a fabulous story to tell your daughter about a prince and a princess whose love overcame death itself.