Title: Whispered Dreams: Destiny
Author: Celyia (cel@celyia.com)
Rating: R
Note: Bleh. I've removed all sexual acts from this story in order to comply with FF.net policy. All you hentai out there, never fear! I shall shortly be putting up a webpage with the full, NC-17 version.

Also! WD:D just got a bit bigger! Considering the amount of time it has taken me to finish this story, I decided to chuck the original ending (this was originally supposed to have a Jadeite/Usagi sequel.). So what does this mean for you, my wonderful readers?

It means that instead of the original bittersweet ending I've been intending for years, you guys get the real McCoy. Yay. Anyway, let me know what you think, eh? Thanks!

-Cel.






Chapter 6


Mamoru sighed as he looked around his apartment. "A dump...it's always such a dump," Mamoru exhaled audibly as he kicked one of Usagi's many shirts aside. "What is it that you do all day?" he grumbled as he walked into the empty kitchen.

Roughly, he opened the refrigerator door, rolling his eyes as he surveyed the contents.

"Lettuce? Carrots? Broccoli? She eats like a damn rabbit," he muttered, as he grabbed one of the Ramune bottles sitting on the door. Turning it in one hand, he sighed loudly as he viewed the bare kitchen. "Guess I go out for dinner, again..."

Mamoru glanced at the pad of paper lying on the desk by the door. Impatiently, he searched through the drawers, intent on finding a pen. He gave up a few moments later as the thoughts that had been plaguing him all through the day rushed through his head.

"Where were you?" he scowled as he leaned against the desk. Mamoru had expected to wake up this morning with a noisy Usagi bawling against the door. He still felt a little guilty about locking her out, but she never seemed to learn! Wincing, he remembered how his heart sank when he opened the door and helpless Usagi was nowhere in sight. He really didn't mean to lock her out, but she made him so impatient with all of her obnoxious demands. When she finally showed up hours later, he had demanded to know where she had been the entire night. Perhaps his demands weren't verbal, but still, she knew he wanted an explanation. Usagi had to have known. But she never did answer...And now, the woman he had conquered his soul with the gentle fires of her love was hiding something from him.

"I love you, Usako, I really do," Mamoru whispered as his eyes suddenly latched onto the sole picture of her in the room. She's just as beautiful as she was a thousand years ago, he smiled as he closed his eyes. Hints of memories flashed before him...Selenity with her long, pale gold hair gathered in two tails at the crown of her elegant head, a slight smile teasing at her otherwise solemn face... It hadn't been just her beauty that had stolen the heart of Prince Endymion, Mamoru reflected, a smile floating to his lips. It had been her incorrigible nature, the way she consistently challenged society and its rules, while maintaining her gentle dignity. Selenity had been pure and good, her quietly courageous heart incapable of committing any wrong. It had been so easy to fall in love with her, Mamoru thought as he found his way through the messy room to the door. And although it had been difficult to break his engagement off with the feisty Princess of Mars, just one look at Selenity's blue eyes, and he had known there hadn't been any other course of action.

Tripping over his wife's bunny slippers, Mamoru's mind returned gruffly to the present. Sometimes, he wondered, Usako just didn't seem to be the girl Endymion had fallen in love with so long before. Usagi was noisy, and bratty, her very voice making him cringe. But every once in a while, he would glimpse the woman in the immature girl that he had fallen so madly in love with a millennium before. Once it had been enough to keep him hanging on...waiting for the girl who shared his home to become the woman he knew hid inside of her. But waiting was tearing on his nerves, Mamoru admitted as he rubbed his aching temples. Once in a while, when life with Usa was at its worst, he played with the idea of leaving her. But he couldn't, Mamoru sighed. Even if he had been willing to risk losing Selenity forever, he still could never leave. Destiny would never allow it.

"I need to get away," Mamoru grumbled as he grabbed the keys on the desk. "Since she was so ok last night by herself, I guess Usagi can stand another night without me." Flinging the door open, he grunted in surprise as he noticed his wife leaning against the door, tears streaking down her face.

Dammit, Mamoru thought as he wordlessly guided his wife into their apartment, I could never handle her tears.

"Where have you been?" Mamoru asked, his tones hiding the worry and anger he decided it wouldn't be best to show. Shouldn't risk getting her hysterical...

"Out walking around," Usagi looked down, her dirty fingers combing through her stringy hair. She definitely didn't look her best right now, he thought critically as he glanced over her wrinkled purple shirt with the toothpaste stain right between her breasts, and the heavily frayed jean shorts that he had never been quite successful in convincing her to throw out. Usagi's hair lay in greasy strands down to the middle of her back with white, feathery seeds sprinkled throughout the golden head. Her face looked the worst, though, Mamoru admitted as he focused on the dark circles under her luminous eyes. Her nose, red from the chill of the wind, and her eyes puffy from tears, Usagi had definitely seen better days than this.

Embarrassment over her sloppy looks made him cringe. I hope to God, Mamoru thought as he watched his wife slip a thin jacket over her shoulders, I really hope no one we know saw her like that.

"Where have you been?"

Usagi shrugged, her attention seemed to be everywhere but on him. "Just out with friends."

From the look on her face, Mamoru immediately recognized her last statement to be the falsehood it was.

"Why are you lying to me? Why are you pushing me away?" he grumbled, reluctantly aware that Usagi wasn't the only guilty party in that respect. I wouldn't have to if she didn't make me, he reasoned as he looked at her annoyingly pale face. The tears that leaked from her blue eyes as his words seemed to penetrate her silly head only served to inflame his anger.

"Why can't you just grow up?" he demanded, all patience lost for the girl who had just so recently traveled down the aisle with. Even the quiet pain he was so unaccustomed to seeing on her normally cheery face was gnawing at his nerves, picking at the scabs of anger until the violence of emotion was loosed. "It's time you stopped acting like a big baby, and started acting more like the princess of the moon!"




Usagi froze as she heard the words pour unbidden from her husband's lips. It always came back to Selenity, Usagi closed her eyes as she felt her heart fall. It always came back to Selenity.

"The Princess of the Moon?" Usagi asked, her hands twisting the stretchy fabric of her shirt in a death-grip. A sense of heavy loss swept over her, leaving an anger like she had never felt before in its stead.

"Don't you get it? Don't you see ME? I would have thought that of all people, Mamoru, that you would have understood. You stand in nearly the same situation I do," Usagi gasped as she remembered to breathe a moment later. The sorrow overwhelmed her, but unlike every other sadness she had absorbed into her body, this feeling demanded an immediate outlet. "I thought when you looked at me, Mamoru, you saw Tsukino Usagi. I thought that you saw me...But you never did, did you? Because you have just accepted your fate...even if your fate links you up to a 'big baby' like me." Usagi shook her head slowly, the intense sorrow she felt making it impossible to cry.

"I'm not her, Mamoru," Usagi whispered, her voice an awkward monotone. "She's gone. She's been gone for a thousand years. And even though I may share Selenity's body, hell! I may even share her soul! I am NOT her, I can never be her, and I will never be her," Usagi shivered as she looked into the uncomprehending dark blue of her husband's eyes. He doesn't understand, she realised dumbly as she watched Mamoru sit silently down. Gently, she laid a slender hand on his forearm. "Mamoru, all I want is a chance to be the child I never was..."

"That time is long past, Usagi."

"Ok, poor choice of words," Usagi nodded as she sighed. "All I want is a chance to be me, Mamoru. I've never been that before..."

"Now you are acting silly," he flung his hand through the air, dismissing her words, her emotions, her.

"Listen," Usagi smiled tenderly at him, a sudden peace calming the urgency in her heart. "I've been blessed with having three lives, Mamoru...as you have. But for the time being, my job is over. For once, the world is quiet and peaceful...and we can get on with our lives..."

"That has to be the most incredibly selfish thing I've heard you say," Mamoru looked at her, disgust overwhelming the beauty of his eyes. "There are so many bad things out there, Usagi. Our job isn't nearly done."

"But don't you see, Mamoru?" Usagi's face lit up, breathtaking with the show of passion. "Our responsibilities, as Princess Selenity of the Moon and Prince Endymion of Earth, are over with. It's time for Chiba Mamoru and plain ol' Tsukino Usagi to step in and do something about that evil. We have to leave your mask and my sailor fuku behind and face it on our own. It's time for you and me to decide our futures..."

"Usagi, my love," Mamoru spoke softly, his tones kind, albeit a tad condescending, "we can't. As long as there is life, there will be evil to fight. We can't escape from our future. We can't escape from destiny."

"I'm tired of destiny, Mamo-chan," Usagi drew a noisy breath as she regarded his well-drawn features impatiently. "Don't you see? I don't want to be yet another Selenity. It takes all the merit out of my own accomplishments, and I don't like that. It would mean that everything I've ever done right wasn't born from me...it came from somebody else. It would make me into nothing more than a puppet. But this puppet will gain control of her strings, Mamoru. I have to."

Bewildered, Mamoru leaned heavily against his hands. "You are acting as if Selenity is evil...Hell, Usagi! You are acting as if Selenity is a different entity all together!"

"No, she was not evil," Usagi smiled wearily, her golden hair shimmering around her face like a cloud of dreams. "She was a good, sweet person. But she's gone now, and she won't return." She shrugged, a small light coming to her sad eyes. "Just as gone as I will be a thousand years from now when Neo-Queen Selenity rules over Crystal Tokyo with Endymion."

"I don't get this," Mamoru grimaced as he thought of her lying dead in some cold, forbidding cemetery.

"Mamoru," Usagi took a deep breath, as if she were gathering her courage, "I want to start over."

"Start over?"

Usagi nodded. "I did something stupid..."

"You're just now figuring that out, Odango?"

Closing her eyes tightly, Usagi drew a quick breath. He certainly wasn't making this easier on her. But, of course, with the slutty way she acted last night, she didn't deserve an easy time. "I rushed you into marriage before I was ready...before you were ready. I think it's time for us to put a little distance in our lives. For God's sake! I mean, we've been seeing each other pretty damn near exclusively since I was 14."

The bewilderment in Mamoru's beautiful eyes nearly took all of her strength away. But she had to go on. If not for her sake, but for his..."I think we need time to sort through our feelings. You know, decide if being together is really not only what we both want, but what we need. I think it would be best if we separated for a little while," she held her breath, hoping that a certain question would not be asked. Her luck held out.

"You'll be back," Mamoru predicted haughtily, hiding all signs of emotion as he withdrew from his wife.

"Then I'll be back," Usagi shrugged, tears clouding her vision. "But if I come back, I want it to be because we both choose it, not because you think of me as Selenity, or I consider you to be Endymion. I don't want to follow Destiny blindly."

"This is just so dumb," Mamoru protested as he turned away from the retreating girl. "So dumb."

With only a slight nod, Usagi was gone.


* * *


Mako flipped her dark auburn hair over her shoulders as she gave a saucy wink to the cute construction worker currently staring at her and the stunning brunette at her side. Leaning over to give him a little view of her cleavage, Mako was rewarded with a look of lust and a dropped hammer. Of course, it wasn't worth falling flat on her face for it, though. Grumbling as she looked at the gleam in her friend's eye, Mako pulled herself up off the concrete walkway.

"Come on, Rei! What was that for?" she muttered as she dusted off her tight miniskirt.

"I'm really getting tired of you flirting with all the guys around here, Mako," Rei rolled her violet eyes skyward, almost as if she was making a plea for help. Shaking the magnificent mane of hair that she nearly always wore in a braid nowadays, Rei straightened her shirt's slightly rumpled collar.

It was now Mako's turn to roll her eyes as she continued walking along with her friend. Since Rei's grandfather had passed away the year before, there had been an incredible difference in the girl's personality. Once outgoing and fun, Rei was slowly mutating into the biggest pill of them all, Mako thought as she subtly looked at Rei's lovely face. She never flirted with guys anymore, she refused to wear anything "unseemly for a woman of her position", and Rei just never had time to go out. Mako giggled as she remembered Rei's grandfather. Yeah, she probably has to spend all of her time praying for that old lech's soul! It really did hurt to see the way Rei was now, Mako thought as she observed the angry propriety of her friend. She was even more arrogant and bossy than before, especially with the strength of her Shinto beliefs backing her up.

"Look, I'm sorry," Rei mumbled uncertainly. "You just annoyed me when you lowered yourself to that creep's level."

Deciding just to ignore the challenge in Rei's voice, Mako shrugged and left that argument for another day. Spotting a peculiar blonde head rushing by, Mako blinked. "Hey, Rei... was that Usagi?"

"Where?"

"There!"

"Um...That's a man," Rei looked at her friend as if she were nuts.

"No! Not him! There!" Mako insisted as she pointed at the rapidly disappearing figure nearly out of sight. "Yeah, that's her! I'd recognize that blonde hair anywhere, even if she doesn't keep it in pigtails anymore!" Pulling at Rei's hand, she started jogging. "Let's catch her!"

Ignoring the look of dismay Rei gave her for such a public scene, Mako pushed through the crowds of people, only stopping once to shout out her phone number to a rather handsome hunk, who only seemed bewildered by her attention.

"Usagi!" Mako called as she foraged through the masses. "Tsukino Usagi!"

"Remember? It's Chiba Usagi now," Rei corrected gently, a little pain flashing behind her eyes.

"Oh, yeah!" Mako grinned, wondering how she could have made such a silly mistake. "Usagi! Chiba Usagi!" Ah! she thought as the girl turned around to face them, that did the trick!

"Mako! Rei! What are you two doing here?" Usagi blustered, her eyes dark and puffy.

Mako tilted her head as she pulled Usagi out of the crowd's way and into a little cafe. "You look like you've just been hit by the Bullet train. What's up?"

Usagi winced as she touched her forehead. "That bad?"

Rei giggled, although for what, Mako couldn't tell. It was nice to hear her laugh again, even if it seemed to come at such a bad time.

"Yeah, Usagi...that bad. What happened?"

Usagi looked down, seeming to find the tiled floor of unparalleled interested. "Oh, um... nothing much."

Mako lifted an eyebrow, crossed her arms, and grunted to let Usagi know in no uncertain terms that some answers just weren't good enough.

"Well?"

Usagi shrugged. "Just stuff. It's ok and everything."

Mako pursed her lips as she regarded the petite girl. Ah, she thought as she remembered something. Poor thing has to be worried.

"You know, it wasn't him."

Usagi's eyes seemed to pop out as she looked up. "What?"

Smiling, Mako put a hand on Usagi's rather dirty forearm. "Ami sent me back the results of the test a couple of days ago. I'm sorry, I guess that you just realised how insane it sounded...never thought you'd still be that stressed out over it!"

"What the heck are you talking about?" Rei interjected, both girls a little shocked at the near-profanity in the "Born-Again" Shinto priestess's words.

Mako blinked, but turned back to Usagi. "Remember? The box of candy someone left you on your bed? I sent it to Ami so she could examine it for poisons or something." Smiling, Mako shook her head. "Well, she finally got around to testing it and said that it was perfectly okay. In fact, the note she sent said that she was very surprised that you hadn't gobbled it down already, because not only was it very expensive stuff...it was also your favorite kind of candy!"

Usagi seemed to smile at that. "Chocolate covered caramel? Ooo! And those ones with the cherries inside?"

Giggling at her friend's enthusiasm for food, Mako patted her hand. "Yes, those kind. But it also proves another thing, Usagi, that it couldn't have been Jadeite who gave them to you. He would have slipped some kind of poison in with no problem...From what you guys told me about him, he seemed pretty ruthless."

"Ruthless and crafty! He always had something for disguises," Rei smiled, adding her two cents. "Did you know that he once apprenticed himself to Grandfather just so he could sell those ki-stealing good luck charms to all those girls?"

Nodding slowly, Usagi gave a weak smile. "God, when I first saw him, I thought I was madly in love. He was absolutely gorgeous!"

"You and all those other girls. Yeah, Mako...you should have seen him. He would have reminded you of your ex-boyfriend," Rei mentioned, the only clue that she was just joking was the mischief in her eyes.

"Bummer. Too bad you guys never kept pics of the guys you dusted..." Mako admitted, her rouged lips full in a pout.

Usagi blinked. "We didn't dust him. One day we were fighting him, and the next, Nephrite had taken his place."

"But you said that he was a goner?" Mako protested, suddenly not feeling as safe as she once did.

"Come on, guys!" Rei smiled comfortingly, an aura of spiritual certainty wavering around her. "Remember? Mamoru, after he...came back to us, said that Jadeite was killed by Beryl."

"I thought that was Zoisite?" Mako tilted her head.

"Yeah, Zoisite, too!" Rei assured them both. "Mamoru would never lie to us, especially about Jadeite. Anyway! Remember? Jadeite knew our real identities. Don't you think he would have used it against us by now? I mean, guys! it has been five years."

Mako nodded, unable to find fault with Rei's logic. Turning to Usagi, she noticed the same look of apprehensive agreement.

"I guess he is dead, isn't he?" Usagi nodded slowly, her eyes filling with some unknown emotion. "It's a shame, really. I mean, when Nephrite died, he had Naru. He died with love in his heart. Zoisite and Kunzite had each other...Jadeite died completely alone. Without anyone to care for him..."

The girls were struck dumb by Usagi's musings.

"But, Usagi!" Mako stuttered as she found the idea of compassion for their enemy to be something hard to swallow. "He repeatedly tried to kill you guys...he tried to destroy the world."

Usagi nodded. "I know. But no one deserves to be alone. And no one deserves to face death by himself."

Rei shook her head quietly, her face full of an odd mix of certainty and sorrow. "Everyone faces death by themselves. We all leave just as we come: alone. And there's nothing to be done about it, other than face it."

"Oh, come off of it, Rei!" Usagi scolded, her eyes shining with a stubborn arrogance. "We spend the first nine months of our existence within our mother's womb, listening to her talk...feeling her every movement. We certainly don't arrive in this world alone. Mother has always been there for us...and through her, Father..."

Mako swallowed hard as she remembered her Mom's soft smiles and her Dad's tight hugs, and the plane crash that took her parents away from her forever. She looked up Usagi, and blinked away the tears that suddenly flooded her eyes. Usagi's sweet face was brimming over with compassion and kindness. So much so, it hurt Mako deeply just to look at her.

"There is no reason why someone can't hold your hand while you leave this world. Or tell you things are going to be ok. Rei-chan, everyone deserves that..."

"Even a monster like Jadeite?" Rei's voice, harsh and uncompromising, sounding every bit the girl she once was and not the religious hypocrite she had become.

"Especially a person like Jadeite," Usagi whispered, her voice a beacon of love and trust. "I think he needed it more than any of us. We all need to know love, Rei-chan. And he never did..."

"How can you be so sure, Odango?" Rei shot out, her voice trembling with either uncertainty or anger, Mako couldn't tell.

"I can't. But it's what I feel."

"That's great reasoning, Odango. Wonderful. I'm convinced," Rei huffed, obviously not convinced in the least.

Mako shook her head as the emotions overcame her.

"Both of you! Stop it!" Wiping away the tears just tumbling from her green eyes, Mako urged herself to calm down, with little to no success. "You don't understand how it is, neither of you. Usagi, you talk it but you don't do it. When was the last time you took the time to visit your mother? or Ami? or any of us who love you? And Rei!" Mako turned to the brunette girl, sensing that beneath the brave front, Rei was trembling inside.

Good.

"Have you ever, ever known what it felt like to be regarded as The Enemy? As a Monster? For people to walk by you, be so intimidated by the way you look that they automatically think that they have to stay clear of you? No, Miss Perfect Little Priestess, I didn't think so," Mako smirked as she stood over the petite girl. "Don't you realise that sometimes the way people treat us directly causes the way we act..."

"Mako-chan," Usagi breathed, her eyes wide with the compassion Mako knew would be there.

"Very few people are monsters. Rei, being a religious leader, you should know that more than anyone," Mako hid her feeling of gruff triumphant as she noticed Rei look down, her face flushed. "No, when someone calls you a monster, it's more likely to be due to opposing opinions and agenda, than a truly evil heart."

Usagi just nodded slowly, her small hand finding a resting place on Mako's large shoulder. Mako smiled sheepishly at both of the girls, in apology. They didn't deserve that...

"You weren't there," Rei spoke softly, her every syllable strong with her conviction.

Fine, Usagi didn't deserve it, Mako thought as she turned to the shinto priestess who always insisted on putting her two cents in. Rei did.

"I didn't need to be, Rei."

"I don't know how you can judge me like this," Rei spitted out, her eyes filling with something suspiciously like tears. "I don't want to talk about this anymore."

Mako nodded as she looked to Usagi. Usagi's face was white with concern for her friends. Definitely got to stop talking about this, Mako admitted. Usagi just can't take too much more of this petty arguing.

"It doesn't matter anyway," Usagi spoke up, her voice soft but trembling. "He's dead."

"He's dead," Rei nodded once in agreement, seeming to be relieved at the approaching change in subject.

"He's dead." Mako chirped in, although something in her heart warned her that things were far from finished.






Note: Ack! No Jadeite in this chapter! Eeep. But we'll make up for that oversight with the next chapter. *grin*

By the bye, I'll be releasing Whispered Dreams: Child of Destiny the second I finish one of the serial stories I have going right now. *grin* WD:CoD is set in the same universe as this story, but it concentrates on two new characters. Yikes. The main character isn't a very popular one at all (in fact, I don't like her myself) but I really like the where the tale is going! So do me a favour and give it a shot! Thanks a million! :-)