Chapter 12: Proposal
When the inner Senshi and Kiyoko first returned to the castle things seemed quiet, too quiet actually. After a few minutes Kiyoko got a sense of where the others were, generally speaking. So they set off in that direction. It didn't take long for any of them to realize where they were headed and just a bit longer before they heard it.
A wonderful melody floated through the corridors to them. Minako and the others nearly squealed with delight over what they heard. Kiyoko just grinned. It wasn't often she heard Seiya sing. She knew that had been the Starlights cover while on Earth, but it wasn't something any of them did often anymore.
When they entered the music room the sight they saw was breathtaking to Kiyoko. Seiya singing, Helios playing an acoustic guitar (a hobby not many knew he'd had for a long time), Michiru playing her violin, and even Haruka on the piano. And oh the music…. It penetrated Kiyoko deep into her soul. Looking around she saw nearly everyone she loved there, enraptured by the performance as well. Her happiness grew even bigger when she saw the looks on her children's faces. They were completely lost in it.
Moments later the song ended and Kiyoko realized she was the only one still standing, her companions for the day had all found seats. Her beloved looked at her. It was a wonderful mixture of love, hope, and mischief. It gave Kiyoko goose bumps. Seiya held out her hand and motioned Kiyoko to join her. This made Kiyoko blush. Seiya knew she only sang for their children anymore. She hadn't sang in front of a group in years, not since her father's funeral.
However, a moment later she saw her children looking at her with pleading eyes. This was so unfair! But she couldn't resist Ruka and Endo, and they knew it. Slowly she walked up to Seiya and was met with a loving embrace and a peck on the cheek. Ruka, outspoken Ruka, called out, "Sing our song mamma! Sing it with Papa! Please!" Kiyoko wanted to be angry, but she couldn't. In moments like this she understood the conflicting power of the love for one's children.
Seiya looked at her expectantly, so Kiyoko conceded. She knew they could all follow the melody and so it began the beautiful story of the star that fell in love with the moon, she and Seiya singing it together…..
Looking at the moon…..
Trying to reach out to you…..
In hopes that you're searching….
Searching for me too….
Hoping I'm not just a fool…..
Shooting through the sky…
Trying to get to you….
Alone in my love for the beautiful moon….
As they continued to sing their entire audience melted away and all Kiyoko could see was her beloved singing. It was as if nothing else existed until they'd reached the end of that song and all of their loved ones clapped and cheered for them. This was possibly the most perfect ending to this day for Kiyoko.
But Kiyoko was in for the greatest surprise of her life, one that only two other people had any inkling was coming. Seiya could feel her heart pounding in her chest, but she didn't dare touch her beloved in fear of giving herself away. She looked into Kiyoko's eyes, "Kiyoko, I love you so much and have had the greatest privilege of my life spending these last ten years with you. Somehow the universe saw fit to bless us with two children, who are as exceptional as you are. And though I may simply be a Senshi, I have a request to make of the Queen of Estara and my soulmate…." Kiyoko simply stood there love in her face and tears forming in her eyes from the kind words of her beloved. However, she gasped when Seiya took to one knee and held out the rose ring given to her by Helios, "Will you do me the great honor of officially being my wife? I want the universe to know what is in my heart and soul, and that is you Kiyoko." There were several other gasps echoing throughout the room.
This was the last thing that Kiyoko had expected from Seiya. It wasn't like the topic had never come up. But Seiya was never in favor of the idea. Kiyoko often got the impression she didn't think it proper since she was "simply" a Senshi. Kiyoko had always respected Seiya's views and had long accepted the fact that their love would never find its way to an official marriage. Yet, there she stood looking at her beloved down on one knee proposing! This truly was the last thing she had expected, thinking of Hina returning from the dead seemed more likely!
It seemed Kiyoko was taking too long in responding, Seiya along with the others were beginning to look nervous. She actually voiced a tidbit of what was running through her mind. "What changed your mind my love?"
Seiya looked over at Helios and then back at Kiyoko, "Someone showed me that station doesn't matter, love does. You chose me. That is all that matters. Let me honor you by allowing me the privilege of being your wife."
Tears began spilling from her eyes as she reached for Seiya, "Only if you'll allow me that same privilege, my beloved Seiya!" Seiya placed the ring gingerly one Kiyoko's left ring finger. Kiyoko immediately leapt into Seiya's arms and kissed her with so much passion that it could've set the world ablaze. Around them congratulations of most everyone in the room rang in their ears. However, there was one voice absent and soon the soft opening and closing of a door.
It didn't take but an instant for Kiyoko to register what had happened. She broke away from her fiancée and smiled, but she knew Seiya could read what was in her mind. Understandingly Seiya nodded and released Kiyoko. She politely excused herself and slipped out the door as the others swarmed Seiya with congratulations. She even vaguely heard Helios calling for some kind of refreshments. But she had to take care of this first. Kiyoko couldn't move forward until talked to her.
Haruka was certainly fast, luckily for her so was Kiyoko. About halfway down the hall Kiyoko caught her, taking hold of Haruka's arm. There was so much anger and pain in her that it jolted Kiyoko, "What's wrong Haruka?" she whispered even though she knew the answer.
Haruka turned to face Kiyoko and her face matched the feelings emanating from her, "What's wrong? You know what's wrong you're Highness!" Her voice deep in tone. Kiyoko, who had felt the greatest happiness only a moment ago, was filled with anger and depression now and it was written all over her. Haruka didn't know how to respond to it. She was still filled with rage, but wanted to comfort Kiyoko at the same time.
Kiyoko continued to speak in whispers, to hurt to speak any louder, "It's been a decade Haruka. I love her with all of my heart. How could I refuse her? And how can you not be happy for me?"
Haruka's emotion were a churning storm. She'd tried to accept Kiyoko's relationship with Seiya over the years, never liking it, but accepting it nonetheless. It had brought Ruka and Endo into the world. And even if it kept her away it helped bring Kiyoko to find her purpose, protecting Estara. But somehow marrying Seiya seemed like too much… too much to bear. Haruka replied, "I don't know. It's not my place to say you're Highness."
All of this title business was out of anger, Kiyoko knew that. She knew Haruka. But she couldn't stand it, "Stop it with the damn title Haruka. You are Haruka, the Papa that has watched over me for over 200 years! I am Kiyoko or Kiyo-chan, the magical girl you've loved all my life! That's it. It's just us out here. Now cut the crap and tell me what your damn problem is with me marrying Seiya!"
Haruka didn't say anything. She was speechless. Kiyoko never spoke to her this way. Kiyoko was momentarily speechless too. The two of them stood there in the hall like statues. As she stood there many thoughts ran through Kiyoko's brain: how much Haruka meant to her, how Haruka's temper was, how protective Haruka had been when the Senshi encountered the Stralights the first time, how almost jealousy she seemed both when it came to Kiyoko and her mother… especially where Seiya was concerned. Was this jealousy? Perhaps there was a tinge of jealousy mixed with disapproval based on the fact it was Seiya? How could Kiyoko diffuse this situation? Haruka was so important to her, but she would not back down from her choice to marry her beloved. She broke the silence, "I'm sorry I yelled. But you're so important to me. Your opinion matters. I'm not just some royalty you have to protect. We're family. You're probably my best friend in the universe. Even if you hate the choice I'm making, I need your support. I need you to push your jealousy aside and remember who I am to you."
Jealousy? Haruka knew she was angry, but jealous? Was Kiyoko right? Of course she was, she was always right….. Fuck! How could she be jealous? Of course she'd been angry and jealous in a way when Usagi had grown close to Seiya in their youth. Kiyoko meant just as much to her as Usagi ever had. But how could she choose marry SEIYA? This wasn't what she wanted for Kiyo-chan. But could she really stand in her way? Could she support Kiyoko the way she was asking, pleading almost? She hated this, but she had to put that aside because Kiyoko was right, they were family. She took a VERY deep breath and clasped Kiyoko's hand, "I do hate this. And maybe I am jealous. But we're family. I can't pretend to be cheerful, but I can support you as I always have and always will."
Kiyoko leaned in and kissed Haruka's cheek, "Thank you Papa…. Haruka… And I love you. If you can't join us to celebrate I understand. But I couldn't let you go like that. It hurt too much." And with that Kiyoko broke away from Haruka and walked back toward the music room door.
Haruka called after her, "I love you too Kiyo-chan…" and slowly she walked in the opposite direction, knowing celebrating was not something she could do.
There was much celebration that night and it continued for the rest of their visit to Earth. Haruka had spent most of her time out on patrols with the Asteroids. As the time came for Kiyoko and her family to head back to Estara she decided to pack a few things to take back with her. Some of her favorite gowns, some of her books, and particularly the ancient spell book her father had entrusted her with long ago.
At last the time came to board the ship and leave. Most had said their goodbyes the night before. Only Usagi accompanied them to the landing pad where the ship awaited. She hugged Seiya and the children, promising to visit soon. Then she turned to Kiyoko, seeing the distinct unhappiness in her eyes, she hugged her daughter, "She'll come around my dear. She just loves you too much." Kiyoko nodded and bid her mother farewell.
They had started boarding the ship when Kiyoko heard a voice that stopped her. It was Haruka. She was running out to the pad, "WAIT!" she called out. Seiya kissed her cheek and ushered the children into the ship. Kiyoko turned and walked toward Haruka. Haruka stopped and panted a moment. When she regained her breath she smiled at Kiyoko, "I couldn't let you leave without saying goodbye." She hugged her and kissed her forehead, whispering, "I still hate this. But I love you. I will see you soon Kiyo-chan." With that she backed away and bowed, taking back off to a waiting Michiru standing by the entrance to the castle. Kiyoko waved and kissed her mother's cheek before boarding the ship so that her family to could back to Estara. But Kiyoko knew there'd be many trips to Earth and for her loved ones to her new home in the coming future. This filled her with hope and joy.
Until next time….