Following a loud, persistent knock Mamoru cautiously opened his front door to find Motoki, Artemis, and Yuuichirou holding vast quantities of food and liquor. Mamoru smiled and stepped aside to let them in.
“Can you believe it?” Motoki expressed as he put the booze down in the kitchen. “There’s an army of people still camped outside your condo, mostly females I might add. Thanks for giving us the extra fob.”
Mamoru ran his hand through his hair, “I know, it’s frustrating as hell, I have to teleport everywhere, it’s so unnatural. I’m sorry. I hope you got through okay.”
Motoki looked taken aback, “There’s no need to apologize. I’m more concerned for you guys. Have you decided what to do about the media craze?”
Mamoru leaned over the counter as Motoki slipped into the role of bartender, eagerly mixing different concoctions. “We’ve discussed it but haven’t decided on a course of action yet.”
Artemis hung his jacket up in the closet saying, “The only thing we know for sure is that we have to do something considering what the Earth will face in a week’s time.”
Not wanting to focus on such things, Mamoru turned up the music.
“You remember Yuuichirou right?” Motoki called over his shoulder while muddling some bitters and raw sugar.
“Of course,” affirmed Mamoru, turning to the man in question. “You live at Hikawa Jinja with Rei and her grandfather.”
Yuuichirou took a seat on one of the breakfast stools, “I hope you don’t mind me coming. The girls are doing their thing at the temple tonight and I didn’t want to dampen their fun.”
Mamoru smiled broadly, extending his hand, “I don’t mind at all, glad to have you.”
“Thanks,” Yuuichirou said as the two of them made to shake hands. When their hands connected Mamoru instantly felt a strong, mystical aura about him. Due to Mamoru’s enlightened state, his natural abilities were now massively amped but he couldn’t conclude what the feeling meant exactly, especially when coming from the vagabond hippie living at Rei’s temple.
Yuuichirou on the other hand immediately sensed Mamoru’s unique, golden aura. Its strength and vibrancy surprised him as it was unlike anything he had sensed before. Both men dropped their hands looking curiously at each other.
Artemis noticed the silent stare-off. He snapped his fingers between them, “Hey, you guys alright?”
Mamoru broke their scrutinizing gaze, turning his attention to Artemis as Motoki slipped a glass full of alcoholic goodness into his hand. Everyone snapped to attention and picked up their cocktails.
Motoki raised his glass, “Well Mamoru, I never thought it would be you to get married first. And at twenty four years old . . . who gets married at twenty four?”
“All kidding aside,” Motoki continued, “we all know that you and Usagi are made for each other.”
Artemis raised his glass, “We’ve been waiting thousands of years for this. It couldn’t have come at a better time. May your union be your strength in the years to come.”
Yuuichirou humbly added, “Congratulations. Usagi is amazing. You two belong together.”
The men eagerly gulped down their drinks signaling that the night had officially begun with everyone relaxing into an attitude of carefree merriment.
Rei opened her front door to catch the fading light of teleportation as Minako, Makoto, Ami, and Usagi walked in struggling with groceries, overnight luggage, and wedding gear. After Rei directed the procession everyone made their way into the kitchen with unusually high spirits. There would be no talk of upcoming wars and no harsh realities, their only concern that night was to party and have a damn good time.
Once in the kitchen Makoto took over in getting everyone set up at their stations for the cooking extravaganza when Haruka and Michiru stepped in, arms full.
“That barrier Saturn erected at the entrance was ingenious, but your front door was open so we let ourselves in. I hope you don’t mind.” Michiru apologized, spilling her bags on the table.
There was a brief silence at the sudden presence of the two older Senshi. Of course they were invited but none of the inners expected them to show up. Haruka and Michiru always seemed to reside in their own world, rarely mixing socially with the slightly younger inner Senshi. Their presence signified a substantial shift reflecting the fact that the Senshi only had each other from here on out. In addition, the age difference that was obvious when the inners were fifteen was no longer noticeable. The younger Senshi had matured considerably, and not only that, Haruka and Michiru had to admit that they thoroughly enjoyed being around them. The elder two found the interaction between the five of them quite entertaining. The inner Senshi never took themselves too seriously and their carefree attitude was infectious.
Now that everyone was assembled and chatting up a storm Usagi silently basked in the jovial camaraderie looking amongst her very animated friends at the pinnacle of high spirits. Usagi’s smile beamed from ear to ear as she recognized that being able to have such moments was truly a blessing that she would never again take for granted.
Haruka rummaged around her bags to produce at least five bottles of champagne as Michiru took out a few bottles of sake. Both of them smiled expectantly at the others who only wide-eyed them back.
“This is a party right?” Haruka questioned sarcastically.
Betraying her enthusiasm, Minako was already unloading champagne flutes from the cupboard when Usagi couldn’t help but mention, “Aren’t some of us a little too young to be drinking?”
Rei rolled her eyes, “Oh who cares Odango, it’s fine. It’s not like were kids.”
“Yea,” agreed Makoto, “Besides, you’ve earned a drink or two by now for being in the line of work we’re in don’t you think?”
Expecting Ami to be as hesitant as Usagi they all turned to the blunette. Everyone stared because Ami was caught producing sake ware from another cupboard. Ami froze seeing everyone gawk at her.
“What?” she asked as her cheeks flushed and her voice quieted, “It’s a party isn’t it?”
Motoki sat apprehensively on the couch looking like he was dying to say something but didn’t quite know how to say it. Taking a heavy swig of his drink Motoki ingested the courage he needed and decided to just come out with it, realizing that there was no politically correct way to do it.
“So, Artemis.” Motoki called out over his shoulder. “I hear you’re Minako’s cat . . . no offense, but what is that about?”
Yuuichirou plopped down on the couch with a new plate of take-out in hand. Upon hearing Motoki’s question he became fully attentive waiting for Artemis’ response as he was dying to know the answer himself.
Artemis stood in the kitchen pouring himself a glass of red wine, “Well, I can take both human and feline form, but since our arrival on Earth I was limited to just the feline part.”
Motoki could only pour more alcohol down his throat since he did not know how to respond when Yuuichirou knowingly added, “You’re not human.”
Based on that one comment Mamoru gazed at Yuuichirou questionably, but silent.
Artemis sauntered back to the living room trying not to spill his wine on the way. Dropping down on the ottoman he raised his glass to the Shinto trainee, “Very astute. Actually, Luna and I are from a planet called Mau, but our people have been advising the leaders of the Moon Kingdom for countless millennia.”
Motoki heaved his body forward, “So, you’re basically a shape-shifting alien?”
Artemis smirked, “Only two shapes, but, yes.”
Motoki and Yuuichirou looked at each other silently then looked back at Artemis. Before Motoki could slur out another question Artemis explained, “I am an advisor to the Lunar monarchy and the Sailor Senshi. I’ve been stuck undercover in my feline form while on Earth because, well, I guess disguises were needed here and it made us more versatile. Luna and I aren’t human but we look human-” Artemis glanced up to the ceiling as he sipped his wine adding, “sometimes.”
Artemis peered into his wine glass with nostalgic affection, “Damn that’s good. I really missed this stuff.”
In motionless comfort Mamoru laughed heartily, “I remember! You always forced me to smuggle wine to the Moon for you.”
Artemis narrowed his eyes in an eerily feline manner. “After I caught you and Serenity sneaking planet to planet to see each other I thought I would make it worth my while if you wanted to keep me quiet.”
Mamoru raised his glass to his lips mumbling, “Extortionist.”
Artemis gazed back into his wine glass swishing it around tenderly, “The delicacies of Earth. No more restaurant back alleys for me!”
Mamoru continued drinking without being aware of how strange they must sound. Motoki and Yuuichirou stared mutely between Artemis and Mamoru, then quickly downed the rest of their drinks.
1:42 am . . .
Motoki stumbled into the kitchen swaying to the point of colliding with the stove. He caught his balance then proceeded to refill his glass, dripping the scotch unceremoniously onto the counter. The guys were well past drunk by this point. As Motoki fumbled in the freezer for more ice the others sitting around the T.V. howled with laughter at the American stand-up comic spewing out raunchy, sexual jokes. Motoki noticed Mamoru carefully stand up (drink still in hand), secure his balance for a few seconds then make his way out to the balcony. The others laughed even louder at the comedian’s antics while Motoki watched Mamoru’s back sway as he leaned over the railing. The slump of Mamoru’s shoulders pierced through Motoki’s alcoholic fog hinting that something was up. With his glass refilled Motoki stumbled out to the balcony and slid the door shut behind him, blocking out the raucous laughter permeating the living room.
Mamoru’s midnight black hair ruffled in the high-rise breeze while the city lights of Tokyo twinkled hypnotically. Mamoru stared dejectedly into his glass half full of scotch. Motoki leaned his elbow on the railing, spilling some liquor onto the balcony floor.
“Mamoru, you okay man?”
Mamoru lifted his drunken eyes towards his longtime friend while slurring out, “Yea, m’fine. Just gettin’ some fresh air.”
A few seconds of silence passed. “Bullshit,” Motoki stated flatly.
Mamoru just frowned more seriously while swishing his drink around. Motoki leaned against the railing as the next round of laughter erupted inside. He glanced at the T.V. and could clearly tell by the comedian’s motions that he had an imaginary person bent over while thrusting his hips in and out of thin air. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what the context was. From the corner of his eye Motoki could see Mamoru watching the T.V. as well, but with a heavily tortured expression.
Motoki’s attention fully reverted back to Mamoru, “Come on Mamoru, you look really stressed out, tell me what’s-”
Motoki abruptly fell silent when Mamoru ignited in frustration and downed his entire drink in one, angry gulp. The groom to be buried his forehead in his free hand saying, “I’m getting married tomorrow Motoki . . . Married!”
Motoki couldn’t believe his ears, “What the hell are you talking about?! I never thought you would be the one to get cold feet!”
Mamoru looked taken aback as he drunkenly screwed up his face, “Cold feet?! . . . What? No, of course not! I can’t wait to make Usako my wife, you know that.”
Motoki was now completely lost, “Alright . . . well, I don’t get it, what’s the problem then?”
Mamoru swung back around and rested his forearms on the railing. The torturous build up inside of him was now blatantly obvious to Motoki who was thoroughly confused, but now seriously worried. Mamoru looked like he was about to explode.
“Mamoru . . . you’re scaring me man, wh-”
Before Motoki could repeat himself Mamoru erupted like a volcano that was long overdue and let out a string of words that were almost unintelligible.
Motoki was in the midst of drinking when the jumbled sentence suddenly became clear. The scotch erupted from Motoki’s mouth in a clumsy spray while Mamoru’s head remained deep in his own hands, drowning in torment.
Motoki sloppily wiped his mouth with his sleeve, “Wait, what did you just say?!”
Mamoru couldn’t respond.
Motoki was beyond stunned. During all the years they had been friends Mamoru was the last person needing advice on women. Not that he was a playboy or anything, but girls had been going after Mamoru as long as Motoki could remember. It was Motoki who always came to Mamoru for dating advice, and the advice was always golden. Mamoru just knew women; he could practically foresee everything a girl would do, think, or say when it came to a guy they were crushing on. It was uncanny. Strangely though, Motoki had never seen Mamoru twitch a single nervous muscle over a girl. He dated here and there, mostly because girls asked him out, but Mamoru always remained distant and nonchalant; polite mind you, but somewhat disinterested.
Then Usagi came along. Mamoru firmly believed that he was as ‘Joe-cool’ as ever, but from their very first encounter Motoki could tell that the very way Mamoru would look at, talk about, and interact with Usagi was completely different. Just a few words from her could make subtle emotions Motoki had never seen before fly across Mamoru’s usually stoic face. Motoki knew right from the beginning that Mamoru was totally hooked on the petite blonde, regardless of her age at the time. You could see it in his eyes anytime she came around, and that look had never left him since. Motoki was well aware that Usagi could affect Mamoru in ways that were just shocking considering his character, but what Mamoru had just said clocked Motoki in the face like a knockout punch.
Motoki grabbed Mamoru’s arm, “Wait . . . you’re telling me that you and Usagi have never . . .”
Mamoru’s face strained as a few seconds passed until he pitifully choked out, “No.”
Motoki went dizzy. He could hardly believe what he was hearing, especially considering how Mamoru and Usagi felt about each other and the unnatural strength of the love they shared.
With his eyes closed Motoki shook his head then stepped closer, “You’ve been with her for three years . . . and you’ve never made love to her?!”
Mamoru grabbed Motoki’s drink out of his hand and began gulping in earnest. Motoki tried to accept it, “Well, okay, but at least third base right?”
Mamoru said nothing.
Motoki froze, becoming alarmed, “Second . . . base?”
Mamoru looked like he was about to cry.
Motoki raised his voice, “Usagi has been your girlfriend for three years and all you’ve done is kiss her?!”
In response to Mamoru’s depressed silence Motoki hung his mouth open in disbelief. He grabbed the drink back from Mamoru and downed the rest of it himself. Also being a man Motoki quickly put himself in Mamoru’s shoes. He could see himself whisking Sailor Moon away from danger in his arms with that low-necked bodysuit and tiny fuku skirt. He remembered the countless times he had seen Usagi plaster herself to Mamoru in giddy, teenage abandon; you could barely peel the girl off of him sometimes. Then he thought of how much Usagi had filled out over the past year and a half. Even Motoki had to admit that Usagi was an absolute knockout whose body had blossomed perfectly for her frame. Motoki vividly recalled the short dresses, skintight jeans, and suggestive tops that made her look . . . Motoki felt guilty even thinking it. Immediately following these thoughts Motoki looked back to Mamoru with genuine, wholehearted male sympathy.
He clamped his hands down heavily on his friends shoulders, “How the hell have you lasted this long?”
“I don’t know,” Mamoru confessed in hopeless misery, “I really don’t.”
“But,” Motoki couldn’t help but ask, “You haven’t even tried?”
Mamoru fired an abrupt, heated look at Motoki, “What?! She is barely eighteen years old!”
“So what!” Motoki belted back then mumbled, “You really are a Prince,” which Mamoru did not hear.
“And you know Usako,” Mamoru continued ranting, “She probably hasn’t even thought about sex yet, she is that pure!”
Motoki slurred in immediate disagreement, “I dunno ’bout that Mamor-”
“She is so sweet and naive sometimes,” Mamoru interrupted, obviously not listening, “I could never bring myself to take advantage of Usako and tarnish her innocence just to satisfy my carnal lust for her. I notice every single guy turn his head as she walks down the street whether she’s on my arm or not, and Usako is totally oblivious. Right over her head!”
Motoki guided Mamoru to the deck chairs behind them as Mamoru plunked down with zero grace and seemed to collapse under the Earth’s gravity, “Usako is unique. She is the most amazing woman alive but is just slightly behind others her own age when it comes to men and sex.”
Motoki sat in the other chair looking highly skeptical, “Are you sure about that?”
Without missing a beat Mamoru spat out, “I’ve seen her pure heart and her starseed Motoki.”
Motoki fell into confusion, “Her what?”
Mamoru plowed onward, “It was the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen. How can someone with a soul as pure as that be thinking about getting it on with me as a teenager? Her Senshi duties forced Usako to miss out on the ‘normal’ teenage experience, so of course she’s a little behind!”
From Motoki’s seat he could tell that Mamoru’s self-made assumptions about Usagi’s womanhood had carried him so far afield that it had completely warped his view of the love of his life. Motoki thought otherwise about the matter. He had always been very observant when it came to his friends. Motoki noticed that Usagi only brought out ‘certain’ outfits when she had a date with Mamoru. The skirts and dresses got shorter, the tops got tighter and just a little lower, and the slight hint of make-up made her even more stunning. Motoki could be clueless when it came to women at times, but if he knew anything it was that women never threw on whatever was lying around. Because of his little sister Motoki knew full well that every choice of colour, clothing item, and flick of mascara was a carefully orchestrated procedure; and Usagi was definitely putting in more than a little effort. Hell, he had even caught her pulling out her compact mirror for a quick primp just before Mamoru would walk in the door. Mamoru had it all wrong, but Motoki couldn’t understand where all of this was coming from since it was Mamoru who was the astute one when it came to the opposite sex.
“Well, have you at least talked to her about it?” Motoki asked seriously.
Mamoru looked mortified, “Are you insane?! If I bring it up she’ll feel pressured, and once I’ve planted the seed in her head she might concede and decide to do something she’s not ready for. I don’t want to rush her or make her uneasy.”
Mamoru dejectedly buried his face in his hands once again, “I’m like a sexual fiend. It’s practically all I think about!”
Mamoru disheveled his hair in frustration groaning out, “That body of hers! I have to maintain control Motoki . . . I have to.” He was beginning to sound obsessive. “Maybe I should put off the wedding night until she’s ready.”
Alarm bells trilled like crazy in Motoki’s head, “This is getting out of hand,” he thought, looking at his delirious friend who slouched gloomily in his chair, utterly lost.
Mamoru exhaled and leveled with his best man, “When I was new to the Tuxedo Kamen thing I admit that I was completely surprised but highly intrigued by the appearance of this ‘Sailor Moon’. She captivated me and I could not restrain myself from watching over her and coming to her rescue if she happened to need it; which was quite often in those days. After a few encounters I found myself looking forward to swooping in and saving her. The feel of her in my arms, the smell of her skin, the way she would look at me . . .”
Mamoru paused for a few tortured seconds until the floodgates collapsed and the truth gushed out.
“I would hold Sailor Moon purposefully in such a way so I could feel her pressed up against me.” His eyes glazed over with years of potent, pent up lust, “The bare skin of her thighs and the way her ass would brush against my hand when I put her down . . . Mm, the soft pout of her lips.
“Honestly?” Mamoru continued, “I would get away with whatever I could in the heat of battle, but was subtle enough to ensure that she wouldn’t suspect what I was up to.”
Mamoru felt a stab of guilt then mumbled drunkenly, “The voice deep inside me kept whispering that I was being inappropriate but I couldn’t help myself! I was powerless to resist. The magic of Tuxedo Kamen coursing through me while Sailor Moon seduced me with her aura, power, and mystery. I just . . . couldn’t help myself!”
Returning to his train of thought, “After only a week I was totally hooked on Sailor Moon . . . I confess I thought about her at night, many, many times if you catch my drift. Sailor Moon was mesmerizing, she seemed so determined and powerful but sweet and innocent.”
Motoki listened carefully as Mamoru’s face suddenly twisted in immense pain.
“Then one day I found myself stuck in an elevator with Usako. The Dark Kingdom was luring me into a trap and I didn’t know what to do or how to get Usako out of harm’s way.” He sighed heavily under what seemed to be the weight of the world, “The second before we were going to be incinerated a familiar fire filled her eyes as she raised her hand and shouted ‘Moon. Prism. Power.’”
Mamoru closed his eyes and gripped the arms of his chair in severe self-hatred, “Those three words changed everything. I witnessed Usagi . . . the fourteen year-old middle school student; the adorably cute little blonde that I admit I was already dangerously attached to; the sweet fourteen year old girl whom I was purposefully trying to not think about; the girl that gushed over video games, idols, and ice cream . . . transform into the sexy heroine Sailor Moon who was kicking the shit out of the Dark Kingdom in a micro skirt and high heeled boots, right in front of me.”
Mamoru quickly descended into a drunken, guilt-ridden spiral, “Their Senshi transformations are very fast, but if you have a quick eye . . .”
He gulped heavily, “Fuck! That night I took a cold shower for at least an hour. I mean, here I was fantasizing about a fourteen-year-old girl this entire time! I thought I was safe indulging my senses and fantasies on Sailor Moon because she was at least eighteen for sure; at least that’s what she looked! And there was no way I could fantasize about Usagi like that! She was only fourteen!”
Mamoru plunged his head between his legs, practically hyperventilating, “I was lusting after a fourteen year old girl Motoki. A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL!”
It was now clear to Motoki what the problem was. Mamoru had never forgiven himself for falling in love with a fourteen year old, and the alcohol was making him delirious. In a sense Mamoru still viewed Usagi as a pre-teen when she was far from that now. Motoki realized that Mamoru had a serious guilt complex when it came to Usagi, but Motoki couldn’t comprehend the deeper, more disturbing layers stacked beneath that.
The truth was that Mamoru had never dealt with the guilt that kept mounting each time Usagi was forced to suffer in order to save him. In addition, he was constantly battling visions of Prince Cirius torturing and degrading her. All day long Mamoru struggled to repress the constant bombardment of memories of that degenerate trailing his disgusting hands all over Usagi’s body. Images relentlessly barged into his mind replaying that bastard forcing his repulsive mouth onto Usagi’s lips. The wet, sloppy sound pounded Mamoru to the point of insanity, believing wholeheartedly that everything was his fault. There was so much guilt churning inside Mamoru from years of perceived failures that his vision had clouded severely.
Motoki leaned over the table between them, “No offense, but I think you’re over reacting here.”
Mamoru fired a vexed glare at Motoki who defended himself, “Look, two thousand Yen says Usagi is dying for you to step it up.”
Mamoru peered depressingly back into his glass, “Yea right. What makes you say that?”
Motoki shrugged his shoulders, “Just a hunch. Besides, she is eighteen years old now and drop dead gorgeous.”
Motoki leaned in closer, hoping to get his point across, “She’s not fourteen anymore Mamoru, and about postponing your wedding night? That’s the dumbest idea you’ve ever had. Seriously.”
Mamoru appeared on the verge of another drunken protest when Motoki beat him to it, “She is going to be your wife. I don’t know about much, but if I were Usagi I would be seriously pissed off if my new husband didn’t want to spend the night with me.”
Mamoru studied him silently followed by Motoki inclining his head, hands up, “Just sayin’.”
“Anyway,” started Mamoru as he downed the last of Motoki’s drink, “How are you and Reika these days?”
It was Motoki’s turn to look away with a sad sigh, “Well, we broke up two months ago.”
Mamoru launched forward in his chair, “WHAT?! You’re kidding?! How the hell did that happen? You two were practically married!”
Motoki was the one slouching in his chair now, “she met some Ph.D. archaeologist in Turkey and broke it off with me over Skype.”
Mamoru blinked at his best friend but recovered quickly, “Wow . . . I’m sorry. That must have been rough.”
Motoki shrugged his shoulders. “I’m pretty much over it now. Long distance relationships are almost impossible to maintain anyway.”
Mamoru glanced at the rising Moon, “Tell me about it. I could barely keep my sanity when Serenity lived on the Moon. Almost every potential suitor in the Solar System and beyond was chomping at the bit for her hand in marriage.”
Motoki still found it strange when Mamoru would mention Usagi living on the Moon at a time when there were ancient civilizations all across the Solar System . . . long distance was right.
“You sure you’re okay though?” Asked Mamoru, truly concerned. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here for you.”
Motoki shrugged yet again, “Yea, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. Besides, single life isn’t so bad. Hey,” he nudged Mamoru’s elbow, “Maybe if I’m lucky I could snag a date with a Sailor Senshi.”
Mamoru smiled inwardly, “If the girls heard that they would flip. They all crushed on Motoki at one point or another.”
Mamoru then frowned suddenly, “As long as it’s because you’re attracted to who she is, not what she is.”
Motoki veered towards him, taken aback, “Come on Mamoru, you should know me better than that.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Mamoru confessed, “But I had to say it.”
Motoki then donned a knowing smile, “No, I get it. You’re protective of them.” Then he laughed, “Spoken like a true older brother.”
Mamoru smiled back, “Well, they’re family.”
2:13 am . . .
After an intense but hilariously fun cooking venture, everyone pitched in to set up the prayer room for the wedding. The space slowly transformed into tones of white and gold littered with white flower arrangements. The music blared while fabrics were hung, chairs covered, and the altar decorated. Though work was slow due to heavy drinking.
After the wedding preparations were finished everyone lounged about Rei’s living room amidst a lavish procession of late night snacks. The champagne still flowed regardless of the fact that everyone had surpassed intoxication hours ago.
Minako seemed to be giggling constantly, “Champagne was the best idea in the world.”
“You’re welcome,” Haruka saluted with her glass from her position on the couch.
“Did we decorate for Usagi and Mamoru’s wedding just now?” Asked Makoto, mystified that this was indeed their reality.
Michiru lowered her glass, lazing in Haruka’s embrace, “It’s surreal isn’t it?”
Luna sat cross-legged on the floor thoroughly examining her arms and legs, “I must say it’s wonderful to have access to my human form again.”
Rei smirked while skimming through various playlists on her laptop, “You got tired of the feline life Luna?”
“I just like having the option,” Luna defended.
Makoto stretched out on the floor then raised her eyebrows at Minako, “Of course you enjoy taking human form.”
“I’ll say,” Minako nudged Luna, “now you and Artemis can really get it on.”
Everyone burst out laughing as crimson red seeped into Luna’s cheeks, “Minako!”
Ami tried her best to suppress her own blush, “Guys, really?”
“What?” Makoto asked seriously.
Once the music was settled Rei noticed Usagi’s silence.
“You’re awfully quiet Usagi.”
Makoto’s sharp eye dissected Usagi’s fake smile. She sat up to full attention, “Usagi, what’s wrong?”
That one sentence caused everyone to shift their collective gaze towards their leader and Princess.
Magnified by the attention Usagi’s bottom lip began to tremble and watery tears flooded her eyes.
The Senshi immediately flocked towards her from all sides and their thoughts were instantly serious, thinking the worst. Maybe the Queen’s handiwork was wearing off. Was Usagi thinking about Prince Cirius? Was she descending fast?
They hovered on the verge of panic until it became obvious that the tears were not traumatic. “What is it Usagi?” Luna asked in a soft, motherly tone.
Usagi glanced embarrassingly at her best friends and meekly said, “Well . . . tomorrow I’m going to become Mamo-chan’s wife.”
Everyone just stared mutely at her, not knowing what the problem with that would be.
“And . . .” Usagi continued as they all leaned forward in anticipation, “I’m probably going to sleep at his house tomorrow night.”
The girls visibly relaxed and took back their seats. “Is that what’s bothering you?” asked Minako. “You don’t know which side of the bed you want?”
Makoto slapped Minako’s arm, “Minako!”
“What?” she asked innocently, then rubbed her arm, “ow.”
Usagi looked down, red with humiliation as Ami crawled up and sat next to her. “What do you mean?”
Usagi slammed down her glass. She hiccuped while pressing her index fingers together, “Mamo-chan and I have never . . . um . . .”
Minako choked, “Wait! You guys have never had sex?!”
Makoto frowned and fired a harmless zap of electricity at her, “Ow!” the blonde scowled as her hair frizzed, “What?!”
Usagi started to tear up again. Minako crawled to her other side and placed her arm around Usagi’s shoulders, “I’m sorry Usagi, I didn’t mean to be insensitive. I’m just . . .well . . . surprised that’s all.”
Rei continued to hover over Usagi, “Did you tell him you wanted to wait until your wedding night?”
Usagi’s head kept bowing lower so that her bangs would cover her eyes, “No,” she replied, barely audible.
Michiru’s soft voice inquired, “Was it Mamoru’s idea then? He wanted to make it special?”
Usagi nervously curled her toes, “That’s just it.”
The girls stayed silent, waiting for her to continue.
“In the three years we’ve been together,” her voice shrank, talking into the knees she had pulled up to her chest. “Mamo-chan has never taken it past kissing and holding me.”
Makoto sprung forwards. “Wait a minute,” she blurted out, “You’re telling me that Mamoru has never even taken it past first base? . . . Are you serious?!”
Everybody was stunned as Usagi buried her face in her knees. “Yea,” she muffled out wretchedly.
The girls glanced between themselves, totally surprised and very drunk.
Luna was the only one in the group stating, “Well, of course. Mamoru is a gentleman.”
Haruka gave a hilarious scoff, “Luna, you can’t be serious! I’ll admit that Mamoru has more gentlemanly behaviour crammed into his pinky finger than every man in Tokyo combined, but you can’t be that blind!”
Luna seemed miffed at Haruka’s jeering and couldn’t utter a word in defense before Rei said, “Come on Luna! This is the guy that can barely get through a battle without finding any lame excuse to sweep Sailor Moon up in his arms.”
Minako agreed, “That’s right. Mamoru can barely take his eyes and hands off of her. He would kill anyone who even tried to make a move on her.”
Ami deadpanned, “That’s a little dramatic.”
Usagi raised her head and belted out, “Do you even know how much effort I put into looking super cute for him? I spend hours picking out the skimpiest outfits I can get away with, I can never decide on the right perfume, I primp and I groom myself to try and look irresistible and the man doesn’t even bat an eyelash! He just smiles and holds me in his arms!”
They watched Usagi grasp the champagne bottle and take a heavy swig, her long-time frustration now exposed. Usagi hiccuped loudly and wiped her mouth on her pajamas. “I’ve wasted so much money on sexy underwear, thinking ‘okay, tonight’s going to be the night that he takes it a little further’, and the guy just kisses me on the forehead!”
Usagi slammed the same forehead back down to her knees as the girls looked between themselves in disbelief. Of course they noticed that Usagi put on the most jaw dropping outfits for her dates with Mamoru, but they thought that was because Mamoru liked it and wanted her to do it. Who wouldn’t want a girlfriend as gorgeous as Usagi? They had no idea it was because she was desperately trying to arouse him sexually with Mamoru stuck at first base unsure if he should steal second.
As Minako caressed Usagi’s back in comforting circles Rei mouthed to the others, ‘This makes no sense.’
Everyone agreed. Even in her sailor fuku they had all witnessed the crazy, lustful way Mamoru stared at her when Usagi wasn’t looking. And all this time they thought it was because he just couldn’t get enough of her.
The Senshi were forced to put themselves in Usagi’s shoes. Mamoru was mature, sexy, and mysterious from the very beginning, and it was universally agreed that the man was unnaturally gorgeous. They imagined that same mysteriously sexy man rescuing them from certain death on an almost daily basis. They could envision themselves being Usagi; their heartstrings eternally and hopelessly tethered to a captivating older man who should be the one guiding her forward, not the other way around. From a purely female perspective the Senshi could now fully understand Usagi’s frustration.
What the hell was wrong with him? Usagi was hopelessly in love with one of the most gorgeous, strong, and righteous men on the planet. A man that could make her quake from his intense gaze alone who wouldn’t treat her like the woman she was dying to be. It then became obvious why Usagi was always plastering herself to him. That was all Usagi had the courage for. It was her subtle way of trying to coax him along.
Usagi sighed once again then raised her head to take another swig, “Face it, Mamo-chan is just plain not interested in me like that yet. No matter what I wear or how much skin I show he just keeps his eyes on mine as if I were wearing a damn parka!” She felt totally rejected. “I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow night he slept on the couch . . . I mean, am I really that unappealing?!”
The girls gawked at her in disbelief. Usagi obviously had no idea the effect she had on men, or how many websites were dedicated to the sex appeal of her alter ego.
“Absolutely no way,” affirmed Makoto, “you’re a knockout.”
Rei agreed, “She’s right, do you know how many guys check you out everywhere you go?”
Usagi rolled her eyes, “No more than any of you. And of course I know but who the hell cares? I only want Mamo-chan to look at me like that and he never does!”
Everyone knew that wasn’t true but they didn’t even bother trying to convince Usagi of that. What drove them nuts was they knew how crazy, ridiculously in love Mamoru was with Usagi. They could practically feel the heat radiating off of him when they caught Mamoru looking her slowly up and down, especially on the battlefield. The drool practically dripped from his mouth. There was no doubt that Mamoru was like a dog in heat, but they couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t made a move on his longtime girlfriend that he obviously wanted very badly. It just didn’t make any sense.
Usagi let out a loud, drunken belch then sluggishly got to her feet heading for the door. “I gotta pee.”
The door slid shut behind her.
Makoto whipped her head back to the others exploding with animation, “I can not believe Mamoru has lasted this long without devouring her!”
Rei added, “Mamoru has a reason for everything he does. No man in his right mind could resist temptation like that for this long, Prince of Earth or not. There must be something wrong.”
Luna was aghast at the level of seriousness, “Aren’t you all being a little dramatic?!”
Everyone in the room, including Ami, stared at Luna wondering if she was joking.
Minako looked disappointed, “Seriously Luna?”
Luna paused for a moment then looked away with an embarrassed blush.
Ami took a sip of her champagne, “Rei is correct. Mamoru never does anything without good reason and he must have a pretty heavy one to resist for this long. But the question is what?”
Minako sprung to her feet so quickly the others only witnessed a blur of blonde hair. “I know!” She gasped loudly in what seemed to be a monumental ‘ah-ha!’ moment. In a flash Minako shifted instantly into Eternal Sailor Venus.
Rei hit the floor, “Venus! What the hell has gotten into you?!”
In full Senshi gear Venus took another swig of champagne, “Rei, keep an eye out for Usagi. Try to stall her but call me when she comes. I’ve got an idea!” She giggled furiously and teleported off in a flash of yellow sunshine.
It all happened so fast that the rest of them were left gaping mutely.
“Wha-?” Makoto stuttered, “Where the hell did she go?”
Haruka laughed heartily, “You guys are hilarious.”
Eternal Sailor Venus suddenly appeared in a small closet neatly lined with coats, jackets, and shoes. Venus was forced to cover her mouth since she was giggling hysterically and grasped the wall for support until she stopped laughing. Once the drunken Sailor Senshi composed herself she took a deep, steady breath and peered out the door. Down the hall she could see Motoki sitting on Mamoru’s ottoman and could see the back of Artemis and Yuuichirou’s heads from their position on Mamoru’s couch, but she could not see Mamoru.
Venus stayed silently in the closet contemplating her next move as she listened to them bicker about something or other. All of a sudden she recognized Mamoru’s hearty laugh and heard his sluggish footsteps disappear towards the bedroom/bathroom area.
Eternal Sailor Venus peered out once more. Motoki was the only one facing her direction but he was thoroughly preoccupied with the television at the moment. If she was going to ambush Mamoru it was now or never. She bolted across the hall to the kitchen, planning to sneak through the far exit so she could accost Mamoru.
Motoki could have sworn that something bright flashed through his peripheral vision. He glanced down the hallway towards the front door and saw nothing but darkness.
“I could have sworn . . .” he thought to himself.
Grabbing his empty glass Motoki pin-balled his way towards the kitchen. When he turned the corner he was greeted by a sight that he was sure had to be an illusion. In the kitchen stood a glowing goddess in high-heels, a short as hell mini skirt, and long, silky blonde hair. Her delicious ass jutted out as she reached over the counter attempting to grab a shot glass on the back of the top shelf.
Motoki stood there dumbfounded in knee wobbling delight. He watched her grab a shot glass then grasp the bottle of gin.
Venus noticed a human silhouette out of the corner of her eye. Just as Motoki was about to blurt something out loud Venus bounded over to him with superhuman speed and covered his mouth with her gloved hand.
“Shhhhh!” She whispered while giggling quietly, “Hope you don’t mind. I didn’t know you guys had the hard stuff. Thought I’d just help myself.”
“Sailor Venus . . . Minako . . . Sailor Venus.” Was all Motoki could think. The rest of his mental capacity was completely consumed by the beauty before him. He stared at her flawless skin, sparkling eyes, silken hair, and glossy full lips. She was irresistible, “Wait, what did she say?”
“Umm . . . what?” He managed to croak out.
Venus handed him the bottle, raised her shot glass in the air and downed the gin. Her eighteen year-old throat burned causing her stunning face to screw up as a result. Motoki remained standing in delighted astonishment.
Venus giggled quietly again and then appeared as if a lightening bolt struck her.
“Motoki!” She leaned forward and pulled him deeper into the kitchen. Motoki’s breath dissipated as the drunken Sailor Senshi swayed into him, causing him to loose even more of his balance.
“Motoki! Oh my God this is perfect! I need your help.”
“My help?” he squeaked out, “Uh, sure, whatever I can do.”
“Is this really happening right now?!” Motoki thought enthusiastically.
Eternal Venus caught her balance then placed her hands sternly on her hips, “Now . . . you have to tell me what Mamoru has been smoking to not have sexed Usagi up by now.”
Motoki stuttered dumbly until the code of best friends kicked in, “WHA-? I um . . . uh, I dunno what you’re talking about.”
Venus grabbed the bottle back from him and refilled her shot glass, “Drop it Motoki. You’re totally lying.”
She handed the bottle back to him and said, “Do you know that Usagi is in tears right now over her perceived libido-less boyfriend? I’m sorry, but,” she downed her shot then pounded her chest, “We love Usagi way too much and she has saved this planet way too many times and has suffered things I don’t even want to discuss. Now, I don’t know what the hell is going through Mamoru’s stubborn head, but considering that she has one week left of this life we will NOT tolerate any more unhappiness for Usagi for as long as we can help it. Her world needs to be rocked like a real woman deserves and her happiness is our only concern.
“So.” She slammed her shot glass down on the counter. “Cut the crap Motoki and give me the goods.”
Motoki’s jaw went slack. It was strange, even though her words were stern, the deep, affectionate way Venus spoke about Usagi’s happiness induced Motoki immediately. He instantly relayed in brief the Mamoru age/guilt problem and how Mamoru thought Usagi had no urge for sex yet, in addition to being completely delusional about her virtue. Since he was ridiculously drunk Motoki let a little too much slip as he candidly told her about Mamoru’s early days as Tuxedo Kamen, and his indulgent fantasies of Sailor Moon as consolation for keeping the younger Usagi firmly out of his lustful thoughts.
When Eternal Sailor Venus heard this she stumbled backwards clumsily, totally thrown off guard by what was just said.
Motoki would not let an opportunity like that pass him by so he swooped in to support her. “Can’t let Mamoru have all the fun now can I?”
“You’re kidding!” She exclaimed, slapping a hand to her head, “As messed up as that is it makes perfect sense!”
“Really?” Motoki asked, now extremely close, “because it didn’t make that much sense to me.”
Venus struggled to keep her composure, “Well, from the Senshi’s perspective it makes too much sense now that you say-” she then inexplicably trailed off.
The air of seriousness surrounding her intensified and her concern became grave.
“Of course . . .” She breathed while staring off into space, speaking absently. “Everything happened so fast. The new future, friends and family, the wedding preparations.”
Venus could now see the glaring truth. Mamoru had to be in shambles. She vividly remembered what everyone had conveniently forgotten. Mamoru mentioned that he was forced to watch Prince Cirius torture and molest Usagi.
Venus gasped upon this recollection, now remembering how Mamoru had been a hair’s breadth away from total emotional collapse when he had told them this. How could they have forgotten that? The Senshi were so worried about Usagi that they failed to take Mamoru into account, and Minako suddenly felt horrible.
“All Mamoru see’s is Usagi,” Venus concluded “He can never see himself.”
Motoki felt immediately out of the loop as he sensed a depth behind her words that he could not understand.
Venus was fully alert to Motoki’s arms around her. Beneath her transformation glamour Minako blushed like crazy. “I bet Motoki has no idea he gets me all worked up like this! I’m the embodiment of love! Why the hell am I the nervous one?”
Motoki’s legs felt like overcooked udon. Here he was standing in Mamoru’s kitchen holding Minako, holding Sailor Venus. He admitted to himself that he had been slowly gravitating towards Minako during the past few months. She was absolutely mesmerizing.
Minako heard Rei’s sudden voice in her head, “Venus, I don’t know where you are but get back here right now, Usagi is coming.”
Venus sighed at the untimely interruption and side stepped, “I have to go,” she said with much less enthusiasm.
Once Venus left his grasp Motoki experienced a high degree of anxiousness. She was leaving. His drunken mind told him that he had to do something and fast, not knowing why.
“Venus!” he hissed quietly, “Wait!”
He clumsily grasped the ribbon on the small of her back in a panic for her to stay.
Venus felt the heavy tug and glanced behind her to watch her bow unravel. “Motoki!” she chastised, trying to save it.
Motoki let go immediately, “Oh, sorry! I-I didn’t mean to-”
He stuttered awkwardly cursing himself, and then could notice nothing other than the way she cocked her hips as she twisted around trying to re-tie her bow in a drunken stupor. Motoki ceased all thought as the liquor in his bloodstream forced him to gravitate towards her. He grabbed her by the waist and turned Venus to face him. Motoki was so enamoured by everything about her that his eyes locked onto her large, luminous blues. The seductive power of Venus had successfully overcome every mental excuse to not make a move, though he felt like it was still best to ask, unaware of what he was even saying.
“Can I . . . Can I kiss you?”
Venus almost passed out and wanted nothing more than to finally let this boy know a thing or two, but her true nature intervened.
She backed away saying, “What about Reika, Motoki?”
Motoki released her, instantly feeling rejected and very embarrassed, “Oh, well, we broke up a while back. Sorry if-”
Before Motoki could apologize for his presumption Eternal Sailor Venus slammed into him, the pair of them colliding into the cupboards. Motoki was the one who almost passed out this time. It was like kissing rays of sunshine. He had never encountered lips like hers before. She was spectacular. He wasted no time and switched their positions, lifting her up to sit on the counter while drowning in her glorious kisses. She eagerly encircled herself around Motoki and poured herself into him.
Rei’s voice tore through her head, “MINAKO!”
Venus cursed silently and hesitantly broke their kiss. “Duty calls.”
Motoki swirled in a fantasy as Venus heard someone walking towards the kitchen. She disappeared quickly in a flash of light.
Artemis rounded into the kitchen with narrow, suspicious eyes. “What’s going on in here?” He slurred while holding an empty wine glass. “And what was that light?”
He looked inquisitively at Motoki who stood motionless by the far counter.
Artemis raised his eyebrows, “Motoki?”
Motoki looked like his I.Q. had dropped into the negative with a goofy grin plastering his face. Artemis was about to question him further when he noticed lip-gloss all over Motoki’s mouth; the colour of which was all too familiar to him. He now remembered the flash of yellow light. Artemis rolled his eyes and grumbled disapprovingly, “Minako!”
Eternal Sailor Venus popped back into Rei’s living room.
Rei burst out, “Finally! We managed to send her to get more snacks but she’s . . . coming . . . back.”
Rei trailed off upon noticing the far-away look in Venus’ eyes as well as her unraveled rear bow.
Before anyone could ask her where she went Eternal Venus swayed gently then fell backwards like a freshly cut tree, letting her transformation go just before she hit the cushions on the floor.
“Minako?” Ami inquired as the rest of them gathered to peer over her. Completely oblivious to her surroundings Minako erupted into a hysterical fit of giggles like they had never seen.
Rei was flabbergasted, “Minako what the hell?! Where were you?”
Minako continued to giggle like crazy while hugging a pillow to her chest in immense delight.
Everyone else in the room looked between themselves unaware of what was going on. Makoto placed her hands on her hips, “This is just like when her pure heart was exorcised. She’s completely lost it.”
Usagi came back into the room with an arm full of junk food and saw everyone freeze as Minako lay on the floor in a fit of hysterics. Usagi dropped her stash in surprise, “Aw! What’d I miss?”
While Minako giggled like a hyena the rest of them just laughed nervously and shrugged.
Mamoru continued grinning to himself as Artemis held up the deep blue suit jacket. Mamoru shrugged it on stylishly when they heard a knock on the front door. Both men looked confused, not expecting anyone. Artemis left the room to find out who it was.
Ami, Rei, Minako, and Makoto quickly filed into the apartment. Artemis blinked as each of them flashed him a bright smile. As they sailed past him he saw that they had on beautiful gold coloured dresses, but in different styles.
Minako peeked into the bedroom to see Mamoru standing in front of his mirror fully dressed. She then walked boldly inside followed by the others.
Mamoru watched the girls surround his reflection in the mirror. Makoto stood behind him and began straightening the collar of his jacket. Rei came around and proceeded to perfect his tie. Ami flanked his other side to slip a white rose into his lapel, while Minako stood next to the mirror looking him up and down.
The pale blonde nodded approvingly, “Looking good Mamoru.”
Mamoru released a half grin, “Thanks.”
Through the reflection in the mirror Mamoru could detect something lurking in their expressions but couldn’t place exactly what. They seemed to know something he didn’t and looked like they were restraining themselves from grinning too hard.
Mamoru narrowed his eyes suspiciously as he buttoned his jacket, “Everything okay with Usako?” he asked cautiously.
Makoto nodded enthusiastically as Rei assured him, “Everything is perfect.” She rested her elbow on his tall shoulder, “You should see how she looks in her dress,” she added slyly.
Makoto winked at Mamoru through the mirror, “It’s killer.”
Ami migrated towards the bed and dropped a large bag onto the floor next to his nightstand, “Anyway Mamoru, we just wanted to stop by to wish you good luck and drop off Usagi’s stuff.”
Now that Mamoru was paying more attention he could tell Ami was blushing. He was sure now that something was up.
Mamoru turned to face them directly, now recognizing the mischievous air in their carefully placed smiles, “What are you guys up to?” He inquired with a low tone and a cocked ebony eyebrow.
Minako appeared genuinely perplexed, “Mamoru, honestly, can’t your best friends and fellow Senshi stop by to make sure you’re dressed properly to marry Usagi?”
Makoto glanced at the ceiling absently, “Not that you ever needed fashion advice.”
Mamoru caught Rei thoroughly scanning the entire room but ceased once she noticed him watching her. Ami tried in vain to hide her deepening blush as she started ushering the girls towards the door. “Well, looks like you’ve got everything under control so we’ll see you at the temple.”
Artemis was now standing by the bedroom door leaning against the wall with accusing, suspicious eyes. The girls smiled innocently at him as they exited the room then teleported away. When Minako passed she smiled brightly at him giving a ‘V’ sign as Artemis shook his head disapprovingly at her. She muttered under her breath, “Don’t give me that look Artemis,” then teleported away herself.
Artemis walked over to Mamoru, “They’re up to something.”
“I know,” agreed Mamoru, “I can smell it.” He thought about it for a brief moment then shrugged it off, “Whatever, I’m sure their intentions are good, and I’m marrying Usako any minute so, I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.”
Artemis watched Mamoru return to high spirits as he remembered the look in Minako’s eye. If Artemis knew Minako well, which he did, he could not help but think that Mamoru ought to be a lot more concerned.
Usagi stood in front of the full-length mirror as her Senshi fussed about her hair, her flowers and everything else you could imagine. Usagi fidgeted nervously, “Are you guys sure this dress is ok? I mean, what were you thinking?! My dad is gonna shoot me! You know, I could easily just phase into one of my Moon Princess dresses.”
“No way!” Rei firmly objected. “You said that you wanted to marry Mamoru as Usagi, not Princess Serenity. And besides, do you know what it took to get this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind designer dress last minute?!”
Minako fiddled with Usagi’s new hairstyle, now giving the ends more curl and bounce, “You look magnificent Usagi, don’t worry about it.”
“Dammit!” cursed Usagi on the verge of another freak out, “I forgot to pack a bag for the next few nights.”
Ami stood behind her as she perfected the cluster of white roses that constituted the single, diagonal strap of her dress, “Just try to relax,” she reassured, “We’ve taken care of everything.”
With all final touches perfected the inner Senshi stood behind her looking wistfully into the mirror. As Usagi tried to assume control of the butterflies swarming her stomach she looked into the faces of her best friends. They all stared at her with crocodile tears brimming their eyes and smiles of immense joy.
Usagi whined, “You guys don’t you dare! If you start crying I’m going to start crying.”
“No! You can’t ruin your make-up!” Warned Makoto. The water collecting in her eyes threatening to fall as she fixed Usagi’s long, sparkling train, “You just . . . can’t understand how happy we are for you.”
Rei struggled not to cry as well. “You deserve the best things in life every day of your life, and Mamoru will give that to you.”
Minako crossed her arms muttering, “He damn well better.”
Rei elbowed Minako discreetly.
Usagi could feel her own tears begin to well up, “Alright, everybody out. You guys need to get to the altar, and tell my dad I’ll be out in a sec.”
They stared at Usagi for another moment, ancient tears of happiness twinkling madly before they excitedly bounced out of the room.
Once the door had closed leaving Usagi to herself she could feel her heart fluttering rampantly. Attempting to stop her hands from trembling Usagi stared hard into her own eyes, inhaling deeply. As Usagi exhaled she chanted, “Okay, everything is okay, you’re only finally marrying the man of your dreams so, no big deal.”
She looked down at the dress she wore. She had to admit that it was absolutely without a doubt the sexiest, most stunning dress she had ever worn, though classy and tasteful at the same time. Mamoru, let alone her father, had never seen her in anything like it before. She took a few more deep breaths praying to God that she didn’t trip walking down the aisle.
Usagi studied the way the glorious, shimmering white fabric clung perfectly to her chest and curves. “Mamo-chan probably won’t even notice . . .”
Usagi closed her eyes and immediately felt the spirit of the Moon within her and she instantly calmed. “I’m marrying my Prince,” she thought. “I’m marrying Mamo-chan.”
When she opened her eyes she was herself again.
Kenji stood in the hallway with his hands anxiously buried in his pockets shifting from one foot to the other. He heard the door open behind him and impatiently turned to face his daughter, “Ah, Usagi, it’s ti-”
Kenji’s breath escaped him. Usagi slid the door shut standing in the hallway looking the most beautiful he had ever seen her. As Usagi came up to slip her arm into his he looked down at her with astonishing fatherly pride.
His eyes softened as he whispered to her, “You know, I bet Mamoru would like it even more if you changed into your other dress, you know, the Moon one. I like that dress. It leaves much more to the imagination-”
“Dad!” Usagi fumed.
Mamoru and Motoki stood next to the altar under the skylight. The Senshi’s family and friends sat in their seats talking quietly while Mamoru entertained visions of Usagi walking down the aisle as angelic as ever. Motoki noticed Mamoru’s fidgeting and said, “Just relax, you’re being impatient.”
“I know,” confessed a frustrated Mamoru. “I’m sorry. I just want to marry Usako immediately. I can’t have anything interrupting this. It seems whenever we get close to happiness something always interferes.” He counted off his fingers, “planetary invasion, war, death, a little pink-haired kid falling out of the sky. I just need this to happen.”
Motoki didn’t quite understand but patted his back, “It’s happening Mamoru.”
Right on cue the Senshi entered through the side door and took their positions across from Mamoru and Motoki.
They couldn’t help but flash Mamoru proud and happy smiles, wordlessly telling him how overjoyed they were that the two of them were finally getting married. He smiled back at them genuinely and felt himself calm down. He was marrying his Princess . . . finally.
As the girls settled into position Minako’s eyes caught Motoki’s. The two of them stared intensely at each other. Minako’s lips curved upwards in an irresistible half smile, her eyelids lowering seductively. Motoki’s eyes also began drooping as he indulged in memories of the night before. He couldn’t keep his thoughts from her. Venus was now rooted deeply in his system.
Rei stood next to Minako and sensed a passionate energy emanate from her. Rei glanced at her and found her staring intensely at Motoki who stared right back at her. Rei glanced between the two of them a few times and then remembered the way Minako looked when she teleported back from Mamoru’s.
“I know right?”
Rei gasped loudly in surprise at Chiro’s sudden voice in her head.
The other Senshi glanced at her. “Are you all right Rei?” whispered Ami.
Rei nodded mutely and telepathically screamed back to him, “Dammit Yuuichirou!-I mean, Chiro! I mean-”she couldn’t help but remember their own kiss and sensed that he was visualizing the same thing.
Rei was so annoyed that she let out an intense, irritated grumble as Ami asked her again, “Rei what’s wrong?”
“Oh nothing!” She barked.
Sitting in the back corner of the room Yuuichirou chuckled.
As Rei’s grandfather took his place in front of the altar, Michiru began playing an original composition on her violin created especially for the occasion. Sitting at the piano, Haruka joined in. The melody was spectacularly beautiful overflowing with the deep, emotional currents of Neptune. Joyful tears immediately sprang up across the room like magic.
Upon hearing the music Mamoru emerged from his daydream to turn and look down the aisle at his bride. When his eyes focused on Usagi, Mamoru stumbled backwards ever so slightly as the air in his lungs dissipated out of his half opened mouth.
Usagi stood at the end of the aisle in a state of absolute loveliness. Instead of her usual hairstyle her hair was pulled back by two loose odangos that now sat as a vertical pair just behind her right ear. Her bangs were parted off centre with sweeping wisps grazing across one eye, and her golden, silky hair cascaded around her bare shoulder spiraling beautifully at the ends. The Senshi watched Mamoru intently and refrained from elbowing each other when they caught the dumbfounded reaction that only a gorgeous woman could induce. Her pure white dress was covered with thousands of minuscule, translucent pearlish beads giving the entire gown a glittering finish. The dress had a single, diagonal strap made entirely of small white roses. The flexible material clung to her curves like a second skin from her chest down to her hips. After her hips the dress fell straight to the floor with a noticeable weight, but her perfectly sculpted leg was more than visible due to the slit opening near her upper thigh just below another cluster of white roses bunched on her hip. The dress gathered behind her, cascading to the floor in folds of glittering fabric; embedded in which was a trail of white roses. Every single person in the room was mesmerized.
The girls had miraculously found the perfect dress to accentuate her womanly features and highlight her natural beauty. Usagi truly appeared like a goddess while looking ridiculously sexy at the same time. Stunned by her exquisiteness Mamoru struggled not to follow each sway of her full hips and every subtle bounce in her chest as she walked down the aisle. He focused on her crystal blue eyes sparkling brightly beneath her dusty, blonde eyelashes. Usagi stared lovingly at Mamoru and he stared right back at her. All they were aware of was each other and the glorious way their eleven thousand year long separation was finally ending with each confident step forward.