Mamoru gave Usagi a ring before he left for America. Now it's five years later and they're finally about to have the wedding Usagi has dreamed about since childhood but she's wishing Chibiusa had t...
"Chiba Mamoru! How could you expect me to plan such a huge event in such a short period of time?" Usagi stared up at her fiancÃ© from a pile of wedding magazines and planning books that surrounded her on the living room floor. She waved a handful of fabric swatches in his face and cried, "Minako is leaving for America in just one week, and we still haven't been able to find the right bridesmaid dresses! How can I be ready in just six weeks?"
Usagi definitely had the look of a frantic bride. Her trademark odangos looked like they had been arranged by a five year old. Pieces of hair stuck out randomly from the round masses in all directions and several longs strands of hair hung freely down her back and into her face. Her shirt was buttoned wrong and she wore mismatched socks.
Mamoru helped his flustered bride off of the floor and led her towards her bedroom. "Usagi, why don't you go ahead and get dressed. We have an appointment with the caterers in half an hour. I'll even help you fix your hair." He picked up her hairbrush and used it to prod her in the direction of her closet.
At the mention of food, Usagi perked up and moved into the closet on her own. She exited a few minutes later in a simple, but attractive outfit. Only her hair still bore the evidence of how stressful her morning had been. Mamoru gently led her back out to the living room and settled her on the floor in front of the couch. He carefully unwound the tangled odangos and began to brush the knots from Usagi's floor length blonde hair.
Usagi began to relax as Mamoru worked his fingers and the hairbrush through her hair. She reached out and picked up the bundle of fabric again, smoothing her thumb along the soft satin and looked up at her fiancÃ©. "I suppose we could use the Luna Pen to dress them if we have to," she giggled softly. Mamoru was able to soothe her soul in a way that no one else could.
Mamoru finished brushing the tangles from her hair and pulled it into a simple ponytail, apologizing for his inability to arrange her elaborate odangos. He pulled her to her feet and led her out the door asking, "Now why don't we go and taste some yummy treats? We'll see if any of them are good enough for my beautiful bride."
Mamoru got the reaction he was hoping for. Usagi stopped in the doorway, gave him a broad smile, and reached up for his head, pulling him into a kiss sweeter than any confection they would taste at the caterers.
"Okay girls, this is the last store. If we don't find some acceptable dresses here, we'll be walking down the aisle naked!" Rei's eye had a wicked sparkle in it as she made this announcement, but Usagi missed the joke.
"Rei! You wouldn't dare! Oh you just have to find some dresses today or I'll die. Minako's leaving tomorrow!" Usagi burst into tears again, a common occurrence over the last few weeks.
Ami leaned over and put an arm around her friend, reassuring her that Rei had been joking, and shot a withering look in her direction. Mamoru had met with all of the girls the day before and warned them that Usagi might break down if they didn't find the dresses today. He had even gone so far as to set up a backup plan in case this last boutique didn't satisfy Usagi's dress desires.
Luna led Usagi to a comfortable seating area while the girls were whisked into dressing rooms. After they tried on all available dresses with no success, Luna snuck away into the dressing area and explained to them that they would have to go with plan B. The girls each returned to their dressing rooms and Luna went to tell Usagi that they discovered some special dresses, just in that morning. She ran back to the dressing rooms and slipped under the doors, one by one, giving each girl a turn with the Luna Pen. The transformations wouldn't last until the wedding, but at least if Usagi was satisfied, they could be taken to a seamstress to be reproduced.
Usagi couldn't believe her eyes when the dressing room doors opened and her friends stepped out in dresses more beautiful than she had ever imagined. The dresses were white A-line ball gowns, beautiful in their simplicity. They were off the shoulder with swath of rich silk draped across the bosom and around the shoulders. There was also a silk sash around the waist, tied in a long, graceful bow down the back, and delicate embroidery around the hem. The silk and embroidered accents were coloured to match the girls' fukus.
Rei was the first to come out of the dressing room. The swath of silk on her dress was a rich crimson and around her neck hung a stunningly large ruby on a delicate platinum chain. Matching ruby drops graced her earlobes.
Ami came out next wearing a dress accented with a deep royal blue, vibrant blue sapphires accenting her creamy skin.
Minako opened the dressing room door and marched out into the mirrored viewing area, doing a professional little turn and flipping her hair over her shoulder at the end of the "runway". The light caught the beautiful topaz jewels dangling from her ears and neck and she smoothed the golden silk sash as she finished modeling the dress.
Finally Makoto exited her dressing room wearing emeralds and a matching jewel toned dress. She looked down at her feet uneasily, poking the toe of a tall emerald pump out from under the hem of the dress. Looking at Luna, she started, "You couldn't have made them flat-" but stopped speaking when Luna gave her a severe look and flashed her claws. "Um, I mean, I guess I'll have to look around myself for some flat shoes."
The girls looked intently at Usagi to see if she liked the dresses. She had a sour frown on her face when she looked up at the girls. "Why is it that no matter how much shopping you do, you can never find the right dress-" Usagi looked around the store, sighed, and then let a silly grin creep into her face as she continued, "Until you get to the very last store! Seriously, girls, I love them! It's like they were made just for you. It's almost magical how good you look in them, really."
All five girls let out shrieks of joy and crowded together in a happy group hug. Finally, they had been able to find dresses suitable for a queen's wedding. Now the only problem was getting the dresses ready for the wedding. Knowing that there was a good chance that they would need to use the Luna Pen on the dresses, Luna had arranged for Mamoru to pick up Usagi after the dress fitting so that the girls could go straight to the seamstress to have the dresses started. When he arrived, Luna slipped out to meet him and handed him the jewelry to be reproduced by a jewelry crafter on the other side of Tokyo.
"I still don't understand why she couldn't have told me about it. I mean, anything would help. Who does that little pipsqueak think she is hiding things like this from me?" Usagi was pacing back and forth across Mamoru's living room floor, talking more to herself than to her fiancÃ©.
"You're being too hard on her Usako. She wasn't even there. How would Chibi-usa have been able to tell you about the wedding?"
With two weeks to go, Usagi was dealing with only the minute details of the wedding, but had occasional moments of panic.
"She's our daughter! I'm sure we told her about our wedding! There must be pictures up around the palace. Surely she knows something! This is going to be the most important day of my life: I am sure that I told my daughter about it!" Mamoru came over to Usagi and pulled her into his arms, silencing her by pulling her face into his shoulder for a moment. When he allowed her to pull back, he led her to the couch and had her sit down.
"Usako. You haven't seen Chibi-usa for over five years. She never told you about the wedding, but you never asked. Back then it was weird enough to think of her as our future daughter, but even if you had asked, I don't think she would have told you anything. You know that Setsuna gave her some pretty strict rules when she sent her back to us."
Usagi pulled herself from Mamoru's grasp and began to pace around the furniture again. "You don't understand Mamo-chan. If Chibi-usa could just tell me a few details, it would save so much time. And it's not like I'm really cheating. I will have made the decisions in the past, so Chibi-usa would just be telling me my own choices, right? But wait, this is the past isn't it. I mean, the wedding is in the future for us, but the past for our future selves and our future selves are Chibi-usa's parents and... Mamo-chan, I'm confused!" Usagi dropped herself down onto the couch and buried her face in Mamoru's stomach.
Mamoru let out a soft chuckled and raised Usagi's face to his own. He was about to start another lecture, but noticed that her confusion was about to turn to tears. "Oh my Usako, don't cry; we'll figure it out." To be sure that her tears wouldn't spill over, he pulled her face a little closer to his and kissed her slowly and deeply. "What's important, Usako, is that we are getting married in two weeks." When Usagi heard his last words, she stiffened again and opened her mouth to voice more of her concerns. "Usako, wait. Let's think this through."
Usagi pulled away and jumped to her feet again. "But Mamo-chan, how can we be sure that it's right? How do we know that we're making the right choices? What if this isn't the right time to get married? When is everything supposed to happen? We've seen the future, but we've also seen it change before our eyes. When Nehelenia put her curse on you, I watched Chibi-usa disappear. Poof, gone, like she had never existed. What if we do something to change our future? We need to be sure that things are right!"
"Tsukino Usagi, you sit down right this minute!" Mamoru spoke the words so sharply that Usagi gasped and dropped into the chair beside her. "Thank-you. Now Usako, you need to stop thinking about the what-ifs. Chibi-usa told you nothing because you were not supposed to know. We cannot call her back to us-all time travel was initiated in the 30th century; even if we needed her, we could only hope that Setsuna would send her. This wedding is yours to plan: You, here and now, not your past or future self, but you. It is our wedding, and it is the only time we will get married, no matter how many times we travel back and forth. Time only happens once, even if you go forward or back and watch a different time.
"Now think about this; how many people do you know who have seen their futures? Really-it is not a common occurrence. But people get married every day, not knowing the direct outcome of their actions, but trusting their decisions. Usako, we need to trust that we can make good decisions. Our love is meant to be. We know that we will be together, and would know that even without any knowledge of the future. This is the time we chose for our wedding, and it is the right time. Please trust me. Please trust us."
Mamoru leaned in close to Usagi, seeing submission creep into her eyes. He leaned in to kiss her, but pulled back at the last moment with a wicked glint in his eye. "Besides, all of the big and obvious plans have been made. Do you really think you'll give Chibi-usa all the details about the seating arrangements and the order of service?"
Finally Usagi understood what Mamoru was getting at. She apologized for trying to get out of a responsibility and leaned in to him for a kiss. But just before their lips met, she leapt from the couch, stuck out her tongue, and tossed the seating arrangement into Mamoru's lap. "This is the only wedding we'll have Mamo-chan, and you should get to help plan it: you, in the here and now! Besides, I promised the girls I'd meet them at the hair salon this afternoon for a final decision on their hairdos. Bye!" She blew him a kiss as she slipped quickly out the door.
"Okay, I think we're finally done. I thought we'd never finish on time, but we have a whole week to spare. Lets go out and celebrate!" Usagi pushed the pile of wedding planners off of her lap and started dancing around the room.
"Hold on sweetheart. I'm glad we're done too, but we'll have lots of time to celebrate tomorrow for your birthday. Why don't we just go over these plans one more time to make sure we haven't missed anything. Besides, it'll be neat to look at them without any stress." He gathered up the papers that Usagi had thrown and patted the place beside him on the couch.
"Oh fine Mr. perfectionist, but at least let me get a snack first. I haven't had anything to eat in almost an hour and I'm starving!
Usagi returned from the kitchen ten minutes later with a trayful of prepackaged goodies, a carton of ice cream, and a bowl of microwave popcorn.
Mamoru eyed the tray and shook his head. "I still don't understand how you girls survive without any real food in this place."
"Oh come on Mamo-chan! You know full well that neither Rei nor I can cook. Besides, if we're hungry we can just go across the hall. Mako-chan will make us anything we want! And you take me out for supper a few times a week. Why would we need real food?" She giggled as she stuffed another handful of popcorn into her mouth.
"All right, if you think you have enough food to last a while, can we get on to reviewing these plans? Everyone is settled for clothes, right?"
Usagi motioned with her hand to wait a moment while she swallowed the mouthful of junk food she was working around. "I think so. Let's see, Rei, Minako, Makoto, and Ami are set. We went for the final fitting yesterday and they're all going to be so beautiful. Hotaru is going to be the candle lighter. We are having a similar dress made for her: lavender peau-de-soie satin dress with the same silk and embroidered accents in a deep purple. She'll be wearing matching jewelry in amethyst. Her dress had a few minor adjustments, so she'll be picking it up tomorrow.
"Umm... I finally reached an agreement with Haruka about her outfit. She refused to wear a dress or skirt of any kind, so we settled on a really cute little pantsuit. It's royal blue with yellow pinstripes, but instead of a jacket, it's a cute little sleeveless top with a yellow bow. Setsuna will wear the same in a deep olive green with violet accents. I really wanted dresses, but I guess since they are ushers, pants are acceptable. It's so hard to plan a wedding with so many female friends when you have so few male friends to involve. Oh well... that leaves us with... Michiru."
"I think what Michiru is playing is more important than what she is wearing," pointed out Mamoru as he scanned the pages of planning notes.
"Of course it is Mamo-chan, but I'm on a role here. Michiru is wearing, um... what is she wearing?"
"Knock, knock? I'm here to finalize the music," called out Michiru as she popped her head in the apartment door.
"Speak of the devil," commented Mamoru as she let herself in.
When Michiru's face clouded, Usagi added, "We were going over all of our outfits and I couldn't remember what you were wearing."
"Oh, well that's simple enough. I just picked it up from the seamstress' shop. Here it is." Michiru pulled the plastic covering from a white dress identical to the bridesmaid dresses, but shortened to the knees and with teal accents. "And I have my jewelry too," she added as she pulled a small velvet box from her purse and popped it open to reveal a stunning aquamarine necklace and earring set. "I also have the song list right here, shall we go over it one last time?"
Usagi and Mamoru slid apart to allow some space between them on the couch. Michiru sat down and they leaned together to look at the list. "Now, let's make sure I've got this right: Otome no Policy for the girls' entrance and the Moonlight Densetsu for Usagi's."
Usagi smiled and interrupted Michiru. "It's so perfect that I'm going to walk down to the locket song, isn't it Mamo-chan. That song is part of our past." Usagi sniffed and wiped away a tear before motioning to Michiru to continue.
"Okay, where was I? Right, it will be Soar for all of the in-ceremony music, and For the Princess for the recessional?" When both Usagi and Mamoru nodded, she continued, "Now, is Rei still planning on singing a solo of Eien no Melody? Okay, great! I guess I'll let you get back to your planning. I'll see you next week at the rehearsal." Michiru gathered up her dress and music and whisked out of the apartment with a little wave and a smile.
"Well, I guess that just leaves Motoki. He had his tuxedo fitting this morning and it should be ready to pick up the day before the wedding. It'll be a white tux with red accents, so he should match Rei perfectly. You did break the news to the girls that Rei is your Maid of Honour, didn't you?" Mamoru watched Usagi's face as he asked this. He knew it had been a hard decision for Usagi to make.
"Yes," she sighed. "I told them last night. None of them were too surprised. Rei is already my roommate after all. They all understood the need to pick someone and they're ok with it. It's weird to think that in a week Minako will be Rei's roommate and not me. But I guess it was easier for her to move than Makoto. I mean, she's rarely around. But still, I hope they don't kill each other."
"Don't worry Usako. All of your friends love each other. They'll be fine. Besides, our apartment is only two blocks away. I'm sure you'll be over there nearly every day. This wedding won't change our lives that much." Mamoru stood to put the wedding plans away on the shelf, and Usagi instantly took advantage of the fact that he was standing up to ask him to "pretty please" go get her a soda from the kitchen. He shook his head at her, but went into the kitchen anyways.
When Mamoru returned from the kitchen he held a bubbly soda in one hand, and a crisp white envelope in the other. Usagi sat up and looked questioningly at the envelope. "What's that Mamo-chan? Don't tell me that we forgot an invitation!"
"I don't think so Usako. Take a look." Mamoru handed her the envelope and watched her face as she read silently, "Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion".
"What is it? Who could it be from?" Usagi asked as she turned it over and over in her hands. "Open it Mamo-chan. I have to know." She thrust the envelope into his hands and chewed on her right thumbnail as he broke the wax seal on the back.
Mamoru's face turned white as he pulled the simple white card from the envelope and began to read the message on the back. "You'll never believe this, Usako."