Title: Meant to Be
Author: Girl Who Writes
Word Count: 2,479
Genre: Angst, Drama
Summary: No one ever mentioned the string of broken, discarded hearts destined love leaves in its path.
Notes: This was originally started in 2009 and when I found it, I felt like finishing it. Something nice and angsty, and probably as smutty as I'll ever manage to get. And also to reassure everyone that Sailor Moon is still something I just love and write - my most recent projects are just larger ones, juggled with writing for MCU, working on my novel and university work. But I am still skulking in the shadows - and on tumblr, as lexiewrites.
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi and Bandai; I make no profit from this fan-based venture.
She drinks too much at the reception in a sad, mourning kind of way. She looks almost gothic, in her sweeping grey dress and pearls. She is all long limbs and quiet resignation, but she puts on her sweetest smile, finds her prettiest words of congratulations when it is her turn to hug the bride and kiss her cheeks.
He understands the feeling biting into her heart during the whole night; when he shook his hand and watched him kiss her rosy lips, stroke her cheeks with his hand, escort her to the dance floor. He knows.
I wish it were me.
Kakyuu is by his side, looking concerned but he knows how to brush off her inquiries with a grin – even manages to peel his eyes away from the happy couple.
He brings her more champagne when he finds her tucked away in the corner, watching the dancing with the cool detachment of someone who desperately wants to be apart of it. He sits beside her and they clink their glasses together and Seiya thinks, maybe, they are both grieving the same thing; the final possibility.
He examines her hair surreptitiously; he might be a man on Earth, but there is that fragment that is Starfighter, the ultimate femme fatale and that part of him – her? - is interested in such details. For one, she has incredibly long hair, possibly the longest after Usagi herself. And somehow, it is arranged on her head in a delicate mass at the back of her head, with pearl pins holding it together. Had she cut it since he last laid eyes upon her? Every time she turned her head, it was a thoughtless movement, and yet he knew that such long hair was heavy.
He thinks about asking her to dance.
They don't exchange any words until afterwards.
She leaves at the same time as he does. The bride is throwing the bouquet and she leaves; a silvery wrap around her bare shoulders and the most impossibly small purse in one hand.
He follows her out without looking back; watches her walk into the park, only a little unsteady thanks to the champagne. She disappears into the dark but he doesn't hurry to catch up with her.
He finds her sitting on a park bench, staring up at the moon – the waning white crescent in the sky that used to be a kingdom, a world of its own.
He tugs his bowtie undone and sits beside her.
"A new moon tomorrow," he breaks the silence, the first he's said to her all evening.
"Yes." She turns to him, and the shadows obscure her features, blocking out one half of her face but he can still see the crimson of her eyes. She pulls her wrap around herself tighter and looks back up at the sky and he wants to tell her, if he could do anything right this second, it would be to give them both what they want so desperately. That this would be a celebration rather than a defeat, that she would be wearing white and he would be hoping the bouquet would find Odango's waiting arms.
But since that will never happen, he kisses her instead.
He waits awhile; they both do. They let the alcohol make them melancholic, they sit in the darkened park and then he leans over and kisses her.
Her lips are cold and she is tentative, withdrawn for a second and then she lets go. And for now, at least, they are taking the time to acknowledge the fact that they haven't gotten who they want, and no matter how much it stings, they will get out the other side. They might be wiser, they might be bitter and cynical and they might never forget that burning desire of desperation and unrequited love but they will see past the loss.
They go to her apartment in the city. He is surprised she lives alone now, but he doesn't comment. Things change and perhaps the Outer Planetary Senshi no longer feel the need to be so close.
He won't notice the details of the apartment until morning, but some things catch his attention – the colours are greys and creams, the night sky of Tokyo throwing strange shadows over the room, even as she switched on a lamp, discarding her purse and her wrap. She moves towards him without looking into his eyes, rather at a point next to his head.
She kisses him this time, her hands resting on his shoulders and Seiya wraps one arm around her waist, pulling back only to stare in her eyes, that strange colour that is somehow compelling before he kisses her again.
He doesn't know how they get there but they stand at the end of her bed and he gently plucks out her hair pins and watches with quite fascination, perhaps even awe, as her hair falls around her face and over her shoulders in loopy forest-coloured curls. She shakes it back and it is as long as he remembers it, as soft as it looks and every time he kisses her now, he touches it.
He fumbles with the small buttons of her dress, his mind going slower than his fingers but the grey silk and satin slides off her body and she steps out of it, her arms crossing over her body as if she is cold, when all he wants to do is stare at honey-coloured skin and her impossibly blue undergarments. It seems like a strange colour for her to pick out – it is the colour of the ocean, a blue that looks alive even in the dark.
She sits at the end of her bed and holds her hands out to him. He kneels before her and kisses her palm, her wrist of one hand and she smiles, her eyes closing for a moment.
Her heels, the same silky fabric of her dress, are impossibly high and have ribbons twisting around her ankle, and for a moment, Seiya would be content to contemplate that ribbon against her skin for the rest of the night. He doesn't remember untying those tiny knots, doesn't know how he managed it but he finds himself beside her on the bed, staring at each other with the calm of two people who have caused a disaster; that moment after any hope of stopping it has passed, but the second before it must be acknowledged.
He reaches out to touch her hair again, and she kisses him, her hands falling to his belt.
Her body is cool; even with flushed cheeks and a bead of sweat running down her face, her skin still remains chilled; he desperately tries to press warmth upon her, his hands sliding over tepid flesh.
She is all long limbs and smooth curves; he presses kisses into the hollow of her neck, the base of her throat; the flat of her stomach and the crease of her elbow.
Her head pillows his shoulder as they lie side by side; the only sounds are their breathing, of the traffic in the street beyond.
The thin moon peers through the gap in the curtains, and he resists the urge to stand and close them.
She doesn't speak, one arm through above her head, her lips twisted almost unhappily. He can almost see the thoughts materialize but she doesn't speak.
He wants to ask her questions, about what she knows and what she sees. What she would change.
He doesn't think he needs to ask that question, actually. He's almost certain he knows the answer.
He is almost sleeping when she gets up, and for a moment he fumbles for consciousness, to rise and dress and leave, to venture back out into the streets of Tokyo. But something reassures him and sleep washes over him easily.
He wakes before dawn, disorientated and fumbling for his wits. Her side of the bed is cool, untouched since she left earlier. With the soft light of the lamp, he dresses slowly, looking around at the room. It is a blank slate, of plain walls and uninteresting fabrics. There are no photographs or flowers or decoration – the only sign that this is someone's home is the dress she wore to the wedding tossed over a non-descript grey chair, and a purse sitting on the dresser.
The apartment is full of the grey light of dawn, and she is perched on a chair in the window, a mug clasped in both her hands as she stares out at the city. Her expression is utterly indecipherable and for a moment, he wants to reach out and… and what? Touch her?
No. That moment has passed, has been lived and died quietly. Whomever she is in the harsh light of day, it is someone utterly removed from everything around them. She is uncanny stillness, one akin to the priestesses of Kinmoku, but more absolute.
She has been the Senshi of Time and Space for so long, she has become it, a very embodiment, and Seiya wonders if he will ever be comfortable in her company again. Her hair is bundled roughly at the nap of her neck, long strands trailing over her shoulder and back. She wears soft, loose clothing in grey and blue – colours that blend in seamlessly with her hollow, blank apartment.
She finally meets his gaze, and there is a ghost of a smile resting on her lips, as she uncurls from the chair, setting her cup down. She offers him food, which he declines, and tea, which he accepts, just to fill the silence with motion and action.
He's always had a bad habit of talking to himself, and now is not different. He does it under his breath, arguing with himself, commiserating with himself, as she brings him a cup of tea, an amused smile on her face.
"I hate this," he finally admits, and she stirs her tea, her head on one side.
"Hate what?" she asks, and he thumps his mug to the table.
"That she ended up with him," he admits, and the bitterness is almost a real thing, in the room with him, and it is foul and humiliating but also okay, because there is no wariness, no anger on her face like the others when he gets too close to insulting the prince or princess. Just thoughtfulness.
"Don't you?" he presses, and he doesn't know what he wants from her, truly; not to insult Usagi, no. Perhaps some vitriol towards Fate herself? No one ever mentioned the string of broken, discarded hearts destined love leaves in its path.
"They are together, it is how it was always meant to be," she says, and there is a look in her eyes that he wants to recoil from; how utterly breakable she is in that moment is terrifying. It might be Uranus with the threats on her lips and the promises of pain in her gaze, but it is the constancy of Pluto that is more frightening by half. That if the eternal guardian can be broken, what hope is left for anyone else? He decides to hate Mamoru a little more on her behalf, because he does not have – or even known – the right words to take away that look in her eyes.
On the street again, slinging his jacket over one shoulder, it is like time has started again, that colour is allowed back into the universe, and Seiya can admit to himself that it was wrong. He was wrong. The melancholy of the wedding, of the marriage, that they both carry, it is not the same.
He is jealous of Mamoru, for losing in the most final way that possibility of Usagi. He is angry that for whatever fate had in store for Endymion and Serenity, he liked – loved – Usagi first, before he ever knew there was someone more beyond blue eyes and golden hair. He is aching and hollow for the death of his own private hope.
She does not mourn her private affection for the prince, whatever whispers have reached his ears. She is not holding herself a martyr to the great love of the Prince and Princess, because she has always known what would be.
She mourns herself, the death of anyone she might be beside Guardian of Time and Space. She lets herself grieve for a life that will be given over to higher powers and promises made when she was too young to understand what she would be forced to leave behind. For Usagi and Mamoru, the wedding, that was their beginning, their happily ever now and a step towards something utterly fantastic, a reward for their sacrifices and suffering. A day of joy and love and hope.
For Setsuna Meioh, it was a funeral for possibility, one she has been preparing for, but still hurts.
He knows the story, what fate has in store for them all, because Uranus took special pleasure in explaining the existence of a pink-haired child to him before the wedding. He knows that there is to be a glittering paradise in Tokyo, lead by Serenity and Endymion, and protected by the senshi. What they have fought so hard for all these years, in two lives.
And he wonders if Setsuna considers this Crystal Tokyo such a prize, as the others certainly do. Or if this is just another war that must be fought, another duty and sacrifice that must be faced with lip-service to the cause, in the hopes that perhaps she will find a worthy reward at the end.
He looks back at the building once, as he walks towards Juuban.
He knows, without a doubt, that this was the last time he will see Setsuna Meioh. He wonders if he should have left her with more words, better words, words to make her think of him fondly. Maybe words of comfort.
He wonders, as he approaches the Crown, glimpsing the familiar rainbow of hair through the window and preparing himself for squealing and jokes about his whereabouts, if her friends understand. If they ever saw the dread in her eyes, the stillness in her body as she memorizes the tiniest of things she is going to lose.
No. He cannot, will not, believe that these girls could be intentionally cruel.
And as he walks towards the booth, towards his friends and her friends (why wasn't she here, too?), he is struck with the sudden idea that perhaps, maybe, he is – was - the last person ever to see Setsuna Meioh. That duty and fate wait for nobody, and she is gone, and everyone is here, tired but joyous, and ignorant.
And even as he jokes with Minako, bawdy jokes that horrify everyone, he wants to go back and apologize and just make sure that she's not alone.
Not yet, at least.