Story: Chain of Hearts (chapter 5)

Authors: writer jm

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Chapter 5

Title: Trials of Love

Here’s the last chapter of the story. I’m tremendously sorry. I’ve been having lots of ‘fun.’ (sarcasm) I truly hope that this chapter epitomizes this story and ends it with a huge impact. I truly appreciate the reviews thus far. This is the most reviewed story out of my collection! I’m so amazed how this has been so popular. Thanks so much to those Minaru fans who are so dedicated. Also, big thanks to other shoujo-ai fan who have been so much support and motivation.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Sailor Moon. Only the plotline might be considered partially mine.

Thoughts ‘…’

Speaking “…”

Chapter Five: Trials of Love

Minako woke up early the next day. She planned on meeting Haruka’s girlfriend. The blond knew that would be the first step in getting over her crush on the captain. She hated leaving Hotaru, but she was sleeping so peacefully. It had taken nearly ten minutes to untangle herself from her friend. Recently, the dark-haired girl had taken to wrapping herself around Minako at night. Minako didn’t mind, it made her feel happy and safe. She swore she heard the door open and close, but didn’t pay any mind. Margaret occasionally came in early to bring breakfast in. She dressed and took one last look at Hotaru’s sleeping form. She looked angelic. The sight gave her a feeling similar to those she had had for Haruka. It didn’t surprise her, it didn’t scare her; she wasn’t sure if she was ready to face that yet. Perhaps she would tell her later today.

A maid was sprinting down the hall. Margaret had been ill, so the Queen had ordered her to check on her daughter this morning. What she had seen had truly been a shock. The princess was sleeping locked in a loving embrace with that slave girl of hers. The slave girl face was way too close to her princess’s bosom to be friendly. They looked like lovers. She had to report this to the Queen immediately.

She hastily knocked on the throne room door. She waited for the “enter” from inside. She entered and curtsied before the Queen.

“What is it, Emille?” the regal voice inquired.

“My Queen, I went to check on your daughter this morning and I…” Emille kind of flinched. “saw her and that slave girl holding each other in bed. It appeared to be more than friendly, my Queen.” She kept her head bowed low, waiting for a reaction. Then, she risked a peek up at her liege. Two ice blue eyes shone with fury, at an unseen person.

“Guards, bring me the slave girl Hotaru…” The Queen said in an even tone. All in the throne room shivered with fear. Two guards briskly left in search of the young girl. The Queen turned to look at Emille. The humble maid shook upon receiving the frosty gaze, so unlike Minako’s. She hoped that she would not be punished for anything. “Dismissed.” She bowed and sighed in relief. She wasted no time in hastily exiting the room.

With only her personal attendants and bodyguard, she let out a primal scream and tossed her favorite cup. “Why? Why my daughter!” A sob escaped from her cool façade as a tear descended her cheek. ‘Hotaru must have corrupted my daughter. I will have to punish her severely.’

Unbeknownst to her, a sandy-haired officer had heard the entire report and tantrum. She knew she couldn’t interfere with the royal commands, so she had to do the next best thing: get Minako. She ran off in search of the princess. She would straighten things out.

Meanwhile, Hotaru was slowly awakening in Minako’s bed. She looked around for Minako. Once she was sure Minako wasn’t waiting to pounce on her, she rolled over and grabbed the blonde’s pillow. She took a deep breath of the scent that was Minako. She knew she loved the princess. It was an impossible love, but she knew as long as she could be with her she could be happy. She was willing follow her anywhere. She felt the pain of having to deny herself her true love, but couldn’t completely deny herself a glimmer of hope. It just wouldn’t die.

She walked to the table and picked up a piece of toast. She would rather have breakfast with Minako, but decided to go ahead. She didn’t want Minako to find her not ready to be dragged off somewhere on one of their daily adventures. Not that she was reluctant to follow her, but Minako had such an enthusiasm for life. It made Hotaru happy to be alive. The princess was so kind and caring to her, but also extended her kindness to everyone. She picked up another piece of toast. However, there were special things Minako only did for her and with her: tickling, cuddling, studying, strolling through the garden, trying on new clothes… The last one brought a blush to her face. Minako was so beautiful, that the goddess of love must have personally crafted her. Her favorite thing was to see her smile. Hotaru would do anything to see her smile. She would do anything for her.

Then, the doors burst open and two guards came in. Hotaru dropped her piece of toast. They looked directly at her and she knew they were there for her. They didn’t give her time to change, but simply took her by her arms and led her out. Tears formed. ‘How did they find out about me? I was so careful. I don’t want to die! I have to tell Minako that I love her!’

Through her tears, she saw the form of Haruka running past her to look into the empty room. The guards stopped to salute the captain and she gave a nod to Hotaru. Hotaru gave her a desperate, questioning look. Haruka mouthed Minako’s name and ran off. She knew hope would soon be on its way. She just had to hold on.

Minako had made her way to the library and politely asked the head librarian to direct her to Michiru. The normally grumpy lady smiled at the mention of the name. Apparently, she was quite special for the harsh woman to like her. She was directed to a quiet corner of the expansive room.

Minako silently took a moment to observe the woman. She was extremely beautiful. Her shoulder-length, teal hair shone with the sunlight from a nearby window. She had a gentle smile. She was graceful. Minako could see why Haruka was in love with her. The rejection didn’t hurt anymore though; she knew Haruka was happy. She noticed that Michiru was copying music. Next to her was an open violin case.

“Um, hi,” Minako started shyly.

The woman looked up. Her eyes were striking. When she noticed whom she was addressing, she rose and gracefully curtsied.

“How may I help you, your ‘highness?’ ” Michiru put a little teasing emphasis on the title. Apparently Haruka had mentioned Minako’s irritation with formality.

“I wanted to meet the woman who won Haruka’s heart,” Minako said stretching out her hand. Michiru shook it. “By the way, it’s ‘Minako’ to Haruka, so it’s ‘Minako’ to you.”

“You honor me, princess.” The smile was still present.

“Cut it out,” Minako said, laughing. “I can see why you and Haruka are together, you both have the same sense of humor!”

“Thank you. We have plenty of opportunities to laugh, even though we have had to keep our relationship a secret. I just wish we could tell everyone and get married.” Michiru’s visage saddened slightly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring that up.”

“It’s all right. I plan to do something about that if I can get enough authority. You should be able to love who you want.” Minako said with conviction. Then, she leaned forward and hugged the young woman. When she received a questioning look, she replied: “That’s for making Haruka so happy.”

They talked and laughed, until Haruka came running in, out of breath.

“Minako, Hotaru’s in trouble! The Queen thinks Hotaru seduced you!” After the initial shock wore off, they all got up without question and left for the throne room.

Hotaru had been brought before the Queen. She was wearing one of the nightgowns Minako had given her. It was black and modest. Before the Queen, however, she felt completely unprotected underneath the seething gaze. The Queen walked right up to her and harshly smacked her. The small girl fell to the ground.

“How dare you touch my daughter!” The Queen yelled. “What did you do to her?”

“Nothing, your highness! I swear!” Hotaru declared. Her face stung, but she knew it could get much worse quickly. She kneeled to the ground. She wanted to appear as little of a threat as possible.

“Lies! The maid saw you in bed with my daughter! You seduced her, didn’t you?” She grabbed the girl’s black hair and made her violet eyes meet angry sapphires.

“No! I was just sharing the bed. I would never do that to her! I love her!” Hotaru knew as soon as she said that, she knew it was over. A look of horror crossed over the monarch’s face, immediately followed by disgust.

“Bring me my whip! I will make this filth beg for mercy!” The back of Hotaru’s nightgown was torn in half to expose her fair skin. She was shackled to a short pillar which forced her to kneel forward, leaving her back completely unprotected. There was a crack of a whip behind her. The Queen was going to do it herself! “Slave, why don’t you admit that you just wanted my daughter’s power and money?”

Before Hotaru could think, she blurted out: “No, I love her, because she’s kind and gentle.”

“How dare you! You little pervert!” Then, she felt a sharp lash across her back. She let out a whimper. “You know I might go easier on you if you’d just admit you don’t really love my daughter…” The Queen said, haughtily.

“I’ll never give up on her!” Another lash. Then, another. And another. The blows rained mercilessly upon her back. She felt droplets of blood flowing down her back.

When she thought it was unbearable, the door burst open. Minako stood there with Haruka and another woman.

Minako looked horrified. “Mother, stop! Leave Hotaru alone!”

The Queen looked shocked. “But she’s manipulated you. She’s warped your mind!”

“Mother, please! Don’t hurt her anymore!” The look in her mother’s eyes declared she was unreachable. As her mother drew back for another strike, Minako covered Hotaru’s smaller body with her own.

“Minako? What are you doing? This slave said she loves you! She needs to be shown how sick she is!”

Minako looked somewhat surprised. “Is it true, Hotaru?”

Hotaru groaned. She refused to meet Minako’s gaze. ‘I might as well tell her.’ “Yes, Minako. I love you more than anything. I’ve loved you since the first day we danced together in this very room. You are the most beautiful girl in the world and all that matters to me. I’m sorry if you feel sickened by this. I hope I can at least be by your side.” There was a painful silence, before Minako’s arms tightened around the younger girl.

“I love you, too, Hotaru.” Minako gently caressed the Hotaru’s ebony hair. Tears fell on her shoulder.

Their beautiful moment was ruined by a scream: “What!” The Queen’s rage reached new levels. “Minako! I thought you were better than this. You need to be straightened out.” She drew back with the whip and hit her daughter. She had expected her daughter to move out of the way. There was a red stripe on her daughter’s back as she clung to the slave girl. “Minako, move out of the way!”

“No mother! I won’t let you hurt Hotaru!” She was shaking, but her training with Master Huang had been more painful. Her conviction was unshakable.

The Queen’s voice was full of conflicting emotions. “Sorry daughter, but this is for your own good. It would never work out.” She almost sounded like a painful memory was rising to the surface. She drew back. “I can’t let you make the same mistakes I did.”

Before she could swing, Haruka stood between the girls and her Queen.

“What are you doing?” The Queen demanded.

“Protecting your daughter; that was one of your orders. I am sworn to protect the royal family, even from each other. Please stop, your highness!” Haruka was clutching her sword tightly, ready to defend the princess and her friend from further blows. She also kept an eye on the confused guards who waited for the Queen’s commands. They were not eager to face their Captain. Most of them had been trained by her.

The Queen started sobbing. “But I can’t…” She looked at the girls huddling together. Minako was whispering lovingly into the slave girl’s ear soothing her pain. Hotaru’s hands were holding onto the blonde’s arms. Even in this tragic moment, they appeared as a beautiful picture of love and devotion, holding to each other in their time of need.

The monarch felt stirrings within her. Memories long repressed burst forth. She saw an image of herself and another girl with long brown hair and green eyes playing in a garden. Another image brought a blush to her face: her first kiss. She was thirteen. It was in her room after a vigorous game of tag. They were splayed across the bed, exhausted. The brunette smiled at her. They had known each other for years. Their eyes met. A strange look appeared in those emerald eyes. She slowly leant forward and their lips met. The, then, princess had been temporarily confused, but realized the feelings she had been feeling. Their first kiss was immediately followed by the first make out session.

They started a secret relationship. They hid it successfully for three years. Until one day, a maid found them in a compromising situation in the bathroom. The love of her life had been exiled. The monarch had even tried to run away, but never made it past the gate. She had been strictly disciplined and her heart had hardened. She was forced to marry someone she did not love. She had destroyed the person the brunette had loved.

As her mind came back to the present, she looked at the instrument of torment in her hand. Tears continued to flow as she dropped it to the ground. “Terra, I’m so sorry. I’ve become someone you would be disappointed in.” She looked at Haruka who had sheathed her sword through tear-soaked eyes. The captain slowly embraced her and soothed her until the sobbing stopped.

Minako and Hotaru felt safe when they heard the silence. Minako leaned back to examine Hotaru’s back. Stripes criss-cross across the tender skin, but they were few in number. The blonde princess kept stroking her girlfriend’s hair and face affectionately. Through all the hurt, they both knew this was the most important moment of their lives. When they heard the whip drop and the apology to the unseen person, they both let out a sigh of relief.

“Guards, release Hotaru. She’s done nothing wrong and neither has my daughter.” Haruka hastily grabbed the keys and released Hotaru who instantly threw her arms around the princess’s neck and kissed her. Haruka had a huge grin on her face. The Queen had a small, but genuine smile on her face. “Love is not a crime. I will not let my parents dictate my rule. From now on, all in this kingdom may love who they choose! Maybe there will be some joyous weddings from this new proclamation.”

Haruka bowed in front of her Queen and spared a look at her girlfriend in the doorway. Michiru came to stand by her girlfriend and curtsied. “Your highness, if I may humbly request, perhaps Michiru and I could be the first of such marriages? We have been waiting so long…”

The monarch’s face lit up with mild surprise followed by a smile. “Gladly, Captain! I will make arrangements immediately. Now make haste and kiss her.” Haruka embraced Michiru, as they shared a passionate kiss, which spoke volumes of the freedom they now enjoyed. The Queen looked at her daughter and the slave girl. “Minako, she might need to breathe…” The two girls blushed profusely.

“Sorry, mother, but I’ve never been so in love before!” Minako said.

“That’s quite all right, Mina, but you need to learn some restraint.” The monarch said with some humor as she tried to ignore the captain and her girlfriend’s steamy kiss. Hotaru still looked uncomfortably at the floor. The Queen knelt next to her. “I owe you more than any apology for the pain I’ve caused you. I owe you the happiness you’ve brought my daughter. Nothing of more value has been brought inside my throne room since that day you arrived here. You arrived here a slave, but someday soon you will surely be a princess.” With these words, she pulled out a small knife and cut off the chocker around Hotaru’s neck. The dark-haired girl gasped in surprise. “You are free to stand by my daughter’s side. To love her and care for her.” She tenderly caressed Hotaru’s face. The icy blue eyes now held warmth in them. The girl slowly gave the Queen a hug.

“Thank you, mother. You don’t know how much this means to me…” Minako said as she gave her mother a hug.

“Yes, I do,” was the solemn reply. Minako took Hotaru by the hand and gave one last bow before leaving to heal Hotaru. The Queen watched them go, before turning to the ‘engaged’ couple. “Captain… Captain!”

Haruka jumped out of the kiss. “Yes, my Queen?”

“I have a request for you…”

A few days later, the day of the wedding had arrived. Haruka stood shuffling at the alter in full royal guard attire. Hotaru reached out a comforting hand to the anxious captain. The former slave had insisted on wearing a black dress to the wedding, but it wasn’t as dark without the chocker. Haruka settled down.

Then, the doors opened up and Haruka jumped. Minako came out wearing a lovely strapless, blue dress that sent chills up Hotaru’s spine. Minako took her place as Michiru’s bridesmaid. Then, the organ began a familiar tune. The sandy blonde looked eagerly to the door. She was not disappointed as her bride walked down the aisle. Their eyes met and smiles grew. They joined hands and stared lovingly into each other’s eyes. Minako and Hotaru’s eyes met and they shared a happy glance knowing someday they would be doing the same thing someday.

The vows were read by a priestess of Aphrodite. When the priestess got to the ‘I do’s,’ the doors swung open again. All in attendance looked at the intruder. She had brown hair and green eyes. No one knew who she was, except one.

“Terra!” The Queen of Venus yelled. She immediately lost all of her royal composure and ran toward her once lost love.

“Celeste!” The woman met her half-way. They embraced tearfully and shared a loving kiss. They turned to the stunned couple at the alter.

“Sorry, Captain, but there’s going to have to be another couple getting married now. I’ve been waiting longer than you have to get married to the one I love.” She gave Terra a content look, who smiled and embraced her again. They walked hand-in-hand to the alter. Haruka shrugged as if to say ‘the more the merrier.’ Michiru smiled.

Minako could barely contain herself at seeing the look of absolute joy on her mother’s face. Hotaru was smiling and clinging to her love’s arm as if she’d never let go. The Queen pointed out her daughter and Hotaru to Terra, who gasped in amazement. Then, the brunette whispered something back, which made her love blush. The priestess loudly coughed calling attention to the unfinished ceremony. Before they could continue the vows, Haruka handed the Queen a pair of rings. With all needs met, the ceremony began anew.

A few days after the most famous wedding in the kingdom, the princess and her girlfriend sat in the garden looking up at the clouds. Their hands were joined, smiles present on their faces. Minako’s was wide and somewhat goofy. Hotaru’s was small, but fully displaying her true feelings of happiness. After a minute of silence, Minako couldn’t contain herself any longer and rolled on her side to look at the dark-haired girl. “What are you thinking about?”

“You,” was the immediate reply. The princess blushed mildly. Hotaru let out a giggle. “and how I never thought I could be so happy and in love.” Minako leaned in for a brief kiss, before laying her head on Hotaru’s shoulder.

“Well, it’s real, so don’t space out on me too long…” Minako finished with a gentle poke to her girlfriend’s stomach. Another giggle from Hotaru.

“I’m not the only one to space out. You keep staring at me during lessons.” Hotaru’s face reddened at the flustered look on their teacher’s face.

“I can’t help it; you’re just so beautiful! And you’re all mine!” Hotaru blushed fiercely as Minako leaned her head to look into lavender eyes. The former slave had never imagined that possessiveness would make her heart flutter.

“Minako… I love you.” She was lost in a world of blue as Minako leaned over her. She leaned up and kissed her again.

Breathlessly, Minako replied: “I love you, Hotaru.” This time Minako initiated the kiss. It was longer, but just as loving. Hotaru’s arms went around the princess’s neck and hands weaved through golden strands.

“You really have no self-control, princess.” Minako’s eye twitched with mild irritation. She sat on top of Hotaru and began to tickle her mercilessly.

“I have no self-control? You were the one who started it by kissing me!” She stopped when Hotaru begged for air. The blond leant down and applied another kiss. “Okay, I can’t help it! But that makes me think of another issue…”

“What?” Hotaru looked confused. ‘What could she be thinking of at a time like this?’

“What is your title going to be when we get married?” Minako put on a contemplative frown.

Hotaru waited a second before replying: “Yours.”

“Really sweet, but…how about royal snuggle bunny?” Minako said with a giggle.

“Cute, but it doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m with you…” Hotaru tackled her love with a smile and began to get her revenge. Laughter filled the garden. Life had never been better, for either of them. But they had a lifetime to enjoy together.

The End

To all those who reviewed this story: You rock! Thank you for all the reviews!

First major note: I was just going to make the Queen evil without much of a reason, but I decided she deserved a little more back story and happiness. (I’m a sucker for happy endings, can’t you tell?) I thought that maybe she’d had some sort of experience with the forbidden love thing and didn’t want her daughter to go through the same pain.

Second note: What ever happened to Minako’s older sister? I seriously forgot about her! If anyone truly misses her, raise your hand! …Nevermind…

Third note: Yes, I know it’s sappy and romantic, but that’s just me…

I’m so ecstatic! Euphoric even! This is the first multi-chaptered story I’ve ever completed and the first shoujo-ai story idea I had. Words cannot express the feeling of completeness I feel now. (I’m almost moved to tears!) I feel a little sad, but I know that there are people out there who want to see this chapter. I’m sorry it had to be the end.

As always, I’m around if someone wants to borrow from this work. I’m really nice. I may have rules, but it’s just so I know that my story ideas and situations are in good hands. Please feel free to contact me! I love the attention.

God bless! Read and Review! Thank you!

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