Title: Forms of Love
The fabric of scrubs brushed against the wooden railing. Each step added twenty pounds of weight to his feet. Worn hands roughly massaged sagging shoulders. Ascending the flight of stairs rivaled a mission of Hercules. The familiar site of the bold 224 numbers eased the collective ache. Slipping the key into the lock, the turning bond granted the young man access to an oasis, void of syringes, cadavers, and sleepless nights. The entryway severed once more, a bakery fragrance wrapped around his senses. A distant memory of gentle humming and oven doors was bittersweet. Advancing to the small apartment kitchen, his eyes rested on her apron, mittens, and iconic hairstyle. Removing the grey sheet from the oven and placing it on the counter top, cerulean eye met his own with a small smile.
"Welcome home, Mamo-chan."
"Thank you, Usako. Cooking something?"
"Yes, but I'd rather it be a surrpise. Would you mind freshening up while I finish up in here?"
"Okay; sounds like a good idea at the moment."
Before stripping away the worries and responsibilities of internship, his eyes gazed over the scene. Years of practice minimized the amount of mess covering the appliances. Bleeding yolks were absent, as were the small snow piles of sugar, and blotches of loose flour. The dingy stretch surrounding his person tore his mind away from the domestic scene. Retreating to the bathroom, the young man slid the fabric from his body, and embraced the warm, aqua comfort. Drying the Neptunian waters from his person, Mamoru searched through various dresser drawers, until a navy blue pajama set was in his hands. The young intern clothed himself and disposed of the foul uniform into a green hamper. The white, leather couch caught his worn body, as his eyes closed and absorbed the tasty scent filling the apartment. A gentle pair of lips stole his wandering mind, weaving his fingers into the lose areas below her bun. Although his body desired for her soft touch, his stomach demanded nourishment. Her present, arranged in the shape of a rabbit's head, displayed years of effort. Only a slim, very dark brown circle lined the bottom of the treats, while the rest of the cookies were a pleasant golden brown.
"What kind are these?"
"Simple sugar cookies. I figured if I can master the basics, then I can move onto harder recipes."
Such a sentence reminded him of her maturity over their relationship. Her unstable emotions had considerably calmed, and she listened more closely to the advice of her friends and family. She still kept her love for stuffed animals and cute accessories, but these traits constructed the woman he loved. Her childish innocence was a precious thing he would not trade for all the world's wealth, and would aid in their future daughter's development.
Hoping to quell the wrestling of his empty digestive system, Mamoru lifted the circular, center cookie from the plate. Nervous eyes awaited the verdict. The chewed mass descended his throat without a word or motion of distress. Turning his head towards her's, sapphire eyes opened and a broad smile crept across his face.
"The best so far, Usako. I'm very proud of you."
Fragile, but strong fingers interlaced, as a wave of relief washed over her. "Thank you...I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to make a good cookie. I failed so many times. The girls always teased me, saying you must have had an iron stomach."
Bold hands cupped each tender cheek. "It wasn't the taste that matter; it was the love you put into every single batch. I don't care how burnt they were; I could taste the time and energy you put into every cookie, and how you tired to express your love for me through your creations. I'm grateful every time you make something for me, no matter what it is. I just wish sometimes I could make something nice for you."
A little hand rested against his own. "Mamo-chan...you've saved my life countless times, and made me one of the happiest women in the world. Just being with you is enough of a gift. But, I know of a way you always show your love and concern for me."
"And what would that be?"
A quick smile crossed her lips, as she leaned her body back onto the leather, bringing his protective form over her. It took a moment, then her silent response was understood. "Is this enough?"
"Yes, for I would never want another's hands on my body. You know my body perfectly, and how to make me feel like a true princess."
A shared smile became a shared kiss. The last remains of stress melted from his person, as the Moon's goddess worked her healing magic over the Earth's prince in an art form known as love.