Setsuna sighed in frustration. "Princess, I'm begging you: stand still."
"You might stick me."
"I might if you don't stand still." With yet another sigh, wondering why she'd felt the need to disrupt the timeline in this way, the Senshi no Pluto switched on the radio, in the hopes that a little music might calm Usagi down. She wasn't prepared for the way the girl stiffened and froze. "Usagi-chan, daijoubu ka?"
"That voice," she whispered.
Dread beginning to make her blood freeze, Setsuna turned her attention to the music. It was a pop song by an apparently popular artist. It was constantly being played, even at the clothing shop where she'd managed to get work. For a surreal moment, she just listened, then the DJ came back on, saying, "And that was the newest song by Aiko called 'Hoshi no Ai.' We'll be - -"
"She's calling herself something different," Usagi whimpered, "but I know that voice. She finally became an idol."
"Minako?" But it did make an odd sort of sense. Aino Minako, Aiko. The young blonde's dream of becoming an idol. And Sailor Senshi were practically immortal after all. It could be that Aiko was the Senshi of Venus, that they hadn't heard the last of the Inner Senshi. "It could be," she mused aloud. A suspicious hitching sound drew her attention back to Usagi. "Usagi-chan?"
She was standing stock still, tears streaming down her face. Then suddenly she took off running, through the door of their apartment, not even bothering with shoes, and down the stairway, a long braided stream of hair and clear sparkles of tears flying behind her.
"Usagi-chan!" Setsuna called, following her. Once she reached the street, though, she'd lost sight of her protectorate. "Usagi-chan!"
~ * ~ * ~
Usagi lay on her bed, almost half-asleep. At her side, Luna was out, purring lightly in her sleep. Then the telephone rang.
"Moshi, moshi," Usagi sleepily greeted.
"Mamo-chan? Why are you calling so late?"
"I have to talk to you. Can you meet me at Tokyo Tower in thirty minutes?"
"Umm. . . sure. Mamo-chan --" There was a click then the dial tone. He'd hung up on her. She got dressed quickly and quietly, whispered to Luna where she was going, and left.
Something told her this was urgent, and she ran as she never had before, to see Mamoru and Hino Rei standing side by side, the rest of the Inner Senshi behind them, all of them apparently waiting for her. And somehow that seemed so wrong, but she forced a smile on her face. "What's going on, minna?"
Mamoru and Rei exchanged a loaded look, then he spoke. "We need to talk, Usako."
"I don't love you, Usako." Shock immobilized her; she couldn't even speak in her own defense. "I never have. I love Rei. We're getting married soon."
She shook her head sharply. "You lied to me?"
He shrugged nonchalantly. "Why not? It kept you busy and out of our way."
She couldn't stop her hand from flying. "You bastard!"
He barely flinched at her blow then almost casually hit her back. "I don't care what you think, Usako," he stated bluntly, looking down at her, where his blow had knocked her to the ground.
"Rei-chan will make a better queen for Crystal Tokyo than you ever would have, Usagi," Minako stated.
Her eyes turned to the other three Senshi. "You knew about all this?"
"Of course," Ami stated plainly. "We've known from the beginning that Mamoru-san never gave Rei-chan up for you."
"We only protected you because you were the Princess," added Makoto.
"My only regret," Mamoru continued with a trace of sadness in his voice, "is that ChibiUsa-chan won't be born."
"There will be someone else," Rei stated, speaking for the first time since Usagi arrived. A snicker rose from the other Senshi, and she glared back at them.
With a outward calmness she hadn't thought possible from herself, Usagi stood and stared at her former friends. "Why did you  decide to tell me now?"
Rei's glare dropped, and a brilliant smile grew on her face. "Because I'm going to have a baby! Isn't it great, Usagi?"
That was all she could take; she took off running.
~ * ~ * ~
The phone rang once, and Duo, who happened to be sitting next to it, absentmindedly picked it up. "Moshi, moshi."
"Is she there?" an unfamiliar frantic woman's voice all but shrieked in his ear.
He held the phone back, wincing. "Is who here?"
"Usagi, of course!"
Alarm shot through him, but he made sure his voice was calm as he spoke. "You're Usagi's guardian?"
"She heard about one of her - one of those people from Tokyo she thought were her friends - and it upset her so badly that she ran away. I was hoping she'd come to you, but she's not there, is she?"
"No, but I'll help you find her."
"*We'll* help you find her," Quatre interrupted, walking into the living room where Duo still sat, the other cordless phone in hand.
"Doomo. Can you meet me here in ten minutes? At the apartment?"
"We'll be there."
~ * ~ * ~
Usagi curled into a tighter ball as she tried to ignore the wetness on her cheeks and the way her eyes burned. She wasn't entirely certain where she was, but she knew it was quiet and secluded and safe.
Shaking with each breath she took, her thoughts started to drift back to the reason she'd run before she savagely yanked them back. She felt bad for leaving Setsuna like that; she'd have to go back and apologize. This certainly had *not* been Setsuna's fault, and she did not want to lose one of the few friends she had here.
That started a new wave of crying. And in the midst of all those tears, she barely whispered a single word: "Duo. . ."
~ * ~ * ~
Small pale bare feet stopped in a doorway, and their owner stared in silence for a moment at the room's two occupants as they lay cuddled on the couch. She sneered at them internally, the blank expression on her face never changing, and then turned her back on them. They were the cause of all this trouble, after all.
She silently padded down the hall and out the door, going to a nearby park where she knew she could find the two people she needed, the two people who would help her in her quest.
And there they were: sitting quietly side-by-side on a bench. Neither of them looked up at her until she stood directly before them. Both's eyes were tired and bloodshot, too many nights awake worrying and looking for their missing comrades.
She spoke plainly, without preamble. "Usagi needs us."
The taller one of her guardians surged to her feet with more energy than she'd shown in a long time. "You've found her?!? Where is she? Is she close?"
"Is she hurt? Why does she need us?" asked the other.
"I have found her. She is far from here, and it will take me some time to figure out how to get us there. She ran far and fast from the Inner Senshi. She is not hurt physically, yet, but she's hurting on the inside in a way I cannot heal."
"What do you mean 'yet'?" demanded the first guardian.
"I fear an enemy is approaching them, a very deadly one." She turned to walk away then looked back over her shoulder at the pair. "I'll find a way to get us to her. Just give me time."
~~End Act Three~~
23 October 2000
Another Act done! Yay!
 Sometimes I almost wish I wrote in romanji. If I did, Usagi would not have used "anata" (as she usually does) here; it would probably be "kimi" or maybe even "omae". I think she's pissed enough.
And speaking of pissed, I am. If I ever get another review like I got (on Sailor Moon Crossover Archive) for this ficcie, I may quit writing on the Internet, period, forever. If you want a copy of this review to see what I mean, e-mail me. Believe me, I'll mail it to you in a heartbeat.
And everyone should thank Jade-chan and Amber-chan for calming me down while I was writing this (thanks to that review). Otherwise, worse things would have happened to Usagi-chan.