The Gundams arrived just two days later, and with them the tide was easily turned. Maiko was defeated splendidly, and all the Mobile Dolls were once more destroyed. It was only in the hours immediately following the victory that it all came tumbling down, however.
It all started when Mamoru killed Duo. Shinigami was, however, quickly followed by his killer and his killer's wife; the Sailor Senshi saw to that. He was almost followed by his koibito as well, but Hotaru stopped her before she could use Duo's gun on herself. She did have someone else to live for, after all.
Usagi was a broken copy of her former self, a sleepwalker in her waking hours and prone to nightmares during the others. She started off in Setsuna's care, then Quatre's after Setsuna and Wufei were married, then Hotaru's after the Death Senshi and the Perfect Soldier moved in together, all in the space of six months. When hers and Duo's daughter was born, she named her, smiled sadly at her, and then returned to the dream world that had become her home now.
But slowly the little girl drew her back out; she was like her father in that way; though Usagi was never again what she once was. Her heart was broken, and she didn't mind showing it. It was obvious to anyone who cared to look.
It was when Trinity (because that's what she named the little girl, Trinity Maxwell) was three, that disaster struck again, this time in the form of a youma, probably left over from a resurrected army, one that had somehow survived the battle. It attacked Usagi and Trinity when they were alone, and she did something she hadn't done since the battle against Maiko - she transformed, after which she thoroughly defeated the monster and died. Her body, tortured by a broken heart and little will left to live, had barely survived the transformation; protecting her daughter by using her own body as a shield and using a Senshi attack to destroy the youma had merely finished the job.
Hotaru and Heero found found Trinity kneeling beside her mother's body, but she wasn't crying. She was her father's daughter, and she wouldn't cry.
And then two years later. . .
~ * ~ * ~
Usagi woke up in a cold sweat, screaming until her throat hurt.  She bolted out of bed, trying to place where exactly she was and how she came to be there. Oh yeah, we're at Quatre's place. All of us, even. . .
Determined to her purpose, she threw off the remaining sheets and rushed to the door. She paused for a moment there in the doorway, trying to get a sense of where she needed to go. Quatre's house was just too big. Once she had it, she took off in that direction, running to make better time.
Perhaps it was sheer luck when she turned a corner and ran into Heero - literally. She didn't slow down for long, though; she didn't even apologize before she was rushing on again.
And there he was, her target. She went right up to him, put her hand on his shoulder. . .
And buried her fist in his gut, following it quickly with a sharp uppercut. Mamoru first doubled over then snapped back, his back colliding with the sharp edge of the counter. His knees wobbled, he tasted blood in his mouth from where he'd bitten his lip when she hit him, and he slumped down closer to Usagi's height.
Opening his eyes, even through the pain, Mamoru found himself looking down the barrel of the same gun again, but this time there was a different set of hard blue eyes on the other end of it. Usagi held Heero's gun in very steady hands; the gun's owner stood in the doorway.
Around the pain, he still managed to say. "Usako, why are you doing this?" She was silent. "Usako?"
She grabbed the foot of his shirt and pulled him the rest of the way down to her level and all but shoved the gun up his nose. When she spoke, her voice was low and way too calm. "If you ever, in any way, hurt Duo, I'll kill you," she promised darkly. "Got it, Mamoru?"
"Of course, Princess," he sneered.
With a sigh, she released him and gave him a little push in the direction of the outside door. "Get out of here, Mamoru."
As soon as he was out of the room, a hand closed over hers and extricated the gun from her fingers. She at least had the good grace to look embarrassed as Heero returned to his gun to its former hiding place.  "Ano. . . Heero-kun. . ."
"Next time you want to threaten Mamoru with my gun, Usagi-san, -"
"Gomen ne, Hee-"
"- take the safety off," he continued as if she'd never interrupted.
She thought about it a moment and laughed. "Okay, Heero-kun. But what's the safety?"
6 January 2001
Yay! Another Act done! *prances happily around computer* Anyway, humor aside, did you enjoy the story? Much more fun is on the way and don't forget: the Gundams will be arriving any day now...
 Was that not the best feint-out since The Princess Bride? Did you really think I'd kill off Duo and Usagi so easily though? Hells, no! Anyway. . . Thank you, S. Morgenstern and William Goldman! By the way, blame this one on Lady Kat for getting me back thinking about my favorite book!
 A.K.A. spandex space. *giggles* *drools* *gets shot at for attempting to inspect spandex space*