Chapter Nine
by Apollymi 

Series: GundamW, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count: 2,865
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea.

"...the world's ending and beginning anew with a wish..."

It had been hours since Usagi had said those words, and they were still stuck in his head. Had Relena known about this when she sent Usagi with them? He was inclined to think that she hadn't known, but he was fairly certain that she had suspected. Maybe she hadn't known that it might have happened before, but that it could happen? That he would place bets on, if he were a betting man.

He didn't want to think that of Relena, but he had his suspicions. She had said something to him along those lines, if nothing else: that she feared what could happen if someone made the wrong wish around Usagi. She hadn't trusted herself to not be that person, but she had trusted him and Duo on the regard. That, at least, he could make sense of: they weren't the types to try to wish something into existence, not when it could be done themselves with a bit of effort.

Usagi had finally gone back to sleep after a few hours of talking about everything that was utterly unimportant and even a while of the television playing quietly in the background, but it didn't seem as though she was sleeping easily this time. She had wrapped herself around Duo, currently the only one on the bed with her, and had tangled a hand in his braid with a death grip. Perhaps even more disturbing was the fact that she was laying completely still and silent, barring breathing and the occasional whimper.

Whatever she was dreaming of was not pleasant.

Duo had lain down on the bed next to her a few hours ago, and he had barely moved. Unlike Usagi, though, he was still awake. He was just as quiet, though, and maybe even more so. He had an arm around Usagi and was holding her tightly against him.

He could still feel himself holding a dream version of Usagi in a time that was still yet to come in a place he did not yet know. He knew how she tasted after she cried... and she hadn't even had the chance to cry yet.

Honestly, this was all getting to be a bit too much for him. The tenses of verbs alone were too confusing to bear serious thought. There were too many things that he felt like he had already done that weren't even close to happening yet.

Well, he assumed they weren't close to happening yet. He really didn't know. Part of him was living in terror of the morning Usagi pulled that dress out of her bag to wear. Hell, part of him was tempted to burn the damned thing before she could. The rest of him had this sinking suspicion, like a weight in his stomach, that doing something like that would do absolutely nothing to change what was still to come. If he burned that dress, either she would get another just like it or the dreams would change enough to have her wear something else.

At least if she still had that dress, the day she put it on, he would know to be on alert. It might give him the extra warning he would need to make certain that no one touched Duo. It was only a matter of time after all. It wasn't like the bag Usagi had brought along from Relena's was that large. Sooner or later, she would get to that dress, and it would be that day.

"You're thinking awfully hard about something," Duo whispered barely loud enough for him to hear the words spoken. "Care to share?"

He stayed silent for another long moment before shrugging slightly. "Thinking about what Usagi said. About the world ending and restarting with a wish."

"You think someone made a wish that destroyed the world where..." he broke off, wincing, "...when, I mean, and I'm never going to get used to that--when she came from?"

He shrugged again, leaning back against the small dresser that stood across from the bed, near the bathroom door. The floor wasn't too comfortable, only slightly better than sitting on bare concrete, but he wasn't sure he was ready to come up on the bed until he had all of this sorted out in his own mind.

Besides, it wasn't like he was too far away: the room was small enough that his feet and knees were almost pressed up against the side of the bed. The bed itself was just low enough that he had a clear view across it to see the door and the small window next to it. The room was tiny, yes, but it could be made defendable in a pinch.

And he hadn't thought of stuff like that in a while, not consciously at least. He might occasionally still find himself sizing up exits to a room, especially when he was uncomfortable or nervous, but consciously? It had been quite a while. This whole thing had him more on edge than he had realized.

"Our records from that time, from when Usagi's from, are so limited that it's really hard to know anything," he answered slowly.

Duo nodded. "I remember that bit of history class. Remember? When we were stationed out of that one school?" If it had been most anyone else, he would have waited for something more specific. With Duo, though, he knew exactly which school the other meant, and so he nodded his understanding. "Something big happened in Tokyo around the end of the twentieth century. The space station reported seeing some kind of pink dome over that area of Japan, and when the dome finally faded and people were able to get in again, over half the city's population was gone."

"Most of the ones declared missing were in their teens and twenties, and no one could explain it," he added. "I remember."

"That's the time Usagi would be from. The time and the place." He nodded, even though it seemed as thought Duo was mostly just thinking out loud. "No one ever found a trace of any of them. Do you suppose more of those missing people are here now?"

"Maybe," he prevaricated. "One person can be kept a secret, but that many? I doubt it." He refused to wince at the harsh tone of his voice, even at a whisper. Duo knew him well enough by now to not take offense.

"True" was all that Duo replied. He was silent for a long moment, clearly wrestling over something, before he finally came to a decision to say whatever it was. "I heard a story once. I mean, it was a kid's story, but it was from that time. I don't know."

"Tell me." He tried not to make it sound like an order, but on that front, he had a feeling he failed miserably. That was not something he was going to worry about. There probably wasn't a lot of value to the story anyway, if it was just some kid's fairy tale.

"It went something like this: there were these warriors, a group of about nine or ten of them, all of them women. They were led by--of course--their princess in a fight against evil. Day after day, night after night, and year after year, they supposedly fought the forces of darkness, until one day they met an evil they couldn't defeat. One by one, the warriors fell until only the princess remained. The way I heard it, no one knows what happened after that, but the princess was never seen or heard from again."

He found himself raising a skeptic eyebrow. "And this is from the twentieth century?"

"As I heard it, yeah, it is. Supposedly they were inside Tokyo fighting when the dome went up, and when it came back down, none of them could be found again."

It smacked of a story made up to explain the mass disappearances, at least to him, but at the same time... Could it have actually had something to do with whatever it was that had happened way back then? Usagi said she remembered fighting and strange friends and magic. The wings bit he was less certain on, but what she had said a few hours ago did sort of tally with Duo's story.

"I don't know enough about the time period to be sure," he finally admitted. "It never seemed an important period of time to be heavily knowledgeable on." He sighed, adjusting slightly where he sat on the hard floor. "Do you know anything else about that story?"

Duo shook his head sadly. "I never bothered looking into it. I just always kind of assumed it was a story meant to reassure little kids." A puzzled look must have crossed over his face because the American then continued, "The idea is that the princess of the warriors is still out there and still fighting to keep the worlds safe. If no one knows for certain she's dead, then by story logic, she has to be alive and still doing whatever it was she was doing before: defending humanity from evil."

"Do you think there's any truth to it?" He couldn't believe that he had actually just asked that question. What the hell was wrong with him? Why was he believing a word of this?

Because he had been seeing some very strange things over the last few weeks. A children's story about magical warrior women was pretty far down on the list of weirdness. Even if it turned out to be in the slightest bit true, he could handle it better than the possibility of losing Duo. He could definitely handle it better than the mere idea of time travel.

"If you had asked me that a week or two ago, I would have said 'hell no,'" Duo admitted slowly, carefully, his voice still quiet to avoid waking Usagi, "but now? I don't know. There is a possibility, I guess. I mean, we have Usagi here, and she's real and from that same time period. Who's to say that Sailor Moon wasn't real too?"

"Sailor Moon?" Now why did that sound faintly familiar? He couldn't imagine where he had heard it before, but it did ping something in the back of his mind.

"In the story, the princess, Serenity, fought under the name Sailor Moon. Supposedly all the warriors had--I don't know--codenames taken from the planets. That's how stories go, you know?"

He wasn't overly familiar with the concept of kids' stories, but he nodded anyway. "Yeah," he replied.

"You have no idea, do you?" Duo sounded amused. In response, he offered a vague shrug, neither confirming nor denying anything on the subject. "Come back to bed, Heero. We'll get it all sorted out in the morning. There really isn't anything else we can do tonight."

There was plenty he could do tonight, he wanted to object. His laptop was in his bag nearest to the door. He could at least start looking up information on this Sailor Moon person. As far as he was concerned, it would be a waste of time, but it was a chance for him to feel somewhat useful.

But there would be the entire car ride to wherever they were going next for him to work on that, at least the portions where Duo actually let him drive. To be fair, maybe doing all this driving was Duo's way of feeling useful. That was stupid, though: Duo had been doing plenty of useful things since this whole thing started. He probably never would have pursued the idea of coming after Usagi if Duo hadn't pushed him, and Duo was able to talk to both of them, and... and...

But all of this was just him making excuses. He wasn't quite ready to admit that, between the dream and Usagi's words and even this fairy story, he was a bit... uncomfortable. This was all getting to be a bit overwhelming...

And wasn't that a pretty major understatement? He was well past overwhelmed. He was almost to the point of just throwing up his hands in despair, of sitting in a corner somewhere and waiting for all of this to pass. He couldn't and wouldn't do that to Duo or Usagi, though, no matter how far out of his fairly normal, structured life things ended up getting. He would not do that to either of them.

All that aside, it didn't mean that he was feeling comfortable with the situation as it stood at the moment. Usagi was starting to get her memories back, even if it was very slowly. He was oddly all right with that. Oh, he wanted her to get her memories back... That is, if that was also what she wanted. He knew better than most that sometimes not remembering was a blessing that, once gone, could never be taken for granted again.

If she wanted to remember, then he--and Duo too, no doubt--would do what they could, do everything in their respective powers, to make sure that was what happened. But if she didn't want to remember, he didn't know what they were going to do. The memories would come back if she wanted them to or not.

"I would like to look up some stuff, see what I can find on that Sailor Moon person you mentioned," he finally decided.

Duo rolled his eyes, even as he chuckled. "I don't suppose I can persuade you to let it rest until tomorrow?" He glanced at the clock and winced hard. "Or rather a brighter part of today?"

He followed Duo's gaze and had to resist a wince himself. The time was well after midnight. In fact, it was rapidly getting towards a time he would find himself more likely to call a time to get out of bed instead of into it. They weren't going to be good for much of anything tomorrow.

Oh, they had both gone into battle on a whole lot less sleep than this. They had both piloted their Gundams on a hell of a lot less sleep than this. But that was then and this was now. This was trying to drive in a car, with other people on the road who took a less than cautious approach to heavy traffic and with police officers who could pull them over if either's driving became erratic from the lack of sleep.

Besides, that had been two years ago. A lot had changed since then. They had changed a lot since then.

"All right," he finally agreed. There would be time tomorrow--later today--after all. There wasn't a lot of sense in pushing himself on what might yet prove to be a fruitless lead tonight, not when he could work on it during the downtime in the car.

Slowly he pushed himself to his feet and crossed the half step to the bed. He hesitated for a brief moment before sinking down to sit on Duo's free side, closer to the middle of the bed than where he normally would have chosen: the far edge of the bed, closest to the door. Slowly but surely, they were making changes on his habits. This one was one that he would not mind seeing go.

Duo glanced over at the light switch. A moment later, it switched itself off. Well, that was a handy, if slightly frivolous, use of his new abilities. Maybe it helped keep him in practice, moving increasingly smaller things?

"Maybe we should plan to stay here tonight?" Duo opined in the near total darkness of the room. Even though he wasn't speaking any louder than he had been before and certainly no louder than a whisper to keep from waking up Usagi, his voice seemed a lot closer and more intimate here in the dark. He found himself closing his eyes to take it in. "So that we aren't pushing ourselves too hard tomorrow?"

"All right," he agreed in turn. "I can get my research in then."

Duo dropped a kiss on the top of his head even as he yawned and then chuckled softly. He could more feel it through the bed than hear it out loud. "Only you would want to research Sailor Moon over staying in bed all day."

He snorted slightly and didn't even bother trying to deny it. It was the truth, after all. There was no changing that.

It was of no surprise to him that Duo dropped off to sleep almost immediately. He had to be worn out from all the driving, not to mention the emotional conversation earlier. Even as he started to go to sleep himself, he could faintly make out Usagi's voice quietly talking in her sleep. The words were in their shared native language, which made sense if she was talking in her sleep. Talking in her sleep or not, his tired mind did take the time to note the words being said, if he needed to ask about them later:

"Ai to Seigi no..." A long pause. "Sera fuku bishoujo senshi..."

11 July 2012

I've been forgetting to upload this. Bad author, bad.

My beta reader and I have made a bet regarding Belladonna: for every 100 hits, you guys help me get to here on FFnet, I get to have either ice cream, a milkshake, or a smoothie. So help me out and let's see what we can do.

(There was even some discussion of something extra nice per every 10 reviews. This is relevant to my interests.)


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