Chapter Nineteen
by Apollymi

Series: Gundam Wing, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count:: 2,365
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea.

It just wasn't possible. She just couldn't make sense of how something like this could have happened. It just didn't make any kind of sense.

The old man--and she wasn't going to put more thought into him right because, yeah--was still staring at her in open shock, like he had just seen a ghost or something. That was more than she could handle right now. Instead, she glanced over her shoulder to the woman with the long raven black hair. The other woman lay on the ground breathing shallowly. If she hadn't been watching the woman breathe carefully in and out, Usagi wouldn't thought she was actually alive.

"How are you here?" the old man demanded. "It's not possible."

"I would say it's impossible for you to be here too, you know. I mean, what year is it?" she countered immediately.

The old man lurched unsteadily to his feet. Once he was there, though, he was surprisingly quick on his feet, grabbing hold of her arm tightly and giving it a strong shake she would have likewise thought impossible. "Are you who I think you are?" he persisted. When she was silent, he shook her again, harder this time. "Answer me!"

"Stop it, Mamo-chan! You're hurting me!" slipped out completely unintentionally. She certainly hadn't been planning on acknowledging that fact, at least to herself, for a while yet.

How could her supposedly destined boyfriend still be here and alive now? It just didn't make any sense. Except...

There was when he had been injured--killed--by the Dark Kingdom and she awoke as Princess Serenity to heal him. She remembered Luna talking about part of the Ginzuishou lodging in Tuxedo Kamen... Endymion... Mamo-chan, bringing him back to life. Of course it had been in time for him to be kidnapped by said Dark Kingdom and brainwashed into becoming one of them. But what if that tiny piece of the Ginzuishou had still been in him?

Even she had to admit that she had no idea what the Ginzuishou was capable of doing. She knew it could save the planet or destroy it, but beyond that? She was completely without a clue. It seemed like it could be possible for it to have kept him alive all these years.

Apparently he had moved on from her, if his so-called wife behind her and his son outside the door was any indication. So much for destiny, then. It looked as though they had all left it firmly behind them-and it was probably for the best.

The old man... No, Mamo-chan... No, Mamoru sat back down in his chair heavily, like the weight of the world was suddenly on his shoulders. "You disappeared a very long time ago, Usako. How can you possibly be there and still be so... young?"

She shook her head slowly. "I have no idea. I don't remember much after the Senshi died. There was Galaxia and then... And then there was nothing until I woke up here."

But that was no longer strictly true any longer. She was starting to get flashes of the final few minutes of the fight. She remembered Chibi Chibi and the sword that was the last good remnants of her soul. She remembered being Princess Serenity, wings flashing out from her back to stop an uncontrolled descent. She remembered Galaxia crashing into the ground and then staring up her with eyes filled with more hatred than she had ever seen in a human being before. She remembered everything about Galaxia changing, and she remembered Galaxia taking the Sailor Starlights' Star Seeds. She remembered struggling through the battle with a Chaos-infused Galaxia and her own sword shattering.

The last thing she remembered clearly was holding Chibi Chibi's body to her own briefly and weeping bitter tears at causing the child Senshi's descruction with her own unwillingness to fight.

No, she remembered one more thing. She remembered her own determination that no one else she loved was going to die, not if she had any say in the matter whatsoever. She also recalled thinking that the fate of the world was never again going to depend on one person. No one should hold the fate of the planet in their hands, as she had, and nearly cause the destruction of everything, also as she had.

She was fairly certain she had managed to reach Galaxia, free her from Chaos' stranglehold on the Senshi's body and soul. If that was the case, then she had won her battle, but at a terrible price: all her friends and pseudo-family, including the Starlights. But here was Mamoru, and Galaxia had taunted her with his death early on. How was it possible? It just didn't make any sense.

"How are you here, Usako?"

"I. Don't. Know," she repeated herself, enunciating each word very carefully. "The last thing I remember in Tokyo was being completely alone."

Unconsciously, her hand hovered over the locket containing the Ginzuishou. That was the only thing that made sense once again: the Ginzuishou must have responded to her heart, to not let her be alone again.

"We came back," he whispered. "We all came back from the dead, but you were gone. We thought you and Galaxia surely must have destroyed one another or something. We mourned you, Usagi. We mourned you for years. Without you, there were no more Sailor Senshi."

She shook her head. "I fought, and I think I was responsible for what happened to Chibi Chibi, and I was alone. I lost everything to the arrogant thinking that one person can change everything by not fighting. You were all dead. I'm... I'm not that strong, Mamoru."

"But we came back, and you weren't there. You couldn't have waited."

"I waited. I waited for hours after Galaxia left with the other Star Seeds. I waited alone and cold and broken in a place with absolutely no sign on life. Don't say I didn't wait. But I'm not strong enough to go on without the people I love. I cannot do that, Mamoru."

He nodded briefly. "You always did fight your hardest when it was someone you loved at stake. It's been so long that I had forgotten that about you, Usako. And here I had been thinking it was my curse to never forget anything about those times. I guess I did forget something after all."

And speaking of the people she loved... She drew herself up to her full, if unimpressive, height. "I did what you asked, Mamoru. I brought back your wife. Will you let us go now?"

He turned a speculative look on her, glancing her over completely from head to toe. When he spoke this time, his voice was as cold and distant as it had been when she first walked into this room. "I suppose that depends on my wife. I was fully expecting you to be another fake, to be wiped out. Since you've managed to do what no one else has been capable of, I suppose I should leave it up to her. Darling?"

The woman on the floor stirred slightly before slowly sitting up. Just looking at her from the back, she looked tired and pale. That didn't seem to be stopping her, though. She grabbed at a blanket laying over a nearby couch, wrapping around herself like a toga, then stopped, staring down at her hand, turning it over and over in examination. Frankly, Usagi didn't see anything out of the ordinary. It looked like a perfectly normal hand to her, personally.

"Mamoru, what did you do?" And that voice was familiar too. Of course. It made sense. If she had been gone when they came back to life and Mamo-chan--no, Mamoru--had moved on without her, it wouldn't surprise her at all that it had been with Rei-chan. Well, that certainly explained why their son was a firestarter; he had to have inherited that from Rei. Of course, Rei looked older now. If anything, she looked like she was in her mid- to late-twenties, approximately the same age as her son. "What did you do, Mamoru?" She whirled to face him, completely ignoring Usagi if she even saw her at all; all her attention was focused on the old man. Before she continued berating him, she took a good look at him and gasped. "You've gotten so old, Mamoru."

"It's been a very long time, Rei," he admitted. "But you're back now so it's good. I'm glad to see you again."

"How did you do this?" The demand was more of a question now than anything else.

Idly, Usagi had to wonder if she could slip out of here without anyone being any the wiser, now that the attention was completely off of her again. It seemed feasible, especially if she went out the window instead of the door. The guards were still presumably outside the door, but the window might have been unguarded. She took an edging step towards it. She was more ready to be out of here. This was a bit too much for her to take.

She had seen a lot of weird things in her life, but this was a bit too far up there for her tastes.

"I've been trying to bring you back for years, Rei... decades, if the truth be told. But after all of that, I just had to find the perfect person to do it. Isn't that right?"

Suddenly on the spot, she froze halfway to the window, feeling a little bit like a kid with her hand in the candy jar. It probably wasn't the best analogy, but she had been most of the way to her goal when she was caught. It worked better than nothing.

Rei blinked several times, staring at her in curiosity and confusion. Of course she had not been entirely with them for the conversation on who she was and why she had left. "She looks so much like Usagi."

"She is Usagi," Mamoru countered.

Rei shot him a disbelieving glare. "Usagi is dead. She has to be. We all agreed on that."

"Apparently not. Apparently she wished herself here to this time rather than wait for us."

Now that wasn't what she said. "You were all dead!" she countered. "What else was I supposed to do?"

"Wait for us to return," Mamoru returned coldly. How the years had changed him...

"I waited. I waited and waited, but there was no one. I don't even remember making the wish!"

Rei was staring at her with something between pity and anger, and it was hard to tell just which of the two were winning. Frankly, she was oddly hoping for the pity. It was selfish, perhaps, but she would rather her friend pity her than hate her. If Rei still considered her a friend after all of this...

Seeing as how she had abandoned them all those years ago, left them without their friend and, yes, without their princess, she would completely understand if Rei hated her, if Rei no longer considered her to be a friend worth having. She wasn't too certain she wouldn't feel betrayed enough to hate someone forever for that. She could forgive a lot of things, but she wasn't sure that that was one of them-so she could completely understand if Rei could never forgive her for this. The Senshi of Mars had always had a temper that burned bright and hot and fast and was slow to diminish. And she didn't even know how many years it had been.

The black haired woman crossed the room on legs that were none too steady, her eyes fixed darkly on Usagi every step of the way; of all the things she had faced today, this was the one time she had felt the urge to retreat, but she made herself stand still. Finally Rei stopped in front of her, looking her up and down. Finally, she nodded, as if she had reached some decision to herself...

...and slapped Usagi.

Only to pull her into a tight hug only seconds later, burying her face in Usagi's blonde hair. "We missed you so much, Usagi. We thought you were dead all this time. I can't believe... It's amazing. It's simply amazing. You don't look a day older than the last time I saw you."

She broke off, perhaps remembering the last day she had seen Usagi: during the final battle with Galaxia, how she and the other Inner Senshi had died early. Had anyone told her what came after that? How Haruka-san and Michiru-san had been faking all along to get close enough to Galaxia to attack her? How the Starlights had stood by her side until the end, until Galaxia killed them? Or even about Chibi Chibi?

She hoped that Rei already knew all of that. For them, it had been years and years since all of this had happened. For her, it was less than a month ago. She didn't want to drag up too many of those memories now that they were back, especially while they were still raw and painful. Chibi Usa...

But all there was for was that the future had changed. They had all rewritten their own futures, and personally, she hoped they had all had good lives. She was willing to bet that they had.

She pulled back from the hug to look Rei in the eye, her own eyes just as wet as Rei's, and glanced off to the side at Mamoru. She couldn't leave the two of them like this. If the Ginzuishou could do anything to help, she was going to do her best to make it do just that. Rei nodded, seemingly understanding her question and answering in the affirmative.

She stepped away from Rei and pulled off her locket, removing the Ginzuishou.

This time she just sent a simple wish to it: make everything all right.

The jewel of the Moon Kingdom flared bright, lighting up the entire room in its light. She could actually feel herself changing into Princess Serenity as it worked to make her wish happen.

Make everything all right.

20 August 2012

Almost to the end... Seriously, there is one more chapter and an epilogue to go, and then Belladonna is finished here on FFnet. I've very much been enjoying sharing the story. Some of the responses have been magnificent. And the hits? Seriously? Wow. You guys are so awesome.

Of Worlds to Fall, my Camp NaNoWriMo story, has started being posted here on FFnet now as well. It's a fun story to write-and my beta tells me it's a very fun story to read as well. So if you get to missing Belladonna, please consider giving it a read as well.

See everyone in the next chapter!

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