"Without my precious ones, for whom do I fight?"
That was the question that had been plaguing her for such a very long time. She was alone. She had been alone for so long. But now, thanks to Eternal Sailor Moon, she had hope once more. All the Sailor Senshi had been reborn, returned to the planets they loved and protected.
Her precious ones would live again...
She shook herself sadly. It was time for her to go home, to go back to her own time, in the distant future. Maybe when she got back, her precious ones would be waiting for her. That was her greatest hope. Perhaps her own past had been changed by Eternal Sailor Moon's courage.
"Get it together, girl," she whispered to herself, barely able to contain her excitement. "It's past time you went back to where you belong." She lifted her staff in the air above her head and called out, "Cosmos Teleport!"
In a bright flash of light, the senshi of legend, the most
powerful senshi of all, disappeared back into the future.
In the distant future. . .
The light faded arouond the beautiful Sailor Senshi, and she glanced around her. The scars of the wars still surrounded her. No one came to meet her. Again, she looked around, just in case. The ruins of New Tokyo greeted her, silent and empty. If she looked hard, she could see the remains of the once beautiful Royal Palace. She knew if she looked beyond that, she would see the graves of her precious ones.
"Iiiieee!!!" she screamed. Her legs gave out from under her, and she sank to her knees. She pounded the ground in front of her. "Nothing changed!" Great sobs racked her body as she gasped out, "Everyone's still dead! I changed nothing!"
She didn't remember the next few minutes. She vaguely recalled crying until she finally passed out. Her great hope had been for nothing; she had not saved her precious ones. She was still alone.
There was a faint sound from far to her right. A piece of rubble fell to the ground, and she looked up sharply in that direction, tears suddenly forgotten. There was a flash of color among the white ruins. "Hello?" she called out, only to be met by silence. "Is anyone there?" Another stone fell, and she got to her feet again and began moving that way. "Who's there?"
There was complete silence for so long that she finally decided she must have imagined the whole thing. She turned around and started walking the other way. What was she thinking anyway? No one in the whole kingdom had survived except her, and she only because she was practically immortal.
"Are you Neo Queen Serenity?" a small voice asked.
She turned to face the small boy who had spoken. He was maybe five or six with long lavender hair and bright blue eyes, and he was staring at her like she was a goddess come down to Chikyuu. She bent down to look at him eye-to-eye. "I was Neo Queen Serenity. Before the wars."
He nodded solemnly with a wisdom far too old for his tender years. "My tousan died, then my kaasan died. Everyone died but me died."
"Gomen nasai, aino-chan. I did not properly protect anyone." She glanced over past the palace. "All my precious ones died."
"The Sailor Senshi died first," he sagely stated.
"Hai, aino-chan. I've been alone for a long time."
He nodded again. "So have I." He glanced around then looked back at her. "Can I stay with you, Serenity-sama?"
"Of course, aino-chan," she agreed pleasantly. She stood up and held out her arms. He easily jumped into them and touched the star on her forehead wonderingly. He threw his thin arms around her neck and laid his head on her shoulder. "Ano. . . ne, aino-chan, what should I call you?"
"My kaasan called me Trunks."
She lay the small boy in the bed she had once shared with her
husband and smoothed the hair back off his forehead. "I
always wanted a little boy," she murmered almost silently.
Maybe there was hope left after all. If one person had survived,
surely others had as well. "Without my precious ones,"
she thought aloud, staring at the boy, "I can fight for you,
aino-chan, Trunks, and for hope. I have the courage to stand
alone and the courage to accept everything. Because of you,
Trunks-chan, I am the true Sailor Cosmos."
I was supposed to be the most powerful Senshi of all, the Senshi of legend. I was supposed to be the eternal light of hope to my people.
I failed. I failed them all.
I fought Chaos for so long. . . I allowed the Crystal Utopia to fall, though I still remained the Queen of the planet, and as I and my Senshi fought Chaos wherever it showed itself, I let others defend my planet. If I had only known. . . We weren't stalking it; it was stalking us.
But when all my precious ones died and I stood alone against Chaos, I fled like the coward I was. I began to think, if I had destroyed the Galaxy Cauldron so long ago, none of the wars would have happened and my precious ones might have survived. . . So I went back to the past to convince my younger self to destroy the Cauldron. But she didn't, and she made the right decision. No one should destroy the birthplace of stars.
She saved her time, and her precious ones were all returned. I returned alone, my precious ones still gone. I was alone, hopeless.
Except at least one other person survived. The little boy I have come to love so quickly. My precious aino-chan. Trunks-chan. In him rests all my courage and all my hope. It is for him that I fight on. He has given me the courage to stand alone. He has begged me not to fight because his tousan died in the wars while I was in the furthest reaches of the galaxy. This one thing I cannot grant him. If he has survived, surely there must be others out there, perhaps hiding as he was. I must save them. I abandoned them once before; I shall not run again. And I sense that someday Trunks himself will be a great warrior. I always wanted a son; I always thought ChibiUsa-chan would have loved having a brother.
Somewhere out there are more people. I must find them. Because. . . Trunks and I can't be the only survivors.
She closed her mind off to that line of thought and instead concentrated on her search. The ground below her was bleak, empty, and desolate. Apparently, the wars here on Chikyuu were as bad as, if not worse than, the battle against Chaos. Chaos... Her eternal enemy still raged out there, somewhere. And once it knew she was back on Chikyuu, it would come after her.
Perhaps it had even been here while she was gone. That might explain why the wars here were lost.
She smiled at the eight-year-old boy. It had surprised her, quite a bit, that he could fly on his own, but it was a good thing because he insisted on coming with her. "Hai, Trunks-chan?"
"Do you think we're ever going to find anyone?"
"Of course." Her smile dropped slightly, and her eyes focused on the passing landscape. "When the Senshi and I left to fight Chaos, there were billions of people on Chikyuu. There are more survivors."
"Okay," he agreed easily. "If you say so." He was silent for a moment. "But if there aren't, can we go to a time where there are?"
She laughed softly. "Perhaps we shall, Trunks-chan. Maybe we'll go to a place where all of our precious ones are still alive."
"Is there such a place, Serenity-basan?"
"I think there is. I believe in such a place." Her eyes faded as she lost herself in thought. "A place where your kaasan and tousan are still alive. Your ojisan too, and your Chichi-basan, and your Gohan-san. A place where my daughter and my friends are still alive and I've never had to fight alone."
"It sounds perfect," Trunks commented softly. "If we don't find anyone, I'd really like to go there."
She frowned. "Time travel isn't easy, Trunks-chan. I wouldn't even try until you're at least sixteen or seventeen."
"But that's a long time from now!"
"And we can use that time to search for survivors. Come on, Trunks-chan. Let's go!" She put on a sudden burst of speed and passed him.
"Hey! Not fair!"
She laughed. "Then fly faster, aino-chan! No enemy is going to wait for you to power up!"
"Hai, Serenity-basan! Wakatta!" It took him a moment, but he caught up with her. "You're fast, Serenity-basan."
"I've had a great deal more practice than you have."
"You won't be faster than me for much longer," he stated plainly.
The day went black.
Serenity and Trunks looked up at the sky. "I've never sensed anything like this before," he stated, his blue eyes squinting.
"Never?" she asked softly, her own eyes turning to regard the sky more closely. He shook his head, and she focused in on the vague sense of evil approaching Chikyuu. Her eyes suddenly widened in shock, and she fell back a step as she gasped, "I have."
"What is it?" He had a sinking suspicion he already knew, though. . .
"Can we defeat it?"
"Iie. Not yet. We're not strong enough."
"So what do we do?"
"We fight it and die, or we find somewhere else to be. Your choice, aino-chan," she replied, looking over at him now, a very sad but serious expression on her face.
Everything in him screamed to fight, but he had to consider his adopted aunt. If she lived and he didn't. . . She wouldn't survive it with her mind in one piece. They would be leaving nothing behind if they left. They were the sole survivors left on Chikyuu, a planet that had once housed billions of people. . . "We go."
Light flashed from Serenity, and the scenery suddenly changed. Not too much, but it was evident they were still in the same place, just a different time. Serenity collapsed to her knees, suddenly detransformed and gasping for air. "Obasan?" he cried in alarm, kneeling beside her, a hand already on her back.
She smiled weakly at him. "I'm all right, aino-chan. It just took a lot out of me, with Chaos so close."
So we'd better not go home, he mused. It would likely kill her. "We'll make the best of this timeline while we're here. Rest here a while. I'm going to look around a bit."
She nodded. "I'll find you later."
"Iie. You need to rest. I'll be back in a little while, before dark." He took off in the air, leaving his aunt where she sat. He knew she could more than adequately defend herself, even tired, and besides, he'd sensed a ki prescence he hadn't felt in years.
As he raced into the city, he sensed a power flare briefly; it seemed vaguely like his own. There was a small signature near it and then two blank spots. A huge power was approaching from the west. "Gohan-san," he whispered. It made a vague kind of sense that his aunt would bring them here. Here he had a small chance of saving his mother's life. His father would already be dead, but he could save his mother and perhaps Gohan-san too, before the Jinzouningen killed her and before he took them out in that kamikaze attack.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, Trunks remembered his aunt saying the future cannot be changed, but he had to try. Even if it didn't work, at least his counterpart in this time would have a chance. He pushed himself to fly faster, drawing his sword as he went.
The scene he saw below him a moment later was haunting in its familiarity. He watched his much-younger self collapse and his mother move protectively over him. Juuhachigou raised her hand to finish them both off, while Juunanagou smirked a few steps behind her. With a scream of pure rage, he went Super Saiyajin, catching everyone's attention, even the two androids'. He just had to keep them busy until Gohan-san got there; that was all, just five minutes. But even his father hadn't been able to survive these creatures; how much of a chance did he have? This was sure to be the longest five minutes of his life.
Juuhachigou and Juunanagou moved towards him as one. He twisted and dodged a majority of their blows, but a lot got through. Then suddenly there was only Juuhachigou fighting him; he risked a quick look to try to locate Juunanagou then smirked when he saw where the android was. Gohan-san was more than keeping him busy. Both Jinzouningen looked bored, but they were occupied.
"Bulma-san!" Gohan-san yelled. "Get Trunks and get out of here!" Trunks heard her leaving before Juuhachigou and Juunanagou both pulled back. He glanced over at Gohan-san desperately. "Get--"
The world exploded in light.
When Trunks woke up, the first thing he could think was, I must be dreaming. He felt too close to being alive for the Jinzouningen to have just blown him up. Something touched his mouth, and he opened it. "Eat this," Gohan-san's voice echoed through his head, and he automatically obeyed.
Strength flooded through him, and after a few seconds, he sat up and looked at the man next to him. "Gohan-san?" he asked very softly.
"Who are you?"
"Trunks. From the future."
"How did you get here then?"
Gohan-san's the same, Trunks thought to himself. How much can I tell him, though? "It's a long story, Gohan-san. How long was I out?"
"About an hour or two, I suppose. It's after dark."
"I have to go then! She'll be worried about me!" he all but yelled, jumping to his feet but swaying alarmingly.
"Senzou or not, you're not in the condition yet to go back out there," Gohan-san offered calmly.
"Don't you see! If we can't stop the Jinzouningen, then there's no way she'd stand a chance out--"
"Thank you for the concern, aino-chan," a voice said softly from the shadows nearby, "but I assure you, it's quite unnecessary." Serenity stepped into view. "I haven't forgotten everything."
Gohan was on his feet in a second, ready to attack her. Trunks was puzzled by this for half a second, then he remember: like the Jinzouningen, his aunt didn't register ki. "Gohan-san!" he yelled, jumping between the two of them. "She's okay! She's my aunt, not a Jinzouningen!"
"She doesn't have ki," Gohan-san said softly.
"My kind usually don't, Gohan-san," Serenity answered. She sounded so calm; it almost seemed she wasn't staring at the man who could easily become her executioner. "I'm not human; I'm Lunarian. I mean no harm. I only came to find Trunks. Let's get out of here, aino-chan," she quietly continued. "I don't think we're particularly welcome here."
"It's not safe in the open like this," Gohan-san abruptly said. "Follow me. I think Bulma-san would like to meet both of you anyway."
Gohan-san took to the air, and they both followed. The landscape here was slightly better than their time's. Trunks glanced briefly over at his aunt; her eyes were hard, and she was frowning. If he knew her, she was probably feeling guilty for being gone while all this happened. But at least there were more people left alive here than in their time. For now, his mother was alive, so Capsule Corp. was still providing for the rest of the population, so everyone else would at least survive this winter. And Gohan-san was still alive here too. Maybe this time had a chance now, after all. They'd changed that much at least.
Gohan-san set down in front of a huge building that Trunks only vaguely recognized as his home as he and his aunt followed Gohan-san's lead. This one was still completely standing, except for a huge hole in the roof, while the building he knew was in complete ruins; he'd been very lucky as a child that it hadn't collapsed on him. His aunt seemed very impressed with this version of Capsule Corp. as well. Gohan-san tapped on the door and called out, "Bulma-san! It's Gohan!"
The door opened, and he stared in shock at the mother he only vaguely remembered. He could recall her hair; it was bluer than he remembered; and he'd known he had her eyes. "Gohan-kun," she asked, "who are these people?"
"He's some future version of Trunks, and he says she's his aunt."
"Well, I don't have a sister, and she doesn't look Saiyajin. Come inside, all of you. I want an explanation."
Serenity smiled as she obeyed the command and sat at Bulma's table when directed to do so. "Bulma-san," she began, "I suppose I'm the best qualified to answer your questions."
"When do you come from?"
"About fourteen years in the future."
"We are the last survivors in our time. A . . . powerful enemy was coming, so we left while we still could."
"That's a little more difficult. Suffice it to say that I know a way to bend the space-time continuum."
"Why did you come here?"
"The exact time we landed in was a complete accident, demo. . ."
"When we landed," Trunks interrupted, "seems to be the exact point in time of the event that killed everyone in our time."
"What event?" Gohan-san asked, sitting down next to Trunks's mother.
"Kaasan died in our time, then you killed the Jinzouningen, Gohan-san, but you died tooo. Without anyone to run Capsule Corp., everyone else died the next winter."
His aunt laid her hand over his very gently. "I found Trunks about three years later. I took care of him, raised him. He's the son I never had."
She started abruptly. "Obasan?" Trunks asked softly, turning toward her.
"We've stayed too long," she whispered. "It's catching up with us. We need to leave."
"What's coming?" Gohan-san asked, standing and apparently trying to sense whatever Serenity was picking up.
"The enemy she mentioned, it's following us," Trunks explained, rising as well, "even through time and space."
"Wait!" Bulma said. She stared across the table at his aunt. "I didn't even get your name."
She smiled sadly. "It's Serenity. Serenity Tsukino."
"Serenity-san, don't you think we're capable of handling this enemy of yours?"
"Iie!" she exploded in a way he'd never seen her do before. "Gohan-san's the last warrior here, ne?" Bulma nodded. "This . . . creature killed all the warriors of our time, one by one. I will not risk this timeline! You, at least, have a chance for hope."
"Hope," Bulma repeated softly.
"Hope." Serenity smiled again half-heartedly. "I believe there is always a chance to change the past, as long as you have the courage to stand and to fight alone."
"Where are you going to go?"
She glanced at Trunks then back at Bulma, standing slowly. "I think we need to find a timeline where all the warriors exist, but we don't." She glanced upwards again. "Our time here is almost up. Please step back, Bulma-san. I need a bit of room for this!" Bulma complied, yet Serenity still moved to the center of the room so that she was well away from each of them. "Cosmos Power, MAKE-UP!"
Multi-colored lights shot up her body: blue, black, purple, yellow, orange, teal, green, pink, and red. A white light enveloped her, and when it broke a moment later, Serenity had been replaced by Sailor Cosmos.
Bulma stared at her blankly. "What are you?"
"The last of the Sailor Senshi," Cosmos answered. Comprehension dawned on Bulma's face. "The rest of them have been gone for so very long. I am the last of my kind." Tears pooled in her eyes, but she was silent for a long time. "We need to go, Trunks-chan."
"Hai, obasan." He stepped closer to her. "Let's go."
The white-haired woman whispered something Bulma couldn't understand, and in another flash of white light, the pair disappeared. There was silence for a long time, then Bulma spoke almost to herself. "Do you think they'll ever find what they're looking for?"
"Perhaps." Gohan didn't sound very believing. She smiled at him and started to walk away. "Where're you going?"
"She gave me an idea."
"What if we could change the past? I think if Son-kun had lived, the Jinzouningen wouldn't have won."
"How exactly do you purpose to change what happened, Bulma-san?"
She grinned. "A time machine."
23 November 1999
[A.N.: Well, how badly did it suck? This started out as an
attempt to write a Sailor Cosmos fic, then it turned into
a mini-crossover, then it became an explanation for where
Mirai Bulma (Future Bulma) got the idea for the time machine. If
anyone would like, I'll write a continuation and let everyone
know what happens to Serenity and Trunks. Let me know what you