The light faded around them, and Trunks and Serenity carefully took stock of their new surroundings. Serenity gasped lightly. "Obasan?" Trunks asked softly, taking a hold of her arm.
"I know this place. It's Crystal Tokyo."
"Nani?" This wasn't the same city he'd grown up in. Even by the time his parents were born, the Crystal Utopia had fallen, though its technology had been left behind.
"That means the Senshi still have to be here!"
"Or it could be like that world where everything was the opposite," he reminded her.
"Okaasan?" a small voice said behind them.
"ChibiUsa-chan?" Serenity cried as they both turned towards the voice.
"Black Lady?" Trunks whispered. This was obviously the same woman but maybe a year or two younger, maybe his own age. She was dressed all in white instead of black, and there were tears in her eyes.
"Okaasan? You can't be here. You're dead," ChibiUsa whispered, stepping up to Cosmos.
"Lady?" another familiar voice called out. A second later, Sailor Mars appeared. "Lady! Move!"
"It's not a youma!" ChibiUsa yelled in return. "This is really okaasan!"
Mars shook her head. "Your okaasan's dead. Mars Flame--"
"Iie!" Cosmos yelled, stepping in front of both ChibiUsa and Trunks.
Sailor Cosmos raised her hands, and the barrier shield formed in front of them, completely absorbing the arrow. Mars and Cosmos each slowly lowered their arms and stared at each other for a long moment before Cosmos retorted, almost laughing as she did, "Rei-chan no baka!"
"Oh Kami," Mars whispered. "Usagi?" Cosmos nodded, smiling happily with tears in her eyes. "Usagi!" Mars threw herself on the woman in white, laughing, sobbing, repeating her name, and petting her hair. She finally released her, straightened up, and said in that imperious tone of hers, "We thought you were dead. Why did you fool us like that?"
"The me of here may be dead," Cosmos answered slowly. "I'm from another timeline, Rei-chan."
"So you're not really my okaasan," ChibiUsa whispered. Trunks stepped closer to her, unsure what to do, especially if she were start crying.
"I had a daughter named ChibiUsa once," Cosmos replied, turning from Sailor Mars to the pink-haired young woman. "When I lost her, she was about your age." She sighed. "That version of my daughter is dead, and this version of your mother is dead; perhaps the two of us were meant to meet."
"Okaasan!" ChibiUsa yelled, attaching herself to Sailor Cosmos. The pale woman smiled over the pink hair at Trunks.
"I think I should find out if I'm not here as well," Trunks commented.
She eased up on her hugging to look at him closer. "Be careful, musuko-chan."
"I will, obasan. You too."
"Of course," she agreed with a nod. He nodded back at her and took to
Black Lady was obasan's daughter the whole time, and she never said a word, Trunks thought to himself. I wonder--No, I don't. I think I already know why. "Obasan," he whispered aloud. "You could have told me."
Slowly Capsule Corp. came into view. Once he could see it, he set down and walked the rest of the way. Tousan's not here, he noted to himself, but someone with more ki than Kaasan is. Keeping his ki low, he scouted around the outside of the building peering in every window until he spotted his mother. He felt his eyes widen as he noticed her hair.
He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a soft laugh behind him. "She looks a bit like a bush, ne?" his aunt commented.
"What're you doing here?" he hissed, ducking down away from the window.
"I followed you. ChibiUsa-chan and Rei-chan wanted to brace the Senshi a bit before we just show up. Well, do you think this is going to be the place, aino-chan?"
"Tousan isn't here at Capsule, and Kaasan's in there with the guy with the long hair."
"Yamucha," she supplied. "I can feel Vegita about forty kilometers north of here. His level's pretty high; he must be training."
"That sounds like Tousan. Why did you detransform, obasan?"
She grinned just briefly. "There are too many people around here for me to walk around as Sailor Cosmos. Besides, I'd like to keep that a secret for now."
He was silent for a moment. "Chaos is still a long ways off."
"Hai. We can afford to relax for a little bit." She looked at him expectantly.
"I'd like to look around for a little bit, if you don't mind; get to know this place. Make certain I don't exist here."
"Sure. I'll be doing the same thing. Meet me at the east gate to the Crystal Palace in three hours, okay?"
"I know, be careful. I will. You too."
"Will do." She messed up his purple hair and smiled. "Our journey may finally be at an end, aino-chan."
"I hope so."
She smiled once more. "Ja ne, Trunks-chan."
As quickly as she appeared, Serenity vanished, almost like a ghost. He could never
understand how she did it; it was almost like she teleported, but not. Quietly getting
back to his feet, he peered back through the window.
I almost feel normal again, Serenity thought to herself as she walked down the streets of Crystal Tokyo. Poor Trunks-chan; he wanted so badly to come to a world where we could settle and his parents would be together. It looks like Bulma-san is with this Yamucha guy here. Maybe I can fix it so that Vegita-san does get together with Bulma-san here too.
She felt a strong ki---no, a strong set of kis--approaching her, and out of habit, she got ready to fight. She held her breath as they got closer--then released it in a rush as she recognize one of them. "Gohan," she whispered under her breath as he and a man who looked remarkably like him came into view. Kami-sama, that must be the great Son Gokou! I never thought I'd ever see him face-to-face!
Gohan came closer enough to her that their arms actually brushed. "Gomen," he apologized, glancing away from his father to look at her. He stopped, staring at her, no doubt because she didn't register one ounce of ki.
"It's all right," she replied softly. He was about ten years older than the first version of him she'd met and his power level was quite a bit higher, but otherwise he seemed a lot the same. It was an effort not to say his name accidentally. The wind blew, moving her deep blue skirt and making her long white hair fly in the air a few feet to her right side. She smiled as sweetly as she could and said, "Pardon me," before she walked away.
She couldn't resist the urge and glanced back over her shoulder once. He was still
there, staring after her, apparently ignoring whatever his father was saying to him.
She waved once and then continued walking. She had a big city to cover and three
hours to do it in. She'd see him again anyway; she knew it.
Trunks checked the clock beside the gate once more, silently cursing the fact he'd inherited both of his parents' impatience. So what if he was ten minutes early? She should be here by now.
Someone tapped his shoulder, and he whirled around. "Were you waiting on me, aino-chan?" Serenity asked softly.
"What took you so long?"
He smiled; they'd gone through this a lot when he was younger. But back then he'd been afraid if she left for too long, she'd never come back again. "We haven't changed too much in these years, have we?"
"Not too much. You still yell at me if I'm not twenty minutes early." She grinned. "Are you ready to go?"
He nodded then froze. "Do you feel that?"
Immediately fearing the worst, that Chaos had managed to slip past her defenses, Serenity extended her senses to their fullest. "Trunks-chan, don't scare me like that!" she scolded, sighing in relief. "It's just Gohan-san." She looked up at the clock. "It's time for us to go."
"Hai." A little nervously he followed her into the palace. The guards glanced back and forth among themselves then bowed to Serenity. "They recognize you," he commented to her softly.
"The only thing that has changed about me is my hair, aino-chan. We go in that door there."
"We're being watched."
"It's just Gohan-san and the guards. Relax. It's almost ov--" Her words trailed off as the doors shut.
"Okaasan!" In a flurry of pink and white, ChibiUsa appeared. "You're here!"
"Of course. ChibiUsa-chan, this is Trunks." She looked at him briefly. "Trunks-chan, I think you already know ChibiUsa."
"Not by that name, but yeah, I know her. I'm pleased to meet you, ChibiUsa."
"Trunks." She smiled broadly. "Okaasan, Rei-san and I are ready to reintroduce you to the Senshi."
"Are you all right, obasan?" Trunks asked as ChibiUsa led them down the lengthy hall. "You look a little pale."
"Just nerves. And I can't help wondering where Endymion is," she returned in a barely audible whisper.
"Here we are, okaasan," ChibiUsa announced, stopping before a huge door. "The Senshi are just finishing their training for today." She opened the door and practically yelled, "Minna-san!" All the Senshi looked up, and Mars smiled.
"What is it, Lady?" Serenity gasped as she recognized the voice of Haruka Tenou, Sailor Uranus.
"Look who's back!" ChibiUsa grabbed Serenity's and Trunks's hands and dragged them both in the room. "Okaasan! And she brought company!"
"Usagi-chan!" Venus cried, hugging her tightly.
"You're back!" continued Jupiter.
The Sailor Senshi swarmed around Serenity, each of them both crying and laughing. "We missed you," Neptune whispered through her tears.
"Minna," Rei interrupted, "she isn't exactly our Usagi."
Serenity nodded. "I'm from another timeline," she explained. She gently took a hold of Trunks's arm. "We're the last survivors of that future."
Sailor Pluto stiffened. "Why didn't I know about this?"
"Because we bypassed the Time Gate completely. I'm much more powerful than Sailor Moon or even Neo Queen Serenity was."
"Explain," Haruka said shortly.
And she did.
The clock strunk three-fifteen as Serenity regarded her reflection in the mirror. She'd never thought the day would ever come when she would have to wear the clothes of Neo Queen Serenity again. The white and gold dress was like something out of a bad dream she noted, wearily moving away from the full-length mirror.
She'd thought that she would be happy when she and Trunks found a place where they could settle down. She'd never dreamt it would be so close to her own world. Chaos had killed Endymion here and almost killed ChibiUsa before these Senshi saved her. Her counterpart had died in that battle only a few months past; Chaos attacked much later here.
Serenity changed out of the dress and back into the blue skirt and white shirt she preferred. Sighing again as she laced up her tennis shoes, she considered her plan for the upcoming battle. First of all, she needed to enlist the help of the other warriors: Gokou, Gohan, Vegita, and the others she'd only seen in her time's Bulma's files. She had no idea how to go about doing that; she knew nothing of them here. She gathered that interrupting Vegita's training might not be wise; she knew very little of Son Gokou; so she might as well start with the one she knew.
It was no easy trick sneaking out of the palace. These Sailor Senshi were determined to keep her in sight, probably to make up for letting their own queen die. Thankfully, though, she'd planned this out ahead of time with ChibiUsa and Trunks; they were keeping most of the Senshi busy. As she reached the far wall of the enclosure, she checked around for guards. ChibiUsa's information was perfect; there were none here, and Trunks had come up with the idea for her to use her flying skills to go over a wall instead of trying the front gate. With a little smile to herself, she jumped over the edge and landed easily on her feat by slowly down right before she touched the ground.
Next problem: Where to find Gohan? Well, if he were anything like Trunks, he'd be wherever there was food. Once she was in the marketplace, it wasn't too difficult to locate him. He looked a little embarrassed watching the grave amounts of food his father was consuming. Serenity pulled up all her courage and slowly walked closer to him. Now the problem was, what to say to him? "Gohan?" she asked softly. "Son Gohan?"
11 December 1999
This one goes to Kuri-chan for inspiring me to go on and type this. Doomo arigato gozaimasu! What do you think, minna-chan? Did it Let me know what you think!