Looking back, it's like having a personal angel, Gohan thought to himself, his entire being focused on the woman not twenty feet away from him. She smiled sadly, as she watched the young man she considered to be her son with his new family. Has it really only been a week? he marveled. Trunks has moved into Capsule Corp., Goten and he seem to be becoming best of friends, and Serenity just keeps on getting quieter.
He frowned vaguely. She was the last person I saw before I passed out, he mused, and the first person I saw when I woke up. She went out of her way to heal me as well as Trunks. My own personal angel. He chuckled mirthlessly. Her head turned his way.
"Gohan-kun? Is that you?" she asked softly. She'd admitted to being almost powerless after healing him and Trunks; she probably couldn't even sense his ki yet.
"It's me." What else was he supposed to say? Surely there was more.
"How long have you been there?" She abandoned her vigil and walked closer to him. The dress she was wearing wasn't helping his state of mind any; the top was too revealing, the rest of it too tight.
"Not very talkative today, ne, Gohan-kun?" There was a slightly teasing twinkle in her blue eyes.
"Good. I don't really feel like talking anyway," she replied, suddenly somber. She well understood silence, perhaps better than anyone else in the world. She turned around to face Capsule Corp. "Demo, do you think he'll be okay here?"
She nodded then shivered, her grip on her own bare arms tightening. Almost without thinking and certainly without considering the consequences, he covered her arms with his own. Surprisingly she didn't even flinch and instead relaxed her body back against his.
They were both silent for a long time before Serenity sighed
and stepped away from him. "I need to get back," she
stated softly, not even facing him. "I've been gone too long
as it is." She took three steps then stopped and glanced
back over her shoulder at him. "You're welcome at the palace
Baka! she scolded herself, trying to return her attention to the meeting going on around her. Since the Sailor Senshi's decision to simply allow the world to think she was her counterpart, these meetings had been going nearly nonstop for the past week and a half.
And for the past four days, I've been thinking about nothing but Gohan, she mused to herself, letting her mind drift off once more. I can't get involved with him; I can't! For starters, I'm way too old for him; I'm almost 2500 years old - this lifetime alone! - and he just turned 26! Her mind grasped for another reason. And he's half Saiyajin and I'm Lunarian. She chuckled mentally. Okay, that was a weak one. Saiyajin live almost as long as Lunarians. But the difference in our ages is reason enough. I've seen things in my lifetime that could freeze a soul.
Images flashed across her mind, numbing her. With an effort, she pushed them back, shivering slightly and wrapping her arms around herself. With a shock, she almost felt Gohan's arms around her again. She smiled to herself. That's it: I'm obsessed. Either that, or I'm in -
". . . Serenity-sama?"
"Hai? Gomen nasai. I didn't mean to drift off like that," she apologized to the group assembled before her.
"It's all right, Jo'ou-sama. You've been through an ordeal," the woman next to her replied, covering her hand with one of her own.
You have no idea! "Um. . . hai," she answered.
"Serenity-sama," a voice she only vaguely recognized stated. She had not yet had the time to relearn the names of everyone who worked in the palace. "Serenity-sama, someone's here to see you."
She climbed to her feet, perhaps a bit too eagerly. "Why don't we call it a day and continue tomorrow, minna-san?"
The assembly exchanged a curious gaze. "We're all busy tomorrow," someone finally said. "Why don't we meet again sometime next week?"
"Okay. Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu, minna-san. Sayoonara." She followed the woman - Lisa, that's her name! - to the main hallway, suddenly very nervous. Who would come to visit her anyway? Gohan-kun maybe, or Trunks-chan.
They turned one more corner. . .
She suddenly came into view, then she stopped short, looking like she'd seen a ghost. Maybe I shouldn't have come.
"Gohan-kun," she whispered. She cleared her throat then continued a little louder. "I was beginning to think you weren't coming."
"I almost didn't."
They stared at each other in an awkward silence before she finally asked, "So what now?"
He shrugged and started to answer when an irate-sounding voice echoed throughout the palace, "Usagi!" They both winced.
Serenity grinned weakly. "Can we get out of here? I'd rather not deal with her right now."
"Sure. You know a quick way out?"
She pointed. "That hallway leads outside, but I don't have enough power yet to fly."
Suddenly Serenity found herself a foot or so off the ground and very closely pressed against Gohan. "Hold on," he said very softly, and she automatically wrapped her arms around his neck. A second later, she could have sworn they were breaking the sound barrier.
"Sugoi," she said softly. "You're faster than even Trunks is."
He shrugged slightly and stopped. "I thought you might appreciate the view here, Serenity."
She automatically turned her head to the side. They were somewhere over an ocean. Red, orange, and yellow fire played over its pristine surface as the sun set slowly. "It's. . .," she whispered, as if afraid of ruining the serene and tranquil moment, "breathtaking." She looked back up at him, and he now studied the sunset.
"There will be a beautiful full moon tonight," he stated a few moments later.
"No, there won't."
"There won't be a full moon tonight or any other night."
Now it was her turn to shrug. "For someone who controls the power of the cosmos, it's easy to prevent a full moon." She took a hold of his chin and made him meet her suddenly hard eyes. "You and Trunks have your tails back now. We don't need two Oozaru running around Chikyuu."
"Do you still have the power to do that?"
"Hai. It's almost automatic now after ten years with Trunks-chan. Thank you for worrying though."
"Okaasan taught me how to do that well."
"I envy you your family, Gohan-kun."
"You have yours again."
"In a way, but I do somewhat feel like an interloper here. Everyone here is different from the people I knew." She sighed and watched the still water. "But you're right: I do have my precious ones back once more."
"Serenity. . ."
Something about the way he said her name made her meet his
eyes. A moment later, their lips met.
Serenity stretched a bit, sat up, and walked onto the balcony, pulling on a robe over her gown as she went. She leaned just slightly against the railing and studied the night sky. "And so the healing continues, Mother, Gemini. It's only been six months since Trunks-chan and I arrived, but we have settled here. We did it, all of us; we stopped the Sailor Wars." She sighed, smiling wistfully. "If you still live in this time, Asono-san, I'd like to see you, to thank you; your sacrifice won the Sailor Wars."
"Gohan-san is back from his training trip. He and Gokou-san are downstairs."
She hugged the senshi of love and hurried downstairs, careful not to trip as she went. She was no longer the clumsy girl she used to be, but she wasn't taking any chances, not now.
"Gohan-kun!" she exclaimed, throwing herself at him, pressing her lips to his. She could have sworn both Sons were blushing the same color as their gis. "When did you get back?"
"Just walked in the door."
There was a strange twinkling in her eyes. "There's something I need to tell you."
She stood up on her tiptoes, bracing herself on his chest, and whispered something in his ear. "Hontoo?" he choked out. She nodded. Gohan promptly passed out.
"What'd you say to him?" Minako almost screamed.
Serenity didn't answer her, instead turning to the elder Son. "Gokou-san, you're going to be a grandfather."
Gokou promptly joined his son on the floor, and the two women collapsed in helpless laughter.
[A.N.: Well, that's it: the end of the Hope Saga!!! Sappy enough for everyone? Suck too badly? I only have two words left to say: Happy ending?]