Sailor Galaxia and Sailor Moon stood back to back, each of them examining the small creatures surrounding them. The inverted black crescent moons on the creatures' foreheads marked them as being from the Dark Moon Nemesis, but they were just likely the Black Moon family's droids that fought for them. They were no match for the two greatest senshi - except for their numbers.
"They're trying to keep us busy so their masters can invade the earth while it's still vulnerable," Sailor Galaxia pointed out.
"We have to keep the earth safe," Sailor Moon declared. Galaxia could hear the exhausion in the other woman's voice. "We have to hurry up here."
"I know." Determinedly the taller woman lifted her sword once more and it was sluggishly beginning to glow when she noticed something. "They're afraid of the light!"
She vaguely sensed Sailor Moon nod then raise her staff high above her head. "Cover your eyes, Galaxia," she warned; she obeyed without hesitation. "Silver Moon Flare!"
"Sugoi," Galaxia whispered. Though she could not see anything with her eyes closed, she could sense the creatures' powers, their existences, going out. Then suddenly the attack stopped, and Galaxia had to whirl quickly to catch her fellow senshi as she collapsed. "Serenity! Daijoubu ka?" she demanded.
"Hai, demo. . . We still have to repel Nemesis," the blonde whispered. "Earth is not yet strong enough to repel them." She sighed. "The Crystal Utopia hasn't completely formed yet."
"I'll turn the planet back, Sailor Moon; you rest."Galaxia set her on the ground and stepped back. "It's almost time for this Cleansing to end."
"Demo. . ."
"That's all there is to this."
Galaxia's body turned to light, and she shot up into the sky, towards the dark moon approaching earth. As she flew, the yellow glow on her sword increased, until she stopped a few hundred meters from the object. She leveled her weapon at it and pushed at the moon with all her soul's and power's might.
Maybe I should have let Sailor Moon help, she vaguely thought. I'm so exhausted; my power alone won't be enough.
Galaxia whirled at the sound of the whispered words, even as amaroon ball of energy flew past her. "Sailor Pluto!" she exclaimed. "Long time, no--"
"Uranus! Neptune!" Galaxia cried out. "How are the--"
"Silence Glaive Surprise!"
That huge final burst of energy was enough to catapult the dark moon out of the solar system. Slowly, hesitantly, tiredly, Sailor Galaxia turned to face all four Outer Senshi. A short, glowing sword was leveled at her throat. "Where's Sailor Moon?" Uranus demanded, her expression fierce.
"I'm here, Uranus. Behind you," a tired voice answered slowly.
"Koneko-chan?" the senshi of Uranus gasped as she turned and stared at the winged woman before her. "Daijoubu ka?"
"Hai, I'm fine, Haruka-san." She smiled weakly at them all. "I knew the Outers would wake up first. You're the guardians of the solar system, after all."
"You look exhausted, Your Majesty," Saturn stated in that cool voice she used so often. "Why don't we go to the Moon Palace and talk, just the six of us?"
"You're including me?" asked Galaxia in a small voice.
"Of course. We do owe you a great deal for the safety of our Queen."
"Actually, if you don't mind, minna, there's someplace I'd like to go," Sailor Moon interrupted. "I shouldn't be long. How about I'll meet you there?"
"I'll go with you, koneko-chan."
Only Galaxia caught the slight twitch in Serenity's eyes. It seemed to indicate, to her at least, she who had known the winged woman for nearly four hundred years, that Sailor Moon would have prefered to make this journey alone.
The place Sailor Moon led her was no real surprise to Haruka. She'd gleaned a great deal of information before her imprisonment in suspended animation, and she knew exactly what this place was and what it meant to her Queen. And that was why she'd decided to wait outside.
Serenity stood in the doorway of the large vaulted living room and just let the memories soak back in. If she listened carefully, she could hear echoes of the past.
A laugh. "So this is where you train?" A very soft sound of assent. "I like it! And it's so huge! Can I see the rest of it?"
"Aa," a familiar man's voice agreed. "Everything else is down that hall."
A giggle then the sound of heels hurrying down the hardwood floors of the hallway. "Oh, Kami-sama, this entire place is huge! Sugoi!"
"So it meets your approval then?"
"More than! I love it!" The heels were quieter and slower this time. A stool was pulled back from the bar. "When I was a little girl, before I found out I was the Princess of the Moon, I always dreamed of having a place like this. Thank you for showing me your home, Vegita."
"It's just a house; it's not my home."
"Aa. I understand." Silence for a moment. "Doomo, Vegita."
If she looked carefully at the dusty bar, she could see a younger version of herself, dressed as Princess Serenity holding a large parka in her arms, sitting on one bar stool. Next to her, actually on the bar, sat Vegita. She'd wrapped her arms around his waist and had laid her head on one of his knees. The present-time's Serenity smiled in remembrance. In her young and sometimes quite foolish mind, she had decided to inure Vegita to hugs and so had been taking every opportunity that presented itself to embrace him. He'd only rescued her less than a day ago, and this was the sixth hug she'd forced him into. While he still hadn't gotten used to it, at least he had stopped tensing up so badly.
"I suppose this will have to be the end for us, Vegita," she whispered aloud. "You're gone, and I'm soon to be the Queen of Crystal Tokyo, though I think if I had the choice. . . Gomen ne, Vegita, watashi no ouji-sama, but sarabada. Ai shiteru."
With that final declaration, she turned and strode out of the house, resolutely ignoring the tears streaming down her face.
"So when do you think the others will wake up, Pluto?" Neptune asked.
"With the rest of the earth, I'd imagine," the green-haired Senshi answered. Setsuna frowned. "They've been gone an awfully long time. I hope they're okay."
"Hai, we're fine, Setsuna-san," Serenity's voice answered. The other four Senshi turned to see her and Haruka standing in the wide doorway of the Moon Palace. "Is this a dramatic enough entrance for everyone?"
"Gomen nasai, Serenity-san," Hotaru apologized, standing and bowing. "We were not expecting you to be back yet."
The blonde woman nodded sagely. "The Inners will be waking up soon. Would you like to come with me to meet them?"
"The temple, of course. We've always met there before, so they'll know to go there first." She smiled and laughed. "No reason to give up a good meeting place after only nine hundred years, ne?" Galaxia frowned at the forced humor in her friend's voice.
"Mind if I come with you?" she asked quietly.
This time, Serenity's smile was genuine. "Of course, Amano. Nothing would please me more. Let's go, okay?"
Serenity smiled at the people assembled before her: all the Outer Senshi, most of the Inner Senshi, Sailor Galaxia. "We made it," she sighed in relief.
"So here's where you've been hiding, eh, odango atama?"
"You're late, Rei-chan," she scolded, smile growing ever wider, until she saw who was with the Senshi no Mars. "Mamoru. . . ano, Endymion."
He walked right past all of the assembled Senshi, took Serenity's wrist, and stated, "We need to talk, Usako."
She nodded faintly, her beautiful face going blank. "Very well." And she let him lead her away.
Only a few moments later, Galaxia could hear them yelling, despite the distance they had moved. She and the Outer Senshi exchanged a worried glance; the Inners seemed to be oblivious; and without a word, moved forward in the direction the pair had gone.
By the time Galaxia and the others were close enough to clearly hear, their voices had lowered, a bit; Serenity was still quite angry. Endymion seemed to be trying to reason with her. "That we are still together after all this time should prove something," he was saying.
She shook her head vehemently. "I don't love you!" He drew back, and even Galaxia felt shock run through her. True, Serenity had rarely, if ever, spoken about Endymion in all the time they were on the Moon, but she never would have guessed this to be the reason.
"What?" Mamoru whispered. "Usako, you don't mean that."
"Yes, I do! When I met you, I was too young to know what love is. So I stayed with you, convincing myself I was in love with you, as Princess Serenity was once in love with Prince Endymion," she paused and turned away from him, "until I found out what it was like to be in love, and then to lose that love."
"Kami-sama," Neptune whispered. "Our poor Queen."
"I'm sorry, Endymion," Serenity continued, her voice shaky, "I've had nine hundred years to think about it, and I love. . ." She broke off, her shoulders shaking.
"Him? You love him, don't you?" He didn't let her speak, instead rushing on. "Why aren't you there with him then?"
"It is my duty to guard this planet," she replied woodenly.
Not a word, Galaxia noted, of the story she'd told her of what had happened before she'd joined Serenity in her vigil. She frowned; and why did he need to know? He'd never understand.
"Kusottare." Galaxia stared at Uranus in abject shock. "Galaxia?"
"Hai?" This was the first time Uranus had spoken to her without malice; it had to be something interesting and important.
"Would it be possible for us to go get Vegita and bring him back here?"
She sighed heavily. "No. It's impossible. I wish we could." Saturn sent her a prompting look, with which she answered, "Serenity always seemed happiest when she was talking about her friends from the other worlds, especially Vegita." But she was always sad then too, she added to herself.
"We all knew she was in love with Vegita," Setsuna stated softly. "Maybe the Inner Senshi never want to admit it, but we all knew it."
Serenity turned back to face Endymion, and in so doing, gave her Senshi a good glimpse of a face too pale for the red-rimmed eyes set within it. "It is time for me to wake up the rest of the planet," she stated slowly.
"I'll be waiting for you at the Crystal Palace. We'll talk more then."
"Hai. There are some terms I wish to set for this," Serenity replied as she walked away from him, back toward where Galaxia and the Outer Senshi were waiting.
"Serenity-san?" Hotaru began. "Gomen ne, Serenity-san." She wrapped her arms around the older woman's waist. "Gomen ne."
"Why are you sorry, Hotaru-chan?" The bright and cheery tone of her voice was totally at odds with the still-stricken expression on her face.
"I just wish we could have done something to help you, that's all."
She pushed the Senshi no Saturn back a little bit and bent down to look at her eye to eye. "You couldn't have done anything, Hotaru-chan. I had Amano here," she looked up at Galaxia and smiled, "to help me. And I will do my best to make Crystal Tokyo the best place possible on earth."
"But are you going to be happy?"
And Galaxia knew she was lying, but she was leaving, and this was no longer her concern.
9 September 2000
[A.N.: I apologize for the amount of time this one took, but I'm still waiting on DBCT. This one was a bit less strange than "Messiah", but I hope you enjoyed it too. ]
Coming soon in Dragonball CT:
It's been twenty years since the last remaining Saiyajin crossed over into a whole new world - and came back only scarce seconds later. What has happened to Gokou-tachi in this time? Oi! Ne, what's Serenity doing there?!? And who's this girl Gohan's hanging out with? A Saiyajin?!? Masaka...