Of Worlds to Fall
Chapter Forty-Eight - Bounce
by Apollymi

Main Series: Sailormoon, Dragonball Z, Gundam Wing
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Word Count: 1,715
Disclaimers: I own nothing but the idea. All series and characters are copyright to their individual creators and distributors, of which I am not one. I make no money from this fan-created work.

The Carrions used to be people. They all used to be people.

The Reapers had to be doing something to keep them alive. Well, not alive, not really; she didn't think any living being could stand up to one of Duo-kun's bullet to the head nor one of Ban-san's vicious assaults or Ginji-chan's lightning or some combination of the three; but keep them moving? Now that she definitely could believe.

If she could repeat what she just did with the scarred red-haired man with the rest of the Carrions... Well, they probably wouldn't have new allies against the Reapers, not given the fact the man in question seemed a half second from passing out; from exhaustion or the magic she didn't know. At the very least, though, they wouldn't have as many enemies to face.

There were too many of them to do individually. Duo-kun and Ban-san and their other fighters would be overrun before she could manage to change each Carrion in turn. She was going to have to figure out how to do all of them in one fell swoop. Somehow...

And she had no idea how.

Well, no, that wasn't exactly true. She had some vague idea how to do it. It would be like what she had just done with the one Carrion she had changed, but it would have to be on a much, much grander scale.

This was going to suck in the worst way possible, but if she somehow managed to succeed, then it could turn the entire fight back in their favor.

I want to heal them all. I want to heal all the Carrions, return them to who and what they were when the Reapers took them, she whispered in her mind to the Ginzuishou.

She could feel it thinking, considering... then agreeing. Once more, she lifted her staff, once more she directed her power, and one more the globe atop her staff lit up brilliantly. This time, though, it was much, much larger, the light wrapping itself around each and every Carrion in sight. It was like the light was sentient, like it had a mind of its own, yet at the same time, she was controlling it.

When the light faded, hundreds of people collapsed to the ground. She had been right then: all the Carrions had once been people. There wasn't a single one that hadn't changed in some way.

She found herself standing on suddenly unsteady legs, though. Before they could give out from under her, she sank down to one knee. It was better to do it now, while she could control it, than drop uncontrollably later.

A controlled collapse was better, at least, than passing out, she decided, even as she felt the wings disappear and the cape return. And she had thought she'd overdone it before. This felt nothing like that had.

Of course, a large part of last time had been the Reapers' poison. She was more exhausted now than she had been then, but all the accompanying ailments--the chills and such--were blissfully absent now. She could live with that. She could definitely live with that.

She could hear someone--two people--barking orders. Opening eyes that she didn't remember closing, she was pretty sure she was seeing Duo-kun and Ban-san bossing around part of her ragtag little army. That was fine: it looked as though they were sending the half that had been preparing for the Carrions back to Trunks-kun.

Speaking of Trunks-kun... There were a lot fewer Reapers than there had been to begin with. By her count, Trunks-kun's band had taken out over half of them, if Duo-kun's original guess of twenty to thirty was correct: there were nine Reapers still in the air.

Eight, she correct, as a well placed punch and burst of golden light--ki attack, she corrected herself--dropped another, allowing Duo-kun to put a finalizing bullet in that one's head area as well.

Good, she thought, much more viciously than she could remember ever before being, then there's no chance of another attack out of that one. Honestly, she couldn't find it in herself to care if the Reapers were completely annihilated this morning or not, not after what those creatures had done to her people... not to mention what they had done to the people who had until very recently been Carrions.

No, if the Reapers were utterly wiped out here and now today, she wouldn't lose a moment's sleep over it. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

But that was Trunks-kun and Duo-kun accounted for. So where was Heero-kun?

"Are you all right?"

And that was Heero-kun's voice, close to her ear, close enough that she could feel his breath moving her hair.

Good, then that was all of them accounted for. She could breathe a little easier knowing they were all here and all right.

"How are we doing?" she asked instead of answering. From the look Heero-kun shot her, he didn't exactly appreciate that fact. Well, it wasn't a question she was certain she knew the answer to.

"There aren't any more Carrions, we seem to be on colony, and there are five--four--Reapers left." It was a pretty dry recitation, but still, it was definitely good news. She would take dry good news over any other option available right now. "Now, are you all right, Usagi?"

She took a quick but careful stock of herself. "I'm tired. I definitely overdid it a bit, but I'm okay. Just tired is all."

From the expression on his face, it looked like Heero-kun was thinking of a few dozen responses to that, none of which were complementary. Instead, he asked, "And what about this?"

She glanced down to his hand holding a thick section of her hair. She had seen Heero-kun touching her hair a hundred times since all this started. It was a little startling to see how pale, how utterly bleached out and white, it was now compared to then, compared to only earlier this morning.

Her voice was soft as she answered, "Permanent, I think, and not entirely unexpected. My mother's hair was this color." Queen Serenity's had been at least, not Mama's. It was still confusing after all these years. Now for the harder part. "I'm... I'm sorry, Heero-kun. I did a bit more with the Ginzuishou and my power than I meant to. I did a lot more than I promised I would."

"I'm leaving that to Duo and Trunks. They'll have plenty to say on it, I'm sure." All the same, though, he put an arm around her shoulders and hugged her close to his body. "I'm... glad you're all right, Usagi."

A thought had been brewing in the back of her mind since the battle started, and she finally let herself give voice to it. "There's one more thing I want to do before this is all over, Heero-kun."

Bright blue eyes met her own, his expression carefully blank. "What's that?" And he sounded just as cautious as he looked, probably not the best sign.

"I can't send anybody home, back to their own worlds, even with the power I have now. I want to give them--the ones who want to, I mean--the chance to say goodbye." She paused to take a deep breath before pushing on. "I want to give Trunks-kun the chance to say goodbye."

Because they were going to be stuck here... She rather thought that everyone deserved the chance to say goodbye to the people they had left behind. Maybe not everyone they had left behind, but one person? One person she should be able to do. After all her little ragtag army had done and been through, this seemed a trivial thing, but it was something. Surely Heero-kun could understand that she had to do something at this point.

"Will it exhaust you even more than you already are?"

And that was the sticker, because she wasn't going to lie about this. "Yes, it will. I can't lie there. I don't think it'll be nearly as hard as everything I've done so far, though."

Heero-kun was silent for what felt like several long moments--but was probably just a few seconds--as he considered this. Finally, he answered, speaking slowly and carefully. "Duo and Relena--a friend of ours--have said a lot to me about closure. This seems like this would be a good thing, for you and for Trunks. I won't stop you. Just wait until the battle is done."

She nodded easily. "Of course. No one needs a distraction right now."

"And if you haven't done it already--and I can't believe I'm suggesting you do more with that damn Ginzuishou thing--you need to make sure we're all literally speaking the same language before the Reapers are gone."

"Crap." She had actually managed to forget about that. Of all the things for her to flake out on, it had to be something important like that. "It's English here, right? This is your world."

"It's English."

It was a small thing to do, to twist everyone's mind just so, so that everyone was speaking and hearing English as their own language of choice/origin at the appropriate times... and the same version of English at that. It was a small thing, yes, but it was still not easy and it left her shaking in Heero-kun's arms. And wasn't that an amazing thing? She could have sworn a couple of days ago that he hated her, but now.. Now was something else altogether. She could definitely live with now.

Without warning, the world seemed to shake--no, bounce--around them. It was everything she could do to keep balanced on her knees, even with Heero-kun's arms around her holding her steady.

"What the--" she started to demand, when another vibration shook the words out of her once again.

"The last of the Reapers is dead." And Heero-kun didn't need to sound quite so shocked about that. Personally, she had had some level of faith that her little ragtag army could pull this off. Okay, in truth, she had had faith that Trunks-kun could pull this off; she hadn't been too certain about the people they had fighting with them.

Wait a minute... The Reapers... "The Reapers are all dead?" Heero-kun nodded solemnly.

Then it was over.

They had won.

07 November 2012

And now there's just the fallout. Two chapters still to come...

See you in the next chapter!

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