The Odango and The Baka

Chapter 25

Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon

AN: Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed J I do sincerely apologize for the delay this time - it was much longer than I had intended, but a close friend of my family passed away at the end of July from a two year battle with cancer and I have been helping to care for her two and a half year old son in addition to my full time job.

Last Time:

Usagi gave her a wry grin and Mamoru just blushed. The other girls giggled as the tension of the moment was released.

Snacks were again passed as they settled down for the long conversation to come. Once everyone settled in, Usagi began.

"So, I guess we need to talk."

Usagi and Mamoru unknowingly stiffened their posture, sitting straighter and more regally than the rest of the girls (who were rather sprawled around the room). Usagi looked around at the faces in front of her, surveying and assessing the different emotions that she saw.

"I think that all of us, though relieved to finally know who we really are, are incredibly confused right now. I know I am!" Usagi looked around at the girls, grinning. "As I see it, the best course of action right now would be for either me or Luna to tell you what we are remembering, and if there is anything that you disagree with or have any questions about, just speak up. Does that work for everyone?"

The girls looked around and nodded silently to each other – looking back at Usagi, they all waited expectantly for her to begin.

"Alrighty then." Taking a deep breath, their princess and leader paused to take a breath before beginning.

"My memories seem to begin just before the destruction of the Moon Kingdom – I have vague memories of childhood and school and training with you all but the clearest memories are of our last year on the Moon."

She looked around at the other girls and saw they were nodding in agreement with her so far.

"I had met the Prince of Earth, Endymion, the year before and we had quickly fallen in love – our betrothal had just been announced and I was floating." Usagi paused to look up at Mamoru, a bittersweet look on her face. "We had been hearing rumors of unrest on Earth and in other places around the Solar System, but I admit to being so far in love, I didn't really pay enough attention to my mother or her advisors." She looked down regretfully before continuing on with her story.

"Suddenly, the news became dramatically worse – we heard tell of rioting and violence against the royal families on the other planets. Only the Moon remained free of the violence. My precious Endymion wanted to return to his beloved Earth, to find and help his parents, but it was too late. We received word from the remnants of the palace guard that the King and Queen of Earth had been killed in the last assault on the Palace and that Earth was under the control of a group calling themselves the Negaverse with a women named Queen Beryl at their head." Usagi tightened her grip on Mamoru's hand and continued.

"The news from the other planets was just as disheartening. The Negaverse had destroyed or converted those who resisted. In an unbelievably short time – just a few days – the entire structure of our Solar System had changed. The Moon became the last bastion of hope and peace in what had once been a sea of calm and tranquility.

"Mother was distraught over the fate of her dominion – though she was not the direct ruler of all the planets, she felt the guilt and despair of being unable to prevent their destruction. We had but few warriors on the Moon – besides my sailor senshi and the Palace guard, most of our warriors had been dispatched to the other planets at the beginning of the unrest. She knew and confided in me that our chances of survival were slim, but that the Silver Crystal could turn the tide of the conflict if she wielded it correctly.

"I begged her not to try, thinking that surely she was overestimating the abilities of this Queen Beryl. I had no idea how wrong I was.

"That evening, as we gathered for dinner with my senshi and Endymion, the fighting made its way to the Moon. Within hours, the Palace was overrun with those who had formerly been our friends – now brainwashed by the Negaverse, they sought to destroy their former home. And us.

"You, my senshi, and Endymion protected my mother and me to the last – unfortunately, their numbers were too great and the hesitance at harming those we had loved severely hindered the defense any of us were able to put forth. It was soon just my mother and me left – you and Endymion had all perished in your defense of us.

'We were surrounded by the brainwashed minions of the Negaverse but none made a move on us – clearly waiting for an order to be given. Mother and I were distraught and confused, waiting for our fate to be determined when this Queen Beryl we had heard so much about, deigned to grace us with her presence.

"She immediately struck me down with her power – her biggest mistake in the entire conflict. Mother, outraged and incensed at seeing me, her only child, dead at her feet dared to use the power of the Silver Crystal to its full extent. She was able to imprison but not defeat Beryl, and, using the last of her life force channeled through the crystal, was able to allow us to be reborn as we are now. She had hoped that we would never again have to face Beryl and the Negaverse but unfortunately her power was not sufficient to keep them imprisoned forever as she had intended.

"And that begins the story we all know. Luna and Artemis, also sent to the future on Earth, knew the signs to look for and saw the Negaverse was returning. They awakened us and the rest is history."

Throughout the latter part of her story, the tears had been running down Usagi's face – the other senshi, also lost in the remembrances of their leader, looked similar. Tearstained and exhausted, she finished her story and waited for the questions to begin.

I'm done for the evening. xoxo