Home Sweet Home
Serena ran as fast as she could to the Shrine, absolutely worried for the guys' safety. They had left early in the morning on a recon-gathering mission and hadn't contacted her or the scouts. Darien's dark, concerned eyes danced in her mind and she picked up her speed. Her legs shook and she turned around, staring at the daunting Dark Wedge sizzling in the distance with uncanny power. The waves of negative energy even hit her and she was pretty far away from that thing. She turned back around and left to the meeting place with a wince. Why did the damn school uniforms have to have such high shoes?
He was in a warm place when Caleb woke up with a brain splitting headache. The low humming of motor of the intensive-care recovery pod he was in was the only thing that really registered in his fuzzy mind.
He was alive, he could tell that. Heaven wouldn't let him be in so much pain right? He blinked his eyes open, slowly putting a hand to his head but he found that even that little motor function was tiring so he let his hand drop. His whole body felt like it was on fire still, traces of Dark Energy tainted his blood. From the distance he could hear slow, soft murmurs of concerned people about him.
"He's recovering slowly." A lady said.
"But he's recovering." Diamond's insistent voice made Caleb strain his hearing.
"Yes, but Prince Diamond it's really slow. Even I know it's because he's so close to the black crystal. He needs a different kind of light." She said sternly, but kindly. There was a long, strained silence before Diamond spoke.
"I know. Leave." Caleb heard some buttons being pressed before the white door to his pod swished open. There was little light to illuminate his friend's face, but it was enough for Caleb to see the tenderness and guilt in them. He studied his for a long time before speaking in a pained, soft voice that wavered with anger and worry. "I wanted to keep you close to me Sapphire."
Caleb swallowed the lump in his throat. "I know." He croaked. "I don't blame you."
Diamond's place face crumpled. "You should. Never once did you ever lie to me. You never hurt me but I—I—"
Ever the Prince, Diamond quickly composed himself and leaned inwards. "I'll fix things Sapphire." The solemn promise had the little hairs on Caleb's neck stick up. The look in his eyes… "Diamond." His voice cracked in alarm.
"Stay here and don't let him know you're alive." He straightened. "You can feel her coming right? That light…the light you need…" And he closed the pod and left Caleb in the dark, struggling to get up.
Serena hated this place, this place filled with darkness and anger. She felt the Scouts' nerves bounce off of the crystal walls. It was easy to get in but because of the black crystal, her powers were slowly returning to her. Sailor Teleport was really a last resort kind of thing because it drained so much energy.
"Let's keep our eyes open for any kind of…"
Sailor Mars, Serena thought as the floor opened up beneath her, you always seem to jinx me. She slid down the slick shaft with a scream, landing hard on her knees in another area.
"Sailor Moon." Serena slowly picked herself up, shivering at the silky voice that greeted her. The place she was in was very dim and she could only see the outline of his figure leaning casually against a crystal wall. Serena forced herself to quench the nervous little worms wriggling in her stomach. She took a deep breath, exhaling slowly to calm herself. The walls began to glow and illuminate the room, reveling Diamond and his hungry eyes. "Welcome to my black crystal palace." He said softly.
She steeled herself. "Diamond." She greeted coolly back with just a little waver in her voice.
He smiled darkly, without much emotion. "I'm glad I got to see you again." Then he fazed and was directly above her head like a human hanging bat before he jumped in front of her. He grabbed her by the arms. "Beautiful." His eyes were bright. He studied her face for a while before continuing in a pained, melancholy tone. "The first time I ever saw you, you were in the gardens with King Endymion, weaving a crown of flowers as he sat at you feet." His eyes softened. "The moonlight seemed to attach itself to you like a shimmering cloak of ivory."
He raised his hand and brushed his fingers over her cheek. Serena stayed where she was, her heart beginning to cry for him for some reason. "You looked up at me, but I quickly hid behind a bush so I didn't know if you saw me or not, but I saw…your eyes. They glowed more brightly than the halo around you and I knew…I knew I loved you then and there. Even now, even as I look at you, in this body, at your age now, it's still the same. You're eyes are still the same. Sailor Moon…"
"Prince Diamond." Both she and Diamond jumped and turned as a dark, sinister being floated from the floor. "Sailor Moon is an impediment that hinders the realization of our ideal." His eyes glowed like lasers. "Dispose of her." He ordered. Serena took a step back as Diamond's aura changed and he lowered her chin, glaring angrily at the cloaked man.
"I do not take orders from you! Stay out of this!"
Wiseman floated up higher. "I have no use for a fool who lends his ear to this girl." He bit back in irritation, his hands moved rapidly around his ball like a gypsy fortuneteller.
Diamond took a step forward, his body stiff with anger. "What did you say?"
"Black Lady is mine and the dark power is increasing. Your usefulness has ended. Die" He said in dead monotone. His ball exploded into power sending dark ribbons of power at them. Diamond's upside down moon on his forehead pulsed, deflecting the back magical ribbons around him.
"I am Prince Diamond, leader of the black moon! Take me down if you can!" He yelled in outrage, shooting a ball of power at Wiseman. Wiseman phased out last second and came down on top of him from out of nowhere. Diamond kicked him, knocking Wiseman to the side.
"Destroy the Earth and send the world into darkness." Wiseman hissed. "That is the desire of Death Phantom, ruler of darkness!" Both Wiseman and Diamond's powers collided into a blinding ball of light and dark. Power wiped all around her like a live wire. Serena was afraid that is she moved, she would get caught up in it. She watched anxiously from her spot as the two men grappled.
"Death Phantom?" She murmured in confusion, pushing her hair from her face as it blew wildly around her.
"Destroy the Earth? I will not let you do that!" Diamond yelled. But even she could see his powers dwindling. He was using everything he had, but was it enough? Wiseman phased again, and came up behind her.
"Sailor Moon! Now you will die!" She wanted to move, but the power in the room was making it hard for her to think, or move. It burned the air, sent shivers down her spine and fed off of her fear. She didn't even feel like she was there anymore, no, it felt like she was being swallowed, so when Wiseman came after her, she couldn't really protect herself.
It hurt to move, it hurt to breath. She closed her eyes, waiting for the pain, but…nothing. Wiseman's laugh was so loud it felt like she was under a big bell and her head was vibrating as it rang. What she did feel was something warm around her waist. Something that held on to her, protecting her. She looked down and saw his head bowed. His shiny white hair fluttered in the magically fused air. Serena just stared, dumbfounded at him as he stood on shaky legs, holding his abdomen. A blossoming stain of blood began to bleed through his white uniform.
"So you still have the energy to stand up." Wiseman said in surprise. "Then you can die together with Sailor Moon!"
"Don't underestimate me!" Diamond roared, sending a blinding wave of energy at Wiseman, piercing the darkness that surrounded him and making him explode like shattered glass. Wiseman's old grey cloak fluttered down in a heap to the floor and his ball settled gently next to it. In an instant the binding magic that had held her in place evaporated. Diamond stood there for a few seconds, before he caved in and fell to the floor. Serena ran to him, skidding on her knees by his side.
"Diamond! Hang in there!" She breathed in concern, cradling his head in her arms. For a moment it took her back to the time, long ago when Darien had died to protect her from Queen Beryl. The same feelings of sadness and guilt stuck her in her chest, bringing hopeless tears to her eyes. His blood was pooling around her knees, just like Darien's did, and he was beginning to shake.
"Sailor Moon…my only wish was to unite both moons. How did it end up like this?" He breathed, looking sorrowfully into her eyes. Serena wiped her tears with her free hand, wishing she could be just a little stronger for him, just a little… "How did I forget my own human heart?"
Serena smiled though her tears. "But you saved me. You're still here, you can still do it." She insisted. More tears rolled down her cheeks and Diamond brushed one away.
"You're crying for me?" She sniffed, trying to smile, but she couldn't quite manage one. "Can you do it for me then? Can you take care of my clan?"
She nodded. "Okay."
Even though she couldn't smile, he did and his fingers brushed her lips. "I really did…love you." He whispered one last time before going limp in her arms. Light died from his eyes. The sob she had been holding in her throat escaped as she mourned for him, for Caleb's friend, for the lost little boy that became an unwilling puppet. His body faded away like fog in her arms, into nothingness just leaving the faint scent of blood.
In her state, she didn't see the hand that was inching its way to her throat, and she didn't know that she was about to die when it snapped around her neck and rocketed her across the floor and into a far wall. She heard her startled and painful cry echo off of the walls. Her feet weren't touching the floor and Wiseman had both of his hands on her throat, choking the life out of her. She clawed at his hands, tried to pull herself free from his grasp, but it was like she had a prison neck cuff around her.
"Give me the silver crystal!" He demanded in a madman's voice.
"Tuxedo Mask…" She whimpered, praying that they would get here sooner. Wiseman let her go at once and she slumped to the floor, coughing and filling her burning lungs with precious air.
"Humph. Tuxedo Mask huh?" Wiseman cackled. "Do you want to see him?" An image appeared from his ball, one that glowed brightly, projecting it out for her to see. "Tuxedo Mask, Darien Chiba has bound his heart with Rini, with Black Lady." They were hand in hand, walking together like she had seen them doing for so long. "And where are you?" She was in the background, watching them. "You have become discarded." Then it showed Black Lady and Tuxedo Mask, holding hands and kissing? It broke the mood for her and she scrunched her face in distaste.
"Eeewww!" Her…unconventional…. response made Wiseman falter in confusion. "That is soooo gross! Bleh! Really?" She stood up with a hand to her hip, temporarily forgetting that she was mere feet from someone trying to kill her and destroy the world. "That was the test King Endymion was getting all worked up about?" She thought out loud in irritation. "So grosss!"
"D-die!" Wiseman sputtered, shooting an attack at her. Luckily her little cry for help came just in time when a long overdue red rose stropped the attack and Tuxedo Mask finally came. The Scouts and Guards arrived right behind him.
"We're her too! Sailor Ma—"
"Quite Mars." Serena stopped the intro, marching up to Darien. "Did you see that? That was the test? Why would you make us break up and go though that hell for that stupid little image?!"
"Hey! It wasn't me! It was the older me." Darien protested.
"You think I'm so ditzy as to think that I would have believed that image?" She poked him in the chest.
"Maybe I—the future me—forgot how mature you are now." He insisted, brushing her finger off of him.
"Do you think I'm immature then?"
"I didn't say that!"
"Uh guys? Maybe we can save the world first and then you can finish your little argument?" Nephrite suggested.
"You take me for a fool?!" Wiseman bellowed in insult. "The black gate will soon open and the world will be destroyed so your petty argument will never finish!" And then he was gone.
"Come on, we found the opening to the dark gate." Darien muttered.
"Serena! Don't ever interrupt our entrance again!" Mars fumed..
Serena smiled "Sorry." She grabbed Darien by the arm to halt him. Now that Wiseman was gone the room was calm and peaceful. An underlining energy sizzled mildly around them, one that made her heard beat hard in her chest.
"Do you feel it?" She murmured, walking to the invisible source. Darien took off his mask, meeting her gaze with the same hopeful expression. They linked hands, walked to the end of the room with the Scouts and Guards watching them. Their footsteps were the only sound that echoed. Before them was a door, she pushed the OPEN button and the door wooshed aside to a lone pod with someone in it. Quickly she let go of Darien's hand went to the pod, pressed another OPEN button and anxiously peered in with Darien right beside her. He looked pale, and bloody. His face had scraps and one eye was swollen shut, he looked…perfect.
"Oh Caleb, Caleb." She began to cry with happiness, with relief and joy. She touched the black moon on his forehead. "Mother…a blessing?" She prayed to Queen Serenity. Her finger began to glow with silver crystal magic, fading the upside down black moon and replacing it with a golden crescent one. The moon that was supposed to be there. It glowed brightly, encompassing his whole body in a shell of silver magic. When it had died down, Caleb sighed out loud, and both Serena and Darien helped him out of the pod. She hugged him hard, not caring that he towered over her, not caring that she was being crushed by Darien as he hugged him as well.
"I'm okay now." Caleb mumbled in an embarrassed tone when they released him. "We don't have much time. I heard everything that went on." He looked to Serena. "Is Diamond really…"
Serena looked down, unable to hide the pain from her eyes. "Yes." Caleb looked haggard, but he managed a smile.
"Thank you mom…for being there with him."
"I'm sorry." She bit her lip to keep it from trembling.
"Me too." Serena threw her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek, tippy toeing to reach his height.
The center of the Dark Gate seemed like it was made for a fight. It looked like and arena. As soon as they all stepped onto the platform, Black Lady appeared. She gazed down at the group with ice cold disdain. Her pick eyes glittered menacingly as she floated above them in a dress Serena would probably kill a teenage Rini over.
"Sailor Warrior and Earth Guards. You came." Her eyes landed on Caleb who was being supported by Zoicite and Jadeite because he was still a bit weak. She betrayed no emotions as she removed her eyes from him and focused on Serena. "I am Black Lady, messenger of Death Phantom, the ruler of the dark world." She declared. "Soon the world will fall and everything will turn into the darkness of hatred."
Red lightning descended from the clouds, striking the platform. Everyone dove to the side, each managing to escape unharmed. The six pillars of crystal the stood on the outside of the platform each caught a bolt. They netted together, above Black Lady.
"Don't do this! You can die too!" Serena called out to her in alarm.
Black Lady smirked. "I do not fear death. There is nothing for me here so why should I care if I die or not?"
"Don't say that!" Serena grew angry. Everything she said seemed to bounce off of her. Black Lady was ignoring them like a willful child.
"What could you possibly know?" Black Lady spat in defiance.
"Don't call me that!" She yelled and blasted everyone back in seething anger. Serena fell back and hit the back of her head. She sat up on her elbows only to see Black Lady standing over her. "I'll take care of you first…mother." The power from the crystals was like Rubeus's gravity force, keeping her from standing and pushing her to the floor.
"Rini stop!" One of her Scouts cried. Of course it was ignored. She held up her hand and summoned black magic energy, aiming everything at her. Serena sucked in her breath, noticing last minute that Darien had gotten to his knees and was scrambling to her aid. The magic zapped him in the back and he cried out in pain. Serena caught him around the waist.
Black Lady looked surprised. "Absurd…sacrificing yourself for her?"
"It's not absurd!" Mars told her, getting to her knees with Jadeite by her side. They booth looked tired and battered. All of them did.
"What?" Black Lady looked confused.
"It's because he loves her. Because she's someone precious." Mars calmly explained in a tone Serena heard her use with her future twins when she and Jadeite told them they were leaving.
"That's right." Mercury turned to Zoicite and held out her hand. He took it like it was the most treasured gift of all. "A precious person."
"What nonsense is this?" Black Lady looked at them, still puzzled by what she was hearing. Serena could feel her crystal glowing warmly against her chest. She put a hand over it to keep Black Lady and Wiseman from seeing it. Was the crystal finally recovering from the Sailor Transport and Caleb's healing?
"You're one of our precious persons." Venus said, a hand going to her belly. She was thinking about Rin. Kunzite didn't miss it. His eyes went wide as he just stared at her. Venus ignored him, a faint blush on her cheeks. Serena watched a myriad of emotions cross his usually calm face. Disbelief, wonder, happiness, fear, anger…concern.
"We'll protect you, no matter what you do to us, no matter how much it hurts." Jupiter vowed gaining a smile from Nephrite who was behind her, watching over her like a guardian angel.
"Precious person?" Black Lady asked in a little voice.
"Precious to all of us Rini." Serena said, tightening her hold of Darien.
"You are loved…more than anyone in my life." Caleb called out to her, pale, in pain, and clutching his shoulder. "Because we're family."
Black Lady took a step back, unsure and frightened. She shook her head and the flame of hope burned a little brightened. No matter what, no matter what Wiseman had up his evil sleeve, she was going to win. Serena knew he was still around, watching over them, gathering power so when his voice pierced though the tense atmosphere, Serena was already back on her feet.
"Black Lady, do not lead your ears to this drivel. Truth…is within the darkness of all things. I will send you the power to overcome this." A pillar of concentrated power descended on her, and Black Lady straightened.
"Yes. I won't be fooled."
"Rini! Don't be overcome by this power!" Darien said, standing in front of Serena protectively.
"The world will be swallowed up in darkness. I won't allow anyone to stand in my way!" The whole group was whipped with dark magic ribbons.
Maybe, Serena steeled herself from the magic, making herself numb, maybe this was the test. King Endymion's voice echoed in her mind.
After this, you will be severely tested and you must stand up to it…you will be no match for it if your love in fickle and insecure…without the strong bond of love between you two, you are unlikely to surmount the coming crisis…
"Serena." She looked up at Darien with the same determination in his eyes. "Let us overcome this trial here and now." He caressed her hot cheek with his gloved hand. Serena smiled, love pouring from every inch of her body. She wanted to kiss him right then and there.
"Darien…" The crystal was hot now, its light pulsed brightly. She took her broach in both hands and lifted it above her head, summoning every ounce of strength that Darien and Caleb her giving her.
"I will not lose to the silver crystal!" Black Lady raised her arms.
"Moon crystal power!" Something happened when the power gathered. She felt suffocated and overwhelmed. Was it too much power for her to handle? To come so far, to be so close…
"Serena." The voice…was her thoughts beginning to grow louder? "Serena." Bathed in the Silver Crystals power, Serena saw someone else. The image was blurred, but as it focused, she grew a bit scared. Was she standing in front of the mirror?
"No silly! It's me! Well—you…us. The crystal, our crystal needs both of our powers to overcome the black crystal. Trust me, give me your hand and we'll do this together…we'll save our daughter….together…" Her future self, how could she not listen to herself? Serena held out her hand to the image of Neo Queen Serenity.
"She's been looking for you, you know." Serena told her future self.
"I've been in a coma…gimme a break." Her older self said with a playful smile. Serena smiled back.
"I'm just saying…"
"I know." Neo Queen Serenity softly whispered before their mirror life forces combined. She was looking at an astounded Black Lady who had stopped her attack. Floating there, Serena felt limitless, eternal…immortal.
"Small Lady." She began in a soft voice, careful not to let her magic waver. "Remember when you were little." She coached, her crescent moon blinking, syncing with the same moon on Black Lady's forehead. Light expanded, bathing everyone on the platform with Moon magic.
An image emerged, one with little Rini crying in the rain.
"Don't cry." She heard herself tell her. Rini looked up at her in surprise at the command before she closed her eyes.
"I hate you mom!" She turned to Kind Endymion who stood over her. "Dad, help me up." She held out her arms in anticipation.
"Get up on your own." He said in a kind voice with a supportive smile.
"Do you know why we didn't reach out to help you?" Serena asked. "We wanted you to have the strength to stand up on your own. It's because that was the kind of person we wanted you to grow up to be." She paused. "Darkness is no place to live forever. All people experience hardship and sorrow. Sometimes…you may even wish you could vanish out of loneliness. But enduring it, getting though the darkness is what it is important. Living through it, getting over it will make you appreciate the good times. The warmth that people share with one another. Remember those times."
Images of Rini playing with Caleb flashed though the dark pillar that Wiseman placed over them to manipulate Black Lady. More images of Rini with her cousins. Sword fighting with the twins even though they always beat her. Going for ice cream with Vahn, helping Lia with her coloring, making Mika laugh after he had recovered from being sick. Playing tag with Noel, Toya and Ellis in the garden. Hanging out with the Scouts when they were finished training. Being carried on her dad's back as he laughed with the Guards. Teasing Rin and Caleb when she had caught them wrestling one time. Every memory made Black Lady come closer and closer to her until Serena grasped her hands and held them tightly. All Rini's memories made the cold black magic scatter, made all of them feel warm and happy…
"Why would you go to such lengths for me?" Black Lady shakily asked. Serena's eyes softened.
"Because I love you. Brat."
Black Lady allowed herself to be pulled into her arms. Serena put her finger to the black moon on her forehead. "A blessing…mother." And just like Caleb's black moon it faded and her golden crescent moon glowed, washing over Black Lady and turning her back. Back into the beloved, terror, devil spawned little girl that was her daughter. Her little daughter who finally found her mom after searching and traveling alone for so long.
The pillar of black magic disintegrated around them and she, Darien and Rini floated to the ground in a warm little bubble. Everyone surrounded them, peering anxiously at Rini who was still recovering. She was back into her Sailor uniform. All the power that Neo Queen Serenity had shared with her was fleeing and she felt weak.
"Are you okay?" Darien asked her when she collapsed against him. She had to take several deep breaths to calm her own power source.
"I'll be okay." She promised with a confident smile. The red lightning that had stopped when Black Lady returned to being Rini once again raged all around them. The fight was not over. Wiseman finally showed himself.
"Even after the loss of Black Lady's powers, the Dark Gate has already opened. The time of this world's annihilation is at hand!"
"Man this guy doesn't stop!" Jadeite said in irritation. His blond hair wildly fluttering across the top of his head. Black power rolled across them like steel spiked tumbleweeds. Rows and rows of city lights went off, buildings cracked under the strain of waves.
Okay Future Queen self…you need to help me out once more. Serena silently prayed, activating her crystal.
"Stop it." Darien pulled her arm back angrily. "You can't use it right now. Not in your condition."
"You know I have to. I won't die." His pretty dark blue eyes were glittering with anger, but he looked resigned and let go of her arm.
"I'm holding you to that promise."
The binding magic that held her party down snapped back as her crystal's aura surrounded them. She gritted her teeth, fighting the weariness that was making her arms shake as she held the crystal in front of her.
"Your crystal is weak Sailor Moon!" Wiseman roared.
Any day now Queenie! Serena thought loudly.
"Jeeze, so impatient. I'm always late…it will never change, just so you know…" Serena was concentrating too hard to respond with a clever remark to her future self. The magic was a bit weaker than before, but she could hold him off with this. She just need time to think about what to do next!
Caleb huddled close to his father and Rini. He winced every time his mom was whipped with dark magic, but he couldn't do anything without getting in her way. In his weakened state and trying to help his mom out with what little power he could offer was really taxing.
"It's all my fault! I'm sorry Daddy! I was being selfish and dumb…" Rini hid her face in their father's shoulder, trembling with sobs.
"Rini…" Caleb soothed her, patting her head with a fond pat, instantly regretting it when his shoulder burned.
"I want to help but…" Rini's lip trembled. "I don't like seeing Mommy like this. I don't want the world to end!" Her crescent moon was always sensitive to her emotions, but he never saw it glow so bright. Her tears shimmered, weirdly gathered in a huge tear drop before silver light glowed all around her.
"So that's where it went. It was in me all along." Rini whispered in awe, holding in her little hands another Silver Crystal. Caleb was astounded as well but he supposed if the Silver Crystal would be attracted to anyone, it would be her. Despite the same blood that ran though his blood, he always knew that it was Rini who would receive the Crystal. Her watery eyes hardened in determination and she broke from his dad's arms.
"Rini!" His dad exclaimed and pulled her back roughly. They struggled for a little before Rini exhaled loudly and stilled.
"Daddy, we can't give up. I want to help Mommy. You have to let me." She insisted with wisdom beyond her age. His dad hesitated before Caleb put his hand on his arm.
"Dad, trust her." He pleaded, locking eyes with him, begging him to let go of her. After a deep, conceding breath, his dad nodded and let her go. Rini trudged up, fighting the cold winds that were tearing at her clothes. Caleb raised a hand, his finger tips glowing dark blue, summoning winds from the Earth to help his little sister reach their mom. It wasn't much, and his power didn't last very long, but it helped. Everyone watched as Rini held the crystal above her head, mimicking his mom's every move. Her blue school uniform transformed into her Moon Princess dress.
The Scouts exchanged looks, but Kunzite put a hand on Venus's shoulder with a very disapproving glare. "Don't. You can't."
Venus simply smiled and took his large hand into her smaller one. "I can do it if you help. You're life energy will protect us." He hesitated. "Trust me. You know our duty. Even little Rini is by her mother's side, doing what she can. Let us help them."
Caleb looked down at his chest, where a long silver chain hung, blinking amber with Rin's life force. Though he hated to remove it, Caleb slipped it off of his neck and crawled to Kunzite. He held out the necklace.
"You can watch over her Uncle just promise you'll give it back when this is over." Kunzite looked surprised, but took his precious necklace with a nod of thanks.
"Mars Star Power!"
"Mercury Star Power!"
"Venus Star Power!"
"Jupiter Star Power!"
Caleb lifted his eyes to his mom and Rini and held his breath. "Moon Crystal Power!"
The air seemed to still, like time had stopped turning. He felt his blood warm and his heart slow as both dark and light powers collided like clashing galaxies. All his life he had known what his parents' duty was. The Scouts and Guards were warriors that no one could ever rival. And his little sister, she was destined to take after their mother once she was grown. Like he would take after their father. Sol System would always be united through these people. The ones who slept for thousands of years and were reborn this one last time. Their power…it was supreme, unrivaled, unbreakable…beautiful. Eternal.
He grew up with their stories, of the Scouts and Guards. Of love that had no end. Battles like Beryl, this one, Sailor Saturn's rebirth, Helios, Queen Nehelenia, the Sailor Stars, Sailor Galaxia…Chaos. This was the first time he ever witnessed the completeness of it, the power behind the battles. It was mesmerizing.
Serena and Rini floated in the aftermath of the battle, in a sparking pink place that sizzled with Silver Crystal power.
"Did we die?" Serena thought out loud.
"Maybe." Rini responded. Serena smiled at the familiar, bratty tone.
"At least we saved everyone…though…"
"You broke your promise to Daddy." Rini retorted, finishing for Serena.
"You're not dead just yet." Serena perked her ears to the teasing voice. "I could never break my promise to Endymion."
"Mommy!" Rini exclaimed, opening her eyes in excitement.
"They're waiting for you. Return to them." Serena awoke with Darien violently shaking her shoulders. She moaned in annoyance.
"I didn't break my promise Devil Spawn." She muttered, hiding her smile in her frown as she opened her eyes. He looked relieved and then gave her one of his cocky Darien smiles that made her want to smack him and then ravish him in bed.
"Good thing you didn't or else I would have committed suicide and hunted you down in the afterlife to accuse you Meatball Head."
Serena snorted. "You're too much of a sissy to commit suicide." She sat up and grabbed two fistfuls of sweaty, silky hair. "But I love you anyways." She said and kissed him fully on the mouth.
"Uhhggg! Mom! Dad! That's so gross! We have a minor staring at you!" Caleb's was thoroughly disgusted and quickly covered Rini's eyes.
"Caleb, must we have a talk about the birds and the bees? If you're parents didn't kiss like they were swallowing each other's face, then they could never make little Rini here. There are certain steps to making a baby and this is one of them." Jadeite told him, clapping him on the back with a grin.
"I know how babies are made." Caleb growled, cursing the bright red blush that was stealing up his cheeks and burning his ears.
"Yes. I know." Venus skewered him with an all-knowing gaze. Caleb paled and looked at Kunzite in fear.
Serena broke away, a little dizzy from the lack of air she just experienced. Darien looked dazed and she smiled, kissing him one last time before turning to her group of friends. "I want a hamburger."
Caleb rotated his shoulder, glad that it was only sore now and not screaming bloody murder. He sat outside the apartment balcony, drinking some orange juice and reading the morning paper just enjoying the morning air and sounds of the streets down below.
"Uh, you like reading that? Tch, just like your father." He grinned at his mother emerged on the balcony with old gray yoga pants and a shirt that was way too big to be her own. She kissed the top of his head before sliding in the chair opposite him.
"Morning sunshine. Have a nice sleep?"
His mom smiled in a secret womanly way and stretched like a cat. "Yep."
"When are Aunt Mina and Uncle Kunzite coming over?" He eagerly asked, setting his paper down. His mom lifted a brow.
"Oh? Anxious to see them or…someone else?" Her blue eyes twinkled merrily. His face heated up.
"Ah…" He was saved from answering when Rini skipped outside.
"All packed." She proudly declared.
"Good." His mom said and Rini climbed on her lap. "Are you ready?" She asked him.
"Yeah. We'll be leaving this afternoon."
"When is Rin going to get here? She has the other key." Rini demanded.
"Mina called. They're on their way." His mom told her, but looked at him when she did. He wondered how much she knew. She scared him just as much as his future mom did. He looked down, below to the sidewalk. It was about eight on the weekend so there weren't very many people out and about.
"Rini, go make some cereal for breakfast." His mother said. Caleb grew more nervous, again hating the way his cheeks were glowing with a brush. He needed to get away before the questioning started.
"Sit." His mom ordered when he stood. Immediately he sank back down, his back ram-rod straight. He didn't want to meet her eyes, but did anyways.
"How old are you?" She asked him, leaning back in her chair to wait for an answer.
"Sixteen." He mumbled.
"Do you know how old I was when I had you?" She asked. He nodded.
"The same age."
"That's right. Too young. Too naive and foolish to be a mother. It only took one time you know, one time after a battle in a place that was not too nice." She said the last part thoughtfully and leaned in and rested her elbow on the glass table. "I'm not saying that I regret having you Caleb. I would never in a million years change my mind about giving birth to you. But I should have waited. I should have not gave into to my curiosity and passions. I wish I had you later, I wish I was older. You know what I'm saying don't you?"
Caleb nodded. "Aunt Mina told you didn't she?"
She nodded, looking much wiser than an eighteen year old should. "It's scary and hard to be a teenage parent, having to do grown up things when you're still a kid yourself. Don't grow up too fast Caleb and wait. Please wait. Rin is too young as well…"
"But Dad is way older than you!" He protested but his mom held up her hand to stop him.
"I'm not saying that you can't be together. I'm saying don't be together... physically. I'm saying to wait. Think about her welfare as well."
Caleb sighed and threw himself back. "Do we have to talk about this?" He grumbled moodily.
"You would rather talk to your father? I can get him for you—"
Caleb bolted up. "No! No, I get what you're saying." To have to talk to his dad about this would be soooooo awkward. What if Uncle Kunzite found out? He would be dead meat! He heard the doorbell ring and Rini cry out.
"Rin!" The blood drained from his face.
"You look like you're going to be killed. Don't worry. I don't think Mina told him." His mom stood and opened the sliding door. That comment still didn't make him feel any better.
Rini had pulled Rin to the kitchen and told her that she would make her a bowl of Lucky Charms. Mina and his mom hugged and Kunzite and his Dad nodded in greeting. His dad was in his night clothes still, dark blue draw string pants and a black t-shirt.
"The others are on their way. They said they'll be here in a little. Rin has all of her things ready to go." Mina told them.
Caleb sank onto a blue bean bag, making little Caleb drop the toys he was playing with and run over. He began pulling on his arm, trying to get the older Caleb off of his beloved bean bag.
"Caleb. Share with…yourself." His mom scolded the toddler awkwardly. Darien chuckled and stood, grabbing the two year old up and slinging him over his shoulder. Little Caleb grunted, but then started to squeal loudly when his dad started tickling him.
About an hour later, the rest of the crew showed up. The large apartment was crowded and bustling with chatter. But when it grew closer to twelve, everyone knew it was time to head to the park. It was a quiet trip, with him and Rini in the back of his dad's sports car. Little Caleb was in his car seat, sleeping. Mina, Kunzite and Rin were in a car behind them. The rest followed in their own respected vehicles.
He was excited to go home, but at the same he was a bit sad as well. Rini was going to miss them. She kept staring their mom and dad, like she was memorizing their faces, memorizing this moment. The pink bunny bag pack their mom made for her was clutched tightly in her arms, filled with gifts from the Scouts and Guards.
They reached the park and the whole party walked to the large lake. Luna and Artemis stayed in the car in their cat forms to keep an eye on little Caleb while he slept. It had to be this park, because in the future, it would be the royal park of Crystal Tokyo. This is the place where his mom, dad and Scouts and Guards would be waiting for them in the future.
Raye stepped forward and leaned down, smiling at Rini. "I guess this is good bye." She said. Rini smiled back.
"Tell my romantic future to me some day okay?" Rini said. Darien stepped forward.
"Uh when you're thirty." He said. Everyone thought it was a joke but Caleb wasn't too sure.
"Take care of yourself." Ami stood next to Raye.
"Yeah munchkin. Don't give us a hard time in the future." Zoicite grinned, wrapping his arm around Ami's shoulder.
"I never do Uncle!" Rini protested playfully then looked back at Ami. "Help me with my homework later okay?"
Lita was next. "Say hello to the future Scouts for us and give all my boys a big hug. They really missed you."
"I will, but if Noel gives me a noogie I get to hit him right?"
Everyone laughed. "Sure, just don't hit him where it hurts." Nephrite said.
Rini frowned. "Where would that be?"
Lita rolled her eyes and Mina cleared her throat. "Raye will probably tell you when you're older." She patted Rini's head. "Don't wet your bed anymore. You mom sucks at doing laundry. Why do you think your dad does it all?"
"Hey! The washing machine and I have a complicated relationship!" Serena said in protest.
"I won't." Rini promised and turned to her mom. They stared at one another for a long time before Serena dropped to her knees and Rini ran up to her, dropping her Luna P. They hugged for a long time.
"Serena, its time to say goodbye. You have to let go." Darien said with a hand on her shoulder.
"I know." Serena mumbled and kissed the top f Rini's head one last time before letting her go. She wiped the stray tears from her cheeks and Rini's. Darien pulled her to her feet and Rini hugged him one last time.
"Thank you for everything you've done mommy, daddy." Rini said before running back to Rin and Caleb. "Everyone, thank you." She said.
Rin hugged her young parents one last time, so did Caleb before they all gathered by the lake.
"Wait. I forgot to give you this." Kunzite stepped forward and withdrew something from his pants pocket. He held it out. The amber crystal glowed brightly in the sunlight, swinging majestically from the silver chain. He held it up to Caleb.
"Take good care of it." He said. Caleb read the secret message in his words and looked to the side at Rin who was blushing and avoiding his gaze. The sun made her silver hair glow around her head like a halo. He could see the chain of his necklace peeking under her pale blue sweater and it made his heart race. It was going to take some time for her to trust him, but she was wearing his necklace. That meant something. Right? He hoped it did.
"I will." He promised him and took the necklace, immediately placing it back around his neck. Rini grabbed his hand and Rin's hand and the time key glowed brightly against her chest. Magic enveloped him. He watched the scene fade in front of him, into pink and white, the colors morphed into an arched door, with someone leaning against the frame.
"Puu!" Rini cried. Caleb was glade to see Sailor Pluto as well. Since the whole fiasco happened, she and the outer had to maintain the time structure. Pluto manned the gates and the others roamed the halls, searching and killing yomans that would slip into a fissure to get to the door. When someone traveled in time, gates all over open. Sensitive monsters could find a way to into the time halls and could cause some major damage.
"Things went well it seems. I'm glad you all are alright." Said the time soldier.
"Thank you for all you have done for us." Caleb told her.
"Why don't you go in first Small Lady?" Pluto opened the door and Rini beamed, gave Pluto a quick hug before going through the door.
"Hey kids. Long time no see." Caleb turned to the familiar voice to see Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Saturn emerge from the smoky halls.
"You guys looked terrible!" Rin exclaimed.
Uranus gave her a little amused smile. "We can't all look beautiful like you after a major battle little one." The blonde's usually perfect hair was mussed and she had black soot on her face. Her white gloves were dirty and she had a little cut on her thigh.
Rin blushed. "Are you guys all right?"
"A few minor abrasions but otherwise, alright." Saturn said. She didn't look to haggard. Her shiny black hair was smooth, barely brushing her shoulders and her large dark purple eyes looked just a little weary. He couldn't see where she was hurt, but the way she kinda leaned in her staff told him she was sore.
"Are you guys coming to the palace later? My mom and dad would want you there."
"Eh…We'll see." Uranus shrugged.
"We'll be there. I promised to play for them." Neptune told them, nudging Uranus's arm playfully. Her skirt was frayed at the end and she had a burn on her arm, but other than that, she didn't look worse for wear.
"I'm glad. We don't get to see you guys very often." Caleb said.
"Being intergalactic ambassadors is time consuming Little Prince." Saturn told him.
"Miss us that much?" Neptune teased.
"Of course!" Caleb exclaimed, blushing vividly at her amused expression. She was soooo pretty! "I mean—"
"Oh Gods." Rin muttered in annoyance and turned to Pluto. "May I pass?" She asked politely.
"Of course Princess."
"Wait! Rin!" Caleb called out, noticing his mistake and cursing himself mentally.
"Be careful Little Prince. Women can get jealous easily." Uranus told him making him blush even more. She was sooo pretty too! All of them were! Why did mom have to have such hot protectors?
"Oh? Were you getting jealous?" Neptune asked flirtatiously.
"A little." She admitted with a dark seductively playful look at her lover.
Caleb had to go now, things were getting too intense for his sixteen year old hormones. "I'll see you guys later then." He managed not to sputter even though his tongue felt heavy.
"See you Little Prince." Pluto said with a laugh in her eyes and let him pass with the other Outers giggling at him and his beet red face.
When he stepped into his own time, he felt the welcome greeting of warm air hit his face and ruffle his hair. The smell of flowers and grass filled his senses. Rin and Rini waited for him. Rin ignored him, but Rini grabbed his hand. As they walked, the large group of people he saw in the distance came more into focus.
His mom and dad stood in front of them. Behind them, all of his little cousins and the Guards and Scouts looking tired and pale, but otherwise, happy. Raye and Jadeite's twins each clung to a parent like koala bears. Lita and Nephrite's three boys immediately stopped fighting when they saw them. Mina and Kunzite were holding hands with Vahn standing close to his dad. Ami had a drooling Mika in her arms and Zoicite was holding Lia who waved crazily at them.
The sky was no longer black. Clear bright blue skies stretched as far as he could see. Below the hill they were on, the lake no longer there, was the Crystal Palace, sparkling with life, its pillars reaching to the heavens.
Rini ran through the long grass and flowers, making him and Rin jog behind her. She stopped abruptly and did the cutest thing he ever saw her do. She curtsied, bowing her head before looking up with tears in her eyes.
"Mommy!" She cried in joy and ran into Neo-Queen Serenity's waiting arms. Caleb ran to, wrapped his arms around both his little sister and his mother and hugged them, letting tears run down his cheeks. He felt his dad's hand on his head and he choked on a sob.
"Welcome Home." He heard her say. Yes, they were finally home. Finally…