A/N: Oy. I am awful. I'm glad so many of you like my original character, Chance… but as you will soon find out, she's a bit more familiar than you think. ;P
The Tangled Web We Weave
Frodo was asleep, and the other three hobbits were huddled around the fire they had just built, cooking up a nice meal. Usagi could already feel her mouth watering. Although, she had to wonder at the wisdom of building a fire when they were on the run from those… Nazgul thingies.
"Would you like some meat, Miss Usagi?" asked Sam. Usagi nodded her head enthusiastically. She was intensely hungry. She was tossed a sausage and a plump red tomato, which she consumed eagerly within seconds.
"Where could Strider be, I wonder," Pippin said, standing up and straining his eyes to peer into the forest. It had been an hour or two since their guide had left to go scouting, and there was still no sign of him. He couldn't have just left them, Usagi reasoned. But who am I to judge. For all I know, he could be the one working for this Mordor-person. Usagi shook the thought from her head and turned her eyes to rest on the hobbits huddled around the fire. Merry was shoving Pippin, who had obviously just done something stupid, as usual.
He reminded her of Minako in that way: they were both constantly chipper, and always seemed to find some way to put their foot in their mouth. Then again, Pippin reminded Usagi of herself as well.
"Ungh…" Usagi's attention was drawn to Frodo, who was waking. Once he was conscious enough to be aware of his surroundings, he gasped. "Put it out, you fools! Put it out!" he cried, stepping on the fire to smother it.
"Well that's nice!" Merry said sarcastically. His protest, however, was ignored as the horrible keening screams filled the air. The group shared a horror-struck glance. Fumbling for their swords, the hobbits surrounded the weaponless Usagi, making it easier for them to defend her.
"Shouldn't you be protecting Frodo?" Usagi hissed. Frodo shook his head.
"Don't worry about me, Miss Usagi," he said. Usagi frowned mentally. If it came down to it, she could probably transform into Sailor Moon— but what effect would her attacks have on the Nazgul-thingies? Worse, how would she explain it to the hobbits and Strider, assuming, of course, that they made it out of this battle alive?
"Up to the ruins," Frodo said, backing up the steep set of steps that lead to the ruins on the summit of the hill. The rest followed, keeping Usagi protected in their formation. They reached the top quickly, but Usagi quickly evaluated that it was not wise to have confined themselves to the ruins. Five Nazgul mounted the hill, surrounding the group as they wailed in their unnatural voices. Each Nazgul had a long sword in their hands. Usagi shuddered, an empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. It felt as if the Nazgul's darkness was eating at her from the inside out, making her feel faint. Usagi fell to her knees, swooning, as Sam charged at the nearest Nazgul. The hobbit was tossed aside, as were Merry and Pippin when they too stood against the monsters. Frodo backed away from Nazgul as it approached him, stumbling backwards until his back was pressed against a fallen column. In his flurry of motion, he had dropped his sword and was now staring at the Nazgul with wide eyes drowned in fear. After a second he fumbled with something in his pocket, pulling out… a ring? ((A/N: Sorry, I know I said it was on a chain in the last chapter, but he doesn't actually get the chain until Rivendell… thanks to angelwings6117 for pointing that out!)) Usagi recalled Strider saying something about a ring back in Bree when he was talking about the Nazgul. She hadn't really been paying attention, as it seemed too much like a history lesson. If we survive this, Usagi said to herself, closing her eyes tightly as the Nazgul approaching Frodo drew a long, wicked-looking dagger, I swear to Selene that I will pay more attention in school. And a whole lot more attention to what Strider says. She opened her eyes in time to see Frodo slip on the ring and disapp— disappear! Still the Nazgul moved forward, and then it lunged, eliciting a pained scream from what was obviously Frodo.
It was so sudden that Usagi almost missed it as she lost consciousness: Strider, sword and a flaming torch in hand, flew at the Nazgul from somewhere behind Frodo. Usagi sighed with relief, and let darkness claim her.
Minako let out a strangled cry at Haruka's announcement, throwing herself forward to hug her knees. Makoto immediately stepped over to the blonde, trying to soothe the girl's muffled sobs.
"What do you mean Haruka?" asked Ami numbly. She had dropped the cookie she was holding. Haruka shook her head.
"No one remembers her, not the Tsukinos or Furuhata-kun, or Osaka-chan, or Yuuichirou-san. We're the only ones who remember that Usagi Tsukino existed. And that being the case, neither did Sailor Moon or the Sailor Senshi," Haruka said.
"How is it possible that the Sailor Senshi didn't exist? Sailor Moon I could understand, since she missing and all, but we're still here, right?" Makoto asked, looking up from comforting Minako. Haruka shrugged, and Ami just looked dumbfounded.
"Don't you get it? Without Usagi-chan here to bring us together, we never became the Sailor Senshi team. I would have stayed in England, Michiru and Haruka would have stayed out of the way, the other Inners wouldn't have known they were the Senshi, and none of the enemies would have attacked Earth looking for the Ginzuishou, because it didn't exist either," Minako cried hoarsely, tears still in her eyes. "Usagi Tsukino never existed for us, either. I'm surprised we haven't forgotten her yet, and I'm assuming we will eventually, which means we don't have much time to find out what happened to her and bring her back. If we can, that is."
Destiny sat down in front of her loom, thinking hard. She couldn't undo the silver string from the tapestry without destroying mortal life. It was one of the few restrictions of a self-weaving loom: once a string had been introduced into the pattern, the "mind" of the loom incorporated that string with the final outcome of the tapestry. If she cut it short, other strings in the tapestry that were supposed to weave around that string would collapse, followed by the entire tapestry. She couldn't very well just let the silver string continue with that pattern, as it was still connected with the first tapestry by a handful of the more brightly colored strings. She could sew them all together, but that would produce such a shock for the strings still connected to the silver one that the mortals whose lives were connected to those strings would be permanently damaged. If she could only warn them somehow, they'd have a chance…
A chance. Bingo. Destiny had sent Chance into the first tapestry for a short time before, as an experiment. The results had been favorable. Destiny rose from her chair and went to her door.
"Mother!" she called, hopefully. "Can I borrow Chance, please?"
Unseen by Destiny, a gold string slipped away from the silver one, falling to the ground as if lonely.
Mamoru blinked. Where was he? A shrine of some sort, he supposed. He was in a small room, a roaring fire situated in the middle. A girl in a miko's garb kneeled before the fire, staring into its dancing depths with an intensity that Mamoru had not often seen on the face of one so young. She seemed to be only around seventeen. After a moment, she broke her gaze and sighed, turning to Mamoru.
"It's no use, Mamoru-kun, I can't find her anywhere," she said.
"Find who?" Mamoru asked, frowning. "Who are you? Where am I?" The miko stared at him hard.
"This is no time to joke, Mamoru-kun," she reprimanded. Mamoru was beginning to get annoyed with this child.
"Who's joking? Now could you please tell me where I am, so that I can find my way home? I don't even want to know how I got here," he replied. The miko's eyes widened.
"You— you mean, you really don't remember?" she stuttered. Mamoru rolled his eyes.
"Remember what?" he demanded, exasperated. The miko jumped up, startling Mamoru, and rushed to the sliding paper door. She threw it open in a frenzy.
"Minna-chan, we have an emergency!"
"You know what to do?" Destiny asked for the fiftieth time. Chance nodded. Destiny bit her lip and tied a white string loosely around Chance's waist. Chance wriggled happily. More strings! What fun!
Destiny tied the other end of the string tightly around the strings of the older tapestry.
"Good luck, Chance," Destiny said. "And remember, if you ruin anything, I will kill you." Chance giggled and disappeared as Destiny finished tying the last knot. "You're our only chance, Chibichibi."
Mamoru Chiba looked around at the girls that inspected him, fidgeting nervously. There were six surrounding him, with a seventh (a slightly-familiar blonde) standing off in a corner.
"So," Mamoru began. "Let me get this straight. A bunch of teenaged girls want me to believe that I am the reincarnated prince of Earth, and that my fiancée, who is from the moon, no less, has simply disappeared from the face of the planet?" Mamoru shook his head. "I knew the miko was a psycho from the beginning, but now I think you're all insane." Before any of the girls could stop him, he stalked off, removing himself from the Hikawa Shrine in the blink of an eye.
"Well," said Makoto, "now what?"
And that was when the diminutive yet familiar form of Chibichibi fell from the sky, gurgling happily as she knocked a few people, namely the senshi, to the ground.
For the first time in weeks Usagi felt warm. That was the first thought that occurred to her as she began to regain consciousness. It was almost as if someone was carrying her.
"Mamo-chan…?" she queried blearily.
"Strider, what's a mamochan?" asked a hobbit. It took Usagi a moment to realize the voice belonged to Pippin. It took a moment longer for her to realize that Mamoru was not present. Then who…?
"I am not quite sure," Strider replied, his voice directly above Usagi's head. Well, Usagi thought, blushing slightly, that answers that question. Strider continued. "Miss Usagi, are you awake?"
"Um… yes?" Usagi said, wincing as her response came out in a squeak. Strider shifted slightly, and Usagi looked up at his face, cheeks still tinged pink. Strider's face was serious, though the corners of his mouth turned upwards ever-so-slightly.
"Are you able to walk? You have been unconscious for two days."
"I think so, I… two days?" Usagi gasped, eyes widening as Strider set her calmly on her feet. She paused for a moment. "Nevermind… I don't really want to know." She looked around at her companions: Sam was glaring at Merry and Pippin, who were playing a game of tag while Sam was loaded down with the brunt of the supplies. Usagi frowned.
"Where's Frodo?" she asked worriedly. She was met with silence. Oh, no…
A/N: GOMEEEN NASAAAAAAAIIIII:bows repeatedly: I can't believe I haven't done anything on this since last year! Next I will be updating Phantom again, as I am stuck on CFE. Please read it if you're interested! Thanks:
rebekah; Skittles the Sugar Fairy; Invisible Rain (I'm mostly using the movies, as I haven't finished reading the books, either. :sweatdrop: I'm just lazy that way, I guess.); sailorsunandchildofthesun; angelwings6117 (Oops. Gah! I should have realized that:bangs head against wall: Stupid, stupid, stupid!) liza; Shinia (Yeah… and she still doesn't know what Mordor is, in spite of all kinds of spying and eavesdropping… :sweatdrop:) Chibi Pyro Duo (Again, credit Usa-chan with the rabid squirrel comment! Hehe… that's one of my best friend's favorite quotes, too.); Black Aura-Sama (:is barreled over by glomp: Eheh… :huggles back: Deranged can be a good thing, sometimes! XP); Daughter of Death; koldy; Crystal-Winter (I hope this one doesn't turn you off SM/LotR ficcies, then! I will pretty much be explaining everything in this fic, so you won't have to worry about not knowing anything about LotR.); Amy; Silly Smiles (Hm… Usagi and the hobbits cooking… :lightbulb ping: Ideeaa…); krazy pandi; ElvenSailorGirl (As I mentioned before, haven't finished the books yet, so I'm going by the movie… :has entire transcripts of FotR, TT, and RotK close at hand for reference:); Mayoujou; Shadowed1 (Accuracy is mandatory for me. What with Usa-chan as my neechan, it's hard not to be accurate… :sweatdrop:) Linauri; Nyoko; Sailor Dark Angel; rose; Saiyajin-Neko; Sunshine Fia (:smirk: You'll just have to read and find out who she ends up with.); Repori