Title: Crystal Shards
Chapters: 13 and epilogue
Show: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Couples: Usagi/Mamoru, (Uranus/Neptune)
Time: SMR immediately following Every Cloud
Summary: The last seven episodes of Sailor Moon R, but a little different.
Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon, Takeuchi Naoko, Toei & Kodansha do.
Chapter 1: Encounter in the Mists
She was old, and she was tired. Never before had ten thousand years felt like more than a drop of time in an immortal life, but loneliness was finally taking its toll. She sighed as she stared out into the mists of her home, her prison, and wondered if the cards would play out as they should. She had been told by her future self that everything would turn out fine if she just trusted her instincts, but how could she? After so many years of waiting for her princess to be reborn, she had been taken forward a thousand years and asked to guard her queen and her new princess, her granddaughter. Now Crystal Tokyo was shattered, her daughter close to death in a crystal coffin, the king a mere shadow of his former self, and the only hope for the future was one pink-haired little girl carrying a power she did not understand, searching for a mother she would not recognize.
The Guardian of Time sighed and lowered her staff. It was hopeless.
She raised her staff as an intruder appeared in her realm. She waved her Time Key to part the mists, Garnet Orb glowing fiercely as she prepared to attack. She paused when she saw the face of her enemy, fear and wonder freezing her. Serenity. No . . . she had been told that the girl's name was Usagi in the time between the Silver Millennium and Crystal Tokyo. She looked so small, so frail, so blonde and yet so powerful, too, standing there defiantly before the taller senshi.
"Small Lady." Pluto smiled as her granddaughter attached herself to her leg, unaware of their relationship.
"Look! I brought Sailor Moon to help!" The four Inner Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen joined Sailor Moon, the blonde smiling at the child before looking up at Pluto.
"Sailor Pluto? I didn't know there was another Senshi."
"I guard the Time Gate; I have not left my post since the Silver Millennium. Are you here to help the queen, Sailor Moon?" She nodded, and Pluto waved her staff to reveal a pair of tall silver-white doors covered in moons. "This is the Time Gate. I will let you travel to the future, but you must not try to discover how this future came to be. I will not have the past altered." A past I have yet to experience. I hate time paradoxes.
Sailor Moon nodded. "We can do that. I have no wish to change the past; I'm here to keep the Black Moon Family from doing that."
"Be careful, Sailor Moon. They know that you are the Moon Princess of the past and if they kill or corrupt you, the future will fall."
"And Chibiusa will never exist. I know." Sailor Moon took the pink-haired girl into her arms, and Pluto stared at them, shocked. "Yes, I know she's my daughter. We'll leave you in peace now."
Pluto hesitated a second before opening the door and letting the senshi through the Gate. They vanished, and she was alone again. "She knows? Does she know that . . ."
"No." Pluto's future self appeared to her, ruby eyes smiling. "She won't know for years yet. Just as those Senshi won't remember the Silver Millennium."
"Why did you wait so long to tell them?"
Sailor Star Pluto, her fuku two evolutions past Sailor Pluto's, waved her own Time Staff, creating a small window. "Look at them, so determined to protect their princess. They love her so much. But what if they remember their past, remember that they were lovers? Would Mars then hesitate to protect Sailor Moon if Venus was injured? Would Jupiter throw her lightning at the youma before Mercury instead of pulling Sailor Moon out of harm's way? If they remember before their greatest battle, they will die. Their mission will fail. What happened in the Silver Millennium must not be allowed to happen again. I made that decision long ago, and it took something very powerful to change my mind."
"Won't you telling me this change the future?"
Sailor Star Pluto laughed. "Of course not. I'm going to wipe your memories when I return you to the day the last Inner Senshi is born. You'll make the same choice in the future. Don't worry; I remembered all of this the instant I went back in time to find you."
"I noticed that Uranus and Neptune are missing."
"They'll come along soon. And their love for each other will endanger the Princess even as they endangered the entire Solar System in the Silver Millennium."
Pluto laughed as she looked at the doors. "Will they ever learn?"
"None of the Senshi ever do. You'll have to stay here until this whole business with the Black Moon Family is concluded. When it is, I'll come and take you back so you can live the past I've been telling you about."
Pluto nodded as her future self vanished, wondering. She had only been that happy when she masqueraded as the Moon King, when she had Serenity to love. Did that mean . . ?
She returned to her duty with a lighter heart.
"This is Crystal Tokyo?" To say that it was a battlefield was an understatement. There were dozens of huge blackened craters, the tall palace dark, clouds hovering overhead. No one heard or acknowledged Sailor Moon's comment, the screaming of the wind almost painful. Chibiusa moved closer to the blonde, eyes wide.
"That's where I live," she whispered, pointing at the palace. "It wasn't so scary . . ."
Sailor Moon found strength at the child's words as she picked Chibiusa up, glancing at each of her senshi in turn, feeling Tuxedo Kamen's hand on her shoulder. "We'll make it nice again, Chibiusa. You'll see. Let's go!" She jumped down the cliff, her agility seemingly enhanced by the girl in her arms, as if she was desperate to protect her. Her determination to protect her daughter was letting her channel some of her Princess Serenity persona, giving her a grace and elegance that she normally lacked.
The walk through the city was eerily silent, the four senshi and Tuxedo Kamen keeping their princess in the center of their circle. Chibiusa hid her face in Sailor Moon's bow, unwilling to see the ruin of what had once been her beautiful home. "Chibiusa, why did you come to find me?"
"Because Papa said that Sailor Moon was the most powerful person in the world. She's unbeatable." Usagi blushed, sensing Mamoru's amusement through their link. "He always told me that if anything happened to him or Mama I should go back in time to find Sailor Moon. You have the ginzuishou that my Mama needs to wake up."
"But you're the Moon Princess, too. Why can't you use the one here?"
Chibiusa began to cry at Sailor Moon's words, and the blonde glanced at her boyfriend. "What did I say?"
"I'm not sure, but I think there isn't one here. If there was, wouldn't it protect the palace and the queen?"
Usagi held the girl closer, lending her strength. "I see. Then why couldn't you use mine? Why did you need me to come forward in time?"
Chibiusa wiped her tears away, holding her Luna Ball closer. "I don't have any power," she whispered. "All the kids teased me, saying I'm not really the princess, that Mama isn't my Mama."
"Of course you're my daughter," Usagi smiled. "Would we get on each other's nerves so much if you weren't?" Chibiusa began to smile, and Usagi kissed her forehead. "I don't have to ask anyone to know that you're my little girl. All I need is the love I feel when I see you in danger. Besides, you used my ginzuishou to heal me from that youma's poison, ne? Isn't that proof enough, Chibiusa?"
"Mama calls me Small Lady."
"Then I will, too. Cheer up, Small Lady. We'll save your mother; you'll see. And she'll wake up and hug you and tell you how much she loves you."
"Good going, Usako. She's smiling again."
"I meant it, Mamo-chan. I do love her." She froze as she sensed something dark between the group and the palace, and her tiara vanished as a golden crescent moon glowed from her forehead. Her senshi moved into fighting stances, and Usagi handed Chibiusa to Tuxedo Kamen. "Get her out of here."
"You need me," he protested.
"She needs you more! She's our daughter, Mamo-chan! Get her to safety!" The tall man nodded, leaping away with his precious burden. The furious princess turned to her enemy, power clothing her as it never had before. "How dare you," she hissed at the youma that appeared before her, seemingly made of crystal. "How dare you destroy her home and force her to run away from the only life she's ever known?" She pulled out her Cutie Moon Stick, dispensing with her usual speech as she pointed it at the crystallized youma. It stared, waving its hands to attack, and Jupiter readied her power.
Mars laid a hand on Jupiter's arm, purple eyes glowing in the gloom. "Let her."
"Moon Princess Halation!" She didn't wait for all the dust to fall to the ground before she headed for the palace again, her Senshi struggling to keep up. She could hear Mamoru in the back of her mind, and she followed the call, stopping at the edge of the palace grounds. She reached out her hand, pulling back from the energy crackling under her fingertips. "A force field," she realized. "How did Mamo-chan get through? Maybe it's keyed to the Moon family." She didn't notice her senshi's shocked expressions at her logical deduction, and Mercury felt no need to pull out her computer. Usagi called on her Moon powers, the golden crescent glowing from her forehead, and she stepped through the field, glancing back at her senshi. "Call on the powers of your planets and you should be able to walk through. I think your future selves are creating this."
Mars was the first to move, easily overcoming her shock at Usagi's words. She had known that her future self was somewhere, and she had expected to be protecting her princess. Closing her eyes, Mars felt fire fill her veins, and a strange burning sensation accompanied the symbol of her guardian planet on her forehead. She easily passed the barrier, three senshi just behind her. Their princess nodded once before heading for the main gates of the palace, her determination almost frightening to observe.
They were met by a tall man in the mists, dressed in lavender, a staff in his hands. He seemed almost transparent, barely there/ Usagi stopped when she spotted him, tilting her head slightly. "Mamo-chan?"
"No, I'm Neo-King Endymion, the future Chiba Mamoru."
"Where's Mamo-chan? And Chibiusa?"
The transparent man tilted his head to one side. "You know?"
"She told me. Or, he did, actually. She used the ginzuishou to heal me after a pretty bad youma attack."
He seemed surprised at that. "Well. Sailor Moon, Sailor Senshi, please follow me inside. We have a lot to talk about."
Outside the shield, a man in white floated, glancing at Emerald's latest youma. He narrowed his eyes, a third one appearing from the crescent moon on his forehead, and he smiled. "So, future queen, you were careless. I have power now to take you for my own. And I will, Serenity." He vanished.
To be continued