The Great Freeze
All original ideas mine, yay for all copyrighted Sailor Moon materials. I hope everyone's enjoying this story. If you like this story please check out CRESCENT MIRROR an AU fic I have about Serena and Darien!
As always: read and review!
HRH Princess Bunny Small Lady Serenity Tsukino
Correction: PRINCESS BUNNY LADY SERENITY TSUKINO
Mina didn't think I had caught that look that flashed in her eyes as I asked her the all critical question. It's going to take her some time to realize I'm not like eleven anymore. Even Mama agreed we could change Small Lady to Lady as I was officially, at sweet sixteen, a lady. There's another thing Mina doesn't know and something I think the Outer Scouts have hinted on: I know Mama and Papa's wedding date. I also know something else—I'm gonna be there. Yup, yours truly at the inquisitive age of five, prior to the Black Moon of course, stumbled upon some old actual albums and being the curious soul I was decided to take a quick look see. Luna was off doing something other than minding me. The girls had somehow managed to let me out of there sight for more than ten minutes and I was thrilled to be alone and looking at these weird leather books. There amongst the lovely pictures was a large group picture of what seemed to be the girls at Mama and Papa's wedding. Next to a dark haired girl I did not know was a beautiful girl who looked like Mama but with pink hair in conical buns. Unluckily for me, Mama came bustling in, exclaimed, told me the girl was a distant cousin who had no survived the Freeze, and gathered me up to play with her. Yet, I knew she was lying. Mama was never a good liar. I had forgotten that incident until last week, or was it two weeks ago? No matter.
Twinkle, twinkle! Diana came scuttling into my chamber, nearly crashing over a pile of books I had sacked next to me on the armchair. She straightened up, bowed her small head and smiled at me.
"Yes, Di?" I asked as I marked my place in my history book and unfurled myself out of the armchair by the fire.
"My lady Queen asks that you grace her presence in her private office," Diana repeated proudly. I nodded.
"Need I bring anything with me?" Thinking that Mama might want to quiz me or something similar.
"No milady," She smiled, "Come, come," I nodded again and followed my favorite guardian cat through the winding corridors of the Private Quarters of the Royal Family. The hustle was quiet and full of small adulations to me that I acknowledged.
Mama's Private Office was empty and surrounding her were stacks of papers and what seemed to be old photos. Mama waved me in, "Hello darling! Sorry for the short notice. Please sit here," she patted the divan next to her.
I sat straight up and waited for Mama to be done shuffling, she continued.
"Um, Mama?" I timidly interrupted her flow of thoughts.
"Do not say, um, dearest. Speak with conviction or else no one will take you seriously," Big blue eyes turned to me and they were full of smiles and love. I grinned and accepted her quick kiss to the forehead.
"Now Rini, I have asked you here…now where did that go?" She murmured and pushed aside charts, timelines, and what in the world was she doing?
"Do you need some help?" I volunteered. Mama laughed. Her laugh had never changed. While I may find it hard to believe that Tsukino Bunny would one day be my mother, her pealing laugh always reminded me that the two women were one and the same.
"Ah, my Princess, I shall always need your help," she suddenly pulled me into her lap—no small feat considering I was nearly three inches taller than her at this point and on a separate chair.
Mama straightened up, ruffled my bangs, and looked at me with a piercing sad look, "There are times I wish that I could keep you with me all the time and you would never change and always be my perfect Small Lady," her hand was cool against my cheek, "Alas, I do not know the finer particulars of the Space Time Continuum or else I would selfishly keep you to myself all these years and deprive Bunny of your company!" She threatened lightly. I smiled weakly.
"I'm getting ahead of myself. Ah! Look here Rini, what do you see?" She asked holding up a faded copy of a photo.
"Tis your wedding photo, Mama. I see you, Papa, the Outer Scouts though Hotaru looks frightfully young, and the girls, and…and…"I paused as I came across my pink haired cousin, "And a random cousin who I seemed to have inherited my hair from?"
Mama took a magnifying glass and scrutinized the fading picture, "Cousin? Cousin? Oh yes…well here, look at her again through this," she handed me the magnifying glass that whirled softly as it zoomed further and further in before it captured the face of the girl and blew it up.
"You! Yes, of all the things that happened I was the happiest you had come back," she said softly, already reminiscing.
"But, Mama, I thought that I was done training? And how did I attend your wedding? And…" I stopped.
Mama laughed softly, "Yes, you are done with your training but your duties as a Scout are just beginning! There is a certain task I need you to accomplish and only one person can go back in time without creating a flare on the Space Time Continuum. Who else but the holder of the Original Silver Imperium Crystal that the Bunny of the present time has?" Mama raised her eyebrows at me and smiled, "Five years, of course, have passed since you were last in the 20th century, well the 21st century now. I assume you know your history well enough to tell me what this means?"
I nodded. When Mama was 21 she was married to Papa and the Last Great Battle for Earth happened, the World was frozen over to heal it from the ravages of battle, Mama awoke everyone who could be saved, cleansed them as her last act as Sailor Moon, and became Neo-Queen Serenity on her 22nd birthday. I was born on her 23rd birthday.
"Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta will join you after your first mission is accomplished," Mama added interrupting my thoughts, "There is also something else I must warn you of—you are going back to a time where the girls think they have finally gotten everything they always wanted. They are artificially happy and in a limbo as they suspect what the future holds. The Outer Scouts are against the Inner Scouts once more and this time…" She stopped and looked away, "I'm sending you to the Outer Scouts instead of Bunny and the girls,"
I gasped and barely contained my outrage and amazement. Here I had been so excited at seeing Bunny and the girls again and I was being sent to the stuffy Outers!
The Outers were more different than I remembered. My Puu was distant, Michiru polite, Haruka distracted—but Hotaru was a girl I remembered too well.
She grasped my hands, "Rini! You look so pretty!" She gushed giving me a much needed hug.
"Thanks! So do you! Wow Hotaru! You look so grown up!" I replied taking in her new long hair and a height that rivaled Haruka's.
We secreted ourselves away, the elder girls talking furiously ahead of us.
"What's wrong?" I hissed, "Why is everyone acting so weird—"
"And treating us like retards? Don't worry—they're doing the same thing to Mina,"
"Oh, I bet she's pissed off," I giggled, "And Bunny?" I asked eagerly.
A shadow fell over Hotaru's face, "Don't get me started. They're not telling her anything either. They're 'letting' Mina break the news this week,"
"What news? Me?" I grinned. Her face remained dark.
"No…" She swallowed, "The…Armageddon,"
"You know," Hotaru gestured, "The ending of this world and the beginning of the Great Freeze and Crystal Tokyo,"
"And that's an Armageddon…how?" I asked stupidly.
Hotaru gave me an incredulous look, "Are you kidding? You, of all people? The world as we know it is going to end—we think we know how it's going to happen but don't know who or why—Rini, don't you get it?" Hotaru ticked off the reasons on her fingers. Her face was crumpling, "And they—" she jabbed an angry finger at the Outers who were waiting for us by Haruka's sporty SUV, "WON'T LET US WORK LIKE A TEAM!" she bellowed.
Michiru looked mildly shocked and Haruka rolled her eyes.
"C'mon my bubblegum princess, don't let Ms. Gloomy get you down too," Haruka grinned.
I smiled—being a Royal Princess teaches you a lot of useless things—including how to smile on command and whatnot even when you really don't agree or anything. I could not believe how they were behaving. The Scouts as I knew them…those idols of mine…were gone. Replaced by some droidesque women who were so caught up in their duty they had forgotten the greater picture—their Princess.
I made fake excited conversation with them, fudged about my purpose for returning, etc. etc… I needed to get to Mina, and I needed her to know what was going on. I sighed, looking out the window. I don't need to get to Mina to make this work—I needed to get to Bunny and fast.