Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon.
Author's note: I'm using the Japanese names for the scouts. There is implied slash (between Haruka and Michiru), but nothing graphic. However, if slash offends you, please leave now.
Time Line Switch
As she watched the stars come out, she felt an arm go around her waist. She smiled, hearing his smooth voice.
"You shouldn't stay out here much longer. You'll catch a cold."
He was always so concerned about her health.
"I won't, Endymion. I promise."
"Good. I wouldn't want my Setsuna bedridden for a couple of weeks."
"Of course not. Shall we go off to our chambers?"
"Why do you
ask such silly questions, love?"
"Just in case you wanted to stay out here longer."
"Now, let's not get into that again."
Neo-King Endymion and Neo-Queen Setsuna walked into the Crystal Moon Palace. They walked down the hall, passed the Inner Senshi's rooms, passed their daughter's room, and into their room. As they laid down. . .
Setsuna bolted up in bed. 'What was that!'
She shook her head. 'It must have been a stray thought which my mind just happened to turn into a dream. I'll just dismiss it.'
She looked at the clock. 1:35 a.m.. 'I've got to stop doing this!' Setsuna thought as she laid back down. She tried to go back to sleep, but the second she closed her eyes, the dream started back up again. Right where it left off. Setsuna opened her eyes. 'This is NOT going to work!'
She flung the blanket off of her and got up. She got something to eat, brushed her teeth, washed her face, and picked up her transformation pen.
"Pluto Planet Power, Make Up!"
Time seemed to swirl around her as Setsuna transformed into Sailor Pluto, the guardian of the Gates of Time. In her hand was her Garnet Scepter, and on top of her scepter was the mystical Garnet Orb.
Sailor Pluto crept quietly out of the home, being careful not to wake the others. The dream was still vivid in her mind, but Setsuna kept dismissing it as she went to tend to her duties at the Gates of Time. Even though it was now 2 a.m., she knew that Chibi-Usa would be along to see her in about five hours at least. It would be nice to see anyone, but it was even nicer to see Chibi-Usa. Maybe Hotaru would be with her this time.
Suddenly, she heard a noise behind her. Gripping her Garnet Scepter, she called out, "Who goes there?"
When Chibi-Usa appeared, Sailor Pluto was shocked. "Small Lady,
what brings you here so early?"
"I had a strange dream, and Mommy and Daddy wouldn't wake up. I thought you might be here."
"Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't be here so early. What was your dream about?" Sailor Pluto asked, sitting on a rock. She laid her scepter down beside her and motioned for Chibi-Usa to come and sit on her lap.
Chibi-Usa, followed by her Luna Ball, ran to her favorite Sailor Senshi and climbed up onto her lap. "I dreamt that Daddy was with you, instead of Mommy."
'Strange. That was the dream that I had.' She thought. Out loud, she said, "Strange. What would make you dream such a silly thing? Neo-Queen Serenity and Neo-King Endymion are happy together, and you're happy with them as parents, right?"
"Yes, Luna-P. I don't know where the dream came from. Do you know?"
"Well, you're happy with your parents, so that's not it. Maybe because you've spent so much time with me, your mind just put together a 'what if' scenario," Sailor Pluto suggested, hoping that her suggestion would satisfy the little girl.
Chibi-Usa smiled at her. "That sounds like it might be it. Thank you, Luna-P. Bye!"
Chibi-Usa slid off of Sailor Pluto's lap and disappearing, going back to the Crystal Moon Palace.
Setsuna sighed, picking up her Garnet Scepter. She stood up, preparing herself to continue guarding the Gates of Time.
EIGHT HOURS LATER (10 a.m.)
Setsuna was still guarding the Time Gates, but she was bored. If she had someone to talk to or something to do, then she wouldn't get bored so easily. She sighed, but alas no one had visited her in the last eight hours. Any 'normal' (what's normal?) person would go just plain crazy for being alone for such a long period of time. Just then, a figure moved in the mist. Setsuna was alert in a second. She gripped her Garnet Scepter and analyzed the figure, no…figures! There were two figures in the mist. She recognized them immediately. She relaxed. "Michiru. Haruka. Are you trying to get hit with in the head with my scepter? Let me know you're coming, and I won't be so much on edge when I see you coming through the fog."
"We like to keep you on your toes, Setsuna," Haruka commented.
"Besides, we weren't trying to get hit with your scepter. It would hurt too much. We hadn't planned on coming here, but someone persuaded us," Michiru added.
Hotaru stepped out from behind Haruka's legs. She spotted Sailor Pluto and broke into a run. "Setsuna-mama!"
Sailor Pluto knelt down and embraced the dark-haired girl. "It was nice or you to visit, Hotaru-chan. But I have a feeling that this isn't just a social call."
"You're right. The Neo-Queen plans to hold a ball tonight. All of the Sailor Senshi are invited. So if you don't mind leaving the Gates of Time for a few hours tonight, we'll see you at six."
"I'll be there!" Sailor Pluto called out as her friends and fellow Outer Senshi left.
'Just eight more hours to endure, before I can get a break. If I'm lucky, I'll receive more visitors.'
Sure enough, a few minutes later, Sailor Venus stopped by to talk to Sailor Pluto, not to mention give her a soda.
Sailor Pluto smiled as she took the drink. "Thank you, Sailor Venus. Now, what did you want to talk about?"
"I wanted to talk about the ball tonight. Of course, you knew about it, right?"
"That's right. What did you want to say about it?"
"I heard that Endymion is going to announce something at the ball. After the last dance. But I don't know what it is. No one that I've talked to knows what it is. I thought you had seen Endymion and talked to him."
"I'm afraid not, Venus. But it's probably an announcement about the kingdom, don't worry."
"I hope so, Pluto. So, what are you wearing to the ball? You are going to the ball, correct?"
Sailor Pluto smiled. Sailor Venus could change the topic of a conversation faster than Neo-Queen Serenity could. "I thought I might wear a new dress."
"A new dress? What does it look like?"
"It's a surprise."
"A surprise? Serenity will like that. If she's not stressing out too much about Endymion's announcement that is." Venus stated. "Thanks, Pluto. See ya at the ball."
"Bye, Venus." Sailor Pluto called after her fellow Senshi.
Once again, Sailor Pluto was left alone in the mists surrounding the Gates of Time.
SIX HOURS LATER
Setsuna was just putting the final touches on her ensemble. Her dress was made of the purest, finest crimson red silk that could be found anywhere in the universe. The bow and ties on the back of the dress were an emerald green, a brilliant contrast to the crimson red dress. Although the contrast made the dress look like something out of a dream, it was the reality of the whole idea that made Setsuna smile. As she slipped a emerald necklace on, she heard Michiru called out, "Come on, Setsuna. We're going to be late."
"I'm coming, Michiru," Setsuna called out as she slipped into a pair of black high heels. She grabbed a small black purse on her way out. She met up with Haruka, Michiru, and Hotaru in the hall. Haruka was, as usual, wearing her black and white tuxedo, Michiru was wearing her favorite blue-green satin dress and black high heels, and Hotaru was wearing a lavender dress with white lace at the collar and sleeves (which were three-quarter length sleeves), and she was also wearing black high heels, but not so high. Setsuna joined the group, receiving comments on her dress.
"Where did you get that dress?"
"That looks wonderful on you."
"You look pretty, Setsuna-mama."
"Thanks, Michiru, Hotaru. To answer your question, Haruka, I made the dress."
"Let's go." Michiru was led out the door by Haruka, followed by Hotaru and Setsuna. They made their trek to the Crystal Moon Palace, which wasn't really that far away (fortunately). When they arrived, they spotted the Inner Senshi. Rei was dressed in her usual red dress, but this dress was floor-length. Ami was dressed in a knee-length frosty blue dress, Makoto was in a light green, knee-length dress, and Minako's dress was light yellow, floor-length. Ami saw the Outer Senshi and waved to them. The Outer Senshi waved back and came to the group. Setsuna was once again bombarded by comments about her dress.
"Wow! Is that the new dress you were talking about earlier, Setsuna?" Minako asked.
"It's lovely," Ami commented.
"You made that dress. I've been to almost all of the stores that sell formal attire, and I've never seen anything like that before," Rei mentioned.
"I agree with Ami. It is beautiful," Makoto put in.
Suddenly, the royal trumpets blared, and the double doors opened, revealing Neo-Queen Serenity's dais with Neo-Queen Serenity, Neo-King Endymion, and Princess Chibi-Usa (Serenity) sitting in their appropriate thrones. Then, the Senshi began filing into the ballroom. First Ami, then Rei, then Makoto, then Minako, Haruka was next followed by Michiru, then Hotaru, and Setsuna was last. When all of the senshi reached the Queen's dais, they curtsied (except for Haruka, who insisted on bowing). When they were allowed to take their places among the other guests, Neo-Queen Serenity signaled the trumpets to blare again, which they did. This time the trumpets signaled the music to start up. The guests paired off and started dancing. The Neo-King and Neo-Queen were paired off together, and even, Chibi-Usa was dancing with one of the guests. All of the Senshi (except Haruka) had gotten asked to dance and everyone accepted, except Michiru, whose only partner for the evening would be Haruka.
After several dances, the Neo-Queen went back to her dais, and the Neo-King asked Ami to dance. She accepted, and they danced. The next dance was Rei's turn, then it was Makoto's turn, the Minako's, then Haruka's (she declined), then Michiru's (She actually accepted, much to Haruka's displeasure), then it was Hotaru's turn, and then, finally, Setsuna's turn.
Setsuna had no idea why the Neo-King was dancing with all of the Senshi (who had accepted his invitation that is). Setsuna then realized that this was the last dance of the evening. After this dance, Neo-King Endymion would make his important announcement, if Minako heard correctly.
The music ended, and Neo-King Endymion bowed to Setsuna, and Setsuna left his side to rejoin the Senshi. Neo-King Endymion held up his hands, signaling that he had an important announcement. The crowd was silent as Neo-King Endymion began speaking.
"Citizens and protectors of the Moon Kingdom, I, Neo-King Endymion, have an announcement that will more than likely cause some pain and confusion throughout the kingdom. I hope that all of you will be able to accept my decision, no matter what the consequences might be." Neo-King Endymion looked around the ball room, meeting the gazes of all the Senshi, holding Setsuna's gaze the longest. "My decision is to annul my marriage to Neo-Queen Serenity and marry another. The one I wish to marry is. . . Setsuna."
Upon hearing this, all eyes were on Setsuna, who was shocked to the point of almost collapsing from it. So her dream wasn't just a silly dream or fantasy. It was a premonition. But how could or why did Chibi-Usa have the same premonition? Why couldn't Setsuna foresee this? Surely as the Keeper of Time she could foresee a MAJOR event such as this, but she couldn't. WHY? Why couldn't she foresee this? WHY?
That word/question kept floating around her head, even as Neo-Queen Serenity descended from her dais and approached her. Setsuna's head hurt so much that she had to sit in a chair so she wouldn't slide to the floor. Even though Neo-Queen Serenity started talking to her, Setsuna couldn't hear the words. But when Neo-Queen Serenity touched her arm, Setsuna's mind cleared a little bit. "Setsuna, did you foresee this and were just reluctant to tell me?"
Setsuna looked up at her Queen. "No, your majesty. I was unable to see this event. And I have one question from Neo-King Endymion. WHY?"
"Why did you decide to annul your marriage to Neo-Queen Serenity, who is the nicest, most caring person you'll find in the entire cosmos just to ask me, a lowly Sailor Senshi and protector of the Kingdom, to marry you, when you know the answer is probably going to be 'no'?"
"Yes, that is a good question. But Setsuna, you of all people should understand about Fate and Destiny, the twin sisters of life. They control the direction in which your life turns."
"But there are times when Fate and Destiny take a little break and YOU must decide which direction your life shall turn. Even when Fate and Destiny say that you must go one way, it doesn't mean that you can't go the other way."
Setsuna brought out her transformation pen. "Pluto Planet Power, Make Up!"
Setsuna transformed into Sailor Pluto, and her Garnet Scepter appeared in her left hand. "Neo-King Endymion, you have chosen to ride the River of Time as we all choose to do, but you have come to a fork in the River. Who do you want to ride with? The beautiful and talented Neo-Queen Serenity or plain Setsuna? The choice is yours alone. Choose your destiny, Neo-King Endymion." As Sailor Pluto spoke of the River, the Garnet Orb glowed a mysterious bright glow, almost like an aura. The glow was as bright as any star in the galaxy. Then, as suddenly as the glow appeared, it vanished. "What is your decision, Neo-King Endymion?"
"I choose to ride the River of Time with. . . Setsuna. That is my Destiny."
Sailor Pluto just stared at the Neo-King. Neo-Queen Serenity approached Sailor Pluto. "You did all you could, Sailor Pluto. Thank you."
"There's one more thing that I can do, your majesty. With your permission." Sailor Pluto made a motion with her Time Key, and Neo-Queen Serenity nodded. Sailor Pluto walked up to Neo-King Endymion, raised her Garnet Scepter, and hit Neo-King Endymion upside the head as Neo-Queen Serenity covered Chibi-Usa's eyes.
"That must have been the pain he mentioned earlier." Sailor Pluto heard Minako say.
"Yeah," the other Inner Senshi agreed.
Neo-Queen Serenity approached Sailor Pluto and told her, "You must also choose your own Destiny, Sailor Pluto. Choose wisely."
Sailor Pluto's fuku disappeared, replaced by her crimson red gown. "I must have time to decide what my future and decision will be. I must be going."
Setsuna turned to walk out the door, and the other Senshi and Chibi-Usa saw the tears in her eyes. After Setsuna left, the Senshi tried to follow her, but the Neo-Queen blocked their path with her arm. "She needs to be alone for awhile."
Chibi-Usa, however, slipped out of the Crystal Moon Palace, unnoticed. She knew where Setsuna was going. To the Gates of Time. It was a quiet place to think. When Chibi-Usa got there, she didn't see Setsuna anywhere, but she saw Sailor Pluto sitting on a rock. Chibi-Usa approached the Guardian of Time and put a hand on Sailor Pluto's leg. Sailor Pluto looked up and smiled, when she saw Chibi-Usa.
"Luna-P, why did you have tears in your eyes when you walked out of the ball room?"
Sailor Pluto sighed. "Your mother and father belong together, but Neo-King Endymion has suddenly decided to annul that marriage and ask me to marry him. What am I to do? I don't want to disrupt the Time Stream, but this might be my only chance to marry someone. It's still curious why I couldn't see this MAJOR event or even its repercussions."
"Maybe you did, but they weren't any different," a new voice put in. Sailor Pluto and Chibi-Usa looked up and when they saw Sailor Moon, they gasped.
"Yes, Chibi-Usa. It's me."
As Chibi-Usa ran to Sailor Moon, Sailor Pluto asked, "Why did you transform into Sailor Moon?"
"I thought it would be easier to talk to a fellow Senshi then to Neo-Queen Serenity or Chibi-Usa."
"But one of the other Senshi could have done the same. Why you?"
"I thought you might want to talk to me on the same level."
"Well, I've told Chibi-Usa about it, and you've heard the last part of it. I just don't know what to do."
"If the repercussions of his decision and your decision are not any different than the regular Time Stream, then it's all up to what you want."
"If I say no, would you and Neo-King Endymion get back together?"
"I'm not sure. He's pretty well set on marrying you. You know how you described me and yourself when you were telling him to make his decision. As I said earlier, you did all you can do. This is your decision alone."
"Thanks for your help, Sailor Moon." Sailor Pluto stood up. "I think I'll go tell Neo-King Endymion my decision."
And with that, she left the Gates of Time.
Sailor Pluto walked into the Crystal Moon Palace. She looked in the ball room and all around the palace, trying to find Endymion. She found him on the balcony just down the hall from the Inner Senshi's quarters and Chibi-Usa's as well as his and Neo-Queen Serenity's. Before she said anything, Endymion said, "Sailor Pluto."
He didn't turn around or say anything else. Sailor Pluto stepped closer to the Neo-King. "What is it, Endymion-sama?"
Endymion turned around and asked, "What is your decision?"
"I choose. . .I choose. . .Yes." Sailor Pluto didn't know how to say it.
"Yes, I will marry you," Sailor Pluto said aloud. In the back of her mind, she was remembering her dream. 'It was just like this, except for a couple details.'
Endymion smiled and embraced Sailor Pluto. When the embrace was broken, Sailor Pluto's fuku faded away, replaced by her crimson dress. Endymion hugged her again. She returned the hug as she thought, 'This sort of feels right. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I made the right decision.'
When the hug was once again broken (much to Setsuna's dismay), they turned to go back into the palace and saw Chibi-Usa and Neo-Queen Serenity coming up the grand staircase. When Chibi-Usa saw Setsuna, she ran to her. "Luna-P!"
Setsuna bent down and caught the little girl as she ran to her and picked her up. Chibi-Usa hugged her favorite Senshi. Setsuna nodded at her queen. Neo-Queen Serenity nodded back, understanding what Setsuna's decision was.
"I love you, Luna-P!" Chibi-Usa cried out.
"I love you, too, Small Lady," Setsuna replied.
Neo-Queen Serenity knelt down next to the kneeling figures of Setsuna and Chibi-Usa. "I know your decision was a difficult one. I trust you believe that you made the right one."
"I hope so, your highness," Setsuna answered.
"No, Setsuna. I'm not your queen any more."
"Yes, you are. You are until you and Endymion are officially divorced, but then, it will still probably take me awhile to stop calling you 'your highness' or 'your majesty'."
Setsuna and Chibi-Usa stepped out of the embrace. Neo-Queen Serenity stepped closer to Setsuna, and the older Senshi embraced her queen. In Setsuna's mind, Serenity would always be her queen, no matter what the situation.