Black Moon: Eclipse of the Sun - Epilogue

Ranma stared out at the massive curve of the Sun beyond the windows of his now ancient home. The latest disaster was dealt with, the kingdom was again safe and he had more pressing issues at hand. He walked over to the desk where he worked on his equations and dreamed of fixing his most colossal mistake. In either life, he mused silently.

Carefully, as if the gilded envelope was a cobra readying to strike him, he picked up his invitation. His very strongly worded invitation to the private party of Queen Serenity. With a sigh, he realized that this was more likely something of a business meeting in a semi-casual atmosphere.

He picked at his vaguely-military dress uniform and frowned at his reflection in the polished, golden surface of the metal that made his private home and retreat. Should he go as he was? No, if he was there the other, lesser guardians could be too.

And if Sailor Io was there, this was the utterly wrong form to be in. There was too much pain to get past.

A moment's concentration chilled the air around him, condensing water vapor onto his skin. The chilling embrace brought a waver and suddenly he was shorter and definitely female. His magically enchanted clothing automatically conforming to a pale, golden dressing gown and her scarlet hair was swept up to one side.

She looked out the massive windows. She would have to do two jumps to get to Earth, as it was on the other side of the Sun. With a flash of blinding light, she disappeared.

"So, are we all ready?" the 'new' Queen Serenity asked her closest friends from either life.

Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Uranus were definitely ready and willing to do to help their troubled friends. Those two had been avoiding a confrontation from before even the great white freeze. But only recently had they discovered just why there had been such a problem.

All of the Inner and Outer Sailor Scouts were here, wearing their gowns of gilt and satin. The Queen and King sat on their thrones, while their daughter sat near them in her smaller throne, cradling the baby form of the reborn Sailor Pluto who would be heir to the new home of the Gate of Time, the ninth planet Solitude that replaced the destroyed Pluto.

A majordomo entered and spoke up. "Sailor Sun, champion and protector to all." He stepped back to let Sailor Sun walk in.

Sailor Moon entered and walked up to the throne and bowed deeply and elegantly. "My Queen and King." She noticed Sailor Io being approached by Sailor Jupiter, who put her hand on Io's shoulder.

"Finally! There has come to my attention a matter of state that must be attended to. Sailor Sun, Sailor Io, stand forth!"

"Um?" Sailor Sun was not prepared for this. Was the Queen going to interfere with their problem. A very angry and determined expression plastered itself on her features. She started to take a step back when two of the Senshi standing behind her suddenly grabbed her in two very solid arm locks. "Hey!"

"Uh, uh! No running away this time!" Sailor Uranus said with a tight grin. She hooked her leg around Sailor Sun's, ready to drop her to the ground if she tried to escape.

"She's right. You two have been tip-toeing around each other for too long," Mars explained as she leveraged the hold a bit tighter.

"Hey!" Sailor Io snapped out.

"Io, please," Sailor Jupiter said into her ear. "It really is for the best." She led her friend and closest Senshi forward with no further fuss, though with her own unhappy expression.

"It has come to my attention why exactly you two have had your problems." Queen Serenity sighed and stood up and walked up to them. She took a deep breath and then shouted, "YOU IDIOTS! We're your friends and we could have helped you!" She gave them both a very angry look.

"But there's no cure," Sailor Sun mumbled. "I ruined everything. How could I let her down like that? I was no man at all."

"Well, luckily for you, you happen to be wrong. Sailor Mercury has determined the absolutely most failsafe way to fix your little problem," the queen pronounced.

All of the Sailor Senshi moved closer, even the lesser moons, until they were all joined hand in hand.

"The Silver Millennium Crystal can cure any ills, with enough power. With the power of the entire solar system, including the Sun, you will finally be healed, Ranma," Queen Serenity explained. "Join with us to remove your pain, to come back to us."

Power flowed into and through all of the Sailor Senshi until the light was blinding. Suddenly it dimmed.

"Well, that's that," the queen said with a smile that she turned to share with her husband.

A horrific thought suddenly occurred to Sailor Sun. "But using the Silver Millennium Crystal drains you! You could have been hurt!"

The queen rapped her knuckles on Sailor Sun's forehead. "That's why you all helped me. I think I might be missing a few minutes of my life, that is all. This is well worth that small cost. Besides, you have more important matters to deal with, don't you?" She pointedly looked from Sailor Sun to Sailor Io.

The two Sailor Senshi suddenly realized that everyone was waiting on them. Sun was released from her hold.

"Io... Akane? I don't know what to... say. I never stopped loving you, you know. It was just so painful, not to be able to give you the children you wanted. I couldn't stand hurting you like that." Sailor Sun just stared at her slippered feet.

"You hurt me by shutting me out, Ranma. I know those long years, trapped with you and finding out that we couldn't have children were tough on us, but I never, ever stopped loving you. Even when you made me so angry I wanted to pound you through a few walls. Don't shut me out." Sailor Io looked around. "Don't shut us out. Come home."

Suddenly, the two of them were holding each other tight, kissing each other as if their lives depended on it.

"Go get a couch, you two!" Sailor Venus shouted out after whooping ecstatically.

Everyone sighed. "It's 'go get a room', Minako," Mercury stated while looking up for some sort of divine intervention.

"It is?"