"Mama. Mama! Can you hear me? Wake up."
The sweet voice of her second youngest daughter was what drew Usagi from the depths of unconsciousness. She fought her way back to the surface, forcing herself to awaken in spite of the tight hold that it had on her. Dimly, she realized that she was being supported against a surface that was hard and warm, and that strong arms were wrapped around her upper body. Her eyes blinked open and she stared up into dark eyes set into a familiar face. A smile touched her lips.
"I told you that I was a fighter," she teased softly.
Logan snorted and shook his head, unable to fight back his grin. "I guess I ought to learn not to doubt your word," he said.
Usagi smirked. "I guess you should," she answered, reaching up for him. She got her hands around his neck and pulled herself up enough so that she could kiss him.
"Ew, that's gratitude for you. Help her save the world and she totally ignores us," Chibi-Usa said impishly.
"No more kids," Logan said, rolling his eyes when she broke the kiss.
"Not right now, anyway," Usagi said with a wink before sitting up and facing her three children. She held her arms out to Chibi Chibi, Chibi-Usa, and Hotaru, who eagerly cuddled into her embrace. Chibi Chibi wound up in her lap, while Hotaru and Chibi-Usa knelt on either side of her. Logan backed off a bit, though he kept close enough so that she knew he was there.
"Are you okay, Usagi-mama?" Hotaru asked.
"Yes, I'll be fine. I'm just a bit sore and tired. Nothing a long bath and food won't cure." She rolled her shoulders, curious to know how much damage had been done. But although her whole back felt more than a bit tender, nothing hurt to the point of serious concern. "Are you three okay?"
"We're fine. She didn't do anything to us," said Chibi-Usa, knowing what her mother was really asking.
"Chibi Chibi-chan... was that you I heard?" Usagi looked into the deep blue eyes of her youngest daughter. Chibi Chibi blinked and tilted her head in an adorable fashion, as though asking a silent question. "Someone spoke... Sailor... Star?"
"Chibi... chibi!" Chibi Chibi squealed, giggling. She clapped her hands together. Usagi raised her eyebrows and sighed at the answer. Chibi Chibi had always been something of a conundrum to her, but she had thought that they'd finally reached the end of the mysteries surrounding her. Apparently not. That voice that had helped them by invoking another, unfamiliar sailor crystal... It sounded just like the one that had spoken to her in the battle with Chaos. Could it really be Chibi Chibi? Would she someday become Sailor Star? Maybe there was even more to the little girl than she had guessed.
"Sailor Star?" Chibi-Usa echoed thoughtfully. "Hmm... I like the sound of that."
"The guardian of the night and all lost stars?" Hotaru added, smiling a little. "It fits you, Chibi Chibi-chan!"
"Chibi chibi, chibi!"
"I don't know how you did it, but everyone else is alright," Logan broke in.
Usagi looked up. Her heart filled with joy when she saw the X-men and her senshi standing around, all speaking in low voices. Even Rei and Ami seemed to have recovered from the battle, though Rei was leaning heavily against the fountain's rim as she spoke to Professor Xavier and Jean, and Ami was cradling her side. Beyond surface wounds, every single one of her friends had been reborn. She recalled the battle with Chaos, when Chibi Chibi had led the starseeds of her friends and lover back to her, and smiled. There was no doubt in her mind that Chibi Chibi had come through for her again.
"Make that the guardian of lost souls," she said, hugging Chibi Chibi close. "Thank you, Chibi Chibi."
"Mommy," Chibi Chibi said into her ear, so clearly that Usagi's eyes went wide. "Welcome."
"Usagi-chan!" Minako shouted suddenly. "You're awake!"
Suddenly, Usagi found herself swarmed by a bunch of people. She handed Chibi Chibi to Chibi-Usa and accepted Logan's hand in getting to her feet. A twinge went through her back when she straightened, but she ignored it in favor of hugging as many people as she could get her hands on. Her senshi and most of the X-Men accepted the embrace with open arms. Even Mamoru hugged her quietly, and Luna, Artemis and Diana gave her quick kisses on the cheek. Every single person – or cat – looked whole and healthy, and she leaned against Logan as she beamed at them. Once more, fate had smiled upon them.
"I'm so glad that everyone is okay," she said softly.
"I hear that it's thanks to you," said Bobby. He wrapped an arm around an eighteen-year-old Makoto, who flushed with pleasure. "Thanks."
"I wasn't the only fighting," Usagi said with a laugh. "Everyone did. If I weren't for Yaten, we wouldn't have known to destroy that necklace. If it weren't for Logan..." she squeezed his arm gently "we wouldn't have gotten it away from her. And if it wasn't for Rogue, then we wouldn't have been able to get rid of it."
All eyes turned to Rogue, who blushed faintly. She'd obviously kept her part in the story a secret. "I... Well, it wasn't that big a deal," she said. "But... look." Lifting her hand, she reached out and touched Scott on the arm. It took him a minute to realize that Rogue wasn't wearing her glove. He froze in the act of pulling away and stared at her in awe. Rogue turned even more pink and drew her hand back. "I think... the ginzuishou... it changed my power. I feel like there's a switch in my head that I can press when I want to absorb powers from other mutants. The rest of the time... I'm okay."
"That's fantastic!" Kitty said, throwing her arms around her best friend. "I'm so happy for you, Rogue."
"I bet Gambit will be happy, too," said Kurt, winking. Rogue flushed even darker and whacked him in the back of the head. He yelped. "Hey hey, no hitting the fuzzy dude!"
"Yeah, Rogue, stop slapping my boyfriend around." Minako wrapped her arms protectively around Kurt and kissed the top of his head. "I need him for more than just looks, you know."
"Ugh! I did not want to know that," Rogue grumbled.
Silver hair billowed around Usagi as the wind blew. She combed it back out of her eyes and sighed. The spell keeping them locked into their fourteen-year-old forms had ended, and her body looked older again. No doubt the power of the ginzuishou and the Rose Crystal had been responsible for that. Even Chibi-Usa and Hotaru looked a little older, though Chibi Chibi had remained the same age. Usagi turned, pressing her body against Logan's. His eyebrows rose and he glanced at her with amusement.
"Yeah, a long bath and a husband by my side."
"I'll give you the first. You'll have to earn the second."
She giggled. "I'll offer you three loving daughters and the promise of a very exciting life."
He pretended to think about it. "Is that a promise you can keep?
"Oh, absolutely," she said, silvery eyes twinkling.
"Then it's a deal."
They sealed it with a kiss.
And that's it, the end of Stars Above. Goodness, I am so glad that this story is finally over and I can mark it as complete! Please review to tell me what you thought of the ending.