"Let me ask you something. How do you know if you're destined to find someone? I mean, I do believe that everyone has a soul mate. But what if he dies before you can meet him? Do you get another one? Or was that your only shot? And if he's your only shot will you never find happiness…"
"Jeez Serena shut up!! You're thinking too damn hard…besides the chances of a meatball head like you finding her prince charming, are about as likely as Mina being an idol, Lita getting hooked up with Andrew, the owner of that arcade in the mall, and of Amy getting married before she gets her doctorate." Ray snatched up her soda in annoyance and sipped from her straw.
Serena glared at Ray for a full minute before she burst into laughter. "Yeah I guess you're right. My time will come. Besides a hot little bunny like me not getting laid is such a shame." Serena said outrageously.
Ray snickered in her seat and Serena arched her brow pointedly, "And don't think I didn't catch that you didn't add yourself in your examples of 'likely' Miss Ray Hino!"
"Serena let's not go there. We both know I always get what I want."
"No really. I mean think about it. Yeah you have a great body and your legs go on forever, but you're a complete and utter idiot-"
"Hey!" Serena yelled indignantly.
"-and your hairstyle leaves much to be desired." Ray grinned unrepentantly when Serena fumed. "Now take a look at me. Long raven black hair, deep soulful eyes." Ray clapped her hands together in excitement "mysterious aura, confidant yet vulnerable. Wonderful sense of humor, an athlete's body…"
"The only thing athletic about you is the way your mouth runs." Serena said under her breath but loud enough for Ray to hear.
"And who could resist a pair of talents like these!!" Ray exclaimed and ran a hand suggestively over her breasts.
Serena nearly rolled out of her chair laughing. "Oh my god Ray…you're only a B-32."
"Well at least I qualify enough for a letter unlike some flat chested people I know."
Serena kept on laughing but with less exuberance than before. She was just a little sensitive when it came to her breasts. It was hard not to be when your four best friends all boasted enough to cause a solar eclipse. Right at that moment three long shadows loomed over Serena where she sat with Ray at a picnic table in the park. Looking up Serena saw the faces of her three other best friends in the whole world. Let's face it, with friends like Ray who needed enemies?
"Finally we found you your highness."
Lita quickly jabbed her elbow into Amy's side, before she could continue. "Sheesh Amy! Does the word inconspicuous mean anything to you?"
"I'm sorry Lita. But it's not like anyone's around anyway. This park is practically empty." Amy gestured to the brightly lit yet solitary park.
"Practically, that doesn't mean we don't have to contend with a runner now and again. You never know who might be listening."
"But I did a sweep of the area myself and the pins I fashioned for us all to wear are frequency dampers. If anyone did happen to have a bug planted about my pins would make it utterly useless."
"Still it wouldn't kill us to be careful. But I guess you're right." Lita conceded reluctantly while absently tweaking the Jupiter pin Amy had fashioned for her. The others wore theirs as well. Mina a Venus pin, Amy a Mercury pin, Ray a Mars pin and Serena with a moon pin. "But try not to call her your highness will ya? Not only is it dangerous despite your wonderfully made pins, it gives Serena a big head."
"It does not!!" Serena said truly offended.
"Again I apologize but old habits die hard." Amy said sheepishly.
"Well then commission an assassin and get rid of those habits. We're here because Serena insisted on going to school on Earth and her mother indulges her in all. If our enemies ever discovered she has left the security of the Moon Kingdom and the Imperium Crystal…" Lita let her sentence trail off but the full implication of the warning had sunk in to all four girls.
"Oh, c'mon Lita. Like I don't have enough with Ray chastising me every five seconds. Now you have everyone scared out of their wits."
"Good." Lita confirmed. "Everyone has become too lax in our duty to guard you. We were hand picked by your mother from each of our respective planets to protect you. It's been years since any of us have seen any of our people or families and we've become too accustomed to being considered your friend and equal."
"But you are!" Serena insisted.
"But first and foremost we are your guardians. And equality is not the issue here."
"Lita's right Serena." Mina threw in her vote with Lita. "Though true it may be that each of us are princesses of our own planets, we all know that you are the future of the Moon. Only direct descendants of Moon Royalty, your bloodline Serena, can use the Moon or Imperium Crystal to its full potential. The crystal protects all our planets from our enemies and keeps peace in our galaxy. Without the crystal we are all doomed. Your father died at the hands of Galaxia before your mother was able to banish her with the power of the crystal."
"Your people mate for life Serena." Lita said. "There is no such thing as divorce or faithlessness, its not possible, not with your gene makeup. Your mother will never re-marry or take a lover. She will never be attracted or become sexually aroused by anyone again. You are your parents' only daughter and it is up to you to continue the line. Yes, your bloodline lives hundreds of years longer than any other planets people. Because of the crystal, I must say I'm glad of it. But you are not eternal. You can be killed. And with you would die whatever hope we have for peace. And it's not like you can just go around and get screwed until you pop out with enough babies to ease all our minds. You are only sexually stimulated by your soul mate and are only fertile when around him. Contraceptives don't work with your pair. So even though we are all princesses…My princess, we are not equal."
Ray and Mina nodded their heads in solemn agreement while Serena took a moment to let it all sink in. It's nothing she hadn't heard before…she had heard it all her life. But the years living on Earth in hiding had made her complacent. It did all seem so far away, but now it crashed in, the reality of her situation and responsibility.
"Serena, we don't mean to frighten you, but I think we all needed this reality check." Amy said meaningfully to all. "Your mother, Queen Serenity, originally wanted the guardians of Neptune and Uranus to guard you on Earth, but their responsibilities and battles of keeping Galaxia and her armies out of our system is so constant that the Queen didn't dare remove them from their post. She did send them the two talismans, one mirror and one sword to increase their power and ease their burden. Pluto had her hands full guarding the gate of time, especially now that Galaxia has developed the technology to time travel and the Queen believed that sending for Saturn, the Soldier of Rebirth and Destruction to protect you was overkill."
All five girls chuckled at the pun. The Outer Senshi or Soldiers were the most powerful Soldiers their system had offensively. Though their powers and wisdom were extensive their loyalties to the Moon Kingdom, the Queen and Princess, were never questioned. No one would dare.
"I had no idea my mother contacted the Outer Senshi for me." Serena said in awe. They were legends among her people. Their very names whispered in reverence.
"Damn it Serena!" Ray cried in exasperation. "That's how serious the situation is. We're in a war. If given the chance Galaxia would gut you like a fish and smile while she did it. With you gone, the rest of us would be like sheep to the slaughter. Even the Outer Senshi, as powerful as they are, would ultimately die. We're no match against Galaxia. The only thing we're doing is stalling the inevitable." The girls quickly took seats besides Ray and Serena.
Mina took out a bag of chips and chomped on them. "Let's be real Serena." Mina said with her mouth full. "Queen Serenity adores you. But even she wouldn't put your pleasure, hence visiting Earth, above your safety. This is why she wanted the Outer Senshi but had to settle for us. You've met every eligible male and then some on the Moon, and have yet to find your mate. Which, worst case scenario, means he is dead. If your mate has died and you had yet to meet, then there is still hope. You can still conceive, but only with a male of Earth. They're the only ones besides your mate who's genes resemble your own enough to have a child.
"Eww!!" Serena said in disgust. "A male of Earth?! Is my mother crazy! My people would never accept a male of Earth much less a child of such an unholy union."
Amy shook her head in amusement. "Serena, your prejudices are showing."
"I'm serious here." Serena persisted. "Males of Earth in relationships are known for their infidelity, violent tendencies and…well, they're disgusting. The ugliest people I've seen in my life. And the women aren't much better." Serena shuddered in revulsion.
Amy and the others looked stunned. "If you find the people so revolting, why did you insist on visiting?"
"Because, the gross factor aside, the people of Earth are very interesting. Their lives being so finite, yet they continue to shorten them even more, through pollution and violence. The planet is beautiful but at the rate the people are going, this planet will die. I wanted to visit before it was destroyed."
"Instead of worrying about Earth you should worry about developing your own powers Serena." Ray growled.
"Oh Ray." Serena waved her hand dismissively. "My powers won't awaken until I find my mate. And like Mina said he has likely died or merely has not been found among my people."
"Actually Serena," Amy interrupted smoothly. "Your power awakens when you become sexually active."
"But I only become sexually active when I find my mate." Serena concluded firmly.
"Technically that is not true." Amy continued relentlessly. "The only way you can find satisfaction is through your mate. You can still have sex, you just won't get any pleasure from the experience because you haven't met your mate yet. Once you do all bets are off."
"Wait," Serena said in dismay. "What is it exactly you guys are suggesting?"
"Not suggesting Serena, demanding." Ray said fiercely. "Galaxia's forces grow every day. And her numbers are beginning to rival our own. Soon she will overrun us. I will not see my people dead because you were squeamish. We need the crystal's power and your mother's abilities to wield it are dimming since the death of her mate. She does not hold the same power she once did. We need you to take her place. If you cannot give us an heir as of yet that's fine, but we need your powers to awaken and that means you have to get fucked."
"Ray!!" Amy admonished while blushing furiously.
"We have no time to beat around the bush." Ray told Amy determinedly before facing Serena again. "You won't enjoy it, and I don't care. The lives of billions lie in your hands. Are you willing to sacrifice them all because you don't want to go through a few minutes of discomfort?"
Serena looked away from Rays burning eyes to the other girls, hoping for some support. Amy bowed her head, refusing to meet her eyes, while Mina and Lita, though not happy with the idea, didn't renege on it either. "Are you guys saying that my mother plotted this whole scenario?"
"We're saying that your mother saw you coming to Earth as an opportunity." Lita quickly corrected her. "She knows her powers are leaving her and that soon we will all depend on you. She's given you these years, hoping you would find your mate or at the least someone you were comfortable with. But with Galaxia's power growing we cannot afford to give you any more time. All our people need you to take your place and help in the fight with Galaxia. Only you, using the full force of the crystal can defeat Galaxia."
Serena felt her tears stream down her face as she looked down to her clenched hands resting on her lap. "Do you realize what it is you're asking of me?" She whispered with her heart in her throat. Lita, Mina and Amy quickly wrapped their arms around Serena in support, hating the position she was in but seeing no other way out. Holding each other tightly they cried together. Serena for her shattered dreams of love, and the illusion of giving herself freely for the first time to her beloved. Lita, Mina and Amy, for the agony of knowing they had stolen something precious from their princess but knowing it was the right thing to do.
And unbeknownst to all, Ray's eyes watered at the knowledge that for the lives of her people, of her friends and even Serena herself, she would walk through the fiery depths of hell and drag Serena kicking and screaming to a bed. She knew her friend was a virgin, and knew her dreams of giving her virginity to her husband. But with the way the war was turning against them all, Ray had no choice but to kill those dreams viciously, for the sake of them all. Lita, Mina and Amy, though they knew what had to be done would falter at the face of their princesses tears, and though it would kill something in both her and Serena's souls, Ray did not have that luxury.