The Letter
A Sailor Moon fanfiction
By: Azurite - azurite [AT] seventh-star [DOT] net
Site: seventh-star [DOT] net

Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon; Naoko Takeuchi, Kodansha, Toei, DiC/Cloverway/et. al. do. I'm making no money off this story; it's a not-for-profit, for-entertainment venture.

Spoilers: Seriously, the series is over 10 years done! But if you haven't watched all the anime or read all the manga, consider yourself potentially spoiled. Sorry!

Notes: For the_circlet community on LiveJournal's first 3-hour "drabble" challenge of 2009. Although the minimum is 1,000 words, which is 10x what I'd consider "true" drabble length, I tend to write a lot more than 100 words at a time, anyway. I'm trying to jog my muse into action, so I'm going with the first fandom and idea that's come to mind. As you can see from the above, it's "Sailor Moon," which I haven't written for in a while. I hope this'll be halfway decent; let me know either way.

Rating: For Teens/T/PG-13

"I don't know what to do." Usagi held up a paper envelope in front of her face and flicked it away before Ami could examine what it said.

"Well hello to you, too, Usagi-chan," Ami Mizuno said, stepping away from her apartment door to let her long-time friend inside. Usagi dashed inside as if something were after her, but when Ami glanced into the pristine, carpeted halls, there was no one -or nothing- to be found. Besides, there hadn't been any youma -or droids or daimon or lemures or phages- for years now. Sure, there would be in the not-so-distant future: they all knew that, but they weren't going to worry about the when just yet. They were too busy enjoying their normal lives. After all, everything could be up-ended in a matter of moments, and it would be goodbye to the identities of "Usagi Chiba" and "Ami Mizuno" and hello to "Neo-Queen Serenity" and "Sailor Mercury." Their old identities would get shrouded in the mists of time, and Earth would get yet another chance.

Ami closed her apartment door quietly and headed to the living area, where Usagi had yet to make herself comfortable. Instead, she was pacing, which was highly unusual for a girl like her -even with all the frenetic energy Usagi seemed to have, pent up and useless without Sailor Senshi fights to expend it in. Ami lowered her head slightly and smiled so Usagi couldn't see; never would Ami have thought the day would come when Usagi would give off an aura of needing to be in a battle in order to feel "normal." But that's just how she looked now: edgy and worried, with far too many thoughts swirling in her head, far too much energy in her blood, and nothing to channel any of it into. Unlike Ami, Usagi didn't have an exhausting job to channel her energy into. She had yet to graduate university because she kept taking classes in courses that had nothing to do with each other: English, Psychology, Pre-Med Nursing, Elementary Education, this, that, and the other thing. She probably had enough credits to graduate, but not enough to get a degree.

"Have a seat, Usagi," Ami prodded, and Usagi looked toward her with wide, blue eyes.

She still looked younger than her twenty-five years, Ami observed. She briefly wondered just how old the Neo-Queen Serenity they'd saved -or would save, right? Because none of it had happened yet, even if it was all just a memory to Ami and Usagi- had been. If they'd known that, maybe they'd know when to expect whatever great cataclysm would cause the Sleep that would lead Earth into the 30th century.

Ami had been thinking about that more and more often, and she couldn't figure out exactly why. It wasn't as if she had Rei's predictive abilities or Pluto's insight. She'd just been thinking about it, and those thoughts were leaking into her everyday life. Usagi couldn't even come over to discuss something without Ami's thoughts wandering over to the topic of the coming apocalypse.

"Would you like some tea?" Ami headed toward the kitchen, thinking that even if Usagi accepted out of politeness -something Usagi either picked up as the entertaining wife of Tokyo Municipal Hospital's most attractive resident or because she was becoming more like her past-or-future self- she needed the tea more for herself.

She'd been on edge so often, she couldn't even relax on her proper day off. It probably didn't help that, just as she was settling in for her first free day in ages, Usagi called frantically to ask if she could come over and talk about something.

She hadn't said what, and had hung up on Ami before she could ask. All Usagi had needed was confirmation that Ami was home, and that was it.

Ami hadn't heard Usagi respond either way, so when she emerged a few minutes later, she held two cups of tea in her hands. Better safe than sorry. It was Ami's personal policy to be cautious.

Usagi had managed to calm herself down enough to seat herself, but she was still in such a daze that she kept on staring straight ahead, instead of at Ami, who sat catty-corner to her in a plush chair.


Usagi seemed to snap out of her stupor, but only long enough to stop folding the envelope in her hands into tiny triangles. The envelope had already been opened, Ami noticed, for its top was torn messily, as if Usagi had opened it in another frenzy of energy. She didn't bother with decorative letter openers. Anyone that got her -or even the future Queen- such a silly thing didn't know her very well.

Undoubtedly someone would do just that in the future, and Ami would again lower her head and smile so no one could see.

"What's in the letter?" Ami asked gently, hoping that her observation was correct. It certainly seemed to be, for those words opened a floodgate.

"I honestly didn't know," Usagi began, her voice climbing to a higher pitch. "Mamo-chan was away at Harvard and then always busy working his residence, and I was just trying to get by, figure out what the heck to do with myself when there were no fights to fight or a definite date when the world would end and I'd have to step in as Queen. And in the meantime everyone thinks I should prep myself and get more Queen-like, but heck if I know what that means! I just wanted to live a normal life -be a normal girl, if that's even possible for us."

"Usagi, slow down. I don't understand where any of this is going."

Usagi thrust the envelope out at Ami, who took it gingerly and slowly removed the contents: a two-page, handwritten letter on regular computer paper and a pair of photos. Ami would have read the letter first, but something about the photos caught her eye.

It was a picture of a young boy, probably no older than four years old. He had bright blonde hair and blue eyes, which wouldn't have been of particular interest except for the fact that the accompanying letter was written in stilted Japanese with a childish scrawl to it. That and the fact that there was a shape on his forehead that most definitely wasn't a stray lock of hair.

It was a crescent moon.

Ami stared up at Usagi, whose eyes had suddenly gone from wide and worried to desperate and confused.

"I have a son, Ami."

"I say we burn it," Rei said, gesturing toward the letter. She held a finger up and a small, yellow-red flame flickered up from it. Minako hugged the letter in her hands closer to her chest, leaning away from Rei.

"You know, doing stuff like that is why I call you the 'Human Torch,'" Makoto said, blowing on a freshly-roasted yam. "What would you do if someone saw?"

Rei scowled and put the flame on her fingertip out with a thought. "Oh, please. They'd think I was holding one of those pen lighters or something. People will see what they want to see."

"And if someone wants to see a girl with the ability to generate fire from her hands?" Makoto asked. "I'm telling you, just because you've got the ability doesn't mean you should use it. What if the apocalypse is tomorrow and we need that little flame to make the difference between a dusted droid and one that's draining more human energy?"

"You're telling me you don't use your powers when there's a blackout and you're in the middle of cooking?" Rei asked sarcastically, one dark eyebrow raised in question.

Makoto had the grace to blush a shade of pink that matched her earrings.

"We're not going to burn it," Ami said, forcefully directing the conversation back toward its intended target. "What would that accomplish?"

"It would make things easier for everone all around," Rei explained. "No uncomfortable explanations or meetings for Usagi, and the boy gets to think his letter got lost in the mail. It happens. Besides, what's a four-year-old doing sending letters to women he doesn't know in foreign countries, anyway?"

"He's a very smart young boy," Ami began, but of course, she was only judging this based off the boy's letter.

"And pretty cute, too. I wonder what his dad looks like?" Minako chirped, waving one of the pictures.

Usagi groaned audibly and put her head into her hands. "Why did I do it? Why? Can someone tell me, because I really don't know!"

"Usagi, it's okay--" Minako started, leaning to put a reassuring hand on her friend's shoulder. Unfortunately, before she could even make contact, Usagi jolted away as if stung.

"No, it's not okay! I was desperate for money and lonely and on my own, so I donated some eggs, never quite thinking what that meant or anything. And now some young mother's son has found out she's not really his mother and he's managed to find me by rummaging through his mother's files and hunting on the Internet!"

The girls were all silent. They'd heard this from Ami before, but without quite as much emotion lacing each and every word. If there had been any question as to how exactly Usagi felt about the revelation that she had a son out there -a child that wasn't Chibiusa- it was answered now. She was distraught and upset, and above all else, scared witless.

"So... what then?" Minako asked slowly.

"He said in the letter that he and his mom are coming to Japan, right?" Makoto asked. "The letter was dated a few weeks ago, and I think he said something about them coming on the 21st?"

"That's in two weeks," Minako observed. "What are you going to do, Usagi-chan?"

"I hate that question," Usagi stated softly. "But I get the feeling I'm only going to be hearing it a lot more often. 'What are you going to do, Queen Serenity? Going to execute the resistance members, or send them off to a hellish planet on the outer reaches of the solar system? What are you going to do, take over the world or abandon your family?'"

"What can she do?" Rei snapped. "And what exactly does this boy expect? Smart or not, he probably has no idea about anything. He doesn't know what the word 'privacy' means."

"Rei-chan!" Ami gasped. Rei only frowned, but the frown did soften when Rei noticed the sad expression on Usagi's face.

"Do you want to meet him, Usagi? It would be easy enough to find out where he and his mother will be staying," Ami asked.

"Or-- or you could just see him," Minako suggested. "You could probably use the Disguise Pen; he'd never know it was you... and we could all keep an eye out."

"What, and be some sort of undercover agent? That's stupid," Usagi sighed. "He's got Moon Power," she breathed. "He'd see through any disguises, and he'd know all of you just by looking."

"You... really think so?" Makoto asked, chewing on the tail-end of her yam.

"He's my son," Usagi stated softly. "I know so."

"Chibiusa didn't," Minako said.

"Boys are different from girls," Rei said, the sarcasm leaking back into her voice. "Besides, when has there ever been a male heir to the Moon Kingdom? This could change everything."

"Could?" Usagi repeated, a tone of incredulity in her voice. "It already has."

On the 21st, Usagi stood before the entrance of the Tokyo Prince Hotel, clutching the fateful envelope in her hand. Even just a few weeks after its arrival, it looked more like an antique than anything else.

Behind Usagi and across the street was a JR train station. It would only be too easy to run across the way, get on a train, and forget all about this.

Well, maybe not forget.

She could never forget.

Usagi clutched the letter in her hand, wrinkling it just a bit more before stepping into the hotel.

She always met her destiny.