It was barely after midnight and the atmosphere in the penthouse hallway of Mamoru's building remained still and uneventful. A spark of golden light materialized directly in front of Mamoru's front door and inflated to form a surging, seven-foot mass of golden energy. The blinding light dissipated to reveal a very regal looking Eternal Endymion holding his gorgeous, giggling bride in his arms. Upon powering down Mamoru fumbled awkwardly to place his key in the lock.
Usagi laid her head on his shoulder, "You could have just teleported inside your apartment you know."
Mamoru smiled playfully at her as he bumped the door open and hoisted her up further in his arms. "I'm only getting married once Usako, so let's just keep with tradition," and he walked over the threshold.
Usagi blushed furiously but was thankful that it was hidden in the darkness. Mamoru shut the door, nudged the light on, and carried Usagi into the living room to place her delicately on the couch. After staring at her briefly Mamoru bent over and kissed her lips reverently a few times.
"Welcome home," he whispered to her.
Mamoru smiled and walked away to hang his tuxedo jacket up in the hallway closet. Usagi sighed, sinking delightfully into the couch while staring dreamily at the Tokyo skyline. She sifted through two lifetimes of memories reminiscing about the literal blood, sweat, tears, and millennia it took for them to reach the altar. Usagi was overwhelmed with emotion and knew she would remember this moment vividly for the rest of her life.
Mamoru carefully draped his tuxedo jacket on a hanger and placed it in the hallway closet. The seemingly calm exterior he projected was completely at odds with the chaos churning inside him. Mamoru sank deeper into the repetitive cycle of his thoughts.
"Should I make love to Usako tonight? Is she ready for this? Is making love the furthest thing from her mind right now? Is it acceptable for me to even attempt it after what just happened to her?-" The stream of mental chatter was endless.
Mamoru shut his eyes, suppressing his fantasies of consuming her. "For God's sake Mamoru! She was just held captive where she was molested constantly. The thought of being touched must seem repulsive to her right now."
He glanced over to the back of her head, "How could I have even thought she would be up for this?" he denounced miserably.
The cloud of hopelessness surrounding Mamoru was so dense and oppressive that he was unable to see every reason he conjured not to consummate their love was a lame excuse; no matter how valid it seemed to him.
Far from the realm of his conscious mind Mamoru was barely treading water. Due to witnessing Usagi's torture and years of guilt festering beneath that, Mamoru was now deathly close to drowning but remained blissfully unaware. Mamoru's sole focus was Usagi and her well being to the point that Mamoru remained completely blind to the fact that he himself was an emotional wreck. Even though Mamoru could barely hold himself together on a subconscious level, outwardly he was functioning normally and now found himself married to the love of his life. His expertly crafted denial could not counter the psychological disaster churning within him, desperately trying to seek an outlet. Due to his intense feelings of failure and the freshness of the Prince Cirius ordeal, Mamoru had subliminally convinced himself that he did not deserve to be with Usagi. This deep-seated, unconscious belief was the reason why Mamoru's judgments were heavily skewed.
He automatically tried to justify his foolishness, "It's very late anyway and I can tell Usako is tired. She probably just wants to crash."
From her position on the couch Usagi stared blissfully at the city of Tokyo. She was Mamoru's wife! Usagi could scarcely believe it but glanced down to the third finger on her left hand where her wedding ring glittered brilliantly. It was solely comprised of a collection of various shades of blue and white diamonds gleaming brightly like clouds in the summer sky. Mamoru had coincidentally found the ring inside the breast pocket of Eternal Endymion's coat, knowing instantly that it belonged to his first mother.
She heard Mamoru call to her, "Usako, do you want anything from the kitchen?"
Usagi grinned wistfully, "Surprise me."
Mamoru instantly froze and cursed himself. He had been soaring so high once Usagi agreed to marry him that he had forgotten to stock up on groceries for their honeymoon. He dismally opened the fridge to be greeted by a sight straight from heaven. His fridge was fully loaded with gourmet food ready to prepare and throw together at a moments notice. Makoto and the girls had given him three days worth of fantastic meals, snacks, champagne, deserts, and everything you could imagine. Mamoru noticed a folded pink note standing on top of a meringue pie. He picked it up and opened it.
Mamoru, you are such a guy. Do we have to think of everything?! Consider this our wedding present to the both of you. (Even Usagi's appetite won't be disappointed ; )
He glanced down to something small written at the bottom,
"Don't do anything Mamoru would do."
He frowned in confusion at the last part then scanned over all the food once again. Mamoru was so relieved the girls had covered his ass and was even more relieved because he wasn't apprehensive anymore about what they were up to.
Mamoru smiled, "I guess that was what they were hiding."
Usagi heard Mamoru open the fridge door then immediately shot up and bolted to the bedroom. She casually called out, "I'm just going to change out of this dress."
With his head buried in the fridge Mamoru smiled pleasantly at that. Dancing with Usagi all night in that knockout dress had driven him to insanity. Her body so thinly veiled and pressing into him in all the right places as they danced was absolute torture. He clenched his fists and wanted so badly to believe that she just wanted to go to sleep. He noticed a few things tied with red ribbon: a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, fresh oysters, exotic cheeses . . . failing to see the point Mamoru formulated his own plan.
Usagi opened the door to Mamoru's darkened corner bedroom and shut herself in. Once the lights were on she froze in stunned silence at the sight before her. Strings of tiny, soft glowing, crescent moon shaped lights draped across the ceiling and dangled over the bed. The ambiance was immediately soft, low, and seductive. The balcony door sat slightly ajar showing the Moon creeping its way above the horizon through curtains billowing gently in the cool breeze. Beneath the dangling lights stood a brand new, majestic king topped with creamy-white down covers, Persian style pillows, and red rose petals that spilled onto the floor. The stereo was on very low but emitted pleasant, suggestive sounds. It was absolutely surreal and Usagi tried not to burst with excitement and sudden nervousness. This was rock solid confirmation that Mamoru was sexually attracted to her and he was going make love to her tonight, she was sure of it. Why else would he do something so obvious and amazing?
Usagi spotted her bag and skipped over to it in a frenzy to rummage inside. She immediately noticed a pink envelope on top of all her things. Curious, Usagi picked it up and instantly recognized Minako's handwriting scrawled on the front. It read:
If all else fails . . .
Usagi furrowed her brow in confusion but opened the envelope, took out the note, and unfolded it. When Usagi read what was written inside she could only stare at it in puzzlement wondering why they would recommend she do something so strange. Why that, of all things? And what do they mean if all else fails? Usagi couldn't understand what they were talking about or why they hinted for her to do something so peculiar. In any case Usagi shrugged her shoulders and remembered the choice she had to make. She had two options for her wedding night extravaganza. One was sexy, but safe, and the other was borderline scandalous. She breathed deeply for a moment and took in all the romantic details that Mamoru had attended to in his bedroom, immediately finding the courage she needed. Turning to the scandalous option Usagi held up the white lace, barely two-piece and could easily see through most of it. She blushed excitedly while grabbing her toiletries and darted for the bathroom.
Mamoru brought out the tray of snacks and champagne to the living room, "This is perfect." He thought.
Here was Mamoru, shamefully hoping that feeding Usagi more food and champagne would put her right to sleep. He knew his girlfriend well and resorted to knocking her out through food before, only when her cavalier attitude to his personal space pushed him to the point where he could pin her beneath him and rip off her clothes.
Mamoru sat gingerly on the edge of his couch while carefully rolling up the sleeves of his shirt thinking, "We're finally married. I really don't deser-"
Before his self-critical thoughts could drag him into oblivion his ears picked up Usagi's squeal of delight behind him.
"Mamo-chan!" Usagi gasped. She spied the champagne, oysters, chocolate strawberries, and exotic cheeses. Usagi was now fully ecstatic and her breathing intensified from anticipation, though she tried to conceal it.
"What would it be like," she wondered, "Making love to Mamo-chan?"
"This is the best!" Usagi blurted out and couldn't believe how romantic he was being. It was turning her on unbelievably.
Mamoru finished rolling up his sleeves while grinning to himself, picturing Usagi in her typical nightwear of pink shorts and a long sleeved shirt. He turned to face her just as Usagi migrated towards the couch, distracted by food, completely forgetting about the entrance she intended to make.
As Usagi's eyes darted over the spread of delicacies before her Mamoru was struck completely dumb, gaping at her like a deer caught in the sexiest headlights imaginable. His eyes locked onto Usagi's almost nude body as if seeing her for the first time and could not blink, unwilling to interrupt the sight of her delicious physique for even one moment.
With food being her only concern Usagi cheerfully bent over to grab a few strawberries and some cheese while Mamoru took intricate, detailed notice of her white, low-cut lace thong irresistibly covering the upper portion of her ass to reveal her naked and supple round bottoms.
Usagi obtained her munchies and happily plunked herself down next to Mamoru. Mamoru watched intently as her perfectly rounded, naked ass cheeks reached out to him, full and glorious before descending into the cushion on his left. Mamoru swallowed dryly as Usagi absentmindedly ducked under his arm and plastered herself to one side of his chest staring up at him through her dusty eyelashes.
"Mamo-chan! Everything is perfect!"
Did Usako just say something? Mamoru wasn't sure because all he could register was the immaculately soft bed of cleavage about to burst from the confines of her strapless, white lace bodice that didn't even reach her navel. It was as if her breasts were perched there, presenting themselves only to him, luring Mamoru in like a gravitational field. Every natural instinct pulsed through his body like a potent drug, compelling him to reach out and consume his wife like any normal man would.
Mamoru, however, was a far cry from normalcy. Usagi's trauma dissolving into the mists of time was indeed a fortunate blessing, but such a thing did not happen to Mamoru. For him everything was fresh, raw, and all consuming.
Mamoru wasn't even remotely conscious of being dangerously close to a total psychological collapse.
The only evidence Mamoru could sense was a gnawing feeling of self-hate, which was becoming more difficult to ignore. Deep down he burned with the belief that he did not deserve to even touch her. Peppering his subconscious were scenes replaying Usagi's torture. Memories of her vacant face, her desolate voice, and wretched screams were burned so deeply into his psyche that he truly was not the same. This wholehearted belief of unworthiness had manifested into Mamoru habitually resisting every opportunity to be one with her. Regardless, Mamoru's sexual instincts pounded him relentlessly. The fierce effort to withstand caused his palms to sweat madly and his breathing began to hitch.
Usagi had her eyes closed nibbling happily on a chocolate strawberry as she sat glued to Mamoru's side, completely content in the present moment.
She smiled thinking to herself, "Mamoru has a fantastic body, it's practically all muscle." Following that thought Usagi felt a pleasant heat spread throughout her being.
Mamoru sat rigid and tense, his gaze never leaving her many exposed curves while inhaling her wonderfully sweet scent. Despite the myriad of emotions boiling inside him, Mamoru snaked his arm around her, holding Usagi closely. There was nothing he could do about that because it was natural and instinctive.
Usagi sighed and pressed into him even more upon feeling his embrace while Mamoru traversed the beginning stages of insanity. She was plastered to him in pretty much a thong and half a bra. His hand could feel nothing but the soft skin of her stomach and practically bare hips. Mamoru experienced the strongest impulse to pounce and devour her, but he resisted, instantly leaning forward to jolt Usagi out of her bliss.
"Some champagne?" He gushed, now fidgeting with the bottle's wire pin a little too aggressively.
Usagi thought his abruptness strange but then remembered the romantic picnic in the living room.
Usagi responded, "Yes please," and couldn't help but blush like crazy, looking down into her lap.
As Usagi's gaze dropped she received a full glimpse of the lingerie she had completely forgotten she was wearing the moment she spotted the food. Usagi recalled her actions in the last few seconds and died of embarrassment, flaming beet red. She had planned to walk in all seductive-like and knock his socks off, but instead she shoveled her mouth with food and adored him like she was fifteen years old. Usagi sighed inwardly, beyond upset with herself. All she wanted was to appear sexy in Mamoru's eyes, but Usagi firmly believed she was consistently failing at that.
Mamoru proceeded to ease the cork out of the bottle and willed his heart to slow down its rapid pace if only a little. The parts of his body that Usagi had pressed up against were burning fire hot and he was having difficultly controlling the swelling that threatened to make his pants uncomfortably tight. His mind drowned in images of creamy soft skin, more than ample cleavage, and white lace. The cork popped out and Mamoru shakily poured two foaming glasses. He took a courageous breath and turned to face her, now fully concentrating on keeping his eyes above her shoulders.
"Cheers," He enthused, now somewhat composed as he handed Usagi's glass to her.
Now that Usagi was paying attention she took her glass and became very aware that Mamoru did not steal even one glance below her neck.
"Wow." She dejectedly thought to herself, beginning to feel absolutely ridiculous and very self-conscious. She hugged an arm to her body as if she could hide her embarrassment and apparent childishness. Mamoru noticed this and a little too eagerly grabbed the blanket on the back of the couch and draped it around her shoulders, covering up her gorgeous lingerie.
"You must be cold." Mamoru stated rather than inquired.
The fabric felt especially heavily upon Usagi's shoulders, as if it single handedly botched her efforts at seduction.
"Wow," was all she could think for the second time.
Suddenly the most ear-splitting crack of lightning and thunder ripped through the silence, striking the building. All of the lights immediately went out.
Usagi yelped and attached herself to Mamoru like a magnet, causing them both to fall into the couch. Usagi was now on top of him clinging for dear life and Mamoru could have sworn that there was not a cloud in the sky.
Upon plowing into him Mamoru wrapped his arms around her due to his protective instinct. He felt every part of her scantily clad body wiggle delightfully against him as she trembled, face buried in his chest. He tried his best to concentrate and rubbed her back gently.
"It's alright Usako."
Knowing that thunder storms were near the top of Usagi's phobia list Mamoru continued to whisper comforting reassurances in her ear, his Adam's apple twitching with strain and the swelling in his crotch worsening beneath her trembling body. Mamoru clamped his eyes shut, his sexual self-control slipping out of his grasp like grains of sand, but he squeezed them desperately, still believing that he was not worthy of her love.
As soon as Usagi calmed down she opened her eyes and comprehended the situation. She had just tackled Mamoru out of her fear of thunder. Usagi became strikingly aware of how childish she had acted. Again. Her cheeks flushed in mortal embarrassment and she couldn't believe how stupid and immature she was being, and on their wedding night too! It was no wonder Mamoru showed no interest in her sexually because he obviously didn't see her as a woman yet. Usagi's self esteem took a steep nosedive.
As Usagi obliviously squirmed against Mamoru the dam of mental self-control collapsed. Barreling into the forefront of his consciousness were Mamoru's forbidden fantasies. He could imagine pinning her forcefully to the floor in astonishing detail. He could see his hands grip the back of her thighs, slowly spreading her legs for her. The moment that scene played out in his mind Mamoru felt himself become rock hard in his pants. There was nothing he could do about it now and two layers of clothing were the only things keeping him outside of her. Free from mental restraint he greedily indulged in his desires, imagining tasting every succulent part of her body. Mamoru paused and forced himself to take a long, deep breath in an attempt to remain still while his thoughts provoked him mercilessly. He could picture himself descending into her, completely enveloping her world and erasing their boundaries with waves of intense pleasure.
Usagi remained obliviously lost in her own nonsense. From her self-esteem lacking perspective she felt his secure hand tracing warm circles on her back, almost as if comforting a child. She became mortified and scolded herself for not being seductive enough to make proper use of the lingerie she had paid good money for, and not being the sexy woman that Mamoru deserved. Usagi wished intensely that she could be as exotic and strikingly beautiful like Rei, or graceful and voluptuous like Makoto. If only she was classically gorgeous and bright like Minako, or delicate and sensual like Ami. If she could be any less 'Usagi' she would be happy. She peeked up from where her face was buried in Mamoru's chest and could see nothing but the underside of his jaw. She watched his Adam's apple constrict and felt him take a long, calming breath.
Usagi felt even worse. She perceived this as irritation, Mamoru placating her childishness yet again. "He must be so tired of this," she lamented, "probably wondering when I'm going to grow up."
Mamoru felt Usagi stiffen against him. Upon her sudden stillness he panicked and tried to discreetly distance his hips from hers so that she couldn't feel his massive hard on. Mamoru would rather die than ruin the comfort he believed Usagi felt around him. To Mamoru's delusional mind the fact that Usagi could put on lingerie like that and prance around in front of him convinced him that she had no clue how her actions, clothes, or lack thereof pushed the limits of his sexual self-control.
The raging pain eating Mamoru alive would not allow him to see how desperately hard Usagi was trying to get him to surrender.
While wallowing in her own self-loathing Usagi felt Mamoru try to subtly pull away from her even though she was the one on top. Even more humiliated Usagi instantly dismounted his body to sit on the far end of the couch by herself. With her legs held tightly together she hugged her arms around her body and turned away from him, hiding her eyes behind her twin odangos and cascading hair. Usagi's body language mirrored her desire to hide her embarrassment and not appear any more like a child.
As Mamoru tried to focus on hiding the obvious sign of his undeniable attraction, he felt Usagi freeze. In the span of one breath she had vacated the space on top of him to sit silently an arms length away. Startled, Mamoru had propped himself up on his forearms staring at her inquisitively, wondering what had caused the sudden change. He instantly took notice of her legs clamped together, her face hidden from him, almost shameful, and her arms folded around her body. His face constricted with knowing pain. She must have felt his hard on, he was sure of it. She must have felt it raging against her and freaked out, now feeling nervous and unsure.
"Fuck!" cursed Mamoru. He flooded with hatred for himself and his lack of self-control, hanging his head in immense shame.
Usagi fought hard to conceal her embarrassment and spoke in a small whisper, "Mamo-chan?"
Mamoru heard her quiet voice full of uncertainty and wanted to stab himself, "Yes . . . Usako?"
Silence swelled between them for a few intense moments until she asked, "Why . . . Why did you propose to me Mamo-chan?"
Mamoru's face flashed with agony as she continued, "Why did you marry me?"
Mamoru internally crucified himself, "You can't do anything right can you?" he spat, "She felt it right through your pants and now Usako thinks that you only married her to get her in bed! Have I shattered her trust in me?"
He studied Usagi's small frame, her silken hair hiding her eyes and cascading in a pool of curls between them. He leaned towards her with an overwhelming longing, stress racking his entire body. His hand reached out, wanting to pull her aggressively back on top of him, but watched helplessly as his hand robotically took hers and squeezed . . . almost as if attempting to do anything more would finally cause Mamoru to spontaneously combust from his mounting guilt and incinerate until there was nothing of him left.
Usagi was astounded that she found the courage to ask that question, but sat still in her position. She remembered Mamoru's words the night he proposed to her.
"I really believed that you were lost to me forever . . . Life without you is not worth living."
Usagi shuddered to think that perhaps he rushed to propose to her because he had no clue what would happen next week.
"We could all die very soon," Usagi recalled, ". . . or not. Who knew? Did Mamo-chan just want to make it official in case anything else happened, regardless of the fact that he doesn't see me as sexually desirable yet?
"Is that why we're married right now?" She startled herself, "Is it some sort of insurance policy?!"
She didn't want to consider such things but couldn't ignore the signs glaring her in the face.
The silence between the newly weds lingered causing the distance between them to expand. Usagi became more and more alarmed at the continued silence. Was the question really that difficult for him to answer?! Then she felt his warm, gentle hand on hers.
"There it is again," She thought, "that condescending squeeze."
Usagi might as well be sitting next to her brother, and for the first time felt resentment arise within her.
Mamoru felt saturated with shame, "Usako," he began pathetically, trying to hide the pain in his voice as he stuttered. "You-Of course you know how much I love you . . . You know that I would never do anything to make you uncomfortable . . ." Mamoru struggled for words, now becoming frustrated. "I can't help it . . . I mean . . ." then he finally belted out the truth, "Look at yourself! Can you blame me?!"
Usagi's expression melted away to leave her face empty and blank. Since her sexual self-esteem was so fragile when it came to Mamoru, she could perceive only one meaning from what he had just said.
Usagi remained convinced that her apparent childish behaviour irritated Mamoru to the point that he snapped at her in his growing frustration. She hardly believed that he could explode at her like that, as if his annoyance had been building for years.
Usagi's eyes flushed with hot tears and her blood boiled with anger, though it was mostly at herself. She rose heatedly from her seat, still not facing him.
Mamoru watched his new bride quickly rise to her feet. He hoped that she wouldn't hold his sexual instincts against him and began to feel relieved that he had finally brought it up.
As she stood there unmoving Mamoru longed for her to say something . . . to say anything. His nerves settled, taking faith in the fact that she was without a doubt the most understanding person he knew.
"Usako?" he pressed cautiously.
Usagi slowly turned around. Her hot tears, quivering eyes, and angry sneer delivered a nauseating punch to Mamoru's gut.
Usagi's voice dripped with sarcastic fury. "Well, excuse me for trying to hold on to some of my youthful innocence!"
The look that flashed across Mamoru's face almost made her falter. It was a mixture of stabbing pain, self-hatred, and collapsing sorrow, but she was much too angry to comprehend it.
Usagi glowered at him. "Allow me to apologize for not being as mature as you Mamo-chan."
Fuming mad and totally embarrassed Usagi wanted desperately to escape, not wanting to have a conversation that made her feel even more of how she did not want to feel.
Fervently holding back her tears Usagi spun around. "You know what? It doesn't even matter. It's probably past my bedtime anyway." And she stormed towards the bedroom.
Mamoru remained on the couch imprisoned in a moment of intense grief. The amount of anger he witnessed on her face distressed him. What had come out of her mouth collapsed him. Mamoru firmly believed that she had just accused him outright of wanting to steal her innocence.
Despicable, self-hating tears gathered in the corner of his eyes, but they would not spill. Mamoru was now teetering on the brink of a complete mental breakdown, but evaded it temporarily as he instinctively launched after her.
Catching up to her in the hallway he grabbed Usagi's wrist, "Usako, please . . . forgive me."
Without even turning to face him Usagi wrenched her wrist out of his grasp. Her voice trembled, "I really just . . . don't want to talk to you right now."
Those words were equivalent to a dull knife plunging forcefully into Mamoru's chest. His eyes glazed over and the misery simmering within him was becoming too much, pushing forcibly against the mountain of denial struggling to keep it buried.
Usagi opened the bedroom door as Mamoru found his voice.
"Usako," he barely sounded like the man he normally was. His voice sounded small and pleading, "please, try to understand-"
Mamoru caught a glimpse of his bedroom.
Usagi was curious as to why Mamoru stopped talking so she swallowed her pride and turned to face him. Mamoru stood there in shock looking at his bedroom. He surveyed the intricate lights draping across the ceiling and hanging over a bed that was not his, covered in rich, new fabric and red rose petals.
Mamoru implored, "What the hell happened in here?!"
Usagi felt like she had been slapped in the face, "You . . . You didn't do any of this?"
Mamoru hadn't surpassed the shock yet, "It's completely different!"
The moment Usagi realized that Mamoru was not the one responsible for the romantic transformation in his bedroom her mouth went bone dry. She had been so excited . . . so sure that Mamoru wanted her that she chose the scandalous lingerie based upon what she thought Mamoru had done, but he wasn't responsible for any of it.
Like a bolt from the blue she remembered her friends. Usagi felt so stupid. Of course it was the Senshi, how did she not see it before? This had Minako's name written all over it.
Usagi's mouth quivered, now fully believing that she had been right all along. Her big, feeling heart shattered when Usagi wrongly concluded that she was Mamoru's wife at that moment not because he wanted to be one with her, but because they had never made it to the altar before disaster had struck.
Usagi felt embarrassed and cheap, extremely hurt, and very stupid. All of these emotions converged into white-hot fury that demanded to be projected at something, and Mamoru was a locked target.
Once Mamoru overcame the surprise of his surroundings he turned his attention back to Usagi to find an incomprehensible look of hurt on her face. Before he could attempt to wonder what had caused it, he witnessed a single tear slip from her eye followed by the door slamming violently in his face.
Mamoru stood motionless in the hallway with his bedroom door so close to his nose he could smell its faint wooden scent. Usagi had locked him out. For a few moments Mamoru was unable to move, staring into a door he could not see. Consuming his vision was the expression of hurt and sadness on Usagi's face. The solitary tear that dripped from her eye just before she shut him out was sure to be sobs by now. Oh that's right. Mamoru almost forgot. He remembered that all he was good at was hurting her.
He could hear Usagi's muffled cries inside his room. The sound proved to be the very thing able to uncork the emotions eating him from the inside.
Usagi's quiet sobs pierced through his eardrums and steadily increased in intensity. The sound kept rising and her cries became more desperate and miserable. He covered his ears but Usagi's sobs, now turned into wretched screams continued to grow louder and more traumatic. Mamoru stumbled backwards, unable to cope and kept distancing himself from the door as if it would lessen the noise.
Mamoru pressed his hands ever harder over his ears, trying in vain to mute it out but Usagi's tortured screams kept getting louder. When Mamoru opened his eyes his apartment was no longer visible. Instead, he saw Usagi chained to the floor at his feet, malnourished, and broken. Prince Cirius had her cradled in his arms while Usagi moaned in despair, realizing that he would never let her die. It was such a disturbing sound.
Mamoru shook his head, "No!" his hands still clamped firmly on his ears.
The scene suddenly changed and with a loud crack Prince Cirius had kicked Usagi in the centre of her chest, shattering her sternum. Usagi flew into the air until her chains brought her down to collide with the floor.
Mamoru trembled, "Please . . . stop."
Prince Cirius kept beating her, each blow harder than the last. Mamoru wanted nothing more than to look away, to eradicate this sick vision, but it felt all too real and he couldn't tear his gaze away from the desolate emptiness on Usagi's face.
While these hallucinations of torture consumed him, Mamoru continued to stumble backwards haphazardly with the ghastly scenes following him like a shadow.
Mamoru heard Usagi plead, "Please . . . Just let me die."
New scenes came bulldozing in, things that Mamoru had suppressed for years. He saw himself treating Usagi like shit and tearing down her self-esteem so that she would hate him, evading her dismal future foretold in a dream. He remembered fragments of her being abused by Nehelenia because Usagi was determined to save him. He could relive himself as Prince Endymion attacking Sailor Moon in Beryl's lair, tossing her around with no mercy while she pleaded for him to remember and would not lift a finger to attack him. He saw himself raise his sword over her with the intent to kill.
Mamoru groaned, "Stop . . . Please! Usako . . . Forgive me . . . I don't deserve you."
Mamoru could not endure any more. The strength in his legs vanished causing him to collapse unceremoniously to the floor with hands secured tightly over his ears.
After slamming the door in the face of her new husband Usagi stripped off her lingerie as if it were burning her skin. Tossing it violently aside she pulled on a pair of panties and a tank top and collapsed onto the bed. The cloud of rose petals she sent up gently rained down on Usagi as she sobbed quietly. This was not how she pictured her wedding night at all. Here she was, finally Mamoru's wife . . . and all to ensure their marriage before anything else could separate them. Usagi cried even harder.
As she lay there weeping Usagi felt the sorrow in her heart deepen rapidly. When the pain in her chest kept increasing Usagi stopped crying and sat up, now confused. Her tears subsided and she began to recognize that the sorrow she felt was not her own . . . it was coming from someone else. Usagi wiped her eyes and after a moment of silent contemplation and lingering anger at Mamoru, she relented and reached out with her heart hoping to sense him through their strengthened, eternal connection. The amount of pain and despair she felt emanating from Mamoru was so overwhelming, so powerful and unbearable that she was forced to pull back almost immediately.
Usagi gasped as if she had been drowning. She clutched her throat and was barely able to breathe from the suffocating shock. Mamoru was in immense pain . . . much more pain than she would have ever imagined. Her heart thudded for him but she was absolutely baffled. What could have Mamoru hurting this deeply?
Usagi instinctively flew to the door propelled by her unconditional love for him, but strangely stopped dead before opening it. Feeling unsure of what to do Usagi continued to grip the handle, unmoving. She knew very well that a massive gulf had opened between them, and Mamoru could put up a twenty-foot wall in front of the truth if he felt he needed to spare her pain. In an attempt to get the truth of what was going on with him she tried something different, relying on her newly heightened powers.
She closed her eyes and reached out as far as she could in their connection, constantly fighting the urge to pull back due to the strength of his pain. For the briefest of moments Usagi shared Mamoru's mental and emotional space. Like a blunt force to the head she was bombarded with every image relentlessly trashing through his mind. She saw visions of herself being tortured and molested by her uncle. She heard her voice pleading for death.
Usagi's entire body jerked with shock. She had no clue that Mamoru had been forced to watch Prince Cirius degrade her. The idea that Mamoru had successfully hidden something so unbelievably staggering to spare her pain caused Usagi's stomach to lurch.
She then saw images of Endymion beating her while under Beryl's control. That was quite a blow. All these years Mamoru had sworn to her that he couldn't remember a single thing from that experience. More importantly, in addition to these visual images she could feel the wretchedness of Mamoru's misery. It was absolutely unendurable but at least now she understood . . . All she could feel coming from Mamoru was unworthiness. Mamoru fully believed that he did not deserve to be her husband; that he did not deserve to have her love, or deserve to be her protector. For the first time Usagi knew implicitly that Mamoru was engulfed by failure and guilt.
After intruding on Mamoru's personal space the intensity of his feelings caused Usagi to involuntarily succumb, weeping in his deep-rooted pain. She clutched the place in her chest that felt like a gaping black hole, feeling emotions so powerful it took several minutes to ride it out.
Usagi was rocked by this revelation. Had she not felt him out Usagi would never have guessed that Mamoru was suffering as much as he was. But how could she have known? Mamoru's number one concern was only her safety and her happiness; his own needs always falling by the wayside. After a few seconds Usagi was honestly confused as to why Mamoru would feel this way, but it soon became obvious. Usagi was heartily ashamed that she hadn't realized it before. As if lifting a dense fog Usagi recalled for herself the months of torture under Prince Cirius. Her mind knew that this had only occurred three days ago, yet for some reason it felt like years back. Usagi's intuition hinted that she had her mother to thank for this, but there was a very unwelcome side effect. It put an immeasurable distance between both of their realities. Mamoru's raw, fresh, and all consuming, and hers, distant and manageable.
Usagi's healing meant that the debilitating events would not dominate her mind, allowing her to focus on normal, everyday things. On top of that Mamoru had proposed to her almost immediately after the ordeal and then the whirlwind of dealing with her family, answering a million questions, and fantasizing about her wedding night took over. How could she have been so blind, insensitive, and selfish? Here she was passing judgment on Mamoru and becoming angry with him while he was absolutely destroyed and struggling to make her happy.
What killed Usagi was that Mamoru did not understand that he hadn't failed at anything. Ever. Mamoru was her strength and quite literally the source of her power. How could he think that he was unworthy? How could he believe he was a failure?! Usagi's heart bled for him and she was determined to put an end to all of it.
Usagi twisted the handle and cautiously exited the bedroom. She took a deep breath and with slow, delicate steps made her way through the darkness to find him. As Usagi entered the living room her eyes could pick up nothing but shadows when she heard him through the darkness.
"Forgive me Usako . . . I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
Usagi's heart constricted upon hearing his scratchy voice, but that was nothing when she found him cross-legged on the floor behind the couch. Mamoru sat there with his face buried in his hands rocking slightly back and forth, completely consumed by his visions.
Tears spilled from Usagi's eyes the second she saw him. This picture of Mamoru was so foreign to her and felt horribly wrong. Mamoru was the strongest man that she knew. He was her pillar of strength. To see him this way sent spasms through her so strong that she collapsed down on the floor next to him.
At that precise moment the Moon had risen high enough in the sky to peek over the back of the couch and sparkle off the ebony of Mamoru's hair. As each second passed the moonlight embraced him more and more as Usagi reached out to her husband. Her hands brushed over his hair, caressed his cheeks and lifted his head to face her.
Mamoru continued to suffer the onslaught of his guilt to the point that he wasn't even aware Usagi had found him on the floor.
Mamoru watched Prince Cirius beat Usagi mercilessly when the mental images shattered like glass to reveal a sight from heaven. Instead of pain and suffering Mamoru looked into Usagi's beautiful face staring back at him infused with empathy and hope.
Upon seeing her Mamoru's hands inched slowly along her outstretched arms, desperately reaching for her, needing her, but resisting that same desire with everything he had. Torn between both emotions and his eyes burning with shame Mamoru grasped Usagi firmly and without hesitation pulled her into him as if she was the only thing that could keep him alive. He could not manage to speak but groaned quietly instead, crushing her in his embrace. Usagi grasped him just as tightly feeling the raw pain inside of him flow through her in dark waves.
Usagi's heart shuddered under the strength and vibrancy of his grief. Without being able to speak herself they sat awkwardly on the floor, clinging to each other roughly, urgently, words loosing their usefulness under the onslaught of raw emotion. Usagi willingly breathed Mamoru's torment into herself and barely noticed her powers activating in response. Hidden in her subspace pocket the Ginzuishou sensed Mamoru's suffering through Usagi's heart. Due to her unconscious intent it poured its healing light through her and into Mamoru.
As they embraced on the floor the power of the Silver Crystal and the power of Usagi's heart pierced into Mamoru's darkness. It cut through the layers of rotten earth burying him alive to pierce through the core of his being. As the seconds ticked by the aching in Mamoru's chest began to slowly subside and the constriction in his throat relaxed. Mamoru's hold on his wife lessened so that he wasn't crushing her, but remained holding her tightly nonetheless. The pace of his lungs gradually evened out and the atmosphere settled within and around them, though they were both unaware of what was truly happening. The healing was unconscious but very much effective, the only physical proof being a slight tingling throughout Mamoru's body.
Usagi's sweet smell broke through Mamoru's senses causing him to release a pent up sigh, exhaling the last of his guilt and pain. Mamoru relaxed his weight burying his nose deeper into her hair, now completely content.
Mamoru hovered outside of reality, which was why he instinctively pulled Usagi into his lap. He held her closer, lost in what felt like a lucid dream.
Usagi floated in the serene, thoughtless aftermath until she felt his strong arms lift her effortlessly into his lap followed by Mamoru closing around her with her hips now locked into his. Their navels were pressed firmly together and her breasts smeared against his chest. Usagi was unsure if the lowest of moans escaped Mamoru's throat . . . It was probably just her imagination. Regardless, the sudden shift in his mood and the feel of him against her shocked Usagi back into reality.
Usagi's cheeks flooded with pink heat as she realized that his pulling her closer forced her legs to encircle around Mamoru's waist, straddling him. The weight of his body melding against hers caused Usagi's heart to quicken its pace and the heat in her cheeks raced throughout the rest of her body. Usagi felt his steady, hot breath filter through her hair and sweetly tickle her neck. A shiver ran up Usagi's spine followed by Mamoru shifting his weight underneath her, rubbing himself against her panties ever so slightly. An involuntary gasp escaped Usagi's throat.
The sharp sound caused Mamoru's eyes to flutter open. After a few short seconds he took everything in.
Even though Usagi had just healed Mamoru, though they didn't know it, his automatic behavioural patterns were not so quick to disappear. With eyes wide-open Mamoru could not recall for the life of him how Usagi ended up firmly in his lap on the living room floor. Without even grasping the reason for his actions Mamoru habitually created a distance between them.
Just before Usagi could raise the courage to take advantage of such an opportunity, Mamoru gravitated away. Unlike every other instance Usagi pulled herself back towards him, though not close enough to be against the hard warmth of his chest.
"Mamo-chan?" Usagi squeaked out as her eyes darted back and forth between his. She could not detect any distress in his eyes or his demeanor and she became wary and perplexed. Usagi couldn't tell if Mamoru was putting up a wall of normalcy around the suffering that he seemed to be drowning in moments ago or if something strange had happened.
As they stared at each other unmoving Usagi had a hard time discerning what to do. Mamoru's emotional health was her only concern, of course . . . but it was becoming difficult for Usagi to concentrate once the heat in her cheeks spread rampantly throughout her body. The palpable attraction to the man in front of her was suddenly overwhelming, and then a feeling of guilt washed through her. How could she be feeling and thinking these things at such a moment?!
"Well, it's not my fault!" Usagi mentally defended. "He's the one that pulled me into his lap holding me so tightly that I practically fused to his chest!" A sudden flash of what it felt like when her hips pushed down into his caused a wave of pleasure to involuntarily ripple through her body, followed by another wave of guilt.
There was no more room for argument. Usagi wanted Mamoru and she wanted him now, but her mind told her that this was not the time.
"Maybe Mamoru needs a few days," She thought.
As compassionate as that sounded her logic was not quite strong enough to tame the desperate need for Mamoru to touch her, kiss her, and make love to her right there.
Finding a tiny bit of courage where she thought she had none, Usagi pulled herself just a little closer to Mamoru. Given the circumstances Usagi couldn't convince herself to just lunge for his chest once again, desperately wanting to feel him. Instead, reflecting her self-doubt she only moved close enough for her breasts to brush timidly against his chest. Once she had done that Usagi became delightfully aware that her nipples tingled with electricity when they touched. Another wave of guilt washed through her as she finally admitted that she was willfully coming on to him, more so than any other instance before.
Usagi's cheeks bloomed with colour upon this revelation even though she forced herself to remain concerned for his emotional state. What Usagi couldn't realize was that she was fighting against an idea that wasn't relevant anymore. She could see for herself that there was no sign of trauma in Mamoru's eyes, face, or heart. Yet, Usagi couldn't know that she had just healed him so she remained cautious, trying to hold on to her empathy and concern when her instincts were telling her to forget it.
Mamoru continued on autopilot. He instinctively created a safe distance between Usagi and himself without consciously knowing why. He felt resistance in Usagi's interlaced fingers at the back of his neck as she pulled herself back towards him. Usagi inched slightly closer and Mamoru felt the arousing sensation of her nipples grazing across his chest. The tingling warmth spread like wildfire throughout his body. In wordless silence they stared at each other, Usagi's eyes searching his in the moonlight trying to find the courage to express what she wanted to convey. Mamoru was very much aware of every part of her body that touched his yet he felt this inexplicable urge to resist.
The dense fog in his mind suddenly lifted for him to vividly recall Usagi accusing him of wanting to steal her innocence. A small jolt of pain shot through his stomach and he broke their gaze in order to hide his shame. Mamoru leaned back forcing his chest to separate from hers.
When Mamoru avoided her gaze and pulled away from her Usagi rolled her eyes in supreme annoyance. As much as she loved this man, boy was he a piece of work! She had never met anyone with such a strong sense of responsibility, no matter how far gone his sense of responsibility was. Usagi could understand that Mamoru still felt some type of guilt but she was beginning to get impatient. Something inside of her was suddenly desperate to get this man on top of her. Two long years of not making a move had to stop now as Usagi realized if she waited for Mamoru she would wait forever . . . but what exactly to do? Could she really force herself on him? That thought did not appeal to her, though it remained an alluring option if the end result worked out.
Like a distant echo Usagi heard words in her head that sounded like her own voice, but not quite.
"If all else fails . . ."
Usagi recalled the cryptic note the girls had left in her bag. She remembered what it had said inside.
"Should I do that?" Usagi hesitantly thought, "Right now?"
She honestly didn't understand the suggestion but for some incomprehensible reason she felt that she should do it.
While Mamoru remained in a confused state of resistance Usagi bit her lower lip, digging up the determination she needed while not knowing what good the performance would do.
"Well . . . Here goes nothing."
Mamoru was fragmented. The heat of attraction and desire burned strongly in his body but he could not look at her, feeling shameful that Usagi thought he wanted to force her into sex. Mamoru wanted nothing more than to quench his unquenchable thirst and make love to Usagi, the only experience remaining unexplored between them. The flame burned within him growing hotter with each passing second, because the years of guilt and pain that always keep it in check were now nonexistent.
Usagi's natural perfume pushed against his senses and he felt a pulse of hot blood flood his veins. Mamoru could detect the rise and fall of her chest with each breath she took. He subconsciously licked his lips but remained focused on her legs wrapped loosely around him, trying stubbornly not to visualize the paradise nestled between.
Unexpectedly, Mamoru began feeling a mystical but very familiar sensation that caught him completely off guard. He knew this feeling very well yet it didn't register until he watched it happen with his own eyes.
Translucent, shimmering ribbons encircled Usagi's legs, winding tightly up to her knees to then materialize into bright red high-heeled boots with white trim. His now wide-eyed gaze lifted to see her panties and tank top dissolve away. For a lingering moment he caught sight of her beautifully nude body. The full swell of her breasts, the soft pink of her nipples, and the small tuft of golden curls crowning the entrance to his own personal nirvana.
The ribbons wrapped themselves intricately around Usagi's torso becoming a bodysuit that flashed into bright white. More ribbons tied themselves into a bow on her chest that popped into bright red. When the ribbons snaked around her forearms Mamoru finally comprehended that Usagi was transforming into Sailor Moon . . . the original Sailor Moon in blue, white, and red whom he used to fantasize about constantly before he knew her true identity. During the few short seconds the ribbons tightened around her skin, Mamoru caught a whiff of the most glorious scent wafting up from between her legs and his body began radiating uncontrollable lust.
Something inside Mamoru, something that had been building for a long, long time . . . snapped.
"Well . . . Here goes nothing."
Usagi threw caution to the wind and willed herself to do what the girls had instructed within the note, which had read:
Transform into the original version of Sailor Moon (red and blue) in front of Mamoru . . . and make sure to slow it down. ;)
As instructed, Usagi concentrated on slowing down the transformation. She immersed herself in the old sensation of shimmering ribbons entwining up her legs and encircling her body. As each piece of clothing flashed into existence a playful gust of wind would swirl her hair around them, magically weaving itself into odango sprouting pigtails once again. Usagi's heart shaped lips pouted irresistibly and sparkled with newfound colour, her glamour now emanating from her face. Sailor Moon's deep blue fuku skirt folded its way around her waist and her tiara condensed into solidity over her crescent Moon birthmark.
Sailor Moon exhaled and leisurely opened her eyes wondering what she would see on Mamoru's face. Usagi entertained the lingering belief that she had just embarrassed herself yet again.
Sailor Moon's eyelids had barely begun to part when Mamoru's desperate lips assaulted hers aggressively and hungrily, his tongue immediately plunging into her mouth exuding a heavy, persistent groan. The instant his lips collided with hers Sailor Moon felt herself fly through the air to collide heavily with the wall, Mamoru enthusiastically pressing himself against her. Usagi felt Mamoru all over her because he was all there was to feel, and her senses were thoroughly overwhelmed. Due to Mamoru's sensual roughness Usagi's breasts had spilled out of her fuku, her rosebud nipples absolutely begging to be put in his mouth. Without even a hint of hesitation he gripped her ass cheeks and hoisted her up so that he could bury his face in her chest, nuzzling every inch of her, tasting her, drowning in her. His hands wandered possessively along her body, gripping and caressing everything he could while his mouth gravitated all over her though never strayed from her lips for too long.
It all happened so fast that it barely registered in Usagi's mind that it was really happening, as all she could do was moan instinctively. Usagi was aware of nothing other than the powerful sensation of how intensely Mamoru desired her. It was immediately obvious to Usagi that Mamoru had been sitting on a mountain of suppressed sexual energy raging out of control only for her. Each stroke of his tongue and deep ripple from his throat in addition to the eager pressure of his hips and the urgency of his hands made it crystal clear to Usagi that Mamoru wanted her just as badly as she wanted him, if not much more.
Now that her brain finally caught pace with the situation, Sailor Moon snapped out of her stupor and responded. Mamoru felt Usagi kiss him back ravenously, her delicate tongue aggressively dancing with his. Sailor Moon's arms clamped around his neck as her gloved fingers wove roughly through his hair, gripping and pulling in earnest. The moment Mamoru felt Sailor Moon dynamically respond to him he whimpered in infinite pleasure, now pouring more of himself into his wild new bride. The rock hardness in his pants forcibly rubbed against the soft cloth of her bodysuit and the sweet, swollen flesh beneath it. As Mamoru rubbed against her Sailor Moon felt herself swell even more, throbbing overtop of him. Mamoru fervently bit her bottom lip once he felt her damp heat through their clothes.
Usagi could sense an intense pressure building inside Mamoru; it felt like he was about to loose all control. While massaging her breasts and tasting every corner of her mouth Mamoru gripped her behind the knee to pin her leg vigorously against the wall, Usagi's leg naturally hooking over his shoulder. Barely able to contain himself Mamoru reached for his pants, frantic to free himself from the tight confines of his clothes. Mamoru was pleasantly surprised when Usagi's hands fumbled with his, quickly unfastening and unzipping them in record time.
Now free from its prison Mamoru pulsated against her and Usagi moaned powerfully. Mamoru's warm lips traveled up her neck and with barely a hint of patience his anxious fingers grasped at the soft cloth of bodysuit blocking his way to where he wanted to be the most. Mamoru hastily pulled the fabric to one side. His lips made his way back to hers moaning,
"Usak-" in a deep tenor just as she pleaded,
And he slid into her, both of them unable to finish the other's name because a titanic injection of pleasure unlike either of them had ever experienced exploded within both of them. Mamoru groaned deeply and Usagi could only inhale in sharp ecstasy. The moment he entered her Usagi was unable to hold on to her transformation, which promptly erupted in a vibrant explosion of ribbons and feathers. Immediately frustrated at the sudden barrier created by her tank top and panties, Mamoru's hands ripped her underwear clean off. He then slipped off her tank top in one smooth motion so that Mamoru could resume his love making deeper and deeper, his murmurs of satisfaction reverberating across her tongue and into her throat. Usagi's eyes rolled into the back of her head and the energy around them ignited. She had no idea that he would feel this phenomenal, the most exquisite sensual oneness that made every other experience obsolete. She knew she wanted to feel this way forever . . . it was absolutely glorious. Their lips fervently kneaded together, both of them moaning recklessly with tongues intertwined while Mamoru repeatedly found his way inside her.
The sound of Usagi's all consuming pleasure caused the most explosive shock of arousal to tear through Mamoru's body. He hurriedly pulled Usagi away from the wall and Usagi's legs encircled tightly around him. Mamoru's hands supported Usagi's weight as her eager hips continued to move with his, Mamoru wanting to loose himself in her even more. With their lips locked together and hands migrating everywhere the newly weds clumsily stumbled towards the bedroom. Usagi's delicate fingers ripped Mamoru's dress shirt apart and pulled it unsympathetically down his arms. Mamoru impatiently tossed the shirt somewhere behind him with Usagi moving her hands along his chest and abs. His mouth found its way back to her breasts as he grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled on it achingly. Usagi's head obediently fell back while murmuring sounds of unintelligible pleasure. Stumbling through his apartment the frantic couple knocked over a lamp, a chair, a side table, and kicked over two plants. As they passed the kitchen Mamoru paused their journey. He impatiently plunked her down on the first hard surface available so that he would be able to loose himself in her fully once again, the bedroom seeming too far away. Usagi's naked rear end smacked down on the countertop as she pulled Mamoru forward.
With hands now free to migrate at will Mamoru grasped Usagi vitally, now lost within every sensual thrust and caress. Unable to think Mamoru focused all of his attention on how it felt every time he entered her, feeling her tighten around him in every way while kissing him passionately. She was so wild, warm, and sweet that Mamoru shuddered in uncontrollable delight. After the brief interlude in the kitchen he suddenly remembered his goal.
Mamoru eagerly picked her back up and continued devouring her while they stumbled down the hall. The buildings electricity magically returned but neither of them noticed. Mamoru sandwiched Usagi against the wall and they clumsily steamrolled over each other, haphazardly making their way to their destination with Mamoru making love to her all the while.
Once at the doorway Mamoru whisked Usagi to their new bed and his frenzied, uncontrollable behviour gradually slowed as he gently laid her down. Mamoru paused and looked over her ethereal beauty underneath the soft glow of the crescent moon shaped lights dangling above them. Atop the creamy-white duvet, the velvety soft rose petals, and her silken blonde hair, Usagi lay staring seductively at him through half-lidded eyes in all her nude glory. A long, satisfied sigh escaped Mamoru as he descended upon her kissing her softly along her face and across her mouth. Mamoru traced his butterfly kisses down her neck to brush delicately over her nipples, pausing there for some time before slowly making his way down the trim line of her stomach. As Mamoru teasingly migrated down her body Usagi's breathing grew louder and more erratic, then paused in blissful silence when he approached her crowning glory. Mamoru tried in vain to remain teasing and delicate but it was only seconds before he buried himself with abandon between her legs stimulating her in ways Usagi didn't even know was possible. Usagi and Mamoru's moans soared higher and higher, the young bride not even remotely conscious of the explicit words spilling out of her mouth.
Three Days Later . . .
The inner Senshi were forced to collect Mamoru and Usagi themselves since the newly weds hadn't shown up at the temple that morning as planned. And to make matters worse his phone was off the hook. With each passing day their unknown future weighed heavier upon them, and a lot needed to be done now that the honeymoon was officially over.
By way of teleportation the girls arrived at the top of one of the stairwells in Mamoru's condo, then powered down to make their way down to his front door. Once outside Mamoru's unit Rei knocked persistently.
A few seconds passed without any response until they heard a heavy thud followed by Mamoru's cursing through the door.
"Who is it?" He demanded in irritation.
Rei planted her hands on her hips, "Who do you think it is?!" She bellowed back.
They could have sworn that Mamoru mumbled in surprise it being Thursday already when the bolts unlocked. Mamoru barely pulled the door open to peek his head out. All they could see of him was his face beneath heavily tousled black hair, as if he was trying to hide himself.
"That time already?" He sheepishly asked.
Seeing his disheveled state the four of them grinned uncontrollably but nodded in silence.
Ami blushed, "We hate to interrupt but we only have a few more days and we have an endless list of things to take care of."
Mamoru looked down in full Senshi seriousness, "Of course."
Minako had the hardest time hiding the triumphant grin just begging to break through her casual smile. She began leading the girls away from the door and back to the stairwell, "Okay, we'll be at the temple."
The girls smiled innocently at him as they retreated down the hallway. Makoto tilted her head with a smile, "No need to rush too much."
Mamoru observed their Cheshire cat grins and his mouth pursed in irritation. He would not let them leave without a good scolding.
Over the course of their honeymoon Mamoru and Usagi had been completely open with each other and had eliminated all of their misunderstandings. Due to their absolute honesty Mamoru learned of the note they left in Usagi's bag. What followed was the clarity of hindsight; a fridge full of aphrodisiacs, a romantic bedroom revamp, notes for himself and Usagi.
Mamoru looked at them disapprovingly, "You guys have been busy haven't you?"
The very real hint of accusation lingered in the short silence where no one flinched.
Minako broke the guarded pause and shrugged dumbly, "Well, we have a million things to do Mamoru, so I would imagine."
Mamoru raised an accusing eyebrow, staring at them with scrutinizing suspicion. Mamoru tried to believe that they couldn't have known about his early days fanaticizing about Sailor Moon as consolation for denying his feelings for Usagi . . . but still.
"Motoki told you, didn't he?" Mamoru offered.
The girls remained neutral, appearing lost when Minako looked at him as if he had just said something ridiculous, "What are you going on about Mamoru?"
Mamoru wasn't buying it, "Do you even know how much trouble you got me into due to your attention to detail?" he chastised, recalling the look on Usagi's face when she realized he wasn't the one who redecorated.
Rei tilted her head in what seemed to be confusion, "Trouble?"
"Yes!" Mamoru belted at their feigned innocence, "Trouble! I'd never seen Usako so hurt-"
Mamoru was all set to lay into them when he suddenly paused as an image of himself loosing control and pouncing Usagi in the living room once she had transformed came to mind . . . They suggested for her to do that.
Mamoru shook it off and continued with his lecture. "There was the oddest thunder clap the other night . . ." he leveled his criticizing gaze at Makoto. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you?"
Makoto shrugged nonchalantly, "Thunder and lightning are random things Mamoru. You really can't predict exactly when they will strike."
Mamoru rested his eyes on each one of their clueless faces.
"Is something the matter Mamoru?" Rei inquired, "Was your honeymoon not enjoyable?"
Underneath their questioning stares Mamoru recalled the lingerie Usagi wore due to the magic of his bedroom. He remembered the delightful way Usagi tackled him to the couch when the lightning struck. He remembered how his glorious honeymoon began after he lost his self-control the moment Usagi transformed into Sailor Moon.
The girls continued to stare him down as Mamoru sheepishly pulled his head back into his apartment, now wanting to change the subject, "So . . . the temple then."
Mamoru was about to close the door in order to save his dwindling male pride when he hesitated. He could see Minako out of the corner of his eye crossing her arms along her chest looking expectantly at him.
Mamoru felt her reproving stare as Minako silently raised both eyebrows, waiting. Mamoru resisted but then looked down and mumbled, "Thanks," and quickly closed the door.
He had wanted to rip into them for meddling in their affairs but unfortunately he could appreciate the wisdom behind it all. If they interfered as much as Mamoru suspected, he had to admit that the girls knew them better than Usagi and Mamoru knew themselves.
"Your welcome." Came a smug reply from the other side of the door.
Mamoru laughed out loud, now fully grateful for their wedding gifts no matter how far the giving went.
"Mamo-chan?" Usagi purred from the bathroom as the sound of water filled his ears.
"First things first," Mamoru thought while turning to navigate his way towards the bathroom, completely nude. He carefully stepped around the toppled furniture, abandoned picnics, blanketed love making spots, and strewn pillows and clothes. The disaster zone in his apartment was a testament to how thoroughly they had enjoyed their honeymoon. His steps quickened as he neared the bathroom to shower with his wife and start the day off right.
Ami, Rei, Minako, Makoto, Haruka, Michiru, and Hotaru sat around Rei's kitchen table chatting about various important issues while Luna and Artemis mediated from the centre of the table in feline form. A second pot of coffee made its way around followed by assorted pastries courtesy of Makoto. Just before Rei could check her watch for the sixth time Usagi and Mamoru stepped into the kitchen.
A sense of relaxation cloaked everyone in the room from their presence alone. As the married couple took their seats everyone could see that Usagi exuded happiness and contentment on a level they had never before witnessed while Mamoru seemed to glide with self-secure, effortless grace. They flooded with joy.
Haruka elbowed Michiru roughly who blushed when Haruka whispered, "What'd I tell you?"
Mamoru stole a warning glance at Haruka who winked at him in approval.
Usagi's genuine smile replaced itself with the look of an attentive leader, "So, what's new?" She asked now deathly serious.
Ami took out her computer and began typing in earnest, "Rei has done many fire readings over the past few days and came across some useful information."
Rei nodded, taking over, "I've been able to determine the exact time our first enemy will arrive."
"When?" Inquired Mamoru.
"Monday morning. 1:17 a.m." Rei continued, "I can't see exactly who the enemy will be as the visions I get are very unfamiliar. I do know that Tokyo will be where the chaos will begin." Rei turned to Michiru.
Michiru nodded and took her turn, "My mirror revealed an intense pulse of energy that will descend from the skies to order to attack the city somehow."
Rei added, "I have seen a vision of all of us standing on Tokyo Tower just before it happens. I get the feeling that is where we are supposed to be on Monday at 1:17 a.m., though I don't know why."
Usagi nodded in silence when Ami volunteered, "I had been digging in the hidden depths of the Internet and discovered a rogue scientist in Chechnya who has been reporting that light from distant stars and galaxies is gravitationally bending around a point in empty space within the Moon's orbit. His research suggests that the reason for the gravitational lensing is due to a densification of space-time around a singularity, but no one is taking him seriously or paying much attention."
"I finally convinced her to let me hack into his system so she could access his research." Haruka inserted.
Ami blushed, "His data allowed me to make some calculations and it shows that Tokyo will be directly aligned with the singularity at precisely 1:17 a.m. local time, this Monday."
Haruka nodded approvingly as Ami continued, "Also, after further research I found similar phenomena documented in the Silver Millennium archive files." Ami's typing increased in speed and intensity as she holographically projected the data for everyone to see. "In every case these singularities were detected just before a tunnel through space-time appeared."
"A wormhole?" Asked Hotaru as she studied the statistics.
"Yes." Ami confirmed.
Usagi pouted her lips, "Hm. Okay, well, considering the newness of our powers I think we should use most of this weekend to train. We'll focus on precision and control and test our limits to see how far we can stretch them. We should also explore combinations."
Luna beamed with pride as Artemis implored, "We heartily agree."
Mamoru poured himself some coffee, "We're going to have to find new training grounds given the potential damage we can now cause. The city parks aren't going to cut it anymore. Any ideas?" He offered.
"Actually . . ." Rei hesitantly placed her clasped hands on the table. "That has been taken care of."
In response to their questioning stares Rei relayed to them what had happened the previous day.
Wednesday . . .
As part of her routine, daily chores Rei diligently swept the front courtyard and basked in the beautiful silence underlying the pleasant sounds of nature. Each rhythmic beat of her broom caused Rei to smile with a hint of sadness that a true, peaceful moment like the one she was experiencing would be one of her last for a long time.
Rei continued her sweep when she heard her grandfather's voice calling behind her.
"Rei! I've made us some tea."
Rei's smile broadened at their usual routine. She promptly laid down her broom and went to join him.
Her grandfather poured their tea as Rei washed her hands in the sink. Once she sat down Rei grabbed a muffin from the plate on the table and began munching silently then immediately noticed the intense stare of her grandfather. She paused in mid-chew when her intuition hinted that he had something important to say.
Rei swallowed the mass of muffin in her mouth and seriously asked, "What is it Grandpa?"
Flowing with the truth her grandfather began in haste, "I've been thinking a lot these past few days . . . about the road that you all have ahead of you-"
He paused. "Tokyo will probably be ground-zero won't it?"
Rei was caught off guard and couldn't think of anything to say. Thankfully, he saved her the trouble.
"Even still. Eventually you could be fighting all over the globe. With your private lives destroyed in addition to the unknown nature of the future, I feel that it will be necessary for you all to have a place where you can get away and regroup . . . a home base."
Rei furrowed her brow, "What are you saying?"
He finally looked up at her and smiled. He could not hide his sense of pride as his hand disappeared into the sleeves of his robe to produce a heavily folded piece of paper. Rei looked on in curiosity as he unfolded the paper revealing it to be a topographical map of Japan's Shikoku region.
While smoothing out the folded lines her grandfather explained, "The Shinto tradition was always present in our family history."
"Yes," agreed Rei, "You've told me this many times."
"But I didn't tell you how far back it went."
Rei just looked at him, puzzled.
The deep wrinkles in his tanned face seemed to soften, "One of our ancestors was a very wealthy man who lived on Shikoku in the eighteenth century. He achieved enlightenment through Shintoism and was so transformed and grateful that he used his fortune to build a Shinto temple deep in the mountains of Shikoku."
Rei's eyes split wider but her grandfather continued, "This remote temple is virtually unknown and its location has been passed down through generations of our family. Somehow I always knew I would pass the knowledge down to you, bypassing your father."
He looked into his granddaughter's eyes expressively, "I want you and the Senshi to use this temple as your sanctuary. I have seen it once and I know it will be perfect."
Tears of astonishment and honour gathered in Rei's eyes while her grandfather picked up a pencil and marked a specific point in the mountainous southwest. "It's here. I'm sure you'll be able to find it."
Before Rei could utter a word of protest or gratitude her grandfather just picked up his tea and walked out of the room.
She sat there staring at the map and thought about what he had just told her for a good hour. She wanted to tell him that they couldn't accept such a treasure, but the more Rei thought about it the less likely that seemed.
He was right. They couldn't live in anonymity with their loved ones in Tokyo anymore, especially since the entire world knew who they were and where they lived. It just wouldn't be plausible. The Senshi had almost no clue regarding the scale of attacks they were about to face and they would need a private place to retreat to when they needed to rest, regroup, and train without worrying about destroying anything. Rei had to admit that it made perfect sense.
The Present . . .
After Rei related her grandfather's bestowal the Senshi just stared at her barely able to say anything.
Rei filled the silence, "I teleported there yesterday almost disbelieving that it existed . . . but it was there."
"Wow." Makoto stated.
"Can we just do that?" Usagi inquired, "I don't know if I'm comfortable invading an ancient, sacred family temple."
Rei rolled her eyes, "Like you don't do that here?"
"Rei!" fumed Usagi.
Rei laughed at their usual antics. "Odango, consider the situation. Are you going to live with your family while fending off God knows how many evil psychopaths? Or live with Mamoru where the entire world would know where to find you? You know you would never do anything to put them in danger."
The cold, hard truth silenced Usagi and everyone else at the table.
"Admit it," encouraged Rei, now much more somber, "It's the perfect solution. It's remote, peaceful, massive, and we are all now capable of teleporting anywhere on Earth on our own."
"Still . . ." argued Usagi, "if Tokyo or any other place on Earth is in the direct line of fire I wouldn't feel right if all of us teleported far away when we needed to rest. What about the city? What about all of the people?"
Haruka smiled at her unyielding compassion, "Don't worry Odango. Remember that no one knows about our identities," she said motioning to Hotaru, Michiru and herself. "Our condo is a two-story penthouse suite, we can use it as an operating base. As long as Tokyo remains in direct danger there will always be Senshi on the ground. And we will do the same in other cities."
Minako jumped on that idea. "We will take shifts resting up if things get really intense."
"You're both right," Makoto agreed. "We won't be much good in battle if we don't have a place we can retreat to in order to clear our heads."
Silence lingered again and Usagi exhaled slowly. Now that they had been forced to openly discuss the upcoming harsh realities they were going to have to face made everything much too real. Their discussion was a sober awakening for the Senshi as they sat there actively making plans and asking the loaded questions they had all been trying to avoid.
Before the next topic of discussion arose Usagi casually asked, "So, when is someone going to tell me where Pluto is?"
None of the Senshi moved a muscle in the immediate silence so Usagi was forced to continue, "I've been waiting patiently for one of you to bring it up and no one has."
Usagi could clearly see acute pain and silent regret flash across their faces. Her arms began to tremble and her fists balled up on the surface of the table.
"Where is Setsuna?" She demanded in a low whisper, paralyzed with fear.
Mamoru's warm hand immediately covered Usagi's and she began to instinctively relax though remained somewhat uptight.
"Pluto was forced to make a very difficult decision," Mamoru explained with a heavy heart.
Michiru jumped in, "Before we tell you what happened you have to understand that if she didn't do what she did it would have been impossible for us to find you."
Minako looked vacantly into the table, "If it wasn't for Pluto . . . your fate would have been Cirius for eternity."
Usagi's lips pursed as tears made their way down her face, "Where is Setsuna?" She demanded again, not phased in the least by anything they said.
Rei reached across the table and grabbed Usagi's other hand carefully telling her about Pluto committing a great taboo when she created a backdoor to Cirius' dimension, allowing the Senshi to save her. Once Usagi understood that Setsuna was trapped inside a crystal encasement for a millennium while her consciousness remained active, her tears overflowed. She ripped her hands away from Mamoru and Rei and stood up in growing alarm.
"I'll save her," stated Usagi with fierce determination.
"We've tried to think of a way to rescue Setsuna from her fate," admitted Hotaru, "but we wouldn't know where to look or what we could do if we found her prison."
Everyone bowed their heads in sympathy for Setsuna. With a brief flash Usagi transformed into Cosmic Sailor Moon sparkling in gold, white, and silver.
"I'll save her."
Before anyone could ask what she would do Sailor Moon summoned her crystalline staff. The Ginzuishou intensified its steady shine and she closed her eyes, whispering quietly to herself. Sailor Moon suddenly vanished into white light to leave everyone staring blankly.
Mamoru smiled adoringly.
Cosmic Sailor Moon appeared deep in the ruins of the Moon Palace at the Crystal Tower in the Sacred Chamber of Prayer. In a very distressed state she called out, "Mother?"
Queen Selenity's apparition shimmered into existence before her. The look on her face was sad but strangely hopeful. "My darling."
Sailor Moon smiled lovingly at her mother for a moment then erupted in a desperate monologue about Sailor Pluto.
With the same confused look of hopeful sadness the Queen stated, "It is very unfortunate that in circumstances such as these I am unable to interfere."
Sailor Moon looked stunned, "What? Are-Are you sure?"
The Queen explained, "Chronos is in charge of enforcing the punishment that Pluto agreed to undergo if she were to ever break the time-warp, non-interference rule."
The apparition stated very clearly, "It is impossible for me to interfere in such matters since the covenant was between Chronos and Sailor Pluto, and I can not impede upon their free-will."
Becoming very desperate Cosmic Sailor Moon begged her mother for the opportunity to communicate with Chronos. She would not accept Pluto suffering this way. She was absolutely determined to try.
The hope that had been lingering in the Queens eyes overtook the rest of her face. Happily granting Sailor Moon's request Queen Selenity encouraged a spirit-link between the Consciousness of Chronos and that of Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon immediately learned that Chronos was not doing anything evil or bad. Chronos was simply performing its end of a sacred agreement. Nothing more. Understanding that she could not change such sacred agreements Sailor Moon poured her heart out to Chronos expressing everything she could not say in words about Sailor Pluto, what she had done, and the delicacy of their circumstances. Even though Usagi sensed Chronos was already knowledgeable of everything she had conveyed, the intimate connection they briefly shared allowed Chronos to feel Sailor Moon fully. From this soul-felt understanding Chronos couldn't help but grant Sailor Moon's request to 'feel' Pluto's prison.
Almost instantaneously Sailor Moon sensed the crystal encasement holding Sailor Pluto within her spiritual reach. Sailor Moon could only feel paranoid fear and despair emanating from Pluto. Now very anxious Sailor Moon poured the Ginzuishou's energy into her prison. For the shortest moment Sailor Moon and Sailor Pluto sensed each other. The most profound burst of relief and joy radiated from Sailor Pluto until she drifted off into a timeless slumber, only to awaken once her sentence was complete.
Upon opening her eyes Sailor Moon spilled a few emotional tears but was now at peace because Pluto was at peace.
The Eternal Sailor Senshi and Cosmic Sailor Moon ripped speedily and gracefully through the Tokyo night air. Spread across a seven-block expanse, they vaulted over buildings effortlessly, able to cover full city blocks in one fluid, robust leap. It had been a unanimous decision that teleportation would only be used in absolute emergencies, for long distance travel, and would always be done in secret. Otherwise it would be business as usual.
Making their way towards the city centre the Senshi traveled in silence. After their twenty-four hour brainstorming session in Rei's kitchen it had been agreed that they would ask their families and loved ones to change their names, wipe out their old identities and relocate to leave all trails dead. The Senshi knew that it would be a difficult thing to ask, but the fact of the matter was that most of the world knew their identities. Even though alien enemies wouldn't pay attention at first, who knows what might happen if they got desperate and learned who was connected to their enemy.
The Senshi would not be able to concentrate if their loved ones were so easy to find and wouldn't be able to forgive themselves if anything happened to them. Surprisingly, once the topic was approached the family and close friends of the inner Senshi readily agreed, all willing to do whatever they could to improve the situation. They understood the great responsibility they now carried due to knowing their identities and wanted to help out any way they could.
Thanks to an underground connection of Haruka's, each of them abandoned their old lives and left all trails cold, soon afterwards popping up in another part of Japan with altered appearances, different names, histories, and documents. None of the Senshi wanted them to have to do these things, but they were on the verge of accumulating countless enemies that might try anything to find their weaknesses. They could not afford to be careless.
The Senshi spent most of the weekend training in the Shikoku Mountains while setting up their Shinto temple home and Haruka and Michiru's condo. Pushing the boundaries of their powers and training together without fear of damaging anything or being overheard had proved invaluable. They discovered various, revolutionary ways in which they could attack and defend and thoroughly explored the new depths of their powers. The weekend was so successful that they all wondered why they hadn't trained as a group before. The inners and the outers were training together for the first time in history and were equally on par. After a rough go of it in the beginning, eventually they began working well as a team and learned many new things from each other.
Eternal Endymion proved to be the most interesting addition power-wise. On top of his own attacks he became adept at amplifying any elemental attack. In just three days the Senshi's confidence in their abilities had strengthened immeasurably. Even though they had no clue what was about to happen at Tokyo Tower, they were convinced they would be able to handle whatever would come, as long as they believed in themselves and believed in Cosmic Sailor Moon.
The crowds of people walking the streets below didn't notice the dark shadows streaking through the air high above them while Tokyo Tower grew taller with every leap forward. Sailor Moon's face held steady under the seriousness of what was about to happen. Her silver-white pigtails whipped violently behind her as she frowned in sadness watching Eternal Sailor Saturn dart across the skyline. Through her brief connection with Chronos, Sailor Moon learned that Saturn had been chosen to be the replacement guardian of time until Pluto reawakened. Her heart broke when she thought of Hotaru, at such a young age guarding the gates of time all by herself for the next ten centuries. Fortunately, Queen Selenity volunteered to guard the gate in periodic intervals so that Hotaru could still fight alongside her fellow Senshi and live a life. Saturn would still need to be trained as the time guardian and Queen Selenity would see to that as soon as there was no immediate threat.
While sailing through the air Cosmic Sailor Moon's somber eyes caught a huge neon billboard that read, "Thank you Sailor Moon. Tokyo stands with you."
Her heart leapt into her throat and she found herself smiling, then she caught another one that read, "We believe in the Sailor Senshi."
Her smile broadened. The people of Tokyo were responding to them. Sailor Moon was now very glad she had convinced the Senshi to drop in unexpectedly at NHK News 7 two days ago.
Two Days Ago
The Eternal Senshi emerged from teleportation on the roof of NHK's Broadcasting Centre. Sailor Moon quickly found the stairwell as the Senshi followed her down. Everyone was nervous as Mars said, "Sailor Moon, are you sure about this?"
"I am," came her confident tone, "It will put a lot of the rumours about us to rest, we could also potentially soften this media craze, and you know we should warn them of what's coming. It's only fair."
No one else argued with her.
Once they found the correct floor the Senshi left the safety of the stairwell to walk briskly through the halls. Anyone that came across them just froze in dumbfounded silence, the Senshi smiling sheepishly as they passed.
Quickly finding NHK News 7 they approached the receptionist whose attention was fixated on her Smartphone as she chatted away to a friend on the office line.
"Excuse me," spoke Sailor Moon.
Captivated by her phone the receptionist sighed in annoyance; they were minutes away from broadcasting for God's sake, who the hell had the audacity to bother her now? She told her friend to hold on a second and rolled her eyes, "How may I help-,"
She looked up to find the Sailor Senshi smiling politely at her. The phone cradled under her ear dropped to the floor.
Sailor Moon gave a huge smile, "Hi! We were wondering if it would be possible for you to let us on the evening news. We promise we won't take long."
The receptionist remained mute and still, her mouth hanging open unglamourously as she stared at the most famous people in Japan at the moment.
As Sailor Moon tried to get a response from the shell-shocked young woman, a camera operator had witnessed the entire encounter from the adjacent hallway and immediately charged into the studio to find the director.
With no response coming from the girl at the front desk and the steady increase of eager faces pressed against the glass from the hallway, Mars offered, "I knew this was a bad idea, let's just get out of here, and quickly."
Before anyone could agree or disagree the director burst out of the studio and charged towards the front desk. "Sailor Senshi! You want on the news is that right?!"
"Uh, we know this is quite unorthodox," explained a shy Sailor Moon, "and we're sorry for barging in like this, but we feel it's important to-"
"You want to have your first interview on our news program?!" The director asked yet again, desperately trying to catch his breath.
Sailor Moon was getting annoyed, "Look, I know it's presumptuous but-"
"Benjiro!" Barked the director as he stared at his watch. "Get them into the studio, ASAP! We're live in eight minutes!"
Before anyone could blink the Senshi were being herded into the studio and the director thanked his lucky stars.
The Present . . .
As the Senshi ripped across the roof of the city Sailor Moon smirked. That 'interview' didn't go as planned for NHK News 7. The Senshi came in, said what they needed to say, then left a few minutes later. But the repercussions of those few minutes proved inspiring. Random billboards, TV ads, blogs, and websites were popping up to give them messages of acceptance and support. There were a lot of skeptics and ridiculer's too, but the fact that there were people in Tokyo that believed in them made their mission that much less of a burden.
As they approached their destination the Senshi's erratic paths magically converged at the base of Tokyo Tower where it was oddly silent considering they were in the heart of city. Unsure of what to do next they glanced amongst each other until Sailor Moon caught Neptune and Mars looking earnestly towards the tower's peak.
Cosmic Sailor Moon suddenly ignited into a sprint then launched powerfully into the air. Her body flipped around in mid-flight to land gracefully on the top of the building located at the tower's base. The moment her boots touched down on the building's ledge she gathered all of her momentum and vaulted up into the sky. As the matrix of red metal blurred past, Sailor Moon outstretched her gloved hands for one of the many observation deck support beams about half way up. Gripping one tightly she forced her weight and momentum into another direction, catapulting herself up and over to land on the roof of the observation deck. She crouched low once again, and then exploded even higher. Hurtling through the air Sailor Moon suddenly grabbed onto an antenna sailing past her and flipped herself around it in order to propel herself to the very top. Sailor Moon somersaulted up to the apex of her dismount and touched down with a soft thud on the platform beneath the spire.
She slowly stood up amidst the vortex of high-rise winds erratically assaulting her hair and uniform in persistent, beating swathes. It was now clear that Sailor Moon had fully matured, no longer hesitant to accept her destiny as a warrior. After all of her grueling experiences Sailor Moon had crystallized into a full-fledged Sailor Soldier that was now no nonsense if she had to be.
It remained Sailor Moon's dearest wish to never hurt anyone, but after three years of intense fighting Sailor Moon had finally embraced the truth. And the truth was Sailor Moon would not hesitate to wipe a soul from existence if she was left with no other option to save the Earth and humanity. It was as simple as that.
In this sense Sailor Moon had become a true warrior. A sharp tinge of sadness overtook her eyes. As willing as she now was to fully embrace her new destiny, it deeply broke Sailor Moon's heart that this was what she had to become if they were going to stand a chance . . . if the Earth was going to stand a chance.
The Eternal Senshi watched Cosmic Sailor Moon scale Tokyo Tower in seconds. Each of them stood transfixed and deeply impressed. With the faintest of smiles curving at their lips the Senshi took a running start and followed her up in sporadic, contrasting patterns.
As they ascended Tokyo Tower the Senshi collectively recalled what a haphazard crybaby Sailor Moon was when she had first become a Senshi. There was nothing warrior-like about her because she had no underlying Senshi experience, though she possessed fierce determination. She had been the Princess of the Moon and the Crown Princess of the Silver Millennium after all, the embodiment of peace and understanding. However, it was now evident that Sailor Moon had achieved the true spirit of a Sailor Soldier while simultaneously remaining their loving Princess with a hopeful, bleeding heart. The sense of excitement only a true warrior would feel just before battle bubbled within each of them, revealing their recognition of the formidably potent mix Sailor Moon had become. Climbing faster they remained pleasantly agitated wondering what kind of Senshi they now had the potential to become while protecting and fighting alongside such a strong, powerful, and lovable leader.
Sailor Moon stood silently on the windy peak of Tokyo observing her hometown. It was then she suddenly remembered what she had said after she let her transformation go on live T.V.
FLASHBACK . . .
Once she powered down Cosmic Sailor Moon had suddenly revealed herself on national T.V. She stood exposed and vulnerable as Tsukino Usagi with long blonde hair sporting a pair of ripped, faded blue jeans and red canvas sneakers. She nervously bunched up the sleeve of her white, knitted sweater confessing,
"Look. I am just Tsukino Usagi, a normal, human girl born and raised here in Tokyo. I grew up the exact same way many of you did; going to school, wasting time with my friends, playing video games, reading manga, and avoiding my homework like the plague. But, when I was fourteen I awakened to my purpose, I remembered that I am a Sailor Guardian who protects Earth from evil forces in the name of the Moon. The rest of the Sailor Senshi are also charged with protecting Earth in the name of their own planets.
"We are planetary protectors, that's all. We harness the power of the planets to fight for love and justice, and we are not the only ones. There are Sailor Senshi all across the galaxy whose duty it is to protect the planet that gave them life. The sad news is we haven't seen the last of our enemies. They will continue to come to Earth and try to destroy our beautiful planet and our way of life, but you can be sure that the Sailor Senshi will die before we let that happen. Protecting Earth is the reason we exist, and we will gladly do so over and over, no matter how long it takes. So please don't fear us. We are just like you and we will protect our home."
At the peak of Tokyo Tower Eternal Endymion suddenly appeared arcing silently in the air to land directly behind Cosmic Sailor Moon. His thick cape fluttered around her as he touched down and stood up tall behind her. One by one the Sailor Senshi appeared at the height of their dismounts to land in rapid succession around the royal couple.
Gathered together the Senshi joined Sailor Moon in staring out at their home city in nostalgic silence. Tokyo was where they lived full, normal, and happy lives. This was where they had gravitated to become Senshi once again, but this time, together. They had so many fond memories here, struggled through seemingly countless challenges, and achieved many victories. They learned how to become better Guardians due to being born on this breath-taking planet fighting for love and justice alongside Sailor Moon.
Eternal Mercury watched the countdown in the corner of her visor and pierced the contemplative silence,
The sudden realness of what was coming descended upon them, their stomachs lurching in frigid anticipation. The Senshi stood on the precipice of the end of an era while tumbling into an unknown beginning. They weren't quite sure what they were supposed to do in fifty-nine seconds, though each of them retained complete faith that they would know what to do when the time came.
As the few remaining seconds ticked by the Eternal Sailor Senshi anchored themselves, standing ready with the high-rise winds billowing aggressively around them. The dark clouds above the tower churned unexpectedly then began to swirl in an unnatural way. The Senshi stared up into the sky ominously, remaining frozen in their formation and prepared themselves to tackle whatever the Galaxy would throw at them.
I thoroughly hoped you enjoyed this story. I had worked on it for years then finally got the courage to share it. Please leave a review if you are so inclined. Hearing what other Sailor Moon fans think would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading ;)