Initial summary from my website:

April 7, 2002: Well, here we are, nearly 4 years since I created this page. And with all the counters, I now have nearly 10,000 hits! ((Not counting the ones that happened in between counters... O_O;;;)) Well, having seen that, I couldn't let the occasion slide by without something to commemorate it. This fic was the result. It's short, it's dark, and it's Sailor Moon. Vaguely appropriate considering that SM was my very first fandom. ^_^ Anyway, I don't really have anything else to say. No slash warnings, no don't-read-this-if-you're-having-a-bad-day warnings... *shrugs* Just enjoy the fic, and kudos to you if you know who the guy at the end is. ^_^ It's not really that hard to figure out, just a little obscure. ^_^ *shrugs* That's really all. Shutting up now. Ja ne!


Anniversary

Anniversaries are funny things. They come only once a year to commemorate an event that could be of maximum importance or no importance at all. I've often wondered why we humans feel the need to celebrate them. Do we fear that past events will be lost if we don't? Do we just want excuses to remember? Or do we simply want a way to mark the significance of how much time has passed? Do we merely wish to be able to stand up and say, "I was here then, I am here now, and I hope to be here to remember for many more years to come?"

Regardless of why, every one of us celebrates these anniversaries, be they for birth, death, marriage, or some other important event that has occurred in our lives. Well, today is my anniversary and it is all of those combined. Today I celebrate my birth, my death, and my marriage.

It was one thousand years ago, this day that I celebrate. I was young then. We all were. Young, naïve, and oh-so-innocent. We thought we had our whole lives in front of us to do with as we chose. The future was a realm of endless possibilities. Fate and Destiny existed only to be thwarted. Time was infinite, Love was eternal, and Regret was something we knew nothing of. How much things have changed since then... The innocent child I once was would not recognize the woman I now am. She might see glimpses of herself in me, but they are buried deep... very deep.

I remember so very little about those days Before... So much time has passed since then. I remember that I loved to laugh and I loved to have fun. I remember being carefree enough to do both with great frequency. That was Before. Now... I have forgotten how to laugh, or at least I find very few reasons to do it anymore. And fun... I have no time to be frivolous. Far too many responsibilities rest on my shoulders for me to devote energy to games.

I also remember my family--my father, my mother, my brother. I loved them, though at the time, I hardly knew the meaning of the word. All I knew was that I would gladly have died to keep them safe, and in a way... I did. That isn't to say that we didn't have our disagreements--after all, what family doesn't?--it's just that in light of all that's happened since then, I finally recognize how insignificant those disagreements were. All I really remember is how much I loved them and how much they loved me.

But I speak as though I no longer have a family and that isn't precisely true. I do have a family and what little love I can spare is lavished upon them without hesitation--my daughter and the man who helped me conceive her. What? Surprised that I don't call him my husband? I assure you, the omission was deliberate. I loved him dearly in the days Before, but now... my soul has room for one marriage alone and I am otherwise promised. He understands this and is grateful that I can spare any thought for him at all. In truth, I should not do so. The danger... But, I should not speak of such things. We are careful and what we have is enough. It has to be.

And that is all that I remember of the time Before, those seventeen years when I was still free. The one thousand years since I remember in perfect clarity: every detail, every long second of every long year is etched vividly upon my memory. Though many people view my perfect memory as a gift, I often see it more as a curse. There are days when I almost believe that I would trade my entire memory of these last thousand years for just one more memory of the time Before them. But that is selfish and unbefitting. So I try not to dwell overly much on it--only on this one day every year, the day of my Anniversary.

You wish to know more? Very well. I would sit here and tell the story in my head anyway. It will not bother me to share it with you, as well. I have already told you all that I know of the time Before. If you wish to know more you will have to ask another. The reason is that I did not truly live those seventeen years. I was not born until after. Ah, I am confusing you. Let me try to explain.

This planet was troubled in the past. It was split into hundreds of nations, each thinking that it was better than the next. It was coated in such deep pollution that it was dying, suffocating. And it was vulnerable. Constantly being attacked from within the solar system and without, it seemed inevitable that this planet and its people would someday fall to an enemy. But clearly we did not. For, even then, this Earth had its champions, and though reluctant, I was one of them.

We fought enemy after enemy in those days, and though we gained allies, the waves of Evil seemed endless and overwhelming. We never quite seemed to fight our way clear of them. Yet, in spite of the near-daily struggle, we were happy and we had hope for a better tomorrow.

In my fourteenth year we faced an enemy far stronger than any of us had ever dreamed might exist. She was Chaos, the final, ultimate Evil. For the first time since we began fighting, we actually feared that we might lose. But through Love and Hope, even she was defeated. We thought that we had, yet again, thwarted Fate and Destiny. We thought we had averted the horrific future that had been foreseen, an endless winter that would fall upon the land. We were wrong.

In the end, the greatest threat to the Earth came not from without, but from within. Two nations, fighting each other over a piece of land sacred to both, unleashed a horrible Evil on each other. We no longer have those weapons, but in those days they were commonplace. They were called nuclear warheads. Such an innocuous name for such a dreadful weapon. Once unleashed, the forces within those weapons would have destroyed the entire planet, plunging it into a thousand-year winter from which it might never have recovered. And so, one last time, I attempted to thwart Fate.

This Crystal... yes, I see you know it. The Imperium Silver Crystal. Its potential power is unmeasured. I did not know if it was up to the task to which I would set it, but we had no other choice and we had no time. I gathered up all the love that I felt for this world, every hope that I had ever had for a better future, and wished upon the Crystal. A simple wish. To protect this Earth. That was all that I wanted. To protect this Earth and all who lived upon her. And, as happened to so many of those who wielded this Crystal, this wish cost me my life. The Crystal needed all of my life energy in order to grant this one prayer. And so... I died.

What I did not understand, though, was that the very nature of my wish could not allow my death. In order to save the planet from its current crisis and to support the peace that would follow would require continuous prayer from the holder of the Crystal, otherwise the world that would be created from this wish... would crumble. And only one of my line can wield this Crystal. Since I had no children, it was necessary for me to live for the Crystal to grant my wish. That very day, from the ashes of my death, I was reborn. No longer quite human, no longer quite mortal, and only existing to support the peace of the Earth, I was the Pillar, the foundation upon which our world would rest. So, my death, my birth... and now my marriage. You see... I am married to this planet Earth. Until Death do we part.

On that day, I began to pray. All of my love, all of my hopes, and all of my dreams were funneled into that prayer to hold the world stable until the forces unleashed by the nuclear weapons could fade naturally. You see... this world we live in, it is an illusion. The reality is that we did not escape that thousand-year winter. It is only the power of the Crystal and the force of my wish that allows humanity to survive. But even as we speak, I can feel the Earth healing from those cataclysmic forces. She is being reborn, just as I was, cleaner, stronger, and more beautiful than she was Before. And on that day, when she is finally healed... I can finally rest. That day can not come soon enough for me. I am weary beyond belief; weary of living only to support the peace that our people squander on pointless arguments and politics; weary of not being allowed to truly love my daughter, much less her father; weary of being queen to all and friend to none. And most of all... I am weary of being alone.

But it is not to be forever. Someday--someday soon, I think--a new enemy will appear. Following on their heels will be the Warriors from the Past. And those Warriors... they will set me free. They will not know that that is why they are being called to the future, they will think that they are here to save me, to save this Earth. And in a way... they are. Just not in the way that they think. I almost feel pity for them. Almost. But if things go the way that they are supposed to go, the Warriors will not know the truth about their mission to the future until one thousand years have passed and they see it from the other end. You see... my Warriors still do not know the truth. I can not free myself from this burden. I exist only to be the Pillar and my life is linked to the wish I made so very long ago. Once my wish is no longer needed... I should die. But the people of this world will not wish to let me go. They have long since forgotten what it is like to support their own happiness, to fight for their own peace. Only those who do not know the significance of what they are doing will be able to make this one final wish, this last selfish wish, come true.

I have frightened you. I am sorry. The day of which I speak is still some way off. It may even be that you will long since have reached your own day of rest by the time I can even begin to think of mine. It did not mean to worry you.

Ah... the hour grows late. In another 20 minutes my anniversary will be over, and it is thus time for me to stop thinking these selfish thoughts, time for me to take up the Crystal again and begin wishing anew for peace and life. I do thank you for listening to me... I somehow feel better knowing that someone else has borne this burden with me, if only for a short while. Now... what did you say that your name was, again?


The raven-haired man shook his head, an expression of infinite sadness stretched across his countenance, "It is of no consequence, Your Highness. I am merely someone who saw a lonely woman and sought to comfort her. I am deeply sorry that I can do no more."

The Queen smiled, touched by the honest concern in the man's deep sapphire gaze, "Do not be. You have done enough merely by listening. I am grateful." Her eyes turned to take in the moon for a moment before returning to the long-haired man, "And if you will forgive me, I must now take my leave. Good night, my friend."

The man watched as the Queen departed, sorrow returning once again to his gaze as he contemplated the form of the woman he had once loved, and to a great extent, loved still. With each passing year she lost a little more of the girl she had been when he had fallen under her spell. Though he visited often on this night, she had not known him for who he truly was in many, many years. Endymion did not know how lucky he was that she loved him deeply enough to continue to know him, even if she still refused to call him "husband". So, with that thought firmly in mind, the last words that he spoke were quiet and laden with grief, "Good night, Odango... Until next year."


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Thoughts anyone? ^_^ One of these days, I'll actually fic for the guy at the end here... if only to honor the memory of his seiyuu. *sniffs*