Disclaimer: I obviously do not own these characters. Just the story. Don't plagerize my stuff please.
Child of Pluto, Child of Chronos
He came on the darkest day of the year. She remembers, vaguely that meeting. His burgundy robe had been so deep a purple as to almost be black. He had stood before her, the delicate silver keys that were so unfitting the image of him who was a warrior through and through, glistened from the sliver of light that had fallen upon him. He had reached out to her with his surprisingly youthful hands, skilled and long fingered. His unchanging face was handsome but not beautiful, and yet, so very intelligent. She does not remember his voice, just that the cadence he employed was smooth and that she was soothed by it and others, charmed by it, no matter the words the fell from his firm lips and the tones he used. His gaze though was black and penetrating, filled with something she could not describe as anything but old. Very, very old. Not just the way anything seemed old to her then that was passed twenty season's cycles, but truly ancient, like ruins whose stories were lost and forgotten, and the infinite sky... Old. She would not forget the feelings those eyes inspired within her, not even centuries later. It was like looking through obsidian glass and seeing forever stretch before you, unending, as dark and deep as the space between planets and people. Except, not empty. Never empty. Filled, always. Filled with so much... it was hard to take it all in at once without feeling the need to look away.
She had always known he was coming for her...
"Child of Pluto," he said softly, moving till his features became obscured by shadows. It was the first thing he had called her when they had met, because names are fleeting but her duties would never be. In her young eyes then, he had seemed a giant that filled the dark emptiness that shrouded him. Yet, even with his warrior's figure and despite the strange armor that were hinted at when he stretched out his hand to her, she was not afraid of this stranger who had suddenly appeared in her room. Perhaps it was because she had seen his face a million times before in her dreams, or perhaps it was because his presence then was so subdued as to almost be nonexistant. "I have come to bring you a gift," he had tried to bribe her pleasantly.
And he knew that she knew he was coming...
"I already have gifts," she had refused him with all the precociousness of her youth. She was so young then, too young to know how to rein in the truth and how to observe without words. All of these things, he would later teach to her in the dark and shadowed hallways of his gates, until she was no longer afraid of the dark or the shadows. It would be decades before the Queen of the Silver Millennium would give her a palace lit with brightness and light to win her favor, but he had wanted her to know shadows and darkness so as to never be misled by it due to her own ignorance.
"Time reveals all things," he would remind her often. "She likes to destroy the secrets she reveals and eat them up again when memories fail to preserve them with age. She reincarnates them again and again, this way, Child. And you must recognize the cycles that are not just made up of seasons but of knowledge and mistakes and forgetfulness. You must learn to live in both worlds, ours and theirs. You will learn what the world others live in looks like in daylight and by a fickle moon, and how ours are changed by the actions of such ephemeral creatures." Even without light, Chronos had wanted her to always know the way or, at least, how to find it. He had wanted her to see what others could not see, what others failed to see because they had never needed to know how to look. He taught her how to move passed the fears and observe what others did not need to see simply because they did not wish to see it.
She learned from him that being a Senshi and a Guardian of Time was not a choice but a necessity...
The wand appeared before her on her thirteenth birthday. She had heard rumors and extravagant tales, before she was taken by Chronos. Children born to be Senshi received theirs at birth, usually. "Why did I get mine so late?" she had asked him.
"Because, you weren't ready then," he told her simply. And she remembered that he neither called it an honor nor a curse, despite her trepidations and the servants' excitement upon its discovery.
"Two thousand years since the last one," she had heard some murmur. And she had been proud then too. Too young to know better, having no one but Chronos as her guide.
And he was glad that she was still strong enough to create choices, despite destiny and the gifts she possessed already...
"I can still see the future," she would tell him, "most times it is bleak and cold, but the visions are dimming and I feel that one day, they will disappear all together."
"And now that you are Senshi, Child of Pluto, you may create light and warmth where hope has flown and darkness reigns. You can walk your own path instead the one that others may have written or dictated for you. Those eyes you used to look through the veils of Time to see only one possibility, you no longer need them and they are no longer adequate." His hand was not as large as they used to be and now they rested upon her shoulder instead of upon her head. "Power," he told her, "is just a tool, a means to its own end. Sometimes, you need to discard the things you no longer need, no matter how powerfully it had once served you."
"When I had first received visions of the future, I did not see any light in it at all and I was scared of that," she told him in return. "You taught me how not to be scared or, at least, you taught me how not to just be scared. Yet, now that they dim so quickly, I think I shall miss it when it is gone."
"Will you?" he inquired. "Familiar things lost evaporates into memories and then fade completely if you live long enough."
"But, I'll miss it. I'll miss learning to see the light on the leaves or the sparks on the rivers. The light you taught me to look for where once there had only been darkness for me. I'll miss being able to see how brightly people would one day shine and even sadness, when it meant so little before such grief takes meaning and reality... I think I'll miss not understanding, too."
"You are only starting," he smiled at her for the first time. A true smile that she could recognize as genuine and real, without goals in mind, or perhaps because she now knew what the goal had been. "Even if it is also an end to something once held precious."
And his blood still ran in her veins, to this day...
"Is this wine?" she asked him, with the sweet coppery taste on her lips.
"No," he told her, watching her finish. "It is my blood." The empty cup slipped from her numb fingers, clattering onto the ground at his declaration. "You have drank small doses until now. It is why your visions are disappearing. But now, you are more than just a child of Pluto with a fading gift to see the disasters to come," he continued. "You are now a child of mine, with the ability to cross the Gates of Time and observe all the possibilities that could be and all the paths that had been. I have waited long for you, my child. Guardian after guardian has passed under my watch, and all of them inadequate for the extra burden I wished to place upon them."
And it was one end, the first goodbye that had really mattered, but far from the last that would hurt.
It was not long after that night, when he kissed her brow and called her daughter, before Chronos disappeared into the corridors of Time. One day he stepped through the doors of Time and did not return to her. He broke no promises, of course, because he was old and wise enough not to make them. Since then, lifetimes later, Pluto still found herself searching for that burgundy robe almost the color of a moonless night, a past giant with obsidian eyes and blood that tasted like wine. She searched for him every time she stepped back into the Gates and looked behind her every time she set foot outside of the world he gave to her. Even though she was no longer a child and never needed a father, even though she had finally learned how to speak not the truth in her head but the words needed to shape the future to be what the Doors of Time had shown her it needed to be, this piece of herself that was tied to him by the blood he had given her, remained.
Long passed the gifts he took from her and replaced it with others. Long passed the Silver Millennium, and the other, countless, nameless centuries and rulers and cities she would only be a witness to. Long after the death of her first Queen and the start of the rule of that Queen's progeny and all the progenies of rulers after...
So long as she lived, this would always be true...
That she had seen him coming, and she had seen the grief of his passing glimmer around the edges of her own eyes. Despite knowing so, she had still went to him when he had shown himself before her and stretched out his hand to her. She went to him, knowing she would be blinded by the light that was no different than darkness. She went to him, knowing he would teach her wisdom and then set her on the road towards sorrows unimaginable. He would take away the eyes that could only see and replace them with a sight so clear as to shape what was to come. But he'll also leave her with too much heart still to be able to regret the choices that would cost her much to pay for in making reality. She went to him, even knowing he could only lead her to doors, unending and innumerable doors that were hard to open and easy to close, and that he would not walk through even one of them with her...
And she accepted, like Eve from the snake in an Earthling's fable, the gifts of his eternity and his wisdom. She accepted those things that were so bright and so painful to behold, things that could never be discarded once taken up. She accepted them, even knowing they would forever change the shape of her being and the blood running through her veins. She accepted, knowing she would miss him, perhaps even longer than the eternity he had given her.
After all the time he had given her, she guessed, that it was because of this final gift that she could give to him in return that had moved him to choose her to take his place, at that timeless gate, the Gate of the Forgotten.
This story was written for sm_monthly, on LJ, for Theme 1 of the August 2006 - Setsuna/Pluto challenge: Origins
It was pretty much dug out, revived and then revised. Majorily revised (and revised many times). But the premise is the same. Thank goodness for good ideas, mediocre writing, and ultimately, boredom/procrastination from the fic I should have been working on...