AN: Hi, and welcome back. For those that didn't know yet, I decided to edit through the stories in this series and repost. 'Time Travel Trouble' has already been done and it's unlikely that I'll repost the story between these two- 'Can't Let Go'- since it's largely unchanged even after editing. I realize I should be working on the SuperS story, but I'm largely lacking motivation and ideas, so send me some if you have any, as I rather despise that season. Anyway. This one, unlike TTT, has undergone some fairly serious changes. The original plot is primarily intact, but for those of you who have already read this the Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion of the other timeline have been removed. I ultimately decided they weren't necessary, though of course you can tell me if you think I'm wrong.
Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon and never will, and that applies to every chapter of this story as I can't be troubled to add it to each one when I'm posting them all at once.
Last time I wrote, my friends brought me home after we fought the Makaiju and my mother seemed to know who we were. Now I'll explain what else we learned and where I'm going. You see, diary, my mother says she's known I was Sailor Moon from the beginning. There were still shocks- my Senshi told her everything, and finding out the family pet could talk was a surprise. Mama didn't say anything about what she knew to Papa or Shingo. She decided to just be there.
I can't say how much it means to me. Sure, the girls and I have each other, but it's hard. Mama just lets me talk. I told her about the Silver Millennium and my involvement with Mamo-chan. She was a little worried at first because of the age difference, but she understands how much he means to me.
Kunzite will take me to the Moon today. I don't think Mother will be there, though I don't know why. The Ginzuishou and I will rest. Mama told Papa and Shingo I'm going on a trip with the others, but it'll only be Luna and I. After that Kunzite will escort Mamo-chan to Elysian. When we come back we'll be our old selves again.
Usagi closed the diary as her mother finished making breakfast, locking it and returning it to its drawer as she glanced at her guardian. "Ready to go?"
"Of course," Luna replied, though she eyed her carrier agitatedly. "I'd prefer to walk, though."
"Kunzite can transport us more easily this way."
The Mauan allowed her charge to settle her in the bag with reluctance. The blonde liked it - the backpack was well padded for Luna's comfort and she could keep her head out. Usagi headed downstairs. The cat took a moment to complain about her bouncing on the steps.
Her mother had a platter of pancakes on the table, where she was sitting with a large mug of coffee and the morning newspaper. "Good morning, dear," Ikuko murmured as her daughter came in.
"Good morning," she replied as she helped herself to the food. "This looks great."
The older woman smiled. "If you'd like, I can put the rest in a bag for later."
The blonde nodded before downing a glass of milk and getting up, moving Luna's carrier to her shoulder and grabbing the bag she'd packed. Her mother handed her the extra pancakes, which she slipped into a side pocket. "I'll be back in a few days."
The older woman kissed the top of her child's head as she took the dishes to the sink. "Be careful, Usagi."
"I will, Mama. Bye!"
Usagi ran out the door and down the street. The park wasn't far, but Kunzite was always early and she wanted to beat him there. Walking into their clearing, she set her things on the ground before climbing to a low limb in one of the trees. Leaning back, the girl stared at the clouds visible through the leaves. It wasn't long until she fell asleep.
She woke to voices calling her and nearly fell. Catching a branch, she managed to regain her balance. Mamoru and Kunzite watched her as Luna rolled her eyes.
"Are you coming, Usako? Or are you staying up there all day?"
His girlfriend childishly stuck her tongue out as she climbed down and gathered her belongings. "For your information, Mamo-chan, I was not intending to stay in the tree all day. I fell asleep."
He snickered. "Nice to see you'll never be a morning person."
"It's not my fault you wanted to leave at such a ridiculous time. Can we go now?" she demanded.
Kunzite nodded, expression unreadable. "Of course. Take my arm, Usagi-hime."
She did, making sure her grip was firm and shooting one last look at Mamoru before they vanished.
The general lingered only long enough to make sure Usagi was going to be okay before he took his leave. She turned Luna loose and looked around. Her ancient home had been destroyed during the Dark Kingdom's attack. The palace of her childhood was in ruins. All that remained was the Prayer Room, the resting place of the Ginzuishou.
She laid one hand against the door, unsure. Princess Serenity had never crossed the threshold. To enter would prove once and for all she was the Moon Queen despite not having taken the throne. The teen shook her head, brushing the uncomfortable thoughts aside. Her henshin broach opened, Ginzuishou flashing. The entrance melted away as if it had never existed. Taking a deep breath, Usagi stepped inside.
The girl turned in a slow circle, taking everything in. The walls were translucent crystal of varying shades, but no one could see inside. It was one of the enchantments of the tower, spells that let it survive war and a millennium of neglect. The Eternity Main System she recognized, but it was silent and defunct. There was a winding staircase curling around the space, leading to the Prayer Room above. Luna stayed outside, but it didn't matter. Her guardian couldn't enter that most sacred of locations.
Usagi began the climb, determined to make the attempt before her nerve failed. The door to the Prayer Room was more imposing than the one below. Curling script twined the edges, written in the ancient language that had existed before the planets developed different tongues. It was unlikely anyone knew it now except her. Or Mercury, when her memories resurfaced. It was a warning that only a king or queen of the Moon's bloodline could enter. The last line read "May the Ginzuishou light the way".
She passed her hand over the Crystal Star, releasing the jewel from its setting. It came to her hand without a fuss, light spilling from its depths. It meant a lot, having the legendary crystal. Even in her past, it had only been in her hands a few times. Never mind it was hers as it had never belonged to anyone else.
Not sure what else to do, she asked the Ginzuishou to open the door. The light intensified and as it did physical locks slid back while the magical ones released as well. The crystal dimmed as Usagi stepped in.
It was dark, but seconds later lights began to glow in lines on the ceiling. The center of the room was occupied by a podium meant for the Ginzuishou. This was the source of silver power, the magical focus of the entire world. She had been out of contact with it for so long - the sheer strength of it was making her giddy. It was almost like drinking an entire bottle of champagne. Coming to the Moon and the Prayer Room was exactly what she'd needed. Setting the crystal in place, she sat with her back against the pillar.
Closing her eyes, time ceased to exist. She linked to her home, feeling the pain from the deaths of its people. The Moon was hurt by the loss but as it healed her, her presence was helping it regain strength as well. Their hearts twined together, something that hadn't happened since she'd died. As it did, a dark threat seemed to loom on time's horizons.
Usagi knew Selene was there before she opened her eyes. Regardless of the power in the Prayer Room, the Moon Lady was brighter still. The goddess had created the great kingdom. She would always be its guiding light.
"Welcome home, granddaughter." When the girl didn't return the sentiment, she continued. "Unlike your mother before you, you have inherited some of the foresight of the gods. You know things that have not yet occurred."
"I only See Endymion."
"True Sight is beyond your grasp, but you can feel things coming, can you not?"
"I don't like it, but there's another battle approaching. I don't understand. It's here, but it's in other times too. I know part of it involves the child I'll have someday. The rest, I don't know."
"When you chose to return after you defeated Metallia, you set yourself on a difficult path," the goddess explained. "You may never know true peace. At the same time, you will be happy."
"Never without a price."
The goddess's smile was tired. "There is no easy way for you, child. Nor will this be the last fight, though it may be the hardest to bear. You must find strength in yourself as never before."
"You mean what I've Seen will really happen."
"I cannot say; this is something you must learn for yourself. Your love transcends all, little princess. Have faith in that. Hold it in your heart through everything."
She vanished, leaving her grandchild to her thoughts once more.
Usagi had been excited to go to the Moon, but after what she'd learned she couldn't wait to leave. Her time was spent trying to piece visions together, but she didn't want to See them. She wanted to believe she could have a peaceful life, however briefly.
Kunzite appeared and bowed, jerking the girl from her meditations. She didn't understand the gesture until she realized she'd been Princess Serenity since entering the Prayer Room. She closed her eyes and stripped that identity away. She wanted to be a human girl as long as possible.
"How's Mamo-chan?" the blonde asked as she stuffed Luna in her carrier without hearing her protests. Once accomplished, she grabbed the rest of her things.
"Fully recovered," Kunzite responded. "His magic is replenished; his health has returned. No need to worry, Usagi-hime."
She let the honorific pass with a roll of her eyes. "Good. Can we go?"
He studied her. "Did something happen?"
"No," she lied. "I just want to see him."
He was still suspicious, but he didn't argue. Taking his arm, the world around them changed from the ruins of the Moon to the lush grass of the clearing on Earth. Mamoru was sitting nearby, book in hand. He heard the burst of displaced air signifying a teleport and looked up. The lovers' gazes meshed and she gave her things to Kunzite before throwing herself into his embrace.
Usagi let herself forget in his arms. It was more comfortable to be with him and ignore the rest of the world. They might have stayed that way forever if the Senshi hadn't stormed the clearing, eager to welcome them back. She met them with enthusiasm and a bright smile. Rei watched with thinly veiled suspicion, but it was ignored. If she'd Seen something, Usagi didn't want to hear about it.
The girls had things to do, so they didn't linger long. Kunzite took Luna to Usagi's house, leaving her alone with her mate again. Mamoru had, over the course of the cheery greetings, returned to his book. She took the time to look him over. He looked good, a definite improvement over how he'd seemed after their last battle. Going to Elysian had done wonders.
Eventually Mamoru caught his girlfriend staring and quirked one brow. "If you expect me to pass out or something, you'll be waiting a long time. I'm fine. Is something bothering you?"
Mamoru frowned. "I know you better than that. What happened?"
She had to think about what she could say. "Selene came to me while I was on the Moon. There's another battle coming."
He sighed, brushing one hand through his heavy hair. "I'm not surprised, but I was hoping we'd have more time. Is there anything else?"
"Nothing important," the blonde demurred. He didn't press. If he had, she might've told him everything.
"Want to go to Crown and get a milkshake?" he offered.
"Sure! I haven't seen Motoki-onii-san in ages."
Mamoru chuckled, putting the book he'd been reading (Quantum Mechanics and its Applications- not for school) in his bag. "We've been busy, after all."
So they walked to the arcade, not minding the comfortable silence. The pair took seats at the counter as Motoki dashed over, elated to see them.
"Usagi-chan! Mamoru-kun! Where have you been?"
She had to smother a laugh. "I was out of town visiting relatives. Old Mamoru-baka was locked in his apartment studying, I guess. He's desolate without me."
Mamoru mock-growled, but everyone snickered. "I was not locked in my apartment studying, thank you," he said in an injured tone.
"Sure, buddy," Motoki-onii-san chuckled. "So what'll it be today? I'm off in a few minutes if you guys want to talk."
"That would be great," Mamoru agreed. "But first, I promised the lady a milkshake. Her usual, and a coffee for me."
The other two rolled their eyes at his order. Motoki fixed the drinks, including a vanilla shake for himself, before handing his apron to the other worker. They settled into a booth.
"Sooo…" he drawled. "What's the deal with you two? I thought you weren't a couple or anything."
They exchanged looks. "We've been together for a while, but we had stalkers and didn't want to get each other in trouble," Usagi explained. It was the most simplified version of events she could give.
"Stalkers?" repeated Motoki. "Both of you? At once?"
Mamoru nodded. "A brother and sister pair. Crazy ones."
He stared at them with huge eyes. "Are you all right?"
"We're fine," the blonde assured him. "They left a week ago and things have been normal since. What's been going on here?"
"Those weird attacks stopped," he explained. "No one's sure why. Something odd also happened at the Juuban Odyssey- the top floors are wrecked."
"Really?" the girl asked, feigning mild interest. "That's odd."
"What about you?" Mamoru said. "How's Reika-san?"
They talked about little things until the couple was ready to go home. Mamoru told them he had a test in calculus he had to study for.
For a while, Usagi had been able to forget again.
She walked home slowly, taking time to enjoy the sunlight, breeze, and chirping birds. She could smell the flowers' perfume in the air. It was mid-autumn, but it was warm enough that she was glad of her tank top and skirt.
It wouldn't be long before the new enemy arrived. A day or two. She wasn't ready. Never would be, but there had been so little time.
The thoughts ruined her enjoyment of the lovely day. By the time Usagi reached her house, she had worked herself into a fine temper. She couldn't stand the thought of her quiet life being upset again. Ignoring her mother, the teen locked herself in her bedroom. She was tired and rest would help put things in perspective.
Her dreams were an old reminder. The end of the Silver Millennium bore down on her and she screamed the pain of Endymion's death. A silent spectator, Usagi watched Sailor Saturn cut off the last breaths of her dying world.
That familiar torture became something worse. It started out well- she and Mamoru were getting married. It turned dark, she fell away, and a deep voice told Mamoru being with her would kill her. The vision shifted to them facing each other. He looked so cold, so hard. He told her he didn't love her and sent her away. Unable to take it, the distraught Usagi clawed her way out of the nightmare.
Luna, who'd convinced Ikuko to unlock the door, sat at the end of the bed staring. "Usagi-chan, what's wrong?"
"A vision," she said, too upset to make excuses. "A bad one."
"It could just have been a dream," her guardian offered. "They don't all come true."
She shook her head. "This will. Something's wrong, Luna, very wrong."
"You said a new enemy was coming. I feel it too. What else did you See?"
Usagi couldn't think about those visions without wanting to scream. "No. I don't want to talk about it. I have school in the morning and I need to sleep. Is that all right?"
The cat nodded, curling into a ball herself. "You'll tell me when you're ready?"
She glanced out the window. "Who else do I have to tell?"
Luna didn't reply, already asleep.
Usagi raced home after school to change- she and Mamoru had plans for the rest of the afternoon and she didn't want to go wearing her uniform. Her father tried protesting, but her mother cut him off saying she'd already given permission and warning him not to ruin it for their daughter. Said girl slipped out as they argued.
It was a gorgeous day. She and Mamoru strolled casually to the lake, and he rowed them to the center. She tripped getting out of the boat afterwards, but he caught her. They shared a tender kiss there on the dock.
From there, things became… odd. A pink-haired child fell from the sky just like the day that had brought them together, landing on the blonde before rolling onto her mate. They both stared, recognizing her at once.
"Give me the Ginzuishou!" she demanded.
That made them focus. "Chibiusa!" they said in unison.
She paused, caught off-guard. "Nooo..."
Usagi shook her head. "Who else would fall on us like that? Or look like you?"
She fidgeted with the hem of her skirt. "You shouldn't recognize me. Puu said so."
"Yes, well," Mamoru drawled. "We do. Could you let us up?"
She scrambled to the side as they got to their feet, brushing themselves off. "Anyway. No, I'm not giving you the Ginzuishou," the blonde said firmly.
She pouted, and for a moment Usagi thought she was looking at a younger version of herself, albeit with pink hair. "But I need it!"
Mamoru knelt so he was on her level. "We understand that, but Usako can't just hand it over. It belongs to her. You have to tell us what's wrong so we can help."
"This isn't how it's supposed to work!"
"Humor us," the blonde suggested. "What's going on, sweetheart?"
There must have been something in Usagi's tone or posture that reminded the child of her mother. She began sobbing. "It's Mama!" she cried. "Bad people hurt Mama and I need the Ginzuishou to save her!"
Mamoru and Usagi shared alarmed looks over her head. "Chibiusa, why don't I already have the Ginzuishou? I mean, why doesn't she?"
She shrugged, still crying, and Mamoru caught her in a tight hug. "Okay, we won't talk about it now. She needs somewhere to calm down. I'd offer to let her stay with me, but I'm not home enough to take care of her."
"Let's go to your apartment for the time being," his mate suggested. "We can figure out what to do once we're alone."
He nodded and they began making their way to his place. "I'm sorry," he said after several minutes' silence. "I guess we're not going out for dinner."
"Don't worry about it," she answered. "You can make something."
They managed to get to an empty elevator. Usagi breathed a sigh of relief, since it would've been hard to explain them being seen with a child who looked so much like her. They needed a cover story. Mamoru settled Chibiusa in his bed while the younger teen put water on for tea. He came out quietly, shutting the door behind him. She was about to say something, but he suddenly pulled her into a hug.
"What's that for?" she asked as he let go.
He stared into the distance for a moment. "Things won't be the same after this. Not just the battle, something else. I can't explain."
"Then don't try. We have things that need our attention now. The future can wait till it bloody well gets here."
Both his brows shot up at her irritation, but he didn't comment. Pulling out a pan, he gathered the ingredients for stir fry. She started rice, one of the few things she could do in the kitchen. "Something needs to be done about Chibiusa. She'll attract trouble if only because she's young and won't have control of her magic yet."
"That's not all," Usagi sighed. "I'm only guessing, but I think part of this is about her. She'll need protection. She's not from this time, so she has no papers, no ID, and no family except us."
"We've seen her do things with the toy she carries. It could help. Pluto wouldn't have let her time-travel without some sort of protection, would she?"
She shook her head. "They're close, so there must be a way for Chibiusa to fit in here. Given our resemblance, she'd have to be related to me. Then my mom could take care of her."
The vegetables were ready, so he slid them into the pan. "That's the best chance we have. We're in for a fight, aren't we?"
"Whoever hurt me must have tried to stop her from coming here. If they can time-travel, they'll be looking for her. She's young and scared; she won't be able to keep her magic under control. Someone will need to be with her all the time."
"Your mother knows. Have Luna give her a communicator so she can contact us if something happens. Any idea how long we have?" Mamoru asked.
"It depends on how long we can keep her calm."
The bedroom door opened and Chibiusa walked into the room rubbing her eyes. "I'm hungry."
Mamoru turned off the burner. "You're just in time. Dinner's ready." He separated the food onto three plates and added rice before passing them out. Chibiusa stared at it for a moment before eating. "Chibiusa-chan, is there anything else we should know? Are you in trouble?" he asked.
She nodded. "The bad people tried to catch me, but Mama's Senshi made sure I got away. Puu sent me here because she said there were people who could help."
"We will," Usagi promised, "but we need to know what to expect."
The little girl stared at them for a long time. "You're Mama and Papa, Puu said. Are you really?"
"I think so," Mamoru responded. "We didn't know until we heard it from Pluto, but you have Usako's name and look a lot like her. That ball is the spitting image of her cat."
"What does your mother look like?" the blonde asked.
"She's beautiful! She wears a pretty white gown and has a moon on her forehead."
"Does she wear her hair like mine?" Chibiusa nodded. "And the moon, it's gold and opens up, right?" Another nod. Usagi focused on the Ginzuishou in the Crystal Star but didn't reveal it. Her crescent flashed for a moment. "Like this?"
"You are Mama!" she exclaimed, throwing herself into the teen's lap. "What about Papa? Is he Papa?"
Mamoru grinned. "Let me guess… he really likes roses and wears a mask?"
/Why would you assume her father wears a mask?/
He shrugged. /It seemed like a reasonable guess. I don't know why./ He became Tuxedo Kamen. "Something like this?"
She tilted her head. "Not quite… The colors are wrong."
"I'm sure your father had some growing to do before he became your father," Usagi said. "We all have growing to do before then. And if Puu was right about my being your mom, wouldn't she be right about your dad too?"
Everyone let the subject drop after that. Chibiusa turned on the television as her future parents retreated to the kitchen with the excuse of cleaning up. They were trying to make plans, but there wasn't much to go on until they knew what they were up against.
Usagi glanced at her watch once they'd discussed the little they knew. "I should take Chibiusa home." She raised her voice a little. "Chibiusa-chan?"
She came in looking exhausted. "Yes, Mama?"
"Do you have any way to create an identity for yourself, Chibiusa-chan? You need to go to school, and most of my family can't know who you really are."
She held up her toy. "This is Luna-P. Puu taught me how to convince people they know me. I can make everyone think I'm your cousin."
"Great!" Usagi exclaimed. "If you're my cousin, we should act like it. It's okay to be nice or call me Mama if we're alone or with people I say you can trust, but the rest of the time we should argue or something. Can you do that?"
"Yes," she said quietly, "but I don't want to. I want you to like me!"
Mamoru lifted her for a hug. "Of course she likes you, but we're trying to protect you. You need to be a normal little girl."
Chibiusa agreed reluctantly, but she didn't want to let go of him. In the end they decided to walk to Usagi's house together. One could stay with Chibiusa while the other explained. Once there, Usagi realized her father was out- probably on assignment. Shingo had plans with a friend too, which simplified things. The explanations could be made just to Ikuko and Luna.
"Mama! Luna! I'm home!"
Her mother stepped out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. "Welcome back. Who's this?"
The petite teen was completely unsure of how to begin. "Mama, this is… Um…"
Mamoru took pity on her and stepped in. "Usako said she told you about us, right? Well, this is Chibiusa-chan. She's from the future."
"Chibiusa?" her mother repeated. "Usagi-chan mentioned her, but she never said who she was."
The little girl hopped down from Mamoru's arms to introduce herself. "I'm Tsukino Usagi. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Usagi? Why does she have your name?"
"Well…" This was more awkward than they'd thought. "She's my daughter. Or she'll be my daughter some time in the future. I don't know when."
"I'm from the thirtieth century," Chibiusa piped in.
"Thirtieth century," Ikuko repeated faintly. "Of course."
"Mama, she has to stay with us," Usagi said urgently. "She needs to be protected."
That seemed to anchor her mom. "She's in trouble."
Usagi nodded. "Something bad happened in her time and she barely got away. We can deal with whatever it was later. Right now she needs to stay somewhere safe. She can create a cover for herself; everyone will think she's my cousin."
The older woman reached for Chibiusa. "So someday you'll be my granddaughter?" she asked with a smile. "Imagine, my baby having a baby. You look just like her."
Chibiusa let her grandmother hug her. "You like me?"
"Oh, you poor girl, just because bad guys did terrible things doesn't mean people won't like you. I like you. I'm sure Usagi-chan likes you, and Mamoru-san. Don't let what happened upset you."
Chibiusa turned against Ikuko's chest and cried, which strangely was a relief. She'd been too calm for a child going through so much. Once she stopped, Ikuko passed her to Mamoru and gestured her daughter over to the side.
"Let's get the attic cleaned up. There's a bed up there for her, and enough old things of yours to make it comfortable. Has she eaten?"
"Yes. Why don't you stay with her? I can take care of the room. You should introduce Chibiusa to Luna. She'll need to be with her as often as possible."
"All right. You would know how to make her feel at home more than I would."
Usagi shook her head. "She's my child in the future. I don't know her yet, and she doesn't talk about what happened or anything else from her time." She sighed, brushing her fringe back in annoyance. "I'll see what I can do."
It took some work since the attic was rarely used, but finally she was satisfied she'd done the best she could for the night. Chibiusa was bound to be tired. The teen headed back down, scooping her sleeping form from her mother's arms and trekking up the stairs once more to tuck her in. She seemed to have slept through the whole thing, but she reached for Usagi when she went to leave.
Usagi sat on the side of her bed and took her hands. "You don't have to thank me, Chibiusa-chan. Even if you weren't my child I'd help you. Get some sleep. We can talk more tomorrow."
She was asleep before her future mom got to the door. The blonde smiled before rejoining Ikuko and Mamoru in the living room. "She's out like a light."
"Good," he said. "I was worried about her. She's so young."
"About five, I think. Mama?"
The older woman nodded. "That seems right. Usagi-chan, what kind of person would be trying to hurt a little girl?"
"I don't know. It could be because of Mamo-chan and I. Maybe we've made some enemies in the future. When they make their move I'll find out more."
Ikuko headed to the kitchen, saying something about baking so Chibiusa could have something good in the morning. Her daughter glanced at Mamoru, exhausted. He opened his arms and let her burrow close.
"We'll be okay," he murmured against her hair. "So it's another fight and a little girl caught in the crossfire. We'll deal with it."
"I hope you're right," she responded. "Mamo-chan, she's our daughter. What if this is happening to her because of us?"
"Does the why matter?" he asked. "It's happening. There's no reason to attack a child, no matter who their parents are."
"I guess," she sighed, drawing back. "I'm tired, and you must be too. Go home. I'll call a Senshi meeting tomorrow."
He kissed her before getting to his feet. "I'll see you then, Usako." She walked him to the door and gave him one last hug before he left. He'd just reached the sidewalk when he looked back. "I love you."
"I love you too, Mamo-chan. Good night."
It was Tuesday, but there was no school due to teacher conferences. As soon as Chibiusa was up and fed by her somewhat overzealous grandma, Usagi pulled out her communicator and ordered the Senshi to Hikawa Shrine. Kunzite and Mamoru had each been given one during the mayhem with the Cardians, saving her any further hassle.
Chibiusa went along without a word. Thinking about it, the blonde couldn't come up with anything the littler girl had said that morning. It was unsettling, but she decided Chibiusa was only trying to deal with everything. Hopefully seeing the others would give her a little more pep.
When they reached the temple no one had arrived yet. Rei, who was taking care of her chores, told Usagi she'd join them as soon as she was done and said to wait in her room. Usagi let Chibiusa play outside instead, though she was warned to stay where she could be seen. The little girl played in the grass, toying with the cat-ball that looked so much like Luna. The real feline had gone to meet Artemis and Minako.
The teen had just opened one of Rei's manga when she heard Chibiusa cry out. The little girl had fallen and skinned her knee. Seeing her tears, Usagi hurried to check on her. A blinding flash lit the area, sending a beam straight up. She could barely think, caught off guard. The reaction was familiar. As a child Serenity had been prone to the same thing. If anyone was looking for her… No doubt the light could be seen for kilometers.
"Chibiusa!" Usagi called as she wrapped her in her arms. "Sweetheart, you have to calm down. You're all right. I'm here. It's not so bad."
She turned against the older girl's chest as the tears came harder. "I want Mama and Papa and Puu! I want to go home!"
"Oh, honey, I understand," she said in the most soothing tone she could. "Really, I do. I can't take you home yet though. You need to be strong. Can you do that? Can you be brave until we ask Puu to take you home?"
"I found you, Rabbit!"
Chibiusa shuddered, and Usagi's eyes snapped up. A strange woman was standing on a brick wall nearby. She was wearing a pink and blue striped bodysuit with a purple skirt. Her purple hair pointed like cat's ears. Most notable though was the inverted black crescent on her forehead. She knew that mark from somewhere…
She didn't get time to figure it out.
"It's time for you to die," the new arrival continued.
"Who are you?" Usagi demanded angrily.
"My name is Koan. I am the youngest of the four Ayakashi sisters."
That told her nothing useful. "It doesn't matter who you are. You have no right to harm a child!"
She glared at the blonde. "If you're going to stand in my way, I'll kill you too!" The newcomer shot blue flames at her. Usagi ducked, and Chibiusa ran while they were distracted. Koan turned to go after her.
Usagi hoped Chibiusa was fast. She needed those precious seconds. "MOON CRYSTAL POWER, MAKE-UP!"
The time required had never seemed longer. As she completed the transformation, Sailor Moon heard Chibiusa scream, and it didn't take a genius like Sailor Mercury to know she'd been hit.
"Stop right there!" the heroine demanded as she reached them. Chibiusa was on the ground, clutching her toy. Koan turned to face her challenger. "For attempting to hurt an innocent child, I can never forgive you! In the name of the Moon, I will punish you!"
"Sailor Moon?" she repeated, unimpressed. "I don't know who you are, but you won't stop me. DARK FIRE!"
A rain of blue flames surrounded her before roaring higher. Through it, she watched Koan advance on Chibiusa, who seemed too worn out to run again. Glancing around, she realized the ring wasn't complete. One side was an actual wall. She leapt to the top. The Ayakashi sister extended one hand to burn Chibiusa to a crisp as Sailor Moon acted. She threw herself at the larger woman, knocking her into the dirt as she landed in a protective crouch in front of the little girl.
Rei was scary when she got angry. Koan seemed to have a similar temper, shrieking something about injuring her face. The teen was ready to grab Chibiusa and get out of there, but a rose arced between them. For once, Tuxedo Kamen didn't have any sappy speeches to share- he just glared ominously as he picked up his future daughter. Satisfied she was safe, his mate focused on Koan again.
Her scepter appeared. "MOON PRINCESS HALATION!"
At first it seemed successful, but then they heard her voice. It was the usual speech of a defeated villain, something about coming back. She teleported away a moment later. Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Moon turned to Chibiusa. She curled against his chest, holding his vest in a death grip. For an instant, the heroine saw a gleaming crystal city. It moved forward, focusing on a spire in the center, but before the vision became clear it vanished. She glanced up in shock, meeting Mamoru's gaze as they de-henshined.
"What… was that?" he breathed.
Usagi shook her head. "Whatever it was, I saw it too. Is that where she's from?"
"Usagi! Mamoru-san!" Mars raced over. "I'm sorry I took so long. I was with my grandfather and Yuuichiro, and Yuuichiro thought I would get hurt. It took till now to get away. What happened?" She let her transformation fade.
Mamoru took Chibiusa inside as his girlfriend explained what had happened. Rei wasn't surprised, but she looked sad all the same. "Are they really after her? Why?"
"I don't know," the blonde sighed. "She- her name was Koan- never said."
"Did you learn anything else?"
"That she was the youngest of the four Ayakashi sisters. I assume we'll come up against the rest too, or she wouldn't mention them."
She agreed. "Four at least, but I think they're under orders. The aura I felt wasn't strong enough to move through time alone. Someone's pulling the strings."
Usagi watched as Mamoru took a seat next to Chibiusa, who was sleeping on Rei's bed. "What could they want with her?"
AN: That wraps up our revised part one, so let me know what you think of this and the chapters I'll be posting momentarily. New or old, I always want to hear what my readers think, especially with a story as huge as this series has become. Till next time!