Disclaimer: I do not own MGLN or Sailor Moon
The White Devil of the Moon
Queen Serenity weakly lifted herself off of the floor of her throne room. What had intended to be her daughter's birthday celebration had turned into an unimaginable calamity. Beryl, the spurned suitor of her daughter's betrothed-to-be, had called upon a demon to get revenge upon the man who rejected her and the girl who succeeded where she had failed.
All of the defenses of the Moon Kingdom were designed to protect against threats coming from outside the solar system. Metallia's emergence from the sun had caught all of their defenses completely off guard. They had been overwhelmed and destroyed in a matter of hours. Where nine planets and over two dozen moons had been inhabited yesterday, now there was only one inhabited planet and one inhabited moon. And the latter would cease to be inhabited when the queen inevitably succumbed to her wounds.
Serenity had managed to seal Metallia away with the power of the Ginzuisho, but she knew better than to think that it would stay sealed forever. Sooner or later, the creature would break free, and when it did, it would try to complete what it had started. The queen could only see one way to possibly prevent that.
Calling upon the power of the Ginzuisho for one final time, the dying monarch called up the souls of her Senshi, who had all fallen in her defense so that she would have the time she needed to seal Metallia. These she sent into the future, so that they would be reborn in a later age when they would be needed to stop Metallia again. She repeated the process with Prince Endymion, who had fallen protecting her daughter, and with her fallen daughter, who would have to finish what her mother had died to stop. As she performed the final enchantment, Serenity coughed, hacking up blood from the wounds she had suffered during the sealing. Fighting to regain her breath, she forced herself to complete the final spell before falling to the floor, her body unable to handle the dual strain of wielding greater magics through the Ginzuisho and the grievous wounds that Metallia had given her. As the light faded from her eyes, she took comfort in the fact that she had been able to give the people of the sole remaining inhabited planet in the system a chance to escape the fate that her own kingdom had suffered.
What she didn't know was that the interruption caused by her cough had distorted the effects of her last spell. Serenity had intended for all of the people she had sent into the future to be reborn at roughly the same time and in the same general area, so that they would be able to find each other easier. But because of that unintended mistake, Princess Serenity would be born earlier than expected, into a family that did not live in the vicinity of the families of the other Senshi-to-be.
Thousands of years later…
In a hospital in the small city of Unimari, Japan, Momoko Takamachi gave birth to a baby girl. The girl's father was not present – Shiro Takamachi had been seriously injured in what would be his final job as a bodyguard and was currently sedated in a room on the other side of the hospital.
The most likely futures for the infant Nanoha would be to take over the coffee shop owned by her mother or to take up the Fuwa-ryu and become a bodyguard like her father had been. But as the heir to a legacy so old that humanity had forgotten it had ever existed, the ultimate destiny of the child would turn out quite differently…
Nine years later…
Nanoha Takamachi stood on the rooftop and looked at the wreckage that several blocks of the city had become, and knew that it was her fault.
She had always felt that she had no real direction in her life. Everyone else she knew had some notion about what purpose they had in life, while she did not. That had ended when she met a talking ferret named Yuuno Scrya. Taking up the magical staff named Raising Heart and joining in his quest to track down and contain the magical artifacts that the archeologist had lost before they could be accidentally triggered and wreak havoc on the planet had given her the purpose she had been looking for her entire life.
That had been a week before. This morning, she had decided that she could afford to take a day off to rest, given that she had already tracked down and sealed two of the Jewel Seeds. That had been a mistake. A Jewel Seed had been found and inadvertently activated, causing an enormous tree to sprout in the middle of the city. And after sealing the artifact, she recognized the person who had found it as a member of the junior soccer league her father coached. She had been within a hundred meters of a Jewel Seed all afternoon, and hadn't noticed. And because she had slacked off, a sizable portion of the city's roads would have to be cordoned off for repairs.
Nanoha learned a very important lesson that day. When other people are counting on you, whether they know it or not, you cannot afford to stand down. If she was not actively working to resolve the current situation, then she would be preparing so that she would be ready for the next one, whatever that might be. She would not make the same mistake again.
Six Years Later…
Fate Harlaown sat in the hospital room, staring at Nanoha's unconscious form and cursing her own foolishness. She had known about Nanoha's insane work ethic. She should have realized that the girl couldn't keep up that vigorous a training regimen without consequences.
For as long as they'd been friends, Nanoha had woken up at 4:30 in the morning to train before breakfast – for two hours. This would be followed by virtual combat training – performed simultaneously with whatever other activity she had scheduled for the day. After that, she would perform additional magic training in the evening before dinner – and additional training after dinner until bedtime if she didn't have any other work to do. On top of all this, she had her device draining her magic 24/7 to build up her reserves. A normal mage would have collapsed under that regimen a long time ago. Fate had assumed that being ranked as a AAA-ranked mage at the age of nine, Nanoha could take the strain. All that really meant was that it took longer for her to reach the breaking point. Which it had at the worst possible moment.
Nanoha's powers had given out on her during a mission – leaving her vulnerable in the middle of a fight. The wounds she had received had nearly been fatal. Nanoha had been in a coma for the past week, leaving Fate to blame herself for everything she possibly could have done to prevent this and didn't. If she had done something about Nanoha's workaholic tendencies before she pushed too far, or if she had been on the mission to help her, this might not have happened. And because those hypothetical actions hadn't been taken, the most important person in Fate's life was lying near death.
If it wasn't for Nanoha, Fate Harlaown would still be Fate Testarossa, the unloved daughter of a criminal who hated her for the fact that she looked exactly like her dead sister without actually being her. She would likely still be throwing herself into any task that Precia put before her in the futile hope of winning her mother's approval, only to be beaten for any perceived shortcoming that her mother could think of when the task was done – and leaving Fate believing that she actually deserved it. It was only thanks to Nanoha that Fate was able to win free of her mother's control and meet the Harlaowns, who became the family that Precia Testarossa had never been willing to provide her.
Nanoha woke up after spending two weeks in a coma. She then spent the next six moths going through a slow and painful convalescence as she relearned how to walk. Fate was with her the whole time, supporting her friend throughout the long process, helping her through the times when Nanoha was ready to give into despair and believe that she would never regain the physical strength to walk or the magical strength to fly. Fate had inadvertently failed Nanoha once. She had no intention of doing so ever again.
Nanoha, Fate, and Aruf walked up to the Takamachi residence. Nanoha may have recovered sufficiently to be allowed out of the hospital, but she was still far from fully recovered. Because of this, Nanoha had found herself under orders to take some of the leave time she had been accumulating ever since she was first recruited into the TSAB at the age of nine. Fate had volunteered to join her in order to make sure that actually spent her vacation time resting, rather than repeating the same mistakes that had caused Nanoha's collapse in the first place. Nanoha barely made it through the door before being spotted by her mother.
"Nanoha!" Momoko cried out, rushing to embrace her daughter. "We were so worried when we heard about what happened."
The rest of the Takamachi family ran to greet the returning girl. As Nanoha reassured her family that while she had been seriously hurt, she was expected to make a full recovery, she found herself wondering why she hadn't been back to visit her family once since graduating from Junior High. Her devotion to her job had taken her away from her family for far too long. They spent the next hour catching up on events when Nanoha's sister dropped an unexpected comment.
"It's a good thing that they let you out of the hospital now." Miyuki said. "A little longer and you would have missed the wedding."
"Wedding? What wedding?" Nanoha asked.
"Kyouya's, of course! He and Shinobu finally got around to setting a date!"
Nanoha blinked. She had known that her brother and Shinobu had been dating, of course – they'd been going out for as long as she'd known the Tsukimura family, and she'd been friends with Shinobu's little sister since first grade. She hadn't known that they had gotten around to scheduling a wedding, even if everyone had known that it was going to happen sooner or later.
Two days later, Nanoha and Fate were starting to regret Kyouya's timing. They had left Mid-Childa so that Nanoha could get some rest. But with all the wedding planning going on, the Takamachi household was anything but restful. It was clear that if they were going to get the peace and quiet that Nanoha needed to recover, they would have to seek it someplace else. They decided that it would be best if they left Unimari and got a hotel room in Tokyo. Given the fact that the Takamachi family home and business were close to the local train station, it would be easy enough for them to drop by without having to worry about having to worry about getting caught up in all the wedding preparations. Once the wedding was over, things would calm down enough that for it to be possible to rest at her family home, even if her brother wouldn't be around.
Things would be much calmer in Tokyo. After all, it wasn't like Tokyo ever had to deal with any of the situations that had popped up in Unimari back when Nanoha and Fate were nine.
Fate and Nanoha's assumption that Tokyo would be peaceful was wrong, though they couldn't be blamed for not realizing that. For the past year, Tokyo had been a city under siege, the chosen battleground of a war that had resumed after an intermission lasting millennia.
The threat that Queen Serenity had feared had materialized. Beryl had been reborn, and had awakened to the powers she had wielded back at the fall of the Silver Millennium. Her youma forces had been prowling Tokyo, seeking methods to drain the energy that she would need to revive Metallia. All that was stopping her from achieving her goals was Serenity's final spell.
The reborn Senshi, under the command of Sailor Venus, had been reborn and were fighting the youma wherever they appeared. But even though they had been successful in keeping the problem contained to the point where the average man on the street considered the very existence of the Senshi and the youma to be just another urban legend, they knew they were fighting a losing war.
The Senshi could locate and destroy the youma whenever they appeared in Tokyo, but they still didn't know where they were coming from. And every day that a youma was able to operate without being defeated was a day that it could gather energy and send it to wherever they came from. By careful diligence, the Senshi had cut the Dark Kingdom's supply of life energy to a trickle, but even the small amount of water provided from a leaky faucet could fill a swimming pool if given enough time. If they didn't find a way to locate and defeat Beryl once and for all, she would acquire the power she needed sooner or later. And when that happened, Metallia would awaken.
The Senshi had only one hope should that come to pass – the Ginzuisho. The magical artifact that had been the core of the power of the Moon Kingdom had defeated Metallia once, and could do so again. But the crystal could only be used the Moon Queen or her heir, and the princess could not be found. The moon cats were certain that she had been reborn like the Senshi had, but they could not find any trace of her or the Ginzuisho. As Sailor Mars had put it after one failed divination attempt too many, it was as if the Princess had literally dropped off the face of the planet.
Despite the fact that her efforts always came to naught, Rei still attempted to divine the princess' location periodically. There was always the chance that she might find some clue as to where she had vanished to. And so she found herself kneeling before the Sacred Flame in the temple where she lived, hoping to scry out something – anything – about Serenity's lost heir.
For the first time in over a year of searching, Rei actually found something. She received a series of impressions, of a girl who was compassionate, but highly determined, who had recently suffered a great deal of pain. As she stared into the fire, Rei saw a blurry image start to appear. In her joy at finally managing to find a trace of the Princess, Rei's focus slipped, and the vision faded before she could make out where the Princess was.
Rei stood up and turned away from the altar. If she attempted another vision right now, she wouldn't be sufficiently rested for her shift at patrolling for youma that night. But now she knew that the princess was there to be found, and she had the impression that she wasn't all that far away. She would have to tell the other Senshi when they next met.
At the train station for the district of Tokyo known as Azabu Juuban, Nanoha looked around. She could have sworn she felt some kind of detection spell passing over her. But that was unlikely. There weren't very many mages on her home planet to be casting such a thing, after all. It was probably just a false impression given by her abused linker core as it slowly recovered from the six years of near constant strain she had recklessly placed upon it.
The other Senshi were thrilled to hear the news that the princess was somewhere in the area and beginning to awaken. When the princess returned and the Ginzuisho was found, they could finally end the war they had been embroiled in for the past year and return to a quieter life. Each of the Senshi had dreams of what they wanted to do with their lives and running around at night fighting monsters wasn't on the list. They might acknowledge that their work as Senshi was important and could only be handled by them, but they didn't want to spend their entire lives doing it.
Unfortunately, Beryl was watching some of her youma when they we destroyed by the Senshi. She heard them mention that the princess was awakening. And she did not take the news of her rival's return well.
Beryl hated Princess Serenity with every fiber of her being. If that girl had not interfered, Endymion would have been hers, and with him his throne. The possibility that Endymion had eventually given his heart to another might have been her own fault, even in part, was one she categorically refused to even consider.
If Serenity had returned, that meant that she would soon be seeking to steal Endymion from Beryl again. Beryl would not permit that to happen. She would track down and destroy the interloper before she could ruin Beryl's plans a second time.
Two moon cats wandered the streets of Tokyo. They were just as eager to find the princess as the Senshi they guided were. While they had assumed the duty of finding and preparing the Senshi as a necessity, their true duty was to serve as advisors to the throne. A duty they could not even attempt to fulfill with the queen dead and her heir missing.
The moon cats had a few advantages in their search that the Senshi did not. First, as they appeared to be cats to any causal observer, they could travel around without anyone paying them much attention, especially at times when the Senshi were tied down in school. Second, the same senses that allowed them to determine who the reborn Senshi were would allow them to detect Serenity's heir.
As Luna walked the streets, she found herself sensing someone of power. A lot of power. Realizing that this might be the missing princess, she started heading towards the person she sensed. The Mau's journey took her to a small park, where two girls were sitting on a bench, absently petting a puppy that was lying on the lap of one of them. Luna could tell that both of the girls were extremely powerful.
Luna focused her attention on the blonde girl with the puppy in her lap and quickly realized that she wasn't the one that the Mau was looking for. Luna turned her attention to the other girl. It soon became apparent that she was the one. Luna had found the Moon Princess.
After a time, the two girls got up and started to walk away. Luna slowly began to follow them. As she watched the girls, Luna noticed that the princess was walking very stiffly. She also noticed that there was something wrong about the girl's magical aura. Something had happened to cause her princess to be seriously wounded, both magically and physically.
What could have caused such a thing? Was this the reason why they hadn't been able to find the princess sooner? Luna found those questions to be very worrying as she tailed the girls and their dog, but knew that they weren't immediately important. What was important was contacting the princess and making her realize her true destiny.
A/N: I know that Nanoha's injuries took place when she was 11-12 in canon. I moved it forward because 1: I wanted it to be plausible for her and Fate to be living on their own, which sixth graders wouldn't, 2: I wanted them to be old enough that they wouldn't be bothered about not being in school (High School is optional in Japan), and 3: 20 year old Mamoru and 12 year old Nanoha as an allegedly destined couple? Squick.
How many elements of later SM seasons will turn up has not been decided, but one thing is certain: There will be not be a pink haired time traveler named Picoha.