Come to my immortal winter
Cycle of life, cycle of death.
Come to my immortal spring
Breathing and rising,
loving and learning.
Come to my immortal summer
Dreaming and dancing,
winning and losing.
Come to my immortal autumn,
Beautious and ugly,
fading and blossoming.
Come to my immortal end,
A beginning of tears and forgotten pain.
Come to my birth place, see to my death
Find my ending without end
By the fire place we sat,
And remember, oh remember,
What I never had.

.Come Sit By My Fire.
* * * * * * * * * * *

How many times have I promised myself that this will be the
last time? How many times have I said, "no more, no more!" But each
time I return, each time for the same reason I come to this place, each
time with a different excuse.

It is hard to live with this guilt when you know where to
look to burden yourself. It is hard to stop coming back for the pain.
Queen Serenity would scold me for doing this to myself, but then
again, Serenity but scratched the surface of who and what I was and had
become. I am different now; for even the ever constant guardian,

Man believes that once he reaches immortality, he would find
stability. Things without change, without chance, without mystery or
dangers of the unknown. He fears it as much as he craves it; I still
do. It comforts and knawls at me, reminding me of my mortality.

How many times have I asked, how did I get here? How many
nights and days passed, no longer mattering? How many "I'm sorry"s
have I whispered to the wind, unheard to ears it was meant to pass to?
How many times have I been afraid of what I was and the powers I

Here in this portal before the grand palace, shining in reach,
yet not, I watch with a constant gaze and steady hands. Once these
fingers trembled as they have clutched this staff, when I had first
realized the true weight that lies beneath its beauty. I had hated
this staff for centuries, and yet, if I were able to choose, I will not
abandon it. It is my one companion, friend and foe. It is the one
constant in my life that has yet to change from the mysteries of the

I am, after all, still human, even with the blood of Chronous
running through my veins. I too fear change and would rather stay then
go into the shadowed ways. Here, in my prison, my sanctuary, and my
home, I reside watching, always watching. Watching the past with
guilt, the present with uncertainty and the future with... I don't
know if I should say this word, so fragile and precious, because I
don't know if I'll mean it if I use it. This word that Neo-Queen
Serenity never lost sight of, this word that I had never given up on
and yet vieled away with gossmar wrapping of experience and


The pain of its utterance...

The pain that's always there in knowing that tomorrow will go

* * *

"Tis a bitter winter for mankind," she commented softly to

"Mankind?" The blonde beside her laughed. "Have you
forgotten, Pluto, that we are a part of them?"

Pluto smiled ever so slightly, annoyance shining in her eyes.
"I am quite sure that his Lordship Endymion makes certain that our
Serenity-hime does not forget," the dark-haired woman commented
shrewdly. "It is most likely that they are taking advantage of such
small similarities."

"The princess knows what she knows." The tall brunette in the
shadows growled out angrily.

The blonde raised her hand, "Mind not Pluto, Jupiter," the
confident voice commanded, "it is her way of cautioning us and she has
her reasons." The blonde smiled ever so coldly, "Right, Pluto?"

Pluto inclined her head, "That, General Venus, I cannot answer
to, even if you were the Queen herself."

Jupiter frowned, but before she could express any more of her
own distaste for the Senshi Pluto, Venus' laughter interrupted her.
"Yes, your duty." The blonde nodded, "That much I can understand about
you, Pluto."

"Picking on our near, and yet, distant cousin again, Venus?" A
figure stepped forth from the dark hallway. Obviously amused by the
small battle of wits occuring in that very room.

"You're finally here, Mars," Jupiter pushed herself from the
wall and tilted her head in respect to the other.

"Sorry I'm late, but it was only because I was inspecting
Serenity-hime's room before I came." Mars smiled, "You know how she's

Jupiter nodded, "I'll be visiting her before I go off duty,
then." The other paused, and for once concern shown through her
soldier's exterior. "Unless, her highness is sleeping already?"

Mars grinned, "No. Go see to her my friend, Mercury's awaiting
your arrival anyway."

Jupiter nodded, shooting one last glance of cold contempt at
Pluto over her shoulder before exiting the room. "I apologize for
Jupiter, she never got over that incident on Earth." Venus shrugged
and turned her back to the Time Guardian. "She's too protective of our
little princess, and though she will not admit it, she too, still
doubts Endymion much." Venus sighed ever so slightly from weeks of
frustration and fatigue.

"So, the little one's still sneaking off to see her prince?"
Pluto asked.

Venus flipped back a strand of golden hair with uninterest,
but Pluto could tell that the blonde was annoyed. "You should know
this better than any of us," the blonde replied tartly.

"Venus!" Mars reprimanded the other softly.

Pluto smiled over at the soldier of fire, though it faded
slightly in seeing the other paler than usual. "Thank you," she said
as she noted the dark circles under the smiling eyes of Mars. She
could see how the sparkle dulled a little within those strange swirls
of purple mysteries.

"Whatever must be, must be, Pluto," Mars sighed tiredly but her
understanding smile did not leave her face. Whatever nightmares she
was having, it had wearied the raven-haired woman enough that her
usually fiery spirit seemed subdued to a flickering flame. "Venus is
just getting worried over our little princess, only she hides it much
better than Jupiter's impatience."

"You know, Mars, I'm not used to people talking about me as if
I'm not here." Venus frowned, though Pluto could tell the other was
hiding a slight smile.

"Well, you're always needed nowadays, Venus," Mars teased, "I
wanted to give you a five-minutes break!"

Pluto smiled at the two before her, "I must take my leave now,"
Pluto nodded at the two senshi before her in acknowledgement.

"So soon, Pluto?" Mars asked surprised. Venus, on the other
hand, looked neither surprised nor disturbed by the sudden need of
absence on Pluto's part.

"I was here on business and I have lingered longer than I
should've." Pluto smiled sadly. All the things she couldn't say were
on the tip of her tongue, but her mouth was closed in the shape of
apologetic regret.

"Formalities would be wasted here," Venus turned to Pluto and
offered her hand. "Though we do not always see eye to eye; I do,
however, appreciate your efforts, Pluto."

It should've relieved her that Venus was offering her the easy
way out, that the other was offering not just peace but friendship.
Yet, somehow, the action caused more pain.

"Yes," Pluto reached out and grasped the blond woman's hand
firmly. "Thank you, General Venus."

Venus smirked at the title, "Don't compare me to those Earth
men," the blonde shooked her head. "I am nothing like them."

Pluto tipped her head in acknowledgement, "If that is your
wish, Venus." Though, for a moment, she could see the resemblance
between the Moon and her Earth. The irony of Venus' own words with her
earlier statement went unmentioned.

Venus blinked in surprise before regaining her cool composure,
though those blue eyes of hers warmed to the other. "May the moonlight
guide your journeys, and the stars bring you luck," Venus smiled,

Mars watched the exchange with sadness as she looked to the
Earth, framed by immortal pillars. It did not escape her attention
that Venus was reluctant to be called a brethren to their Earthian
ambassador, and his protectors. Apparantly the blonde did not trust
Endymion and his guards any more than Jupiter did.

"And may Time be kind to you and ripen the fruit of life,"
Pluto answered with her right fist to her heart.

"Goodbye, eternal sister of the gates." Venus said as Pluto
vanished into the portal.

For a long time the room was silent. The blonde was so lost in
thought at the exchange that she did not notice the dark sadness in the
eyes of Mars. And as the dark-haired woman turned her back to the
pensive blonde and the Earth in the sky, it was Venus who missed the
defeat in the other's usually confident stance. Mars turned away from
the beauty of the sight while Venus faced its fragile light.

"Destiny is written in the stars," the words of a brethren
general of Earth once told them with a poetic and charming smile. Mars
wondered how much he believed in his own words, and for his sake, she
hoped that he was wrong.

* * *

"So what you're saying is that we can't change the events
within our lives," the blonde looked pensively out the window as she
sipped her tea.

"No, I'm not saying that," the dark-haired woman answered,
resting her cheek against her palm. She stirred her own tea with
uninterest, watching the foggy vapors float towards the ceiling.
"It's just that it's best that some events happen and I help get them
there, we all do. That's our destiny."

"But wouldn't it be easier, Setsuna, if we made our own
choices?" The aqua-haired woman asked outloud, "After all, who knows?
Maybe we might find a future to suit all of us for the better."

The dark-haired woman straightened and refused the suggestion
with a shake of her head, "How do you know what's good for you? If we
had destiny and it said that we would all be happy one day, why change

"Why not?" The blonde sat down the cup. Clear eyes of evening
skies looked to the white cieling, "Change is good for the soul."

"And destiny brings out these changes," the dark-haired woman

"Setsuna-mama, how do you know we'll be happy there, in your
future?" A small girl, with deep set eyes of questioning darkness,
inquired softly.

For a long time it was silent. Setsuna sipped her tea as the
others watched her in silent anticipation. "I just know," Setsuna
answered. Her eyes looked out into the city beyond the glass, "because
that's my destiny."

* * *

The blonde in front of her adjusted the strap of her gown
before straightening. A sigh escaped those lips that changed from its
usual frown that appeared more often than the other's smiles used to.
"I'm ready," the blonde announced and tilted her head at herself in the
mirror. Venus lightly ran her slender fingers through the loose hair
that escaped the tight clasp of the clip now adorning her head, unused
to the confinement it presented to her blonde strands.

"This is the night," Pluto said softly from behind.

"I know," the other answered before turning to flash her a
weary smile over one shoulder. Blue eyes, once mischievious, turned
into somber ambers, pretaining all the silent questions the other would
not voice. She wondered if the other wasn't asking out of fear or
respect. "It's not every day you get dressed for your own funeral."

"I did not forsee this, sis--"

"No!" Venus firmly stated as she shook her head. "Don't lie
to me," the soft words stopped Pluto, "as leader of the Sailor Senshi,
it is my duty to bear this burden. Do not dishonor what I must do with
words of pity, I have enough strength, still, to deserve better than
that, Pluto."

Pluto looked away, "I'm sorry."

Curious blue eyes studied the other through the glass before it
softened and Venus turned. "Mars is waiting, she understands what I
cannot comprehend within you, Pluto. And Mercury will like to have a
word with you."

The dark-haired senshi reached up and loosened the bow upon her
breast, "For your sacrifice," Pluto said and handed Venus the ribbon.

The blonde leader looked surprised at the ribbon in her hand
before a slow smile spread across her face, "Thank you." Blond hair
fell as Pluto watched amused as the other released her hair and tied
one single strand back with the ribbon. "I'll remember this," the
blonde nodded before moving passed the silent dark-haired woman. "You
know what, Pluto?" The blonde paused at the door, "Here!"

Pluto reached out surprised as her hand came across a smooth
surface, "For luck." Venus explained before exiting.

Pluto looked down at the slender hair pin in her hand.

Closing her fingers around it as Pluto closed her eyes. She
knew, no matter what, she'll never be able to erase the memory of what
she had seen and would see, on the blackest day of the System.

* * *

"So, you have come," a cool voice echoed against the empty
throne room.

"My Queen," she bowed.

The woman only laughed bitterly, "If I were your Queen, and
you, my subject, you would not have allowed this kingdom to end through

"And if you were truly against it, you would not allow it to
end this way through lenincy. Not here. Not in this throne room,
alone." Pluto answered quietly.

The queen smiled at this, "So, perhaps you have come to keep me
company, Pluto?"

Pluto met those old eyes; cold eyes of a goddess and a woman
who would soon be dead. A woman who had seen much, felt much, and
learned much, a woman who she understood and could relate to for years
and years to come. "Until Saturn vanquishes the demon sleeping here, I
shall be by your side, my Queen."

Gone was the youthful woman long ago, who had told of those
golden dreams in the darkness of the night. Gone was the blue eyes of
hope, spilling out secrets and desires to show her the sparkle that had
resided, once, in the cold, cruel heart of the Queen. Gone was that
woman, who once tried so hard to understand her, and who finally, came
to hate her. Once, Serenity would look on with disapproval when it came
to those dark and ponderous looks on Pluto's face. Now, that soft smile
was gone, in its place was a face of stone.

The steel beneath the bloom.

The Queen had too much to lose to forgive her for her duties
this time. Too much. She was asking too much, Serenity had told her
when she had once innocently inquired what will happen in the future.
Pluto could but look on at the other with sad eyes and tell her what
she had not told any before Serenity. Those who had never tried to
like her, those who had always hated her, to them she could say nay
without guilt, but this time her resolve had crumbled and to the end
of time, she would regret it.

It was inevitable, nonetheless.

But that look on Serenity's face when she uttered those words
were indescribable. Never had she regreted losing a friend, until
that moment of confrontation. And she had lost. She had lost almost
everything, except the one thing she wanted, in her secret heart, to
lose more than anything. Her duty. Yet, alas, she could not, for it
was the only thing that followed her out of that cold and bitter end.

The old queen looked out the grand windows that framed the
distant Earth, "A cursed place." Serenity whispered as silent tears
glided down untouched cheeks. "A cursed future for them all."

Pluto gripped her staff, "All but one." the mysterious senshi

The Queen smiled at the three whispered words that made death
almost worth it. "My last retribution."

* * *

Dark hair swirled as the crystaline structures glimmered
beneath the sun. There is laughter in the distance, coming from that
place, a paradise in a land of waste. There, where the weather's
always fine and the people always smiling, she watched from afar.
Rouge eyes, the color of dark blood, closed to listen to the sounds that
the wind carried to her ears. The future's set. She had done her
duties, and now there's peace at last.

Peace, joy, and happiness.

She continued to stand, watching. From the distance the palace
shimmered like clear ice, jutting out from the ground. From here,
echos of someone else's happiness reached her like a faint breeze in
the Spring. She felt lighter, somehow, standing here. Knowing, with a
certainty, that she will never truly be apart of that world.

Even though she spent her life fighting to build it.

It did not matter now. There were other things to watch out
for, and other things to ensure that those who resided in that city of
lights kept their happiness. Their precious, hopes and dreams and

She turned her back to Utopia and faced the wasteland before
her. She knew too much, and knowledge taught her one thing. Happiness
is fleeting, innocence is easily lost to the times of hardship. So she
stood, taking the burden of humanities darkness, humanities loneliness,
while they became less and less human. And yet, this fake happiness
gave them hope.

Queen Serenity's words still echoed in her ears, chilling her.

For this, this Utopia, was her "last retribution."

* * *

Sailor Senshi Pluto put the hair pin into her hair, winding
the small bun at the top of her head. She accidentally pricked her
fingers as she finished and watched with curious eyes as one drop of
blood soaked through the white glove of her uniform. Outside she could
hear screams, explosions and fighting. Every once in awhile the ground
would shake beneath her feet.

Out there, those that she loved were dying.

Out there, the future was repeating herself and as Pluto watch
the wound on her hand expand and saw the future unfold, watched as lives
were lived and given in the name of another Goddess-Queen; and she asked
herself something she never dared question. Is that place, that
beautiful, cold, and distant place, truly happiness? Is it the Utopia
that I want Venus to die for? Is it the hardship I want Mars to
discover? Is it the loneliness I want Jupiter to bare or...

'Pluto,' Mercury's voice echoed in her ear. 'I want you to
have something. I know that since you had to carry the garnet orb, it
might inconveince you during battle, so I asked the others to help me
make this. Here, it's a staff to hold the garnet orb. It's made from
our powers.'

She looked down at her staff that had supported her for so
long, and looked to the Garnet orb, reflecting the color of her eyes,
mirroring her face on the surface. She knew then that the others had
sacrificed their own powers to make her this gift, their parting gift.
A gift of friendship, rememberance, and power.

The cold, cruel words of Serenity echoed in her ears of a dying

'My last retribution.'

It was then that Pluto decided.

Pluto narrowed her eyes as she walked to the terrace, watching
as the others fought with their lives. She raised her staff high in
the air, high in the midst of war and carnage and genocide. "It ends
here." She whispered fiercely, and her arm swung down.

The jewel was smashed against the marble floor.

Splintering into a million pieces.

The long road of destiny was crushed against the past. The
moonstone floor was littered with its pieces. Another destiny came
into place, another future. And the orb reformed itself, exploding
with light. Before Serenity in her cold, cold throne room could
stand... Before the hands of the Princess of the Moon and the Prince
of Earth could unite... Before the Senshi, protectors of the Moon
could die...

"My last retribution," Pluto whispered with a smile on her

The Moon was a washed with light.

And the crystal city in the future splintered and disappeared.

Somewhere in the future, there was laughter and tears.
Somewhere in the future, Aino Minako kissed Hino Rei's cheek as they
parted ways to their own separate houses while their children waved
goodbye to each other. Somewhere in the future, Ami said goodbye to
her last patient of the day with a smile on her face just as Kino
Makoto walked into the room with a bag of cookies baked by her mom to
send to Ami and her latest boyfriend in tow. Somewhere in the future
the Senshi grew old, had children and grand children, and died.
Somewhere in the future, Meiou Setsuna sat, sipping her tea and
discussing philosophy with her friends...

"So what you're saying is that we can't change the events
within our lives," Haruka looked pensively out the window as she sipped
her tea.

"No," Setsuna smiled softly. "I didn't mean to say that at
all! What I meant was anyone can change and choose their own
destinies. No one should be able to decide the long road, not even a
Goddess of the Moon."

Michiru set down her tea cup and gave her friend from across
the table a strange look, "A Goddess of the Moon?" The aqua-haired
woman asked.

Hotaru grinned at her, "Wherever did you get *that* from,
Momma?" The little girl asked, giggling cheerfully at the idea. The
same wide-eyed, innocent stare looked up at her with curiosity as
Hotaru had done many a times in the years that had already passed.

Setsuna only laughed as she ruffled the other's hair, "It was
nothing." She sighed just as Professor Tomoe himself sat down next to
her, handing his daughter a small cup of icecream and setting down his
own tea. "How's the baby, Setsuna?" He asked with a gentle smile as
he glanced down at her swollen stomach.

"How's imouto-chan?" Hotaru echoed eagerly beside her.

Setsuna smiled and clasped hands with her husband, touching
the hair of her daughter with laughter on the tip of her tongue and joy
sparkling in her eyes. "The little one's fine," she smiled.
"Everything is just fine."

.The End.

blue: "And what have we learned in today's fanfic, kids?"
Minako: *in a sarcastic voice* "That you are god."
blue: "It's true, but no." ^_^;;
min'na: -_-;;
blue: "Come on guys! You can get this!"
Rei: "Gee, let me guess. I think I passed this BIG sign
that had on it "Crystal Tokyo SUCKS" in big flashing
letters, and a side note that stated that all the
Senshi would be miserable in it except odango-atama."
Usagi: "Hey, I resent that!"
blue: ^_^;; "That too, but you bakas didn't get it, BAKA! The
REAL reason for this fic, you bakas, is..."
Setsuna: "Don't piss me off?"
Makoto: "Ow, my ear drum."
Ami: "Ow, my head."
Usagi: *grumbling* "I resent that, too."
blue: "Oh shuddap. I didn't kill any of you this time.
In fact, look, look! I saved you just when all
of you were about to be killed! So, be grateful!
WORSHIP me!" ^_^v
min'na: -_-;;


Yeah, yeah. The Queen is a bitter old lady in this fanfic.
No, I had no clue the ending was going to turn out this way.
I blame it on Jon Carp for making me read his eccentric and
shrewdly written fanfics, and Mark Doherty's (who's e-mail
address doesn't even work!) fanfic "I'm Here To Help" that
turns Crystal Tokyo into hell on ice. (And a great fic at
that!) Oh, and Tomoe and Setsuna, that idea is borrowed
from Cavis-chan's "Rifts". Cheers to Archmage who recommanded
Doherty's "I'm Here to Help" to me :) Anyhoooo, hoped you
enjoyed this little fable!

P.S. Why is Setsuna with Tomoe and NOT Endymion/Mamoru?
Well, several reasons:
(1) It's SO last season.
(2) Setsuna's too good for the bastard.
(3) As you can see, blue is not a fan of Endymion/Mamoru.
(4) I don't think Setsuna would ever change the future to
get *HIM* as the one to make her happy, though I really
did like how it worked out with.... urrr... not going
to give that one away ^_^;; besides, *I* don't believe
she's into that whole the steal Endymion thing, and of
course, I didn't want her to follow every other female
villain's foot steps.
(5) Have you SEEN Tomoe?! *drool*
(6) Because I'm the author and I say so! That's why!
*sniffs disdainfully*
The poem at the beginning is mine. Do *NOT* plagerize.