~Author's Note~

Hey everybody! I'm back with an all-new story! This is my first shot at a Sailor Moon one shot and it stars two of my favorite Sailor Scouts in one of my favorite scenes from the anime! Sailor Moon was the very first anime I ever saw as a child and what better way to start off the new year than with a one-shot story about it! Enjoy! :)

~The Ties That Bind Us~

The Sailor Scouts has been listening intently to Artemis and Luna inside the mysterious cave as they explained to them their past lives on the moon during the Silver Millennium and the destruction on the Moon Kingdom. Never before had they even imagined that they would've been apart of something so amazing and to have it taken away from then by the Negaverse. They learned of their deaths and of them being reborn to have a second chance at life on Earth.

And to top all of that off, they had not only lost their long-time ally Tuxedo Mask to the Negaverse, but they had also learned just a few hours ago that Serena, Sailor Moon herself, was in fact the Moon Princess that they had been searching for.

"And then, Luna and I were sent to be your guardians and to reunite you," Artemis concluded.

"But…how come we don't remember any of this?" asked Sailor Jupiter as she sat next to Sailor Moon, a hand on her shoulder for comfort. "It doesn't make any sense."

"Sure it does," said Sailor Venus as she looked over at the Soldier of Thunder, a small smile on her face. "Serenity wanted us to be happy. So she sent us to a new time and place, hoping that it would be peaceful there."

Luna nodded her head and said, "But if the Negaverse did show up again, Queen Serenity made sure we'd be able to activate the Sailor Scouts to fight off any new threats by Queen Beryl."

"And now that we have the Imperial Silver Crystal, Queen Beryl doesn't have a chance against us!" Artemis added.

As she continued to try and find a way out of the cave using her computer, Sailor Mercury said, "So basically, what you guys are saying is that our battle with them has just begun."

Nodding, Artemis said, "You got it Mercury! But now that they've got Darien, you guys have got your work cut out for you."

"We've got to beat them!" said Luna in a determined voice. "If we ever want lasting peace, we're going to have to beat the Negaverse once and for all!"

"We don't want the same thing to happen to us that happened to the Moon Kingdom," said Sailor Venus, a look of determination appearing on her voice. "Our universe would be destroyed! We've got to stand up to them, so that we have a fututre!"

"Yeah!" said Sailor Mars. "All together!"

"Untied as one!" Sailor Jupiter added.

Sailor Moon, who this whole time had been completely silent, was at a complete loss. She was forced to reveal her identity to Darien, she found out that Tuxedo Mask was Darien himself, she lost him to the Negaverse, and on top of everything else, she was the Moon Princess. It was all too much for her to handle.

"Count me out," she said just barely audible. "I don't want to fight."

Everyone there gasped in disbelief as they looked at the Soldier of Love and Justice. "Sailor Moon, you don't mean that do you?" Sailor Jupiter asked her. "You're our leader! We need you!"

"And you're the princess!" said Luna.

Mentally cursing herself at hearing the word 'princess,' Sailor Moon simply held her head in one hand and said, "I don't care. Somebody else can do it."

"C'mon Sailor Moon!" said Sailor Venus in an attempt to will on her friend. "It's your destiny! You're the one!"

"I am not Venus!" said Sailor Moon as she felt herself slowly losing her temper. "I mean, I can barely handle being Sailor Moon! Now I'm the Moon Princess too?" She began to shake slightly. "I can't do this, I'm telling you!"

Luna, not noticing her shaking and not hearing the slight change in her voice, said, "You're just tired. You need some time to let it all sink in…"

At that moment, Sailor Moon couldn't hold it in any longer and snapped. Standing up in a fury, she yelled out, "I don't want any of this to sink in! I just want to be a normal teenager! Can any of you guys understand that! My name's Serena! Not Sailor Moon, Moon Princess, not Moon anything!"

The Sailor Scouts and their guardians just looked at Sailor Moon in shock. Never before had they seen nor heard her in the state she was in now and they didn't know how to take it. Sure, they had seen her in one of her whiny crybaby moments, but it was nothing like this.

Realizing what she had said, Sailor Moon's eyes and the look on her face went from being filled with anger to being filled with sadness. Looking down at the ground with tears stinging the edge of her eyes, she said solemnly, "Tuxedo Mask is gone. But now we know he's actually Darien…He'll never call me Meatball Head again…" Looking over at the Soldier of Water, she said in a broken voice, "Mercury, get us out…I want to go home…Please…"

Sailor Moon couldn't hold her tears back and she began to cry, the tears running freely down her cheeks and she made no attempt whatsoever to stop them.

Sailor Mars had taken just about enough as she could. She couldn't believe how Sailor Moon was acting and decided to take matters into her own hands. Not saying a word, she walked directly up to Sailor Moon and stood directly in front of her. Looking up with tear-filled eyes, Sailor Moon laid eyes on Sailor Mars for a split second before the Soldier of Fire lifted her hand and slapped her full in the face. The other Sailor Scouts gasped at what they just saw and Sailor Moon reeled back hard from the slap, instinctively holding the side of her face where Sailor Mars had struck her.

"Sailor Moon…," Sailor Mars said, her voice shaky and full of emotion. "…Even though you're a crybaby, and an irresponsible whiner, and…"

Looking back up at Sailor Mars and still crying, not only from her inner pain but from the sting of her slap, Sailor Moon said in a broken voice, "Go away Mars! I don't need this now!"

As the woman in front of her continued to cry and breath hard from her hurting sobs, and also feeling horrible for slapping her, Sailor Mars couldn't help the tears that came to her eyes and spilled out down her cheeks.

"I…I know you hate me!" Sailor Moon continued. "You've always hated me…!"

"That's not true…," Sailor Mars said, sobbing herself.

"It…isn't…?" Sailor Moon asked, completely shocked as she continued to hold her cheek and her tears kept falling.

Shaking her head to imply no, Sailor Mars began to speak in a broken voice. "I got to say, I never thought you were much of a leader…but I know I was wrong…especially after seeing the way you handled that crystal…"

"Yeah!" said Artemis. "You totally toasted that crud Zoycite!"

"A very pretty sight!" Luna added with a laugh.

Looking over at her friends, Sailor Mercury said, "Oh, c'mon you guys. Let her be for a little while. After all, this is Serena and this is a very big deal."

The other Sailor Scouts nodded their heads in agreement and Sailor Moon rubbed her stinging cheek a bit longer before letting her hand fall down to her side. She looked over at Sailor Mars and saw that she was looking at her with an apologetic look on her face.

As her computer disappeared off of her eyes, Sailor Mercury said, "And here's the good news – I found a way out of here!"

"Good work!" said Luna happily. Then she turned to the others and said, "What do you say we go get some burgers and take our minds off of all this?"

"Oh yeah, I could go for that!" said Sailor Venus enthusiastically.

Sailor Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus began walking off alongside Luna and Artemis as Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars followed a few feet behind them. The two of them walked side by side, not saying a word until Sailor Mars decided to break the silence. "I'm sorry."

"For what?" asked Sailor Moon, her eyes still focused on the ground. "You're not the one who acted like a complete crybaby and didn't care about anything other than yourself…"

Sailor Mars felt a sting in her heart as she knew Sailor Moon was referring to the words she had said earlier. "I'm sorry for saying those things. Although they were true…I never should've said them. And the slap was going too far."

"It's ok, don't worry about it," Sailor Moon said with a sigh. "You were right about what you said about me. I'm just completely worthless…,"

"No you're not!" Sailor Mars suddenly snapped, causing the Moon Princess to jump a bit and look at her in surprise. "Don't say that about yourself! You're…you're one of the strongest people I've ever met in my whole life and you're anything but worthless!"

"Mars…" said Sailor Moon as she looked at the Soldier of Fire, still a bit shocked from her sudden outburst. She started to say something but at that moment, Sailor Mars threw her arms around her neck and buried her face into her shoulder.

"If anyone here should be worthless, it's me!" Sailor Mars wailed. "All the things I've done to you, all the things I've said!" She tightened her grip on Sailor Moon. "I'm sorry Serena! I'm so sorry! Please forgive me!"

As her friend continued to cry into her shoulder, Sailor Moon felt her own tears come back and she wrapped her arms securely around Sailor Mars. "Raye…please don't cry…you're gonna make me cry too…and…I've never thought you were worthless…you're one of my best friends…I never could've gotten this far without you and the others…"

Sailor Mars just continued to cry. "I just hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me…"

"I do forgive you Raye…" said Sailor Moon through her tears. "And I hope you can do the same for me, forgive me for being a crybaby, a whiner, and a wimp….I can't afford to be that anymore…The Negaverse has Darien and I have to do all in my power to get him back to us…back to me…"

Realizing that Sailor Moon was right about what she said about Darien, Sailor Mars took a few moments to regain her composure. Although she herself had feelings for him, she knew that deep down it was just a schoolgirl crush that was never meant to be. "Yes…you're right…for once," she said as she pulled away slightly from the Moon Princess, her hands still on her shoulders. "We've got to get him back. And I want you to know…no matter what, I'm always here for you through whatever Serena, you hear me? Whatever it is, I don't care. I'll follow you into the very heart of the Negaverse if I have to."

For the first time in quite a while, a smile bypassed the tears and found its way onto Sailor Moon's face. She placed on her hands over Sailor Mars's and replied, "Thank you. And the same goes for me. I'm here for you too Raye, always."

The Fire Sailor Scout smiled for the first time as well and once again wrapped her arms around Sailor Moon in a tender embrace, to which Sailor Moon returned by hugging her back. After they pulled apart, Sailor Mars held her hand out to Sailor Moon. "C'mon, let's go catch up with the others."

Keeping her usual smile on her face and wiping her tears away, Sailor Moon placed her hand in Mars's and the two of them walked, hand in hand, to catch up with their fellow Sailor Scouts and guardians.

Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars had for the first time found a mutual and friendly understanding between each other and knew that this would only bring them closer together. All the arguing, all the fighting, all the squabbling, all the disagreements had been the ties that bonded the two of them together up until this point where they realized that their friendship was one of the most powerful forces they could conjure.

And as long as they remained friends and stuck together, there was nothing they or the other Sailor Scouts could not do.

~The End~

~Author's Note~

And there you have it! My first Sailor Moon story is complete! I'm pretty proud of how it came out and I could've seen the aforementioned scene going something like this in the anime! I hope you all enjoyed it!

Until next time! Later!