Epilogue

Jadeite and Thetis watched as the couples entered the massive cruise ship, holding hands. They were very pleased about this. Jadeite didn't want to admit it, but he thought Thetis was a genius for thinking of this plan, since he knew that humans were suckers for love and romance. The blue haired youma smirked as she watched them go in.

"Pathetic humans..they don't know that this is a trap, an illusion to us," she sneered. She thought about how the blonde general complimented her on how many tickets were sold. She thought maybe if they went through this scheme with very little problems, they could have their own little quality time together. She would try to get him to open up to her and give her a chance to show him how much she really loved him. Without spurning her, that is. It was such an honor to have that privilege.

The surly general felt queasy by all the affection displayed..it was so mawkish. "Look at them all. So lovey dovey. Now I know what they mean by ship of fools."

Another assistant told him that all of the winners have entered the ship.

"Excellent. Hoist the anchor."

The assistant did as he was told, and started the engine. Jadeite and Thetis went inside to take care of some stuff.

Ami and Rei were walking to the snack bar to get something to eat, since neither of them had a snack before coming on, and were a little hungry. Though they hadn't brought any food with them, they had some cash. The ship swayed to and fro. Ami and Rei struggled to keep their balance.

"Wow. The seas are very rough today," said Rei. She held on to the wall to keep from falling. She was so happy that she didn't get seasick as she would have had to have gotten some Dramamine.

At that moment, the rocking stopped, and the girls steadied themselves and continued.

Ami looked around, and saw all the women with men. She and Rei were the only people without mates. She mentioned this to her. Rei didn't need reminding..she really wished that she could have tracked down Mamoru. She thought he was so dreamy. But on the other hand, she was having a good time with Ami.

"True. But we do not need dates to have a good time," the black haired girl pointed out.

"You're right," replied Ami. They stopped talking, for they were at the snack bar.


Meanwhile, Usagi was taking pictures of the outside of the ship. She decided that she took all the outside pictures she wanted, and that it was safe to go in. She decided to take some pictures of the insides as well as get a nice snack from the ship's snack bar. She was famished. The blonde just remembered that Luna was still in the bag. She figured that the cat was very peevish by then. She pulled Luna out of her carry on bag.

"It's about time," said Luna. She didn't appreciate what Usagi did one bit. She was on the verge of asphyxiation inside there. What was the senshi trying to do, kill her or something?

"Are you all right?" asked Usagi.

"Yes. Being locked in an airless bag feels just great," the frazzled feline answered sarcastically.

The ditzy girl giggled nervously. "So sorry about that. I'm going inside now. Want to mingle with me?"

"No, thanks. I don't think cats are allowed on this boat," replied Luna. That was the only reason she wasn't too annoyed with being in a bag. She would even let her do it again.

"Please?" begged Usagi. "I need you. Just pretend you're an assistant." She was about to go inside when all of a sudden, the door to the ship opened and a man's voice asked, "What are you doing here?"

Frightened, the blonde jumped a mile. She jerked her hand back and her heart started to pound really fast. She had to place both hands on her chest to stop it. Whoever did that really gave her the willies. That made Luna fall back into the carry on bag. The man revealed himself. He was wearing a police uniform and he had short, curly dark hair. Usagi had no idea that it was actually Jadeite, disguised as a captain. He was pretty handsome, she had to admit, but she was too startled to think about that.

"Please come with me. You're not allowed in this area." His voice was very crisp and gruff. Was enough to make her obey.

The man could see how scared she was. A part of him felt...remorse? He didn't understand the feeling, or why he was feeling that way. All he knew was that the girl's fear made him soften a bit.

"What are you doing here?"

"I got separated from my friends and I took a wrong turn," explained Usagi. "I was just going back inside."

"I see. Well, I can see how you can. There is a large crowd on this ship," said Jadeite as if he had understood.

"Will you help me look for them? Please?" asked Usagi.

"Yes. I will," replied Jadeite. 'Wait a minute! Why am I being so nice?' Something else he didn't understand. Was it...love? But that was ridiculous. He scoffed at love. Why would he have any love for the girl? He didn't even have any feelings of affection for Thetis, and she was of his kind.

The slightly baffled blonde felt slightly more relaxed. This captain seemed like a nice person after all.

'I'd sure love to sit at the captain's table with him,' thought Usagi. She was developing a crush on him, which was nothing new.

Rei and Ami were done with their snacks, and were now looking at the sunset and the ocean waves. The black haired girl didn't think it would be fun to spend the entire time before the meal looking at the ocean. Dinner would not be for at least 2 more hours. She and the blue haired girl needed to find something fun to do to preoccupy the next couple of hours. But the question was, what fun thing could they do on a cruise that was for romantic couples? She got an idea. It would make up for not having Mamoru as a boyfriend..surely there were some men just as nice as he was, and they were some just as attractive, if not more. They couldn't all have healthy relationships.

"Hey, I know what we can do until dinner time," she told Ami.

Ami turned to face Rei. "Oh? What is it?"

"Let's try and find a boyfriend from all of those guys and take a picture with them," she said.

That didn't sound like a productive activity to the senshi of ice. "Why do you think we should do that?"

"It would be a good way to pass the time, and we could show Usagi how much fun we had, making her wish that she was here."

Ami sighed. She wondered why Rei would sound so malicious. She was starting to wish she had brought some books with her so she could study during this time.

Jadeite led the blonde back to the ship's entrance. She thanked him for his kindness.

The low-ranked shitennou looked confused for a second. There was that foreign feeling washing over him again..it was almost as if he were going soft. 'Ridiculous. Humans are lowly creatures.'

"You're welcome. I must get back to my captain's duty now, I'm afraid. But I would like to spend more time with you. Would you care to join me for dinner?"

"That would be lovely," replied Usagi, cheerfully. She rested her head on his shoulder. She was a little disappointed that he had to leave so soon, as she wanted to take a picture with him, but if she was going to have dinner with this man, she would have a chance then.

Jadeite was a little surprised at how this girl rested her head on his shoulder. Usually he would have thought that was filthy, but not this time. He still didn't understand what the feeling was. And another thing he found strange was the fact that something about the girl seemed oddly familiar. Just then, Thetis, also disguised as a captain, came and informed him that the crew was waiting for him.

"See you at dinner, Miss," said Jadeite, leaving.

"All right," said Usagi. She watched him with starry eyes.

Luna came out of the carry on bag.

"Usagi, be alert. I sensed bad vibes around that man. We'd better keep an eye on him and that lady," she said.

The moon senshi groaned..there Luna was again, being such a worrywart. Aside from how intimidating the man was with his gruffness, he had been a perfect gentleman. She was looking forward to having dinner with him. But she didn't feel like arguing with her feline guardian, so she decided to humor her by agreeing.

"Okay. If you say so."


Jadeite and Thetis were in one of the cabins that was reserved for captains only. Contrary to what the blue haired youma said, the guests were not exactly waiting..except for dinner and the "extravaganza." She showed her partner a glistening blue crystal ball.

"Very beautiful," was his comment.

"It is an energy ball," she was explaining. "When all the love energy reaches its highest point, we can use the energy ball to snatch all the energy from these mortal fools."

The blonde general nodded. "I see."

The woman was hoping for a more enthusiastic response than that. "So what do you think? Isn't it ingenious?"

"I will congratulate you when the plan works, not a moment sooner." It was clear that Jadeite didn't have much more faith in her, which disappointed her. But she shrugged it off.

"I am sure that nothing can get in our way..not even those meddlesome sailor senshi. We can zap their energy if we have to."

Luna and Usagi kept an eye on the captains through the glass window. They were listening for anything sinister sounding. Usagi couldn't hear anything, but she knew her guardian and companion had a sharper sense of hearing. She wasn't about to strain to hear anything.

"Do you hear anything suspicious?" the blonde senshi asked Luna.

"No,but I just know that those people are up to no good," answered Luna.

The blonde felt like being a smart aleck. How did cat know that if she couldn't give any evidence? She regretted going along with the scheme. She decided to voice her disagreement, whether she got reprimanded or not.

"But the man was nice to me."

"That may be, but something about that blue glass ball is giving me the creeps," said Luna.

Usagi looked through the glass window to see what Luna was talking about, but she didn't see the man and woman anymore. She gasped.

"They disappeared."

"It's official. Those two are from the Dark Kingdom."

As much as the senshi of the moon hated to admit it, it seemed that the feline was right. After all, only the Dark Kingdom people could disappear in thin air unless humans themselves were trapped.

"We'd better go to the ballroom and stop them," said Luna.

"Right!" She transformed, and proceeded to sprint to the ballroom with Luna.


A little while later, people were seated at the dining room tables for dinner. Rei felt that it was about time. She devoured a few pieces of meat, as if she hadn't eaten in weeks. Ami looked at her, embarrassed.

"Rei, you should slow down. You could choke or give yourself a stomachache," she said, carefully cutting her food.

"Nonsense. I'm hungry," the black haired girl replied between bites.

"People are staring at you."

"So, what else is new? They were staring before it was dinner time." She gobbled some more food.

The blue haired girl shrugged and ate some of her dinner.

The sprint to the ballroom was becoming tiresome for Sailor Moon. She would never understand how track stars could do it. She was already huffing and puffing and she had not reached the ballroom yet. The wretched room seemed to be a long way away. She was losing patience. She hoped that she wouldn't be too tired to fight by the time she did get there.

Soon, dinner was over, and a lady announced that it was time for the extravaganza in the ballroom. The men and women stood up, and formed a couple of lines. They walked there gingerly, and wondered what was in store for them. After all, the couples were looking forward to a memorable evening. They had no idea that their fantasies would be cut short by what was like a living nightmare..only it was very real. Ami and Rei followed to see what would happen in the show.

Once in the room, the crowd of people were greeted by a woman with her hair in odangos and a man with short, curly wispy dark brown hair. The woman smirked to herself. 'These human fools don't realize the world of pain they're about to enter. They fall into traps so easily it's pitiful.' Then she spoke in the friendliest voice she could.

"Hello, lovebirds. I have a great show, so don't go away! First, we're going to begin with a little bit of black magic!" The woman had a large black energy ball above her. She raised her arms in a mystic gesture and held her hands thrust open, palms facing each other. Some small white circles were generated from the glass ball, and surrounded the people, who were somewhat oblivious to what was going on. The bewildered couples felt woozy, and began to collapse. The people fell into a very deep sleep.

Thetis gave an evil laugh. "Are you having as much fun as I am, folks? Ahahahahaha!" At this point, she was almost completely faceless, with the exception of red eyes and her odangos turned into long black hair, and her dress turned into a bodysuit.

The man next to her laughed as well, and his disguise turned into a man with the familiar military Dark Kingdom uniform and short curly blonde hair.

The two dateless girls were horrified when they saw the people getting their energy stolen, even more so when the two perpetrators revealed their true forms. The blue-haired teen gasped. "It's Jadeite."

Thetis and Jadeite looked up. The youma was surprised that these two humans were still conscious. But what happened? Did they just enter the ballroom or something?

"Huh? Why are they not under the spell?" she wondered out loud. She was pretty angry about this.

The blonde general was going to be blunt in the way he answered her. He knew he should not have taken her at her word, and that he would have been better off alone. "Well, these girls do seem to be without dates. And we only took energy from people in love. You've made a grave miscalculation, Thetis. Now you must find a way to deal with these little girls."

'Dang,' the youma thought. So much for her and Jadeite becoming closer. Now he had lost what respect he had for her. That angered her quite a bit. As much as she despised the two girls for this humiliation, she kept her cool. She knew just how she would try and get him to trust her. She glared at the teens.

"Don't you know that this cruise is for romance couples? What are you doing here without dates?"

"That's none of your concern. Release those people from your spell right now!" the fiery tempered priestess demanded. The blue haired girl was very angry as well. She nodded to show her agreement.

Thetis laughed. Their orders didn't faze her at all. After all, what could 2 powerless little girly girls do to a powerful youma like her?

"Sorry girls, but I'm afraid I cannot do that!" She made an army of clay monsters and ordered them to attack. They prepared to attack the girls. Very repulsed by the monstrosities, Rei karate chopped one of the clay youma. Ami helped her fight off the clay youma as best as she could, but she and Rei were outnumbered.

The ebony haired woman grinned evilly. She was able to hold them off while she bought some time to put them away for good. There was no way they would be able to defeat all of her creatures.

"Nice work, Thetis," Jadeite commented sarcastically. "But you'll need to do better than that."

Thetis smiled to herself. She would waste them all in good time.

Jadeite was about to leave so he could give the energy ball to Beryl...he had no desire to work any more with a youma he considered incompetent. She could lose on her own. Before he could leave, he was interrupted by an all-too familiar girl's voice telling him to stop.

"You two are not going anywhere!" shouted the female's voice.

Ami looked up, and gasped. "Sailor Moon!" She was glad to see her, since she was beginning to feel overpowered by the wretched creatures. But she wondered how she got on the ship as well. Rei, on the other hand, was shocked, but not so much pleasantly surprised, though she thought having some help was cool.

"I am the pretty sailor soldier of justice, Sailor Moon! Shame on you for stealing people's love energy! In the name of the moon, I'll punish you!"

Thetis was partly annoyed that she was interrupted, and partly glad that she would have a chance to destroy her arch nemesis and win her comrade's love and respect.

"Such a garrulous one. Well, I will shut you up once and for all!" she said, making cyclones rise up. She shot them at Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon got out of the way just in time.

"If you are hit by that water, you will be pulverized!" Luna warned her.

The youma shot more cyclones at the whimpering blonde senshi. She dodged again, but she knew that she couldn't keep it up forever. But she didn't know how to beat the woman, she was so powerful..more powerful than the previous youma. The two girls could see that Moon needed help, but they still had their hands full with the clay monsters. The senshi of fire realized that they could be destroyed easily with her fire power. She and the blue haired girl hid behind a curtain, and transformed.

The blonde shitennou laughed at his greatest enemy's struggle. Very good. It looked like Thetis might pull this off after all. At least he wouldn't be yelled at for using her in his scheme when he didn't want her help in the first place.

Once transformed, the senshi of fire defeated the monsters with her Fire Soul attack. "Finally," she breathed out.

"Shall we go after Jadeite?" asked Sailor Mercury.

"Yes, but first, let's help Sailor Moon," said Mars. "She needs our help badly."

Sailor Moon was on the ground, quivering in fear. She was so tired of running, but she just didn't know how to defeat this witch. She could so use help from the others.

"There's no escape for you, Sailor Moon," taunted Thetis. She prepared to launch another attack for the killing blow.

"Shabon Spray!"

The blue haired youma was taken by surprise, and she felt cold. She swore loudly, as she could no longer see clearly. It looked like she was trapped. And there was very little she could do, short of launching a counterattack.

"Fire Soul!"

A fireball swirl toward the disoriented youma and hit her. "AHHH!" she screeched as the flames produced a burning sensation. She couldn't believe it. It looked like she had underestimated the girls. They were more formidable than she thought.

Sailor Moon took off her tiara, and threw it at Thetis. "Moon Tiara Action!"

Thetis was terrified. She saw what that moon tiara was capable of, and knew that once the moon child did the attack, it was all over. She screamed as the tiara hit her. She dissolved into water.

This made Jadeite very angry. Not only did the wretched senshi spoil his plan, but he would have to worry about getting yelled at by Beryl, or worse. He did have some energy gathered for the first time ever, but he doubted that it would be enough to save his hide.

"You've foiled my plans for the last time!" he growled.

"I would surrender if I were you!" Sailor Moon told him.

"Your reign of terror ends here!" said Mars, glaring at the evil man.

"If you take responsibility for your actions, we may spare you," said Mercury.

The blonde man wanted to laugh at the girls, as their words made no sense to him. Surrender? He didn't think so. He would obliterate them even if he died with them.

"Sorry, girls, but that will not happen." Jadeite teleported away with the energy in hand.


Meanwhile, Nephrite was on his throne, eating red velvet cake and drinking a glass of milk. Yukari was in there with him, watching the battle. It was official. The incompetent general would be punished real soon..she could feel it.

'Nice work, Jadeite. You've lost Beryl's best youma. I imagine that she'll be VERY pleased,' thought Nephrite sarcastically. He thought Jadeite was a fool for allowing her to accompany him in the first place. He would be surprised if the evil queen didn't eliminate him at that very moment.

Queen Beryl summoned Jadeite in her throne room. She was furious that the blonde didn't get her permission to use her best henchmen, and even more angry that the youma was destroyed.

"Jadeite reporting," said Jadeite as he appeared. He braced himself for whatever was to come. Although it wasn't entirely his fault, he was still nervous. He didn't know if the queen would forgive him.

"You've used my best youma, Thetis, without my permission. Because of your careless planning, I have lost her. This displeases me greatly, Jadeite."

"She was the one who wanted to help me, my queen," the blonde man tried to explain.

"You're forgetting your place, Jadeite. I did not tell you to speak. Wait while I decide your punishment," said Queen Beryl, sternly.

'Sailor Moon will pay for this if I survive,' thought Jadeite, seething. The queen was nice to give him time to wait. At least he would have time to think of how to dispose of those germs..that is, if she gave him one more chance to do so. But he would have to be fast in coming up with a fool proof scheme.

FIN

Notes: To be continued in Book 2-"Slow Process to Redemption", formerly "Love Takes Time", coming up soon. Watch out for it.