Chapter Twenty-Five: Resolution
Usagi slowly opened her eyes. "I'm sorry…" she mumbled.
Still leaning over her, getting ever closer to her lips, Dimande suddenly felt a rush of energy go through him as he watch Usagi awaken. I can't kiss her after all, can I? He nodded, looking down at her smiling, but with tears streaming down his face. "Thank goodness, you're awake," was all he could say.
She sat up and started to look around. "I'm back…?" Was it all just a dream…? She looked at Dimande and sensed that somehow, he knew.
Dimande sighed. I suppose that it was not meant to be… not in this life. He put out his hand to Usagi once more. "Come on, we should go. Everyone is waiting for us."
Usagi knocked on the door, waiting nervously outside. When the door opened and Mamoru appeared, she couldn't resist leaping into his arms. "You're alright! Thank goodness!" she started to cry.
"Usako, I knew that you would be able to do it," Mamoru smiled. He looked around. "Did someone come here with you?"
"Yes— Dimande, do you want to…" she looked behind her and noticed that he was gone. That's strange… "Oh. I guess he left."
Mamoru shrugged as he put his arm around Usagi's shoulder. I had wanted to thank him… He did protect her, and support her, in my place… and even after all of that, he brought her back to me.
"You came back to me!" Petz exclaimed as she watch Saphir walk up the steps to her door.
"Of course I did," he smiled. "It was your words that were able to get me through."
She wrapped her arms around him. "And it was your words that got me through," Petz responded as she kissed the man she had always loved.
Saphir started to recall what had happened in the labyrinth, remembering the mysterious words spoken by Sailor Pluto before she collapsed: "I see two future paths that have opened for you and for the Princess." But nothing seems to have changed. I still wonder, though… Still hugging Petz, Saphir looked up and saw Dimande standing on the pathway in front of the house.
Feeling his body tense, Petz let go of Saphir. "What's wrong?"
Saphir was no longer listening to her. He walked over to Dimande who stood before him looking incredibly confused and distraught. "Brother? Is something distressing you?"
I couldn't stay, it was too painful. But I saw what I needed to: she was happy with him, and he truly cares for her. Dimande looked Saphir directly in the eyes and laughed to himself. Something still bothers me. It's strange…"I don't even know how to articulate this. But as Usagi was waking up after the battle, something happened. I have these memories…"
Saphir led his older brother into the house, helping him to sit down at the kitchen table so he could feel more relaxed. "What sort of memories?" I think I know where this is going…
"How can I say this? It makes absolutely no sense," Dimande said, irritated at his own inability to understand the memories. But then again, what in my life makes sense? "I remember a life that I have never lived. That I never will live. A future path, where I didn't hold back, and instead I kissed Usagi that time. And everything was different…"
Saphir nodded, finally understanding everything. The second path that had opened up for my brother and Usagi, it does exist. That he has memories proves that it is real. "Remember what Pluto had said, brother? That there was more than one path that you and Usagi could choose?"
"Yes, her words continue to run through my mind, even now. But then I wonder if it may have just been my own wishful thinking that caused the vision. Is it really possible to hold memories from a future that will never happen?"
Saphir frowned at his brother, suddenly serious. "There's something that I never told you about… from the night when we were reborn." I was afraid to. I didn't want it to be true… and for it to allow for his obsession with Usagi to take him away from me again. But it's time I told him the truth, about the people I encountered that night, and the whisper I heard linger in the air…
"Usako, there's someone here who wanted to see you," Mamoru spoke softly into his lover's ear. "You can come out now!" he called back into his bedroom.
"Is that…?" Usagi started to cry as she saw locks of pink hair flowing through the doorway. She gasped as she watched a much older Chibiusa than she had expected make her way over to Usagi.
"Usagi!" Chibiusa cried, running over to her future mother with open arms and tears in her eyes.
"You're still here, after all!" Usagi exclaimed through the tears. "Thank goodness, I thought I had lost you."
Chibiusa looked at Usagi knowingly. "You saw it, didn't you? The other future that you chose?"
Usagi was shocked by Chibiusa's response. So she knew… but of course she would know. She must have been so worried… "What do you mean, that I chose? I didn't choose it: I'm here and you're here, aren't you?"
Helios stepped into the room and stood behind Chibiusa. "Please, allow me to explain: while you did make a different choice, that future still exists because somewhere you also made that choice. It is a difficult concept to understand, but just know this: both futures exist. You are now on the path to the future you have always known. But that does not make the other one you saw any less real."
"And yes, that means that Peridot still lives, if nowhere else, in your memories and in your heart," Chibiusa put her hand over her heart and looked down. "And in my own."
Usagi finally understood. This is the future that I am most needed in. That's why I was called back. I still lived that other life, somewhere, somehow. I had to. Otherwise I never would have known a life not dictated by destiny. As much as I wanted to break free from that, I know that I need to live this life. And what's more than that, "I love you, Mamo-chan."
"What's this, so suddenly?" Mamoru joked, reaching over to caress Usagi's soft cheek.
"It's not because of the past life we spent together, or the destiny that I know we are meant to have. Somewhere during all that bickering when we first met, in this life, I fell in love with you—for who you are, and no other reason," she smiled. She pulled Chibiusa, Helios, and Mamoru in close to her with her long arms, hugging them all tightly.
After learning of the visit by Chibiusa and Helios on the night that he and Saphir were brought back to life, Dimande finally understood. "Now I understand everything: why we were revived, why it all had to happen as it did…"
I was revived because of Usagi's unconscious regret, her desire to let me live a life free of Wiseman's corruption and set on the path of good. The Silver Crystal reacts to her heart. And despite all I had done, the love she has is so pure that she wanted even me to be happy. Saphir and Petz, too, deserved to be happy.
But it was more than that. Usagi needed to see what a life without fate would have been like. But now I see that even that freedom was determined by destiny, giving the Silver Crystal the power to provide a new life for me, and set off this chain of events.
Looking at Saphir, who smiled as Petz placed his hand placed on her belly, laughing excitedly, Dimande thought back to what felt like eons ago, but what still lay in the future ahead. He recalled the first time he had set his eyes on the magnificent goddess who ruled over Crystal Tokyo, Neo Queen Serenity.
That look of hate in her eyes… looking past me, as though I were not even human. That look was not for me at all, was it? She knew all along about this life we could have shared together, that in some other time and space we did have together. Her hatred was not for me, but for the darkness that had clouded my soul, for the actions I did, but that were not truly mine. She was angry that it had to happen that way. She was concerned for me.
"Brother?" Saphir spoke, excitement still in his voice because of the news he had just learned of from Petz. "She really does love you, you know."
"I know," Dimande replied. Somewhere, I am living a happy life with her. But there was more that she had to do, another life she was meant to live. And another man who had captivated her heart even more than I did. I have come to accept that, and I am content with the future that I only have memories of, but that I know exists.
The last words that Dimande spoke at the end of his last lifetime continued to repeat over and over in his mind as he came to accept that he had come to yet another ending, but also another second chance. "Sailor Moon… I love you."
Thank you to everyone who has supported and inspired me during the writing process of this story! I couldn't have done it without you.