Serenity closed Jupiter's diary and knew there was not one dry spot on her cheek. After reading all the diaries of her senshi how could there not be? Ami, Rei, Minako, Makoto, she hadn't truly realised how much the others had suffered. You've been thinking about your own pain, as usual, a voice reminded her and Serenity wiped away her tears hurriedly as the senshi all walked into the room having finished reading the diaries of all the others, Serenity's diary included. Serenity could see that they had all been crying just as much as she had and she blinked slowly once as the senshi stood staring at her. None moved, none said a word. Serenity didn't know what to say, in actual fact they were just back exactly where they started except with deeper insight into the pain of the others.
"I'm sorry, I never realised," Serenity apologised shaking her head and looking at the ground disappointed in herself and her selfishness.
"You couldn't have," she heard Mercury's voice say kindly and Serenity dared to look up at Mercury who was smiling a real smile, a genuine smile of friendship.
"We kept our feelings to ourselves instead of telling you, instead of telling each other," Jupiter added to Mercury's comment and Serenity turned to her hope shining in her eyes that had been dull for so long. A spark was beginning to show in the small smile that graced her petite face.
"I'm sorry about your parents and Shingo," Venus told her softly and a tear shone in Serenity's eye as she thought of her family but she blinked the tear away.
"It's all right, it was their time to go, we had our time together, and I will always cherish it, that's all there is, " Serenity said shrugging her slim shoulders resignedly looking intently at Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. Mars had not said a word and Serenity knew it was clear that the others would not warm completely to Serenity unless their new 'leader' the Lad of Fire did so. Serenity turned her eyes unsurely to Mars and waited.
"As it was Kaidou's turn to go as well, I should have realised that my now, oh Usako all the time we have lost because of my stupidity," Mars cursed herself angrily allowing tears to fall from her eyes and Serenity immediately enveloped her best friend into a hug. Mars stood there stiffly, not knowing how to react to a hug from someone she had barely touched in seventy years.
"Rei-chan," she whispered endearingly and Mars relaxed into the hug and wrapped her arms around Serenity.
The two felt the other three encircling them in a huge hug and they stood there for the longest time in a group hug, Mars and Serenity hugging tightly in the middle surrounded by Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. All were crying tears of relief, tears of joy, tears that they knew the others would eagerly wipe away.
"Scout power," Serenity whispered looking into Mars' eyes.
"Scout power!" the others agreed fervently and a coloured light flew from each of the foreheads of the senshi and Serenity stepped back amazed as she watched ghostly figures of the senshi flow from out of their bodies and into the centre of the room. The four figures of the senshi moulded into one person and a young girl stood standing in the middle of the room wearing a dress that was rainbow striped. The four senshi and Serenity stared at the girl in disbelief while the girl stood smiling brightly at them, she looked almost proud as her eyes surveyed the four senshi fondly.
"Who are you?" Jupiter asked in incredulity staring at the beautiful young women who looked as though her features had been moulded with those of all the inner senshi. Her hair was silver and flowing, falling to her lower back and eyes that were specked with gold. The woman smiled gently; almost motherly as her eyes roamed the expectant faces of the senshi, her senshi, and four girls she had created.
" I am the Goddess of all senshi, I created you and you have all been chosen," she said simply as though she had expected the senshi to already know this. Her voice sounded like it echoed throughout the whole room, it was soft and husky.
"Chosen for what?" Mercury asked quick to question the words of the Goddess who glanced at her fondly.
"To be eternal, to protect this world forever," the Goddess informed the four girls who exchanged glances and Mars narrowed her eyes at the Goddess.
"Are we to be eternally lonely too?" Mars asked sarcastically and the Goddess frowned, perplexed, the frown marring her perfect features.
"Didn't you know? You all have chosen others, people with whom you are destined to be with over your lifetimes. Some reached immortality before you who are destined to be with them, and the others reached immortality after you, I have kept them with me in my other world and trained them to protect each of you," the Goddess revealed calmly and it was Mars' turn to frown as the Goddesses words ran through her head.
"Over our lifetimes I don't get it?" she confessed and the Goddess reached out and touched Mars' face gently, running a cool finger down her cheek.
"Your lifetimes in the Silver Millennium, even in this time, as well in the past of Earth, why Rei, you were Cleopatra and your chosen other was Marc Antony," the Goddess told her and Mars gasped in amazement as her eyes glazed over and she saw a glimpse of the woman she had been, The Famous Last Queen of Egypt and she saw her brave and courageous Marc Antony, the man who had risked all to be with her. The Goddess moved on to Venus and touched her eyes lightly as she spoke softly to her.
"And Minako, innocent Juliet and your romantic Romeo," The goddess told her and Venus closed her eyes to see a vision of her as a young girl from the renaissance ages at a party, the party where she met her illicit lover, Romeo, the young man who had braved the laws of Verona to be with her in death. The goddess moved next to Mercury who closed her eyes expectantly.
"Ah Ami, the lovely Giselle and her Loys," the Goddess said smiling and Mercury smiled sweetly as she saw herself dancing through the forest with the one man she adored, Loys, the man who had been promised to somebody else but who loved her unconditionally.
"And lastly, Makoto, the beautiful Helen of Troy and your handsome Paris," the Goddess informed Jupiter winking and Jupiter's eyes glazed and she saw herself in a lovely palace with the man who had risked his life to be with her, and whisked her away from her domineering husband who married her only because she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
"I thought they were just stories," Venus breathed in amazement, "I never thought they could have been our lives."
"The lives were real, you all should know this, you all lived those lives," the Goddess stated simply, "do you remember the Silver Millennium? The protectors of Prince Endymion, Generals Jedite, Neflite, Zosite and Kunzite"
The Goddess winked implicitly and Mars's eyes widened in shock and she shook her head silently not saying a word. That's when it clicked for all of the senshi.
"Jedite, Kaidou they are one in the same," exclaimed Mars suddenly and the Goddess nodded indicating Mars' assumption was correct.
"As are Neflite and Shinozaki," Jupiter said in awe her eyes wide with amazement.
"Zoisite is Taiki?" Mercury asked in disbelief, amazed that her gentle sweet Taiki was once Zoisite.
"Kunzite and Umino?" Venus laughed finding it hard to imagine the smooth Kunzite as nerdy Umino, her beloved husband, it couldn't be true and yet the Goddess was nodding.
"That's right, you see, you were destined to be with them, they are all, in essence, one soul mind, they just look different but underneath they are your chosen other halves," the Goddess tried to explain and Mars laughed scornfully.
"All our love lives were tragedies, how ironic, Marc Antony killed himself for Cleopatra as did Romeo for Juliet, Loys betrayed Giselle and Paris was killed in his attempt to keep Helen with him, does nothing ever work out for us, are we to be forever lonely?" Mars asked sadly shaking her head and the other senshi all exchanged knowing glances with each other. Mars was right, they were to be forever unhappy, and nothing would ever work out for them and the ones they loved, it wasn't their destiny.
"It will work out this time, you have eternity to make it work," the Goddess replied and Mercury looked sceptical still finding it hard to believe about Taiki and Zoisite.
"What about when the Generals tried to kill us in this time? Was that their way of showing affection because I sure didn't like it," Mercury replied angry with the Goddess for tarnishing the memory of her dear Taiki with Zoisite's foul persona.
"That was not them," the Goddess was quick to reassure Mercury sensing the girl was near breaking point, "the bodies of the generals were given rebirth but their souls had moved on into the bodies of the men you four married."
This made Mercury smile as she thought of Taiki and Jupiter shook her head in astonishment.
"This is unbelievable," Jupiter said more to herself than anyone else and the Goddess clasped her hands in front of her body demurely.
"Yet very true," the Goddess impressed upon the senshi but Venus was lost in her own thoughts. There was silence in the room as the senshi struggle to understand and take in all they had learnt. Suddenly Venus looked up her eyes shining with understanding.
"Karei and Ryo…" she breathed and the others exchanged glances, knowing whom she was talking about as all had read her diary.
"Yes Venus, they were the soul minds of Rei and Mamoru before they were made eternal," the Goddess confirmed and that was when Mars frowned, almost embarrassed by the revelation as she threw a glance at Serenity who happened to be smiling gently regardless of the information she had received about Mamoru and Rei.
"But Mamoru and I were not destined to be," Mars argued and the Goddess sighed.
"No but sometimes situations can change in rare circumstances," the Goddess explained calmly and Jupiter finally spoke again, though very softly.
"So we have loved these men over many lifetimes?" Jupiter wanted to know and the Goddess sat comfortably into an armchair.
"Yes, not hard to believe when you consider how long you have all been alive," the Goddess, told them knowingly and then Mars asked the question that had been knawing away at the insides of the senshi
"So when can we be reunited?" she asked trying to sound casual and the Goddess winked at her openly.
"Glad you asked, I was beginning to think you didn't want to know, senshi I would like you to meet your chosen others, Marc Antony, Sea'rage, Falcon and Samson," the Goddess introduced and beside the armchair a porthole appeared and four young men stepped through the porthole unsurely.
One of the men was dressed in Roman style armour, his hair was thick and golden blonde and his eyes shone sapphire blue. He was broad shouldered and looked to be something of a soldier. He surveyed the senshi eagerly and when he saw Mars his smiled brightened making him more handsome than he already was and he took a hesitant step towards her.
"Cleopatra?" he asked hopefully his eyes drinking in Mars' beauty and Mars blushed red, an unusual sight for the Lady of Fire.
"I am called Rei in this time," she said shyly blushing like a young girl as the young man stepped towards her again this time excitedly.
"I am Marc Antony," he introduced himself reaching out to take Mars' hand and Mars allowed him to kiss her hand eagerly seeing in this young man her darling Kaidou and even glimpses of Jedite.
"I know," she said softly unsure of what else to say and Marc Antony pulled her into his arms gently. Mars didn't resist as she stared up into his eyes feeling like she was falling through the sky. Without saying a word he pressed his lips to hers gently and Rei leaned against him lost in the kiss, a kiss she knew would last for eternity because that was how long he would be with her.
Mercury and a young man stood regarding each other fondly. They recognised each other immediately as their destined others even though they were of different species. Mercury's chosen other had skin that was tinged blue, and she looked at his hands that were fiddling nervously and noticed that they were webbed. On the side of his face behind his ears she could see that he had some sort of gills. When he saw where she was gazing he looked ashamed of who he was and cringed but Mercury merely smiled. She didn't care about his looks, for he was the soul mind of her destined love.
"Sea'rage?" she guessed stepping towards him slowly and the young man broke into a smile realising Mercury didn't mind his extra features.
"Ocean'song, I have waited so long to be reunited with you," Sea'rage spouted romantically, so sincerely and sweetly that Mercury didn't want to correct him on her name but he seemed to sense it straight away, just like Taiki could always read her mind, "but your name isn't Ocean'song is it?"
"No, I am known as Ami," Mercury told him and Sea'rage grinned even broader.
"Ami," he repeated as though he were speaking a sacred word and he took her hand in his webbed blue fingers and Mercury tightened her hand around his.
"Tell me about my life as Ocean'song," she begged him and Sea'rage seemed eager to do so but he added,
"And after you must tell me about my life as the one you loved."
Mercury frowned up at him and pressed a finger to his lips.
"*You* are the one I love," Mercury told him certainly and Sea'rage brought her hand to his lips and kissed her hand lingeringly.
"And *you* are the one I love," Sea'rage swore pulling her into a strong embrace and holding her tightly and Mercury knew that there were no other arms she would wish to be in because she knew these arms would hold her for all eternity.
Venus was unsure of what to do or say as she stood opposite the handsomest man she had ever seen in her entire life. The other three senshi had found their loves leaving Venus with a young man who sported two golden wings from his back reminding her of some sort of angel. His wings looked bird-like full of feathers and his long curls of sandy blonde hair brushed back into a crest. He looked to be half man and half bird being which intrigued Venus. His facial features were very human and quite mischievous. Near black eyes sparkled with specks of tawny gold and a cheeky smile covered his face and Venus couldn't help but smile back at him.
"I'm Falcon, although I am known by some Earthly races as Cupid," he introduced himself in a melodic voice and Venus' eyes widened in amusement.
"The God of Love," she said huskily and Falcon laughed pleasantly.
"Correct as always Aphrodite, my Goddess," he said affectionately reaching out to brush back a lock of Venus' hair that had fallen across her eyes.
"My name now is Minako, though you used to call me Mina-chan," Venus introduced herself and Falcon smiled understandingly as Venus reached out towards Falcon shakily as she brushed his crest with her hand. Falcon nuzzled against her hand and covered her hand with his pulling her hand to his chest near his heart and Venus could feel his heart beating beside her hand.
"Ah yes, Mina-chan, can you feel my heart beating for you?" Falcon asked Venus endearingly and Venus closed her eyes and smiled pulling Falcon's hand on her heart.
"As surely as mine beats for you," she replied to him as her heart began to beat faster as Falcon pulled her into his arms and rose a few feet above the floor by fluttering his wings slowly and Venus cuddled into his embrace.
"We were truly meant to be," Falcon assured her kissing her forehead and as Falcon leaned lower to kiss her lips Venus could only agree.
"Samson!" Jupiter cried out deliriously with joy throwing herself into his waiting arms and Samson clutched her tightly to him as though he never wanted to let her go. Jupiter felt as though her heart would take flight out of her body, in this young man before her she saw her husband although his physique and become more impressive, after all he was the worlds strongest man.
"Delilah, I have waited so long to be with you," Samson murmured to her raggedly too emotional to say much more. For years he had trained to protect his Delilah with only his memories of her to keep him going and now to finally hold her in his arms again was more than a dream come true, it was his life being given back to him.
"How could you just leave me?" Jupiter suddenly screamed pulling away from Samson to slap him heatedly across the face leaving a red mark that disappeared after a few seconds unlike her anger, "Do you know how much I suffered when I thought you'd died and then disappeared?"
Samson let her calm down for a few moments before he spoke again.
"As much as I suffered when I discovered that I had left you behind," he told her softly and sincerely and Jupiter felt horrible for hitting him and she enveloped him into a hug.
"Oh Samson don't ever leave me again, don't you dare ever leave me again, or you'll be sorry," Jupiter muttered over and over again kissing Samson all over his face caressing his face in her hands gently not wanting to let him go in case he disappeared again like in so many of the dreams she had dreamt of him.
"I wouldn't dream of it Mako-chan," Samson assured Jupiter, realising his mistake in her identity slowing her kisses and he tilted her chin towards his face and pulled her forward gently until her lips reached his in a kiss meant to seal a promise, a promise of eternal love.
Endymion entered the library and spotted his wife standing watching the senshi and to his surprise he saw their late husbands in the four men who were holding the senshi lovingly in their arms and kissing them with so much passion Endymion could see it made their knees weak. Instinctively Endymion longed to hold Serenity into his arms and he walked stealthily over to her. Serenity didn't even see him as she watched her senshi with a contented look on her face, she felt as though a big weight had been lifted from her shoulders and suddenly she had a longing for Endymion to hold her in his strong arms once more, it was a longing she hadn't felt for almost fifty years.
"And what about us?" Endymion asked unsurely and Serenity turned to him not really surprised he was there as she had felt his warm breath upon her neck.
"What about us?" Serenity asked smiling up at him with love and adoration as she reached up and traced a cool finger along his lips. Endymion wound his arms around his wife's waist and thanked the god's and goddess's she had been returned to him finally. Suddenly he felt guilty. He didn't deserve Serenity's love, he had betrayed her repeatedly with Pluto, and how could he even think he deserved to be loved by her, his angel?
"Serenity…I have made a terrible mistake I…" Endymion tried to tell her but Serenity merely smiled and pressed a finger to his lips silencing his confessions.
"Endymion I know, we all have known, but you of all people should know I will always forgive you, everything you've done is my fault I drove you away, I am to blame for all you have done," Serenity spoke out sadly and the other four couples all turned to watch the scene unfold.
"If I weren't so weak, if I have stayed true to you…" Endymion tried to make Serenity hate him as he despised himself but Serenity couldn't.
"No if's my love, and besides you have stayed true to me, your heart has always been true to me," Serenity said pressing a hand to his heart and Endymion grabbed her hand and pressed it desperately to his lips.
"I love you Serenity, more than you could ever know," Endymion confessed to her and Serenity smiled serenely pressing his hand to her lips.
"I know Endymion, I love you just as much," she returned his vow of love and the other couples exchanged glances with each other, all of the couples delighted with the way their lives had turned out the returned to getting to know their destined chosen others. Sensing the privacy they had once again Endymion dared to say what he had been thinking.
"Never push me away again," Endymion whispered in Serenity's ear bending his head to kiss her forehead and Serenity tilted her head to look up at him.
"I promise you that with all my heart," Serenity told him sincerely staring up into his eyes and as Endymion smiled at her Serenity got a familiar mischievous look in her eyes that Endymion had missed seeing for the passed fifty years, "now do me a favour."
"Anything for you," Endymion declared gallantly as the spirit of Mamoru and Usagi came alive once more in Endymion and Serenity.
"Kiss me," Serenity pleaded whiningly and Endymion crushed her to him.
"As you wish," he told her eagerly bending his head to do as she asked.
From the shadows a sad figure walked from the doorway, away from the five happy couples and into the darkness of the empty halls. Crystal tears fell from her eyes as she thought of the man she loved in the arms of his destined love and the tears flowed freely, tears that she wiped away sadly with a heavy heart.
"Oh Endymion," Pluto whispered her voice choked with emotion, "I was a fool to think I could ever replace your precious Serenity, I cherished every moment we shared, even if they meant nothing to you."
Pluto created a porthole to take her to her gates and before she stepped through she stopped to stare back at the door to the room where Endymion was now probably kissing Serenity with all the fire and passion Pluto knew he could never hold in his heart for her.
"I love you Endymion, I wish we could have been together, maybe in another time, and another place we can finally be together," Pluto breathed before she turned her back on the door and on any chances of ever finding true love. From now on, Pluto promised herself, she would hold no love in her heart other than her love for her duty and responsibility and to this day she has remained true to that love guarding the gates of time with all her broken heart.