A/N: Hello all; new year, new story. I hope you enjoy, this piece is the Sequel to The Jovian Senshi so I encourage you to read that first to get a feel for what is happening. Have any questions, let me know.
Disclaimer: I can't take credit for the creation of these characters or for the original concept of Sailor Moon. The piece was created solely for the enjoyment of fans like you and I.
That being said... Have fun!
The days grow longer than they have in a long time. I remember the feel of rain and sounds of thunderstorms like it were yesterday. There's nothing like having the cool wind brush against your cheeks or listening to nature's voice echoing against the clouds. No, sadly I haven't been in the presence of a great storm for so long. I know the others don't understand. I miss the crackle of thunder and the flashes of lightning, but most of all, I miss the touch of the rain as it fell without mercy.
My wrists burn against the open air. The symbols of Jupiter rest emblazoned in place. I've given up asking what is going on. The marks are familiar to me. They were burned on my wrists the day I was born in the Silver Millennium. It's strange that they appear now. The scars of Jove… that is what they're called…
The headaches never cease. It's as if someone is twisting a blade through my skull. I know that it's a prelude to the rhapsody of memories that won't stop entering my mind. Sometimes I can't even look at the others because I see them as different people. This shouldn't be happening and yet there seems to be no explanation. I'm a stranger in my own life seeking nothing more than a resolve for actions that happened over a thousand years ago. Is it right for me to feel so much blood on my hands? My duty... that is what it was all for.
I must look so pitiful right now. I am one of the Queen's Senshi. Thousands of people look up to us as saviors, and yet I've lost my identity. I feel so weak and I can't stand it. My knuckles are raw from the many punches I've thrown into the forest outside the back gates. Sometimes a punching bag just doesn't feel real enough for me. No matter how many times I hit the trees, my wounds would always heal within seconds. That has never happened before, at least not in this life.
I know who's behind me. She's the one person still alive that has any idea of what I see. "I'm fine."
Slow footsteps press into the Earth. It's so quiet and yet… I can hear them. "Who are you trying to convince?"
I push myself to stand. Out here it feels as if nothing else matters. "Whoever I have to."
Before I know it, Pluto stands at my side with her rod gently resting in her left hand. "How much do you remember now?"
Even though I can't see her face, I know that she's deep in thought. The Silver Millennium… it was so different compared to anything that I could have ever imagined. Makoto is a part of me now. Everything that she saw; everything that she did… I experienced it as if I was there.
"Have you told Neo-Queen Serenity?"
I shake my head. "No."
"Are you going to?"
"Probably not. She has enough to worry about with the rest of the world."
She sighs. "You sound like Makoto."
I laugh. "Do I? I haven't noticed."
Pluto turns back towards the palace. "You should get ready for court."
I clear my throat. "If Serena brings them back, then I'll kill them. You know that don't you?"
She nods. "I do, but you must remember that this is a different life. They will be different people."
I sigh. "Then what would you have me do?"
Sparks start dancing around my fingers, something that doesn't go unnoticed. She knows as well as I do that this shouldn't be happening unless I've transformed. "Lita?"
I remember the fields of Jupiter. Back then it was so easy to play with thunder. Pluto knows that our transformations are the only way we can use our powers; a side effect of being reborn as a human. What does that make me now? "Yeah."
"How are you doing that?"
Suddenly the pounding in my head gets ten times worse. "It shouldn't be so strange. You can do it too, right?"
"My powers are different."
"So you say..."
I know she can see the pain written all over my face. For a moment there, I can sense a little sympathy from her voice, but her eyes are still so cold. It's hard to understand Pluto. "I'll be fine Sets… Trista… I'm sorry."
Her hand makes its way to my shoulder. "Let me look into this."
I smile. "Be my guest."
We each have a silent understanding, one that goes back before this life even started. I've come to understand things more now than I ever had in the past. What makes sense to me is that this is probably something that I have to get through myself. If the others knew, they wouldn't understand.
"How much longer will they take?"
I can't help but smile. The little girl crouched in front of the oven reminds me so much of how Serena used to be. "Patience."
She turns and puts on her best pout face. "But I'm hungry now…"
I kneel down next to her. "That won't make them bake any faster."
She sighs. "Fine, but what do we do while we wait?"
I turn to the sink. "Now we clean up. So all we have to do is eat." The sparkle in her eyes grows wider with each passing second. Yeah, she's definitely Serena's daughter. I don't have to say anything else. She practically sprints towards the dishes. "Careful there are others using the kitchen too."
She quickly bows to the other cooks, who do nothing but smile at the young princess. "I'm sorry." I can tell that they are just as amused with her as I am.
"Working the girl to death, eh Kino?"
I turn towards the door and see Amara standing against the frame with a motorcycle helmet in her hand. "Cleaning is part of cooking."
She runs her hands through her hair. "If you say so."
I smile and untie my apron. "Did you just get back?"
She nods. "Yeah. Traffic was a bitch though."
I smack her in the arm and motion towards the Princess. "Watch your language."
"She'll hear it eventually."
I roll my eyes. "And what would Michelle think if word gets out that Rini has caught onto your colourful language?"
I can't help but smile as the great senshi of Uranus cringes. "Point taken."
"Lita, I'm done! What do we do now?" Rini's smile grows wider. "Hi Amara!"
"Hey kiddo. What are you making in here?"
The young Princess straightens her back and puts her hands on her hips. "White chocolate cranberry cookies. Lita says it's her mom's recipe."
Amara turns slightly. "Is that so? Well they must be good then."
I nod. "Of course they are." The moment the final word leaves my tongue, the timer rings. Before I can say anything else, Rini is already off towards the oven. "You'll have to excuse me."
Amara looks back to the hall. "No worries, Kino. I've got to get ready for tonight anyway. You haven't forgotten right?"
I sigh. "How could I?"
"I don't understand why you're so against-"
"Please don't." Both of us are aware of my sudden shift in tone. "I'm sorry, but I'd rather not talk about it."
She shrugs. "Suit yourself." And just like that, the Princess of Uranus disappears into the hall.
"Haruka…" The name barely escapes my lips.
"Lita, come on. They're going to burn."
I smile and turn back to the oven. "They will be fine. Have you set up the cooling racks?"
My body seems to move on autopilot now. I don't think that Rini has noticed. It suddenly feels as if everything has shifted. I can't help but feel a headache coming on. Still, I make sure that the smile on my face never falters. The last thing I need is for the young Princess to worry. She would be just like her mother in that aspect as well.
The resurrection of Endymion's Shitennou. I remember the exact moment when Neo-Queen Serenity brought it up. The memories had just started coming then. Before I knew it, the hatred I felt for men I had never met was stronger than anything I had ever encountered. I could see the looks my friends were giving me. It was a mixture of worry and disbelief. I am all for giving people a second chance, but this… it seems that my past won't let me forget.
Every time I transform, it feels as if I am a foreigner in my own skin. I try to push the sensation as far back in my mind as I can. Crystal Tokyo is the one Utopia of this planet. Neo-Queen Serenity holds one of the most prominent positions in the world. Talk of her senshi is legendary, and though peace throughout the world is still a little ways off, in Crystal Tokyo there is no violence.
I know it is selfish of me, but sometimes I miss the thrill of the fight. There is nothing more satisfying than looking your enemy in the eye before striking them down. I don't know if those thoughts come from the this life or my last.
"Hey Jupiter, wait up." Venus, there's no mistaking her voice. "Jeez you walk fast."
I shake my head. "No, it's just because I have longer legs than you do."
"Well that's for sure." Both of us make our way out into the gardens. There's no mistaking the smile on her face. She has something that she wants to tell me.
"Don't tell me that you're just out on a stroll."
She shrugs. "Is that so hard to believe?"
"Just a little."
"Well, you're no fun."
Mina Aino, her and I have been friends since middle school and yet when I look at her now, I see arrogance covered by pride. It's essential that I keep reminding myself that she isn't Princess Minako. "I'm sorry to disappoint you."
"Oh come now. Don't get all depressed on me. Where's your perky spirit gone?"
I sigh. "I think you're the only person I've ever known to be perky."
"Now I know something is bugging you. You know you can tell me, right?"
I turn away. "It's nothing.
She nods. "You can't fool me, Jupiter."
"I don't know what I should tell you."
She pauses. "Lita, you should tell me everything. That's what friends do."
I smile. "Don't worry about me. I've just been stressed lately." Before I know what's happening, Mina grabs my hand and pulls me towards the palace. "Wait, Mina what are we-"
"Oh shush. All this talk is getting me down. How about we go see what Amy and Raye are up to?"
It's a distraction. I've known Mina for so many years. If something is troubling you then she tries her hardest to get your mind off it. In some ways I admire her charisma. I guess she isn't our leader for nothing. She forgets that both of us have duties that need our attention, but right now I don't seem to mind at all. The world is peaceful right now so why not enjoy it while it is here?
"Jupiter, how are you?" Neo-Queen Serenity stands in front of me with one of Rini's cookies in her hands. Mercury and Mars stand off to the side, deeply immersed in conversation, while Venus speaks with Endymion. All we're waiting for are the Outer guardians.
"A little tired, but that's all."
She smiles. "You've been spreading yourself thin lately."
I shake my head. "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
"Your majesty, I'm fine."
She goes to speak, but stops as Uranus and Neptune enter with Saturn and Pluto close behind. I take this opportunity to step back and avoid the remainder of our conversation.
"Your highness." Each of them bows one by one. Neo-Queen Serenity still looks uncomfortable with her friends treating her differently. It's been so long and yet it's as if we're doing it for the first time.
We all stand and form a circle. "Like I said before, this is going to take a lot of power."
My mind screams to protest, but I know it will be futile. My feelings aside, the amount of power needed to bring back the Shitennou will severely weaken the Silver Crystal. I expressed this as a concern, but once again, I was in the minority. Amara agreed with me, but it was still seven to two.
Venus nods. "We understand." The pain in my chest starts throbbing once again. It's so unexpected, and yet it has become so familiar to me. I wince slightly, something that doesn't go unnoticed by Pluto.
Before I know it, Endymion places four stones on the ground in front of the Queen. I feel the shift in energy as the Silver Crystal appears. The Queen closes her eyes and whispers words that I can't quite hear. Outside, I can feel the clouds forming over the palace. I try to stop them, but the storm seems to be acting on its own.
I turn back just as a blinding light circles the stones. This is the power of the silver crystal. My hands are shaking now. All of us are forced to take a step back as the energy increases. King Endymion stands next to his wife without faltering. I can see the curiosity in his eyes. These were his protectors. All of us watch as the stones glow into coloured lights. Their forms expand. I look away.
"By the gods… where are we?"
Sparks dance between my fingers now. Neo-Queen Serenity staggers into her husband's arms. Four men now stand in confusion. Venus is the first to step forward. "You're in the Crystal Palace."
Zoicite is the first to move. "Serenity?"
The alarms go off in my mind as I turn to Pluto. She looks as surprised as I do. Kunzite smiles. "Minako, is that you?"
They do remember, how is this possible. Jadeite turns frantically. "Endymion, what has happened? Where is the enemy?"
That is when he looks into my eyes. Without so much as a word he runs forward and wraps his arms around me. It takes a lot of self-control for me to resist the urge to seriously injure this man. All eyes are on us now. His voice is but a whisper that only I can hear. "Mako... thank the gods you are safe."
Before I know what is happening, he pulls me into a kiss. That one action pushes me over the edge. The echoes of the storm break all silence that there might have been. I let the lightning fly through my fingers as I strike him back. There is pure murder in my eyes. "Don't you dare touch me."
The onslaught is immanent. The lightning never stops surging. Uranus rushes forward and grabs his collar. "Where the hell do you get off?"
I have every intention of unleashing a neverending storm. I'm sure the others can see the rage in my eyes. Thunder booms, mimicking each step I take.
"Jupiter, Uranus, that's enough. The four of them are confused." Neo-Queen Serenity's words do little to calm my anger.
I look to Nephrite. Uranus throws him to the ground with little effort. The message in his eyes is one of heartbreak. I show no sign of weakness. "I apologize. He caught me off guard."
Uranus rolls her eyes. "He should be the one apologizing."
And with those words I turn away. I can't look at him. Just being here makes me sick. King Endymion addresses his former Shitennou, but I don't hear his words. Those four men don't belong in this time. It is because of them that the moon kingdom fell.
I leave the first chance I get. The storm still hasn't faded yet. My headache grows worse. I feel as if I want to lock myself in my room and never come out. "Lita?"
I glance over my shoulder and see Mercury. "What is it?"
She smiles. "I just wanted to make sure you were alright."
I nod. "Don't worry about me. I'm fine."
"You always say that."
I sigh. "I just need time to think, that's all."
I walk on, and she doesn't follow. No one can understand how thankful I am that she never pries. Several guards look my way as I pass. I know what they are thinking. A storm in this utopia can only mean trouble. Regardless I continue on with my head held high. If there is one thing that I've always loved, it is a good storm in the middle of summer.