dedication: to Vicki and Sidney, who are my Sailor Moon partners-in-crime.
notes: welp, no more history lessons from me!
title: framing tokyo
summary: You, you, you, you. Four could have beens, and one that was. — Senshi/Shitennou.
The sun was pale gold through the Crystal Palace's walls. Harp-song wove through the halls, haunting but sweet. It slunk through the servants, winding sadness in every note. The scent of melting chocolate and smoke mingled in the air, the product of two of the Senshi's various pursuits. But it was so still, as though no one ever moved.
Neo-Queen Serenity sat with her hands folded around her distended abdomen—Chibiusa would come any day now. Her little princess, curiosity and happiness and life all wrapped up in bright pink hair and big eyes. Manipulation and sarcasm and ridiculous silliness, too, but that was part of the fun.
Chibiusa would be so loved, Serenity reflected.
Her little girl, she smiled.
It was the flash of furious red outside the translucent window that caught her eye. Serenity stood slowly, arms wrapped around her middle, and went to press her fingers against the crystal. It rippled beneath her touch and turned clear as water just another whip of flame arced past.
Mars, then, Serenity sighed.
Of course it was Mars.
Not one of the other Senshi preferred the scent of charred human flesh. Venus would have tried to slit his throat, and Jupiter would have tried to stop his heart with a single short of electricity, and Mercury would simply have tried to drown him.
Only Mars would want to burn his bones to ash.
It was a good thing that Junpei was persistent. He had to be, to be in love with someone quite as volatile as Rei was.
Not that the others were in much better shape.
Minako turned into a soaked, hissing banshee-woman any time Kousuke came within twenty feet; Mako-chan couldn't look Nobuki in the face without nearly frying his face off; and Ami spent so much of her time determinedly ignoring Shin that it was a little bit frightening.
But Serenity knew that it wouldn't be long.
She watched the transformation from Junpei to Jadeite, absolutely delighted when Mars took a step back and bared her teeth. He didn't want to hurt her—that much Serenity (and anyone with eyes) could see, but Mars seemed to be pushing the issue again.
It would likely end in a draw when one of them stormed off, furious or hurt (unfortunately, the furious one was always Rei and the hurt one was always Junpei. It always made her uneasy).
Not that Serenity didn't understand.
But she had Mamo-chan, and she knew how much it destroyed her Senshi to be at such odds. It was futile, that much she already knew. They just ended up on the other ends of each other's swords every time, and Serenity didn't want to have to revive any of her beloved friends.
Crystal Tokyo was supposed to be free of this sort of ridiculousness.
"They're at it again?"
Serenity twirled and smiled hugely at her husband. He crossed the floor and scooped her up, and together they stared down just in time to watch the rage finally get the better of Mars.
"Of course they are," Serenity sighed. She rested her head back against his shoulder, body going concave as she sagged. "I'm so tired, Mamo-chan. I don't want them to have to fight anymore, and they're all so sad…"
His lips brushed the top of her head.
"It's not our decision, Usako," he said.
And though it was kind, Serenity knew that he felt the same. The constant war was hard—but the knowledge of so many wasted lives was worse. They'd all felt the memories rush in. She hadn't known killing was so easy.
But there were so many wasted lives.
So much wasted time.
"We never got it right, did we?"
"Not until now," he said. His palms curved around her abdomen, and Serenity had to smile. He was right—not until now. She curled her hands around his, taking comfort in the warmth.
"This is the last chance they have, Mamo-chan. Immortality isn't… we can't go back, after this."
"I know that."
"So they have to get it right. They have to," Serenity pleaded, and she knew he was frowning as he let her work through the fears that clung to the back of her mind when no one was around to make them go away.
"Then believe in them, Usako," he murmured. "We have the time. Believe in them. They'll figure it out."
And just like that, the fear evaporated.
"I do," she said. "I do."
Below, the crash of glass against solid crystal echoed. It sounded like hope.
notes2: and then they all lived happily ever after. the end.