On the Edge of the Cosmos

*Author's Note can be found at the bottom of the page (since I know not everyone likes long notes at the top). It discusses what this story is supposed to be about and what I want for it, read at your leisure!

Summary: In the years following Galaxia, all of our favorite superheroes finally get to live their own lives, often far away from their friends. Twenty year-old Usagi is currently alone in Tokyo and maybe that's the way she wants it. Ami, Mamoru, Minako are in the United States; Rei is on a mystical journey, visiting all of the most spiritual locations on the earth; Makoto is in France, studying under brilliant chefs; and the Outers are going wherever concerts, races, and their hearts take them. Oh and the Shitennou make their return! With a year and a half until Usagi's twenty-second, the clock is ticking down to Crystal Tokyo, how will our characters spend their time? Warning: tragedy in the third act, but relatively happy ending!

Pairs: (cannon) Usa/Mamo, InSenshi/Shitennou, M/H

A Spot of Exposition

She cried the night the war ended; only the feline advisors were there to witness it**. She was just as surprised as they were to see tears, though this wasn't the only thing she'd done that night that she found surprising. She wasn't entirely sure why she had said no to her friend's request that she come to Rei's temple to celebrate, even less sure why she had also refused Mamoru's offer to stay at his place. She just knew she needed to be alone right now.

It occurred to her that ever since Galaxia had begun her first attacks she actually hadn't cried that much, I mean not like anyone would have expected of her. It had been the middle of a war, she couldn't break down, and she definitely never got a chance to mourn. And that's what the problem was. Almost everyone she cared about in the world had died, most of them right in front of her, and she never got to really process it. That was why she was in a dark room away from the people she loved crying her eyes out; it was sort of comforting having an explanation.

And then there were the cats. She felt terrible about her behavior towards the two worried advisors sitting on the edge of her bed. If they had said anything she hadn't heard it. She hadn't really heard anything since she had thrown herself onto her bed and dove under her covers. They were the same pink bunny ones that she'd had for years; seemingly the only thing that hadn't changed since she'd met the black cat now looking up at her anxiously.

Taking a calming but shaky breath, "Luna, you don't want your face to be stuck like that, do you?"

"Oh thank goodness! Usa you had me really worried! I've been trying to get your attention for ages!"

"Really, Usagi, we were starting to get scared," Artemis added. She smiled at the two cats, trying her best to ease their worries. And it wasn't all just for show; she really was starting to feel better, almost normal even.

"Usa," Luna's voice was tentative, "What… what happened? I, we, remember seeing you leave and then we… well anyway we were suddenly back here in your room, the time in between is a little… vague, I suppose," Luna's voice wavered and her eyes became lost in thought so Artemis took over:

"Right," he nodded in agreement, "We were suddenly in your room and just when we had decided to go out and investigate you ran in here and well… you know the rest."

"So, you don't know anything that's happened?"

"No, and we were hoping you could tell us."

"Usa, what happened at Sagittarius Zero Star?"

She didn't answer for a long time, causing the two to start worrying again, "They're okay," it was a whisper, "the girls, Mamoru. I… I saved them," and like that she was crying again.

"Usa!" Luna rushed over to her charge, "What is it? What's wrong? Do they not remember you?"

Usagi hiccupped, "That does happen a lot doesn't it?" and then, to the two cats' disbelief, she was started giggling.

"Do you remember when we were worried about you earlier?" Luna took a swipe at Artemis, despite the fact that she couldn't help but agree.

"Oh you're right, I'm going crazy aren't I?" she brought her hand to her face and sighed, once again going through the process of trying to clean up her face.

"Please tell us what's wrong? We want to help!" now Usagi felt really bad.

"Wait, Artemis!" her sudden exclamation made the cats jump, "You should be with Mina right now! I bet most of the senshi are together right now, it's only nine. They're probably at Rei's. I think you should go, both of you," she added as an afterthought.

"Oh Usa, you can't be serious! There is clearly something wrong with you! We can't just leave!"

"Luna's right!"

"Guys," she looked them evenly to convince them of her sincerity, "I'm mostly fine. Certainly enough that you can't leave! Plus, you can't honestly tell me you don't want to see the girls right now," she scratched Luna's favorite spot behind her ear and, with a slight frown, added, "plus, there's just a few things I need to straighten out for myself. I think, well I think I just need some time alone to just think, I guess." She knew neither of them was happy, but she also knew that they would listen to her in the end. She didn't say anything after that, forcing the cats into a mostly silent argument.

It wasn't until they were leaving that she finally spoke, "Could you two do me a favor? Could you not tell the others about tonight," she gave them a steely look stopping their arguments in their tracks, "I just don't want them worrying." There was a small argument, but just like before the girl's will succeeded. And they never did tell the others about that night the war ended. They decided to trust in her words, give her the space she wanted, and believe in the incomparable spirit of Usagi Tsukino.

And, for better or for worse, they kept on believing in her spirit. In fact, everyone did. Nearly five years had passed after the defeat of Galaxia without any major upsets, it was a time of peace and they all made sure to take advantage of it. Usagi and the Guardian Senshi graduated from high school and moved on to University. During those first few years of peace no one ever entertained a thought of leaving. But the girls, all talented in their respective fields and majors, began to get offers to travel and suddenly felt the urge to see the world. All of a sudden it seemed as if Crystal Tokyo was upon them and everything was now or never.

They never guessed how big a role Usagi played in their leaving. Nor did they ever wonder why the idea of leaving her and their other friends, of leaving what was essentially their family didn't bother them as much as it probably should of. If they had been paying attention perhaps they would have noticed a strange pattern that had developed in their life. When the idea of leaving was first presented to them they hated it, but soon it became more and more attractive. When they tried to think of the reasons why they had to stay, their minds seemed to cloud over. What had seemed so important only a month ago just didn't anymore. So they left; Usagi told them to go. She planned wonderful going away parties, and smiled as she saw them off at the airport and she even meant it. Yet after they'd been gone for a few weeks they began to wonder why they had left in the first place, it all seemed so stupid. Eventually they'd go back to Japan, back to Usagi and she'd give them the same smiles and life would seem brighter than it had before. But soon the same feelings that had forced them to leave in the first please and they would be off again. So the cycle would start again.

It would never have occurred to them to connect this to proximity to Usagi and her crystal. And why should it have occurred to them? They had no idea what the effects of Galaxia had been on her. They had no clue about the mysterious woman whom she had first met during that final battle, and who had come to her since. She never told anyone about her and what they talked about. They often wondered what might have happened if they had known, but they knew they couldn't think that way. As hard as it was, they had to accept what Usagi had done and do their best to forgive her, such was their life.

*So here's a brand new Sailor Moon story à la me. Like a lot of people, I'm super interested in the time between the end of Stars and Crystal Tokyo and also how Usagi changes into Neo-Queen Serenity and then into Cosmos. This is number one in a potential series that would chronicle that. This story will attempt to be extremely canonical, but when you feel a character(s) is acting off, there's probably a reason for that. Remember, we know point A and B, but everything between is fair game. Lastly, I prefer the Japanese names, but for a few characters I might use the English for convenience. Also, I'm terrible at Japanese honorifics so I usually avoid using them. (Real) Lastly, this is based on manga only.

**I figure that the wounds that made Luna, Artemis, and Diana mute were healed when the Universe was reset and that Diana was flown back to the future like Chibiusa.

***Alright, so this really was just an exposition chapter, longer ones centering on Usagi's life in Japan will follow… A lot of them are already written (pen and paper) and just need to be typed up so… PLEASE FAVORITE AND REVIEW! IT MAKES ME VERY HAPPY! That being said, I really like this story so I'll probably post it anyway.