So this is something that was just bouncing around in my head. It's sort of AUish but not completely. Imagine a world where the shitennou were reborn and not captured by Beryl a second time (the first time in SilMil, yes). This delays the Dark Kingdom attack about 5 years, but they are gearing up. (This means everything that happens in Sailor Moon seasons 1-5 doesn't happen.)
The shitennou meet each other and Mamoru in America (when Mamoru leaves to study abroad). They are all aware of their past lives, through various memories surfacing, etc.
Meanwhile, in Japan, the senshi are fervently protecting their precious Usagi - their princess - from the Dark Kingdom and from herself and her own powers (as the ginzuishou can kill its wielder)
As is the tradition in fandom, the reborn shitennou all have first names that start with the same letter as their anime counterparts. If there is any confusion on who is who, let me know.
Juuban Tokyo - 1997
"A jewelry store?" Jun shifted his umbrella from one tired hand to the other and shot an annoyed look at the taller man next to him. "You dragged me out in the rain to a fucking jewelry store? You said this was important!" Gritting his teeth, Jun looked at his prized converse sneakers, brand-name and brand-new, getting soaked through with dirty runoff water as the rain pounded all around them.
His companion merely rolled his eyes in response. "Yes, it is a jewelry store. And I said it may be important." Kosuke took two wide steps across the sidewalk to Osa-P Jewelry and entered the store, leaving Jun to scramble in behind him.
"Welcome customer!" a pleasant female voice rang out, and a young red-headed lady stepped out from behind a counter. "May I help you chose something today?"
Kosuke gracefully slipped his umbrella into the plastic sheath at the door, and stepped into the shop, "Yes thank you Miss… Naru," he read her name tag and bowed slightly. "Last time I was here I was looking for a gift for my girlfriend and I was helped by a lovely young lady named, let's see," here he patted his jacket, with a very schooled look of thoughtfulness. "Ah, yes, here it is," he pulled out a business card and read, "A one Tsukino Usagi. Is she in today?"
Naru smiled, "Oh I'm sorry. Miss Tsukino has just this minute left for the evening. But I'd be happy to help you and make sure she gets –"
"No need," Kosuke said smoothly, already backing out the door, "I'll come back thank you." He grabbed Jun, who was still struggling with this wet umbrella and making quite a puddle by the door, "we'll be leaving now."
And they were out the door and hurrying down the block and around the back alley.
"What the actual fuck are you doing?" Jun shouted in mostly Japanese, peppered with curses in his native Mandarin, "now she's going to think we are suspicious and also what 'girlfriend' are you buying jewelry for you giant lia—"
He was silenced by running straight into Kosuke's back as he stopped short on the corner near the back door of Osa-P, where a girl with long blonde pigtails was standing under the shelter of a bus stop, digging through her purse with knitted brows and an exasperated expression.
"Well?" Kosuke said, turning toward Jun.
"What?" Jun snapped. "Is that the poor girl you've been stalking? She looks pissed."
Kosuke nodded. "Probably because she's missing this," he said, pressing a flat card into Jun's hand.
The younger man looked down to see a commuter bus pass with the past month's date stamped on it, along with a girl's name 'Tsukino Usagi'.
"You giant dick what the—"
"She just dropped it on the way to work this morning. I'm a scholar, not a pickpocket. For fuck's sake, Jun. Go return it to her," Kosuke said, "I just want you to have a word or two. See what you think."
"Think about WHAT?" he demanded, but it soon became clear he'd receive no answer from his stoic friend.
Finally, with one last snarl at Kosuke, Jun stomped over to bus stop, not bothering to open his umbrella or shake the rain from his hair or eyelashes. "Excuse me, miss."
She turned, and blinked at him and he froze in her gaze. "Yeah?"
"You uh. You dropped this."
"Oh!," she reached for the pass, and for a moment their fingers touched as she slid the card from his palm. "Thank you so much!" The anger clouding her eyes cleared and she smiled at him from under a frame of blonde bangs and dark lashes. "I had no idea I even had it out – are you… okay?"
Jun managed to nod, just as the bus pulled up.
"Listen, um, do you want a reward or something because my bus is here but, look. Uh." She pulled a card out of her purse and pressed it into his hand, "I work at Osa-P jewelry, so I can give you a 20% discount okay? I'm working tomorrow come see me. I mean," she suddenly giggled, a blush coloring her face. "Obviously you might not wear jewelry but maybe your mom or girlfriend or something. I don't know, well." She flushed one more time, and then bit her lip, lowered her gaze, waved and disappeared onto the downtown 6 bus.
"Well," Kosuke said, walking up behind Jun with his hands in his pockets. "It seems you see what I see, then. Funny, she always did think you were cute."
"Holy shit," Jun managed to sputter out finally. "You actually found her."
Boston, Massachusetts - 1996
(Six months earlier)
"They are going to make a move," Nate said, walking from the kitchen to join the other two men in the living room of the cramped apartment. He stood by a frost covered window but didn't look out. "Soon."
Jun and Kosuke were silent. They knew of whom Nate spoke, rather, of what. They also knew of his ability, and how he might know of their future movements.
Somewhere nearby a staticy radio station played Christmas carols and commercials for sales and fabric softeners and TVs – but the three men didn't hear it, thinking of monsters and caves and bloodthirsty queens, destroyed kingdoms, and a dead monarch they failed to protect. The Dark Kingdom of which Nate – Nephrite - spoke.
Finally Nate broke the silence, "We need it now more than ever."
"Thanks Mr. Obvious," said Jun.
"It's Captain Obvious, " Nate said, "Fuck, if you are going to try to use American jokes at least them right. And try to be original. And funny, while you are at it."
"Prick," Jun muttered, slithering down into the sofa and crossing his arms.
"So," Kosuke said, talking over the two younger men, "If I were an ancient and mysterious artifact of infinite power, where would I be?"
"With the one would could wield me," Nate said, simply.
"Her? Well, Queen Serenity has been dead since before the dawn of recorded time," Jun said. "So, ya know. Not helpful."
"Do you think that just anyone could use it?" Nate said to Kosuke. And then he spoke up, maybe carelessly, and in hindsight he wasn't sure why. Perhaps because he was sick of being quiet, of tiptoeing around what could be the crux of their mission. "The ginzuishou is all that is left of the lunar royal family and it is most likely guarded by those who believe it is not for the likes of us."
By those who they are not sure they can face again.
"And if so, they would be correct," Kosuke said, seemingly unfazed. "Queen Serenity may have died when the Silver Millennium fell, but if you recall," he raised his eyebrows sardonically at Nate, "she did have an heir. The blood of the Moon Kingdom. The princess can also use the crystal." When he finished his voice was quieter. More reverent.
Nate sent a sharp glance his way and Jun paled. "You don't think –"
Just then, the sound of a key in the lock truncated the conversation and a blast of icy winter air brought Mamoru and Zachery in from the cold.
"Close the door, you are letting cold in!" Jun shouted from the sofa, burrowing in tighter. Zachery sent him a sarcastic look.
"This isn't cold, Jun. Come to Russia one day, and I'll show you cold."
Mamoru laughed, locking the door behind him and shaking the snow from his jacket.
"This is cold enough for me, Zach. It rarely snows like this in Tokyo."
It was much later that night that found Zachery brought up to speed on the conversation from earlier, him and Nate with the television muted and the others in the rooms. "Japan?" Zachery asked.
Nate shrugged. "Mamoru wants to go."
"He's not renewing his student visa a third time?"
"Apparently not," Nate shrugged again, took a sip of his beer, "Kosuke would like to go home, I know. He was only staying because Mamoru was. I wouldn't mind going back to Japan, I haven't been since my dad was stationed there."
"He says the food is good," Nate broke into a grin. "Plus, he's half Japanese so he'll fit in anyway."
"We'll be weird gaijin, but whatever we speak Japanese okay and Mamoru'll vouch for us." Nate's face took on a serious look in the glow of the television, his eyes suddenly sad, distant. "Plus, that's where the past few attacks have been, and where the future ones will be."
"Why Japan, why now all of a sudden?" Zachery's voice had also taken on a hushed tone.
"They must know something we don't." For a second Nate remembered what Kosuke had said right before Zachery and Mamoru had come home from classes. The crystal. The princess. The senshi. Was it possible?
"In any case," he continued, "we can't let it happen again. I'll die before I see it all happen again."
Zachery agreed, his mouth set in a straight line, looking much older than his 23 years as he responded. "We all would die before any of it happened again."
tbc in Chapter 1