The Starlights were nervous about the idea putting our power together. I knew that without even having to feel the way they all stiffened at the idea. I pretended I hadn't noticed and looked around at Petz and Berthier. The last time I had seen Berthier, she'd been attacking Maker with everything she had. And I thought I remembered seeing Petz with Fighter before Rubeus kidnapped me, but I couldn't be sure. I had been a little preoccupied with the lunatic who was trying to kill me. I didn't see any sign of evil in their eyes, but I had been fooled before. I stared at them warily, waiting for them to make the first move, and finally Petz cleared her throat. What she said was not what I was expecting.
"Princess Serenity... no, Sailor Moon. I'm sorry."
"You're sorry?" I raised my eyebrows, startled. What she'd said before about Neo-Queen Serenity rang vividly in my ears, and every word had stuck with me. I'd have to think long and hard about it later when I had the chance. If I had the chance. I raised my chin. "Sorry for what? For letting Rubeus take over your minds again? For trying to kill my friends?"
"That wasn't us!" Berthier protested.
"Don't," Petz said to her, shaking her head. "Sailor Moon, my actions were... not my own. I was angry - I have been angry for a long time at Neo-Queen Serenity and Crystal Tokyo. I think we all have. We buried those emotions, never allowing them to get to the surface. Never imagining that someone like Rubeus might dig them up and exploit them." Her face showed genuine regret, I thought, but... And, as though sensing my distrust, she added, "The things I said were how I really felt. Maybe that's why your friend was able to get through to me with logic."
"It's true, Odango," Fighter said, gently resting her hand on my arm.
I ignored what Fighter said. I'd seen this before with Black Lady. Rubeus might have made said it, but he hadn't made her feel it. "You said that you were mad at me for not dealing with Rubeus sooner," I pointed out. "Part of your anger was directed at me, not my future self. Don't you still feel that way?"
Petz actually blushed. "No, I don't," she said miserably. "I shouldn't have put the burden on you in the first place. You might be the protector of this planet, but... my sisters and I, we could have done a better job of hiding ourselves. We foolishly stayed in Japan when we knew that Rubeus was here. We would have been safer somewhere else, but we didn't want to go."
"We were afraid to go," Berthier said very quietly. "Tokyo is the only place on Earth that we know."
I hadn't thought about it like that. I could feel my anger beginning to melt away, not that there had been much of it to begin with. "I'll accept your apology as long as you tell me the next time you're this mad," I said firmly. "Bottling up frustration doesn't do you any good, Petz. Even if you're angry with Neo-Queen Serenity, I would still listen to you. At the very least, it might help me to keep from making the same mistakes that she did. I'll never be able to learn if people don't tell me what's wrong."
Petz looked at me like she'd never seen me before. "I promise."
"So do I," said Berthier. "And I'm sure that Calaveras and Koan will too, once they get back to normal." She hesitated before giving me a look that was almost shy. "You... you will be able to heal us, won't you? I don't want to spend the rest of my life with all of this dark energy in my body. I keep feeling the urge to lash out at people."
"We will," I said, even though I was starting to have private doubts about that. I'd already put a lot of energy into two separate attacks. I didn't know how much more I had in me. Even with the Starlights supporting Chibi Moon and me, I wasn't sure how much power we would have left over. Rubeus was definitely our primary concern, and if destroying him meant that the Ayakashi Sisters had to put up with dark energy for a few more days then that was just the way it was going to have to be. I didn't say that, though. There was no point in making the two of them worry about something that, unless we hurried up and got rid of Rubeus, might not even be cause for concern.
Like she was hearing the thoughts going through my head, Chibi Moon got up. "We have to do this now," she said firmly. "Rubeus was hurt by the last attack we threw at him, but I don't think it will take very long for him to recuperate. The Black Moon family was always strongest around the dark crystal." She shot me a worried look. "And I'm pretty sure that's what Rubeus had up there, Mommy. A piece of the dark crystal."
"Shit." I closed my eyes and shook my head. "I thought we destroyed that thing!"
"So did I, but maybe we missed a piece." Chibi Moon looked as worried as I felt. I knew that we were both thinking the same thing. If there was a piece of the dark crystal that hadn't been destroyed, did that mean there was a chance that Doom Phantom was around? I shuddered at the thought. It was bad enough facing Rubeus all over again. I never wanted to see that horrible old creature ever again.
"Alright," Fighter said. "That's it. We're going to take care of this once and for all. Sailor Moon, just tell us what we have to do to give you our power and we'll do it." She looked at me with so much love and trust in her eyes that my heart clenched. I had no idea what I'd done to deserve Fighter. But whatever it was, I'd do it a thousand times over if she kept looking at me like that.
"It's just like when we were teleporting, only instead of sharing power you're just directing it all to me," I said quickly. It wasn't the best explanation, but it would do. "And you won't be getting anything in return, so it might make you feel pretty empty afterwards."
"Relax," Maker said, putting her hand on my shoulder. She looked a little amused. "If the worst things that comes out of this is us feeling a little empty, I think we can handle it. But will that be enough to destroy him?"
"That reminds me," Pegasus said suddenly. I saw Maker, Healer and Fighter jump, so I knew that they'd heard what he said as well. He turned his head to look at Chibi-Chibi. "Little one, now that we are all gathered you will be able to help. Will you lend Chibi Moon your power?"
"What?" Chibi Moon and I said at the same time.
"Maiden, you will not be able to ascend to your Eternal form as you are now," Pegasus explained, gazing at Chibi Moon. "If you had gotten that far before you died, you wouldn't have a problem. Alas, it would require too much energy for you to do it for the first time as you are now and you would simply fade away before you got that far. But if Chibi-Chibi lends you her power, then your abilities will be increased significantly. You'll be able to use the tier." His gaze flicked towards me. "That, plus the power of your mother and the Starlights, should be enough to destroy Rubeus."
Chibi Moon's eyes widened. "Would you do that, Chibi-Chibi?" she asked.
Chibi-Chibi looked at Chibi Moon for a long time without saying anything, and I was a little worried she might not understand what was going on. But then she smiled. "Yes, I will," she said, clear as a bell.
"Thank you," Chibi Moon whispered.
It was just like the day Chibi-Chibi had granted me a new power: she held her hand out to Chibi Moon, palm up. After only a minute of hesitation, Chibi Moon knelt and put her hand against Chibi-Chibi's. For a couple of seconds, nothing happened. Then I realized that there was a beautiful white light beginning to build around their cupped hands. It was bubbling over so brightly that it couldn't be contained, and as it spilled to the ground I had to look away or risk being blinded.
And then Chibi Moon shouted, "Pink Moon Eternal, Make-Up!"
I turned my head back just in time to see the white light being blown away by a pair of delicate pink wings. She was staring at me instead of Pegasus and I felt my breath catch in my throat because she was so beautiful. Her fuku was exactly the same as mine, but - of course - it was in dark pink, light pink and red. It really suited her, and it made my little girl look so grown up that it was almost hard to look at her. My throat ached the longer we stood there, and suddenly I wished that Mamo-chan could have been there to see her.
"Eternal Sailor Chibi Moon..." I managed to say at last.
"Mommy," she replied with a cute smile. "Thank you, Chibi-Chibi, Pegasus."
Pegasus inclined his head, and I got the feeling that he was just as overwhelmed as I was. If he'd been Helios, I wasn't sure we would have been able to stop him from tackling Chibi Moon and whisking her away. As it was, all he said was, "When you summon your kaleidoscope, it should change."
Chibi Moon closed her eyes and held her hands up. Her kaleidoscope began to materialize instantly, but Pegasus turned out to be right. It was changing even as it formed, into a tier that looked nearly identical to mine with only a slight change in color - instead of white and red, it was silver and light pink. "It's so strong," Chibi Moon said, looking amazed as her fingers closed around it.
"That's a good thing. We're going to need it," Fighter told her. "Where is Rubeus?"
"It's not Rubeus we're aiming for," I said. "He has another power source. Pegasus hit it with an attack, and I think it weakened him a lot. I think - hope - it works the same way that Doom Phantom and the dark crystal did. Destroy one and you automatically get rid of the other."
"Then I guess we're headed up," Healer said.
"Berthier and I can teleport you," Petz said. She and Berthier had remained quiet until now through Chibi Moon's transformation. I had almost forgotten that the two of them were there. "It will take you too long to get up there even if you run, and Rubeus has got traps all over this place. I doubt that you'd all make it to the top. But with the dark energy in our bodies, we can pass through them with no problem."
I was a little doubtful. I believed Petz when she said that they wanted to be healed, but could I trust her to take us to where the ruby was and not betray us? "Won't that be a big strain on you? I mean, there's six of us now. That's a lot for just two people."
"But there's not just two of us," Berthier spoke up. She pointed behind me, and I automatically turned around to look. I was shocked to see that Koan and Calaveras had come in at some point. The two of them nodded at me. "Between the four of us, we should have enough energy to do this."
"Sailor Moon?" Healer said, turning to me. It was my choice, I knew that. The Starlights would do whatever I told them to do. I hated putting blind trust in the Sisters, but there was no way that Pegasus would be able to carry so many of us. I just hoped that I wasn't going to end up regretting this.
"Alright. Let's go."