In order to keep things business-like and focused, the Senshi were all in uniform, while Mamoru was wearing his Tuxedo Kamen disguise, and Jadeite was dressed in his own uniform. Not the uniform he had worn as Beryl's general, but the uniform he had worn as Prince Endymion's. It wasn't terrifically different – it had a deep blue trim instead of red, there a cape was fixed to his shoulders, and he had a sword strapped to his hip, but otherwise it was essentially the same.
Luna sat on the table in the middle of them all.
"So, it seems that Sailor Moon really is the Moon Princess," the cat began. "And that Tuxedo Kamen is the Earth Prince," she added, and sent a disapproving look at the man that had her princess in his lap.
Mamoru grinned back and wrapped his arms around Usagi's waist, happy in the knowledge that however much others disapproved, he and Usagi had beaten them all – they were married already, and though they weren't exactly living the married life, it was only a matter of time. Nothing and no one would ever separate them.
Usagi, Senshi and Princess of the Moon, and fourteen-year-old girl, stuck out her tongue at the disapproving feline.
"You said when we met that my 'mission' was to find and protect the Moon Princess with 'the others'," Usagi pointed out. "Well, I've found her, and I am very serious about her protection. There's just the matter of the 'others'."
"We need to save Zoisite, Nephrite and Kunzite from Beryl," Jadeite said. "As well as find Jupiter and Venus at the very least."
"What about the other, outer planets?" Ami asked. "Don't they have representative Senshi as well?"
Jadeite, Luna, Usagi and Mamoru all nodded in answer.
"Pluto was not reincarnated by Queen Serenity's power when Beryl attacked," Jadeite said. "As the Senshi of the outer-most planet, she was in little danger from the war, and as the guardian of the Gates of Time, she took her duties very seriously and refused to be removed. She's still there, I believe."
"I remember that Uranus and Neptune were always very close, and also that they followed Jupiter's example in being extremely protective of me," Usagi said, and sighed. "Even from things I didn't need protecting from."
"Like me," Mamoru said, and a naughty smirk crossed his features.
"She most certainly did need protecting from you!" Luna snapped.
"No I didn't," Usagi countered firmly.
"The Shitennou believed that Prince Endymion needed to be protected from you, Princess," Jadeite offered, and then smiled wryly. "I can see now that it was foolishness on our part."
Usagi shook her head. "No," she said, "I can see where you and the others were coming from. The Moon Kingdom was powerful and large. Every planet but Venus and Mercury has at least one satellite that is an arm of the Moon Kingdom, but the single Moon that orbited Earth, the only planet that didn't supply a Senshi to be part of my personal guard, was the one that the royal family had chosen to occupy just as I was coming of age."
Jadeite nodded. "We felt you watched Earth too closely, and had devious plans for our Prince," he admitted.
Usagi smiled. "We watched because Earth was the most beautiful of all the planets," she said. "My mother was mourning her husband, and the beauty of Earth soothed her. No one anticipated my meeting with Prince Endymion, or the love that followed. There were no devious plans."
"You mean until Beryl came along and decided that I would be her lover, regardless of my feelings on the matter," Mamoru said with blatant disgust. "Honestly, I wouldn't have put it past her to have tried brainwashing the whole galaxy into believing that we should be kept apart."
Ami's eyes bugged at the implication of Beryl's power as she tried to quantify it in her mind.
Jadeite's jaw dropped as the actual possibility of that lodged in his brain. Maybe not the whole galaxy, but she could well have started subverting the Shitennou back that early.
"If you looked anything like you do now back when you were Prince Endymion, I don't entirely blame her," Rei commented.
"Mars!" Luna yelped.
"I'm not taking her side, I'm just saying I can see where she's coming from, wanting a hottie all to herself," Rei defended, hands raised.
"Am I not good enough?" Jadeite asked softly.
Rei narrowed her eyes and glared at him a little, then sighed. "You're good enough," she relented, and rolled her eyes. A hint of a smile danced around the corners of her lips.
Usagi clapped her hands twice. "Very happy for you, but back to the business at hand?" she requested. "Ugh, why do I have to be the responsible one?" she whined rhetorically. "I'm only fourteen!"
"You're also the Princess," Mamoru answered cheekily. "My Princess," he added in a husky whisper, his lips brushing against Usagi's ear.
A light blush tinged Usagi's cheeks as she smiled in contentment at the possessive tone in his voice, but there were still important things to discuss. "So! We need to find Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and we need to free Zoisite, Nephite, and Kunzite from Beryl," Usagi said firmly. "And probably... kill Beryl," she added with a grimace. She didn't like fighting, and especially didn't like killing (and if she'd been more efficient at that aspect of being Sailor Moon, then they wouldn't have Jadeite with them right now, so she was going to call that a good thing right now).
"I still need to report to her about my latest failure to gather energy," Jadeite said. "I could -"
"Jadeite," Mamoru cut in. "I had better not hear you finish that sentence with 'kill her then'," he warned. "You're not expendable, and to kill Beryl when in her domain, surrounded my her subjects, would be far too dangerous."
Jadeite sighed. "As you please, my Prince," he deferred. "Then I shall seek out the other Shitennou, and find a way to bring them here so that the Moon Princess may save them as I was saved," he said with a nod to Usagi.
She nodded back. "Well, that's three," she said. "Mars, could you ask the fire who the other Senshi are? I think you're more likely to find them quickly."
Rei nodded in agreement. "I can do that," she said.
"Once they're found, Luna, Mercury, I want you together to approach them," Usagi said once she'd nodded in appreciation to Rei and turned to the other girl and the cat.
"M-me?" Ami stuttered, shocked.
"Hai," Usagi said firmly. "You. This will accomplish two things. One: you will be forced to be a little more social and do something more with your life than study, And two: you're really the best person to remember all the important details that Luna might forget."
"Like what?" Ami asked, confused. "I don't remember my previous life, and Luna does, however mixed up it got by the Queen's spell that sent all of our souls to this time."
"Details like having a betrothed," Usagi said with a nod to Jadeite, "and being a princess yourselves as well, not just the bodyguards to one. Then of course there's the fact that we've got to take down a psychotic woman who has styled herself as a queen."
Ami nodded. "Right," she said, and her voice was soft but resolved.
"And what will you do?" Luna asked curiously.
"Heal the Shitennou when Jadeite brings them to me," Usagi counted off on her fingers, "continue to fight the monsters that will most likely keep coming," she continued.
Jadeite nodded in confirmation when Usagi glanced at him to be sure of that statement.
"Keep up my studies, do my best to start restoring the Moon Kingdom when I have a spare moment," Usagi continued to count off.
"We'll probably have to set up living arrangements for the Shitennou," Mamoru added. "Jadeite living at Mars' shrine is just a bit of good luck."
Rei nodded. "We can't afford to take on any more helpers right now," she agreed.
"And there's no way I could convince my mother to let a man live with us in our apartment, especially one she's never met before who I would be claiming was the man I was betrothed to in a previous life," Ami added with a shake of her head.
"I know my dad would bring out the shot-gun if I tried that," Usagi agreed.
"We've all got our assignments then," Mamoru said. "We just need a way to contact each other. Mars to pass on information to Mercury and Luna, Jadeite to let the Princess and I know he's managed to get one of the Shitennou away, and of course so that we can contact the rest of you in the event of an emergency."
Luna nodded, jumped, and performed that magical little back-flip that had never failed to leave behind a new item for the Senshi. This time, she provided them with communicators.
"These are not to be treated as regular phones," she warned. "Senshi and Shitennou business only."
"Hai hai," Usagi agreed, and picked up the one that had a golden crescent moon over the screen. Two others had the symbol of Mars, one in red and one in blue, for Rei and Jadeite respectively. Ami's had Mercury's symbol emblazoned on it, and one had a golden orb – clearly meant for Mamoru. The final communicator was smaller than the rest, and judging by the clip on it, Usagi guessed it was to be attached to Luna's collar.
Ami obliged by performing that duty.
Rescuing the Shittenou had to be done much more carefully than finding the other Senshi (Rei had already found Jupiter, and Ami and Luna had made contact with her. There was just Venus and the outer Senshi still to find). Particularly, it had to be done in such a way that Beryl would not become suspicious of Jadeite. Since her spell over him had been broken by Usagi, Jadeite theorised that Beryl would believe him dead. He spent a little time settling in to life on Earth in the present, and getting to know his Prince once more, rather than immediately returning to Beryl's domain to seek out the other Shittenou.
Having to go slowly left a sour taste in his mouth, but it had to be so, and he knew it. Under Beryl's command, speed had always been of the essence, and that had been the downfall of every plot to gather energy that he had conducted. Moving too fast had attracted Sailor Moon's attention, and gotten his monsters destroyed.
No great loss now, but consecutive defeats at the hands of a single little girl was very frustrating at the time. To say nothing of a blow to his male ego.
Jadeite spent most of his time at the Hikawa shrine, encouraging visitors to buy amulets, fortunes, and votive paintings with far greater success than Rei's grandfather – if for no other reason than the young girls who came would take the chance offered to them while buying something to try and flirt with him. Rei was only placated by the fact that he didn't flirt back and that it brought more money to the shrine.
He also cooked, and very well besides, which helped his cause with the fiery young woman (who could only do the very basics without setting the whole thing on fire).
On the nights that he was not so exhausted from doing chores around the shrine and being unfailingly (but politely) uninterested in the young women who came to buy amulets and flirt with him, Jadeite reconnoitred Beryl's castle. It was difficult, because all the beings and youma there could sense energy to a certain extent, and if any of them became aware of him, then the ruse of his death would be ruined.
It took him five trips to the dangerous, depressing place over the course of three weeks to find out who had been sent to take over what had been his task, and he was still the first to know. Nephrite had always been the most cautious of the Shitennou. Being brainwashed by Beryl hadn't changed that about him.
Jadeite contacted his prince as soon as he knew where Nephrite had his base of operations in Japan – because Nephrite always made a base for himself, a sort of war-camp behind enemy borders, but where they wouldn't notice his intrusion unless they actually went looking. Which Jadeite had.
Mamoru and Usagi swung by the temple when classes let out – Mamoru driving his red sports car – and collected Jadeite so that he could give directions and be on hand for his friend when he was recovered from Beryl's influence.
"Another failure, Nephrite-kun?" a voice taunted from the balcony above them.
The three had left the sports car a way down from the house. The engine was less than quiet, and would have given them away before they got near.
Jadeite blinked in surprise. "I'm not sure if we got lucky or unlucky," he said. "That's Zoisite."
Mamoru frowned. "I don't remember Zoisite taking pleasure in Nephrite's failures before," he commented.
Jadeite shook his head. "Beryl's influence," he explained shortly. "I'll go first," he volunteered, and slipped off before either Usagi or Mamoru could counter then notion.
Usagi closed her eyes and raised a hand to her brooch. A moment later, she was Sailor Moon and had the Moon Wand ready in her hand while Tuxedo Kamen stood at her side.
"Jadeite!" two voices yelled in surprise above them.
"We all thought you were dead!" Nephrite continued, and rushed to embrace his friend. "Queen Beryl said that your energy had disappeared from her divination."
"To Queen Beryl, I am dead," Jadeite answered, returning the embrace with one arm while he lay the other hand on Zoisite's shoulder. "I have missed you both, however."
"What do you mean, you are dead to Queen Beryl?" Zoisite asked, even as he grasped the hand on his shoulder and was clearly grateful to see his friend alive.
"Moon healing escalation!" Usagi called out then, and the golden light of the Moon Wand and the Silver Crystal raced at the three men, washing over and through them, removing the stain of Beryl's controlling spells.
Jadeite caught Nephrite when he collapsed from the effects of Usagi's cleansing magic, and Mamoru was quick to catch Zoisite before he could fall over the side of the balcony when his knees gave out.
"Wha... Jadeite?" Nephrite asked, confused.
"Hello my friend," Jadeite answered with a slight smile. "Where in this massive house you acquired for yourself is the bedroom? You should probably lie down for a while."
"And a guest room for Zoisite perhaps?" Mamoru suggested.
"Sire!" Nephrite gasped, eyes wide when he caught sight of the man who (despite being dressed nothing like his monarch) he could never mistake as anybody else, even as he had just been getting his legs back under him.
"S-sire?" Zoisite echoed weakly.
Mamoru chuckled and nodded. "Good to have you back my friends," he said.
"We just need to find a way to get Kunzite back now," Usagi said, drawing the surprised attention of Nephrite and Zoisite. "I'm sorry you're both so weak," she apologised. "Jadeite wasn't when I healed him. I don't know what's different."
"I do," Jadeite said. "Zoisite and Nephrite haven't been eating real food for the last thousand years, whereas I was eating, even just a little, and for no greater reason than to blend in, but I was eating, and that's what made the difference," he explained.
Usagi nodded in understanding. "Well, Jupiter's a mad-keen cook these days, and really good at it too, so she'll be happy to feed you both back up to full strength," she said with a smile.
"Jupiter?" Nephrite repeated, a hopeful light in his eyes.
Usagi giggled. "She's not exactly the same as she used to be," she warned, "but since Mars and Mercury made contact with her, she's been a real mother hen to the rest of us."
"Mercruy... Oh no," Zoisite moaned. "How can I ever face her again?"
Mamoru chuckled. "You're not going to have much of a choice," he informed his most feminine general. "She's decided that she would help you learn how to function in the current time as part of her 'getting to know you all over again' plan."
"They were reincarnated," Jadeite explained. "They don't remember their previous lives, but they're willing to let us back into their lives again."
"We don't deserve such wonderful women," Nephrite said fondly.
"Work on that then," Mamoru suggested with good humour, "because they're determined to give you a chance."
"Don't blow it," Usagi ordered firmly.
"Princess," Zoisite greeted, finally recognising the wand in her hand and the crystal that adorned it, and figuring out who she must therefore be. "I give you my solemn vow to strive every day to be worthy of this second chance you have given me today."
Usagi smiled. "That's the right attitude," she said. "Now, off to bed with the both of you. I'll send Jupiter around tomorrow with a big basket of food, and Mercury will probably join her."
"Hey Usagi," Shingo called.
"What's up?" Usagi answered.
"That's kinda what I was gonna ask you," the ten-year-old said. "You've gone from a barely-passing grade to blitzing all your tests and getting perfect marks on your homework."
"I was doing better than 'barely passing', thank you! And Mamoru-san is a great tutor," Usagi said, rolling her eyes and smiling wryly, careful to not let on to her brother that Mamoru was more to her than that.
"You're not clumsy any more either," Shingo persisted.
"Did you like seeing me fall on my face all the time?" Usagi asked incredulously. "The self defence classes have been good for my co-ordination." Complete and total truth.
"And you don't hang out with Naru-san as much any more," Shingo stated.
Usagi blinked. "Shingo, she's in my class and sits right next to me every day. We talk before class every morning and hang out nearly every lunch time. Osaka-san has decided that Naru-chan is old enough to help in the shop after school now though, and she has cram school as well, so she doesn't have as much time for me after school," Usagi explained a little sadly. That was all true as well. It left out that she was also kind of busy with the occasional monster sent by Beryl to steal energy for the disembodied being that she answered to (the sadly still-incomplete Shitennou had been able to bring a lot of information to the table).
Still, completely true.
Shingo frowned. "And you're changing," he finished sadly.
Usagi smiled gently. "That's what growing up is supposed to be," she said. "You'll do it too," she promised with a chuckle.
Shingo grumbled. "I won't," he protested.
"You will," Usagi countered with a laugh. "If you don't, then you'll be looked down on as being childish, you won't be able to handle junior-high, high school, and then maybe college, and no one will ever give you a job. To say nothing of still being short, if you don't ever even grow taller."
"Look, Shingo, do you want to do something this weekend?" she offered. "We could hang out, just the two of us. We haven't done that for a while."
"Yeah!" Shingo answered instantly, then looked away and pretended that he hadn't just given a very enthusiastic affirmative. "I mean, yeah, that'd be cool. I don't have anything else planned."
Usagi smirked. "And hey, I never thanked you for making the effort to give Luna a chance. I owe you a present, right?" she suggested. "A couple of rounds in the arcade and a massive banana split sundae?" she suggested. "You'd better have all your homework done though, or Mama won't let you out of the house."
"You're on!" Shingo answered happily, and raced out of Usagi's room back to his.
They were out of their winter uniforms (that is to say, long-sleeved shirts over their pleated skirts) and into their summer uniforms (short-sleeved shirts over their pleated skirts) when Rei finally got a pin on Venus. She had been complaining every other meeting that whenever she'd tried to find the Senshi she had been confronted with Sailor V posters and game consoles.
That certainly gave her a good idea of what their missing member was up to these days, but wasn't very helpful for tracking her down.
Things had been busy on the fighting front too. Kunzite hadn't been immediately accessible to his comrades, as he had been busy with other matters on Beryl's behalf within her castle. A series of lower-ranked youma had been making their appearances, gathering energy, in much the same style as they had done under Jadeite's instruction – meaning, get a lot of energy fast, without concern for how noticeable the plot is, and then be killed for their efforts when Usagi and the others caught on to the scheme.
Kunzite was retrieved shortly after the school year ended. He'd been given a mission to find (and kill) Sailor Moon. Well, he certainly found her. The killing didn't happen though, which Usagi was rather glad of.
"Okay, so we've got all the Inner Senshi, and the Shitennou," Rei said, hands on her hips as she stood beside Jadeite, all of them in their Senshi uniforms after having fought Kunzite's very impressive monster until Usagi had managed to free him from Beryl's spell before healing the person he'd used to create the monster. "What now?"
"Two options," Usagi answered tiredly. Using the Moon Wand took a bit out of her as well, and having to avoid being killed at the same time? Well, she was just plain exhausted now that the adrenaline was leaving her system. "One: we take on Beryl now, or two: we find the Outer Senshi and take on Beryl later."
"What will the Outer Senshi bring to the group?" Ami asked.
Usagi tilted her head up thoughtfully. Mercury was water and ice, Venus was light and metal (however much she protested 'love'), Mars was fire, Jupiter was lightning and wood/nature/plants (though she hardly ever used the latter set of powers in a fight). But that was powers. Of the Inner Senshi, if she could even be counted, Usagi was the only one to carry any sort of weapon. All of the Outer Senshi, on the other hand, carried some sort of weapon.
"Saturn has the Silence Glaive," Usagi said. "Or had," she corrected. "I don't know if she will in this life."
"And what does the Silence Glaive do?" Rei asked pointedly.
"If I said that Saturn was the Soldier of Destruction, where you, my love, are the Soldier of Fire, and the Silence Glaive channels her powers, and if she just silently drops it, the planet she's aiming at just turns to dust, would give you some idea?" Jadeite asked softly.
Rei's eyes went wide. "Oh."
"That might be a little extreme for fighting Beryl," Kunzite offered. "She's set up her base in Antarctica. We don't really want Saturn aiming her weapon anywhere local."
"What about the others?" Jupiter, Makoto, asked.
"Sequentially, next would be Uranus," Ami stated.
Usagi nodded. "Uranus carried the Space Sword, and honestly, I never found out what it did," Usagi admitted. "But she represents the sky, and flight. I don't know if she can fly herself, or what. She mostly kept company with Neptune, who I had even less to do with. I think she had some mirror?" she said uncertainly. "I know she had a lot to do with oceans and deep water, which kind of over-laps with Mercury."
"I think we can probably deal with Beryl first, and find the Outer Senshi later," Mamoru said softly.
"What about Pluto though?" Makoto asked. "Would she be helpful?"
"Pluto guards the Space-Time Door," Jadeite answered. "Also known as the Gates of Time. She doesn't leave her post if she can help it. She also wasn't reincarnated. Having that particular duty makes her more or less immune to the dangers of being pretty much anywhere else."
"It helps that she's the daughter of the Greek god Chronus, and isn't actually human herself," Usagi pointed out.
"Pretty hard to kill the child of a god," Venus, Mina, agreed.
"And yet we were," Ami countered. "All of our parents were Ancient Greek deities too. Even Usagi's original parents weren't human."
Usagi waved an absent hand. "Hai hai," she agreed. "And the more time I spend as a Senshi, the more I revert to being what I was and the less I am what I reincarnated to be. Same for all of you."
"What?!" the girls all screeched.
"You don't seriously think we're going to survive ruling kingdoms on other planets as humans, do you?" Usagi asked pointedly. "Look, it's late. It's a school day tomorrow. Let's meet up around four if you want to talk about this more."
"We need to plan how we intend to deal with Beryl as well," Nephrite pointed out.
"Right, four o'clock, Hikawa Shrine. You will all be there!" Rei ordered firmly.
Usagi nodded in agreement and turned to head home.
A pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist not a full minute later. "What about me?" Mamoru asked softly into her ear. "Will I be left behind, because I'm human, while you go and build your palace on the Moon?"
Usagi shook her head. "We met on the Moon, remember?" she said with a smile.
Mamoru blinked. "So we did," he recalled. "Ah. I suppose I'll be just fine then?" he guessed as he recalled that he had been prince of the entire planet, not merely some kingdom on it. Endymion had been no more human than Serenity. He was Terran, where she was Lunarian (and that distinction was like comparing a Japanese person to a Chinese person), but he wasn't human. To compare what they were to humans was like to compare... a horse and a donkey. Sure they looked a lot alike, but they weren't actually the same thing.
With all ten of them working together, none of Beryl's monsters had been much of a challenge at all, and when confronted with all of them, alive, well, barely winded, and carrying the Silver Crystal, Beryl hadn't really stood a chance. A couple of weeks after that, it was Usagi's fifteenth birthday.
Mamoru asked her father for permission to date his daughter at her birthday party. Fortunately for his case, Ikuko overheard his conversation with Kenji, and decided to intervene before her husband could blow his top and ruin Usagi's birthday.
Or make a scene in public, since they were having Usagi's birthday party at the Crown Arcade.
"I think it's a wonderful idea," Ikuko said, her voice quiet but firm as she lay a gently restraining hand on her husband's arm. "Chiba-san is a smart, responsible young man who we already know, and who clearly cares about our Usagi. With her turning fifteen now, and growing up, other boys are going to start taking an interest in her. If she's dating Chiba-san, then we don't have to worry about her going on secret dates with some boy in her class who we've never met, and we can count on Chiba-san to bring her home on time from things like school dances that she'll start attending now that she's getting older," she pointed out.
Kenji maintained his scowl, but nodded. It was clearly a very reluctant action, but his wife made good points, and apart from wanting to date Usagi, Kenji generally liked the young man. He supposed that, really, he would be hard pressed to choose better for her, however much he was determined that no one would ever be good enough for his little princess.
Mamoru bowed solemnly. "Thank you, Tsukino-san," he said, and then straightened to go and find Usagi so he could share the good news with her.
The married couple had her father's permission to date. He barely stifled a laugh at the irony, but couldn't help the joyous sound as he lifted Usagi off the floor and twirled her around in his arms.
"Look how happy he makes her," Ikuko noted to Kenji.
He sighed. "She's not allowed to grow up," he complained.
Ikuko shook her head fondly. "She'll always be our baby girl, but she's also going to grow up. That's all there is to it."
Usagi was finally eighteen and graduated from school. Mamoru had finished medical school, and though there was more he could do, the years had convinced him that for all he very much wanted to be a doctor, he had another calling now. The various battles with aliens and misguided fools controlled by Chaos that needed to be freed, meeting the Outer Senshi, dealing with the Dark Moon Clan, the cross-dressing Starlights and their princess...
And of course meeting the little girl who was apparently their daughter in a possible (depressing) future timeline.
Usagi and Mamoru had sat down and had a very serious discussion about children once Chibi-Usa had finally left. And parenting techniques. And the merits of sons over daughters.
But now, with their Big White Wedding looming large in the near future (and being organised by the Senshi and the Shitennou and by Usagi's mother, so really Usagi only had to pick her dress), they were having a sit-down discussion about courses and universities.
"There are perfectly good universities here in Japan Mamoru," Usagi pointed out.
"Tokyo-U is very good," he agreed. "But Harvard in America, or Oxford in Britain are more globally recognised, and we'd be experiencing another culture and polishing our skills with English, which is rapidly becoming a global language," he continued.
"And have you thought about how would the Shitennou react to you being in a different country?" Usagi questioned. "Or how the Senshi would react to me being somewhere they can't keep an eye on me?"
Mamoru winced. "You're right," he answered. "Tokyo-U it is."
"Government, politics, law, economics..." Usagi listed off with an unhappy sigh. "Nothing fun."
Mamoru smiled softly in sympathy. "Life has been a bit too exciting to be much fun, hasn't it? Let's leave the university discussion alone for now, and go to an amusement park instead."
Usagi giggled and kissed Mamoru's cheek. "That sounds great," she agreed.