BLOOD OF THE IMMORTAL,
Chapter 11: "Return To Elysian"

By Bill K.

After allowing Sailor Moon some time in the towers to recuperate
her strength, she, her love and her senshi, together with the brave
rodent who helped them, ventured out. With Ctesias dead and gone, there
was no one with magic to open a portal in the wall or make a bridge over
the moat. Therefore, Sailor Saturn was forced to make a rather
permanent portal with her glaive and, with some concentration, Sailor
Pallas formed a bridge over the moat with her telekinesis.

"Wow!" gasped Sailor Ceres as they reached the other side. "You
can tell that old witch's influence is gone already!" Ceres scampered
over to a patch of moss. Bright yellow flowers were blooming amid the
gray moss. Nearby, the tree that before had been so rude to her had
leaves and pastel violet blossoms. Ceres knelt down to the flowers and
lightly stroked them with her hand. "They're thanking us!" she grinned.
"They're grateful to us that Ctesias is gone!"

"And she makes fun of Pallas for talking to rodents," Juno leaned
over and whispered to Vesta.

"Helios," sighed Sailor Moon as her love cautiously supported her
with his arms around her waist, despite his own injury, "I'm all right.
Really I am!"

"I sense this to be so," Helios smiled gently. "Still, it gives
me great pleasure to hold you, Maiden. I hope you would not be so cruel
as to force me to relinquish this."

Sailor Moon gave him a misty look. "Oh, you are such a smooth
talker," and she leaned in and lightly kissed him. "Cute, too." They
embraced again, this one longer and more passion-filled.

"A-HEM!" Juno said loudly.

"OH, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!" snapped Sailor Moon and kissed
Helios yet again just to spite her.

"Even the color of the sky is changing," Saturn smiled. "One day
this world may be a paradise."

"Maybe we should come back and visit," Ceres shrugged. "Thing is,
there's a paradise already waiting for us and I for one am more than
ready to explore it. If everybody's up to it, I think we better go."

"Fine with me," Sailor Moon grinned. "I can't wait to see the
look on Candide's face when she sees Helios." At the thought of
Elysian, she remembered Evionne and grew melancholy. "I just wish all
of us were coming back."

The senshi gathered in a circle around Helios.

"Pallas, you've got to put your rat down!" Ceres scowled. "It
can't come with us!"

"But Pallas wants to take Me home to the palace!" whined Pallas,
the rodent cupped to her breast.

"You can't, Pallas honey," Juno told her, kneeling down so they
were at eye level. "It's never a good idea to take an animal from one
environment to another. It can cause all sorts of problems."

"But Me won't hurt anybody," Pallas protested.

"Besides, he's probably got a wife and a whole litter of babies.
You don't want to take him away and leave them all orphans, do you?"

Tears began to sprout in Pallas' eyes. She thought about it for a
few moments, then walked off a few steps and set the rodent on the
ground.

"Pallas is sorry, Me," Sailor Pallas said, crouching down to the
rodent. "She wants to take you with her, but she can't."

"Do not weep," Me replied. "I would not be worthy to tread on the
ground that is home of gods. Fear not, Goddess Pallas. I shall never
forget you. And I will tell all I know and all I meet of the day the
gods descended unto us and freed us from the yoke of the Evil One. And
my children shall tell the tale, as will their children. You and your
fellow gods will never be forgotten."

"Oh," sobbed Pallas. "You're such a nice mousie! Pallas is going
to miss you!" Gently she stroked Me on the top of his head.

At Juno's silent urging, Pallas rejoined the circle. All six
senshi joined hands and began to concentrate on Elysian. The jewels on
their tiaras began to glow. Wind and dust began to whip around them in
a circular pattern. Hair and skirts flew up as the vortex sent the dust
and debris skyward. At the precise moment, they all called out "Sailor
Teleport!" and the dust cloud engulfed them. When it dissipated, they
all were gone. Me stood and watched for several more moments after they
had vanished.

"There you are!" another rodent gasped, coming up to Me. This one
was a female. "I feared a moab had eaten you! Where have you been?"

"Walking with gods," Me softly sighed.
* * * *
The whirlwind of air and dust spun on the marble floor of the
altar of the moon in Elysian. It dissipated, revealing six senshi and a
chosen one to the gathered.

"Helios!" cried Candide. She ran over to him and hugged her son
to her breast, grateful tears streaming down her face. "Oh, my son,
you're alive and you've been returned to me!" She squeezed him to her
again. Helios made no effort to escape. Though it was tight, her
embrace was not uncomfortable. "Princess Usagi, thank you! Oh, thank
you! But I don't understand! You only left moments ago!"

"We did?" Sailor Moon asked.

"Hey, that means we've still got our whole vacation left!" grinned
Vesta.

"Time moved at a different pace for us, Mother," Helios told her.
"It was part of the evil magic of the one who took me."

"Oh, Helios!" Candide gasped in horror. "Those scars on your
chest! Your leg! What did they do to you?"

"Wounds of a battle hard fought, Mother," Helios said gently. "I
am otherwise intact." He looked down. "Mother - - Father is dead. I
have seen his bones. It grieves me to tell you this, but at least now
you may put your wonder to rest."

"You tell me nothing I did not already know, Helios," Candide
replied sadly, "in my heart. I am just grateful that the beast that
took my love from me did not take my son as well."

Out of the corner of his eye, Helios spotted Ravonna. The woman
stood stoically to the side, outwardly calm even though she had eyes and
could count. Pulling from his mother's grip, Helios limped over to her.

"I am grateful that the Chosen One has returned to us," Ravonna
said formally. There was a note of sadness to her tone.

"I thank you, Ravonna," Helios said. "I grieve for you, as well.
Evionne is dead." A muffled gasp ran through the assembled.

"I know, Chosen One," Ravonna said distantly. "I saw it all in
prophecy. I knew when she left that she would not return." Ravonna
seemed to falter for a moment, then regained control. "I rejoice that
she and the Princess were able to make peace - - before she was taken."

Helios gathered Ravonna into his arms and they hugged, each trying
to keep the other's pain at bay. Every head bowed.

"This is truly a time for quiet reflection," Candide spoke at
last. "Everyone, please go to your families. We will honor our fallen
sister tomorrow. Then we will have all month to honor the Princess
Usagi and her senshi for their brave and valiant efforts on our behalf.
Ravonna, you are welcomed to stay with us should you desire it."

"I thank you, Great Mother," Ravonna bowed. "I must refuse. I
must commune with the spirit of my dead sister so she may extract the
pain that now lives in my heart. Such a thing is best done alone."

Ravonna glided up the steps to Sailor Moon. She gently cupped the
girl's face in her hands and respectfully kissed her cheek.

"Thank you for your efforts on behalf of my sister," Ravonna said.
"Had she half of your strength and will, she might yet live." And
Ravonna turned and walked away - - alone.
* * * *
Candide and Helios gathered all the people of Elysian upon a hill
overlooking the temples to honor the memory of Evionne. Sailor Moon and
her senshi were there. Also among the mourners were horses, birds and
other creatures that inhabited Elysian. Sailor Saturn watched them
curiously during the ceremony, for they seemed to be ordinary animals,
and yet slightly more. Sailor Pallas watched them as well with the
wide-eyed wonder of a delighted child.

Helios no longer walked with a limp. Overnight Sailor Moon had
used the Crescent Moon Wand to heal his broken leg. At first he
demurred, but relented in the face of the extremely insistent Princess.
Afterward, she grew woozy and had to be supported by Helios. He gently
gave her an "I told you so". Since she was securely ensconced in his
arms, Sailor Moon didn't seem to mind in the least.

As everybody watched or listened with head bowed, Candide spoke
eloquently of Evionne and her brilliant work as the Temple Maiden and
right hand of Helios. Helios then related her courage and valor on the
barren rock Cartaghos that had been home to Ctesias. He turned to
Sailor Moon and she managed to relate a few mumbled words of praise and
regret before crumbling into tears. As a symbolic gesture, Helios
gathered a handful of dirt from the top of the hill. He lifted his hand
high over his head and opened it. Everyone watched the breeze catch the
dirt and scatter it to the valley below.

As they climbed down the hill, Helios turned to the senshi.

"If any before doubted your true intentions to reform," Helios
said to them with his gentle, easy manner, "none can do so now. As our
honored guests, please feel free to go anywhere in Elysian and do
anything you wish for as long as you wish."

"Gear!" grinned Vesta.

"Are you sure?" Juno asked. "So soon after the service for
Evionne? I don't want to seem disrespectful to anyone."

Helios smiled. "How considerate of you to think that way. None
will see that as disrespect. We will never forget Evionne, but Elysian
is a realm of life and of dreams. You will honor all she stood for and
fought for by living and fulfilling your dreams. Now may I be of
assistance with anything?"

"Pallas wants to play with the horsies," Pallas whimpered.

"And so you shall," Helios smiled. He pointed down the hill to a
pond by a thicket of trees. There was a small band of horses watering
there. "Do you see those horses? Long have they pined to meet just
such a girl as you. You would give them great pleasure if you would go
to them."

Pallas grew a smile so wide it threatened to burst from her face.
She looked to Juno for permission. Juno nodded and the girl scampered
off toward the horses.

"Uh," Ceres began. "Is it OK if I just go exploring a little?
You've got the most wonderful glades of wild flora I've ever seen."

"Wander to your heart's content," Helios nodded. "All of Elysian
is at your disposal."

"Wild," grinned Ceres. "I'll be back by dinner, guys." With
that, she headed for a nearby thicket of trees and wildflowers.

"And you?" he asked Juno.

"Well," Juno hesitated. "I would like to go swimming, but I don't
want to disturb Pallas and the horses down there."

"Do not fear," Helios said. He pointed off in the opposite
direction and another, larger pond could be seen. "This pond feeds that
one, and it is quite suitable for swimming."

Juno's face lit up. "Wow, it's like you read my mind!"

"Isn't it," Helios smiled cryptically. Juno gave him a curious
look, but didn't pursue the matter.

"Vesta, you want to come along?" Juno asked.

"Uh," Vesta replied, her eyes locked on the people filing away
from the ceremony. In particular, she was looking at a very lean and
youthful looking male with dark hair and soft features. "Maybe later.
Um, Helios, pardon me for asking, but - - do you know if that guy over
there is seeing anyone?"

Helios glanced over, then looked back with a smile. "To my
knowledge, he is not. And his name is Leviticus."

"That's all I wanted to know," Vesta said with a hopeful smile.
She immediately headed for the group at a leisurely pace.

"She's so easy to please," smirked Juno. "How about you, Saturn?"

"I was never much for swimming," demurred the girl. "You go
ahead." Juno shrugged and headed for the pond. Saturn glanced at
Sailor Moon and could tell from the girl's look what her desire was.
"You two probably don't want me hanging around." Saturn then got an
inspiration. "Do you have a library or something with the history of
Elysian?"

"Seek out Ravonna," Helios told her. "She is the keeper of all
that has occurred in Elysian. And my mother can regale you for days
with stories of the history of this realm. And I think each would be
grateful for the company."

"I'll do that," smiled Saturn. "Thank you." She turned to Sailor
Moon before she left. "Be good," she warned playfully.

"Party poop," Sailor Moon grumbled playfully.

"And I think I know what you wish, My Little Maiden," Helios
grinned.

"Oh, am I that transparent?" Sailor Moon smiled back.

"Utterly so."

"Then what are you waiting for?" Sailor Moon asked, an eyebrow
arched.
* * * *
The chestnut horse sped through the grasses of the Elysian valley,
the wind in its black mane and joy in its heart. Astride its back,
cackling happily, rode Pallas. She and the horse galloped past Ceres,
who was reclining dreamily amid the wildflowers, taking in the sweet
scents and rocking softly to the haunting melody the flowers were
singing to her. It was a melody only she was privy to. From the bank of
the pond, Juno watched Pallas pass. It did her heart good to see her
sister so happy - - almost as much good as the dip in the cool water.
Pushing away, Juno flipped back under the surface to return to being a
naked water nymph for a little longer.

The path of the horse and rider carried them past a tall tree.
Beneath the tree was Helios with Sailor Moon cradled in his arms. Their
heads rested against one another and, to the casual observer, it would
seem they slept.

"Does it hurt?" Sailor Moon asked. She gently touched the
vicious scar across the chest of her love with her gloved hand. His
shirt was pulled backto reveal it and it seemed pale and ugly next to
the pink bow of her fuku.

"No, Maiden," Helios replied gently. "Particularly when your
touch is introduced."

"My Dad warned me about smooth talkers like you," smirked Sailor
Moon. "Fortunately I don't listen to my Dad."

"Or anyone, to my observence," teased Helios. Sailor Moon shot
him a playful scowl, then pressed to his body.

"I don't want to wait," Sailor Moon whispered as she gently eased
her gloved hand under her love's shirt and lightly caressed his chest.
"I want to get married now." Her skirt fell away from her legs as they
lightly rubbed against her love's thigh, feeling the fabric of his pants
against the skin.

"Good things come to those who wait, My Little Maiden," Helios
whispered and kissed the top of her head.

"Whoever came up with that saying was never in love," she
grumbled. "And when are you going to stop calling me that? That may
have been all right when I was twelve, but I'm fifteen now and I'm not
so little anymore."

"That I can see quite plainly," Helios said, nuzzling her ear.
"Forgive me if I vex you, my love, but no matter how much you grow, I
shall never see you as anything but My Little Maiden."

Sailor Moon sighed. "Well, I guess there are worse fates in the
world." She snuggled into her love's chest some more. "I wish I could
wave my Crescent Wand and make myself eighteen. Then we could get
married today."

"Always you are in such a hurry to grow up," Helios said as he
stroked her bangs with his fingers. "You should cherish these years, My
Little Maiden. They shall be gone before you realize and you shall pine
for them for many years after they are past."

"You sound just like Pop," she frowned. Then she turned her face
up to his. "But you're cuter - - by maybe that much," and she held her
thumb and forefinger barely apart.

"Only that much?" Helios asked, an eyebrow raised.

"My Pop's a real handsome guy," Sailor Moon grinned. "And boy can
he wear a tux." She leaned up until their lips were barely apart. "But
you're a whole lot more kissable."

The young pair kissed long and hard, their passions sending their
minds into a swirl of delight, draining all thought from them except the
feel of the other against their mouth and their body. They parted
reluctantly, their breath heavy with lust and stimulation.

"Boy, I wish we were married," Sailor Moon whispered into Helios'
mouth.

"Maiden," he replied, struggling with desires of his own.

"I know," she gasped. "I remember my promise. I'll stop now."

She kissed him again.

"This is me stopping."

She kissed him again.

"This time for sure."

She kissed him again.

"No, really, this time for sure."

She kissed him again.

"I absolutely mean it this time."

She kissed him again.

"A-HEM!"

"All right, Ceres!" Sailor Moon growled. They heard a twittering
giggle in the wildflowers behind them.

"Your senshi seem ever ready to come to the aid of their
Princess," Helios smiled as he hugged Sailor Moon tightly.

"Yeah," scowled the frustrated princess, leaning back onto her
lover's chest. "I don't know what I'd do without them."

END