For the One I Love
"What is this place?"
The clacking of heeled shoes echoed off what appeared to be dark marbled floors. The King had lead them to the center of the ruins, the base of where what looked like giant crystals stuck out from the ground.
"The ruins of our old base." The King replied. "The enemy's power should not be able to reach us here."
"Where's Chibi-Usa?" Sailor Moon asked pleadingly.
"Do not worry." He replied. "She is safe and protected. First, I want you to listen to what I am going to say now." Endymion rose his staff in hand, causing the entire room to be cast in one giant hologram. The Senshi gaped wide eyed, as shimmering stars fluttered all around them as if they were in space. Star Fighter however, clutched her hands tightly. This was it, she was finally going to learn Usagi's destiny, the thing she felt was holding Usagi back.
The King began to tell his tale as the hologram swirled around beginning to paint it. "A great calamity befell the Earth that you live on now, and the Earth settled into a cold sleep. It slumbered on for a long, long time. In time, it became the thirtieth century and with the power of the Silver Crystal and Neo Queen Serenity, Earth was awakened. And with Neo Queen Serenity as their queen, Earth began to prosper, centered around the future city, Crystal Tokyo."
"Neo Queen Serenity." The name was all the confirmation Fighter needed. So that was it. Usagi's destiny was to become queen. To protect and bring the Earth back under the rule of The Silver Millennium like in ancient times, with Mamoru at her side as King. She bit her lip as what felt like a thousand needles were thrust into her body. Serenity, light of hope and possessor of the most powerful Sailor Crystal, it only made sense for her to regain her title as queen. But what was more, she was the most self-less person Fighter had ever met, and she knew she would never be able to stand down from a destiny of protecting.
Suddenly the words spoken to Seiya during what felt like so long ago, at the temple that spring day had more meaning. "I love Mamoru- I always will. I guess you could say it's destiny…" "I can't love you. I just can't." But still…
Fighter glanced over to Sailor Moon, waiting for the same recognition on her face at the name, but she was entranced too deeply by the king and his story.
"But evil beings appeared, who wanted to conquer this peaceful world. After fighting numerous intense battles, we suppressed those evil beings. However, many of them did not want to be cleansed by the Silver Crystal and they journeyed out into space. After that, Crystal Tokyo prospered more than ever and the people lead peaceful lives, but the planet Nemesis-"
"The planet Nemesis?" Jupiter asked.
"It is the tenth planet of the solar system."
"The tenth planet?" Fighter raised her eyebrows at the King, then looked up at the image of a giant floating green rock hanging over his head.
"The phantom Dark Planet, whose orbit was impossible to calculate and for the longest time, we could not locate its presence. We found that it was discharging an enormous amount of negative energy, and so its existence finally became clear, but…"
"That's where you found the evil beings who left Earth!" Artemis exclaimed.
"Exactly." Endymion nodded. "We did not know then, but the beings living there had changed into a life form that possessed a peculiar supernatural power. They were the Black Moon, the clan of the Dark Moon! Nemesis suddenly emitted a very powerful negative energy and attacked our Crystal Tokyo. Many warriors were killed, and leaving our final stronghold, Crystal Palace, and a deathly silence fell upon the rest of the world. The four guardian deities who protect this city, Sailor Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus, are expending their energy even now, desperately guarding this city."
"Warriors with the same name as us…" Mars gazed almost dreamily at the hologram of four familiar looking women in front of her.
"What does that mean?" Venus gasped taking in the mirrored reflections of themselves.
"They are you in the future."
"What?!" They all shouted in bewilderment.
"Due to the effects of the evil power, many of the people in this city have been put to sleep now and this city is facing destruction. I have also been gravely injured and am unable to move. Right now, the only thing that can save this Earth from the evil power is the legendary Silver Crystal." The king paused for a moment, lowering his head in a wounded manner. "However, the only person who can use it, Neo Queen Serenity, is in a deep sleep. Being unable to awaken her, we have no means to save this place now…." He trailed off, gripping his staff tightly in hand and trembling.
Finally, realization began to dawn across the Senshi's faces at King Endymion's words. Sailor Moon's eyes widened, a kind of sparkling mixture of disbelief and curiosity washed over them. "Neo Queen Serenity, who can use the legendary Silver Crystal…" she started, "You're not saying that's…"
The king smiled. "Yes, she is you in the future, Sailor Moon."
"What?!" She shrieked. "No way! I'm the Neo Queen Serenity in the thirtieth century?" She paused for a moment to look up at Tuxedo Kamen. "No way!" She grabbed his shirt in complete shock.
"Would you like to see a hologram of yourself?" The future king asked. Sailor Moon hesitated, still clutching Tuxedo Kamen's shirt in an astounded state. She perked up a bit when she felt his hand slide over hers.
"Go ahead." He said gently, nudging her forward.
The king waved his staff, positioning another hologram in the middle of the floor before them. Fighter's breath caught in her throat. In the center of what looked like a bed encased in palace crystal, laid the most beautiful Usagi he had ever seen. A form fitting white silk dress wrapped around her curvature form, adorned with golden beading on top and wings forming at the back, very similar to the Usagi that had been dancing in Fighter's dreams. Her long flowing hair ran down past her feet, and atop her head sat a gold crown. The mark of the Moon Kingdom on her forehead.
"King?" Mercury voiced. "What is this stuff wrapped around the Queen's body?"
"Could it be…"
"Silver Crystal?!" The cats asked.
"No, it is not." He replied. "Just as the enemy's attack was about to hit her directly, the Sailor Senshi used their powers and wrapped the Queen's body in crystal. Since then, the Queen has been asleep, never waking. And the daughter of the Queen and myself, Small Lady…"
"What?" Fighter tripped, tearing his gaze from the beautiful goddess before him. She looked up at the King as the hologram faded anyway, revealing a trap door in the floor that began to open. The small pink haired girl laid curled up inside of it, sleeping peacefully. "What!!?"
"Chibi-Usa!" Sailor Moon shot straight for her, rushing to her side and picking her up from the small compartment. "So, this is where you were." She coddled the sleeping child.
"Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Kamen, she is your daughter." The King said almost amused.
"What?!" Moon blushed fiercely. "Chibi-Usa is my daughter?! Me and Mamo's?" She looked over at Tuxedo Kamen, and the two exchanged an embarrassingly wary look. "What?!" They both blushed even deeper.
In all the excitement, no one saw Fighter stumble into the background. Her body stood still against one of the palace pillars, her face drained of color as she stared wide-eyed from the girl, to Sailor Moon, to Tuxedo Kamen… her mouth hanging slightly open. Usagi, his Usagi, had to have known. "A daughter…" Fighter continued to gaze at the couple and the girl. "They have a daughter together…" And that's when she felt it, her heart truly break.
She had been sure, Fighter had been so sure that those two words, 'I can't', had to have meant something more than this. She knew for sure now, that Usagi had been talking about her density. She couldn't love Seiya because of it, because of her duties as Queen. Her pure heart could never give up serving the people. Yet Fighter also saw hope in those words, hope that she indirectly meant that if it was not for her being bound to her destiny, that she could love Seiya… that there may be feelings there…. but now, with a daughter in the picture… had Fighter been reading too much into how Usagi phrased her words, or was there truly meaning in them? Why couldn't she have just simply stated, 'I don't love you.' instead? Fighter bit her lip.
"What year, month and day did that happen?!" Mars blurted out, cutting across Fighter's thoughts.
"Please forgive my daughter's many breaches of decorum. She is desperate. I used to always tell her about the story of Sailor Moon. The most powerful Senshi of legend, Sailor Moon, and that is why she suddenly came up with the idea of going to the world of the past to seek help." The king told the group. "The Black Moon, the clan of the Dark Moon… their objective is to defeat us, steal the legendary Silver Crystal and then conquer the world. The enemy realized they could not take our Crystal Palace, so now they are trying to destroy the world of the past, where you live."
"If the world of the past is destroyed…" Luna started.
"This world will also fall?" Artemis finished.
"I want you to protect the world you live in at all costs."
The Senshi nodded with determination.
"Wait." After slightly regaining her composure, Star Fighter walked back towards the pack. She stopped by Sailor Moon's side, keeping eye contact with the King to avoid looking at the small child anymore. "You still haven't explained something to me."
The King nodded for her to continue, everyone else surveyed her with interest.
"If this is the future thirtieth century, then how do you not know who I am? There's no way you've simply forgotten me, there's no way you don't have Kinmoku on record, there's no way you forget the battle with Galaxia, and what's more- in my time there is no such planet as Nemesis."
"In your time?" The King asked perplexed, shifting his gaze to his past self.
"I- don't fully understand either." said Tuxedo Kamen. Sailor Star Fighter pulled out her time key, revealing it to the King.
"But, that's-" He said taken aback.
"I'm from the future, but not this future. Three years into their future." Fighter pointed to the people beside him. "Two years from their time, I meet Usagi when she is sixteen, traveling from the planet Kinmoku. We fight Galaxia together, here on this planet. So if this is the thirtieth century, why do you not know any of this?"
King Endymion finally gave her the expression she had expected to be greeted with since the very beginning, he narrowed his eyes at her. "You're not supposed to be here are you?" Fighter was caught off guard. "That time key is Pluto's, it lets you travel to even forbidden points in time. You somehow stole it, and now you're messing with important timelines, do you know how dangerous that is?"
"M-me?" The Senshi said irritated. "You just welcomed your past self, wife, and friends into your home, and told them everything about their future lives! How is that not messing with time?"
"This was always supposed to happen. Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Kamen, and the Sailor Senshi were always meant to come here and learn of their future. Something was always meant to happen to draw them here- and it happened to be the fall of Crystal Tokyo - just like what happened with The Silver Millennium of the past, where the Queen was Princess."
"How do you kno-"
"The reason I have no knowledge of you Senshi, or Kinmoku, is because it has not happened yet." Endymion said firmly. "I only knew you were a Senshi when I first saw you because of Pluto, but I have no memory of you."
"Wait." Jupiter interjected, scratching her head. "How does that make sense?"
"This is the future, isn't it?" Venus inquired.
"Yes. This is the future- the future thirtieth century- a thirtieth century based on the reflection of your time of events, of your current timeline." The king pointed to the Senshi of the past. "You." he pointed to Fighter. "If you were to travel to the thirtieth century from your present, their future, it would be entirely different, because three years have passed since their time that could have reshaped the future."
Star Fighter blinked. "You're saying…"
"The future is tied to the events in the preset that shape it. This future reflects their present, and your future reflects your present because things can-"
"Change." Fighter finished for him. "Things can change." Her voice escalated, rejuvenation washing over her. How could she have not seen it before, the evidence of what the King was saying was right in front of her- the small pink haired girl in Sailor Moon's arms. As soon as she reveled she was from the thirtieth century, Fighter should have known. She was from the future, yet she was much younger than the Chibi-Usa he had come across in his own timeline, because the future from his present was different than this one. Then it was possible, to change the future. This was all she needed to know, her resolve was stronger than ever. She was going back to The Silver Millennium.
"Hang on." Mars sounded hopeful. "You said in your time there's no planet Nemesis right? That means we defeat them?"
"To the best of my knowledge," Fighter replied, "but my Usagi never talks of a Black Moon, so I don't know how."
"It doesn't matter!" Venus said happily. "You being here is all the confirmation we need that we beat them!"
In an instant, the King's projection began to warp then suddenly fade. Before anyone had time to react, a vigorous gust of black wind funneled around the room, throwing everyone off balance as if the air were being sucked out.
"I wouldn't count on that." A foreboding voice reverberated high off the walls. Following was the appearance of a young man, who grinned slyly above them.
"Who are you?" Sailor Moon hollered through the storm.
"NO!" Star Fighter shrieked, causing startled looks all around her. She didn't notice, all she saw was the man above her. Silver-white hair, piercing violet eyes, long purple cape and all dressed in white… Fighter's eyes dilated in fear, the man from her nightmares. "No!" He was real? She grabbed Sailor Moon's arm in a panic.
"I came here with certain intentions," he smirked at Sailor Moon, "but I heard quite an interesting story just now." The man in white constricted his eyes as the dark symbol on his forehead transfigured into a third eye. The third eye shot out a beam of light, which immobilized the Senshi.
"You. Senshi." He spoke to Fighter. "You will give me that key."
"Like- hell-" Fighter grunted against the force.
"I can't breathe." The Senshi coughed, trying hard to fight back.
"It's no use." Jupiter groaned. "I'm losing my power."
"Come!" The man said with force. Star Fighter gasped as she began to rise, her hand running across Sailor Moon's arm. With a sudden jolt she stopped, suspended in air. Her head whirled around to see Sailor Moon clutching her hand, Chibi-Usa slumped across her other arm.
"Nrgg…" She gritted her teeth, fighting to hold on. Fighter jolted again as her hand slipped, and Sailor Moon moved slightly with her. "NRGG!!"
"It's no use." The man in white said as Sailor Moon slid forward some more, losing more grip on Fighter's hand. "If I am to fail here, then I will go elsewhere and change that future. Now, hand me that time key."
Fighter tried twisting her body to aim at him. "Star-" She wheezed. "Serious- nargh!!"
"Fighter!" Sailor Moon screamed as their hands broke. The next hands Fighter felt upon her were the man's. She kicked blindly, one after the other hoping to do any damage. She must have hit him because the next moment the beam stopped, but before she could fall away she was locked in his iron grip. His hand knocked her hard in the chest as he tried grabbing for the time key. Determined, Fighter sank her teeth into his flesh, resulting in her windpipe being crushed in a chokehold. With his opponent gagging for air, the man seized his chance and clenched his fist around the key. Out of nowhere, head splitting pain shot across Fighter's forehead, blurring her eyes with tears as the man laughed.
"Don't come!" Usagi's voice screamed in Fighter's head. "Don't come!"
"No." Fighter fought against the pain. "Not now."
The man raised the time key still attached to Fighter's neck into the air. "If you won't let me go alone, I'll take you with me and finish you off there. Guardian of time!" The key activated.
Star Fighter struggled with all her might. If she could only knock his arm away from her temporarily….
"Take me to the past, where the Queen is prince-"
"-Tsukino Usagi!" In his excited anticipation, the man dropped his hold just long enough for Fighter to choke out one breath of air, and she wasn't going to waste it. It was all she could think of to prevent him from going back to The Silver Millennium. As the pink light began to wrap around them, Fighter looked down into Sailor Moon's eyes.
They looked directly back, filled to the brim with hurt and sadness. Her palm was outstretched as if Fighter's hand could still be there there. She slowly shook her head from side to side as her lips formed words Fighter could not hear, but still understood.
Fighter smiled sorrowfully down at the young Sailor Moon below him. She had gotten to know her all over again, fall in love with her all over again. Her energy, her smile, her sultry attitude towards Seiya in the beginning, her beauty, and kindness… she was almost her Usagi again, and now…
"I'm sorry." Fighter mouthed back. With one final glow, and one final desperate attempt from Sailor Moon to reach out her hand, Fighter and the man vanished into the light. The last thing Fighter saw before vanishing was once again, an Usagi with tears in her eyes
CRACK! THUD! Both Star Fighter's and the man's body came crashing down on top of each other as they hit hard rocky ground. Fighter quickly began scrambling to her feet but was immediately yanked downward. She hit the floor hard, and the man began to pin her down. Fighter swung out her leg. Knocking him off his knees, she kicked him off of her. His hand wrapped around her ankle, but Fighter, now upright, launched him off her with one final assault. She stumbled backwards until she smashed into the wall behind her, panting heavily from the scuffle. She quickly took in her surroundings, a dark rocky cave, before the man in white rose to his feet as well, furious and also panting. Her eyes fixated on him, anticipating his next attack until she saw something just beyond. Below them sat a large flat section of the cave, and on it stood what appeared to be people. Fighter squinted her eyes, and inhaled sharply.
The Usagi from his dreams, with white flowing gown and gold beading, cradled what appeared to be an unconscious Tuxedo Kamen's head in her lap. The Inner Senshi and the cats stood off to the side, and a ponytailed man Fighter had never seen before stood in front of Usagi. Fighter's adversary caught on, and turned his head to look as well. As he did, a light emanated from Usagi transforming her into Sailor Moon, before she slumped over onto the Tuxedo Kamen.
"Don't even think about it!" Star Fighter growled. "I won't let you touch her."
"No." He said glancing back at Fighter. "I need Princess Serenity before she was Sailor Moon. I need that key!"
Fighter was prepared for it. She jumped, rolling to the left as his attack smashed the rock that was behind her.
"Star Serious Laser!" The man sidestepped the attack as well. Both of them struck at the same time, causing a small explosion as the spells met midair. Fighter dived behind one of the larger rocks for shelter. When the last chunk crumbled to the ground, Fighter countered. She burst out into the open, attacking the spot he had dodged behind, but he wasn't there. Turning around too late, Star Fighter once more found herself wrapped up in his hold. He quickly grabbed the chain attached to the key and wrapped it around Fighter's neck so she couldn't speak.
"Now, where was I before you so rudely interrupted? Ah yes…" Fighter's eyes widened. "Guardian of time!" He called out to the heavens. "Take me to the past, where the Queen was Princess! The Silver Millennium!" The familiar pink light began to wrap around both of their bodies. As Fighter began to see her form vanish into the light, the man yanked her head upward by the neck and grinned. He wrenched off the key. Snapping the chain against Fighters throat he shoved the coughing Senshi forward out of the light. Fighter gripped it in agony and looked up at the man, just in time to see him fade away.
The Senshi's mouth dropped, a silent scream catching in her windpipe. "What-" The throbbing pain began to subside as panic started to flood over. "What have I done?!" Not only did she just allow an unknown man with plans for the Princess escape to the past- but he took the time key- her time key! Without her. Fighter ran her hands across her chest where the key originally dangled, still gaping at the spot he disappeared from. Her body began to shudder, and she collapsed to the ground. "What- am I going to do?" She shook. "I- I'm!" She shouted.
"An idiot!" An angry voice rang across the cave walls. "A giant, huge, STUPID, IDIOT!" There was no mistaking that voice, but it sounded too clear to be an illusion. Fighter turned around in disbelief, only to be roughly lifted off the floor.
"What did you do!!??" Star Maker barked, clenching balls of Fighter's outfit in her fists.
"Maker… Healer…" Fighter looked at them in awe. "How-"
"Shut up! What did you do?!" Maker asked again. "Just now?! What happened?!"
"W- what do you mean?" Fighter asked confused.
"We've been trying to travel safely to your sorry ass to bring you back since you left!" Healer complained angrily. "Then after getting your little letter from that woman, and figuring out where you were heading next, we had no choice but to rush here and stop you using this." She held up a small shiny piece of metal.
"You have a time key?" She gasped, with a feeling of relief.
"But then as soon we started to make the jump, everyone in the present fainted! Everyone Fighter! So answer me again, what the hell did you just do?!" Maker shook her.
"Everyone fainted?" Fighter stared into Maker's cold angry eyes. The fact that she was so upset unnerved Fighter, it was usually Healer that was the angry irrational one. She thought of her time key, how it had disappeared with the man in white moments before they arrived. It was the only explanation. "This is serious…"
"Yeah, more serious than you could ever know. Do you realize what you've done, to Usagi? What you were about to-?" Maker asked.
"Whoa, wait." Fighter cut her off. "To Usagi?"
"You've been making her sick Fighter. Extremely sick, messing so closely with her timeline." Healer watched the words sink into Fighter's mind as alarm spread across his features. "There were a couple of times where-" She just trailed off.
Fighter's heart sank. "I- didn't know."
"You don't know a lot of things, which is why we came to stop you. Now-" Maker set her back down to the floor, but didn't dare let go of her clothing. "You're coming back with us and we're going to fix this mess."
"No!" She yelled.
"No, you don't understand! I can't! I have to go The Silver Millennium!"
"Give it up already!"
"You don't understand!" Fighter pleaded.
"No! You don't understand!" Maker finally snapped. "Pluto told us what was at stake, what going to The Silver Millennium could cost us! Do you know Fighter? Do you? No! You don't! The Silver Millennium, where Usagi lives as Princess Serenity! Where she dies, in love with Prince Endymion! If that doesn't happen, if she doesn't fall for Endymion, if she doesn't commit suicide over losing him, if her mother doesn't see and send them to the future, if she doesn't become Sailor Moon all because these chain of events are stopped, our entire universe will cease to exist! And you, stupid fool blinded by selfish one sided love were about to put that all at stake!"
All thoughts and words left Fighter's body, she could only look at Maker with the deadest of expressions. After a few moments, Maker closed her eyes and sighed heavily, letting go of Fighter. She knew she wouldn't run now.
"Then I- I really have done something terrible." Fighter whispered. "And now there really is no choice, we have to go back…" Healer opened her mouth to continue the yelling match, but Maker held up a hand to stop her. She could tell the difference in Fighter's eyes, the determination to alter Usagi's past to love her had changed to one she often saw when searching together for their own princess…. a saddened determination of protection.
"….What have you done?"
"I came across a man- an old enemy of theirs. I think- by the way he- I think he's in love, or rather- obsessed with Usagi." Star Fighter choked down air. "He stole my time key- and time jumped to The Silver Millennium."
"Fighter-" It was worse than being yelled at. The sheer look of disappointment, terror, and cold silence made Fighter's body feel lifeless.
"Please." She begged, finding it hard to meet their eyes. "I need your help. This man will stop at nothing. I have to fix my mistake, to protect her, but I can't do this alone..."
"Like you said, we don't really have much of a choice at this point, do we?" Maker said coolly. "Healer-" Sailor Star Healer stepped forward, holding out the time key in her hand. Maker placed her hand on it, demonstrating for Fighter to do the same. As Fighter placed hers, Maker looked up at her. "You know what this means right? What has to be done, going back?"
"Yeah…" Star Fighter dolefully smiled. "After all this, it must be my punishment. How ironic." She chucked, then stopped as she felt tears beginning to form at the back of her eyes. She quickly shook it off, hoping no one noticed.
"Can you do it?" Maker asked softer.
"I'll save her." She said determinedly. " I'll make sure that man stays away from her, and… to save our universe, and insure her future… I'll make sure Princess Serenity gets to love Prince Endymion."
"Alright then, let's go. To The Silver Millennium."
Sailor Star Fighter glanced over her shoulder out of curiosity, back down to the flat section of cave. However, just like Fighter was feeling, it was already empty.
"Just beyond here is where the royal gardens are. Not as gorgeous as what you would find on Earth of course, but still quite beautiful I'd hope."
"I'm sure they're lovely."
"And, oh- there's my daughter. Darling! Would you mind coming over here for a moment? She's always here, one of her favorite spots. Yes-" A woman placed her hands on a young girl's shoulders as she approached her mother. "Darling, we have a visitor here with us today. Introduce yourself." She added is a whisper.
The girl, who wore a flowing white gown with gold beading, stepped away from her mother and approached the man in white, curtseying. She looked up at him with her royal blue eyes, and smiled politely.
"May I introduce my daughter, Princess Serenity. Serenity, Prince Dimande from Nemesis. He'll be staying with us for a short time as we discuss a possible alliance between our two kingdoms."
"It's my pleasure to meet you." The Princess smiled and curtseyed again.
"Trust me." Prince Dimande grinned. "The pleasure will be all mine."