"I can't see everything that will be in the time stream and I am rarely aloud to involve myself outside of guarding the time gates. Chronos, god of time, is able to see more. I have no idea if he has rules. He is the one who gave me permission to intervene." Sestuna admitted. She had been trying to get Usagi to agree to go to Shingo's grave. Usagi had decided the best way to go about that was to deflect the conversation entirely to how Sestuna's abilities worked. And her lack of involvement with the fight with Masato. Sestuna decided to answer her for now and go back to the topic that they had gotten off of. "I had some specific instructions when I was given permission to leave my post at the Time Gates. One of which was to try and limit my involvement in the time stream until Zoicite became Beryl's lead general." Sestuna explained. By Chronos's instructions she shouldn't have gotten involved in the Jadeite affair, but having known Usagi for a couple of weeks she had been able to correctly guess that the girl would probably not be able to handle fighting an actual human very well. So she had decided that her getting involved was best for all involved.
"Why would you need to limit your involvement before Zoicite?" Usagi asked tilting her head in confusion.
"You have heard of the butterfly effect before correct?" Sestuna asked.
"The whole thing with the butterfly in China causing something in America right?" Usagi asked.
"Correct. What maybe a small change on the surface can have a ripple effect changing several things further down the time stream." Sestuna explained.
"The Tohoku quake." Usagi realized. Apparently the quake had changed a lot more then she had realised about her life.
"That wasn't the only difference but it was one of many." Sestuna admitted. She wasn't going to go into the full details. If they tried it would be a several day affair. So letting Usagi believe that the changes started around her rebirth in northern Japan was easiest at the moment. But it wasn't the only difference that had lead them to this particular path of the time stream. "The quake is a natural event that occurs in pretty much every time stream from what I know. However, how much it effects you depends directly on other events of the time line." Like where and when Usagi and the others had been reborn from what she understood. Her best knowledge of course was the time stream that she lived in. But she did have slight knowledge of some of the occurrences of the other time streams. And to know their particular path was a bit unusual.
Technically the time stream changes went even further back then that. But unless Usagi remembered everything of the Moon Kingdom, it was doubtful she would ever know that. At the moment Sestuna and Chronos were the only living beings that knew just how far back you could technically trace the chaos effect that had helped them land in their current scenario. Saturn might know if she re awoke but that was only because she wasn't sure Saturn's memories on the subject matter had been properly sealed.
"What does that have to do with the whole you working with us as a Senshi though?" Usagi asked frowning.
"From what I understand, usually the size of the team doesn't grow to three until Zoicite becomes Beryl's general task master. It's impossible to say if me getting involved earlier would have changed a few minor things or somehow led to Beryl's victory." Sestuna explained. Okay that was probably an extreme example that was highly unlikely to happen if anything her involvement was more likely to guarantee a timeline where the Dark Kingdom lost then won. And to be quiet honest she wasn't sure if it was possible to have a time line where Beryl won. She had a feeling if the events led that way Chronos would get involved to prevent that sequence of events. But there was a remote possibility. So it wasn't a completely out there example.
Usagi made a face. "Okay I can see why you getting too involved would be a problem."
"Chronos wanted to make sure things didn't get anymore dangerously off track then they were. I had guidelines when I first landed here." Sestuna explained. Plus she had wanted to get involved to help her princess. Usagi needed support that the others simply couldn't provide like she could with her personal training.
"You know the others might not like that explanation." Usagi pointed out after a moment.
Setsuna shrugged. It wasn't as if she or they could change it. What was past was past at this point. "Now back to the topic that you got us off of. Visiting Shingo's grave. Why are you so reluctant to visit?"
Usagi sighed. "I don't know. I know it won't change that he's dead." And seemed to drive home the point that she felt like she had failed her brother in keeping him from dying that day.
"Visiting a grave makes death more real but it can also have it's own form of closure with it. Your still at least partly in the denial phase of grieving." Sestuna said more to herself than to Usagi. Usagi's previous doctors hadn't really done the girl any favors from a recovery standpoint. Though whether that was because of how very short she had been with most of them or just sheer incompetence Sestuna wasn't sure.
"Yeah, I guess that's true." Usagi agreed with a shrug.
Sestuna frowned they needed to get Usagi to move past that phase eventually but it wasn't going to be an overnight process. First step would be to get the girl to actually go to Shingo's grave. Preferably more then once. "Would going with your parents help?"
"I think that would make it harder." Usagi admitted after a moment. The last time she had gone with her parents to visit Shingo's grave their grief had made her just feel guiltier about the situation. She had been able to survive where Shingo had died even though as his older sister she should have died before she let that happen.
"What about going with the girls?" Sestuna suggested seeming to realize why Usagi didn't want to go with family. She didn't want Usagi to go alone but if Usagi wanted to go parent free then the next options were Naru, Haruka, or Michiru, or even all three of them if they could get the schedule worked out that way. She could come too but she felt that having Usagi with people that were closer to her was the best option.
Usagi looked away. "I don't want to be a burden about it."
Sestuna frowned. "There is no shame in asking for may even be upset if you don't ask and they find out you needed it." She had a feeling this all traced back to Yuki but getting information about what had exactly had gone down was a slow process that she had realized early on, couldn't be rushed.
Usagi sighed. "They already worry so much with what they know. If they knew there was more... I wonder if it will reach limit for them. They already handle so much without me having these problems." In the end Usagi's broken, self depreciating smile flashed before she looked out a nearby window, now quiet. Sestuna briefly debated trying and seeing if she brought up Yuki to see if she could get answers today but decided to drop it for the moment. Usagi spoke out of genuine concern, not only fear for there reaction, as had already been covered previously. While it might be related she also spoke feelings that likely didn't need Yuki's influence to be there. and Setsuna knew the answers about how much was Yuki and how much was her natural self before or without Yuki would come in time.
"I think we're done for today, unless you have anything you would like to bring up or ask Usagi?" At the shake of Usagi's head, Setsuna continued. "I would like you to have either talked to the others about them accompanying to you to the grave or if you can visit the grave by the time we next visit but that is up to you whether you do it or not." Sestuna said deciding to wrap it up for now. She doubted the later would get done but she wanted them to get at least started on the process of getting her past the denial phase of Usagi's grief. And the first step was making her visit the grave again.
"The sea often hides churning waters under a calm surface." Michiru said coming up next to Usagi as she looked out the window the day after Usagi's session with Setsuna. Michiru was getting to know the other girl well enough now when she could tell Usagi was bothered, clearly, and hesitating about something she was on the edge of, though not what that might be. Michiru went to place her hand on Usagi's arm before hesitating and deciding against it, not wishing to make Usagi uncomfortable or cross any boundaries of personal space. "If you need to talk I'm here." She said instead, offering her presence and an ear should Usagi need her.
Usagi chewed on her lip for a second. "I am going to visit Shingo's grave the day after tomorrow and I don't want to go alone but I don't want to be a burden either. I am not sure what to do or if it is too much to ask you or Haruka to go with me." She was going to ask Naru tomorrow and she would probably say yes but considering how she had sprung it up she might have something else already planned. Actually, they might too, which if that was the case she wasn't sure what to do. Go with her parents? She would like to avoid that.
"You don't want to go with your parents?" Haruka asked mildly surprised from her place on the couch nearby, clearly having been listening during this exchange. She would have assumed that if Usagi was going to visit her brother's grave she would rather go with family but the fact she was asking them suggested otherwise.
"It's harder to go with them." Usagi admitted. The unspoken suggestion being that she felt responsible and it was harder to face them in there own grief alongside her own when she felt responsible as the cause, as if she should have been able to save him and failed when she didn't do so. Her fault.
"We would be glad to come. Is Naru going to be coming?" Michiru asked. She didn't mind the red head. It was probably better if she did. Usagi and Naru were still closest at this point. Even with as close they were getting to Usagi Naru would know how to handle her best if something happened at the grave. Honestly, she would almost prefer Naru being there
"I haven't asked her yet but I was planning to." Usagi said.
"You've been to the grave before?" Haruka asked. She didn't think she had avoided going to the grave but with Usagi's tendency to avoid things at times…
"Yes. I was allowed to go to his funeral and I've been a few times since since then. Almost always with Naru. It's been longer this time, a few months since I visited." Usagi admitted. The last time she had gone was shortly before the winter holidays with her parents. She tried to avoid going with her parents just because it did make her feel even guiltier about his death. But around major holidays it was unavoidable.
"What do you mean allowed?" Haruka asked eyes narrowing. Had someone tried to keep her from going to her own brothers funeral?! She knew Usagi had spent quiet a bit of time in the hospital after the quake and it sounded like Shingo had been buried during that time. If that was the case, that might mean that Shingo may not be buried in Tokyo and would require a train trip to visit. She wasn't opposed since it probably wouldn't take to long on the bullet train to but it did complicate things.
"I had to fight to go." Usagi admitted squirming a bit. Shingo's funeral had been pretty early on in the recovery but it had been something she needed to attend. The doctor's hadn't been exactly happy about her going but it had been an argument she had been able to win. Eventually. "I was still in the hospital recovering."
"Back in your old hometown?" Michiru said deciding to change topics to where Shingo was burried. She didn't think he'd be burried so far away, especially with the damage to that area and so much of it having still been under water at that but but it was still best to ask. They would go either way, or at least she would and was pretty sure Haruka would. Best to know where exactly they were going. While it sounded like Usagi had pushed her health, and that worried Michiru, if it had been one of her sisters and she had been in the same circumstance she probably would have done much the same, no matter how much doctors wanted to stop her. She would expect Haruka would feel much the same, or be trying to avenge her death in some way, if it was herself being burried, so she couldn't imagine Haruka feeling differently on the subject.
Usagi shook her head to the negative. "He's buried about a half hour from here at one of the larger Catholic cemeteries. Mom wanted him close by so we could visit more easily." Usagi answered. By the time they had buried Shingo her Dad had all ready begun to transfer to Tokyo and she had been moved to a more specialized treatment center closer to where they now lived.
"Your family's Christian?" Haruka asked in surprise. Really at this point while they were finding out more, they still didn't know a ton about Usagi's family other then a few comments here and there about Shingo. They had only met Usagi's parents a few times in passing. With their interactions being mostly around the time after the bridal shop incident talking with her Mom. Christians in Japan weren't exactly common, so it was a bit of a shock.
"Yes, at least on Mom's side. My mom's half American. My grandfather was a missionary way back in the day. Came over and liked it enough that he stayed. Mom doesn't go to church anymore but she wanted Shingo buried in a more Catholic style. Dad didn't seem to have a problem with it but then I think he may have wanted him burried closer to where we would be able to visit more as well." Usagi explained. Her dad wasn't exactly religious so he hadn't converted or practiced much in the way of religion, but he had been willing to let Shingo be buried in a more Catholic manner.
"So... the day after tomorrow?" Michiru asked. If Usagi was this far into planning then she must have an idea of when she wanted to visit.
"Yes, Saturday is what I was thinking. Can't go during the week because of school." Left unsaid was the fact that this chapel held mass on sunday's and she wanted to avoid as much of a crowd as possible. Also the pitying looks, she'd like to avoid those as well, however well meaning they may be.
"Usagi, are you sure your okay about doing this?" Naru asked coming up to her at lunch and dropping her voice slightly. Usagi had finally told Naru about her Saturday plans and while Naru had gone ahead with it. Naru couldn't help but have some concerns, visiting Shingo's grave was always a bit of a trial for Usagi.
Usagi closed her eyes for a moment before responding. "No but Miss Setsuna's right I need to try and make an effort of visiting more often."
"Usagi, I know she's your doctor and she's had the best track record out of all them. She probably has the best grasp out of anyone of your situation that isn't family just because of her other job but she isn't completely infallible." Naru pointed out. She got that the intent was good but she wasn't sure if the execution so much lined up with that.
"I know." Usagi sighed. "I am long overdue to visit Shingo anyway. A slight push isn't the end of the world."
"If you say so." Naru said with a bit of skepticism.
"You look like you have a lot on your mind Naru." Michiru mused as Naru started to lag behind a bit caught up in her thoughts about the day.
"I just wonder sometimes if she's pushing too hard." Naru confessed watching Usagi walk ahead and look in a shop window with Haruka. "I get Usagi needs to face the facts of life if she is ever going to move on. And Ms Setsuna's trying to help with that. But…"
"If your that concerned maybe you should raise them with Setsuna herself." Michiru pointed out.
"Probably. Guess I feel awkward because I am no professional, just a friend." Naru said after a moment. It wasn't a bad idea but what if Sestuna was right that Usagi needed to be pushed. She couldn't exactly hide everything from site forever no matter how much she wanted too.
"A friend who knows her best out of all of us." Michiru pointed out. "Maybe it won't make a difference but I bet you'll feel better if you at least discuss your concerns with her."
"Yeah that's probably true." Naru agreed. When to bring them up was a good question. She had never been to Setsuna's office, only having heard about it from Usagi. Probably a quick internet search would ID it easily enough. Something to think about for later she guessed.
Usagi stood before the grave marker of her little brother, having left the others closer to the entrance to wait for her. She kneeled and said her prayers for her brother as she set the flowers and incense in the holder's at her brothers grave. Why Shingo? Thoughts of her brother spanned an eternity in those moments. Shingo, the pain in the butt, Shingo the brat, shingo the noble, shingo in good and bad moments alike spanned her memories as she stood there lost between drowning in feeling and being numb.
Usagi had been so caught up in her own thoughts and memories she had nearly run smack dab into Hotaru as she had been walking back towards the others. "Ouch... Sorry. You Ok? I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going and-"
Hotaru shook her head for a moment. She was used to people 'accidentally' running into her at school though in this case it seemed like it was genuine apology. Then again, considering where they were it was easy to have your mind elsewhere. "It's Ok. I'm not hurt."-a moments pause as she seemed to consider Usagi a moment before continuing- "Here to pay respect to long dead ancestors?"
Usagi made a face. If it was long lost ancestors this probably would be a lot easier to do. "No. I'm originally from the north of Tokyo." Her family's ancestors weren't buried around here (or were at least as she hadn't gone to her old hometown since before the quake struck so she wasn't sure what the state of their graves were. Her parents probably knew since they had been back a few times but she hadn't bothered to ask). "My younger brother is."
"I am so sorry." Hotaru apologised genuinely. She should have known better to jump to assumptions about why someone her age was paying respects to someone's grave, especially considering why she was here herself.
"Not your fault." Usagi said, unwilling to trust herself to say more at the moment. Part of the reason Ms. Sestuna had been insisting she come here was to try and move through the grieving process.
"We're visiting my Mom." Hotaru began offering. "She was killed in the Tohoku event. She's buried here with the rest of the family…" Hotaru drew off there.
"Do you still sometimes almost expect her to come walking back through your front door like it never happened?" Usagi asked wondering if she was abnormal for this.
"How..?" The smaller girl startled very clearly before answering. "Yes."
"My brother was killed in the tsunami. There are days where I half expect him to come walking through the front door like nothing happened.. and also days I can almost feel my legs as if they are still there. Both at the same time can be harder some days because feeling like they are almost still there, it's like he should be too so then I catch myself looking where he'd normally have come in the door before. It probably seems silly. The door isn't even the same but..." The words came tumbling in her raw emotional state before Usagi caught herself and simply let it trail off. She wasn't sure what about Hotaru that made her comfortable about talking about the subject but she felt like it wasn't just her emotions bursting forth. Maybe it was because she was another victim or maybe it was because she was truly, as Luna suspected, a senshi? Something to ponder on another day she guessed.
"What makes it harder is that we never found her body." Hotaru confessed. Her Mom was among the thousands that had been missing after the quake. Swept out to sea in the undertow of the tsunami as the water had receded was the prevailing theory. "Did you…" Hotaru dropped off there not sure if it was an appropriate question to ask.
"We had a body. I know he's dead but-" Usagi cut off there as the emotions got to her again. That was probably what haunted her most about the whole thing. Her and Shingo had been separated by about a few hundred meters from what she had heard. It continued to raise the question of just how she was able to survive when her brother had died. "I am sorry I shouldn't have asked." Hotaru said after a moment.
"Don't be." Usagi assured her, adding an attempt at a smile at the smaller, slightly younger girl.
"We weren't even supposed to be there." Hotaru muttered more to herself then to Usagi. Usagi heard none the less but decided not to push it. Even if it was interesting the amount of parallels the two had. Her and Shingo wouldn't have been in a danger zone for a tsunami either except for that one day.
"Maybe you should join us for lunch one day?" Usagi suggested deciding to move the topic away from the quake for now. It had been something she had been debating for a while, inviting Hotaru to join them. She had only seen the other girl in passing for the most part since that other day. She wasn't sure how far the bullies at Mugen took things but Hotaru seemed to always be alone whenever she saw her.
"I don't want to cause trouble for anyone else." Hotaru said after a moment. She appreciated the offer, it got lonely at times, but that might just cause others to be targeted by her bullies.
"Nah it wouldn't be trouble for you to hang out with us." Usagi assured her. If she was Saturn and she was going to be awakening soon then it was probably best to start hanging out with her sooner rather then later. If she wasn't then, well, she was giving company to someone in a similar situation to hers back at Juuban at least. She knew a little too well what it was like to be socially isolated and picked on by your classmates. At least she had Naru at Juuban. She wasn't even sure if Hotaru had anyone at all though, and that wasn't a pleasant thought. She'd truly been blessed to have Naru as a friend, and even Umino, though she didn't know him nearly as well, being in different classes and not sharing anything but lunch with him as Naru had shared a club with him and he'd come to talk to her during times Usagi had cut closer to class time arriving. While Usagi and Umino weren't nearly so close, he had not avoided or ridiculed her and had even stood up for her at times. She had never seen anyone do that for Hotaru nor had she heard anyone really try to stop what was going on or being said.
"I'll think about it." Hotaru agreed after a moment. She would like company, it would be a nice change after everything. "Though I'm not sure you realize-"
"I know exactly what I'm getting into by asking you to eat lunch with us. That was me at my old school, before Mugen." Usagi pointed out.
"You were completely socially isolated by your classmates and have had things of yours destroyed by your classmates?" Hotaru asked skeptically.
"Some girls in my class seemed to take a liking to me when I first started at Juuban. They pretended to be my friend and then it all went downhill. The rest followed. Naru was my saving grace while I was there. I have no clue how I would have gotten through any of it without her." Usagi almost smiled despite her current setting, and it was clear by the gentle look in her eyes, how dearly she held her friend and by the way she spoke, the high regard said girl was held in by her.
"I'm sorry. I never would have thought." Hotaru admitted.
"It's fine. I didn't expect to see anyone else suffering like I did either." Usagi's expression became an almost smile with watery eyes for a moment.
"I should get back before Dad starts wondering where I went off too." Hotaru offered after a moment of silence.
"Yeah. See you around?" Usagi asked turning to head back to where she knew the others were.
"See you around Usagi." Hotaru softly agreed before turning a corner and disappearing.
"That took awhile." Haruka greeted as Usagi returned to the group.
"Sorry. Hotaru was also visiting. I didn't expect to run into her We talked a little." Usagi explained. "She lost someone to the Tohoku quake too..." She trailed off a bit unsure of how much would be alright to say before deciding against it.
"How far?" Haruka asked deciding to change the subject. It seemed like they had been going forever.
"Not much further." Naru assured. She remembered the first time her and Usagi had come after the funeral. It had seemed like the walk had stretched forever but after awhile you got used to it. And they would too, in time, since she doubted this would be the last time either of them tagged along with Usagi.
Eventually they came to a stop in front of simple grave, the very same Usagi had been at earlier on her own. Nothing really fancy other than a nice design surrounding the overall tomb marker. 'Shingo Tsukino, b. May 20, 2001 - d March 11, 2011. Beloved brother, friend, and son- May you rest in peace.'
The other girls kept their distance just watching over to make sure nothing happened while Usagi just spoke, they being her moral support. She refreshed the incense from earlier, adding another incense to the holder very carefully so as to keep it burning as long as possible. "Hey little brother. Hard to believe its been two years now huh? I hope you are doing okay wherever you are. Mom and Dad are doing okay for the most part. They went up home this year for the first time since the quake. I still haven't gone myself I know I should but I'm not sure if I'm ready to face it. I have a hard time just coming here at times. I know I should come and visit more often but sometimes that is easier said than done."
Usagi paused for a moment not sure how to continue at first. "I won't say its easy now, it's still hard some days. But its slowly getting easier. I got a new doctor who actually seems to know what she's doing most of the time. I finally got into Mugen Gaken. Not having to worry about Yuki and her group constantly helps a lot. I actually met a girl at school whose situation reminds me a bit of mine when I was still at Juuban. Not sure if its better or worse then how mine got at times though. Even still, I hope we can be friends. She seems really nice and sweet Shingo. You'd like her." She really hoped it was better for Hotaru than it had been for herself at Juuban. Hotaru being the kid of the headmaster probably had some natural protection that she didn't have when she was at Juuban, but then she wasn't so sure that went far either, considering what Hotaru went through. She hoped no one that went to her school was dumb enough to try and pull the kind of stunts Yuki had on her when she was still at Juuban.
"Ah Ms. Tsukino. Back to see your brother again I take it? Hope the new year is treating you better then the last." A new voice said seeming to come out of no where causing them to slightly jump. They hadn't heard anyone else coming up. But then again their thoughts had been elsewhere.
"Priest Kamada." Usagi greeted giving a strained smile. "Good to see you. Haruka, Michiru this is Priest Kamada he runs the local church. Priest Kamada, these are two new friends of mine, Haruka Tenoh and Michiru Kiaoh."
"Always good to see friends supporting each other." Usagi lightly flinched. She wasn't sure if that was an intentional reference to Yuki's fit or not. She had a feeling it was. "Are you planning to come by tomorrow?"
"No sir." Usagi said.
"If you need to talk I am always open." Said the priest making this verbal offer to her, not for the first time.
"Thank you Priest Kamada." Usagi said with a respectful bow. She was less likely to talk to him about her problems than she was to her friends or say Ms. Sestuna but the offer was nice at least. He gave her a light pat on the shoulder before moving on.
For a moment Usagi looked almost like she had seen a ghost as the priest walked away. Naru frowned at her in concern. "Usagi?"
"It's nothing." Usagi said shaking her head rapidly as if to clear it after a moment. She really didn't want to talk about what she had remembered right now and especially not right where they were at.
"You look as pale as a ghost." Haruka noted frowning slightly. Something had obviously set her off even if she was trying to avoid talking about it…
"Please just drop it." Usagi got they were just concerned and if she could see herself she probably would be too. Normally remembering stuff from around the quake did shake her up some but this was a bit worse. She hadn't remembered anything particularly "new" in a while. Sure she had been kind of hoping to get answers eventually to the gap in her memory, but she hadn't expected anything today. So she was a bit shaken in a sense. "I'll be fine."
"If you need to talk." Michiru began.
Usagi forced a smile that she wasn't really feeling at the moment. "I know you guys are there to listen."
The rest of the visit had flown by once they had gone back to the grave. A couple of hours later they had been about to leave and go home when it happened. Seemingly out of thin air (which probably was the case considering who it was) Zoicite showed up.
"Oh you have got to be kidding me! Seriously?!" Haruka muttered as they spotted Zoicite floating above some graves. Usagi was inclined to share her sentiment. Were some places not sacred? The visit was hard enough without the Dark Kingdom making it even more difficult. The thought that he was here to release another 'great warrior', in all liklihood, made her cringe. The thought of having one running loose especially here... This was going to be a difficult fight. Usagi had no idea how they were going to keep the gravestones from being damaged. Maybe they could lure it out of the graveyard like they had done with a few other youma.
"Some people have no restraint." Naru muttered under her breath.
"I'm guessing someone here has a rainbow crystal." Usagi commented. "Naru you need to get out of here."
"I'll wait for you guys over at the church." Naru said waving off the concern before taking off in the direction of the building.
"Well at the very least this should give us a few minutes to find a more discrete place to transform." Michiru said.
"I don't see anyone else around but Zoicite and he doesn't seem to be paying attention to us." Usagi pointed out after a moment. They were going to have to be quick as the window in which Zoicite was destracted and not going to notice them was going to close quickly. She acted first making sure not to be loud as she uttered the transformation phrase and felt the senshi magic take hold. Haruka and Michiru followed suite quickly.
"A punching bird man." Uranus said after a moment staring at the youma that had taken the place of the priest. "How do you get that from a priest? At least Gamecren made sense since his human form was a gamer. This makes no sense."
"We can comment on how theming of the youma doesn't match up with their human personas later. Uranus go help Tuxedo Kamen keep Zoicite from getting another crystal." Moon said. She had seen Tuxedo Kamen arrive out of the corner of her eye and he was currently keeping Zoicite busy trying to get ownership of the rainbow crystal. She wasn't sure why Tuxedo Kamen had suddenly developed an interest in the Rainbow Crystals but that was a mystery for another day. Going back to Uranus' question she guessed it was possible the youma were based on what the youma had been in their previous life. Since that would make some sense. This flying bird man with punching gloves on his hands didn't make sense. But then again a lot of things about the Dark Kingdom didn't make sense when you stopped to think about it.
What happened next no one had counted on.
A fair distance from where the fighting was happening were Hotaru and her father. They were close enough that they could make out some of the sounds of battle but not close enough that they could be dragged into it. Her father said after a moment. "At least we're safe from whatever that is."
Hotaru knew better then to get involved in whatever the Senshi were fighting though…that didn't stop this pulling sensation, like a pull from her chest, towards where the sounds of battle were currently happening. She was just a random person what could she do against the strange creatures that the Senshi fought? She glanced over just in time to see a bracelet seem to materialize out of thin air seemed to hover for a brief moment before falling to the Earth.
Strange bracelets normally didn't pop out of thin air. She picked it up glancing it over. It was a fairly simple design, small light purple beads on a string surrounding a larger darker bead. She rubbed the largest bead on the bracelet. It was a darker purple then the other ones and had a white symbol engraved on it. If she remembered correctly from the various reading she had done when she was younger, it was the astrological symbol for Saturn. The bracelet felt strangely familiar and yet mysterious at the same time. She had never seen the bracelet before in her life but somehow she knew that the bracelet belonged to her and was important. How she knew that or why it was important, she wasn't sure, but she knew without doubt.
"Papa. I'm sorry. I have to do this." Hotaru said turning to her father for a moment. Do what? She wasn't entirely sure and judging by her own father's confused look he probably understood what she meant even less. Thumb running over the bead one more time, while still looking into her fathers eyes as a phrase popped into her head she spoke. "Saturn Power! Make Up!"
"Silence Glaive Surprise!" The new shout and dark purple energy ball attack seemeed to come out of nowhere and sent the trio fighting over the rainbow crystal scattering in response. Zoicite chose that moment to vanish going back to the Dark Kingdom and Tuxedo Kamen to take off with the other crystal. Well that hadn't been her intent but at least the Rainbow Crystal wasn't in the hand of one of the Dark Kingdom generals. How she even knew what a rainbow crystal was she was still trying to understand. She had actually been trying to get them to drop the crystal so Uranus could maybe pick it up. No such luck apparently.
"When did you awaken?" Uranus asked frowning looking over at the other girl as she walked up. Last they had known Saturn was still slumbering. But then again Usagi had mentioned Hotaru being at the graveyard earlier. So maybe that's what had triggered it.
"Just now." Saturn answered. "My apologies. I was trying to get them to drop the crystal not take off."
"Well, at least it's not in the hands of the Dark Kingdom. How do you even know what that was?" Uranus asked a bit surprised. Her and the others hadn't even heard of the rainbow crystals until Luna had started talking about them. Saturn had just admitted she had just awoke as a senshi so she definitely hadn't had a chance to talk with Luna. So that raised the question of how much Saturn remembered of her own Silver Alliance past.
"I don't know." Saturn admitted shaking her head as if to shake cobwebs from inside her brain. She could remember things of the Silver Alliance before she had been put into her slumber but it had been so long a lot of it was fragmented.
The other two rejoined the group in time to see them dodge the weird youma's attempt at punching the group. "How's wearing it down?" Uranus asked.
"Dimension Dance." The surprising call out of a lilac ball slamming into the youma signified that apparently Pluto was here too.
"Looks like everyone is here today." Uranus commented raising an eyebrow. Having Tuxedo Kamen show up had been a surprise in itself considering it had been awhile since they had last seen him. Then Saturn had shown up which she was pretty sure no one was expecting. And now Pluto. At this rate she wouldn't have been shocked if one of the Inner Senshi had shown up.
Pluto had a mysterious twinkle in her eyes at Usagi's expression of surprise. "Even time changes the way it flows from time to time." Pluto knew there was a long talk awaiting with Naru based on the comments she had overheard. She had come along because she had a feeling that the combined presence of Hotaru and a rainbow crystal holder together with Usagi visiting Shingo's grave for the first time in four months might be too much. If she had known Hotaru was going to also be there she might have pushed less with Usagi. The time stream's fog had only parted enough to apprase her of the situation a few hours ago so she had shown up to mainly make sure Usagi was okay depending on what exactly she remembered.
"Uranus. Hitting it isn't the problem. Making it stay still long enough to actually use the compact is the problem." Moon admitted. The thing barely stood still for more then a few seconds. As it decided to emphasise that by lunging at the group.
"We have to knock it out." Neptune said, pointing out that this youma would not be restrained as they had done previously.
"I would rather not damage the headstones! Try to avoid damaging the graves!" Moon directed. They were far enough that Shingo's grave was safe but she couldn't help but imagine each of these having someone who'd care just as deeply if there own loved ones graves were desecrated in any way.
"Understood but if hitting its head against one knocks it out we'll deal with it later." Uranus added. A combined attack with all four of them in might be enough to knock it out but if it went sliding it would probably still hit a headstone. It was just the nature of where they were fighting unfortunately.
"Moon! Can you be ready when the youma comes to a stop?" Neptune asked. Moon nodded and readied her compact while Neptune focused on keeping the youma off her specifically. Uranus turned to the newly awakened senshi Saturn. "He kid, do you think you can time your attack to go with ours?" Pluto had essentially done the same thing when they had been fighting Jadeite back at Haneda. Saturn however was a different story. No one really knew what she could do.
"I should be able to." Saturn commented back at Uranus softly. As long as she could tell when the release was about to happen she should be able to time it. Though it might lag behind the first time.
Uranus moved to power up a Spiral Buster in her hand as she looked for an opening as the others powered up there attacks around her. She seemed to see what she was looking for. "Now!" Four balls of gold, fushia, dark purple, and blue slammed into the youma sending it briefly flying through the air before it hit the ground hard and skidded. The youma finally came to a stop hitting it's head on a tomb stone.
"Moon Healing Escalation!" Moon, ready for her cue, wasted no time in pointing the mirror in the direction of the unconscious youma. Moon relaxed after a moment as the youma quickly reverted back to Priest Kamada. That had been one of the easier healings she had done. Though she wasn't sure if that was because the youma was knocked out or because it had been hit several times before she had got the chance to heal it or both.
"I'll see you later this week." Pluto said to Sailor Moon after a moment before taking off for parts unknown.
"I need to get back to my Dad. He's probably wondering what's going on and why I took off like that." Saturn said after a moment.
"Hold on, we need contact information." Moon said stopping her before she could take off. That and someone needed to explain to Hotaru how to dehenshin. "Hotaru right?"
Saturn blinked a couple of times in surprise. "How did you know?"
"We had our suspicions beforehand." Neptune answered the question. "So considering Moon had said she ran into you earlier as Hotaru. When you showed up as Saturn it was what made the most sense."
"Ran into…" Saturn began a bit in confusion. The only other person she had talked to at the cemetery before she had transformed was, "Usagi?!"
"Not so loud please." Moon confirmed. Hopefully no one had over heard that last part. Or if they had it wouldn't make sense to them.
"Right sorry." Saturn said after a moment. The whole secret identity thing felt both old and new at the same time and it kind of confused her.
"That's my cell." Moon said handing over a piece of paper to Saturn. "Give me a text when its convenient and will set up a get together time. I share an apartment with these two so it might be easier for you to come to our place then the other way around."
"That definitely sounds like it." Saturn agreed. That would be a first. She wasn't sure if she had ever been invited to someone else's house. It would be a nice change from the norm.
Naru had gotten her Mom to agree to let her stay over for the weekend so the two were crashing in Usagi's room after having gotten back from the graveyard. Usagi was being a bit quieter normal and was definitely more exhausted. But that wasn't too abnormal for the aftermath of visiting the graveyard.
"I thought you didn't remember any of it?" Michiru asked taking a seat next to her on the couch. Usagi had opened up a bit when pressured slightly about what had caused her to pale back at the graveyard before the youma. Apparently she had been remembering something from the day of the actual quake.
"I don't I've only had flashes at best." Usagi admitted softly shaking her head. "When I'm really tired and I can't filter it I can hear the crunching of metal and the screams as the tsunami comes inland. But that was the most I remembered of it. Until today at least."
"Usagi are you sure your not crossing it with something earlier?" Naru asked with a bit of hesitation. She understood why her friend wanted to remember the events around the quake but part of her was wondering if one, she could really handle it when push came to shove, and two, if she wasn't just having wishful thinking?
"What other time would we have been walking along the seawall that early in the day?" Usagi asked raising an eyebrow. Normally her and Shingo would have been in class but for some reason they had been told to go home.
"True." Naru agreed with some reluctance. That had been earlier in the day for the two to be going home then normal.
"Shingo and I used to walk home from school along a seawall we had in our town. Sometimes he would try to balance himself by walking on the very top of it." Usagi said a sad smile wiping an absent tear from her cheek that had fallen. Answering a question she knew the other two had to have. "We were taking our usual route apparently when the quake struck." Part of her wished she could go back in time and warn her younger self. To take the long way home or to not leave the safety of the school grounds. Maybe even if she had done one thing differently Shingo would be still here laughingly teasing her about something. Or talking up the latest super sendai show he had gotten into. "I just want to see him again. To tell him how much I care and how much it hurts that he's no longer around. How much I miss him. I just want to be able to hold him one last time." Usagi confessed as the tears really started to roll.
Michiru being the closest was the one to initiate the hug drawing her in though the others quickly joined. Usagi found herself relaxing a bit as the tears slowed slightly and she found herself starting to drift off slightly. A thought passed through her mind. Things might never be alright, she just couldn't see things ever getting anywhere really back to the way they were for her before the quake. As long as she had the others to rely on she felt that maybe with time they would become mostly, or at least as right as they could be in a world without her little brother in it.
End Chapter 18