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Path's Divergence

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Chapter 1
New Moon Rising

It was one of those dreams again. The one with the white castle against the starry sky and the seemingly endless gardens. It was pretty even if it was odd that she seemed to keep having dreams about this place. Honestly of all the things she expected to have reoccurring dreams of this wasn’t it.

She frowned looking around. From what little she had been able to piece together through the dreams it seemed like she was somewhere near the front of the building. Judging by her height she was definitely younger than her current self.

“Serenity!” She heard someone call turning in the direction of the voice. She still couldn’t see who exactly was talking but she could hear someone else call out from the same direction, “Come play with us!”

“Coming!” She heard herself call back. She glanced back towards the gardens one last time. She could make something out in the distance beyond the horizon but wasn’t sure what it exactly was. A mystery for another dream she guessed as she turned and headed in the direction of where the voices had originated from. Maybe today she would get a face to these voices finally.

“Harmonia!” She called happily as she rounded a corner. But before she could finally get one of her seemingly never-ending questions answered the scene faded away again.

“That weird dream again.” Usagi muttered to herself sitting up in bed. Rubbing sleep her eye while looking out the window for a second, she had been having the dreams on and off now for several months and she could never make any sense of them. But then again, they were just dreams so the girl wasn’t entirely sure why that bothered her to begin with.

Her eyes moved over to clock and noticed it was flashing. Power had gone off apparently at some point in the night. Usagi grabbed her cell phone from the side of the bed hitting a button to bring up the screen to check the time. 'Double uh oh' she should have been up almost forty minutes ago.

“I’m going to be late!” The teenager shrieked throwing the bed covers off and grabbing her right leg. No time to lay around she was going to have to run if she wanted to make it to school on time.

“You okay?” Usagi looked up to see her longtime friend Naru giving her a concerned look. It was lunchtime things were finally beginning to settle down somewhat after a chaotic morning of rushing to school, tripping over a cat, and being scolded by Ms. Haruna about her latest test result. Honestly, it wasn’t like the girl wasn’t trying. She just had issues that didn’t seem like they were going to be resolved anytime soon.

“Oh, I’m just fine between getting to school late and that stupid test we got back.” Usagi replied. The blonde had never been one to use sarcasm, but today wasn't a good day so she let it slip just this once. The only good thing was that Yuki was still giving her distance after the incident back in December. She wasn't sure what had changed so much that made her finally back off. But if it meant Yuki's reign might finally be over she could care less.

Naru winced in sympathy taking a seat at the empty desk across from her. Out of everyone at the school the redhead knew and understood the education issues possibly the best. “That bad?”

She took Usagi's silence to be a yes deciding to switch topics she asked. "What about your head? How's that doing?"

"Better today at least. That's the only thing going right apparently." Usagi said after a moment rubbing her head lightly. They had told her it would take a while for it to heal completely. But it was annoying and tiresome just how long it was taking in her opinion. 

"That's good. They did say it could take up to a couple of months for all the symptoms to stop." Naru reminded her.

"I know its just hard because school was difficult before I got stuck with the side effects of a concussion. Now I am stuck with that on top of everything else." Usagi muttered. This wouldn't have happened at all if the school had done its job and punished the ones responsible before it had escalated to the incident that had happened prior to the winter break. Usagi sighed running a hand through her bangs exasperated with the subject and all things contingent with the current subject before deciding to change the topic away from horrible school-related matters rather than actually answer the question. "Anything new with you?"

“Well… Mom’s been acting a bit odd the last couple of days.” Naru confessed accepting the shift in topics as a sign that school wasn’t an area to broach today.

“Odd how?” Usagi asked frowning. Naru and her had spent most of their early childhood growing up together until Naru’s family had moved to Tokyo about four years ago. While Naru’s parents could be classified as working parents running a jewelry shop and Usagi hadn’t had a chance to really know them on a personable level because of the hours they kept Usagi thought that she knew what her friend’s mother normally behaved like.

“Mom decided to have a major jewelry sale out of the blue. I can’t recall one single sale since she took the shop herself after Dad died. I wonder if she's going through a mid-life crisis or something ya know?” Naru responded frowning slightly. Like Usagi, she had originally hailed from further up Honshu but her family made the decision to move down a few years before the quake hoping to do better in the jewelry market in Tokyo and its surrounding suburbs.

“Maybe she is just trying to save money for something special.” She suggested trying to relieve her friend of her worries. It did seem odd but hey maybe her Mom was trying to surprise Naru with something?

“Maybe, not sure what though.” Naru said tapping her shoe slightly. Something about this just felt off

“Have you actually tried asking her about the sale?” Usagi asked.

“Between school and her work I haven’t had time to ask... yet anyways.” Naru confessed.

“Well maybe just ask her then. What's the worst that could happen?” She suggested with a slight shrug.

“Could be nothing I guess...” Naru trailed off.

“It's not like you to worry so much Naru. I'll come with you after school, if you want, and maybe we can both figure this out together.” Usagi suggested with a wink.

“Thanks. I really appreciate it.” Naru gave her a relieved smile.

“Hey what are friends for?” Usagi said.

 "Are you sure you’re okay Usagi? I appreciate the support but if the crowd’s too much...” Naru began. She had managed to escape detention today with a warning from their teacher about not being late again. So as soon as the classroom was clean they had made a beeline for Naru’s family shop, but the crowd was proving to be a bit much. The normally quiet shop was buzzing with activity that she wasn’t used to seeing. The crowd in the shop was a bit much for her, however, she had made a promise to her friend.

“No. I’m fine. It was a bit much when we first walked in, but I think I’m okay now.” Usagi hadn’t been very fond of cramped spaces since the quake. But she would put up with it for Naru, “So do you see your Mom?”

“Can’t see her yet, but I think I hear her.” Naru commented as they stepped into the shop.

“Well then when all else fails just follow the voice.” She suggested giving her a friend a light shove in the direction of the loudest of the shouting. She couldn’t see her either, but like Naru she could make her out... barely over the other noise.

It took some pushing and shoving but they eventually made it to the counter where Naru’s Mom was trying to make sense of the chaos. Naru attempted to strike up a conversation with her Mom over the noise, but it was difficult to tell if anything was actually being heard. It looked like something was being said in response since even though she was having a hard time hearing what either was saying she could see lips moving. This went on for a couple of minutes with her standing there until something weird happened.

One second Naru’s Mom seemed to flicker and be replaced by what could be best described as some odd monster. Blue hair that reached for the sky contrasted a dark complexion and a long face. Usagi blinked and blinked again harder. Afterwards Naru's mom was back again as if nothing had happened. Rubbing her eyes slightly she wondered. ‘Maybe I'm was just so tired from the late nights up studying for end of semester tests that I'm was starting to see things?’

“Usagi? You okay?” Naru asked. Looks like she missed a piece of the conversation. Not that Usagi would have been able to hear them.

“I’m fine. I think I’m just tired from the last couple of days... and the noise is just getting to be a bit too much I think.” Usagi said. 'What was that?!'

“Ah yeah I think it’s getting worse now that more people are getting off work.” Naru made a face. “See ya tomorrow at school?”

“See you tomorrow." Usagi said giving her friend a tight smile before heading to the shop’s doors. Maybe she just needed a good nap. It appeared the stress getting to her.


Usagi didn’t head straight home from Naru’s place... even though she knew she should. She wasn’t quite ready to deal with another long talk with her parents about school. So instead she decided to blow off some steam at the local arcade her and Naru sometimes frequented before meandering home.

That got sidelined when Usagi ran into a guy upon leaving the arcade. Technically it was her fault that the argument had even started. So frustrated with the last test she failed to check behind her in her preoccupation as she balled up her test and tossed it over her shoulder. It just so happened to end up hitting someone in the back of the head. Usagi just couldn't seem to catch a break today it would seem.

“Watch where you toss things Odango Otama,” Came the new voice.

“Don’t call me that.” Usagi snarledwhirring around to face the voice. She hadn’t been called that in years! Not since Shingo’s death. She knew it was silly, but she disliked when anyone else used that nickname.

“Well I wouldn’t be even talking to you if you hadn’t tossed this abysmal test at me.” He said hoisting the slightly wrinkled paper up in front of him with disdain.

“It wasn’t like I was purposely aiming to hit you.” Usagi argued snatching the paper from his hand angrily.

You shouldn't be throwing paper around anyway. Don't you know there are trash cans around odango atama..." He pointed out condescendingly.

“Yeah well, you’re a jerk,” That earned her an eye roll. It wasn’t the best come back but Usagi wasn’t in the best of moods and unfortunately he was bearing the brunt. She knew it wasn’t his fault really. He was catching her at the end of a long day and she was tired.

“Fine whatever. Catch you later Odango Otama." He said turning and heading in the opposite direction.

“Don’t call me that!” Usagi yelled after him.

‘Huh, he looks like the guy I’ve seen a few time in some of my dreams. Kind of weird...’ She thought watching as he turned the corner and disappeared. Usagi had been having dreams of a white palace since the earthquake but hadn’t been able to make much sense of them. For the most part there hadn’t been many people. Voices? Yes. Actual people? No. Regardless, a guy in the suit of armor stuck out among other things.

This was the first time, however, Usagi had run into anyone that resembled anything in her dreams or in those occasional flashes she got when she let her mind wander into la la land. She let out a sigh turning back in the direction of the way that would take her home.


Usagi had purposely taken the long way home from the arcade. She wasn’t looking forward to yet another conversation about her grades as it was. The teenager decided the delay tactic was the best option available. She still got an earful from her Mom when she walked through the front door. Apparently, her mother had bumped into one of her classmates at the market and had found out they had got the tests back, so the teenager could delay it no longer.

“I did try to talk to them after school. I’ve been in there office at least twice a week since we got back from break if not more but they aren’t being very helpful. Even if I got in the special program I don't know if it would help me. I feel like I am just too far behind." The blond said clearly discouraged on the matter.

Her mother let out a sigh running a hand through her own curls before saying. “We’ll figure something out. If not for this year than for the next. I do want to see you go to high school, but they are making this whole process unnecessarily difficult.”

“It would help if we could find a good psychiatrist.” Usagi muttered. Or if she could somehow get accepted into that one program at Mugen Gaken. But considering how long the wait list was she would probably be well into high school before any hope of that happened. So doctors it was. It just was hard since so far the ones Usagi had been trying to see had rubbed her the wrong way for some reason. She knew if they could get everything documented that school would become lot less of an issue. Usagi just hadn’t found one she tolerated long enough to actually get the documentation.

“We’ll find someone.” Her mother assured her. That was easy for her to say. Usagi swore she had seen more doctors than there were days in a month since the earthquake. At this point, despite her efforts to the contrary, Usagi was starting to become resigned that she wasn’t going to ever find a good fit.

“Where in the world did that cat come from?” her mother asked changing the topic. Turning the blonde saw a black cat had apparently followed her into the apartment but they had been so caught up in the discussion about school work they had missed her entirely.

“Huh. It’s that cat from this morning!” Usagi realized with surprise realizing where she had seen the black cat before. She didn’t think she had seen any cats with that mark outside of her dreams.

“How did you find her?” Her Mom frowned looking back at her.

“Find her may not be the best way to describe it. I tripped over her in my rush to make it to school on time. I didn’t even realize she had followed me home until you said something.” Usagi confessed picking the cat up to take a closer look before turning to face her Mom.

Her mother sighed before beginning, “You know that the apartment complex doesn’t really allow for pets. You’re going to have to go make sure she goes and gets outside of building.”

Usagi knew her Mom was right and they really couldn’t be keeping pets right now but… “Can’t she just stay for tonight? I’ll take her out first thing in the morning when I leave for class!”

Her mother sighed again getting that fond exasperated look before saying, “All right just for one night... but I better see her leaving with you as you head to class tomorrow.”

“I will make sure. You won’t regret it!” The girl said grinning huge. It was only one for night but hey she got to have a pet again!


After grabbing a snack from the kitchen tossing her bag on the floor and flopping against the bed. Usagi would start homework shortly she just wasn’t in the mood right now as she let her thoughts drift off for a bit.

That didn’t last long as Usagi was brought out of her thought by the sound someone clearing their throat. She frowned looked over at the door but Mom was still somewhere else in the apartment. So where had that noise come from? The only other living being in the room was that cat who had come in behind her. And cats certainly couldn’t talk last she had checked (Well there was the one from her dream, but a dream was just that).

Then there it was again much more loudly and clearly this time frowning she scanned the room until she came face to face with the cat, who upon realizing that they had finally gotten her attention opened its mouth, and much to her shock, actually began to speak. “Hello Usagi my name is Luna. I have been searching for a very long time for you.”

Usagi actually fell off her bed in shock landing on her back. Today just couldn’t get any more crazy for her, could it?

“Ow...” she muttered rubbing her back side as she sat up the cat, Luna, she thought it had called itself, looking at her with a look of concern before it could speak again Usagi started. “Don’t. I am already having a hard time with this whole talking cat thing.”

“I am actually Mauan, not a Terran cat.” Luna slowly corrected.

“Right...” Usagi wasn’t exactly sure she wanted to know what a Mauan was at the moment.

Usagi just stared at Luna as she. It. Well the teenager wasn’t sure what pronoun was the correct one to use so for now 'she' would have to do. Luna continued to blather on. This. This had to be a dream. A really strange dream brought on by the stress of school. That was the only logical explanation to this situation. Cats did not start talking out of the blue. Usagi knows it had claimed to be Mauan, whatever that was, so that might be why but still this whole thing was too weird to not be a dream. She pinched her arm. Ouch! Okay apparently not a dream then.

“You are Sailor Moon sworn to protect this system from any invaders that try to threaten the planet’s peace.” Luna explained to her as she finally got over the whole situation enough for her to actually register what Luna was saying. Apparently she had missed a good chunk of something. Maybe it was time to move past the thing where she was a talking cat for some reason and move on to the fact that Usagi was being asked to protect a planet.

“Luna... Earth isn’t exactly known for being peaceful.” The girl pointed out slowly. It wasn’t so much that she was expected to fight off some bad guys, despite the fact she wasn’t sure if she was the best for that kind of job, kind of sounded interesting. It was more that planet and peace really didn’t describe Earth at the moment. Maybe whatever fantastical time Luna had come from, but not now.

“Compared to some places it is. Trust me on this one. Earth needs protection from possible invasion from alien forces. I’ll fill you in more on why you need to take this role as we go, but for now, I need you to become Sailor Moon!” Luna insisted.

“You need to explain why it’s so important to me Luna. I’ve had a lot happen to me in the past two years. I'm not just going to agree without knowing at least something about what I'm getting myself into.” Usagi argued back. Protecting Earth from outside aliens she could understand the importance of, but why her? The girl didn’t get that part so much, and Usagi wasn’t about to go rushing head long into this no matter what Luna apparently wanted.

Luna hesitated for the briefest period seeming to mull over her options. Then with some hesitation obvious in her voice she began. “There’s a woman, though I’m not entirely sure how human she is anymore, who wants to rule the Earth by force. You and your Senshi companions are the only thing that is truly standing in her way of getting what she needs.”

“But why me specifically? Why not the girl five doors down the hall?” Usagi asked jerking her thumb back towards the front entrance. Okay maybe not the best example since that girl was younger than her but she was trying to make a point.

Which Luna seemed to understand as she answered. “Not everyone in the world can be a Sailor Senshi. I have been awake in Tokyo for many months now and you are the first one I’ve managed to find. It could take me years to find another viable candidate to be Sailor Moon and I do not know if there is even another one out there. By the time I might find one it might already be too late.”

“So I’m your one hope is what you’re saying.” Usagi asked making a face. She still wasn’t sure if she liked this but if she really was Luna’s only choice…

“Well not the only one. If you take up the mantle of Sailor Moon you will belong to a team of very powerful girls your age who will help you in your quest to bring down Queen Beryl. As Sailor Moon you are inherently one of the most powerful among the Sol Senshi so your presence in this battle is a much needed necessity.” Luna responded naming their enemy for the first time.

“How do we even know she is even trying to actively take over the Earth? I haven’t exactly seen something that screams alien forces to me.” Usagi said. Well there was that incident at Naru’s shop but she still wasn’t convinced her tired brain hadn't imagined that.

“That’s because they are choosing to take the subtle route in overtaking the Earth. They’ve always been good at blending into the background when they please even in the old Kingdom days. Usagi! Please! I already spotted a youma earlier today. I know you want to understand more about your role, but please this isn’t the best time! I truly need your help!” Luna pleaded.

“Youma?” The blonde asked hand going towards the broach that Luna had presented her with during the conversation.

“They are low level minions that work for Queen Beryl. They do miscellaneous jobs but this one’s job in particular was to gather energy to help make the Dark Kingdom stronger.” Luna explained.

Usagi took a deep breath closed her eyes for a second and opened them again herself staring at Luna. She really didn’t understand why the cat needed her help in particular but if Luna was insistent, “Fine on one, no actually wait two, conditions.”

Luna looked so relieved, “Name it.”

“After this event is done tonight we need to tell my parents. Two, I tell my teammates on my terms about my ‘conditions’ not on yours.” Usagi insisted.

Luna hesitated there. “Technically for their protection were not supposed to tell anyone your secret identity.”

“Luna I’m clumsy by nature and I have to walk around with these...” Usagi motioned at the prosthetics. “Most of the day. There is no way I will be able to get out of the house every time one of Beryl’s minions shows up unless my parents know what I am doing exactly. I am already going to have a hell of a time convincing my mother I need to go out tonight as is.” The girl argued.

Luna sighed, “All right. I won’t say I like it, but I do see your point on the matter.”

“And me telling my new teammates about my issues?” The blonde didn’t think Luna would protest but she wanted to check.

“I would prefer you tell them sooner but if you wish to wait a bit I won’t tell them.” Luna said.

“Alright I guess I’m on board then. I won’t say I like this whole thing entirely. But I’ll do it.” Usagi finally agreed.

“Thank you Usagi.” Luna said with a sigh of relief.

“So what’s the transformation phrase again?” Usagi asked picking up the broach. She thought she had vaguely remembered Luna mentioning it before but in all the chaos she had forgot it. A deal was a deal. Usagi still wasn’t sure how she felt about the whole fighting evil thing but Luna seemed convinced that she was the right person for the job... Even if Usagi, personally, wasn’t sure she was.

Luna actually smiled then. “Moon Prism Power! Make Up!”

“Well all right then. Let’s do this.” Usagi hoisted the broach high above her head repeating after Luna. “Moon Prism Power! Make Up!”

Usagi and Luna almost made it out of the apartment without incident. Almost. Her Mom had caught her right when after she had passed the living room.

 “Usagi what is that outfit your wearing?” Her Mom said frowning slightly coming into the hallway to get a better look. Well that was technically the smallest detail but it was a place to start. Usagi had stopped liking skirts after the quake especially short ones. She put up with her school uniform because it was just that, her school uniform, but other then that she almost never wore skirts now a days. Yet here she was walking around in what was definitely not a full-length skirt by any stretch of the imagination.

 “Your daughter is Sailor Moon, One of a group of girls who are destined to fight the evil that is currently threatening out world.” Luna explained coming up to her Mom to try and explain what was going on.

 “The cat talks-!” Her mother said faintly. Apparently, she was handling it about as well as Usagi had at first.

 “Why is that the thing everyone gets caught up on?” Luna grumbled a bit.

 “Luna, you’re going to have to learn to accept that most people are going to have this reaction when you first open your mouth. Talking animals aren’t normal.” Usagi reminded the cat. She was starting to wonder just how much Luna had interacted with people prior to meeting her because it didn’t sound like a lot.

 “Moments like this make me miss the days of the Silver Alliance...” she heard Luna mutter under her breath.

 “The what?” Usagi asked raising an eyebrow. While most of the earlier conversation was a blur she didn’t remember Luna saying anything about the Silver Alliance.

 “A story for another time.” Luna said shaking her head.

 “Why my daughter though? Why out of every single person on Earth must she be the one that fight’s this evil? We’ve been through enough as is.” Usagi's Mom asked deciding to focus on the one thing she could understand at the moment- not the talking cat. The fact her daughter was being asked, not even asked it even seemed to her, to fight some evil was distressing enough without trying to wrap her mind around the talking cat.

 “Apparently, I’m the only one for the job.” Usagi answered giving a tight smile cutting in before Luna could say anything else. She knew that if Luna started spewing that destiny thing again it wouldn’t go over well with her parents. Luna maybe convinced it was her destiny but she still wasn’t a hundred percent sure about the whole matter. And she doubted her Mom would buy the whole destiny crap.

 “She won’t be fighting alone. There are other girls who are meant to work with her and help protect her.” Luna said stepping in for the first time. Wisely deciding not to mention that none of those girls would be with her tonight. She had a feeling that if she did there would be no getting Usagi out of this apartment and to fighting the youma.

 “Even so I still don’t like this.” Her Mother said shaking her head. All she and Kenji had left was Usagi. She couldn’t imagine her being in danger fighting these creatures.

 “Mama. Naru’s the one in danger. I can’t just leave her.” Usagi said. She wasn’t hundred percent certain that Luna was taking her to Osa-P but she doubted it was a coincidence that Luna had shown up today after what she had seen that afternoon. She understood partly what her mother was feeling but she couldn’t just leave Naru alone to be hurt by these youmas if that was indeed where they were headed.

 “Fine go. But be careful and we are going to have a long talk about this when you get home.” Usagi's mother assented with the look on her face clearly saying the discussion wasn't over nor was she about to give up on this issue. She didn’t like it but if she knew her daughter then she was pretty certain that even if she tried to keep her in Usagi would find a way out. Her and Naru were too close not to and she was worried if Usagi wasn’t allowed out and Naru was hurt somehow Usagi would have even more guilt.

 “Thank you Mama. I’ll be back soon!” Usagi called before slipping out of the apartment. “That could have gone worse.” Usagi said more to herself then to Luna. She was glad she hadn’t run into her Dad on the way out. They might not have gotten out at all if that was the case.

 “Really?” Luna said skeptically looking back at the apartment. That had not been the definition of a good conversation by her standards.

 “You don’t get it quiet yet. We lost my little brother two years ago. Since I’m the only child left they have gotten more protective of me since then. Honestly the only reason I think we got out was because the full implications of what you were saying haven’t sunk in yet.” Usagi said shaking her head. She honestly was surprised they had been able to make their case to get out. She wondered if it was partly because they were in shock. She had a feeling that the next time around was going to be more difficult.

 “My condolences.” Luna offered after a moment.

 “Sometimes I half expect him to walk through the front door like nothing happened.” Usagi confessed. She knew it wasn’t possible. Shingo was dead. There was little doubt about that. But some days she just wanted to forget that.

Usagi was more than a bit surprised when Luna lead her to Naru’s family shop. Of all the places she had been expecting, this was not it, but it did kind of make sense. She had seen that weird thing earlier that day when she had come here after school.

“Moon?” Luna said looking up at her.

“Oh sorry just thinking about something from earlier.” Usagi confessed.

“About something we discussed or something else?” Luna asked.

“Something else. This is my friend’s family shop. I came by earlier because she was worried about her Mom and wanted some moral support while she talked to her. When I was there I saw something that was just plain weird.” The girl confessed.

Luna frowned slightly but chose not to push it for now. This would be a topic to go over later when they didn’t have an imminent youma attack to deal with.

“Huh. so that’s what I saw earlier at the shop.” Sailor Moon muttered more to herself then to Luna. She thought she was still partly in shock over the whole situation. How did a monster replace her best friend’s mother?

Luna frowned looking up at her. “You saw her earlier today?” 

“As I said before my friends family runs the shop. When I was there I saw this” Usagi made a motion at the creature. “for a brief second instead of her mother. Didn’t have a clue what it was. Thought I was imagining things honestly because of exhaustion and stress from school.”

Luna frowned glancing over at the creature before looking back at her, “That is odd to say the least.” That was unexpected to put it mildly. Lunarians usually didn't have much in the way of seeing through illusions. But maybe Usagi was an exception. She wasn't going to complain though they needed all the little help they could get. 

“What do you mean?” she frowned.

Luna paused before shaking her head, “Not now we will address the matter later. For now, we need to do the proper introduction speech.”

“I’m not doing an intro speech.” The teenager said as they moved to reveal themselves.

“Usagi-” Luna began in protest again.

“I’m not. I don’t get the point of introductory speeches. They seem to waste time and make me a target.” she argued back. They had been squabbling over this topic the entire way over from the moment Luna had brought it up on the journey over. Maybe it was something she was missing but as of right now she really didn’t understand Luna’s insistence on this subject.

“They are tradition, and in some cases a good way to distract the target. Do it at least once and I won’t get on your case about them again.” Luna promised. Would she have preferred Usagi did them? Yes. Was it really that much of a pressing mater? No.

“Fine. Just this once.” Sailor Moon agreed realizing that this was one argument she was never going to win. “Hey creepy face! Let go of my friend!”

She could hear Luna muttering something in the background but chose to ignore the cat for now especially since said cat had called her by name a few minutes ago as the youma swiveled to look at her. Okay that made it infinitely more creepy. Taking a deep breath and a good swallow for measure the skirted hero took the chance and went over the orchestrated speech, “For Love and Justice I am the pretty sailor suited soldier! Sailor Moon! In the name of the Moon I'll punish you!”

“So what do I do now?” she asked Luna continuing to stare at the strange monster creature in front of her. Sailor Moon really hoped that thing wasn’t human... or had been human. It really hadn’t reacted to her speech other then dropping Naru so Luna may have a case then.

Before she could get a proper answer out of Luna the creature made a hand wavy motion at the unconscious people scattered about. What were they still doing there at this time of the night anyway? Naru’s family shop didn’t stay open that late normally. All of sudden they were getting up on their feet. Okay this youma thing was getting creepier by the minute. Before she had time to process what was fully going on she found herself being chased around by a bunch of youma controlled people. This was going to be a long night.

“Oh no!” Sailor Moon said running away from the…well she wasn’t exactly sure what they were. Other then they seemed to be under some weird spell thanks to whatever it was she was exactly fighting.

“Sailor Moon! You need to turn around and fight the youma!” Came Luna’s ever so helpful comment as she ran in the opposite direction from said youma and youma controlled people.

“Easy for you to say!” The blonde yelled back over her shoulder. Seriously she was putting enough effort keeping herself in front of these people forget fighting the thing that Luna kept calling a youma.

Luna was about to fire back a comment back when a rose, really, sliced through the air distracting the youma and breaking the spell judging by the fact everyone suddenly fell down. Well credit for good aim there.

“That was ridiculously good timing.” She said to herself. The teenager didn’t have a clue how that had worked other than apparently his distraction had broken the youma’s spell leaving it wide open for attack.

“Sailor Moon you need to defeat the youma!” Luna said coming out from behind her hiding place as she could vaguely hear the youma being lectured by whomever threw the rose. Or maybe the guy was lecturing her. She wasn’t sure which at this point and wasn’t paying close attention. There were more important matters at hand, like getting rid of creepy face.

“How?” As it was Luna hadn’t been the most forthcoming about what was needed to accomplish the task they had set out to do.

“Your tiara is your weapon against the enemy. You need to remove it, aim it in the direction of the youma, and throw it while using the right command words!” Luna explained.

“Luna I don’t know the first thing about throwing objects!” Sailor Moon pointed out to the cat. Yep definitely going to be a long night- especially since she wasn’t sure if whomever threw the rose in the first place had actually stuck around.

“The tiara acts like a boomerang of sorts. So even if you miss on the first throw it will return to you. You just need to get a hit in. Don’t worry so much about the aiming right now. We can get that down later.” Luna assured her. As Sailor Moon reached up for her tiara Luna spoke, “The command you need is 'Moon Tiara Magic'.”

She removed it, tried her best at aiming and tossed the tiara with the command. “Moon Tiara Magic!”

The youma managed to dodge it on the way out but as it swung back around to return to her it actually hit. Quickly turning whatever it was into a pile of dust.

“Good job Sailor Moon!” Luna commended coming to her side.

“It seems kind of short range.” The girl noted as the tiara returned to her and she put it back on her forehead. It hadn’t strayed that far before it had begun to swing back towards her. Really of all the attacking methods this had been the last thing she had been expecting. It was effective at least. She wasn’t really ready to address the fact what she had done to the youma at the moment.

“Well you will have more attacks that are longer range then your tiara, eventually, but that will take time and training to use to them properly. You’ll rely on your teammates to do more long-range damage in the meantime.” Luna said slowly. Usagi was going to guess that there were consequences for trying to reach a power you weren’t ready to handle too soon.

“So uh, what now?” she asked glancing around. The victims of creepy face were still unconscious but who knows how much longer that would be?

Any response from Luna was cut off by a new voice, “Usagi is that you?”

Crap Naru had woken up and apparently recognized her. Despite Luna’s repeated assurances that she wouldn’t be able to recognize her. Time to try and fake her way out of it. “I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

“Usagi we’ve know each other since we are in kindergarten. You’re my best friend but you’re a horrible liar.” Naru said sitting up looking clearly amused.

“Uh well...” she could hear Luna sigh next to her. What could she do? Naru had seen her and she was right. Lying had never been her strong suit.

“Usagi that’s not the way to respond to someone unmasking you.” Luna hissed.

“Unless you have some magical memory wiping device I don’t see how we can get out of this situation.” Usagi argued back.

“I can still hear you ya know,” Naru commented sounding slightly amused.

“That device would be useful right about now.” Luna commented.

She shook her head turning back to Naru who had fallen quiet. “So what happened?”

“She followed me home,” Usagi jerked her hand at Luna, “And told me its now my apparent sworn duty to fight youmas and save the world.”

“I am supposed to act as an adviser for the senshi.” Luna explained.

“Well an adviser excuse isn’t going to exactly fly with your apartment buildings owner. What are you going to do about that?” Naru asked frowning.

“Yeah still have to figure out what to do. Mom let her stay for now because it was just for a night.” she commented frowning her mind starting to shift to a possible solution.

“I am technically supposed to be with Usagi at all times.” Luna protested.

“Luna. You really don’t have a say in the matter. My apartment doesn’t allow for pets. Plus it’s not like you can come to school with me.” She argued. She turned back to Naru, “Do you think you can come up with something so your mom will let you keep her?”

“It shouldn’t be too hard.” Naru agreed.

“I still don’t like this.” Luna commented her tail swishing slightly in agitation but seeming to finally cave and walk over to where Naru was.

“Luna, I am over at Naru’s on a frequent basis. Just because your living with her doesn’t mean you won’t see me. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon first thing,” Usagi tried to assure the cat. She turned back to address Naru. “I should probably get home before it gets too much later or more people wake up. Do you think you’ll be all right now that the youma’s gone?”

“I should be. And yeah better get out of here before people jump to the wrong conclusions.” Naru agreed.

“See ya at school.” she waved at her friend before taking off towards the back exit of the shop.


Usagi was initially surprised to find her Mom still up when she got back to the apartment. Though it made sense. She had told her she was going off to fight some evil. She knew if the situation was in reverse she would have been worried. "Thank god your safe." Her Mom said pulling her into a hug as soon as she was close enough. Pulling back to get a full look at her. "Are you hurt anywhere?"

"I'm fine Mom." Usagi reassured her. "Does Dad know?" Usagi asked after a moment. The what he knew being left out since it seemed fairly obvious. Had her Mom told her Dad that she had been apparently recruited to fight evil?

"No. I didn't think that was a conversation to have minus you and that cat." Her Mom tripped over cat for a moment. Apparently still having a hard time that this whole thing had gotten started because of what appeared to just be a cat. "Where is she anyway?"

"Luna's staying at Naru's for the moment. Naru offered to take her in for the meantime. Luna wasn't overly happy about it." Usagi said making a face going back to the previous argument they had had at Osa-P. Luna really hadn't been happy about the new situation when she thought about it.

"We still need to have a conversation with her. In private." Her Mom said after a moment. Guess they were going to have to figure a way to sneak the cat back in. They had done it once before it shouldn't be too difficult to do it a second time hopefully. As good friends as the Osakas were this was not a conversation to be having at a close friends house. "I still don't understand why you have to be the one that does this." Her Mom muttered to herself.

"Luna made it sound like this is my role and no one else can do it." Usagi confessed paraphrasing some of the conversation they had had. Still dancing around the fact that Luna had called it her destiny at one point.

"But she was also saying you would have teammates! Wouldn't they be able to do the job?" Her Mom asked before continuing. "Don't answer that, it was a rhetorical question. I understand that the whole part of being a team means you work with others. You can't just push off your assumed responsibilities." Her Mom let out a sigh. "I just don't like the idea of you in danger." Her Mom said after a moment. Usagi was all her and Kenji had left at this point. The idea of her constantly being in danger was unsettling.

"It's not forever Mom. Its just until we take care of this Dark Kingdom trouble that Luna was mentioning. Eventually I'll be able to go back to a normal life." Usagi tried to assure her. Or at least that's what she assumed. Honestly Luna hadn't once brought up what would happen after she beat this Dark Kingdom.

"I get it, I don't like it, but I get it to an extent. You're needed for some reason. Your father may stop you." her Mom pointed out. Kenji was even more protective of Usagi then she was. This was going to be a difficult long conversation to have. She had partly given in because she knew after everything else there was no way to convince Usagi of not helping others. Kenji, on the other hand, would probably take a lot more to get through on the matter.

Usagi quietly admitted to herself that she wished her father luck stopping this but she didn't have high hopes, not with how it sounded with Luna. It didn't sound like this was negotiable. She understood from the short conversation they had had so far she was needed. She might not understand why she herself specifically was needed but hopefully in time she would.

End Chapter 1


Chapter Text

Chapter 2
Cursed History

Usagi plopped her bag down in her usual spot in Naru’s room a couple of days after the jewelry shop incident. Things had been a bit crazy in the aftermath of the youma attack so they hadn’t been able to get together and do a much-needed talk yet. Today was finally the day she was going to get some much-needed answers from Luna. She turned to the cat that was currently lounging on the bed as Naru closed the door. “All right Luna you promised a more in depth explanation of everything when I signed up for Sailor Senshi duty. Time to fulfill your end of the bargain.”

“I honestly still have quiet a few holes in my memories. To be honest it might not be possible to answer everything at this point and time.” Luna confessed after a moment.

She waved her hand dismissing the concern. “That’s fine I’ll just take what we can get at the moment.”

Luna let out a breath before starting. “A long time ago all the planets were inhabited not just Earth.”

“Wait, wait, wait, what?” Naru said voicing the confusion they both had. “Your saying extra terrestrial life did exist in our solar system at one point and time and nobody knows about it?”

“I believe the old Earth saying ‘History is written by the victors’ is applicable here.” Luna responded.

“Well if that isn’t a scary thought I don’t know what it is.” Usagi commented to Naru.

“If you don't stop interrupting we are never going to get through this. It's quite a long story and it's not very easy to remember what I do.” Luna cut in before Naru could respond.

“Yes Maam.” they chorused.

“Thank you.” -Luna said- “As I was saying before we got sidetracked. There was a time long ago where all the planets were inhabited. Most of the planets made up an Alliance that was commonly referred to as the Silver Alliance. A sort of shared governmental body with the Moon at the center of it all.”

“Sounds a bit like an ancient European Union.” Naru commented from her opinion.

“From what little I know about the European Union it would be a slightly fair comparison.” Luna agreed.

“I was gettting to that have some patience.”-Luna shook her head-“While most of the major planets were members of the Silver Alliance there was an exception. Earth.”

“Wait why? I get we aren’t the center of the universe especially back in that time but it seems like an odd choice.” Naru said frowning.

“Earth was...” Luna paused again frowning there.

After it passed for a couple of minutes Naru spoke. “You can’t remember exactly why Earth wasn’t part of the Silver Alliance can you?”

“No. I know things were in motion for them to join the Alliance before the Alliance’s destruction at the hands of Queen Beryl and her minions. But I don’t know why it wasn’t a preexisting member at the time like the other planets,” Luna admitted.

“Seems kind of odd...” -Usagi frowned slightly- “You really don’t know why?”

“No I don’t know or rather I can’t remember at this point Usagi. I just know it wasn’t.” Luna said her tone taking an exasperated sound again.

“But you can remember that Earth was about to join before the fall?” Naru asked apparently also a bit skeptical. She knew Luna’s memory was sketchy but this seemed to be her picking and choosing what she wanted to tell more then accurantly remembering honestly.

“Because it was tied to the fall of the Alliance.” Luna said exasperatedly.

“Oh.” was Usagi’s oh so brilliant response. That would explain it some. She frowned for a moment glancing at Naru noticing the other girl seemed to be mulling over the answer they had been given. However her attention was drawn back to Naru and she made a note to ask Naru what she was thinking later.

Luna let out a breath before speaking. “You see, due to various reasons there had always been a tension between Earth and members of the Silver Alliance but before the fall it was at an all time high. At the time of the fall though, despite some protests within some members of the alliance that Earth wasn't ready to join the Alliance, plans were in motion for Earth to join in hopes of easing that tension between the alliance and earth. So the Queen of the Moon had arranged to have her daughter marry the Prince of Earth. In hopes of helping calming fears on both sides of the conflicts and further ease tensions.”

“A political marriage.” Usagi interrupted making a face. She may or may not be the Moon Princess herself but it didn’t mean she liked the idea.

“It was very common in those days. A way of attempting to ensure political stability on both sides of the aisle. It also helped that both sides appeared in love, not common in political matches, but not unheard of. What better way to help bring in Earth to the Silver Alliance then a marriage between the Alliance’s future Queen and Earth's future King?” Luna explained.

“Okay I kind of get it. I may not exactly like it. But I get it though I don’t understand why the Queen of the Moon chose her own daughter.” Usagi admitted.

“The Moon was the center of it all, and at the head of it all was the Lunarian Royal Family. The Queen was in charge of not only the Moon Kingdom itself but overseeing the Silver Alliance and insuring it’s stability. The Princess and her other relatives would sometimes oversee other minor tasks as a method of training them for whatever future role they were to eventually partake in. By choosing her own daughter she was picking technically the person who would have been considered one of the most powerful in the Alliance even if she hadn’t come into her inheritance yet,” Luna explained.

“So what does that have to do with me or this Beryl lady?” Usagi asked turning to the cat with a frown. Naru apparently had fallen silent more interested in listening to the back and forth. She knew the cat had said multiple times she was a member of the Lunarian Royal Family but she still couldn’t quiet grasp what that meant in her role as Sailor Moon.

“As I said before you almost certainly weren’t the princess back in your time. To protect those in line to the throne when a Sailor Moon was needed someone close enough in lineage would be called. However that didn’t mean you weren’t well respected as a member of the Royal Court.” Luna explained. Usagi frowned for a second. That didn’t quiet add up with some of her memories but that might be something possibly best to bring up for later.

“So in terms of being Sailor Moon in battle what am I supposed to do other than fight these weird looking things,” she asked choosing to bypass the whole confusing heritage thing. Something to argue with Luna over another day.

“It means that you as the new Sailor Moon are now to expected to take up the central role in leading the Sailor Senshi in and out of battle.” Luna explained slowly.

Usagi froze at that. She really didn’t like the idea of leading anyone, let alone a group of people who she had just met. Supposed to fight evil beside or not. “What do you mean leader?”

“Lunarians are natural born leaders even within the general populace. Combine that with your heritage of being in the Lunar Royal Family and being Sailor Moon, who historically have always lead the Senshi as a united front in battle in the past and your natural status is that of leader.” Luna explained.

“I’m not sure I’m okay with this,” Usagi began slowly. Hopefully Luna wouldn’t freak out too much over this.

“Not okay with what?” Luna questioned tilting her head slightly in confusion.

“I’m not a leader Luna. Never have been. People aren’t just going to fall into line behind me all of a sudden because I took up this mantle.” Usagi said waving her hands in exasperation how much clearer did she have to be? The thought of trying to lead anyone when it seemed like no one would listen to her to begin with just made her want to start to panic.

“But Usagi your a Lunarian you-” Luna began only to be cut off.

“You can’t make me something I’m not!” She said exiting the room closing the door with more force then normal knowing she needed to get away from Luna before she truly did begin to panic. She was going to head to a nearby park and hopefully clear her head a bit and then figure out what to do. She wasn’t really sure what to do with the info that she was the leader of the Sailor Senshi.

She had made it back to the park her and Naru sometimes visited by the time Naru finally caught back up with her taking a seat on the swing next to her. “You okay?”

“I’m better now.” She said. It was true once she had gotten away from Luna and she had calmed down some. But still leading other people into battle was a fought that terrified her.

“Ya know, not everyone’s going to be like Yuki and her friends.” Naru commented after a slight pause.

“I know that on a mental level but I guess not so much on an emotional level.” She confessed. Plus, it really didn’t help that she didn’t feel she was ‘leader’ material. She all ready had seen some of the responsibility Luna was giving her and she was not looking forward to going through that with more people.

“Usagi you know with the dreams you have been having that most likely your not just a member of the Lunar court.” Naru pointed out. She had heard some of the details from the dream.

“I know that.” Usagi responded.

“Maybe some part of them will remember and respect you for who you used to be back in that past life." Naru pointed out.

“Respect is earned not given. I don’t want them to respect me just for someone who I used to be.” Usagi said shaking her head.

“Is that why you haven’t mentioned to Luna who you might be?” Naru asked.

“Pretty much.” Usagi agreed.

“You haven’t told her yet either have you?” She asked her friend worried after a moment.

“No, I don’t feel its my place to say.” Naru confessed. “Plus, I get the feeling we’re not the only ones holding back information.”

“You think she is lying when she says she has holes in her memories?” Usagi asked frowning.

“Well…maybe not a whole lie. I think she does have holes in her memories but I think she may be lying about how much she doesn’t remember at the moment.” Naru said.

“But why would she do that?” Usagi argued. It sounded kind of silly to withhold information that might be necessary to fight this Queen Beryl.

“Who knows? She’s a quiet literal alien Usagi. Who knows what she thinks?” Naru said shaking her head.

“I should tell her.” She said after a slight pause.

“Yeah you probably should.” Naru agreed. “You don’t want to, do you.” A statement rather than a question as she gave Usagi a knowing look.

“It’s just every time she looks at me it seems like she is expecting someone else, someone more put together. If I am her princess then that’s going to shatter a lot more of whatever connotations she has. I am not sure I’m ready to deal with that kind of possible disappointment Naru.” Usagi explained.

“I think you’re over thinking it. She’ll probably just be happy that she found her princess regardless of who she is.” Naru argued.

“Possibly. Either way I am not ready to tell her or anyone.” Usagi shrugged.

“Yeah the only reason why I know and Luna doesn’t yet is because of the sleepovers.” Naru said.

“We might have to cut back on those.” Usagi realized. If she wanted to keep it from Luna then she was going to have to make some changes.

“Or we could just do sleepovers at your place until she knows.” Naru suggested thoughtfully.

“That would work.” Usagi agreed gratefully.

“So do you want to go back to my place or what?” Naru asked after a lapse in the conversation.

“No, I’m not quite ready to deal with Luna again at the moment. What about the arcade?” She suggested. Really, they should go back and study regardless of Luna’s presence but she wasn’t ready to deal with her quiet yet.

“Sounds like a plan.” Naru agreed getting up from the swingset.

“Eh your here early.” Was Naru’s greeting the next morning at school as she arrived for once not only on time but with plenty of time to spare.

“Yeah well Luna has been bugging me to get in better shape.” Usagi pointed out.

“And your actually listening.” Naru asked a bit surprised.

“If I am going to do my job I kind of have to.” She pointed out.

Naru shrugged. “That's true.”

“So anything new with you? Any good gossip to report since we last met?” Really she wasn’t in the mood for gossip but she wasn’t in the mood to talk about school either. So she would take the former if her friend had any.

“Nothing really. I did hear some people talking about a new fortune teller’s place that opened a few days ago that everyone has been going to.” Naru tended to pay more attention to the gossip than she did honestly. So it made sense that she would have picked up on a new trend, while her being absorbed and overwhelmed with her brand new ‘duties’ wouldn’t have heard of it.

“Anything noticeably interesting about it?” She asked trying to indirectly ask if Naru had heard anything that might point to a possible youma plot. Luna had hinted that for whatever reason any new shops needed to be treated with suspicion since that was a common youma front.

“Not really.” Naru shook her head there.

“No one’s acting like Luna warned might happen during a youma attack.” Naru commented to herself. Luna had given them both the basic run down of what to look for it they suspected a youma plot. But so far everything had been pretty quiet.

“Still maybe it wouldn’t hurt to swing by after school.” Naru suggested. “Maybe we can get some insight from whoever runs the place if they aren’t part of the Dark Kingdom.”

“That actually sounds kind of good.” she agreed. With so many things changing maybe having a little reassurance in the future wouldn’t hurt.

“I thought you said you were going to try and start getting to class on time.” Was Naru’s comment as she burst into the classroom the next morning running later than normal. They had swung by the fortune teller’s place after school. But between the long line and no direct connection, to an actual youma plot, they hadn’t really investigated it. Deciding if it was a youma plot it would eventually show itself much like the jewelry shop youma did.

“I am. Things just didn’t go well this morning.” She admitted glancing at the empty teacher’s desk with a frown before taking a seat. Now that she looked around the desk wasn’t the only unoccupied seat in the classroom.

“Well you’re in luck today. Ms Haruna had to take a bunch of the boys to the principal’s office because they were causing trouble and wouldn’t settle down for roll call. I don’t think she even had a chance to realize you weren’t here yet.” Naru explained.

“That’s a relief.” She sunk further into the chair. At least that was one weight off of her back but the behavior thing was a worry. “So what happened?”

“Er some of the boys were talking over Ms. Haruna during roll call. She tried to ignore them for the most part until they started getting too loud to do that. But when she called them out on it the response was to call her some rather lude names. That’s when she took them to the principal’s office.” Naru explained.

“Was Umino among them?” This maybe enough to convince Luna that they need to actually investigate the fortune telling place. Umino was many things, but he wasn’t usually rude from what she could tell.

“How did you know?” Naru blinked a few times in surprise.

“He was at the fortune tellers when Luna and I were scouting it.” She said hoping Naru would put two and two together. Naru had been held back the previous afternoon so it had just been her and Luna at the fortune teller’s.

“Oh, ohhh, that’s not good.” Naru said making a face.

“No, it isn’t.” looked like they were headed back to that building after school.

“Are you sure about this? I thought you said you didn’t know Umino that well.” Luna questioned that afternoon as they approached the fortune tellers she had picked Luna up from Naru’s and now they were back out in front of the fortune teller’s place.

“No, I definitely don’t, but he just doesn’t seem like the type to pull off the kind of stunt that Naru described this morning.” She argued, “Look at worst, I’ll make a fool of myself. Considering I’m so new at this its bound to happen eventually. Do you really want to risk a youma possibly running around unchecked?”

“You’re willing to be a possible fool in front of strangers and yet your terrified of your possible team mates.” Luna inquired raising an eyebrow.

“Well…maybe for now at least. I would prefer not to later.” Usagi admitted. There was a reasoning behind why she was kind of terrified of her future teammates but she wasn’t ready to discuss that with Luna quiet yet. If the fortune teller lady was just a regular fortune teller then she doubted she would ever see the person again. But with people she was constantly going to have to be working with, that was another story. She had once given her trust more readily to new people, back when they had first moved to Tokyo, now it wasn’t such an easy matter.

“Luna, how are you going to find these other girls anyway?” Usagi asked after a momentary lapse.

“I’ve been on the lookout for them already.” Luna admitted after a moment or so. “I just haven’t been able to find them yet.”

“I hate to ask this... but are you sure they were reborn like I was after the fall of this Moon Kingdom?” she asked. It was a legit question in her mind.

“The Queen knew the possibility of the Dark Kingdom’s seal breaking. She wouldn’t have just sent two of you forward.” Luna said shaking her head slightly.

“Two?” She asked frowning. She wasn’t aware of another girl running around Japan fighting evil. And if there was why wasn’t she all ready working with her?

“You’ve heard of Sailor V correct?” Luna asked stopping to look at her.

“Er yes?” She admitted. The name sounded vaguely familiar but then again she didn’t pay that much attention to the gossip circle being busy with school and now this.

“The V in Sailor V stands for Venus. One of the four Senshi who belong to the Inner Court.” Luna explained.

“Oh.” That explained the two part. “So why am I not working with her?”

“Venus is currently in England for school. It so happens that the Dark Kingdom has a small hive of activity there that she’s in charge of fighting. Pulling her away from that job at that moment would be detrimental to the safety of the people there.” Luna said.

“Oh.” That made a lot of sense.

“So how exactly do we handle this?” She asked as they finally came into view of the fortune teller house.

“Well you go in looking for the fortune teller to be doing something anything odd. If you feel it warrants immediate action you go ahead and transform. Otherwise come out and report to me and we will figure out what to do next.” Luna explained.

“But what prevents me from maybe falling victim to whatever caused Umino and the others to start acting the way they did?” She asked.

“Your broach has a lot of dark magic blockers on it. It should prevent anything the Dark Kingdom can cast from affecting you.” Luna retorted.

“But what if it doesn’t?” It was a legit question. She was brand new to this job and Luna had a bunch of holes in her memory. What if the broach didn’t work the way it was supposed to?

“I better come with you.” Luna realized coming to the same conclusion she was. If the broach didn’t protect her then they would be in real trouble. Luna hadn’t known her long enough to be able to pick up on what would be considered odd behavior from her. So by the time they did figure out it was a youma plot, if it was, it maybe too late.

“Should I maybe transform before we go in?” she asked.

Luna shook her head. “Would raise too many eyebrows. Best to just go in as yourself. Going in as Sailor Moon could present its own set of issues. Especially in the long term.”

“And if it is a youma and it does become alerted to my presence somehow. I will need to transform and even if it is a Dark Kingdom plot that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have security equipment.” Usagi asked raising an eyebrow choosing to ignore the long term comment for now, that was something they could address later. She did understand where Luna was coming from but it did present a sort of danger if this was a Dark Kingdom plot.

“I may actually have a solution for that.” Luna said brightening up after a second. A backflip later she was presented with a pen. “This is the Luna disguise pen. It can transform you into anyone you can think of. It will be able to fool any cameras into thinking your someone else. So in case you do need to transform they won’t be able to tell you are well you.”

“That’s nifty.” She said squatting down to pick up the pen and examining it. Looked like most other pens you would see the only real distingushing features was the jewel on top and it being slightly larger then normal. “So how do I activate it?”

“Say Moon Power and then tell it what you want to look like.What you end up as depends on the instructions you give it.” Luna explained.

“All right seems simple enough.” She said straightening up holding the pen up in the air. Well simple enough up until you had to pick what you were being disguised as. But considering the events of earlier that day she had an idea, “Moon Power transform me into a typical school boy!”

A power similar to the one that came over her when she had first transformed into Sailor Moon washed over her. And sure enough a minute later she found herself standing in her school’s boy uniform. That wasn’t the only change too though judging by the sudden absence of her ponytails. Noticing Usagi looking curiously at the changes Luna said. “The magic is only a temporary illusion and will last a few hours at most. Though that would be pushing it so we should get a move on. Though I must ask, why a boy?”

“Well all the victims in my class were boys. So that seems to be what the youma was targeting. So it made the most sense.” Plus she was a bit curious just how far the magic’s extent reached she had to admit.

Luna made a noise at that. “I guess that makes sense. Let’s best get this over with.”

“Right.” Usagi said as the two entered the house.

Using the Luna pen in the ended up being the right call. While somehow she had managed to get into the fortune teller’s without being detected the glowing cards had kind of given it away that this was actually a Dark Kingdom plot and not just some shop on a street.

‘There are still way too many civilians here.’ Usagi thought looking around. Even after the table got tossed and Luna had landed a scratch resulting in the youma letting out a shriek, the room was still mostly occupied. Which presented its own set of issues. She could transform into Sailor Moon now seeing as the Luna Pen would keep someone from realizing who she was even if her Senshi and civilian form really didn’t look that much different. But what would keep people from drawing the wrong connections about her boy disguise being connected to her Senshi form?

“Usagi-” She looked down to see Luna hissing at her. “Why haven’t you transformed yet?”

“There’s still a lot of people even after all that fuss.” Usagi tried to explain.

“The pen’s magic-” Luna began.

“Yeah, yeah I know it keeps it so I appear to anyone including myself as anyone but myself. But what if someone draws a conclusion about this being connected to Sailor Moon somehow?” she asked.

“We will get to that bridge when we come to it. For now we have bigger problems to deal with. Transform!” was Luna’s response.

“If you say so. Moon Prism Power, Make Up!” Usagi said with a slight bit of hesitancy lifting the broach in the air and yelling the transformation phrase.

By the time her Luna Pen disguise had faded into her Senshi uniform the youma had morphed into her true form. Thankfully that did cause anyone who hadn’t fallen victim to the youma’s brainwashing cards to scatter rather quickly. The youma sneered at her saying. “And who just might you be?”

Luna looked up at her expectantly. She let out a sigh, just this once since for some reason the youma had actually asked instead of straight out attacking for some odd reason. “For Love and Justice I am the sailor suited pretty soldier, Sailor Moon! In the name of the Moon I'll punish you!”

“Sailor Moon? Never heard of you.” The youma sneered. Did the people who worked at the Dark Kingdom not talk to each other? It seemed like someone fighting them would be the kind of news that would spread. She knew the youma that she had defeated last time hadn’t talked to anyone before its defeat... But you would think whoever was in charge of them would have been watching to make sure everything was going as planned. Apparently not.

“Yeah well I’m new to this job and apparently your boss doesn’t pay much attention.” Was her response as she ducked some brainwashed patron. Where did these people come from was really a mystery of its own.

“Usagi quit antagonizing the youma and fight.” Came Luna’s helpful suggestion.

“You were the one insisting before that I have to introduce myself to the enemy.” She pointed out okay she had been partly replying to the youma. Luna had insisted on it before now.

“Okay maybe that wasn’t the best idea.” Luna conceded.

“Finally.” Sailor Moon muttered more to herself as she dodged another outstretched arm. Really the people were more annoying then dangerous at the moment.

“There has got to be a better way of going about this that doesn’t involve me constantly getting cornered by these youma’s victims.” She complained as she found the last move had caused her to end up getting pushed back into a corner. Maybe it was the whole fighting in smale spaces things? She drew in a deep breath before ducking beneath the arm of one of the brainwashed customers. They were getting too close for her comfort leve and while there wasn’t a ton of them there was enough to cause her trouble if she attempted to power up the tiara. That guy from the other day could be really useful right about now.

As if summoned by her thoughts there was a slicing noise followed by a yelp from the youma. Right on cue a guy in a cape stepped out between her line of sight and the youma. Huh, so this was the person that had helped her out the other night. Not exactly was what she was expecting but she would take it at this point.

“Luna you didn’t mention that I would be working with any guys.” Sailor Moon commented to the cat ducking around another brainwashed person. She needed to get in better position to attack the youma, which might be easier said then done considering the area of the room and the amount of people in it. At least the guy was distracting the youma for now.

“That’s because I didn’t know of any that would be working against the Dark Kingdom.” Luna responded eyes never straying from the caped guy who had just arrived who was having some squabble with the youma. Or maybe he was fighting it? Hard to tell from this angle what exactly was going on.

She did have almost a direct line of sight but it was being obstructed by the caped guy. Maybe if she powered up her Tiara and yelled duck he would get what she was planning? It was dangerous but she didn’t have much in the way of options. The youma's victims were still around and still causing a bit of a problem. Though now they were split between whether to go after him or her. Which gave her just enough of an opening to power up the tiara.

“Duck!” Sailor Moon yelled tossing the tiara in the direction of the youma and hoping the new ally wouldn’t get hit by the tiara. Thankfully the caped man seemed to get the idea ducking out of the way of the tiara just in time for it to whiz over his head and hit the youma turning it to dust.

As the brainwashed people collapsed into a pile of heap the guy turned to her saying. “That was a bit risky. How did you know I was going to follow your command?”

“Considering this is the second time you’ve helped me out and you appear to be fighting these youmas I figured that you would get the idea. Still, hopefully we don’t find ourselves in that situation again.” Sailor Moon said.

“That’s not saying much coming from someone who seems to have a pension for getting in trouble when up against these creatures.” He pointed out.

“Look- er do you have a name I can call you?” Sailor Moon asked.

“For now just call me Tuxedo Kamen.” The man now known as Tuxedo Kamen said.

“Look Tuxedo Kamen I just got this ‘job’ a few days ago. That night at the jewelers shop was my first night on the job. I am still figuring out what to do. So there are going to be mishaps since I’m so new at this.” Sailor Moon argued. Luna and her had been going over some strategies to deal with youma but it was hard to balance Senshi duty in with everything else she was discovering. Once she had been doing this longer it would hopefully would get easier.

“And you don’t think I might be new at this?” He asked.

“Well-er,” The thought hadn’t occured to her. He seemed a lot more competent at fighting the Dark Kingdom already then she was. The thought that he maybe new to this job hadn’t even crossed her mind. Though honestly she hadn’t put much thought into the guy before now.

“Sorry.” Sailor Moon said after having a second to collect her thoughts. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was apologizing for? Making the wrong assumption maybe?

“It’s fine just try to be more careful in the future for both of our sakes.” Tuxedo Mask said before disappearing with a swish of the cape.

“I have to learn that trick.” Sailor Moon said more to herself then to Luna.

“Moon that trick is a bit difficult to pull off with your attire.” Luna pointed out.

She gave a shrug at that. “Eh. Still a neat trick even if it’s not one I can do. We should get out of here before anyone wakes up and starts asking question.”

Technically Usagi had been the one to delay their departure with her discussion with Tuxedo Mask. But at this point it was probably not best to point that out so Luna simply shifted slightly realizing also that a couple of the youma’s customers were starting to now stir. “Right of course.”

"Anything I should know before we start this conversation with your parents?" Luna asked as they rode the elevator to Usagi's family's apartment. She had been smuggled in a small bag. The elevator was empty so Luna felt fairly confident in posing a question.

"Not that you don't know already. Mom and Dad have always been protective and that's only grown since Shingo died. Mom, I think, might be reluctantly on board with this. The problem is going to be convincing Dad." Usagi said after a moment. "Maybe don't mention you haven't found my teammates yet."

"You want me to lie?" Luna asked in surprise. She hadn't really thought Usagi would try to advocate lying...

"Maybe not lie but if they don't bring them up then don't bring them up. I think we got out the other night partly because Mom thought I was meeting someone else. I'm not sure how well this conversation go if they realized I am working alone for now." Usagi admitted. Though if they lied that might backfire too.

"If it wasn't so difficult and might cause other problems I would have already pulled Venus." Luna grumbled slightly. Having Venus all the way across another continent wasn't her first choice in the matter.

"I know Luna." Usagi let out a sigh. "Okay maybe don't lie but just be careful."

"I was already going to have to be careful Usagi." Luna pointed out. From the one conversation she had been around Usagi's parents for she had realized she was going to have thread carefully to make sure they signed off on her being Sailor Moon.

"Ready or not Luna." Usagi noted as the elevator dinged indicating they had reached the floor she lived on.

 The conversation had been tense from the start. Despite warning her Dad ahead of time of just who Luna was and why she was needed, he was having a difficult time excepting her own role in these events. Not that she wouldn't deny she was still having a hard time with that herself.

"Mr. Tsukino. Please understand I would rather just let the girls lead normal lives." Luna said trying to placate him. "Unfortunately, the Dark Kingdom closed that door of opportunity in this lifetime. They have to fight, or else Earth may become a dead planet."

"How can you be so sure that they are that dangerous?" Her Dad asked skeptically. That seemed like a bit of a stretch for an organization he had never heard of before a few hours ago.

"Because they already killed millions before." Luna said somberly. "I watched an entire civilization that spanned this entire solar system wiped out eons before you were born. They care not for who lives on this planet but only for power and their continued existence."

"Entire civilization...!?" Her Mom whispered faintly, alarmed and looking like she might actually faint any moment.

"It's a long tale but the short version is Earth wasn't always the only inhabited planet." Luna explained. "The Dark Kingdom is responsible for that being lost. I'm trying to prevent a repeat of the very same situation."

"At my daughter's expense?!" Her Dad growled. He hated the idea of his daughter going out on a regular basis and endangering herself. They had already lost Shingo, he didn't want to lose her to.

"Papa I don't like it either but if I don't do something and that happens, your part of this world too. So am I and so is mom and so was Shingo." Usagi said breaking into the argument for the first time. She still had her reservations about Sailor Moon. But one of her feelings was strong, she wouldn't let anyone get hurt or worse killed because of her lack of activism. She wasn't going to let any more families lose someone like they had lost Shingo. Not if she had a say in it. "They went after Naru the first time. Some of my classmates, the nicer ones- "Though other than Umino it was pressing at times to maybe call them nice. "Were targeted the last time. I can't sit by while people I know are hurt."

"I still don't like this." Her Dad said crossing his arms in frustration. Though Usagi could see he was slowly to come around to the idea.

"We're not asking you to like it Mr. Tsukino. We're just asking for you to support her." Luna said after a moment. Deciding to leave out for the moment she had been against telling Usagi's parents at first. She had a feeling that wouldn't go over well. "Your daughter is crucial in keeping Earth safe. I can't ask anyone else to do this."

"There's really no one else for the job?" Her Mom broke in for the first time asking. She had been pretty much letting Luna and her Dad go back and forth on the subject.

Luna shook her head. "No. Only a select few people can do this job. Your daughter just happens to be one of them."

"What about these other people you just mentioned though? Can't they take up her spot?" Her Dad asked frowning slightly.

Luna let out a sigh. "Senshi work best in teams. The smallest group you'll probably ever see is a team of two. Even that's fairly rare. Usually they start at groups of three. When the team that Usagi leads is fully assembled there will be at least five of them. It would be a bad idea to pull your daughter from the team. They need her as much as she needs them." Luna explained. There was a possibility that all the Sol System senshi could awaken leading to the full nine senshi being assembled. But the idea of the Outer Senshi awakening and Pluto leaving her post for this was a bit unsettling. Partly due to the fact they usually weren't front line fighters.

"Doesn't that Sailor V work alone though?" Her Dad asked frowning slightly. Maybe this other character wasn't a senshi though...

"Sailor V is a unique case." Luna admitted with some hesitation. "We would rather not have her off by herself doing senshi work but there are superseding circumstances. We don't have a choice in the matter. First chance we get she'll be leaving England and coming back to join the team. Due to her extenuating circumstances, that will take a while."

"It's just temporary right? Until this Dark Kingdom is defeated?" Her Dad asked.

"Just until the Dark Kingdom is defeated." Luna confirmed. Even if something reared its head afterwards the other senshi should, hopefully, be powerful to take care of it. Sailor Moon had been a last resort even back in the days of the Silver Alliance so hopefully this would be the one time she was called upon.

"I still don't like it, but I want you to tell me or your mother if you come back injured." Her Dad said. If nothing else, he realized his daughter would be doing this no matter what he said. Luna wasn't seeking permission, and neither was Usagi.

"Of course." Usagi said giving him a reassuring smile as she noticed Luna starting to relax a bit out of the corner of her eye. Apparently, she had been a bit worried about this conversation even if she had denied it. Usagi wondered what Luna would have done if they hadn't given them their approval.


Luna snuck into the arcade one late night about a week after the fortune teller incident to have a long delayed talk with Central Command. She had been avoiding the conversation about getting advice on how to deal with Usagi’s want to avoid her destiny as leader of the Senshi. With a week gone by and no real progress in convincing Usagi that it would be alright she realized that she needed to actually seek outside advice on the subject.

It was a common misconception, by most members of the Silver Alliance, that Central Command had been run by the Moon Kingdom. Very few knew where central command, home to the Senshi Council, the ruling body for the Sailor Senshi was actually located. Those who did were either on the council itself, had some sort of unique ability, or had run into trouble with the council in the past.  Honestly, she was hoping that she wouldn’t need to talk to them too much. As the girls awakened she was going to need to at least converse with them some. At least on a basic level let them know that there were new Sailor Senshi running around in the Sol System for the first time in over a thousand years.

“She doesn’t feel comfortable taking the role as supreme leader of the Sol Sailor Senshi.” Luna explained after a slight pause hesitating for a second she had been going over the detail’s of Usagi, her awakening and the fight so far when they had strayed onto the topic of possible of concerns. Was this really the best thing to be telling Central Command? Without confirming Usagi was Serenity she was a tad bit worried about their possible reaction to this. The broach had accepted her as Sailor Moon so regardless of her status as Moon Princess or otherwise she was the rightful Sailor Moon by the Henshin Item Act which stated that once the item accepted the trainee as its wielder it was forever theres.

“What do you mean by not comfortable?” Was the inquiring response. Okay so that wasn’t the worst way this conversation could go she would take it.

“She’s afraid that they might not listen to her as a leader. Since she moved to Tokyo she had problem making friends. A lot seems to deviate back to her medical history and some bully at her school. I think with time she’ll grow to accept it but she is going to need both that and patience from her team.” Luna tried to explain to her best while still sidestepping what the exact issue. Most likely Central would eventually find out on its own, what Usagi’s actual issues were and why she was so reluctant to lead the Sailor Senshi, but for now she was just going to sidestep that conversation

 “Due to her being a Lunar the others will follow and respect her whether its on a subconscious level or more upfront. I’m not quiet sure what the concern is.” was the response.

“I realize that and I’ve tried to explain that to her however she doesn’t seem to want to accept it until she actually sees it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to leave it as is right now. She will either come into the role subconsciously on her own with time or she will eventually make the conscious decision to be leader once she realizes the other girls will follow her as a leader. It just might take some time.” Luna said.

“Which you don’t have with Kunzite on the move where Venus is and Jadeite on the move where you are.” Came the exasperate response.

Luna frowned slightly thinking for a second over her previous conversations with Usagi before responding. “We might not need a lot of it. She is already starting to regain bits and pieces of her memories of the Moon Kingdom. From what little she has mentioned the awakening as Sailor Moon has started to accelerate that. Right now it’s not enough to construct a full picture of her life or the time period or who she exactly was on the Moon but with her memories eventual return she may fall into that role sooner rather then later since eventually she should realize that her being in the Lunar Royal Family gives her some form of respect.”

“Any indications of who she was in the Lunar Family?” Was the expected response.

“Some. Nothing that can really be confirmed until the Princess has been reawakened.” Luna responded going around the question for the most part.

“What about the other Sailor Senshi? Any signs of them?” The next question as the topic shifted.

“None. I wish I could say we have some leads on them but so far the only known Senshi besides Moon is Venus. Neither of us have enough memories to start to pinpoint the girls. Hopefully, we’ll have some sort of breakthrough soon.” Luna hoped that would be enough.

“So it’s down to chance at the moment then.” The annoyed response.

“Unfortunately, yes. Hopefully luck will be on our side though otherwise this is going to be a long drawn out fight.” Luna admitted.

“Alright. Keep us updated to any changes or if you manage to find any other Senshi. Otherwise just stick to the weekly reports you have been submitting.” Came the message after a brief pause.

“Understood.” Luna said. A second later the machine turned off indicating the end of the communication. As she wandered back out of the arcade she couldn’t help but wonder just how difficult the next few months were going to be.

End Chapter 2

Chapter Text

“Any luck?” she asked not looking up from her school work as Luna returned to Naru’s place from a patrol. The girls were having a study sleepover over the weekend so she was seeing a bit more of Luna then she usually did. It had been only a day since the fortune teller incident and Luna had been spending most of her time patrolling for either more Dark Kingdom activity or looking for her fellow Sailor Senshi. So far, she hadn’t found any of either.

“No nothing yet. They have to be around here somewhere.” Luna said frowning slightly.

“Why do you think they are within Tokyo anyway?” Naru asked. That was actually a good question. There was a lot of places that these people could be. What was to say that the rest of them were here in the first place?

“You girls are naturally drawn to each other. I just can’t fathom them being anywhere but somewhere close by.” was Luna’s response.

“Yeah but didn’t you say Venus is currently in England?” Usagi asked frowning slightly. Luna when questioned had mentioned another senshi being awake but not being anywhere near Tokyo. Which made her question the statement Luna had just made.

Luna nodded. “Yes, she is right now. Sailor V, is however, originally from Tokyo. She is taking a semester abroad from what I understand.”

“Huh, well I’m not really sure why you are in such a hurry to find the others. I’m doing okay so far.” Usagi said. Okay maybe she was more then a little nervous about working with new people.

“It isn’t so much how good or bad of job you are doing Usagi. It deals more with groups power dynamics. With a couple of exceptions Sailor Senshi very rarely work alone.” Luna explained.

“But isn’t Venus working alone?” she asked frowning slightly.

“We’re making an exception for Venus because of the circumstances. But really she shouldn’t be alone and if things were even slightly different someone would probably be with her.” Luna confessed.

“What about that guy we ran into at the fortune teller’s place? Could he be considered a Senshi?” Naru asked moving the subject away from Venus bringing up a good point having heard about the weird masked guy. While they hadn’t exactly hit it off it hadn’t been the world’s worse way to meet a potential evil fighting partner admittedly.

Luna shook her head, “No. Sailor Senshi are females; besides that I have never seen one donning that kind of uniform before. I’m not sure who he is.”

“I wish I could actually remember more then a couple of people from the Moon Kingdom it would make this easier.” Usagi grumbled more to herself after the had lapsed into a brief silence. It would sure simplify the situation. And there was enough of a pause that she didn’t realize what she had let slip. She still hadn’t told Luna what her and Naru suspected based on their own conversations.

“You remember people from the Moon Kingdom? Do you remember any of the other Senshi? Oh this could save us so much time on our search for the others-” Luna exclaimed face lighting up. Apparently she had missed the part that she only remembered a couple of people only hooking on to the part that she just remembered people period.

“About that actually-” Usagi hesitantly cut in. Luna looked so hopeful that she almost didn’t want to break it to her that she couldn’t remember anyone besides well Luna, that prince guy, and a lady that was most likely the Queen or if they were right her mother?

“What?” Luna asked her face turning into a frown.

“I hate to say it but outside of you, a guy armor, and a lady who may or may not be the Queen from what you told me, I haven’t seen much of anyone. I’ve had some where I’m calling out or meeting up with someone. But they always end before I can actually see the person.” She explained.

Luna’s face fell slightly at that sighing, “Of course it couldn’t be that simple.”

“I’m sorry Luna.” Usagi said giving the cat a scratch behind the ear, she truly was in a way. In spite of all her reluctance to lead a team of almost certainly teenagers Luna was so vested in this she couldn’t help but feel a bit bad about not being able to help.

“It’s not your fault. We got more of a head start then I thought we ever would by having your memories accidentally partially unlocked before our first meeting. It was just wishful thinking to think you had started remembering the other Sailor Senshi.” Luna reassured her.

“Is this going to make finding them more difficult?” Usagi asked.

“No more than it already is. If you had something to go off of it would make things easier but we can still find them. As it is we are where we were when we started. I was able to find you after some searching. I certainly can find them.” Luna reassured.

“It just may take a while.” Usagi realized.

Luna made a noise in agreement, “Correct. Hopefully even with the holes in our memories, when we do start to encounter them, will begin to trigger and we will be able to identify them correctly without too much trouble.”


A few days passed without incident so she was starting to think that the Dark Kingdom had finally taken a break at first. That was until one day her classmates showed up touting a bunch of a new type of pets she had never seen before. She usually tried to keep her distance but the closest one to her was Yuki’s pet. Well at this point there wasn’t much anything worse she could do anyway.

So she opted to try and get a look over the shoulder of Yuki to try and see if she could see anything suspicious. She got only a short look before she got shooed away by Yuki. Well that was different. Yuki would be the first one to make a cross comment for any reason really, least of all if she thought she was being annoying. Not one to just simply shoo her away. But whatever those were looked fairly normal so no reason to be weirded out yet. Maybe she was just having an off day.

“What are those?” Usagi said more to herself as she went to stand next to Naru who was next to the classroom windows. Class wasn’t set to start for a bit so no real reason to sit down yet.

“Chinchellas. There’s a new pet shop in Azabu’s that’s been selling them.” Came Naru’s ever so helpful answer.

“Seems like almost everyone in class has one.” Usagi commented looking around. With the exception of her, Naru, and some of the guys most people had one and were all comparing theirs to each other’s.

“They are really popular. The shop looked packed when we were going by. I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of them honestly.” Naru commented.

“I’ve been a bit too busy lately to go down to Azabu.” Knowing Naru would know exactly why without having to go into detail

“Oh yeah with everything else you haven’t had much free time.” Naru agreed.

“Nope.” she replied.

“You still coming over tonight? I know you mentioned that your parents are trying yet another doctor.” Naru asked switching topics.

Usagi groaned slightly at that. “No that’s not until Friday thankfully. I am already dreading that appointment.”

“Don’t be too pessimistic yet. Maybe you’ll find the right doctor.” Naru said hopefully.

“Luna will remember everything before that ever happens.” Usagi retorted sure of her assessment. She had pretty much given up on finding someone and was just taking the mentality of one step at a time. The only reason why she still even went to these appointments was to appease her parents. She doubted they were going to find anyone decent at this point.


“What in the world are you looking at?” was Luna’s greeting later that day. She was taking a short break from school work to look up those chinchellas when Luna had happened to walk in from a day out.

“Huh? Oh uh some of the kids in my class had these and I was trying to see what the fuss was all about.” Usagi explained.

“How did you learn about them?” Luna asked trying to look over her shoulder at the website.

“They kind of brought them to class today. It was hard to miss. Especially when one of the girl’s pulled hers out again during the lecture.” Usagi explained frowning at the photo on the website. They did look cute, but still the reaction from the girls was strange to say the least. Things had seemed fairly normal right up until that point. Some of the girls may think they were above most people but it just seemed odd for them to just walk out in the middle of class like they had.

“I thought you weren’t allowed to have pets. That’s why I’m here at your friends place.” Luna said.

“Still not. I’m just curious I guess.” Usagi said turning away from the computer to face Luna.

“About what?” Luna asked hopping up to take a better look at the picture.

“You’re thinking that the other kids reaction might be youma related?” Naru, who had previously been silent while they spoke, asked seeming to get where her train of thought was going.

“It would make sense I mean what else could evoke that kind of a reaction when Ms Haruna told our classmates to put them away?” Usagi asked Naru.

“True.” Naru agreed.

“What do you mean?” Luna asked frowning.

“Well one of the girls shoved her into some desks before walking out of the classroom without so much as an apology. I mean I know they can be a bit harsh sometimes. But…this was a bit much even for them.” she admitted.

Luna hmmed at that which caused her to frown. “Luna?” Questioned Usagi.

“It’s definitely a possibility if it really was such an out of character moment for them.” Luna admitted after a slight pause.

“Yeah though the whole thing was weird. Cute animals? Isn't that odd? Wouldn't they use something dark and scary like spiders or something?” Naru argued taking another look at the picture Usagi was holding. They seemed like hardly the weird creatures her friend had been fighting the last couple of weeks.

“Not really. The Dark Kingdom will try and exploit any weakness it can find to gather energy so it can strengthen itself. It thinks it can use cute animals to do that then I wouldn’t put it past them to try and somehow use them." Looking directly in her charges eyes now after answering Naru's inquiry. "Usagi you are going to have to eventually learn that the enemy is going to come in many shapes and forms so sometimes we will have to expect the unexpected.” Luna explained.

“This coming from the same cat that was saying last week there was no way the fortune teller’s place was a Dark Kingdom plot?” Usagi pointed out. There had been a bit of an argument over whether or not the fortune teller shop could be a new plot (which is why her and Naru had gone alone originally) before the Umino incident.

Luna made a face at that. “All right. In retrospect that wasn’t my best call but there are going to be a few bumps in the road. For both of us. We’re just going to have to learn to work with them.”

“So, what do we do?” Usagi asked after a moment.

“I guess we need to go to this shop and see if they are part of a Dark Kingdom plot.” Injected Naru. Luna started towards the door ready to go before realizing both Usagi and Naru both were still sitting where they had been with no sign of getting up. “What is it now?”

“It’s getting kind of late and we still have some school work to finish.” Usagi admitted making a motion at her almost forgotten textbook. Okay admittedly she was looking for a way to procrastinate, even if it meant doing something she equally disliked. But it wasn’t exactly that early in the evening either.

“Usagi we really should take care of it tonight before it gets even more out of hand and we’ve discussed the school work thing before.” Luna said approaching her with a frown.

“I know I’ll come just doesn’t mean I’ll like it.” Usagi grumbled.

“I’ll cover for you if Mom comes a knocking but you should be good as long as you get back before she closes up the shop.” Naru said waving her off even though she clearly wished to wait and go with her.

“Thanks, Naru I owe you one.” Usagi said giving her best friend a smile before taking off.


“So, this is the place.” Usagi said looking up at the rather large store front. It was getting pretty late in the evening so Azabu was most empty by now. But somehow, the pet shop was still surrounded by tons of kids and other prospective customers.

“There are more people then I thought there would be.” Luna commented.

“It’s definitely crowded.” Usagi agreed, especially for a weekday at this time.

“All right lets get you transformed and find this youma.” Luna said turning to her.

“Okay but what do we do about all the people? This is a lot more possible brainwashed people? I’m going to have to deal with then I’ve dealt with before.” Usagi asked frowning and scanned the crowd. At most she maybe had dealt with ten, maybe twenty people on that first night, in one go. It looked like there was upwards of a hundred-people hanging around the store that she would probably have to deal with to get to the youma.

Luna frowned for a second before lighting up. “I know just the thing. It will take care of any brainwashing that the youma may have done and that should give you a clear path to whomever it is.”

“And you didn’t mention this before...?” Usagi asked raising an eyebrow. Something that could actually take care of the youma brainwashing seemed almost to good to be true. Especially considering how much trouble she had run into just in the last couple of fights.

Luna’s ears flattened and she looked sheepish. “It honestly got away from me with all the holes in my memory.”

Okay that was definitely realistic she thought letting out a sigh. “Okay let’s find somewhere more discreet to transform and then you can explain to me how I take care of the youma control problem.”


“Moon Tiara Stardust!” Sailor Moon shouted releasing the tiara over some unsuspecting customers a short while later hoping it would take care of whatever magic the youma had concocted this time. Luna was proving to be a fairly reliable resource, holes in her memory and all, but it was still hard to put trust in something like this actually working. If it did it would be nice to have to fight a youma without dealing with too many complications.

Sailor Moon let out a sigh of relief as most of the crowd began to straighten up glancing about, seemingly confused, but other than that okay. Despite the holes this apparently had been one thing that had held out. So, one problem down, one to go. Now she just had to find the youma, whoever or whatever that was. Glancing around the room, most of the crowd had yet to move and seemed to be a bit lost. But there was a woman that she could just make out over the sea of heads making a very quick beeline for what appeared to be the back of the store. Well that solved the problem of almost surely who the youma was, now probably the more daunting task at the moment, getting to the youma since the crowd had yet to actually go anywhere.

Sailor Moon glanced at the crowd gathered with a frown, you would think they would have dispersed by now but she only saw a few people making a beeline for the front of the store. Most were still standing around trying to get their bearings which meant she would have to force her way through to get to where the youma had gone. Turning to Luna she asked. “Any ideas? I think I saw the youma escaping out through the back but there is a lot of people between us and her.”

Luna frowned slight seeming to realize the same problem. “I guess we will have to force our way through the crowd.”

“I really don’t like the idea of that...” Sailor Moon admitted making a face imagining what that might entail and who she might hurt in the process despite her intentions.

“Well we don’t have much in the way of choices. You don’t exactly have any authority over these people. While you could ask them politely to please leave. I am not sure everyone would disperse.” Luna said frowning taking a second look at the crowd. Maybe if the crowd was entirely made up children or teens that may younger then Usagi... However she spotted several adults in the crowd. As much as she needed Usagi to be a leader and use her position of authority when the time came she had doubts that adults would listen to her at this point when they were just getting the feet underneath themselves.

“I know, I know. I just really don’t like tight crowded spaces.” Sailor Moon confessed staring at the crowd again. It was thinning out some finally. But probably by the time it thinned out for her to get through easily the youma would be long gone. So she was going to have to do this the difficult way.

Sailor Moon drew a deep breath and then began to try and make her way through the crowd, “Excuse me, pardon me. Sorry. Have some business to take care of with the business shop ownerrrr. Whoops.”

Sailor Moon stumbled over her own feet coming out of the backside of the ground. Luna gave her a concerned glance managing to make it out before her. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, just lost my balance. Did you see where the owner went?” She said getting to her feet. It wasn’t like she had actual knees to scrape at this point. It was more of an annoyance at this point.

“Not exactly but there can’t be too many ways out of this building.” Luna frowned glancing around before spotting a door marked exit. “This way.”

“Just because its marked exit doesn’t mean she actually went that way.” Sailor Moon commented but deciding to follow Luna anyway.

“Do you have any other better idea?” Luna asked raising an eyebrow at her.

“No...” Sailor Moon grumbled slightly conceding the point. Even if these youma were weird at best the most likely path was through the shops actual exit, unless it could teleport. Which she was hoping it didn’t because that would present a whole new slew of issues.

Thankfully luck would have it the woman was still in the store’s back parking lot when they got out of the building. “Stop right there!”

“Brave little thing, aren’t you? First you destroy all of my hard work then you have the nerve to actually come after me?” the youma hissed as it shifted out of its disguise into its true form.

“Not sure if brave is the right word here.” she mumbled more to herself.

“Sailor Moon!” Luna hissed at her with an unmistakable tone of scolding.

“Yeah, yeah I know.” Sailor Moon said eyeing the youma's tail. Best to avoid it that didn’t look like it would be fun it it managed to hit her.

There wasn't much to do in the way of actions. All of the formerly brainwashed people were, well, somewhere. Maybe still in the shop? They weren’t there to possibly get in her way and in danger of being hit by her or the youma. Without a reason to go making a fuss about it hurting anyone Sailor Moon removed her tiara, powered it up, and tossed it. No reason to draw this out any longer then it had to be right? Only to have it bounce off the youma’s skin without so much of a dent.

“Uhhhhh Luna what do I do now?” Sailor Moon looked to the cat in question. This was new, and troublesome. How was she supposed to beat the enemy when her lone weapon couldn’t make a dent in it?

Luna looked slightly panicked at the moment and before Sailor Moon could question her further she found herself being picked up by the lizard youma’s tail. Okay, note to self be more aware of surroundings. Luna yelped. “Sailor Moon!”

“I’m…fine. Find a…weak spot.” The struggling Sailor Moon managed to get out. Talking around a giant lizard tail was not easy.

“Sailor Moon aim for the base of the tail!” she heard Luna yell a couple of minutes later. Thank god, she wasn’t sure how much longer she could take this. With some effort Sailor Moon open an eye she could just make out where Luna was talking about. It wasn’t going to be easy to aim with a tail around he neck but she was going to have to try apparently.

“Moon Tiara Magic!” Sailor Moon managed to grunt out tossing it in the direction of where Luna had pointed out and hoping it hit. She would have sighed in relief if she could have when it made contact dissipating the youma. That was way too scary for her liking.

“Are you okay?” Luna asked coming up to her.

Sailor Moon rubbed her throat slightly. “Hurts a bit where she was holding me but other then that I’m okay.”

Luna let out a sigh. “We really do need to find those girls. Fast.”

“Agreed.” she mumbled finally realizing that Luna had a point that working with others was safer. The youma fights were just getting more and more difficult. Like it or not she was going to need some sort of consistent back up, and not the random kind that the tuxedo guy provided.

“I thought you were against working with others?” Luna asked as they started to move away from the fight area. No reason to stick around with the job done.

“I still don’t like it but I’m starting to see your point on how useful it would be to have someone working with me to fight a youma.” Sailor Moon conceded thinking about how if there were stronger ones than that she'd be toast without help.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

Melody of the Warriors

It was one of those dreams again. The Moon Kingdom being where she was once more. These dreams where memory and dream seem to be blured into one for had had a couple since Luna awoken her as Sailor Moon but nothing in them that could make of any use so far. But at least she knew why she was getting them now.

"Mama." Usagi called. Who her mother was, was still a mystery. All the memories she had seen so far had always put her in some sort of shadow. She wasn't sure if that was the way her previous mother had walked or just that she had yet to recall how the woman who had been her mother, in that past life, actually looked.

"Yes Serenity?" The mysterious woman, her past self's mother, said turning to her. Still no clear idea of how she looked. She was starting to think it was the former though at this rate. How much could one person walk in the shadows after all?

"Why don't the girls I met today work with my other guardians?" she asked.

"Well they do sometimes Serenity. Their main job is to keep us and the rest of the Silver Alliance safe from anyone who seeks to invade us from outside the system where as your guardian's main job is to protect us from threats within the system. They only work with the other girls when the threat is so great that no one team can fight them off alone." Usagi's past self's mother, Serenity's mother explained.

"Oh." Usagi/Serenity said. "So I won't be seeing them again?"

"It is unlikely-" Her mother agreed. "They usually remain at their posts unless summoned by myself or one of the other Queens."

"Oh. I liked them." Usagi/Serenity said more to herself then to her mother feeling a slight melancholy at the prospect of not seeing them again.

"You'll see them again someday. That's what comes with your job and theirs. However, it won't be for many years from now." Her mother's response, clearly reading her easily- "Now come along I was able to pull you out for now to attend diplomatic necessities but you still have your afternoon lessons."

Usagi/Serenity grumbled to herself at the thought of going back to class. If there was anything that she hated more then going to all the diplomatic meetings it was attending her lessons. But she knew better than to try and sneak off from her mother. It never worked. Anything else that could be useful from the dream/memory would have to wait.

Usagi was jolted awake by Naru's alarm with a groan ending the dream abruptly. A quick glance told her the other girl was missing and must have awoken before the alarm leaving her and Luna to themselves.

"Usagi?" Luna asked eyeing her curiously as she ran a hand through her hair.

"I had another one of those dreams that was also a memory of Serenity's." Usagi explained starting to get ready for school. Not noticing for the moment that she had let slip the Serenity thing. She was still going around it. Though with Luna regaining her own memories it maybe only a matter of time before she figured it out on her own.

"Anything useful?" Luna perked up. So far there hadn't been much they could go on on finding the other senshi. But she couldn't help but hope that might soon change.

"No not really. Just my mother again, though I can't see what she looks like. We were talking about some other guardians that protected us from invaders outside the system." Usagi explained to Luna moving to get ready.

"The outer senshi." Luna muttered seeming a little surprised.

"You don't sound too happy about that." Usagi inquisitively turned to face the cat from where she was seated putting on her prosthetics for the day. She would have thought that Luna would be pleased about anything concerning the Senshi at this point.

"I have mixed feelings. It could be a bad omen and it could mean nothing. The outer senshi, the girls whose job it was to protect our system from invaders coming from the outside very rarely left their posts unless there was an urgent and very powerful danger." Luna explained. It was a rare occasion the outer senshi were called from their posts to serve directly outside of their usual duties.

"Oh." Usagi said.

"It maybe nothing but it is curious that you would have a memory associated with them now of all times. Especially when you wouldn't have a ton of those to begin with." Luna explained.

"Well there's nothing we can do about it now. Hopefully, it isn't some spooky omen. Hopefully, we find someone soon. For now I need to get to school so I don't get yelled at by Ms. Haruna for running late again." Usagi said standing up after finishing putting on the last of her clothing and fixing her hair. Moving to the door Usagi surmised that it was a mystery for a time when she wasn't so worried about school. Hopefully.

For the first time that either of them could remember they had Naru's place to themselves. Her Mom was off somewhere and Luna was out doing Luna things. That's how they got somehow onto the topic of sneaking into a concert. Apparently, Naru had been wanting to see some jazz musician for the first time.

"Naru I get you want to see this guy live but this might be one of your more hairbrained ideas. Do you realize how much trouble we could get into?" Usagi hissed taking the offered dress from Naru.

"And yet you're still getting dressed for this." Naru commented clearly amused by her protests.

"Only to keep you from getting into more trouble." Usagi grumbled a protest more to herself.

"Come on it will be fun. It's a good way to blow off steam before finals." Naru insisted.

"Playing arcade games is blowing off steam sneaking into a concert is something else." Usagi had added to her argument about this being a not so great idea, hands fidgeting towards her prosthetics, before stepping into the bathroom to change. They could get into a bunch of trouble for this but she couldn't deny she kind of did want to go.

"You really shouldn't let others comments get to you." Naru said with a sigh having noticed the gesture before Usagi entered the bathroom.

"I know, I know." Usagi fumbled around in the bag looking for the Luna Pen. That could solve all their problems right now.

"What's that?" Naru asked looking at it.

"Magical disguise pen. Luna gave this to me during the fortune teller incident. This should solve the whole displaying the leg issues..." Usagi trailed off pushing up on the pen to activate it.

"Still wish you wouldn't. Your fine the way you are Usa but if it gets you out the door..." Naru let it trail off frowning.

"Hopefully someday I'll be better about all of this. Today is not that day and since you really want to go to this concert then I'm going to do this." Usagi said shaking her head slightly.

"Come on! What's the point of being a couple of teens if we don't live a little?" Naru questioned while eagerly pushing a still slightly reluctant Usagi slightly in the direction of the door.

As it turns out they couldn't even make into the lobby area without trouble. They had somehow managed to get through the front door without attracting much attention. But then had come the security check and the lack of a concert ticket had surfaced. So that was how Usagi and Naru had found themselves trying to talk their way out of a possible situation with a security guard. Luck had other ideas as fate would have it that someone stepped in before the two girls could get into any real trouble.

"It's okay. They're with us." Someone interfered. Her and the security guard turned and she was surprised to see it was one of the people from the flyer Naru had shown her. Okay, unexpected but definitely helpful. She noticed the security guard make a face out of the corner of her eye but did back off thankfully.

"Thank you." Usagi said flushing slightly turning to face the taller girl, Haruka if she remembered the flyer Naru had shown her correctly.

"You a big fan?" Haruka asked giving her an amused look.

"Oh um yeah you could say that." Usagi said trying not to get too tripped up earning an elbow from Naru. Way to make herself believable.

"Usagi Tsukino. And this is Naru Osaka." Usagi introduced finally gathering herself.

"Haruka Tenoh, though if you're here you already know that." Was the response extending a hand to shake.

"Yeah um nice to meet you." Usagi said taking the offered hand only to be overtaken by a memory of her previous life. It was the throne room, that much she had been able to recognize and put together so far from what she had seen in her previous memories.

"You okay?" Came the next question. Must have gotten caught up in the memory longer then she had realized.

"Yeah, I'm fine just caught up in the moment. Sorry for the trouble I think I left my tickets at home by accident." Usagi said trying to play off whatever memory that had just surfaced. That was definitely a new experience she had never had a memory of the Moon Kingdom surface from having contact with someone. It had always been in dreams. It was a bit unnerving to say the least. But she had a suspicion why it had happened. One of the girls in the memory was a dead ringer for Haruka. Albeight she had been slightly younger and dawning senshi garb similar to hers but not quite the same. But there was a resemblence that she had seen. However, before she could get any more clues about what was going on the scene faded as quickly as it came.

"Just try to remember to actually bring the tickets next time." Was the teasing remark from Haruka causing her to flush a bright red.

"We will and thank you." Naru said finally grabbing her by the elbow to drag her off to a corner. She watched the tall blonde wander off with a sigh.

"What was that?" Naru asked as soon as they found a slightly quiet spot.

"A memory, never had one surface when touching someone so it took me by surprise." Usagi said quietly.

"Do you think he's a fellow senshi? I thought guys couldn't be senshi...?" Naru asked sounding a bit excited and also seeming a bit thoughtful as well.

"They can't according to Luna. There were girls, younger than them, but they looked like Haruka and her partner in Senshi uniforms so that would make sense but one of them definitely looked like the person we just talked to." Usagi said. Was she ready to handle the possibilities of teammates?

"Guess we should have brought Luna with us." Naru said frowning slightly.

"Luna would never have approved of this and you know it. We are going to get such an earful when we get back to your house." Usagi pointed out.

"Yeah, but she can't complain too much considering if we had never gone out we would never have met one of your teammates." Naru argued.

"Maybe." Usagi agreed.

"We should probably find somewhere to sit and watch the show." Naru said after a moment as they realized the lobby area was emptying out.

"Are we going to be able to find it? I mean we don't exactly have tickets. The show could be sold out for all we know." Usagi pointed out.

"We'll figure something out. Come on or else we're going to miss the beginning of the show." Naru said dragging her towards the doors to the concert hall.

"Haruka?" Michiru questioned as they stepped away from the crowd.

"Michiru look at her. I mean look actually look at her and tell me she doesn't bear some resemblance to the girl we've both seen in our dreams. In flashes." Haruka argued. Normally she would have just let security deal with the issue, but something had drawn her to the younger teen from the get-go. Once she had actually gotten a good look at her she understood why.

"You could be right but it could also be a coincidence." Michiru knew it was a weak argument but she didn't want to jump to conclusions either. The resemblance between the girl that Haruka had just gotten out of trouble and the girl from their memories was strong. Too strong. The feeling she got from her as well...

"Do you truly believe that?" Haruka asked.

Michiru sighed. "No." A moment's silence passed between before she continued. "Why now Haruka?"

Haruka sighed and ran her hands through her hair, clearly affected. "Tokyo is huge and we don't even know if for sure that she is from around here or lives near here."

"I wonder." Michiru said more to herself, wondering why they did not meet before and why not. If there was another senshi, why did they not know about her? Then again it had taken her a couple of months to just find Haruka so she couldn't really talk much. However, she had pretty much been flying blind since the point she awoke as Sailor Neptune. Maybe there were others and she just hadn't noticed? A troubling thought.

"Maybe she just woke up?" Came Haruka's next suggestion.

"Then we keep an eye out for a new Senshi." Michiru agreed. If the girl had just awoken as a Sailor Senshi then there was a good chance she was flying by the seat of her pants, as she and had. Hell, who was she kidding? They still did that a lot of the time. If she was recently awakened and without another senshi, like she had been before Haruka awakened as Sailor Uranus, then she did not envy the poor girl.

Usagi groaned from the spot her and Naru were standing in a corner of the lobby. There was someone she really hadn't ever hoped to run into outside of school. "Oh no."

"What's wrong?" Naru asked shooting her friend a concerned look.

"Look at the group about to approach the jazz musician you so like. Girl on the far left hand side." Usagi said trying not to talk to loudly and turning her back on the group. Though with her hair if she was spotted it wouldn't matter that she wasn't facing Yuki. The last thing she wanted was to draw more attention after the early trouble.

Naru followed her gaze before spying who Usagi had spotted. "Oh you have got to be kidding me."

"Are you going to be alright staying? We could always leave early." Naru asked turning her attention to Usagi. Sure, she wanted to stay but if it meant possible problems with Yuki. It was best to leave now before they were spotted.

"No, you wanted to come here. I'm not going to let our issue with each other mess this up. I'll just find somewhere else off to the side to stay until the concert starts. Hopefully she won't see me." Usagi said glancing around slightly looking for an out that she could go to without Yuki seeing her. Finally spying a hallway off to the side outside of Yuki's reign of vision. It should be safe until the concert started.

"Usagi, really. Yeah I want to go to his concert, but not at your expense." Naru said reaching out to stop Usagi. She knew how bad things had gotten with Yuki and how much running into her could affect Usagi. Crush or not she didn't want her friend getting hurt. Sure Yuki had been tamer recently but who knew how long that was going to hold? Better yet how was this going to hold outside of school where the only people she had to keep her in check were her family?

"I'll be fine really. We just have to get in and out before she realises I'm even there. We don't mingle after it's finished and we're good." Usagi said plastering on a forced smile as she started heading in the direction of the hall. "I'm getting tired of every one of my actions being dictated by Yuki and fear of what she will do." In Usagi's mind this was also it's own revenge project. Vengeance by virtue of avoidance. Yuki would probably never know but the best revenge would be to live her life and manage to get through this without Yuki's interference.

Really Usagi hadn't meant to get in trouble with the security again. She hadn't even realised she had ended up in the backstage area at first. She was just trying to get away from the lobby and possible issues with Yuki. Now here she was surrounded by about four security guards demanding to know how she had got back here and why while trying not to panic again over the lack of space around her.

"It's okay. She's back here to see me." A new voice cut in to one of the guard's question.

"Miss Kaioh. I didn't realize you were expecting any guests tonight." The big burly guy who had been ordering the other security guards around said turning away from Usagi to face the new arrival. It gave Usagi a bit more breathing room at least even if she was still feeling surrounded.

"She originally turned it down, so it was unexpected." Was the response. "I'll take it from here. You can go back to your other duties."

There was a slight muttering but that was enough to get the group to disperse. "Thank you." Usagi said after a moment. Now that the guards had left she could see it was the partner to Haruka, Michiru Kaioh. She was a bit surprised Michiru hadn't engaged her or Naru the entire time she had been talking with Haruka. She hadn't thought she would run into those two again let alone have Michiru come to her aid.

"Usagi right? You seem to have a habit of getting places your not supposed to be." Michiru noted in amusement. First the trouble with the security guards over her tickets, then the trouble over sneaking off somewhere private.

"I wasn't really trying to get in trouble again. I was just trying to get myself out of the lobby." Usagi admitted closing her eyes for a second. She should probably have realised that she would end up somewhere she wasn't supposed to be, but she was so focused on getting away from Yuki that the thought hadn't occurred to her at first.

"Too many people?' Michiru gathered in sympathy. She had seen how pale the girl had been when she had chased off the security guards. She obviously had some form of claustrophobia. She had seen Haruka have a hard time with tight spaces at time so it may not be to the same level she could tell the girl hadn't been handling the situation with the guards well.

"That's part of it." Usagi admitted. She really hadn't been enjoying the crowd that much but it wasn't the only thing. At Michiru's quirked eyebrow. "Old unfriendly classmate was here too. I really didn't want to have to deal with her. She likes to make my school life her verion of 'interesting'."

"Ah. The sort of interesting that might cause a scene?" Michiru guessed. Usagi had seemed noticeably uncomfortable with whomever this classmate was when talking. Small little ticks, like a shudder when saying her classmate made her life interesting.

"I wouldn't have started anything but she would have." Usagi admitted crossing her arms glancing back towards the lobby. Who knew what would have happened if Yuki had realised her and Naru were at the concert. "I would rather she just leave me alone." Not that Yuki ever went that route it felt like.

"What's your history with her anyway may I ask?" Michiru asked frowning slightly. There was definitely something there or else she didn't think Usagi would be actively trying to avoid her.

"There's not much to say. She pretended to be my friend for a few months. Then when she got bored she dropped me. School, up until recently has been...well difficult to put it mildly." Usagi shrugged decided to give the really short version of her and Yuki's story. Something about Michiru put her at ease, but that didn't make her want to discuss the Yuki issue any more then normal.

"What about the school administration?" Michiru asked raising an eyebrow. She could tell Usagi was leaving part of the story out but it wasn't her place to ask. There was something missing there, she doubted someone would have such a strong adversion to another person over a lost friendship.

"Refuses to do anything. I've lodged complaints more times then there are days in a month by this point. They never listen." Usagi let out a sigh. "Maybe I was over reacting. She hasn't done anything in almost a month. I was afraid since we weren't at school she might not show restraint."

"If your shared history runs that deep then your reaction was probably reasonable." Michiru mused. Most of the time she would have thought it was an over reaction but something told her that wasn't the case here. Usagi probably had a legitimate reason for wanting to be as far away from this classmate as possible. She just wasn't willing to share it.

"Well at least someone gets it." Usagi muttered to herself. Funny how someone who was pretty much a complete stranger got just how bad things were with Yuki, at least at a surface level, more then people who had been around her for months. "I probably should just go home. If she sees me..." Usagi trailed off their her mind going through around a dozen different scenarios on what Yuki might do. None of which involved Yuki just leaving her alone. Sure Yuki was leaving her alone at school but she was pretty sure that had something to do with what had happened before winter break at school. There was nothing from stopping her from acting out here.

The more Michiru talked with her the more she could see the resemblance between her and the girl that occasionally popped up in her dreams. She was starting to understand why Haruka had stepped in the first time she had run into trouble. There was something about her that she wanted to protect from anything and everyone, including this bully apparently. So maybe that's why she decided to made a suggestion she normally wouldn't have entertained. "Come on I have somewhere you can stay until it gets closer to when the show starts."

"I don't want to be anymore trouble." Usagi said reluctantly. Technically she really couldn't leave until Naru was ready to go. She could make do in the meantime. Even if it meant holing herself up in the bathroom until the concert started at the very least.

"Security already thinks your hear as my guest." Michiru said shaking her head slightly. At this point it might attract more attention if she let the girl go.

"Haruka, we've got company." Michiru called out when they went into the dressing room. Best to let Haruka know before she shot her mouth off and embarrassed them.

"Who-oh hi again." Haruka greeted when she saw Usagi standing next to Michiru looking a bit uncomfortable. While she had been grateful for the invite to keep her away from Yuki she still felt awkward taking it up. "Usagi right?"

"Yeah hi again." Usagi said giving a slight wave. Haruka frowned slightly noting that she seemed a bit more subdued then when they had met back in the lobby.

"Take a seat. I'll let you know when you need to leave." Michiru said pushing her in the direction of the couch that was in the room.

"Did you ever..." Haruka asked not entirely sure how to finish that question with unknown company in the room.

Michiru shook her head. "Couldn't find the source. There's definitely someone here and we need to be on alert. I just couldn't pinpoint who."

"Well it was worth a shot." Haruka said letting out a sigh. It was a bit frustrating to know that someone from the Dark Kingdom was here and not know who it was. "How did you find her anyway?" Haruka said motioning back to Usagi. Who was currently sitting on the couch twiddling her thumbs.

"She was trying to get away from someone she saw in the lobby. She wandered into an area she shouldn't so I told security she was my guest." Michiru mused. She definitely had seemed taken back that she had wandered off into an off-limits area.

"Okay but what happened after that?" Haruka pressed. She knew Michiru, she didn't just step into every situation. Let alone invite someone back to the dressing room.

"Classmate of hers is here. Would cause a scene if they saw Usagi apparently." Michiru explained.

"Scene as in?" Haruka asked raising an eyebrow.

"She didn't clarify, and I didn't ask. Something tells me it wouldn't be pleasant." Michiru admitted rubbing her forehead slightly. Michiru said glancing back at where Usagi was still seated. Probably a natural instinct to protect one of their own.

"That's the warning to get to the stage." Haruka noted after a moment as the lights dimmed for a moment. Turning to the pig tailed blonde. "We need to get to the stage so unless you want to miss the concert you should leave with us. You probably should be okay to go get a seat without running into anyone."

"Thanks for letting me stay." Usagi said as they stepped back out into the hall. It might not have been much but at least she had avoided Yuki.

"You going to be okay?" Haruka asked as they turned to go the different directions. Usagi back to the lobby and the concert hall seating. Them to the stage.

"I'll be fine. I got rather good at avoiding her at school. Can't be any worse here." Usagi said with a shrug. Okay it might be a bit more difficult here, but that didn't change the fact that as long as she limited her time in the crowd Yuki would hopefully not spot her.

"What took you so long?" Naru asked as she slipped in next to her back in the concert hall.

"I got cornered by security guards again. Michiru was kind enough to let me stay back in her and Haruka's room when I explained why I was back there." Usagi explained quietly.

"You actually told them about Yuki?" Naru asked an eyebrow shooting up in surprise. This was really unlike Usagi.

"Not exactly. I just said I was avoiding a classmate I was was having issue. I didn't give her details." Usagi said shaking her head. She didn't think she would ever feel comfortable talking about what had happened between her and Yuki with complete strangers. Any more discussion of the situation was cut off by an unexpected arrival. It would seem the Dark Kingdom didn't have much in the way of patience today, not if the fact that a youma showing up out of nowhere threateningly asking for some sort of CD was to go by anyway. All that had done was make everyone rush for the exit except the pianist in question who was being blocked in.

"Naru?" she turned to her friend they were getting pushed around slightly by.

"I'm fine. Might have some bruises in the morning though." Naru assured her. "So, what is that? It looks like some weird vampire." Naru asked as they looked back at the stage where the youma is.

"That's still not the weirdest looking one I've seen." Usagi muttered to herself.

"I would ask what you mean by that but I'm not sure I want to know." Naru said while her expression indicated her imagination was hard at work with imagining stranger than they were seeing for a moment before continuing. "Anyways you better transform while its still sidetracked."

"Right! Moon Prism-" she started (seeing as the auditorium had seemed to have emptied and the youma was distracted) only to cut herself off in surprise when a yellow ball of energy slammed into the youma stopping it in its tracks.

"Um what is that?" Usagi said frowning in confusion as two new people took the stage. Luna had implied that she was the only Sailor Senshi in Tokyo. The sudden appearance of these two suggested just the opposite.

"Looks like someone woke up and didn't inform Luna." Naru commented.

"Yeah I can see that and you should be getting out of here before the youma realizes it has more targets." Usagi pointed out to her friend.

"You still need to transform..." Naru pointed out clearly not wanting to leave her friend without knowing she'd be able to defend herself against the youma.

"Yeah I know. The problem is that maybe easier said then done." Usagi frowned. She couldn't really exit the auditorium, if she did the security was definitely going to stop her from going back in. Heck she was surprised they hadn't shown up yet.

"Just try to find somewhere a bit more discrete. You don't need to necessarily leave the area. Try not to transform where they can see you. I'd hate to see what would happen if whoever tells those things what to do saw that." Naru commented.

"That may very well be impossible but I'll try, now get out of here." Responded Usagi.

Finding an area under the seats Usagi was able to transform in a slightly uncomfortable space before climbing out several seats away and hoping no camera's were present and no one could figure anything out.

"Moon Tiara Action!" Taking an opening that she spotted to throw the tiara at the youma, breathing a sigh of relief when the youma started to turn to dust. That had gone easier then the last time at the pet shop. Well except for finding a transformation spot, that had taken way too long in her opinion.

"Uh er hi?" Sailor Moon said noticing the two new girls hadn't run off yet. That was a positive right?

"Who are you?" Uranus, she thought that was what the girl had introduced her as, asked earning an elbow from Neptune possibly if she was piecing what little she remembered of the Moon Kingdom together correctly.

"Oh right um I'm Sailor Moon. I'm not big into the whole introductions things before targeting the youma thus why I didn't." Sailor Moon confessed scratching the back of her head. She hadn't done a proper intro speech since her first night on the job. So the thought of doing one now hadn't really occurred to her honestly. Having Luna would have been great right about now, ah well nothing she could do about it now. She began to approach the stage the two were still on. If they were going to have a conversation might as well not have it over a distance.

"I wasn't aware any other senshi were awake other then that Sailor V over in England," Neptune said frowning slightly. Considering how Jadeite liked to go on rants when his plans had gotten foiled she would have thought she would have heard of the newest senshi. But he certainly hadn't brought Moon up the last time they had had a run in with them.

"I hadn't heard of you either. But to answer your question, Luna she's my guardian…adviser? I'm honestly not sure what to call her but anyway she's the one that awoke me as a senshi. I haven't been doing this for very long so that's probably why you haven't heard of me." Sailor Moon confessed trying to explain Luna's role and somehow not sound too nervous about it. Uranus and Neptune didn't seem completely comfortable with the situation but then again neither was she. Out of potential ways to meet her teammates this wasn't the best one. Sure she had made the comment to Luna that a youma attack would be useful but she hadn't really meant it in retrospect.

"That's definitely different from what went down with us." Sailor Moon heard Uranus mutter only raising her curiosity more on how these two were awake and yet Luna had been unaware. Luna had mentioned another guardian when they had talked before. But it sounded like these two hadn't been approached by either of them. So just how had they woke up she wondered? A mystery for later she guessed.

"So why no intro speech?" Neptune asked raising an eyebrow apparently deciding to move away from the topic of how she woke up.

"I kind of feel like it makes me a standing target. Why do you guys give an intro speech every time before attacking?" Sailor Moon asked genuinely curious. Well they hadn't this time at least but who knew if that was the norm. It still seemed an odd choice to make to her no matter how much Luna argued that it was apparently tradition when confronting an enemy.

"We will sometimes attack then introduce depending on the situation but no usually we don't lead off with the speeches if we give them at all during the fight." Uranus explained. Oh, that actually wasn't a horrible idea, she still wasn't big on the whole intro way. But if they attacked first then they at least got the element of surprise in. Though it was nice to hear that she wasn't the only person that didn't like to give intros right off the bat.

"Actually what usually happens is a youma taunts you and then you insist on giving the speech," Sailor Moon could hear Neptune mutter.

"So if you have an adviser why are you here by yourself?" Neptune asked changing the topic. Deciding if they hadn't seen Luna by now this Luna must not be here.

"I kind of snuck in here without telling her where I was going." Sailor Moon confessed after a moments hesitation.

"Snuck in-your the blonde from before the concert!" Uranus exclaimed turning to Neptune. "I told you she looked familiar."

"Still haven't heard much about you. Even if you haven't heard much about you in any way." Neptune frowned slightly speaking up some as she started to approach the stage. Chosing to ignore Uranus' comment for the moment.

"As I said I'm new. Luna just found me two weeks ago. This was the fourth youma I've seen actually." Sailor Moon admitted.

"That explains why we haven't heard Jadeite ranting about you yet." Uranus commented.

"Jadeite?" Sailor Moon asked confused. That was a name she hadn't encountered yet.

"Short blond haired guy wears a grey uniform has a temper and a tendency to rant when his plots are messed up? Shows up sometimes with the youmas?" Uranus asking raising an eyebrow.

"Again this was my fourth youma. The ones I've run into so far have been on there own." Explained Sailor Moon.

"You must not be on their radar yet." Neptune explained. Well she wasn't sure how to take that particular comment though that did raise another question since these two were apparently on the Dark Kingdom's radar.

"I guess not, just how long have you guys been at it?" Sailor Moon asked curious. She knew Venus had been at it for a while from the way Luna talked and she had heard some rumblings of her. But these two had seemed to have been awake for a while if there intro was anything to go by but she hadn't heard any rumblings of them being around.

"I woke up back in September of last year. I found Uranus in early November and she awoke shortly after." Neptune's explanation. So four months for her then and two for Uranus.

"Just surprised. Even before I was Sailor Moon I had heard of Venus but this is the first I've heard of you two." she said.

"We've been trying to keep a lower profile for the most part. So far its been working Jadeite only really picked up on us being a threat within the last month. Venus hasn't really been trying to hide herself over in England so thus the difference." Uranus explained.

"That actually makes a lot of sense." Sailor Moon said thoughtfully more to herself than the other two. "You know its getting kind of late. I know I have school tomorrow, I'm assuming you guys do too. Maybe we should continue this elsewhere?" Moon said after a slight pause trying to draw the conversation to a close before they fully went off about Venus. Really they weren't doing much at this point, just standing around talking. Something they could easily do that tomorrow. While it wasn't so much that she wasn't enjoying getting to know these new people, she was. It was just she wanted to get home, study, and try to get to bed at a decent time with a test the next time. If it hadn't been that they had such a limited time window to work with she probably would have tried to wait until tomorrow.

Finding a scrap piece of paper in the bag she had been carrying and scratching down her phone number, "That's my cell number. Give me a call tomorrow after school and we can arrange getting together."

Neptune took the offered scrap tearing it slightly and taking the offered pen and writing her number down before handing it back. She took the offered scrap and then the two disappeared in a flash of speed it looked like.

"They're fast." Sailor Moon said raising an eyebrow slightly. That was an interesting trick they had done to get away. She would have to ask Luna about it later that night. Speaking of Luna she was not looking forward to getting an earful from the cat.

"How did it go?" Naru asked as she exited the concert hall and back into the crowd. Quickly finding her red head friend. It had taken a minute to find an exit that would hopefully not send the security after her for the third time that night. Twice was enough as is.

"Okay I guess. I wish I had Luna with me a bit. But who would have guessed that this was the way I would find others." Usagi admitted. On the one hand it was probably a good thing they didn't have her since having a cat would have probably made the whole incident at the start of the night much more difficult. On the other hand it would have made dealing with the issue of meeting the other sesnhi easier at least.

"It's definitely an interesting way to find them." Naru agreed with a mischievious smile. A concert hall sure wouldn't have been her first pick for find Usagi's teammates. Then again Luna had been kind of vague on what to look for with her teammates so it shouldn't have been too surprise when you started to think about it.

"We're going back to your place now?" Usagi asked shifting slightly. It seemed the youma attack had brought the concert to an abrupt halt. With no sign of it continuing any time soon. Plus she was tired from everything else. She knew Naru had come to see that jazz artist but honestly she just wanted to get back to Osa-P at this point.

"Yeah no reason to stick around." Naru agreed. "Let's get home before it gets too late and we get in trouble with Mom."

Looking back she probably should have realized that getting out of there with Yuki hanging would be far from easy, but with everything else that had happened she had nearly forgotten about her. She had enough to think about. Particularly surrounding the other Senshi. So that's why she might not have been on as high alert as usual like she would be when dealing when knowing Yuki and her friends were close by.

Someone brushed against her causing her to lose her footing as she took a step forward and onto a patch of black ice and slip causing her to fall hitting her head on the pavement in the process. Dazed for a moment her hand reaching up for the spot she had hit her head on. She let out a hiss as her hand touched a sore spot. Yep that was going to hurt for a while. Naru looked at her in concern as she put her hand down. "Are you okay?"

"My head hurts. What about you?" Usagi asked. Naru had come down with her. Admittedly she didn't think her friend had hit her head.

"Am I okay? You're the one that hit your head!" Naru said a bit exasperated. Sure, she had come down on the ice. But the worst she would probably have in the morning was a sore butt since she had hit her butt not her head. Usagi had flat out hit her head in the fall.

"Sorry." Usagi said a bit sheepishly.

"Don't apologise!" Naru said as Usagi easily imagined flames surrounding her form. Naru had clearly gotten fed up with the appologies. She was working on it but sometimes they slipped out.

"What do you think the odds are it wasn't Yuki." Usagi asked after a moment. Not that she couldn't pinpoint it for certain especially if Naru hadn't seen it. The likelihood Yuki wasn't somehow involved seemed fairly low.

"Close to none." Naru muttered giving her own agreement to the probable cause. "She probably knows we can't prove it here."

"Of course, she knows that." Usagi said with a slight snort.

"Usagi?" Usagi blinked in surprise turning her head in the direction of the voice. Surprised to see Michiru again. Michiru took one look at the duo still on the ground and asked. "What happened?"

"Michiru, I didn't expect to see you again." Usagi noted in surprise dodging the question with a smile at the kind woman. She would have thought they would have been dealing with the aftermath of the youma attack, not mingling with the masses.

"She slipped on a patch of ice." Naru piped up answering the question Usagi had avoided. "Hit her head."

Usagi let out sight hiss as Michiru reached out touching the more tender spot on her head. Almost missing the bracelet that was tucked under Michiru's jacket. That looked suspiciously like the henshin bracelets Luna had described to her once. Michiru noticing her gaze gave a small nod in confirmation. Meaning she knew who she was in uniform.

It made some sense that they knew since Uranus's comment made it sound like she knew just who she was earlier. They probably hadn't brought it up since they were still in uniform. Guess they had come back to check on her? That was actually kind of sweet. She wasn't entirely sure why they hadn't just told her flat out that they knew who she was. "Going to have a nice bump there, it looks like. It doesn't look too bad but I would still be worried about a concussion though. Might be best to have someone actually look at it."

"I've had a concussion before. I know what to look for if I start presenting I'll go to a doctor." Usagi assured her. The incident before the winter holidays had made her a bit too familiar with what the symptoms of a concussion could look like.

"I am not sure if that assures me or not." Michiru muttered. Usagi's familiarity with what to expect from a concussion could suggest a variety of things. Nothing that made her exactly happy. At the best it was just a side effect from being Sailor Moon. At the worst it meant that there was something going on that wasn't quiet right. Maybe something to go back to the classmate Usagi had been mentioning earlier.

"What happened?" Haruka asked emerging from the crowd to the small gathered group.

"Fell on some ice." Usagi said with a slight shrug. She chose to ignore Naru's grumbling at the moment. She didn't know how these two would handle the suggestion of her possibly getting pushed. And she really didn't feel like going down that particular discussion route at the moment. "'ll be fine."

"Do you need to see a doctor?" Haruka asked concerned.

"She had experience with concussions and thinks that she is alright." Michiru said.

"Really? Just how many concussions have you had?" Haruka asked shooting a surprised look at Usagi.

"Just a rather severe one back in December." Usagi admitted.

"You and ice don't really mix do you?" Michiru noted.

"Nope." Usagi confirmed. Well that was true even if ice hadn't been the reason behind the last accident. She wasn't going to correct that because she wasn't in the mood to have a rather long conversation about her history with Yuki and Yuki's friends.

"Do you two need a ride back to your places?" Haruka asked after a moment of awkward silence. When her and Michiru had decided to offer a ride home they really hadn't planned for the red head still being there. But it seemed like they probably wouldn't be able to shake the red head to have a more in private talk. So might as well save it for another time. And possibly get on the side of what might be a protective friend.

"I'm spending the night at Naru's." Usagi confessed. "We go to school together. So we spend a lot of time at each other's places, usually studying with finals coming up so if you drop me off with her I'm good."

"We're still going to need to know where your actually located to meet you later." Michiru noted frowning. If they were going to get together sometime soon this wasn't exactly information that could be avoided.

"Because of the apartment situation Luna can't live with she stay's at Naru's. We'd be meeting at Naru's." Usagi confessed scratching her cheek sheepishly. Normally she would have rubbed the back of her head. But that would hurt quiet a bit at this point.

"That can't be easy." Michiru noted frowning. It definitely made for an interesting situation. It also suggested that Naru must have knowledge of just what Usagi was involved in. Even if they were particularly close that still meant probably more time together then normal.

"We make do." Usagi said after a moment.

"This is the place." Naru said as they pulled up in front of the Osa-P.

Luna darted out from somewhere near the shop ready to scold the two for taking off whereever they had been. Before freezing realizing that Usagi and Naru weren't alone. She hadn't considered the fact that they might bring back company. Usagi scooped her up. "Hey Luna."

Michiru raised an eyebrow. "You didn't mention she was a cat." It explained quite a few things, including the fact, she couldn't live with Usagi. Probably Usagi's residence didn't allow pets.

"I wasn't sure how to mention that." Usagi admitted rubbing the back of her head choosing to ignore the look Luna was giving her. Having realized that Usagi had told someone about who she was. Wincing slightly as she went over the sore spot. Admitting that Luna was a cat for all intents and purpose wasn't exactly something you could just drop in everyday conversation.

"Are you sure your all right?" Haruka asked having noticed the slight wince.

"Yeah I probably won't even feel it in the morning." Usagi said waving off the concern. Considering how quickly her head had stopped bothering her from the last incident after becoming Sailor Moon. And this was mild when compared to it she was sure she would be good to go the next day. "Thanks for the ride. Send me a text wheneve you get back to your place so we can arrange a meeting." Usagi admitted shifting Luna in nervousness. The idea of working with other teenagers still made her nervous. Though now that she was around two other senshi she found it a bit easier to consider.

"We'll send a message about a proper meeting later." Michiru assured her. Waving one last time before her and Haruka pulled away headed back to wherever they lived.

"Where were you two?" Luna demanded as soon as they were back in Osa-P and back in Naru's room. Where they could talk without prying ears.

"I wanted to go to a concert about twenty minutes away from here." Naru admitted no way to deny where they had been when Luna had all ready caught them.

"There was a youma attack at the concert so it wasn't a bad thing we went." Usagi jumped in trying to prevent a lecture she could see Luna was just ready to let loose.

"A youma?" Luna asked in surprise. It wasn't so much she didn't believe Usagi it was just more. This also would mean it would be Usagi's first time handling a youma on her own. Prior she had always had her and that Tuxedo Kamen character on a previous occasion. "Do you know what the youma was after?"

"Was demanding some sort of CD it sounded like. We were in the back of the hall so I couldn't hear her very well." Usagi admitted making a face. She had been too far away from the action to really hear what the fuss was about.

"Possibly a brainwashing device." Luna concluded making a face. Okay maybe she wasn't the happiest about them getting into some antics. But it hadn't been for nothing so she wasn't going to be as angry with them. "I do wonder why you mentioned me to the two that gave you the ride? What was the deal with those two anyway? I'm assuming there is a reason you mentioned me." Luna said trying to keep herself from dropping into a scolding tone until she knew exactly why Usagi had told them about her. She would have thought she would have pressed the importance of secret identities to her enough for her to understand why mentioning her wouldn't be the smartest idea.

"That was Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune." Usagi said. It hadn't been brought up outside since who knew who could possibly overhear them. She would have thought Luna would realize that she wouldn't tell just anyone about her.

She hadn't even considered that as the reason behind Usagi mentioning her to someone. Of course, Usagi would have mentioned her to fellow senshi. "Did they awaken in the fight?" Luna asked trying to get a handle on the situation. She wasn't even sure why she was asking since as far as she knew her and Artemis were the only way senshi could awaken.

Usagi shook her head. "Michiru, Neptune, said she awoke back in September. She said Haruka, Uranus, awoke back in November. So, they've both been active for a while. They were on the scene before I could find a place to transform."

Luna sat down on her haunches frowning slightly. Naru raised an eyebrow. "Something wrong?"

"Its just that I was under the impression that the only way a Senshi could awake was through myself or Artemis. If there is another way then this may present some challenges in finding them. The enemy could even find them before we do and try to take them out before you can become a team." Luna frowned. That was an interesting circumstance. Venus had awoken in September also but she had been hard to miss. These two on the other hand hadn't shown up on either her or Artemis' radar. It showed a difference it attitude between the Senshi. Venus had always been hard to miss, being the sort of person and senshi to command attention. So she was well known even now, despite Artemis asking her to tone things down. These two hadn't surfaced at all and they had been unaware of their status as awakened until tonight. This brought up a concern. Were there other senshi walking around Luna wasn't aware of?

End Chapter 4

Chapter Text

Chapter 5
Idol Mishaps

"You really are insistent on keeping this from them for now aren't you?" Luna asked from her spot on the bed. It was a couple of days after the whole concert incident and she was finally meeting Uranus and Neptune at her apartment for the first time at Naru's house. Of course, that meant she was trying to stuff any evidence of her legs into the closet or any other spare spot in the room where they wouldn't be seen. Thankfully there wasn't too much since she was at Naru's and not her place. But she was being extra careful. She had dressed carefully to try and conceal the prosthetics but she still wasn't sure it would be enough.

Originally it had seemed like the older girls had almost wanted to meet somewhere more neutral the first time. Which she kind of understood to an extent, they were practically strangers at this point. Luna, however, had shot that down very quickly pointing out that in public too many would be able to possibly overhear their conversation. So being in public meant they would have to considerably cull the conversation. So that's how really the three of them had found themselves meeting at Naru's place versus the first suggestion of a park.

"Of course." Usagi said as if it were a no-brainer while putting away the last thing. Briefly pausing to do a mental catalog in case she missed something. Turning back to Luna as she realized she still didn't understand the situation Usagi decided to elaborate. "It's not that I don't trust them as team mates. I do for the most part. So far anyway. It's just after everything that's happened I have trust issues with my more personal aspects."

"That's kind of contradictory Usagi." Luna pointed out.

Shrugging Usagi responded. "Just give it time. I am sure they will prove to deserve the trust in my heart. Just let me learn to trust them with more than a feeling from a past life. If it is anything I have learned, it is that people don't handle my legs well. I don't want them to think less of me because I am not whole."

"They might not be pleased with your decision in the long run you do realize that?" Luna stated more than asked with an accepting sigh.

Usagi twiddled her thumbs slightly before nodding. "And that scares me but showing them my legs is bigger. If we really are supposed to be able to work together as well as you've been saying then it should all end up being fine though right?" The last part was asked like a hopeful plea and a nervous attempt at a smile.

"It will be fine Usagi." Luna insisted giving her nervous charge's hand a slight headbutt in encouragement. Luna did seem to at least try to understand and for that Usagi was grateful though she doubted this would be the last time this would come up. The girls were scheduled to arrive any minute and to say she was nervous was an understatement. Naru was keeping a look out in case she didn't get the equipment she had at Naru's put away in time. She was the delay to make sure they didn't see. Both Usagi and Naru had taken steps to cover up Usagi's lack of legs but she was worried they would somehow figure it out with the obvious clues missing.

"You ready Usagi? They are coming." Naru said from the window. Usagi just nodded her head determined.

A knock sounded after a moment.

"Coming!" Naru called out before going to get the door while Usagi picked herself up from the bed with a grim determination. "Well. Here goes nothing."

"It will be fine. You'll see. Just take a deep breath, relax, and be yourself." Was Luna's encouragement.

"I hope your right." was all she said.

"So I remember you from the concert but not from much else." Haruka commented frowning slightly at Naru as they got settled.

"Just a normal girl." Naru explained indicating herself at Haruka's look.

"I am a horrible liar and the two of us have known each other since we were little. She figured it out the first time I became Sailor Moon to save her and her mom from some youma. It worked out for the best to be honest. The apartment I live in with my parents doesn't allow pets. Naru keeps Luna and I come over for study/Senshi talking sessions." Usagi summarized with a shrug. Sure it wasn't the most convenient but it did work.

"So wait how did you become Sailor Moon to begin with? You mentioned Luna here followed you home back at the concert but didn't exactly elaborate." Haruka.

"It began when Luna followed me home after school." Usagi started, "Luna initially found me when I tripped over her on the way to class one morning last month when I was running late and I guess I somehow grabbed her attention because that evening she came home with me."

"Wait so you literally brought your own guardian home." Haruka asked raising an eyebrow.

Usagi shook her head in the negative. "She actually followed me home and I didn't notice it until I was all the way back here. We really can't keep a pet right now. At the time I was rather stubborn about it so I asked Mom if she could stay the night. If I hadn't begged Mom to let her spend the night we might not be here having this conversation right now. The rest is history so to speak. What about the two of you? Michiru I remember you saying you woke up in September when we first met. How did that happen since you didn't exactly have Luna around?" She was curious how their story went.

"There really isn't that much of a story. What happened essentially was I ran into a youma and that triggered my bracelet appearing for some reason. From there I transformed and took care of it." Michiru said holding up the wrist with the bracelet in question.

"I used to run track before I became Sailor Uranus. Back when I was on the team an old friendly rival of mine introduced the two of us. We didn't get along at first, personality clash. By the time I awoke as Uranus we were still having issues but they were starting to smooth out, sort of similar story though youma appearance and triggered the bracelet materialization." Haruka explained.

"Wait I thought you both went to Mugen Gaken?" Naru piped in. If they had met via a mutual friend from a rival school then that made it sound like they went elsewhere.

"We didn't always go to Mugen Gaken. We both transferred there shortly after the start of winter break." Michru explained.

Both Usagi and Naru nodded in understanding. That certainly explained it. Michiru added. "We transfered under one of Mugen's specialty programs. It's actually been a positive experience so far." Seeming to realize something. "You seem interested. Usagi?"

"Yeah I was at one point, I'm waitlisted at the moment for one of their programs but the story I got from them made it sound like its highly unlikely that my name will ever see the light of day. I've settled into the local Middle School." Usagi confessed being careful to not actually mention which program she was intersted in.

"I wonder if I could pull some strings and see if we could get you off the wait list. Wouldn't hurt to have all of us at the same place." Michiru seemed to be thinking out loud at the moment.

"I don't want to be any trouble. I'm alright waiting." Usagi said waving her hands slightly. Most likely if either of them started digging into this they would find out about just why she was applying for Mugen Gaken. A conversation that she definitely not ready for yet. Even if actually meeting them outside of Senshi duties was making her more comfortable she wasn't at that point yet.

"Michiru's family is pretty high society. It probably wouldn't be too difficult to get you moved off the waitlist actually." Haruka said glancing at the other girl.

"It's fine." Usagi tried to assure them maybe when she was feeling more comfortable with them she might consider it. Right now though everything was far too fresh and besides her switching this late in the school year wouldn't have much impact.

“So that’s the contest everyone’s been talking about at school.” Usagi said late one afternoon a few days later. She was taking a short break from studying to eat and the tv was on in the background playing an ad for a contest that it seemed was sweeping the entire school. She was getting together every few days to get to know the other girls better but today wasn’t one of the get together days so she was left to study on her own.

“Contest?” Luna asked coming up from behind her. Naru was acting weird and essentially kicked the cat out of the house for the day and Luna had managed to somehow sneak into the apartment. She still wasn’t really sure how the cat had pulled that one off.

“Yeah some popular idol lady is hosting some big thing looking for the next ‘Cinderella star’. It’s open to anyone and everyone so of course apparently everyone is taking a shot trying to win it.” she said with a shrug turning back to her school work.

“I wonder if its another Dark Kingdom plot.” Luna commented frowning as the tv ad finished.

"Maybe. Luna what haven't they done to gather energy?” Usagi asked frowning at her school book.

“Oh,” Luna paused for a moment, “Well they haven’t been awake very long truth be told so the list of plots they have used isn’t very long. Venus seemed to keep running into idol related plots when she was first starting out though so it's something they have done before.”

“So this might be them then. Can't catch a break can we?” Usagi frowned slightly thinking again about her classmates. Arguably with the amount of weird stuff happening right now you could almost argue that anything weird was almost normal at this point.

“Have you noticed something peculiar at your school?” Luna asked.

“Yeah actually it seems everyone at school is behaving a bit nuts over this idol contest. Not sure if that is Dark Kindgom or idol contests in general though. People go crazy for idol contests.” Usagi confessed.

“What do you mean?” Luna asked frowning slightly.

“Well let’s see Umino apparently was trying to perfect his magic trick rather then study, which for him is unheard of. Naru got into an argument with one of the other girls in our class over who had the better idea. Naru! Of all people.” She said thumping down on her bed. Naru was pretty mild mannered for the most part. So for her to get worked up over something, especially a contest wasn’t that common.

“What about the others?” Luna prodded.

“Luna we’ve been over this before. The only person in my class I’m remotely close too is Naru and you saw yourself how she was behaving today. I know Umino kind of but I’m not sure if I would call him a friend or an acquaintance. Everyone else could do a 180 personality wise I wouldn’t be the wiser just because I don’t really know them.” Usagi pointed out.

“Okay ignoring the fact you don’t know your classmates behavior were they showing any obsession over the contest?” Luna asked.

“Yeah but the whole school was except for maybe a scattered few and most of the teachers.” Usagi confessed.

“I thought you said your teacher was obsessing over it too though.” Luna frowned.

“Our teacher is a bit unique. Her wanting to do the contest isn’t that big of a surprise honestly.” She said after a moment. It wasn’t a huge surprise that the woman had taken an interest in the contest. The lady had to be somewhere in her 30s and yet seemed to be constantly wanting to be returning to being a teenager.

“Maybe we should check it out.” Luna suggested. “Do you know when the final selection rounds are?”

“Naru mentioned that they are supposed to be sometime this weekend but I missed the actual day. I’ll ask her tomorrow.” She assured the cat.

“Good I’ll look into seeing if I can pinpoint anything that can define it definitely or not as a Dark Kingdom plot.” Luna said leaving the room headed for who knows where.

“Usagi? I didn’t know you were participating in the contest.” Came the surprised voice of Michiru. She had come to the concert hall, in the end, more to support Naru than to check for yet another Dark Kingdom plot. But she hadn’t expected to run into her two new teammates considering she realized now that the two of them had forgot to tell them about this. 

“Oh hi Michiru, didn’t know you were here. I’m not in the contest. I am here to cheer Naru on. What are you doing here?” Usagi asked shifting the focus away from the fact that she was here at all.

“Haruka and I are additional judges.” Michiru’s face remained neutral but something about her tone said she wasn’t happy about having to be here.

“Huh. Didn’t think that would be something you two would want to do.” Usagi said a bit surprised. She hadn’t known either girl very long but at least with Michiru, she thought she had more refined tastes and a pop idol contest would be the last thing she would want to do. At least it seemed that way based on that one concert.

“Not our choice really. Our agent insisted on it, saying it would get us more bookings.” Michiru explained.

“Ah.” That explained the situation better. Well maybe. She wasn’t sure how idol things equated into more classical stuff but she wasn’t an idol agent or whatever it was that those two had hired.

“So your friend Naru is participating in the show?” Michiru asked shifting topics.

“Yeah, you met her that night. Naru decided she wanted to do this contest so I came along to watch. Plus Luna thinks this might be another Dark Kingdom cover since some of the competitors have been acting a bit odd. You pick up on anything while you were helping with the judging?” she added.

“No, but we weren’t involved in the judging of the preliminary rounds either.” Michiru admitted seeming to be thinking about something after a slight pause she frowned asking. “If you two had thought you had found a plot why didn’t you contact us?”

Usagi cringed admitting. “Sorry. With everything going on I forgot."

Michiru gave a handwave. “It happens. Just try not to make a habit of it.”

“Not planning too.” she said.

“So Luna thinks this might be a Dark Kingdom plot?” Michiru asked, “Have to admit that would be a first for us. Though the way they are drawing in so many people does fit the model of a Dark Kingdom plot.”

She shrugged, “Yeah this is my first experience with this kind of a plot. But Luna says she's seen it somewhere before. It seems like we've seen them use more than one tactic to target people. So I guess it could be more than some sort of potential idol contest. Have you noticed anything unusual with the people your working with?”

Michiru shook her head no. "But then we don't know them well so I am not sure we would notice. I’ll see if Haruka has picked up anything. We’ll contact you if we see anything suspicious.” was Michiru’s response.

“Thanks. I should probably get going to the hall if I want to get a seat before Naru performs.” she said.

“Be careful. If this is a youma plot they won’t have much longer to put their actual plan into action probably.” Michiru noted.

“I will. See you after the show?” she asked getting an affirmative she headed towards the auditorium they were supposed to be showing in.

“Sooo, Haruka and Michiru are here. Good thing too since apparently, neither of us remembered to tell them about what we were planning to do today.” Usagi said speaking low enough that Luna should still hear her but that she wouldn’t draw suspicion from any audience members. After she had slipped away from Michiru she had headed back to the audience figuring that would be the easiest place to find Luna again. Thankfully she was right on target finding the cat hanging out towards the back of the auditorium.

“You should have called them the minute I told you this might be a Dark Kingdom plot.” Luna hissed.

“Remembering to tell my new teammates about the possible Dark Kingdom plot was the last thing on my mind.” Usagi nearly snapped. Her bigger concern had been whether or not Naru was at the center of yet another youma plot. That caused Luna to cringe slightly. Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh. Taking a deep calming breath she spoke again, “Why didn't you call them or remind me to call them anyway?"

“I’ll admit some responsibility in this situation but in the future, both of us have to be more on top of these kinds of situations.” Sighed Luna.

“We have got to figure out a better way to keep up with this stuff between us.” Usagi commented more to herself than to Luna. It wasn’t that the cell phones weren’t great, they were. It was just she sometimes forgot to use them apparently.

“I’m working on it but I don’t have anything concrete yet.” Luna confessed.

“Well, that’s a start at least.” Usagi said with a shrug of her shoulders, patience was finally being rewarded as the youma was finally revealing itself. “So what are we going to do about ugly and blue over there?”

“I'll find the others. Transform.” Luna said slinking off in search of Haruka and Michiru.

“Right, find a discreet place to transform. I swear that is getting more and more difficult every time we run into a new youma.” Usagi grumbled out her complaint under her breath.

She should have waited for the others really she should have but when the youma made her move she couldn’t hold back anymore. Naru was one of her few remaining friends she just couldn’t stand around and let her become any more of a victim of the Dark Kingdom.

That would almost to be Sailor Moon's downfall. Apparently, this youma was capable of spewing a hard glass-like substance that it attempted to encase her in. Her vision was going dark if someone didn’t come soon she was going to apparently die here. Thankfully help finally did arrive and the glass like substance was broken just in time allowing her body to fall like a limp doll.

“Sailor Moon are you all right?” Sailor Moon heard a familiar voice. She was slightly relieved to hear the two older girls finally arrive straightening up some. That Tuxedo Mask character she remembered from the fortune teller’s was busy distracting the youma for them so she was able to gather herself before speaking.

“I’m fine, a bit shaken, but fine.” Sailor Moon admitted giving them a slight smile as she picked herself up back to standing.

“Apologies we were being held up in another audition room.” Sailor Neptune said coming up on her other side.

“Who is the Tuxedo guy?” Sailor Uranus asked eyeing Tuxedo Mask with some suspicion.

“He’s on our side, he’s helped me before get out of a couple of tight spots.” Trying to get the older girl to stand down.

“Not sure how much throwing roses helps.” Sailor Uranus muttered.

“Distraction, he's been providing a distraction. Plus I love your guys' help but I’m not sure how well you could have got me out of that glass case the youma tried to seal me in.” Sailor Moon pointed out. He had freed her and saved her life, again, after all.

“Touche.” Sailor Uranus conceded.

“Any idea's?” Usagi asked turning her attention back to the youma who seemed to be debating at the moment on whether or not to go after them or Tuxedo Mask who was now somewhere up in the rafters. Well, that at least took him out of range their attacks if they made a move.

Sailor's Uranus and Neptune exchanged glances before Sailor Neptune spoke up, “We might have an idea. I am going to hit it from my right you aim your tiara for the left while Uranus aims an attack up the center. Worst case scenario one of them should hit it and do the job or we might have to launch another attack best case it can’t decide which direction to dodge and gets hit by all three.”

"Right.” Sailor Moon said removing her tiara.

“Now! Spiral Buster!” Sailor Uranus said her attack.

“Splash Edge!” Sailor Neptune said surprising her by shooting up another attack up the

“Moon Tiara Action!” Sailor Moon said releasing the tiara in the opposite action. She let out a sigh of relief when the tiara hit and disintegrated the youma. One last trouble to deal with.

“We should probably get going. People will wake.” Sailor Neptune said speaking up. They left the stage area and found a private area and dehenshined.

After a moment Haruka turned on Usagi. "What were you thinking?!" Michiru set her hand on Haruka's shoulder. A calming presence. "I couldn't wait anymore. Naru wouldn't have made it if I had. I don't have many people left." She didn't elaborate but the wind senshi seemed to let out a resigned sigh.

Haruka said after a slight pause, “I just wish you had waited for us to engage the youma.”

“Sorry.” Usagi apologized shifting slightly not making eye contact with either girl. In retrospect, it was a stupid move to pull but she'd do it again if it meant keeping Naru safe.

Haruka said after a moment of silence running her hands through her hair. “Just be more careful in the future.”

“Today was a mess.” Michiru said breaking the silence that had fallen over the group.

“It's been a mess ever since I became Sailor Moon. Maybe before that.” Usagi admitted. Finals were right around the corner so things would get calmer on a school front soon at least. But for now, the craziness level was going to be through the roof.

Haruka frowned slightly at that, “Everything okay?”

“It’s just school.” Usagi evasively attempted to reassure.  This week's whole thing with the idol contest hadn't exactly helped with the already stressful situation. Combine that with fast approaching finals and her stress levels seemed to be at an all-time high. 

Haruka and Michiru exchanged glances frowning before Michiru asked, “Are you sure that you don’t want an assist getting into Mugen Gaken?”

“I appreciate the offer on some level but I think I’m okay staying at Juuban for now.” Usagi confessed shifting slightly. The offer was tempting and probably would become even more so as the end of the semester came steaming in. She would need to make her decision sooner or later on how much her fear that caused her to hide her issues was worth losing school time. Maybe…maybe telling them during the school break wouldn’t be a bad idea if it meant she could get out of Juuban.

End Chapter 5

Chapter Text

Chapter 6
Good Timing

"How cute!" Usagi exclaimed one afternoon. It had been a couple of days since the idol contest and nothing new had happened other than watching the contest runners scramble to try and fix the mess left in the wake of the youma plot. Today was a rare off day for all the girls. Haruka and Michiru had after school activities back at their school, Mugen Gaken. And since they couldn't really do much now that wouldn't disrupting the other girls plans Luna had left them off the hook for once and so Usagi and Naru had hit the mall. Right now they were perusing a new clock shop selling some cute clocks. They kept in mind Luna's warnings about any new shops. But honestly, they didn't have to go into every shop expecting for an enemy to pop out, did they? Usagi sure hoped not because otherwise, her life was going to take a whole new level of complicated. And she did not need that.

"Aren't glad I dragged you here?" Naru chirped.

"Yeah I guess. Though I am not sure I can afford any of them." Usagi admitted pulling her wallet out check how much yen she had. She had used most of her allowance up on going to the arcade the other day. Plus she had bought a few things already.

"Oh Usagi..." Naru said with a knowing look on her face as she knew Usagi well enough to know the big three Usagi generally blew her allowance on. Sweets, Manga, and of course the Arcade though even Naru could admit she blew much of hers at the arcade as well. She just set enough aside for other things before doing so.

"The Sailor V game is really fun though." Usagi defended herself. She took another look at the cute clock. "Ah well, maybe another time."

"It's alright Usagi. Maybe set some aside next time." Naru said giving her arm a tug. Usagi turned away from the clock before following Naru off in the direction of more shops.

The first indication that something wasn't right coming the following morning. Usagi's Mom insisted on getting her up well ahead of the alarm and pushed her out the door an hour before the last bell. Not that she wanted to be late (though really, she hadn't been late much since she had moved to Tokyo) but this was a bit extreme. As she walked to school she noticed that apparently her Mom wasn't the only person feeling rushed judging by the amount of people going about everything at a run.

She ended up finding Naru at school (they normally met and walked part of the way but when she had swung by the shop since she was running early Naru's Mom had said she had already left). "Naru! There you are! How are you doing? Please tell me you have Luna with you."

"Mom shoved me out the door really early this morning. "Naru yawned before continuing. "Luna was still sleeping when I left. For now it is just us I guess." Naru said after a second trying to ignore the pacing of their teacher as they waited for the rest of their classmates.

"Yours too? Mom insisted on me getting up at 6:00 and having me out the door by 7:00. She insisted that if I didn't leave then I would be late for class." Usagi said scratching the back of her head. Well, there went her idea of asking Luna if the weird get up and rush mentality was a side effect of a youma spell.

"Yeah, mine did too. I probably should have called your house to see if you had been pushed out like me. It's so weird. I've never seen anything like today. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to do something or get somewhere a lot more than usual." Naru said.

"Yeah, I noticed that too. Maybe the enemy is moving again?" Usagi commented from her position her voice dropping a couple of octaves when she brought up the Dark Kingdom. Though the way their classmates were acting she could probably have been yelling from the rooftops and none of them would have noticed what she was saying.

Naru was saved from responding to that comment by their teacher slamming her bag onto the desk. Both girls exchanged glances before shrugging in confusion. The teacher maybe an okay teacher but she did have her odd moments so they were used to her doing odd stuff by now. However, as Usagi watched her pile stuff into her bag appearing to be preparing to leave she had to say this was one of the oddest things she had seen the teacher do.

Finally, when it appeared that she had gotten everything together she turned to the class and said, "Since it appears that most of your classmates don't know the definition of timeliness I am going to let you study on your own. Goodbye."

With the last word, she walked out of the room. Most of their classmates took it as their cue to pack their stuff up and leave as Usagi and Naru exchanged glances in confusion. This was definitely a first. Naru was the first to speak after that odd scene. "Find Luna?"

Usagi nodded her head starting to put her own things together before agreeing. "Find Luna."

Usagi split off from Naru early on heading back to the shopping center from the day before to wait for the others and Luna. It shouldn't take them too long for them to show up. Naturally, because her luck sucked big hairy biscuits like that, she managed to find trouble in that rather short period of time. Rather, trouble walked straight up to her like a predator hunts a helpless bunny rabbit.

"Well, well. If it isn't the school whore." Usagi froze at a voice that had haunted her dreams for months on end, startled, and turned to face the person behind her. She hadn't heard him or his buddies since the school had forced them to leave Juuban. She had been hoping she would never see them again.

"Aito." Usagi said fighting to keep the fearful tremble out of her voice and hide the trembling of her hands at running into one of them. Aito and his friends ranked only just below Yuki as people who had made her situation at Juuban a living hell. They only ranked below her due to the fact that there had been only one incident involving them versus the multiple occasions she had dealt with Yuki.

The more Usagi tried to look around the more she realized she was trapped with him, no one else around the mall that she could see. She was in one of her worst nightmares again with no apparent way out of it. She attempted to grab her phone out to call someone and alert them but just as her fingers grasped the plastic of her device Aito grabbed a fistful of her shirt saying almost into her ear. "I am going to enjoy your screams as much as I did the first-time little whore and this time I am going to leave you where everyone can see with so much cum dripping out of you that you won't be able to hide from it this time. If your nice I might even let you live to feel the humiliation." Usagi's voice was lost on her as she struggled to form the vocals to scream for help.

"Get off of her." Usagi had never been so happy to hear Haruka's voice. She hadn't even realized the others had arrived. She was just glad they had as good timing as they had.

"Or what?" Aito said turning his head away from her and the direction of the new arrivals loosening his grip on her shirt slightly. Haruka decided to take a swing at Aito when he didn't fully take her 'suggestion'. Haruka and Michiru might have arrived only after whatever the situation was had started. But she had seen the clear panic and fear written all over Usagi's face. The advances were clearly unwanted and Haruka wasn't going to let the situation continue. She'd castrate him first.

The fist coming at his throat got Aito to release Usagi as he moved to dodge it. Usagi took the opening to scramble as far away from him as possible ending up with Michiru's arms around her trembling form. He hadn't had a chance to do anything this time but if they hadn't-

Michiru gave her a concerned look for a moment before looking up to the boy not quite dodging Haruka. "I recommend you leave." Michiru said with a hard voice etched with cold towards the boy. There was no room to interpret her 'recommendation' as anything but command. Aito seemed to hesitate for a moment longer considering before clearly deciding to take off. As his steps echoed slightly off towards the other end of the mall, only then did Usagi let out a sigh of relief.

"You alright?" Haruka asked turning her full attention to Usagi. It looked like they had gotten there before anything could happen but Usagi was visibly shaking. Her dainty fingers wrapped around her purse strings sported knuckles a white that made Haruka wonder if her palms would be bleeding when she finally unscrunched her fingers. If there was nothing, then she wouldn't be having such a reaction so there was obviously at least some sort of history between the two. Maybe an ex? Haruka had no clue. All she really knew was the guy was bad news and Usagi was shaking like a leaf in absolute terror of the boy. Even without what they had seen here, he clearly needed to be kept far away from Usagi.

"I'm fine." Usagi said trying to wave off the concern with what was clearly meant to be a smile, but really ended up a strained grimace. They had gotten there before anything could happen, so all was good except for getting shaken by seeing Aito again. She just didn't want to have to explain why Aito shook her so much or what his appearance brought back. She hadn't seen Aito or the other two in months. Not since the school had forced them to transfer out.

"You're shaking." Michiru said voicing what she knew Haruka was thinking before continuing. "Come on, let's take Usagi home and maybe we can pick up some sweets on the way." Sweets... Usagi's weakness.

Usagi thought about it for a moment, starring longingly at the food court and milkshakes but not quite feeling like remaining where she'd so recently run into Aito. What if she ran into him again? She couldn't do it. She just couldn't. Haruka seemed to save the day right then. "It's getting time to go home anyway. Why don't we pick up takeout on the way home?" Usagi could only nod. Michiru seemed to also agree.

Not long later they were sitting back in Usagi's room, her mother having left the girls to it and brought some odango for them to share with their meal. The odango was long eaten and Haruka was playing with her salad, bowl held in lap and some dumplings sitting nearby while Michiru sat, legs curled, with her small plate eating her sashimi with a delicate grace only she seemed to be able to achieve. And Usagi? Well she hadn't felt like eating much but that strawberry cake was calling her name regardless of earlier upset. None of the girls seemed to want to broach the subject and every time Usagi tried she lost her appetite and started to cry.

Finally, Usagi spoke quietly. "Aito and the rest of his group transferred out about six ago. He was enlisted by Yuki, he and his friends." Usagi didn't wish to elaborate and both Michiru and Haruka seemed to understand, although Haruka seemed a bit intense. She decided to change subjects after a moment of silence, and so with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes she spoke. "Come on, let's eat this cake and then I'll show you where the youma shop is."

It hadn't taken long to get back to the mall where the suspected youma shop. Luna meeting up with them along the way.

"This seems kind of tame compared to the last few plots. At least on scale level, I guess. The Cinderella contest seemed to involve everyone in the Tokyo area." Sailor Uranus said frowning slightly tilting her head looking at the shop.

"My first youma plot involved a jewelry shop. So this isn't the first time I've dealt with a possible plot involving items that are sold to the public." Sailor Moon confessed.

"Not every plot of theirs is going to be over the top and exaggerated," Luna commented.

"Though it does seem like Jadeite's M.O." Sailor Neptune added.

Luna sighed tail swishing slightly in agitation. "It is possible that he is changing things up to try and throw us off track."

"If he is trying to throw us off track he should make the possible plot stand out less. Having everyone in Juuban running around makes it stand out more." Sailor Moon pointed out.

"True." Luna said with a slight shrug.

"No kidding." Sailor Uranus said.

"Regardless we need to dismantle this operation." Sailor Neptune asserted.

"So how are we going to get in we just can't exactly expect them to open the door for us if they are the enemy?" Sailor Moon commented and as if on queue a strange portal formed on the grated blocking the entrance to the shop. "Or I guess so."

"This has to be a trap." Sailor Neptune said frowning

"An obvious one." Sailor Uranus agreed.

"If we walk away we leave an ongoing youma plot however if we move forward we are walking into a trap." Sailor Moon said frowning slightly. "But we can't let this go on either..." Sailor Moon frowned shaking her head slightly. If it was left to linger who knows what could happen. The longest lasting plot that she knew of was the one at Naru's shop. And from what she could tell she had gotten to it before the youma had really put into action.

"It's definitely a trap and you shouldn't go in but..." Luna confessed after a moment. First instinct was to take care of the threat, however, to walk into a blatant trap appeared to be asking for trouble. A threat in of itself to her team and to the one she suspects may even be the princess. Above any mission the princess's safety was to be put above all else and walking into traps was not aligned with 'safety'. Even so... they could not let this be either. What to do...

Another silence fell and no one moved from in front of the shop door. After a brief moment Sailor Moon made up her mind, with or without the others she was going after the youma. Was it trap? Yes but leaving a plot untouched raised too many concerns about possible developments if it was allowed to run rampant. So she made the first step towards the portal ignoring the protests of the others breaking into a run. They could come or they could stay behind this wouldn't be the first youma she had faced alone if the need arose.

"So you three fell into my trap." The youma's greeting echoed cockily once she had cleared the portal.

"It was a very obvious one." Sailor Moon heard Sailor Uranus grumble under her breath. She let out a breath she hadn't even known she had been holding. So they had followed her through the portal now.

"I shall defeat you and gain Queen Beryl's favor!" The youma proclaimed. "Let's make a game. if you can properly find me. Then you can fight me. Otherwise, you will be trapped in here forever." The youma vanished into thin air before any of them could protest against the idea leaving a swirling portal on the ground.

"What were you thinking?!" Sailor Uranus rounded on Sailor Moon angrily now that the youma had vanished they had a brief moment to themselves.

"I just don't want to see anyone else die. I…I lost someone close to me a couple of years ago. I am scared if these plots are allowed to drag on someone will die from them." Sailor Moon admitted through tears. Shingo's death would forever haunt her. The fact that maybe if she had just been a bit more careful or tried a bit harder he might still harder would forever hang over her. She couldn't. Wouldn't let anyone else die due to her lack of action.

"Usagi you can't save everyone you know that right?" Sailor Uranus asked gently. Apparently the comment about losing someone had at least softened her anger towards Sailor Moon.

"I will save everyone I can and do everything I can to save them." Sailor Moon said squaring her shoulders and bracing for the anger or the calls of foolishness.

Sailor Neptune, the ever calming presence asserted herself. "We are here. We should take care of things as they are. We can discuss things later if we need to."

Stepping through the portal had been sort of surreal. Whatever they had been expecting, this definitely wasn't it. As the girls looked around at their strange surroundings they saw most of the area was a blueish green in colors with distorted clocks floating around and what looked like the longest line of doors she had ever seen in her life.

"Are we supposed to open all of these?" Sailor Moon frowned.

"That seems to be the idea." Sailor Neptune agreed.

It was going to take forever to find the youma though if they didn't get lucky. And god knows how time worked in this weird place so they could end up being in here for a short period compared to the outside world or they could be in here until the end of time.

"Michiru you seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to these things can you maybe pick up where the youma is actually hiding?" Sailor Uranus asked.

Sailor Moon frowned slightly. This was something that hadn't come up before. Then again this was only the third youma plot that the three had taken on together. And the last two they had kind of just met where the youma was not trying to find where it was. Still you would have thought that something like this would have come up during one of the afternoons they had spent together so far. But then again considering she was hiding stuff she really couldn't talk.

Sailor Neptune frowned for a moment seeming to be concentrating on something before shaking her head, "Too much interference. It feels like the youma is everywhere and yet nowhere at the same time

"Well let's start opening doors then." Sailor Uranus said opening a door on her right hand side. At first seeing nothing Sailor Moon decided to step in the door opened before them to see if she could if the youma was in there. Once she stepped in an odd effect kicked in, it seemed that she was shrinking?

"Sailor Moon!" She heard Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune yell grabbing a hold of her and pulling her back towards the doorway. She let out a breath she didn't even know she had been holding as she felt whatever had occurred reverse itself and return to normal.

"Are you all right?" Sailor Neptune asked looking her over. Sailor Uranus growled in frustration. "I have had about enough of this place."

"I'm fine. Honestly, it was just a really weird sensation." Sailor Moon reassured her rubbing her hand over her arm avoiding eye contact. She hadn't meant to cause trouble, but it seemed like whenever she was with them she found it accidentally.

"Why did you step into the room anyway?" Sailor Neptune asked slightly scolding her.

"I was trying to see if the youma was maybe further into the room." Sailor Moon explained with a shrug. How was she supposed to know she was going to suddenly de-age if she actually walked into a room?

"Well, no one is going to be stepping through doorways unless we see the youma from here on out." Sailor Uranus finally stated.

"Sorry I didn't mean to cause trouble." Sailor Moon said looking at the ground.

Sailor Uranus let out a sigh running a hand through her hair while Sailor Neptune comforted "You seem to have a tendency to end up in situations."

"Sorry." Sailor Moon meekly said knowing the comment was also referring to the idol contest after a slight pause. "So what now? We're kind of at an impasse right now. We could just try and open every door but that would take who knows how long."

"Not unless you have some idea or ability you haven't mentioned." Sailor Neptune asked raising an eyebrow.

"The only closest thing I've not mentioned was accidentally seeing through the guise a youma had on once the day I became Sailor Moon, and I'm not honestly sure if that was just a fluke event." Sailor Moon admitted. She hadn't been able to do anything like that since then so she had her doubts that it was an actual ability she possessed.

"Maybe I can be of assistance?" Asked a new voice causing all three to jump and Sailor Uranus to form a ball of energy in her right hand in response to the possible threat. She faltered a little seeing the new arrival was bearing a similar senshi garb.

"Who are you?" Sailor Moon asked.

"My apologies. I am Sailor Pluto senshi of time and space. This youma is messing with a function of time. It is my duty to deal with it." Sailor Pluto explained.

"She is actually speeding up time?" Uranus asked frowning at the thought thinking back to what they had seen outside the shop.

"This youma is messing with the body's internal clock. This Youma is also a very strong illusionist. Makes a person believe that time is actually passing quicker then it is. Thus giving a person the need to rush and burn energy at the same time. I am the guardian of time. I would rather her not grow powerful enough to effect time on a wide scale." Was Pluto's explanation.

"Wait there are creatures out there that can mess with the flow of time on a large scale?" Uranus asked skeptically.

"A very small number but yes there have been a few throughout known history that have been capable of performing such a task." The newly named Pluto admitted with some reluctance.

"Okay, that is a creepy thought. Beryl and her minions can't do that can they?," Sailor Moon piped up having kept quiet during most of the explanation. An enemy that could actually mess with the time stream just screamed big bad problem.

"No Sailor Moon. There is no one working in the Dark Kingdom, thankfully, with that kind of power." Pluto reassured her.

Sailor Moon pondered over the thought that it seemed almost like the older senshi was refraining from calling her by a different name. It was a bit odd but she wasn't going to press the subject. If the new addition wanted to have secrets, fine. She couldn't really hold it against her without being a hypocrite considering she still hadn't told the others about her legs. As long as whatever she was refraining from mentioning wasn't dangerous she could keep whatever secrets that she was apparently holding at the moment.

"So how do we defeat someone that messes with our sense of time?" Sailor Moon asked frowning slightly deciding not to ponder on Pluto's speech patterns for now. That would be something to try and figure out at a later time when they weren't facing down a youma.

"Its a bit difficult but it can be done. We need to figure out what her weak point." Sestuna explained as she began to lead the way.

"Do you have any idea where we are supposed to be going or are we just following the path down the hallway?" Sailor Uranus asked frowning slightly as they followed her.

"Again. I am the senshi of space and time. I can find where the youma is." Was the response given.

The other girls exchanged glances for a second before Sailor Moon followed behind first with a slight shrug of the shoulders, Neptune after and the Uranus reluctantly following. "I'm not so sure about this." she heard Sailor Uranus mutter before following behind her.

"What do we have honestly to lose at this point?" Sailor Moon asked turning back to face the older girl for a moment voicing her own thoughts, "We know nothing about the realm we're in. We were essentially flying blind and the senshi who has domain over the realm has offered to help. At this point we don't know how to get back out of where we came from."

"I still don't like blindly trusting her though." Haruka said as she followed the green haired senshi following after Sailor Moon.

"Well, we're not exactly blindly trusting her. We all seem to have our own issues with this situation but Uranus, unless you want to be stuck here until the end of time we are going to give her the benefit of the doubt." Sailor Moon stated hoping to end the argument here and there.

She heard Uranus grumble some more but didn't voice anything else after that. She got it, she really did about the worries of trusting someone that was a complete stranger here in a foreign realm. But at this point they needed to put their trust in her or else they may be stuck here until the end of time.

After that, a silence descended over the group. Apparently, Pluto wasn't really the talkative type choosing to just lead them to their enemy then go into many other details. Maybe that was part of the point though, keep her realm delved in secret and suspense. Really it didn't matter in the end she realized, as long as they got to the youma and eventually got out of whatever this weird place was.

"She should be through here." Pluto said opening one of the doors on the right-hand side of the hall. Moon frowned for a moment glancing down the hall and then back at the door. As far as she could tell there was no way to distinguish them from the hundreds of other doors. But who was she to argue with the senshi of time and space over a time-related matter?

She frowned once they were into the room. As far as she could see there was no sign of the youma that was causing all this trouble. She then noticed a lilac ball not that much different in shape and general composition than the one that Haruka and Michiru used for their attack beginning to form around the staff that Pluto carried. Okay if she was powering up for an attack that hopefully meant the youma was nearby but where? Before she got a question Sailor Pluto on what she was doing Sailor Pluto aimed the ball in what appeared to be a random direction saying, "Dimension Dance."

That brought the youma crashing down in front of them though she didn't quiet understand how that was physically possible. Never mind that, was the youma actually squinting at them now? That was a new reaction she hadn't seen before. Before she could process this strange new reaction it spoke. "Who in the world are you and how did you get here?"

"I am Sailor Pluto senshi of time and space. Your interference with time is forbidden." Pluto's calm response.

Sailor Uranus, having decided to take advantage of the fact that Pluto was providing a distraction, powered up her own attack while it appeared the youma tried to make heads or tails of the new addition. "Spiral Buster!"

This knocked the youma back a distance but didn't destroy it. Deciding against giving the youma enough to time to collect itself, Sailor Moon reached up removing her tiara, aimed it at the youma, and unleashed. "Moon Tiara Action!

That did the trick, thankfully, turning the youma to dust. She breathed a sigh of relief before turning to Sailor Pluto smiling, "Thank you for your help."

Sailor Neptune frowned thoughtfully looking around. "How do we get out of here."

For some reason or another whatever weird pocket dimension that had formed still hadn't dissipated so Pluto from there lead them out of the area and within moments they found themselves back in front of the shop. From there she excused herself saying she had other things to take care of.

"Who was that?" Luna asked coming up to them now that Pluto had left for parts unknown. With no way to contact her either now that she thought about it, that was a bit annoying. Though she guessed if she really had such domain over space-time she probably could tell when they would need help next time. Maybe, hopefully.

"Sailor Pluto. She showed up helped us track down the youma." Sailor Moon said glancing back at the facade of the clock shop. Come to think of it what happened to these places once the youma plots were done? She had never gone back to investigate after a fight of one of the former pop up shops so she really didn't know. Maybe one day on her down days she would go check out. She briefly noticed that a strange look came over Luna's face momentarily but chose not to push it. If the cat wanted to keep stuff from her for the time being so be it. It would probably all come to a head eventually anyway.

End Chapter 6

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

The Scariest Place On Earth

"What's got the class all in a fuss this time?" Usagi wondered. Most of her classmates were hovering over some iPad it appeared that one of the students had reading something. It had been a day or so since the clock shop incident and while there had been some oddities to sort out in the aftermath most things had settled back to normal already. So she knew whatever it was probably wasn’t related to that.

"A rather large group of people have gone missing from Dreamland over the last week and it's been all over the news." Naru explained as she took her seat having heard Usagi.

"Really?" Usagi asked frowning slightly mouthing 'plot?' to which Naru shrugged. Dreamland was a fairly major theme park on the northern more rural side of Tokyo. It was no Tokyo Disney, but it was supposed to be pretty fun. Not that she had had a chance yet to see for herself what the park was like.

"Yeah surprised you hadn't heard about it before now." Naru said frowning slightly. She knew Usagi had been pretty busy but this wasn’t exactly something you could miss normally.

"I've been really busy the last few weeks." Usagi said making a face. She had been so focused on training, getting to know Haruka and Michiru, and school that she hadn't been tracking the news outside of the tidbits she occasionally heard. Now that she thought about it was a bad idea since tracking the youma plots might be easier if she paid attention to the latest news.

"That is true. With the girls and everything else." Naru agreed.

"I probably should pay attention to the news." Usagi said frowning slightly. If the news could give potential leads to a Dark Kingdom plot then it looked like that was going to be added to her long list of things she had to do.

"It might be a one-off thing, heck it might not even be them. Don't get too worried about the news." Naru suggested.

"Still it probably wouldn't hurt to listen to it occasionally." Usagi thought. Further discussion about the news as a source for finding trouble was cut off at Ms. Haruna's arrival.


 She decided to bring it up the next time the three of them got together. They had picked the local arcade that she went to on an irregular basis as a chance of pace and scenery. The place was still a bit empty with it being not long after school got out. Right now they were near a racing game that Haruka had taken to playing.

"I don't know. It could be just someone randomly kidnapping the theme parks. Not everything that gets picked up by the news is going to be the Dark Kingdom. Also, if it is them then they must be getting a bit more desperate. This is a complete reversal of their normal tactics they don't usually do a scheme that will draw this much attention that easily to them." Haruka said frowning slightly looking over slightly from the game screen.

"That's not completely true. Remember the incident with the buses near that shrine" Michiru pointed out. Most of the time the Dark Kingdom tried to keep on the down lo. However they had engaged in a plot that was very hard to miss.

"Shrine incident?" Usagi asked frowning slightly. She didn't remember anything quite like that but if it had been before she became Sailor Moon it would have been before she paid attention to the weird news.

"That was about a month before we met. It was one of Jadeite's more hands-on plots and about the time he finally started to really notice us. He was literally stealing bus full of people to steal energy from. It was next to a local shrine that was drawing some attention from it for whatever reason. It took a while to put the pieces together and stop it but we eventually managed to pull it off." Michiru explained.

"Weird. I don't remember hearing too much about it." Usagi said frowning slightly. But then again a month before they met would put the incident sometime in December before she met Luna and became Sailor Moon. And come to think of it depending on the timing it wouldn’t have been to far from when she had ended up in the hospital from the fall. So her missing it may not be too much of a stretch. Still disappearing busses should be hard to miss normally.

"It got some press but not nearly as much as this." Haruka added.

"That makes sense I guess." Usagi admitted. Though it was still interesting how she had completely missed it.

"It wouldn't hurt to check out Dreamland." Michiru admitted after some thought. It maybe a dead end but if it wasn’t they would be leaving others to danger by not having looked into it.

"Besides even if it isn't it would be kind of neat to finally see Dreamland." Usagi admitted. This would be her first trip to the park if they went up there.

Michiru hmmmed slightly at that. "It would definitely be a different experience. I've never been to Dreamland myself I must admit."

"Wait you two have never been to Dreamland?" Haruka asked surprise evidence turning to face them fully having finished the game.

"You know how my family is Haruka." Michiru pointed out. This kind of thing was considered beneath them. 

"Oh yeah." Haruka scratched the back of her head sheepishly, "Usagi, what about you?"

"I'm originally from a small town to the north of here. I've only been in Tokyo for the last year or so I haven't had a chance to check out the different theme parks unfortunately. I went to one or two back home but nothing like Dreamland." Usagi admitted. It was on her things of to do but things had always seemed too busy to put together a trip to the parks that lay on the outskirts of the Tokyo prefectures.

"Well if it turns out to be nothing it could still be a fun experience to go as a group." Haruka said grinning slightly.

"That is true." Usagi would have to be careful around some rides if it turned into just a fun day. But it would be a nice change of pace from just sitting around talking or in this case playing games.

"All right so should we meet up there on Saturday? Or do you want us to give you a ride?" Haruka asked. She had forgotten the older girl apparently had a foreign driver's license and could drive.

"If it's not too much trouble I would appreciate the ride." The thought of navigating the busy Tokyo subways on a Saturday morning was not appealing to Usagi at the moment.

"Nah it's on the way." Haruka said.

"Dreamland is expected to open at nine and closes around seven this time of year. It would probably be best to be at the park at opening if this is an actual plot by the Dark Kingdom. Giving it takes about an hour or two to get there from here we should probably pick you up sometime around 7." Michiru said interrupting the back and forth while looking up the needed info on her own phone.

That was a bit early and it meant one of the longest days Usagi had had in a long time but it would be worth it she reasoned she was just going to have to be careful. She would probably have to pack some anti chaffing stuff and make a few bathroom stops to apply it to get through the day but it should work as long as she was careful. So she said, "That should be good."


 "This place is huge!" Usagi exclaimed looking around. They had managed to make park opening even with Saturday morning traffic so the place wasn't too crowded yet so it made it feel like it was all the more massive with it fairly empty.

"Eh it's not as big as the Tokyo Disney parks." Haruka commented with a shrug. She wondered just how much the girl had been to theme parks since she seemed to have the most experience with them.

"Yeah but I've never been to one of those before. The only theme parks I've been to were all small local parks not far from my hometown before I moved here." Usagi admitted. There weren't many theme parks where she used to live, but there had been a couple all fairly tiny when compared to the expanse of this place.

"So this must be a bit overwhelming then." Michiru commented apparently she was handling the massive size of the park a lot better then she was.

"Yeah it kind of is.” Usagi admitted after a moment. “There is so much to do. How in the world are we going to find a possible Dark Kingdom plot in a place like this?" Usagi asked.

"We might have to split up." Luna said frowning slightly looking at the map over Usagi's shoulder. There were so many places they had to eliminate as possible plots...

Michiru frowned looking over Usagi’s shoulder at the map slightly shaking her head, "You might be over thinking it. If the Dark Kingdom is kidnapping people to drain, their energy. They’re probably not going to want to move them once they've started the job if we go by the bus incident. But they are going to need somewhere large and able to attract people. So, we'll be looking at some sort of indoor attraction. There's a fairly small number of those when compared to the outdoor attractions. Unless a show starts at the same time or something of that nature there shouldn't be a need to split up."

"So that takes our places down to investigate down from 20 something to nine I think no wait five." Usagi said scanning over the list of attractions. Some of them were listed as indoor attractions but were proper rides. If Michiru was right they would be looking pretty much looking exclusively at the indoor shows. That narrowed down what they needed to check out significantly. Maybe if things went okay maybe they would have time for some normal park stuff if this didn't pan out as a youma plot.

"Judging by show length and start times we might still have a problem of overlapping attractions though. We will just have to see how the day progresses." Luna piped in.

"Was that cat just talking?" Usagi heard someone ask causing all four to freeze. They had apparently been so engrossed in their planning none of them had heard someone come up behind them.

"Don't be silly." Usagi said turning to face the new speaker only to stop in surprise. It was that guy she had met the day she had first become Sailor Moon again. She swore she was running into this guy everywhere, the fortune teller house, the arcade (well that wasn't really much since he was apparently friends with the guy who helped run the arcade but still), here.

"Well, well, if it isn't odango otama. I sure seem to see you doing anything and everything these days." Came the reply.

"The same could be said to you." Usagi retorted. She still disliked him using the nickname but he couldn't seem to take a hint that she wanted him to drop it.

"Yeah well unlike you, I actually have a job here. You just seem to go to the strangest places Odango Otama." He said lowering his sunglasses to get a better look at her. Now that she was looking closer it appeared that he was working some sort of security job at the park. He was certainly looking the part.

She blew out air partly in frustration, "I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times now. Don't call me that!"

"Whatever odango. See you around. Try not to cause too much trouble." He teased wandering off.

"Just who was that?" Haruka asked breaking the silence. She hadn't realized until then that both girls had been quiet during the argument she had had with the guy. She should really get a name for him the next time they ran into each other, or at least a better nickname than 'that one guy'.

"Huh oh just some guy I met a few weeks ago. It feels like I'm running into him everywhere even though I'm really not. I can't stand him." Usagi admitted. The last time she had seen him was around that weird idol contest they had infiltrated and even then it had just been in passing. Though it was kind of funny now that she thought about it, she had seen him around a lot of the youma plots, not all of them, he had been missing from the clock shop incident and the pet shop but definitely a number of them. She hoped that really didn't seal the deal that this was a Dark Kingdom plot.


 Despite their best efforts to remain as a group it eventually did come to have to splitting up. Even with sticking to just the shows they had somehow reached an impasse where two shows were just too close to each other in timing for all four to go together.

Luna's ears twitched slightly, "I honestly don't like the idea of splitting up. There are too many unknown variables here."

"Yeah but unless we want to come back for another day." Which Usagi really wasn't in the mood for at the moment. Her first truly extended outing was starting to get to her. "We have to split up Luna."

"I know." Luna agreed with a displeased sigh.

"Even if this does turn into a youma plot it should be easy to realize." Michiru was the one that pointed out. Youma weren't exactly known for their tact when implementing the plot. If this was one, they should be able to identify it before it got out of hand and get ahead of it. At least in principle. 

"At least these are the last shows to eliminate. Not sure how many more of these I could sit through." Haruka confessed. Usagi kind of agreed. The first one had been neat to see but the second had kind of dragged on and she had been glad to get out of. She just hoped this one wasn't too bad.

"Just be careful." Luna pushed. Haruka and Michiru would be going off to one show and Luna would be tagging along to some show that was in the 'Candy Palace' just so she wasn't alone.

"I'll admit some hesitation over the decision to split up due to the fact that you might be the Lunarian heir." Luna confessed as they approached the building after they had split off from Haruka and Michiru.

"Luna just because I might be something doesn't mean we should base our decisions around that." Usagi argued shaking her head slightly.

"I know and I agree with you on. It's just a possibility." Luna confessed. And that possibility unnerved her. Princess Serenity was supposed to be protected. She couldn’t be protected if she needed to split off from her protectors. There was the possibility of Usagi not being Serenity. But even then she didn’t like the idea of Usagi going alone.

"We made the decision based on what we know now." Usagi tried to point out.


 "So far it seems fairly normal." Usagi commented looking around the wide room. Once the doors had opened to the show building they had been led into a large room filled to the brim with decorative and edible treats. The only odd thing she could see so far was a lack of seats but maybe that was style of show it was.

"Hmmm. I do agree that so far yes, but you know that can change quickly." Luna commented.

Any more conversation was cut off as a girl in a pink and blue dress stepped out introducing herself as the Dream Princess. She spoke briefly before telling them to enjoy the show before admitting some sort of odd looking pink mist. As the pink mist spread out the scenery changed replacing the room they had been in with what looked like a meadow outcrop surrounded by trees. It was beautiful but the sight wasn't her concern. What was was the fact that she had lost sight of what she was now was pretty sure was the youma and for that matter Luna the minute the illusion had gone up.

"Luna please tell me your still here." Usagi said under her breath. "Right next to your left ankle. Why, what did that mist do exactly?" She could hear Luna but when she looked in the direction of her voice she certainly couldn't see Luna.

"Cast some sort of illusion. I don't see the room anymore just trees, fields, and the people that were at the show." Usagi frowned slightly. "We need to get the others and quickly." She heard Luna comment.

"Yeah I know but you are going to have to be the one that does it. I am essentially blind thanks to this illusion, there's no way I can get out unnoticed without bumping into anything and everything. However, as long as you can get to Haruka and Michiru then they can at least take care of the youma this shouldn't be a problem for much longer. I'm not sure how much help I'm going to be." Usagi confessed as she started to feel tired.

"Usagi..." Luna sounded worried. Leaving her behind was far from the greatest idea but she was right. She was essentially blind in this situation and wouldn’t be able to make the journey out of here alone. Making the decision more difficult than it would normally have been.

"I'll be fine just go get the others." Usagi directed trying to wave off the cat before she lost the fight to stay awake. If she passed out before Luna left she had a feeling the cat would never leave. There was a slight pause before she heard the light pattering of feet indicating Luna finally leaving. Relieved that Luna was going off to get help she finally lost the battle to remain conscious.


 Meanwhile, Luna had managed to force her way out through the front doors and was making fast time in getting back to where they were supposed to meet back up with Haruka and Michiru. She let out a sigh of relief as she spotted Haruka first from a distance before skidding to a stop between the two.

"Y-youma!" Luna managed to get out trying to catch her breath, chest heaving, not caring who might over here her. That had been quite a sprint to get back from the Candy Palace to the meeting place but it couldn't be helped. Usagi should not be left alone in the hands on the enemy for very long. Taking a deep breath she continued. "There was an illusion specialist youma at the Candy Palace I was able to get out because the illusion didn't affect me but Usagi got caught in it."

Haruka swore lightly under her breath as Michiru paled slightly. If Usagi had been caught by the illusion she almost had certainly had at least some of her energy drained, which changed the whole dynamic of the situation. Changing the mission from a simple search and destroy mission to quiet possibly a rescue mission.

"Lead the way. We'll stop in a restroom or something and use it to transform." Michiru said taking charge for the moment.


 Luna frowned slightly as they reentered the so-called palace, this time with Haruka and Michiru in senshi garb. "This is different."

"What do you mean?" Neptune asked glancing down at the cat with a frown.

"It was more decorated when I came through with Usagi. I didn't sense any spells at the time. But I guess its possible there was a lower level illusion in place that I missed." Luna responded. She was kind of surprised that the illusion had slipped her senses. But she had been looking for a higher-level illusion you associated with youma not a low level one that had probably been in place. She was going to have to be more careful about her surroundings from here on out apparently. She couldn’t afford to make this kind of mistake a second time.

"I would say I'm sorry that our show is done for today, but I can see you're not here for the show." Came a new voice. Whirling around they were met with the same girl Luna and Usagi had seen at the start of the show. Before either had much of a chance to react though the youma let out a breath putting up an illusion around them.

"Same illusion?" Luna gathered from somewhere near their feet. That had looked like the same pink breath she had spied earlier before Usagi had gone under.

"Probably." Neptune agreed. There was no way to know for sure without Usagi speaking of which they needed to retrieve her and soon. It was impossible to know at this point if this was a youma who drained their victims slowly over time or quickly or one capable of both. If it was the later then they might be in trouble. Her and Uranus had been able to take down youma's own their own in the past but the youmas they had been taking down had been getting stronger. So Usagi not being at full fighting strength could complicate things. 

"What is with youmas and lunging?" Uranus complained as they side stepped the youma. It had tried to approach them once only to be met with Spiral Buster/Splash Edge combo. Apparently, it had decided to switch tactics. Though Neptune did wonder sometimes how good of a tactic lunging at a target who could use long range techniques did.

Neptune muttered under her breath as she dodged with her expression clearly of the mind that Haruka shouldn't be giving the youma ideas as the youma tried to launch an energy ball of sorts. Admittedly it was a legit question all things considered but it was also baiting fate to mix things up a bit by saying that.

"One of us needs to go get her. Even if she isn't in fighting condition we just can't leave her." Uranus said changing topics from youma's choice in attacks. It wasn't the ideal situation, but they needed to retrieve Usagi even if she might not be able to put up a fight after having her energy drained.

Neptune glanced over her shoulder for a second. The illusion was fairly strong and was still difficult to see through even with her senses, but she could see what looked like the end of it off in the distance. She would rather not leave Uranus, but Uranus did have a point. They needed to get Usagi. If she couldn't fight, then they would figure something out but neither of them were going to feel comfortable until they knew Usagi was out of the youma's grasp. Turning back to Uranus. "I can just see where the illusion ends. If you can keep her distracted for long enough I should be able to get her. Luna stick close to me I am going to use your footfalls to make sure I actually get out of this."

"Understood." Came Luna's response. It sounded like she was just behind her on the right.

"Be careful." Neptune said before turning to head towards what looked like the hallway they had been in.

"When am I not?" Haruka called back as Neptune took off running as fast as she could, thinking of every time Haruka hadn't been careful with herself or had gotten hurt protecting her. The faster she found Usagi and they got out of here, the better.


Usagi wasn't sure how long she had been unconscious for only that she was awoken by someone shaking her shoulder and Michiru calling her name. She blinked a few times sitting up a bit sluggishly noting that it was just Luna and Sailor Neptune, no Haruka/Sailor Uranus. Though that wasn't really the odd part. The odd part was the fact that while she was back in the room where it had all begun, the sweets were completely gone. Had those also been an illusion? She had a hard time wrapping her head around that since she had seen some kids eating what appeared to be donuts before the 'show' started.

"Are you all right Usagi?" Neptune asked looking openly concerned for the first time since she had met the two of them. Both girls for the most part seemed to keep a lid on their emotions, well unless you set one of them off. Which raised the question of just how bad did she look?

"I'm fine, a bit tired, but fine. Where's Haruka?" Usagi asked sitting up fully. Okay maybe a bit more than a little tired judging by that short dizzy spell but she could get through a fight with a youma, or at least she hoped so.

"Back in the hallway distracting the youma. She tried to cast the same illusion on us as the one you were put under I was able to see past it well enough to get by but Uranus doesn't have the same kind of abilities, so she remained." Sailor Neptune explained as she tried to scramble to her feet. Only to sway for a moment when another dizzy spell hit.

"Easy, was that first time having your energy drained?" Neptune asked looking sympathetic helping steady her for a second.

"I've always been able to get ahead of the plot before now to avoid the energy drain." Usagi admitted finally feeling well enough to stand on her own though she wasn't sure how well fighting would go. She could transform she was fairly certain of that. She just wasn't sure about summoning enough power to destroy the youma. She knew Haruka and Michiru were capable of destroying it on their own. How else would they have been able to beat the youmas they had encountered prior to her awakening otherwise? But she didn't really want to dump that kind of responsibility on them.

Sailor Neptune frowned slightly. "Are you up to transforming or do you need us to take care of the youma problem?" "I can transform." Usagi said waving the ocean senshi off though how long she might be able to hold it would be another question if she was this tired. "Moon Prism Power Make Up!"

As the henshin faded she turned to Sailor Neptune. "So where to?"

"As long as they haven't taken off somewhere Uranus and the youma should be back this way." Neptune said gesturing. Usagi really didn't want to think about the possibility of the two having moved. She wasn't sure if she could handle much wandering. "Lead the way." She said making a motion with her hand following Michiru what felt like blindly back from where she had come.

"Are you all right?" Sailor Uranus asked not breaking eye contact with the youma for the moment as they approached. "I'm all right…mostly." Sailor Moon amended when she saw the doubtful look she was getting from Neptune. "Just really tired. I feel like I could sleep for days."

"There's a third one of you?!" The youma shrieked in confusion causing them all to look at her, him, whatever the youma technically was. Right, she had somehow not got on the radar of their boss before she met Haruka/Uranus and Michiru/Neptune. There hadn't been anything so far to suggest that had changed at the last encounters with the youma either.

"Of course." Sailor Moon said with more confidence then she was honestly feeling at the moment. "I am Sailor Moon champion of love and justice. And for the disturbing the peace and fun for the attendants of this beautiful theme park I will punish you!" She thought she heard Uranus let an amused snort out but chose to ignore it for the moment. She couldn't help that she still felt the whole intro speech was weird. The other two were obviously more comfortable with it and had been coaching her on it during their down time. But it still felt kind of awkward and out of place to start spewing. Though this time it had worked out okay.

"Whatever, what's one more senshi going to do anyway? I am going to destroy all of you!" The youma shrieked lunging at Uranus causing all three to side step. Or rather Uranus and Neptune to side step and Uranus yanking her out of the youma's line of attack. Apparently, her reaction time was a bit slower than normal. 

"Thanks." Moon muttered. 

"Welcome. Are you sure your all right?" Uranus asked again.

"Yeah. As long as we take care of this youma quickly I should be fine." Moon assured her. 

"Don't dodge me!" The youma shrieked turning back to face them. Really?

"Like we aren't going to dodge." Sailor Moon heard Uranus mutter.

"I am going to need an assist beyond a distraction to take it down." Moon said keeping her voice down to try and keep from being overheard though how well that went was a good question since they had to scatter when the youma lunged yet again.

"Do you think you can time it so your tiara follows right behind one of our attacks?" Neptune suggested frowning slightly. "I think so." She said. She wasn't 100 percent sure how well her timing was going to be but she could at least try.

"All right when the youma lunges again we attack." Uranus suggested powering up a Spiral Buster. "Right." was the combined response as Moon removed her own tiara and Neptune took the moment to power up a Splash Edge.

"Spiral Buster!" Uranus released the attack as the youma began to lunge at them again.

"Splash Edge!" Neptune followed suit shortly after and Sailor Moon didn't wait much longer to release her tiara.


What she hadn't anticipated was apparently the speed of the tiara matching or possibly exceeding the other attacks and combining with them. Odd circumstance but it did its job as it took out the youma turning it to a pile of dust.

Moon closed her eyes for a moment after the youma dissipated as she felt her legs go weak for a moment and start to fold as another dizzy spell hit. Thankfully one of the girls reached out and caught her before she went down completely. Opening her eyes again she saw it was Uranus. "Thank you."

She thought she saw a confused frown cross the older girl's face for a moment but dismissed it when nothing further was made of it. Neptune frowned again asking. "Are you sure your all right?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine I just was already a bit tired from the day out before the youma attack," Sailor Moon admitted with a bit of hesitation moving to stand again on her own. "So, when the youma drained me it just made things worse. Nothing a good night's sleep shouldn't fix."

"We should probably get out of here before security comes looking. Though we should tell someone about all the people in that room." Neptune commented as she went ahead and dehenshined and they followed suit. Usagi was grateful to have a reason to drop it since it had gotten to the point where holding the henshin would have been pushing it.

"Leave a note?" Usagi suggested they weren't out in the public that much as Senshi so approaching a security guard to basically say that they had found the missing people might not be the smartest idea even if one of them rehenshioned.

"Where though if this place is mostly self-run then probably not a lot of people come through here especially at this time of the day." Michiru pointed out frowning slightly again.

"On the front door that I came in through maybe? This might have been one of the last shows of the day but maintenance should still have to come by later to check everything out. Or they are supposed to anyway. If we leave them something to notify them hopefully they'll find the missing people." Usagi suggested. Though the fact that none of the park workers had found anything before was kind of weird…maybe they had been part of the group of people that had been vanishing?

End Chapter 7

Chapter Text

Chapter 8

Event Horizon

It had been a few days since the fiasco at Dreamland. The park was receiving some backlash from the whole thing. But Usagi doubted it would hinder them in the long run.

Things had grown quiet in the meantime. The girls kept an eye out or any unusual news but so far nothing out of the ordinary had popped up yet. So the girls enjoyed the quiet for now.

However, the peace would come to a rather surprisingly abrupt end one evening. Usagi was spending the night over at Naru's house celebrating the end of the long school year and trying to keep her mind off of what the future would hold. She had thrown everything she had at the tests now it was just a waiting game.

Both girls were brought out of their study session by Luna's urgent calling. "Usagi! Come quickly."

Usagi frowned but came over to the windowsill where Luna was sitting. She was about to ask what was wrong when she saw a blond-haired guy appear in the sky. She frowned. Well, this was different and rather in your face. The Dark Kingdom seemed to be becoming less subtle and more blatant at every turn of the foot. She frowned when he spoke. "Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, you have messed with my plans for the last time. I challenge you to a fight tomorrow night at 1 am at Haneda airport. If you do not show up, the consequences will not be pretty for the city of Tokyo. I highly recommend you make your presence known tomorrow."

"How does he not know about me still?" Usagi muttered under her breath as he disappeared in a swirl of purple. Was he really that bad of a leader that he never talked to his youma to know it wasn't just Haruka and Michiru?

Luna shook her head. "That's a mystery within itself." A moment of silence passed between them as Luna appeared to be deep in thought as if trying to figure something out.

Usagi frowned before turning to a stunned silent Naru. "Naru. Can you get Skype up please? I want to see if Haruka and Michiru are up. We need to talk now." Usagi not being so great at computers and wanting to get it done quickly. Naru got up her laptop to check and after a moment shook her head. "Nothing on Skype."

"Even if they were asleep I doubt they missed that." Usagi thought taking out her phone and texting both senshi wondering why she didn't think of trying that to begin with. "Looks like we are going to have to scrap those plans we had Naru." She said regretfully.

"Figured as much. Hopefully, after everything is said and done we can have a giant slumber party and no weird evil guys will get in the way. Makes me really want to give them a piece of my mind." Naru said with narrowed eyes towards the spot the dark general disappeared with thinned lips and hand gestures to emphasize her point while speaking.

"It won't be that simple of just taking care of Jadeite and everything goes quiet. Even if we do take down Jadeite he isn't the only minion Queen Beryl has at her disposal. Most likely we will be just replacing him with a new threat." Luna said shaking her head. Usagi, grim-faced, glanced down as her phone buzzed with an incoming text. "They saw it. They are going." She looked out the window over the buildings and towards the direction of the airport biting her lip, worried for her fellow senshi and the obvious trap they were being invited into.

"It would probably be best if we got together a few hours before so we can strategize," Luna suggested. Naru nodded."That's probably a good idea but Usagi you're not going to be able to do it here. Mom's going to notice if they come over and you all three are suddenly gone.

Usagi nodded resolutely. "My place it is then." She said sending the text back with instructions. Her parents at least were aware of the situation so there wouldn't be any sneaking out of the building.

"We're going to have to figure out some way to get me back into your apartment building." Luna frowned. "We'll figure it out somehow." Usagi waved off the concern. She had got Luna in once before by accident so she could probably do it on purpose this time. "Haruka says that sounds like a plan and they'll see us tomorrow night."

"Good, now we need to get you two to bed. Usagi you have a late night tomorrow so you need as much sleep as you can get. Lights out girls." Luna with an authoritative tone before curling up on the pillow Naru had gotten for her.

Both Girls exchanged raised eyebrows. They were pretty wound up right now but Luna had a point. Usagi was going to have to just hope for the best as she settled into her sleeping bag. Now was not the time to be sleeping with an event on the horizon.

Naru reached over, not looking at all tired, and turned off the light. Both girls laid down, heads on pillows. Usagi stared at the ceiling, her mind far too busy, attempting to fall asleep with all the worries and what ifs bouncing around in her head. She could hear Naru attempting to get comfortable and listened as her friend relax her breathing to help herself fall asleep once she'd settled on a position.

When Naru's breathing evened out to being too soft for her to hear Usagi began to count the bumps in texture on the ceiling trying to stop from focusing on everything going on in her mind about events, past, present, and all the possibilities she could think of about. Would she fail these senshi like she failed her little brother the day of the tsunami? She really deserved to lose her legs didn't she? To never feel the sun on her skin? To never feel the sand between her toes? Grass cool against her ankles? To never be whole again both physically and in her heart? Yes, she decided. A small price to pay compared to the life of her baby brother. Fitting for her to suffer. Truly. She deserved it for not being strong enough to save her baby brother. How was she supposed to lead these girls if she couldn't even save Shingo? How was she supposed to protect a planet if she couldn't even protect him? Her own baby brother? Without realizing it, tears had formed in her eyes, pooling and falling down dampening her pillow as she stared straight up at the ceiling.

Eventually the trying day and the emotional exhaustion combined became too much and she curled into herself as much as she could, as if it could hide the shaking of her shoulders away from Naru's direction, to curl her shame into herself where it could not reach her friend who so did not deserve to carry it. Curling inwards where it could hurt no one else but herself, as she was clearly the only one who deserved to feel this pain for it was her failure that let her brother be swept away to die in the Tsunami. She starred, unseeing, at the wall, eyes stinging and tears flowing but not a sound would she make, as if it could numb her to physical pain in her chest where she was sure her heart had been ripped out. Where her heart was still, and forever, being ripped out.

Usagi did all of this oblivious to the worried eyes of Naru glued to herself.

"Why the busiest domestic airport in all of Japan though?" Usagi asked with a frown the next day. It seemed like she had spent forever explaining what she knew to Naru the previous night but eventually she had seemed to accept it. Eventually. A plane flew overhead catching her attention. Apparently, they hadn't been grounded. That could be bad. Hopefully, the airport would not be packed with people and planes taking off. This could be even worse for them if it was. All those people...

It was still a few hours until they had to be at the airport to confront Jadeite and the three girls and one talking cat were having what could be loosely called a 'planning' session. They were back at Usagi's place. Since they lived closer to the amusement park opposite the airport she assumed they lived nowhere near it and so her place would be the fasted one to travel from-to the airport. Haruka groused. "He obviously wanted to make an impression. Between the light show in the sky and the location, there was no way that we could have missed it. I doubt anyone else in Tokyo and the surrounding areas beyond it did either." A dark look overcame her face at the end. The message was clear. Like people who stopped to look at a car wreck, people were likely to try to come and see. This could be bad. It was clearly a thought all of them shared if the look on Michiru's face was anything to go by.

"You can make a statement without going all out like he just did. He could have just as easily sent a message through another youma. This is a trap." Usagi said shaking her head slightly. She honestly wasn't sure if she was ready for this. This wasn't a boss fight in a video game with multiple lives and no bystanders. One life, one chance, multiple people counting on her and one another. One slip up and one or all of them could die or worse, one of these two could end up like herself, missing limbs and it could end up being her fault. Haruka and Michiru might be ready for this, but she had only been at this for a few weeks in contrast to their few months. She wasn't ready for this and she felt the weight of just how not ready she was quite keenly.

"I wish we had a way of contacting that Pluto. Even if she has been inconsistent so far with helping us she has been a help. If Jadeite is bringing his A-Game then we need any help we can get." Usagi said after a slight pause.

"We will be fine without her." Haruka said frowning slightly though Usagi had to wonder if she really even believed that herself. Still... "You might feel confident in that but I don't. You've been at it for what two, three months now, with Michiru being at it four to five and I'm over here with one month and have only seen the guy once. I don't know if he even realizes I exist. He only mentioned you two." Usagi spoke shaking her head slightly.

"That is true Usagi but it may not be a bad thing."-Thoughtfully-"As for Pluto, we don't know how to contact her or where to find her." Michiru pointed out.

"Maybe we'll get lucky and she'll show up at the airport." Haruka said with a shrug. That was definitely a possibility considering how they had met her the first time.

"The better question is how do you three even get to the airport? I suspect that the government is going to have most ways in and out of the airport locked down fairly tight. Getting in and out is probably going to prove to be difficult." Luna said moving the topic away from the other Senshi of the team.

"That is a problem. I have a driver's license so we could technically drive to Haneda. And while they will probably be looking for people on public transport more then they will be on the roads there still might be checkpoints that might prove to be problematic." Haruka commented.

Usagi heard the doorbell ring in the background frowning slightly. She hadn't invited anyone else over and she didn't think her parents had either. Judging by the confused looks on Haruka and Michiru's faces they sure hadn't invited anyone either. So who was at the door and why were they showing up now?

"Usagi! You have a visitor!" her Mom called. Her frown deepened in confusion. Who would want to see her right now? "Don't look at me like that I didn't invite anyone over. I was supposed to have a sleepover all weekend with Naru but we canceled halfway through after all this happened." Usagi said at the looks both girls were giving her. Usagi turned to leave the room. "I better go see who this is."

"Ms. Sestuna?" Usagi asked frowning when she realized her psychiatrist of all people was here. She sure as heck hadn't scheduled an appointment tonight and if she had she would have made sure to cancel it. Sooo what was she doing here?

"Friend of yours?" Haruka asked raising an eyebrow.

"Um uh yeah, it's a long story." She said hoping to get off that topic of conversation before it got revealed just why she knew this woman. Usagi was getting more comfortable with the other girls but she still was nervous about talking to them about her past. Plus now was not the time to be talking about that particularly long subject. Michiru frowned slightly at that comment but chose not to push it thankfully. Though she saw a raised eyebrow from Ms. Sestuna.

Addressing Ms. Sestuna, Usagi inquired. "Not that I don't mind the visit but why are you here? I didn't miss an appointment, did I?" "No, I am here on other business." Setsuna said mysteriously. "Other business?" Usagi repeated in confusion. Her worries only increased when she felt Luna tense suddenly next to her leg. Well, that was an unexpected reaction. Was Ms. Sestuna a senshi?

Setsuna for her part lifted her arm and pointed to her wrist, not revealing how she knew Usagi or what kind of appointment was mentioned despite looks from the others clearly wanting to know. On said wrist, peeking from beneath the sleeve of her jacket, a bracelet in the same style as the transformation bracelets she saw Haruka and Michiru wearing.

"Your Pluto." was Michiru's surprised comment, though still more a statement than a question. Well okay, she hadn't seen that coming. "If your Pluto then why did you..?" Usagi trailed off there unsure how to proceed without delving into a topic that they didn't have the time for tonight. "A conversation for another time." Sestuna gentled simply.

Fine Usagi was good with that. She had a few guesses as to why Sestuna had apparently taken on the role of doctor for her but at this point, they were only guesses.

"Wait. How come you know our true identities yet we never knew yours?" Haruka asked frowning. Thankfully deciding not to go down the particular rabbit hole on just how the two of them knew each other. Setsuna's answer was simple. "Senshi of time and space."

"Is that your answer to everything?" Usagi heard Haruka complain under her breath. She wasn't sure what that comment meant, maybe a reference to the clock youma. "Only when it's appropriate." Setsuna responded. Causing Haruka to turn a light shade of red.

"Haruka. I have a sense about some things. You can feel the wind. It may be Pluto may as well be able to know things we would never have access to normally." Michiru muttered to Haruka. "I don't like it." Haruka said back to Michiru which Usagi shrugged her shoulders from between them, having no idea Haruka had any sort of special ability outside her attacks.

"So why are you suddenly appearing now in civilian garb to help us?" Michiru asked with a frown. "It is time for me to do so." Setsuna's enigmatic response.

"Give us a moment." Haruka said before pulling Usagi and Michiru out of the room.

"So do we let her tag on? I get she's one of us, and you seem to know her Usagi, but she has only shown up once." Haruka commented once they were hopefully a fair distance away that they wouldn't be overheard. "I haven't been working that long with you." Usagi pointed out.

"Okay that is true but you've also tried to actively get to know us outside of Senshi duty." Haruka conceded for a moment before continuing. "Also just how long have you known her?" "We met two weeks ago." Usagi admitted. She had gotten her as a doctor not long before the incident of the clock youma if she remembered correctly.

"You didn't suspect anything at that time?" Haruka asked frowning.

"No, but I've only been around her maybe about four hours at most."-Usagi confessed-"Look my opinion is the extra help against this Jadeite isn't unwarranted from what you two have mentioned and so far she has a better record then that other person I've worked with."

"Who?" Michiru frowned apparently already had forgotten about their one run in with Tuxedo Mask. "My point exactly." Usagi said. "Is this about the Tuxedo Mask guy?" Haruka asked frowning apparently vaguely remember him showing up at the idol contest.

"Yes. Since it seems both of them have a record of randomly showing up." Usagi said to the older girl. "So do we just let her come along? I don't really see any harm. She did help out considerably with the time youma." "I don't see any real reason to say no to her. Help certainly wouldn't hurt." Michiru commented after a brief silence. "I still don't exactly like it but I don't think there is anything we can do to not have her here." Haruka confessed.

Usagi decided to try to be what Luna said she was supposed to be. Taking a deep breath she said. "So were all in agreement that she is coming? You don't have to like it or even trust her... I think she will come anyway no matter what we say." Usagi told the older girl who made another face at the prospect. Really with the way Haruka was acting at the moment Usagi wondered just how much persuading Michiru had to do in the beginning to come to those first couple of meetings.

"Fine" Haruka gave in with a reluctant sigh before Michiru followed up. "If she's fine with it then I am too."

Having Pluto around had certainly simplified things. Sailor Moon certainly thought so anyway. They stepped through the portal Pluto had created, right into Haneda Airport's runway area. With Pluto officially on board they had been able to use her abilities to not only get to the airport without having to deal with pesky things like security checkpoints or people questioning why three teenagers and a twenty-something were trying to get to the airport after the last flight for the night had taken off, but also directly to where Jadeite had said he would be waiting for them. Having a senshi with dominion over time and space certainly came in handy. She did wonder though, why Pluto hadn't shown up to help like this before now.

"So you have come then to what will be your graveyard." Sailor Moon heard someone say turning to see the blonde from the night before. It was certainly a different experience to see him floating around in mid-air and not some weird sky apparition.

"Wait. Since when are there four of you?" He said frowning all of a sudden. Oh yeah, she had nearly forgotten the message had only been addressed to Uranus and Neptune. Okay, she could understand him missing Pluto since this was only their second time working with her... But her? She had been working as Sailor Moon for almost a month now the fact that he only now realized she was a thing apparently was gross negligence.

"Not our fault you haven't been keeping up to date with your minions." Sailor Uranus commented clearly amused by the fact that Jadeite hadn't accounted for Moon and Pluto's presence.

He frowned before shrugging. "Whatever. Two more of you won't make much difference. I will kill you all!" With that he seemed to make a motion at one of the airplanes and the nearest one to them all of a sudden started to roll, rather quickly too, in their direction.

"This makes no sense. How can he control a bunch of airplanes?" Sailor Moon heard Sailor Uranus complain as they attempted to outrun the airplanes.

"The how part isn't really that important right now Uranus! Does anyone got any on how to stop these crazy things?!" Sailor Moon managed to yell out while they were running for there lives. She apparently needed to do more running if her huffing and puffing was any indication. Uranus and Neptune weren't having any trouble, but then Haruka ran track and Michiru probably went on runs with her. For them, this was probably a breeze. Not that it mattered if they couldn't take care of the fact that they were being chased by them they would have much bigger concerns on hands.

"We need a distraction of some sort! Something to break the spell on these and get an attack in!" Sailor Neptune suggested.

"Pluto you're the senshi of space and time! Can't you, I don't know, slow down time enough for us to get an opening on him?!" Moon asked Pluto. Really she didn't have much in the way of ideas at the moment. So she went with the first thing that came to mind.

"I don't have that much control over the space-time continuum. Opening a portal is a fairly simple task and doesn't have repercussions. Messing with the flow of time, on the other hand,* is not only complicated but could lead to a backlash." Sailor Pluto answered somehow managing to sound not at all harried by all of this. All right not sure what she meant by backlash but probably best not to find out.

"Okay, so that's out then!" Usagi said, back to square one then. "Any other ideas?" "We could try attacking the airplanes and seeing if that helps stops them!" Haruka suggested as they tried not to get hit by another dive from the plane coming right at them.

"Uranus I know you and Neptune don't exactly have money problems but can you really pay for the cost of a damaged jumbo jet?!" Usagi asked. She knew both girls had quite a bit of money to their names so it might be entirely possible to be honest if they combined it but she really didn't want to find out.

Sailor Uranus responded. "I'm honestly not sure! Does it matter?!" "Point made!" Usagi's response. It did seem sort of silly if one thought about it. Running for their lives and here she was worrying about not destroying what was being used to try to kill them.

Thankfully any more conversation on how to take care of the airplanes chasing them as they suddenly came grinding to a halt as the airplane... stopped chasing them..? Confused for a moment she looked back to where Jadeite was perched to see him gripping his right hand which appeared to be... cut by a rose? "Tuxedo Mask!" Sailor Moon said relieved that the strange caped guy had decided to show up tonight in spite of not being called out. Well then again technically it had only been Uranus and Neptune to begin with and yet here they were five of them standing up against Jadeite. Funny how things worked out.

"Now!" Sailor Uranus said powering up a Spiral Buster. She clearly didn't intend to let this opportunity slip through her fingers and Usagi was inclined to agree with her. Clearly so were the others. Sailor Neptune and Sailor Pluto followed suit powering up their own attacks.

Sailor Moon went to grab her Tiara to strike and froze. It suddenly struck her this was not a youma. Jeidite was not a youma. He was human. He was scary and had powers but he was human. Would he bleed like so many others did that day..? It didn't seem likely he'd disappear like the youma when they were defeated. No sparkles. No dust. No. She couldn't imagine anything but blood and dead cold skin and blood. Blood. So much blood. The blood of a human being.

The thought of having a responsibility or any involvement in someone else's end was something she wasn't apparently ready to face again. She had thought that since Jadeite was an enemy of possibly alien origin that she would be okay with whatever decision she made concerning his fate... but once actually in the situation, she found that she really, really wasn't. He wasn't an alien. He was human. She couldn't move. Luna never told her she'd be fighting humans beings. She thought they would all be youma or something like them at least.

While the others got their attacks off the ground and launched, Sailor Moon couldn't even remove the tiara to begin the process of launching the attack.

Unfortunately, he chose that moment to open up a portal sending the attacks spiraling through the thin air before eventually dissipating. Well, that answered the question she never really thought of or wanted to know what happens with the attacks when they miss their target. Though now Sailor Moon morbidly wondered why it had disappeared instead of continuing until it hit something.

"Damnit!" Sailor Moon heard Uranus cuss.

"Moon just what was that?!" Sailor Neptune asked turning on her after a couple of minutes when it appeared that Jadeite wasn't going to be returning anytime soon.

"..." Sailor Moon didn't answer. What could she even say? That she froze?

"I think what Neptune's trying to get as to is why did you stop? He's an enemy Moon. I get you hate the thought of anyone dying after whatever it is that happened before we met. It's impossible not to notice but sometimes not everyone we fight against can be saved." Uranus broke in at this point.

Usagi broke through her inability to speak and moved her hand from her tiara. Had it really been there this whole time even after he was gone? "I know he's an enemy. I know I won't be able to save everyone that fights for Queen Beryl. I froze." Said Sailor Moon ignoring the looks Sestuna was sending her. She had to wonder how much having her doctor on the team was going to end up coming back to bite her. Thankfully most likely the result would have been the same even with her attack but that didn't change the fact that even she realized that at a crucial moment she had freaked and now they knew she might fail them and maybe that was a good thing...? Luna would be upset with her to know that line of thinking. She wasn't sure how she would handle it the next time Jadeite showed up.

"We are going to really have a talk about this later." Stated a clearly frustrated Sailor Uranus. Well, at least they weren't trying to push the matter for now. Though that was one conversation she was already dreading.

"So where exactly did Jaideite go?" Sailor Moon finally asked the one question that had bugged her for a few minutes. There had no more randomly moving airplanes and it looked like Tuxedo Mask had disappeared too for that matter.

"He most likely fled back to the Dark Kingdom." Said Pluto, speaking up for the first time in a while.

"So is it safe to go back home then?" Sailor Moon asked with a bit of hesitation. Honestly, she just wanted to go home and sleep this off at this point, but if Jadeite was still here or might come back that would be a bad idea. "Well, he's definitely not here anymore." Sailor Neptune commented frowning. "I'm not picking up anything that could even closely resemble a Dark Kingdom signature." "I doubt he will be coming back tonight." Added Sestuna.

"What do you mean?" Sailor Moon asked frowning slightly. Had she technically freaked out over something that in the end would mean nothing with Beryl's actions?

"It is possible she outright kills him. It will likely be worse than the quick death we would have given him as well." Pluto seemed to know what Sailor Moon needed to hear. Great. So really her lack of reaction had been in the end over nothing since he might not die at her hands anyway. Not only that but Pluto seemed to be implying it would have been a mercy..?! Sailor Moon didn't even know what she had stepped into anymore. This just couldn't be even remotely fair. How was she supposed to be... this? Whatever this was since now it apparently involved killing people and not just Youma.

End Chapter 8

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

Consequences and Actions

"Usagi are you sure you are all right after yesterday's fight?" Michiru asked eyeing her with concern. She had been relatively quiet since they had got back from Haneda Airport. More so than usual Usagi knew but she'd not been able to bring herself to even pretend to 'bounce back' so quickly. Thankfully neither girl had pushed her about what had ultimately caused her to freeze when faced with having to possibly kill Jadeite other than the brief conversation at the airport. Usagi knew eventually it would be brought up and explanation would be needed but she was grateful for the time nevertheless.

"Guess I'm just wondering what in the end happened to Jadeite." She admitted answering Michiru's question with a shrug. It had been bugging her for a while now. There hadn't been any sign of him since the night at Haneda and she wasn't sure if that was a good or a bad thing. Pluto's words still rung in her ears a bit, bothering her.

"It is best if we take it one day at a time." Said Luna with a sigh with a look that clearly, to Usagi, was her patented 'I wish you would tell them more about your issues' face-or so she had dubbed it.

"Either way we have more important things to deal with then Jadeite." Michiru said speaking up to remind the girls about another problem looming over them at the moment. Usagi groaned. They did not need this right now. Sighing she verbalized her thoughts on it. "Right. We have enough trouble as it is dealing with everything else without now having to deal with the government. Ideas?" After the whole incident at Haneda, the government had issued a statement through the news this morning that they wished to speak to the girls who had been responsible for taking down the terrorist known as Jadeite. However, with the issue of their secret identities that seemed a bit easier said than done.

It was silent for a moment before Michiru seemed to decide to put her two cents in. "I'm not sure if we have a say in the matter anymore. It's not like before where we were flying under the radar. Jadeite, calling us out, essentially forced us out into the open. The incident at Haneda just took us from a possible hoax, an urban legend even, to something real they can prove exists. It may be best to meet with them rather than trying to hide from them. While they are asking politely." Shaking her head by the end, her own displeasure at the situation apparent.

"Your thinking of contacting your sister." Haruka realized.

"You have a sister?" Usagi asked. This was the first she had heard of Michiru having a sister. Neither of the girls had really brought up their own families when they had been hanging out before. Considering how tight-lipped she tended to be about her own history she felt it was hypocritical to try asking about theirs.

"Two. One younger. One older. The older one is the one Haruka is referring to. She works within the government. She's not that high up but she has the right connections to help us." Michiru explained. Luna nodded. "Sounds like the perfect person to make contact about this whole fiasco"-Sighing she continues-"Though it would mean bringing in yet another person into the fold about your true identities." Luna was now frowning, clearly disliking the idea even if she saw the need for it. Michiru was silent for a moment as Haruka piped in. "It's not simple." Luna sighed. "It never is, is it."

Michiru solemnly assented. "I'm honestly not sure how she will react. We have not been on the best of terms. She took Haruka and I harder than my younger sister. I get along with my youngest sister best actually. I don't know how my older sister will respond, if at all." Her face reflected a sort of sadness as she starred out the window. No one spoke a word for a moment as Haruka's hand found its way around her shoulder, pulling her lightly against her chest and she didn't move once she was, seeming to take the comfort it was meant to be.

After a moment of the silence, with no one knowing what to say, Haruka finally spoke, more softly than she might normally but nobody missed it. "With the way you have talked about her, I don't see any reason she wouldn't respond. We have garnered too much attention for her to ignore you if nothing else." "Your likely right. I am just uncomfortable not having another option. We shouldn't rely on her. We do not know if she will help us." Michiru pointed out.

Silence once again fell over the group. "Maybe my Dad knows someone? I mean he is a reporter after all..?" Usagi brought up with that question trailing off her idea. She didn't think it was as useful as Michiru's sister being in the government. If they had been back in their hometown and were trying to work with their local government it would be another story but they hadn't been in Tokyo long enough to establish the same type of connections that he had had before yet.

"And it looks like the only other option we would have if Michiru's sister falls through." Luna agreed.

"It's still debatable considering your father works in journalism, how well he would be received, but that really is the only other option at this point." Michiru agreed after a momentary pause. Usagi decided to voice her thoughts once more, thinking perhaps to find another, better way that wouldn't possibly hurt Michiru or put her dad in the middle of something so big like this. "Maybe if we look around some will find something. It's not like we have an exact timeline to respond to the government by."

Michiru shook her head. "While it is true they did not give us a deadline, our time is limited. The longer we take, the more likely they will think we are a threat, if they do not already. The sooner we act the better." "Okay, so we just need to contact your sister as soon as possible and start looking at alternate options now." Usagi said starting to realize just how much they might be in over their heads. Boy, if she didn't feel over her head already as it was.

"I just hope she answers." Michiru muttered, clearly not meaning to be heard, wandering off to make the phone call.


Coordinating a meeting with a government official had been well, interesting, to say the least. First, they had to make Michiru's sister actually believe that yes they were the senshi, that had been a whole experience within itself. Second of all there had been deciding who and when to meet. It seemed just about everyone wanted to talk to them within the Japanese government.

It had come down to picking what would possibly be the person, with hopefully their best interests at heart, and arranging a meeting. It had taken about three days of staring at the internet and talking to people (mainly Michiru's sister) before they finally settled on someone and set a designated time to have a private meeting. Then there was the fact that Luna had never told them that apparently, she was a shapeshifter of some kind capable of looking like more than just a run of the mill cat.

So, everything was set. Haruka's license meant they could get there without attracting unwanted attention from curious people on the Tokyo subway. It was good all the way up to the point they got swamped. Apparently, someone leaked to the press and they were surrounded as soon as they arrived. Thank god for security, else they might still be trying to get through the crowd of reporters into the building.

"I recognize you three from the security footage at Haneda though I must admit I don't recognize your friend here." Their new advisor said admitted as they were let into the office. A middle-aged man named Mr. Tanaka. He was fairly average looking, short black hair, brown eyes and bit on the wiry side. Luna was using her human form to deal with the situation since a talking cat would draw a lot more attention than a human- even one with a crescent moon on its forehead. It was interesting to see this form since up until now Moon had only heard about it in passing.

"My name is Luna. I act as an adviser to the girls. I am around most of the time during fights but I have no fighting power of my own so I am usually off somewhere on the sidelines." Luna explained as they all settled into different seats.

"Hard to believe the airport security cameras missed picking up another person." He admitted with a frown.

Luna shook her head to indicate they hadn't missed anything. "I would have only gotten in the way. Especially given the obvious trap." It was best that he didn't know that she had another form as a cat. 

"Speaking of unseen people you appear to be missing two from the group in Haneda the first would be another lady in uniform." He noticed frowning slightly.

"That would be Pluto. She's a bit of an enigma and seems to show up on her own accord when she's wanted or needed. She had other commitments today that couldn't be rescheduled." Sailor Moon broke in there. She had tried contacting her now knowing who Pluto actually was but Sestuna had said she couldn't (or wouldn't who knows really?) come to the meeting.

"And the man in the tuxedo?" Tanaka asked tapping his pen on the desk looking over a piece of paper.

"That would be Tuxedo Mask. I'm the one who has had the most experience with him out of everyone in this room and I honestly don't know much outside of he is an ally." Sailor Moon admitted.

"So moving on from that topic was this the first real fight for you three or was this the first public incident." He asked frowning slightly.

"I wouldn't say this was the first public incident. There have been plenty of incidents involving the Dark Kingdom that were out in the public. This is the first time they have declared themselves like this in connection to a public incident. It is also the first time our involvement fighting against them has been brought out to the public as well." Sailor Neptune cut in explaining in her gentle yet firm voice.

"What were some other more infamous incidents of those you mentioned?" He asked looking at them intently waiting for an answer.

"Well for me there were those weird chinchella pets not quite a month ago. That was the biggest plot I really tackled on my own, though together we also had to deal with the Dreamland incident and the clocks that were making people rush." Sailor Moon added. Hoping Neptune and Uranus would contribute with a few incidents that might have happened before she became Sailor Moon and joined them.

"For us personally, the vanishing bus near the crossroads in Juuban and Crystal Academy were two other big profile plots that we discovered were being run by the Dark Kingdom come to mind. There were a few other one that could have been picked up by the public, a radio show involving love letters among them, but somehow no one connected what was going on until Jadeite went public a few nights ago." Neptune confessed thankfully picking up where she had left off.

"But you didn't cover them." He said turning to Sailor Moon with a frown.

"They were before my time. Neptune's been awake the longest out of everyone in the room and I the shortest." Moon thought that was a safe detail to add. It certainly hadn't been on the list of topics that they would not to talk about.

"Somehow despite the fact that Moon had several run-ins with his youma, it seems they were previously only aware of the two of us. Our best guess is that he chose to blame the loss of youma all on us and didn't bother to investigate the possibility of another Sailor Senshi being awake." Sailor Uranus cut in there leaving the fact the dark kingdom clearly knew there were more senshi now-hanging in the air.

"And what exactly are these youma?" Tanaka asked frowning slightly.

"It's a bit unknown to say the least. We know the youma are alien because the Dark Kingdom that controls them itself is alien. However other than not being human and being able to hide themselves they are a mystery even to us." Luna cut in there.

He frowned again. "What do you mean when you say alien? Do you mean alien as in outside of this country or alien as in extraterrestrial?"

"Extraterrestrial. Both the Senshi and the Dark Kingdom are things that are several millennia old and their exact origins are unknown. Once upon a time, the Senshi were spread across all the planets in the solar system but now they are all here on Earth." Luna explained.

"Wait does that mean that you all are aliens?" He asked.

"No everyone but me is human. The girls are reincarnations of the senshi of the past who protected this planet and the others within this solar system however they are not, as you call them, aliens." Luna assured.

"There's a lot absorb here to be honest and I'll have more questions later most likely but for now I think I've learned all I can handle to be honest. In the mean time it might not hurt to sit down and schedule a formal interview. If you say this Dark Kingdom is a threat to the general public then they should be made at least somewhat aware of what's going on." He said leaning back slightly in the chair.

"That might be the worst thing to do. To tell them there are things out there that can look and act like them one moment and be a monster the next. People will panic." Uranus broke in, with a grim expression as if imagining the chaos such would cause and dreading it, there from her place starring out the window. Neptune added to what Uranus said. "We would also be buried under false reports. Panic is not the only result. It would make our job harder if those details were known. That situation would be less than ideal on all fronts. It would only benefit the dark kingdom and any criminals that would take advantage of the chaos."

"That is true." He agreed. "All right for the meantime, we are done here. I'm assuming I can reach you four again in the future through Miss Kiaoh?"

"That would probably be best." Luna agreed.

"Cute dress. I'm surprised they let you try it on." Usagi admitted handing the photo back to Naru. It was the weekend after their first meeting at the Municipal Building and since things were still quiet as far as the Dark Kingdom went so she was spending the day with Naru. They hadn't had much time to get together since the Haneda incident, with her being busy with Senshi stuff and Naru dealing with the fast approaching wedding of a close cousin of hers.

"Yeah apparently they are letting people who are interested try on dresses to help attract prospective customers. Even if they aren't engaged. While there is definitely no way I am going to need a dress like that anytime soon it was still pretty nice to try it on." Naru admitted putting the photo away.

"So when is Ruki tying the knot?" Usagi had met the cousin a couple of times when Naru was still living up north. Though it had never been for very long. The only family member of Naru's that she was really familiar with was her mother.

"Supposed to be at the beginning of April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. She's a bit worried though. Her fiance just disappeared a couple of days ago. With his work it isn't that uncommon for him to be gone for long hours without anyone hearing from him but he's never disappeared for this long according to Ruki." Naru explained.

Usagi frowned slightly. "Has she gone to the police about it?"

"She went ahead and filed a missing person's report but it probably won't help much other than telling them to keep a lookout for him. Plus, there's a good chance its part of a larger case. Apparently, several men who are supposed to be getting married soon have all gone missing recently." Naru commented before frowning, "What's with the face?"

"It's nothing really I'm just hoping it's not another youma plot." Usagi said softly with a tired sigh. It had the hallmarks of one at least. The whole people vanishing thing made her think of the people who went missing at Dreamland. Really you would think that using that tactic again so soon after it failing would have taught them it was a bad idea. Apparently not.

"It reminds me of the incident at Dreamland." Usagi confessed after a moment answering the question she knew Naru had.

"Wait all those people missing at Dreamland was actually part of a plot from the Dark Kingdom?" Naru asked in disbelief. Right. It seems she had somehow forgotten to tell Naru about the particulars of that.

"Yeah almost hard to believe, but I had a front row ticket to that particular plot. Heck, I was a victim of that particular plot." Usagi admitted. Thank god Haruka and Michiru had been there to rescue her from that situation. It was scary to think what could have happened otherwise. To herself and all the other victims.

"Wait you're pretty self-aware of the plots. How did you manage to not be aware enough to actually become a victim?" Naru said in surprise.

"When we first showed up we weren't a hundred percent sure it was a plot. We were investigating and had to split up. I was caught before I could transform." Usagi explained.

"Oh." Naru agreed. "So what gave it away?"

"Youma was a particularly good illusionist but maybe not the best at constructing plans. It tossed up some sort of illusion of a meadow and then started draining people's energy. I think most people wrote it off as being part of the show. But since we were looking for a youma plot it made sense that it was something more. Unfortunately, the illusion kind of left me trapped so Luna had to go get help." Usagi said frowning slightly. Come to think of how come no one else had reacted negatively that was a rather large change in scenery. Even if Tokyo had its fair share of weird things that was still pretty big.

"So, the fiancé plot?" Naru asked changing the subject back.

"I'm not sure. It definitely could be one considering there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to them. I'll talk to Haruka and Michiru about it. They handled their fair share of plots before I became a senshi." Usagi agreed. She was supposed to meet up again the next day, at their place for once. So hopefully they could decide then whether or not it was something more.

"So, what makes you think this is another plot and not some fiance getting cold feet?" Michiru asked raising an eyebrow. She had decided to bring up the case of the disappearing fiances to Haruka and Michiru at the next get together. Might be nothing, might be her friendship with Naru compelling her to act, but it might also be something.

"It just seemed like the timing was weird, kind of like how all those people missing at Dreamland the last place they were seen was in Dreamland. She did say the last place they were seen together was at that wedding shop. The fiancé was there to get a tuxedo fitting while she was getting fitted for her wedding dress. Plus, when I looked further he wasn't the only fiancé to vanish after visiting that shop." Usagi commented. It might be nothing, it might be something. With the way things were in Tokyo right now and the Dark Kingdom it was almost impossible to tell at first glance what was and wasn't a Dark Kingdom plot.

"Well, it certainly wouldn't be the first plot involving people being kidnapped. In fact, you could argue it has become a trend." Luna commented with a frown. This would make plot two out of three involving kidnapping people if it was, in fact, a Dark Kingdom plot-and it mirrored the other in too many ways not to be.

"Who owns the shop anyway? If we can trace it back to one of Jadeite's old disguises then it would certainly point towards it being a Dark Kingdom plot." Michiru commented.

"A Masato Sanjouin, some millionaire dude by the looks of it." Usagi said holding up her phone which had a picture of the shop owner.

"Well that's definitely not Jadeite. First off it doesn't look like him unless he got a dye job or a wig. Second, he always preferred aliases that were essentially shortened forms of his name." Haruka said with a shake of the head.

"Still Jadeite can't be the only general of Beryl's. Luna, do you remember what any of the other generals look like?" Michiru asked the cat who was currently frowning.

"Unfortunately, no. While I admit that man looks familiar it could mean just about anything. He could have been someone in the Lunar court for all my memory being as spotty as it is." Luna said shaking her head.

"So, what do we do? You want us to just leave it alone?" Asked Usagi frowning slightly.

"At the moment that seems like the only option. Unless it becomes a blatant Dark Kingdom plot we should just leave it to the police to investigate. This isn't the same situation as Dreamland where we could easily investigate it without drawing attention. A bunch of teenagers walking into a wedding shop unattended will raise far too many questions." Luna pointed out.

"Why is it I never find myself in these situations when one of the other girls are around?" Usagi grumbled under her breath. She had stayed over at Naru's a bit longer then she had intended originally and so she had run into Motoki, the arcade owner that she and Naru sometimes frequented, cornering a brunette she didn't recognize. At first, it had just looked creepy, but the glow surrounding both him and the girl suggested something a bit more supernatural.

"Sorry Motoki." Usagi apologized to the unconscious man, she had hit him upside the head thanking whatever gods that Luna had insisted she start doing some physical exercise now that she was out of school for the year and not so bogged down. Though probably the only reason why she had gotten the upper hand was because he hadn't noticed her and she had managed to get a good hit upside the head. He was bound to be hurting and confused in the morning and she hated hitting what seemed like a nice guy but hey at least it was one less brainwashed person to fight off.

"Thank you." The girl said let out a breathless sigh after a moment.

"Not a problem." Usagi said helping the girl back to her feet, "You should probably get going home before anything weirder happens."-Pausing to stare at the glowing bride that was laughing in a weird manner on a nearby rooftop all of a sudden. "Or not." Usagi had horrible luck when on her own. Horrible. 'Why does this only happen when it's just me?'

Before she could try to get a better handle on the situation, the glowing bride vanished. Okay so that eliminated any possibility that this wasn't a Dark Kingdom plot. Well at least she knew where to start looking for it thanks to that talk she had with Naru.

"What was that?" The girl asked.

"Something weird?" Usagi hedged questioningly with a sigh.

"You talk like weirdly laughing glowing brides is normal for you." The girl commented.

"Well, not so much the glowing bride as much the weird part stuff." Usagi confessed.

"You'll be okay?" The brunet girl asked.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I've gotten a little too used to weird things happening around here lately." Usagi admitted. The girl looked at her like she had grown a second head. "New to the area?" Usagi surmised/questioned with a nod of the head. "It wasn't always like this, unfortunately, this is quickly turning into Juuban's normal."

"Great I move here for a fresh start and I move to supernatural ally." The girl muttered under her breath. "Juuban, for the most part, isn't bad. You just have to be on alert for the occasional weird stuff." Usagi tried to assure her. Well maybe more than just occasional at this point.

"You'll really be okay by yourself?" Came the concerned question.

"Thank you but I have friends who live close by and this isn't the first time I've been in a situation like this." Usagi assured her. Well technically they weren't really close but she needed to get the girl out of here so she could transform since this reeked of a youma plot. "I'll be fine just get yourself home I've gotten used to this by now."

Pulling out her phone she sent off a quick text to Haruka and Michiru (Luna apparently was still trying to sort out the communicator issue) saying to meet her at the wedding shop. It might end up being nothing but so far it was the only solid lead they had on what might be the newest Dark Kingdom plot.

This one was a bit more clever then the previous youmas she had dealt with it. Sailor Moon was finding it near impossible to find a long enough opening to actually squeeze an attack in since the openings seemed to close as quickly as they opened. She was more than a little relieved when a familiar looking yellow ball came out of nowhere and slammed into the youma. Sailor Moon's shoulders sagged slightly in relief. This would simplify things. She wasn't sure how they had got there so fast. But she for one wasn't really complaining. This youma with its energy blasts was proving to be a handful trying to dodge and power up an attack at the same time.

"Are you all right Sailor Moon?" Neptune asked as they came up to her side. They had probably seen the last blast she had dodged. Most of them had missed her but one or two had grazed her. Thankfully it had hit the prosthetics which should be able to handle a bit of beating and not herself. Or else she would be having a harder time maneuvering at the moment.

"I'm fine this one is just proving to be problematic. This one really likes its energy attacks and its fast. Any time I think I have an opening to attack it gets the better of me." Sailor Moon said frowning slightly. She wasn't sure exactly what she was doing wrong. But there was obviously something there. Maybe she needed Luna to focus more on her speed when they trained? She wasn't sure. Not the time to be thinking about it.

"Okay. Good old fashion distraction it is." Uranus said. When all else failed fall back on the oldest trick in the book. Have someone distract the youma while someone else attacks it.

Before any of them could actually do anything another energy beam sent the three of them scattering. Usagi frowned glancing around, that hadn't come from the youma. She knew that much since she had had an eye on it when the blast came roaring in. So who was it then? Finally, she spotted a new figure floating in the sky, some long haired brunette glaring at them. Judging by the slightly familiar grey uniform she had a feeling that he wasn't here to help them. Great just what they needed, double the trouble. Uranus was the first to gather herself enough to demand, "Who are you?!"

"My name is Nephrite, Queen Beryl's second general and third in the line of command beneath the queen herself. I will succeed where Jadeite failed." Sneering, the newly dubbed Nephrite announced before shooting an energy blast towards them. Causing all three of them to scramble in opposite directions. They had barely stopped when the youma sent off its own blast. Great now they were going to have to deal with double the energy blasts. Uranus and Neptune were a bit more successful than her as she seemed to get caught up by her own feet and stumbled her way out of the blast range.

"Sailor Moon!" She heard Neptune calling apparently having seen her stumble out of the blast's range.

"I'm fine!" Sailor Moon called back. It had grazed her slightly but it had hit her prosthetic more then it had hit her, thankfully. Though that apparently presented a new problem she realized as she tried not to pale slightly as she scrambled back to her feet. The right leg, the one that had taken the graze, didn't feel quite right. It shouldn't be possible since she carefully maintained her prosthesis but she had done enough reading that she was almost certain that last scramble had knocked it lose. If that was true then she was almost useless. There was no way for her to dodge or attack easily without losing her balance and possibly the prosthesis coming off her leg entirely. She called back to them, "You take care of the youma. I'll keep Nephrite distracted!" Or at least try to.

Turning her attention back away from the youma and the other girls she saw Nephrite was powering up another energy blast but didn't seem to be interested in targeting her. Only to pale when she was where he was aiming. No, no, no not again. He was aiming for Uranus.

Sailor Moon initially started to reach up for her tiara but quickly came to the conclusion even if she could get it powered up it would be too late to stop Nephrite. She was going to have to do something else. She had no time to warn them. Uranus was distracted by the bridal youma and Neptune's was too far away to do anything even if she did notice. It was going to come up to quick on Uranus for her to dodge even with her quick reflexes. Sailor Moon wasn't even sure if she could make it in time. She was not able to move at normal speed with one leg feeling dangerously loose. But damned if she wasn't going to have someone else get hurt because she couldn't stop it in time.

She made it, barely. Pushing Uranus out of the way just to be pushed back by the blast as it hit full force sending her flying before hitting the ground hard. She felt the leg come off completely as she skidded across the pavement. She was just going to have to hope that it wasn't damaged beyond repair from this stunt.

"Sailor Moon!" The last thing she registered the joint yell of Haruka and Michiru as she finally felt herself come to a stop. For a brief moment panic swelled as she realized they had to have seen the leg come off and then the pain really set in. Before she sank into nothingness.

It took a moment for the other girls to snap out of their shock. Between Moon taking a hit and what looked like part of her leg becoming detached it had been a bit much to process at first. Neptune was the first to recover. "I'll go check on her. You take care of the youma!" Neptune called running off towards where Moon had come to a stop. Right. The youma. Take care of the youma and then figure out what in the world had just happened and if Sailor Moon was okay. Uranus said powering up a Spiral Buster and putting as much power behind it as she could before tossing it at the bridal youma. Okay maybe that was a bit more power than needed since it looked like the youma vaporized on impact but it did the trick at least. One problem down, one to go.

She turned to look up at Nephrite who was currently floating in the air observing the situation glaring at him. Basically daring Nephrite to try and make another move. Her and Neptune could defend Sailor Moon as need be but she wanted him gone so she could actually go check on the younger girl. Normally she wouldn't have been against outright attacking the general but she knew that she had probably little chance of actually taking him down on her own especially after putting a lot into one-shotting the youma. The power behind the blasts that had knocked Sailor Moon out had been a good demonstration of that. Nephrite sneered for a moment and then seemed to think better of it and disappeared into a portal.

Uranus relaxed slightly. At least they were out of danger for now. Frowning she walked over to the object she had seen detach from Moon. Now that she actually got a chance to look at it. It was some sort of above-knee prosthesis. She frowned looking at it and then back at Usagi and then back at the prosthetic. Moon sure didn't look like she was in need of one of these. But where else could it have come from?

Her and Neptune had suspected something was up with Usagi for a while. Small things that just didn't quite add up. The Mugen Gaken application, her odd feeling weight when she had nearly passed out at Dreamland, her tendency to be a bit conservative on clothing choices at times among other things. To be honest, though this wasn't one of the things they had pegged as to possibly why she seemed so skittish at times. But it made sense when you started to think about it.

"She's going to be hurting in the morning. But she should be fine by then." Neptune said as Uranus came up to her. "Nephrite?"

"Went back to the Dark Kingdom after I dispatched his youma. She's really going to be okay?" Uranus asked. She had given them both quiet the fright with that stunt. Though to be honest with Usagi's track record of acting to save people without thinking it through they should have been expecting a stunt like this eventually.

"Probably be sore in the morning. It won't be long before she's out and about." Neptune reassured her.

"That's a relief." Uranus let out a breath though… "Why did she react that way?"

"From what I know I'm pretty sure those are supposed to be secure and tight when fitted properly. If she's been using them for a while she would have quickly realized something wasn't quite right and that she might lose her walking ability. So she might have realized she was going to be out anyway and then reacted. " Neptune surmised with a frown. A loose prosthetic would have put Moon in danger just because she wouldn't have had nearly the same range of motion. Though Neptune suspected that the girl might have been capable of at least hobbling on one foot. She doubted the prosthetics were on 24/7 after all, Usagi had to get around at some time without them. In all their previous fights there had been nothing to suggest a problem like this before. But then again it had become apparent just how good Usagi was at hiding things when she wanted to be. It could have happened and Usagi could have covered it up.

"There were better ways to take herself out of the fight." Uranus muttered. It went unsaid but implied that this also meant better ways to deal with the approaching attack then forcing her way into it.

"We both know that. This is Usagi though. She protects at her own expense and without regard for her own safety." Neptune reminded her seeming to realize what she had left unsaid. This made for incident number three where Usagi had put herself in danger trying to protect someone else since they had started working together.

"I wonder if this deals with that." Uranus muttered looking at the leg again. Wondering where and why she would have needed it. There were only a few things she could think of considering that Usagi was a teenager that had grown up in Japan her whole life from what they knew.

"Its quite possible but we won't know anything until Usagi wakes up and talks to us." Neptune said shaking her head.

"Can you tell if there's any other prosthetics?" Uranus asked frowning. Even if they couldn't get the full details on Usagi's condition they could start doing research into how to handle this better but how much handling. If this was one prosthetic then it would make things a bit more complicated but Usagi had proven she was an apt fighter, legs or none so that wasn't a problem, it was more of a precautionary measure after tonight. They would have to be on higher alert and be more cautious if her right leg wasn't the only thing missing.

"No the illusion magic is a bit too strong to tell if that's her only prosthetic or not." Neptune admitted. The magic did its job a little too well. If you didn't try to put your hand where the leg was supposed to be you wouldn't have known there was a missing body part. And when she had tried to examine the other leg it had felt normal. However due to the situation. Neptune wasn't sure if that was the magic or if that was actually the case. "We need to get her home. We can question her on the details in the morning when she's awake and healed." Neptune said after a moment. She wanted answers to the new questions as much as Uranus did but they weren't going to get any now.

End Chapter 9


Chapter Text

Chapter 10

Fall at the Mall 

"Usagi! Haruka and Michiru are here do you want to see them?" her mother asked popping her head in.

"No!" Usagi called back. She knew it wasn't the politest thing but at the moment she just wasn't ready to deal with talking with them. It had been a little over a week since the incident at the bridal shop and she was actively avoiding the other girls. Thankfully there hadn't been any youma plots in the meantime and she had used school as an excuse to avoid them. It did seem a bit odd that it was so quiet but she wasn't going to complain too much. For now, she had no reason to be with them though now that the school year was done she was running out of ways to avoid them.

"Usagi... you can't avoid them forever." Naru gently pointed out. She had come over earlier and brought Luna along just to hang out. Usagi had been trying to hole herself up in her room at her apartment since the incident at the wedding shop and to give her credit she had been mostly successful.

"Usagi. You are going to have to face them eventually." Luna said from her position next to the bed apparently deciding to toss her own two cents in the conversation.

Usagi let out a sigh before sitting up. "I know that." To be honest she was afraid of them rejecting her more now then ever before now that they knew about her legs. She had let them get close without knowing how they truly felt about her disability and the last time that had happened she had still been one of Yuki's 'friends'. She knew her Mom had said they hadn't seemed disappointed or disgusted by the situation when they had brought her home that night. She knew they'd talked with her mom even if her mother hadn't told her what had been said. She was afraid they were in shock at the time or something and would have rethought that reaction by now.

"Why are you so determined to avoid them?" Luna asked tilting her head. Right. Usagi and Naru had a tendency to dance around the whole Yuki subject so Luna only knew the bare bones of it.

Naru sighed and spoke. "Our classmates were not exactly kind to Usagi when they found out about her legs." Yeah, that was putting it mildly considering some of the comments she remembered overhearing.

Usagi snorted but obviously had decided to elaborate for Luna. "Most of my classmates gave me space or just ignored me when I first arrived at Juuban. After someone I thought was my friend found out about my legs-" She broke off here. She still didn't like talking about what had gone down at school.

"Usagi... I understand. I want to let you know that Uranus and Neptune would never be so cruel." Luna said with a sigh. She thought they had made some fairly decent progress in the area of getting Usagi to trust her teammates. Apparently not.

"Good luck I've been trying to tell her that for months now." Naru muttered under her breath. If Luna could actually convince Usagi of this she would give the cat a lot more credit than normal.

"That's part of the problem I think. I thought I knew that girl too." Usagi explained. She had known Yuki for about three, maybe four months before she had overheard them snickering behind her back and it all had come unraveled.

"Usagi. You are still Usagi and Sailor Moon. I am sure the senshi understand this as well." Luna pointed out finally seeming to accept that they weren't going to get anywhere with this conversation today.

"I need more time." Usagi explained. She had gotten lucky that there hadn't been any new plots from the Dark Kingdom. In fact, it had been strangely quiet for the most part. Eventually, she was going to have to either get her act together or have her own hand forced into the matter. Eventually, she was going to have to face their possible rejection.

 "I'm sorry. She's still not in the mood to talk." Ikuko said returning to the door where Haruka and Michiru were standing.

"Our apologies for bothering you. We will come by tomorrow and see if she's in a better mood." Michiru said bidding farewell for now. This had been a circular conversation they had been having with the Tsukinos since the bridal shop incident. They had been trying to get Usagi to come out and at least say something to them but Usagi had for whatever reason kept refusing too.

"She's not going to be able to avoid us forever. Eventually, the Dark Kingdom is going to make another move and she is going to have to face us. I just wish she would talk to us before the matter would become forced by circumstance." Haruka commented frowning looking back at the door that went into the apartment.

"For whatever reason, she is still very skittish about talking to us about the whole matter. I don't think her being knocked out when we found out helped." Michiru pointed out. She had her suspicions that the problems and concerns on Usagi's end ran far deeper than whatever physical scars the teen had. Until the girl was ready or made to talk about it with them there was no way to know for sure how deep they ran. She had been able to put a few things together based on what had been mentioned before and her application to Mugen Gaken. But there were so many holes in the story it was hard to see what the entire picture was.

"It's been a week. It's only a matter of time before the Dark Kingdom acts again." Haruka pointed out. Leaving the obvious, they should talk before then, unsaid but understood in her meaning.

"We'll talk to Luna. She lives at Naru's house so we don't necessarily have to talk to Usagi to talk to her. I am sure this must be quite difficult for her." Michiru calmly pointed out. It wasn't the ideal solution but those two maybe the only ones able to actually get Usagi to talk to them. Though if she hadn't been convinced by now…

Usagi probably would have canceled going to see Ms. Setsuna too if her mother hadn't been the one in charge of her appointments. She really didn't want to run in to the others.

"It's not like you know them very well either." Usagi pointed out frowning. Ms. Setsuna had brought up the fact that she still hadn't gotten together with Haruka and Michiru almost from the get-go. "How do you even know about that anyway?" It's not like Ms. Setsuna had been around when the bridal shop incident had happened. And this was their first meeting since that had happened.

"Your mother mentioned it because she was concerned that the situation was causing you to regress in your progress." Setsuna answered. It was a legitimate concern from what she could see. Becoming Sailor Moon had started bringing Usagi out of the shell she had withdrawn into after the Tohoku quake from what she had seen. However, her fears when it came to Uranus and Neptune seemed to be causing her to withdraw again. "Usagi you need to have a bit more faith in people and how they view you. There isn't anything that would suggest that they would reject you over this. I would think you would know them well enough by now to realize that it would be out of character. If nothing else their loyalty to the crown and a couple of other things made it impossible for them to reject her, not that Usagi knew about that at this point.

Usagi let out a sigh. "Luna's said it at least fifty times already, as has Naru." She had tried to convince herself before that it wouldn't happen but so far it wasn't working.

"What is it that this Yuki did that made you so scared to begin with?" Setsuna asked wondering if she could maybe get some answers on that front, though she wasn't overly hopeful. Usagi had refused to talk about Yuki in the past outside of brief mentions. Setsuna had seen Yuki before not as her doctor but wanting to ID the girl who had caused her princess so many problems. She had been partly concerned that with the way Yuki behaved she may have had a connection to the Dark Kingdom, however, for all intents and purposes Yuki appeared to be a normal school girl. A schoolgirl with an apparent mean streak that Usagi had been unlucky enough to encounter, but normal.

Usagi debated talking about it for a moment. She knew she couldn't avoid the subject forever. Eventually that was a story that was going to be told one way or the other, whether it be from her or from Yuki and her groupies. She still hated talking about it. Yuki and her groupies had hurt her while she had been still very vulnerable from the quake. Even if it had been more mental than physical it still hurt. "She just got me when I was vulnerable. That's all."

"Usagi if that was the only problem then you wouldn't be actively avoiding Haruka and Michiru." Setsuna pointed out. "I am not asking you to talk about all of whatever went down but maybe just a bit."

Usagi blew out a breath in frustration. She really didn't like talking about Yuki. But could it hurt to talk about it a little. She didn't have to tell Setsuna everything or much of anything today. But maybe sharing a bit would help… "She seemed so nice in the beginning."

Setsuna was a bit surprised. She had been hoping that Usagi would eventually feel comfortable enough to talk about Yuki but even with her lightly pressuring Usagi she hadn't sure if the girl would say anything today. Especially since it seemed that she still had difficulties talking about Yuki.

"There were a couple of guys, who when I first transferred to Juuban, liked to make rude comments about my condition. Naru and then Yuki were the only ones to call them out on their behavior. I lost a lot of friends that day. Both because of the death and destruction and also from having to move here. So I was lonely and looking to make friends at first. They made it difficult." Funny she hadn't thought about those guys in a long time. They had bugged her a bit when Yuki had pushed her out of the group but that had been over a year ago now. "Funny enough after Yuki ditched me they didn't pay me much mind. Well not really they bugged me some but eventually like everyone else it seemed they stopped paying me much mind."

"So you over heard her saying something that hurt?" Setsuna asked trying to get an idea on where Usagi might be going with this.

"If it had been just words I think it would have been easier. As is-" Usagi broke off there not really wanting to talk about the other aspects of the bullying yet. "Sorry."

"No it's fine if you want to stop there. I believe that is the most you've talked about this Yuki." Setsuna commented. It was true Yuki hadn't even come up in conversation for almost two weeks when Setsuna had taken over. Even then that had been just an in passing mention. It had taken closer to a month to get anything resembling details on Yuki. This was the most she had gotten out of Usagi about the girl.

"From what you're saying, your worried about getting deceived in a similar manner again?" Setsuna said after a moment drawing a conclusion from what Usagi had told her. It made some sense. At Usagi's nod Setsuna sighed. "Usagi they wouldn't deceive you in that manner." Setsuna tried to reassure the girl.

Usagi chewed on her lip, "I think I know that I guess I'm just afraid that knowing about this will have changed their opinion of me. It's just hard because outside of Naru and Yuki I don't have much experience positively in people reacting to my condition."

"No between the amount of time you've probably spent in medical offices outside of school and Yuki's group being the popular girls you wouldn't have had much of a chance to see a different type of reaction." Setsuna realized. The more she thought about it, the more it made sense. That Usagi used Yuki as the gauge for how things might go. "If you want I can sit in if you think my opinion and knowledge would help." Setsuna offered after a moment. She didn't think Haruka and Michiru would change their view of Usagi before they knew. But if it made Usagi feel safer to have someone else who knew her medical background and medical knowledge…

"I don't know I need to think about it." Usagi admitted. Having Setsuna around wouldn't be a bad idea necessarily but the more factors that got added in the more overwhelming it got. Though there was another idea…. "If I don't ask you to come can I at least give them your number if they have questions?" Usagi asked after a moment. She knew it wasn't exactly typical protocol.

Setsuna thought for a moment. This would normally be going against everything she was supposed to do. But if it made Usagi feel more comfortable it might not be a bad idea. Plus it gave her another line to the Senshi besides Usagi since she still hadn't approached Luna outside of seeing each other in passing. "Go ahead just make sure they know to use the number only when needed." That shouldn't be a problem but still, to be sure, it was best left said.

"Did you get the letter in the mail?" Naru asked as soon as she picked up the phone. It was a day later and still no sign of the Dark Kingdom though the arrival of the mail had caused her to raise an eyebrow. What appeared to almost be a formal letter had come in from the Tuxedo Mask character she had only had one or two run-ins with apparently confessing his love to her.

"Hello to you too Naru. Yes, I did get the weird love letter in the mail." Usagi said turning to head back to her room. Trying to look for more details on the letter. No return address either yeah this stank of Dark Kingdom weirdness. She would have to ask Naru to ask Luna when she got back from patrol but this had to be a plot of Nephrite's. Though why he went the love letter route was a good question. Maybe a switch of tactics to throw them off?

"What's weird about it? It sounds romantic. Maybe he just saw you and love at first sight. That's a thing you know." Naru pointed out just about with hearts in her eyes.

"Yeah that's the thing. The weird thing isn't so much the fact that it is love letter." Usagi pointed out shifting her cell phone slightly so it was between her shoulder and ear before speaking again. "The weird thing is this guy has shown up a grand total of four times to help during the Senshi fights. The most infamous being Haneda where it would have looked really weird for him not to show up. Outside of the short encounters in the senshi fights I haven't had much contact with him. Then all of a sudden, he sends out love letters. This isn't romantic, it's just flat out weird. Then there's the fact that you and I aren't apparently the only people getting a letter from this 'Tuxedo Mask' judging by the radio announcement I heard…"

"So you're thinking it might be a trap." Naru said slowly with a slight pout.

"Most likely." Usagi sighed. "I mean it would be kind of cute if it was actually a love letter if a bit creepy. I have my serious doubts about that considering the nature of the situation. How did he find my address? Did he just start sending letters out to every middle school student in Juuban area because it sure seems like it."

"Maybe he had narrowed it down to our area but he couldn't figure out who it was?" Naru suggested but she sounded doubtful about it herself.

She paused for a second in thought. "That just seems creepy."

Naru made a non-committal noise at that comment before speaking, "So what are you going to do with it then?"

"I am not sure, to be honest." Usagi said putting the letter away. If things had been a bit different she might have just called the older girls…As it was with it being possibly a Dark Kingdom plot should she just go to the mall by herself?

"You're not going to consult the older girls?" Naru asked. Usagi could almost see her frowning slightly. "I still haven't talked to them since the bridal shop." She admitted playing with a loose strand of her hair. And this wasn't the way she wanted to start a conversation back with them after the fight.

"Usagi-" Naru said exasperation leaking into her tone.

"We've had this discussion a dozen times." Usagi pointed out clearly wanting to drop the subject.

"You can't use Yuki and her friends to judge how most of our age group will react." Naru pointed out for what felt like the millionth time.

"I know I shouldn't but sometimes it's just harder to convince myself of that." Usagi admitted.

"So what are you going to do?" Naru asked after a slight pause.

"I guess go to the mall. If it turns out to be a really weird ploy by the real Tuxedo Mask I might give him an earful at the next opportunity." She admitted.

"Shouldn't you tell them about this...?" Now Usagi really could practically see the frown on Naru's face. "It wouldn't be the first youma plot I took on by myself." She pointed out. Though it would be the first one Usagi had investigated all by herself since she had met Haruka and Michiru. She guessed she could text Sestuna for advice but that situation still felt a bit weird so probably not.

"And Luna? How are you going to convince her?" Naru asked.

"I'll think of something." Usagi shrugged. Though that might be easier said than done.

Despite her hesitations and Luna and Naru's protests, she ended up not telling the girls and going to the mall alone. Well, mostly alone. She frowned looking at her watch, it was getting late and there was no sign so far of the apparent Tuxedo Mask.

"Maybe it was just a hoax." Naru suggested from her seat at the food court table sipping a milkshake. She had tagged along more out of curiosity then out of interest in Tuxedo Mask.

"If it is it sure is an elaborate one." Usagi pointed out. She had seen at least a dozen girls carrying what looked like that letter. There were probably more at the mall that she had missed but those were the ones she had seen. And those were just the ones that had decided to show up. For being only a handful of people who actually knew to an extent who Tuxedo Mask was he sure seemed to be drawing attention.

"Well the mall is going to be closing soon, if he doesn't actually show up then we're going to have to write it off as a hoax." Naru pointed out.

"True." Usagi agreed. "What's he like anyway?" Naru asked after a slight pause.Usagi frowned making a face going over the past run-ins she had had with him before shrugging and saying, "Mysterious I guess."

"You guess?" Naru asked raising an eyebrow.

"Give me a break it's not like I've had a ton of interaction with the guy. The only one on one interaction I've really had was more of an argument than anything." Usagi said shrugging. All the other incidents with him had been around Haruka and Michiru and he had never really gotten close to her when they were around. "I'm starting to understand why you think this is creepier than anything." Naru confessed after a moment.

"Yeah. If I had talked to him, and I mean really talked to him maybe this would be okay. Or maybe just odd. As it is…" Usagi trailed off there listening to an announcement stating that was reminding them that the mall would be closing shortly before continuing. "As it is it not only comes off as weird but an extremely creepy move. I'm honestly kind of hoping this either an elaborate hoax or someone posing as him. It could be extremely awkward to continue working with him if this is a genuine move."

"Yeah, to be honest, I kind of am glad that I am not in your position right now." Naru admitted.

"No kidding." Usagi agreed. She didn't like having to deal with this situation herself, "Well if he doesn't show up before this place closes for the night I think we can write it off as an extremely elaborate hoax."

"But what if for some reason he's waiting for closing?" Naru asked.

"Then this just got a lot weirder." Truth be told that would be the most probable explanation. There weren't that many people left at the mall and not one of them was wearing a tuxedo. The girls she had seen carrying those letters had left a while ago.

"You should probably go home. If this does turn out to be a plot of the Dark Kingdom the fewer people that are involved the better." Usagi pointed out after a moment. "Text me when you get home." Naru said after a brief moment of hesitation getting up from the table they had been sharing. "Will do." Usagi said giving her friend a smile and waving her off. It shouldn't be much longer before the window of knowing whether this was a hoax or real closed.

Naru had made it almost out of the mall when she had run into him. Literally. So, caught up in her worry about Usagi and possibly handling Nephrite on her own she hadn't been paying as much attention as normal and ran straight into someone. "Oh my god I'm so sorry!"

Masato was dazed for a moment and then out of nowhere before he could respond a memory hit. It was an older memory, something from before he had become one of Beryl's generals, that much he could tell. But beyond that, he couldn't tell much else. There was a girl almost a woman really, with long curly red hair and looking out onto a lake from where they were standing. They seemed to be standing in some gardens, to what he wasn't sure. Whatever the place's name was he forgot and yet somehow was just off the tip of his tongue. Masato blinked for a moment in confusion and just as quickly as the memory came it faded. A red-headed girl, one slightly younger but bearing an uncanny resemblance to the one in the memory, was looking at him rather apologetic. "I am so sorry I somehow missed ya-"

"It's fine we all get caught up in our own worlds sometimes." Masato reassured her. He wasn't really annoyed, to be honest. Just curious about what had just happened. The girl didn't seem to be affected it so he hedged that he was the only one who had seen it. Still, the fact that any memory had surfaced could be cause to investigate and look into her more so, "I wasn't paying much attention to where I was going either I must admit. May I ask your name?"

"Naru Osaka." Naru introduced herself. "Your Masato Sanjouin right? The millionaire."

"Correct. Do you usually go running into strangers?" Masato asked. He wasn't surprised that she recognized his civilian identity. He had been going out more in it now that Jadeite had been put into eternal sleep and he was the one put in charge of getting rid of a certain pest problem.

"No sorry. I just realized my curfew was coming up and I needed to get home. I got too busy talking with a friend and so I was rushing." Naru partially lied. She had been talking with a friend but her Mom really didn't have a curfew she just needed to get out of there before the possible Dark Kingdom plot started.

"Happens to the best of us." Masato commented. Well, it didn't happen that much to him to be honest with being able to teleport at will but he certainly couldn't tell that to some random human. "I'm a bit behind myself because I was looking for new clothes. My secretary isn't going to be very happy with me when I get back to the office."

"I would think someone like you would have someone to be able to buy certain things." Naru muttered. He certainly had the money from what she had read.

Masato let out a chuckle in spite of himself. "I do but sometimes I prefer to do my own shopping. Besides this lets me take a look at the competition for my company."

Naru blushed slightly at that, "Sorry-"

Masato held up a hand before she could continue. "It's fine you're not the first nor the last to make a comment about that."

"Still sorry." Naru apologized again for the comment and running into him. Hopefully, she could make it out without running into anyone else. She knew Usagi had said she didn't want to get Haruka and Michiru involved but she did have Michiru's number. Maybe she should just go ahead and send the two a text so they were aware of the situation.

"Hmm well I must get going I have things to attend too. Maybe I'll see you around." Masato suggested. Though truth be told it wasn't much of a suggestion he wanted to know more of what he saw and that tied into his past without drawing attention from Beryl. For as long he could remember he had been serving the Dark Kingdom and only the Dark Kingdom. Sure, he had wondered about a life before, he was pretty sure he wasn't native to the Dark Kingdom after all. But for a matter of self-preservation, he had never really thought about the fact that he couldn't remember life before it. Bringing that up risked Beryl's wrath, and while he and the others were powerful Beryl was on another level. Even the name he had created had been for the sake of the Dark Kingdom. But what he had just seen, that place, it definitely hadn't been somewhere in the Dark Kingdom. Too brightly lit for one thing. If anything, the Dark Kingdom did live up to its name quite literally sometimes. Either way, it was a mystery for another time, time to see if he had managed to lure any of the Sailor Senshi to the mall with those letters. However, if this girl could play a key in unlocking his true memories he may have to find her again.

"Ya maybe." Naru agreed. She wasn't sure why the millionaire would want something to do with her. But she had to admit he had always seemed oddly familiar to her even when she had just been looking him up. So she couldn't deny the fact she wouldn't be opposed to seeing him again.

For a few minutes, for a few very brief minutes, it had seemed like that it was an actual hoax. The mall had started to close and there had been no sign of the man who she had come to know Tuxedo Mask.

That had lasted for a grand total of five minutes. She had been almost to the mall exit when she heard an escalator that had just been shut off whir back to life. Life could never be that simple for her could it, she thought as she stepped off to find a covered spot to transform. It might be just a straggling mall worker, but it was better not to take her chances given just why she was here, to begin with.

Sure enough, a brunette dressed in a Tuxedo started coming down the escalator a few moments later with her having already slipped into her senshi uniform. He smirked saying. "So you have come Sailor Moon."

"Yeah right I know that's you Nephrite you and your general buddies can dress up all you want. I'm still going to recognize you. Though I don't know how you know about him in particular." Sailor Moon said slightly rolling the eyes. She had no clue what the newest Dark Kingdom general was getting at but apparently, he was as bad at illusions as Jadeite had been from what the others had said if he hadn't been able to even look convincingly like Tuxedo Mask.

"So, you were able to pick up on my deception. Smarter then I pegged you." he said raising an eyebrow. Apparently deciding to ignore her comment about knowing Tuxedo Mask.

"It's not that hard really. You don't look that much like him. Wrong hair color and length just to start with." Sailor Moon mumbled under her breath. She stopped for a moment wondering just how she knew so many details about a man she had only interacted with a few times and for very brief periods for that matter. It made no sense, at best she should really have been able to realize they had two different lengths of hair yet the hair color and length were only a couple of details that had tipped her off to it being the wrong person. So why was she remembering so much more than that?

"Well, now that you're here I will take care of you." He said summoning some sort of weird lion youma in what seemed like a blink of an eye. That, that was definitely new. The only youma she had dealt with so far had been already working various jobs and her only encounters with Jadeite definitely had not involved summoning youmas. Oh, crap now the thing was lunging at her. Time to get out of here.

"How dare you use my name to summon Sailor Moon?" Never had she been so grateful to see Tuxedo Mask in her life. She didn't even register the youma had stopped chasing her briefly at first though she wasn't sure why. Maybe it got one of Tuxedo Mask's rose to the face? Or maybe it was confused at suddenly having two targets. Either way, she wasn't really complaining.

Nephrite growled. "Don't stop you foolish beast after them!" The youma decided to lunge after her again sending her running in the direction of Tuxedo Mask who was currently hanging outside a pair of elevator doors. Sailor Moon pushed Tuxedo Mask into it hoping that if they got in they could at least get away from the youma by closing the elevator doors. Only to lose her balance and instead stumble into the elevator after him hitting the floor as she lost her balance. She heard the doors slam shut behind them and the elevator whir to life. That wasn't good though she was distracted momentarily by Tuxedo Mask asking if she was all right.

"I'm fine thank you for the assistance." Sailor Moon said taking the offered hand getting to her feet before continuing. "What now?" She asked worryingly. They were trapped inside the elevator that seemed to be moving on its own free will and now that she was actually paying attention she could hear Nephrite rambling off that he was going to pancake them with the elevator. That was just quiet the lovely thought. Was she really going to die in an elevator after surviving the Tohoku Earthquake?

"There should be a door on top of the elevator that we can use as an escape route." Tuxedo Mask said eying the roof of the elevator. He seemed to find what he was looking for using a cane she hadn't even been really aware he had to begin with to create an opening before jumping out and then helping her out of it.

"So now what? Yeah, we escaped certain death but if we don't get off this crazy thing we might still die." Sailor Moon said looking around with worry. She wasn't sure how tall the mall was but they couldn't have much time left…

"We're going to have to jump for it." He said frowning looking up above them. She looked in the same direction spotting what he must be seeing a ledge. That seemed like quite the jump to reach, what if they missed and fell? She guessed it couldn't be any worse than being pancaked to death by an elevator but both thoughts were scary.

"Does the elevator go all the way up there?" Sailor Moon asked frowning slightly. "Probably not that is most likely a maintenance shaft. There should be enough of a pause though that we can jump and at least grab hold of the ledge and hopefully hoist ourselves out of this place." The unspoken what could happen if they missed or if the elevator stopped too soon was too obvious.

"Well, there's no other solution so on your count then?" Sailor Moon asked. He probably had a better idea of when they should jump then she did. She never did have great coordination.

He nodded as they could both feel the elevator starting to slow as they began to reach the top of the shaft. "One, two, three!"

Even with the help of an out loud count she still somehow managed to get off a beat sooner then he did and missed the edge of the ledge. Thankfully he had better reflexes and grabbed a hold of her before she fell to her death. Today just wasn't her day apparently.

"Wherever your partners are we could use a hand right about now." Tuxedo Mask commented trying to adjust his grip to better hold the ledge."Yeah well, you see…I didn't exactly tell them I was coming here." Sailor Moon confessed trying to find somewhere to look that wasn't him. For once she was actually hoping that Luna went behind her back and told the other girls about her plan.

"Seriously?" He asked finding a foothold stand on and pulling her up so she wasn't dangling so much.

"It's a long story." Was all she was going to say on the matter for now.

"Yeah well, you really shouldn't be alone. Seems like you in need of assistance with the youma attacks." He pointed out as he helped her get better leverage on his back.

"Hey, I don't need assistance every time." She argued. "You weren't there during the pet shop incident among other things and Nephrite's weird star youma summon thing took me by surprise."

"There was a pet shop youma?" Apparently, he had missed that plot entirely. "Yeah, you remember those wildly popular chinchellas weeks back now? That was another Dark Kingdom plot." Sailor Moon explained. "Why didn't you come with your fellow Senshi anyway?" Tuxedo Mask asked after a slight pause apparently choosing to ignore the missed plot.

"After the wedding shop last week they found out something I wasn't ready to talk about yet so I've been avoiding them since then. It feels stupid now but…at the time I guess I was afraid they wouldn't like me if they knew about it." She trailed off there. "That seems silly." she could practically see him raising an eyebrow even if he was facing the wrong direction.

"I guess it kind of is. But it's not like that I haven't had issues with making friends for what I feel is that reason." Sailor Moon confessed. "So you had something happen before that made you reluctant to open up to people. I'm not sure how this applies to your senshi you seem to have known them for a while now." Tuxedo Mask commented.

"Why do I have to keep saying this: the person I thought was a friend I had known for three months. Excuse me for having a slight trust issue with two people I've known barely for a month." Sailor Moon retorted. She was really getting tired of having this particular argument with everyone under the sun.

"Please tell me you have a way to reach them I'm not sure how much longer we can last up here." Tuxedo Mask commented apparently deciding not to push that particular topic. "I do." Sailor Moon said eternally thanking anyone who was listening up there for Luna having finally finished the communicators as she tried to adjust herself to access her wristwatch. "Not sure how easily or safely I can access it though."

"Of course." She heard him mutter.

"Hey, I didn't say I wasn't going to try. Only that it's not easy to access." Sailor Moon quipped.

Before she could really think about how easily she could open her wristwatch she heard the scraping of doors from in front of them. Hopefully, that was Haruka and Michiru and not Nephrite. Much to her relief, she felt them being pulled up and onto the floor of the maintenance shaft a few minutes later.

"Thanks." She muttered taking the offered hand and getting to her feet trying not to make eye contact with what she knew had to be two angry senshi.

"Uranus lets at least let our captive audience take off before we start this." Neptune said. Usagi glanced up in time to see Uranus shut her mouth with a click. Well, at least they gave her a minute before she had to deal with all of this.

"I'll let you three sort out whatever issues your having." Tuxedo Mask commented having apparently decided that backing away from the two mad older senshi was the best course of action. Before they could say anything, he backed away slowly and then rounded a corner and was gone.

"Okay now that he's gone- what were you thinking? If Luna hadn't called us because she was getting worried-" Uranus hissed before cutting off apparently not wanting to continue that thought. But the tone drove the point home and caused her to involuntarily flinch backwards. They had every right to be mad, she knew that but she couldn't help the reaction.

"I kind of freaked out." Sailor Moon said after a short silence suddenly finding the ground very interesting. Was that a piece of dried gum there? Ew.

She heard Uranus mutter. "More than kind of."

"Stop dodging things and have a little faith." Neptune said grabbing a hold of her chin so that she had to look at both of them.

"Sorry." Moon said still refusing to really make eye contact while indirectly apologizing for both tonight and the other secrets she had kept again.

Neptune sighed seeming to realize they weren't going to get anywhere tonight and decided to shift topics. "It's pretty late as is it. Maybe we should continue this discussion after we've all had a good night's sleep? Would you be available to get together to talk about this or are you busy tomorrow?"

"No, I'm good to get together." Moon admitted. She was still nervous about having the conversation but it seemed like they were more mad that she hid it from them then anything else- Which was a good thing, in a way. She wondered to herself if Luna would let Naru come over for moral support if she asked. So far they seemed to be handling it okay but she wasn't sure if she could handle telling the story to be honest.

End Chapter 10

Chapter Text

Chapter 11


"It will be fine Usagi." Naru argued from her spot next to the bed. It was the next afternoon and they were waiting for the arrival of Haruka and Michiru. Luna had at first hesitated when she had asked about having Naru there but had eventually agreed that having her there for moral support wouldn't be the worst idea. Left unsaid was that she could also help supply certain things or fill in the blanks on details that either Usagi didn't remember or was reluctant to share.

"I can't help but be scared Naru." Usagi said finally flopping down on the bed next to her longtime friend. "What if they don't accept this?"

"Knock some sense into them?" Naru suggested earning a snort from Luna who had been just listening to the back and forth at this point.

"Naru!" Usagi said.

"I'm joking. But seriously if they hold your legs against you then someone should knock some sense into them." Naru said crossing her arms.

"I guess if we needed to we could try and start locating the remaining Inner Senshi but with the way things have been escalating I'm not sure how good of an idea that is." Luna confessed.

"Wait I thought you thought that this wouldn't be a problem." Usagi crossed her arms frowning at that. Luna and Naru, with Luna mainly speer heading it, had been pushing her for weeks now to tell the others and had been insistent that it would all work out.

"I don't think it will be a problem." Luna said shrugging her shoulders.

"You two are worrying too much something that I'm betting won't even happen. Don't think about the worst case and how you might have to move forward from there until your faced with it." Naru said shaking her head slightly.

"Well we don't have much more time to entertain any kind of scenarios. They're here." she said standing up. She had just heard the doorbell going off as Naru had made her point.


"Did you really not trust us enough to think that we couldn't handle what you were hiding?" Haruka asked finally breaking the silence. Usagi was slightly relieved to notice that she wasn't really mad just sounded disappointed. Though she felt kind of bad about that too…

"It's not really you guys." Usagi tried to placate Haruka. It was true it really was they hadn't done anything to make her not trust them. It was just a carryover issue from having dealt with Juuban for over a year.

Michiru frowned slightly, even with all the things she had picked up observing the other girl… "I find that hard to believe."

Naru broke in there. "She's actually telling the truth. Usagi has been dealing with some girls who have bullied her about her legs for some time now. Usagi thinks she has to hide this or be treated that way. Sometimes I just want to go take those girls and- It really wasn't anything against you."

Maybe Usagi wouldn't have had the same reaction if there had been more time between the quake and the Yuki incident as she and Naru referred to it as. As it was it was when she was still fairly early on in the recovery and probably had impacted her more because of that.

"That still doesn't explain how we got here in the first place." Haruka commented frowning.

"Haruka-" Michiru began in a warning voice.

"It's fine Michiru." Usagi said trying to placate the older girl. She had been prepared to answer that question. She was actually surprised that it was only coming up now. "Naru and I originally are from a small town just a few hours north of here. Naru moved down about three years back. I officially moved down with my parents in August of 2011 after the-." Usagi broke off there unable to continue. Why was it so hard to talk about it even now?

Michiru, however, was frowning slightly. The timing and old injuries were a little too coincidental, "The Tohoku Quake."

"But the quake was in March if that's why at the root of it all this happened why did you wait until August to move?" Haruka asked frowning slightly. It made sense sure that the quake was the cause of her injuries but the timing was a bit odd.

Usagi chewed her lip slightly before deciding to continue. She hated talking about those first few months the most but it was a legit question so there was no reason not to answer it. "I was in a coma. I was in bad shape for a while. It took a while before it was safe enough to move to Tokyo. They never were sure how I survived since-."

Naru thankfully picked it up there seeing that she couldn't continue talking. "Usa's younger brother Shingo died in the tsunami. They were together when it hit."

She could practically see the final puzzle piece slide into place at Naru's explanation. A lot of her behavior did derive from the regrets she had around Shingo's death both in and out of battle arguably. She couldn't remember that awful day, not really anyway, and part of her really didn't want too but not knowing if she could have saved Shingo always made it feel like it was her fault somehow that she had survived when he had died. It being a mystery that she had somehow survived didn't exactly help matters either. Though she had begun to accept that she probably would never know what had happened or why it was becoming Sailor Moon, as much as she liked to complain at times, had almost given her a new purpose that wasn't tied to Shingo. That helped.

It was a few hours before Haruka and Michiru finally got up to leave. Usagi had eventually exhausted herself out and had fallen asleep. Leaving the conversation more to Luna, Haruka, and Michiru since it was no longer in the corner where Naru could really say anything.

"Hold on!" Naru called jogging down the stairs in her house so she could catch them before they left. Coming to stop at the bottom step she said, "I just wanted to say thanks."

"You're welcome though I'm not sure what you're thanking us for." Michiru replied frowning slightly.

Naru shook her head slightly. They didn't know she surmised. "It's just nice to see Usagi finally having more people she can trust again. After Yuki she tended to get a lot more closed off around new people."

"That's good to know." Haruka said frowning slightly.

Michiru changed the subject slightly away from Usagi. "The girl, Yuki? Do you happen to know what her last name is?" Now that she knew for sure why Usagi had turned down her offer of help initially to get into Mugen Gaken. Anyone with two eyes could see Usagi wasn't happy at Juuban and she had a feeling at this point that Usagi wasn't asking because she didn't want to cause trouble. Plus she had a feeling having Usagi closer with her accidental tendency to attract trouble wouldn't be the worst idea. If she could get Usagi into Mugen Gaken she wanted this other girl on the list of people who could not be accepted. But she needed a last name for that. Admittedly she probably could look it up since it was a public school and that data should be available to anyone. And if not well she knew people who could.

"Sorry I don't know." Naru said making a face slightly. Yuki had never shown any interest in interacting with her outside of once or twice because of Usagi so it had been a bit of a shock when the girl's true colors had finally shown true.

"What did that girl do?" She heard Haruka mutter. That was a good question. When they had tried to pry lightly about further details on the Yuki incident Usagi had sidestepped the question. Naru hadn't been forthcoming about details and by the look on Luna's face she probably knew as much as they did about this Yuki.

"That's Usa's story. Its a long one and I'm not sure if I even have the full details." Naru confessed. That later part was actually a lie. She knew too well what hell Usagi had been put through by Yuki. Her mind flashing back to the one many times she had found Usagi in the bathroom stalls crying over the latest part of Yuki's reign. But it was true that the story was a long one and more Usagi's to tell then hers.

"Fair enough. Thanks for your time and for hosting us." Michiru said starting to turn

"Anytime. Thank you for helping Usagi." Naru said cheerfully before turning to go back up the stairs.

"Michiru um…. you know Usagi's not here at the moment, right?" Naru asked letting her in. Not that she minded seeing Usagi's other teammates but they usually only came by when Usagi was around. Outside of coming over to talk to Luna that one time. "Or Luna for that matter."

"Yes, I came by purposely now because of that." Michiru said. Usagi and Haruka were at the arcade that they seemed to have taken a liking to. So now was the best time to get Naru's opinion on a certain matter.

"Not that I don't mind you stopping by, your both welcome here, but why?" Naru asked frowning slightly.

"I wanted your opinion on a certain matter concerning Usagi. Your closer to her right now then Haruka and I are so I'm hoping you would have a better idea of what her reaction might be to an idea I have." Michiru explained.

"Which is?" Naru asked raising an eyebrow. She was kind of curious what in the world Michiru was asking her opinion on something.

"I was thinking about getting Usagi's application to Mugen fast-tracked so she would be starting in the spring. I'm a bit concerned on how she would react." Michiru admitted. Her gut said that Usagi would be okay with it but asking someone who would probably actually know was her way of hopefully putting her concerns at ease

"You know someone at Mugen's Admissions Office?" Naru asked a bit surprised. Usagi hadn't really mentioned much about Michiru's family other than mentioning the sister they were working with. And while she had gotten the idea that the other girl's family had connections in high places but this still kind of surprised her.

"Not exactly. My family has connections in high places. So while I may not know the people in Mugen's admission office to personally pull the strings to get her in I do have the connections needed to get them to admit her. I offered to get her off the waitlist the first time she brought up Mugen and she turned it down at the time. However, in hindsight, I'm wondering if her turning it down was less because she didn't want the help and more because she was trying to hide everything with the Tohoku Quake." Michiru explained.

"You're wondering how she would react if you used your connections to get her officially admitted." Naru realized. "I'm guessing if you're asking me you haven't made another offer again?"

"No, I debated it. I have a feeling if I offered again she would turn me down but more so because she doesn't want to cause problems for others." Michiru admitted.

Naru made a face. "Yeah, that's Usagi alright." Pausing for a moment in thought. "As for your question, I'm not a hundred percent sure since she still surprises me at times even after all these years. I think, though, she would appreciate it. She'll be embarrassed but she will be grateful too." Naru said after a moment. She might be slightly embarrassed at first but Usagi wasn't exactly the overly prideful type. When she hid stuff, it was usually because she didn't want to bother others not because of some sense of pride. And considering how much Juuban seemed to drag Usagi down and how worried she as about the upcoming school year she couldn't see the girl not being glad to just be out of there, to be honest. "Besides even if she did get angry. Usagi's not exactly the type to hold the grudge. Even if she did get made initially for your involvement for some reason I don't think she would stay mad for very long."

"And you're okay with her transferring?" Michiru asked. She was more being curious now than anything. With Naru's comments, she probably more than a bit supportive of it. But still good to ask.

"Usagi needs to get out of Juuban. Really needs to get out of Juuban. What kind of friend would I be if I wasn't?" Naru said pausing for a moment. "Actually, I might try applying anyway if Usagi is going to be moving there."

"That seems a bit sudden." Michiru mused. Naru and Usagi seemed close but she was still a bit surprised by the other's willingness to follow her.

"Not really. Mom and I looked at attending Mugen Gaken right after we moved to Tokyo a few years back. Mom decided after everything with Dad that starting me at a more normal school at first was probably better before moving into a private setting. Then after everything happened with Usagi and we knew she was moving to Tokyo priorities kind of got shuffled and I decided to stay at Juuban. The offer to try and test in was still open last I checked." Naru explained. Her Mom could definitely afford the fee so that wasn't a problem.

"Would you like an assist with getting in if you get waitlisted?" Michiru offered after a moment. Normally she wouldn't extend it but she was a close friend of Usagi's.

Naru blinked a couple of times. That was unexpected… "No, I think I should be okay with that. I wasn't trying for a specialized program like Usagi so as long as they haven't met their quota for the year with new students or something I should hopefully get in." If it came down to it she might take up Michiru on the offer. She would rather transfer in at the same time as Usagi then not.


"Naru tell Luna that I'm the last person that they would be looking for in a model contest." Usagi said to her friend as she came into the room. It was a day or two later and Luna was currently trying to convince her some new modeling contest was actually a Dark Kingdom plot. Haruka and Michiru were out for the afternoon having had a prior commitment to attend too. So it was just the three of them at Naru's place for the moment.

"Wait why are we talking about a model contest?" Naru asked frowning.

"Luna thinks one of the sponsors works for the Dark Kingdom." Usagi explained sighing while handing over the flyer. Luna was currently arguing that the head sponsor, a Masato Sanjouin, was actually Nephrite and that she needed to partake in the modeling contest. Admittedly from what she had seen of Nephrite before he did bear an uncanny resemblance to him. But she would be surprised if it was the same person.

"Masato Sanjouin? Why in the world would a hot billionaire want to or need to work for the Dark Kingdom?" Naru asked sounding kind of dumbfounded.

"You have a crush on him. You have his biography under your pillow and a poster of him on your wall. You'd likely know more about him than me. That doesn't change the fact he bears a strong resemblance to Nephrite" Luna pointed out frowning. She wasn't going to hold Naru to the same standard but she thought the girl had more common sense then let her own judgment get in the way of a possible problem.

"Maybe." Naru confessed handing the flyer back eyes shifting to the book sticking out from under her pillow.

Usagi let out a sigh turning back to Luna. "Look there's no way they are going to let a noticeably disabled person into a swimsuit modeling contest. I'll probably be laughed out the door." Plus there was the fact she wasn't even sure if her swimsuit had made it down to Tokyo. It wasn't like she had gone for a swim very recently.

"I feel like we should investigate it. If they don't allow you to enter then we should find another way." Luna said frowning.

"Doesn't Michiru swim a lot? Maybe she would be the better choice to infiltrate the contest." Naru suggested.

Luna frowned muttering. "Maybe..."

"Luna even if I didn't live with prosthetics Michiru would still be the better choice. As it stands, I do. My prosthetics aren't waterproof and I have no swimsuit and no desire to be in front of people in one." Usagi argued when she saw Luna about to open her mouth. Well, she did have a swimsuit somewhere. Buried deep in her closet but considering it hadn't seen any use since before the earthquake she wasn't sure how good shape it was in.

"All right I'll ask Michiru." Luna finally agreed after a moment. It seemed like she still wanted her to do the photo contest but hey if she agreed to Michiru then that wasn't her concern.

Thankfully Michiru had agreed that her competing was the most logical choice. But Luna being Luna had insisted that all three of them attend even if only one of them was competing. Not that Usagi disagreed it was a bad idea. But since her and Haruka weren't competing they didn't have the same kind of access Michiru had. So her and Haruka were hanging towards the back of the auditorium where most of the contest was being held. Since neither of them were actually participating in the contest all they could really do was watch and look for anything particularly weird. Everything was going great as far as they could tell up until the point she saw a familiar red head bobbing in the crowd.

"Oh my god Naru." Usagi facepalmed. She had told her friend to stay home since there was no way to know if this was or wasn't a plot by the Dark Kingdom. Apparently, her friend hadn't headed her advice.

"It's too dangerous for this." Usagi could hear Haruka's voice apparently catching sight of her too.

"She probably wants to see the sponsor up close in person. She has a thing for older guys for some reason. Heck, the whole reason she wanted to sneak into the concert the night we first met was because she wanted to see that jazz musician that was performing." Usagi confessed. She wasn't exactly sure why Naru fancied older guys but hey she wasn't going to really question it.

"Didn't you tell her that this might be a Dark Kingdom plot..?" Haruka asked confused.

"Oh no she knows. She was the one that suggested Michiru take part in this contest in the first place when I couldn't get Luna to understand that I probably wouldn't even be allowed into the competition let alone close enough to confirm if it was a plot." Naru was her best friend but sometimes she seriously questioned her decision making. She had been able to keep her away from quite a few youma plots so part of her wondered if Naru really realized how dangerous they could be. Yeah, she had been the victim of that first youma but most of the others she had gotten out of the area before she was in danger. Mostly. There was that other youma at the idol contest she had nearly forgotten about.

"Let's just hope we eliminate any trouble before it puts her in danger." Haruka said frowning. "Again." Usagi muttered under her breath. It had been her crush on the musician that had put her at the scene of the concert. And while she wouldn't completely complain about it since who knows how differently things would have gone if Naru hadn't dragged her there she still didn't like seeing her longtime friend getting wrapped up in youma plots.

"She might be safe Michiru hasn't given the signal yet." Haruka tried to reassure her.

"I hope so but then again with the Dreamland plot..." Usagi pointed out. Left unsaid being the fact they didn't see it until one of them was already trapped in the plot as a victim and the others had to rescue her...

"That's true sometimes these plots aren't the most obvious. The bus shrine incident was similar. We had suspicions but didn't have anything concrete until we saw Jadeite open a portal." Haruka explained.

"Okay, now I am really questioning how that didn't get more publicity." Usagi said to herself. She couldn't remember anything about disappearing busses. Naru was more of the conspiracy theorist then she was but it almost sounded like a cover-up.

"You said you were pretty busy with school." Haruka pointed out. "Yeah but even then, you would think I would have noticed something even with my nose buried in a book half the time." Usagi argued.

"We could always try asking the government guy." Haruka suggested with a bit of hesitance. "Do you think we would honestly get a straight answer out of him if they are involved in covering it up?" She turned to the older girl in skepticism.

Haruka made a face at that, "No probably not."

"Sooo what is this signal you mentioned earlier if Michiru sees something suspicious?" Usagi asked deciding to move away from possible conspiracy theories.

"It's not something you would see." Haruka said waving off the question.

"What does that even mean?" she asked frowning.

"I'll explain later. Now's not the place or the time for that matter." Haruka said.

"Okay then." she wasn't sure why the older girl wanted her to drop the subject but she could tell that was what was wanted.

She never did quite get an answer out of the older girl about what the signal was. But a few minutes later Haruka tensed up and got the confirmation that yeah, they were dealing with a youma plot all right. Now came the hard part and one they really hadn't thought through, to be honest, getting to Michiru.

It had been surprisingly easy to get out of the auditorium and into the halls. But the problem remained of getting past security, and again, finding Michiru. Well, maybe the later wasn't too much of a problem since Haruka for whatever reason seemed to have a fairly good idea of what direction she was in.

"We should have snuck Luna in." Usagi said more to herself. If anything else turning the cat loose would distract the security guards really quickly. Also, it would have maybe stopped Naru from showing up to the contest. She looked down in surprise when she heard a clearing of the throat. Well, this was a stroke of luck. "Luna what are you doing here? How did you get here?"

"I snuck out when Naru left the house. I decided if I was out I might as well come check out the contest." Luna confessed.

"You didn't try to stop Naru!" Usagi asked a bit surprised. She would have thought that Luna would maybe have interfered.

Luna basically made a few comments under her breath that she didn't quite catch. Sounds like she had only found out Naru was even here when she had probably spotted her in the crowd. Usagi raised an eyebrow. "You didn't know she was coming out here?"

"No, she said she was going to run errands." Luna said shaking her head slightly.

"I thought you said she wasn't much of a liar." Haruka asked after a moment.

"No, but if she really wants something she can get rather tenacious at times. As I said earlier it was her idea to sneak into your concert." Usagi said frowning. She must really like this Masato if she was putting herself in the possible line of danger or confirmed in this case. She was going to have a long talk with Naru after today.

"We are sure that it is an actual plot by the Dark Kingdom correct?" Luna asked.

"Michiru was able to somehow tell Haruka that there was an actual plot involved." Usagi added.

"Really?" Luna asked raising an eyebrow turning towards the older girl.

"It's a long story." was Haruka's answer. Guess they were all going to be having a long talk after this.

"We really need to work on being more open with each other." Luna could be heard commenting.

"You're bugging me about not being more open after the whole thing with Usagi?" Haruka asked raising an eyebrow. Usagi grumbled a bit but she knew the other girl had a point. If she hadn't made Luna wait on the subject they probably would have had the conversation they had a few days ago, a few weeks ago.

"Actually I called her out on it several times but it was part of the agreement when she first became Sailor Moon that she told you two on her own terms." Luna explained.

Haruka sighed after a moment. "I need to talk to Michiru about this. Telling you both involves her just as much it involves me."

"Fair enough." Luna said finally backing off a bit.

"Anyway, we need to get to where the contestants are the problem is getting past the security." Usagi explained to Luna.

"Your hoping I can provide some distraction." Luna said more rather than asked.

"Precisely. If one of us did the distraction then only one of us gets to where the youma is." Usagi pointed out.

"All right I'm not sure if you'll both get past though." Luna argued.

"We have to try." Usagi said shaking her head. It was going to be difficult but that seemed to be the story of her life right now.

The good thing was Luna's distraction had been a success. The bad thing? Her and Haruka had gotten separated when one of the guards had spotted them at the last moment. So now she was lost wandering the halls. Trying to figure out where possibly Michiru or Haruka were.

"Usagi?" Usagi turned to see Naru. Oh thank god, she was safe and Naru might be able to point her in the direction she needed to go. Maybe her being in the contest wasn't the worst thing after all… "It's a youma plot." Naru continued making a face. Apparently, she was starting to associate her being places where she wasn't with youma plots. That could be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.

"You knew that was a possibility. We had a whole conversation about what to do about the contest." Usagi commented shaking her head.

"I actually got to meet him!" Naru piped up excitedly. Apparently deciding to ignore the reminder that she had walked straight into a youma plot.

"That's great and I'm happy for you, really. Just maybe a bit more careful about chasing guys in the future? This is the second youma plot you've got caught up in because of a crush." Usagi pleaded. First, there was the jazz musician, which okay she couldn't complain about too much considering that was how she finally met Haruka and Michiru, but still. Now it was this crush she had on this billionaire.

"I know I'll try to be more careful in the future." Naru assured.

"Haruka seemed to know where we were supposed to be going but we got separated when trying to pass the security guards." Usagi said scratching her head.

"How did ya manage to get past them anyway?" Naru asked.

"Oh, Luna apparently snuck in without any of us knowing and we ran into her while trying to figure out how to get past security. She provided a distraction just one of the guards I guess was on higher alert then any of us anticipated. So all of us ended up separated." Usagi explained.

"Well I can't help you find Haruka but I can tell you where we were told to get our photographs it's not that far from here actually." Naru said pointing down the hallway and to the left. She could make out a door that probably was where the photographs were being taken.

"Thanks." Usagi smiled. Hopefully, she would run into the others girls there though she did have a question, "Wait if you are already at the photographing point why aren't you over there?"

"I got sidetracked and got separated from the group." Naru shrugged. Well, she couldn't really complain she would probably still be wandering the halls lost if she hadn't run into Naru.

"I would get out of here before things get messy." Usagi advised starting to walk in the direction Naru had pointed in. Though pausing after a second. Maybe she should find a place to transform before walking into a possible fight first.

"Yeah I got to swing by the locker room to get my stuff first and then I'll wait for you three outside." Naru agreed.

"See you soon." she waved off her friend. Well at least she knew Naru was out of danger. Now to see to the youma. "Here goes nothing." She gripped her transformation broach.

"MOON TIARA ACTION." Usagi yelled upon entering the photography room, tossing her tiara at the youma who managed to duck only for it to smack into the back of its head thing but not actually turning it to dust. Right Luna had warned that was a possibility oh well at least it seemed to have momentarily stunned the youma as she ran up to a Neptune who was sitting up now. Having dropped to the ground to dodge some energy blast as she was coming into the room. "Are you all right Neptune?"

"I'm fine she just took me by surprise." Neptune assured her using the youma's momentary confusion to their advantage and tossing one of her own attacks. It knocked it back a few feet but didn't turn it to dust. She frowned for a second before turning to Usagi, "Be careful she can capture people using that energy blast you saw me dodging when you got here. Where's Uranus?"

"We got separated when we ran into a problem with the security on the way here." Sailor Moon explained. Hopefully Haruka hadn't run into too much trouble when they been had split up and wasn't too far behind. "Okay besides the really worrying energy attacks what else is there to know about this youma?"

"It's built like a tank. My attacks are barely landing any damage." Neptune admitted as they quickly sidestepped another set of blasts from the youma.

"Combined attack then?" Sailor Moon suggested. That's how they had managed to take down the more troubling youmas in the past.

"Seems like the only solution." Neptune agreed powering up a Splash Edge as Sailor Moon reached up for her tiara. This was going to take some immaculate timing to make sure neither of them accidentally got caught in the cross hairs of the youma's energy blasts.

"Splash Edge!" Moon Tiara Action!" Came the simultaneous call as they tried to use a combined attack.

"Neptune!" Sailor Moon yelled paling slightly as she disappeared into the beam of light leaving only an old fashioned picture in her place. How had they missed the youma aiming and firing yet another beam attack? There had been an opening it had appeared safe. How could they have missed something so obvious? Had the youma managed to fire one beam on top of the other?

"SPIRAL BUSTER!" The loud very angry yell signaled Uranus had finally managed to track them down. Judging by the amount of anger she probably had seen what had happened but had been too late to act to prevent it.

Sailor Moon decided the best course of action for the moment was to stay out of both of their ways and try to find an opening to try and get her tiara to combine with Uranus's attack. Uranus was doing a good job with keeping the youma distracted. Apparently making Uranus angry somehow made her a slightly better attacker. Or at least able to power up a lot more quickly then normal.

Sailor Moon frowned for a moment glancing back between the two. Well technically the youma's picture thing was a form of energy blast. Her tiara had shown the ability to absorb energy from the other Senshi blasts maybe it could absorb the youma's blasts? Only one way to find out she thought removing the tiara. She let out a sigh of relief as the tiara absorbed a good portion of the energy (enough to take Uranus out of the danger zone) and then continued on its merry way since it hadn't actually made contact with anything. So it could absorb negative energy along with Senshi energy. That was a really good trick to know for the future.

"Hah! You missed." The youma declared turning her attention away from an angry Uranus at the moment. That was a mistake as Uranus took advantage of the opening to slam it with another Spiral Buster.

Incidentally Uranus's attack managed to knock the youma back straight into the tiara's attack as it started to come back her. The tiara's combined strength with the energy blast it had absorbed was enough to finally do the job it appeared as it made contact with the youma again turning it into dust. She let out a sigh of relief as she saw Neptune rematerialized looking slightly worried but otherwise okay.

"I'm fine Uranus." Neptune assured her getting back to her feet.

"What happened anyway? I arrived just as you got caught in the youma attack," Uranus commented frowning slightly looking back and forth between the two of them as Sailor Moon walked up.

"We were trying to combo attack the youma. It took advantage of the opening to capture Neptune." Sailor Moon said speaking up with some hesitance. She felt responsible for somehow not getting hit while Neptune had been. Even if that would have thrown a wrench in taking the youma down. At least Neptune looked like she was no worse for wear from being temporarily captured in the photograph.

"We both missed the fact it was firing that wasn't entirely your responsibility I should have been more careful." Neptune said cutting off whatever Uranus looked like she was about to say in response.

"So what do we do now. Most of the people in the contest appear to be out cold." Uranus commented glancing around the room. Sailor Moon followed her gaze and realized in her hurry to make sure nothing was wrong with Neptune she had missed everyone rematerializing from the photos that had been taking.

"We need to get out of here before the security tracks us down. I'm not sure how you were able to shake them Uranus. But they seem to be fairly decent at their job so I don't think it will be long before they track us down here." Sailor Moon said. Considering all the trouble they had had with security today maybe they should spending more time talking to that government official about IDs to get into places. That would have sure saved her and Haruka a lot of trouble and worry today.

"That is true." Uranus agreed making a face at the thought of having to deal with the security officers. Sailor Moon was kind of curious how she had finally ditched the security but that was a question for another time.

"We should probably split up and meet up again outside just in case. We can meet up again once we are back outside and have no worries over security." Sailor Moon said making a move for the open door hoping they would follow and take her queue. She would rather not split up at all considering who knew if Nephrite wasn't planning more trouble. But if they got caught by security they might have bigger concerns. AS she reentered the hall and made a sharp right and sprinted away from the contest was being mainly held she heard what sounded like a security person yelling for them to stop.

It had been easier then she had expected to lose the security guards that she had heard following her and find a spot to drop the henshin. She thought she was home free until she ran smack dab into someone else. "What is with today?!" Usagi muttered rubbing her nose.

"Sorry Odango didn't see you there." Came a familiar teasing voice.

"I thought I told you not to call me that." Usagi grumbled taking the offered hand. She had fallen on her butt when she had run into the guy yet again yet still managed to be and appear so angry one could imagine flames burning behind her.

"Yeah you have. What are you doing here? Your certainly not dressed like you're doing the competition." He commented.

"I'm not a friend of mine is." Or was since once things settled Michiru was going to slip out.

"Then you really shouldn't be back here." He said raising an eyebrow.

"I took a wrong turn and got lost." She fudged an excuse. Not exactly a lie either she was lost it just wasn't the reason she had ended up back here.

"Fine since you don't have much in the sense of direction Odango I'll make sure you get back in the public area." he said turning to lead the way.

"Why do you keep calling me that anyway? I've told you before I dislike it." Usagi asked after a slight pause.

"It's not like you've ever given me a name to actually call you." He said glancing back at her raising an eyebrow.

"I -" She broke off after a second realizing he was actually right. She could have sworn she had mentioned it before but no she actually hadn't. Though now that she thought about it. "It's not like you gave me one either."

He seemed to think for a moment before making a huh noise and turning to her fully extending his hand. "Fair enough, Mamoru Chiba."

She blinked a bit. Honestly she wasn't sure what she had been expecting but actually getting the name hadn't been on the forefront. Breaking out of her surprise she shook the extended hand. "Usagi Tsukino."

"So what is the deal with the hatred for the nickname anyway if you don't mind me asking?" Mamoru asked as they started moving again.

"My brother used to call me that. He's dead. It's all I have left of him." Usagi explained.

"Oh." he made a face for a moment before seemingly balking at himself. "I am so so sorry. If I had known-"

"You didn't. Next time someone tells you to stop calling them something maybe you will." She commented with a shrug. And she may have slightly over reacted in hindsight. But it was hard not too considering the emotional attachment to the nickname. She wasn't entirely all right with it considering she had asked him before to stop but yeah she might have been over the top a few times with the nickname. Plus there was something about Mamoru that seemed to get her worked up.

"What did you mean by if you had known anyway." She asked frowning slightly. Quite a few people had made comments like that but something about Mamoru's tone when he had started the sentence tipped it off to being just a bit more than an apology.

"I lost my parents as a kid. I can't remember anything before the crash. Doctors seemed to think it would return in time but its been over 10 years and I can't remember anything. I've given up at this point. I may not have anything to cause a similar sentiment for me but I can at least understand it." He admitted.

"That has to be difficult." Usagi said. She may have lost Shingo but she at least had the memories of him to look back on. To not even have that would have made things a lot more difficult.

"Wait so is Mamoru Chiba your actual name?" She asked after a moment. If he couldn't remember anything from before the car crash then how did he know if it was his actual name.

"Yeah it is just because I couldn't remember who I was didn't mean they didn't have a way of identifying me and getting in touch with my parents next of kin." He explained. "Well at least you have family around you. Do you live with them?" Usagi asked.

"No I live by myself. My aunt lives to the south of here in a more rural area. I came to Tokyo to attend a preparatory high school for when I go to college to become a doctor. I still go back during vacation time. I am actually going to be headed back to see her in a few days." He confessed.

"Wait your in high school?!" Usagi asked in surprise. For some reason she had always thought he was older.

"Just finished up first year." He said. "What about you?"

"Just finished what's supposed to be my eighth year." She said.

"Supposed to?" He asked frowning slightly. "Does this deal with that test you threw at me?"

"More with school administrators and a bad teacher being a problem than anything else but technically yes." She answered.

"Have you tried-" Mamoru began.

"I appreciate the help but I've tried just about about everything so the answer to whatever you were going to probably ask is yes I've almost certainly have tried that. I may have tried it multiple times in fact and will try it again in the new year. Right now I'm just worried they are going to hold me back. I'm not sure if I can take another year of that teacher." Usagi grumbled the last part more to herself.

"Sorry." He said realizing he had touched a sore spot.

"No it's not your fault. Its just been dragged out so long at this point." She said shaking her head slightly. She wasn't mad at him really. She probably would have asked if the situation was reversed. She was just tired of having this revolving conversation about school.

"You know its kind of funny since we both know Motoki that neither of us thought to ask him about the other." she said after a momentary lapse in conversation. Okay so she might not go as much to Crown Arcade as Naru but she did go fairly often to know Motoki. And considering she knew the two knew each other that would have solved the whole name issue quickly. But then again up until today she hadn't really thought about the fact she didn't have a name for him.

"Huh," Mamoru said as they stepped through a door into a crowded foyer. "Yeah that is kind of interesting. Or that he didn't volunteer the information."

"Something to ask him about next time we're at the arcade." Usagi said shrugging her shoulders. Admittedly she hadn't hung out with Motoki enough to think of it. But Motoki and Mamoru had seemed like good friends so the fact that the info had been volunteered was interesting.

"Anyways you should be good from here on out. I need to get back to the backstage area and see what's gotten the whole security in such a conniption." He said frowning slightly.

"Thanks for the escort." Usagi said meaning it. It had been nice to go the rest of the way back without having to worry about the security. "See you around the arcade?"

"Yeah see you around." he said waving a farewell before disappearing back the way they had come.

End Chapter 11

Chapter Text

Chapter 12

At the Water's Edge

"A trip to the beach..?" Usagi hesitantly confirmed while frowning a couple of days after the camera contest incident. It was still spring break and they were discussing a possible vacation together for bonding purposes. While Luna had been initially reluctant to sign off the idea she had eventually agreed that it was a good idea and that Tokyo shouldn't fall if they left town for a few days, or rather in this case a week.

"My family owns a house near the beach. No one really lives there most of the year outside of the occasional vacation. The groundskeeper who maintain the house live in the nearby town only coming by to check that it is maintained and to keep everything up to par." Michiru explained.

"Any neighbors?" Usagi asked. She really didn't care how private or public the place might be, to be honest, she was just curious. Though if it was more private then they could talk more openly about almost anything without worries about the wrong person overhearing.

"Just a small hotel down the road. The nearest town is about 20 minutes from the house so it's pretty quiet." Michiru explained.

Usagi chewed on her lip slightly not sure what to think. It sounded nice but she also hadn't gone anywhere near the beach since the earthquake. "It sounds nice."

"I'm sensing a 'but'." Haruka noticed raising an eyebrow.

Usagi chewed on her lip and nervously fidgeted with one of her long streamers of hair before speaking. "I just haven't been down to the ocean really since the quake. The last time I really got anywhere near open water was when we went to check out Mugen Gaken."

"If its too much for you-" Michiru began seeming to realize that she was still having difficulties with certain things. "No." Usagi said shaking her head slightly making up her mind. "I can't keep dodging it forever. It would be good for me personally to get back to the beach." Her and Setsuna had been working on her fear of going in the water. Being near the ocean shouldn't be a problem. It wasn't so much she was afraid of the beach as much as she was afraid of the idea of being in actively moving water. Going in the ocean might still be too much for her to handle but she was pretty sure she could handle being on the sand at least. Maybe if she was having a good enough day she could go in the ocean but that was impossible to say for sure at that point.

"If you're sure then I'll go ahead and call to make the arrangements?" Michiru asked pulling out her cell phone.

"Yeah, I'm sure." Usagi said nodding her head with more confidence than she really felt at the moment. She needed this trip, she knew that. Besides if it became too much she could always withdraw to one of the houses inner rooms. Michiru made the place sound big enough that if she needed too she could find someplace that she could forget there was an ocean just outside the door.

"I'm kind of surprised, to be honest, that you agreed to go. Considering your still working on that whole fear of moving water." Naru said to Usagi the following day. They were hitting the mall trying to find a swimsuit Usagi liked. She had been able to find her old swimsuit from before but now it was too small for her and had some holes in it. So off to the mall it was to find a swimsuit. Usagi doubted that she would get far enough in the water to really need it. But considering she was going to the beach she felt she should have the appropriate beach wear. So they were picking up beach supplies.

"I was a bit hesitant about it at first. Being that close to the ocean again kind freaked me out. Because yeah I am still working on that fear of open moving water. However, considering we do live on a giant island I can't go the rest of my life avoiding the ocean. At least not easily," Usagi admitted with a sigh. At least if she did her first real trip back to the ocean with Haruka and Michiru she knew she would be around people that wouldn't get after her for possible overreactions. "Sorry, you can't come along. Michiru made it sound like it was Senshi only and I didn't feel comfortable asking permission for you to tag along."

"It's fine besides will have plenty of time to hang out when you get back from the beach." Naru said waving off the concern. "Plus really your closer to them then I am at this point. I think I would end up feeling more like a 3rd wheel, well I guess actually 4th, if I tagged along."

"That is true. It's funny though we've all known each other about the same time but they seem to trust me and Luna more than anyone else they've known for about the same period." Usagi commented frowning.

"I think that's because there's some inherent built-in trust between you three just because they're your teammates. Even if I am a frequent host for meetings since Luna lives at my house. We're still more acquaintances than anything at this point." Naru said shrugging.

"Still..." Usagi Trailed off frowning. If that's the case then the same trust should have been applied to Pluto and yet for whatever reason Ms. Setsuna tagging along hadn't been brought up. Though knowing Ms. Setsuna it was a 50-50 chance that she would actually come along if she was invited considering her track record so far.

"You know if you're actually going to have to pick up some covers for the prosthetics if you actually want to go in the water." Naru said changing the subjects draping the swimsuit she had ended up picking out over her arm while she waited for Usagi to finish up her own picks.

"I know I've asked Setsuna to have some ready for me to pick up at the last session before our beach trip." Usagi explained.

"Is she not coming along?" Naru asked frowning. Apparently thinking if she was going to get them from Setsuna that the oldest team member wasn't tagging along.

"We don't know so I'm just assuming its the three of us plus Luna." Usagi admitted finally deciding on a swimsuit. Nothing over the top like her old one. It was just a replacement that wouldn't probably see much use, to be honest. Though now that she thought about it Luna hadn't looked that enthusiastic when she had brought the trip up, so it may be just the three of them in the end.

"That feels a bit odd. You would think if they were making this a bonding trip they would invite her too." Naru admitted frowning.

"They did. Setsuna didn't give an answer and given her track record we just assume it's a fifty-fifty chance." Usagi explained. In fact, she had seemed pleased that Usagi had accepted it.

"Still she is one of you guys it wouldn't have hurt to talk about her coming," Naru commented frowning.

"I think there's more to this get together then just bonding so to speak. There's another thing that they promised to explain to us at the beach house. I have a feeling they aren't comfortable yet to talk about whatever it is in front of Setsuna yet and I think maybe she knows. I just get this feeling." Usagi explained.

"Shouldn't anything that might affect your fighting be talked as a whole group?" Naru asked in confusion.

"Yes. They've been very accepting of me. Still, they are still fairly private people." Usagi said shaking her head before continuing. "A lot of questions were raised after the photo contest because Haruka was able to track Michiru down without the communicator. When Luna and I tried to ask about it she refused to elaborate. Luna then complained. So I'm thinking that might be one of the things we're talking about there. And while I might know Setsuna fairly well they don't." And Usagi also suspected this was the reason nobody was pressing Setsuna to come with them. If they were still having issues talking with her about whatever it was after having known her for close to a month and a half. She couldn't imagine them feeling comfortable talking to Setsuna about it. While she had gotten to know Setsuna in civilian form fairly well outside of battle. Haruka and Michiru had only limited contact with the other senshi and thus less reason to trust her.

"Looks like there's going to be a lot of story swapping and not just on your end." Naru said raising an eyebrow.

"Seems that way." Usagi agreed grabbing the last thing she needed, "All right I think we're good now. Let's get out of here before the evening crowd hits.

"Hold on I have something for you. " Luna said after they got back to Naru's house. Usagi was spending the night there because it would be a quicker drive from there to Michiru's place than to have them swing by her apartment. So Usagi was shifting around the things she had bought into the bags she was packing when Luna had come up putting a compact down next to her.

"What's this?" Usagi asked frowning picking it up. It was a fairly simple compact mirror, gold in design with a silver crescent moon on the top of it.

"It's called the Moon Compact. It purpose pretty much is to heal people of negative energy, people possessed by youmas things like that. Normally I would have waited till you had more training but I have a feeling you're ready." Luna explained.

"That's great but how do I use it?" Usagi asked frowning slightly looking it over a bit. It looked pretty normal but if it was like her tiara then it probably didn't activate unless she used keywords and was targeting something related to the Dark Kingdom.

"Say 'Moon Healing Escalation'. You would point the mirror at the intended target and it would do the work from there. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same range as Moon Tiara Stardust since its a stationary object but it is more powerful than the tiara. Just be careful not to overuse it. It takes more energy to use as well." Luna explained.

"That's kind of annoying and dangerous," Usagi muttered to herself slipping it into her bag. With Stardust, she was able to still move around. This sounded like she had to remain in one spot and left her open for attack while also being more drained which could make it harder to defend herself if she was targeted because she'd left herself open to use it.

Luna shook her head slightly. "Attacks and spells like these are a prime example of why Senshi work in teams usually. That way the one using the spell doesn't get hurt trying to perform it."

"That makes sense. So are you sure you don't want to come along?" Usagi asked Luna taking the offered compact and putting it in the bag.

"I'm sure." Luna said.

Usagi said shrugging her shoulders it was ultimately Luna's decision to go or come but still... "I think Haruka and Michiru were finally going to explain the whole thing at the camera contest. Are you sure you don't want to be there for that conversation?"

Luna hesitated a little at that. "I would prefer to be there for that but I'm planning to use the time to possible investigate the Dark Kingdom. I'll have to get the story from them one way or the other once you've returned. If I can find where they will strike next maybe I can make things easier on you girls."

"Okay." Usagi agreed. Just due to the nature of the plots most of the time they were having to react to them and not getting ahead of them. If they could find a way to get ahead of them that could prevent a lot of damage in the long run. "Thankyou Luna." She decided to say after her thinking, smiling at Luna gratefully. "Just don't overdo it alright?"

Luna shook her head. "I know my limits." Concerned she continued. "What about you? Will you be alright around the ocean after everything?"

"I'm going to have to." Usagi simply stated. She was too far committed to the trip at this point not to be.

"Michiru..." Usagi was terrified looking at the dark-colored building overlooking a cliff. 'Please tell me that isn't her house!' she thought frantically before trying to relax. It probably wasn't since Haruka wasn't making any turns, but it was the first place they had seen in a while thus the comment. Probably to anyone else it would have been nice, well maybe a bit run down but still, for her…it looked like a death trap. This trip was going to be difficult as is without staying on a cliff.

"Oh, that's the neighbors I told you about." Michiru assured her. "They might invite us over for dinner since they don't get much in the way of guests in the offseason but other than that we won't be going up there."

"That's a relief." Usagi said sinking slightly into the car's seats. That place looked like it had everything she didn't want.

"Sacred of the old run down building Usagi?" Haruka teased.

"I didn't like heights before the quake. That's heights and water. During the tsunami such houses, you could see them fall into the water easily." Usagi said. They had gone over a couple of her fears before it shouldn't be a surprise she wouldn't want to be staying somewhere like that.

"Sorry." Haruka said seeming to have realized she had touched a sore spot.

Usagi shook her head. "Looks almost like a haunted house." Usagi commented as they went past.

"It is supposedly haunted actually according to the local lore." Michiru added. Well, that wasn't a pleasant thought.

"Yeah, legend has it that some maiden died here waiting for her lover and if you look close enough-" Haruka began only to get cut off.

"Cut it out Haruka you're scaring her." Michiru scolded noticing as she started sinking further into the back seat. She didn't believe in ghosts, well not really but that didn't mean the supernatural still kind of creeped her out. Especially since she had become Sailor Moon. Even if her tolerance for it was much higher nowadays with everything they dealt with as being Senshi.

"Don't overthink it too much Usagi. Most of the stuff in those legends are old wives tales to get kids to listen to their elders. In this case, it was probably used to keep kids away from the cliffs." Michiru tried to reassure her.

"Yeah, I get that. But the house's atmosphere isn't helping it look like it isn't haunted." Usagi said after a moment. At least that wasn't Michiru's place. She may have hitchhiked her way back to town to be honest if it had. It was going to be hard enough being back at a beach after all this time without having the house hanging over the ocean literally.

Usagi had been pleasantly surprised when she had realized how far set back from her room from the beach was. She hadn't seen where the other's rooms were but she suspected they were probably closer to the back of the house closer to where the beach was versus her room was closest to the front of the house.

"This is the furthest room from the beach." Michiru explained coming into the room. "I figured all things considered you would be the most comfortable here than closer to the back of the house."

"Yeah, I really appreciate it. Can't get away from the beach completely of course but putting a bit of distance does quite a bit to calm my presence of mind." Usagi admitted. She couldn't even see the beach from the room's window. If she didn't know better it would have been almost like there weren't at the beach. It was a little thing but it was funny how much it meant to her.

"What are these?" Haruka asked picking up one of the waterproof covers she had packed. Right those would look a bit odd to someone not familiar with them.

"Water protectors for the prosthetics. I'm not even a hundred percent sure I'll make it off the beach sand but I brought the right equipment if I do decide too. I didn't get the waterproof type when I was given my choice of prosthetics. Because at that time I wasn't sure if I was going to get in water where I would need them for a long time if ever. So I have to wear a cover over them if I want to go in the water." Usagi explained seeing Haruka giving her prosthetics an odd look. She wasn't that annoyed by it. Neither of them had seen them that much so far and neither of them probably had enough knowledge of the prosthetics to know the strange little particulars. Like the fact that not all of them were waterproof and needed to be covered if worn when going into the water.

"Huh, I guess I always thought any of them could go in the water." Haruka admitted.

"Yeah, it's a little thing not a lot of people know about." Usagi agreed. "When I got these I didn't get the waterproof variant because at the time I didn't think I would ever go in the ocean again."

"You're afraid of water?" Michiru asked frowning slightly. Honestly, she had thought when Usagi had mentioned a fear of the ocean she had met the beach more than the ocean. But this sounded a lot more like hydrophobia then thalassophobia.

"Moving water." Usagi corrected. "I can handle baths and showers for the most part. But I have a harder time being near actively moving water like rivers and oceans. Ms. Setsuna's been working with me on and off on my good days with the fear or else I probably wouldn't have come. I still have a ways to go before I'm completely comfortable around open, moving water. But I am slightly better off then I was before I started." Usagi explained. The worst had been in the immediate recovery phrase after the quake. Getting her to take anything other then a shower had been almost impossible. Of course, there had been nurses to help at that point but that was beside the point. It had taken months before she moved past the feeling of not wanting anything to do with water but as time progressed she had gotten better. And Setsuna walking into her life had really helped with the healing progress among other things. Anyways she continued. "Anyway, I am going to try and go in if I feel up to it. I wouldn't have brought them along or agreed in the first place if I wasn't even thinking about trying it."

"I'm still kind of surprised she turned down the invite. Especially since you're the one that extended it to her and you know her best." Haruka said frowning slightly.

"Actually, I don't really know her that well outside of senshi/doctor stuff that well. Yeah, we meet to talk about me, not about Senshi duty or her for that matter. On a personal level I don't know her that much better then you guys do when I think about it." Usagi said shrugging slightly. Yeah, she technically had been around Setsuna the most but those were for the appointments. Appointments that revolved around her not Setsuna so on a more personal friendly level she really didn't know the group's oldest member all that well when it came down to it. Maybe they should try fixing that when they got back to Tokyo.

"For only having met her on a professional basis you seem comfortable with her." Haruka said raising an eyebrow. She hadn't seen the two together that much but the night at Haneda Usagi seemed fairly comfortable around Pluto all things consider.

"She's good at her job. Not sure if that's because of her other job or if she's just in general good at it. Not complaining though. Especially after how long it took me to find anyone that I felt was doing a good job with me. Besides she is my therapist technically it wouldn't be a good idea to be at least somewhat comfortable with my therapist." Usagi said shrugging. The lack of comfort was partly why it had taken her to find someone. Though maybe that had been fate's way of guiding her to Setsuna.

It was midday the next day before Usagi wandered onto the beach for the first time since they had arrived. She had intentionally picked the time. It was shortly after lunch and it was a few hours away from when the quake had originally struck. So she technically shouldn't start to associate being out there with what had happened that day. At least not at first. She would probably have to retreat to her room in the afternoon but for now, this was surprisingly okay.

"Usagi?" Michiru said coming out onto the beach seeming to be a bit surprised to see her. Right she hadn't mentioned her plans over lunch. Well, truth be told she hadn't done much talking during lunch. She had spent most of it poking her lunch and trying to convince herself that it wouldn't be too bad to go out onto the beach. At least she had been successful on one front now to see if she could make it two for two and actually get in the water.

"Thought I would try coming out here." Usagi gave Michiru a slight smile that felt more forced than anything.

"Usagi I know you said you would be fine but if you don't want to come out here-" Michiru began, there had been a reason why she had given Usagi the room that was the furthest away from the beach. The trip had been to bond, while it was easier to do so when Usagi was spending more active time outside of her room she wasn't going to force her too. It was quite obvious that Usagi was still healing from that day. She gave credit to the girl for even making it out onto the beach based on what they had gotten from Naru.

"No. I'll be fine." Usagi broke in shaking her head. She wasn't sure how far in she would make it today if at all. Her goal by the end of the trip was to at least have made it far enough in that she could arguably touch it with her hands if she wanted. Though probably the first day she wouldn't make it past ankle length if in it at all. She should be fine at first if she stayed in the water where it was low enough that it didn't come up to the end of the prosthetics. Maybe in a different time, she would have imagined the waves lapping over her feet. But as it was even trying to go down that rabbit hole brought a surge of fear. Looked like she was definitely going to be staying in the shallow end of the beach today.

"If you're sure." Michiru said frowning slightly moving to sit down on the sand finally.

"I'm sure." Usagi reassured her. It took several minutes of mainly staring but she managed to actually get at the very edge of the waterline where it lapped up onto the beach but found it difficult to move forward. She couldn't even feel the water that was just around the bottom of the feet. A price she had paid when she had lost her legs. She thought since she couldn't feel the very thing she feared she would handle it better but on the contrary that actually made it worse as her heart jumped into her throat and her body froze. Why was it that she was so afraid of something she couldn't even feel?

Michiru let out a slightly annoyed sigh before getting up from the beach towel. Though truth be told she wasn't annoyed by Usagi's reaction as much as she was by the fact the girl still refused to ask for help. It was obvious, to her at least, the girl could use a hand.

"I don't want to bother you." Usagi began as Michiru walked up to her seeming to sense her intentions.

"Usagi I wouldn't be out here with you if I wasn't sure I wanted to help." Michiru gently chided. She still wasn't sure why the girl seemed to think asking for help was being a bother. She suspected that it tied back to that Yuki girl that had been mentioned but since neither Usagi nor Naru had gone into details about that it was impossible to say. Hopefully one day they would get the full stories there.

"Sorry." Usagi said.

Michiru held up a hand to indicate it was fine before lowering it and taking Usagi's saying. "How do you want to approach this?" Usagi focused on the sound of Michiru's voice, eyes, and the present, hoping this would help. It did. Her hands in Michiru's, her voice over the waves. Warm hands, not cold. Not dead. Eyes full of life and kindness. Safe. Her shoulders slightly relaxed where she'd been frozen in place before. Acutely aware of Haruka silently watching over them nearby. Both women's presence warm and safe to her even as she faced down her fears within the waters that took everything from her.

"Let's just have you guide me in slowly. I'll let you know if I have to stop." Usagi decided. Thus began the slow process of going through the water. They would walk a few short steps and stop when Usagi would indicate that she didn't want to go on. More than once they just stood there for a few minutes before Usagi was ready to move again. They made it pretty far in actually for Usagi. Almost halfway up the calf part of the prosthetics before Usagi seemed to freeze for a moment and then bolted back to the beach. Well, that might not have been the way she was intending for it to end but she had made it further in than Michiru had thought she would be able to tolerate. Further than she herself thought she'd ever have made it at this point actually.

"Sorry." Usagi said as she finally finished catching her breath. That had been going well up until a certain point and then suddenly she had had mentally had more then she could take.

"Don't apologize Usagi you did well considering you haven't been back in the ocean since the quake." Michiru said following her back out of the water. There wasn't anything to apologize for. Honestly, Usagi had made it further in before dashing back to dry land then she thought Usagi would be able to tolerate. She knew the other girl couldn't feel the water but it obviously didn't matter to her brain.

"I wish this was easier." Usagi let out a sigh closing her eyes for a second trying to remember what it felt like before she had such a fear of the ocean. Once upon a time when she was still a kid she had found peace with being at the beach. That of course seemed like ages ago now. Maybe someday she would be able to find that again.

"There's a reason fears are the way they are. If we could simply think them away everyone's life would be a lot simpler." Michiru reminded her gently. "Considering you haven't been to a beach since the quake, what you did admirably."

That evening Usagi sat on the porch yawning slightly looking out into the forested area. It was funny for not having really done much she was really drained. Guess facing your fears did that. Her mind drifted at that. In her exhaustion, she had not the energy to keep her thoughts on an iron leash. For a moment she could almost hear the screams once more. Within her mind, they replayed mercilessly. Her own, her brothers, the screams of people she knew and did not all mixed in soul gripping terror until one scream could not be told from another. Just like that day. Flashes through her mind. Shingo's hand in hers. Slipping away as she screamed. As he screamed. Eyes filled with terror. That moment they were alright and suddenly merciless waves were ripping them from the ground. All but a moment for everything to end.

"We were going to talk about the thing at the contest but if you're too tired…"Haruka said coming out and taking a seat on one of the large porch chairs. Her voice startling Usagi slightly. Focusing on the short haired blond, she was able to push back on the memories etched into her very being. She sat up straighter and pushed the wish to cry behind a tired smile. This would not control her, exhausting as it may be. She would carry this curse without stopping her steps towards the future. "No, I want to know." She had actually nearly forgotten about that. So wrapped up in just trying to get in the water it had slipped her mind. Though she did wonder if they were doing it now because she would be too tired to ask too many questions.

"All right just got to wait for Michiru then." Haruka said.

"Why do you guys hate talking about this anyway?" Usagi asked. Being probably a bit more nosy then she needed to be. Honestly, she just wanted a distraction at the moment. The anniversary of the quake was just a couple of days away and talking about whatever those two had going on was one way to get her mind off of it.

"We're not entirely sure, to be honest. Best guess is that its some leftover stigma from the time of the Silver Millennium." Michiru said coming out and taking a seat next to Haruka. What kind of stigma was a good question though. It could range anywhere from they weren't supposed to have this kind of bond to the kind of stigma towards same-sex relationships that existed in the present day.

"We really shouldn't let what happened that long ago affect our now." Usagi said frowning slightly. Okay, that might be a bit hypocritical considering her own actions in the past month they had known each other but the point remained.

Haruka snorted lightly at that. "If we didn't let our pasts at least somewhat dictate our lives we wouldn't be having that conversation at all."

"Okay, that's true." Usagi agreed. No past influence meant no Dark Kingdom, meant no Sailor Senshi, meant they probably would have never met to begin with. Or if they had things would have gone very differently.

"On the actual subject?" Michiru broke in before the two of them could go further down that line of thinking. "Haruka and I seem to have some sort of strong mental connection, a bond of sorts. Most of the time we can sense each other's feelings and on rarer occasions thoughts. And if the situation calls for it use the bond to track down one another if separated."

"We're not entirely sure why but it's been there since day one though it was a lot less noticeable before I henshined the first time." Haruka took up the explanation. Though at the time neither knew what it was exactly only that something seemed to keep drawing them back together.

"Okay you two know I'm pretty open to stuff and I've known you're in a relationship. Why would you guys think I wouldn't handle you having a bond well?" Usagi asked. Okay maybe slightly hypocritical considering how she had handled her own secrets but none the less she was curious. They had never shown any strong feelings towards disabilities either before they had found out and yet she had reacted the way she had. She knew that she had a small bond with them just because sometimes feelings came across it when one of them was feeling particularly strong about a subject but it wasn't very common. And by the way, the two talked whatever they had was deeper and stronger then what she had with them.

"Part of the hesitation isn't necessarily due to anything on your end but something else entirely. It seems to come from the fact that we both feel that there is something we can't remember that is vital to the bond but we don't have enough of our memories to identify what that something is." Michiru said frowning slightly. It had been a conversation that her and Haruka had had before. It confused and in the case of Haruka aggravated them that they couldn't understand the bonds. Let alone why they hesitated talking about them or why there felt like there was an important missing piece to them. Hopefully with times everything would return and they would understand this a lot better.

"We're not entirely sure if its missing memories or what the deal is. Just that we seem to have a natural avoidance when it comes to talking about it." Haruka said with a shrug.

"As I said earlier the issue maybe a left over stigma from the Silver Millennium for all we know. If it is that complicates things." Michiru pointed out. Usagi like them didn't have enough of her memories back to have opinions based around them. Luna and Setsuna on the other hand did. So while they found it slightly easier to talk to Usagi about it. Talking to the others about it made them slightly on edge.

"And considering how full of holes Luna's memory is, she could either take this great or not." Usagi realized what Michiru was pointing out. Luna's faulty memory made for some interesting things at times. So she didn't exactly blame them for wanting to keep a lid on it at this point. And Ms. Setsuna, well while she worked with her and knew the woman fairly well, Haruka and Michiru had only limited short conversations with her. Plus from what she knew Setsuna was actually from the Silver Millennium so she would have her entire memories and possible stigmas intact. Usagi actually thought and considered that maybe it might have been a good thing Luna couldn't make it and Setsuna, for whatever reason, didn't.

Usagi woke up early the morning of March 11th. She had been able to get some sleep though it had been fitful which she had been expecting with it being the anniversary. At least this year was slightly better, the first anniversary she had barely slept at all keeping her and Naru up since when she did it was filled with sporadic nightmares. There had been some last night too but they hadn't been as bad as the first year and she partly had Ms. Setsuna to thank for that.

Usagi sat up on the edge of the bed for a moment contemplating what to do. She was doing better with the beach, but today was going to be difficult and she wasn't sure if she could handle being here for most of it. Yesterday took a lot out of her and even thinking about facing it made her feel a bit tired inside. It was only the morning and it all ready felt like it was too much. Every time she closed her eyes she went straight back to that horrible day. The sounds of the ocean were not helping the matter either. The sound of the unforgiving sea bashing buildings and sweeping up people. Usagi pinched herself to keep herself in the present. She knew the likelihood of another major quake striking while she was this close were extremely small and she had probably seen that event for the only time in her life. That didn't change the fact that part of her wanted to get as far away from it as possible.

Muttering an apology towards Haruka and Michiru for not warning them of her plans and Setsuna for seeming to have taken a step back, she made her decision. She needed to get out of the house and away from the beach until the time of the quake had come and gone. They had driven through a small town on the way in. That should be far enough inland that she should feel safe even with it being an anniversary. Not wanting to wake the others she got dressed, put a small daypack together, and scribbled down a note saying she was heading into town and would be back in the evening before quietly slipping out the front door.

"She's normally up by now." Haruka commented over breakfast frowning. Neither her nor Michiru had seen Usagi this morning which was a bit odd. Usagi hadn't shown to be a late riser during the trip but they hadn't heard sounds of her getting up yet. They normally let the girl come out on her own but this was starting to drag on. At the very least she needed breakfast.

"I'll check on her." Michiru commented getting up and heading to Usagi's room. Usagi had seemed fine the night before but she had shown to be able to hide things when she wanted to.

"Gone into town. Will be back in the evening." Michiru read aloud frowning slightly picking up the note she had found on the nightstand and reading it. That was a bit odd, Usagi hadn't really shown any interest in going to visit the nearby town when they had driven through on the way to the house. What had changed?

"She must have left before we got up. Though if she went into town that's a bit surprising. Did she walk all that way?" Haruka asked frowning slightly coming up behind her. The town was a few kilometers walk at least and if Usagi really wanted to go into town it would have been a lot faster to just ask for a ride. Which raised the question what had motivated Usagi so much that she needed to get out of the house and didn't want to wait for them?

"Haruka look at the date." Michiru said holding up her phone. She had pulled it out to text Usagi when she had zeroed in on the date it was displaying. If she really wanted to go into town for a few hours that was fine but it was best to check and make sure everything was all right before leaving her be. March 11, in other word today was the two year anniversary of the Tohoku quake.

Haruka inhaled sharply. It wasn't entirely surprising they hadn't realized today was the anniversary. After becoming Sailor Senshi passage of time had gotten a bit wonky for them. It was basically marked at this point by certain major events, end of school year, birthdays, etc. Until Usagi had come into their lives the quake and its anniversary by extension had been a blip on the radar. They hadn't had family or friends directly impacted by it so while it was a sad event they had had no personal connection to it. So it wasn't entirely surprising that they hadn't realized the anniversary was coming up. Especially since Usagi, probably intentionally knowing her, hadn't mentioned once that it was coming up.

"It may be best to leave her alone for the time being." Michiru muttered though she wasn't entirely sure what the best course of action was. This was an area they were unfamiliar with. Maybe she should text Naru and ask for advice. The two had known each other so long that if anyone would know how to proceed it was the redhead. As it was they were out in the middle of nowhere so Usagi should be technically safe to leave for a few hours if she did want her space. She doubted the girl would be returning to the beach house anytime before the evening, after the official time the quake had struck came and went.

Nothing beats an old-fashioned video game distraction. That was the first thing Usagi had checked for... but the town wasn't big enough for that apparently. So she had settled for window shopping and then spending time in the local park. Right now she was just sitting on a bench trying to relax a bit, though it was near impossible, and found herself glancing over at the clocktower to check the time occasionally. Just a little over an hour left until the actual time the quake struck now.

"There you are Usagi." Usagi looked up in surprise hearing Haruka before she saw both of the girls. She hadn't expected them to follow her into town.

"Hi." Usagi greeted before losing eye contact. She wasn't really in a talking mood but she sensed the other girls sitting down next to her after a moment so she was a bit worried that she might end up talking.

"You could have told us that you needed to go into town you know. We would have understood considering." Michiru said a bit exasperated.

"I didn't want to be a bother." Usagi muttered.

"Miss Kiaoh! I didn't know you were in town!" Came a new voice interrupting any possible response the other's would have given. Glancing up for a moment Usagi saw a young girl coming up to them.

"It's nice to see you too Sakiko. I trust all is well. With your father picking up supplies for the hotel I assume?" Michiru greeted.

"Yep! How long are you in town for this time?" Sakiko asked.

"Just until Sunday. I am here with friends instead of the family." Michiru explained. "Sakiko these are my friends Haruka Tenoh and Usagi Tsukino. Haruka, Usagi, this is Sakiko, she is the daughter of the hotel owner that's on the neighboring property."

Haruka greeted and Usagi managed a wave and mumbled hello. Normally she would be friendlier she just wasn't in the mood at the moment. Sakiko frowned. "Is she okay?"

Shaking her head. "She'll be alright." Michiru assured the girl.

"Oh…okay! You guys should come by dinner tonight. We should have enough stuff considering we're picking up groceries today." Sakiko suggested changing the subject. Usagi stiffened slightly. She knew that getting together was the polite thing to do but she wanted even less to do with the house on the cliff today then on any other day before. She relaxed after a moment as she felt Michiru put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"Sorry Sakiko we'll have to pass today. I have to take care of a few things in town and planning to eat dinner here. We're still here for another day or two so if we have time we'll come over if not I'll see you next time I'm at the house." Michiru said gently turning the girl down. Judging by her reaction to just the suggestion Usagi wanted nothing to do with the house today. In fact, Usagi probably wouldn't feel comfortable enough heading back to the beach house until well after dinner time so it was best to plan like they wouldn't be back at the house for several hours. In fact, her and Haruka had already come up with an idea for Usagi that banked on the other girl not wanting to return to the beach house until after nightfall.

"I don't want to hold you back from getting together." Usagi mumbled after Sakiko had wandered off. She really didn't want to go there but she didn't want to stop the others from socializing either.

"Usagi, its more of a courtesy thing we do usually since we're neighbors. I don't have to get together with them." Michiru said slightly exasperated by the way Usagi was acting. She had felt the girl react when Sakiko had suggested getting together. She obviously didn't want to go there tonight. Plus considering how she had reacted the first time they had gone by that house there was zero doubt in her mind that Usagi wanted anything to do with going there today of all days. It wasn't entirely surprising though. Usagi had walked all the way from the house because she didn't want to bother them with her anxiety about being this near the ocean on the anniversary.

"How long do we have until the quake struck?" Haruka asked after a moment.

Usagi glanced back at the clock again it was now just after 14:15, the quake had hit around 14:46 originally with the tsunami coming over a half hour after. "About 30 minutes. How did you two know where to find me anyway?"

"Called Naru after we discovered you were missing over breakfast. She said if we were looking for you you would either be at the arcade, or at the local park. Since the town doesn't have an arcade, that left here." Michiru explained. They hadn't come immediately since Naru had said that she might want her space and that might be why she hadn't woken them when she had taken off. But did say she probably want company when the time the quake struck had gotten closer even if Usagi was unlikely to admit it. So they had waited until after lunch to go into town.

Trust Naru to look after her even when a couple hours away, "Thanks for coming." Though she wasn't complaining she was a bit surprised Michiru had Naru's number. While the relationship between Haruka and Michiru with Naru was cordial due to the nature of why they knew each other she wouldn't have called them friends either. Not that she was complaining that they had found her when it came down to it. She wouldn't probably admit it but she did appreciate having company as the time drew nearer.

"I'll be better when 14:46 and 15:19 have past." Usagi said. 14:46 was when the quake had struck and 15:19 was the officially recognized time for when the tsunami had begun to make landfall. She wasn't sure if that was the exact time it had hit where they had lived. Even now on her best day she had only flashes of what had went down. Trying to pin it down in chronological order was impossible for her, no matter how hard she tried.

Michiru frowned for a second at the second time Usagi had listed and then it clicked, "The time the tsunami struck."

Usagi nodded her head not sure if she could talk at the moment. She wasn't sure what was going to be harder to get past. The time the quake struck or the tsunami time. Only that as both marched closer the tenser she got. A silence fell around the three as Haruka and Michiru seemed to understand that while she appreciated the company she wasn't in the mood for small talk.

Usagi tensed slightly as the nearby clock tower started chiming as it officially became 14:46. It rang six times, one for each minute the earth had shaken and then went silent. Though Usagi didn't relax yet. She probably wouldn't be able to until the time of the tsunami had come and gone. Part of her was afraid that the earth would start shaking again at the same time as the Tohoku Earthquake. She knew the odds of a quake striking again at this very moment were extremely small but she couldn't help it. Part of her would probably always fear that history would repeat itself in some fashion.

She wasn't even sure when the tears started or really why. Maybe being caught in the moment, maybe being more aware of her surroundings and just what today was when compared to last year (last year had been interesting to say the least and she had coped essentially by not coping at all) but once they started they wouldn't stop. One of the girls had moved to stroking her hair for the moment, which one she wasn't sure as she couldn't bring herself to actually check at the moment, and she found herself leaning slightly into the touch even as the tears continued. She honestly couldn't remember the last time she had cried over that day. Shingo's funeral maybe? She was always trying to put up a strong front for her parents and Naru back home. Even if they could often see through it. Add to that the fact she had almost been catatonic last year and it had been a while since she had a long cry about the events.

She relaxed only slightly as the clock chimed to indicate it was now 15:00. The tears stopped for the moment but she had a feeling when the clock chimed to indicate the anniversary of the tsunami they would return with full force if not worse then before.

"Feeling better?" Michiru asked after a moment. Usagi raised her right hand to make a motion that it had helped sort of, she wasn't sure if she could talk if she tried. It was true the crying had helped some. But it also had left her throat feeling tight from all the crying and it was probably going to get worse since she suspected the crying would restart when the time the tsunami had hit.

Her eyes darted to the clock for a moment only a few more minutes now and she started to tense again. She knew technically her reaction was silly. There had been no earth-shattering movement when the anniversary of the quake had officially passed. But for some reason, she couldn't help but fear the possibility of a wave of the ocean appearing from nowhere, just as they had that day.

Trying to keep her mind off the time and the clock tower she refocused on something else. The last clear memory she had of Shingo. The evening before the quake they had some sort of silly argument before they went to bed, what she couldn't remember, typical brother-sister things. It wasn't the happiest memory or the best memory she had of him but it was better then flashes from the day of the quake. It was the last clear conversation she could recall having with him. Everything else scattered for her. Like sand, it slipped through her fingers. If she had known what was going to happen the next day maybe she would have done something different. Maybe been a bit less annoyed when she went to bed or less in a rush when she got up the next morning. Not that it mattered now, she could wish all she wanted but wishing wouldn't bring him back. She just hoped that when they did see each other again in the afterlife that he didn't hate her for not being able to keep him from falling victim to the tsunami.

As the clock tower chimed to indicate 15:19 she sniffled before dissolving into tears again. Worse this time, the quake was a moment in time and yes it had been the beginning of everything that had changed her but it ultimately hadn't been the event that had impacted her the tsunami that had followed was what had changed her life forever and had arguably the bigger argument. Haruka drew her into a side hug as the tears continued. Even if it was still a lot to process for her having them here seemed to help. ,

It was a while before the tears started to slow down and finally came to a stop. Haruka released her grip slightly as Usagi sat up fully wiping her cheeks of the tear stains. A short silence lapsed that was broken by Michiru, "Do you feel up to moving somewhere? Maybe getting food?"

Usagi shook her head slightly. She wasn't sure if her legs could support her if she tried to stand up she was shaking too much that she could almost feel the prosthetics vibrating from her body's shaking. She may have stopped crying but heavy emotion weighed down her appetite. She knew the bench wasn't the most comfortable place on the face of the planet and she hated to make the other girls stay but she wasn't probably going to be up to moving any time soon. And that wasn't even starting on the fact that she wasn't sure if she was up to eating at the moment. "Sorry."

"It's fine. We have all the time in the world. Nowhere to be but here." Michiru reassured her.

The next few hours had been a blur for her. It had taken a while for Haruka and Michiru to coax her off the park bench and to get dinner at one of the restaurants in town. She had barely spoken most of the time only answering when addressed directly by one of them. She was starting to feel a bit better by the time night had fallen but still wasn't quite ready to go back to the beach house. She knew she would have to eventually but she was putting it off.

She had been a bit surprised at first when Haruka had pulled an unlit paper lantern out of the trunk of the car. But once she had gotten over it she had been grateful that they had apparently spent the time to think up something like this. Truth be told she even hadn't thought about getting a paper lantern or that the town would be selling them but it made sense. While Toro Nagashi was at its height in August usually because of Obon, with today being the anniversary she probably wouldn't be the only one sending one downstream on the river. Even in a small town like this.

There was a decent crowd around the river bank. It wouldn't be anything like in the major cities or up north where the quake had hit hardest probably. But there was going to be a decent number of lanterns on the water, judging by the number of people carrying one she spotted. Most people, of course, were strangers but she did recognize a couple of faces she had seen around town during the day. It made sense the town was close to the ocean even if it hadn't felt or seen the strongest of the quake/tsunami there were probably a lot of people in a small town like this who knew or had lost someone.

"Are you going to be okay?" Haruka asked coming up to her side. Apparently sensing her working up the courage to get up to the river bank and put the lantern in the water. Even if it wasn't the ocean the river was still moving water and for all her progress she still feared it. A few people had already started going in and releasing them and she knew she would have to go up soon if she wanted hers with the others, but it was still difficult to actually go on the river bank.

"Probably no. But this is something I want to do." Usagi said taking a deep breath. While rivers were not the ocean it still unnerved her getting that close to moving water. She had done it the other day. Actually walked into the ocean for the first time in over two years. Even if it had been with Michiru's help. So she was fairly certain that she could get herself close enough to launch the lantern. This was something she really wanted to do, for her brother and all those she lost otherwise that day though him most of all, and even if she had to fight her ownself tooth and nail to get it done she was going to do it.

They stayed further back on the bank giving space to her and the others who were launching their lanterns. Usagi took a deep breath before kneeling down to put the lantern on the water. While the crowd wasn't overly huge between being this close to moving water and her fear of tight spaces she was finding this a lot more difficult then it probably should have been. It took a few minutes to get close enough to launch it but eventually she pushed out enough that it started to catch the river's current and float away from the bank.

She backed away from the river bank going to stand between Haruka and Michiru to watch the lanterns float off. She could still see the one she had put out for Shingo but it wouldn't be long before she would lose track of it. As it got further out Usagi swore that for the briefest moment she could almost have sworn she could hear Shingo's voice as the wind rustled around her for a moment, almost feel him hugging her with the breath of the wind.

She watched the lantern until became impossible to track individually in the other lanterns people had put out as they vanished into the night, a silent lament for the lights snuffed out that day.

End Chapter 12

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

Animating Life

"An anime based on us?" Usagi asked in surprise. They had only been back from their beach side vacation for a day but apparently things had been busy while they were gone. Peaceful, but busy.

"The governor thinks it would be a good way to portray everyone in a more positive light. While the Haneda Airport incident wasn't the worst thing that could happen, between that and the photo contest most, are unsure of what to think of you three. All things considered some more positive publicity could do you girls some good." Luna explained. They were going to have to tread carefully about what the anime portrayed but she had to agree with the governor on this one. Publicity, good publicity, was something that was in short supply so far for them. Something that showed the general public that they were to help them was a good idea.

"It certainly couldn't hurt." Michiru agreed. It might not have been her first pick for a publicity stunt but it certainly wasn't the worst idea. "It gives us publicity while not having to do as much publicity work outside of talking to the creators. We will have to be careful though what we tell them and what is allowed in the anime."

"Like my legs." Usagi realized. It wasn't so much she was worried about the comments. Well okay maybe she was a bit worried about the comments but that was far from her only concern. Among other things was the possibility of people being able to connect her senshi self with her civilian self. Her hair style was pretty unique to begin with. Then combine that with her legs and it might not be too hard for people to connect her with Sailor Moon

"Usagi-" Luna began.

"It's not that I'm scared for people to know for once. I might be a bit but that's not the biggest concern. It's not even that I don't want representation Luna, the opposite really. The problem is how many blond haired blue eyed fourteen-year-old girls with prosthetic legs are running around Tokyo? Our magic protects us to a point but it won't necessarily protect people from putting the obvious together." Usagi pointed out. Admittedly the number of people who knew about the prosthetics outside of school was kept purposely low but it was still best not to risk it.

Luna's ears flattened at that. "I hadn't thought of that."

"It's fine. Maybe if things were different I would be all for it. But there are too many things we are going to be displaying out in the open without them finding out about my disability." She said with a sigh. Representation wasn't a bad thing and truth be told, even with her concerns, she could see how it could be beneficial for the anime. There were just too many other identifying factors that she just couldn't be comfortable with it being that realistic. Plus while she was getting more comfortable about being open about the subject she still didn't like talking about it to be honest and she wasn't sure if she was ready for all of Tokyo and then some to know she was an amputee.

"You would think after the quake there would be more amputees living in Japan." Michiru said. There probably were but Usagi made a very valid point. Just her hair alone made her stand out in the crowd. Maybe they should try talking to the people in charge about how accurate there anime versions were to themselves.

"There probably are but there aren't a ton here in Tokyo that I know of. Especially ones that would match my description. Remember Tokyo didn't get as hard hit as other areas, so most people who lost limbs in the quake are from the north of here. There's just too many identifying factors, and to throw in a rather significant one, I think would be a bit stupid." Usagi said shrugging her shoulders. "That's not saying we can't include some real details. I am all for the character still remaining a quake survivor just not going into all the intricate details." Like Shingo.

"Still, in general, probably having any details that could be easily traced back to us would be a bad idea. They are probably going to have to get creative with certain aspects or leave them out entirely," Michiru commented frowning slightly.

"What? Are you thinking about having you two handle your relationship in the show. That's another big thing." Usagi asked after a moment. She doubted they would okay that, considering they kept it pretty much under wraps but who knows maybe they would change their mind.

"We are going to need to talk about it. That situation is kind of complicated." Haruka answered. Having their relationship in the anime was an issue and probably wouldn't fly for a lot of reasons. Part of the reason why Michiru's family hasn't completely disconnected from her was because Haruka could pass as a guy fairly easily. So when she really needed to attend formal functions they could still pass as a 'normal' couple. If they didn't know either of them were senshi it would be easy to agree to having their characters being that way but since Michiru's sister is our main contact to the government, that makes at least one who knows.

"Anyways if no one else has any protests about this, I am going to get back in touch and say we are interested in the idea." Luna said after a moment. They had a few days to figure out all the details on what to tell the company to put in and what not too at least. As it was, that was obviously something they were going to have to hammer out.


"So this is the studio then." Sailor Moon said looking up at the fairly large building. They had agreed to a meeting with some of the animators that would be working on the show so they could get a better idea on just what they would be working on. They were transformed and waiting in the lobby area for someone to come and get them and bring them back to where they would be meeting with the people making the anime. A small, wiry, dark haired man walked up to them after a few minutes. The director.

"Thank you for agreeing to meet with us." He said giving them a big smile. "I apologize for being slightly late. I was making sure everything was ready when you arrived." The diretor otiued. "I am the lead director of the upcoming anime, Mr. Takashi."

"It's not a problem." Sailor Moon respectfully said. Internally, she was squealing. She had been an anime fan since she was a kid so the thought of having one based around her was kind of exciting.

"I brought some early cells for you to look at before you meet everyone. So far we've only had distant photos and various recordings to work from." He admitted handing them one of the cells to look at. "So its been difficult since none of you have put in an official public appearance outside of the government visit after the Haneda incident and so we've had to get a bit creative with references. Today should help clear that up. Though your still missing some people it appears."

"Pluto is a fairly private person. Moon works with her outside of work so she has the most experience with her." Neptune answered the technically unasked question.

"Yeah but then again I only see her maybe once a week." Sailor Moon said with a shake of her head figuring that wouldn't be too dangerous to say. Yeah she knew Sestuna best out of all of them but probably didn't know her as much as she could. She had brought up the anime with Sestuna during the last session but Sestuna at the time seemed to think it was necessary for her to get involved.

"And the man?" He asked taking the cell back from Usagi who had been the last to look at it. Before motioning them to follow him.

"He's even harder to track down." Usagi admitted. With Pluto they at least knew her real identity could contact her easily. Tuxedo Kamen on the other hand was still a mystery who she hadn't even seen since the mall incident now that she thought about it. But then again the last youma they had fought was at the camera contest so it wasn't really that long ago.

The director frowned slightly at that, "That could complicate things."

"Not really. To be honest, we see him less then we see Pluto he doesn't need to be a pivotal character or in it at all." Uranus commented. Really considering how little interaction they had had with the caped crusader. they could drop him from the anime entirely and she wouldn't care. Well he might but if he did he should have given them a way to reach him in her opinion.

"Maybe best to leave him out entirely for the moment then." The man surmised holding a door open for them. "Everyone's waiting for you in here."

It was a fairly large room empty of furniture outside of a few chairs backed up against the wall but it was filled with a lot of people. At first no one really talked, she spotted one or two animators doing what looked like some preliminary sketches judging by how they kept moving to different spots. But no one talked at first and then…."So you've dealt with the Haneda airport incident, the phony photo contest, and Dreamland correct? What other plots have you three been involved in that we can use?" Someone asked looking at a piece of paper he was holding. Probably some sort of storyboard writer Moon guessed if he wanted details on a timeline.

Sailor Moon still wondered how the whole wedding shop hadn't got more publicity. Maybe stash it under same strangeness as the Shrine Incident that Haruka and Michiru had mentioned.

"Not all of our fights were as public as the incident at Haneda airport. We provided a list to help you get started with episode ideas but we left a few of the early adventures off since we are a bit concerned if every plot gets animated people will connect our civilian identities with our senshi identities. We all have civilian lives outside of being senshi. To go into too much detail and make it completely accurate would not only endanger ourselves, but our families, and possibly other civilians. It's better to have some falsehoods sprinkled in then to be 100 percent accurate to our story. I don't think any of us are expecting to it to be completely accurate to what's actually happening. We just ask that it doesn't get too off the wall." Neptune explained having handed a piece of paper they had typed out for the organizers. One of the men scanned the list they had provided. It wasn't overly detailed just gave something to start with. It had no dates or who had been in charge of fighting what, just misc events and fights they had been connected to in some way or another. It gave the animation team room to play and it honestly made them safer, as unless someone really went digging, it would be near impossible to get an accurate timeline and list who was involved in all of the events.

"Just how long have you been awake anyway?" Someone asked from the back of the room.

"Several months." Neptune answered in a clipped tone. She understood some curiosity but it was dangerous to give details about who awoke when and in what order.

"So whose the leader of the group?" Someone asked seeming to sense that time awoken was going into danger zone and slightly shifting topics. Maybe trying to figure out who awoke first by who was the leader.

"That would technically be me. Though we were work more as a unit." Moon answered. Truth be told for all the times Luna had made it out for her being the leader she had yet to have to do very much leader like things. They worked more as a group versus her commanding the two of them and standing back.

There was some mumbling within the group but no one asked about further explanation on how that worked. Instead…"By the way what's the story with the cat?" one of the animators asked staring down at Luna drawing something on the sketchboard they had.

"I am the girls adviser. I awake them." She explained.

"Eh a talking cat!" One of the animators said kneeling next to the first one to get a better look at her.

"It would probably be fore the best if I'm either not animated or at least not animated as a cat. There might be a lot of domestics cat in the greater Tokyo area but there aren't going to be too many that look like me." Luna spoke.

"Should be easy enough. Can make you another animal entirely or something entirely alien." The first one said tapping the sketchboard for a moment before standing up and moving back into the crowd.

"What about Sailor V? I thought she was one of you guys." Came another question. Apparently more curious about Venus then the other missing members of the team. Not that she completely blamed him for skipping the other two. Pluto and Tuxedo Mask technically had even less publicity time then they did. Probably for someone who wasn't directly involved with the plots they were a blip on the radar.

"She is actually, however due to another commitment she could not be here with us." Luna said.

"V could not get away rom the case she is workig on curretly." Moon said, it was mostly true. The only real thing they knew that wasn't general public knowledge was why Sailor V was in England. Everyone knew she was there, Venus had made a bit too much of a showcase not to be missed, however that didn't mean everyone knew the particulars of why she was there.

"However she is one of yours?" came the next question apparently wanting additional verification to Luna's comment.

"Yes." Sailor Moon said.

"Maybe something to work into a second season if we go that long.." The director said frowning slightly.

"I kind of hope we aren't at this long enough for there to be a second season." Moon confessed under her breath. She liked the idea of being animated. However the thought that they could be working long enough to get a second season possibly greenlit was something that did not make her happy.

"Wait if she is one why does she go by Sailor V instead of Venus like the rest of you? Or the other way around?" someone from the back asked apparently deciding to continue on the Venus tangent.

"You know I'm not entirely sure why she goes by Sailor V." Sailor Moon confessed with a frown looking down at the cat hoping she would pick up the question from there.

"I never bothered to ask. Artemis kind of made her sound like a free spirit so that might be part of it." Luna said frowning for a moment.

"Artemis?" someone asked.

"My co-guardian. We would normally act together as mentors to the senshi but when Venus had to go to out of country we had to split up." Luna explained.

"As for us not going by our initials, can you imagine trying to identify who we're talking about with Sailor M? While there isn't a Mercury or Mars there is a potential there for there to be ones and that would mean you would have three girls with the same initials running around. It would get very confusing very fast." Sailor Moon pointed out.

"Anyways, I do not understand why Venus being kept away deals with our anime?" Neptune said deciding that the line of questioning around Venus was done for got them to drop that line of questioning finally. Though she could hear a few people muttering in disappointment. Guess they had been really hoping to work with their overseas member.

"Was she really that popular before she went off to England?" She muttered under her breath to Neptune. Considering the two girls had been awake an identical amount of time Michiru would have the best idea of her popularity before she had been shipped overseas for a year.

"Honestly, I was too busy trying to understand the situation to pay her much attention at the time when she was drawing attention in Japan. By the time things settled enough for me to wonder about a connection she had all ready packed up shop and gone to England." Neptune replied shaking her head also keeping her tone low.

"How can you tell if you might be dealing with a youma plot?" Someone asked deciding to move away from the topic of Sailor V.

"It depends. Some situations are more difficult then others to tell if it is just run of the mill weirdness or Dark Kingdom weirdness." Usagi confessed. Truth be told they hadn't run into much run of the mill weirdness but the point still stood.

"Plus as we've seen the generals that serve Beryl tend to imploy different tactics which complicates the situation." Luna added. "Jadeite, the first general, was more interested in gathering energy then trying to fight us at first until we became too much of a nuisance to ignore. Nephrite, the second general, on the other hand has been trying to get rid of us and gather energy in the same go."

"How many generals are there anyway?" someone asked.

"Four. Jadeite, Nephrite, Kunzite, and a final one that we have yet to encounter but know of through reputation. The girls here have fought Jadeite and Nephrite, who mentioned there were four of them, and Venus has been regularly engaging Kunzite. The final member of Beryl's generals hasn't shown himself to us. I suspect that will not last." Luna answered.

"Back on the topic of what can be used. To id a plot, is there anything that could be useful for the show?" The director asked deciding to try and bring the topic back to the youma fights.

"Usually some sort of behavior change is a hallmark of a Dark Kingdom plot. It's either they alter people's moods or they like to kidnap them from what we've seen." Neptune supplied.

"What kind of behavior change depends on the goal of the enemy? A lot of time they get unusually aggressive and impatient. Other times they are just highly more fatigued because the generals chose to go the longer route of draining energy instead of draining in one go." Luna supplied.


"Something the matter?" Sailor Moon asked a little while later to one of the female animators. She had been frowning since they had described typical youma controlled behavior. Most of the animators had left once they had started discussing more development-oriented things that wouldn't impact them as much but she had stuck around for some reason…

"It might be nothing…" She began frowning slightly.

Sailor Moon raised her hand to indicate it was all right. "I would rather have it brought to our attention then to find out later that we missed someone." That was the truth it could just be something stress induced but if someone thought that someone might be acting weird due to supernatural causes it was better to investigate.

The lady sighed after a moment. "Well, it's just what you were saying about behavior changes. A few days ago one of the studio's big backers, Masato Sanjouin, came by just to check on things. Nothing that abnormal, it happens every once and a while. Afterwards, one of my friends started behaving a bit weird." She explained.

There was that name again. Moon was starting to think Luna might really have a point about him being Nephrite. Neptune brought her out of her thoughts. "What do you mean by weird?"

"Aggressive and kind of secretive. We're always comparing cells to maybe pick up on something the other can improve but since then she won't let me get near her work. She's also working odd hours. I stay pretty long but she's always here when I'm leaving or when I'm arriving it feels like. I kind of wonder if she's left the office much at I tried to make her leave to go to lunch with me earlier she made a rude comment and went back to drawing." The lady admitted frowning slightly.

"And she isn't like this normally?" Usagi asked. It did sound kind of like the behavior she had seen before that one youma idol but maybe the other animator had changed tactics.

"Hiromi has always been kind of a shy and for the most part pretty quiet. We've known each other since we went to high school together and later art school. In all the years I've known her this is the first time she has ever acted like this." The lady admitted. Okay that probably eliminated any possibility that it wasn't a youma plot. The lady continued shaking her head slightly. "She was supposed to be at the meeting but last I checked she was at her cubicle drawing some sketches that could maybe get used in the anime. She really wanted to meet you guys too."

"Did the interest start before this sponsor dropped by?" Neptune asked frowning.

"Yes, why." The lady asked looking a bit confused by the question.

"We just have to always be on the lookout for traps. If she was possessed by a youma then its better to know when the timeline started with certain things. You didn't clarify at first if the interest in meeting us started before the other odd behavior or after." Neptune explained. If it had started after and was possibly related to Nephrite then that could mean she could be highly aggressive. Well, she might still be highly aggressive depending on the type of nature of the spell Nephrite had used.

"Oh that makes sense." She said blinking a few times. "She was even more excited then I was about meeting you. Her not coming to the meeting... is unlike her."

"Hey. Look Hiromi, we have visitors." The lady said as they entered a new room coming up to a short-haired brunette who was leaning over her desk mumbling something Sailor Moon couldn't quite catch.

"Too busy." Hiromi said not even giving them a second glance.

"Hiromi I think you'll really want to meet them." The lady said reaching out to Hiromi to try and get her attention only to be pushed back as Hiromi slightly turned to her.

"I said I'm busy Kazuko!" Hiromi said not even seeming to realize that she had observers. Before Usagi could possibly intervene in the situation the pencil that she was holding started to glow bright white. That wasn't good. Pencils weren't supposed to glow so that left very little doubt that the Dark Kingdom wasn't involved here.

"That's not good." Uranus said stepping in to try and wrestle the pencil out Hiromi's grasp only to end up slightly tangled up as the other girl fought back. Only to have it get knocked onto the ground and start rolling away.

"I've got it!" Sailor Moon called chasing after the pencil as Uranus was still kind of tangled up with Hiromi. She almost made it to the pencil when the glow intensified and started to grow in size to form two humanoid shapes. Youma, it had to be. Though there being two of them was new. "Tonight's not our night is it." Sailor Moon commented under her breath quickly dropping back to where Uranus, who had finally detangled herself from a now unconscious Hiromi, and had moved over to where Neptune was standing. One youma was enough, two of them even worse.

"You got to give some credit to Nephrite. He's a lot smarter with his tactics then Jadeite ever was." Uranus muttered. Jadeite had never once sent two youma after them. Preferring to only have one in charge of a certain plot and try to cover up the plot as much as possible. Though he was never very good at keeping it hidden.

That was new and a bit worrying. Sailor Moon paled slightly as the other youma turned to face them now and began what suspiciously looked like a Spiral Buster forming in her hands. Oh great not only could the thing absorb it apparently but it could also return the same attack. One youma was bad enough, two youma were even worse, two youma that could take and turn their attacks back on them? That was the definition of a world of trouble.

"Definitely better at his job then Jadeite." Uranus commented again as they ducked the returned attack.

"Now is not the time to be complimenting the enemy Uranus." Neptune reprimanded. Even if it was technically true they had bigger things to worry about. Like getting the two youma out of there before they caused some serious property damage.

Sailor Moon let out a sigh of relief as it harmlessly dissipated after hitting a wall. That could have been a lot worse if it had come into contact with someone or something else. "We need to get the youma away from here and in a more open space." Sailor Moon commented. Between all of the people working here and the amount of items there could be a lot of collateral damage if they weren't careful. They could aim well enough to try and keep causing collateral damage but the youma certainly wasn't going to have the same consideration for life and property.

"You're going to have to catch us first." Uranus said taking off towards the back of the room with the others quickly following.

"Well that's certainly one way to get out of the enclosed space." Sailor Moon agreed as they followed Uranus out of the office and up to the roof. She just hoped no one from the office was stupid enough to follow them to try and get more stuff for the anime. There was a point where it crossed into dangerously stupid things to do for work and following them into a battle was one of them.

"Oh no you don't. Spiral Buster!" Uranus letting loose her own attack to match the youma's. When the Spiral Buster met its almost twin attack they clashed for a moment before dissipating entirely.

"Oh great the attacks cancel each other out." Sailor Moon muttered. She guessed it could be worse, the attacks could be absorbed by the energy. That was not a fun thought.

"It's not the worst thing. We can use that fact to our advantage. If we time it right we should be able to keep them from launching their own attacks and you should be able to get the tiara in to finish the job." Neptune said releasing a Splash Edge at the same time as the other youma. Might not be able to completely destroy the youma but they could at least draw the whole thing to a standstill for the moment.

"Yeah but will one Tiara Action be enough to do the job?" Sailor Moon asked remembering the camera youma and how much trouble they had had taking it down. Between the fact that there were two youma and the fact they were getting stronger she wasn't sure if she could destroy a youma without it being at least hit by one of the other's attacks first. Maybe if she put all her strength into the attack it would work. But if it destroyed only one of the youma then they would be in trouble.

"Might not be one Tiara these two have yet to attack at the same time. If we can time it right and have the right person launch a counter to their respective attack we can maybe combine the other's attacks and the tiara to take them out." Neptune noted. So far the youma had been doing a one by one tactic. Which while was a nuisance actually made them less of a threat. As long as they didn't try anything else taking them down wouldn't be overly difficult actually.

"We could try a tactic similar to Dreamland but line up two attacks on top of each other. That way there is more than enough power to take them out regardless of which one of the launches the attack." Neptune suggested after a moment. One attack to cancel the youma's out and another to merge with Sailor Moon's to hopefully wipe them out in one go. It would be tricky to pull off but it shouldn't be impossible. And there wasn't a ton of options on what else to do. "They seem to be alternating whose attacking when. So this really is just a matter of timing and launching the right attack at the right moment." And not get hit by a stray attack when timing it.

"Sounds like a plan. Spiral Buster!" Uranus said releasing her own attack as the red youma released its own yellow ball of energy.

"Splash Edge!" Neptune said releasing her own ball trying to time it so it got out before the youma realized what they were up to.

"Moon Tiara Action!" Moon said releasing her own tiara watching it as it merged with the other attacks. The youma had caught on and tried to release an attack at the same time only to have it mess up for some reason leaving them wide open for a combo as the tiara slammed into one of them turning into dust going a bit out before turning around and hitting the other one before returning to Sailor Moon. Really the most useful thing about it was that it acted as a boomerang. Though she wasn't quite sure why the energy from the tiara hadn't dissipated after impacting the first twin. Maybe the connection between the youmas had kept it going? It was kind of weird and confusing to think about.

"We should get going it's late," Neptune commented. There was no real reason to stay around at this point. They had given the creators the information they wanted and taken care of the youma.

Moon chewed her lip slightly. Yeah there job was done and she wasn't going to deny she just wanted to get home and sleep at this point. But she wasn't going to be able to do that comfortably until they at least checked on Hiromi. "Moon!" came the exasperated call of the others as she made her way quickly back down the staircase. They could wait for her outside for all she cared at the moment. She just wanted to make sure Hiromi was okay before taking off.

Moon reentered the office just in time to catch what looked like a tail end of an apology from Hiromi to Kazuko, the animator who had brought the situation to their attention in the first place. Seeing Luna raising an eyebrow as she approached Moon said, "Youma's taken care of I just wanted to make sure she's all right before we take off."

"And the others?" Luna asked eyebrow going slightly higher.

"I might have left them on the roof," Moon admitted. Luna let out an annoyed sigh mumbling something she didn't quite catch.

"I am so so sorry!" Hiromi said apparently having now spotted Sailor Moon stopping Luna from possibly saying anything more direct to her about her decision making choices.

"It's all right you weren't in complete control there and no way you could have stopped the youma from emerging itself. I'm just glad we were here to take care of the problem," Sailor Moon admitted. They had been lucky with most of the plots on being able to identify them before the youma became a real menace. Today was the first time they had really stumbled onto one without having heard even the slightest rumble of possible Dark Kingdom trouble. Even at Dreamland, they had shown up slightly on edge. "You probably should be apologizing to your friend more than us though."

"She did so several times already," Kazuko reassured them. "I'm just glad you were here to solve the problem more than mad at how she behaved while under those thing's influence."

"Is it normal for youma to cause people to become so aggressive?" one of the other workers interrupted. Right they had forgotten that even though they were mainly talking with Hiromi and Kazuko they did have a bit of an audience.

"From what we've seen of the tactics that Nephrite's youma use, yes aggression is normal for his victims at least. Nephrite's tactics seem to cause more aggression then his predecessor, Jadeite did," Neptune admitted her and Uranus coming up to either side of her apparently having decided to follow her back to the office.

Most of the time Jaedite seemed to make his victims more sleepy than anything. Though she did know of at least one case where the victims were aggressive but that was more from the stories they had gotten from Moon before the three of them had started working together. Jadeite had seemed to prefer to use objects to drain his victims while Nephrite seemed to like to cause his victims to become more agitated to say the least and use that to build the energy to a stealing point. The photographer at the modeling contest certainly had fit a similar model of behavior from what she had seen before the youma had emerged from the camera.

"I am sorry!" Hiromi apologized again to the other girls.

"No real harm done. As Moon said we're just glad we were here to take care of it," Uranus reassured her. Other then maybe a bruise or two, from trying to wrestle the pencil out of Hiromi's grasp, that would be gone in a couple of hours none of them were the worst for ware from the unexpected youma fight.

Neptune kept quiet in her own thoughts as she went over the particular incident with the youma. This had been a case of almost sheer dumb luck in finding this particular plot and that wasn't a good thing. Maybe… the governor's suggestion of setting up a hotline for suspicious supernatural activity was better than they originally thought. There would be a lot of red flags to deal with but considering they had nearly missed this youma entirely maybe it was better to have a second set of eyes and ears via the public. They didn't need to give the public all the details just enough to know what a possible youma situation might look like and a way to contact them. It certainly would be better than just stumbling upon youma plots like today. They had only so much luck when it came to the youmas and eventually, they were bound to run out of it.

"Neptune?" Moon said turning to the other girl who had been fairly quiet for a bit now.

"Just a thought I was having," Neptune said making sure to imply the conversation was best not for here. The hotline might be a good thing to implement but best not to discuss the topic in public. She shook her head of the thought. Not anything they could do about it tonight, "We should get going. It's late and I think we all want to get a rest after dealing with those youma."

"Ah yeah that's true," Mr. Takashi said after a moment, "Thank you for your time it was most informative and will help a lot in getting the anime right." Even more so then they had anticipated with the youma attack.

"Glad we could be of service," Moon said giving a small smile. She was just glad no one had tried to get too close to the youma for 'research' purposes during their fight. It had ended up working to everyone's advantage, in the end, to have come here that was good at least.

End Chapter 13

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

Diamond in the Rough

The whole thing had felt odd. Luna had announced the need to infiltrate the embassy due to an ancient item that apparently predated the Silver Millennium (Or so she claimed. The way Luna talked she somehow found it hard to believe much was left that predated the Silver Millennium) without much warning. According to Luna, if it fell into enemy hands it could mean the end of all things. Usagi wasn't opposed exactly to investigating the matter, however, it had been brought up kind of suddenly. She really didn't remember Luna bringing up anything about the Moon Kingdom other than the occasional talk about the Moon Princess and trying to find the senshi in the early days, later of which had kind of faded as the three of them had gotten used to working together. To top it off, with Usagi's own memories being so spotty that she couldn't remember the ancient artifact. Judging by the confused looks on Haruka and Michiru's faces this was the first they had heard of this artifact themselves.

"The Ginzishou is an ancient crystal that belongs to the Lunarian Royal Family. It is capable of both miracles and destruction, however, the crystal was rarely used. It is safe to assume that if the D Kingdom has the Ginzishou then we need to find out and get it back for our princess before it falls into the hands of the dark kingdom." Luna explained when questioned just what in the world they were the crystal was and why she thought an old Earth royal family might be in possession of it.

"Luna I mean what are the real odds that its an ancient artifact of the Silver Millennium? I mean sure its a mysterious object being held by an old kingdom but what's to say it was inherited from the Moon Kingdom?" Usagi asked. Luna had never given them a specific timeline for when the Moon Kingdom had fallen. Other than implying quite a length of time had passed. At least a few millennia from the way she talked. So while she guessed it was possible that the D Kingdom's crystal was that old, it being on Earth raised a whole other set of questions. Like just how did it get here from the Moon?

"There is nothing to really indicated either way. The only people who would know for sure what happened to the Ginzishou, at the moment, are dead. I know something happened to it but unfortunately, my memory is still too spotty to say what." Luna admitted with some hesitance before continuing. She had been hoping that she would recall what had happened to the crystal before she felt forced to make any actions involving the crystal. No such luck apparently. "The fact that no one remembers what the crystal looks like makes it all the more likely that the Dark Kingdom will target here just on the sheer chance it might be the Ginzishou. They will be looking for anything ancient and mysterious that qualifies as a crystal. I would be shocked if they didn't show up here."

"That is true. They haven't shown much discretion in the form of targets." Michiru agreed after a moment.

"All the more reason we should be there just in. Even if it turns out to not be the actual Ginzishou and just some actual heirloom of their dynasty, we should be there because we know agents of the dark kingdom will be." Luna asserted. It may be just a random family heirloom to the D Kingdom, however, the fact that their treasure was ancient and hadn't been seen by anyone outside of the royal family in centuries meant it was going to draw the attention of the Dark Kingdom. That Luna was almost certain about.

"Yeah, but Luna how am I supposed to get in? Sure Haruka and Michiru can get in probably easily enough considering who they are. I doubt they are going to let a random girl just walk in and join the ball." Usagi pointed out. She was sure that no matter what that Haruka and Michiru could probably handle whatever situation came up on their own. Heck knowing those two, they were probably already concocting a way to get themselves invited to the ball. Luna probably would want her in attendance and that would be a lot more difficult. Outside of being Sailor Moon, she was a normal girl. Between Michiru's ability in the arts and Haruka's racing, both could be considered minor celebrities and with Michiru's family backing getting entrance into the ball for them should be easy. Her, on the other hand, was another matter entirely.

"That's why having a connection inside of the government is so useful." Luna said giving her a grin. "I informed him of the fact that we needed to get into the ball and he was able to get all three of you tickets."

"Wait wouldn't something like that require revealing our identity?" Haruka asked frowning slightly.

Luna made a face before saying. "Unfortunately, it was necessary for the situation but that piece of information is securely locked away somewhere where no one without certain authority can gain access to it. That I was assured of at the time we last talked. Besides with this, we should be able to avoid a repeat of the camera contest incident with the guards." She had been hesitant to give that piece of information but the governor had made some valid points, mainly about being able to get the girls places they normally wouldn't have access too, and so she had eventually given the names.

"Still it makes me nervous. That that kind of information is available anywhere, especially in this day and age." Michiru muttered. Usagi had to agree there were a lot of people with hacking skills. Just because it was a government, didn't necessarily mean that it was safe from a hack attack. Though it was nice to know that there shouldn't be a repeat of the security guard incident from the camera contest.

"We will deal with it if it ever comes to that. With any luck, that day will never come and the most you will have to worry about is dealing with random enemies, not the general public trying to harm you." Luna assured them. With any luck having the ids known to a few people in the government would come more in handy. The IDs meant they should in theory at least be able to avoid a repeat of incidents like at the modeling contest.

Usagi tugged at the hem of her dress nervously. It was a few hours before the big ball at the D Embassy. Her Mom was helping her prep for the event and Haruka and Michiru were going to give her a ride later in the evening. Normally she would maybe have gone with her Dad who was working press for the event but her and Luna had agreed on the fact that introduced too many possible problems if something went wrong. For both parties.

Usagi hadn't attended anything quite this formal since she had to get dressed up for Shingo's funeral. She hadn't gone to a school dances because of the obvious discomfort and possible stares. The closest thing she had done to going to a formal event had been the time her and Naru had snuck into that concert. Even then that wasn't nearly as formal as this. So it had been a couple of years since Usagi had really allowed herself to look this formal. She would have preferred to be honest to just throw on a Luna Pen guise and go but her mother had been rather insistent that she wear a proper dress to the Embassy ball and had even dragged Michiru into it. Asking her for advice on what would be a good dress to wear to such an occasion. That was how she had ended up borrowing one of Michiru's dresses actually. She may still throw on a disguise to make sure no one saw the legs. But at least the dress covered them so it didn't make it obvious even without the disguise magic.

"If you keep tugging at it it will only wrinkle the dress." Usagi's Mother said shooing her hand away from the side of the dress as she continued styling her hair. Though there had been a disagreement on the matter they had ended up deciding to change up her hair a bit. She still retained the odangos she had kept her hair in since a child but rather than go with the traditional pigtails she normally kept her hair up in her hair was going to be looser.

"I can't help it if I'm nervous," she said but moved her hand away from the hem of the dress none the less. Even before the quake, she had never attended something quite as formal as this. This was a whole other level of formal then she was used to dealing with.

"There isn't really anything to be nervous about. You're there just to gather information and to make sure that crystal is or isn't the Ginzishou. And to make sure the Dark Kingdom isn't involved somehow. However, if it makes you feel any better most people will not be looking that closely at what your wearing considering the nature of the event." Luna commented from her spot on the bed next to her. Luna had somehow snuck in listing a need to coach her. She still wasn't sure how Luna kept pulling it off but she couldn't deny it was useful.

"I can imagine. I wonder a bit what it looks like too, this treasure. If it isn't the crystal, what might it be? Still. It's going to be a big crowd and I haven't done anything this formal in well over a year outside of the concert event." Usagi confessed. Even ignoring the fact that this was her first formal event in such a long time there was the fact that she really, really hated crowds like the one that would be at the ball.

Luna let out a sigh. "You'll be fine. Regardless of your lack of experience with formal events, you are fairly good at blending in, which you are going to need to be able to do so we can gather information."

"How long do I have to stay there for anyway?" Usagi grumbled more to herself. She didn't have much of an obligation at the ball outside of making sure the treasure wasn't this Ginzishou Luna kept mentioning and make sure the D Kingdom hadn't become a Dark Kingdom target. Haruka and Michiru were providing entertainment so they were going to be there all night regardless. Her? Well, the way she felt right now she just wanted to get out as soon as the reveal was over. Her Dad, who was covering the event, Haruka, and Michiru were all there on business so it would be kind of hard to get out until one of them was done. If she wanted to leave early she was going to probably have to walk home. Maybe she would spend most of the evening in the balcony. Really, the formality of it wasn't her issue so much as being in what was bound to be a packed room. She might be able to handle it for small bursts, but she doubted she would be able to handle it for hours.

"No matter how much you wish otherwise your going to be there for awhile, Identifying the crystal shouldn't take long, less if I can sneak by whatever security. Unfortunately, we also need to be there in case the dark kingdom shows up. You're going to have to be there at least until this 'Princess D' brings out the treasure." Luna said shaking her head slightly.

"Great." Usagi sighed. Once upon a time, she would have lived for these kinds of events. Now though, it was a completely different story…

Usagi hadn't been at the gala very long when she was surprised to spot a familiar face in the crowd. Well, there were a couple of familiar faces here considering she had Haruka and Michiru were also here, but this was different. This was someone she hadn't expected to see.

"Naru!" Usagi said grinning at her friend. "I didn't know you were coming to this!"

"You didn't say anything either! We could have come together!" A jubilant Naru said returning the hug enthusiastically.

"Yeah well, me being here isn't all fun and games." Usagi explained holding up the chain that held the transformation broach. It was partially hidden by the dress, so it wasn't obvious she was wearing it, but if this was a youma plot then she needed it on her.

Naru made a face. "Sorry to hear that."

Usagi shook her head fidgeting with her hands a little bit. "It's fine. These things aren't my kind of thing anyway. Haven't been in a while."

Naru tilted her head slightly and then said. "Yeah. I guess that is true."

"So how did you get here anyway?" Usagi was genuinely curious on the matter.

"I got an invite from Masato Sanjouin." Naru said grinning.

"The millionaire?" Usagi asked genuinely surprised, remembering him as the millionaire that Luna suspected was actually Nephrite. How had Naru met him? As far as she knew the two had never crossed paths. Well outside of the photo contest. But if he had invited her to this she had to think that the photo contest was far from the first time the two had met.

"One and the same. I met him at the mall right before closing the night of the fake love letter incident. We talked some. He was nice enough and we've gone out once or twice since. He said he needed a date for the ball and I apparently was the first person he thought of." Naru said with a shrug.

So that's how the two had met then. Usagi frowned remembering Luna's earlier suspicion about Nephrite and Masato Sanjouin being the same person If he had been at that mall that was another point in that suspicion. On the other hand, there was still no concrete proof on the matter so she couldn't exactly say anything to Naru just in case it happened to be genuine coincidence. The fact that he was present when there might or might not be a Dark Kingdom plot going down was, while disconcerting, not itself proof.

Usagi was attempting to keep any worry or concern from her face. While concentrating, or rather attempting to, concentrate on consciously stopping her eyebrows from furrowing, she clearly had failed long enough for Naru to get suspicious. Naru was now frowning. "Is everything all right?"

"Yeah, everything's fine." Usagi slipped into a nervous laugh. Great now Naru would definitely know she was lying.

"Usagi-" Naru began frown deepening.

"Later." She said to her friend. Here was not the place to be having that kind of conversation or the time.

"All right. Just promise you'll tell me what ever's bothering you?" Naru asked.

"Yeah, I promise. Just not here." Usagi emphasized hoping Naru would realize and get out before anything dark kingdom related could go down. If she was going to be hanging out with that guy they really needed to have a talk about possible secret identities too, come to think of it.

"Anyways, I better go find out where Mr. Sanjouin wandered off to." Naru said.

"Right you do that. Be careful." Usagi called, her worry leaking through to Naru as she walked off to see where her apparent date had gone off too. Guess she was going to watch the other attendees dance since she really wasn't sure what to do with herself. There was no sign of the Dark Kingdom yet and the crystal reveal wasn't set for a couple of hours. Maybe finding a quiet spot would be good right about now. She could use the quiet anyway.

Usagi lasted maybe twenty minutes in the ballroom before she found herself ducking out onto a balcony in the back. She sighed in relief happier to not be in the room. Even if it wasn't the warmest night she found outside preferable to the crush of people inside. She might have gotten better with crowds since the earthquake but she still didn't like being in them. Plus, with all the moving bodies and Usagi found herself needing some fresh air at what she thought was an empty balcony. That was until someone cleared their throat. Whirling around in surprise she saw a familiar looking dark-haired guy in a suit. Now while that could probably describe half of the attendants Usagi had a feeling having now run into him several times at weird places that this might actually be Mamoru.

Masquerade. Usagi reminded herself, even if it was him it would break the whole environment that was going on if she addressed him by name. She was kind of surprised he hadn't actually said anything yet. "You're missing the party." He said raising an eyebrow behind his mask, finally breaking the silence. The blue of his eyes showed from behind the mask, a color she knew well considering it was the only truly identifying trait she had seen of the man behind the mask.

"I hate crowds." Usagi said. "You're missing it too since you're out here."

"True but I'm not exactly here for the party itself. I'm more here to see the legendary treasure." he said shrugging slightly.

"You like looking at ancient artifacts?" Usagi asked kind of surprised. If it was Mamoru like she kind of suspected it was(It was the eyes) she had never penned him as an aspiring archaeologist type. But then again despite several run-ins, they didn't know each other that well either. Considering it had taken over a month from when they just met just to get something as simple as a name. Or find out he was in high school. Now that she thought about it despite the fact they were both friends with Motoki neither of them really knew much about the other.

"Its a hobby. Of sorts." He, the masked man, clearly had no intention to elaborate further

"Some hobby." Usagi muttered to herself. If this was Mamoru it seemed like a strange hobby. He had mentioned wanting to be a doctor before. A medical doctor to be precise. She hadn't been struck as him being an Indiana Jones type with an interest in archeology along with other things to be honest. But then again, she still didn't really know him all that well.

"So why are you here?" He asked raising an eyebrow.

"Someone I know is trying to locate a lost artifact. They got me into the ball and asked to make sure it was or wasn't the artifact they're trying to find." Usagi explained. There that was a vague enough answer. Not like she could tell this guy, Mamoru or not, what she was actually trying to find an ancient crystal for. She would be laughed off as crazy most likely if she did.

"Whatever they think it might be must be pretty old considering the D-Crystal is rumored to be at least a couple of millennia old." He said raising a dark eyebrow till it was just about visible peeking up from behind his mask.

"They honestly never mentioned how old it's supposed to be only that it was ancient." Usagi admitted with a shrug. That was true. Luna had never given much of a timeline with anything related to the Silver Alliance. It could be as old as the universe for all she knew.

"Well, I hope they find whatever it is they are looking for soon. It was a pleasure talking to you but I'm afraid I must go rejoin the party." The man she suspected to be Mamoru said, bowing out and walking back into the ballroom. Usagi watched him go for a minute pondering if she should follow before deciding to remain. She wasn't really in the mood to deal with crowds at the moment so there was no reason to get back into one with the reveal still a couple of hours off. It was a pleasant evening anyway and the air felt just the right sort of cool on her skin when the breeze would gentle through from time to time. The stars were calling her to look at them and the garden bathed in starlight, moonlight, and the slight lighting from the ballroom brought out all sorts of shades within the garden giving it an ethereal feeling. Dark but comfortable. Though the conversation did raise some curiosities about Mamoru, Usagi wasn't about to leave such a pleasant escape to chase him through the crowds and demand answers he'd likely be unwilling to part with anyway.

A little while later Nephrite weaved his way through the crowd headed towards the back, more private, part of the embassy. He had clearance from work. Having your hands in just about most major markets came in handy when doing work for the Dark Kingdom. He just needed to get close enough to the princess to possess her. Then he could get a clear look at the crystal and take it back to the Dark Kingdom if it was the Ginzishou. Nephrite doubted the security was going to allow him close enough to the princess and the heirloom but he didn't need to be on top of her, just close enough to possess her, but not close enough that someone might come to the conclusion that he was somehow tied to it.

The whole thing was rather troublesome and he would rather not have been here, to begin with, but he was here on orders from Beryl to see if the D Kingdom's crystal was actually the legendary Moon Kingdom's crystal and what Beryl wanted Beryl got. He had enough on his plate trying to get rid of the Sailor Senshi and dealing with the memories he got every time he ran into Naru that adding to the list wasn't helping. He wished to keep her close, not knowing how Beryl or the others might react if they knew, and it also provided a good excuse to get to know her and find out why he was reacting this way. Beryl had probably made things overwhelmingly outside his strengths intentionally, he mused, whether as a distraction or as a similar running out of patience tactic like she had with Jadeite. He himself had had some mild success with youmas when the Senshi had been a bit quieter. He hoped this wouldn't end in his death.

Nephrite, still as his human identity Masato Sanjoin, had almost made it back to the room where the princess was waiting to come out when he bumped into another ball attendee. That wouldn't have been that much of a problem or that unusual if it hadn't triggered an unexpected memory. He had gotten used to the random flashes from being around Naru. He was not expecting it to happen when he was away from her.

"My apologies." Came the response from the dark-haired man with eyes the color of the ocean as Nephrite finally snapped out of the memory. That was new. Every other memory had involved the lady who looked like Naru or one of the other generals showing up though that was once in a blue moon. This, this had not just what appeared to be the boy dressed up in a suit of armor and the rest of the generals gathered around in what appeared to be a throne room. What on Earth had that been? In all the other memories it almost always had been in that garden from the first one. Why had he been in a throne room that clearly wasn't the Dark Kingdoms?

Nephrite, Masato Sanjoin, indicated it was fine before moving past and continuing to the back. Truth be told, he had been bumping into everyone tonight, or so it seemed to him anyway. He sighed. He had more than enough on his mind than to be bothered by randomly bumping into someone at the moment. More so, the fact that he had finally remembered something outside of all his encounters with Naru. Before now, all his flashbacks had been limited to when he was around Naru. Then he had run into this guy and it seemed like he had been hit by a cascade of them. Originally, he had kept coming back to Naru to try and make sense of the mall night and why he kept getting more random flashes of memories. The feelings that seemed to surface only around her were another matter as well, though connected. So far all of it been centralized to just the redhead. The encounter with the dark-haired boy had been the first time anyone else had triggered a flashback. This raised the question, just how much had he forgot of his time before Beryl?

"Where did you disappear too?" Naru asked coming up to Usagi's side as she finally reentered the ballroom from the balcony, having spent most of the evening on. It was getting close to reveal time so Usagi had reluctantly come back inside and had ended up bumping into Naru.

"I ducked out onto the balcony. I needed that. It was nice. You know how I get." Usagi admitted before looking around. "So where's your date?"

"He said he had to go to the bathroom." Naru asked frowning slightly. She knew Usagi had likely been out on the balcony because of the crowds but... why was she constantly asking about her date and why did she feel like the interest was more than for juicy details? "Usagi why do you seem so concerned about his comings and goings?"

"It's complicated. I'll explain tomorrow." Usagi said trying to deflect the conversation from a topic they couldn't talk about at the moment. Between reporters and all sorts of gossip hounds who knew who could accidentally overhear the conversation.

Naru frowned at that. "Usagi-"

"Naru. I promise I will explain tomorrow." Usagi pleaded with her, having grasped both Naru's hands. Inside she was begging the girl to understand. Naru seemed to accept it even if grudgingly. She knew Naru wanted to know and she didn't blame her. If the situation was reversed and Naru was in her shoes she sure would want to know too. This was the worst place to have a conversation like this, with so many possible eavesdroppers talking here about Nephrite and Masato would be the worst idea.

Any conversation that would have happened after that was cut off as a girl who couldn't be much older then them went rushing past carrying what looked like a large chest cackling all the way. Well, she wasn't 100 percent sure since she had only seen pictures of the princess online but she was fairly sure that was the D Kingdom's crown princess. The same girl who was supposed to be presenting the heirloom at the ball. Usagi hadn't heard what Princess D was saying as she was running past, though she was sure the girl was saying something in a crazed tone of voice. The loud commotion she had set about had prevented making out what she had said. Considering she seemed to almost be glowing as she ran out into the courtyard, there was a good chance that Nephrite and thus the Dark Kingdom were definitely involved.

"What was that?" Usagi stared after the girl for a moment. Okay, maybe not the right thing to say considering she was fairly certain what it was but still.

"I don't know but I think you should slip away, while you can, and transform." Naru advised. It was going to get either a lot easier or a lot harder to transform in the next few minutes depending on how the rest of the crowd responded.

"Right." Usagi nodded. Crap finding a place was going to be difficult in the crowd like this. Maybe she should have spent less time on the balcony and more time trying to find a hiding spot. Well, there was nothing she could do about it now.

"Usagi." She was startled a bit before she turned to see Michiru had come up from behind her. Well, that's a relief at least she had found someone in the crowd. Maybe she would know what to do about the situation.

"Michiru." Usagi said slightly relieved to have found one of the others with the room getting kind of chaotic. "Please tell me you saw that?"

"Hard to miss." Michiru said wryly.

"Oh, that's kinda true." Usagi said blushing slightly. It had been a rather large commotion.

"Come on. It should be easy enough to slip you into a back room." Michiru said motioning for Usagi to follow her. Well, that was one way to solve the problem of finding a discrete place to transform. Though… "Won't there be other people back there?"

"Most of them were out when the incident occurred and the rest scattered looking to get out after." Michiru assured her. Well, that was convenient at least.

"Moon Tiara Stardust!" Sailor Moon yelled tossing the tiara as her and Neptune rejoined Uranus out in the courtyard in trying to keep Princess D from slipping off to Nephrite. It might have been not as powerful as her compact according to Luna but it would at least maybe start to shake Nephrite's grip on the girl. Plus she had almost no training with the compact other then a few short sessions with Luna. So she wasn't entirely sure how effective that would be if she used it here and now.

"Did Nephrite get scared off?" Neptune asked frowning for a moment when she didn't see the brunette general.

"All I know is Nephrite disappeared after I followed her into the courtyard. She's still possessed though so I don't think he could have wandered off too far." Uranus answered.

"Sailor Moon, do you think you can heal her?" Neptune asked looking over at her.

"I'm pretty sure I can but I am going to need someone to keep her distracted." Sailor Moon said. She hadn't used the compact before on an enemy. So far Luna had had her randomly practicing aiming and powering it and random stuff in the park. So this was going to be interesting. She hated making them split up but there were two solutions forthe problem and only one of them needed to be here with her.

"I'll go after Nephrite. Uranus, you have a better chance of keeping Princess D restrained." Neptune making a run for the fence that surrounded the Embassy's border.

Uranus's solution to keeping the princess from proceeding closer to the border was to try and near tackle her and then try to wrestle her into a better position for Sailor Moon to use the compact. "Oof." Uranus commented as one of the elbows hit her right in the abdomen. The princess wasn't heavy but she did seem to know where to put her elbows to be of the most nuisance.

"Uranus-" Sailor Moon began having finally gotten the compact out and was wrestling it open. She was having a slight case of butterfingers in the nervousness of having to use it for the first time. Which wasn't the greatest thing to have at the moment.

"I'm fine just heal her before she can cause any actual damage." Uranus said grunting slightly.

"Right. Moon Healing Escalation!" Sailor Moon said getting the compact open and pointed it in the direction of the possessed princess. It took a minute or two but the spell finally took hold as she started to sag in Uranus's arms.

"Whew." Sailor Moon let out a sigh of relief as the spirit possessing the princess dissipated and the girl collapsed free of Nephrite's possession. Uranus lowered her to the ground as Moon walked up to her. "Are you sure you are all right Uranus?"

"She got a few elbows in a couple of times but I'll be fine." Uranus reassured her.

"We should probably get back inside before someone spots us." Neptune said as she came back over the fence, no Nephrite in sight, apparently having heard the tail end of the conversation. Even with them being officially backed by the government it was best not to risk an international incident by being discovered with an unconscious princess.

"Any luck with Nephrite?" Uranus asked Neptune came down next to her.

"No. He took off as soon as Moon broke the possession on the princess. I barely got a word out before he teleported out on me." Neptune explained.

"Sorry." Sailor Moon apologized. She felt this was somehow her fault. She should have thought he might leave. They needed to try to bring him in and question him but she didn't think of how he might respond to the possession being lost. It didn't take but a moment for Sailor Moon to get into a rut inside, blaming herself for Neptune missing Nephrite.

"It's fine I would rather have had the spell broken over asking him questions anyway. It can't be helped. We should get back inside before someone sees us and starts asking questions. If we get back in before things settle down we can use the back room to drop the henshin again without raising suspicions. Who knows how well we would be received by other country's governments." Neptune pointed out. Truth be told Mr. Haneda should interfere if things came to it but it was best not to chance it.

"Right." Sailor Moon agreed making a face. She wasn't even sure how well they were received by their own government to be honest. Neptune and Luna handled that more then she did and she had never felt like asking.

After dispatching Nephrite Usagi had begun to relax a bit. The Dark Kingdom threat had been taken care of now she just needed to check and see if this was the crystal that Luna was looking for. Maybe since she had already let her guard down some was why she didn't realize that another unfriendly face was at the ball until it was too late.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't Juuban's legless whore." A voice said coming up behind her. Usagi froze. Cold, soul-gripping fear gripped her all of a sudden. She hadn't heard that tone since the end of the semester. Usagi had thought that since the year was out she would be safe. She had thought she wouldn't have to deal with her long-time tormenter. Usagi had ducked into a restroom to freshen up for a moment after the fight not thinking much of it and apparently, she had been followed by that very tormentor.

"Yuki." Usagi said trying to keep her voice neutral. In reality, she was terrified and internally screaming. She couldn't let Yuki know just how scared she was. That could only end badly. And a couple of her cohorts were with her, vicious girls who thrived upon her torment, though no one really seemed to thrive on it so much as Yuki herself... still. This could end badly if she didn't find a way out of it quickly or stall and hope for someone to show up so she would back off. Suddenly, having her way out blocked off by Yuki and the girls with her seemed like perhaps Yuki might have planned it in a way. How could she have been so careless as to not see that Yuki was here tonight?

"So, who did you do, so a legless whore like you could come to this upscale event?" Yuki said sneering all the while.

"No one Yuki. A friend got me an invite." Usagi said. Making sure to leave off the fact it had been a favor. She knew exactly where that conversation would go if she implied she had gotten somewhere as a favor to another person.

"Must not have known you that well if she gave you an invite." One of the other girls sniffed haughtily.

"She knows." Usagi said shaking her head trying not to let Yuki get to her. Choosing to ignore the fact that normally she wouldn't have gotten an invite to this kind of event.

"Hmph. Well, I'll teach your friend to be more careful in who she lends favors to. Kira restrain her." Yuki said to the girl on the left-hand side.

Usagi tried to keep the now identified Kira from getting a hold. However, a sharp smack upside the head had her seeing stars long enough for Kira to get the upper hand and get her arms restrained. For a brief moment, she had a flashback to the last days before winter break and found herself terrified that this was going to be a repeat incident. The girl had a tight grip as it seemed no matter how much Usagi squirmed she couldn't get out of it.

"Please, it's not my dress." Usagi pleaded trying to back away from Yuki came up to her seeming to be examining the bottom half of the dress. She knew where this was going her mind flashing back to one too many ruined school uniforms. Or at least that's where she hoped it was going. Ruined school uniforms had been the least of her problems at times when dealing with Yuki and her group.

"Then they will learn a lesson in letting you borrow one of her dresses." The unidentified girl sneered.

The next few minutes felt like an eternity as she could pretty much do nothing as Yuki and the other girl tore into the dress. She tried and failed to keep herself from showing how upset she was. Especially when the two of them found a seam along the midriff of the dress and used it to tear off the bottom half of dress. Before tossing it into a toilet. She could hear the splashing of the toilet as Yuki (or she assumed it was Yuki at least) tried to force the bottom half of the dress into the toilet.

"Now everyone here will know you're a legless whore." Yuki said sneering as she came back to Usagi's front. Usagi had lost the fight long ago to not cry in front of Yuki. "That should be enough. Come on Kira, Marri. We have a ball to return too." Yuki said turning and walking away. Kira finally released her and sidestepped over her following Yuki. The final girl Marri didn't even spare her a glance for a moment before following.

She waited for a moment, hearing the bathroom door open and close before her shoulders sagged in relief. It was over at least. She wiped her eyes trembling slightly trying to figure out what to do now. Picking up the bottom half out of the toilet nearly got her started again. The dress was probably ruined at this point. She had no clue how she was going to explain this Michiru.

Then there was the fact that she couldn't stay in the bathroom forever she had to leave the embassy eventually. Which meant she would have to face the crowd in a ruined dress. Even if she used the subspace pocket to store the bottom half of the dress everyone would still see her legs. She couldn't stand the thought of all the stares following her around. For both the ruined dress and her now exposed legs. Sitting back down on the toilet seat running a hand through her bangs wondering what she was going to do now.

Usagi tensed hearing the bathroom door open. Hoping that it wasn't Yuki coming back for more. "Usagi?" she heard Naru call and relaxed slightly. At least it was someone she knew she could trust.

"In here Naru." Usagi called, unable to keep the tears out of her voice.

"Oh Usagi what happened?" Naru said, horrified, as she caught sight of her. Not at Usagi but whoever ruined the dress and left her friend in such a state. If this was back at Juuban she would have assumed that it was Yuki. Ruining Usagi's clothes had been a favorite past time of hers. But as far as she knew the other girl wasn't in attendance. Or one of her cronies.

"Yuki and a couple of her groupies." Usagi said between sniffles.

"She's here?" Naru said paling slightly. She hadn't spotted Usagi's longtime bully in the crowd, but then again, there were a lot of people at the ball. The only bright side here was that what Yuki could do was limited because of the environment. Still, that obviously hadn't stopped this from occurring.

"They cornered me when I came in here to use the restroom. I didn't see her in the crowd but she obviously saw me. Now I'm going to have to explain to Michiru how her dress got ruined…" Usagi said dissolving back into tears again. She was not looking forward to that particular conversation.

"Usagi, it's just a dress. I doubt she will be mad considering it's not your fault to begin with." Naru said kneeling in front of her. Knowing where her friend's thoughts about the other's emotions had probably gone to first. She quickly sent a text to the other two asking for them to come to the bathroom. The only one who would be able to calm Usagi at this point would be Michiru since, probably, some of the hysteria was from the fact it was her dress that Yuki had ruined. "Did she do anything else?"

"No. She just ripped the dress and called me the usual names. Said she was going to make sure everyone at the ball was going to know I was a legless whore." Usagi admitted sniffing a bit. Anything else would have definitely caused an incident where she wouldn't have been able to escape the blame.

"I thought she had finally backed off after the incident before the new year I guess not." Naru said frowning slightly.

"She backed off because of the school officials remember? There's no one here to keep her from backing off." Usagi pointed.

"Naru, Usagi." Anything else was cut off by Haruka and Michiru arriving in the bathroom.

"Last stall." Naru called back.

"You called them?" Usagi asked. She wasn't sure if she was ready yet to deal with Michiru's anger over the dress…

"Yes. Look at me Usagi. It will be fine." Naru tried to reassure her friend.

"What happened?" Haruka asked eyes flashing angrily for a moment as she took in distraught Usagi. The last they had seen of either girl everything had seemed fine. What in the world had happened in under 20 minutes to leave Usagi in such a state? She knew where her mind was going initially and she really hoped that wasn't the case.

Michiru managed to pry the bottom half of the dress out of Usagi's hands. Her mind first going to how to possibly fix the situation. But as she looked at the bottom she wasn't sure if they could, not easily at least. It was ripped in several places along with being ripped along the seam that separated it from where the top half was supposed to be. A few water stains made her think that it had been thrown in the toilet too. Whoever had done this had known exactly what they were doing. The bottom half of the dress was pretty much ruined at this point. Whoever had targeted Usagi had made sure of it. Even if they could find a way to repair it to just finish up the night the state of it meant Usagi would be drawing unwanted attention.

"Yuki." Naru said as Usagi sobbed.

"Your bully from school she's here?" Haruka asked a bit surprised. Maybe she could finally get some payback for whatever it was Usagi had been put through at Juuban…

Usagi nodded her head. Hiccupping for a moment before speaking. "I didn't know she was. If I had known…"

"Usagi would have probably made sure to go in with someone else. This isn't the first instance something like this has happened with Yuki." Naru added. Her and Usagi had pretty much tried to go to the restroom at the same time back at Juuban to prevent the others from getting a jump on her. It didn't always work though.

"She did this a lot at Juuban?" Michiru asked realizing what was being implied deciding to sub space the bottom half for now. It was useless at this point. Maybe there was some disguise magic Usagi could use until they could leave.

"I went through probably a dozen school uniforms because of her." Usagi admitted still not looking at Michiru afraid that she was mad at her for the state of her dress. Sometimes Yuki liked to rip the clothes like she had tonight. Other times she had taken either her gym or school uniform clothes and tossed them in the trash when she hadn't been looking.

"Usagi. Look at me. It's okay. A dress can be fixed with the right seamstress. I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at her. Did she do anything else?" Michiru asked Usagi looked like no from what she could tell but best to ask. Right now she was mad yes but not at Usagi, at this Yuki who continued to evade her being able to identify and concerned that there was more damage Yuki had done than tear a dress in half.

The only good thing about this was she might be able to get her hands on the guest list she could get a full name to this Yuki. If this hadn't been in an embassy she might have been able to pull some strings to see the security footage but that was highly unlikely to happen on foreign soil.

"Just called me a few names like the usual." Usagi said starting to calm down now that she could see Michiru wasn't angry at her for ruining the dress. "Said she was going to make sure everyone at the ball knew I was a legless whore…" Usagi dissolved into tears again.

The more Michiru heard about this girl, the more she hated her. And she didn't even know all of what had happened at Juuban yet. Michiru didn't even reprimand Haruka when she started muttering about slapping Yuki if she ever met her. She may not have been one to get into fights outside of being Neptune but she wanted to give the girl a bit of her own medicine. Yuki would live to regret the days she tormented sweet Usagi. Michiru had every intention of making sure of that fact.

"So what are we going to do for now?" Michiru asked after a moment. She wasn't sure what could be done but she wasn't going to let this Yuki win this particular 'fight'.

Haruka thought for a moment before adding. "I might be able to give you a ride home if they agree to let me back in. You don't need to be here, necessarily, for the crystal reveal. We all got the same description Luna gave. We can just as easily confirm or deny it."

"That doesn't solve the problem of people seeing me before we get to the car though." Usagi sniffed a bit. That sounded like the best plan but there was still the fact that they would have to walk quite a ways and be seen by who knows how many people before getting to the car.

Naru couldn't believe she was about to suggest this but it was the only solution at the moment. "What about the Luna Pen? It can't fix the dress but it can at least hide the fact that it got ruined."

Usagi blinked a few times in surprise that she hadn't thought of it before. In her hysteria and tears over the whole incident, she had nearly the pen. It was a temporary solution but at least it meant that she would be able to see the reveal and get out with raising a lot of questions. Well except maybe Yuki. Maybe if she made it a different dress it would draw less attention. "That might actually work."

Truth be told she had wanted to just leave and walk home after the run-in with Yuki but she had promised Luna that she would check and make sure the crystal that belonged to the D-Kingdom wasn't the same crystal that belonged to the Lunar Royal Family. Besides part of her felt leaving after Yuki had shown up would be letting the other girl win.

"Well, at least that simplifies things. I can't imagine trying to explain to two governments why we need a royal heirloom." Usagi commented. What felt like an eternity later the heirloom crystal to the D-Kingdom had been revealed. While none of them were sure what the Ginzishou was supposed to look like, Usagi was pretty sure it wasn't supposed to look like the first queen of an Earth Kingdom... So they were safe from having to retrieve the crystal. That would have caused some sort of incident.

"No, that wouldn't have gone over very well." Naru agreed making a face.

"Did Luna give you a better description what the crystal looked like?" Michiru asked frowning. With the reveal happening her and Haruka were on break. So they were hanging with the other two as the crystal was put on display. Now, seeing the thing it seemed highly unlikely that it was this Ginzishou Luna had mentioned but still…

"No, but if this crystal of hers is based on the first queen of an Earth Kingdom then I have a whole new set of questions." Usagi responded. Especially considering where the Ginzishou was originally supposed to come from. "We can always show her photos online to check later." Really their main reason for being there was passed. The Dark Kingdom threat had been nullified and they had seen the crystal.

"That is true." Michiru agreed.

"It almost looks like a weird Statue of Liberty." Haruka commented under her breath after a moment.

"Haruka." Michiru scolded.

"What? It does!" Haruka said.

"I'm with Haruka on this one." Naru added. "It may be a crystal and have different features but the whole torch thing screams statue of Liberty."

"See!" Haruka stated.

Michiru frowned looking back at the crystal again. "All right you may have a point but don't say it loud enough so the natives can hear you."

"Ah there's Sanjouin." Naru said after a moment spotting the brunette in the crowd. He had disappeared right around the time the whole incident with the crown princess had started. "I'll see you guys later." Before she herself disappeared into the crowd after her date.

"Isn't that the guy Luna suspects is Nephrite?" Haruka asked after Naru was out of earshot.

"Yes." Usagi

"And she's dating him?" Haruka said raising an eyebrow. "You have told her about Luna's suspicions, right?"

"She knows. Or at least I thought she did. She seemed to be conveniently forgetful about it earlier tonight, considering the fact that she kept questioning why I had my reservations about him." Usagi said frowning. "We are going to have a long talk about this tomorrow." Usagi sighed before continuing once more. "Let's get out of here before the illusion wears off."

End Chapter 14

Added bonus drawing of Usagi and Naru in their ball dresses:


A big thanks to Tsukikageshi for drawing this. Designs are not up for grabs since while they are inspired by some other dresses they are their own original design. So do not take.

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

Nephrite's Crisis

"Usagi, you're going to want to see this." Her mother said, stunned, handing her an envelope a couple of days later. The start of a new school year was fast approaching with the spring semester set to start in a few weeks. So she was expecting to hear from Juuban about her status soon. However, that didn't look like the Juuban logo on the envelope that her Mom was holding out.

"This is from Mugen Gaken." Usagi, surprised, fingered the envelope's seal a bit after she got a better look at it. This was a surprise. Even though they had applied for the program she hadn't expected to actually hear from them after the way the interview had ended.

"Yes, I was surprised we got anything from them but it is approaching the start of a new school year. Why don't you open it? Maybe it will be some good news?" Her Mom encouraged hopefully.

She hesitated, true she wanted the letter to contain some sort of good news. That would be a nice change of pace after the last few weeks, but she didn't exactly share her mother's hopes. She had read the writing on the wall. In all likelihood, she just could see it being an update on her waitlist status at best. At worst... a denial. Things just hadn't been going her way and she just couldn't fathom how things would suddenly change now. Looking once more to her mother's hopeful countenance, she smiled a shaky smile hoping not to see her mother's hopes dashed. Opening the letter reading the opening line, blinked, and then reread it again. It couldn't be! It shouldn't be by what they were told last year and yet. Numb. This couldn't possibly be real. "It says I've been accepted."

"Oh, this is wonderful news! This should solve most of your problems with school!" Her Mom said face lighting up, clearly not sharing her disbelief. It wouldn't solve every single school-related issue. There was still the fact her timing was off and dealing with the medical stuff, but being put into a more self-paced program would help a lot.

Usagi was curious, as the situation began to sink in. It had been pretty clear, during the interview they had at Mugen, that they had no intention of accepting her no matter her place on the waitlist. She knew Haruka and Michiru attended Mugen Gaken and Setsuna's office was located on the outskirts of the triangle. Usagi suspected one of them had a hand in this. Considering back when Michiru had offered to try and get her in and she had turned her down afraid they would learn of her legs, her condition. She was suspicious, though not ungrateful, that Michiru might have made some moves on her own after the events of the last few weeks. She doubted she would be able to confirm either way that they had a hand in her sudden acceptance to the school, well besides asking.

"We're going to have do something about the commute." Usagi muttered to herself. It wasn't that Mugen Gaken was that far it was just with her enlisted in this program she would need to be closer to the school.

"We will figure something out. Maybe we can get the school to agree to a housing allowance as part of the conditions of enrollment." Her mother assured making a face at the thought of the new predicament. Even with Usagi's side job, housing in the Triangle wasn't exactly on the cheap side.

"You're not surprised that I suddenly got admitted to Mugen Gaken." Usagi spoke her thoughts aloud. It was later the same day after finding out she had got the letter she was telling the girls the good news.

"I might have pulled a few strings." Michiru admitted with some hesitation. Well, that made the most sense and confirmed her earlier suspicions. She didn't know much about Michiru's family other than the brief contact they had had with her sister but what she did know made it seem like she had that kind of power to pull off something like this. Plus, Michiru had hinted at it before.

"You don't look too surprised by that comment." Haruka noted.

"I'm not entirely surprised. I suspected. I'm grateful." Usagi admitted with a slight shrug.

"You're taking it better then we thought you would." Haruka admitted. They hadn't really been sure how Usagi would respond to Michiru's mechanisms. They had both agreed that for several reasons moving Usagi to their school made more sense than leaving her at Juuban. That didn't mean they were sure she was going to take it well.

"Before, I was afraid that if I accepted help with it then you would find out about my legs and view me as less for missing mine. Considering how desperate things at school have gotten, I think I really am just grateful to have an out than anything. Plus, there is some positivity to having us all in the same school now." Usagi explained. Truly if things hadn't been so bad with her at Juuban she would probably have been extremely mad at them, making decisions for her and pulling strings this way. Right now, she felt more of a deep relief, which was definitely rooted in the fact that she would only have to set foot on Juuban's campus one more time to retrieve her old school records.

"So what now? Have you already found a place to stay?" Michiru asked.

Usagi shook her head. "No, we are going to look tomorrow. We want to check out the neighborhood anyway so we thought we would drop off the forms in person at the same time." She admitted. She wasn't sure where they were going to find a decent place to live. Even with the supplemental budgets, Mugen Gaken was in an expensive neighborhood.

"Are your parents moving with you?" Michiru asked frowning slightly.

"No, Dad prefers to stay where he is because of work and I don't think Mom is ready to move quiet yet." Usagi sighed. Maybe if they were moving out of an apartment and back into a house, maybe. They didn't quite have the money to buy a new house, even with the money set aside with the government subsidy from being a Senshi.

"You said you haven't found anywhere you feel is reasonable in the triangle so far right?" Michiru asked. It was a few days later and since things had been kind of quiet on the Dark Kingdom front they were just having a small semi-normal get together at the Crown Arcade. Nephrite hadn't reared his head since the D Kingdom Embassy incident and Luna had nothing new to report. So it was safe to be somewhere more open since there wasn't any real chance they would end up talking about the Dark Kingdom today.

"Yeah, we haven't been able to find one so far." Usagi admitted. She had been hoping they would have found something by this point. So far, no luck. Everything, it seemed, was either too expensive or still too out of the way of the school if it was reasonably priced.

"I mean as long as you have no problem with our relationship there shouldn't be any problems having you around. The place is big enough that we can retreat to other parts of it for more private time without intruding on you or the other way around." Haruka offered up looking off to the side as if caught being a softie would tarnish her reputation. Usagi blinked once. Just how big was there place anyway? She had only been a couple of times, and while it had seemed big she really hadn't seen the entirety of it. They had usually met at Naru's place since it was the easiest and drew the least amount of attention. It also didn't require Luna having to be snuck in. Suddenly Usagi was curious about exactly how big Michiru and Haruka's place really was.

"We talked about this when we were on vacation. I have no problems with you two being together. I just don't want to feel like I'm intruding." Usagi shrugged.

"Usagi I think you know us well enough to know we wouldn't invite most people over for an hour let alone to live with us." Michiru pointed out. Usagi frowned at this slightly. That was true…

"I think its a good idea. Maybe I can finally move out of Naru's house?" Luna decided to put her own two cents in with the question hanging overhead.

"We're not actually sure what the apartment building's pet policy is. We'll see what we can do." Michiru admitted after a moment with a frown. Usagi guessed they had never fully checked it out during the previous visits since she and Luna were visitors and not residents.

Everyone was silent waiting for Usagi. After a moment she seemed to come to a decision. "Mom and dad would like that. I know they worry." Usagi was clearly leaning towards it but not quite committing yet. There was still at least the factor of talking to her parents but the offer was very tempting. The whole not commuting half a city to get to school made it very tempting indeed, but also, she was pretty sure her parents would agree for the points already stated. They worried. Plain and simple.

"Plus with you and Naru getting in trouble, we could at least have a better jump on it if we're all more centrally located." Haruka commented.

"I'm not-" Usagi began before cutting herself off as she realized they actually did have a point kind of. Between the concert, the mall incident arguably, her actions at the clock store, and so on she didn't exactly have the best track record of not getting into trouble. Of course, thinking back... Naru also has a penchant for being exactly where she shouldn't. Shoulders sagged in defeat. Whether she liked it or not, Haruka was right. "I am trying to be better."

Michiru shook her head slightly seeming to be a bit amused by the statement. "Having us all in the same place and not across town certainly isn't a bad idea."

"I still need to run this by my parents." Usagi commented absently lost in thought. While her parents knew the older girls somewhat they had only met each other a few times. With so many of the get together having taken place elsewhere due to the fact Luna wasn't allowed in her apartment building.

"That's fine but the soon as you decide let us know. At the very least we should get you on the lease as soon as possible." Michiru pointed out. Getting Usagi added shouldn't be a problem but the sooner things got done the sooner they could settle into a routine.

"I can't believe I won't have to wear this stupid uniform anymore." Usagi enthused to Naru. She was holding up the uniform to Naru that she had worn for what had felt like the longest year of her life. It was a few days after Haruka and Michiru had offered to let her move in and she was beginning the process of packing up everything she wanted there. It was a bit slow going because they kept getting distracted by various things.

"Hey don't go dissing it too much. I still have another year there." Naru said frowning slightly. Well, that might be changing also but she was still waiting to hear and Usagi wasn't aware of her own pending application. She wasn't going to mention it unless the application went through. No reason to get Usagi's hopes up if she didn't know for sure she would be accepted.

"I know, I know." Usagi soothed her friend before playfully continuing "But then, soon you'll be done with it too." Well done with Juuban Middle at least.

"I'm not sure why you dislike it so much. It's not too bad of a uniform compared to some schools." Naru said turning back to the dress drawer they had been going through and pulling out a shirt and handing it to Usagi who took one look at it and tossed it in the growing donate bin.

"No. But its just another reminder of just how much trouble I've dealt with the last several months. As soon as I get the new uniform for Mugen Gaken, this is going in the trash where it belongs." Usagi's voice, while softer held a bit of determination. The Juuban uniform wasn't even coming with her to Haruka and Michiru's place. No reason to take it. Usagi wasn't planning on wearing it ever again. She had just pulled it out of the closet for old time sakes while packing her own stuff.

"Still, can't believe you actually managed to get into Mugen Gaken." Naru said picking up one of their old textbooks. Even knowing what Michiru had been up to before Usagi had found out. It still was a bit of a surprise that she had pulled it off and a relief. No more having to worry about Yuki.

"Yeah I can't even begin to express how thankful I am towards Michiru for managing to get me in the program. Even if it still feels weird that I got in that way I think I am going to be happier there then I ever as at Juuban." Usagi admitted frowning slightly. Now that she had more time to process the situation she was a bit embarrassed at how she had gotten in but she still felt that the overwhelming feeling towards it was that she was grateful. Grateful she didn't have to deal with Yuki for another year, grateful that she should have a better teacher, and just grateful to have those two as friends.

"You're not worried about bullying at Mugen Gaken?" Naru asked shifting the subject slightly. She had a feeling Haruka and Michiru would scare most Yuki types off but they wouldn't be around constantly either. Different classes and all that. Naru was deeply worried for her friend. At Mugen, she wouldn't be there either. Usagi would not know most of the people at Mugen at all. She hoped for Usagi's sake her new classmates were a lot better people then her Juuban classmates had been.

"I have a feeling if someone tries to do it at Mugen Gaken there going to end up regretting it. Maybe its because they are my Senshi but I have this feeling with them like I am safe and they would keep me that way no matter what." Usagi confessed in a voice so soft Naru almost had to strain to hear the last part. Both girls could be scary in their own ways when they wanted to be but she had a feeling just being friends with them alone would scare off most prospective bullies. Still, that didn't explain that feeling nor how deep it went. Warm, safe, and even a little stronger herself.

"I know that the two are in a relationship. Aren't you a little bit worried about seeing something you would rather not see?" Naru asked.

Usagi's cheeks turned red at the sudden image of Harka and Michiru kissing before she shook it off. "Not really. I didn't see anything at the beach house and I don't think that will change. The way they usually behave, I don't think it will be a problem." Usagi said with a shrug of her shoulders. Plus the penthouse was large enough that they could probably get up to stuff without her being the wiser. "That is true." Naru said with a shrug of her shoulders before she continued with an impish expression. "So are you curious Usagi-chan?" Usagi just blinked looking lost. Naru seemed to take this as a go ahead. "How Michiru and Haruka make love as two women. I heard someone say that a woman knows a woman's body best you know. I bet it's so romantic. It's too bad two women can't have kids. I bet they would make adorable babies together." Naru stopped. "Usagi?" Usagi's face was beat red from her shoulders to the tips of her ears and the roots of her hair. Suddenly, Usagi breathed. "NARU!"

Naru just laughed, her plan to fluster Usagi having worked, before changing the subject entirely. "So what was it about Masato that you were hesitating to tell me at the ball?"

Usagi hesitated for a moment. She needed to tell Naru but she wished Luna was here to back her up since she wasn't sure how well Naru was going to take the possible revelation. Naru frowned after a moment. "Usagi-"

"I just don't want to get you too worried if we turn out wrong." Usagi said with some hesitance. They had talked about the possibility of Masato and Nephrite being the same person but she guessed Naru was so enamored by him that she had forgotten that little bit of conversation in the last few weeks.

"Usagi, I appreciate the concern but I would rather know whatever it is." Naru confessed.

Usagi sighed for a moment before speaking as if something would break if she spoke too loudly or insisted at all. "Okay Luna thinks, and I kind of agree with her, that there is possibility Masato Sanjouin might be Nephrite."

Naru frowned at that. "You can't be serious. He's such a sweet guy I can't imagine someone like that working for someone like them. "

"I am, we are." Usagi corrected after a second. "Look it may be nothing but his timing and the timing with the youma plots are a bit too coincidental."

"Just because he was at the Embassy the night of the attempted theft doesn't mean he's a general. There were a lot of guys there." Naru pointed out frowning.

Usagi hardened at this, clearly, Naru had forgotten. "Naru, he sponsored the photo contest. I brought up the possibility of them being the same person, to you, at that time. He owned the wedding shop and he is a backer of the anime studio making the anime about the senshi. The animator that got possessed was approached by him before the youma showed up. Her friend confirmed that. There's just too many little things that point to it being something more to ignore the possibility of him not being Nephrite, or at the very least, involved." Usagi listed off the things he had been tied to that were actually Dark Kingdom plots that she could remember. She could understand a bit why Naru wanted to maybe stay in denial but that didn't change the fact that there were a lot of suspiciously timed events involving him and the youma. "The only time since he took over from Jadeite that I didn't see him involved with something that turned out to be a youma fight was the night at the mall and you told me yourself that the first time you met him was at the mall the night of the incident."

Naru chewed on her lip for a moment before finally saying, "What if it's all a misunderstanding?" She genuinely liked Masato and there was something about him that she was naturally drawn to though she wasn't sure what. She couldn't deny it was a bit suspicious how many times the two of them showed up at the same place at nearly the same times. That didn't stop her from hoping that they weren't the same person though.

"Naru just please be careful. I'm not going to ask you to break it off with him. I am not going to even question why you're so interested in him. Just be careful. He may not be Nephrite. It might be a wild coincidence. I'm just asking you to be careful Naru. Please be careful." Usagi stated. To be quiet honest she would prefer Naru broke it off and be safe about it, but she just couldn't bring herself to demand that of her friend.

"I appreciate your honesty but I hope you're wrong." Naru confessed. That was a huge secret to be keeping in a relationship, even if there's wasn't that formal. Yeah, she was intrigued why something had always felt familiar about him but enough to continue after finding out he might work for the enemy of her best friend? Not really.

It was a few nights later when everything got turned on its head. Luna had been quietly training Sailor Moon in an empty corner of the park on the healing spells when Nephrite had seemed to come out of the blue. Sailor Moon tensed a bit, hitting a button on her communicator to tell the others that she had run into trouble before turning her full attention to Nephrite. The only good thing that she could see was he was alone, no youma in sight. Interesting…

"Easy. I come in peace." Nephrite said holding his hands up defensively before dropping the general guise and reverting to his civilian self. Well, Naru wasn't going to be pleased to know that Masato Sanjouin was, undeniably, Nephrite. Though... Good chance he couldn't use whatever powers he had in civilian form. "I just want a chance to talk. You know how to use healing spells yes?" Masato entreated.

"I'm training in them, yes." Sailor Moon agreed. She hadn't had much chance to use them really but she did have training. Even if there wasn't a ton of it so far.

"I would like to officially desert from the Dark Kingdom." Nephrite stated.

Sailor Moon felt Luna tense in surprise next to her leg. She guessed not many people decided to leave the Dark Kingdom in Luna's experience. She frowned slightly she wasn't opposed to the idea far from it. Making Beryl lose someone under her without having to do harm to them sounded like the best idea she had heard in a long time. Sailor Moon worried though if the needed spell might be beyond her current capability at the moment. Still, she needed to know. "Why?"

"Because I want a chance to start living without attachments to the Dark Kingdom. A few weeks ago I started remembering a life before I was Beryl's general. I want to understand what I'm remembering. Talk about life before the Dark Kingdom for its inhabitants is prohibited. I'll never be able to seek the answers I desire there. For me since as long as I can remember my life has been the Dark Kingdom. That's all my life has been, serving Queen Beryl. I won't say it's the greatest thing but it's all I've known. Then I met someone and I started to remember a life before the Dark Kingdom. A lost love, a prince I served, a life a lot better than the one I currently have or can under Beryl's regime. I don't understand some of what I've remembered but I am clear on one thing. I can't do what I desire while serving under Beryl." Nephrite explained.

Before Sailor Moon could question any further about the semi cryptic answers Uranus and Neptune arrived coming to stand on either side of her. Uranus eyed her for a second. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, we've just been talking. I hit the emergency button because I wasn't sure why Nephrite had shown up at first. He wants to leave. He wants me to heal him." Moon reassured Uranus. It was the truth.

"So you are Nephrite then?" Neptune asked turning to her full attention to the now civilian general. "Why the change in plans? We certainly never interacted much but you never indicated prior that you were interested in leaving the Dark Kingdom."

"It was something I only decided recently. I want to find my prince. I know enough now to know I had one and he's supposed to be my one true commander. I may not be able to undo what I have done but I would like a chance to try." Nephrite explained. He had been on the fence about leaving for a while, after a few meetings with Naru he had been intrigued by the past he had forgotten. It hadn't been until the incident at the ball where he had seen more than just a lost love life that he had begun to question just how much he had forgotten. Maybe life was better outside of the Dark Kingdom, however one couldn't just up and desert the Dark Kingdom. Beryl would use her connection with him to send youma after him no matter where he went if he tried that. Thus was precisely why he had reached out to the one person he thought might be able to break his connection with Beryl, Sailor Moon.

"Give us a moment." Uranus said before pulling Moon and Neptune off to the side and away from where he should be able to over hear them.

"I think we should do it. If he truly wants to be rid of his connections with the Dark Kingdom who are we to deny him." Sailor Moon argued. He seemed to be sincere on the matter of leaving the Dark Kingdom. "Plus it would rid Beryl of one of her generals without anyone getting hurt."

"It's just kind of weird Moon. Neither he or Jadeite ever showed any inclinations of being anything more then a Beryl crony before now." Uranus argued. Ultimately it was Moon's decision to perform the spell since she was the one doing the casting but that didn't mean she didn't want to throw her two cents in about how she felt about the situation.

"Maybe Jadeite didn't have a trigger for whatever memories Nephrite is referring too?" Sailor Moon suggested. She was kind of curious what had made Nephrite start remembering his pre Dark Kingdom past but now wasn't the time to find that out. She did have a suspicion that the key was a certain girl with wine red hair and jade green eyes. Or at least that she was one of them. If she was right, yeah there was no surprise there, that Jadeite hadn't started remembering his real memories. From what little she had known about the general he sounded very ornery and probably hadn't gotten close enough to anyone to trigger his true memories. This also held the possibility of Naru being part of things... but in what capacity?

"Still you think we would have noticed something considering how much we run into the generals." Neptune said frowning glancing back in the direction of where Masato was standing.

"Yes, like we have so much time to get to know them." Moon said with her voice dripping sarcasm before going serious again. "Look if one of us were in a reverse of this situation wouldn't you want them to be granted this same chance?" She had to admit she was really digging the idea of ridding themselves of an enemy without causing harm. She knew that she wouldn't be able to get to everyone that was being controlled by Beryl and save them but if she could get to some of them that made things so much better.

Neptune let out a sigh at that, "That is a solid point but you have to understand our hesitations on the matter. Even if we do rid him of the bonds with the Dark Kingdom whats not to keep him from going back for some reason?"

"He wouldn't be able to. The spell I would have Sailor Moon use would rid him of any connection to the dark kingdom. He may reclaim abilities from before it but nothing from his time with them.. It is doubtful he could return anyway." Luna said putting her two cents in for the first time. Truth be told, the only hesitation she had was she wasn't sure Usagi was really ready for that level of healing spell but there were ways around the matter. She agreed with Moon. The idea of being able to rid Beryl of a general without harming them was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

"Okay let's say we do go through with this. Can it be done tonight or do we have to wait until Moon has better training in healing spells?" Neptune asked frowning. She knew Moon was training in healing spells but considering she had just gotten the compact she had little experience with them. The spell Luna was describing sounded quite powerful. So that brought up the concern if she could even manage a spell of that magnitude at this point.

"Luna?" Moon asked turning to Luna again. She had no clue how much power would be needed to power the kind of spell they were talking about.

"You would have to draw energy off the others to power it. Then yes we can do it tonight but even then, it will probably leave you wiped out Moon for a couple of days." Luna explained. The other two would probably have a bit of exhaustion but since Usagi was the one mainly powering the spell she would be the one that felt the effects of it the most.

"Not us?" Neptune asked quirking an eyebrow. That was an odd designation Luna had made.

Luna shook her head. "While you will be sharing energy, Moon will still be the main power source behind the spell. You two might be a bit tired from it but you'll probably won't even feel it tomorrow. Moon on the other hand will be feeling it a few days."

"It is safe?" Uranus asked frowning.

"Yes. If Moon was solo powering it she would be out for longer but would still be okay. It's just the energy sharing should allow her to bounce back quicker. Considering the circumstances, we don't know how quickly Beryl will act to replace Nephrite. It is best not for her to not be out of commission for very long." Luna explained. She wouldn't have okayed the idea of using the spell at all if she thought it might endanger Moon's life with or without assistance from the others.

"I don't want to be a nuisance." Moon muttered after a moment. For some reason having to burrow the other's energy made her feel like she was being a literal and figurative drain on the others.

Luna let out an annoyed huff. "Moon, this isn't a matter of being a nuisance at this point if you want to perform the spell tonight your going to need the other's help. I normally wouldn't clear you for using this spell this soon but I am concerned if we let Nephrite go we may not get this chance again."

"How do we do this?" Neptune asked tilting her head slightly. And why hadn't it been brought up before. This could have come in handy in other situations, like Dreamland.

"Physical contact for now between the three of you. You know how you draw on your magical cores when you're looking to power your attacks?" Luna asked.

"Never really thought about it." Uranus commented frankly. Now that Luna was bringing it up the feeling sounded right but there had never been really any thought put into what or how they constructed their attacks.

"You probably don't think about it unless your looking to put more effort into your attacks then normal. If you've ever purposely drawn to more power into your attacks, you would have felt the sensation of tapping into the core even if you weren't aware of it at the time. We are going to use the same technique here but instead of powering an attack you'll be using the core to push energy through the physical link with Moon." Luna explained. Well that wouldn't help Neptune but Uranus did kind of know what Luna was talking about from that time she had one shotted the wedding shop youma.

"Do we have to have physical contact when we do this every time?" Neptune asked frowning slightly thinking ahead. Sending energy to one another could be a really useful tool in certain situations. It would have come in handy at Dreamland with helping Usagi after the youma. But if they had to maintain physical contact every time to transfer energy that would eliminate a bit of its usefulness.

"No, eventually you'll be able to use your senshi bonds to do this. It's just that takes more training than any of you currently have right now." Luna explained shaking her head.

Neptune frowned for a moment. That was something that hadn't been brought up before by Luna. "Senshi bonds?"

"The bond that exists between senshi teams as part of the contract you all invoke to become Senshi from what I understand. I don't quite remember all the semantics about them. I'm not even sure if I would be able to explain it all that well if I did." Luna confessed. Her job during the Silver Alliance's time was more as an advisor to the queen, to be honest. The senshi were fairly self-run back in those days. She had enough passing knowledge to help train Moon and help the others but there were times she had more knowledge then what she could remember.

Uranus and Neptune exchanged a glance for a moment frowning. That was the first they had heard mention of a senshi based bond. But it made sense to a respect they had a bond of sorts with Moon and a different one with Pluto from what they could tell. Still, the bond they shared felt different somehow from the one they shared with Pluto, as well it still didn't explain their own hesitations when it came to talking about the bond. If these were senshi bonds that were commonplace from the way Luna talked, then why did they feel uneasy when they tried to talk about it?

"Is something the matter?" Luna asked looking between the two of them with a frown. That hadn't been exactly the reaction, if any, she had been anticipating to the talk about the Senshi bonds.

"It's nothing." Neptune said turning her attention back to Luna. They couldn't afford to have the conversation about their bonds at the moment. It would be way too long and complicated and they didn't have all evening. Luna raised an eyebrow for a moment before deciding to drop it. Now wasn't the time to bother them over whatever it was that had bothered them about her comment about the bonds. A conversation for another time.

"Just how much physical contact are we talking here?" Uranus decided to move the subject back to how they were actually going to power the spell. They were going to have own up and talk to Luna about it eventually but that didn't make the idea of doing so any more easier to her or Neptune.

"A simple hand on one arm each should suffice." Luna said. "Most of the task is mental so you two will have to concentrate on drawing your energy from your core. your energy should naturally flow into Moon."

"Same command as usual or am I using something else?" Moon asked seeming to have accepted the situation.

"No, the Moon Healing Escalation should work. Just put more power behind it." Luna answered. Technically there wasn't much above the Healing Escalation spell if any that she was aware of. After this, you crossed over into the territory of healing involving the Ginzishou which Moon wouldn't be capable of. How powerful and how well the healing spell worked depended truly on how much power was put behind it. For Moon, it wasn't a matter of being able to perform the spell but being able to perform it at the level that would be required to heal Nephrite.

"If it matters at all, I am willing to share whatever might be useful to fighting the Dark Kingdom." Masato offered as they returned to the clearing they had been talking in earlier. He had thought about it and decided that there was nothing for him to lose from offering what he knew about the Dark Kingdom. Luna perked up at that. It was definitely a benefit to get some insider knowledge on how the Dark Kingdom ran. Might be the only chance they would get unless they could somehow get to the other Dark Kingdom generals.

"You're really putting it all out there." Uranus said whistling slightly. The offer was appreciated if a bit unexpected.

"No reason not to. With me becoming a civilian they become a danger to me as much as other people." Masato pointed out. He was willing to trade his powers, for now, to get out of Beryl's thumb and to recall his true past. But that didn't put him in any less danger from the Dark Kingdom especially as a soon to be labeled traitor. If he could aid in the takedown of the Dark Kingdom and in his own safety then he was definitely going to try and be helpful.

"It is appreciated and I'll definitely take you up on that. We can take care of your connection to the Dark Kingdom right here, right now. Unless you have some last minute business to take care of the Dark Kingdom?" Luna asked quirking an eyebrow.

"No, it is best to be done tonight. If I delay too long I risk discovery." Masato said shaking his head. He had been able to use Beryl's lack of interest in non-Dark Kingdom matters to his advantage so far. Still, it was probably only a matter of time before she discovered his intentions. Best to get out from under her thumb now.

"You ready Sailor Moon?" Luna asked turning to her.

"As ready as I'll ever be." Moon said more to herself than to anyone else as Uranus and Neptune took positions on opposite sides of her to help power the spell. Uranus taking a hold of her right arm and Neptune her left. Usagi let out a nervous breath before opening the compact.

"Moon Healing Escalation!" Moon said officially activating the spell putting as much energy and effort behind it as she could muster. She could sort of register the energy flowing from the others over the bond but she didn't pay it much mind. Her concentration was better spent on keeping the spell at full power. It didn't take long for her to start feeling a tiredness beginning to creep over her, nothing really bad at this point but still there though she suspected it would increase the longer she powered the spell. She could see a dark mist starting to form above Masato, hopefully, that meant it wouldn't be much longer before he was rid of the Dark Kingdom's bonds. "Almost got it Moon. Just a bit more." Luna encouraged as the dark mist rose further above Masato growing in size. As soon as the mist stopped growing and dissipated her job would be done.

After a moment the dark mist stopped climbing just seeming to circle over Masato for a moment seeming to shimmer in the air before dissipating into thin air signifying that the spell had done its job so Moon was able to end it. Only to nearly hit the ground as the side effects from powering the spell hit full force. One of them reached out and grabbed her before she hit the ground thankfully. "Moon!" Came a worried chorus of voices.

"I'm fine." Sailor Moon reassured them. "Just tired." It took a few minutes but she was eventually to get mostly on her own feet again, though she still found herself slightly leaning against Uranus for support. Luna hadn't been kidding when she said the spell would leave her drained. She was probably going to end up sleeping for days after she got home. Or at least close to it. Seeing the skeptical looks both girls were giving her she emphasized. "I'll be fine. Really. I just need a good night's sleep."

"Right, can't do that anymore." Masato said rubbing the back of his head drawing their attention back to him. He had just tried to teleport out forgetting for a moment that since he was now 100 percent civilian he would be able to do that. Old habits died hard. This would take some getting used to. His ticket out of unwanted situations for years had been either to teleport or to open a portal. Now he could do neither of those.

That earned a light snicker from Haruka and Moon found herself tiredly giggling as well. She got why Masato had tried to do it, old habit. It was still kind of funny to see him look momentarily confused on why it hadn't worked.

"You do have a way to get home don't you?" Moon asked mildly concerned after a moment. Masato almost certainly had a way to get around if he had built up such a civilian persona, but the question was, did he have it with him since he seemed to be used to both using civilian and Dark Kingdom modes of transport.

"Of course, I do. It's just the teleport is an old habit that I have to kick now." Masato shrugged. He kind of wondered if once more of his non-Dark Kingdom based powers if he couldn't pick up teleporting again. Something to wonder about for another time he decided. He knew very little about his abilities under the prince's guards. He was hoping as his memories started coming back he would remember that and regain those abilities.

"If you're okay we should get going. It's late and we all need some sleep." Neptune interjected. More so Moon then them at this point. Luna had been right in the fact it had left her slightly tired but Moon had definitely born the brunt of it judging by the collapse.

"Yes, though there's still the matter of getting together." Masato said frowning slightly. Best to share what Intel he had while it was still fresh and accurate.

Sailor Moon slightly snorted at that. The solution was simple though it showed the fact Masato hadn't apparently hadn't been over to Naru's house yet. "You can meet at Naru's. Luna's still residing there for at least a few more days (they still had a few things to move into the penthouse and had to double check with the landlord before moving Luna in, there shouldn't be an issue but it was a still a couple of days off from when Usagi and Luna were going to move in) and you have to explain to Naru anyway about you being a Dark Kingdom general."

Masato frowned at that, "Why would I need to tell her?" Technically the girl shouldn't even know the Dark Kingdom really existed. Luna residing with her did raise a few questions though.

"Naru knows I'm Sailor Moon. Known since day one actually. We've already talked about the fact that you and Nephrite might be the same person. I would just get it over with and tell her. She's going to be mad at first but it will probably only be worse if you keep hiding it from her." Moon pointed out. Though she doubted Naru would stay mad at him very long. She had a feeling that Naru was one of the keys behind him abandoning his Dark Kingdom post. If that was true and Naru believed him she might be angry at first but would probably forgive in time.

Masato grumbled slightly under his breath. That was a conversation he was already dreading. He guessed her already knowing about him possibly being a Dark Kingdom general simplified things a little at least. Moon spoke up after a moment. "Look, she might not take it great at first but she seems to have it hard for you. It's probably something you can work past with time, especially if you mention the fact that you partly deserted the Dark Kingdom for her." His desertion due to Naru was still a theory at this point but she had a feeling that the two were connected in some form. The look on his face after her words, however, said all she'd ever really need to know. He didn't expect anyone to pick up on it and therefore, there was something to that 'theory'. She smiled.

End Chapter 15

Chapter Text

Chapter 16

The Lost Guard

It was a couple days after healing Nephrite, now simply Masato, and the beginning of the new school year was fast approaching. Usagi was still getting tired out a bit easily but was quickly improving and in the process of moving in with Haruka and Michiru as well. With that in mind, her Mom had decided to throw a party in celebration of her getting into Mugen Gaken. Well maybe less of a party and more of a gathering. Naru and the girls had been invited so it wasn't like there was going to be definetely . This was also the last time she would be in the apartment for a while. Her stuff was officially moved into Haruka and Michiru's place and she would be going back with them when they left for the night.

"I don't think either myself or your father expected us for you to be moving out so soon." Usagi's Mom confessed after a moment. They were having some quiet time before the others arrived. It wouldn't be much longer now.

"Realistically, we all kind of knew that if I was going to attend one of Mugen's specialty programs I was going to have to move out if I got accepted." Usagi pointed out frowning slightly. She guessed she could have commuted from here but it would have been a lot more difficult then doing so from Haruka and Michiru's place.

"Yes, I know. I don't know what we were thinking." Her Mom said. In hindsight it seemed obvious that Usagi would have to move out of their apartment to attend school so that the commute would be less on Usagi. However, hindsight's 20-20 and it wasn't a subject her and Kenji had put much thought into at the time when they had submitted the application to Mugen. She was glad Usagi was getting a chance at better schooling and life but that didn't change her own feelings on the matter. "It's going be odd and sad to have an empty house after all this time. And with you being Sailor Moon now…."

"Should I have said no to the offer?" Usagi asked. She wouldn't have wanted to spend another semester at Juuban but if her senshi duties were causing this much concern maybe she should have.

"No." Her mother said shaking her head after a moment. Despite all her hesitations and worries she couldn't deny one fact in the whole matter. "Mugen will be good for you and I'm glad that you will have them to support you. Just please Make sure to check up on with us daily. I can't help but worry about you no matter what. Even if you weren't Sailor Moon.." She may not fully understand the senshi situation or why her daughter needed to be involved with it, even with the explanation Luna had given them way back when she had first recruited Usagi, but the whole Haneda incident had made one thing very clear to her. What her daughter was doing was dangerous work. Necessary work from what she had been told by Luna, repeatedly, but still dangerous none the less

"I can do that." Usagi assured her. She got it with Shingo gone and her now off fighting evil on a regular basis her parents had a right to worry, but that didn't change the nature of the situation.

"Everyone coming tonight has met each other before?" Her Mom asked deciding to switch topics for the moment.

"I don't think Ms. Setsuna's ever met Naru actually. She's heard me talk about Naru multiple times but I don't think they have met." Usagi admitted. Naru and Ms. Setsuna had never a reason to cross paths before tonight. "That must be one of them." Usagi said hearing the doorbell go off.

"Hope we aren't late to the party." Haruka said as they stepped into the apartment.

"No, you are the first ones here." Usagi said as she let them in. "Do you have any idea what is it that Naru wanted to tell me?" Usagi asked fully letting them into the apartment. Naru had been tight lipped about what the surprise was but maybe that had just been around her.

"An idea, but nothing concrete. If it what I think it is you'll definitely enjoy it." Michiru assured her. She and Naru hadn't talked about Naru's own application since she had gotten her opinion on moving Usagi to Mugen Gaken but she suspected that was exactly what Naru was going to tell Usagi about tonight. "She's not here yet?"

"Naru's running a bit late." Usagi answered. Naru had texted her not long before saying she was running behind schedule slightly so she might be a bit late. Though knowing Naru she probably wouldn't be too late.

"So its just us, her, and your parents right?" Haruka asked.

"Actually…Ms. Setsuna's supposed to come too." Usagi admitted.

"Really?" Haruka asked a bit surprised. Considering how little the last senshi interacted with them she wondered how Usagi had managed to convince her to come.

"Yeah, I was able to talk her into it. Somehow." Usagi said. She had been a bit surprised she had managed to succeed in getting her to come. Setsuna seemed to be a bit adverse to social gatherings. Usagi wasn't sure why. Maybe something to tuck away and bug Setsuna with the next time she wanted to get her off of an uncomfortable topic. "I thought it would be a good chance for all of us to get together."

"Could have used her help a couple of times, at least when Masato was still Nephrite." Haruka grumbled slightly. The green haired senshi had gone completely off the radar during that time. If it hadn't been for the fact Usagi had been seeing her weekly she would have maybe wondered if something had happened to her.

"Yeah, I don't know what the story with her and fighting Masato." Usagi admitted. Considering Ms. Setsuna's domain she figured she must have a good reason for staying away but it was kind of interesting how she had gotten so directly involved with the Jaedite fight and then had backed off when it came to dealing with Masato.

"She didn't tell you either." Michiru asked a bit surprised. She had almost figured they didn't know because they didn't see the other senshi on a regular basis. But Usagi apparently didn't know and she did see her on a regular basis. Which was interesting to say the least.

"No I said before we do get together but that's because she's my doctor. She tries to keep the conversation off of senshi stuff unless I drag it in that direction." Usagi admitted. Using senshi business was her favorite way of getting off a topic she wasn't particular fond of talking about. Not that it ever lasted very long since Ms. Setsuna seemed to always know why she brought up senshi stuff during their meetings, but they had managed to get distracted with that topic a few times.

"Drag it?" Haruka asked raising an eyebrow.

"I've used it a few times to get off of topics I don't like." Usagi confessed.

"For about 10 minutes, is usually how long she's gotten me off track before. It never works for very long because I'm well aware of the tactic she's trying to employ." Setsuna said officially joining the group.

"Mom let you in I'm guessing?" Usagi surmised. She had been so caught up in talking with the others she hadn't heard the doorbell ring again.

"So where were you exactly the last month?" Haruka asked apaprently deciding to get straight to the point.

"Can we not talk about senshi business for tonight?" Usagi scowled slightly cutting in before Ms. Setsuna could reply. She knew that was where the conversation was most likely going to go considering there were four of them in the room. But come on that's not what this get together was supposed to be about.

"We can try." Haruka relented finally.

Setsuna looked like she was going to say something when the doorbell went off again. Usagi nearly bolted just wanting to get away. "That must be Naru." She could hear Haruka make some comment about, how could it be complicated as she made her exit. Well at least she wasn't going to have to be physically there for that conversation. She would probably be hearing about whatever was said for the next couple of days.

"Sorry if I'm late." Naru said as she was let in.

"Nah, your right on time." Usagi assured her. Plus the timing had allowed her to get out of what she was sure was going to be a possibly awkward conversation between Haruka, Michiru, and Ms. Setsuna. "So what's the big surprise?"

"Oh right." Naru said as she handed the piece of paper over to Usagi to read. "I wanted you to be the second person to know. The only other person who knows right now is Mom."

"You got accepted to Mugen Gaken?" Usagi asked surprised and excited. It wasn't so much that she didn't love the other girls but Naru was her oldest and closest friend. And so knowing that they would be still at school together even in different classes was nice. Though…"I didn't know you applied." Usagi admitted frowning slightly as reality started to sink in after the initial excitement. Handing the letter back over. When had Naru applied? Had she been planning to leave Juuban at the end of last semester and not told her? She would like to think not but still it was a question she needed answered.

"I went in for their admission test after I found out from Michiru that she was going to get you moved off the wait list." Naru answered.

"You talked to Michiru about that?" Usagi asked genuinely surprised. She knew Michiru and Naru talked on occasion. That much was obvious from other things that had happened, like Naru pointing them in the right direction on the day of the quake, but she still was kind of surprised at times when they talked.

"She actually came to me, wanted my opinion on how you might react to her getting involved in your status on the Mugen Gaken application." Naru answered. She had actually spent the time Usagi had been at the beach house going through the application process. Among other things. She had just gotten word back a few days ago, but had been waiting for Usagi to get her own acceptance letter before springing the surprise on her. "I know the girls are good for you and they'll make sure nothing happens, but I thought you would appreciate having another familiar face in the sea of students. Also, I wanted us to stay together."

"No, I definitely appreciate it." Usagi agreed. She didn't think any Yuki would be in the crowd of students. Or at least she hoped there wouldn't be any Yuki's in the crowd. So her own relationship with her classmates should be better. But that didn't mean she didn't appreciate the additional support or being able to still see her friend at school.

"How're your parents taking you leaving?" Naru asked after a moment.

"Not easily." Usagi confessed making a face. "I think they are kind of torn on the matter."

"Yeah I can see that. Especially since the fights are just going to get harder from here on out from what Masato's said. Do we even know what happens when someone is completely drained of their energy?" Naru pondered. None of the youma that they had fought so far had completely drained someone of their energy so it was an unknown subject.

"I don't know. I never thought to ask Luna about that." Usagi admitted. That was actually a very good question. If the enemy could drain you completely what happened? Could they die from something like that? She knew, though it hadn't been really talked about, that eventually they were probably going to get into life threatening fights. Beryl had been responsible for wiping out an entire civilization, after all. There was no way going up against Beryl would be anything but extremely, life threateningly dangerous. Eventually, to protect Earth they would have to take her out. No matter how much she hated the idea of killing something, someone, that was human.

"I have no clue what to do about him." Naru admitted to Usagi a couple of days later at her house. It was the last days of spring break and the two were having one final sleepover before the school year started. Today's topic was Masato. Usagi hadn't been there when Naru had found out that he was indeed a former Dark Kingdom general but according to Luna there had been a lot of yelling and thrown pillows. "He hid a pretty big secret."

"Yeah and how well would that conversation have gone if you had been just some random civilian?" Usagi asked raising an eyebrow. "'Oh hi. I am a reincarnated guard to an Earth prince who died millenias ago and have been forced to work under a homocidal queen for God knows how long.' Can you imagine trying to wrap your head around that? Remember he didn't know you knew anything about the Dark Kingdom until I pointed it out to him." She was still on the fence about Masato being involved with Naru but the fact that he was no longer working for the Dark Kingdom helped her feel more comfortable with the idea.

Naru let out a snort at that. "Okay, that's true."

"Naru, as much as I have my reservations, he left the Dark Kingdom. He's put his life in our hands for you. That's a lot too." Usagi commented. She still had some lasting reservations just because she had been working against him for so long. She probably would have some for a long time to be honest. But she had to admit there was something to the fact that he had chosen to leave his life behind thanks to her and a prince that might not even have been reborn when you got down to it. Not everyone could do that.

"Yeah, but did he do it for me or for her? Did he actually fall for me or did he fall for some girl whose long dead?" Naru said frowning slightly. Part of her wanted to cave to her romantic side and the idea that a guy basically had left behind everything he had ever known to be with her and find his prince. On the other hand there was still the fact that he had sought her out on ulterior motives and had been working against her best friend.

"I don't think he remembers enough of that girl Naru. I think he did it for the right here in front of me right now. Naru Osaka." Usagi argued. Okay admittedly she hadn't talked to Masato that much about his past life. But from what Luna had mentioned from their own conversation he didn't have a ton to go off of. Just short flashes here and there. Enough to know there was a life before the Dark Kingdom, enough to intrigue him into leaving but not enough to put the whole story together. "Plus you can't tell me that your not the least bit interested in the fact that you might be the reincarnation of some royalty that was meant to marry Masato in the past life. I've known you too long to think otherwise." Usagi commented raising an eyebrow. If she knew Naru like she thought she did then the girl had to be enamored with the idea. And when it came down to it the idea of these two finding each other lifetimes and millenia later from when they were originally together was kind of cute. Most of the danger surrounding Nephrite had passed the moment he had become a full civilain. There was still a danger if he regained whatever abilities he had when serving his prince. But she had a feeling that they would know long before then whether or not a real relationship could work between them.

"I am a bit worried. We don't know how living with the Dark Kingdom influenced him. Plus with him being full civilian now he's no more dangerous then any other guy out there." Usagi admitted.

"I just need time I think. It's all a bit too much too soon. I wish I could remember whatever he remembers from his past life. It would make things so much easier." Naru confessed.

Usagi tapped her foot for a moment thinking. "We could ask Luna. She may have worked mainly on the Moon but there's a good chance she knows something." She sensed Naru wasn't quiet ready to talk to Masato about all the details yet and it wasn't really her place to get involved on that front. Luna, on the other hand, was her own treasure trove of information. She might be able to provide some other insight into the situation.

"It's definitely intriguing. I never really expected to run into any members of the planetary courts in this day and age outside of the Sailor Senshi." Luna admitted sitting down on the bed. Well maybe run into wasn't the best word considering she had been living with Naru for the better part of three months. Still, the idea that they had been able to find any member of the planetary courts was intriguing and she wondered if Naru wasn't the only person besides the Senshi, the Shitennou and the Princess that were running around in modern day. Something to investigate for a later time she guessed.

"Planetary courts?" Naru asked frowning slightly

"People who were close to the royal family and their advisors, friends, relatives, people like that. If you and Masato were involved during the Silver Alliance then you were definitely part of the Terran Court." Luna explained with a frown. She couldn't remember enough about the court structure of the Terrans to recall just how many lay in each court.

"She wasn't one of the heirs to the throne?" Usagi asked raising an eyebrow. She had no clue how the planetary courts worked. Or rather she didn't have enough of her own memories of the time to understand how they worked but if Naru was part of the court then she was inclined to think she must have been related to someone.

"No, there was only one child in the Terran Royal Family, Endymion, from what I remember. There were other members of the court, of course. they had a fairly large court from what I can recall. More then likely Naru's past self was someone high up in the court if she was openly involved with Nephrite." Luna said frowning slightly. Her encounters with the Terrans and their royal court had been few and far between. Most of them had been around the time Queen Serenity was trying to set up Princess Serenity and Endymion, and the Inner Court with the Shittenou before the fall of the Moon Kingdom. Her knowledge on the Terran Court was by far the most limited when it came to the time of the Silver Alliance. Since tensions had always run deep between the Moon and the Earth it seemed knowledge of Earth's ruling family had been limited at the time.

"Huh, wonder if we knew each other in our past lives." Usagi commented. That would be a wild coincidence. Her first and longest friend being tied to her own past.

"That would be a wild coincidence." Naru agreed grinning a bit.

"Actually, most likely your past lives never met. As far as I know the interactions between the Moon and Earth courts were limited to the major courts of the planets, which was essentially the heirs and their guards. Naru most likely was a member of the minor court. Important people who either were close to the royal family or were members but no in the direct lineage. Tensions at the time would have been running too deep for someone from the Terran Minor Court to have been interacting with another planetary court member major or minor." Luna explained. As crazy as it was to realize that Naru was tied to the Silver Alliance, other then probably being a reincarnated high lady who was involved with Masato, she doubted the girl's past self had much interaction with the other currently reincarnated members of the Silver Alliance.

"Something is strange about this entire situation." Luna mused after a moment. The idea Naru's past self, from what she had been able to get from Masato, was turning everything Luna thought she understood about what had lead to the fall of the Silver Alliance on its head. Particularly the Shittennou and their personal lives. She had been lead to believe that none of the members of the major courts of the Moon and Earth had been bonded prior to the fall. This showed that at least one of the members of the major courts was, most likely, bonded and that meant there was a new factor at play with the Silver Alliance's fall. She very much doubted that Naru and Masato would have been drawn to each other like they had otherwise. Naru being the trigger for his memories pointed to something too deep to really be otherwise as far as Luna knew.

"What do you mean?" Usagi asked looking over at the cat with a frown.

"I was under the impression the Shittennou had yet to bond to anyone on a soul 's troubling is that for the connection that Naru and Masato have both described to carry over a life time would mean that Naru's past self wasn't just his intended but that there very souls had..." Luna trailed off frowning slightly. Her own memories were still spotty but if that had been the case then there would have been no way to bond Nephrite to Jupiter like she remembered Queen Serenity planning. You only had one soul mate bond and once you were bonded it was for life. There was no way to really supersede the bond, at least not that Luna knew of. Queen Serenity had known that and she would have to have known about the pre existing bond so why had she been going ahead with the plan to bond the two parties?

"I don't understand the problem." Usagi admitted frowning slightly.

"Well girls. Once a soul bond is formed you can't bond with anyone else. Now you can, say, bond with multiple people though that was rare and done with all at once, not bonded to one central person but all three bonded to one another. Once the bonding ceremony is complete there is no undoing. There is also no way to form that kind of bond with another person." Luna explained.

"Okay, I'm following so far. How is this a problem with me and Masato?" Naru asked trying to understand what was troubling Luna.

"I remember Queen Serenity wanting to soul bond each of the Shittennou with one of the Inner Senshi. Kunzite to Venus, Mercury to Zoicite, Mars to Jadeite, and Nephrite to Jupiter. If you and Nephrite were already bonded at the time it would have been physically impossible to form a true soul bond between Jupiter and Nephrite. A false bond, even a familial bond would have been possible, but definitely nothing close to what Queen Serenity desired. Soul bond magic is very deep and mysterious. I don't believe even the Ginzishou would have been able to truly mess with it." Luna said tail swishing slightly in annoyance. This whole thing made little sense to her. She was starting to believe that Nephrite and Naru's past self were bonded prior to Queen Serenity trying to tie the two courts together. There were too many signs pointing to it being that, but if that was the case why had Queen Serenity made those choices Luna could recall prior to the fall? There were other ways to strengthen the bond between Earth and the Moon without bonding the heirs and their guards. Why had she been so set on that route?

"What about the bond I share with Haruka and Michiru?. Could that have been what she was aiming for?" Usagi asked.

"No, that's a completely different kind of bond. Since the Shittennou and Senshi were to be married a guardian bond that exists between you and the Senshi wouldn't have worked. Senshi bonds and mate bonds are two different things Usagi. What you have with your senshi is not the same as the one you would have had with your eventual mate." Luna said shaking her head. She understood why Usagi got the two mixed up. She was almost certain the bond cerimonies had died out after some point after the Alliance fell. Usagi would only know of bonds she shared with her senshi. If Usagi was Serenity then she had been Endymion's intended but as far as Luna knew they had never gone through the bonding ceremony so she wouldn't have a full proper soul mate bond with Endymion.

Luna sighed before continuing before the two girls stares. "I don't know nearly enough. I still don't remember most of the last months of the Moon Kingdom. Understanding and knowing exactly what Queen Serenity was planning at the time is difficult. I am fairly certain on a few things, like that her and the King and Queen of Earth thought a union between the two courts was a good way to help solidify a peace agreement and Earth's entry into the Alliance. After that everything gets a bit..."

"Could she have been desperate enough to try and mess with the soul bonds between people?" Usagi asked.

Luna frowned tail swishing slightly. "No, or at least I hope not. There are few things that one does not mess with and one is the bond between soul mates. I don't know what the consequences are but one thing I was raised on was the idea that messing with them could have catastrophic consequences. If Queen Serenity was messing with existing soul bonds, then she may have somehow sealed the very Silver Alliance's fate in the process." This was where her own faulty memory was coming back to her. She knew instinctively that messing with a soul bond could have catastrophic consequences but she couldn't remember what those consequences were. She was going to have to reach out to Artemis to see if he remembered anything.

"I mean, I kind of want to remember the place Masato's been talking about. It would be nice to know what is being talked about when the subject of the Silver Alliance comes up." Naru admitted. Getting her own memories of Elysian would mean being able to answer her own questions and maybe settle some of her doubts about a relationship with Masato. Though, she wondered if at this point if it was even possible to get memories.

"Part of the reasons why the girls can even recall their memories from their past lives is because of the Sailor Crystals they draw power from. I suspect that Masato's memories are tied to whatever it is the Shittennou get their own abilities from. When it comes down to it, I'm fairly sure you have neither of those. Thus I'm not sure what your story is or how you were reincarnated to begin with. It's possible that your own connection with Masato played a role in that. If that's the case then it maybe as he starts regaining his memories you might start remembering things about your previous life. It's also possible you may never remember. Its simply to early to do anything other then guess at this point." Luna explained. It was too difficult to say at this point. She didn't' even quiet understand how the girls were able to be reincarnated with any of their memories intact now that she thought about it. She suspected that it went back to the Sailor Crystals that the girls drew on in their transformed state. But it was almost impossible to know for sure. There in lay the problem. Too many unknowns.

It had been a bit of an argument about Usagi and Masato meeting without one of the others present. It wasn't so much that they didn't want to be there but with the beginning of the school year on fast approach they had extra curicular non Senshi stuff to deal with. So when he had asked to get together the next time the only one whose scheduled it had worked with was Luna's. That hadn't made the other two particularly happy. She had finally gotten it shut down by pointing out that now that he was a civilian he presented as much danger as just about any other run of the mill guy. He wasn't capable of producing the same energy blasts that had knocked her out at the start of break.

"Is Beryl being this quiet normal?" Luna asked. It had been strangely quiet since Masato had desserted the Dark Kingdom. One would figure losing one of her generals would have affected Beryl to an extent but she would have thought that Zoicite, the next general under Beryl, would have reared his head by now.

"No. Beryl must be scheming something." Masato said frowning slightly. He was also kind of surprised Zoicite, the last general who wasn't busy with the 'Venus problem' hadn't reared his head at this point. Sure he had his quiet moments between plots but it had been almost two weeks now. He couldn't remember the last time things had been so quiet on that front. The longest he had been idle, prior to becoming a civilian, was after the wedding shop and that hadn't really been being idle either just repurposed for other tasks and researching the Senshi and their behaviors to hopefully draw one of them out. He was actually a bit surprised that Beryl hadn't tried to send a youma after him yet. Maybe she was prioritizing resources differently? Then again it wasn't like youma were in short supply either…She had to be scheming something the question was what?

"She didn't mention any change in plans in her usual model to gathering energy?" Usagi asked a bit surprised. While Masato hadn't been Beryl's head general, that was this Kunzite she had heard about before (or at least was since who knew what his technical status was since being sent to England), he was still one of the generals. She thought if anyone would know of a change of plans it would be one of her former generals.

"Beryl left me out of quite a few plans after the modeling contest. I tried to keep a lid on the fact I was starting to regain my real memories but considering the power she has over us, its very likely that she knew." Masato said shaking his head. Beryl had come a bit closed off after the modeling contest incident. He, at first, had pushed it off as her reaction to his lack of success against the enemy. Now he was wondering if she had been intentionally withholding information fearing he was regaining his true memories. It certainly would explain how blunt she had been about the whole D Embassy incident. His basic orders had been to infiltrate the ball and retrieve the crystal so Beryl could check to see if it was the Moon Kingdom's crystal. The Senshi had thrown a kink in that plan and so all he had been able to do was describe it.

"Just how long have you been remembering the Silver Alliance anyway?" Luna asked. She hadn't thought to ask before, didn't seem pertinent but she was curious just how long the former Dark Kingdom general had been regaining his memories. Or rather, she guessed, how long it had taken for him to decide to abandon his role in the Dark Kingdom. Sure they had been fighting him for close to two months but that didn't mean, necessarily, his memories hadn't already been coming back before then.

"That started the first time I met Naru at the mall. A month and a half ago was the first time I remembered anything from before the Dark Kingdom." Masato explained. "At the time it was more of a fragment of a memory then anything, only a single image. That was the first time I had been given an inkling of a life beyond the Dark Kingdom. I forged my identity as Masato to gather information. Kunzite was unable to keep a lid on his memories and was discovered by Beryl." Masato answered. Beryl had listed off an excuse of him needing to get rid of Venus who by that point had taken off to England but he suspected the issue ran far deeper then that. If Kunzite had known Venus in the past life fairly well there was a good chance that she had started triggering his proper memories much in the same manner that Naru had accidentally triggered his. He wasn't even sure what had triggered Kunzite's memories though he was now wondering if Venus had been a factor. But that didn't make sense why allow Kunzite around the one person who seemed to be influencing his memories? He shook his head before finally continuing. "I started the company when I got bored I think. Honestly I have been running that company for so long I can't remember why I originally founded it. Especially since for a long time there Jaedite was the one in charge of gathering energy for the longest and spent the most time outside of the Dark Kingdom. The other generals and I had other tasks we had to perform under Beryl's comand. I was more in charge of gathering information. I only took on the task of gathering energy when Beryl put Jaedite into Eternal Sleep."

"Wait, Jaedite's not dead?" Usagi asked a bit surprised. Well Masato could technically mean he was dead but she had a hard time seeing him not just flat out calling it like it was. Though this raised a new concern of the possibility of Jaedite popping up again out of nowhere.

"No, but he might as well be. Eternal sleep is just as it sounds. Whoever is put under the spell will sleep until the end of time, or is supposed to anyway. He's only going to come out of it either when Beryl changes her mind or when she dies. And even then I'm not sure if that will be enough to bring him out of the sleep." Masato admitted with a frown. No one really knew how the sleep worked. He wasn't even sure Beryl completely understood how it worked.

"Huh," Usagi said storing away the information to quize Setsuna about later. She wondered when everything was said and done maybe she could heal Jaedite in the same manner she had healed Masato.

Luna frowned realizing what Usagi was probably thinking, "Usagi.. Jaedite may not want to be healed. Masato was a fairly unique case."

"Actually I am not entirely sure that last part is true." Masato admitted after a moment thinking back to Kunzite and Zoicite before the former had been shipped off to England.

Luna raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"Both of them had been acting a bit odd before Beryl seperated them by sending one of them overseas. At the time I dismissed it as stress and aggravation caused by having to deal with Venus on a regular basis but now that I think about it I'm wondering if being around Venus may have started triggering memories." Masato confessed.

"If Venus was the cause of it wouldn't have been keeping one of them near her made the situation worse?" Usagi asked.

"Yeah, that's the part I don't understand." Masato confessed.

"Actually…" Luna trailed off it was a shot in the dark but it was the only reason she could think of that the other generals might start regaining there memories. Especially since she was starting to doubt the memories she herself had that said Venus and Kunzite had been close in the previous life. "Were Kunzite and Zoicite involved in anyway?"

"Yeah actually I walked in on them a few times. I don't think they ever realized I knew. I left the room quickly each time." Masato's face turned a barely noticable shade of red in his embarrassment of having caught two of the generals like that.

"It's a bit of a shot in the dark but Venus is the senshi of love and she has some strange abilities that admittedly neither myself or Artemis quiet understand. It's possible her presence was enough to start arousing a dormant bond and that may have caused some of their proper memories to start coming back." Luna said after a moment. Most of the Senshi had secondary abilities that her and Artemis didn't quiet understand. But Venus's were the ones that confused her the most at times outside of Pluto's.

"Wait but wouldn't have keeping one of them around Venus risked making one of them fully regaining their memories?" Usagi asked a bit confused. Honestly the better solution would probably have been to send Kunzite and Zoicite to seperate places where Venus wasn't. But then you would have your enemy running amok with nothing to keep her from destroying whatever plans you had.

"I believed she thought it was a bigger risk to have them near each other then to have one of them near Venus. It's actually possible that he does have his full memories back. As far as I know the only person allowed contact with him since he left for England is Beryl. She forbade Zoicite from contacting him, though really, if they wanted too they probably could have found a way to contact each other without her knowing." Masato confessed.

"I would have heard from Artemis if he had decided to flip sides. He might be questioning like you were but as far as I know he still works for Beryl." Luna confessed. She really ought to reach out to Artemis and see if there was any new developments on his end after all of this.

"I think you might have broken the seal when you released me from the Dark Kingdom." Masato confessed deciding to move the subject away from Kunzite and Zoicite for now.

"Really?" Usagi asked. She hadn't really meant to do that but hey if it was a benefit to him she sure wasn't going to complain about accidentally pulling something off.

"My memories of the Old Kingdom have been coming back more and more. I'm remembering new things every day." Masato said. He still had a lot of gaps in his memory. Probably would for a long time but he was remembering more and more of life prior to the Dark Kingdom. Enough that he finally had a concrete idea on what his lost prince might actually look like.

"That's great." Usagi lit up honestly happy for him. "Do you remember enough to try and identify that prince of yours?"

"Thankfully, yes. He may resemble many in Tokyo however." Masato shrugged. Considering the size of Tokyo he might be looking for a needle in a haystack.

"So far all of the other people I have run into so far that were tied to the Silver Alliance aren't just living in Japan but in this part of Tokyo. The way the trend is going I am half expecting to find the remaining senshi at some point livng in Juuban or a neighboring prefecture. It may be a coincidence but I would start looking for your prince in Juuban first." Luna suggested. Haruka and Michiru didn't live in Juuban but they had met Usagi in Juuban so she had a feeling if Masato was going to have the best shot at finding his prince he should start where she had started, Juuban.

"What's he look like anyway?" Usagi asked. Maybe she had seen him around Juuban. A bit of a long shot but then again so had been finding the Sailor Senshi and she had managed to find Uranus and Neptune. Or maybe it was they had found her. She really wasn't sure what to call it.

"Black hair, and deep blue eyes, and slightly pale skin. If he was reborn around the same time as you and the girls then he should be in high school." Masato said. He was hoping since the Senshi had been reborn in Tokyo that meant his prince had been too. Or else he might never be able to find him. It was one man in a population of seven billion after.

Usagi chewed on her lip for a moment. It might be a coincidence…but there weren't that many dark haired blue eyed guys she knew of that lived in Juuban and dark haired brown eyed yes just due to that being common in Japan. Blue eyed was less common even in Tokyo. And the timing of which she had first met him was a bit coincidental when she started to think about it. Masato raised an eyebrow at her behavior, "Ms. Usagi if you think you know something please share."

Usagi sighed she didn't want to get the guy's hopes up but she shouldn't really hold that piece of information back either so. "It might be nothing but there's a guy who lives in Juuban that I've met before that matches your description. His name is Mamoru Chiba. I think he's out of town right now but considering the new school year is about to start he has to be coming back soon. He can be a real jerk sometimes but he could be the prince your looking for."

"Well its a place to start at least." Masato said to himself. It maybe just a coincidence, I mean he couldn't be that lucky he would find Endymion's present self that quickly could he? It was a lead at least. "Protector of Earth huh." Masato said to himself. If this guy wasn't Endymion then the naming coincidence was a bit wild.

"Huh?" Usagi said blinking a few times wondering where that had come from.

"His name. It may be a wild coincidence but after everything that's happened I have my doubts." Masato explained.

"Oh. I hadn't thought about that. It would be a really wierd coincidence." Usagi agreed. What were the odds that someone with that name's meaning wasn't a former prince? Heck her name meant rabbit of the moon, though she only knew that because it had been brought up multiple times. While it sure wasn't as regal as Protector of Earth it did draw back to her own connections to the Moon back in the day apparently. "Actually now that I think about it he's been around a few times when youma plots have happened. I didn't think much of it at the time since I had other things on my mind. A random guy who doesn't look like one of the generals that serve Beryl didn't seem important then. Now I wonder if he was drawn to those places because of his connection with you and the other Shittennou." Usagi admitted. It was a bit of a stretch but it would explain why he had shown up when he had a few times.

"Definitely need to look into him." Masato agreed. It was too good of a lead to pass up.

"Does Naru's Mom even know you two are involved yet?" Usagi asked moving away from the lost prince. It was something that had been bugging her for a while though maybe involved isn't the right word considering they were on break until Naru sorted out how to proceed from what she had heard.

"No. Naru and I both agree that we shouldn't tell her until we make an official decision on how to proceed." Masato said. He was fairly certain they wouldn't be on break for much longer but Naru needed her space to sort out all the confusion he had caused. He was giving her just that.

"Luna thinks you two were bonded in the previous life." Usagi admitted.

Masato shot a surprised look at the cat. He hadn't really thought about it before now but it did make sense. Why else would what appeared to be a normal girl have this effect on him? If it had been Endymion he could understand why his memories were starting to come back but he hadn't even met the boy yet. Luna let out a sigh. "It's what makes the most sense but if that's the case there's a lot of things from the Old Kingdom that no longer make sense. I am not sure if I'm ready to head down the path of what that could mean."

"None of it makes any sense. All of its still very muddled but from what I can tell I was very much in love with her during the Old Kingdom. Between her and the prince I served. I can't understand why I would willingly join Beryl." Masato said slightly exasperated running a hand through his hair. It made no sense. From what he could remember of the Old Kingdom, he and the others had been happy. Maybe a bit bored at times but happy. Why would they have given that up to serve an evil witch?

Luna tappped her paw for a moment thinking, "Without more information this is all just speculation."

"What do you mean?" Masato asked frowning slightly. Usagi kept quiet figuring that it probably had to deal with the conversation her and Naru had had with Luna.

Luna shook her head. "I'm sorry I really don't feel uncomfortable discussing this any further until I am able to obtain more information on the subject. At this point I very well could end up throwing false accusations around." The more she thought about it the more she was really beginning to suspect that Queen Serenity had been messing around with things she shouldn't have and it might have been a contributing factor to the fall to the Moon Kingdom. At this point all Luna had was a theory and little evidence to back it up. She was hoping with time and as everyone started coming into their powers they would get an answer. For now though best to drop the subject.

"Fair enough." Masato agreed after a moment. Before deciding to change the subject addressing Usagi. "Going back to Naru. Meeting the parents is a conversation I'm already dreading as is. The age gap, for one, is going to make things difficult."

Japanese culture. It's not as big a thing as it is here. In fact, families who still practice arranged marriages in japan often do so with marrying the females in the arrangement off to older men. That being said, not everyone agrees with it but it's not the sensitive topic it can be here.

"Just be glad your not going to have that conversation with my Dad." Usagi quipped. Her Dad would have had a fit if she was in the situation Naru was in. As it was, he nearly had one the day he found out about her becoming Sailor Moon. She still didn't know how Luna had managed to make both of them to agree too such a dangerous task. Usagi knew how she had gotten her Mom to originally agree, tell her Naru was in danger, but she hadn't been privy to most of the conversation between Luna and her parents about why she was needed as Sailor Moon.

"I think that particular conversation is one I'm dreading." Masato admitted. Naru hadn't talked much about her parents the times they had gotten together. From what he had seen with parents and being over protective he could see the first meeting maybe not going well. Maybe he should introduce himself as a friend of Naru's before they officially announce themselves as going steady? A way to warm him up to the parents at least.

"Guess she didn't mention it to you yet but Naru's Dad actually passed away a few years ago from an illness." Usagi admitted. Might as well mention it now before he accidentally said something to Naru or her mother and hurt them.

"No she didn't. Thank you for that piece of information." Masato said making a face. Well at least now he understood why Naru sometimes avoided talking about her parents.

"Look. Worry about her Mom later. For now I would be more concerned about working out the problems you caused while working for the Dark Kingdom." Usagi suggested. Really, how Naru's Mom would react should be the least of his concerns at the moment.

End Chapter 16

Chapter Text

Chapter 17

To Peek Into Pandora’s Box

Usagi had been at Mugen Gaken for about a week at this point. Settling in had gone surprisingly well. She had gotten a few stares the first day or two but after that most people hadn't paid her much mind. Her new classmates were nice, for the most part, though she tended to keep to Haruka, Michiru, and Naru during lunch. It was during one of those lunch breaks that she had first spotted her. A petite girl was being picked on by a couple of girls who couldn't be much older than her. At first glance she couldn't figure out why, as the girl appeared perfectly normal. Then again Yuki has never needed an excuse to pick on her either.

Usagi marched up to the small group standing next to the petite girl with singular purpose. She wasn't exactly sure what had possessed her to get involved. She hated bullies but she hadn't had the best run sticking up to bullies in the past when she had gotten involved. But for some reason she really couldn't see this girl being picked on.

"Oh, so the freak is now going to get help from Miss Legless." One of the girls sneered.

"Real original." Usagi noted sarcastically. It was never nice to be called names but this was pretty tame compared to some of the things Yuki used to call her.

The other girl opened her mouth to make another comment before shutting it with a click. Before taking her by Usagi frowned slightly at that wondering what had caused her to change her mind and leave.

"You shouldn't have stepped in." The petite girl said after a moment. The unsaid understanding that they would probably start going after her now left unsaid but understood nevertheless.

"Then I guess we'll be in it together." Usagi said playing down the whole thing with a smile. Knowing most likely the girl was saying something because she didn't want anyone else getting dragged into the mess. She was pretty sure of the fact, regardless of who she hung out or didn't she would probably eventually have to deal with cruel kids, even here. At least here she had more protection then she had at Juuban. Besides, after everything she had been through she couldn't stand by and watch someone else go through it. "Here let me help." Usagi said getting down to help her pick up some of the things that had gotten scattered.

"I haven't seen you around before." The girl frowned putting away items as Usagi handed them over. Between the hair and the legs she would remember someone like this at Mugen Gaken. Then again it was just the start of the semester.

"I just transferred." Usagi explained ignoring some of the comments in the background. Really new people at the beginning of the year shouldn't be that odd, but then again this was one of those elevator schools where once people started they usually didn't leave.

"So you wouldn't have heard the stories then." Hotaru said. Her tone sounded off. Like a cross between disappointed and relieved.

"Stories?"-Usagi shook her head while the girl was quiet as the night with a youma on the prowl. The stories didn't matter. She continued.-"I've learned that it's best to judge other people with your own eyes and not by what others say." Usagi smiled at the smaller girl, extending a hand to help her get up.

The girl hesitated for a brief second before taking the offered hand and getting up. "Thank you."

"I'm Usagi Tsukino. What's your name?" Usagi said as it looked like the girl was about to walk away.

That got her a slight smile from the younger girl. "Hotaru Tomoe."

That evening had found Usagi, Haruka, and Michiru talking about her meeting Hotaru. They had apparently been watching the exchange from a distance. The conversation had been going well up until the point Michiru had made a comment about Hotaru. And it had all gone downhill rather quickly.

"Usagi, you do realize that might dissuade some of your classmates from possibly befriending you." Michiru warned. She wouldn't stop Usagi if she really wanted to be friends with Hotaru but she should at least be warned.

Usagi seemed to freeze at that. The way that was phrased, was too familiar and to hurtful. It hit way too close to home, so she bolted. "Usagi!" She heard the others calling behind her feeling the sting of tears on her cheeks. She had other things to do for the moment. She needed out. She needed out now.

Luna had hesitated between leaving the living room or staying. Part of her wanted a better explanation behind what Michiru had said. But for now, she was more concerned with why Usagi had reacted to Michiru's comment in that way.

Luna frowned noting that Usagi was clearly upset though now she was wondering exactly why. Had she really wanted that much to become friends with Hotaru

"I'm fine Luna." Usagi said dismissively waving at the cat even as she finished packing an overnight bag. She needed to get out of the apartment for a couple of days.

"Your clearly upset otherwise I might believe you." Luna scowled slightly. A short silence passed between them as she followed Usagi out of her bedroom and towards the front door. "Usagi. Please talk this out with them. I'm sure it is just a misunderstanding."

Usagi paused in the entryway for a moment one shoe halfway on. "If you know what's good for you, you'll avoid her." It was so soft Luna almost didn't catch it. Shaking her head after a moment trying to forget the sentence she had heard over and over at Juuban. "I just need a few days. I'm going to Naru's if she'll have me. If something comes up with the Dark Kingdom you know where to reach me." Usagi said.

Luna frowned watching the girl leave wondering where she had heard that. When had someone said something like that to Usagi? Could it have been from this "fabled" Yuki? If so, suddenly Usagi's reaction to Michiru's made more sense. Luna sighed, this was like the whole wedding shop incident all over again.

"She's going to Naru's place for a couple of days." Luna said reentering the living room. "Your comment seemed to hit a little too close to home Michiru."

"Honestly, I'm surprised by how strongly she reacted to something involving someone she's known for less then a day." Haruka commented frowning slightly.

"I think there's a bit more to it than just the comment being made about this Hotaru girl. What were you thinking anyway?" Luna asked frowning.

"We weren't opposed to her becoming friends with Hotaru. Just concerned about the bullies that Hotaru targeting her by association." Michiru explained.

"Honestly, she could use some friends." Haruka added. Though whether she was talking about Usagi, Hotaru, or both was unclear. "Did she explain why Michiru's comment upset her?"

"Not sure explain is the right word." Luna admitted tail swishing slightly before deciding to share what she had heard Usagi say. "If you know what's good for you, you'll avoid her." Luna quoted from memory. "That's what Usagi said right before she left."

"Oh." Haruka said more to herself then to Luna. No wonder Usagi had reacted that way.

Michiru closed her eyes for a moment looking for all intents and purposes like a wash of ice cold water had been dumped on her. Well, that explained Usagi's reaction. She had inveterately caused Usagi to remember her time at Juuban. Even if that hadn't been her intent, she couldn't entirely blame the girl for reacting the way she had Michiru let out a sigh. "Well that explains her reaction at least."

Luna frowned glancing between the two. "Why did you say that anyway?"

"As said, we're concerned about Hotaru's bullies turning on her." Haruka explained.

"And the other part?" Luna asked raising an eyebrow. She had a sense there was something they were both leaving out.

"It's a bit more complicated." Michiru admitted exchanging a glance with Haruka. "We tend to get an odd feeling around her. It's stronger when she makes strange things happen." Michiru admitted.

"Odd?" Luna noted now frowning in thought. Deciding to bypass the strange things for the moment.

"On top of that, we've seen things levitate. We'd wondered if she was a psychic but..." Haruka elaborated.

"She gives off a vibe similar to what I felt from Haruka before she awoke as Uranus. So she might be a Senshi. Though neither of us really displayed anything quite like she has before we awoke." Michiru explained to Luna.

Haruka noted the look on Luna's face. "You have an idea what's going on here?"

Luna hesitated for a moment before speaking. "It's just a hunch at the moment I'm afraid but I suspect you have found Sailor Saturn." Luna explained. Michiru frowned from her place next to Haruka, arms crossed, clearly expecting Luna to continue. Haruka looked at Luna, speaking what her partner had not. "Explain."

"Saturn was often known as the soldier of ruin because of her power. The opposite to the Queen's power in a sense. There were a few times the mantle was taken up in war times but usually the situation was fairly serious." Luna explained. For the most part Saturns were kept in a slumber during their time serving. So the list of Saturns who saw action before retiring to take on royal duties was fairly limited. "It would explain your unease at the very least since Sailor Saturn is often feared and while I would like to say otherwise, is often treated unfairly. I think her presence signifies a far greater danger that she is needed to assist with." Luna stated. Usagi took a deep breath trying to relax some but the new relevation was a bit unnerving.

"So is she safe?" Michiru asked frowning.

Luna shook her head. "The same would be asked of all of you. If she's showing displays of power, there's very good chance she will be joining us shortly." Luna sighed.

She didn't want to go back to her parents place. Too many questions. Plus she doubted her father would take the whole argument very well. So she had found herself back at Osa-P.

"Usagi?" Naru asked opening the door. This was unexpected and not in a good way judging by the bag she was carrying. Usagi had only been with the older girls for two weeks what could they have done that quickly to upset her?

"I'm sorry but I can stay over for a few nights?" Usagi sniffed a few times.

"Of course." Naru agreed looking at her in concern. What had happened after school to make Usagi this upset?

Of course Usagi had refused to speak about it when they got up in the morning. So, when lunch had rolled around she had gone seeking out the only other two people who could maybe provide an explanation, Haruka and Michiru.

"There was a conversation last night that didn't quite go well." Haruka said glancing over at Michiru. She had been taking the whole thing harder because she was the one that had made the comment that had made Usagi leave.

"I'll say she showed up at my place pretty late." Naru pointed out. Well it hadn't been excessively late. Especially considering the hours the Senshi had to regularly keep but it still was later then normal.

"Hotaru tends to attract a lot of bullies in her class." Michiru began. "We weren't objecting to her becoming friends with Hotaru, but considering everything I thought a warning was needed so she knew what she was getting into. I didn't realize she used to have others say the same thing about her. If I had we might not have said anything or at least worded it a lot differently."

"You were concerned about her bullies turning on Usagi." Naru realized coming to the conclusion that Usagi had missed the prior night. Naru felt sympathy for the older woman. They would have had no way of knowing the conclusion Usagi would jump to remembering Yuki's behavior. If they wanted to avoid a repeat of the situation they had to be told.

"It's not the only reason but it was the primary one." Haruka agreed.

That caused Naru's eyebrows to shoot up. "Really?"

"Luna thinks its because she's one of us." Michiru explained moving the henshin bracelet so it was in clear view and Naru would catch what she wasn't saying. "Apparently her title back in the day was a source of unease and surrounded in mystery. So, she thinks our Senshi halves are partly causing the uneasiness."

"Aw." Naru said in realization. "So you two were just trying to protect her and it backfired." She thought for a moment before continuing. "I'll try talking to her about this and seeing if I can't get her to realize what you actually meant." Naru offered helpfully.

"How are you doing?" Luna asked that afternoon. Naru had let her in through the window once they had returned from class.

"Better." Usagi admitted. "I'll come back in a few days. I just need a bit."

"Did they use to say that at Juuban?" Luna asked. She was almost afraid to ask but she really felt like she needed to know.

"All the time." Naru confirmed reentering the room and tossing a sandwich at Usagi. "Michiru might not have said something that was verbatim but it was pretty close to some of the stuff passed around at Juuban."

"Naru!" Usagi protested realizing she had gone and asked about it behind her back.

"What, its not like you were going to tell me yourself." Naru pointed out. After a moment she said a bit more softly. "You know she's not like them. They just want you to be careful of the bullies and be aware of what to expect. They don't want to stop you from being friends with her." She decided to leave the possibility of her being another Senshi out for now. Luna might bring it up anyway.

"I survived worse than a few mean comments." Usagi grumbled to herself.

Naru let out a sigh. "I know you have but they don't know how bad things got."

Usagi sagged in defeat. "I know..."

"I think its time we told them." Naru said after a moment. Seeing Usagi seem to tense up. "I know you hate talking about it but this isn't the first time you've gone conclusion jumping involving them because of something Yuki said or did. They can't help or avoid accidentally doing something that reminds you of her if they had no clue what she did."

"Your right but..." Usagi realized hesitating for a moment more. "Fine, but I want to wait until next week." Usagi said finally caving a bit. That might be a bit excessive but she wasn't going to budge on it.

"Why next week?" Luna asked frowning slightly.

"I need time." Usagi said. Talking about Yuki with anyone was difficult. She couldn't just do it out of the blue. Not really anyway.

"What did she say anyway?" Luna asked tilting her head slightly.

"Yuki?" Usagi clarified. Luna nodded. "There was a lot of stuff said but then part of me was back at Juuban watching the new kid of the week get pulled over and told not to talk to the legless freak." Usagi let out a bit of a sniff at that. "I want to get to know Hotaru. She seems nice and it hurts to know this is happening to her like it did to me."

"That's fair." Luna agreed with some reluctance. If this was Saturn then there was even more reason for Usagi to be drawn to her besides some of the parallels between the two. Luna sighed before seeming to decide changing the subject necessary. "For the moment we have bigger concerns. Masato confirmed they targeting the Rainbow Crystals. If the Dark Kingdom gets a hold of all seven of them it would be a disaster. Each of those gems is a piece of the silver Crystal." Luna said pacing back and forth.

"Wait, if we knew that the crystal had split up why did we go chasing after the D Kingdom's treasure?" Usagi asked.

Luna looked repentant. "I did not remember the crystal had split up when the Dark Kingdom was sealed. I am still regaining my memories."

"So how do you acquire the gems?" Naru asked.

"In theory, if Usagi's compact is used against a human holding a Rainbow Crystal it will heal them, not only of the Dark Kingdom's influence but separate the gem from them harmlessly. However, the compact has never been used for this kind of task before so I can't say that with certainty." Luna said after a moment of thought.

"I'm still not sure why I can't use the Stardust attack I used against the brainwashed people at the chinchillas shop." Usagi frowned looking at the compact again. That seemed a lot less difficult too use and a lot less dangerous. Sure she was getting better at using the compact but it still made her a standing target.

A sigh. "The Stardust attack simply isn't powerful enough. It will work on low level brainwashing so if we needed too we could fall back on it again but for this kind of healing you need that compact." Luna explained.

"So all you do have to do is find these seven people?" Naru asked. That was going to be easier said then done. There were several million people living in Tokyo. Finding these seven could be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

"Is there anyway to possibly know who these people are?" Naru asking frowning slightly in thought.

"Not really." Luna said. "Queen Serenity used the Ginzishou to seal some of the Dark Kingdom's strongest warrirors into the Rainbow Crystals. We will have to be careful on how we proceed once we do start encountering them."

"I think finding a normal youma would be easier than this." Usagi pointed out frowning. With youmas in general there was usually something to indicate what was coming. But if these people looked, talked, and just in general acted like normal people it might be near impossible to get the upper hand on the enemy in this particular subject matter.

Regardless of what was going on between her and the others and the concern about the Rainbow Crystals there were other things on Usagi's mind as it was a busy week. Today was the first day on the program and Usagi was a bit nervous to say the least. She glanced around the waiting room, nothing too fancy really. She had signed in and been told that the other program participant she had been assigned to would be out shortly to take her back. She was brought out of her thoughts by someone calling. "Tsukino Usagi."

She looked up to see a girl with icy blue hair standing in the doorway. Guess that was the student in question. "That would be me."

"Yui Bidoul." The girl said extending a hand to shake. "I'm the student from the medical branch that got assigned to you."

"Nice to meet you." Usagi said shaking her hand. Before following her on to the backside. They passed one of the therapy rooms she remembered seeing when she was first getting used to her own prosthetics. She saw a few other pairs completing various tasks. Someone using a pair of beams to try and get used to balance themselves. Another person who was obviously further along in using theirs was using one of the treadmills. Turning a corner Usagi lost sight of them before following Yui into an office.

"Thought it was best to talk here the first time then out in the open." Yui explained closing the door behind them. Gesturing for Usagi to take a seat in a nearby chair..

"Do you want me to take them off?" Usagi asked as she got settled.

"Not yet. I will ask you to do so before you leave today so I can get a better look at them so I know where we're starting from and what to try for your new test prosthetics. I'm guessing these are fairly basic ones you own?" Yui asked.

"Insurance would only cover so much and with all the other expenses at the time we couldn't afford to pay more." Usagi admitted feeling a bit embarrassed.

"Nothing to be ashamed of. More people then not have more basic prosthetics when they first arrived her." Yui said. "How much do you remember how of this is going to work?"

"I know it was explained to me at the time but after everything I was kind of in a daze." Usagi admitted scratching her cheek slightly. She remembered the important basics. Like her participation in the program was covering her school fees. And that she was going to be testing out some newer models of prostethics while working with another student from the medical branch who was helping make these. There would be a doctor on site. That was what she recalled off the top of her head.

"That makes sense. It's a lot of information to absorb at first. Plus I'm guessing your initial visit was probably fairly recently after the trauma?" Yui asked.

"Actually it was almost six months after. I was in the hospital for a while, in a coma, and then it took a bit to get released. I was still adjusting." Usagi admitted.

"Still fairly recent to the trauma though in the scheme of things. Anyway today's more paperwork and seeing what prosthetics might be best for you to trial. Not everyone trials the same types. Once that's done you'll be assigned to a new prototype probably next week. But at first its going to be similar to when you first started using your current ones. Learning how they move and how you move with them. So it will be a couple of months before you are allowed to wear them home. Usually its one prototype per year unless you adjust quickly or go wear through it abnormally fast. The time period is more to trial different things and see how they perform. You do get to keep them at the end of the trial period if you wish." Yui explained rambling off what she remembered.

"So just paperwork today?" Usagi asked shoulders saging slightly. She guessed she had gotten a bit ahead of herself in hoping she might be already starting to look at new prosthetics. She was tired of having to lug a constant reminder of Yuki around.

"Among other things. Today is more about getting you settled in and familiarizing you with the clinic and the process. You won't start your first trial until the next visit." Yui confirmed. Usagi sagged a bit disappointed she had hoped this would get started sooner then later. It made sense when she thought about it though. "Don't look too disappointed. Before you know it you'll be walking around at home with the new trial."

"Hey your the girl." Usagi said finally placing the brunette that had just finished up a round on the Sailor V Arcade game. It was the weekend and since the Dark Kingdom hadn't reared its head yet since losing Masato she and Naru had decided to hit up the local arcade. Naru had gotten sidetracked talking to Motoki and Usagi had spotted a familiar looking pair of green eyes on a certain familiar brunette from almost two months ago. It was the girl that she had helped wrestle Motoki off of during the 'night of the walking fiances' as she and Naru jokingly referred to it as now.

"Glad to see you got home okay." Came the reply. Now that she wasn't hyped up on adrenaline and other senshi stuff she could get a real good look at her. She wasn't quiet as tall as Haruka but she was definitely on the tall side for someone in Japan. Something felt oddly familiar about her though she couldn't put her finger on exactly what.

"Same to you. That night was crazy." Usagi said with a slight smile. It really had been, there hadn't been a plot quiet like that before or after. Mainly because Masato had decided to switch tactics at that point. Even still, the craziness that night of the bridal shop incident wasn't entirely Dark Kingdom related.

"Makoto Kino." The beautiful brunette said offering a hand.

"Usagi Tsukino." She, herself, said taking it with a smile.

"So do you live around here? I mentioned it when we met but that night was so crazy you might not remember. I just transferred to Juuban and am trying to get my bearings. You seemed familiar with the area first time we met but I haven't seen you much since." Makoto explained.

"I used to live about 15 minutes away with my parents. I transferred out of Juuban to Mugen Gaken out in the Triangle so I had to move closer to the school." Usagi explained. She felt kind of bad that she couldn't assist her more, they had just missed each other by the sounds of it.

Makoto let out a low whistle. "Congrats! I heard that place is really hard to get into."

"It is. A good friend helped me out." Usagi said rubbing her arm slightly. The whole Michiru got her into Mugen Gaken was still a topic she was embarrassed to talk about. The less she thought about it the better. She didn't regret accepting it and getting away from Juuban and Yuki but she still didn't like talking about the how part as much.

"Must be a really good friend." Makoto said with another slight whistle.

"Yeah, she is." Usagi said with a slight smile. Michiru was a kind person, in hindsight she wasn't sure why she had herself think otherwise. Stupid Juuban. Stupider Yuki. Michiru was not like Yuki. Her eyes softened, unbeknownst to herself.

"Wish I had someone like that." Makoto said wistfully after a moment. "Juuban's admin is such a pain in the neck at times I wonder how people can go there for 3 years."

"Yeah the admin's definitely a problem at Juuban." Usagi muttered. Makoto definitely had her sympathies there.

"You don't seem like the type to get in trouble at school." Makoto said sounding a bit surprised by her comment.

"I'm not. It's just there was a lot of stuff going on that tied back to me being a transfer student and that caused a lot of issues with not just the admins but my teacher at the time." Usagi admitted. Part of it was because of her old issue with doctors but it always seemed like it was more trouble then it should have been with them. She decided to sidestep the whole Yuki issue for now.

"Didn't know you were a transfer." Makoto said raising an eyebrow.

"Umhm. I'm originally from a couple hours north of here by the bullet train. After the quake Dad got a new job here in Tokyo and we moved down. A lot of it stems back to that." Usagi admitted sidestepping most of the issues that had come with why they had moved. "What about you, how did you end up transferring to Juuban?"

Makoto grumbled slightly under her breath at the question. Usagi raised her hands defensively. "Hey, if you don't want to talk about it-"

"No, its fine I got pinned with blame for a couple of fights and since the whole incident involved families with more power then me I'm the one that got forced to transfer." Makoto admitted. Well wasn't that something she had way too much experience in. At least she had never been expelled though.

"Did you not actually get in fights at your old school?" Usagi asked kind of curious. She didn't really look like the type but then again she hadn't known the other girl very long either.

"No. They were definitely fights it just didn't go down like that school's admin liked to make it out to be. Got bullied when I was younger because I lost my parents. I don't handle bullies very well." Makoto admitted. "It's frustrating at Juuban because everyone's afraid I am going to beat them up."

"Oh I'm so sorry about your parents." Usagi said apologetically.

"I don't need pity." Usagi heard Makoto grumble. She could kind of understand that. She had heard that said over Shingo and then over her own status in the early days of recovery that she had pretty much stopped letting people see her that weren't her parents for a while. Once they had been transferred to Tokyo it had gotten better but man had it been bad at first.

"No pity, just sympathy. I lost my little brother two years back." Usagi explained.

Makoto seemed to soften a bit at that. "Sorry it's just when I usually bring up that I'm an orphan I'm met with pity. I'm just tired of it at this point."

"I understand." Usagi hesitated for a moment chewing on her lip. Was she comfortable showing someone this? She didn't know Makoto that well considering they had only met twice. But there was something oddly comfortably familiar about her. And considering she had her own losses she shouldn't react horribly….before shaking her head. She was getting more comfortable with the idea but she still wasn't quite to the point that she felt comfortable talking to someone else about her issues. Though there was a chance if Mako ran into Yuki she would find out anyway. "I got quite a bit of it when I first moved here. It died down after a while. After the surprise wore off people started distancing themselves from me, especially after an incident in my class." Once Yuki has made her her Target no one besides Naru and Umino had wanted to associate with her.

"I can imagine, especially knowing some of the girls in my class." Makoto muttered to herself more then to Usagi.

"Yuki giving you problems?" Usagi guessed. They were in the same grade level so it was entirely possible that Makoto had ended up being in what used to be her class. Though hopefully Makoto wasn't having to deal with it on nearly the same scale she had back when. Taking Makoto's surprised look as confirmation she elaborated. "I would say don't mind her but I'm probably not the best person to take advice from on that. She put me through the wringer."

"Bitch." Makoto harumphed angrily.

"She pretended to be my friend when I transferred. It didn't last." Usagi explained seeing the look on Mako's face. "I thought I had more friends than Naru and Umino. Apparently not."

"She's a real piece of work." Makoto commented making a face and gripping the game console she'd stopped playing to talk to Usagi.

"Don't I know it. Anyways after Yuki dropped me most of my classmates wouldn't talk to me. The one friend I did have at Juuban transferred to Mugen Gaken with me." Usagi admitted. She wished she could point her in the direction of some more friendly classmates.

"Well there goes any hope of finding someone who might not care." Makoto said letting out a breath.

"I'm sorry." Usagi said. She understood the other girl's frustration at the situation. Before perking up in thought. "Actually there is one guy that would be a good friend. Umino. He's a bit of a nerd but he's a genuine sweetheart and the only one at Juuban outside of Naru I felt I could trust during my time there."

"I would say more then a bit." Makoto noted.

"You've run into him I take it?" Usagi asked.

"A few times in passing. I'll keep him in mind though. He really doesn't follow the crowd's lead?" Makoto asked.

Usagi shook her head fondly. "No. If he had I never would have probably known him. I probably only know half of my old classmates names." And certainly none of them close enough to call friends.

"She really didn't like you did she?" Makoto asked.

Usagi shook her head. "No she really didn't."

A day or so later saw Usagi venturing into the topic of Senshi stuff when seeing Sestuna. Luna had made a comment about the Ginzishou and its abilities that had left her wondering what would exactly happen when the crystal finally came together. Usagi really didn't feel like talking to Luna about it so she turned to the next best option, Sestuna. Usually they stayed away from Senshi topics since she was with Sestuna to help more with the recovery from the Tohoku quake. But considering this kind of overlapped into both areas it probably was okay to ask.

"Both actually. It's about a comment Luna made a while back. She said getting the Ginzishou restored would restore our memories. I guess I'm wondering if that just applies to just the memories involving the Moon or that might be broader." Usagi confessed kind of hedging around the topic of what she was really asking, in response to Setsuna's inquiry. If the Ginzishou restored her Moon Kingdom memories would it also restore her memories fully of the day the quake struck.

Thankfully Sestuna seemed to catch where she was heading with it. "You wondering if restoring the Ginzishou will restore the memories you lost the day of the quake?" Usagi nodded her head in confirmation. "Do you want to remember?" Sestuna asked after a moment. The way Usagi had phrased that question sounded like a no but it still was best to ask.

Usagi chewed on her lip slightly thinking for a moment. Even after all this time she wasn't sure about if she wanted those memories or not. "I don't know. Part of me wants to know to end the mystery on how I'm here alive when Shingo died. Another part of me isn't certain that it wants to remember just because it can't be exactly a pleasant memory. So I'm not sure."

"It's understandable considering it was a traumatic day for everyone involved. As far as the Ginzishou restoring all of the memories and not just the Moon Kingdom ones. It's hard to say until the crystal awakens again. However, I am inclined to think no it won't restore those memories in addition. It was tied to the Moon Kingdom not the Earth and was dormant at the time the Tohoku quake struck. The Tohoku quake was a natural event, if it had somehow had Dark Kingdom ties it might be possible but even then, I would be surprised." Well mostly dormant Sestuna silently amended. There was no way to know with hundred percent certainty but she was fairly sure the crystal had been a factor in Usagi's survival of the quake. "As it is, the crystal most likely can't due to the event and the crystal being of two different natures."

"I guess part of me still wants to know that there was really nothing I could have done differently to save him." Usagi admitted after a moment. That really was the only reason why she would want her memories back to know for sure there was nothing she could have done to save her little brother.

"Usagi you were 12 at the time. There was nothing you could have done given the circumstances." Sestuna gently reminded her. They had been working on Usagi's survivor guilt and it had gotten better. Every once and a while it still reared its head, especially when discussing the day the Tohoku quake struck. Like now.

Truth be told if things had happened just right Usagi may have been capable of bringing the crystal out and using it on sheer will power alone even with it still technically being in a slumbering status as far as memories and abilities went. It was very doubtful it would have changed anything at all other than causing the crystal to surface two years earlier then intended. The only way things could have turned out differently may have resulted in Usagi dying from crystal over use instead of Shingo. Untrained as she was there was almost no way Usagi could have saved Shingo even if she had been able to tap into the crystal. Not that she was going to tell her that.

"I know. I wish he could have lived. It should have been me." Usagi said toying with a piece of fabric. It was a conversation she had had with a lot of different people it felt like about her inability to save Shingo from the quake, though she didn't make that admission to everyone. While she was getting better at accepting that it had happened at times, she still wanted to scream out with all her heart that this was wrong and shouldn't have happened. He should still be here. She should still have her legs. She'd give up her arms too if it meant he'd still be here, her arms, her life, anything to hear her little brother's teasing even just one more time. It was especially hard to swallow since she had woken as Sailor Moon. Why couldn't she save her own brother if she had the ability to protect Tokyo from alien monsters?

"How's settling into Mugen Gaken going?" Setsuna asked once she had calmed down again.

"It's going okay…" Usagi trailed off a bit reluctantly.

Setsuna sighed to herself. Usagi couldn't catch a break could she? "What happened this time?"

"I'm kind of avoiding the other girls." Usagi admitted with some reluctance not making eye contact with Setsuna.

Setsuna had expected this might happen again eventually. But she had been hoping it would be a while before it happened again. "What happened this time?"

"There's this smaller girl a couple of years younger than us named Hotaru. Michiru made a comment about how me befriending Hotaru might dissuade others from becoming friends with me. All I could think of was 'Don't hang out with the legless freak she'll bring bad luck on your entire family.' 'Did ya hear? That's the freak who couldn't save her brother, don't go near or else maybe you'll lose someone too.' 'If ya know whats good for you don't hang out with her!'" Usagi broke off her imitations there dissolving into tears again. Unable to list any more of the things she had heard whispered behind her back at Juuban. After she calmed down she spoke again. "It doesn't help that before Yuki turned on me she tried separating me from Naru."

Setsuna silently cursed, not for the first time, Usagi's classmates at Juuban for putting her through what she had dealt with. It did explain why Usagi had such a bad reaction to Michiru's comment at least. "You know that's not why Michiru was concerned right? She was worried that the same bullies that targeted Hotaru might turn on you."

"I know. Luna and Naru both explained that she was trying to protect me from Hotaru's bullies." Usagi admitted with a sniff.

"Were they always making those type of comments? When you were at Juuban?" Setsuna asked.

Usagi shook her head after a moment. "No well not to the same extent when I was still 'friends' with Yuki anyway. It was usually me being told who to avoid when I was still in her circle, then the other way around. It got more noticeable after she turned on me. But it really picked up after a certain incident with some boys in my class."

Setsuna frowned making a mental note to try and investigate what incident Usagi was talking about. It sounded pretty specific. Her intuition was telling her, though, that Usagi wasn't referring to the events that had happened towards the end of last year. So she wasn't sure what she was talking about exactly. She may have to visit the time gates to sneak a peek and see if the gates would let her, if Usagi wasn't telling. "You really should tell them about whatever it is that happened between you and Yuki."

"I know and I'm planning to next week. It's just hard talking about it." Usagi confessed.

"Would you like to talk about some of it here?" Setsuna suggested. It would be beneficial in more than one manner. Usagi could hopefully get better at talking about it. Setsuna would get some more details on what had happened.

Usagi thought for a moment. "No. I need Naru here if I'm going to talk about all of it. I'm not ready to do it on my own. Sorry."

"That's fine. Hopefully you'll feel comfortable addressing it another day." Setsuna assured her.

"You don't want to know what happened between me and Yuki?" Usagi asked giving her a surprised look a bit surprised Sestuna wasn't pressing her more.

"I do. When your ready to tell me. I think its more important for you to tell them first." Setsuna explained. While she would prefer to know sooner then later her situation with Usagi was different then the others. She could afford to have some patience. The others, they needed to know sooner than later. Her purpose in getting Usagi to talk about things was to simply help her through that. If she truly needed to, she could look and see but then that would remove her from being able to do anything about it and she wasn't sure she was able to control herself and not walk straight into whatever had happened and try to stop it. It was before Setsuna had been allowed away from the time gates to help Usagi. It was off limits. That didn't mean she had to like it.

"Makoto, who's the guy?" Usagi asked coming up to Makoto who was currently sitting at the Sailor V Game. At the moment aforementioned brunette was more interested in some guy playing a crane game then she was in playing the Sailor V Game. Still no sign of Zoicite or the Dark Kingdom which was a bit odd. Usagi would have thought that Beryl would have recovered from the loss of one of her generals by now. The peace and quiet was nice but the longer it stretched on the more she wondered if there was something they were missing as far as Dark Kingdom activity went.

"He looks like my old senpai.." Makoto said sounding a bit spaced out. Obviously whoever this old crush of her was was someone that she still thought about a lot.

"Ah did you two date or anything?" Usagi asked. Most likely not if Makoto was calling him an senpai and not boyfriend but still best to ask.

"No. He didn't feel the same." Makoto muttered. She wasn't entirely sure why she tended to compare everyone to a guy who had rejected her, harshly too. Maybe first love kind of thing?

"I really shouldn't be lecturing people on holding on to their past but…" Usagi began muttering under her breath. She was probably the worst person to be giving this kind of lecture. "Makoto there are plenty of fish in the sea you shouldn't go chasing after every guy that looks like your old crush." She would have thought the girl would be less interested in someone who had rejected her. Apparently not.

"Yeah I know that but…" Makoto trailed off there not entirely sure how to continue. To be honest she still wasn't sure at times why she tended to go looking at guys who resembled her old crush. She just found herself drawn to them for some reason. Seriously, it was an odd behavior. Why go chasing after someone you could never get?

"Sorry." Usagi apologized not really having meant to possibly insult her. She hadn't meant to bring up anything other then the odd old crush obsession but she had obviously done just that. Usagi briefly pondered if a youma was involved with the obsession. Michiru had mentioned the fact she had sensed negative energy at the arcade the last time the two had been there. It had been dismissed since their had been no active youma plots discovered and no sign of anyone who matched the description of Zoicite. Maybe it was more then a coincidence…

"It's fine. My heart beats like it's only remembers that moment, like it's always missing a beat between beats. When I saw senpai it was like that beat was within the grasp of my heart.." Makoto confessed. She had no blank gaps in her memory so why did she feel this way sometime?

"You don't have amnesia or anything?" Usagi asked frowning slightly. Tucking that piece of information away for later. Maybe Makoto was a Senshi and the feelings were tied to that?

"No. My heart just cries out for what it's missing I guess." Makoto confessed. Other than her temper and feeling lonely over a lack of family most days she was okay physically and mentally. It made the whole sensation even more odd.

"Strange.." Usagi noted frowning slightly. She had a familiar sensation at times but she put it off to the fact she was still regaining her memories of the Silver Alliance. Makoto, however, wasn't a senshi and didn't have ties to the Moon Kingdom that she knew of, though as Naru had proven you could have left over ties to the Silver Alliance and not be a Senshi.

"Makoto!" Usagi greeted coming up to the brunette. "Your pretty far out from Juuban what are you doing here?" She had been surprised to spot the brunette on the way home from class. While the triangle wasn't exactly that far from Juuban something felt a bit random about this.

"Hey Usagi!" Makoto greeted. "He asked me to tag along and since I didn't have anything better to do I agreed." Makoto said making a motion behind her where she could see the aforementioned person, Gamer Joe, who now that she was looking was talking to some lady.

"Why are you hanging out with him?" Usagi asked glancing back at Makoto with a frown.

"He's a little rough around the edges but maybe that's because he doesn't have enough love in his life." Makoto said with a shrug.

"Mako... he was really mean to you. Why are you hanging around someone like that?" Usagi asked. Was Makoto's crush obsession that bad that she needed to hang out with someone who actively treated her badly?

"He isn't all bad." Makoto muttered. Usagi cringed slightly at that. While that was true technically and she definitely got where the other girl was coming from. That still wasn't a very good reason to continue hanging out with him and letting him push her around.

"Why did he ask you to start hanging out anyway?" Usagi asked deciding to change the subject from why Makoto was willingly hanging out with the guy. Last she checked he wanted nothing to do with the other girl, and was pretty clear about that fact.

"I guess he wants me to be his bodyguard." Makoto shrugged and she really didn't care at the moment. She felt flattered regardless. At Usagi's confused look she elaborated. "Some blond haired ponytail guy started attacking him with some really wierd stuff, doing something that was causing him pain. I got in the fight with the pony tailed guy which allowed him to escape. I guess he wants me around in case pony-tail shows up again."

"Dark grey uniform?" Usagi said almost afraid to ask but now she was starting to wonder if Zoicite had finally reared his head.

"Yeah how did you know?" Makoto asked.

"I've seen a couple of people dressed like that around." Usagi admitted more then a bit impressed. As far as she knew Makoto was a pure civilian. The generals had shown time and time again that they were a force to be rekoned with when fighting. For Makoto to have been able to drive one of them off was no small feat. "It means nothing but trouble usually. Please, if you see one of them be careful."

"Isn't deciding someone's trouble based on how they dressed a bad thing?" Makoto asked raising an eyebrow.

"Normally. This is a bit more complicated." Usagi admitted chewing on her lip. "I'm pretty sure he's associated with bad news because I've heard of him before from someone else. I've never actually seen him in person before though I'll admit." Usagi explained. That was true up until this point all they knew about Zoicite was from Masato. "It might be a wild coincidence but after everything that's happened the last two months I'm inclined to think its not."

"Is this going back to the weird stuff you mentioned the first night we met?" Makoto asked.

"Yes." Usagi said scratching her head. Most of the plots when Masato had still been working for the Dark Kingdom hadn't gotten really noticed by the public for being actual plots. Well, with the exception of the wedding shop incident. From what she had seen most people had dismissed what had happened at the model contest as something else. With the lull and lack of Zoicite the first couple of weeks of school had been surprisingly quiet. "Hopefully someday soon it will calm down and talking about weird stuff happening in Juuban will be a thing of the past." Usagi said with a sigh. While she definetely didn't regret becoming Sailor Moon, it was exhausting. She was looking forward to the day they finally beat the Dark Kingdom because it would mean some peace and quiet finally.

"You talk like your directly involved in this.. weirdness?" Makoto said raising an eyebrow. Maybe she was reading too much into this but Usagi's wording was interesting.

"Eh...?! What makes you say that?!" Usagi said trying to do damage control. She couldn't deny she wasn't involved the weirdness. Clearly her internal panic showed on her face. Even Usagi had to admit she, herself, was a terrible liar. "So you are involved in it somehow. What in the world are you involved in?" Makoto asked raising an eyebrow, clearly able to read between the lines Usagi would rather she not.

"I'm sorry." Usagi didn't deny her involvement but couldn't tell her anything either. Her shoulders sagged at this and she wondered if she would lose a a potential friend today. Considering how Luna had drilled into her the fact that other people knowing her secret identity was a danger to not just her but to them. Usagi wasn't sure if she would have told Makoto if things were different.

After a moment Makoto sighed. "All right. I'll drop it. Just be careful okay?" Makoto said finally dropping the subject seeing that she wouldn't get any further on teh topic with Usagi.

"Thanks." Usagi said giving a slight smile before hugging Makoto in gratitude for her understanding. Not for the first time, she wondered why her? Why Usagi Tsukino and not someone more capable than herself? Actually that was another thing she had never got a straight answer out of Luna about. How she had found and picked her as Sailor Moon initially. It made sense that she was fit for the duty in a way since she could remember the Moon Kingdom, even if not all that well since her memories were still coming back. That still didn't really explain to her how Luna had found her. Maybe something to bug her about once she got home.

Before either of them could continue the conversation a man seemed to materialize out of thin air. Tossing a black crystal into the air it flipped a few time before forming some sort of barrier around Gamer Joe and then the screaming started. Usagi wasn't entirely sure what was happening or what Zoicite was doing other then it probably involved those Rainbow Crystals she had heard about it. Whatever it was definitely sounded highly unpleasant, Usagi thought flinching slightly. She could see why Makoto had gotten involved if she had stumbled across it.

"That's the guy I was talking about!" Makoto said taking a fighting stance having snapped out of her own surprise. Crap last thing she needed was Makoto engaging a Dark Kingdom general. That would not end well.

"Makoto, please let the Senshi handle this." Usagi pleaded grabbing the girl by the crook of her elbow. If she could get her out of the area and on her way home then she would be able to find a spot to transform and fight the youma. Problem was getting Makoto away. She needed to henshin just because of the fact that she was the only one who knew healing spells that could undo whatever it was that Zoicite was doing.

"But they aren't here." Makoto commented chewing on her lip slightly. She was way over her head with this weirdness but she couldn't just leave this guy, jerk or not.

"Makoto, please." Usagi said continuing to tug at the girl. She was going to have to be careful what she was saying or else Makoto might put two and two together and realize her secret job was being Sailor Moon.

"You really think they are close by." Makoto asked finally stepping back slightly.

"Yes." Usagi assured her and almost as if summoned by a sentence a yellow ball slid accross the ball just missing Zoicite. 'Perfect timing,' Usagi thought letting out a sigh of relief as she saw Uranus and Neptune come off a nearby path and into the clearing. She had hit the button on the communicator as soon as the blond haired general had materialized. "There's one of them right now. Come on Makoto lets get out of here." Now came the hard part figuring out how to ditch Makoto so she could transform. She had been able to ditch Makoto before by convincing her that she had somewhere safe to go the first time. Would that tactic work so well a second time? She took off back down a different path then she had come and out of the corner of her eye she saw Makoto follow after another moment of hesitation.

"Take care of them Gamecren!" Zoicite said before disappearing in a flowery whirlwind. He had stayed long enough to grab the Rainbow Crystal and introduce himself rather snidely to the Senshi before taking off.

"I didn't think anyone could rival Jadeite's lack of follow through but Zoicite just proved otherwise." Uranus quipped. Seriously, you awaken one of your bosses most powerful warriors and then walk away without thinking to take him with you? It just reeked of being a stupid idea. So far Masato appeared to have been the one who put the most thought behind his plans but then again they had only one encounter with Zoicite so it could be first day jitters for all they knew.

"Let's not look the gift horse in the mouth Uranus!" Neptune said. Yes, it did make zero sense that Zoicite had left without the Great Warrior from the area.. even if he had unfortunately acquired the Rainbow Crystal. Nonetheless, it was best not to over think the fact for the moment they only had a youma to deal with and not a youma and a general. Considering how well having to deal with both of them had gone last time.

"How is this a great warrior?" Uranus muttered Jadeite's youmas had been more of a problem at the time. Really, the most difficult thing at the moment was giving Moon an opening to heal him once she finally got back from where ever she had disappeared to. The rope things were proving to be more of a nuisance than a concern.

"Best not to bait him. For all we know those ropes could do a lot more then just hold us in place." Neptune pointed out.

"Sorry! It took me longer then I anticipated to ditch Mako!" Moon said finally running up. She had thought that getting the other girl to leave the first time was difficult. This time it was even more so. She had a feeling if she wanted to be able to transform in the future she was going to have be more careful about stumbling upon youma plots with Makoto around. Usagi frowned slightly. "Where did Zoicite run off too?"

"He apparently decided dealing with us was beneath him and left." Uranus answered.

"Really?" Moon asked in disbelief. Well it made things easier but it still didn't change the fact it made little sense.

"That's what I said." Uranus commented.

"Now is not the time to be discussing this!" Neptune reprimanded them both. "Moon do you think if we can keep him distracted long enough you can heal him or do you need him to be run down a bit more?"

Luna had been trying to train her in being able to see dark energy when she concentrated. The idea being that she would know just how much power to put behind a healing spell and was less likely to exhaust herself. It wasn't proving to be the easiest to learn. Not impossible, just difficult. They knew she had some psychic sensitivity. Not a lot, but she had to at least have some or else she would have never been able to see through the youma's disguise all those months back at Osa-P. As far as her and Luna could tell she didn't have a natural talent (most likely the Osa-P thing had been a one off thing brought on by the fact her Senshi powers were starting to come to the surface), as shown by the fact she really hadn't seen anything like that since then, for it so it wasn't easy. Managing to get her mind back on track she found that when she concentrated she could make out some sort of aura hovering around the youma. Not overly strong but noticeable and from what Luna had been saying appeared to be within the 'Non-Over exhertion range'. Moon hesitated for a moment hoping she was reading it right. "I think I'm good to heal him as long as you keep him distracted."

"Alright! Uranus take his left I'll take his right. He seems to only have one rope-" Neptune began only to be interrupted by having to scatter as three ropes shot out of the device on the youma's arm. "Spoke too soon!" Neptune noted. That definitely complicated things.

"That's new." Uranus commented as the ropes started to return to the human turned youma. Before he had been shooting one rope at a time. Now he had just shot three in different directions.

"It complicates things and suggests a new problem. It might be the longer we let him run around the more he discovers. We need to take care of him quickly!" Neptune surmised. If he hadn't been shooting more then one rope at a time prior to now it suggested that he hadn't been aware of the capability. That might mean the longer he stayed in this form the more he discovered about it and the more difficult it would be for Usagi to revert him back to a normal human.

"Yeah, this is going to make it more difficult to find an opening." Moon pointed out.

"Maybe if you get out of the line of sight he won't be able to attack you. Do you think you can get yourself up in a tree?" Uranus asked.

Moon chewed on her lip slightly before dodging another attempt to catch her with the rope. "I don't know if I can climb a tree anymore." The option of going up into a nearby tree wasn't a bad one considering it would put her out of sight range and attack range for the youma from what they could tell but there was another matter at hand. While it would put her out of the way of the youma and its ropes there was the matter she hadn't gone tree climbing in years. Not since before the quake she wasn't sure if she could handle the athleticism needed to get up on a branch. And she wasn't sure how well that would go if she attempted it. Best to just wait for an opening and try tree climbing in a less dangerous situation.

"Okay. Ideas?" Uranus asked frowning slightly. Before an idea popped into her head. It wasn't the best idea but she couldn't think of anything else either, so she continued. "I could probably restrain it while you heal it." It would mean getting up close and personal with the youma which wasn't ideal. Especially since it was difficult to say how strong the youma was in comparison to her. But there wasn't many other ideas.

"I really don't like the idea of you having a wrestling match with a youma." Moon commented as one of the 'ropes' destroyed a nearby vending machine. Sure, it would give her an opening but it would also put Uranus in a lot more danger.

"And you have a better idea?" Uranus argued.

"She's right! I don't like it either." Neptune added. She liked the idea of Uranus wrestling with a youma even less then Moon, but the way things were going, the longer they waited to heal it the worse the situation got for them.

Moon caved. "Be careful."

"I always am." Uranus said a bit cheekily before engaging the youma.

"We have got to find a better way to do this that doesn't involve wrestling a youma." Moon muttered to herself as she tried to stay out of reach of the ropes that were flying around with a mind of their own. Probably the youma was too distracted to control them. That was a plus at least. Sure this worked this time and a couple of other times. But how often would they be able to rely on it?

"Moon!" Uranus called finally having gotten an upper hand on controlling the youma.

"Moon Healing Escalation!" Moon said pointing the compact in the direction of the two. Once she had it it was fairly quick to get the youma back to human form.

"Are you all right Moon?" Neptune asked giving her a slightly concerned look. Moon appeared to be fine for all intents and purposes but considering how tired she had been last time, and the fact Usagi had a tendency to hide things. Best to ask.

"I'm fine. Barely felt it that time. I've had more time to train my use of the spell so I have better control over it than when we healed Masato." Usagi gave them a reassuring smile. Maybe because this one had less ties to the Dark Kingdom then Masato had but that had been significantly easier to cast then when she was healing Masato. Good thing too. She had a feeling that now that Zoicite was starting to search out the Great Warriors she was going to be using the spell more often and would have less leeway time to recover between uses. "What about you? Uranus?"

"I'm fine." Uranus said sounding a bit amused by that. Sure he had gotten a few elbows in but once she had the thing's arms restrained it had been easy.

Sailor Moon thought a moment before speaking. "It's still not that easy. But I was able to get a read on it."

"It will get better with practice." Luna assured her. Moon jumped slightly. She had thought Luna was with Naru back in juuban. Glancing between Luna and the older Senshi wondering if they had had a chance to talk about Moon and Neptune's miscommunication.

"Luna? Is he going to be okay if we just leave him?" Moon asked with some hesitation. Deciding to dodge the topic she knew Luna wanted to talk about. Yeah he had been a jerk towards Makoto but it didn't feel right to just leave him without knowing if he was all right.

"He'll be fine. He may have a headache and a few bruises from the fighting when he wakes up from all this but that should be the only side effect." Luna reassured her. She doubted he would have even that to be honest when he woke up. The spell would have wiped away any damage caused to his youma form during the fight.

Neptune frowned for a second. "Could Zoicite or another one of the higher ups come back for him to try and use him as a pawn of the Dark Kingdom?"

"I guess that's a possibility. I'm not entirely sure how they would pull that off considering he's back to being a normal human." Luna confessed glancing back at Joe with a frown. It was definitely something a bit off about him. He was admitting lower level negative energy then he had been before Zoicite got to him. For all intents and purposes he appeared to be human with no ties to the Dark Kingdom. Then again, there still wasn't much they knew about the Dark Kingdom maybe they could bring him back as a youma. "He's of no use to them now. He should be fine to be left alone."

"Are you going back to Naru's?" Uranus asked turning to her as they started to walk away.

"Moon, your avoiding it again." Luna pointed out when she saw the other girl hesitating to repsond. She knew the plan had been next week but why wait?

"Sailor Moon. I wanted to warn you so you wouldn't think it was your legs if they turned on you as well." Neptune explained.

"I used to be worried about the same thing happening to Naru." Moon confirmed. "I appreciate the concern but I've handled a lot worse than a few mean comments. Those words were child's play compared to what used to get tossed around. Its just the warning hit a bit too close to what I was used to hearing at Juuban." Uranus and Neptune exchanged a glance both wondering just wondering how much had gone on at Juuban and how it had been allowed to go on.

"Moon we're not trying to hurt you but if you keep hiding things like this its kind of hard not to say something that does." Uranus commented.

Moon found herself hesitating again. Even after agreeing with Naru and Luna that she needed to tell them everything it was hard to commit to actually doing it. "Fine." Moon said finally caving. Partly because she was tired of having to hide it. "Not here." Luna perked up a bit at this. She honestly had been half expecting Usagi to back out. "I'll meet you at Osa-P" Moon added. She couldn't do this without Naru.

"That's fine." Neptune assured her. Just glad they were finally going to be clearing the air about the whole subject.

"Your sure about this?" Uranus asked raising an eyebrow.

"I'm not being given a choice." Moon sighed.

"Thank you Naru." Usagi greeted letting her friend in. Taking the offered overnight bag from her. As long as nothing changed she wasn't planning to go back to Naru's.

"Always glad to help. You sure about doing this now?" Naru asked. She had been kind of surprised when Usagi had called her telling her the plans. But she had been more then willing to help.

"Not really. I don't think I can run this time." Usagi said gazing out the window nearby at the now darkening sky. Truth be told she wasn't sure if she would ever be ready to talk about everything involving Yuki. She guessed it was now or never. "I'll help." Naru said quietly hugging Usagi from behind and gently resting her head on her back. Usagi's right hand came up to touch her friends hand with a gentle smile. Maybe, just maybe with Naru here she could do this.

Usagi took a seat on the middle of the couch in the living room and Naru took one of the empty chairs as Haruka and Michiru found their own spots on another couch. Usagi let out a breath of air as Luna hopped into her lap. "It will be fine Usagi." Luna assured her. She was glad Usagi was finally going to open up on what had happened with this Yuki girl when she was at Juuban.

Usagi doubted that but decided not to voice that particular thought. Digging up everything that had happened with Yuki was never easy for her. "Its just never easy to think about everything that involved her. I don't really think I ever talked to anyone outside of the school officials about what happened." Usagi confessed. And even then she wasn't even told everything. A lot of times the school office had turned a deaf ear the minute she had walked through the door as the situation had progressed. So probably only her, Yuki, the cronies, Naru, and her family knew exactly what had gone on inside school walls. Or at least to the full extent.

"The incident at the ball actually was childs play compared to some of the other things that happened." Naru began things, seeing Usagi didn't seem to know how to start. That had been cruel humiliation compared to some of the things that Yuki had tried or succeeded at when they were at Juuban…

"I'm not sure how setting up someone to be publicly humiliated in front of a crowd like that is child's play." Michiru said looking over at the red head with a frown. That seemed to be almost underplaying the event.

"She tried to set up Usagi to be raped once." Naru counter pointed going straight to probably the most infamous incident at Juuban, her tone quiet steel.

That got a reaction out of the others. Haruka was lightly swearing under her breath at the idea. And Michiru…well her reaction wasn't verbal but judging by the balled fists she wasn't happy by what Naru had said either. Luna looked up at her from her position on Usagi's lap. "Usagi?"

"Way to jump ahead Naru." Usagi muttered under her breath before sighing. She had been planning on telling them about that. But she hadn't been planning on bringing it up straight off the block. Too late now she guessed. "It's true."

Haruka began trying to express her anger at the situation but was unable to find words. Her fist met the wall as she screamed. Everyone gave her a moment to recollect herself before she sat back down in her seat before continuing.

"Yuki is a sadist with heavily vested interest in Usagi." Naru supplied.

Usagi hesitated for a moment and then finally moved into talking about Yuki's reign. If she let this keep going she might never talk about it so that meant cutting Naru off for now. "When I first moved to Juuban she was actually weirdly nice to me. Looking back she was probably using me even then. Everything was so fresh and I was still hurting from losing so much that I didn't pay it much mind at the time. The worst thing she did then was try to separate me and Naru. That all changed right after the first time I visited Shingo's grave and she tagged along. About eight months after the earthquake. I don't remember her exact reaction to the visit, just a lot of yelling and name calling but its more of a blur. I just know it wasn't good. At the time since I thought I could trust her I asked her and Naru to come with me. That was a mistake as it turns out…"

Usagi walked along the school. It wasn't the best day. Yuki's reaction to her tears at her brothers grave, to her breaking down, had been rather horrible and made her wonder some things, about how close they actually were. She hoped they were still friends and she wondered why she reacted so strongly the way she did.

Next thing Usagi knew she came to her locker. Across the locker in bright red was written 'Legless Whore', 'Freak', among other profanities. Usagi's heart caught in her throat but she refused to cry. When she went to open her locker legless barbie dolls hung by there necks in makeshift nooses with a note. 'It should have been you.'

This time she did cry. Ran into the bathroom to cry in a stall. Before she could get there, there was a group of girls with Yuki in the lead. 'Baby Usagi gonna cry?' Usagi, wide eyes and betrayed looked at her. "Wha..?" Yuki Sneered. "You didn't really think I'd be friends with a little crybaby like you did you? Me? Friends with a legless whorebag like you? ! "

Next thing Usagi knew she was grabbed on all sides and gagged. She was held down and her clothing ripped while her legs were forcibly removed. "Legless" was carved into each prosthetic and then written over with permanent marker. "We should carve it into her skin next." Said one of the girls. Yuki's eyes glinted and they began to gather around the terrified , crying Usagi.

Thankfully at that moment Naru's voice cut through everything. 'USAGI!" Horrified , having just figured out where her friend had run off to after seeing the locker. Naru called for help as the girls dropped the crying mess that was Usagi and scattered elsewhere, exiting the bathroom.

Haruka growled with fist clenched. "The ball wasn't the first time." She stated, obviously trying not to abuse Naru's family home anymore or risk a whole in the walls.

Usagi let out a dry, broken laugh at that. She wished that had been the first time Yuki had called her that. "It was practically my name for a while. Her and her friends refused to call me anything else. People I didn't even know used it." Usagi admitted. She had broken down over the name at the ball partly because she hadn't been expecting to hear that 'name' again on top of everything else. Yuki hadn't called her that in months so she thought she was no longer going to here it. Hearing it again had dragged out a lot of bad memories.

"How have we never noticed?" Michiru wondered to herself. Having words carved into prosthetic was a bit hard to miss.

"Some polish and paint made it harder to see." Usagi said lifting her right leg so they could better see where the word legless was carved. Her and Naru had spent hours trying to erase the damage the others had wrecked on them. Since it wasn't enough damage to make the prosthetic unusable replacing them hadn't been an option at the time just due to the sheer cost. This was why she was looking forward to getting to the point in the trial she could start using the prosthetics outside of the clinic. It would mean one less connection to Yuki. She lowered it after a moment shrugging. "Can't make it so it looks like it's completely brand new but I can make it disappear enough that I almost forget its there." And hopefully soon enough she wouldn't be wearing them much longer. "That was the only time Yuki and her crew went after my legs. At least to cause damage. We aren't sure why they never went the route again but it might have been something the school said." Might being the key word. The school had never acted against them on anything else.

That was just the start of it as it turned out. In the coming weeks she would quickly discover that the girls would not be dealt with by the school at all. The burden of avoiding them was placed on Usagi, though she often failed despite her best efforts. Spit balls in her hair, name calling, death wishes in her locker, the legless barbie dolls was a particularly cruel running joke that seemed to happen over again.

Her locker had been a favorite target of theirs until it had got to the point where she could no longer use it because she never knew if it was safe. One day it was a bag of feces in her locker, another it was a knife rigged to swing towards her when she opened it. That had actually been what forced her to stop using her locker.

Which meant they just moved their torture to other means. Trash and rotting food in her desk, stealing her pencils, taking her prosthetics till she refused to shower in the school locker room and ended up made fun of for that as well. Locking her in a school closet to the point she had panicked from the claustrophobia she had developed because of Tohoku to the point she had nearly passed out.

In one particularly infamous instance Yuki had set her up to be raped by pretending she was forced into her behavior and playing that she was still her friend then not showing up. Instead there were three boys waiting for her in an empty classroom instead of Yuki. Naru and Umino had been close by for moral support and had acted quickly. A teacher had gotten involved and the boys had charges pressed but Yuki never faced any repercussions for her part in setting her up to be raped. While the boys didn't succeed, it still was horrible.

"Did the boys get expelled?" Haruka asked failing to keep the anger that she was feeling out of her voice. It had been slowly building as Naru and Usagi had traded off telling the story. And to make it worse it seemed like neither girl were quiet done.

"They 'voluntarily' transferred after that. Their parents argued that there was no way to know for sure what there intent was. The school admin sided with them Of course." Usagi said letting out a slight scoff. When had the school ever sided with her? Looking back it almost seemed like Juuban had it out for her. The only time they had even done anything that had been on her side was because her parents had threatened legal action if something wasn't done. "Not that it helped. That just made the friends of the boys that were still there go and team up with Yuki and her group. It made the situation worse." Usagi confessed.

"We also lost the one person that worked for the school that would maybe help us. Ms Haruna was let go shortly thereafter. Well they said 'transferred' but we could never figure out where she went exactly." Naru added. "She couldn't do much really. Just being a teacher but she wouldn't put up with a lot of Yuki's antics in her classroom. So, it was one of the few safe places on campus."

"I wouldn't mind tracking her down now." Usagi commented to herself. Ms. Haruna may not have been the worlds greatest teacher but she had been there when it had mattered most. Keeping Yuki from acting out towards her and letting her classroom be one of two places on the campus Usagi and Naru could take lunch without having to worry about other students.

"After that she couldn't go anywhere alone on campus. We were too afraid that someone would try a repeat incident." Naru admitted. "The longer it went on the more it progressed from threats. We were actually in the middle of squabbling with the school admin about getting permission to take our lunch off campus when it finally stopped."

"Why would you need to take lunch off campus?" Luna asked frowning.

"Sometimes they just didn't put rotten food in my desk. But poisoned my food. I lost…" Usagi frowned there not entirely sure. She turned to Naru. "How much time do you think I missed from school because I kept getting sick?"

"I know at least two, maybe part of three weeks." Naru admitted after a moment. "I know it was enough that it was making school even more complicated."

"It put me even further behind than I was. It's hard to keep up with your studies when you keep missing class from having a 'stomach virus'." Usagi said putting air quotes around stomach virus.

"What made them finally stop?" Michiru asked.

"Better yet when did they finally stop?" Luna asked. She had a sinking feeling that this has been happening far more recently then she initially had believed. She had always believed that the whole thing with Yuki had taken place at least a year before she had found Usagi. Now she was starting to think otherwise.

"They tried a different tactic this time, right before the winter break. About four weeks before you found me Luna." Usagi said after a moment.

"Usagi ended up in the hospital." Naru quietly added.

"What happened?" Haruka asked eyes narrowing.

"I don't remember what happened. I just remember being slammed into a wall so hard I swear I could hear my head crack. And then the next thing I knew I was waking up in the hospital two days later." Usagi explained. Absent minded rubbing her head in the spot she had hit it. It no longer hurt but she could almost feel where the worst of it had been. She knew what had happened because she had seen the security footage but she had no memories of what had happened.

"I was the one that found her." Naru said after a moment. Her voice cracking slightly as she remembered it. She had gone looking for Usagi because it was during lunch. Only to find her lying at the bottom of the stairs with a pool of blood nearby. She had never been so scared for her friend outside of the attempted rape incident. "It would be over a week before the full story got out. Thankfully this time they had been caught on camera so the school had to act. Several of Yuki's cronies had ganged up on her and beat her to a pulp. It wasn't the first time Usagi had been hit by one of them but it was the first time they had done such damage and this time someone made the mistake of doing something like throwing her down the stairs in range of security camera. This time there was no way the school could deny what had happened. They had to act or risk legal action."

"Everyone that was dumb enough to get caught on camera was expelled. The school had no way of trying to make it gloss over this time. Thank god. Of course, not all of the group that had been tormenting me was expelled. Not all of them were involved first off. And second Yuki isn't exactly dumb. Mean yes, dumb no. She knew how to make sure there was no way to trace it back to her. It was probably her idea but she wasn't caught on camera so there was no way to prove she was behind it, but they must have said something to her because after I came back at the beginning of the new year that they suddenly backed off." Usagi said after a moment. In the last month she had barely been approached by Yuki and her friends. She still had heard them making snide comments in passing. But outside of the chinchella incident she had had no interaction with them, good or bad. At least at school.

A few hours later they were back at the apartment. Usagi had retreated for the night already tired from all the day's activities. Leaving Michiru to think over some of what they had been revealed that day.

“Something on your mind Michiru?” Haruka asked coming up to where she was standing out on the apartment’s balcony.

Michiru quietly nodded her head, unsure what to say after a moment. There had been many things said this afternoon but she kept coming back to one thing. The supposed near rape incident. She wanted to believe Usagi hadn’t actually been put through it but there were other signs that there was more.

“About what she told us this afternoon?” Haruka guessed.

Michiru nodded. “Do you remember that boy we saw at the mall back in January?”

“The day of the clock store incident?” Haruka guessed having a feeling where this was going. At Michiru’s nod, she added her own thoughts. “I don't think I've ever seen her that terrified of anyone. She faces down youma bigger than that guy without a thought to her safety but she was frozen in front of that punk. I don't like it.” Haruka said after a moment going over the scene in her mind again. Maybe it hadn’t been one of the boys that had apparently tried to assault Usagi. The fear pointed to there being a history there and it was all pointing in one very unpleasant direction.

“Do you think more could have happened than she is saying?” Michiru said quietly fists clenching slightly. Had Usagi actually been raped? Had there really been nothing that she hadn’t been allowed to suffer through while attending Juuban?

"Would you say if it had been you? Would she? People can be pretty stupid about that sort of thing, even people you think you know.” Haruka asked after a moment, clearly eluding to another similar subject that had both of there families quietly shunning them. Could you really even ask that kind of question? It seemed like they already knew the answer to that question but was it one they should or wanted to ultimately ask Usagi? Would she even tell them?

Michiru thought for a moment before shaking her head. “These things have a way of coming out.” Michiru worried over Usagi and the effect such would have over her if they got further than Usagi was saying. "All we can do is support her. No matter what happened." Continued Michiru. Haruka quietly agreed with her. "It's not enough." She grumbled angrily sitting down and putting her head in her hands. Michiru stood gracefully beside her and put her hand on her shoulder. "It is all we can really do." "I could kill him." Haruka piped in without missing a beat. Michiru almost laughed despite the situation. Same old Haruka. "That won't change the past." Michiru intoned. Haruka huffed. "It's one less thing for her to fear in the world." Michiru, for her part, could not argue with that even as she knew they could not murder the boy.

End Chapter 17

Chapter Text

Chapter 18

Saturn Rising

"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

Chapter Text

Chapter 19

Getting a Better Picture

"Hotaru!" Usagi greeted in surprise one afternoon a couple of days later. She was currently waiting for Yui to come get her for the program when she had run into Hotaru in the waiting room. "I didn't know you were a participant too."

"Yeah. Actually, I usually come in on a different day. I was having some issues so they had me come in today. And even if I did come in on a normal day my injuries aren't the most pleasant to look at…" Hotaru trailed off for a moment. "Most of the time what we are doing is back in a more private area. I guess I need to tell you all eventually about why I'm doing this." Hotaru realized frowning slightly. She had a feeling that she would only be able to hide this for so long even if she was careful…

"Your dreading that aren't you." Usagi guessed. It hadn't been that long ago when she had been in the same shoes.

"I've just never had anyone react in a manner that wasn't disgust or pity before. We have to work together so I guess I'm just worried if they know that every time I see them it will be the same reaction." Hotaru admitted.

"Hotaru I hid my prosthetics from Haruka and Michiru. I was stupid. They will handle it a lot better then you think they will." Usagi said.

"They really didn't react with disgust or mean comments?" Hotaru asked a bit doubtful a tad bit of hope leaking into her tone. Very few people that weren't medically inclined or fellow members of the programmed had reacted positively to her condition. But in spite of that she couldn't help but hope maybe this time the reactions would be different. Even if the odds seemed stacked against it.

"No, just startled and disappointed I didn't trust them enough to tell them before." Usagi assured remembering Haruka's reaction in particular. Michiru had never voiced any disappointment but she wouldn't be surprised if she hadn't been a bit disappointed at her difficulty in trusting them at the time.

"I'm still not sure…" Hotaru admitted with some hesitation looking down at her hands for a moment other incidents with her classmates flashing before her. She herself hated looking at the implants at times she couldn't imagine anyone that wasn't used to seeing them not reacting unpleasantly. No matter what Usagi said.

"What happened anyway? If you don't want to talk about it…" Usagi said backtracking almost as soon as she asked for fear of having crossed a line. Sometimes talking about the cause of the injuries was the hardest thing to do.

Hotaru shook her head after a moment, "No. It's fine. I was in a bad fire when I was younger, when I was six. Nearly killed my Mom and I the first time. I survived but with some rather bad burns and some unique looking implants. My appearance tends to draw some attention if I don't keep my skin covered." Actually now that she was thinking about it she was surprised that none of it had shown when she had first henshined as Saturn…. but then Sailor Moon's legs didn't exactly reflect reality either. Hotaru had gotten off better in the recovery, but that was probably because she was young. Her Mom had always seemed sickly and fragile after the fire.

She was brought out of her thoughts just as a familiar (to her at least) brunette came out from the back. Taking a short bow in front of the two, "I am so sorry for keeping you waiting Ms. Tomoe. We are ready for you now."

"It's fine Emi, this was an unexpected visit anyway. I'll see you around school Usagi." Hotaru said giving Usagi a friendly wave before following the girl into the back.

"Where did you get this?" Luna asked one afternoon a couple of days after Usagi had discovered her and Hotaru were in the same program. The mail had just arrived to the apartment and they were quickly going through it when a flyer that had been sent to Michiru by the looks of it caught her eye. She assumed it was part of the large amount of junk mail that had been dropped off but best to ask.

"Came in the mail. I paint on the side. It's more of a hobby when compared to performing in the classical arts. So it's not that uncommon for me to get flyers to other galleries." Michriu explained.

Usagi frowned slightly tilting her head trying to see what had got Luna's attention so much. It took a minute but as she stared at it more she kind of realized one of the buildings in the painting that was being advertised kind of looked like the Moon Palace. It could be just a wild coincidence though as time went by she was starting to doubt that happened anymore. Which would make this the first real lead they had about the Moon Kingdom (well first real lead that didn't tie back to Luna).

"What's got you two so interested?" Haruka asked. If it was just Usagi she would have been she may have thought it was just an interest in the painting maybe. But since it was Luna and Usagi it suggested something else. Most likely something senshi related if it was getting Luna's attention. But what was another matter.

"How much do you two remember of the Moon Palace?" Usagi finally asked. They hadn't really talked a ton about their lives before the current day outside of a few notable conversations. She knew that she had the strongest memories of it even if they still weren't all there just because she had lived there. However she didn't know how often the other two had come to the Moon during the days of Silver Alliance so she didn't know if they remembered what the palace looked like.

"I don't really remember any details about it." Haruka said exchanging a glance with Michiru.

"Its kind of jumbled but a good portion of what we do remember of the Silver Millennium took place on our own home planets. We do have some other memories. Like when we first became Uranus and Neptune. But as is we don't have a ton of memories of the Moon Palace." Michiru admitted. They did have memories of the Moon Kingdom, that was how they had recognized Usagi initially after all. But they didn't have a ton. At least in her case, a good portion of her memories she had regained so far were from the pre Senshi days for some reason. She wasn't sure if that was because there wasn't much to remember from her time at the outpost or what the story was. Hopefully once they got the Ginzishou and it restored everyone's memories they would have some answers.

"It's just this building here looks a lot like what I remember the Moon Palace looking like." Usagi said pointing at the white building in the background of the two figures. It may be a weird coincidence, she always thought the building looked kind of Taj Mahal-ish but that didn't look like the Moon exactly hanging in the background behind the figures.

"Seriously?" Haruka asked raising an eyebrow. "How does some random artist remember the Moon Palace in that much detail but Michiru and I are only capable of remembering bits and pieces."

"That's what I'm trying to understand." Luna admitted after a moment. "Best explanation is that she was someone high up in the Lunar court. Since to be able to remember these kind of angles she would have had some fairly regular access to the Moon Kingdom." Initially she had thought that it would be only possible for the senshi and the former Terran prince of their time to remember their time in the Silver Millennium. Then possibly the generals when the idea of being able to bring them back the Dark Kingdom had first started to come into fruition. Her and Artemis remembered just because they actually were remnants from the Silver Millennium. They hadn't been reborn but put into a deep sleep after the fall of the Moon Kingdom. Unfortunately that much time in hibernation had left them with giant holes in their memory. So it made sense that they remembered some things about the Moon Kingdom. Someone who appeared to be a random civilian? Not so much. Like everything else lately that idea seemed to have been turned on its head.

"That still doesn't explain why we remember less about what the palace looked like then this woman did though." Michiru pointed out. It made no sense, their duties meant they should be able to remember more details about the old Moon Palace. But the palace in the painting on the flyer had more details (like the dome for one, she hadn't remembered that it had a dome) then either her or Haruka remembered. She thought initially it was because of the fact that their memories were coming back slowly. But this suggested their might be something else going on.

"I understand that unfortunately there is no easy answer to what your question is though." Luna said after a moment. "I may need to try and get in and see these for myself.

"If you can keep quiet we might be able to sneak you in a bag." Usagi suggested to Luna. Though that still left the problem of Luna being able to actually see the painting.

"No. I probably would be able to sneak in on my own. You would be surprised how easy it is to go unnoticed when I want to." Luna said shaking her head. Humans weren't always as good at paying attention to their surroundings as they pretended to be.

"Picked up anything useful Luna?" Usagi asked Luna a couple of days later at the gallery. They had gone by to see if the pictures were indeed of the Moon Kingdom and if it could jog any memories. No luck outside of Usagi and Luna now being sure that the paintings were of the Moon Palace and not of somewhere on Earth.

"Nothing we didn't know already." Luna agreed after a moment sighing slightly tail swishing slightly in agitation. She had been hoping their might be some answers to her questions here. However so far nothing. Seeing the paintings wasn't doing much good in anything other then raising the question of who the painter had been during the Silver Alliance, which was something they would only be able to ask if they were able to talk to the woman herself. From what they had heard she very rarely made public appearances. That complicated things.

Any further conversation was cut off by a new woman walking up to them. Nothing overly remarkable about her. Brown hair in a ponytail with glasses and if she hadn't been looking right at Usagi she might have missed the woman entirely. "Um, hi." Usagi said a bit hesitantly. Why was she staring. She glanced down for a moment thinking maybe her legs had gotten exposed somehow. But no they were still covered.

"Please, I need a reference model for some of my work. Your perfect." The lady said finally speaking up.

"I really don't do modeling." Usagi said. Not sure how to take this sudden request. What was with people wanting to getting her to model. First the swimsuit contest Luna had tried to make her enter, now this lady?

"You wouldn't be modeling really not at least in the traditional sense. I just would need you to sit down at my place while I do some reference schetches. Please. Its just one afternoon." The lady pleaded.

"I guess one afternoon wouldn't hurt." Usagi conceded caving in with noticeable hesitation. It didn't sound like a traditional modeling job at least. If she got to stay in her normal clothes she was fine with it. She frowned slightly seeing Luna seeming to tense against her leg. What got Luna worked up this time? This should be a good thing. If they could see the woman's studio they might be able to figure out where the idea for the paintings were coming from.

Luna frowned, this could be a good or bad situation. Or both. The dark energy signature she had picked up when Usagi had been talking to the painter indicated that she was most likely one of the slumbering Great Warriors.

That wasn't to be expected she knew she would be running into each of the members eventually. That was catching her off guard. It was the fact that in order to have memories to make these paintings whoever this woman had been in the Silver Millennium had to have been fairly close to the royal family. At least a member of the minor court even if still low ranking. That would suggest they somehow had had an enemy in their midst for quite awhile before the fall of the Moon Kingdom. This raised the question, just how much had they been paying attention? Considering the court's members and their aptitudes, someone should have picked up on the fact another member of the court had been turned. At the very least Mars should have been able too. She herself was pretty sure that if someone had turned into a Great Warrior Youma she would have remembered that- yet she didn't.

She shook her head after a moment. As confusing as it was, this wasn't her biggest concern. Her biggest concern was the fact that for some reason she had detected Great Warrior energy from someone that wanted to get Usagi alone. This could work either in their favor or against them. For now she needed to talk to Haruka and Michiru.


Thankfully Haruka and Michiru were in a quieter part of the gallery so she could talk with them without drawing too much attention. "I thought you were sticking with Usagi." Michiru said seeing the cat walk up. They had separated from the rest of the group to try and see if any of the other paintings could jog their own memories since they didn't remember much of the Moon Palace.

"I was but the painter was busy trying to talk Usagi into modeling for her so I let her be for a moment." Luna said. She wasn't sure if she wanted to draw attention to the fact the painter was a Great Warrior Youma quiet yet. "Anything of note you two were able to find?"

"We were just taking a closer look at this painting. That's us isn't it?" Michiru asked indicating the painting she had found them in front of. Luna frowned walking closer to get a better look. Upon a closer look she realized they were right, that definitely was Haruka and Michiru in their past lives. In their princess dresses if Luna remembered correctly. Well if that was Haruka and Michiru good chance that was one of the outer planets' palaces. Though which one it was she wasn't sure. However, what probably surprised Luna more was the third outline. That looked distinctly like Usagi, or if her line of thinking was correct, Serenity. That definitely wasn't the Moon. What in the world was she doing on another planet interacting with another court? Serenity had been too young to really be involved in politics outside of observation prior to the fall of the Silver Alliance.

"That is definitely your past selves." Luna answered. Though why Usagi was present in the painting raised another question. With the current train of thought that Usagi was Serenity she couldn't think of a reason for Usagi having been on the outer planets.

"Something a matter?" Michiru asked noting the look on Luna's face. Something was obviously bothering her.

"An incomplete memory with too many things that do not make sense." Luna admitted after a moment. "It would have been dangerous for her to travel to the Outer Rim so I'm a bit lost as to the presence of what maybe Serenity. This would most likely be at Miranda, the main palace of Uranus, or Triton Neptune's main palace. As far as I remember this should be completely unheard of. The younger senshi didn't travel, still being in training within there own courts and the lunar court itself, to other courts. The princess herself would have still been held back until she was a few years older than she was before the fall before being allowed to travel. If anything you two would have been going to her not the other way around. I just cannot figure out why she's at one of the outer planets castles." Luna shook her head before getting back on topic to the reason she came to them to begin with. "Do you think one of you could convince the artist to let you come if Usagi models?"

"Usagi agreed to that?" Haruka asked in surprise. It didn't seem like a thing Usagi would particularly enjoy.

"She asked her to be a reference. Said she was exactly what she was looking for for some of her paintings. And if she has fragmented memories of the Moon then that's probably true." Luna admitted. "Usagi really didn't seem to overly enthusiastic about it but seemed to be slowly giving in when I left the two of them."

"It wouldn't exactly be easy. I think theres a handful of people that actually know where she lives that aren't family." Michiru admitted. Though the fact that Luna and Usagi had apparently actually met the painter would simplify things. Meant they weren't going to have to convince a third person at least.

"That complicates things." Luna said more to herself then to them.

"Why do you want one of us to come along anyway? She's just a painter with memories of the Moon for some reason... right?" Haruka asked raising an eyebrow.

"I'm concerned that she may be a Great Warrior. If she is one we can't let the chance to get a rainbow crystal slip through our cracks. However…" Luna trailed off their.

"Leaving Usagi alone with an enemy isn't a good idea." Haruka supplemented.

"I'll see what I can do." Michiru agreed.

"Thanks for letting me bring a friend." Usagi called as her and Michiru entered the house that was owned by Yumemi, the painter. She had been a bit reluctant to okay having a friend come along, but eventually in the end had agreed if it meant Usagi would agree to be a reference for her paintings.

"Your Michiru Kaioh. You didn't mention one of your friends is a painter." Yumeno said hesitating a bit catching her first glimpse of Michiru. She hadn't known that Usagi was friends with any other painters. And Michiru's reputation kind of preceded her as a painter of high quality work.

"I asked to be the one to come when I heard who she was referencing for. I am a fan of your work." Seemed Yumemi's reputation definitely wasn't a lie judging by how nervous she had just gotten once she had seen Michiru. Though what she had said wasn't a lie either. She had been impressed with the painting Luna had found her and Haruka looking at earlier and was planning to buy it to hang back in the apartment. Even if parts of the painting didn't make sense to them. "I'm actually curious about some of your other work so I was hoping to see what you were using Usagi as a reference for."

Yumeno hesitated. "It's still in its rough sketch stages…"

"I am not here to critique and you don't need to show me at all if you don't want." Michiru assured her.

Yumemi hesitated for a moment more. "All right just keep in mind there's still a lot of work to be done." She led her into another room with various canvases in various states of being finished. "This is the one I'm currently working on and why I needed your friend." Yumemi said handing over a canvas which was in the rough sketch drawings phase of being painted on. "I wish I could figure out where it was I'm painting at times. Having real world references would help. But some of it seems almost alien, as silly as it sounds."

"I believe you." Michiru said shaking her head. Once upon a time it would have sounded silly. But after nearly seven months being Sailor Neptune not everything sounded as weird as it once had when she was starting out. Something still did sound strange at times but other things had begun to normalize just from her senshi status. Examining it she wasn't entirely sure what it was a painting of other then being of some event during the Silver Alliance. No senshi were in the picture just a girl in a dress that she suspected was who Usagi was providing a reference for and a boy in knight armor seeming to be ready to do battle against some unseen army with the Moon Palace cracking in the background. Something felt off about it but she couldn't put her finger on what and it wasn't just the lack of senshi if her suspicions were correct that this was from the night the Moon Kingdom had fallen taking the Silver Alliance with it.

"Do you recognize it?" Yumemi asked a bit hopefully. Maybe she had just been researching in the wrong places….

"I'm afraid not." Michiru admitted passing the canvas back. It was much easier to lie and say she had no clue what Yunenj was painting then trying to explain an ancient alien civilization. Let alone a lost fallen one that had vanished over a couple of millennium ago.

"Worth a shot at least." Yumemi said letting out a sigh. It would have been nice to identify and maybe do research on what she kept painting but it seemed like she hit a dead end every time she tried to look.

"Eh you paint the senshi?" came Usagi's surprised call. That caught Michiru's attention. There hadn't been any paintings of the senshi at the gallery. But if this woman was painting the Silver Alliance it would make sense that she would have some paintings with the senshi in them.

"Yeah every once and a while I get an idea for a painting involving them. No Sailor Moon though. She's never there when I get these ideas. Though I guess the girl in the white dress kind of looks like her." Yumemi admitted coming up behind Usagi and taking the canvas that she was holding.

This one looked like it was in the Moon Palace's throne room. Besides her and Haruka the other prominent figure in the painting was a silver haired woman that probably was Queen Serenity. Though she could see towards the background of the painting she could see the girl in the white dress, who she had a feeling was actually Serenity. If that was the case the resemblance between Serenity and Usagi was uncanny and this was before Yumemi had been able to talk Usagi into being a reference too. Even in painting there was a noticeable similarity. Judging by the fact it was her and Haruka in senshi garb kneeling in what was probably the throne room for the Moon Palace which probably meant it was early in their days as Senshi. Possibly the day they had become Uranus and Neptune during the Silver Alliance would be her guess. Their trips to the Moon Palace had been few and far between from what she could remember. If they were in full senshi garb then that was the most likely answer to the question.

"-know. I've always gotten strange ideas for paintings and artwork. I've never understood where they come from. I wish I could understand these painting. They feel so real, like more than paintings." Yumemi said sighing as Michiru turned her ear back to the conversation. She could understand the other woman's woes but she really did think Yumemi not knowing the full details was probably better for her then knowing them.

"Hopefully, someday you'll get your answers." Usagi encouraged.

"Hopefully." Yumemi agreed. Though at this rate she wasn't overly hopeful. She had been seeing flashes of the strange kingdom since she was a child. Art had always been an outlet to it but she never could understand why she was seeing it. At this point she didn't have high hopes that she would understand the visions any time soon if at all.

"Anyways what do you need me to do as the reference?" Usagi asked deciding to change the subject back to why she actually was here. Well that and the rainbow crystal situation. She still wasn't sure how they were going to handle that…

"Just take a seat on the couch. As long as I get some reference sketches down that should be good enough to work off of for some of the paintings." Yumemi said indicating the couch in the living room area. Hopefully an afternoon would be enough time to get everything she wanted.

"Sorry there was nothing to exactly identify who she was in the Moon Kingdom Luna. She doesn't seem to remember who she was or even that a Moon Kingdom existed." Michiru said shaking her head. They had just left Yumemi's house and had met up with Haruka and Luna. Michiru had poked around a little checking out what paintings Yumemi had out in the open but there had been nothing really to suggest what connection she actually had with the Moon Kingdom. And since Yumemi didn't remember much about the Moon Kingdom herself they knew as much about her role leaving as they did going in there.

Luna sighed. "It was worth a shot at least. Still wondering why she is remembering the Moon Kingdom…" This was going to bug her for a while she could tell…

"We have bigger problems for now. What are we going to do about her rainbow crystal?" Usagi asked after a moment. Yeah figuring out who Yumemi was would be nice. But it kind of fell low on priorities of things at the moment. Figuring out Yumemi could come later. Considering Zoicite seemed to show up pretty soon after they ran into another Great Warrior Youma host she was wondering how much longer it would be until he showed up at Yumemi's.

Luna frowned. "I'm not sure. I would rather not wait until Zoicite shows up the next time to take her crystal. Since that risks losing another rainbow crystal to him. But I'm not necessarily sure how to rectify the situation."

"We don't necessarily have to wait until whenever Zoicite shows up. The mirror should be able to heal her and give us the rainbow crystal without having to get Zoicite involved right Luna?" Usagi asked looking at the cat.

"Technically yes." Luna agreed a bit reluctantly. She wasn't sure if this was the best plan to go forward considering she had no clue how much effort it would take for Usagi to extract a rainbow crystal. But on paper it was, by far, the best plan.

"Yeah and the last time you used the compact for healing you knocked yourself out for two days." Haruka scowled apparently agreeing with Luna on the idea that this might be a bit too much for Usagi to handle at the moment. She got they needed the rainbow crystal. They were 0 for 2 with the other two currently. But was Usagi knocking herself out again worth it?

"I'll be alright. I might be a bit more tired then normal but I shouldn't be nearly as bad as last time." Usagi insisted.

"Maybe we should call Hotaru or Sestuna?" Michiru suggested after a moment. Deciding to ignore Usagi's insentience that she was fine and her annoyed huff at the suggestion. She agreed with Haruka that the idea of Usagi having to do an extraction with someone at full health probably wasn't the best idea. But…waiting for her to become a youma meant involving Zoicite and that just screamed of that being an even worse idea. If they had one of the others then it wouldn't be her and Haruka sharing energy with Usagi. In theory the more energy Usagi received the less the spell would tire her out. In theory at least.

Usagi hesitated for a moment she didn't want to get anyone else involved really but the other two weren't letting her get away with that. "Sestuna's probably the better of the two to get involved. Hotaru's great but she's still pretty new at this so Sestuna probably would have an easier idea of what to do and how to help then Hotaru. I think her office is closed by now so that shouldn't be a problem…" Usagi said trailing off pulling out her phone to text Sestuna. She wasn't a hundred percent sure though. "I'll text her to ask. And if she says no for whatever reason there still is Hotaru I guess."

"Can I help you?" Yumemi asked glancing between the four senshi at her doorway in confusion. When she had gone to answer the door she thought it was probably Usagi or Michiru having left something accidentally. Instead she had found herself with four Sailor Senshi. Not that she was complaining seeing them might come in handy. But why would they want to talk to her.

"This is a conversation best not held within public earshot." Pluto chose to answer for the group at the moment. "Could we please come inside?"

"Uh yeah sure." Yumemi said backing up to allow the four senshi in. "So what is it I can help you with. Since I'm guessing you don't normally make house calls."

"At the moment we are in competition with the Dark Kingdom to collect a group of crystals that are stored within a small group of humans. We recently discovered your the holder of one of them." Luna answered.

"But I don't own any crystals." Yumemi said in confusion. If she had any she would have been willing to hand it over to help them. But as far as she remembered she didn't really own any crystal.

"It wouldn't be something you normally would own. You were actually born with crystals inside of you." Moon explained repeating what she remembered Luna saying at some point.

"Wouldn't something like that show up on a medical scan?" Yumemi said frowning slightly.

"Luna? Pluto?" Moon said turning to the others for that question. Figuring that one of them would have to have the answer to that question. That was a very good question honestly. Wouldn't a crystal a size of your first show up on a medical scan normally?

"It's not exactly physical in the normal sense. It can only materialize when it reacts to certain magic such as Sailor Moon's healing magic." Pluto said taking over in response.

"Wouldn't that be painful?" Yumeni asked frowning slightly.

"It might be. It's impossible to say how the person going through the crystal will feel since we've never had a chance to ask before." Pluto answered truthfully. "However if we leave you be, eventually our enemy will come knocking and I can guarantee that will almost certainly be painful."

"So better to take care of it now then." Yumemi realized. "Well if this is the best solution to it then I'm okay with it. Can I ask one favor though?"

"Depends on what it is." Neptune answered. She had a feeling she knew what it was. And if it was Uranus would probably be complaining afterwards but it wasn't

"Could you three please stay after for a bit so I can get some sketches?" Yumemi asked making a motion at Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. "I would ask you too Sailor Moon but I never seem to have any paintings that need you. At least not so far." Unknowingly echoing what she had told them earlier that day.

"That shouldn't be a problem for us as long as it doesn't drag out too long." Neptune said speaking for her and Uranus. "What about you Pluto?"

"I certainly have some time I can spare." Pluto agreed. Partly she was staying because she was curious what in the world the woman had come up with that involved her. Back when the Silver Alliance had still been alive and well she had spent most of her time at the Gates of Time. And there really wasn't much to be drawn there.

"Just stand still actually. Our part is the more difficult part. It should be over pretty quickly." Moon instructed. This might end up being one of her easier healings. She waited until she was sure the other three had physical contact with her like the time they had healed Masato before opening the mirror. "Moon Healing Escalation!"

At first it seemed like nothing happened. And then after a minute a greenish glow enveloped Yumemi growing brighter the longer the spell happened. Then finally there was a popping noise and a green colored crystal seemed to materialize out of thin air flying in their direction. Pluto let go just in time to catch it as Moon ended the spell.

"How are you feeling Sailor Moon?" Luna asked coming up to her now that she was sure she wouldn't somehow cause interference in the girl's task.

"A bit tired but other then that I feel fine." Moon admitted. She had actually been feeling the effects of casting the spell when it was ongoing more then she was feeling it now for some reason. She had expected that to be more difficult so it had been a pleasant surprise. "What about you Yumemi?"

"I feel fine. Better actually." Yumemi admitted. It was almost a like weight had been lifted off of her that she had never known she had been carrying as odd as it seemed."That's what you were after?" Yumemi said coming up closer to Pluto out of curiosity. That sure didn't look like something that something like the Dark Kingdom she had heard reports on would be going after. It looked so plain.

"It's importance isn't so much what it is now but what it will become." Luna explained. Once they got all seven of them they would become the Ginzishou. Right now for them at least as individual items they were useless to them. "Now don't we have other business to take care of?"

"Ah right the sketches." Yumemi clapped her hands. Being so caught up with everything else she had nearly forgot about it. "Lets move to the studio room I keep most of my work in. There's a couch you can get comfortable on while I work."

Usagi had been a bit surprised when Hotaru had asked her to come over to her house a day later. Asking her to come alone. She had a feeling she knew what the girl wanted to talk about if she was getting specific. And if it was it probably was a good sign since it meant Hotaru was considering what she had told her briefly back in the waiting room.

"I was thinking about what you said the other day. How you said that they would probably take it okay. I am still reluctant though I was hoping to maybe show you first. You know them better than I do so if you think they will think I'm a freak or something you'll tell me right?" Hotaru said as she let Usagi into her bedroom. "I would have asked for you to come on one of the days the program is giving me a check up but the program's pretty picky about who they let back in the exam room. Good chance they wouldn't have let you back there." Hotaru explained. "Here there's no one to stop me from showing you."

"Must be some cutting edge stuff." Usagi noted. To keep the people who knew about it down to such a small number must mean that they didn't want details leaking out by accident.

"It is." Hotaru said hesitating for a moment as she gripped the shirt she was wearing. She needed to do this, the others were going to have to know eventually. Hotaru though, still hated showing this to anyone. "I wear long sleeves to make sure no one can see them." Hotaru admitted as she took off the shirt so Usagi could clearly see her own prosthetics. Shifting a bit uncomfortably since even with the undershirt on she felt a bit naked. She wasn't used to anyone that wasn't family or in the program knowing about this. Well technically Usagi was in the program, however, not a lot of people knew just how she was involved so that was different. "My legs are also like this though the implants don't go nearly as far up."

"They're a form of prosthetics right?" Usagi asked leaning in a bit closer out of curiosity. These were beyond anything Usagi could ever remember seeing. She could kind of see why Hotaru was concerned. It was a bit unnerving at first since it almost looked like you were looking directly at a person's muscle and bone system (or rather muscle and wires in Hotaru's case).

"Correct, though they're a bit different then your conventional prosthetic since they're integrated to my body. Even for the program this is all new. I still don't understand how half of it works. " Hotaru admitted quietly.

"It's almost like a transplant." Usagi noted. That wasn't quiet right either considering what she could see around the elbows. The only transplants she knew of were human to human. And this was human to some sort of mechanical device she guessed. Still it looked more natural then most prosthetics. Except for the odd spots around the joints. "Must have been some fire." Usagi said more to herself then to Hotaru.

"It was huge. It completely destroyed the old school building and our old house." Hotaru said after a moment. Mugen Gaken had been a lot smaller back then. Before it had started picking up the traction it had now. Her father had taken the chance the fire had presented to rebuild the school even better then how it was before. "They actually do act like transplants in a way. I have to take immuno-suppressants so my body doesn't start rejecting it. Papa's hoping at some point that they'll be able to get the tech to the point where the body just integrate it like its a natural part. I think this is what the end game of the program were in is anyway. Its not to that point yet. For now I'm stuck with my arm looking like this."

"Your father is the one that gave you the transplants?" Usagi asked frowning slightly. She understood wanting to save a family member and doing what you could. But that seemed like a conflict of interest if she had ever heard of one if he was still in the program.

"No. He was part of the program but he had to step down from it when he signed off to have Mother and I treated with it. It was one of his colleagues that performed the procedure." Hotaru explained.

"Do you resent it at all?" Usagi asked.

"Sometimes." Hotaru admitted. "Don't tell him please. It's hard when I look at them everyday. The other girls in my class don't make it easier even if only a couple ever actually saw." The way Hotaru saw it, the only good thing about this when she was feeling resentful of it, was the fact her mother had a little longer to live, a little longer alive.

"So are they permanent? I mean okay maybe permanent isn't the right word since they seem to be fully integrated with you. Its just most kids have to get prosthetics replaced every so often because of growth. Is that similar here or do they grow with you?" Usagi asked.

"Every two years I have to go back for surgery to get them replaced." Hotaru explained. Part of her wondered what would happen once she stopped growing. Would she stop having surgeries or if the limbs started causing issues again would she have to go under to get them replaced.

"You do realize your going to have to tell them that before you go under again?" Usagi pointed out. No way was Hotaru being out of commission not draw some attention.

"I know." Hotaru said. Part of her wanted to just hide it until she went through the next update no matter how impossible that was. She had seen the most recent model they were working on. It was supposed to only show the muscles and wire when it was on a certain setting. Meaning it would look like a real body part. Too bad she hadn't gotten those before she had become Saturn.

"I handled it fine. They handled mine. I think things will be alright." Usagi pointed out seeming to sense Hotaru was still hesitating on telling the others.

"Yeah but your also used to seeing prosthetics and probably spent the most time in a hospital outside of myself." Hotaru pointed out.

"That is true." Usagi agreed after a moment. "Look I can't tell you the full story since I was out cold when it happened. Mom said when they first found out they were more confused. I can't say for sure if it will be a repeat scenario but so far every time I've been worried about something with those two they've surprised me in a good way."

"As it is they never seem quite sure how to handle my presence the two times I've come over." Hotaru noted frowning slightly.

"That's probably due to your other job though." Usagi pointed out shaking her head slightly. "Something about you being the senshi of death and ruin-"

"Rebirth" Hotaru corrected.

Usagi blinked a few times in surprise. "Death and rebirth?"

Hotaru nodded. "The ruin part of my title was always a misnomer. I'm not sure how I know about it or how even the misinformation got started. Saturn was never the senshi of death and ruin but the senshi of death and rebirth."

"That actually makes a lot more sense when you stop to think about it." Usagi said more to herself then to Hotaru tucking away the information to bring up with Luna. Now she was wondering how Luna had gotten started on the later title. Maybe the ruin part had gotten tacked on by someone who didn't know better and thought it fit? She shook her head after a moment. "Back to my point. I think they're a bit set off more due to your senshi powers then anything else. Give them a bit and probably it will be an afterthought to them."

While Usagi was dealing with Hotaru Luna was dealing with issues of her own. Particularly the continuing conflicting information that she remembered from the moon Kingdom. First there had been the Masato and Naru situation which contradicted the idea that Queen Serenity had gone ahead with bonding him to Jupiter. Then there was this woman who for all intents and purposes appeared to have been a part of the Lunar court, judging by some of the work Luna had been able to glimpse. She had been led to believe that all the Great Warrior Youma were all Terrans back in the days of the Silver Millennium. So either there had been a Terran in the Lunar court, or she had been lied to about the planetary alignment of all the former Great Warrior Youmas. Either way, both suggestions unsettled her enough that she had questions. So Luna decided to go to the only person who might be able to answer them, Sestuna.

"Luna I must admit some surprise." Sestuna said glancing down at the Mauan as she approached. She was just getting home from work so she guessed the Mauan must have followed She really hadn't interacted with the cat much ever. Other then a few brief conversations when Usagi had been seeing her. So the fact that Luna had approached her alone was interesting enough.

"I apologize for showing up unannounced, however I have some questions. Based on recent events, I believe your probably the only one that could possibly answer them." Luna explained.

"All right. I cannot guarantee that I will be able to answer them but I can try." Sestuna consented letting Luna into her apartment. Considering recent events she was pretty sure what Luna was about to ask about. If that was the case she probably wouldn't be able to answer the Mauan's questions. It just wasn't matter of her remembering the proper events, she did. As things stood and were supposed to progress to tell her the truth would be in direct contradiction to what Luna was supposed to eventually remember. Maybe if things changed she would be able to answer them in the future but for now she would be unable to do so, so as to protect the timestream.

"There's two things I want to ask about, one is about Masato and Naru. And the other is about the painter we got the rainbow crystal from." Luna explained pausing for a moment. "I am wondering if it was possible that Masato and Naru's past selves had a soul bond with each other."

"What makes you think its a soul bond to begin with and not a different type of bond?" Sestuna asked.

"Naru was able to help resurface his true memories. Only certain bonds are capable of pulling that off. While Naru herself isn't remembering anything of the Terran Kingdom, the fact that it was her that started the turn of Masato is significant. Him encountering Endymion may be another possible trigger, but that's a guardian bond and less of a guarantee." Luna said.

"And of course soul bonds are rumored to be able to transcend time and space." Sestuna concluded. It was a rumor she had heard a lot during the Silver Millennium.

Luna nodded her head. Sestuna sighed. "I wouldn't know. It may have been sheer coincidence or there might have been an existing soul bond." Part of that was a lie, the rest was truth. Setsuna hated the lie but the truth, as things were, may never be able to be told. If she did, her bonded, the consequences. She could say nothing. Sometimes she hated being the time senshi.

Luna's ears drooped slightly in disappointment. So much for hope about having answers to that question. "Now what was it you wanted to ask about the painter?" Sestuna said deciding to redirect to the other question Luna had.

"I was always under the impression that the Great Warrior Youmas were Terrans." Luna said.

She couldn't answer about Masato but this should be safe. Plus as things progressed Luna was more likely to realize that was a lie even without her true memories. "That was false. There leader Gamecren was Terran, the other six were not."

"Why would someone abandon the Lunar court to join the Dark Kingdom?" Luna said to herself frowning slightly. That seemed almost like a 180 from there previous position.

"Some may have been brainwashed others may have joined willingly. You and I both know that the time prior to the fall was a bit uneasy." Sestuna reminded her. That was at least something she was pretty sure Luna would remember. Though she may not remember the exact specifics that had lead to the unease within the Silver Alliance.

"That is true. Thank you for your time Sestuna. I think I have all the answers I can get today." Luna decided. She needed time to herself to think. The idea that the Great Warrior Youmas were now confirmed as non-Terrans with one exception.

"I'm sorry I couldn't answer your questions better." Sestuna said as she walked back to the front door to let Luna out.

"It's fine. Hopefully someday I'll be able to make heads and tails of this." Luna said more to herself then to Sestuna as she went out the front door.

'I'm sorry Luna. If I told you now you would never believe me.' Sestuna thought to herself as she watched the Mauan go. Maybe in time she could tell the Mauan the truth, about why she was told one thing but remembered another. For now, some things were best left buried. Maybe when Usagi got her Ginzishou again there was a chance that she would be able to explain to her all the little things that didn't add up, however, a lot of things would have to go right for that to happen. Setsuna wasn't sure if that would happen. Such a future may be too much for her to hope for.

Princess Serenity was on a mission.

"This is such a bad idea." Venus muttered to herself as she followed Serenity through a back gate to the castle grounds. Waving off the guards on duty. Hopefully they wouldn't let slip just who they had seen slip though the castle gates. She would rather not get an earful the minute they returned.

"I used to do this all the time back on the Outer Rim Venus. Used to drive Rhode and Theia nuts before they figured out where I was going and when I usually left. It will be fine." Serenity said giving her a reassuring smile. "There can't be anything worse here than I saw back in Neptune's capital."

"That is probably true." Venus agreed with some reluctance. "It's just after everything the last few years. Having you walk around out in the open in public makes me and the others uneasy." It had been a long difficult time putting down the rebellion. Years in fact. It would take time for them to be more at ease with the Royal Family when outside the castle grounds.

"I get it but as things are this is still the best way to see how people are really fairing and how to make the best decisions. Not through the daily complaint filing." Serenity said shaking her head slightly.

"The Queen seems perfectly happy to just make her decisions from the throne room without seeing her people." Venus pointed out. Though really this shouldn't have surprised her. Serenity used to disappear at all sort of hours without much warning and without accompaniment in the early days of her stay on the Outer Rim. It had gotten better once the older Senshi had eventually managed to convince her that it wasn't smart to wander around the streets of Neptune's capital without protection. Since while the threat to the royal family may have been contained to the Inner Rim it still wasn't smart for her to be walking around without protection.

"Yes, well, Mother doesn't seem to have the best decision making." Serenity pointed out. She had never seen her mother leave the castle grounds for as long as she could remember.

Venus made a face at that. While that was true from what she had witnessed at times. "Your really not supposed to say that Reni." Falling back on her childhood nickname. Probably for the best, calling attention to the fact that Serenity was outside the castle grounds might not be safe.

"Doesn't make it any less true. If you don't know your people you can't know how to make the right decisions. If I don't mingle then how can I prevent a repeat rebellion, the very reason I was sent away in the first place, if I don't know my people are happy?" Serenity pointed out.

"Just try not to leave the castle in the future without one of us first." Venus said finally caving. Serenity had a point the best way to make sure there was never a repeat incident was to make sure people were actually happy. There was no way she could know that for sure without wandering the streets on occasion. Sure you could come to the castle if you had a complaint but just how many actually did that? "I don't want to face your mother's wrath if you get injured."

Serenity snorted slightly at that. "Probably wouldn't get much of a reaction. Mother doesn't care, not really. All she cares about is that I marry some prince and produce the next heir."

"You can't really think that?" Venus asked raising an eyebrow.

"Venus. How many times growing up did she actually spend time with us and the others? I think I saw your mother more then I did my own." Serenity pointed out.

Venus cringed at that. "Okay that is true." The Queen's distant behaviour towards her daughter had always struck her as a bit odd. "But I really don't want to face Uranus and Neptune's wrath if they find out you got injured on my watch."

"I can understand that." Serenity agreed after a moment. And with everything else they would know and might react before Venus and the others had a chance to explain what had happened. Like it or not Venus was right that she needed accompaniment when wandering outside the castle.

Usagi's eyes flew open as she gasped in the darkness of her room.

Usagi rolled over out of bed and switched her lamp, having woken up from her dream, from her newest memory as Princess Serenity. She grabbed the journal she kept inside her nightstand. Since they had started hunting for the rainbow crystals she seemed to be remembering more and more of the Moon Kingdom. So she had gotten a small journal to try and log what she was dreaming. The important stuff at least. In an effort to try and make more sense of them. Not that it had done much good so far. A lot of it were randomly scribbled words with question marks next to them. But tonight's dream made a bit more sense at least.

It was the first time in a while that she had gotten names for the other Senshi. Judging by the conversation she suspected one was Michiru's past self and the other Haruka's. Something just didn't seem to fit about those names going to Hotaru or Setsuna. She would have to do some research in the morning.

Usagi briefly wondered if she would ever fully get everyone's full names. So far she had Venus, Uranus, and Neptune's real names and she thought she might have heard Mars' a few times but that was before she had started logging the information. It had taken her this long just to get this much. Though judging by her own behavior and knowledge that was for a reason. It seemed like there was a good chance that, in uniform, even in the pre secret identities days one simply referred to the Senshi by their titles. Not by their formal names. Thus why it probably had taken so long to get actual names for Uranus and Neptune's past selves... Or at least she assumed that was their past selves.

However, probably the most interesting thing had been what Venus had mentioned in passing briefly, a rebellion. There had been rebellion involving the Inner planets. She couldn't remember Luna ever mentioning a rebellion but who knew if that was because Luna was withholding information or like a lot of other things she had simply forgot.

"Your up late." Luna noted padding quietly into the bedroom. She had been out when Usagi had woken up.

"Just woke up from a dream." Usagi explained stowing the journal back. "Luna do you ever remember there being a rebellion when the others and I would have been growing up?"

Luna sat down on her haunches frowning slightly. "I don't remember one but with everything else I've forgotten, I wouldn't be shocked if its just something alluding me." Though this was something rather major to be forgetting. "You were talking about a rebellion with someone?"

Usagi nodded her head. "I was telling Venus, 'how can I prevent another rebellion if I don't know my people'?"

"Strange." Luna muttered to herself. How could she forget a rebellion? "Are you sure it wasn't from before you were born?"

"Maybe, but I was also talking about having snuck out of the castle on the Outer Rim…" Usagi said with some reluctance.

"And you wouldn't normally have been living on the Outer Rim." Luna agreed. That certainly suggested there had been some forgotten events, a possible rebellion at the very least, for Serenity to have ended up there. It was further supported by that painting from the other day. That had to have been Serenity on the painting. But to forget a rebellion of all things... "A few months ago I would have said 'no', but after everything else I'm not so sure anymore." Luna admitted with some reluctance. "Let me talk to Artemis and see if he remembers something."

End Chapter 19

Chapter Text

Chapter 20

More Then Meets The Eye

"A rebellion?" Artemis asked in surprise. Luna had reached out to him about Usagi's most recent memories at first chance. "Are you sure?" He asked a bit doubtfully. "I mean, I know things weren't the easiest right before the fall but a full on rebellion?"

Luna let out a sigh. "I don't remember it myself, though it would explain why she was on the Outer Rim." Luna added. "We were investigating a lead that turned out to be one of the Great Warrior Youma, a former painter from the Moon. There was a painting with Haruka and Michiru's past selves along with Serenity. All of them were in formal princess attire in one of the capital cities for what I am sure was one of the outer planets." Luna explained seeing the look Artemis was giving her.

"Are we sure it wasn't some court visit?" Artemis asked a bit skeptically. Admittedly Serenity wouldn't have done that very often, if at all, in peace time.

"I would have thought so but the thing is…she knew Haruka and Michiru's past selves names. If what we remembered was accurate then she wouldn't have had enough contact with them to be close enough to be privy to that knowledge Artemis." Luna pointed out. What her and Artemis remembered was Serenity having limited contact with Uranus and Neptune outside of a few necessary duties. Nothing where she would have been close enough to call them by name. If she had only gone for court related duties she would never have had a chance to get nearly that close to them. Something was up.

Artemis let out a frustrated sigh. "Are we sure that she wasn't referring to their mothers?" Serenity would still have had only limited contact with the Queens of Uranus and Neptune at that point in her life. But she would have had more then the amount she had had with the princesses. Regular contact, or as regular as it had been at times with the Outer planets, wouldn't have come until they moved off active duty. So not until Serenity was well into her reign.

"She called them Rhode and Theia. She was talking about them. There hadn't been a Queen Rhode or a Queen Theia in generations on either planet." Luna pointed out. It was true that sometimes family just named the next in line after the previous in the line. Serenity herself was an example of that having been named after her mother. However, Rhode's mother was Queen Amphitrite and Theia's mother had been Queen Phoebe if she wasn't mistaken. Serenity had been referring to the princesses not the queens.

"How did that painter have access to them anyway?" Artemis asked more to himself. Thoughts turning back to Luna's comment about their being a painting of Serenity on the Outer Rim. He thought the youma were all Terran. If that were the case they shouldn't have had access to that kind of moment to paint. Terrans very rarely had left their home world outside of formal events. And even on those rare occasions it had been mostly the Moon. He couldn't remember anytime they had gone all the way out to the Outer Rim.

"I talked to Pluto about that. She said only one of the Great Warriors was actually Terran. Meaning the painter was probably Lunarian, Venetian, or Neptunian." Luna admitted with some reluctance. Lunarian would have been her first pick since this was part of the Lunar court. But some of the more talented painters had come from either Venus or Neptune. So there was a good chance she came from either of those planets.

"That's not what we were told." Artemis noted. Everything they remembered being told was they were Terrans who had gone to the Dark Kingdom seeking power. This had a possibility of changing a lot of things.

"It's not. No." Luna agreed admitting with some hesitation. "I've been wondering for a while just how much Queen Serenity hid from us." Luna admitted after a moment with some reluctance. She thought she had been one of the Queens confidants and was told most things. Now, however, she was questioning just how well she used to know the Queen. As more and more came out that she either didn't remember or remembered differently in the case of the generals she started to doubt how close she had been to the Queen.

"It will get easier once the Ginzishou is restored. That should return everyone's, including ours, memories." Artemis tried to reassure her. Hopefully ending the confusing thing with not everything adding up. Though who knew, it could get worse.

"Hopefully." Luna agreed. She wasn't so optimistic on the chances of that.

"How's Nephrite settling in? I'd imagine it's difficult after so long as part of the Dark Kingdom." Artemis asked deciding to change subjects for the moment. They wouldn't be able to make much progress with the strange questions raised by recent events, at least not now.

"Surprisingly well, considering. I'm not sure how much he remembers of his pre-Beryl life back during the days before the fall of the Silver Alliance." Luna admitted. Probably having a civilian identity for Masato had made the adjustment from Dark Kingdom general to full time millionaire businessmen easier. "He's powerless at the moment. Any abilities of his from before he became a Dark Kingdom general haven't resurfaced so he's laying low at the moment. Though I think the Dark Kingdom is too busy with trying to gather the crystals to try to find out what happened to him."

Luna and Artemis sat in silence for a moment, from their respective locations, over the video call. "Will you be alright? Do you want me to come?" Artemis broke the silence between them. This was the first time they had been separated at this time of year. Sure, Luna could fend for herself but that didn't stop him from worrying.

"Venus needs you more than I do. It's not the first time we've been separated." Luna said shaking her head slightly. "I just have to be careful when out on patrol."

"I would rather you didn't patrol." Artemis mumbled more to himself then to Luna. Seeing the look she shot him he added. "I know, I know. With everything else going on its too risky for you not to go on patrol. Just my two cents." Artemis assured her. As much as he hated it, it was unrealistic and dangerous to not be looking for new threats. Luna could take care of herself. He just was worried.

"It's just one week. I'll be fine Artemis. You'll be here this time next year." Luna said giving him a reassuring smile. By this time next year, the Dark Kingdom should be history long past. And hopefully everyone would have settled into a more normal life.

"Luna? Are you all right?" Usagi asked a few days later from where she'd been reading a manga on her bed. Luna had been in a mood the last few days and she'd just sighed for the fourth time within the same minute. The last time they had gone out in public together they had seemed to attract the attention of every single cat in the Triangle area as well, which worried Usagi as well. Luna's solution to the matter seemed to have been to try and ignore them but she could clearly tell that the attention was annoying her.

"It's nothing." Luna dismissed.

"Really?" Usagi asked skeptically. It hadn't really seemed like nothing the last time they were out. Maybe she was reading too much into it?

Finally after a couple minutes of Usagi starring skeptically at Luna and Luna attempting to ignore her, she finally sighed and offered a grudging reasoning in a soft but tired voice that didn't seem to fit as she starred out into an unseen distance. "There isn't anything you can do. It will go away in a week. I would rather not have to say anything else about it."

"Oh." Usagi said. "Would being in one of your other forms maybe make it more comfortable?"

Luna shook her head. "No, nothing to do but ride it out and try to stay away from any of the local cats for the next week. The only person who could maybe actually help isn't here and can't be."

"Oh." Usagi said not entirely sure how to respond. "Is there any way to fix that easily?"

"No. We're stuck in it for the moment. Having him here would present its own form of dangers. It's best he remains where he is." Luna said shaking her head slightly. Would she like Artemis here? Definitely. Was it realistic to pull him away from England for a week because of personal issues? No. It was just one week. She could live with it.

Despite Luna's reassurances that she was fine and that she could handle herself just fine she did stick closer to the girls' apartment then usual for the next couple of days. Hightailing it out of there at any sign of Terran creature pursuit. In so doing Luna nearly missed an encounter with a race she hadn't considered. During the Silver Millennium they too lived on earth and she hadn't thought to find them still. Still, she knew that this was no Terran house cat when she came across a rather large light blue cat one day towards the end of a patrol. No native cats on earth that she knew of at least came in that shade of blue which left one explanation.

"A Teuan." she muttered more to herself in amazement. While there had been a few Maus that had scattered throughout the solar system after they had invented space travel most had remained on their home world. There had been a rather large colony that had chosen to settle on Earth and the surrounding planets in the early days of the Silver Alliance. Commonly referred to as Teuans they were more a distant cousin of what her and Artemis were then actual Mauans. Still, technically, they all descended from the same genetic line from Mauans, simply having diverged their own way after living on earth for so long.

"A Mauan. Must admit I don't think any of us ever thought we would see any of you here after the fall of the Silver Alliance." Came the response. Distinctly male. Crap. Not what she needed right now.

She began to back a few steps. She knew what affect her cycle would have back home on other Mauan but Teuans was unknown territory for her. She backed up a couple of steps. "Calm down. I already have a mate. You sure are jumpy for a Mauan." He said in what she imagined was supposed to be a reassuring voice.

"You try running from various Terran creatures for the last three days and see how jumpy you are." was Luna's response but she did finally relax now that she knew he wasn't a threat. Still best to be on alert but at least he wouldn't cause her trouble.

"Point taken. Names Hercules. Yours?" He offered. Now that she was calming down some she realized he was speaking in his form's language and not English fascinating. Maybe the Teuans had lost the gift of tongues over time?

"Luna. What's with the choice in languages?" She said tilting her head slightly. Mauans had the ability of the tongues and could speak just about any language as long as they could transform into that form but this one was staying to Terran cat despite clearly understanding English.

"We lost the ability to speak anything out of our body's natural language a long time ago." He explained.

"But you understand me just fine." She said tilting her head in confusion. Normally to talk with other Terran animals she would have to switch to their native tongues for her to be understood. But while Hercules was speaking Terran cat she was still speaking English and being understood by the Teuan perfectly.

"Just because I can't speak it doesn't mean I can't understand it. We lost the part of the gift that we no longer needed. Seeing as understanding languages is still useful we retained that part of the gift." He explained.

"Oh. That makes sense." Luna said blinking a few times. There was a slight pause before she spoke a question that had popped into her head. "So how many of there are you?" She really didn't need to know she was just being curious. She honestly hadn't really entertained the idea that there might be some real Teuans still around all these centuries later. Most cats she saw may have had Teuan some point in their history but it was too diluted to have retained any of the gifts Mauans had.

"I live with my mate and four kits in my owner's place not too far from here. There's a good pack of around 20 of us adults that live around here. I don't know how many of there are of us in total here in Tokyo. It's always hard to tell when you run into others if you are dealing with a typical Terran creature or another Teuan unless they say they are one or give a direct indicator." he said.

"True enough. If it weren't for your coat being lighter than the normal shades that you see on Terran house cat I wouldn't have probably noticed, you were a Teuan." she admitted.

"Yeah, that kind of makes me stand out like a sore thumb. Rare genetic anomaly at this point that it decided it wanted to show up again. Thankfully most of my kits take after their mother coat wise make it easier if the owner wants to adopt them out once they are old enough to leave." He said, seeming genuinely relieved.

"I don't think most humans would know the difference or truly care. The only reason I picked up on you because I know enough about your kind to recognize a supposed member." she said.

"True enough. Most don't give me a second glance." He admitted after a slight pause he continued. "So, what are you doing out in public so much right now anyway? Usually you guys prefer to hole yourselves up when you go through this from what I understand. Or at least take a different form that makes you less of a target. You might still get attention as a human, but it would probably be a lot less than the ones you're getting from the Terran cats."

"I'm only out because I have other responsibilities to attend to that simply don't stop because of bodily functions." Luna said. She would rather be sleeping back at the apartment until the week was out. But the Dark Kingdom was still around so that made it impossible.

"And the other thing? You Mauans can take form into anything you want why not just shift forms if you have to be out in public so much?" He asked.

"Because this is my preferred form and my other predominant form that I am better at shifting into are beginning to be associated with the Sailor Senshi." Luna said. Truth be told she had never been a skilled shifter to begin with. Her best forms being a cat and a humanoid that she took the most often. "Can your kind still detect negative energy?" Luna asked deciding to change the subject. Mauans were born with the ability naturally, so Teuans had probably had it at some point, whether or not they still had it was another matter. If they still could she might have found an unexpected assist in finding the remaining rainbow crystal holders.

He shook his head before saying, "Most of us can't. Every once and a while we will get someone born with what we now call 'The Sight'. It's a rare gift now a days. We haven't needed it in so long. As far as I know no one in my pack has it. Why?"

She cocked her head slightly before replying. "Surely you haven't missed all the strange monster sightings lately?"

"Of course not." Came the reply. Between Jadeite and everything else even they couldn't miss it.

"One Mauan can only do so much. I wasn't sure if it was still common or not and the help would have been welcome." Luna said wearily. It was moments like this that made her miss having Artemis around, so she was less of a one man army at times.

"As I said, those with that ability are pretty rare nowadays. I don't think any of them live anywhere near here." Hercules reiterated.

She sighed, well it had been worth a shot. "Well, it was worth a shot. Thanks for the information. If it's not too much trouble, if you see a ponytailed blond hair guy chasing someone around let me know? We are trying to keep a step ahead of him and any information would be appreciated. I live on top of the jewelry shop not too far from here." Luna offered.

"I'll keep an eye out for anything odd." Hercules agreed.

"Thank you. Now if you would excuse me, if I don't get back soon my owner will freak." Luna said with an almost smile.

"Your human knows what you are." He said in surprise.

"Not by choice. Circumstances forced me coming out to her about my true nature. It has come in handy on more than one occasion despite the lack of choice." Luna said.

"Must have been some pretty interesting circumstances." He said in a manner that said he was warring with himself on what to think about that. A human worth knowing such a secret.

"You don't know the half of it." Luna said turning to take her leave.

"Are you going to be fine getting back on your own? I could walk you there if you want." Hercules offered, clearly not wanting to leave her to be harassed on her own, especially with how jumpy she'd been.

"I appreciate the offer, but I can get a few blocks on my own just fine. Terran animals, while annoying, are small in comparison to what I have dealt with in the last couple of months." Luna turned about to leave before having second thoughts. "Actually, I change my mind. If you run into Zoicite you need to know how to find me. You don't mind tagging along?"

"Nah. My mate's not expecting me back quite yet. Lead the way." Hercules assured her as Luna started walking back in the direction of the apartment.

"Um hello." Usagi greeted as she glanced down in confusion a day or so after Luna had met Hercules. A rather large pale blue cat was looking up at her and no other humans in sight. She had a feeling he was here for a reason but she had no clue what that reason was.

"He's here to see me." Luna said coming up behind them.

"Why are you talking to another cat?" Usagi asked curiously. With how jumpy Luna had been the last few days the last thing she would have thought of was her inviting a strange cat into the house.

"Long story. I asked him to be on the lookout for possible Dark Kingdom sightings." Luna explained. "It's all right to let him in."

Usagi frowned but opened the door to let Hercules slip in. "Why would you ask another random cat to be looking out for the Dark Kingdom?"

"I ran into him on rounds the other night. He's from a distantly related branch of my kind so I asked if he caught wind of Zoicite to come to me." Luna explained.

"You'll be okay by yourself?" Usagi asked hesitating a bit. Luna could handle herself she was pretty sure, but she was still worried.

"I'll be fine. If I need you I'll yell." Luna assured her.

"All right, fine, I'll leave you two to whatever you have to discuss. Yell if you need something." Usagi said turning to head back to her room. If Luna really felt comfortable enough to have him around she wasn't going to question her decision ultimately.

Luna turned her attention back to Hercules. "So, you had a run in with the Dark Kingdom I take it?"

"Unfortunately, yes. The pony tailed guy you mentioned before showed up earlier today without much warning. He first targeted our owner. And then when he wasn't satisfied with her for some reason turned his attention to me." He said.

That caused Luna to frown. She guessed that Zoicite had gone after his owner because he suspected that the owner was a rainbow crystal holder. If that hadn't worked to turn to Hercules was an interesting choice. Partly because she had assumed that all the rainbow crystal holders were humans. She hadn't considered the possibility of the fact that a rainbow crystal might be held in one. And with all her senses being off right now she had completely missed the fact that he did have a slight dark energy signature that she had come to associate with the Great Warrior Youmas. "He didn't get whatever he wanted I'm assuming?" She wasn't sure why she was checking. If Zoicite had got a crystal they wouldn't be having this conversation right now. Hercules would be in full on youma form.

"No, he got swarmed by some rats before he could follow through with whatever he was planning." Hercules said.

"Rats? Why would rats be swarming Zoicite?" Luna mused for a moment. That was an odd event….

Hercules shrugged. He hadn't understood why it had happened, but he wasn't going to question the semantics of his escape route. "So, what now?"

"I'm not sure…" Luna said after a moment. Normally she would have just done what they did with Yumemi and have her heal Hercules, so they could get the rainbow crystal. However… it hadn't really been that long since Usagi had gotten the green rainbow crystal from Yumemi. She was a bit concerned that having to do two higher level extractions might knock her out in the same manner that healing Masato had. Like it or not, extracting a crystal from someone who hadn't been worn down by fighting was a lot harder than if they had already been fighting. However, for that to happen would risk losing a second rainbow crystal to Zoicite and put Hercules at risk as well. It technically shouldn't be a big deal to have the crystal extracted since Usagi had more training and had been barely phased by it the last time, but she couldn't help but be a bit concerned on the subject… "I need to talk to Usagi first how we go forward depends on how she feels she can handle the situation." The only person, in the end, who knew if she could handle the task so close together was Usagi herself. It was best to leave the decision on how to proceed in her hands.

"This is Hercules. It turns out that he is the holder of one of the rainbow crystals." Luna said introducing Hercules to the girls in the living room a few minutes later. Or rather reintroducing in the case of Usagi.

Usagi looked over at the newly identified Hercules and then back to Luna and then back to Hercules. "I thought you said all the rainbow crystal holders were human?"

"That's what I thought." Luna shook her head before continuing. "Turns out I was wrong." She really hadn't counted on the crystal holders being reborn as anything other than human. With everything else that had happened recently maybe she shouldn't have been surprised. This really had thrown her for a loop. Then again finding out the rainbow crystal holders weren't all Terran had been a shock in itself at first. So this was just another thing to the list of unexpected surprises. "Zoicite showed up targeting his owner under the false assumption that she was the crystal holder. When he realized that he had the wrong target he turned on Hercules but was stopped by a swarm of rats."

"That's weird." Haruka said making a face. Why would a swarm of rats go after a Dark Kingdom general? Ah well not her problem.

"So we're thinking doing the same thing we did with Yumemi to get the crystal?" Usagi asked.

"That would be the ideal situation." Luna agreed with some hesitation. She wasn't sure how big of a fan of an idea she was of having Usagi outright heal Hercules. It removed a lot of the danger element of having the Great Warrior Youmas fighting in public, but how much could Usagi handle before she wore herself thin? Healing spells weren't without there drawbacks.

"What's the hesitation?" Hercules asked noticing how Luna had hesitated and the other two girls seemed a bit less then enthusiastic about the idea.

"The concern is Usagi's still learning how to control the output of energy in her healing spell. Removing a rainbow crystal isn't the easiest task." Luna explained. Usagi was getting better, or at least she hoped Usagi was, and the time at the painters had barely taken much out of her. But she wasn't sure if that was just luck or how having a cat host would change the situation.

"I'll be fine Luna." Usagi insisted softly to the Mauan, offering a gentle smile. "Last time barely phased me." Well maybe she had been a bit tired, but it wasn't nearly as bad as when she had tried to heal Masato and she didn't want anyone to worry. She would be alright.

"How much of that was because it was easy to heal Yumemi and how much of that was because you got an energy assist from us?" Haruka questioned under her breath. Sure Usagi had appeared fine since then but knowing Usagi's ability and tendency to hide things there was a concern that that she had had been effected and decided not to tell anyone.

"Regardless, we're calling all hands-on deck. I am not going to have you wear yourself thin." Luna said finally putting her foot down. She didn't care if she was over reacting. She'd rather be safe than sorry. Usagi had come out of the Yumemi healing a bit tired but otherwise fine. Considering how close these two were on top of each other she was concerned that it might exhaust Usagi more. Thus, why Luna was insisting this time that they not only have Sestuna on board for this but Hotaru. They had four senshi who could help Usagi power her magic might as well use them.

"There might be a problem." Hotaru admitted with some hesitation after a moment when Usagi called her. "It's Papa. He's not overly enthusiastic about this whole situation. I figure you might have the best idea on how to convince him that I'm needed."

"Luna will probably be better at this conversation." Usagi noted looking back at the cat who looked over from a conversation with Hercules. "She's the one that did most of the explaining to my parents."

"Dr. Tomoe, your daughter is the only person who is capable of being Sailor Saturn. If it was safe enough for the girls never to awaken as Sailor Senshi I would have been happy to let them sleep. If they do not save this world from the unsealed Dark Kingdom of ages past there will be no world left for them to have remained dormant living within. To let them sleep would mean their deaths at this point and as much as I hate it, they must do their duties as Sailor Senshi. In Sailor Saturn's, Hotaru's, case I didn't even awaken her. She felt it from deep within her and the part of her that never forgot she was a Senshi chose to awaken out of a duty and desire." Luna took a breath after having said her piece and watched the distraught man across from her seem to struggle to breath at what she had said.

"How can anyone be okay with this?" Dr. Tomoe said from his place sitting in a chair within his living room chair looking a bit lost. His baby was a sailor senshi and from the sound of it, they were born not chosen, and hell bound towards a life he'd never have chosen for his beloved daughter. His firefly.

"Here." Usagi said holding out a piece of paper with a number scrawled on it. "That's my parents phone number." Usagi explained as he took the phone number looking a bit confused. "They are aware of the situation and my status as Sailor Moon. Have known since day one. If you want to talk to someone else who is in your shoes. They're the best to do so with."

"They know and are okay with it?" Dr. Tomoe asked raising an eyebrow in surprise. He couldn't think of any good parents that would be aware and okay of their daughter being in constant danger.

"I'm not sure 'okay' is the right word. They seem to have accepted it at least and support me. I am fairly sure my dad would rip apart the Dark Kingdom himself if he could, if it could make this unnecessary. My mother... she is strong, but I know she would do the same. She is the strongest of us." Usagi admitted softly. Her mind going back to the long conversation between Luna and her parents to make them understand just how necessary it was for her to be Sailor Moon. Why picking someone else wasn't a choice because it wasn't about picking and choosing. She was born to be Sailor Moon and was thus, the only one.

"I'm not sure how well they'll understand. I already lost Keiko. I nearly lost Hotaru when she was younger. I can't lose anyone else." Tomoe said running a hand through his hair near hysterics and sounding like a man about to shed tears out of frustration and anger and maybe a bit of sorrow and helplessness. Losing Keiko had been devastating, and now the idea that Hotaru could be constantly in danger.

"Hotaru's not the only sailor senshi whose lost family." Usagi said giving him a grim smile. "I lost my little brother in the Tohoku quake, I nearly died myself. My parents have gotten even more over protective since then. More than you probably realize they'll understand."

"My apologies." Dr. Tomoe said after a moment. He knew Usagi was a Tohoku survivor. He had pulled the school files on the individual senshi once he knew his daughter was working with the moment he found out anyone's identities outside of being senshi. He hadn't realized that she had lost family. He glanced down at the phone number again. "I'll give them a call."

"I'm not sure 'okay' is the right word." Ikuko said unknowingly repeating her daughter's words from earlier as she set a cup of tea in front of Dr. Tomoe before taking a seat next to Kenji. "We accepted it because Luna seemed to desperately need her and there is, apparently, nothing we can do to stop it, but the idea of having her constantly in danger is terrifying. It's hard. Especially with her living away from us now, like we're losing her and helpless to watch as she goes off leaving us to wonder if one day, we'll be burying her beside her brother. Sometimes I wonder if we would even know, if we'd even have a body to bury. At least before she moved out with Michiru and Haruka we could keep an eye on her and make sure she was okay because she came home to us. Now that she's living with her other senshi its not as easy. Though at least those two can protect and keep an eye on her."

"After losing Keiko…" Dr. Tomoe looked utterly defeated. "She's all I have now. How can anyone handle this?"

"With difficulty." Ikuko admitted. She was looking forward to the day that Sailor Moon was no longer needed. She longed for a day Usagi would not be out at all hours fighting evil and would be truly safe from the possibility of simply never coming home or ending up in a body bag. The entire experience was terrifying, and she could understand Doctor Tomoe's fears well. They were well grounded fears and ones she herself felt daily. Not a moment went by that didn't remind her that her daughter could be killed or worse in the fight against the evils that were, supposedly, Sailor Moon's responsibility to fight, protect people from, and ultimately vanquish.

"What about the others? Those two aren't orphans last I checked." Dr. Tomoe asked addressing the elephant in the room so to speak. The lack of appearance of either Haruka and Michiru's parents. He knew there was a fourth member but from what had been mentioned it sounded like she was old enough, as an adult, to decide and also that her parents were long dead. He imagined even dead there spirits looking on at their daughter wanting her safe. Perhaps they might even be proud of her, however no parent wants there child in danger of joining them too soon, at least he could not imagine so. Even if there absence was understandable he could not imagine that her parents would like this situation any more than he did.

"From what we're lead to believe the relationship between their families and themselves are strained." Kenji answered. "Haruka has had no contact with her family since she came out to them as preferring women and Michiru's family barely tolerates her even peripherally. They allow her to get away with openly seeing Haruka because they believe Haruka passes for a man well enough they are easily passed off as a traditional couple. From what we've been told, the only family member on Michiru's side who knows she is a senshi is her older sister, Mamiko, who acts as a liaison between the Sailor Senshi and the government here in Japan."

"No matter how strained the relationship, I would think they would still want to know there daughters are in danger and support them at the very least." Dr. Tomoe frowned in thought. To not know your children were risking their lives on a regular basis.

"It might seem so, to us, but its their decision to tell their families. You found out about it because you said Hotaru transformed in front of you. The others didn't have that happen. Usagi had hers triggered inside the privacy of her bedroom. She chose to share it with us because she knew she couldn't hide it and well…" Ikuko frowned for a moment in thought. "Actually, we're not entirely sure where the other two triggered there's. Luna admitted later on she didn't want them advertising their identities and had not originally wanted us to be told about Usagi. It is my understanding that it is a danger to the girls that we even know and that we are a liability that can be used to draw a connection between Sailor Moon and Usagi. While I am grateful that we know where she is and what she is doing, the fact we could be used against her makes me wonder if I am selfish to be glad that I at least know even if I cannot stop her from being Sailor Moon."

"Wouldn't finding out there civilian identities are the senshi they are require they already know who they are and thus about there families?" Dr. Tomoe asked. If you knew who the senshi were you knew who their families were. And if you knew that someone in a family was a senshi you probably realized who they were anyway.

"True." Ikuko agreed. "I think she was just trying to look out for everyone involved. Luna is many things but as we've seen over the time knowing her, she has good intentions and our daughters safety at heart despite the task she has been given in awakening them. The fact some awaken even without her is only confirmation of what Luna herself says, that she does not and cannot dictate who the senshi are, only awaken and help guide them. She trains them well because she wants to survive. I think that while she is not perfect, she seems to be good at her job and care about the safety of the girls even doing such duty that has fallen upon our children enough to trust her."

"So why are you asking for my help today but not back when you got the crystal from the painter?" Hotaru asked frowning slightly an hour or so later after her and Sestuna had shown up. She got she was new to the job, but it felt odd that she got left out for one thing and included for another.

"This is a bit more difficult then what we dealt with the painter. Usagi's now having to do two back to back full-strength healing spells the one today and the one she did last week. Usagi can handle one definitely but we worry a second one so close after the first may be too much for her despite what she says. As for not asking for your help, Hotaru you are just starting out. It's not so much we don't think you are a help as much as it is the fact that your still growing adjusted to drawing on your core. You've been doing it for a couple of weeks in training. The others have been doing it for months in real time." Luna reminded her. It was nothing against the newest member of the group it had just made more sense the last time to leave her out of it. Left unsaid was the fact the senshi and Luna were trying to spare the youngest senshi as much as possible. Eventually Saturn would be as good as the others at drawing from her core, however, that was something that required more practice then she currently had, and Luna wasn't sure if her age wouldn't slow it down with her still growing and developing. Saturn was still a child after all, even younger than Usagi, who had been the youngest until Hotaru had awakened. Considering Saturn's progress, she was fairly certain that the girl could provide more help then she would have been able to the week before, could, but... Luna was loath that she'd have to.

"So, it's because I'm inexperienced?" Hotaru asked. "Wouldn't having me there given me more experience?"

"Not necessarily considering how quick it went." Luna said. This time was probably going to be a bit more drawn out because she doubted that Usagi wasn't still a bit drained from healing Yumemi. No matter how much the girl tried to deny it. "Anyways we should probably refocus on the task at hand since I doubt Hercules wants to go home in the dark."

A quick henshin later and the girls were in position. Uranus and Neptune took her arms like last time. With Pluto and Saturn deciding to go behind her and take a shoulder so it was easier for everyone to stand together. She made sure she could feel the others energy coming in and mixing with her own before she opened up the compact and saying. "Moon Healing Escalation!"

It was similar to when they had retrieved the crystal from Yumemi, a glow began to surround Hercules as the spell took effect. It didn't take long for anyone to notice that this seemed to be taking more effort and a level of exhaustion was already setting in on Sailor Moon.

To Sailor Moon, this was kind of strange, she hadn't really felt tired when she had been healing Yumemi so why was she feeling the effects of powering the spell this time? A question for another time she guessed. Even if she had to sleep for a couple of days it was best to get the crystal.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity to everyone involved though it probably hadn't been more than five minutes a violet crystal appeared in front of Hercules, seemingly out of nowhere like Yumemi's green crystal, and went flying towards the senshi.

Sailor Pluto caught the flying violet crystal just as it came out as the spell ended. For a moment there was no other reaction. All was silent. Suddenly, the sound of Sailor Moon's compact closing broke the silence and Moon went down only to be caught soundly within Uranus's arms. "Well, she's out." Uranus offered as Sailor Moon disappeared in ribbons and sparkles only to be replaced with Usagi. Uranus tightened her arms around Usagi and worry was apparent. She had not, before, lost her transformation from a healing.

"I told you it was too much too quickly." Luna muttered walking up to Usagi, who clearly couldn't hear her. Definitely more tired than Usagi had let on. Luna had no clue though if that was because Usagi hadn't realized it or just had been putting up a front again. She would have been fine, ironically, if Hercules had been a transformed youma since it would have meant they would have had to wear him down to heal him. Oh well hindsight was 20-20 as she heard humans like to say on occasion.

"Is she going to be all right?" Hotaru asked sounding a bit worried, having just de henshined. It was the first time she had seen any of the others go down like that.

"She exhausted herself." Sestuna said joining the rest of the group in dropping their henshins. "A good night's rest and she should be back on her feet. We may want to be careful how we retrieve the rest of the crystals in the future."

"She said she felt barely exhausted the last time. Why would it be so different this time?" Haruka asked confused by how different this had ended adjusting her grip slightly, so she had a better hold on Usagi. Usagi had bounced right out of the last one despite their concerns. This time…well the fact that she was holding Usagi in her arms and not Sailor Moon spoke for itself.

"I don't know." Sestuna admitted. Queen Serenity had never been very open about how the crystal affected her when she used it. So, she had no prior knowledge to draw on even with her own memories. It was also possible that Usagi had been hiding that the last healing had left her more tired than she had let on. Either way they were questions only Usagi could answer and even that was even if she wanted to.

"Is she going to be okay?" Hercules asked after a moment. Luna turned back to him as the others started to move away for the moment. She heard Sestuna mentioning how to do something.

"She'll be fine she just tired herself out. We kind of suspected this might happen. Healing spells are a bit exhausting." Luna admitted.

"Still…" Hercules said frowning slightly.

"Don't feel too bad she knew the possible consequences from pushing forward and insisted on continuing with the plan." Luna said shaking her head. Yes, it had been Hercules that had caused the need but it had been Usagi who had insisted on doing it today.

Hercules said after a moment. "I should probably get going. Megara and my owner are both probably wondering where I am at this point. I'm assuming I'm good to go at this point?"

"You are though, just a warning, Zoicite still might show up since he isn't aware you are no longer a rainbow crystal holder. However, since you are no longer a rainbow crystal holder, and thus no longer a remnant, he should take off pretty quickly." Luna advised. She was fairly certain that he would be seeing Zoicite again. There had been a report of a break-in at the painter's house a few days after they had retrieved that particular crystal. No injuries had been reported and nothing had been stolen so she was fairly certain that had been an instance of Zoicite going after a former rainbow crystal holder.

"I'll keep that in mind. If you need anything I live not to far from where you first met me. Don't be afraid to take me up on an offer of help. I owe you one." Hercules said. He wasn't sure how he could exactly maybe help Luna in the long run but the offer stood none the less.

It had been sheer bad luck that Usagi had run into Yuki a couple of days later. She had asked Haruka to drop her at the grocery store on the way home from class, so she could run in and grab something she wanted. It was supposed to be a quick in and out. Get the sweets she planned to surprise the other two with for desert after diner and get out. It seemed as if the universe was against her, of course it had attracted trouble. "Well, well if it isn't the legless freak." A familiar voice straight from her nightmares said coming up behind her, causing Usagi to freeze. Yuki. It was Yuki. This wasn't something she had expected.

Yuki was, as always, flanked by two of her 'friends', or perhaps minions would serve a better word, Usagi wasn't exactly sure. Usagi had been really hoping now that she was no longer at Juuban she had seen the last of her too and her group that followed her around. Apparently, she had no such luck.

"Yuki." Usagi greeted stiffly turning to face the other girl trying to keep her tone neutral. Trying to keep a tremble out of her voice as she gripped her purse tighter in an attempt to hide the trembling of her hands. Being alone with Yuki always scared her. Well almost alone. Usagi saw Luna tense up next to her leg out of the corner of her eye. Right. The only people that actually knew what Yuki looked like in their little group were her and Naru. The others had only heard stories. They had never seen her. Still, they were in a public place. Yuki wouldn't possible do anything here, would she?

"So I guessed that since I no longer see you around Juuban you decided to finally drop out rather than continue with school?" Yuki asked quirking an eyebrow, clearly looking down on Usagi.

She heard Luna hiss next to her for some reason choosing to ignore Luna for the moment and focus on Yuki. "I transferred to Mugen Gaken over the year break. I am still in school and much happier now that I'm away from you and your... friends." That was true now that she wasn't constantly looking over her shoulder worried that Yuki might get back to her old tactics she was finally starting to relax.

"You go to Mugen Gaken? You must be joking." Yuki said sniffing hauntingly seeming to stick her nose in the air.

"Usagi everything okay?" Michiru asked coming up next to her, stopping herself from responding for the moment. Guess her shopping was taking long enough that the two other girls had started to wonder.

"Yeah just saying hello to an old classmate." Usagi said. "Michiru this is Yuki, you've heard me talk about her in the past. Yuki this is my current classmate and friend Michiru Kaioh."

Michiru's eyes narrowed. So, this was the infamous Yuki then. Still no last name to the girl but at least she had a face to the name finally. "So you're the famous Yuki I've heard about."

"What's it to you?" Yuki said crossing her arms with a humph.

"Let's make this very clear. Leave. Usagi. Alone." Michiru said leaving the 'or else' unsaid but heavily implied within her intense glare. Yuki was getting one warning only because they were in public and if she pulled something like she had at the ball she would have no quams about going after her next time around.

"What could you do?" Yuki sniffed.

"To begin, pay the over one hundred thousand yen for the dress you destroyed." Michiru said. That had been a designer dress she had lent Usagi. She had never mentioned the cost to Usagi because it was never her fault it had got in its state and for her family replacing it was easy money. Or in this case repairing the dress. That wasn't the point she was driving home to Yuki.

Yuki and Usagi both paled for two different reasons. Yuki, because she was beginning to realize just the type of person she had crossed. Usagi, because she hadn't known how much the dress she had been partly responsible for the destruction of. Yuki frowned after a moment moving to open her mouth. "Why would you care what I do to-" One of Yuki's friends seemed to realize that her finishing the sentence wasn't in her best interest as the next part was muffled by a hand that had been slapped over her mouth. While another dragged helped drag Yuki away. Well that could have gone worse at least it was over.

"Are you all right?" Michiru asked after Yuki was gone.

"Yeah," Usagi lied despite her still knuckles still being bone white holding her bag. "She couldn't really do anything in public. Thanks though." Usagi assured her. Seeing Yuki had shaken her slightly but beyond that hadn't done much else. "I'm sorry about the dress."

"It wasn't your fault Usagi. It was hers. That was why I never mentioned the cost of the dress. You'd have tried to pay me back for it anyway." And with all her expenses Usagi would have suffered for trying such a feat. "Besides, it was never one of my favorites." That was true she had thought it had looked more complimentary on Usagi then it had on her. Before it had gotten ruined by Yuki Michiru had been planning on just letting the girl keep it. "Seeing Yuki really wasn't a problem?" Michiru asked again subtly eyeing Usagi's still white knuckles and slightly trembling hands.

"There's not much she could do somewhere as public as this. At times it wasn't so much what she did at times but what she coerced others into doing." Usagi admitted. A rather infamous incident flashing to the forefront.

"Still, running into the ringleader couldn't have been easy. Are you sure you're okay?" Michiru asked again, looking Usagi over, as she still looked like the color was coming back into her where it had seemed to leave her countenance.

"I'm fine." Usagi assured her forcing a smile and subtly trying to move her fingers to get the blood pumping back into them. Michiru had gotten there and defused the situation basically before it could go anywhere, or any real comments could fly. Luna's absence made her suspect that it had been less them starting to wonder and more Luna had gone and gotten one of them.

"Did you get what you came here for?" Michiru asked after a moment. She didn't think so because she didn't see Usagi carrying anything but her purse but best to ask.

"No. I just want to leave now." Usagi confessed. The unstated thing being the longer they hung out here the more likely it was that Yuki came back. Usagi didn't want to deal with her twice in one day.

"Do you want me to grab it?' Michiru suggested. Normally she wouldn't ask but it was clear the running in with Yuki had upset Usagi no matter how much she tried to deny it. If she grabbed it at least Usagi could get back to the car and hopefully minimize any more chances of a run in with Yuki for a second time.

"Yes please. Strawberries." Usagi agreed relaxing a bit and confessing her goal. The surprise would be ruined but that was better than not at all and it'd still be a nice treat.

"Go ahead and go back to the car. I'll follow soon." Michiru said waving her off.

"Thanks, I'll see you back at the car." Usagi said turning to walk back to the car.

Usagi almost made it back to the car without incident. "Where are you going freak?" Yuki's voice called at her in the garage made her come to a stop. Yuki just apparently couldn't leave her alone today could she? At least this time she was minus her usual friends. That was interesting, she had never seen Yuki alone in public. Maybe they had taken Michiru's warning as where Yuki obviously hadn't.

"Going home." Usagi said slowly inching back in the direction the car was parked. Hoping Haruka might see. Just so someone was aware of the situation. Yuki shouldn't do anything there. There was no one to prevent her from escaping trouble if she tried something. This wasn't Juuban where she could easily bribe her way out of trouble constantly. This was a grocery store parking garage. If Yuki was as smart as she believed she would realize doing something here would be stupid.

"Seriously, how does a girl like you make friends with a Kaioh of all people?" Yuki sneered deciding to skip the pre-amble for now. Apparently, Yuki had been able to remember just who Michiru's family was in the interlude. Usagi wasn't too surprised by the jab. Michiru's family was powerful and Yuki most certainly knew that if she recognized her last name. So, she would use that as angle to make a jab at Usagi.

"Probably the same way you kept getting out of trouble at Juuban." Usagi said more to herself then to Yuki. Not really thinking about the fact she might be feeding the fire until the sentence had already been said. She was just tired of having to hear the constant almost repeated jabs.

"How dare you." Yuki said face flushing now causing Usagi to flinch and take several large steps backwards. An angry Yuki was a fearsome Yuki, more so than usual even. Yuki had been more the type to get calculating when something got to her, she was a planner from what Usagi had seen herself, and this increased when she was angry. The times Yuki had gotten actually truly angry were when the worst things tended to happen. Usagi had a couple of scars to prove that.

One of Usagi's feet wobbled for a second when she suddenly found she had no more room to back up from a rapidly approaching Yuki. When had she gotten backed up on to one of the ledges of the garage? Panic starting to form in her stomach as she realized there was no way out of the situation but the direction she had come, and the direction Yuki was rapidly approaching her from.

White hot fear coursed through her as she realized she was trapped with no way out and no help in sight.

Usagi had barely time to maybe come up with a plan before Yuki got close enough to give her a shove causing her to stumble back and over the ledge. The unmistakable feeling of air beneath her as she went over the ledge. Would she die this time? She found herself trying to brace for the inevitable impact. Eyes shut tightly, she realized there was no way to minimize the impact of this fall. She was going to die or worse, become more crippled than she already was. Maybe it would be her spine that would break this time?

Suddenly, warmth. Usagi hit a soft chest hard as a pair of strong arms wrapped around her. She wasn't sure when or how Haruka had gotten there in time but she was grateful she had.

"It's okay. You're okay." She could hear Haruka uttering reassurances as she tried to calm down. She didn't even realize she was shaking. Everything was as if it was far away. This had come to close for comfort to a repeat of the stairs back at Juuban. Usagi found herself reaching up to touch Haruka's cheek as a way to assure both of them that she had gotten there in time. Safe, she was really safe. She absently noticed that Haruka's eyes were damp and her heart was beating fast.

Usagi could hear Yuki saying something but everything was becoming further away now and it sounded a lot like listening to sound from underwater. Whatever it was must have not been complimentary because the next thing she heard was the unmistakable sound of a slap, even through the underwater quality sound had taken. Usagi moved her head, which felt like the hardest thing in the world at that moment and saw Michiru facing away from her and Yuki holding her cheek.

"Damn." Haruka swore. She couldn't really remember a time Michiru had gotten physically confrontive with anyone, Dark Kingdom or otherwise. She had always preferred words or magic. Yuki must have really set her off if she had slapped her. "Better get security to take care of this before she says something that she really would regret. You going to be okay for a few minutes?" Haruka asked Usagi. Well regret more then she might be currently. Usagi nodded despite how the room spun. Now that Yuki was more interested in shrieking at Michiru she should be okay. "Luna, keep an eye on her." Haruka said putting her down finally, clearly not believing Usagi was alright. She would rather not leave Usagi but someone needed to get security before this got even more out of hand.

"I'm fine Luna." Usagi assured the cat as she came up to her. "Just shaken." Luna quirked an eyebrow making a gesture at the ledge she had come off of. Clearly not fully believing her. "I don't remember the other time, not really. All I know is from that video." Usagi said quietly after a moment. "I guess I remember enough to know what the sensation of having nothing underneath you feels like. It's not pleasant."

She hadn't even realized the security guards had arrived, brought by what or by whom she wasn't sure, until she saw one of them take a hold of the still screeching Yuki and began walking her back in the direction of the grocery store. One of them stayed behind for a few minutes to talk with Michiru probably about what had transpired. It wasn't until Yuki was taken around a corner and the screeching finally started to fade that Usagi let her relax. Yuki would probably squirm her way out of this one like she had every other time but at least it was over for now.

"You caught me before I could hit the ground. I'm fine Haruka." Usagi reminded her, the lingering numbness to her awareness, almost like an out of body experience, now fading. After they had gotten back to the apartment Haruka hadn't let her out of her sight. She wasn't going to deny the fact that the whole incident had shaken her but Haruka had gotten there. She wasn't hurt. Yuki hadn't been able to do anything today. Well, other than possibly scare them quiet effectively.

"Should have been there." Haruka muttered into Usagi's hair. As soon as they had gotten settled she had pulled Usagi into her lap and had been refusing to let her go. She knew Usagi was fine but the incident with Yuki had not gone over well with her. Especially since it felt like she had come incredibly close to not catching her.

"You got there in time that's all that matters. None of us expected for me to run in with her, let alone her follow me out to the garage." Usagi reminded her. If she had been worried about either happening she would have either stayed with Michiru or asked one of the others to accompany her. As was she had been almost hoping the warning would have kept Yuki at bay. She should have known better.

"What happened anyway?" Michiru asked frowning slightly. Well apart from the obvious part. She had gotten there in time to find a seething Yuki shooting her mouth about Usagi and Haruka. Michiru had missed everything up to that point.

"She tried to accuse me of buying your friendship. I may have mentioned how money may have been involved with her getting away with things. She didn't like it." Usagi explained.

"She pushed you off a ledge of a garage. It was more than a floor up from the shaft. That's more than not taking that well. You could have died." Haruka added tightening her arms around Usagi.

"Partly my fault I was there to begin with. Got her angry and didn't pay attention to exactly where my feet were taking me." Usagi shrugged. Sure, the action that had led to the whole incident had been from Yuki, but maybe if she had just ignored her…

Michiru noticeably scowled at that. "Most people don't push people into possibly life-threatening injury for pointing out unpleasant truths. By what little you've said, I've no doubt how she got away with things." With their healing factor Usagi probably would have been fine even if Haruka hadn't gotten there in time, but without the senshi healing factor... she truly would have died if she had hit the ground. Even with it she'd have been hurt for some time. That didn't change how much the idea shook either of them up or just how dangerous it was. Or the fact that this wasn't really normal behavior for a normal person.

"I know that, I'm not trying to excuse her. I just should have known better by now then to run my mouth at her in some form." Usagi said after a moment. "I honestly didn't think she would ever try something like that in public." Usagi admitted. "Well public that isn't school." She amended after a moment. Guess Yuki's time at Juuban was making her power over the admin go to her head if she thought she could bribe (or whatever it was she did to keep her self from getting in trouble) her way out of every scenario. Maybe this time would provide a reality check. Not that Usagi was overly hopeful of Yuki getting more then a light slap on the wrist. "She almost never really got angry at school when she did she was her own brand of scary." Usagi confessed. You would think that after all that time dealing with youma and the Dark Kingdom Yuki wouldn't be able to scare her anymore. Guess not. "It was always worse when she got angry."

"We finally met Yuki." Haruka told Setsuna a few days later. Setsuna was trying to get herself to start interacting with the other senshi besides Usagi more. Years of isolation and living at the Time Gates made it even a bit of a hard habit to kick and perhaps it was also a little exhausting as well. Sure she had her other clients outside of Usagi but that was different to her somehow then talking with the fellow senshi. Too much isolation for too long meant Setsuna wasn't used to interacting with others, really, and she wasn't sure she ever really would be.

"Really, how did that happen?" Setsuna asked raising an eyebrow. She had seen Yuki before but only in passing. She really had no clue how the other girl behaved other than from what little she had gotten from Usagi.

"Usagi was at picking something up at the store. Luna came and grabbed me once she realized what we were dealing with." Michiru explained.

"Did she do anything this time or was she just making comments?" Setsuna asked frowning slightly. Something about the two were giving off a vibe of irritation and anger. She had a feeling Yuki was at the center of those feelings.

"Well it started out as comments. I brought up the dress. Since she was responsible for the destruction of it I could technically get her to pay for it." Michiru explained.

"Aren't you getting that dress fixed anyway?" Setsuna asked raising an eyebrow.

"I am and I know that and you know that but Yuki doesn't know that." Michiru said grinning to the point where she was showing a bit more teeth then normal before continuing. "Yuki cornered her. She could have killed Usagi."

"What happened?" Setsuna asked raising an eyebrow, her voice having an edge, a clear demand.

"I stayed back to grab the strawberries Usagi wanted and Usagi went to the car." Michiru explained. "Apparently the brat couldn't take a warning for what it was and decided to confront her a second time."

"Yuki pushed Usagi over a ledge." Haruka said shaking slightly. It had shaken her how close Usagi had come to getting seriously hurt again. Sure, she had gotten there in time. But if she had been a millisecond slower they would be having a very different conversation in a very different location probably. Even with their healing factors a hit to the head could be dangerous.

Setsuna took a deep breath calming herself. The way Haruka had said that it must have been a decent height and put Usagi in danger. The only assurance right now was that she was fairly certain this conversation would have gone very differently and happened sooner if Usagi had actually been injured. "She's okay?"

"A bit shaken." Michiru assured her. "If I had been even a little slower..." Haruka trailed off, a slightly glazed look taking her eyes as she was clearly imagining something horrible.

"What ended up happening with Yuki?" Setsuna asked frowning. Maybe since it was finally in a public place this wouldn't get covered up like everything at school.

"Don't know. I went and grabbed security while Yuki was shrieking at Michiru for slapping her." Haruka said shrugging slightly.

Setsuna shot a surprised look at Michiru. Even back during her days as the princess of Neptune Michiru had never been the type to get physically involved with someone. Whatever Yuki had said must have really angered her to go beyond the use of words. Michiru shrugged. "A slap was the least she deserved."

"Agreed." Setsuna acquiesced shaking her head slightly. Probably it was a good thing Haruka had had her hands full with Usagi or it might have progressed further then a slap. "So security took off with her after that?"

"Yes. Usagi seemed to think that she probably won't be held accountable for her actions since she never was during their time at Juuban as classmates." Michiru added. "We are unsure if this will be different as this isn't Juuban."

"I wish I knew the whole story so I could understand how the school was able to get away with all of this." Setsuna said to herself rubbing her temples slightly. It was difficult to understand both Usagi's and Yuki's actions when you didn't know the whole story behind either of them.

"She still hasn't told you?" Michiru asked slightly surprised. It had been a couple of weeks now since Usagi and Naru had told them everything. She would have thought Usagi would have told Setsuna by now. She knew Usagi hadn't told Hotaru everything yet but Usagi had also known Setsuna a lot longer then Hotaru so probably Hotaru would be the last to know.

"No. It was more important that she tell you." Setsuna explained shaking her head slightly. There was a long list of reasons why Usagi had needed to come clean about what had happened with Yuki. The top of it being that she lived with them. She could wait, she had others ways of knowing. With these two they really couldn't have kept waiting.

"Michiru mentioned you finally told her and Haruka about what happened at Juuban." Setsuna began the next time they got together. Usagi had told her she was planning to tell them but the last get together had been the first confirmation of really just how much Usagi had told them.

Usagi wrung her hands for a moment thinking. Despite saying that she would tell Setsuna at her next appointment, having planned to, when it came time to actually do something it got a lot more difficult. Talking about Yuki and what had happened in Juuban's walls was still difficult and probably always would be. Usagi almost wished she had dragged Naru with her for once. She wasn't sure how well that would have gone over with Sestuna. "She didn't give you details?"

"No I thought it was best I heard directly from you." Setsuna said after a moment noting the girls nervous behavior. "Usagi, as much as I would prefer to know, if you don't want to talk about it now we can talk about other things today." Setsuna recognized things might be too fresh with new reminders for this particular subject. There was still the time gates option but she would rather have Usagi trust her enough to get it from her first hand first before consulting the gates, hence why she had held on and stubbornly not looked yet.

Usagi was silent for a moment, clearly thinking. "The worst days were when Naru had to be gone. There was Umino but we weren't particularly close and his presence never seemed to really deter them. He was easily lead away, though he did try. I guess that matters for something." Usagi said after a moment. "Thankfully those days were far and few between."

"Naru was your protector, in a way, back then." Setsuna concluded

"Kind of." Usagi agreed. "They were less likely to come after me directly if I had Naru around. It didn't stop them completely though. They usually got more indirect when they knew she was around. That didn't stop them completely, my prosthetics are proof that. I still had to be careful but I guess they realized if Naru was there they would have a witness to their actions that would refuse to back down. They got more creative. In a way she was able to protect me from some things."

Naru wasn't exactly big and while she definitely had the mentality, from what Setsuna had seen, to protect her friend she doubted that was a task easily accomplished. Still, apparently something about Naru was able to drive them off at times judging by the way Usagi spoke. Something Setsuna was grateful for. She couldn't imagine how broken Usagi might be if she hadn't had anyone at all. "Did they ever go after Naru to get at you?"

"No. Not that I know of at least. I don't know why but Naru was mostly left alone. The worst thing they tried to do with her was try separating us before Yuki turned on me." Usagi said after a moment. Maybe it went back to status quo…. "I just don't know where to start with everything at Juuban I guess. Maybe some stuff is okay but I don't want to talk about all of it.

"What was the worst thing she put you through physically and emotionally." Setsuna asked. That was at least a place to start. Maybe not get the full details today but some was better then none. "

"Physically I guess the time I ended up in the hospital from being pushed down the stairs." Usagi said after considering her options. There had been a lot of physical aspects of the bullying so pinpointing one as the worst of all of them wasn't exactly the easiest. But if she had to choose the incident that had landed her in the hospital won that award.

"The head injury." Setsuna muttered more to herself having remembered seeing the reports. "Did Yuki do that herself?"

"I don't remember seeing her in the group that knocked me out but it was some of her 'friends' so she had to have been involved somehow." Usagi admitted shaking her head slightly. "If she wasn't involved somehow I would be more surprised." Usagi clarified as she let out a sigh thinking back to what little details she knew. The fact that several people had been involved and Naru had been the one who had found her. "Naru was the one who found me. She never said it for sure but I think it gave her a lot of nightmares following the incident." Usagi said thinking back to the direct aftermath. Guess she could always ask Luna if the nightmares had gone on for as long as she suspected then Luna would know about them.

"And emotionally?" Setsuna asked trying to move slightly away from the head injury for now. She was going to go back and look at those reports later. For now, the exact details of that weren't important other then knowing Yuki had a hand in it.

Usagi hesitated there for a moment going over her options. There was a lot of emotional things to consider. The blow up at the grave that had started the downward spiral among them. She guessed it went back to the worst case of manipulation Yuki had done. "Once, about two months into it Yuki said she wanted to get together and talk. Claimed she was being forced to behave the way she was. Except when I showed up she wasn't there. Instead there were three boys."

Setsuna couldn't help paling slightly at that realizing where this was probably going. "What happened?" She asked in an almost whisper.

Usagi looked down and gripped her pant legs. "They tried to... but I screamed before they could really get anywhere and caused a teacher to come running." Usagi let out a mild snort at that. "Probably the only time someone that worked at the school actually stood up for me." That hadn't lasted either since Ms. Haruna been transferred a month later. Now, Usagi wondered if that incident and covering it up wasn't why she was transferred.

"How is your progress with breaking some of the habits you formed at Juuban?" Setsuna asked.

Usagi closed her eyes for a moment thinking. "For the most part I've been able to do some of it. Naru and I aren't in the same class anymore so she can't exactly tail me around like she used to. I go to classes and I sit and sometimes I don't watch all the doors in a room. I still can't get myself to use the lockers at Mugen, not really anyway." Usagi admitted after a moment. "I use it. I try sometimes so I have a couple things in there, but I don't and I am not sure I want to."

"How does that make you feel?" Setsuna asked frowning slightly. At the very least this habit was inconsequential and understandable. The truth of the matter was simply that if she never broke that particular habit, it wouldn't harm her or her quality of life. Talking about the reason though, and facing it, that would still be important.

"I'm not sure. Back then I would sometimes find some things of mine damaged or tossed in the trash nearby. Other times they liked to leave things in the lockers. Some harmless, sometimes not so much…" Usagi trailed off there. "The last time I used my locker they had a knife come swinging down at me when I opened it." Usagi explained quietly.

"You had an upper locker correct?" Setsuna asked frowning slightly, keeping her reactions outwardly more calm than she felt. At Usagi's nod she continued more to herself. "That could have caused serious harm." If it had been rigged the correct way then it could have hit Usagi in the throat. The more Usagi talked about it the less it sounded like typical school bullying and more like an extreme personal vendetta against her. This was starting to drive home just how bad what Yuki had put Usagi through.

"Tell that to the school." Usagi muttered more to herself then Setsuna, bringing Setsuna out of her reverie.

Setsuna had half a mind to do just that. Some of the things Usagi was describing and the school's lack of actions almost bordered on criminal negligence. While the time she had been pushed down the stairs had been the only time she knew that Usagi had ended up in the hospital it sounded like there had been far too many close calls. "You know some of this damning enough you could possibly press charges against Juubans administration?"

Usagi nodded her head. "I know that. In order to keep going I just want to move on."

One afternoon Luna slipped out of the apartment she shared with the girls, an idea on her mind. Luna's eyes narrowed. It was time Yuki got a taste of her own medicine. It had taken her an hour or so of wandering to find who she was looking for. "Luna. I must admit some surprise at seeing you again so soon."

"Hercules." Luna greeted the blue Teuan. "I wasn't planning on trying to track you down so soon, admittedly. But there is something I'm planning and I was hoping you and your friends could be of assistance in the matter?"

"And what would that be?" Hercules asked. He had meant when he said he was willing to pay the favor he was just being curious at this juncture.

"Creative revenge upon someone who has harmed my human." Luna stated simply.

"Huh. Well that wasn't what I was thinking when I said you could call on me in favor but it works. Come on. I'll introduce you to the others." Hercules said leading her away from the main street.

"I thought you said you had an owner." Luna said frowning slightly looking around.

"Most of us do. This is just more of a gathering place then anything. A place to socialize with others like us and for the kittens to interact and have play time outside of their owners." A new female voice said.

"Luna, this is my mate Megara." Hercules said indicating the female calico that was now walking up to them who had spoken.

"You must be the Luna I heard so much about. Thank you again for the help with that weird person." Megara said after a moment.

"It's not a problem it's part of my job. That being said I was wondering if I could ask a favor of you." Luna said.

"Luna wants our help in getting revenge, against, I'm assuming another human?" Hercules asked directing the last part at Luna. Luna nodded her head. "I am guessing this isn't that one that was targeting me before?"

"No. This is a different human." Luna confirmed. She was kind of glad that Yuki appeared to be human for all intents and purpose. Having someone with such a mean streak working for the Dark Kingdom would be highly unpleasant.

"Must have been really something if you want help getting back at her." Megara noted.

Luna nodded her head in confirmation. "She broke my human, over the course of a year, and nearly killed her recently. This was, apparently, not the first time."

"What exactly happened?" Megara asked. It sounded like quite a story. She knew that there was more then one way to break a human, mostly on a physical front. But for the whole event to be dragged out for a year…

"It's not my place to say." Luna said shaking her head. Considering how reluctant Usagi had been to speak about it even with her and the others about the matter she felt not going into details about the whole incident was the best route.

"Fair enough." Hercules agreed. "We should see if any of the others want in on this first." There were a few strays in the group that he could think would probably be interested in joining in for no reason other then the chaos that could ensue.

"The more the merrier." Luna agreed with a glint in her eyes that promised Yuki would rue the day she'd messed with her human. The more joined in, the more damage they could wreck.

"If we're going to ask the others to get involved we're going to need to find something to do with the kits." Megara pointed out after a moment.

An idea to pop into Luna's head. A way to have the kits watched after and to cheer Usagi up after the grocery store incident. "Actually, I have a second favor to ask and a way for them to be watched for at least a few hours."

When Haruka and Michiru came back from running errands later the following evening it was to find Usagi back in the main living area surrounded by what looked like to be at least a couple of dozen kittens. Some were laying around her or playing. A couple had taken up perches on her, including two of the smaller tortoiseshell ones currently perched on her head between her odangos.

"Luna's idea. They are from others like Hercules I think." Usagi said looking up from giving one of the kittens a scratch under the chin.

"Kitten buried under a pile of kittens." Haruka teased. She was glad to see Usagi looking happy again. It was easy to guess why Luna may have orchestrated something like this to cheer up Usagi. The run in with Yuki had seemed to cause her to start withdrawing so seeing the other girl smiling again made her happy.

"Haruka." Usagi said trying to sound stern but failing as a kitten's whiskers managed to tickle her tummy. A black and orange kitten had climbed inside her blouse and was, apparently, making a home in there. She got Haruka was teasing but...

"Where did they come from?" Michiru asked picking up one of the tuxedo kittens that had been laying across Usagi's legs, having missed Usagi's initial explanation. She assumed they were just visitors or else Usagi would have called them about suddenly owning what had to be at least a couple of dozen kittens.

"Luna dropped them off earlier saying she had a few errands to take care of and asked me to watch them. A couple of them are apparently the kittens of Hercules and his mate Megara, some are the kittens of their friends. Others like Hercules. They should be back for them in a few hours. So I'm basically cat sitting in the meantime. Apparently, there is an entire society of cats with ancestors like Luna, or that's what she said at least. I'm not sure I understand her explanation." Usagi explained. She wasn't sure how she had gotten designated as the cat sitter for whatever Luna and her new-found friends were getting up to but she wasn't really complaining.

Michiru frowned slightly at that. What in the world could Luna and a bunch of cats be getting up to that needed their kittens to be babysat?.

"Hercules? Like the one that was a rainbow crystal holder Hercules?" Haruka asked a bit surprised asked taking a different kitten with a darker coat and looking at it. Now that she actually looked she could kind of see the a tint of the bluish coat that the afore mentioned cat had.

"The very same." Usagi said.

"I wonder what in the world they were getting up to that someone else couldn't watch them?" Michiru pondered, though it was easy to guess the intention may have been to make Usagi smile.

"Luna wouldn't elaborate when I tried to ask. Just said that the group had some things to do together and asked if I would watch them. Didn't have anything better to do so I agreed." Usagi shrugged. She wasn't complaining she was thoroughly enjoying this so she was a bit curious what Luna and the others were getting up to. But Luna hadn't been willing to elaborate much when she had tried to ask. "Besides. These kittens are adorable." She brought one up and rubbed noses with said kitten before the very same kitten started playing with her bangs, batting the strands of hair lightly before Usagi let the kitten climb up on her head where the little one purred contentedly.

"Do you need some help getting up?" Michiru asked after a moment deciding to drop the topic of Luna and her cohorts. Maybe something to bother Luna herself personally later.

"Everytime I move one of them to get up I swear another one takes its place." Usagi said. She loved this, she did, but she really needed to pee. While the kittens were small in size they weren't exactly small in number.

"Here I'll take a few off." Michiru said coming over to remove some of the more precariously perched kittens. Most of the others would scatter once Usagi was able to stand up but ones like the couple kittens currently on top of her head were best to be removed before she moved.

"Thanks Michiru." Usagi said getting up now that she was sure no one was going to go toppling. Some of the kittens began mewing in protest at her sudden departure. Usagi said slightly exasperated. "I am going to be right back. Really!"

"Looks like they have a favorite new human." Haruka commented chuckling. Michiru joined in as Usagi sped off to the bathroom and a kitten tumbled behind her. A favorite new human indeed.

End Chapter 20

Chapter Text

Chapter 21


"I want to thank you again for letting Usagi watch your kittens. It does seem to make her happier." Luna said after a moment. It had been a day since she had managed to first rope Hercules and his friends into helping her in getting back at Yuki. The additional thank you for getting involved with getting back at Yuki was left unsaid but there. They weren't out doing anything at the moment other than planning so Usagi wasn't watching the kittens today. Though she had a feeling that wouldn't be the last time the kittens were over at the apartment. Quite a few of them had seemed to have taken a shining to Usagi.

Hercules shrugged, "As I said before, we owe you one. She seems like a sweet girl who wouldn't usually hurt a fly. Besides you don't seem like the type to engage in this behavior without reason." Or at least that's what he had been able to garner from the few interactions with her and what the kits had said after staying with her. He would like to think Luna had good enough judgment to not let the kits near a dangerous human and it pointed towards the girl's good character that Luna wasn't in any pickle herself, considering the girl knew what Luna was and what she could do.

"Your right." Luna agreed.

"What did she do? To your owner?" Megara asked coming up to them again with a frown. Luna had been tight-lipped about the whole thing before but that didn't stop the genuine curiosity on what had gotten Luna on this path.

"Broke her is the short version of that answer." Luna said. "The long answer is a very long story and not for the faint of heart." She wasn't sure if she should be sharing the particulates. Usagi was getting more comfortable and open with all of them, yes. But some of the things that she had mentioned about what she had gone through were a bit personal.

"You know if you shared the particulates we might be able to give her a taste of her own medicine." Hercules said after a moment.

"It feels like it's not my place and I wouldn't know where to even begin." Luna admitted with some hesitation. "Some of it is rather personal." More personal then she was comfortable than sharing without Usagi's permission and she had yet to tell anyone about her plans to get back at Yuki.

"Just how long are we talking before you were told anything?" Megara asked raising an eyebrow.

"I first heard about Yuki in passing about a week after I found Usagi in mid-January. I didn't find out the specifics of what Yuki had done until a couple of weeks before I approached you. So three months." Luna answered.

"I can kind of see why your hesitating. It seems it was rather serious for her to take so long and then it must have been in confidence." Megara realized.

Luna tilted her head after a moment. "That and Usagi still doesn't like to talk about it and we know there is still more she isn't ready to talk about." Luna let out a sigh. "As much as I would love for Yuki to get an exact taste of the thing she inflicted on Usagi, some of it would not be possible and even if we could we would have to become monsters of the worst sort, worse than the dark kingdom I think." That and some of it was physically impossible to replicate. Torn and ruined clothes easy enough as a cat. They had claws after all. A flying knife in a locker like Usagi had described at one point, not so much. Oh well, it didn't mean they couldn't make the girl's life any less of a living hell. There was no way to duplicate it exactly like Usagi had lived through but Yuki would know soon enough that she had crossed the wrong person.

Zoisite, in general, hadn't been having a good week. He thought he knew what he was getting into when he had taken over various tasks when Nephrite had deserted his post but really he had no idea what he was getting into or how much Nephrite truly did.

"First you render our efforts to get the Great Warrior Youma useless because you abandoned two of them after they transformed, THEN you let this Tuxedo Mask character get away with one, and the Sailor Senshi sneak another two out right from under your noseFinally, an unremarkable 70-year-old human man somehow gets the better of you before you can get the next rainbow crystal." Queen Beryl was very clearly LIVIDIf it wasn't for the fact that she was running low on generals and she didn't trust some of the youma to actually follow command, she might have tossed him into eternal sleep like she had Jaedite and pulled Kunzite. As tempting as that was proving it was also a bad idea and she knew it. She needed Kunzite in England to keep the Venetian brat busy so the Sailor Senshi didn't get any bigger than it already was.

"My apologies my Queen. The human was rather spry for his age." Zoisite apologized bowing to her. What he had thought was going to be an easy extraction had turned into a pain very quickly. First, the man had somehow had managed to break free of the extraction hold. And then he had been attacked by a pair of twin crows.

It would figure that the first crystal carrier he got an upper hand on in a week would be the one that caused him the most trouble. Well though now that he was thinking about it. The only crystal carrier he had gotten to first that hadn't caused problems was the Catholic priest. The first carrier he had been interrupted by that one brunette.

"I don't need excuses Zoisite! I need results! Be grateful were short in leadership, else you would be joining Jaedite in eternal sleep." Beryl said with clear venom in her voice. "Now get out of here before I do something that the two of us will both regret." At this rate, his continued presence wasn't going to end well for his health, or for her keeping a leadership underneath her. He was going to really have to hope that he produced a crystal this time.

"Thanks for letting me come over. Papa sometimes gets busy with work. It's just him and I living in the house, so it gets lonely sometimes." Hotaru admitted. Usagi had invited her over one afternoon when she knew she was going to be kitten sitting again (apparently the cats had been impressed enough with her and the others jobs last time they had asked her to watch them again). She had found herself alone for the afternoon aside from the kittens since everyone else seemed busy. Figuring that even if Hotaru's bullies were starting to lighten up as they realized they didn't want to cross her new friends she probably could use a bit cheering up.

"Not a problem. If you ever need to get out or get away feel free to send me a text. I know I don't mind you coming over and I think the others wouldn't either." Usagi said after a moment. It was taking time but the other two were starting to relax around Hotaru the longer she was awake as Saturn.

"So did Haruka start calling you kitten before or after you started watching the kittens?" Hotaru asked curiously. She had heard Haruka use the nickname a bit teasingly a few times in passing.

"After. Haruka actually started calling me kitten after the first time I babysat them." Usagi said scratching one of the kittens' chins. "Their parents asked me through Luna to help socialize them with humans on the weekend to help get them ready to be adopted by good humans. I agreed. I figured with how rough it gets at school you would probably appreciate this as much as I do." Meaning she would probably appreciate the distraction from the bullies that wasn't Senshi related.

"Has anyone tried anything lately?" Usagi asked. She hadn't seen anything, but she still wanted to make sure.

"No, most of them are smart enough to not do anything overly aggressive to begin with, what with dad being headmaster. It doesn't stop everyone though... but I think they don't want to mess with Haruka more than they don't want to mess with my dad." Hotaru said after a moment getting a vaguely bemused look on her face at the end.

"At least you have the school administration on your side." Usagi said after a moment. Sometimes she wondered how much things would have turned out different if the burden of dealing with her bullies hadn't been placed on her. "Juuban." She elaborated when she saw Hotaru's confused face. "There was a girl who took every opportunity to either torment me or make more opportunities to do so."

"Why did administration not step in? Did they think it wasn't that bad?" Hotaru asked, trying to understand why no one had stepped in to stop it.

Usagi snorted at that. "I wish. They knew how bad it was. There was at least a few incidents where..." Usagi trailed off after a moment. Her eyes going distant for a moment as she petted one of the kittens. Before shaking her head, best not to think of those darker times too much.

"What's the worst thing she did?" Hotaru asked a bit curious. Kind of wondering why Usagi had broke off before finishing her statement. Most of the time the worst she had to deal with was people destroying her stuff. Which wasn't great either but at least they hadn't been going directly after her either. Most knew better than to try and physically harm her but there was always a few exceptions here and there.

"Set me up to be raped." Usagi confessed after a moment after debating telling her or not. But at this point everyone else knew, it felt unfair keeping Hotaru out of the loop entirely. Yuki had done a lot of things during her reign of terror, but the worst had been that particular incident.

Hotaru blanched. "WHAT?!"

"Naru can tell you more if you want details she was there for the incident. I don't feel like talking about it in any sort of detail. I am not sure she will either but she can confirm for you what happened if you don't believe it." Usagi confessed.

"No wonder the others hate her so much." Hotaru said. The others hadn't exactly told her what had happened between Usagi and Yuki but she did remember a conversation about Yuki and a ruined dress. She hadn't known Usagi well enough to know what she had been like when she first became Sailor Moon but from what she had heard, a lot more withdrawn then she was currently.

"Haruka and Michiru were aware of the fact I had a history with her. But they weren't aware of how extensive it was until recently. Naru, since she was by my side the whole time, has always known what Yuki put me through." Usagi admitted.

"And the school wouldn't do anything?" Hotaru asked. "Even after someone tried to assault you?"

"Someones actually, and no the school kept insisting there was nothing they could do. The one saving grace was they made the boys who attempted to... leave. After that caused their friends blamed me for there friends leaving the school." Usagi explained. "Things got worse as a result. Thankfully they didn't try again."

"Did it end or was it still going when you finished your last semester at Juuban?" Hotaru asked hesitantly putting the kitten down she had been holding. She was becoming upset enough at this point she was afraid she would accidentally injure it in her own distress over Usagi's situation.

"No. The school finally did something when I ended up in the hospital with a head injury that some of her friends were caught on camera causing. They expelled those on camera, but that wasn't the entire group. When I came back from winter break all of a sudden none of them would go near me." Usagi explained.

"Your bullies make mine look like child's play." Hotaru said after a moment. She hoped her bullies never crossed paths with Usagi's because she was honestly kind of afraid that where that possible information exchange could lead to.

"I had Naru." Usagi said trying to downplay it a bit. Thank god for Naru. She didn't think she would have survived Juuban without her. Sure she had Umino so Naru wasn't her only support. But would having just one would have probably made the situation a lot worse.

"And I had the backing of the school to keep it from getting that bad." Hotaru said shaking her head. They both had had their own advantages in their situations. Usagi had had Naru and she had had her father. Sure, Hotaru's bullies got to be a bit much at times, but none of them had tried to do much beyond some ruined personal items and mean comments because they knew it wouldn't end well. It hadn't been easy since she had no friends at Mugen Gaken prior to becoming Saturn but at least they hadn't escalated.

Usagi decided she wanted to change the topic away from the bullies. "So have you thought about what we talked about last time. About telling the others about your condition?"

Hotaru sighed. "Yeah. I've been thinking about it. Your right that it does help knowing the fact that they've handled something somewhat similar well before. But…"

"You're still scared?" Usagi guessed.

Hotaru nodded her head. Usagi spoke after a moment. "I can't really give any advice without being a hypocrite. I am not going to push you but remember you know my reaction already."

Hotaru smiled a bit at that. "Thank you."

"Makoto!" Usagi greeted the brunette warmly. She and Naru were doing a weekend sleepover just to break up the monotony, and also so Usagi could give Haruka and Michiru some space since they had been on top of each other since she moved in. At least it felt like that. Usagi wasn't expected to be at Naru's place for another couple of hours so she had decided to swing by the arcade to blow off some steam before going over to Osa-P to meet up with Naru.

"Long time no see Usagi. How's Mugen Gaken been treating you?" Makoto greeted.

"Good. Better than Juuban." Usagi admitted. No Yuki to deal with she still mainly hung out with Naru and the others more than some of her classmates. Now at least she had control back over who her friends were. When Yuki had isolated her, she had felt stripped of that. At least things were getting easier and Yuki was becoming more of a passing thought outside of the times that it was unavoidable it was going to rear its head. Like that one run in she had had with Yuki a few weeks back that she tried not to think about it.

"Yeah. You look good. I'm feeling it though, the school admin can be a bit of a pain." Makoto said making a face.

"Sorry, you have to put up with them." Usagi said. It was true, one thing she definitely did not miss in the least was Juuban and its teachers. "I ran into Yuki a week back. I could see she hasn't changed."

"I think she's gotten worse since she found out you got into Mugen Gaken." Makoto commented. Word had spread like wildfire about Usagi's transfer to Mugen Gaken once Yuki had been told about that. Reaction ranging from a couple of people seeming happy for Usagi to those in Yuki's circle seeming pissed that she had gotten something they couldn't.

"Really? Sorry to hear that. Guess I shouldn't have said where I was going to school." Usagi made a face. She could have walked away from Yuki but it had been hard. Looking back, she should have probably ignored the other girl. Plus there was a part of her that thought that even if she hadn't let it slip the first time at the grocery store, it would probably have come out in the garage.

"How did she find out anyway?" Makoto asked.

"When we ran into each other the last time she accused me of being a dropout. I set her straight." Usagi said. She had put up with a lot of things from Yuki but letting her claim she was a middle school dropout she hadn't been able to let fly.

"I can't blame you." Makoto agreed making a face. To accuse someone like that made her angry.

"I, somehow, keep running into her." Usagi admitted. "I don't know if I just have bad luck or... I think I made things worse."

"How does one make the situation worse?" Makoto asked frowning slightly. Trying to think how one could actually manage to make a situation with Yuki worse. Yuki was already bad enough to contend with normally. But this sounded worse than normal.

"I got her angry." Usagi admitted rubbing her arm slightly. "Yuki Accused me of buying my friends. I pointed out her own actions and how she used money to get out of things. She got physical." Usagi admitted.

"Physical how?" Makoto asked eyes narrowing. At first glance Usagi didn't look hurt but who knew if she was hiding something. "I'm fine. REALLY!" Usagi insisted seeing the doubtful look Makoto was giving her. "One of my other friends caught me before I hit the ground."

"She pushed you off something?" Makoto's voice jumped a couple of octaves ignoring Usagi's gestures to please quiet down. "And why wasn't this friend there to-"

"She already blames herself for not being there before Yuki pushed me." Usagi said breaking off before Makoto could go into a full rant. Haruka had never actually said directly she felt guilty for not being there before at least not in those exact words. Usagi had seen the look in the girl's eyes and her recent behavior seemed more protective. The only thing she could think of for sure was that she was blaming herself for not being there to protect her from Yuki. Making a note that she should really introduce Makoto and Haruka to each other at some point. With the duo's protective streaks, she had a feeling they would really hit it off.

Makoto took a deep breath trying to calm down. "Sorry. You're really not hurt?"

"I was a bit shaken, but I wasn't hurt." Usagi admitted. "After one of my other friends got there one of them grabbed security." Usagi frowned thinking back to the situation for a moment. "Actually, it's a good thing security was grabbed." Usagi muttered in self-realization. She had been a too shaken at the time to think how things would have probably escalated from there. Now that she was thinking about it…she was fairly sure that the only reason Haruka hadn't gotten physical was because she had been too distracted with her to pay attention to whatever comment Yuki had uttered that had ended in Michiru slapping her. Probably, if things had continued it wouldn't have been pretty. "One of my friends, she wouldn't hurt a fly if she could help it. I've never even heard her yell at anyone. She actually slapped Yuki." Usagi admitted, still sort of in awe at the display even now.

"Good." Makoto looked rather vindicated that at least someone had done so. That slap had probably been a very long time coming. Before something else popped up in her head brought on by the school rumor mil.."Well, I guess that's where that rumor came from." Makoto commented to herself.

"Rumor?" Usagi asked looking at her in surprise.

"Yeah school rumor has it she got in trouble with some security while out shopping." Makoto explained.

Usagi made a face remembering the incident. "Yeah. Probably the only time she's gotten in trouble for doing something like that." And even then, she wasn't sure Yuki wouldn't get anything more than a light slap on the wrist.

"Usagi. I'm really glad you're not hurt." Makoto said suddenly hugging Usagi, catching her off guard. Part of her wondering why Yuki had gone after Usagi. She hadn't known the girl that long but for the most part, she seemed like the type that wouldn't hurt anyone. What could she have done that had made Yuki go after her? But then again Yuki didn't seem like the type to need a reason to do what she did.

"Thank you." Usagi said giving her a smile. At least she had gotten out of this unscathed this time. Seeing Makoto's eyebrows shoot up. Crap she had said that last part out loud hadn't she? Makoto stopped hugging her and looked at her.

"Usagi exactly what did she do to you?" Makoto asked raising an eyebrow starring her dead in the eyes.

"More like what didn't she do." Usagi muttered more to herself than to Makoto while looking away fidgeting.

Makoto opened her mouth for a second to ask for a better explanation before thinking better of it. Part of Makoto really wanted an explanation or at least an elaboration behind it. But as things were she needed to stay on Juuban's administration's good side, unfortunately. She hated it. Makoto wanted nothing more than to be able to give Yuki a piece of her mind but she was walking on thin ice as is. They could easily pull the clearance to have a job if they wanted to. She had a feeling if she knew the exact details she would have a hard time not getting physical with Juuban's "darling child". She was caught between a rock and a hard place, and she hated it. Maybe she could do something later….

"Thank you." Usagi said after a moment of silence, unsaid went 'for the details I'm not comfortable discussing right now'. She had talked so much about what had happened between her and Yuki lately she was getting tired of it. She knew the conversations were needed and, in some cases, unavoidable but it was hard enough without repeating it so many times over and over again.

"This is probably easier. If I knew I'm not sure I could stop myself. I'm on thin ice with my job and keeping clearance to have one." Makoto admitted pinching her nose slightly. Speaking of which, Makoto glanced up at the clock on the nearby wall before speaking again. "Sorry, I can't stay for long. I was just blowing off some steam before I had to get to work. My boss is going to see the doctor today, so I can't afford to be late. I just had a bit of spare time, so I ended up here." She didn't have to be at work quite yet so she could still hang out, but she was going to have leave soon.

"You got a job at the arcade?" Usagi asked in surprise. She hadn't heard of the Arcade needing more workers but then again, she really hadn't been paying that much attention to that kind of thing recently. Though now that she thought about Makoto had said something about going to a doctor. Motoki had looked just fine when she had walked past a few minutes ago.

"No. I'm working down the road at the Hikawa Shrine. Apparently, the last shrine hand up and quit without warning. Since I was looking for a job and they were looking for a hand I ended up working there." Makoto explained.

"The school didn't give you any trouble over getting a job?" Usagi asked in surprised. Considering how much of a fit they had thrown over her other stuff it was hard to imagine otherwise.

"Oh, they weren't happy. There was a lot of long conversations with the admins, but I finally got them to agree." Makoto admitted. There had been enough conversations to make her head spin, but she had eventually gotten their permission. Her best guess as to why they had given permission was they were hoping the distraction from work would keep her out of trouble. She wasn't entirely sure.

"Go figure. I can't get them to do a few simple tasks but agreeing to let you take an after-school job is no problem." Usagi muttered to herself. She was glad Makoto had gotten the job and wouldn't get in trouble with the school admin but there ever-changing opinion on what they allowed was kind of annoying. Actually, more than annoying, but she was no longer there so she didn't want to put the effort into thinking about how backwards things could get at Juuban.

"Juuban's weird that way." Makoto agreed. "And it wasn't easy. I think they might have only greenlit my application because they were hoping it would keep me out of trouble."

"I am happy for you." Usagi said smiling slightly. And she did mean it. It might be more than slightly annoying on how hypocritical the school was in how they handled their students at times, but she was glad the admins weren't being a pain to everyone who needed assistance.

"Thanks. I'm trying to save up to open my own bakery, so this should help." Makoto admitted. Well, it wasn't the only reason, but it was one of them.

"Never thought of you as the type." Usagi admitted with a slight grin. It was kind of funny to picture the tall brunette in the kitchen. But if it made her happy, so be it.

"Love it. My friends back home used to rave about my cooking." Makoto said before her face got sad. Usagi pulled out of her pocket a piece of paper and scribbled down her number.

"Here. If you ever need to talk or text feel free." Usagi said handing the slip of paper which Makoto took after hesitating for a second.

"Thank you." Makoto said before frowning. "Crap I hate to cut this short but if I don't leave I'm going to be late for work."

"Better run then." Usagi said waving her off. "Be careful on your way to work!"

"You still haven't talked to him?" Usagi asked a bit surprised when she ran into Masato arriving at Naru's house. He was headed home as she was headed in apparently. Some pleasantries had been exchanged and when she had asked about how talking to the probable Earth Prince had gone. He had admitted he hadn't had a chance to do so yet.

"The problem is, I still don't know where to start with him. I can't exactly go up to him and say. 'Hi. I was your bodyguard in a previous life that you may or may not remember'." Masato pointed out. Talking to a teenage prince, even one he was supposed to have known, was difficult.

"You're a billionaire. You own a big company. Hire him." Usagi pointed out. She was surprised that the thought hadn't occurred to Masato before. Well then again not everyone could have a job in high school. "At least then you'll have a reason to talk to him, right?"

"I would be his boss." Masato said after a moment of thought. It wasn't the world's worst idea on one hand. On the other, even if his own memories were still not whole, he still had years of subservience to the prince and then to Queen Beryl. Having someone that he had reported to in a previous life now reporting to him would be difficult.

"You obviously don't have any better ideas or else you would have talked to him by now." Usagi argued. She could see how that could be awkward. Her point still stood!

"I don't even know if he needs or is looking for a job. I additionally, don't know if his school will approve him for one." Masato said pacing for a moment. The idea was starting to grow on him but there were still obstacles in the way to implement the plan.

"I know he's worked odd jobs before. One time I ran into him at the same photo contest you were running. Apparently, he keeps picking up odd jobs to help maintain his motorcycle." Usagi said ticking off the couple of things she remembered about the probable Earth Prince off the top of her head. Really there wasn't that much to go off of.

"Great. My prince was reborn as a 'bad boy'." Masato said nearly facepalming. What in the world had he been doing growing up that made him decide to pick up a motorcycle? Something to research later he guessed.

"I wouldn't really describe Mamoru as a bad boy from the interactions with him." Usagi said after a moment. She had a hard time imagining walking around in leather clothing. He just didn't seem like the type. "Haruka likes motorcycles. She's definitely not what people think of as 'bad girl'."

"That is true." Masato sighed. "I'll look into it." It was definitely the best idea that had come up recently. And if the prince was going through a bad boy phase maybe he could steer him out of it.

"Do you always tag along when you know Makoto's on the job?" Rei asked crossing her arms. A day later Usagi had decided to tag along with Makoto to check out the shrine Makoto was working at because she really didn't have anything better to do. Her and Naru had been planning to get together to compare notes between their classes to see the differences but Naru had had to cancel for whatever reason. That had left her wandering Juuban until Haruka could come and get her, bored until she had decided to go visit the shrine Makoto worked at. This had the shrine priestess, Rei, apparently questioning why she kept showing up. Really, it was just her second visit.

"I was supposed to meet with someone else but they had to cancel at the last minute. The shrine was nearby." Usagi answered Rei. Well, technically that only applied to today. The first time she had followed Makoto to work she was just plain curious and hadn't had prior plans. She had come back into her old neighborhood because she had just felt the need to get out of the triangle and away from the others for a few hours. So, she had ended up at the shrine for a bit. Today she was here because she really did not have anything else to do.

"That seems to be happening a lot. Don't you have other friends who aren't working to bother?" Rei asked crossing her arms. Okay, she was reaching at that point. She had been over to the shrine twice now.

"I don't have that many friends that live around here outside of Makoto. Besides, you're making a fuss and I've only been here once before. This is only my second time at your shrine." Usagi said shrugging. Well okay, friends might still be a strong word for her relationship with the brunette, but she wasn't sure acquaintances was the right word either.

"I find that hard to believe." she thought she heard Rei say.

"Rei, with all due respect, you've met me twice." Usagi said frowning slightly. She guessed Makoto hadn't mentioned either of their problems with making friends at Juuban or else that comment wouldn't have flown.

"Sorry." Rei apologized turning a slight shade of red.

"Just no more assumptions please, and we'll call it even." Usagi said waving off the concern.

"Usagi. We need to get going. Ms. Hino." Michiru said coming up behind Usagi greeting the shrine priestess. Looks like her ride was here at least the conversation was getting cut off before it could get any more awkward.

"Ms. Kaioh." Rei returned the greeting, "I haven't seen you around since the buses around here stopped disappearing. I assume you got what you needed sorted out?"

Michiru couldn't remember what excuse they had given Rei at the time. Just that it was something to throw her suspicion off from them and towards Jadeite who has been masquerading as a shrine aid at the time. Plus, the talk they had had though couldn't exactly be about the Senshi had helped some with her early days of being a senshi when she was still a bit lost on how to handle to things. "Yes, we did, thank you for the advice."

"I am surprised that you seem to know Ms. Usagi." Rei admitted glancing between the two. Usagi didn't seem like the type to run in the same circles that she knew the Kaioh's ran in.

"We became friends before Usagi transferred to Mugen Gaken." Michiru explained. "How did you two meet?"

"I followed Makoto over one day from the arcade once. Today I thought with Haruka busy it'd be a peaceful place to wait for you." Usagi answered.

"Makoto is a shrine hand we recently took on with grandfather falling ill." Rei answered what she was sure was going to be the next question.

"Ah. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. I hope he feels better soon." Michiru said. The man had seemed a bit eccentric the last time her and Haruka had been here. But not bad.

"Thank you." Rei said.

"We should get going Usagi." Michiru reminded the girl who had wandered off for a bit during the conversation to talk to Makoto.

"Ah right. See you around Makoto, Rei." Usagi called as she followed Michiru back down the shrine steps.

"How do you and Rei know each other?" Usagi asked Michiru glancing back at the top of the shrine steps where she could see Rei heading back into the shrine grounds. The way they had talked suggested they had met at least a couple of times before.

"Her father works for the government, so we had met a few times prior in passing due to family obligations. I didn't visit the shrine for the first time until the bus incident." Michiru explained.

"Wait that was this shrine?" Usagi asked a bit surprised. She knew the whole bus thing had gone down somewhere in Juuban, but she had never actually found out what shrine it was. Glancing back up again she wondered what had got the Dark Kingdom's attention about it. It looked like your every day Shinto shrine.

"Yes." Michiru answered.

"How did you two get involved with that whole plot anyway? Did she ask for help?" Usagi asked. Rei seemed to be very independent from what she had seen so far and heard from Makoto. She had a feeling that Makoto had gotten the job only out of necessity on the shrine's part, otherwise who knows where she would be working?

"No. Waters flow in mysterious ways. It was a coincidence." Michiru said before going quiet, thinking about the parallels between Rei's family and her own. Rei had her grandfather and her shrine, but she avoided her father. Michiru got along with her youngest sister the best out of all of them with her relationship with her older sister improving due to necessity. Her parents? Ever since they had found out about Haruka they had considerably distanced themselves. They hadn't cut her off completely, otherwise, she wouldn't still have access to her family's things, like the beach house but she partly suspected that was due in fact to that Haruka could pass as a guy and did on a frequent basis.

"How did you end up here anyway? You mentioned following the brunette, Makoto, but I've never seen her before." Michiru noted frowning.

"Oh, Makoto and I first met the night of the 'walking fiancées'. We kind of hit it off during that brief period I was staying at Naru's. She transferred in after I left Juuban. Apparently, with me gone Yuki has been bothering her instead." Usagi explained. Usagi made a bit of a face as she recalled some of their conversations. "According to Mako-chan, Yuki has gotten worse since the grocery store incident." Usagi said after a moment. She really tried not to think about Yuki and her groupies unless she had to. Makoto was at least tall and strong enough that she probably wouldn't have to deal with the more physical aspects of Yuki's assault that she had dealt with. At least she hoped not.

"Glad you two aren't in the same school anymore." Michiru said.

"That makes both of us." Usagi agreed. She had yet to deal with any Yuki-like people at Mugen personally though that might be a matter of them being scared off by Haruka. Judging by what Hotaru went through there were definitely some people there that had Yuki like behavior but none of them had gone after her yet. Would be interesting to see if that changed if Haruka missed a day of class for some reason.

Apparently, at some point along the line, Naru had been associated with them enough as the sailor senshi to gain a slight reputation of such, or at least be suspected of being connected to them. Really, when you thought about it the number of times Naru had been around for some various plot she was probably the one civilian who had been spotted near them the most.

So in hindsight when Mako started getting concerned that there might be a bit more to the Hikawa shrine priest's behavior she had passed her concern along to her hoping it would get passed on to the senshi. Naru hadn't gone into too many details about the exact conversation but had mentioned trying to downplay the connection though who knew how well that went.

It did raise a concern if other civilians were realizing that she was around frequently for various plots, what was stopping the Dark Kingdom from connecting the dots and realizing her possible connection with them? Or that Naru's other friends were the Senshi. It was a concern going forward they were probably going to have to address at some point. Even if Mako approaching her seemed to be a bit of an odd decision considering they recently set up a phone line for just this kind of thing. Then again, this meant they knew about a possible issue without it having to be filtered out by the government.

"Well, it's a bit of a surprise but you are around us a lot." Usagi conceded. They had been talking about how Mako had approached Naru as an interesting choice. Admittedly Naru being there was more by chance than by choice at times. But then again there were the times where Naru had gotten herself directly involved with the youma plots. Particularly when Masato was still Nephrite.

"True. Makoto asked if you could check out the head priest at the shrine she's working at. Apparently, he's been acting weird for the last week or so after some blond-haired guy showed up and caused him to hit his head." Naru explained.

"He also hit his head. The whole reason Kino got hired, according to you two, is because Hino needed someone to watch the shrine while she took him to a doctor. I hate to be that person but are we sure it isn't just a problem caused by that?" Haruka asked. It was possible that the blond-haired guy was Zoisite but blond haired ponytail guy wasn't a big description to go off of either.

"We could always ask Sestuna her opinion. She would have probably the best idea out of all of if the behavior Mako saw was caused by the head injury." Usagi pointed out. Sestuna was the only one of them that had actual background medical knowledge after all.

"While that may be a valid point, we can't afford to be lax with the Rainbow Crystals in play. If he is a Great Warrior, we can't just sit by and let a Rainbow Crystal slip out of our reach. Especially if Zoisite is the cause of all this." Luna said. Haruka had a valid point but there was also a possibility that this was entirely Dark Kingdom related.

"Shouldn't whatever shrine protections exist keep Zoisite from getting into the grounds?" Hotaru asked curiously. It was a religious shrine. She would have thought that the energy from someone from the Dark Kingdom wouldn't be able to get into the shrine grounds.

"Unfortunately, no. Jadeite was working there during the whole bus incident. Obviously, whatever protections they had around the shrine don't bother the Shittennou." Michiru pointed out. It was kind of odd though when you thought about it. A Shinto shrine was a holy place so technically the Shittennou shouldn't be able to set foot on the grounds of the shrine. Yet, now it looked like two of them had been able to cross through the shrine barrier. Maybe it dealt with the fact they were human, brainwashed humans yes, but still very human?

"So should we just start hanging out around the shrine then until Zoisite finally rears his head again?" Haruka asked.

"Rei's going to love that idea." Usagi muttered sarcastically. She wasn't quite sure what kept setting the other girl off when she was at the shrine but she doubted her having to hang out there for a prolonged period was going to endear her to the shrine priestess. "Maybe I should just show up, heshined, and try using the spell like we did with the painter and Hercules? That way we get the crystal and we don't set Rei off by accident?" Usagi suggested. Honestly if what Luna said was true if the old man wasn't a crystal holder then the spell wouldn't affect them. And it would give them an even bigger upper hand on the Dark Kingdom.

"Usagi, you just are finally getting over that whole debacle with Hercules. I don't think that's the best idea." Luna pointed out. Usagi had been trying to hide it but she had noticed the girl had been a bit more sluggish in the aftermath of the healing. She was pretty much back to normal, but it might not be the best idea to keep straining her like this. Even if this was the easiest solution but it might not be the best one.

"If Zoisite's already shown up it won't require the same amount of effort to get this crystal." Usagi argued. Besides she was pretty much recovered from the whole Hercules thing anyway. She should be fine.

"I am not having you knock yourself out for a week again. My answer's final." Luna said. Okay a week might be exaggerating it but none of them really knew how much Usagi would be drained if this rate kept up. With the stakes with the Dark Kingdom getting higher they couldn't really afford for anyone to be out for a long period.

"Besides showing up as the Sailor Senshi might set her off more. She's probably already on edge from her grandfather being hurt." Michiru pointed out. Despite having government backing she didn't think crossing the Hinos was the best idea.

"It can't be worse than showing up for several days on end looking for Zoisite. At least if we show up in Senshi garb we have an excuse to be there." Usagi argued. Even if it would make things more difficult be she would rather just use the compact to check if he was a crystal carrier and call it a day. Rather than have to engage Zoisite, possibly fight him, and the youma, and heal the youma. It would take several steps out of the whole process.

"I am going to side with Usagi, partly, on this one. I don't think we should show up in Senshi garb and try healing him without an explanation but I don't think showing up at the shrine for several days is the solution either. The solution lies with the compact, it can act as a homing beacon to the crystals. We'll use the compact to check if he is a crystal holder rather then wait for Zoisite to show up. Forall we know Zoisite could show up again in the middle of the night and if he does we would be completely out of luck." Luna said closing the argument. Zoisite showing up would be the preferred solution in a way at the moment since it meant the crystal extraction wouldn't go to Usagi. Healing him would, but that technically should be a lot less strenuous on her. Luna still didn't like it but she suspected Usagi would act on her own if she didn't concede on this point at least. The girl had a valid point, as much as it pained her to admit it on this issue.

"Today is Makoto's day off so if you're here to see her then you've come on the wrong day." Rei greeted her when she came by a couple of days later. Today she was just checking to see if Rei's grandfather really was another crystal holder. So, Makoto didn't need to be there though it would have given her an excuse. Rei had gotten a bit less defensive, though not by much, since their last conversation. Seemed like she had taken Usagi had told her seriously.

"I came for a short visit because I like it here. The view is here gorgeous. This must have one of the views in all of Tokyo." Usagi admitted. It was true actually. She loved how much of the city you could see from the top of the hill the shrine at. It must be beautiful at night to look out on the city.

That got a small smile out of Rei. "Only Tokyo Tower beats it. Glad to know someone else appreciates it besides Grandpa and I."

"How's your grandfather doing?" Usagi asked. Regardless of whether or not he was a rainbow crystal holder she did genuinely want to know how he was doing.

Rei frowned slightly at that. "You heard about that?" She hadn't told Makoto not to talk about it but she hopped the brunette used discretion when talking about that topic.

"Mako mentioned it. She brought it up when she told me she got the job here." Usagi confessed. "No real details just said she was looking after the shrine for the afternoon while you took him to the doctor." She didn't want Mako to get in trouble for possibly saying something she shouldn't have, and she had seen Rei tense up slightly when she realized she knew about it. Especially when she really hadn't told her anything to begin with.

"Yeah, he took a fall the other day, so we took him in to get checked out. Other than a mild concussion the doctors said he was fine. He's been acting like he is half his age since then. I am just afraid he's going to hurt himself again at this rate." Rei admitted blowing out air in frustration. She still didn't know what exactly had caused the fall. She had found him after and he didn't remember what had actually happened.

Usagi wasn't really sure what to say to that. She remembered the doctors had warned her about the long list of possible side effects from having a concussion, one of which could be a personality change. Thankfully, her's hadn't caused that. Though recovering from it hadn't been the easiest even without that side effect. "If you ever want to talk about it I'm always open. I took a rather nasty fall myself before the winter holidays. Ended up in the hospital for a few days because of it."

"What happened?" Rei asked taking the offered slip with Usagi's cell on it with a frown.

Usagi shook her head. "I would rather not talk about the semantics of what happened. At least in my case, it wasn't an accident."

"School bullies?" Rei guessed. She dealt with people saying things behind her back about her psychic abilities. No one had tried to physically confront her about it. At Usagi's nod in confirmation. "Wouldn't the school have stopped them before they escalated that far?"

Usagi let out a dry laugh at that. "The school admin had it out for me, I'm pretty sure. They never once lifted a finger to help me in the entire time I attended Juuban unless they absolutely had to. Most of the time I was on my own outside of one teacher and a couple of friends."

Rei visibly cringed at that.

"My school now is much better since I transferred to Mugen." Usagi assured. There was still the concern on how the Mugen administration would react if Hotaru's bullies went after her. So, she guessed she wouldn't know for sure until whenever the day came that she brushed against some bullies who had an interest in her.

She was brought out of her thoughts as an older man seemed to appear out of thin air asking. "Hello, young maiden would you like to train under me as a shrine priestess?"

"What?" Usagi asked a bit faintly. She hadn't been expecting this when Mako had mentioned odd behavior by him.

"Grandpa! I told you before you're doing too much. You don't need another trainee. You're doing perfectly fine teaching myself and Makoto on how to care for the shrine." Rei said before Usagi could muster a response to the request.

"Ah, but don't you enjoy having more people your age around the shrine?" Rei's grandfather asked turning away from Usagi and addressing Rei.

"Grandpa, I'm fine, really." Rei assured him. The thought was sweet she guessed but she really was okay with it just being her and her grandfather and Makoto on occasion.

"If you say so." Rei's grandfather said after a moment before disappearing off to another part of the shrine.

"Sorry. He's been asking that of everyone that he sees at the shrine." Rei said sounding a bit exasperated. "I keep telling him while the idea is sweet I'm perfectly fine. I'm not sure how I'll handle it if he gets someone to say yes."

"It's alright." Usagi said waving off the concern. She had been around worse behavior after all. Though well she could see why Makoto thought that his behavior might be a bit off. And actually, she realized as she glanced down at the compact that was lightly glowing in a corner of her bag. She was right. The behavior wasDark Kingdom related.

It hadn't taken the others long to get there once she called them to tell them that Mako had been right. This was a Dark Kingdom plot. However, what they hadn't counted on was for Zoisite to have made another move before they got there. As he was just disappearing Rainbow Crystal in hand as they reached the top of the steps.

"Saturn get her to a safe distance." Moon told the younger girl. This one was apparently capable of shooting fire balls. So, this was going to be dangerous enough for them even with the healing factor. Let alone a random civilian with no powers.

"But-" Rei began in protest. She knew she couldn't exactly fight what her Grandpa had just morphed into. But it was still her grandpa and she was concerned.

"He'll be fine once we heal him. We don't want you to get hurt by him in his transformed state." Saturn tried to assure her as she walked up. "We should move away from the fight and into the woods."

"I know a better spot." Rei said after a moment. She really didn't want to walk away from this, but this was outside her realm of expertise as much as she hated to admit. Considering whatever it was shooting fireballs it was probably not best to take cover in the woods. There was a spot she knew of outside the shrine that should be safe enough and out of danger.

"As long as it's out of the way of the fight." Saturn agreed as the two scurried off.

"We're going to have to knock him out if we want to heal him I think." Uranus realized as they scattered away from another fireball of the youma's.

"But if he already hit his head once then…." Moon trailed off there. Problem was they probably could knock him out but she wasn't sure if there was a way to keep him from hitting his head again. Too bad she didn't have any sleeping spells. She wasn't even sure if that was a thing though. Maybe something to nag Luna about later.

"Then hitting his head again would just make it worse." Neptune said following her train of thought.

"I have an idea." Saturn said coming back having left Rei for the moment. "Luna's been working with me on a defensive spell. If I can hold it do you think you can get the healing spell cast on him without having to deal with knocking him out again?"

"I didn't know any of us had defensive spells." Neptune noted. That was a nice thing that would have been good to know about before. Admittedly this was only Saturn's second time in a fight. So it wasn't too shocking it hadn't come up before.

"Not everyone does. I have one and I know Mercury has the defensive wall counterpart in the Inner Senshi. Hers is less of a physical wall when compared to mine." Saturn said frowning slightly. Mercury's was a fog from what she understood while hers was an actual physical barrier.

"That is going to make things so much simpler." Moon commented to herself. Having a way to defend on top of being able to attack should, in theory, simplify some of their fights.

"Okay but even then, he's not worn down. You had a lot less problems healing the youmas that were already worn down from fighting then dealing with Yumemi and Hercules." Uranus pointed out as she shot off a Spiral Buster in warning as the youma started to wander a bit too close for comfort.

"I would think him just running around would ware himself out a bit." Moon pointed out. Yeah, it was a concern and if the rate kept going she was going to really knock herself out at some point. But the last two had never transformed into their youma counterparts before they had gotten involved.

"Look why don't we just wear him down a bit before you heal him, Moon. Saturn how long can you hold that wall of yours?" Neptune put in her two cents.

"I'm not entirely sure. I've only gotten to use it in practice." Saturn reminded them.

"I think this is as good as its going to get." Moon said a couple of minutes later after he had spent some time dodging the attack. He looked like he was starting to get pretty worn out. "Could use that wall right about now Saturn!"

"Silent Wall!" Saturn said a slightly visible barrier flickering to life in front of her glaive and the group. "Moon Healing Escalation!" Moon commanded almost as soon as the barrier was up. It took a few minutes and a lot of moving around because the youma was still moving so Moon had to keep repositioning herself to make sure he was in line with the spell. But eventually it took hold and the youma reverted back to being Rei's grandpa.

"That was a pain." Uranus commented. They had forgotten that with the youma still not knocked out or restrained they were going to have to move if it moved. She glanced back at Moon for a moment, who was at least still on her feet if looking a bit pale.

"I'm fine." Moon reassured them seeing the looks she was getting. She felt a bit more tired than normal, but she didn't exactly feel like she was going to pass out like she had after Hercules. That was an improvement.

"Moon. Make sure you rest after this." Neptune said frowning slightly. At least this time Moon hadn't passed out, however, the girl looked a bit pastier then normal and the way her shoulders slouched betrayed the fact that she was obviously tired. Healing the crystal carriers was a necessity but it was starting to become obvious the short time frames between dealing with the rainbow crystal carriers wasn't working to Moon's benefit.

Moon shook her head. "I'll be fine. We only have two more crystal carriers to worry about, right? I can get through them." She was going to have to.

"I'll go get Rei." Saturn said after a moment.

"I wonder…" Michiru trailed off for a moment with a frown turning to look back up at the shrine after they had apologized to both Rei and her grandpa they had ducked off and de-henshined. Haruka had gone ahead to get the car to drive. So it was just the five of them at the bottom of the stairs at the moment.

"What are you thinking Michiru?" Usagi asked when she didn't continue.

"This is where they had the bus incident back at the end of November. It seems like an odd coincidence now that there's been two Dark Kingdom incidences here." Michiru explained.

Usagi frowned at that. "Luna never mentioned if she had found any hot spots for Dark Kingdom activity. I know she was looking for some when we were spending that week at the beach. Maybe we should ask her about that again?"

"Hot spots?" Hotaru asked tilting her head slightly in confusion. This was the first she had heard of anything like this.

"Luna said when I asked her about it she just said that some areas are more likely to attract Dark Kingdom activity then others. And she was trying to find them a while back." Usagi explained shrugging slightly. "Not sure if she found any though."

"It seems odd that a shrine would be a natural Dark Kingdom hot spot." Hotaru pointed out.

"Maybe it's just bad luck?" Haruka suggested after a moment.

"That's some serious bad luck." Usagi said frowning slightly. There was bad luck like constantly tripping over the sidewalk and then there was this bad luck where it had attracted enemy attention again and she guessed two times being targeted wasn't horrible it was kind of interesting that the Dark Kingdom had returned here. She could think of anywhere else as of yet that had attracted the attention more than once.

It began like a lot of her dreams of the Moon Kingdom , i n the gardens surrounding the Moon Palace. A lot of Serenity's memories seemed to be in the gardens  o r at least the ones Usagi had remembered so far. She seemed to like it there ,  not that Usagi blamed her past self. It was a gorgeous place.

What was a bit unusual this time was who else was in this memory. There weren't many memories she had of Uranus and Neptune's past selves. They had spent most of the time prior to the fall of the Moon Kingdom guarding the Silver Alliance from outside invasions. So, to see them at the Moon Palace was pretty rare. Her mother must have called them for one reason or another. And they were having a moment before they had to separate and return to their respective outposts.

As she watched the two interact for a moment. Hands interlocking and just leaning into the other's touch she had this strange sense of strong longing overtake her. She watched for another moment as she tried to understand where the feeling was coming from again. It wasn't the first time she had felt it. It seemed when she rarely did see the Outer Court the feeling tended to occur. Why  was something  she didn't understand.

After a moment she decided to return to the center of the Moon Palace. As she walked away leaving the two to have their moment she found she had started crying. Why was she crying? Was it because she longed for that kind of relationship? It wasn't even an ideal relationship. Outside of the occasional reports they had to submit the two were mostly isolated to their posts. At least with Endymion, he would be by her side until the end of days. Those two were forced to separate because of their duty to the Silver Alliance. She guessed in time they would eventually retire and be able to  be  together without the interference of duty  b ut that was a long way off. A good few decades at least.

It didn't make any sense! She was happy with Endymion. He loved her, and they would bring in a new prosperous era to the Silver Alliance…so why did she feel this strong sense of longing every time she saw Uranus and Neptune?

She shook her head after a moment. It must have been because she wanted a similar relationship with him. For him to look at her like she was the center of his universe, the way she saw Uranus gazing at Neptune at times. That made the most sense after all! Choosing to ignore the niggling feeling of doubt in her gut that suggested otherwise.

She was in love with Endymion. She had been in love with Endymion from the moment she had met him. So why was it that she kept feeling that she was forgetting extremely important? That she was forgetting a piece of herself. Why did she find herself longing so much for what they had? She had Endymion, right? She could get that same thing from him. There was no reason to suggest otherwise!

"Oh Serenity." Her mother had begun the next time she had seen her. She had brought up the whole incident with Uranus and Neptune. "Longing to have a good relationship when you're in the early stages of your own relationship with Endymion is normal, especially when you see two people who appear to be as perfect as those two."

Serenity chose to keep quiet she wasn't sure how well her mother was a good gauge of relationships. She was the only Queen of the Silver Alliance that was single. While that wasn't necessarily a bad thing (there had been several powerful rulers throughout the Silver Alliance's history who had ruled without a King or Queen at their side), it didn't make things easier either at times. Serenity had never even met her father or knew what to look for despite having asked before. She wasn't sure if he was dead or what the story  even was.  She had heard some of the castle rumors pertaining to her and her heritage none of which were complimentary. However, she had learned growing up that sometimes it was best to keep her thoughts to herself so she had never confronted her mother specifically about whether any of them might be true. It might not end well.

Her mother wasn't entirely unfeasible after all. She still remembered the time she had confessed to having a crush on the now Sailor Venus, her childhood friend Harmonia. She had seemed so cross at the time that her daughter had fallen for a princess and not a prince. It was probably the first time she had questioned her mother's true opinions on other people. Most members of the Silver Alliance didn't care so much as who ruled by your side as long as you were a good ruler. She hadn't even thought of the idea that her mother might have a different ideal until that day. It was a bit disturbing to her actually.

As her thoughts flickered back to Uranus and Neptune the strong sense of longing returned. What her mother had said made sense that she would want an ideal relationship with Endymion. Like the one, she had seen. Hopefully, with time her and Endymion's relationship would evolve to be just that.

When Usagi shot up in bed shortly thereafter the memory ended she found herself crying again. Though just like her past self Usagi found herself confused as to why she was crying. Well, maybe not entirely confused she understood it went back to that strange sense of longing that came with seeing Uranus and Neptune in her past life. Even now she didn't understand why the feeling persisted.

After a moment she hopped off the bed and she waddled back into the living room deciding to leave the prosthetics off right now. It was later, she was going back to bed it would be more effort to put them on at this point. She probably should have just stayed in bed but she was hoping maybe staring at the skyline lit up by the moon would calm her in some form as she got onto the couch.

After a moment she found herself fidgeting around with the violet crystal she kept on a chain beside the green crystal. It wasn't the first dream she had had since the crystals had begun to surface. The crystals seemed to be bringing more and more of her memories during the Silver Alliance back however that dream had left her much more confused than usual. Most of them had been pretty straightforward. Childhood playing around with what she assumed were the Inner Senshi. Some court proceedings. On the rarer occasion she got memories with her mother or with Endymion. Memories with the Outer Senshi were an extremely rare event. She would have thought since she was now living with two of them that she would start to remember more of them but apparently not.

"Usagi?" Usagi turned slightly in surprise seeing Michiru coming into the living room. "It's awfully late."

"Just thinking about a dream, I had." Usagi told her. "The Moon is soothing."

"Tohoku?" Michiru guessed. There were pretty much two reasons for Usagi wanting to think about a dream. And if it was Usagi had dreamt of the Moon Kingdom that would be a wild coincidence.

Usagi shook her head. "No, the Silver Alliance this time. I've been getting more and more dreams about the Moon Kingdom as more of the rainbow crystals have been found."

"What was it about?" Michiru asked frowning slightly. She had had her own dream of the Silver Alliance that had woken her up. Though she doubted it was the exact same one.

"Just this one time I was watching you and Haruka in the palace gardens for a bit. Nothing major." Usagi said shaking her head slightly. Nothing that could help them really understand their pasts anyway. She didn't really feel like mentioning the weird longing sensation. Mainly because she felt that it would raise more questions that she didn't have answers too. Though now that she was thinking about it the dream had raised even more questions that she hadn't really thought about before. Particularly her relationship with the Inner Senshi back in the day.

"Did you observe people very often in the gardens?" Michiru asked raising an eyebrow. Usagi had never seemed like the people watching type outside of necessity and she had a hard time seeing her past self being much different. But who knew.

Usagi scrunched up her face in thought. "I'm not sure if that was a habit of mine. I know I liked going to the palace gardens a lot just going by the amount of memories I have of that place. The memories are so scattered and all over the place at times that I'm not sure much what else I enjoyed back then."

"What about you, what do you remember? I know you guys said before you don't remember much of the Moon Palace?" Usagi asked. It was backed up by what little she did remember. Haruka and Michiru being in her memories she was getting back was still a rare occurrence.

"Most of the memories I've been seeing are before Haruka and I were Sailor Senshi. After that everything gets a bit muddled." Michiru admitted concentrating for a moment on what she could recall of her past life. There wasn't really much to it. Typical princess stuff and things you would expect from being in training for being a Sailor Senshi she suspected. "I don't remember visiting the Moon Palace after we officially accepted our roles. If you saw us we obviously visited for one reason or another." It was a bit odd she would have thought they would have regained their memories from the last ones before the fall to the oldest ones. Not the other way around.

"Yeah, I haven't seen you two that much in the memories I got. But you were definitely there." Usagi said. She only had a handful of memories with those two in them but for some reason, they felt the clearest at times out of all of her Moon Kingdom memories. Even if her actions and emotions at times didn't make sense to her. "Though not that often from what I can recall."

"It makes sense." Michiru hummed slightly. "Our duty was to protect the Silver Alliance from outside invaders. We couldn't do that if we were constantly visiting the Moon Palace."

"That is true." Usagi agreed. A momentary silence fell over them. "I think I am going to go back to my room and try to sleep some more. Night Michiru." Usagi said before going back to her room.

"Night Usagi." Michiru said waving the other girl off. Michiru frowned thinking back on what Usagi had said for a moment. A haunting dream with a girl in a sheer dress in a garden. Soft lips, warm skin, large blue eyes, soft mewls and long silvery blond between her fingers. A dream that had brought her to the living room only to make her reach for the blond before her as she had in the dream. Much like Usagi's dream she had found it made no sense in the context of what she knew about her past life. Hopefully, time would give more answers than questions. So far all it was giving her was more questions.

"Michiru" Usagi's soft voice called out snapping Michiru out of her musings. "Are you alright? Haruka and I tried calling you." Michiru would feel the blood in her cheeks causing her to blush. Haruka was standing there in shorts and a tank top, clearly having been asleep before she came out. Haruka rose an eyebrow at her. "Couldn't sleep?" Michiru nodded her head before looking out the window. "Usagi had the right idea."

Usagi watched the two, the same feeling she had in her dream took hold as Haruka encircled Michiru and Michiru leaned into Haruka like they molded down to the soul. She was brought out of her musings by a tug. She hadn't realized her legs had brought her so close. Haruka's hand pulled on hers and she let it. The three of them sat leaning together under the stars and the moonlight.

End Chapter 21

Chapter Text

Chapter 22

Bête Noir De Chats

The day got off to a bit of a rough start for Hercules, Megara, and their brood. One of the kits had decided to pass along just exactly what they had heard when over at Usagi's place the most recent time. The kits had been asking what in the world someone was trying to do to her when the word 'rape' had been brought up.

"Where did you hear that?" Megara managed to ask once the shock had worn off. She could think of a few different places none of which made her particularly happy.

"When we were spending that time with the girl, Usagi. She was talking to another friend of hers about someone nearly doing that. She just looked really sad mama." The oldest of their kits, Sarpedon, said.

Well, that wasn't entirely surprising to hear. She would look like that considering the sensitive nature of what had been talked about. "She'll be fine. It's just something that was difficult for her. Someone tried to hurt Usagi really badly. That is basically what it means." Though that was putting it mildly possibly.

"You're going after the girl that's been hurting our friend, right?" Ajax another one of the older kits asked.

Megara mentally groaned. They had been trying to avoid letting the kittens know just what they were up to when they were left at Luna's owner's place. But obviously, someone had let it slip. Probably one of the strays that had gotten roped into it. Making a note to talk to the others about what they were telling the kits about their plans she looked at the small gathering of kits before her. Too late to go back now she supposed. "Yes, we are."

"Well…some of us want to help." Sarpedon, one of the older kits, insisted.

Megara hesitated for a moment thinking. Normally she would have said no but that being said the kits were small enough they could possibly get places and do things that the adults in the group wouldn't be able to do as easily. "No promises. I'll see what I can do but you all must promise to do exactly as we say if you're allowed to help." She finally decided. Not a yes, not a no. Just a maybe until they had had more time to process and throw the idea around. Some of the kits that had been with Usagi were starting to get old enough to make their own decisions. If they really wanted to get involved there wasn't much in the way to stop them.

"Do you think Luna knows about all this?" Hercules asked turning to Megara once the kittens had left. He was pretty sure he knew the answer to that question already, but he needed his mate to say it. Based on what they knew of all this and Luna's evasiveness about just what this girl had done to her owner, he was not fairly certain she knew.

Megara shook her head after a moment. "She has to know. At the very least it explains why she was reluctant to tell us everything her owner had been put through." Something told her Luna hadn't expected her to start talking about this subject and she herself could understand why.

"Motoki I know your hurting from the break up with Reika but is flirting with a middle school brunette the best idea...?" Mamoru wondered to himself. He knew Motoki was still hurting over Reika's decision to break up with him so she could freely study abroad. Honestly, he was of the opinion that if Reika wasn't willing to try a long distance relationship before cutting it off then she probably wasn't the one, not that he was going to tell Motoki that, however going after this new girl didn't seem to be the best solution either.

"Mamoru, long time no see!" Usagi greeted coming up behind him bringing him out of his thoughts.

"Usagi…the uniform's new." Mamoru said turning to her a bit surprised. Last time he had seen her during the school year she had been wearing the Juuban uniform. Then again, they had been both so busy they hadn't run into each other lately.

"Yeah, I got accepted into Mugen Gaken's specialty program over the break. It's been helping." Usagi admitted.

"Congrats. I imagine that must have been very good for you." He was a bit surprised she had gotten in but from what he knew about her there was a good chance she had gotten in through one of their medical testing programs. It was probably closer to self-paced then a regular class structure, which probably did help a lot.

"School's still hard at times but there are less problems to deal with at Mugen." Usagi admitted. Due to her program's structure, she had less concerns and stress about learning materials and keeping up with things when compared to her fellow year mates though that didn't stop certain subjects like math from being difficult at times. "How are things on your end?" She wondered if Masato had ever taken her up on the advice to hire Mamoru.

"Going good. Got another new job." Mamoru said. Confirming to Usagi that probably Masato had finally approached him. Or someone that worked for Masato. Something to formally bug him about later at least. "Hopefully this one goes better than the last few." It seemed like he kept running into Dark Kingdom plots.

"Still ending up places with the strange monsters?" Usagi asked. He seemed to have a natural tendency to show up where the youma were. Which may be on purpose if their line of thinking was right in that he was the former Earth Prince.

"Yeah, that's an unfortunate reoccurring problem. Though, come to think of it, who isn't nowadays?" Mamoru asked. With the creatures showing up every which place it was kind of hard to avoid them if you lived in Juuban.

"That's true." Usagi agreed. Though she really couldn't speak much of what classified as a normal experience since her encounters were entirely senshi based. "Makoto…" Usagi said a bit exasperated catching sight of the brunette Mamoru had been watching. She had been hoping the other girl had gotten past her whole crush thing but if she was pursuing Motoki she doubted it. At least this time it looked like maybe the feelings went both ways versus the whole thing with the gamer dude who to her had been using Makoto. She didn't really think Motoki Furuhata, who generally was an all-around sweet guy, would mistreat or use Makoto the way the last one had done.

"She's a friend of yours?" Mamoru asked.

"Yeah. We've talked a lot when we've run into each other in the arcade. Outside of a handful of times, we usually have met here at the arcade." Usagi admitted. None the less she felt comfortable calling Makoto her friend. Regardless of how not so well there schedules meshed at times. There was just something familiar about her and comfortable. Somehow using anything else to describe her didn't feel quite right. A thought struck Usagi and she frowned. "I thought Motoki had a long-term girlfriend."

"He did. She's taking a semester abroad in Africa, so she decided to break things off with him." Mamoru answered. Really considering Reika's track record, the break up wasn't the biggest shock. Actually, it might have been a bigger one if they had managed to stay together while she was in Africa. This, however, was the first time he could remember Motoki trying to move past to another girl.

"Ick. If that's the reason she gave then maybe it's for the best." Usagi said making a face. Quitting before the going got tough was no way to pursue a relationship in her mind. She felt bad for Motoki but maybe Reika hadn't been the best match for him.

"I agree with you, but I don't know if becoming interested in someone younger than him is the best way to get over Reika." Mamoru commented frowning slightly.

Usagi quietly chewed her lip worried for her friend. It wasn't so much she didn't want Makoto to find someone eventually, but she wasn't sure if being someone's possible bounce back was a good idea either.

"He's been together with Reika for so long I don't remember him showing interest in anyone else." Mamoru said massaging his forehead.

It took Usagi a while to get a chance to confront