Author's Notes and Disclaimers: Copyright N.T., Toei, Kodansha.
This is, despite its appearance, *not* part of the series begun by Matt Burns and continued by the two of us. Consider it an allergic reaction to it. Writing Timeless took alot out of me. Chris Davies suggested adding Pluto to the mix and in a weak moment, I actually wrote something. And here it is - the first "unofficial" fic based on Matt's series. :-) I guess that makes this dedicated to Chris. I have just one question for him - when exactly did you fall in love with Pluto?If you like this, make sure you've read the rest of the series it doesn't belong to at The Fanfic Revolution. While you're at it, drop by "World Shaking" Fanfic for the heck of it, or to say hi. If you like this fic, let me know - I'm beginning to think you're all taking my writing for granted. :-) firstname.lastname@example.org
Before the Beginning: An Apocryphal Tale of the Silver Millenium
They sat, their bodies bathed in the reflected glow of the sun. She could see he was nervous, but could not understand why. Well, other than that their love was forbidden, that it was fated to draw both their kingdoms into a destructive war that would cause both their deaths and the deaths of everyone they knew and loved. But that was pretty par for the course. Nothing to be nervous over.
Finally he stirred, his cape fluttering in the light lunar breeze.
"There's something I have to tell you." He muttered, scrubbing his hands along his thighs. "I...um..., you're not my first lover." He managed to say it in a rush, but couldn't meet her eyes.
She crinkled up her nose in amusement. "Is that all? I was worried it would be something horrible."
He smiled a wan little smile in response to her laughter. "Well," he sighed in despair of making this painless, "its one of your Senshi."
Her smile stopped, and she looked thoughtful. "Its Mars, isn't it?"
"You know about that?" He asked, surprised.
"Know about what?" Her face was guileless, then, as she stared at him, it darkened slightly.
"It is Mars, isn't it?" Her voice matched her face.
He cleared his throat. "Well, yes and no." He paused once again, looking away. "It *was* Mars."
Her face cleared. "Oh, that's okay then " she began, but his voice cut her off.
"Now its Pluto."
She jumped from her seat and stood facing him. "WHAT?!" Amazement was clearly visible on her features, but outrage seemed to be missing entirely. He let his shoulders drop just a little.
When he looked carefully, he could she her slight form start to shake, and he panicked. No noise came from her, but her shoulders quaked and her head was bowed. He stood and reached out an arm to touch her.
"Bwahahahahahahahah!!!!" she lifted her head and roared with laughter at her beloved. "You have GOT to be kidding! She's, like, a grillion years old..." she wiped at her eyes, as the laughter continued to wrack her body.
"Well, yeah..." he admitted, "she's older, but she's got a lot of experience."
This caused even more snorts of laughter to emanate from his intended bride. "Yeah, like several millennia worth!" she giggled.
"So, you're not...jealous?" He was frankly amazed. He'd expected tears, at best, at worst...
"Jealous? Why would I be?" she asked honestly.
"Oh, my love, are all Earth people as naive as you?" She touched his face gently.
"Did you suppose that you are my first lover as well?" His reaction was, to his terrible dismay, stereotypical. He jerked away from her, staring in shock.
"Well, to be honest, yes...yes I did."
Her eyes, so open and caring, watched him for a moment. She turned slightly and seated herself again, and waited. He thought the thing through, found that he had no reason at all to question her love, or his virility or even their destiny. At last, his train of thought pulled into the inevitable station and he turned towards her.
"Who was it?"
Her smile made him shiver. Whether with anticipation or fear, he wasn't sure. He had no idea she could look so predatory.
"Was?" she said simply.
He took a moment to process that. "Is?" he finally responded.
She nodded. "Guess."
He thought of her relationships with the people around her, searching in his mind for the man who was in what would be his place in her bed. He gave up, and glanced at her one more time. She was still smiling. He shrugged.
It took a few seconds, but her reaction of a moment ago now made much more sense - she *had* been jealous, just not for the reasons he supposed.. He began to laugh at the sheer absurdity of it. She joined him and for a moment their voices trilled through the night air.
When they, at last, found themselves again, he turned to her, clasping her hands in his and grinned.
"Randy slut, that Mars."
"You betcha." Her smile was radiant. "And here we are, thinking of Pluto as the loneliest Senshi!"
He smiled down at her. "Not recently."
And they laughed once again.
The blankets and sheets were pushed to one side, their bodies entwined on the nearly stripped bed.
She looked at her intended groom, and pushed the hair out of his eyes. Laying her chin on his chest, she watched him watch her.
"What is she like?" she asked at last.
He waited one beat too long. "Who?"
Smiling tolerantly at his dissembling, she said, "Pluto. Whats she like in bed?"
His smile slipped as he attempted to find the right word. "Shes imaginative." He settled for the word, clearly at a loss.
She bit her lower lip contemplatively. "Does she do this?" Her hands moved slightly and the next few moments were comparatively silent.
When he spoke again, his voice was noticeably breathier. "She does that a little differently, but yes."
Her laughter rang out once again. "You are absolutely no fun, you know!"
He frowned, "Why do you say that?"
"Because you cant even ask me the same kind of thing you know perfectly well what Mars is like."
His lopsided grin answered her unspoken request.
There was another comparative silence, while she compared his technique with her lovers.
When she had once again caught her breath, she clapped her hands once and spoke in a commanding voice. "Well, this will not do!"
"What wont?" He looked around quickly attempting to find the source of her comment. He looked at himself briefly, wondering if he had somehow failed in his duty to her.
"It simply is not fair. I dont have a proper basis of comparison! And I loathe second-hand information so unreliable."
He was completely bewildered now. "What are you you dont mean ?" He hoped his face did not look the same color it felt. "My dear!" He sat up abruptly, purpling with embarrassment. "You cant possibly be "
She looked at him with that look the one that so clearly said You are such an innocent, arent you? "My dear," she echoed, "you know as well as I do that we will never find true happiness in this life. Youve heard the prophecy you know what it means. That leaves us with little time for anything at all before the great catastrophe. We can do one of two things. We can hoard our energies, preparing against the worst, hoping beyond hope for a victory that will not be too costly. Or " and she paused, smiling so sweetly his teeth hurt, "we can scream to the heavens, "oh screw it," and have a little fun while were here. You decide. Which would you prefer?"
He didnt miss a beat. "Screw it, lets have some fun."
She kissed him hard on the mouth. "I knew youd see it my way."
Her part was the easier of the two. She knew her Senshi pretty darned well and Mars wasnt exactly a nun, if you took her point. All she needed to do was explain the situation and she was pretty sure that Mars would be agreeable.
"So, what youre saying," Mars reclined on the divan, sipping at a goblet full of a golden liquid, "is that you want me to join you and Endy, excuse me, Prince Endymion, in bed."
She licked her lips briefly, thinking about the Senshis stark turn of phrase. "Yes, that about covers it."
Mars took another sip, gazed at her over the rim of the goblet. "Okay."
She smiled at Mars, who returned the grin. See how easy it could be?
"Absolutely not." Pluto didnt even bother to frown.
"But why?" He had no idea whether he had said something wrong, or if she were offended, or just bored. One of the problems with an inscrutable lover when they werent otherwise occupied, they could drive you batty. And Pluto was nothing if not inscrutable. "Or, I should say, why not?"
She sighed, that sigh that clearly said, Are you really that stupid? Oh, wait, no, youre just several thousand years younger than I am. and bothered frowning. "Because I do not wish to participate in a tag team wrestling tournament with you and the Princess."
He stared at her, uncomprehending.
She sighed again. "A team sport from the future. Dont bother asking about it, its a very silly sport."
"I dont suppose a direct order from the Princess would change your mind?" He sounded peeved and slightly insulted.
Pluto faced him full on and stared into his eyes coldly. "Of course it would. Do you really want to go there?"
"What?" He *was* genuinely out of his depth now this must be a Time thing.
Pluto passed her hand in front of his face. "Hello? Are you in there? If you make Serenity order me to sleep with her, Ill lose all respect for you."
She let him process this.
"I may be a Senshi, and the Keeper of the Gates of Time, but I am also a woman. If you cant seduce me properly, well then, I simply dont see the point of continuing this conversation." And she turned on her heel and walked away from him.
Holding his head in his hands, he headed in the opposite direction from Pluto. Fun, right .this was going to be fun, she said
The roses were crimson, but so dark they might as well have been black. Or violet. They were magnificent.
Pluto smiled at the gift and at the card that lay tucked delicately among the buds.
"To: Pluto, From: YSA" An endearment as timeless as herself. He really was a predictable child.
She strode purposefully to his quarters and rapped upon the door. He heard scuffling, voices, a *very* unconvincing "One moment!" She had barely enough time to wipe the smirk off her face when the door was yanked open.
"Pluto!" His surprise was genuine. So was hers. She could see beyond him a hastily rearranged room with two occupants. The Princess, as was to be expected, but also the Senshi of Mars. Her smile when it returned, had the slightest tension about the corners.
"Your Highness." Her voice was smooth as glass. "Im very sorry to...interrupt."
He blushed but didnt comment. "Wont you come in? We were just ." His voice petered out as he failed to find words quickly enough. Her smile didnt waver, but there was a slight flicker in her eyes that made something in his chest hurt.
"Thank you, no. I just wanted to thank you for the message you sent me today."
He gaped. "What message?" And quailed as her eyes flickered once again.
"My apologies, the messenger must have been mistaken." She searched him for some sign of dissembling, but his face was open, and if she were honest, a little fish-like. This boy was as subtle as a landslide. What *had* she been thinking? Oh, right, that he had gorgeous blue eyes and an incredible body. That had been it .She sighed slightly. "I am sorry, Ill be going now."
She turned and retreated so quickly, his request for her to stay fell upon an empty hall.
He sighed with frustration and turned to Serenity. "I believe I have just failed you utterly, my dear." But as he lifted his eyes he found her smiling at him. Mars too was grinning, in some private amusement of her own, he supposed.
"Oh, no, my darling," Serenity said, "youre doing just fine." And disconcertingly, she laughed.
Pluto was so angry she could barely keep from screaming at servitors who passed her in the hall. That was it, she would never take a younger lover again. Too insensitive, too unsubtle, too damn her thoughts raced over the Princes failings in duplicate, then triplicate. She was building up a good head of steam when a soft voice interrupted her internal rant.
"Pluto." The voice came from ahead. Pluto looked around her and found that she had charged her way across the Palace grounds and was now standing just outside the Library.
Mars stood in the doorway, leaning insouciantly upon the doorjamb. Pluto stopped in her tracks and stared. The Senshi of Mars had changed clothing since she had seen her last, and that was but a few minutes ago. Pluto checked the time and was startled to see she had been fuming for quite a while.
Mars now wore a dress so darkly crimson, it might have been black. Pluto bit her lip slightly, wondering if she was reading too much into this.
Mars turned and disappeared into the library, her movements a mere whisper.
Pluto followed her, noting the low back on the dress, the smooth, pale skin of Mars back, the luxurious motion of her hair.
At last, in the furthest corner of the Library, underneath a jewel-like stained glass window, Mars stopped and turned back towards the Senshi of Time.
"Please dont be angry at Endymion," she began. "He didnt send you those roses."
Pluto raised one eyebrow.
"You know him Im told you know him rather well." Mars voice was insinuating without being insulting. "Hes sweet, kind and supportive, but well, a bit of a carp."
Pluto barked with laughter. An apt phrase indeed!
Mars stepped closer to Pluto, and placed one hand on her shoulder. "Do you want to know who sent those roses?" She looked at her own hand, then up at Pluto, from underneath dark eyelashes.
"I suppose," Pluto spoke slowly, "youre going to tell me you did." And she looked down into violet eyes that batted coyly at her.
"Me? No." Mars pulled her hand away and turned, causing her hair to brush across Plutos arm.
By now Plutos anger had completely dissipated. She could see that the game had become more complex than she at first thought. Assumably the rewards were equal to the endeavor.
"Do I want to know?" Pluto asked, stepping up close behind Mars, allowing one hand to lie lightly on the shorter Senshis hip. "In my experience, the anticipation is sometimes more fulfilling than the knowledge."
Mars spun where she stood. Plutos arm was now around her waist, still a light touch. "In your years of experience " Mars let the sentence remain unfinished.
The two women gazed at each other for a long moment, then Mars slipped lightly from Plutos grasp. She tossed her hair back and with a laugh, disappeared down the aisle. By the time Pluto stepped out from the stacks, the younger woman was gone.
"All is as you have ordered, my Princess." Mars laughed brightly, as she poured wine into two goblets. "But dont you think youre being terribly unfair to Endymion?"
The Princess eyes were guileless, a sure sign that she was lying. "I dont know what you mean, Mars."
There was a brief moment in which the two women locked gazes, then they broke off with peals of laughter.
"Hes perfect for it, you know. So "
"Innocent?" offered the Senshi, "Na´ve?"
"No, no," the Princess waved away the words," weve already covered those "
"Gullible." Mars spoke with some finality.
Serenity smiled and ran her hand along Mars arm. "Thats it exactly."
Endymion had on his finest clothing, and was feeling rather confident about his plan for the evening. She wanted a seduction, shed get one. He looked around wine, food, candles, flowers, music .all the basic ingredients. Now all he had to hope was that Pluto wasnt intent on a fight. If she had calmed down a bit, he was sure he could get her around to his way of thinking.
He paused. Was this, in fact, his way of thinking? He stared at the wall for a while, trying to remember when *her* plan had become his. Oh, right, just after she he shook his head slowly and grinned. Amazing how persuasive Serenity could be when she put her mind to it.
The knock on the door startled him out of his reverie and he put on his most formal manners as others did a cloak. The door opened, and with a flourish, he bowed to let Pluto in. When he stood up, his smile froze and collapsed rapidly. The look on Plutos face said it all he was doomed.
Mars stretched, as Serenitys fingers traced down her back. She rolled over and smiled into her Princesss face. "How long do we wait?"
Serenity checked the time. "She told us to wait until the third hour. And we must be punctual. You know how she is about that."
Mars laughed loudly at that.
Endymion closed his eyes and breathed a short prayer. The cold depths of space seemed warm and fuzzy compared to the winter in Plutos eyes.
The Senshi swept into the room, leaving the Prince to follow in her wake. As Pluto reached the center of the room, she whirled on Endymion, her eyes blazing, her nostrils flaring slightly. He reflexively cringed backwards as she reached for him, and was thus taken completely unaware when she grabbed his shoulders, drew him into her and proceeded to devour him with her mouth. It took only a moment, however, before he responded with great enthusiasm. He clearly would never understand Pluto or women in general, and at this moment, he really just didnt care.
By the time she had removed the last of his clothes, Endymion had completely forgotten about his "mission" and in fact, about Serenity entirely.
So it was to his incredible surprise, as he extricated himself from Plutos embrace sometime later, to find him being watched closely by two pairs of eyes. The blue eyes stared intently, not at him, but at his partner, who stared back unconcerned, and apparently, unashamed.
Pluto drew her long legs in towards herself, and smiled brightly at the Princess. "Well?
"Im impressed." The Princess spoke candidly. "I had no idea one could . How very edifying that was."
Plutos laugh was delightful. "Ill be glad to teach you." Her eyes moved to Mars. "Any requests?"
Mars grinned lopsidedly. "Of course."
Endymion looked from one woman to another. He couldnt shake the feeling of having been set up. "Excuse me may I interrupt?"
Three pairs of eyes turned to him.
Sapphire eyes met his own evenly. "Of course, my love. What do you wish?"
He blinked a few times, trying to gather his thoughts. "I would like, in the way that would have the least negative impact on my reputation for intelligence and attractiveness, be told, exactly what in the world is going on!"
The women, thankfully, did not laugh, although they continued to smile.
After a prolonged moment, Mars, at last, took the lead. "Well, my Prince, as you know, Serenity felt somewhat, umm, at a loss for direct information concerning the " she smiled at Pluto, "loneliest Senshi."
Pluto returned the smile with a dazzling one of her own. She turned to the Prince, running a had along his inner thigh a sensation that brought with it the most amazingly vivid memories and spoke not to him, but to the two women who watched. "Mars came to me with an arrangement, if you will, to educate them. A limited arrangement, Im a little sorry to say, as time is rather pressing."
Serenitys face grew grave. "So very true." She paused thoughtfully, "Mars, we really shouldnt delay keeping our end of the bargain "
The evening was filled with a variety of well variety. Endymion, in his short life, never had cause to forget that evening. In fact, it was pretty much the last thing he thought about as he sloughed his mortal coil. But at the time, it seemed like something eternal. Or at least dreadfully hedonistic.
But never would he forget that night or the last words Pluto spoke to them, as she made her farewells, tearfully leaving them to face their fate.
"You were not meant to be with me, you know but keep each other close. Though time and space separate you, you will find each other again." And she kissed them all, one at a time, long and lingeringly, then vanished from their lives, if not their memories.
They took her words to heart, and they spent every giddy moment they could together, until their fate caught up with them, passed them, then lapped them once for good measure.
Setsuna gave a quick grin as she confronted the three gaping figures before her.
"And, so " Usagis voice was slow and cautious, "thats how this all began?" She could not keep the look of sheer incredulity off of her face.
Setsuna looked her in the eye and without so much as a hint of a smile, said, "No, not really." She glanced down at her watch and back at her guests. "Its almost time for me to go to work. Thank you so much for your visit and your offer." The three stood as she did, bowed in response to her bow and shuffled out the door that she held open to them.
Outside the three stood, still gaping, still amazed.
"Do you think ?" Rei ventured.
There was a pause while each considered the implications.
"Nah." They all said and walked away.