Disclaimer: The characters of the Sailor Senshi are the sole property of Naoko Takeuchi, Toei and Kodansha. They are used wholely without permission. The remaining characters are the copyright and possession of E. Friedman, 1999.
I have used the name Serenity throught, since the Japanese language does not have what we would consider an 'l' sound, and in English the name Serenity flows better than Selenity.
This story contains sexual situations and violence. It may offend some readers. If you are under the legal age in your community, please do not read this story. I have nothing for you to sue me for anyway, so it's not worth the time and effort to do so.
I love positive feedback and am glad to respond to emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, negative feedback will be pretty much ignored. :-)
Inner Crisis, Outer Conflict
Haruka lifted herself up from the bed and looked down on Michiru's sleeping form. Leaning on one elbow, she ran her hand through her lover's soft hair, smiling as Michiru's lithe body pressed against her own, even as she slept. There was no sound in the grey morning stillness, except for the soft susurrus of Michiru's breathing.
Haruka pressed her lips into Michiru's hair, felt a slight mumble of pleasure, and gently got out of the bed. Michiru snuggled down into the blankets and slept on. Quickly Haruka dressed, then left the room they shared. She moved about the apartment silently, picking up a few items and placing them in a bag. She opened the door, and casting a glance towards the bedroom, moved back into the main room, jotted a quick note. On her way out the door, she picked up one more small item and placed it in her bag. The door clicked softly behind her as it closed.
Michiru awoke, and stretched. Her skin was still warm with the touch of her lover, and she replayed in her mind the passion they had shared the evening before. She noticed the silence in the apartment, but did not wonder at it. Haruka was a light sleeper at best, and was often up in the early hours, running or riding her motorcycle. She would return later with a fresh perspective on the day. Michiru threw on one of Haruka's tailored shirts, and left the bedroom.
She made tea and tidied up the kitchen, smiling at the remains of their dinner the night before. Once again, her body tingled from the memory of Haruka's hands. She walked out into the living room, sipping tea. Noticing a piece of paper on the table, Michiru walked over to it and picked it up. The tea turned to dust in her mouth as she read the note. She had to force herself to swallow, as her heart grew cold within her breast. She picked up the phone and dialed, her hand shaking. The phone rang several times and then a sleepy voice answered.
"Setsuna," Michiru whispered past dry lips. "She's gone."
The Silver Millenium shone with the gleam of polished silver, warm and full of light. Members of the Queen's court swept by, courtiers in flowing gowns or long coattails, moving in time to the music. Uranus sighed as she leaned on the balcony. It was all so beautiful, and so foreign.
She had answered the invitation of the Queen with great reluctance. For the Silver Millenium she would gladly sacrifice her life, but this? She was not very comfortable among all these people and she kept looking out into the night sky where her own home floated among the stars.
Music and laughter occasionally escaped from the ballroom, but it brought Uranus no great joy. Her place was on her own planet, not dancing with these, these...she sighed again. She looked at herself, dressed in a long blue coat faced with gold and brass, ruffled shirt and knee-high boots. It suited her. She had been fending off offers from potential dance partners all night long. Not the activity she was best at. She was a soldier, a Senshi, in the service of the Queen. Not a courtier. She knew her way in a battle, but found the court uncomfortable.
Her sword lay comfortably on her hip and she rested a hand on the hilt. It had been a long evening. Uranus smiled wryly as she remembered the whispers that accompanied her arrival. It wasn't every day that one of the Outer Senshi arrived at the Silver Millenium, and it was even rarer for all three to gather. In fact, it had never before occurred. Uranus had met Pluto once before, and had only been to Silver Millenium one other time. No one recognized her as the guardian Senshi of Uranus, and that was the way she wanted it.
The sword on her belt flashed, a bright light illuminating the balcony. She looked around to find the source of the light. Behind her, the marble pillar blocked off her view of the ballroom and she stepped to one side to see behind it.
Light laughter came from behind the pillar, and Uranus sensed movement. She stepped around quickly and came face to face with a slightly shorter woman with green hair. Her dress billowed around her in the light breeze, which also carried the scent of flowers from her hair. Uranus stood and stared downwards, frankly captivated by the blue eyes which watched her, twinkling in the dim light.
The woman laughed again, and made a small curtsey. "Uranus," she acknowledged lightly.
"Do I...have we met?" Uranus asked, bowing, a little disconcerted.
Again, that laugh. "In a sense. I know *you.*"
Uranus found nothing to say. She waited for the woman to speak, not trusting her own tongue.
"I know you have been asked this before, but would you care to dance?" the woman inquired, a smile playing at the corner of her lips.
Uranus found herself smiling in return. Holding out a hand, they moved into the ballroom as a new song began. At first their return was not noticed, so many dancers were on the floor, so many people moved about. By their third dance together, many had noticed the two, their bearing, their nobility.
Queen Serenity stood and watched as the pair moved about the dance floor, lost in each other's presence. She smiled as the rumors and whispers reached even her own ears. Did she know who that tall blond courtier was? Who was that woman with the green hair? She smiled, but did not answer.
On the dance floor, Uranus could not stop looking at her partner. They danced without a word, their bodies drawing closer, until the woman had her cheek against Uranus's neck. Uranus could feel herself flush with warmth and a sensation she had never before felt.
When the dance ended, Uranus pulled away slighty. "It's warm in here. Shall we take a walk in the garden?"
The green-haired woman nodded and they left, rumor and whisper trailing after them until they were long out of sight.
They walked in silence for a time. When they reached a gazebo surrounded by roses, they stopped. Uranus leaned against a pillar, while the woman sat on a bench.
"So, how do you know me?" Uranus asked bluntly, breathing in the scent of roses, letting them intoxicate her.
"I'll be honest." the woman replied, flashing an object in her hand. "I cheated." She laughed again. Uranus watched, confused, as the mirror in the woman's hand turned towards her. She could see herself, small, but clear, in the mirror's depths. Uranus stood, and watched herself battle an entity that had entered the solar system with the intention of attacking the Silver Millenium. She watched herself defeat the entity and resume her watch.
Uranus lifted her dark eyes to meet the bright blue ones that watched her. The mirror flashed again, and her sword responded in kind.
"Neptune?" Uranus's voice came as if from a distance, recognizing at last, who her admirer was.
The woman stood, and flipped her hair out of her face. "It is very nice to meet you in person." She moved close to Uranus, her face lifted to Uranus's. "And to dance with you."
"If others knew who we were, I'm sure we were the talk of the room." Uranus smiled, her voice soft.
"Are you worried?" Neptune moved a little closer. Her lips almost brushed those of Uranus.
"No. I think we should give them something to really gossip about." And Uranus lowered her lips onto Neptune's. Under the glow of the Silver Millenium, with other couples passing by in the moonlight, Neptune and Uranus kissed deeply.
Usagi entered Rei's room and looked around her with surprise. While it was no surprise to see her close friends gathered there, the looks which greeted her were so solemn that she immediately began to worry. Greetings were short and to the point.
"Did you guys receive Setsuna's message too?" She was answered by short nods from all her friends. "I wonder what it's about?"
Rei cocked her head towards the door. "We're about to find out."
The door slid aside and two figures entered. Usagi looked up and gasped with shock. Setsuna looked grim, indeed, but Michiru looked so bad that it had taken Usagi a moment to recognize her. She looked as if she had aged many years. Her face was drawn and grey, her body hunched as if a great weight had settled itself on her shoulders. Usagi could feel her eyes filling with tears at the sight of her friend's obvious pain.
Makoto and Rei had jumped up to support Michiru. They led her to a seat at the table in the middle of the room.
Minako looked around, then asked, "Where's Haruka? Is she with you?"
Setsuna shook her head abruptly. "That is why I called you here. Haruka is gone."
"Gone?!?" they all cried.
"What do you mean?" Ami asked softy.
"I mean," Setsuna gripped Michiru's hand tightly, "that Haruka has left and we don't know where she is." Michiru swallowed a sob, trying to keep herself under control. Usagi's heart wrenched at the sound, and she could see that the others felt the same way.
"Can't you use your mirror?" Makoto asked Michiru. "To find out where she is?"
The other girls nodded with relief at the suggestion.
Michiru shook her head. "She's taken it with her."
Neptune took the bow out of her hair and sat down on the bed. She looked over to Uranus, who stood in the window looking out at the night sky. Now that she was close to Uranus, Neptune could admire up close the noble mien, the strength, the graceful hands that she had seen time and time again in her mirror. She waited in silence and darkness until the silhouetted figure turned to her.
"I've been watching you for so long." Neptune spoke into the darkness of the room. "I didn't know if we would ever meet."
Uranus stepped forward and Neptune moved to meet her. They kissed again, lips parting, tongues meeting. Uranus held Neptune's face in her hands, then ran them through her hair. She held the freed hair to her face and inhaled its scent.
"You smell beautiful." Uranus's voice was thick with desire. It sent a thrill down Neptune's spine. She lifted her face once more to feel lips, cool and soft, meet her own. When they broke apart, Neptune kissed the throat in front of her, tracing a trail to the top the uniform coat's stiff collar. Her hands lay on the front of the coat and she laid her head briefly on Uranus's chest.
Uranus stepped back and unfastened the collar, then the frogging beneath it. She removed the coat, and laid it aside. Clad now in shirt and breeches, she moved back into Neptune's embrace.
Sensations that she had never felt, alone on her planet, now flooded her mind. Uranus let her hands take in the several softnesses of Neptune. Hair, skin, lips, all were cataloged for later memory. Her fingers found the fasteners of Neptune's dress and began to open them. When the dress was loosened, it was Neptune's turn to step back. The dress slid down to the floor and was immediately forgotten.
Neptune untied Uranus's collar, and peeled apart her shirt. Uranus's skin shone lightly in the moonglow from the window. Neptune buried her face into the hollow of Uranus's neck. When at last a moan forced its way from deep within Uranus's throat, Neptune sighed with pleasure. She stripped the shirt from Uranus and kissed her way down to her breasts. Uranus laid back on the bed, while her hands roamed Neptune's body, feeling curves and hollows, hair and skin. When she drew Neptune upwards again for a kiss, her own body cried out for her new lover.
Uranus crawled her way down Neptune's body, tasting her, running her hands and lips across breasts, stomach and legs. She felt the warmth emanating from Neptune's center, and it called to her. With a small cry, Neptune let her head roll back as she felt first tongue, then fingers enter her, move in her. She could not have stopped the build up of passion if she had wanted to. Hissing Uranus's name, she tensed, then released her tension in a burst of movement and breath. She lay for a moment, dazed by the feelings that chased around her mind and body.
Desire won out, the need to feel this woman around her. Neptune drew Uranus up and kissed her fiercely, licking her own wetness from Uranus's lips. Uranus growled with desire, and Neptune raked her nails along Uranus's back.
The blonde moved her body over the smaller woman's, planting herself in between Neptune's legs. Uranus' lips found Neptune's breasts and she began devouring them, pressing her body hard into Neptune's. Neptune gripped Uranus's shoulders hard, digging nails into the muscular body above her. Moaning, Neptune thrust back into Uranus.
As the tempo increased, Neptune flipped herself over and now sitting upon Uranus, continued the movement. Uranus found herself neatly pinned to the bed, with Neptune in control. Uranus smiled, but then as quickly threw her head back as fingers found her center and brought her almost as quickly to the edge of orgasm.
With a yelp, Uranus protested the disappearance of the fingers. With a different yell she acknowledged them again, inside of her. She felt herself cry Neptune's name out loud as she peaked and again, more softly, as she relaxed. Uranus laid her hand against her face and was amazed to feel it come away wet. Soft tears formed in the corners of her eyes, as she lay back, pulling Neptune to her.
Later, they lay sleeping, blonde and green hair intertwined, in the silence of the Silver Millenium night.
"She took the mirror?" Usagi's mind could not wrap itself around this fact. "She doesn't want to be found?" The despair she was beginning to feel colored her voice. She looked at her friends. Rei sat, holding her stomach, looking as if she was going to be sick. Minako was crying softly and Ami looked grimmer than Usagi had ever seen her, almost angry. Makoto sat with her face in her hands.
Michiru nodded. "Without the mirror, I don't know where she has gone. She left me a note." She took a shuddering breath. "She says she has to do this alone."
Usagi lost her temper. "She is so stubborn!" she cried angrily. "Why does she do this?" She ran her hands through her bangs in frustration. "We could have helped her. What are we going to do?"
Setsuna looked Usagi in the eye. "*We,*" she said, gesturing at Michiru and herself, "are going to find her." She held up a hand to forestall Usagi's protest. "We called you here to ask an important favor of you."
The girls all looked up at this.
"We don't know how long we will be gone." Setsuna said, "But we have made a vow. Can you, you especially Usagi-chan, can you watch Hotaru for us?"
The girls sucked in their breath. The meaning was clear. Setsuna wasn't sure they would ever return.
Usagi let the tears flow freely down her face. "I can't let you do this." she said miserably. "I can't let you go alone."
"You have to, Princess." Setsuna "Your job is to survive, to create Crystal Tokyo and rule in peace."
Michiru looked up at Usagi. Her eyes were so full of pain that Usagi quailed before them. "Usagi-chan, when Mamoru was lost to you, you followed him. When Endymion was taken away, you fought for him. I can do no less, for I love Haruka as much as you love your Prince." She stood and bowed formally. "I know that we leave Hotaru in good hands. Please raise her to be as kind and strong as you all are. I know I can count on you." She turned away. Setsuna stood quickly and bowed. The two women left the room without a backward glance or another word.
The five girls sat for a long time, holding each other and crying.
Haruka opened her eyes. It was dark, but not blindingly so. The stars glowed brightly above her, casting slight shadows around her. She sat up and looked around. The landscape was eerie, with glowing fogs of blue and green moving silently around her. She put a hand down to the planet below her and felt a rush of information and strength and something else flow through her. This was her planet. This was Uranus.
She stood, then squatted down. Placing her hands on the ground again, this time she listened. She could hear the planet, hear its strength, enduring through time, and also hear its cry for help. Something on her planet was not right, something was killing Uranus. And only she could save it.
She stood, getting a feel for the planet beneath her. She thought back to the nightmares she had been having. The dreams had increased in intensity every night, until she could no longer ignore them. Then the waking visions. She *had* ignored them until last night. Every time she closed her eyes she could see them, two women and a man, crying out her name, begging for help. Then last night, the vision came. And one of the women was gone. The man and woman cried then, mourning the other woman. They called out to her in suffering and asked for her to come home.
"I can no longer ignore you!" Haruka yelled to the sky. "I'm here!" She held a hand up, calling up her talisman. "Space Sword Blaster!" and a beam of light broke through the fogs and disappeared into the eternal night.
Haruka lowered her hand, still clutching the sword. "I'm home." she whispered. "Michiru, I'm sorry."
Silver Millenium prospered and, more and more frequently, Uranus found an excuse to meet with Neptune. They would separate, each to their own planet, but as time would go by Uranus would feel a desire to see her lover. Just as the desire would become unbearable and another minute without Neptune unthinkable, there she would be, green hair floating in the cosmic winds. Uranus did not feel so alone anymore, even when she was alone on her planet.
She called to herself the spirits of the planet and its moons. Titania was the first to heed the call, a spirit almost as strong as Uranus herself. Then Oberon, Titania's lover, then Miranda and at last Ariel. She set them tasks, to watch and defend and if need be, call on her when she was not there. For Uranus knew that she would not exist forever.
Uranus left her planet upon a time, to visit the outermost of the Senshi, Pluto. They had communicated little since their first meeting, but Pluto was eternal, guarding the doors of time, and she had a great deal of information.
Pluto greeted Uranus with enthusiasm. "I'm sorry we did not meet, when we were all gathered together by the Queen." Pluto said, an amused look on her face.
"Yes, well," Uranus responded. "I was...otherwise occupied." Pluto grinned.
"So the Queen said."
Uranus looked surprised. "She did?"
Pluto turned away, so Uranus could not see her smile. "She called all the Senshi together, to talk to us of a threat she could forsee. You and Neptune were notable by your absence. When Princess Serenity asked about you, the Queen said you were otherwise occupied."
They talked then, of the threat that the Queen forsaw. Of what they could do from their isolated posts. But Pluto grew serious and warned Uranus.
"There is a greater threat for you and sooner too. It will change the destiny of the Silver Millenium."
"What is it?" Uranus asked, alarmed.
"I can't tell you. I don't see the future, I just know that there is something close to you you should watch."
Uranus asked for more detail, but Pluto could not give any. Their time for meeting ended and Uranus returned to her planet, unease growing within her. But she could not feel any threats entering the solar system. So she waited and watched.
Setsuna and Michiru stood in the park, feeling the breeze on their faces. The wind whipped the water into whitecaps, which shone in the bright moonlight.
"There is a storm brewing." Michiru said.
"It's an old storm, and has been coming for a long time." Setsuna agreed. She lifted her hand, clasping a pen. "Pluto planet power make up!" she yelled into the night sky.
"Neptune planet power make up!" Michiru echoed.
The wind picked up, blowing steadily as the two Senshi stood there, looking up into the sky. Sailor Pluto grasped her staff with one hand and held Sailor Neptune's arm with the other.
"Are you ready?" she asked. Neptune nodded. She put both her hands on Pluto's staff and Pluto grasped it in both of her own. The wind rose, lifting their hair, and energy poured forth from their hands into the staff.
"Where should we begin?" Pluto yelled over the rising wind.
"Silver Millenium!" Neptune answered. "That's where all this began!" Pluto nodded and they closed their eyes. Slowly they faded from sight, leaving only the waves increasing in intensity and trees bending in the wind.
"Where's Titania?" Uranus demanded. "I need her here now." She was exhausted, having just fought off a race of creatures who looked to Silver Millenium as a new source of energy. She stood, leaning, her hands on her thighs, while Oberon, Miranda and Ariel tended to her wounds.
None of her assistants said a word and Uranus looked up. "Is she gone? Oberon, where is she?" Oberon stopped bandaging her arm, but said nothing. His lips tightened. Uranus looked him in the eye.
He looked away. "She is different. She doesn't want to be with me any more. She's...she doesn't talk to me anymore." He turned his eyes back to the bandage.
"I'm sorry." Uranus said quickly, but her thoughts were elsewhere. She felt her unease grow. When her wounds had healed, she set out to find Titania. She searched her planet, but could find no sign of her. Setting out for the moons, she came to Titania's own. There she could feel dread build in her. But she still could not find any sign of her lieutenant. Frustrated, Uranus returned to her planet. But she did not stop looking for Titania.
One day, while watching the sky, Uranus felt a wrenching pain move through her. She coughed and fell to her knees. As her hands touched her planet, she could feel its pain piercing through her. She screamed, searing agony slicing through her body.
Controlling herself, she got to her feet and turned. The pain led her onwards, pulling her towards a valley. Fogs and mists swirled around her, she stumbled as another wave of pain arced through her body.
Looking through the haze, Uranus could make out an edifice before her. She turned towards it, lurching as new distress shot through her. Before she reached the tower a figure could be seen through the clouds. The figure approached and resolved into a person.
Titania sneered at her, gesturing disdainfully, as Uranus crashed to the ground in front of her.
Sailor Neptune looked around the ruins of Silver Millenium. She moved towards the crystal palace, with Sailor Pluto trailing her.
"What are we looking for?" Pluto did not realize she had spoken out loud.
"A clue, a confirmation." Neptune answered. She felt a little lost without her mirror, so strongly had she come to rely on her Talisman. Being separated from it was damaging her body, as well. she could feel her strength running out of her, as it had when Eudial had taken her Talisman away. But this time it wasn't Eudial who was killing her. It was Haruka. She shook that thought away as she approached the Crystal Palace.
Pluto walked through the ruined gardens. Unshed tears glimmered in her eyes. "It was all so beautiful," she whispered. She passed down the garden paths into the main part of the palace. Neptune was nowhere in sight. Hurrying now, Pluto followed the path that Neptune would have to have taken. She couldn't hear any sound coming from the rooms ahead. Pluto broke into a run. Coming around the corner of the passage, Pluto came to a halt as she found Neptune collapsed on the floor.
"Neptune!" Pluto screamed. Neptune clutched her chest, shaking. Pluto lifted Neptune off the floor, holding her in her arms. "Neptune!"
Neptune looked at her. "I can't be here, Pluto. I'm here somewhere already." She fell back limp and unconscious. Pluto lifted her up and carried her to a settee along one wall.
"Neptune don't die," she pleaded, "Haruka will kill me if you die." She laughed bitterly. "Damn you Haruka."
Neptune opened her eyes and smiled. "She always was the most stubborn of us. Don't blame her, Pluto. She has her own destiny to follow." Neptune's eyes closed again. Pluto felt for a pulse. It was weak, but it was there.
"Hold on Michiru. Just hold on." Pluto laid Neptune's head on a cushion and ran off down the hallway.
" 'I'm here somewhere already,' " she said." Pluto gripped her staff. "I have to find her."
Uranus looked out into the swirling mists. She saw two feet in front of her. Looking up, she could see dark eyes glowing with hate, glaring down at her.
"Get up!" Titania demanded. Uranus didn't move. "Get up!" her once-lieutenant screamed. Uranus got to her knees. Pains wracked her body, but she ignored them and stood, looking her assistant in the eyes.
"Titania, what is this about? Have I done something to wrong you?" Uranus's voice shook, but it was cold, angry.
Titania laughed. "What have you done? You have abandoned me! You have left me to freeze here, unloved, unnoticed on this barren place. Why did you call me?" She grabbed Uranus by the collar. "Why did you bring me into understanding just to abandon me?" Titania shook the weakened Senshi.
Uranus stared, aghast. "What?"
"You made me to love you and you never even looked at me!" Titania spat into Uranus's face.
"I did what?" Uranus was finding it hard to concentrate around the pain. "What are you doing to me?"
"I'm doing to you what you did to me." Titania hissed. "I'm drawing all the life out of you, out of your planet. I'll stop when you and this micro-kingdom of yours is lifeless and cold. Like me." Her voice lowered and cracked with emotion.
Uranus blinked, trying to focus. "Oberon loves you..." she managed.
Titania threw Uranus down to the ground. "Oberon loves you! They all do! And you too obsessed with your precious Neptune to see it. You leave us alone here to do your work, while you go visit her. You leave me...alone!"
Uranus was fighting for breath now. "I'm so sorry, Titania. I didn't know...I...this won't get you my love..." she gasped.
Titania sneered. "I don't want it anymore. All I want from you is your death!" She drew an arm back and screamed with rage. Uranus tensed herself to feel the impact of the attack.
"Deep Submerge!" the cry echoed in the fog. Titania reeled back as the attack hit her. Uranus felt herself being lifted up. She took a deep breath and stood on her own. As Titania staggered, she sould feel the pain ease. Uranus lifted an arm.
"World Shaking!" The blast sent Titania backwards. Uranus bent over double, regaining her breath. Neptune leaned down quickly.
"I was watching you in the mirror.... Can you handle her?" she asked.
"Yes," Uranus answered.
"I'll get help" Neptune said and disappeared.
Titania stood and faced Uranus. The Senshi felt power returning as Titania's will was broken, her intent turned from taking the energy of the planet.
"Titania...don't do this." Uranus straightened to her full height. Titania looked at her, despair and hatred written plainly on her face.
"Go ahead. Do it. Kill me." Titania laughed coldly.
Uranus shook her head.
"Not even that. Well then...." she lifted her arm and hurling an attack at Uranus, rushed her. Without realizing how, Uranus found herself holding her sword, Titania bearing down on her. Titania threw herself on Uranus's sword and slid down, crashing to her knees.
"It's not enough," she said, and died.
Haruka could feel the sadness wash over her long before she heard the sobbing. Following the emotion, she came to a castle. It appeared out of the clouds, like a mirage, clearly visible only when she practically stood before it. Two figures, a man and a woman stood weeping, while a third figure lay before them, encased in a crystal coffin.
They turned as she approached.
"Mistress!" The two figures practically threw themselves at her. Haruka flinched, calling memories out of her depths.
"Oberon. Ariel." Where's..." she turned towards the coffin. A figure, small, almost childlike, lay there. Her skin was pale and luminescent.
"Miranda is dead." Oberon spoke like one in a daze. "After all these millenia."
"What killed her?" Haruka asked, memories coming now in an overwhelming flood.
Ariel spoke. Ariel who never spoke, Haruka remembered. "She did. She killed our beloved Miranda!" Her voice broke and she began to sob.
Haruka remembred Miranda now, telling stories to make Ariel laugh, leading expeditions around the planet, singing Titania to sleep. Miranda, the kindest, gentlest of all spirits. Miranda was dead. Haruka found herself crying, and taking Ariel from Oberon's arms, the two women wept together.
In Haruka's mind a vision formed. On the end of her sword, a dying woman. "It's not enough," she had said.
Pluto ran through the palace halls, calling Neptune's name. She was crying openly now, desperate. She stopped, gasping for breath, when a voice broke through her thoughts.
She looked around for the source of the voice.
"Pluto, come to me." Sailor Pluto followed the sound of the voice to the throne room. There was no one around.
"You've come at last." Pluto whirled to find Neptune standing there. She held a mirror in one hand.
"You're..." Pluto began.
"I am not your Neptune, no. I am Neptune of the past. The Neptune of Silver Millenium."
"I remember you." Pluto smiled.
"You are the same, but you are not the same." Neptune returned the smile.
"Can you tell me what is going on?" Pluto asked, remembering another Neptune who lay nearby, dying.
"Yes, but we must be quick." Neptune recounted her love for Uranus, and the trouble it caused. She told Sailor Pluto of Titania and her attack on Uranus and how she, Neptune, had foiled it.
"Then I came here, to Silver Millenium, to get help from the Queen. But the Palace was in ruins, and everyone was gone. While we fought Titania, Beryl attacked and destroyed Silver Millenium." Neptune's voice was bleak.
"And you have been waiting here for 1000 years?" Pluto asked.
Neptune nodded. "Go to Uranus, quickly. Save her. Take this." Neptune handed Sailor Pluto her mirror.
"But what about you? If the mirror leaves you...."
"I'm ready to die." Neptune smiled. "I've been waiting for a long time to be reunited with my Uranus." She held out the mirror. Pluto took it and turned.
Turning back, she embraced Neptune. "You were always the noblest of us all." she said. And she turned again, racing out of the room towards her friend, her own Neptune.
Haruka held Ariel's hand. "I'm sorry I took so long to come."
She smiled. "But you are here, now."
Oberon took her other hand. "My lady, Titania is stronger than ever now. We cannot fight her, but we will give you our energy if you need."
Haruka nodded. "I'm stronger now too." she said "We'll defeat her. Even if we have to die." her voice lowered.
They all turned away from the figure in the coffin and walked into the mist.
Pluto found Neptune gasping for breath. She handed Neptune her mirror, but it wasn't enough. Neptune would die, so near to herself. Pluto placed Michiru's hands on her staff, closed her eyes and drawing what power she could, transported them to the planet Neptune.
Sailor Pluto laid Sailor Neptune on the ground, and prayed fervently that this would be enough. Time passed and Pluto waited.
"It's what I do best," she said bitterly.
Neptune moaned and opened her eyes. Pluto lifted her. Neptune smiled. "Thank you." Pluto hugged her, but said nothing.
Sailor Neptune stood, shakily, clutching the mirror. She took a deep breath. "Let's go save Haruka." Pluto held out her staff. "So I can kill her later." Neptune continued darkly.
Pluto laughed. It felt like a mountain had slipped off her shoulders. They could do this.
Sailor Uranus stood in front of an evil looking tower. More memories crashed into her mind. Of pain, of hurt and of death. But this time, she knew her enemy.
"Titania! I'm here!" she called. There was no answer. She called again. Then she felt it...the slow, slow drain, the life force of her planet being sucked away. She could feel the planet beneath her, weakening, crying out. Sailor Uranus stood firm.
Titania came through the gates of the tower. She laughed cruelly. "It's been 1000 long, slow years. You killed me and I've been reborn. You died and have been reborn. Its amazing what power love and hate have, isn't it? But this time you've done my work for me." she laughed coldly.
"What do you mean?" Uranus asked.
Titania lifted a hand and Michiru's mirror flashed in it. Sailor Uranus gasped.
"Oh yes, Uranus. I had this planned all along. One thousand years ago I couldn't take your life. I don't want it anymore. This time, I want the life of your beloved Neptune!" her voice was bitter. "I want you to feel the bleakness that you inflicted on me...a life alone, unloved."
Sailor Uranus clenched her fist. "We loved you Titania. You wanted something I couldn't give you. Oberon..."
"That weakling! He never loved me, just my power!" Her voice was shrill.
"You're wrong, Titania. He loves you still. Even after what you did to Miranda."
Titania's face lost color. "You lie." She looked unsure for a moment, but her face hardened. "It doesn't matter. Your precious Neptune lies dying, even at this moment, separated from her Talisman. And you're the one who killed her!" her voice rose in triumph.
"No!" Uranus shouted, launching herself at Titania. They met in a roar of energy. Uranus pulled back, wounded, but she was gratified to see Titania kneeling.
"You fool!" Titania roared. "I've ben hoarding power for a millenia, power from your planet. You can't defeat me!" And she threw an attack at Uranus that nearly crushed the Senshi.
"World Shaking!" Uranus cried, but the attack did not penetrate Titania's defenses. Titania sent another bolt of energy that threw Uranus backwards.
"One thousand years of hate!" Titania screamed, knocking Uranus to the ground with her next bolt. She leapt on top of Uranus, gripping the Senshi's throat tightly. Uranus struggled, but the drain of power increased. Uranus was losing consciousness rapidly. She began to black out.
"Dead Scream." came the voice echoing through the fog. Titania was lifted off of Uranus by the force of the attack.
Titania shrieked in fury, as she fell to the ground. "NO!! You can't be alive!!"
Sailor Pluto came into focus in the mist. Sailor Neptune stood next to her. "I'm not that easy to kill." Neptune said, as she helped Uranus to her feet. Looking at her lover she said, "I came back with help, finally."
Uranus shot her a bleak look and turned to face Titania. The three Senshi threw their best attacks at the spirit who stood, laughing at them.
"You can't kill me now! My energy is tied to the planet's - if you kill me, you kill your own precious planet!" Her laughter rang in the fog like the clashing of swords.
The Senshi stood together in silence, then all raised their talismans. Titania glared.
"Idiots! Kill me, go ahead. It won't last. I'll wait another one thousand years. Hate will always win in the end!" And she struck at the three women with a powerful attack. The Senshi were thrown to the ground.
Pluto turned towards the other two. "She's growing stronger!" she yelled.
Uranus nodded. "Then we'll have to show her what we can do..."
They stood, weakly, and once again faced their ancient enemy.
"Hate will always win!!" Titania pulled her arm back once again and screamed in fury.
"You are wrong, Titania. Hate can never win," came a voice from the mist.
Startled, Titania stopped her attack. She turned towards the direction of the voice and found herself looking at five more Senshi. Sailor Moon stepped forward and pointed at Titania.
"If you destroy our friends, you will still have lost. You can't win this fight."
"Then maybe I can destroy their precious Princess!!" Titania hurled a tremendous blast at Sailor Moon. In return each of the Senshi threw a potent attack towards Titania.
"Sparkling Oak Evolution!"
"Mars Flame Sniper!"
"Love and Beauty Shock!"
Titania fell back, coughing and choking. "I may never win this battle, or the war, but I can take love from all of you. The way it was taken from me."
Uranus ran over to the fallen Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon laid her head back, smiling. "I told you, Titania, you cannot win." And smiling, she rose into the air, transforming to Princess Serenity. "Only love wins, Titania." Serenity held her crystal before her and blasted Titania with the power of the Silver Millenium. Titania screamed and burst into flame.
"No!!!" A voice came from the side and a figure ran towards the burning body. Uranus ran to intercept it, stopping Oberon from hurling himself into the flame.
Serenity stood before Uranus and touched her arm. "Let him go."
Oberon ran to the burning figure. "No, Titania, don't let hate win. I still love you." The flames began to die. Oberon collapsed, sobbing. The flames disappeared. A body fell to the ground. Oberon looked in astonishment, as Titania sat up and looked at him, smiling.
"Oberon, why do you cry?" She reached out to catch a tear on her finger. He held her hand to his face. Titania looked up to see the Senshi gathered around her. She frowned in puzzlement. "I feel strange. Did I faint?" Oberon sobbed again.
Sailor Moon stood over Titania, "You have been reborn by love." She paused. "It'll feel a little funny for a while, but you'll be okay!"
The Senshi all choked.
Uranus and Neptune, leaning on each other, addressed their Princess.
"How did you know?"
"Sailor Mercury figured it out, actually!"
Uranus stared at Sailor Moon grimly. "This was my fight. Thank you for your help, but..."
Sailors Mars and Jupiter both stepped forward, but Sailor Moon held them back.
"You're wrong too Uranus. There won't ever again be a fight for one of us alone. Or two or three." She looked meaningfully at Neptune and Pluto. "From now on it's all or nothing. That's going to be the first rule of Crystal Tokyo. None of us will be isolated anymore." Her face was determined.
Uranus closed her eyes, then smiled and opened them again. "Thank you, Sailor Moon." Looking around she said, "Thank you all."
"Let's go home." said Sailor Moon.
"Michiru..." Haruka began, but Michiru put her finger on Haruka's lips. It was evening and the lights of Tokyo flooded into their room. They had just made love and were laying, legs and arms intertwined, in their bed.
"I almost killed you." Haruka removed the finger gently.
Michiru laid her head against her lover's chest, hearing her heartbeat, calm and slow. She sighed.
"What you did, you did because a thousand years ago, you did what you had to do. If you hadn't done it, the old Neptune would be waiting there still. It's a new age. A new Millenium. Let's move into it gladly."
Haruka kissed Michiru's head. Michiru looked up and laughed that laugh...
And in the Crystal Palace of the Silver Millenium, Neptune and Uranus danced until the sun rose.
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