Mamoru hurt? Usagi realizes friendship.

 

"Andrew? Are you all right?" Usagi gently hovered near her friend. The last several days, heíd been looking rather down. Today, he didnít even notice her.

Andrew started and looked around before seeing Usagi, "Oh, hi Usagi."

Usagi repeated her question.

"Oh, yeah. Fine." He opened up one of the machines and started tinkering with the inside. "This old game has about had it. Too many people get mad with it when they lose."

Coloring, Usagi remembered times when sheíd lost and pounded on the controls. She watched Andrew a moment longer, then went over to the Sailor V game.

Some time later, she felt a touch on her shoulder. As she looked up, a villain in the game ducked out and shot her Sailor V character. The words "Game Over" flashed across the screen. Usagi started to be annoyed with whoever had disturbed her, but then she saw Andrewís face and stopped mid-word.

"Look, Usagi. Iím going on break now -- would you like to come with me?"

Usagi started to be happy that heíd asked her, then took another look at his face. Whatever the reason, it certainly wasnít a date. "Sure," she replied, quietly and seriously.

Sipping her shake, Usagi watched Andrew push crumbs around his plate. "So, whatís the matter?"

Andrew sighed, "Usagi, Mamoruís in the hospital."

"What?" Usagi was taken aback. A memory of her and Mamoru bickering surfaced. She feltÖ concerned. Mamoru? She shook her head, "Why?"

Picking up his tea and staring into it, Andrew didnít answer for a long time. When he did, Usagi had to stain to hear him. "A long time ago, when Mamoru was a kid, he was in a nasty car accident. He recovered okay, but... The last three months heís been having black-outs and memory losses. The doctors checked him over; didnít find anything wrong... Last week he collapsed. When they got him to the hospital and did a CATscan, they found a piece of metal in his head from that old accident."

"After all that time?"

Andrew shook his head. "It puzzled the doctors too. They said it was lodged in an area of the brain we donít use, but... There was swelling and bleeding... They operated and got it out, but Mamoruís been in a coma ever since." The tea started to slosh over his hand, and Andrew quickly put the cup down. Letting go, he watched his hand shake. He bowed his head. Usagi didnít say a word. Andrewís voice was a whisper, "They think heís going to die."

Usagi swallowed. No... She didnít know Mamoru well, he was an incredibly irritating fellow and they fought all the time, but she didnít want him to die. She thought of something else, "Have you told Rei?"

"Rei?" Andrew looked up, startled. "Oh. Rei. No."

"No?" Usagi was torn between indignant and surprised, "You havenít told Mamoruís girlfriend that heís in the hospital?"

"Sheís not his friend."

"What?"

Andrew sighed and sat up. "Look, Iíve been Mamoruís friend for a long time. Iíve seen the girls that go after him. Reiís a nice person and all, but she doesnít really care for him. Sheís just interested in his looks and likes having a boyfriend. I canít deal with her right now."

Usagi remembered the first time Rei tried to go out with Mamoru. And all the other times were when Rei had asked Mamoru... Andrew might be right, but also, "I think she does care about him. Rei isnít the sort of person to ignore others."

"Maybe." Andrew was still skeptical. "You know her better." He picked up the tea again, then quickly put it down when it still shook. "Fine. You can tell her."

"Me?" Usagi was taken aback.

"But Usagi," Andrew hesitated, then continued, "could you please not tell her for a couple of days. The doctors donít think his conditionís going to change anytime soon, and..." he lowered his head, "I really donít think I can deal with much more."

"Ahhh..." Oh, this is going to be hard. But Andrew was really suffering. "Okay."

"Right." Andrew looked at his watch. "Breakís over. Iíve got to get back. Thanks for listening, Usagi."

"No problem..." As they got up and started back, Usagi thought of something else, "Andrew, why did you tell me?"

"Youíre his friend too."

"No way!!" Usagi was shocked, "We fight all the time!"

For the first time in days, Usagi saw a smile on Andrewís lips, "So do you and Rei."

Usagi was silent the rest of the way back to the Arcade, thinking about her encounters with Mamoru. Most of the memories made her furious again. Some made her blush. The last time sheíd seen him, playing with Raylia... Maybe we are friends. It was a strange thought.

As Andrew was putting his apron on, Usagi hovered, trying to remember something... Oh yeah. "Andrew, howís Raylia doing?"

"Raylia?"

"His cat."

"Oh yeah. I forgot he had a cat. I donít see it that often." Andrew grinned, "Not like you and Luna."

Usagiís breath caught, "You forgot... Whoís been taking care of her?!"

Andrewís grin quickly changed into dismay. "Oh no!" He started to take off the apron, then looked around the Arcade. "Damn. Usagi -- Iím the only one on duty here now. I canít go." He fished around in his pocket and brought out a key, "Could you go to Mamoruís apartment and check?" He searched around in his wallet, "I think I have some money for cat food here..."

"No, thatís okay. Iíve got some." Usagi heard herself say that and wondered at herself, did I just agree to go to Mamoruís apartment?? She blushed, then remembered that Mamoru wasnít there. Thatís why she needed to go...

"You sure?" Andrew waited for her nod, then told her the address. He watched as she left the Arcade.

Outside the Crown Games, Luna was just turning the corner, "Usagi! There you are."

"This way, Luna." Usagi kept walking, almost running, clutching the key in her hand. She didnít wait for Luna to catch up and the black cat had to run not to be left behind.

"Where are we going?"

Usagi explained as they walked, with only a quick detour into a pet store for some food.

"Oh, thatís terrible!" Luna rested on Usagiís shoulder. "What are you going to tell Rei?"

"I canít."

"What?" Luna sat up, "But Usagi, you have to! Itís unfair to Rei."

"I know, but I promised Andrew..." Usagi told Luna what Andrew had said. "Do you think heís right?"

"About her feelings?" Luna paused for a long time. "I donít know. But it doesnít matter. Rei is the one currently going out with him, she deserves to know that heís hurt. I think she was trying to call him last weekend."

"And just getting his answering machine..." Usagi thought of the empty apartment they were heading for, "Oh poor Mamoru." Or not quite so empty, "Poor Raylia."

 

Usagi turned the key in the door and opened it, feeling very odd. Sheíd never been by herself in somebody elseís home. Particularly when the owner was a guy. She blushed. If Dad finds outÖ She stepped inside and closed the door quickly. As she stepped out of her shoes, she looked over the lineup of Mamoruís outside shoes. She couldnít even begin to imagine what his reaction would be if he knew she was in his place without his permission. Her face started feeling hot even to her own touch.

"Raylia?" She didnít see any large, grey tabby cat around. Luna hopped off her shoulder and disappeared around the corner. Usagi stood in the entryway and looked around. A console table held a vase full of wilted roses. She reached out and touched one. A dried petal fell off and drifted to the ground. "OhÖ" With an effort, Usagi kept in a sniffle.

"Here she is." Lunaís voice floated around the corner and Usagi followed it.

Lunaís head was sticking out of the appropriate doorway and Usagi proceeded to go in the room. The silver-grey tabby was laying on the bed, her tail swishing gently on the covers. Usagi realized she was in Mamoruís bedroom and blushed again. With determination, she approached the cat, "Hi, Raylia." She put out her hand and the cat sniffed it with the deliberation of her kind. "Do you remember me?" A loud purr was her answer and the catís head butted her hand. Responding appropriately to the urging, Usagi scratched behind her ear. "Hey, Luna Ė Iíve never heard you purr. Do you?"

"Purr?" Luna listened for a moment to the rumbling sound, then experimentally tried it.

Raylia laid back her ears and hissed. Usagi started laughing. Luna stopped and sat up, "It must be something about the vocal cords. Moon cats can talk, Earth cats can purr."

The tabby jumped off the bed and sniffed the bag Usagi had brought. Then she walked out the door. Usagi grabbed the bag and followed. The cat led her to the kitchen where she sat down in front of an empty dish and looked at her expectantly. Next to the dish were two oval-shaped bowls with bottles sticking out of them. One held dry cat food, the other was empty.

"Well, she hasnít been starving," Luna remarked, sniffing at the cat food, "But itís a bit stale." Raylia watched the small moon cat, but didnít do anything. Usagi searched the cabinets until she found a small plate and opened a can of cat food. She placed it down and Raylia enthusiastically started eating. Opening more cabinets, Usagi found the dry cat food, tossed out the old and re-filled the bottle, which was almost empty. She was a bit dubious about turning it upside down, but that was obviously the setup... She picked up the other bowl and held it for a moment. The cat stopped eating and started watching her.

"I think that one held water," said Luna.

"Upside down?" Usagi rinsed out the bottle and filled it up, but paused before putting it back in the bowl. "Wonít it just run out?"

"I donít..." Luna stopped speaking and just shrugged.

Suddenly, Usagi got an idea and brought out her communicator. "Ami!"

"Usagi! Whatís up?"

"If I turn a bottle of water upside down, will the water run out?"

Amiís image on the communicator was trying hard to contain both curiosity and annoyance. "Well, yes..."

"There! See, Luna?"

"Why donít you show it to her?"

"Oh!" Usagi turned the communicator to take in the bottle with the bowl.

"Oh! No, that should be fine, the centrifugal force contained within the water molecules will--"

Usagi stopped listening, but waited until she was done. "So if I put the bottle in upside down, it wonít pour out?"

"It shouldnít. Usagi, what are you doing?"

The upside down bottle gurgled as water poured into the bowl, then as the bowl filled up, slowed, and stopped. "It worked!" Usagi was fascinated. Raylia came over and started lapping at the fresh water. Ami repeated her question. "Iím...," Usagi petted the tabby cat, "taking care of a friendís cat." Did I just call him a friend? She blushed and bowed her head. "Thanks Ami!"

"Wait! Usagi--"

Usagi turned off the communicator and sat down on the kitchen floor, watching the tabby cat as she drank. After a bit, Raylia finished and came over and curled up on her lap, purring the whole while. Usagi petted her.

"Luna..." All those months ago, did Mamoru really rescue you? Did I misjudge him?

It took a few moments before the black cat came back into the kitchen, "What do you want, Usagi?"

Usagi changed her train of thought, "Luna, what are you doing?"

If it was possible for a black cat to blush, Luna did. "Just looking around."

"Luna!" Usagi sat bolt upright, dislodging Raylia from her lap.

"Are you telling me youíre not curious?"

"Luna, Mamoru isnít even here!" Iím confused enough right now. "Okay, time for us to go." She stood up, bushing cat hairs off. Iím going to be good. "Raylia..." She looked around for the tabby cat and spotted her in the entry-hall, "Iíll make sure Andrew feeds you from now on." Giving the cat a last pet, she swallowed a lump in her throat and opened the door. A loud meow startled her and she turned around, "Raylia?"

The cat walked past her and lifted her head for easier petting by the person in the hallway. Usagi turned around and bowed low in respect. The elderly lady wore a traditional kimono and carried a bucket of roses, which sheíd set down to pet Raylia.

"Hello, my pretty one. My, you donít usually greet me like this." She looked up, "Good afternoon, friend. Is Mr. Chiba-san here?"

Usagi had been holding onto her self control by the ragged edges. At this, she sat down where she was and started crying.

"Oh dear." The lady stepped into the apartment and pulled close the door. Then she disappeared around the corner. Usagi was crying too much to really pay attention. Luna and Raylia both were hovering anxiously around.

When the lady was out of earshot, Luna spoke softly, "Usagi-san... Itís all right."

"No itís not!" Usagi sobbed, "Iím stupid and careless, and heís mean and rude, and we donít like each other much, but I donít know if Iím his friend or not, but that doesnít really matter because heís hurt and might die, and Andrew cares for him and Raylia needs him, and nobody should die while people care for them!"

"Itís all right, my dear." A firm hand wiped her eyes with a clean handkerchief, and Usagi lifted her head to be presented with a cup of warm tea. "Now then," the lady settled to the floor across from Usagi, gently arranging the folds of fabric around her, "Why donít you tell me all about it?"

 

"Oh, poor Mamo-chan." Mrs. Tsuko shook her head. "I knew he was feeling bad these last couple of months..." She started to stand up. Usagi jumped up quickly and helped her. "Well." Mrs. Tsuko carried the vase with the wilted roses to the kitchen, where she tossed the old ones and rinsed out the vase. She arranged the new ones carefully, "Austria Imperitus. Hybridized by a man in Italy. As they are now, in the bud state, theyíre completely yellow. As they open, theyíll shade into red from the tips of the petals inward."

Usagi bent over and smelled them, "Oh, theyíre beautiful."

"Yes," Mrs. Tsuko also smelled them. "More than the color, it was this smell Mamoru was looking for. In-between Rodilos Magnifica and Sugary Delights, with just a touch of the tea rose." She took the vase back to the entry-way and put it on the console table.

"Mamoru was looking for roses?" Usagi couldnít resist trading a glance with Luna, who looked as surprised as she felt.

"Mamoru loves plants. Thatís how we know each other." She held the door open and waited for Usagi, "Shall we go, my dear?"

"Uhh..." Usagi was taken aback. "Go where?"

"First to my shop, where we can talk a bit more, and then over to the hospital to see how Mamoru is doing."

"Oh, no. Mrs. Tsuko, I couldnít."

The lady gave her a look that booked no arguments. "Of course you can, my dear. I insist on having company." Usagi went meekly along. Mrs. Tsuko watched the entry-way behind her, "Will you come as well, Raylia?"

Turning, Usagi watched as the tabby cat followed them to just inside the door, then she sat down and curled her tail over her feet, looking up at the humans, with an air of patient expectation.

"No..." Mrs. Tsukoís voice was a breath of sound, "Youíll wait for dear Mamo-chan." She closed the door, and she and Usagi, with Luna, headed outside the building.

 

Usagi hesitantly reached with her clippers for a full red rose. It reminded her of the ones Tuxedo Mask would throw to save her. She pulled back without cutting them.

"Thatís a lovely one, my dear. But watch out for the thorns. Theyíre very sharp." Mrs. Tsuko was clipping a few roses off several bushes, putting them in the wicker basket she had on her arm.

"Mrs. Tsuko... You were talking about the plants and the stories you and Mam--" Usagi found she couldnít even say his name. She had learned more about him in the last hour with Mrs. Tsuko then she really wanted to. She continued hurriedly, "What are roses?"

"My dear?"

Usagi reached out to touch one of the red petals gently, thinking of Tuxedo Mask. "What do red roses mean?"

"The language of flowers has always been full of meanings, but in every time and every definition, an open red rose has meant ĎI love youí. It also means Ďrespectí, and Ďcourageí depending on the situation."

"Oh." She stepped back from the bush, thoughtful.

Mrs. Tsuko smiled at her, "If you would like to make up a more meaningful bouquet, I can give a few suggestions, and they donít have to be roses." She guided Usagi towards the greenhouse, but stopped before one rosebush, "Except, maybe, a yellow one. Yellow is misinterpreted different ways, but I have always believed that a yellow rose is for friendship."

Usagi looked over the roses. She leaned over to smell one bush that was mostly buds. The smell was wonderful and familiar, "Is this the one you had at the apartment?"

"Thatís it." Mrs. Tsuko also smelled them, "They have the most beautiful smell... Even as a bud, they show their charm."

Usagi felt strangely drawn to the rose. She drifted her hand over the flowers on the bush, and finally chose a smallish rose beyond the bud state but was fully closed, just barely starting to open. The yellow of the rose she chose was golden yellow and spoke to her of joy. She looked up at Mrs. Tsuko, "May I?"

"Of course." Mrs. Tsuko smiled a bit mysteriously as she guided Usagi to the proper spot on the stem to clip it. "Now, another thing with rosebuds... Yours is a closed rose, instead of a bud, but I think the meaning can still apply. If you very carefully, like this," she demonstrated on a different rose that she got from an Eglantine bush, "break off the thorns -- donít hurt yourself; and be careful to keep all the leaves intact -- it signifies hope."

"Hope..."

"He will live, for he has too much to live for to depart this world yet." Mrs. Tsuko walked the rest of the way to the greenhouse in silence.

Mamoru, how can people like you so much, when youíre so mean!?

Mrs. Tsuko strolled through the greenhouse with Usagi, explaining the ancient meanings of the flowers and some of their uses. She told Usagi to let herself pick the ones that she wanted to give to Mamoru based more on their meaning for Usagi rather than any specific message. "Pick the ones that represent yourself, and the meaning will always come through."

In the end, Usagi had a small basket of miscellaneous flowers. At one point, sheíd collapsed in laughter over a Mignonette when Mrs. Tsuko explained that they stood for: ĎYour Qualities Surpass Your Charmsí. When she sobered up, Usagi thoughtfully put three of them in her basket. She also put in some Crocus and Butterfly Orchids for herself, a Gladious for Mamoru, and because she was so confused, the rest were a mixture of her feelings: Juniper, Wheat, Yarrow, and Sweet Basil for her wishes for him; Bittersweet, Zinnia, and Canterbury Bells for her feelings for him, White Bell Flower for she didnít know what, and she lined the mixture with a couple of ferns. Mrs. Tsuko nodded at her choice, made no comment, and helped her to arrange them in a nice grouping. The yellow rose sat in the middle, framed by the Bittersweet.

While Usagi had been making her choices, Mrs. Tsuko had gathered her own bouquet. It was lovely. "Now, we deliver them to Mamoru, and our wishes with them."

"Mrs. Tsuko, Iíd really rather not--" Usagi stopped short at the look on the older womanís face.

"Usagi-chan. Iím 92 years old." Usagi gasped -- Mrs. Tsuko didnít look anywhere near that age. Mrs. Tsuko smiled at her briefly, and continued, "Iíve raised ten children. Only four of them are still alive. Out of 44 grandchildren, 17 are dead. Iím not even sure how many great-grandchildren I have at this point. But of all my children and grandchildren, there are only five of my family that I care for more than Mamo-chan. He doesnít know -- I would never tell him that, but itís true." As she spoke, her face was as calm as it had been since Usagi first met her. "I am a strong woman, but this is breaking me. Being with you... You may not know it, Usagi-chan, but you are my strength right now. With you, the time-eddies are smooth, and I feel my old, brittle heart rejoicing again. Your love of life, your light, it shines, and I can believe that the world will be saved. I need you with me, Usagi-chan."

For long moments, Usagi did not move, stunned by what sheíd heard. Me? She looked automatically to Luna, but the small moon cat had left them shortly after the apartment. There was nobody to verify the truth but Mrs. Tsuko herself.

"Mrs. Tsuko... May I carry your basket?"

The joy in the womanís face was so intense, so bright, that Usagi almost started crying. She didnít, and they left together for the hospital.

 

Usagi huddled in a corner of the room and watched Mrs. Tsuko. She tried hard not to look at Mamoru. The white bandage around his black hair made a vivid contrast. He was so pale, so still. So unlike himself. Iím doing it again. Usagi yanked her eyes off Mamoru and stared out the window. I hate it here! I want to go home!! The room was... empty. Empty of hope, empty of life, empty of presence. His eyes never twitched, his chest barely moved... Usagi firmly turned her back on the bed and walked to the window, leaning her forehead against the glass. The sunset was muted that night.

They had been there for over an hour, with no change. Mamoru was still in his coma. Mrs. Tsuko hadnít moved from the bedside. Usagiís feet were getting sore from pacing.

A doctor came in, checked some readings and went back out. A few minutes later, she returned with another one. They both left. Then a completely different doctor floated through. Usagi and Mrs. Tsuko glanced at each other. When the first doctor came again, Mrs. Tsuko halted her, "May I ask what is happening?"

The doctor hesitated before responding, "Weíre getting some readings on the EKG. Itís... unusual." She left again.

Usagi moved over to the bed next to Mrs. Tsuko. Mamoru didnít look any different. Almost involuntarily, she reached out and touched the hand Mrs. Tsuko was holding. They both jumped as Mamoruís hand twitched, and he moaned. "Serenity."

"What?"

"I think he said, --" Mrs. Tsuko was interrupted as doctors poured into the room and surrounded the bed.

"Youíll have to leave now. You can wait outside or come back tomorrow." They were gently herded out of the room.

As they left, Mamoru started thrashing in the bed, "Serenity!!! No!!!!!!! Serenity..." The word reverberated in Usagiís mind as the door shut them out of the room. She looked at Mrs. Tsuko.

"Itís an English word. It means... Peace. Tranquillity. Umm... A calmness in the face of chaos. Serenity... shines bright and steady."

"Oh." And Mamoru was calling out for Peace? Usagi shuddered. I donít want to know what his dreams were, that he called out for it with such despair.

"My dear. I had no idea it was this late out." Mrs. Tsuko squinted out at the dark streets. "Iíll walk you home and explain to your parents." She gazed seriously at her new friend, "Thank you."

 

***************************************************************

Tuxedo Mask gathered his concentration and studied the darkness a moment longer. There. He threw the rose to the top of the rip, where it was already knitting itself together. He put all of his strength and will into his need. Out of the depths of his being came a cry for aid, Sailor Pluto -- help me now! I need to be whole... And he felt a strong hand join with his, and heard a voice, my brother - my cousin. The Time Gate is open. Join yourself now. He felt himself drifting and sensed himself near. Then for a moment, a brief moment, he was whole again and knew exactly what he needed to do to close a Gate that should not be open. He closed the tear with the ease of practice and then he swirled away into the blackness.

 

"Senshi Earth?"

I am here.

Endymion looked around, but saw nothing but the blackness.

They are coming. They are all here.

"It has been a long time."

It will be longer. They are not ready.

"I am." Endymion closed his eyes and merged with his sponsor self. The eternal part of his life. Senshi Earth opened his eyes and looked upon the pale shining lights of himself that he had spun out to protect his Moon Goddess.

"Mamoru. Tuxedo Mask. Join us." The lights whirled closer and spun faster and faster around him. "Accept who you are. I am here."

"Senshi Earth. I am here." Tuxedo Mask recognized himself and saw a glimpse of his purpose.

Join with Mamoru. He needs you now.

Mamoru heard the voice and wondered at it. "Is this my past?"

There was a sound of leaves rustling in trees that sounded like laughter.

Your past. Your present. Your future. We are you, though you are yourself. Know thyself, and live. Protect the Moon, who protects the Earth. We are the Senshi Earth. You are born of Earth, but of the Moon. You are more than you know. Be strong.

Tuxedo Mask smiled, recognizing the part of himself that spoke through him to the Sailor Senshi. It was hard to put into words the concepts of an immortal being. "Mamoru. I am of you now."

Mamoru blinked. Almost, there was something he could see. A memory flashed through his mind as two lights brushed against each other. "Tuxedo Mask."

Endymion separated himself from Senshi Earth and drifted towards the other two. His light expanded and a vision of a large rose garden appeared. The other two recognized it instantly and the three lights connected at the central spot.

"Endymion." Tuxedo Mask and Mamoru spoke as one, but Tuxedo Mask was stronger. "I remember..."

The three swirled together, sparking lights off each other that illuminated the darkness.

Protect the Moon Goddess.

"Princess Serenity."

"Sailor Moon."

"Usagi." Mamoru swirled away from the others, "What?"

Accept, accept. You know it for truth. She is as you are: Separated from self. Since the beginning, and there was a hint of humor in the words, we have known separation. Serenity has not. She needs your help to become whole again.

And they all saw a glimpse of the Princess Serenity looking down through a tall window, resplendent in her white gown as Endymion had last seen her. She was looking at a garden below her where Sailor Moon looked out to the stars and raised the Moon Rod, as Usagi knelt beside a rose bush. Princess Serenity looked straight at Endymion/Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru. "Please. Free us. Your love will find the Silver Crystal."

The glimpse was gone.

"Serenity!"

"Sailor Moon!"

"Usako!"

Three voices rang out as one and merged.

My Lady. The tender caress of the words brought all of them together.

The futures wove a pattern and Tuxedo Mask reached out to see the eddies. Endymion stood behind his left shoulder and Mamoru his right as they watched to see what they must do. Senshi Earth hovered behind them all.

They watched the futures. Tuxedo Mask looked for the longest thread and pulled it out. Glimpses of future scenes flashed by them. A multitude of monsters, each with the blackness surrounding them, defeated in turn by Sailor Moon as Tuxedo Mask hovered unseen behind her. The rose of power flashed again and again. The rose turned black and all three withdrew in surprise and shock.

"No!" Endymion cried in pain, "It cannot happen!" His light drifted from the others. Tuxedo Mask and Mamoru watched him, uncomprehending.

The future still goes on. There is pain, but there will be healing. Keep watching. Keep watching.

"I remember that lake." All four of them spoke, as lights budded out from Senshi Earth of other lives that were now one with them. The music of Serenityís Moon Locket drifted out around them. Endymion reached into the past and pulled it out. He handed it to Tuxedo Mask. "It is yours, now." The light separated further from the other two, merging into Senshi Earth.

"I remember..." Tuxedo Mask spoke hesitantly, but they all saw the Princess Serenity handing it to him.

Then Mamoru cried out in pain and they looked back to the futures. Sailor Moonís body contracted and wreathed in pain as black roses sucked the life energy from her. "No!" The sword that they knew was theirs raised and flashed downward towards Sailor Moonís helpless body. "No!!!!!!!!!!!" Tuxedo Mask howled in despair and horror and his light retreated, pulling Mamoruís with it.

Keep watching. The future still goes on. Keep watching.

"They are gone."

The future still goes on. But we are not joined.

"I donít blame them." Endymion reached out, not quite touching a picture of a black rose, "How can it happen? How can I hurt the Lady? Serenity, I only want to protect you. Serenity..." His voice rose, and for a moment, the three were joined again, united in despair.

 

***************************************************************

End.

Appendix

Bell Flower (White)

Gratitude

Bittersweet

Truth

Butterfly Orchid

Gaiety

Caladium

Great Joy and Delight

Canterbury Bell

Acknowledgment

Clover

Good Luck

- White

Thinking of You

Crocus

Youthful Gladness

Fern

Fascination

Garlic

Courage, Strength

Juniper

Protection

Sweet Basil

Good Wishes

Wheat

Friendliness

Yarrow

Healing

Zinnia

Thoughts of Absent Friends

- Magenta

Lasting Affection

- Mixed

Memories

- Scarlet

Constancy

- White

Goodness

- Yellow

Daily Remembrance