Sailor Moon: Snippets - Eleven

(after Sailor Moon SuperS, ??)

 

They walked back from Jordanís house, happy and cheerful. Only Chibi-usa was silent. The others noticed this and asked her what was wrong.

"Oh, just thinking."

"Youíre too young for serious thoughts!" Minako swung her around, "Offf. Youíre getting heavy."

Chibi squealed with joy as her hair swirled in the wind. When Minako set her down, she slipped her hand into hers, "Thanks!"

"Youíre welcome little squirt."

"What where you thinking of?"

Chibi grinned, "I was thinking it would be really nice if I could be as good friends with my little brother as Jordan is hoping to be with his new sister."

Usagi stopped dead in her tracks and Mako and Rei ran into her. Mouths were dropping open everywhere.

"Brother....?" Usagiís voice was at least three octaves above her normal. Mamoruís face was turning very red.

Chibi turned to look, and she laughed at the expression on Usagiís face. She got a wicked glint in her eye and answered, "Yes, Mommy. When I left the future, you were pregnant with my little brother."

Usagi turned beet red. Mamoru followed suit. Recovering from their initial surprise, Mako, Rei, and Minako started laughing. Ami was trying hard not to.

Chibiís glint got larger and she turned to the others, "But Iíll have a girlfriend to play with too, when I get back. Sailor Mercury was bigger than Momma."

The silence was universal that time, and all eyes went to Ami, who somehow managed to turn a deeper shade of red than Usagi.

"But whoís the father?"

"Her husband, of course. The guys finally got back from--"

Suddenly, Mamoru was no longer standing beside Usagi, but was next to Chibi, with his hand over her mouth. "No!" His face was pale, "Itís forbidden to know that much of the future. Donít tell us any more, Chibi-usa." He took his hand away.

"Iím sorry." And Chibi really did sound repentant. "I knew that. Iím sorry."

Mamoru ruffled her hair, "Itís okay, Small Lady, but donít do it again." He had lost the paleness, but his face had a tight look to it, and when he stepped away from Chibi back to Usagiís side, he moved very carefully.

Usagi took his hand in hers. Very softly, so the others couldnít hear, she asked, "I didnít think you could phase when not Tuxedo Mask."

His reply was as low as hers, "I didnít either."

The group walked on, a bit more subdued, but the others tried hard to recapture the light mood theyíd been in. Minako and Chibi chased Mako around the trees as they cut through the park. Rei wove a wreath from some bushes and put it on Amiís head. Usagi and Mamoru walked together, hand-in-hand and watched the others.

Ami and Rei broke out into laughter, practically falling to the ground. The three in front turned back to look, and the two behind caught up with them.

"What?"

Ami and Rei looked at each other, then started laughing again. "Oh..." Ami dashed a tear off the side of her face.

Rei finally stopped laughing long enough to talk, "We were just talking about names..." She snickered, then started laughing again.

"Stop it!" Ami gently dug an elbow in Reiís side. "Names for kids... I was thinking about Yoshi, and Rei..." Ami also started laughing.

"Weíre not getting it out of them anytime soon, I can see." The group looked tolerantly at each other.

"Toshiku."

"Huh?"

Usagi grinned, "Thatís what Iíve always wanted to name my first son. Naru-chan and I decided it years ago. My son will be Toshiku, and hers will be Atanon."

"Andrew Toshiku."

Usagi turned to look at Mamoru, "What?"

Mamoru smiled gently, not looking at anything in particular, "Thatís his name -- you couldnít decide on which one, so we called him both. And after Andrew will be Naru. After Naru will be Rose. Terra and Serenity will be born as twins. And..." Mamoru raised a hand to his head and very slowly sank to his knees.

"Mamo-chan!" Usagi reached for him, but could not touch him. "What?"

The others rushed to them. Rei also tried to reach through but couldnít. A wind whipped around them and clouds covered the sun.

"Mamo-chan!" Usagi beat her hands against the transparent force surrounding Mamoru. "Mamo-chan!"

Mamoruís head lifted and they could see pain etched on his face. Suddenly, he wasnít Mamoru anymore, but King Endymion. Then he switched to Tuxedo Mask. Then he was Mamoru again. The Moonlight Knight took his place. Prince Endymion showed briefly before fading to King Endymion. He changed to someone they had never seen before, but all recognized as a part of him. That lasted a bare second before he was Mamoru, then King Endymion, then Mamoru... The changes flickered around him, quicker and quicker.

"Mamo-chan!"

"Whatís happening?" Makoto had her power stick out, but hesitated, not knowing what they could do.

"Itís a temporal paradox." A new voice came from behind them, and they all turned to see Sailor Pluto walking towards them. She reached easily though the air that Usagi couldnít touch and put a hand on Mamoruís shoulder. Instantly, all the changes stopped, and he was Mamoru again. Usagi half-fell through the air before catching herself.

Mamoru looked up, "Pu... Thank you."

Pluto knelt down beside him, and placed his hand on her staff, "Cousin -- you know better than that. What where you thinking?"

"I wasnít." Mamoru smiled weakly. "Cuz. Iím sorry. I was thinking about the future, and it just happened."

"Umm..." Pluto gazed at him without saying anything else.

"Oh, Pu! It was my fault." Chibi came up, and knelt down on one knee, as if a subject to a ruler. "I was telling them about Momma."

"Small Lady." Pluto switched her serene gaze to the small child before her.

Mamoru reached out his hand to her, "Small Lady..." His form faded to King Endymion and Pluto turned quickly back to him and grabbed his hand, placing it firmly on her staff again. He changed to Mamoru again, his face flushed. He leaned his head against the staff. "Pu..."

"Mamoru -- keep ahold of the staff. Donít let it go for anything." Pluto kept her own hand covering his, but addressed Chibi, "Small Lady. It has been hard for you not to talk about your life at home. This is understood. You must do more than try, though. The world is depending on you and what you learn here. Self-control must be one of those things." Pluto looked to Usagi, then back at Chibi. She appeared to think about saying something more, then shook her head. She reached out a hand and gently touched the pink hair. "Small Lady. I will lay no tasks upon you for your fault, for there is one more responsible than you, but neither will I stop you if you chose to make your own recompsance. However, I do charge you with this: Avoid Chiba Mamoru for the next two weeks. For his sake and your own. Stay near to Usagi, and if not with her, than one of the others. You will be vulnerable for this time."

"Sailor Pluto. Is it time for me to go back?"

"Very nearly. But my cousin does not have the strength for you to go yet. You must wait." Pluto waited until she nodded, then she faced Mamoru again.

"Mamoru, cousin. Look at me."

Mamoru raised his head, but didnít seem to be able to keep his gaze focused. Pluto reached out her slim hands and held his face between them. "Cousin, look at me."

After several long minutes wherein nobody spoke, and barely breathed, Pluto sat back on her heels. "I thought so."

Usagi couldnít stand it anymore, "Pluto, can I...?"

Pluto smiled gently at her, "Of course. Just make sure he doesnít let go of the staff."

Usagi came as close to Mamoru as it was possible for two human beings. Mamoru wrapped his arms around her, keeping hold of the staff, and leaned his head on hers. "Usako."

Another few minutes went by, as everybody let their favorite couple have this time to share their strength. Finally, Rei turned to Pluto, "So, what did happen?"

"Itís not Mamoruís fault." Pluto grinned briefly, the smile disappearing almost before they saw it, "Or rather not now. It will beÖ"

"Pu, Cuz." Mamoruís voice was pleading.

"Sorry." Pluto turned back to the others, "Last month, King Endymion felt the danger to Small Lady. Since then, heís been regularly Ďchecking upí on her, using Mamoru as the conduit. I imagine he tried to keep the touch light, but the only thing stronger than a fatherís love is a motherís, and Serenity unconsciously used the power of the Silver Crystal to reinforce it." She frowned, "At least I hope she wasnít doing it deliberately." She shrugged, "In any case, Iím going to have to give them a talking to." Dark clouds seemed to hover around her, and the Senshi saw timelessness in her dark eyes, "Iím not very pleased at the moment."

"Cuz, howíre you going to do that? Youíre not at the Time Gate."

"True. And itís not yet time for me to take up that portion of my duties." Again, Pluto shrugged, "Iíll figure something out Ė else what good is a prodigy of the deity of time?"

Usagi was looking back and forth between Mamoru and Pluto, "Umm, this is off topicÖ Why do you keep calling each other Cousin?"

Pluto and Mamoru looked at each other. "Because we are?"

The others were surprised, "In which lifetime?"

Pluto and Mamoru continued to look at each other, a faint smile playing at the corners of their mouths, "Well, actuallyÖ" "All of them."

"All of them?"

"Cousins or siblings. Our mothers were sisters in the first life we livedÖ long ago. And it wasnít all that many years past that point, I wasÖ I went to guard the Time Gate." Pluto smiled a full smile this time, "I donít presume to know my Sponsorís thoughts, but I think Pluto felt sorry for me, and twisted a few strings to make sure that in every life-time, I would have somebody I knew, from the beginning until the point where I would pick up my duties again."

"And I think Earth did something with it as well. You have always been of the Earth, rather than the Moon Kingdom."

"True." Pluto covered his hand with hers, "When the Pluto before me retired, I, being of the line of Pluto and her blood-niece, took the duty. She returned to Earth, and loved an Earthman. She married Terra, and the children of Earth were also the children of Pluto. That is why Endymion, and his daughter, Small Lady, after him, can visit me at the Time Gate, where all others are forbidden."

"But what about Mamoru?"

They both laughed, Mamoru looking much better than he had been earlier. "This life as well. Setsuna grew up in America, and her family had no idea that I was alone until last year. Thatís why I went to America for a few months Ė to visit her."

"ButÖ" Usagiís head spun. But the Ďlong lost relativesí was an invention by Raylia to explain his absenceÖ Or was it? "I hate time problems!!!!!!!! Why canít everything just be straight!"

Pluto smiled gently. Mamoru hugged her tightly. The others looked exasperated, except for Makoto, who was frowning slightly.

"I think I can stand up now."

"Try." Pluto stood back to give him room, and Usagi helped Mamoru up. He stood, leaning on the Staff. Pluto nodded, "Then what you need now is to go back to your apartment and stay there, not going out at all, for two weeks."

"Two weeks? Are you crazy? Iíll go nuts!"

"Iíll get some fresh flowers delivered."

"What about my studies?"

"Tele-commute."

"My job?"

"E-mail."

"My sanity???"

Pluto grinned, "Usagi will visit you every day." The smile disappeared. "I mean it, Mamoru. I want you to do exactly as I said. The consequences else, will be very bad."

Mamoru frowned, then shrugged, "I donít think I can argue this one."

"I donít think so." She looked closely at him, "Who are you right now?"

Mamoru looked surprised, then he thought about it. "Everybody." And it was. He could feel all of himself joined like they rarely were. The Prince was there, Tuxedo Mask, Yuldian, even Senshi Earth. Mamoru was dominate, but they were all there.

Pluto nodded, "Good. The Staff is working, then."

"I have to say, Earth isnít too happy about it Ė heís used to being free."

Usagi drew back from him a bit and looked at him. The others, except for Pluto, also gave him the same strange look.

Pluto just laughed, "Tough. Heíll have to adapt."

Mamoru started to hand the Staff back to Pluto, but she waved it back. "Keep it, for now. Take it with you home. When you sleep at night, put it across your bed. Donít loose sight of it, even when youíre feeling better."

Six shocked faces turned to her, "But Pluto, thatís your power!"

She smiled at them, "My power is within me. The Staff is only a tool. A useful one, but a tool, for all that." She raised a hand, and the garnet gem at the top of the staff glowed then disappeared. "I will keep the Talisman, for that is my charge. But Mamoru, I give you charge of my Staff." Sailor Pluto took two steps back from the group, the air swirled around her, then she was gone.

"Mamo-chanÖ Iím sorry." Chibi kept a careful distance away from him, but the look on her face said that she wanted to run to him.

"You heard Pluto, Smalló" Mamoru caught himself, "Chibi-usa. It wasnít your fault"

"Only partly." Chibiís face was serious. "Iíll think of something." She looked up, "Minako, will you come with me, please?"

"SureÖ" Minako looked at the others, decided there wasnít anything they needed to deal with other than getting Mamoru to his apartment, then left with Chibi, who was apparently taking Plutoís instructions seriously. Good.

"Now, UsagiÖ When exactly do you plan to be visiting Mamoruís apartment?"

Usagi shrank around behind Mamoru, "Why?"

Rei put her face up to Usagi, "Because, I think youíre going to need a chaperonÖ"

"Rei-chan!"

Even Mamoru laughed as the two started one of their typical fights.