Notes and Disclaimers: You know the drill, the characters aren’t mine. They are owned, in whole and in part, by the fabulous Takeuchi Naoko, and her representatives at Toei and Kodansha. I’m just borrowing them for a little while.
This is one more totally child-friendly story I’ve written. Feel free to let me know if you like it firstname.lastname@example.org
This is what I do instead of sleep. I hope you appreciate it. :-)
Luna gazed at Usagi’s back, as the girl sat hunched at the window. Dejection was carved into every line of her body, yet she said nothing. This alone was strange enough to worry the cat.
“Usagi?” Luna kept her voice soft, unwilling to break the girl out of her unusual reverie.
Usagi didn’t move, but her voice, muffled against her arms, was barely audible. “What do you want, Luna?”
Luna sat on the sill and looked down at Usagi’s hair. She was silent for a moment. “What’s bothering you, Usagi? This isn’t like you.”
Usagi lifted her head and her red-rimmed eyes, dry and burning, met Luna’s gold ones. Her voice was so bitter, it broke Luna’s heart to hear her. “How can you even ask me that? You know I’m not cut out for this Sailor Moon stuff. You tell me all the time.” Usagi’s voice was quiet, but flattened and dull, as if all joy had been sucked out of it.
Luna was silent now. What could she say to this child, this slip of a girl who had been given the weight of the world to bear? Luna’s throat closed. Stepping forward, she laid one paw on Usagi’s arm.
“Luna, I don’t want to be Sailor Moon anymore.” Usagi’s eyes remained dry but her voice cracked.
A long moment passed before Luna spoke again. “Usagi, you know my memory of the past is imperfect…still, there is something I haven’t told you that I do know.” Usagi looked intently down at the cat. Luna could see trepidation and hope in that gaze and she steeled herself. “I told you that your mother, Queen Serenity, sent you all into the future to be reborn. And that at this time you are all gathered together to fight against the forces of darkness.” Usagi nodded and Luna pulled her paw back, turning to look out the window as she spoke. “What I didn’t tell you is that this is not the first time you’ve been reborn. All of the Senshi, in fact have been reborn before now.”
At those words, Usagi saw clearly in her mind bright flashes of color, each a moment in time: Sailor Venus fighting the Titans in Ancient Greece; Sailor Mercury building a redoubt during a war against a force of demons; Sailor Jupiter facing down a dragon before a medieval castle; Sailor Mars exorcizing the life from a golem in Warsaw. These flashes came so quickly, Usagi could hardly recognize each one before the next had replaced it. Her head spinning, she looked at Luna, who met her eyes evenly.
A final flash came to Usagi’s mind, this one of a 14 year-old girl, dressed in Meiji period clothing, fighting off a gang of older boys with a small knife and the contents of a basket. After throwing the fruit in the basket with deadly accuracy, the girl defied the boys. Messy and frustrated, the boys slunk off. Turning around, the girl helped another, smaller girl, to her feet. The younger girl, looking frightened but basically unhurt, clung to the older girl as they shuffled out of the alley into a busy street.
Usagi blinked a moment, then asked with some confusion, “I recognized the others, I mean, they didn’t look like themselves, but I knew who they were. Who was that last girl? Is she a Senshi we haven’t yet met?”
Luna shook her head slowly. “Her name was Tsukino Nanako.” Usagi’s eyes crinkled up, as she tried to place the name.
Understanding dawned on the girl’s face as Luna continued. “She was your great-grandmother. Your father’s grandmother.”
Usagi face became composed as she nodded. She stood up, her hands clenched into tight fists. “I understand, Luna. Being a Senshi is my birthright, from this life, and many others. I have to do my best, not only for my family from the Moon Kingdom, but from this planet as well.” Her eyes were now clear and firm, and her voice had lost its grief and bitterness. As she spun on her heel, Usagi looked down at the cat, who now sat on her bed. “Thank you Luna.” And she leant down to kiss Luna lightly on the forehead before leaving the room.