The Forgotten Truth
A Sailor Moon Fanfiction
Story & Original Characters © 2001 Sarah Ruth Hughes
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon © 1992 Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha, TOEI Animation.
Time seemed frozen in this space. A faint mist broke the darkness as it slowly curled and crawled across the desolate area, reflecting a dim, garnet glow. Through the piercing blackness, this slowly growing light cast eerie shadows on an intricately caved door and the tall female guardian that stood in front of it. The source of the warm glow was a garnet orb, situated at the pinnacle of the staff in the warrior's hand. With a heavy sigh, she let her exhausted body fall against the frame of the great doors, the base of the staff scraping against the hidden floor as it receded from her.
She rested thoughtless for a moment, her long, dark hair showing soft forest green highlights in contrast to the russet light. Thoughts began to filter persistently into her mind. Her mission was to guard this door of space-time and kill all those who try to utilize its forbidden path. She was bound to a set of rules, charged to her by her Queen: to never allow time travel; to remain at this post; and never, under any circumstances, use her power to stop the flow of time itself. For this last taboo, the punishment was death.
Somberly she whispered, "I am the soldier of space and time. In eternal solitude I guard this door. Protected by the ninth planet, I am Sailor Pluto." Her dark eyes fell to the mists below, her own feet hidden in their depths. She was the lonely warrior, the girl Setsuna, the soldier Pluto.
Suddenly, something seized her mind. She lifted herself upright and walked briskly across the darkness, her thoughts churning. She returned moments later with a heavy bound book and elegant fountain pen. Setting the staff beside the door, she knelt down near a dark bench and began writing, In the days of the Silver Millennium, I did not fully understand the weight of my responsibility. Things have changed; I have changed. Still, there were mistakes I made back then which could have saved me from my present concern...
* * *
Seven-year-old Princess Serenity hastily rushed through one of the brightly lit hallways of the Moon Palace. Her right hand was clasped around her skirt to keep her feet from tripping in its folds; her little legs would not serve her as fast as she wished them to, and she continued to skitter through the long passages impatiently. The buns in her hair were loose and coming undone. Were anyone there to see her, they might have remarked about how unladylike she appeared.
"Mamma!" she cried, as she finally reached the throne room and ran to her mother's awaiting arms. Two women moved aside and Serenity nodded for them to leave. Though the small princess took little notice of them, she waited patiently until they were alone.
"What is it, dear? Have you come all this way yourself?" Queen Serenity brushed a frustrated tear from her heir's cheek and smiled warmly.
"Mamma! I’m very, very mad!” she stated with the force honesty, "Boys at school are mean!" She wiped another tear off with the back of her hand as she tried to stand up straight and be a lady like her mother.
The Queen brushed the child's blonde hair back with tender hands and tugged playfully on one of the princess’ fair pigtails, "There now, it’s okay to cry; but, tell me, what did they say to you?"
The princess lifted her head defiantly and furrowed her brow, "They said mean things about you. They said –" she stopped and looked at her mother, her eyes suddenly growing anxious. Pressing her right foot into the base of the throne, she Srifted her weight back and forth uneasily.
"Go on," the Queen replied, sliding off the gem encrusted chair and sitting at its base beside her young child.
The princess raised herself up on her toes and whispered the nasty words the boys had used in her mother’s ear. The Queen's eyes widened and she tried to stifle a laugh, "They said that? About me?"
The princess nodded with a serious and worrisome look, "I don't know what it means, but it sounded pretty mean to me when they said it."
"Well, we’ll need not harbor worries about what those boys say in school. You come from a line of goddesses, and no name calling can change that." She smiled sweetly and pressed a loving hand to the princess’ shoulder.
The princess dragged her foot around on the floor and bit her bottom lip. Her eyes would not raise to meet her mother’s and she kept a firm grip on the folds of her skirts which wrinkled beneath her grasp.
"Something is still bothering you?" The Queen lifted the little round face up.
"Momma, where is my daddy?"
The Queen was taken aback at this question and did not reply immediately. In fact, she had prepared a few versions of replies for this question and had, at times, rehearsed them on various members of her count. Still, when actually confronted with the inquiry, she struggled to formulate a feasible answer that a child could understand without concern. More than anything, she seemed to only think of excuses.
"Your father cannot be here with us. In fact, he probably will never be here with us again. But it is okay because we will always have each other. He is within you," she said, touching her chest with two slender fingers. "Every time you think of him, he is here." She searched the young child’s eyes for a moment and was happy to see a smile light up her face.
"Ok, I'm going to play again!" Princess Serenity jumped up on the step below the throne, kissed her mother’s cheek, and then ran back down the hall as quickly as her skirts would allow her. With a sigh of relief the Queen called after her, "Don’t run darling! You will slip and hurt yourself!” Her voice was light and cheerful but there was an aching in her heart.
* * *
Usagi lay awake on her bed, the sheets all a mess with her legs tangled and bent around them. She had been having night after night of restless sleep for the last few days, and not knowing why had only made it worse. The moonlight cast a silver glow on her ivory skin as she crawled out of the snarled sheets to find her glass of water. Her hair was undone from its normal style and it fell straight near the floor, curling slightly at the ends as it was lifted by her movement. Though her hair moved gracefully, her body did not as she stumbled groggily across the room and sat in front of her full length mirror, forgetting about the water for which she had originally set out.
Staring back at herself, she could see the marks under her eyes, the dull blue echoing her tired legs and arms. I swear, Ami is a slave driver. All this training for exams; I can't shut my brain off anymore...
But the upcoming exams were going to be hard on everyone. After all, their entire future depended on them, and Ami Mizuno was not about to let her friends go without proper education.
Usagi fell on her back and gazed at the ceiling, wishing for peace of mind, wishing for sleep. Just as her thoughts were silenced and her mind edged on the brink of something like sleep, a loud truck clambering down the street jolted her back into consciousness. Fumbling and slamming she made her way to the open window and stuck her head out, both frustrated and curious. As she crawled across her bed to see the offending vehicle, she knelt on Luna's paw which resulted a mighty rude awakening for her feline friend.
Luna yelped and Usagi fell off her, apologizing. "What is all that noise?" Luna asked, after she had nursed her wound and limped over to the sill. All down the street, everything seemed quiet and ordinary once more as the clamoring truck pulled up to a house nearby and the engine shut off with rattle. Usagi watched as a teenage girl hopped out of the passenger's side of the cab. She shoved her hands in the pockets of her corduroy overalls and shook a strand of auburn hair out of her face as she looked up at the house, "It's big." Her eyes almost matched the color of her hair, but from her room above Usagi could not see this detail. She leaned out further to get a better view and noticed the girl's skin seemed to be dark.
"Perhaps it's just the light," Luna said. Usagi nodded, her annoyance overcome by her natural curiosity.
The driver opened the door and stepped out. She was taller and obviously older, practically a woman, also with dark skin. This time it was unmistakable. Usagi could tell her hair was dark as well, but could not make out what color. The woman reached into the cab and produced a child whom she balanced on her hip as she shut the door none too gently. The little girl asked a question Usagi could not hear, but the woman replied with an affirmative. Usagi noted the child's skin was much lighter in contrast to the others, and she could see the child carried a little doll.
"What are they doing arriving here in the middle of the night?" Luna asked.
"Maybe they are robbers," Usagi mused.
"Generally, robbers want to make as little commotion as possible, I would think."
Usagi nodded slowly as she watched the last passenger exit from the cab. She appeared older as well, and her skin was the fairest of them all, glowing almost white in the full moon. Most impressive was her bountiful deep blue hair which was monetarily tamed by a cerulean ribbon. She said nothing and joined the others as they walked up the steps and into the house next across the street diagonally from Usagi's. The door echoed through the empty streets.
Usagi continued to watch the house for a few minutes. No lights had come on in the house and Luna had already curled up again and begun snoring by the time Usagi crawled back into bed fell into another restless sleep.
* * *
A young girl sat on the bench in front of a windowsill with her face plastered to the glass. Her hands were clasped tightly around a stuffed figure with short, violet hair very similar to her own. Her large purple eyes followed a pink haired little girl as she skipped beside what Sri assumed must be her parents. The girl was laughing and clapping her hands. Sri thought she looked nice.
"Why don't you go make friends, Sri?" A tall woman with dark forest green hair sat on the bench beside the small child and looked at the family walking past below through deep green eyes. "She looks about your age." Zoe wanted to encourage Sri to be more open and confident in their new surroundings.
"Nah," Sri replied, "I don’t want to." She hopped off the bench and scurried off to her room. As she crossed the living room, she narrowly avoided a collision with Tendai as she exited from the bathroom.
"Sri! Watch where you are going, geese!" Tendai shouted after the little girl as she stomped across the room and slammed the door of the room she shared with Cadin.
With a sigh, Zoe got up and followed after Sri into their room. The little girl was on the bottom bunk crying. The little doll had been thrown across the room and lay upside-down, silently against the wall with a big, happy smile. It was like this almost every day since they had arrived. Sri spent most of her time crying, Tendai spent most of her time shouting, Cadin spent most of her time sleeping, and Zoe was forced to spend her time trying to make everyone get along.
"Sri, what’s wrong now?" Zoe tried to not to sound frustrated, but these tantrums were really draining. She knelt down beside the bunk and reached over to soothe the young girl’s tears, but Sri hit her hand away with a shout.
"No! I hate this place! I hate you for making me come here!" She got up, pushing Zoe out of the way, and ran back out into the living room. Zoe sighed again and flopped her aching head down on the mattress beside her. There she lay, listening to the screaming out in the living room. Tendai could really instigate anyone, but with Sri it was like oil and water. Sri’s wailing continued long after Tendai had given up and slammed her bedroom door five or six times, just for effect. Zoe just stared at the wall, willing herself to become numb to it all.
The doorbell ringing could barely be heard over Sri’s tantrum. Zoe actually thought she imagined it until she head it repeatedly in rapid succession. “Someone’s impatient,” she thought, lifting herself off the floor and walking past the screaming child in the living room. Zoe walked down the stairs to the front door they shared with the landlord downstairs; curious and tired from screaming, Sri followed at a safe distance. When Zoe swung the door open, she came face to face with the family Sri had been admiring earlier.
The little pink haired girl smiled widely and held up a small cake with chocolate frosting, "Hi! Welcome to the neighborhood! My name is Chibiusa!" Zoe took the plate from Chibiusa and bowed.
"Thank you! This is quite a surprise!” She was not really up for guests at this time, but she tried to put on a cheerful face. “My name is Zoe,” she introduced herself pleasantly.
“I am Usagi,” the young woman smiled, bowing. She directed Zoe’s attention to the man beside her, “This is Mamoru.” Zoe could see with some ease that they were deeply in love.
"So you are the family that lives next door?" Zoe asked.
Usagi blushed and giggled wildly and Chibiusa cringed a bit. "Actually," Usagi sputtered, "Mamo-chan is my future husband." She clung to his arm while Chibiusa scowled at her.
"Oh, that’s wonderful,” Zoe said, smiling at Mamoru, “Congratualations.”
"Uh yeah," Mamoru said, slightly embarrassed, "it’s not really official yet."
Chibiusa chimed in laughing, "Oh no, this is my klutzy, annoying, cousin Usagi; I live at her house! And this is my
Mamoru!" Usagi began to pout as Chibiusa stuck her tongue out and mocked her. The two of them argued as Mamoru stood in the middle zoning out. Zoe suddenly felt like she hadn’t left the living room at all.
“May we have you in?" She asked, trying to break up the argument as usual. She reached out with a deep brown arm to hold the door open for these new neighbors.
“Oh yes, thank you!” Chibiusa smiled, totally forgetting about her assault on Usagi as the four of them proceeded up the wallpaper lined stairway.
Zoe smiled at Mamoru as he shook the two girls off his arms as they walked into the small living room of the upstairs apartment. “Wow! You did just move in!” Usagi said, “There’s not much here yet huh?”
“That’s rude,” Chibiusa said, “Of course they haven’t unpacked yet!”
Sri had come up ahead of them and hid crunched low behind a pile of boxes near the bathroom. Usagi had told Chibiusa that a young girl had moved in here, so Chibiusa was on the lookout when Sri’s little purple head stuck up just over the box tops.
“Hi!” Chibiusa said, making her way towards the young girl with a smile. Sri jumped up wide eyed, ran around the boxes and into the bathroom, pushing the door closed behind her with a thundering slam that echoed in the mostly empty room.
A curious Tendai peeked out of her room wondering what new commotion was shaking their household. A strand of wet rusty auburn hair hung curling from the towel on her head.
"Everyone, this is Tendai. Tendai, this is Chibiusa, Usagi, and Mamoru.” Zoe said, introducing the newcomers. “The girls live in the house across the road.”
"Nice to meet you," Tendai said as she stepped out from behind the door and bowed slightly in her freshly ironed kakis and tee-shirt. "I think I’m going to your school now, Usagi." Tendai’s tangerine eyes blinked, shaking off clinging droplets of water, “Juuban Junior High?” Her eyes stood out in stark contrast to her chocolate colored tone of her skin.
Usagi smiled, "Yeah! Will you be taking the high school exams with us at the end of the year?"
Tendai laughed uneasily and looked at Zoe, "Um, well..." she mumbled, smiling nervously.
"Tendai doesn't test very well," a soft, airy voice called from the room behind Tendai.
"Shut up Cadin!" Tendai replied hastily as she slammed the door shut. She smiled awkwardly at the guests, then excused herself to finish her laundry.
Chibiusa was staring at the bathroom door, rather unsure of what she had done to scare the girl. Zoe assured her that Sri did not mean to be so rude. She walked over to the bathroom and tapped on the door, "Sri, we have company, come out of there." She tried to turn the knob but it was locked. "Sri, this is no way to treat our guests." Zoe tired not to be too angry with her, but acting this was all the time was getting really old, really fast.
The door opened an inch or two and a large lavender eyes peered out at them. Chibiusa laughed a little and the door immediately slammed shut again.
"Now, Sri, you know that's not polite." Zoe said, tapping on the door again. "Come on out and show everyone you're a big girl."
The door opened again and Sri walked out and clung to her Zoe’s leg peering around at Chibiusa and the others.
"Hi," she said ever so quietly.
Chibiusa forced herself to hold in another laugh. Instead she tried a smalled smile and walked over beside Zoe to kneel down, "Hi, I'm Chibiusa. Do you want to come to the park with me?" Sri's eyes lit up and she looked pleadingly up at Zoe.
"Sure, go play! Anything to get you out of the bathroom!" By the end of her sentence the two girls had already run giggling out the door.
“They can be a handful,” Zoe said, half to herself and half to her guests.
“Does Sri eat all your good snacks too?” Usagi asked with excited frustration.
Zoe laughed, “Not usually.”
Continued in Chapter Two