Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or the image used. I do own my OC characters in this story.

Chapter Twenty-Three

"You're kidding me, right?!" Haruka almost yelled out as she looked at the Inner Senshi, her eyes wide in disbelief. There was no way what they were telling her could have any truth in it, they were lying surely, playing a prank. They were at a restaurant meeting up for lunch, something Ami of all people had said they needed to do. She liked their little get togethers, she had felt it was important, more than just keeping up their friendships, she had felt this would be something vital in their relationships to each other.

"Why would we joke about this Haruka?" Makoto asked, sipping her green tea.

"You might be overreacting here, we haven't promised anything" Rei added, her violet eyes on Haruka and Michiru. Hotaru hadn't said anything. She had taken one look at Setsuna and knew Setsuna was well aware of what was happening, which was why she herself kept quiet. But Haruka didn't understand. No, she wouldn't. Haruka went quiet for a moment, her eyes widening every few seconds as she processed what they were telling her. Suddenly, an unbelievable rage took over her mind. She had to keep clenching and unclenching her fists as she looked at the Inner Senshi. Her eyes landed on Minako who looked back confidently.

"I seriously can't belive it, you and Rei of all people?" Haruka said coldly. Rei narrowed her eyes but said nothing, opting for Minako to respond.

"I am not with him Haruka, all I did was give him a chance to explain himself, I am not sure about the others" Minako deflected back to her team, she still felt bruised from their meeting with the Generals without her knowledge. Makoto's mouth opened at the response Minako gave, shocked a little.

"How can you say that Minako- you know we're not in relationships with them" Rei snapped, folding her arms over her chest.

"Really, it wasn't long ago you guys told me you met up with them to have your private chats, in fact, I saw Makoto only yesterday with Arata, looking all friendly as if he hasn't done anything wrong" Minako levelled at them. Makoto slammed her fists onto the table, glaring at Minako.

"I wasn't all friendly with him OK" Makoto felt her blood boil. Ami looked away, she knew Arata had asked Makoto to come round to his for dinner, but that was all she knew.

"Already these men have started us fighting against each other, is it truly wise to be even talking to them?" Michiru asked in her normal calm voice.

"My thoughts exactly" Haruka stated, leaning back into her chair. Minako felt a vein popping on the side of her head at that.

"Look Haruka, we're not dating them. We've not spoken with them for over four years now. They approached us. I never said I would give that bastard a chance to be with me" Minako said.

"And yet instead of sending them packing, you all entertained them" Haruka levelled at Minako. Minako gave out a huge sigh before running her hands through her hair. What was happening to her? Was Haruka right? Was she letting her guard down and putting her fellow Senshi in danger?

"They have my permission to pursue whatever relationships they see fit" they all turned around to the gentle yet firm voice of Usagi, who had sat back and watched them carefully. It wasn't the first time Haruka had been surprised by Usagi's decisiveness, she had changed a great deal over the four years and there were still questions as to what happened to her. It was the reason Haruka was even more protective over her hime. Setsuna gave a small smile as Usagi opened her mouth to speak again.

"It has been four years, which is a long time. I can see we have all reflected over the the years. I have not been blind to their pain" Ami gasped at that, wondering what Usagi was meaning.

"Yes Ami, I could feel this inner sadness in you four. You loved the Generals in the past, it was a love that has transcended time. I can't stop you from pursuing a relationship with them but all I ask is that you remember where your loyalties are because belive me, they know where theirs are" Setsuna nodded at Usagi's words. She was right, they had to remember their duties.

"But trusting Prince Endymion again, after all that bastard has done?!" Haruka asked disbelievingly.

"I love him Haruka-chan….I always have and always will. But I can't forget the pain he caused me either and the changes it has brought. I am willing to be his friend again, just as Usagi and Mamoru. We will fight together to protect Earth because we both love Earth so much but as for us….for Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity….I don't know….maybe it was never meant to be" Usagi looked away from them as she felt her eyes watering up, feeling the truth in her own words. She knew she loved him, his apology and his seeking of her forgiveness proved to her that he regretted it all. He had truly thought he was making the right choice. In many ways, she agreed with him but still, the pain, the heartbreak was still there. It still felt like an open flesh wound.

"I don't agree with it Koneko-chan and I don't think I ever will. Our duty was only ever to protect you and her majesty from outside threats. We were the first port of call. I see him as a threat and my whole being wants to make sure he stays away from you. I don't think I would support you getting back together with him" Haruka admitted before raising her hand to stop the onslaught of words coming her way.

"However, I will always protect you. It may mean Michiru and I go back eventually to doing our original roles…." Haruka looked sadley towards Michiru who hadn't looked at Haruka, taking the words in.

"I would never separate anyone, we will work something out but why worry over something that hasn't happened yet? I am still single ya know" Usagi's instantly smiled, wanting to lighten up the mood. Minako smiled back at Usagi.

"You're right, there's still plenty of hot guys to meet out there" Minako said, giving her trademark Sailor V sign. Rei, Ami and Makoto looked at each other, not really sharing the same sentiment. Setsuna sighed to herself, knowing this wasn't going to be easy. How was she to tell them there could also be a new threat coming soon?

Usagi left thinking about her meeting with Mamoru. He had expressed great remorse over everything he had done to her. She understood why he did it. When the earth fell, he felt it, he literally felt it and then when he died, the Golden Crystal stayed hidden in Elysian. The death of his parents had caused great anguish and upon digging deeper into his memories, he did loose many family members, if not all of them and he had felt each of their deaths.

How had she not remembered the death of his grandmother who had perished from the shock of losing her son, the King? Or the death of his cousins, all murdered when they tried to stop the war Queen Beryl had raised. The more Usagi thought about it, the more she could see the reasonings behind Mamoru's decisions. Even the woman he had been bethrothed to died in that war, having been manipulated. He also lost his closest friends, the Generals to Queen Beryl. The earth cried out in pain from all the dark energy that flooded it, all the blood split. Had she not felt the same when people on the Moon had perished? Did she not feel each of her Senshi's death, apart from Sailor Venus who was the last to perish?

So many people had died and not just from the Earth and Moon but all the planets, the very planetary kingdoms her mother had sworn to protect. They may not have been the direct cause of the war but their love had been what was needed to ignite it and turn it into the bloodshed it had become. If she had not fallen for the Prince of the Earth, maybe Earth would have been spared because Beryl could still have her fantasy of marrying the Prince who didn't know her. But then Queen Meteria and by extension, Chaos, would have found someone else, perhaps someone even worse.

But Usagi couldn't ignore the pain she felt. He didn't know what she had experience when Queen Meteria totured her, then when she threw herself into Queen Meteria, thus meeting her true enemy. He didn't know all this and it was because of what she had been through that she couldn't fully accept him. She decided being his friend would be enough, but she needed to make it clear that her true loyalties are to the protection of her Senshi, the Earth and the Moon. But deep down in her heart, she loved him not just as Prince Endymion, but possibly as Chiba Mamoru.


Haruto had been more than annoyed when Usagi had cancelled on him last minute, but really, he couldn't stay angry at her long. What had angered him was the fact that he would be left to his increasingly dark thoughts. Lately, he had felt a dark shadow following him, hanging over him wanting to cover him up completely. It was scary. His thoughts had started to rapidly change and he wasn't sure why. Was he becoming mentally ill? Was there mental illness within the family? A few days after Usagi had cancelled on him, he called his aunt and asked her. She had told him there may have been, there was definitely one who went a bit loopy in her words. His thoughts were dark too but he had been committed and no-one else in the family had suffered. Haruto didn't feel comforted. He researched the man or at least tried to but there was hardly any information on him. So he gave up on that idea.

He was now sat down in his bedroom, looking outside his window. Narrowing his eyes, he couldn't understand why there was snow in June. A near blizzard was forecasted to happen which had surprised the whole of Japan. In fact, the whole world had started to be affected by weird weather forecasts. The governments as usual were not willing to own up to anything or offer up any solutions. Thinking of all world governments made Haruto's blood boil.

'Wouldn't the world be better ruled by myself?' Haruto shook his head violently before getting up. It was thoughts like these that had started to worry him. Everyday now seemed to bring newer and darker thoughts. He had thought speaking with Usagi would help him, but now he wasn't so sure. What if she blew him off again? Hopefully she had a legitimate reason.

His phone buzzed. Looking over to the side of his bed, where his phone rested on his pillow, he picked it up. Usagi had sent him a text asking if she could make it up to him for cancelling last time. A small smile crept on Haruto's face. Well, this was how Usagi was. She never would let anyone down and if she did she would try her very best to make it up to them, and here was an example of that. He sent a text back to say he was free the next day.

Mamoru was standing outside the arcade his friend Motoki owned, dressed in a plain white shirt and jeans. He gulped a little frustrated that his hands felt clammy. A soft nudge broke him from his nervousness, making him acknowledge that he wasn't alone.

"They can't exactly attack us here, this is one of Usagi's favourite places" Katashi stated, a piece of information Minako had given him, albeit hesitantly. Mamoru nodded, he already knew this but still, that was before all this mess. Now he was trying to clean it up. Inside the arcade, Minako and Usagi were sat together, talking quietly. Throughtout it all Minako and Usagi were very close to each other. They had started out crime fighting together, facing impossible situations before the others arrived. It was understandable their friendship would be close but Mamoru wondered how the other Senshi felt about this.

"Look, we're going to be late, let's just go in there and speak with them, they did ask us so that is positive" Katashi sighed as he said this, thinking he was starting to sound like Jun'ichi. Mamoru nodded and followed Katashi who led the way. As soon as the door opened, Minako's eyes shot up. It was Katashi's turn to gulp and Mamoru's turn to nnudge him forward.

"It's as you said, they wouldn't attack us here, right?" Mamoru smirked when Katashi narrowed his eyes on his Prince. Sometimes his Prince was such a smartass.

Once they were sat down, opposite the girls, a silence fell on them. Usagi looked uncomfortable, and well, that was understandable. She hadn't spoken to Mamoru for four years and now all of a sudden she was meeting up with him. Minako suggested to Usagi that they had to do this, without the rest of the girls.

"I mean, we've been through more together on our own right? They just don't understand how hard it was just the two of us wondering whether we were going to even finish school" Minako had started before she went queit.

"It's because they went behind our backs Minako, they blew your trust" Usagi stated bluntly which surprised Minako, Usagi shrugged.

"Minako-chan, they didn't even tell us they had been talking to the guys until they felt they could persuade us. You're their leader and I get that you feel betrayed by them still" Minako gulped and looked away from Usagi, Usagi didn't need to say anything because Minako's silence told her all she needed to know.

Now here they were, with the very two men both had believed they would never speak to again. Minako was torn over her own feelings. She had started to actually hate Katashi for everything. All the anger from her previous life and from what happened merged into this horrible anger infested ball that clung itself to her. But she owed it to her Senshi and most importantly, to herself, to see where this can lead. Can she really close off this chapter in her life? Or was a new story beginning?

"Thank you for this Minako-san, I understand this was never going to be easy" Katashi started after too much time of silence had passed over.

"You have no idea" Minako stated. Katashi nodded, he had expected this. Mamoru had not taken his eyes off of Usagi as she continued to look away from him. He knew she was not comfortable, that much he was certain about. But he would have given up anything to get this chance with her, to try and iron out the problems they had, the problems he had created.

"Where do we go from here Serenity?" Usagi's head snapped in Mamoru's direction, shocked that his voice had taken on a deeper tone, even his eyes had changed into a golden colour, before her was not just Mamoru but Prince Endymion.

"How can you…." Mamoru chuckled a little at the surprise in Usagi's voice.

"I have been training with a past priestess of Earth about understanding how to channel the Golden Crystal. I can feel it flowing through my veins, connecting me to everything on this beautiful planet, it's wonderful" Usagi's eyes widened at that. Mamoru was the studious type, it shouldn't surprise Usagi at all that he had been training with it. Throughout the years Usagi had trained on and off with the Crystal. She knew for her to fully use it she would have to go back to the Moon and train under her mother, or at least the hologram of her mother. She just had not been ready yet. She gulped in embarrassment the more she thought about it.

"I don't know where we go from here, you hurt me, more deeply than anyone could. It is not something I can willingly forget, the memories of what happened….it all just hurts" Usagi admitted. Minako nodded in agreement, staring at Katashi. Usagi's words had done all the speaking for her. Even in the past Princess Serenity had a way of speaking that spoke for all the Sailor Senshi, even for Queen Serenity.

"I love you Serenity and I want to get to know you as Tsukino Usagi. So much time has passed…I feel I have missed the good years in many ways" Mamoru confessed. All the exams she took and passed, such celebration she must have had! And fours years of birthdays gone by and all the other holidays and festivities they could have shared in. He had caused that and it wasn't something he could easily forgive himself for. But four years ago the souls of Mamoru and Prince Endymion had been in unison in their actions, in their thoughts of the situation. Now they were in unison again, to seek his true love and to make it up to her no matter what the cost. His soul needed her like a man needed air to breathe.

"Your love may not be enough Mamoru-san…I just need time. I am willing to get to know you as Chiba Mamoru, maybe even become friends but for now that is as far as we can go" Usagi stated, her mind in unison with a more jaded Princess Serenity.

"I feel the same way Katashi-san, we can be friends but nothing more for now" Minako added, her voice still cold. Katashi nodded willing to take whatever he could to be close to her again.

"What about your Sailor Senshi, are they free?" Mamoru's voice sent shivers down Usagi's back. She knew what he was asking but she really needed to work on the way his voice made her feel.

"They are free to pursue their own relationships, just so long as they know where their loyalties are, much as I suspect you would feel about your Generals" Usagi could feel Princess Serenity was aiding her in being diplomatic whilst Usagi was controlling their feelings for this darkly handsom man. If Mamoru could see the affect he had on her he didn't show it. But oh, he did, he could still feel her essence and he knew she was affected by him, this gave him all the hope he needed to win her back over.

Hi :-)

Finally updating a new chapter. I just haven't had the chance to upload this chapter for a while but thought whilst I had the chance today, to do it.

Thank you Jakeros for you continued support with this story :-) I know this isn't the Senshi butt kicking yet but wanted to have some chapters were there isn't any fights, more emotional stuff. However, the villainy will start soon:-)

As for Rei, it is going to be complicated, you'll see but at the moment she is of the same mind as Ami and Makoto.

Next villain is maybe not a well known one but in keeping with the idea of battling Queens and yes, Haruto will become a well-known villain in Sailor Moon, his change will be gradual as this chapter hopefully shows.

Hope you all liked the chapter, will see you guys soon.